Tag: Internet Movie Database

An Interview with Actor/Writer Kristen Doscher

 

kd

 

Kristen Doscher is an aspiring actress and writer who has authored two produced plays. She will be at this year’s Sundance Film Festival; here is a link to her website:

http://www.kristendoscher.com/

 

 

 

Q:  What made you interested in acting?

 

A: I can remember all the way back to my Kindergarten variety show. I was given the song “How Much is that Doggy in the Window” to sing in front of the entire school with my little toy dog. Then in 3rd and 4th grade, I think that is when the “performance bug” really kicked it. It was definitely not acting from the beginning, I just remember knowing that I had to be a performer of some sorts. So I had this dream in my head of being a “pop star.” I wanted to be on stage in Madison Square Garden dancing and singing in front of thousands of people. That to me was the ultimate dream, having all these people coming to watch little old me. All throughout elementary and middle school I was starting all girl singing groups and hoping to be the next 3LW. Slowly I realized that the dream of being on stage and really committing to this as a life goal and not just a hobby was mine and mine alone. I knew I had to go out there and pursue it. I remember one day I was sitting in my room and wondering how I could make this dream a reality and it was then that I sort of realized that there are other outlets for performers and that I wanted to try them all. So I did my research and signed up for my very first acting classes in New York City. My Dad pulled me out of school early once a week and rode the train in with me. When I got home every night, the only “homework” I was interested in doing was for the scenes we were assigned and it was a done deal from there on out.

 

Q: You wrote, produced and performed in two plays in New York, what were they and what where they about?

 

A: The first play that I had ever written premiered in The Strawberry One Act Festival and went all the way through to the finals with several nominations. The plot line is very true to the title ‘A Love Story’, as it explored the essence of love when it is fresh and new and love when it falters.

The second was a play called MOB which premiered in The Thespis Theatre Festival. MOB is the story of a young Italian American couple who breaks the break by sticking up diners (Pulp Fiction Style) all across NY State. Using different alias’ they stage fake proposals and enlist the help of a flash mob to ensure a substantial amount of hostages. But when these two unintelligent bandits turn against each other in a battle of love, money, and some pretty hip dance moves…who will win and who will make it out empty handed?

 

Q:  What inspired you to write them?

 

A: When I graduated from school and realized that from that point forward I wouldn’t always get to have a say in what roles I played, I kind of panicked. It was then that I realized how easily I could market myself the way I wanted to. I could write and create a whole world of my choosing and act along side actors of my choosing, in venues of my choosing. I think you catch my drift! The whole thought of it was very exciting and still is. I also think each play that I have written really spoke to where I was at that point in my life. When I wrote A Love Story I was in a relationship that I was terrified of loosing and the shear thought of it created a spark, an energy inside me and writing was the best way for me to express it. MOB on the other hand was my way of exploring characters with a heightened sense of reality. I really wanted to play on stage, like a kid with no boundaries, and that’s where MOB was born.

 

Q:  How did you go about getting them produced?

 

A: Getting them produced was surprisingly easy which isn’t always the case. If you are a new writer and you want to see your work up on stage in front of an audience, the easiest route to take is festivals. They provide you with a lot of the necessities and really help the process be as smooth as possible. I won’t sugar coat it though, as it can be difficult with the amount of people you have to deal with on a daily basis to get your show up and running. I also recommend using a crowd funding platform such as Indiegogo or Kickstarter. Especially if you plan to produce the show fully on your own in a venue of your choosing which is hopefully the next step for me and the cast of MOB. Taking it one step further.

 

Q:  What kind of day job or income source do you have and how does it affect your pursuit of acting?

 

A: Well this question is a bit of a doozy. It sounds a bit off the charts, but my day job tends to fluctuate and I always seem to make it work some how. There is the occasional paycheck from acting gigs here and there which is always nice and encouraging. Right now, I am working for a friend who owns a dog walking business. It really is pretty sweet. And it doesn’t feel like work which is nice! It allows me to pursue acting and make a schedule that works for me which is something every actor needs.

 

Q: What kind of training have you had?

 

A: I graduated from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts which is a two year acting conservatory geared primarily towards theater training (which I loved!!). The Academy gives you a taste of a little bit of everything, which is nice in some aspects. Every time a new semester rolled around you were given a whole new set of teachers and a whole new perspective on acting, movement, voice and speech etc! This was great because it kind of allowed you to choose which methods worked for you.

After graduating, I dabbled in a few classes and tried out other conservatories until I stumbled upon Matthew Corozine Studio Theatre. I can finally say that I found a space and a coach that created the safest environment for me to truly play as an artist! MCS is based around Sanford Meisner’s technique of living and behaving, truthfully and fully in imaginary circumstances. The technique really taught me how to get off of myself and to create this world around my scene partner. I attribute a lot to Matt, my coach. I’ll be sticking with him for a while!

 

Q:  What do you hope to achieve at Sundance this year?

 

A: Well, there are a ton of things that I would hope to achieve but I really want to go in head first with out a plan. I sometimes feel like that is when the best and most unexpected things occur. I will say that a main focus of mine is meeting as many people as I can and building my roster of contacts. When I look back to my experience at the festival last year, the greatest thing I took away was the terrific and talented people I met. Most of them I am still in contact with and will be spending time with this year! If I come back home with a pocket full of business cards, then I would have done my job right!

 

Q: What made you want to transition from theater to film?

 

A: I’ve always wanted to act in films. Growing up, theater was never something I wanted to do. Once I went away to school and began my training, everything changed and I felt this electricity every time I was on stage. I remember thinking “wow, you cannot beat this feeling” and I fell in love with the theater.  I am glad that I got the training that I did and I will always go back to the theater to continue to grow as an artist and discover new things about myself. I only use the word transition because after graduating, theater has been the bulk of my work as an actress. I want to feed my on screen career and see if it grows. I feel I owe that to my 8 year old self.

