Ryan Pickett Presents
LOOK Winner of Award of Excellence at Los Angeles Movie Awards Winner of Best Original Score at Los Angeles Movie Awards Winner of Silver Lei Award at Honolulu Film Awards Winner of California Film Awards Gold Award Winner of Accolade Competition Award of Merit Winner of Best Shorts Competition Award of Merit Distribution with Indieflix “I think it is better that folks see it and come to their own conclusions. Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the relevance, resonance and power of LOOK resides entirely in the eye of the person watching it.” – Mark Bell, Film Threat 4-Star Review “Beautifully shot and edited” – D. Ryan Mowry “Look” is About Blinding Beauty, Seeing and Not Seeing.” – Sean Kernan “Deep and full of metaphor.” – Terra King Look stars “ravishing bombshell” Theresa Meeker and it is “directed with an exceptionally keen eye for detail and color by Ryan Pickett” – Matthew Saliba, Rogue Cinema “Will leave you reflecting upon its imagery long after its closing credits have rolled on by” - Richard Propes, The Independent Critic “Pickett has a great eye for visuals and subtle storytelling that I’ll be curious to see more of.” - Brian Skutle, Sonic Cinema “Superb, elegant and flawlessly composed” – Sean Kernan, Yahoo! Voices “Deep and full of metaphor” – Terra King, Web Series Con Running Time: 6 minutes, 37 seconds Contact: Director Ryan Pickett email@example.com http://www.ryanpickettproductions.com (386) 290-8419 Publicist: Theresa Pickett Tpickett3310@aol.com (615) 584-2999
Social Media: http://www.twitter.com/look_the_film www.facebook.com/pages/Look-A-Short-Film/189275051119837?ref=ts http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1455216/ http://www.flixster.com/movie/771243739 http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/look_2009/ Directed by Ryan Pickett
Cast Theresa Meeker Starina Johnson John Ferguson Synopsis Look is an avant-garde short film about an unsightly barmaid Emma (Starina Johnson) who dreams up that an imaginary man John (John Ferguson) is attracted to her. A lost model (Theresa Meeker) interrupts the barmaid and steals the attention of John. Emma is anxious with the loss of John's imaginary love so she pursues him. When John shows up at the model's photo shoot and sneaks inside a struggle ensues. John as well as Emma are shut out of the model's beautiful world while the desire for beauty reveals an unsettling emptiness. Tagline The quest for beauty always leads back to yourself.
Inspirations Director Ryan Pickett was inspired by Coco Chanel, which shows in his choice of costumes for the Supermodel. Inspirations include the Keira Knightly Coco Mademoiselle short films as well as high fashion ads.
Interesting Tidbits Look won the first competition it was submitted to with an Award of Merit in the Accolade Competition. Look was a student film shot at Watkins College of Art, Design and Film. Murphyâ€™s Law was seen on set. Pickettâ€™s brand new Mac Book Pro had a broken hard drive the morning of the shoot. When Pickett showed up to the location, the windows that had looked out on a scenic cityscape were covered with tarp because of unexpected construction work.
Cast Starina Johnson (Emma)
Starina Johnson is an American film and theatre actress raised in the small Southern Illinois town of Logan. She received her degree from SIUC with several acting scholarships. Starina was a working actress in Nashville, TN doing commercials and films long before her big move to Los Angeles in 2010. Some of her recent credits include “The Far Flung Star,” “Roundball” and “Culture Shock.” Alison Parson (Makeup/Hair Girl)
Alison Parson is a country music artist from Nashville, TN who was voted one of the best singer songwriters of Nashville by Village Voice Media owned Nashville Scene. Parson has performed at the Liberty Bowl with blues artist B.B. King and sung for mass at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. She played Sandy in the production of Grease at Euro-Disney and she was a finalist in the Next American Superstar Competition. Some artists who Alison has opened for include Vince Gill and Amy Grant. Alison is a professional make-up artist who has done make-up for celebrities, such as Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, for “The Simple Life.”
John Ferguson (John)
John Ferguson was born in Buffalo, New York and he attended Watkins College of Art, Design and Film. John has acted in over 11 films with credits in movies, such as “Backburns,” which he wrote and directed, as well as “Scavenger Standards,” which he helped produce. John currently lives in Nashville, TN where he has a feature film currently in pre-production based on the award winning short film “Worm.”
Theresa Meeker (Supermodel)
Theresa Meeker is an Italian-American actress who appeared in several films and print work as well as commercials. She hails from Williamson County, Tennessee and she was raised by mother Judith Meeker and father Dr. William Meeker MD. She studied film and television acting at Michael Howard Studios and Larry Singer Studios in New York City. She received a BA in History from Flagler College of St. Augustine, Florida and she is pursuing a Master of Education in elementary education at Vanderbilt University Peabody College of Education with several scholarships in 2012. She is married to director Ryan Pickett.
