Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Update on Filmmaker Jamin Winans

"Spin" Fans,

"Spin" is finally available on DVD! You can finally see it on a screen larger than a credit card. Yes, I know what you're thinking, "What a perfect Christmas gift for everyone I know!" Well don't be shy. For just a limited time (several years) we have the "Spin" DVD available with amazing bonus features like:

- A pointless director commentary from writer/director Jamin Winans
- Less than impressive behind the scenes stills of the production
- Shameless plugs for our other films
- And the new extended and long awaited trailer for "11:59" (That's right, see it here first)

Wow, what does all this cost? For just one easy payment of $12.99 (US) plus shipping and handling "Spin" can be yours, just click below to order. ORDER HERE "Spin" will soon be on its way to your house, or friend's house, or enemy's house if you really don't like the movie.

Don't forget, "Spin" is also a great stocking stuffer as well as shelf decoration, coaster, door jam, paper weight, serving dish, and our favorite, wallpaper when you buy hundreds of copies.

The Double Edge Films Folks Double Edge Films

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

TONIGHT!!! La Peña Cultural Center presents El Velo de Berta / The Veil of Berta

A film by director Esteban Larraín about the Mapuche resistance to the Ralco Dam on the Bio Bio River in Chile. Jeannette Paillán, Mapuche filmmaker and producer of the film will be at the screening for a Q&A period. Wednesday, November 16, 2005. 7:30pm. Suggested Donation: $5 - no one turned away for lack of funds. At La Peña, 3105 Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley, CA. 510-849-2568 www.lapena.org

The Veil of Berta, is a delicate narration of the story of Berta Quintreman, an elderly indigenous women who at the age of 88 lead the last group opposing the constrtuction of the Ralco project, a gigantic dam that will stop the flow of the Bio Bio River, and flood the land where her native Mapuche Pewenche community, Ralco Lepoy, have lived for centuries.

A woman with a strong personality and a unique blend of humor and energy, Berta lives alone on her small pieces of land, and observes all the traditions of her people. On a daily basis she greets the trees and the sun, takes mate (a typical herbal tea) with her dead and says her prayers. But at the same time she confronts the authorities of Endesa and the government, manages to halt the machinery and works together with other families to prevent the flooding of their land.

Joris Ivens Competition IDFA 2004- Holland
Ramsar - Award, Best Documentary
V Festival Ecofilms, Greece
1st Mention of the Jury 3 Continents Film Festival, Italy

Jeannette Paillán, Director of the Mapuche community organization Lulul Mahuida, is a Mapuche filmmaker and journalist. She served as festival coordinator of the 7th Festival of Indigenous Film and Video (2004, Santiago, Chile). Her films have been screening internationally since 1994, and her documentary Wallmapu, the first documentary entirely directed and produced by Mapuche, was awarded at the 2003 Human Rights Film Festival in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

STORM (Saturday, November 19th)

Chillin Productions and Effection Presents:

Raising funds for Habitat For Humanity and Rebuilding Together


100 Fashion Designers
+ 20 Fashion designers on a 60 foot runway
60 Artists

Film by Microcinema International

Music by
DJ Jax, Dirtyhertz, Dave Madix, Kerowack, Splice
Lars (The Slanted Door) + More

When: Saturday November 19, 2005
From 8:00pm- 1:30am
Where: Fort Mason (Enter at Buchanan and Marina then go to Herbst Pavilion Pier 2)

$10 minimum Donation (100% of the money will go to Habitat For Humanity and Rebuilding Together for those effected by the recent Hurricanes.

Must be 21+
For more info about the show go to:
Sponsored by the SF Weekly

Friday, November 04, 2005

Interview with Filmmaker Jamin Winans

FS: What are your beginnings in pursuing film? What made you get started? What keeps you going?

JW: I was interested in filmmaking since I was 10. We didn’t have a television most of my childhood, so naturally I was very interested in it. I started making movies with friends and by the time I was 13 I was hooked. Like a lot of kids I made a lot of really fun and really bad short films by shooting VHS and editing on two VCRs. But by the time I was 17 I was attempting a lot more dramatic work and made my first VHS feature film.

I’ve kept going because there’s nothing I enjoy more than storytelling and the art of filmmaking. Almost every part of the process is painful, but there’s something incredible about making your dreams a reality.

FS: Storytellers know that great stories are found in drama. Before we move forward with everything exciting you have going on right now, take us back to the times where you were struggling. What adversity have you overcome? What obstacles do you still face?

JW: That’s pretty funny. Back when I was struggling… you mean now? I would say the struggle now is as prominent as ever. The first big struggle is raising money, it took us 5 years to get a very small amount of capital to make our first feature, “11:59”. We handed out business plans to every breathing soul we knew, and everyone in the world laughed in our face. So in the meantime we made short films that ended up getting us some critical acclaim and press and helped us to secure financing for “11:59”.

