Thursday, September 29, 2005

Interview With Filmmakers Paul Osborne and Scott Storm

-----------Writer Paul Osborne (L) and Director Scott Storm (R)

FS: Tell us about your background. How did pursuing this business come about for you?

Scott: I started in clay animation when I was about 11 years old and made countless shorts in the Super-8 format. Over time, I found that I didn't have the patience to work so hard and so long for so little results and started doing live action when I was 15. It was a rather ambitious and prolific time for me and I ended up making about eight or nine live-action films, two of them feature length, by the time I was a college sophomore. Bryan Singer and I became friends during freshman year at the School of Visual Arts, and we collaborated on a few projects in which he was my lead actor. After he moved on to USC and myself to NYU Tisch School of the Arts, we worked together again later on his first feature, PUBLIC ACCESS. I've been in the business ever since.

Paul: Mine's a pretty standard story. Like Scott, I also started when I was 11, but I made bad action movies in Super-8 instead of claymation. I began writing scripts as a teenager, a hobby capped with winning a state-wide competition, then headed to the University of Miami's film school. I won a few minor awards, then graduated and continued writing screenplays in obscurity. Until now.

FS: Paul, how many screenplays have you written? Any that have been produced?

Paul: If you count from college, I've written maybe two dozen feature scripts. About half of them I would probably never show anyone for any reason. But the other half I feel strong enough about to have let them make their rounds. I've had nibbles and options in the past, but TEN ‘TIL NOON is my first produced feature screenplay.

FS: Scott, how many films have you directed? How many have gained distribution?

Scott: As previously mentioned, I've directed in the neighborhood of 12 films altogether, if you count the shorts and Super-8 features. Professionally, I have directed two features here in Los Angeles. BURN, my first film, premiered at the SLAMDANCE FILM FESTIVAL and won the Special Jury Honor Award, and played across the country at other festivals, including Seattle and South by Southwest, before crossing the pond to Europe for a few festivals there. Lakeshore Entertainment came very close to buying the film, but the sad truth is it has never received theatrical or DVD distribution. Several of those involved have gone on to much bigger things, however. I think it's my turn, now. TEN ‘TIL NOON has just been completed and we're shopping for a distribution deal presently.

FS: What is the premise of your latest film, "Ten 'Til Noon?"

Paul: The film takes place entirely within the same ten minutes, which we cycle through in real time, over and over again, each time progressing with a new character or set of characters. And with each ten-minute segment, another layer to the story is added. It opens with a young man, Larry Taylor, who's awakened by two unseemly types that've broken into his home. A lot of the plot itself we've had to keep under wraps, because every ten minutes, there's a new twist that spins the narrative in a different direction. "Ten 'til Noon" is a thriller, and so much is predicated on the audience's surprise.

View the Movie Trailer for "Ten 'Til Noon" here, Ten ‘Til Noon MOVIE TRAILER

FS: How did this idea originate for you?

Paul: I gotta admit, it all started with the time gimmick. It seemed like an interesting way to tell a story. I was driving home one night and it just struck me as a fun thing to take a stab at. I sat in a traffic jam trying to figure how long the segments should be - "One minute? No, way to small. Thirty minutes - no, too long." That, coupled with a long-gestating idea I had of a man facing off against two well-dressed intruders, formed the foundation of the script.

FS: Did you know while you were writing it that this one was going to get made?

Paul: When I'm writing something, the feeling as to whether or not it'll get made constantly shifts. Sometimes I'll think, gee, there's no way someone won't want to make this, and other times I'll just feel like I'm wasting my time on some piece of crap no one'll even be able to get past page two of. I felt this one had a better chance because it was so intimately scaled and cost effective. But there was no deal in the offing when I wrote it, nor had I any plan to show it to Scott. It actually became a chore to write, because of all the simultaneous action. I gave up working on it twice.

FS: Scott, when you read the script did you know you had to make this movie?

Scott: Paul is very prolific and he put a stack of scripts on my desk. They were all really good, which is very rare in this business. TEN ‘TIL NOON was really fascinating and I took to it immediately. I had never read anything quite like it and I found myself shooting and editing in my head as I turned each page. Not only was it the best screenplay of the bunch, but it's unique structure also lent itself to being produced on a limited budget.

