Wednesday, May 29, 2013

48 Hour Film Festival Shoot in Long Island This Saturday

I'm really looking forward to working with Ross Mahler of 8mm Films on the 48 Hour Film Festival project this weekend. I'll be catching a 9:12 train to Ronkonkoma, in Long Island, and I should arrive at around 10:30. Ross has two other actors confirmed for the project, as well as a location, so that's a great start.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Jared Mobarak Reviews TROUBLE

trouble01

REVIEW: Trouble [2013]

“Character separates the certain few from all the rest”
I don’t think I have the objectivity necessary to teach because I interpret everything I come into contact with through my own personal visceral and emotional filter. With film I’m all about whether it speaks to me on a deeper level than pure artifice; if it makes me feel something other than appreciation an the artist who created something I have no aspirations of ever trying to create. I saw it in college when a professor would strain himself at the front of the room to say something nice and constructive about a student’s artwork that simply didn’t deserve it. That compromise of personal reaction in lieu of a scholarly interpretation is beyond me.

As a result, I’m not quite sure what to say about Daniel Witkin’s short film Trouble because I find it difficult to reconcile the fact it is a completed work of art as well as a Senior Thesis project from Wesleyan University. Do I view with the same eyes as the ones that watch Citizen Kane or do I pretend to weigh positive and negative on some unmeasured scale set to amateur rather than professional? Witkin’s work isn’t bad, it’s just obviously a creation born from limited resources and lack of experience. This is the reason so many name directors denounce early experimentations or try hard to bury them in the dark. It’s also why cinephiles enjoy watching to see the beginnings of the genius to come.

Whether or not Witkin has the potential for a Hollywood career lies in the opinion of people on a much higher pay scale than myself so all I can say with certainty is that Trouble includes some very nice stretches of subtle humor and surreal situations. It’s setting of St. Sebastian’s Quiet Academy for Disreputable Youth possesses a whimsically handwritten sign straight out of a Wes Anderson flick as well as the strange capacity to house troubled boys who somehow see nothing wrong with a Christmas themed dance sans the opposite sex. Despite this desire to stay off-kilter, however, Witkin appears to still want to touch upon universal themes such as character in today’s youth while subverting them for survival.

The film’s lead Isaac (Bennett Kirschner) is a bullied teen trying to exist quietly and free from the abuse Greg (Max Carpenter) and his cronies enjoy dishing. He is lectured by the headmaster (Timothy J. Cox), told he is for all intents and purposes a kid of ill repute, and powerless to truly stand up for himself. Only the establishment’s nurse (Chelsea Marino) seems to share any semblance of compassion but even then it’s merely a backhanded warning to watch out. Isaac drifts through dramatic playacting (wonderfully “fake” acted) and chores biding his time with the notion he shouldn’t be there. Willing to risk reprimand by even hiding in a locksmith’s car trunk, he will stop at nothing if freedom’s in reach.

Trouble moves along with Isaac’s temper rising and the uncovering of fodder for the blackmail of his superiors. Hatching a devious plan to escape with the unwitting help of those against him, he actually finds himself at the cusp of victory solely because the “character” his teacher hopes to instill eludes him. It’s a fun progression with a few mild laughs helped by glimpses of nice cinematography and zany set pieces. Watching a slow pan of uniformly dressed boys grooving to David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” is a brilliant bit of showmanship made better by a trio of bloodied bullies moving their hips afterwards. An inventive reprieve to an otherwise generic story, it’s also an effective flourish that was sure to linger in Witkin’s professor’s minds while grading.

Trouble 5/10 | ★ ★

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Great Quote From Tracy Letts

"Make your own work and don't sit around waiting for the phone to ring with somebody offering you work. You can always self-produce in the theater. Gather people together to do a play. There's no reason not to be working." -Tracy Letts

Friday, May 17, 2013

GREG'S GUARDIAN ANGEL Update

Just got an email saying that GREG'S GUARDIAN ANGEL has been officially selected to be part of the Diamond Film Festival. Will provide more details as they become available.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Todd Mahoney on MALLAS, MA

I had to share this lovely email from our "Captain", the fantastic Todd Mahoney...abd his thoughts on MALLAS, MA.

