Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there. Each and every one of you are the heart of the family so we appreciate your unwavering care and your loving soul. For this very special day I hope you would take this time to watch a special movie called Sunrise in Heaven. For today's interview I have the prominent screenwriter of this inspiring movie,Mr. Don Benamor, here to express his experience. So, read how Sunrise in Heaven began and check it out afterward.
1. What inspired you to write Sunrise in Heaven?
I was hired to write the script by Voyage Media, which was working with the author of the novel the script is based upon.
2. How long did it take you to write the first draft of Sunrise in Heaven?
The actual writing process itself never takes me that long, because I do extensive planning work beforehand. By the time I get to writing, I can usually knock out a script in a few weeks.
3. What research did you do when writing Sunrise in Heaven?
I did a ton of research, especially because this is based on a true story, and I had access to the real person, Jan Hurst. We spoke extensively, I read her novel, she shared personal stories with me, photos, and so on. I had a ton of access to great research material, and a lot of real-life material made its way into the script as a result of the heavy research.
4. What challenges did you face while writing Sunrise in Heaven?
Faith-based films are tricky because conflict is the friend of drama, but faith-based films have content restrictions because the audience appreciates their family-friendly nature (no swearing, violence, sexuality, etc.) The regular tools you can easily go to for dramatic conflict aren't as readily available, so you have to find creative solutions to invest the story with true conflict (the audience can sniff out false or weak conflict).
5. Did you consult with the author Mrs. Jan Hurst while writing Sunrise in Heaven?
I did, and that's how I solved my conflict problem. Jan confided in me that when she met her husband, as they initially started dating she lied to her father, who disapproved of her dating anyone in the military, and claimed her eventual husband was just a friend and not in the military. They snuck around and eventually Jan's father (who was a military man) found out. That nugget of conflict is something we built out for the film.
6. What is your favorite line from Sunrise in Heaven?
Often, when you write the script, your favorite line isn't the big dramatic line, but a smaller throwaway line that makes you as the writer laugh. There's this tiny moment in the film where the younger version of Steve compliments his prospective father-in-law, Jim, on a good shot as they fire a rifle on a little range. Jim, without missing a beat (well-played by Corbin Bernsen) says, "No one likes a suck-up, Steve." It makes me laugh every time.
7. What is your writing habit in general? Do you write in the daytime or night?
I have a young daughter, so I write any time I possibly can. I'll write at 5am when I first wake up. Often, that's the ideal time, because my daughter will sleep in until 7 or so, and my wife is still asleep, so I can get a head start on the day.
8. In one word how would you sum up Sunrise in Heaven?
Love. This is a positive, upbeat movie about love not just between the romantic leads, but all the characters, and that love wins out for everyone.
9. What piece of advice do you have for screenwriters starting out?
Stop talking and start working. Screenwriting is insanely difficult, and anything short of total commitment and crazy work ethic is unlikely to lead to success in this field. You can never have enough material, and you can never shop it aggressively enough.
10. What was your very first short film? What were the challenges you face and how did you overcome them?
My first short was in film school. It had a delicate tone, balancing comedy and drama. It was about a stand-up comedian playing a funeral. To be honest, I'm not sure I totally overcame it! But I still love that short.
11. What did you do to promote your first short film when it reached various festivals?
I was never a big shorts person. I made my first feature film two months out of film school.
12. If a self-published author is seeking a screenwriter, how would one get you or any expert to read his or her story to see if it would make a compelling movie?
There are many ways to go about that. The company that co-produced this film, Voyage Media, actually specializes in exactly that.
13. Which filmmakers/screenwriters do you admire growing up?
I have an old soul, so I was already obsessed with people like Paul Thomas Anderson and Martin Scorsese when I was like 15.
14. Were you ever on set for the making of Sunrise in Heaven? If so, could you tell me what scene you were present at?
I was! I came for the scene where young Steve tells Jim what the military means to him. It was unbelievably hot out, and the poor actors had to be in full uniform. I was really impressed with their dedication. Jan was there with me and it was surreal for us all to see Corbin and Travis play her dad and husband, respectively.
