Win Action Superstar Tony Jaa Blu-ray’s, “The Protector 2” and “The Ong Bak Trilogy” [ENDED]

To celebrate the Blu-ray releases with Action Superstar Tony Jaa, “The Protector 2” and “The Ong Bak Trilogy”, Media Mikes is excited to giveaway one (1) copy for each of the Blu-ray’s to our readers. If you would like to enter for your chance to win one of this prize, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite martial arts film. This giveaway will remain open until August 15th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in US and Canada only. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

THE ONG BAK TRILOGY: Tony Jaa electrifies in this three-part epic tale of revenge. A franchise TIME calls “exhilarating,” with relentless, fever-pitched action – often free of stunt doubles and special effects. Jaa performs some of the most amazing physical feats ever seen on film.

THE PROTECTOR 2: When Boss Suchart is murdered, all evidence points to Kham (Tony Jaa). Forced to run as he fights to clear his name, he is hunted not only by the police, but also Boss Suchart’s revengeful twin nieces and crime lord LC (RZA). A sequel of the global smash-hit The Protector, this extreme fight movie is an endlessly intense, nerve-racking film full of daredevil stunt scenes and amazingly choreographed fighting moves that will pump hot blood through the body of all action fans!

Tony Lee Moral talks about his book “Hitchcock and the Making of Marnie”

A filmmaker himself, author Tony Lee Moral is best known for his books about the legendary film director Alfred Hitchcock. In 2002 he released “Hitchcock and the Making of ‘Marnie'” and followed it up a decade later with “The Making of Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds'” His next book is also about the master of suspense, “Alfred Hitchcock’s Movie Making Masterclass.”

With the growing popularity of Alfred Hitchcock, 33 years after his death, Mr. Moral has released a revised edition of his first book. He recently took the time to answer some questions about the influence and genius of Alfred Hitchcock.

Mike Smith: You’ve written three books on Alfred Hitchcock. What is it about him as a filmmaker that makes him your favorite subject?
Tony Lee Moral: Hitchcock for me is the definitive film maker, and his career and films span the history of cinema. His films have been a huge part of my life, ever since I saw my first Hitchcock film (I Confess) at the age of 10. I took part in the 1999 Alfred Hitchcock Centennial celebrations and have interviewed many scriptwriters, producers, actors who worked with Hitch. The more I watch his films, the more I become fascinated by the man behind the camera, as there is so much to learn from his life.

MS: Why do you think that, more than three decades after his passing, people are still interested in his films?
TLM: I think Hitchcock was a great storyteller and that will never go out of fashion. He was a master entertainer who put the audience first and always wanted to take them on a roller coaster ride. “Psycho” is probably the best example of that, as watching it is like a trip to the Horror-Fun House.

MS: Do you have a favorite Hitchcock film?
TLM: That is very difficult to choose, I’d say “Marnie” because of the characters and psychology. “Vertigo” is a very close second. And after that I’d choose “North by Northwest” or “The Birds.”

MS: As a filmmaker yourself, have you ever caught yourself intentionally cribbing a shot from Hitchcock’s work?
TLM: Absolutely, I’m very influenced by Hitchcock’s film grammar, from Long Shots to Big Close Ups for emotional impact. For my “Alfred Hitchcock’s Movie Making Masterclass” book, I really studied his use of film and my respect for him as a master film maker deepens. He was a true director who understood the medium of cinema and was a great teacher who influenced many other directors.

MS: What did you think of the film “Hitchcock?” Did you think Anthony Hopkins captured Mr. Hitchcock’s aura?
TLM: I liked it, but have only seen it once in the cinema, which isn’t a good sign. I thought it was light hearted and not mean spirited. I admire Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren as actors, but there were dramatic licenses taken in the film which I didn’t agree with. Overall, if it brought Hitchcock to a new, fresh young audience then that’s a good thing.

MS: What is your next project (either written or film)?
TLM: My next project, which I’m currently writing, is a book about Alfred Hitchcock’s reputation, especially since his death and the recent biographies that have followed it. It’s going to be very revealing and I’m really digging deep for this one, though it won’t be published for several years. I’m speaking to people who haven’t spoken out before about Hitchcock, and I’m hoping that this book will change the way we view Hitchcock and his movies in years to come.


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“Sushi Girl” Interview Series with Mark Hamill, Tony Todd, Sonny Chiba and More!

SUSHI GIRL centers on the compelling character of a man called “Fish,” just released after six years in jail after successfully not ratting on those involved in the robbery that sent him to prison. The night he is released, the men he protected with silence celebrate his freedom with a congratulatory dinner. The meal is a lavish array of sushi, served off the naked body of a beautiful young woman. The sushi girl seems catatonic, trained to ignore everything in the room, even if things become dangerous. Sure enough, the unwieldy thieves can’t help but open old wounds in an attempt to find their missing loot, with violent results.

