Interview with Comedian Eric Schwartz

You may have seen comedian Eric Schwartz in hi

1.  Who in the hell is the OTHER Eric Schwartz and how did he beat you to EricSchwartz.com?  He isn’t near as funny as you are.

THANK YOU FOR ASKING THIS QUESTION AND STARTING IT WITH “WHO IN THE HELL…”

Most people don’t realize we’re two completely different people. Yes, two different people, who happen to have the same name, and who happen to both do comedy and music. It’s beyond frustrating–it’s infuriating! But, I have to admit, “the other Eric Schwartz” is a supremely talented musician and brilliant writer.  It’s hard to be mad at the guy when his only crime is not changing the name his parents gave him. At least he’s not out there bringing shame to the name. By the way, I’m pretty sure he calls me, “the other Eric Schwartz,” too.

To make things even more interesting, we actually know each other.  He moved from the East Coast to two blocks from me in L.A. We’ve actually shown up to the same gig before after the booker tagged the us both on Facebook. He once dated someone I knew and she would sometimes accidentally call me all sultry like, “Baby…did you see the moooon tonight?”  I was like, “Yeah, Suzanne. But I’m not taking my clothes off like the last time we talked.”
And yes, one of my biggest career regrets was not grabbing EricSchwartz.com when I was building my first website in 1999.  For some reason, I chose “SuburbanHomeboy.com,” which now forwards to my current site, EricSchwartzLive.com.
2.  How did you get into comedy?
I got hooked on Eddie Murphy, George Carlin, Robin Williams and SNL as a kid. I would do their bits an characters to my friends at school. Everyone already thought of me as a comedian at that point, but I knew I had to start writing material. I was also a DJ, which is where the musical element came in. In college, I put on my own comedy shows in the dorms mixing comedy and music and somehow didn’t get kicked out.
3.  When do you know a joke is working?
Unless my ears take the night off, I can tell right away. The cool thing about a live show is the audience will let you know if it’s working or not.
4.  Follow up – see above
5.  Do you have a good “I put that heckler in his place” story?
Most hecklers are actually having a good time and want to participate. They just go a bit overboard on their approach. But if you ever encounter a mean-spirited heckler, here’s something you can do. Make peace by offering them a free CD. When they thank you, shout, “SEE DEEZ NUTS!”
6.  Besides your tour, what else are you working on.
The Release The Sounds Tour is in support of the audio from my first hour special, “Surrender to the Blender” being re-released to Sirius-XM, as well as digital platforms like Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music. I’m also working on shooting my second special this year

Interview with Comedian Eric Schwartz

You may have seen comedian Eric Schwartz in one of his many appearances on Showtime, “The Tonight Show,” BET or his HULU special “Surrender to the Blender.”  If you haven’t, get over to YouTube because you’re missing one funny man.

Schwartz is currently embarking on his “Release the Sounds” tour (he is in Kansas City on Tuesday, April 17th) but found time to answer some questions between gigs.

 

Mike Smith:  Who in the hell is the OTHER Eric Schwartz and how did he beat you to EricSchwartz.com?  He isn’t near as funny as you are.
Eric Schwartz:  THANK YOU FOR ASKING THIS QUESTION AND STARTING IT WITH “WHO IN THE HELL…”

Most people don’t realize we’re two completely different people. Yes, two different people, who happen to have the same name, and who happen to both do comedy and music. It’s beyond frustrating–it’s infuriating!  But, I have to admit, “the other Eric Schwartz” is a supremely talented musician and brilliant writer.  It’s hard to be mad at the guy when his only crime is not changing the name his parents gave him. At least he’s not out there bringing shame to the name. By the way, I’m pretty sure he calls me, “the other Eric Schwartz,” too.

To make things even more interesting, we actually know each other.  He moved from the East Coast to two blocks from me in L.A. We’ve actually shown up to the same gig before after the booker tagged  us both on Facebook.  He once dated someone I knew and she would sometimes accidentally call me all sultry like, “Baby…did you see the moooon tonight?”  I was like, “Yeah, Suzanne. But I’m not taking my clothes off like the last time we talked.”
And yes, one of my biggest career regrets was not grabbing EricSchwartz.com when I was building my first website in 1999.  For some reason, I chose “SuburbanHomeboy.com,” which now forwards to my current site, EricSchwartzLive.com.
MS:   How did you get into comedy?
ES:  I got hooked on Eddie Murphy, George Carlin, Robin Williams and SNL as a kid. I would do their bits and characters to my friends at school.  Everyone already thought of me as a comedian at that point, but I knew I had to start writing material.  I was also a DJ, which is where the musical element came in. In college, I put on my own comedy shows in the dorms mixing comedy and music and somehow didn’t get kicked out.
MS:  When do you know a joke is working? Or isn’t?
ES:  Unless my ears take the night off, I can tell right away.  The cool thing about a live show is the audience will let you know if it’s working or not.
MS:  Do you have a good “I put that heckler in his place” story?
ES:  Most hecklers are actually having a good time and want to participate. They just go a bit overboard on their approach.  But if you ever encounter a mean-spirited heckler, here’s something you can do. Make peace by offering them a free CD.  When they thank you, shout, “SEE DEEZ NUTS!”
MS:   Besides your tour, what else are you working on.
ES:  The “Release The Sounds” Tour is in support of the audio from my first hour special, “Surrender to the Blender” being re-released to Sirius-XM, as well as digital platforms like Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music. I’m also working on shooting my second special this year.
For upcoming tour dates or to hear some of Eric’s work, click HERE

 

Related Content

Kansas City fans, win tickets to see comedian Eric Schwartz

 

Eric Schwartz, one of the fastest rising comedians in the country, will be making an appearance on Tuesday, April 17th at the Record Bar in Kansas City and Media Mikes has arranged for one lucky reader and a guest to go to the show.

All you have to do is let us know below, if you had the chance to see any legendary comedian live in person, who would it be?  Your choices can be living or dead.  Just let us know who you think would make for one funny evening.  One winner will be chosen randomly from all entries on Sunday, April 15th and will be notified by email.  Good luck!

Recently Eric tried to challenge some of the unwritten rules of Kansas City barbecue.  Click HERE for the results.

