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An Interview with Daniel Rivera, Writer and Star of 207

by Mike Haberfelner

June 2020

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Your upcoming movie 207 - in a few words, what's it going to be about?

 

207 is a short film I wrote about a group of high school girls who decide to skip school in order to have fun with some boys. The lead character Olive is a good girl, by the book, and is peer pressured into skipping in order to keep her friends. However, things take a turn for the worse as they are kidnapped by a group of sex traffickers who plan to sell them.

 

With 207 being about human/sex trafficking, what made you want to write a movie about this exact topic, and did you do any research on the subject?

 

My friend Paris Bravo [Paris Bravo interview - click here] who I consider to be like a little sister approached me with the idea. I thought it was a very important topic and I decided to jump on board immediately and write it for her. I have a 6 year old daughter who means the world to me and I want to educate her on this matter. I think this is a huge problem the world faces that doesnít get enough attention and I wanted to be the one to see it through. I conducted research on the matter to ensure we made it as true to the subject as possible.

 

(Other) sources of inspiration when writing 207?

 

Other inspirations for the film was studying other movies about the subject like Taken, Gone Baby Gone and even The Last House on the Left.

 

What are the challenges of bringing 207 to the screen from a producer's point of view?

 

Some of the challenges I have faced as the producer, writer, casting director, actor and stunt coordinator for this film was COVID-19. With a pandemic like this occurring finding a solid group of people to work with was a little difficult but not impossible because I have a very good group of people on my team. Other challenges was locations because a lot of places are closed down. Fortunately, Savannah Liles' mother allowed us to shoot in her home, which was big enough to get everything we needed. The budget was another problem. Funding projects is never cheap but we have done an amazing job thus far.

 

Do talk about 207 director Mico Saad [Mico Saad interview - click here], and what's your collaboration like?

 

Mico Saad is an amazing person. He is multi-talented and we connect on so many levels. We understand each other and whatever Iím missing Mico has and vice versa. Heís creative, artistic and motivated just as much as I am to succeed and tell amazing stories. Itís always a pleasure to work with him.

 

You also appear in front of the camera on 207 - so what can you tell us about your character, what did you draw upon to bring him to life, and did you write him with yourself in mind from the get-go?

 

Detective Santos is a hard charging latino detective. When writing this film I knew I wanted two detectives that would balance each other out. With my military experience and background in martial arts, boxing, wrestling and stunts I knew I wanted to be able to show some of that with Detective Santos. I wrote him specifically for me to play, and I feel like I will be able to bring the character to life just as I imagined.

 

What can you tell us about the rest of 207's cast, and as a writer/producer, to what extent were you involved with the casting process?

 

The cast of 207 ranges from all ages and is very diverse. My daughter is playing the leading character's sister. A few of my buddies (Jeff Schreiner, Austin Durden, Omar Heyward, and Jesse Ricaldi) that I train stunts with and have shot other projects with will be playing the henchmen and my other friend Mark JP Hood will be playing Detective Howard, my partner. All of the above listed were cast by me and they are all talented. The girls were all selected by Paris Bravo [Paris Bravo interview - click here], and what I have observed thus far is that they are very talented and charismatic. Savannah, Orli and Arielle will complement Paris very well. Jentzen Ramirez was a last minute add to the project but he is young and possesses an amazing amount of skills, and you will see some of that in this film as well.

 

According to my information, you're presently in the middle of shooting 207 - so what can you tell us about the shoot so far, and anything you can tell us about the further schedule of the shoot?

 

207 has been going amazing. Everyone has been well prepared and motivated to bring this project to life in order to shed light on the horrible topic known as sexual trafficking. Mico has been doing an amazing job with the direction of the film and our camera man Jeffrey Santone has been capturing all the right shots alongside our sound guy Justin Naranjo. We have one more day of shooting left at the time of this interview and I canít wait to see how it comes out.

 

Any future projects beyond 207?

 

Limelight Productions has a few other projects lined up. I am constantly writing screenplays and I am excited for the future. Three projects off the top of my head that are coming down the pipeline are Joe Riv which is an action film with inspiration from John Wick. COVID, which is a drama/thriller about the current pandemic we are in, and Double Trouble, which will be an action short/9 episode series about a stunt team that robs Hollywood. I am very passionate and love working with amazing people, and whenever an idea comes to mind I will bring it to life. I am also stunt coordinating Peaches for Mico Saad.

 

What got you into acting in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?

 

Well originally I was in the Marine Corps. From there I began my journey to become a professional wrestler which then bled into stunts. I started working as a stuntman and then wanted to be an action actor. Although I was working on projects for a year I had no formal training other than stunt training, wrestling training and promo (talking with a microphone on camera playing my wrestling character). It kind of came naturally. However, I am now currently studying my craft at the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles where I am going for my BFA Bachelorís in Fine Arts. I have also worked with acting coaches and attended classes to work on my craft.

 

You've also got a background in wrestling - now to what extent has that influenced your acting career (and vice versa)?

 

As stated above wrestling has helped tremendously. I have been wrestling on TV since 2015. I have done work with WWE, Impact, New Japan Pro Wrestling and Championship Wrestling from Hollywood playing a larger than life character named Danny Limelight. Throughout the course of my career I have played a good guy and a bad guy. This has helped me with acting because I am able to tap into raw genuine emotion when learning the role I will be playing. I can flip the switch as needed. Performing in front of a live audience is very different as you get to feed off of them and react to their emotions, but being able to do take after take when needed in acting allows me to understand the character more and take more risks and try different things.

 

Besides acting, you've also assumed various other jobs in the filmworld, from writing and directing to producing and stunting - so what jobs do you enjoy the most, which could you do without?

 

Limelight Productions has been something I have wanted to bring alive for a long time now. Being able to write, direct, produce, act and conduct my own stunts has truly been a blessing. To be honest I love doing my own stunts. However, lately writing has been my favorite. Being able to tell the stories that pop up in my head and see them come to life on the screen has truly been a blessing. If I had to pick one to do without I would say directing. I rather tag my partner Mico in for that job lol.

 

What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to 207, in whatever position?

 

Prior to 207 I have done work on other projects. I was a stuntman and acted in the film Speed of Time, I wrote directed, produced, stunt coordinated and starred in the film TNT. I wrote and starred in a film called Above the Line, which Mico directed. I wrote a short film called Sunny which was horror film about a little girl possessed by a doll which my daughter starred in alongside Jeff Schreiner, and I produced it. Before these bigger projects I did a lot of short films and action scenes just to experiment and learn. Everything has been a learning experience that I am truly grateful for. I have applied everything I have learned previously going forward and can only get better from here by mastering my craft.

 

Actors, writers, filmmakers, whoever else who inspire you?

 

I am most inspired by Denzel Washington and Dwayne The Rock Johnson. I believe Denzel is the best actor on the planet and I own all of his movies. I constantly study what he does and love how he takes risks. The Rock has inspired me my whole life from wrestling, to being the highest paid actor and just an inspiring man. If I can put both of them into a bottle and absorb the energy and apply it to my craft I would. They are so talented and I would love to work with them one day.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

My favorite movie of all time is Training Day, which is also a Denzel movie. I also love the MCU movies like Endgame and Iron Man and Spider-Man because I am a huge comic book nerd.

 

... and of course, films you really deplore?

 

If I had to pick one movie I hate I would pick Anchorman. I am just not a fan of that type of comedy.

 

Your/your movie's website, social media, whatever else?

 

Feeling lucky ?
Want to
search
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?

The links below
will take you
just there!!!

Find Daniel Rivera
at the amazons ...

USA  amazon.com

Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)  amazon.co.uk

Germany (East AND West)  amazon.de

Looking for imports ?
Find Daniel Rivera here ...

Thailand  eThaiCD.com
Your shop for all things Thai

I can be found on Instagram/Twitter/TikTok @DannyLimelight and Facebook by searching Danny Limelight Rivera. I can also be reached via email Dannylimelight@gmail.com

 

Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?

 

I would just like to take a brief moment to thank everyone involved in this project: Khaleesi Rivera, Mico Saad, Mark JP Hood, Paris Bravo, Savannah Liles, Orli and Arielle Gottesman, Jentzen Ramirez, Jeff Schreiner, Omar Heyward, Jesse Ricaldi, Jeffrey Santone, Justin Naranjo, Austin Durden, Jessica Bravo, Tony Bravo, Wendy Liles, Lisa Gottesman, the people donating to the cause and anyone I may have forgotten. I am very fortunate to be working with passionate people and I constantly surround myself with people that possess the same traits as myself. Thank you for allowing me to talk about this film and myself. I am grateful.

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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Tales to Chill
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the new anthology by
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On the same day
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directed by
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written by
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