From a writer and producer of “Sushi Girl” comes “The Unwanted”, Now Crowdfunding!

Back in 2012, I was contacted about a film called “Sushi Girl”, an indie revenge thriller with a knock out cast including Tony Todd, Noah Hathaway, James Duval, Andy Mackenzie, Mark Hamill, Cortney Palm and even the legendary Sonny Chiba. This film was one of my favorite films of 2012! Last week I received an email from a writer and producer of “Sushi Girl”, Destin Pfaff about his new film “The Unwanted” and I couldn’t be more excited about this film.

Inspired by gripping true events, “The Unwanted” is a frightening supernatural thriller that examines a haunted hotel years after a horrifying incident occurred. The film is currently crowd funding on Kickstarter, click here to view campaign. Horror fans unite! It is films like this that need our help. Check out video below and pitch in what you can to see this kick-ass film made and score some cool perks.

Blu-ray Review "Sushi Girl"

Starring Tony Todd, Mark Hamill, Noah Hathaway, James Duval and Andy Mackenzie
Directed by Kern Saxton
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
Release Date: February 19, 2013
Run Time: 98 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 5 out of 5 stars

Let’s travel back to August of 2011, I was asked to interview the cast/crew of a little film called “Sushi Girl” that just finished production and looking for some early press.  So, we ended up chatting with thirteen members of the cast and crew over the next year, check out the interview series here. Since that time, I have seen this film five times now and it never ceases to blow me away. “Sushi Girl” is a very rare gem that deserves much more attention then it has received.  The film is well written by director Kern Saxton and Destin Pfaff (COO from TV’s “The Millionaire Matchmaker”. This script channels the grindhouse feel with the clever dialogue of Quentin Tarantino. There are countless twists and turns around every corner and will leave you with your mouth open. I cannot stress any more…DO NOT MISS THIS FILM.

Official Premise: Fish has spent six years in jail. Six years alone. Six years keeping his mouth shut about the robbery, about the other men involved. The night he is released, the four men he protected with silence celebrate his freedom with a congratulatory dinner. The meal is a lavish array of sushi, served off the naked body of a beautiful young woman. The sushi girl seems catatonic, trained to ignore everything in the room, even if things become dangerous. Sure enough, the four unwieldy thieves can’t help but open old wounds in an attempt to find their missing loot.

Let me give you a rundown of this amazing cast: Tony Todd (“Candyman”), Noah Hathaway (“The Neverending Story”), Jimmy Duval (“Donnie Darko”), Andy Mackenzie (“Shoot Em Up”), Mark Hamill (“Star Wars”), Cortney Palm (“Silent Night”) and David Dastmalchian (“The Dark Knight”). If that is not enough for you there is also other familiar faces including the legendary Sonny Chiba (“Kill Bill: Vol. 1”), Jeff Fahey (“Planet Terror”), Michael Biehn (“The Terminator”) and Danny Trejo (“Machete”).

Tony Todd easily delivers one of his best roles in his career as Duke.  He is sly, dark and methodical.  Noah Hathaway, who is best known for his roles as a kid with “The Neverending Story” and “Troll”, makes his return to film and really nails the role of Fish. What a scream, Noah! Andy Mackenzie is one hell of a major bad-ass as Max, but I recommend him to keep his socks on! Yikes! Mark Hamill, wow what a performance. We all know Mark as being Luke Skywalker in the “Star Wars” saga and voicing the Joker in various works of “Batman”. He literally transforms himself in this film and is almost unrecognizable.  Literally one of his most out-of-the-box roles to date.  He steals the show and makes this movie a must see just for his performance.

Magnolia released this film with fantastic results on Blu-ray.  If you are looking for a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, Best Buy has that exclusive release available in stores and online.  The film has this certain grindhouse feel but doesn’t trade that for quality. The film looks amazing for a low budget indie. The Blu-ray 1080p really shines and is clear and sharp. Now the real seller on this release is the unbelievable DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 audio track. It is very rare for a low-budget film like this to come with a track like this but these guys did not want to disappoint. Does this mostly dialogue driven film need a 7.1 track? Probably not. But it does rock the shit out of that track for sure. The dialogue is delivered perfectly and the action is aced.

