Who is winning the comic book movie war?

The comic boom world is one that’s built on fierce rivalries. And whilst the battles between Batman and The Joker, Superman and Lex Luthor, and Spider-Man and Green Goblin may be pretty epic, they are nothing compared to the showdown between Marvel and DC Comics.

These two legendary companies both started out in the interwar years in the USA. And whilst they leapt to fame through the popularity of their comic book heroes, both brands have been enormously successful in diversifying their revenues in everything from plastic action figures to online casino game licensing.

But it’s the way that Marvel and DC have dominated our cinema screens that’s perhaps the most remarkable aspect of their success stories. And with Disney taking control of Marvel, and Time Warner operating DC, it’s clear that the battle between these two entertainment titans is getting seriously competitive.

Whilst DC Comics’ movies in the 1970s like Superman were massive hits at the box office, a quick look at the biggest grossing comic book films shows that Marvel is definitely in the ascendancy.

With massive blockbusters like The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Spider-Man and Captain America: Civil War all picking up well over $1 billion at the box office, it’s clear that Marvel have a solid strategy in producing big hits.

Not that DC have been lagging far behind with the Dark Knight movies all performing well, and even the Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice film picking up plenty of money despite the critical misgivings.

So with plenty of history behind them, there’s a huge amount of expectation as to what we can expect from these entertainment studios next. As the Marvel’s Deadpool movie was one of the biggest hits of 2016, it’s no surprise to find that there’s plenty of hype about the sequel with the blog at Lucky Nugget Casino revealing how Josh Brolin has been lined up for a key part in the film.

And with DC Comics following up a successful revamp of the Wonder Woman franchise with a hugely anticipated Justice League movie later this year, it seems as though the battle between these two studios is only going to get more intense.

But although there is plenty of fun to be had in discussing whether DC or Marvel actually give us the best comic books, movies and online casino games, perhaps in the spirit of the recent Comic Con, we have to agree that they both are equally awesome!

Chances of Winning Online Casino Games

If you are playing casino games online, I am sure everyone wonders “What are the chances of me actually winning?” There are a few factors that you should look into when trying to figure out what your chances are in winning while online gambling:

One factor is random number generator, or RNG, which is a program that produces random numbers and is the process of how odds, cards or slots are pulled from. If you are wondering how you can confirm if the game is rigged or not, there are plenty of people out there who rest for randomness and payout percentages.

Everyone loves free perks right? When you are playing online casinos, you want to look for one that gives a good signup bonus. You should keep a look out for a online casino game with a solid cashback program as well. If you loose a bunch of money, the blow will definitely be softened by receiving a nice bonus or cashback. Am I wrong?

Lastly, the most important process is just to be educated you want to find a community where you can here you can chat with other players and discussing experiences and more importantly big wins and pay outs. Just be smart and play smart and you will have a better chance of winning!

What are your chances of winning with online gambling?

We all know that when we’re playing our favorite video game, all that we want is to win. When we’re playing our favorite strategy games, fighting games or RPGs, winning rests on our skill and knowledge of the game. However, casino games are another thing altogether – here the rules of probability can help us a bit when we’re trying to win. But how does probability work in different casino games?

It isn’t called gambling for nothing you know – of course there’s never a guarantee, or else casino or bingo sites would never make any money! Although this is the case – there are definitely some probabilities that if you are aware of could tip some of the bets in your favor!

Bingo Probability
Where you have frequented Luke Hartley’s Top 10 Online Casinos or not, we all know you have asked yourselves how much you could win whilst playing your favorite bingo and slot games, right? At an established online bingo site – the average return to a player is somewhere between 40 and 50%. Essentially that should tell you that bingo should be played as a pastime rather than as a way to win money. As the probability of you leaving a bingo site with a profit is low – it’s a good idea for you to spend only what you can afford.

Dice Probability
When playing a dice game it’s definitely a good idea to try and figure out the probability of each throw to allow you to make an informed decision when betting. There are a total of 36 combinations and the probability ranges from 2.78% up to 16.67% – as you can see there is quite a difference there – so it’s best to swot up! What is also handy to calculate is the “House Edge”. For example in Craps the field bet is even money, however on the next throw if a 3, 4, 9, 10 or 11 comes out – it would double the bet on a 2 and treble the bet on a 12. The average probable return for craps is quite low as for every $1 a player spends – they can expect to lose 28 cents – and of course whatever the player loses – the house gains.

