All of our CHECK THE GATE programs can be found on Youtube. For individual episodes click on the REPLAY EPISODE button below starting with our most recent.
Not having the right skillset could be costing your production, small business, corporation millions of dollars. Dian Killian, Ph.D., is the founder and director of Work Collaboratively and designs and leads transformative communication trainings in the U.S., Europe, and Asia for diverse organizations including large NGOs, multinationals, non-profits, startups, and Fortune 100 companies. Her clients have included the U.N. Nations Development Program, New York University, Merck Inc., HCL Technologies (India), Americorps, and Maryknoll Missionaries, among many others, including IATSE.
REGGIE HARRIS is an innovative guitarist, a fearlessly creative vocalist, and an engaging storyteller whose concert performances are infused with joy. He’s appeared in numerous music videos and produced 9 CDs, the latest READY TO GO. It’s clear to all that Reggie deeply loves singing and that it is more than his work. Uniquely committed to “music as a community building vehicle,” Reggie’s music shares insightful perspectives on issues of life, history, education and human rights. In the spirit of his mentors, Pete Seeger and Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, (founder of Sweet Honey in the Rock), Reggie is a master song leader who loves to help people discover that they can make a difference at any age, wherever they may live. A leader of Arts in Education he assembles teacher inservice trainings, tailored to K-12 and College. Before COVID-19 interruption, Reggie joined with fellow musician, Greg Greenway, in DEEPER THAN SKIN, two friends, one black, one white. Two separate narratives forged into one powerful friendship aimed at finding common ground and helping others to do the same.
BRYAN CADY is a music educator with over 22 years experience in public schools, and the last 17 of them in urban education. In addition he owns Guilderland Music Academy, and Scotia Music Academy which help over 400 students a week work towards achieving their musical goals. He has also written music for several independent films including Uncivil Liberties.
Kevin Craig West is an award winning actor/filmmaker and proud member of SAG-AFTRA and AEA. When not on camera or stage, he enjoys producing, directing, writing and coaching. He also enjoys sharing his talents as a teacher/artist and has worked with many Arts in Education groups including Theatre for a New Audience, Only Make Believe, and Symphony Space. Kevin is the owner of the production company, MoBetta Films, an advisory board member of WAM Theatre as well as Lake Placid Film Forum, former President of Upstate Independents and has served as Assistant Director of FilmColumbia Festival.Join us as we dive into music after COVID, movies and race.
Emily Best is the founder and CEO of Seed&Spark, a platform built to make entertainment more diverse, inclusive, connected and essential. She has raised millions in investment and crowdfunding, secured large brand partnerships, and built a world-class team for Seed&Spark. In addition to her work at Seed&Spark, she has produced films, series and VR projects that have premiered at Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca and more. Her most recent series, “Fck Yes” Refinery 29 called, “The sex education you wish you had in high school.” Emily has taught crowdfunding, pitching and creative sustainability in more than 50 cities around the world – and is now turning her in-person community-building efforts towards virtual efforts to help secure the sustainable future of creators everywhere.
Few may know how Joe Carr, the international executive behind Josh Cellar Wines, got his start in theater in upstate New York. His passion for the arts continues as the winery supports film festivals like Woods Hole and Nantucket, to name a few and arts initiatives in his home town. The New York Times writes, ‘After 10 years serving as a world-class sommelier followed by ten years as an international industry executive, Joseph Carr set out on his own in 2005 to form his family-owned wine company. It was, as Joseph Carr says, “a chance to follow a dream.” Joseph continues to work with many of the associates he has met throughout his long career, all with a shared passion and desire to produce world class wines. Influenced by the wines of Bordeaux and Burgundy, Joseph Carr’s winemaking philosophy is balance, sophistication and approachability; an old-world style producer, but distinctly Californian, sourcing Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from select vineyards in Rutherford, Oakville and the Stags Leap District.’
