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Episode 46: Play the Diamond with Matias Ponce

zoot suit matias ponce




Sidekickback returns with a midnight special! My friend and former co-star Matias Ponce hopped off the Mark Taper Forum stage on Tuesday night to come over and chat with me about the wonderful revival of Luis Valdez’s Zoot Suit going on at Center Theatre Group. Matias stars alongside Demián Bichir as Henry Reyna in the critically acclaimed production that has received an unprecedented third and final extension at the Mark Taper. We chat about his humble beginnings in Toledo, Ohio, his unconventional journey as an actor doing “the LA thing,” and the pretty positive turnout of his first understudy assignment.

Grab whatever Zoot Suit tickets you can at Center Theatre Group’s website!

Episode 45: Winter Has Come with Janet Graham Borba

janet graham borba game of thrones production




On the latest episode of Sidekickback Radio, I get to chat with HBO’s Senior Vice President of West Coast Production, Janet Graham Borba. As an executive, Janet plays quite a major role in the making of some of HBO’s wonderful projects, the most notable of which being the grand epic series known as Game of Thrones (sorry GOT fans, no spoilers in this one. Well maybe one…) Additionally, she recently wrapped production on the upcoming feature film The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, starring Rose Byrne and Oprah Winfrey in the adaptation of Rebecca Skloot’s book of the same title about an African-American woman whose cells are used in trailblazing medical research in the 1950’s . In our episode, Janet and I chat about the rapidly shifting landscape of subscription-based television, what makes a great line producer, and how Pizza Hut might have changed Janet’s life forever.

Some of her earlier projects include Hackers (starring Angelina Jolie and Jonny Lee Miller) and one of my personal childhood favorites, Camp Nowhere (starring Christopher Lloyd and Jonathan Jackson).

The Game of Thrones production machine is without a doubt one of the most massive undertakings in television history. As evidenced by such scenes as The Battle of the Bastards (into which Janet gives us some insight) the process can take months to prepare and weeks to rehearse, with so many factors like seasonal weather and actors’ schedules creating a giant jigsaw puzzle that someone like Janet has to piece together. Game of Thrones production is now under way as they film its 7th season and as Janet tells us in the episode, with such a great writing team led by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the production crew is firing in sync on all cylinders, ready to deliver the final episodes of a truly epic era in television.

Catch up on Game of Thrones season 6 with HBO GO here!

Episode 44: Director of My Own Journey with Rich Delia

One of the first steps in the filmmaking process is the somewhat mysterious, often underappreciated art of casting. On the latest episode of Sidekickback Radio, I sit down with Casting Director extraordinaire Rich Delia.  You can see his fine work in such films as Dallas Buyers Club, Short Term 12 and currently in theaters, Lights Out. We chat about how he transitioned to casting director from acting, what it takes to find that perfect actor for the role in the casting process and some suggestions for actors strugglin to break through

Coming soon, Rich’s upcoming projects include:

Transpecos – with Clifton Collins Jr. and Gabriel Luna, directed by Greg Kwedar, 2016’s SXSW Audience Award winner tells the story of three border patrol agents that make an unnerving discovery revealing possible betrayal amongst their own unit.

Fist Fight starring Charlie Day and Ice Cube as two high school teachers who have a score to settle…in the parking lot, after school.

To the Bone – from previous guests of the podcast, Mockingbird Pictures, To the Bone stars Lily Collins as a young woman dealing with anorexia who meets an unconventional doctor (Keanu Reeves) that challenges her to face her condition and embrace life. Written and Directed by Marti Noxon.

The Masterpiece – directed by James Franco, the star-studded cast includes Seth Rogen, Josh Hutcherson, Bryan Cranston, Sharon Stone and Franco himself as they recreate the behind the scenes “magic” that led to the cult classic that is considered to be one of the worst movies ever made, Tommy Wiseau’s The Room.

Stay up to date with his IMDb here!

Episode 43: Put The Toppings On It with Drew Kilcoin

In this episode of SideKickBack Radio, I sit down with Highway to Havasu‘s radass editor Drew Kilcion.  As a lead editor, he has cut some great projects such as the fascinating documentary Craigslist Joe, episodes of FX’s gone-too-soon comedy Legit with Jim Jefferies and Split, soon to be released on iTunes. Drew also assisted Jeremiah O’Driscoll on Robert Zemeckis’ films Flight, The Walk and Drew is now at Illumination Entertainment, working on the upcoming animated feature film Sing starring Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and Seth MacFarlane.  We chat about his approach to cutting a scene, what its like to have a dream come true, and why his trips to the bathroom got quite dramatic at one point.

Check out Craigslist Joe on Hulu!

Check out Drew’s website!

Check out Drew’s IMDb!

 

Episode 42: Persistence Pays Off with Julie Lynn and Bonnie Curtis

About a year and a half ago, I had the great pleasure of attending the world premiere of Last Days in the Desert at the Sundance Film Festival 2015.  Written and Directed by Rodrigo Garcia, this stoically beautiful, captivating film features an incredible performance by Ewan McGregor in two roles (Jesus and the Devil), mesmerizing natural light cinematography from Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki (winner of the last three Academy Awards), and this week I got to chat with the two amazing ladies who helped bring it all together.  Julie Lynn and Bonnie Curtis of Mockingbird Pictures have been making movies long enough to know how to make a damn good one, and with some incredibly exciting projects in the works this is one juicy episode that I hope will inspire you to check out/stay tuned to their work…you will not be disappointed.  We talk about the effect that digital media had on their business model, what their favorite part of moviemaking is and which one of them is “Spendy Wendy?”

Last Days in the Desert is in select theaters now! Head to www.lastdaysinthedesert.com for more info.

Also coming soon from Mockingbird Pictures…

Wakefield – in post-production, starring Bryan Cranston as a man whose nervous breakdown causes him to leave his wife (Jennifer Garner) and live in his attic for several months. Written and Directed by Robin Swicord.

The Sweet Life – premiering at the LA Film Festival, this romantic dramedy road trip film stars Chris Messina and Abigail Spencer as two depressives who first meet by chance in Chicago and form a pact to travel across the country to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge together. Written by Jared Rappaport and directed by Rob Spera. Also might feature a cameo from yours truly 🙂

To the Bone – in post-production, Lily Collins stars as a young woman dealing with anorexia who meets an unconventional doctor (Keanu Reeves) that challenges her to face her condition and embrace life. Written and Directed by Marti Noxon.

Julie and Bonnie are also producing Life alongside David Ellis of Skydance Pictures. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds and Rebecca Ferguson, Life tells the story of a crew on the International Space Station discovering life on Mars.

Episode 41: I’m Gonna Frame It with Jenelle Riley

jenelle riley variety editor sag foundation

SideKickBack is back! This week I sat down with Variety’s Deputy Awards and Features Editor, Jenelle Riley.  You might recognize her from almost any SAG Foundation screening Q & A, as she has moderated discussions with some of the best and brightest talent in the film industry today.  We chat about the politics of Oscar nominations, the common thread between the immensely talented folks she interviews and why it would be unwise to make a bet with her.

Not surprisingly, in addition to Jenelle’s journalistic excellence in covering the entertainment industry, she also writes on the creative side of things, having worked on quite a few scripts in her day. She even directs! Some of you may have seen her short film/sketches such as Grand Gestures on Funny or Die.  She also frequently partakes in Sacred Fools Theater Company’s late-night smash-hit playwriting incubator, Serial Killers.

Check out Jenelle’s writings here!

Episode 40: Keep Your Eyes Open with Jessica Howell

My guest on this weeks episode is the lovely actress, writer, producer Jessica Howell. She’s been a part of such great projects as Eleanora: The Forgotten Princess, the phenomenal stage production of Re-Animator: The Musical and Showtime’s Masters of Sex. Her latest short film, Susie Sunshine, will be premiering at the LA International Women’s Film Festival on March 25th. We chat about running a successful Indiegogo campaign, the quality of life in Los Angeles vs. New York, and how we have both always been old people.

Grab your tickets to Susie Sunshine at LAWIFF here!

Episode 39: See You at the Maccabi Games with Jessie Kahnweiler

This week’s episode of SideKickBack Radio features Jessie Kahnweiler, creator, writer, director and star of The Skinny. Her well-crafted, dark-comedy web series premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and it’ll take you places you might not expect.  Jessie and I chat about why listening is better than trying to change people, why being rejected as oneself is more important than being accepted as someone else, and man bun executives.

Check out The Skinny at Refinery29 here!

Episode 38: Band of Robbers with Adam Nee

In the triumphant return of SideKickBack Radio, I sit down with half of the writer/director/editor team behind the superb and fascinating film known as Band of Robbers. Adam Nee…oh and he also stars in it too…and I chat about the odd yet ballsy process of financing this independent film, the nuggets of wisdom he would tell his younger self, and the food groups of model.

Rounding out the cast of Band of Robbers  is Kyle Gallner, Melissa Benoist, Hannibal Buress, Matthew Gray Gubler, Stephen Lang and Eric Christian Olsen.  This modern retelling of the adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn should not be missed! Available on VOD now 🙂

Episode 37: HOLIDAY MIX TAPE!!!

To end 2015, I decided to gather together a musical treat for your ears as you go off on your various flights and drives and other holiday travels. Check out some of the performances from previous episodes as well as tracks off of the albums from some of my incredibly kind guests. Happy holidays everybody!!!

Track List:

01:36 Katie Boeck – The Brighter Side

06:07 Wardell – Funny Thing

10:14 MEST – Rooftops

15:28 Hollywood Undead – Bullet

19:40 Skating Polly – Kick

23:42 Katie Boeck – Victory

28:36 Rachel Mylan – New Growth

32:08 Special holiday treat outtro Guster – Mamacita Donde Esta Santa Claus?