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Branden Garret is a Slovenian actor, producer, electric guitar player and physicist. Born in a small town Šempeter pri Gorici, Slovenia and raised in Ilirska Bistrica, Slovenia and in Stuttgart, Germany. 

While growing up he attended music school and played the accordion, after that he also played the electric guitar and performed breakdance and electric boogaloo. He attended TSC high school and later studied electrical engineering and educational physics at PEF and FMF in Ljubljana and achieved masters of philosophy degree in physics at FNMMaribor.

After a few years of working in the field of science, education and electronics he started to feel a call from the inside to shift towards performing arts, film and photogaphy. Searching for a real acting coach he met Janez Vajevec, a direct disciple of Lee Strasberg.  Under his guidance Branden started to study acting technique of Lee Strasberg and became a member of actorstudio.si in Slovenia. Branden is very passionate about Lee Strasberg acting technique, where the actor does not indicate his character’s experience, but induces it.

Hollywood World Interview with Artist and Actor Branden Garret

Hollywood World: What are you currently working on?

Currently, I am in the process of reading scripts sent to me by an executive producer. The stories are mostly to be shot in Europe. Many of them deal with the current political situation and the crisis of emigration that is happening in Europe.

Hollywood World: Who else is involved in this production, director, producer, actors?

I am in discussions with the producer/writer Scott J.T. Frank about his new movies. One is Tiger’s Eye and the other is Blood of the Sun. He wants me to be in these movies and I am very excited about these two projects.

Hollywood World: What makes a good scene partner?

Scene partners must listen to each other and respond organically as though the scene is happening in real life. Acting must be done in a spontaneous way, so that it is fresh and unpredictable. Although you know the text as an actor, you have to make it new, like you’ve never seen the text before. This is art.

By themselves, the words are dead. It is the actor’s job to make them alive, organic and believable. The resulting performance should be effortless and resonant, rendering the material believable. This is the real challenge.

There is a very simple way to determine a quality performance. If you watch the scene back with the volume muted it is easy to determine whether the acting is realistic, believable and effortless. From there, it’s simple to distinguish whether all of the elements of the scene, your own performance as well as your partners acting stands up.  The quality of the lighting and camera work is also easily distinguished in this way.  It is a process which relies upon so many factors. Everyone involved has to perform to their maximum capability.

Hollywood World: What are your favorite projects you have been part of?  

Trilogy Winnetou, produced by German RTL, based on a novel written by Karl May was my favorite. My role came up in the last part of the trilogy. Working on this set proved compelling and satisfying. I was expected to play violin, so I had to take on extensive preparation.  My performance also involved riding a horse, with which I had very limited experience. I truly enjoy the new opportunities afforded to me by the craft.

Hollywood World: How much experience do you have in field?  

7 years.

Hollywood World: Describe your best quality as an actor?

Related to my tools, I speak several languages besides English, like Slovenian, Serbo-Croatian, Bosnian and a little of Italian, I am good with accents: German, Russian, European. Presently, I am working with coach Jon Sperry in perfecting my American accent. My best quality, I believe, is my organic sensibility.  I’ve worked with some very talented teachers who have helped me achieve this sensibility and though it is difficult to speak to this rather subjective question, I do believe this is the most memorable quality of my performance capability.

Hollywood World: What do you enjoy the most about your job?

I started my professional career as a physicist and an engineer. After few years working in the field of education and science I started to feel a call from inside to put more of my focus on acting. My love for natural sciences slowly started to shift towards the art of film. I still like physics and I am grateful that I went through this amazing journey of study, but I discovered that I can express myself more completely as a human being when on stage or in front of the camera. Perhaps I am also a person that equally uses both sides of his brain, the left side that is more analytical and logical and the right side that is artistic and creative. Also, by nature I am an introverted person. Through acting I give myself permission to communicate with the people around me in a less reserved, more passionate way.

Hollywood World: What have you learned from the directors that you have worked with throughout your career?

There is a difference whether shooting is actor oriented or director oriented. If a director allows you to improvise and gives you the freedom to create life around the script, then something unique may happen.  The ultimate result of that freedom could imbue the movie with a more compelling and memorable tone.  Historically, film was created as a silent medium. Sound came later. At some point they have figured out how to record sound along with the picture and of course this made motion pictures that much more interesting. But dialogue wasn’t necessary included to move audiences.

Today, this history is mostly forgotten and the script has become a normal part of every movie, but originally the camera was used to capture the emotion of the actor’s face. I have met directors who are very strict and don’t allow the actors to do their creative job. Instead, they want you to follow the text exactly. This can be difficult for an actor, especially if the script is not well written. The same problem occurs when actors are limited by technology. Directors ask you to be organic and believable, but they place on the actor so many limitations of movement and inflection, focusing on the technical rather than the tone of the scene. With all of these limitations it is difficult to be creative, believable and realistic.

In the best case, technology should be used to adapt to what the performers are doing and not vice versa.  This could mean the use of multiple cameras on the set and the need for quality camera operators who knows how to capture life; like when you watch a soccer game. The camera operator follows what the soccer players are doing on the field, not the opposite. If you have only one camera the whole creative process can become very limited and fragmented, making it more difficult to capture the resonance and believability of a scene. Also, I have learned that hard work and preparation pays off. You have to be focused and forget about everything that is going on around you on the set. You can’t allow yourself to be distracted by those working on the crew and/or other members of the cast. 

Hollywood World: From where have you learned acting? What training do you have?

My first acting coach was and still is Janez Vajevec, a disciple of Lee Strasberg. Under his guidance I started to study the acting technique of Lee Strasberg and became a member of Actor Studio in Slovenia. I am very passionate about Lee Strasberg’s acting technique; where the actor does not indicate his character’s experience, but induces it. In Los Angeles I have worked with several coaches, for example John Swanbeck, Michelle Danner, David Rountree, Jon Sperry.

Photo Ivan Bliznetsov

Hollywood World: What has been your biggest achievement in the field of acting?

My role of a Polish worker in Winnetou. My character’s name was Tadeusz.  He migrates to America for better a life and he gets killed in the process. I also have a recurring role in the TOP Slovenian TV series called Usodno Vino, where I play the role of a gynecologist.

Hollywood World: What other types of movies would you be interested in filming?

My dream is to star opposite George Clooney and Brad Pitt. I love their personalities and their acting. They are indisputably talented and their performances are organic, believable and credible.

Hollywood World: How do you see your role as an actor?

Being an actor or any other artist is a very responsible position. You are a public person and as such you create public opinion, influencing others by your work. As an actor I am always working to elevate myself and inspire others through the craft and by setting a good example.  Lately, I see too many celebrities that are influenced by identity politics. By taking sides they help galvanized an already polarized society.  I don’t think that is good or healthy for the society, or by extension,  for the democracy.

Hollywood World: What is your secret?

If I told you my secret, it would not be a secret anymore LOL.

Hollywood World: What other hobbies do you have?

I love photography, I really love it. I love taking pictures all the time and posting them on my Instagram account. Also, occasionally, I do take headshots for my friends. I play electric guitar and I am still learning violin.

Hollywood World: Who is your role model?

I find it difficult to narrow it down just to one person. I can say that I take inspiration from the works of Brad Pitt, Jared Leto, Shia LaBeouf, Leonardo DiCaprio and some others. 

Hollywood World: What makes you feel like a star?

I don’t feel that way, but I would say that I find inspiration when I see some movie stars speak about their amazing experiences and the steps they have taken to become a movie star. It is just amazing when you see what a person who is brave and believes in himself can achieve. Just as we are blind many times to see our faults, we are also blind to see what powers we have. And once you realize that and you become assertive enough, you can achieve great things. Preparation is the key.   

Hollywood World: Any tips about how to be a successful actor?

First, you must love it. Enjoy the journey. Then you have to be committed, work hard, sacrifice things that may be difficult to sacrifice and also be good in promoting yourself. The entertainment Industry has changed and successful actors nowadays are like entrepreneurs. Never let anyone put you down. Don’t take rejection personally, accept rejection and be content to wait. You have to be prepared to go out to tens of meetings and be told “no” every time and not take that to the heart. Heart is a very precious thing, don’t put someone’s no in it. Be ready for surprises, because you don’t know what will happen tomorrow. When the moment arrives when you don’t have any projects, don’t let that influence your happiness, don’t let that validate your happiness. You have to protect your integrity, don’t compromise it. Otherwise, if you betray yourself it becomes very difficult to get your integrity back.

Hollywood World: What do you want to be remembered for in life? What valuable lessons have you learned that helped you become the person you are today?