FS: How long did it take to make this film?

Scott: We shot over several months, for one week or so at a time. This way we could keep our day jobs.

FS: What wass the budget? What was it shot on?

Paul: We can’t really discuss the budget at this time. The money was mostly raised privately, as has been previously reported, but that's all we can divulge on that front as well. For now.

It was shot on Super-16, then finished via an HD digital intermediate and back to 35mm.

FS: What was the shooting schedule like? How large was the cast and crew?

Scott: The way the screenplay was designed enabled us to shoot at one location, with particular cast members and be finished with those actors when the location wrapped. That way they could go on to other work and we could concentrate on the next location and the next group of actors waiting in the wings. So we shot a week in October, a little over a week in December and a week in February. This strategy also gave us time to solve the logistical problems at each location. That was a big help.

We had about twenty in the cast, though the main action revolved around ten principals.

FS: What were the toughest obstacles to overcome in making this film?

Scott: Well, we chose to start shooting during the wettest winter in California history. So rain was often a problem. Luckily, we were blessed more than cursed, although there were certainly times when we were outdoors, shooting with a steadicam and wondering if the sky was going to open up on us. At one point when we were shooting indoors, rainwater started leaking into our hair and wardrobe room...THROUGH the light fixture! We had to move the whole set up to another room. It was also a little tough at the beginning just finding LOCATIONS that would allow us to shoot in the first place. At the 11th hour we would find what we needed, but there were times when we feared we'd have to push the shoot until we found what we needed. Our producers, friends of friends, and even wives made it all happen and they did an outstanding job.

FS: We have read your press release, we have been to your website, we have watched the trailer, looked at your cast, etc. and must admit we are excited about your film. When are we going to be able to see it? Which festivals are lined up for you?

Scott: We have only just begun to apply to film festivals all over the country and in other parts of the world. Within two months or so, we'll have a better idea of where we're headed regarding that.

FS: What is the word from distributors at this time regarding your film?

Paul: Unfortunately, that's other thing we can’t discuss that right now, either. It's too soon and too sensitive. All I can say is that we've had a lot of attention.

FS: There is the movie that happens in your mind, and there is the movie you actually make. With the film now complete, how do feel about it? Are you satisfied? Did you make the film you set out to make?

Scott: Speaking from the director's perspective, no director ever really gets 100% of what he visualizes. That's simply an unrealistic way to approach filmmaking. You can plan every last detail and communicate your vision to your cast and crew to the best of your ability, but still...things happen. Equipment can be faulty, an actor has a bad day, YOU have a bad day, the list is endless. But I must say that TEN ‘TIL NOON has been one of the most creatively satisfying experiences I've ever had. And I'm one of those people that feels that with creativity, comes conflict. You pick your battles to get what you want. It's an incredible challenge, but I'm incredibly proud of the final result. Though I've had to watch the movie countless times in recent months, I am more proud of it every time I see it. We were extraordinarily fortunate in putting it all together and very lucky with the cast and crew we were able to assemble. I very much feel that I made the film I set out to make. Of course, there are times when you look at it and a certain scene plays out where you remember what you could have done if you had more time or more money...but those feelings pretty much go away once you sit back and just look at the big picture.

FS: You are in an exciting phase right now. After putting tireless energy into creating your movie, it is done and it is time to showcase your work. What are your hopes and aspirations with this film? What does your gut tell you will happen with this project?

Scott: Naturally, we'd like to see our baby play in theaters. The film is targeted very clearly toward a young audience and I personally feel that if we can find the right avenue with the right company, TEN ‘TIL NOON could do very well. It's such a refreshing take on the crime genre, and a welcome break from the formulaic that floods the multiplexes every month. I like to think that there are lots of people out there who are as bored as I am.

FS: What will you be doing over the next year? Where is your focus? Are there other projects you are working on?

Scott: As always, in addition to marketing and promoting your current work, the next project is always the main focus. I hope to start another project by this spring. Paul's got several other screenplays he's working on. I have two scripts being written simultaneously, and I've optioned a third from published novelists back East. Let's just say that it is very "timely" given our current political climate. There was also video game that came out last year that I'm very interested in developing into a big-budget, sci-fi action picture. It's always wise to have several irons in the fire, because getting any independent film off the ground is a mammoth task in itself.

