As I sit here sunk into this black leather couch surrounded by anthem beats and blue saturated walls writing these questions, I am witnessing and studying Marcus Porter in his own process. Honestly, it’s the usual vibe of productivity, we are just missing two of our team members. The show must still go on, while I marinate in Marcus Porter’s lyrics and story.
The pandemic really was tough on everyone. How were you able to keep yourself afloat, mentally and physically, during our lock-down?
During the pandemic, I was able to sit back & create without having to feel rushed. But, of course, I also did a lot of reading and anime watching
Anything you discovered about yourself during the pandemic?
I discovered my love for all types of art again. I had lost it because I wasn’t focused on it or trying to seek it out. But once I did, I fell in love again.
I have had the privilege to sit in the studio with you recently. You have a very intriguing writing process when it comes to your songs. Can you tell the audience how that process goes? Which comes first for you, the hook, the verse, or the beat?
The beat is usually the first thing that comes, and sometimes it’s just a simple four or eight bar loop. Then I typically start humming to myself until I find something that sticks. Sometimes it’s the hook first, but lately, it’s been the verses to come then the hook. But I always write from my heart.
You just dropped the single, “Born Black”, how did that come about? What influenced the song?
“Born Black” came about during quarantine when George Floyd was murdered. So the song is a reflection of my own life experience. It was also influenced by many others who’ve dealt with racism, mistreatment, & death simply due to their skin pigment and social injustice. I was born black. Along with others, we’ve been seeking, fighting for, and addressing our shortcomings when it comes to black women & protecting them from the nonsense we deal with.
What do you want your audience/listeners to take with them after listening to “Born Black?” or any other song you create?
I am fighting for everyone and know the struggles we face, but there is always light at the end of the tunnel. I just try to be relatable and give them good content and sound to vibe to no matter what the scenario. My music represents my experiences and who I am as an individual.
“Born Black” isn’t the only song you have with a feature on your upcoming album. Who else is featured on this upcoming album?
I have a few different features for the project. They are Chakari, K.I.L.O., 1neofMani, Juciee Monroe, Jay B Coolin, The King, so it’s pretty stacked on it. Each one came through and did their things; I appreciate them all.
You’re not just a musician. You engineer first many, many local artists. What came first for you as an artist? The producer or the musician?
The musician was always first, but I engineer because there weren’t many around, and I had an interest in it and wanted to create the best-sounding project I could. So I went to school to really learn the skills that have made me a better musician, from producing to the final master.
How and when did you discover that music is what you wanted to do with your life? What’s your story?
I’ve known music was my calling since I was about 7 or 8, but I really knew right before I went to high school. I was interested in sports, but it was fading because all I wanted to do was write and make music. So my story is… Dad is a DJ, and mom did some drumming in drum core, and they made this young man who loves to create music and help others however he can.
What type of story are you trying to convey in your music? What do you want your audience to take with them after experiencing your music?
The story is my story, but also everyone else’s too. I write music to have self-reflection. If you feel what I’m saying, then you’ve been there or are there, and I’m on the journey with you of this thing called life. I want to be as relatable as I can while still giving you a vibe.
If you want a taste of Marcus Porter’s story, make sure you check out his new single “Born Black”
Guess what? I got nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award! I was nominated by ospreyshire. Thank you so much!! Our opening conversation was very meaningful and substantial within the comments of my various blog posts.
I never done anything of this matter, nor have I been nominated for a blogger’s award, so I appreciate this honorable nomination beyond words and it will bring me a new motivation to keep writing, while appreciate my writing reaching out to those that truly matter. Thank you again.
So without further ado, I’d like to continue onto this blog post, display the rules, answer the questions provided by Ospreyshire, and nominate those that I follow and/or my followers to shine appreciation onto their craft as well.
The Rules for Mystery Blogger Award:
1. Put the award logo/image on your blog
2. List the rules
3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
7. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify).