Media Mikes had been working and promoting this film since August 2011. “Sushi Girl” is finally being released on VOD everywhere on November 27th, 2012 and in theaters on January 4th, 2013. It has been a long road for this little-movie-that-could but it deserves the attention. “Sushi Girl” is easily one of my favorite films of 2012. We got a chance to finally complete our interview series with the legendary Mark Hamill (“Star Wars”) and Noah Hathaway (“The Neverending Story”). We are proud to be supporting this film and hope you enjoy!

Andy Mackenzie & James Duval

Cortney Palm

David Dastmalchian

Destin Pfaff

Destin Pfaff, Kern Saxton, Neal Fischer & Suren Seron

Mark Hamill

Noah Hathaway

Sonny Chiba

Tony Todd

Directed by: Kern Saxton
Written by: Kern Saxton and Destin Pfaff
Produced by: Neal Fischer, Destin Pfaff, Kern Saxton, and Suren M. Seron
Cast: Tony Todd, James Duval, Noah Hathaway, Andy Mackenzie and Mark Hamill, Cyrus Alexander, Michael Biehn, Sonny Chiba, David Dastmalchian, Jeff Fahey, David Reynolds, Ted Stryker, Danny Trejo, introducing Cortney Palm

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“Top Gun” director Tony Scott dead at 68

Tony Scott who, along with his brother, Ridley, was one of the most successful directors of the past three decades, died yesterday after jumping off a bridge to his death in California. He was 68.

One of three sons born into a military family in Britain, Scott showed an interest in art and painting and pursued that career in college, earning a Masters of Fine Art from the Royal College of Art. After failing to make a successful living painting for a couple of years, he teamed with his brother, Ridley, to form the Ridley Scott Association, where he began directing commercials.

His 1983 feature film debut was “The Hunger,” a vampire romance starring David Bowie, Susan Sarandon and Catherine Deneuve. He followed that film with 1986’s “Top Gun,” which launched Tom Cruise to super-stardom. The next year he directed Eddie Murphy in the hugely successful sequel “Beverly Hills Cop II.”

Other early successes include “True Romance,” “The Last Boyscout” and “Days of Thunder.” He then began a long association with Denzel Washington by directing the actor in “Crimson Tide.” He guided Will Smith, Jon Voight and Marty Kircher through the political thriller “Enemy of the State.” His last four features, “Man on Fire,” “Deja Vu,” “The Taking of Pelham 1,2,3” and “Unstoppable” all co-starred Washington.


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Tony Zierra talks about directing “My Big Break”

Tony Zierra is the director of the recent documentary “My Big Break”, which follows the early careers of Wes Bentley, Chad Lindberg, Brad Rowe and Gregory Fawcett.  Tony took out some time to chat with Media Mikes about its 10 year journey to the public.

Mike Gencarelli: How do you feel that “My Big Break” has finally be released to the public?
Tony Zierra: Relieved. One of the great gratifications a filmmaker has is to see their work done and to know that it has a chance to find its audience I’m always deeply touched when I hear someone has seen “My Big Break ” and was affected by it and understood what it’s about.

MG: Was it worth it for the 10 years it took to make and release?
TZ: Was it worth it? Yes. Did I want it to take 10 years? No. Absolutely not. The one thing that I can say is that the length of time it took to take the movie gave me a deeper understanding of the business, the life of the celebrity, the reality of filmmaking and allowed me to convey that in the film. It would be impossible to grasp that in two or three years. As annoying as it is to take that long to do something, when it’s done you really do appreciate all the hard work. That kind of lengthy process creates layers that you can only accomplish with time. Also, time allowed me to follow what would happen to each individual, including myself, before during and after “their break” and created a natural arc for the characters and the film.

MG: What do you think was the most difficult aspect in this road?
TZ: Resources and people’s commitment or lack thereof to the project, and the industry’s fear of exposure.

MG: Do you still keep in contact with Wes Bentley, Chad Lindberg, Brad Rowe and Gregory Fawcett?
TZ: Yes, but in varying degrees.

MG: Ever consider doing another documentary in another 10 years to follow-up on their careers?
TZ: I might, but if I wouldn’t do it if I were them. it’s very difficult for actors or any celebrity to put themselves in that position.This type of “real” reality, not the constructed reality we see on television, is too intense and revealing for them to willingly take part in. Probably the only reason they agreed to do it originally was because they were unknown.

MG: How does “My Big Break” compare to the tossed documentary “Carving Out Our Name”?
TZ: “My Big Break” is more revealing, layered and truthful. “My Big Break” is storytelling and “Carving” was filmmaking. “Carving” was honest to a certain degree, very visual, with a sense of “show-off” because I was hoping that it would be my ticket to working as a filmmaker in Hollywood. I was playing the game to get into the system. When you’re making a film in the business you’re already thinking about your next film so there’s a self-conscious aspect to it. True storytelling, though, is not affected by any of that. You’re only focused on the truth of the subjects as characters in the story. Also, “Carving” had a lot in it aboutrelationships each guy had with their then girlfriends and their friendship with each other but ‘My Big Break” is purely about the each one of us in relationship to the business. There was no narration in “Carving”, I never appeared in it at all. I put my story into “My Big Break” because I felt it was only fair to the actors to expose my own pain, vulnerability and disappointments if I was going to do that to them

MG: What are you currently working on? Ever plan on directing again?
TZ: I’ll always be interested in storytelling and there are different ways to do that outside of the system. For example, I’m working on a documentary about Stanley Kubrick but I don’t really see it as “making movies” in a standard way – I’m telling a story. I’m currently writing a book about my experiences that include, but are definitely not confined to, my time in Hollywood. And there are always other projects in the works.