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Actor James Dumont on Ghost Whisperer

We just received this blurb from Actor James Dumont whom we just interviewed in the beginning of September.

"I got a nice few scenes in Ghost Whisperer this Friday September 30th on CBS (check your local listings for times, in LA it's 8 pm). I'm opposite David Eigenberg (Steve "the Bartender/Miranda's Husband from 'Sex & the City'). The real star is this kid, who by far is the next Haley Joel Osment, incredible performance, he did this gig between being Adam Sandlers son in a movie, talk about YOUNG Hollywood."

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Sunday, September 25, 2005

Film Synergy Receives Acclaim!

Film Synergy has been added to the directory of High Class Blogs!

In addition, Film Synergy has now surpassed the milestone of 5000 readers.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Update on Filmmakers Alex Ferrari and Jorge Rodriguez

Here are excerpts from a press release just received from "Broken" filmmakers Alex Ferrari and Jorge Rodriguez.

"HOLY CRAP!!!! We just got back from the Toronto Film Festival promoting
BROKEN. While we were there we ran into the legendary film critic Roger
Ebert from the Chicago Suntimes & Ebert & Roper fame. Mr. Ebert is
possibly the most powerful and influential film critic in the USA. We
spoke for a few minutes, he then asked us if he could take our picture
for his website and of course being the media whores we are, we agreed.
He told us that he NEVER reviews short films, let alone an indie short
that does not have major distribution.

Well, credit must go to Jorge. he continued to talk to him about our
project and Mr. Ebert finally agreed to accept a copy of BROKEN on DVD.
Not only did he keep true to his word but he watched BROKEN when he got
back to the hotel that night and wrote a POSITIVE REVIEW for it on his
website! (we are still trying to revive Jorge ; )"

To read the review click here and scroll down, Roger Ebert Broken Review

Also, are we close to BROKEN, The Feature Film?

"We went up to The Toronto Film Festival to speak to a very interested
production company about making BROKEN into a feature film. They are
very excited about the project and we are blessed and excited to be
working with them on it. I can't say who it is we are working with just
yet. (Sorry, legal stuff ; ) but we are on the path to making BROKEN
into a feature film. Wish us luck and we will see where this path takes
us. ; )"

Friday, September 16, 2005

News on the Liberty Film Festival

Here's an excerpt taken from Human Events Online

"Started last year, the Liberty Film Festival, co-founded and co-directed by Jason Apuzzo and Govindini Murty, is Hollywood’s first and only conservative film festival. It seeks to give prominence to talented filmmakers who cannot get their work shown within the existing Hollywood system, as well as to educate the public on films from a conservative perspective through commentary on their blog, Libertas."

Click here for the full article, Conservative Spotlight

For additional information on the Liberty Film Festival you may visit their website here, Liberty Film Festival

Friday, September 09, 2005

Interview with Producer Andrew Tomlinson

FS: Share with us your beginnings in the entertainment business.

AT: My formal beginning is actually the Folk Lore project. It all stems back to my best friend Jeff Morgan (Director and Writer of Folk Lore). In the spring of 2004 I had just graduated from Northern Michigan University with a bachelor's of science in psychology. I had planned (and still do) to take that degree to the doctorate level, but did not feel comfortable leaving my wife behind (I have been happily married since July 28th, 2001). She had recently changed her major to environmental engineering, and would need to stay at northern for another semester. This would require us to live apart for the two years I took to go to a grad school/ Ph.D program. We decided it was not emotionally or financially feasible for us to maintain two households and be apart for so long. This left me with some time on my hands, about 2 years worth to be exact..... Enter Jeff Morgan, recently returning from California to begin work on his first feature project. Jeff told me of his plans, at first only looking for feedback and ideas on the best ways to carry out his designs, but soon learned of my new found free time. I have always had a strong interest in movies, and the opportunity to become involved in the creation of one was to strong to pass up. Jeff and I began creating ideas that could be developed into features. We were mindful of what elements our story's could contain in budgetary sense, but really worked to make the most creative decision possible. In the end, Jeff developed about 4 ideas and I came up with one. All of the treatments varied from one another in a significant creative fashion. We had ideas ranging from the kidnapping and crime issues plaguing Mexico to the implications of a neural implants and brain mapping. So, to wrap up, I had no formal training in the industry at the beginning of my career. I started pursuing story telling because I wanted something meaningful to do well away from my studies. I really enjoy the path my life has taken, and plan to continue working on creating meaningful content for as long as I can.

