Here we are in a new year – 2013. For those of you who feel like your life flew by like a 48 FPS film in 2012, I’m with you. Where did it go again? For a small state like Rhode Island we sure do have a lot happening, especially in the film world. From college students to veteran directors, there’s a lot of work being done in the Ocean State by a lot of very talented people. Here’s a glimpse into 2013.
Let’s start with veteran actor Mike Messier. Chris and the Coffee Girl is the next movie for Messier. He’s worked in films with such stars as Meryl Streep, Wesley Snipes, and Cybill Shepherd. In this film, Messier takes the role of Chris. There are stars attached for the movie, led by Maria Kanellis from Celebrity Apprentice, Playboy, and WWE RAW, and pro wrestler Raven. Voice over scenes have already been filmed with Raven. They film is currently seeking investors, product placements, locations, crew, and actors. Messier is looking for nonunion character actors, age 40 and up. The roles are mostly featured background, with a few speaking roles, including”mom” (Caucasian, age 50 and up) and “step-dad” (40 and up). This film is still in fundraising mode and principal shooting has not been announced, however, “mom” and “step-dad” are being cast ahead of time. Toward the promotional end, a two-minute teaser will be shot in February, with auditions in late January. Send headshot/resume/links to firstname.lastname@example.org for his casting files. Messier just finished Blood! Sugar! Sid! Ace! to premiere soon on the festival circuit.
Seth Chitwood, a powerhouse student at RIC and producer of such web series as award-winning Red Circles, Family Problems, and World’s Worst Director, is at it again with four brand new films in the works – I don’t know how he does it! First there is Frankenstein’s Wax Museum of the Hungry Dead, directed by Richard Griffin, with screenplay by Seth Chitwood and Richard Griffin, which premieres April 2013. It is in production now. Next there is A Single Intervention, which is a new short that starts production in February. Acceptance is a new short that starts production in February and 67 Takes is a feature coming soon. There will be a casting announcement in April, and production starts in June 2013. Lastly is Bait, a feature coming soon with no news yet.
Here’s the info on the web series Red Circles: Its third season airs Sundays at 9 pm with the season finale scheduled for January 27. The series has received five LA Web Series Festival Awards, and it was renewed for Season 4, which will air in October 2013. Auditions will be announced in January for the fourth season. See www.redcircles.ws for more information. The second season of World's Worst Director premieres weekly at 8 pm starting on March 24. See www.worldsworstdirector.com for more information. Family Problems, a new web series, premieres on February 17 at 9 pm. There will be a casting announcement in January for its second season. See www.angelwoodpictures/familyproblems for more information.
And we cannot forget The Women of Harry, an innovative short about a man whose dates change as soon as he gets used to them. Yours truly appears as the somewhat manly lesbian and the disappointed date in this quirky little farce. It’s currently on a festival tour, and no other dates have been announced yet. There is a worldwide premiere in September 2013.
Productive filmmaker Bryan Casey of BC Films Releases is hard at work on Chance, which is about a musician who is on the road to raise money for his dying daughter while trying to reconnect with his estranged wife. The film stars Brian Ellsworth, Kevin O Peterson, Carlyne Fournier, Sue Wyoral, Emily Scarpa, John Joseph Lindsey, and William Bloomfield. Yours truly has a small part in this production also. Next Up for Casey is Se bet ou ye, which is based on the poem by Marie Michaelle about racism within the black community. The cast includes Marie Michaelle, Kevin O Peterson, Marie Blaise, Talli Clemons, Jose Gonsalves, and Sharon Squires. This will shoot back to back with What the Heart Wants, a film in which a photographer recalls being stuck between two women and regrets having chosen the wrong one. The cast includes Michael Coppola, Niecy Cerise, Joanne Viera, Larry O’ Leary, Pat O’ Hara, and Anthony Hoang.
As if that were not enough, Casey also produces Short Film Showcase, which is hosted by Mike Messier. They do interviews with local film professionals and screen short films from all over New England and beyond. If you have a short film that you would like to show on Short Film Showcase, you can contact email@example.com. Finally, he is implementing monthly screenings at Cable Car Cinema, located at 204 South Main Street, Providence, RI. His first event is on February 27th and will feature Still Life, directed by Chris Esper; the Wrestling with Sanity trilogy directed by Mike Messier; Unrequited, directed by Bryan Casey; and Other Room, directed by Aaron Olson. Tickets will be $10. The main attraction will be the premiere of A Search for Home, directed by Bryan Casey.
