Jerome Elston Scott has been acting in front of the camera since 1998 . With the release of “Anderson’s Cross”, Jerome takes on a whole new role besides actor, as producer, writer and director of the film. MovieMikes’ had a chance to talk with Jerome about this recent experience.
Adam Lawton: Can you tell us what it was like not only starring in the film, but also producing, writing and directing “Anderson’s Cross?”
Jerome Elston Scott: It was pretty hard, but once I got going with all of it, I was ok. I’m a classic overachiever, so there were definitely moments for me where I had to put my ego aside and depend on the people around me. I put together a really great crew and a good group of actors. So we kind of looked out for each other and made sure the atmosphere was one in which a person could speak up and say “I didn’t get it”. The thing that made me want to make the film to begin with was the lack of roles. The acting was the part that I thought I had in the bag, but that ended up being the hardest thing because your mind is in so many places and normally acting is the easiest, so it was very interesting. Surprisingly, directing was the easiest. By knowing how to speak to actors, having been one myself, made that easy for me and knowing that a lot of actors just want to be directed. However I don’t know if I would want to do it all again. (laughs)
AL: How did you go about choosing the cast for the film?
JES: I had a few friends, such as Sam Levine and Busy Phillips from “Freaks and Geeks” and “Undeclared”. Once we hired a casting director, Mark Sikes, we were able to complete the casting through a regular audition process. Although the casting process was long, we did something a little different by having the entire script available for the actors to read. I think that helped us get actors like Michael Warren and Joanna Cassidy. It was very different being on the other side of the table during these auditions being my first time doing so.
AL: Did you have a favorite part about the whole experience?
JES: Just directing the actors and helping them get to a place that I thought they could get to. I realized that I could really do this, and saw that the actors were receptive to me was the biggest thing for me. I really love directing.
AL: Your working on a prequel to “Anderson’s Cross” which is being developed for cable television, can you tell us about that?
JES: Yes. We have put together a kind of “Wonder Years” meets “Anderson’s Cross” type show with younger kids, and we are looking to start shooting hopefully early summer. “Anderson’s Cross” starts off with quite a situation with the friends, so the idea was developed as to how they got to that point. It was then decided to explore the characters more, but at a younger age prior to what’s in the movie.
AL: Do you have any other upcoming projects besides what you have mentioned already?
JES: I’m shooting another movie right now in Columbia called “Prep School” with Charlie McDermott. I am also shooting a film titled “Hostage Diner” later on this month about people who get stuck in a diner after a bank hold up. I have another film called “The Perfect Night” about kids who get stuck in an elevator on the night of their prom. I also have a much larger movie in the works called “The Untitled Project” which is kind of an “Independence Day” type movie which is slated to start shooting late summer. So quite a few things have come as a result of the work for “Anderson’s Cross”.
AL: Is your production company Illumination Pictures involved in your upcoming projects?
JES: No, Illumination Pictures is one of the partners in the movie we are doing, and there is another company called Alpha Select Productions that are out of Canada. They are doing the bulk of the production on “Prep School.” Illumination Pictures is doing the prequel, and we will probably partner up with someone else for that as well. I am a part of Illumination Pictures so when I am writing for any projects, the name kind of comes with me and is attached to other projects that I am a part of.