Friday, December 9, 2016

Notes on a Call Sheet review


The topics vary but my hope is that what the listener may gain from these podcasts will help shape a career and accelerate progress towards an acting goal. they are free on iTunes and Podbean.



Branding and typecasting are at the opposite ends of the spectrum for an actor. Learn the difference and the consequences of each as it affects your career.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

How to Shoot a Feature Film in 15 Days (And Survive to See Profits): The making of Dead Right

I met Vito di Bari who was an Italian film distributor at a film market in Las Vegas and struck up a conversation. What follows is an excerpt from How to Shoot a Feature Film in 15 Days (And Survive to See Profits).

When I had run out of small talk, I said to Vito, “I can make a police action thriller for [undisclosed, loss-leader, unbelievably bargain basement sum here].” “How can you do that?” he wanted to know. “I do it a lot,” I told him looking more sad than proud of the fact. “What would the film look like?” he asked which told me that he was either incredibly forbearing or had bitten off on a small piece of my implied proposition. Time to offer him a larger bite, I thought to myself.

“If you’ll come down the hallway with me, I’ll show you.” This was a nice trick to pull out of my hat, because it just so happened that my producer’s rep had a suite down the hall and there, one of the films they were pushing, was my latest movie Bleeder & Bates to be seen. I escorted Vito into the suite, exchanged brief hellos with my rep, appropriated a video player that wasn’t being used at the time and racked up my movie. As I did so, I noticed Vito studying the poster for Bleeder with its shiny, silver police badge, the Porsche Turbo (with Martini racing colors), two guys with guns and intent to kill and two women wearing what looked like Victoria’s Secret lingerie. This arrangement of images piqued his interest even further. We watched the opening of Bleeder.

After about ten minutes, Vito asked me to scan ahead to the middle of the film, which I did. There we watched another ten minute segment of the movie; possibly the sequence with the Porsche Turbo racing along Mulholland Drive was in this section. Then, he asked me to scan forward to the last portion of the film which we watched taking in the enigmatic ending where a police commander is shotgunned to death at the front door of his home by an assailant that is implied rather than identified. “Let’s talk,” was all he said.

We didn’t go back to his company's suite but, instead, found a sofa at the intersection of two hallways and began our discussion. “When could you start?” Vito asked. “In about three days.” I told him this knowing how crazy that would sound to him. It reminded me of a scene from the film Patton where Patton tells the command that he can pull out of battle and move his troops in a winter storm a hundred kilometers to another region and take up the fight again. Vito was just as incredulous as were those Generals listening to Patton’s declaration. Vito needed an explanation. “Vito, I founded a repertory company for film and television,” I began. “We have about a hundred actors at any given time whom we have trained and prepared for the roles we create for them in the movies we make. Think of us as a studio from the old Hollywood studio system with our own actors but without the overhead and real estate and operating as guerrilla filmmakers.” I added that it was my habit to write the script as we shoot the movie and went on to say that if we required three days to start, it was only because I needed a day to get back to Los Angeles. He began to see that I wasn’t quite as crazy as he at first thought. “What kind of film would it be?” he wanted to know. It will be very much like the one you just looked at; a thinking man’s cop drama looking at the relationship between crime, law enforcement and politics. If you liked what you just saw, you’ll like what I do for you.

If you didn’t, we should stop now. Do you have a story in mind, he asked. No, but I have a title—Dead Right.

Vito and I shook hands on the deal and he gave me his card asking me to call his office in Los Angeles so we could set up a meeting to formalize our agreement to make this movie together. Coming away from the encounter, a friend pointed out that I had just made a deal whereby a distributor, whom I had never met, would fund a film for which there was no script and which, in the real world, isn’t supposed to happen. It occurred to me that if I only did things that were supposed to happen, I would be selling life insurance in the San Fernando Valley. “I think he liked the title,” I told my friend

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Carrera Panamericana (1950-54): A new review


A remarkable documentary!
By MICHELLE LEVERE on November 30, 2016 
Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
 
