Living Room Coffin (2018) – The “elephant in the room” is never one that you invite in – but Iris inadvertently does! review by Lorraine Dmitrovic

Jennifer Prediger and Blake Berris in Living Room Coffin (2018)

Blake Berris as former boyfriend, Seth, and Jennifer Prediger
as Iris Hawthorn in Living Room Coffin (2018)

To view my review on Yeahflix:
https://yeahflix.com/watch-living-room-coffin-fearless/

Living Room Coffin definitely one-ups the elephant. What exactly can you do – or shouldn’t do – in this situation? In this 2018 comedy-drama, the elephant is a coffin that police dispatcher-911 operator Iris Hawthorn didn’t order, gets delivered to her front door – and it’s put right on display in her living room. She needed a coffee table, true, yet she wonders if it’s a goodbye present from a former boyfriend. Or maybe someone’s playing a cruel joke? The delivery men can’t take it back, so she’s stuck with it.

Living Room Coffin (2018), official trailer

This is the dilemma for Iris, which starts her on the journey to trace the bizarre gift to its sender. She doesn’t find the answers all in one place, but picks up insight and a few bread crumbs while stopping in at a haunted house, a funeral parlour, and a church. Along the way, we wonder if fate or karma is at work. Undoubtedly both are, as she has a sick yet feisty granny.

Living Room Coffin (2018) - Irene Roseen as the grandmother and Jennifer Prediger as Iris Hawthorn

Iris (Jennifer Prediger) checks Grandma Edith (Irene Roseen) for a temperature

Other “gifts” associated with a coffin begin to arrive. Confiding in friend Patricia who works at the same police job, Iris only ends up with more questions. To further complicate the search, she’s also distracted by missing romance in her mundane existence, and then her former boyfriend reappears. Otherwise the most exciting thing in her life is comparing with Patricia who has the more outrageous day on the job. Iris definitely wins out, now that she has the uninvited guest on a plexiglass stand dominating her living room.

Jennifer Prediger and Rémy Bennett in Living Room Coffin (2018)

Rémy Bennett as co-worker, Patricia,  and Jennifer Prediger
as Iris Hawthorn in Living Room Coffin (2018)

Iris, wonderfully played by actress-filmmaker Jennifer Prediger, aims to solve the origin mystery, and first knocks back on wine and listening for other spirits. She then manages a sensible, calm approach during her search. One thing leads her closer to another during this horror hopscotch, until she discovers the peculiar truth of why she received the coffin.

Jennifer Prediger in Living Room Coffin (2018)

Actress-filmmaker Jennifer Prediger as Iris “tries out” the mysterious coffin

Part philosophical, part dark comedy and borderline absurd, Living Room Coffin
certainly encourages you to contemplate life as to how none of us can avoid the inevitable last big sleep which fortunately comes much later rather than sooner for most of us.

Writer and first time director, Michael Sarrow, laced his highly original story with a few “usual suspects” – many of which are red herrings, of course. His take on life and passing on becomes food for thought, relating it to some provoking life and death choices people make. Choices that may or may not be fully thought through, and then reneged on when one or more poor souls are involved ….

Living Room Coffin benefits from great, sincere and often humorous performances from characters even in smaller roles. The nonchalant delivery men, for example, played by Linas Phillips and Johnny Pemberton, provide comic relief while leaving Iris to deal with the heavy duty coffin situation alone.

The film could have swerved off in many different directions; Sarrow chose to stick to solving this profound mystery clearly and simply. Geared up for resolution, Living Room Coffin inspires us to realize that some things, many things, like relationships, end eventually. What does one see in a cut flower? Remnants of beauty and time passing. All parts of a mystery that can astonishingly unfold bit by bit – should you ever find an elephant, or a coffin, in your living room.

