Category Archives: storytelling

Flyway Film Festival # 8 Unveils Lineup For October

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Now in its eighth year, the western Wisconsin film event soars higher than ever! Listen To The Discussion Using Link Below!

Here is The Flyway Film Festival official program selections for the October 21-25 festival. Flyway showcases top-notch emerging filmmakers from across the globe. Since its inception eight years ago, the Flyway has won accolades from industry professionals, filmmakers, and audiences for the excellence of its film program and for the festival’s intimate, welcoming atmosphere.

Full Festival Schedule Link At Conclusion Of Article

The festival kicks off with a party on October 21st, and the opening night film on October 22nd will be The Driftless Area, starring John Hawkes, Zooey Deschanel, and Anton Yelchin.

“We’re pleased to open the festival with The Driftless Area, since our festival is actually located in the geographical region of Wisconsin called ‘the driftless,'” says festival director Rick Vaicius. “And we have a particularly exciting mix of world premieres, international films, and regional filmmakers this year.”

Rick Vaicius Flyway Festival Director On Rex Sikes Movie Beat Thursday Oct 8 , 2015 (7:30am PST 9:30am CST 10:30amEST)

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Rick Vaicius On Rex Sikes Movie Beat Live

Vaicius programs the festival with a special appreciation for talented first-time filmmakers, he says. “We like to highlight emerging talents like Britni West, with her beautiful Montana-based film Tired Moonlight, Trey Edward Schults’ amazing autobiography Krisha, Vanessa Hope with her insightful documentary about US-China diplomacy, All Eyes and Ears, and Jerome Thelia’s fascinating Bounce: How the Ball Taught the World to Play.’

“And on the other end of the scale, we’re showing films by two of the world’s oldest filmmakers: Al Milgrom’s Dinkytown Uprising, and Albert Mayles’ last film, In Transit,” adds Vaicius. Legendary documentary director Maysles died earlier this year at 88; the 93-year-old Milgrom is planning to attend the Flyway.

World premieres at the festival are Pictures of Lily, by British director Mark Banks;Remittance, by Patrick Daly and Joel Fendelman, and Second Honeymoon, by Dutch filmmaker Kristjan Knigge. This is Knigge’s second visit to the Flyway: he fell in love with the area last year, and is planning shoot his next film in Pepin shortly after the festival ends.

Visitors to the Flyway Film Festival can meander up and down the Mississippi River to the movie and event venues in the river towns of Maiden Rock, Pepin, Stockholm and Alma, Wisconsin, and across the river in Red Wing, Minnesota. A year-round tourist destination, the area is particularly scenic during the the Flyway, as the fall colors peak and the Mississippi River ‘flyway’ — a route taken by migrating birds — attracts birdwatchers from around the world.

In addition to showing films, the Flyway will offer a series of workshops and mentor sessions with industry experts such as Seed&Spark’s Erica Anderson, King is a Fink’s Julie Keck and Jessica King, location manager Charlotte Ariss, and filmmakers Emily Ting (It’s AlreadyTomorrow in Hong Kong) and Norah Shapiro (Miss Tibet: Beauty in Exile). Other industry heavyweights, such as Ted Hope and Brian Newman, will be around to chat with attendees.

New at the Flyway this year is a series of music performances preceding the films. City Pages‘ 2015 “Best Acoustic Performer” LOTT (Leah Ottman) will perform before select films, as well as singer/songwriter JE Sunde.

The festival kicks off with a party at the Villa Bellezza, a spectacular winery and event center in Pepin, at 6:00 on Wednesday, October 21st. Twin Cities band Fort Wilson Riot will perform, and Deirdre Haj, director of the Full Frame Documentary Festival, will give the keynote address following the kind of banquet for which the Flyway has become famous: a potluck.

“The Flyway is different from larger film fests in the region in that people really have time to talk to each other, to learn about each other, and to create community,” says Vaicius. “People leave the festival with the feeling that they’ve had a truly creative, communal experience. And that’s a rare feeling.”

