Two miles into the earth, nine Appalachian miners struggle to survive after give after a methane explosion leaves them trapped with only one hour of oxygen.
Here is the synopsis to Mr. Edward Mensore's intensifying film Mine 9:
Mining country in Appalachia has been declared The Devil's Playground. A close-knit group of veteran miners, all friends and family, commence what would be a normal day's work--except today a rookie, the son of one of our veterans and the god-son of the Section Leader, joins them, 18 year-old Ryan.
With ever-growing safety concerns at the mine, Zeke (Section Leader and long time coal mining veteran), struggles with the correct course of action, weighing on one hand the safety of his men, and on the other, the need to earn a steady wage in an economically depressed region.
Today, however,fate takes matters into its own hands when a huge methane explosion rips through the mine. Smoke engulfs the men, forcing them to rely on nothing more than brains, brawn and faulty self-rescuers(oxygen tanks that afford them one hour of air).
Mine 9 is the story of the struggle for survival against all odds; men trapped in hell as the result of exploitation, greed and circumstance.
1. If you had to describe yourself using three words, it would be…?
Intense, loving, conflicted
2. What is the genesis of your movie Mine 9?
I grew up in West Virginia, which is coal mine country. I took elements of a handful of coal mining accidents that happened during my youth and weaved them into one story.
3. What was your writing habit when you wrote Mine 9?
I write everyday, so it was a routine. Writing the script was fast, probably three months. The idea was concise and well researched ahead of time. It helped to write a long treatment before beginning the script.
4. What research did you do when writing Mine 9?
Extensive research on coal mine explosions, coal mine operations, and mine rescue. It is very technical. I had to find a coal mine expert to help me lay out the story, attempting to keep it realistic. Even with that assistance, it was like learning a new language.
5. Do you ever get writer’s block when writing Mine 9? What do you do to get back on track?
I never got writers block during the creative writing aspects. I did get writers block/flustered from the challenging technical aspects, when the coal mine expert would tell me what made sense, did not make sense, and why. Simplicity always got me back on track. Overthinking something is easy to do and it doesn't seem to help much.
6. What is the biggest surprise that you experienced during or after making Mine 9?
No matter how hard you work on something, you might not ever sell it for the dollar amount that it is worth to you.
7. Did you ever listen to music while writing?
Absolutely! Nimrod Workman. Appalachian ballad singer.
8. What piece of advice do you have for screenwriters starting out?
Keep your locations contained with minimal characters. After you complete the first draft of any script, start cutting characters and locations. If there are four people talking and they all sound similar, condense the conversation to two people. You will start to see the characters come alive.
9. What’s the best advice you have ever received about writing?
The script is never finished. Writing is the only time that you get to make changes for free. Do it now, before you get on set.
10. What was the last great film you saw? What was the last great book you read?
The last great movie was The Rider, by Chloe Zhao.
The last great book was, Can't Hurt Me, by David Goggins.
11. In one word how would you sum up mine 9?
12. What do you love about directing in general?
Getting to be a fan of actors who make the words on the page come alive with greater meaning than I ever imagined.
13. What was your reaction when you first watched the trailer of Mine 9?
I got excited, because I knew that it worked.
14. 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?
Just contact me. I have helped two self-publishing authors turn their novels into screenplays.
15. What would it take for you personally to be interested in translating a self-published story into a screenplay?
A solid paycheck with the understanding that it takes time.
16. What book (or movie) had the most influence in your life?
Spike Lee's, Do The Right Thing, made me want to create art.
17. If you could be a “fly on the wall” anywhere at any time, where would you like to be?
On the set of Magnolia with Paul Thomas Anderson.
18. Last question, if a genie granted you three wishes, what would they be? (can’t ask for more wishes)
The very best filmmaker, husband, and father that I strive to be.
I really like to thank Mr. Edward Mensore for this interview and I urge those reading this to check out Mine 9. To know more about the film or take a sneak peek of the movie stills or behind the scene photo click on the website:www.mine9movie.com Thank you for reading this and I hope you have a great day.
Pigeon: Impossible is an award-winning short film that has been viewed millions of times online. The short has also reached numerous festivals around the world. With such attention and recognition, Fox Animation/ Blue Sky got the rights to the short film. Now, it'll be a feature film and will be release on Sept. 13, 2019. The feature film, however, will be called Spies in Disguise. It stars Will Smith, Tom Holland, Rashida Jones, Karen Gillan, and Dj Khaled. So, take this time to know the creator of this superb animated concept.
1. How did you get the idea for Pigeon: Impossible?
Originally it started out as about a 60 second, single-shot story about a guy who gets the wrong briefcase, and it turns out to be a spy’s briefcase, which goes nuts and wreaks havoc. It was so long ago that I honestly can’t remember where it changed from that super simple idea to something bigger, but it was probably just scope creep. I do recall that the pigeons were just side characters for the longest time, and then at one point there were story issues and the idea occurred to put the pigeon inside the briefcase, and make that the thing that causes things to go awry. That opened up so much more that could be done, and it was really funny for there to be this incredibly mundane thing like a pigeon wanting a bagel that triggers all this mayhem and (nearly) world-ending destruction.
