“Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes” Avengers Play Set Trailer Released

Disney Interactive today released additional details and a new trailer for Marvel’s The Avengers Play Set which will be available for Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition). Slated for release this fall, gamers will be invited to take part in a brand new true-to-property storyline crafted with the help of award-winning Marvel comic writer Brian Michael Bendis and featuring The Avengers Super Heroes Iron Man, Black Widow, Thor, Captain America, Hulk and Hawkeye.

Play Set: The Avengers Play Set is the first play set to be announced for Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes and features Iron Man, Thor and Black Widow, with Captain America, Hawkeye and Hulk sold separately. Players will take the role of earth’s mightiest heroes as they try to put an end to Loki’s cold-hearted plans to invade New York City. Along the way, they will learn that Loki isn’t working alone and that this is but the first step in a villainous plot that threatens the entire planet. The Avengers will need not only their strength and wits, but also the technology and insight of S.H.I.E.L.D. to have any chance of saving the world.

Toy Box: In the all-new Toy Box 2.0, players will be able to use Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow and all of The Avengers characters, plus hundreds of Marvel-themed items, locations, props and vehicles, to create new and exciting adventures in customized worlds.

The Avengers Play Set and new Toy Box mode will be included in the Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes Starter Pack. Additional Play Sets and characters will be announced in the coming months.


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Teaser video released for FX’s new series “The Strain”

Here is a teaser video for FX’s highly anticipated new series, “THE STRAIN”, which premieres July 2014 only on FX. The series is based on the book of the same name by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan.

It stars Corey Stoll, David Bradley, Kevin Durand, Mía Maestro, Jonathan Hyde, Richard Sammel, Javier Botet, Miguel Gomez, Natalie Brown, Jack Kesy, Sean Astin, Robert Maillet, Francis Capra and Melanie Merkosky

Extended Director’s Cut of Cliver Barker’s “Nightbreed” Scheduled to Be Released in 2014 from Scream Factory

Shout! Factory and Morgan Creek Productions officially announced today a strategic distribution alliance to bring Clive Barker’s classic horror film “Nightbreed” extended director’s cut to the home entertainment marketplace in the U.S and Canada and on digital entertainment platforms next year. The announcement was made by Shout! Factory’s founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos along with and David Robinson, President of Morgan Creek Productions. The news initially broke at Comic-Con 2013, however the agreement formally reached by both parties occurred today.

For years rumors swirled about substantial missing footage from the film. A fan-driven movement was created (www.OccupyMidian.com) to see the full version of the film restored and re-released, which was not only a more faithful adaptation of Clive Barker’s book “Cabal,” but is what originally he intended “Nightbreed” to be.

Clive Barker said, “I had a dream about the tribes of the moon. They would live in a city called Midian and, though they were monsters of every shape and size, they would be the heroes of a movie called “Nightbreed.” However, when I made the movie, the studio was not comfortable with this inversion of the classic structure. They wanted the monsters to be simple-minded scare machines, while I wanted them to be the dark side of all of us, mysterious and misunderstood. Finally, with this new version of “Nightbreed,” which contains over forty five minutes of previously unseen material, my original vision has been realized. Come with me to Midian, the city of monsters. The tribes of the moon await us.”

“We are excited by this opportunity with Morgan Creek and are huge fans of Clive Barker. His cinematic works and brilliant storytelling continue to captivate fans worldwide,” stated Shout! Factory’s founders in a joint statement. “We look forward to working closely with Clive to bring his original vision to life.”

Shout!’s SCREAM FACTORY plans an aggressive rollout of “Nightbreed” extended director’s cut through physical home entertainment releases and a variety of digital entertainment distribution platforms sometimes next year.

“We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank the fans,” noted Robinson. “Without their hard work and persistence, this would have never become a reality. Clive Barker is one of the greats, and we are tremendously proud and excited to be working with him and Shout! Factory on this release.”

The original “Nightbreed” was released in 1990 by Morgan Creek Productions and Twentieth Century Fox. Directed by Clive Barker, the film starred Craig Sheffer, Anne Bobby and David Cronenberg and centered on a tribe of monsters and outcasts known as the Nightbreed that hide from humanity.

The official “Nightbreed” page can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/FansOfNightbreed

About Morgan Creek
For over twenty years, Morgan Creek Productions has produced numerous highly successful and critically acclaimed motion pictures including the Young Guns and Major League franchises; Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Costner; and Ace Ventura, the hit comedy that established Jim Carrey as one of the leading comedians of our time. Morgan Creek recently released Dream House, starring Daniel Craig and Naomi Watts. Currently in production is the biopic Tupac which is scheduled to start production next year. For more information, visit MorganCreek.com.
Insert Morgan Creek Productions boiler plate

About Shout! Factory
Shout! Factory, LLC is a diversified multi-platform media company devoted to producing, uncovering, preserving and revitalizing the very best of pop culture. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their entire careers sharing their music, television and film favorites with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory’s DVD and Blu-Ray™ offerings serve up feature films, classic and contemporary TV series, animation, live music and comedy specials in lavish packages crammed with extras. Shout’s audio division boasts GRAMMY®-nominated box sets, Broadway cast albums, new releases from storied artists, lovingly assembled album reissues and indispensable “best of” compilations. In addition, Shout! Factory maintains a vast digital distribution network which delivers video and audio content to all the leading digital service providers in North America. Shout! Factory also owns and operates Timeless Media Group, Biograph Records, Majordomo Records, HighTone Records and Video Time Machine. These riches are the result of a creative acquisition mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention. Shout! Factory is based in Santa Monica, California. For more on Shout! Factory, visit shoutfactory.co

Trailer for “Madonna: Truth Or Dare” on Blu-ray Released

Go backstage and under the covers with the musical and pop culture icon, Madonna, as Lionsgate debuts Miramax’s Madonna: Truth or Dare on Blu-ray Disc April 3, 2012. See the Queen of Pop as never before – singer, dancer, sex goddess, businesswoman and den mother – in an up close and personal documentary chronicling Madonna’s 1990 “Blond Ambition Tour.” Presented for the first time with a stunning new 1080P High Definition transfer and 5.1 DTS Master Audio, Madonna: Truth or Dare premieres on Blu-ray Disc for the suggested retail price of $14.99, just as Madonna makes her way back into the spotlight. With a Super Bowl half-time performance, a new album, tour and the launch of her “Truth or Dare” lifestyle brand, 2012 is destined to be the year of Madge. Madonna: Truth or Dare will also be available on DVD for the suggested retail price of $9.98.

The top-selling female artist of all-time, Madonna has sold more than 300 million albums worldwide. Fresh off of her recent Golden Globe win for Best Original Song for her directorial feature film, W.E., Madonna has also previously won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture (Comedy/Musical) for her role as Eva Peron in Evita (1997), been named one of TIME’s “25 Most Powerful Women in the Past Century” and garnered countless other accolades. Madonna: Truth or Dare explores the icon as an artist and a person, from her dressing room to her bedroom.