Living Room Coffin (2018) poster

Living Room Coffin (2018) poster

Copyright © May 2018: Lorraine Dmitrovic
All photos copyright © May 2018: Greenstep Productions/Leo Mark Studios

Review – Avengers: Infinity War – the best comic book I’ve ever watched! by Lorraine Dmitrovic

Avengers Infinity War (2018) posterOfficial poster for Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Marvel Studios

To view my review on Yeahflix:
https://yeahflix.com/avengers-infinity-war-5-star-review/

From shocking opening to even more shocking ending, the epic adventure Avengers: Infinity War (AIW) is what every superhero movie should aspire to be. It’s a dark joyride, a thrilling spinning wheel turning time and space on their sides. It’s also like compulsively reading one fabulous Marvel comic book after another because you need to find out more about what’s going on with your fave superheroes and villains. This is one movie you don’t want to end.

https://youtu.be/6ZfuNTqbHE8
Avengers: Infinity War – Official Marvel Universe trailer

It was once thought that too many ingredients – or characters – would spoil the broth, and while the storyline is propelled by 64 characters, each is given the time and attention they deserve. The result? AIW avoids the overblown, ongoing fireworks finale battle of Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015). This latest installment climbs each step one by one, builds suspense and tension to the highest degrees and maxes to the enth single or joined-forces superhero confrontations with arch villain Thanos (Josh Brolin) and his delegated band of baddies. You’re wide-eyed and mouth agape as good clashes against evil and sonic booms vibrate throughout the universe.

Avengers infinity war thor close-up
Chris Hemsworth as Thor (Image: Marvel Studios)

Thanos clearly has a God-complex, with his directive maintaining his warped idea of mercy that half of every planet he conquers must perish in order to achieve peace. He launches a multi-front war on Earth that necessitates an unparalleled response from the good guy collective. Thanos’ team of assorted mercenaries and a Voldemort-type noseless wizard come up against the tried and true, plus new additions, of Marvel comic superheroes; even Spider-Man is “knighted” into Avengerhood. Thor is joined along the way by James Gunn’s own Guardians of the Galaxy team. The new collaboration is likeable and effective. Chris Pratt is all Star-Lord, although at one point with his hand motions you think he’s going to summon his “pet” velociraptor, Blue. Rocket Raccoon dishes out some of the best lines in the movie, and you’ll love his new “nickname” to boot.

Avengers Infinity War - Guardians of the galaxy sun reports movie had a whopping £400m budget
Avengers: Infinity War enlists the help of the Guardians
of the Galaxy
 team (Image: Marvel Studios)

Almost all the Avengers have assembled to hunt down Thanos, and among the long list are Vision, Wanda, Black Panther, the Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow and Dr. Strange. Creator of the Avengers comic characters, Stan Lee, has his customary funny cameo, although it’s a little on the brief side and wasn’t as hilarious as his zany caricature barber wearing coke-bottle eyeglasses and wielding scissors like cosmic weapons in Thor: Ragnorak (2017).

Avengers Infinity War - producer Kevin Feige and Stan LeeAvengers: Infinity War – producer Kevin Feige and Avengers
comic creator Stan Lee (Image: Marvel Studios)

Most questions from previous Avengers superheroes and Thor films are answered. Although Hela (Thor and Loki’s half-sister) doesn’t show up, you’ll discover that stormbreakers (with a dynamite vignette featuring Peter Dinklage) work best against the supreme enemy. It’ll be up to Infinity Wars II – and there will most assuredly be one – to resolve that completely.

Avengers Infinity War (2018) Black Panther Captain America Back Widow and team ready to battle
Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Captain America (Chris Evans), Black
Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and team ready for battle (Image: Marvel Studios)

No one left the theatre when the end credits started to roll. Yes, there was an extra scene at the very end. It was every bit as numbing as the final scene before credits. No wonder people were meme-ing about it in stunned silence after getting up from their theatre seats.

What makes this film a true winner is the casting of all Avenger heroes as though in supporting roles, with none really standing out as “the stars.” Admittedly Loki, the perennial teen villain played by Tom Hiddleston, steals the first scene, and it also crosses your mind that he’s still in transition from “god of mischief” to superhero. Count him down in AIW, but not out, as according to old myth the great horn-helmeted god can only be permanently vanquished in one way. Genuine affection is seen between Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki, and their relationship is perhaps “put on hold” until the next sequel. (More on that later.)

