Author Darren Paltrowitz Discusses His NEW Book “Good Advice From Professional Wrestling: Full Contact Life Lessons”.

Darren Paltrowitz is writer/interviewer with 20+ years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager and over the years working with artists like OK Go, They Might Be Giants and Tracy Bonham. Darren’s writing has appeared in countless publications including the NEW York Daily News, L.A. Times and Guitar World. Darren’s latest project is titled “Good Advice From Professional Wrestling: Full Contact Life Lessons”.  Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Darren recently about the book and how the idea to draw inspiration from professional wrestling came about.

Adam Lawton: What was your first exposure to Professional Wrestling?

Darren Paltrowitz: I have been trying to really figure that out lately. I think it goes back to watching “WWF Wrestling Challenge” or one of those late 80’s early 90’s weekend shows. The first Wrestle mania that I fully remember was WrestleMania 7. From there I got into WCW. Sadly I wasn’t much in wrestling during the “Monday Night Wars” as music took over at that time. I didn’t love WCW when it was good! (Laughs) Thankfully with the internet I can now go back and watch everything I missed.

AL: How did the idea for the book all come together?

DP: I had gotten a press release about a book from my future co-author D.X. Ferris. It was actually a release about the four books he had coming out. One of those was titled “Good Advice From Good Fellas”. I ended up interviewing him about the book and during that interview he mentioned Diamond Dallas Page. We stayed in touch after the interview and I pitched the idea of a wrestling book. He sent me an email of a paper he wrote back in college which took advice from wrestling and the film “Goodfellas”. This was back in November. Prior to that we had nothing so that is why the book includes a lot of current wrestlers and wrestling information. We wrote this very quickly with the goal of having it ready for WrestleMania in April. D.X. put in a ton of long hours at the end with final touches and we did it!

AL: What was the research process like for the book and, how did you go about selecting which material made it into the book?

DP: That was sort of a mix of factors. One of those factors was D.X. telling me I had to put in some of his hometown Pittsburgh guys like Bruno Sammartino and Kurt Angle. We really had to think about people who along with wrestling talent also showed good business acumen and that were not plagued by scandal. We also thought about who had great quotes. Some of the book’s material came from my own personal interviews with people like Mark Henry. Now that I have been talking about the book for a bit I regret not including people like Al Snow and MJF. This arguably the greatest time in history to be a wrestling fan! There is infinite content out there. In fact there is so much that you cannot watch it all.

AL: Did any of the wrestlers who are featured in the book know beforehand that they were going to be included?

DP: We reached out to a lot of the wrestling promotions asking for material and we received responses from all but one. There were other times where I would have to go through independent reps. We also had a guy in the Ohio area that was able to provide us with some photo material. Initially things were moving slow as people didn’t believe we were doing this thing. One by one we started getting books out to some of the wrestlers and it’s been going great. It continues to be a step by step process.

AL: Did you have any goals for releasing the book?

DP: My first major goal with this project was finishing the book and getting it out. Once that was done it was a major relief. A lot of people say they are going to write a book but never do. Now that the book is out I want it to be the one book that is for people who don’t read “self help” books. I wanted people to realize that a lot of the advice in the book is applicable no matter what your level of exposure to pro wrestling is or was. One other thing I want people to take away from the book is for them to see just how smart and successful the majority of pro wrestlers are. They are no longer failed football players or body builders. These are people who are branding experts who can also act and write their own material. If you want to be successful you have to learn from other successful people. I hope a lot of that comes across in this book.

AL: What other projects are you currently working on?

DP: I have been doing interviews with entertainers and the likes ever since I was in high school. I realized that I should do something with all these interviews. About a year ago I started a pod cast called “The Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz”. It’s a bi-weekly cast that includes clips from various interviews I have done. Last week’s episode featured Adam Duritz from Counting Crows talking about his bar mitzvah, Guitarist Susan Tedeschi and Kaley Cuoco from the “Big Bang Theory”. I am into all kinds of things so that’s what I showcase on the cast.

