Thursday, March 28, 2013


Daniel Sollinger is a graduate of New York University's Film School, and the Producer of more than 350 commercials, music videos, and short films for clients including Pepsi, Warner Brothers Records, CBS, Sony, and Comedy Central. His work has won awards from New York University, The American Film Institute, The Accolade Awards and the American Motion Picture Society.

After working on numerous rap videos for artists such as Will Smith, LL Cool J, and A Tribe Called Quest, Daniel teamed up with Oscar and Emmy nominated director, Peter Spirer on "Rhyme & Reason," a feature film documentary on hip-hop culture. It was distributed by Miramax Films and played in 280 theaters nationwide, garnering $1.6 million at the Domestic Box office and a certified gold soundtrack. Later that year, Hollywood Reporter listed it as one of the year's top 15 most profitable films of the year.

Daniel also served as an Executive Producer on the feature film, "Six Ways to Sunday" directed by Adam Bernstein and starring Adrian Brody, Deborah Harry, and Isaac Hayes. It was released theatrically by Stratosphere Entertainment, and is now available in video stores.

Also available is the feature film, "Love Goggles" which Daniel produced and which won the Jury Prize at the Hollywood Black Film Festival. Daniel's other feature credits include being the sole producer on "God's Forgotten House" starring N'Bushe Wright, "Age of Kali" starring Taylor Nichols and directed by Rafal Zelinsky, "The God's of Circumstance" starring John Schneider and the upcoming "LA Slasher" starring Mischa Barton, Eric Roberts, and Danny Trejo.

Daniel's line producing credits include the recently released, "Without Men" starring Eva Longoria, "Day Zero" starring Elijah Wood, Chris Klein, and Ginnifer Goodwin, "The Alphabet Killer" with Eliza Dushku, Cary Elwes, and Timothy Hutton, as well as Toronto Film Festival selection, "Day on Fire" starring Olympia Dukakis and Martin Donovan, directed by Jay Anania. He also recently line produced the thriller, "In My Sleep" directed by Allen Wolf and "Downtown: A Street Tale" starring three time Oscar nominee Genevieveve Bujold and Oscar nominee John Savage.




What is the current project you are working?

I just wrapped a movie called, "LA Slasher," with Mischa Barton, Dave Bautista, Brooke Hogan, Eric Roberts and Danny Trejo.  I am also prepping a movie called, "Baden" which we should be shooting this winter with director Jordan Barker.

What was it like working with Austin Chick?

Austin is one of the most talented directors I have ever worked with.  He is very focused and has a clear and compelling vision.  He is tireless in his pursuit of excellence.  He is awesome.

What is your opinion on crowdfunding?

I would say crowdfunding is the future if it wasn't already the past and the present.  It is not for every project, but it can be used in a lot of interesting ways.  I have seen movies entirely financed through crowdfunding, but I have also seen crowdfunding used only for post production or promotion.  I am attached to a movie called "Lesson From Violet" where we are crowdfunding the development money, but will be using more conventional financing for the actual production.  I think that is smart way to go, because it takes the risk out of development process.

Why do you think it's important to mentor the next generation of filmmakers?

I personally enjoy mentoring because I like to see and hear what is on the minds of the uninitiated.  The longer I work, the more I see problems instead of possibilities.  I have encountered too many things that went wrong and mentoring is a great way to keep it fresh.

What is the best way to make it in the film industry? 

Don't let anyone tell you you can't.  Never give up.  When I was in film school, there were a lot of other students with richer parents, more famous parents, or they were just more talented than I.   But in the end of the day, I am here making movies and many of them are not because I refuse to give up.

How do independent films differ from Hollywood films?

I wish I had more experience from the Studio side to tell you about that.  What I would say is that If Hollywood films follow the laws of gravity, independent films are like quantum mechanics.  Everything is different and weird compared to the way things are done at the studio level.

What is your favorite film of all time and why?

So many....  Off the top of my head Children of Paradise because I realized film was an art form.  Apocalypse Now because I realized film making can be grand.  Contact because I realized film can be deep and spiritual.

Would you consider working on more films in Massachusetts?

I shot a movie on Cape Cod years ago called, "April V."  I loved it.  I loved the people and I had a great time.  When I shot "The Putt Putt Syndrome" in Maine, we drew a lot of crew and equipment from Boston, and I was very satisfied.


Thanks for doing the interview Daniel. If you ever shoot a film in or around the Boston area, please let me know.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Author Andrea Portes

What is the current project you are working on?

Well, there's a couple, actually. My second novel, BURY THIS, is coming out this winter. Soft Skull press is publishing it. That's literary fiction, like HICK.
Soft Skull is nice and dark. That's why we like each other.
Then, there are two comic book series I created and wrote, called SUPER RAD and UNTRUE GRIT, that are being published this fall by Dark Matter.