Municipal Waste’s Tony Foresta talks about new album

Tony Foresta is the lead singer for the thrash band Municipal Waste. The band just released their 5th studio album titled “The Fatal Feast: Waste in Space”. Media Mikes caught up with Tony prior to the bands show in Syracuse, NY to talk about the new album.

Adam Lawton: What can you tell us about the band’s latest album?
Tony Foresta: We basically took a year and a half off and just started writing. We spent quite a bit of time prepping and getting everything from the layout to the art work all in order. It’s probably the hardest we have every worked on a record. We wrote around 20 songs however only 17 made the album. We wanted to write as much as we could and then go in the studio and pick our favorites. I think everything worked out really well and we have gotten some real positive feedback so far. We worked our butts off on this album.

AL: What is the writing process generally like for the band?
TF: It varies. Sometimes Ryan and Phil will come up with riffs and we will just knock around different ideas. A lot really just depends on the type of song. We usually will practice between tours and during that time write a couple songs here and there. What seems to happen most often is when we start getting tired of playing the same songs out on tour we then decide to start working on some new stuff. You start to have a feeling when it’s time to do a new record.

AL: Did you approach things differently with the new album since changing labels?
TF: I don’t think we did on purpose but, there definitely was more fresh air. Things had started to get stale with our previous label so we wanted to branch out and do something different. It has been kind of like dating a new girlfriend. The band really needed that to help us be more creative and have fun.

AL: Are you guys going to be doing any video shoots for any of the songs off the new album?
TF:  We just shot two prior to leaving for this tour. We knew we were going to be out on the road for awhile so we figured we better bust some out. We shot one video for “Repossession” and one for “Fatal Feast”.  We worked with Josh Speed who did our “Sadistic Magician” video. That video has been one of our more popular ones so we decided to go with Josh again.

AL: What are the bands plans for the summer and fall?
TF: We are going to do a full US tour which will last about a month. We plan on bringing out some cool bands with us on that one. After that wraps up we will be going to Europe and then Australia. We definitely will not be staying home for any length of time.

Director Tony Kaye talks about New Film “Detachment”

Multi-award nominated video director Tony Kaye, who has worked with such artists as Soul Asylum, Roger Waters and the late Johnny Cash, made a big splash with his first feature film, “American History X.” The film, about a white supremist gang member trying to keep his younger brother from following in his footsteps, featured Edward Norton in an Oscar nominated performance. The studio, New Line Cinema, asked Kaye to re-cut his original version, which he did. Unsatisfied, a third edit was done without Kaye’s approval. Outraged he asked the studio to remove his name from the credits and replace it with Alan Smithee, a common pseudonym for directors whose film was taken away from them and re-cut against their wishes. The name has appeared on such films as “Hellraiser: Bloodline” (directed by Kevin Yagher), “Catchfire” (directed by Dennis Hopper) and the television film “Riviera,” which was directed by the great John Frankemheimer. When the studio refused he asked that his credit be listed as “Humpty Dumpty.”

Despite the controversy, Kaye is still a talented and much sought after director. He has earned six Grammy award nominations for his video work, winning the award in 2006 for his video of Johnny Cash’s “God’s Gonna Cut You Down.” His second feature, an abortion documentary entitled “Lake of Fire,” was praised by critics and named to the short list (Best 15) of documentaries by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. His third and most recent film, “Detachment,” recently screened at the Tribeca Film Festival, again to high praise. During a long day promoting the film Mr. Kaye took the time to sit down with Media Mikes to talk about art, working with his daughter and the meaning of life!

Mike Smith: How has your day been?
Tony Kaye: Quite hectic, thank you. But I enjoy these different experiences in speaking about my work.

MS: “Detachment” is a very deep and dark film. How did you become attached to the project?
TK: I’ve always had an interest in being a teacher…maybe art school or film school or something. I’m very interested in social issues. So when my agent sent me the script and I saw what it was about I was immediately intrigued. It was really the wonderful writing of Carl Lund…it was so good that I wished I had written it. I felt it would give me a wonderful opportunity to get some great actors and some great performances.