Avenger infinity war - loki close-upLoki (Tom Hiddleston) in the shocking opening scene (Image: Marvel Studios)

While AIW is “darker” than Thor: Ragnarok (2017), it shines more. The script was tweaked and polished to perfection, the best script yet in the series. It’s so good you don’t want to give away any bits and pieces. The comedy is sublimely timed and executed, and the bonds of love will make you cry, as will the backstory of Gamora and Thanos – whose pure devotion is to accomplish his warped evil by any means necessary. You eventually wonder if Thanos ever asked himself “Was it all worth it?” You realize the answer would be “yes” as all deranged alpha villains seem to view trouble, and the time to make it, as their middle names.

Avengers Infinity War - Josh Brolin as Thanos
Thanos (Josh Brolin) intends to conquer the universe
with the infinity gauntlet. Will he succeed? (Image: Marvel Studios)

The soundtrack is an impressive combo of majestic symphony and down-to-earth contemporary, and includes the classic pop tune Rubberband Man by The Spinners. AIW is stated as being the second-most-expensive film ever made, and it shows in the remarkable, well-worth-it production values, camera work and CGI. Chances are the next sequel will surpass that budget.

The AIW producers, including James Gunn, have been instrumental in pulling together and giving sense to a film that could have emerged as a puzzling mix-mox. A filmmaker since his youth, Gunn made his first big double-duty splash as writer and first-time director with Slither (2006) starring Nathan Fillion. Way back when, around the time Slither was released, Gunn belonged to the same Firefly (TV sci-fi series) community site I did.

CNET reports that there will be a sequel, known unofficially as Avengers 4, saying that “The film was shot back-to-back with Infinity War, beginning in August 2017 and with principal photography ending in January 2018. [Some] filming was done in the Atlanta area. According to the Scottish newspaper The Daily Record, more scenes will be filmed in Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland in July 2018, with reshoots coming later in the year.”

Numerous photos are known to have been taken during location shooting in Atlanta of major Avengers characters for that sequel.

All in all, Avengers: Infinity War will certainly garner a place in cinema history as one of the most awesomely entertaining, magical and witty sci-fi fantasy yarns ever spun onto the big screen. Sprinkled with the fairy dust of legend, like he-man swashbucklers and damsels standing equal to men and braver than brave, with monster villains and creatures of sweet nightmares and horrid dreams pulling open our eyelids, the Avengers will keep evolving and pulling us by the hand right along with them into future, wondrous journeys of imagination and adventure.

Copyright © May 2018: Lorraine Dmitrovic
All photos copyright © May 2018: Marvel Studios

 

 

 

 

First Review Article-Interview as a Contributor to YEAHFLIX

Many kind thanks to movie review site YEAHFLIX for inviting me to be a contributing reviewer! I’m happy to be on the team, and I’ll do my best to give a heads-up and thumbs-up on many current and classic diverse films in many genres.

My first review article, with an interview, is a “Spotlight” piece highlighting actor Tom McLaren and his career: “Tom McLaren, Actor and Author, Looking Forward to Upcoming Releases”

https://yeahflix.com/tom-mclaren-actor-and-author-looking-forward-to-upcoming-releases/

Tom McLaren, Actor and Author, Looking Forward to Upcoming Releases – by Lorraine Dmitrovic

When Tom McLaren set his sights on Hollywood, he never looked back. To follow his dreams, he left successful careers in the corporate finance divisions of Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Bros., and since 2011 he’s racked up over 150 professional film and commercial credits on the IMDb – with more feature films and other projects coming down the pipe.

McLaren has one of those faces the camera loves. And talk about versatile. One day he’s in an indie horror film. The next week finds him shooting a print ad, filming a commercial, recording a radio spot, or “appearing” on an audio CD. He’s played naive, trusting husbands, believable dads and experts in white lab coats, and policemen and priests with goodly authenticity.