As an artist, I would like to inform and inspire people; at least, that’s what I seek to achieve. We are on this planet for only a very short time. Our lives are short compared to the lifespan of the universe and all the planetary systems. That being said, we must endeavor to accomplish good things, help others and make a positive impact on others during our time. You can be a great artist that inspires millions of people or only one person that goes on to be great.  You may be a good mom or a good father, which is, in the scheme of things, perhaps the most important thing one can achieve.  If you extrapolate your center of goodness out into the world, it must have a positive affect on others. At least that is what I believe.

Hollywood World: What’s next?  

I am always happy to connect with others, learn new things and exchange my ideas with others. This is a part of actor’s life.

*Cover Photo by Alan Weissman

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Tatsuki Imaji was born in Kyoto, Japan but spent most of his years in the smallest prefecture to exist, Kagawa. At the beginning of his college career, he moved to a satellite campus of Tokyo University of Science in Hokkaido, Japan’s Northern most snowy island. Feeling largely uninspired, he took a gap year to study abroad in Toronto, Canada, where his host family introduced him to the arts. It was there his love for film was born.

Upon Imaji’s return to Japan, he took his hand at film submitting an amateur work his hometown’s local Sanuki Film Festival. With positive reception, he jumped the gun and transferred to Nihon University housing Japan’s top film program in the country on the undergraduate level. His first film scoring screenings at IFFNY and Short Shorts Film Festival (the biggest film festival in Asia for short films), Imaji is an up and coming filmmaker freshly hitting the scene.

Hollywood World: First of all, congratulations to the “10424” team for receiving the IFFNY Excellence Award “Honorable Mention” for “Excellence in Short Film” in New York. How did you feel at the time when you found out?

Tatsuki Imaji: Ecstatic. I could say so much, but I am so humbled for my project to get this kind of attention.

Hollywood World: What was the most significant decision in shooting your current film?  

Tatsuki Imaji: Honoring the death of my dog Quu was the push I needed make to make this documentary. So many dogs are facing an untimely death, and I want people to experience what the moments leading up to that death feel like. This work pushes people to think about Japan’s “dog shelters,” more deeply. I love Quu so much, and this was the least I could do to honor the relationship I had with him.

Quu

Hollywood World: What part of the script/story best stood out for you and why?

Tatsuki Imaji: Actually, there are three. I am sorry! The scene taking you into the incinerator and the audio which overlays the sounds of the dogs reacting to the event, that puts audiences in the moment of a dog’s last breaths is so powerful. When someone watches this moment, they can feel the experience from a dog’s perspective. Following that you see two big blue waste bins, and the final punch is that fact they are full of dog remains. Spectators go through the whole film not seeing a single dog until the very end. The two large bins serve the audience to realize the amount of life being lost as if it were just disposable, when it isn’t.

Hollywood World: How do you bring this story to life while staying true to your vision as director? 

Tatsuki Imaji: The absence of narration, interviewing, physical characters, typical traits of a documentary et cetera work to create a unique visual bringing the audience into the consciousness of a dog. This was my intention. I wasn’t trying to make any direct political statements with this film, but simply wanted to give agency for the validity of canine emotion in a way the naked eye cannot see. It’s that very element that pushes this film on the genre borders of documentary and experimental.

Hollywood World: What excites you about this project?  

Tatsuki Imaji: My advisor took this film out to show to high school students. I was honored he selected my film for educational screenings, and that my film could have an impact in this kind of capacity. That was exactly what I set out to do with this film in the first place, and it has already achieved that and so much more. The students were moved and even recommended my film to their friends. In addition to that, I’ve racked up six selections at a wide variety of different film festivals and events internationally. And before that, I thought I’d be lucky to just get one. I’m so humbled with how far this project has already come.

Hollywood World: What other works are you most proud of?  

Tatsuki Imaji: I’m focusing on right now and am just so glad at the progress this project is making. I’m taking that momentum to the drawing boards for my next films as I brainstorm new ideas.

Hollywood World: What films have been the most inspiring or influential to you and why? 

Tatsuki Imaji: I recently had the chance to see Steven Spielberg speak at the YouTube space in Roppongi, Tokyo. That inspired me. It’s Steven Spielberg, so I think that one speaks for itself.

Hollywood World:  What do you do to enhance the collaborative process when working with actors, screenwriters, producers and others creative members?  

Tatsuki Imaji: The fact that this project involves none of that is what makes my current style so special. It’s stripped down, to the point, and impacting in its presentation. Functioning as a one-person team enables me to produce the kind of attention to detail needed for the unique visuals displayed in my work.

Hollywood World: What experiences have you learned from in life? How did that change you and your creative process and the way you go about making films?  

Tatsuki Imaji: My grandfather and dog passed away within two weeks of each other. I was suddenly confronted with the concept of death in such an abundance so unexpectedly. As humans, we navigate these kinds of life experiences and concepts in such a beautifully nonlinear fashion. Ultimately, I began to think about how loss is so equal among living creatures. That message brought me to where I am with this project. The visuals created in this film would not be possible without that kind of life experience. I needed that to contextualize those emotions in the creative process.

Hollywood World: How do you see your role as a filmmaker?  

Tatsuki Imaji: As of right now, I believe it’s my job to create a product that is rich in reality and unbiased in its presentation of the truth. People need to register a deeper level of being outside of the everyday monogamy of their day-to-day lives. I’m here to deliver that.  

Hollywood World: Which film festivals that you have been part of would you recommend to other filmmakers looking to screen his/her films?

Tatsuki Imaji: The Short Shorts Film Festival in Tokyo, Japan. I witnessed so many different nationalities winning across all categories during the awards ceremony. So many got the chance to bring light on issues not widely spoken about in Asia. This year director Chai Yee Wei’s Benjamin’s Last Day At Katong Swimming Complex received a nod from the George Lucas Award, the highest honor at the Short Shorts. His film will be submitted to the Academy for consideration of a nomination for an Oscar Award. The film deals with topics that are sensitive in Singaporean society. Art has the power to force open dialogues that engender change for the betterment of humanity. I wish direct Chai Yee Wei luck the best of luck as it goes under the Academy’s review.

Hollywood World: Do filmmakers have any responsibility to culture? What message do you want to convey with your films?

Tatsuki Imaji: We as filmmakers have the chance to make cultural impacts through our work. I want to convey realities people cannot easily see, so they stop and think twice about whatever topic my film handles. I want to create moments where people think to themselves “Wait… Is this how things should be?” It’s that kind of moment that creates the beginning pretenses necessary for change to take place.

Hollywood World: What other hobbies do you have?

Tatsuki Imaji: I do love nature and travel.

Hollywood World: What do you want to be remembered for in life? What valuable lessons have you learned that helped you become the person you are today?  

Tatsuki Imaji: I want people to rethink society at large more than anything else. When I’m a bit further into my career I will be able to offer the public something a little more worthwhile as far as valuable life lessons go.

Hollywood World: What are your top five principles of success?  

Tatsuki Imaji: I don’t have five, but I’ll leave you with this: we meet so many people in our lives. It’s important to just take a step back and wait or search for what that person has to offer. We realize something new in relationships, and these realizations are priceless for our growth as people. 

Hollywood World: What’s next?

Tatsuki Imaji: More about Japan. I am in a position to express situations happening in my country, and I want to capitalize on that. This isn’t the last you’ll see from me.

https://www.tatsukiimaji.com

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Tasuki Imaji was born in Kyoto, Japan but spent most of his years in the smallest prefecture to exist, Kagawa. At the beginning of his college career, he moved to a satellite campus of Tokyo University of Science in Hokkaido, Japan’s Northern most snowy island. Feeling largely uninspired, he took a gap year to study abroad in Toronto, Canada, where his host family introduced him to the arts. It was there his love for film was born.

Upon Imaji’s return to Japan, he took his hand at film submitting an amateur work his hometown’s local Sanuki Film Festival. With positive reception, he jumped the gun and transferred to Nihon University housing Japan’s top film program in the country on the undergraduate level. His first film scoring screenings at IFFNY and Short Shorts Film Festival (the biggest film festival in Asia for short films), Imaji is an up and coming filmmaker freshly hitting the scene.

Hollywood World: First of all, congratulations to the “10424” team for receiving the IFFNY Excellence Award “Honorable Mention” for “Excellence in Short Film” in New York. How did you feel at the time when you found out?

Tasuki Imaji: Ecstatic. I could say so much, but I am so humbled for my project to get this kind of attention.

Hollywood World: What was the most significant decision in shooting your current film?  