MS: The film features some of Adrien Brody’s best work. How did you attract him to the film?
TK: Adrien’s father has been a public high school teacher for 30 years. And he reads a lot of the scripts that are sent to Adrien. And he said, “son, you have to do this one!” (laughs) It was really an incredible opportunity for me. I’ve got a teacher that wrote the movie and then I get the son of a teacher as the star of the movie. Plus I had the opportunity to cast an Oscar winning movie star. Adrien is such a cool guy and he brought that dynamic to the set. All of the other actors were saying, “well, Adrien seems to be listening to Tony so I might as well do the same!”

MS: Speaking of the other actors, you have a great supporting cast, including James Caan, Blythe Danner and Marcia Gay Harden. Were you involved in the casting? Were you able to pick and choose the actors you thought best for the roles?
TK: When you have a script that’s as good as the one Carl wrote it’s very easy…it’s certainly not difficult…for great actors to want to give their time.

MS: The animation sequences in the film are quite original. How did you come about the decision to include it?
TK: The idea of the animation came to me during editing. I wanted the school to be a character. I wanted the school to talk. And the way I thought it could talk would be if the blackboard became animated. And there was no texting in the movie…there was no “smart” board. There was a blackboard. There are no computers…in fact the teachers don’t have lap tops, they write in composition books.

MS: The film also features the screen debut of Ms. Betty Kaye, your daughter. What was the experience like, directing her?
TK: It was an incredible gift and opportunity for a father that’s a director to actually work with his oldest daughter on her first film. It was an incredibly challenging role for her and she’s so brave. It makes me cry…I weep…and I’ve seen the movie fifty times! And I still cry when I see what she’s exposed herself to. Really unbelievable. She’s a great artist and she’s finishing her education now at University. I should add that I had every intention of not giving her the role if she wasn’t the best. I saw a couple hundred girls for that role and she really was the best. I gave her the script two or three years before we made the film so she really knew the movie. She really knew that character from every single angle.

MS: You have a book coming out titled “Epicomedy.” Tell us a little bit about that project.
TK: I was originally an art student…I had to study filmmaking when I was in college. My initial calling was to pain. I’ve been painting all my life. I did a couple of conceptual shows in the late 1980s. I’m doing a book…a couple books…which will include all of my scribbling and paintings and things.

MS: IMDB lists your next project as “Attachment.” Any similarities in that film and this one or just in the titles?
TK: Well, nothing is an accident, you know? I believe that everything is predestined…worked out…in your life. But yet your choices are what your choices are. And it’s up to us how we deal with them….re-actively or proactively. Hopefully not re-actively, as I’ve learned in my own life. There is a similarity in the underlying theme. I didn’t write “Attachment.” I actually thought it was a joke when it was sent to me. The underlying theme of both movies is love. And that love beats death. So there is an underlying theme, but it’s buried eight million miles deep!

Interview with Tony Todd

Tony Todd is a living legend in the film business.  He is known best for his role of Candyman in the horror series.  He has also working on high profile films like “Transformers: Rise of the Fallen” and “Final Destination” series.  Tony Todd is currently starring and executive producing a new film called “Sushi Girl”.  He believes it is his best work yet.  Media Mikes had a chance to sit down with Tony and chat with him about this new film and what we can expect.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about how you got involved with the film “Sushi Girl”?
Tony Todd: It was a Godsend actually. I got the script about two years ago now. We got together and had a table reading with about 60% of the final cast. We all new it was magic. We got taken off track because we lost financing but we all had faith since we knew the script and cast were strong. Then n the beginning of last year, I got more involved and started setting up some meetings in order to move it forward. We met Spark Entertainment and luckily then we got our financing that we needed.

MG: Is that how you took on the additional role of executive produce?
TT: I suppose so. That was more an act of generosity on their part. I didn’t request it. I wouldn’t say no, of course. In terms of that, one of the things being the leader of this group is that I always checked in with the actors. I wanted to make sure that they were happy and that everyone was going to give 100%. I found that you are all as good as your weakest link. We got very lucky to land this wonderful set on Universal’s lot. I mean it had to be a million dollar set on its own. We had such a wonderful crew. I have done over a hundred films and the energy on this set was easily in my top three films ever.

MG: What can you tell us about your character Duke?
TT: Without giving away too much, we are a motley group of criminal disguising as businessmen. My character Duke fancies himself a businessman that happens to be involved with criminal enterprises. The general plot is we all gather together after 6 years to celebrate Noah Hathaway’s character Fish’s release from prison and that sets up our evenings events.

MG: How did you prepare for the character?
TT: I did a lot of research on what makes a sociopath. I found some very disturbing things. For sociopaths, just like you and I are sitting here outside and chatting and at the spur a moment things can change, like a snap of the finger. He is a wonderful character. But I couldn’t be Duke, unless everyone did there roles as good as they did.

MG: You are a legend acting in the horror genre, tell us about your plans to direct on “Catalytic”?
TT: It is a script that is already written. I didn’t a horror film to be my first directorial debut. I have another project called “Eerie, PA”, that is much closer to my heart but same group from “Sushi Girl” convinced me that it a good horror film. I do not contain any stupidity in the horror characters. It is about real shit and is very cool.

