SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY

Robert 39 (2008)  39 min

Director: Daniel McCabe

Role: Producer and Julian 28 and 29

IMDB SYNOPSIS:  Set 400 years from now, after the “Great Collapse,” mankind turns to cloning to sustain the human population.  Robert 38 is the 38th clone generation of the esteemed Robert line of clones. He prepares to participate in the introduction of Robert 39, his replacement.  Robert 38 does not know that despite his feelings of isolation and hopelessness however, he is not alone in the world and a small amount of love is possible in this seemingly hopeless dystopia.

 

Amazing film.   Dan wrote the Julian 28 and 29 role especially for me.  It was definitely challenging doing the split screen, but it’s something I’d always wanted to do. We shot some scenes in a studio with a full white back drop that stretched to the ceiling.  It was very reminiscent of THX1138.  Dan originally played a role in the film but didn’t like the way the scene turned out. We re-shot it by placing the scene in a nuclear reactor and having me play an engineer, my face hidden by a mask.  The film was incredibly ambitious for Dan, having come off of Losses, a more insular film. 

One thing I must mention is that Dan wanted a scene in which Robert 38 watches a pleasing image. He’d downloaded a stock video of a woman’s silhouette, dancing. He didn’t like that and neither did I. We brainstormed until we came up with the idea of a sullen woman removing her clothing and being revolved around, then the video repeating.  We shot this with minimal crew, just myself, Dan, Aravind the DP, and the actress.  I was in charge of spinning the disc which the actress was standing on after she took off her jump suit. It was…interesting, to say the least. 

Don’t Panic (2011)

Director: Lindsay Thompson

Role: News Anchor

PLOT:  Nine-year-old Jack and his overactive imagination long for adventure. After seeing a television show that details the end of the world, Jack carries out a plan to save both himself and Emily, the girl next door. DON’T PANIC is set in the 1950s.

     

This was admittedly a difficult shoot. I showed up on set prepared to play a scientist, then saw the news set. I asked what it was for and they said it was for me. Turns out, the AD had told me the wrong role I was cast in, so I had to scramble to learn a completely different part. I was allowed to have the script in front of me since it was supposed to be the news, but I hate being unprepared. We got through it and the film turned out well. 

The Firebird (2011) 12 min

Director: Christopher Frith

Role: King Koshei

IMDB SYNOPSIS: When a mysterious bird steals the precious golden fruit of poor hardworking farmer Berendey, he sends his least favorite son Ivan on a journey to find and capture it. During his travels, Ivan learns that the benign bird is enslaved and controlled by the evil King Koshei, a terrible tyrant who has bewitched his Kingdom and enslaved his people. Ivan must find and defeat him to free the kingdom and retrieve the Firebird, thus proving himself to his father.

 

Probably one of my favorite roles. Villain parts are always fun. After getting the script, I thought of an amazing moment in the otherwise lackluster Masters of the Universe film, in which Frank Langella, playing Skeletor, delivers a monologue about the universe and power. It’s an epic moment and I modeled my performance after him. I rarely get to do fantasy, and in the end there’s a magical showdown with Ivan. I’m ultimately killed in a gruesome fashion by the subjects I’d zombified. The only tough thing on this shoot was that we used a real falcon for the shoot and the cage bars were wide enough for it to escape. So it kept flying away and I had to stand right next to it while delivering my lines. Was just a tad nervous about it getting spooked. 

Redd  (2014)  93 minutes

Director: Patrick Prejusa

Role: Simon Weller

IMDB SYNOPSIS:  The GRIMM Corporation has taken control of all planetary activity. Defying their laws one lone R.E.D.D Agent uses her combat skills and high tech weaponry to fight Monsters, battle Grimm Soldiers, and save earth from destruction.

An incredibly impressive-looking film. I’ve yet to see it myself, but I play a bad guy, plain and simple. I get to deliver a great speech about how the Earth must die and I got to work with my friend Jennifer Russoli.  

Mad World (2010)

Director: Michael Pearce

Role: Stefan

My first 48 hour film festival with the Living Arts College.  The plot revolves around a cult leader who believes the end of the world is near. He wants his followers to join him in mass suicide, but I question his wisdom. This film was important because it re-introduced me to my old friend, Patrick Whalen. We hadn’t seen each other for over 10 years but we became fast friends after this shoot. Since then, we’ve worked on films together whenever possible. 

Whitetail

Director: Logan Winsett

Role: Akron

Probably one of the strangest filmmaking experiences I’ve ever had. This was a UNC-CH student film. I’d worked with some students from the class once before, and everything went fine. Very good equipment and a full crew. On this film, Logan was from the same class, but opted to use a small digital camcorder instead of the equipment available in his class. I’ve never been certain why. The movie looks quite rough, but the script was one of the best I’d read at that time, so the grittiness actually becomes a style.

As you can see, I have antlers. That was the idea. I’m a kid with antlers going to college.   A cliché? Absolutely, but Logan’ s script embraced the cliché whole-heartedly so it was still a great story. The antlers were not very elaborate. Basically a wig with antlers shoved through them, held together by a hair band.  It was constantly falling off my head.  One night, Logan wanted a spotlight so he took a skinny bulb and put it in a toilet roll. After a few minutes, the roll caught on fire. He went with a regular light after that. 

The Hunger Games (2012)

Director: Gary Ross

Role: District 11 Farmer

This was absolutely just an extra/background role. The reason I mention this though is that on the day we shot this, Steven Soderbergh was shooting. And not only that, he was his own cinematographer.  I’d heard he liked doing that, and seeing him in action was amazing. I noticed that he was only about 10 feet away from me and it felt like he was pointing the camera in my direction. I decided to ignore it. I was in Oregon shooting Eve and Emily when I got a call from my wife saying she’d seen me in the film.  It was pretty thrilling to just happen to be in a movie that ended up becoming such a hit. 

Pandang Kedua (2003) 

Director: Zarina Abdullah

Role: Boyfriend

This was a 16mm NYFA film. The idea for the film came from a short story about lost twins. It opens with a shadow puppet show, which was lovely, and then turns to live action. I played the boyfriend of the good twin, who is being stalked by the evil twin. 

The Program (2011) 15 min

Director: Maurice Hicks

Role: David

IMDB SYNOPSIS:  Struggling with the fear of ultimately living out a boring, mundane life, Jenny dares to strike out to save her individuality and reignite her passions, but others close to her may have something more sinister in mind.

This was a play on Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  Very professional shoot and there was a real feeling of darkness on set. Not in a bad way, mind you, but there was a certain mood you had to be in, especially when you were playing someone who isn’t exactly human.