Interview with actor, Robert John Burke

Today I’m welcoming actor, Robert John Burke. Thank you, Bobby for stopping by!

 

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am frighteningly ordinary.

 

 

How did you get into the career of acting?

I got into acting through an experimental acting class in my high school. It also offered an internship with the professional equity acting company. Then it was onto college, where I attended the acting conservatory at SUNY purchase.

 

 

In one of your earlier films, you played the role of the well-known character of Alex Murphy in RoboCop 3. What was it like playing the part of a cyborg?

It was very daunting playing RoboCop three. I thought Peter Weller did such an amazing job that it should have been left alone. No Peter no sequel. I was resistant for about eight months and then I finally acquiesced. The physical demands of the role were great. It involved movement training with a man named Moni Yakin, who had also worked with Peter. He is a teacher at the Juilliard school and he’s amazing. I think if I did anything at all right in that role, I owe it to him.

 

 

In the horror film titled, Thinner, (that was based on Stephen King’s novel) you portrayed the main character of Billy Halleck. Tell us about that and did you encounter any challenges in playing such a diverse role?

Thinner was the ultimate role for me to play. Getting to hide under five hours of make up should excite any actor. But the schedule was pretty grueling. I would get in the make up chair at 2 o’clock in the morning to be ready to start shooting at 7 AM. Then shoot to about 10 PM in the evening.

I was a little disappointed with the way the film turned out. There were lots of different directions that people were pulling it in. Although I must say, quite a few people really enjoyed that film. Meeting Stephen King was a complete thrill.

 

 

Your other on-screen accomplishments include Limitless, 2 Guns, Safe and Dust Devil, just to name a few. Aside from your films, you’re also on the t.v. series: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Allegiance, Banshee, Nurse Jackie, Army Wives, and Rescue Me… (the impressive list goes on)… How do you maintain such a balanced schedule?

On paper it can look like I’m doing a lot of different projects. The reality is that I lead a very balanced life. There were times when I was doing two and three television shows at a time. But somehow it was always manageable. And to tell you the truth, it keeps things interesting that are a hell of a lot of fun.

 

 

Is there any one role that you find in particular to be your absolute favorite?

People ask you what’s the most fun or is there any one role that you find to be your favorite. I think there are several for different reasons. I’ve met a lot of really amazing people on all the productions I’ve been on. Got to travel to exotic and beautiful places. The work I’m most proud of is probably the work that the least amount of people have seen. Films like First Love Last Rites, The Unbelievable Truth, and No Such Thing, are among my favorites.

 

 

Aside from being an actor, you’re also a NY State Certified Firefighter. You helped with the rescue efforts during 9/11, mind telling everyone about that? 

My best friend was in FDNY, captain named Patrick J. Brown. He fell on 9/11/01. Because all of Long Island New York is voluntary fire service, I decided to join my local department and dedicate my service to his memory. It’s been 16 years. I think I missed my True calling.

 

 

What’s next for Robert John Burke?

I’ve taken some time off recently but I’m also developing several projects and working hard on them.

 

 

Where can fans follow you and your work?

I don’t really have a website or anything like that. Sometimes I’ll post pictures of a particular project I’m working on on social media. Certain shows I’ve been on, particularly SVU have legions of very loyal enthusiastic fans. So I treat them with great respect and try and post stuff that keeps them in the loop.

 

 

Any positive words of advice you’d like to share?

I rarely give advice. But I do make suggestions. I suggest people remember to be kind to each other. And I say remember because people forget. I have a coffee mug that says “be kind” on it. It reminds me because I don’t ever want to forget to extend even the smallest gesture to another person that could mean a great deal to that person at that moment. If we take care of the little stuff, the big stuff takes care of itself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with actor, Dave Buzzotta

Today I’m welcoming actor, writer and singer, Dave Buzzotta. Thanks, Dave for stopping by!

