Thursday, January 19, 2006

Interview with Actor/Producer Daniel Sol

Film Synergy: Where are you from and where are you now?

Daniel Sol: I am from Miami, Florida born and raised, I moved to LA 5 years ago...So I obviously live in Los Angeles, Ca. North Hollywood to be exact. Allow me to add that my parents are from Los Angeles, as are my two older brothers, and one of my brothers lives here in LA, he is an actor, so I have always liked Cali, and I lived here for a few years as a child, and our family always visited LA, so I have had ties to this area for some time...

FS: What are your beginnings with film?

DS: Well, its hard to say. I have worked with Director Dave Branin for the last three years on various short film projects, some for fun, some with a budget. We collaborate on everything from scripts to ideas on new films to business ideas...we are close friends both working on the same things, one can say we are in this together, learning new things about our abilities and about what we want for a career...Anyhow, before anything I have done in Los Angeles, my friends and I used to make home movies, skits and things like that, with a Hi8 video Camera. It was a blast! We played crazy characters, dressing up in my grandmother's old clothes she had from the garment company she worked for, so she had old trench coats and blazers and stuff from the 70's and 80's, it was like a vintage store in our own home, and with these clothes we would make up characters and film improv short films all night...My mom hated it! We would wake everyone up shooting scenes at 5am, we would be whispering lines. I guess that is where I realized how much I enjoyed the idea of creating characters and stories. It was an escape.

FS: We have seen the wide variety of characters you play, from an unknown dark character with basketball skills in Shoot-Out to a Spanglish pimp in What Happened to the Toilet Paper? How do you come up with such characters? Take us through your preparation as an actor.

DS: Well, it depends, I am not a trained actor so I don't use a Strasberg Method or anything like that, I just try to let myself go with a character. I think the key to any acting is one thing: You must let go. Any fear or apprehension must be let go. With "Shoot-Out", I let Dave direct me, and I trusted that, because normally I am a laid back person, and in this film I had a character with a purpose, who is very stern, a man on a mission. For other films like "Toilet Paper", I just got lost in the fun of playing a man who is basically like a car salesman, sleazy and friendly but untrustworthy. I know some Spanish, and for the pimp character I used what Spanish I knew combined with what I have seen from my Spanish side of my family, the machismo dialogue, the loud life of the party types like my Uncle Jose, he is like that, so I used those elements to come up with the character.

FS: Tell us about your movie "Shoot-Out." The buzz for this movie is building. What has happened so far with it and what do you have planned next?

DS: Ah, Shoot-Out. Well, right now we are building the website for Shoot-Out, to go along with the trailer (located below), and then the DVD, which is to be sold through the website. This all should be ready in the very, very near future. The plan is to sell a lot of DVDs! We are confident in this project, so we believe this is the best way to get ourselves out there. We believe we can expose the DVD, as well as gain exposure for ourselves, by any means necessary. Especially through internet promotion, which has become a bigger factor in film distribution on an indie level. This way, we can gain an audience that would otherwise have to come only through film festivals or a distribution deal, which would be a much slower process. The film is still in the process of making it through the film festival circuit, but we won't sit around waiting for that, we want to keep on pushing. The film recently screened at the Eureka Springs Film Festival.

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^To see the "Shoot-Out" movie trailer click on the Poster above^

FS: You are also the co-founder of the HollyShorts Film Festival. How did that happen? You had your inaugural festival this past August. Tell us more about it. Are you planning another one?

DS: HollyShorts Film Festival came about from our desire to make a difference, to have a say in this business and town. In LA, alot of people are big talkers, but they do nothing. So my good friend Theo Dumont and I decided we would put together this festival, knowing we had many resources and contacts in LA and NY and Miami. Our first goal was to get as many submissions as possible, which we did by contacting all and any filmmakers we knew or saw online. The demand is out there, I think what we learned most from all this is that people want to screen their films in front of an LA audience. Anyhow, once we received the submissions, we booked a small theatre in Hollywood and bought a projector and sound equipment. Once everything was in place we set a date, contacted the press about our event, selected the films and the rest is history. The event was great. We sold out both days, we had industry presence, and we had Q and A sessions with directors and casting directors, which worked well because the Space Theatre is intimate, so the sessions were involved. We also coupled the event with a press party at the Bungalow Club on Melrose in LA. We have over 200 industry people at the event, which was a big goal of ours, to have fellow directors of short films discussing their respective projects with each other, etc, etc. Plus, Theo is a publicist, so he was able to bring some press to our event, so we have a few write ups on websites and a write-up in the Studio City Sun. Since the event was so positive, we are planning on next years event right now, with goals of a bigger venue, more prizes... is our website which we are building right now, and we will be selling "The Best of HollyShorts 2005" DVD coming soon. The winning film was "DICK the short" Directed by Rufus Dorsey, check out his website for more...