Casino and Table Games
A common technique used when playing Blackjack is what is known as card counting. It tends to be very experienced gamblers that do this and it’s a way for them to try and gauge the probability of a winning card coming out the pack. The object is to get your hand as close to 21 as possible without boing “bust”. To count cards – you would need to keep track of the cards that are already dealt – to see what could be coming next. This could be useful as the probability will change depending on the cards that are dealt.

Roulette is completely different. There are 38 spaces and after the wheel is spun a ball will be dropped into one of them. You can bet on colours, numbers, combinations, odd and even and ranges. The safest bet would be to bet on a colour or odd and even as they are evens.

One thing both video games and casino games have in common is the ability to find help online. There are hundreds of thousands of sites out there that give you cheats and walkthroughs of the video game you’re obsessed with. Maybe you’ll be surprised to learn that there are similar casino and bingo sites, that offer advice on your favorite games. Good luck, and remember that playing online games isn’t all about winning – it’s also about enjoying the game.

Mike Nichols, Oscar Winning Director, Passes Away

Mike Nichols, whose films were both timely and timeless, passed away this morning, a few weeks after his birthday. He was 83.

Born Michael Igor Peschkowsky on November 6, 1931 in Berlin, Germany, the filmmaker emigrated to America with his family in 1937.

Nichols began his career as an actor and, along with other performers like Elaine May, Paul Sills and Ed Asner helped create the popular Second City Comedy Group. He also formed a popular comedy duo with May, sharing the 1961 Grammy Award for Best Comedy Recording for “An Evening with Mike Nichols and Elaine May.” Nichols moved on to Broadway, where he won a record (6) Tony Awards (and seven more nominations) for Best Direction of a Play for the following shows: “Barefoot in the Park,” “Luv and the Odd Couple,” “Plaza Suite,” “The Prisoner of Second Avenue,” The Real Thing” and the 2012 revival of “Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman.” He also won Tony Awards for Best Direction of a Musical for “Monty Python’s SPAMALOT” and for producing both the original production of “Annie” and “The Real Thing.” I had the great opportunity to meet Mr. Nichols in New York City after a production of “Death and the Maiden,” a brilliant show which featured Gene Hackman, Richard Dreyfuss and Glenn Close.

Naturally Hollywood soon came calling. His first film behind the camera, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” was not only the first film to come with a rating recomendation that “no one under 18 would be admitted” but the first film where the entire credited cast (Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Sandy Dennis and George Segal) earned Oscar nominations. Taylor won for Best Actress as did Dennis for Best Supporting Actress. His follow-up film, “The Graduate,” made a star of Dustin Hoffman and earned Nichols the Academy Award as the years Best Director. Among his other films: “Catch-22,” “Silkwood,” “Biloxi Blues,” “Working Girl,” “Primary Colors” and “Closer.” His last film was 2007’s “Charlie Wilson’s War.”

Nichols was a member of the rare EGOT club – a group of 12 people that have won Emmy, Grammy, Academy and Tony Awards. He won an Emmy award as Best Director for the television adaption of Tony Kushner’s play “Angels in America.” Mr. Nichols is survived by three children and his fourth wife, ABC News’ Diane Sawyer.

Oscar Winning Composer, Steven Price talks about his new score for “Fury”

Steven Price is the very talented composer behind the film “Gravity”, which ended up winning him last year’s Oscar for Best Score (along with numerous other awards). Steven has also worked on film like “The World’s End” with Edgar Wright and TV series like “Believe” with “Gravity” director Alfonso Cuarón. Media Mikes had a chance to follow-up with Steven to discuss his new score for “Fury” and what we can expect.

