Reposted from the Examiner.com Website.
Interview with filmmaker Antonio Saillant – part 1
Hailing from New York City, Antonio Saillant produced the Sci fi thriller “The Ascension” (starring Corbin Bernsen) and worked on the independent film “Heterosexuals” (with producer J. Robert Spencer, who starred in two outstanding Broadway musicals “Jersey Boys” and “Next to Normal”). He has also appeared in “Rescue Me,” “Comedy Central,” “The Sopranos,” “The Interpreter,” “All My Children” and “As the World Turns.” It is my pleasure to interview him today.
Cendrine Marrouat: Hello Antonio, thank you for answering my questions. How long have you been working in the film industry?
Antonio Saillant: Hello Cendrine and it’s a pleasure being interviewed by you. Before I answer the question, How long I have been working in the film industry? I would love to answer first, Nothing happens by accident. I am on a mission to bring a new light to Indie films. Let’s say that Entertainment has a new light, Angel Light.
At a young age, my talents as a baseball player were recognized which led me into a career as a semi-pro baseball player. My dreams of sporting stardom came to an end, however, when my older brother, Angel, was killed in a car accident which forced me to retire from the game altogether. At 20, I suffered the loss of my brother and tried to turn myself around as I entered college to study engineering. At around the same time, the family was suffering again with my sister with a longtime illness, by means that is too graphic to mention. The experience, accordingly, was a turning point in my life that played a large part in shaping me into the accomplished entrepreneur I am today.
I am a proud defender of clean air technologies. I am a graduate of the New York Institute of Technology with a degree in Aerospace/Mechanical Engineering. My realization of painful family struggles and personal confusion, led me to embrace the entertainment industry. I evolved through the varied characters I portrayed, which helped me to develop a more fulfilling and emotionally healthy life for himself. I found passion in the entertainment industry which led me away from engineering and carried me into motion pictures. I was taken on by Sandi Shurin, whose teachings helped me appear in both film and television.
Initially I met Kotcheff in his New York City resident building years ago and after being invited on the set of SVU fell in love with Kotcheff’s style of directing and producing, and we met many times after to discuss how the mentoring would work.
Learning from Kotcheff was definitely a stepping stone in the right direction. In order to gain someone’s friendship in the industry, when meeting a director or a producer for the first time, “be yourself”. Everything you read, learn or experience changes who you are and your goals for who you want to become. You should strive to constantly develop your relationship as you develop yourself.
I “work shadowed” Kotcheff on “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” and the opportunity was “fantastic”. Meeting the cast and crew especially Marishka Hargitay, Christopher Meloni and Ice-T was outstanding.
I once was a semi-pro baseball player turned Aerospace engineer and now am a filmmaker and I am true to my beliefs as I remain humble and I hope I will continue to receive much praise for my work.
CM: Your latest project is set for national theatrical release in summer 2012. “Dream Destinations” goes back over the journey of legendary Canadian film and television director, Ted Kotcheff. Would you tell us a little more about it?
AS: “Dream Destinations” highlights Ted Kotcheff’s journey over 50 years as he follows his dreams from Canada to London to the US with insights from Ted’s friends and collaborators, some of the biggest names in Hollywood and film.
The life and works of William T. Kotcheff include an intimate portrait of one of the most influential filmmakers of our time. This personal biography features select clips of Ted’s most profound and cultural movies that have influenced the industry around the world. Colleagues and fellow movie makers will share their experiences and memories through candid interviews and stories.
For those unfamiliar with Kotcheff’s work, this film will expose them to the artistic endeavors that drove his life. For fans of Ted’s, it will be a unique look into the man they thought they knew.
Included in this documentary will be behind-the-scenes footage of his most critically-acclaimed and popular films, such as “Joshua Then and Now,” “The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz,” “Fun with Dick and Jane,” “North Dallas Forty,” “First Blood,” “Uncommon Valor,” “Weekend at Bernie’s,” and many others. As Ted’s success expanded into television, directing one of the most successful drama franchises in TV history, “Law & Order,” this film will also shares rare footage of his adventures with “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”
As word has spread about this film venture, Ted’s list of avid admirers has grown. His former collaborators are the priority interviewees for the film and include Sylvester Stallone, Gene Hackman, Alan Arkin, Jane Fonda, George Segal, Nick Nolte, James Woods, Andrew McCarthy, Terry Kiser, Richard Dreyfus, Christopher Meloni, Mariska Hargitay, Peter Leto, Dick Wolf, Helen Shaver and several more.
Iconic film directors who have been inspired by Ted are also slated for the film, including Ron Howard, Mimi Leder and Martin Scorsese. These candid interviews will be interwoven with remastered film scenes and unseen footage from most of Kotcheff’s pictures. Energetic montages will be created from rare film stills, all accompanied by a soundtrack of popular music from the period. The final film will be a thrilling theatrical experience!
End of part 1.
Cendrine Marrouat may be contacted for potential interviews, reviews and general enquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org