"Mallas, MA" is a testament to what can be done with No or Low budget film making!! Don't get me wrong, there was a HUGE investment in gear that the film crew brought from their personnel collections and we're talking multiple car/SUV loads by some as well as paid work they gave up. The actor's, actress's, guardians, composer, pilot, photographers, writers & make up artist all gave of their personal time and loss of wages for 48 hours. Not to mention the Catering & Craft Services cost to nourish everyone. Hollywood take note their is a better way, better films, original films & I just lived it with twenty five others, now my close friends!!! New Forms of Distribution are here NOW, I've seen it up close!!!

MALLAS, MA Wins ''Audience Choice Award'' at the 48 Hour Film Project

Some very cool news...MALLAS, MA has won the Audience Choice Award for our screening group for the Boston 48 Hour Film Project.
This is fantastic news and I wish to send good wishes and thanks to Sean Meehan and the entire team for, once again, one of the best experiences I've ever had as an actor. 
 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Cast In Another 48 Hour Film Festival

Just spoke with Ross Mahler of 8mm Films, who has offered me a role in his upcoming film, which will be a part of a 48 Hour Film Festival. Like in Boston, we don't know what the film is going to be yet, but we do know that's going to be a blast putting it all together. I'll be working alongside Ross and his son Matthew and for now, I will be working all day on Long Island on June 1st.

For information on the festival, please visit: http://www.48hourfilm.com/en/newyork/

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Yesterday on A GOOD MARRIAGE

As soon as I woke up yesterday morning, I didn't feel too well. As the day progressed, I felt worse and worse. As it turned out, I had the flu, so getting through the day on the A GOOD MARRIAGE set was an exercise in endurance. I did it, but I had a couple of close calls. I was quite fearful that I was going to throw up on camera, which obviously wouldn't have been good. That didn't happen, thankfully and I got through the day.




Saturday, May 11, 2013

Rogue Cinema Review of TROUBLE


Film Reviews: Trouble (2013) - By Brian Morton
Posted on Friday, May 03, 2013 @ 10:55:01 Mountain Daylight Time by Duane



Trouble is one of the more interesting shorts I've seen in quite a while. It's not a story per se, it's more of a character study. This is about a kid in a reform school who's being 'rehabilitated'. Their headmaster has them doing exercises that have them telling each other the correct way to solve problems, but, when class is over, they go back to solving problems their own way.

What Daniel Witkin has done with Trouble is given us a look at how problems should be solved and how their really solved in schools. Trouble isn't a movie that you're going to tell your friends about, but it is a movie that will make you think about the decisions you make and how they build your character.

I'm giving Trouble 3 out of 4 cigars, it's not perfect, but it's a movie that will make you think...which isn't bad, all the time!

Twisted Central Review of SIMPLE MIND

Twisted Central Review of SIMPLE WINE

07 May 2013

Simple Mind 2012 - REVIEW

This is probably gonna be my one and only chance to write the synopsis this way so here goes... Bob (Timothy J. Cox) is not happy. Bob has fantasies of traumatizing and murdering women. Bob goes to see a therapist. Bob tells his therapist about a woman named Samantha (Kristi McCarson). Bob wants to kill Samantha. Bob is one sick fucker. Okay, okay... even I'm annoyed now.

Director Phil Newsom managed to pull quite a few rabbits out of his hat with this one. He plays off the tired story of a depraved individual talking things out with his therapist but is able to add a little something something to it that makes you sit up and pay attention. A nice little twist at the end puts a giant bow on this little gem.

Cox did a fantastic job with his role as the sadistic Bob who I'm still not sure knows quite where he's at in life. The sound was bit echoey for me... maybe not echoey but hollow and since the film is mostly "told" to the audience that's kind of a major part. However, it wasn't distracting enough to take away from the rest of the film. Newsom definitely knows how to tell a complete story which is not easy to do in 7:23. Check it out and you'll see what I mean.

Back On A GOOD MARRIAGE On Monday

To my surprise, I will be back on A GOOD MARRIAGE on Monday morning, this time at the cemetary scene. I don't anticipate working again until 7AM the following day.

We'll see.

Friday, May 10, 2013

I Walked Into My Apartment, After the Shoot, At 7:15AM

Whew! What a night! I worked on A GOOD MARRIAGE from 5PM to 7AM.

Originally, I was slated to work 3 total days on the project, but I was wrapped yesterday, so I get to relax today, which, given how I and anyone who worked yesterday are off their normal sleeping schedules, a day a relaxation sounds perfect to me.

Yesterday was an enjoyable experience, although the role I played was nothing more than a featured background performer, yet I had a name...Brian Ellsworth. A little strange.