 

 

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Buzz (what his friends call him): Well, I’m a triple Aquarius, so for the most part, I go with the flow. Now, I’m always pursuing some artistic endeavor, and though the bulk of my work is in the theatre, and on camera stuff, of course, but I’m at my best as an artist when I’m also working on music. And I’m putting a new project together. Growing player by player. Free flowing jams we record and take home and work on our own perspective jobs and bring it in. Plus, I have some original songs of my own that I’ve worked on since my former band crashed just when we were releasing our EP at The Viper Room. And I also enjoy hiking up Runyon Canyon, gigs, museums, dogs AND cats and putting my headphones on to a little Pink Floyd.

 

 

What made you want to be an actor?

Buzz: Truthfully, a few little gems mesmerized me quite young and felt like they literally became the strength of my young, growing bones. I remember seeing a scene my mother was watching on American Playhouse or something. It was James Earl Jones and Mary Alice in Fences. I didn’t quite understand it, but I knew it was me. I also remember walking from the kitchen, and on my way to the bedroom, I was paused by Alfre Woodard’s Hill Street Blues episode where the cop shot her boy. I was chilled. I think it was in reruns, but I was quite young and can still see them both. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that probably what solidified it was Star Wars. I was a little drawer and painter very young before I understood what acting was. So everyone thought I’d go in that direction. And I still do, but after seeing the film, I sat right down and drew all the characters and memorized the album my mother bought me of the actual dialogue of the whole movie. I memorized and mimicked every character, sound and death and performed it for my family who felt I might need special help. I started as a kid starting with print and commercials. As a teenager, I did a Dayrunner ad with Jessica Alba. So funny what 20 years in the business throws your way. As a child I was cast as Snoopy in a New York production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” “The Babysitter’s Club, as a boy sitter. Fun then. Embarrassing now, also a Broadway production, a couple off-Broadway stints, a cabaret show, a punk band while studying with Sanford Meisner as his youngest student. That’s where I learned how to act. So many a-ha moments and it gave me a technique that I’ve made my own. New York did me well. And whenever I’m not working, I’m in class to keep the muscles toned.

 

 

You’ve played roles in the films Last Resort, She’s All That and Prophecy 3: The Ascent. What are some of your other onscreen accomplishments?

Buzz: I’ve always liked the indie scene, so my most fulfilling projects are usually gritty roles like: Fuel, where I played the lead character, based on a real heroin addicted genius who, developed a magnetic engine (which took the highest honor in the Lisbon Film Festival and did well on the indie circuit with Al Gore as a producer), If Tomorrow Comes where my role as a teenage porn actor gave me quite an education in the Los Angeles sex working industry (with James Franco as my best friend) and two action films shot last year: Wolfmother and Water. I also did a short where I played an 80s rockstar called Jon and the Wolf that was a hell of a lot of fun. We even made a cheesy video for the film called “Feeding Frenzy.” And She’s All That was a hell of a lot of fun.

 

 

You’re also a singer. Tell us about your band.

Buzz: I had to take some time off, but at the moment, I’m playing with an amazing guitar player and talking about what we want to do. Then we’ll approach the guys we want and continue writing while we start playing out in LA. I’d also like to use my previous band’s EP for a web series I’ve nearly completed.

 

 

Do you have any current and/or upcoming projects you’d like to share with everyone?

Buzz: In addition to Water and Wolfmother, I have an offer I’m considering and I’m shopping two television series, an action drama called Stage and a children’s animation series starring a cat called Geep. Being a member of a few theatre companies, I am always interested in doing a great play when I’m not shooting or developing something. I have to do at least one play a year or I feel like I’m starving. I was nominated for an Ovation Award last year (the closest event to the Tony’s in LA) which validated my fears of coming back to my career. I’m very excited about ARULA (Artists Rise Up Los Angeles), a theatre company formed the day after the election. In order to do our part in our way as a faction of the tremendous anti-White House agenda. Our first production, E Pluribus Unum (Out of One, Many) performed to a sold out crowd with rave reviews, spawned a New York chapter and a follow up production, Transparency, Taxes & Tweets April 17 & 18 at Atwater Village Theatre.

 

 

What would you say is the most rewarding part of your career?

