Wild TV National contest won by Lori Craft of Hampton, NB


Lori Craft, “Wild TVs” Miss Huntfest 2011, Bags National Competition
By Jim Lavoie

Miss HUNTFEST

When Lori Craft was made aware that “Wild TV”, a specialty television channel, was hosting an on-line national competition to crown the inaugural “Miss Huntfest 2011” she decided to enter. Little did she know that less than a month later she would be the proud recipient of the title.

The contest was conducted via the “Wild TV” website and anyone interested had to provide a photograph, a biography, and all personal involvement or accomplishments in the outdoors. These were then placed on a group page and open to the general public to cast their vote (one vote per person).The entry requirements were simple but not the competition as 31 women, from eastern Nova Scotia to British Columbia, took aim at the title. 2 weeks later the list was pared down to the final 4 top vote getters with New Brunswick’s Lori Craft claiming the title of “Miss Huntfest 2011.”

“It was a pleasure being able to represent my province in this contest”, an elated Craft stated. “What a great honor to win this contest open only to Canadian women involved in the outdoors.”

Equally proud of her title was Terry Fullerton, Owner of Bet-ter Buy Sports (Saint John and Moncton) where Craft works part time. “It is great to see Lori win the title as she truly knows her stuff, and has great poise and people skills with her interactions with our customers.” Said Fullerton. “We have only opened recently and she is a great asset to my store and if she is so inclined, I can see her doing major things in this type of business or line of work.”

Jim had the chance to discuss the contest and the title, with Lori Craft recently.

Jim: How important was it to you that this contest not be some kind of stereotypical put-down of women as serious outdoors people?

Lori: I am a serious and trained hunter, and in fact I am a guide for both fishing and hunting. This contest was not a Babes in Bikinis with Guns farce but the chance to show that women are an important component of the hunting fraternity.

Women in the outdoors in North America are the largest growing demographic in the continent. In prior times, women out hunting was a taboo type thing, whether it be the “tom boy” persona, “women aren’t welcome” or hunting is a ‘mans job”. I am thrilled to see more women being liberated to get out there, enjoy our resources, and harvesting animals in a responsible manner, be it alone, with their family or friends.

I dedicate a good portion of my life to the outdoors, hunting, fishing, volunteering on the board of directors for the Hammond River Angling Association, member in good standing of The Atlantic Salmon Federation, Ducks Unlimited Canada, and Delta Waterfowl.

It was excellent to see so many women in the outdoors in Ontario and Alberta, and spanning across North America. It liberates me to know I am not alone in my passion for nature and conservation.

Jim: So when did you get started in hunting and fishing and why? What do you enjoy most about fishing/hunting?

Lori: I was about 7 or 8 years old and it started off with me tagging along with my older brother Roy for grouse and rabbits. Being underage I couldn’t partake in the harvesting of animals, but was interested in the sport. Roy would always answer juvenile questions that I would ask over and over again out of curiosity. I can vividly remember my first fishing trip to a Beaver Pond close to my home in Prince of Wales and the large Musquash watershed. I very rarely caught any fish, but I was in my glory just being outside watching the wildlife and environment around me. The bond that it created with my brother and I; that is still present 20 years later.

Jim: You won “Miss Huntfest 2011” recently. You were notified you had won the title so, what happened next?

Lori Craft is Miss Huntfest 2011

Lori: I was notified live via online face book page, and of course by phone officially after the voting ended. I was then provided details on the two conventions/exhibitions I would be attending courtesy of Wild TV as “Miss Huntfest.”

Lori Hunting

I was flown to Toronto Ontario, July 21-24th where Ontario Huntfest was held at the Orangeville Agriculture Association in Orangeville, Ontario. Ontario was in the middle of a record breaking heat wave that week, exceeding humidex temperatures of 48 C. There I had the pleasure of personally meeting, Tim Wells of the US based TV show “Relentless Pursuit” and Jason Peterson of the show “Hunting Canada and Beyond”. I was invited by Mr. Wells to be part of his 2012 show season in Illinois. I had the pleasure to make lots of great like minded friends, and industry contacts that I still talk to on a regular basis.

From August 4th-9th, I was once again part of a Huntfest Exhibition only this time in Edmonton, Alberta. This was the same type of show but in a much larger venue. I met many more hunting celebrities, including the Beasley Brothers of “Canada in the Rough”, Helgie Edymunson, Ryan Kohler, and Scott Stirling of “The Edge” and the whole Alberta based crew from “The Real Canadian Joes” who delighted me when I learned they included a female on their hunting staff!

Lori knows what she is doing in the great outdoors

I was humbled to have the experience of autographing a compilation photo put together by the staff of “Wild TV” for the Edmonton Huntfest due to the interest gained about me in Ontario. I was also invited on stage partaking in interactive presentations by the guest speakers at both venues. During this time, much to my surprise, I was informed that I was to be a guest star on “Wild TV” hit television show “The Edge” hunting show.”

Jim: You work in a sporting goods store Bet-ter Buy in Saint John, so this keeps you in the loop on equipment/events. You mentioned something about someone coming up for a hunt from the US. Do you intend to expand on your guiding and certainly winning this title would be an excellent promotional tool?

Lori: I work at “Bet-ter Buy Sports” part time, we have been open for 4 months now, and what a great response to the store. I enjoy interacting with local like-minded outdoors enthusiasts, of all ages and genders. I also enjoy sharing my knowledge of conservation and listening to hunting and angling stories no matter how far-fetched they may be.

I have a few friends planning to hunt with me this season; most recent would be Bryan Hughes of Backwater Outdoors and “RollinBones” TV to do a filmed Bow Bear hunt in the Musquash area. Also the crew from “The Real Canadian Joes” television show is coming up for a late season sea duck hunt on the Bay of Fundy.

I do have my guide’s license, but do not plan on expanding on any professional service. I enjoy the outdoors, and plan on being out as much as I can, but also enjoy introducing non-residents and youth to our forests and marshes, but do this simply for pleasure and not for hire.

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CBC 3-2-1 Film “Ohmaha Fly By” Lands In the Atlantic Film Festival!


Omaha Fly By

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 – Bulldog Publicity is proud to report that after a spring and summer of shooting and post-production in New Brunswick and Halifax, the CBC 3-2-1 Award-winning film, “Omaha Fly By” has been accepted into the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax, NS.

“It is with great pride that Bulldog Publicity is a sponsor of “Omaha Fly By” and I am thrilled to see its acceptance into the prestigious Atlantic Film Festival. It was easy to get behind this highly entertaining CBC 3-2-1 award winning film and I am counting the days until everyone gets a chance to enjoy this film on the big screen!” -Jim Lavoie

Producers Lita Llewellyn and John Christenson are thrilled that the film has been accepted to the festival and hopes audiences across Canada enjoy the comedic short.

The Bride to be gets an eyeful in OFB

“We are absolutely over the moon that the film will premiere at AFF”, Llewellyn said. “As a first-time producer this is a thrill for me and I cannot thank CBC, the NB Filmmakers’ Co-op and the province of New Brunswick enough. Everyone has been so supportive and generous and I’m extremely happy with the final product and response to the film thus far.”

The CBC 3-2-1 Award was given out to the producer team at the 2010 Silver Wave Film Festival hosted by the New Brunswick Filmmakers’ Co-operative.

Scarlett Kelly, Jeff Bate Boerop and Jennifer Ferris have a truly crazed moment

“I am so excited to hear the news that “Omaha Fly By” has been accepted for screening at the Atlantic Film Festival,” Christenson said. “If ever there was a film that showed true team effort, this is it. From its creation in a writing room to its ensemble cast to the editing and music, I couldn’t be more proud of the work and effort put forward. My thanks to CBC and the 3-2-1 Award, I hope your faith in our project shines on the big screen.”

Synopsis: When a bride-to-be makes discoveries at her bachelorette party things go terribly wrong.

The Atlantic Film Festival runs from September 15th-24th, 2011.

“Omaha Fly By” will also be broadcast on CBC this Fall 2011 and will be submitted to the Silver Wave Film Festival on September 1.

Please contact

Jim Lavoie, Bulldog Publicity (506-472-2773)
http://www.nbfilmcoop.com/jim_lavoie/Welcome.html

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Excuse Me While I touch The Syfy & NBFC E-News Reigns Supreme


Red Hot Anna Silk & “Lost Girl” Invade The World
By Jim Lavoie

You know you are hitting it out of the park in television when in rapid succession your television series is:
A) Picked up by Syfy
B) Invited to Comic-Con
C) Extended while in production for 9 more episodes

Now we here in Canada, based on the runaway numbers posted last year, already know what an awesome series “Lost Girl” is by making it the number one scripted drama television series in Canada last year. Starring Fredericton’s own Anna Silk as the sexy, feisty, succubus “Bo” who prefers to do things her “Fae”. She is on the hunt for the truth about her past while thwarting attempts by the Dark and Light Fae to persuade her allegiance. Season one had Dyson (Kris Holden-Reid) and the hot doctor Lauren (Zoie Palmer) also in hot pursuit of Bo but for romantic reasons. Trying to keep some form of balance in Bo’s life is her ultra- cool, hip, BFF Kenzi (Ksenia Solo). Season two is already in production and I had the chance to speak to Anna about all the latest happenings for her and the rest of “Lost Girl” (Season 2 “Lost Girl” September 4th on Show Case).

The Syfy channel picks up season one and two of “Lost Girl”. They are currently working on the schedule for the release. Thomas Vitale, Executive Vice President, Programming and Original Movies, Syfy, said: “In one year, Lost Girl has electrified viewers in Canada and around the world. We’re delighted to bring this fascinating, high-octane series, which depicts a unique world and memorable heroine, to the Syfy audience.

The Cast from Lost Girl

Jim: Syfy picks up “Lost Girl” and will show last year and this year’s series (35 episodes in all) obviously reaching an American Audience. Given the great numbers (number #1 specialty channel scripted drama Television series) what are your feelings about this?

Anna: I was so happy to hear that we were picked up by SyFy! I think it’s a great network and I am really pleased that “Lost Girl” will get to reach a whole new audience. I don’t think SyFy fans will be disappointed.

