The Mighty Dragon podcast
By Victoria Thomas
We review popular films and TV series to study characters, narrative and themes.
Interviews with actors from Star Wars and Mindhunter.
Mainly clean but some swearing throughout! ;)
The Mighty Dragon podcastDec 04, 2019
Podcast with Patrick Wirtz #scissormouth
Patrick Wirtz has been on my radar for some time for an interview for The Mighty Dragon. His work with past The Mighty Dragon interviewee, director Deborah Richards, is truly an epic glimpse into the life of a producer. After speaking with Patrick, I have so much more appreciation for this role. Naive me, thought that this role was mostly financial. How wrong was I?! I joked to Patrick that a day in his life would give me a heart attack, I wasn’t wrong!
Patrick shares his experiences working alongside Deborah on her first feature, Move Me No Mountain. We touch upon how projects develop from concept to completion. Patrick offers insights into social media strategies, industry trends and how the role of a film producer will evolve in the future. This, of course, ventures into the world of AI, scary for some, whereas others are embracing this technology.
With their next movie, Scissor Mouth, coming out soon it was a great time to catch up.
Poltergeist - Cursed Production?
#poltergeist #carolanne #cursed #cursedproduction #stevenspielberg #joBethWilliams #skeletons #horror #horrormovies #conspiracies #haunted #ghosts #scarystuff
Rosemary's Baby - Cursed Production?
#rosemarysbaby #cursed #romanpolanski #johnlennon #dakota #newyork #horrorstories #miafarrow #conspiracies #sharontate #horrorfilm
Exorcism: The Hidden Truth
Exorcism: The Hidden Truth - here I look into the real story behind The Exorcist. That of a young boy called Roland Doe who was exorcised at age 14.
Kubricks USA Exit Explained
Why did Kubrick leave the USA? I explore some of the reasons why on this podcast.
A Haunting in Venice with Fernando Piloni
Fernando Piloni is a Brazilian actor who has truly travelled the world. His dream of acting picked up and put back down a few times, till he conquered his fears and ended up working on the hugely successful, A Haunting in Venice.
Acting in Brazil, Spain and now London, he’s an actor who has mastered his art with skill and dedication – absorbing and revelling in the the different training methods in those areas. He has overcome obstacles to propel him even further ahead and open opportunities, specifically in theatre.
He’s recently appeared as Vincenzo Di Stefano in A Haunting in Venice which sees Kenneth Branagh at the helm as Poirot. I was keen to chat with Fernando about this experience – what did he learn from acting alongside Kenneth Branagh?
Podcast with Maja Bloom #fantasticbeasts
Speaking to Maja Bloom was an absolute delight, she truly is a multi-talented performer.
From acting to singing and stand-up, there seems to be nothing she can’t do. Maja tells me about her childhood and journey into performing. Gifted from a young age, she followed many paths to success, one being a path to the wizarding world of Fantastic Beasts. How cool is that?
As the dark witch, Carrow, she appeared alongside Eddie Redmayne, Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Mads Mikkelsen in Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald and, more recently, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.
1920’s wizarding is full of the glamour you’d expect from such a colourful decade. If you haven’t caught up on these films, then please do.
As the Harry Potter TV series gains momentum it doesn’t look like JK Rowling’s wizarding empire is slowing down any time soon. It would be great to see Carrow back behind the wand somewhere in this universe. Who knows? We might!
Murder and Mayhem with Christian Svensson
Christian Svensson Swedish actor Christian Svensson joined me on The Mighty Dragon recently. With Career Opportunities in Murder & Mayhem in post production, it was a great time to catch up to discuss his career, his British start in life, the characters he likes to portray, Swedish rats and so much more. Christian is a multi-talented actor. Not only is he multi-lingual (Swedish, English, French and Spanish!) but he boxes and specialises in Brazilian Ju-Jitsu too, it was interesting to hear the focus his training has given him in his acting life. I always think it speaks volumes about a person when they pay tribute to their family as being the backbone of their success. Christian credits his wife and children as being his rock, for grounding him.
Maria Tran spills the tea on Madame Tien #lastkingofthecross
From Australia to Las Vegas
I'm so delighted to have Maria Tran back on The Mighty Dragon. Now based in Vegas, Maria has been super busy (and that's an understatement) with multiple projects.
One being working alongisde Tim Roth in Last King of the Cross, a big budget Australian series based on the book by John Ibrahim. She talks to me about her character, Madame Tien, and the inspiration she got creating this formidable character.
Maria talks too about her feature film Echo8, her plans for a trilogy and forging the path for women filmmakers to break through and shine. In their own right.
It's always so refreshing speaking to Maria, her positivity is infectious and she really deserves all the success!
Podcast with with Jeppe Beck Laursen #thelastkingdom
Jeppe Beck Laursen
The Last Kingdom - what a truly, brilliant series and now a truly brilliant film (The Last Kingdom`: Seven Kings Must Die - released last month on Netflix).
With anticipation, well, to be frank DREAD, of this wonderful storyline coming to an end. I watched absolutely spellbound as the final part of the story unfolded. What a great ending too, what way do you think Uhtred chose?
In the end scene, I spotted one of my absolute favourite characters (and all-time greatest baddie), Haesten, feasting in Valhalla - I knew I had to reach out to see if I could interview the man behind this dark, intriguing character - Jeppe Beck Laursen.It was an absolute pleasure to chat with Jeppe not only about Haesten but how he got into acting, his life, hopes and ambitions.
We of course talk about The Last Kingdom and a deep dive into the enduring fascination of Viking drama.I meet Jeppe's dog too cutely named Han Solo - something us 1972 kids have in common is Star Wars.