Mike Gencarelli: You worked on the score for “Gravity” for about two years; at what point in the production did you come on board “Fury”?
Steven Price: I started on “Fury” about a year ago. I got the scripts and read through them. Usually, I am pretty useless at judging scripts. I tend to do better off waiting until I can see a little bit of what they have shot. But with this film, the script was really gripping. (Director) David Ayer has this ridiculous ability when writing characters that you feel like you totally know them in only a couple of pages, you care about them and you want to know what is going to happen to them. I loved the script. So I made a couple of calls and it turns out they were shooting it about 40 minutes from where I live. So I asked if I could visit and I actually ended up going a couple of times while they were shooting. I got to watch it being shot but also I got to spend a bit of time talking with David discussing what he was doing and what he hoped the music would be. It was an amazing opportunity to get to work with another director that really values what music can do for a film. It was important for him to have the music to carry emotion and be a part of the experience. So I was very keen to be involved.

MG: “Gravity” was set in the vast unknowns of space; tell us about how you approached “Fury”, which is set in the hell of World War II?
SP: I think “hell” was the key to it actually. We talked about what the characters had already been through by the time that we meet up with them in the first reel of the film. They have been in the war for 3-4 years by that point and have seen and done unimaginable things. They are exhausted and terrified but they have to keep going forward. So it was a matter of capturing that sense of exhaustion and of being in hell with this constant motion and this grinding forward. I wanted to capture that quality in the music whilst putting you there with the men and their emotions throughout the film. So that’s the conversation we had at the start and then had to work out how that would actually sound.

MG: I was going to ask if you looked for influence from other World War II films but this has such a unique sound for the genre and even sort of crosses over the line of horror with the use of the overlying chanting throughout.
SP: With where they are within the timeline of WW2, the film being set just 3 weeks before the Nazi surrender, I think it is easy to imagine that things were less intense at that point, but in actual fact the crews were in the middle of Nazi Germany… they were surrounded, and things were unimaginably bleak and threatening. I did a lot of work with a choir that is constantly chanting and whispering around you. It is an eerie sound in lots of ways. You never feel, like they never felt, safe for a moment. There is something that could happen that would be life ending, you never know. It was a real turning point for me, while writing, when I got the idea to use the choir in that way. I recorded them in all sorts of different ways. Sometimes it was as a choir but often times I would give them all their own individual microphones and get them saying different things. We could make it sound like individuals at times or make them sound like this group marching forward. They are only really used as a traditional choir in terms of singing at the very end of the film. So until then, they are this voice of constant persistent danger.

MG: Were you able to able anything you learned from “Gravity” on this project?
SP: I think the great thing I learned from “Gravity” experience was to just keep trying and keep experimenting with new things. That was a process for me that was really useful on this. The film was evolving as I was working on it and there was always a chance to look at something from a different angle.

MG: What were some of your biggest challenges that you faced here?
SP: The biggest challenge on this film was just getting the journeys right. Take the character, Norman (played by Logan Lerman), when we first meet him in the film and he goes from being terrified to suddenly plunged into a tank battle. So trying to figure out musically, how was his journey through the film and his growing and understanding of what it means to be in this was a challenge. Also Brad Pitt’s character, Wardaddy, was challenging since his enigma itself almost could be played musically and how much we should learn about him and his team through the music. So a lot of it were character challenges and trying to support them and their stories. That was the stuff that got me scratching my head at night and trying different things.

MG: I love that the score is so epic and yet you still have some beautiful piano work in tracks like “I’m Scared Too”.
SP: I did an early demo with piano and David sort of immediately attached to it. It is very simple piano work and all quite blunt actually in terms of the musical construction of it. They characters aren’t verbose sort of characters. They speak clearly and what they say is clear. Musically, I wanted it to be like that too. I wanted it to be very concise. The piano writing was very simple and also it needed to be played with great emotion. One of my oldest friends, who is not a full time professional musician but is a great player, ended up playing it for me. He came in and just completely understood what I wanted to do with it. His touch on the piano really made the whole thing work. We spend a long time getting the right sound for it as well. We ended up going about it in a peculiar way using two very old 1940’s microphones underneath the piano. It is not the sound that you would ordinarily do for a big posh film piano sound but it just felt right. You hear the mechanics of the piano, the pedal sounds, the contacts between the hammers and the strings and that seemed like it was suitable for this film.