Tom McLaren - Tom McLaren, Kristina Hayes and Cameron Dallas on set in Expelled (2014)

Tom McLaren – Tom McLaren, Kristina Hayes
and Cameron Dallas on set in Expelled (2014)

To view my review on Yeahflix:
https://yeahflix.com/tom-mclaren-actor-and-author-looking-forward-to-upcoming-releases/

He’s best known for three movies that are available on digital and streaming platforms worldwide. Says Tom, “Expelled (2014), Exorcism of Molly Hartley, and Santa’s Little Helper (both 2015) are certainly the biggest movies I’ve been in so far. They still ‘live on’ in worldwide distribution. Here in the US, Expelled is now in its 4th year on Netlfix. Exorcism is just about to leave the 2-year deal with Netflix to move to TV syndication. Santa airs on the USA Network every Christmas.”

Tom McLaren - Expelled on Netflix photo

Expelled promo photo on Netflix
_________________________

To view the Expelled official trailer, shared from Cameron Dallas –
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h42uyV8al30

Interview with Tom McLaren

Lorraine: How did Expelled (2014) come about, and what did you like about playing the dad?

Tom: It was quite a surprise. I met my movie son Cameron Dallas at the table read, had no idea he was an internet superstar with tens of millions of fans all over the world. When Cam promoted Expelled on his social media, we exploded. After the theatrical release, we opened on iTunes as the #1 best selling movie, beating out Guardians of the Galaxy and The Maze Runner, staying in the top 10 best sellers for about a month. To this day, Expelled is one of the most successful digital movies of all-time. Playing his dad was a gift, and I received such an outpouring of support from Cam’s fans. There wasn’t anything in the scripted character in my backstory, so I chose to make him the nice, pretty well clueless dad who unconditionally loves his sons – who’s the complete opposite of the distrusting mom. It was great fun doing those scenes with Cam and Kristina Hayes.

Lorraine: You’ve been cast as a priest a few times. What did you draw on for those roles?

Tom: Anytime I’m cast as someone with focus and determination it seems a natural fit, because I do the research and take the role very seriously. I value professionalism, whether I’m playing a priest, a doctor or a CEO. In Exorcism of Molly Hartley, I wanted my Father James to appear as a very experienced exorcist, in contrast to Devon Sawa’s novice character. That was my first studio film. I’ve been lucky to work with some great actors like Devon. (As well, from Santa’s Little Helper, Mike ‘The Miz’ Mizanin, is truly awesome. Randy Wayne, my son in Death Pool, is also a fantastic guy.)

Tom McLaren - Filming the Twentieth Century Fox feature film Exorcism of Molly Hartley with director Steven R. Monroe and star Devon Sawa (2015)

Tom McLaren filming the Twentieth Century Fox feature film Exorcism of Molly Hartley (2015) with director Steven R. Monroe and star Devon Sawa
(Photo: © 2015:  Twentieth Century Fox)

Lorraine: You’ve appeared in many print ads and commercials, some of them quite hilarious. Any faves among them?

Tom: I’ve done many commercials, never realizing they’d be such a big part of my career. The Loma Linda University and SoClean spots received wide exposure; friends tell me they’ve seen them over and over. Humorous spots are the most fun to do. My “exasperated butler” in the Matago App web commercial is a particular favorite. I almost didn’t audition, thinking there was no chance to get the part as I’m not the stereotypical bald British type. But casting booked me immediately, so there you go.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVys0g_2oe4
Tom as the “exasperated butler” in a web ad from Matago App
_________________________

Tom McLaren - First look- I'm Detective Sykes in the upcoming feature film There's No Such Thing as Vampires (2019)

A first look at Tom as Detective Sykes in the upcoming feature film There’s No Such Thing as Vampires (2019). Filmed on various California locations, it wrapped principal photography in 2017. The film’s director, Logan Thomas, brought together Meg Foster, Raphael Sbarge, Maria Olsen, and Judy Tenuta with other talents Emma Holzer, Aric Cushing (co-writer), Tom McLaren, and many others. There’s No Such Thing as Vampires (2019), currently in post production, is planned to premiere at various upcoming film festivals.