Eric Johnson hits the road to support first all acoustic solo album “EJ”

ERIC JOHNSON HITS THE ROAD TO SUPPORT FIRST
ALL ACOUSTIC SOLO ALBUM TITLED EJ

Tour Kicks Off At Jackson, MS’ Duling Hall on October 5 And Wraps In His Hometown of Austin, TX At The Paramount Theatre on November 19

Austin, TX – Eric Johnson will hit the road next week in support of his first acoustic solo album titled EJ. Thirty years after his breakthrough solo release ‘Tones’ brought him national recognition, the new release showcases nine original compositions and four covers. Johnson shares, “Ever since I was young, I’ve played piano and acoustic guitar in my private life. This type of music has always been a part of me, but I never showcased it on any kind of bigger level, like a full acoustic record. With EJ, I just decided to be more honest with myself and everybody, and show more of my personal side.”

Johnson, long known for his painstaking approach to making records, used a much more immediate attack for the self-produced EJ. “Almost all of that material was cut live,” Johnson explains. “Some of the songs I actually sang and played at the same time – just live in the studio. Recording this way gave it more of an honest realism and organic emotion. Especially on the acoustic, you just have to get in there and play.”

On the original compositions “Wonder,” “Fatherly Downs,” and “All Things You Are,” Johnson frames his voice with his prized 1980 Martin D-45, a gift from his late father. He plays the steel-string on his superlative instrumentals “Once Upon a Time in Texas,” “All Things You Are,” and “Song for Irene.” He conjures the beautiful, pensive tones of “Serinidad,” another original instrumental, on a Ramirez nylon-string guitar. A spirited steel-string arrangement of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson” rounds out the solo guitar tracks.

Johnson recasts another Simon and Garfunkel favorite, “Scarborough Fair,” for voice and piano, and plays piano on the originals “Water Under the Bridge,” “November,” and “Wrapped in a Cloud,” an ensemble track with acoustic bass, cello, drums, and percussion. In a move that’s sure to surprise his fans, Johnson rearranged Jimi Hendrix’ “One Rainy Wish” for guitar and piano, capping the performance with a jazz-inflected piano solo. Rounding out the record is Johnson and guest guitarist Doyle Dykes’ superlative cover of Les Paul and Mary Ford’s 1951 classic, “The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise.”

Throughout his career, Johnson has approached music as a healing force, a way to enhance a listener’s consciousness and conjure joy and inspiration. “That’s what I’ve always appreciated most about other artists,” he says. “Some artists inspire us to wake up and get back to the clarity of consciousness. With this record, I’m trying to do that too, because I appreciate it so much in other people.”

Confirmed appearances include:
10/05 Jackson, MS Duling Hall
10/06 Atlanta, GA Center Stage
10/07 Rocky Mount, VA Harvester Performance Center
10/08 Elkins, WV Mountain Stage
10/09 Cleveland, OH Music Box Supper Club
10/11 Oakmont, PA The Oaks Theater
10/12 Annapolis, MD Rams Head On Stage
10/13 Richmond, VA Tin Pan
10/14 Sellersville, PA Sellersville Theater
10/15 Westbury, NY The Space At Westbury
10/16 Washington DC The Hamilton
10/18 Fairfield, CT StageOne
10/19 Fall River, MA Narrows Center For The Arts
10/20 New Brunswick, NJ State Theatre
10/21 Beverly, MA Cabot Theatre
10/22 Cohoe, NY Cohoes Music Hall
10/23 Shirley, MA Bull Run Restaurant
10/25 New York, NY Highline Ballroom
10/26 Londonberry, NH Tupelo Music Hall
10/27 Norfolk, CT Infinity Hall
10/28 Brownfield, ME Stone Mountain Arts Center
10/29 Londonderry, NH Tupelo Music Hall
10/30 Pawling, NY Daryl’s House
11/01 Ferndale, MI The Magic Bag
11/02 St. Louis, MO Old Rock House
11/03 Minneapolis, MN Dakota Jazz Club
11/04 Milwaukee, WI Back Room @ Colectivo Coffee
11/05 Chicago, IL City Winery
11/06 Nashville, TN City Winery
11/09 Charlotte, NC McGlohan Theatre
11/10 Durham, NC Carolina Theatre
11/11 Charleston, SC Charleston Music Hall
11/13 Asheville, NC Diane Worham Theatre
11/15 Clearwater, FL Capitol Theatre
11/16 Ponte Vedra Beach, FL Ponte Vedra Concert Hall
11/18 New Orleans, LA House of Blues
11/19 Austin, TX Paramount Theatre

Eric Bauza talks about voicing Puss in Boots in Netflix Animated Series “The Adventures of Puss in Boots”

Eric Bauza is one of the most talented voice actors in the business. He is wel known for voice characters like Tiger Claw in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” to Chet in “Turbo FAST”. His latest role is also one of his biggest in which he is starring as Puss in Boots in the new Netflix animated series “The Adventures of Puss in Boots” from DreamWorks Animation. The show premieres today, January 16, 2015, on Netflix. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Eric about this role and his voice work.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about what we can expect from the new Netflix animated series “The Adventures of Puss in Boots”?
Eric Bauza: Basically it is the same character that we have grown to love from the feature films and now he is getting his very own Netflix series, which is very exciting. The possibilities are endless here. They have him on the go again and he stumbles upon this town by accident and he was looking for – (in Puss’ voice) I was looking for treasure and as a humble gato, I was also looking for my next meal (end Puss’ voice). He finds this city and falls in love with the town and swears to protect it again outlanders. It is funny because even though he is a good guy, he always has that bit of mischief that follows behind him. He was basically after the town’s treasure but ends up becoming their protector since the town, of course, has orphans in it and he himself is an orphan.

MG: How does this show differ from the “Shrek” films and “Puss in Boots” spin-offs?
EB: I think we have a little more breathing room and knowing that the end of each episode is not the end of the show, since it is an ongoing series. So we have a lot time to explore. There is a lot of background explored as well as some great new characters. These are things that usually don’t have in a feature. As an actor, I think that is very comfortable to be in that situation.

MG: Is there any possibility of well-known characters from the series popping up in this show?
EB: I would love to have any of the flagship characters from the “Shrek” universe making an appearance. But we do have an abundance of new fairy tale creatures that we are bringing in. We also have a few great celebrity guest stars that we are bringing in like Danny Trejo, John Leguizamo and H. Jon Benjamin have done some characters for us. There are so many surprises that are coming up but I do not want to spoil them all, so tune in and find out for yourself.

