Support, Technically

Hi everybody, as you’ve probably noticed, we’ve had some trouble with our channel, but much of this has to do with technical difficulties as opposed to our video editor dragging his feet and not being a cupid-hanging slobber-Nazi. (As an interesting side-note, the spell-check underlined the entirety of “slobber-nazi” with a lowercase “N.) While we wait for him to get his system working correctly (and wipe his slobber off the keyboard), check out some of the silliness on the “Making Of” channel.

Meanwhile, here’s a picture I know you’ll like.

Pay Attention to the Man Behind The Counter

Come up with a better caption than this one and put it in a comment on this post!

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JACK UZI “Goes Viral!”

Can you imagine that?  “The Adventures of Jack Uzi” going viral?  It would be a real marketing coup for a new company’s virgin outing with an ambitious spy web-series.  I’m not sure how it would work, but in this case, I’d really like to hear people’s ideas of how they’d do it.  In fact, I’m going to put up the money for $100 restaurant gift cards for each of the following:

  • Best promotion idea (that we can afford)
  • Funniest promotional idea
  • Most insane promotional idea.

All you have to do is comment below or, if you’re shy, e-mail the Secret E-mail Address.  Runners-up in each category will get calendars.  You’ve got a month.

Let’s cut out some of the obvious ones:  testimonial quotes like “‘The SHARKNADO of all spy stories!’  –Queen Elizabeth II” and “The Adventures of Jack Uzi has been BANNED in eleven countries!” are really no good because they’re not true…  although I have to admit if somebody can actually make me laugh out loud at an appropriately silly lie, I’ll give out a calendar for that, too.

Meanwhile, here’s one for the history books–four of our lovely young starlets in front of the DIA before it was sold off in the bankruptcy:

A quick pose outside the DIA with four of JACK UZI's youngest stars!

A quick pose outside the DIA with four of JACK UZI’s youngest stars!

Late to the Tromadance

Dear Readers, I’m sorry.

Had I been paying closer attention, I would have told you about the Tromadance Detroit Film Festival, a totally free film festival, with additional performances during the DVD changes. Our own Dean Vanderkolk was there, showing his movie, “Day-Planner of the Dead,” and it was a real hoot. In it, we learn the real reason zombies eat flesh. I won’t spoil it for you, though.

Dean Vanderkolk as Leland Crane

Dean Vanderkolk as Leland Crane

Go here to learn more.

The Calendar Project is well underway now, selections being made for the cover and pictures for the inside. These should be ready by August, and a pre-order link will go up soon. Meanwhile, we still need entries for our “JU for June!” contest–at this rate, it may turn into “JU for June and July!” Enter now, while you still can.

And now, Ryan “Gold-Mine” Minarik!

Now’s your opportunity to meet Ryan Minarik, the actor playing Captain Linenger in The Adventures of Jack Uzi!

Ryan Minarik on a green-screen background

Here he is… but replace that green-screen background with a new location!

1) How did you find yourself getting involved with acting?

I found myself getting into acting thanks to my co-workers at UPS. Let’s just say, I entertained them with my voices and my role-playing at work, and they all said that I missed my calling. Finally, I researched it and found an agency to help me find some acting gigs.  Bada-boom, bada-bang, here I am.

2) When you consider acting as a process, what is your favorite aspect of it?

My favorite aspect of acting is getting out in front of the camera and people, letting myself go and being that person I am portraying. Also, I like seeing behind the scenes and actually seeing how all the stuff is put together.

3) What has been your most enjoyable experience to date as an actor and why?

My most enjoyable experience to date is working with Freon and and Barb on set, Just for the simple fact they made is so comfortable and easy-going. I felt at ease.

4) Finally, and this is a question I like to ask everybody I meet: Everyone has a view in his or her head of what “success” would be. How will you know when you “made it?” How would you describe your “ultimate ambition?”

“Made it… ” My wildest dream of “making it” is that I would never have to work at UPS again!!! [laughs] Realistically, though, I started acting to see if I can actually get in front of a camera and people and play a part with no wavering, no doubt, and just do it. I know I have the skill and talent to do any part that is put in front of me to act. It’s just a question of whether or not I can do it when the red light comes on. When I am confident in that, I know it that’s when I will feel I “made it”.

As the picture’s caption says, everyone, Ryan’s background looks pretty empty.  Why don’t you fix that for us? 

As with the ongoing ringtone contest, we’re setting the size of the prize on the number of actual entrants–the more people get involved, the bigger the prize will get, so get your friends involved, and when you win, the better the prizes will be!

And now, on to Mars.

I promised this last time.  The month of March was named for the Roman god Mars, their god of war.  Coincidentally, Mars is the starting setting for the upcoming film, The Billion-Dollar Caveman.  Set in the far future, the story involves one young reporter on her way to the scoop of a lifetime… if she survives!  Of course, while we’re moving the original story from comic book to script, we also need to look at design elements appropriate for the Mars Colonies and the Asteroid Belt, so if you’re interested in some fashion design credits for the movie, please contact me with your visions of what people will be wearing in the early 2800s on Earth, Mars, and the Asteroid Belt.  If you need help visualizing conditions, let me know, and I’ll be happy to tell you more.

Courtney and the Contest

Courtney Danielle Steward plays GGNS Agent Lora Pine in "The Adventures of Jack Uzi."

