Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Interview Series - Night Before the Wedding - Actor James Anthony McQuillan

Actor James Anthony McQuillan on the set of Night Before the Wedding

Tell us one thing about yourself that no one really knows?

One thing no one knows about me is that I sleep on the right side of the bed.

How did you get your start in film?

I was a Sophomore in College when a third year NYU grad student saw me in a production the "Playboy of the Western World" and asked me if I would play a protagonist in one of his thesis films for acclaimed director Spike Lee.

How did you get involved in “Night Before the Wedding”?

It was a clear day in downtown Los Angeles when fabled writer/director David Branin informed me about a film he wanted to bring to fruition. This took place in the bowels of the Shrine auditorium during the 2007 Emmy's. 8 months later we had a full length feature film to sink our teeth into.

What is your role in this project?

I play the role of Corey Sullivan. He works in high finance and is married but with no kids and none on the horizon. He is a wonderful spirited gentleman who cares deeply about his friends and living life to the fullest. Corey is used to high pressure situations and finds himself in a morality battle that he may or may not win. Overall Corey enjoys his partying and thrives in positions that most people would crumble in.

I also handled the props for the film. There’s only one prop I couldn’t acquire, that being a plastic ass. One would think living in a town where pornography trumps all in terms of money and shear production that finding a plastic ass would be as easy as finding someone who works in porn. I was about 7 or 8 smut stores in on Hollywood Boulevard when I discovered this was a challenge. I usually do not frequent these places and all I can say is that there are some interesting people out there and they hang in the porn shops. Unreal.

What were your thoughts when you first read the script?

I was excited because the script contained all the elements of many past great films. Comedy, Drama, and a conclusion that will throw you for a loop. At first I thought it would be a difficult shooting schedule because of all the characters and it all takes place in large part in one room. You have to be doing some captivating stuff to keep the attention of the viewer. The more I read the script the more I felt this was going to be a minor issue due to how well it was written.

What attracted you to working on this film?

I have seen David's previous work "Shoot-Out" and "Honey I'm Home". I enjoyed both projects and felt as though Dave was on his way to big things in the film industry. Of course I wanted a chance to work with him and when he approached me about the 10-15 page script for a short to be shot in a weekend I jumped at the chance. A few days later that plan was scrapped because Dave's brain oozed 45 more pages and then another 45 that spawned a feature. Also, Dave was open to suggestions on flow and plot line not only for the entire plot but we also had a little say in how our characters panned out. I had been itching to get a feature done and this was my chance and I am glad it happened.

What was the most challenging thing you had to face with this project?

With so many characters in one room you have to be aware of how you fit in when you are not the focus of the shot. Keeping Corey true and as real as possible when acting in the background. It is easy to fade off and say I'm not the focus of this shot but you are just as important as anyone else in the shot. Working with so many different personalities was initially a concern but when I arrived on set the energy was electric and everyone had the same look in their eyes and that was a wave of relief. That and the heat. Must have been 125 degrees, maybe more in the garage scenes.

Ali-Reza Nusrat looks down on Actor James Anthony McQuillan
and Actress La'Rin Lane rehearsing a scene.

What did you love most about being involved with this production?

The fact that I was there from the infant stage of the project and saw it through to the end. Watching what Dave created unfold in front of me was both educational as well as exciting.

Is this a film for women to see?

Of course! There are so many characters to follow and women kind of want to know what really happens when their groom to be is going to his Stag party. I am not saying everyone gets down like these guys did but it gives you a great template as to what happens. There are great stories going on and women will be able to find redeeming qualities in this film.

Will you share this film with your Mom?

Considering my Mother had a Screening of "The Big Lebowski" at a convent, I would gladly sit down with her and watch this.

What does this film have that you will not find in a big Studio release?

A reasonability and a realness that allows you to let go of life's dilemmas and delve into the lives of these characters. I think anyone can identify with someone or something in this film.

What makes this a ‘must see’ movie?