MG: You have voiced numerous characters in your career; which have been your favorites?
EB: Puss in Boots is definitely up there for me and one of my favorites. Antonio Banderas is such a huge star and (in Puss’ voice) to do a part that was done by Antonio, as a voice over artist that is something else (end Puss’ voice). I have done Marvin the Martian for Warner Bros and to me Mel Blanc is the Godfather of voice over. So to know that I was able to do a Mel Blanc character is huge.

MG: Going from Puss in Boots to Tiger Claw in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” to Chet in “Turbo FAST”; what kind of characters are your favorite to play?
EB: That is the tricky about Puss in Boots because he always starts off as the rough around the edges – he is either an outlaw or a hero. I have done a vast amount of bad guys though. I voiced Destro from G.I. Joe. Marvin the Martian, like I said, he is a bad guy. I love being the bad guy every now and then. And I am a Canadian, so it is hard for me to be bad [laughs].

MG: Later this year you have “Transformers: Robots in Disguise”; what can you tell us about these projects?
EB: Yeah, “Transformers”, you are talking about an icon there. I got to work with Peter Cullen aka the voice of Optimus Prime. Khary Payton voices Grimlock and he also voiced Cyborg in “Teen Titans”. We all are like huge nerds already, so put us all in the same room and it’s a lot of fun.

Eric Johnson talks about live album titled “Europe Live”

Eric Johnson is a platinum selling guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist who’s extensive career dates back to the mid 1970’s. Johnson’s latest offering is a live album titled “Europe Live” which is a collection of tracks recorded during Johnson’s recent European tour. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Eric recently about the new release as well as his current plans for a new studio album.

Adam Lawton: What was it that interested you in doing a live album as opposed to a traditional studio album?
Eric Johnson: We were touring Europe and at some point during that run the company who put out the European version of my album “Up Close” contacted me asking if they could record some of the shows. It wasn’t anything that was planned ahead of time. After everything was done they sent me the tracks to see what I thought. We went through all the tapes and there ended up being quite a bit of stuff we were able to work with.

AL: So the album is a collection of takes from a number of different shows?
EJ: We recorded 4 different cities with the bulk of the performances coming from the Amsterdam show. The forth city we recorded in was Paris and that was just a board tape. It was never meant for anything. I decided to put one acoustic song on the record which was different from the electric stuff and that ended up coming from that board tape. What you hear is the actual two track tape from the board as there was nothing we could really do to that track being is was done from the board.

AL: What do find to be the most challenging aspect of doing a live album?
EJ: Keeping everything live and performance oriented is certainly the hardest part. When you have that reference point of the live material there is a raw spark that happens. When you deviate from that it’s really obvious. This has been a great thing for me to do and I have found a lot of entertainment in it.

AL: Do you see yourself doing more live recording as opposed to studio recording?
EJ: Yes, Definitely. Even working live in the studio is something I am open for. The more you are able to do in real time the more energy and emotion I think the work will have. This has made me rethink my entire way of doing things as I want to be able to incorporate more of the live process whenever I can.

AL: For the shows that were recorded to you alter the night’s set list in any way from the nights that weren’t being recorded?
EJ: Not really. We just did our sets and I didn’t think much about the recordings. Other than a couple extra lines running off the amps to the back room I never actually saw what was going on. There wasn’t a vibe of we were making a live record it was more of just someone was out there recording the show that night. Everything was very off the cuff.

AL: With your last studio album being a reworking of the “Up Close” album do you have plans to start on a new studio record any time soon?
EJ: Right now I am currently working with Mike Stern on a collaboration record. We have finished all of the recording and we are in the middle of mixing as we speak. That album should be out in November. The album is sort of a fusion record as Mike comes from the jazz world and I from the rock world. It’s mostly an instrumental record with the exception of one track. The album is very song oriented and not just a bunch of riffing. I am really excited about it as it turned out great. I also am finishing up a solo acoustic record that I hope to get out soon. Doing an acoustic record is something that I have wanted to do for about 10 years now. I am a big folk music fan so I am excited to do something in that style.

AL: When you are working on a record outside of the rock genre what steps do you take to adjust your playing and tone?
EJ: I just try to keep my ears open and learn more about music. I try and take the new things I have learned and incorporate those things into my own sound and playing. Being around other musicians from different areas they are naturally going to play things that I don’t know. I am always listening to try and make my playing better and to support those I am playing with. It’s been a great learning experience for me.

AL: Do you have any tour plans in place for this spring/summer?
EJ: We have a 3 week Midwest tour planned for August. That will take us to Chicago, Minneapolis and a few other places. In November Mike and I will be doing a 2 week tour of the East Coast.

World Air Guitar Champion Eric Melin talks about his title and the competition

We’ve all done it. I certainly know I have. I’ve done it in the shower. I’ve done it in the car. And more than once I’ve done it in front of 20,000 people at a concert. And so have you. The IT I’m referring to is playing air guitar. Guilty as charged, aren’t you. Well hang your heads, dear readers, because one person in the world does it better than anyone: World Air Guitar Champion Eric Melin.

I’ve been lucky enough to have been able to call Eric a friend and a colleague for over a decade. Like me, he’s a film critic for several outlets, including his own very popular site: www.scene-stealers.com.

I have to admit that it’s much easier for me to interview an Oscar winning filmmaker then it is a friend. Question four, below, came out of my mouth so mangled that we both laughed when I told him “that was a horrible question…I’m sorry. It will look better in print.”

Just back from Finland, “Mean” Melin took some time to speak with me about his title and the future of the competition.

Mike Smith: How long have you been playing air guitar competitively?
Eric Melin: Competitively? Five years. Ironically my work as a film critic led me to it. I saw the film “Air Guitar Nation,” which was a documentary that came out in 2006. I didn’t see it until 2009 when I caught it on Netflix. When I saw the movie I thought, “Oh, shit! I’ve been doing this pretty much all my life anyway. I should try to do it on stage in front of people.”

MS: I was going to say…everyone has at one time or another played air guitar but it’s really a lot more than just miming the pick moves, etc. What all goes into a performance?
EM: There are three things that are judged in air guitar, both in the US and the World Championships. There’s technical ability, which is what you just talked about. It’s not the most important thing but, believe it or not, you want to make it look like you’re actually somewhat playing a real guitar. The second thing is stage presence, which is what I call the “Wow” factor. You really have to come out in character…you have to get the people excited that you’re there. And the third thing they judge you on is air-ness.