A major event in San Diego (July 22) Comic-Con had a “Lost Girl” panel wowing the packed hall: Lost Girl succubus, Bo (played by Anna Silk) led a panel discussion at the highly regarded event along with Emmanuelle Vaugier who stars as “The Morrigan”, the leader of the Dark Fae. Joining Anna and Emmanuelle were Executive Producer Jay Firestone (Prodigy Pictures) and Creator, Michelle Lovretta. A limited edition of the Lost Girl comic book, a prequel to the series, was given out at this year’s Comic-Con panel.

Jim: Comic Con is a world famous mega event, the super bowl for this genre, annually attracting hundreds of thousands. What was it like for “Lost Girl” to be included this year? Watching the video from the panel there was great interaction with the crowd and you had many cheering at your answers.

Anna: Amazing event, well organized and great fun! Yeah pretty cool responses and I did a lot of interviews with different TV crews. Comic-Con really lived up to the incredible reputation it has earned. Can’t wait to be back next Year.

Anna Silk: First time fun at Comic Con, 2011 in San Diego

Jim: Shooting has commenced on Season 2 for Lost Girl, any clues as to what we may expect re: story arc for Bo?

Anna: In season two you will definitely see a more confident and stronger Bo. She learned a lot in season one. She learned that she can’t be quite so cavalier without some serious consequences and she knows she has to be smarter in how she plays her cards between the Dark and the Light. She realizes that her actions have consequences and she does whatever she can to protect her friends. As for Bo’s love life—it remains as complicated as ever! Lots of new twists and turns!

Jim: Bo had a diverse time, romance wise, last season. Will things be picking up again with the good Doctor Lauren or Dyson or both?

Bo and Lauren

Bo and Dyson

Anna: Things will pick up where we left off but they quickly move in different directions. Bo has a lot to deal with when it comes to her love life and we will certainly see a lot of that in season 2.

With “Lost Girl” already in production mode for season 2, Showcase orders up nine more episodes of the supernatural drama series, Lost Girl, in advance of the season premiere on Sunday, September 4th at 9pm ET, for an unprecedented 22 episodes in total.

Jim: Great news on the additional nine episodes. Any other concrete productions in store for you this year that you care to tell us about re: films, TV appearances etc? Do you see a feature film in the works for “Lost Girl”?

Anna: I am happy to say that Lost Girl will be my main focus this year—especially now that we are doing 22 episodes for season 2. As for a Lost Girl feature—that would be awesome! But I don’t have any idea if that is in the works at the moment.

Jim: You were back in Fredericton for a very special occasion this spring.

Anna: Yes, I had my wedding in Fredericton this past April. It was really magical and so great to come home and include so much of the beauty of Fredericton in the day. We used all local vendors and people who attended our wedding from all over were so impressed with how great Fredericton is!

Social Media Sites:
Face book: http://www.facebook.com/lostgirlseries

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/lostgirlseries

http://www.AnnaSilk.com

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Everything You Wanted To Know about the New Brunswick Filmmakers’ Co-operative Weekly E-news and More!

In conversation with Cat Leblanc, Membership Services (office grunt), New Brunswick Filmmakers’ Co-operative, (Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada) and editor-in-chief of everything!

Cat = eternal optimist

Jim: I thought I would pin you down (tell me if the duct tape is too tight around you in the chair) and ask you a few questions. Also, sorry about bolting the den door and unplugging your phone but it may be our only way of being uninterrupted. Now if you are a good Cat there will be bottles of bubbly stuff as your reward. So away we go!

duct tape

Jim: Every Thursday, unless there is a holiday or you have been kidnapped by aliens, you send out the New Brunswick Filmmakers’ Co-operative E-news. You are also the editor, graphic artist and photo editor of what has evolved into a top quality online film publication. The E-news is a must read for NBFC members and the general public, NB and Canadian filmmakers, actors, casting directors, producers, sponsors, potential sponsors, film and video co-ops and centres in each province, Canadian film schools and institutes and universities and on and on. You get the drift. It is sectioned off into header topics and laid out in a sharp, professional style and is more like an in-depth film industry trade paper than most of them are. I know the time, devotion and passion you put into the e-news, which needs a name like (Cat Clauses) to be distinctive in its reference to and from everyone who reads it. Let’s talk about this, give us a brief overview of its start-up, archival data base, target audience and growth through the years?

Alien Mother Ship Picks Up Cat

Cat: I created the first e-news in 2006. I realized at the time that sending out multiple email updates at all hours of the day and night was not the way to go, plus everybody started to think I was a vampire that never slept at night. It was annoying to people being overly saturated with constant emails. The early e-news were just awful visually. I was so proud of them at the time thinking I was some kind of design genius and now looking at them, I cringe, they were so terrible. I’ve learned so much more about design and layout six years later, thank goodness.

All the e-news are archived on the NB Film Co-op website. I also have them all saved on DVD as a backup.

The first target audience was of course the Film Co-op members and the 97 film and video centres in Canada. My goal was to disseminate information about the members to each other and to other centres like ours to keep them in the loop and the know. Then, from there, sponsors and supporters were added and then, it just grew over time to Canadian, American and European film companies, producers, filmmakers, actors and film and training institutes as well as other groups.

Cat, simpsonized but still going strong

Jim: What are the main objectives you consider for each week? Your one-on-one interviews that have spotlighted sponsors, members and non-member actors, tech crew and other talented film people are always interesting and of a high quality. I find myself acting Like Ed M. at the end of each one saying “I did not know that about X”. Selecting who to interview is a combination of yours and others suggestions?

Cat: Yes, selection is either myself or through others. I never run out of material it seems. There are so many talented creative people out there and I find them really fascinating to talk to. It’s safe to say that the members in particular are our stars at the Film Co-op and it’s so much fun to promote them although some are so modest, it’s like pulling teeth sometimes! The headers I created for each part of the e-news make my objectives straightforward in many ways, I know what I have to fill up each week.

Jim: If somebody wanted to submit an article, an interview, a project write-up, what is the actual process to submit? In other words does someone just send something to you and it becomes part of the next e-news or is it first reviewed by you, for a number of propriety areas such as language, slant plus the usual grammar and spelling checks?

Cat: Anyone can submit something whether they are members or not, they can just email info@nbfilmcoop.com to inquire, but it must be related to the e-news header topics. Not everything gets in, as not everything is appropriate or really related to what the e-news is about. I do edit everything for the usual reasons.

Jim: What are the groups you send the e-news to, what is the total number for your listserv? How much time do you spend putting it all together, following up, laying it out and publishing? Do you have a plan for each week’s edition or is it based on the input you receive each week before deadline day which is when each week?

Cat: The NB Film Co-op e-news has a listserv of 4,200 now. In reason years, we have created two facebook pages for the NB Film Co-op and Silver Wave Film Festival which are gaining in numbers and popularity.

I put hundreds of hours into it I guess, don’t keep track as I always seem to be working on it in between my other work. Sometimes I do have a strong plan for an upcoming e-news but I do always try to be open to things that may pop up on my radar as well. All submissions are due on each Wednesday.

Groups on e-news listserv:

NEW BRUNSWICK

NBFC Associate Members
NBFC Full Members
NBFC Past Members who have moved away
NBFC Members in arrears with their memberships
Alumni members

NB Actors
NB Filmmakers
NB Producers
NB Technical Crew
NB Directors
NB Screenwriters
Film Companies
NB Schools and Universities
Government Departments
Granting Agencies
Film Training Centres
Monday Night Film Series Members
People that take NB Film Co-op workshops
Sponsors
Supporters
Students
Public

CANADA AND BEYOND

96 Film and Video Centres in Canada
Film Commissions World Wide
Canadian, US and European Filmmakers, Producers and Actors
Granting Agencies
Government Departments
Schools and Universities
Film Schools
Film Training Centres
Students
Sponsors
Public

Jim: When a casting call is advertised in the e-news, it means the actors/crew will be, if successful in an audition, paid or volunteer? How will I know by reading the call?

Cat: I tend to have to revise all casting or other advertisements for that section slightly. People tend to forget to put whether a call for casting or crew is volunteer or paid so I add that typically.

Jim: For some being in the media is old hat while for others it may be a first time thing. Could you explain why what goes in the e-news is so important as it may be a first impression or notice of someone’s work by a prospective film industry type with a project to fill. It’s important to put the right foot forward right?

Cat: It’s actually extremely important as it gets seen by so many people and many of those people work in film and television. It’s important to promote yourself and your craft ongoing.

Jim: Do you receive feedback on the e-news?

Cat: I get lots of great feedback and it has helped me to improve the quality and look of the e-news. I love the positive stuff as it keeps me going. The most important feedback is what most would likely see as negative feedback I guess as it is critical. I like getting it as it makes me think about how I’m doing things and that perhaps I should change things up, do things differently, it’s good for me in a lot of ways. I consider it constructive feedback and have no problem with it.

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Suzanne Lyons: Miramichi’s Dream Weaver Spins Her Magic in LA


It never ceases to intrigue me, the route or path taken by others that I discover through blogs/interviews. Their background, interests, motivation, passion are as unique as their fingerprints. I had the chance to discuss, in length, the amazing story of the trail blazed by top film industry executive Suzanne Lyons. She went from Miramichi, NB to Los Angeles: really makes me shake my head in amazement. These are two polar opposite places in every way imaginable.

Jim: Could it be that your two film divisions; one called Snowfall Films and the other Windchill Films were named for sentimental reasons or are a reminder of why California is pretty consistent with great weather year round? On a more serious note, I am sure you get back home when time permits and the good people of Miramichi must be proud of you as all of New Brunswick is.

Suzanne Lyons: Yes, you are absolutely correct. One of the things I miss about home is the beauty that comes with that first snowfall of winter. Not necessarily the cold, but certainly the beauty. And it makes for a great looking logo (http://www.snowfallfilms.com). Wind Chill was another all too familiar New Brunswick word that we heard most winter mornings and I thought that would make a fun name for the horror division of Snowfall Films. I really love the Wind Chill logo as well (http://www.windchillfilms.com).