I hadn't done BG work in a while and last night, a few reminders crept into my memory as to why, chief among that is that BG work has nothing to do with acting. You're a piece of movable furniture, although in this case, aspects of it were pretty nice. I got to improv a scene and talk with Anthony LaPaglia, who again, was tops in my book. I also received direction from Peter Askin, who was also very kind to me. At the end of the shoot, I had the pleasure of shaking Joan Allen's hand. I, of course, stepped in, kissed her hand and said, ''I adore you'', which I do.

The flip side of that coin is how BG people are dismissed by people, mainly production assistants. I often don't blame then, as they are mostly overworked folks who get little sleep and no reward for their contributions.

The positives always outweigh the negatives and even though the day was long, I had a good time. I hadn't done BG work in 4 years, I think. I think the final scene of RESCUE ME was the last time I did BG work.

The money might be nice, but I'm an actor and I want to work, so I'll take my experience in Boston, on the MALLAS, MA set, over BG work any day of the week.




Thursday, May 09, 2013

It's 1:15AM and I'm Still On Set

We just had a meal and are now getting back together for the continuation of a scene we were shooting before the break, a party scene involving Anthony LaPaglia and Joan Allen. I come in to grab Anthony's attention. Still having a blast being on this set. Director Peter Askin has been very kind as well so far. It's not a speaking part, but Peter still gives me direction, which I really respect and appreciate.

Signing off now. Back to work.

On Set Of A GOOD MARRIAGE Now

I arrived to set, in Ossining, NY at a little after 6pm and from there went right into rehearsals for my brief scene with Anthony LaPaglia, who's so cool and incredibly nice. We actually improvised a scene together, which was fun to do. I played a grieving father who turns to Anthony's character Bob, for advice and counsel. My character, Brian, will have a few more brief scenes. Now, I'm back in the holding area, awaiting my next scene.

I have a feeling it's going to be a long night...so I might as well get comfy.

A GOOD MARRIAGE Tonight

I'll be meeting a van in Manhattan at 5PM tonight, that will take me to the filming location for A GOOD MARRIAGE. Updates and more info to come.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

48 Hour Film Project - Film Titled MALLAS, MA

Tomorrow night is the screening of MALLAS, MA at the 48 Hour Film Project. I'm saddened that I will not be in attendance to share in the evening with Sean Meehan and my colleagues, but I will be there in spirit.

I hope to share the film, as well as numerous on set pictures in the next couple of days.

A GOOD MARRIAGE Tomorrow

So, it's going to be a late day start for me on A GOOD MARRIAGE. I'll be meeting a bus in Manhattan at 5PM tomorrow night and from there will be taken to upstate New York, in Westchester. 

WE JUST WANT TO PLAY is Available for Viewing On Vimeo

Here's the comedy WE JUST WANT TO PLAY, from Team 3 Productions. I had a blast working on this film and am so thrilled so be a part of it. The film is hysterically funny and I like to thank everyone involved in the project for the chance to be a part of it.

We Just Want To Play from Rebecca Abbott on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Cast As A Blue Collar Type in A GOOD MARRIAGE

I will be working on the film A GOOD MARRIAGE on Thursday, Friday and next Monday. I'll be playing a blue collar guy named Brian and all I know is that my scenes will be with award winning actor Anthony LaPaglia, a great actor whose work in movies, theatre and television I have always enjoyed and admired. 

A GOOD MARRIAGE is the feature adaptation of Stephen King’s A Good Marriage.

Mr. LaPaglia will play Bob Anderson in the film, based on the 2010 novella by the best-selling author, about a wife who discovers her soft-spoken husband is a serial killer.

Oscar nominee Joan Allen plays his wife Darcy. Wow!

Mr. King adapted the screenplay from his own original work.

Peter Askin is directing the feature and producing with his Reno Productions partner Will Battersby.

This could be interesting. 

Edited Headshots, Compliments of Nick O'Donnell











FILMMAKER Insert This Morning

This morning, director Dan Kowalski will be making his way out to Astoria to capture one brief scene that he's going in insert into FILMMAKER. It shouldn't take long at all, as it's on;y one brief scene.


Monday, May 06, 2013

Audition Tonight for Film REAL TIME

I'm meeting with director Nira Burstein tonight to discuss a role in her upcoming film REAL TIME, the story of BreAnn, who is in limbo over the passing of her husband two months before…she can’t give in to acceptance and instead goes deeper down a destructive path of denial and aggression. At work, Gary, BreAnn’s manager, is hit with a complaint because of BreAnn’s behavior and sends her home. It's up to her to face reality.

