Support from Start to Finish: Big Voice

September 8, 2011 by cindy  
Filed under Support from Start to Finish

BIG VOICE is a musical feature documentary directed by award winning filmmaker Varda Hardy and produced by Marina Viscun, Deb Love and Karen Lavender. BIG VOICE is a LiveTribe Production. With BIG VOICE, Varda maintains her commitment  to create meaningful work that will both delight and inspire audiences.

This uplifting documentary explores the lives of the top-singing students of the award-winning Santa Monica High School Choir, and its visionary choir director.  At a time when drastic budget cuts endanger both the quality of our public schools and their arts programs, this determined high school music teacher strives to create a thriving vocal music program that ignites in his students a passion for music, a sense of belonging, and the value of working hard to achieve their dreams.

Santa Monica High School’s Jeffe Huls is “larger than life” choir teacher with a passion for teaching and an edgy sense of humor.  His talented students practice diligently to pass the highly competitive auditions, meet daily to learn and sing challenging music, and perform both for their local community and in venues around the world.  But why is Mr. Huls so moved by the power and artistry of the human voice? Why has he dedicated his life to teaching teenagers how to sing? And what does it take for Mr. Huls’ students to rise to his high standards? Why do they dedicate so much of their time and resources to singing? What critical life lessons do they learn and how does singing in the choir affect their artistic and academic dreams as 21st century teenagers?

BIG VOICE will follow Mr. Huls and his teenage students interweaving interviews and concerts with ‘slices of life’ footage. It will explore what it means to be a teenager facing an unknown future, and an accomplished artist creating great art in the context of a public school.  In addition, this visually stunning documentary will include original songs created for and by the students with the assistance of Grammy-winning artists*.

BIG VOICE reveals the challenging journey of an extraordinary teacher who overcomes seemingly insurmountable obstacles to educate and transform students to step into adulthood as powerful contributors to a world that needs them. BIG VOICE will entertain you, touch your soul and uplift your spirit.

To see the BIG VOICE Promo Video and find out more about this musical documentary please visit: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bigvoicemovie/big-voice-dare-to-dream

Varda Hardy- Writer/Director/Producer

I confess. I love making movies. I want to make beautiful, truthful work that will engage and inspire. You may have seen some of my short films…Window starring Louis Gossett Jr. that screened at Cannes and aired on cable networks across the U.S.? Or Race To The Sky which aired during the Grammy Awards? Maybe you caught What Kind Of Planet Are We On? It received the “most innovative” non-profit video on YouTube & went viral with over half a million unique views. Or Ode To Los Angeles which recently won the Grand Prize from NewFilmmkers LA/LA INC? I treasure each of these films and the challenges my crew and I experienced making them. And now we are embarking on another incredible challenge, BIG VOICE! It takes a huge amount of effort to create meaningful films, but it’s worth it. I’m deeply grateful to my family, friends & community for supporting my efforts to use my creativity, skill and filmmaking ability to create good works.

How do I go about raising money for my film?

August 6, 2011 by bmcclure  
Filed under Mail Bag

Q: How do I go about raising money for my film?

Talk to EVERYONE you can think of, tell them about what you’re doing and make sure they know that you need the funds to do it.  Make sure you are passionate and integral with what you say you can deliver, but most of all, do your homework.  Meaning, have a business plan put together, make it look professional, know the trends, know where you’re movie is going once it is finished.  Making a movie is a business and you are asking someone to part with their hard-earned cash to make your business a reality.  Respect that!  It always floors me when I talk to filmmakers about the projects they are trying to raise money for and all they talk about is the story and the sets and the artistic part of it.  I’m going to be blunt here, 90% of the people you are going to get money from don’t care about that.  They care about how they are going to have a shot at making their money back.  It’s true that there are investors out there who have so much cash they don’t care if they make it back, but they are few and far between.  If you are a filmmaker and you don’t care one lick about the business side, then find a producer who does care and get them to put a business plan together.  My biggest piece of advice on this is HAVE A PLAN and PUT IT IN WRITING so that everyone knows what your plan is and so that you know what your plan is.

Episode Eighty: Writing with Connie Siu

July 20, 2011 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

Connie Siu started out in the gaming world, but eventually found herself in development at one of the major studios. Her love of story and developing stories is what led her to development and it was there she gained insight into what writers and aspiring writers need to do to get noticed by the studios.