15. What was the last great film you saw? What was the last great book you read?
Last great film was A STAR IS BORN. I have nothing original to add to that film's massive success. I actually loved TRIPLE FRONTIER too. That's a great movie in my book. Last great book has some relation, surprisingly, to SUNRISE IN HEAVEN. It was called A SERIAL KILLER'S DAUGHTER, written by the daughter of the BTK killer. She used her religious faith to process her dad's crimes and achieve a type of forgiveness for him.
16. Last question, one surprising (non-writing related) fact about you?
I have this weird condition where there's a slight indent in my chest. I can balance a soda can on my chest if I lean back.
I just want to express my gratitude to Mr. Don Benamor for doing this interview. This film will definitely make your Mother's Day--or any day for that matter--a special one. You will definitely be inspired by the movie as well. Sunrise in Heaven is currently on VOD platforms so you can watch it by clicking on spectrumondemand, amazon.com, or moviefone. Thank you very much for your time and coming to my blog. Have a wonderful Mother's Day and take care.
Ms. Mackenzie Foy (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn part 1&2, The Conjuring, and Interstellar) has been cast to play a teenaqer who befriend Black Beauty. Meanwhile Oscar-winner Ms. Kate Winslet will provide the voice of Black Beauty's inner thoughts. Mr. Jeremy Bolt and Mr. Robert Kulzer of Constantin Film will produce the project while Mr. Martin Moszkowicz will executive produce it.
The film adaptation of Black Beauty will be directed and written by Mrs. Ashley Avis. I'm pleased to inform you that I had an interview with this talented director/screenwriter on July 27, 2018 about this very movie so go ahead and read that interview by clicking the link: My interview with Mrs. Ashley Avis
The best-selling children's classic, published in 1877, has been adapted numerous times for television and film.Ms. Anna Sewell, the author, sadly died just five months after publication hence never seeing the popularity of her book.
source material: www.hollywoodreporter.com
Oscar-winner Mr. Peter Farrelly is directing and co-writing the film adaptation to The Greatest Beer Run Ever. Mr. Brian Currie and Mr. Pete Jones will also aid Peter Farrelly in writing the screenplay. Producing the project are Mr. Don Granger, Ms. Dana Goldberg, and Ms. Aimee Rivera.
The nonfiction book was written by Joanna Molloy and John "Chickie" Donohue. The plot is basically about John Donohue who wanted to share his beers with his boyhood buddies so he left the United States and met them in Vietnam as they are in an army fighting in a war.
source material: www.thewrap.com
How Far Would You Go To Bury A Secret?
Plot of A Dark Place from IMDb:
Alex, is a twenty-something struggling to put his life back together after past, reckless mistakes render his job search hopeless. While pressure at home mounts from his pregnant girlfriend, he runs into an old friend who changes his fortunes. Just when things are looking up, Alex discovers a secret that sends him into a self-destructive, downward spiral and brings his two best friends along with him.
A Dark Place is one intense movie and I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Christopher Pinero, the director and screenwriter of this gripping film. Mr. Pinero has also worked on such films as Once Upon a Night and Leaving. You can check out the award-winning short now: Leaving. So, get to know this wonderful director/screenwriter and read how A Dark Place came together.
1. What is the genesis of A Dark Place?
It started out as a reoccurring nightmare that I would have pretty often. Then I played the what if game, and it became a short film titled “Once Upon a Night”. Of all the short films I had done up to that point, it seemed to resonate with people the most. It took me a couple years and at least fifteen drafts to find the right way of expanding it into a larger canvas.
2. Were there other titles you came up with before A Dark Place? If so what were they?
The feature’s working title was "Dark Patch". A neurologist discovered "where evil lurks" in the brain in violent criminals and all of them had a dark patch in the central lobe. In the end I decided against it because Alex wasn't evil to me, he was just in pain.