FS: With all you have done, what have you enjoyed the most?

DS: Well, whether it has been doing extra work on the set of THE AVIATOR or making a short film like SHOOT-OUT, I have always enjoyed the element of surprise I can get when working around and or being around the making of a film. The feeling that we are or I am seeing something new being born, something fresh or new, like a set decorator creating a 1950's scene or running lines with an acting partner and finding a moment where we get lost in the moment and create something. It all comes back to the fact that only here, in Los Angeles, with all these creative minded individuals around, anything can be possible, and when working making a movie, acting or working on a crew, I have been able to get surprised every time. That is not always possible in life, certainly not at some 9-5 job. The filmmaking process, and especially acting, helps me, and I think others, cope with all of realities boring harshness. The time I have spent making a movie or acting in these films I have felt myself escape everything and get peace through being creative...If that makes any sense! Basically, the experiences have been worth it.

FS: Where can we expect to see you next? What are your upcoming projects?

DS: Other than helping promote and sell Shoot-Out through, I am heavily focusing on The HollyShorts Film Festival, which will be taking place at CineSpace in Hollywood August 11-13th. We are excited to be hosting a big event at such a prestigious and known independent film location, one which supports underground films and shares our thoughts on giving filmmakers a platform to show their work, along with a place to mingle with individuals in the industry. Right now we are working on our early bird Call for Entries, which will be at or around the end of Jan. For more on that, and for those interested in submitting your short films, go to: That is where one can get our contact information and find out more about our website, which will be We are looking to make this festival bigger and better, with more sponsors (Writer's Store, New York Film Academy, etc.) and more prizes for the best films, as well as an added screenwriting competition, that is in the works. All that coupled with more industry involvement, this years festival should be a great event for young filmmakers and people just interested in good short films! Not to mention live music, as we will have numerous bands on hand for an added experience. That is it, oh and I can't forget our HollyShorts Best Of 2005 DVD, which we will be distributing through We selected our 6 best films from the past festival to be on our distributed DVD. The DVD is currently being built as we speak, and should be ready for purchase in the next few weeks. To purchase, just check our site out or email us at What we want, what we envision, are when filmmakers discuss which film festivals they want to submit their films to, they mention the HollyShorts Film Festival in that category, annually.

Thats it, Film Synergy, thanks so much for the time, and everyone,
thanks for actually reading this, and please continue to support Indie film!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Are you "America's Next Top Model?"

BIG NEWS - America's Next Top Model is again holding castings all over the country. They will be starting auditions in NYC next week. If you live in the New York Area & think you are appropriate, please feel free to send us an email. You MUST INCLUDE FULL LENGTH PHOTOS, your age, contact information, name, height,weight, where you live and info about yourself. You MUST be 18-27 yrs old and you MUST BE over 5'7 to be considered-no exceptions. If we DO NOT not get back to you via email or you do not live in the NYC area, please attend the auditions in NY and those being held around the country. We have listed the locations below. We have NO FURTHER INFORMATION at this time regarding the locations or audition process. You must keep checking the website to find updates on the exact locations and audition information. Thanks so much Lisa and Debbie Ganz.

Here's our website:


Saturday, January 21 - New York City, NY
Wednesday, January 25 - Wichita, KS
Saturday, January 28 - Phoenix, AZ
Tuesday, January 31 - Minneapolis, MN
Saturday, February 4 - Dallas, TX
Tuesday, February 7 - Memphis, TN
Saturday, February 11 - Miami, FL
Tuesday, February 14 - Cleveland, OH
Saturday, February 18 - San Francisco, CA
Saturday, February 25 - Los Angeles, CA


Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year from Film Synergy!

We have been away for the holidays. Thank you for checking back with us. We wish you a wonderful 2006 and we will be back with you shortly!