FS: What motivates you day in and day out?

AT: My motivation is derived from my ambition to lead a meaningful life. I cannot be ensured that another life awaits me upon my death, and likewise, try to squeeze as much existence as I can out of every second. It's quite possible I would have grown into a "regular" guy, with a regular career, regular beliefs, and regular human apathy. Try not to laugh, but I had a life changing experience when I watched the movie "Fight Club". The messages found in that movie changed my perspective on life, and really helped solidify the belief that my life is what I make of it. If I am not happy with something that is going on, it is my responsibility to change it. Many people enjoy commenting on social inequalities, political misadventures, the human condition, and their fellow man, but are to apathetic to affect change in what they find offensive. The diffusion of responsibility is too much to overcome for many people, and it is my frustration with this that keeps me occupied. I chose psychology as my field of study because I wanted to understand the human condition. I wanted to learn about socialization and what makes people tick. I wanted to help people initiate change in their lives. Lately I have realized that this procedure may be ineffective, and it may be better to initiate change on the macro level. The modern motion picture is an incredibly powerful medium, and through entertainment it is possible to deliver a meaningful message to the populace.

FS: What is it about producing that satisfies you? What rewards do you take
from the process?

AT: Being a producer has been a tremendous learning experience. When I found out that Jeff was interested in having me produce his film, I was very excited. After that abated, I started asking around, what does a producer really do? The answer, I have discovered, is everything (especially on an independent production) Every aspect of physically getting the movie made falls to a producer (Jeff was a producer as well), as well as finding talent, lining up distribution, paying the bills, etc. I found the process to be very satisfying, as it is rare you can see your work bear fruit so quickly. For example, the opening scene of Folk Lore calls for a criminal investigation scene, complete with police officers, detectives, flashing lights, and a concerned crowd of bystanders. The typical Hollywood response is to just throw some money at the problem, but Folk Lore didn't have that option. We pounded the pavement, and were able to produce a police officer who was willing to drive his cruiser to the scene, put up crime tape, keep his lights flashing, and stand by his car. We called everyone we knew to come be concerned bystanders. We cast a very believable detective. The scene was a huge success, and the feeling of success in pulling that off was very comforting. Seeing my work come together with the work of others and make something beautiful is the reward I take away from the production process.

Jeff Morgan and Andrew Tomlinson in front of donated police car.

FS: You are located in Michigan. What kind of resources are available to you there and do you have any plans to move to Los Angeles?

AT: Jeff and I were both born and raised in Michigan, and we both really like it here. I am from the school of thought that the location doesn't matter, meaning that if you want to start a production company you don't need to move to L.A to be a success. Austin, Seattle, Vancouver, New Zealand, New York, all these places were able to create viable production areas without L.A. I don't think that Michigan has to be any different. The biggest downside to MI is access to professional talent, but the solution to that problem is so very easy. For the price of a plane ticket you can fly whoever you wish in, and that really levels the playing field. As far as the ability to make connections is concerned, if you are capable of making a quality product, the people will find you. The advantages to Michigan are numerous as well. First of all, it hasn't been shot to death. Most areas of Michigan don't have an infrastructure in place to charge for locations, so you don't need to run in fear of the police. The topography of the place is amazing, and due to the populations lack of negative experience with the independent film movement, people are very willing to help out and offer up locations with incredible production value.

FS: Tell us about your recent project, FOLK LORE and please provide us the nuts and bolts of what went into making this film.