Dan Mirvish is a director, screenwriter, producer and author. Dan was filming “18 1/2” a Watergate conspiracy thriller/dark comedy, before being forced to take a “pandemic pause.” His award-winning, critically-acclaimed feature BERNARD AND HUEY, scripted by Oscar/Pulitzer-winner Jules Feiffer, and starring Oscar-winner Jim Rash and David Koechner screened in over 30 film festivals on 5 continents and held a 20-city theatrical release by Freestyle Releasing/Entertainment Studios in the US. Bernard and Huey sold to over 49 countries (before the foreign sales company went bankrupt). The film won several festival and end-of-year awards and nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay. Dan is the author of the bestselling non-fiction book “The Cheerful Subversive’s Guide to Independent Filmmaking” from Focal Press/Routledge. His film BETWEEN US, an award-winning feature starring Julia Stiles and Taye Diggs, played in 23 festivals in 7 countries, and got a 50+ city theatrical release in the US, and sold to 144 countries, plus screening on Netflix, Showtime, Starz and all digital outlets. Dan was mentored by Robert Altman on his first film, OMAHA (the movie), which led him to co-found the upstart Slamdance Film Festival. His film OPEN HOUSE prompted the Academy Awards to controversially rewrite their rules on the Best Original Musical category. Mirvish also co-wrote his bestselling, critically-acclaimed novel I Am Martin Eisenstadt based on the fake McCain advisor who took credit for Sarah Palin not knowing Africa was a continent. A former speechwriter for U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, Dan has a master’s degree from USC film school, is a member of the Directors Guild of America and has guest lectured at more than 40 film schools and universities.
Scilla Andreen is an award-winning Producer, Director, Emmy nominated Costume Designer, Author, CEO & Co-Founder of IndieFlix Group Inc., a global, streaming and offline screening distribution service that focuses on content for a purpose. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Good Morning America, Today and South China Morning Post. She’s produced and/or distributed social impact films, Nevertheless, Screenagers, Angst, and Empowerment Project. Scilla directed and distributed two feature documentaries; LIKE (2019) a documentary about the impact of social media on our lives and The Upstanders (2020), an in depth look at resilience, attention and the power of connection to end bullying. Scilla is Included in Screen International’s Women to Watch, Variety’s Women’s Impact Report and PSBJ Woman of Influence. She is a popular speaker at Sundance, Cannes, CES, SXSW, BeBold and Women in Film. Scilla is also the Founder of IndieFlix Foundation. Scilla is on a mission to change the world with film. IndieFlix.com
3pm Tuesday, May 12, 2020 – Alex Ferrari, INDIE FILM HUSTLE
Alex Ferrari is an author, blogger, speaker, consultant, the host of the #1 filmmaking podcast on iTunes Indie Film Hustle Podcast, and an award-winning writer/director with 25 years of experience in the film industry. As a director, his films have screened in over 500 international film festivals. Alex exploded onto the indie film scene with his award-winning short film BROKEN. To date, the film has screened at over 200 international festivals and has been reviewed by over 250 news outlets world-wide including famed film critic Roger Ebert. “Broken is essentially a demonstration of the mastery of horror imagery and techniques.” – Roger Ebert. Through self-distribution, the BROKEN: Special Edition DVD has also sold over 5000 units worldwide. Frustrated that his fellow filmmakers were being “chewed up” by the film business, Alex decided to start Indie Film Hustle®, a website dedicated to educating filmmakers and artists on how to survive and thrive in the film business. He also launched a podcast focused on filmmaking called The Indie Film Hustle® Podcast. Within three months of its start date the show became the #1 filmmaking podcast on Apple Podcasts. He’s also the host of the popular screenwriting podcast Bulletproof Screenwriting®, and the filmmaking business podcast Filmtrepreneur®.
Anasa has provided strategic and creative support in many important cultural, political and social justice spaces; she has designed and facilitated national learning exchanges, served as a consulting producer, trained and transitioned the leadership of organizations to integrate cultural strategy as a community organizing tactic, produced tours & festivals, curated artistic programming, shepherded many artists and creative thinkers through the process of manifesting their own creative vision and has been invited twice to the White House by the Obama administration to advise on cultural policy. While she experiments with many forms of creative practice, her deepest love is writing.
3pm Tuesday, May 5, 2020 – Josh Friedman, CEO Crew Me Up
Friedman is the author of “Getting It Done: The Ultimate Production Assistant Guide Handbook.” A Decade of experience on shows such as Law & Order: CI to his feature film Warning Shot have led Mr. Friedman to create a mobile labor platform to Connect filmmakers around the world (Crew Me Up). Mr. Friedman loves sharing his experience and cultivating new talent. Crew Me Up is a New Mobile labor platform for the film industry available on iTunes. Why make 60 phone calls to hire 6 people? Crew Me Up offers detailed crew profiles, interactive availability calendars, favorite lists and more… all at the touch of button. Friedman is building a community based on a simple mission: Connect. Create. Collaborate … Crew Me Up.
Recorded April 30, 2020 – WHY INVEST IN THE ARTS?
Featuring Valeria Landsburg (actress, writer, producer, director), Chet Opalka (angel investor), Marcus Pryor (Albany Wine and Dine, philanthropist), Joe Ventura (Eden Cafe, financial advisor), hosted by Mike Camoin.