I do try to get home every summer for three weeks. I’ve been home for a few Thanksgivings as well and plan to do more of that. And a few of my sisters and brothers (I have 5 sisters and 2 brothers) are talking about all getting home for Christmas in the near future.

Movies and My Mother Saved My Life

Jim: Growing up in New Brunswick, were you attracted to theatre, stage, and film at a younger age? Did you foresee or internalize that one day you would become a force in the entertainment industry. Was this somehow preordained or a combination of experience and opportunity?

Suzanne Lyons: I think it started on an unconscious level for me. I went to a one-room school in Millbank from grades 1 to 7 and I have to say, I was not a big fan of school. I liked recess and the Christmas concerts and those types of things but I really didn’t like the subjects. However, when the teacher would show the Newsreels to the older students I was mesmerized. I loved… absolutely loved the newsreels. I didn’t care what they were about; I just lost myself in the story of whatever it happened to be. That escape into another world for me was like an incredible adventure.

I recall another moment like that when I was eight or so and my cousin Rosemary and I went to see the “Sword and the Stone” at the Vogue Theatre in Chatham. When that little boy pulled the sword out of the stone it was magical for me. Movies could take me anywhere and I loved the anticipation and the excitement. I loved the escape.

I spent a great deal of time in the hospital as a child. I had a benign tumor behind my eye which continued to grow from the time I was two until I was eleven. It became malignant when I was going on twelve and I had well over a dozen surgeries by then. Although I loved my hospital stays and those trips to Saint John and Montreal, the intense fear of the surgery itself and my growing phobia of needles were at times overwhelming. I think that because the newsreels and films transported me to another world for a while, the joy and freedom I associated with that was a healthy escape. Even now watching the opening of a movie feels like Christmas morning to me. (Suzanne credits her Mothers love, inspiration and intuitive sense with saving her life, Even her doctor was convinced that was the case)

Preparing and Prepping for the Road Ahead

Jim: So in high school you were part of the theatrical scene? What course/program were you enrolled in at the University of New Brunswick (UNB)? Did you obtain additional education/studies after graduation?

Suzanne Lyons: In high school I participated in the drama club and at University (UNB in Fredericton) drama was my second major. In my third year at UNB we launched our on-campus TV station and I was one of the people who literally laid the cables in the tunnels of UNB to get it started. My first job when we launched was to be the camera person for a basketball game and I will never forget that moment. I fell head over heals in love with the whole idea of producing and directing for television. I knew I had to finish my degree (English and Education) and I had a year and a half to go but I still applied to a bunch of Broadcasting Programs across the country. I ended up choosing Fanshawe College in London, Ontario and after I graduated from UNB I studied TV Broadcasting (with some film courses). So yes, experience and opportunity, I guess, both played a part in my choices.

Chasing the Challenge

Jim: You worked for a few of years in Moncton, N.B., at the Canadian Television Network (CTV) – affiliate ATV where you were directly involved in creating, producing and directing for commercials, news and specials, and then for a number of years in Halifax at ATV/ASN where you became a Vice-President of Marketing and Promotions. Given the experience and exposure to the production and financial aspects involved in the televising process was your next move to Philadelphia part of a career path or more of an opportunity? For it would take you into the realm of sales and distribution of film along with television.

Suzanne Lyons: I was blessed to have had the opportunity to work at ATV in Moncton and then ATV/ASN in Halifax. Both were fantastic work experiences… great people, wonderful learning curves and excellent cities. The thing with me is that I really need a challenge all the time and once I’ve learned how to do something I want to move on to the next thing. My husband is the same. We met at Fanshawe College and like me he loves to keep learning.

Suzanne Lyons & James Thorpe

We tend to look at the world as our playground and although we loved our jobs at the time we were in a discussion about what was next and we thought, why not try the UK or France or the US? One of my favorite quotes is Helen Keller’s “Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” I try to live by it as much as possible. For us at the time, we didn’t have kids and didn’t want them so we had no real responsibilities. So why not apply to a few places and see what happens. Within three months of sending off our resumes we got jobs in Philadelphia where I worked in domestic and international distribution for film and television, stayed five years and then continued west to LA.

Flash Forward to Snowfall and Windchill in Los Angeles, Outrageous!

Jim: You were the co-founder of the Flash Forward Institute and I would like to know about this and how it came to be?

Suzanne Lyons: A lot of my background, when I was at ATV/ASN, was in marketing and promotions and when I moved to Los Angeles, I quickly saw how people in the entertainment industry (especially creative people) were terrible at marketing themselves. I consider myself to be pretty entrepreneurial and it would never occur to me to relinquish my power and hand my career over to someone to manage and control. Yet, that’s what is done a lot here in Hollywood. You hear people say it all the time… “Getting more auditions is my agent’s job,” “I really want that directing job, but it’s up to my manager to make it happen.” I could go on and on about this. It makes me crazy.

I believe we are the president and CEO of our company. Whether a person is a writer, director of photographer, costume designer, whatever, we all need to take 100% responsibility for getting out there and making our careers happen. I was only in LA four months when I met Heidi Wall, who shared my opinion about this, and we started the Flash Forward Institute with our signature program being the Flash Forward workshop. I’ve led entertainment industry seminars to well over 15,000 people in the US and Canada.”

I haven’t had much time the past few years but I am planning a few workshops this fall here in LA. It’s great fun to teach this program. It’s a month long program where people take on a goal (a big goal) and with the help of their team, coaches, mentors and the business tools I provide, they get to accomplish those goals. Very cool and lots of fun. BREAKING NEWS: Suzanne has just made it known that The Flash Forward Institute returns this fall (2011) and three seminars have been booked including the famous Flash Forward Workshop! More Info at http://www.flashforwardhollywood.com

Jim: In Los Angeles you co-founded Snowfall Films Inc. from which you have produced at least 6 feature films (http://www.snowfallfilms.com) and have worked with many high caliber actors including Christopher Walken, Naomi Watts, James Caan, Alfred Molina, Brenda Blethyn, Jon Lovitz, Dean Cain, Wynona Ryder, Peter Fonda, Adrian Paul and Ariel Winter. You have been awarded a BAFTA, had a film shown in the Directors Fort Night at the Cannes Film Festival. An amazing track record. What was that like to be honored for your work and especially by your peers?

Christopher Walken & Lee Evans (Undertaking Betty)

Suzanne Lyons & Alfred Molina (Undertaking Betty)

Naomi Watts (Undertaking Betty)

Suzanne Lyons & Adrian Paul (Seance)

Suzanne Lyons: It’s always great to win awards and especially fun to go to the festivals and events to receive them. In 2004 “Undertaking Betty” was the highlight of the Osaka Film Festival in Japan. After the screening I was interviewed on stage (with an interpreter) and then signed programs for hundreds of people. It was so much fun, I felt like a rock star. And of course being at the Cannes Film Festival for our nomination for “The Heart is Deceitful” and Montreal for our award for “Jericho Mansions” (which I shot in New Brunswick!) and in Cardiff (Wales) for our BAFTF for “Undertaking Betty”… all great fun”

Jennifer Tilly & James Caan (Jericho Mansions)

Jim: Snowfall Films Inc. created a genre division, aptly named Windchill Films Inc. and has experienced great success by selling two films to Lionsgate and one to Screen Gems. In fact the film “Séance” won Best Picture at Shockerfest. You obviously foresaw horror returning and being in vogue again and took proactive measures by creating Windchill Films, Inc.? Again, anything looming on the horizon for Windchill?

Suzanne Lyons: I was lucky that I got a few horror films produced before the market saturated in 2007. These films were done for what is called the SAG ultra low budget which is $200,000 and under and we had so much fun producing them. Got into some great festivals and won a few awards with these films as well. While we were shooting our horror films we worked with a writer to develop what was going to be our next one. It’s called “Most Likely To…” and it’s about ten friends who get together for their high school reunion and I’m not going to say any more because I don’t want to spoil it for you. I still plan to make it but the last few years have not been great for this genre. However the economy is turning around and the market demand for genre pictures seem to be coming back so there is a good chance the time is right for this project.

Coming Attractions

Jim: What can we look forward to in the near future, feature productions wise?

Suzanne Lyons: What’s next is amazing. I am in the process of raising the funding for an animated Christmas feature, “OMARR THE CAMEL”. I’m working with Byng Productions in Nova Scotia and I have interest from Randy Travis and Amy Grant, and Ariel Winter (“Modern Family”) has just written a song for the film. I have a website set up called http://www.omarrthecamel.com. I’m working with Producer, Michel Shane (“Catch Me if You Can” “I Robot”) on a Mini Series of a historic WWI family drama, “SCOUTS HONOUR”. I have a courtroom thriller, “HARDCOURT”, by writer Mark L. Smith (“Vacancy”), and an action suspense project by U.K. writer Leslie Rogers titled “GETHSEMANE” with Roger Spottiswoode (“Tomorrow Never Dies” “Turner and Hooch”) interested in directing.

I am really excited about two other Canadian projects that I will be producing. One is a thriller based on a Canadian best-selling novel “THE CALLING” and the other is based on a Newfoundland manuscript called “MISTY’S MISADVENTURES”. It’s a hilarious comedy and the writer has just completed the screenplay. We were one of the winners of the Toronto Women in Film and Television Development Incubator program, a program designed to develop Canadian film projects. Since my husband is a big TV producer/writer here in town I took full advantage of him and he wrote a one-hour TV pilot for me called “Out of Time.” It is a detective story with a bit of a sci-fi element. As you can see I’m keeping busy but having a ton of fun at the same time.

Jim: I had the chance to look over “Outrageous Strategies” and the tips you pass along in demystifying film jargon and the industry are both brilliant and basic. By basic I mean you take the reader to a translated world for all to understand. A technique you also employ on your you tube channel. How did you or was it just natural for you to speak to instead of at clients, Audiences?

