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Filmmaking Confidential

The Filmmaking Confidential podcast is the quintessential resource for independent filmmakers – from aspiring students to seasoned pros. Each episode is filled with invaluable perspective, secret tips, how-tos and general philosophy about making films, no matter the budget, no matter the location. Hosted by award-winning indie filmmaker Steve Balderson, the attention is focused on what it takes to be a productive filmmaker in an industry that is risk averse and locked in a world where rigid process seems more important than creativity. This is the podcast for anyone who has dreams and the determination to see them through. Each week we meet with filmmakers, writers, actors, artists and other notables ranging from Oscar and Golden Globe winners to obscure fringe creators.

Tracks

The One & Only Tony Pedone!
This special Season Two finale features producer/director Anthony Pedone.  Pedone has produced, written, directed, or shot over 24 features, documentaries, and short films.In 2015, he produced THE STRONGEST MAN, which premiered at Sundance and was released theatrically and on VOD by Film Buff and Sundance Global. In 2018, his directorial debut AN AMERICAN IN TEXAS won the Dutch Golden Stone Award at the Scenecs Film Festival in Hilversum, Holland and was distributed by Gravitas Worldwide.Most recently, he produced HBO's ONE NATION UNDER STRESS, with director Marc Levin and Dr. Sanjay Gupta; STOCKTON ON MY MIND (HBO) and MY HEART CAN'T BEAT UNLESS YOU TELL IT TO (TRIBECA 2020).
45:21 10/04/2022
Clara Ritger "Film, Curiosity & Adventure"
Clara Ritger grew up in the small town of Huntington Beach, California, where she learned what real Mexican food tastes like and how to cut the line at Disneyland. At the ripe old age of two she ran as far ahead of her parents as her child leash would take her on the Yosemite trails to ask random strangers questions about why they were hiking and if they would be her friend. Since then, she has continued to ask why but usually refrains from asking subjects during interviews if they want to be her friend.She attended the University of Notre Dame, where she graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Political Science and Film, Television and Theatre in May 2013. She also has a minor in Journalism, Ethics, and Democracy, because why do college if you can’t do it all?Clara is a freelance video director and producer based in New York, NY. She works across mediums in digital, TV and film, and has recently worked with NBC News, the Wall Street Journal and PBS. Her curiosity about the world has led her to tell stories across industries, including finance, health, food, travel, fashion, and the environment. She partners with media companies, brands, and nonprofits to create emotional, shareable stories.Prior to moving to NYC, Clara was based in the Washington, D.C. area as a Producer at Green Buzz Agency, where she created documentary style videos for major brands and nonprofits, including Upworthy and Make-A-Wish. She has also written and/or done multimedia work for National Journal, The Indianapolis Star, USA Today, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Patriot-News, Morning Call, Capitolwire, Northern Virginia Magazine, 88.1 WVPE NPR, the Reno Gazette-Journal, NDtv News and the oldest collegiate publication in the United States, Scholastic magazine.Clara really likes coffee, and once bought everything on the menu at Starbucks because she had extra monopoly money at school and wanted to find out what her favorite drink actually was. It cost her $134.80. She also enjoys cooking and a good book. She is not one of those freak people who enjoys running, but she does it anyway, because it is good for you, or something like that. Her middle name is Lucille, which invariably comes up in conversation, so now you know.Clara does not feel that autobiographies – especially at her age – should be taken seriously.
47:31 09/20/2022
Filmmaker & Author John Gaspard
John Gaspard is author of the Eli Marks mystery series as well as four other stand-alone novels, "The Greyhound of the Baskervilles," "A Christmas Carl," "The Sword & Mr. Stone" and "The Ripperologists." He also writes the Como Lake Players mystery series, under the pen name Bobbie Raymond.  In real life, John’s not a magician, but he has directed six low-budget features that cost very little and made even less – that’s no small trick. He’s also written multiple books on the subject of low-budget filmmaking. Ironically, they’ve made more than the films. Those books ("Fast, Cheap and Under Control" and "Fast, Cheap and Written That Way") are available in eBook, Paperback and audiobook formats.