MG: You recently just appeared in “Final Destination 5”, how did the character come about?
TT: Well I had done “The X-Files” and James Wong and Glen Morgan were involved writing on that show. They remembered me and they had acquired “Final Destination”. It was original a proposal script for an “X-Files” episode by Jeffrey Reddick. They wanted me and I wanted it, so fortunately it worked out amd here we are five films later and going strong. I thought the fifth film was the best in the series.

Getting Down to Bass-ics with Tony Levin

“Tony Levin is one of the world’s best bass players, if not the best.” – Peter Gabriel

So true.

Tony Levin (aka “TLev”) is the bass player’s bass player. Incredibly accurate in his musical phrasing but always matching the song’s mood with a sense of fluidity and true funkiness, Tony’s playing is always recognizable and unmistakable. At the forefront of experimentation, the array of instruments at his disposal isn’t strictly limited to his signature Music Man bass (which he often plays with “funk fingers” – an invention of his own design that allows him to hammer on the strings with half-size drumsticks that he attaches with tape to the index and middle fingers of his right hand), but includes the polyphonic Chapman Stick as well the Electric Upright Bass (EUB) and a host of other instrumentation.

Levin is primarily known for his work with King Crimson and Peter Gabriel as well as numerous spin-off projects like Stick Men (featuring two Chapman Stick players and current Crimson drummer, Pat Mastelotto), the Liquid Tension Experiment (with members of Dream Theatre), in addition to a host of King Crimson-related “ProjeKcts”. Over the course of his extensive career, he’s been involved with over 500 records as a session musician. The list includes some of the best-known artists in the business: John Lennon, Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, Todd Rundgren, Pink Floyd, Yes and Warren Zevon – just to name a few. And then there’s the list of musicians he’s toured with: Paul Simon, Peter Frampton, James Taylor, Richie Sambora…

He’s just finished being a part of the “Three of a Perfect Pair” Camp, a week-long music camp in New York state that allowed its campers – musicians and non-musicians alike – to learn from, jam out and hang with three members of the Crimson court: Adrian Belew, Pat Mastelotto and, of course, the esteemed Mr. Levin. In mid-September, the three Crims embark on the “Two of a Perfect Trio” tour which pairs Belew’s Power Trio with Levin’s Stick Men trio. The show closes with “an extended Crim-centric encore.”

I caught up with Tony between the last day of Camp and the start of the tour to chat about both of these topics as well as some of his wide array of side projects and session work. We also talked about how he goes about writing music and choosing from the myriad of instruments he’s mastered. I managed to squeeze in a couple of questions that only the seasoned Crim / TLev fan (a la “DPic”) would ever really care about – and even posed a question from one of his former touring buddies, Rick Wakeman of Yes. Tony’s answer was truly mind-boggling…

Dave Picton: How’d it go with the “Three of a Perfect Pair” Music Camp?
Tony Levin: Very well. I knew it’d be fun, but it turned out that the vibrant ‘campers’ and their passion for King Crimson’s music made it a growing experience for me. And I got the feeling they were really pleased to spend the week in that setting, hanging out with us Crimson guys. We also were able to get a lot of surprise gifts for them, which didn’t hurt!

DPic: What was the genesis of the “Two of a Perfect Trio” tour?
TLev: Seemed a good name for the tour – it’s based on the song title “Three of a Perfect Pair”. Since we have two trios… The idea for touring together, and with a Crimson based encore set, came from Adrian. He’d been thinking for some time of doing something like this with Pat and me.

DPic: “A Scarcity of Miracles” is the latest King Crimson ProjeKct. What has been your favorite ProjeKct to date (and it doesn’t necessarily have to be one that you were a member of)? Opinions / observations about being in the projeKcts (so to speak)?
TLev: The thing about me is that, like many musicians, I don’t look backward much. So I don’t even know the list of ProjeKcts I’ve done, let alone have a favorite. I can say that all of my playing in Crimson-related groups has been a great experience for me – expanding my own playing, and learning from some very special musicians. I also hope there will be lots more of it in the future.

DPic: The list of artists with whom you’ve done session work is staggering. Is there a favorite musician that you’ve worked with? Any favorite behind-the-scenes story?
TLev: Again, no favorites. Looking back, I’d have to say that my experiences with Peter Gabriel and with King Crimson (each encompassing many albums) were great for me. I also toured a lot with each, and that makes it a more complete experience – really I prefer playing live to recording, but doing both is the best way to immerse yourself in the music.

DPic: When you’re creating a song or contributing as a session musician, how do you choose between using electric bass or Chapman Stick or Electric Upright Bass?
TLev: A good question. There is no rule for me, but when I hear the song (or the composition, if it’s an instrumental) I get a sense of what I think I can contribute on the bass end. It may be simple or complex, but I sort of hear it in my head – then I can choose the instrument that might express it best. Even among my basses there are subtle differences that make some much better for certain things I might want to do. The Chapman Stick is very different, with it’s sharp attacks and huge range. I also sometimes opt for the NS Electric Upright with it’s almost acoustic bass- sound, and huge bottom end. If I’m writing the piece, sometimes I just write the music, and then approach it later as the bassist – choosing then. Sometimes of course I base the song on a riff or idea I have on a particular instrument. With Stick Men, needless to say, I write my material on the Chapman Stick.