The special features on “Sushi Girl” do nothing be leave you satisfied.  They start off with two commentary tracks. The first is a filmmaker track wiith Kern Saxton, Destin Pfaff, Neal Fischer, and Suren M. Seron. The group of them are very fun and really have a lot of passion for this project. The next track is a cast commentary track with Tony Todd, James Duval, Noah Hathaway, Andy Mackenzie, David Dastmalchian, Destin Pfaff and Kern Saxton. This is a real blast and you can tell that these guys are having a blast and loved working on this film.

Next up is kick-ass “Sushi Girl: A Documentary”, which runs an hour long. There is a lot of great behind-the-scenes footage mixed with some interviews. There is an alternate scenes for the ending, worth checking out but I am still a fan of the release ending.  Next there are over 15 minutes of outtakes, runs a little long but if you are a die-hard fan you would enjoy. “Producer’s Diaries” is some more behind-the-scenes footage and is very entertaining. If you want more interviews, then there is some footage from the film’s premiere at Fantasia Festival in Montreal and cast/crew interviews. There is a music video for “Victories and Consequences” by Send the Sages.

There are three faux TV Commercials with a “shot-on-VHS look” that loosely tie in to the film’s story. They are very clever and I enjoyed these very much.  There are also over 20 images including poster and promotional stills, as well as a behind-the-scenes gallery with another 100 stills. There are storyboards for the entire film, which I recommend to see how the film was planned out before shooting.  Lastly, there is four trailers including a green band and red band trailers. What else could you possible want to see on this Blu-ray release? These guys have not only delivers an amazing Blu-ray presentation, they also have jam-packed it with amazing and high quality extras. BTW don’t forget to watch through the credit to see Media Mikes in the credits! Thanks guys!

Blu-ray Review "Dead Sushi"

Actors: Kentaro Shimazu, Shigeru Matsuzaki, Rina Takeda
Directors: Noboru Iguchi
Rated: Unrated
Studio: First Look Pictures
Release Date: March 26, 2013
Run Time: 91 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

What can you expect from a film titled “Dead Sushi”? Well take what you think and throw it away because it will leave your mouth wide-open saying “WTF is going on here!”. That is the way I was watching this film but that was I was expecting. I am very familiar with Noboru Iguchi’s work like “Machine Girl”, “Robogeisha” and the upcoming “The ABC’s of Death”. If you are fans of these films then you are going to LOVE this film. I never thought that I would enjoy a film about mutant killer sushi but this is a laugh riot packed with amazing gore and humor.

Keiko the daughter of a legendary sushi chef runs away from home when his Karate-style regimen becomes too severe. Finding work at a rural hot springs inn she is ridiculed by the eccentric staff and guests including the employees of a pharmaceutical firm there on a work retreat. But little do they know that a disgruntled former researcher has also come to the inn with a plan for revenge using a serum he developed that can awaken the murderous instincts of ordinary sushi turning it into bloodthirsty monsters! Keiko must use both her sushi training and her martial arts skills to save the others and defeat the flying killers.

I have to admit, I expected much more from the Blu-ray presentation. The 1080p transfer looks decent and is presented with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. The audio tracks is where I was very disappointed. There is both a Japanese and English audio track but they are only available in Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0. Not sure why they couldn’t go the HD route on this but this may work for DVD but not Blu-ray.  In terms of special features there is a decent making-of featurette.  The World Premiere Stage Greeting and Fantasia Film Festival interview are not-bad.  Though, the best feature is a “Dead Sushi Extreme Sushi Eating Contest”, definitely worth checking out.  Lastly there is a trailer included as well.

Mark Hamill reflects on his role of Crow in “Sushi Girl”

Mark Hamill may be known best for playing Luke Skywalker in the original “Star Wars” trilogy. He is also the voice of The Joker for the last 20 years, starting with “Batman: The Animated Series”. Mark is taking on his most challenging and unique role yet, as Crow, in his new film “Sushi Girl”. I highly recommend this film, as it is one of my favorite films of the year.  It is being released on VOD on November 27, 2012, in advance of it’s theatrical release on January 4, 2013. Media Mikes had the real pleasure of chatting with Mark about this amazing performance and how he put himself into that role. We also got to chat a little bit about his voice work and what he has planned next.