The fact that this is the first feature for a lot of the actors so we all brought our A game to make this an interesting film. This is also as close as you can get to being at a bachelor party without attending one. "Night Before the Wedding" should be made available to all colleges and universities around the world as a survival guide to getting through the Stag party.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Films for January & February 2009

La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley.
510-849-2568 - www.lapena.org

Films for January & February 2009

Celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution. Saturday and Sunday, January 3 & 4. 2009. Saturday, Jan. 3: Filmmaker Saul Landau summarizes 50 years of revolution, highlighted by his film clips of Fidel and Cuba from the 60s to the present. Local Cuba activists will have tables with Cuban literature, art and crafts and will take part in a Q&A panel; mayors of local sister cities will give messages of greetings, and more. Evening will conclude with Cuban music and dancing, featuring DJ Emiliano Echeverria. 7:30pm $10

Sunday, Jan. 4 Celebrate the 50th anniversary with taiko drums and a Shisa lion. Bay Area Japanese American group Tsukimi Kai challenges the blockade of Cuba. Their film, Under the Same Moon, chronicles their cultural exchange and interviews in the Japanese Cuban community. The evocative award-winning film, Man of Two Havanas (dir. Vivien Lesnik Weisman) will also be screened. Local groups will take part with tables and discussion. 7pm $8. No one turned away

Wednesday, Jan. 7
Last Chance for Eden. A documentary by The Color of Fear director Lee Mun Wah, about nine men and women who examine the impact of racism and sexism in their lives, relationships, workplace and communities. 7:30pm $5.

Wednesday, Jan. 28
The Twoness of Oneness. A companion video by Andrea Young from the latest book of epigram by the same title written by Thomas Farber. 7:30pm $10. No one turned away for lack of funds.

Thursday, Feb. 5
Verbobala Spoken Video & special guests. Hailing from Mexico City and Tucson, Verbobala combines Spanglish spoken word and multiple live video projections to create what national newspaper La Reforma calls "a poetry written without letters." Special Bay-Area guests will also perform. 8pm. $10 gen. $8 students w/ID


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Interview Series - Night Before the Wedding - Actor Christopher Guckenberger

Actor Christpher Guckenberger on the set
of Night Before the Wedding

Tell us one thing about yourself that no one really knows?

I spent 3 years in a Military School.

How did you get your start in film?

I was living in Florida, still trying to figure some meaning in my life, and took an acting class to kill some time. Everything in my life about my future that was foggy became crystal clear, and I knew I could do nothing else for a career.

Have you worked with any celebrity actors or directors? Elaborate.

Any director that gives me an opportunity to work with him or her, is a celebrity in my eyes. As for celebrity actors, none currently, but worked with some who I believe will be celebrity’s before it's all said and done.

How did you get involved in “Night Before the Wedding”?

I know the director David Branin and we had talked about doing something for many years, and when he got some funding for a script he had written, he was gracious enough to bring me on board.

What is your role in this project?

I play Adam Finkle in the film, and to me Adam is everything but normal. A guy who is nice to a fault and tries everything and everywhere to fit in, the more he tries, the more distant from normalcy he goes.

What were your thoughts when you first read the script?

I personally thought that there was a lot going on with sub-plots, and a lot of truth that goes on before people get married. That doesn't mean it's always bad, but in a way, you have to come to reason with your past before being able to move forward with marriage.

What attracted you to working on this film?

First the obvious, the story, then the character, I love characters that are complex, that people can't quite figure out. I feel that in me, and I love to bring understanding to roles such as "The Finkle." Sorry, that’s just my little pet name for the character.

What was the most challenging thing you had to face with this project?

I love the character, and I felt compelled to make him and everything he represents come to life. Adam gets rejected quite a bit in the script. I didn’t want him to feel like a victim. I wanted to somehow get the audience to empathize with him and hope that he can turn his circumstances around.

Actor Daniel Sol looks on as Actor Christopher Guckenberger
prepares for his next scene.

What did you love most about being involved with this production?

Working with friends who I respect not only as actors and directors, but as people. Nobody knows exactly how far you will go in this business, so you really have to enjoy the moments that you get to create and be in the presence of people that make you shine.

Is this a film for women to see?

This is a film for women to see if they want to see the truth of what a guy may be thinking of doing or doing. It resonates the change of life from a kid to an adult to responsibility.

Will you share this film with your Mom?

No. My step-mom probably won't understand this or may even disagree with it. It will open up a whole can of worms that I do not want to deal with.

What does this film have that you will not find in a Big Studio release?