For the full festival schedule, click here

The festival rundown:

  • Saturday, October 10, 4:00 PM: A program of short films will screen at the St. James Hotel in Red Wing as part of the Red Wing Fall Festival of the Arts.
  • Wednesday, October 21, 6:00 PM: Kickoff Gala with keynote by Deirdre Haj, music by Fort Wilson Riot, and festival awards ceremony.
  • Thursday, October 22: Workshops during the day; opening night film (The Driftless Area) at 7:00.
  • Friday, October 23: Workshops during the day; films begin at 7:00 PM.
  • Saturday, October 24 and Sunday, October 25: Films begin at 11:00 AM; closing film (Frame by Frame) at 5:00 PM on Sunday.

Click This Link To Visit Rex SIkes’ Movie Beat Official Site 

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Weyauwega Int’l Film Fest, Year Four, Day 3. Nov 12-15

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Day 3 began way before my delicious breakfast but once that was completed I traveled into Waupaca and stopped on Main Street at the local Nutrition Center for some coconut water to take with me to the Gerold Opera House. One of my favorite beverages and I forgot to pack some for this trip.

Movies began earlier today. 10am and there have been a bunch of really cool shorts. I enjoyed a fascinating documentary feature on the domestic terrorist standoff at the Washington Monument in 1982, ‘Oracles Of Pennsylvania Avenue’. Directed by Tim Wilkerson this appears to be an Egypt, USA joint venture but I am unclear how.

Today the offerings are mostly narrative shorts, a few that are animated, some documentary shorts, a narrative feature and 3 documentary features. Most of the shorts are from overseas, a couple from around US and numerous from Wisconsin.

Given that Scott Walker was again elected to office earlier this month I was looking forward to Wisconsin’s Brad Lichtenstein (and Movie Beat guest) doc short on ‘Wisconsin’s Mining Standoff’. Moves by Walker and his opponents were controversial then and now so I am looked forward to seeing how the situation is covered by Brad.

weyauwega film fest 2014

Because it is a documentary issue pertinent to Wisconsin an impromptu discussion arose concerning what was and is happening inside this state. Questions were raised about citizens’ ability to discern if media reports accurately reflect the issue and to how to be best informed.

People need to be able to determine whether or not some of these actions benefit or harm the land and individuals. We cannot act appropriately or responsibly  if we do not have access to correct information. These days, in my opinion, getting raw data without editorial bias or political agenda is rare, sadly, very rare.

Whether you agree with the filmmaker’s presentation or not I believe this is what good documentary should do. It should stimulate thinking and investigative thinking and action from concerned viewers. That, for me, is a more worthwhile  endeavor, to explore the topic so people can make up their own minds and actions, than to present a biased filmmaker viewpoint telling the audience how it should think. Seems there is room enough in the world for numerous ways to cover topical stories.

I got to meet and converse with Chris M. Jones, who graduated and returned from Vancouver Film School, a student and friend of my friend and Movie Beat guest director and educator Peter D Marshall. The world is small indeed, and I look forward to catching up more with Chris.

Just came across this link to article on ‘Bucky & The Squirrels’ and have included the link. The film debuts here tomorrow, Saturday the 15th in the evening. You may want to come on out and check it out.

L A based writer, producer and film’s Director Allen Katz will be in attendance. Other local cast and crew are sure to show up. Read the article it is a nicely done piece.

Comedy Filmed In Appleton Ready For The Big Screen

If you look closely you will see yours truly in a number of pics in the article. Lawrence University partnered to produce the feature, but it was a professional cast and crew who made the film.

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In 2010 Ronald Kolman directed a pilot, ‘Woody’s World’. I produced, was UPM and had role and we allied then with MATC in Milwaukee to give students an opportunity to learn first hand what it is like to work a professional set and meet real world deadlines.

All things considered, LU had played a larger part int the production of Bucky. Our difficulty was that MATC, who very much wanted the program, couldn’t allow students to work the entire shoot from beginning to end because of class schedule and finals.

Since the students couldn’t take leave of their other courses and be there full time for the duration of the shoot we utilized our own professional crew. A handful of students came in to shadow the pros from time to time. Hardly ideal and not the plan we had all moved forward on.

Plus, we had one instructor who attempt to insert himself into the mix causing us delays and issues. He was out of line and was acting on his own behalf. He came around for two days before we learned that he was not authorized to be there by the school. Still we managed to complete the project ahead of schedule due to the hard working commitments of the pros I brought onto the project.

This is not a reflection on MATC, it is a fine school. Overall, there were challenges but I think it was a positive learning experience for all of us. The students who showed up when they could were awesome as well.

I am looking forward to seeing ‘Bucky and the Squirrels’ for the first time with others I may have met and worked with for awhile. I have made some long lasting friendships because of that project for which I am glad. Let me know what you think of the article. I thought the writer did a nice job.

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Today the festival attendance grew and by evening audience size was quite nice.

The 5pm narrative directed by Drew Britton, ‘When The King Tilts’ was charming and humorous. Drew was in attendance and answered questions during the Q & A. Listening to him speak about working with actors and the themes of this movie impressed me. I am very happy to have seen and enjoyed this movie.

Weyauwega native filmmaker Adam Zuehlke, in attendance, screened two short films. ‘Sad Clown’ and ‘Evergreen’. He was greeted with a rousing standing ovation by those in attendance as he made his way up front for the Q & A. Both films were very nicely done. Currently, he’s got the financing to shoot a pilot in the Minneapolis area and is developing Evergreen as a feature.

A party with finger food, popcorn and the cash bar followed the final film. It continues as I say good night.

An enjoyable day. I am looking forward to all the festival fun and film tomorrow on the final day! Come on out and enjoy!

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OH By they way some of my upcoming guest on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat include; producer Rocky Lang, director Bill Rebane, director Peter Marshall, writer, producer Michael Frost Beckner, Actors Michael Spears and Eddie Spears and others. So be sure to stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted.

*** Please also visit Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Website.

Stay up to date with the live shows on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. You can join us and listen live as the show records. You can hang in chat and ask questions. All shows are recorded and archived at the official site.

Updates will be posted at this blog, at the official site,  on the RSMB Friends page on FB,  through twitter and elsewhere.  When you can’t join us live you can still  listen to archived show from official site, from blogtalk radio and you can subscribe to the podcast at itunes.

Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Site

Weyauwega Int’l FIlm Fest, Year Four, Day 2. Nov 12-15

weyauwega film fest 2014

Day 2 begins early and then with a delicious breakfast. I had to ask the chef her secret to making her eggs so tasty and she told me. But I promised I would keep her secret. On my way out I got to chat say hello and chat briefly with documentary filmmaker Dan Schneidkraut I told you about yesterday.

I had a delicious Latte at Rhythm and Brew and and wrote my daily blog entry and worked for a couple hours more before leaving for the festival venue.

I drove to the Gerold Opera House, the home of Wega Arts and the Weyauwega International Film Festival. I am recovered from a long day yesterday and I am eager to see today’s line up of films and meet more filmmakers and fans. As expected today the attendance is heavier than the first day.

By the way: It is not my intention to write about each fine offering. I do not mean to imply anything by not writing about a film. I simply want to feature highlights while at the festival.

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As a filmmaker it is my position to not review other’s films. Since I know the labor and love, the hardship, of movie making I reserve my film opinions for close friends and do not dispense it for the public.

DAY 2 began with a talk by Dr. Jack Rhodes on Stanley Kramer’s ‘The Men’ starring Marlon Brando. Since this is a favorite film of mine, and Brando’s first screen appearance, it was wonderful to listen to Dr Rhodes discuss the film and then watch it.

Some of his points. First, 45 members of the cast were not actors but actual paraplegics. This fact is also pointed out in opening credits of the film.

Brando spent from 2-4 weeks in the hospital preparing for his role. He shared a story of Brando faking a spontaneous healing. A woman seeing the men in a restaurant all in wheel chairs mentioned to them that she wished deeply that they could be healed.

weyauwega anne casey by popcorn

Brando struggled painfully to get up from his wheelchair and took some halting steps  exclaiming ‘I can walk! I can Walk’ while the paralyzed men looked on and smiled knowingly.

Brando received 4 oscar nominations during his first 5 years as an actor. He won for ‘On The Waterfront’. After, ‘One Eyed Jacks’ 1961 his career went downhill until it was revived by ‘The Godfather’, 1973. He won another Academy Award which he declined.

Director Fred Zinnemann made numerous movies focused on this theme: A loan man triumphs over tremendous odds and institutions. ‘High Noon’, ‘From Here To Eternity’, ‘The Old Man and the Sea’, “A Man For All Seasons’, ‘Behold a Pale Horse’, and ‘Day of the Jackal’ among these.