It doesn’t matter if you are fan of wrestling or just someone wanting a fresh approach to the self help genre “Good Advice From Professional Wrestling: Full Contact Life Lessons” has something for everyone. It’s even got some great photos which accent the wit and wisdom of an often overlooked industry. To Order visit: https://www.amazon.com/Darren-Paltrowitz/e/B07Q4QN8B8/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_2

For more info on Darren Paltrowitz you can visit his official website here: http://www.paltrowitz.com/home.html

Authors Darren Paltrowitz and D.X. Ferris to Release “Good Advice From Professional Wrestling”

Featuring Forward by “DDP” Diamond Dallas Page, WWE Hall of Fame Inductee

Pre-Order Physical Copies via Amazon

This Sunday not only marks WrestleMania 35 – but also the release of Good Advice From Professional Wrestling: Full Contact Life Lessons From The Pinnacle Performance Art, a new book by authors Darren Paltrowitz and D.X. Ferris. The two will lay claim to the Universal Motivational Tag Team Title when the book drops via 6623 Press this coming Sunday, April 7.

Order now via Amazon, where the e-book is already available and is positioned at #1 on the Kindle Store’s New Releases in Wrestling Books chart! 

This eminently readable self-help manual finds useful life lessons in inspiring quotes by icons from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to Bruno Sammartino. Whether you’re a fan, teacher, salesman, or landscaper, Good Advice From Professional Wrestling is an entertaining guide on how to get over and improve your life, one step at a time.

The book’s foreword was written by WWE Hall of Famer and international fitness guru Diamond Dallas Page

“DDP is a hero and role model for both of us,” explains co-author Ferris, a teacher and award-winning writer. “Life coaches like Tony Robbins and Tim Ferriss are great, but I like figures like DDP. He encourages you to think big, and he has a realistic attack: You improve by committing to productive habits. You reach one goal at a time. That’s our approach.”

Good Advice From Professional Wrestling concludes with a list of ten habits and practices that famous wrestlers use to become successful, which readers can start today. 

“Professional wrestling is much more sophisticated than most people will give it credit for,”says co-author Paltrowitz, who in addition to authoring other works, is a podcast host. “When done well, it communicates on a universal level, much like music or film. I wanted to spotlight some of the great men and women behind wrestling, and also emphasize its cultural impact.”

The book features wisdom from over 40 wrestling-world greats of today and yesteryear, and archival quotes from rising stars to all-time greats like movie star Dave “Bautista” Batista, rock singer and Hall of Fame inductee Lita, MLW star Salina de la Renta, A.E.W. co-founders Cody Rhodes & the Young Bucks. WWE counterculture iconoclasts Daniel BryanCM Punk, accredited dentist and A.E.W. marquee talent Britt Baker, the late Rowdy Roddy Piper, rock star Billy Corgan, and ECW mastermind Paul Heyman.

Good Advice From Professional Wrestling is the second volume in 6623 Press’ Leadership Every Day Series, which finds life-changing lessons in popular culture. Volume 1 is Ferris’ Good Advice From Goodfellas: Positive Life Lessons From The Best Mob Movie. 

Based in Akron, Ohio, 6623 Press makes unconventional, useful, creator-owned, reasonably priced books about popular culture, success, history, and other cool stuff.

Darren Paltrowitz is an entertainment-industry veteran from Long Beach, New York. His writing has appeared in the New YorkDaily News and the Los AngelesTimes. He hosts the podcast, “The Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz.”.

D.X. Ferris is an award-winning writer, Pittsburgh native, and Ohio resident. He has written for Rolling Stone and Alternative Press. He wrote books about Slayer and leadership. This is his ninth. He is plotting a heel turn. 

Barry Sloane talks about joining ABC’s “Revenge”

This month when ABC’s hit show Revenge returns it will be welcoming English actor Barry Sloane as Aiden, “a mystery man from Emily’s (Emily VanCamp) past”. Previously seen by American theater audiences in Broadway’s Jerusalem last summer, Sloane comes from acclaimed turns on British tv shows such as Hollyoaks and Holby City. Along with “Revenge”, Barry talked to Media Mikes about his upcoming film roles in “Penthouse North” and Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah”.