Truth, it is a simple story brought to life by characters interacting and growing with each other. Big Studio's are blessed with great opportunities for special effects, but at times I feel the audience is watching the special effects, and not the story.

What makes this a ‘must see’ movie?

It's a must see story for the reason it may change the way you think about the affects of growing up and friends around you, and of course, what really happens the night before the wedding.


Scion Partners With 10 Trend-Setting Media Outlets To Present Emerging Talent

2009 Easy 10 Filmmaker Series Premieres In New York On Jan. 22, 2009 And Los Angeles On Feb. 3, 2009.

IRVINE, Calif. — December 16, 2008 — Scion today announced the screening schedule and line-up for the Easy 10 Filmmaker Series. For 2009, Scion has partnered with 10 tastemaking media outlets, from Giant Robot to XLR8R, to select emerging filmmakers to create fresh and relevant cinema. The 10 films will premiere in New York and Los Angeles.

“This year’s program includes 10 short films that feature icons, characters and topics often unseen in modern cinema,” said Jeri Yoshizu, Scion sales promotions manager. “Scion has partnered with select outlets to ensure that each film represents a cultural undercurrent of our time, whether it’s a documentary, animation, drama or work of fiction.”

Founded by Scion in 2007, the Easy 10 Filmmaker Series supports burgeoning filmmaking talent by providing a modest budget and numerous platforms to screen and distribute their creative work. Each filmmaker will be featured in the bicoastal Scion Easy 10 premieres and the Scion Easy 10 Compilation DVD, in addition to receiving individualized promotional materials and paid travel to two film festivals of their choice.

Easy 10 Filmmaker Series Premiere dates and locations:

· New York, NY - Jan. 22, 8:30 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.
Tribeca Cinemas at 54 Varick St.

· Los Angeles, CA – Feb. 3, 8:30 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.
Landmark Theater at 10850 W. Pico Blvd.

The 2009 Scion Easy 10 Filmmaker Series line-up:

AllHipHop.Com presents BDK

From growing up in New York, leading the Golden Era of hip-hop, and his lasting influence in urban culture, legendary Big Daddy Kane talks about his life in the rap game in BDK, a film directed by Anthony Marshall (co-founder of MTV’s “Lyricist Lounge”).

Frank151 presents More Is L.E.S.

From the Lower East Side, Max Perlich’s More Is L.E.S. follows a young man as he comes of age in the historic immigrant, working class neighborhood. Perlich, a filmmaker and actor, has appeared in Gummo, Blow, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Giant Robot presents The Dwelling

Baltimore native and graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, Sheldon Candis presents an intimate portrait of the rarely documented realities of Tokyo’s homeless population. The Dwelling follows one man who has built a resourceful, imaginative, and functional home within the Japanese high-tech metropolis.

Juxtapoz presents Spare Paint

In a film directed by Alexander Tarrant and Shaun Roberts, San Francisco artists David Choong Lee and Brian Barncelo offer their talents to two homeless men they meet during rush hour. As they paint brilliant and vibrant cardboard signs for their new friends William and Joe, the former home-restoration specialist and Vietnam vet share their stories of life on the street.

RE:UP presents Boxed

A cardboard box is passed around as seven world-class directors and animators come together for an “exquisite corpse” project; where one artist ends, another begins. The two-minute short features the talents of Labour, EVAQ, Miguel Vega, Claire Carre, Akjak, and Destroy Rock Music.

Theme Magazine presents 2 Makes 1

Kenji Hirata, a New York-based painter from Nagasaki, Japan, plays with layers of color and motion to depict the core human acts of love, betrayal, inspiration and redemption. An original member of the Barnstormers art collective, Hirata’s minimal stop-motion film is guided by the Buddhist belief that emptiness is everything eternal.

Traunt/Daily Swarm present The Rock

Director Joey Garfield, known for his urban culture feature films and imaginative music videos for innovative acts like RJD2, The Count and Sinden, and Aesop Rock, presents the whimsical journey of a rock traveling through music’s past, present and future. As forward-thinking minds of the industry discuss musical history, the rock presents the hard and soft sides of the business.

VBS/Vice Magazine present Searching For Montauk

Two renowned filmmakers, Meredith Danluck and Jake Burghart, go on an unlikely exploration for the perfect wave. From the snowy streets of Manhattan to the desolate winter beaches of Long Island, Jake’s backyard adventure leads viewers through a surfer’s paradise.