Buzz: The energy of performing live, whether the theatre or music. It’s always emotional for me which is what I think attracted me to performing in the first place. I remember my mother telling me at a young age when I was upset. She said, “It’s ok my love, you just feel things more than most people do.” Though acting and singing and shaken’ it are distinctively different, there is that rush of feeling the audience and feeling them feel you and I approach them the same way. Not much different than a roided out tennis match, feeding off each other and connecting on a more spiritual level than every day human contact.

 

 

At the end of a busy day, how does Dave Buzzotta unwind?

Buzz: Well, if I’m staying in, I get straight into my fleece pjs, pet the cat or dog while watching msnbc, eat and then write.

 

 

How can fans follow your work and find out about updates?

Buzz: I can be followed or reached on FB and Twitter, as I do post my projects. My website was badly hacked and will be up again soon at: Dave Buzzotta.com. I may not be prompt, but I always get back to my peeps.

 

 

Any words of wisdom you care to share?

Buzz: I would never say I have much wisdom to offer, however, I think we all should pursue art and creativity in our lives. Not necessarily as a career, but as a way to appreciate the beauty and freedom we do have, especially in the midst of what is going on in the world. And if you’re an aspiring actor, I’d say first buy a copy of Sanford Meisner’s book, On Acting. See what you think, find a great teacher and do the two year technique. And go where the work is or make it yourself. Thank you, Sheila for this opportunity.

 

 

 

 

Auld Lang Syne

“Should auld (old) acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should auld (old) acquaintance be forgot, and auld (old) lang syne?” Ahhh…. the long familiar song associated with this time of year.

Auld Lang Syne: “For (the sake of) old times.”

‘Tis the end of another year, my friends. 2016 is coming to a close as 2017 approaches. Did you all have a wonderful Christmas? I sure did. I was extremely grateful to spend a relaxing holiday at home with my family. We carried on the annual Christmas Eve tradition of driving around looking at the local Christmas decorations and lights as we sipped on our milkshakes. Then, once we arrived home we watched the classic film, A Christmas Story starring Peter Billingsley as Ralphie Parker, along with Darren McGavin and Melinda Dillon who played his parents and Ian Petrella who played his pesky little brother, Randy. My family and I have seen the movie countless times, but every time we watch it, it still cracks us up.

And then on Christmas day, we stayed home opening our gifts as we sat by the fireplace. It was definitely a wonderful time!

Tomorrow is the first day of the new year and I’m certainly ready for it. Are you? I’ve got some exciting projects that I’ll be working on and I promise to keep you all posted with the updates as time progresses. I’m really looking forward to this next year! What does 2017 have in store for you? I’d love to hear about it! What are some of your holiday traditions and what exciting plans have you got for the upcoming year?

As we celebrate this festive holiday season, always be safe and enjoy. Life is for remembering, not regretting!

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!!!

~ Love & Light, Sheila

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

 

 

sheila-renee-parker-6

 

Happy Halloween!!!

I know it’s a day early, but I just wanted to take a very special moment to wish you all a Happy Halloween! As I’ve said before, this is my absolute fave time of year. The temperatures become cooler, warm Autumn smells fill the air and holiday baked goodies tend to be at their yummiest!

Carving pumpkins has always been a huge tradition with my family. The creativity involved just adds to the excitement. And then… there’s the baking of the pumpkin seeds! Right before putting them in the oven, I like to add some sea salt to give them a little extra bit of deliciousness. Oh, and did I mention that as we carved pumpkins yesterday, we baked nearly three dozen peanut butter cookies. Yes, we did and I would love to share them with you! 🙂

There’s also the marathon of fave horror movies to make this haunted holiday all the scarier. Earlier in the week I recorded Masque of the Red Death (a short story by Edgar Allan Poe) starring the late, great Vincent Price. A true classic in my opinion, another fave. Since my childhood, I’ve always loved the works of Poe and his creative ingenious as he brought out an eerie darkness that has resonated amongst his fans.

With so many different fun things going on this time of year, I decided to explore the stores to see what I could find to add to this season’s decorations. A couple of weeks ago I went shopping and found an adorable, yet simple, witch’s hat. (An image of this sweet addition is even included at the end of this post.)

When I got to the register, the cashier asked, “Are you gonna be a witch for Halloween?” I casually laughed and answered, “I already am one.”

