Rochelle Potkar is the author of the anthology The Arithmetic of Breasts and Other Stories; Here is a link to the books Amazon page: Q: What made you want to be a writer? A: A steadily-paying job in E-learning left me unsatisfied, making me wonder … Continue reading An Interview With Writer Rochelle Potkar
Bruce Nachsin is the creator of the series Under the Doghouse; here is a link to the web-site:
Q: What is Under the Doghouse about?
A: UtDH is all about what happens when your life just keeps getting in the way of your life. It is about how things go when you don’t have the answers and are not really equipped to face the problems presented to you. Thus we follow my analog for the everyman, Pete, as he tries to deal with the things going on with his life, getting a new job, trying to meet a nice girl, trying to deal with the one who invaded his house, unreliable friends and so on. In life we are presented with choices, it could be A, B or C and instead we walk into a telephone pole and that is what the series is about.
Q: What inspired you to produce it?
A: Well, like most people who decide to come to Hollywood to try and make a go of it, I got here and wasn’t sure how I should go about pursuing my dream. This ended up in me not doing much of anything related to the entertainment industry and like most clueless hopefuls, I winded up spending a few years working my day job until I noticed that nothing was happening. Since this was not what I wanted out of my life, I decided to write and film a few short scenes with the idea of starting my demo reel. One of those scenes was a comedy bit that had a little edge called: Pete and Stacey’s Boob Quandry: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5TahW0r2Gk Somehow, that clip ended up in the hands of a manager who proceeded to contact me, sign me and insist that I expand it into a something bigger. From that little nugget came Under the Doghouse.
Q: What makes for a successful web series?
A: I really wish I had the full answer to this… I guess it depends on how you define success. If we are talking about getting eyeballs, I think luck plays a bigger part than most people would give it credit for. There are a lot of good series out there that just don’t have much in the way of viewership and it isn’t because of the quality. It can be hard to be seen above the noise that is the thousands of videos that appear every day. A good story or series premise are important. Sticking to a solid release schedule will help draw viewers in. It can help if you are tackling a topic that people are already interested in and has a built in fan base. If we are talking about the quality of a production, then I would say it is important to have good planning and a realistic view of what you are able to accomplish within your means. There are a lot of series that get started and fail to reach completion due to underestimating how much effort and expense everything is going to take.
Q: What are some of your favorite web series?
A: Most of what I like has a comedic bend and when I am killing time surfing, I want to laugh. Some of my favorites are 30 Films, Songify / Autotune the News, Honest Movie Trailers, My Roommate the… and while not an actual series, I love what Patrick Boivin is doing on his channel.
Q: Why should people watch Under the Doghouse?
A: A little bit of laughter, a little bit of joy, a few cute girls and a lot of embarrassment… Mostly mine. I am hoping that people will see a little of themselves in Pete and feel a bit better about that clueless aspect of their personality. We all have those moments where we feel like we can’t get ahead and nothing we do will make a difference. This series takes that and runs with it, and just maybe it can make you feel a little better about your day because it just can’t possibly be as bad as the one poor Pete is having.
Q: What made you want to be a filmmaker?
A: I don’t know that I ever started out with the idea of being one, it just happened along the way. I fell into acting back in College when I had signed up for a fine woodworking class and discovered exactly how bad my allergies to wood dust were. After an afternoon of wonderful sinus reactions, my asthma voted that I change my major quickly and I ended up on the acting track just because I had to land somewhere. As it turned out, despite having little experience or ability, I enjoyed it and continued to pursue it throughout my whole college career. This led to regional theatre in Pennsylvania and then to some local TV roles which ended with me getting into the Union and thus out of the running for most roles in the ol’ homestead, which was a very non-union town. I came to California and the filmmaking came out of the frustration of not getting called in for the roles I wanted. On top of that, I was not all that comfortable with my career being in the hands of others, making my own projects put some of the control into my hands.
Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it influence your creative work?
A: I am a freelance Cyber-Plumber, that is to say a computer technician. I have clients that range from a growing beverage company, to an aging inebriated rock star, to movie production companies, to a nice granny who is afraid of her keyboard. From a technical standpoint, it has sharpened my troubleshooting skills and you can’t put a price on that. A large part of film making is on the spot problem solving and thinking your way around limitations. I have to do that all day so I am pretty good at it. Now, from a creative standpoint, I go to a lot of places where I have appointments that give me ideas for strange characters and funny interactions. Whether it was my client who called me drunk at 3 in the morning and wanted to know why his microwave wasn’t connecting to the internet or the sympathetic pornstar who chatted with me as I fixed her PDF writer and then informed me that: “You’re sweet, but you are going to die alone in this town,” it has given me stories.
