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Vanessa McMahon

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



Talking with Tim Seyfert


Talking with Tim, a fellow Californian working on film in London. He has a number of exciting film projects going down and tons more on the way. Watch out for this growing fish in the sea of international film circuits!


ME: Hi, Tim. Thanks for joining us. So awesome to talk to you. You're a fellow Californian working in London like me! So, can you tell us how you got into acting?

TIM: Acting wasn't something I initially set out to do, but it was always something I was fascinated by. I had developed a die-hard passion for movies very early on and became interested in the process of filmmaking as I got older. I can remember my parents taking me to see Superman when I was very young. The sequence where Christopher Reeve changes from Clark Kent into The Man of Steel in less than a second then soars up into the sky to save Lois Lane from a falling helicopter. I just remember watching him flying through the air holding a helicopter in one hand and Margot Kidder in the other and thinking, "Man, there's a world where this can actually happen?" And I remember
wanting to be a part of that world so desperately.

Initially, I wanted to be a writer. I wrote plays and short stories, got some stuff published, and then went onto study journalism at university. After graduation, I worked as a newspaper reporter for a few years before moving on to do master's program in film, where the plan was to continue with my writing studies. However, at film school things took a different turn. During my program, we all studied the basic nuts and bolts like directing, writing, cinematography, sound, etc. But of course everything we set out to create needed subjects to film, so we all just acted in each others' pieces out of convenience. Over the course of the program, I started to really enjoy being in front of the camera, acting and creating characters. By the time graduation rolled around, I had made up my mind that I wanted to shift my primary focus to acting and starting hitting the audition circuit shortly thereafter. I started with student films and low budget stuff, but then ultimately - with lots of persistence and luck - I started landing a few nice breaks here and there on television, commercials and higher budget film projects.


ME: Sounds like you went opposite than me. I started acting and went into writing. J Seems like all us film people try
it all and then find our niche. So, can you tell us about your latest film that is hitting the festival circuit and winning awards? Time Travel Boyfriends (2010)?

TIM: Time Travel Boyfriends is a short fantasy film about a woman who looks back on her imaginary relationships with well-known men from history such as Jim Morison, Orson Welles and Marlon Brando. It was a very fun project and a fun challenge as I was given the opportunity to play 8 different characters. I'm also quite proud of the subsequent success the film has on the festival circuit. Winning the Prix Radi Award at this year's Cannes Film Festival was especially gratifying.

ME: Wow! Congrats on that! Can you tell us about the film?

TIM: The film is a very personal story conceived by writer/director Josephine Halbert. It's basically a fantasy piece about all of her favorite men from history and the different things she admires about each of them. It's a very unusual film as it doesn't have a traditional narrative, but audiences seem to enjoy the ride through Josephine's fantasies as it plays like a series of daydreams. Time Travel Boyfriends was filmed on location around London.

ME: Cool! Sounds like any woman can relate to it. Sounds even a bit Woody Allen-ish. And I'm wondering which of these famous actors you play? Do you have any stories about filming you'd like to share?

TIM: One time we were filming one of the Elmer Clifton scenes in the Apollo theater in London. Elmer Clifton was a silent film star from the early 20th Century and I was made up to look like him from his role in "A Birth of A
Nation". We were running through a rehearsal and after run-throughs, I noticed that there were a few giggles from the crew. I thought it was because I was sucking or something, but then eventually the assistant director came up to me and let me in on the joke. That morning, I had decided to go commando and not wear any underwear. Well, needless to say, that was a bad move, because what I didn't realize was that the white trousers that I wearing that day were quite revealing, a bit see-through. Once I had gotten on set under all the lights, more of me was on display than I had wanted. Soon after, I went out put some underpants to keep the movie from getting an x-rating - ha ha.

ME: LOL! So funny! Love these on set stories. See, that's why I always ask! HaHa! What was it like working with Josephine on her first film?

TIM: Working with Josephine on her directorial debut was a great experience. It was also my first professional acting job. I've come to realize through subsequent projects that every director brings a different set of tools to the table. Some are very focused on the technical side of filmmaking while others love working with actors and getting to the heart of the characters' performance. With Josephine, she was very concerned with the visual of it all - every minute detail.  She wanted it all to look like a moving painting because she comes from a fine art background. I found that to be an interesting and fun way to work.

As for her directing style, she was very quiet and gentle when it came to conveying what she wanted. She rarely directed the group; it was almost always through quiet individual conversations. I found this created a very relaxed
feeling on set.

ME: So, what will you be working on next? And do you have plans to go back to writing and producing again later?

TIM: Outside of acting, I still write and have dabbled in producing. I was a co-producer on an online sitcom called The Brian Jackson Show, and I wrote for CBS Eye Witness News in San Francisco. I am currently writing a screen play for a feature film, which I plan to direct. It's a character piece about two newborn vampires, but it won't be focused on the supernatural aspects, more on the emotional mindset of the two protagonists. I guess you can say it's a talking head vampire piece.

As for the pipeline, I just shot a World War 2 drama called "From This Day", where I play an America paratrooper who is reluctantly given command of squad and tasked with getting them through their next mission. I also just wrapped a feature film thriller called "The Hidden Persuaders", which is set in the UK rock music scene. I play a conflicted bass player who is faced with a big moral dilemma concerning his band.

I suppose the thing I love most about my job is the fact that I get to use my imagination and learn new things all the time. One month I'm a knight in Medieval England swinging a sword on a battle field and the next I'm pretending be
mourning the loss of my wife in a New York apartment. My job is to go into my imagination and have a dance around someone else's shoes, and it always amazing what you end up finding there. The best part of it all, is that I finally get
to be part of that strange and fascinating world that I fell in love all those years ago in the cinema. I mean, hey, maybe one day I'll get to fly through the air with a big 'S' on my chest. I think that would be pretty sweet.


ME: Awesome, Tim. So cute. I think we have the same image in our minds. For me, however, I didn't want to be the man with the ‘S' on his chest, I wanted to be with him! Lol! What a beautiful man and what a magical world! Well, until you get to play Superman in a remake, just make T with your initials on it. TS! Those are some great initials! Thanks Tim. Can't wait to see your name and face everywhere. Best of luck!


Interview by Vanessa McMahon on August 14, 2010


actor Tim Seyfert

Comments (1)

I saw Tim on Mystery Files

I saw Tim on Mystery Files earlier this year but didn't know who he was. I look forward to seeing more from him. Good luck, Tim!


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