She jokingly replied, “I thought you were kidding.” I grinned while shaking my head and told her, “Actually, I’m Wiccan.”

Then, we had a brief conversation about spirituality. The young lady was very cool and extremely open-minded.

The encounter made me giggle because of its innocence, which made me want to share it with you. As I always say, “Be Original. Be True. Be YOU!” 😉 )O(

 

Alright, everyone, I’ve shared with you a few of mine and my family’s Halloween traditions, would love to hear what are some of your favorite things that you like to do? Don’t be shy, this is an open-minded site where everyone is welcome to share!

 

Blessed Samhain! )O(

Love & Light,                                                                                                                         Sheila

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

 

 

hat

 

Pumpkins my son and I carved yesterday. 🙂

pumpkins

pumpkin-1

Interview with film director, Michael G. Kehoe

Today I’m welcoming back director, Michael G. Kehoe to discuss his new horror film, AliceThank you, Michael for stopping by!

 

 

Tell everyone a little about yourself.

I was born in Brooklyn, New York and grew up going to a Catholic school. My mother was a theater director in the local parish. One of the first films that caught my attention when I was very young was a film by an Australian director Nicolas Roeg titled “Walkabout”. Roeg was a Cinematographer on such films like “Fahrehheit 451”, Second Unit on “Lawrence of Arabia” just to name a few. So his attention to detail as far as composition and light was something that caught my attention for some reason.
My family moved to Ithaca and while I attended high school I became interested in drama and started acting. I wanted to direct so I approached the school and a sports booster club to produce the play “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. I produced it, directed it and played the leading role of R. P. McMurphy. The play was a success for the sports booster club and I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I was then approached by my high school English teacher to apply to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. I then waited for word, and was finally accepted.
After completing my studies there I left for California and took a job as a bartender. There is a longer story, but it would end up being a book!

 

 

Your latest horror film is titled, Alice. Prior to it becoming a feature film, it was the short film called Hush which received more than 30 phenomenal awards. Share with us Hush’s success and how it became Alice.

I had been developing an idea that would take place in one location with female leads. I happen to have 4 sisters, they’re independent and their personalities are very strong. I have a great relationship with all of them. My mother, was a huge fan of Alfred Hitchcock, and she was a very positive inspiration for me to pursue a career as a filmmaker. All of this is what lit the fuse of inspiration. I began writing a screenplay and did not have a title. The screenplay was written quickly and I knew that every screenplay I write will have a follow up journey of a rewrite and another rewrite and another and a polish and a touch up, this is the life of a writer! Within the untitled screenplay I pulled a scene that although was less than 5 minutes long, it had somewhat of a three act structure. I then decided to take that scene and shoot it as a short film. The scene itself is the catalyst of the third act in the feature script.

I had several ideas on how I wanted to shoot the film and then contacted cinematographer and long time friend John Connor. We met and discussed the approach to the film for several months. We created story boards, developed movement of the shots and composition. John suggested we shoot the film with anamorphic lenses and that was the scope I wanted for the film giving it a grand look. We then discussed lighting. Lighting for this genre is extremely important and the right lighting can give the film a style that remains in peoples minds after they’ve left the theater. I must give credit to John Connor for the style and the lighting. At first he was reluctant when I said I did not want to use any lights at all. We looked at dozens of films that inspired us over the years and John came up with an idea that created the style of the film. It has his mark on it. I then brought on a talented editor Michael Trent. Michael and I had a friendship already through our sons, he loves filmmaking as much as I do and I felt as if we were old friends when we began discussing the short film HUSH. Michael talked about the science of the horror genre. I loved those discussions we had over coffee. Each and every moment was touched upon and I knew Michael Trent was the right choice. I not only consider him a friend, but he is my editor!

We shot the short film in one day, less than 11 hours. We came prepared and the cast and crew were spot on! At the time, I fooled around with different titles such as “Dark Rain”, “The Night It Came” and several others. Then, a friend of mine read the short script and in the script there was dialogue that the baby sitter had: “Hush, I’m coming”. So, we decided to use “HUSH”. The short film went on to win 34 awards, including a Wes Craven award. The buzz for the short was extremely rewarding and it gave us faith to continue with the feature.