MG: Since you are no longer working on “Ant-Man”; what is your next project?
SP: There is stuff knocking around a bit but not allowed to say much about anything at the moment though. But at the moment, I am in the bit where I should have been doing “Ant-Man”. Having spent a lot of time with Edgar Wright and considering him a good friend, it was never going to be an option for me to do that film. We spent so long talking about musical ideas for the film and it would have been so wrong taking it with someone else’s vision really. Hopefully I will have the opportunity to work with him again soon. But we will see what is around the corner next, yeah!

Probabilities Understand Your Chances of Winning Online Games

Probabilities of Winning in Computer Games

We all know that when we’re playing our favorite video game, all that we want is to win. When we’re playing our favorite strategy games, fighting games or RPGs, winning rests on our skill and knowledge of the game. However, casino games are another thing altogether – here the rules of probability can help us a bit when we’re trying to win. But how does probability work in different casino games?

It isn’t called gambling for nothing you know – of course there’s never a guarantee, or else casino or bingo sites would never make any money!  Although this is the case – there are definitely some probabilities that if you are aware of could tip some of the bets in your favor!

Bingo Probability

Online bingo fans, we all know you have asked yourselves how much you could win whilst playing your favorite bingo and slot games, right?  At an established online bingo site – the average return to a player is somewhere between 40 and 50%.  Essentially that should tell you that bingo should be played as a pastime rather than as a way to win money.  As the probability of you leaving a bingo site with a profit is low – it’s a good idea for you to spend only what you can afford.

Dice Probability

When playing a dice game it’s definitely a good idea to try and figure out the probability of each throw to allow you to make an informed decision when betting.  There are a total of 36 combinations and the probability ranges from 2.78% up to 16.67% – as you can see there is quite a difference there – so it’s best to swot up!  What is also handy to calculate is the “House Edge”. For example in Craps the field bet is even money, however on the next throw if a 3, 4, 9, 10 or 11 comes out – it would double the bet on a 2 and treble the bet on a 12. The average probable return for craps is quite low as for every $1 a player spends – they can expect to lose 28 cents – and of course whatever the player loses – the house gains.

If you think that this is complicated, think about the different probabilities in D&D games, where the dice have up to 20 sides. This article offers more information regarding the probabilities when dealing with such dice. You can also use an online calculator.

Casino and Table Games

A common technique used when playing Blackjack is what is known as card counting. It tends to be very experienced gamblers that do this and it’s a way for them to try and gauge the probability of a winning card coming out the pack.  The object is to get your hand as close to 21 as possible without boing “bust”.  To count cards – you would need to keep track of the cards that are already dealt – to see what could be coming next.  This could be useful as the probability will change depending on the cards that are dealt.

Roulette is completely different.  There are 38 spaces and after the wheel is spun a ball will be dropped into one of them.  You can bet on colours, numbers, combinations, odd and even and ranges.  The safest bet would be to bet on a colour or odd and even as they are evens.

One thing both video games and casino games have in common is the ability to find help online. There are hundreds of thousands of sites out there that give you cheats and walkthroughs of the video game you’re obsessed with. Maybe you’ll be surprised to learn that there are similar casino and bingo sites, that offer advice on your favorite games. You can check this out on bananasforbingo.com, for instance. Good luck, and remember that playing online games isn’t all about winning – it’s also about enjoying the game.

James Gandolfini, award winning star of “The Sopranos,” dead at 51

James Gandolfini, whose performance as mob boss Tony Soprano in HBO’s seminal series “The Sopranos” earned him multiple Emmy Awards, has passed away in Rome after an apparent heart attack. He was 51.

The New Jersey born actor first made an impression when he made his Broadway debut in the revival of “A Streetcar Named Desire” in 1992. I was fortunate to see the show during it’s limited run and Gandolfini more than held his own against top billed stars Alec Baldwin and Jessica Lange. Film fans will remember him as the hit man assigned to kill Patricia Arquette in Tony Scott’s adaptation of Quentin Tarantino’s “True Romance.”

Memorable supporting performances in films like “Get Shorty,” “A Civil Action” and “Fallen” led him to what would be the role he will most be associated with, Tony Soprano. His work earned him six Emmy nominations (and three awards) as well as four Golden Globe nods (with one win). He took advantage of his new popularity by getting lead roles in such films as “The Last Castle,” “The Taking of Pelham One, Two Three” and last year’s Best Picture nominee “Zero Dark Thirty.” He also gave an amazing performance (my words) giving voice to the character of Carol in the film adaptation of “Where the Wild Things Are.” He also returned to Broadway in 2009, earning a Best Actor in a Play Tony Award nomination for “Gods of Carnage.”

