Witness Infection [Film]

“Witness Infection tells the story of two rival mob families who are transferred from the Witness Protection Program to the same city by mistake. Life has always been pretty protected for Carlo Serrelli. But his past is about to come back and bite him. Carlo’s father has kept him out of the deadly mob business by giving him a job at the family dog groomers, while his younger brother, Dominic, has always done the dirty work. All that is coming to an end as Carlo’s father has to force him into an arranged marriage with the daughter of the rival Miola family boss. Carlo’s two best friends, Gina and Vince, vow to help him get out of this predicament, but they all get in way over their heads when a serious infection starts eating the town. The good news is that Carlo may not have to get married after all — but the bad news is that everyone might die.” – Justin Cook PR

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Folks, while the world seems to be returning to normal, albeit slowly, it is still a time of much stress for many people. So you know what? Take some time out for a good laugh. And that is exactly what you are sure to do if you all do the right thing and watch Witness Infection. It’s just an absolute delight of a film that has the ability to simply take you out of the continuing hellscape for 80 minutes, while you watch a fictional and ultimately more hilarious hellscape occur.

If Witness Infection sounds familiar to you regular readers, you may remember reading about it when we had the fortunate experience to share some words with the legend himself, Carlos Alazraqui, who co-wrote, co-produced, and starred brilliantly in the film. He promised us that it would be a lot of fun, and he certainly did not let us down. The entire cast as a whole is absolutely incredible and very funny. Legendary voice performer Tara Strong is there, showing that she is a brilliant performer in front of the camera as well.

So, Folks, I implore you all to check out this film ASAP. It’s a fun light-hearted romp that is sure to leave you in stitches! Enjoy!

Witness Infection is available now wherever you purchase fine media.

Kelly Walker [Interview]

Hello Folks! I am so very excited about this one! If you are a regular reader here, or simply returning from yesterday, you know how much I loved the film My Fiona, which we featured yesterday. Well, now we are so fortunate to be able to have the film’s brilliant writer & director here to grace our digital pages today! It’s Kelly Walker, Everyone!

I was completely unaware that My Fiona is actually Walker’s feature film directorial debut. It’s actually quite insane that it is, because it is so damn good! Kelly is also a performer, editor, all of the things! I dare say that Kelly Walker is the future of film and television. I’m not even kidding. Everyone NEEDS to see My Fiona. Read this interview, read what we talked about previously, and then just get it done. You will be thanking me later.

So, I am going to relinquish and further babbling, and let you all get to some wonderful words from the great Kelly Walker! Enjoy!

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What inspired you to get into the world of entertainment? Was it something you aspired to do since your youth, or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?

Growing up in Australia, my Mom loved sharing films with me as I was growing up. I was probably too young to see the films I did (Gypsy and Flashdance at six years old? Questionable). I think that’s what got me into filmmaking at such a young age. I started making feature-length films with my best friend when we were 12 years old. These films were terrible, but our hearts were all in! We would write, direct, act, produce and edit one feature a year and then force everyone we knew to watch them. I think it was inevitable that I would go on to pursue filmmaking. Also, my aunt lived in Los Angeles and is a sitcom writer. So I think having that connection to the industry made it feel doable and not just a fantasy. I moved to Los Angeles when I was seventeen and the rest is history! 

What was your first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And were there any sort of lessons learned from this experience that still affects your work to date?

Good question! I didn’t have many money-making skills outside of filmmaking. I had worked at Subway for a hot minute in high school, but it didn’t last long because I was a slow sandwich maker. (Their words, not mine!) When I landed in LA, I jumped right into freelance video editing. I think it taught me to be super-efficient with my time since I was creating my own schedule. All those years of editing made me feel confident to jump into directing. The film lives and dies in the editing room and I think my biggest strength as a director is being able to reverse engineer the process. 

I absolutely LOVED your film My Fiona. It’s seriously one of the best films I have seen this year, by a long shot. Could you tell our readers a bit about this project? What made you want to bring this story to the world?

Thank you!!! The story is based on experiences from life. When I was 12 years old, my babysitter passed away from suicide. It left a real impact on my life and I developed a fear of people I love dying. And with each loved one’s death I’ve experienced, it’s made me realize that no grief is alike, and the journey is navigated at your own pace. I really wanted to liberate the stigma around grief and look at it from a judge-free perspective. 

Another aspect of the film is the exploration of sexual identity. I identify as bisexual, but it wasn’t until I was happily married to my husband that I started talking about it openly. Actually, it was through writing My Fiona that I really took ownership of this part of myself. I wanted to explore the idea that love can be circumstantial; it can be forever or for just a moment, and more importantly, it can be with anyone. Jane’s story showed me that the only identity that matters is the one we give ourselves, and we should celebrate our ownership over our identity. 

Lastly, My Fiona is a love letter to female friendships. The women in my life have been magical soul mates and also the source of intense heartbreak. Sometimes your friends know you more than you know yourself, and our identities can be wrapped up in those relationships. I think friendship is less explored on film, and I wanted to honor my ladies and my incredible love for them. 

I have several of my own takeaways from the film that I formulated in my own mind. But, I am curious to know what you believe viewers of My Fiona should (hopefully) take away from this incredibly emotional journey? Without spoiling too much, what should our readers be on the lookout for? And should tissues be readily available?

Grief is unwritten, and there’s no right or wrong way to experience loss. Don’t judge yourself, don’t judge others. You are never cured of grief, you learn to live alongside it. That may sound depressing, but I actually find it liberating. Humans are resilient, and we can survive just about anything. There’s nothing better in life than surprising yourself. 

I also raise questions about the problematic doctor/patient relationship regarding mental health in our country. I hope if the audience is interested in this aspect of the film, they’ll do their own research. Who knows, maybe when they or a loved one needs help, they’ll have a more informed perspective that in turn could save a life.

If you were handed the opportunity to create the biopic of any legendary figure in American history, who would it be?

Woah! You wanna hear something wild?! The two scripts I’m working on right now are Bio Pics!!! I have a feature about Audrey Hepburn and her marriage to Mel Ferrer. I am a HUGE Audrey fan, and I think there are elements of her story that haven’t been told, and I would love to put a voice to her experience. I am also developing a limited series called Vice Versa. It’s based on the hidden life of Edythe Eyde, a naive secretary in the 1940s. She covertly created the first-ever magazine for lesbians during a time of suspicion, communism and vice raids in America. I randomly stumbled upon Edythe’s story last year and have fallen completely in love with her writing, outlook on life, and what she did for the queer community. Her story is relatively unknown, and I feel this sense of responsibility to get her message out there! 

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

Hehe. I think I just did above 🙂 You can follow me @girldownunda on Instagram or check out www.kellywalker.tv to stay up to date with all things filmmaking. 

What was the last thing that made you smile?

The little things in life fill me up with so much joy. My dogs’ tails wagging when I walk in the door. My husband squeezing my shoulder as he passes me in the hallway. The plants in my office, the crystals all over the house. Texts from friends that simply say – I love you. It’s been a rough year for all of us, and I think we need to make it a priority to look for the little wins and little joys. That’s what life is all about. 

Bryce Wagoner [Interview]

Hello Folks! We have an absolutely wonderful interview to share with you all. Bryce Wagoner is an actor, writer, filmmaker, just about everything! On screen you may recognize him from roles in projects like Gingerdead Man 2: The Passion of the Crust. Behind the camera he created the captivating documentary, After Porn Ends, which would then spawn two further additions. And, as if that weren’t enough, he was kind enough to let me know about his 2017 documentary, Parrot Heads, which is intriguing as hell! I have an unabashed love for Jimmy Buffett, so a look beyond those proverbial curtains was an absolute delight.

Wagoner answers a few of standard questions below, and gives us some wonderful insight into the world of filmmaking. We are honored to have Bryce with us today, and I think you are going to love what we have for you today. So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the great Bryce Wagoner!

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What inspired you to get into the world of entertainment? Was it something you aspired to do since your youth, or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?

Phil Hartman’s performance in So I Married An Axe Murderer and the DVD extras from Seven were the two biggest things that inspired me to accept the calling of working in entertainment. My fraternity brothers would endlessly quote Phil’s Alcatraz speech and it would bring such joy to us all, that it got the wheels turning to the point where I said to myself, “Hey I would like to create something that would do the same for some other group of idiot friends.” Then, when Seven came out on DVD, I was enthralled with not only Fincher’s approach to story and world building, but the process of how the movie was cast, shot, and the studio script process. The curtain had been pulled, and I was hooked!

What was your first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And were there any sort of lessons learned from this experience that still affects your work to date?

In 1999 I made $97 as an extra for two days on Sally Hemmings: An American Scandal, a TV movie that shot in Richmond, VA; starring Sam Neil and Mario Van Peebles.

I learned that the days on set would be long, but worth it, and that positivity is a huge factor in pulling anything off. We were doing this big protest scene and the AD says “Now really get into it and sell your anger so you can make it into the shot.” Sam was right there with us and he says “They ALL deserve to be in the shot.” And gives us this warm look of acceptance as equals. I will NEVER forget that moment and it’s why I am so grateful to anyone that agrees to be in front of a camera that I’m directing.

I thoroughly enjoyed your highly original 2012 documentary, After Porn Ends, which would then spawn two additional films. The subject matter is one that I think a lot of people actually think about a lot, but don’t like to think about it too often, I would imagine. With that, what was it that made you want to bring this story to the world?

It started as a simple question when I was doing some motion capture work for the WWE, where some of the guys on set were aghast at a website one of them did cyber security for that involved sex with vegetables. I was running my lines and suddenly this guy named Alby says “HOLY $h!t, HOW IN THE F&@K DO YOU DO ANYTHING IN YOUR LIFE AFTER DOING…THAT?!?!?”

Something clicked, and I asked myself “what does happen after you leave the XXX business?” Did some research and saw mostly one sided/negative stories that courted sensationalism, and I wanted to give these folks a fair say into their life stories. Not just cautionary tales that took no regard for them as human beings. 

Note to aspiring documentary film makers: It’s NOT hard to humanize people if you let them tell their own story without an agenda. 

Can you tell us a bit about your 2017 documentary Parrot Heads? What made you want to document this insanely loyal fan base? And how was your experience bringing this project to life? Do you have any significant memories that still make you smile when you think about them?

I’m an insanely loyal fan, and I knew there was a deeper story there than what most people see at the tailgates. 

Bringing the project to life started with a rum-induced phone call to my longtime ECU cohort Vance Daniels with the idea, three years of pitching said idea, to me working a door at the Bar Marmont and lamenting to a regular that no one in Hollywood gets Jimmy Buffett, leading him to say “I get Jimmy Buffett, how much do you need?”

Then as a result of doing it in earnest, we were able to get it to Frank Marshall (Indiana Jones, Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, etc), who loved it and advised Jimmy to be a part of it, to which he agreed to not only take part, but to become our distributor as well. 

That is one of the literal hundreds of memories that make me smile throughout the life of this movie, but the one that means the most to me is when I first showed it to my dad and he leans into me after the first 10 minutes and says “This movie is just too much fu@$ing fun!”

In front of the camera, you appeared in one of the most hilarious comedy horror franchises of all time, and one of the greatest sequel titles of all time, which would be Gingerdead Man 2: The Passion of the Crust, which also happens to feature our dear friend and past guest Junie Hoang. So, I am curious to know what drew you to this project? What made you want to dig into the world of the killer cookie?

When I was an actor I’d actually auditioned for the producer (William Butler) on other projects and we became friends. So Billy emails me one day and says “Wanna come play for a few weeks?” And knowing his sense of humor and my penchant for the absurd, I accepted without hesitation. Junie was lovely, as was the incomparable Michelle Bauer, and the now TV famous Parker Young. But of course I gravitated to hang with the creative/technical guys all doing Billy a favor, like Greg Nicotero, Mike Deak, and the late John Vulich/John Carl Buechler.  Talk about getting some free film school cookies in!

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If you were handed the opportunity to create the biopic of any legendary figure in American history, who would it be?

Legends are created by campfire stories, authors, filmmakers, the media, and the occasional viral video. Which is why my producing partner (Cara Kidwell) and I are trying to make a film about a certain woman who SHOULD be a legend, and most certainly will be when it’s all said and done.  

But in the meantime, if a studio called me and said “Here’s a pile of money, now go make this biopic of Chuck Yeager.” I’d break my wrist from signing that contract so fast! 

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

As a writer, I’ve had three scripts optioned but not made, so hopefully the future allows me to get one (or all) of them on screen. But until that time avails itself; I’m currently producing a nature documentary in the Outer Banks of North Carolina that I can’t say much about, other than it’s been another great experience and opportunity for creative growth that we all feel has a noble purpose and is appealing to just about anyone.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Hugging my big sister a few hours ago for the first time in over a year.

Everyone please get vaccinated so we can can ALL do the same (and have cocktails afterwards). Cheers!