 

Q: How do you approach creating a character?

 

A: I wouldn’t say that there is one set way that I approach a character. I think there are many different factors that go into it. First, I think it depends on the type of character I am playing. I like to look for the similarities and the differences between myself and the character and then start from there. I used to try and forget “me” all together and try to become this whole other person, but over the last few years I’ve grown to realize that the character is me. I am embodying another life and taking on their struggles and triumphs as my own. Second, I think it depends on the director that you are working with. Some directors are very organic. They just want you in front of the camera or in the rehearsal space, on your feet, doing your thing. And if they love it, GREAT! And if they don’t, then they will tweak it. And I think that works marvelously for some actors because it gives them complete freedom to play. Some directors like to work as an ensemble, discovering the characters as a unit. Why they all came together, etc. What makes them who they are. What brought them to this certain point in their life. How they move in their bodies. On the last play that I wrote I worked with this terrific director, Joanna Tomasz. She was the hands on type which is the kind of director that I love to work with. Like I said, some like the organic route but I like to be pushed and pulled in different directions. I like to see my character from other peoples point of view, whether I agree or not. It’s more fun that way! Joanna introduced myself and the other actors to the Labon Technique, which is based on the belief that by observing and analyzing a characters movements, whether they are conscious or unconscious, you can uncover their inner self. It is essentially a tool to help you build the characters personality through the movement of your body. I am a firm believer in physical work when creating a character!

 

Q: What would you like to change about the film industry?

 

A: I’m almost afraid to mention it but I think there is a bit of sensitivity with feminism and woman in the work place lately. I think it is a beautiful thing that so many people feel so passionately about it because it is something that is very important and needs to be voiced. I attended an event for New York Women in Film and Television last month, where Maggie Gyllenhaal gave a marvelous and to the point speech which covered her hopes and fears when it came to this sensitive topic. She ended it by saying that change only occurs as a result of revolution. We need the beautiful, young, and naive girls of this new generation to challenge our views and fight against the current. I thought that this was an awesome way of saying “let people have their own opinions” because in the end people are going to think the way they want to and behave the way they want to and the universe is going to unfold as it may as a result of that. I think women in the industry should continue fighting for their beliefs and if they feel there is an unfair advantage or an unfair amount of opportunities for women then they should absolutely continue this crusade. I can only hope that in the next year we see more of a change and more of an understanding when it comes to this topic. I do firmly believe that art needs a women’s heart and vulnerability to thrive!

 

 

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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An Interview With Actress Jessica Lindsey Gilbert

 jessica

Jessica Lindsey Gilbert is an actress who appears in the film Spoken; here is a link to her website:
http://www.jessicalindseygilbert.com/

 

Q: What made you interested in acting?

 

A: I became interested in acting when I was about 8 years old, I remember watching the Movie E.T, and thinking I want to be an actress. The reason why is because, I thought the movie E.T. had such an amazing message. I thought here is this boy without a father and he is having trouble with his life and he really needed someone. I was without a father as well, and I related. He not only got a friend, when he needed it, he got a super friend that could feel what he felt. That friend was connected to him. I connected to the movie a lot and it helped me . So I thought I would like to grow up and be an actress, so I can tell beautiful stories through film. That was the first time I remember, realizing I was interested in Acting.

 

Q: What is Spoken about?

 

A: A group of friends that try to find balance in their rocky relationships as they deal with love, loss, betrayal and trust. This was a very unique film for me, because it was shot like a traditional film, however it had very little dialogue. Most of the films dialogue was expressed through spoken word. Spoken was a collection of poetry and spoken word that the director Stacy Lightner created over the years. Each piece was written at different stages of her life . Many of the themes expressed were issues that Stacy had dealt with personally.

 

Q: What role do you play?

 

A: I play the role of Valerie. Valerie is the young women that Micah is in love with. Valerie is a young struggling Artist, and so is Micah. Micah is in love with Valerie but chooses to not live with her, because he does not want to be a burden on her while they are still struggling. So Micah lives with a women he does not respect or Love, because she pays his bills. Valerie is in Love with Micah and wants to be with him, but does not want to be involved in his drama so she sadly has to let him go, until he leaves his current situation and changes. Even though Valerie  is heart broken by this.

 

Q: What kind of training have you had?

 

A: I have studied Method Acting techniques attributed by Lee Strasberg, Sanford Meisner, Robert Lewis and Stella Adler.

Also Meisner technique which is closely related to Method I believe.

I have also studied what is called Stanislavski’s system, which is Constantin  Stanislavski’s system of acting.

I have also done Practical Aesthetics by David Mamet.

and these are the places I have or remember taking classes, Acting Corps BootCamp 1,2 with Sydney Walsh Acting Corps North Hollywood. Actors workshop improvisation in Hollywood with Anthony Meindl, at Anthony Meindl Studios. I have also done Scene study with great actor and director Isa Totah. I studied with Doug Warhit at Castaway studios as well, and love his book. Before Coming to Hollywood, I Studied at The Tacoma School of the Arts. I studied  theater classical and Modern. On camera Technique acting and scene study with Kelly Doran For 3 years. I am currently working with a Coach I love, Robert Amico.

 

Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it affect your pursuit of acting?

 

A: All I do right now is acting, Currently I do not have a second Job, I love doing Just Acting.  It feels great pursuing my passion.

 

Q: What is your strangest on set story?

 

A: One Time I was doing a Music Video , and they put Make up on me. I had a allergic reaction to the makeup, and my whole Face swelled up. I looked like a giant Tomato.

 

Q: What famous role could you have nailed?

 

A: I think I would have been a great Actress for the Movie the Graduate, if I was around. I love that Movie, I would have loved to have been in it.

 

Q: Who are some of your acting influences?