Jess Fuselier is a community outreach, marketing and data specialist living in Los Angeles, California. As senior manager of research and education for Sundance Institute, Jess is working to cultivate meaningful insights rooted in data transparency, in order to create resources that impact the sustainability of the independent film community at large.
Originally a Texan with an early career as a professional ballet dancer, she concentrated her love of people, technology and social purpose towards helping filmmakers target and engage their audience. She pioneered a community outreach program to connect film sets across the U.S. with the communities in which they operate and led efforts to support critical non profit community service providers. An experienced coder, she has worked for several early-stage companies in Austin, and co-founded Young Women Who Code, teaching elementary age girls the building blocks of STEM education.
Carole Dean, author/producer/grantor. The Art of Film Funding Second Edition & The Art of Manifesting: Creating your Future. Executive Producer credits BAM 6.6, Women Behind the Camera, Step Away From the Stone, American Chain Gang, and more on IMDB. Carole is an entrepreneur, created and ran a film business in Hollywood, NYC and Chicago for 33 years, and sold it in 2001. Carole created the Roy Dean Film Grant in 1992 and has given over $2,500,000.00 in grants to independent filmmakers. She is currently the President of From the Heart Productions, 501(c)3 nonprofit where she managing the Grant and fiscal sponsorships for the non-profit and teaches film funding through her Intentional Filmmaker classes found on FromtheHeartProductions.com and her pod casts on blogtalkradio.com. Her latest Power Point and book just released is How to Fund Your Film.
Recorded April 16, 2020 – Elliot Grove, Raindance Film Festival
Elliot Grove founded the Raindance Film Festival in 1993 and the British Independent Film Awards in 1998. He has produced over 700 short films and seven feature films under the banner of his production company. In 2013 Focal Press published his book: Raindance Writers Lab: How to Write and Sell the Hot Script. His second book, Raindance Producers Lab: Lo-To- No Budget Filmmaking was published by Focal Press in July 2015. His novel, THE BANDIT QUEEN is being illustrated by Dave McKean and is scheduled for publication later this year. His production company operates under the Raindance banner and is currently developing a slate of ten features. In 2009 Elliot was awarded a PhD by Open University for services to film education.
Recorded April 9, 2020 – Boston Casting, Inc. Angela Peri & Lisa Lobel
Angela Peri, CSA – Owner and founder of Boston Casting and co-founder of the Massachusetts Production Coalition. 30 years casting experience, Angela has worked with the nation’s top directors, advertising agencies and production companies in Boston, New York and Los Angeles. A Five-time Artios Award Nominee and 1st time winner in 2020 for the feature film KNIVES OUT. A featured speaker for the Independent Film Festival Boston, New York City’s Winter Film Awards and the Savannah Film Festival – along with being a frequent Guest Lecturer at Berklee College of Music.
Peri’s work includes local casting in over one hundred feature films, 1000s of commercials and hit television series – most notably the Academy Award Nominated films, AMERICAN HUSTLE and THE FIGHTER and the Golden Globe Nominated film JOY and Golden Globe Nominated TV Series SMILF. Her upcoming work can be seen in television series DEFENDING JACOB starring Chris Evans and one of the most anticipated films of the year KNIVES OUT directed by Rian Johnson.
Lisa Lobel, CSA – Over 25 years of casting experience, co-owner of Boston Casting and co-founder of the Media Performance division of Boston Casting (an Acting School at Boston Casting). Frequent featured speaker for the Massachusetts Production Coalition, the Independent Film Festival Boston, New York City’s Winter Film Awards and the Savannah Film Festival. Speaking to Students and Actors on careers in casting and acting, Lobel is the recipient of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” Imaginaire Award. She cast the critically acclaimed indie, DONALD CRIED, STRONGER, the Jeff Bauman story, the teen thriller SLENDERMAN and the hit Netflix Series, THE SOCIETY. This year her work can be seen in the upcoming FREE GUY, directed by Shawn Levy, starring Ryan Reynolds and in SOUND OF METAL starring Riz Ahmed, winner, BEST PICTURE at the 2019 Zurich International Film Festival.
Recorded April 8, 2020 – Hal “Corky” Kessler – Entertainment Attorney
Industry expert Corky Kessler of Rubenstein Business Law speaks with Mike Camoin about how federal tax incentives helps investors recoup early returns and why investing in motion pictures is now consider a “conservative investment.”
Contact Corky (o) 312.466.5612 (e) CKessler@RubensteinBusinessLaw.com