3. What influences (if any) helped you with writing or directing A Dark Place?
My main influences were Hitchcock’s films. I went on a Hitchcock binge before we shot the movie. Mainly Rope, Psycho, and Rear Window. Also, Silence of the Lambs is one of my favorite films and I watched it multiple times beforehand.
4. List three adjectives to describe the lead character Alex? Is he based on anyone you know in real life?
Desperate, Repressed, Self-Destructive
No, he’s not based on anyone in my life in particular. I would say all of the characters in this movie are a sensationalized part of me.
5. A Dark Place is a truly intense movie, was it written this way in the first draft or did the writing progress to what it is now?
Yes, the story always revolved around a death at a party. Through revisions I looked at ways to have the rest of the story, match the intensity of that. Once I got the structure down of where the story would go, I looked at individual moments and tried to see where I could take things up a notch.
6. Did you have any theme in mind for before writing the screenplay or it come to you afterward?
I don’t think about theme too much before writing. It always starts out as people in a situation and then leads to who are these people and how does the situation define them. I don’t like to over intellectualize in telling stories, I just try to be as personal as I can and I know the theme come out of that. I always pay attention to my intuition and what I would be feeling if I was in a theater watching this movie.
7. What is the name of the music that was played toward the end of the movie? And why did you choose that specific music?
The song at the end of the movie is “Lethal Dose of Daylight” by Andrew Deadman. I’m a friend of one of the members of the band and they were kind enough to let us use the song. The song has a sense of sadness that I felt wrapped up what you just experienced with these characters. The song also has a strong theme of reap what you sow, and I felt that wound up being a big part of this story. Every character in the film got what they deserved for better or worse.
8. Did you know how A Dark Place would end or did it come to you while writing the story?
The beginning of the story and the ending was something I struggled with for a long time and I couldn’t figure it out. I sent the script to a friend of mine, Ben Scharf, who wound up being a story consultant on the film and he suggested how Alex’s story should end. And it all made sense, everything clicked. As soon as that came about, then I knew exactly how it should start and how this story would end for everyone.
9. Jason Darcy (a.k.a Jay Eftimoski) and Christopher Donnellon gave such a superb performance as Alex’s close friends, what was your experience with them and how were you able to bring out the best in their performance?
Chris bartended at a restaurant I used to frequent and I thought his personality was perfect for this. I knew he could bring things to the movie that weren’t in the script. Jay on the other-hand, I cast in the original short film and was impressed with what he brought to the role so I didn’t consider anyone else. With both Chris and Jay, we met a few times prior to filming and discussed their characters. I was able to provide clarity to moments in the story and more importantly help develop their understanding of who these characters were. From there, when the camera starts rolling the best thing I could do was give them the space and freedom to perform. I set the right atmosphere to let them discover.
10. What message would you want A Dark Place say to the audience?
I wanted to convey that you never know what battle someone is fighting. Some people, like the main character Alex, keep their issues bottled up and bear the burden of them alone. Life is difficult, but it can be a little less so if we share in its hurts and pains. It sounds a little cheesy, but check in on your loved ones every once in awhile.
11. What is your writing schedule in general?
I find it easier to think at night because I feel that there's less static than during the day. I generally like to write sequences and will wait until the arc of that sequence is done before I call it a day. I'll try to get a draft done as fast as I can so I have a better look at the story and see where it lags and where it feels rushed.
12. If a self-published author is seeking a screenwriter, how would one get you or any experience screenwriter to read his or her story to see if it would make a compelling movie?
There's a lot of avenues online and through social media where you can find contact information, whether it be filmmaker's representation or them directly. If I were to receive a novel, the first thing I would look for is the characters and how well I relate to them. I was sent a short story a few years ago that was incomplete but the character was filled with one of my biggest fears, regret. It was so palpable I had no choice but to adapt it and find a way to give the story a proper structure.
