Sunday, May 20, 2012

"CandyLand" webseries creators Ali Scher & Damian Horan

A child at heart, Ali Scher has always found a way to infuse whimsy and fantasy into her work and life. Originally from Toronto, Ali began directing and acting in theater at a very young age. She went on to receive a degree in Theater and Literature from Smith College, transitioning to film after spending a summer as a research intern for the television show “ER.” She attended USC School of Cinematic Arts, where play is pursued with the utmost dedication and seriousness. Last year Ali received the DGA (Directors Guild of America) Jury Award for Best Woman Filmmaker of 2011. On her USC Thesis film, "The Maiden and The Princess" Ali had the opportunity to work with David Anders of “Alias” and “Vampire Diaries,” Julian Sands of “Room With A View“ and “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” and Broadways Megan Hilty of “Smash.” Her thesis film has played at over fifty festivals worldwide and won countless awards, including the 2012 USC Faculty Award for Best Directing and a Student Emmy.

An award-winning filmmaker from Houston, Damian moved out to Los Angeles in 2007 to join the production program at USC's School of Cinematic Arts. His thesis film, "Children of the Air" is currently playing across the festival circuit. The film stars Katheryn Winnick ("Love and Other Drugs" & "Bones") and Travis Van Winkle ("Friday the 13th" and "Transformers"). Damian is a narrative filmmaker who enjoys telling stories visually. He has shot pieces for the Foo Fighters, Coca-Cola, Sony, and Forever 21/Hello Kitty to name a few. His narrative work can be seen on several films currently playing on the festival circuit. Damian studied directing and cinematography at USC, where he had the opportunity to work under such legendary cinematographers as the late William Fraker. He and his wife are living happily ever after in California.

What are the current project your working on?

Ali: I'm nearing the end of my first year on the festival circuit with my short film, "The Maiden and The Princess." We've played at over 50 film festivals (both in the US and abroad), and it's been a fantastic ride! The film has won quite a few awards, including a Student Emmy, the 2011 DGA Jury Award for Best Female Director, and the 2012 USC Faculty Award for Best Director. Aside from Candyland, I’m currently working to adapt a really exciting magic realism book (set in 13th century Italy) into a screenplay with my writing partner from Maiden, Joe Swanson. We have an amazing producer attached and I truly believe we're gonna get this made! Fingers crossed :) 

Damian: I'm currently working on a project called "CandyLand" with my good friend Ali Scher. "Lying, cheating, seduction, betrayal...preschool ain't so sweet anymore."

We created the show around the premise of taking the wonderful melodrama of classic high school shows like the original 90210, Dawson's Creek, and My So Called Life and twisting it into a dark comedy with preschoolers dealing with the intense drama of preschool life. It's a funny twist on the classic melodrama we all grew up watching on TV. You can find more information, including a promo video on our Kickstarter Page: or on our Facebook Page:

I've also been screening my USC Graduate Thesis Film, "Children of the Air", across the festival circuit. We've been lucky to have quite a few screenings across the country and world and have been lucky enough to bring back some awards from a few of them. The film stars Katheryn Winnick ("Love and Other Drugs" and "Bones") and Travis Van Winkle ("Transformers" and "Friday the 13th") and is a dark contemporary allegory to the original fairytale version of the Little Mermaid. You can find more information on the film at or

In addition, my first feature-length film, "Barbarian Days", can also be seen at various festivals across the country. The films follows a legion of loyal fans who travel down to Cross Plains, TX once a year to celebrate the life and works of Robert E. Howard, creator of "Conan the Barbarian." You can find more information on the film at

I'm also writing a feature dark comedy that deals a lot with the themes we explored in "Children of the Air"; the idea of fleeting memory and wanting to change the past but being impotent to do so. It's a very whimsical piece that is a lot of fun but also has a lot of heart at the core.

What was it like work with such a young cast?

 Ali: It's actually been fantastic! I acted as casting director for the webseries, and the trick is to see as many kids as possible (as many casting sessions as it takes) until you find talented kids who also really want to be there. You can always tell the kids who want it from the kids with parents who want it for them. I have a lot of experience working with child actors, from my thesis film, "The Maiden and The Princess," as well as from my theater background, so it's nothing new for me. Kids can actually be easier than adults to work with sometimes. They don't internalize their emotions, so words like "sad" and "happy" have very clear, definitive meanings for them. We have a really amazing group of kids on Candyland. I'm so excited to get to work with each and every one of them. 

Damian: We were incredibly lucky and found an amazingly talented cast that has been a ton of fun to work with. Honestly about 90% of the work of the entire show was completed when we found our cast because they are that good. It's a lot of fun working with kids because of their energy and unbridled excitement. 

Why did you decide to collaborate on "Candyland"?

 Ali: Damian and I were in school together at USC and I've always had a lot of respect for his visual artistry. We've been wanting to collaborate for a long time and this just seemed like the perfect project to do it.

 Damian: Ali and I were in the same class at USC so I got to see a lot of her work throughout our years in the graduate film production program, and I really thought she'd be the perfect partner for a show like this. She is a very talented filmmaker that has a very unique whimsical but edgy child-like nature to her work, and that was exactly the type tone we wanted for CandyLand; she was really born for a show like this. I have a lot respect for her as a filmmaker and have really enjoyed partnering up with her on this project. 

Why did you decide to make it a webseries instead of a film? 

 Damian: We had initially discussed the possibility of writing a feature-length script for it instead (which we are still looking to do in the future), and actually pitched it to a couple different TV Studios, but in the end we felt like at this point in time a Webseries format would be easier to get in front of a lot of people. We looked at old shows like Saved By The Bell, and realized the classic 30 minute sitcom without commercials was actually quite close to a Webseries type format or length. The tough thing about doing a good Webseries is finding a concept that is strong enough to capture and entertain an audience in such a short time-frame. We really love the concept of CandyLand, and think it's the type of show that will immediately grab your attention and hold onto it. 

What's your opinion on crowdfunding?

 Damian: Crowdfunding is a really wonderful thing because it has created an opportunity for thousands of artistic endeavors that may have never been created without its support. There are a ton of talented starving artists out there in the world and there a ton of people that want to support the arts, and websites like Kickstarter allow those people to find each other and identify projects where they may share a similar like or interest. 

What is your favorite film festival you've been to so far?