Lauren Damon: So you’re joining into “Revenge” cast which you’ve done before on other established TV shows, how is that?
Barry Sloane:  It’s great, it’s a really cool show and  when the opportunity came up to be a part of it, I was very excited, you know.  It’s got a fantastic cast. Great actors, isn’t it? I knew it was going to be a fun part. From what I was told about the character , it’s going to be a cool character to play and there’s a lot of mystery to the guy, We’ll do some interesting things.

LD: All I’ve read is that he’s a ‘mystery man’ from Emily’s past, but a lot of times her people from the past don’t do so well, is that a concern for you?
BS: (Laughs) Well these things, you know, you come in and I think the main thing is you’re going to be involved in with Emily, Emily VanCamp’s story, so getting to work with her quite closely is going to be great because she’s fantastic and she’s a great girl as well. We’ve had a couple of scenes so far that have gone really well so you kind of come in to these things and you never as an actor, you never kind of say ‘oh I’m going to be here three, four, five years’, you know. You kind of come in and the first thing, you do an arc or something interesting like that. So with these types of shows it’s always interesting because you get as much as the viewers most of the time because you’re kind of getting scripts very close to when you’re filming it. So you never get any  information so when I’m doing this type of show I always enjoy it because I kind of open the script and it’s like ‘Oh, that’s what I’m doing this week!’  It’s always an exciting moment when you get that and especially when we all get around and do the table read and you get to hear it for the first time. So who knows what’s going to happen but I’m excited to get the next script, that’s for sure. (laughs)

LD: The finale of the first season was a crazy, sort of white knuckle episode, are you working on anything that compares?
BS: They set the bar very high.  And that’s why you know, when you’ve got a great following viewing, they’re very passionate about the show, the fans of the show. I think Mike [Kelley]’s got some great ideas to keep everybody hooked and there’s so much more that can be told with the story and what Emily’s going to go through—or Amanda, should I say?— so there’s going to be loads of twists and turns and intrigue and drama, all the things you expect, you know? It’s going to be fun.

LD: “Revenge” has been getting the kind of ratings that “LOST” used to get, are you excited for that level of viewers?
BS: I don’t know that I’m entirely prepared for the level of exposure that will come with the show but I kind of, as with anything, it’s all about the character and the job really. And you know, anything else that comes with it will be fun I’m sure. But it’s only good to have that many viewers if you do a good job, so I intend to do a good job! (laughs)

LD: No pressure, by the way!
BS: No, that’s cool!

LD: Is it different working here than in England?
BS: Well, the weather’s fantastic, and the people are great and there’s an ocean.  The locations I’ve filmed at so far have just been beautiful,  just amazing places. You’re getting to work along a lot of the coastline of  Los Angeles, so it’s…yea, I’ve got no complaints! Let’s put it that way.

LD: Are you allowed to say if you’re kind of more of a bad guy? Or are you in the middle?
BS: Again, the information that’s out, he’s a character that’s linked to when Amanda was becoming Emily so they kind of went through a lot of the same things, they’ve got a history together.  I’m the kind of guy that gets things done in the same sense that she does so I think he’s as perfectly  as dangerous as  she is.

LD: She seems kind of like a revenge sniper, she picks her target and she gets it done…
BS: Yea, she’s quite dark and dangerous, she can hold her own, she could probably take him. But I’m having a good go. (laughs)

LD: I see you’ve got movies coming up as well like “Penthouse North”?
BS
: Yea, “Penthouse North is due for release”, I think, November time. Got a screening coming up soon with Michael Keaton and Michelle Monaghan, should be viewing that with them soon. And I’ve just been, prior to this, just before I flew out to LA I’ve just filmed the new Darren Aronosky film, “Noah”.

LD: That’s huge…
BS: Yea, yea, it’s going to be epic. I was working with Russell Crowe, so that was cool. He’s a cool guy.