Wax Poetics Magazine presents East Of Underground

David Hollander, an LA-born filmmaker, DJ, and record collector, tells the story of a U.S. Army funk band that came together to record an LP of soul covers at the height of the Vietnam War. Encapsulating hope in a time of military quagmire, the band’s guitarist recalls the history behind the recording and the significance of funk music during wartime.

XLR8R presents The Bus

Filmmaker Ryan Junell follows John Benson and his friends as they travel from coast to coast in a police street command unit that has been converted into a mobile performance space. Running on veggie-oil and solar power, the vibrant crew of nomads turns heads and melts minds across the U.S.A.

For more information on the films, filmmakers, and premieres, visit www.scion.com/easy10.

About Scion

Scion, from Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., was developed with a new generation of youthful buyers in mind. Scion's mission is to provide distinctive products, the opportunity to personalize, and an innovative, consumer-driven process at the retail level. The Scion brand features three groundbreaking models. The xD is an urban subcompact five-door, featuring a muscular stance and accentuated wheel flares. The xB, an urban utility vehicle, combines remarkable interior space with iconic styling. And the tC sports coupe surprises the buyer with the convenience of a hatchback and the luxury of a standard all-glass panorama moonroof, complementing the usual wide array of features on all Scions. For more information, visit www.scion.com.

About mBF

malbon Brothers Farms (mBF) is a multi-media creative branding and marketing collective focusing on the art of Nuance Marketing. mBF organically cultivates brands and connects their products to a particular network of people by effectively identifying and utilizing societal cues and cultural nuances to establish brand relevance and authenticity; thus creating a more original and salient brand communication or marketing platform. mBF creates customized marketing campaigns, branded strategies, designs, events and experiences that connect brands to their core consumer. mBF’s headquarters are in the heart of New York City with satellite offices in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Tokyo, Paris, and London. For more information, visit www.malbonfarms.com

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Jamin Winans and Double Edge Films Releases Official "INK" Movie Trailer

Hi everyone,

We're very excited to announce that our new feature film "Ink" is finally complete and we have a trailer for you to see at:


We've been working on this film for two years, and yes, you will be the first to see the trailer. We hope you enjoy it and if you're feeling generous, please pass it along to friends.

Many of you helped us make this film and we want to say thanks again for all your support, especially to those who gave us your time.

We also have a new site for "Ink" at http://www.doubleedgefilms.com/ . So once you've watched the trailer on YouTube, come learn more about the film.

Thanks again for watching the trailer and helping us to get word out.

We'll keep you updated as we get closer to the release.

Jamin and The Double Edge Films crew

Interview Series - Night Before the Wedding - Actor Kevin Deen

Actor Kevin Deen on the set of Night Before the Wedding

Tell us one thing about yourself that no one really knows?

I used to be a stripper.

How did you get your start in film?

One of my substitute teachers in high school said that she did extra work. I told her that I wanted to do it too. She told me to look in the yellow pages for talent agencies. I did. I signed with 11 agencies and started working.

How did you get involved in “Night Before the Wedding”?

My friend wrote the part for me and gave me the role.

What is your role in this project?

I play Norm Satyanaraya. Norm is an innocent, simple guy who tries his best to be moral and do the right thing. He can also be a little frugal with money. Norm does not have a lot of experience with the opposite sex. Ironically, his extreme respect for women sometimes turns them off.

What attracted you to working on this film?

The director is a good friend of mine and I've been in several of his past projects. Based on that, it was hard to turn down the part. I was also excited to work with the rest of the cast because I knew most of them and liked them all. I fell in love with the character of Norm. When reading the script, many ideas came to mind as to what I wanted to do with the role. I also have complete trust in how David Branin writes for me. He has a knack for bringing out my best performances.

What was the most challenging thing you had to face with this project?

It was very challenging running away from the set fast enough when I had to fart in order to protect the cast and crew from inhaling my toxic gases.

Actor Kevin Deen poses in a photo with Actress La'Rin Lane

What did you love most about being involved with this production?

I loved getting lost in the character of Norm.

Is this a film for women to see?

Some might enjoy it but I think this film is primarily geared for men.