Ali: I'd have to say that HATCH Fest was my favorite! Though Outfest is a very close second! I'd never heard of Hatch before when I got in, so I didn't really know what to expect. Having attended only 5 festivals beforehand, I was prepared for the same competitive atmosphere, cold handshakes, empty congratulations... What I found was a living, breathing community of people passionately trying to change the world. Unlike any film festival I've attended since, Hatch is not just for films, but for inventors, scientists and anyone looking to creatively make a difference. It's about finding smart, creative people in all different fields and bringing them together to try and make the world a better place. I got to see how a 3D printer works and why hybrid technology is going to change the planet. It was a pretty life changing experience :)
What's your favorite quote and why?

Ali: Amanda Pope, an amazing documentary filmmaker and one of my mentors from USC always told me - "never ask for permission. Just do it (whatever it is) and ask for forgiveness later!" It's the perfect bit of advice as nothing is ever handed to you on a silver platter in this industry. It's all about making daring moves and just hoping they pay off. 

 Damian: My favorite quote is actually from "Joe Vs. the Volcano" and it goes something like, "My father says that almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know. Everybody you see. Everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are awake and they live in a state of constant total amazement." I think it's a really beautiful thought, because as you grow up your vision narrows a bit, and reality tends to tarnish the magic that was once there and if you are not careful it can fade away for good, but if you can fight to keep your eyes open, you'll see, even in the smallest of places, that the world is a pretty amazing place. Also Meg Ryan said the line at the time, and I had a huge crush on her in the early 90's. 

Is there anything you'd like to add?

 Ali: Yes! We have exactly 4 days left on our Candyland Kickstarter campaign:http://www.kickstarter.comprojects/1396193475/candyland

Check out our hilarious promo and please, donate if you can! Even just $5 really helps and will go a long way toward making this project.


Thank you Ali and Damian for doing the interview. I'll be sure to check out "The Maiden and The Princess" and "Children of the Air" ASAP and write reviews of the films. I wish you the best of luck with "CandyLand" and your future projects.

Readers can see my interview with Ali for her thesis film here :

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Filmmaker Justin Calen Chenn

[caption id="attachment_2808" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="Justin Calen Chenn being interviewed at the Action on Film Intl. Film Festival in 2011"][/caption]

Born in Whittier, California, Justin Calen Chenn has battled and survived being homeless, self mutilation, criminal behavior, and many self destructive habits before finally turning his life around and focusing on film at age 24 and then, making three features by age 29.

Justin was living a comfortable well-to-do life before things started to spiral down at age 10. At age 16, Justin, his mother, and his sister lost everything including their home, and from there, things only worsened. After getting kicked out of his first college, Justin's goal was then to become a "criminal with a lot of scars." But he eventually put his demons to rest and was admitted as an illustration major to the prestigious Pasadena Art Center College of Design, despite no formal training in the arts. However, halfway through his education, he decided to turn his attention to film.

In 2007 and inspired by British filmmakers Mike Leigh & Ken Loach plus the stye of American visionary Tim Burton, Justin decided a feature was going to be the first thing he would do as a filmmaker. For the film, which eventually became THE WAY OF SNOW (2008), Justin self taught himself every facet of production and sold things like his vintage toy collection to raise for the Super 16 drama. He also served as lead actor, writer, director, editor, DP, and sound recordist. The film was semi-autobiographical and told the true story of Justin's battle with self mutilation. The host of branded scars on Justin's arm seen in the film are real and added to the haunting power that drives the film.

Justin and the film went on to premiere at the UK Bradford Film Festival in England in 2008. He was also nominated for Best Director at another festival and picked up an Honorable Mention as well as awards for Best Editing, and Best Production Design at the 2010 LA New Wave Intl. Film Festival. Since then, Justin has made another micro-budget feature, titled EMBERS OF THE SKY (2010) which was nominated for Best Picture and Best Actress at the 2011 Action on Film International Film Festival.

Justin is a first generation Chinese American who enjoys speaking his native tongue, Mandarin Chinese. He has lived and worked in motels for a large potion of his life and attributes the molding of his personality to some of the things he's experienced, which includes running a motel in a gang and crime infested city. He continues to be an avid British cinema enthusiast, and is also content now to let the past be the past.


What did it feel like when you found out "Folklore" won Best Director and Best Acting Ensemble at Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival?

I was incredibly excited because it was the first time I had won  anything in film! It’ll definitely be something that I will remember forever. And I was especially happy for the cast because film is all about collaboration and sharing, so with those two awards, I felt like we all won together.

Where will your film be screening next?

Folklore will be screening at the Phoenix Film Festival in the International Horror and Sci-Fi section of the fest in early April. Hopefully, there will be a lot more to come after that.

How do you handle rejection?

I think I handle it well, because it’s something I’ve learned to thrive on. Maybe it’s because I have a nasty competitive streak like many people that have played competitive sports, I’m not sure. Whatever it is, I find it a bit of a thrill. I don’t know if that’s good or bad!

What is your writing process like?

It’s a mix. Sometimes, I write ideas longhand on paper first, and then slowly start to flesh out the entire structure from there. On paper is where things always come together for me. I have to feel myself writing with a pen in order to get the creative motor in my head running full blast.

Did you always want to be a filmmaker?

No, sir. I never even thought about it until I was 24 years old. Before that, my goal was to become a criminal with a lot of scars.  I know that sounds quite dumb, but it was true. I am quite thankful for film though because it took me away from a lot of troubling things.

What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

British director Mike Leigh and his [Oscar nominated] movie, Secrets and Lies (1996). The emotions he tapped into during that movie were revelatory to me at a time when I desperately needed an outlet. After I saw that movie, I decided I wanted to make a feature film. That became my debut, The Way of Snow (2008). I ended up writing/directing/producing/starring/editing the film and to boot, I shot it on Super 16. It was quite the experience.

Who is your favorite filmmaker?

I’m a bit of an anglophile, so Mike Leigh is tops. In terms of what I want to accomplish career wise, I would point to Tim Burton, David Fincher, and JJ Abrams for their otherworldliness, precision with darkness, and mastery of genre scope, respectively.

And of course, I’m inspired by all the legendary big names (Wilder, Spielberg, etc.) because I hope to achieve what they’ve achieved one day! 

What do you like to do besides filmmaking?