9. Share a link to your best post(s).
Now to Answer the Questions from Ospryshire:
1. Where would you like to visit that you’ve never been to before?
There are a lot of places that are on my list to visit in my life from Morocco to Greece to Spain to Kenya, etc. Where I’ve been (Canada, Mexico, Iraq, Kuwait) is just a small taste of the world that should be experienced and lived within.
2. What is one movie, TV show, and/or book that you can’t stand, but everyone else likes?
Hmmm… This is a tough one. I don’t think there isn’t anything that I can’t stand, but there are plenty of TV shows and movies I try to avoid sometimes that I seem to not be drawn to like everyone else during the actually moment they’re released. For example, never watched an episode of “Doctor Who”, “Orange is the New Black” or “Walking Dead.”
OK, wait… I lied. I can’t stand reality shows. Boom!
3. If you could invent a language, what would you call it and how would you teach it to the world?
I struggle with speech on a regular, so my roommate jokes about how I always have my own language and he sometimes has a hard time translating it. So come to think of it, I wouldn’t want to invent a language, if I could. Instead I would work towards fixing my own speaking issues at hand and continue to educate and grow within myself on the Spanish and French education I already know in the foreign language.
4. What is one interest or hobby that you never thought you would get into?
Great question! A lot of my interests and hobbies have been multiple therapeutic tools for me since I could remember, except culinary. Growing up, I struggled to be willing to do the gender norm roles in general, and so I would put massive effort to refuse to do anything that would remote to the feminine gender normality that use to be assigned in the house hold. It wasn’t until I was in my early 20s that I would fall in love with the Food Network channel and Travel channel and see an equal representation of men and women on these channels being bomb ass chefs and culinary geniuses.
5. How do you want to improve as a person?
Everyday is a work in progress on a regular basis for me considering of my mental health issues I carry with me daily. I guess the things could work on more is to not react emotionally to majority of the shit that comes at me in life and rely on individual’s broken words and promises, I’d be in a better place soulfully & wholeheartedly. Also, I wish I learned how to not put so much shit on my plate (figuratively) and be at peace with it without wearing myself thin and learning the hard way every time.
Three Facts About Me:
1. Wisconsin native w/ a Californian heart.
2. My very first publication was before my 17th birthday in Spring 2003 and it was in the “Celebration of Young Poets” collection. My poem was called “Life.” I knew then and there writing was one of my callings.
3. I served a total of ten and a half years in the United States military between the Wisconsin Army National Guard and the United States Reserves. I also have one deployment to Iraq on my resume. I was suppose to go on a second tour to Iraq, however I was sent home for symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, and was ordered to be treated at the local VA.
Here are My Favorite Posts:
We Can’t Heal Alone: A special someone in my life told me last night that, “We can’t heal alone…” and that’s been sticking with me all day. He is right, so for those who sincerely been loving and supporting me, if it seems I am taking you for granted, I deeply apologize. I promise, I am not.
La Femme Nikita Fan Fiction: Currently a six-part series of my all-time favorite television series growing up with a spin off in the mix and other posts related to my fan experience with the series and its cast and crew. This is the very root of my blog and healing process, with the privilege of meeting my role models. For the fans still tuned in, I will release part seven very soon after a multiple-year hiatus.
Philosophical Vision: Ethics: One of my favorite subjects and food for the mind is philosophy. This is just one of a few essays I have made into a blog series on my philosophy on life since my introduction on the topic in college.
Sneak Peak into my Closet: My main outlet for art therapy for my PTSD/depression/trauma is my free verse poetry. Here is just a sneak peak into my closet. Enjoy the rhymes and reason of why I write.
Whether in Iraq during his USO tour, or the fact that he’s a ‘cheesehead’ at heart, or just bumping into each other in a random social Facebook group, we were meant to meet eventually, so we can sit and talk, while he scavengers on Rocky Rocco pizza, while we share our common interests and philosophies with our life experiences.