Tasuki Imaji: Honoring the death of my dog Quu was the push I needed make to make this documentary. So many dogs are facing an untimely death, and I want people to experience what the moments leading up to that death feel like. This work pushes people to think about Japan’s “dog shelters,” more deeply. I love Quu so much, and this was the least I could do to honor the relationship I had with him.

Quu

Hollywood World: What part of the script/story best stood out for you and why?

Tasuki Imaji: Actually, there are three. I am sorry! The scene taking you into the incinerator and the audio which overlays the sounds of the dogs reacting to the event, that puts audiences in the moment of a dog’s last breaths is so powerful. When someone watches this moment, they can feel the experience from a dog’s perspective. Following that you see two big blue waste bins, and the final punch is that fact they are full of dog remains. Spectators go through the whole film not seeing a single dog until the very end. The two large bins serve the audience to realize the amount of life being lost as if it were just disposable, when it isn’t.

Hollywood World: How do you bring this story to life while staying true to your vision as director? 

Tasuki Imaji: The absence of narration, interviewing, physical characters, typical traits of a documentary et cetera work to create a unique visual bringing the audience into the consciousness of a dog. This was my intention. I wasn’t trying to make any direct political statements with this film, but simply wanted to give agency for the validity of canine emotion in a way the naked eye cannot see. It’s that very element that pushes this film on the genre borders of documentary and experimental.

Hollywood World: What excites you about this project?  

Tasuki Imaji: My advisor took this film out to show to high school students. I was honored he selected my film for educational screenings, and that my film could have an impact in this kind of capacity. That was exactly what I set out to do with this film in the first place, and it has already achieved that and so much more. The students were moved and even recommended my film to their friends. In addition to that, I’ve racked up six selections at a wide variety of different film festivals and events internationally. And before that, I thought I’d be lucky to just get one. I’m so humbled with how far this project has already come.

Hollywood World: What other works are you most proud of?  

Tasuki Imaji: I’m focusing on right now and am just so glad at the progress this project is making. I’m taking that momentum to the drawing boards for my next films as I brainstorm new ideas.

Hollywood World: What films have been the most inspiring or influential to you and why? 

Tasuki Imaji: I recently had the chance to see Steven Spielberg speak at the YouTube space in Roppongi, Tokyo. That inspired me. It’s Steven Spielberg, so I think that one speaks for itself.

Hollywood World:  What do you do to enhance the collaborative process when working with actors, screenwriters, producers and others creative members?  

Tasuki Imaji: The fact that this project involves none of that is what makes my current style so special. It’s stripped down, to the point, and impacting in its presentation. Functioning as a one-person team enables me to produce the kind of attention to detail needed for the unique visuals displayed in my work.

Hollywood World: What experiences have you learned from in life? How did that change you and your creative process and the way you go about making films?  

Tasuki Imaji: My grandfather and dog passed away within two weeks of each other. I was suddenly confronted with the concept of death in such an abundance so unexpectedly. As humans, we navigate these kinds of life experiences and concepts in such a beautifully nonlinear fashion. Ultimately, I began to think about how loss is so equal among living creatures. That message brought me to where I am with this project. The visuals created in this film would not be possible without that kind of life experience. I needed that to contextualize those emotions in the creative process.

Hollywood World: How do you see your role as a filmmaker?  

Tasuki Imaji: As of right now, I believe it’s my job to create a product that is rich in reality and unbiased in its presentation of the truth. People need to register a deeper level of being outside of the everyday monogamy of their day-to-day lives. I’m here to deliver that.  

Hollywood World: Which film festivals that you have been part of would you recommend to other filmmakers looking to screen his/her films?

Tasuki Imaji: The Short Shorts Film Festival in Tokyo, Japan. I witnessed so many different nationalities winning across all categories during the awards ceremony. So many got the chance to bring light on issues not widely spoken about in Asia. This year director Chai Yee Wei’s Benjamin’s Last Day At Katong Swimming Complex received a nod from the George Lucas Award, the highest honor at the Short Shorts. His film will be submitted to the Academy for consideration of a nomination for an Oscar Award. The film deals with topics that are sensitive in Singaporean society. Art has the power to force open dialogues that engender change for the betterment of humanity. I wish direct Chai Yee Wei luck the best of luck as it goes under the Academy’s review.

Hollywood World: Do filmmakers have any responsibility to culture? What message do you want to convey with your films?

Tasuki Imaji: We as filmmakers have the chance to make cultural impacts through our work. I want to convey realities people cannot easily see, so they stop and think twice about whatever topic my film handles. I want to create moments where people think to themselves “Wait… Is this how things should be?” It’s that kind of moment that creates the beginning pretenses necessary for change to take place.

Hollywood World: What other hobbies do you have?

Tasuki Imaji: I do love nature and travel.

Hollywood World: What do you want to be remembered for in life? What valuable lessons have you learned that helped you become the person you are today?  

Tasuki Imaji: I want people to rethink society at large more than anything else. When I’m a bit further into my career I will be able to offer the public something a little more worthwhile as far as valuable life lessons go.

Hollywood World: What are your top five principles of success?  

Tasuki Imaji: I don’t have five, but I’ll leave you with this: we meet so many people in our lives. It’s important to just take a step back and wait or search for what that person has to offer. We realize something new in relationships, and these realizations are priceless for our growth as people. 

Hollywood World: What’s next?

Tasuki Imaji: More about Japan. I am in a position to express situations happening in my country, and I want to capitalize on that. This isn’t the last you’ll see from me.

https://www.tatsukiimaji.com

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Hollywood World: First of all, congratulations on receiving the Grand Jury Prize “Best Actress” Nomination in New York and winning the IFFNY Festival Excellence Award in “Breakthrough Performance” for your role in “One Bedroom”. How did you feel at the time when you found out?

Devin Nelson: Thank you! I was completely stunned. I had no idea about the nominations until the award ceremony began. The “Breakthrough Performance” award was the first award of the night, so to start the ceremony with a win came as an amazing shock. This is my first acting award so I feel incredibly humbled and thankful.

Hollywood World: How did you come into your acting career?  

Devin Nelson: I started dancing when I was three years old, and always knew I wanted to be a performer. When I was eight, my mother saw an open casting call in the newspaper for a production of the musical “Showboat” at our neighborhood theatre, Gateway Playhouse. I sang “Happy Birthday” at my audition and was cast! I “got the bug” and went on to do theatre throughout my childhood and studied it in college. It wasn’t until after my college graduation that I studied acting for film and television and started to pursue it.  

Hollywood World: Which film was the turning point in your life and career?  

Devin Nelson: One Bedroom is actually the first feature film I’ve ever done, and is definitely a turning point for me. We shot the film in 13 days and it was truly a crash course in how to be a working film actor. I learned so much; not only about acting on camera, but all of the aspects that go into filmmaking. I’ve met incredible people who have become my friends and also gained really valuable connections, including representation. 

Hollywood World: Who has supported you to come into this field?  

Devin Nelson: My mom and my grandma are undoubtedly my biggest supporters. They’ve collectively seen 98% of the productions I’ve done since childhood, and paid for my dancing and acting lessons. I remember being really little, about four, and my mom allowing me to make movies late at night when I should’ve been sleeping. My father was also instrumental in nurturing my artistic growth, by taking me to my first Broadway show and paying for my college studies.

Hollywood World: What is the film about?

Devin Nelson: One Bedroom is a romantic comedy about a breakup. I play Melissa, who is moving out of the apartment she shares with her ex-boyfriend, Nate. The bulk of the action occurs on “moving day,” and as Melissa is packing Nate tries to figure out where things went wrong between them. The heart of the movie is a series of flashbacks that allow the audience to see both Melissa and Nate’s sides of the story, as well as the good (and bad) times they shared.

Hollywood World: Who else is involved in this production, director, producer, actors?

Devin Nelson: One Bedroom is written and directed by Darien Sills-Evans, who also stars as Nate. Darien is also a producer, along with Devin Williams and Anna Stein. Doug Watson is Co-Producer and Jon Laster is our Associate Producer. The film’s additional stars are Jon Laster, Stephen Hill, and Amber Reauchean Williams.

Hollywood World: What makes a good scene partner? With which actor did you like working with?  

Devin Nelson: A good scene partner is someone who is a good listener; acting is mostly reacting to the other person in a scene and it’s always really fun when you’re working with someone who pays attention to the changes in delivery that happen with every take. This is why I loved working with Darien…it was interesting and really fun to act with someone who was also the director. If he wanted something different from me performance-wise, he wouldn’t tell me; instead, he would switch up his delivery of the scene, which would cause me to react differently. It kept me on my toes and it was also cool to be surprised by how the scene would unfold.