I’m a sports fanatic, especially with soccer (aka football) and basketball. My favorite club is Chelsea FC and the Toronto Raptors. I also like to play sports too but injuries have sort of stopped me from doing it as much. I also like to read books that range from historical to fluff. I hope to get back into painting one day because that’s what I studied. I’m also an avid collector of 80’s vintage toys (Battle Beast, He-Man, Centurions, etc), though I sold a lot of them to finance my debut feature back in 2008. One day, I plan to buy them all back when I have money!

What are some of your favorite American films? Foreign films? Television shows?

I know there are a ton of great TV shows on these days, but my TV only has HBO and a scattering of other channels, so I don’t and can’t watch a lot sadly. Film wise, some of my favorites, both American and foreign, are Mike Leigh’s Career Girls, Edward Scissorhands, anything with Audrey Hepburn, any films of Ken Loach,The Muppets’ Christmas Carol. There’s a ton more, naturally, but those are some of the stickers.

How would you describe your film education?

Hmmm. I would say I was self taught. The first thing I ever did with film was make a feature, so my education was just trial by fire. I figured everything out as I went along, and just made features while doing it. It’s not something I’d recommend to anyone because it’s mad to work that way, but that was just my way.

What's your opinion on crowdfunding?

[Justin’s sci-fi comedy] ‘Folklore’ was funded by Kickstarter, so I am all for crowdfunding and support it very much. You’ve got to thank the guys who came up with the idea because it’s given little filmmakers like myself a chance to keep going after their dream.

What current projects are you working on?

I’ve got a no-budget monster movie short film I want to do soon as to keep the creative juices flowing. You know how it is at the micro level: keep making product, keep moving forward.

Feature film wise though, I have a small scale sci-fi drama I’d love to do next at a level one notch higher. The micro/no-budget level has been great for me and working on such an intimate scale is a treasure, but I hope, with ‘Folklore, an opportunity will come where I will get to move a step up and work with a bigger budget.

I’ve also been writing a ton as well, screenplays that are all in the sci-fi/fantasy genre, but we’ll have to see where it all goes. I remain optimistic that great chances will come.

Is there anything else you would like to add? 

I found a sort of inner peace in 2012 that had been out of my reach for years, and film had a lot to do with that. It has calmed a lot of demons that I had. That’s why I genuinely hope that I will keep getting the opportunity to do more with film. Thank you for the opportunity to interview, John. Much appreciated.


Thanks so much for doing the interview Justin. I really enjoyed seeing "Folklore" at Boston Sci Fi. It was a pleasure meeting you there as well. I'll do what I can to spread the word about you and your film.

Below is a picture taken of me and Justin at the Boston Sci Fi Film Festival

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Author Judith Deborah

Judith Deborah is a writer of fiction and nonfiction. She grew up about forty minutes outside midtown Manhattan and was educated at Duke and Oxford. She recently published a mystery novel, A Falling Knifeand started a pop-culture website. She's passionate about good writing, good mysteries, good movies, good wine, and good food, although she's been known to take great pleasure in terrible examples of all of those things.

Judith's novel has just received a glowing notice from Kirkus Reviews, in which it is described as satisfying, witty and sophisticated. The full review can be found here.

What is the current project you are working on?

I’m weighing some ideas for another book in the Evan Adair mystery series, but am also in the early stages of a novel that’s outside the mystery genre. It’s more along the lines of a comedy of manners. I’m also putting together a collection of short stories.

How do you define success?

Doing a job you love, doing it the best you possibly can, and getting paid for it.

How do you handle rejection?

Either by shifting gears and starting a whole new project -- which tells me I wasn’t that sold on the original project myself -- or by looking for a new way to make it viable. That can mean either tweaking it or changing the approach to selling it (or both, as happened with A Falling Knife).

Did you always want to be a writer?

Yes. I started writing stories when I was six. I’ve taken some pretty big detours, but writing has always been at the center of my professional life in one way or another. And I’ve known since I was a kid that ultimately I’d be writing fiction.

What inspired you to become a writer?

Two people inspired me to take the idea seriously: Laurie Colwin and Reynolds Price.

The first book of Colwin’s that I ever read was her collection of short stories, The Lone Pilgrim, which was recommended to me when I was a freshman in college. She wrote in a sunny, wry, sophisticated way about people who are very intelligent but completely confused in their personal lives -- articulate, warm, domestically inclined people who felt very familiar to me. She also did some wonderful (and very funny) food writing. I felt a certain kinship with her, with her style and personality as well as with her life choices, and she made me hopeful that if she could pull off the writing life -- make it a reality and not just wishful thinking -- maybe I could too. (I actually wrote her a fan letter once and she wrote back. She told me that she was writing a novel and having a baby, which was a combination she highly recommended. We lost her very young -- she died at 48 -- but she was a treasure.)

I studied writing with Reynolds Price while I was at Duke as a graduate student. He did a great deal for my confidence as a writer, and his example was a huge inspiration.

What is the best thing about being one?

Positive feedback from readers. I know I should hear “hey, liked the book!” with a mature, sober equanimity, but it always makes me feel like dancing on tables.

What is the worst thing about being one?

Waiting months for a response to a query and having it slowly dawn on you that the silence is itself the answer -- ugh. Not being able to see the end of a project. And of course the days when you can’t write your way out of a paper bag. We all have times when we either can’t crank anything out at all or can only seem to write garbage, and the harder we try, the more craptabulous the stuff gets. Days like that are enough to make you want to get back in bed, pull the covers over your head, and not come out for a couple of months.

Who is your favorite author?

P.G. Wodehouse. Laurie Colwin (see above). And I’m very attached to a whole roster of mystery authors, including Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie, Reginald Hill, and Colin Dexter. There are some individual works that mean a lot to me, too, like Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Richard Price’s novel Lush Life. All of Lush Life is amazing, but the prologue in particular is a master class.

How has your life changed since you became writer?

No more regular paycheck, which is both disorienting and highly motivating.

What is one piece of advice you can give to someone who also wants to be a writer?

Two things. First, prepare yourself for a lifetime of much more rejection than approbation, and consider if that’s really something you want to take on. And second, be absolutely, positively sure there isn’t something you’d rather do, or even something you’d just like to explore before committing. If there’s anything else you’re seriously considering -- furniture making or investment banking or dog breeding or marine biology -- do that other thing, because your odds of success will be better. It’ll also give you something to write about with some authority later, if you’ve still got the itch. Your writing will almost certainly be a lot more interesting.