MS: When and where did this…I hate to use the word craze…gain notoriety? Where did competitive air guitar start?
EM: The World Championships started in 1996. The event that I just won was the 18th Annual Air Guitar World Championships. It’s been going on for a very long time. As documented in the movie “Air Guitar Nation,” it really got started in America in 2003. What happened was two guys from America – Kriston Rucker and Cedrick Devitt, who are now the co-commissioners of US Air Guitar – found out that there was such a thing as a World Championship in Finland and they went there. They realized there was no U.S. representation! How could the country that invented rock and roll not have a representative at the World Air Guitar Championships? They set up a couple of shows in New York and Los Angeles that year to remedy that and find a champion. By the time I found out about it and signed up in 2009 there were already (28) cities sponsoring events. It expanded from two to twenty-eight cities in five years.

MS: In going through the list of this year’s finalists…they came from all over the world. Finland, of course. Germany, Belgium, France, England. Are the performances influenced by their home countries? You’re very dramatic on stage…a lot of big moves. A lot of Pete Townsend and heavy metal head banging. We’re all of the performances similar?
EM: This was my first year at the World Championships after five years of competing in the U.S. Air Guitar Championships. I learned a lot more about the international style this year.

MS: I know when we spoke earlier you had mentioned that you had planned on retiring from the competitive circuit, win or lose, after the World Championships. Is that still the plan?
EM: I did decide that this would be my last year. But, after winning, I changed my mind so I could fly back to Oulu again next year because I had so much fun! So I will actually compete to defend my title next year!

Eric Walter talking about directing "My Amityville Horror"

Eric Walter is the director of the new film surrounding Long Island, NY’s famous haunted house with the documentary  “My Amityville Horror”. The film gets a first hand revisit the former house resident Daniel Lutz, who was only 10 during the events back in the 70’s. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Eric about the film and working with Daniel Lutz.

Mike Gencarelli: What made to you want to get involved with “My Amityville Horror”?
Eric Walter: To present a new perspective on the events in Amityville was my initial motivation. Daniel Lutz is the first of the Lutz children to come forward with his entire account of what he claims happened inside that house, so this was an extraordinary opportunity to explore these allegations with someone who was there. However, once I got to know Daniel, it was apparent he still wears the scars of The Amityville Horror to this day and has been unfortunately forever damaged by whatever happened to his family inside that house. I’ve also had an obsessive interest with this case since I was child. Reviewing the years of heated debates surrounding both the DeFeo murders and the Lutz haunting, I couldn’t help but be fascinated by the personalities that surround it and their apparent desire to defend their part of the story. This controversy would have never continued if the original participants weren’t still so entangled within it. In January of 2007, I launched AmityvilleFiles.com, an enormous online archive of Amityville-related research. I wanted to create an unbiased presentation of the known facts surrounding the case – somewhere people who are interested in these events could go and read through the original newspaper articles, view media and essentially draw their own conclusions on what they believe went down in that house.

MG: What are your thoughts on the events that took place at 112 Ocean Avenue?
EW: I believe that something very real occurred to the Lutz family that truly frightened them. I believe that they believed the house was haunted. I don’t believe their account was a complete hoax created for profit or attention, however there are inconsistencies that make it a difficult picture. How many of their stories were real or possibly elaborated upon, no one will ever know. Their accounts have been lost in over 35 years of misinformation about the story and media exposure that have clouded the truth. This is why I felt it very necessary to allow Daniel Lutz to speak openly in the film, giving him an objective stage to do so. In many ways, I think his account has only deepened the mystery.

MG: How did you get in touch with Daniel Lutz?
EW: AmityvilleFiles.com proved to be the calling card for what became “My Amityville Horror.” I was contacted by a contractor in the New York area who claimed to be a friend of Daniel Lutz. Despite being very intrigued, I didn’t necessarily believe this man’s claims until I was able to see a picture of Daniel. After this, I knew this had to be him and I went about engaging in conversation with them. In 2009, I traveled to New York and conducted nearly 12 hours of audio recordings with Daniel.

MG: Tell us about your experience working with him.
EW: Working with Daniel has been very challenging at times. He’s very angry and difficult to approach at first. My immediate impression was that his willingness to speak to me was almost therapy for him — a way of unburdening himself of these stories that have lived inside his head for over 35 years. He was struggling to differentiate his point-of-view from the public’s perception of the story. Many of his memories seem to be skewed by the media fiction that surrounds these events. The subject of memory came heavily into play when listening to his account. For me, this started to transcend the Amityville topic and touch on a broader issue – the challenge of someone attempting to comprehend the unexplained. That’s what I hope people really take away from the film. This is something that has psychologically damaged and impacted this person. Whether it’s true or not, he believes it’s true.

MG: Some of the questions you approach him with are quite tough—were you ever concerned about that?
EW: There’s such intensity with him about this topic that I was constantly aware of how far to push him on certain questions. I never shied away from asking hard questions, but it was process of being conscious of when to ask certain things. He definitely does not like discussing Amityville and becomes very tense and angry when exploring those dark areas of his childhood. Looking back, I’m amazed I was able to capture as much as did within the film.

MG: What was your biggest challenge with working on the documentary?
EW: I’d have to say bringing all of the subjects together into one film was the greatest challenge. We tried very hard to interview Daniel’s other two siblings, but there’s such pain surrounding this time in their life, the remaining family members choose not to speak about it anymore. As filmmakers, we had to respect this, but it’s difficult because you desire that corroboration for the film. They seemed to have moved on from it more than Daniel apparently has. For me, obtaining all of the necessary witness testimony was the greatest challenge in producing this film.

MG: What do you have planned next?
EW: I’m currently in development on another feature documentary concept. The realm of the unexplained is what fuels my desire to make films, so I plan to stay in this field of study. I’m very interested in the combination of narrative and documentary and how these styles can be used to enhance the storytelling process. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to explore a variety of different subjects in the future and expanding my palette of work.