 

A: Katherine Hepburn

Meryl Streep

Ingrid Bergman

Grace Kelly

Bette Davis

Audrey Hepburn

Dianne Keaton

Joan Fountain

Faye Dunaway

Susan Hayworth

Elizabeth Taylor

Marilyn Monroe

Sophia Loren

Jodie Foster

shirley Maclaine

Julia Roberts

Diane Lane

Angelina Jolie

Jennifer Lawrence

Nicole Kidman

Charlize Theron

Halle berry

Kate winslet

Cate Blanchett

 

 

Q: What would you change about the film industry?

 

A: When People are really Famous, I would hope paparazzi wouldn’t take unwanted photos of their Children, other than that I love the industry and Love Acting.

 

Q: What do you think is more important, looks or talent?

 

A: Talent.

 

 

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 Writer Renee Y. Brown

renee y. brown

Renee Y. Brown is a writer of Writer of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction who publishes her work on Subversify.com , here is a link to her LinkedIn page:

 

https://www.linkedin.com/pub/renee-y-brown/6/682/86b

 

 

 

 

 

Q: What made you want to be a writer?

 

A: It wasn’t a deliberate decision, like I said “I want to be a writer,” like someone would say “I want to be lawyer” or “I want to be a teacher” or whatever. It’s more like it’s impossible for me to not be a writer. Before I could read or write my mom read books to me or I saw movies and TV shows that sparked my imagination and I would make up my own stories and characters and act them out, sometimes with friends, sometimes alone. As soon as I could write I started to write stories. So it wasn’t a decision. I was born this way.

Q: What is the overall theme of Beauty and the Beast?

 

A: That poem, published September 3 at Subversify.com, http://subversify.com/2014/09/03/the-beast-of-beauty/ was actually a re-written version of a poem I wrote in 1976. I was born and grew up in Los Angeles. The pressure to be physically attractive is an intrinsic and palpable part of the social culture there, then and now. In 1976 I was 18 and attended junior college. I was slightly overweight and had acne so I felt like the most hideous creature on earth. I’d never dated a guy or had one touch me. I was sitting in the cafeteria one afternoon and saw the most gorgeous guy, downright beautiful. He had pitch-black hair and sparkling ocean-blue eyes and perfect features. After 38 years I still remember. I came to the cafeteria at the same time every day because he was always there with his friends. He never saw me. I wrote ‘Beauty and the Beast’ with him as the beauty and me as the beast. Funny, but this is the first time I’ve ever told that story to anyone. When I went into the army a few years later I found out I wasn’t as ugly as L.A. thought I was. Today the poem is no longer personal but I re-wrote it in my current style and made it the opening poem of a sequence of three published by Subversify.com under the overall title ‘The Beast of Beauty.’ The sequence is a journey, from the woman in ‘Beauty and the Beast’ seeing herself as ugly and unworthy while dreaming of the unattainable prince, to the second poem, ‘Mirror, Mirror,’ which is about how fairy tales warp girls into judging themselves only by their appearance and to associate physical unattractiveness with evil and outward beauty with good. The last poem is ‘A Kiss from the Prince,’ which is about spiritual and metaphysical transformation into true beauty. In 1976 I was the woman in ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ Today I am the woman in ‘A Kiss From the Prince.’ I have gray hair and wrinkles and I’m invisible to the world so outwardly I’m right back where I was in 1976, but now, my face doesn’t matter. It’s irrelevant. My face is not who I am. My words are who I am. I know the true prince and I know I am loved.

Q: Who are some of your influences?

 

A: Influences for poetry are Erica Jong, Adrienne Rich, and Marge Piercy. For fiction, I used to read science fiction and fantasy in the 80’s and 90’s, so I was influenced by the great women authors of the genre: Ursula K. Le Guin, Andre Norton and Joan Vinge. I don’t have any authors I follow anymore, there’s just too much stuff published these days and it doesn’t come close to the quality of the great authors I mentioned. My own fiction is so particular (maybe even peculiar) and quirky and unique that it doesn’t even fit into any genre niche. Maybe ‘quantum-metaphysical-romance-science fiction-fantasy-erotica,’ or something.

Q: What is Subversify.com?

 

Subversify.com is AWESOME. It is my BFF. It’s an online magazine that has everything: news and commentary from all political perspectives; personal essays and memoirs; reviews; travel articles; fiction and poetry; even cartoons. I like the open format that allows writers from both ends of the political spectrum and all points in between a forum to express their views. There is a lot of reader feedback so it is a very interactive publication. Their sub-heading is “A subversive retort to biased media, promoting free speech & the right to question.” And they do all this with humor that is razor sharp, irreverent and always brilliant. Subversify is a cooperative owned by Mitchell Warren, Karla Fetrow and Grainne Rhuad. Mitchell is CEO and Karla and Grainne are editors, writers and general curators of the site. Grainne is my editor and she works with me in a cooperative way that lets me be me and that’s something I appreciate. She’s a webpage genius and designs the pages for my poetry which is no easy task when I use odd formatting or have lines that are longer than the page is wide. Somehow she makes it all work and adds the perfect images to go with my pieces. Although I’ve never met her face-to-face I consider her a friend. Karla writes insightful and intriguing articles on subjects not covered by the mainstream media. Mitchell is an all-around cool dude with a great sense of humor. When I first submitted to Subversify in 2010 he advocated for my story ‘The Second Amendment Solution’ http://subversify.com/2010/09/24/a-randomized-sample-study-of-resistance-by-citizens-to-the-triumph-of-the-socio-political-movement-known-as-the-%e2%80%98second-amendment-solution%e2%80%99/ and it was published and I’ve been with them ever since.

Q: What made you select it as your platform?