------------On the set of Jamin Winan's "Spin"

FS: Your latest film, a short project entitled "Spin" (One of the more creative short films we have seen) has blown up all over the internet. It's been seen by more viewers than we can count and isn't slowing down. For those unfamiliar with it, can you tell us what it is about? How did you come up with the idea?

JW: “Spin” is an 8 minute film about a DJ who has the power to fix tragic events with his turn tables. I was at a hip hop show to see my friend Hayz II scratching records. Hayz played a part in “11:59” and we had gotten to be friends. When I was at the show, I became really interested in the emotional power a DJ has at the tip of his fingers. The idea started there and I played with it for a couple months before I came up with the script for “Spin”. I asked Hayz if he would play the lead and we were off.


FS: What was the shooting schedule like? What was the budget, what did you shoot on, how large was your crew?

JW: I made “Spin” completely out of pocket. Generally short films don’t make any money, so it’s very hard to get investment. So we only spent a little over $500 making it. I have a couple of very good producers and a lot of very good friends with resources. Everyone donated their time for a couple of weekends and we got it done.

We shot the “film” on the new Sony HDV camera which is a high definition camera. Our crew was made up of about 7-10 people depending on the day.

FS: What we find fascinating is that you made "Spin" after your feature film, “11:59as a way to generate more support for "11:59." Did you imagine before you shot "Spin" that it would generate as much buzz as it has? It appears that "Spin" has accomplished what you wanted and then some. What is the very latest news with Spin?

JW: Yeah, we shot “Spin” as a way to generate attention for our work, primarily “11:59”. It’s taken a very long time to finish and release “11:59” so we wanted to give our fan base something to watch in the meantime. We released “Spin” on our site thinking that maybe around 10,000 to 30,000 people would watch it. Within a week of it’s release, at least a half million to a million people watched it and crashed our server. There was a point where you couldn’t get on our site because 300 other people were watching “Spin” at the same time. It was ridiculous.

Fortunately AtomFilms was more than happy to take some of the traffic and soon after we released it on Ifilm. We have no idea how many people have watched it, but we think it’s probably between 5-10 million by now. So yeah, it definitely did more for us than we ever expected.

FS: You completed your feature film, "11:59" in 2005, it premiered at the Montreal World Film Festival, won the Narrative Feature Audience Film Festival Award at the Kansas International Film Festival and will play at the Annapolis Film Festival
in November. Was this your first feature film? What is its premise?

JW: “11:59” is about a jaded young TV photojournalist who has just broken one of the year’s top stories. He’s at the top of his career when suddenly he wakes up in the middle of nowhere and has no idea how he got there. It turns out he’s been missing for the past 24 hours and now he has to piece together what happened in the lost time.

“11:59” is my official first feature. I made two other “features” as a one man crew on VHS and two VCRs when I was 17 and 19, but I don’t think I can really count those.

---------------Click on the Poster to view the 11:59 Movie Trailer

FS: It was a 7 year journey to complete "11:59." How does it feel now that it is completed and to have it receiving positive response from the audiences who have seen it? Which is more important to you, completing the project or it receiving praise?

JW: To have the film completed is a relief, but all new pressure begins once your film is completed. The distribution struggle begins and that’s almost more exhausting than the filmmaking itself.

Receiving praise is always nice though I never expect it. I try as hard as I can to not worry about the audience and just make the film I want to see. Once that’s done, I’m always happy if it’s the film other people want to see too. If not, well at least I still got to see a good film.

FS: What is the very latest on “11:59
”? What is happening with it and what do you have planned?

JW: Currently we’re trying to get a few different distribution deals. It’s a tough sell because it’s considered a no-name “hybrid”. In other words, we have a film with no big name actors and no specific genre. Our film has elements of action, drama, and suspense, but it doesn’t fall into any one genre. Most distributors are looking for name actors and horror, action, or erotic genre films. They want something they don’t have to work hard on or spend a lot of money to market. They want to throw the film into a bloody looking box, throw a star on the front and walk away.

I don’t think the distributors are wrong in doing this. Filmmaking is a very high risk business and the only sure things are stars and genres. However, there is a huge thinking audience out there that wants to see something different and non-formulated and that’s what a lot of us independent filmmakers are trying to give them.

If we don’t get the distribution deal we want, we plan to 4-wall the film, meaning we’ll distribute the film ourselves one theater at a time starting in Denver, probably in February or March of 2006.

FS: What kinds of films do you aspire to make? Please elaborate.

JW: I love films that don’t spell things out. The problem with a lot of the current blockbusters is that they totally underestimate the intelligence of the audience. I like films that you don’t totally understand until you’ve gone home and thought about it for a while, or you have to watch more than once. So I hope to have that quality in all the films I make.

