Sunday, December 29, 2013

New Sean Meehan Project On The Horizon

Last night, I read a new script by Sean Meehan. All I have to say is that I can't wait to get into this.

I'm not going to divulge any specifics on story or character as of yet, but I will say that it's very intense and surreal, like a Twilight Zone episode. So many possibilities as far as where to take it...from a tone standpoint.

To me, it's different than anything Sean has ever written.

Can't wait.

Monday, December 23, 2013

CinemaSchminema Reviews SIMPLE MIND

http://cinemaschminema.com/2013/12/22/simple-mind/

Simple Mind

SimpleMind
Simple Mind is a simple, short tale of a man who isn’t entirely what he seems.  We follow our main character as he talks with his therapist about his life, his obsession with a woman and how his obsession leads to her murder.  Our guy has quite the anything but mundane lifestyle!  Or does he….?
Timothy J. Cox is PERFECT as the psycho killer here – I don’t think I’ve seen crazy eyes that good since Jonathan Rhys Meyers.  *shivers*  I love everything Cox has down here with his character.  I went from intrigued to repulsed to piteous all in the span of about seven minutes.  And the film, thought it features other characters, is really all about him so kudos for not once letting my attention waver and for keeping me in breathless anticipation of what was going to happen next. 
This is definitely an example of indie filmmaking gone terrifically right and storytelling at its best.  If you’re a fan of the short film genre, like me, you’re going to LOVE this one. 

SKY'S THE LIMIT

Writer / director April Schrorer contacted me yesterday with a link to SKY'S THE LIMIT, which I watched this morning. Overall, I am very pleased with the film. The editing and cinematography were especially stellar, so April and her DP Tom Mika are to be commended.

April plans to do one more edit of the film, which will include a pivotal scene at the end of the film. When I receive that new cut, I'll post the film online.

Thanks to April and the entire crew for the chance to be a part of the project. It was a real joy to make and to watch.

Friday, December 20, 2013

MAN IN PROGRESS

Yesterday, I received my copy of the short film MAN IN PROGRESS, from Shore Points Productions, written, directed and starring Matt Mahoney. I really appreciate getting my copy is a very timely mnanner. I thought the film was nicely made all around, with everyone involved having fun with the project. I had blast in my brief turn as the Barfly.

Thanks to Matt and the entire crew for the chance to be a small part of the film.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Audition for THE AMERICANS This Morning

Last night, I received a call from ATM about an audition for the FX TV series THE AMERICANS.

The audition is in a few hours at 11:30AM.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Medical Industrial

Don't you love it when you do a job...expect to be paid immediately, but then are informed that it takes 4-6 weeks?

What insanity is this?

Things change in 4 years, I guess, as I don't recall it taking that long to be paid the last time I did one of these gigs.

It's ridiculous.

GREG'S GUARDIAN ANGEL

Visit the link below to view GREG'S GUARDIAN ANGEL

https://www.dropbox.com/s/shjcm9xa8zm0iep/September15.mov?n=246987895

Peter O'Toole

The loss of Peter O'Toole this past weekend rocked the acting community.

As a fan and admirer of his work, I can say with certainty that we will not see his like again. A true original in every sense of the word.

There's More....

  If you thought that first email was something, here's the apology.
________________________________________________________________________________
  
It has been brought to my attention that my statements may have offended some of the prospective actors who applied to audition for our upcoming film, "Dead Men". As this was not my intention in any shape or form, I wanted to send out a formal apology to those who may have been put off by my abrasiveness and intensity.

When I had ostentatiously denounced actors who star in films to "fluff up their resumes", I was not taking into account those who commit themselves to the craft of filmmaking, putting in long hours and sleepless nights into perfecting the art of acting. I spoke haphazardly, and for that I do sincerely apologize.

In addition, when I demanded line memorization, I should have been more clear that I didn't mean all 10 pages by Tuesday. That would be a bit unrealistic. You all have lives and responsibilities, and I'm no hot shot producer- nothing of the sort, and I have no right to demand such a high burden from any of you. A few paragraphs is more than is needed, something I should have clarified in my original statement.

I will try not to make excuses for my actions, but I will say that I am immensely passionate about this project. It is something me and the team have been working on for months now, and the excitement of finalizing the casting call had gotten the better of me. I prematurely denounced entire careers, disregarded applicant's motivations, and blatantly ignored the feelings of others.

In the end, my credibility and my honor was put on the line in that e-mail, and it was the furthest thing from my intentions to have offended anyone. I had thought by using tough language, I could spark some motivation and commitment to the role, something which I now know and understand was unnecessary, patronizing, and rude.

