Interview with Sean Cunningham (Friday the 13th Director)

In October I was honored to be part of the San Pedro International Film Festival, where I got to walk and work the red carpet, see some amazing new Indie films, support those filmmakers, and celebrate the industry. One of the two weekends was October 13th to the 15th, which meant we were in attendance for Friday The 13th. This Friday became the horror night, which was the perfect opportunity to show the original Friday the 13th film.

What was even more serendipitous was the fact that Sean Cunningham was in attendance that evening too as a special guest. Mr Cunningham is quite an interesting artists and a pleasure to talk to. I think I learned more in those few hours than I have in a long time about movies, filmmaking, and the industry as a whole. He was also gracious enough to grant me an interview and sit down in front of a camera for a change.

One of the things we talked about was his new project, The Nurse With the Purple Hair, a Social Good film that shows what hospice care is and what it can be. It’s the story of Michelle Lasota who makes the switch from surgical nurse to hospice nurse after the death of her father.

Sean met Michelle at Fan Expo in Toronto, CA, and was captivated by her stories about her hospice work. As filmmakers often do, he turned his interest into a project.

To date, the film has been viewed by focus groups from Vitas Healthcare, Skirball, and Kaiser Permanente. This has been their reactions:

– A catalyst to break through American culture’s denial of death.
– A great tool to bring awareness to what hospice is really about.
– Takes the mystery and fear out of hospice and dying.
– I feel brave, inspired, and honored to start a conversation that matters.
– A true look at a caring hospice nurse and the wonderful qualities of hospice care.

Here is out interview from SPIFFest:

Here is the trailer for The Nurse with the Purple Hair, you can learn more here:

Onyx Movie promises to leave you questioning your reality

Do you love psychological thrillers as much as I do? If so, I think Onyx Movie will be the film for you! I am especially interested in this project because my friend Patrick White is acting in it AND directing. It also interests me since it is an indie project that can become a reality through crowd funding and fan support. Be sure to follow Onyx on Twitter and Facebook to find out all the latest info and be sure to support the campaign so we can get this film from concept to reality. Also check out the following interview I did with Patrick and Nati Rabinowitz and the trailer for the film below that. I think you’ll find it quite the teaser!

Q: Congratulations on your work with Onyx Movie! Can you tell me a little about what the film is about and what it means to you?

NATI: The Onyx story on its most basic level is about a man experiencing some very real realities while in a coma. It’s a film that can certainly be interpreted various ways, none are wrong.

PAT: Onyx really is about the possibility of losing everything. I mean when we are at our happiest is when we are most vulnerable. This is one mans battle with loss.

Q: This was your directorial debut, correct? What was that experience like?

N:Hard to say, as we haven’t shot the film yet, but so far the writing process, development and shooting of the teaser has been exciting. Overwhelming at times, but that’s been the advantage of working with a writing and producing partner. Patrick and I both keep each other motivated and on track with the project.

P: We haven’t shot the film yet so it will be a fun experience. Collectively we all have a lot of experience working in front of the lens, but this process from idea to completion is a huge learning experience about the business of making movies and is completely different than only preparing the script or our scenes.

Q: What advice do you have for fellow actors who want to direct?

N:Just do it. Start writing. Today.

P: if you really want to make a movie the first thing you should do is read other scripts. Decide if you want to write it and if not make sure you have some creative friends.

Q: What would you tell someone who wants to be an actor but isn’t sure about the right path to take or the right way to get started?

N:Sign up for classes. The rest will fall into place, the business aspect of things. Once you sign up I highly recommend my first acting coach Matt Newton’s book “10 Steps to Breaking into Acting.”

P: Take a class and see if you like it. Audition for student films and try to just get in front of the camera as often as you can.

Q: How can people help to make sure Onyx Movie is seen by the masses?

N: We need funding to make the film. The more funding we have the more amazing the film can be, and the more likely it’ll be to get into festivals, perhaps be made into a TV Pilot or feature film. That’s way down the line but right now we need your dollars. :)

P: the campaign is super important. Raising the money let’s us make the movie. We know not everyone can donate and that’s okay, but sharing the campaign with anyone and everyone is a HUGE deal. We want anyone who wants to see this movie, to have an opportunity to participate.

Q: Where can we find you and the film online and on social media?

N&P: We’re on Facebook at @OnyxShortFilm

Instagram as @OnyxShort

N: I’m @natirabinowitz on both Instagram and Twitter.

P: I’m @PatrickWhite_ on just about everything.

Q: What is one thing you absolutely cannot live without and one thing you wish we could all live without?