So, those are all done, actually.

The book I'm editing right now is actually a Young Adult novel, called STUPIDFACES, which my agent Katie Shea, at Donald Maass Literary Agency, will be in charge of getting up and running. She's great. I really like her.

Would you want your next book to be turned into a film?

Sure. However, that's all up to Josie Freedman, at ICM. She is my book-to-film agent and she's amazing.

Why did you allow your book to be made into a movie?

Ha! I think most novelists would "allow" their books to be made into movies.

How involved were you in the production of the film?

I was there, watching Derick work his magic.

It was exciting being on set, of course, and incredibly grateful.

What was it like working with Derick Martini?

He's great. Just really smart and witty.

He's absolutely obsessed with the performances and I think that shows.

What do you say to the critics that say that scenes in the film adaptation of your book "Hick" exploit the underage actress?

I'd say they don't know what it's like to be a 13-year-old girl.

What inspired you to become a  writer?

I can't remember any moment when I proclaimed, "I'm a writer!" I was always writing, as long as I remember. Most of my 5-year-old stuff was pretty bleak. All about how the Russians were going to kill us...

 What is the best thing about being a  writer?

Imagining little worlds. Making up characters and then watching them come to life, do their own thing, surprise you.

For instance, in HICK, I remember sitting in front of the computer writing Luli's line, "Glenda, do you go to church?"

And I had a line worked out, but then all of the sudden Glenda said, "Church is for brunettes."

And I just laughed, and wrote it down.

I love Blake as Glenda, by the way. She really knocked it out of the park.

 What is the worst thing about being one?

It's a solitary activity. You have to go in your little cave and come out.
I do a lot of procrastinating before I go in.

What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

And live.
Get into trouble.

Are there things in the book that you wish made it into the movie version?

Absolutely. But, you know, the writer is just kind of a bastard step-child.
That's just the nature of the business.

What do you like to do besides writing?

My favorite thing to do is to make my baby boy, Wyatt, giggle. It's bliss.

 Who is your favorite author?

Joyce Carol Oates
Joyce Carol Oates
Joyce Carol Oates

 What are some of your favorite books?

BLONDE is my favorite book of all time. I keep it by my bedside.


SULA, Toni Morrison.

THE PAINTED BIRD, Jerzy Kosinski


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

We keep in touch. Usually through social media.
Writer's are a funny breed, so when we are together, in human form, say at a reading or a conference, it's usually comforting to meet the other writers.
We tend to find each other and bond over whatever is happening.

 Did you ever run away from home like the character  Luli?

Not really. I think I ran away for a day once.

 How has social media changed the publishing industry?

I think I'm gonna plead the 5th on that one.

What is your thought process like when you're writing?

I just try to get quiet and listen.

 You could have any super power. What would it be?

Reading minds.

What is your first love?

My son, Wyatt. Then, my writing.

Everything else is kind of just noise...

What do you think about the cult following of HICK?

I absolutely love it. I do. And I, especially, love that people are getting to see the incredible performances of Chloe, Eddie and Blake.

I just love their acting in HICK. And I'm fond of them, too, as people. They're good eggs.
I can't tell you how happy it makes me to see things like Eddie on the cover of W, or Chloe, or Blake.  I'm just excited for them and giddy for the world to see the amazing talent there.

The cult following is just the best. I love interacting with the fans on twitter and tumblr.
The kids really get the movie. They just do.

For instance, that feeling, the feeling of being simultaneously attracted and repulsed by Eddie Redmayne as Eddie... that is what you are supposed to feel. Why? Because that's how Luli feels. And the film is from the POV of Luli. The kids get that. Especially the girls.
And that makes me very happy.


It was a pleasure to interview you Andrea.  I will be on the look out for "BURY THIS", "STUPIDFACES",  "SUPER RAD" and "UNTRUE GRIT".

Readers can learn more about Andrea and her work from the links below: Andrea's IMDB Andrea's Twitter

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Filmmaker Ted Fisher

What is the current project you are working on?
We are right at the beginning of a feature-length documentary on the life of Jason Escape, an escape artist living in Boston.  We previously made a 15-minute film about him, which is now screening at film festivals. Based on the warm reception that film received, we've decided to look deeper into the many fascinating aspects of Jason's life, including the challenge of being both a street performer and a family man.

We think the title will be "Escape/Artist" -- based on that duality of work/life, and street performer/artist, that we see in his experience of the world.

Why is the documentary being shot in three different cities?

In Jason's show, he says "Ladies and gentleman, my name's Jason Escape. I travel around the world doing this show …" So it made sense to us to go along with him on that journey, as much as possible.

Boston is Jason's home, and we need to show him there. He has an amazing life-work balance, performing not that far from where he lives. But as with most performers, going on the road is a challenge. Beyond just being away from his wife and child, Jason's type of performing also requires gaining the attention of an audience he encounters on the street. That's incredibly tough in the context of a performance fair in a far-off city.