Q: What is your strangest show biz story?
A: The strangest thing that ever happened to me was an audition for some kind of beer commercial and they were casting a “lab technician.” When I got to the audition location, there was no script to be found. They took me into this room where they had the camera setup and in front of it was a large table with a cardboard box on it. The director says to me: “Here’s the deal, you are a lab tech running a robotic colonoscopy machine, that box is the machine… now go!” For 2 minutes I had to pretend I was working this thing while the director would say things like: “you need to go deeper!” “you’ve hit a barrier, break through it!” You know, you don’t get that experience working in any other industry.
Q: What do you like about Hollywood?
A: Big things are possible out here. I would never have had the opportunity to stage a multi-camera sitcom shoot back in Philadelphia, nor the capacity to find all the pieces to see it through to completion. You really can take your dreams and try to make them happen, you just have to be willing to put in the time and effort to pull them off.
Q: What would you like to change about it?
A: People in Hollywood can be pretentious and somewhat passive-aggressive, especially at the lower rungs where people try to peacock and seem like a bigger deal than they are. You go to any coffee shop and it is filled with people dropping names and speaking loudly about the current project they are presumably working. I don’t impress by proxy so I am more interested in what someone is actually capable of doing versus who they think they know. I’d like it better if people were more genuine and direct.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)
Jordan Barr is an aspiring actor and singer.
Q: Why do you want to be an actor?
A: I have always loved performing since I was a child. I would sing and tell jokes to my friends and family. When I was in 4th grade, one of the classes I had was in the Drama room and when I saw all the trophies from the Drama festivals the school had participated in it really sparked my interest in acting. So finally once 6th grade hit and I was able to join the drama program at my school, I got hooked and have never looked back.
Q: What kind of training have you had?
A: I have had training all throughout my schooling, as well as a few acting/voice acting courses through UCLA extension.
Q: What kind of day job do you have and why is acting better?
A: I was a bar-tender at a corporate restaurant. The hours were long but the shifts were flexible and the pay was decent. But pouring drinks and waiting on customers is not what I am meant to be doing. I have a talent and getting to see someone’s reactions when I am on stage, be it a serious or comedy performance is infinitely better than getting a compliment on the way I shook someone’s martini!
Q: What makes an actor an artist?
A: Acting is absolutely an art. You must tap into a different person inside of your mind and have “their” attributes shine through in every word and action you say and make. You have to know everything about your characters background and why he would be making the actions in the way that he does. There are many ways of getting to this point, but no matter how you do it, it is crucial that you are not just yourself speaking lines that you have memorized. You must feel the need to say these lines because that is who you are and that is how you would react in that specific situation as that person.
Q: What is the oddest thing you have done to pursue your dream?
A: I actually have had a reoccurring gig each year as a Christmas Caroler. Now, it doesn’t sound so odd, but I am Jewish so it makes things a little more interesting. Even though I am singing about Christmas and all that it entails, I really do enjoy it, because not only am I getting paid, WHICH IS VERY IMPROTANT IN THIS INDUSTRY, but I get to sing and perform in front of people and do what I love!
Q: What do you like about Hollywood?
A: Hollywood of course has its ups and downs. There is the spotlight where everyone in the world is watching you and cant wait to see what you do next. You receive recognition and status among other stars. There is the ability to play any character you could possibly think of and many that you had no idea existed (i.e. fantasy and animated movies).
Q: What don’t you like about it?
A: Along with being in the spotlight, though it is great to have people looking up to you or wanting to know what you are doing and where you are at every moment, you lose a lot of your privacy. There are many people in Hollywood that are there strictly for the money and not for the art. People can and normally are fake in order to maintain a certain status among piers and that is something I could never do. People say fame changes you, but it is up to you how you want to lead your life.
Q: What classic film role could you have nailed and why?
A: Its not soo much a classic, but definitely an older movie. I would love to of had the chance to play Marty McFly from Back To The Future. I know I would have done well with this role because I can portray the underdog character, with my witty and charming personality. I am not the toughest looking guy out there or have an Adonis face that is too pretty to take outside. But in a time of need I can and will stand up for myself just like Michael J. Fox did in that role.
Q: What makes you fameworthy?
A: I have the energy and talent that it takes to make it in this industry. I am very personable and take direction very well. I am multi-talented. Besides acting, I have the ability to sing nearly any genre and have a great voice for voice-over. I have a commercial look and can play a fair range of ages from 16-28. I am hard working and dedicated to my craft and am constantly on the search for the perfect role.
Q: Who are your acting influences?
A: Some of my acting influences are Jim Carey as well as Robin Williams from when I was a kid. I am very good with physical comedy and it is in part thanks to them. Most recently I am influenced by Edward Norton and the late Heath Ledger for their incredible ability to take on a role that is completely different from their normal selves. They know how to tap into whatever role they are playing and portray the emotions and actions that would come specifically from that character.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)
Mark Beltzman is an actor who has appeared on Seinfeld (he tried to buy the suit that George wanted), Curb Your Enthusiasm and According to Jim. Mark was in Second City and teaches acting at The Art of Allowing Improv Workshops, here is a link to his IMDB page:
Q: How did you get started as an improvisational performer?
A: I was born and raised in Detroit, MI where I started my career as a commercial Actor and was cast in a Highland Appliance TV commercial by my friend Ameen Howarani, a Brilliant photographer of his time. My best friend from High School, Robert Teachman, worked as his assistant and I would hang out at the Studio on 15 E Baltimore quite a bit back in those days. Around that same time in 1982 I started taking Acting lessons and read an article in the Detroit News about a guy named Del Close who was coming to town to teach some workshops on Improvisation! Del was the acting coach for the Not Ready for Prime Time Players, which was the original cast of Saturday Night Live. I went to see the man in the article, Jonathon Round, who was responsible for bringing Del to town. I cleaned out my bank account and paid for the workshop and the rest is history. From there I got cast in a new sketch/improv group the Jonathon was putting together called The Detroit Times Theater Co. Which is where I met my wife of 31 years,Beverly lubin, among others I still keep in touch with. I would later move to Chicago to study with Del in 1985. That year I was a founding member of Improv Olympic, now known as I.O. and cast in a group Barron’s Barracudas and in August I auditioned and was cast in The Second City!
Q: To what method of acting do you ascribe and how do you go about teaching it?
A: Improvisation is my background and although I have taken many classes in scene study I find that improvisation is the most freeing. Acting is reacting and you really must replace thinking with listening and immerse yourself in the story and then the lines come more naturally. I have taught Improvisation all over the world and what I teach is Ensemble work! The art of making your partner look good and in turn you look twice as good. Acting is a children’s game and must be played by children’s rules, rather than playing a children’s game by adult rules which is not fun! Children just jump in and play and conceptualize later, adults on the other hand want to conceptualize everything before they play which limits their ability to be creative.
Q: You were in one of the most memorable episodes of Seinfeld; what do you think made that series a classic?
A: I believe what made Seinfeld so successful was the writing. The writers had the unique ability to follow the stories subplot without always focusing on Jerry as the lead character. It has been said that the show was about nothing and that was the gift. There was always something else going on in each episode that allowed the audience to focus on several stories and characters all at once.
Q: What was your most difficult role and how did you prepare for it?
A: I have never really encountered a difficult role. I love what I do SO much I have never perceived any acting job as difficult! I am really lucky I get to do what I love!
Q: You have been on screen with some major stars; do you get recognized on the street?
A: Occasionally I get recognized as looking familiar. Most often if anything it would probably be my role in the movie Billy Madison.
Q: You had a reoccurring role on According to Jim. What are some of the advantage and disadvantage of such a role for an actor?
A: The advantages are being a working actor. There are no disadvantages that I am aware of.
Q: What has been your most memorable celebrity encounter?
A: By far it would have to be meeting and getting to work with John Candy. I did two movies with him Uncle Buck, which I was cut out of, and “Home Alone” where I played Stosh, The Tuba player in the polka band The Kenosha Kickers. John was one of the most special, Generous, and FUNNY celebrities I ever had the privilege of working with!
Q: What should an improv student do if they have stage fright?