LD: What’s you role like in that?
BS: I’m playing a poacher who—obviously Noah’s keen on animals and I’m playing a poacher. I’m playing a poacher, he’s trying to kill animals. So you can work out how that’s going to end up! (laughs) It’s a fantastic script, it’s such a good script and with Darren Aronofsky directing and stars like Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connolly, Anthony Hopkins, Ray Winstone, you know, with a cast like that it’s just going to be a huge huge movie and it’s not going to come out til 2014 so I’ve kind of got a few years to wait to watch it. But just to be part of it is really exciting and I hope to work with the guys again.

LD: Where was that filmed?
BS: We filmed in Iceland.

LD: A lot of things are filming in Iceland recently…
BS: Yea, well it’s because you get twenty-two hours of daylight, it’s just good for filming. When I arrived I was given like a welcome pack with an eye mask and I was like  ‘Hmm, that’s odd, why am I given an eye mask?’ and then having come out the bar late and then I was like ‘Ah, because I won’t be able to sleep!’

LD: And then “Penthouse North” looks to be a heist movie, are you also kind of bad in that one?
BS: In Penthouse North? Yes, I’m quite an unsavory character in that shall we say.  I’m kind of Michael Keaton’s associate so, he plays a guy called Hollander, who’s a very very dangerous man shall we say. And however dangerous I might be, he is a lot more dangerous than that. Again, getting to work with that guy was amazing.

LD: He’s Batman…
BS:  Exactly. Exactly, you know it’s not so bad. Yea,  it was quite funny because I did that with Michael Keaton—so I’d just worked with Batman and then I got a pilot called Gotham, which was strange, so I thought this is becoming very Batman-themed.

LD: How did it go with “Gotham”?
BS: Gotham’s done, yea we made it for ABC, and we didn’t get picked up unfortunately. But it was a fantastic pilot and Francis Lawrence directed and he’s now doing the Hunger Games sequel and it was Michael Green who co-wrote The River and Heroes and Kings. So the script was incredible, so I’m sure Michael is going to get something huge very soon and hopefully I can be a part of that.

LD: And obviously ABC kept you on for “Revenge”.
BS: Yea. Yea, I must have done something right! (laughs)

LD: Do you think you’ll ever get back to theater after your big “Jerusalem” run?
BS: Yea, absolutely. I mean, it’s kind of difficult to top the whole “Jerusalem” experience because  that was just like an epic dream theatre job, you know? …The whole cast was just golden and the whole experience of doing it was wonderful and just the quality of the piece as well. I mean when I get back to the UK that’s the first thing I want to do is maybe work at the Royal Court again or do some theatre when I get back just to get back into it and get the live audience.

LD: Now when you’re in England, are you based in London?
BS: I had been but I moved back to Liverpool to be close to family for a while and then obviously when you do that you end up getting a job in LA (laughs) So we were close to family for about a month and a half.

LD: I’m sure they appreciated it.
BS: Yea! Yea, a month and a half with me is enough for anyone I think they were kind of happy for me to leave (laughs). But yea, so it’s all good and I’m excited for this season on Revenge, it’s going to be fun and hopefully the viewers are going to enjoy it and they’re going to enjoy the character.

Revenge” stars it’s second season on September 30th at its new time slot of Sundays at 9pm on ABC.

Darren Lynn Bousman talks about remaking “Mother’s Day”

Darren Lynn Bousman is known best for his work on the “Saw” franchise and to cult fans of “Repo! The Genetic Opera” and “The Devil’s Carnival”. Darren recently took out some time to chat about his remake of the classic 1980 Troma film “Mother’s Day”.

Mike Gencarelli: What can you tell us about your version of “Mothers Day”?
Darren Lynn Bousman: We wanted a film that paid homage to the original without copying it. We wanted this film to be its own thing. We didn’t want to make a carbon copy because the film already exists. We tried to make something that had similarities to the first film while keep it independent.

MG: When did you join the project?
DLB: I was there from the beginning. Brett Ratner approached me about it and then him and another friend and I developed and wrote it.

MG: How did you know you had your mother with Rebecca De Mornay?
DLB: After our first phone call she was so particular about everything. She was particular about everything single aspect. To me that showed she cared. There was no bullshit and she got it. I knew we had her at that point.