FS: What are your upcoming plans? Future projects?

JW: For the next couple of months we’re focusing on exhibiting “11:59”. We have a couple of shorts we’re planning to make, but not for a few months. Our big project is another feature that we’re currently calling “Ink”. It’s a fantasy/drama about the nature of evil. It’s not like anything I’ve ever seen so stay tuned.

FS: Please leave us with your thoughts to young filmmakers who cannot get themselves out of neutral. What advice can you give, what experience do you have that you can pass on?

JW: The first advice I would give other new filmmakers is to be absolutely sure this is something you want to dedicate your life to. Filmmaking isn’t like pursuing a normal career, it’s highly competitive and if you don’t pursue it 200% then you’re wasting your time. If you like making fun little movies with your friends, keep it at that. But if you want to make a career of it, jump in with both feet and persist, because it’s not something you can be lukewarm about.

Aside from my disclaimer, my overall advice (as if I’m in the position to give it) is to be persistent, live as clean a life as you can, and never let anyone tell you what you can’t do. They’re all wrong.


Sunday, October 30, 2005

Interview with Music Composer Aryavarta Kumar

FS: How early did you begin developing your musical talents? What role did your parents play if any?

AK: I started playing piano when I was 8 years old. But even before that, my parents have said that I used to create my own drum set and bang on toys to make sounds. They were very supportive of my music lessons. I never really asked to learn piano, they just signed me up just like everyone else does (haha). But after going beyond the more beginner lessons, I really showed an interest to continue playing the piano and they were always there to support my performances.

FS: How many instruments do you play? What styles of music do you make?

AK: I was trained on the piano to play Western classical pieces, but I also play the sitar and tabla (Indian Hindustani instruments).

One of the unique things about modern music composition and computers is that software synthesizers have created the ability for musicians to'play' instruments without ever actually picking them up. Let's take an example.

I don't play the violin, but if I buy the rights to a violin library that has been sampled over its entire range, I have every note in almost every type of stroke sampled. I can recreate a very realistic sound forming compositions and film scores as a result.

As far as style, I am always exploring new genres. I primarily stick to orchestral and underscore material, but if need be, I do write songs and source music (I'm doing this on an upcoming project). One of the joys (and to some the curse) of film score music is that it can be any genre of music - orchestral, rockabilly, Middle-Eastern ethnic, bluegrass, electronic, you name it. The main goal is for the music to amplify the audience's perspective of the media it is accompanying.

FS: Where does your passion for music come from?

AK: That's an interesting question. It can come from inspiration that I see everyday. A beautiful scene that I see outside my car window, a unique thought, anything. Creating inspiration leads me to think in terms of musical notes, harmony, and melody.

FS: You are turning your music from a hobby to a profession, what steps did you take along the way to make that happen?

AK: Great question. It's an interesting point that a lot of people ask. Everyone finds their own path towards where they want to go. I made sure I was sure of what I wanted to do, honed my skills, and then worked with some filmmakers on their projects. I really enjoyed it and those directors and producers were extremely happy with my results. Collaborations continued and my reputation grew. Something that is important is knowing the business of film scoring. I'm still learning a great deal about the process, but it's equally as important as the musicif you want to become a professional.

FS: You have studied music in different countries, have played in rock bands, and you are now composing music for film. Do you have an outlet you prefer? Is composing music for film the ideal situation for you or would you prefer to be part of a touring rock band?

AK: I would say that I prefer writing for film. I have always liked how music in film can really influence your mood, especially with powerful cinematography. It's been my dream to create music that suits that. Those are the movie experiences that people never forget. I occasionally do live performances of my work where I will do live improvisations. For example, I recently played at a Chinese Moon Festival and also at a wedding and at both places my music was well received.

FS: How many films have you scored thus far in your career? Tell us about some of these projects and your involvement with them.

AK: I would say probably around 14 shorts, features, and trailers, and that number is going to grow significantly over the next year.

Early on, I used to score films exclusively online. So I would find someone who needed music for their film and communicate via email and send samples online to them. It was strictly an online collaboration.

Then I found some local filmmakers here in Cleveland, Ohio and started collaborating with them. There is a superb independent filmmaking community here in Cleveland that is very supportive and I was pleasantly surprised to find it here of all places! My more recent collaborations have been a balance of online jobs and local jobs. The local ones such as A Joker's Card
(http://www.mdifilm.com/joker), Killer Squirrel, Alone (http://www.twomartinis.com/), were fun to do because I could go on set and meet the cast and crew and be part of the production in process.

It also helped me get inspired when it came to scoring the piece. In particular one of the unique aspects of meeting one on one with a director is that you can have discussions about the music, and have scoring sessions in which the director can give you feedback on if he/she thinks the music is what he/she was thinking. With online collaborations that is still the case, but it's done via email.