Will we see Jeppe in a future Star Wars series? Tune in to find out...
Screenwriting advice from the Pros - Phillip E. Hardy #purgatorystation
Phillip E. Hardy is back on The Mighty Dragon!
It was a pleasure to catch up with a writer buddy of mine, Phillip E. Hardy. Phillip was previously on The Mighty Dragon back in 2020 talking about the enduring fascination of Dracula (link below in Resources).
It’s a great time to catch up as Phillip has just adapted Hemingway’s Sun Also Rises into a screenplay. We talk about this and his upcoming movie Purgatory Station starring Bob Gunton as Horatio Grimes. Phillip also manages a Facebook screenwriting group, Screenwriters Talking Shop. This is a super-friendly, helpful and supportive group and a great resource for all writers serious about their craft.
While I had Phillip I grilled him on best practise as a screenwriter and the question we all want to know, how to get your script read as an un-repped writer.
- You have recently adapted Sun Also Rises into a screenplay, is this the first adaptation you have done?
- What are the challenges of adaptation?
- Have you much licence to change the narrative in adaptations?
- You have a movie coming out too! Purgatory Station, can you tell me more about this?
- As a writer I have known for years, what have you learnt the most about the writing profession?
- You have a Facebook writing group, what sets this apart from other writing groups?
- Do you think writing competitions are worth the money?
- Which writing festivals are the best ones to enter in your opinion?
- Should a writer try different genre, or stay within the genre they feel most comfortable?
- What’s the best advice you could give to writers who are not represented in getting their work read?
Deborah Richards: Vegas Filmmaker #MoveMeNoMountain
It was an absolute pleasure to have Vegas-based filmmaker Deborah Richards back on the blog.
It’s been a year since we last spoke where Debbi was in post production with Move Me No Mountain, her first feature film. A year down the line now, the film is on Amazon Prime! What an achievement!
We discuss lessons learnt while filming Move Me No Mountain, the audience perception on homelessness since the movie release, the order of shooting in the Vegas heat and Debbi’s plans for a movie ranch, YES YOU READ THAT RIGHT, A RANCH! - sounds phenomenal, plus much, much more.
It's no surprise that Debbi is booked up solid with exciting new projects - returning to her roots in flair bartending and also venturing into horror with the delicious title "Scissor Mouth"!
I truly can't wait to see what else is happening in Debbi's world, her empire is expanding and life is looking rosey for this dedicated filmmaker. Debbi really deserves all the success in the world.
Grab your own copy of Move Me No Mountain which is on Amazon Prime NOW. Leave a review too!
SAS: Who Dares Wins - Rudy Reyes shares the secrets of his success
Rudy Reyes, an accomplished soldier, actor, martial artist and conservationist. He came into SAS Who Dares Wins as lead instructor last year. We speak about the show, audience expectations, contestant expectations and limitations.
Rudy talks extensively about his life, from childhood to soldier, actor and beyond. We discuss the pranks behind the scenes, his camaraderie with his Billy & Foxy, filming in Vietnam and much more.
After we spoke, I reflected on Rudy’s achievements so far, it pained me to hear about his childhood, but he can be so proud that he provided the foundations for his brothers and guiding light for their wellbeing. What an incredible man he is.
I want to dedicate this podcast to the memory of my Granddad, a WW2 hero who would be rather chuffed I interviewed Rudy.
Rudy Reyes website - keep up to date with all Rudy's news.
Rudy Reyes - Wikipedia
Rudy Reyes - IMDb
SAS: Who Dares Wins - A new elite team of ex-special forces from the UK and USA recreate the SAS's secret selection process - putting recruits through the ultimate test of their physical and psychological resilience.
Force Blue - FORCE BLUE seeks to address two seemingly unrelated problems — the rapidly declining health of our planet’s marine resources and the difficulty returning combat veterans have in adjusting to civilian life — through one, mission-focused program.
Dress Code twists 'n' secrets podcast #dresscode
How was Paddy's Day for you? Hope you enjoyed it if you celebrated! What was I doing? Well, I had the absolute pleasure of chatting with the filmmakers behind the new mobster movie, Dress Code.
Did I say mobster? Yes... but not quite what you expect with a mobster movie. This movie explores a very sensitive subject from boy to man, as Bobby Russo navigates his identity in an uber-macho environment.
Joining me on the podcast were;
We discuss the research behind Bobby Russo, the challenges of filming in the past while in the present, specific camera angles, guns on set and the way Bobby's secret was respectfully portrayed. Plus much more!
I have so much respect for these filmmakers, the way they have handled this subject and the incredible script.. with a twist I didn't work out! Congratulations to all the cast and crew.
Tune in won't you?
Podcast with Cat Lellie - Move Me No Mountain #movemenomountain
I was super-excited about speaking to actress Cat Lellie about her powerful performance as Jenna in Move Me No Mountain. A while back I’d had the pleasure of speaking to Director Debbi Richards about this film and was absolutely blown away when I saw it on Prime a couple of weeks ago.
Cat plays Jenna, a homeless woman, dealing with the grief of losing her child and ultimately her whole world.
Cat’s performance truly touched my soul, it transcended all levels of emotion and the scenes will stay with me forever.
As a mother myself I could see myself fall into this downward spiral if anything happened to my daughter, a dark place with little hope of sunlight.
Watching Move Me No Mountain makes you see the plight of the homeless, who are often unnoticed and ignored. Each person has a story on the streets or the subways, may be they just didn’t have enough self belief, or people that believed in them to be where they are now. As my Mum always says “they were an innocent baby once”.