MG: What are you most excited about now that the film is released?
DLB: I am glad people are finally going to get to see the film. Once a director turns in their movie you never know what’s going to happen. We tested high and thought this movie was going to be a big hit. The film then ended up sitting on the shelf for a few years. Now that it’s finally out I hope it finds an audience. I hope people will see it and support it.

MG: How does this film compare to your other films?
DLB: Every movie I have done has been completely different. This movie is more along the lines of a “Saw” film but more adult. You can’t compare it to something like “Devil’s Carnival” which is completely out of the box. “Mother” is more of an adult thriller/drama.

MG: What do you have planned next?
DLB: “Devil’s Carnival: Episode 2”!

Darren Lynn Bousman talks about “The Devil’s Carnival”

Darren Lynn Bousman is known for directing films like “Saw II, III & IV” and “Repo! The Genetic Opera”. Darren is reuniting with Terrance Zdunich from “Repo” on his newest film “The Devil’s Carnival”. They are also currently touring with this film to over 30+ cities. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Darren about the film and what we can expect.

Mike Gencarelli: Can you tell us about the origin of “The Devil’s Carnival”?
Darren Lynn Bousman: Terrance and I have been trying to find another project to work on since “Repo! The Genetic Opera”. We just couldn’t find the right one. We knew the project had to be great and not just good. We threw ideas back and forth but nothing struck us as being great. All of a sudden this idea hit and we knew this was what we had to do. When you know you know and we jumped on this immediately.

MG: What do you feel is the hardest part of shooting a horror musical?
DLB: Every aspect. This is a self funded thing. We actually received funding from Empire Film and Entertainment Group in Florida. I met them through one of the producers and they are great guys. There was no studio behind us. It was basically just us doing this thing. We had a real lack of support. This was just a bunch of friends making a movie together. It’s sounds awesome but it was really hard because there was no infrastructure. Doing everything from the soundtrack to the posters was the hardest part. We recorded an entire album without the help of any outside system. We shot the film which should have taken a month in just seven days.

MG: How do you compare this production with that of “Repo! The Genetic Opera”?
DLB: This production I think is a little more mature. I will always love “Repo” as it is one of my favorite things. I just feel “Devil’s Carnival” is more mature and accessible. This film is equally bad ass and out of the box as “Repo”.

MG: Can you tell us about the cast?
DLB: It’s as extremely diverse and equally crazy as the Repo cast. Emilie Autumn, who is my favorite person in the world now, plays the painted doll.  Clown from Slipknot, Nivek Ogre, Sean Patrick Flanery and Paul Sorvino to name just a few. This cast just is extremely diverse. I think that makes it awesome! It gives the film that “What the fuck” factor. To me that’s my favorite thing about this movie. It is just so crazy and out there. This casting on this film was very unsafe.

MG: Can you tell us about the 30 city tour you currently have going on?
DLB: It’s fucking insane! I am in a van right now with seven other people and it smells like feet and farts. It’s punk rock film making. The good people at Empire Film and Entertainment Group are funding this and we are doing this on the cheap for the art. Hopefully when people come out to the shows they see something they have never seen before. We want to make going to the movies and experience. This is a rock and roll concert in a movie theater.

Meet Stars of Darren Lynn Bousman and Terrance Zdunich’s “The Devil Carnival” When Tour Comes to Your City!

Do you want to meet the stars and minds behind the new musical movie sensation, THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL, face-to-face? Now is your chance! THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL team recently confirmed the list of cast and crew appearing on each date of this exclusive road tour and are now revealing this list to the world!

The creators of the film, director Darren Lynn Bousman and Terrance Zdunich (Lucifer), are scheduled to appear at each tour stop and will be joined at several exclusive showings by numerous stars of the film. The stars will participate in meet & greets, Q&A forums, sing-a-longs, and more! See below for a list of the cast and crew currently confirmed to appear on the tour and stay tuned for more appearance confirmations for the remainder of the tour coming soon.