Lorraine: You’re in the upcoming indie feature film “There’s No Such Thing as Vampires” (2019), cast as Detective Sykes. What do you feel you brought to the character?

Tom: There are two detectives in the film, me and Raphael Sbarge, who’s such a great veteran actor. My role was the more passive of the two characters, so I played Sykes with small-town earnestness, a guy doing the best he can. It was my first part where I carry a gun. The film should be out next year. I love the horror genre, so I’m thrilled anytime I get a chance to be in a scary movie.

Lorraine: Do you prepare the same way for an audio role such as Renfield in The Dracula Files as you do with a film role?

Tom: It was a dream come true to re-imagine Renfield. The original 1931 Dracula starring Bela Lugosi is one of my all-time favorites. Dwight Frye as Renfield was brilliant, one of the most memorable performances I’ve ever seen. The Dracula Files is an audio drama, but the prep is the same as for any theatrical role. It’s all about backstory and point of view. Fortunately, we recorded most of it as though it were a live stage play. We physically acted it out, which made it feel so real. The third and final season is due out later this year.

Tom McLaren - favorite shot from The Dracula Files (with actor Bill Castrogiovanni, he plays Seward opposite my Renfield).

Tom McLaren: My favorite shot from The Dracula Files, with actor Bill Castrogiovanni, who plays Seward opposite my Renfield

Lorraine: Are you able to share a little about other upcoming films, commercials or other roles we’ll be seeing you in?

Tom: I’ve been doing a lot of commercials and indie feature films lately. I loved my parts in two upcoming movies. I’m a husband driven to horrific extremes in the horror film 8 Days to Hell, and I’m a fallen religious man-turned drug addict in the dramatic movie The Opiate Diaries. I’m also a police officer in Miss Arizona – a female empowerment film with a largely female cast and crew – which is now hitting the film festival circuit. I’m also starting to develop my own projects, so the future is filled with possibilities.

Lorraine: You’re currently enrolled in acting improv classes. Is there ever a point where you feel you’ve learned enough about your craft as an actor?

Tom: Learning never stops for an actor. I always say that every gig is worthwhile, because I learn something new every time I step in front of the camera. I take classes every year as well. An actor has to fine-tune a wide skill set, because performing is very different in classes vs. auditions vs. professional jobs. It’s best to experience as many various situations as possible, the more, the better.

Lorraine: Was it a natural step for you to co-author Styling the Stars: Treasures from the Twentieth Century Fox Archive with actress Angela Cartwright, whom the world knows as Penny from the 1960s sci-fi TV series, Lost in Space and as Brigitta von Trapp from The Sound of Music (1965)?

Tom: This book was a dream project. It came at a time in my life after I’d quit my corporate career, but before I started acting. I was looking for a creative outlet. Angela and I had been friends for many years, and she called me one day with this book idea. She knew I had a business mindset, coupled with a love for classic movies and showbiz facts and figures. It was a long and complicated journey to bring the project to print, and we’re both very proud of it. The feedback I’ve received from book and movie lovers all over the world has been amazing.

styling the stars softcover 2017 (589x800)

Styling the Stars: Treasures from the Twentieth Century Fox Archive
by Angela Cartwright and Tom McLaren

Yeahflix - Tom McLaren with Marta Kristen-Kane and A Cart Fox lot near one of the LIS soundstages a book signing of Styling the Stars (the book Angela and I co-authored).

Tom McLaren with Marta Kristen and Angela Cartwright on the Fox lot near one of the Lost In Space soundstages on April 6, 2017 for a book signing event of Styling the Stars, the week it was released in softcover.

