Posts Tagged ‘Unscreened’

UNSCREENED in the LA TIMES

February 15, 2012

Check out this awesome Spotlight interview in the LA Times with Dahvi Waller about UNSCREENED!

Dahvi is one of the four writers (Michelle Morgan, John Whittington and myself) who wrote one-acts for this year’s production.  The writing workshop process began this fall, and since then, I’ve become an even bigger fan of these talented writers and am very honored to have worked with them.

Only a few more performances so get your tickets now!

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Theater IS Cool

February 10, 2012
This month is the 2nd Annual incarnation of UNSCREENED, a night of fantastic original short plays, one of which I wrote and directed! My play, ADIOS ASSHOLES, is part of this evening of one-acts by film and TV writers who wanted to explore/learn from/enjoy/get our asses kicked by actualizing our work on the stage for a live audience. The phenomenal “assholes” in my ADIOS ASSHOLES cast (get it? “assholes” = JOKE) include Abby Miller (JUSTIFIED), Noah Segan (BRICK), Ryan Harrison (Lost Moon Radio), and Steven Klein (LA theater regular).
The process of stepping out of my comfort zone of filmmaking to write a play and then direct it has inspired me and pushed me as a storyteller in ways for which I will always be grateful. It also terrified me. Thus, I’m really proud of this play and would love to have you join us for one of the performances.  Here’s the deets:
There’s a bit more information below about my esteemed UNSCREENED counterparts. I was such a fan of all of theirs, but now, having worked with them, even more so. I hope you will have a chance to see the show. I’ll be at every one.
MORE ABOUT UNSCREENED 2012
The writers of Unscreened this year include Anna Christopher (Sloppy Firsts), Michelle Morgan (Middle of Nowhere, Imogene, and Variety’s “Top Ten Screenwriter’s to Watch”), WGA Award-winner Dahvi Waller (Mad Men, Desperate Housewives), and John Whittington (I Hope We Can Still be Friends, Untitled Cyrano de Bergerac Project for Gary Ross and Nina Jacobson). Directors include the Independent Spirit Award- nominee Robbie Pickering, Susanna Fogel, Michelle Morgan, and Anna Christopher. 

The cast includes Chris Klein (Election, American Pie); Tig Notaro, a comedienne currently receiving critical praise for her recurring role on The Sarah Silverman Show; Anne Gregory, who recently starred in the Paramount Insurge faux documentary to be released in 2012; Maria Thayer (Strangers With Candy), Jasper Grey, Will Greenberg, LA theater regular Steven Klein, and comedian Josh Fadem, who can often be seen late night on Conan.

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“Adios Assholes” Is a Play…

January 17, 2012

… that I wrote and am directing it in this year’s production of Unscreened! There are three other AWESOME (i.e. hilarious, poignant, amazing) plays in the night of one-acts at the Elephant Stages’ Lillian Theatre. Please show your support by donating to our production’s Kickstarter Fund or reserving your tickets now!

Wanna know more? Here’s the official skinny:

Unscreened is a lively evening of four world-premiere short plays by some of Hollywood’s fastest-rising writers and featuring a multi-star cast.

Black Sheep Entertainment and Firefly: Theater & Films created Unscreened to meet two goals: (i) to give brilliant and buzz-generating screen- and TV writers the chance to see their visions fully realized at a pace film and TV cannot accommodate but theater can; and (ii) to work with the well-known actors the writers and producers were meeting with in a way that was collaborative, quick, and equally fun for the creators and the audience. 

The newly announced 2012 class of writers includes Anna Christopher (Sloppy Firsts), Michelle Morgan (Middle of Nowhere, Imogene, and Variety’s “Top Ten Screenwriter’s to Watch”), Dahvi Waller (Mad Men, Eli Stone), and John Whittington (I Hope We Can Still be Friends, Untitled Cyrano de Bergerac Project for Gary Ross and Nina Jacobson). One year ago, the inaugural class of writers – including Emily Halpern, Leslye Headland, Beth Schacter, and Susanna Fogel & Joni Lefkowitz – began developing their short plays with Black Sheep and Firefly, and Unscreened went on to sell out its February and March 2011 eight-week run, with a cast featuring Sarah Agor, Julia Garro, Sprague Grayden, Will Greenberg, Steven Klein, Scott Kradolfer, Zosia Mamet, Michael Stahl-David, Rachael Taylor, Jesse Williams, and Shannon Woodward.