He's performing in San Diego, a city that contrasts greatly with Boston, so we want to make sure we film him there. Then in Boston, on home ground. Then, we hope, we'll go along with him for one additional road trip. We think this will give us a chance to see all aspects of his life, and to see both what he does and how he sees the world.

Why did you choose Jason Escape as the subject of your documentary?

[caption id="attachment_2985" align="alignleft" width="199"] Jason Escape[/caption]

Jason's positivity is a key reason we're making this film. The first short documentary revealed a theme of facing a challenge and overcoming it. In a way, that's what an Escape Artist does. But we were amazed to see how this connected directly to Jason's view of the world -- positive effort overcoming the negatives in life.

Also, after we finished the first doc, Jason got married, and now we get to meet Baby Escape, Jason's son. So we think the challenge of Jason's intense career meeting his new family life is something everyone will relate to -- and we think it will make a compelling story.

What is it like working with your spouse?

Well, just like Jason, we face the challenge of balancing life and work. Karen is finishing her Ph.D. in the History of Photography, so that balance includes work, school, and everything else -- in a moment of change. Adding the creation of a documentary into the mix is a crazy idea, but our collaboration on the first documentary showed we can make it work.

[caption id="attachment_2988" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Karen and Ted[/caption]

In a way, documentary production is often the effort of small teams -- and lately we've discovered that many married teams thrive in the field. If you are going to be stuck working closely with someone, often working for a long time without visible reward, maybe that shared sacrifice works well with couples.

Why do you think your crowdfunding campaign was successful?

Well, we watch a lot of documentaries. So we know there are all sorts of different approaches that can be very appealing -- a film might connect to an important social issue, or it might present a great mystery, or it might be very funny. Almost always, though, introducing an amazing character is key. And that's the strength of our project at this point. Jason is a fascinating guy, what he does is amazing, and the idea of balancing work and family is something most people can relate to. So we think that people clicked with the project once they met our main character -- they want to know more about his life, and they want to go along on his journey.

Beyond that, however, we felt we gave really enjoyable and valuable rewards -- and in a timely manner. For example, many people supporting our film will get the new film as a download -- but that's obviously a long wait. So we made sure that our backers would get to see our original 15-minute documentary, and that we'll be delivering that quickly. We think that's going to give our backers a chance to really engage with our project -- they can watch the original film and really have a sense of where we are going with the feature.

Why do some campaigns fail?

We don't see ourselves as crowdfunding experts -- we have a lot to learn. But we have looked at a lot of projects, and have backed some. The positive experience we've had has been the feeling of getting involved with a project, and making a connection to the filmmakers. So those projects which had every reward off in the distant future, or priced out of our reach, just made it hard for us to be supportive fans. You can buy a DVD or Blu-Ray or get a film on Video-On-Demand. Crowdfunding has to go a step further toward that personal connection. Let us peek behind the scenes, let us talk with you, open up the process. That's what can be given in independent production, and that's something fans (and other filmmakers) might support.

Who is your favorite up and coming independent filmmaker?

We were really impressed by Danfung Dennis and the way he adapted the tools of photojournalism into a filmmaking approach in "Hell and Back Again." That model may be the future of documentary production.

Do you know any magic tricks?

None. But there's a connection between performing magic and editing that goes back to the earliest days of film. Directing, or misdirecting, someone's attention works in the same way in both fields. So, whenever we hit an edit that actually surprises the audience, or provokes a laugh, or has an emotional hit -- that's a lot like pulling off a magic trick.

Is there anything you would like to add?

Because we both have a background in the arts -- fine art and art history -- we think that's going to be the direction for us. We've always been attracted to films that have some connection to art or performance. Sometimes, though, we've seen things where we thought the filmmakers oversimplified, or maybe even missed the point, or just didn't have the background to make the best film possible. So, that's what we hope to do -- bring our background in the arts along as a tool to help us make great films about the arts.


Thanks so much Ted for doing the interview.  I'll be following  "Escape Artist" as shooting progresses. I look forward to seeing the finished film.

Checkout the following links to stay updated on all things "Escape Artist" (as of this interview the campaign only has 63 hours left) (The documentary that started it all)

Monday, October 8, 2012

2012 New Hampshire Film Festival-Films and Panels

Below are a list of some films and panels I hope to see at the 2012 New Hampshire Film Festival.  For more information about the films and panels at NHFF please visit


Children Of The Air

I was lucky enough to do an interview with Damian about the webseries "Candyland". I've heard many wonderful things about this film from the independent film community.

Directed by Damian Horan. Produced by Li Lu, Matt MacDonald, Nick Nides. Written by Damian Horan.  Starring Katheryn Winnick and Travis Van Winkle.