I then received a call from producer Malek Akkad (producer of the HALLOWEEN franchise), he had screened the short film and read the script. We met, solidified a deal and went over the ideas for the story. Malek is a passionate producer with attention to story. He and I worked diligently on the script and spent hours going over the approach of the cast. We both agreed to avoid the cliche’ of nudity and blood and worked the relationships out that would be relatable to the female audience. We moved on and scheduled the film to shoot with an 18 day schedule that ended out being shorter than that. Believe me, if I had more time we would have used it! But we accomplished what we set out to do and I am very proud of this film.

 

 

What makes Alice the “must see” film for all horror fans?

I think the element of “what’s behind the door?” is always something that horror fans love. I learned quickly that horror fans are loyal and sharp. You can’t cheat a horror fan, if you do, you’ll never hear the end of it. The genre itself has many flavors, there’s ghosts, vampires, monsters, killers, demons and the list goes on. Each of these flavors has a following that is dedicated to the history, the tone and the style. I hope we can give the fans a ride that will open the doors to a sequel! I think they’ll enjoy this as the fans enjoyed the short film. We want to scare the crap out of the audience!

 

 

What are some things people are saying about this exciting film so far?

During post, the technicians have stated that “ALICE” is creepy with great jump scares. They’ve said “you took us on one path and then jolted us to another”. No one on the outside has even seen the film, not the crew, not the cast. Only the small circle that pulled this all together. The word has been very positive.

 

 

Is there a teaser trailer available?

We’re working on a trailer right now. In fact, we will be announcing a contest on social network very soon!

 

 

When will Alice be released for all to see?

At the present time “ALICE” is due to be released in February.

 

 

Where can horror fans find updates about Alice?

Right now people should log on to Facebook and “Like” the “ALICE The Movie” page: https://www.facebook.com/alicemovie2017/?fref=ts
There will be updates and information being released. Be sure to keep an eye out for the big event we will be announcing.
People can follow me on social network: Instagram; @mikehoe11 Twitter: @MikeyKehoe https://twitter.com/MikeyKehoe

 

 

I want to thank you Sheila Renee Parker for your support and your dedication to the paranormal. Your voice should be heard all across the country. I hope you will continue to support the films I make in the future! I would also like to thank the people you inspired to follow me. I hope I can bring the film to a theater near you!

Thank you,
Michael G. Kehoe

 

 

alice

 

 

 

Interview with Blaine Duncan

Today I’m welcoming Blaine Duncan, director of the upcoming film, The Paranormal Diaries: A Documentary Film. Thank you, Blaine for stopping by!

 

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I grew up in a very small, rural community about 45 minutes west of Minneapolis, Minnesota where I lived with my family. This is a small town that’s filled with a few farms, a bar, a church, a small Catholic school and not much more. It’s very much your typical small, Midwest community that you see in the movies and on TV. The house I grew up in always had some strange things going on inside of it. Things would disappear. Lights would turn on and off by themselves. There would even appear this strange smell of cigarette smoke that would fill the air out of nowhere. And this wasn’t like a cigarette that you would smell out at the bar on a Saturday night, this was the smell of distinct, old tobacco. My brother Austin, who is actually out filming with me this summer, had an incredibly scary experience when he was only four or five years old that involved a door slamming shut and a disembodied voice telling him to “be quiet”. So there were some really scary things that were happening all around me and to family living there. As a kid, even from a small age, I was very interested in the paranormal. So interested in fact that the only paranormal book that was in my school’s library was removed from school because some of the nuns felt that I was reading it too much. Pretty funny stuff. But as the only person in my family at the time who was into the paranormal, and even the only one who believed in the paranormal to a degree, nothing ever happened to me outside of smelling the old cigarette smoke. I wanted to interact with whatever was there so bad that I went as far as playing with the ouija board by myself, but again, nothing ever came of it. It was like whatever was there knew I was onto it and it wanted to stay clear of me. So then fast forward 20 or so years and here I am now, still interested in the paranormal. I’ve since then had several paranormal experiences myself at other locations and finally had that moment where I could no longer question whether or not the paranormal was real. I became very interested in filmmaking growing up which has led me to the point I’m at now shooting my own film documenting the paranormal. In a way I kind of feel like whatever it was that avoided me as a kid in my own home has driven me to want to discover the paranormal in every corner of the world.