All four of last year’s short plays have gone on to become full projects, three of them with Unscreened cast attached – one has been adapted into a feature film now submitted for the Sundance Lab, one is being workshopped by Second Stage into a full- length play, one is being turned into a TV show concept, and the fourth is being produced as a short film.” 

Wrapped OFFICE BET

January 14, 2012

I’ve been quiet in the blogosphere because I’ve been in hardcore pre-production on a short film called OFFICE BET that we shot on Monday 1/9 and Tuesday 1/10! First and foremost, I and Aaron (producer) want to thank the amazing cast and crew for all their hardwork!

OFFICE BET is a witty short film about the awkwardness of dating in the digital age told through the story of a two couples operating at very different connection speeds. One couple is “logged in” while the other totally unplugged, yet both find romance in this comedy in the vein of Albert Brooks and Noah Baumbach’s films.

We decided to make this film for a variety of reasons — because the script is fantastic; because I wanted to direct something narrative before directing my one-act play in UNSCREENED in Feb. (the Activia behind-the-scenes internet video doesn’t count as narrative!); because, possibly most excitingly, the OFFICE BET creative team is putting together a feature film of similar tone/themes. We wanted to make a short film together that can act as a proof of concept for both us as a team and the kind of feature we will produce.

I loved my crew and cast. Dominique came on to shoot with her great team (and a killer crane!!) and capture a VIRGIN SUICIDES-inspired look, complete with soft lighting, romantic flares, effortless-looking compositions, long lenses and floaty camera moves.

Dom in red. Technocrane in metal.

I had the opportunity to collaborate with new people like Ed, (pinch hitter UPM ’cause Gabe had to step away to another project) Caity (1st AD), Anatasya in wardrobe, and Sam on makeup/hair. Plus, I was so inspired and grateful for all the super positive, happy-to-help friends who joined us as PAs.

My SAG cast oozed talent and amazingness. We had Lauren Flans as “Cynthia,” Daniel Berson as “Peter,” Abbe Meryl as “Allison” and Jonathon Trent as “Jack.” The whole cast breathed even more life and comedy to the roles which were already incredibly rich and funny. And, Abbe and Jonathon delivered great make-outs for all six takes of the unforgettable “your mouth tastes like cotton candy” scene. Thank you to Dan and Sherrie at Dream Big Casting for securing these all-stars for us.

Lauren and Daniel as Cynthia and Peter.

Abbe and Jonathon as Allison and Jack.

The project was a two-day shoot.  The first day was at Chez Germen in Beverly Hills. The cafe was closed so we “owned” its outdoor space, giving Regina Taufen, my production designer, both the joy and challenge of creating a cafe with zilch money and only two days prep. It also didn’t hurt that David “Dave” Anderson graced us with his beauty and talent as background talent.

Chez Germen in its natural state.

Chez Germen post Regina's awesomeness. *Note David our A-list extra.

The second day started again at the cafe and then moved to residential sidewalks and, finally, to the front steps of a nearby house where we had a whirlwind hour and a half to shoot three scenes (2 and 3/8 pages).

Our last location of the day... three scenes in one and half hours! Don't shoot exteriors in January when the sun sets at 5.

It’ll be a while before we’re done with post and ready to premiere, but I’ll keep you posted and hopefully these quick pics have started painting the picture of the greatness ahead!

The image that inspired our last shot of the film because of its romantic look and visual play on duplicity.

Visual reference.

VIRGIN SUICIDES was our primary movie reference for the look of OFFICE BET.


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