Now I sit with him again, to give him his own spotlight to share his own story here on my blog. Hey, Nathan…. Thanks for joining me!
You’ve been doing comedy for a while now, Nathan, with some epic experiences over the years as a performer. Can you give the readers a short resume of who you are and what your accomplishments are that you’ve made over the years of comedy?
A short résumé… Mi llamo es Nathan. I stand on stage and yap into a microphone, which in turn makes people giggle. I may be a nobody, but I’ve managed to eek out a living slinging jokes. I’ve put out 5 CDs during my career, and have just finished recording/editing my 6th. Two of those CDs receive regular airplay on the Sirius/XM comedy channels, and one of them, “I Might Not Be Joking,” made it into the top 20 on the iTunes comedy chart.
My official bio is: Not as serious as Plato, but lighter than Socrates. Not as edgy as Clinton, but livelier than Nixon. Not as heavy as GWAR, but deeper than Culture Club.
I’d say that’s accurate.
Tell us the story of how Nathan Timmel got into comedy?
I was in a band in college, and we started picking up some steam. A half-dozen college radio stations started playing our songs, and we began charting on the nationally published College Music Journal, so naturally we imploded. I wanted to go on tour and build a fan base; the singer wanted to get signed to a record label and have them do all the work. I said, “We’re not going to get signed unless we go to the places we’re getting played, get some fans, and give a record label a reason to sign us.”
He disagreed, and the band broke up.
I’m a bass player, one with enough self-awareness to understand I’m no Sting. With little desire to end up in another band where there would be fighting and disagreement, and without the ability to write songs/sing on my own, I decided to hit an open microphone and make with the silly.
It stuck, and here I am.
Most of your comedy would be drawn into the dark humor genre, and a lot of your jokes basically are of you providing your opinions and sharing stories of your life, as well as, making fun of the current issues on politics and society. What do you think is the key to get a message across on an affective domain to the audience?
I think the best way to get a point of view across to anyone is to be universal. If you take a side, then you alienate the other side. If you go with universal truths, it’s hard for anyone to deny or discredit what you’re saying.
People still will deny and disagree with and discredit what you’re saying, but it’s harder for them to do so.
Are you worried about offending the modern audiences with your material considering the controversies today with comedians, i.e. David Chappelle?
I’m not, and here’s why: everyone is offended by something. That’s all there is to it. So no matter how hard you try, someone will take issue with something you say. Therefore, the best approach is to not worry about it. I just go forth with my own values and limits in mind; lines I won’t cross: homophobic, racist, or sexist comments.
Regarding Dave Chappelle, I don’t know that there’s much controversy surrounding him. There’s invented “controversy,” but that’s not real. What you have to remember is that the audience loves his most recent, the “controversial,” special. Not just the in-house audience he recorded it in front of, but everyone, everywhere. The show is currently rocking a 99% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The reason it’s “controversial” is because “critics” have it at 35%. Those “critics” are nothing but a bunch of “woke” idiots virtue signaling how awesome they are to other idiots.
People say you’re supposed to “punch up, not down” in comedy. Meaning you attack the powers that be, not victims. What Chappelle did in his last special is attack woke culture head on, because today that IS punching up. With stupid people being offended by Goddamn everything, and the media writing articles like, “Twitter explodes after… (insert anything non-controversial here)!” and then finding the ten stupidest people on Twitter to use an example of how outraged everyone is, being “woke” means being in power. Thus, that movement is fair game for mockery by comedians.
And note: there is a difference between mockery, and complaining/whining. A lot of people whine/complain. Chappelle mocked, and did so brilliantly.
Hell, even President Obama called out woke “culture.” Hopefully it’s a signal that like anything stupid, it’s time has passed.
Would you ever consider doing comedy specials on streaming services to broaden your audiences?
(Laughs) My buddy is currently in a band, and one of the members said, “We need to make a viral video!”
As if it’s that easy, and that going viral just happens.
