Monday, March 23, 2015

Interview with Robert F. Lyons – The Burning Dead




Charles Bronson movie staple Robert F. Lyons, known for his roles in such classics as Death Wish II and Murphy’s Law, The Omega Code, Pendulum, and Platoon Leader took time to chat with us about his career and his upcoming projects.


What or who inspired you to get into acting?

I simply as a young teen made the decision to be an actor and went for it right after high school - I did grew up watching movies every week end with the rest of the kids in my area.



You have worked on stage plays, numerous films, and TV series. Do you approach acting the same way for all mediums?

Interesting question - for plays, actors get a longer rehearsal period so they have a longer study and discovery for the play’s intent or purpose and characters, etc. But in film, having done a deeper study on plays, it set me up for doing deeper work in a shorter period of time for any type of film creating.

Regarding filming, the actor has to know his work and do it as fully as he can in the time he has before going in front of the camera.




What has been the most memorable role for you to date?

I have a few and for different reasons - Nick in: “GETTING STRAIGHT” gave me a chance to do exciting work and get better known as an actor for future films. - I did a lot of research for: CEASE FIRE, the part of LUKE and thought it all hung together well for the creative end of the film.



In addition to acting, writing and directing you also are an acting teacher. What is the appeal to teaching?


I’ve learned so much teaching and enjoy seeing actors reach for higher understanding of acting and arrive at it and starting to work professionally - thrilling to observe this and know you’re a part of it – keeps me on my toes as I’m always learning. Also, having observed how some teachers taught, treated actors I also arrived at, being an actor, what I feel actors want to know and the how to go about it and be treated so they too can do improved craft and acting - and by really taking the time to deal with each individual in front of you and address their particular problem or needs. I could write a book on that - in fact I did a short version that is on Amazon and Barnes & Noble called: SOME CONFUSIONS ABOUT ACTING - inexpensive yet selling – as long as it honestly helps I’m happy.



How has teaching changed your own craft?


As earlier stated, keeps me looking and observing and learning. I must say I could practice a bit more too - sometimes I’ll get up and do a monologue for my class and let them tell me what they saw and critique me - it’s fun.


One of your most current films is the horror-comedy, The Burning Dead. How did you get on board that project?

I auditioned for it.


Any new projects on the horizon you can tell our readers about?


I have another indie film coming out entitled: BABYSITTER - it is currently making the festival circuit - haven’t seen it yet but have a good feel for it.

I’m also writing more and looking at pushing on a feature film I’ve written some time ago to be made - titled: THE BIG BUILD UP.


I wrote a children’s book: POLAR DOG - that has received rave reviews on Amazon ( that can be checked out by Googling: Polar Dog by Robert F. Lyons) and Barnes & Noble that I’m thrilled about and am looking into getting it out as an animated film. I believe it will do well.


The Burning Dead is released April 7 on DVD






Wednesday, March 18, 2015

SWEET MADNESS, New film from Peter Dukes/Dream Seekers Productions casts lead roles



The newest film from New film from Peter Dukes/Dream Seekers Productions, SWEET MADNESS, has cast its lead roles. This will be the 16th film Peter Dukes has written, directed and produced for his company, Dream Seekers Productions. 



SWEET MADNESS is a short fan based, quirky, dark, humorous film about the madwoman Harley Quinn's descent (or ascent, if you ask her) into pure madness. 


The filmmaker is making this film for fun and out of love for a fabulous character who's yet to see the light of day in the live action Batman canon.


The leads

Sunday, March 15, 2015

HEAT WAVE- Interview with Twilight's Kiowa Gordon and Catch Hell's Russ Russo



HEAT WAVE Synopsis:

Kiowa Gordon (Twilight Saga's Embry Call, SundanceTV's The Red Road) stars in this tale of four friends who awaken to find that their reality may not be what they expected in the midst of a 2015 heat wave in LA. Also starring Aaron Jaeger (TV's Youthful Daze), Wolfgang Weber (The Magician's Son), Jessica Andres (TV's The Lizzie Bennet Diaries) & Russ Russo (An Act of War, Ryan Phillippe's Catch Hell) who also wrote & directed the dark tale inspired by the early 60's Twilight Zone TV series.