13. Which filmmakers/screenwriters do you admire growing up?
Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, Eric Roth, David Fincher, Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese, Paul Thomas Anderson, Kathryn Bigelow, Stephen King
14. What piece of advice do you have for screenwriters/directors starting out?
Always look to create your own opportunities. If you're a writer, write as many novels/screenplays as you can. If you're a Director, make as many films as you can and never focus on the results. Find the love in writing or directing and the results will come. Always tell stories out of need rather than want.
15. Last question, what’s your favorite material object that you already own?
My movie collection.
Greatly appreciate Mr. Christopher Pinero for taking his time to answer those questions. A Dark Place is a unique gem that should be watch. Did I mention that it was the Official Selection of the Hoboken International Film Festival 2018 and Official Selection of the Manhattan Film Festival 2018? Furthermore, it won for Best Supporting Actor and Best Editing, winner of Best Thriller Film Award, and Accolade Global Film Competition Award Winner. I hope you keep an eye for this film as it comes out around August 2019 on VOD platforms through Gravitas Ventures.
The Weight of the World. The Love of a Brother.
Plot of Run the Race from the website:
Two desperate brothers sacrifice today for a better tomorrow.
Reeling from his mother’s death and his father’s abandonment, Zach, an All-State athlete, finds glory on the football field, working to earn a college scholarship and the brothers’ ticket out of town.
When a devastating injury puts Zach—and his dreams—on the sidelines, David laces up his track cleats to salvage their future and point Zach toward hope.
Mr. Jason Baumgardner is a writer and editor that had worked on Perfect Lineup( documentary), Samson(biblical drama), and now Run the Race. So, get to know one of the screenwriters behind Run the Race and read why you should seek this movie--rather than Easter eggs---this Easter holiday.
1. List three adjectives to describe Run the Race?
Inspirational. Charming. Realistic.
2. Could you express how you came to writing the screenplay of Run the Race?
Jake McEntire and I became friends through a project of mine I had cast him in to act. He had the story of Run The Race written out into a 200-page word document and was asking another friend, Zach Smith, and myself how to get it made. Jake started shaving the story down and then asked if I’d come on board to direct a concept trailer so he could use that to go get investors. So, over the holidays of 2011, I wrote a trailer script adapted from his script and we shot it over a weekend in January 2012. The feedback from that concept trailer was very positive and started opening doors for Jake to attach people to the project. Our collaboration on the concept trailer was so good that Jake also wanted me to help him get the script into shape to shoot. So, over the next few years, we wrote together to get the film ready.
3. How was your experience writing Run the Race with Mr. Jake McEntire?
It was great. I’ve co-written a few films now and each experience is different because it is trying to balance your creative ideas and intuitions versus the other writer’s creative voice. So, it can be tricky, especially when you are friends. But from the outset, I always took the backseat and knew this was “Jake’s story and film” and so he would always have the final say. There was a lot of structure work I helped with, pairing things down, combining scenes, creating new scenes, reworking dialogue, etc but Jake is great with the emotional through line of the story and the character’s motivations. Those are the things that resonated so well, I didn’t want to challenge and you can see with the film completed, those same things are what people are resonating with when they watch it. Chris Dowling (co-writer, director) came on later and did a lot of great things as well for the story, but I only worked alongside Jake.
4. On average, how many draft scripts do you find yourself writing until you are happy and satisfied with your work?
Great question. I’ve written some shorts where I cranked it out and only had a pass or two and really liked it. Features are a different beast and it’s really hard to say. With both Run The Race and Samson that were both produced, I wouldn’t doubt if we had 10 to 20 drafts with significant changes. But as you write more, you learn more and a lot of the things you did in those previous films you don’t do again. So, I’d probably say 4-5 re-writes would probably be sufficient now.