Photographer: Francisco Fernandez

Hollywood World: What are your favorite projects you have been part of?  

Devin Nelson: One Bedroom is definitely my favorite thus far; other projects I’ve done that are close to my heart include the play The Rare Upper Hand, which I co-wrote with my friend Luke Bond, and the short film “Are We Really Friends?” which is a commentary on intersectional feminism written and directed by Natasha C. Smith.

Hollywood World: Can you please tell us about your upcoming film/festivals/projects?

Devin Nelson: One Bedroom is still very much in the thick of its festival run; our upcoming festivals include the CineOdyssey Film Festival in North Carolina next month and the Hip Hop Film Festival in NYC in August. I’m also currently shooting two short films entitled Shots by Alberto Gonzalez and Hurry Up and Wait by Jennifer Seide. 

Hollywood World: What have you learned from the directors that you have worked with throughout your career? 

Devin Nelson: One of my favorite acting teachers, Ray Virta, always said “we have very little time and must work slowly,” meaning despite any pressure there may be to memorize lines, you can’t neglect the process of analyzing your character. I’ve been fortunate to have worked with directors who are really specific in their work and encourage me to talk about my interpretation of the character and their backstory. I think the most valuable lesson I’ve learned from working with Darien is to personalize my work. Acting alongside the director and screenwriter can be intimidating, because you want to do their words and vision justice. Darien giving me to liberty to “do a take for myself” and just have fun was such an amazing gift. 

Hollywood World: What has been your biggest achievement in the field of acting? 

Devin Nelson: Filming One Bedroom is definitely a hallmark achievement for me as an actor; shooting my first feature film and adapting to the differences between film and theatre very quickly. This was the first time I had to memorize and shoot scenes out of sequence, and act while maintaining consistent marks for continuity. I remember getting the shot list a few days before we started shooting and being really intimidated by the amount of scenes we were scheduled to shoot per day. I was unsure about being adequately prepared and being able to deliver high quality performances. It was really exhilarating to accept this challenge and put my all into it.

Hollywood World: What do you think is most important in the field?   

Devin Nelson: I think representation is extremely important. What I love about IFFNY is how it allows filmmakers from around the world to come together and celebrate each other. Resources should be available to people from all walks of life to share their stories, because ultimately it is that exchange of experiences that bonds us all. By giving people of color, immigrants, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and disabled individuals a platform, you are uplifting and empowering those parts of society while revealing their humanity to others. We can find unity in our differences because all humans essentially want the same things.  

Hollywood World: What was your most memorable role? Why? 

Devin Nelson: Melissa from One Bedroom will always have a special place in my heart, but in all honesty I played my most memorable role in 8th grade. We did The King & I and I played Anna. It was super challenging for 12 year old me because I had to learn a British accent, sing a whole bunch of songs, and do the waltz in a hoop skirt. Some of my family members still swear that it was my best work, haha. There’s also so much magic about being a kid in theatre. You feel like you have superpowers and truly believe you will be the next greatest actor of all time. But it’s not coming from a place of cockiness; it’s pure confidence and hope, and zero self doubt…you haven’t been jaded by the hardships of the industry yet. So I suppose it’s quite nostalgic for me. Simpler times! 

Hollywood World: Any tips on how to be a successful actor? 

Devin Nelson: There’s a Michael B. Jordan interview where he says something that really resonates with me and I think is a valuable tip: think of auditions as takes. Walk into the room like you already have the role, with an opinion on your character and sides, and show them your interpretation of the text. Don’t try to please anyone or try to fit into any preconceived notions of what you think people want to see. Question everything and empathize with your character rather than judge their faults. It would’ve been so easy for me to judge Melissa negatively for staying with Nate for so long, but once you tap into the reasons why your character makes the choices that they do, that’s when things get interesting and the work is truthful.

Hollywood World: What do you want to be remembered for in life? What valuable lessons have you learned that helped you become the person you are today?  

Devin Nelson: Wow, these are deep questions! I want to be remembered most for my work with children. I’m part of a non-profit educational theatre company called Mass Transit Street Theater, and we work with kids and young adults in the inner city doing arts empowerment and conflict resolution workshops. I’m where I am today because others paid it forward and allowed me to learn from them, so I want to do the same for youth who have fewer opportunities than myself.  

Hollywood World: What’s next?  

Devin Nelson: This question makes me so anxious! In addition to the short films I’m working on, I’m gearing up to record the second season of The Phenomenon, a science fiction audio drama that I star in, produced by Luciola Creative. I’m also preparing to become bicoastal, so that I can split my time between NY and LA and seize more opportunities.

*Cover Photo by Photographer Chris Macke

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Following his international success and his sold-out performances, Wolfe Jackson has set the bar high for the rest of the Rock’N’Soul scene. Hailing from UK, now living in New York, Wolfe Jackson creates classic romantic ballads, infused with rock and roll, captivating the attention of many with his rich vocals with warm tones and deep grooves. With his popular tracks “Photographs”, “Comfort Love”, and “Nobody Knows Me” EP his reputation is soaring within the music industry. Wolfe Jackson is the next best thing and the Artist to Watch for in 2018, bringing unique, fresh and soulful sound.

Dubbed the “UK’s hottest new export” by What’s Trending, singer-songwriter Wolfe Jackson moved to America in 2014, in three years the Americana/Soul artist sold-out multiple shows at New York City’s most prestigious venues. After embarking on a crowd- funded U.S. Tour last summer and relocating to Los Angeles, Jackson released singles “Photographs” & “Comfort Love” earlier this year. The singer’s highly anticipated debut EP “Nobody Knows Me (Better Than You)” was released May 2018, celebrated with a sold-out release show at Hollywood’s Hotel Café.

WOLFE JACKSON - U.S. TOUR [Trailer] - YouTube
Hollywood Insider Interview with Musician Wolfe Jackson

Hollywood World: Tell us about your career as a musician. How did your career unfold to where you are today?

I’ve been singing and writing music since I was a little boy back home in the UK and played everywhere from church choirs and jazz clubs to music venues and tiny pubs across the country. I then moved to New York City about 4 years ago and started making music with GRAMMY & Academy Award-winning producers and selling out venues like Rockwood Music Hall, NYC and Hotel Café here in LA. It’s been a whirlwind adventure so far.

Hollywood World: How would you describe your current sound and music?

I’d describe it as nostalgic, raw and honest Americana/Singer-Songwriter music with a really deep thread of blues and soul running throughout.

Hollywood World: What inspires your music? Do you write your own lyrics?

Anything that moves me enough to want to pick up a pen. I think often it’s conversations I find hard to have in real life or things that words could never really say. I write all my own material based on my journey, my experiences and my perspective.

Hollywood World: What instruments do you play?

I sing, play guitar, piano, a little bass, a little drums – enough to record and produce stuff anyway.

Hollywood World: What are you currently working on?

I’m working on a new single right now called “Six Strings” that’s a real nostalgic, western influenced track about my relationship with love and music and we’re actually doing an EDM version of it too. I’m also about to release a new full band version of my single “Photographs” this summer.

Hollywood World: What has been a career highlight so far?

Selling out a Hotel Café in Hollywood for my EP launch show is definitely up there.

EP Cover (Photography: Meg Remien)

Hollywood World: What’s your favorite piece of music and why?

I think I’d have to say Jeff Buckley’s version of “Lilac Wine.” It’s just haunting and holds you suspended in this different wold for a moment. There’s just so much beauty and mystery in music and that’s what I hope to create.

Hollywood World: What are your main inspirations and greatest influences?

I’d say blues and folk artists have always inspired my writing. I love hearing stories and feeling the heartache and hardships in music. I love to be as honest and real in every song I write. I draw a lot of influence from classic songwriters like Lennon & McCartney, Simon & Garfunkel along with blues legends like John Lee Hooker and B.B. King.

Hollywood World: What cities, stages, concerts have you performed at?

I’ve performed in London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds in the UK and in New York City, Philadelphia, Nashville, Austin, Vegas and Los Angeles. Some of my favorite venues have been The Truobador in London, Rockwood Music Hall in NYC and Hotel Café in LA.

Hollywood World: What charities or artistic organizations are you a part of? What are the benefits?

I feel very strongly about mental health awareness and opening up the conversation and raising awareness of the seriousness of issues like depression, anxiety and addiction. I’m actually working with Marvin Jarrett of UROK to plan a musical project or event that will support their charity and bring more attention to these issues.

Hollywood World: Are there any artists you would like to work with? Do you have any favorites?

I love “The New Respects,” a band I played with out in Nashville and KALEO another group based out here. As far as touring and playing shows goes I’d love to get on the road with them. As far as writing and recording goes I’d love to create something with artists like Maty Noyes and one day Kendrick Lamar.

Hollywood World: What are you currently working on?

I’m working on a new single right now called “Six Strings” that’s a real nostalgic, western influenced track about my relationship with love and music which we’re actually doing an EDM version of. I’m also about to release a new version of my single “Photographs” this summer.

Photography: Meg Remien

Hollywood World: How many albums/songs have you releases so far?

I’ve released 3 singles and my debut EP in May. So, so far around 8-9 tracks.

Hollywood World: Tell us about your music education.

I’m actually totally self-taught. I’ve had a few pointers and tips from some great mentors and players over the years but no education at all.

Hollywood World: What is your next goal as a musician?

I’m returning to New York in September and planning some sell-out shows there. I want to release a couple of singles before the fall and start planning an EP and US tour for 2019.

Hollywood World: What other hobbies do you have?

I recently really got into running and try and hit 1-2 10k runs a week. I also love hiking and spending time with my pup Bella who’s my best friend in the world. I’m also a huge movie/TV fan so you can find me on the sofa most nights!

Hollywood World: What makes you feel like a star?

I think when people get the message and understand the depth behind my music that’s what really makes me feel valued and appreciated.

Hollywood World: Is there anything else you can tell us about yourself, your career, or your music profession. Any memorable moments?

I drove across the U.S as part of my tour last summer with my best friend and my pup and played all over the country. There were some pretty memorable moments in there. From the big cities to the Grand Canyon memories to last a lifetime!

Hollywood World: What’s next?

It’s time to start pursuing some bigger venues in LA & New York and start chasing some chart positions!

Website: www.iamwolfemusic.com

Instagram: @wolfejacksonmusic

YouTube Channel: WOLFE JACKSON

Facebook: WOLFE JACKSON MUSIC

*Cover Credit Photo: Photography by Meg Remien 

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Norah Hoffmann is a very talented German-American actress, who was born in Seattle (WA). She grew up in Zurich (Switzerland) and Munich (Germany). After graduating high school Norah moved to Berlin and now resides in New York City.

Norah has been working as an actress since childhood. She was able to start her professional career in the musical production  “A Christmas Carol” at the theater ICM-Munich. During this time, Norah also won various awards at the federal music competition “Jungend musiziert” in the categories Classical Voice, Musical, and Pop-Voice. After graduating from high school Norah moved to Berlin to study both Acting and Physics.

During her studies and after graduation Norah was part of multiple musical and film productions. Credits go to musical productions like “Feetback”  and “Perfect Town” at the theater “Kupferhaus Munich” and film productions like “Silhouette”, “MyHostel” and “Alleingelassen”. After moving to New York City, besides perusing her PhD in theoretical quantum physics, Norah continued her work as an actress in various film productions including her leading role in the award winning short “Cookie Heart”.

Hollywood Insider Interview with Actress Norah Hoffmann

Hollywood World: First of all, congratulations to the “Cookie Heart” team for receiving the IFFNY Grand Jury Prize “Best Cinematography” Award in New York. How did you feel at the time when you found out?

Norah Hoffmann: Completely overwhelmed! It was a huge surprise, I guess for all of us. But I couldn’t be more honored to be part of the incredible “Cookie Heart”-Family!  It was an amazing and very proud moment! Thanks again IFFNY for this great experience and the honor of the Grand Jury Prize!

Hollywood World: How did you come into acting career?  

Norah Hoffmann: Well, it all started with my amazing high school back in Germany, where I saw the call for an audition of a “Harry Potter” school-musical production. I went to the audition got the part of Harry Potter – yes I know I started with boy-characters when I was a kid haha –  and then the whole craziness started. I went to bigger auditions got my first professional parts, moved to Berlin to study and then decided to go to New York City to see if I can survive in the big world of the big movies. And well here I am now.

Hollywood World: Which film, was the turning point in your life and career?  

Norah Hoffmann: Well, I guess I am still waiting for the THE ONE turning point – PS: Hollywood, my name is Norah and I am still waiting for your call haha. No but seriously, I think there are quite some little turning points which led me to where I am right now. One of them was “MyHostel”, a pilot for a German-American series directed by Johnathan Behr. Besides the very professional and absolutely lovely team, I had my first English speaking part in this pilot, which made applications for other movies in New York City way easier. And then for sure “Cookie Heart”. This movie was my first lead right after I moved to big New York City and I couldn’t have asked for a better start into the crazy film business in New York. 

Hollywood World: Who has supported you to come into this field?  

Norah Hoffmann: Oh, I met so many fantastic and supportive people in this business. I don’t even know where to start. Well, I mean first of all my family. My parents couldn’t have been more supportive and without their help I wouldn’t be where I am right now. This is for sure. Also my boyfriend, I can’t even count how often he had and still has to read audition-scripts with me – haha.

Besides family and friends I had so much support from many great teachers like Hans-Bernd Schmitz, Isabell and Hans Schlicht back in high school and Monika Lachenmair from the Conservatory Munich, Germany. Also one of the best and supporting starting points for the film business in NYC was the Stella Adler Studio of Acting – especially the class of Todd Thaler. He is an amazing teacher and really showed me how to audition in New York City.

Norah Hoffmann (Nico Stank Photography)

Hollywood World: What is the film “Cookie Heart” about?  

Norah Hoffmann: “Cookie Heart” is about innocent Lisa, who travels from Germany to New York City to surprise her childhood crush Fabian (Anders Geipel) for his birthday. It turns out that Fabian, once loyal and caring, lost his moral compass as a result of the omnipresent American college culture. However Lisa tries to enter and connect to Fabian’s new party world, but after feeling completely out of place during a night in the club and the painful experience that Fabian does not even want her in his new life anymore, she leaves New York City after just one night.

Hollywood World: Who else is involved in this production, director, producer, actors?

Norah Hoffmann: Oh so many fantastic people! The whole movie was led and directed by our amazingly talented director Charles Dong. The story was written by Charles Dong and Stephan Nachmann, who the whole story is based on and who did exceptional work as DP. Also Branton Choi, Gabriella Naumnik and James Qiu did an incredible job as producers as well as the unbelievably talented camera team with Clavin Falk as camera operator, who made this crazy one-take movie even possible. Anders Geipel plays Fabian my high school crush, Smitty Chai his best buddy and Arianna Williams the  – from my character’s perspective haha – very mean girl who ends up hooking up with Fabian . Well and many, many more crazy talents. 

Hollywood World: What makes a good scene partner? With which actor did you like working with?

Norah Hoffmann: I really like working with scene partners who have and give a lot of energy. This helps me a lot to push a scene to its limit. But I mean for me there is no description of the perfect scene partner. I love working with all those different people with different backrounds and acting techniques. And I just can’t say this often enough: The “Cookie Heart” cast was just incredible. It was such a pleasure to work with those crazy talents Anders Geipel, Smitty Chai and Arianna Williams – they were such inspiring and fantastic scene partners!

Hollywood World: What are your favorite projects you have been part of? 

Norah Hoffmann: Well, I was quite lucky I guess, most of the projects I did so far were really great and interesting for me. Cast and crew have always been so nice and lovely. But if I have to pick some, I would say “MyHostel” (the pilot for the German-American series, directed by Johnathan Behr), because this was my first English speaking role. “Cookie Heart”, because it was my first lead in New York City and crew and cast were just the best. And also “LeBriefcase”, directed by Leon Wu. This is an upcoming short I did this spring in NYC and it was so far the craziest shoot I’ve ever done. From dancing in Grand Central to running through the subway, it was just crazy and I loved it!

Hollywood World: Can you please tell us about your upcoming film/festivals/projects?  

Norah Hoffmann: One of my upcoming film projects is “LeBriefcase” directed by Leon Wu, a very funny Pixar-style short movie about a hunt for a briefcase through New York City. Also, “Some Like It Raw” directed by Rico Colley, an action-comedy short movie about cannibalism and a funny horror-movie style commercial from NYU, directed by Julian Santos for a life insurance.

Norah Hoffmann (Nico Stank Photography)

Hollywood World: What have you learned from the directors that you have worked with throughout your career? 

Norah Hoffmann: Uh where to start … I learned so much from working with different directors. I guess the biggest thing I learned through all the film projects is the difference between stage acting and film acting. I come from a very stage-oriented education and the work on set is actually very different. Also, I learned a lot about being flexible on set. Often the scene is planed in a certain way, but something happens and you suddenly have to adapt the whole scene to whatever happened. In the beginning I was always afraid of such changes, but (thanks to all the great work and short-term ideas of those talented directors) I am now starting to be disappointed if everything works out like it was planed – haha.

Hollywood World: What has been your biggest achievement in the field of acting?

Norah Hoffmann: I think, so far standing on a red carpet in big NEW YORK CITY at IFFNY was one of the greatest experience for me. Really, thanks again IFFNY!  Also, “Cookie Heart” being accepted for the Short Film Corner at Festival de Cannes was super exciting. However, I would say the overall  biggest achievement for me so far was actually moving to New York City and being able to live the dream as an actress in this amazing city!

Hollywood World: What do you think is most important in the field? 

Norah Hoffmann: I guess most important in this field for me, is perseverance and passion. I mean, for sure, without passion you can’t be an actress, but sometimes only passion unfortunately does not work. There are so many occasions where you go to an audition and think ‘well I thought I did quite a good job’, but you don’t get the part. This can become very frustrating after a while. However, if you always come back and audition again and again and again it works. I don’t know how or why but it does …I guess it’s just statistics -haha . 

Hollywood World: What was your most memorable role? Why? 

Norah Hoffmann: This might seem ridiculous but I guess my part as Harry Potter in our little high school musical production. Not because it was successful or so – no, just because this little musical started everything for me and showed me for the first time the beauty of acting and creating your own parallel world and character on stage.

Hollywood World: Any tips about how to be a successful actor? 

Norah Hoffmann: Haha – well I guess I am not in a position to give any tips to anyone right now, as I am still really at the beginning of everything. But so far I can just say: Have fun in what you are doing and don’t be frustrated if things first don’t work out as you thought they will. This is just how it is and it happens to everyone … but no one puts their failures in their CV, so you mostly just don’t read about it – haha 

Hollywood World: What do you want to be remembered for in life? What valuable lessons have you learned that helped you become the person you are today?  

Norah Hoffmann: Happiness – haha !!! I love to laugh – often too much and too loud – and if people would just remember me as a crazy person who always tends to laugh about everything that would be great.

Well, I guess the most valuable lesson I learned so far is: Do not listen too much to other people. I mean everyone has really great advise for you and sometimes they think they know what’s best for you. However, as an acting theoretical physicist or a theoretical physicist who acts – what ever you prefer – belief me, there were sooooo many people who told me this is a quite an impossible combination – I think it is not. Sure, I did not win an Oscar yet and also wasn’t awarded the Nobel Prize in physics yet –  but hey, at least it is still on my To-Do list right?! – haha. Anyways, perhaps sometimes it is good to just listen to yourself and especially belief in yourself even if everyone tells you it’s impossible. 

Hollywood World: What’s next?

Norah Hoffmann: Who knows – I surely don’t. Hopefully a lot – haha! Well as I more or less just started in big NYC, I guess my next step is finding a representation – So: Hi there agencies and managers out there, if you are searching for a German-American actress, call me  – haha. No but seriously, let’s see. I am super excited for what could come next in this amazing city and I am just so thankful that I am able to live this dream!

Webpage: norahhoffmann.com

Instagram: norah.hoffmann

The winning team of “Cookie Heart” at the IFFNY Red Carpet Opening Ceremony, Kaufman Astoria Studios (In the Photo: Branton Choi, Anders Geipel, Alisa Traskunov, Charles Xiuzhi Dong, Norah Hoffmann, Anyu Liu, Nora Bode)

*Cover Photo Credit: Norah Hoffmann (Nico Stank Photography)

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Eugenia Tan is a talented filmmaker who lives in Melbourne, Australia.  Her directorial debut is “Remission” written and directed by Eugenia Tan, produced by Liubov Korpusova  and Eugenia Tan. Remission had its New York premiere at the prestigious IFFNY Film Festival in May 2018. She is a recent graduate of the Film and TV Foundations at the Victorian College of the Arts (University of Melbourne). 

Alongside her interests as a filmmaker she is also an Architect and the founder and curator of ‘New Architects Melbourne’ (NAM), a volunteer-based initiative which seeks to foster and encourage up and coming architectural and design studios. She brings her experience as an architect into the medium of filmmaking to explore her interest in telling stories about humanity that connects us all.

Hollywood Insider Interview with Director Eugenia Tan

Hollywood World: What was the most significant decision in shooting your current film “Remission”?

Eugenia Tan: We shot over three locations (two restaurants and one cafe) in two days. Although some people around me doubted if it would be wise to do so, I kept to the three locations. It was important to me that the setting of each space was going to speak of the story and I believed it was possible to sew the story together during the editing process so that all three separate locations would end up looking like one restaurant.

Hollywood World: What part of the script/story best stood out for you and why?  

Eugenia Tan: The best element of the story for me personally was the juxtaposition between forgiveness and judgement. 

REMISSION (TRAILER) - Vimeo

Hollywood World: Without giving it away, tell us a little bit more about the characters and the lead actors.

Eugenia Tan: All three main characters that play the Zito family are so unique in their personality. My actors were so invested and professional about the process. I trusted them to take the script and make the characters their own. They worked very well together and all of them shined in their own way.  Alfredo Malabello, who plays Mr. Zito is born of Italian migrant parents and supported me in making this film about an Italian Australian family. He was brilliant as we could inject some Italian passion into an important scene which elevated the story to another level for me. I was so fulfilled that the film could express this aspect in a genuine way. Only Alfredo could have done that for the story and for that I am grateful for his contribution.

Jack Doherty came to the audition fervent for the role of Luke from the get go. Ange Arabatzis too. They both shined in their respective auditions. Their take on their characters were greater than what I had envisaged. My decisions to cast these two were made pretty instantly with my casting director.

All three actors had spent some time in NYC. Both Alfredo and Ange had lived and worked in New York which meant to me that they are serious operators and willing to commit themselves to their craft.

Hollywood World: How do you bring this story to life while staying true to your vision as director? 

Eugenia Tan: We had certain parameters to abide by for the purposes of film school. i.e. no more than 8 minutes in total, and it must be shot over two days only. In terms of the story, it’s loosely based on a biblical parable – one that is very dear to me. It speaks critically of society’s values on a few levels. The story was relevant to those that lived in Jesus’ time just as much of a reflection of people’s attitudes today. I pondered how to adapt it to a contemporary story and make it a creative endeavour of its own whilst retaining the integrity of the original parable. The thought of setting it in a restaurant came pretty early in the development of the script, as the setting posed the possibility of having two worlds – being the front of house and back of house.  And as the story went on, the consolidation of the two worlds before a showdown at the end.

Hollywood World: What excites you about this project?  

Eugenia Tan: How it speaks some truth about the human condition and explore the complexities and dynamics of relationships.

Director Eugenia Tan (Photo by William Montgomery)

Hollywood World: What other works are you most proud of?

Eugenia Tan: This is my first film.  Hoping for many more to come.

Perhaps it could be my future child named Francis.

Hollywood World: What films have been the most inspiring or influential to you and why?

Eugenia Tan: The Royal Tenenbaums by Wes Anderson – I think I watched it 10 times before realising when the story was actually set.

You me and everybody we know – An insight into the magical Miranda July and how she sees the world. In this film she uses unassuming people to take us on a delicate journey of human connection.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly – you have to lose your life to find it. Jean-Dominique Bauby’s purpose was to experience the horrendous loss of his former life in order to write this story.

Gattaca / Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind / Shawshank Redemption and others.

Hollywood World:  What do you do to enhance the collaborative process when working with actors, screenwriters, producers and others creative members? 

Eugenia Tan: Ensure that communication is paramount, that they can see the vision and potential of the story, that they believe in it, and that they can add their own contribution and talent to it.

Hollywood World: What experiences have you learned from in life? How did that change you and your creative process and the way you go about making films?

Eugenia Tan: Stories are powerful and teach us about ourselves.

Hollywood World: How do you see your role as a filmmaker?  

Eugenia Tan: Inspire hope and light into the world. Share stories 

Hollywood World: Which film festivals that you have been part of would you recommend to other filmmakers looking to screen his/her films?  

Eugenia Tan: This is my first film and my first festival at the International Filmmaker Festival of New York (IFFNY).  

Hollywood World: Do filmmakers have any responsibility to culture? What message do you want to convey with your films? 

Eugenia Tan: Yes absolutely.

I have a desire to document the intriguing intricacies and phenomenons within life.  I do feel the privilege and responsibility to explore stories that may bring hope and light into the world.

Hollywood World: What other hobbies do you have?  

Eugenia Tan: Cooking

Cuddles

Chit Chat

Cafes

Chocolate (especially pana chocolate). 

Hollywood World: What do you want to be remembered for in life? What valuable lessons have you learned that helped you become the person you are today?  

Eugenia Tan: Depth of character

Compassion

Kindness

Generosity

Loyal

The meaning of value.

Hollywood World: What are your top five principles of success?  

Eugenia Tan: Tenacity

Perseverance

Wisdom

Connection with the human condition

Patting a cat (I’m really into Jordan B Peterson at the moment).

https://vimeo.com/267213919 (trailer)

*Cover Photo Credit: Remission by Eugenia Tan, Oli Sansom

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Born in Adelaide in 1959 to immigrant Italian parents, Alfredo Malabello is Australia’s very own Italian son of song, having earned himself a reputation as one of Australia’s most remarkable live artists. Alfredo took up acting classes after seeing an advertisement on a public notice board in a supermarket, for the purpose of developing his onstage persona. After extensive experience in short films, Alfredo received a best actor accolade at a local film festival and was spotted by a leading casting agent. Alfredo landed a major role on the acclaimed six part mini-series called Carla Canetti PD, leading to major roles in other TV series – Underbelly Infiltration, Tricky Business, Devils Dust, Secret Daughter, Dripping in Chocolate and Dead Europe.

Alfredo’s latest film Remission saw him playing the lead role of Mr. Zito. Remission was accepted for screening at the 2018 International Film Festival of New York where it received a substantial and positive audience response. Adding to his credits, Alfredo has also played lead roles in numerous national Australian TVC campaigns. Alfredo is currently producing his first theatrical musical, Romanza-Rome 1963 which is set for a 2019 premiere in Melbourne, Australia.

Alfredo Malabello Actor Showreel - YouTube
Hollywood Insider Interview with Alfredo Malabello

Hollywood World: How did you come into acting career?

Alfredo Malabello: After noticing an acting workshop flyer on a supermarket public noticeboard in Perth, Western Australia. I decided to start the acting classes for the initial purpose of expanding my onstage persona as an entertainer but I fell in love with acting and quickly realised that it was something I wanted to pursue in itself.

Hollywood World: Which film, was the turning point in your life and career?

Alfredo Malabello: The Thomas Crown Affair starring Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo inspired me as a man and as a hopeful would be actor. 

Hollywood World: Who has supported you to come into this field?

Alfredo Malabello: I have had the support of many fellow actors, family members and friends. But the most influential and supportive person to me was my acting workshop tutor Annie Murtagh Monks – who was also one of Heath Ledgers initial acting tutors.

Hollywood World: What is the film about?

Alfredo Malabello: The film is a contemporary take on the biblical story of the prodigal son but with a lot more Italian food.

Hollywood World: What makes a good scene partner? With which actor did you like working with?

Alfredo Malabello: A good scene partner is someone who works hard with you to develop a rich and complex backstory. I loved working with everyone but the meatiest was Ange Arabatzis.

A scene from REMISSION by Eugenia Tan, Brendan Cherry

Hollywood World: What are your favorite projects you have been part of?  

Alfredo Malabello: Carla Cometti PD and Underbelly Infiltration…

Oh, and of course Remission. 

Hollywood World: Can you please tell us about your upcoming film/festivals/projects?

Alfredo Malabello: I have been working on a musical called Romanza-Rome 1963. Set in a night club in Rome next door to the famous Cine Citta film studios (the Hollywood of Rome) it tells a story of the intertwining lives of 8 individuals involved in the Italian film industry of that era. It’s a romantic drama/comedy.

Hollywood World: What have you learned from the directors that you have worked with throughout your career?

Alfredo Malabello: Knowing when to listen.

Hollywood World: What has been your biggest achievement in the field of acting?

Alfredo Malabello: The biggest achievement for me was landing my first major role in a TV series Carla Cometti PD which cast me as a chef who would sing whilst cooking. This caught the attention of Universal Music which lead me to land a major record deal on the day of my 50th birthday. This role has always been special in my heart because it combined my all-time love for singing and new-found love of acting.  I basically went from being a nobody to a somebody within the space of a few months.

Alfredo Malabello - My Love - YouTube

Hollywood World: What was your most memorable role? Why?

Alfredo Malabello: My most memorable role was the one of Fat Tony, mob boss in an Australian short film Stackel in the Bowls, which had me receiving the best actor award for at prestigious Australian short film festival. 

Hollywood World: What do you want to be remembered for in life? What valuable lessons have you learned that helped you become the person you are today?

Alfredo Malabello: I want to be remembered for never quitting when things got tough. The valuable lesson I have learnt is to never let go of your inner child and to protect that child at any cost. 

Hollywood World: What’s next?

Alfredo Malabello: Next?… I’m due on stage in an hour.  Thanks for the interview.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCHeyv7Dn9E (actor showreel) 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrKbcuur_xc  (Music by Alfredo Malabello – My Love)

 

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Francesca Louise White is a “small but feisty” internationally award winning screen actress from Oxfordshire. Educated to a Bachelor Degree level in Drama at Exeter University, she then traveled across the pond to various acting schools including the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and The Groundlings in Los Angeles.

Since then she has had a steadily growing resume of credits in feature and short length films and TV including thriller “King of Crime” (formerly known as ‘Milk and Hon£y’) starring Claire King, Mark Wingett and featuring Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Nicholas Brendon.

Hollywood Insider Interview with Francesca Louise White

Hollywood World: What do you love about the role that you are currently playing? What is the storyline about? Can you tell us who else is involved in this production, director, producer, actors?

Francesca Louise White: I’m currently lucky enough to working on a few different roles actually:

Firstly, I’m playing the mysterious caretaker Rose in a tense thriller feature called ‘Are You Watching Closely’ by multi-talented Liam Thomas Burke for Recognition Films. It’s particularly twisty turny plot-wise so I won’t risk giving away too much as I want people to watch it and be as shocked as I was reading the script for the first time! I can say the versatile Pablo Raybould is playing lead Frank and the compelling Ben Manning is playing Dave; they have their own production company actually called Shooting Lodge Productions.

Secondly, I’m playing the pragmatic but nostalgic Eleanor in sci-fi short ‘Companions’ by Will Dennies. I do have a particular soft spot for a good sci-fi I must admit. It’s sometimes so easy to see humanity and/or our technology following those ‘fictional’ paths in the future, scary though that often is. The film is set in the not too distant future, 2068, and the latest tech trend is called the ‘Whitt Companion’ which is essentially a bespoke and unique AI suited to, created for and controlled by its owner. The main companion in the story is Julian played by the dashing Chris Clynes. The overall objective I keep in mind when becoming and playing Eleanor is routed in searching for a real connection; intimacy, support, companionship… even though to an extent she has that with her best friend Margot played by vivacious Becki Loyd. Without giving away too much, Margot convinces Eleanor to buy one, but all is not as it seems. What I love about Eleanor is her rebellion against the ‘norm’ and her resistance to follow the technological trends just because everyone else is doing it. Her lack of a need to be one of the many, she doesn’t feel pressured to fit in and yet her open mindedness when it comes down to it; she has qualms and concerns but she’ll at least try. This film explores a lot of big existential/value of life & ‘ownership’ themes and questions. I hope viewers will find it as thought-provoking as I do!

Thirdly, I’m playing the determined survivor Isabel in post-apocalyptic industrial western called ‘The Flock’ by the extremely talented Andrew Griffin for Steamwork Films. I’ve been fortunate to read several of his scripts and they’re all fantastic so I’m very happy to finally be working with him. This film is set in post-viral Britain and focuses on Isabel and her adoptive almost feral daughter Vera, played by the lovely young actress Tiana Rogers. They’re searching for the third member of their post-nuclear family called Abel, also played by the brilliant Ben Manning. Abel is one of the 10% immune to the virus and he’s pursuing rumours of settlement when he meets sinister Priest Malcolm; I know Andrew is currently in talks with a very exciting actor for this challenging role. Unfortunately for all the survivors it turns out the virus was only round one of the fight and the beginning of the apocalypse; there’s a lot more in store for them.

I can’t wait to work on each of these films, thank you for casting me filmmakers!

Hollywood World: What makes a good scene partner?

Francesca Louise White: Simply someone who is prepared, whom you can trust to react and play off your character choices, who feels ‘present’ with you… if that makes sense without being too “pretentious actor”..! Someone with whom you feel fully immersed in the scene/story while you’re acting it.

Hollywood World: What are your favorite projects you have been part of?  

