Making Movie Magic

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby

I've been waiting for this...The DIsappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them The_Disappearance_of_Eleanor_Rigby_1

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Two Years Ago in the Summer of 2012 in NYC, I worked on a production called: The Disappeaance of Eleanor Rigby -- a story about the relationship between Conor Ludlow (James McAvoy) and Eleanor Rigby (Jessica Chastain). At the time of filming it was shot as two separate movies: Him and Her in order to convey on film how two individuals in relationship's often have very different perspectives and experiences of each other and the relationship itself.

It was fascinating, and mind-bending, to work on this film because each scene was shot twice, once from Conner's perspective and once from Eleanor's. A lot of thought went into every aspect of these scenes -- from costumes, to camera angles, lighting, acting choices of actors involved -- so that the differences in both characters' perspective was clearly conveyed.

Ned Benson, is a dream director, creating a film set that was fulled with heart. Everyone involved, cast and crew, producers, were to die for. In fact, I can safely say, that this is one of my favorite movies that i've worked on through the years. Each one of us was committed, and eager, to create a new way of telling a story that took both sides.

In September, 2013, both the Him and Her versions premiered at the Toronto Film Festival (TFF).

(Below is the video interview published at TFF with writer/director Ned Benson and stars, James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain about his concept of telling one story from two perspectives.) 

By the time The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby got to Cannes in May, 2014 there was yet another, third version of the film. This new version took footage from each of the separate Him and Her versions to make a single film that showed both perspectives in one move (tagline: Them). It did very well at Cannes and will be released in the US in September, 2014.

Be on the lookout for this unique film that shows both sides of being in love. I can't wait!

Rob the Mob

RobtheMob If you love Bonnie and Clyde, you'll love Rosie  and Tommy ! Based on the true story of Thomas Uva and Rose Marie  in the 1990, Rob the Mob is a love story about a daring young couple who just wanted to find the best way to make a buck. When Tommy (Michael Pitt) and Rosie (Nina Arianda) take the mob by storm (uzi's in hand), these two lovers are the kind of criminals we love to love. Steeling from Gangsters, they stir up a lot of trouble for mobsters, while getting caught up in the celebrity of it all, they find themselves in the middle of an FBI Mafia investigation.

I loved working with Tony Award Winner, Nina Arianda again, I worked with her last year on The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby (not yet released). She also happens to be a graduate of my alma mater, American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA). Watching Nina bring Rosie to life with such sexy spunk was a thrill. (Nina, I adore you!) Michael Pitt, also fun to watch work, played Tommy with a hint of naivete under his tough exterior. (Michael, or should I call you Tommy -- I hope you still have your hat. HA!) Together these two build a world of adventure that is filled with comedy and romance.

Other great talent that make this movie of mobsters come to life include: Andy Garcia, always a dapper gentleman (who I worked with before on City Island with Director, Raymond De Felitta, and Costume Designer, Tere Duncan) and Frank Whaley, always full of quirky fun (with whom I worked with on his movie called New York City Serenade). 

Rob the Mob does not yet have a release date, but it will have its World Premier in March at the 2014 Miami Film Festival. Keep posted on the latest news about the movie on the Rob the Mob Movie Blog so you don't miss this adventure when it comes to a theater near you!

(Side-note: Another film I worked on, John Toturro's Fading Gigolo, will also be presented at the Miami Film Festival before its release date in April.)

Fading Gigolo

Fading Gigolo Poster

Fading Gigolo proves that it's never too late to make someone happy. John Tuturro's daring, yet tender, comedy is opening on April 18, 2014 in a theater near you.

Shot in The Big Apple, this film has that good ol' New Yorky feel about it. Focusing on the Hasidic community, we are brought into a world that seems stuck in a different time with all its beautiful traditions. When Fioravante (John Turturro), a flower-arranging lover, steps into this world at the encouragement of his friend Murray (Woody Allen), the oldest profession meets age-old customs . . . and everything is seen from a different perspective.

Fading Gig

With Woody Allen acting in a movie he did not write or direct himself, we are blessed to have him on the big screen again -- bringing his neurotic, lovable energy into the mix while John Tuturro plays it straight.

Vanessa Paradis (Avigal) lights up the screen with her beauty and sincerity, while Liev Schreiber (Dovi) is believable and endearing in a role that is both tough and vulnerable. But things get really hot when Sofía Vergara (Selima) and Sharon Stone (Dr. Parker) show up in the story.

Watch the trailer and see for yourself.

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I had the pleasure of working on this film. Filled with sex, scandal and sentimentality, it's right up my alley, right?


The Talent Behind WHAT MAISIE KNEW!


What Maisie Knew is one of my favorites, both as a project I worked on, and as a film. This movie, based on a modernized version of Henry James 1897 Novel, was beautifully shot and smartly cast (and crewed). 

Since its premier at 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, What Maisie Knew was nominated for the Tokyo Grand Prix at the 2012 Tokyo International Film Festival, and was chosen as the New York Times Critics' Pick. It's done well in the indie film world, and continues to gather more fans. Now available on iTunes, Amazon and Vudu, What Maisie Knew is definitely worth seeing.

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Directing team, Scott McGehee  and David Siegel, knew what they were doing when they cast this film. The chemistry and talent of the actors is why this movie is relate-able to all of us, even though it's shot from a child's perspective. Seeing the world through a child's eyes is part of the magic that Onata Aprile brings this to life as Maisie, which won her the "Outstanding Achievement in Acting Award" at the 2013 Newport Beach Film Festival.

An amazing child-actress, Onata carries this film with her endearing and emotionally real performances in scenes with Julianne Moore (Maisie's aging rock star mother), Steve Coogan (Maisie's art-dealing father), and with both Alexander Skarsgård (Lincoln) and Joanna Vanderham (Maggie) -- the two adults who see what Maisie knows.

Joanna and OnataBeside Onata Aprile, the other great talent who was unknown to most American audiences before this film is Joanna Vanderham (Pictured here with Onata  during the filming of What Maisie Knew).

Joanne's preformance as Maggie made me cry and laugh and feel. Working with her was a dream, so I am happy that she is now playing more and more visible roles -- like the role of Denise in the PBS Masterpiece Classic Series,The Paradise. If you haven't started watching it yet, you should!

Soon, Joanna can be seen playing Pamela in Dancing on the Edge, a 2013 British BBC drama by Stephen Poliakoff, which will air on Starz as a miniseries. It premiers October 19th at 10PM, so set your DVR or whatever it is you these days do to make sure you don't miss the next big thing in TV. That's what Joanna Vanderham is quickly becoming -- the next big thing!

The more I see, the more the talent of What Maisie Knew amazes me.

Adventures in Arkansas


Dear Fans,

I have a special treat for you!

While working on a film called Valley Inn this summer, I spent the entire month of July in Arkansas. I never could have imagined that Arkansas is so full of excitement. From the "Sale Barn" (where they auction off live cattle), to the Rodeo of the Ozarks (where they take them down), to the Little O' Oprey in West Fork (where country music lives) -- I had so many new adventures, I can hardly count them all.

Watch this Video, so you too can capture a bit of the fun and magic of this amazing culture, which I was lucky enough to be a small part of this summer. Arkansas, I love you!

Yes, ya'll, that's me singing and yodeling like the country music star I always wanted to be! 

The sound on my video is from my friend Brooks, who filmed my performance on his iPhone. The actual video from his phone was blurry so I added my own video to his sound -- most of which was taken on my iPhone -- isn't technology grand.

My costume only looks so good because Leslie Pennel (co-costume designer for the Valley Inn film), is a brilliant stylist. That girl is a beauty herself, and she can make anybody look good. In fact, she does so all the time with her own fashion designs called ESQUE. I'll be reviewing her beautiful designs an upcoming post -- be on the look out for that so you too can look fantastic. And remember what Red says, "It not how you feel, it's how you look that matters!"

The many other faces in my video are some of the brilliant people I met during my journey southward, I cannot name them all (or I'll have to kill you), but I will say....Here's my howler, Tausha! 

Now, I have to take a moment here to shout out to The Little O' Oprey Band. An amazing group of talent, ranging in age from preteen to post-older, they are incredible and gracious musicians. Making music with them was my favorite time in Arkansas. I'm so honored that I could be apart of their show, even if it was just make-believe. I say that because I was only singing as my character, Marlene, for the Valley Inn film. Hopefully, the Little O' Oprey will have me back someday. In fact, they did ask for my number because they wanted to see if they could book me for some of their regular shows. I sure hope the fact that I'm currently living in Manhattan doesn't get in the way of my Country Music Career!! 

When the  Valley Inn movie comes out you can see me on the big screen, playing the role of Marlene. She's the town tart, don't you know! What can I say . . . type casting. (To watch my video audition for Valley Inn Film CLICK HERE.)  

That's all for now....but have no fear there will be more fun adventures to come! If you know me at all, you know there is never a dull moment in my life.

Kisses. . .

Red's WorldBestRed SaysMeContact

More on Valley Inn

VIValley Inn, the movie about a NJ girl's adventures in a small dusty town in Arkansas, is gathering momentum using Indiegogo. Take part in the making of this funny, heart-warming movie, click below and help them meet their goal!


Watch Video to see some of the starts from Valley Inn!!

Don't forget to like them on Facebook, too!


Valley Inn The Movie: Needs a Kickstart!

Valley Inn: The story of a big city Yankee who loses herself, and the small southern town that finds her.

More than just a romantic comedy, Valley Inn is a funny yet heartfelt tale about how a New Jersey girl learns about life and love in the most unlikely of places -- smack in the middle of nowhere! Emily Mason has a plan to make money over her summer-break from college by making door-to-door book sales. But when her summer job lands her in a dusty, dying, small southern town, she finds herself living in an unfamiliar world of homemade pies, rodeos, and southern hospitality. Forging ahead with her plan to sell books while her friendships with the local residents (and one young man in particular) continue to grow, Emily discovers what is most valuable in life at the Valley Inn Cafe.

I believe that Valley Inn is well worth making, but like most projects that are not funded by a major studio, this movie needs money to start shooting and you can help.

If you always wanted to be a part of making movie magic, now's your chance. Valley Inn has moved from Kickstarter to Indiegogo. If you go to the Valley Inn Indiegoo page now, you can help get this wonderful story from script to screen and can change your life.

Weather or not you're an actor but you've always wanted to be in a movie, this is the right opportunity for you. Just donate the amount indicated on the right column of the Valley InnIndiegogo Page to get a featured role or a speaking part in the movie.

If you always dreamed of being a movie producer, it's easy to get a producers credit with the right donation.

Even the small donations have rewards and special gifts like: t-shirts, downloads, tickets to exclusive events, etc.

Any a donation in any amount can make a world of difference for the success of Valley Inn while giving you the satisfaction of contributing to keeping the art of making independent films alive.

If, however, you just want to support Valley Inn become a movie with a small donation. Do it! Every dollar counts. Seriously! 

Also, go to Valley Inn on Facebook and like it!

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Red Win's An Oscar!

For her outstanding performance playing a gay man trapped in a woman's body, Red wins the Academy Award for the Best!

Watch this video slide-show of her accepting her award (also pictured on Red's carpet and backstage, kissing her new boyfriend - Oscar).

She'd like to thank her attorney, because she always promised she'd mention him when she won. She also says a special thanks to the Gays, who inspired her performance. Especially, her gay William for all he's done to let everyone know of her talents.

And, of course, she thanks the Academy and all those that support gay marriage.


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SAG Awards: Actors Honoring Actors!!

Screen-actors-guild-awards-2010-winners Being a performer and union member myself, I love Acting Awards - especially when we keep it in the family.

And I am pleased that once again, there is talk about combining SAG (Screen Actors Guild) and AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) into one Actors Union...It's about time, don't ya think? I'm all for it.

And now, in order of appearance:

Outstanding Male Actor in a Drama Series:
He was so nervous about being the first award of the night, it was cute! And although I didn't expect it, I really wanted Hugh Laurie to get his due for HOUSE...maybe next year?

Outstanding Female Actor in a Drama Series:
(My personal pick!) Julianna Margulies, THE GOOD WIFE
She was so stunning and gracious, in her red dress (My favorite color). The best part was her thanking her in-laws for producing the most beautiful human being...her husband. "Life is just better with you in it Keith." I love romance.

Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series:
Steve Buscemi did the talking but he didn't know what to say...he left his napkin with his speech on his table. This win is no surprise but I was routing for THE GOOD WIFE!

Outstanding Female Actor in a Supporting Role:
Melissa Leo, THE FIGHTER
When she got to the podium she was crying. She's better when someone else writes her words or clothes her... so she says. But I thought she did great and the silver sparkle dress she wore was amazing.
But, what I want to know is why wasn't Dianne Weist nominated for RABBIT HOLE? Hello?

Outstanding Male Actor in a Comedy Series:
Alec Baldwin, 30 ROCK
What a disappointment. Chris Colfer deserved this one.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series:
Who doesn't love a sweet, funny, old lady? She's 89 year old. And she got a well deserved standing ovation as she walked the long way to the podium. Why would they put any nominee, especially an old one, in the back? I don't understand that, but I'm glad she won!!

Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy Series:
Yay! How fun is this show??? SO fun!! Ty Burrell spoke for the show and they were so happy. It is truly an ensemble piece. 

Screen Actors Guild Awards 47th Annual Life Achievement Award:
Ernest Borgnine, who just turned 94 years old.
He's done 164 films so far. He's so cute. I think he and Betty White should hook up! To all the actors, he said, "We are a privileged few who have been chosen to work in this field of entertainment."  And it is a privilege!

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries:
Good job...unfortunately he was not there to accept the award.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries:
So awesome that she gave credit for her performance to her fellow cast members. Just lovely.

Outstanding Male Actor in a Supporting Role:
Christian Bale, THE FIGHTER
I picked him...who wouldn't! He's hot. Plus, he appreciates the gift of being an actor. "We get to walk in other peoples shoes, and life without empathy is no life at all."

Outstanding Female Actor in a Supporting Role:
Natalie Portman, BLACK SWAN
We all knew she was the front runner... and she going to be a mom. It's almost like she's grown up.

Outstanding Male Actor in a Leading Role:
I think he might take all the awards for this category this year. But this award is the one that really matters to him because it was getting his SAG card that made him feel like a real actor!

Outstanding Ensemble Acting:
I was surprised. I really saw the cast of the SOCIAL NETWORK as the best ensemble. But everyone is always more moved by a story of over coming than taking over. Oh well - good for them.

Ok, so my question is why don't they air the winners for the Stunt Ensembles? That's not right, they're part of our union too!! Why don't they get any air time? I guess they were just the warm up act... to the main ceremony.

The stunt performers and coordinators from INCEPTION and TRUE BLOOD received honors for Outstanding Performance by Film and Television Stunt Ensembles. SAG Awards committee chair, JoBeth Williams, and SAG president, Ken Howard, announced the awards on the Red Carpet.

Thank you Actors and the Screen Actors Guild for giving all of us the chance to dream, feel and experience things we never would, if it wasn't for the movies...and TV!

The Golden Globes ...Red's Take

Golden-globe-award We love the GOLDEN GLOBES because The Hollywood Foreign Press always make sure it's fun and there is plenty to drink. So, it's like a big party. Plus, I personally love that they still acknowledge that people who act are different sexes by not referring to everyone in the male term - Actor. And not only that, I think the Golden Globes is the only award show that actually sticks to schedule. Probably because everyone is already a bit loopy and wants to get to the after party. Anyway, the 68th Annual Golden Globe Winners are...


Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical: Annette Bening for THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT. Love her and her amazingness. And who doesn't love the gays. This award was also wins the honor of Best Presenter (who I understand will host next years Golden Globes): Robert Downing Jr. is the best because he wanted to give it to all the nominees (sexual pun intended).

Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical: Paul Giamatti in BARNEY'S VERSION - Something I've not seen yet. But I think I should.

Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama: Natalie Portman in BLACK SWAN - Fantastic Natalie, of course I was routing for Nicole Kidman in RABBIT HOLE. But maybe I'm biased and we do all love dancing and Swans.

Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama: Colin Firth in THE KING'S SPEECH who ironically did a wonderful job in his acceptance speech. And he talked about a triangle of man love...who doesn't love that?

Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture: Melissa Leo - THE FIGHTER.

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture: Christian Bale for THE FIGHTER. He looks great! I'd do him..Hello! 

Best Actress in a Mini-Series, or TV Movie: Claire Danes for TEMPLE GRANDIN.

Best Actor in a Mini-Series, or TV Movie: Al Pachino for YOU DON"T KNOW JACK. And he was incredible in that mini-series about Jack Kavorkian - Dr. Death. What a guy, both of them. 

Best Actress in a TV Series - Comedy or Musical: Laura Linny - THE BIG C. This is such a smart show, dramatizing the tragedy of coming to terms with having cancer using humor, bringing to light the paradox of living with death. Laura walks the balance beam of moving and amusing wonderfully. She wasn't there to accept, because of the death of her father. Our hearts are with you Laura.

Best Actor in a TV Series - Comedy or Musical: Jim Parsons – THE BIG BANG THEORY.

Best Actress in a TV Series - Drama: Katie Seagal, SONGS OF ANARCHY - Never watched it. I wanted Julianna Margulies, having worked with her on CITY ISLAND. She is not only lovely to work with, but an amazing actress. Creating real, complicated, and sympathetic characters even when she is walking the line of playing THE GOOD WIFE to a man who has disappointed her in ways that most women cannot imagine dealing with.

Best Actor in a TV Series - Drama: Steve Buscemi for BOARDWALK EMPIRE. I worked with him and Michael Pitt in DELIRIOUS. Steve is a funny guy who plays a gangster-politician with a heart in this dramatic TV series.

Best Supporting Actress in a TV Series, Mini-Series, or TV Movie: Jane Lynch - GLEE. This is her first win for this role which she was nominated for last year. She is brilliant. And she claims that Ian Brennan, one of the writers of the show, puts words in her mouth, making her character live. I, as a writer myself, appreciated that she gives him credit for his work that makes her work possible. The greatest thing for Jane about being a part of GLEE is that it makes people happy and she's right! Love that show, love her character, love that she won!

Best Supporting Actor in a TV Series, Mini-Series, or TV Movie: Chris Colfer for GLEE. He is the true winner here and a wonderful inspiration for everyone. Chris was not supposed to be cast at all because there was no role right for him in the script, as it was originally written. But he auditioned anyway, and they loved him so much they wrote a role specifically for him. And now...he's not only a role model for being who you are, gay or not, as his character on GLEE - but a real life role model for pursuing your dream, even when it looks impossible!! From a Red perspective, this is the best win of the night.

Cecil B. DeMille Award: Robert De Niro. At age 67, with more than 70 films under his belt, he is an icon in this industry! How can it be that he's been in more movies than years he's lived? But somehow, he did it! Graciously, he thanked everyone over and over again during the endless standing ovation.


Best Original Song - Motion Picture: YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE LAST OF ME. Written by Diane Warren for BURLESQUE - this is her 5th Nomination and her first win. Yay Cher too! She brought this song to life! She fought for this song to be in and stay in the movie. And because of who she is, and where she is in her career, Cher really brought meaning to this number that no one else could have!

Best Original Score - Motion Picture: THE SOCIAL NETWORK - the music sets the tone for this movie about how our the world was changed. Underscoring how the virtual world brought a new view to our actual world.


Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical: THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT. It's definably a Gay year at the Globes...we've come so far! Now let's allow them to marry - right? And I don't care what anyone says, I think Mary Tyler Moore looked great as she introducing my personal favorite movie nomination, BURLESQUE.

Best Motion Picture - Drama: THE SOCIAL is a sign of our digitally driven times and an amazingly moving movie about real relationships.

Best Mini-Series or TV Movie: CARLOS (a Latino celebration of Hispanic stuff) I didn't see it.

Best TV Series - Musical or Comedy: GLEE - YAY!!! This show just makes everyone happy! It reminds us of how music and arts change peoples lives and how being different makes you special. And best of all, during the acceptance speech, Ian thanked public school teachers for their work - because Glee makes you appreciate these things!

Best TV Series- Drama: BOARDWALK EMPIRE. This is no surprise with all the money and big names that went into this TV series that it is more like a Movie.

Best Animated Feature Film: TOY STORY 3 - Which incorporated a lot of adult themes, making it fun for everyone. But really, how can any animated film be a loser?

Best Screenplay - Motion Picture: THE SOCIAL NETWORK. Which was in fact brilliantly written. But for innovative thinking and creativity, I liked INCEPTION. 

Best Foreign Language Film: IN A BETTER WORLD - Denmark. But the truth is, our host - Ricky Gervais - was right... Americans really don't care about foreign films. But I must admit that for me, working with foreigners on movie sets is one of the best experiences I've had in this business. I'm sure it was great.  

Best Director - Motion Picture: David Fincher - THE SOCIAL NETWORK. A well deserved award. 

So, there you have it, folks. Another award night of fun and drunkenness. Hope you all enjoyed Red's take on this years Golden Globes.