AT: Folk Lore centers on the story of a father whose daughter is kidnapped and the quest he must embark on to get her back. Folk Lore focuses on the myths and legends that people have forgotten, as well what magic would look like if it still existed in today’s world. On a deeper emotional level, Folk Lore examines what happens when people do not value what is truly important, and how sometimes horrible events have to transpire for one to fully appreciate the blessings found in life. Folk Lore has been in some stage of development for about 2 years, and should be a finished project by the end of this month. News on Folk Lore can be found at As soon as the FX work is completed, a trailer will be put up on the page, so check back in a few days! In addition to being the head producer, I was also the sound guy, co-fight choreographer, assistant editor, first AD, and DP assistant. I also filled a minor acting role in Folk Lore. Folk Lore was shot on 24p HD. We used the Sony HDCX300K in a unique workflow that Jeff created. Folk Lore was an entirely digital production, in that we captured right from the camera onto hard drives. This saved us all kinds of money, about 25k on the camera (no recording deck in it), no HD transfer deck, no conversions, and no lost time capturing the footage. In addition, by shooting this way we were able to edit and color correct with the native footage, which was (is) a huge advantage. The downside is we had to lug an Apple G5 with us everywhere we went, but at the end of the day, it was no worse than your typical video village and the savings were tremendous. Principal photography on Folk Lore went for 5 weeks, and pickups lasted another few weeks on a here and there basis. Folk Lore's budget is being termed "under one million" right now, as it looks like it was made for far more than was actually spent and we don't want to hamstring any of our distribution efforts.

FS: What was the biggest challenge with getting the project done?

AT: There were lots of big challenges, but the most stressful one was determining to go HD and then raising the money to buy the camera. Jeff and I quickly realized that it would be about the same price to rent an HD rig for 5 weeks as it would be to BUY one, so the choice was pretty obvious. We structured that decision into our budget and went through with our investor meetings. We were about 20k short 4 weeks out from the start of production. It did not look like we were going to be able to shoot HD, which was crushing. We wanted this project to go as far as it could, and HD seemed like the best way to make that happen. It's unlikely Folk Lore will see a theatrical release, but if it had that opportunity, it would be ready for a transfer and look beautiful on the big screen. As it turned out, Jeff and I were able to secure a business loan with which to buy the camera. This has been a great boon, as we spent a lot of time in pick-ups that we wouldn't have been able to afford with a rental and we now have a very professional camera for any future projects. We also decided to start renting it out to other indies at a very fair rate, a rate we would have jumped at had it been available. Information on that can be found by emailing me at

FS: What are your plans with this project once it is done? Film Festivals? Distribution? Where will we be able to see it?

AT: As a rough cut, the project is being sent for review by a sales agent who will show it at the American Film Market. In addition, Folk Lore will be submitted to various festivals for more exposure, and should ultimately end up as in independent in your neighborhood rental place. When we set out to make Folk Lore, that was the market we expected to get into, and we were careful to make a marketable project our first time out. We wanted to (and did) make the best product we could, and I really believe it will have a future in the world. Folk Lore will have a Michigan premiere around the middle of October, and if picked up at AFM should be available for rent around February of 2006.

FS: What advice would you give to a young filmmaker preparing to shoot their first feature film?

AT: Set a date in stone when you will start shooting and stick with it come hell or high water. Don't let anything stop you. If you let things get in your way you will continually be held back. Nothing will ever be as perfect as you want it to be, and the longer you wait the farther your dream will get from you. Be creative, don't just throw money at a problem. You can almost always think your way out of a problem, be it a script re-write, finding a worthy alternative, researching, or turning to your friends for help. Keep a positive attitude and don't let the nay-sayers stop you. Don't be afraid to ask people for things, most people, when asked nicely, are thrilled to help and be involved. Try to plan everything out. The more you plan in pre-production the easier your time will be during production and post. Don't tell yourself you will fix a problem in post, because you probably won't. Think of a solution before you pack the gear up.

FS: What is on the horizon for you? What will you be doing next?

AT: I took 5 months off from "work" (I quit my job and am currently looking for another one now that post is mostly wrapped up), so my immediate plan is to find employment while I wait to see what happens with Folk Lore and it's distribution opportunities. I have about 4 treatments floating around right now for future projects (And I think Jeff has even more than that). Owning the camera equipment really helps in making future projects possible, and I'm really looking forward to what ends up happening with Folk Lore. I would like to try things from the director stand point the next time around, but will definitely try to include Jeff in whatever equation I come up with (That’s another secret, always try to work with talented people).


Monday, September 05, 2005

Cast and Crew Call

We are currently casting and holding auditions this coming Sunday, September 11th for the upcoming horror film, "It Crawls"! Please send us
via snail mail your headshot & resume.