Review article text and questions © April 2018: Lorraine Dmitrovic

 

 

 

Parallel (2016) – review by Lorraine Dmitrovic

Review of Parallel (2016)

Be forewarned, Parallel (2016) is not for family viewing. When considering to watch the movie with the possibility of reviewing it, I admit I had my reservations and hesitated. But I was definitely intrigued by this sci-fi scripted tale by David Magowan from executive producer Alexander Cooper. I had no idea what Parallel, an indie film, was about, and I had no prior knowledge of the graphic and explicit sex scenes it contained.

Then, upon viewing Parallel, as the plot delved into the otherworldly shadows of its premise, through those rather pornographic scenes, gratuitous and shocking, I saw that the whole theme of parallels – which is reflected even in the opening credits – artistically pertained to the film’s concept. The violent natures of two other scenes were reminiscent of Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (1971), and while distasteful, I understood the ideas behind them. Seen in context and objectively, I wasn’t offended by the sex or violence, although my underlying sense of morality was shell-shocked.

The concept is clearly and expertly presented, that people have their unrestricted in nature parallels in a parallel world. The tension comes from not only realizing this is so, but knowing it’s a dangerous poker hand to play from when one world invades the other – a “crossover.”

Faye Sewell as Heather and David Magowan as Neil in Parallel (2016)

Heather (Faye Sewell) and Neil’s (David Magowan) real world is very normal until they meet an unusual stranger named John Machlis (Brian Carter). Explaining himself first as a psychic, he soon reveals that he can introduce them to an alter world, which they skeptically agree “to visit.” The world they discover is stark emotionally and visually. They’re drawn back numerous times to further explore their parallel worlds.

At times, Parallel has the feel of the silent expressionist film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920). One also feels and wonders if Heather and Neil’s parallels are watching them – camera angles seem to suggest this, such as on the staircase scene. When they verge on acting-out like their alters, also in the staircase scene, he crosses the line in reality that she’s drawn – she wants to keep both worlds separate – and his dark parallel infiltrates his normal world mindset with displays of anger and crude behaviour and comments.

Daniel Westwood as Roy

All the characters in Parallel, including Heather’s work associate Roy (Daniel Westwood) who appears in her alter world, have been reduced to instinctive creatures no longer bound by society rules, conscience or social skills. In the parallel world, they are feelingless creatures with impulsive desires for sex (not love) and the innate urge for power and dominance – the epitome reached by murder. Heather’s parallel, perhaps because of being less aggressive as a female, needs convincing to commit the ultimate act of evil power. In this parallel world there are no consequences for acting on negative impulses – until a crossover, temporary or permanent, into the dark appears imminent.

They’re all tormented in some measure by what they’ve become and done in the parallel. Despite knowing it’s a dark world and they shouldn’t embrace it, they’re drawn magnetically to it, and to Machlis who helps them go deeper into their alter experiences.

Brian Carter as the mysterious John Machlis

Parallel has two potential endings, really. Both are totally unexpected, leaving you confused about how you feel, but not confused about what occurred in each. You want to root for the main characters, hope the best for them, yet you realize you cannot do that or even like them, because of what they’ve participated in and allowed to happen in both worlds.

When at work their boss brings in an expert who explains Machlis as a charlatan and con artist, it doesn’t change the fact that Heather and Neil have become acquainted with sides quite opposite to their natures. Neil admits to liking what he experienced in his parallel. He’s not so sure, however, near the end of the film when he’s disoriented, regretful and confused about which state he’s in.

Faye Sewell and David Magowan

At one point, Neil asks, “What does that say about us?” Good question. As their parallel entities, they’re no more advanced than the first walking-upright men, who killed to eat, took everything by force if necessary, animals relying on pure instinct to survive and have perverse, loveless pleasure when needed. Not quite zombies, but an army of these parallels if controlled might indeed surpass robots and mere humans if they were to be utilized by a country’s military.