Eric Jacobus talk about playing Stryker in “Mortal Kombat Legacy 2”

Eric Jacobus is the founder of  The Stunt People with Ben Brown and Chelsea Steffensen in 2001.  He released his film “Death Grip” in which he took on the role of Writer, Director, Lead/Stuntman, Choreographer and even Editor. He recently worked stunts in the upcoming “”A Good Day to Die Hard” and also took over the role of Stryker in “Mortal Kombat Legacy 2”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Eric about his role in Mortal Kombat Legacy 2″ and what else he has planned next.

Mike Gencarelli: Give us some background about how you got started in martial arts?
Eric Jacobus: I was a late bloomer in martial arts. My small town of Redding, CA didn’t have many martial art schools, so I took to weightlifting. Martial arts may have helped with the bullies in school but I had a knack for talking my way out of everything, plus the weightlifting made me stronger than them anyway. I remember a kid was once pushing me around in the locker room, so I just grabbed his arms and pushed my foot against his chest and pulled until he dropped… Come to think of it I think that’s a Fatality move from Mortal Kombat. When I began producing action films in San Francisco around the age of 20, I wanted to exhibit the authenticity of a real martial artist, which made me seek out training. So I didn’t start training until I was 20. First I studied Tae Kwon Do under Andy Leung, and then Myung Jae Nam-style Hapkido under Dennis Ruel and Ray & Troy Carbonel. I’ve been doing Hapkido for eight years. Now the town I grew up in has either a mixed martial arts or trick martial arts school on every corner. Things have changed so much in just the last decade – everyone in America understands martial arts thanks to the widespread appeal of MMA, and you can see this paradigm shift influencing fight choreography in major Hollywood films.

MG: How did you end up replacing Tahmoh Penikett to play Stryker in “Mortal Kombat Legacy 2”?
EJ: I don’t know the logistics behind the change itself. It could have been a schedule issue, who knows? These kinds of things happen all the time. But the kind of character I’m known for playing in films is the underdog tough guy who is always looking for a way out of a fight, using his head for the most part but able to throw down when necessary. Some people have even called me the “white Jackie Chan.” Stryker is
a human in a supernatural world, a Jack Burton with handcuffs, and he brings real human emotions like fear, confusion, and humor. These are emotions I’m comfortable playing, so when the choreographer Larnell Stovall told me I should play Stryker I knew it was the perfect part for me. Hell, minus the cop part I play this character on a daily basis.

MG: How did you research to play such a well-known character as Stryker?
EJ: I played Mortal Kombat to the death as a kid at the local arcade. The funnier, underdog human characters like Stryker and Johnny Cage appealed the most to me because I could relate to them. Stryker’s also a riot cop. He protects the innocent, keeps the peace, and shoots to kill, a very black and white character (or black and blue). His gear is typical police equipment; gun, taser, mace, cuffs, and a baton, which I didn’t know how to use. This is where my stunt team The Stunt People comes into use. One of our members Yun Yang is a Kyokushin Karate practitioner, and he showed me how to use one. I also had a fair amount of on-set sidearm training with a firearms expert. But training in the art of police brutality itself was a non-issue – you could call that a personal character trait of mine. Protect the good guys, beat up the bad guys, no problem.

MG: What can you tell us about your episode this season?
EJ: This season I team up with Johnny Cage and we have some good scenes together, plus I have a badass fight scene. I get to be in more than one episode, too. Beyond that I can’t reveal much else. Did I mention I have a badass fight scene?

MG: Tell us about your stunt work on “A Good Day to Die Hard”?
EJ: I had just finished my martial arts action film Death Grip, and Chad Stahelski from 87Eleven Action Design took notice of the final knife fight from that film that I performed with Alvin Hsing. Chad brought me and Alvin to the 8711 gym where we choreographed a fight with J.J. Perry for A Good Day to Die Hard and filmed it, which is called a “pre-viz”. I got to pretend to be John McClane, toning down the flashy martial arts and playing more to his strengths, which again is the kind of character I’m most apt at playing. He’s vulnerable, faced with a superior opponent and always bringing the human element to the fight. He gets hurt, has to improvise, and avoids conflict whenever possible. It was a blast. Bruce Willis is another actor who inspired me to get into action film. If only I could’ve met the guy!

MG: Tell us about “Death Grip”, which you not only star but also direct, co-wrote, produce?
EJ: “Death Grip” is a martial arts thriller about a criminal who sets his life straight by assuming care for his estranged, autistic brother, but the brother inadvertently gets them wrapped up in the theft of a priceless artifact, and to clear their names they have to recover it from a Satanic Cult. Virgin sacrifices, killer monks, and a maniacal cult leader played by Power Rangers star Johnny Yong Bosch all stand in their way. I produced Death Grip with co-star Rebecca Ahn, who helped me pull together a sizable budget. It allowed me and my stunt team The Stunt People to go all out in the fight scenes: we destroy a bathroom, do a fight in the dark where the audience can what the characters can’t, and pit me against 15 other evil monks ala Armor of God. It’s pure, Hong Kong-style martial arts action mixed with American sentiment that you don’t typically get from mainstream action films. Whereas Hollywood films often rush the fight scenes and rely too much on fast editing, shaky camerawork, and stunt doubles, we do all our own stunts and have full control over the camera and editing. We don’t hide anything, and the audience can actually see what the hell is going on. People like that, especially since America now understands martial arts better than ever due to the popularity of MMA. I’m now producing a new martial art film called Marine Core, written by Steve Carolan. Imagine “Ninja Scroll” starring Rambo. Keep your eyes peeled for it!

MG: Where can people check out this action-packed film?
EJ: I’ll be at San Diego Comic-Con this year at Booth 4015 with other cast members, so stop by, get a Stryker autograph, and pick up Death Grip or any of my other films. You can always check out my YouTube channel, and you can always grab a copy of Death Grip on DVD or Blu Ray at our online store here.

Eric Kripke talks about creating new hit series NBC’s “Revolution”

Eric Kripke talks about creating new hit series NBC’s “Revolution”, which airs Mondays 10pm EST. Kripke also created and executive produced “Supernatural,” now in its eighth season. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Eric about the show and what we can expect from the first season.