 

A: I honestly can’t remember how I found Subversify. It was in 2010 and I had written the short story ‘The Second Amendment Solution’ and I was probably looking for places to submit it and stumbled upon Subversify. However I got there, I don’t believe in random coincidence. I believe in synchronicity and that things happen for a reason so I and Subversify were meant to be. I submitted the story and they liked it and published it and the story received good feedback from readers. Mitchell encouraged me to submit more, and as I sometimes joke about myself, ‘don’t invite me for a free meal unless you’re serious because I will take you up on it,’ so I kept submitting stuff and they kept publishing it. Certainly having Grainne as my editor keeps me coming back because it’s such a pleasure to work with her. Of course I like the publication itself, I like that it stands for free speech and is open to all points of view. And of course I like them because they like my work! It’s sort of my literary home now, for shorter works anyway, like ‘The Earth Show’ http://subversify.com/2013/12/27/the-earth-show/ I have novellas and novels that I will probably self-publish. But for poetry and short stories Subversify is my go-to place. I love those guys!

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

 

A: I don’t have a job at all. I am a disabled veteran on VA disability. When I was able to work I was a newspaper reporter. I loved the actual work and if I ever did anything meaningful in writing beyond personal meaning it was as a reporter. But I hated the corporate structure and working with editors who didn’t care about the quality of their work. I also saw the end coming in the mid-2000’s because 21st technology made newspapers archaic. I have no nostalgia for the dead newspaper industry. For decades I saved copies of newspapers with my stories in them. Last year I finally threw them all out, every single one.

Q: You were a photo journalist in the military; what were some of your most memorable assignments?

 

A: I had no memorable assignments in the army as a photographer. I’m a woman. I spent four years mostly in a darkroom developing film and printing photos taken by men. The good assignments where you actually shot photos that got published with your byline, those jobs went to men. I became an army journalist only after I got out of the active duty (full-time) army and went into the army reserves. My reserve unit sent me to the military’s journalism school in 1985. I did nothing memorable in the reserves either. That doesn’t mean I’m not affected by having been in the military. I’m on VA disability now. Enough said.

Q: What trends in poetry annoy you?

 

A: Snobbery in literary poetry annoys me. Literary writers and university professors would not consider my poetry ‘real’ poetry because I often use rhyme and right now rhyming is anathema in poetry. It’s considered to be at the level of pop song lyrics which of course they also look down upon. I don’t give a damn what the snobs think. I’m not writing to please literary critics. I’m writing first of all to please and satisfy myself. I’m also writing for the reading pleasure of people who are turned off by the snobbery and obscure metaphorical language of literary poetry. My poems don’t need to be ‘interpreted.’ The reader knows exactly what I’m saying and what I mean when they read the poem. I respect the intelligence of my readers and I hope they simply enjoy reading my stuff. Reading shouldn’t be ‘work,’ it should be fun.

Q: What is your process for writing a poem?

 

A: Process? What process? Just kidding. It varies according to the poem. Like I said earlier, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ was inspired by direct personal experience. Some are commentaries on subjects I feel strongly about, like the obsession with physical beauty in our culture. Sometimes an idea just pops into my mind. And sometimes I sit down with the intention to write a poem and either it happens or it doesn’t happen. I can give examples of each. Obviously ‘Mirror, Mirror’ is a commentary poem. ‘Fairly Tales’ http://subversify.com/2012/09/13/fairly-tales/ is a narrative poem in three parts that takes three major fairy tales, ‘Sleeping Beauty,’ ‘Cinderella,’ and ‘Snow White,’ retold by other women within each tale through totally different interpretations. I like taking traditional subjects like fairy tales and deconstructing then reconstructing them in my own way. In that sense those are also commentary poems expressing my point of view. A very personal poem was ‘I Had Sisters Once’ http://subversify.com/2013/02/07/i-had-sisters-once-do-not-publish-until-after-feb-8th/ That one was difficult to write because I was expressing some very deep emotions and beliefs. As a side note to the reason why I love Subversify as my poetry platform, a reader, ‘Rich in PA,’ left this comment about that poem: “wow … how painful to read and now know … we all make choices, sometimes for no reason at all, that I think haunt every breath and every moment as a silent echo that blurs our memory. Powerful work here … the reason I visit Subversify often …” That’s better than money to me and shows what I mean about respecting my reader’s intelligence and hoping that they get something valuable out of their reading experience. Another narrative poem, ‘Michael,’ http://subversify.com/2012/01/26/michael/ was based on a character from one of my novels but as I wrote it the character morphed into the Archangel Michael and the narrative into social commentary and eventually ended up as a love poem. That was just following the inspiration of the creative process in the moment. Then I have groups of poems, like ‘The Beast of Beauty,’ that are on the same subject. ‘Here and Hereafter’ http://subversify.com/2011/01/25/here-and-hereafter/ are poems about death and the afterlife. Some are personal (‘King of White Roses’), some are my own ponderings on the subject (‘If,’ ‘The End of the Line’). ‘Today’s The Day’ http://subversify.com/2012/02/16/todays-the-day/ are poems on romantic love. I wrote ‘Today’ just for fun because it’s about an older woman seducing a younger man using principals of quantum physics to prove her point. ‘The Gospel of Jon’ is from my personal experience of first love. ‘In Translation’ is dialog taken from another novel in which an American woman explains to her British boyfriend the subtle differences in the same language that can lead to misunderstandings but ultimately to the same conclusion—love. Despite all the poetry my main focus is writing fiction. Poems just sort of pop up now and then. So basically I guess the answer I gave at the beginning of this question applies, ‘what process?’ Like life, poetry happens.

Q: If you could take a road trip with Sylvia Plath or T.S. Elliot who would you pick and why?

 

A: That’s a difficult question because there are pros and cons with both. Since you’re talking about a road trip and not dinner or just having coffee I’d probably rather be cooped up in a car for a long time with T.S. Eliot. After all, I put a quote from him on my Linked-In page header: “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” I believe in that. I believe consciousness is infinite and eternal. The things valued in this world—money, possessions, status, power, fame, looks—are all temporary and will end or turn to dust. Only those who will risk thinking, imagining, and doing that which is far beyond the limitations of this world will find out, without having to die first, that how far one can go is limitless.