54:21 09/06/2022
Contemporary Artist Austin Young
Austin Young is from Reno, Nevada and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. The foundation of his career is from studying at Parsons in Paris. Early in his career, Austin transferred his interests from traditional portrait painting towards a long celebrated career in portrait photography. In many ways, Austin is more accurately described as an image-maker: his projects illustrate the sublime qualities of character that make celebrated people unique. Based on a nuanced visual language of pop-culture iconography, his trademark style and techniques have captured a broad palette of musicians, artists and celebrities including Debbie Harry, Leigh Bowery and Margaret Cho, among others. In multiple bodies of work, Austin confuses personality and identity issues in confrontational and unapologetic image making about people who often split gender roles, stereotypical constraints and socially-constructed identities. Austin is co-founder and artist of Fallen Fruit, artist duo Austin Young and David Allen Burns, a contemporary art collective that uses fruit as a material for projects that investigate the hyper- qualities of collaboration. “Austin Young reconstructs tropes of pop art and pop culture into alarmingly brilliant new icons” - Shana Nys Drambot"Working with Austin Young is like being alone in a room with a spirit who wants to meet you. He is not interested in your mortality: he is interested in your immortality. [...] He reminds me of the great Hollywood portrait photographers from another era, of George Hurrell, in particular, who was interested in the painting, not the snapshot. There is always a place for the secular in journalism. Thankfully that place will not be in Mr. Young's studio." - Diamanda Galás"Austin Young is the best artist working in photography today. His work captures beauty at its most vital, carnal, visceral, alive! His exuberant intensity is matched by his innate sense of balance and upmost respect for glamour, in all of its many decent and indecent forms. His work will be seen as important historical reference for our times, and his name will be legend." - Margaret Cho"Austin's images are, like me, the best of both worlds. Flawless and perfect, they are dreamily artificial -- while somehow simultaneously remaining organic, genuine and very real." - Jackie Beat“I was beyond thrilled when Austin Young expressed interest in photographing Peaches Christ, not only because I knew Austin would create a gorgeously iconic Peaches image (which he did) but because it meant I’d be included in a brilliant body of work I’ve admired for years. Austin Young’s subjects are my idols and his portraits pay glamorous tribute to the often over-looked world of dark divas, drag superstars, and underground film icons." - Peaches Christ“I’m pretty unabashed in my enthusiasm for Austin Young’s work. I think he’s the most original photographer to emerge in America since David LaChapelle.” -Richard Metzger 
49:44 08/23/2022
Magician Mentalist Felix Jones
Felix Jones is a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians and a Magician Member of the Academy of Magical Arts and a regular performer in the Magic Castle showrooms in Hollywood, California, where he performs his acclaimed comedy magic and mind-reading show.  Felix has been a featured performer at Jeff McBride's Wonderground and MINDvention.  His many corporate clients include Amazon, Pratham USA, Talego Country Club, 21st Century Experience, John Hancock Investment, and the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.  Felix unlocks everyone's inner magical self in his fast-paced, funny, and mystifying show that will leave you wondering "how did he do that?"
47:36 08/09/2022
Musician Kristian Hoffman
Kristian Hoffman ran away from his boyhood home in Santa Barbara, California, to New York City where he and his high school friend, Lance Loud, formed a band called The Mumps. This was quite soon after both had made dramatic appearances in what is now known as the first reality TV series: PBS' award winning "An American Family".Flourishing in the New York club scene in the late '70s, Lance and Kristian became obsessed with the New York Dolls and lead to Kristian drawing the infamous "Bendover Girl" which was included as an insert in the Doll's first LP.While still performing as Mumps, Lance and Kristian subsequently appeared in a show called "New Wave Vaudeville" , produced by Ann Magnuson, who was to prove a life-long collaborator with Kristian. Thus they met met the headliner Klaus Nomi, the eccentric legendary German counter-tenor mutant glam virtuoso visionary.  Kristian approached Klaus Nomi about forming a band. Kristian's collaboration with Klaus included writing several songs for him, including "Total Eclipse."Kristian made his mark on rock and roll history as the first musical director for chamber pop singer Rufus Wainwright's touring band, has played keyboards and written songs for the atmospheric torch band Congo Norvell, has produced, toured with, and written songs for punk/cabaret singer Abby Travis, toured and recorded as keyboardist for El Vez, the Mexican Elvis all over the U.S., and toured for five years with and played on several albums with Kinks founder and lead guitarist Dave Davies. Kristian's third solo album, called & because it consists mainly of duets with other musicians (including Russell Mael of Sparks, Rufus Wainwright, Maria McKee, El Vez, Paul Reubens, Anna Waronker, Lydia Lunch, Stew, and Ann Magnuson), was released to great critical acclaim. "Uncut" Magazine called it a "spectacular, operatic art rock power-pop album." Aquarian Weekly called it a "flawlessly crafted, ornately embellished pop opera," and the L.A. Weekly said "& is the record that every fan of the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Kinks and great songcraft in general has been pining for. Frighteningly Excellent!"As for where this multifaceted singer/songwriter, musician, poet and artist will be headed next, it's a safe prediction that he has a surprise or two in store.