I’d absolutely do comedy specials on streaming services, but unless someone is backing those with some authority, it’s doubtful they’d move the needle. I mean, I’ve a YouTube channel with more videos than you can shake a stick at on it. No one cares, because no one knows who I am.
That said: I’m taping my first Dry Bar comedy special next week. I don’t know when they’re going to release it, but I’ve seen some of their videos go viral, so…
Are you planning to go on tour or simply have any new bookings?
I’m always “on tour” and/or looking for new bookings. Being an unknown comedian means you’re perpetually trying to work; you don’t schedule 3 months and then take 3 months off. It’s financially unfeasible to live like that.
You’re not just a comedian. You are also an author. Can you provide a proposal for what your books are about that you’ve published so far?
To date, I’ve put out three works of non-fiction. The first book was a memoir, and the next two were letters I wrote to my kiddos over the course of a year.
I just finished my first work of nonfiction, and I was about to self-publish it, but the wife read it and sat me down and said, “OK, I’ve always supported your writing, but what you have to understand is: this one is good. Like, really good.”
So, she’s not letting me self-publish; she wants to find me an agent.
I wish her luck, but I know that’s much, much, much easier said than done.
How are your books different from your performances as a comedian?
On stage, I have to be funny. It’s my job. No one goes to a comedy club to do anything but laugh. The books give me an outlet where I don’t have to be “on” all the time. They have funny moments, but they’re not inherently humorous. Writing allows me to explore the other nonsense going on inside my noggin; things that won’t work on stage. Non-jokes, if you will.
What are some of the biggest highlights and accomplishments you’re proud of over the years as a comedian?
It’s easily my time in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The two best compliments I’ve ever received have come from shows for the military.
I’ve been closing my shows talking about my time in Afghanistan, and that’s on the CD I have coming out in January: “This Could Get Awkward,” so I’ll tell a story about Iraq.
At Camp Anaconda, a woman named Leah Burton approached me after my show. She shook my hand, and said, “Sitting in the theater, in the darkness, just laughing… I actually forgot where I was for a second. I was laughing, and then I looked down at my uniform and was startled. I looked around the room and wondered why everyone was in military garb. Then I remembered how far from home I was. I remembered I was in Iraq, and my family was a thousand miles away. But for a moment, I forgot.”
I mean… all I do is tell jokes for a living. It’s not supposed to mean anything. So when I hear that against all odds I’ve actually made someone’s life a little more tolerable? It sticks with you.
I know a small portion of some of your background as a comedian that includes life experiences. Your life experiences have been a helpful tool towards your comedy, but the question is, has comedy been a helpful tool for you as an individual? How has it evolved you as a performer and individual?
I don’t think I can put it any better than Hawkeye did on M*A*S*H: If I’m not laughing, I’m screaming.
We live in a cynical world, and the news is always negative. If I wasn’t actively making fun of that, it’d be too much for my fragile little psyche.
Log on to Facebook at any given time and scroll through your feed; it’s people shouting at one another, people whining about how awful their life is… I have “friends” who haven’t made changes in a Goddamn decade. It’s the same litany of negativity over and over and over, without any attempt to self-improve. Comedy has helped me observe such negativity from afar and actively decide not to engage in such behavior.
Two more examples: Last Week Tonight, with John Oliver. That show takes on the most depressing subjects possible and makes you laugh while learning how bleak things are. And finally, The Life of Brian… I saw that as a kid, and it’s always stuck with me: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.
“If life seems jolly rotten, there’s something you’ve forgotten, and that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing.”
Today, you are a great family man now with two beautiful kids and your wife. How is life different now compared to before fatherhood?
I haven’t slept in seven years. I think that’s probably knocked some time off my overall lifespan.
Your stories of your kids have surely added some new material to your arsenal. How has your comedy evolved today compared to your material from ten years ago?
I’d say that like most people, I was angrier when I was younger. We age, we gain perspective, we mellow out…
If you don’t, holy crap are you annoying. Have you ever met an adult–someone in their late 30’s or 40s–that’s still carrying that adolescent chip on their shoulder?
I think my material these days is easier to digest.
Last, but surely not least… How about them Packers?
Fresh off of 61st and Pine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, we sit and spend some time and get to know the 18 year old, up and coming artist, KEEM HEAVY.
With his dedicated mother, Lynnette, a.k.a. Da Goodsister, by his side as his number one fan and motivator, greatness is surely coming for this young artist.
Tell us your story. In your own words, who is KEEM HEAVY? Give us a small biography of who you are as an individual and as an artist.
KEEM HEAVY: I’m a person that always loved music since I was six years old. The person that inspired me too start doing music and dancing was Chris Brown. My family use too call me Lil’ Breezy, because I always had my shirt off dancing And singing to the girls . When I was nine or ten that’s when I started writing music, because that was the only way to express myself . Since I didn’t ’t tell people about what I’m going through. I always stayed on my own grinding , trying to turn my dreams to reality. I was always a positive person. No matter how many negative things come my way. I always found a way to ignore it by listening or writing music.
Where did your stage name, KEEM HEAVY, originate from?
KH: KEEM HEAVY was given to me actually. I use to just go by KEEM, but my friend Akhen heard me rap for the first time in a studio and told me that I have swag, my songs are hot, and I’m always where the money’s at. In result, he came up with KEEM HEAVY. I’ve stuck with it ever since.
Let’s throw a quick sell point for your name and music. How would you describe, in your own words, the style of the music you create?
KH: I would describe my music as different . For example, I know I be going through a lot and done a lot, but I don’t always want to talk about the negative things about me. I want the world to hear positive real music. Music that can cheer you up. Music that can actually touch people by words.
How did you get into the entertainment industry initially? Were you always drawn towards music or the entertainment industry your whole life?
KH: Yes, since I was six years old, I’ve been in love with music. I got into the entertainment industry initially from my family help working as a team.
When and how did you discover that music was the route for you?
KH: I always thought music was for me. But when I was young people use to say I couldn’t make it or I’m corny. But that didn’t stop me it just made me grind harder.
Even though you are an up and coming artist, I’d like to know about your vision a bit more. What’s your ultimate mission with your lyrics and music?
KH: My ultimate mission with my lyrics is to show The world to be There self . Don’t portrait something that you are not . Then , to always be real, because being fake will catch up to you one day.
What influences the lyrics you create for your music?
KH: My family influences the lyrics I create because they the ones that’s making me go harder with this music . Helping me follow my passion and make it come true
What artists have had the biggest influence for you in life and in music and why?
KH: Chris Brown, because I like his style. His music is always evolving, and his imagination for his videos are creative, and Lil’ Durk, because he’s always grinding for his family and taking care of his city . Which, that is my goal. I want to do that for my folks and city.
You just released your EP, Season One, that you just released in 2018. Describe your EP and how you came up with the name, Season One, for the EP?
KH: I came up with Season One, because I wanted it to be like a movie. I want to get the world’s attention. Tell them my story of what I been through and show them that dedication and hard work can always get you to your goals .
Should we expect new music from you soon?
KH: Yes, very soon.
Do you want to get involved in other entertainment avenues like film, television, fashion, etc… or are you planning to stick to just music for your career?
KH: Yes, my other passions and interests are fashion and acting. I will work towards those avenues, as well, in the near future.
We are still in the first quarter for the year of 2019, what kind of goals have or are you setting for yourself this year?
KH: The goals I’ve set for myself this year is to keep grinding and staying focus. No matter what I go through, I always express it into music, because any day you can become rich and any one of them songs can get you famous.
I head back to Madison, Wisconsin for this Q&A to catch up with the producers of Madison’s 48 Hour Film Project. I met these two talented and hardworking individuals last year, when I came on to the RGBeasts team for the very first time.
An unforgettable experience, to say the least, but thanks to this particular opportunity, I have an expectation of how the film life works for future projects. Now I get to sit down with the masterminds that are working towards bringing Wisconsin on the competitive map for the film industry.
Let’s open this interview with a story. How did you two come together as business partners? How long have you two been business partners?
Michael Keeney: Ooh, pick me!
Kat leans backward in her chair, clearly giving Keeney the floor.
MK: I’d been hired to launch and operate a boutique film festival for a convention that was coming to Madison. I knew I could get films and filmmakers involved, but I also knew I didn’t know a darn thing about scheduling … anything. I’d met Kat at a different convention, where she was the Director of Operations, overseeing a five-day event with 1,500 attendees, more than 70 scheduled panel discussions and other timed events that completely took over one of the largest hotels and conference centers in town.
And so I asked for a meeting. To be honest, I was hoping to make my pitch, and she’d suggest one of her interns who might be willing to take on my little two-day, 20-film, one-room event.
We met, and I explained what I thought would be the upsides and the challenges. About half way through her questions and answers, Kat used the word ‘we.’ As in, ‘Well, we could go through Brown Paper Tickets for ticketing ….’
I did my best to look calm and cool while I quietly picked my jaw up off the floor. Again, I was hoping for the name of an intern.
At this point Kat rolls her eyes and leans forward again.
Katherine Thompson: I had been looking for a new challenge, and his timeline happened to fit with an opening I had between shows and it sounded like fun.
MK: That was … seven? years ago?
MK: I immediately began utilizing her skill sets more and more for Key Media Entertainment projects, and before too long, Key Media Narratives became an official thing — Key Media Entertainment had been working in film and commercials for a number of years before that. We did more in the first 18 months as Narratives than I had in the five years before on my own as Entertainment.
How long have you two been producing the 48-Hour Film Project in Madison,WI?
KT: This will be our third year at the helm as Producers. We competed successfully as a team off and on for a few years before that.
For prizes, you open opportunities up not just on a local level, but the winner gets a spot in the film festival, Filmapalooza, to compete against other 48-Hour short films. You both were just there supporting last year’s winners for Madison, The Porchetta Paradox. How was the experience for you both?
MK: It was pretty great. Filma is a combination film festival-slash-competition- awards ceremony. There were approximately 150 City Winners from around the world that were screened. In addition to that Festival aspect, there are a number of mixer and networking events, as well as classes on filmmaking and programming specifically for us as City Producers. The chance to find common ground and discuss common challenges with other filmmakers and producers was tremendous.
KT: The ability to watch award-winning films, made by filmmakers just like us, with the same challenges we face was a wonderful opportunity. You learn something about different cultures around the world, and how they use the medium. You would think that with everyone having the same rules and the same restrictions, the films would have the same feel. But they really didn’t. Yes, there was much they had in common, but it was very interesting to see how different cultures use film differently.
It was was very rewarding to see ‘The Only Logical Conclusion,’ which is The Porchetta Paradox’s City-winning 2018 film, really reach a genuinely international audience.
MK: In fact, David and Matthew were one of the few teams chosen to be interviewed afterward. They held their own, and the humor of ‘Conclusion’ holds up. We were proud, and Madison should be proud.
It was also an amazing chance to see what it takes to make it to Cannes. I really think we have teams right now that have a shot at making it all the way.
Let’s open the picture up a bit for those wondering the role of a producer requires. Can y’all describe your days working together or separately and what comes with organizing these types of events?
MK: Lots and lots of Tylenol.
KT: Far more goes on behind the scenes than on the screen. We are responsible for every aspect of producing the Madison event from planning to covering the costs. We negotiate with the theaters and any local sponsors we recruit. We set up any meet- and-greets and educational seminars. Most of the correspondence with filmmakers comes through us. The 48’s international team does provide us with some templates, but almost everything you see leading up to Kick-Off and through our Awards Ceremony is our responsibility. All those graphics you see on our Facebook page, for example, Michael does those. The trivia contest we had last year, that was all him.