 

 

You’re currently working on the film titled, The Paranormal Diaries: A Documentary Film. What is your film about?

The Paranormal Diaries: A Documentary Film is exactly what the title describes it as, and that’s a video diary about my road trip across America in search of some of the most haunted locations I can find. The idea for the film started back in 2009 or 2010 when I decided I wanted to create my own film on the subject. I’d always been into the paranormal and I really began to develop a love for independent filmmaking. So it took me from 2009 up until this point to really play around with the idea and get everything in line exactly the way I wanted, and I’m finally at the point now where I’ve gathered my equipment and have taken the steps needed to turn this idea into reality. We’re really hitting the back roads of America and finding these unknown locations that most people have never heard of when it comes to paranormal investigating. When we think about the paranormal we automatically think about places like Amityville and The Stanley Hotel, but what people have to realize is that there are just as active of locations as Amityville and the Stanley out there, they’re just completely undiscovered yet. So by us grabbing our film equipment and hitting the road, we’re stopping at any location we can come across, sometimes in these small, rural towns that are barely a blip on the radar. You’d be really surprised at the amount of places that we have stopped at where people will gladly point to a creepy house on the corner in town and say, “go talk to them about their house”. And then we do and find all kinds of crazy things are going on there, but it’s been so hush-hush in the community that no one has ever investigated it. So we’re really excited to have the opportunity to be the first ones into a lot of these places. We’ve had some really positive experiences so far and we’ve also collected some really great evidence along the way.

 

 

What has been the driving force behind creating such a production?

My driving force is, and always will be, my passion for the subject of the paranormal and filmmaking. In my opinion when a spirit gives me a really great EVP or a really great visual piece of evidence, the best thing I can do is to present that to the world. I mean when you sit back and think about it, how cool is it that we are actually communicating with people that are no longer living? It’s sad that they’re no longer living, sure, but that is just the unfortunate truth about life. But if I’m given undeniable proof of the existence of the paranormal, I believe it’s my job to pass that along and show that to the world. So my driving force will always be my love for this subject, my passion for filmmaking and of course my desire to present the best possible evidence to the world.

 

 

What are your views regarding the ghostly realm?

That’s a really great question and I think it’s such a deep and intense question that I don’t know that I can truly answer it entirely for you. There’s no doubt in my mind life after death. We all know that we’re made up of energy. It’s a scientific fact. And it’s also a scientific fact that you can’t destroy energy. So where does that energy go once we die? That’s what I’m trying to figure out. I believe there are probably spirits around us in many places throughout our lives, but we just don’t have the ability to interact with them. I believe there is such a thing as residual ghost activity and that some of the spirits that still walk this planet may not realize that they’re even dead. This could be in many cases those spirits who lost their life suddenly like in a car accident or a murder, something along those lines. But then I think there are other times when spirits are fully well aware that they are no longer alive and they are here for one reason or another. Maybe unfinished business, who knows? Maybe they feel such a strong desire to watch over their loved ones that they can’t pass over. I look at the steps that have been taken scientifically over the last two decades in regards to documenting paranormal activity, and the leaps and bounds we’ve taken to document proof of the afterlife. I truly believe we are on the cusp of revealing to world the most scientific research that proves ghosts are real. And I also believe my film will support that.

 

 

When will The Paranormal Diaries: A Documentary Film be released for all to see?

We are out filming right now, this summer, across the country. We should wrap up filming in late August and will take the fall and winter to edit and focus on marketing. Hopefully by early spring we can start a few screenings and feel out how receptive people are to it, make any changes that are needed and then have the official release date be sometime next summer. I’ve been telling people August of 2017 is what we’re aiming for, but that also gives us a little wiggle room in there for any unpredicted roadblocks. But I wouldn’t be surprised if you see it before then.

 

 

You’ve recently launched an Indiegogo page. Share with us where people can find your Indiegogo page so they can help take your project to the next level.

