Tag Archives: Behind the Scenes

How to Get to Watching Sesame Street’s Fantastic History on VOD

1 May

Friday Film Review--"Street Gang: How We Got To Sesame Street" | KPCWBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Coming to VOD on May 7
Pre-order on Amazon USA

Nearly everybody has watched the educational program Sesame Street, and it’s pretty much in everybody’s childhood for some length of time. It was a product of Joan Ganz Cooney and Carnegie Foundation vice president Lloyd Morrisett. Through many meetings with child educators and psychologists of the 70s, they had a solid idea on what to construct. Many talents worked behind the scenes–namely puppeteers Jim Henson, Caroll Spinney, and Frank Oz (to name a few) and important to this series success is writer/director Jon Stone. In front of the camera, the list is enormous.

Marilyn Agrelo‘s excellent documentary, Street Gang, is a fascinating look from this series humble beginnings to where it is now. The breadth of information compressed to 107 minutes is very comprehensive. If there’s anything missed, it’s only because it didn’t fit into the narrative about what made this show special to children and adults alike.

No show is without some controversy; maybe the play on a Beatles song was too much. At least it’s humorously addressed.

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Going In Deep w Chad Ferrin on Lovecraft and One Filmmaker’s Vision…

21 Apr

Jeff-Billings-and-Chad-The-Deep-OnesBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

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Coming to DVD, Digital, Video On Demand, and Redbox Kiosks on June 15

Chad Ferrin‘s The Deep Ones will soon get a limited theatrical release in the United States beginning April 23rd and for fans of H.P. Lovecraft, the themes this film dives into are faithful to the ideas this seminal author conceived long ago. I spoke to this filmmaker, and he said he grew up watching the classics–namely The Twilight Zone, Hitchcock Presents and The Outer Limits. He studied theatre in college; the passion to make movies was a natural evolution and he knew the proverbial move to Los Angeles was required.

He was lucky to be connected. Mike Leahy of Phantoms and Pulse fame gave him his break, and when the call came, he was ready! Ferrin worked hard to get to where he is now. He’s been involved in every aspect of the movie making business, and he was everywhere. On the list includes working as a production assistant in Back to Back with Michael Rooker and being a “double” in No Way Back with Russell Crowe. He noted how his hands look similar to his, so he did it all–including becoming a fall guy (stunts). 

I’d have a smile and be wide-eyed every day. Knowing the right people will help you out down the road,” acknowledged Ferrin. His hands on learning showed him how other departments work. By the time he was ready to produce his own material and direct, he knew how to expertly manage everything. 

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All-in Madonna & Secrets Behind the Set, an Interview

4 Feb

Streaming Online
at the Victoria Film Festival.

Get your pass here to view beginning Feb 5th, 2021.
Facebook Watch Party on Feb 6th, 6:30 PST

Note: Available to residents in British Columbia

All-in Madonna marks Arnold Lim‘s (pictured left) directorial debut in making a feature length work. After its virtual (world) premiere at the Whistler Film Festival and limited online availability last year, its next screening is at the Victoria Film Festival!

This filmmaker’s visual style evolved from how he likes to communicate, which is through the camera. He made a career out of it. In Victoria, BC he’s very well known because of not only his role at Black Press Media as a photo-journalist, but also as a talent whose heart is big. He is the official photographer to various local charities. At the Victoria Film Festival, he’s involved with programming (handling the Asian film content), act as juror and be a member of the board.

Lim revealed, “Different films from different countries look, feel and smell tonally different because of a combination of the different actors and locations and cultures that exist in combination with the perspective of filmmakers whose voices tell the story.”

As part of the CineVic Society of Independent Filmmakers team, this photographer soon became a filmmaker after doing a story about them, about the Reel to Reel program. He joined, learned the craft and wanted to make movies. After making the short film version of All-in Madonna–about Maddie going to public school for the first time and hearing rumours that her dad is a thug–he and Susie Winters, the screenwriter, knew it needed to be feature length!

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Breaking Bad with Chick Fight, an Interview with Paul Leyden

11 Nov

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Quiver Distribution
Coming to Digital & On Demand Nov 13th
Please check local listings

Paul Leyden‘s transition from actor to director was relatively easy. Part of his experiences can be seen in how he made Chick Fight into this year’s best underdog movie to see as it hit VOD this week. This Australian’s good looks landed him in a lot of soaps early in his career and having an education at National Institute of Dramatic Arts no doubt helped prepare him for what’s to come.

“I originally got into acting through writing and rewriting the material that I was appearing in,” says this filmmaker. He also feared being typecast. After many years appearing in soaps, it’s natural to worry.

“So being a bit of a control freak, I decided not to take a step back. The first film I wrote was The Factory (for Dark Castle Entertainment), which sold and had a 30 million dollar budget. I thought, wow, this is great; it was never that easy ever again,” concludes Leyden.

He directed an independent horror film called Come Back to Me afterwards, and perhaps it was the Cleaners (for Sony’s online service Crackle) where he decided this side of the industry is where he wanted to stay.

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On Shelagh McLeod, Filming, Writing the Future with Astronaut, An Interview

25 Jul

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

In theatres July 26th
Please check local listings

Not everyone would have been able to attend the North American premiere of Astronaut last week at the 2019 Fantasia Film Festival. Fortunately, hot off the heels of this event are theatrical showings starting tomorrow in major cities of this very fine film. The themes writer/director Shelagh McLeod explores are many, and to balance between the concept of sending an elder into outer space to the challenges he faced meant figuring out what the film must focus on. 

For readers not aware of your work, could you please introduce yourself and the work you feel you are best known for.

My name is Shelagh McLeod, I was born in Vancouver. My family left Canada when I was six years old and we moved to the UK. I have been an actor for nearly forty years and have worked all over the world. I guess my career really started with a TV Film called ‘Cream in my Coffee’ written by the great, late, legendary writer–Dennis Potter. I played the younger version of Dame Peggy Ashcroft’s character–Jean. I did theatre, film and many TV series. One of which was Peak Practice—a lovely heartwarming series that went on for many seasons.

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