Hamish Downie’s Five Questions With Russell Emanuel
Editor Note: Hamish has another in his series of Five Questions With…
Hamish came up with this idea because he was accumulating too much material for his Famous News Sushi column and asked if he could do these mini-interviews. Why would we say no?
Thank you Hamish for being such a trooper for us. We really appreciate all for your hard work.
Let us know what you think of these interviews in the comments below.
Hamish has an additional interview of Russ Emanuel, who we interviewed several weeks ago about his new film, Staycation.
TGG: Can you tell us about the “Staycation” project and any updates since your podcast with Ben and Keith? I hear you might have a big announcement!
RE: As a quick background to the franchise, “Routine” started the whole ball rolling. This film began as a test for a recent camera I purchased. The project ended up bigger than its original goal and got accepted into several prestigious film festivals that my previous films weren’t able to get into – FilmQuest (one of the top genre fests in the US), Coney Island Film Festival, Big Apple Film Festival, Glendale International Film Festival, and just this week, the Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema.
“Staycation” expands upon the idea set about by “Routine”, opening up the narrative into a bigger world with higher stakes. It’s also the first 25% of an eventual feature film which is already written. “Routine” and “Staycation” builds a world that easily presents itself with great franchise possibilities within the popular science fiction/horror genre. And because of the way we are filming, people on the campaign come SELECT PERKS TO STAR IN THE FILM!
Synopsis: Lead virologist Edward Bellows plays tête-a-tête with hard-hitting journalist Grace Baxter as the world collapses under the weight of a global pandemic. She holds nothing back as she fires question after question, seeking answers from the beleaguered professor. Meanwhile, a couple Matt and Cathy, stuck in lockdown and separated between continents, spend some belated quality time via webcam toasting to foreign brandy and reminiscing on the past.
This film stars Olivia d’Abo (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, The Wonder Years, Conan the Destroyer), Sean Kenney (Star Trek: The Original Series), Tracee Cocco (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: First Contact), Eileen Dietz (The Exorcist), Kelli Maroney (Fast Times At Ridgemont High), Laurene Landon (Maniac Cop), G. Larry Butler (Frankenstein vs. the Creature From Blood Cove), along with newcomers Bailey Sorrel and Gilles Stricher.
And our big announcement is that Ben and Keith of TG Geeks are now ASSOCIATE PRODUCERS on our film!
Indiegogo Campaign Link: https://igg.me/at/staycationfilm/x/2638349#/
TGG: Thanks Russell! What are some of the challenges you’ve faced filming during the lockdown?
RE: Because we filmed during the COVID-19 Pandemic, we had to follow strict COVID-19 protocols including getting a Covid Compliance Officer, PPE Kits, Air Filtration Units, Covid Tests – all this cost us one-sixth of our budget during principal photography (which was very very expensive). This is the primary reason we are running this Indiegogo Campaign to recoup funds and make it possible to finish the film.
TGG: Congratulations on reaching your goal. What are some tips for a successful crowdfunding campaign (and for keeping your friends while doing so)?
RE: You have to be very persistent in contacting people one on one even if they don’t want to contribute. It really does annoy people but unfortunately if you want to have a successful campaign this is the primary method of doing things. Yes some people have been put off by my methods and I feel really bad to be honest, but also I have no choice to do so because of the expensive COVID-19 costs during principal.
We also have several name actors attached to the project which also helps as we have followers who love Star Trek, Star Wars, horror films and such and follow these name actors.
And even though we reached our goal, OUR CAMPAIGN IS STILL ACTIVE and have STRETCH GOALS including seeing the Behind-the-Scenes Documentary of the film. And as I mentioned before, this is only the first 25% of an eventual feature film, and have NUMEROUS CAMEO PERKS where CONTRIBUTORS can STAR IN THE FILM ITSELF!
TGG: You’ve worked with a lot of Star Trek alumni. What is it that you love so much about the series?
RE: I love the utopic [sic] nature of Gene Roddenberry’s vision. There is a reason he was called the Great Bird of the Galaxy! 😊
TGG: Finally, how can we best support you? (i.e. where can we buy your films, support you on indiegogo etc)
RE: As mentioned before, WE ARE STILL SEEKING CONTRIBUTIONS. Any amount, even $3 would greatly help us as any contribution helps us to “trend” on Indiegogo making us easier to find on their search engines. And we have numerous perks including getting IMDb Credit. So please come join us!
And thank you to you Hamish and the TGG family for doing this interview with me! Happy New Year to you both and to everyone out there!