Russ Russo and Kiowa Gordon took time to chat with us about HEAT WAVE


How did you two meet and decide to work together on this project?

(Russ) Kiowa and I met while shooting a trailer for a financing failed film called "Into the Darkness" in August 2009 and remained friends, Kiowa came to stay at my place in LA in the summer of 2012 instead of AZ where he's originally from and we came up with an idea for a Feature Film that was to be HEATWAVE which, because of a long story, became the short that has been released.


Russ, Heatwave was inspired by the 60’s Twilight Zone TV series, was there a particular episode you had going through your mind as you were writing the story?

Not really, although, there is a particular episode called "The Midnight Sun" which has a lot of themes that could be construed as similar, but there is a female protagonist in that and it is particularly eery.


How long did it take to make the film (from inception to final product)?

(Russ) From the point of financing to the final product took over two years, but less than a week to shoot the actual film, it all comes down to how prepared you are financially, as well as creatively, to do a movie.


What was the biggest challenge in making Heatwave?

(Russ) The biggest challenge I find in shooting any film is whether the film can get financed or not, even if you're independently wealthy and a lot of filmmakers put their own money into their films, movies are expensive to make and always a challenge to make the best product while still doing it for the budget you're working with.


Kiowa, Do you take a different approach to acting in a film like Heatwave say verses what you’ve done for Twilight Saga or The Red Road?

Big productions have a little more wiggle room financially and time-wise that small projects just can’t afford. We took two days to shoot Heatwave. No breaks! Definitely a passion project.


Russ, How did your acting experience help you in preparing for directing Heatwave?


I think actors have a certain sensibility when storytelling and we tend to focus on the acting. I allowed my team behind me, Craig Blair, Ariana Malik and a great DP Steven Boatman, to focus on the behind the camera, moving the camera and getting great shots. But for the acting in this film, I was very aware of and wanted to help the actors draw out a great performance which, I believe, shows in this piece.


The film has been released digitally on VHX, what do you feel are the benefits of releasing the film this way?

(Russ) It was a way to initially have a platform to distribute the movie, see the analysis of streams as they happen and evaluate where the rentals and downloads were mainly coming from. We are looking to also have the movie available on Youtube shortly in their rental space.


What do you hope people take away from watching Heatwave?
(Russ) I'd like for people to watch a well acted film that leaves them thinking 'Wow, I'd like to see those guys create more’.



____________________
HEAT WAVE DETAILS:


Written By: Russ Russo

Starring: Kiowa Gordon, Russ Russo, Aaron Jaeger, Wolfgang Weber, Jessica Andres, Paul Lange, Craig Blair

Producers: Steven Boatman, Zahir Zahrieh, Craig Blair, Ariana Malik

Executive Producers: Kiowa Gordon, Russ Russo

Co-Producers: Marinna Lee, Mayra Leal, Todd Sandler, Faisal Al Saja, Glen Boatman

Associate Producers: Jonathan Roumie, Wendy Shepherd

Cinematography & Director of Photography: Steven Boatman

Music: Ben Wiacek - Music Producer: Darin Smith

_______________________
HEAT WAVE SOCIAL MEDIA:

The independent short film HEAT WAVE with Twilight's Kiowa Gordon and Catch Hell's Russ Russo (making his directorial debut) has been released digitally on VHX at: http://heatwave.vhx.tv/






Thursday, March 12, 2015

New teaser trailer for ELECTRIC SLIDE



Starring Academy Award Winner PATRICIA ARQUETTE, JIM STURGESS, ISABEL LUCAS, and CHRISTOPHER LAMBERT. 
 

IN CINEMAS AND ON DEMAND APRIL 3rd 


The brand-new teaser trailer for Tristan Patterson’s vivacious, music-fueled crime caper Electric Slide, starring Jim Sturgess, Isabel Lucas, and Oscar Nominee Patricia Arquette, has been released. The film will be released in US theatres and on VOD April 3 by Paragon Releasing.