FS: How does the scoring process happen for you? How do you go about making music for film? Do you work directly with the filmmakers? Can you take us through the first meeting all the way to the final note?

AK: Sure. The scoring process begins differently for every project. Usually I like to get involved early on, read the script, and discuss various inspirations for the script-writer/director. This helps me piece together a thematic outline of what the music should be. For example, which characters should have themes, what kind of main theme should there be, etc.

After that, it's all about writing non-synced demos (music that isn't linked to video) and getting approval from the director/producer. I don't really start scoring until I get a locked video file or DVD that will not change. Sometimes this happens in parts so I get only a few scenes at a time so I'm not overwhelmed with 90 minutes of footage.

Getting the right theme is of course quite important. I usually end up playing various themes and tossing out quite a few before arriving at one that I feel is a perfect fit. Sometimes this comes right away, other times, it's more work than I expect :)

Beyond that, it's using various musical devices to restate the theme, or create a certain mood. I watch the picture and usually I can already hear what the music should sound like.

Then I write the score, record and master it, and have a scoring session. After that I am done with the scoring job unless there is going to be a soundtrack release in which case I stay involved a bit longer to make sure the music is appropriate for the CD or for online sale.

I've sort of outlined the entire process and some directors approach me in post-production so I'm really only involved at the very end stage. It's all about working with various styles of directing, various work ethics, and with different people.

If the cast and crew is large, I can work with music supervisors (if there are any), directors, producers, and anyone else that has input into the selection of music.

More recently I've come across some films that use rock songs for example in transitions and I usually stress that it's important to maintain musical flow in the movie. Sure, a piece may sound great on radio and you may want to put it in your movie, but just make sure that you've got other reasons for putting it in so that it fits well.

FS: Is there a place where we can hear your music?

AK: Yes. Visit my website (http://www.aryavartakumar.com/) to hear some demos and see what films I am scoring. Some of those movies are available to watch for free online. So if you have time to kill, why not enjoy a free movie! Certain projects have soundtrack releases and if you're interested in buying a copy, there are links from my website. Also, if you happen to go to an event where I am performing, you can hear some of my live improvisations.

FS: What are the next projects you are working on? Where will we hear your music next?

AK: Right now I'm quite busy with several music projects in the Cleveland, Ohio area. Some of the next projects I'll be working on include Crops (Two Martinis Productions, Cleveland OH) tentatively out in April 2006, Batgirl (Chi Media, Nottingham, UK) tentatively out in December 2005, and Joker's Rapture (MDI Film, Cleveland OH) which will probably be released later in 2006 or early 2007. Those are some main features projects that I'm working on now, but there will be plenty more shorts and other projects that will fill my schedule.

I'm always looking for new interesting collaborations though.

The Rolling StonesAlicia KeysPodcast

Saturday, October 22, 2005



We are looking for a fun, charismatic, real-life "cast of characters" that live or work together - but who have some issues that get in the way of progress. What could be the concern? ie: lack of motivation, bad organizational skills, too many big personalities, office politics, constant miscommunications, or situations where there is so much red tape that nothing gets accomplished. Does this sound like your family business or home life? Maybe a car dealership? Your PTA organization? Or that bureaucracy that you just HAVE to deal with?

If this sounds familiar, Mr. T is ready to rock your world and help you do a better job of whatever it is that you do. Mr.T will mix tough love and compassion with his expert knowledge of teamwork in order to help businesses or families to communicate more effectively with one another and to get the job done, T-style!

Please email: Twinsworld1@aol.com and put MR.T in subject title...
(Include your name, contact info , where you live, and a description

of your situation, and we will get right back to you!
Ideal locations will be within 100 miles of New York City)


Sunday, October 16, 2005

Interview with Filmmaker Jeremy Osbern

FS: You have made over 40 short films and are now working on your first feature film. Please share with us your beginnings.

JO: My very first project was a video that I made at the age of 15. All I
had was a borrowed Hi-8 camera and no way to edit. I wrote a script that
was a comedy set in a church, and then dressed out the basement of a
friend's house as our set. I cast my friends and my family and I edited
in camera, even to the point that I'd have a character say their line up
until two words from the end. They'd stop. I'd stop the camera, change
angle, start the camera and have them say their last two lines. I was so
excited when that worked. Then, when the video was shot, I made simple
animated titles in QBasic on my computer at the time (I think it was a
386...yeah that old) and then taped them off the monitor. After that I
moved on to VCR-to-VCR editing, then non-linear editing, video to DV to
16mm and now we're shooting our current project on 35mm.

FS: Where does your passion for filmmaking come from?

JO: Ever since I can remember, I've been telling stories, reading stories,
writing stories, watching stories. I still write stories all the time.
Shorts, novels, screenplays. Filmmaking is one of the most fascinating
outlets for me as an avenue to tell stories. It's closest to our
sensorial perception of the world, and I think if you do it right,
people can relate more to stories told in that medium. But you have to
do it right!