He insisted ‘The Men’  have the gritty look of news reel footage. He went on to use virtually all of the crew, except for the cinematographer, on ‘High Noon’.

Dr Rhodes taught a graduate course  on Rhetoric of Film at the Miami University of Ohio and he teaches seminars on film at Lawrence University, events in Door County and at  Waupaca Library. He was enjoyable to listen to and the audience in attendance acknowledged this with applause. Then ‘The Men’ was screened. Great to see it again ON the big screen too!

It seems we have forgotten much about filmmaking as we advance our technologies. For me, there is nothing more fun than watching movies with an audience on a large screen.  Film instead of digital is still my preference, as is story over CGI, and performance over costuming.  It was great to see this movie again.

The movie ended to applause. Then the shorts began.  I remind you to check the showing schedule for information about the films shown. Plus, you can read more about Kathy and Ian AND listen to my Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat discussion, right here in these blog pages, anytime 24/7. Simply visit the link  below or at the official site (link provided at bottom).

Producers Kathy Fehl & Ian Teal | Weyawega International Film Festival Nov 12-15 

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Its mid afternoon and Dan Schneidkraut stopped by to say ‘so long’ he is traveling back to Minneapolis to continue to work on his next doc project. It is one I would like to see.  So we friended on Facebook to stay in touch.Kathy and I got to sit and catch up for a while and discuss plans for the coming year. John Pata showed up and we said hello and chatted awhile. I particularly liked his creepy short film “PITY’ shot in Oshkosh last year. Actor Jake Martin did a fine job, a disturbing job. Too disturbing. Thank goodness he is much nicer in real life.

John revealed secrets about the film. Based on a short story inside an album by Pig Destroyer called ‘Prowler In The Yard’ he aptly named the film PITY.I liked to sound design. The sound track score is comprised of the actors voice and breath converted to notes by Milwaukee musician Nicholas Elert.  It was shot on the red it looks great and is well edited. Pata presents a short suspenseful portrait of a very disturbed character in ‘Pity’.

This evening I also enjoyed the well made narrative feature directed by Shawn Telford, ‘BFE’. It appears to be non-union and crowd funded. Well made, acted, edited and entertaining. I liked an animated short by Wei lu, ‘Run Crab Run!’ and its score.

A few shorts followed the feature and the evening ended well. Tomorrow  Nov 14, DAY 3 the festival begins earlier at 10 am. I made it back to the lovely inn I am at and am currently enjoying getting cozy in my room. I look forward to what tomorrow brings in general and at the festival. It has been a wonderful couple days so far. Two more days to go.

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On Sunday I have a special private screening to attend  before I return home. I miss my family back there and it will be great to see them. In the meantime more movies! See you tomorrow

OH By they way some of my upcoming guest on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat include; producer Rocky Lang, director Bill Rebane, director Peter Marshall, writer, producer Michael Frost Beckner, Actors Michael Spears and Eddie Spears and others. So be sure to stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted.

*** Please also visit Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Website.

Stay up to date with the live shows on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. You can join us and listen live as the show records. You can hang in chat and ask questions. All shows are recorded and archived at the official site.

Updates will be posted at this blog,  at the official site,  on the RSMB Friends page on FB,  through twitter and elsewhere.  When you can’t join us live you can still  listen to archived show from official site, from blogtalk radio and you can subscribe to the podcast at itunes.

Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Site

Flyway Film Festival Oct 26, Day 4 Final Day 2014

flyway film fest

This day started as the previous days have.  Up early, got ready and drove to Maiden Rock for breakfast. Worked on computer. Published yesterday’s blog and began today’s. Beautiful sunrise.

Waited on friends for breakfast while working and chatting with waitstaff. Shortly, friends arrived. Jeremy Wilker, Jerry Bell, Jake Stetler and Perry showed up to eat.

First short of the day ‘Nostalgic’ (USA) directed by Ronald Eltanal provided a intriguing look into the deterioration of memory.

The first feature of the day I attended at The WideSpot in Stockholm was the well made and engaging ‘North Passage’ (USA) director Kevin Pontuti who answered questions afterwards. Kevin is instructor at UW-Stout.