 

 

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 Filmmaker Bidisha Chowdhury

Bidisha_Chowdhury_Pic

 

 

Bidisha Chowdhury owns BeautifulCircle Productions and is the director of the upcoming  film Adaline; here is a link to the company’s website:

 

 

http://www.beautifulcircleproductions.com/

 

Q: What made you interested in filmmaking?

 

A: When I was young, I lived in Kolkata, India. I was always mesmerized by films but there weren’t any kids’ movies playing at the theatres like we have today. The films were all geared towards adults so instead I used to read tons of story books even hiding from my parents to do so. When I read books as a child I used to imagine stories in film format in my mind to amuse myself.

 

From all the books I read I had a lot of ideas for stories but there was no creative outlet for them. Decades later after moving to the US I started writing my stories in script format. Then when I finally found an opportunity I started getting involved with the film making process through working on numerous short films.

 

Starting from 2006, I worked on several sets doing different jobs and this is where I got my start. Then I decided to make my own short films and I wrote and directed two of my own 30 minute shorts in 2010 and one short in 2012. Still at that stage, never ever thinking that one day I could ever make my own full length feature film.

 

 

Q: What is Adaline about?

 

A: It’s about a young struggling artist Daniela who inherits an old house from a distant aunt who she never knew existed. Daniela moves into her Aunt’s house in San Andreas and she eventually meets some of the locals. Life seems perfect.

 

While staying in her house, Daniela has a series of bizarre dreams. She also finds a 100 year old diary of a young woman, Adaline, who used to live in the same house with her father and two sisters during the early 1900’s. Adaline also left some cryptic prophecies hidden away in the attic.

 

Later Daniela finds out more about Adaline in that she had special powers and could supposedly see into the future. Her premonitions used to come true and the local people called her the village witch of San Andreas. Did Adaline see something really terrifying in Daniela’s future? Is that the reason why she is trying to reach Daniela through the dreams, diary and written prophecies?

 

 

Q: What inspired you to write it?

 

A: Story and believable characters are important to me.  I’ve read many stories since I was a child and I’ve always liked stories based on a different time period. After doing a lot of research and thinking, I based my story on three sisters, their relationships with each other and how they all died at a young age. I used that as a starting point for the rest of my story where I extended it further by making the youngest of the three sisters have psychic abilities where she could see into the future. I used this as the core theme where this psychic sister from 100 years ago foresaw an impending doom for a modern day girl who recently moved into the very same house where the three sisters used to live.

 

My inspiration for believable characters comes from certain interesting people I’ve met along the way. For example, when I was growing up in India there was an older lady who was our neighbor. She was nice but very curious about other people’s business. So I wanted to incorporate personality trait into Becky’s character where I made Becky into a small town nosey lady.

 

A while back I met a younger guy who was very nice and sweet. He was slightly mentally challenged and talked in a very unique way. Then years later I met another guy who used to work in a shop I often went to. His mannerism, his body language and his clothes caught my eye. The color combination of his clothes didn’t match and the style of clothing was not contemporary but he didn’t realize it. So when I was writing the script I combined these two people into one and that’s how my Marvin’s character got started.

 

Q: Why do you think dreams are such a popular theme in literature and film?

 

A: From the oldest literary styles to contemporary literature and films, dreams have always fascinated writers, readers and the audience. I guess it’s because our life is two-fold where sleep has its own magical world where dreams have no boundaries.

 

In this film Daniela is haunted by dreams. However, those dreams do actually add to the plot in the story. The tormented, sad soul of Adaline is still present in the house that Daniela recently moved into but Daniela is not able to see or feel Adaline’s presence. Only the audience is able to see Adaline’s spirit. So the dreams in this movie are really a communication channel where Adaline, from her spirit world, is trying to reach out to Daniela in her current day mortal world to try to warn Daniela about an impending doom.

 

Q: What makes Daniela a compelling heroine?

 

A: Without giving away who the antagonist is there are actually several hero’s/heroine’s in this movie but the safest one I can talk about is Adaline, the girl from 100 years ago. Adaline was a young woman, who lived with her two sisters and drunk father.

 

Adaline had to endure the torment of her father and the local people from her village who all thought she was a witch simply because she had visions of the future. She was physically abused by her father and during all this time she had visions of terrible things happening to a girl 100 years in the future (Daniela). Adaline took all the torment dealt out to her from everyone and still tried to help Daniela by leaving her messages throughout her house and by other means.

 

Q: What is your creative process?

A: During the script writing process I visualize in my mind as to how each scene should play out in detail including the intensity level of the acting as well as the naturalness and flow in the acting and many more variables. So I try to guide my actors to execute on my vision but I also allow them to have the freedom to improvise to see if we can capture something special.

Above all, the actors need to come across very naturally and free flowing and not get stressed over memorizing every word in the script as I don’t want them to look mechanical.

 

Q: What inspired you to start your own production company?

 

A: The company was set up to produce films which have a strong story because basically we are story tellers. BeautifulCircle Productions has a powerful team comprising many talented individuals that complement one another. Film production is always team work.

We want our films to appeal to audiences of all ages and demographic as our central philosophy is simply to have a great story.

 

Q: What kind of day jobs have you had and how do they affect your filmmaking?

 

A: I manage rental properties where I can manage my own time and so I can accommodate my filmmaking efforts.

 

 

Q: What are some lessons you learned when making your first short film?

A: An important lesson I learnt is to have the “right” team with you. The right team does not necessarily mean that everyone needs to be super experienced in their field. Of course for the technical positions you need to have a lot of experience and know what you’re doing but sometimes some very experienced people come with a lot of baggage such as having the wrong attitude or they may be inflexible or just plain hard to work with.