Connie Siu- Development Executive

Connie Siu is a business development and strategic planning professional with particular strengths in multi-media and feature film industries.  She has experience and in-depth knowledge of story development, distribution and strategic partnerships.

Throughout Connie’s career, she has pursued her passion for film and she has an in-depth knowledge of both the business and creative aspects of the industry.  She began her career in the game industry working for such companies such as Sega and Namco.  There she cultivated numerous computer skills, mastering real-time 3-D animation and becoming the lead effects animator on Paramount Pictures’ Virtuosity starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe.

After graduate school, Connie was chosen as a manager candidate for Artist Management Group where she analyzed scripts for marketability, demographics, character, etc. for clients such as Robin Williams and Samuel L. Jackson.  After which, she went onto POP.com as Manager of Business Development for the on-line entertainment unit of DreamWorks SKG and Imagine Entertainment. Following POP.com, Connie was recruited by Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) as Senior Strategic Relations Manager focusing on the animation and special effects market.

Connie holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and graduated cum laude from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts.  Connie also attended UCLA’s prestigious Producer’s Summer Program where she began developing content for film and television.

Connie currently works at DreamWorks Animation in Artistic Development.  She is the former Chairman and the co-founder of the San Francisco Chapter of Siggraph and the former Vice-Chairman of the U.S. Sports Film Festival Board of Directors.  Connie also severed as Executive Director of the Pre-Visualization Society and on the Los Angeles Kellogg Alumni Board.

Aydrea Walden- Writer

Aydrea has written for The Seattle Times, the Now Write! Screenwriting book series, The Second City Los Angeles, iO West, Hawaii Film Partners, NBC/Universal, Highlander Films, Nickelodeon, and Disney. She also runs the satirical blog, The Oreo Experience–My Life and Times as a Super White Black Person. For more information about Aydrea or to contact her please visit her website at www.theoreoexperience.com

Jenna Edwards- Producer, Film Method Co-Host

For more information about Jenna Edwards please visit the About page. To contact Jenna you can email her at info@film-method.com

Lynda Lopez- Producer

Lynda Lopez started her career in film as a Production Designer working on student films with friends from art school where she was a Graphic Design major. She then went on to assist some very talented Production Designers on studio films while still working in various capacities on short films and indie films. Due to her fascination for all aspects of filmmaking, she has become more involved with the Production side of things working as a Director’s Assistant and Producer.

Lynda is currently working on a charity project for All Hands Volunteers, a non-profit organization that provides hands-on assistance to survivors of natural disasters around the world. For more information about Lynda’s project to help this organization please visit www.hands.org

Episode Sixty-Seven: Communicating Your Vision

March 30, 2011 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

When you arrive on set that first day, you want to make sure that your creative team has a plan in place. The goal is to take the vision that you’ve fleshed out and communicate that to your crew to execute the game plan in order to have a successful shoot! DP Geoff Goodloe and Director Ace Underhill join us to talk about their working relationship and also about the importance of having a plan in place before the first day of production.

Geoff Goodloe- Director of Photography

Geoff is a DP and Camera Operator from San Diego. While having only been in the business for 5 years, Geoff has worked on hundreds of productions, ranging from music videos and shorts to multi million dollar feature films. He attributes his success to being adaptable, and forging through when others would have walked away. Geoff currently resides in Los Angeles, but his work takes him around the country.

Geoff’s Facebook Page

Ace Underhill- Director

Ace Underhill has worked in the film and television industry for over 13 years, blending extensive technical knowledge with an award-winning artistic edge.  He founded Brilliant Screen Studios, a full service film & television studio as well as a feature film production company.  He has served on the San Diego Filmmakers Board of Directors and was part of the Advisory Group to the San Diego Film Commission.  Brilliant Screen also supplies productions of all sizes with crew, consultation, and equipment. Brilliant Screen Studios

Ace’s Facebook Page

Jenna Edwards- Producer

Jenna Edwards began her film career in Minnesota where she was signed on as talent with Easter Hailey. Quickly after being signed Edwards was hired by the agency as a full time employee giving her a head-start on her Hollywood education. After two years of rising through the Minnesota film community Edwards made the move to Los Angeles.

Soon after Edwards moved to Los Angeles she was hired by agent Jamie Ferrar. It was while Edwards was working for Ferrar that she developed an interest in the casting process. Before long she had moved from talent agencies to working in casting with such industry leaders as; Sally Steiner (Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Boy Meets World), Barbie Block (Jonas, Pepper Dennis) and Allison Jones (Superbad, The Office).