Juxtaposed to the original fairytale of the Little Mermaid, Children of the Air is an unflinching portrait of heartbreak.

Awards/Honors: Finalist USA Film Festival, Winner Best in Festival Lewiston-Auburn Film Festival, Winner Special Jury Award 45th Worldfest Houston International Film Festival.


Girls Against Boys

A lot of the people I spoke with at the NHFF Kick Off Party said I should check out this film.  I'm not really familiar with Austin Chick's work. I am however a fan of Danielle Panabaker.

Directed by Austin Chick. Produced by Aimee Shieh & Clay Floren.  Written by Austin Chick.

Starring Danielle Panabaker, Nicole LaLiberte, Michael Stahl-David, Liam Aiken.

Shae is sweet and sexy and men want to protect her, but sometimes also own her. She is the perfect object of male fantasies. Lu is the complete opposite of her. She is dominant, self-confident, self-reliant and uses her female attraction for her own gain. She is everything that Shae cannot be, her fantasy of superiority and self-interest. Shae has been raped by a man whose romantic advances she rejected, so the two women go on a journey of liberation, which soon takes a turn into revenge and vigilantism.



I had planned on seeing this film at another festival but didn't get the chance to. I'm excited that there will be film representation at the screening. I'm going to try to ask a question during the Q+A.

Directed by Tom O’Brien. Produced by Massoumeh Emami, Dennis O’Neill, Chris Messina, Darren Goldberg.  Written by Tom O’Brien

Starring Chris Messina, Tom O’Brien, Rich Sommer, Sarah Paulson.

Jon (writer/director Tom O’Brien) is well past his glory days on the football field and now coping with life as a single man in his small hometown of Fairhaven, Mass. Enter Jon’s oldest friend Dave (Chris Messina), home for his estranged father’s funeral. Impulsive, attractive, and often dangerous, Dave is hell-bent on injecting some spontaneity into his old friends’ lives. Jon, Dave, and their friend Sam (Rich Sommer) reacquaint themselves after years of life-defining experiences, pushing the limits of their friendship and uncovering secrets from the past.

Awards/Honors: Audience award at the Independent Film Festival of Boston

*Film representation in attendance



This is another film I've heard so much about. It will written by actor (and New Hampshire native) Mike O'Malley. I'm looking forward to seeing Bobby Moynihan outside of Saturday Night Live.

Directed by Peter Askin. Produced by Will Battersby, Mike O’Malley, Per Melita. Written by Mike O’Malley.  Starring Tom Lipinski, Adelaide Clemens, Giancarlo Esposito, Bobby Moynihan.

Dom and Deb are finally getting married, but there’s a catch. Before they can tie the knot, they must participate in a “Pre Cana” retreat, the mandatory course for couples looking to be married by the Catholic Church. Dom has his doubts about the program’s benefits, but is cooperating at his fiancee’s request and his mother’s insistence. While Dom may be unsure of the retreat’s affect, it may just prove to be the hardest test this relationship has faced yet.

*Film representation in attendance


In Danger Of Being Discovered

This looks interesting. I haven't seen many documentaries about local bands.

Directed and produced by Marc Dole and Michael Venn.

In Danger of Being Discovered takes a retrospective look at the rise of the music scene in the picturesque seacoast city of Portsmouth, NH in the mid 90′s. At the time, it was hailed by the Boston media as the next Seattle-like musical sensation. Through archival footage from local news outlets and MTV, live present- day performances and interviews with band members, we get an insider’s look at what it meant to be in the right place at the right time but just miss out on “making it” nationally. In this small musical community that was on everybody’s radar and could have been the ‘next Seattle,’ some dreams were realized, some were lost and the magic that binds every local music scene in every small town was tested.



Hugh Masekela was exiled from his family and native South Africa as a result of apartheid. Undaunted, he would find musical success in America with the 1968 number one hit, “Grazin’ In The Grass.”  Forty years later, his son, Selema, better known as television personality and ESPN X Games host ‘Sal’ Masekela, reflects on his relationship with his father.


Exit 7A

I had the chance to meet the people behind "Exit 7A" and "The Check Up at the NHFF Kick Off Party. They are really cool people. They give students from a local college the chance to work on their films. I was told one of the students edited "The Check Up."

A young man must decide what to do next when his hitchhiking passenger says she’s going to kill someone who lives off of exit 7A.


The Checkup

Walter visits his doctor complaining of headaches and blurry vision, only to be told his baby genitals have not yet fallen off. .Will Walter need surgery, or will his loving wife Margaret intervene in time?



I'm a fan of character driven thrillers.

Directed by Mark Battle. Produced by MarkBattle and Chris Fuoco. Written by Mark Battle and Chris Fuoco.  Starring Mariah Gale, Chris Fuoco, Megan McCormick.

A disturbed young woman stalks a sadistic serial killer in hopes of becoming his next victim.



