Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Scoop! With BlogTraveler Deb and 2 movie-makers…



10 Days Left to Get Involved and Be a PART of the Familiar Spirits Production Crew! Visit http://bit.ly/FamiliarSpirits!

What’s Christopher Shawn Shaw been up to? 
It looks like he’s been collaborating with screenwriter/Producer/Actress, Susan Shearer. 
Let’s check it out!

Writer/Director/Producer Shaw
Well BT Deb followers…If you remember my blog post back in May 2013 you remember writer, Director and short film maker, Christopher Shawn Shaw. But wait! He’s got more up his sleeve than just short, Christian comedies (like One Nightstand, discussed in our former interview).
Since May, he has done what? 

That’s right…

  
Produced - A short (and very serious) documentary about a family dealing with the loss of their 11 year old boy who had a special gift for motorcycling. Godspeed
 
Began directing and a funding campaign for- Familiar Spirits. A faith based film about a mother struggling with the grief of losing her daughter and how far she may go to get her back.
 
Still has Youth Group the Movie in the percolator – BUT GUESS WHAT!! YEP! He got a signed Letter of Intent from THE Stephen Baldwin to act and assist in the production of the film!!! 

Let’s discuss these things and more- below in better detail!

But First – THIS isn’t only an interview with Director Christopher Shawn Shaw! I have also invited screenwriter/producer of Familiar Spirits, Susan Shearer along…to shed some light on her latest film that sounds very suspenseful, gripping, and possibly controversial.
 
Susan – let’s start off with your take on Familiar Spirits. 

Q - I understand there is a funding campaign underway for the film production and marketing (10 DAYS LEFT, upon the writing of this post! Act now, viewers, and be a part of the film production/support crew! http://bit.ly/FamiliarSpirits Get the DVD Before the REST of the world for giving just 25 bucks!). Tell us a little bit about it and how the audience can be a part of this great work!
Screenwriter and Actress Susan Shearer
A –Thank you so much for asking! Christopher and I have put as much time into the fundraising as the actual film production. It’s quite a daunting task and we are so grateful to everyone who supports us through your prayers, and your donation of funds and then helping us spread the word by sharing it with your friends and family and extended circles of influence.
We were approached by a new crowdfunding organization called FaithLauncher. They loved our project and asked if they could partner with us to make our campaign a success. You can find our campaign at http://bit.ly/FamiliarSpirits



It truly does take a village to create a film and that’s where your listening/reading audience comes in. Every little bit helps! In light of that, we created perks all the way from the Two Buck Tuesday perk, where you get a joke from Mr. Punchline himself, all the way up to Executive Producer perk with all sort of fun things Exec Producers should be pampered with. There’s also a Walk On Role perk for aspiring actors and opportunities to be a part of the crew.
Check it out; I think you will find some fun things for Christmas gifts for the special people on your list.

Get Rewards for Supporting the Film! Click http://bit.ly/FamiliarSpirits
Christopher and I are very accessible to the public, so if there is something on your heart, please don’t hesitate to contact us at the links Deb provided at the end of this blog.



Q- Also. Before audience members give, they may be a bit hesitant, since the topic, is after all- about ghosts. Do you have a few words to diminish their freight about this topic, not typically covered, in Christian fiction? 

A- If you believe in God, you believe in the supernatural. The Bible is an amazing book about the spiritual realm and one that should not be taken lightly. There are spiritual battles going on all around us and in our own lives. 


Our story deals with a widow who has lost her only child and finds herself caught up in a huge spiritual battle. She is forced to make a tough decision… will she dare to ask the question that might take her daughter from her forever?

Christopher and I have been very faithful about staying true to what the Bible says about ghosts. We have sought out the advice of pastors, and Biblical scholars, to insure we are on track. Early on, a dear Christian friend who has been on this earth a bit longer than me said, “It’s a subject that the church ignores and it needs to be addressed.” That was the encouragement I needed to know we had something here.



Ookay. Before we hear Director Shaw’s input on this…let’s get some feedback from him on the short documentary, GodSpeed, which premiered at the 168 International Film Festival (http://www.168film.com) August 9th, 2013, and was voted Audience Favorite for that night’s screenings, as well as Runner Up Best Documentary at the overall festival.

Q – Christopher, tell us about how you and Thor Ramsey had a part in that project, which is, in some ways, out of your ‘typical’ genre of film making…or…is it?

Comedian Thor Ramsey  and Christopher Shawn Shaw
A- Thor is a teaching pastor at Canyon Lake Community Church in Canyon Lake, CA, and the Downey family interviewed in GODSPEED is a family he personally knows, who are part of the Church fellowship he pastors. We had previously discussed and pitched a feature film version of GODSPEED to a faith-based production company, and after being inspired by fellow veteran 168 Film Project filmmaker Theo Love (http://www.TheoLove.com), who did a documentary called LITTLE HOPE WAS ARSON (http://www.littlehopewasarson.com), Thor decided to do a documentary version of GODSPEED, which he produced, directed, and edited. I helped produce, and shot some of the footage with our stellar Cinematographer, Colton Davie (https://vimeo.com/coltondavie).


Although I tend to gravitate toward quirky comedic material, I’m well versed with multiple genres of filmmaking, and thoroughly enjoy well-executed films of varying genres.

Before we go on, I would like to interject at how well-designed that film was and how it respectfully handled the Downey’s loss, yet clearly portrayed their real hope, doubt, and final resolve to dealing with how to handle the death of such a young loved one (they lost their son, Brett Downey, 11-year-old nationally known motocross racer) and each had to face how to pick up the pieces, and whether to turn from, or turn to God. 

Interested readers can donate to the foundation the family started at:  http://www.MXSafety38.org
 
Q- It really sounds like you’ve been trying to follow which doors God opens and not set any limits on yourself as a Director. This brings us back to your take on Familiar Spirits. What were your thoughts when you were first invited to help create a film like this (In the Suspense/Thriller genre) for “Faith-based” Fiction? Did it seem a little…contradictory?

A – Well, Susan was interested in producing something with me, so we had a brainstorm phone conversation, and I pitched the premise of what later became FAMILIAR SPIRITS (Thor Ramsey is one of our Script Consultants, and he suggested that title). Although Susan was really looking to do a feature film project next, she liked the idea of revealing the reality of a controversially popular aspect of the spiritual realm through a Biblical lens, and the premise I pitched her was pretty much always a short film in my mind. 
Table Read Cast for Familiar Spirits - Help Fund it! @FSMovie 
http://bit.ly/FamiliarSpirits
Upon further encouragement from outside suggestions and further conversation with Susan about it, we are open to the possibility of developing FAMILIAR SPIRITS into a feature film, pending audience interest and Development Phase funds to do so. The short film could be a stand-alone project as well as be a “calling card” of sorts to help get the feature film funded. Either way, we plan to do the short film first, pending funding, because that was my initial intent, and the story works really well as a 25-minute or so short film. 

So, please contribute to our campaign so we can make FAMILIAR SPIRITS: http://bit.ly/FamiliarSpirits. (EVERY amount – no matter how large or small – counts!) 


Please also share that link with your spheres of influence via regular E-mail and all your Social Media outlets! Thank you so much!

Well guys and gals… we’ve come to the “Facebook DJ Five” and as you know from my former interview with Director and filmmaker Shaw, he already answered those questions. Hence, my new guest, and Screenwriter/Producer/Actress, Susan Shearer, gets the lucky task of The Facebook DJ Five… Give it a go, Susan…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
     Now… to the BlogTraveler FIVE… The Five ultimate questions asked to everyone I interview…. 
     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Q – In 5 words or less, who/what is your target audience? 
A Those curious about Supernatural Realm
Q- What is the mission of your movies?
A -In addition to entertaining our audience, it’s designed to plant seeds and create dialogue. My mission field is audience hearts.
Q- What result would you want to see happen by the viewers of your movies? (5 yrs, 10 yrs, tomorrow?)
A-I want to provoke the mainstream audience to think about spiritual matters and ask themselves what they believe. For them to challenge their own thoughts and beliefs.

I hope they leave the theater scratching their head and discussing with the person(s) they came with about, “What did you think?” Then later, maybe a week, maybe a month or two, perhaps even a year later, a light bulb will go on and they will have an “Ah Ha!” moment.
Susan Shearer (right) as an Actress


What a blessing that would be if someone coming to Christ as their Lord and Savior was a direct result of our movie. I’d be dancing on clouds before I get to heaven!



Q- What’s your life Bible scripture right now?
A -I have so many as God has been taking me through a huge time of growth. The entire book of Philippians was a great source of comfort and strength to me recently. I highly recommend it to anyone going through trials and struggles.
A good verse that just came to mind for our time of fundraising is:
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

~ Ephesians 3:20 God is so cool. He already knows what we need. 
And also, [in the context of using entertainment as a platform for sharing God's love and His story]
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.



Q- Who is Jesus to you?
A-Oh my. He is my everything. My Lord, my Savior, my Master, my King, my Bridegroom, my Comforter, the list goes on forever. He truly is Everything.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Next. Christopher, let’s remind the viewers a little bit about Youth Group The Movie. Here is the tentative trailer that caught a well-known actor’s eye. Youth Group Trailer

Okay – so, I hope you readers, just clicked that. You didn’t? …Go watch it. We’ll wait…

Q - Christopher. Tell us about what point you are in the production of this film, is it full-length, what are your plans for gaining funding, and what was it like to get a call/contact (letter  of intent) from Mr. Stephen Baldwin? 

A- We are in the fundraising phase for YOUTH GROUP as well. Stephen Baldwin and his producing partner, John McGalliard, have been pitching YOUTH GROUP in order to secure the $1M production budget, as well as a $500K marketing and advertising budget. I actually connected with Stephen Baldwin via Social Media, asking if he’d share the link to the YOUTH GROUP Trailer to envision support...and he loved it enough to contact me. We soon after had a conference call, then a sit-down dinner meeting, and he expressed his desire to help us by coming alongside Thor and me as a Producer (primarily in regards to finding the budget), as well as an Actor in a supporting role in the film.  It was very exciting, and it’s good to know he and John believe in the project enough to continue to pitch it to their various connections. Please pray.

Q - What else in on your mind, Director Shaw, or yours, Screenwriter Shearer? What links have we missed, or can we provide to get the readers, listener and viewers involved in becoming a part of Familiar Spirits, Youth Group The Movie or anything else that might be coming around the bend for the either of you? 

What's New For Christopher Shawn Shaw
A – Regarding YOUTH GROUP, please continue sharing the link to the trailer to envision support: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sF5zaIkqw2U

Regarding FAMILIAR SPIRITS, please financially support (even if it’s just ten bucks) as well as share Susan’s and my FaithLauncher campaign link: http://bit.ly/FamiliarSpirits (Thank you SO much!)


There are numerous projects on the horizon, not only with Thor, but also with Comedian/Impersonator Scott Wood (www.MrPunchline.com), both short films and feature films. Also currently developing a quirky comedy short with Comedian/Ventriloquist David Pendleton (http://anythingcantalk.com/) with the help of veteran Comedians John Branyan (http://johnbranyan.com/) and Robert G. Lee (http://robertglee.com/). 

In addition, I’m convinced I’ve discovered an ongoing, cyclical way to generate production budget funds for short films and features while also raising funds for Church fellowships at the same time...it needs Church fellowships to host it and people to join in on the fun...Check out this promo video for Night Of Comedy & Short Films FUNdraiser events: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hr4MZGlMRw

 What's New For Susan Shearer:

A— We invite you to check out our crowdfunding campaign on FaithLauncher http://bit.ly/FamiliarSpirits
And join in the fun by Following our Twitter page @FSMovie, and LIKEing our Facebook page
www.facebook.com/FamiliarSpiritsMovie
Again. We are very accessible. So if you would like to help or donate, please feel free to contact us. Thank you.
Susan Shearer as a Director



And as always, thanks to Director/Film maker/writer/producer Christopher Shawn Shaw and Screenwriter/Producer/Actress/Director Susan Shearer for the pleasure and honor to meet with you through this interview and support your ministries of Jesus’ love through the entertainment sector. 
                                                  ~                          ~                          ~

Ladies and gentlemen, don’t forget to check out Susan Shearer on Twitter@susanshearer, Facebook, www.FamiliarSpiritsFilm.com


And watch the Pitch Video for Familiar Spirits on FaithLauncher and see what level of rewards YOU want! :)  http://bit.ly/FamiliarSpirits

Also don't forget to...

Follow Christopher Shawn Shaw at his Twitter,(@directorCSS),  Facebook, imdb profile and YouTube at www.YouTube.com/CSS301 as well!

Photos and pending movie poster/cover art courtesy of Susan Shearer and Christopher Shawn Shaw.

And this has been The Scoop with BlogTraveler Deb and Director Christopher Shawn Shaw and Screenwriter Susan Shearer! 

Maybe sometime down the line (after the Familiar Spirits Campaign) we can discuss in more detail all the hats that Susan wears! It has been a pleasure to keep in touch with you, Christopher! Thanks again to you both!

(Fans! Keep an Eye out for an Audio Link added to this post! Pending scheduling!!!) 
Happy to have every reader, listener and viewer along, and tune in next time for more fun and enlightening entertainment news on this same blog page! 

It will be something very awesome, I’m sure!

Chatta Latta!
BlogTraveler Deb 
Deborah Ruth Dickson. Hence, the "dr" in @drdickson1 is on Twitter! "BlogTraveler Deb" has done interviews with independent Christian artists, authors and screen writers for her blog. She also spends her free time perfecting her unpublished Christian-genre lifestyle books, novels & screenplays. www.deborahruthdicksonwrites.blogspot.com   

Artists include:Angela Bertone, Ann Gabhart, Bryan Duncan, Mali Korsten, Dan Macaulay, Christopher ShawnShaw, John Tibbs, Fourfold, Jerry T-Wack and more in the works! 


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