An Interview With Writer/Producer Ray Starmann

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Ray Starmann Is a writer and producer who co owns Sheer Bravado Productions. He is the writer and producer of the web series The Gumshoe and a producer of the film Silverlake Video – The Movie; here is a link to the company’s website:

http://www.sheerbravadoproductions.com/

Q: What is the main concept behind Sheer Bravado Productions?

A: We strive to tell unique stories of significance. Our goal is to create unforgettable moments on screen that highlight the human condition, reminding us of our common humanity. Our films inspire, encourage, expose and challenge the reality, the beauty, the excitement and the mysteries of life.

Q: What is The Gumshoe about?

A: Los Angeles, 1947; NICK MCGRAW, 40, a self-employed, hard-boiled private eye is on the verge of cracking the biggest case of his life, the murder of film actress, Veronica Davis. In the middle of the night, during a violent storm, McGraw is called to his office to speak with reporters who were tipped-off about the case. Unbeknownst to McGraw, the U.S. military is running a top-secret intra-dimensional time warp program from the top floor of his office building. The program is a continuation of Tesla’s defunct 1943 Philadelphia Experiment –
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia_Experiment. After dismissing the reporters from his office, McGraw steps into the elevator as the storm rages outside. Lightning hits a series of strategically placed antennas on the roof; causing the elevator to act as a dimensional super-conductor. McGraw emerges from the elevator and stumbles out to an unfamiliar Wilshire Boulevard and the year…2013.

Q: What sets it apart from other Web-series?
A: The Gumshoe is a story with many facets. It has a science fiction quality to it, a crime/mystery element and also comedy as the greatest generation collides with the jackass generation. I think it’s really different from most things that are being produced right now. It’s a combination of Raymond Chandler, Quantum Leap and the Rockford Files.

Q: You wrote a very successful Hallmark Channel movie called Generation Gap. What is the secret to writing a producible Hallmark movie?

A: I think you have to write a quality, family-oriented script with a message. The characters need to learn something and change for the better as the film progresses.

Q: How does your military experience influence your work?

A: My military experience as US Army officer certainly has given me an understanding of military operations, past and present. It helped me as I co-wrote Citizen Soldiers, a WWII film Sheer Bravado is currently producing. I also wrote a MASH/Catch-22 type military comedy novel called CHARLIE FOXTROT, which is currently on sale on Amazon. Charlie Foxtrot is loosely based on my own experiences as an intelligence officer in Germany at the end of the Cold War and in the Gulf War.

Q: You have worked as a treatment writer for a Touchstone production. What is a treatment and what qualifies one to write them?

A: I actually never worked for Touchstone directly, but wrote a treatment called the Last Halloween that was pitched to them. A treatment is a summary and outline of a film or TV show or series that may be from 2 to 25 pages in length. To be a good treatment writer one must not only be competent at summarizing the story, but be excellent at selling it as well! So, you have to be part writer, part salesperson.

Q: What is Silverlake Video – The Movie about?

A: Silverlake is about Ben, a regular guy, on the verge of losing his video store, who has one day to get a business partner before his lease expires. His day takes a turn for the worse, when his “out of his league” girlfriend leaves a message, proclaiming “We need to talk”. With no where else to turn for moral support, he opens up a Pandora’s Box, when he seeks advice from the local flavor of the neighborhood, Silverlake.

Q: What made you interested in producing it?

A: I thought it was a good story with some definite comedic moments that could be produced for a very low cost.

Q: What is your most memorable celebrity encounter story?

A: When I was in college at Southern Methodist University, I was able to meet Bob Hope and Gene Kelly and speak with them for a few minutes. They were both true Hollywood legends!

Q: What would you change about Hollywood?

A: I would make Hollywood more accessible to aspiring writers and producers. It’s very much a closed club and probably the only business in the world that doesn’t want your business. I would also open it up to creative people of all ages like it used to be. In the last 20 years, Hollywood has become a 20-something business, with results that we can see on the screen. Most good writers and producers must have aged a bit and seen the world to create true high-quality projects.

 

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

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