I know how hard all of you work towards perfecting your performance. I understand that the career of an actor is a difficult one, and none of you would have applied if you hadn't already committed yourself to the idea. This is something I was too shortsighted to realize, and something which I hope I can make up for when meeting with all of you on Tuesday.

It is not in my nature to come off the way I did, and I acted out of sheer emotion and simply put, I lacked rational thought. I am unfortunately a too-hard-on-himself perfectionist, and I suppose I projected that mentality upon all of you- all of you who are gracious enough to take time out of their days, some of you traveling great distances, to be apart of this project. I am grateful to each and every one of you, and the last thing I meant to do was seem like some power wielding jerk behind a camera.

I hope my words find you all well, and that those offended can find it in their hearts to let bygones be bygones, and come down Tuesday to be apart of a project which I have immense faith in. If not, your absence will be sorely missed.

For a majority of you though, the overwhelming response has been positive. Most of you seem to have looked past my vague wording and picked up on my passion albeit misdirected, replying with enthusiasm over the script. I want to say thank you to those who have replied and are willing to commit themselves to this project, despite my words that could be interpreted the way they were by a select few. I am grateful for your participation, and more so am grateful to those who brought to my attention the alternative tone which I hadn't the slightest clue I was conveying.

This was a powerful experience for me in terms of wording my thoughts and passions correctly, and in the future I hope to better assess what I say when addressing prospective actors.

Once again, it is with my deepest regrets and sincerest apology that I send you all this e-mail.

I look forward to seeing the rest of you Tuesday, and I know together this film can be something special if we all work together, put our passions into a manageable sphere, and from there, project them onto the screen.

Deepest apologies

I Feel The Need to Share This

This subject has already been addressed on Facebook, but I feel the need to post this here.
 
Last week, a writer / director sent out a mass email to over 70 actors for a project, titled DEAD MEN. The email that was sent out, which is enclosed below, was shocking to say the least.  It was equal parts arrogant and idiotic. Arrogant in it's tone and idiotic in thinking that such an approach was going to entice anyone to want to show up and audition.
 
I'll repeat what I said on Facebook: HOW FAR GONE ARE YOU?
 
I posted the email on Facebook and, as I hoped, people reacted in a strong manner.
 
Reactions included this individual being referred to as a jackass, a tool and a no-talent egotistical idiot.
 
I could go on and on, but I'll let you decide. Give it a read.
 
My favorite parts are highlighted in red.
 
Enjoy!
 
_________________________________________________________________________________
 
Greetings everyone! Glad to you've made it thus far. This is the easy part, you know, throwing your resume blindly to producers, hoping one will bite. Despite whatever your lengthy, well written resumes may claim, the next step in this process is where you get to prove to me and the team you're more than just lifeless words of self-proclamation..

As writer of this project, I just want to say I will settle for nothing less than perfection. I have a particular idea for how this film should look, feel, and be received. This is not a project I want anyone to take lightly- it's not going to be some film you can use to fluff up your resume- this is a film that could go places, and I'm looking only for those who are committed and are ready to take on the challenge.

***SPECIAL NOTE***

There has been an overhaul in the script. Me and the team have fine tuned it to a point of no return. The characters remain the same, (Grim, Judge, and Victim), but the dynamic has changed. As you read the script, note that Judge has much more dialogue than Grim, and Grim plays an almost secondary role towards the end. There will also be heavy make up involved as the characters will be dead, trolling through the underworld.

ALSO! THOSE APPLYING TO BE JUDGE- YOU MUST HAVE A VALID DRIVER'S LICENSE AND BE WILLING TO SIGN A LIABILITY WAIVER, AS YOU WILL BE ASKED TO DRIVE A CAR, THE EXTENT OF WHICH IS STILL UNSURE. MOST LIKELY NO MORE THAN A FEW MILES AT MOST.

THOSE APPLYING FOR GRIM-
Please wear a plain white t-shirt and black winter jacket (leather, pea coat, buffalo jacket). If you do not have this wardrobe, don't worry, we have a spare jacket, but we'd prefer if you brought your own.
 
I am sending you all the script for your review. I want your lines memorized and sown into your conscience when you walk through that studio door next week. The feel of your performance is just as important as the accuracy of your recital. I will be able to tell apart those that did their homework, and those that didn't. Your work ethic is just as important as your talent, so keep that in mind.

This script is under copyright. By accepting and opening this e-mail, you have acknowledged that any re-production or distribution of this script without express written consent from myself (John Amaruso) will result in legal action.

Just to make sure you all actually read this, please reply to this e-mail with the subject line "Dead Men Don't Die".

I look forward to seeing you all there. Remember, first come first serve. See you Tuesday and good luck everyone!