Suzanne Lyons: Yes, I’ve been leading seminars of one sort or another for twenty-five years now and I think the technique you are referring to is how I have always taught. I never lecture. My form of teaching is all conversational in tone. I think I started teaching to learn things for myself. I would take something I found difficult or confusing and break it down into language that was easy and fun to grasp. Plus I add a lot (a lot!) of humor which makes the learning process (and the teaching process) so much more light and fun. My book is written that way as well and Focal Press seems very happy, which is good news.

http://www.suzannelyons.net
http://www.snowfallfilms.com
http://www.flashforwardhollywood.com
http://www.mastertalentteachers.com
http://www.YouTube.com/suzannelyons
http://www.twitter.com/snowfallfilms
http://www.facebook.com/outrageousstrategies

Branding Your Buzz and Having Fun

Jim: You are a much in demand speaker and a quick look at your speaking engagements gives me a snapshot of 40 such commitments, plus your coaching sessions, and workshops. You are one busy person, how do you keep it fresh and relevant? You seem to have embraced Social Networking, as you now utilize twitter, you tube, face book amongst your networks. Do you feel it is imperative to keep in line with the ever changing technology in terms of communications?

Suzanne Lyons: Yes, branding is the big buzz word these days and when I read Gary Vaynerchuk’s book “Crush It: Cash in on Your Passion” I really took it to heart. He is a big believer in the power of social networking. I’ve been building my network slowly, beginning with a free monthly newsletter that is based on “10 Tips” about something to do with the entertainment industry. For example,“10 Tips to Creating Relationships in the Entertainment Industry,” “10 Tips to Getting a Mentor,” “10 Tips to Getting Investors.” People sign up by going to the newsletter section of my website, http://www.suzannelyons.net/newsletter

I had started the free newsletter nearly a year before I read Gary’s book pretty much because I love teaching and because I was so busy with my films, writing the newsletter was a great way for me to continue to teach. I get such lovely emails from people about the impact that my newsletters has had on their careers and what surprises me is that many of them are not even in this business. They have just taken the tips and mapped them on to their own lives and careers.”

I started turning my “10 Tips Series” into E-Booklets last summer and am nearly finished writing my seventh one which is on “10 Tips to Getting Investors.” I wrote six last fall and had to stop because of my book deadline but having fun starting to write them again. I have a total of twenty titles planned and three more that are personal stories I want to tell. Doing the research and getting quotes from industry professionals helps keep me up to date and fresh. I also provide a daily tip on my facebook page called “Outrageous Strategies.” These tips follow the theme of that month’s newsletter. This past March I started taking the “10 Tips Series” and doing a Tuesday and Thursday YouTube and recently I’ve been inviting guests to join me on my YouTube. They are only five or six minutes and really fun to produce.”

In addition, when I was having my personal website designed early on in the process of my social media campaign I really made a point of creating a consistent look. The logo, my headshot and even the color scheme on my various internet sites and channels is consistent. Even my personal business cards match the site. I started slow and just took it a step at a time. When I got my book deal with Focal Press to write “Indie Film Producing: the Craft of Filmmaking” they emphasized the importance of getting my social networking numbers up. So I was thrilled that I had already started that process. My job now is to continue getting the numbers up. I recently became a partner and instructor with an incredible online University for performers. We are launching August 1st and I think being part of this group will really help increase my online presence. Our goal is to get tens of thousands of hits per week. You can check it out at http://www.mastertalentteachers.com

Who Says You Can’t Go Home Again

Suzanne is coming home to the Miramichi on vacation this summer and on July 24th she’ll be teaching a one-day version of her “Indie Film Producing” workshop. For details/information click on this link: www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10150349749298135&id=672348134#!/event.php?eid=177753532279623

Jim’s Final Thoughts

Suzanne Lyons is a master of many things. Because of her thirst for challenge and new quests, she continues to evolve. She has a way of tearing off veneers or facades enabling others to grasp and apply techniques relevant to any pitch, product, in or outside the film industry. She is clearly comfortable in her relm and speaks in a clear manner, almost as if to say “got it, apply it, let’s make some profit and have a hellva time doing so”. But, don’t confuse her laid back persona with indifference because she brings a wealth of experience and hands on experience into any arena she is in. She is not where she is by just talking the game but by doing it. Her story is one of “Why Not Me” and taking control of her destiny. She is proud of her ownership of success, proud of her New Brunswick roots, her family and shares easily her pride in them. “My sister Deborah, although not in the entertainment industry, has a very interesting life. She is Canada’s Deputy Ambassador in Washington, DC. An amazing job! I think growing up on the Miramichi (and our Mom’s influence as well) had a big influence and impact on her as well. Her daughter, Tessa, just graduated from Harvard in May.”

Suzanne is a straight shooter, in a world of double speak. It is like a breath of fresh air talking to her. Good on you Suzanne and thank you for sharing.

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Bulldog Publicity: Jim Lavoie is a Bulldog about Publicity


I started my blog 3 months ago and it seems like a good time now to recap some of my past stories for Bulldog Publicity.

Here are some of the blogs to date!
• Don’t Mess With Tess, Tess De La Vega That Is! Danielle Nicolet Stars in “Red Faction: Origins”
• Lalesha Railsback, Producer of “Man Who Sold the World” speaking about MWSTW, growing up Hollywood style, finding her way, and into the wilds of New Brunswick and back!
• Author Julie Comeau Speaks Out About Her Journey to Date “Never Give Up The Inspirational Journey Of a Real Life Survivor”
• Jillian Acreman – Part 2: Steve Railsback, Jean Rasey and Barry Livingston…Speaking of Stars and Journeys
• New Brunswick Filmmaker Jillian Acreman was in heaven shooting stars in Los Angeles
• One on One with On-Line Media Marvel Wendy Shepherd
• Actress Jean Rasey “Never Gonna Break Her Stride”

Upcoming Blogs:
Paul J Alessi
Anna Silk

In March 2011, Bulldog Publicity, (Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada) was launched by Jim Lavoie. Based on his many years of experience as a freelance writer (Film and Music), Jim has had well over 100 published articles/photos in New Brunswick publications. (Here NB, The Daily Gleaner, The Telegraph Journal and The New Brunswick Filmmakers’ Co-operative E-News). He is currently extending his reach via his blog entitled Bulldog Publicity. Jim’s blog features top level entertainers and rising talent on a National and International scale. The blog also will include special features on talented people living and working in or from New Brunswick. From time to time, previously published, articles will be spotlighted again.

Jim has a wealth of experience working within the film industry and is currently the publicist for well known actress Jean Rasey http://www.imdb.me/jeanrasey. He has worked as a publicist for feature films for Global Universal Pictures Inc. (“American Sunset”, “Plaster Rock” and “The Night”) and many award winning indie films in New Brunswick. “They Didn’t Make It”. Worked with and featured on line media guru Wendy Shepherd http://www.officiallypluggedin.com/. He created and produced 4 videos on author Julie Comeau concerning her forthcoming book “Never Give Up –the Inspirational Journey of a Real Life Survivor” which currently has close to 4,500 views(cumulatively) http://www.youtube.com/user/JULIesthebeast3?feature=mhsn. He has assisted in the writing and editing and will be in charge of the publicity.

Jim has also been the Marketing/Promotions Lead for the annual Silver Wave Film Festival in NB. As publicist, he arranges and coordinates media coverage for Silver Wave including newspaper, radio and television. His publicity and promotional strategies resulted in record attendance at the 2008 Festival and again in 2009. Jim has appeared on radio and television where he has promoted the NB Film Co-op activities and strongly advocated for the NB film community at large.

He was the production manager for renowned photographer Brian Atkinson for Tourism NB for the 2010 Tourist season. He also developed and implemented a promotional path for CMT Karaoke Star (Television) finalist Jen Moulton. This resulted in Moulton, a Fredericton resident, making it to the finals in Banff, Alberta. He created a new slogan “Your Right To Learn” which has been used by Literacy Coalition NB since 2008.

SOCIAL NETWORKS
http://www.nbfilmcoop.com/jim_lavoie/Welcome.html Bulldog Publicity
http://www.facebook.com/jim.lavoie
http://www.linkedin.com/
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3225415/

FILM ACTING EXPERIENCE
Romantic Gestures: Principal Actor Gallery Connextion Art Film
The Doll Maker: Principal Actor Paul Angers
The Night: Featured Extra/Publicist Global Universal Pictures Feature
American Sunset: Featured extra/ publicist Global Universal Pictures Feature
Plaster Rock: Publicist Global UniversalPictures Feature
Can/Russia 72: Featured extra (PM Trudeau) CBC Feature Movie
Sticks N” Stones Extra & Production Asst CTV Feature Movie
Hopewell: Co-Lead Actor Independent Short
Waiting For Myra : Co-Lead Actor Independent Short
Francis Sherman: Actor, Extra, Publicist Indie Short
TDMI: Principal Actor/publicist Independent Short
Broke : Actor Independent Short

TELEVISION ACTING EXPERIENCE
Dark Radius: PA Shore Road Pictures – CBC 3-2-1 Award
Intervention: PA A&E
Commercial : Actor Work Safe NB
Corporate Video: Extra Atlantic Media Works

AWARDS:
The 2010 Silver Wave Film Festival Recognition Award for a person, group or organization who has contributed significantly to film and video in New Brunswick in a professional capacity.

Jim Lavoie

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Don’t Mess With Tess, Tess De La Vega That Is ! Danielle Nicolet Stars in “Red Faction: Origins”


Syfy Movie Premieres on Saturday, June 4th, on Syfy

By Jim Lavoie

As Danielle Nicolet anxiously awaits the premiere of her television movie, on and by Syfy, “Red Faction: Origins” this Saturday June 4th, she feels that transforming this popular gamer show to film will be well received. “being an avid gamer myself, this feels in sync and just the right fit,” says Nicolet, “talk about synchronicity.”

Danielle Nicolet and Brian J. Smith in Red Faction: Origins

In the perfect marriage of comedy, misfit, and neurotic woman…on Mars, she stars in the highly anticipated film adaptation of the popular video game series, “Red Faction: Origins”. In it, she plays Tess De La Vega, part Princess Lea, part C3P0 sidekick, to Robert Patrick and Brian J. Smith.

