Month: July 2017

An Interview With Jukebox Film Festival Director Darla Bayer

 

juke

 

Darla Bayer is the Director of The Jukebox International Film Festival; here is a link to their website:

https://filmfreeway.com/festival/JukeboxInternationalFilmFestival

 

Q: What made you interested in starting a film festival?

A: It all started when I discovered the 48 Hour Film Project. I wanted to do one myself so I started a free group to help find filmmakers willing to compete. I called the monthly meeting “Wired Wednesday”. We taught each other, crewed for each other and even participated in The No Film Film Fest.

It became evident that we were not going to do a 48 Hour film, as they were all too far for us to journey, so instead I suggested we start a competition called “City Wide Short Film Competition”.

This competition was modeled on the 48 hour except it was a one week time frame, from Wednesday to Wednesday to get the film written, cast, shot, edited and back to us. All teams were to use the same three prompts, a specific sound effect, a specific line of dialog and a specific prop. They had their choice of 6 genres to chose from. It was a blast! And the films were remarkable!

City Wide is now in it’s 6th year and has a spin off called “Carson Creepy Horror Film Competition”. This one came about because I had refused to let horror be a genre in City Wide, trying to keep it more family oriented. Well, a few filmmakers convinced me and we have had some truly awesome films come out of that competition as well.

Ok…rolling right along, we’ve done the competition thing. Wired Wednesday knows how to do this now, so why not a festival?

Q: What makes your film festival unique?

 

A: We like the basis of our festival because it is all about music. We accept music videos, documentaries and feature films. An added bonus is our screening dates are during an established music festival, Jazz and Beyond.
Being a musician and a filmmaker myself, I enjoy seeing documentaries about musicians or styles.

Q: What can your film festival offer that others cannot?

 

A: The fact this festival is smack dab in the middle of a live music festival. With musicians all over town in multiple venues. Free concerts mostly.

 

Q:  How did you obtain funding for the festival?

 

A: Past competitions have brought in money from advertisers. That’s pretty much it.

Q: Who will judge the contest?

 

A: We have industry professionals, writers, directors, musicians. Some not yet confirmed, but, Joseph Bly, Celtic musician, director Brian Nunes, Rita Geil, Lacy J Dalton.

Q: What advice would you give to a potential entrant?

 

A: Please be sure your film is music themed, we expect more than just music in the background. The film should play on specific stories about musicians, venues, styles. Singer songwriter moves up in the world, that sort of thing. Music videos of course can tell the story of the songs lyrics, those will be more interesting than just watching a band play their song, although we are not opposed to that either. Music, music, music.

Q:  What kind of day job do you have and how does it affect your ability to organize a film festival?

 

A: I am a freelance  costumer and do video production (camera to edits). My last job however was running a public access tv station. We had a studio where people could check out cameras and learn all needed to create film and tv.

Q: What is the best musical film you have ever seen?

 

A: A few years ago a friend of my daughters had a film he had just completed called “Find Your Way”. A documentary about buskers. We screened the film thru our Wired Wednesday group, open to the public followed by a skype with the director. That film, not only for the technical aspects which were very good, touched me on a level that made me very happy. To see musicians out there doing their thing and being appreciated. Another film that I love is Oingo Boingo‘s “Hot Tomorrows”, obscure, yes, but truly memorable film noir in black and white. I’d be willing to say that film was what made me want to make films myself

Q: What is the worst musical film you have ever seen?

 

A:  I don’t really have a worst, I’ve liked nearly all I have seen. I enjoy musical theatre as well and enjoy seeing the filmed productions. Some of my best memories are from my high school years when Mrs.Morrow, our drama teacher, introduced us to shows like Studs Terkel’s “Working” and “Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris”. Those films were inspirational to my entire life.
 

Q:  What living musician’s life do you think has been over documented?

 

A: I don’t feel there is an over documented issue. The more out there the more we have an effect on people. So if there’s a film about, say, Paul McCartney, and yet there’s been others, those who want to see them all can. But someone who knows nothing about him, only one of the films might look interesting enough for them to view. It’s not a competition between films. They play on each other, build and grow interest.

 

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

 

An Interview with Jordan Casty of Eleven Dollar Bills

 kyle

Jordan Casty is the lead singer for the band Eleven Dollar Bills; here is a link to the band’s first album:

All Our People

 

Q: When did you know you wanted to be a musician?

