Scene and Heard

Hotter than July – that would be an accurate statement for the world of indie film in Rhode Island right now. All of New England actually. Dramas, web series, supernatural thrillers, love stories and documentaries are all being made. More than a few interesting and talented filmmakers live and work in Rhode Island and I want to tell you about them because small films are radiating like the July sun with some big, hot talent.

Waiting

“You have to walk into places and tell them, ‘I’m Hutch. I rule. And you need me.’” This statement was made by none other than the former boss of Providence’s own Mark Hutchinson. Hutch, as he is known, has crewed on five of Richard Marr-Griffin’s films and is a former Avid editor, a video go-to guy in Boston, and a talented filmmaker. Hutch’s first film, Waiting, has hit the internet. The film centers around a couple that has become bitterly disappointed in each other and their relationship. They are at a crossroads, but have yet to realize it. The film stars Nat Sylva and Elyssa Baldassari in two very fine performances. When Hutch isn’t making films, he’s working full time as a virtual database engineer, but you can find him doing more fun things like DJ’ing on the first Thursday of the month at E&O Tap and the 3rd Thursday of the month at Trinity Brewhouse, putting on metal/punk/oi/ska shows with The Gentlemen Soundsystem. This dude also likes to make hip-hop music in his basement and he contributes to New Noise Magazine. I’m looking forward to more of Hutch’s work on paper, in film or with the turntables. He’s a well-rounded, truly talented gent. Please check out his film Waiting here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LzFZ_BecJg. I give this one a thumbs up. 

News from Newport!  

Newportant Studios, in association with Ship to Shore Media and with cooperation from Aquidneck Media, is pleased to announce the world premiere of the first Newport RI: The Series original song and music video. The series that is inspired by William Heydt’s art and his “Newportant People Series” finished the pilot episode and is in post-production with the music video “Paint Your Picture,” with music by John Monllos, vocals by John “Papa” Cunha and lyrics by Jeremy Harple and Tom C. Erb.

The world premiere will take place on August 1, the closing night of the Newport County Arts and Cultural Alliance Bridgefest event, with a live performance by the composer John Monllos at Queen Anne Square at 8:15 pm followed by the premiere of the long-awaited music video at Seaman’s Institute on Bowen’s Wharf.

Newport RI: The Series, coming in 2013, will bring to life the paintings of world-renowned, local artist William Heydt who has produced hundreds of watercolor paintings of the local people and landscapes of Newport. The series pilot has many local and Rhode Island actors including Tom C. Erb, Michael Healy, J. Daniel Knerr, Richard Hatch, Louie Stravato, Ellen Becker Gray, Kristin Gorman and Ken Goyette. For more information contact Tom C. Erb at 401-207-4812 or email TomCErb@NewportantantStudios.com

Pizza Pizza!!

pizzermakersNope, that’s Pizzer Pizzer. Yep, “Pizzer Makers.” This is that wacky web series created by actor, writer, director and radio  DJ, Chris Palermo,  and starring Robert ( Bob) DiCicco, former East Greenwich resident, Frankie Imbergamo, and Chris himself. The story centers around Frankie (Imbergamo) and Louie ( DiCicco) at Frankie and Lou’s Pizza Palace, which  happens to be a front for a  mob operation run by Tony, (played by Chris Palermo, who grew up in the pizza biz). Well, let me tell you – deez guyz  ain’t foolin’ around. We all had lunch together at Joe’s in Dedham, and I fit right in with them as all of our last names end in “O” ( except for my sidekick that day, Pat O’Hara. She may be Irish, but she fit in anyway).   Between the three of them, they‘ve got some history in the film biz. All three are union actors, and Palermo has been in radio and voiceover for 20 years. He’s now at the helm of his own radio show. He’s casting roles for the “Pizzer Makers” series, and is involved in a short film that he is writing and directing. Imbergamo has 33 films under his belt, including The Heat, GU2, American RIPD, and American Hustle, which just came through Boston, among others. DiCicco  works in films, but the love of his life is music. He has performed in a variety of musicals including, Anything Goes, Mame and Company. Bob spent the last 10 years pursuing work in movies, and had the pleasure of working on such films as Mystic River, 21, What’s Your Number, Knight and Day and his most recent, God Only Knows with Harvey Keitel. His latest film, Conned is out on DVD and can be ordered through Amazon.com or BestBuy.com and can be seen on NetFlix. Like I said, deez tree guyz got it goin’ on. The series also stars Laura Pizzutti as Danni and Kathryn Shasha  as the bartender. Connect with Pizzer Makers online at www.youtube.com/pizzermakers, www.twitter.com/pizzermakers or www.facebook.com/pizzermakers

Hollywood East Actors Group

Hollywood East Actors Group had its first networking event on Friday, June 21, and it was a huge success. The brainchild of actor, host and producer Erica Derrickson, this group now exceeds 2,500 members. She planned this party with partner Ben Maitland-Lewis at NAGA in Cambridge, and let me tell you, folks, this was a smashing success! There were raffles, interviews by casting director Jodi Purdy, A-list actors on board, directors, and filmmakers of every sort. I ran into so many people there that the time flew by before I had a chance to reach everyone. HEA, as we actors call it in the Northeast, is a veritable treasure trove of insights, education, workshops, helpful advice, networking, and best of all, new friends! The community is very welcoming and encourages members to give advice as well as seek it, and to pay it forward to fellow actors. Erica is a fine example of this philosophy, having produced her own how-to videos, organized meetings of union and non-union folks, encouraged actors to grow and learn as much as they can, hosted workshops and seminars of industry professionals and produced magazine articles on professional actors and crew. She even has become one of Boston’s premier photographers, as she can produce some of the finest headshots around. A social media guru and networker extraordinaire, she has become extremely well-known throughout Hollywood East both for her give-back positive attitude and her acting abilities. Learn more about Erica at www.ericadactress.com and www.ericaseye.com. And if you’re not a member of HEA already, check it out and follow HEA online here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/hollywoodeastactors/. Go here to see pics of HEA’S first networking event http://bit.ly/HEAgroup or follow our girl Erica on Twitter @EricaDactress and do join  the conversation by using #HEA. There’s no better place to be if you‘re in the film biz in New England.

Lungs

This is one web series I am looking forward to. Angelwood Pictures will premiere a new web series titled “Lungs” in December 2013 with Kimberly Mae in the lead. The series is about a woman who walks the Hope Trail, which goes from Westerly to Manhattan, to find herself again after being lost within her chaotic life. Created by Seth Chitwood, this will be his fifth web series. More news to come at www.angelwoodpictures.com.

In Memory of You

Bryan Casey of BC Films Releases has just wrapped his film called In Memory of You. The film is about a young woman who returns to a special place from her childhood and reminisces about the single father she lost to cancer, who she honors by keeping a family tradition alive. Chris Esper served as the DP and the film stars Ali Robins, Talli Clemons and my NE Kids Actors Group member, Tovah Duffaut. We look forward to the release of this film and will keep you updated.

As always, please join Nick Iandolo and me for the latest episode of “Take Two.” Next, we will review Martha Marcy May Marlene, which is about a young woman who is held captive by a cult, and eventually finds her way back into society. But what is real and what is paranoia? You’ll have to watch it and see.

That’s it for now, folks. Remember, film is rolling.

 

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