He was seen on screen earlier this year in the Steve Carell comedy “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” and, according to the Internet Movie Data Base, has two more film projects being released posthumously.

Coach Bill Courtney talks about football and Academy Award Winning Documentary "Undefeated"

You may not know the name Bill Courtney but if you’re lucky you know, or knew, someone like him. Courtney was the volunteer head coach for the Manassas (Tennessee) High School football team for seven years. Even though he has his own business and a large family of his own, Courtney takes time out every day to make sure that the boys at Manassas that want to play football can. “Football doesn’t build character,” the coach believes, “it reveals it.” During what would be his final season at Manassas, the coach and his team were followed around by a camera crew highlighting O.C. Brown, a player who, reminiscent of the story of Michael Oher which was told in “The Blind Side,” was being helped along by a local family to ensure he studied hard so that he could go to college. But the camera captured much more. The resulting film, “Undefeated,” went on to win last year’s Academy Award as the year’s Best Documentary. While preparing for the film’s release this week on DVD, Coach Courtney took time out to talk with Media Mikes about football, his players and why people in Tennessee are so giving.

Mike Smith: I have to ask – The Touhy family took in Michael Oher. The Finley family took in Patrick Willis. (NOTE: Willis, from Bruceton, Tennessee, was taken in by his high school basketball coach and his family. What’s incredible about these stories is that earlier this year Oher and Willis squared off against each other in the Super Bowl). Yourself and your coaches at Manassas. Is there something in the water in Tennessee that gives people such great hearts?
Bill Courtney: (laughs) I’ve done about 100,000 interviews and that’s the first time that question has been asked. I don’t know! In the South we still teach civility and humility…love for your common man. Maybe that translates to this. I haven’t really thought about it. There are people all over this country that do wonderful things for kids in all kinds of communities. The truth is I think we just happened to have our stories told. I think we’re just representatives of a whole community of people from all over the country that do lots of things to help the neediest. We were just the lucky ones to have our stories told.

MS: What was the initial idea pitched to you from the filmmakers when they approached you about filming you and the team?
BC: The local Memphis newspaper, “The Commercial Appeal,” and their sportswriter, Jason Smith, wrote a story about one of our players, O.C. Brown, living with Mike Ray, one of our offensive line coaches, and his family and me driving him back and forth from school in order for him to get tutoring so that he could get qualified to go to college. The producer of the film read the story on line while he was surfing through some recruiting websites. He’s a big University of Tennessee fan and Tennessee was recruiting O.C.. When he saw the story he thought it might make an interesting, small documentary. He called me and we met so he could hear more about that story. When they got here they found out the greater story of Manassas…of the coaches and all the kids…and decided that there was a bigger story to tell. He told me he was going back to L.A. to get funding to make a movie. Of course, when he left we all thought that was the last time we’d see him but four weeks later, after closing up their apartments and selling off their belongings the filmmakers moved to Memphis on a shoe-string budget and started making a movie that nobody thought anybody would ever see. And lo and behold…here we are!

MS: How did the team react with the cameras constantly following them around? Was it an intrusion or did they get used to it?
BC: It would be pretty disingenuous to say that at first the kids and the coaches weren’t aware. But also, you just had two guys with two small cameras. There were no boom mikes…no lighting…no sound. It was two guys with what looked like camcorders. That’s what the entire movie was shot on. So it really wasn’t this big production, which made it less intrusive. I don’t know if I’d believe this if I hadn’t gone through the experience but, honestly, after three or four days…after a week…you kind of get used to it. They worked so hard to know the players and the coaches and the teachers that, when they weren’t around, people were more cognoscente of it. “Hey coach, where’s the film guys?” “I don’t know.” The days they didn’t show were stranger then the days they did because they were there almost every day for a year. You honestly eventually just get used to it.

