Wednesday, October 30, 2019

New Filmmaker Series: Rutgers Grad Ian Lettire Talks about Making his first Feature Called Anywhere Is Here and Gives Advice for Young Film Students

In this interview I talk to Ian Lettire of NJ, a Rutgers grad who straight out of Mason Gross School of the Arts hit the festival circuit with his first feature, Anywhere is Here and already has it streaming on Amazon. As making a feature film is a daunting task, read how he had the help of his family and community to create this movie, and learn some words of wisdom for other film students.

BehindtheScenezz: What is this film about and where did you get the idea for it?

Ian Lettire: Anywhere Is Here is about Sarah Dawson, a teenaged girl, who endures life at the hands of an abusive father and a neglectful mother. Seeing no other option, Sarah devises a plan to steal her father's money and run away with her best friend Ben. Unfortunately, things go terribly awry, and Sarah is unwittingly thrown into a nefarious world of white - collar crime. Sarah stands at a crossroads where she must decide to flee or take over her father’s business. If Sarah is to navigate the tangled web of corruption her father has spun she will need to dig deep and find the inner strength she never knew existed.

Discount Tickets for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular

This annual show in New York City starts soon. Here is a way to get discount tickets. If you miss this offer, check the Radio City Box office, all the resellers and NYC theater sites for discounted seats.

Christmas Spectacular
Christmas Spectacular
Christmas Spectacular

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Women in Film: Cady McClain's Seeing is Believing: Women Direct to Screen at DTLA Film Fest Followed by Panels Featuring Females Talking The Biz

By Suzanne Ordas Curry

Producer/Director Cady McClain will be screening her documentary film, Seeing is Believing: Women Direct, at the DTLA Film Festival in Los Angeles on October 26, 2019. Following the screening, Cady, a 2-time Emmy award winner who spent years in front of the camera on As The World Turns, All My Children and Young and The Restless along with many TV roles but is now an active advocate for females behind the camera, will participate in two panel discussions. One panel will be on the constantly changing landscape of indie film distribution and the other about diversity.

Seeing is Believing features candid and intriguing interview with female directors talking about their experiences, goals and the environments they have encountered. Cady states that the "film emphasizes the opportunity for women to use their voice through media to change the social and political landscape and achieve full equality." The importance of a film like this in today's environment, with a continued lack of females providing direction and voices in the film industry cannot be understated. 

Some of the directors interviewed in the film include Lesli Linka Glatter (EP/Director Homeland), Sarah Gavron (Director: Suffragette, Brick Lane), Li Lu (There is a New World Somewhere) and Naima Ramos-Chapman (Director HBO’s Random Acts of Flyness) as well as Marianna Palka (3 time Sundance Alum), Lee Grant (first woman to win a DGA Award), Lizzie Borden (Born in Flames), Kimberly McCullough (One Day at a Time), Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry), Deborah Kampmeier (Queen Sugar, Sundance Jury Prize nominee), and more. Special guest Deborah Riley Draper (Olympic Pride, American Prejudice and director of Coffee Will Make You Black starring Octavia Spencer) will be attending the Q&A.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Move over ComicCon There's Something Bigger - Hallmark Christmas Stars Come to NJ at the First Ever Christmas Con!!

by Suzanne Ordas Curry

If you're a fan of Hallmark Christmas movies (and you live in the NY metro area), you're getting an early Christmas present this year (aside from the 40 new movies they are showing this season)! Fans of those wonderfully perfect Hallmark holiday movies that start oh so early this year will be able to meet their favorite stars - we all know who they are - in Edison, NJ on November 8-10th at the NJ Convention Center.

It's a Christmas expo filled with all the trimmings of holiday fun. Aside from the exhibitors, the main attraction will be performances and photo opps with the Hallmark stars. Actors attending as listed right now are: Lacey Chabert, Jonathan Bennett, Cameron Matheson, Jackee Harry, Alicia Witt, Nikki DeLoach, Erin Krakow, Paul Green, Ashley Williams, Holly Robinson Peete, Ryan Paevy, Chad Michael Murray, Melissa Claire Egan, Jack Wagner, Melissa Joan Hart, Andrew Walker, Rachel Boston, Danica McKeller, Whoa... what a lineup!!

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Writer/Director Joshua Coates Talks about His New Indie Film Hollywould- A Thriller Which Stars Eric Roberts, Pete Postiglione, Torrei Hart and Caitlyn Fletcher

By Diane Somerset

Independent film is alive and well. It seems every week there's a new film festival popping up, and at these festivals one can find a plethora of new movies, in every genre available. I had the pleasure of meeting writer/director Joshua Coates at the Ridgewood Guild International Film Festival in picturesque Ridgewood NJ at the premiere of his latest film, Hollywould. Flanking the Red Carpet with him were not just the actors, including Eric Roberts, Torrei Hart, Pete Postiglione and Caithlyn Fletcher, but also most of the crew and his family. Everyone was there to support this filmmaker who has a knack for making films that keep you at the edge of your seat.

BTS: So tell me Joshua, how did this film get started?

Joshua Coates: The Story of Hollywould was inspired from the ideas and writings of Mitchell Bass who pitched the idea to me. I thought the concept was amazing and soon after that Mitchell and I met for weeks developing the outline for the story. It took me about 2 weeks to write the screenplay, Mitchell was blown away with the first draft and soon after that he secured funding from the Executive Producers Steven and Marcia Bass to green-light the Production.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Review: Paper Mill Playhouse's Chasing Rainbows- The Road to Oz is a Journey You'll Want to Experience

Review by Beth Abramson Brier

There’s No Place Like – Hollywoodland

“You always had the power, my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.” Glinda the Good Witch’s words ring true in the Judy Garland story Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz, now playing at Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ. The Tony Award winning regional theater springs to life in its 81st season with this high energy, youthful production about the early years of “the little girl with a big voice”.

New Jersey native Ruby Rakos brings down the house as Judy Garland, proving that if you show up in a shmata you better have show-stopping talent. Rakos belts out à la Garland while bringing a quiet authenticity to the role. Born with the unfortunate name Frances Ethel Gumm and equally unglamorous looks, the future Dorothy’s painful and humiliating beginnings on her earnest journey from Hollywoodland to Oz are revealed by Rakos.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Interview: NJ Resident and YES Network Baseball Analyst Talks his Book with David Cone Called Full Count: The Education of a Pitcher

By Suzanne Ordas Curry

For New York baseball fans, or really any baseball fan, the book to read this season is The New York Times Bestseller entitled Full Count: The Education of a Pitcher. 

Written by  David Cone with YES Network Analyst Jack Curry, this book is filled with anecdotes, inside stories and lessons for any aspiring pitcher. David Cone has lead an extraordinary life in the world of baseball and it is captured vividly by Jack Curry, who has been writing about baseball for the past 25 years.

Full Count  covers Cone's journey from the minors to the majors and beyond. In this memoir Cone talks about the intricacies of pitching - every pitch - and about his perfect game 1999.

I had the opportunity to ask Jack Curry a few questions (full disclosure, he's my brother in-law) to get a read on what writing this book was like. I rather already knew how much work it was just by all the times we heard over the past two years his wife Pamela saying  "He's busy writing in his office" or "He's meeting with David today."

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Movie Review: Stephen King's IT Chapter II - Thrilling, Fun and Grotesque, but does it Remain True to its Roots?

Review by Ashton Samson

It is an immensely difficult task to do justice to a horror movie, chiefly because the genre is in a constant need of resurgence. Over time, fans get tired of seeing the same type of villains or monsters slash their way across the screen, until there is only one person left standing. We want to see something new, because we know just how successful and spectacular horror can be whenever the formula is reinvented. Just think about every significant movie in the genre. Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Psycho and many other game-changing horror films were made at times where the genre was in a need of change. These films proved themselves worthy of being the best horror pictures of their time, and also paved the way for future horror.