***Stars CONFIRMED to join THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL creators Darren Lynn Bousman and Terrance Zdunich on the tour are:

TUCSON, AZ
Marc Senter

EL PASO, TX
Hannah Minx

HOUSTON, TX
Hannah Minx

AUSTIN, TX
Hannah Minx

DALLAS, TX
Hannah Minx

NASHVILLE, TN
J LaRose

ATLANTA, GA
J LaRose

ORLANDO, FL
J LaRose

TAMPA, FL
Ivan Moody of Five Finger Death Punch

CHARLOTTE, NC
Ivan Moody

RICHMOND, VA
Ivan Moody
J LaRose

PITTSBURGH, PA
Briana Evigan

BALTIMORE, MD
Briana Evigan

NEW YORK CITY, NY
Briana Evigan

CHICAGO, IL
Emilie Autumn

DES MOINES, IA
Emilie Autumn
M. Shawn “Clown” Crahan

KANSAS CITY, KS
Emilie Autumn

MORE BEING ADDED SOON!

***All celebrity special guests are confirmed on tour but are subject to cancellation due to professional commitments outside of THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL’S control. Please visit our official Facebook page for tour news and updates: www.facebook.com/devilscarnival.

Buy your tickets NOW to experience the devilish insanity in person with your favorite actors and musicians. Keep in mind, THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL can only be seen on this exclusive tour, so you must attend a showing to witness the madness!

See below for all CONFIRMED cities and theaters showing THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL and buy your tickets here: http://thedevilscarnivaltour.eventbrite.com/

4/9 – Tucson, AZ @ Tucson Loft Cinema

4/11 – El Paso, TX @ El Paso Starplex

4/12 – Austin, TX @ Alamo South Lamar

4/13 – Houston, TX @ Alamo Drafthouse

4/14 – Dallas, TX @ Lakewood Theater

4/17 – Nashville, TN @ The Nashville Limelight

4/18 – Atlanta, GA @ The Plaza Theater

4/19 – Orlando, FL @ The Premiere Cinema 14 (at Fashion Square Mall)

4/20 – Tampa, FL @ The Tampa Pitcher Show

4/21 – Charlotte, NC @ The Neighborhood Theater

4/22 – Richmond, VA @ The Byrd

4/24 – Pittsburgh, PA @ The Hollywood Theater

4/25 – Baltimore, MD @ The Charles Theatre

4/26 – New York, NY @ Times Scare NYC

4/27 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Painted Bride

4/28 – South Hadley, MA @ The Tower Theater

4/29 – Boston, MA @ The Foxboro Theater

5/1 – Toronto, ON, Canada @ Toronto Underground Theater

5/2 – Toledo, OH @ Collingwood Arts Center

5/3 – Chicago, IL @ The Music Box Theater

5/4 – Des Moines, IA @ The Fluer Cinema Cafe

5/5 – Kansas City, KS @ Leawood Cinema Theater

5/6 – Denver, CO @ The Oriental Theater

5/7 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Tower Theater

5/9 – Seattle, WA @ The Admiral Theater

5/10 – Portland, OR @ The Clinton St. Theater

5/11 – Sacramento, CA @ The Colonial Theater

For more information and to view the official trailer, visit http://www.TheDevilsCarnival.com.

Purchase the sinister THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL soundtrack at www.TheDevilsCarnival.com, iTunes, or Amazon.com!

THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL is produced by EMPIRE FILM AND ENTERTAINMENT GROUP. Executive producer credit goes to Stephen Ruff and Thomas M Kastelz.

Interview with Darren Gordon Smith

Darren Gordon Smith is a composer who is most known for his “Repo! The Genetic Opera”. The film started as a Ten-Minute Opera that Darren created with Terrance Zdunich and since then it has become a cult phenomenon spawning a huge fan base and weekly midnight screenings. MovieMikes has the opportunity to talk to Darren about the process of bringing “Repo” from the beginning to its present cult form.