5. What’s your favorite line from Run the Race?
Fun question. Jake plays the guy in the Joe Montana jersey who drives the truck and I enjoy a lot of his lines… “Touchdown Truett!” being one. I get a kick out of the one where Zach and Ginger are going to pray at dinner and Zach says “take it away” cause that’s such a real, yet funny, moment. Another great line is when Zach is asking about if anyone figured out who broke off baby Jesus’s leg in the manger display and says, “I know that (Zach broke the leg off) but wondering if they ever figured it out.” My favorite full dialogue scenes are the ones with Zach meeting Ginger’s parents and Nanny’s monologue in the hospital. Those two are the essence of the movie to me in a lot of ways, and existed in some variation since the beginning.
6. Were you ever on set for the making of Run the Race? If so, could you tell me what scene you were present at?
Yes and No. I wasn’t on set for any of the production of the film. But as I said earlier, I wrote, directed and edited the concept trailer that helped bring a lot of interest to the film getting produced and we started a version of Run The Race in 2013 with a couple days of football footage but stopped production to get more financing. But none of that is in the movie. So, with the film you see on screen… No. None of those days.
7. Have your experience with Samson have any influence on how you handled Run the Race?
Good question. As projects take time to get off the ground, I actually worked on Run The Race before Zach (my co-writer) and I started Samson. There was some overlap there but the lessons I learned developing Run The Race actually helped on Samson, not the other way around.
8. What was the hardest part of writing Run the Race?
Having Jake trust me with his baby. Haha. Jake had such a great story and at first, he just had too much story. He had paired it down from his 200 page version, but it was still a bit of a learning curve for both of us to figure out how to get it into a feature length, digestible, version. He still has so many great scenes and characters in the 200 page, Microsoft word draft, that he could probably write an entire other movie.
9. Which director or screenwriter or film influenced you as a screenwriter?
More like, which ones haven’t? Ha. Probably have to say “Good Will Hunting” as it’s one of my favorite films, and I studied it in depth for Run The Race. But I love the way Christopher Nolan tells stories in playing with structure and how Spielberg handles tone, especially in his thrillers.
10. If a self-published author is seeking a screenwriter, how would one get you to read his or her story to see if it would make a compelling movie?
I’ve had people send me their books before. So, that’s probably the easiest way. Not to say that it will lead anywhere, but getting your material into a screenwriter’s hands has at least cracked the door to the possibility. But I would also say feel free to adapt your own book into a screenplay. Then you own the rights to all of it, and understand how the two formats are different.
11. What would it take for you personally to be interested in translating a self-published story into a screenplay?
Novels can be very robust and movies are basically short stories. So, for any novel to become a movie, it needs a ‘way into’ the screenplay format. Most likely a character or through line that the novel can be boiled down into and the rest of the book can be trimmed away but not lose the heart of the story. That can be tricky. Another thing is the book needs to be a visual story. If it’s all in a character’s head, her motivations, her struggles, etc, it will be tough to translate it into a visual medium, which is what film is. But for me personally, I think it just depends on if I resonate with the material, the themes, and at the end of the day (as with any screenplay I write) it has to answer the question for me, “Is this a movie I would pay to see?” with a resounding “Yes.”
12. The furthest I have traveled is to…
Either Australia and New Zealand or Israel. I’m not sure which is further from the States. I went to Israel in 2000 and loved it. And my wife, sister, and parents went to Australia and New Zealand in 2012. One of my favorite trips ever. As big Lord of The Rings fans, it was a very memorable and inspirational trip. Love to go back “down under” sooner rather than later.
13. What’s your most favorite animal in the world?
My dog, Tucker. He’s a husky mix and my wife and I have had him most of our marriage before we even had kids. Love that dog.
14. Last question, if you could be a “fly on the wall” anywhere at any time, where would you like to be?
Probably go with the most influential and controversial moment in world history… the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Sitting outside the tomb on that Sunday morning would be something worth turning into a fly for.