63:04 07/26/2022
Iris Berry "Punk Hostage Press"
Iris Berry is the co-founder of Punk Hostage Press.  She is the author and editor of several books and has a vast fan base for her unique voice and formidable writing style. She’s an L.A. Pop culture historian, actress, and musician. She’s appeared in numerous films, TV commercials, documentaries, and iconic rock videos.In the 1980s & 90s, she sang, performed, wrote songs and recorded with the Lame Flames, the Ringling Sisters, the Dickies, the Flesh Eaters, and Pink Sabbath. She served four years on the Board of Directors for Beyond Baroque Literary/Arts Center. In 2009 she received her 2nd Certificate of Merit Award from the city of Los Angeles for her contribution as a Los Angeles writer, and for her extensive charity work. Iris continues to champion and advocate for original voices.Books by Iris Berry: All That Shines Under The Hollywood Sign and The Daughters of Bastards and The Trouble with Palm Trees“There are far too few writers today who write from the heart about the damned. Far too few who let lost souls scream from the page once more. Iris Berry is one of these writers. Her words are haunting and her imagery cinematic. Iris Berry is a straight Razor wrapped in a garter belt. She leaves nothing but her blood on the page." - Edaurdo Jones
59:59 07/12/2022
James Oseland "Film, Punk Rock & Food"
JAMES OSELAND travels extensively in search of the world’s best restaurants, street food stalls, markets, and home cooks. Long before he was a judge on Top Chef Masters, he was a teenage rebel growing up in the pre–Silicon Valley, California, suburbs, yearning for a taste of something wild. His remarkable memoir Jimmy Neurosis captures the quest that led him from the mosh pits of San Francisco to the pop world of Andy Warhol’s Manhattan.He is most recently the author and editor of World Food: Mexico City and World Food: Paris, part of World Food, a new book series from Ten Speed Press. He was the editor-in-chief for nine years of Saveur, America’s most acclaimed food magazine, where his work garnered many accolades, including seven James Beard Awards and three awards from the American Society of Magazine Editors. His cookbook Cradle of Flavor was named one of the best books of 2006 by the New York Times and Good Morning America. Additionally, James’s writing has appeared in Gourmet, Vogue, Food and Wine, and the Wall Street Journal, where he writes the “Cook’s Playbook” column. He has appeared on Celebrity Apprentice, the Today Show, Iron Chef America, and was a permanent judge on all five seasons of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters. James is a popular cooking teacher and has taught at the Institute for Culinary Education, the New School, and New York City’s Natural Gourmet. He has lectured at culinary institutes and food societies around the world; in 2011, he delivered the keynote speech for the International Food Bloggers Conference. In 2013, he starred as himself in a series of Wendy’s commercials. He has lived in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and India, and now calls Mexico City home.
55:04 06/28/2022
Peaches Christ (aka Joshua Grannell) is "All About Evil"
Peaches Christ (aka Joshua Grannell) is a filmmaker and cult leader living in San Francisco. Her infamous movie events at the Castro Theatre regularly draw over 1,000 attendees to each new production before they tour. Events have featured special guest stars John Waters, Cloris Leachman, Patricia Quinn, Nell Campbell, Linda Blair, Bruce Campbell, Apollonia, Barry Bostwick, Pam Grier, and more. Peaches is the alter- ego of Joshua Grannell, the writer and director of the feature film All About Evil. The award-winning dark comedy gore film stars Natasha Lyonne, Thomas Dekker, Cassandra Peterson, Mink Stole, and Peaches Christ herself. Peaches Christ has been featured in the films Milk, I Am Divine, Diary Of A Teenage Girl, Mansfield 66/67, Tura!, Scream Queen: My Nightmare On Elm Street, You Don’t Nomi, and more.All About Evil is a wild ride that’s as horrific as it is hilarious. It’s been called “a riotous experience” (Horror News), “clearly ahead of its time” (Geekscape) and “made for lovers of horror by someone who loves the genre” (Daily Dead). Now the “demented, outrageous and hysterical” (PopOptiq) debut feature from writer/director Joshua Grannell can finally be experienced by audiences everywhere: When a mousy librarian (Natasha Lyonne of RUSSIAN DOLL) takes over her late father’s struggling movie theater, a series of grisly murders caught on camera will transform her into the new queen of indie splatter cinema. Thomas Dekker (TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES), Cassandra Peterson (ELVIRA, MISTRESS OF THE DARK), Noah Segan (DEADGIRL), Mink Stole (FEMALE TROUBLE) and drag legend Peaches Christ co-star in this “huge fun nod to forgotten horror and exploitation via loads of blood and black humor” (Yell! Magazine) produced by Darren Stein (JAWBREAKER).You can see All About Evil now streaming on Shudder.
