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.


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.


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.


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.

Mike Kearby’s Sci-Fi Gangster Novel Explodes on Screen

ComicPalooza Mike KearbyReprinted from Hollywood Movie Times

Eugene Stryker, Hollywood Movie Times

Mike Kearby’s beloved sci-fi/noir/gangster comedic novel that defies and parodies half a dozen genres is now breaking down the box office barriers with the release of the Long Term Parking feature film May 23rd at the comic-con convention in Houston, Texas.

In today’s cinema, a world premiere in Hollywood is passé especially when the true fans are the 35,000 cosplayers vying for seats in the ComicPalooza Theater at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

We reached Kearby at his Texas ranch by phone to ask about the film’s premiere and how the quirky novel came about in the first place.

ES: You’ve written many novels, but none in this genre. What inspired the story of Long Term Parking?

MK: The story has its background in listening to my Granddad cursing at the neighbor’s dog for digging in his garden. He was too gentle of a man to physically hurt the dog, but always had more than a few “Goddamn Dog” to mumble as he re-staked his tomatoes. Later as an adult, I always chuckled while remembering these comedic encounters between man and beast. Thus was born the preface to Long Term Parking.

ES: How much is Boston Nightly like you? How do you get into the head of your characters when you’re writing?

MK: Boston definitely contains a mixture of my real and my imagined personality. I find this to be a common trait among those who tell stories. The heroic imagined part of one’s personality when fused with the real and flawed part of one’s personality makes the fictionalized character easy to cheer for.

ES: Long Term Parking has quite a following. Do you think the movie version will inspire more people to read your original novel?

MK: The ingredients are all there. The cast brings the characters to life just as I imagined. I hope the movie fans want to extend their viewing pleasure by reading the book.

ES: Most films adapted from books usually don’t do the original work justice. How does this movie compare?

MK: The film and the novel match up perfectly in showing Boston as that flawed character caught in the eternal struggle in doing what is right and doing what feels right.

ES: The story takes a lot of very unexpected turns. When you started writing did you know where the story was going or did the characters take you in directions you didn’t expect?

MK: My novels always seem to write themselves after the first few pages. It was no different with Boston who seemed to evolve into favorites from my childhood; a combination of Groucho Marx and The Three Stooges.

ES: Any truth to the rumor a sequel for Boston Nightly is in the works?

MK: Boston’s latest – Beware of Dog – is well underway. Our hero is pitted against a career criminal who only speaks in third person, a defrocked priest, and a female warden whose most prominent feature is the appearance of being struck in the back by two heat seeking missile’s. And of course, Marlene.

ES: The screenplay adaptation for Long Term Parking was written by you and the director. Is this your first time working with another writer? How was the experience of co-writing?

MK: This was my first foray into screenwriting, and Paul Bright was kind and patient enough to help guide me down the trail. I enjoyed working with Paul and can’t imagine a better first writing partner.

ES: What should audiences expect when they see the movie Saturday night at ComicPalooza?

MK: It can only truly be enjoyed when accompanied by raucous, belly laughter, which 4 out of 5 doctors agree is very healthy for you.

ES: People are already saying the film will become a cult classic. Can you imagine people dressing up as Boston Nightly at next year’s ComicPalooza?

MK: I think that would be the greatest accolade a writer could receive.

Tony Bottorff Riding High on Long Term Parking

Reprinted from Hollywood Movie Times
ComicPalooza Tony Bottorff
by Robyn Washington

Tony Bottorff made a noticeable entrance the other day when he rode into the parking lot on his 2015 Harley Sportster and tossed the keys to the valet. A risky move to trust that much horsepower to a teenager in a red vest. Needless to say, they didn’t attempt to move it and the bike sat in full view of the entrance to Abacus, our Dallas dinner spot on McKinney Avenue.

Bottorff’s newest comedy, Long Term Parking, is quite a “tail wagger.” We sat down to discuss the movie and his career.

RW: The role you play in this film is a departure from your other roles in film. Did you need to do anything to prepare to play this part?

TB: I wish I could say I did, but I let this one develop organically. I had Boston worked up fairly solid but knew from past experience that Paul Bright (film director) knows what he wants, so the first day of shooting kind of set the tone for Boston. Had I known it was going to be 38 degrees with a 30 MPH wind during my make out scene with Lisa (Sosa), I would have practiced bumping uglies in a meat locker with an industrial fan blowing on me.

RW: That’s quite a visual. Did anything go wrong during filming?

TB: Oh yeah. The weather would be hot one day and butt ass freezing the next. I think we all got sick before it was done. The one I remember was shooting with Gary Mahmoud in his office. I had to drink shots of Jameson, and trust me, I’m a cheap date when it comes to drinking. I’m asking Paul if we have some apple juice or something and he says, “I’ve got a case of Jameson, enjoy.” So I’m getting toasted before lunch, they’re fogging the office with this fog machine so thick it looks like the steam room at the YMCA, and Gary Mahmoud is killing me with his improv. I can’t keep a straight face to save me. I’ll tell you something, this was one of those film shoots where there was as much comedy between takes as there was during the shot.

RW: Can I spill the beans and tell people your character is a dog?

TB: I’m not a dog.

RW: Okay, partly a dog.

TB: Boston Nightly is a gumshoe bounty hunter who’s a true ‘guy’s guy’. He doesn’t sweat the small stuff and takes things in stride, loves his Jameson, neat, and his women hot. Nothing gets him worked up, not even looking down the wrong end of a gun barrel. He’s got a fun sense of humor, even when the jokes on him, which given his dog tail, is most of the time in this film.

RW: So you do admit your character has a dog tail.

TB: And teeth.

RW: This movie is very irreverent. What was your first thought when you read the script?

TB: My first thought? Well, I get an email from Paul saying he’s doing a film and I’d be PERFECT for the role of Boston. So I can’t wait to read it, right? I start reading and I’m killed on page three. I’m like ‘what the hell?’ I kept reading and was laughing out loud with the dialogue. My second thought, “Hey, I get to have sex in this! Bring it on!”

RW: What was it like to work with the other actors?

TB: It was awesome! This is my third film with Paul, and he never fails to assemble a great group of actors. Lisa and I had great chemistry! She would crack me up with her delivery even on the third take. And David Young and Gary Lee Mahmoud are comic geniuses. I would bust a gut laughing every day. Seriously, I couldn’t hold it together every time David would say “Do the dingus.”

RW: Should I ask?

TB: You gotta see it. Joel Hudgins, Brandon Gallagher, Dan Murphy, and Mary Farrar are awesome. And Natasha Straley, wow! She’s got perfect comedic timing and I get love scenes with her too? I’m like, thank you Mike Kearby for writing this!

RW: Mike Kearby’s original novel of the same name has a devoted fan club.

TB: I read Mike Kearby’s book several times before the shoot started. The guy writes so expressively. I mean, he’s got more names for bullets than guys have for their Johnson. The book is never boring and his fans have got to be just as awesome! He’s a cool guy. He came to the set when we shot at the bar. He’s the kind of guy you’d like to have a drink with and swap stories.

RW: Sounds like you’ve got a lot of stories to swap.

TB: Oh yeah. But not to print. It was a fun shoot. When you have a great group of actors that enjoy what they do and a director that let’s you have fun exploring the characters, you don’t want it to end.


Reprinted from Movie Times

by Eugene Stryker, Movies Today

We sat down with Lisa Rene Sosa at her favorite lunchspot in San Marcos, Texas overlooking the swimmers and tubers on the river to talk about her upcoming comedy film Long Term Parking.ComicPalooza Lisa Sosa

MT: In your newest movie you took a big departure from the dramatic roles of the past to play an outrageously funny character, Chel Caminetti. Tell us about her.

LRS: Chel’s a real ball buster. A big personality, blunt, irreverent and I use Boston (the film’s hero) for my own gains. Although I have a thing for him I’m not afraid to shoot him a couple of times to figure out what his game is. I like to think that Chel is the heart of Long Term Parking.

MT: You do shoot him, more than a couple times. But somehow he keeps coming back for more. What was it like to work with Tony Bottorff, who plays Boston Nightly in the film?

LRS: I LOVED working with Tony! From the very first day when I met him I knew we were going to get along great. Tony was easy going, open and funny — great things for an actress who also needs to kiss her leading man after just meeting him. I also loved working with everyone else, Joel Lane Hudgins, David Young, the entire cast. It was wonderful to see how everyone’s character evolved from what I read in the script to the actual actor performances.

MT: We got a sneak peak of the film at Movies Today, and it’s terrific! The director, Paul Bright, was right on target with the casting.

LRS: I don’t often audition or portray characters like Chel, and it was a real privilege to be cast as someone who’s her own woman AND a sexpot too. The script was funny, and some of my lines are my favorite from the films I’ve been in so far. I couldn’t wait to see how it would all come together. The more irreverent the better!

MT: Mike Kearby’s novel that was adapted for film has got a devoted following, I think probably because it’s so irreverent.

LRS: I am so looking forward to meeting the fans of Mike’s book. It’s great when there’s such a cult following with people who know the characters just as well as the actors do.

MT: What was it like to shoot the movie?

LRS: So we filmed over two weeks in December. Being in Texas our falls are pretty mild. Well, the first week was so hot. I mean it felt like summer really. But I thought at least we’re not freezing. Well, I spoke way too soon. That second week of filming felt like we were up north. I’ll never forget my last day of filming when we were at the storage facility. I was wearing this beautiful mink coat that Mary (Farrar) let me borrow and when Paul yelled “action” I’d take it off real quick, throw it to Mary, and film the scene.

MT: You’re kidding? You filmed those scenes wearing a skimpy blouse during a Blue Norther?

LRS: Paul would yell “cut” and I’d put the coat back on, and we’d all jump into the car to warm up before we had to get out and film again. We all took our turns getting sick. Within those two weeks I got sick, Tony got sick, so did Paul and Patrick (Henderson – sound recordist). Not the easiest thing to work when you’re sick AND have to do it when the weather wasn’t great. But we all soldiered on and finished our movie.

MT: Watching the film I guessed you were all joking around a lot. You had to be for you to play the part so naturally.

LRS: I needed to be comfortable being a loud personality, and showing off my body more than I’m used to. I let “Chel” lead me throughout filming, but I definitely took advantage of wearing fitted clothes. The longer I was on set the more I felt comfortable with both aspects of my character.

MT: Are you familiar with the song “June is Bustin’ Out All Over?” Your costume fit, ahem, very well. It sounds like a great shoot.

Being on set for this film was amazing. Paul and Tony were so inviting which makes any working situation a pleasure to be a part of. I hated leaving set at the end of each day, and couldn’t wait to get to work the next day. That’s when you know you love what you’re doing.

MT: And we love what you’re doing, too.

Long Term Parking premieres at Houston’s ComicPalooza on Saturday, May 23rd at 8:00pm.

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!