And on that note, I would like to thank Mr. Jason Baumgardner for the opportunity to interview him. You can see Run the Race in theaters. Simply click on the movie's website and find where to check it out:runtherace.com. If you want to know more about him, just visit his website: www.jasonbaumgardner.com. I hope each and everyone of you have a wonderful day. Take care and come here again to read more blog posts. God bless.
Just wanted add two photos from the movie premiere:
1. Mr. Jason Baumgardner and Mrs. Catherine Baumgardner
2. Mr. Jake & Mrs. Charity McEntire and Mr. Zach & Mrs. Casey Smith.
Mr. AI White wrote, directed, and scored his debut movie titled Star Fish. More astonishing he will be donating the profit of the film to Cancer Research. Mr. Al White is also a lead singer and songwriter of his UK band called Ghostlight. Furthermore, he is the host of "We are Geeks", a podcast that's all about movies and games. His production company, We Are Tessellate, are currently developing albums, shorts, interactive games and of course feature films. So, read all about his experience on Star Fish and definitely check out the film since it's already in theaters. As for VOD/digital of Star Fish will be release on May 28, 2019.
1. What inspired you to write Starfish?
We were in pre-production on another feature film that wasn’t working for the budget we had, when my best friend died to cancer. I was going through a divorce at the time and this was the tipping point for me, so I hid myself away in a cabin in the Colorado mountains and wrote the first draft of ‘Starfish’. Not intending it to become a film, just to be a cathartic exercise.
2. How long did it take you to write the first draft of Starfish?
I tend to gestate for a long time and then when I write - it goes very quickly. The first draft took about a week. But I like to go somewhere remote, with little to no internet or phone reception. I just watch movies, play an immersive video game and write. But the first draft of ‘Starfish’ was fairly easy to do as I wasn’t really thinking of it becoming a movie.
3. What was your writing schedule when you wrote Starfish?
I never give myself a writing schedule, not when I’m at the creative stage, at least. I’ve always tended to find myself more creative late at night - knowing the world is quiet around me. So by secluding myself in a cabin in the mountains or something similar - it helps me be creative in the daytime as well. Just the sense of isolation and no distractions.
4. What’s the best advice you have ever received about writing?
Honestly, just learning to actually listen to the cliches. Someone once told me to always write about yourself and let that be the core of any story. Then the layers of storytelling go on top of that. And I couldn’t agree more - everything has to come from a truth. And the only thing you’re an expert in - is your own life. So use it and it’s details.
The other cliche is - Don’t let any chapter/scene stop you. If you hit a block in a scene then skip it. Write the things you know and are excited about. Come back for the rest.
So long as you’re planning some structure ahead and so long as you’re obviously coming back to refine and rewrite - then this is never a negative thing.
5. In one word how would you sum up Starfish?
6. What is your favorite line from any movie?
Oh that’s an impossible task! But some of my favourites recently were in ‘Phantom Thread’ including;
“I think it’s the expectations and assumptions of others that cause heartache.”
And; “There is an air of quiet death in this house and I do not like the way it smells.”
7. How did you know you wanted to become a screenwriter/director?
In all honesty, I’ve wanted to be a filmmaker since I could first speak. I’m not sure what instigated it initially. But film (and everything it encompasses; writing, music, photography, acting) has always been the only thing I wanted to do.
8. What piece of advice do you have for screenwriters starting out?
Don’t worry about writing a screenplay. Write a story. Personally I hate screenplays. They’re cold, analytic tools. Necessary, but not friends to flowing creativity.
My personal process is a series of steps that ends with me essentially writing an abbreviated novel.
Only once I’m happy with my writing do I take this and rewrite it in Final Draft. And it’s just a job at that point. The creativity part is done. I’m just turning it into a useable script.
Don’t let the mechanisms of it being a screenplay stop you from writing your story.
9. In what ways do you set yourself apart from others as a director?
I think in this day and age you have to be aware that there’s always someone quicker, someone younger, someone smarter, someone more technically adept, someone braver and more talented than you.
