Monday, March 4, 2013


Deceitful marks my first collaboration with Jenn Pinto. She came onto the project last minute, literally 24 hours before shooting started. But you'd never guess from her performance. She was completely prepared and delivered everything the character needed and more. As talented as she is lovely, here's Jenn.

Jenn on the set of Deceitful

1. You’ve been acting a long time, done a lot of projects. How did Deceitful meet or defy your expectations?
Deceitful met my expectations and more. Being in the business for a long time I've dealt with the best and worst in productions. Working on Deceitful was beyond refreshing because the production was so professional and knew what they wanted. Furthermore, having to shoot intimate scenes is not the easiest thing for an actor, however when you work with a professional production it helps the process run smoother. 

2. A 5-day production schedule on a feature is truncated to say the least. How did you prepare? 
I prepared for this feature by dedicating my time to knowing who the character I'm playing is. Who is Gabrielle and why does she make the decisions she makes, what makes Gabrielle, Gabrielle. Once I understood who she was memorizing the lines was the easy part because I knew her. Just like I know myself, so I knew what Gabrielle would say. 

3. This was our first time working together, how would you characterize our working relationship?
It was a pleasure working with you. There's nothing better than working with a director who's compassionate to actors. I appreciate you making me feel comfortable on set and allowing me to explore the character.  

4. In a fight to the death who would win, Sia or Adele? 
ADELE!!!!  Because I don't know who Sia is…LOL that was bad huh? No but I do love me some Adele. 

5. Outside of the obvious (the romance stuff) what was the toughest thing to play in Deceitful?
The toughest thing was the challenge of playing someone the opposite of me. I am strong on the respect to a man/women and affairs are the most coward actions in a human being, especially when money is involved. The true essence of marriage has been tainted so much there's no respect for it anymore. So Gabrielle is everything in a woman I'd hate to be. 

6. Outside of acting you're a writer and producer. How does this inform your approach to acting?  
 I think writing and producing has been the most rewarding experience for me as an actor. As a writer you have to explore your character, you have to know the ins and outs of your character, what makes them tick, what makes them happy, what do they want etc. Once you know this, the writing becomes easier. The story is told better. So once I explored that lane so deep with my writing, when I read a script or sides I read it with a new set of eyes. I had an even greater appreciation for the experience. A writer took the time to create this story and as an actor I want to make sure I bring their vision to life. 

7. If there was an eighth question, what would you want it to be and how would you answer?
 Yes!! Who's is your favorite Actor: Johnny Depp!! :)

Who is Jenn Pinto? NYC Bilingual Latina with an electrifying personality, global mentality with a smooth R&B Hip Hop attitude. This rising star is up at sunrise and in high gear perfecting her craft. Jenn Pinto was born and raised in East New York, Brooklyn and has been a hard working actress all of her life. At a young age she got her first acting job starring as an Angel in the Broadway Show "A Christmas Carol" at The Paramount in Madison Square Garden. By age 13 Jenn landed a featured guest spot on Bill Maher's "Politically Incorrect". It’s an understatement to say that she leaves no stone un-turned. In 2003 she got her first role in the Independent feature film "Take No Prisoners" produced by executive producer of Def Poetry Jam, Deborah Pointer which won Best Urban Feature Award in 2004. In 2006 Jenn wowed audiences in the Film festival circuit with her physically demanding role as Rosie in the short film “Blade to Bone” in which she played a self inflicting cutter. In 2008 she beat out thousands of hopefuls when she became chosen as the top 12 to compete to be the next Telenovela star on VH1’s reality competition “Viva Hollywood. Her runner up finish allowed her to build a fan base that follows this Jenn Pinto movement till this day. Expanding her career and becoming a writer Jenn Pinto opened up her own film company Ay Mama Films and is currently in pre-production to her second short film. In 2009 she partnered with Tatiana Bascope and opened up 2 Skrewz Loose Productionz to write and produce TV shows and Feature Films independently. In 2011 she made the big leap leaving her family and moving to LA. Upon her move she was cast as a recurring character on the web-series Queen Hussy directed by award winning director Pete Chatmon as well as a lead role in the indie horror feature Into the Woods that premiered at the FOX Studios Lot in February 2012. Catch Jenn Pinto this year in the comedic webseries on the New Nations Network; Atomic Elbow Channel. The Jenn Pinto trajectory has sprung from Broadway to Television and is now on her way to making a mark on the big screen role after role. Are you ready for the Jenn Pinto Movement?

For more Jenn Pinto:

Demo Reel
Comedy Reel

Sunday, March 3, 2013

An Independent Movie Agenda for Monday

So I've been in an editing cocoon over the past few week. ***editing cocoon, good phrase. I've stepped outside my house…not very often. This morning it hit me that I now own a high-powered laptop and can take this show on the road. So I'm packing up and moving it to the coffee shop tomorrow.

6am - pack up and head down to my old coffee shop stomping ground.
630 am - get settled in with my morning coffee and oatmeal. Spend about 20 mins going through emails and whatnot.
7am - start editing the last huge scene from the movie I'm delivering on Wednesday. It's a 12 minute scene shot with three cameras. 
8am - take a break from the scene and go over a friends script while taking notes. I'll alternate the scene with the script for the next four hours before taking a break.
12pm - pack up and head to lunch.
1pm - get back home. Head to the gym. Since I was sick, I've not really been. Time to get back on my cardio. 
2pm - back up stairs. Finalize the scene. check with my other editor as to his progress. We're supposed to combine our work into a finished product Tuesday morning. Giving me 24 hours to color and fix any sound issues. ***there are hardly any sound issues on this one.
4pm - break. Watch some Netflix.
6pm - work on another feature, editing. 
8pm - break. 
9pm - go over the script for my next directing project.

I'm Jason Horton and I approve this message.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Three Misconceptions about IMDB

First off let me say that I’m not an expert, nor have I ever worked for IMDB or know anyone who has. I’m simply a moviemaker that has submitted about 50 titles and hundred’s of cast and crew credits over the last ten years.

  1. You have to wait for the production company or producers to submit your acting or crew credit on a project. NOPE. While it is a good idea to wait a few weeks after a title goes live in order to give them a chance, it’s not necessary. Anyone can submit credits. You just go to the project listing, scroll down to edit page and add your credit. The only thing you need is the free IMDB account. Which brings me to number 2.
  2. You have to have IMDBPRO to submit credits. NOT A CHANCE. The only thing IMDBPRO is essential for listing is productions in early development. It doesn’t even help the likelihood of getting productions in active pre-productions listed. The only things that matter there are public interest, distribution and track record.
  3. It helps to vote for your own project or have cast/crew do so to help your rating. NO. It is not only morally questionable, it just doesn’t help. Let me give you an example of why. You have an indie production. On average there are between 20 and 100 cast and crewmembers. You talk them into giving the flick a high rating. They go overboard and you have like 50 ratings between 8 and 10. Now, unless your flick is truly on the same level as Citizen Kane or Godfather 2, that is crazy. Now your flick has an average rating of around 8 before it’s even released. Now a word on torrents (which I despise by the by). Torrents often get their movie info from IMDB including the rating. Many torrenters pick new movies to download based on these ratings. Then they download and watch your flick. Why should you even care about these thieves? Cause now they are pissed off they downloaded your 5 movie that was rated 10 and they are very vocal on IMDB. They also outnumber your crew and legit fans 10 to 1. (most likely). Now they’re voting your flick and undeserved 1 or 2 and because they outnumber those early high votes, IMDB’s system for weeding out ratings stacking starts to disqualify the odd number of high votes and you once 8 rated flicks is now 1.7, even though it might deserve a 4 to 6.

I was set to write five misconceptions but got really into an episode of The West Wing and left it at three.

A Day in the Life of an Independent Moviemaker

Or how to shoot a movie one day.

5am - Up to read the script I’m shooting today for the first time. See, I just got off of two other movies that shot back to back and haven’t had a chance to really read this one yet.

7am – come up with a super quick shooting plan for this flick. It’s a one-day feature. Yes, I’m actually shooting a movie in one day. It’s not as crazy as it sounds. See there’s a market out there in DTV land for movies base on and shot basically as plays.
These flicks usually take place in a single location. Maybe a few different rooms of a single house or maybe even 2 houses. They are usually shot on stages and although the distributors want movie-esque coverage, they are not upset about sets that look like, well sets. So you build up your set, grab three cameras, block the scenes, and shoot them 2 to 3 times apiece varying your coverage and presto! 12 hours later you got 80plus pages shot. Add a couple of exterior establishing shots and you got a movie.

9am – arrive at set. Call time is 10, but I like to get a jump on things. The production designer is already there prepping the set to be ready for noon when the cast is ready in make-up to shoot.

11am. Cast starts to arrive. Now I’m meeting many of these folks for the first time. Auditions took place while I was shooting another movie. Lucky for me we had an ace-casting director and the producers are very reliable when it comes to picking good cast. And with this particular type of flick, casting is crucial. It’s not enough to be a good actor; you have to be a pliable actor. Someone that can roll with the punches and deliver a decent performance with little prep and little time for blocking. Improv skills also help.
I give my standard, this what it’s like to shoot a one day flick as they’re getting into make-up... Listen to each other, engage, stay in the moment, if you get lost just call for a line, go back and do it again. No stops. Let me know when you need a moment to get to any special emotional beats, ect.. ect… When you have down time, run your lines! These flicks require super focus.

1130am. While the cast gets into wardrobe and final make-up, I check the sets.

12pm – get off the first shot, well shots. Three cams. We start with a 17-page scene. 7 characters and lots of movement. We start out with a wide-all action. A tighter 2 to 3 shot focusing stage left and a tighter 2 to 3 focusing stage right. We run through the entire scene, stopping only once for card changes on the cameras.
1pm. Each camera picks a character and floats through coverage. We do the scene again. Having seen the entire thing blocked out the operators now know the major beats and are assigned characters to follow. Because there are 8 characters and only three cams, it’s important to catch the “important” beats and then get whatever else you can.
2pm. Move to the next scene and repeat the above. The rest of the scenes in the movie average between 3 and 8 pages, so things move a little faster.
4pm. Break for lunch.
445. Back from lunch. Rinse and repeat till our 10pm wrap. And yeah, we made it.

Same Old Blog/New Title

I recently changed my blog’s domain name. No many of you maybe asking, “Jason, why on earth would you do that?” Well, maybe not. But I’m going to tell you why any way.

Two reasons.
  1. The old URL had a grievous grammatical error. It was (has) implying I have a low budget moviemaker in my possession. Yeah, not exactly a respect inducing title.
  2. A producer I work with often suggested that I lose the low budget part, saying that it carried a negative connotation and because I’m working with more “name” talent now, I may not want to say outright that I’m working on “Low Budget” projects. ***and the budgets while relatively low are going up.

After giving it a few seconds of thought and given the fact that I was embarrassed about the grammar thing, I felt like it was time for a change. I like my blog and didn’t want to take it down, so I fixed the grammar and switched Low Budget for Independent.

I'm Jason Horton and I approve this message.

How Does an Independent Director find Representation that’s Worth a Damn?

No really, I’m asking. Cuz I don’t have a flipping clue. I’ve been putting out independent features since 2005. I have close to a dozen flicks in the marketplace. All have made their budgets and most have turned a nifty little profit. Over the last few months alone I’ve completed four new features and am starting production on a new one in a few weeks. I know, I know, why the hell would I even want representation. Sounds like I’m doing okay. See, that’s just it. I’m doing ok. I want to be doing great. I want to work on bigger features and I’d also like to be tackling original material of my own. Sure I’m slowly building a decent resume and am working with more experienced and famous-type people, but I feel like I’m capable of and am ready to do more.

Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems like securing a decent agent or manager is the next logical step in my career. Great, so I know what I want. Well, this is where the trouble comes into paradise, because I just don’t have a clue how to go about it. Not a clue.  I’ve always been a shitty networker, that’s been my major fault from the get. I suppose I need to get over my social phobia, get out there and start making new contacts.

******My alternate title was It's Hard Out There for a Pimp.