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An Interview with Tommy "Lomai" Sigmon, Director of Sin Verite

by Mike Haberfelner

July 2013

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Your upcoming movie Sin Verite - in a few words, what is it about?

 

It's about an actress named Abby who, while trying to get back into the world of independent film, comes across a group of actors who are like daredevils in the way that they approach their craft, and who court danger by creating improv scenarios that are often extremely angry. It's almost like extreme acting, in a sense.

 

Being the writer and director of the movie - to what extent can you actually identify with "The Catalyst" ... or Abby's up-and-coming movie director, or her aging acting teacher?

 

I think that these three characters are, in a way, can be seen as fragments of one personality. You have the director character, who is sort of fresh faced and naive; then you you have the acting teacher, who is tough but caring; finally, there's the Catalyst, who is all id and rejects pre-conceived notions. I'd like to think I have all these aspects, but I probably don't lol.

 

As wild as your story may seem - is any part of this based on true stories or anecdotes and the like, and (other) sources of inspiration when writing Sin Verite?

 

Actually no, there was no basis in any fact, at least that I'm aware of; I've never heard of anyone doing this. The idea actually came from me wanting to do a story about an actor who couldn't shake a character. Then I thought, what if he didn't want to shake his character? And what if there was a group of these people who were like minded about this approach?

 

What can you tell us about the intended look and feel of your movie yet?

 

I have a specific way I want to do this, and I definitely think it's a cross between film noir and horror. Technique-wise, it'll be a combination of traditional and verite; an example would be To Live And Die In L.A. or The French Connection. Alien, that sort of thing, stylistically speaking. At least I hope we can be that good lol.

 

From what I've heard, you have written Sin Verite's lead character Abby specifically with your lead actress Jennifer Scott [Jennifer Scott interview - click here] in mind. So why her, what made her perfect for the role, and to what extent is Abby based on the real Jennifer?

 

Ever since I met her, I could tell that she could really act, and I conceived the movie with that in mind. I knew it would be something about the craft, but how could we be entertaining doing a film about actors? Once I had the concept, I felt like I had something that could excite her. Then I had to write it lol. The character is based on aspects of her true personality - Jen doesn't mince words - but very exaggerated. The thing about Jen is that she wants to explore things in detail, and some people get annoyed by that, but I love it. She has great ideas, and actually will listen and is very collaborative, but you better be ready to do your own homework, because she wants you to have answers for her, or at least be ready to dialogue.

 

Jennifer Scott

Speaking of Jennifer, how did she get on board as a producer as well, and what has your collaboration been like?

 

She knew she could help it along, because of her extensive contacts, so it made sense. We talk all the time; we are joined at the hip. I feel like I'm earning her trust more and more everyday, and that's a good feeling.

 

Anything you can tell us about the rest of your projected cast yet?

 

Tom Wright (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0942875/) is attached to play Francis Vigneri, and we also just signed on Jeremy Jordan (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0430005/) to play Grigori. And we also do have other people that may become attached that I'm excited about.

 

As far as I know, Sin Verite is still in pre-production as we speak. So what's the schedule, and any idea when the film might be released yet (and I know it's probably waaay too early to ask)?

 

Yeah, we're in pre-production, but we're looking at filming sometime next year, maybe even in the fall, which is fine; it gives us time to get everything set.

 

Any future projects beyond Sin Verite?

 

Yes, actually I have some more things in the pipeline; I'm really starting to understand that you have to know what's in the market place and the way the market is functioning, even if you're not going to do something in that type of vein. I've got some ideas that I think can work, some original, some re-makes, etc.

 

What got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any kind of formal education on the subject?

 

I didn't go to school, but I've always wanted to make films. When the cameras got cheaper, I began to crew on short films, I started writing, but I never put any pressure on myself, I just kept working and writing, and I'm hoping my patience will pay off.

 

What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Sin Verite?

 

I've been doing a lot of writing; I adapted a novel into a screenplay for a bestselling author, then I started work on a web-series called 9-7 with Tom Wright overseeing it - we're finishing up the screenplay now. I've done some videos and web promos; I even did a fake movie trailer call Diecons, but I've never had the money or crew to do things on a larger scale. I mean I've never had a crew of more than five people lol. But Sin Verite will be the first project where I'll have the normal standard tools that most filmmakers have, as far as crew and DP, etc. That's exciting.

 

How would you describe yourself as a director?

 

I'm not sure yet, I need to produce a bigger body of work before I can say. But, I do think that I'm flexible within any vision I have, and I can accept everyone's input without feeling threatened.

 

Filmmakers who inspire you?

 

I really like Howard Hawks, and I'm a John Carpenter nut. I like Roman Polanski, and also Soderbergh. I tend to respond to the colder filmmakers like Kubrick and Ozu and Herzog, but then I can turn around and love Ken Russell. There are just so many that are great, it makes you wonder if you should even enter the race.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

Too many to name.

 

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

 

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You know, it's really hard to outright hate people's work, because the conditions have to be so right to make a decent film, let alone a good one.That being said, the latest Tim Burton stuff has been kind of... cynical.

 

Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?

 

You can find out a little more about the film at this link: http://www.openeyesprod.com/openeyesprod.com/Projects.html

 

Anything else you are dying to talk about and I have merely forgotten to ask?

 

Actually, I also do music( hip-hop), and my group is called 21H2, or 21st Century Hip Hop; we just put out a new record called 2112. Our website is 21stcenturyhiphop.com, and it has all of our links to Facebook, Twitter, etc.

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

Thanks, man!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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A Killer Conversation

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directed by
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written by
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starring
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