DPic: As an aspiring bassist, I’m very intrigued by the Chapman Stick and would love to try one out before committing to buying one. Do you know of any way I (or any other Stick-curious folks) can try/rent one out?
TLev: Best idea is to contact Stick Enterprises ( and ask them – they might be able to hook you up with a player in your area, so you can try it out and have some guidance. There is a very nice community of Stick players around the world.

DPic: Your book, “Beyond the Bass Clef”, is one of the most enjoyable music-related books I’ve ever read. Any plans for a follow-up (i.e. “Way Way Waaaaay Beyond the Bass Clef”)?
TLev: Good idea – but no plans at the moment. Books and photo exhibits are great fun, but time consuming, and best done when no recording or band projects are taking up my time and creative energy. Lately, happy to say, I’m very busy making new music.

DPic: You were one of the first musicians to actively blog and keep an ongoing road diary on the web. In your opinion, how has the internet and the web affected music and musicians – both positive and negative AND you personally?
TLev: For me, it was quickly apparent that this was a great way to minimize the wall between performer and audience. It doesn’t take it away, but gives a way to share more of the experience than just the show. So I like showing behind the scenes, and telling what’s going on, and especially sharing my photos of the audience – so people who were there can see how inspiring they are to us on stage, and how they are really in some ways a part of the show.

DPic: A few years back, I spoke with world- renowned trumpet-player Chris Botti at a post-show meet-and-greet where he was kind enough to sign my copy of “Bruford Levin Upper Extremities: Blue Nights”. Many of his band-mates had never seen the CD, so he showed it to all of them and told me “I’d love to work with those guys again!” Soooo…would you be game? What about Bill Bruford and David Torn?
TLev: Always something we discuss when we meet up. Realistically, it’s been pretty unlikely for some time, and now more so, with Bill’s retirement from playing live. We did have great fun, and made some darn good music. You learn to never say never in music situations, so I’ll stick with ‘unlikely’ but add that it’d be really great if it did happen again.

DPic: One of my all-time favorite bands is Pink Floyd. On the “A Momentary Lapse of Reason” album, you played all of the bass parts. What was that experience like?
TLev: Very special. David Gilmour was great to work with, as was producer Bob Ezrin, whom I’d worked with a lot before that. Playing the music was fun, and once I got the hang of the style, it went smoothly. There was a chance of touring with the band too but, alas, it conflicted with a Peter Gabriel tour I was on.

DPic: OK…drum roll please…it’s time for the “Picayune Crimson Question That’s Plagued Me for Ages!”: On the initial LP release of “Three of a Perfect Pair”, the opening to the song “Sleepless” is a continuous non-stop bass riff extravaganza that’s – as far as I’m concerned – one of the funkiest I’ve ever heard. On all subsequent compilations and reissues, it’s markedly more staccato. Why is that? And will the original mix ever be reissued? I miss it!
TLev: I’m afraid I don’t know! I’ll try to find a copy and listen.

DPic: You were involved with the Yes-centric “Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe”. Earlier this week I interviewed Rick Wakeman. He wants to know when you’re going to get a proper haircut.
TLev: Indeed! I miss my nightly Boggle games with Rick. We’d play right up to beginning of show time … heck, even after it, since it began with a Steve Howe solo – then Rick would jump up to run onstage and play his solo section – having usually beat me, I must admit!


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Tribeca Film Acquires US Rights to Tony Kaye’s Detachment”

Photo Credit - Tony Kaye



Provocative Drama Features A Stellar Lead Performance From Adrien Brody, Anchoring An Ensemble Cast That Includes James Caan, Bryan Cranston, Blythe Danner, Marcia Gay Harden, Christina Hendricks, Lucy Liu, William Peterson, Betty Kaye and Sami Gayle


“Brody delivers his finest performance since ‘The Pianist’… an award-caliber turn.”

–        The Hollywood Reporter

“A wrenching and powerful achievement… tremendous cast I was swept along by the spectacular visual journey.”

New York, NY – September 8, 2011 – Tribeca Film announced today that it has acquired all US distribution rights, including theatrical, VOD, digital, TV and DVD, to Detachment, a vivid and compelling ensemble drama from acclaimed Director Tony Kaye (American History X, Lake of Fire) that had its World Premiere at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival.

Tribeca Film, supported by Founding Partner American Express, plans a 2012 release via a multi-city theatrical engagement, running day-and-date with nationwide VOD and digital distribution, followed by DVD, pay-TV, and a range of other platforms.