Mike Smith: Can you talk just a bit about how you came up with the whole concept for the show?
Eric Kripke: Yeah, sure. Really for me it was about, I’m a huge fan of Star Wars, I’m a huge fan of Lord of the Rings, I’m a huge fan of really that kind of Joseph Campbell classic, mythic, heroes journey storytelling, you know those big grand adventures. And those are the kind of stories that are more often serviced in movies than they are on television. But, I think TV is actually a perfect format for that kind of storytelling because if so many – you know those are such big sprawling stories and you have so many more hours in TV to really explore all the different facets of a world and the characters that live in that world. And that you could give it, you know really epic scope, but very intimate character focus. So for me, it was always – I was always really interested in kind of taking that sort of big sprawling adventure format, that big quest format and putting it in television when you can really explore it episodically, and so that’s really kind of where the idea started. And, you know I’m a huge fan of Star Wars. I’m also a huge fan of Stephen King’s The Stand, and I really like the idea of rather than setting it in some fantasy kingdom to set the story line in some kind of transformed America, which is very – you know in a very strange way relatable and familiar to your audience, because it’s things that they’ve seen before, but just transformed overgrown with vines and all that. It kind of started from the idea of just where can we create this mythic quest, and then from there it was working, you know J.J. and his whole team at Bad Robot and we were sort of talking about like, “Okay, what would transform America, and would it be nuclear war, would it be disease?” We all sort of felt like we’ve seen that a million times before. And they had been kicking around an idea of, “Like what would happen if there was a global blackout?” I jumped right on that idea. I’m like, “That’s perfect. That’s the way to kickoff the show.” That’s really interesting and provocative and I think a really relatable concept, because I think everybody feels how over-reliant we are on technology, and so it becomes sort of interesting commentary to explore what would happen if we removed all technology overnight.

MS: Just going back to the pilot when the blackout happened, it looks like it was very gradual over the whole Earth, should we be reading into that, looking for clues as to the origin of the blackout, or did that just look cool to have that sweep of darkness over the Earth?
EK: You should look for clues everywhere…is the short answer. The longer answer is, you know there was a phenomenon that, you know we have up our sleeve as to what caused the blackout, and that that it – what you saw in that globe shot is an accurate representation of what we are working on. And – but, you know right now we’re currently in the writers room. We’re talking dangerously about revealing that secret before the end of the first season. So again, it’s sort of my philosophy of not being too precious with anything. So, we may reveal the secret sooner than later.

MS: Can you talk a little bit about the decision to downgrade Maggie from series regular, and then eventually write her out.
EK: Yeah, sure. You know what it really came down to more than any other decision, Anna Lise is a wonderful actress and I love that character. I’m sort of have a bad habit in the shows that I run of killing off the people that I love, and I think Maggie was one of those. I think we decided internally that very early on that it was really important to show that this world had very real stakes, and that it was truly dangerous. And because, you know you’re not close to hospitals, you’re not close to paramedics, you’re not close to help, and we very quickly realized that the scariest thing we could do was to kill the doctor among them. So it was purely a creative decision about really putting a sharp – giving the world the real charge of danger, so that as we move forward in the series we want the audience to really understand that nobody is safe, including the main characters, and just bring that suspense as the series continues because we think that’s honest to the world we’re trying to create here.

MS: Can you talk a little bit about what we’re going to see, in terms of Neville’s backstory and who he was?
EK: Yeah. You know, Neville – what’s interesting about the blackout in the show and – which – you know where we like to explore and we want to explore more and more as the show goes on is what a transformative experience it was for so many people. And who they were in the old world has nothing to do with who they are now. And – I mean, there’s like a bit of that in the pilot, which you know we were always amused by the idea that he’s this kind of violent strong man post-blackout, but pre-blackout he was an insurance adjuster. So we were really interested in exploring that backstory more and seeing how his character, who before the blackout was pretty mild mannered and maybe a little submissive, and how did he transform into the violent psychopath that he is today? And then – you know, and then meeting his wife. And right now, basically, we’re planting Kim now, and then, you know we’re going to meet here in the present day and really explore her character a couple episodes down the line. And we’re going to see how, you know a very normal suburban wife before the blackout, post-blackout, transformed into a Lady Macbeth.

MS: Tell us about how you chose Giancarlo Esposito for the role of Captain Tom Neville?
EK: Giancarlo is just a world-class actor, and frankly we were shocked that he was willing to partner up with us because, you know we were sort of like – we felt like we were like kind of, “Like, why is such a classy actor want to hang out with such shady people?” And – but, you know obviously I was a – I’m a – I was a huge fan of his performance in Breaking Bad, but I’ve been a fan of his from long before that, and we’re just honored to have him be a part of the show. He brings so much heft and depth and emotion and – to Neville, who is not obviously the same character as that character, because you know Neville’s got, you know moments of vulnerability and moments of humanity. And he’s just a really interesting complicated character that Giancarlo makes so much better than what is on the page. But yeah, and it’s true because I mean he’s the – he’s exactly the type of actor you want to work with because you can write any dialogue and he makes it about five times better than it actually is. And I’m just – like I said, I’m just honored to be working with him. And then on top of that, he’s like the nice – it’s like the government actually has designated him the nicest man in America. He couldn’t be a sweeter, more gracious, more open-hearted collaborative guy, and someone who is that talented and that kind-hearted is just is really one in a million, and I just love working with him.

MS: Could talk a little about Rachel’s motivations and the direction her character’s going in?
EK: Yeah, sure. I mean, certain ones are a little mysterious, so I have to be a little cagey, because we reveal some things. But basically, what – you know Rachel is – you know she has – she’s obviously holding on to certain secrets about why the power went out, and we’ll reveal in the next episode on Monday exactly – we’ll reveal a little more about what she in fact knows about the blackout. Monroe’s been keeping her, in a gilded cage, kind of prisoner; although, with occasional torture, so it’s not so fun. But she’s strong and, we’re so smitten with what Elizabeth is doing with the character that we’re just writing more and more and more for her, because she’s just – she’s so good. And so, she’s a very strong character, but everything changes when Danny finally arrives in Philadelphia. So, now General Monroe has Rachel where he wants her, because she doesn’t really care about he own well-being, but of course she cares about the well-being of her son. And so, he’s really able to twist her arm and forced her to reveal things that she hasn’t revealed to him yet. But she, of course, is you know smart and heroic and is, you know desperately searching for a way out of the predicament that she’s in.

MS: Are we going to see Nate and Charlie’s relationship develop more?
EK: The short answer, yes, but over the sweep of the season. He’s going to be spending some time in Philadelphia, we’re going to start to understand what his world is like within the world of the militia, but he’s certainly going to interact with Charlie again and he has a bumpy road ahead for him.