Prior to departing on this latest space mission, Nicolet had established herself as one of the go-to actors. Her career was launched on her amazing ability to make people laugh and as her film stature increased, so too did the caliber of the roles, landing her with the role of Caryn on the mega hit series “3rd Rock From The Sun.” For six seasons she was part of the Emmy winning NBC comedy.

Not content with resting on the show’s laurels or her own, she guest starred on more than 20 different television shows. Most notably, her award-winning appearance as “Reese”, the menace, woman-child and humanity’s foe on “Stargate, SG-1”. Her portrayal of “Paula” in the prime time situation comedy “Second Time Around” in 2005 had Entertainment Weekly calling her a “breakout star.” She then took on the role of “Cheryl” on the hit Fox show “the Bernie Mac Show.”

In 2007, Danielle took a turn to television drama, starring as head ICU nurse “Mary Singletar,” on the tear-jerker “Heartland”, with Treat Williams on TNT. Critics called her, ‘the very heart of Heartland’, and found it impossible not to love the energetic, outspoken and emotionally open character.

Danielle Nicolet in Heartland

I contacted Danielle Nicolet to talk to her about “Red Faction: Origins” and her career overall. I found her to be extremely accommodating with an awesome sense of humor.

Jim: Your athletic background in competitive gymnastics, which has taken you from rural Ohio to California, speaks of the type of competitive drive and discipline you must possess. After a knee injury ended your athletic ambitions and you turned to acting, these traits would have been very beneficial. Ok, so a career path change was in order but were you already predisposed towards acting at that point, were you a joking, wisecracking natural cutup amongst people to begin with?

Danielle: No! I was the opposite. I was a pretty shy kid. I’m still shy as an adult. It’s the work that brings me out of my shell. I always wanted to be an actor, from the earliest age. Even then, I thought of athletics as an avenue to become a performer.

Jim: It is a unique comedic style that you put out there, given that you seem to embrace roles where you dare to be different be it as a misfit/outcast, I love that you jump into the role and go all out. Often, from my observations, beautiful women posture themselves before the comedy, you can be funny and still be beautiful. This is my take on it, but your delivery seems natural be it witty, scattered, physical and I would guess you would rock at Improv. In your career you have worked with many great comedic actors and of course John Lithgow from “3rd Rock From The Sun” comes to mind. You spent six seasons as Caryn on that award winning show, what was it like to work with John and the rest of that talented crew?

Danielle: Wow, thank you. I don’t know that I would call myself beautiful, but I appreciate you saying that. Hmmm, yeah, I have to say that the biggest thing I learned from my years on 3rd Rock, and time working with John Lithgow and Jane Curtain was that being funny has nothing to do with worrying about how you look. The most un-funny thing in the world is a self-conscious girl who’s trying to look perfect. Everyone on that show was a consummate professional, and taught me to value and respect this incredible gift of being paid to do something I love.

Jim: You have walked the walk with some major film powerhouses like Debra Messing, Judy Davis in “Starter Wife”, Cuba Gooding Jr. in “Ticking Clock” and Lucy Lui in the new mini-series “Marry Me”. Working with actors of this caliber must be very special for you but is also a profound nod to both your comedic and dramatic acting abilities. What was it like to work with actors/actresses of this caliber? What do you take away from experiences like that? I understand also that working for and with Paul J.Alessi on his film “Knuckle Draggers” was a cool shoot for you, how so?

As Molly in The Starter Wife

Danielle: I have had the honour of working opposite some really amazing actors. I feel blessed to share the screen with them. Most of all, when I begin a new show I focus on what I can learn from someone who has experienced such success. Invariably, it’s the best of someone that makes them successful, and that’s what I come away with…and hopefully a new friend as well! I know that when I worked with Paul, I got paid twice: a salary and some amazing friendships to last a lifetime. I think that the friendships that were the basis of “Knuckle Draggers” worked so well because of the connection we all have in real life.

Danielle stars as Renee in Knuckle Draggers

Jim: I have seen references to you being an active gamer and that you have an affinity to the one-on-one aspect of gaming. It seems you just might also have a thing for Sci-Fi and space shows as well. You have appeared on “Stargate G-1”, were an alien on “3rd Rock From The Sun” and now your new film “Red Faction-Origins.” Could Goddess to all things Geek be that far off? But seriously this new film which will be broadcast on SYFY is derived from the video game of the same name?

Danielle: Ha ha! Believe me when I say, nothing would make me happier than to be a Goddess to all things Geek! I am a geek at heart, and making this movie was like being a kid in a candy store. “Red Faction: Origins” is based on the video game series, and takes place in the period between Red Faction: Guerilla and Armageddon. As a result, we were able to make a film that stands on it’s own, independent of the games. At the same time, it gives character history and rounds out the whole trans-media experience for the existing fans.

Jim: “Red Faction: Origins” – In this you play Tess De La Vega who is described as part Princess Lea and part CP30 (of Star Wars fame) and neurotic woman living on Mars. Can you give us the 101 on the plot and I understand there are some space heavyweight types amongst the cast? The film has its world premiere on Syfy, Saturday, June 4th at 9pm?

Danielle: Yes, the movie airs on Syfy, Saturday, June 4th at 9:00/8c! It is the story of Jake Mason (Brian J. Smith, from Stargate Universe), as he tries to find his long missing sister (Tamzin Merchant, from The Tudors), and bring her home to their father (Robert Patrick). I play his reluctant sidekick, who realizes that the fate of Mars and its colonists may be at stake and together we try to save Mars!

For sure this is a cast full of SyFy favorites. The incredible Kate Vernon (Battlestar Gallactica) also stars along with Garreth David Lloyd (Torchwood), Devon Graye (Dexter) and Gordon Kennedy (Robin Hood).

Jim: Comedy, drama, make them laugh, make them cry, which is the more satisfying genre for you or is the perfect vehicle perhaps a combination of both?

Danielle: It’s a tough one to answer because I enjoy them both so much. How about a cop-out answer that is also the truth?… I’d love to do a really great horror movie!

Jim’s Final Words:

It is almost impossible to be on the net and not see something about this talented actress, check out her feature with Wendy Shepherd at Officially Plugged In (OPI)
http://www.officiallypluggedin.com/actresses/danielle-nicolet.php

SPEAKING Syfy:”LOST GIRL,” Starring Anna Silk Now Part of the Syfy Stable!
September 4th, 2011, The Number one scripted drama in Canada, Specialty Channels. “Lost Girl” is back but this time with a world wide audience. Anna Silk returns as “BO”, the red hot Succubus, with a growing taste for the truth….. I will be talking with Anna Silk soon on my blog at Bulldog publicity.

Anna Silk is 'Bo' on Lost Girl

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Lalesha Railsback, Producer of “Man Who Sold the World” speaking on MWSTW, growing up Hollywood style, finding her way, and into the wilds of New Brunswick and back!


By
Jim Lavoie

Jim: You and Director Jillian Acreman obviously have a lot of shared qualities concerning your work in film, in terms of being passionate and driven to succeed. Is this what drew you to work with each other?

Lalesha: Yes. For Jill and I it is all about being creative, original in our vision and the bringing of it all together as a team. We both take what we do seriously and work hard at making top-notch short productions. Having said all that, we also have fun, like my time as a Producer with “Man Who Sold The World”. I had a blast. Jillian and I share a great dynamic whether working or relaxing. We are friends but we make it work by operating in a mutually respectful environment. Egos will always be checked at the door by everyone involved in any production we undertake.

Jim: Can we expect future collaborations between you and Jillian?

Lalesha: Let me put it this way. Plans abounding, yes, future projects yes. Want me to tell you the specifics now Jim? Not a chance in hell! (grinning)

Director Jillian Acreman, Actor Steve Railsback and Producer Lalesha Railsback

Jim: You are the Producer of “MWSTW” and the lead actor is film great Steve Railsback, your father, what went through your mind with this being your first official shoot with him?

Lalesha: To me he is and always will be ‘Dad’ and although I obviously am well aware of his amazing career it is only when prompted that I think and speak about it. I love and respect my Dad for all his accomplishments but he is still ‘Dad’ to me.

I also know my Dad loves me and respects what I am trying to do to establish myself in the film industry. He is encouraging and supportive of my efforts, whatever they may have been or will be. Steve was the ultimate professional in every way, attentive and responsive to direction and when he offered advice, he was tactful and respectful.

Her father announced recently that Lalesha will be acting in his film “Barstow” based on a screenplay written by his late brother Phillip Railsback, which he feels is a brilliant character driven script. Lalesha will be working alongside a group of great actors (TBA).

Jim: What about working with Barry Livingstone and Jean Rasey on “MWSTW”?

Lalesha: It is weird and wonderful how I grew up with Barry and his family always being nearby. They were close family friends. Flash forward and recently there I was, all those years later, producing a film he was acting in. I know everyone agrees with me, that besides being a great actor, (Mad Men, Ernie on My Three Sons) he was great to work with. He was very approachable, likeable and just an all around nice guy. The one word of wisdom he bestowed upon our eager ears was ‘Network’ as often as you can.

Jean Rasey was wonderful to work with. She is cool, fun, kind and chock full of talent and beauty. (Jean has had many appearances in television and film. From “George” On the TV series Nancy Drew Mysteries to working along side George C. Scott in the film Hindenburg). She was so easy to work with as she handled her role in a totally professional manner. She has been and is a true friend to me and this meant the world to me to be able to work with her. In the past, she had been the script supervisor for a short film for me called “The Mondavi Gang” but this was different as she was now an actress on a film I was producing.

Jim: You had some friends come to LA to help you and Jillian with “MWSTW”, care to mention who they were?

Lalesha: You can have a great script, great talent, but the engine that makes it go is the crew and my crew were great but I have to single out a few people. First, Jessica Holt who was cast and crew and did so much extra stuff it was unreal. To Jesse Anthony who is my favorite Director of Photography, Matthew Carr for excellent assistant cameraman work (and joined me as an extra in the film) and Conor Doyle for his great sound work. I have worked with these peeps before and it was great to have then all around me working as a team again.

