Tag - celebrity

Tanner Beard on the True Reasons for the 2nd Mammoth Film Festival

ATM: How does your film festival bring a film purpose for exhibition, exploration, and a creative nature?

TB: This is a great question. I would love to answer this question. What is cool about our film festival are the creators happen to be filmmakers themselves. I am a filmmaker and as is co-founder Tomik Mansoori. Theo Dumont has been in the festival game for 15 years with his film festival Hollyshorts and Alexandra Chando, our festival manager, is also a great actress. She has starred on her own television series for several years and she is now directing. I would like to think about this as a film festival by filmmakers for filmmakers. All of us understand the plight of making a film, being in a film, and how much a festival can pivot your movie for the better.

We have all been in the business for years and gone through the festival circuits. I have been competing in festivals for the last decade. I wanted to cherry-pick a few things I learned from those festivals and apply them to MammothFF to make it different but familiar.

ATM: All films start in the film festival phase. This is whether it picks up distribution and goes to the Oscars or just remain an indie film. They all start here. It is more like an NFL draft pick. The distributors are the recruiters.  There is a misconception to some people in the nonentertainment that think a film just magically appears at the theatres, on the television, and streaming platforms.

TB: This is a great way to look at it. This is another thing we like to think about too. The first world premiere that we ever showcased at this film festival starred Sophie Turner, of Game of Thrones. This was an indie film and for this to be our first thing out of the shoot, the bar was immediately raised very high and set a tone for what we set out to accomplish. If you get accepted into this film festival, you also have a chance for distribution, that’s something we’ll continue to build on. The idea of, you can be bought and sold at the Mammoth Film Festival. This is our purpose. A poor analogy if you will -If you are here, it’s like being an athlete well on their way to being chosen into the NFL draft. You are going to play for the Dallas Cowboys or the Kansas City Chiefs, ha.

ATM: What characteristics do you feel this film festival give off that is like its animalistic title?

TB: This is such a lovely question and a fun one to answer. I am a Texan at heart, and I was born in Texas. I live in LA now. There is a saying in Texas “Everything is bigger in Texas.” With a name like ours, everything is bigger in Mammoth. Our huge world premieres with huge talent and mega movie stars like Zac Efron, Jennifer Morrison, Xzibit, Josh Duhamel, and Lamourne Morris. All of these stars walk the streets of Mammoth Lakes, California during the festival. They’re eating where you’re eating and skiing where you’re skiing. We go big with events. We have an 80s Ski Lodge party that is going to be an absolute blast. We have a celebrity charity bowling tournament. We have an exhibition hall called MammothCON, which is going to grow into its own convention. All of this was established in our first year. We were called the biggest first-year festival ever organized. If that’s is not mammoth, I don’t know what is, (laughs).

ATM: How do the definitions of togetherness and mentorship infuse themselves into the festival’s mission statement?

TB: This is a great question too. It takes some film festivals years and years to develop interactive film discussions. The togetherness of the people who speak on our panels offers a huge amount of mentorship. The interaction we can have with people who sign up for our panels, they get direct access to talk to these producers of who’s representation precedes them. 

ATM: How does working in the business side of the film and performance side bounce off each other?

TB: I started off just doing acting and filmmaking. Now, I am doing 1 or 2 projects as an actor a year. 1 or 2 projects as a filmmaker a year. To go in having the business side, you really appreciate each other’s job. Building a festival is like doing ten movies at the same time. There are so many moving parts.

ATM: How does the area’s weather climate impact the ways a person might perceive the festival?

TB: Well, we have been compared to Sundance in only our 2nd year due to the landscape of Mammoth Lakes, California. It is a beautiful ski resort town and a wonderful place to house a film festival. They are calling it “California’s Underground Sundance” already. It is kind of unfair for us because Sundance has been going on for almost 30 years. We are only a 2nd-year film festival. My goal is by 2022 to be in the top 25 film festivals in the world. With the number of movies, we are able to world premiere and screen with the caliber of our talent. We are well on our way. The snow and the landscape here are what makes our film festival special. Thank you, Town of Mammoth Lakes.