 

A: I’ve been singing and messing around on instruments for as long as I can remember but something strange happened when I was sixteen and I found out just the slightest bit of music theory.  I felt like I was stepping into a different world and speaking the same, mysterious language all my musical heroes were speaking.  I felt like I had joined a new club and I never wanted to leave.

 

 

Q: What is your creative process?

 

A: My creative process starts with drinking a whole bunch of coffee and messing around with my guitar or piano.  I feel around in the dark, humming melodies and fiddling on the guitar until something sounds like the beginning of a real idea.  Some melody that feels sturdy enough to build on or some group of words that sparks a song idea.  It’s just a construction job from there.  That’s how our new single ‘Waves’ came about.  Some mumble sounded like the key to a joyful idea about serious fun.  A couple hours later we’d fashioned up a whole new chapter of our musical lives.

 

Q: What is the overall theme of your album, All Our People?

 

A: The All Our People EP is about bringing people together through celebration of life.  It’s about amplifying experience across the entire spectrum of emotion so that life becomes a deeper and more exciting ride.

 

Q: Did Bob Dylan inspire your name or is there another meaning behind it?

 

A: Bob Dylan has been my favorite songwriter since I started diving deeply into his work during my college years.  I felt like if I named my band after one of his lyrics, I might be able to direct a bit of whatever spirit has been speaking through him to come through me for a while.

 

Q:  How did you and the other band members get together in the first place?

 

A: This incarnation of the band came together in Los Angeles and we all met through playing music in the bars out here.  There are so many places to see killer live music in LA and when I got out here, I just started talking with everybody I thought was great after they got off stage.  We’d jam and play some trial-shows together and then it congealed into the lineup you see today.

 

Q:  What kind of day job do you have and how does it influence your music?

 

A: I drive a bit of Uber when the music money is slow.  I like to talk with my passengers if it feels like they’re open to it.  I feel like it helps in my songwriting to get so many different people’s stories.  The more varied your perspective, the more powerfully you can write.

 

Q: Your recording is very professional sounding! How did you get the album financed?

 

A: Thank you for the kind words!  Our producer Jim Huff is indeed a master craftsman.  And a master with the budget!  He called in a lot of favors to get this record made and we had a bit of family funding for whatever we weren’t able to cover ourselves.

 

 

Q: What would you change about the music industry?

 

A: If I could change one thing about the music industry, it’d be updating the royalty rates for songwriters.  Songwriters are really getting shafted lately and it’d be nice to see the money split up more fairly.

 

Q: What is your weirdest LA story?

 

A: One of my weirdest LA stories came while driving Uber.  I picked up this guy who told me to “just drive”.  I said okay and when I looked over, he was ‘making it rain’ on Tinder.  That’s when you rapidly and indiscriminately swipe right to rack up a swath of matches.  He kept it up and I kept driving through Los Angeles until he’d found a match that met his criteria.  He must’ve been a pro sweet talker because he had her address in minutes and we headed that way.  I pulled up and he went in.  But not before asking if I’d like to join.  I told him I’d have to take a rain check.

 

Q: At which club do you most look forward to having a concert?

 

A: Since I grew up in Chicago, playing the main stage at Lollapalooza will be a pretty serious thrill.  But the Hollywood Bowl might be even more fun.

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

An Interview With Author A.J. Wright 

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A.J. Wright  is the author of Extraterrestrial Love and Lusting for Lei; here is a link to the Amazon page:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Extraterrestrial-Love-Different-J-Wright-ebook/dp/B01NBFWW7S/ref=redir_mobile_desktop?_encoding=UTF8&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&qid=1497332536&ref_=sxts_1&sr=1

 

Q: What is Extraterrestrial Love about?

 

A: It is about a young girl, named Seyai, who came to earth with her parents to find her one true love. They are aliens, that originate from a planet, named Oceana. This planet survives and thrives on love. Everyone on the planet travels at a very young age, to earth to find there one true love.

 

Q: What gave you the idea for the story?