Make-up is at times garish, mannequin-ish. Lighting is often harsh in the real world and dark in the other world. The script is tightly written; dialogue is intelligent, to the point. All characters were perfectly cast. The overall production design is sleek, with a stylish, economic use of sets and exterior locations. The camera work is frequently brilliant, impressive, perhaps with a nod to the most shadowy of Kubrick visions. The directors and director of photography have succeeded in initially creating an underplayed calm in the normal world which increasingly snaps to horrific raw action in the black and white parallel world. The absence of excessive slash and gore is refreshing. The pulsing, contemporary soundtrack contrastingly also includes an excerpt from the 2nd movement of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony in a scene with Machlis.

It’s a strangely satisfying film, the colour and the black and white of it, and it will continue to disturb your senses long after watching. It serves to ingrain the warning to never speak to strangers – or are they strangers? – and to not trust what you see before you, whether your eyes are open or closed in an altered state. And, oh, if you step close to a line that could separate you into two worlds, stare at it first for the longest time. Be sure before taking that step over – the crossover – or you may find yourself standing before that literary line from Dante’s 1814 Divine Comedy -“Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.”

Sometimes it’s best to heed the old adage “curiosity killed the cat.” Yes, move back, slip away posthaste from those dark places you want to, but really shouldn’t, discover within yourself. Parallel’s Pandora’s box will unleash things if opened – and you should never, ever dare peek inside the box long enough to want to step inside.

Parallel (2016) available online to view/purchase:
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk

Interview – with Alexander Cooper, executive producer-actor of Parallel (2016)

Alexander Cooper, executive producer-actor, Parallel (2016)

Lorraine:
How did you become involved as executive producer, also wearing a number of different hats on Parallel?

Alexander:
I wanted to make a film, so I set about looking for a script. I put an advert on the website “StarNow” in early 2015. Shortly afterwards I met the writer of Parallel, David Magowan from Glasgow, as he had responded to my listing. I read his script and it struck a chord with me. I knew very quickly I wanted to make the film. Having no contacts in the film or film finance industries, we presented the concept to investors in London to raise funds. Having failed to find a backer, so it was up to me to get the film made. I attempted a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. It raised a few hundred pounds, but no where near the eventual 15000 GBP it ended up costing. I wore so many different hats because there were so many things that needed doing and I couldn’t afford the staff.

Lorraine:
What do you feel makes Parallel special and different from other doppelganger-type movies?

Alexander Cooper in a scene from Parallel (2016)

Alexander:
I think that Parallel is genuinely sexy and thrilling. On another note, others have said that it is a universally thought provoking film which makes the audience think and ask questions about their own lives.

Lorraine:
Did you know of David Magowan’s work before he responded to your StarNow ad?

Alexander: 
I had no idea about David’s other work before he showed me the script of Parallel.

Lorraine:
Briefly describe your working relationships with cast and crew. Were there any especially heavy or light moments on set/on location while filming?

Alexander:
I won’t go into details of specific names of crew members; but I will say that the shoot itself was fraught, and felt at times as if we were shooting in the Parallel itself. The day we filmed the scene where Rhianna’s thugs beat Neil in the warehouse was especially heavy. In fact, the same day we were due to shoot an orgy scene and the crew broke up the shoot. A few days later they asked forgiveness and requested that I finish the shoot with them. I did, and that was fine in the end, but with various problems including crew members holding my intellectual property hostage, let’s just say I had made some mistakes in the crew hiring process. I had no such problems with the cast thankfully.

Lorraine:
How did you come to choose Ieva Makselyte as a first-time full-fledged director? She achieved a very cohesive film and natural performances from the cast. Was she “attached” or the actual director?

Alexander:
That was quite random. I put out a listing on a website – I believe it was Film & TV pro. She came forward and seemed to fit the bill. Looking back, it would have been easier if I had just directed the film myself; at times indeed I had to intervene to get what we were looking for with shot choice and so on. That was my mistake, and so with my film Sandow (2018) I took on the director mantle and all creative responsibility. I was much happier and got much more respect on the Sandow set. Ultimately Ieva was credited as director. I wish her all the best with whatever she decides to do in life.

Lorraine:
Many cast members are also on the crew. Was this in the plan from the get-go, or did that evolve?

Alexander:
Various crew members were involved as extras, this was helpful to save some time and money.