MS: Since the full season pickup mean that you were able to go ahead with some story ideas and arcs that you’d maybe put on the backburner in case NBC did cut the series short?
EK: Well, you know television showrunners are a foolishly optimistic bunch. I think we were designing our story lines in the hopes that there would be a full season pickup. And then, in my back – it was more that. It was more like I was, you know designing the story line for 22, and then in my back pocket I had a – I had like a nuclear failsafe that it really looked everything was going off the cliff I had an emergency contingency plan to wrap everything up very quickly. But obviously, I’m very thankful to the network that they gave us the opportunity to, you know be able to tell the story.

MS: You are also the creator of “Supernatural”. How much time are you being able to spend at that since “Revolution” is now also in production?
EK: Yeah, I don’t spend as much time over there as I would like, but – because this one’s got my hands full at the moment. But, I will say that, Bog Singer and Jeremy Carver, who are running that show are doing an absolutely incredible job and it’s like watching Supernatural go is like – is sort of like watching my child go off to college. I don’t necessarily have control over it, but I’m so proud of what they’re doing.

Eric Balfour talks about season three of Syfy’s “Haven”

Eric Balfour plays the role of Duke in Syfy’s “Haven”. The show begins its amped up season three on September 21st. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Eric about what wee can expect from this season and his character.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your relationship this season with Nathan?
Eric Balfour: I like to think of Nathan and my character’s relationship as sort of like when Harry met Sally. We’re sort of in the second act of “When Harry Met Sally” when I think they’ve probably slept together at this point but it was a little awkward and they’re going to have to now realize how much they actually mean to each other. No, I think the show obviously has this really exciting element of the troubles and every week you have these, you know, fantastic scares and mysteries. But, at the core of this show, it really is about this love story and this triangle between these three characters and about the different relationships that Emily’s character, Audrey, has to these two men. And they sort of represent different components of her own personality, if it’s okay for me to say that.

MG: What can we expect from season three?
EB: I think what the writers even told us at the beginning of the season and what was most exciting for me and I think is going to be incredibly exciting for the viewers who turn in this – tune in this year is that this love triangle is really going to just be like a rubber band. It is going to expand and contract and move and grow and cause riffs and strifes and it really is dynamic this season. I think that’s what’s going to be ultimately I just think the most exciting part for the fans of this show because we really do get to take the audience on a ride this year with the love story that goes on between these characters. As friends, as lovers and it’s my favorite part of the show this season.

MG: Can you reflect on the world that has been created for this show?
EB: My favorite part is that episode that really take you out of your everyday life. I think what we’ve created here in Haven is this sort of strange macabre, quirky world and it exists in its own reality in a way. Those are my favorite episodes when we really dive into that world and that reality where Haven is a town that although it’s not completely different from the world we know, it is unequivocally not the world that we know. And that’s my favorite part when we live in that reality.

MG: Any memorable moments from shooting?
EB: My most memorable moment was there is an episode where a woman is trapped in a car that is sinking under water and it was a huge stunt. And it was the first time where our

show felt really big and we have the car over this cliff, in the ocean waves crashing on it, paramedics and stunt guys and cranes. And that to me was probably the most memorable moment was this. I felt like we were making a movie. It was really cool.

MG: Tell us about “Haven” working side-by-side with social media?
EB: I think the coolest thing about what we’re trying to do with Twitter, the online interactions and storylines is really to enhance the experience of the show for everybody. It’s not necessarily something that nobody else is doing at this point. But we’re really trying to do it in the unique way that makes it exciting for the viewers and makes it exciting for the fans to feel like they get a little bit extra and a little bit more than just from watching the episodes on television. And then hopefully, also enhance the experience of watching the episodes.

 

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Eric McCormack talks about new series TNT’s “Perception”

Eric McCormack is known best for his role on “Will & Grace”. He is starring a new show on TNT called “Perception”, which premiers Monday, July 9 at 10 o’clock pm Eastern on TNT. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Eric on his new show and what we can expect.

Mike Gencarelli: What drew you to the part? Was it immediately you read the script and went I got to do it or how did it all happen for you?
Eric McCormack: Yes, I was a bit of that on first page where I’m lecturing was a big one for me because I was a big Paper Chase fan from the 70s with John Housman. And the idea of playing not just a neuroscientist not just somebody brilliant, but the fact that he is a teacher, that he has that thing that audience in the palm of his hand and that he’s funny and passionate and finds an interesting way to approach what could be a very dry topic. He finds a very humorous approach and I just love this guy. Then to find out outside of the classroom he is often crippled by symptoms of schizophrenia, I thought that’s a wild combination of the arrogant what becomes with an intellectual and the absolutely let us say crippling conditions that the disease contributes.

MG: What kind of research did you do?
EMC: I did as much as I could. I think it’s crucial that we represent all aspects of this, the neuroscience and also the academia but most importantly the schizophrenia, not to mention the FBI reality which is somebody else job, but with incredible accuracy. We started with Dr. Michael Green at UCLA who is a neuroscience professor with schizophrenia as his expertise. And then I sat down with Elyn Saks, a fascinating woman who wrote a book called The Center Cannot Hold. She is a law professor at USC but she wrote a book about her own schizophrenia, which she completely blew her mind out in the 70s. She was like writing brilliant papers one day and in the hospital strapped down to a bed the next and has such tremendous memory of it that she was able to describe it and some of the passages in her book about what it feels like to break psychotically were absolutely crucial to what I do in the show.

What aspects of your personality or idiosyncrasies did you bring to the role of Daniel?
EMC: What I love about him like I say is that combination of so much confidence and so much crippling fear. And I think if there is anything that I can understand as an actor is, I think it’s that. It’s that idea that sometimes the only way we see is by walking into a room and believing that no one can do that better than us. And yet it’s really just a mask we put on disguising the fact that we’re terrified that we suck and we’reterrified that we’ll never work again. I think understanding that dichotomy is understanding what it must be like to have the drive that says I need to be in front of a classroom or I need to solve this puzzle even though I’m on a crime scene that is absolutely shutting me down. And to have that disguising someone that ultimately would rather be in a laboratory then out to dinner with people is to understand the world that he lives in mixed emotional.