During this time Edwards was also able to gain valuable production experience working with studios like Disney, MTV, FOX and CBS.

After several years of successfully navigating her career through the Hollywood studio system Edwards made the leap to independent film with her first feature April Showers and has since successfully produced 4 feature films as well as co-hosting the Film Method podcast and teaching producing classes at New York Film Academy.

After her success with April Showers Edwards formed Mattoid Entertainment with partners Jeremy McGovern and Andrew Robinson where they produced the first ever made-for-internet movie, In the Darkness, which premiered on Hulu.com. Mattoid has recently made the leap to distribution, where they have acquired three feature documentaries to be released in 2011.  The first, Adopting Haiti premiered as the #1 documentary on Hulu.com.

Aside from continuing to work at Mattoid, Jenna is busy working on budgets for several independent films, producing 2 feature films and developing projects for television as well as teaching producing at New York Film Academy.

Mattoid Entertainment Website

Producing Sunflowers Website

Episode Fifty-Seven: Shorts ‘N Spirits Promo Show

November 9, 2010 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

The next Shorts ‘N Spirits Showcase will be held this Thursday, November 11th and Film Method will be apart of it! This screening series showcases short format projects including short films, music videos and web series. Craig Wilson and Mel Huffman of Shorts ‘N Spirits join us to talk about what films will be screening at the event. John Carrozza, Executive Producer of the web series Pretty joins us as well to talk about the series and about screening at the Shorts ‘N Spirits Showcase on Thursday.

John Carrozza-Executive Producer

John Carrozza helped form Velvet 
Candy Entertainment, LLC in 2006 with a mission to tell 
unique and compelling stories with diverse LGBT characters 
and strong crossover appeal.

The award-winning Socket (the world’s first gay science fiction thriller) was John’s first 
stab at co-producing a feature, but Velvet 
Candy has completed 
several other projects including the short films Rubdown, Screening Party, The Defenders and Reunion, which was funded by 
the HBO Shout Short Film Competition. John has also executive produced the web series Pretty which debuted in January 2010.  Coming up later in the year is the short film Rubdown, which will appear in film festivals across the country.

John has also recently produced the upcoming 
musical comedy The Mikado Project, which premiered at the 2010 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and Qwerty, a straight-ish office sex comedy completed and shopping for distribution.  John lives and works in Burbank, CA with his husband Doug and their dogs.

Craig Wilson-Producer/Director

Craig started his 12 year career in entertainment as an Artistic Director for a black box theater troop. In 2003 he graduated Los Angeles Film School majoring in Directing and minoring in Producing. Since that time he has worked as a Producer, Director, First Assistant Director, Grip, Electrician, Craft Service and Production Assistant in television and film. He has produced two independent feature films, is in pre-production for one and is in development of another, both slated to shoot 2010. He has also Event Coordinated and Produced five world premiere screenings, four monthly networking events and is currently a Producer for the San Diego Indie Festival Film Stage.

Mel Huffman-Event Coordinator/Production Designer

Mel’s passion has always been art. After creating her first work at the age of 5, she joined the Buena Park Civic Center Arts earning multiple awards for her oil paintings. Spending years working backstage with her family on productions, she found her calling behind the scenes. She has previously worked closely with such artists as Artis Lane, Richard MacDonald, and Ricky Swallow at the LA Fine Art Foundry. Mel helped these artists create their vision in fine art bronze sculpture. Mel is also the Los Angles Regional Manager for Mental Eclectic, assisting Southern California filmmakers in production, networking and marketing. She has now dedicated herself to a full time career in the film industry. Mel produced The Return of the El Diablo, which premiered at Geekfest in Mexicalli in 2009. She was also the on-set dresser for The Guild season 3 in addition to working as the production designer for Simply Simon, Art Director for the music video Feel Better by Nikki Lang and Production Designer for the web series The Last.

Episode Fifty-Five: Introducing the FM Mail Bag with a Filmmaker Q&A

October 11, 2010 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

We’re excited to announce a new feature called the Film Method Mail Bag! You, the listener, now have the opportunity to get those pressing questions answered about making your own film. Join producers Jenna Edwards and Cooper Harris and Producer/Director/DP Ace Underhill as we kick off this new feature and answer some listener questions. To have your questions answered, email info@film-method.com or send your Tweet with #fmmailbag or #filmmethod.

