Tag Archives: “Stash”

“Choke” Shooting begins Part 1

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Producer Terry Wickham talks to his Devil’s Five Partner/Director/Actor George Brianka before the shoot begins for “Choke” 11/5/16 New York City. Photo Kato Peragine & Christian Peragine

 

I’ve got to tell you that producing and acting in a movie is a different experience than directing one.  It’s a lot less stressful.  “Choke” is actually the first movie I produced that wasn’t one of my own films.  I guess I must to have done a decent enough job, because I received propositions from two different directors to produce their next films.

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Left to right Lisa Zebrowski, Alexandro Jomar Ramirez , Terry Wickham, George Brianka and Jared Christopherson. Photo Kato Peragine & Christian Peragine

 

As the Producer, I was responsible for putting together all the cast for a Red Carpet Event scene taking place at a supposed film festival and getting the main portion of dinner for the cast and crew (which numbered close to 25 people).

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Left to right Stephanie Almeida, Jesse Ray Sheps, Megan Penn get direction from Director Edwin M. Figueroa. Photo Kato Peragine & Christian Peragine

 

When I was casting this scene I purposely choose more actors than were really needed, anticipating that some of them wouldn’t make it when the time came to shoot.  That’s exactly what happened.  Thank goodness I had experience to guide me, as three people out of 20, couldn’t make the shoot, so we were still good to go.

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Photographer Kato Peragine acts as part of the paparazzi, shooting the Red Carpet Event. Photo Kato Peragine & Christian Peragine

 

As far as getting dinner, I made a bunch of calls to restaurants near the location and found that establishments in New York City are not as willing to helping a small production like ours versus Long Island or New Jersey.

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Director Edwin M Figueroa gives direction to Make-Up Artist/James Ippoliti’s “Date” Sarah R. Cruz on 11/5/16. Photo Kato Peragine & Christian Peragine

 

Thankfully I already had a good relationship with Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Harlem and they provided most of the delicious food for the evening.

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Richard Kern (right) always likes working on movie’s like “Choke.” Paparazzi Photographer Christian Peragine (left) stands ready to take the next picture. Photo Kato Peragine & Christian Peragine

 

Also actor Richard Kern was able to get a tray of Baked Ziti from Dan Romano @ Frankies East Side Gourmet Italian Restaurant (located 313 Main Street Farmingdale NY 516-756-2753).

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Photo Kato Peragine & Christian Peragine

 

Tiffany Figueroa (Edwin’s wife) took care of the rest of dinner that included spring rolls, yummy spaghetti & meatballs, snacks, drinks and more.  All in all there was more food than anybody could eat.

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Producer Terry Wickham in “Choke” acts in his natural role as a “Film Director.” Photo Kato Peragine & Christian Peragine

 

I don’t normally appear in front of the camera when I’m directing because watching the acting performances and viewing the shots is way too important.  Though I studied acting for 1-year at HB Studios in Manhattan, being in films is not something I yearn for or go out of my way to do.  But Edwin asked me and after all he had done for me as a cinematographer on my films Stash, XXistence Teaser Trailer, the Veronica Freeman music video “Again” and “The Devil’s Five” I couldn’t possibly turn him down.

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Left to right James Balsamo, Sarah R. Cruz, James Ippoliti, Terry Wickham, Megan Penn, Chris Sasser and some guy pacing in the back named George:) Photo Kato Peragine & Christian Peragine

 

Since the scene was going to involve filmmakers, I decided to cast real directors & producers to join me in the scene.  Not every movie-maker wants to be on camera, so I did get turned down by a few and some didn’t even return my calls and or emails.

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Terry Wickham & George Brianka had a blast helping their Devil’s Five Partner Edwin M Figueroa, make the last episode needed to be shot, “Choke.” Photo George Brianka

 

Luckily I had some filmmakers who were up for the challenge and proved to be perfect for the film.