FS: Speaking of passion, you wrote and directed a 16 minute short film
entitled "The Passion" that won many awards on the Film Festival
circuit and brought you acclaim. What can you tell us about that
project? What were some of the lessons you learned from that film?

-------------Poster from "Passion"

JO: I made "The Passion" while I was at film school at the University of
Kansas. It was this experimental, over-the-top dramatic opera that
featured two people in their underwear, relating their feelings and
fates to one another by writing them on each others bodies, and set to
tango music. We took a 30-hour production weekend and shot it on the
school's soundstage on 16mm. I sent it to festivals and people seemed to
like it. It premiered at the
Palm Beach International Film Festival, and
played before The Pianist, with Adrien Brody there, but when "The
Passion" showed, it was mainly old women in the audience. It was a sea
of gray hair, and I was kind of paranoid when the film ended how all
these octogenarians were going to react to half-naked twenty-somethings
dancing in a black void, but afterwards, they came up to me, and they
loved it. One of them said, "Your film touched me like I've never been
touched before," and then she smiled and walked out. I don't know if
I'll ever have a reaction like that to a film again. But somehow, those
little old ladies got some word of mouth going. It also probably didn't
hurt that a reporter from Aint-It-Cool News was there and gave it a nice

The most important thing I learned is that if you're an independent
filmmaker: send your work to festivals. Festivals hold so many
connections. They're absolutely invaluable for anyone wanting to work
outside of filmmaking hubs like New York or LA. Hell, everything at most
of the festivals I went to were made in New York or LA, so when I said I
was from Kansas, it even more so made my film stand out.

FS: You were born and raised in Kansas and went to school there.
Obviously is it close to your heart as you now embark on your first
feature film set in Lawrence and Kansas City. We are excited to learn
more about this latest project of yours, "Air."

JO: Kansas has definitely played a huge role in my life. Especially my
hometown of Lawrence, which is just outside of Kansas City, and home to
the University of Kansas. Lawrence is such an odd and weird town, and I
love it. It's home to people with blue hair, guys who spend more time on
stilts than not and people who walk their ferrets on leashes downtown.
The characters that comprise "Air" I'm sure are drawn from my
experiences in this area, and I think it makes them more organic. At
least I hope it does.

FS: What is it about? What kind of film is it? What are the nut and bolts of it?

JO: The film consists of three interweaving love stories that focus on
people who feel out of place in the world. We show this physically. The
world literally falls apart around them. We show in the film that
there's a rhythm in life, and when the characters aren't in sync with
that rhythm, everything around them starts to deteriorate. It's also a
musical, which aids in people suspending their disbelief as things catch
on fire and fall apart. We're striving to make the first modern musical,
and Steve Unruh, who's writing all the music for the film told me that
he hates musicals, but he can't wait for this one. Hopefully, that will
be the reaction across the board!

We're shooting on 35mm film, and we're shooting as money comes in. It's
a long process, but I think that by having intervals between shooting
dates, we're given the time to make sure all the details are right. We
want this film to be as best as it can. When we first set out to make

this, the Producer Chris Blunk and I said that we wouldn't allow
ourselves to make any compromises in the story or the realizing of that
story visually. And we still haven't.

FS: How did you decide to make this story? How many ideas were you
considering and what was it about "Air" that made it the one. Have
you second guessed or doubted yourself in choosing "Air?"

JO: The elements of "Air" had been in my head for years. I've written a lot
of screenplays, but these ideas kept coming back and I sat down and
wrote out the first draft in ten days. Chris read it, we revised it, and
knew this was the one we wanted to make as our first feature, and we
haven't second guessed it since.

FS: How far along is this project?

JO: We've finished two-thirds of the film. We're going to hold off on the
remaining portion until the Spring of 2006. Chris and I are getting a
lot of other work right now, both features and commercial work, so we're
going to plan during the Winter and shoot out the remaining third in two
weeks next Spring, when the leaves are green again.

Doug Kisgen and Granvile O'Neal having fun on the set of "Air."

FS: You have learned how important buzz can be for your projects. What
steps are you taking to create buzz for "Air." What else do you have planned to draw people to this project?

JO: We've actually received a huge response to the teaser trailer that we
put up on our website
(http://air.throughaglass.com), which is exciting.
In the coming months, we'll hopefully have all sorts of behind-the-scenes footage up there too. We've done some pretty elaborate things for this film, prop-wise, logistics wise. Including melding cars together, lighting a car on fire, shutting down streets, rigging dozens of lights / sandbags to fall across a theater stage, having a restaurant catch fire, fill with smoke and having our home-made sprinkler system go off and soak our main actress, etc. I think showing some of that process will make people excited about seeing the end result as well.