A: Replace all your Wants, Needs, and Desires with your partner’s Needs, Wants, and Desires. It is the same Ideas that I teach. The Idea of Improvisation is Ensemble work. which means to make your partner look good, and you will look twice as good. In other words you need to LISTEN ! That is the key to good acting, replace THINKING w LISTENING! if you have stage fright you must get out of your head. It means you are thinking which leads to being self conscious, to relieve that pressure you must completely immerse yourself in listening to your partner and simply react as real and as honest as you can. Acting is Re-Acting and you Can Not react if you are Not Listening !!!
Q: You were in Second City in Chicago, what sets Second City apart from other troupes?
A: The Second City is one of the Greatest jobs any actor can have. It is a privilege to be an Alumnus of such a Great institution. I believe it is what I just said in your question about stage fright and again, it is also what I teach. Ensemble work is what you learn there. You learn to Act, Write, Direct, and Improvise All on your feet in front of an audience. If you make your partner look good you look twice as good. it is on the job training.
Q: Curb Your Enthusiasm is a big hit why do you think there haven’t been more improvised series?
A: Improv is an art form where there is no structure in the dialogue. if you look back Curb was an hour HBO special before it was a series. People in the industry want more structure so they can control the creative process. What they don’t understand is that nobody knows what works and what doesn’t. It is ALL essentially improvised! They just don’t let the actors make up their own dialogue. It is about taking risks, the bigger the risk the bigger the reward.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)
Norman Yeung is a filmmaker who is currently raising funds for his new project Anne Darling; here is a link to the website:
Q: What is Anne Darling about?
A: Escaping sadness to become happier. What will you do? Booze, parties, sex? Those things are a happy distraction but nowhere near a solution. The protagonist Daniel tries to break out of his depression by distracting himself with sex. He uses a chat line to meet Marnie but their encounter is more intimate than they expected – she reminds him of his mother, he reminds her of her son. They are both haunted by family problems. At a party, his best friend Charlie hooks him up with Maggie, a young writer who has family problems of her own – she wants to run away to California, abandoning her depressed mother. Daniel and Maggie offer each other a way out, but in order to escape sadness, they will have to betray their family bonds. So what’s up with Daniel and his mom and Marnie?
Tonight, these characters will be the happiest they have felt in a long time simply because they meet each other. You never know – the person you’re about to meet might bring you happiness. “Anne Darling” is an optimistic film.
Q: What inspired you to create it?
A: Taking the subway one early morning and seeing a guy who clearly was up all night. We passengers were all fresh for a new day while this guy just had a night of booze and sex. Probably. He looked like it. I have no proof, obviously, but that was my story for him and I found it interesting. I’m fascinated by private life vs. public life, how we never know what people are up to. In Anne Darling, Daniel goes to a party and his friends have no idea where he had been. He says he was at home when the truth is, he was having Freudian sex with a stranger.
Q: Why should it be produced?
A: The characters in this film deal with depression. “Approximately 8% of adults will experience major depression at some time in their lives” (Canadian Mental Health Association). If not depression, I believe that most of us will experience deep sadness. What will we do to get better? I hope the audience of Anne Darling will reflect on their own choices to become happier, to get better. I hope this film will inspire people to get the help they need, or reach out to friends and family who are struggling with depression. I make my creative work not with the intention of “Look at me!”, but with “This is for you.”
Anne Darling features a diverse, multicultural cast. Unlike much of our media, this film represents our population responsibly and realistically. Anne Darling features actors of Chinese, Ojibwe, Italian, English, and Pakistani descent, among others. It’s time to reflect the reality of our American and Canadian societies: Our populations are diverse, and that is our strength.
Anne Darling is a self-contained short film that is one chapter in a bigger story. The feature film will follow the intersecting stories of each of these characters – and new ones – as they connect with strangers who offer them escape, hope, and happiness. But first, I have to get Anne Darling made.
Q: What do you think causes sex addiction?
A: Not the act of sex but the circumstance of sex. For example, I enjoy going out for a drink with friends. It’s not the drink itself I want, or getting tipsy, no… I crave the stuff surrounding going out for a drink: the camaraderie, the conversation, the socializing that occurs around booze. Back to sex… I know people who prefer sex in unconventional ways, like public sex. It’s not the sex itself that they’re addicted to, but the thrill and danger of banging in an alley, and they keep craving that excitement. For sex addicts, I believe sex represents something bigger, something not physical but psychological. Mind you, I’m not saying all people who bone in alleys are addicts.