 Francesca Louise White: I wholeheartedly relished the chance to play Gemma Carter in upcoming thriller feature ‘King of Crime’ directed by Matt Gambell and written by Linda Dunscombe for her and her husband Peter Dunscombe’s production company Buster Boo Films & also Springbean. It stars the extremely talented Claire King and Mark Wingett, and also features Nicholas Brendon who played Xander in Buffy The Vampire Slayer (a series which played a large part in my desire to pursue acting). I’m not allowed to say too much but it’s about the biggest player in British Cyber-crime. Lets just say if he’s going to go out he’s going to do it on his terms, and he decides to play the biggest scam of his life and get out with a bang. It was an honour to share scene time with the incredible Claire and Chris Ellison, and to be a part of this film. It will be released in cinemas this coming September.  It was previously called ‘Milk and Hon£y’ and you’re getting an exclusive here as they haven’t released the name change yet. I hope you get a chance to watch it!

My favourite role to date though is probably Kimberley Hadden in ‘Fractured Minds’ by Alan Mallyon for 2025 Films, also written by Linda Dunscombe (we’re seeing a theme here, huh?! She just writes such enjoyable scripts!). Kimberley will do anything and everything to succeed and help her family achieve their dreams… to the detriment of all others, so that was a lot of fun to play; she can be downright vicious and does things I would NEVER do in real life.

Francesca Louise White by Scott Chalmers Photography, MUA Anna Hillary

Hollywood World: Are there any other projects you would like to highlight?

Francesca Louise White: Earlier in the year I was fortunate to play enigmatic shape shifter known as The Lady in ‘The Seeing’ directed by the fabulous Aoife O’Kelly, written by Peter Slucock and produced by Peter and Maxine de Vere. I have high hopes for this pilot and sincerely believe it deserves to be picked up by a network, Amazon, Google or Netflix. I am absolutely certain viewers would enjoy it and we don’t have a series like it in the UK. Even the character history I received was so creative and well thought through (Peter wrote it like a published article with citations and references through history), and everyone on board were professional, talented and simply lovely to work with. The character was so different to anything I’d played before too, she was a joy and I really got to let my imagination and physicality loose. Fingers are well and truly crossed.

I will be playing the loyal-to-a-fault Anna in ‘EMPunity’ by Rodeo Whiter and Dan Lee for Rodeax later in the year and I can’t wait to get started on that. It explores how humanity copes without organized society and technology. I originally auditioned for Rodeo back when she was a student and I’ve followed her work ever since; I just instinctively knew she had a big career ahead of her and that she would be consistently doing work in which I wanted to play a part. Keep your eyes peeled!

Hollywood World: What do you enjoy the most about your job as an actor?

Francesca Louise White: So many things! That feeling of total absorption when I’m on set acting and living a scene. All the preparation, all the hard work leading up to it, anything outside of the scene – it all fades away and you just enjoy the experience. It feels ‘right’. And I really love it when a Director’s  or Scriptwriter’s dreams for the scene are realized and you get an unfiltered reaction after acting it/when they’ve called cut; like you’ve just brought their imagination fully to life. Fantastic and satisfying feeling.  Reactions from viewers after a screening are very enjoyable too; having an impact on someone, allowing them to escape their lives for a moment or better understand something going on in their lives all through your work.

Hollywood World: What have you learned from the directors that you have worked with throughout your career?

Francesca Louise White: Teamwork is key and that it’s important to have clear ideas which you communicate well to your team. Directors who trust and appreciate their team members from: Assistant Directors, to Gaffer, to Soundperson to Editor etc. etc. are the happiest on set and with the finished film/product. I better understand why so many Directors keep turning to the same team of people as Cast and Crew as that trust and appreciation is vital. I particularly enjoyed and would employ the ‘silly take’ that Director Danny Cotton often includes if I ever Directed too; after capturing the shot/scene/day as it ends the day on a high note and re-awakens creativity when you can get somewhat locked into acting/shooting choices after repeating them a lot. 

Hollywood World: What do you consider your biggest achievement in the field of acting?

Francesca Louise White: I recently completely unexpectedly won both ‘Best Performance’ award at STARBURST Magazine Media City film festival, UK and ‘Best Actress In a Short’ award at Artemis ‘Women In Action’ film festival in Beverly Hills, USA for my work on ‘Dead Meet’ by Daniel J. Brant for Enborne River productions. Receiving both of those awards was surreal! I was only expected to give a speech at STARBUST but it was many a stuttering ‘thank you’ as I was floored. I was sitting next to Director James Atkins and co-star Marcus Massey with whom I worked on comedy short ‘Bragging Rights’ and I had to ask them twice after it was announced as I just didn’t believe it!! Artemis was chock full of incredibly inspiring stuntwomen and kickass actresses and filmmakers, all in honour of ‘Women In Action’ and that I got to share the stage with them is an experience I doubt I’ll ever get over! Grateful doesn’t even begin cover it.

Francesca Louise White ‘Best Actress In A Short’ award win at Artemis ‘Women In Action’ Film Festival, CA 2018

Hollywood World: What types of movies are you interested in filming? 

Francesca Louise White: I work very hard not to be pigeon holed and try to take on diverse genres, films and roles within those films. I’m interested in filming good stories; stories which resonate with people, stories which make people reconsider aspects or other people in their own lives and like I said before, stories which have an impact. I’m interested in playing multi-faceted characters as I think they should never be wholly good, bad or any one thing as real people aren’t therefore if a film has that then I’ll want to work on it. I do think escapism is important and there is a place for filming movies just for the fun of it, and for viewers’ fun too.

Hollywood World: How do you see your role as an actor?

Francesca Louise White: I see myself as a story-teller. I think stories connect us as human beings in a way no other known species has, so I’m very happy to just be that. I get to dress up and play for a living. Madness.

Hollywood World: What was your most memorable role? Why?

Francesca Louise White: I guess that depends if you mean memorable for me to play as an experience, or if you mean memorable as in I’m known for… I think ‘Dead Meet’ has had a much larger reach than we ever dared hope for or expect so probably Cleo the lonely assassin if you mean the latter. For the former, probably my first ever lead role in a feature film as Sarah in ‘What Goes Up’ by Matt Gambell for GSProductions; it was the first time I really felt like I was achieving my long held dreams.

Hollywood World: Besides acting, what other things do you enjoy?

Francesca Louise White: I have a ridiculous amount of hobbies! I’ve danced since I started walking, mainly ballet though I am right now particularly enjoying Zumba. I take Pilates and Yoga classes. I train in Martial Art Jeet Kune Do with Kali/Escrima weaponry work and have done so on a weekly basis for a few years now and that’s great fun…Hard work but great fun. I have a compound bow I like to use to practice archery when I get time. I horse ride. I play piano and I enjoy learning languages; I speak French and Spanish to an Advanced Intermediate standard – I recently refreshed my French with a part time course at my local college. Reading is my go-to chill out method, particularly fantasy genre, and I listen to a lot of music whether that’s film soundtracks/scores to classic rock to pop and dubstep. I have very diverse music tastes! I am obsessed with Westworld’s soundtrack right now and their adaptations of pieces like ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ by Nirvana. I like to paint when I get time too. Bit of everything. I try to challenge myself to learn something new each year which is actually often helped/inspired by roles I take on! One of the best parts of the job is training in, researching and learning something new. 

Hollywood World: Do you have any mentor who has supported you throughout your career?

Francesca Louise White: In the industry I’d probably say Linda Dunscombe as I auditioned for one of her projects early on in my career and she’s been a consistent support and inspiration ever since! Out of the industry I’d say my mum. She’s always supported my career and my pursuing my dreams and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without her. I can always come to her for a completely blunt and honest opinion, sometimes brutally so, but I appreciate and need that in my life. 

Hollywood World: What valuable lessons have you learned that helped you become the person you are today?  

Francesca Louise White: Determination can get you anywhere and help you achieve any goal. I was told I wouldn’t even get into University to study drama by teacher at school, then again that I wouldn’t be able to pursue it as a career but I’ve proven them wrong. If you’re determined enough you will get there. Keep pushing forward no matter what anyone else says.

Hollywood World: What’s next?  

Francesca Louise White: Who knows! I’ve found planning ahead too far only leads to disappointment in an industry which is so changeable and fluid. I have signed on as co-producer for ‘The Flock’ so it will be interesting to develop those skills alongside my acting. I’d really like to emulate Reese Witherspoon in the future and launch my own production company to adapt novels, so it’s a step in that direction. As long as people keep casting me in complex roles I’ll be happy though, so hopefully more of that!

Website: www.francescalwhite.com

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm5723091/

Youtube: https://youtu.be/wRDlNraesdc

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/255763891

 

Facebook: @francesca.l.white

Twitter: @FrancescaLWhite

Instagram: @francescalwhite

*Cover Photo Credit: Francesca Louise White, Photo by John Clark Photography

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