Veteran actor Tom Paolino has recently wrapped principal roles in Woodhaven Production Company’s Infected with Michael Madsen and William Forsythe, which will be released to over 100 million homes in the first quarter 2013, and Self-Storage, planned for summer 2013 and starring Eric Roberts, Michael Berryman, and Jonathan Silverman.
Tom had the prominent role of Frank Jones in The Last Halloween with DC Productions (Chris Ferreira and Derron Darcy), and also wrapped as Mickey in Kevin MacDonald’s The Witching Hour with Michael Madsen, William Forsythe, and Tony Todd.
A local independent team under the banner of Kisio Design is producing a homegrown Web series called Bennight Brothers. The series follows three brothers, virtually shut-ins all of their lives, who recently lost their father to cancer. Their father, John Bennight, left his sons a will and inscribed within its old dusty pages is more than the eye can see. To make matters worse, Carter, Brice, and Warner find themselves thrust into a world they have been kept from for so long.
The Bennight Brothers series will incorporate elements of sci-fi, action, adventure, drama, and at times, a bit of comic relief. The series will air exclusively on Blip.tv in January 2013, and will be preceded by a crowd funding on January 13. This will take place right here in Rhode Island, where the team is dedicated to using local talent from every corner of the state, as well as Connecticut and Massachusetts. Additional actor auditions will be opening during 2013 to fill both semi-permanent and permanent roles, from young kids to adults. R. L. Lopez is the show’s creator. Visit www.bennightbrothers.com, for news, updates, contest giveaways, and more. Stay tuned – we are sure it will be an amazing adventure not to be missed.
Former Massachusetts police officer turned independent film producer, David Langill (www.imdb.me/davidlangill) has ties with films in Rhode Island. David, a member of the Rhode Island Film Collaborative (RIFC), produced the feature Villanelle filmed in RI and screened in August 2012, and is busy at work with pre-production on Provoked and post-production on Erebus. Provoked, directed by Jordan Pacheco, begins filming in March 2013 with plans for an October 2013 premiere. Along with talented local actors, Provoked also stars Tony Moran, best known for playing Michael Myers in the original Halloween. One of the leads in Provoked is Rhode Island-based actor, Michael A. LoCicero. Langill first met LoCicero on the set of Erebus and Provoked will mark the fifth time these two have worked together (Erebus, Almost Human, Moonflower, La Faim, and Provoked). Erebus, directed by Ricky Laprade, is due out in 2013 and will feature horror icon Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes, The Devil’s Rejects). Much like Villanelle, Erebus was mostly filmed on Block Island.
Langill was also the second second AD and played Hunter 2 in Project 989’s Almost Human, due to come out soon. Along with features, Langill also has short films he produced due in 2013 – Stogie, directed by Jordan Pacheco; Moonflower, directed by Cate Carson and Justin Plasse, and La Faim, directed by Nicholas Jon Beaubien. Langill has more projects in the works and is always eager for more.
Here’s some news from another recent college graduate. Chris Esper, a filmmaker who just premiered his film Still Life, is now in pre-production on a music video for “Beacons,” a song written and performed by Muse En Lystrala, who’s originally from Providence, and currently resides in Albany, NY. The song is about heroes and how the people you least expect can be a hero to you, light the beacons of your future and inspire you in some way. Chris will be directing and producing and began shooting on January 5th.
Independent filmmaker Brian Bouyea, from North Kingstown, started making films under the production company name Root Beer Studios. Just 20, Bouyea has written, directed, edited, and produced three feature-length films. All of these films have been screened at various theaters in RI. His latest horror feature, The Network, is currently in distribution with Moongoyle Entertainment. His latest work, Famous, is a short film that will premiere at the Showcase Cinema sometime in July, in Warwick. The premiere will be a double feature presentation with fellow film director Shawn Manchester and his film The Next Step. You can view Brian Bouyea’s work at www.rootbeer-studios.com.