To view the trailer to "Air" click here, Air Movie Trailer

FS: What kind of project would you like to make next?

JO: I have a lot of films that I want to make. It'll just depend on where
the cards fall, after we're done with this one.

FS: What is on the horizon for you?

JO: For "Air", I'm acting as Director and Director of Photography. I'm
getting a lot more DP gigs right now, so in the immediate future, I'm
looking to shoot as much as many projects -- features, commercials, etc
-- as I can until we finish "Air" and then get started on our next one.
And, as always, people can get the play-by-play for whatever we do, at
our website:

Thanks for talking with me, and best to you and your readers!


Friday, October 14, 2005

”Colorado Writer/Filmmaker Targeted for LA TV Show”

Centennial, CO - October 14, 2005 – Colorado Writer/Filmmaker Don Vasicek (Faces, Warriors of Virtue, Born To Win, Haunted World, The Sand Creek Massacre) has been invited to appear on The Gigi, Inc. Show, an entertainment, film, music and talk show reaching more than 100,000 households throughout Greater Los Angeles via Comcast/Time Warner Channels 24 and 35. Vasicek will travel to Los Angeles on November 29 to tape his appearance which will be aired two weeks later. He will give an interview about his current film project, The Sand Creek Massacre. His award-winning trailer and documentary short, The Sand Creek Massacre, will be aired along with the interview.

Ms. Iam, Producer, Talk Show Host, Singer and Actress (Random Hearts, Boomerang, The Insider, The Thomas Crown Affair, Best Man, Gloria, The Cosby Show, Law & Order, Exiled and New York Undercover), is committed to advancing multi-cultural identity via education through entertainment. Ms. Iam is also committed to bringing a message of love, peace, hope and truth. She says, “We’re doing great things, working with great people."

LostAlicia KeysDesperate Housewives

Praise for Film Synergy

We haven't had a chance to post positive comments about what we do here at Film Synergy. It is great to be appreciated and we wanted to offer our thanks. Here are a few words from the filmmakers of "Ten 'Til Noon" posted about us after our Interview with them.

"The good folks at Film Synergy were kind enough to take time to talk to us about our little movie, so I figure it's only fair to speak a bit about them. The site is dedicated to both existing and aspiring filmmakers, with an emphasis on emerging talent and a "how'd-they-do-it" mentality. This is a terrific resource for film fans, students, and anyone looking to make a mark in the business with their own distinctive voice.

Of course, then they slipped up and interviewed us. Oops. :)

To their credit, they do their homework before an interview, and their questions demanded a bit more insight than the run-of-the-mill variety."

Here is a link to their production diary where the quotes were taken from, Ten 'Til Noon Production Diary

Gentlemen, we appreciate the good words.


Thursday, October 13, 2005

Update on the Liberty Film Festival

We've received the following Press Release
on this month's Liberty Film Festival.

L.A.'s conservative Liberty Film Festival opens with "Broken Promises: TheUnited Nations at 60" and "Brainwashing 201: The Second Semester."

Hollywood, CA - October 13, 2005

The Liberty Film Festival, Hollywood's only conservative film festival,
returns for its second year with opening night premieres of "Broken
Promises: The United Nations at 60," narrated by actor Ron Silver, and
"Brainwashing 201: The Second Semester," directed by Evan Maloney. The
festival will be held October 21-23, 2005, at the Pacific Design Center in
West Hollywood.

From Citizens United (the producers of "Celsius 41.11") and Peace River
Company, "Broken Promises" is an explosive documentary about the enormous potential of the UN at its founding - and its failure to live up to that potential in humanitarian disasters in Rwanda, Bosnia, and the Middle East. The film features narration by Ron Silver, and interviews with Donald Trump, Natan Sharansky, Claudia Rosett, Congressman Dan Burton, General Romeo Dallaire, and UN officials, peacekeepers, and aid workers. The Liberty Film Festival is proud to host the LA premiere of "Broken Promises." The film's writer/director Kevin Knoblock and executive producers David Bossie and Ron Silver are planning to attend in person.

The Liberty Film Festival is also proud to host the World Premiere of
"Brainwashing 201: The Second Semester" by rising documentarian Evan
Maloney. "Brainwashing 201" is a hilarious yet sobering look at political
correctness run amok on college campuses, and is a special preview of
Maloney's feature film due out in 2006. "Brainwashing 201" is directed by
Evan Maloney, and produced by Stuart Browning and Blaine Greenburg. Also
featured on opening night will be "Dead Meat," a satirical look at Canadian
socialized medicine - and a response to Michael Moore's forthcoming "Sicko." The film is directed and produced by Stuart Browning and Blaine Greenburg.