We are slated to shoot the film in January 2006! Must be available in January. Also, this movie is about worms. So if you have a fear or a phoebia of bugs, please do not respond. We will have tons of fake ones of course, but there will be REAL creepy crawlers on set! Please be aware of this before appyling.

Please DO NOT email us a headshot and resume as we don't cast or call people in thru email. You must submit your headshot thru REAL mail ONLY! I like to have a picture of you when you walk into the audition and if you are cast, we need a headshot for publicity. So please, real photos only. No online submissions or websites to see more.

Below is the following breakdown of characters:

PROFF. PHILLIP DAVIDSON: 40's to 50's, Caucasian, tall, a scientist. Very devoted to his work. He becomes a monster when he creates his ultimate experiment! Very strong, intense role. LEAD

TOM: 50's, Caucasian, quiet man. Works with Phil in the Lab. Under 5.

MARCUS: 20's, African American, fit, bald, laid back, tough exterior with a warm heart. Hero in the end. LEAD

BRANDI: 20's, African American, Marcus's girlfriend, long hair, pretty, smart. LEAD

JOSH: 20's, Caucasian, Tall, thin, tries to keep everyone together. Knows what's going on but doesn't want to scare the rest of them. LEAD

TRISH: 20's, Caucasian, Josh's girlfriend, pretty, blonde to light brown hair. Goes off the deep end mentally when everyone starts dying. Must be strong actor. LEAD

BRIAN: 20,s Caucasian, short, just wants to party and drink. He is dating Veronica. He actually wants to be with Trish. LEAD

VERONICA: 20's, Caucasian, dark hair, she's with Brian. A bitch. Very mouthy. The guys don't lke her. Even Brian doesn't like her. LEAD

Please send your headshot and Resumes ASAP! Auditions are being held this coming weekend on Sunday, September 11th. Must recieve headshot before then.

Please send to:

Silver Moon Productions
8205 Santa Monica Blvd. #1-453
West Hollywood, CA 90046
(310) 238-2067 office

Looking forward to reviewing your headshots and resumes!


PLEASE NOTE: This is a NON-UNION film!!!! So please, NON-UNION talent and or FINANCIAL CORE talent ONLY please submit!! Union talent will not be accepted!


Secondly, we are searching for CREW!!!! We need:

a CINEMATOGRAPHER: we are looking for a DP who owns a Canon XL-1 and a boom with a boom pole and a descent small light kit.

MAKE-UP ARTIST: to apply basic make-up on all talent daily on set and to be there the WHOLE time while filming for touch up, etc.

GRIPS: to help assist the DP.

PA's: we are looking for several PA's to help put on set.

SPECIAL EFFECTS MAKE-UP ARTIST: We need someone to apply the the effects make-up on the gore days and someone who knows how to build giant creatures.

CATERING: We are in need of a reasonable craft service person to bring in lunch and diner.

STILL PHOTOGRAPHER: we need someone to be on set daily for stills.

Please respond to us asap as we are holding casting on September 11th and meetings with the various crew people. So please get in touch with me asap!

This is an 8 day shoot so you must be available all 8 days in January. Not sure of the shooting dates just yet but we know for sure its 8 days.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Interview with Actor/Producer James Dumont

FS: How early on did you know you wanted to pursue the film business?

JD: As a Child Actor in Chicago, it was all about being "Discovered" & flown to Hollywood. As the Big movies came to town: Blues Brothers, Risky Business & Class, I knew before I was 10 that I wanted to be in the film business.

FS: How did you get started?

JD: I was a Gerber baby model and worked the local Chicago market, which had Sears and McDonald's, so print and commercial work was available to us. I also did Children's Theatre, some professional and some not. Sherri Mann (Actress, Agent & Casting Director) took me by the hand to my early appointments, she was a mentor to MANY Chicago actors. She will be missed. The 3 films I mention above I had small parts in, some Extra work and some speaking parts, which got cut out.

FS: Who are your influences?

JD: I have far too many to mention here all for various reasons even to this day, but here are 3 and why:

Gene Hackman - To me the most believable "Movie Star" in any role or film, few actors can say that as they become cliches of themselves over time by doing the same roles in each film. I aspire to be REAL and BELIEVE ABLE in each role and project.