Underneath the streets of Vegas lives a community of homeless, not much separates rich and poor in that City, from one extreme to another.
Super big thanks to Cat for this amazing podcast, it was lovely to get to know the preparation you took to get inside this character and the journey you went on yourself while filming it.
Brahim Chab & Fight Choreography: Behind the Scenes
I always enjoy catching up with previous guests on The Mighty Dragon. This time it’s fight choreographer and actor Brahim Chab who was on the blog back in 2019!
Having a peek at his Instagram account, I could see he’s been training as hard as ever.
Now based in Thailand, he’s been super busy since we last spoke and that includes John Wick: Chapter 4. A part which seems was made for him!
Hailing from France, this international actor seems to be happiest when he’s training and perfecting his skills.
It was great catching up with you Brahim, may I wish you all the very best for your upcoming wedding and every success with all your projects.
Podcast with Dustin Nippert #physical100
Physical:100, the smash hit South Korean Netflix series kept me and my family glued to the sofa.
We couldn’t blink or breathe as the gruelling challenges pitted contestants against each other, all with a chance to win a huge sum. But, to me, it wasn’t the cash prize that drove these contestants but the endorphins as the game progressed and challenges got harder.
If you haven’t seen it, athletes such wrestlers, MMA, gymnasts, Olympians and influencers competed in this show all with different abilities, strengths and focus.
One contestant, Dustin Nippert, an American baseball player forged ahead in the series. I’m so thrilled he agreed to a podcast for The Mighty Dragon. We talk about what expectations he had about the show, the types of contestants who would navigate the challenges the best and how this show would be perceived elsewhere.
We touch upon South Korean culture too, I was moved by the respect the contestants held for each other and interacted. Let’s just say I can’t wait for the second series!
Big thanks to Dustin for this opportunity and for the Orlando baseball recommendations! I’ll go and see my first baseball match(?) or do you say game?!
The Mighty Dragon podcast with Anne-Marie Scragg #firefly (feat. Olivia Pickering)
It’s an absolute pleasure to add indie director Anne-Marie Scragg to the interview collection here on The Mighty Dragon.
Her latest movie, Firefly, is a tribute to the deaf community and for all vulnerable facing violence at home.
Anne-Marie is used to directing powerful, emotive pieces. Firefly joins How We Live, which are real stories affecting real people. Check out the links in Resources below for more information on these projects.
For this podcast we look into the creative, intimate world of indie film, through the joy and tears on set in Cornwall. We discuss the spontaneity and creative freedom of indie film, and the considerations of working with children and on location.Olivia Pickering
Stay tuned to the end for a fun addition to this podcast, as The Mighty “Little” Dragon kicks her Mum off the hot seat to interview Firefly’s “Little Frankie”, Olivia Pickering.
Olivia, a dynamic young actress, was chosen to play Little Frankie. Anne-Marie tells us how Oliva’s natural talent shone through and they caught some organic scenes on the beach on Cornwall.
Olivia instinctively delivered a captivating performance as Little Frankie, she mastered sign language required for the role. The Mighty Dragon predicts a booming career for you! Good luck.Questions posed:
- Your IMDb states you are a Director, Writer and Actress, is it possible to say which do you find most creatively fulfilling?
- How did it all start for you?
- What are the strengths & benefits in Indie films?
- What are the challenges of Indie films outside of budget?
- Firefly was shot in Cornwall, what considerations do you have to make when choosing a location.
- Tell me about Firefly?
- You have child actors in Firefly, what considerations do you have to make when filming with children?
- From How We Live and Firefly, these are both powerful, emotive “real” stories, is this something you will continue to focus on for future projects?
- Any special memories/magical moments you’d like to share from filming Firefly?
- What’s next for you?
The Mighty Dragon podcast with Maria Erwolter
Following on from my last 1899 interview with Alexandrew Willaume, I have another one for you! This time with multi-talented actress Maria Erwolter, who starred as Iben in the smash-hit Netflix series.
Maria, shares her thoughts on her character Iben and the breath-taking twists and turns of the series. We discuss what characters she enjoys portraying and which genre she’d like to experience.
From The Ritual to 1899, this actress keeps extending her range of characters and lighting up our screens. With a busy family life, Maria keeps grounded with meditation and most impressively paying it forward to the next generation of actors.
Thank you to Maria for this interview, may I wish you all the best for Christmas and 2023!
The Mighty Dragon podcast with Alexandre Willaume
Recently I binge watched the fantastic Netflix series 1899, this truly one of the best series I have watched this year. A story so complex with unexpected twists and turns, you never know truly where its headed, in a refreshing way! Not being able to guess the plot is quite refreshing.
I was delighted that 1899 actor Alexandre Willaume joined me on The Mighty Dragon podcast to discuss his character Anker, the hesitant priest aboard the ship. As a Danish actor, I was keen to get his insights into the strengths of the Danish film industry, and how he forged his career path. A career path which has taken him all over the world.
From Tomb Raider, to The Last Kingdom and to 1899 Alexandre is an actor with great depth and experience, and I am so glad to have him as part of the interview collection here on The Mighty Dragon.
Sorry, a little bit of swearing in this one.
The Mighty Dragon podcast with Phillip Noyce
Last weekend I was delighted to catch up with Australian director Phillip Noyce. Phillip was last on the blog in 2018, so it was a great opportunity to see what he’s been up over the past few challenging years in the industry.
From a cold, blustery evening in England to the sunny climes of LA where Phillip is based, we spoke about his illustrious career which spans from the 60’s to the present day!