 

You specifically asked me about my “short” film experience. As a form, the short narrative film is audacious. It does not bow down to a feature because of the brevity in short films. Its succinctness is its power. During the making of my three short films I learnt how to utilize my limited resources and make something cool out of almost nothing.

 

Making short films helped me save time and money when making Adaline. It provided me with the experience and confidence to make bigger movies with greater efficiency. Making short films was good practice for my feature film. I learned a lot doing them.

 

 

Q: What is your opinion of Mallika Sherawat statements about women in film in India?

 

A: Indian women have always faced many challenges in the film industry and the cultural differences between the east and west creates constraints on what is acceptable for that time. As time passes things do change. The first Indian films had men playing the female acting roles starting as far back as 1913. That eventually changed with women playing the lead female roles. The first female Indian director was Fatma Begun who directed her first film in 1926. Can you imagine the extreme challenges these women must have faced. My total respect goes out to them.

 

So whatever challenges women in film face today the trailblazers of the past have broken down many barriers but there are still more changes that will undoubtedly happen. Because of India’s culture (which one must respect), the majority of Indians are currently not used to seeing their lead actresses cross certain boundaries of romance and passion. This is the reason the majority of Indian filmmakers are staying within these boundaries. That may change in the future, we’ll just have to wait and see.

 

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 Comedian And Actor Brett Klein

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Brett Klein is a comedian and actor who was a member of the Second City Teen Troupe; here is a link to his website:

 

http://www.brettkline.com/Brett_Kline/Home.html

 

 

 

 

 

Q: What made you want to be a comedian?

 

A: I was in a school play when I was 8 and got the biggest laugh of the show. The crowd’s roar felt better than anything I had experienced. I was okay at sports, but never a star… So, this was the first place I got real praise. I began making kids laugh in class, and then eventually my teacher recommended I take improv camps at The Second City in Detroit. As soon as I turned 12, I made my parents sign me up for the teen camp and knew from that moment on I wanted to make people laugh for a living. I was eventually selected for The Second City’s Teen Troupe, but then it disbanded when the theater closed down. I was 16 and hungry to get on stage, so I started doing stand up.

 

Q: How were you selected to be in Second City’s teen troupe?

 

A: I probably took more summer programs than anyone else in The Second City’s youth training center. I remember they let me take an extra camp for free once, because they needed more people. I placed into their advanced summer class and then was invited to audition for the teen troupe. The troupe had a short run, with practices every week and a show once a month.

 

Q: To what method of acting do you ascribe?

 

A: I received my BFA in Acting from Michigan State University, which teaches a number of methods. I’ve been trained in classical, contemporary, musical theatre, film and commercial. We learned various tools and exercises in vulnerability, listening, scoring, voice, movement, etc… Just the workload from that degree and performing in shows makes you a more disciplined actor. We learn about Stanislavski and “method acting”, but I (as well as my professors) have mixed feelings about the concept. It is useful to live offstage as your character for exercises and to learn more about how your character would respond in different situations. However, it is also important to be able to turn it off and not lose yourself. Don’t be a jerk to your cast and crew. Also, the most interesting part of acting to watch is an honest reaction between two scene partners. If you are so obsessed with just your own character, you will lose the objective and connection with your scene partner – this will create a very two-dimensional performance.

 

 

Q: What makes your stand up routine unique?

 

A: I incorporate music and spoken bits, which are inspired from my life and other random thoughts. My act has been described as “comedy with ADD”. I often will bring up a guitar and play original songs and raps, with jokes scattered in between. Just out of college, a fair amount of material has been inspired from college life. I try to bring a lot of energy to the stage and make it a performance with some physical comedy rather than just a guy reciting jokes. This is particularly the case in my rap song, “Kosher Sausage”.

 

Q: Who are some of your comedic influences?

 

A: Stand Up:

Stephen Lynch, Flight of the Conchords, Steve Martin, Mitch Hedberg, Patton Oswalt, Eddie Murphy, Louis CK, Dave Chappelle, Robin Williams, Jim Jefferies and Bill Cosby.

 

Sketch:

Chris Farley, John Belushi, Dana Carvey, Mike Myers, Adam Sandler, Chevy Chase, Will Ferrell and Dan Aykroyd.

 

Also, a number of national headliners who aren’t as famous, but I’ve worked with and/or seen a lot:

J Chris Newberg, Dave Landau, Bill Bushart, Chris D’Elia, Buddy Bolton.

 

Q: How do you deal with a heckler?

 

A: I’ve only had a malicious heckler a few times. People usually just think they’re helping the show or are just drunk and talking a lot. There are stock lines, like, “I don’t slap the dick out of your mouth while you’re trying to make a living,” or, “How about we switch places, where you come on stage and I’ll go in the parking lot and blow four dudes!” …While lines like these can be helpful if you’re stuck, sometimes it’s better to ask the heckler questions and figure out why they’re being such a dingus. It’s not a normal thing to heckle and usually they will make themselves vulnerable and sound like an idiot on their own. Also, the crowd typically hates hecklers unless the comic is ignorant and racist. So they are usually on your side no matter what you say. Even if a comic is bombing, crowds typically feel bad for him/her as a human being and don’t want to see a heckler win. Sometimes though, people just suck and you might have a bad night. Just get up and do it again.

 

Q: What is The King about?

 

A: The King is a comedy/thriller shot in Detroit and written by Dave Landau (Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central), Sebastian Oberst (Bones, Weeds) and director Ken Kuykendall. It’s a coming of age tale about a kid who gets his first car. Him and his three other friends go on an adventure in the projects of Detroit and all hell breaks loose. You can read about it and watch the trailer at the link below:

 

http://www.absrdcomedy.com/2014/08/05/first-glimpse-king/

 

Q: What role do you play?