Yes! I launched an Indiegogo campaign a few weeks back to help support the film financially. For those who are not familiar with Indiegogo or crowdfunding in general, it’s really become the new way to get a lot of projects completed on the independent circuit. Initially when I first began filming, this was going to be 100% out of pocket and I didn’t want to rely on anyone else to fund the film. Well, a few weeks out on the road made me realize that in order to accomplish what I want to get done in a timely manner, there is really no way I can continue at my current pace to support the film entirely by myself. So I started my Indiegogo campaign and am trying to raise $15,000 for the film. This will cover travel expenses, filming costs, equipment costs, those kinds of things. For anyone who knows anything about independent filmmaking, $15,000 is really not a lot of money. In some locations we’re going to film at, they want over $1,000 just to film there. So any little money that people are willing to give would greatly be appreciated. If you go to http://www.indiegogo.com and type in The Paranormal Diaries, our page will pop up and you can read through it. And people should also know that with each donation you give you can get different perks ranging from a signed promotional card all the way up to credited as an associate producer in the film, which you’ll actually be allowed to partake in conversations down the road and make some production decisions with the rest of the team. I keep saying that this film is being done by paranormal enthusiasts, for paranormal enthusiasts, so for anyone who is interested in donating to the film, I promise you that you’ll get every dime of your money back with the finished product.

 

 

Where can paranormal enthusiasts get updates about this exciting film?

We’re currently working on launching a website for the film, but for the time being they can track me down on Facebook or do a search for The Paranormal Diaries film on Facebook. Feel free to send us any messages you have whether that be comments on the film or ideas for locations to investigate. We’re always open to suggestions and love being able to interact with people who are interested in the film.

 

 

What’s next for Blaine Duncan?

That’s a great question. This film will get finished by me one way or another. Sure, I’m hoping I can get some money to help financially support the film, but even if I can’t, I care so much about it and my passion for the paranormal that it’s going to be released one way or another. So hopefully next summer you see us release the film to the world and it can gain exposure through social media and we can travel around and show it off. This whole project has really been a dream come true for me and I hope I can keep it up for years to come. Who knows, maybe we’ll do another film and travel around Europe doing the same thing? I’m just happy to have the opportunity to expose my work to the world, and hopefully people will enjoy it and it will give them something to talk about. It seems the paranormal community in general has been at odds with each other, so maybe my film can be something that can bring everyone back together.

 

 

Any positive words of advice? 

I would tell anyone out there who is reading this to stay focused on whatever your goals and dreams are. If you want to be a professional NFL quarterback, get out there and start throwing some footballs. If you want to be a rock star and make your own music, grab a guitar and start practicing. I wanted to make a paranormal documentary that would be different from anything that had ever been done before. It was my dream to do that and I’ve finally gotten the opportunity to take this head on. My passion and drive to see this thing come to fruition is beyond anything I’ve ever done before. The only person out there who can stop you is you, so don’t be your own worst enemy and make whatever goals you have happen.

 

 

Blaine Duncan

The Paranormal Diaries

Blaine Duncan 1

 

Interview with Marty Schiff

Today I’m welcoming actor and producer, Marty Schiff. Thank you, Marty for stopping by!

 

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Well… I don’t really know where to start. I’ve had a pretty interesting life… much of it is public knowledge. I have been focused on a career in entertainment since I was 10 years old. I started doing regional theater when I was 14. Sometimes working on three shows at a time, acting, building sets and rehearsing was common for me. By the time I was 20 I had already done two dozen shows in some capacity. Some things that are not as public are: I was a volunteer fireman for many years. I learned to drive a stick on a 1956 American La France fire truck. I have two wonderful children, both who have interests in production. My daughter works as a Production Manager for PBS and my son is finishing up college. I’ve survived some pretty serious health issues…. and you’d never know it. As the song says…”ain’t found a way to kill me yet”.

 

 

What was the initial spark that inspired you to go into the film industry?

I think, and believe, it was in my DNA. I was a TV junkie at a very early age. I can still tell you what was on the air on Saturday mornings in Pittsburgh during the early 60s. It started with a test pattern. My family was also very into going to movies. I was never a noisy child in a dark theater. My grandmother would take me to the Warner Theater on Fifth Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh nearly every Saturday. Drive-ins were big for my parents and siblings.