What do you like to do besides writing?

Cook, blog, go to the movies, do crosswords, listen to audiobooks, eat, tinker with martini and gimlet proportions, listen to the Larry Miller podcast, and hang out with my kids.

Have you had any other jobs before you decided to become a writer?

I worked as a financial editor at investment banks in New York for a while. I also spent about a year and a half writing digests of the financial news for an online investment information resource. Nowadays, my main job is as mother to three young kids. Motherhood and writerhood segue rather neatly, I find (I have only mornings to work in because of school/activity schedules, and I’m the kind of writer who works much better with externally imposed time restrictions and deadlines).

How would you describe your education?

As an extremely lucky one. I studied English and US history at Duke with a whole lineup of great people. I also studied International Relations at Balliol College, Oxford, which was one of the best experiences of my life in pretty much every respect you can imagine.

What are some of your favorite American films? Foreign films? Television shows?

Oh boy -- I could go on all day with this one. Off the top of my head:

American films: Adam’s Rib, Pat and Mike, Desk Set, The Philadelphia Story (detecting a pattern here?), My Favorite Year, Young Frankenstein, You Don’t Mess With the Zohan (what can I tell you? I think I injured myself laughing), Best In Show,  The Rookie, 61*. Pretty much anything containing Allison Janney, Madeline Kahn, or Patricia Clarkson.

Foreign films: Diva, A Sunday in the Country, The Band’s Visit, The Lives of Others, Local Hero, Withnail & I, Mostly Martha, Strictly Ballroom, The Lion in Winter, Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers

Television shows: The West Wing, Mad Men, Northern Exposure, Inspector Morse, Sherlock Holmes (with Jeremy Brett), Columbo, The Good Neighbors (called The Good Life in Britain, a 70s-era comedy with Felicity Kendal and Richard Briers), Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister, House of Cards with Ian Richardson, Reckless with Francesca Annis and Michael Kitchen

How has social media changed the publishing industry?

Radically, and largely for the better.

You could have any first edition book. Which book would it be and why?

I actually have them already: Laurie Colwin’s novel Happy All the Time and P.G. Wodehouse’s Pigs Have Wings, which was a gift from my husband.

What's your favorite movie quote and why?

“I’m wearing a cardboard belt!” -- bellowed by Max Bialystock (Zero Mostel) to Leo Bloom (Gene Wilder) in The Producers, one of my favorite Mel Brooks movies. When I was a kid, my dad and I used to holler this at each other and then fall over laughing. It’s a lot to freight one sentence with, but for some reason this line evokes summer at my old house growing up, smearing a slice of rye bread around the bottom of the salad bowl to soak up the tomato juice and vinegar, and my dad laughing.

Oh, and one other one: Ruth Hussey saying “Belts will be worn tighter this year” in The Philadelphia Story, which exemplifies how terrific that script was. (Belts seem to be a theme. I have no idea why.)

What is your opinion on movie remakes and sequels?

Sequels can be great. Batman: The Dark Knight, for example, was an outstanding followup to Batman Begins, which had set a very high bar. I’m less sold on remakes, though. I can’t think of a single remake that was superior to, or even equal to, the original. I’m a big proponent of the American movie industry, but it has to be said that the pitiful American remake of a fabulous European movie is almost a genre unto itself. (I haven’t seen the US-made Dragon Tattoo yet, but the Swedish one was excellent. It didn’t need a remake, especially not so soon. I’m open to counterargument, though, particularly when it’s delivered by Daniel Craig.)

What is your opinion on book to movie adaptations?

They’re great if done well. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, for instance, was a terrific adaptation of a book. And that was a book I really loved, so I was apprehensive about the movie. In some ways I liked the movie better than the book.

That adaptation was pretty literal, but I also enjoy adaptations that take a whole new approach to the telling of a story -- Clueless, for example, which sets Jane Austen’s Emma in a California high school. That movie worked brilliantly.

There are certainly instances where the movie adaptation diminishes the book -- The Help comes to mind -- but in general I think they’re fine.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Only that I hope you’ll give my novel a whirl, and if you do, I hope you enjoy it! It’s called A Falling Knife and is available in paperback and for the Kindle. You’re also welcome to pop by my website,, or my Facebook page, and I’d love it if you followed me on Twitter: @JudithDeborah


Thank you for doing the interview Judith. I will  read A Falling Knife ASAP. I don't have much time to read these days.  Good luck with your short stories and other books.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Writer/Filmmaker & Expat Marco North

Why exactly are you living in forced exile in Russia?

My daughter was kidnapped here five years ago by her mother, now my ex-wife. As my daughter cannot legally leave the country until she is 14, the only way for me to actively be her father and protect her means I have to live in Moscow. I have explored every way to bring my daughter back to the US where she was born, but there is no legal precedent.

Where are you from originally?


What is the worst thing about being a single dad?

When I need to understand the nuances of a troubled six-year old girl, I often second-guess myself. Being a single parent is a complete burn-out, a marathon. It just gets very ugly sometimes. You can’t get sick. You have to come up with endless reserves of energy and positivity. You kid sees everything. If you are waking up angry and resentful, they do the same…so if you can wake up and somehow make jokes and pancakes your kid is going to be fine.

What is the best thing about being a single parent?

Doing something very difficult makes you feel like nothing can stop you.

How do you explain to your daughter what is going on between you and her mother?

She is a very intuitive child. She remembers things from when she was three. I am surprised by how much she processes all by herself. We have a lot of quiet, serious talks when I do the listening and she does the talking. I try to make the messy stuff really simple. So far, it works.

How do you balance your family life and your professional life?

I work from home, which means I am not wasting time going to and from an office. I work before my daughter wakes up. I work long after she has gone to sleep, and I take breaks in the middle to do dad stuff. My daughter loves seeing me working, and sometimes she collaborates with me. Making films in our living room feels very natural to me, and to her.

Do you and your daughter both speak fluent Russian?

My daughter speaks fluent English as well as Russian, and can communicate in four other languages. My Russian is great in restaurants, but I never try to speak Russian for anything serious. I destroy the language all the time, unintentionally. What’s funny is this – some Russians completely understand what I am trying to say, others have no idea.

How are Russia and America different, how are they similar?

You know, as many things that are different, there are just as many that are the same – the middle class in America supports the country, and the middle class in Russia barely exists. The corruption, the PR machine and the misperceptions? That’s universal. There are racist Russians and racist Americans. There are good, kind people everywhere.

I will say that lying, cheating and stealing are not frowned upon in Russia. If you get fooled, you are just seen as weak and foolish. There is a harsher morality here – one closer to survival, less about wanting to be perceived as a good, compassionate person. If you smile at someone in the street in Moscow, people think you are either on drugs or just got out of a mental institution.

What is the current project you are working on?

On a personal level - multiple ones. A book of short stories that is almost done. An art book that will combine my photographs with text – it’s a story that will eventually be a film. Creating the outline for a book inspired by my highly successful blog, Impressions of an Expat.

I just launched an independent press - Bittersweet Editions. It is an outgrowth of my longstanding “day job” an agency/design studio called Bittersweet Group. I'll spare the soapbox pitch and just say – it is very artist based, all about supporting the writer the way they wish a press would. We’re way past genres – all about the strength of honest writing in forms common and very uncommon. “Truth lies in words.” That’s our mantra.

How do you define success?

It’s personal. It’s about crossing a threshold and knowing that you have accomplished what you set out to do, and maybe surprised yourself.

How do you handle rejection?

I fully accept the fact that there are people out there that do not connect with what I want to express. If everyone liked what I do, I would probably feel like a failure. Rejection reminds me I am wasting time trying to relate to people who have other interests. I know damn well if I have good work and when I don’t.

Did you always want to be a writer?

Actually, yes. I have a third grade teacher who kept all of these wild stories I wrote and illustrated in his class. It took me a long time to develop, and as I said – pass that threshold. For me, publishing my first novel was a watershed moment.

What inspired you to become a writer?

People confess things to me. I probably could have been a priest. They trust their regrets, their dreams, their secrets to me, and I try to honor them in my writing. I have something of a photographic memory, even for dialogue. I find that writing helps me put the mess of the world in a picture frame, maybe fabricate some perspective on the madness and the joy.

What is the best thing about being one?

Well, the paper is my only real obstacle. To make a film you need money for things like lunch for the crew and locations and makeup. To write a book, the only physical limit is you and maybe a nice pen to write with.

What is the worst thing about being one?

I love writing too much to say anything bad about it.

What is the estimated number of projects you have worked on? 

Large projects – six. Small projects, hundreds.

Who is your favorite author?

I am inspired by Kawabata and Rilke, but my favorite writer is John Fante.

How has your life changed since you became writer?

I would say once I really understood I could write really well, I suddenly felt like I had come home to myself. I also felt a deep responsibility to accomplish something.

What is one piece of advice you can give to someone who also wants to be a writer?

It’s not a vanity process. Ignore the noise. It takes a hell of a lot of hard work and brutal self-criticism to become a solid writer. Trust your instincts. Learn how to know if something works or not without begging other people to tell you.

What do you like to do besides writing?

I have a pretty successful alter-ego -  Martin Ruby. He just recorded the soundtrack to a great little film called Gone Elvis directed by David Newhoff. Martin keeps buying guitars and leaves them in my living room, and then my daughter plays them.

I also cook very seriously. Cooking is the one thing I do every single day to remain sane.

Have you had any other jobs before you decided to become a writer?

Circus worker. Short order cook. Welder. Cinematographer.

How would you describe your education?

Pretty freaking amazing. I went to SUNY Purchase and studied film with some top-notch professors like Tom Gunning and Mimi Arsham, critical theory with guys who were from Yale, photography with Jan Groover, Jed Devine, John Cohen. I followed my heart and mind every single day there, and it has fueled my work for twenty years without any sign of letting up.

What are some of your favorite American films? Foreign films? Television shows?

Badlands by Terrence Malick. Au Hazard, Bathazar by Robert Bresson. Breaking Bad created by Vince Gilligan.

 How would you describe the writing "scene" where you live?

I have no idea. I never really connected with writers this way, even when I lived in NYC.

 How has social media changed the publishing industry?

The obvious democratization is empowering. It also means there are countless books out there now that have not gone through a critical process.

How does independent differ from the mainstream?

I don’t think many independent presses or studios are really independent. They are often just fledgling versions of their mainstream counterparts. Black Sparrow press is an independent press. It always was. I don’t see many new ones like them.

 You could have any first edition book. Which book would it be and why?

Ask the Dust by John Fante. It is the one book that forced me to understand that if you can write, you better do it. No excuses.

Do you believe in life on other planets?

Why the hell not?

What's your favorite movie quote and why?

Peter Falk, in A Woman Under the Influence directed by John Cassavetes. “Here kid, have a beer. Y'll sleep like rocks.” He says this to his young son, in a devastating moment. It’s such a crude gesture – the man has no idea what to do or say – so he just blurts something out. It is just very very human.

 What is your opinion on movie remakes and sequels?

It’s subjective and personal, but I think they are quite foolish – just some cautious marketing people trying to make money. Make a film inspired by an old film – that’s much more interesting.

What is your opinion on book to movie adaptions?

I think it was Mailer who said you give Hollywood a cow and they come back with a cup of beef bullion and say “here, we made your book into a movie”.  Honestly, it depends on the book and the director. The End of the Road by Terry Southern was adapted to film by one of professors, Aram Avakian and I think it was remarkable. There is a film adaptation of the Dostoyevsky novella A Gentle Creature  - Une Femme Douce directed by Robert Bresson. I love both the book and the film.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Writing my blog Impressions of an Expat every Monday is extremely challenging. Writing something that is deeply personal and honest yet meaningful to an audience of strangers is a very tall order. I live a bizarre life in Moscow. I have stories to tell, about getting dragged to police stations, about falling in love, about the amazing kid I have. I am humbled by the comments and reactions I get each week from readers in over 40 countries. The blog probably saved my life.


Thank you for doing the interview Marco. I wish you all the best with your projects. I'll do what I can to spread the word about them and blog.  My thoughts/prayers are with you. I hope you'll be able to bring your daughter back to the USA with you soon.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Filmmaker Ricky Tyree

Ricky Tyree was born in Buffalo,New York, and raised in Atlanta,Georgia. Growing up, his passion was in sports. He ran track, played football, and basketball. He became the editor of the school show as a freshman in high school, but it wasn't until his junior year when he discovered his passion for filmmaking.