2013

2013 is coming to a close and I would dub it, ''a film year''. I didn't plan on it. As always, I just ride the wave on this journey. Since 2010, I've, more or less, jumped over to the film side, with an occasional glance and visit in the direction of theatre and while I miss the theatre, I'm loving the experience of acting in film more and more every time I enter a set. .

Obviously, my marriage to my amazing wife Jamie is the highlight of my year in every way. That experience has changed my life....all for the better.

Yes, there were a few professional highlights, MALLAS, MA comes to mind as the biggest on the film side. I'm very proud of that film and hope to work with Sean Meehan, Rick Macomber and Maria Natapov in the years to come.

GREG'S GUARDIAN ANGEL was also a blast.

CHOOSING SIDES has become the little comedy film that could...getting nice reviews from just about everyone who has seen it. I'm delighted that people have and continue to enjoy it.

There have been disappointments...SWAN SONG being the biggest. I don't regret the experience (it's all about learning), I just regret who I experienced it with. SWAN SONG was a huge lesson for me: Just because someone wants to make your film, make sure they're the right people!

American Talent Management hasn't done much for me, but then again, I haven't done much for them, so I guess that makes us even.

It's funny...in the close to 13 years that I have lived in NYC, I have never gone a year without doing a play. Looking back over the years, it seemed that there was a time that I was going from one play to another. Those days were fun and I miss them, with no real regrets. I guess as I've gotten older, time has become very important to me and the climate in the theatre these days is such that it's pretty common that you'll rehearse for a month or more, but only get 5 or 6 performances out of the process. For me, it would depend on the script and the people involved. I'll be starting off 2014 with an informal reading of PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE, so that'll be an opportunity to fall in love with the theatre again.

I don't do New Years resolutions. I never have.

What do I hope for in 2014? More good times and more adventures.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Sonic-Cinema Reviews MALLAS, MA

http://www.sonic-cinema.com/film_reviews_individual/1436/mallas-ma-short

Mallas, Ma. (Short) (2013): A-


In the short film, “Mallas, Ma.”, two “ghosthunters” (played by Timothy Cox and Maria Natapov) go into a house, primed to find signs of the paranormal. I put “ghosthunters” in quotes because, as we see them work, it’s obvious they’re faking, and are just looking for stuff they can pass off as paranormal. As they search, they find a young girl (played by twins, Uatchet Juch and Nekhebet Kum Juch), alone, and they get her to agree to help them. Boy, are they in for a surprise.

Or are they? Made for the 48-hour film project, “Mallas, Ma.” leaves things a bit ambiguous. Did they actually discover signs of the paranormal? Did they grow a conscious, leading to the unexpected twist at the ending? If so to the first question, why not share it with the world? How one answers that first question determines how one might answer the others presented by Sean Meehan’s light, lovely film. Me? I like not necessarily knowing, because the questions the film brings up shouldn’t be simple to answer.

Friday, December 06, 2013

SUCH A FUNNY LIFE Shoot

Todays' shoot in Brooklyn went pretty well. I liked working with Oliver Mann, who is a very easygoing director to work with, allowing his actors to play, which I certainly did in my scene and had a blast doing so. 

I didn't think all of the members of his crew were completely with it though. This was a scene that should have been knocked out in about 45 minutes to an hour, yet it took a little over two hours.

No worries though, I had a blast with Oliver and as well as actor Gonzalo Trigueros, who plays the leading role in the film. He's a very solid actor and a great guy to chat with between takes.

Check out Gonzalo's website here: http://www.gonzalotrigueros.com/

Thanks to Oliver for the chance to be a part of the project.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

SUCH A FUNNY LIFE Shoot Tomorrow

I'll be heading to Brooklyn tomorrow morning for my shoot as the radio host in SUCH A FUNNY LIFE. It's a short scene, so it shouldn't take too terribly long.

Cinema Crazed Reviews TROUBLE

http://cinema-crazed.com/blog/2013/12/04/trouble-2013/
 

Trouble (2013)

561651

Daniel Witkins short dramedy about a boarding school and a group of unruly young boys is a film that definitely has potential for a feature length treatment, should Witkins ever decide to re-work the premise. While it works well within the confines of its short length, it could also be an entertaining coming of age indie for audiences that can appreciate this type of entertainment.

Star Bennett Kirschner is very good as young Isaac, a young man with a crime ridden past who discovers that his boarding school is filled with other students that want to make his life miserable. Every day he plots to escape his imprisonment in the school, and when he’s inside the walls he has to endure the torment from his enemy Greg and his gang.