First “A Good Old Fashioned Orgy” Poster Released

Below please find poster and details on A GOOD OLD FASHIONED ORGY, a Samuel Goldwyn Films release. The film is rated R and opens September 2.

The film has an all-star cast including Lake Bell, Leslie Bibb, Michelle Borth, Rhys Coiro, Will Forte, Don Johnson, David Koechner, Nick Kroll, Tyler Labine, Lucy Punch, Angela Sarafyan, Lin Shaye, Lindsay Sloane, Martin Starr and Jason Sudeikis.  The film is directed by Alex Gregory & Peter Huyck.

The Emmy nominated writing team of Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck (“The Larry Sanders” Show,” “King of the Hill”) make their directorial debut with “A Good Old Fashioned Orgy.” The story, also penned by the pair, is the hilarious account of a group of early 30 something Manhattan-ites who decide to do the unthinkable to celebrate the end of their summer weekend jaunts in the Hamptons.

When Eric Keppler’s (JASON SUDEIKIS) father Jerry (DON JOHNSON) informs the group that he plans to sell their beloved Hamptons getaway, the gang finds it hard to face the reality that the summers they have known since their teenage years are coming to an end. Memories of infamous themed house parties date back to their high school days and this news is devastating to the long time friends.

In an effort to go out with a bang, Eric wants to throw one last epic party to trump all others and decides to orchestrate an orgy among him and his friends. At first, no one except the always inappropriate Mike McCrudden (TYLER LABINE) is on board but slowly, one by one the others agree to participate. Each thinking that by joining, it might help him/her resolve some personal issue. Sue Plummer (MICHELLE BORTH) sees it as a chance to be with Eric after a missed opportunity years ago. Laura LaCarubba (LINDSAY SLOANE) thinks it might help her get past her body image issues. Alison Lobel (LAKE BELL) is coming off a bad break up and thinks it will be a nice change from the restrictions of a relationship. Doug Duquez (MARTIN STARR) and Willow Talbot (ANGELA SARAFYAN) think it might help their on again off again romance. Adam Richman (NICK KROLL) has just been fired from a job that controlled the entirety of his 20s so he vows to make his 30s memorable and decides an orgy is just the thing to kick it off.

Intentionally not included are Glenn (WILL FORTE) and Kate (LUCY PUNCH) who already have a child and are about to get married.  Unfortunately, the couple learns of the orgy on their wedding day and become furious that their best friends excluded them from this monumental event.  They still believe that despite being parents and newlyweds, they are still hip and cool.

With the threat of a pending sale, Eric tries as hard as he can to ensure that the house does not get sold until after the Labor Day weekend orgy party. To do this, Eric begins dating one of his realtors, Kelly (LESLIE BIBB), in an effort to convince her to hold off. When he unexpectedly begins to develop serious feelings for her, he starts to second guess his participation in the orgy and threatens to dismantle the entire plan.

No one could have anticipated how the evening would change their lives and the lessons that would be learned from one night of debauchery. Also starring David Koechner (VIC) and Lyn Shaye (DODY HENDERSON), “A Good Old Fashioned Orgy” is a raunchy yet hilarious tale of friendship, growing up and moving on with a little bit of sex thrown in for good measure.

“BKO: Bangkok Knockout” Getting Released from Magnolia Home Entertainment


Only The Strong Will Survive In The Action-Packed Thriller Kicking Its Way To Blu-ray Disc And DVD August 30 From Magnolia Home Entertainment

“The action is extreme, extremely dangerous and extremely fun.”
– Twitch Film

When a group of old friends come together they end up doing more then talking about the past in BKO: Bangkok Knockout, arriving on Blu-ray Disc and DVD August 30 from Magnolia Home Entertainment. From Director and Fight Choreographer, Panna Rittikrai (Ong Bak Franchise, Born To Fight), Thai action cinema legend, action superstar and mentor to many of today’s top martial arts legends including Tony Ja (Ong Bak), Dan Chupong (Dynamite Warrior) and Jija Yanin (Chocolate), BKO: Bangkok Knockout takes fight sequences to a whole new level.

A group of ex-marital arts students attend a reunion party to reminisce about their old ‘fight club,’ but this reunion is not all fun and games when some of the members are kidnapped by a group of deadly assassins, leaving the remaining members to save their friends in the ultimate battle for survival. Packed with death-defying action and highlighting a range of martial arts disciplines from Muay Thai to Capoeira, Kung Fu to Tai Chi, the BKO: Bangkok Knockout Blu-ray Disc and DVD features explosive bonus materials including a behind-the-scenes featurette and an international trailer, and will be available for the suggested retail price of $29.98 and $26.98, respectively.

A group of ex-marital arts students attend a reunion party to reminisce about their old ‘fight club’ but things go array when a bomb is set off and everyone is left unconscious. When everyone wakes up only to realize that some of their friends have been kidnapped by a group of assassins who are coming after them next. Now the only way to survive is to fight their way out.

Interview with James Wan & Leigh Whannell

James Wan & Leigh Whannell are the director and the writer of “Insidious” (respectively).  The started their career by creating the “Saw” franchise.  Since then the guys have worked together on various other projects including “Death Sentence” and “Dead Silence”.  James and Leigh took aside some time during their very busy press day for “Insidious” to chat with Movie Mikes about the new film and working together again on this project.

Mike Gencarelli: James, Tell us about how you became attached to “Insidious”?
James Wan: This is a project that happened when I met with one of the producers of “Paranormal Activity”, we hit it off.   I met with the rest of the gang and introduced them to my partner in crime Leigh Whannell.  We said “Guys we want to do a project together”. We all got along so well, we decided to go out there and work on a film together.  That marriage became “Insidious”.

MG: Leigh, Tell us about coming up with this idea for the script?
Leigh Whannell: This idea, like all, James and I came up with it together, even before we came up with “Saw”.  We were trying to find something that we could shot in a really low budget way.  We had a goal for a $5,000 budget for a film and we were trying to come up with idea that would suit that budget.  The core idea at the heart of “Insidious” is what we came up with.  I don’t want to give anything away to the readers but the end is what we essentially came up with.  We thought it was pretty good and almost went with it.  But one day James called me and said he had the idea of two guys chained up in a public toilet.  I thought that was a better idea and I am glad we went with that.  So we filed the idea for “Insidious” in the file cabinet in the back of your brain. When James had the meeting with Steven Schneider, one of the producers of “Paranormal” that he was just talking about… we came to the belief that we would be pretty foolish by not making this film.

MG: You guys have worked together on every project now, would you consider this project to be you’re most difficult?
JW: I think this actually has been the most fun project that Leigh and I have working together on.
LW: I agree, but not easiest in terms of coming up with the idea, writing the film and directing it.  That stuff is hard…and it is definitely hard to do those things on a small budget. But the ease came from great people.  The cast and crew were just so easy to get along with.  The producers were so great and stayed true to there word by letting us make a film we wanted to make, while also giving us great ideas and thoughts.  They were true collaborators. Everything was just so great.  I definitely have had the most fun working on this, the same as James.