Mike Gencarelli: Take us through the how you ended up working on “Sushi Girl”?
Mark Hamill: They sent me the script; I read it and liked it a lot. But initially I couldn’t see myself doing it. I couldn’t imagine it. I was trying to get other things off the ground and sort of forgot about it. Then it came down to “Yes or no…Are you in or out?” I was thinking maybe it was a little too extreme. It seems crazy now that I did this but I turned it down. That was the easy way to deal with the troubling aspects of the screenplay. After a week or so I reconsidered, I am lucky they didn’t go to anyone else in that time. What happened was, I turned it down but didn’t feel good about it. So I asked my kids for help. Nathan was busy but I had my son Griffin and my daughter Chelsea read it, just to get their reactions. I need the reactions from twenty-somethings since I don’t have access to those demographics. Griffin didn’t think it was that violent like torture porn or gratuitously violent. The violence is part of the movie like in “Reservoir Dogs”. We are showing the underbelly of the ugly unsavory low-life kind of crime. So I agreed with him. But the one that really got to me was my daughters comment. She said “I heard you over the years saying that you had to go to Broadway to get character parts or the only really good character parts you got in film/TV are in animation like the Joker…if you turn this down then don’t complain anymore, you should be flattered they wanted you for the part to begin with”. It took a certain amount of imagination for them to even think of me for Crow at all. Ironically, when I asked them why they wanted me they said “Well if you can play a psycho like the Joker in animation, why not do it in live-action.” I decided to read it again but this time in character as Crow and not as Mark Hamill and that made a world of difference. So I told them I had to do it and luckily I got in under the wire. I really believe in this movie and I really want it to get the recognition it deserves.

MG: Where did you get your inspiration for the twisted yet perverted Crow?
MH: Obviously, most everything is in the screenplay but in terms of who I was using and how I got into the part and got inside the characters head, I used a few people that I used to work with in New York. I don’t want to use their names since they are not psychopath killers [laughs], but more in terms of their dark sardonic humor. There was a guy that was my understudy in a musical I did on Broadway and it was that sort of cynical snarky humor that Crow has, I took from him…and also various other people in my life. I loved the fact that we came up with a visually arresting look for the guy. I thought he should just show up and people should think that “There is something wrong with this guy”. The hair was one of those things that evolved overtime. At first I thought if I should be bald with a little Van Dyke beard and an earring or I thought maybe ponytail, since that is always creepy to me on a guy. Eventually, we went from bald to 180 degrees from that, since Tony (Todd) was bald. That hairdue might work for someone that is in a grunge band in Seattle or a surfer in his 20’s but it is just age inappropriate on a man like this. Then he has the three piece suit, which looks sort-of normal in the middle and then those tennis suits, which are more appropriate for a little boy. Visually there is just something that is so disturbingly wrong.

MG: For people that know you as Luke Skywalker and the voice of the Joker; what is this film going to do to your image for them?
MH: That is something that I have wanted to do for as long as I can remember. When I was a little boy and all the classic Universal Monster films came on. I admired all those actors like (Boris) Karloff and Lou Chaney Jr. & Sr. I loved the idea of hiding behind a completely different visual persona. It gives you great strength. You look in the mirror and it is not you. So you have to let go of your ego. In the film, I look awful. I look like five miles of bad road. Again, to look in the mirror and see a different character liberates you to make different choices that you wouldn’t originally make if you were Mark Hamill trying to look as good as you can. I love that about it. One of the greatest compliments I got about the role was when the producers showed it to some prospective buyers and when the movie was over, they asked “Where was Mark Hamill?” [laughs]. I mean that is the greatest compliment that I can get.

MG: Tell us about working with this phenomenal cast?
MH: You never can be sure what is going to happen. Not only did every cast member get along perfectly, there were no feuds or fights or egos involved. Everyone worked as a team and that included the crew. We were treating this like the little movie that could. It is idiosyncratic. It’s atypical. It’s quirky. But it is something special. It was just a joy to go to set every morning and you honestly cannot say that about every movie or TV show you work on. This is a cast that has gotten together for BBQ’s, birthday parties etc since filming. You get this real family feeling about it and that is not common at all in this business.

MG: The torture scenes in the film are quite a challenge to watch; were you ever concerned about it going to far?
MH: Yeah of course, from when I first read it. Let me tell you I have been married to a dental hygienist for more than 30 years and when I saw the extreme dental violence in this film, I thought there was no way I could do it. My wife is the woman that says “May The Floss Be With You” [laughs]. I couldn’t also see how I can film it without upsetting myself. I am quite squeamish about certain things and things dealing with teeth is one of them. During filming it, I am in character and Crow is really getting off on it. So I had to stay in character but Noah (Hathaway) was so realistic with these blood-curdling screams. That and the chopstick scene were definitely the hardest to shoot for me.

MG: After your likeness was used in the Mark Millar series, tell us about your recent casting in film adaption of “The Secret Service”?
MH: Mark contacted me via email and wanted to know if he could use my likeness in a comic book and beyond that to kill me in it. Well I thought that it was a very interesting idea. I am a huge fan of his and Dave Gibbons from “Watchmen”. I have a great friendship with him now. He asked me if I wanted to be in the movie and I said “Sure”. I don’t know what the details are yet. But it sounds like a lot of fun. The last time I played myself was in “The Simpsons”, back in 1998. It is very unnerving to play yourself because you have to analyze “Well who am I?”. I really don’t think about myself except in the roles I play. When I was getting ready to do “The Simpsons”, I was walking around the house asking “Do I sound like this” or “Do I sound like this” (both in different voices). I became very self-conscious but once I saw the advance concepts for the comic book from Mark, I thought it was such a brilliant concept combining the fantasy world of James Bond and contrast that with the drab lower-class English background that this guy comes from. It is such a wonderful paradox combination of elements in and of itself. It is not a major role but I never look at things like they need to be about me. I think about if it is good and if it is good I want to be a part of it. As far as I know, it is all a-go, we haven’t signed contracts or talked about a deal but I am sure it is going to happen.

MG: After stealing the show in “Sushi Girl” and no retired from Joker, do you plan to tackle more live-action roles?
MH: I am in collaboration with Amber Entertainment to finally get “The Black Pearl” made as a feature film that I would direct but not perform in. That is my main goal at the moment. If someone sees Crow and thinks of me in a different way and offers me another idiosyncratic character role, I would be thrilled to do it. I don’t have any direct plans but I also didn’t plan on “Sushi Girl” coming my way either. So you never know.

MG: I am also a big fan of your work on “Metalocalypse”.
MH: That is a very unusual show. We are heading into our fifth season of that show and that is one of the four that I am working on right now. Then there is Disney XD’s “Motorcity”. “Regular Show” just won an Emmy, congratulations to the people behind that show! I am also on the “How to Train Your Dragon” TV series “Dragons: Riders of Berk”, which is doing very well. I play Alvin, a big stupid Viking on that show. But I love it. He doesn’t think about himself as stupid or a villain. He is a real fun character to play. He wasn’t in the movie but was created for the TV series. I get to channel the crew from “Star Wars” since they were from the East End of London. They were all great fun to be around and I love the music of their accents. To be able to channel those guys is great fun. It is like getting into an amusement park car and riding along in someone else’s persona. That is why I don’t like playing myself…I am boring [laughs] but all the characters I get to play are more interesting.

MG: When we met at Star Wars Celebration VI, a young child came up to you in passing and asked you to do the voice of the Joker and you did. I will never forget the look on his face. What do you enjoy most about meeting all your fans?
MH: Going and meeting so many people that care some much about something that you been involved with it is really overwhelming. I don’t take it for granted at all. It is not something that I come face-to-face with everyday. In that context it is so easy for me to make that little kids day by just saying “I want money first” (in Joker’s voice). It is just so much fun. It is like a magician being able to just do a slide of hand magic trick that the kid will remember many moons to come. That is one of the perks of this business and one of the reasons why I got into it. I enjoy it. I love making people laugh and I love making people happy. I wasn’t motivated by fame or money. I wanted to do something that I enjoyed doing and I am so grateful. The fact that I have been able to do some many of those things I love, whether it the seven shows I have done in NY or the Regional Theater or the numerous cartoons. I grew up loving cartoons. So I am just so grateful to get a chance to keep doing the things I love.

“Sushi Girl” Interview Series with Mark Hamill, Tony Todd, Sonny Chiba and More!

SUSHI GIRL centers on the compelling character of a man called “Fish,” just released after six years in jail after successfully not ratting on those involved in the robbery that sent him to prison. The night he is released, the men he protected with silence celebrate his freedom with a congratulatory dinner. The meal is a lavish array of sushi, served off the naked body of a beautiful young woman. The sushi girl seems catatonic, trained to ignore everything in the room, even if things become dangerous. Sure enough, the unwieldy thieves can’t help but open old wounds in an attempt to find their missing loot, with violent results.

Media Mikes had been working and promoting this film since August 2011. “Sushi Girl” is finally being released on VOD everywhere on November 27th, 2012 and in theaters on January 4th, 2013. It has been a long road for this little-movie-that-could but it deserves the attention. “Sushi Girl” is easily one of my favorite films of 2012. We got a chance to finally complete our interview series with the legendary Mark Hamill (“Star Wars”) and Noah Hathaway (“The Neverending Story”). We are proud to be supporting this film and hope you enjoy!


Andy Mackenzie & James Duval

Cortney Palm

David Dastmalchian

Destin Pfaff

Destin Pfaff, Kern Saxton, Neal Fischer & Suren Seron

Mark Hamill

Noah Hathaway

Sonny Chiba

Tony Todd

Directed by: Kern Saxton
Written by: Kern Saxton and Destin Pfaff
Produced by: Neal Fischer, Destin Pfaff, Kern Saxton, and Suren M. Seron
Cast: Tony Todd, James Duval, Noah Hathaway, Andy Mackenzie and Mark Hamill, Cyrus Alexander, Michael Biehn, Sonny Chiba, David Dastmalchian, Jeff Fahey, David Reynolds, Ted Stryker, Danny Trejo, introducing Cortney Palm

Find out more at our official site: http://www.sushigirlmovie.com/
Follow us on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/SushiGirlMovie
Exclusive Facebook Content: http://www.facebook.com/SushiGirlMovie
Check out our IMDB at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1606339/

Noah Hathaway talks about returning to film with his role in “Sushi Girl”

Noah Hathaway is know best for his film roles in “The Neverending Story” and “Troll” and TV roles in “Battlestar Galatica”. He is returning to film after a long break with his new amazing film “Sushi Girl” playing the role of Fish. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Noah about his role in this film and what we can expect from the role and what he has planned next.

Mike Gencarelli: After such a long break from TV/film, why did you come back for “Sushi Girl”?
Noah Hathaway: I was living in Amsterdam with my now ex-wife.  I was tattooing, chilling and happy there. I am not crazy about the cold weather but the rest of Amsterdam is pretty awesome. We are talking about possibly going back to LA for pilot season that year but nothing serious.  A couple weeks later I got an email at 3am on Facebook from this producer.  He was asking if I would be interested in doing a movie with Tony Todd, Sonny Chiba and Mark Hamill.  Growing up with the films from Tony and Mark is amazing but when you are a lifelong martial artist and somebody asks you if you want to do a film with the closest living thing to Bruce Lee, I don’t know about you but I say “Yes!” [laughs].  We Skyped a quick couple page audition and I am sure the director wanted to make sure I could still read well.  Literally I was on a plane 6-7 hours later to start shooting.

MG: What did you enjoy most about playing the role of Fish?
NH: I liked that the Fish was kind of the innocent out of everybody.  The rest of them had this hard criminal past or experience, some more than others.  He wasn’t a good guy but still the most innocent out of the group. They gave some room to play around a bit and have some fun with the character.  It is a gangster movie and I love those.  The script was tight and exciting.  It also gives people a chance to get invested in more than just one character.

MG: You role is quite physical; tell us about the make-up effects used?
NH: We probably had about five hours of prosthetics used for a few days after the scene with Andy Mackenzie. Not going to give it away…after the stinky sock scene [laughs]. But they were really great instead of having me come to set; they would come to my hotel room at like 3am, wake me up and start the makeup. Prosthetics are not really my favorite thing but I was able to just nap in the chair.

MG: When we interviewed Mark Hamill, he commented on your “blood-curdling screams”; how did you channel that?
NH: When we were shooting it, the line producer, the camera girl and one of the assistant actually had to leave the set since it was so difficult to watch.  The screams that were coming out of my mouth were so horrid. They just left the set and couldn’t take it. Mark kept getting mad at me saying that I was going to ruin my voice. I said “Yeah, but I will win the Scream award for Best Scream but what do I give a shit”. [laughs] When you say “blood-curdling screams”, everyone was kind of freaked out when I let these out.  They just sounded so real and horrific. I did fuck my throat up for a good couple of months as well, I sounded like a pubescent boy. But it worked great with the ladies [laughs].

MG: How was it collaborating with such a fantastic cast?
NH: It is a weird movie to be involved in where you actually really like the people and want to spend time with the people you just worked with. That is a rarity. You hear so many horror stories with huge celebrities that won’t talk to each other.  We are still hanging out on weekends for BBQ’s. I am having the fight at my house this weekend with Tony, Jimmy (Duval), Andy, probably Mark and a bunch of the other guys including the director Kern (Saxton).  We are planning to just hang out have some drinks and watch the fight…and this is a year and a half later!

MG: I have a really this film is destined to become a instant cult classic; after being involved with “Troll” and “The Neverending Story”; How can you reflect?
NH: I think I have just been lucky that having done some movies that have stood the test of time. I think that this is a cool enough movie that it will do the same thing. It might not make a gazillion dollars but it will be one of those movies that people talk about and watch over and over.  Ten years down the line I can see people saying “Man, remember that fucking scene from “Sushi”?” I think it will be one of those films. I think it all goes back to the quality of the directing and writing and a little bit of everything.

MG: What else do you have planned next?
NH: I did a short film for Tom Holland, who directed the original “Fright Night”.  He is coming out with his “Twisted Tales”, which is like “Twilight Zone”.  So I did the first one, which he thinks is his personal favorite. They are putting it through the festival circuit now and it is called “Boom”.  I play a retired Iraq bomb disposal grunt, who is losing his mind and accuses his wife and best friend of having an affair. I have movie also that I did with Jimmy Duval, that he provided called “Blue Dream” now; it’s had like five titles. So I have got a few things coming out but I am just really excited for “Sushi Girl”.  I have a feeling that people are really going to dig it.

Magnolia Home Entertainment and Phase 4 Films Divide U.S. Rights to Feature Film SUSHI GIRL

Los Angeles, CA – August 1, 2012 – The Wagner/Cuban Company’s Magnolia Home Entertainment and Phase 4 Films announced today they have jointly acquired North American rights to the Mark Hamill film SUSHI GIRL. The revenge thriller had its international premiere at the Fantasia International Film Festival on July 21st 2012, to be followed by a theatrical release in the U.S. and cable VOD by Phase 4 Films in late 2012, with Blu-ray™, DVD and digital VOD release by Magnolia Home Entertainment under the Magnet Releasing label in early 2013. Phase 4 Films will also distribute the film theatrically and on home video in Canada.

The hotly anticipated genre-bending thriller by director Kern Saxton (co-writer of the film along with Destin Pfaff) is produced by Assembly Line, a team including Neal Fischer, Pfaff, Saxton and Suren M. Seron, in association with Level Up Productions.