Sturgess (Across the Universe, 21, One Day) plays Eddie Dodson, a Melrose Avenue antiques dealer who decided to become a bank robber. Dodson drove to the banks in a black ’63 Ford Galaxy LTD. He dressed up like an elegant criminal. He made mix tapes to listen to on his getaways. And in only nine months, Eddie robbed 64 banks – more than anyone has robbed before or since.


Taking its aesthetic cues from Eddie Dodson and the unique moment he occupied in L.A.'s countercultural history, director Tristan Patterson has forgone the style of straight‐ahead biopics to create a New Wave dream of a romantic outlaw seeking self‐reinvention and immortality in paradise.


Isabel Lucas (The Pacific, The Water Diviner), Patricia Arquette (Boyhood, CSI : Cyber), Christopher Lambert (Southland Tales), Chloƫ Sevigny (Bloodline, Big Love), Vinessa Shaw (After the Fall), and John Doe co-star.





A Polaroid snapshot of 1983 Los Angeles and a love letter to a man who decided to quit reality to live full‐time in the Hollywood movie of his dreams, the film features an appropriate and electric mix of tunes from the likes of Iggy Pop, Magazine and the Psychedelic Furs.









Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Indican acquires acclaimed drama RADIO AMERICA

Indican acquires acclaimed drama RADIO AMERICA


“Everyone who ever had a dream, this film will bring it back to life"- Talent Monthly

“Beautiful and Charming. Great Soundtrack” – KTIM

"Two Thumbs Up” – Random Radio Network

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – Indican Pictures has acquired Radio America, a heartfelt odyssey about the pitfalls of fame “that gives you the VIP pass from farm to fame with all the right tour stops in between” (The Entertainment Corner).

Production hails from Shorris Film, the Hollywood-based outfit run by Clint Morris and Christopher Showerman.

The acquisition is another feather in the cap for a distributor that's becoming increasingly synonymous for their top-notch independent feature films.

“If Indican were the stage, and we were musicians, we couldn’t ask for a better stage to present our act. With their passion, knowledge, and skill, they are undoubtedly the right distributor to bring Radio America to the masses”, says Morris.
A touching, music-fueled drama – in the vein of La Bamba, Once, and The CommitmentsRadio America “reminds us what’s possible when passion and opportunity collide” (Cyrus Webb, Conversations Magazine).

The “Incredible story” (BGG After Dark) fixes on two wannabe musicians, stuck working on a farm, who hit the bigtime when one of their songs gets radio airplay.

Eric (Jacob Motsinger) and Dave (Christopher Alice) are two farm boys who dream of escaping their rural roots to achieve fame and fortune as rock stars. As they grow up, their talent grows with them. However, the real impetus behind their momentum is their friend Jane (Kristi Englemann), who manages their musical career. She finally gets them in front of a major label A&R scout who sees the potential of the act.
Dave and Jane become romantically involved and this strains their friendship with Eric. When the A&R scout replaces Jane as the manager and puts the act before America, the pressure is almost too much for their friendship to handle.
Their first tour puts them on a roller coaster of euphoria and tragedy that mercilessly puts the value of friendship vs. commercial success back into perspective for the survivors.




Wayne Bastrup (Terminator : Genisys), Read MacGuirtose (Cruel Will), Tristan Price (The OC), Robert Ebinger (Days of Our Lives), and J.Kristopher (Straight Outta Compton) help make up the ensemble cast.

Christopher Showerman makes his feature directorial debut on Radio America, Pic is produced by Morris, Showerman, Chris Durand, and Eliza Washabaugh. Showerman wrote the script.

Radio America will be released later this year




Sunday, February 22, 2015

Powell Robinson and Patrick R. Young complete their first horror feature


II 2014 USC film graduates Powell Robinson and Patrick R. Young have just
completed their first horror feature, BASTARD. The pair co-directed a script
written by Young. Lauren Bates produced the film under her Bloody Lip
Productions tag.