MG: Since the film was low budget, did you feel still feel you were able to achieve everything you wanted?
JW: Oddly, this film actually cost less to make than “Saw” and “Saw” was very low budget.  Yet the ironic thing is I managed to pretty much make the movie I wanted to make.  I think this is the reason why, “Saw” was my first film and  I didn’t have a filmmaking infrastructure around me.  I didn’t have the support or a crew that I knew.  Fast forward to four films later… “Insidious” is my fourth movie, even though it is less money, I have brought in a really great team of people and crew.  I got a cinematographer that I love…an AD that is brilliant…costume and production design…hair and makeup…everyone came to work on this film because they wanted to work with me again. I managed to get an A quality film for basically a no-budget movie.

MG: James, Why did you take on the task of editing as well as directing?
JW: Purely because I love editing [laughs].  It is a simple as that.  I love editing just as much as directing.  I have always edited my own stuff back in film school.  When you get to Hollywood people do not want you to wear yourself too thin.  So usually you have to give up the editing aspect of it.  Due to this being such a small movie and in some way real garage filmmaking for me, it was very experimental.  I got to shoot digital for the first time, which I loved.  It allowed me to do a lot of things that I couldn’t do with film.  I cut it myself in my bedroom on my little Macintosh Apple computer.  It was very liberating.  I thought only I would be able to crop the scare sequences because I shot it knowing how I planned to edit it.  That is the only way I would be able to get around shooting a film in only 22 days. I had a very strong specific way on how I was going to cut.  For me, I felt the scare scenes needed to be very effective and that all comes from how the film is edited and how the sound interacts with that footage.  If you are one second off, then your whole scare sequence is thrown off the curve.

MG: This film looks quite scary especially for PG-13, tell about working within that rating?
JW: Particularly, I know for Leigh he was just setup to write the script and it just so happened to fall into the PG-13 world.  For me it was definitely more conscious.  I didn’t want swearing, I didn’t want blood and guts.  I honestly believe that a lot of it has gotten lost in the last few years.  I think in a big part thanks to the franchise that Leigh and I have created.  People have forgotten that you can make a very scary movie without blood and guts.  You can make a very suspenseful with out throwing buckets of blood at the screen and you can do it this creepy atmosphere that gets into your head.

MG: How was it working with horror genre favorite, Lin Shayne?
JW: I have known Lin Shayne for a while now and there was only one person I wanted to cast for the role.  Most people know here for some of the over the top stuff that she has done but for me I know her and she is more than capable of doing the drama.  She is really great at it.  I really I wanted to give her the chance to do that on this film. Since she comes from a comedic background there is a great quirkiness to the role, which I think is fantastic.

MG: Leigh, did you right the part with Lin in mind?
LW: James told me very early on that he wanted that character set for Lin Shayne to play.  I have worked with her and I was able to write the character for her, which is awesome.  It is always easier to write a character for somebody you know.  You can take years of life experiences, quirks and habits and put it into the character.  That is actually how I build from the ground up. I always like to base characters on people I know because it is the easiest access point.  It was great writing the character having her in mind.  I also wrote the ghost hunters characters for myself and Angus Sampson.  With Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson’s characters, I didn’t know them so I based the characters on people I know in my life.

MG: Leigh, you not only started the “Saw” franchise but also starred in it, were you always planned to take on both roles?
LW: Yeah, that was our plan! As I said before we were trying to make a film for $5,000 dollars. That was our post film school plan. James wanted to direct something and I wanted to act in something. We were frustrated, so we came up with the idea and went out and did it.  I love acting.  I just enjoy it as much as I do writing.  I am not afraid to say that if I write a film I love to put myself in it, that way I can still be involved in the filmmaking process after the writing is done. The writing is where it all starts.  These are the plans for the house and you can’t build anything without the blueprints. Once I start I want to be there on the building site.  I want to be hammering some nails and helping out.  So the best way to do that is to be acting.

MG: What do you guys have planned next together?
JW: We have separate things we have been working on that we always check with each other about.
LW: Together as the team the Wan/Whannell brand…we are talking about doing a Sci-Fi.  We have come up with an idea and we really like it.  We ran the idea past some investors and they really liked it.  So that is definitely upcoming.

MG: Do you feel nervous going up against this weeks new films?
LW: Yeah for sure! We are always nervous about going against big films.
JW: Our film is a small little film and it is hard to compete with big studio films, “Hop” and “The Source Code”.  Those are big studio films, with huge marketing behind them.  We are here to nip at the hills.

Interview with Eden Sher

Eden Sher plays the awkward yet lovable Sue Heck on Fox’s new hit series “The Middle”.  Movie Mikes had a chance to speak with Eden about the show as well as some of her other projects, which include working with Jay Leno.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about how your role on “The Middle” came about?
Eden Sher: I had auditioned for the original pilot a few years earlier but the show was never picked up. I got a call about going to the audition a second time and said ok. When I showed up at the audition there were two other girls who were much younger than I was. I figured that they would want one of those girls for sure. I decided I would give it a shot anyways and went in with my fake braces on and did the audition. After a few more auditions and phone calls, I got the part.

AL: What did you think the first time you saw the yellow sweat shirt?
ES: When I saw the sweatshirt the first day, it wasn’t really a big deal. I figured it was only going to be for one episode. Well it turned into this joke with the cast and crew that they started putting it in my trailer each day. Eventually what started as a joke turned into it being used in more scenes. The fans of the show really liked it as well and now I wear it almost all of the time. (Laughs)

AL: What is it you like about playing the Sue Character?
ES: Do I have to pick just one? (Laughs) It’s just a fun character to play and I kind of sympathies with the character as I am the middle child in my family.

AL: Do you have a favorite episode?
ES: Up until a few weeks ago I really liked the Kung Fu fighting episode from season one or the jeans episode. That episode Sue got to throw a tantrum which was great! However we just shot an episode which Sue has some really great moments.

AL: How was your experience working on “Weeds”?
ES: That was a really great experience and I loved working on that show. “Weeds” was a very different vibe than “The Middle”. It was a much more serious show. That was my first experience with a fully scripted show. I learned quite a bit by just watching some of the other actors work. A lot of what I learned working on “Weeds” has been very crucial in developing my acting skills.

AL: Can you tell us what it was like doing skits for Jay Leno?
ES: I had done that before I even knew that I wanted to act. Jay had come to my elementary school to film a bit for the show where he asked various kids questions. I happened to be one of the kids he talked to. He must have thought I was funny because they kept all of the parts I did in the show. I guess the bit ended up being successful and Jay came back to my school to do another one for Christmas. After that the producers of the show contacted my mom and told her that Jay really liked me and wanted me to do a recurring bit on the show. It was awesome! I got to be on the show with my brother and do a bit called “Just ask Eden and Cosmo.” Audience members would send in questions asking advice and we would get to answer them. At the time I was 8 and my brother was 10 (Laughs). We actually got to do that bit a couple times.

AL: Did you get to meet any of the guests from the show?
ES: I got to meet Michelle Branch and Pamela Anderson! Pamela is like the nicest person ever. She was great. My brother actually got to sit on her lap while she did her interview. It was really awesome!

AL: Do you have any other upcoming projects?
ES: I haven’t had time to audition for anything because of the shooting schedule on “The Middle”. I am attached to be in a film but there are still somethings that have to be taken care of before that gets started. Hopefully that will start in the spring time. We shoot like 15 hour days, so when I have some time off…I want to just relax. I do have a list of things I want to do in the near future like travel to Israel and a few other countries.


Interview with Brian Yunza

Brian Yunza is a Director/Screenwriter/Producer known best for his work on the “Re-Animator” and “The Dentist” series. Most of his film work falls into the horror genre. Brian has also started production company, Fantastic Factory. He has worked quite a bit with Stuart Gordon and they are both big fans of H.P. Lovecraft and together they have developed several of his stories into films. Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Brian about his films and what he has planned upcoming.

Mike Gencarelli: Can you reflect your favorite film in the “Re-Animator” series?
Brian Yunza: My favorite of the “Re-Animator” films is the first one because that not only invented the thing but it was also the first movie I had produced. Not to mention that it was the most successful. When you make a movie for the first time everything is new, every situation is unique, each challenge is fresh. Just like a first love, a first film is a process of discovery that can’t be repeated. If “Re-Animator” had turned out badly perhaps I would have buried the memory and moved on to another movie for my fond reminiscences. The sequels have a place in my heart, of course, but I am well aware that each of them had the goal of fulfilling certain expectations created by the first film.

MG:Tell us about working on “The Dentist” series? Would love to see that series continue?
BY: The first film in the series originated as an idea by the head of Trimark Pictures, Mark Amin. I agreed to develop and direct his idea and at that time my company would have also produced it for him. Mark didn’t insist on a particular story, only that the film should focus on the fear of sitting in the dentist chair, not on some fantastical or sci fi type of twist. We listened to pitches from over two dozen writers before settling on the story, and even then the script didn’t give us what we wanted. The process of working with Trimark was a very supportive and congenial one, and when I went off to Canada to produce Crying Freeman I was happy for them to make the movie without me if that worked out better for their schedule. When I returned and new writer had made some interesting improvements in the script and Pierre David had come on board to produce. I rejoined the project even though the budget had been slashed and worked on the script with on of Pierre’s executives while we were in pre production. Trimark did a great job of helping us find an appropriate and talented cast for the movie, and I can’t say enough about Corbin Bersen and his contribution to the film. He was more than just a lead actor, he was always there to help solve problems with creative solutions. I was insecure about The Dentist- I just didn’t know if it was going to work. I had never had such a minimalist situation for a story which led me to design the shooting of the movie more than I ever had before. It also had something I was not experienced in which was a ‘body count’. I was concerned that the killings be stylish and visual. All the sound and music was done by Alan Howarth in his studio in a very short time. Finally, when it was all over and I had seen it with a few audiences my fears were allayed and I realized that it did work and Corbin’s dentist character was truly memorable. The sequel was more difficult in many ways, not just because the budget was even smaller, but because I was unable to work with the script until the weekend before we began shooting. So, Corbin (and leading actress Julian McWhirter) would have dinner each evening after work to review and amend the scenes for the next day. The sequel is less successful than the original, but a lot of fun in its own way- mainly because the Dentist character is so much fun to watch. Corbin and I have discussed often our desire to continue the series. But we can’t because we don’t control the rights. Corbin is determined to revive the character. It was the character that introduced him to genre films and he now he loves the genre.

MG: When making “Return of the Living Dead III”, how much did you lean on the prior films in the series?
BY: I don’t think I “leaned” on the previous “Return” films at all. I admire the first one greatly, and was very aware that it was an unofficial sequel to “Night of the Living Dead”- so I wanted to respect both of those movies while doing something original. The straight forward horror of Romero’s film and the EC Comics style of O’Bannon’s film both influence “Return 3″”, but I think that the film that screenwriter John Penney and I fashioned goes its own way. Some fans were not happy that “Return 3” wasn’t as comedic as the first, but as a fan myself I find “Return 3” to be a very satisfying, fun horror film. I changed interpreted the underlying mythology of the living dead in a way that I felt did justice to both Romero and O’Bannon- the Trioxin gas remains as the reanimating agent, but the saliva of the living dead was able to turn victims into zombies. The studio, Trimark, insisted on only one requirement- that the movie contain “brain eating”- so I decided that the living dead ate flesh, not for the meat, but for the nerves in it, and the biggest bundle of nerves was the brain. So, you can see that I wanted to take the story a little more seriously that “Return 1”.
I didn’t draw on “Return 2” for inspiration as I thought it had been burdened by the requirement to carry on characters from the first film and to be wildly comedic. I was actually more inclined toward an ironic humor and especially the character of Julie as a living dead heroine. After making “Bride of Re-Animator” I realized that I was most interested in the character of the “Bride” and she only showed up in the third act. So with “Return 3” I was able to make that kind of character the core of the movie.

MM: Going from working in the horror genre, how did you get involved with Disney and “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” as co-producer and writer?
BY: After making “Re-Animater”, Stuart Gordon (director of “Re-Animator”) and I were having a BBQ at my house and decided that we should make a movie for our young children. I recalled imagining myself to be smaller than a blade of grass as a kid, riding on an ant, and how exciting that would be. Stuart immediately saw it as a Disney movie and we quickly came up with the idea of an inventor who shrinks his kids. We were able to get a meeting with a development executive at Disney and on a plane ride back from Rome (where we were shooting “From Beyond and Dolls”) Stuart and I wrote out the whole story on a legal pad and pitched it upon arriving in LA. Surprisingly Disney loved the idea and immediately and put it into development. For the next year we worked on the project making set designs and storyboards, casting and special FX. We built all the sets in Mexico (full sized since there were no digital FX back then). Unfortunately, a few weeks before shooting Stuart had health problems and had to bow out.

MG: What was the most challenging film you have worked on?
BY: That’s almost impossible to say because there have been so many difficult ones. But, I would say that the first film I did in Spain, the one that kick off the Fantastic Factory and demonstrated whether the idea of producing genre films in Spain using Spanish crew and talent would work, is one of the candidates for most challenging. That was “Faust: Love of the Damned”. One that would top “Faust” is the one I just finished, “Amphibious 3D”. Shooting in Indonesia with Indonesian crew and some Dutch key personnel, doing it in 3D and having lots of creature FX and CGI- well that was incredibly challenging. The guys who built the 30 foot long sea scorpion lived in the middle of the island of Bali, worked on the floor and had never been on a movie set before. But the main thing that made the production difficult was the collapse of the financing in the middle of the production. This is one of the main reasons for disorganization and insanity on a movie set: the lack of a solid financing structure. Everything is in flux. It is like building a house with a faulty foundation. However, maybe by challenging you don’t mean difficult, but, well, “challenging”. In that case certainly “Re-Animator” qualifies because it was the first movie I produced, and it was immensely challenging to try to do something one has never done before. Or “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids”. Designing a movie for a mass audience with the Disney tradition to live up to is pretty challenging. Or how about “Beyond Re-Animator”? Making a “Re-Animator” movie that isn’t a complete failure when the only other person on the set that has an inkling of what we are trying to achieve is Jeffrey Combs. Shooting with a completely Spanish crew with mostly Spanish actors and trying to live up to the expectations of the fans was seriously challenging. You know all the movie productions have been involved with been very challenging, and a lot of that has to do with the goals we set for ourselves. One each one I try to raise the bar as high as I possibly can – and that’s the challenge.

MG: Do you think you will ever continue the “Re-Animator” franchise?
BY: I have been doing my best to continue it. After my years doing the Fantastic Factory I came to LA with the plan to get financing for a trilogy of “Re-Animator” sequels that would continue and bring the saga to a close. It was kind of shocking to be to not find a strong desire to participate at places like Lionsgate and New Line. Well, even then the business was changing. I continued developing the stories for the three films, and at one time thought that we had the financing in place for the first of the trilogy, “House of Re-Animator”. That was to be Herbert West in the White House. Stuart Gordon was going to direct and William Macy agreed to play the re-animated president. I wanted to have Dan Cain come back so we could have a good confrontation between him and West. But, the financing fell through. Then Obama got elected and Stuart lost his enthusiasm because he enjoyed the idea of using some of the irony in the film in political satire. The political angle to me was less interesting because I am of the opinion that politics works fine in sci-fi, but horror is more the domain of psychology and religion. At present I am actively developing a script for “Re-Animator Unbound”! It is the story of what happens after Herbert West’s adventures in the White House and he has gotten black ops funding for an experimental project. For the first time he has a fully equipped laboratory. Once I get the script in order I will try to get Jeffrey Combs to agree to do it and, one way or another, get the financing for it.
By the way, Stuart Gordon is presently presenting his adaptation of “Re-Animator” into a musical comedy- entitled, believe it or not…”Re-Animator :The Musical”. It is really entertaining and should be a big hit.

MG: Tell us what other upcoming projects are you woking on?
BY: I am currently working with The Little Film Company’s Robbie Little on the financing plan for “The Men”, a sci-fi thriller by Dan O’Bannon (“Alien”, “Total Recall”) which Stuart Gordon will direct. The script is really great, about a woman who discovers that all men are aliens – so you can see that even though it is a thriller it will have a good dose of irony. It is a project that I worked with Dan on way back twenty years ago so I am really thrilled to be seeing it finally get going. Of course, I am working on “Re-Animator Unbound!” I am developing a 3D immersion film called “Necronauts” based on the short story of the same name. And I just finished co-writing with John Penney a pretty wild script called “The Pope”. Mainly I am working on arranging for a financing facility for making another label, or line, of films.

Interview with Page Kennedy

Page Kennedy has done a lot with his career in a short amount of time. Page started his acting career on stage and quickly moved on to television and movies along big name actors like Samuel L. Jackson and Collin Farrell. Movie Mikes’ Adam Lawton caught with Page to talk about his character Radon Randell from the Spike TV’s “Blue Mountain State”.

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Adam Lawton: You have quit an extensive acting background and have been on quit a few different television shows, but how did the role for “Blue Mountain State” come about?
Page Kennedy: “Blue Mountain State” came at a difficult time in my life. It was a role that I thought was a long shot for me to play. So I went in there kind of pessimistic about it but prepared and I gave them what I thought this character was. I thought I knew this character. I just didn’t think I looked like him, but again I gave them what I thought this character was and apparently they thought so too.

AL: I think it takes guts to go out there in an American flag Speedo.
PK: Yeah it does a little bit. It takes guts.

AL: Can you tell us a little bit about who your character Radon Randell is on the show?
PK: Radon is a cat from Detroit who has always been the best everywhere he went, but you know he’s from Detroit so his life circumstances are a little different. He is able to get away with a lot of stuff that he does, since he’s an awesome football player. They let him do whatever he wanted to do. It comes to happen that he chooses to go to Blue Mountain State after receiving all these offers from other schools. He’s bringing Detroit to this school along with all his antics and his awesomeness on the football field. So you have to deal with an extra arrogant, crazy, and wild personality.

AL: Did the cast, who were part the first season, give you any type of hazing with you being the new guy on set?
PK: I didn’t really get hazed much. I fitted right in because my personality is as big and crazy as theirs are. It felt like I was never the new guy because I just gelled so well with them immediately.

AL: Did you have any previous football experience prior to the show?
PK: I played a football character once before on the show “Six Feet Under”, which is ironic because that was the first time I was on TV. Here I am again playing a football character. I also played for my division 1 college, so I had some experience.

AL: You were in the movie “S.W.A.T.” with Collin Farrell and Samuel L. Jackson, can you tell us a little about that experience?
PK: I was relatively new to the movie game as that was only my second movie. It was surreal. I remember one time we had rehearsal for the 6th St. Bridge scene. It was a closed rehearsal, which was the first time for me being a part of a closed rehearsal.  They put me in a van with Samuel L. Jackson, Collin Farrell, LL Cool L and Michelle Rodriguez. All I kept thinking to myself was I made it. I’m sitting in a van going to rehearsals with movie stars, I made it. I worked on that movie a long time, so I got to be close with Olivia Martinez and Collin Farrell and really everyone. It was a fun time.

AL: Can you tell me about the time you snuck into Sony Studio?
PK: Oh ya, well I had just gotten to LA from graduate school and was sleeping on a friend’s couch. I had done a Shakespeare festival the summer before and one of the actors lived in LA and told me about the audition. I didn’t have a car. I didn’t have an agent. I didn’t have anything but a head shot and a dream. So I was like, “How am I going to get to this audition?” and “how am I actually going to audition?”  I had never actually had an audition in LA. So I had a friend take me to Sony Studios and I told them I was a courier making a delivery to the casting director which I was…I was delivering myself! This was pre-9/11, so they let me in. I got there and I said “Hey I’m here let’s do this!” They were like “We are not even auditioning yet and are you representing yourself?”  I said “Sure am” and they basically kicked me out. About a week later, the actual casting director saw that I had like twenty theater credits on my resume and they called me in for an actual audition. I nailed that and then they called me again and I nailed it again. Then they wanted me to test for the network at which time I thought I had the part (laughs) but I didn’t. So I went back to an agent, who had previously turned down my offer to represent me, and I asked that they negotiate my deal. They said “Sure”, not really thinking anything would come of it. But then CBS called them and asked if they knew a Page Kennedy and they were like “Yes why? What did he do?” And the person calling said that they wanted me to network test for CBS. And they still represent me today.

AL: Do you have any other projects coming up that you would like our readers to know about?
PK: Well I’m a rapper and I do music. I have a song that will be played on one of the upcoming episodes of “Blue Mountain State”. I have a mix tape that’s out on my website www.pagekennedy.com called “The Chronicles of U-Turn” which was based off my character on “Weeds”. I’m heavily on twitter @PageKennedy, where you can hear some of my jokes, as well as compete against me daily at 9:30 PST on “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader”.

AL: I would like to see a Radon soundboard app, which featured all his catch phrases.
PK: (Laughs) that would be dope.

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Interview with Darin Brooks

Darin Brooks who won a Daytime Emmy for his role as Max Brady on the day time series “Days of Our Lives” and is currently starring in the Spike TV’s original series “Blue Mountain State” took a moment to talk with Movie Mikes’ Adam Lawton about season two of the hit television show “Blue Mountain State”.

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Adam Lawton: Being back for the second season of “Blue Mountain State” were you allowed any input or direction for your character Alex Moran?
Darin Brooks: This season of shooting went by so fast for me and the other actors who returned to the show.  We shot for three months and before we knew it it was over. We had already developed who our characters were, so we didn’t have to start at ground zero for season two.  We able to just coming back and have fun.

AL: There are a lot of big sports names attached to this seasons episodes, was there one in particular that you were looking forward to meeting and working with?
DB: This year we have a whole bunch of really fun people. We have Boomer Esiason, Craig Carton, Bill Romanowski, Bill Parcells, Brian Bosworth as well as Chuck Liddell and Denise Richards of course. I was excited to work with everybody.

AL: Was it hard for you going from a more serious role on “Days of Our Lives” to a more comedic role on “Blue Mountain State”, where you’re shooting scenes like the “cookie race” from season one?
DB: “Days of Our Lives” was a great training ground for me and I think any actor. The people who work on those shows are some of the hardest working people in the business. On “Days of Our Lives”, we would shoot six episodes in five days with each hour episode being around 80-90 pages per script. On “BMS” we shoot around ten pages at the most a day.  I learned a lot of technical aspects of acting that you might not learn in an acting class.  Like working with the lights and focusing on where your mics are and memorization skills. It was again a great training ground for me.  It was fun but it can be a little dramatic, so I tried to put some comedy into that character.  Now I’m kind of doing the opposite because we are shooting less pages.  We get to explore and make different choices.  With “BMS”, we can get more takes and can choose your best performance and concentrate on your character. Spike kind of let’s us do what we want, which is a lot of fun.

AL: Speaking of “Days of our Lives” you won a Daytime Emmy for your performance on that show, can you tell us a little bit about what that was like for you?
DB: To be honest with you, I was shocked. I know we had submitted all the tapes but I didn’t expect to win. I was just going to go to hang out with everybody. I think my Emmy speech is on YouTube and you can see how shocked I was. I think I stood up and mouthed “Oh Fuck” and as soon as I got on stage I said “Oh Shit” and they beeped me and started playing music to get me of stage. I was very surprised.

AL: Do you have any projects coming up that you would like to tell our readers about, maybe season three of “BMS”?
DB: Right now we are not sure if there is going to be a season three but it’s looking good. Everyone has to keep tuning in and do their part to help keep the ratings up, but hopefully we will find out by the end of the year. I have a guess spot on “CSI Miami” coming up.  I’m also doing some writing and trying to produce a film, along with a bunch of other stuff.  Just getting out there and doing my thing.

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Interview with Skyline's Colin & Greg Strause

Colin & Greg Strause have worked on many high profile films under their company Hydraulx. Some of them range from “The Day After Tomorrow” to “300” to “2012” to “Avatar”. Together they have only previously directed one film, “AVPR: Aliens vs Predator – Requiem” back in 2007. They decided to create their latest film “Skyline”, completely independent from studios in order to make it under their own terms. “Skyline” looks like $100 million movie but was shot for less than $1 million dollars, according to the brothers.  Movie Mikes got a chance to chat with the brothers about “Skyline” and how they got it made in under a year.

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Mike Gencarelli: How did Hydraulx originally come about?
Greg Strause: Hydraulx came to be in 2002.  Colin and I moved to LA in 1995 and had another company called Pixel Envy with some partners.  We couldn’t all get along, so we split that up.  Colin and I decided to just go at it on our own and do it just the two of us, that is when Hydraulx came to be.  We started off pretty small, it was like ten guys in an apartment in Santa Monica.  It has grown now into a big office with like a hundred and twenty people.  It has turned into this little monster.

MG: Tell us why you decided to make “Skyline” completely independent from studios?
GS: There were a few things, we thought a lot of things could have gone better on “AVPR”.  In the three years that has gone by since it came out, we have been developing scripts.  We were meeting with producers and trying to get things going at other studios.  It is a very frustrating process of trying to get a movie off the ground.  If we had an idea that we thought was cool, a person at the studio would say “If there was a comic book that sold 250 copies of it, then I could show my boss”.  Colin and I thought that was absolutely ridiculous.  That is honestly the dumbest thing I have ever heard.  I have to make a comic book in order to get a movie made?  That is really lame that you can’t show your boss unless it is based on an existing property.
Colin Strause: It doesn’t even matter if the existing property only sold like ten copies either.
GS: Yeah, it is such a studio mentality that everyone is just trying to protect their jobs.  It is very difficult to get original sci-fi and stuff like that off the ground.  You have to take a risk, like what we did by just financing your own film.  We did it independently, just rolled the dice and see what happens.

MG: How were you able to complete “Skyline” from script to screen in under a year?
CS: It was like 11 and a half months. It was insane.
GS: I think the important thing is that we had our writers, Liam (O’ Donnell) and Josh (Cordes) and they stayed on it until the last day it was delivered.
CS: We had a strong outline and that was real key.  You can spend years on the development process and writing the script.  Just because you spent three years on it doesn’t mean the script is going to be any better than if you spent two months on it.  Sometimes you get these ideas that sounds great in a room and once they are implemented you say “Oh my God, it got worse”.  That is why things get stuck in development hell.  We had a very detailed outline written out right off the bat.  From that outline Josh and Liam stuck to it when they wrote the script.  That aloud the script to get finished in what is considered a short order from what the business is used to.

MG: “Skyline” was shot on a low budget, what was the hardest part of making it looking like a $100 million dollar movie?
GS: The first thing was getting everyone on board in the beginning and making them believe we could pull this off.  They would read the script and it reads big.  Colin and I said told them we can do this for $10 million. The physical live action budget was only a million bucks.
CS: Yeah, it was like $980,000.
GS: The agents and managers were flipping.  They thought we were smoking crack.  That is them though doing their job, it didn’t make sense.  You have this script it reads really big.  So convincing people we weren’t smoking crack was one of the hard parts.  The other part was after we finished shooting, we were cutting the movie this past summer and Universal tells us they want to release the movie on November 12th.  So probably the hardest thing really was getting it done in that amount of time.

MG: How does working on visual effects for “Skyline” differ from you working on a film like “Avatar”?
GS: The actual process is very similar.  Again, the time compression on “Skyline” was rough.
CS: We had to do a thousand FX shots in just under four months which is insane.  It is the most shots Hydraulx has ever done on a movie.  The actual process, the software and the way things are put together, is identical to how we did stuff on “Avatar”.
GS: The biggest difference is that since we were our own client, we were  able to eliminate a significant amount of bureaucracy between supervisors, director, producers and the studios.  There are all these levels of people that need to sign off on things.  As directors, we are also visual effects supervisors, we knew what we were going to do from day one.  We just stuck to the plan.  Usually what happens on movies, they are trying to race through pre-production.  They do not always work out the visual effects until after the movie is shot.  They are like “Ok, now let’s get into it afterwards.  We knew this wasn’t going to be a two year process, so we didn’t have that luxury.  We had to come up with our plan up front, stick to our guns and ride it out.
CS: It is a different way of doing movies and that is how we pulled it off.  I do not think that anyone else could have ever done it the way we did.