MG: What challenges have you found on taking on the hat of producer as well on this series?
EMC: I am a producer on the show I’m certainly not the producer. I couldn’t produce the whole thing and be in every scene. The guys that created the show Ken Biller and Mike Sussman do a fine job at producing it creatively and there are some great guys producing it physically. My contribution as a producer mainly I wanted to make sure that we all conceived the look and feel of the character and we’re on the same page. I wanted to have a say in the casting and I was certainly in the room for the casting of Rachael, Kelly, and Arjay and I’m really excited how that worked out. Then to say hey, it’s important the tone of the show, whether it be dealing with how do we shoot a hallucination and accurately reflect what schizophrenia can look like or feel like. How do we have a scene where he’s angry but there’s also a comic element? How do we do that and accurately represent how a professional behaves? How would a schizophrenic behave? It’s important that I always have the ability to speak up and to take ownership of that. That’s the main way I produce.

MG: So you’ve work for a while in comedy with “Will & Grace”; what do you enjoy more, the drama or the comedy?
EMC: I love doing both. When I was on “Will & Grace” nothing made me happier than having a big dramatic scene with Debra in the mists of the crazy comedy. Nothing gives me a bigger better thrill than dramatic crime scene in this show where he gets to suddenly say something inappropriate that clearly is going to be funny. I love the mix. I think the magic is in the combination and I’m never happy with just one.

MG: What do find challenging from playing Pierce in this from an acting aspect?
EMC: Like I say it’s a combination of being accurate enough to plot out. Okay in the course of an episode – and we were often shooting two episodes at the same time just for cost reasons, so it was really a lot of work on my part to go, I have to make sure that there is accuracy here in how he behaves situation to situation. But you also want unpredictability, that the fun of the character is that he surprises the people around him and he surprises himself sometimes. And I like sometimes to discover he surprises me. That somehow my reactions might be something I hadn’t thought of. And yet still remain within the realm of being accurate and being sympathetic and being responsible to the mental illness community.

MG: What do you think it is about “Perception” that’s really going to connect with theviewers? And now that you’re on Twitter how is that going to help with the promotion of the show?
EMC: Well, I’m not a natural tweeter. It’s work to make myself tweet everyday. But having work that I’m excited about like the play that last few months when we first got started it was fun to tweet about that. As we’re getting closer now in the next few weeks I’m going to start tweeting a lot about it because I want people to see the show. I’m excited to share that. I never do work just for the sake of doing it. I do it because I want as many people as possible to enjoy it. I think this will be – this is particularly for summer, I think this will be a breath of fresh air. So much of summer programming is sort of fun and silly and reality shows and competition shows. I think this is people love a good mystery solving show, but I love the point of view of this. I think we’ve gotten to the point now where we can’t just see regular cops following regular things because a lot of those shows we now – it’s nice to see coming from the angle of someone with a very extreme point of view on life. And a guy that is a neuroscience professor with schizophrenia is coming at a crime scene from a very, very different perspective, sometimes humorous, sometimes extremely intellectual. Some of the cases that we’re going to tackle are things that wouldn’t necessarily come up on a lot of other shows because there wouldn’t be anybody. They’d have to go to an expert, someone like a Daniel Pierce, to solve it. So, our guy David Eagleman who wrote a book Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain, to have him as our resident expert allowed us to come up with some plot lines that are really fun, and for anyone that likes the twists and turns in an hour long mystery there’s going to be some really surprising episodes.

Eric Brevig To Direct Brendan Fraser in “William Tell: 3D”

ERIC BREVIG TO DIRECT THE LEGEND OF WILLIAM TELL: 3D

Brendan Fraser Reunited with JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH Director

New Original Screenplay by Chad and Evan Law
Gary Hamilton’s Arclight Films Handles Sales
 
Toronto, ON, Canada – September 7, 2011 – Producer Todd Moyer has announced that Eric  Brevig will direct Brendan Fraser in the historical family action adventure WILLIAM TELL: 3D, to be shot in spring 2011 in Romania.  Brevig, who replaces Nick Hurran at the helm of the film, also directed JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH and YOGI BEAR; both pictures grossed over $US100 million each domestically and over half a billion worldwide theatrically. Brevig is also known as a visual effect supervisor, who won a special achievement Academy Award® in Special Effects for TOTALL RECALL was nominated for PEARL HARBOR and HOOK.  Other VFX credits include MEN IN BLACK, THE ISLAND and THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW.
Moyer says, “We’re delighted to reunite Eric Brevig with Brendan Fraser; family action adventure is exactly what Brendan and Eric do best. Eric’s skills and experience will make this film compete with any studio film.”  Owing to the change in director, brand-new, original script by Chad and Evan Law (SIX BULLETS; THE HERO; THE HIT LIST), advancing winter weather in Eastern Europe and pre-production time, Moyer expects principal photography to begin in mid-March 2012 Castel Studios in Romania and on location in Switzerland.  The budget’s been upped to an estimated $27 million sourced from a Chicago hedge fund.  Gary Hamilton’s Arclight Pictures will handle international distribution of the film at Toronto.
William Tell is a legend in North America for shooting an apple from the top of his son’s head with a bow and arrow (it was really a crossbow).  What Americans don’t know is that he’s a revered historical figure in Europe.  In the legend, Tell just can’t leave well enough alone.  The local potentate of the Hapsburg monarch, Hermann Gessler forces Tell to shoot the apple because he refused to bow before Gessler’s hat, erected in a town square.  Tell succeeds in cleanly (and safely) cleaving the fruit and wins his and his son’s freedom.
But Gessler asks Tell why he had two arrows is his quiver, and Tell replies he was going to shoot Gessler with the second if he’d missed.  Tell’s defiance of Gessler ignited an uprising against the Austrian government which led to the formation of Switzerland.
 
A veteran of dozens of films and one of America’s most charming leading men, Brendan Fraser’s best known for playing amiable archaeologist Rick O’Connell in the three blockbuster MUMMY films for Universal; he’s also starred in EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES, GODS AND MONSTERS, CRASH and SCHOOL TIES. Fraser’s shot a number of new films in recent months, including the “fish heist” comedy WHOLE LOTTA SOLE, GIMME SHELTER, and the animated ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH.  Fraser’s repped by CAA, Joanne Colonna with Brillstein Entertainment Partners and attorney Patti Felker.