56:38 06/14/2022
Elliott Hunter "Olympian of Magic"
Elliott Hunter is an international award winning magician and sleight of hand artist.  Elliott began magic after seeing his first magic show at the local library, and then reading all of the magic books he could to learn the craft. As he progressed, he sought professional mentorship and training. In 2011 he had the opportunity to train at the most prestigious magic school in the world, and learn from the best of the best. Over the years, Elliott has been able to combine his skills in other aspects of entertainment, such as drama, dance, theatre, sleight of hand, comedy and grand illusion to create a truly multifaceted show that appeals to all audiences young and old alike.Elliott aims to create an authentic evening of entertainment… which is kind of ironic, considering that a magician’s job is to deceive… however, Elliott uses this to his advantage by skillfully combining magic and storytelling. When you watch Elliott’s show, it’s more than just a magic show. Elliott aims to connect with his audiences by sharing personal and socially relevant stories that elicits certain emotions in the audience. Everything is Elliott’s show stems from his own personal reality… meaning what you are seeing is true, authentic, and real... He uses magic to remind his audiences  that even the seemingly impossible can be made possible, and no matter the obstacle, it can be overcome.As his mentor told him… “You can have the best production value, the most expensive equipment, and even be the best performer in the world, but if you fail to connect with the audience, then you lose all aspects of entertainment.”
47:40 05/31/2022
Filmmaker & Actress Susan Traylor
Susan Traylor is an award-winning actress, writer and film director.  She was born in New York and raised in Los Angeles in and around the theater. Her parents were legendary acting teachers Peggy Feury and William Traylor who worked with the likes of Sean Penn, Meg Ryan, Anjelica Huston, Nicolas Cage, and Michele Pfeiffer.  Their school, the Loft Studio, served as a second home to Susan.  At fifteen she insisted on officially studying with her parents. She continued her formal education by going to film school at NYU and while in New York she studied acting with Rochelle Oliver.Susan’s breakthrough role came in Robert Redford’s A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT.  Susan also starred in HEAT with Robert DeNiro, in Gus Van Sant’s TO DIE FOR, GREENBERG with Ben Stiller, and numerous television series.  In 2005 she wrote, directed, produced, and starred in an amazing film called WELCOME TO CALIFORNIA.  She was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead for her performance in VALERIE FLAKE.  She has also appeared in a number of Steve Balderson's films. 
62:02 05/17/2022
Davey Wavey "Himeros.TV"
Davey Wavey is an American Producer who covers LGBT topics related to sex, relationships, and coming out. His YouTube channel has over 1.4 million subscribers.  Wavey is also the creator of Himeros.TV - a site that pushes the boundaries of sex, sexuality, and new ways to experience pleasure, discover desires and express oneself in ways that bring joy and ecstasy. Wavey described Himeros.TV to The Advocate saying, "We don't market it as educational porn or porn that's good for you, but it kind of is. It's porn, that when you watch it, you see either a technique that's being demonstrated or a concept that you feel like you can apply to your life. As gay men in a vacuum of sex education, we learned about sex by doing what? Watching porn."  At Himeros.TV there's even a porn star bill of rights!  Wavey discusses the policy to provide his models with post-filming mental health support and free counseling. He also pays livable wages, creates drug-free filming sets, and ensures a fully consensual environment.  The wide-ranging content on Himeros.TV is co-created with a team of sex coaches, tantric instructors, psychotherapists, sexologists, world-class directors, talented cinematographers, and models who embody ecstasy.
51:31 04/27/2022
Brian Sonia-Wallace "The Poetry of Strangers"
Before he became an award-winning writer and poet, Brian Sonia-Wallace set up a typewriter on the street with a sign that said “Poetry Store” and discovered something surprising: all over America, people want poems. An amateur busker at first, Brian asked countless strangers, “What do you need a poem about?” To his surprise, passersby opened up to share their deepest yearnings, loves, and heartbreaks. Hundreds of them. Then thousands. Around the nation, Brian’s poetry crusade drew countless converts from all walks of life.In The Poetry of Strangers, Brian tells the story of his cross-country journey in a series of heartfelt and insightful essays. From Minnesota to Tennessee, California to North Dakota, Brian discovered that people aren’t so afraid of poetry when it’s telling their stories. In “dying” towns flourish vibrant artistic spirits and fascinating American characters who often pass under the radar, from the Mall of America’s mall walkers to retirees on Amtrak to self-proclaimed witches in Salem.In a time of unprecedented loneliness and isolation, Brian’s journey shows how art can be a vital bridge to community in surprising places. Conventional wisdom says Americans don’t want to talk to each other, but according to this poet-for-hire, everyone is just dying to be heard.Thought-provoking, moving, and eye-opening, The Poetry of Strangers is an unforgettable portrait of America told through the hidden longings of one person at a time, by one of our most important voices today. The fault lines and conflicts which divide us fall away when we remember to look, in every stranger, for poetry.