Outside of working for the school show, he began editing highlight tapes for other athletes around the Atlanta area. He wanted to take his work to the next level, so at the age of 17, he created Sirrah Films. Sirrah is named after his grandfather James Harris who passed away in 1997. James Harris loved photography & painting, but died at a early age to cancer. After graduating from high school, Ricky attended Miles College in Birmingham,Alabama in 2008. Because of his knowledge of filmmaking, the school allowed him to take his major classes as a true freshman. His hunger to learn about filmmaking was on a very high level. There were times when he would stay in classes that he didn't have on his schedule just to learn more. At the time, his father lost his job in construction and his parents could not afford to send a lot of money to help pay for college material. So Ricky started filming events around the Birmingham area to help pay for things he needed. His name quickly around the city, much faster than he could imagined.

After couple of years of making commercials,highlight tapes, and recording events, he realized that making films is what he really wanted to do. To start a new beginning in his film career, he changed the from Sirrah Films to Shark Vision Films. After winning a couple of screenplay writing awards, he is now working on a few up coming films in hopes of reaching higher levels as a director & screenplay writer.

What is the current project your working on?

I'm currently working on the 3 short films titled Waiting On God's Message, King Of Klubs, and Reasons. I also plan to shoot my first feature film called "The Open Hill" later in 2012, which is a story about a young man who uses skateboarding to escape his troubled past. It's a very positive story , and relates to how some kids used sports to stay away from trouble in certain areas.

How do you measure success?

There are many definitions for success. Just completing the film makes me happy to be honest. But to define success as for my career, I just want to motivate & inspire. Expand people's minds with my visions. I don't measure success by awards like some people, base it off the impact it has on people.

How do you handle rejection?

Growing up, I didn't handle it very well. As I got older, I looked at rejection very differently. I look as a sign of God saying " Wrong direction, try again." I know it sounds funny to people, but thats just how I see it. If everyone was to stop after the first rejection, we would not have many great stories to talk about.

Did you always want to be a filmmaker?

I wanted to become a mechanical engineer, designing cars.

What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

It wasn't until my mom told me to check out the film industry in my junior year in high school. But great people like Micheal Mann, Christopher Nolan, Spike Lee, Will Smith, Denzel Washington, and many others inspired & motivated me to make that jump into the industry.

What is the best thing about being a filmmaker?

Is having the ability to bring your imagination to life for the world to see.

What is the worst thing about being one?

The stress of getting the funds, and trying to fit everything on a short film schedule.

What is the estimated number of projects you have worked on?

These up coming projects are going to be my first after college. I spent time writing the films, now I'm going to bring the scripts to life for the world to see.

Who is your favorite filmmaker?

Right now, I have to say Christopher Nolan. Besides having amazing plots to his films, he puts amazing detail in each scene. For an example; In the movie Dark Knight, there is a scene before the final fight between The Joker and Batman happen. There are two cops driving through the city at night, and they see that a fire truck is on fire in the middle of the street. That small scene didn't catch a lot of other people's attention as a major scene, but in my eyes it was amazing. It helped set the tone to make people realize that what they are dealing with is beyond what they could have imagined.

How has your life changed since you became a filmmaker?

It helped me become more vocal, and take over when need to. When I was younger, I was very shy. Filmmaking helped me come out of that shell.

What is one piece of advice you can give to someone who also wants to become a filmmaker?

Learn the business side of filmmaking first. You might come up with the next big film, but if you don't have all the paper work done correctly, you won't get what you deserved.

What do you like to do besides filmmaking?

I'm really big on sports, I like to go out and play basketball or football when ever I get the chance to. I also like swimming. I try to stay active and try new things.

Have you had any other jobs before you decided to become a filmmaker?

My last jobs were Dick Sporting Good's and Home Depot.

What are some of your favorite American films? Foreign films? Television shows?

Lion King, Inception, Pursuit of Happyness, Dark Knight, A lot of the Pixar films, Remember The Titans, Bronx Tale, Boyz In The Hood, Hitch and many more. I like a lot of different genres so its hard for me to name a specific on films. But my favorite TV show is The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air.

How would you describe your film education?

I would give myself a B- to be real with myself. I feel like there is a lot more I have to learn, I will probably always feel that way no matter how successful I become.

How would you describe the film "scene" where you live?

Atlanta is a young active city that is hard to label under a movie scene. I plan to move soon, might be heading to south Florida.

How has social media changed the film industry?

It has changed a lot. The marketing power it has is unmatched. Example; If Oprah was to retweet the name of my website ( on twitter, the millions of followers she has we see it. I could reach over a million people in one click of a button.

What's your opinion on crowdfunding?

I think its great, it gives people a opportunity to get help bringing their vision to life. Not everyone has wealthy parents to get money from, so it helps alot for those people who need the help.

How does independent film differ from the mainstream?

Indy films are more orginal, mainstream tries to stick to what they think will sale. Thats why they do all these remakes. Most of the indie films that come out are better than the mainstream films.

You could go back in time and see any film being made. Which film would it be and why?

I would have to say The Lion King. I love how they were able to control the emotions of the audience. My favorite childhood film.

What's your favorite quote and why?

I have many qoutes that I live by and create. One of them is " Spend more time preparing, instead of comparing." It means to spend more time preparing for your moment, instead of watching the next person. It's almost like running track. If you just stay focused and stay in your lane, you will succeed. If you look at the person next to you, they will fly right by you. At one point, I was watching other filmmakers succeed, wondering how come I haven't reached their level yet. Until one day, I did a music video shoot that I didn't prepare for correctly, and it killed my heart. Thats when I realized, if I would have spent more time working on my craft, I would have been successful and maybe reached their level. But instead I spent my time wondering when I should have been fixing & perfecting. That lesson is stuck with me forever.

What is your opinion on movie remakes and sequels?

It's not bad sometimes. Some of the sequels are good. It depends on the plot of the next story.

What is your opinion on book to movie adaptions?

I think its great. It really helps people give them a visual of what they have been reading for years.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Of course, don't forget to follow me on twitter @Director_rickyT .