Crew Ryan Pickett (Director/Producer/Writer/Editor/Actor)
Ryan Pickett is a Nashville, Tennessee based award winning filmmaker. Ryan directed, produced and co-wrote avant-garde multi-award winning film “Look” using the RED ONE 4K. Ryan had a cameo appearance in “Look” as a photographer who photographs a model played by a woman who later became his wife, Theresa Meeker. “Look,” which has won awards in the Accolade Competition, Best Shorts Competition, California Film Awards and Los Angeles Movie Awards, has distribution with Indieflix online video streaming service. An earlier film that Ryan made “You Only Loved Me Twice” as well as his business proposal helped him beat out thousands of others across the world and earned him a top 5 finalist spot in the showcase event in the USA for Global Entrepreneurship Week, film entrepreneurship competition the Race to BE hosted by Russell Simmons at Sony Picture Studios in Los Angeles. Ryan hails from Baltimore, Maryland although he was raised in Germany by father George Pickett, who was a member of the USA Olympic Weightlifting Team in the 1968 Olympics, Mexico City, as well as by mother Cheryl Pickett. Ryan studied acting at Stella Adler Studio of Acting in Los Angeles. He has worked for major entertainment corporations, including Playboy, Henninger Productions, Washington Redskins, Ascent Media, and Film House. He has freelanced on numerous film projects and he appeared in “Arrested Development” and “Strong Medicine” television shows. Ryan concentrated on film directing at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film. He received a BA in English Language and Literature at University of Maryland, College Park and he is currently living in the Hillsboro Village district of Nashville, TN. He was recently voted The Best Filmmaker by Nashville Scene.
Shane Bartlett (Cinematographer)
Shane Bartlett started filming camera-edited short movies on a VHS camcorder while in high school. He soon turned to writing, and he was published in literary journals as well as music magazines before he returned to filmmaking. He lives in Los Angeles although he writes freelance for Nashville-based production company Film House and he is developing a number of projects for Bring Chase Productions. The Other Deepak (Original Score)
Deepak Ramapriyan, also known as "The Other Deepak," is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, teacher, and universal polymath. He started playing the violin at the age of four, while reciting the Bhagavad Gita and practicing high-level mathematics. At the age of 12 he taught himself the piano and guitar, and began composing and creating original music and singing in various choirs and ensembles. He later completed his degree in Neurobiology-Physiology, while beginning to teach breath-work, and his own form of Quantum Learning, which involves the clearing of fears and mental ideas that hinder one from their own infinite intelligence. He now is a performer and producer, and is the lead singer and writer in his rock band - The B.O.L.T. as well as being the leader of the world sacred music ensemble - Breath of Life Tribe. He also plays violin and sings in countless other projects of all genres ranging from rock, hip-hop, classical, kirtan, indian, funk etc... Through various mediums, he shares his discipline of being in awareness and breath every moment, and applies that to his own daily practice of mastery of all arts, crafts, and sciences. He currently teaches math, physics, music, meditation, sports, and is a life coach, and is the owner of the FUNdamentals of Music and Movement San Fernando Valley franchise for music therapy for daycare children. In addition, he is on the board of several not-for-profits dedicated to education, exploration, self-expression, and sustainable living.
Reviews Film Threat by Mark Bell 4 Star Review of Look
Look may only be 7 minutes long, but it definitely engenders more than 7 minutes worth of contemplation. The premise seems simple enough: a female bartender (Starina Johnson) is being admired by a man (John Ferguson), but only until a prettier woman (Theresa Meeker) comes along. The man then follows the beauty from the bar to a loft photo studio, where she is made up for a photo shoot. Unfortunately, the man is not meant to be there, and is sent packing as he pines over the model. Now, again, simple enough, right? Except maybe there never was a man. Maybe the admiration came from the bartender, pining after a beauty that she herself has not attained. Or maybe there is a man, and the model took him from the bartender, and now she’s reliving the tragedy (the film has a dream-like quality to it; more of a visual drifting). Or maybe it is exactly as it seems. I have to admit, I don’t know if I entirely “got” Look, but that doesn’t bother me too much. At such a short running time, I was able to watch it more than once to answer a few questions and form my own personal interpretation of what happens. And while I could share that interpretation, I think it is better that folks see it and come to their own conclusions. Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the relevance, resonance and power of Look resides entirely in the eye of the person watching it.