When I was 12 my father gave me a Kodak Brownie 8 mm movie camera. I shot hundreds of hours of film… most lost in the Northridge Earthquake in 1994. But it was my joy at a very early age. Again, without any formal training I knew how to set up shots, light, direct and edit short films. I was always daydreaming about shooting something and never paid attention much in school. My imagination was… and still is… off the hook. My goal was always to get to Hollywood… and did just that after getting my theater degree at the age of 23.

There is a very real possibility that a past life connected me to Hollywood. When I moved there in 1979 it felt extremely comfortable… not many people say that about Los Angeles… and I knew my way around without maps. I have a particular fondness for The Hollywood Cemetery and used to take my daughter there for “Picnics with the Demilles”… next to Cecil and Agnes DeMille’s burial plot.

 

 

Some of your earlier work include great titles such as Dawn of the Dead and Creepshow. What are some of the other films that you’ve worked on?

I think the one film I’m remembered most for is CREEPSHOW but my favorite film to work on, also a Romero work, was KNIGHTRIDER. It’s a non horror film but still great. Some lesser known are CHILDERN OF THE LIVIND DEAD and PARTY ANIMAL. I also worked on BLANKMAN, CAN YOU FEEL ME DANCING, THE ASSASINATION FILE and others.

As an actor my career was very heavy in television. Most people don’t realize how many times they’ve seen me in commercials and shows from the 80s and 90s. I’m very proud of OUT OF CONTROL which was Nickelodeon’s very first show they produced for themselves. Until then they had been buying shows produced for other networks. We started it all. OUT OF CONTROL starred Dave Coulier who would go on to do FULL HOUSE. OUT OF CONTROL had an ensemble cast that I loved. It was still the most fun I ever had going to work. A close second was the two seasons I spent on DALLAS. I did many shows and still get residual checks for 12 cents when one of those shows runs somewhere in the world.

 

 

What’s your favorite role you’ve ever played and why?

In film it was probably Trashman 1 in CREEPSHOW. It was so much fun making most of that performance up. Of course working with George Romero is always a treat and acting alongside my on screen partner Tom Savini is always a blast. We’ve been partners on screen 5 times. (DAWN OF THE DEAD, KNIGHTRIDERS, CREEPSHOW, EFFECTS, CHILDREN OF THE LIVING DEAD)

On TV it was HERN from OUT OF CONTROL. We had a lot of creative freedom with that show and my fellow cast members, directors and producers were just awesome to work with. An actor’s dream come true. If you search the show on Youtube there are many episodes there.

 

 

You have your very own production company called, SCHIFF MEDIA. Tell us about that.

Schiff Media was one of the first all digital production companies in the Pittsburgh region. It was started by my brother Bill and I with four XL1s and Final Cut Pro 2… we were early adapters. We did lots of commercials, a documentary or two and some special projects. We had a studio set up in the back of Schiff Printing Company and it was a lot of fun. I would move on to other projects and a new company called Jeffrey Martin Global Media. JMGM is more of a distribution company but we still do production from time to time. Recently, we produced a pilot for TV called THE ODDS… focusing on gambling.

 

 

What’s next for Marty Schiff?

I have some shows I’d like to get off the ground. A few game shows, some magazine shows and a film or two. I’m teaching directing for the Cinema Department at Point Park University, where I graduated from way back in the 20th century. I have some interests in non production businesses and I might even slow down a bit… no… that’s a lie… I’m happy working… I will sleep when I’m dead.

 

 

How can fans follow you and your updates about current and upcoming projects?

Fans can find me on Facebook and if they are professionals on LinkedIn. If they are interested in the film program at Point Park I’m always available to discuss that.

 

 

Words of advice for those who’d like to follow in your footsteps?

It’s not easy… but so worth it… and obviously not impossible. The key to success isn’t so much talent as perseverance, practice, commitment and believing in you. And … most importantly… be passionate about it.. live it… breathe it… love it. Never give up, make interesting and smart choices and be brilliant.

 

 

 

Marty Schiff