But there’s only one You. So much like with writing - as a director I just try to bring as much of myself to a project as possible.
You have to have a clear vision but then also be ready and excited to embrace the things that go wrong during a shoot. Turning what could be a negative into a positive.
10. If a self-published author is seeking a screenwriter, how would one get you or any experience screenwriter to read his or her story to see if it would make a compelling movie?
I certainly can’t speak to more accomplished screenwriters/filmmakers. But for me personally - I’d take a look at anything I’m sent if I can tell two things -
Firstly; that the person who sent it is passionate about what they wrote. That doesn’t mean a two page e-mail. Keeping it short is always ideal. But just something that shows that what they wrote means something to them.
Secondly; I would want to know that they’ve actually researched me and watched/read some of my work. So I know that they’re reaching out to me because we may connect in some genuine way. And not just because they’re sending an e-mail out to dozens of creators. You’d be surprised how many people (normally actors) contact me, and they’ve clearly never even seen my work.
11. What would it take for you personally to be interested in turning a self-published story into a movie?
A story that I connect with. And I feel that’s probably the truth for most directors. Which is as nebulous and unpredictable as it sounds.
12. When inspiration is waning, when you feel creatively sapped, what do you do? How do you stay fresh?
Well sadly I tend to wade a lot through inactivity and days can just bleed by. But the times when I’m on top of things - it’s another cliche, but you can’t underestimate the power of going outside and taking a walk or a jog.
Breathing real air. Getting some exercise. You get oxygen to your brain and you have time to think and get away from your normal surroundings. And you can come back feeling more confident in body and soul.
13. Do you recall the very first short film you ever did? What lessons did you learned from it?
I did a lot of short films growing up, but without understanding the process. Even in film school, I don’t think I listened enough. I’d say my first public short film (‘Beneath’) was my first real short.
And the most important thing I purposefully learnt from it was - I did as many jobs as was humanly possible on it. We shot with just 4 on crew and 2 in the cast. I did all the camera work. The producing. In post I did the score. The editing. The sound design. I attempted a grade before passing it on to professionals.
But I tried to do everything. Because I think it’s very important that a director understands just how hard (and important) every single persons job is.
I don’t allow the actors to be called ‘Talent’ on my sets. As if they are called ‘talent’ then so should every other person on the crew be.
14. What is your favorite movie when you were a teenager? What is your favorite movie now?
‘Se7en’ and ‘Buffalo ’66’. And probably the same. I’m an obsessive list maker, so I have lots of ‘Best Of’ lists.
15. If you were to create a slogan for your life, what would it be?
‘IF’. It’s the only tattoo I’d consider getting. My mum used to read me Rudyard Kipling’s ‘IF’ poem every night when I was a kid. It even features briefly in ‘Starfish’.
But I think the most important trait is empathy.
16. Last question, would you rather have a cat or a dog?
I’m 100% a crazy cat person.
My appreciation to Mr. Al White for answering those questions. I hope you check out Star Fish when you can. You can definitely get the Digital copy or VOD starting May 28 of this year. By purchasing the film you are supporting a great cause(Cancer Research). Thank you my fellow readers for stopping by here. Come again soon as I'll be posting more interviews in the near future. Take care and have a great day.
Based on the absurd but true story
Mr. Robert Budreau has made various short films that has won film festival awards. His feature film, That Beautiful Somewhere(based on a novel Loon by Bill Plumstead), got nominated for Genie Awards. It was also shown at Atlantic Film Festival, Calgary International film festival, Montreal World Film Festival, and many more. His other film, Born to Be Blue, starred Oscar-nominated actor Ethan Hawke and the lovely Carmen Ejogo. It made a special presentation at the Toronto International Film Festival. Now, his latest film, Stockholm, has Ethan Hawke, Noomi Rapace, Mark Strong, Christopher Heyerdahl, and Thorbjorn Harr in it. The film has already won an award for Best Adapted Screenplay at the Canadian Screen Awards. So, get to know this gifted director, screenwriter, and producer and go check out his film, Shockholm, on Friday, April 12th.