Rogue Cinema Review by Matthew Saliba Ah, the experimental narrative. What a bastard child of film genres this one is. While preoccupied with visually expounding on ideas about as accessible as a Michael Snow Retrospective, these films also try to ground themselves in the reality of story and structure. The end result is something that tends to alienate the experimental crowd who came in expecting a poetic mediation on why the left brain is evil and terrify the narrative folk who were expecting a quirky little twist in their otherwise Hollywood diet. I should know, I made a 24-minute experimental narrative short film about an old woman who gives birth to a giant toe. And that's precisely what "Look" is; an experimental narrative that examines the meaning of beauty vis a vis a young man named John (John Ferguson) who meets a homely barmaid named Emma (Starina Johnson) and is about to strike up a conversation when in walks a ravishing bombshell (Theresa Meeker) who asks for directions and leaves abruptly taking John with her. He follows her to a photo shoot and to her apartment, getting shut down each and every time. Eventually, he comes full circle and runs into Emma and presumably takes TLC's words to heart that he shouldn't go chasing waterfalls but rather, stick to the rivers and the lakes that he's used to. "Look" is directed with an exceptionally keen eye for detail and color by Ryan Pickett who certainly doesn't skimp on the visuals. The film definitely feels like the "visual poem" the press release makes it out to be insofar as the cinematography (the film was shot on the Red One 4K camera) is stunning and the pacing of the film is almost dreamlike with some interesting sound design work where we catch snippets of conversation and the beginnings of dialogue before it fades out while the character is still speaking. Ryan Pickett won an "Award of Merit" for "Best Student Film" in the 2009 Accolade Competition. While it may not have been for his gift of storytelling, it was certainly awarded for his strong command of visual metaphor and the ability to use film as a way to address social issues without being too Oliver Stone about it. If you're open-minded enough, you can view the film online at his website: http://www.ryanpickettproductions.com
â€œLook is an Excellent Examination of Beautyâ€? by Sean Kernan Ryan Pickett's Short Film 'Look' is About Blinding Beauty, Seeing and Not Seeing. There is rarely anything written about short films outside of the Academy Awards season. At the Oscars the category actually takes center stage for a short time being booed by the home audiences while they wait for the big stars to get back on stage and wonder who these unknowns are and why they are taking time away from celebrities in pretty dresses. Thus, I offer this rare review of a short film. "Look" was co-written and directed by Ryan Pickett and has been awarded the prestigious 'Accolade Award' for film, television and videography professionals who demonstrate exceptional achievement in their craft. The visuals crafted by Ryan Pickett in "Look" certainly demonstrate why he won but you may have to watch the film twice to capture its meaning. Starina Johnson is Emma a waitress seemingly in love with a bar patron, John (John Ferguson). How do we know she's in love, it's in the way she looks at him and he at her. There love is short lived however when a gorgeous model (Theresa Meeker) walks into the bar and John walks off after her leaving Emma devastated. From there things get arty and a little confusing but on second look, you will come to understand that this is not so much a love story as it is an examination of how beauty can be blinding and that true beauty can be found in real connections as opposed to a mere pretty face. Ryan Pickett's talent is in visuals and I have no doubt he would make a terrific cinematographer or art director. The art direction in scenes set during a photo shoot for the model is superb, elegant and flawlessly composed. The photo shoot scenes transposed against scenes set in the bar and on the crummy streets of the Nashville neighborhood where Look was filmed again bring home the point about deceptive beauty.
The Independent Critic Review by Richard Propes Winner of an Accolade Award of Merit for Best Student Film and an Award of Merit from the Best Shorts Competition, Ryan Pickett's Look is a film that will leave you reflecting upon its imagery long after its closing credits have rolled on by. The story itself is quite simple - A female bartender named Emma (Starina Johnson) admires John (John Ferguson), a handsome patron. For a fleeting moment, the admiration is mutual. That is, until a beautiful model (Theresa Meeker) enters the bar seeking direction to her next photo shoot. Suddenly, the man's attention drifts towards the model and after she leaves he follows. To describe the entire scenario would be unjust, for co-writer and director Ryan Pickett has constructed a beautifully photographed and elegantly realized 7-minute short that, at least in my own interpretation, examines the role that beauty plays in our lives and how it shapes our very existence and perceptions of self and others. Words are sparse in Look, with Pickett instead relying on Shane Bartlett's dreamlike cinematography and extraordinary original music by The Other Deepak. The only other cinematic presentation that really came to mind while watching Look was, in fact, a music video ... that of the musical group Enigma and their song "Return to Innocence." There is something about Look that exudes just that type of innocence ... a return to who we are at our very essence. As Emma says so perfectly "Beauty exists in the mind that contemplates it." We can find it or we can lose it. It is, however, always there. The casual moviegoer may be a bit more challenged by Look, a more festival friendly presentation with Pickett's experimental visuals and devotion to atmosphere and imagery telling the story more than linear thought. If you watch, really watch, Look then there's more than a fair chance you'll get it. However, if you're easily distracted or tend to require spoon-feeding of your cinematic material then Look may simply leave you scratching your head. Shot with the Red One, the latest and greatest camera package to be sweeping through the indie world, Look has such pristine imagery that you may very well swear that it's the trailer for a much higher budget film. It's not, but it is proof positive that Ryan Pickett has a terrific eye for scene selection and telling the most story with the least distraction.