ATM: I would also assume Texas has taught you some things. There are life traits. How do your Texas roots spread throughout your job in carrying out of the responsibilities?

TB: I had a great mentor Suzanne Weinert. She is also the president of the Austin Film Society. She is a great Texan producer. She really took me under her wing. Me being from Texas, I spend a lot of time doing movies in Austin, Texas. I got to compete in SXSW a couple of times. The comradery that the Austin film circuit has, trained me to carry on with that comradery we built with Mammoth Film Festival.

ATM: Every state as a slogan they go by. For example Virginia is the state for Lovers. Texas is the state for Friendship. How has friendships and partnerships helped you?

TB: They are everything. Tomik Mansoori is not only one my best friends but also my business partner in this whole thing. He and I have gone through hell and high water every day as the co-founders of this film festival. We have people with us like Theo Dumont, Alexandra Chando, Nicole Castro and Dylan Efron. If we were not close friends, then I do not think we could bear the difficulties there are to put this festival on.

ATM: How does going through the process if it being hell and high water metaphorically do you all make the waters become calm like the Mammoth Lakes in California? How do you make it ease and stay calm?

TB: All of us throw the pattern away and throw our egos away. There is no handbook on how to make a successful festival. We do not know really what our festival is going to be until submissions come in. We have made sure we never lose control of the boat on the open water. We take it one day at a time. We have really ambitious goals for this festival. We depend on each other and take a lot of deep breaths. There’s’ only 5 of us. We know that at the end of the day what we are doing and the organization we formed is doing great things for some many people. But we’re happy to be creating what I’ve heard called, “secret star studded, underground film festival that only the who’s who know about.” (laughs).

Aristocratic & Proletariat Behavior in the Early 21st Century

ATM sits down with actor Tyson Wagner as he discusses a few bias views exhibited within the film industry and examines the progression on how social classes influences the film narratives.

ATM: How would you say the aristocratic and the proletariat are depicted in American film?

Tyson: In the large and big-budget productions they don’t usually seem to accurately reflect the working class as well because I don’t think they are as in touch with the type of person they try to portray. 

But when the actors do their jobs correctly it does not usually matter the class of citizens they are playing. This is because of its emotionally driven stories that are so out of normal it all blends together in a big fictional world that the general audience would not usually relate to. Generally, I would say they try to make the working class more relatable, and the rich are usually the antagonists to many stories. 

ATM: Why do you think the aristocrat take on the portrayal more? 

Tyson: The general audience viewer or target demographic would usually be the working class, it makes sense financially and they can relate to it as a protagonist.

ATM: So, if an aristocratic was the protagonist how would this influence how the general public who is of the proletariat depict the movie?

Tyson: The Marvel franchise has Iron Man as a protagonist, but since the stories are so out of this world it would still draw in crowds to see these movies.

ATM: If aristocratic characters started to play protagonists, then how will this change the film standard?

Tyson: In many of the stories the rich need to learn how to be humble as a character arch, it’s been played out many times. I do not think if audiences can relate to the stories they would be as inclined to go out and pay to see the new movies.

ATM: Why should American aristocrats of today be humbled? Wouldn’t this show them assimilating to the proletariat’s feelings and emotions?

Tyson: Generally, they aren’t depicted as the caring or sincere type in the beginning of a movie and when they become humble it’s usually their character development coming full circle, it is usually to convey that they are also human and capable of the full spectrum of emotions everyone else is. 

ATM:  Why can’t black, white, Hispanic, and Asian aristocratic people be as humbled as black, white, Hispanics, and Asian proletariats? 

Tyson: They are viewed to be the silver spoon type who have everything handed to them. The audience has to see them go through the type of learning experience to see their full potential.

ATM: Could this be exploiting the aristocrats?

Tyson: I would not say exploiting. Most films are produced and made by the rich, who then profits from those movies. It is their own class who they’re trying to portray in most cases. I would not say it is an accurate depiction. Many of the upper class I have met have been quite down to earth. I would say it is a production tactic but not exploiting. 

ATM: Do you like the term “rich” or “aristocrats?”

Tyson: Aristocrats isn’t a common term used by most people but depending the placement both can fit. Saying someone is an aristocrat sounds nobler than just being rich, like they hold more power with that title.

ATM: It’s the same term as what is classified as the word “celebrity.” Those are not celebrities, they are black and white aristocrats! They have been conditioned to live by the term. They are entertainment aristocrats. This use to be the norm for people in their field. Those are aristocrats. The term “celebrity” is a diminishing term. Black people and other marginalized groups are grand enough to have such a nobler term reflect their hard work along with the white race in their field.

Tyson: Yes, I have seen “celebrity” be used as a scandalous title in an article. Especially if it is reflecting anything negative about a person its being written about. Also, putting those word together (celebrity + scandal is what typically sells.

ATM: They are aristocrats! Well, entertainment aristocrats.

Tyson: I also don’t know if I can talk much about race in Hollywood though. As I am not from a marginalized group, and not part of the “celebrity” group either, so I would not have a perspective from either side. I will however agree that they definitely need to work harder to gain and maintain that status being from a marginalized group because in any industry it would be difficult.

ATM: I am not a modern-day aristocrat either. You are an actor. Money or a ‘celebrity” status should not reflect your passion or your identity. Stay away trying to obtain titles. Titles do not mean anything. See society makes some nonmarginalized groups feel they cannot relate to the current marginalization. They can. You can. We can. We may not the same race, but we do drink the same water. We breath the same air. We walk the same. We might have different sizes, but we all it all the same. Why? Because we are human.

Tyson: Most people look down on my career choice when I don’t have that status to back up my passion, and my work that I do get is overlooked or ignored by most since it doesn’t have anyone of the status in it. It eats away at my self-identity, self-worth by not achieving that yet.

And yes, being human is definitely something that every race shares, but that doesn’t mean equality unfortunately, hopefully soon though. I can hear and understand these struggles but not witness them firsthand, that’s why I’m hesitant to speak on the matter, but I will give you my perspective. 

ATM: The same feeling you are expressing is how black people have felt for decades. White people’s culture, customs, lifestyle have been our history. It was sneakily forced on us. We complied but we did not understand it at first. It didn’t represent what we felt. 

Tyson: And I can empathize and relate through my own past and present struggles. I don’t know if anyone not from the democratic can ever fully understand the hurdles marginalized groups need to overcome. But having the conversation is a great way to help start to understand for most people.

ATM: I know. There is a deep social disconnect. This is why they cannot understand. No matter how much we protest and try to establish equality. Its oblivious to most white people. It is not them not wanting to help or understand, but it’s the oblivion. We have lived in a society so long that misses the things and the next generation picks it up and calls it history.

Tyson: I believe that its like holding up a mirror to show a face they are not familiar with because they have not seen anything from that perspective. Unfortunately, change only happens through choice as well and not enough people are willing to change.

ATM: They are not willing because of the social disconnect. It is similar to an airborne disease that his scoped our nation, culture, and education. Education is just history relay to us. 

Tyson: I want to thank you. I have never had an opportunity where someone wanted to hear my thoughts on any subject and share it. This has been an enjoyable experience.

Dylan Silver Hosts Snapchat Original ‘You Wished You Lived Here’

Photo Credit: @ohzzela

Dylan Silver has a hobby for home decoration and DIY. This experience helps her take on the role as the host for the first Snapchat Original You Wish You Lived Here. This digital show is grounded on redecorating millennials dream space based on their favorite celebrity while shopping on a budget. Silver talks with us about her experience thus far.

ATM: As being a part of the first Snapchat Original, what expectations do you have for yourself?

DS: My expectations are that people will fall in love with the show. For the first time, millennials will be able to see themselves on an HGTV show. We all grew up with this channel. We love all of the different types of shows they have on it but have not yet seen one that reflects ourselves. There were always big renovations or fixer uppers. This is not totally feasible for the millennial generation. This show finally gives a voice to the possibilities of what millennials can do in their home.

ATM: What do you believe was the voice in the millennial home before?

DS: I am not sure we had one yet. We love Pinterest and Instagram. We are visually engaged with the things we want and desire, but it is often assumed that we don’t have the resources or means to implement them in our space. Millennials have smaller spaces sometimes and have to work with the circumstances they are in. In our digital, international show, audience’s see their desires can come true on a budget.

ATM: What skills will help you live out the title of being a host for this show?

DS: DIY has always been a hobby of mine. I’ve always been enamored with design and implementing it into my own space and friend’s spaces. Now I get to help people I’ve never even met yet! I’ve lived in a lot of apartments. I’ve lived in a partitioned living room, the smallest little space that felt like a closet, to having a really big space that I did not know what to do with. I did not have the money to do big things. I’ve had all the experiences that allowed me to empathize with all the amazing clients on the show. If you do have a small space, I can help

make it feel like it has more room. I can help take a big room and turn it into both your work-space and bedroom. How do you make it feel both public and private and personal to you? Personally, I really feel for all the amazing guys and girls who we have helped.

ATM: Would you say this show teaches the millennial generation how to live frugally as supposed to spending unnecessary amounts of money, which is a stereotype that is often put on them?

DS: Sure, but I believe there is ultimately no right or wrong way to create a space you love. Every individual, based on what they can spend and want to spend, can have the home they desire. The show serves to remind people they can feel more empowered to accomplish things on their own. Also, when they think this idea they have can only be obtained with a certain amount of wealth or level of expertise. Our show reminds you that you have the tools to make small changes that will seem huge and monumental in your home. I think that’s exciting for the individual.

ATM: Explain how this continues to put a notice on thrift shops and how useful they can be for home décor.

DS: Totally. What is cool about Los Angeles is that there are so many. Places like Saint Vincents, Revival Vintage, and the plethora of Salvation Army locations. Even in the Taylor Swift episode, we do a DIY with a thrift store find. Have you ever walked into a vintage store and seen old paintings and thought, “I think this is cool, but I don’t know what I would do with it?” Art can be very expensive. With this type of painting, we played with DIY ways to incorporate it into your home. We do a lot of recycling on the show. Go to a second-hand thrift spot, find an item, and know how to re-work it in a way anybody could but maybe hadn’t thought of yet. Hannah had a couple pieces of furniture from when she was a kid with sentimental value, so for those, we upcycled them. We thought, why not blend both worlds together and just change the handles and give it a paint job.

ATM: After sitting back and watching the episodes, do you say, “Wow, I am a very creative person?”

DS: It is not just me. We have an incredibly small team. We do renovations like a regular half hour show. We do not cut corners and do it for even a shorter time than most shows. A small team of creative minds comes together continuously to find out what the client is dreaming for, the aesthetics that they love, and how it can work in their space. I feel very proud of the team from the producers of HGTV to our team on set. I am proud of all of them.

ATM: What would happen if you received a client that was inspired by your designs? How would you go about your own designs to help them live?

DS: I’d be flattered, first off, then curious to know what about my personal taste they enjoyWhen someone tells me, they love Cardi B, like Hayden, he loved her aesthetic, color palette, but even moreover, her personality. The qualities of Cardi’s playfulness and drive, I saw those qualities in Hayden himself. These were the aspects we focused on incorporating into his space. If someone was like, “I want Dylan’s space,” then maybe I would find out the things they like about me. It’s making sure what part of my vibe are they really into. I am looking at my apartment now. They would want to blend minimalism, wood, 70’s inspired vibe. But, also with a lot of colors. I would ask, “Are you sure you want this?” I feel they would want a functional space that feels very inviting and warm. That’s what I think of when I look at my place.