John Cassavetes - The Original Independent Filmmaker-Actor, Writer, Director & Ensemble player, a rick dark storyteller who allowed actors to create and let their work and moments happen on film. The king of master shots, handheld and letting dialog roll into improv. Big fan!

Woody Allen-Despite recent events, he still tells great stories blurring the lines of art and and personal life and his earlier work as both actor and director are simply brilliant, I would love to work with him.

FS: When you first started pursuing your acting career, what kind of path did you envision for yourself?

JD: I left Chicago when I was 19 for New York City with $200 to my name and a place to stay for the summer. I threw myself into waiting tables and DJ'ing and Developmental Theatre at New York's Ensemble Studio Theatre, a who's who in American Theatre & now film & television stars: I thought I was headed for "FAME & FORTUNE" in EVERYTHING I did: Readings, DJing, Auditions, Waiting Tables, Plays. That's what got me up each morning and built up an armour to rejection and defeat. I thought and still believe that "it's about the JOURNEY, not the destination" for anyone in this field. If you think you should be further along in your career, you may be right, but you may not be ready IF that opportunity comes or came, so be prepared and learn to enjoy the RIDE, not where you THINK you should be or end up. Hard lessons to learn. Bottom line was that I left New York on Top in Six Degrees of Separation on Broadway, which was a long way away from when I arrived, Los Angeles was my next move.

FS: What is the toughest reoccurring challenge you face as an actor?

JD: Getting out of my own way. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has created more obstacles than were absolutely necessary. Realizing later "I made it so much harder for myself". Simply put, this is a hard business, make choices and decisions that make it easier for yourself, not harder. Also having to PROVE your talent and experience each and every day, day in and day out. It is REQUIRED to do this at ALL levels of the business, having to SHOW people what you are capable of, that is not easy to do all the time for anyone no matter how far along you are in the business.

FS: You are a working actor who's resume includes some impressive movies, from "War of the Worlds," to "S.W.A.T." to "Catch Me If You Can" and it goes on and on. Which role and project has been the most satisfying for you?

JD: I think from this list I have to say the Role of Gus in S.W.A.T. because the size and scope of my work and who I held myself up to in the scenes with Colin Farrell & Sam Jackson. WOW and Catch have special meaning from working with Steven Spielberg twice. Having him remember my small contributions to his films. He is very gracious, generous, supportive and he likes me, so I like him. One film that has been most satisfying was the movie Bellyfruit
I had a nice role in that film, but was most proud of it's IMPACT on audiences. It was after KIDS and before the movie 13, which is the tone of this film on teen pregnancy. It rode a fine line between drama and documentary, as it was based on true stories, great rental.

FS: Tell us about your recent role on "”Statistics," an independent feature film by Frank Robak whom we just interviewed.

JD: A good friend David Michael told me about the project over lunch, I said "if the script is anywhere as good as what you told me, I'm in!" I read it and LOVED it, it's Short Cuts meets Crash in Hollywood Speak. I got to the scene of the Gas Can Guy and was like "I gotta do that scene!" David & Frank knew that I would bring some goodies to the table, like actors, some location help and passion for getting it SOLD later on, so they were kind enough to acknowledge that with a producer credit, I will EARN that and they know it. This will be a powerful film.

FS: In a earlier exchange, you mentioned ways to find money outside of Hollywood and getting A and B list talent in your project with their agents support. Would you like to elaborate your thoughts on this subject with us?

JD: Think outside of Hollywood for financing: Doctors, Lawyers, Dentists, Bankers. I found $400K from one investor in FL of all places for an Indy I produced. The script MUST be solid, then the money, then the talent, or if the script is strong, you can get the talent, which will get you the money. Tricky? Solid Script first, Business Plan second, Financing outside of Hollywood & Talent will come. Think about creative ways to get to your talent. Jim Sheridan bribed the doorman at Daniel Day Lewis' apartment in NYC with the My Left Foot script. That turned out well for everyone. IF the material is good and you are creative on who and how you get it to talent, you may hit a home run. Actors are ALWAYS looking to stretch and their reps are looking to raise their price. Giving back end points to get talent, when you have little money is good. Find the right vehicle for the right actor, like Sideways for Paul Giamati and you could do well. Make sure you have your script ready to be judged, don't put it out into the marketplace too soon, do readings, give it people who read books and LISTEN to make it as strong as possible, because you may only get one shot at someone. Did I mention the importance of having a good script enough? It's KEY!