Mark Hamill (Star Wars Franchise) and Tony Todd (Candyman) lead a cast of cult heroes including Noah Hathaway (The NeverEnding Story), James Duval (Donnie Darko), Andy Mackenzie (MacGruber), David Dastmalchian (The Dark Knight) and Cortney Palm (Superbad). Sushi Girl also includes feature appearances by Michael Biehn (Aliens), Sonny Chiba (Kill Bill Vol. 1), Jeff Fahey (Grindhouse) and Danny Trejo (Machete).

The film centers on the compelling character of a man called “Fish,” just released after six years in jail after successfully not ratting on those involved in the robbery that sent him to prison. The night he is released, the men he protected with silence celebrate his freedom with a congratulatory dinner. The meal is a lavish array of sushi, served off the naked body of a beautiful young woman. The sushi girl seems catatonic, trained to ignore everything in the room, even if things become dangerous. Sure enough, the unwieldy thieves can’t help but open old wounds in an attempt to find their missing loot, with violent results.

“SUSHI GIRL’s all-star ensemble of fan favorite actors will resonate with the Magnet audience,” said Head of Magnolia Home Entertainment Randy Wells. “Kern and the SUSHI GIRL production team have put together an incredibly cool, well-crafted thriller, and Mark Hamill’s performance will leave fans buzzing.”

“We both loved the film so much that teaming up was the only option,” said Larry Greenberg, SVP Acquisitions of Phase 4 Films.

“It was a long battle to get the right distribution for this film, but we are extremely happy with how our partners have worked together with us to create a win for everyone involved,” said Suren M. Seron of Assembly Line.

The deals were negotiated by Magnolia’s Director of Acquisitions Peter Van Steemburg, Head of Legal and Business Affairs Chris Matson, and Phase 4’s Larry Greenberg, with Nate Bolotin and Aram Tertzakian of XYZ Films and Suren M. Seron of Assembly Line.

 

Interview with Sushi Girl’s Destin Pfaff, Kern Saxton, Neal Fischer & Suren Seron

Assembly Line and Level Up Productions are responsible for the new film “Sushi Girl”.  The film stars Tony Todd, James Duval, Noah Hathaway, Andy Mackenzie and Mark Hamill. The men behind the film are Destin Pfaff, Kern Saxton, Neal Fischer, Suren Seron.  Destin is known for his work on “The Millionaire Matchmaker” TV series.  Kern Saxton is the director of the film but wears many other hats on this film (read more about that below).  Neal is a producer of the film, as well as Suren.  Media Mikes has been covering this film extensively with interviews from many of the cast and crew and had a chance to chat with the guys to find out some cool behind the scene stories about making the film “Sushi Girl”.

Mike Gencarelli: You all produced the film “Sushi Girl”, how did you divide up the tasks? Anyone the leader of the group?
Neal Fischer: I don’t think that we really had discussed about a leader during the film. I think we each brought the characters to life. For me, I really didn’t want to make this as a smaller movie. So I brought in the financing to make the movie the way it should be made. But also at the same time we wanted to make a movie that would be respected and for us to be proud of. It just got better and better along the way.
Destin Pfaff: On the topic of leadership, the amazing thing that Kern (Saxton) did was bringing the four of us together. I like to think of us like Voltron. We are these four individual robotic tigers that come together to form this giant. We had this wonderful magical synergy working together, like brothers. I think we would be happy if we only make movies with each other for the rest of our lives.

MG: Kern, you not only had your directorial debut, you also took the role of Editor, Producer, Co-Writer, was it hard to juggle?
Kern Saxton: They all grew out of necessity. I wanted to do a project like this. Destin and I had this crazy idea and we were actually working on another screenplay. A couple of years later…here we are. I knew that budget-wise, I was going to have to take on many different roles in order to make it happen. I think that being the Co-Writer, Director, Producer and Editor, it is not out of some place where I creatively have to do those jobs. Editing is easier for me for projects that I have directed. It is just quicker at the end of the day. We had to do every stage of production very quickly in order to save money and time. It was decided by the group that I would take on the editing. That is the whole game we are playing with this film is to get the biggest impact with the least amount of resources.