Producer Lalesha Railsback and DOP Jesse Anthony

Actress Jessica Holt, Director Jillian Acreman and Producer Lalesha Railsback

SPOTLIGHT ON LALESHA RAILSBACK

It is ten below zero, near white out conditions; a driving snowstorm is pelting the set location for “Plaster Rock: Terror on the Tobique.” Typical winter weather up in Riley Brook at an outfitters lodge, the main camp deep in the wilds of New Brunswick, Canada. Weather notwithstanding, it is still shoot day for all involved in the production of the above feature thriller produced by Global Universal Pictures Inc.

For lead actress Lalesha Railsback, making her film debut in a feature, it is also the polar opposite of December weather left behind in her home state of California. Far removed from the beaches and sunny weather she has made the necessary adjustments and is pitching in with all the enthusiasm and dedication needed to own her role. “It was great working with the cast and crew for this film and an amazing experience in teambuilding and bonding” said Railsback, “what a blast I had.”

“In “Plaster Rock Terror on the Tobique,” my character’s name is Sandra. She is a banker, kind of earthy, with a no nonsense attitude. She is feminine but pretty much the toughest of the girls on the trip. There are no fears until she gets to Plaster Rock.”

Actresses Christine Johnson, Lalesha Railsback and Jessica Holt

Film Synopsis
Four young men and four young women are boated into a hunting lodge in the wilds of northern New Brunswick to participant in a cross country ski race in which the winner will reap a cash prize of $250,000. Each contestant is a former athlete or high-profile celebrity. They have all already received $20,000 for their time just to travel and enter the race in the desolate area. The only problem is, once left at the lodge by boat, there is no way out, and each contestant begins to realize they have more at stake than the cash prize.

Plaster Rock is a fast-paced thriller-horror film which takes place in remote wilderness where you need more than luck to survive! Please see http://www.plasterrockmovie.com/ for additional information and trailers.

The making of this film in Canada was not just measured by the miles traveled here but by her personal and emotional growth to answer a genetic pull that she had tried vainly to avoid. “I was born and raised in Los Angeles California, my parents are Steve Railsback and Jackie Giroux. Both are prominent in the film industry. I grew up in Burbank, a suburb of Los Angeles with my mother (my parents divorced when I was young). My father subsequently remarried and I have two siblings from that marriage, my brother Beau and my sister Eden. So far they have not shown any interest in acting,” says Railsback.

“Growing up with my parents in the industry, it just seemed normal to have famous actors and entertainment figures around me. The biggest impact on me was the amount of time they spent traveling which was hard on me but I had lots of Aunts and Uncles as my mom always said,” laughs Railsback. “I think I always dreamed of doing something in film, my life was surrounded by it, how could I not ponder it?”

“I considered myself very fortunate to have my parents in the entertainment industry and even more so to have exposure to all aspects of the fascinating film world. My father (actor Steve Railsback – “The Stunt Man”, “Line of Fire”, “X-files” and “Charles Manson”) showed me the work it took to be in front of a camera and portray a character in any given situation. My mother Jackie Giroux, President of Global Universal Pictures Inc (Canadian Division) showed me the production side of the film industry. How and what work it took to take a production from start to finish. I gained a valuable insight into both the creative and business side of the film world and what better teachers than my own parents.”

But despite all this valuable parental input Railsback was not, like most young people sure if she really wanted to follow in her parents footsteps.

Jim asked Jackie Giroux about some of the influences Lalesha might have been impacted by at a young age. “As most people in the industry do, we tried to shelter her from becoming enamored with the industry because it is not easy to make a decent living. She certainly had her share of industry contacts because she was constantly on set with her father or myself from the age of three on. If I can assure you of anything, Lalesha thought the craft service table was the dinner table,” laughs Giroux.

Producer Jackie Giroux

Her father, Steve Railsback, remembers thinking early on that Lalesha was special, and “it was not just the fact that she was the first girl born on my side of the family in 149 years.”

Railsback laughingly states: “how relaxed and inquisitive Lalesha was on the set. Here was this 3-year-old calling action! She displayed an inordinate interest in details while there but you wonder, or at least I did, how she was internalizing all this and how it would manifest itself later in life, if at all. The one thing I knew for certain then and now is how proud I am of my daughter Lalesha and my love and support of her is unconditional.”

“I also think having met many celebrities from a young age, helped ground her in some aspects and kept things in perspective. I mean she helped Charlie Sheen’s daughter in figure skating and Paula Abdul was her idol at a young age and she was able to meet her but we were just her parents to her,” says Giroux. “Normal is the environment you grow up in and hers was a family in the entertainment business.”

Jim’s Perspective

“Proof of not acting or thinking herself special is how I felt first meeting Railsback on the set of “American Sunset.” She was doing continuity and script supervision and you have to have a sharp eye and pinpoint memory. She worked as hard if not harder than everyone on set and off set was a funny and warm person. I found out from someone else whose daughter she was later. Little did I know that it was around this time that Railsback was deciding to go “all in” and take the leap she knew she was meant to take. It was an internal struggle for Railsback as she explains, “When I was very young, I really was not interested. My mother would have all kinds of contacts/roles for me but I turned them down. Finally in my teens, I gave it a try and saw I did have a passion, albeit flickering, for acting. I did quite a few commercials, modeling, and short films.”

One thing according to her mother that Railsback did not enjoy at all was the audition process, the cattle call, or being told she didn’t meet the requirements sought by casting directors. Railsback loved her drama courses in school when she was younger but dabbled in behind the scenes stuff like lighting, make up and wardrobe and thoroughly enjoyed that as well.

For a myriad of reasons Railsback pulled the plug on acting at 16. “To be honest, I really thought I wanted to do something different, experience something outside of film and my parent’s shadow,” reflects Railsback. “The problem, and it was a big problem indeed, was all my experience was in film! From graduating High School and moving on to college, I tried to distance myself from film by taking on other work. I studied psychology and accounting to expand my horizons/interests but always present was the urge to return to my roots in film. It was a time of uncertainty but it was a life experience outside of my comfort zone and a point of reference that I would be able to utilize if needed in whatever lay ahead,” said Railsback.

At the age of 23, and 7 years removed from the film industry, Railsback confronted her inner feelings towards acting and saw clearly for the first time that her destiny lay in acting and the film world. She initially got back in the game by taking on the heavy responsibility of continuity/script supervisor on various productions (“American Sunset”, “Blue Seduction”). At the same time she was feeding and sharpening her script-writing skills.

A perfect world for Railsback would have her acting in her own screenplays. With that in mind she and a close friend decided to make their own short film. Railsback was a
co-star, co-producer, and co-director on the short film “The Mondovi Gang.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOr61tVLvcE (Mondovi Gang Trailer).

The tagline for the film is What the Media Missed and really hit home for many who remembered the historic presidential race in 2008. Along with the televised debates and sound bites, many people where talking at an unprecedented rate, discussing issues of change, race and gender (A group of ordinary people were captured in candid conversations). It was a revelation of how 2008 was the year the American people woke up and started talking to each other. In October 2009 the film was accepted into La Femme Film Festival in Los Angeles. It was during the filming of “The Mondavi Gang” while watching Lalesha doing a particular scene and looking from an actor or director’s perspective her father states: “I saw her get in the moment and stay in the moment while handling an off script situation that would take most actors off their game.” This from the actor whose portrayal of Charles Manson in “Helter Skelter” taught many what ‘being in the moment’ means.

Her hard work and efforts to finish/promote “The Mondavi Gang” drew praise from her mother, “for first having the guts and conviction to do it and secondly for doing it absolutely on her own merit with no help from me whatsoever.” Lalesha’s excellent acting performance in “the Mondavi Gang” really set the wheels in motion for Giroux to audition and subsequently sign her daughter to be one of the leads in “Plaster Rock: Terror on the Tobique.”

To those who would see this as nepotism or a possible conflict of interest heed her words “I have been in this industry for a long time and when I make a movie I lead with the best talent available to me that works well with the constraints all productions face. I embrace all involved in my productions/projects as family and Lalesha must meet all her obligations and has in a professional and proficient manner.” Perhaps the only difference with Railsback and other cast/crew members is as Giroux smiling puts it, “at the end of a social evening with the cast/crew she reminds me she is my daughter by sending me over her bar tab!”

There is an essence about Railsback, a certain touch in delivery that makes her stand out. Maybe the genetic linage is at play. The one thing for certain is she may well be one of the hardest working people you will find on any set. “My parents installed a value system in me from an early age that taught me to be polite and considerate to others,” says Railsback. “Another very important lesson I culled from them was work ethic. It’s based on 3 factors: environment, education, and persona. It is also the accepting and acknowledging that all cast/crew members are of equal value in any production. Measuring success is what it means to you at the end of the day in terms of personal and collective results!”

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Author Julie Comeau Speaks Out & About Her Journey to Date “Never Give Up The Inspirational Journey Of a Real Life Survivor”


For all of you that have become apart of my journey and my upcoming book I just wanted to give you an update:

Hi Everyone:

As some of you know my husband Vince was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer on December 28, 2010.

Since, then he has undergone 2 major surgeries. We now have to travel back and forth to Saint John hospital every day, (2 hours commute return) where he has to undergo 28 treatments of radiation therapy daily. The type of cancer that he has is an aggressive type and I have been so amazed by his strength, he is a real trooper and he is staying as strong as possible. Fighting this fight is one of the toughest things that he has ever had to do but he always has a smile on his face no matter what. His courage, strength and his determination inspire me and he gives me strength as we fight this fight together. Vince started his radiation and chemotherapy treatments on April 5, 2011 and he will be done the first part of his journey on May 17, 2011. He will continue to fight this fight but not alone for family and friends have been right by his side. We want to thank you for all the love and prayers that you guys have been sending. His path is now in Gods hands and as we say here in the Comeau house. “NEVER GIVE UP!”

I also want to thank everyone for all your patience in the wait for my upcoming book. With the news of my husband being diagnosed with cancer, even though my book was nearing completion I put everything on PAUSE! My life’s priorities come first like family and I was taking care of my husband as he was undergoing his surgeries and now undergoing his treatments. Your continued patience and your understanding on this project that I have been working so hard to get ready and share with the world has been so amazing!!