Courtney Danielle Steward plays GGNS Agent Lora Pine in “The Adventures of Jack Uzi.”`

Today, we start with an interview with Courtney Danielle Steward, who plays GGNS Agent Lora Pine in our series.  After the interview, we proceed with information on last week’s Photoshop Contest… along with a poll where you get to decide the winner.  Courtney is an actress, a model, and a dancer, and one of the nicest, and friendliest people you will ever meet.  Gracious as always, she not only answered my questions, but also passed along information on those with whom she worked.

Courtney, you list yourself as an actress/dancer/model.  Tell me about some of your projects as each, and which of those you wish to do most (and why.)

Well, first off, I’ve been a dancer since I was eight–I was also on the competitive team, through Maria’s School of Dancein Fowlerville.  I also currently teach dance there, so there are way too many things that have happened with that to even list.  The coolest experience related to dancing would have been performing at Hayden Panettiere’s 21st birthday party in Ann Arbor, when she was here filming Scream 4.  Dance is what actually led me into acting.  Many of the dance conventions [the team] would go to would have acting classes that we would all attend.  That was my first taste of acting, but my first acting experience was during my freshman year of college.  I performed in a play that one of the English professors wrote; it was an adaptation of the Cinderella story, and I was an evil stepsister.  After that, my passion for acting jumped into high gear.  I met Jack Uzi director Michael “Freon” Andaluz on the set of I Remember Yesterday, where my grandfather, Curtis Watkins, and I were both extras.  My next project was The Adventures of Jack Uzi, where I played Lora Pine.  Since then, I have done a few projects, including a fun music video by a country artist named David Shelby.  I was a featured extra there.  My most recent project was Dissonance, short film by Colin Nichols.  Without giving too much away, I play a character named Kate who catches two guys breaking into the house where she’s home alone.  I’ve also recently been cast in a feature-length independent film, Beyond the Dark.  Modeling was something I started doing just tog et more exposure and some great pictures.  I’ve done a few different workshops, and one of my pictures was used in an ad for a resale store.  Other than that, I’ve recently shot with Steve Phillipson in Howell and with Brent Taylor out in Holt.  I would like to do more acting, but with my class schedule, I really don’t have a lot of time to audition thanks to homework, exams, and the rest.

You’ve been going to college… What is your major, and how does this fit in with your career plans?

My major is in Human Services and Case Management at Baker College;  I hope to work in the adoptions field.  Most of the acting and modeling projects I get don’t pay much, so I plan to get a job in the field after graduation in order to pay for my travel and eventual move to Los Angeles.  Then, if the acting work in L.A. doesn’t pan out, then I have a degree to fall back on.  Interestingly, many of the psychology classes I have taken have also helped me when trying to understand a character.

What has been your most fun experience to date in any of your projects–what happened, and why?

I would have to say one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had recently would have been on the set of Dissonance.  When Colin sent me the script, I knew immediately it would be great.  One thing that drew me to it is that my character ends up [spoiler removed!].  If you didn’t know, I’m kind of a geek about the special effects stuff–I can’t do any of it, but I love to see how it’s done. Both the make-up artist Haleigh Wovo and Colin Nichols himself worked on my bullet wound.  It looked awesome!  The acting in it was also a challenge for me because a few of the scenes required that I convey all these different emotions but only with my eyes. (Once you see it, you’ll understand what I mean).  Everyone was very helpful, though, and it’s always great to connect with others in this industry.  My co-stars Cameron McCormick and Tristan Ward are great actors as well.  It was very helpful to be able to watch experienced actors work through a scene and learn some of the things they do. Overall, the entire cast and crew were great, and between scenes everyone was friendly and joking. It was a lot of fun.

Everyone successful has a view in his or her head of what success would be. How will you know when you “made it?” How would you describe your “ultimate ambition?”

That’s a hard question because some people in this industry think that being a successful actor/actress means you are “famous.” To me, I’m already successful–I get to something that I love, and my friends and family say that they are proud of me.  That’s what success means to me.  My ultimate ambition, once I get to LA, would be to play a character that is the complete opposite of myself, to experience my ultimate challenge in acting.

And now, the Photoshop Contest Finalists!

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Ends, Efforts, and Editing!

Twelve-thirty-two-thousand-twelve: With the End of the World safely past (again), we at least find ourselves proceeding toward the End of the Year! With much of the pick-up work done, we’re looking at the end of work on the pilot, too! With that, we have been making some effort to getting our schedules together for filming the rest of the Season One story… and in fact, we’ve been filling in some of the holes in the upcoming scripts while waiting on people we need for the pilot.
We’ve also been getting some of the editing done (although we’re saving the best parts–the special effects–the actual series… although it’s not going to look like what you think!). Here’s a scene we’ve been working on from… well, the episode number is secret, but if you can tell me who you can see in this film, prizes await! If anyone can guess who is wrangling each of the vehicles in the scene, mention those, too, and even bigger prizes await!

Help Promote a Minor Character

Handling even a weekly blog is difficult, what with events like Detroit Fanfare (what a great show!) getting in the way… but fortunately, there’s always something going on with our series.  In order to make a high school class look big enough to be a high school class, we needed to have lots of high-school-age characters audition.  Now, as a fun little exercise in promotion, we’ve invited you to decide which ones you like the most… by “liking” their photos in Facebook!  The one with the most “likes” will be allowed to change his or her character name!  Go help them now!

Meanwhile, we’re still on the look-out for the right ring-tone for our hero, Jack Fitch.  C’mon, folks!  We know some of you have favorite music samples, and some of you are even musicians!  Have some fun with this!  All it takes is a clip of .wav or .mp3 with any appropriate credits, sent to the secret e-mail address!