Episode Seventy-Seven: Director-Actor Relationship

June 22, 2011 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

The relationship between the director and actor in any medium is a very special one. Trust is of the utmost importance and when established early on can give the actor a freedom to explore and create in such a way that can help serve the story and the film. Chasing Eagle Rock is veteran TV and film actor Erick Avari’s directing debut. He also stars in the indie film opposite Michael Welch of Twilight fame. Producer Larry Laboe also joins us to talk about the film.

Erick Avari- Director-Producer

During his 30 years as an actor, Erick Avari has consistently turned in finely crafted performances, from grand opera to soap opera, with stops on and Off Broadway, in regional theaters, in some of the highest grossing films in the past two decades, on hit television series and in award-winning independent films.

Avari is instantly recognizable from his roles in blockbuster films ranging from the comedic Mr. Deeds, opposite Adam Sandler; to sci fi epics such as The Mummy, with Rachel Weisz and Brandon Fraser; Stargate, with Kurt Russell and James Spader; Independence Day, starring Will Smith, and Daredevil, as Jennifer Garner’s father. He has also lent his talents to critically acclaimed dramatic roles in film festival favorites American East, with Tony Shalhoub; Dark Matter, starring Meryl Streep; Three Days of Rain, with Peter Falk and Blythe Danner; and Choose Conner, with Steven Weber.

Since his Hollywood debut in Kevin Reynold’s The Beast of War, he has been fortunate to work with some of the most honored film directors of the time, including Mike Nichols, Tim Burton, Lasse Hallström and Satyajit Ray.

Born in Darjeeling, India, Avari attended European boarding schools before attending university in the US. He launched a distinguished career on the New York stage that included leading roles in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” (directed by Tony winner A.J. Antoon), “Tis Pity She’s a Whore” (directed by Mabou Mines founder Joanne Akalaitis) and “A Map of the World” (written and directed by David Hare) at the Joseph Papp Public Theater, as well as the classic musical “The King and I” on Broadway.

He has appeared at some of the country’s most prestigious regional theaters, including the Tyrone Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, the Goodman Theater in Chicago and Shakespeare and Company in the Berkshiers, and played leading roles in Mozart’s “Abduction from the Seraglio” at the Portland Grand Opera, and in “Rasputin” at New York City Opera.

Among his scores of television roles are Chandra Suresh on NBC’s breakout hit series “Heroes,” as well as recurring roles on LA Dragnet, Stargate SG-1 and Felicity. Avari’s recent television appearances also include Dirty Sexy Money, opposite Peter Krause and Law and Order: Criminal Intent.

Versatile, dedicated and dynamic, Avari has been a trailblazer for a generation of South Asian actors in Hollywood. In his fight against stereotypical casting, he has played more than two dozen different ethnicities with authority and believability.
Chasing Eagle Rock marks Avari’s Directorial debut.

Chasing Eagle Rock on Facebook

Michael Welch- Actor

At 23, Michael Welch has worked in every aspect of the entertainment business including film, television, voice-over, and stage. Michael is the recipient of two Young Artist Awards.  First for his performance in Star Trek – Insurrection at age 10, and the second for his work as Luke Girardi on the hit television series Joan of Arcadia, which ran for two seasons on CBS.  Welch won best actor at the 2011 First Glance Film Festival in Hollywood for his portrayal of a troubled young man in Unrequited.

Michael completed filming The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn recently, the fourth in the series of best-selling novels by Stephenie Meyer. He has enjoyed wide exposure for his role as the popular Mike Newton in the Twilight series and much acclaim from within the industry and his many fans.

In the last few years, Welch demonstrates his intense depth and commitment to his craft by assuming challenging roles as the leading man.  Independent films such as Born Bad, Unrequited and Lost Dream are just some examples. In  Chasing Eagle Rock, Michael plays the role of J.R opposite Erick Avari.  Welch can be seen in award-winning festival favorites such as My Suicide, An American Crime, United States of Leland, American Son, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, and The Cover-up.

Welch is familiar to television audiences for his many starring roles on Emmy Award-winning shows, most recently Criminal Minds and Bones.   During the past few years he appeared on CSI, an arch on The Riches, CSI: Miami, Numb3rs, Law & Order: SVU, Crossing Jordan, NCIS, Cold Case, and Without a Trace. His earlier years included performances on Stargate SG-1, Judging Amy, The District, Touched by an Angel, Malcolm in the Middle, The X-Files, The Pretender, 7th Heaven, Chicago Hope, and Frasier.