I don’t believe the character Daniel has a sex addiction, but I can see a similarity between sex addiction and his situation. What Daniel needs is stimulation and distraction. So he decides to break out of his misery by meeting Marnie for sex. He is not particularly horny – he simply needs stimulation, and in this case, it’s the company and situation of sex. His encounter with Marnie is layered with so much complexity: she’s a stranger, she’s older, she reminds him of his mother. It’s those circumstances that attract Daniel, not the act of sex itself. Their sex is more like psychotherapy. …(that sounds like the worst/best sex ever).
Q: Do you think the internet makes people open up to each other more or lie more?
A: Lies. The internet allows everyone to craft the identity by which we want to be represented. Our social media identities are a collection of carefully curated photographs, videos, and text. About opening up to each other, let’s take a blogger who blogs diary-style. They might be blogging about only real actions and thoughts in their lives, like honest confession. But then some of them blog under an alias. And if they do present themselves with their actual name, they are still opening up through carefully phrased writing. Or video-recording. In the case of people who open up on the internet with great honesty, like a diary-blogger, I wouldn’t say they’re sharing lies. I’d say they’re presenting constructed truth.
Q: What is your own background in film?
A: Watching the movie Twins in a New Zealand hotel as a kid inspired an existential crisis and a decision to become an actor. First got paid to act on screen at age 13. Did acting training for stage and screen for many years. Right before beginning my acting degree, I saw an image from The Seventh Seal, of the knight playing chess against Death, and I figured that you can really say something with movies. Got my filmmaking degree and made some short films. Now I’m making a film while acting.
Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it influence your work?
A: Along with filmmaking and acting, I write and make visual art. I mostly write play scripts and screenplays, although my love for writing prose is growing super fast. My visual art is mostly paintings and drawings. My disciplines inform each other. One common thread between these disciplines is my love of narrative. I tell stories while minding the visual form. My paintings are like a still from a film: there are characters in action, something is happening. What’s happening is up to the spectator. I invite the spectator to be engaged and craft their own story from the image. And with filmmaking, acting, and writing scripts, well, they’re quite obviously mediums for telling stories.
Q: What is the secret to a successful Kickstarter campaign?
A: Our Kickstarter campaign is still on but I can say with conviction: Time. Spend the time before you launch to organize contact lists, strategize media and publicity, building up a social media network, creating tons of content for your Kickstarter page, like videos, images, and text. Then, be prepared to spend ALL your time managing the campaign after its launch. You’ll still have to create tons of new content to keep people engaged, facilitate media and publicity… I spend so much time writing/answering e-mails related to this campaign that casual e-mailing has not existed for me for a month. Crowdfunding will take up all your time. The secret upon that secret? Don’t do it alone.
Q: What do you like about the film industry?
A: Having my creative work being available to the whole world is intoxicating. That’s a virtue of film being a recorded medium. Live performance is, by nature, local; its virtue is ephemerality. In terms of industry… It is not impossible to obtain a comfortable life by doing what you love. But it’s not easy. As frustrating as the industry can be, I enjoy the challenge. And the glamour can be there if you need glamour. I also like the itinerant nature of this industry, where the project-to-project structure keeps things exciting.
Q: What don’t you like about it?
A: The itinerant nature of this industry, where the project-to-project structure keeps things terrifyingly unpredictable.
Q: How did you become a stuntman?
A: In 1987 I saw an ad in the San Francisco Examiner/Chronicle newspaper for a stunt training program in Redwood City, CA (about 45 minutes south of San Francisco) and thought Id give it a try. I was already working as an actor (I got my Screen Actors Guild union membership card in 1981) and was looking to expand my potential to be hired. There were two six week courses, a B class for beginners and an A class for those who passed the B class. The classes where held in a large warehouse with gymnastic style tumbling pads for learning rolls and falls, boxing speed and heavy bags, a trampoline, a wood stair case for stair falls, a beat-up old car for learning car hits and plenty of fake (rubber and plastic) swords, knives, bats, clubs, batons and other items for fight scenes. After passing both courses I moved from Northern California to Southern California (Burbank) to start hustling for work in the business.
Q: What was the most challenging stunt job you have never had?