 

A: I play the nerdy Matt Kegler, who is the best friend of Jesse (the protagonist). Matt is one of the four leads and is essentially the embodiment of high school insecurity. Friends and popularity are a battle for him, which is why he is so loyal to Jesse. Him and Klaw (Jesse’s other friend) hate each other and there is constant tension. While in many ways Matt is a weak character with bad luck, he also has a sense of bravery and strength in that he will stand up for what he believes is right. Much of the comedic relief comes at his expense. When I read the script, I knew this was exactly the type of movie I wanted to work on. Matt really reminded me of myself in high school. I was very excited when Dave gave me the role.

 

 

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

 

A: My day job is working as a freelance comedy writer for United Stations Radio Networks. I write parody songs and audio sketches for radio stations around the country. The company has a phenomenal writing team with award winning comics from around the city. I interned there last summer and began submitting scripts. They started accepting some and helped me workshop sketches. Once I left, they kept taking my material and I began making decent money. I moved back to NYC after graduation, so I could pursue stand up, acting and come into the studio to write. I’m the rookie on the team and it’s given me sort of a home base in the city. It’s really beneficial, because I get paid to work on my craft for a different format. Also, it’s a great place for me to network with other comics and performers in NYC.

 

 

Q: What’s funny about NYC?

 

A: NYC is ridiculous. The amount of insanity you witness every day is entertaining and often disturbing. Just a few days ago, I saw a guy masturbating in public right outside of the office. In addition to the crazies of NYC, the comedy scene there is probably the best in the world. You can get on stage multiple times in a night and there are tons of clubs and venues. Someone who’d be a headliner in the Midwest will pop in for an open mic. I’ve had to follow established comics from Comedy Central, The Tonight Show, MTV, HBO etc. It really makes you step up your game to keep up. Crowds are also tougher in NY than in Michigan. You need much harder hitting and tight material to get booked in NYC. The best of the best are there, and clubs can book them easily. I was getting booked to feature and MC regularly in the Midwest. Now, I feel like I’m starting back at square one. There is a lot of bad comedy in NYC, but also a hell of a lot more great comedy. It’s everything x1000, which makes it more difficult to stand out. It’s making me realize how far I’ve come, but also how far I still have to go.

 

 

 

 

 

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 One One 7 Owner Jason Davis

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Jason Davis is an entertainment manager and the founder of One One 7 which represents some major talent; here is a link to his website:

http://oneone7.com/

 

 

Q:  What kind of services do you provide there at One One 7?

 

A: One One 7 is an international entertainment company with offices in the US, UK, Canada, and South Korea. We are also a full service artist development company specializing in the creation and execution of a product. We represent over 150 of the industry’s top hit songwriters, producers, actors, photographers, and video directors. One One 7 also has a licensing division where music is shopped to television and film.

 

 

Q:  What is your professional background?

 

A: I have over fifteen years of experience in the entertainment industry. I started out as an award winning songwriter, and eventually pursued the business as a manager, A&R executive, TV producer, and an entertainment consultant. In the early stages of my career, I secured record deals with some of the largest music companies in the world, including Capitol Records, Sony, Interscope, Island / Def Jam, Epic, Atlantic, RCA, and J Records. Between 2007 and 2011 I also served as the Senior Vice President of CTK Management, who represents Dolly Parton.

 

Q:  What inspired you to start you own company?

 

A: To start, I was inspired to start One One 7 because of my love for music and my passion for developing talent. Unfortunately in this industry there are people and companies that are really only concerned with making money; they couldn’t care less about the artist and the product. I was inspired to start One One 7 because I believe in passionately fighting for quality. Our team is dedicated to serving our clients and fighting for them every single day to create opportunities for them to succeed.

Q:  How did you go about convincing your old clients to come along with you to the new company?
 

A: We work very hard to maintain close working relationships with all of our clients. The artists I have been working with for years are loyal and they followed my career transitions. It didn’t take much convincing.

 

 

 

Q:  What are some common mistakes actors make when first publicizing themselves?

 

 

A: Good question. I find most aspiring talent in general whether it be recording artists or actors tend to get caught up working with the wrong people and following the wrong advice. Your team and their track record is vital to your success in this business. Also, over the years I’ve seen talent not put enough focus and work into the quality of what they’re presenting to the public or to executives. There needs to be a high level of dedication and effort put into their craft and product.

 

 

Q:  How do you go about getting a song placed in a film or on a show?
 

A: The key to getting a song placed in TV or film is to promote the song as much as you can independently and gain as much exposure as possible. Submitting your song to various non-exclusive synch companies is a great way to increase the chances of getting placed. One One 7 also has a licensing division and we shop our client’s music to TV and film for placement opportunities.

 

Q:  What do you look for in a client?

 

A: Passion, hardworking, likability, persistence, loyal, and talent.

 

 

Q:  What is the most original thing you have seen someone do to break into show business?

 

A: That’s a tough one! I’d say as of recent the most original thing I’ve seen is PSY’s “Gangnam Style.” The dance was original and it caused a worldwide firestorm. You can’t argue with 2 billion YouTube views!
 

Q:  What would you change about the entertainment industry?

 

A: Top 40 radio playlists used to be localized. Now when you turn on the radio, the networks are completely nationalized. You hear the same programming no matter where you are in the country. Radio is no longer a tool that can break a local artist because of this. I’d also like to see young artists focusing on the craft of songwriting and performance rather than trying to manufacture popularity online. The internet is an incredible tool for promotion. However, at the end of the day if you can’t emulate the sounds on your record when you perform live and you can’t draw an audience to a show, that popularity and amount of “likes” on Facebook really doesn’t mean anything. There is not enough emphasis on the craft.

 

Q:  You have some major actors on your roster. What’s the difference between promoting a famous person and promoting an obscure person; Amber Riley vs. me for example.
 