2. What was your writing process like for Pigeon: Impossible?
I think calling it a process makes it sound more organized than it was. The film itself went through at least 5 or 6 complete ground-up rewrites. Part of that was because I was very inexperienced as a storyteller at the time, and part of it was because I had started the project more as a technical exercise than a proper film. It was also done almost entirely in animatic, which is common in animation, but means there wasn’t really much in the way of a script. Just an outline/beat sheet. Whenever there were new ideas, we’d do some rough animation and put them into the edit to try things out.
3. What research did you do when you made Pigeon: Impossible?
I watched a lot of pigeons. I’m sure they think I’m a real creep. Other than that I was mostly watching a lot of other animated films at the time, because I had never done animation before and was also teaching myself through this process.
4. Were there other titles you came up with before Pigeon: Impossible? If so, what were they?
Originally it was called The Switch because the story was that much simpler scenario I mentioned earlier. Once we knew we were going to change the title we played with a few others, but it was Pigeon: Impossible that stuck pretty quickly.
5. What was the most surprising thing you learned when making Pigeon: Impossible?
Hm… surprising is tough. I think probably just how long and difficult it was, but again, a lot of that came down more to my inexperience at the time, as well as lack of resources. Pigeon took about 5 years to make, and I did roughly 80% of the work on it… somewhere around 10,000 hours. If I were doing that now, especially with Mighty Coconut, the animation studio I co-own it would probably only take 3-4 months.
6. What did you do to promote Pigeon: Impossible when it reached various festivals?
The biggest thing was a series of behind-the-scenes YouTube videos about the making-of process. You can still find them on pigeonimpossible.com. The info in them is somewhat outdated, but they can be a good resource for people wanting a quick intro to how it all works. It was also a very different time, because the film was released in 2009. There was surprisingly little “high-end” stuff on YouTube, and quality animation was particularly hard to do at the time. So a big part of the success was just that it hit a quality bar for both story and execution that most people couldn’t distinguish from the big studios. It was by no means the first film to do that, but it was definitely one of the first of those indie-animated shorts that went toe-to-toe with the big guys.
7. When you’re an aspiring animator, who did you look up to most?
When I was making Pigeon I was mostly looking at Pixar, Dreamworks, Blue Sky… I still love stuff from those studios, Brad Bird was and still probably is my favorite director working in animation. But now it’s much less about the studio and more that the director has a unique vision for the film. I don’t like things that are designed by committee.
8. What was your reaction when you first watched the trailer of Spies in Disguise?
Pretty surreal, but that’s partially just because this film/world has been with me for pretty much all of my adult life. It’s just kind of wild to see it finally blossom into something so much bigger than I had ever imagined.
10. How did your animated short film Pigeon: Impossible get discovered by Hollywood Studio?
Basically when the film went online a few people started knocking and I got my manager, agent, etc. We did a round of general meetings and then pitched the feature version around town. Peter Chernin had just started his own company so they picked it up and took it into Fox.
11. Do you have any hidden or uncommon talents?
I fancy myself a bit of a jack of all trades. I was a music major in college and still play (saxophone) occasionally. I split my professional time between writing, making video games, directing, and then just the day to day of helping run the studio. It actually helps a lot to have several different skills and interests. They influence each other and it really helps to be able to talk to the various people working on a project. They’re always better than me at the piece of the puzzle that they’re focused on, but I’m fluent enough to speak the language and make sure everyone is working towards the same end-goal.
12. If you could write and animate a film-adaptation of any novel/novella/short story, which one would you like to do?
I’m going to go with Mort by Terry Pratchett.
13. What do you wish you had known when you were starting your career?
I don’t know… there’s a lot of things that you can only learn by having gone through it, and the things I wish I had known are way too nuanced for me to sum them up. A lot of it comes down to just a general sense of how the film industry works. It’s a little like the Matrix. No one can be told what the Matrix is, you have to see it for yourself.
14. In one word how would you sum up your overall experience with Pigeon: Impossible?
15. Have any of your animated short films got distributed internationally?
Yes the other big short film I’ve done is called The OceanMaker. Tonally it’s very different from Pigeon Impossible, but it also did very well on the festival circuit, got distribution and is now online.
16. Could you give a sneak peek on your next project?
I just delivered a draft of a new animated feature which will hopefully be my next big project. Can’t say anything about that now, but I’m also working on a feature version of The OceanMaker and have several other ideas that are in various states of development.
17. What piece of advice do you have for aspiring animators starting out?
Just start. The technology is so accessible that there’s no reason to not be in there actually doing the work. I’m also a big believer in school, but it’s not a requirement for working in the industry. If you have the opportunity to get actual industry experience, that’s far more important than any class.
18. Last question, what type of snack (or food) do you plan to get while watching Spies in Disguise for the first time?
My stomach will probably be in knots, so since this is all hypothetical, I’m going to go with an Old Fashioned just to help me relax.
And with that I just want to give my appreciation to Mr. Lucas Martell for his time. Spies in Disguise is a definite must-watch movie this year so don't miss out. Again, It arrives in theaters on September13th, 2019. If you want to know more about Mr. Martell's latest project just visit his website: www.mightycoconut.com. Take care and thanks for stopping by to read this post.
From Minority Report to Kiss Kiss Bang Bang to Poseidon, Mr. Andrew Zilch has been involved with making top notch, quality movies and he is here to discuss his latest movie A Crooked Somebody. A Crooked Somebody is a must-see, thrilling film that stars Rich Sommer (AMC's Mad Men, The Devil Wear Prada), Clifton Collins Jr. (HBO's WestWorld, Super Trooper 2), Joanne Froggatt(PBS's Downton Abbey, Mary Shelley), and Ed Harris(HBO's WestWorld, Gone Baby Gone). I hope you take this time to know the screenwriter of this innovative story and go check it out since it's now on Video on demand (VOD).
How did you come up with the story of A Crooked Somebody?
A few years ago, my longtime friend Rich Sommer (who plays Michael in the film) mentioned he’d love to play “a psychic medium who gets caught up in his own lies.” I happened to be looking for a new script idea to sink my teeth into and the more we talked about it, the more excited I got about the possibilities of the story. After those initial conversations with Rich, I did a deep research dive into the world of mentalism and mediums and came out the other end with the idea of CROOKED’s characters and plot. The story details evolved over the course of months, but that initial kernel of a psychic-medium-in-a-pressure-cooker-of-his-own-making stayed well intact throughout the whole process.
What was the most surprising thing you learned when writing A Crooked Somebody?
The most surprising thing I learned is just how easy it is to fake a psychic reading. With a basic understanding of human nature and probability, it’s actually infuriatingly simple to convince a willing mark that you have psychic abilities.
On average, how many draft scripts do you find yourself writing until you are happy and satisfied with your work?
It varies from project to project, but I think I wrote five drafts of A CROOKED SOMEBODY before I had it in a place I was ready to show the world.
List three adjectives to describe A Crooked Somebody?
Relentless, Surprising, Delightfully stressful
What piece of advice do you have for screenwriters starting out?
Write characters that actors would kill to play.
What is your favorite line from A Crooked Somebody?
I’m pretty partial to the titular line – “It’s better to be an honest nobody than a crooked somebody.” It sums up the story’s theme in a way I’ve always liked. It was also a line delivered by the legendary Ed Harris who makes every line sound like gold.
Were you ever on set for the making of A Crooked Somebody? If so, could you tell me what scene you were present at?
The film’s director (Trevor White) and I had a really collaborative relationship, so I was on set for every day of principal photography.
What are your thoughts on Rich Sommer playing Michael Vaughn and Clifton Collins Jr. playing Nathan?
I’ve been friends with Rich Sommer since we attended college together in the late ‘90s, so writing in his voice feels almost as familiar as writing in my own. Because the character was literally written for Rich, the whole experience would have lacked a bit of magic if he hadn’t been cast in the role. And I couldn’t be happier that the film’s producers agreed.
I was ecstatic (and still am) that Clifton agreed to play Nathan. I’d been a fan of his since I first saw him in CAPOTE and knew immediately that he’d be able to navigate all the hairpin twists and turns of Nathan’s character. Watching the film today, I’m still finding new things to love about his performance.
Could you tell us about an interesting or fun moment that occurred on the set of A Crooked Somebody?
We were scheduled to do an ambitious overnight shoot in the hills above Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Shortly after sunset, we realized it was the same night Guns N’ Roses were playing a VERY LOUD sold-out concert at the stadium. With a limited window of darkness and no flexibility to reschedule the shoot, our actors were forced to perform the movie’s climactic scenes while G n’ R’s music (along with synchronized fireworks) boomed just a few hundred yards away.
What is your favorite meal at your favorite restaurant?
The fennel sausage and goat cheese pizza washed down with a Piehole Porter beer at Station 66 Italian Bistro just off I-40 in Williams, Arizona.
If you could write and direct a film-adaptation of any novel/novella/short story, which one would you like to do?
David Benioff’s novel CITY OF THIEVES is one of the most cinematic books I’ve ever read – and one that I’d love to adapt. But as the highly acclaimed creator/writer of a little show called GAME OF THRONES, I’m guessing Benioff himself would be the studio’s first choice to adapt his novel. Just a hunch.
Last question, if you were forced to watch one movie (besides the ones you wrote), nonstop, for a whole day in a locked room, which movie would you choose?
SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN, one-hundred percent. And honestly, there wouldn’t be much forcing involved.
All in all, you need to check out this movie that Mr. Andrew Zilch has written. It'll be worth your while. I'd also like to give my appreciate to him for taking his time to answer my questions. I hope you all are having a fantastic holiday season so far. Thank you for stopping by to read my post..
You can rent or buy A Crooked Somebody on Amazon by simply clicking on the title of the movie. Take care:)
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