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An Interview with Howard Nash, Co-Writer, Producer and Star of The Meeting Chronicles

by Mike Haberfelner

October 2020

Howard Nash on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your new movie The Meeting Chronicles - in a few words, what is it about?

 

The Meeting Chronicles (a comedy), is about a group of wannabe screenwriters who meet once a week to discuss what they aren't doing. Their meetings normally devolve into complete nonsense, and have nothing to do with learning how to write a script.

 

The Meeting Chronicles is pretty directly linked to the featurette The Meeting from 2004, which is partly incorporated into the movie - so do talk about the earlier movie for a bit, and who came up with the idea to expand it all these years later?

 

The feauturette is based on that amazingly inventive screenplay by Julianne Carlile. A few years after producing that film, we decided to continue the saga by filming actual meetings with "serious" guest speakers. It was logistically easier, and it still allowed us to experiment with, and "workshop" each new episode.

 

As one of the writers on The Meeting Chronicles, what were your sources of inspiration?

 

I would have to say The Office, with a little of HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm.

 

Do talk about your co-writers, and what was your collaboration like?

 

Collaborating with Bob Kwartler was amazing, and fun. It was exactly how I envisioned professional comedy writing sessions played out.

 


What can you tell us about The Meeting Chronicles' brand of humour?

 

As you had recognized early on (which I really appreciated!), the humor is in watching the characters being totally oblivious to their obvious nonsense.

 

What were the challenges of bringing The Meeting Chronicles to the screen from a producer's point of view?

 

We tried to make a lot of the humor fit the various personalities of the actors. So, to that end, I had always hoped that the comedic moments would always be authentic.

 

You also play the lead in The Meeting Chronicles - so what can you tell us about your character, what did you draw upon to bring him to life, and how much Howard Nash can we find in George?

 

George is essentially a buffoon, and somebody who's a little too "wrapped-up" in his own sense of self-importance. My "prep" with George was always to let everyone in on his bufoonery, except of course, for him. He has no clue - so I guess it was the opposite of what I'm normally like (and hope) that I do when I'm communicating with others, which is that I'm always clued-in, and always aware.

 

What can you tell us about the rest of The Meeting Chronicles's cast, and why exactly these people?

 

Most were people I've worked with before, and/or people whose work I was already familiar with. If I'm writing or co-writing a project, I tend to shy away from re-inventing the wheel.

 

Do talk about The Meeting Chronicles director Russ Emanuel [Russ Emanuel interview - click here], and what was working with him like?

 

Russ is extremely disciplined, and extremely focused on the task at hand. That said, he even found moments where he could angle certain shots to make the comedy even funnier than it was. I was very happy to see that in the final product!

 

The Meeting Chronicles isn't the first movie you've done with Russ Emanuel - so what can you tell us about your previous collaborations?

 

The Meeting Chronicles was very much a smaller, and more focused endeavor. To that end, I found it much easier to accomplish things (with Russ), both technically and on the creative side.

 

Back to The Meeting Chronicles - a few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?

 

Most of the time, there was much camaraderie and a lot of supportive collaboration. That is why you can usually see the same people in different episodes. The actors are talented, but they also have a terrific work-ethic. So I couldn't wait to work with them again!

 

Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of The Meeting Chronicles?

 

We're just getting started as far bringing The Meeting Chronicles to the public. But what limited reception we've had so far, I would say has been extremely positive.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

I'm currently developing a faith-based project, which is partially funded. I'm hoping to go forward by January 2021.

 

What got you into the filmworld to begin with, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?

 

Not really. I originally trained as an actor, so my formal training was in theater, but over the years I began to segue to performing "behind the camera" - but I've never had any formal training in film.

 

What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to The Meeting Chronicles?

 

I starred in and produced Heaven's Messenger, a faith-based film that also starred John Heard, Vincent Pastore and Robert Picardo. It's still out there, and I'm very pleased that new audiences have been discovering it.

 

During your career, you've worn many hats both in front of and behind the camera - so what do you enjoy the most, actually, and honestly, what could you do without?

 

I would say that I enjoy both equally. What I could do without is the follow-up (and necessary) marketing and promotion that comes with every completed film. In a perfect world, I would turn that over to someone who would then execute that phase competently (and successfully).

 

Filmmakers, actors, writers, whoever else who inspire you?

 

All filmmakers, actors and writers inspire me, especially when they continue to work in this crazy but amazing profession.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

I'll always love the classics: The Godfather movies, The Shining, Chariots of Fire - genres are not important to me, it's the quality of the filmmaking.

 

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

 

Any film (usually indies) where it's obvious there was no clear plan.

 

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

 

Here are some links to my films' Amazon pages. Please note: The films are also running on Tubi TV:

The Meeting Chronicles: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B08HMD55PG/

American Wisper: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0861H1VZM/

Heaven’s Messenger: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B08FT2KXJZ/

Big Shots: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0873BVRJ4/

 

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

 

I would like to ask that everyone support our work by rating and reviewing our films. It only takes a minute, yet it's the main difference between success and failure. In today's world of movie sites and platforms, it's not "how many" views a film gets (believe it or not), but how many interactions it receives from the people who've seen it- specifically, how many people are "talking" about it. So please tell your fans, every Amazon rating, and to a lesser extent IMDb votes (and likes on FB), is a precious gift to a filmmaker.

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

Thank you!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

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On the same day
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A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
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directed by
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written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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out now on DVD