To Live and Write in LA

Archive for Interview

Anthem FilmFest: Top 10 Libertarian Films Rock with Jennifer Lawrence, Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman

“When I grow up, I want to be Dr. Manhattan,” was one of the responses Anthem Film Festival organizer Jo Ann Skousen received during the “Top 10 Films Every Libertarian Should Know” panel. Sometimes you get more than you ask for. After the audience joined the panel in suggesting films, well, there were a lot more than 10.

Interview: Jo Ann Skousen, Anthem Film Festival Founder

Chatting with Jo Ann Skousen, founder of the Anthem Film Festival, a venue for filmmakers who care about individuality and libertarian ideals

Anthem Film Fest – ‘The Conversation’ in the Bag

(First published on This is my second year at the Anthem Film Festival; when I registered I received the typical conference bag of goodies. To my delight, this bag include a DVD of The Conversation, the film that stood out most in my mind from year one. The Conversation, by Korchula Productions, does what most people might […]

Anthem Film Fest: Rand in the Desert

This article originally appeared on I started reading works by Ayn Rand in high school 50 years ago, and I’ve never been able to shake entirely free of her ideas. Now I go to the desert to contemplate those ideas. OK, it’s not quite as mystical as it sounds, because that part of the […]

LA Film Festival: Maya Rudolph Talks Funny

(First published on Maya Rudolph has four husbands. There’s the one that made the Saturday Night Live (SNL) veteran eight-months pregnant, and then there are her three secret hubbies. Rudolph shared this juicy tidbit at an LA Film Festival Master Class “The Serious Business of Being Funny,” on June 14, 2013. She was interviewed, Inside-the-Actors-Studio style, by Film Independent’s […]

PopConLA: Sybil Danning Shows you a Road to Movie Success

(First published on How do you make a movie? According to horror and fantasy queen Sybil Danning, the rules have changed. Danning, whose acting credits include Hercules, Howling II, Grindhouse, and Halloween has added producer, writer, and director to her resume. I spoke with Danning at PopConLA. PopConLA debuted this year, running July 5 – 8 as a new convention for fans of […]

Q&A with ‘Cowboys and Aliens’ Scribes Mark Fergus and Roberto Orci

(Originally published on Cowboys & Aliens screenwriters Mark Fergus (First Snow, Children of Men, Iron Man) and Roberto Orci (Star Trek, Transformers, Fringe) beamed down to The Los Angeles Film School the night before Cowboys & Aliens opened to share observations about life in the warp-speed lane with students and fans. The film begins in the old west when a stranger […]

Produced By Conference: One of Those Moments

(Originally published on It was one of those moments. As a screenwriter or filmmaker you’re constantly studying structure, dialogue, what makes a good scene, distribution, financing, who’s hot, who owes you a favor, and pondering your latest rejection. Then one of those moments happens. One of those moments that reminds you why you decided […]

Produced By Conference: Big Names, Small Budget

(Originally published on The success of an independent film can often depend on getting a “name star” to sign on to the project. The “Big Names, Small Budgets” seminar, presented by SAG and SAGIndie at this past weekend’s “Produced By Conference” (PBC), focused on how to accomplish that. The PBC, presented by the Producers Guild […]

LA Comedy Shorts Festival: If You Want it Done Write…

(Originally published on You guessed it…then you gotta do it yourself. That was the advice from show creators and writer-producers at this year’s LA Comedy Shorts Film Festival at the Downtown Independent Theater. The “write-it-yourself” panel consisted of Kevin Shinick (writer/creator/producer of Cartoon Network’s Mad and writer/creative director of Robot Chicken), Phoef Sutton (writer/exec producer of Cheers, writer/producer Boston Legal), and […]

LA Comedy Shorts Festival: How Do You Deal with Fame?

How do you deal with fame? That’s one of the questions that LA Comedy Shorts Film Festival Creative Director Gary Anthony Williams directed to the participants of the “Famous People Talkin’ About S—t” panel. The famous panelists included Stephanie Courtney (Flo from Progressive Insurance, Mad Men), Larry Jo Campbell (According to Jim), Wayne Brady (The Wayne Brady Show, […]

Over the Top: A Conversation with John Lithgow at the LA Film Festival

(Originally published on “I’m always glad to publicly discuss a great subject – me!” was John Lithgow’s tongue-in-cheek opener at the Los Angeles Film Festival for an evening of humorous and insightful stories about movies and acting. “Over the Top: A Conversation with John Lithgow” was moderated by David Anson, Artistic Director for the […]

LA Comedy Shorts Festival: I Write, I Produce, Therefore, I Am

(Originally published on Sunday morning’s seminar focused on tips for creating your own product. Comedy writer-producers participating included Thomas Lennon (Reno 911!, Night at the Museum 2), Robert Ben Garant (Reno 911!, Balls of Fury), Laura Kightlinger (SNL, Will and Grace, Lucky Louie), Linwood Boomer, (Malcolm in the Middle, Third Rock from the Sun, Night Court) and Rodney Barnes (Boondocks,Everybody […]

Los Angeles Comedy Shorts Film Festival: Famous People Talkin’ About Stuff

Participants Bob Odenkirk (Mr. Show with Bob and Dave, Breaking Bad), Julie Bowen (Modern Family), Missi Pyle (Dodgeball, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Mark Hamill (Star Wars) and Michael Jai White (Black Dynamite) got attendees in touch with Hollywood reality, if there is such a thing. What was your first paid acting experience? Mark Hamill: My […]

Los Angeles Comedy Shorts Festival: Makin’ It In ‘the Biz’

(Originally published on Blogcritics) Two expert panels advised, teased, and encouraged filmmakers attending the Los Angeles Comedy Shorts Film Festival Friday morning, while giving them a chance to peek behind the curtain of “the biz.” The first panel, “What…In This Economy?”, focused on giving management/production companies what they really want. Panelists included J.C. Spink (Benderspink), […]

An exploration of film and filmmaking