MK: It’s really a team effort. Kat let’s me play. She does all the work. I get to focus on doing one thing, knowing she’s got the pulse of everything. Then I do the next thing she says needs to be done. I don’t need to worry if we have an e-mail scheduled. She knows. I may write or edit it, but she makes sure everything is actually going out. If you think about the 48 as a railway, I get to be the cool engine and blow steam and smoke and it might look like I’m the one getting the passengers and cargo down the track, but really, there’s whole lot more to it than that. Who makes sure there are passengers and cargo? Kat. Who makes sure there’s a staff working the train station? Kat. Who makes sure I don’t just steaming off down the tracks and run into another train? Kat. And while she’s doing all that, she’s also still very involved with the theater scene, so she’s networking with actors and stage directors and crew, letting them know about this opportunity. I just do one thing.
I am sure you guys provide work in the film industry past the 48-Hour Film Project. Can you give us an insight on the tasks and other projects y’all do when the 48-Hour Film Project is not going on?
KT: Key Media Narratives is in Pre-Production on a short that I’m really excited about. As usual, Michael wrote a wonderful script. And we’ve had a feature we’re slowly assembling for a while now. Again, Michael wrote that. I think he’s got five or six stories in his head at any time.
MK: I’ve got a desk drawer with 13 treatments in it right now, waiting for the stars to align.
MK: Stories are not a problem. But those are the passion projects that we do, because we love them. We also work on a couple of commercials and significant films every year. You’ve seen our work, whether you realize it or not.
We’ve been a part of commercials for the Wisconsin Lottery, Johnsonville Sausage, ESPN, Kwik Trip and more. We worked on the Christopher Nolan ‘Batman’ series; spent the summer on ‘Public Enemies,’ traveling all over. We did Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut ‘Lost River’ with Matt Smith and Christina Hendricks. We just wrapped up ‘Deliver Me’ in Chicago — actually most of our paid work is in Chicago in film or television, sometimes Detroit.
We also do a handful of local commercials and industrials. We’re in talks right now with a scientific instrumentation company with offices on six continents and instruments and employees on all seven. I work as a writer and script consultant on other people’s stories as well.”
KT: I’m on the Board of Directors for the Madison Theater Guild, and I continue to stage manage a handful of live theater.
MK: She’s also a fitness instructor and mother of three, all of whom have been and are very active in the Performing Arts. So, really, she has three full-time jobs.
A lot of other awards, opportunities, and experiences can come with participating in the 48-Hour Film Project. Can y’all share what could possibly go right for an inspiring filmmaker, even if you don’t win Best Picture and head to Filmapalooza?
MK: It can literally launch your career. The truth is that that no, most films do not go on to critical acclaim, and most filmmakers are doing this purely for the love of the Cinematic Arts. But it does happen! Eight years before becoming the director of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Gareth Edwards made his first film in a 48.
KT: Last year one of the 48 films at Cannes was offered and signed a distribution deal, and one of them from this year is negotiating to be a television series in Europe.
Are y’all working on any projects currently or is your focus merely on the film project event right now?
MK: Thirteen ….That I’ve told her about.
KT (Sighs): We’ve got a couple things in the works. We anticipate posting some cast and crew auditions soon. Schedule permitting.
Last year,you had an astounding 30 teams, plus a waiting-list for this year’s film project. What was the reaction and experience for that kind of turnout on your end? Are you expecting a similar turnout this year?
MK: More Tylenol. Actually, it was … very gratifying. When we came in the 48 was on a bit of a downward trend. There had been some concerns — which we knew, because we had them ourselves when we were competing. And we’ve worked extremely hard to address them.
KT: There is a huge difference, logistically, in 30 teams versus the 16 we’d had our first year. We have the best problem ever — we’d outgrown the spaces the 48 had been used to. So we literally began planning 2019 the day after the 2018 Premiere. By the time our Awards event rolled around, we’d had our new partnership with Marcus Point Theater virtually sewn up. We just couldn’t announce it yet. We’re not sure if 30 is our high-water mark, but we’re preparing to make things bigger and even better.
