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Vanessa McMahon

Vanessa is a novel writer, screenwriter, rep and a film producer. She shares her discoveries and film surprises. :-)



Jeremiah Sayys 'OF SILENCE'

Jeremiah Sayys is the talented writer/producer/director/actor of the soon to be released film Of Silence (2010). Of Silence poses this thought-provoking philosophical question: What if silence was a living thing?

I asked Jeremiah to tell us about his new film, which for my part, I cannot wait to see.


ME: Jeremiah, can you tell us about Of Silence and what inspired you to make this film?

JEREMIAH: It’s a challenging story, a mind-bender. It asks questions, but leaves the answers for the audience to figure out. What inspired me the most to make the film was someone that I know, whose name will stay anonymous, that I
based the Colby character off of. Then from there the story slowly developed around that character.

ME: It reminds me of one of my favorite films, Le Grand Bleu (1988) by Luc Besson. Have you seen it? I really love the idea of this. Can you tell us about the film? Is there any kind of message you want to get across or should we wait and try to see ourselves?

JEREMIAH: I’ve seen parts of Le Grand Bleu (The Big Blue), not the whole movie, but I will have to say that there are no diving scenes, underwater scenes etc. in Of Silence. The story picks up after Colby has stopped diving. Of Silence deals with the inner struggles one goes through when losing someone he or she loves and the guilt one may feel. It deals with holding one’s feelings inside after going through a rough situation or bad experience and having to face any consequences that may arise from never letting those feelings out. To its core Of Silence is a character study in the life of a man whose life is falling apart from the very first frame.

ME: What was it like to film this? So, essentially this is a film about a scuba diver above water, which for him is literally like a fish out of water story.

JEREMIAH: It was challenging shoot, but I got everything I needed to make the story work. Time is always the enemy, especially on an independent film, but I enjoyed making it; from writing the script to shooting it to now in its finishing stages. It’s been a blast. I learned a lot from making the film.

ME: Do you have any funny stories from when you were filming?

JEREMIAH:  The only story I will share is the one about the golf club. Ashlee Gillespie, such an adorable person and wonderful little actress, who played Haley in the film, was supposed to be swinging the golf club down at the floor. There was a certain way I wanted her to swing it. So I show her the motion, then reach out to take the golf club to show her with the club and, her still being in character, swung down and knocked the shit out of my wrist. She and everyone around got all worried, but being the tough guy I am, I played it off and continued to show Ashlee how I wanted her to swing the club. Afterward I walked off set, made sure no one was around and let my pain out. Sheila, my producing partner, heard me and came over to me. I told her to get me some ice in the calmest way that I could.

ME: It’s wonderful that you acted in and directed and wrote and produced this! What a job! How hard must that have been to make this film! How did you find the funds to put this all together?

JEREMIAH: You know it really wasn’t that difficult for me. I think I transitioned very well from position to position when I had to. I truly believe you can do anything you set your mind to. In the very beginning stages of the film I had many people tell me to just pick one thing and do it, but in the very beginning my goal was to write, direct, produce and star in the film. I told myself if I ever woke up one morning and had any doubts that I couldn’t pull it off then that’s when I would consider just picking one position, but I never had any doubts I couldn’t pull it off. But I will say on my next film, I will be more involved in planning certain things that I wasn’t involved with in Of Silence . Bottom line, if you want to write, produce, direct and star in your own films do it, don’t let anyone persuade you otherwise. It’s a lot of work and can be stressful at times, but if you have the love and passion for it, then it’s all worth it. Do what you want to do, not what others want you to do. I learned this lesson the hard way. As far as funding the film, I was in a fortunate situation that allowed the film to become a reality.

ME: You have two other films in post right now: The Legends of Nethiah (2011) and Opious...Can you speak about those right now?

JEREMIAH: I’m very excited about The Legends of Nethiah. I was very fortunate to have such great people come on board that film and make it what it is now. It deals with a kid, whose parents are going through a divorce who finds solace in the stories his grandfather shares with him about a warrior named Nethiah. It’s a sweet film. I have very high hopes for Legends. We wrapped on Opious a week ago. It’s a throwback to the 80’s campy splatter horror films, about a group of ghost hunters who have to close a portal from hell when it’s opened. It’s very gory with a lot of humor and cool punch lines. It’s a fun film. It’s my producing partner’s, Sheila Ryan’s, writing and directorial debut.

ME: Is there anything else you'd like to share about you or your work?

JEREMIAH:  I’m just glad I’m getting the opportunity to do what I love and I encourage everyone to do what they have to do to go after their dreams and never give up on them. We are gearing up to shoot our werewolf feature film, Wulf, next February. I’m extremely excited about the film. Wulf is such an emotional story and it's such a pleasure getting the chance to tell that story. And the gore that’s going to be in it is awesome too. I wrote the script and will direct, produce and star in it as well. We are currently in talks with Rachel Leigh Cook, Alyssa Milano and Malese Jow to come on board the film, but nothing is official as of now though.

ME: Thanks Jeremiah! This is so great! I love your enthusiasm!  It’s fresh and contagious and I'm sure that
will come off in your films. I look forward to seeing all your films and speaking more with you about them in the future!

JEREMIAH: Thanks Vanessa, I enjoyed it.


Interview by Vanessa McMahon on August 3, 2010


WAIT! See interview with producer of The Legends of Nethiah, Howard Nash, here: :-)

The Legends of Nethiah (2011)

director/actor/writer/producer Jeremiah Sayys


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