A: In 1997 I was hired as the stunt double for Samuel L. Jackson on Sphere (Directed by Barry Levinson, Written by Michael Crichton) which also starred Dustin Hoffman, Sharon Stone, Peter Coyote, Queen Latifah and Liev Schreiber. Each actor had a stunt double and the stunt team started underwater training two weeks before filming the movie. Out of water the uniforms were very heavy. The helmet (35 lbs), the backpack (70 lbs – twin scuba tanks), the battery pack waist belt (15 lbs) and the boots (15 lbs). It took about 20 45 minutes to get into the suits. We looked forward to getting in the water because most of the weight disappeared once we were submerged. There were scenes where we had to jump into the water, run under water and climb a ladder, which meant we slept pretty good at night from the exhaustion. I worked for four and a half months on Sphere and it was probably one of the best jobs I ever had.
Q: Was there ever a stunt you refused to do?
A: Yakima Canutt was a pioneer in the field of stunts in movies. If you search Yakima Canutt Stagecoach youll find this clip with Vic Armstrong (stunt coordinator/2nd unit director Thor, The Amazing Spider Man, Mission Impossible III) who talks about this incredible stunt of Yakima Canutt leaping from his horse to a team of horses pulling a stagecoach (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9TS6ZCgZkc). He falls to the ground between the horses holding on to the rig and then lets go as the horses and stagecoach pass him. I was asked to do this stunt in 1998 and having no experience with horses, no cojones for this type of stunt and no desire to get kicked in the head by horses I said uh, no, I think Ill pass.
Q: What is your oddest Hollywood story?
A: Working as a Wookie in the Star Tours: The Adventure Continues film that plays continuously in the Star Tours ride at Disneyland. It was an amazing job to get to step into a Wookie costume and be a part of the scene where you travel to the Wookie Planet. You can see me hit the glass in this YouTube video at the 1:45 mark http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvdB_9tQxqs. It was about 8 hours of work for that :05 second clip.
Q: What is Our Next Movie?
A: Our goal is to produce movies in Northern California every year if possible. Our Next Movie is a page on Facebook that allows us to engage fans who would like to follow the journey as we make Our Next Movie. Instead of launching a new page each time we start a movie, we thought it might be best to have one page where we can grow our audience and invite them to be a part of the experience. You can visit and LIKE our page here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/OurNextMovie/308909995903294. Our goal is to grow the page to over 100,000 Likes before launching a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to fund The Lavender Bandit (working title) which will be a romantic comedy.
Q: Why a romantic comedy?
A: We would like to produce a variety of films. Our 1st movie Chasing Rodriguez is a family friendly movie that got endorsed by the organization Kids First for a film that is approved for families. Our Next Movie will not be approved for kids. We plan to take this next project into the R region with appropriately edgy scenes for a more mature audience. Its the story of Marty who wants to get married but chickens out as he’s about to propose to his girlfriend and instead hires a private investigator to check her out first. We plan to film in the San Francisco bay area, mostly in Contra Costa County (an hour east of San Francisco) in the summer of 2014. Actors, crew, volunteers and other supporters who are interested in working on or being a part of the movie should sign up for the email updates at http://www.OurNextMovie.com.
Q: What are you looking for in a script?
A: With this next production were looking for LOL (laugh-out-loud) scenes and situations. Comedy is always a challenge and they say if it aint on the page, it aint on the stage so well spend many hours working to craft the best script we can for the budget that we have to work with. We recently announced The Lavender Bandit to our Facebook friends with this YouTube video Skype call with writer Jeff Vibes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrWEFFiMzhA.
Q: What kind of budget are we looking at here?
A: Our Next Movie, The Lavender Bandit (working title), will be a Screen Actors Guild ultra-low budget contract and we may also sign a contract with the Directors Guild of America. The S.A.G. contract allows us to employ union and non-union talent and give us greater flexibility in terms of budgeting for name talent.
Q: What is Chasing Rodriguez about?
A: Chasing Rodriguez is the story of Daniel, an aspiring filmmaker and fan of Robert Rodriguez, who gets together with his friends to make a movie for a film contest and runs into a wealthy heiress and 3 clowns who are all out to steal the priceless Black Widow Diamond. We produced Chasing Rodriguez to try and raise money for schools in the Mount Diablo Unified School district. We filmed it in 15 days using Canon 5D and 7D cameras and GoPro cameras for some of the action scenes. It got great support from local restaurants who fed the cast and crew for free because of the cause, volunteers who donated their time, locations who let us film there for free and plenty of local press. Keep in mind that the budget for Chasing Rodriguez was about 15 seconds of Avatar just to put things in perspective. If you’d like to see how it turned out its available on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009B0SPSY/?tag=concordmoviec-20.
Q: What do you like about San Francisco?