In Director Tony Kaye’s Detachment, Academy Award® winner Adrien Brody stars as Henry Barthes, an educator with a true talent to connect with his students. Yet Henry has chosen to bury his gift. By spending his days as a substitute teacher, he conveniently avoids any emotional connections by never staying anywhere long enough to form an attachment to either students or colleagues. When a new assignment places him at a public school where a frustrated, burned-out administration has created an apathetic student body, Henry soon becomes a role model to the disaffected youth. In finding an unlikely emotional connection to the students, teachers, and a runaway teen he takes in from the streets, Henry realizes that he’s not alone in his life and death struggle to find beauty in a seemingly vicious and loveless world.

Kaye, molding a contemporary vision of people who become increasingly distant from others while still feeling the need to connect, directs a stellar ensemble cast from a script by Carl Lund.  Anchored by an award-worthy performance from Brody, Detachment also features memorable roles by Christina Hendricks, Academy® Award nominee James Caan, Academy® Award winner Marcia Gay Harden, Lucy Liu, Blythe Danner, Tim Blake Nelson, Bryan Cranston, William Petersen and newcomers Betty Kaye and Sami Gayle.

“I was personally drawn to make the movie because I wanted to take the character of Henry Barthes and make him universal, make him all of us, and learn myself from that journey. He is the baton in a relay race, an infinite piece of clay to sculpt, a human being formed out of pain and sent to the masses to teach in the education system. Our purpose in being born is to learn and teach, and to be happy,” Kaye said. “Looking at the ever changing landscape of film distribution, I think the Tribeca Film team is perfectly positioned to shepherd Detachment into this new exciting era.”

Detachment is a singular experience. Tony Kaye combines a range of filmmaking techniques, terrific ensemble acting and a wonderful lead performance by Adrien Brody,” said Geoffrey Gilmore, Chief Creative Officer of Tribeca Enterprises. “The film truly demands to be seen; we look forward to bringing it to a wider audience through Tribeca Film.”

Detachment is produced by Paper Street Films’ Austin Stark, Benji Kohn, Chris Papavasiliou and Bingo Gubelmann, Kingsgate Films’ Greg Shapiro, and Carl Lund. It is executive produced by Brody, Peter Sterling and Andre Laport. Marco Frigeri is co-executive producer.

The US distribution deal was negotiated by Nick Savva and Randy Manis for Tribeca Film, and International Creative Management, which also represents Kaye.

Celluloid Dreams has recently acquired all worldwide sales rights. Mongrel Media has acquired the Canadian rights and will distribute the film in 2012.  Pretty Pictures has taken the French rights and is planning a winter 2012 release.  Detachment can next be seen at the 37th Deauville Festival.

About Tribeca Film:

Tribeca Film is a comprehensive distribution label dedicated to acquiring and marketing independent films across multiple platforms, including video-on-demand, theatrical, digital, home video and television.  It is an initiative from Tribeca Enterprises designed to provide new platforms for how film can be experienced, while supporting filmmakers and introducing audiences to films they might not otherwise see. American Express continues its support of Tribeca and the independent film community by serving as the Founding Partner of Tribeca Film.


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Interview with Robert Pattinson

Robert Pattinson is most known for his role as Edward Cullen in the “The Twilight Saga”. He recently sat down during a press junket to answer some questions about his role in the upcoming “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”.

Q: Now on the third “Twilight” movie, you’ve worked with three different directors, what have been the pluses or minuses for that change each time?
A: I thought Catherine (Hardwicke) and Chris (Weitz) were both great and I would have been happy if they have directed all of them afterward. Experiencing the change every time is great for me because it feels like you are doing a different movie every time. It would be very easy to think like you are literally doing a series and it is the same characters going through different events every time. Having a new director around does help you grow. The characters are growing and changing and its not just going through a new set of events. It feels like every movie is very different.

Q: Do you take opportunity to to look back at the earlier films and do this certain things different with your character?
A: Kind of, I definitely was thinking in “Eclipse”, what is the consistency from the previous two. But also you think how to improve your performance. The look of the character. The way they move. You normally do not have opportunities to do that. It is always the same cast, so you can bring your experience from the last film in the new film. It is not an entirely new set of circumstances.

Q: With the love triangle in “Eclipse” being so front and center, how was it working with Taylor during those scenes? Was it difficult?
A: For one thing, it was great to do scenes with other people. I have always got a long with Taylor (Lautner) very well. It is a lot easier when you like someone to do all this macho stuff because you could feel really silly. Taylor is a much better built guy than I am and if he was a complete idiot then it could very easily become an uncomfortable situation. If he was like “I am so buff, what do you have”, it would have been incredible annoying to do to work every day.

Q: The tent scene has everyone talking. Was that a tough scene to do?
A: It is a very strange scene, with Bella sleeping there. I like what has happened with the relationship that Edward has with Jacob now. In the first two, it is just this kind of ignorant hate which boring to play after a while, since all it is is just jealousy. If you do not know someone you can’t really hate them. Knowing someone and openly admitting “I am trying to steal your girlfriend”, and saying “What are you going to do about it? Try and stop me”. There is nothing he can do to stop him. He doesn’t want to be friends. He has to completely rely on Bella to make up her mind on it. It is kind of interesting to see things play out.