I will be reading for the role of Gary, her impatient boss at the SuperMarket. I worked at a Super Fresh when I was in high school and I met a few Gary's in my time. 

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Rogue Cinema Interview to Discuss SWAN SONG


Interviews: An Interview with Timothy J. Cox - By Michael E. Smith
Posted on Friday, May 03, 2013 @ 14:22:34 Mountain Daylight Time by Duane



Timothy J. Cox is not a stranger to Rogue Cinema. We’ve featured him and his work before. So it was with great excitement that we learned of his most recent project, his first screenplay, Swan Song. Staff Writer Michael E Smith interviewed Timothy and here’s what we learned.

Timothy is a stage and film actor based in New York City. Swan Song is his first screenplay and it “tells the story of hit man Ken McCord and his struggles with walking away from the only life he’s ever known.” (Timothy’s own words)

He started the project in 2004 and intended it to be a stage play. It was then “put in a drawer, where it sat for 7 years.” But this project refused to stay drawer bound and he was compelled to take it out and rework it as a screenplay.  The film, Swan Song, is being produced by InFocus Entertainment and directed by owner/partner Rob LaSalle. They’ve already got one key scene “in the can” with actors Jeff Moffitt and Daniel Martin Berkey that they hope will raise funds for the film.

So without further ado, lets chat with Timothy J Cox...

*   *   *

1. IMDb states in your bio that Jack Lemmon’s performance in Days of Wine and Roses prompted your choice to become an actor. What other actors influenced you?
Oh, wow. How much space do you have? Seriously, I could go on for days about the actors who have and continue to influence me. When I was a kid, I used to go to this video store in Wilmington, Delaware, where I grew up and rent a stack of movies of one particular actor. I'd rent six movies at one time and I'd spend my weekends watching and learning from the prestigious schools of Gene Hackman, Spencer Tracy, Albert Finney, Alec Guiness, Jason Robards, Katharine Hepburn, Vanessa Redgrave and so many others. I would watch the movies in the order that the actor made them. It was great to see the actor grow in each role. I've learned from so many. Lord knows, I've stolen from so many as well.   I'm still learning; still a student in this work. 

2. Your experience ranges from stage to film, which do you prefer to do and why?
I'm about 50-50. Film is exciting and fun and in my experience, very fast paced, which I enjoy. With film acting, you have to rely on your instincts and training and just go for it in a scene, as in most cases, you don't have the time for long periods of rehearsal. So, you just have to trust yourself, the material and the people around you. Sometimes something clicks and works perfectly and sometimes it doesn't. That's what take two is for. As far as the stage, well, I'll always love the stage because of that immediate reaction you get from the audience. Plus, every time you go on stage, it's ''opening night'' again. It's new for the audience; it's new for you the actor as well. I love it all though. I love to work, whether it's stage or film.

3. Do you have a “dream-team” of actors and directors you’d really love to work with?
Honestly, I wish I could back 70-80 years and be a part of Frank Capra's or John Ford's stock company of actors...people like Jane Darwell, Ward Bond, Thomas Mitchell. They had such wonderful careers. Being a part of a stock company or ensemble like that would be my ideal ''dream team''.

4. What prompted you to write the screenplay Swan Song?
There was a period...a year or so ago...where I had this burst of enthusiasm for writing and Swan Song was the result. In the past, when I started to write, I had an idea and started to run with it, but I lost interest real quick or was distracted with life, work, etc. That didn't happen this time and I'm glad. It was a fun process, a difficult process though, as I'm sure any writer will tell you.

5. Why did you choose a hit man as your protagonist?
That life...the mob life...in all its forms (Cosa Nostra, Irish Mob, etc) has always fascinated me. For years, I've read books and watched documentaries about mob enforcers/hitmen like Sammy ''The Bull'' Gravano, who was John Gotti's right hand man or John ''Red'' Shea, who worked alongside of Whitey Bulger. When reading about them, they always struck me as very quiet men...loners...but when they got the call to do a ''job'', a trigger went on in their heads and boom, they did their jobs with a certain machine-like precision. That's what I envisioned for Ken McCord. This man is a killing machine. This is all he knows and he's good at it, but deep down, he wants something more. The film chronicles his internal struggles with the life he's chosen...the price he's paid for it, mentally, physically and emotionally and a question nags at him throughout, ''Can I walk away from this life, the only life I've ever known?''