41:55 04/13/2022
Filmmaker Bruce LaBruce
Bruce LaBruce is an internationally acclaimed filmmaker, photographer, writer, and artist based in Toronto. His latest film is "St. Narcisse" a comedy-drama starring Félix-Antoine Duval as a pair of identical twins who were separated at birth and did not previously know of each other's existence, but who fall in love and begin a twincest relationship with each other after being reunited.  The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival.LaBruce's earlier film Gerontophilia won the Grand Prix at the Festival du Nouveau Cinema in Montreal in 2013, and Pierrot Lunaire, which won the Teddy Award Special Jury Prize at the Berlinale in 2014. As a visual artist he is represented by Peres Projects in Berlin, and has had numerous gallery shows around the world, the latest of which, called Obscenity, a photography exhibit, caused a national ruckus in Spain in 2011.His feature film L.A. Zombie was notably banned in Australia in 2010 after having been programmed at the Melbourne International Film Festival. It later premiered in competition at the Locarno Film Festival, Switzerland that same year. LaBruce has written and directed three theatrical works at the Hau Theater in Berlin, including a production of Arnold Schoenberg’s avant-garde piece Pierrot Lunaire at the legendary Hebbel am Ufer Theater. He adapted the latter project into an experimental film, incorporating footage from the stage production combined with additional material shot on location in Berlin. He has also directed theatrical works at the Theater Neumarkt in Zurich, Switzerland, and he participated as a director in the Hau Theater’s ambitious X-Homes project in Johannesburg, South Africa. LaBruce has written a premature memoir called The Reluctant Pornographer, and has had two books published about his work: Ride, Queer, Ride, from Plug-In Gallery in Winnipeg, and Bruce(x)ploitation, a monograph from his Italian distributor, Atlantide Entertainment. LaBruce has contributed to a variety of international magazines, newspapers and websites as both a writer and photographer, including index magazine, for which he also acted as a contributing editor, Vice, The National Post, Purple Fashion, The Guardian UK, and many others. He has also been a regular columnist over the years for Eye, Exclaim! and Vice magazines. Additionally, LaBruce has directed a number of music videos, two of which won him MuchMusic Video Awards in Canada. Most recently, LaBruce has been honoured with film retrospectives at both TIFF/Bell Lightbox 2014, and at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, 2015. The MoMA retrospective featured all nine of LaBruce’s features as well as a program of short films. All of the films have now become part of MoMA’s permanent film collection.
44:43 03/29/2022
Dr. Joseph Suglia dissects "Alchemy of the Spirit"
Season Two is officially here!  For our premiere episode, Philosopher and Author Dr. Joseph Suglia dissects Steve Balderson's new art film ALCHEMY OF THE SPIRIT which stars Xander Berkeley, Sarah Clarke, and cult icon Mink Stole.  The film premieres in Europe at Fantasporto (the Oporto International Film Festival in Portugal) where it is in the main competition (1-10 April, 2022).  In the discussion today: the illusion of time, ancient religions, archaic religiosity, life and death, resurrection, the regeneration of time, the birth of the cosmos, the end of the world, Alan Watts, David Lynch, Shakespeare, and consciousness.(Correction: At one point, Dr. Suglia misnames the character Leontes by calling him "Leonatus.")
50:16 03/19/2022
BONUS 3/3: Reading From "Filmmaking Confidential" The Book
While Season Two is being produced, I'd love to share an excerpt from the Audible version of my book "Filmmaking Confidential."  Today I'll read the chapters:"Distribution Middlemen""You Don't Need to Yell""What Festival Premieres Mean""A Chair is a Chair is a Chair"For more information: https://www.dikenga.com/books
34:42 01/19/2022
BONUS 2/3: Reading From "Filmmaking Confidential" The Book
While Season Two is being produced, I'd love to share an excerpt from the Audible version of my book "Filmmaking Confidential."  Today I'll read the chapters:"Marketing: You vs The Big Boys""How to Read a Screenplay""Musicians are Famous Too!""Waiting to Work"For more information: https://www.dikenga.com/bookshttps://www.amazon.com/dp/173545690X
36:21 12/09/2021
BONUS 1/3: Reading From "Filmmaking Confidential" The Book
While Season Two is being produced, I'd love to share an excerpt from the Audible version of my book "Filmmaking Confidential."  Today I'll read the Introduction, followed by the chapters: "Finding Your Perception," and "The Floor Plan" (with some secret screenwriting tips!).For more information: https://www.dikenga.com/bookshttps://www.amazon.com/dp/173545690X
35:20 11/04/2021
The One & Only Betti O!
Today's special Season One finale is The One & Only Betti O!  Betti O. has appeared on stage from New York to Japan, performing with incredible people including Sally Struthers, Ben Vereen and Sandy Duncan. In 2008 she opened for Hillary Rodham Clinton at a political rally in Iowa and was the lead in the Asian tour of “Ain’t Misbehavin’.” Her soulful voice has appeared on music projects worldwide, such as on a hit single released in Europe. Her legendary performance on “Showtime at The Apollo” brought down the house and ended in a standing ovation from the audience, naming her the winner. She also appeared in several of Steve's films.