"BASTARD follows newlywed, hitch-hiking serial killers, a brother and sister
on the run, and a suicidal, alcoholic cop as they get caught in an
increasingly bizarre series of murders committed by a masked killer near a
mountain-town bed and breakfast."




The film, infused with the blood of cult slasher films like The Burning and
Halloween, includes a throwback retro score, all practical effects, and
stars genre veterans Rebekah Kennedy (Season of the Witch/House Hunting) and
Tonya Kay (Raze/Dark Space). Newcomers Ellis Greer, Dan Creed, Will Tranfo,
and Burt Culver (Starry Eyes) fill out the rest of the chopping order.

An excerpt of the score by Kyle Hnedak:

https://soundcloud.com/big-bad-film/bastard-score-excerpt

The film will enter the sales game under Robinson and Young's production
company name BIG BAD FILM.







Thursday, February 12, 2015

Interview with Producer Jason Gurvitz - AVENGED



With five star reviews across the board, March release Avenged is destined to change the careers for many of its cast and crew, particularly producer Jason Gurvitz who saw the project from the ground up.


Jason, where and when did this project begin for you?


A filmmaker friend introduced me to Michael because he thought we would be a great team and he was totally right. I read another script that Michael had written that was a much bigger budget and I knew right away that I wanted to work with him, but the scope of the film was just way too big, so I asked Michael what else he had and he told me that he had been working on a smaller film that was along the same lines as the one bigger one. I was hooked and knew we had to get it made.

What were your responsibilities from the outset?

Well, when I first got the script I loved it, but I recognized, as producers do, many areas that could be further developed, so Michael and I went back and forth in development for another 6 months or so until we both felt it was ready to take out. Then I began to shop it around to financiers, sales agents and everyone I could that could lead us to getting the film financed. Once we finally did with the help of a sales agent and several equity investors, my job was to prove that we could make the film the way we had said and that lead to scouting with Michael, casting, and doing everything I could to ensure that Michael’s vision of the film would be achieved.


What was the appeal?

Michael’s passion as a storyteller was the greatest appeal of all and his extraordinary vision that was a refreshing new way to make a film.


Avenged isn’t your first film… did that make it easier?

Well, having experience making lower budget films in all kinds of difficult circumstances and many personalities to manage it sure helped. Avenged, however, had many elements that I had never worked with before so it felt like a new experience in many ways and I’m fortunate and now even more experienced for having gone through it.


They say horror is the easiest of the genres to sell and get distribution for. Is that one of the reasons why work with the genre?

That’s not my reason for working in this genre. I only want to work with filmmakers like myself who have a passion for telling stories in a fresh and innovative way and that can happen in all genres. There are aspects of horror that are easier than other films for sure and it allows us to keep working more often, so in that respect I would recommend filmmakers work in the genre, but it’s easy to end up in a horror film that has no vision at all, which makes us feel worse than if we hadn’t worked on the film at all so it’s about having a balance.



Have you been hands-on during the distribution process?

On this film I haven’t been so hands on because our sales agent Raven Banner have many years of experience and are doing what they do best to sell the film. We come to the table with ideas and we are working out some marketing strategies to promote the film in the US but other than that, the distributors and our sales agent have a handle on how they want to market it. 



On most independent films, producers are required to wear extra hats. Was that the case with you?
Yes, most definitely and that is the case on all the lower budget films I make. From development to casting to raising financing, even to driving trucks, setting up craft service if necessary and it’s often necessary. You really never know from one day to the next exactly what you will have to pick up and do when the moment calls for it so if you want to get your film finished as a producer, you have to be willing to do whatever it takes and treat everyone well in the process, which is the most important of all. 



How has the feedback been so far on Avenged?
The reviews couldn’t be better. Many fans and critics alike are calling it one of the best horror films they have ever seen or an instant classic and they often go into great detail about what they like and that’s really great to see. We put a lot of passion and hard work into this Avenged and the fans are certainly appreciating it.



Avenged VOD release date: Friday, 6th March, 2015

Avenged DVD release date: Tuesday, 21st April, 2015

Avenged theatrical release: Friday, 6th March, 2015