Cooper Harris- Producer/Actor

A recent graduate of the prestigious North Carolina School of the Arts, Cooper happily herself paying her bills acting and producing!  She recently starred in the SyFy Channel’s upcoming thriller, Meteor Apocalypse and just wrapped the title role in a rom-com opposite Josh Sussman (Glee) and Lochlyn Munro. Cooper was seen this summer as the new host for Red Bull, as well as in campaigns for DishNetwork, POM, Microsoft and the groundbreaking new LG campaign. Cooper produced and stars in DailyMotion’s first original comedy series, Squatters. She is also a writer/producer of award-winning transmedia commercial campaigns for companies such as Post It Notes, Kimberly Clark, and Krazy Glue. Upcoming, Cooper can be seen as the title character in the upcoming thriller, The Resurrection of Serious Rogers. www.CooperHarris.net

Ace Underhill- Director of Photography

Ace Underhill has worked in the film and television industry for over 13 years, blending extensive technical knowledge with an award-winning artistic edge.  He founded Brilliant Screen Studios, a full service film & television studio as well as a feature film production company.  He has served on the San Diego Filmmakers Board of Directors and was part of the Advisory Group to the San Diego Film Commission.  Brilliant Screen also supplies productions of all sizes with crew, consultation, and equipment. Brilliant Screen Studios

Jenna Edwards- Producer

Jenna Edwards began her film career in Minnesota where she was signed on as talent with Easter Hailey. Quickly after being signed Edwards was hired by the agency as a full time employee giving her a head-start on her Hollywood education. After two years of rising through the Minnesota film community Edwards made the move to Los Angeles.

Soon after Edwards moved to Los Angeles she was hired by Agent Jamie Ferrar. It was while Edwards was working for Ferrar that she developed an interest in the casting process, before long she had moved from talent agencies to working in casting with such industry leaders as Sally Steiner (Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Boy Meets World), Barbie Block (Jonas, Pepper Dennis) and Allison Jones (Super Bad, The Office). During this time Edwards was also able to gain valuable production experience working on shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Malcolm in the Middle, and working with studios like Disney, MTV, FOX and CBS.

After several years of successfully navigating her career through the Hollywood studio system Edwards made the leap to independent film with her first feature April Showers. After her success with April Showers Edwards formed Mattoid Entertainment with partners Jeremy McGovern and Andrew Robinson where they made, In the Darkness,  the first narrative feature to ever premiere on Hulu.com.  Most recently Edwards made her way back to Nebraska, where she shot April Showers, to team up with some new filmmakers on a comedy film called Trunk’d.

Mattoid Entertainment’s Website
Mattoid on Facebook

Episode Fifty-Three: Choosing a Camera

September 23, 2010 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

In the film world, the camera is king. What you shoot on will affect everything that matters to your project including budget, schedule and workflow. This week our discussion centers around choosing the right camera for your project.  Join us for some extremely helpful insight given by directors of photography Lore Haroutunian and Ace Underhill.

Lore Haroutunian- Director of Photography

After graduating USC’s School of Cinematic Arts production program, Lore began finding her way as a cinematographer through shooting independent short films, web and viral videos, and teaching. She spent some time as adjunct faculty teaching 16mm camera techniques at the Colorado Film School, and after that, joined Denver’s Binning Family Foundation to teach film as storytelling, as well as lead an after-school film school program for teens. She now lives and freelances as a cinematographer in Los Angeles, and writes a rather nerdy blog for cinematographers called I Should Write This Down.

Ace Underhill- Director of Photography

Ace Underhill has worked in the film and television industry for over 13 years, blending extensive technical knowledge with an award-winning artistic edge.  He founded Brilliant Screen Studios, a full service film & television studio as well as a feature film production company.  He has served on the San Diego Filmmakers Board of Directors and was part of the Advisory Group to the San Diego Film Commission.  Brilliant Screen also supplies productions of all sizes with crew, consultation, and equipment.

Brilliant Screen Studios

I Love the 80′s POP Culture

August 18, 2010 by cindy  
Filed under news

I’ve been thinking a lot about the 80′s lately and just how much that decade, more than any other, shaped my attitude towards pop culture. I was probably at the most impressionable time of my life in the 80′s, ages five to fifteen, and everything from film, television, comedy, and music, some of the most important things in my adult life, were shaped by this decade. There have been a number of times recently that I’ve heard a song from the 80′s and it will take me right back to a specific time and place during my adolescence, when life was just beginning and every moment, no matter how seemingly inconsequential, was full of all the heightened emotion of the end of a John Hughes movie, complete with emo soundtrack. Everything was new and fresh and vivid and everything mattered. Here is a list of some of the most influential pop culture icons of my day with all its guts and glory:

POP- Video Games

Pitfall, Adventure & Journey Escape
Video games were a big part of my childhood and that’s probably why I was inspired to write this blog after watching Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World last weekend. About halfway through the movie I knew that the director of the film was my age, or at least within five years of my age. I happened to be right as Edgar Wright was born in ’74 and I came along in ’75. His use of crude video game visual and sound effects took me back to the living room of the first house I lived in where I played countless hours of Atari with my brother, Brian. Some of our favorites were Pitfall, Adventure, and E.T. I remember when Brian beat Pitfall as he completed all of the hundreds of screens (that pretty much looked exactly the same) only to be taken back to the very beginning. That was big. A friend of Brian’s was the first in the neighborhood to get Pitfall II when it was released and I remember that Brian and said friend were nice enough to let me go to his house one day to play it. There were many many more “adventures” in the new game that included the ability for the Pitfall dude to float up many different levels in the caves on a balloon! There was also more than one background! It was huge. I also remember playing Journey Escape, which was based on the band Journey. The soundtrack to that game was the song Don’t Stop Believing, which upon hearing always takes me back to the basement of my cousin’s house, which was the scene of muchas Journey Escape game playing. Atari 2600, you gave us such joy.

POP-Film

Star Wars: The Original Trilogy
In my humble opinion, Star Wars should be on the favorite list of every filmmaker who grew up in the 80′s. This trilogy is probably the main reason that I wanted to be a filmmaker. I was two years old when the first movie came out and probably didn’t see it until I was about six or seven when it played incessantly on HBO. The Empire Strikes Back was released in ’80 when I was five and Return of the Jedi in ’83 (you do the math). Brian and I collected many Star Wars action figures and toys. I had the Death Star (that’s right, a seven year old girl had a toy Death Star) and Brian had the Millennium Falcon and various other ships and things. But besides just having great toys, these films were important for a number of other reasons including, oh I don’t know, maybe its cinematic genius! A New Hope was the epic set-up to a groundbreaking trilogy. There are the obvious grand and brilliant elements such as the earth-shattering score by John Williams and the amazing special effects (yes, those were real explosions) done by ILM that made the film grandiose and larger than life. But underneath all those layers of score and effects was a story; the story of a young man who had suffered great loss and who found his purpose in leading the fight against an evil empire. This team of filmmakers brought us into their world of droids, wookies, and mystical planets and sold us on an oft told and classic tale of good vs. evil. These movies weren’t about special effects and people in strange costumes, but rather those things supplemented the strong story and powerful characters. They immediately pulled us into the magical realm that they masterfully created and compelled us to care about Luke, Leia, Han, Chewy, and yes, even Darth Vader. A New Hope proved that it doesn’t take an unlimited source of money to make great movies, but rather a team of people dedicated to excellence and a whole heap of creativity. P.S. Marcia Lucas, wherever you are, Hollywood really needs you back.

POP- Comedy

Saturday Night Live, Late Night with David Letterman, and Eddie Murphy
My comedy education started at a very young age. I believe I started watching SNL around ’83 or ’84 and Late Night in ’85 or 86. I heard my first Eddie Murphy album at the tender age of nine. I guess my dad thought he was buying us a tape of Eddie Murphy singing the hits, but no, that wasn’t the case. Don’t judge dad too harshly, though, they didn’t have those clever little “parent advisory” warning labels back then. The classic album included hits such as Buckwheat, Doo-doo, and Hit by a Car. Ah yes, those were the days. If it’s any consolation, those bits were much tamer than Eddie’s later material! Some of my earliest SNL memories include the sketch with Billy Crystal and Christopher Guest who play janitors that try to one-up each other with ideas of self-mutilation while completing each other’s sentences and Phil Hartman’s Anal Retentive Chef. Some of the best years in SNL history were from ’87-’89, which included cast members and comic geniuses Dana Carvey, Jan Hooks, Nora Dunn and Phil Hartman. Not surprisingly these are the first years that Conan O’Brien wrote for this legendary show as well. Around 1985 I began watching a revolutionary new late night show aptly called, Late Night with David Letterman. My family had been fans of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson so I guess Letterman was the next natural step. I found his sense of humor to be fresh (from what I knew of comedy at ten years old) and it definitely appealed to my odd and early-shaped comic sensibilities. Although Letterman’s crude interview style offended many, I found it to be honest and refreshing. Carson was the consummate professional and could mock you while making you feel that he was still on your side, but Letterman took brutal honesty to another level while still staying somewhat personable. I believe that Letterman was also the first to bring the concept of the “remote” to late night. He actually LEFT the studio to throw things off of buildings and to meet the employees at the neighboring businesses including the one hour photo mat and the Hello Deli sandwich shop.

POP- Music


Michael Jackson, et al
I have an uncanny knack for remembering which year certain songs from the 80′s were released. Invincible by Pat Benetar from the movie The Legend of Billie Jean: 1985, U2′s With or Without You: 1986, Don’t Dream it’s Over by Crowded House: 1987. Most of my memories of these songs have to do with where I was living at the time of their release. My family moved around a lot in the 80′s (six times and three states between ’84 and ’89) and music became a sort of bookmark in my mind depending on the bedroom, friends, or emotional growing pains I was experiencing at the time. After my family moved for the first time in my young life we had a hard time adjusting to our new town. Brian and I, who were already close, spent a lot of time together during that time as we were trying to cope with the new surroundings. There were a lot of pop culture elements that we bonded to such as Michael Jackson’s Thriller album. Last summer when Michael Jackson died, there were so many cars that drove down my street blasting songs from his discography (which was awesome and I kind of miss it). When Billie Jean or Human Nature would drive by it would always take me right back to 1984, complete with all the mix of emotions that came with growing through a tough situation at the age of nine. The cool thing about those memories is that they also include the unforgettable time I spent with Brian, who is one of the greatest and most important people in my life. I didn’t know at the time, but those would be some of the last true childhood moments we would share together.

POP- Television

Days of Our Lives

There were many great TV shows in the 80′s, but none more memorable to me than Days of Our Lives. Of all the shows I was taken with in the 80′s including Family Ties, Cheers, Moonlighting and The Wonder Years to name just a few, it’s a soap opera that takes the #1 TV spot of that decade. You may be saying to yourself, “A soap opera was your favorite TV show of the 80′s?” and to that I say, “yes, it was”. Now before you totally loose all faith in my artistic sensibilities, just hear me out. I really think it was a different time for soaps in the 80′s and that there was much more time and attention invested in fleshing out the character’s stories. Besides, this is a list of what was most influential to ME in the 80′s so I get to put whatever I want on it. : ) It was 1986 when I began watching Days of Our Lives religiously and it had to do solely with the super-couple of the millennium, Patch and Kayla. I was eleven years old at the time and had never watched soaps except apathetically with my grandma when she used to babysit Brian and me. The chemistry between Stephen Nichols and Mary Beth Evans was astounding, even for an eleven year old and I was captivated by their characters and their story. It was the bad boy meets good girl story that we’ve seen thousands of times, but it worked because the characters worked and these two actors brought something spectacular and unique to this genre. I recently went back and watched some old clips on You Tube and was impressed with the writing, directing, and of course the acting. I’ve read interviews with both Stephen and Mary Beth where they talked about how hard they worked in those days. You can tell that they completely threw themselves into these characters and that they weren’t just going through the motions because they were on a soap opera. Like a good Robert Redford movie, the story took its time, paid close attention to detail, and gave us as viewers time to get on board with this relationship instead of just throwing us in the deep end and expecting us to swim. One of my favorite things to do with a movie, a TV show, or a script is to break down why something does or doesn’t work. Looking at the old Days clips makes me realize that part of why I liked the show so much back then and why it worked is not very different from why I love Lost today. Both shows (Days then and Lost) invested in their characters to make them multi-dimensional. If it’s not about the characters, then I usually don’t care about the material and don’t get involved. I stopped watching Days around 1993/1994 when I started college and when both Stephen and Mary Beth had moved on to other projects. It seemed like a good time for me to get on with my life as well.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little walk down memory lane. I know I did. I always like an excuse to reminisce about all-things-80′s and any excuse to bring up Lost, which has nothing to do with the 80′s. Stay tuned for more great podcasts!