43:43 05/25/2021
Actress & Writer Jennifer Grace
Today's guest is actress and writer Jennifer Grace. Jennifer received her BA from Kansas State University in 1997. She has been working as a professional actor since, most notably in a record-shattering run as Emily Webb in Tony award-winning director David Cromer’s critically acclaimed production of OUR TOWN, which she performed in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, opposite actors such as Michael Shannon, Helen Hunt and Michael McKean, and for which she was recognized with a Theatre World Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway debut. Other New York theatre credits include: NIKOLAI AND THE OTHERS (Lincoln Center Theatre, world premiere, with Blair Brown, Michael Cerveris, John Glover and Kathryn Erbe) and THE 4TH GRADERS PRESENT AN UNNAMED LOVE SUICIDE (59E59). Selected regional credits: CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, TIME & THE CONWAYS, 4.48 PSYCHOSIS, BALM IN GILEAD, ARCADIA, JACK OR THE SUBMISSION, THE SEA GULL, MARAT/SADE, BLOOD WEDDING, and ANGELS IN AMERICA. Film: I SEE YOU (w/Helen Hunt), THE CASSEROLE CLUB (w/ Susan Traylor, Jane Wiedlin), KELLY & CAL (with Juliette Lewis) Television: ”Inside Amy Schumer,” “VEEP,” “Billions,” “Chicago P.D.,” and “The Red Line.” She is also an audiobook narrator, VO artist, and a writer. Proud member of SAG-AFTRA and Actor’s Equity.
39:02 05/18/2021
Filmmaker & Actor Aaron Dean Eisenberg
Today's guest is actor Aaron Dean Eisenberg. He is best known for portraying "Todd Lang" in HBO Series The Deuce alongside James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal; and "Richard Kane" in Ed Burns' series Public Morals.Eisenberg made his acting debut in 2006, Nathaniel Nose-directed comedy, Talent. The following year he was seen as "Aaron Dean" in Reggie Bannister and Jason Carter-starrer horror film, The Final Curtain.  He was seen in various films such as Stuck, The Ghostmaker, Gossip Girl, Royal Pains, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and Unforgettable.In 2017, he landed his most memorable role of "Todd Lang" in the HBO series The Deuce.   In 2017, Eisenberg made his debut as producer with a 23-minute short comedy, Bagdad, Florida. The film was directed by Matthew Fifer and starred Margot Bingham and Jason Greene. The following year, he produced Night Tales directed by Randy Rubin.In May 2019, he released Carlie Hanson: Back in My Arms, directed by Danilo Parra and starring Carlie Hanson.  In 2020, he produced Cicada (starring Cobie Smulders and Scott Adsit), The Big Ask (starring Kelli Barrett and Sathya Sridharan), and Carrol Lynn (starring Annie Golden and Anna Russell).
42:41 05/11/2021
The Fabulous Rena Riffel
Today's guest is the fabulous Rena Riffel. Rena is an American actress, singer, dancer, model, writer, producer, and director. She is best known for her supporting roles in films such as Showgirls, Striptease, and Mulholland Drive.Riffel landed her breakthrough role in the 1995 film Showgirls starring Elizabeth Berkley, Gina Gershon, and Kyle MacLachlan. Initially reading for the lead role of Cristal Connors, Riffel was cast in the supporting role of Penny/Hope after director Paul Verhoeven decided that she was too young to play an aging showgirl.While on the set of Showgirls, Riffel approached the music supervisor with a song she recorded, "Deep Kiss". The music supervisor tested the song on the production office (without telling them it had been written by one of the actresses) to determine if it was suitable for the film. Director Paul Verhoeven listened to the song and decided to include it in the lap dance scene at the Cheetah strip club.Although an initial box office failure, Showgirls enjoyed success in the home video market, generating more than $100 million in video rentals and became one of MGM's top 20 all-time best sellers.For the 2004 re-release as a DVD limited edition box set, Riffel, along with cast members Lin Tucci and Patrick Bristow, had their hand prints and names put in cement in front of the Hollywood Vista Theater at the red carpet event where they were also interviewed by Access Hollywood. Riffel and Bristow were also special guests at Peaches Christ's Midnight Mass midnight screening of Showgirls in 2008 in San Francisco, California. They were interviewed on stage after the live performance of the Goddess volcano dance performed by drag queens in gold lamé and featuring Peaches Christ as Goddess.When asked if she expected Showgirls to produce such a cult legacy, Riffel replied, "No. I went into it thinking it would be a really erotic, serious, shocking exposé. People would be sitting on the edge of their seats from suspense. [... But] some people were trying to play straight comedy – I played my character with comedy; I was hoping to get a laugh – but no one was acting with tongue in cheek. I know that everyone went into it thinking it would be like Basic Instinct. [...] Maybe it's Verhoeven. Even [Basic Instinct] seems kind of campy now [...] I think it's something with European filmmakers. I think – and this is my theory – [...] that there's something that European filmmakers have, a punched-up, extreme vibe. Everything's extreme."Following her role in Showgirls, Riffel was cast in Striptease with Demi Moore and Burt Reynolds. Showgirls was generally disliked and the filmmakers feared people would pre-judge Striptease for that reason. To avoid any association between the two films, advertisements projected Striptease as more comedic than Showgirls, which had been marketed as a drama. Aside from a common context, Striptease and Showgirls shared two notable connections: Marguerite Derricks choreographed both films, and Rena Riffel played a prominent role in each.In 2001, Riffel appeared in the David Lynch film Mulholland Drive. When interviewed about the film and if she “got it”, Riffel replied, “See…I can’t remember. No, I guess it still doesn’t make sense to me. It’s been a while – I’d like to watch it again….one website put a lot of clarity on it with their theories.”
33:14 05/04/2021
Filmmaker & Actor Doug Hurley
Today's guest is filmmaker and actor Doug Hurley.  Doug is originally from Kansas, lived in New York City for a while, and now calls Los Angeles home. As a writer/director, his most recent short film, Suicide Date, premiered at the Dances with Films Festival in Los Angeles, winning the Audience Award for its category as well as the Overall Audience Award for the entire fest, qualifying it for the Academy Awards. As a writer/writer, he's currently developing two TV shows. As an actor, you can see him in MGM's upcoming The Baxters as Dr. Peter West, as well as Brooklyn 99, Lucifer, and many other tele-visual programs. Somehow evidently, he is also an award-winning poet and a painter. He is also very skilled at mailing random parcels to people.
43:17 04/27/2021
Emma Elizabeth Tillman
Today's guest is photographer, writer, and filmmaker Emma Elizabeth Tillman. Her family lived on a sailboat from the time she was born. Tillman grew up on the water in Southern California, and the ocean has informed and engaged her work in its symbolic attributes; as well as her own confrontation with mystery, intimacy and fear.She graduated with an Masters of Fine Art in Film Directing from UCLA in 2014 and since hasworked across several disciplines, including her most recent solo exhibition of ten years of intimate writing and photography at Gallery 46 in London in 2017 entitled Disco Ball Soul, along with a book by the same name. She is currently at work on a television pilot and several feature length scripts. Tillman and her husband, Josh currently live and work in Los Angeles.www.EmmaElizabethTillman.com
38:55 04/20/2021
The Filmmakers of "Alien Country"
Today's guests are Renny Grames and Boston McConnaughey - the team behind the new film ALIEN COUNTRY.Boston McConnaughey - Director, WriterWith a background in filmmaking and next generation VR storytelling, Boston and Renny have 30 million views on their sci-fi action YouTube series and have created short films online for Sony Pictures, Google, Coca-cola, Nokia, and more... Alien Country’s baby daddy.Renny Grames - Actor, ProducerAn indie film actress with numerous film and television credits. Renny’s work has shown up in dozens of festivals including Napa Valley FF and Heartland FF. She’s produced dozens of films and commercials and is Alien Country’s sugar momma.
41:30 04/13/2021
Comedian Preston Taylor of "Farm to TV"
Today's guest is Preston Taylor - an American comedian, actor, producer and writer from Gatesville, Texas. Preston started his illustrious career in Los Angeles with a brief appearance as himself on RuPaul’s Drag Race (2009) as part of the pit crew. He also appeared as an outlaw and stuntman in the award winning short film Valley of the Scorned (2011), as well as, his unbelievable one line, one scene as Keith in Parallels (2013). Preston started his comedy career in 2010 with his first ever live performance at the Palm in west Hollywood. He was fortunate as his second show would be downtown in front acting and comedic heavyweight Garrett Morris, who would tell him that night- “Kid if this is show two, you are going to be okay out here”. Preston has since enjoyed the life of traveling as a comic and performing shows mostly in the shadows until now. Before his coming out party with Farm to TV (2021), he performed for years at Hollywood staples such as The Ice House, The World Famous Comedy Store, & Jon Lovitz Comedy Club where in 2012 he was dubbed runner-up in the L.A.’s Best Comic competition for up and comers. As an homage to one his favorite comics Rodney Dangerfield, who was meticulous about the timing when on stage, Preston set out to nail his set for the special at 65 minutes on the dot. Farm to TV was shot and performed one time through, one night only, and originally stamped at exactly 65 minutes with no stage clock.