Interview with Tate Ellington

Tate Ellington co-starred in this spring’s drama “Remember Me” opposite Robert Pattinson (“Twilight Saga”) and Emilie de Ravin (“Lost”). Movie Mikes had the chance to talk to Tate about his role in “Remember Me”, what it was like working with his cast and what’s in store for the future.

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Mike Gencarelli: What did you first think when you were going to audition for “Remember Me”?
Tate Ellington: I wasn’t aware of what the project was at first. I didn’t know it was a studio picture. I went in and didn’t feel I was right for it at first. I said “There is no way, they are going to cast me in this”. A few days later, they told me I did well but they were going to go to LA to look more and they would let me know. I said to myself that they are never going to call again. So a month goes by and they called and said the director wants to meet you. When I met Allen (Coulter), I thought i did awful. I left the room and thought this is definitely done now. I get another call a few days later and they wanted me to meet Rob (Pattinson). I never thought originally it was going to lead to me getting the job but it ended up being great.

Mike Gencarelli: What drew you to the role of Aidan Hall?
Tate Ellington: I only had a chance to read half of the script before I had gone in. I liked the guy but normally I am really shy. So I had to make myself chat a lot and not be shy. I knew Aidan was suppose to be there for some laughs and keep things a little more lighthearted when needed. But also whenever he was needed to be serious and really show his sincerity and that he can be there. That is what drew to the character. I think he actually has a huge part. He cares a lot for Tyler (Pattinson), he will do anything for him. Also Tyler family is also like Aidan’s adopted family and he loves them without contingent too. Even Emilie de Ravin’s character Ally, was the same way. Once Aidan realizes Tyler was in love with her, then my character was like well she is my best friend too then. That is what I really like about him. He is like a puppy dog and is very loyal to whomever he loves.

Mike Gencarelli: How was it like working with Robert Pattinson and Emilie de Ravin?
Tate Ellington: Yeah it was a blast. When I first officially found out I would be meeting Rob for screen tests, I was a little nervous. I hoped that he would be nice. Rob from the get-go was just as nice as can be. He is a very humble nice and sweet guy. He made me laugh and automatically I was knew this guy was going to be great. Same way with Emilie, during rehearsals before we started shooting it was me, her and Rob in a room and we all hit it off. We were all throwing out jokes. Emilie was hilarious. If I able to laugh with somebody they we are set. Every time getting to hang out with them on set was a blast. I looked forward to going to work everyday.

MG: The burning question, are you a “Twilight Saga” fan?
TE: When I found out a had a job, I hadn’t reach the books or seen the movies yet. I didn’t want to have any preconceived notations. I didn’t want to hate it and then lie to Rob and be like “Yeah you were great in that”. I was dating a girl way before this and she was a fan of the books. One afternoon I was given a synopsis of every single thing about all four books. I knew everything about it to some degree but I made sure not to watch the movies. Actually after we finished filming, I rented it and actually really enjoyed it. I thought it was really good. I wasn’t quite sure how I would feel, but I really liked it.

MG: I am sure your set was swamped everyday with “Twilight” fans, did you find that difficult to focus?
TE: Initially getting there the first day of shooting, I was like “Whoa man, this is insane!”. But I got used to it really quick. I was more worried about getting fired after the first day. We did the first take and after that it was all fine. We would see some of the same fans who were waiting and it actually was nice. We always felt like we had people around, like going to Grandma’s. I remember one shot we did, the crowd moved around the corner and we couldn’t see them till we came around. Once we came around, it was like a mass of people screaming. It was dead silence till we crossed the corner and then it was just insanity.

MG: Tell me about your film “The Elephant King”?
TE: That was my first paying movie gig. It was still one of the best times in my life. We got to shoot in Thailand for for six or seven weeks. The director, Seth Grossman and I are actually still as close as can be. We also get together if I am in LA or he is in NY. Thailand was absolutely amazing. Plus I also got to work with one of my favorite actresses Ellen Burstyn. I found out she was in it and I was like “Ok, let’s do this”. I am very critical of what I do but I think I did ok on that role. I am really happy and proud of that one.

MG: Ok so whats’s next? Can you tell us about “Silver Tongues”?
TE: Right now, they are just finishing up that movie. I am maybe in the first ten minutes at most. A couple good scenes in there though. It is just great. I got to work with Lee Tergesen, who is just one of the nicest guys ever. I just finished up another thing, right now it is called “New York”. I have no idea if that will be changed or not. Then I had like two scenes in a movie called “Breaking Upwards”, which I think is currently showing at the IFC Center in NYC and it should be on DVD soon. I am barely in it for 10 seconds but it is one of those movies I would recommend to anybody. The guys did it on a shoestring budget and it turned out amazing. I have to go to LA next week, but I can’t say for what but it is a nice TV show and we will see if that works out.

Click here to purchase Tate’s movies