A: San Francisco is an amazing city for so many reasons. The landscape, the restaurants, the views, the people, cable cars, BART, Pier 39, the Golden Gate Bridge and more! I was born and raised in San Francisco and have worked on many local productions here. Some of the movies I worked on include Contagion with Matt Damon, The Pursuit of Happyness with Will Smith, Milk with Sean Penn, War with Jason Statham, Bicentennial Man with Robin Williams, James and the Giant Peach and more. There are thousands of talented actors in the San Francisco bay area and I look forward to hiring many of them on Our Next Movie and other movies in the future!
Gary Revel is a film composer and owner of Jongeur Music and an investigator who has studied the assassinations of John F Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Robert F Kennedy; here is a link to his Twitter account:
Q: What made you interested in film composition?
A: My first experience with movies was in a drive-theater in Niceville, Florida. This particular drive-in had benches near the screen where you could get out of your car and go sit while watching the movie. This was circa 1957-1958. I recall BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI, APRIL LOVE and CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF as the ones that most affected my artistic side.
Q: How did you transition from a career in music to investigations?
A: I got involved in the investigative field when I was in the US Navy and did some work in association with Naval Intelligence. In 1977 my friend, business associate and attorney Jack Kershaw became the attorney for James Earl Ray in his quest for a trial related to the assassination Martin Luther King Jr. We then became part of the overall effort of the House Select Committee on Assassinations to investigate the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.
Q: What made you interested in JFK, RFK and MLK?
A: During my first meeting with James Earl Ray behind the walls of Brushy Mountain Prison in Petros, Tennessee I heard, for the first time, his story. I came away from that meeting with a keen interest in finding the real killers of Martin Luther King Jr. My investigation of the MLK killing led me to the JFK and then the RFK killings.
Q: Why do you think their assassinations were all related?
A: I found that the three killings had the same motive and very similar methods in the execution including a continual, powerful cover-up that continues even today.
Q: If there really was a conspiracy to kill JFK why would anyone want to cover it up at this point?
A: Those who have covered it up have an enormous investment in the continuing cover up. Official records, documents, reputations, books, videos, films, historical perspectives, etc. all would suffer for them should the truth finally be clearly established that Lee Harvey Oswald was not the killer of JFK.
Q: How realistic was Oliver Stones JFK?
A: He came as close as he could to getting the truth out and still be able to live to tell about it.
Q: What is the most ridiculous theory you have heard about the Kennedy assassination?
A: I don’t really know of one single conspiracy theory that isn’t a bit ridiculous. They all miss something. I deal only in the facts that I found during my investigation and don’t join the conspiracy theory group. My findings simply point out that Lee Harvey Oswald could not have been the shooter that killed President John F. Kennedy.
Q: Why are people so fascinated by the Kennedys?
A: Much of the fascination is due to the unsolved puzzle the crime of the century represents. Until the truth is known there will always be an inordinate, remarkable and unusual interest in the killing of the President of the United States of America. This was a man that should have had the Secret Service, FBI, CIA and every police department in the country making sure such a thing did not happen and yet it did. The fact that it happened like it did was enough to make it fascinating.
Q: How did your background in show business help you in your investigations?
A: It was my 2 years in the US Navy during the Vietnam War Era that prepared me for the investigations of the assassinations of JFK, MLK and RFK. However, things I learned over the years came into play as I probed the deep, dark secrets that were so much a part of the work involved. For example:
1. As a child my mother owned and ran a bar-juke joint in Northwest Florida. I became familiar with the Juke Box Operator who would come around and put records on the Juke Box. I learned a little about the Amusement Company business and that a man named Carlos Marcello had something to do with what records were allowed on our Juke Box.
2. My step-father worked on the shrimp boats that operated in the Gulf of Mexico. I learned that at times he would work for a man that owned a lot of shrimp boats, that man was Carlos Marcello.
3. While serving in the US Navy I became involved with the work of keeping illegal drugs out of the hands of sailors. One of the projects I was given turned out to have associates involved that worked for, guess who, Carlos Marcello.
4. In 1977 I was surprised to find that this same Carlos Marcello had something to do with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Q: What were some obstacles you came across in your investigation?
A: The obstacles were many. They included threats against me, my family and friends. The murders of associates and relatives were the most traumatic of the events at the time but there were more. Through it all I must thank God that I am still alive and am able to sit here and give others a little glimpse into the truth about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.