1. What drew you to write and direct Stockholm?
I was given an article in the New Yorker from 1975 by Daniel Lang called ‘The Bank Drama’ and was immediately fascinated by the rich characters and stranger than fiction absurdity. I was also attracted to working in limited locations with great actors.
2. How long did it take you to write the first draft of Stockholm?
This script came together quickly because of the article and the contained chronological of the story. A first draft came together over several months after doing some research.
3. Do you ever get writer’s block? What do you do to get back on track?
No writer’s block on this one. Because I had tons of information, it was more about what to cut back as opposed to a lack of things to say. When I do get writer’s block, it’s usually more about focusing my attention. In order to get back on track, I need to ignore emails and life around me and concentrate on creating.
4. What is your writing habit in general? Do you write in the daytime or nighttime?
I try to write in the mornings and afternoons. With kids, my days are more limited now so I often put in a few hours in the evenings after getting them to sleep.
5. What research did you do when writing Stockholm?
The New Yorker article was my foundation since Daniel Lang already did a lot of research and interviews. I also went to Stockholm several times and reviewed all of the archives and court transcripts. There was a ton of information and photos. It was all in Swedish of course, so that poses its own translation issues…
6. What is your favorite line from Stockholm and Born to Be Blue?
Don’t really have favorites, but here are a few-
Stockholm: “How did the fish turn out?” / “They had meatloaf”.
Born to be Blue: “Miles told me to comeback after I’d lived it a little…”
7. On Born to be Blue, how did you get the rights to write a story about Chet Baker and what was your overall experience working with Carmen Ejogo?
Working with Carmen was great.
Because I based the story on information in the public domain, and because Chet didn’t really write his own songs, we only required the publishing rights to the music.
8. What was your very first short film? What were the challenges you face and how did you overcome them?
My first short was a black and white 1940s musical film noir called ‘Dream Recording’, featuring the music of David Braid who would later compose and score Born to be Blue.
The challenge on that film was shooting in negative 28 degree weather in February and being very green as a filmmaker.
9. Could you give a fun fact about your experience working with Ethan Hawke, Noomi Rapace , Mark Strong, and/or any other cast members in Stockholm?
Ethan’s such a consummate pro and generous actor we would run 2 minute shots even for tiny bit lines from supporting cast close-ups and Ethan would give 110%. And then finally jump into the shot realizing he wasn’t in full wardrobe. He’s such a contagiously positive influence on the cast and crew.
10. If you were forced to watch one movie (besides yours), nonstop, for a whole day in a locked room, which movie would you choose?
Raging Bull. My favorite film.
11. If a self-published author is seeking a screenwriter/ producer, how would one get you or any expert to read his or her story to see if it would make a compelling movie?
By calling me or sending me the story or by sending or calling my manager or agent.
12. What piece of advice do you have for screenwriters starting out?
Write as much as possible to hone the craft. Be very patient. Don’t get caught trying to follow trends. Write with budget in mind for indie films. Keep it simple.
13. If you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be?
Bob Dylan, Robert DeNiro and Obama. The first two wouldn’t want to say anything, but who cares. We could listen to music together and then they’d talk to Obama.
14. Which novel/novella/short story have you read that you would like to make a film adaptation?
All Through the House by Christopher Coake - amazing, but tricky to adapt.
15. Last question, (fill in the blank) if I wasn’t afraid I would_______________?
As the saying goes, truth is stranger than fiction. So, prepare yourself to see Stockholm, an unbelievable story that actually happened. All in all, I just want to extend my gratitude to Mr. Robert Budreau for taking his time to be interviewed by me. If you want to know more about his past and present film projects just visit this website: Lumanity.com Again, his latest film, Stockholm, will be release in theaters on Friday, April 12. Thank you for stopping by to read this and I hope you have a blessed and productive day.
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