In spite of his busy schedule, it is essential to Michael to give back. He received the 2005 Star Innovative Award for environmental causes and has been active with the charity Kids With a Cause since 1999.  During 2010, Welch was invited to Germany by the USO for their first educational tour for young people. Recently, Welch was Co-Chair for Walk on The Horizon, an event to raise awareness and resources for adults with disabilities.  Just last year, Michael created the $5.00 Buck Club for The Thirst Project.  His goal was to prove to young people that $5.00 can make a difference.  He raised $20,000 and is looking forward to going to South Africa, Kruger National Park and Swaziland with The Thirst Project in December, 2011.

Michael on Twitter

Larry Laboe- Producer

Larry Laboe began producing film, television, commercials and new media projects with international production and distribution company SXM. His first network series was NBC’s ‘Ctrl’ starring Tony Hale and Steve Howey. Mr. Laboe more recently began work as a producer on Comedy Central’s series Matumbo Goldberg starring Anthony Anderson, Jenna Elfman and Oscar Nominee Michael Lerner, Directed by Oscar nominated Rob Pearlstein and NBC’s FCU: Fact Checkers Unit starring Pauley Perrette, Luke Perry, Jon Heder, Donald Faison, Alex Trebeck and more. Mr. Laboe also produced two series, Disney Kitchen Jam and Diagnosis Stories for Disney Interactive and the feature film Chasing Eagle Rock starring Erick Avari, Michael Welch and Mary-Margaret Humes.

In 2007 Mr. Laboe co-founded the non-profit 501(c) 3 organization NewFilmmakers Los Angeles with partner and Program Director Susie Kim. In an effort to bring opportunity to independent filmmakers, film goers and entertainment industry professionals in Los Angeles, Mr. Laboe works as Executive Director of the group and coordinates NFMLA film screenings on a monthly basis, along with an on-camera filmmaker interview series distributed by MovieMaker Magazine.

Jenna Edwards- Producer, Film Method Co-Host

For more information about Jenna Edwards please visit the About page.

Producing Sunflowers Website
Burbank International Film Fest

Episode Fifty: Icons Panel #4

August 25, 2010 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

The Icons event was held during Comic Con and showcased different types of pop culture including art, film, music and fashion. Film Method conducted a total of four panels at the event. Here is the recording from the fourth panel of the day with 10 year old film critic Perry Chen, Director Kevin Sean Michaels and the director of How to Train Your Dragon, Dean DeBlois.

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Click to view the Icons Photo Gallery

Perry S. Chen- Film Critic/Animator

At 10 years old, Perry Chen is the most influential and award-winning child film and entertainment critic, speaker, TV personality, radio talk show host, reviewing movies and family-friendly entertainment with his unique, kids-friendly starfish rating system on a multi-media platform on TV, radio, print, and web. He is an entertainment critic for the San Diego Entertainer Magazine and was the first child film critic invited to present at the prestigious Annie Awards for animation, the youngest blogger on Animation World Network (AWN), the youngest member of Asian American Journalist Association (AAJA), and San Diego Press Club, and the youngest honoree of Cox Communications annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Perry has been a frequent star on the red carpet and credentialed journalist interviewing filmmakers and stars at major film festivals, movie premieres, and press junkets. He is a speaker at a TEDx conference.

Perry has become an authoritative spokesperson for his generation about movies with his insight and humor from a child’s perspective, combining entertainment and education for kids.  Perry is also an award-winning artist, filmmaker and animator, partnering with Oscar-nominee Bill Plympton to create a new animation short, Beyond the Forest, about a young Jewish girl’s survival during the Holocaust.  Perry became a national sensation on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric and NPR with Liane Hansen.  He has been extensively featured on regional, national and international media.  Perry’s Previews webseries is slated to launch in the summer of 2010. Visit http://www.perryspreviews.com for details.

Kevin Sean Michaels- Director

Kevin Sean Michaels was born and raised in New York City. He started making films at age thirteen with a Super 8 home movie camera in the style of silent movies. Michaels was the Art Director for Troma Entertainment for three and a half years, working closely with filmmaker Lloyd Kaufman on Troma’s film Poultrygeist! Night of the Chicken Dead,  as well as numerous DVD extras. He founded his own production company, Vamp Productions in 2005.

Michaels is known for his documentaries, Vampira: The Movie was his first documentary released on Alpha Video in 2008. Since then, he has produced The Wild World of Ted V.Mikels, about the grind-house filmmaker, due in stores March, 2010 also on Alpha Video. In 2008, Michaels met David Lynch and is producing a documentary, Beyond The Noise about a teenager’s journey learning Transcendental Meditation.