Other feature films to be screened in the festival are "Obsession: Radical
Islam's War Against the West" (World Premiere), the stunning sequel to
"Relentless," directed by Wayne Kopping and produced by Raphael Shore and Peter Mier; "Cochise County, USA: Cries From the Border" (World Premiere), a timely film about illegal immigration produced and directed by Mercedes Maharis; "Emancipation, Revelation, Revolution" (World Premiere), a striking film about the Republican Party's role in ending slavery and supporting the Civil Rights movement, directed by Nina May and produced by Nina May and Tricia Erickson; and "Entering Zion," an avant garde journey through modern Israel directed and produced by Kfir Alfia and Alan Lipton of the Protest Warriors.

The Liberty Film Festival will also present a special "Voices of Iraqi
Freedom" program featuring shorts from the First Short Film Festival in free
Iraq. These shorts by young Kurdish and Iraqi filmmakers are being screened for the first time outside of Iraq. They will be shown with the award-winning drama "Jiyan" by Kurdish/Iraqi director Jano Rosebiani.

The Liberty Film Festival also features an outstanding lineup of industry
speakers this year. Speakers include Steve McEveety, Producer of Mel
Gibson's "The Passion," film critic Michael Medved ("Right Turns"), author
David Horowitz ("Unholy Alliance"), Frank Price (former Chairman of Columbia Pictures and President of Universal Pictures), Joel Surnow (Executive Producer of Fox's "24"), film critic Richard Schickel ("Elia Kazan: A Biography"), actor Robert Davi ("Profiler"), actress Morgan Brittany ("Dallas"), author Jim Hirsen ("Hollywood Nation"), producer Warren Bell ("According to Jim"), producer Scott Gardenhour ("Pearl Harbor"), producer Doug Urbanski ("The Contender"), writer/producer Cyrus Nowrasteh ("Into The West"), writer/blogger Roger L. Simon ("Scenes From A Mall"), screenwriter Andrew Klavan ("Don't Say A Word"), screenwriter Craig Titley ("Cheaper By The Dozen"), screenwriter Paul Guay ("Liar, Liar"), screenwriter Burt Prelutsky ("Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman"), and screenwriter Robert Avrech ("Body Double").

On Saturday, October 22, the festival will also host a "Tribute to John
Wayne," featuring a screening of his 1956 classic "The Searchers." On
Sunday, October 23, the festival will conclude with a "100th Birthday
Tribute to Ayn Rand" featuring a screening of the 1942 Italian classic "We
The Living."

Tickets are available online only at: http://www.libertyfilmfestival.com

Please note: parking at the Pacific Design Center is $6 per entry, payable
upon advance.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Interview with Filmmaker Ricky Reidling

FS: What has led you to pursue a career in the entertainment business?

RR: I started at a very young age doing theatre back in Georgia and realized then that I wanted to be in the entertainment industry.

FS: You write, act, produce, and direct. Where does your true passion lie?

RR: Love to be behind the camera and in front as well. Acting has always been my passion but writing/directing/producing and playing a lead in something I created has opened up so many doors for me.

FS: What has been the most frustrating thing you have had to deal with in your entertainment career?

RR: Waiting for so many years to finally get to the entertainment mecca of the world. I grew up in a small town where there was basically nothing entertainment wise.

FS: When it comes to your career, is it all or nothing for you? Or do you have a Plan B?

RR: You should always have a plan B, but I also do not want to wake up one morning and regret that I didn’t give it my best shot. So I will always continue on!

FS: We have to hear more about your latest project, "Boystown." First share with us the premise of this new episodic.

RR: Boystown is a modern gay drama about friendship, sex and relationships. Seven men living seven very different lives. Its cross between a gay Desperate Housewives and Sex and the City the men are always finding themselves into situations they can’t get out of. You can see our website where we have the trailer, merchandise and purchase the DVD at http://www.boystownla.com/

You may view the trailer here, Boystown Trailer

FS: When did the idea of writing this show originate for you? At that time did you have any idea that you would also Act, Direct, and Produce it all yourself? How difficult is it for you to wear that many hats?

RR: First thing I had ever wrote was a slapstick comedy bit that I thought would be great for comedy central but then I thought of the large gay community out there and there was a need for more film etc, so I changed my entire frame of mind and went for something different. I originally had another director in the beginning. Needless to say he didn’t work out. So everything kind of just ended up in my lap. I hope I never have to wear so many hats again. Endless nights of no sleep, consuming all of my time every day and still does! The most difficult task I have ever had to do, trying to do so many things alone. I know now, never go at it alone.

FS: How much time have you put into pre-production, casting, production, and post-production?

RR: The biggest ordeal was post-production. Thank god for fantastic editor Denise Howard. She was amazing and easy to work with. Editing will make or break a film, be very particular in choosing. Casting was great, received over a thousand headshots and narrowed it down to about 150 and held auditions in Hollywood, we had a great time. Believe it or not a lot of time in pre-production. Always look toward your friends for locations etc and who they might know.

