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Movies

Darren Haruo Rae

By Film, Movies No Comments

This week on the Here’s What We Know Podcast, our host Gary Scott Thomas welcomes back our special guest, Darren Haruo Rae, the brilliant director and creative force behind the short film “Nisei,” which won the grand jury prize for ‘Best Dramatic Short Film’ at the Cinequest International Film Festival, making it an Academy Award-qualified film. Darren shares the behind-the-scenes journey of how the film was created despite having a limited budget and producing on their own.

This episode is not just about the professional wisdom of creating a magnificent film but highlights personal connection as it is based on Darren’s family history, specifically his grandfather’s experience, and the Japanese-American community during World War II. Tune in now!

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In this Episode:

  • Darren shares exciting news about “Nisei” winning the grand jury prize for best dramatic short at the Cinequest International Film Festival in San Jose. This win has made the “Nisei” Academy Award qualified and a chance to get nominated.
  • Darren shares about the process of becoming Academy Award-nominated, including academy voting members’ involvement and ‘For Your Consideration’ events planned in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
  • Insight into how Darren found out about winning: a mix of confusion, excitement, and disbelief while watching an Instagram livestream from home.
  • Discover Darren’s connection to “Nisei” as it tells a story close to Darren’s family history—his grandfather’s experience fighting for the US in WWII while his family was in internment camps.
  • Hear serendipitous aspects of filmmaking emerge through stories like finding a period-correct bus just after restoration or connecting with costume designers who had authentic resources linked to their heritage.

Quotations:

“It’s still a very long shot. There are a lot of great films out there this year, and we still have to do a couple of rounds of it. But just the fact that we’re even allowed to do that now and do this push.”  ~ Darren Haruo Rae

“I think when you get so invested in it and you want to coddle it too much, then it makes you too fearful to try to make it or try to take risks and stuff like that. I think I was fearful of not being mechanical enough in the sense of like, I always feel like I there’s always more research you could have done. There are always more people you could have talked to.”  ~ Darren Haruo Rae

“This film isn’t the end all be all, but it’s the opening conversation to getting new voices and maybe younger part of me doing this short was a proof of concept one to prove myself as a director, but also prove, you know, that this story is viable and that people want to see it.”  ~ Darren Haruo Rae

“We didn’t expect to win, let alone like at a qualifying festival. And so it was kind of not to say the film’s bad or anything like that, but it’s like you always kind of, you know, you tamper your expectations.”  ~ Darren Haruo Rae

“I think like for any film in general, it’s about like, what is the intent of a person or a character in a scene? Like, why are they doing this? And I think, you know, you think of like villains in films and certain villains maybe resonate more than others. And as you realize, it’s not that you agree with why they’re doing things, but you understand their intent, you understand their purpose. And I think that works for all characters. And what makes a good interesting story is like, you can see why they’re doing something or wanting to do something.”  ~ Darren Haruo Rae

“You know, mental health is a conversation that is still like very new, like being able to comfortably talk about it with family members and friends and stuff like that. And so a lot of people put their issues towards different things.”  ~ Darren Haruo Rae

Bio:

Darren Haruo Rae is a Japanese-American producer/director based in Los Angeles who co-founded the boutique production company Roann Films. He has directed high-profile commercials and branded content for clients such as Western Digital, Airbnb, and Cisco. Rae’s directorial debut, Park Arcadia, garnered Best Screenplay at the 2014 International Film Festival Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles. His latest film, Nisei, inspired by his Japanese-American grandfather’s WWII experiences in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, earned Best Drama and Audience Choice at the 2023 Poppy Jasper Film Festival and continues its festival circuit, screening at Indy Shorts by Heartland Film, LA Shorts International Film Festival, HollyShorts Film Festival, and Cinequest Film Festival. 

Currently, Rae is the series producer for the MasterClass G.O.A.T. Original Series and is producing the feature film Surrender, starring Andrea Bang. Surrender was selected as one of Film Independent’s Fast Track fellowship program’s top 10 narrative fiction features and is slated for production in 2023.

