Heavenly Duo Shoots from the Hip in LONG TERM PARKING

by Robyn Washington, Hollywood Movie Times

Just off Union Square on the southern edge of Midtown Manhattan Natasha Straley and Gary Lee Mahmoud reunited at the Hale and Hearty to regale me with stories from the film shoot of LONG TERM PARKING.  Both New York actors flew into Texas to lens the outrageously irreverent mobster movie last year.

GLM: Irreverent? My first thought was how absurd it is.

NS: Not it’s not. It’s darling. The script doesn’t shy away from being silly and in some cases a little offensive.

GLM: Some cases?ComicPalooza Gary Lee Mahmoud

NS: It’s all in good fun. There’s a lot of dark things happening in our world today. I think it’s good to occasionally step back and remind ourselves how important it is to keep joy in our lives.

RW: I’ve heard it was a fun shoot, despite the inclement weather.

NS: The ‘earthly’ cast got hit with some crazy Texas weather.

GLM: Sucks to be them.

NS: Luckily our scenes were all interior.  It doesn’t rain in heaven.

RW: Gary, you play an ethereal lawyer.

GLM: Paul (Bright) cast me because I have a reputation for playing jackasses. My character, Tommy Gallo,  is a seasoned yet overconfident lawyer. While he manages to stay focused on his official task as an aide to the dead, he takes a certain playful joy in his intermittent interactions with the recently deceased. He thinks he has the whole system all figured out… and he almost does.

RW: Whereas you, Natasha, were his right-hand woman.

GLM: Hey, hey, hey –  let’s not go there. This was a professional shoot.

NS: I jumped at the opportunity to play Marlene.

GLM: We went there.

NS: I usually get cast as characters who are pretty judgmental. This character was a fun detour down a playful and flirty road.

GLM: Not with me, I just want to point out.

ComicPalooza Natasha StraleyNS: Gary, you are hilarious.  We shot my love scene with Tony Bottorff (who plays Boston Nightly) the very first day. It’s always fun to meet someone for the first time and drop trou.

GLM: I should have been cast in that part.

NS: Oh Gary, you’d never fit in my dress.   Tony was a complete professional.  Everyone was.

GLM: Everyone was very down to earth – so to speak. The shoot was very straightforward. Cast and crew were very easy to work with. Paul knows what he wants in a shot, sets it up, and gets it – usually in two or three takes.

RW: And the film premieres in three days.

NS: I’ll be there! I love working in Texas. I’m so glad I could come back for the premiere and share stories with the fans who already read Mike Kearby’s novel.

GLM: Give everyone a kiss for me.

NS: Everyone? Really?

Long Term Parking premieres Saturday May 23 at 8:00pm at the ComicPalooza Theater in the George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston, Texas. General admission to the theater is for all pass holders at ComicPalooza.   This film is not yet rated.

What It Takes to Pony Up for a Comedy Film

ComicPalooza Louis Moncivias

Reprinted from Hollywood Movie Times

Eugene Stryker, Hollywood Movie Times

“This film reminded me how hard some folks work on chasing their dreams,” Louis Moncivias told me after playing the role ‘Pony’ in the sci-fi gangster comedy Long Term Parking.

“It reminded me how many behind the scene hurdles have to be jumped, gone around, gone under or busted through to make them come true. It gave me an insight of what passion can accomplish when you set your mind to it.”

Moncivias was talking about bringing Mike Kearby’s novel Long Term Parking to life as a feature film. The film premieres at Houston’s ComicPalooza May 23rd at 8:00pm. He talked with me by phone from his home in San José, Costa Rica.

LM: This was a risky script! It pushes the levels of making some people feel uncomfortable with its content. But when I truly thought about it, I figured, hell, that’s what makes it an interesting script.

ES: In the novel your character hangs out in the parking lot of an abandoned strip mall. The film places you on a horse ranch.

LM: Kristull Ranch in Austin, Texas was the perfect location for our scenes plus it fit my character perfectly. We had tons of different location on the ranch to choose from along with a tractor that was needed for one scene and plenty of pretty horses for background players.

ES: Tell me about your character in Long Term Parking.

LM: ‘Pony’ was a bad guy of sorts and skimming peyote profits from under the nose of ‘The Man’ Joey Sacs (Joel Lane Hudgins). If I tell you anything else, I’ll give away the surprises.

ES: No hints?

LM: I gladly buried my Bowie knife in Boston Nightly’s (Tony Bottorff) dog-gone heart.

ES: Was this the first film you’ve made with director Paul Bright?

LM: No. The first was at my place, Poquito Ranch in Austin. I got wind that he was looking for a location to shoot a couple scenes for Goliad Uprising. I am always trying to help the independent film community and gave him run of the place. He asked me what I wanted in return and I said a couple bails of hay for the horses will work. That man showed up in a 4 door sedan with bails of hay in the back seat! Do you know how long hay stays in the carpet and interior of a car? Poor guy! That’s when I knew I liked him and we’d become fast friends.

ES: It’s too bad you can’t make it up for the film’s premiere at ComicPalooza.

LM: Yeah, I can’t get away from my current project right now. But Paul tells me he’s planning a screening in Costa Rica at the end of July.

ES: That should be a blast.

LM: My hat is off to everyone who sets their mind to making a movie. Indie filmmakers exemplify courage at its best.

BRANDON GALLAGHER GETS STONED IN LONG TERM PARKING

ComicPalooza Brandon Gallagher
Reprinted from Hollywood Movie Times

Robyn Washington, Hollywood Movie Times

Before the world premiere of Paul Bright’s comedy Long Term Parking on May 23rd we wanted to catch Brandon Gallagher, who plays Mickey, the hapless stoner in the film. We expect he’ll be surrounded by teenage girls anxious to meet him at the ComicPalooza Theater in Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center. We thought it best to get to know him before his fan club rips his shirt off.

RW: Tell me about your character in Long Term Parking.

BG: Mickey is kind of a bum working a dead end job at a storage unit.  Don’t get me wrong: I believe there’s much more to Mickey and his life beyond the walls of the storage facility. Judging  from his wardrobe, I believe he wants to ultimately graduate to beach bum once he finds his way to the coast.

RW: What was your first thought when you read the script?

BG: Oh my god! It’s like a messed up adult version of All Dogs Go To Heaven.

RW: That’s part of the appeal of Mike Kearby’s novel which generated the movie adaptation. Fortunately you don’t see any of the film’s twists coming.

BG: It’s an awesome script. I heard there’s talk of a sequel, and Mickey is supposed to be playing a pretty big role in it. At least that’s what I heard.

RW: We’ll keep our fingers crossed. What was filming like?

BG: Cold and wet. In the film it’s summer in Fort Worth and I’m wearing a Hawaiian shirt and cargo shorts. We filmed outside during a winter thunderstorm. My scenes were actually shot the last day of production. The director (Paul Bright) postponed the shoot multiple days because of bad weather. Finally we just had to do it.

RW: I heard the production weather started out sweltering hot and then turned into an ice storm.

BG: Welcome to Texas. We love it here.

RW: A lot of movies are shot in central Texas.

BG: Because of the weather. And also because of the talent. I’ll do whatever it takes to get the movie made.

RW: You played a stoner.

BG: Well, I don’t want to label myself a method actor, but the night before I pulled an all-nighter, squinted my eyes and went for it.

RW: This movie had to be fun to make.

BG: I could tell Paul was going to be be a really fun and creative guy to work with. We joked around a lot between takes. I almost forgot how cold it was. Almost.

DAVID YOUNG DOES THE DINGUS IN LONG TERM PARKING

ComicPalooza David Young

George Wozniak, Hollywood Movie Times

Fresh-faced David Young looks like the nicest guy in the world. You’d never guess he’s a killer. Or at least his character “The Kid” is in the comedy film Long Term Parking releasing May 23rd.

David and I sat down to talk about turning Mike Kearby’s novel into a motion picture.

DY: I play the part of “The Kid”. He is the main boss’s nephew and kind of a simpleton. He loves Buddy Holly and loves eating chips, which he does as often as possible, even when he is killing people. He is definitely the kind of guy who would sing a Buddy Holly song before he puts someone in the grave.

GW: Sounds like a real character. Have you played a part like this before?

DY: This role is a bit similar to other roles I have played in that I tend to get a lot of comedic parts at times. But in terms of the odds and ends of this character, he was very unique. If I had to compare this role to anything, it would probably be an amalgamation of a good old boy meets a cartoon character, with a sadistic sprinkle of Mr. Blonde from Reservoir Dogs. The Kid is definitely a funny guy, but anyone who can smile like he does when he puts someone under is definitely, well, sociopathically challenged. It was a very fun role to play!

GW: What was it like to work with the other actors during the shoot?

DY: The other actors were phenomenal. I especially loved working with Tony, Lisa and Joel. Everyone was very professional and just fun to be around on set. Honestly, not a big ego in the bunch. Seriously, genuinely pleasant people, as well as incredibly talented.

GW: Kearby’s novel (of the same name) is very descriptive. It must have been a challenge recreating it for film.

DY: I was honestly confused when I read the script. I was not sure how it was going to play out. But seeing the parts come to life on set and just the script manifest through filming, there is sort of an “aha!” moment. The quirky and off-kilter humor really came through. Sometimes you don’t really know how something is going to turn out until you just do it or see it. The humor in this is spot on!

GW: I would love to have been a fly on the wall during filming.

DY: The film shoot was really low key in terms of the setting. An old garage, abandoned building and junkyard were some of the places we would frequent. And of course for me the trunk of a car. I am usually somewhat intimidated on film sets. And there is also usually a lot of waiting around. But there was none of that with this. This is probably the most efficiently shot film I have ever done. The director Paul Bright knew exactly what he wanted and when to place you. The actors in each scene were extremely professional and well-prepared. Everybody knew what they were doing and was on the same page. And again, the actors and crew were just really pleasant to be around before, after and between scenes. I can honestly say my heart would sink a little bit when it was time to go home.

The Long Term Parking World Premiere is Saturday, May 23rd at 8:00pm at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas as part of the weekend ComicPalooza event. Admission to the theater is limited to ComicPalooza pass holders. More information at http://www.comicpalooza.com/register.

STEPHEN J. VOSS PRODUCES THE LAUGHTER

ComicPalooza Stephen J Voss

Reprinted from Hollywood Movie Times

Robyn Washington, Hollywood Movie Times

It’s hard to forget Dustin Hoffman’s rant in Wag The Dog about movie producers never getting the credit for nurturing a film to life. Fans love the actors and the director gets the applause at film premieres but nothing happens in movie-land without the money people.

Enter Stephen J. Voss, the Executive Producer of Long Term Parking who along with fellow Executive Producers Philip Arthur Anderson, Charles Barnett and Betty Zuspann will be premiering the movie at ComicPalooza on May 23rd in Houston, Texas.

I caught up with Voss for dinner at the original Ninfa’s when he drove up in his racing green Porsche. It’s the kind of car you’d expect a film producer to drive.

RW: You’ve been working on Long Term Parking for several years. When you first read the novel what did you think?

SJV: I enjoyed the plot twists and the low comedy. So many of the scenes immediately brought visuals to mind. I could see some of my friends being victims in it.

RW: Did you want the script to follow the novel exactly or did you expect there would be adaptations?

SJV: I fully anticipated there would have to be changes, to remain true to the feel of the story but still be achievable as an independent film.

RW: Mike Kearby’s novel uses very colorful language. Some of it was toned down in the film. Do you think audiences will get into the spirit of the story or do you think some people won’t get the joke?

SJV: What, there’s only one joke? (We both laughed.) I’m not embarrassed by colorful language, as long as it’s not meant to hurt. The amount of “colorful” language wasn’t over-the-top and didn’t serve as a prop in place of real dialogue.

RW: Many of the cast members and the director will be at the Houston premiere. This is also your hometown. Had you been planning to premiere the movie here all along?

SJV: Being at Comicpalooza is absolutely huge! We’re right where the fans are.

RW: You’ve been the Executive Producer on several of Bright’s films. What brought your partnership together originally?

SJV: I first saw Paul’s film Angora Ranch. I liked what I saw and started following his work. When I heard he needed some help with Abrupt Decision I was in a place to come aboard. We’ve been friends ever since.

RW: Angora Ranch released ten years ago. This is a long friendship.

SJV: I can top that. We were born in the same military hospital in Albuquerque, N.M. I won’t tell you who’s older.

RW: Long Term Parking is premiering as part of a double feature with Rocky Horror Picture Show on Saturday night. Do you think Long Term Parking will become a cult film like Rocky Horror?

SJV: Oh, I’d really like that! But I suspect the world has become a much more jaded place. I was incredibly shocked the first time I saw Rocky Horror, because I had grown up in a very sheltered, conservative Catholic household. I doubt anyone these days would have the same reaction. Long Term Parking may be too mainstream for a cult following.

RW: We’ve heard rumor that Mike Kearby is working on a sequel to the novel. Any chance you’ll do a movie sequel?

SJV: Definitely depends on the reception for the first one. I won’t rule anything out.

RW: As you know everyone comes in costume to ComicPalooza. Are you looking forward to seeing people dressed up as Boston Nightly or Marlene or Chel at next year’s convention?

SJV: Maybe I can get someone to make me a Boston costume? Or maybe Gallo? And I know some seriously buxom fierce women who would love this. Of course the original cast will be at the premiere this year and nothing’s better than the original.

Voss gestured to the walls of the colorful Original Ninfa’s as we dived into a sizzling plate of fajitas.

World Premiere at ComicPalooza!

You are invited to the World Premiere of LONG TERM PARKING May 23, 2015 at 8:00pm at ComicPalooza in Houston, Texas!

Be the first to see the feature film before anyone else! Get autographs from the stars of the film! General seating is limited and restricted to ComicPalooza passholders.

ComicPalooza Passes available now.

LONG TERM PARKING is the racy, sexy, riotous comedy based on Mike Kearby’s crime novel about a dogged bounty hunter who’s chased by two women who love him to death.  Literally.ComicPalooza LTP Poster

PLUS director Paul Bright will be screening three additional feature films and leading numerous workshops at ComicPalooza. Here’s your chance to meet him in person!