Will you share this film with your Mom?

I still haven't decided. I think I will definitely tell my parents about it with a warning regarding its contents. If they're okay with that then I just might.

What does this film have that you will not find in a big Studio release?

I've never seen a man do a strip tease for a porn star in a Studio Picture.

What makes this a ‘must see’ movie?

This is a must see movie because it tells a great story and has a good message. Along the way you will also enjoy a lot of laughs.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Interview Series - Night Before the Wedding's Producer/Actor Gregor Collins

Producer/Actor Gregor Collins on the set of Night Before the Wedding

Tell us one thing about yourself that no one really knows?

I used to be a really bad seed. Your average high schooler might TP a house here and there, maybe egg some cars, but I took it to levels I’m not proud of. I actually ended up in jail for doing something really stupid. But you can’t get to the top of a mountain without reaching the rock bottom of a valley, so I’m glad (and so is my mother, God bless her) I got it out of my system early. Not to say I haven’t hit rock bottom many times in other ways after that, and plan on doing it many times more before I leave this earth.

How did you get your start in film?

I majored in Media Production at Florida State, and I moved out to Los Angeles to be a television producer. After a few years of financial abundance yet creative deprivation, I stumbled into an acting class, did David Mamet’s “Sexual Perversity in Chicago”, was convinced I’d bombed, but the teacher insisted I had natural talent and to stick with it. The encouragement was all I needed to get serious. Stage is close to my heart but I soon realized film was where I ultimately belonged.

Have you worked with any name actors or directors? Elaborate.

I had the honor of working with Steven Soderbergh on “Ocean’s 13”. My scene with Brad Pitt was cut from the film, but I had 12 days with a guy I consider one of the most versatile directors of our time. He’s got everything in his head. He’s like this quiet genius. One day during lunch we had a nice, normal conversation, and I’ll never forget the joke he told me: How do you get 20 Canadians out of a pool? Hey, guys? Can you please get out of the pool?

How did you get involved in “Night Before the Wedding”?

David Branin and I share a day-job together. I barely knew him when one day he approached me and told me he had a role he thought I could sink my teeth into. Eight months later, here we are.

What is your role in this project?

I’m a producer, as well as one of the main characters. I play a guy named Bronco. His past is dark, his present, mysterious, his future, ambiguous. He has this persistent melancholy that no one can figure out, including him. He refuses to face his faults. But he is intensely loyal, has a big heart, and deep down is crying for help from someone.

What were your thoughts when you first read the script?

The first time I read the script I thought it had the potential of being ‘Blair Witch meets a bachelor party.’ David and I initially discussed this, and we figured we’d get real life porn stars and people might think it really happened. That soon got squashed, and we were pleased it took on a tone we hadn’t really planned on it taking.

What attracted you to working on this film?

Two things: Being offered a role, and working with a director I considered to be interesting, talented, and professional.

Actor John Keating, Director David Branin, and Actor Gregor Collins collaborate

What was the most challenging thing you had to face with this project?

The most challenging thing for me was to produce, as well as be a major character in the film. As it got close to shooting, I was fearful I wouldn’t be able to pull my weight. But David and Rose Coleman, the other producer, really stepped up and helped us finish it and be proud of it.

What did you love most about being involved with this production?

Seeing my first film from start to finish. I was on set one day, and I excitedly turned to David and I was like, “This is why we’re here!”

Is this a film for women to see?

I’d say the first half of the film is for guys, and the second half is for women, give or take a (racy) scene or two.

Will you share this film with your Mom?

The first TV show I worked on as a producer was ‘Blind Date.’ I sent her the first episode I was involved in, with a proud note that read, ‘Hey, Mom, this is what I’ve been up to!” She called me a week later and told me she didn’t know I was working for a pornographic organization. So I figure if she reacted like that to a fairly tame show, I’m definitely going to try my hardest not to have her see this film.

What does this film have that you will not find in a big Studio release?

Those subtle moments with friends we take for granted… the main character is thrown into a situation we can all relate to… a real-life porn star.

What makes this a ‘must see’ movie?

None of what you see feels recycled. It has an original tone. The entire film takes place in one house the whole time. Within this house we are flies on a wall to what really goes on at a bachelor party. And there are tender moments in the last half that should hit home with a lot of people.