Los Angeles Film Spotlight

"The D" is a film in 2016 about a twenty-something year old who cannot enjoy a party after his ex starts posting...certain content on social media.

The Director
Natalie Rodriguez
     Natalie Rodriguez is a writer and filmmaker from Southern, CA. In 2014, she graduated with her B.A. in TV-Film from CSUF. Her work has been featured on James Franco's "Sex Scenes" Studio 4 (LA) master class; Zooey Deschanel's HelloGiggles; AXS; Defeat the Stigma Project; Dime Show Review; Fictional Cafe; FlockU; Ranker.com; Scriggler; TheRichest , Short Kid Stories; The Huffington Post; Thought Catalog; and Winamop Poetry. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter,  Instagram, IMDB, Youtube for more of her work, and Google + or contact her at 
nataliechristine2010@gmail.com for business inquiries.

The Cast

Brittney Grabill

   Brittney Grabill, starring as Roxanne in "The D" is a twilight voice, a liquid silk from a heart filled girl born in Alberta, Canada. Brittney Grabill is not only an actress but a singer/song-writer and guitarist, who is raising goosebumps as a solo sensation with her razor-sharp writing and her songs that just won't sit still. Neither for that matter, will her career: she happens to be recording her first original single, coming now out. Brittney's love for acting and music has grown from the hours of practice and from traveling and meeting industry professionals who have been helping Brittney along the way. This young woman is ambitious and willing to help others along the way to success. You can be assured that Brittney gives it her all every time she gets up on stage or in front of the camera. As for music, her full set of original songs, and her twists on any cover song is sure to entertain. It's all in the voice, a full-throttle alto that fills melodies with taut and trembling emotion. And as for acting, her passion truly shows through her performance.

Jesse Posey

     Jesse Posey who plays Omari in "The D" is an actor, known for Matched (2015), The D (2016) and Punk'd (2003).

Shaun Guzman

     Shaun Guzman who plays Calvin in "The D" is an actor and casting director, known for The Vampire: Valdemire(2016), Medicated Love (2014) and One Exit (2014).

Alon Dina

Alon Dina who plays the character of Adam in "The D" is an actor and producer, known for The Extraordinary Ordinary (2016), 3AM @ Roxy's (2012) and Broken (2011).


     A teenage boy's sentence quickly becomes a struggle for survival inside a wilderness juvenile reform facility, where a retired war colonel and his subordinate counselors break an inmate's spirit to correct delinquent behavior.
An Interview With Chris Petrovski 

     Please introduce yourself to the readers of The Los Angeles Music Magazine:

     My name is Chris Petrovski, I am 21 years old and an Actor from Auckland, New Zealand. Originally born in Bitola, Macedonia. My parents immigrated to New Zealand when I was a child. Although I wasn't raised in a family that was in the "Business" I definitely grew up around people that were very dramatic in my household. Screaming, laughing, kicking and crying was my life growing up, and now looking back I guess that's why I feel like I didn't belong anywhere else but in the world of Acting. I always understood humans better than I did numbers. Acting was the only thing that seemed to calm me. It was a kind of outlet and solace. But never in a million years did I think I was going to end up where I did, doing what I do. I moved to Los Angeles in May of 2010 when I was offered a full scholarship to the Stella Adler Academy of Acting by John Jack Rodgers and Academy Award Winner, Milton Justice who discover me while I was auditioning to get into an Acting school in New Zealand. Since graduating from the 2 year course at the Stella Adler as of May 2012, I have booked 4 feature films and 4 short films, working with some very familiar names and being selected for numerous film festivals. 

     When did you first get into acting?

     I always had it in me as a kid, performing skits for all my friends but I really didn't get into acting until half way through high school, I was 15 and did my first play. Hamlet. I played Laertes.

     Who inspired you growing up in New Zealand?

     I think the most influential people in my life growing up were, Peter Pan and Robocop. Peter Pan told me to never grow up and Robocop taught me to always fight for what I believed in...   

     When did you decide to come to Los Angeles?

     May of 2010

     You received a Scholarship to study at the famous Stella Adler Academy of Acting in Hollywood, tell us about this.

     I was offered the full 2 year scholarship at the school because of my audition to get into another acting school in New Zealand. The name of the prestigious acting school was 'Untiec'. Little did I know was that one of the judges was Emmy and Academy Award Winner, Milton Justice. He saw something in me that I couldn't see and told me that I had enormous potential and should be studying at the Stella Adler. I very innocently said "What's that?" A few weeks later I found the courage to drop everything I was working for in New Zealand and take the big step forward into the unknown and train privately with Milton Justice as well as attend the Stella Adler.

     You count famed director Milton Justice as one of your Mentors. How did you meet him and what have you learned from him so far?