N: I can’t live without a good kitchen, I absolutely love cooking and do so often. Without? ISIS. Seriously, we can do without them.

P: Food. Literally I love good food. Cheese specifically. I wish money wasn’t so important, everyone would be a lot happier and less stressed.

Q: What is the best advice you have ever received? Who gave it to you?

N: Advice is like food. There’s healthy, phenomenal tasting food. There’s terrible, bland, unhealthy food and there’s food that’s just mehhh. But there’s no best food. I’ve been pushed to not play it safe, to get out of my comfort zone. It makes sense - as being adventuring with food is important too. Don’t eat grilled cheese every day. As for giving advice, and following it, I certainly think I try and pass on and follow the lessons passed on to me.

P: My mom always told me not to be a dick, you’d be surprised how far you can get in life by just being genuinely nice and caring about other people. As for advice I would give? Never eat expired cheese. Seriously. I’ve done this once or twice so I guess that tells you how good I am at listening to my own advice.

Q: What’s up next for Patrick White or what else do you have in the works?

P: What’s up next for me? Well that’s up in the air. I have a lot of fun ideas I’d like to develop but I’m taking it one day at a time and hoping this film is as fun for everyone as it was for us to make it.

Teeco71: Here it the trailer for your enjoyment, I hope you find it as intriguing as I do!

‘Ghostbusters’ star Harold Ramis dies at 69; also well-respected writer, director

‘Ghostbusters’ star Harold Ramis dies at 69; also well-respected writer, director (via NJ.com)

While Harold Ramis gained fame for playing Dr. Egon Spengler in the 1984 smash comedy “Ghostbusters,” he also helped write and direct several other movies that were box office hits. Ramis, died this morning at 69 in Chicago from a rare disease that…


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‘Transformers’ director Bay attacked on set in Hong Kong

‘Transformers’ director Bay attacked on set in Hong Kong (via AFP)

Hollywood director Michael Bay was attacked by a man wielding an air conditioning unit while shooting the latest “Transformers” film in Hong Kong, he said. Police arrested two men in the early hours of Thursday after the attack on the “Armageddon” director…


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What’s New and Hot from Artistic Analogies Film Co

I recently had a chance to speak to producer Kevin Slee about his upcoming projects in Television and Film.  He is working on a few new interesting projects that I thought we might all be interested in hearing about.  Kevin has produced films like: The King of the Jews, Election Day, Talon’s Rant, Franky, Frankly, Grey Matter (a short), Imprints (short), and The Sublime and the Beautiful

Kevin is also an experienced director and writer and is currently working on the following  from Artistic Analogies Film Co:

  • A television Pilot: “Options” – described as Entourage meets Wall Street
  • A feature Film: Running, from writer Gregory Goyins and produced by Kevin
  • And a feature Film: Fool For Love (Based on the play by Sam Shepard), where he directs
I was happy to be able to ask Kevin a few questions about the industry in general as well as get his opinion on a few of the things currently going on in the entertainment world.

Q: You have recently worked on a TV pilot (Options), feature films (Running and Fool for Love), and a short film (Franky, Frankly). From a producer/directors point of view what are the differences each platform?

A: The main difference is pace… Working on feature films is slow, meticulous and only a few pages are shot a day — this is because you’re spending months creating a singular creative output. With television you have a pilot and you need to continue with the same style and maintain the same structure which is expected by the fans so there isn’t much room for creative input… Each director is more of a “work for hire”. Thus, the process is quick because a lot of the decisions are made for you (you being the director). If you direct the pilot you get to establish that but if you come on later you have to follow the same track. Also, and to clarify, a lot of these projects sit in development for a while — this is the case for “Options” in terms of television and “Running and Fool For Love” in features. Of the features I have worked on, I have Dispatch and Sublime & Beautiful. In the studio realm there’s Saving Mr. Banks with Disney and Tom Hanks, etc.

Q: The television industry has changed so much in the past few years. With cable TV, Netflix, and Hulu we have seen some major competition for the traditional networks. Do you think this is a good thing or not so good?

A: I love it! “Options”, which is Entourage meets Wall Street, is being developed for Netflix or Redbox — the new platform. Seeing the success of House of Cards, etc. has really motivated me to enter that medium.

Q: What do you think of the growing popularity of Crowd Sourcing for Indie projects?

A: I think it has its place and it’s great. That being said, I do not agree with celebrities going to that course (i.e. Zach Braff). I think it is for the new filmmakers, the filmmakers without studio hook-up, private equity, etc. and it should stay that way.

Franky, Frankly | Trailer from Artistic Analogies Film Co. on Vimeo.

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