Your upcoming film The Agent - in a few words, what is it going to
The Agent is about an aspiring singer who tries to shortcut her way
into the business. She ends up becoming one of the worst con artists out
there. Based on the real life story of Melanie Mills, who was a fake
literary/real estate agent, among many other things.
What were your main inspirations when writing The Agent,
and is any of the script based on personal experiences or popular showbiz
Yes. On the internet message boards, a number of
writers and actors I used to chat with years ago had experiences with
various con artists, and then there were clichéed fake talent agents and
other sharks out there.
As far as I know, the film is still very much
in its pre-production/fundraising stages. So what can you tell us about The
Agent's current state, how are you planning to proceed from here, and
any idea yet when and where it's going to be released onto the general
public (though I realize it's probably waaay to early to ask)?
you said, the film is still in its pre production/fundraising stage. Once
the budget has been raised, then I'll move forward to the casting. How
soon it gets released to the general public all depends on how soon the
budget is raised.
do you plan to approach The Agent from a directorial point of view?
like to convey in the film that there are no shortcuts to success, while
at the same time providing humor in some of Alice's mad schemes (Alice is
the title character).
far as I know, you have cast singer/actress/model Holly T to play the lead
in The Agent - why her, how did you find her, and what makes her
perfect for the role?
Justin with Holly T
I met Holly through fashion
photographer Rob Ordonez. Holly's a good actress and singer. The singer
bit is important, because Alice, the main character of The Agent, is a
singer actress herself. Also, I've listened to Holly's songs What Money
Wants Money Gets and Queen Bitch, and they are perfect for the soundtrack
of this film.
Anything you can tell us about the
rest of your cast yet?
I've only cast one other part yet.
The most important part was that I get the right person to play Alice,
and I have her, Holly T.
Let's go back to the beginnings
of your career: What got you into filmmaking to begin with, and did you
receive any formal training on the subject?
had some formal training in writing, in the form of my liberal arts degree
from Cornell University (BA in History). Some of my English classes there
dealt with various forms of fiction. I've participated in screenwriting
workshops such as ScriptPimp, and I worked as production assistant in
various capacities on a couple of films. So my training was somewhat hands-on.
last few years, you have been quite busy covering the Occupy Wall
Street-movement, also in your documentary Many Faces of Occupy Wall
Street - so what can you tell us about that experience as a whole and
your documentary in particular?
That was a very interesting experience. The original Zuccotti Park,
early on, was a wonderful place where you met all types of people, from
minimum wage workers to lawyers, actors, etc. People from all walks of
life and educational backgrounds. Unfortunately, the nature of the
movement changed, and by winter 2011 it became more about housing and
glorifying the homeless occupiers. Nothing productive happened at this
point, and the Occupiers with jobs and education pretty much bailed out
of the movement, leaving it a bunch of homeless youths.
My documentary is a collection of interviews of various Occupiers. I
interviewed some of the most notorious names in Occupy, from proponents
of Occupy, to Occupiers who were pretty much opponents of Occupy. On the
proponent side I had Gilbert Rojas and Felix Rivera Pitre. On the
opponent side, I had Nan Terrie and Sage. One can find quite a bit on
these Occupiers if you just google their names. Many Faces of Occupy
Wall Street is available on Amazon, and is intended to educate people on
the views of Occupiers directly from the mouths of people who were
there, uncensored. I didn't focus on fancy editing, because I wanted to
get a close picture of what things were on the ground as I could.
Going from documentary
filmmaking to directing a feature - how do the two prepare, which do you
find more inspiring?
Well, directing a feature requires a
bigger budget, different equipment, professional actors, and crew, etc. So
there's a lot more work, and of course the guilds are more involved in a
feature (The Agent is both SAG and WGA).
Any other filmwork of yours you'd
like to talk about?
I do have 7 other screenplays, and my
favorite genres are fantasy and horror. Nana and Mother of
I have in ebook form, are also screenplays - in the sword and sorcery/gods
genre. Lunatics is a horror. Mind you, they aren't in pre-production yet.
Besides making features and
documentaries, you have also published a handful of books. What can you
tell us about them, and about Justin Samuels, the writer?
Two of my books, Nana and Mother of Witches, are fantasy -
sorcery. Appealing to those who like things like Hercules, Xena and
Harry Potter. Occupy Wall Street, A Leftist, Anarchist
Cult is a collection of
my critical blog posts on Occupy. This was written after OWS became a
horrible mess, and I add in additional commentary after each blog post.
Nan Terrie and Sage are mentioned, as two individuals who had considerable
influence on what went on in Occupy, through tactics others deemed
who inspire you?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Stephen Spielberg, Tyler Perry, Sam Raimi,
and Kenneth Branagh.
Your favourite movies?
Girl, Why Did I Get Married Two, The Color Purple, Thor, and
and of course, films you really deplore?
There's nothing I
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
interested people should hit up my facebook fan page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/JustinSamuels36?ref=hl
When I've completed casting, will then put up a The Agent website and
Agent fan page.
you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Check out my Yahoo Contributor Page. On it I interview various
entertainers such as filmmaker Derek Ting (Supercapitalist) - http://contributor.yahoo.com/user/1593580/justin_samuels.html
for the interview!