     Milton taught me the value of a very famous quote by, William Jennings Bryan “Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”

     What do you have coming up next on your agenda?

     I'm currently working with Director, Vincent Grashaw who gained the spotlight for his last movie Bellflower, which made it into Sundance last year and hoping to do the same with this next project he hired me for titled, 'Coldwater.' After that I'll be working on another feature film with filmmaker, Bruce Cohn Curtis. Who has been in the business for over almost 60 years. Have to keep my lips sealed in this one though.

     Who would be your ideal co-star?

     I could only ever hope to be so lucky as to work with either of the legends, Al Pacino or Robert De Niro.

     Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

     Hopefully making the big movies we all see today.

     What would be your advice to other aspiring performers?

     Find what moves you, move forward and never look back.

     Keep up with Chris Petrovski and his latest movies on IMDB.com

The Your Name Here Story
IceCream, Exploitation, and Rock n Roll:

YOUR NAME HERE, a movie shot in Silver Lake about the Silver Lake music scene, is being released on www.thewatchbox.com .  LA Music Magazine caught up with Writer/Director Tamar Halpern and her son, Composer Jordan Halpern, to talk about the music and the movie, YOUR NAME HERE.

LA MUSIC MAG: Variety called Your Name Here “a good-natured family comedy about two buddies trying to form a band in Los Angeles’ uber-hip Silver Lake neighborhood.”  Defamer called it “hipster parenthood.” The film was shot in your home and all around Silver Lake and stars your son, Jordan.  

TAMAR HALPERN:  Poor kid’s been in my films since he was five.  Ice cream was a great motivator.  He did a cameo in my first feature as a kid with the three-picture deal from Miramax and then played a skate punk who harasses a librarian in my second.
LA MUSIC MAG: Jordan, did you ever feel exploited?
JORDAN HALPERN: Not really.  I like ice cream. Slurpees too.  My mom would freak when we were shooting of Your Name Here because Mike (McTaggart) and I would get  CQ (the sound guy) to drive us to 7-11 for Slurpees.  We’d come back with our mouths stained bright crazy blue and red and she would be shouting, “Can’t you eat a white Slurpee?  We’re about to shoot!”
LA MUSIC MAG: Tell us how Your Name Here come about?
JORDAN: Okay so, when I was thirteen, my friend Mike McTaggart and I would write songs and rehearse in my mom’s garage, switching off between drums and guitar.  The summer we were fourteen, my mom put us in a friend’s garage and we laid down some tracks.  And then what happened?  Something happened.
TAMAR:  Mike and Jordan played all the tracks on seven songs over the course of five days.  At one point, I threw a video camera up on them while they were laying down vocals in this crappy little one-car garage.  
JORDAN: I remember now.  There were spiders.
TAMAR: A couple months later, I watched the tape and I couldn’t believe what I saw. Here were these two kids, singing and taking the process very seriously with a sophisticated level of concentration and commitment.  I could see the men they were going to become.  And just as I started to lament the end of their childhood, they’d sock each other in the nuts and goof off between takes.  The dichotomy was hilarious and adorable and indescribably genuine.  I wanted to capture that moment between boyhood and manhood, so I wrote a movie around their songs. 
JORDAN:  What she said.  
LA MUSIC MAG: Is the music from Your Name Here available? 
TAMAR: It’s up on iTunes, under “Your Name Here Movie Soundtrack”.  The songs are hysterical and completely age appropriate.  There’s one about a Girl Scout who stalks them for delinquent cookie money, another is about getting your drivers license and then getting the girl, there’s one about being overcharged for a candy bar.  
JORDAN:  It’s all candy and money and girls. Still is. 
LA MUSIC MAG: Jordan, you’re in your early twenties now.  What do you remember about shooting Your Name Here
JORDAN:  My mom waited till Mike and I were out of school the summer we were fifteen and she kept us, are you into this?  Are you ready?  And we’d say, sure whatever, yes.  Next thing I knew, our house was filled with people – actors and musicians from New York and London, producers from San Diego and San Francisco, all family friends.  We shot in the house, so there was tons of equipment all over the place.  Mike’s mom cooked food for everyone in the kitchen.  Between takes there were epic ping-pong tournaments or music jams in the garage.  Our DP James Slay played guitar as did our sound guy CQ Quilty. Actors Seth Kanor and Joe Smith played serious guitar and harmonica and sang. Henry Shead, the egg player in the movie, used to be in Stomp and is an incredible singer. Daz (Darren Groucutt), who drummed for Emma Anderson of Lush, plays the drummer whose accent is so thick, we can’t understand him.  A lot of it was real life stuff.  Half of what Daz says is a complete mystery.  
LA MUSIC MAG: So there really was an angry neighbor?
JORDAN:  A couple of them.  Mike and I played in the garage a lot, so…
LA MUSIC MAG: But none of them ever joined the band.
JORDAN: Negative.  We never had a band in real life. We’d just play and write and ponder band names.  We’d try to get other kids over to jam, but it was pretty impossible since nobody drove yet. 
LA MUSIC MAG: Do you and Michael still hang out?
JORDAN: When we can. He just graduated from USC’s school of music, so he’s deep into jazz and I’m composing for film and commercials, but we dream of having some garage time again someday.  
TAMAR: I wonder what would happen if you had another five days in a studio together.  
JORDAN: Probably still punch each other in the nuts. 

LA MUSIC MAG:  Can you talk about the authenticity of the performances in the film?  
TAMAR: I knew there was no way I could write the kind of dialogue that came out of Jordan and Mike on a daily basis.  They were just too funny and smart and quirky, so I decided the film had to be improvised.  Also because I was using a mix of professional and nonprofessional actors.  Each scene was a paragraph that described the action so the actors knew the common goal of each scene and where it was headed.  We shot with two cameras to capture as much spontaneity as possible.  It made for a long editing process.  
LA MUSIC MAG: We understand the editing took quite a while.  
TAMAR:  I don’t really want to talk about it, but suffice to say Your Name Here was the first feature shot on HDV.  There really was no editing software that could support a feature at that time, so it was a technical nightmare.  But I’m glad the film is done and it got some love at the festivals and in the press.  Mostly, I’m ecstatic that people can rent it on Watchbox www.thewatchbox.com  - $2.99). 
LA MUSIC MAG:  Who do you think will enjoy this film?
TAMAR: Surprisingly, grown men who have been in bands.  They always came up at screenings saying, “I had a band when I was young.  This film really took me back.”  I was surprised because I thought tweens would be the ideal audience. 
JORDAN:  It’s a total-grown-up-but-not-quite-grown-up guy film.  
LA MUSIC MAG: Anything left on the cutting room floor worth mentioning?
TAMAR: There was so much material and the bloopers were off the charts ridiculous.  Farting during a scene was a surefire way for Jordan to make the crew fall apart, which in turn would make him laugh, which in turn would make Mike laugh.  My script supervisor was the only other woman on crew so we would just watch all these guys laughing and wait for them to refocus.  Of course, we’d start laughing too, so for a moment, we were all kids together, laughing about a dumb fart.  
LA MUSIC MAG: What’s next for both of you?
TAMAR:  I just adapted the young adult book Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life and directed it.  It’s due out in March 2012 and stars Mira Sorvino and Joe Pantoliano.  It’s a really sweet story about kids.  Edie Brickell wrote the opening song after she read the script – the song is amazing!  Other musicians who contributed are Jake LaBotz, Sing-Sing, Nat Jay, and newcomer Meklit Hadero.  Melkit Hadero is getting tons of attention for her album and we were lucky to get all the musicians.  Jordan composed and performed the music for the emotional scenes, when Jeremy misses his father and tries to tell his mom that he needs his independence. Now I’m finishing a script for the Thai pop star Bie that will take place in Bangkok.  
JORDAN:  I’ve been composing for film and TV and just put my reel up online.  I’m just looking for more work. 

LA MUSIC MAG:  No more acting for you?
JORDAN:  That wasn’t really acting.  I was just being.  
The film was shot in Silver Lake, California – a place long hailed for its indie music scene.  It features cameos from Skot Alexander, the front man for the Silver Lake band 400 Blows, and Callixto Hernandez, who owned the now-defunct skate store/music venue in Silver Lake called Juvee.  Dawn the Bass Player is played by criminal defense attorney Dawn Dunbar.  Though she has never acted, she is a serious music junkie and has always dreamed of being in a band.  Daz the drummer is played by real life drummer Daz (Darren) Groucutt.  His accent is difficult to decipher and he played with the British band Sing-Sing.  Actors Joe Smith and Seth Kanor (Managers) have worked with Tamar before. Seth was in her first feature, Memphis Bound and Gagged, and Joe was in her second, Shelf Life, as well as her short John Wang’s Nebraska.  Seth and Joe wrote and performed their own music for Your Name Here.  The Angry Neighbor is played by former Stomp performer and professional singer Henry Shead.  The Los Angeles painter and musician Llyn Foulkes plays Jordan’s grandfather.  He built his one man musical instrument, called The Machine, and is the subject of a feature documentary by Tamar Halpern, releasing late 2012. Almost every landmark filmed in Your Name Here has been destroyed or changed since the filming of Your Name Here in 2005.  The film is about two kids who want to start a band in Silver Lake, because that is what happens in Silver Lake. 
Trailers of Tamar’s work can be found here:  www.tamarolandpictures.com 

Samples of Jordan’s composing work can be found here: www.jordanhalpern.com
The following is an excerpt from the script that allowed for improvisation from the actors.  
Int/ext. Front door - CONTINUOUS

The Angry Neighbor waits for Jordan’s mom to answer the door before continuing his tirade.  He mentions he's a pro musician and that he plays the egg, so he knows good music when he hears it.  The kids are mediocre at best, but they're way too loud. When she asks him about the egg, he softens, giving a demo, before continuing to complain. She shuts the door in his face.

Int. Hallway, jordan's house - night

Jordan and Mike beg Jordan's mom to drive them to Spaceland.  She tells them they can't get in because they're underage.  They insist they know the band and they'll get in. 

Ext. Some silverlake club - night

Jordan and Mike try to convince the bouncer to let them in, saying they know one of the bands. No such luck.  

Mission Hollywood

The Director
Richard Lowry

     Richard Lowry is a seasoned talent from the old school of low budget film making very much along the lines of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. Mr. Lowry’s particular core competence has been the realization of high production value within very modest budget constraints. As a writer/ Director/editor, his talents have been best utilized in the creation of unique and marketable subject matter. With the new digital technology, Richard has crafted a style that is very compelling, creating production value far beyond actual hard cost of production. His award-winning features “Monarch of the Moon” and “Destination Mars”, spoofs of 1950’s sci-fi premiered on DirecTV. Richard's current production, "Rapture", is in post production and being marketed at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.

Producer and Actress
Johanna Rae
     From Texas to Hollywood, Johanna began as a print and Hawaiian tropic model. Since then she has kept her fingers on the pulse of the film industry, determined to emulate the success of her heroes. Creating and connecting with like minded people and finding a way to make her dream happen, Johanna's versatile talents are strongly showcased in MISSION: HOLLYWOOD!

Producer and Actress
Annabelle Gutman

     From Israel to Hollywood, Annabelle began her career in the entertainment industry as a fashion model at age 14, then made the transition to working Actress and Producer over the ensuing years. She acted as General Manager and Executive of Hollywood Funders, which produced the acclaimed film BLINK OF AN EYE, for which Annabelle wrote, produced and starred in. Currently, she has another feature film in post production, a sci-fi thriller called RAPTURE, represented by Fantastic Films International, who are already generating pre-sales for the film at Cannes. She has formed the film company Royal 11 Films, LLC, for the purpose of producing positive, entertaining movies with good messages.

The Purpose
     The goal of MISSION: HOLLYWOOD! is to target the teenage to college student demographic, the same audience that has made the shows THE REAL WORLD, THE KARDASHIANS, THE OSBOURNES,
THE SIMPLE LIFE, ENTOURAGE and many more so successful. Additionally, the goal of MISSION: HOLLYWOOD! is to inspire and educate individual entrepreneurs the stages of building a successful company, executed in a manner that is both entertaining and enlightening.

The Story
      "MISSION: HOLLYWOOD!" is a screwball comedy that combines I LOVE LUCY with BORAT as two women with bizarre and distinct personalities attempt to succeed in the slimy world of Hollywood. 
     "MISSION: HOLLYWOOD!" is a reality feature film with the situations of ENTOURAGE and the feel of the reality show THE SIMPLE LIFE starring Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie. 
     Two ambitious girls from different parts of the world, A Texan and a Jew, on a mission: to build a film production company in Hollywood, produce their first studio film 'Oh, Boy!' and be as successful as Steven Spielberg. The film, documenting the hardships and obstacles of their journey, is a side splitting comedy starring Annabelle Gutman and Johanna Rae. Both trailers are currently being shopped for a television series as well as a feature-length reality documentary. Contacts: Annabellegutman@yahoo.com and johannarae11@yahoo.com 


How To Fail In Hollywood...


     IMPACT is a short film that follows a family as they each undergo their own struggles but discover their love is able to overcome all in the end.  The family unit consists of three generations of family members and deals with many difficult situations such as a woman losing her best friend to A.I.D.S., a mother losing her child, a brother losing his sister to cancer, a girl losing her father and a couple married over fifty years having to deal with a life threatening situation, not knowing whether they will ever see each other again.  The film is quite complex but touches everyone in the heart and is relatable to all.  I wrote IMPACT because everyone has undergone some kind of heartache but in the end, we pull through and survive in the aftermath.  I wanted a good quality film that explores how people react to different situations but are able to find the humor and strength and pull together when the going gets tough.  IMPACT  is scheduled to hit the festival circuit this year.  You can follow the film at  www.impactshortfilm.com