New Short to be Filmed: “Mother’s Day”

It’s Back! I first mentioned producing the short film “Mother’s Day” back in July, but scheduling conflicts prevented us from moving forward at that time.  Now, we’re set to film the short in early December for a January 2012 release.  David J. Eagle, who directed last year’s “Heart Says It All”, will be helming once again, along with son Jesse as DP.  “Heart” really exceeded our expectations for a short; it screened at 7 festivals across the country and was broadcast on TV.  The short also garnered not one, but TWO distribution offers!  We’ve been studying the competitive landscape at festivals over the last year and have even higher expectations for “Mother’s Day”. It’s a poignant story about what an 8-year-old boy named Alex needs to do in order to celebrate Mother’s Day with his family. One challenge we face is casting the 8-year-old lead; he needs to have a unique combination of child and adult traits. Fortunately, we are working with veteran casting directors Jan Glaser and Maggie McLean to help us find just the right kid for the job. “Mother’s Day” will also be the first film I co-produce under my shingle Roughsketch Films so I’m really excited about that, too. More on this project as it develops!

Talent Spotlight: Andreas Wigand

Andreas Wigand

Today I’m spotlighting one of the members of the Roughsketch Films team, Andreas Wigand.  Andreas grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and moved to California after high school.  He studied acting at the Stella Adler Academy as well as University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. While studying at SAA, he was cast in numerous short films and commercials. He then landed a role on MTV’s “Call To Greatness”, a sketch/improv comedy show that continues to air internationally, and while on that show, Andreas broke the world record for jumping rope with his butt.  To promote the show, Andreas was a guest on The Jimmy Kimmel Show, MTV’s Total Request Live (TRL), Cold Pizza and The Best Damn Sports Show Period.

Most recently, Andreas was cast as Milus in Andrew Niccols’ feature film, “In Time”, which opens today, October 28th, 2011 in theatres worldwide.  The film stars Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried and Olivia Wilde.  Andreas has also continued to act in several shorts and independent films as well as in many national commercials.  He also just produced his own short film, “Signal Lost.”  The film stars Sean Young (Blade Runner, Wall Street) and Tony Dennison (The Closer) and has screened at film festivals all over the country.  Perhaps the accomplishment he is most proud of is his own short film, “Hollywood’s Heart“, a twelve minute short shot on 35 mm film which he wrote, directed, produced and acted in.  The film has screened at the Hollywood Film Festival, The Rome International Film Festival, The Vine Film Festival, and The LA Short Film Festival; it also won an award at the European Independent Film Festival.

Andreas has also actively pursued writing and pitching reality treatments, developing concepts for MTV, FOX, Spike, VH1, Moving Pictures DPI and Newline Cinema.  Most recently Andreas’ feature screenplay, “Murder Made Easy” was a finalist in the Writers on the Storm and the Script Shark screenwriting competitions.  The script currently has Michael Madsen attached and is in preproduction.  Andreas currently lives in Los Angeles and continues to act, write and produce.  I’m so glad to have him on the Roughsketch Films team!

Justin Timberlake (in the car) and Andreas Wigand, Right, in a scene from “In Time.” (Stephen Vaughn/20th Century Fox)

Birth of a Production Company: Roughsketch Films

I’ve finally done it–I’ve established my own production company, Roughsketch Films. I’m excited as all get-out about the project and will be documenting the entire adventure right here on my trusty blog for all to see and read about. Roughsketch Films will produce and distribute content for the Internet on a dedicated video channel, launching with comedy shorts developed by a sketch comedy troupe I’ve assembled. After weeks of auditions and interviews, I’ve found an amazing group of talented actors and writers willing to combine forces, work with available (highly limited) resources and see if we can create an entertainment brand that’s a little better than anything else out there. I’ve kept it kinda quiet ’til now, watching and waiting to see if there were any convenient reasons for me to back out and forget this entirely… and damn if things just didn’t keep getting better and more interesting where I’ve decided to dive in head-first and see where this goes. We’re planning our first productions in November and the key will be to build an infrastructure where we can create content CONSISTENTLY: our working mantra will be “Write in a Week, Film in a Day, Get It Up on The Web”. I’ll let you in on the whole process I’m going through, from setting up the LLC and learning the ropes of running a company to profiling some of the amazing, highly-talented people I’ve been lucky enough to convince to give this a try. I’ll discuss the in’s and out’s of building and promoting an Internet Video Channel–yes, YouTube is the big one but there are numerous others filling the competitive landscape. I’ll document the process of building and establishing the brand, as well as keeping it alive through website presence and social marketing. It’s a big job, but with my team by my side, I’m ready to take it on. So stand by… Roughsketch Films is On The Air!  And PS: This is my 100th Blog Post. Whoo Hoo!