FS: What is the latest with your show? How many episodes are complete? Has it gained distribution?

RR: The latest is I have rolled out the show myself on DVD, still working on getting distribution (we are getting there), looking at doing a series on DVD. Hopefully maybe one day will be aired on a cable network. Just the first episode completed so far.

FS: Does this show represent the best work you have put forth thus far in your career?

RR: Definitely, at least from what I have seen. I’m very proud of Boystown

FS: We here at Film Synergy would like to congratulate you on your accomplishment of writing, acting, directing and producing your own show. We know how hard that feat can be and how much energy it takes to pull it off. What advice would you give to anyone looking to fill those same shoes with an idea they have?

RR: If you want to do something in this city you have to do it yourself. Never give up, but never go at it alone. Make sure you have a job to survive, if not you will starve. I almost did.

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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Interview with Actor Paul J. Alessi

FS: You have a great story that brought you to Los Angeles, can you share with us how you got started in this industry?

PA: I started out as a model, and that led me to being cast in TLC’s video, “Waterfalls”, which won music video of the year. Working on a set with a movie camera really piqued my interest, and it was directed by F. Gary Gray, so that was a great experience. Acting felt like the next natural progression, so I began to study several acting techniques, and here I am.

FS: Do you feel that your life and your career are heading in the direction you like or would you rather be playing hockey for the New York Rangers?

PA: In many ways acting and hockey are very similar. They both require a competitive and aggressive edge. Practicing, or in acting “studying”, is a given, and while individuality is just as important, being able to work as a team is a must. I definitely see having a hockey background as part of a good foundation for a successful acting career. If you would have asked me this question 10 years ago I would have said, "Hands down, hockey all the way." But now, I'd have to say that I love every minute of the career I did choose.

FS: You have a full acting career and now have begun producing and directing. How do you manage? What is a typical day like for you? Take us through your routine.

PA: My routine is different from day to day, depending on if I'm acting or producing. I hate to admit it but I am one of those people with a cell phone attached to my ear, trying to make the magic happen. I'm an early riser, usually about 5am, I eat breakfast and am on the computer returning emails and usually making “east coast” phone calls first because of the time difference. My afternoons are typically filled with lunch meetings and castings, more meetings and more phone calls. Between all of this organized chaos I try to manage eating healthy meals every three hours and get to the gym. Hopefully by the end of the day I've either booked an acting job or found a new project to produce. In either case, I can usually say I met some cool people that I look forward to working with and I keep my fingers crossed for the best!

FS: Tell us about your two films "Morphin(e)" and "Central Booking." They are now making their way around the festival circuit. What are they about and what roles did you play with these two projects?

PA: In Morphin(e) I play the lead, Jack Norris. I'm a hospital-bound accident victim who's the only witness to another patient's murder, and when no one believes me, I realize I'm the only one who can stop the killer. A journalist described the movie as 'Die Hard' meets 'Rear Window' with just a dash of 'The Hitcher', and that seems to sum it up pretty well.

Central Booking is based on the lives of the deputies and inmates of the Central Detention Facility in San Diego. My character, Deputy Tompkins, is a committed, by-the-books corrections officer. The movie takes a realistic look at what happens when you get booked into and are housed in jail.

FS: You were on the first season of "The Amazing Race." How was that experience? And has that opened any doors or helped your acting career in any way?

PA: The Amazing Race was awesome. I got to travel the world and see things that I would otherwise probably never experience. It’s not like I would wake up and say, “hey, let’s go bungee jump off this gorge in Africa!" As for the show opening up doors for my acting career…I would have to say that I met a lot of awesome people, but chose NOT to use this “reality show” as a stepping stone for acting.

FS: We have also interviewed the filmmakers behind the movie "TEN ‘TIL NOON," a movie that you have a key role in. What can you tell us about this independent feature film and the role you played in it?

PA: I play Nickel, a loyal, committed hit man. He's very well-tailored, sleek, and he chooses to embrace the risk his career brings him. Unfortunately, I'm not at liberty to talk about the story. Because of it's narrative structure, the movie reinvents itself every ten minutes, and so I'm sure to spoil something good. Let's just say it's a great ensemble piece, a crime thriller a with little comedy relief to boot.

FS: What is on the horizon for you? Where will see you next?

PA: I'm very excited to say that we're currently in development on two feature films: Morphin(e), obviously a spin off of the short, which "Ten 'til Noon" screenwriter Paul Osborne is working on, and Desolate City, by James D. Owens. The latter script is filled with great characters, a stylish neo-noir in the flavor of The Limey, The Usual Suspects, and the Lee Marvin version of Point Blank. It's filled with witty and insolent dialogue that would make Humphrey Bogart proud.

For the very latest on Paul you may browse his website, http://www.pauljalessi.com/