FS: As if your acting career doesn't keep you busy enough, you are also working with a company called "Speedreels." This incredible tool is catching on like wild fire and is revolutionizing the industry. How did you get involved with this company?

JD: I helped build a start up company 4 years ago called PACE which was sold to for 10 million dollars last spring, as an actor first and business man second, I didn't do as well as I should have, but managed to cash out some stock options and move on. My manager kept nagging me to get a Speedreel, I finally got one. Here is my Speedreel: James Dumont I FLIPPED for the product and went to the owner Matt Draper and asked to help him build it. To date we have over 500 actors, 100 agents & managers use it and the top 50 casting directors in town all love it. It has generated over 2,000 appointments and meetings for actors in only 8 months.

FS: For those who haven't heard of Speedreels, what is it?

JD: I just showed you an example, however we take an actors demo reel or even a directors reel or short film and cut it into a 60 second trailer or clip that is an e-mailable link. Just as I did, I brought you 60 seconds of my work, a picture and resume' all you would need to know about me for getting a job or interview. The difference is I brought the work to YOU, unlike a website THINKING people will come to you and DOWNLOAD your work. This is one of the quickest ways to get your work in front of someone. Imagine having a 60 second clip of your short or feature on a Film Festival website or being able to simply e-mail it to friends to go to your film or press in cities where you need to be reviewed. Big films, do trailers why not shorts or indy features?

FS: Will it's continued success ever take you away from acting?

JD: I have always found a way to have more than one successful career, but would never quit being an actor/producer, it's too rewarding. Please keep in mind that I only produce projects that I am in, as I need to have a creative outlet as the work of being the producer alone is not that exciting to me. The same is true of Speedreels, I am a client and part of building it.

FS: Are you content with where you are right now in your career?

JD: This is a tricky one. My LIFE right now is far greater than I ever imagined it to be in terms of my wife and my family, so my CAREER is really all GRAVY. One of the quotes I live by is "My Life IS my Art", therefore my career is part of that. We all think we should be farther along sometimes, but I have found that I need to keep setting the bar higher and continue to make efforts to check off goals and desires, that is contentment to me. You will never get rich counting your neighbors wealth. The same applies to where you are in your career and where other people are, your journey is your journey to compare can be a slippery slope. I work very hard to not compare my career to others, it's not easy.

FS: What changes, if any would you have made thus far in your life?

JD: The only change I think I would have made and will be making is staying closer in touch with friends and industry relationships. I used to dismiss this as being a 'hanger on' or using that relationship or friendship to further my career. I wanted to do it by myself, which is silly as some of the people I did work for early in their career have done very well and I would have continued working with them had I stayed better in touch, now they are hit from so many angles and people it's hard for them to see that I really just enjoy being with them. These are 100 million dollar movie people now, but were student filmmakers then, we ALL have the chance to be in that world, may you stay connected is my lesson.

FS: Last one. What is next on the horizon for you?

JD: I'm on hold for a Guest spot for "Closer to Home" & just did a Guest spot on "Ghost Whisperer" all for CBS. I'm trying to finish shooting a comedy short called, "Mail Models" and in post for another short called "2 AM", I produced and starred in both. I have optioned a feature with another friend and want to option another project with a director friend. Working on Speedreels growth and am ALWAYS on the lookout for Great Roles in features and shorts:

The Rolling Stones

Thursday, September 01, 2005

News on Sand Creek Massacre Documentary

The award-winning "The Sand Creek Massacre" documentary short film has entered the finals of the Haydenfilms Online Film Festival. It was selected as one of the final 60 films and now for the finals. The winning film carries a $10,000 first place award. You can view the film and vote on it at

Winning the first place award will enable us to finish the educational video so that we can give it to the distributor for international distribution. This will also enable us to put the curriculum, lesson plans, and study guide with the educational video and take them into the Colorado and Texas school systems as well as other school systems, yet unknown. To provide a forum for the Sand Creek Massacre so that our kids and grandkids can learn about an event that can help them learn about our aboriginal people and how to utilize non-violence as a means for solving problems is our goal. So, your vote is vital to us. Please vote today at