MG: When I watching the film, I thought to myself you guys probably had this all planned out.  It felt very well thought out, like the visual effect were already there when it is was shot.
GS: One of our camera operators on the movie was Josh Cordes, who is also one of the writers.  Having your writer be your camera guy really helps.  You have someone who knows why the camera is being pointed somewhere.  That is a huge positive in trying to streamline the process.

MG: What has been the most difficult film that you have worked on?
GS: This film definitely ranks up there for me and probably another would be…
CS: “2012”, it was huge.
GS: Yeah it was, but I think it might be “The Day After Tomorrow” actually.  We came in after another company had a problem on the movie.  We only had a couple of months to do, what this other company had a year to work on.  “Skyline” definitely takes the cake though overall in that realm.
CS: We were also wearing a lot of hats in “Skyline”.  It is our first movie as producers as well.  You have involvement of making sure it doesn’t go over budget.  We had to get it done on time.  We were dealing with the marketing materials.  The color grading and final assembly of the film was done at Hydraulx.  It was the first movie we have ever done that on.  We were learning all the ins and outs of managing the sound department also.  It was a huge undertaking.
GS: Even though it is a small indie.  There is still an incredible amount of man hours that goes into the film.  Staying above all of the departments is a lot of work.  Collin and I were running on pure adrenaline the whole film.

MG: I liked the ending of the movie, I thought it fit well.
GS: It was ballsy.  It is not a studio ending.  We wanted to do something really interesting with the ending.

MG: When was the ending shot? Was it a pick-up shot?
GS: It was literally shot the last day of principal photography.  The whole things was shot in one day on green screen.  It was intense.

MG: Any hints you can give us for what’s to come in “Skyline 2”?
GS: [MINOR SPOILER] We already have a forty page treatment that we did.  I hope people take away when they watch the movie is that “Skyline” is the prequel.  We basically shot what we wanted to do with this trilogy in order.  Normally you do the big movie first, then the sequel, then come back and do the prequel.  With this one we had the story mapped out in what we wanted to do.  Now seeing where the movie ends, it leaves it open for a chance for us to fight back.  We got our asses kicked and we find out first resistance fighter.  I think it takes us to a really cool place for the next one.
CS: It gives us hope for the human race.

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MovieMikes’ “Skyline” Interview Series

In case you haven’t heard of “Skyline”, it is a new alien invasion movie and is in theaters now. The film was completely financed by Colin and Greg Strause without the assistance of any major studio. The film has a budget around only $10 million dollars and was almost entirely filmed at co-director Greg Strause’s condo building in Marina Del Rey, CA. It looks like a $100+ million dollar movie, taking a page from films like “Cloverfield” and ” District 9″. The film started off as a test trailer which was shot Thanksgiving 2009, and it is already hitting the screen less than a year later. There is about 1,000 VFX shots in the film, which more than most big budget franchise tent poles.

Here is the premise for the film:
Strange lights descend on the city of Los Angeles, drawing people outside like moths to a flame where an extraterrestrial force threatens to swallow the entire human population off the face of the Earth.
Movie Mikes was able to score some interview with the cast and crew from “Skyline”.

Interview with Tanya Newbould

When Tanya Newbould tried out for her first film you could say she had beginner’s luck. Originally cast as an extra in “Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey,” she ended up scoring not one but two parts in the film. After a few minor roles she began a long association with director Brett Ratner, appearing in the Nicolas Cage comedy “Family Man.” She also worked with the director on “Rush Hour 2,” “Red Dragon” and “X-Men: The Last Stand”.  Her next role is in the Strause brother’s new film “Skyline”. Movie Mikes had the chance to talk with Tanya about from her start in the business to her latest role in “Skyline”.

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Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your role in the upcoming sci-fi film “Skyline”?
Tanya Newbould: It’s pretty intense. My character’s name is Jen, she’s married. And what’s really neat is that the first time you see the Alien it’s through my eyes. It’s a very pivotal role…very intense to do…very high energy. All kinds of you know what is going down so it was very high octane stuff the entire time I worked.

MG: How do you think this film will compare to similarly related film like “Cloverfield”?
TN: I actually liked “Cloverfield.” When I watched it I was drawn in because I didn’t know exactly what it was about. I think “Skyline” has a similar feel only in that sense but everything else is entirely different. When I read the script I couldn’t stop turning the pages. It was a really good script. I’m not surprised it’s gone to the level it’s gone to. Working with the Strause Brothers…they’re an incredible team of co-directors. They really complement each other. It really was an honor to work with both of them. The writers were great…the producers…everyone was really, really awesome.

MG: What was the most difficult part of working on that film?
TN: Probably the twelve hour days. And my character, because of what she goes through, it’s not one that you can act or pretend or be low key. I was doing heavy emotion the entire time and that’s not something you can fake because we know when people are being real and when they’re not and as an actor you can’t fake that because in order for the audience to believe it you’ve got to believe it. It was very interesting. We shot in a parking garage, where people live, and we’d get ready to roll. I’m getting ready to run screaming through the parking garage, crying hysterically and I’d hear “hold please…someone is coming through.” And we’d have to stop, wait for them to come through, get in their car, back out, drive off. OK, perfect! So all day you’re constantly going through this where you’re ready to go but you have to stop everything and wait.

MG: The Strause Brothers are best known for visual effects work but here they return to the directing chair (the brothers also directed “Aliens vs Predators: Requiem”). How was it working with them?
TN: For working on a film with a low budget I never felt like I WAS working on a film with a low budget. I’ve worked on big studio films, I’ve done four of Brett Ratner’s movies. I’m used to doing bigger budget movies. But I really felt that since Colin and Greg have been in the industry so long they knew what they were doing. They were great. The entire cast and crew…everyone who worked on the film….they knew what was going on. They had it together. It was very well done.

MG: You started your career in “Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey,” whose co-star Alex Winter we just interviewed. How was your experience on the film?
TN: I love Alex! I would love to talk to him, he’s amazing. And I love Keanu too. He was such a sweetheart. They were so much fun to work with. It was a really, really cool shoot. What’s interesting is that I had just started out acting and was actually an extra in the opening scene…I’m one of the college students. And from there I ended up playing Marilyn Monroe in the “heaven” sequence and then the director hired me to play the rock and roll reporter Kate Axelrod. So I actually have three parts in that movie.

MG: What do you have planned next?
TN: I just wrapped a movie I shot a few weeks ago called “The Victim” with Jennifer Blanc and Danielle Harris. Michael Bien not only stars in it but he also directed my sequence. I play a reporter. Now that one was a low budget movie, but it was very well done. Danielle is my best friend. In fact, she’s Godmother to my baby.