MS: I see that O.C. transferred this year to Austin Peay. How is he doing, both as a student and as an athlete? (NOTE: At the end of “Undefeated” O.C. is admitted to Southern Mississippi University).
BC: I just saw him at Christmas break and talked to him last week. I still talk to all the guys regularly. O. C. had some struggles with his grades and Southern Miss had a coaching change. The coaches that were there were really fond of O.C. and worked with him really hard to keep him where he needed to be academically. But I think after the coaching change O.C. was uncomfortable. He transferred to Austin Peay and started nine games this season. He hurt his knee and missed the last two games and now he’ll be starting next year. I’ll have three former players starting on the offensive side of the ball at Austin Peay next year. I suspect I’ll be making some travels up to Clarksville to watch those guys play.

MS: When we announced we were going to interview you the question we were asked most to ask you was if you still keep in touch with Money and Chavis? And if so, how are they doing? (NOTE: Chavis Daniels and Montrail “Money” Brown are two of the young men whose stories feature prominently in the film)
BC: Absolutely! You have to remember I was a coach at Manassas for seven years. I’ve known most of these boys since they were in sixth or seventh grade. I’m still very, very fond of them and am probably still their biggest supporters. Chavis is doing well. He goes to Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee. He’s playing football – outside linebacker – and is still In school. He’s doing very well. Money…when O.C. left Southern Miss he left Southern Miss as well and is enrolled in community college here in Memphis. Most importantly he just got back from North Carolina where he was trained as a Young Life educator and is now setting up Young Life chapters in the inner-city schools all over Memphis to do devotionals and mentorships with inner city kids. I actually spoke to Money yesterday and he’s got as many as fifteen kids in different chapters in the Memphis city schools and he goes in the mornings and talks with them and helps mentor them. Money has found a calling to give back in the way he was helped and he’s still in school. The guys are doing really well. I couldn’t be more proud of them.

MS: When the film ends, you’ve left Manassas to coach your son’s team. Your first game was against Manassas. What did it feel like to be on the opposite sideline? BC: It was terrible. There was enormous trepidation leading up to that game personally, obviously. I mean those are like my sons over there, you know? I love them. And to have to go coach against them was really a very difficult thing for me. It was difficult for them as well. I was so glad when it was over with. It was tough. Very tough!

MS: Can I ask who won?
BC: We did.

MS: Thank you so much for your time, coach. I have to tell you, when I watched the film, it made me think back to my high school days. I owe a lot to my coaches for keeping me on the straight and narrow.
BC: I appreciate that. I honestly think that’s why so many people across all kinds of cultures and racial divides identify with this movie because they either remember a coach that did something for them that impacted their life in a positive way or are coaches doing that very thing. I think this film brings out the humanity in that. I appreciate you saying that…thanks for the kind words.

Jillycakes’ Jillian Hopke talks about winning Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars”

Jillian Hopke is the owner of the Orlando, FL based Jillycakes. She also was the winner of Season 6, Episode 12 of Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Jillian about her road to victory and how she got started in the business.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us how Jillycakes came about?
Jillian Hopke: About 5 years ago I started baking for several of my coworkers, various birthdays and celebrations and each time people were blown away by the cakes and cupcakes. AT that point I was fortunate enough to have a captive audience and I started experimenting with flavors and bringing them to work. While everyone was just happy to have free cake I was able to get them hooked on my product and solicit some free market research in the meantime. When we first started baking for hire many of our clients were, and still are, friends of ours. Up until the moment we were on the show our advertising had been 100% word of mouth. It speaks volumes for your product when you can become so successful just by friends telling friends.

MG: Have you always want to work in this field?
JH: Baking has always been a hobby and a passion for me I never expected or planned to have things get to this magnitude. Growing up we were taught if you do something you should strive to be the best at it. I’m completely self-taught and have been blessed with a natural artistic skill. I can’t express how fortunate I feel that something I love doing has become such a prominent part of my life!

MG: How did you get chosen to compete on “Cupcake Wars”?
JH: I was sent the link to the online casting call by a very good friend of mine Blake. At first I didn’t take him very seriously but, knowing of our years of experience performing for local theme parks, he said “c’mon….we already know you make the best cupcakes PLUS you would make great television”. So I took his advice and wrote from the heart… .I never dreamed they would actually choose us! The very first part of the process was just an essay to submit our application and plead our case. The video audition tape that was requested by our casting agent didn’t come till many months later. All in all it was a casting process spanning nearly two years.