MK: We’re one of the smallest cities in the 48 community, and when other cities find out that we had 30 teams, they tend to want to give us advice, because they have 40 or 60 or so. And then I ask them how big their city is, and get, ‘Oh, Philadelphia is 1.5 million,’ or whatever, and then they ask how big Madison is and I get to say, ‘247,000.’ Suddenly they’re asking us for advice. We’re proud of our film community.
KT: I’m extremely proud. Madison is very engaged in the cinematic arts.
What has been the biggest highlight for Madison’s 48-Hour Film Project over the years?
MK: I’m going to go personal. For me, personally, the biggest highlight is a tie. Our first year as competitors, I was the team leader and producer, and I really didn’t know if we could do this thing. I’d worked my tail off and I was afraid it going to crash and burn all around me. And then we got to the Premiere, and I got to sit in a real theater with my friends who’d busted their butts with me and for me, and I got to see our film, a real film, that hadn’t even been an idea just a few days before, let alone a script, much less a complete film, on the big screen, and I got to watch all those people see their work, and be proud of their work and then see their names on the end crawl. To watch their faces when they saw their own names and heard the applause is just … transformative. To this day, whenever we’re screening one of our films for the first time, I stand quietly in a corner at the front of the room, so I can watch our people experiencing our film.
And it’s still a tie. Just as wonderful as that moment is, having someone type their own name in to IMDB and see their first listing, for the first time? It’s … just as good.
KT: The biggest highlight for the 48 is still to come. We’re going to have films in the Cannes Film Festival. One of our actors is going to get discovered. Someone is going to get a picture deal. And it’ll all have started right here.
MK: Okay… Yeah, that. Put me down for that, too. What has been the biggest highlight in your careers in the film industry, separately, or as a team?
MK: To the public, it’s probably my work as a stunt driver, with Oscar-winners lives literally in my hands. Or working on Oscar-nominated films.
If you’re asking me, not the public, there’s no replacing those firsts. Those firsts I’ve already mentioned. The first time I walked around on a set that had only existed in my imagination before we built it. The first time I had a script optioned, and getting to be there as the amazing talents I get to call my friends experience those firsts for themselves. It gets no better than getting to make those things happen with one of my best friends as my business partner.
KT: This is why he’s the writer.
What is the one thing you are looking forward to most with this up and coming film project here in Madison this year?
KT: Turning off the microphone after greeting the crowd, and sitting in a theater full of area film-makers and film fans and just being a film fan myself, watching the amazing productions that our community made, in just 48 hours.
MK: I was going to say, ‘Declaring registration closed, because we were full, but, I want to take her answer, again!
I heard there are a few changes for this year’s project. Can y’all reiterate the changes that are coming up this year that the incoming filmmakers should be enlightened about?
KT: The biggest changes should be ones that the teams and fans will barely notice —
MK:— But please do notice them!
KT: — and that’s that we’re in a new theater on a new day this year. Our premiere will be July 29th at Marcus Point Theater on their Ultra-Screen. The 29th is a Monday. The Ultra-Screen as a few more seats, but we often sell out, so it’s always a good idea to get your tickets through Brown Paper Tickets in advance.
We’ll have that information to you as soon as possible. In the mean time we have a brand new Join-A- Team program and a Talent Directory where would-be participants can post about themselves and what they would bring to a team, and Team Leaders, and would-be Team Leaders can post what they’re looking for to fill out their team.
Do any of you two have last minute tidbits of information to share with the readers and anyone interested in joining the 48 community?
MK: Registration for new teams will open on May 1st. Simply go to 48hourfilm.com and follow the prompts to find Madison. The best thing is to just jump in and do it. The Madison filmmaking community is on the rise, and that break- out star could be you!