Shawn Manchester, a 20-year-old SPFX artist and filmmaker from North Kingstown, RI, wrote and directed his first film in 2012, titled The Next Step. The film is about two mercenaries, Hank and Jack, who work for the Virus Protection Agency,wiping out the infected population of the near future. You can see his work at www.shawnmanchesterphotography.com.
2012 was a great year f or Christian de Rezendes from Breaking Branches Pictures. Upcoming for this production company is Raising Matty Christian, which is now in post and will premiere sometime in 2013. The story centers on a young boy born 30 years ago without hands or feet. Then comes Slatersville: America’s First Mill Village, a moving historical documentary due out in 2014. To see more, visit www.firstmillvillage.com. And finally,
Memories for Sale, which is the story of a biographer whose agent is pushing him to ask deeply personal questions of his subject, a retired vaudeville comedian. Memories for Sale, directed by de Rezendes, will have a Lowell premier in 2013.
Erick Montgomery, of Cyberhum, Adventurous Music / Visual Art has exciting news. A sci-fi adventure flick produced and directed by Montgomery, called Modern Hieroglyphs, will premiere at AS220, 115 Empire Street, Providence, on January 23rd at 5 pm. There is also an art exhibit to go with this one at AS220 on January 5th at 5 pm. Additional Information is available at cyberhum.com.
Anthony Demings, proprietor of the Brooklyn Coffee Tea House in Providence, has been focusing on his upcoming, autobiographical, Children of the Asylum, whichreveals not only the story of one orphan, but the story of all orphans with traumatic pasts who discover their true origins. Casting for this film will begin in January. For more information, email Orphansnewyear@gmail.com. Local non-profit SENE (Southeast Film, Music and Art Festival) isacting as a fiscal sponsor for COTA. If you know of anyone who was an orphan at Saint Vincent de Paul Infant Asylum in Providence, RI, and would like to tell a story or share photos, please contact Tony at RHODYWOOD@yahoo.com.
Jocelyn Padilla is taking on many roles to make her production, I Am Monroe?, become a reality. She is not only starring in the film, but wrote it, plans to co-direct and co-produce it, scout locations, and cast it. Jocelyn Padillaplays Woman in the Womb. What WITW doesn’t know is that her previous incarnation was Marilyn Monroe . She is tormented by her past mistakes, past loves, past traumas, and past happiness. She has to learn to forgive, and overcome a band of red demons who torment her. I Am Monroe will start production in February 2013. Anyone interested in helping with the production, contact Jocelyn Padilla at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also at it again – Anthony Ambrosino and Nicholas Delmenico of The 989 Project, who are currently in development on the film adaptation of the graphic novel, Jar of Fools. They are also in post-production of the comedy short, Urgent, which marks the directorial debut of Carl DuPre, perhaps best known for writing the 1999 film, Detroit Rock City.
Cynthia Hudson, the owner of Mystique Model and Talent Management, is having an open call in Providence, RI, on January 20th. She has been in business for 24 years and has over 300 major films and over 2,000 commercials under her roof. If you are interested in learning more about her agency, come to the open call from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm at the Brooklyn Coffee Tea House in Providence.
Recently, I had the tremendously moving experience of working with talented director Ben Proulx on a tribute video called 26 Angels, shot in the last days of December. This video is a tribute to the young children and adults whose lives were lost in the Newtown, CT, tragedy on December 14, 2012. The video features young children singing a song written by Berklee College of Music’s Justin Cohen, with Cohen singing the lead vocals. Each singer represented one child who was lost on that day. They produced artworks for their assigned child, and learned about the child’s interests and passions, which were reflected in the artworks. The artworks were then held up high in the video while the children were singing. They also participated in interviews so they could tell the families of the children who died some things that they felt the families would want to hear. On hearing of this project, local restaurants donated food, water, and coffee. Parents brought their children to sing their hearts out, and crew showed up with all kinds of donated equipment to help make this video a top-notch production. The video will be released soon and all proceeds will go to charities chosen by the families in Newtown, CT.
Although bittersweet, this project was an incredible way to end 2012,. We all await the release of the video, and you can follow its story here: https://www.facebook.com/26angelsvideo.
2013 and beyond promises to be a great time for film in Rhode Island, full of many more moving experiences. Let’s go to the movies!