Kirschner really manages to pull off turning Isaac in to the misfit you can empathize with, as he befriends a young attractive school nurse, and then begins devising the ultimate plan to ensure his release. Witkins’ dramedy is often times very funny and not afraid to be silly, with fun moments of improv, while he takes the limited scenery and uses it very much to his advantage. “Trouble” is a unique and entertaining short, and I’d love to see what Daniel Witkins can do with a full length film.



Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen...

...is how I would describe Tuesdays' medical training video shoot. Nothing frustrates me more than being on a set and I'm getting different directions from three different people. Thankfully, it doesn't happen often and as the day progressed, things were much better and smoother.


CUPID AND PSYCHE

My audition for CUPID AND PSYCHE on Tuesday was postponed by me, as something came up. I went in to read earlier tonight instead and it was fun, although I don't think I'm a good fit for the Chrysos role. I much preferred the father role (shocker) of Thanos. Something clicked. Thanos, like Leonato and Polonius, is a protective father.

We'll see what happens.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Tuesday Night Audition for the Play CUPID AND PSYCHE

On Tuesday, I will be reading for a role in a new play from writer / director Emily C.A. Snyder titled CUPID AND PSYCHE, a new play in blank verse (poetry written in unrhymed iambic pentameter). I read the play last evening and it looks like it could be a lot of fun. I also haven't done a play since IVANOV, so it would be great to get back on a stage.

Here's some good news, the cast already includes my MIDSUMMER from 2009 colleague, James Parenti, who will be playing Cupid in the production.

Here is an overview of the play:


Aphrodite, the goddess of Love, is incensed to discover that all men have left her to worship a disdainful mortal, Psyche. Determined to kill her rival, Aphrodite sets her son, Cupid, to the task—except that he, too, becomes infatuated.

However, when Passion is unbound, he proves monstrous, as Psyche quickly learns when she rejects her invisible suitor’s advances. To prevent the “Beast” from terrorizing her own family, who are now afraid to show affection to one another, Psyche takes Cupid as her husband to “rid the world of Love.” But when Passion is married to the Soul, even a Beast can change…

Cupid and Psyche, a New Play in Blank Verse, explores that nature of Love verses Lust, and the marriage of Passion to the Soul.


I will be reading for the comic supporting role of Chrysos, a greedy fool who, like every other male in the play, falls for Psyche, even though he is already married to Dareia.

For information on the production, please visit: http://www.cupidandpsyche.net/

Medical Training Video Shoot in Long Island Tomorrow

Back in May of 2009, I worked on an in house medical training video for the North Shore-LIJ Studios in Manhasset, Long Island. It was a very easy shoot and the money wasn't shabby. Last week, I heard from Al Ritondo, who is charge of the production of these videos and he has once again tapped me to participate in a training video shoot for tomorrow, which I jumped on immediately. My call is noon and we're slated to be finished in just a couple of hours.

Should be real easy.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

The Independent Critic Reviews CHOOSING SIDES

STARRING
Timothy J. Cox, Rachel Lynn Jackson, Max Plush
DIRECTED BY
Lee Loechler
SCREENPLAY
Yael Green
RUNNING TIME
5 Mins.

 "Choosing Sides" a Solid Indie Short 

A regular contributor of shorts to The Independent Critic, Timothy J. Cox co-stars as the father in this slight but funny short film that seems like a fun way to kick off the holiday season as two obviously theologically opposed parents, Peter (Cox) and Ellen (Rachel Lynn Jackson), celebrate their son's 12th birthday by having "the" talk about which path he intends to choose - Catholicism or Judaism.

Choosing Sides is an intentionally funny and over-the-top short film that comes in at just over five minutes and is filled with one-liners, digs, and otherwise blunt insults that play off common beliefs, stereotypes and, more than likely, a few things you've wanted to say while gathered around the holiday table with people you may not see the rest of the year.

The second short film from director Lee Loechler, Choosing Sides takes its relatively one-note theme and makes the most of it before, as one probably expects, handing it all over to the able young hands of Max Plush, a young man who is smart enough and funny enough to figure out that both his mother and his father have a few unresolved issues.

Choosing Sides is a film that depends entirely upon your appreciating its humor, and let's face it, we religious folks aren't exactly known for our sense of humor when it comes to even gently poking fun at our beliefs. That said, the film is clearly just having fun with it all and the performances are solid across the board.

I will admit that one joke, in particular, completely pulled me out of the film as a crack was made about Ellen having gone through menopause. While I have no doubt that the quite beautiful Rachel Lynn Jackson will wear her 50's stunningly, it seemed like a joke that didn't quite fit the appearance of her character.

Minor quibbles aside, Choosing Sides is a fun little short that you should check out if you get the chance.

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic