Introducing Our Stars

The stars of "My Spirited Sister" (left to right), Lauren Abbott, Abbe Skinner and Emma Skinner.

The stars of “My Spirited Sister” (left to right), Lauren Abbott, Abbe Skinner and Emma Skinner.

The photo above was taken on the set of “A Moment with Jon Francois”, WHC-TV in West Hartford, CT on the night of July 23. That’s the same show that Cooper and I appeared on last month. This time, the three young stars of our current film, MY SPIRITED SISTER were the guests. It was a terrific show and the girls all came through like pros. No surprise there. These are not ordinary young ladies. I am happy to introduce Lauren Abbott, Abbe Skinner and Emma Skinner.

Last year, during preproduction on ISN’T IT ROMANTIC?, Cooper, who was my co-writer and one of my producers, came up with an idea for the opening scene. It took place in a movie theater with a crowd exiting after viewing Danny Kresky’s latest film. They were excited and gushing about the film. We needed extras and Cooper said she had a group of teenage girls who would add energy to the scene. I trust her judgement 100% and I thought it sounded like a great idea, so we went with it. I remember that day well, in fact, you can look back at what I wrote in my post on it.

The girls were terrific. We had no dialogue written, in fact, their actions weren’t even in the script, so I decided to let them improvise some lines. Lauren, Abbe and Emma were amazing! The were natural and shared the screen like professionals, not stepping on each other’s lines, despite the fact that it was improvised. They also brought so much energy and excitement to the set that it affected all of us. The veteran actors commented on great it was to have the girls there. Talk about easy to direct! I told them what I needed and they delivered.

Abbe Skinner (thumbs up), Lauren Abbott (gray sweater) and Emma Skinner (extreme right in profile taking the picture) in  "Isn't It Romantic?"

Abbe Skinner (thumbs up), Lauren Abbott (gray sweater) and Emma Skinner (extreme right in profile taking the picture) in “Isn’t It Romantic?”

Cooper and I were very impressed. There was no question we had to work with this talented trio again. This time with them in lead roles. Cooper conceived of MY SPIRITED SISTER with our stars in mind, the roles were written for them. Emma and Abbe, real life sisters, will be playing Amanda and Bethany Paige, sisters in the film and Lauren, Abbe’s real life best friend, will be playing Crystal Albright, Bethany’s best friend. This is a can’t miss.

The girls have been interested in acting and performing their entire young lives and started training at the age of five. They’ve attended camps and taken classes in scene study, character work, improv, singing, pretty much every aspect of acting. They also  have plenty of experience on the stage and television work. Of course they’ve also appeared in a film, my first.

I say this in all seriousness, these young ladies are worth watching. They are talented, well trained and dedicated. Cooper and I are thrilled to have them as our leads. You all know my approach: eighty percent of directing is casting and we’ve nailed it here. It was further confirmed last night as we watched the interview. The girls were a bit nervous. Perfectly natural as none of them had ever done a TV interview. Cooper and I prepped them the night before and just before the interview. Once it got underway, they all relaxed and were charming and articulate and entertaining. Never a doubt in my mind that they would be.

We’re planning to develop MY SPIRITED SISTER as a series and have a couple of potential avenues we plan to pitch to. With the work we’re putting in on the script and the terrific lead actors we have, we’re anticipating a great film. This should advance the careers of everyone involved. Very exciting.


The TV Spot Part 2

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. Cooper and I have been incredibly busy. We’re still tweaking the script, we’ve launched our Kickstarter campaign and we’re working hard on publicity for the project. Time to catch you up on where we are.

This is the follow up to the post on the interview we did on “A Moment with Jon Francois” on WHC-TV in West Hartford, CT on June 26. Here is the link where you can see the show: Cooper and Paul with Jon Francois It was a fun interview. Jon is a good host and Cooper and I were able to promote ourselves in general, ISN’T IT ROMANTIC? and most importantly, our new film, MY SPIRITED SISTER. 

We were invited to come back on the show to discuss future projects or just film in general. We will certainly do just that. We love to talk about screenwriting and filmmaking.

Take a look at the interview, and while you’re at it, check out our Kickstarter campaign. We have some great perks for as little as $5. I’ll be much more active here on the blog. I want to keep everyone up to date on the progress of the campaign and the making of MY SPIRITED SISTER.

The TV Spot

This past Wednesday, Cooper and I shot our television appearance on WHC-TV in West Hartford, CT.  It’s a local public access station, but it will also be available on the internet on the station’s web site and it’s still publicity!  It was also a lot of fun.

During my stand up days, I did quite a bit of public access TV as well as a few interviews on the local news.  Thus, I was very comfortable with the interview.  Cooper’s only prior television work had been on soaps and not any talk show type situations, so she was a bit nervous.  She relaxed the second we started and handled it like the pro she is.  There was never a doubt in my mind that she would.

We got a nice full twenty minute spot, more than enough time to cover everything we wanted to.  We talked about our backgrounds in writing, and mine in stand up and hers in acting.  The story of how we met in our old screenwriting group and became partners came up and we also related our similar tastes in movies and how well we work together.

Then we talked about ISN’T ROMANTIC?, how much fun we had, what we learned and how it’s doing now.  They will add a clip from the film in the final edit.  We chose the scene in the kitchen where Diana confronts Danny about her despair over the lack of romance in their marriage.  It’s a good scene that gives a feel for the film without giving anything away.

We segued to MY SPIRITED SISTER by talking about how impressed with were with the work its three young stars did in their appearance in the opening scene of ISN’T IT ROMANTIC?   We wrapped up by talking about the story and our crowd funding campaign.

It went very well.  The host, the director and the crew were very nice and they did a great job, very professional.  The host is also an actor and I told him to send me a headshot and resume, I”m always on the lookout for talent.  After the show, Cooper and I talked to him about what it’s like to pursue a show business career.  He had many questions about New York versus LA.  I of course, am from New York and Cooper has lived in both cities so we were able to help him out.

The show is called A MOMENT WITH JON FRANCOIS.  It will air in July on Comcast Cable, just in time for the launch of our campaign.  I’ll post the web site link when it’s available for those who are curious.  We also booked our three stars to make an appearance on the show next month.  PR is so important and as I have stated, I’m going to do all I can in that vein.

After spending so much time preparing for and doing interviews, on Thursday, Cooper and I were able to get back to writing.  We’re finishing up our revisions to prepare the script for production.  So much to do to be ready for our October shooting start.  It will be here before we know it.  We are so excited!  Making a film is so much fun.