Thanks for doing the interview Ricky. I wish you the best of luck with your projects. I'll following your progress via your Twitter.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Filmmaker Claire Wasmund

Claire Wasmund is a Midwest raised award-winning screenwriter and filmmaker whose written work has appeared in nationally published journals including film magazine Indie Slate Magazine. 

Claire produced the award-winning, independent feature film The Grover Complex written by, produced, and starring Fernando Noor.   The feature was an official selection of 15 film festivals, earning "Best Comedy" and "Best of Festival" awards as well as a “Filmmakers to Watch” award for Wasmund and Noor.  

Claire is the creator and writer of the web series Partners in Pretension also starring Fernando Noor and Tristan Scott-Behrends, which has over 200,000 views on Koldcast TV and appears on four other online networks. 

Claire has also directed episodes of Diary of a Wedding Planner and is currently in post-production on a fantasy short film with Longlost Pictures and Fernando Noor.

Claire lives in Los Angeles where she works as a filmmaker at T.G.C. Films with Fernando Noor.

What is the current project you’re working on?

I’m currently finishing up a fantasy short film titled, “The Tale of the Heroine and the Cad”, and then going into pre-production on another short film and a feature film.

How do you measure success?

By how many times I’ve high-fived myself.  But really more if I’m happily moving towards the bigger picture.

How do you handle rejection?

I spend a week thinking about how that person is an idiot; occasionally I’ll make a list.  The next week I spend thinking about how I’m an idiot; occasionally I’ll make a list.  The next week I combine those lists and come up with points both myself and my rejecter need to improve on.  It’s okay to be angry, but try to learn.

Did you always want to be a filmmaker?

Yeah, there are videos of me forcing my younger brothers to be in my early films.  There is one video of a My Little Pony massacre; another video of me running with my dog to catch some invisible assailant who was chasing my brother on his Big Wheel.  I dreamed big.

What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

An overwhelming desire for immortality.

What is the best thing about creating a webseries?

You don’t have to wait for permission to screen it.  With a short or a feature, when you go the traditional route with them you have to wait for festival acceptance or for distribution to be finalized.  With a web series, when you’re ready to put it up, you put it up. You get faster feedback which means you can learn faster.

What is the worst thing about creating one?

I think they lack respect.  I’ve encountered some great ones who have about a feature’s worth of content and half the time no one cares because “it’s a web series”.  It does seem like you could slap together a real sub-par feature and get a lot of praise for “doing a feature”, and then take your time on a well-put-together web series with the same amount of content and have people scoff because “it will only be online”.

What is the estimated number of projects you have worked on?

Maybe 15?  Thanks for throwing the word “estimated” in there.

How has your life changed since you created your webseries?

I got to work, and continue to work, with some fantastic people who will surely improve every future project they touch.  That is invaluable.

You’re also constantly learning how to better deal with people.  I met some disappointing people on this series and it taught me a valuable lesson in when to get rid of people before they become problems.

What is one piece of advice you can give to someone who also wants to become create their own series?

Please spend time on your script.  Please.  One draft or two drafts doesn’t cut it.  It all begins with the script.

Have you had any other jobs before you decided to create “Partners in Pretension”?

After and during college I worked with the developmentally disabled which teaches you a whole new way to look at the world.  In Los Angeles I’ve worked with the elderly, I’ve worked as a prop master, I’ve written for a web site, and I’ve worked in reality TV.  I add all of those experiences to a list of memories I plan to use in my writing later.

What are some of your favorite American films? Foreign films? Television shows?

I love The Sopranos.  I like Fargo, Grosse Pointe Blank, When Harry Met Sally, Sideways, A Fish Called Wanda, and many more that escape me.

How would you describe your film education?

I went to the New York Film Academy’s one year program for screenwriting.  Before that I was in school for English.  A lot of my film education has come from trial and error and a group of supportive friends.

What's your opinion on crowdfunding?

If you can do it, you’re amazing… and please make sure you thank your contributors.

How does independent film differ from the mainstream?

I think you work harder for less applause, but at the same time you get to court your own approval more.

What's your favorite quote and why?

“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.” ~Mark Twain

I think a lot of us spend time thinking, “why that person?”  Often it’s because they went for it and didn’t apologize or even think too hard.  You can question their talent, but at the end of the day they had the guts to put their work (whatever quality it was) out there for all the world to see and you didn’t because you were sitting at home mulling over the consequences.  Even if you know what could go wrong, stop thinking about what could go wrong.

What is your opinion on movie remakes and sequels?

I wish they wouldn’t.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Two things:

For all creators and performers of any kind: You are great and you are brave.

And finally, please watch “Partners in Pretension” at


Creator and Executive Editor of "The Entertainment Corner" MireilleMiskulin

Mireille Miskulin is the Creator and Executive Editor of The Entertainment Corner (, a website dedicated to providing film buffs the inside scoop on all things Entertainment. The Entertainment Corner features reviews, news, and interviews with various established, as well as up and coming talents within the entertainment industry. Those featured include Actors, Directors, Producers, Writers and many more. Miskulin uses social media tools such as Twitter (@EntertainCorner) and Facebook as platforms to network with industry professionals that are interested in having their projects promoted on The Entertainment Corner, and to interact with those who share her passion for entertainment.

What is the current project you are working on?

Other than The Entertainment Corner you mean? Sorry, but I learned early on that it’s best to keep projects “close to the vest”. If something doesn’t come to fruition, it’s not always possible to share why it did not pan out. Once a project is reality then I am always more than happy to discuss it with people.

How do you define success?

Simply put … accomplishing what I set out to do.

How do you handle rejection?

Depends on the situation. I base everything on levels of priority. The higher on my priority list the more self re-evaluation will take place. Everything in life happens or does not happen for a reason. The most important thing is that we learn from both our successes and failures.

How you always been interested in the entertainment industry?

Yes, most aspects of it.

What inspired you to create "The Entertainment Corner"?

The desire to help people I care about combined with my love for certain aspects of the entertainment industry. Plus, I love creating something that is truly all my own.

What is the best thing about having your website?

The opportunity it gives me to connect with people from all over the globe. To be constantly reminded that people are people everywhere and we share more in common than not. It is a wonderful learning experience!

What is the worst thing about having one?

The bad comes with the good. Even though having a website is a wonderful chance to learn and grow as a person, being connected globally also serves as a reminder that some people are capable of being cruel and truly inconsiderate of others.