Lorraine:
What are you working on now?

Alexander:
I’m just waiting for the final sound editing on my official directorial debut, Sandow. It’s a sports drama inspired by early strongmen and the founder of bodybuilding. I directed it, and as written on the IMDb, it’s “a hugely ambitious feature film project inspired by first British Olympic gold medallist Launceston Elliot and his trainer, legendary circus strongman and founder of bodybuilding Eugen Sandow.” I play Launceston.

One day I’d like to make a film I’d call “The Decision,” about an army officer who’s tormented by a female voice and a fateful decision he made. As of yet, I have no dates fixed for this production, and I’m considering making it in the “$3 film style” to shoot it like a stage play.

Listen in to “The Empusa Interview” on The Ultimate Movies Broadcast – Show 11 

EMPUSA – Released today, February 9, 2018. To be officially online at McNally Robinson Booksellers on February 13, 2018.

Available in the store now. While EMPUSA, the story of a vampiress at its “heart” is a romance and a sci-fi fantasy, it’s currently in the “Plays” section.

Listen in to “The Empusa Interview” on The Ultimate Movies Broadcast – Show 11

The Ultimate Movies Broadcast – Show 11
“THE EMPUSA INTERVIEW”

Co-host Mats Finnborn of Sweden interviews author-screenwriter Lorraine Dmitrovic about her newly published screenplay novel, EMPUSA. (Writing as Crystal Jamison, one of her pen names.)

Credits for photos/art/movie publicity stills:
-Farley and Claire Mowat ©: 1998 Lorraine Dmitrovic
-Robert Homme The Friendly Giant ©: 1999 Lorraine Dmitrovic
-Dracula, Prince of Darkness ©: 1966 Hammer Film Productions
-Dracula Has Risen From the Grave ©: 1968 Hammer Film Productions
-Dracula ©: 1979 Universal Pictures
-The Brides of Dracula ©: 1960 Hammer Film Productions
-Scars of Dracula ©: 1970 Hammer Film Productions
-Van Helsing ©: 2004 Universal Pictures
-Interview With the Vampire ©: 1994 Warner Bros. Pictures
-Mermaid in the Sea of Happiness ©: 2007 Lorraine Dmitrovic
-Spun Into Blue and Gold ©: 2005 Lorraine Dmitrovic
-Pleasant Sea ©: 2005 Lorraine Dmitrovic
-Verdigris the Sea Dragon ©: 2005 Lorraine Dmitrovic
-Figaro the Sea Horse ©: 2006 Lorraine Dmitrovic
-A Glittery Ocean Day ©: 2003 Lorraine Dmitrovic
-Clash of the Titans ©: 1981 United Artists
-Kraken illustration ©: 1870 original edition of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne (Please note: the Old Dutch spelling “kracken” is used in the screenplay novel EMPUSA)
-Nosferatu ©: 1922 Prana Film/Film Arts Guild
-Dracula ©: 1931 Universal Pictures
-Early 19th Century French Vampire Hunting Kit (likely a replica)
-Camille ©: 1935 MGM
-Love ©: 1927 MGM
-Queen Christina ©:1933 MGM

The Ultimate Broadcast Show theme and bridge music composed and performed by: Trevor Giampieri
-Sound editing/mixing: Lorraine Dmitrovic and Trevor Giampieri

To be released February 13, 2018! EMPUSA – The Complete Original Screenplay novel

COMING SOON! To be released and available February 13, 2018!
Above, the EMPUSA YouTube promo.

Empusa
A Horror Science Fiction Fantasy by Crystal Jamison
The complete original screenplay – $17.99 (shipping extra)

Available from McNally Robinson Booksellers

To order:
*by phone outside of Canada at (204) 475-0483
*or call us on our toll-free line, 1-800-561-1833 (within Canada only)
between 9:00 am and 10:00 pm Central Time, Monday through Saturday

For more info/updates visit: http://www.mcnallyrobinson.com/online…

To like the EMPUSA facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Empusa.by.Cr…