6. When did you start writing?
I've been writing stories and little scripts since I was a kid, but Swan Song is the first thing that I've written that I'm fully proud of. I don't consider myself a writer. I consider myself an actor who tried something different.

7. Obviously, being a writer and an actor the temptation must be there to do a Rocky. Do you have any intentions of going down that road?
No, I never intended to write a great, big leading role for myself. I'm a supporting actor and I'm going to play a supporting role in the film. I've always had this supporting actor mentality...I come on, do my scenes and then get out of there. The part that I'm going to play in the film is a good one. He has one cool scene and then he's out. That's enough for me. We got a great lead actor in Jeff Moffitt, a colleague from several past film projects (Socks and Cakes and The Watchers) and a dear friend to play McCord and he's going to knock it out of the park.

8. In terms of writing, I have to ask; who are your greatest influences?
Any script that Paddy Chayefsky wrote (Marty, The Hospital, Network) always blew me away. The Coen Brothers have always and continue to amaze me as well. That's a ''dream team'' right there.

9. Are you still planning to write for the stage or has this acceptance of your screenplay caused you to completely shift direction?
I never say never in this work. I never thought I'd pen a screenplay, let alone see it then be brought to life by a talented group of people like Rob LaSalle and Rafael Ortiz. The skies the limit!I

10. Are you going to continue to write?
I hope so. It's a fun, but difficult process. If a good idea comes to me, then I'll get it on paper.

11. When do you expect the film to be finished?
Well, we're at the stage now where we need to raise money to make the film a reality. The scene we shot a few weeks back, which will be part of the promotion to raise funds, is very close to completion. I'm very excited to see it and share it with the world, Everyone involved with the project has worked so hard already on the project. I feel so blessed.

12. And finally; what have you got going in the acting department?
I'm in pre-production for the comedy web series Marty and Doug's New Religion, Part 2, with All Things Random, which will be directed by another dear friend and frequent collaborator in Sean Meehan (Over Coffee, Waste of Space). I will be playing both God and the Devil, which is every actors dream. I also have several films in post-production, including the comedies Filmmaker and Homeless Real Estate, also from All Things Random, We Just Want To Play from Team 3 Productions and the drama Jackpot from Chantaletc Productions.

*   *   *

We’d like to thank Timothy for taking the time to talk to us and reveal a bit more about his first screenplay and where Swansong is in filming. If you want more information about the film the website is http://swansongfilm.weebly.com and if you want to see more about Timothy check out his website http://www.timothyjcox.com.


Heading Home From Boston After A Great Weekend

I'm exhausted, but I feel great at the sane time

The film shoot in Boston, part of the 48 Hour Film Project, and director Sean Meehan and his editor are now almost finished with the task of piecing the project together. I would like to say that this was perhaps the most solid, hard working and professional set that I have ever had the pleasure of working on. The crew took great care with their work, which stepped up my individual game, forcing me to give my best.

As always, Sean was tops. He truly is the best damn film director I know. He runs the best sets...very calm, collected and prepared for ant challenge.

I must recognize my co-star in the film....the title is still being worked out...in Maria Natapov, who was a real joy and delight to work with.

In the film, Maria and I play a pair of con artists, posing as paranormal investigators,  who come to a fictional Massachusetts town, on the urging of a political leader who hopes to attract tourists, to create the appearance of ghost activity in the town. While investigating a rather spooky basement, they discover a lost little girl  who they decide to use in their con, although my character, unexpectedly, finds the little girl charming and begins to wonder if this con is worth trying to pull off.

It's hard to to say what kind of film this is going to be. There should be a little bit of everything here.

All I know is, I had a blast making it.

The film will be completed today and screened on Thursday of this week.

Very exciting.

Friday, May 03, 2013

On The Bus To Boston Now

I'm currently on the Bolt bus, on my way to Boston for the 48 Hour Film Project. As I type this, director Sean Meehan should be working on a script...whoch I can't wait to read. We start bright and early tomorrow

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Off to Boston Tomorrow Night

I'll be catching a 7:30PM bus to Boston tomorrow night to work with Sean Meehan on the 48 Hour Film Project. It'll be very exciting to work on something like that, my first 48 hour film festival.

LINDA LETHORN AND THE MUSIC BOX Update


Meg Skaff's film LINDA LETHORN AND THE MUSIC BOX has just been accepted into the Seattle International Film Festival.

Congrats to Meg and to the entire cast and crew.