Guest Contact Info:

Website: https://www.dhrae.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/darrenhrae/

Nisei Film Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/niseithefilm/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RoannFilm/

Gary Schneeberger

By Author, Film, Movies, Sci-Fi No Comments

This week on the Here’s What We Know Podcast, our host Gary Scott Thomas sits down with Gary Schneeberger, president of Roar PR. As a seasoned writer and former journalist who crossed over to the public relations realm, Gary brings his unique perspective on the evolution of media alongside his expertise in one of cinema’s most iconic franchises: James Bond.

So if you’re a die-hard 007 fan, be sure to listen because this episode is packed with engaging tales, nostalgia, thoughtful analysis, and passion for all things Bond. Tune in now!

This episode is sponsored by:

In this Episode:

  • Introduction to Gary Schneeberger and his career transition from newspapers to public relations.
  • Insights about the shift in media consumption over time and the decline in print journalism contrast with online growth.
  • Listen to personal anecdotes about moving from California back to Wisconsin after decades away.
  • In-depth analysis of why James Bond is a universally appealing character and a cultural phenomenon.
  • Delve into each actor’s portrayal of James Bond and how they brought something different to the role from Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig.
  • Hear trivia and insights about Barbara Carrera‘s award nomination and Frank Sinatra’s role as the first John McClane in an alternate universe.
  • Speculation on James Bond’s future casting, celebration of six decades of the franchise’s legacy, and continual captivation of audiences worldwide.

Quotations:

“I think that’s one of the reasons why Bond was so popular, has been so popular over 60 years, is that because it has changed up, and Bond has sort of met the times where the times were at, and that’s been the genius of the folks who’ve been producing it all these years.” ~ Gary Schneeberger

“From Connery to Craig is its own cinematic universe. They weren’t talking cinematic universes when they started like Marvel has a cinematic universe like Harry Potter has a cinematic universe, but this is all self-contained.”  ~ Gary Schneeberger

“He has to have that non-American sort of perspective. And I think that’s one of the beautiful things about Bond, Gary, as we, you know, as we talk about it, is that there’s, especially for those of us in America, there’s just something so exotic about it.”  ~ Gary Schneeberger

Bio:

Gary Schneeberger’s three decades in journalism and public relations fuel his passion for, and success in, strategic marketing and communications. As founder and president of ROAR, Schneeberger draws on his executive and executional experience in entertainment, ministry, and media to help individuals and organizations engage audiences with the boldness and creative clarity that ensure they are heard. He has captured his insights and experience on the wise practice of public relations in Bite the Dog: Build a PR Strategy to Make News That Matters, available at most online booksellers.

He has advised Hollywood studios (Universal, Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox), television networks (USA, History, The CW), global ministries (Focus on the Family) and publishing houses (Simon & Schuster, Hachette Books), as well as counseled and created communications platforms for some of the biggest names in movies and TV (including Mark Burnett and Roma Downey) and the most influential leaders in the faith community (including Jim Daly and Russell Moore). His writing, under his own name and on behalf of clients, has appeared in Time, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Washington Post, CNN.com, and The Huffington Post. He has an extensive background as a spokesperson, appearing on the CBS Evening News, CNN This Morning, NPR, and HLN, among dozens of others. Schneeberger also spent more than 15 years as an award-winning reporter and editor for daily newspapers across the country, including the Los Angeles Times. He and his wife, Kelly, live in Camp Lake, Wis., with her two children, Alyssa and Hunter.

Guest Contact Info:

Website: https://weroar.la/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/garyschneeberger/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/garyschneeberger/

X: https://twitter.com/gschneeberger

Youtube: @garyschneeberger3641

Jonathan Maberry

By Author, Film, Movies, Sci-Fi No Comments

This week on the Here’s What We Know Podcast, join us for a riveting episode as our host, Gary Scott Thomas, sits down with none other than the master of thrills and chills, Jonathan Maberry! They dive deep into his fascinating life and work as a prolific author whose career spans across novels, short stories, comic books, the big screen, and more. Jonathan’s life reads like one of his novels—from martial arts expert to bestselling author. Our host couldn’t get enough of his Joe Ledger series and Pine Deep trilogy. And neither will you once you dive into those heart-pounding action scenes!

So tune in to this incredible episode and discover the passion and stories behind your favorite Maberry books! Also, brace yourself for spoilers!

This episode is sponsored by:

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In this Episode:

  • A Life Full of Stories: Jonathan shares his wildly varied bio, proving that his life is just as captivating as the worlds he creates.
  • The Joe Ledger Series: Get ready to dive into the mind of a master storyteller as Jonathan discusses the completion of the 13th book and his preparations for the 14th. 
  • Crafting Fight Scenes: Find out how Jonathan’s martial arts expertise translates into gripping combat sequences that are packed with physiological and psychological layers. It’s like watching a high-octane fight scene on the page!
  • Character Depth and Evolution: Hear Jonathan’s insights on the development of his book protagonists and how they evolve throughout his captivating stories. 
  • Hollywood Adaptations and Casting Challenges: Get the inside scoop on past discussions about adapting the Joe Ledger series into TV shows or movies. And let’s not forget the all-important casting choices.
  • The Future of Joe Ledger: Join in on the excitement as they talk about possible future adaptations and Jonathan’s appearances in other book series. The possibilities are endless!
  • Narrative Technique Discussion: Discover how Jonathan’s ideas are born from current events or scientific advancements, weaving impactful storylines that center around character experiences. It’s like a masterclass in storytelling!
  • The Story of Our Fathers: Take a nostalgic trip down memory lane as Jonathan shares stories from his upbringing. A glimpse into his past that adds an extra layer of depth to his work.
  • Comic Book Morality: Explore the intricate world of comic books, including the beloved Marvel and DC comics, as Jonathan delves into the moral complexities they tackle. 

Quotations:

“It’s always annoyed me when I watch movies or TV shows where the hero, you know, gets in a gun battle or fist fight and, you know, either brutalizes someone or kills someone. And then in the next scene, there’s no emotional resonance to it. It’s like, it’s like, that’s just another day. And I know a lot of guys in law enforcement and the military, including a lot of guys in the special forces. And even, you know, even though a lot of them keep good game faiths, you know, there’s a reason why PTSD is such a big thing. Because, you know, you are crossing that barrier of, you know, that taboo barrier of ending human life in a combat situation.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

“Even though you may have 100 percent justification, there is still a part of you that’s always going to be the moral, empathetic human being who just killed someone, and if you don’t have that moment, then there is; that’s the real cry for help. When you can pull a trigger and not have it affect you at all, that’s symptomatic of a pathology that is very frightening.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

“Fact that violence always, always leaves a mark.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

“That humanism matters far more to me in an action hero than any kind of politics ever would.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

“Our job as writers is not to give a bunch of good characters a nice bed. So we think of, like, whose lives would be most dramatically impacted.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

“It’s all about character experience,  picking different people and seeing how their lives will be impacted by something, and then building the story around that rather than just focusing on the big, central conceit of whatever the theme is going to be.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

“Having had a horrible father, I know what not to do; you know, I know what I don’t want as part of my life.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

“A father’s, a blood father, can be the family we’re born into, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the family, um, that we want to have, especially since that person has to be the father where a stepfather chooses to be the father.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

“Professional daydream is what I should put on my business card because it is the best job in the world.” ~ Jonathan Maberry

Guest’s Bio:

Jonathan Maberry is a New York Times best-seller, five-time Bram Stoker Award-winner, anthology editor, comic book writer, executive producer, magazine feature writer, playwright, and writing teacher/lecturer. He is the editor of Weird Tales Magazine and president of the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers. He is the recipient of the Inkpot Award, three Scribe Awards, and was named one of the Today’s Top Ten Horror Writers. His books have been sold in more than thirty countries. He writes in several genres, including thriller, horror, science fiction, epic fantasy, and mystery, and he writes for adults, middle grade, and young adults.

Jonathan is the creator, editor, and co-author of V-WARS, a shared-world vampire anthology from IDW Publishing that was adapted into a Netflix series.

He is the editor of many anthologies, including The X-Files, Aliens: Bug Hunt, Don’t Turn Out the Lights, Nights of the Living Dead, and others. His comics include Black Panther: DoomWar, Captain America, Pandemica, Highway to Hell, The Punisher, and Bad Blood.

Jonathan and his wife, Sara Jo, to whom he dedicates all of his published works, and their dog, Rosie, live in San Diego, California.

Guest’s Contact Info:

Jeff Dwoskin

By Comedian, Film, Fun, Movies No Comments

This week on Here’s What We Know, host Gary Scott Thomas had an engaging conversation filled with nostalgic moments and hidden gems from the past. Our guest is Jeff Dwoskin, an award-winning comedian known for Laughs, Detroit International Comedy Festival, and Live from Detroit: The Jeff Dwoskin Show. Listen to hear incredible stories from throughout his career, providing unique insights into his journey. Persistence, passion, and identity were key themes explored in this conversation–truly inspiring for anyone pursuing their dreams! Remember, each ‘no’ today could potentially turn into a ‘yes’ tomorrow! 

Join us as we continue exploring engaging conversations with individuals who’ve left an indelible mark on popular culture over decades!

This episode is sponsored by:

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In This Episode:

  • The Birth of Classic Conversation: Discover how the podcast evolved from a concept about social media named ‘Viral Intentions’ to its current form, focusing on pop culture nostalgia.
  • Guests Galore: Learn about the variety of personalities that have graced his show.
  • Interviewing Process and Preparation: Gain insights into how potential guests are approached and what goes into preparing for each interview.
  • Memorable Moments and Surprises: Hear fascinating anecdotes involving unexpected phone calls leading to impromptu interviews with comedians Robert Klein and Bernie Kopell, among others.
  • Special Highlight: Al Jean Interview: Don’t miss out on hearing about one of our most interesting guests, Al Jean, executive director and showrunner for The Simpsons!
  • Insightful Conversations: Tune in as we discuss intriguing topics stumbled upon during interviews.
  • Persistence Pays Off: Understand why persistence is key when reaching out for interviews despite initial rejections or ignored requests.

Quotations:

“When they know that you know them, then they’ll start telling you more stuff and they’ll open up to you and you’ll get a better interview because they start to trust you.”: ~ Jeff Dwoskin

“You can go back and ask again, just cause someone said no. At one point, the timing might have been wrong. I, you know, so it’s always worth it to kind of go back to that.”  ~ Jeff Dwoskin

“Some of these folks have dedicated their lives and do things that are so much cooler than the pop culture and nostalgia thing that we love.”  ~ Jeff Dwoskin

“You can tell the people that are timeless and amazing and really put the time in. It  definitely, uh, it definitely shows.”  ~ Jeff Dwoskin

“ I like finding stuff that I like. That people do that, um, that they don’t necessarily usually talk about.”  ~ Jeff Dwoskin

Guest’s Bio:

Jeff Dwoskin is a tech entrepreneur, podcaster, and award-winning comedian. Born in the suburbs of Detroit, he grew up in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Jeff is known for Laughs (2014) and Detroit International Comedy Festival (2010). He was the prestigious winner of the Dick Purtan Comedy Showcase and has appeared in numerous festivals.  As the host of Live from Detroit: The Jeff Dwoskin Show (2020), he fuses his passions for comedy, trending topics, pop culture, and all things social media into an ear-pleasing show with amazing guests from the worlds of comedy, acting, and social media.

He started his journey in the tech industry back in 1997, Jeff founded his own website development company, which quickly became one of the pioneering forces in the country. Amidst his tech endeavors, his comedic talents blossomed, beckoning him to the stage as a professional stand-up comedian. Additionally, Jeff is renowned for his significant contributions to social media. He founded Hashtag Roundup, a platform that facilitates over 8,000 top 10 USA trends on Twitter, showcasing his knack for understanding and engaging online audiences. Recognizing the power of platforms like Instagram, Jeff established Stampede Social, aimed at assisting creators in driving traffic to their content through innovative means beyond traditional links in bios.

Jeff Dwoskin’s versatile journey, seamlessly melding tech entrepreneurship and comedy, stands as a testament to his creative ingenuity and unyielding passion for both fields.

Guest’s Contact Info: