Saturday, August 28, 2010

Who's shooting this movie and some more casting...

This has been a bit of a crazy week, and I'm working on a post to delve a bit more on the production, some technical stuff and also about the recent writing/additions to the story and that whole process... For right now, let me introduce you to who's going to be shooting our little baby this Winter...

::drum roll::

I met Gus Sacks after viewing his reel in June for coffee. He pleaded his case and his thoughts on the script, we talked about going to SVA and other film people we knew in common--he shot a short film "Charlie On Parole" that starred our lead actress Molly Ryman and actor TJ Miller("Cloverfield", "She's Out Of My League") and had similar professors. Gus is a young one but has a natural and raw talent and ambition, an eagerness and ability to learn and try and hungrily sharpen his skills, a knowledge of tech and trouble shooting, aesthetic goals and the ability to serve a director as well as push them towards new ideas, a straight-forward, easy going and no-bullshit attitude... Oh, yeah! And he also loves the shit out of hockey which is probably the clincher. Gus has a great eye and for his younger age already has 20 professional cinematography credits under his built amassed in the last couple of years. I'm looking forward to opening up my visual palette with him to bring "Things" to life and build a new collaborative relationship that I can hopefully spread out amongst future projects. But hey, don't take my word for it... check out his site/reel at

Also here's a few more additions to the "family" and cast for TIDU that I'm extremely excited to be working with. Two familiar faces from "...Around" and one who, while I've never had the pleasure of working with, is a long-time friend and mentor... 

               Nabil Vinas as Joe

I've known Nabil for a few years now through some mutual actor friends and I've had the pleasure of watching his work both on-screen and on-stage. Nabil;s acting abilities are sharp as a razor, blending and committing to whatever role or line of dialogue he's asked to recite. He's also got an encyclopedic of hip-hop music, new and old, that can eat up an entire day of conversation and poor attempts (on my behalf) of rapping and beat-boxing. I had the pleasure of working with him for two days in a small role on "...Around" which was anything but small in how he played it, bringing depth and 3D to what could have been a throwaway, antagonist-thug character. I wrote the role of "Joe", the orderly at the hospice, with him mind always and am excited about letting him build a full character who's learned through pain and past experiences and finds peace and fulfillment in a place most see loss and misery.

         David Boyd as Stefan 

Where can I even begin with Mr. Boyd? I met David in the Fall of 2002 when I cast him for a short film I was doing my sophomore year about a business man who's caught cheating on his wife because of the 9/11 tragedy. It was a quick-paced, darkly-comic, true-life inspired piece that was like nothing I'd ever tried before and the majority of it's success depended on David's ability to carry the role. He did it in spades, putting in real charm and heart that masked the cold, caculated and despicably abrasive traits of the character. I instantly became friends and cast him again in my Spring project, playing a less cruel but equally abrasive and outlandish character, upping the manic energy and allowing him to improvise. David moved out to Los Angeles and we kept in touch via email correspondence and after four years I was able to reunite with him for "...Around" when he played another asshole, the abusive boyfriend of Allyson (Molly Ryman) in a key scene. Once again he crushed it, but I felt bad that I was never able to show more range that Mr. Boyd is clearly capable of and for his role as "Stefan", Remy's much maligned and good intentioned professional lover, in "Things" I'm going to break out a side of him he's never had to the chance to show, light years away from anything I've done with him before. Dying to see him, regardless, crush it yet again...

                Lisa Eichhorn

Lisa and her vast, acclaimed body of work needs no introduction... but I'll do damndest at a proper one.  Lisa Eichhorn is a trained actor of the highest degree, an alumni of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) and one of twelve "Promising New Actors of 1979" in John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 31. Lisa's early career was marked with acclaim and productions on stage, television and films such as "Yanks", opposite Richard Gere for director John Schlessinger which she was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards and Merchant-Ivory's production of "The Europeans" that garnered her a BAFTA nomination. Her blistering portrayal of a wistful alcoholic opposite Jeff Bridges is a highlight of the cult classic "Cutter's Way". Lisa has worked with directors Roland Emmerich (Moon 44), Anthony Minghella (Talented Mr. Ripley) and has appeared on-stage in England (which I once had the pleasure to see personally) and in the US. In recent years Lisa has split her time by also teaching and mentoring actors and directors(I met her during my time as her pupil at SVA) and writing/producing ventures in Europe and the states. To have the opportunity to work with such a dear friend and teacher,who's class informed and inspired a lot of my philosophy towards working with actors and directing; and to collaborate with such a talented individual is not only an incredible endeavor, its slightly intimidating.  I look forward to including her in this film and the "family" and showing again what a skilled and passionate artist she is in front of the camera

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