Monday, March 1, 2010
What was your favorite film you’ve worked on: This is like asking a
mother which her favorite child is. Sunshine state had a knock out
production team and we were living on the beach in Florida. On
Matewan I really felt like we were bring history to life. I liked
living in Alaska on Limbo and in Louisianna. This is one of the best
experiences yet, certainly the most exotic, and I’m loving the
Filipino actors. There’s a kind of creative hands-on spirit that’s
fun to be around. The Filipino’s aren’t afraid of hard work. It feels
like the films we were making in the early 80’s.
I’ve heard that this film should take 12 weeks instead of 6: It
should take 15 weeks and $60 million, but the crew is efficient and
we own all the land so we don’t have to worry about distractions.
John said it’s the first time since Ireland that we can shoot 360
degrees and shoot all day. It’s like we’re in a studio except and the
trees and mud are real.
What qualities make a good producer? You have to be able to listen
and act, suss out wuickly the lay of the land, deal with the people,
the contract. You have to come off as tough and loving, which is
different than tough love. It helps to work on a movie you love, so
then the sacrifices you make are in service to that vision. It also
helps to have a responsible director. It would be much harder if
you’re making some dopey comedy or a slasher. You have to feel a
sense of purpose.
How long does it take to produce a John Sayles film? We started in
June 2009, so just about a year. This one was fairly quick.
What are the challenges specific to Baryo? It’s far away from home,
so its bound to be different. It a foreign language, there are major
cultural differences, but challenge isn’t necessarily a negative
word. In some ways that’s what’s meaningful
Monday, February 22, 2010
Billy “Bilippines” Tangradi
Character: Dutch Dortmunder
How he got into acting: Billy’s acting career began as a hyperactive 8 year old with a ventriloquist. “I was in a 3rd grade talent show. Once I realized I was sitting in front of an audience laughing at my jokes I was hooked. I kept acting through elementary school, high school – I was always hanging out with the older actors. If I was 10 I was hanging out with 17 year old actors.”
Billy’s career became more serious when he great uncle, a preist oblate, founded a theatre program in his hometown of Allentown, PA, and later at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival.
How he got his first union job: A classmate became a manager and asked him to audition. Billy got a 5 line part in Law and Order Criminal Intent, but waited to join the union. “After your second union job you have to join (and pay $2000) or you can’t work…It wasn’t an easier once I was a SAG actor but it was a right of passage…it was a confirmation that acting is not a hobby, I was a real actor…but SAG has almost 70,000 actors, only about 1500 are working.”
On moving to New York: I chose New York over Los Angeles because its closer, and I had older classmates that had already moved to New York. It was only an hour and a half from family. Also I still wanted to do New York theatre, but it’s a really small community that’s able to make it in theatre.
How Billy made it to Baryo: “ I got a call from my agent about a John Sayles movie. I knew the pedigree of his work – I was shocked. Here’s what really happened, the casting director said they want young actors and what they got at the audition were Twilight actors. They told the casting director they didn’t want models, they wanted characters, so they went down the second tier agents and that’s where I came in. I got the part but I still feels like I’m double-A when everyone else is in the majors.
Will Baryo change anything? “I don’t know, maybe this will get picked up in Toronto [Film Festival] and get at least art house distribution, maybe it will win awards, you never know, maybe something will happen. Hopefully someone will see my face and say, ‘We want Bill Tangradi,’ but even then, you have to keep at it. In this business it never stops, you’ve never ‘made it’, you have to maintain…essentially you are a can of coke – you have managers, agents, business people all trying to sell you, keep you in the conversation. If you get a good agent you can get in through package deals, they may say, ‘you can have Kevin Spacey, but only if you take Dane Dehaan (Gil),’ you hope you can get an agent with that kind of leverage. It’s a very forgetful business.
On being an extra: “I did some extra work on Saturday Night Live, but it was miserable. It’s not bad money and it’s good to get on set, but I’ve always had a feeling I’m going to be a star, so being an extra was just depressing…If you an extra enough time you can collect vouchers, and after a certain number of vouchers you become eligible.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Conversations with Chris Pt. II.