 

A: I was 19 years old at the time, taking a medical coding and billing course. I was in the classroom, at my cubicle, on my computer and some of my classmates were talking about this new song that they loved. I couldn’t hear it clearly because they were playing it from a mp3 player. It wasn’t very loud, but from what little I did hear, the song reminded me of a fairy tale. I knew the singer as Katy Perry so when I went home that day, I was able to look up the song and hear it for myself. I fell in love with the song immediately. The words felt so incredible and powerful. The song just made me imagine and fantasize about this young, teen girl who is just too beautiful, too precious and too innocent for earth that she must be an alien, from a beautiful planet. I also thought about this powerful cosmic type of love that could overcome anything and everything, thus, Extraterrestrial Love: A different world was born.

 

Q:  What makes Seyai Narvez a competing heroine?

 

A: The fact that she is strong, never gives up on anything and believes in the most powerful force in the universe, which is love. Her courage, determination, strength and even her beauty all come from love. The love she feels, the love she has, the love she is made and born from and the love she would die for.

 

Q: What gave you the idea for Lusting for Lei?

 

A: Lusting for Lei, is very dear to me. Not a lot of people I think would find a gorgeous, Korean male running away to Europe with a young wife and son and then falling in love with a beautiful, French prince an everyday gay, romance story. The thing is I was watching a suspense, thriller Korean movie with my boyfriend. The movie is called “Memories of Murder” It is a very disturbing movie, but one of the actors was very beautiful to me. Not many times I saw a young, Korean male that was gorgeous. He was so gorgeous I thought of a male find him gorgeous as well. I thought he could be considered gay. That is when I started brainstorming the part of a French Prince I do not know where that came from it just pop into my head and I really wanted to write a short, gay erotic book and after I had the visualization in my head on what my main characters would look like I just started typing away.

 

Q: What themes does the book examine?

 

A: With Lusting for Lei, obviously I wanted it to be very passionate and sensual, so erotica was one of the main themes. However, I didn’t want that to be the main focus or all that was in the book. I want my readers to also truly feel the love, between the two main characters. Some people I have spoken with have told me they don’t believe two men can truly be in love and it is just about the sex when it is two guys, but I don’t believe in that. Love knows no boundaries in that aspect. I have always believed that two, mature men can be in love and have a healthy, beautiful relationship just as a man and woman can. Real true love is another main theme my book examines.

 

Q: Who are some of your writing influences and how can we see those influences in your work?

 

A: J.K. Rowling has always been an influence to me because of her amazing story about her life and how she created a legacy that will live on forever. I think all authors strive for that success. I admire Zane a lot. She and J.K. Rowling are the main reasons why I fell in love with reading and through that I also discovered that I love writing as well. Zane is very bold and creative in her writing. I love how she communicates with her fans. I love and started reading erotica books because of her. The imagination she has and her charisma in her writing is mesmerizing to me. I love Stephen King. There are so many questions I wish I could ask him about his genius mind. He is brilliant and a master piece to admire as an author. I don’t use any of my influences in my own work because I being unique and making my own rules in writing will always be my main goal as an author.

 

Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it influence your work?

 

A: I am a customer service agent. I work from home. A lot would assume, that because I work from home I would have a lot of time to write, but that is not true. When your an adult and you have bills and things to worry about it is hard to find time for yourself. I always make time to slip into my writing, imagination world. I just wish I had more time to do so. Hopefully, I will only have to write to make money one day, but I will always write because it is apart of my soul.

 

Q: What is the most successful thing you have done to publicize your book?

 

A: Publicizing your book is hard, especially when your not well known. Your not sure what promotion techniques will work and what company is actually real or not. It is also hard to predict what readers are looking for and you need a budget plan. When I tell people about promoting my book they tell me not to waste my money. I admit sometimes it is just not worth it with some companies, but other times with legit companies it is really profitable. After all how are people going to know about your book if your don’t promote it. I have to say the best company I have used so far is “Books Butterfly” Still I have to work harder on getting my books out there.

 

Q: What are the advantages of disadvantages of publishing on Amazon?

 

A: Advantages are everyone knows about Amazon, millions visit the site everyday and it is worldwide. Amazon does offer a lot to authors who want to self publish. Disadvantages are so many books are on that site it makes it hard for one book to stand out, unless your in the top #100 and that is hard.

 

Q:  To what character from literature would you most like to introduce Seyai?
A: Of course I would want Seyai to meet Harry Potter. I think he would have a crush on her. Katniss Evergreen and Seyai would be close friends, though Katniss would make it difficult at first.

 

 

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