Crowdfunding the Independent Film

As the independent film landscape continues to shift, so does the way in which indie projects are being funded. “Crowdfunding” has become the new norm, with filmmakers using social media to ask for contributions to their projects. 10% of the films shown at Sundance in 2012 were crowdfunded, and more filmmakers are turning to technology to “pre-sell” their projects rather than going the traditional investor route. What are the different crowdfunding platforms out there, how do they differ and what are the pros and cons in each (and in using these sites, in general)? This panel, presented by the New Hampshire Film & Television Office, will take a closer look at the crowdfunding scene and feature advice on using crowdfunding as part of your business model. Local filmmakers will be on hand to share their success stories and personal experiences, and attendees are encouraged to take part in the discussion.


A Dual Look at Adaptations

The word “adaptation” is defined simply as something that is changed or modified to suit new conditions or needs.  When that something is a pre-existing story, and that new condition or need is a movie, you’ve got yourself a screenplay adaptation.  Join a group of producers and writers in a lively conversation as they share their perspectives, experiences and advice in bringing adapted material onto the screen.


A Conversation on Comedy

Join a motley crew of performers, writers and directors currently working in the multi-faceted genre of comedy in a spirited conversation about getting funny on screen and on stage. You never know who’s going to join in, so listen for any updates.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Producer/Director/Writer: Eiran Lenton

Eiran was born in the town of Kettering, UK in 1987. He went to school like anyone would and hated it like most people do, he never felt he could use his creative side like he wanted to. Now aged 25 not only does he have the best partner in the world and the most beautiful baby daughter, he is a producer, director and writer and uses his creative imagination to make movies and music videos plus anything else he fancies trying his hand at.

He first started running a company with an old school friend working with bands from around the UK, working on albums, organising gigs, doing some promotional work and always trying to think outside the box. After doing this, Eiran moved onto developing his skills in writing and started to work on some film ideas that he had running around his head. A few years later, those ideas have now turned into seven screenplays all of different genres and all containing his own unique style. One of them is almost complete and will be ready to start pre-production soon, the rest are still being worked on.

While doing this, Eiran is also the producer and director of new dark comedy/drama ‘A Mile in His Soul’ which will be filmed during November of 2012. The project has tons of potential and already has interest for a major worldwide distribution deal for 2013! As well as this, he is getting ready to option a period drama called ‘The Culling Principle’ and will also be making comedy film ‘Ambition’ as well as some other films lined up. There will also be some music videos chucked into the mix.

Eiran is very pleased to be living the dream in a career he has wanted to have for a long time and is looking forward to a very positive future where he will be bring some very thoughtful and meaningful movies to the world!

What is the current project you are working on?

I’m currently work on ‘A Mile In His Soul’ which is written by award winning writer Morley Shulman. It’s a Comedy/Drama with a bit of romance thrown in. It’s currently in pre-production and we will start filming at the beginning of November.

We are luck to have Michele Martin, who is currently featuring along side Sir Ben Kingsley, Jena Malone and Julian Sands in ‘A Doll’s House’, in the lead female role and also Mark Paul Wake who recently won best actor at the BIFF’s for his role in ‘Masterpiece’ playing the lead male role. We also have some other pretty well-known actors taking on other roles and we will be able to announce them soon. Also attached is Jimmy Star who is an incredibly talented guy, who knew a guy could multitask! Radio show host, celebrity clothing designer, record label owner, the list goes on!

Why have you decided to donate a percentage of the films profits to charity?

We decided from an early stage that it would be great to pick a charity that we would like to support in raising money and also awareness due to the fact that the movie storyline is strongly centered around the homeless and the challenges they face on a day to day basis.

We will donate a percentage of the movies profits to a charity based in Edinburgh (where we will be filming) who work with the homeless, the charity that the money will go to is still to be decided.

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

This is actually my first movie that is in production, a lot of my work before this was in the music industry where I worked with bands and solo artists, organising gigs, working on albums etc. After that, I started to write screenplays and also will be doing music videos. I now have ‘A Mile’ to work on and am looking at optioning a period drama called ‘The Culling Principle’ which we will start to work on early next year and also a comedy called ‘Ambition’ which I look to do towards the end of next year.

As well as this, I am working on seven of my own screenplays with one that is almost complete.

Is there anyone you would let "Walk A Mile In Your Soul"?

Hmmmm, good question! I don't know if anyone would want to walk 'A Mile In My Soul' but there are plenty of people who I would say I would like to 'Walk A Mile In Their Soul!'

Why do you think a person would "moonlight" as a homeless person?

To be honest, I have no idea! I guess they feel that it is an easy way to earn money, or to con people.

In ‘A Mile’, the main character, Malcolm, moonlights because at a young age his father left the family to live on the streets and he never knew why so he thinks that by doing it himself, it’s less money that could potentially go to his father and also to people that would spend it on drugs and alcohol.