39:27 04/06/2021
Filmmaker Adam Barnick
Adam Barnick attended New York's School of Visual Arts for filmmaking, while assisting in production and special effects for theater and independent films. Afterwards he began his career assisting on commercials produced locally for Japanese television.As a writer/director, Adam’s short film MAINSTREAM has played seven international festivals and opened the New York City Horror Film Festival’s theatrical screenings its year of release. Fangoria Magazine and Koch Vision acquired it for worldwide distribution on their FANGORIA BLOOD DRIVE II: America's Best Short Horror Films DVD, sold worldwide. MAINSTREAM was voted one of the top 5 horror films of the year by the editor of Horror-Movies.ca, as well as being featured in numerous print, radio and online articles in the top genre websites.His company Wicked Tree Films has collaborated with Shout! Factory, IFC Midnight, Anchor Bay Entertainment, Starz Home Entertainment, Ariescope Pictures, Crimson Films, A Bigger Boat, Glass Eye Pix, Dire Wit Films and Red Shirt Pictures.In the arena of BTS documentaries and Blu-Ray/online content, he was edited, directed and shot featurettes in the past several years on the short film and feature-length versions of Paul Solet's award-winning GRACE; the horror prequel Malevolence: Bereavement, the true-story drama Aaron Bacon, Adam Green's survival thriller FROZEN, and Solet's followup to GRACE, DARK SUMMER. The DVD extras/documentaries for GRACE have received acclaim from horror fans and reviewers the world over, with the DVD winning "Best Indie Disc" at the 2010 Reaper Awards. FROZEN's Extras were nominated for "Best DVD Extras" in the 2011 Reaper Awards, alongside such heavyweights as The Walking Dead, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and The Alien Anthology. FROZEN recently became Anchor Bay's top-selling original Blu-Ray and DVD. Recent documentary projects include a series of featurettes celebrating and exploring Larry Fessenden's Glass Eye Pix, which has just hit a milestone 30th anniversary, as well as featurettes on the upcoming Blu-Ray releases of the genre films ITSY BITSY, the 80's horror comedy LITTLE MONSTERS, and Larry Fessenden's DEPRAVED.As a music video director, he has collaborated with artists John Presnell, Rivulets, Barbiana Complex, and Kathy Zimmer. His striking and bizarre video for Presnell's PILLS was reviewed as "the creepiest, most on-fucking-point music video I've ever seen" by the influential music blog SYFFAL. His current music video, THE LOOK for Barbiana Complex, repurposes fan-shot footage into a candy-colored, electrified palette.Recently, Adam founded the company Wicked Tree Creative, to rebrand and expand his editing services as a boutique post production company, delivering solutions for clients worldwide.
36:57 03/30/2021
Film Set Etiquette with Elizabeth Spear
Join film directors Elizabeth Spear & Steve Balderson as they discuss the sometimes insane behavior and on-set antics of other Directors, Primadonnas, Assistant Directors, Explosive Producers, Egomaniacs, and how one can navigate all this and still manage to have a creative, warm, and welcoming film set.Elizabeth Spear is an award winning filmmaker from Austin, Texas.  She earned her M.A. in Media and Communication from European Graduate School in Switzerland and has studied under Terrence Malick, Wim Wenders, D.J. Spooky and Slavoj Zizek. Her films have screened all over the world including France, Germany, Norway, Egypt, Ireland and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.  AwardsHELL TOWN (2015) Best Feature, Crimson Screen Horror Film FestROUNDBALL (2014), Best Romantic Comedy, WorldFestTHE PEOPLE YOU KNOW (2012), Best Feature Film, 60 Degrees Norway FORWARD/BACKWARD (2009), People’s Choice, Different than What? HANGING (2002), Grand Prize, 72HFP Gene Siskel Theater
46:27 03/23/2021
Film Director Billy Clift
William Clift, a Hollywood native, started his career as a Make-up and Hair man for the fashion, film, television and Music Video industry. In mid 2000 he decided to follow his life long dream of becoming a director, writer and produced his first short film, The Fairy Tale, soon after a documentary, The Pure Eccentrics; San Francisco. This led to his first feature film Baby Jane? shot on a shoestring budget, receiving rave reviews from Variety, Fangoria and the Examiner to name a few. Baby Jane? was on Netflix streaming in 2012 and bought by HERE TV. Billy's next project was I Want To Get Married, which was distributed all over the globe. Billy's next feature was his follow up to Baby Jane?, Hush Up Sweet Charlotte, starring a cast of cult icons ( Mink Stole, Varla Jean Merman).
48:31 03/16/2021
Amazon Studios Producer Rebecca Breithaupt
In an industry where the word "Producer" is misused and overused, it's nearly impossible to tell what it means anymore. Amazon Studios Social Producer Rebecca Breithaupt discusses the different kinds of producers (Executive, Co, Creative, Associate, and so on) along with the different roles producers play in various fields within entertainment (film, TV, commercial and music industries).
41:59 03/09/2021