Surprised and heartened by his answers to my questions, I am in no doubt that Phillip Noyce is a true professional and a genuinely kind person to work with.
A team player on a production, he has remained open to emerging technology for story-telling and supporting up and coming filmmakers. He discusses how he learns from everyone on set. This flexibility in his work ethos has kept him at the top of his game, and long may it continue.
I was especially touched when he recollects about his movie Rabbit-Proof Fence. This is a lesson that passion projects born from the heart are the ones that stay with you the longest.
He recalls his time visiting The Last Emperor set in Beijing and witnessing 4,000 people on set under the command of Bernardo Bertolucci. His friendship with Federico Fellini and some unforgettable advice he was given.
You were my 20th interview for The Mighty Dragon back in 2018. What have you been working on since?
What would you say is your favourite film of yours, or most memorable piece of work.
As audiences have moved to streaming, have you had to adapt to how you work for changing audience habits?
Do you stick to the script, or do you often go off script while on a shoot?
If you were to shoot any of your films again, what would you change?
What has been the biggest challenge to you as a filmmaker?
Are there any special memories from any of your films that you’d like to share?
Which actor have you most enjoyed working with, and why?
What are you currently enjoying – tv series or film?
Next year, I will be looking at the work of Stanley Kubrick for this blog. What do you enjoy most about his style of directing.
The Mighty Dragon podcast with Andrew Froening
“Summer moved on”, so the song states… and The Mighty Dragon is breathing fire back into the dusty mic after a summer break. Which was largely spent in Galaxy’s Edge while recovering from the shock of turning 50.I couldn’t think of anyone better to kick me out of my hiatus other than Independent filmmaker (and whiskey lover) Andrew Froening.
I have known Fro for a few years, and can honestly say I have never met anyone as hard-working. His dedication, drive and work ethic are reaping in the awards and it’s so thoroughly deserved. This is only the start of FroVideo greatness I feel.
We last spoke back in January this year where Andrew discussed the two features he was editing. Now with 5 projects in post-production, FroVideo is super-busy and flourishing.
We discuss his films The Door, Dress Code, The Jogger and more. His future ambitions for FroVideo, Halloween movie picks and finally, success tips for filmmakers which include (and most importantly for yours truly) when to put the script down!
Podcast with David Espinosa and Craig Ahrens - Independent Film #thecrumbs #theevildownthestreet #lovenquarantine #demonfighter
When I last interviewed David and Craig back in 2020 I was left in awe at not only their creativity but their business sense too as Independent Filmmakers.
I can certainly say this interview was no different. They still have this drive, passion, and integrity about their work which is admirable. Not to mention their superhuman planning skills which guarantee a slick operation on set.
With their new releases Love N Quarantine and Demon Fighter out now, it was a great chance to catch up with these Mighty Dragon favourites. They offer solid advice for any Independent Filmmaker and share some of their process for making their unique, quirky, and unforgettable films.
Best of luck to David and Craig for Love N Quarantine and Demon Fighter and beyond.
The Mighty Dragon supports Independent Filmmakers, please get in touch if you'd like to share your story.
Podcast with Obi-Wan Kenobi actress Marise Alvarez #castinterview
Head on over to The Mighty Dragon blog for my interview with Marise Alvarez.
Podcast with actor Jess Liaudin #notimetodie #luther #thebatman
I last interviewed actor Jess Liaudin back in 2019, he’d been in Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and we caught up on the other projects he had at the time.
His route into the industry actually left me quite tearful as he described his underprivileged background, which truly served as a launchpad propelling him into success. I think back at that interview from time to time, I still find it very moving. If you haven’t read it I urge you to follow the link in Resources on the blog.
For this podcast we catch-up on what he’s been working on in the past two years and his hopes and ambitions as an actor.
From Luther, No Time to Die, LIFT and The Batman, Jess’s busy schedule won’t be changing anytime soon.
The Mighty Dragon podcast with Adrian Schiller (Æthelhelm)
I am delighted to announce that actor Adrian Schiller joined me on the podcast to discuss his time on the hugely phenomenal The Last Kingdom series.
Followers of The Mighty Dragon Instagram account know that I have recently binge-watched the entire five series. So I am completely over the moon that my favourite bad guy from the series, Æthelhelm, is part of this interview collection.
Adrian discusses Æthelhelm, his favourite parts of his character, his motivations, and how the character immersed itself into The Last Kingdom. But were Athelhelm’s motivations misjudged?
Doting grandfather or evil mastermind? We discuss this and more, on The Mighty Dragon.
The Mighty Dragon podcast with Pierre Bourdaud
It was an absolute pleasure to chat with Beijing based actor Pierre Bourdaud today on The Mighty Dragon podcast.From France to Beijing
With over twenty years of experience working in Beijing as an actor, stunt performer, and director Pierre is incredibly humble about his achievements.
Multi-lingual, he has worked with Jackie Chan, Johnny Knoxville, Sebastian Vettel, and many others. It seems no one day is the same as another – he could be dubbing films in Mandarin or working with Mike Tyson.
With the lockdown squeezing in China how is that impacting the booming Chinese film industry?
The Mighty Dragon podcast with Galen Howard #thebookofbobafett
Actor Galen Howard joined me on The Mighty Dragon podcast recently to talk about his work on The Book of Boba Fett.
A lifelong Star Wars fan, Galen shared his thoughts on the Star Wars legacy and how it's endured for so many years. Star Wars is a family affair for Galen, he remarks how his father worked on Return of The Jedi, so it felt like it was meant to be when he secured the part on The Book of Boba Fett.