Spent time chatting with Anna Weiss and others out front of the filmmaker lounge. Then David Potter and I sat along the river front discussing film projects enjoying the gorgeous weather. Jake arrived, David had to run Jake and I dined at the fabulous Harbor View and had an incredible dinner.

Back to the WideSpot to see the final feature of the festival. Caught Michael T Vollman’s touching short ‘Before You’. I have known Michael for many years but haven’t chatted with him for some time. He did not attend the fest but I was so glad I caught this delightful film about his first child.

Alex R Johnson answered questions after the showing of his gritty, violent, festival winner ‘Two Step’. I liked this film too.

The Flyway Film Festival official closed. Those of us remaining returned to the filmmaker lounge.

There were more people than I can remember or name but those I am able to included, Rick and Diana Vaicius, Allison, Beth, Jerry, David Potter, Kristjan Knigge, Jim Brunzell, Vince Colombo and his wife (forgive me I can’t recall her name), Jake Stetler, Frederick Thornton, Alex Gioulakis,  Alex R Johnson, and others (forgive me).

Food and drink and hanging out late is how our evening ended. I returned to the cabin I stayed at – now the only person at the camp grounds which proved spooky cool.

A huge hug and thanks to all the festival volunteers and staff who made Flyway number 7 a big hit with all of us filmmakers and fans. A big round of applause to all of you AND to all the filmmakers who showed movies. I understand there were many good shorts, docs and features from all the discussion that was had.

Programming is excellent at Flyway and makes it a wonderful festival for that reason, but not that reason alone. A big hug and thanks to all the filmmakers and fans who attended, those who screened films and those who didn’t and to all the fans. A truly fabulous Flyway for 2014 and I am already looking forward to next year.

Addendum: Monday October 27.

Up early. Met Jake at his hotel and separately we drove to Beth’s Twin Bluffs Cafe for a final Flyway breakfast together. Good food, conversation and time spent hanging out. I left to drive back to Milwaukee arriving about 5 hours later and am typing these words.

Jake went back to pick up Fred and Alex and together drive to Minneapolis airport where the two producers return to L A and director Jake returns to Pennsylvania.

Thanks everyone for all the fine films and fond memories.

The Flyway Film Festival Official WebSite

*** Please also visit Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Website.

Stay up to date with the live shows on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. You can join us and listen live as the show records. You can hang in chat and ask questions. All shows are recorded and archived at the official site.

Updates will be posted at this blog,  at the official site,  on the RSMB Friends page on FB,  through twitter and elsewhere.  When you can’t join us live you can still  listen to archived show from official site, from blogtalk radio and you can subscribe to the podcast at itunes.

Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Site

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with director Peter D Marshall

peter d marshall

Peter Marshall so far has had a 35-year career and has worked as a PA, dolly grip, electrician, assistant cameraman, commercial production manager, first assistant director, TV series creative consultant, television producer and director.  

He has worked on many different types of productions, from industrial films to documentaries; television commercials to music videos; Emmy Award nominated TV series to Hollywood feature films.

Peter has directed over 30 episodes of Television Drama and written, directed or produced over 50 hours of documentary and educational programs. His documentaries and dramas have won, or been nominated for, 14 International film awards.

UPCOMING LIVE: Thursday Dec 4, 2014  11aE 10AC 8aP TO LISTEN CLICK THE BOLDED LINK BELOW:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Director Peter Marshall Pt 30

Peter has some incredible products for the director and 1st AD a his website. He also organizes thoughts and materials in an incredible easy way for filmmakers to use and apply. I asked Peter to discuss the criteria necessary to be a good director. In this series we go over elements and priciples critical to apply when preparing to direct and when directing. Enjoy this nuts and bolts Director Series with Peter D. Marshall.

***The Directors Series on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat is listed in descending order from first aired to last episode.***

TO LISTEN RIGHT NOW – CLICK BOLDED LINK BELOW:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Director Peter Marshall Pt 1

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As a First Assistant Director he’s worked on 12 Feature Films, 15 Television Movies, 6 Television Series, 4 TV Pilots & over 20 Commercials. He’s  worked for directors such as Zack Snyder, John Woo, Ed Wick, Phillip Noyce, John Balham, Roger Adam, Anne Wheeler, Bobby Roth &  Kim Manners.

He has worked with talented actors including Michelle Pfeiffer, Kevin Spacey, Morgan Freeman, John Travolta, Mel Gibson, Kathy Bates, Adam Sandler and Peter O’Toole.

He has co-ordinated huge WW1 battle scenes, planned complicated visual FX scenes, managed large groups of extras & directed intimate emotional scenes between two actors. 

His first major series as 1st Assistant Director was Steven J. Cannel’s “Stingray” in 1986 after having been the 1st AD on a Canadian TV series called “Hamilton’s Quest”.

Thereafter he worked on several more TV series with Cannell and became 1st AD on “Wiseguy.” which he worked for two years. He  got his directing break on this series & directed a couple of episodes.

“The Fly 2.” was his move into feature films as a 1st AD. Other credits include “Happy Gilmore”, “Dawn of the Dead”, “The Butterfly effect”, “Lizzie McGuire Movie”,  “Look Who’s Talking Now”, “Bird on a Wire”,  scores of television series as 1st AD & as a director.

Peter Marshall Official Web Site  Peter has incredible learning products, ezine, workshops, blog and services. Check into these.

*** Please also visit Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Website.

Stay up to date with the live shows on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. You can join us and listen live as the show records. You can hang in chat and ask questions. All shows are recorded and archived at the official site.

Updates will be posted at this blog,  at the official site,  on the RSMB Friends page on FB,  through twitter and elsewhere.  When you can’t join us live you can still  listen to archived show from official site, from blogtalk radio and you can subscribe to the podcast at itunes.

Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Site

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with director Rex Piano on making TV movies – Thursday 10/2

rex piano directing

Rex graduated from NYU School of the Arts in 1981 as a film major – concentrating on writing, producing and directing. While there, he worked on several films and commercials, most notably: “Ms. 45” for director Abel Ferrara and “Mother’s Day” and “When Nature Calls” for director Charles Kaufman. Upon graduating, Rex worked as a 1st A.D. on dozens of commercials and films until he took a full time position at a NY Commercial Production Company.

UPCOMING LIVE: Thursday October 1 2014 11aE 10aC 8aP TO LISTEN CLICK  the bolded link below:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with director Rex Piano PT 5

Previous Episodes: TO LISTEN CLICK the bolded link below:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with director Rex Piano

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with director Rex Piano PT 2

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In 1985 Rex became Head of Production for O’Quinn Productions where he produced numerous videos for Fangoria Magazine (O’Quinn’s creation) that were distributed by MPI and Paramount Home Video.

In 1987 Rex moved to Los Angeles and was Head of Production for Associated Television International. While there, Rex wrote, produced and/or directed several TV specials and numerous travel videos. Rex also co-wrote and line produced the feature film “Chill Factor,” starring Paul Williams, Patrick Macnee and Andrew Prine.

Rex line produced “Severed Ties” in 1991 for Fangoria Films and continued freelance production work until 1995 when he was hired to produce the syndicated TV show “High Tide,” starring singer Rick Springfield. Rex also directed two episodes that season which lead to him becoming one of the series’ rotating directors.

Rex continued directing episodic TV shows, including “Mike Hammer, Private Eye”, “Silk Stalkings”, “Born Free”, “Air America” and “Nightman.”

In 2000 Rex produced and directed the multi-award winning romantic comedy feature film “The Month Of August.” The film garnered nine Best Picture awards and ten Official Designations at various film festivals around the country.

Rex followed that film with the highly viewed and critically acclaimed TV movie “Hope Ranch” for The Animal Planet channel. Rex then began directing TV movies that aired on PAX and Lifetime Television.

To date, Rex has directed or produced 21 movies that have either aired on television, gone straight to DVD or have had limited theatrical distribution.

In 2007 Rex was the primary director on “ROME – The Rise and Fall of an Empire,” for the History Channel.

Rex continues to produce and direct TV shows and Independent films; the most recent being “The Littlest Angel,” an animated Christmas movie that comes out in 2011.

Rex is currently attached to direct/produce several films including “Storm Front”, “Pizza Face” and “Phylicia’s Final Fling,” to name a few. Rex continues to write screenplays, his most recent a comedy called “In A Gadda Da Vida,” is currently making the rounds in Hollywood.

Rex Piano Official Website

Subscribe and Follow Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Blog!  Visit often & please share with others!

*** Please also visit Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Website.

Stay up to date with the live shows on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. You can join us and listen live as the show records. You can hang in chat and ask questions. All shows are recorded and archived at the official site.

Updates will be posted at this blog,  at the official site,  on the RSMB Friends page on FB,  through twitter and elsewhere.  When you can’t join us live you can still  listen to archived show from official site, from blogtalk radio and you can subscribe to the podcast at itunes.

Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Site

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Producer Director Gil Cates Jr

gil catesAugust 05- 201329-1 copy

Director Producer Gil Cates Jr will be attending the Milwaukee Film Festival Premiere of ‘The Surface’ shot entirely in Milwaukee on Lake Michigan. The movie stars Sean Astin, Chris Mulkey (both will be in attendance) and Mimi Rogers. Tickets are on sale now for the Thursday October 9th Premiere at the Oriental Theater on Farwell Avenue.

GIL CATES, JR. , Director / Producer  has produced and directed many films and documentaries.  His motion picture directorial debut was the 1997 short film Screening. With an ensemble cast including Morgan Freeman, the film played at numerous film festivals and was subsequently purchased by Showtime and The Sundance Channel.

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Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with producer director Gil Cates Jr.

Following up on the success of the short, Gil wrote and directed his debut feature film $pent, a serio-comic look at life, love, and addictions. The film stars Jason London (“Dazed and Confused”) and was distributed by Regent Entertainment in the summer of 2000.

In 2002, Gil wrapped the twisted comedy The Mesmerist, based on an Edgar Allan Poe short story. The film, released by Seventh Arts Releasing, stars Neil Patrick Harris and Jessica Capshaw, and was Executive Produced by Barbara De Fina (“Casino”).

In 2003, Gil completed the ensemble A Midsummer Night’s Rave, released by THINKFilm. “Rave” features Andrew Keegan (“10 Things I Hate About You”), Chad Lindberg (“The Fast and The Furious”), Sunny Mabrey (“XXX 2”), and Carrie Fisher.

In 2005, Gil shot the documentary feature Life After Tomorrow, which follows the girls that were in the original productions of Annie on Broadway. The film won Best Documentary and Best Director at the Phoenix Film Festival and had its premiere on Christmas Eve of 2006 on Showtime.

In 2006, Gil directed the feature Deal, which he co-wrote with Marc Weinstock. The film stars Burt Reynolds as an ex-gambler who is sucked back into the popular game of Texas Hold’em. The film, shot in New Orleans, also stars Bret Harrison, Shannon Elizabeth, and Charles Durning, and was released by MGM in the spring of 2008.

In 2008, Gil produced the indie feature Order of Chaos, starring Rhys Coiro, Milo Ventimiglia, Samantha Mathis, and Mimi Rogers. The film, directed by Vince Vieluf, was released February 12th, 2010.

In 2010, Gil directed the feature Lucky. The film, a dark comedy about a serial killer who wins the lottery, stars Colin Hanks, Ari Graynor, Ann-Margret and Jeffrey Tambor and was released by Phase 4 Films in the summer of 2011.

In 2012, Gil co-produced the feature film Jobs, starring Ashton Kutcher, Matthew Modine, Josh Gad, Dermot Mulroney, and J.K. Simmons. The film, which tells the story of Steve Jobs’ ascension from college dropout into one of our most revered creative entrepreneurs, was released by Open Road in the summer of 2013.

In 2013, Gil directed the feature The Surface, starring Sean Astin, Chris Mulkey, and Mimi Rogers. The indie drama, about two strangers who meet in the unpredictable waters of Lake Michigan, recently completed post-production and will be released in the winter of 2014.

Gil also made his TV directorial debut in 2007 with an episode of the NBC comedy, Joey,starring Emmy winner Matt LeBlanc.

**** NEWS NOTE: Gil will be attending the Milwaukee Film Festival Premiere of ‘The Surface’ shot entirely in Milwaukee on Lake Michigan. The movie stars Sean Astin, Chris Mulkey and Mimi Rogers.  Tickets are on sale now for the Thursday October 9th Premiere at the Oriental Theater on Farwell Avenue.

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