Of course the majority of people you see on the streets are genuinely homeless, it’s just a shame that there are people out there who view it as an opportunity to con people and earn themselves some extra cash!

What's one thing you take for granted?

While working on a project like 'A Mile' I think you start to really appreciate what you have. It's another reason why I love the story so much, it will make people stop and think how lucky they are. They might think their house is horrible or they don't have much, but really you have everything. I can't begin to imagine what it's like to be on the streets with no friends or family around you so I think the small things that you think are 'normal' are the things that are taken for granted.

How do you define success?

Success is a difficult thing to define. I guess in the movie industry some people would say that if they get to Hollywood then they have been successful. For me, to now be doing what I have worked hard to achieve is a success itself.

How do you handle rejection?

Of course when it comes to making a movie, rejection is something that comes along naturally but I find that you just have to let it go over your head and move on.

I think what I found hard was the lack of belief from people who don’t think it’s possible to make a career in film especially as a producer and director, they seem to think you are living in a dreamworld just because you want to do something that’s a bit different. In the end, you just have to put it all behind you and work even harder to achieve your goal which in the end, if you believe in yourself, you can.

One of my current cast members recently said “If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough” and that is totally true, never give up no matter what anybody thinks.

What's your favorite quote and why?

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them” - Walt Disney

It pretty much sums up everything I’ve been trying to do, my dream is to make meaningful and powerful movies that I truly believe in, I’ve had the courage to pursue that dream and now it’s coming true!

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Firstly, I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to do this interview. Also, I would like to thank Spectra Records who will be the official distribution company for both our movie and soundtrack, they will be releasing both for us worldwide both online and in stores everywhere next year.

I would also like to add some links to pages for 'A Mile In His Soul' which are as follows: -

Website -

Facebook -

Twitter -

Distribution -


Thank you for doing the interview Eiran.  I think it's wonderful that a portion of the money to make the film will go to charity.  I'll do what I can to spread the word about your film.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Magda M. Olchawska: Filmmaker, Author, Consultant

I am:

1.    An award winning filmmaker.

2.    An author of children books.

3.    Entrepreneur.

4.    An activist.

5.    Dyslexic.

Few facts from my life:

1.    I was born in Wroclaw, Poland.

2.    When I was 7 years old two things happened in my life that shaped my dreams & future.

a.  I watched Citizen Kane.

b.  I read a film magazine & came to the conclusion that being a movie star is awesome.

3.    When I was 19, after graduating from high school I decided to follow my childhood dreams of becoming a filmmaker and, knowing only little bit of English I moved to London.

4.    I make films & write children books.

5.    I help creative entrepreneurs: filmmakers, actors, writers, photographers, artists to:

- promote their work

- find the right audience for their artistic outlet

- find money for their projects.

6.    I blog a lot about indie filmmaking & indie marketing & promotion for creative people.


Writer, Director, Producer

2012 - "Two People"- feature film in pre-production

2012 - "Anna and  Modern Day Slavery" - feature film in post- production

2010 – “The Man With The Spying Glass” short film;

Awards: Best Picture BSFF 2011

Official Selection at:Jaipur International Film Festival; Newport Beach International Film Festival; NYIFF – (NY spring & LA summer 2011); Short Film Corner – Festival de Cannes; Ballston Spa Film Festival; Naoussa International Film Festival; Cornwall Film Festival; Poppy Jasper Film Festival;

2009 – “9 mm” short film;

Official Selection at; Waterford Film Festival; Jaipur International Film Festival; Deep Fried Film Festival; International Festival of Film & Culture at Patras City; Naoussa International Film Festival; Novara Film Festival;

2008 – “Short Guide-Autism” experimental

2008 – “Mikolaj”  experimental

2007 – “7 Minutes of Ur Life“ short film;

Official Selection at: No Festival Required

2007 – “Reverse“ short film

2006 – “The Fantasy House“  medium length film


2012- "A Shot At The Big Time" short film

Scripts, Short Stories & Books

2003- 2011 – I have been writing scripts for all of my shorts.

2012 - “Moncania” - children book

2012- "Mikolay & Julia: Mikolay Has a Secret" children book

2012 - "Pooh Gets a Beating" children book

2012- “Do You Know Why You Blow Your Nose? Do You Know How To Blow Your Nose?” interactive e-book

2012- "Do You Know Why You Need To Do Pee Pee Or Poo Poo In Your Potty?" interactive e-book

2012- “Do You Know Why You Brush Your Teeth? Do You Know How To Brush Teeth?” interactive e-book

2012- “My Mom Is a Superhero” interactive e-book

2011- "Mikolay & Julia In The Attic" kids illustrated book

2010 – “Two People”  feature film in pre-production

2010 – “Fantasy Room” feature film in development

2010 - “Mikolay & Julia Meet The Fairies”  kids illustrated book

2009  - Short Stories Collection

- “Julia & the Sea”

- “A Man Who Gives Happy Memories”

- “The Man & His Dragon”

- “Scary”

- “3 Months”


What is the current project you are working on?