A: Promoting a famous person is always easier being that people are familiar. Working with someone who is unknown is always a grueling process in the beginning. It’s a fight in the beginning, but we like the fight because it’s a high risk high reward challenge.

 

 

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 Location Managers Guild of America Director of Communications J.J. Levine

 

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J.J. Levine is the Director of Communications for The Location Managers Guild of America; here is a link to its website:

 

http://locationmanagers.org/ 

Q: What made you interested in becoming a locations manager?

 

A: I like being really challenged at work and Location Managing definitely does that! It’s the perfect right-brained, left brained job to fit my personality. Scouting fulfills the creative, artistic side because you are storytelling through your photography. Managing requires juggling a lot of tasks, working with logistics and being solution oriented. As a Location Manager, I am always dealing with different personalities who are either a part of your production or the general public.

 

Q: What is a locations library?

 

A: There are two definitions, really. A “library” aka “location service” is an agent/manager for homes, businesses, ranches and other locations that want filming. Most scouts also keep our own libraries, which more often than not, saves clients money and time because we can “pull” files many more files to show than we could scout in the same period of time.

 

Q: What are the most important pieces of information a location library can have about a certain location?

 

A: For me – it’s the personality of the owner/manager as it relates to filming; the “film friendly” nature (or not) of the neighborhood and any unique permit parameters. For example, there are locations in Los Angeles where 1 side of the street is one permit authority and the other side is another.  If you don’t know and you are short of time, you can hit a problem with “delivering” a location like this. The more info we have ahead of time, the better.

 

Q: What are some common mistakes independent filmmakers make when choosing a location?

 

A: That’s a great question. I think it would be not realizing the “hidden” costs before you got into filming somewhere – like falling in love with a home and finding out the artwork and the furniture, which is why you chose that location – are not part of the deal and even worse, they want you to pay professional “white glove” movers to have them removed during filming and put back afterwards. This is why you hire a Location Manager, because we clarify these issues before they become a problem.

 

Q: What was your most challenging job as a locations manager?

 

A: Our job is funny that way. When I am in the middle of a situation, it is consuming and “mission critical”, but we do so much, so fast, that you have to let things go very quickly. Two days later, I can barely remember the issue. We are just always jumping over one hurdle after another until the job is done.   The big difference between Location Mangers and other crewmembers is that the crew, for the most part, is all on the same agenda and working with each other. Location Managers have to work with the crew, but also the public-at-large – whose own agendas are not always in alignment with ours. For example, the other day we were shooting in a restaurant and one of their patrons refused to leave – or even just move out of the shot. The restaurant manager didn’t want to insult his regular customer and wouldn’t force him out of the way of our shot. After offering to buy him lunch and trying everything I could think of to convince the patron to move, we finally we gave up and put some extras hovering right next to his table so we couldn’t see him and his guests – and kept rolling.

 

 

Q: What made you interested in working for the Locations Managers Guild?

 

A: I’m a volunteer, just like the rest of us who “work” for the Guild, with one exception. We recently created a paid administrator position last year.   Location Scouting and Managing can be kind of a lonely profession in many cases. We often work alone – or in small teams, so there isn’t a lot of natural networking or training in this profession. Through the Guild, I was able to meet and commune with other location pros. I was able to ask and provide advice, participate in seminars and Fam tours and learn a lot more about every aspect of our job.

 

Q: Yours is a relatively new guild, what prompted location manages to finally organize?

 

A: I should distinguish that we are a Guild of Professionals not a Union that establishes and negotiates for wages, etc. In addition to the camaraderie and opportunities to commune with fellow professionals, the Guild came together to help develop a higher level of professional standards, as well as support our members in their creative endeavors. Our Mission Statement tells it all:

 

The Location Managers Guild of America is an organization of experienced career professionals in the motion picture, television, commercial and print production industries. We are dedicated to the establishment of professional standards of personal conduct and business ethics. We support the formation of strong links with business members, governmental agencies and local communities. The Guild promotes awareness of the goals and achievements of our members to the general public and within the industry through creative, educational, and philanthropic programs.

 

Q: What are the benefits of membership?

 

A: I think everyone gets something different out of his or her membership in the Guild. When I joined, it was the opportunity to feel connected to a network of location professionals both socially and professionally. For others it’s the opportunity to participate in photo shows, educational or other events that support people in our profession.   Members also get quarterly issues of The LMGA COMPASS magazine, which is an insider’s glimpse and celebration of our profession, with a strong emphasis on photography. Lastly, membership offers tangible discounts at certain camera stores and other businesses that support our goals.

 

 

Q: What are your personal goals as Director of Communications?

 

A: My personal goals are to continue to grow the guild and support our members in all of their creative endeavors. In addition to being scouts and managers, a lot of our members are amazing photographers, artists or performers and filmmakers and we are super supportive of that.   My other goals would be to continue to increase awareness of our trade and to expand our membership nationally and internationally.

 

 

Q: What is your weirdest Hollywood story?

 

A: When I was just starting out – I worked on a show with Oprah Winfrey called, “The Big Give”.   The objective of the show was for teams of contestants to help people in need. The Producer said to me, “I need you to permit every city in Southern California,” and I laughed and told him to let me know when he knew where we were filming. 2 days later he came to me and asked me how it was going. He was serious! So I got on the stick. This was in the fairly early days of reality TV – so a lot of cities didn’t know how to deal with it – and really, neither did I. I enlisted the aid of a permit service, and midway through the job, I got a call that if we went to a certain city, the police would be looking for us – and would have us arrested. Turns out our permit service didn’t exactly communicate our needs very well – and the city thought we wanted to shut down a whole area within the city. Of course, when the city knew the real story – they welcomed us with open arms – but the idea of Oprah Winfrey being arrested still gives me a bit of a giggle (but only AFTER I knew it would never really happen, of course)!

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