Click here to purchase “Repo! The Genetic Opera”

Mike Gencarelli: Darren, You Co-Created “Repo! The Genetic Opera”, how did you come up with the story? What inspired it?
Darren Smith: The idea was based on a friend of mine, who had a dental practice and he was getting all of his equipment repossessed. I started thinking it was sort of absurd, like people were going to sitting in the dentist office in the middle of a procedure and they just come and take their equipment. I started then thinking about what if you had bought body organs on credit. The health care system got so bad that you couldn’t even buy a heart unless you made payments on it. That was the genesis of the idea. At the time Terrance Zdunich, my partner, and I were doing Ten-Minute Opera performing all over LA. He had an idea about a grave robber and his idea was taking back into the 19th century. I said we should combine this with my idea and make it set in 2056. We made a Ten-Minute Opera called “Necromerchant’s Debt”. We would do this mini rock opera performed by the both of us and it turned out that it was the one that people loved the best. We decided to make it into a full scale show. From that “Repo” was born.

Mike Gencarelli: What was your process for coming up the music for the film?
Darren Smith: That is a great question, I do have a background in classical music and compositions and a music degree from NYU. Having said that I definitely play a lot of different kinds of music. The Ten-Minute Operas we did ranged from 18th century harpsichord music to Nine Inch Nails to Led Zepplin. We did whatever. When it came to “Repo”, we loved the idea of the obscurity of the main guys and the over the top nature of the Italian opera. So when we were writing “Repo” that is when I started doing more research in opera. I focused on trying to use the right light composition and how to structure an opera both musically and story-wise.

Mike Gencarelli: How was it like working which such an amazing cast?
Darren Smith: We had THE best cast ever for the movie. That really helped us to expand our music. When you are you are writing for someone like Sarah Brightman, you can expand the music because since she can sing almost anything. Darren Bousman deserves a lot of credit as the director. Darren, Terrance and myself had a hand in every aspect of the production, from the visual, costuming, props, and music. It was a really great experience.

MG: “Repo” was the first feature film you wrote, how did you find the process of bringing the music to the big screen?
DS:
We did the Ten-Minute Opera first, then in 2002 we did a full scale opera on stage. We had experience doing the whole process on stage. Then we did it off-broadway at the Wings Theatre in NYC in 2005. When we got the go ahead green light from Lionsgate for the film, on the one hand it wasn’t a huge leap and the other hand it was. When I say that it is because Terrance and I have always envision “Repo” would be a film. We wanted to have total control over the visual element and things you just can’t do when you are doing stage with 99 seats. Unlike a lot of films, we work-shopped the music and the story over the course of almost ten years. We had a good feeling of what was going to work with the audience and what was not.

MG: How do you affected by the responses the film has got so far, some are comparing it to Rocky Horror Picture Show?
DS: Yeah, certainly. We are humbled by that since “Rocky Horror” is brilliant. We are on the shoulders of giants. It is gratifying, honestly over the years we have developed a cult following. I knew that “Repo” was going to find its audience and will be kind of “Rocky Horror” phenomena. I didn’t think it would happen as quickly as it has. We had this $8.5 million dollar budget but Lionsgate only gave us $200,000 dollars for publicity, which is almost nothing. The film was almost buried from the start. I thought it would be like “Rocky Horror” where it would be years before we even make profit. We beat that already plus more. It is amazing that we have these 45 or more groups in the world who Shadowcast and act out the whole film. These groups know every nuance to the music and the story. Here we are less than a year and a half since the film was released. On a daily basis, I get emails and at least ten new people on Facebook every day asking me questions about the film.

MG: Would you ever consider bringing back it to the stage with all its new popularity?
DS: Yeah great question, absolutely! We would like to do it on a large scale and kind of leaving the options open. I actually want to do this as a permanent stage show in Las Vegas. It will be like Cirque De Solei meets Blue Man Group meets Deep Throat [laughs]. Just really push the envelope for what you can see in Vegas. I would also want to be able to tour with some live musicians from the soundtrack and have me perform with them along with some cast members and do a road tour.

MG: What other projects do you have in the works?
DS: First, we are working on sequel idea for “Repo” and we think we are definitely planning another movie. I am already working on the story and music with Terrance. The other things is I do have another rock opera that I have been writing. Without going into too much detail it is like the film “It’s a Wonderful Life” but in reverse. Rather than the protagonist realizing if they weren’t born things would be worse off. It is reverse and due to a series of bad decisions, it tells how the world would have been a better place without them being born. That is what I am working on right now.

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