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On the first day of shooting “Choke”, you would swear George Brianka channeled the role of “Joe Cool” from Snoopy. Photo Photo Kato Peragine & Christian Peragine

 

My Devil’s Five Partner George Brianka, who Directed “Don’t Say These Words” segment and acts in “The Devil’s Five” segment as a pimp named “Mr. Jingles”, was more than game.  Edwin had seen first hand how good George can be on The Devil’s Five and plucked him out to act as the main character in the scene filmed.

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Jack Nicholson & Nick Nolte have nothing on Chris Blake Sasser. Terry spent a good deal of the night discussing all the things the two pals enjoy talking about. Photo Kato Peragine & Christian Peragine

 

My long time writer/director buddy from Philadelphia, Chris Blake Sasser proved to be an excellent choice.  Chris has the look of a filmmaker who has dealt with the difficulties the industry can exert, sort of a “been-there done-that” quality, that made the scene more believable and in many ways a lot more fun as well.

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James Balsamo unleashed the full fury of ‘exploiting multiple meanings of words, similar-sounding words, always for an intended humorous or rhetorical effect. Photo Kato Peragine & Christian Peragine

 

Filmmaker James Balsamo was a gas, providing a never-ending barrage of pans and quips that had most of us laughing.  Almost from the moment you spoke, James was quick to strike with a Double Entendre.   Plus he doesn’t let anything phase him.  He just flowed through the scene enjoying everything it had to offer him.

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James Ippoliti (left)  is a great storyteller and master of the “Selfie”, Terry Wickham and Sarah R Cruz got their mugs in this shot.  Photo James Ippoliti

 

James Ippoliti was another great guy to have in the scene because the Philadelphia based producer/journalist had lots of cool stories about his old radio show.  Plus all of us filmmakers had an affinity for movies made during the golden-era of horror (70s-80s), so there was a lot of talk about John Carpenter’s films, the best schlock films and so on, when we weren’t with our lovely on screen dates.

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Alexandro Jomar Ramirez played not only a important role as a filmmaker before the camera, but was valuable as Janine Giorgenti’s Wardrobe Stylist Assistant. Photo Kato Peragine & Christian Peragine

 

Fashion Stylist Alexandro Jomar Ramirez, who was on set to assist Designer/Wardrobe Stylist Janine Giorgenti, wanted to appear in the movie, so we put him in as a filmmaker.  All I can say is that Janine and Alexandro made James Balsamo, George and I look our best and of I think he had fun looking terrific as well.

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Some of the ladies left to right Megan Penn (front), Ingyang Muslin (back), Stephanie Almeida, in the distant right Noelle Figueroa and Alida Lang. Photo Kato/Christian Perigine

 

Speaking of which, I have to talk about the beautiful actresses who participated in the scene.

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Megan Penn sizzled as Terry’s “Date” for Red Carpet Event scene. Photo Kato Peragine & Christian Peragine

 

Megan Penn played my “Date” and scorched the screen in a spectacular red dress.  I really appreciate how she came in immaculate make-up and in that killer outfit.  I actually didn’t get to act that much with her because Edwin split us up on opposite sides of the scene.  But Megan made enough of an impression with Edwin, that she may end up playing a much bigger role in the film.

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Make-Up Artist Sarah R Cruz finally received some on camera love as James Ippolitit’s “Date.” Photo Kato Peragine & Christian Peragine

 

I was very happy to have Stash, XXistense Teaser Trailer, The Devil’s Five Make-Up Artist Sarah R. Cruz make her onscreen debut as George’s “Date.”  There’s no doubt that Sarah is a gorgeous woman and everyone loves her.  The fact that she’s worked with Edwin and I so many times before, not to mention George, makes us like a small film family.

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If you think you’re going to get something past Alida Lang, it’s not going to happen, as George’s character will attest. The ravishing beauty made her presence felt during the Film Festival scene. Photo Kato Peragine & Christian Peragine

 

Alida Lang who was in the XXistence Teaser Trailer, brought her good looks and ended up being elevated to a bigger role than just a “Date.” Alida has a wealth of experience in front of the camera and she did a wonderful job interacting with George.

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This shot captures the positive nature of Stephanie Almeida (right). She’s someone who loves smiling and passes that optimistic energy to everyone around her. Photo Stephanie Ellen Almeida

 

The striking brunette Stephanie Almeida played Chris Sasser’s “Date.”  Stephanie’s energetic approach made her a pleasure to be around and she juxtaposed nicely against Chris’ Hollywood-hardened self.

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Rrita Toka traveled a long way from Kosovo to New York City, but we were very lucky she did. The actress/model was wonderful for the movie as James Balsamo’s “Date.” Photo Kato Peragine & Christian Peragine

 

Rrita Toka was incredibly sweet.   Rrita’s fine features contrasted nicely against James Balsamo, as his “Date.”  Where as James is a bit burly, Rrita sparkles like a exquisite piece of jewelry.

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Lisa Zebrowski hails form the mid-west and brought a totally different look the production needed. Photo Kato Peragine & Christian Peragine

Lisa Zebrowski played Alexandro’s “Date” and with her dainty charm and red-hair came across as nothing short of chic.  Lisa told me she had a great time with everyone involved and that meant a lot to me as Producer.

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Ingyang Katja Müslin controlled the drinks given out, which were made of apple cider and cranberry juice. Photo Kato Peragine & Christian Peragine

 

Ingyang Katja Müslin was perfect in the role as the “Bartender/Waitress.”  The blonde, who comes from a potent mix of nationalities, was not just easy on the eyes, but wonderful to speak to.   You never guess such a feminine woman would be as skilled at climbing rock cliffs most folks wouldn’t dare think of scaling.

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This grin from Dazzle Lin is something you saw quite a bit on the set of “Choke.” Photo Kato Peragine & Christian Peragine

 

Dazzle Lin has an unmistakable smile and zest that just makes her a joy to be around.  I found it a lot of fun to listen to her Taiwan accent and the exuberance she radiates.

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Noelle Figueroa was just as pleasant of a person as this photo suggests. Photo Kato Peragine & Christian Peragine

 

Noelle Figueroa played the “Entertainment News Reporter” was very easy to get along with.  I didn’t interact with her a whole lot as she was placed on a different part of the set than I was, but she thanked me for putting together the group of actors that was there and that she had a great time.

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Ian Clarkson, seated in the middle of this photo (wearing sunglasses) was back working with Terry & Edwin, the first time since he was a Key Grip on Stash in July 2014. Photo Kato Peragine & Christian Peragine

 

It was great seeing Ian Clarkson again as it had been over two years since he worked on Stash.  I know from Edwin’s reaction when Ian walked in, that he was just as happy to have him in his movie. Since Ian has so much experience having worked on rigorous Realty TV shows and other film & TV, that acting as a “TV Cameraman” was a piece of cake.

To hear about Janine Giordenti’s amazing Wardrobe Styling and the rest of the cast & crew look for my next blog, which will finish off the November 5th Shoot for “Choke”

Ian Clarkson to play “Video Cameraman” in “Choke”

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Producer Terry Wickham has called on “Stash” veteran Ian Clarkson, who served as Best Boy/Key Grip on that film, to play the “Video Cameraman” on “Choke.”

Wickham explains his reasoning, “I wanted someone who physically could handle a camera for the Red Carpet scene and someone who understood how movies like this get made.  When I think back to working with him on “Stash” he absolutely made an impression with his super dedicated hard work approach.  He’s a no non-sense guy who just dove in doing what had to be done.

So it made a lot of sense to me to reach out to him because Ian definitely has the stamina to handle the camera the whole scene and his life experience with production applies to acting as an entertainment visual journalist.  Please he had worked for Edwin as the Best Boy/Key Grip so Edwin could trust him to do the job.”

My Name’s Ian Clarkson a graduate from Susquehanna University, Class of 2013.

Since graduating, I’ve held a number of positions at different production companies in New York and New Jersey, starting with Striped Entertainment in Manhattan. There I developed skills in the distribution and marketing of films. “A great film is nothing without a marketing strategy”. After I was an Associate Producer at Justice For All Productions in Middletown, NY. Working on “Rock Story”, a film with Gilbert Gottfried, Eric Roberts and Joyce DeWitt. Completed in January of 2014.

Soon after I worked shortly as a project coordinator for BLK Neon Productions, shooting a reality show called “Yalla NY”. After I worked as a freelance Production Assistant for AMC Networks, doing On-Air Promotions / Creative Advertisement at Sundance TV. There I assisted in writing and supporting the advertisements of network shows and marathons. From there I became an Executive Assistant at Nickelodeon for the Senior VP of Creative Advertisement and the VP of Movie Advertisement and Corporate Promotions. I coordinated meetings for upcoming promotions and live events while collecting all network material being worked on and approved by network executives, and initiated meetings with new creative management CEO’s for potential future projects.

After working at Nickelodeon I was offered an Associate Producer position at Aspire.tv for a reality show called “The Graduates”. Produced by Al Roker Entertainment.

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After being involved with films and TV I’ve realized how long and tedious each step of a production can be. From the development of a story starting with research and scripts, then eventually leading to production. I’ve gone on 18 hour and longer shooting expeditions while enduring some of the most grueling temperatures on the planet. Easy to say I love every moment. The ability to take on new projects with new people while learning from the old is the greatest experience.

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Jesse Ray Sheps to appear in “Choke”

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Producer Terry Wickham is pleased to announce that he has cast 11-year actor Jesse Ray Sheps in Edwin M. Figueroa’s “Choke.”  Wickham & Figueroa have already worked with the young dynamic actor 3 times before when the youngster played “Devin” in “Stash” and “The Devil’s Five” segments and the younger version of the lead character in “XXistence” Teaser Trailer.

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Wickham says, “The first time I worked with Jesse it was an extremely difficult situation for him, as he was driven from his summer camp in Pennsylvania back to Long Island, given the script to learn along the way and shoot that night.    That fact that he came in so ready and prepared, truthfully floored me.  I know the other actors working with him were very impressed with his professionalism.  Keep in mind he was 8-years old at that time.

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It was a no-brainer for me to help influence Writer/Producer Emilio Rosa to cast Jesse as younger version of his character in the Teaser Trailer for XXistence.  This was a somewhat challenging role for the young thespian because there was no dialogue but he delivered the character’s story through body language and expression.

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Then we got to work together in “The Devil’s Five” segment because I wanted characters from the segments to cross over into the all-important wraparound.  I think Jesse had fun out in Riverhead acting amongst the actors playing police officers, a drunk, a pimp & his ladies, not to forget a woman possessed with the Devil.

Jesse’s involvement in “Choke” will again be another way of integrating this episode in Devil’s Five feature film.  We plan to showcase his talent as a young guitar player trying support a particular church in need.”

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At the age of 10, Jesse Ray Sheps has already distinguished himself in both the acting and modeling world.

Jesse Ray has been working hard on his second season of Nickelodeon’s hit television show Zack and Quack playing the role of series regular Fluffy.  Jesse has completed filming several movies including “Collateral Beauty” with Kate Winslet and “Hard Sell” with Kristen Chenoweth.  Jesse has also been selected to play the lead role of young David Gutterrez in the upcoming movie Such a Funny Life.  Jesse Ray’s work has also been featured  on the Disney Channel and the Amazon Network.

Jesse has filmed many commercials and worked on many nationwide modeling campaigns for companies such as AT&T, H&M, Mott’s Apple Sauce, Humira, Nickelodeon, NBC, Sherwin Williams, Toys R Us, Family Dollar, and AMF Bowling.

We hope you enjoy your visit to Jesse Ray’s website so you can learn more about him.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6043297/