Who is your favorite filmmaker?

Unable to pick just one, there are many talented filmmakers. I will choose to say the ones that are good storytellers.

How has your life changed since you started your site?

New worlds and new opportunities have opened up to me. I get to do something I love to do and meet wonderful people along the way.

What is one piece of advice you can give to someone who also wants to start their own site?

Do everything with passion, do not give-up, and believe in your self!

What do you like to do when you’re not working on your site?

In no particular order: spending time with the people I love, watching movies, listening to music, reading, cooking, traveling, day dreaming, laughing.

Have you had any other jobs before you decided to become creator of "The Entertainment Corner"?

Yes of course, I actually still have a full-time day job.

What are some of your favorite American films? Foreign films? Television shows?

It’s only within the past few years that I’ve gotten into watching foreign films, so it’s still new territory for me to explore.

Foreign: Amalie; Life is Beautiful; Cinema Paradiso; Slumdog Millionaire; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Just some of the American films I like: Some Like It Hot; the first three Indiana Jones movies; Powder; the original Star Wars trilogy; North By North West; The Method, To Catch A Thief; The Sound of Music; Saving Private Ryan; Suicide Kings, Forrest Gump; Shakespeare in Love; Planes, Trains & Automobiles; Sixteen Candles; Mr. Smith Goes To Washington; The King’s Speech; Meet Me In St. Louis; Run The Wild Fields; The Artist; Schindler’s List; The Good, The Bad and The Ugly; Into The Fire; Space Balls; Princess Bride; The Apartment; Bringing Up Baby; To Kill A Mocking Bird; Back To The Future; Disney’s Beauty and the Beast … I could go on, and on.

As for Television, I watch the History Channel, various movie channels, and occasionally the Food Network.

How would you describe your entertainment education?

I would describe my entertainment education as a mix of “the school of real life” with a healthy dose of I am still in the learning process.

How do you choose what guests to have on your site?

Either I contact people and request an interview, or people/their representatives contact me for an interview.

How would you describe the creative "scene" where you live?

Despite the fact that there has been at least 100-feature films shot in and around this area, it’s very much a “cultural wasteland”. Public arts funding is low compared to similar sized cities. What creative and cultural events do occur here gets little to no mention by the local media. Things are changing very slowly and it is one of the reasons why I am happy to have social media outlets where I can connect with places that have a thriving creative “scene”.

How has social media helped "The Entertainment Corner"?

Social Media enables more people to discover “The Entertainment Corner”, and in turn gives me the opportunity to reach a larger audience. There is also the benefit of meeting more potential interviewees, arranging reviews, and generally just connecting with other people.

How has social media hindered your site?

The saying, “It’s a jungle out there!” applies. Social Media users are constantly bombarded by vast amounts of information, ways to spend/waste time, etc. Every social media outlet and website is competing for the attention of an audience. It’s not enough to establish a loyal following, the true challenge is to remain interesting and dynamic enough to maintain and build that following.

What's your opinion on crowdfunding?

First, as long as the project is worthy of making, then crowdfunding is a good way to get started. This would be one of the first mistakes I feel some people make, the inability to recognize that their project will likely not appeal to a large enough audience to be successful.

Also, a well-planned marketing strategy must be developed, and implemented. Poor marketing of their project is the second mistake I see being made by some. They potentially have a good project; yet they do not know how to effectively reach out to people.

Promotion of the funding goal should be intermixed with interacting and engaging people. Some of the most successful campaigns do this, whether it’s by making videos for their audience, to making an interactive imaginary town map based on their film.

Creativity should not stop once the director calls “that’s a wrap”, it must continue on until the movie is in front of the audience. Two examples of successful crowdfunding campaigns I recommend people study are: Director Gary King’sHow Do You Write A Joe Schermann Song” Kickstarter campaign, and Phil Holbroook/Kings A FinkTilt The Movie” campaign.

How does independent film differ from the mainstream?

Independent films, for the most part, have considerably lower film budgets. They are screened at film festivals before distribution, which usually means in the retail market.

Often the independent filmmakers must undertake many jobs in order for their film to reach audiences. It’s not uncommon to have the writer be the director and the producer, and the editor, etc.

Mainstream, or major studio, pictures have the financial resources to hire entire departments devoted to do everything from accounting, dialect coaches, to hair and make-up.

Independent filmmakers get to have more control over their projects; where as filmmakers who are backed by major studios have red tape and corporate medaling to deal with.

You could go back in time and see any film being made. Which film would it be and why?

It would have to be the first “motion picture” ever made. Eadweard Muybridge is credited with creating the first “motion picture”, The Horse In Motion (1878); if anyone before him made a “moving picture” there is no record of it. Why would I want to go back and see that you may ask, because it would be fascinating to see people’s reactions and to witness the humble birth of motion pictures!

What's your favorite quote and why?

There are many quotes that inspire and hold meaning for me, picking only one was not easy…

“The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.” ~ Eden Ahbez

Love is universal; it is something every living creature needs and desires. Learning to love and accept love in return is not always easy, but it is worth it.

What is your opinion on movie remakes and sequels?

Movie remakes can be good if the following conditions are met: enough time has passed since the original version has been made, the story is still relevant to today’s audiences, the acting and directing is good quality.

Sequels rarely turn out as good as the first film, there are a few rare exceptions to this rule. Audiences have certain expectations built up, if the story, quality, etc. do not meet the standards set by the first film, the succeeding films will not be well received. Most sequels are done for money and not the love of filmmaking and good storytelling.

What is your opinion on book to movie adaptations?

When I read a book, a good book anyway, I make my own movie in my mind. No movie on the real screen could ever be exactly like the imagination. Having said that, I believe that if done properly a book to movie adaptation can turn out well. No matter how good a movie adaptation is, there will always be those who are not satisfied with the results. Just two examples of book to movie adaptations that I feel turned out well are: To Kill A Mocking Bird (1962), and Schindler’s List (1993); there certainly are more examples out there.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Thank you for the opportunity to chat with you. I wish you continued success.


Thank you Mireille for doing the interview.  Thank you for all you do to support film. I'll be doing what I can to spread the word about "The Entertainment Corner".  I wish you all the best. It's been  a pleasure chatting with a fellow entertainment fan.