Interviews Profile of Ryan Pickett in Vol. 7 No. 1 StudentFilmmakers Magazine
An Interview with Ryan Pickett by Matthew Saliba of Rogue Cinema Ryan Pickett is the award-winning director behind, "Look," an exquisite experimental narrative short film that evokes feelings of a Lynchian nature in regards to its masterful use of visual metaphors as well as a Coco Chanel ad in terms of its costume and set design. I reviewed this film in last month's issue and decided to catch up with the director to get his thoughts on filmmaking and to shed some more light on his film. *** *
MS: Let's start out by having you tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to be a filmmaker. RP: Itâ€™s been my passion to create movies as long as I can remember. I remember as a little kid watching the Oscars with my parents thinking thatâ€™s what I want to do. I was lucky enough to meet John Waters at an art show with all his set designs from his movies in High School. He sat on stage and talked with his set designer about making movies, real guerilla style and getting it done at any cost. I could have listened to him for hours. A real inspiration who made nothing in the world sound cooler then being a filmmaker. After college I headed straight to Los Angeles and found myself surrounded by so many creative and inspiring people with whom I worked with on numerous projects. While there I was bitten by the acting bug and concentrated more on that than directing. This really helped me in the long run as a director because I learned so much about actors and their craft. I then found myself in Nashville where I began attending film school. I also was lucky enough to find myself surrounded by very creative people with whom I would go onto make my first student films with. MS: Who are some of your favorite filmmakers and how have they influenced your work? RP: Stanley Kubrick and Orson Welles. Welles for knowing exactly what a film needs to work and to be great and his unrelenting passion and Kubrick for his amazing shot selection and unrelenting passion as well. Both were perfectionists. I can't say exactly how they have influenced me but it would be an honor for someone watching my movies to say they can tell I was influenced by either of those great directors. MS: What does filmmaking mean to you and what goals do you hope to achieve through your work? RP: It's expression from myself as well as my connection to humanity. I hope to connect to people in simple universal emotion unfiltered. MS: What was your motivation behind making, "Look?" RP: I was really inspired by the art, the high fashion industry was creating in print ads as well as the short films being released by Chanel. MS: In many respects, "Look" is the quintessential experimental narrative. What is it about this particular approach to filmmaking that interests you and what was it about the story that necessitated such an approach? RP: I feel so alive as a director when making films like this. It's pure emotion. What can we tell you from just our eyes? What are you seeing with yours? Essentially what "Look" is about. Perception and how it works in our lives. The story was just part of the whole, I knew what I wanted to accomplish in this film and worked on a story that would allow that. There actually was a bit more dialogue in the film that I decided to
cut out. The story is what you create in your head while watching it, not one I wrote. Or that was my intention.
MS: Given the elusive nature of the film, what was your approach in dealing with your cast who undoubtedly had questions regarding their motivation and relation to the story? RP: I had a really wonderful group of experienced actors who understood everything from the script and a few rehearsals. We also kept it pretty organic on set and went off emotion. I let them feel comfortable and free to create. MS: There are those who may critique your film as being obtuse in regard to its symbolism and slippery narrative. How do you respond to that and is there any validation in such a critique? RP: From my experience as a film festival goer I've found most student films explore three to four of the same topics and I just wanted to try something different. I didnâ€™t want a 'heavy'' topic that so many try to address. I wanted basic emotions people deal with everyday of their lives. MS: "Look" was shot on the Red One 4K camera. What was that experience like and why did you choose the Red over a camera like the Canon 5 or 7D? RP: I was really amazed by the camera first and foremost and to see some of the features shot on it and what big name directors have done with it. I knew that nothing would hold my cinematographer and I back from what we wanted to do visually. MS: If you could remake any film in history, which one would you choose, why and what approach would you take that would differ from that of the original? RP: I would remake "Citizen Kane." It is a masterpiece that most people nowadays sadly have not seen, but they haven't even heard of it. I would make it color, more visually spectacular, change the script some with dialogue but the story itself is one of the best written so I wouldn't stray from it too far. MS: Do you have any new projects in the pipeline? RP: There are a couple of scripts I am working on right now that Iâ€™m very excited about including a feature length. MS: If someone wanted to get in touch with you regarding a project, how would they go about doing that? RP: Ryanpickettproductions.com has my contact information. Thank you. Read more at http://www.roguecinema.com/article2909.html
An Interview with Theresa Meeker by Matthew Saliba of Rogue Cinema Actresses are a dime a dozen with very few of them having the chops and Old Hollywood flavor to truly catapult them into the mainstream or at least into our mind's eye, long after we've seen them perform. Thankfully, that is not the case with Theresa Meeker. The gorgeous starlet of "Look," the award-winning avant-garde short film by Ryan Pickett (reviewed last month) was very generous to take some time out of her busy schedule to sit down and answer a few questions about her role in the film as well as her outlook on acting in general. ***
MS: Let's start out by having you tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to be an actress. TM: While I was growing up I loved reading and writing. Some of my favorite books, such as "Harriet the Spy" and "Matilda," which I read dozens of times, were turned into movies. I thought that I could have played the protagonist better because I knew the character so well. I’ve been acting my whole life. My family, including my aunt who was a make-up artist for movies and network television, really encouraged me to pursue acting. I started out modeling. Immediately I wanted to move to New York and get some acting training as well as meet some filmmaking professionals. I traveled to Los Angeles to audition and there I realized that my closest network of filmmakers was actually in Nashville, TN. Even though Nashville doesn’t have a big film industry, there are plenty of aspiring filmmakers who fall back on being music video directing to make a living. MS: Who are some of your favorite actors and how have they influenced your work? TM: While examining Keira Knightley’s "Coco Mademoiselle" commercial was inspirational for my role in "Look," I often examine Rachel Weisz, Emma Watson, Anouk Aimée and Parker Posey to see how natural they are on camera. MS: What does acting mean to you and what goals do you hope to achieve through your work? TM: Acting means to me that I reveal my heart and soul in front of other people while I do the most mundane things as well as things I typically wouldn’t want them to see. I hope my acting shows people that they can pause and examine the small beautiful things in life.
MS: How did you come to be involved with "Look?" TM: I came to be involved with "Look" shortly after Ryan was chosen as a top five finalist in the Race to Be film entrepreneurship competition hosted by media mogul Russell Simmons at Sony Pictures Studios in Los Angeles. I knew Ryan was going places with his film career, which was important to me because I had just studied at Michael Howard Studios as well as Larry Singer Studios with some pretty talented instructors. I wanted to be in a film that would take my career to the next level. I started talking about my goals with Ryan, while he was excited to develop a film that could showcase my abilities. MS: Considering Director Ryan Pickett is your husband, you're obviously more privy to information that we, the audience are not, but if you could put yourself in our shoes for a moment, imagine you've just seen "Look," how would you describe what you've just seen? TM: If I were describing "Look" from the point of view of the audience, I would say that it is a dreaminspired short film that examines the vivid and extravagant imagination of a barmaid while it utilizes beautiful visuals and a harmonious score. There’s really only one main bit of dialogue when Emma (Starina Johnson) says, “Beauty exists in the mind that contemplates it. It’s in the blink of an eye we find it and in the blink of an eye we lose it.” Anyone could relate to that line, including those going through a break up, insecure teens and unrequited lovers as well as new parents. I’m a new mom to a 17-month-old girl. In the blink of an eye the most beautiful thing I have in my life, my daughter is developing while if I close my eyes too long she’ll be heading off to college. I’ve really enjoyed being privy to information about "Look" while Ryan really left its meaning up to interpretation. There are so many different ways that people could think about "Look" without being wrong in their analysis of it. MS: Who is your character and what is her relation to the story? TM: My character is confident in her appearance, while everyone is in awe of her beauty. The objective my character has is to get everyone to admire her while she doesn’t have to work very hard for their admiration. MS: Describe the actor/director dynamic between you and Ryan on set. TM: While Ryan was wonderful to work with, he communicated very clearly to all of the actors. I knew I was really comfortable with Ryan being behind the camera already, which made me really excited to be there. I enjoyed seeing Ryan so calm and collected, while sometimes other directors have seemed scattered on set.
MS: You're also credited as an "associate producer" on "Look." What responsibilities did you have on set and did they come in conflict with those you had as an actress?
TM: I was credited as an associate producer on "Look" because I secured a location when the original location that Ryan wanted was unavailable. My responsibilities as an associate producer didn’t conflict with those I had as an actress. I had previously seen this beautiful urban photo studio where I badly wanted to do a photo shoot, although I was too poor to get a professional photographer to take my pictures there. When the crew and cast began arriving we found all this plastic laying around because there had been construction going on there all week. Ryan and I loved the location because of the view overlooking Nashville, which we couldn’t see with all the construction. One of the main windows was boarded up and covered with plastic. Luckily Ryan was able to make the set work for "Look," while he actually got a discount on the location for the mess. MS: How do you go about preparing for any given role you receive? TM: I typically go about preparing for any given role I receive by examining the context and by analyzing my objective. I like to know how my role fits into the entire story as well as what my character is trying to achieve. MS: Do you have any hard limits as an actress? That is to say, is there any kind of role or situation that you wouldn't feel comfortable doing? TM: Sure, there’s plenty roles and situations that I wouldn’t be comfortable doing. I’m studying to be an elementary education teacher at Vanderbilt University Peabody College, which is the number one school for education. So I want my next project to be very family friendly. Plus, I’m a mom and wife now so I’d really want to do something that would make my family proud. MS: Do you have any new projects in the pipeline? TM: I recently won about $1100 worth of filmmaking software from a Student Filmmakers raffle. So who knows, maybe I’ll start writing something. MS: If someone wanted to get in touch with you regarding a project, how would they go about doing that? TM: The best way to get in contact me would be twitter.com/theresa_pickett or through ryanpickettproductions.com.
An Interview with Ryan and Theresa Pickett for The Entertainment Corner Ryan and Theresa recently took time out of their busy schedules to chat with me about their careers and the award winning experimental short film “Look”, which was shot using the RED ONE 4K. For Theresa: You studied film and television acting at Michael Howard Studios as well as Larry Singer Studios in New York City; what initially drew you to pursue an acting career? I was initially drawn to pursue an acting career because of my love for children’s literature while I was a kid. Stories always seemed so vivid as well as imaginative to me, which encouraged me to dream of being on camera. The love I had for immersing myself in a world of books encouraged me to imagine another world where the impossible could happen if someone wrote it that way. For Theresa: What influence has your other educational achievements, and your new family had on your acting career? While I was excited to be admitted to Vanderbilt University Peabody College of Education, the program is pretty rigorous and it leaves little time for creative pursuits. The most important thing to me about being in an academic program and being a mom as well as a wife is that I have some real life, authentic experiences, such as falling in love with my family, which I can bring to my acting now. For Ryan: You are currently earning your Post Graduate degree in Directing from Watkins College of Art and Design in Nashville, Tennessee. Please share with us what or who inspired you to become a director? I actually left Watkins a couple of years ago. I wanted to become a director because I loved movies as a child and just knew that was what I wanted to do. For Ryan: Describe your directing style; are you primarily interested in making a strong visual impact or do other elements hold equal importance to you? As long as there is a strong impact, whether it be visual or otherwise. Both if possible. For Ryan: Your first film, "You Only Loved Me Twice", earned you a top five spot in film entrepreneurship competition The Race to BE hosted by media mogul Russell Simmons. Please share with us what that experience was like and how it has changed your filmmaking career? I appreciated being recognized for my craft and it made me work even harder. For Ryan: Your second film is entitled “Look”. What was the inspiration behind the story of, “Look”? Short films that Chanel was creating inspired me for “Look,” while I also looked through a lot of high fashion print ads at the time. For Ryan: “Look” won an award for best experimental film in the Best Shorts Competition and an award for best student film at the Accolade Competition. Do these awards have an affect on how you will approach making future film projects? These awards show me appreciation for my art and what I’m creating. It helps me understand how to connect to people as well as make something with some meaning that can move people.
For Theresa: “Look” is a non-narrative film, with sparse dialogue. Did you find it difficult to work with a story that called on you to convey almost everything solely through body language and facial expressions? I had really wanted to work with a mainly silent film that focused on body language and facial expressions. One of my acting coaches did this activity where he would have his students get comfortable doing the most mundane things, such as drinking tea on stage, with the whole class watching. I learned from the activity that becoming comfortable doing mundane things on stage had importance to the art of acting. When I was working with the story of “Look,” I didn’t have to focus energy on the way I was giving my dialogue. All of my focus was on showing the objective of my character with my face and body. For both Theresa and Ryan: What feelings and thoughts do you hope viewers will take away after watching “Look”? People take away something unique to themselves. For Theresa: What other projects do you have on the horizon? Do you plan to continue a career in acting? I’ve got a couple ideas for some shorts I’d like to work on. For Ryan: What skills and experiences have you acquired from making "You Only Loved Me Twice" and “Look” that you will take and utilize in future film productions? I get increasingly confident with every film I have made especially with the recognition I have received from several competitions. For Ryan: Do you have plans in the near future to produce full-length feature films? What other film projects do you have on the horizon? I am always looking forward to producing a full-length film and I am currently working on a script for one. Ryan Pickett's Website: www.ryanpickettproductions.com "Look" the film on Twitter: @Look_the_film
Atypical Tales Interview with Ryan and Theresa Pickett I recently had the opportunity to watch the short film, which is available to view at RyanPickettProductions.com. I will confess to having to watch it twice to make sure that I caught all of the subtleties. Look does not rely on conventional storytelling techniques but instead uses emotion and visuals as the narrative. The film uses very little dialogue, and viewers are largely left to draw their own interpretations on the work. The work itself easily sweeps the audience into drama of the characters. Without further delay, here is my conversation with director Ryan Pickett and lead actress Theresa Pickett. Look is an incredibly emotional film, with several visual and audio elements coming together to create powerful dynamics. Can you tell us about your process in finding the right emotional pitch? Did you have a few different versions of the film that you screened to friends to help you find the right levels? (Ryan) — I tried to use a lot of preparation of the script and storyboarding as well as playing the movie out in my head over and over . The story felt as though it was the result of a very organic filming process. Did you have a detailed script for this project, or was it more of a shot list with room to improvise? (Ryan) — I had both but I did allow plenty of room to improvise all the way through the editing phase. Can you tell us about the casting process? Was it an extensive search, or did you know which actors and actresses you needed right away? (Ryan) — I had been in touch with the group of actors I had been planning on using when I was writing the script . (Theresa) — I had some input while finding singer/songwriter Alison Parson, who was a make up artist on the television show The Simple Life and she was recently voted one of Nashville’s best singer songwriters by Village Voice Media owned Nashville Scene. Parson was the only cast member Ryan didn’t know while writing the script. Your press materials related the fact that you and lead actress Theresa Meeker were married after working on this project. Did you first meet while working on this film, or had you known each other prior? (Ryan) — We had known each other prior. (Theresa) — I met Ryan when I auditioned for a film he was producing about a year before the making of Look. Your website indicated that you shot the film on the Red One 4K. What led you to pick that camera? (Ryan) — I had seen other movies shot with it as well as big name directors who had used the Red One 4K. I really wanted to see what the Red One 4K was capable of in comparison to film. Besides your camera, do you have any recommendations for other filmmakers regarding great gear or resources? (Ryan) — I thought Final Cut Pro was a great program and affordable, while with a little practice it was pretty easy to use . What are the best ways for people to check out your film projects? (Ryan) — Visit RyanPickettProductions.com. Thanks so much for your time. As a final question, can you let us know of any upcoming projects in the works? (Ryan) — I’m currently working on a feature length script. Thanks to both Ryan and Theresa for the interview, and be sure to check out their short film Look.
Interview with John Hoff III Blog What is the current project you are working on? Currently working on a feature length script (Ryan). I’ve been looking at some commercial spec competitions, while Ryan and I will post anything new that we do on ryanpickettproductions .com (Theresa). How do you define success? Being happy with what you do (Ryan). How do you handle rejection? Move on (Ryan). What inspired you to become involved in the film industry? A love for movies (Ryan). I loved reading when I was little. Some of my favorite books, such as Matilda, which I read dozens of times, were made into movies. I wanted to see the actors reacting the way I envisioned them from reading about them, and I decided to be an actress so I could interpret a script the way I imagined it happening (Theresa). What is the best thing about creating/working on a film? Seeing your ideas brought to life (Ryan). What is the worst thing about it? Budget (Ryan and Theresa). What is the estimated number of projects you have worked on? I’ve written and directed two short films, including “Look” and “You Only Loved Me Twice“, which you can read more about on IMDb as well as at ryanpickettproductions.com, while I’ve worked on numerous other films (Ryan). I’ve been in a few commercials and several short films as well as two features (Theresa). What is one piece of advice you can give to someone who also wants to make it in the movie business? Hold out for the right part. Some wannabe actors don’t realize that taking the wrong part really can encourage people not to take them seriously later on (Theresa). What do you like to do besides filmmaking? Play guitar and weightlift (Ryan). Travel and go running (Theresa). What are some of your favorite American films? Television shows? Amadeus and Salt, while Ryan and I watch a lot of vampire shows, such as Vampire Diaries (Theresa). How would you describe your film education? I studied Film and TV acting with casting director Gabrielle Berberich at Michael Howard Studios as well as stage acting with Larry Singer at Larry Singer Studios and I took a film course at Flagler College in St. Augustine. Most of my film education came from being on set and networking with filmmakers, such as Ryan, who had extensive collections of movies to watch (Theresa). I watched a lot of movies and went to school for film (Ryan). What is the casting process like? It’s nerve-racking for me since I’m an actress. Several acting mentors told me to think that an audition is just a meeting, although I get pretty nervous to have someone sizing me up and deciding whether I fit the part. The best part of having been in the industry for several years is often some of the people holding the audition are people I have met before, which helps me relax and focus (Theresa). How would you describe the film “scene” where you live? Nashville, Tennessee has some successful music video directors as well as some indie filmmakers who just don’t realize that their filmmaking careers might never happen if they stay here. There are a lot of creative people here but the industry for filmmaking isn’t very good. Ryan and I are here for my Master of Education
program at Vandy, which has the number one program in the nation for education, while we know that if we want to take the film industry seriously we’ll have to go somewhere else (Theresa). Pretty weak (Ryan). How has social media changed the independent film industry? Makes it easier to get your film seen (Ryan). What’s your opinion on crowdfunding? I’m not really into it (Ryan). It seems kind of like being a sales person, which takes away from the creative freedom filmmakers should have when developing their film. I’d think it’s little cheesy to have to ask all your friends for money on Facebook and twitter (Theresa). How does independent film differ from the mainstream? Smaller budget, lesser known actors (Ryan). Doing a lot of your own PR (Theresa). You could go back in time and see any film being made. Which film would it be and why? “Citizen Kane” because it had some of the best acting as well as directing and writing in movie history, while it was so revolutionary for its time (Ryan). What is your opinion on movie remakes and sequels? Some are good. Some aren’t (Ryan). What is your opinion on book to movie adaptions? Sometimes book to movie adaptations work, although I’ve been let down by some in the past. I’ve got high hopes for Hugo directed by Martin Scorsese. “Hugo” is based on the book “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” written by author Brian Selznick, which has a lot of illustrations and reminds me of a flipbook, while the way the illustrations zoom in to show different perspectives and reveal movement looks very inspired by the way an audience might view a movie (Theresa). Is there anything else you would like to add? Visit ryanpickettproductions.com
Press Student Filmmakers: Short Film Look by Director Ryan Pickett Wins Gold at California Film Awards Short Film Look by Director Ryan Pickett Wins Gold Award at the California Film Awards. This is the third accolade for Look, which has also won an Award of Merit in the Accolade Competition and an Award of Merit in the Best Shorts Competition. (California) -- Short film Look by director Ryan Pickett of Nashville, Tennessee wins its third accolade, The Gold Award at the 2011 California Film Awards. Look is one of only a small handful of select projects awarded this exclusive honor. Only a maximum of 10 projects per competition category were selected to receive this distinguished level of recognition. Look, which was at first deemed a long shot on the film festival scene as an experimental avant-garde narrative, has earned some prestige with several film competition awards, including the Best Shorts Competition Award of Merit and the prestigious Accolade Competition Award of Merit, for the visual poetry that director Ryan Pickett utilizes to show that the desire for beauty reveals an unsettling emptiness. While attending Watkins College of Art, Design and Film, Ryan Pickett shot Look on the RED One 4K. Look has recently partnered with online video rental service Indieflix for distribution, while another Ryan Pickett short film You Only Loved Me Twice will be distributed on Indieflix as well. You Only Loved Me Twice helped earn Ryan Pickett a top 5 finalist spot in the showcase event in the USA for Global Entrepreneurship Week film entrepreneurship competition The Race to BE hosted by media mogul Russell Simmons at Sony Pictures Studios in Los Angeles. Ryan Pickett was recently voted The Best Filmmaker and nominated for Best Visual Artist in the Nashville Scene. â€œI appreciate being recognized for the visual poetry of Look,â€? says Ryan Pickett. Each year the California Film Awards recognizes and celebrates important world cinema that represents the forefront of aesthetic, critical and entertainment standards in contemporary independent filmmaking and screenwriting. The California Film Awards honors new and cutting-edge American and foreign independent films in several competition categories. Partnering with notable film industry companies, film educators, directors, producers, and writers, the California Film Awards provides a forum for talented filmmakers to be recognized for their work, creativity, originality of vision and superior execution. Award winners will be officially announced at the 2011 California Film Awards Ceremony and Filmmakers Dinner on January 28, 2012 at the Bahia Resort Hotel in San Diego, California. The awards ceremony will be open to the media. Cinematographer Shane Bartlett. Cowriter Spenser Fritz. Score by The Other Deepak. Cast includes Los Angeles actress Starina Johnson, Watkins alum John Ferguson, singer/songwriter Alison Parson and Vanderbilt University graduate student Theresa Meeker Pickett. Ryan Pickett has a cameo appearance, while he also produced/edited/wrote.
Student Filmmakers: Experimental Film “Look” by Ryan Pickett Wins Best Shorts Competition
Film Snobbery: Ryan Pickett Wins Best Shorts Competition
Film Nashville: Watkins Film School Project Wins Award
FilmNashville: Watkins Filmmaker Wins Accolade
Watkins College: Watkins Student Wins Prestigious Film Award
Credits Cast Emma – Starina Johnson John – John Ferguson Supermodel – Theresa Meeker Hair/Make-up Girl – Alison Parson Handsome Photographer – Ryan Pickett
Crew Directed by Ryan Pickett Written by Ryan Pickett and Spenser Fritz Director of Photography - Shane Bartlett Original Score - The Other Deepak Executive Producer – Ryan Pickett Edited by Ryan Pickett Associate Producer – Theresa Meeker Post Sound Editor – Ryan Pickett Color Correction – Dave Donnelly 1st Assistant Director – Tim Krau 1st Camera Assistant – Andy Kugler 2nd Camera Assistant – Hunter Jones Gaffer – Chase Kuertz Grip – Corey O’Brien Grip – Hank Williamson Grip – Mike Cain
Special Thanks George, Cheryl, Ammazzo and Isabella Pickett Sean Dougherty Theresa Meeker Spenser Fritz
In Memory of Ammazzo Pickett (6/6/96 – 4/8/09)