MG: How has winning “Cupcake Wars” affected your company?
JH: Our business has tripled over night. It seems like everywhere we go someone has heard of us so we are now finally becoming a household name. Some clients ordered a cake and brought it out to a local restaurant and their server went nuts when they saw our logo on the box. We also have had to pad our delivery times with a few extra min to accommodate the interviews and photo shoots that happen when we show up to people’s houses…..it’s amazing how many people don’t expect us to show up in person.

MG: How does it feel to be given a chance to come back as an all-star for “Cupcake Wars”?
JH: The response from our fans has been overwhelming. We have fans contacting us from across almost all 50 states as well as 20 countries worldwide. Because Orlando is the tourist capitol of the world we have been able to reach a much broader spectrum of people. We can’t wait to get back on and make our fans proud. Besides….there can’t possibly be a harder secret ingredient than seafood right??!!

MG: How can people get a taste of your work?
JH: Orders can be placed online through our website or by emailing us at orders@jillycakeorlando.com. All orders include free delivery and come conveniently to you whether you live here or are just visiting one of our many resorts and hotels. Due to our current volume of orders a 5 day minimum lead time is advised to be sure we can accommodate the request.

MG: Do you only deliver in Orlando FL?
JH: Right now everything is local delivery but we have been experimenting successfully with some shipping options for our products so you may see Jillycakes available all across America sometime soon. We also can travel to other central Florida locations upon special request.

MG: What does Jillycakes have planned next?
JH: We would like to start by increasing our community outreach and are working on concepts and plans for a retail location to open next year. We also have plans to offer a new type of in home party for all ages with cupcake baking demos and decorating tips. The main goal right now is just continuing to change the way people think about cake to make memorable experiences for them rather than ho hum forgettable celebrations.

Oscar Worthy Award Winning Film “The Sea Is All I Know” starring Academy Award Winner Melissa Leo

Oscar worthy Award winning film ‘The Sea Is All I Know’ starring Academy Award Winner Melissa Leo

‘The Sea Is All I Know’ stars Oscar Winner Melissa Leo (The Fighter) and Peter Gerety (The Wire) and encompasses the controversial subject of assisted suicide.  Through this extraordinary journey the film shares a story of love in the face of death.

This wonderful picture has already won awards from Palm Springs International Film Festival ‘Best of Festival’ and the Rhode Island International Film Festival where Melissa won the ‘Grand Prize for Best Actress’.  Not surprisingly ‘The Sea Is All I Know’ is already receiving rave reviews; Darryl MacDonald, Executive Director of Palms Springs International ShortFest calls it “An Oscar Best Bet” and an “incredibly moving tale of family and faith” while praising the performances “Melissa Leo gives a heart-wrenching, typically brilliant performance.”   Jessica Gardner from BackStage praises the director Jordan Bayne saying she “allows the viewer to get pulled into the     characters’ inner conflict” as well as the stand out performance from Melissa “Leo’s raw, jaw-dropping performance can take an audience’s breath away” and Peter “Gerety is so perfectly cast, he turns in an outstanding and multilayered performance”.

‘The Sea Is All I Know’ is an honest portrait of a family coming to terms with their relationship to death. When estranged couple, Sara [Melissa Leo] and Sonny [Peter Gerety], come to the aid of their dying daughter, the experience sends them spiraling into spiritual crisis and brutal heartbreak. In the end, an act of selfless love, renews their lives, transcends their loss of faith, even death itself.

Jordan Bayne wrote, directed and produced this heartfelt film. Through excellent casting and classic story telling she has created an Oscar worthy unconventional love story  ‘The Sea Is All I Know’.

Official Website: www.seathefilm.com

Interview with Carrie Preston

Carrie Preston is known best for her role of Arlene Fowler in HBO’s “True Blood”.  The show has been such a big hit and season four is getting ready to premier this summer.  Carrie also recently completed directing her second feature film “That’s What She Said”.  Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Carrie about “True Blood” and also her upcoming film.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you get involved originally with the show “True Blood”?
Carrie Preston: Originally, I first met Alan Ball in the feature film he wrote and directed called “Towelhead”. When we were shooting that, I was playing a Texas wife of Aaron Eckhart’s character. I was playing this Southern narrow minded women, which was very different from Arlene but it made Alan think of me for “True Blood”. We were talking and I asked him what he was doing next and he said “Well, I’ve got the pilot about vampires for HBO”. I just couldn’t think of anything more different than what he has done before. He said “I think I might have a part for you in that”. My agents got a hold of the script and I actually didn’t know what character he was talking about. Arlene on the page is really nothing like me in real life [laughs]. He thought I could bring something to it, so I auditioned and I got the part.

MG: What is the best part for you playing Arlene Fowler?
CP: I like to find an interesting and complicated alchemy between the drama and the comedy. It is a challenge because I know that what the task I have been given on the show is to serve up some of the more comedic moments. But as an actor I like to find the reality behind the moments and it is has been a really interesting journey in making her character more than just meets the eye. On the page, she is something designed to be easily ridiculed as a racist or a redneck. Being a Southern woman myself, I try to honor the truth of what the woman is going through, which is quite a lot. She is a single woman with two kids, trying to support them with a waitress job and surrounded with an entire breed of what she perceives as killers are now infiltrated into society. So it is a lot of deal with [laughs]. Yes, there could be comedy from that but there is also a lot of dramatic truth for Arlene and that is really fun for me.

MG: How do you feel that you character has changed since season one?
CP: Well she has certain deepened and the writers have given her more conflict in each season. Certainly our show has a lot of conflict. So I think that her dealing with these new things every season has made her more complicated and interesting.

MG: What has been the most challenging episode to shoot to date?
CP: Well it was certain challenging during the orgy scene in season two [laughs]. When we were all wearing our black contact lenses, which you could see really well out of them. They couldn’t put your full prescription in them if you use contacts, which I do. So everything was kind of blurry and it was also like 40 degrees at 4am in the valley. There are bunch a naked people around you and you are having simulated sex [laughs]. So we were able to find the humor in that but it was definitely one of the more challenging days for me on “True Blood”. I don’t have it bad at all though compared to the others with all the blood and the combat. I am lucky I haven’t had to deal with the blood much.

MG: What can you tell us about the upcoming season four?
CP: As far as Arlene, we left off season three with the baby on board. Arlene has a lot of conflict about that and has really ambiguous feelings because the father of that child is an evil serial killer [laughs]. Even though he is not in the world anymore, it is still a great concern to her that the sense of the father will be passed on. She doesn’t know how she feels about bringing the baby into the world that might carry some of that. So that problem definitely grows exponentially as we get to season four. I can’t tell you exactly what happens but it will continue to be a great concern and issue for her. Things are definitely not right in the baby arena.

MG: What can you tell us about the latest film you are directing?
CP: Yes,  I directed a feature film called “That’s What She Said”. We shot it in NYC in October for 20 days…it was a quick shoot. It stars Anne Heche, Marcia DeBonis and Alia Shawkat. We have a great cast and it was written by my dear friend who is also an actor, Kellie Overbey. It is comedy about three women in the city, two best friends and a women they just meet. One of them is getting ready for a date and everything goes wrong. We like to call it “a chick flick that is not for pussies” [laughs]. So I am very happy with that and I am in the final stages of post production. We should have it ready to start submitting to film festival and sales reps around April, so we are almost ready.

MG: How do enjoying directing versus acting?
CP: Certainly what I have done as an actor my whole life has been very helpful for me getting an eye on the camera. One of my strengths I have is I know how to communicate with actors and I certainly speak their language. I tend to pick people to direct that are character based and focus on actor driven pieces. I would certainly like to learn how to direct a big action film but that might take a lot more time for me. I like to play to my strengths. I am also find that directing for me is a wonderful enhancement to my acting career. I like to be creatively challenged, I like to be busy and I like to have projects that I can pour myself into. With directing you have your hand in everything. Acting, which will always be my first love, you have only have part of that picture. With directing or producing, you have to give attention to all aspects of the creative process. I find that I am very humbled by that and I am also inspired by the collaborative process. I try to surround myself with people that are really great at their job, so we can create something really special. It is really fulfilling when something completes from inception to birth.