MG: What was your biggest challenge to overcome in the process of shooting?
KS: For me it is getting the project funded. I knew once we got a budget we could do some damage. I have worked with Destin on a bunch of short films. It was apparent to us that we were doing very ambitious things with no money. Once we got in the right direction…we were off!
DP: I think think the biggest challenge for me was working with an ego-maniacal director like Kern Saxton that we had on the film…I am kidding [laughs]. I think every hurdle that the four of us faced was handled in such an amazing way.

MG: Destin, during filming having co-wrote the script, where you able to assist with each scene?
DP: Kern and I luckily share a single brain as for what something is suppose to look or feel like in a particular scene. Even if I wasn’t on set, I knew that whatever Kern was doing would be exactly what I would do. I’ll give kudos to Kern.

MG: Tell us about how to got Noah Hathaway to return to acting?
Suren Seron: We had a couple of interesting stories from how we got a few people in this film. Noah is a good one and Mark (Hamill) is also a good one. We had an actor on board who previously was set to play the role of Fish. At the last minute we decided to go another direction and I said out loud “How about Noah Hathaway from ‘The Neverending Story'” . I just happened to be Facebook friends with him, since someone suggested I friend him since I was such a big fan. He accepted and we actually talked. He was living in Amsterdam and working as a tattoo artist. I sent him a random message outlining the cast we already had on board and to see if he would be interested. I ended the conversation saying that we were working with “so and so and oh…Sonny Chiba”. He wrote back “Sonny Chiba…I love Sonny Chiba.” I sent him the script and a day later he wanted to do this. We did the audition over the internet from Amsterdam. We were really excited to get him on board. So he got a plane, came down to California and that was the end of his life in Amsterdam.

MG: During post production, who was the most involved?
NF: Yeah that would be Kern!
KS: If it comes to editing, color corrections, sound design, music…yeah I think I had a hand in it [laughs].
DP: We have successfully destroyed Kern Saxton’s life during the post-production process. He has become this completely nocturnal creature that can’t even look straight anymore.
KS: Due to scheduling with the studio, we had to write music from 2am to 10am. I became completely nocturnal.

MG: Neal, this was your first go as producer, what do you have planned next?
NF: Well for me, it was a really interesting experience. I work for a larger company. I had access to all these tools from working on films like “Resident Evil” and “Silent Hill”. I had this experience but it was all for a company and with big producers and so they weren’t mine. For me making “Sushi Girl” was a way to not only get to use these tools that I have been learning but also show what I can do. I used to live in Japan and I had some experiences with the Japanese mafia.  That led me to write a couple of scripts from those, so that is one of my top priorities and definitely in my future.

MG: After “Sushi Girl”, what do you guys have planned next?
SS: “Calaytic” is hoping to be one of our next projects with Tony Todd. Tony told us about two scripts he wanted to get going on. We definitely wanted to do it and he always wanted to direct. We are most excited about getting that started and work with Tony Todd again.

“Sushi Girl” Interview Series

Fish has spent six years in jail. Six years alone. Six years keeping his mouth shut about the robbery, about the other men involved. The night he is released, the four men he protected with silence celebrate his freedom with a congratulatory dinner. The meal is a lavish array of sushi, served off the naked body of a beautiful young woman. The sushi girl seems catatonic, trained to ignore everything in the room, even if things become dangerous. Sure enough, the four unwieldy thieves can’t help but open old wounds in an attempt to find their missing loot.

SUSHI GIRL INTERVIEWS:


Andy Mackenzie & James Duval

Cortney Palm

David Dastmalchian

Destin Pfaff

Destin Pfaff, Kern Saxton, Neal Fischer & Suren Seron

Sonny Chiba

Tony Todd

Directed by: Kern Saxton
Written by: Kern Saxton and Destin Pfaff
Produced by: Neal Fischer, Destin Pfaff, Kern Saxton, and Suren M. Seron
Cast: Tony Todd, James Duval, Noah Hathaway, Andy Mackenzie and Mark Hamill, Cyrus Alexander, Michael Biehn, Sonny Chiba, David Dastmalchian, Jeff Fahey, David Reynolds, Ted Stryker, Danny Trejo, introducing Cortney Palm

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