Episode Forty-Two: Shorts & Spirits Showcase

June 9, 2010 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

Shorts & Spirits Showcase (S3) is a networking event that allows filmmakers to primiere their short film, webisode, or music video on the big screen. Shorts & Spirits is a year-round, quarterly, multi-city event, which means they are always taking submissions!

itunes_button_sm

Shorts & Spirits on Facebook
Mental Eclectic on Twitter
The Crusader
Universal Dead Web Series

Kelly Parks- Writer/Producer

Filmmaker/Buisnessman Kelly Parks is the world’s only ex-CIA, Rocket Scientist, Stand-up Comic, Screenwriter! Kelly grew up in Wisconsin (mmmm… cheese) and spent his youth watching sci-fi and horror movies as well as gazing up at the heavens, wishing he could live among the stars. After high school, Kelly moved to Arizona to study Engineering Physics and one fateful day he met a recruiter from the CIA. Soon after, Kelly was recruited as an analyst into the CIA’s Space Systems Division (he highly recommends getting a Top Secret Clearance if you ever have the opportunity) where he and a few other hand picked scientists kept track of what the Russians were doing in space. Realizing that The Agency was never going to fulfill his dream of space travel, Kelly left public service and took a job in the private sector as an aerospace engineer specializing in Orbital Mechanics. These days Kelly writes screenplays and recently won 1st prize at the International Horror & Science Fiction Screenplay Competition. Kelly’s greatest writing honor came in 2007 when he was a semi-finalist for the prestigious Nicholl Fellowship, a feat rarely accomplished by a screenplay in the sci-fi/horror genre. In 2008, he became a partner in Unconventional Films and finished writing and directing the awesome comedy web series, The Crusader, and is now producing Universal Dead, a new horror/sci-fi web series that he also wrote.

Mel Huff man- Event Coordinator/Production Designer

Mel’s passion has always been art. After creating her first work at the age of 5, she joined the Buena Park Civic Center Arts earning multiple awards for her oil paintings. Spending years working backstage with her family on productions, she found her calling behind the scenes. She has previously worked closely with such artists as Artis Lane, Richard MacDonald, and Ricky Swallow at the LA Fine Art Foundry. Mel helped these artists create their vision in fine art bronze sculpture. Mel is also the Los Angles Regional Manager for Mental Eclectic, assisting Southern California filmmakers in production, networking and marketing. She has now dedicated herself to a full time career in the film industry. Mel produced The Return of the El Diablo, which premiered at Geekfest in Mexicalli in 2009. She was also the on-set dresser for The Guild season 3 in addition to working as the production designer for Simply Simon, Art Director for the music video Feel Better by Nikki Lang and Production Designer for the web series The Last.

Craig Wilson- Producer/Director

Craig started his 12 year career in entertainment as an Artistic Director for a black box theater troop. In 2003 he graduated Los Angeles Film School majoring in Directing and minoring in Producing. Since that time he has worked as a Producer, Director, First Assistant Director, Grip, Electrician, Craft Service and Production Assistant in television and film. He has produced two independent feature films, is in pre-production for one and is in development of another, both slated to shoot 2010. He has also Event Coordinated and Produced five world premiere screenings, four monthly networking events and is currently a Producer for the San Diego Indie Festival Film Stage.

Episode Thirty-Nine: Craig Wilson of Mental Eclectic

May 14, 2010 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

Craig Wilson- Producer/Director

Craig started his 12 year career in entertainment as an Artistic Director for a black box theater troop. In 2003 he graduated Los Angeles Film School majoring in Directing and minoring in Producing. Since that time he has worked as a Producer, Director, First Assistant Director, Grip, Electrician, Craft Service and Production Assistant in television and film. He has produced two independent feature films, is in pre- production for one and is in development of another, both slated to shoot 2010. He has also Event Coordinated and Produced five world premiere screenings, four monthly networking events and is currently a Producer for the San Diego Indie Festival Film Stage.
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Kurt Braun- DP/Grip/Gaffer

Kurt Braun brings a wealth of practical know-how including: construction & design, logistics, budgeting, sourcing and mechanics as well as a background in camera & lighting. He has worked extensively with international crews both in the U.S. and abroad as a Production Designer, Art Director, Cameraman, DP, Grip, and Gaffer.

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Soonami Productions