He is working on a project with horror legend Ingrid Pitt on an animated short on her experiences in the Holocaust with 10 year old art prodigy Perry Chen and two-time Oscar nominee Bill Plympton.

Episode Forty-One: Ivana Todorovic & Larry Laboe

June 1, 2010 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

Ivana Todorovic

Ivana is a self -proclaimed video street fighter from Belgrade, Serbia. She has shot, directed and co-produced three short social documentary films in Belgrade and New York City on low-to-no-budget, with the aim of both helping the people she filmed and producing social change.

In 2006, Everyday life of Roma children from Block 71 about Roma children living in shanty town in Belgrade. In 2009 A Harlem Mother about a mother who after losing her only son, she decides to fight despair by organizing her Harlem neighborhood against gun violence. In 2008, Rapresent about 19 year old homeless man, Bojan, who is a passionate graffiti artist and hip hopper surviving on the streets in Belgrade.

Her documentary films have been shown in over 40 International Film Festivals around the world, and have been used in educational settings for high school and university classrooms, including NGOs, in order to bring awareness to social issues. Films have won acclaim at the Mixed Messages Film Festival in New York, the Ethnographic Film Festival in Belgrade and the Human Rights Film Festival in Montreal.

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Links

Raprasent & A Harlem Mother
Ivana Todorovic on Facebook
Newfilmmakers LA Website

Larry Laboe- Producer/Executive Director

Larry Laboe has been working as part of the professional media industry for over 8 years, in a truly collective experience of various mediums; film, TV, radio, print advertising, new media and most recently film exhibition. While in New York City, Mr. Laboe was employed on TV, print and radio campaigns by the world’s most prestigious marketing and advertising firms, including McCann-Erickson Worldwide, Publicis Groupe, J. Walter Thompson (JWT) and Arnold Advertising Worldwide.

After Relocating to Los Angeles Mr. Laboe began consulting with key entertainment venues, promoting their properties through corporate media events. These events included film premieres and television series launch parties for such networks as Showtime and CBS. After working on numerous narrative short and feature film productions, Larry began producing television and new media projects with international production and distribution company SXM. The first network series was NBC’s ‘Ctrl’ starring Tony Hale and Steve Howey. Larry more recently began work as a producer on Comedy Centrals newest network web series ‘Matumbo Goldberg’ starring Anthony Anderson, Directed by Oscar nominated Rob Pearlstein and NBC’s ‘FCU: Fact Checkers Unit’ starring Jason Alexander, Jon Heder, Donald Faison, Dave Navarro and more.

Larry co-founded NewFilmmakers Los Angeles in 2007 with partner and Program Director Susie Kim. In an effort to bring opportunity to filmmakers, film goers and entertainment industry professionals in Los Angeles Larry is working as Executive Director of the organization and coordinating film screenings on a monthly basis, along with on-camera interviews with MovieMaker Magazine for each filmmaker selected as part of the festival at Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood.

Lost and Found

May 24, 2010 by cindy  
Filed under news

May 24, 2010

Last night was the series finale for one of the most daring and original television series ever made: Lost. Unless you’ve been hiding out in some dark cave or under some black rock, you are already aware of this. If you aren’t a fan of the show, you know someone who is and you’re probably very confused by the obsessive and manic dedication that your friends, coworkers or family members have shown towards this television show. Why all the hype? It is JUST a television show, right? I suppose that I can understand people who have this attitude, as I have this same feeling about sports fanatics. When I see sports fans jump up and down, hoot and holler, and plan their entire lives around Monday Night Football, the World Series and March Madness I wonder, “Why? Isn’t it JUST a game?” No, apparently to many people it’s more than just a game, and to me, and millions of other people around the world, Lost is much more than just a television show.

I have watched Lost since the spring of 2007. I believe that I held on longer than others did because I watched the first two and a half seasons back to back, without breaks or re-runs in between. Although the current short and quick TV season format is most likely a result of the dreadful writer’s strike, I believe that this new way of doing TV was exactly what a show like Lost needed to retain its audience and to keep the momentum started in season one. Watching continuously helped me see the building blocks of the foundation and, save for one or two shows, I never felt that the building was in vain. There was always another layer and another level being added, which continually enhanced the story.

The brilliance of Lost is in the strength of its characters. From day one it was about the lives of these crash survivors. I truly believe that the island is a metaphor for the struggles that we go through in our lives that build character and shape us into better human beings. Lost is and has always been about the human struggle for purpose. Whether or not the island ever really existed is up to interpretation. I believe that the ending spoke for itself and am excited for the discussion that the finale will continue to spark beyond the life of the series.

Many people have asked and will continue to ask for answers to all of the so called “loose ends” that were left undone in Lost. In my opinion, those things are peripheral to the real story and don’t matter in the larger scheme of things. There are many mysteries in our own lives that will never be answered. In Lost, as in life, it’s easy to get caught up in the details, but the details are the things which are leading us to greater meanings and understandings. There are connections that seem so intentional, and they are, but they aren’t the end all be all. Those connections are pointing us to more important truths, just like the numbers, Charles Widmore, the Dharma Initiative, and the subtle and overt ways that the characters’ lives intersected in the past, present, and future.

A week and a half ago I was privileged enough to attend Lost: The Final Celebration, which was a concert of the music from Lost conducted by the wonderfully talented and Oscar winning composer, Michael Giacchino. Sitting in an auditorium with 1,800 other fans was an experience that I will not soon forget. It was a joining together of two of my favorite art forms: music and film. I say film because Lost has never been just another television show. Lost has always taken the medium to another level with it’s epic writing, acting, directing, production design, music, editing, etc, etc, etc. Each episode is like it’s own film and is on a scale too grand to be categorized as another TV show. The evening, like the show, was on a grand scale and was perfectly executed with introductions of the cast and producers, live music from Lost and a viewing of the penultimate episode. As the orchestra swelled with familiar Lost themes, the screen portrayed still photos from the past six seasons. We laughed together and cried together and had a unique moment that most television viewers don’t get the opportunity to experience. We celebrated our passion for this wonderful art form together and it was magical.

Last night Lost came full circle. The story began with one man, alone, walking through the carnage of a plane crash, and it ended six years later with one man, alone, walking through the jungle on the journey to his deathbed and ready to meet his Maker. At the end, Jack was assembled with the people in his life who meant the most to him and who helped shape his life. I would bet that if you asked anyone at the end of his life what the most important thing was in life that he would say the relationships he had and not the jobs, status, or money. The struggles and challenges make us who we are and it’s in light of those struggles that we can truly appreciate the end of the journey. I’ve delighted in the journey that Lost has taken me on these past few years and am excited to see the journey come to an end for one reason: now I can finally get some work done.

Episode Thirty-Four: Scilla Andreen of IndieFlix

April 14, 2010 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

Join us as we speak with IndieFlix CEO Scilla Andreen.

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Scilla’s Links:
Scilla on Twitter
Crowd Controls
WorkBook Project
Beyond the Box
Fans, Friends and Followers

About Scilla Andreen

CEO and Co-Founder of IndieFlix.com Scilla Andreen is a producer, director and Emmy nominated costume designer with deep roots in the entertainment industry; producing several award winning films including festival favorites, “Outpatient”, “The Flats” and Sundance hit, “Bit Players”. Her first film, “Mutual Love Life”, received Oscar Consideration. She began her career in film while attending NYU as a political science major, working part time as a photographer covering the United Nations for the Wall Street Diplomatic World Bulletin. She and her partner Carlo Scandiuzzi created IndieFlix to be a fee-free, one-stop shop for filmmakers to reach the broadest on-line audience while keeping their rights and the lion share of the profits. She has spoken on numerous panels and immersed herself in film related organizations worldwide. Her favorite past times are thinking up tag lines, reading, sailing, Fly fishing, cooking and napping on the beach. She is best known for her contagious loud laughter and when she’s not staying up too late working or buying domain names, Scilla can usually be found hanging out with friends and family.

Episode Thirteen: Raising Money

September 23, 2009 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

Episode13_PhotoThe task of raising money for your independent film can be a bit overwhelming. The good news is that there are professionals who are willing to help independent filmmakers foster relationships with investors. There are also attorneys who can help protect the creative types to ensure that laws are followed while raising money for their films.


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Hula-palooza! Docs Take Center Stage at 10th Maui Film Festival

June 9, 2009 by admin  
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Two docs will open the 10th Maui Film Festival taking place June 17 – 21. Director Dana Brown’s “Highwater” will open at the fest’s open air Celestial Cinema, a doc showcasing the 2005 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing in Oahu’s North Shore, while best foreign-language Oscar winner “Departures” by Yojiro Takita will open at the festival’s Castle Theatre. Other festival highlights include a Maverick Award for Willie Nelson, while Zooey Deschanel …
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