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Interview with Liam O’Donnell & Phet Mahathongdy

Phet Mahathongdy has not one but two roles in the upcoming sci-fi film “Skyline”. She also is married to Liam O’Donnell, one of the writers and producers of “Skyline”. Movie Mikes’ Adam Lawton got a chance to talk with both Phet (pronounced Pat) and Liam to discuss their new movie, “Skyline”, which opens in theaters Friday, November 12.

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Adam Lawton: Phet, what are your roles in the movie?
Phet Mahathongdy: I have two small cameos. The original script had a different role for me but that never made it to the cut. So I ended up doing a mother and baby scene and a bartender scene.
Liam O’Donnell: When we first started shooting Phet did the bartender scene and played the character Mandy. Then we started editing and thinking about doing re-shoots. We weren’t sure if we were going to keep that scene or not. It was a big pool sequence with all the characters hanging out and kind of enjoying the California life style. So when we started the re-shoots, we wanted to do a scene in an airplane which showed the characters arriving to LA. Originally due to the initial budget, we just had the characters arriving in a limo but when we got the re-shoots approved and we had a budget for an airplane set.  We wanted to  have a little “save the cat moment” where Jared played by Eric Balfore helps a single woman with a baby in her arms with her luggage. This is kind of a little screenwriting trick to make his character more likable. I said I know a good looking lady and cute kid. So Phet and our six month old played that as well. Later on however we didn’t know that the pool scene which had originally been cut came back. So Phet ends up having two scenes as two different characters in the movie. You really have to be looking closely in the pool scene to realize it’s the same woman.

AL: Phet How was it working on your first feature film?
PM: The film started of independently with a really small cast and crew maybe no more than twenty people. I have done independent films before so it was basically the same feel where everyone knows everyone else. We didn’t have trailers so everyone was hanging out together between takes and talking so it was very intimate.

AL: Are you and Liam fans of the sci-fi Genre?
PM: We are huge sci-fi nuts!
LO: She’s a very cool wife to be with because she only really likes action, horror and sci-fi. So if there’s a drama I kind of want to watch, she’s usually not interested.

AL: Phet, do you have any other upcoming projects?
PM: We actually just had a baby and he recently turned one year old. I have barely been auditioning for much of anything the last year or so. Lately I have just been trying to get back into it. When I filmed the scenes for “Skyline”, our son was about only about six months old so. We were still trying to get back into the swing of things.  Right now I’m just starting to get back into it and retrain and go back out there. It’s been a real life adjusting moment having a child and being in LA trying to pursue a career. It makes things a lot tougher. You have to be a lot stronger and without family here it’s hard to find a good sitter.

AL: Liam, can you tell me how you got into the business of writing scripts and treatments?
LO: I went to school for political science. I had wanted to be a writer since I was a kid, but it was one of those things that I wasn’t sure if I could. I originally came out to LA to do entertainment law. So I had gotten to know some people at some of the smaller production companies and I started writing treatments for local cable commercials. At one point I ended up directing one of these cable commercials and started figuring out the whole treatment game. One of the guys at the company knew Greg Strauss (co-director of “Skyline”). So I kind of met the brothers within six months of moving out to LA. After I met them, we hit it off as friends. We would go out and hit the town. One day Greg needed someone to write a treatment for a presentation, so myself and a friend of mine who was in graphic design did a few style frames and a few treatments. The second one I did for them was for a Fresca ad and the company got the job. Then we did the Gatorade ad where Michael Jordan misses the shot. After that I started developing features. I always loved movies. I loved sci-fi and I loved big ideas. I always had this kind of love for playing with the big epic story and then whittle it down into a small human intimate moment. I wrote a big disaster movie with the Strauss brothers a few years ago and we took that out on the town. I also wrote a period epic. “Skyline” is the third script I wrote. When we came up with the idea, I had been collaborating with the Strauss brother’s animation supervisor Joshua Cordes, who I had worked with before on “AVP 2”. He wrote a really brutal horror movie script called “Toxicity” that I thought did a good job with the contained kind of character story with teenagers trapped in a drug tenement house. “Skyline” was never anything but people trapped in a high rise. I wanted to play with the more epic aspects of “Skyline” and Josh would help keep me grounded. So we each wrote a treatment the first day. We had the idea and we put them together the next day and a lot of the beefs lined up. So we took the best parts of each and we almost immediately had a story. Within a week we had people who wanted to finance the movie because it had these awesome concepts of spaceships over cities and people getting sucked up in the air. It was a really big story set within the parameters of a small production.

AL: Is it true that the whole movie came together in less than a year?
LO: Yes, November of 2009 is when we had the first meeting. We had about thirty five pages in the first couple weeks,then we had a script about mid December. We started casting in late December/early January.
PM: It happened really fast. They were all really hungry. The teaser was shot Thanksgiving Day, it was pretty wild.
LO: The process has been great and I have been able to share it with my family and have them involved in some capacity. Phet has been my script reader since we have been together and it was great getting that feedback. She actually had input on the “Skyline” script in a few places.
PM: I was watching out for that woman character.
LO: In one scene we had Eric Belfour’s character tell Britney Daniels character to “shut up” and Phet said “No”. So when we were on set for that scene I told Eric that I had a female friend of mine read the script and that she hated the shut-up scene. Eric was like “I Love It” and he got really pissed and was complaining about the scene not being liked. Then I told him it was my wife (laughs) and he felt super bad. The next time he saw Phet, he apologized to her.
PM: From a woman’s perspective when a man tells them to shut up you do not like that man. They were like “Come on, he’s going to be a really likable character” and I was like “Um, No”.
LO: It was good insight

AL: Liam, you have done everything from commercials to music videos and now movies. Do you have one you prefer over the others?
LO: Movies, any day of the week! I was getting frustrated with videos and commercials. We would start writing the treatment in almost script form. There would be seven pages for a music videos, which would make it look very theatrical. It would get frustrating because we would do all this work only to be passed off for a more simpler low budget idea.  Also when you’re doing pitches for studios, the scripts get sent out to directors like Greg and Colin. Then they want meetings and when you do meetings you have to come in with a really well thought out idea of how you are going to approach that script. You are doing a lot of visual development and other things. I literally spent a year doing that and all I have from it are a bunch of really well written twenty page treatments of movies that someone else went on to make or that never got made. It’s just a frustrating use of your time and your passion.  I really immersed myself into each one of those projects and tried to make them as good as it could be. At times it can came down to things being political as to who gets the job. All those type of things just contributed to us saying we are going to do “Skyline” independently and by ourselves.

AL: You have another title in the works titled “Offline”, can you tell us about that?
LO: “Offline” was something I worked on with the guy I moved out to California with Mathew Santoro. He is a really talented director. We actually lived in the building where “Skyline” was filmed at. We were shooting this short film that kind of turned into a sizzle reel/trailer. It just kept evolving into so many different things. I helped come up with the story for that with Matt and helped shoot it for about a year. Matt put it out in Vimeo which got him attached to a few other productions. Right now, he is working on “The Dark Tower” with Ron Howard. The film is still being developed as a feature, so hopefully it comes out soon.

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