I can't say that I am either a race fan or a car buff, but when I read the description of this documentary stating that the Carrera Panamericana was the world's most dangerous road race, I thought it would be a good idea to investigate. I wasn't disappointed. Incredible race footage plus in-depth interviews brought me right to the edge of the road. The only things missing as I watched were the dust and the smell of exhaust! This film absolutely satisfied my appreciation of history, particularly in light of the fact that I had never heard of this event. So, I am better for that. And towards the end of the movie, I wondered if they were able to keep this race alive to the current day, that it would be on par with the FIFA World Cup for anticipation and fan following. And never forget, "A driver is always an optimist, a passenger is always a pessimist"! 
On Amazon Prime and DVD.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Clip Joint: Delia's back & forth



I want to thank Lea Lashaway for recovering and digitizing footage from an episode of Clip Joint in which she is featured. Lea was a member of my film and television repertory company for the two decades of its existence in Los Angeles and is a very talented actress. Shooting these episodes was labor-intensive for me very often involving ten-minute takes that would roam the studio moving from one conversation or event to another--the camera became heavier as the evening wore on.

In Clip Joint, Lea played a militant lesbian who protested the show-within-the-show, 'Duke Maltin's Clip Joint', but--like many protestors before her--wanted to be on the payroll. I wish I could remember the names of the actors playing the network executives in the first part of the scene but I can't other than to say that the actress' first name is Debbie. She was a CableACE Awards judge like others in the rep company. In the second half of the scene, Lea converses with Kevin Courtright who was also a long-time member of the rep company and a CableACE judge.


Monday, November 28, 2016

Clip Joint: Kitchen showdown



In this scene from my comedy series Clip Joint (inspired by The Larry Sanders Show), actor JT Grimm confronts Lea Lashaway (as Delia) for inciting a lesbian protest against the show staff for creating a hostile work environment by wearing Erectile Dysfunction Awareness ribbons. Duke Maltin and Wesley Harris are also featured. Clip Joint theme by Michael Chanslor.


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Carrera Panamericana (1950-54) short trailer



This is a glimpse of the documentary I wrote and directed about the Mexican road races of the early '50s. They were considered to be the most dangerous races in the world...

Watch on Amazon Prime. Order the DVD.

Original Carrera poster by Chad Glass: http://chadglass.blogspot.com/

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Exigence: In the woods



A scene from Exigence "In the woods"--Shane Lewis and Pry'ce Jaymes with special thanks to Jaymes Young...

In describing Exigence, I somewhat flippantly say it is Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid meets Three Days of the Condor, which is accurate insofar as the tone and action of the movie are concerned. There are also some subliminal references as well.

If you recall, Condor was set back East during the cold autumn-to-winter period. There is a scene in Condor where Redford analyzes Dunaway's photos as conveying that feeling of time. In Butch Cassidy, there is the buddy relationship that has a growing sense of impending doom in spite of the optimistic, if naive, attitude of the two friends. These references are made, subtlely, I hope in Exigence.

This sequence is a rough cut with no attention made yet to sound.

Monday, November 21, 2016

A series of ONE: The Spoiler starring KBabyNate coming soon to Amazon Prime



A series of ONE: The Spoiler starring KBabyNate coming soon to Amazon Prime. A series of ONE is my collection of one-man and one-woman shows that can be viewed on Amazon streaming video and DVD. KBabyNate also did excellent work in Exigence, the movie I am currently shooting.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Exigence: Skype rehearsal with Pry'ce and Shane



Exigence Skype rehearsal with Pry'ce Jaymes, Shane Lewis and me for tomorrow's shoot in which the two characters realize the absurdity of a 'covert contractor' admitting emotional distress to an employer or seeking help for it...

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Carrera Panamericana (1950-54) on Amazon Prime


Carrera Panamericana (1950-54), a documentary that I wrote and directed on the death-defying road races held in Mexico, is now available on Amazon Prime. It is still available on DVD

The Carrera Panamericana (1950-54) trailer: