In celebration of the NewFilmmakers Los Angeles screenings at Sunset Gower Studios this month, we're conducting a series of Q&A Features and this week we're bringing you Executive Producer, Co-Writer and Lead role: Ronnie Connell of "Ticket to Hell."
“Ticket to Hell”
Executive Producer, Co-Writer, Lead role
Tell us a little bit about your project and how long you've been working on it?
When I was 16 years old (which was two years ago), I was doing an AP course about Motion Picture and TV Production at UCLA and we had to write a story for the film. When I gave my story to the professor, Duane Dell'Amico, he said we will not be able to use your story because we do not have enough time, but he said, "Hold on to this story. This is amazing, you should definitely make a movie. You've got the talent kid."
I wanted to create something that will change the way we view things that are happening in our country; in this case specifically people without health insurance and things that lead or may lead people to do certain things when they face the inevitable. The main question for me was: What happens if you are sick and you do not have insurance? What do you do? I was encouraged by my parents to show the story to my manager Ryan Glasgow and we shaped up the story together into what it is right now. We started working on the project in May 2011 and we had the final product in fall of 2011.
Is there anyone you'd like to thank for helping out with this film?
I would like to thank Ryan Glasgow, my friend and manager, story and screenplay co-writer and executive producer, who believed in me and in this project, the director Enrico Natale who's keen eye moved this project into a completely different level. I would like to thank our superb actors Stephanie Jones who was my mom in the movie, Erick Scott Woods as a creepy Mr Sargento, and wonderful Bill Zasadil, and Bree Pavey. Our producers Renee Pezzotta and Alex Bram thank you for your generosity and patience; PJ Gaynard our great cinematographer, Red Dragons are absolutely an amazing group of people to work with, Adam Knapp my friend and our still photographer, Scott Chesak our very talented music composer, Julie Keppel the make up artist, Brad Hansen our screenplay co-writer and editor, Susan Ferris and Alison Buck from Bohemia Entertainment. I would like to thank all that worked on this movie, and last, my parents for the financial and mental support through this amazing journey.
How does it feel to have your film part of the NewFilmmakers Screening at Sunset Gower Studios?
It feels surreal. It is an exuberating feeling and thank you NewFilmmakers so much for giving "Ticket To Hell" a chance.
What inspires you?
Real stories and real people.
What are your influences and who do you admire?
Gary Oldman, Ralph Fiennes, John Malkovich, Christopher Guest, Clive Owen
What lessons have you learned from the industry?
Believe in yourself, your project, and ideas and do not ever give up and surrender.
If you could collaborate with anybody, who would it be?
Steve Buscemi, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scoursese, Guillermo del Toro, James Cameron and Tim Burton.
What is the toughest experience you've ever had to overcome?
I think making the decision of doing the project. Just the thought of financial side of making the movie is the scariest thing I think for every filmmaker.
Because when you're "in" there is no backing off and you never know how much you'll have to spend even though you have set budget it ends up being more, much more than anticipated.
What is the best piece of advice someone has given to you?
Do not ever give up on yourself and your creations.
What advice would you give to new filmmaker starting out in the industry?
This business is not easy, there are lots of obstacles, even daily obstacles that you have to over come and sometimes you'll doubt yourself, but if you give up, your dreams will never come true for sure.
Where can we expect to see you next?
In the second season of the wonderful web series created by very talented Ryan Glasgow "Good Job, Thanks" as a son "Stanley Jr." of the infamous Hollywood casting director "Linda Livingston-Black" played by the great actress Stephanie Jones.
Let our readers know where they can find more information about you and your projects?
For more information on the screenings in Los Angeles, see below:
NewFilmmakers Los Angeles invites you to join the Monday April 16th 2012 film screening series and after-party event at Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood with a filmmaker lounge throughout the evening.
5:30PM Shorts Program Pre-Screening Reception
6:00PM Shorts Program #1 Screening:
* Dumpling (Dir. Wesley Du)
* Bugbaby (Dir. Rebecca Lorenne)
* Ticket to Hell (Dir. Enrico Natale)
* The Contract (Dir. Ryan Goldstein)
* A Very Office Christmas (Dir. Maital Falkovitz)
7:00PM Feature Film Program #1 Pre-Screening Reception
7:27PM Shorts Film Program #1 After-Party
7:30PM Feature Film Program #1 Screening:
* The Maiden Danced to Death (Dir. Endre Hules)
9:15PM Feature Film Program #2 Pre-Screening Reception
9:35PM Feature Film Program #1 After-Party
9:45PM Feature Film Program #2 Screening:
* The Mighty Mavericks (Dir. Casey Kriley)
11:20PM Q&A with Feature Film Program #2 Filmmakers
11:35PM Feature Film Program #2 After Party
You will have the opportunity to meet the directors of each film, the actors and other crew + participate in a live audience Q&A.
There are pre-receptions and after-parties for each program. Admissions to the programs are only $6 which includes the screening ticket and access to the filmmaker lounge. Visit the NewFilmmakers LA Official Website at www.NFMLA.org for more information and to purchase your ticket now!http://www.newfilmmakersla.com/tickets.html
About the Author
Formerly an editor at Demand Media, writer at Citysearch, The Examiner, LA Youth Newspaper and proofreader at The Los Angeles Daily News, Christy Buena decided to start Disarray Magazine because she missed writing what she wanted. From hiring writers, to contacting publicists and making assignments, Christy is responsible for the editorial strategy of Disarray Magazine. Get to know the team of talented contributors.
Questions, comments or suggestions?