“Anna & Modern Day Slavery” – this is a feature film in post-production


Anna, a strong & independent woman, leaves her partner & high paid government job behind to set up an underground Organization that exposes corruption and injustice which is spreading like a virus around the world.

Her IT/hacking skills come in very handy when she discovers international sex slavery network that runs deep into the government & corporate structures.

Her investigation leads her to Eastern Europe where one vital contact set her on track to discover horrific truth behind human trafficking.

To keep up on top of things Anna recruits Pawel, a talented researcher who unwittingly gets entangled into the unstoppable current of events.

Together, they risk everything to unravel the secrets behind a major trafficking ring and shed public light onto the horrors of sex slavery.

How do you define success?

Being able to do what you love doing. Drawing happiness from even the smallest things in life.

How do you handle rejection?

Of course it was hard at the beginning but with time it kind of became part of the job. It still makes me sad if I’m not accepted to film festivals with my movies or if someone gives me a really bad review. However, at the end of the day you can’t make everyone happy, right?

What is your writing process like?

It varies. Sometimes I write while watching a movie or listening to music. Sometimes I need total silence.

Usually I have an idea such as a title for a book or a script & I just start writing. After the first draft I keep on re-writing until I’m satisfied enough with my words.

What and/or who influences you?

Filmmakers: K. Kieslowski, Mike Leigh, Wong-Kar-Wai, Jean Pierre Jeunet, Christopher Nolan

Authors: Kafka, Dostoyevsky, Camus, Saint-Exupery and a lot of children's authors.

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

Films: 15-16

Scripts: 20

Children books: 30 (6 of them are published)

Why do you think it's important to help other people promote their projects?

First of all let me tell you that I don’t believe that we artists have to compete against one another. We can co-exist & co-create & there is enough space for all of our creation.

I think it’s very important to help each other any way we can. This way we are able to create supportive community around our work.

Creation isn’t a piece of cake so it’s vital to support fellow artists & to celebrate their achievements any way we can.

What is one piece of advice you can give to someone who also wants to make it in your business?

Persistence. Don’t give up & don’t let other people tell you that you are worth less than you really are.

How would you describe your education?

I went to high school in Poland & after graduating I moved to UK. I got my media degree in the UK.

I hated high school & I really mean it.

Uni. was much better ‘cos finally I was able to do what I really wanted.

However saying all that I think you learn the most on the job. The hands-on experience is priceless. No amount of reading can provide you with the relevant knowledge you need to either write or make films.

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

American Films: “Blood Diamond”, “Constant Gardener”, “Another Earth”, “Drive”, “The Lords of the Rings”, “Harry Potter”, “Inception”

Foreign Films: all of Mike Leigh’s films, “Three Colours” “Sex & Lucia”, “In the Mood For Love”, “2046”, “City of the Lost Children”

TV Shows ( I don’t have TV so I’m usually very behind) “Friends”, “The Game of Thrones” , “True Blood”

How do you balance you life as an author and filmmaker?

To be honest it’s not difficult. Writing & filmmaking is all story telling, just using different tools.

I write a lot during the fall & winter & if it’s possible I make films in the spring/summer.

Writing is easier ‘cos you just need a pen & paper or your laptop.

To make a proper movie you need vast amounts of money and a number of people. You can’t make a movie on your own & it does require loads of planning before you can go into production.

I love both. Actually I could never tell you which one is more important to me J

Is human trafficking more prevalent domestically or overseas?

Human trafficking doesn’t differ & you can find trafficked people in US, Canada & Europe as much as in Africa or Asia.

There are at least 27 million people kept as slaves around the world across the globe for sexual & physical exploitation.

Just check Village Voice Backpage & you can find out how people are trafficked & sold in US.

What's your favorite quote and why?

I don’t think I have one.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I also run consultation and soon small workshops for other filmmakers & authors. If you would like to find out how I could assist you, check out my website


Thank you for doing the interview Magda. Let me know if  “Anna & Modern Day Slavery”  screens in Boston. I'd love to see the film and meet you in person.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Comedian Bobbie Oliver

Born Barbara “Bobbie” Evans in Covington, GA, the city where The Dukes of Hazzard was filmed, she grew up dirt poor in the Dirty South. The economy was depressed and so were the people. Bobbie found escape in staying up late with her father to watch The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Carson and the comedians who performed on his show, including Roseanne, Brett Butler, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Lily Tomlin and Garry Shandling, became an inspiration to her.

Studying theatre in high school, Bobbie discovered that she had a gift for comedy and went on to receive a BA in theatre from LaGrange College, where she founded a standup comedy group with her future husband Chris Oliver. After graduating Bobbie and Chris moved to the cultural hub of Athens, GA. From that base, Bobbie began working the grueling comedy circuit of the East Coast. Comedy clubs, colleges, one-nighters, military bases, corporate gigs, frat parties…you name it, Bobbie did it, for seven years. This experience, the comedy school of hard knocks, has provided her with a rock-solid foundation that cannot be acquired through any other means.

In 1998, tired of the road, Bobbie and Chris made the move to Los Angeles, where she founded the renowned comedy school StandUp Academy at The Ice House Comedy Club. Ready to make a new start, Bobbie completely scrapped over an hour of material and started fresh. Bobbie has appeared on ABC, TNN, The Style Network, Entertainers with Byron Allen, at The Riviera in Las Vegas, The Ice House Comedy Club, Flappers, The Improv, The Jon Lovitz Comedy Club, The Comedy Store and many clubs, colleges and corporate events, including NASA, USC and congressional fundraisers. She has won many comedy contests, including the Hollywood Ha-Ha Festival and the L.A. Soup-or-Bowl of Comedy, and was featured on the cover of Pasadena Weekly. Bobbie is the author of The Tao of Comedy: Embrace the Pause, to be published in 2012. Bobbie Oliver is smarter, sexier and funnier than ever, and her Southern charm wins over audiences wherever she performs.

What is the current project you are working on?

I am finishing my book The Tao of Comedy: Embrace the Pause. The book is about approaching standup comedy from a Taoist or Zen perspective. It is what I teach in my comedy workshops and is the culmination of my life's work as a comic and comedy teacher.

How do you define success?

As long as I am brave on stage, as long as I use my microphone to address the things I care about in the world, as long as I am proud of my body of work, I am successful. But, some cash would be nice.

How do you handle rejection?

Lots of drugs

What and/or who influences you?

I have been influenced by lots of great comedians including Richard Pryor, Roseanne, George Carlin, Janeane Garafalo, Johnny Carson, Lily Tomlin, Brett Butler, Mae West, Sally, Mullins, Tom Simmons, John Fontaine, my husband comedian Chris Oliver... the list goes on. I've also been influenced heavily by Taoism and Zen Buddhism.

What's your favorite type of marsupial?

Anyone who does not respond "Koala Bear" to this question is dead to me.

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

God, who knows. I have been doing comedy 24 years. I'm gonna say a zillion.

Do you have any interesting talents?

Aside from comedy? I am a mean roller skater.

What is one piece of advice you can give to someone who also wants to make it in your business?

I would tell them to redefine "make it". You do comedy to do comedy, to express yourself, to find the truth about yourself and the world around you...not to be rich and famous. Also, make your own opportunities. Make your own projects. Don't wait for someone to come along and hand you anything. Create. Also, I recommend meditation for everyone no matter what their field. Quieting the voice in your head and bringing yourself into the Now is the best tool you can have for your career and your life. I also recommend the book The Tao of Pooh for everyone. Life-changing book that can teach you how to not take everything so seriously.

How would you describe your education?

Formally, I have an AA in Psychology, BA in Speech Communications and Theatre and an MPA. But my real education has been doing comedy for 24 years all over the country in every type of situation you can imagine. I have also learned a lot about comedy and myself by working with other comics in my workshops.

What is it like working with your spouse?

Well... it can be a fun and it can be a challenge. We have been together for over 20 years. Sometimes we get sick of each other (ok a lot) but I love and respect him so much and I get so much out of working with him both in our comedy office and in our new comedy double act.

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

My favorite tv show was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Now I watch a lot of the HBO original shows like Game of Thrones, Girls, Newsroom, etc. I love Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction. My fave movie ever is Flash Gordon. I never thought of myself as a geek until I answered this question.

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

Cut throat. But, I have tried to create my own comedy community that is supportive of each other, not back-stabbing.

Why do you think some people consider your work controversial ?

I am controversial because I don't shy away from any topics. I talk about politics and feminism. I try to be brave on stage and in my writing. I talk about what I care about; I don't spoon feed the audience.

What's your favorite quote and why?

"You must do the thing you think you can not do." Eleanor Roosevelt.

I love this quote because I have seen the power of facing your fears. Facing fears sets you free. Running from them makes you a slave.

Are you a morning or a night person?

I'm a comic, so obviously I am a night person. I sleep 3-10am usually.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Everyone please check out my website for more info on me, upcoming shows, my podcast, my cd, and for tons of video and audio. Also, follow me on twitter @thebobbieoliver


Thank for for doing the interview Bobbie. I wish you all the best with your book "The Tao of Comedy: Embrace the Pause".  Let me know if you are ever visit Massachusetts. I'd love to see your show live.