Jim Lavoie, Bulldog Publicity and Julie Comeau, Inspirational Speaker and Writer

In closing I would like to say a Big Thank You to my video team, Jillian Acreman, Matthew Carr, Buhthivy Nou, Jennifer Marie Chiasson and my publicist Jim Lavoie. You all have touched my life and my heart in a huge way! I am so thankful for having you become apart of my Journey and creating the videos on my you tube channel, amazing work everyone and I am truly honored and overwhelmed to be working with such an amazing and talented group. I feel like I am on top of the world with you guys!! You have not only touched my life but you have changed it.”

Author Julie Comeau:
Videos, Interviews, Meet the Video Crew for Author Julie Comeau “Never Give Up the Inspirational Journey of a Real Life Survivor”!!!!!!

Videos:(4) Beyond the Text-Author Julie Comeau discussing her upcoming book, more than 3,000 views at: Click Here

Robb Hartlen, Voice Print and Julie Comeau, Inspirational Speaker and Writer

Check Out : The April 28 th Voice Print Radio interview with author Julie Comeau:
Click Here

Notes on the Video Team:

Jim Lavoie, Publicist, Bulldog Publicity

Producer/Creator Videos: Jim Lavoie In addition to being owner/operator of Bulldog Publicity, I am a freelance writer with over 90 articles published in New Brunswick Canada: The Telegraph Journal, The Daily Gleaner, and Here Magazine. I have been the publicist for the New Brunswick Filmmakers’ Co-operative, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada for the past six years and also the Silver Wave Film Festival held in November annually. I have represented many New Brunswick productions and have appeared many times on television, radio and in the newspapers on their behalf.

Click Here

Jim Lavoie, Bulldog Publicity and Bunthivy Nou, Filmmaker/Actress

Bunthivy Nou: Bunthivy is an award-winning filmmaker based in Fredericton, New Brunswick. A creative director/actor/producer, and owner of Yellow wood Pictures, her debut short film “A Lion’s Tale” (2008) premiered at the Atlantic Film Festival and has screened in various film festivals in North America winning for Best Short NB Drama and Best Actress in a Drama at the 2008 Silver Wave Film Festival. The film was accepted in the NSI Online Short Film Festival and will soon be broadcast with CBC.

Click Here

Filmmakers Matthew Carr and Jillian Acreman

Jillian Acreman: Award winning filmmaker Jillian Acreman has produced two short films which have been screened at international festivals, and most recently on CBC. Jillian’s first short film “Broke” was accepted into the Cannes Short Film Corner in 2010 which she also attended. She recently completed her 3rd short called” Man Who Sold The World”, filmed in Los Angeles, starring Steve Railsback, Barry Livingston and Jean Rasey. Please see: Click Here

Matthew Carr: Matthew is currently working as a free lance and has been involved in many corporate, commercial and Indie shoots. His latest was 1st assistant camera on “Man Who Sold The World” and was he was the Director of Photography for the “Beyond The Text” videos for author Julie Comeau’s youtube channel.

Picture Editor and Teacher Jennifer Chiasson

Jennifer Marie Chiasson: Jennifer is an Award Winning Final Cut Pro Video Editor. She has a degree in Multimedia, Certification in film and television production as well as her specified Final Cut Pro Levels 1 and 2 Apple Certified training certifications. She has over 5 years of work experience in the corporate and private sector, 5 years of experience working on short films in drama and comedy (2 of which where screened at the Short Film Corner at the Cannes International Film Festival) She has 5 years of freelancing experience in a variety of genres running from feature film, documentary, promotional, charity events and more. She teaches youth filmmaking workshops through the Red Cross and is an Advanced Editing teacher at the Centre for Arts and Technology in Fredericton, NB. She also has been working for two years in the fashion industry (attending New York Fashion Week, Couture Fashion Week, Nolcha Fashion Week, Style 360 Fashion Week, editing from Mercedes Benz Miami Swimsuit Fashion Week and Los Angeles Fashion Week) doing videography and editing of segments. Previous work had been for Fashion News Live and current work for her own Fashion Journalism called Workinchic.com.

Click Here
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Hot News:

This weekend’s Blog will be on Lalesha Railsback, producer of “Man Who Sold The World”, speaking on working with her father Steve Railsback and Actors’ Barry Livingston and Jean Rase. She will talk about her life growing up in the Hollywood spotlight!

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Jillian Acreman – Part 2: Steve Railsback, Jean Rasey and Barry Livingston….Speaking of Stars and Journeys


“Isn’t it ironic” the mantra song from “Jagged Little Pill” (Alanis Morissette) probably best describes my last two phone conversations with legendary actor Steve Railsback. The first being about the film “The Stunt Man, starring Peter O’Toole and Steve Railsback, directed by Richard Rush, being selected by the Turner Classic Movie channel as one of the top 50 films of all time. A film that award winning New Brunswick actress Elizabeth Goodyear insists is “must viewing” for all with aspirations to become an actor.

Now, the second conversation, with the same degree of enthusiasm by Railsback, was to discuss his lead acting role in a recently completed short film shot in Los Angeles. The film is called “Man Who Sold The World” (MWSTW) written and directed by New Brunswick filmmaker Jillian Acreman and produced by Lalesha Railsback (his daughter). Now if that is not truly ironic, then what is?

To list all of his accomplishments on stage, screen, television, writing, directing, and producing would consume this page and more, so please Google it or verse yourself in this brilliant man’s career. He has worked with the best of the best, the who’s who breadth of mediums. One iconic role for Railsback was his chilling portrayal of psychotic killer Charles Manson in “Helter Skelter”. The famous courtroom scene where the demented persona of Manson is fully exposed for all to bear witness is magnificent. This was a lengthy and emotional scene for Railsback and I will surprise you by saying this was captured in one take! That is correct, “One Take” and with the degree of difficulty of doing this scene, staying in the moment off the chart, he hits it out of the park!

Railsback has worked with the greats, been part of and witnessed the evolution of film and television. They tell me on a daily basis some 40,000 persons are entering or leaving the film industry in Los Angeles! A friend of mine, being well versed in the industry, states the formula is simple but complex at once. You need stars, a good script and plenty of cash! There are and have been exceptions but mostly reality trumps With this in mind, as background and knowing this latest short is an “Indie” we begin………

Jim: what comes to mind when I ask you about Jillian Acreman the person, the writer and the director? Is there such a thing as a natural?

Actor Steve Railsback

Steve: She is only 24! I guess that debunks age as a quantifier but seriously she has a sense of maturity beyond her years. Her respect for the history of film and lessons learned in developing her writing and directing style is evident, her route taken via self instruction is unorthodox but not unheard of. There is such a thing as a “Natural” but comes with riders attached. You can not teach instinct, feel or vision but all are greatly enhanced by continuous upgrading of your knowledge of all things related to what you wish to excel in. The talented do not really graduate from anything, formal or otherwise, but are just moving on to a new plateau better armed. The credits on your life are only complete when you have left this earth.

Jim: I know you have future plans to direct a feature which will have Lalesha as part of the cast but for now staying with the short film “Man Who Sold The World”, in which she was the producer your thoughts are?

Steve: It was great to work with her, I love her and am proud of her and she did a very professional job on this production. I know you have an upcoming feature blog on her in which I elaborate on my feelings about her, her career, etc…” (Note: Jim will be releasing a feature blog on Lalesha Railsback in May, exclusive to Bulldog Publicity)

Jim: Your preparation for your role was based on you working out your character as defined in the script, for Jillian Acremans’ production of “MWSTW”. Can you expand on that and give us some more insight into your process?

Steve: The actor(s) must give back and own the character as if in homage to the script’s intent. You must give your character depth and personality that will engage many layers of individuals or group audiences. It is a mix of emotion, physical presence or state, voice cadence or nuance you bring to the director and writer’s vision.

Jim: In “MWSTW” you were reunited with good friends Jean Rasey and Barry Livingston, what was that like?

Steve: Both are very talented and creative people whose careers I have been lucky to interact with over the years. I did a stage play, in New York City 35 years ago, with Barry, who by the way is getting set to release a book “The Importance of Being Ernie” based on his 50 years in show business. I think it can be pre–ordered on Amazon. I think all three of us connected well with Jillian’s cast and crew and enjoyed the production immensely.

Crew Jesse Anthony, Matthew Carr and Conor Doyle

Jim: Steve, it has been a pleasure and privilege to talk to you, what is one piece of advice you could share with us?

Actress Jean Rasey and Actor Steve Railsback

Steve: Thank you Jim, in a word “Read!” The missing art of, taking the time to simply read a book. Think about it, you are opening your mind, imagination, exercising creativity.

Actor Barry Livingston talks about “Man Who Sold the World”

Actor Barry Livingston

Barry Livingston is getting ready to release a biography which highlights his 50 years in show business. Entitled “The Importance of Being Ernie”, the title of course refers to his role as Ernie Douglas on the legendary television show “My Three Sons” He currently stars in the hit television series “Mad Men”.

Jim: Thank you for taking the time to talk with me, congratulations on your upcoming book. I wanted to ask you about a short film you recently worked on, “The Man Who Sold The World” written and directed by Jillian Acreman. You have worked with some of the greats in television and film (directors, writers and actors). For the first time in a very long time, you are working with a group of unknowns. What did you like about Jillian’s writing style, directing style? Overall impression of Jillian?

Barry: Jillian was a great collaborator and very willing to accept ideas from her actors. She did not seem threatened by her actors having opinions, which some directors are. She heard what we, the actors, were saying and incorporated the ideas into the script, while still staying true to her vision.

Jim: I know you are friends with Steve Railsback but have you worked together before? If so on what projects?

Barry: Steve Railsback and I worked together on a Thornton Wilder play, “The Skin of Our Teeth”, which played on Broadway in the mid-seventies. He is been a great friend and mentor for decades now. I respect him, and love him, like a brother.

Jim: Working with a mostly young and upcoming crew, was it a throw back in many ways to when you first started out? Were you able to point out things or provide advice to them?

Barry: I had only one bit of advice for the young crew. Make a lot of friends, in other words, NETWORK, that’s one of the keys to a long and productive career in film.

Jim: With “Mad Men” starting up again next year, do you have other projects on the go or will you have your hands full dealing with the release of your book? Can your book be ordered now and if so how?

Barry: I have a film, Hostel 3, coming out in 2011, either late summer or early fall. My book, “The Importance of Being Ernie”, will be released on Oct. 25, 2011. You can pre-order now on Amazon.com.

http://www.facebook.com/l/261faklOU_AwLZ4OBErj1g1UyEw/Amazon.com

BREAKING NEWS:
Before I speak to actress Jean Rasey, my next guest, I would like to announce that I am now the official publicist of this extremely talented lady. I look forward to working for and with Jean. She brings so much to the table and I expect to announce great projects for her in the very near future. For those of you new to Bulldog Publicity and my Blog please check out the feature I did on Jean earlier this month (April 10th, 2011 “Never Gonna Break Her Stride”).

Actress Jean Rasey talks about “Man Who Sold the World”

Jim: Who is your character in this film?

Actress Jean Rasey

Jean: I play Jack Carmichael’s wife, Lauren. We have a pretty good life, with 2 great kids. I don’t want to give too much away, suffice to say that Jack is faced with a monumental moral decision that will affect his professorial and personal life in a way that is inexplicable.

Jim: Working with Steve Railsback and Barry Livingston-have you before and in what and if not what was it like?

Jean: I have known Steve for many years, and we have always talked about working together. He is a solid actor, a true professional and it was great working with him. I think we have good on screen chemistry. Unfortunately I did not have the opportunity to work with Barry as we did not have any scenes together. I look forward to the possibility of working with Barry in the future.

Jim: Your thoughts on Jillian Acreman?

Jean: Jillian is an actor’s director. She supports ideas and thoughts regarding the scene and approaches the shot in a very natural way. A joy to work with. I hope to work with her again.

Jim: Your thoughts on the cast and crew?

Jean: They are an awesome group of people. I love working on Indies because there is such a “family” feel to creating a Film. Everybody supports each other in any way they can. I would love to work with all of them again.

Jim’s Closing Thoughts

I think Jillian Acreman is a very talented film peep, her potential is unlimited and her “pictures” will only grow in scope and magnitude. I also would like to point out she is one of the most considerate people I have ever met. She loves film and loves people.

Maybe this might put things in perspective, I am heavily involved with my good friend and author Julie Comeau in her book being released soon. It’s entitled “Never Give Up-The Inspirational Journey of a Real life Survivor”. I came up with the idea of having an inspirational video (which became 4) on the author’s story of survival. The idea being to let people, via youtube, get to know Julie, see, hear and feel her passion which awaits them in her book.

I knew I could create and produce this because what I wanted would be unscripted and raw. I picked up the phone and called Jillian Acreman and Matthew Carr, an awesome and talented couple. I told them what I wanted and needed and without hesitation they were in. They became my director and director of photography, also on board came actress and director Bunthivy Nou as the interviewer. Into the unknown we plunged. When all was done our editor Jennifer Chiasson took over in post.

The end result of these very talented people is that nearly 3,000 people (since March 18) have viewed the four videos http://www.youtube.com/user/JULIesthebeast3?feature=mhsn which is incredible because these are informative but not your 2 min variety videos. It may not be a Genie (Canadian Oscars) winner or a feature film but Jillian Acreman’s work is reaching out and touching people because of the care she puts into everything.

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New Brunswick Filmmaker Jillian Acreman was in heaven shooting stars in Los Angeles


By
Jim Lavoie

Live from Los Angeles – 24 year old New Brunswick Filmmaker Jillian Acreman has just completed principal photography on her latest short film, “Man Who Sold the World”. This project would be a career highlight for filmmakers anywhere. She wrote the script and directed the legendary Steve Railsback (The Stunt Man, Helter Skelter), Barry Livingston (Mad Men, My Three Sons (played Ernie) and Jean Rasey (The Hindenburg, Nancy Drew TV Series (played George) for her film which is now in post-production mode. The film’s producer was Lalesha Railsback (actress, writer and the daughter of Steve Railsback).

Award winning filmmaker Jillian Acreman has produced two short films which have been screened at international festivals, and most recently on CBC. Acreman’s first short film “Broke” was accepted into the Festival de Cannes Short Film Corner (which is out of competition) in 2010 which she attended. Her second short film, “The Editor” was met with critical acclaim.

I recently sat down with an elated Acreman to discuss what it was like to shoot “Man Who Sold the World” and what her plans are for the film once it is in distribution. This talented and creative young lady has a deep appreciation for film history and is quite the classic film buff.

Jim: Before we delve into your exciting new film and the almost surreal experience you must have had doing it, give us the 101 on Jillian Acreman. Where are you from? How did this whole love for film get started? As a child, while others stood in front of the mirror acting out scenes were you the one directing their performance?

Jillian: I’m from Ottawa but I’ve been living in Fredericton for over 7 years now. My training in film comes from sitting and watching films for thousands of hours, something which I have my movie loving parents to thank for. I did not begin getting involved on the production side of film until I was 19 when I started volunteering on low/no-budget films friends of mine were producing. As a kid I thought becoming an actress would be glamorous and I would force my little brother to do shows with me for our parents, but as I became older and realized that there are hundreds of people BEHIND the scenes, that’s when I lost the acting bug and wanted to write. I joined the NB Film Co-operative and through the guidance of everyone there I began to learn and see how things can come together. Cat and Tony and the NBFC are an extension of my family.

Actor Steve Railsback and Actress Jean Rasey

Actor Barry Livingston

Jim: How on earth do you direct Steve Railsback, Barry Livingston and Jean Rasey? I mean talk about taking a page out of film and television history (more like a book)What was it like, as a director, a writer to have this kind of talent and creativity right in front of you? Explain to me your creative process on this project?

Jillian: It goes without saying that when you work with any actor it is going to be a learning experience for both of you. When you happen to work with actors who have over 100 years experience combined it really opens the doors to what you can learn and understand and it makes you a better director and filmmaker. I think one of the biggest steps is just breaking the ice with your actors and being comfortable opening a dialogue with them. Steve is a really funny guy which helped the process immensely, and he is a very professional actor which taught us all a lot. I’ve grown very fond of him.

Jim: You assembled others for this shoot; people that you believed in and knew had the talent to make this a go. Producer Lalesha Railsback, Director of Photography Jesse Anthony, Assistant Camera Matthew Carr, Sound Recordist Mixer Connor Doyle and of course actress Jessica Holt to name a few. You had worked with these people before on different productions. Share your feelings on their contribution to “Man Who Sold the World” (MWSTW). It is also worth noting that all have ties and roots to the New Brunswick Film community.

Jillian: I had lunch with my good friend Lalesha last summer and we decided to partner on my third short film. Initially I wanted to shoot in Montreal but when she suggested her hometown of Los Angeles that’s when the ball really got rolling. We both knew immediately that we were only interested in doing it with our own people, our own way, and despite the fact that we did hire additional crew members in the US, the heart and soul of MWSTW was ours.

DOP Jesse Anthony and Director Jillian Acreman

Actress Jessica Holt, Director Jillian Acreman and Producer Lalesha Railsback

Sound Recordist Mixer Conor Doyle

Jesse Anthony is one of my closest friends and a hell of a cinematographer. He shot my previous films “Broke” and “The Editor” and he really has such an amazing instinct for the visual look of a film. When you work with the same people consistently you really develop a short hand and understand what each person is looking for. Jesse generally already knows where I want things to go and how they’re supposed to look and feel and that really lets us just jump in quickly when we begin a project.

Producer Lalesha Railsback and DOP Jesse Anthony

Conor Doyle, Jessica Holt and Matt Carr offered me peace of mind that I couldn’t have acquired without them. They’re all so talented and on-the-ball and enthusiastic. We all believe in each other and I think that, along with a great set etiquette and understanding of each other creates great energy on and off set. The film simply wouldn’t exist without them.

Jim: So here you are in post-production, it is edit time and there are choices to be made in the cutting room. I suspect there will be perhaps two versions (festival cut and director’s cut)? It must be both humbling and empowering to call the shots so to speak.

Jillian: Filmmakers never get to see their own work for the first time. I mean between writing, preproduction, shooting, dailies, editing, editing, editing… we do miss out on the opportunity to watch it as it was intended. I’ve learned the hard way that you have to really try and remove yourself from what you already know going into editing so you can faithfully create what you intend your audience to see. It’s nice to have control, but it can be hard to be impartial. A lot of filmmakers feel that what they create can either be understood or appreciated by audiences, or if they don’t get it, then they don’t get it. I’m not like that. I want people to watch and listen to my stories and connect with them, the first time and every time in some way.

Jim: Give me a synopsis of the film, without giving too much away. How you pulled it off, how in the world you managed to get this all to come together?

Jillian: The film is about a man who makes a simple business decision mid-way through his career and it comes back to haunt him.

My film partner Lalesha and I frequently found ourselves asking each other “Are we really here? Are we about to shoot? Did we just do this?” But, there’s no big secret. We just said we were going to do it, and do it our way, and we started the process. It’s been in the works since last July, though most of that time was used to raise and save the money needed for it. Logistically this was the biggest learning curve I’ve ever encountered between SAG (Screen Actors Guild) and insurance/ rentals I had a lot of paperwork to fill out! Having Steve on board was very helpful. He really helped us get certain things that we would otherwise have gone without. We were very lucky.

Jim: So when and where can we expect to see “Man Who Sold the World”? What is next for you in filmmaking and I have the feeling that a feature looms in the not too distant future?

Jillian: I of course would love to have a NB premier of MWSTW and then just ride the festival circuit, try and license it, and see it broadcast. I think it’s safe to say that most young filmmakers have features on their mind. I’m definitely not the exception. I’ll leave it at that though for now ;).

Check out Jillian’s new Facebook page for her film company Columbus Avenue Pictures: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Columbus-Avenue-Pictures/125966187481790

The second part of this exclusive continues tomorrow (Thursday April 28th) with feedback from Iconic actors Steve Railsback, Barry Livingston and Jean Rasey on how “Man Who Sold the World” went from their perspective.

Photographs by: Matthew Carr

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