We talk about the secret world of Star Wars casting and storyline, the highs & lows of an actor's life, his preferred genre to work in, plus what draws him to certain characters.
I also took the opportunity to speak to Galen about his work in music videos, specifically the video for Justin Timberlake's "Can't Stop The Feeling!'.
The Mighty Dragon podcast with Deborah Richards #movemenomountain
Deborah discusses her career from flair bartending to Dark Lights, which was released last year. A huge success, this horror short was awarded Best Cinematography, Best Special Effects and Best Horror Short at the Stranger Days Independent Film Festival. Deborah wears multiple hats during the filmmaking process, something which she does again for Move Me No Mountain, her first feature, out this summer. We spoke about the challenges and rewards of being in control of all these elements (writer, director, VFX, camera etc) and how this has impacted her script-writing.
After the interview I was left in complete admiration of Deborah's achievements and drive. A strong, vocal champion of women's filmmaking (not to mention picking up the NW Woman Filmmaker of the Year award), Deborah's star is rising. Not only this, but she has done so with grace and respect for those she has worked with. Thank you for this opportunity Deborah, may I wish you all the best with your future projects. Podcasts and interviews with filmmakers the world over.
Check out my special "The Mandalorian" & Mindhunter interview series, a unique behind-the-scenes experience of these hit shows. Want to learn tips and tricks from those who have succeeded? My YouTube page hosts podcasts and supporting videos with filmmakers, actors, producers, directors, and more. It showcases my own research as an amateur screenwriter/animator in creating my own stories for release here. This channel heavily supports the importance of Indie film not only in the UK but worldwide. See how Indie filmmakers are engaging with their audience to deliver unique content from shorts to features and what drives their process. It may help you start your own?
SOCIAL MEDIA - Come and say hello :) Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themightydragonblogTwitter: https://twitter.com/BertieChan55Blog: https://themightydragon.blog
Podcast with Carey Jones #BlackKrrsantan
The Book of Boba Fett lands on The Mighty Dragon blog and I am delighted to have actor Carey Jones as part of my The Book of Boba Fett interview collection.
We know Carey as the bounty-hunting Wookiee, Black Krrsantan, in The Book of Boba Fett, and I must say this character, “Santy” was, for me, one of the outstanding performances of the series. If you look into the fascinating history of Santy, you can see this Wookiee was trained as a gladiator, bears a scar from Obi-Wan’s lightsaber, worked for the Hutt’s, Vader, and finally now, as part of Boba Fett’s legion.
Carey chats to me about his time on The Book of Boba Fett set and how physically challenging and rewarding portraying Santy is. We also speak about how he got into the industry and his route into Twin Peaks, The Walking Dead, Mare of Easttown, Predators, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and so much more.
After this interview, I was left with admiration for Carey’s work ethic, drive, and determination. He truly deserves all the success, but it wasn’t without grind and grit on his part.
I truly hope we see more of Santy (please Disney, give him a spin-off series)!
Podcast with Kelly Schwarze #indiefilmfactory
Kelly Schwarze, film director, author, sumo wrestler! What more can I say? I was absolutely delighted that Kelly accepted my offer to jump on a call for The Mighty Dragon to share his success on his eight feature film.
Catch up with all of Kelly’s news and all the fabulous work by the Indie Film Factory at Indie Film Factory
Podcast with independent filmmaker Andrew Froening
Recently I caught up with Independent filmmaker and regular on The Mighty Dragon, Andrew Froening. Based in the US, Andrew is currently working on two features. One being a mob film based in his home area (and Sopranos base) New Jersey. He talks about his projects this year and also reflects back on 2021 - how has the pandemic changed his work ethic. It seems features are now the future for Andrew, and as ever, I wish him the very best of success.
The Mighty Dragon: Best of Christmas - what's your favourite Christmas movie?
Flicking through the huge amount of festive films on Netflix the other night, I wondered which one I could call my favourite, my absolute “gun at head” favourite. After all, Christmas films are such an integral part of the festive season, can you imagine if we didn’t have a fave?
Is your favourite a tear-jerker, a rom-com, a classic or something entirely different. Something that stirred memories from childhood, possibly?
While I pondered this myself, I decided to throw the question open to some of my previous interviewees. Their recommendations may inspire you to put on something that you may not seen before.What’s your favourite? Step inside…
HUGE THANKS to the contributors:
- Andrew Froening
- Phillip E. Hardy
- David Silverman
- Bryan McClure
- Bernard Bullen
- Kelly Schwarze
- AV Turner
- Nicole Russin-McFarland
- Mike Leeder
- Arne Venema
- Alejandro De Hoyos
- Lee Anthony Smith
- Paul Zeidman
- Joe Fiorello
- Carla Roda
- Gareth Williams
- Yeniffer Behrens
Hopefully you will find some festive film inspiration here.
Thank you for supporting The Mighty Dragon throughout 2021.
The Mighty Dragon will return
The Mighty Dragon podcast with Carla Roda
On the podcast today, award winning film editor and director, Carla Roda.
In a male-dominated area of the industry Carla Roda has truly made her mark on Hollywood. She is the first Spanish woman to edit projects for HBO. Her editing work for Fox Searchlight/ Fox Digital Studios’ docu-series Phenoms was an official selection and winner at Tribeca Film festival.
The documentary Our Quinceañera was Winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary at The Bentonville Film Festival and Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Panamanian International Film Festival in Los Angeles and Vote Neil Was an official selection at Tribeca Film Festival 2020, Official Selection in Documentary Shorts and was also licensed by NBC News and Meet The Press.
Carla is working on a new film, Let Go , which she wrote and will direct.Let Go takes the love and sacrifice themes of Me Before You by Thea Sharrock and the recovery of trauma and identifies themes of The Rider by Chloé Zhao. Questions posed
1) From Spain to Hollywood, tell us about your journey to become an award-winning film editor?
2) Is film editing an “Invisible art”
3) Are women under-represented in this side of the industry?
4) Your family describes you as a fighter from day one, would you agree?
5) Whats has been your favourite project so far and why?
6) What do you think are the strengths of the Spanish film industry?
7) I have read with interest some of the charities you support. Could you tell me more about those, and will we see some projects based on those charities in the future?
8) What do you have planned project-wise for the near future?
9) Finally, what would be your advice to anyone wanting to explore film editing.
Huge thanks to Carla for this opportunity and to Espada PR for co-ordinating.
Follow Espada PR on Instagram here.
The Mighty Dragon podcast with Renee Lim
For anyone who follows The Mighty Dragon Instagram account you will see that I recently watched Clickbait on Netflix.IMDbWhen family man, Nick Brewer, is abducted in a crime with a sinister online twist, those closest to him race to uncover who is behind it and why.
Shot in Australia, this series has a very modern feel, utilizing the power of social media within the story and on screen. I was delighted that actress Renee Lim, who played Alice in Clickbait, agreed to join me on the podcast.
As you will hear, Renee has many strings to her bow, her drive and motivation are very inspiring to all. Looking through her impressive blog, Nay in the Life, I think this really underlies her work ethic, no matter what character she is portraying. The ability to look at a subject at many different perspectives is an attribute for any creative.
We spoke too about the multi-award winning Please Like Me where she plays Mae.IMDbTwenty something Josh is going through a number of big changes as he navigates his first decade of adulthood. After being dumped by his girlfriend, he comes to the realization that he is gay.
I think this series is typical of the way that Australian productions expertly portray sensitive subjects. Listen to Renee discuss what is was like to be part of it.Questions posed
- I have just enjoyed the series Clickbait on Netflix where you play the role of Alice. What attracted you to this character?.
- How did you get into acting?
- Your IMDb describes you as an actress, dancer, presenter and medical doctor. Is it possible to choose one as your real passion?
- What has been your favourite character to date, and why?
- You were Mae in the highly acclaimed Please Like Me, what was it like being part of this series?
- As an Australian actress, where do you feel the strength is in Australian tv & film?
- Can you tell me more about Nay in the Life?
- What projects do you have coming up?
Huge thanks to Renee for this opportunity and to Kelly for co-ordinating us through various time zones and daylight savings
The Mighty Dragon podcast with David Hedges
was joined on my podcast with another of my early interviewees, David Alton Hedges. With a new book out now, Werewolf, I thought it was a great chance to see what this Nicholl-winning writer was up to now. The last time I checked in with David was when he was over in South Africa watching his film, Scorpion King: Book of Souls being made.
Here’s a link to the previous interview, it still remains one of the most-read interviews in my collection here on The Mighty Dragon.Points for discussion
- if Scorpion King changed him as a writer
- what opportunities lockdown gave him to explore other projects, such as the K9 tv series
- if California is still the destination for writers and filmmakers
- how writers can adapt to the change in the way audience consume content
- finally, we talk about his new book, Werewolf, a moving account of his time in the K9 unit with his partner, Brag. What a wonderful tribute to a heroic dog!
Huge thanks to David for sharing his time and wisdom!
Where to find Werewolf
Thin Blue Paw – a UK charity for retired police dogs.
Joe Fiorello chats China, Hong Kong and US music & film projects and more
The Mighty Dragon kicks off interview season with filmmaker and music producer @joeblackshadow.
Joe talks about life in NYC, HK memories, CFK Radio and thoughts on the Chinese and Hong Kong film industries. I even got a legendary Joe Fiorello HK story
The Mighty Dragon back in busineSS #podcast #chinesefilm #hongkongfilm #musicproducer #themightydragon #musicproducerlife #nycproducer
TIME and LEVEL 16 - tv catch-up with Allie & Vikki
#seanbeanTIME #stephengraham #tvrecommendations #whatsonNetflix
Here we discuss our thoughts on BBC's TIME and Netflix's LEVEL 16. We will be back next month discussing Ted Bundy.
The genius of Jim Carrey
Joining me on the podcast today is author AV Turner for one of our regular "Allie & Vikki" catch-ups. Here we discuss Jim Carrey, Dumb & Dumber and the side of Jim we have seen on YouTube giving phenomenal speeches about life creativity and the Universe.
Jim famously said on Oprah that he wrote himself a cheque for $10million and attracted this to happen to him. An example of the law of attraction some would say - this was his paycheck for Dumb & Dumber.
The Mighty Dragon Mindhunter Special: Interview with Happy Anderson (Jerry Brudos)
My Mindhunter Special continues with my first crook and I am over the moon to get Happy Anderson on the podcast to discuss his role as Jerry Brudos. Otherwise known as the shoe fetish killer.
Actually, Happy is right. Calling serial killer Jerry Brudos a crook is a complete injustice. But nonetheless, the performances of all the actors who portrayed the serial killers, to me, are the genius of this series. So I was delighted that Happy is part of the Mindhunter Special interview collection.Happy Tappy
Happy discusses his career, his beginnings as a tap dancer and performer, to the roles which he is most proud of.
I asked Happy how it felt to play such a dark character as Brudos for Mindhunter. It was interesting to hear the emotional impact portraying this character had on him. You can tell from his performance as Brudos that he fully envelops his characters – certainly stepping into the shoes of a serial killer is no mean feat.Sympathy with the Devil
As a writer, my conversation with Happy reminded me that there are many sides to serial killers that need to be considered in a script, certainly some elements where we feel empathy for the character.
These characters will always have identifiable human traits, the devoted family man and good friend. Inside the monster, you will often find a sad childhood, neglect, bad parents, and exclusion. Is the monster borne out of these circumstances or where they always there?
The Mighty Dragon Mindhunter Special: Interview with Michael Cerveris (Tedd Gunn)
I was delighted to be joined by actor Michael Cerveris in this third installment of my Mindhunter Special.
Michael has extensive experience on stage (Broadway, West End) and screen (Fringe, The Queen of the South, The Plot Against America).
He plays Ted Gunn in Mindhunter, Season 2. This character, Michael explains, is a combination of characters rather. It was interesting to hear the meticulous preparation and rehearsals before each shoot. The genius of David Fincher certainly comes across in every interview in this series.
We talk too about how he started in the business, his favourite roles, Mindhunter prep, behind-the-scenes and more.Resources:
The Mighty Dragon Mindhunter Special: Interview with Gareth Williams (Chief Redding)
Thank you for checking back into my Mindhunter Special.
Here I am joined by actor Gareth Williams who played Chief Redding in Mindhunter, Season 2.
Gareth recalls his epiphanic moment that pointed him towards his acting journey. The people he met along the way; Matt Dillon, Marisa Tomei, Laurence Fishburne, they all were part of Gareth’s successful career in theatre, TV and film. We hear about his friendship with the late, great Jim (that’s James Gandolfini to the rest of us), and how they met.
He shares his favourite memories from Mindhunter too (and some behind-the-scenes funny stories too from the S2 wrap party).
A humble actor, he has many credits to his name, Into the Dark, NCIS, S.W.A.T., Dawson’s Creek, Mindhunter… I could go on. Some of his favourite moments have been his “pinch me” moments, this could be from being on set with Tom Hanks in From the Earth to the Moon or working with David Fincher on Mindhunter.
Big thanks to Gareth for this interview!
Detroit Street Films
Detroit Street Films is a collection of filmmakers, artists, poets, writers, who come together to create their own content in the form of short, micro-budget films….
For more information on Detroit Street Films check out:
The Mighty Dragon Mindhunter Special: Interview with Cotter Smith (Unit Chief Shepard)
Welcome to the first part of my Mindhunter Special. Join me in this new series where I interview cast members about Mindhunter, but also their backgrounds and prep for their characters.
From Washington to Pittsburgh
First up is Cotter Smith, he played one of my favourite characters, Unit Chief Shepard, in Seasons 1 and 2. It was interesting to hear how Cotter’s acting career started in theatre in Washington. He talks to me about his journey of moving to New York to pursue his dream before moving onto screen.
We also discuss his favourite roles throughout his career, which include X-Men and You Don’t Know Jack, where he played opposite Al Pacino, an unforgettable experience he states.
We of course talk about his time on the Mindhunter series. How he prepared as Unit Chief Shepard and what it was like to work with David Fincher and his special behind-the-scenes memories from this phenomenal series.
Mindhunter or Ratched? what would you choose?
In this podcast author AV Turner (Allie) and I discuss our April favourites. For me, its Mindhunter and Allie, Ratched.
The Mighty Dragon reviews McDonald & Dodds and Escape from Pretoria with AV Turner.
The Mighty Dragon podcast with author A.V. Turner. Allie reviews McDonald & Dodds and I review Escape from Pretoria.
Join us once a month as we discuss what's captured our imaginations on the box. You'll find McDonald & Dodds on ITV1 and Escape from Pretoria on Amazon Prime.
Amateur filmmakers - want to learn tips and tricks from those who have succeeded? My YouTube page hosts podcasts and supporting videos with film-makers, actors, producers, directors and more. It showcases my own research as an amateur screenwriter/animator in creating my own stories for release here.
Check out my special "The Mandalorian" interview series, a unique behind-the-scenes experience of this incredible part of the Star Wars Universe.
Stuck with what to watch? Podcasts also examine what to watch on Netflix and other streaming platforms.
This channel heavily supports the importance of Indie film not only in the UK but worldwide. See how Indie filmmakers are engaging with their audience to deliver unique content from shorts to features and what drives their process. It may help you start your own?
THE MIGHTY DRAGON BLOG: https://themightydragon.blog
The Mighty Dragon meets Jona Xiao - Disney's Raya and the Last Dragon
I'm super lucky to have actress Jona Xiao on The Mighty Dragon podcast. In this episode we talk about her latest movie, Raya and the Last Dragon.
Starring a stellar cast including Kelly Marie Tran, Awkwafina, Daniel Dae Kim, Benedict Wong, Sandra Oh and, of course, Jona Xiao. This delightful tale is the latest animated Disney Princess film and sees Jona as the Young Namaari.
After speaking with Jona, I can see how perfect she is for this role. A real-life heroine, determined and resilient against adversity. Personally I found her a very empowering and totally not surprised that her company, Career ACTivate, has helped thousands of actors book more work and land great reps. Way to go!
We are taken to the fantasy world of Kumandra where humans live peacefully with dragons. Nevertheless, whenever anything is going that well, you know something will turn up to disturb the harmony.
This time it's in the form of sinister monsters called Druun. We see the friendly Dragons sacrifice themselves to save their human allies. However, years later, the old monsters return and Namaari seeks to find help from the Last Dragon.
What motivates this bounty hunter? The Mighty Dragon meets Jake Cannavale.
Securing this interview I felt that I had hit the Star Wars Universe jackpot!I am so honoured to feature actor Jake Cannavale in this special The Mandalorian series. We know him as bounty hunter Toro Calican, but I wanted to dig a little deeper into what makes this actor unique.
Jake comes from a large acting family, so it was pretty much imprinted in his DNA from day one. His parents, actors Bobby Cannavale and Jenny Lumet, encouraged him as he carved out his unique presence centre screen. His step mother, Rose Byrne, being a guiding, positive influence too.
Of course, this conversation was focussed on all things The Mandalorian. Jake recalls his special behind-the-scenes moments, specifically a moment with Obi-Wan, Ewan McGregor. He also touches upon his role in Nurse Jackie too, and how he felt working alongside his father.
I tried to guess his favourite Star Wars characters but failed miserably, his answer was a total shock! Jake, you were right. I would never have guessed it.
I am honoured to have him here as part of The Mandalorian interview collection.
Thanks to Jake and the folks at Framework Entertainment for this opportunity.
This is the fifth interview for The Mighty Dragon in its special The Mandalorian series. Tune in for more interviews from this epic, fan favourite series made for all Star Wars fans.
Starring in The Mandalorian was certainly one of his career high points, but I feel this is only the start for him. To sum it up, there's more to this actor than we have seen already, I just hope he is back on The Mandalorian soon. After all, no character dies really.....
What's it like being two characters in The Mandalorian? The Mighty Dragon meets Tait Fletcher.
The Mandalorian Special continues...
When I interviewed Tait Fletcher I felt like I'd known him for years, that's probably because he's been in everything I have seen!
From Breaking Bad to The Mandalorian, Jumanji and John Wick to name just a few. Tait has been in some of the most memorable films and TV series in recent years.
We know Tait as Alpha Trawler and Paz Visla in The Mandalorian. He shares with me how he prepared for these characters, his experience with George Lucas's linguist and some behind-the-scenes memories with Carl Weathers.
His favourite Star Wars character surprised me at the time, but now reflecting back on our conversation can see how that all fits in.
Of course, Tait joined me to talk about The Mandalorian, but we touched upon his time as Lester in Breaking Bad too. Also how he broke into the industry from his MMA fighting days. Tait's journey doesn't end anywhere as we find out, he is constantly progressing.
The Mandalorian goes from strength to strength and so does Tait. He is a truly introspective, inspiring actor. His phrase "Never let your memories become bigger than your dreams" struck a chord with me.
In conclusion, there is no way this actor is resting on his laurels any time soon. I am honoured to have him here as part of The Mandalorian interview collection.
Thanks to Tait Fletcher and the folks at KMR Talent for this opportunity.
This is the fourth interview for The Mighty Dragon in its special The Mandalorian series. Tune in for more interviews from this epic, fan favourite series made for all Star Wars fans.
What's it like being The Mandalorians father? The Mighty Dragon meets Bernard Bullen
My journey on The Mighty Dragon has lead me to meet some truly special and gifted folk, Bernard Bullen is most definitely one of them.
I'm so honoured to have this fine actor here as part of The Mandalorian interview collection on The Mighty Dragon.
We know Bernard as Din Djarin's father in The Mandalorian. His introduction in the Star Wars Universe being an explosive scene where the young Din is hidden by his parents. Certainly, it remains one of the most memorable scenes in Season 1 for me.
This role, Bernard tell us, is his favourite of all his roles and recalls some fun behind-the-scenes memories of his time on Season One.
A fun point to note, Bernard is fluent in many languages (even Scouse ;), which has opened doors for him the world over. Giving him a truly rich and varied experience across many genres. His full list of acting credits can be found here.
Furthermore, we talk about how he landed the role, his favourite Star Wars character (I guess right!) and how he left one career path to pursue acting.
Will Bernard be back in The Mandalorian? Tune in...
Bernard Bullen - Website
Summing up, I have no doubts that Bernard will be gracing that cape again for another trip into the galaxy, or certainly deserves to be. As the world opens up again this year, this actor will be soaring high.
Gracias Señor Bullen, deseándoles lo mejor para 2021.
Bernard is represented by MARK JERMIN MANAGEMENT
This is the third interview for The Mighty Dragon in its special The Mandalorian series. Tune in for more interviews from this epic, fan favourite series made for all Star Wars fans.
What's it like being a Tusken Raider? The Mighty Dragon meets The Mandalorian's Miguel A. Lopez.
I had the pleasure this week of catching up with The Mandalorian actor Miguel A. Lopez to discuss his role as a Tusken Raider on The Mandalorian series (Disney+). As a matter of fact, Tusken Raiders are my second favourite being from Tattooine, Undoubtedly menacing, they first appeared in A New Hope where they encounter a young Luke Skywalker.
Miguel shares with me his behind-the-scenes memories of being part of the Star Wars Universe as one of the Galaxy's sinister Tusken Raiders. Particularly interesting to note that Miguel was one of the first to learn on set The Child's, Baby Yoda's... wait...Grogu's name. You can hear his passion for Star Wars as he recalls his experiences. In fact, as a lifelong Star Wars fan himself Miguel's favourite Start Wars character is.... well, you'll just have to tune-in to get that titbit ;)
Furthermore, Miguel also speaks about his time working on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D too and what inspired him to become an actor. Lastly, he also teaches me some Spanish (apologies to all Spanish speakers for my pronunciation) and tells me what opportunities being a bilingual speaker has brought to his career.
This is the second interview for The Mighty Dragon in its special The Mandalorian series. Tune in for more interviews from this epic, fan favourite series made for all Star Wars fans.