FIRST SCREAM TO THE LAST: Give and Take Productions Interview
FIRST TO SCREAM INTERVIEW with Brianne Davis and Mark Gantt
In 2013, award winning filmmaker Mark Gantt and experienced actress Brianne Davis,
launched their own production company - Give and Take Productions.With numerous awards under his belt, Mark is best known for his role as Neal Bannen, in Sony's award winning series, The Bannen Way which he co-wrote and produced. In addition to working on many other television shows, Mark has also built up an impressive resume of feature films, further strengthening his experience. Couple this with the fact that he has previously taken the role(s) of directer, producer and writer, Mark certainly brings all of the experience and qualifications required, to launch a formidable production company.Horror fans are of course already familiar with Brianne, who appeared in both Prom Night (2008), and Chomeskull: Laid to Rest 2. The career of this incredibly talented actress actually began in 2001, with a guest appearance in Dawson's Creek. Since then Brianne has appeared in various television shows and movies, excelling in every role, thus proving her versatilely. On paper, the collaboration of this incredibly talented couple offers huge potential, and one that could provide us all with some great movies. I recently had the privilege of speaking with both Mark and Brianne, about their exciting venture. Like many other independent filmmakers, I found the pair to be extremely passionate and honest about what they do, with an underlying commitment to each other, and the industry they represent. Having recently directed their upcoming film Psychophonia, Brianne was gracious enough to take some time out of her busy schedule, and speak with me about her career, and future ambitions.
brianne davis speaks with adrian roe about give & take productions
Brianne, thanks so much for taking the time to speak with First Scream. Before we discuss your new production company, I have to touch a little on your past acting roles, if I may!Horror fans will be all too aware of your past roles in Prom Night, and Laid to Rest 2. What can you tell me about those experiences, and did you enjoy them?I love working in the horror genre. The fans are incredible and it gives us actors a place to explore the extremes of a character. I adored playing Crissy Lynn in Prom Night. She was a spoiled brat which is always a blast to play. In Laid to Rest 2, I shot for one afternoon and got to go all out in my scene playing Mrs. Cromeans, which is a big reveal in the end. You have recently started you own production company, which looks really exciting. How did this opportunity come about? My fiancé, Mark Gantt and I started our production company this year after we shot The Night Visitor. It just hit us that we worked so well together and we each had our own strengths. Our third film is in the can and are in pre-production on “A Place Apart” Mark’s feature directorial debut. I’m starring in it and we’ve recently brought on executive produced by Stephen L’heureux of Sin City: A Dame To Kill. What is it that you would like to achieve with Give + Take Productions, and what are your main goals and ambitions? I love to create art in the form of story telling. Mark and I are inspired by the hardships of people and seeing the struggles they overcome and the growth that comes from it. We’re excited to be working with new writers and directors and telling meaningful stories that touch, move and inspire our audiences.
What genre(s), or target audience are you looking to appeal to with your new company?We are pretty open to all genres. For us it’s about the story and the characters. We want to explore the human condition, while helping people to connect with worlds that we aren’t so familiar with on a daily basis. How do you find the role of director/producer, as opposed to actress, and what do you find most satisfying about being in that position? Well first of all I love both. With acting you get to focus on just your role and finding your story arch. But with producing and directing you have your hands creatively is in every aspect of the movie making process. I love directing and producing because I like to have that control, over wardrobe, lens sizes, even craft service and catering. I feel like the director has to lead the cast and crew, while allowing them to be the best they can be. Sometimes you miss the camaraderie of the crew when you’re playing challenging characters and in character most of the time. What would you say is your most satisfying achievement professionally, to date? Probably forming Give and Take Productions. Because it’s my future in this business to act, direct and produce. Also, the film I just directed, Pyschophonia, I am really proud of this project. The acting is unbelievable and I love creating the stylized look for the film. Acting-wise I would say Synchronicity that has not been released yet, I am very proud of my character and playing Cindy Strauss on Murder in The First on TNT, loved working with Steven Bochco and Thomas Schlamme. Also, for horror, playing Jules in Among Friends for my dear friend Danielle Harris directing. The Jules character was a crazy fun woman, who also was the comic relief of the movie. What do you find the most difficult, or frustrating aspect of your job? Most difficult part of my job is the unknown and that you have no control over someone hiring you. You have to keep putting yourself out there for parts and walk away, letting go of whether or not I get the job. You have to be willing to keep getting rejected on a daily bases and stay open and vulnerable at the same time. It can be very challenging at times.
I am hearing great things about your upcoming movie, Psychophonia, what can you tell me about it?I am so proud of this film. Vedette Lim from “Chicago Fire” and “True Blood” plays the lead character, Lilly Tarver. After her husband Jeremy is brutally murdered, she struggles with his secret sex life and coming to terms with who he really was. While diving into his dark and potentially dangerous world, a mysterious caller might hold the answers to his death. I have an amazing cast including Kellee Stewart (Hot Tub Time Machine, Soul Man), Adam Rose (Supernatural), Andrew Walker, Mark Gantt (Bannen Way) and many more talented actors.What other projects can we look forward to? I am attached to star in “A Place Apart” next April with our production company. I’m recurring on Tyler Perry’s new show “If Loving You Is Wrong” as the crazy wife Yolanda, and I just got done developing a movie with our writer Jackie Blakely, called “She”. Where would you like to see your career, and Give + Take Productions, in ten years time? I love this question because I think the sky is the limit. Mark and I have so many stories we want to tell and we’re just getting started. I would love to win a little gold man one day for directing and acting but open to whatever the universe has in store for us. Brianne, it has been a pleasure speaking with you, and thank you so much for talking the time out. Please stay in touch, and I look forward to following the continued success of Give + Take Productions! - Adrian
Psychophonia Poster Released
ARROW IN THE HEAD: Poster & first details on Blanc/Biehn Productions' Psychophonia
Brianne Davis, who earlier this year directed THE NIGHT VISITOR 2: HEATHER'S STORY, is set to direct PSYCHOPHONIA, a new thriller from Blanc/Biehn Productions and Give & Take Productions, and we've got the first details and some early art to share with you.
Barbara Stepansky wrote the screenplay based on a story by producer Lony Ruhmann about...
After her husband Jeremy is brutally murdered, artist Lilly Tarver struggles with his secret sex life and coming to terms with who he really was. While diving into his dark and potentially dangerous world, a mysterious caller might hold the answers to his death.
PSYCHOPHONIA stars Vedette Lim ("Chicago Fire", "True Blood") in the lead role of Lilly Tarver. Rounding out the cast are Andrew W. Walker (2 BEDROOM ONE BATH), Kellee Stewart (HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 1 & 2), Adam Rose, Daniel Quinn, Mark Gantt, Mitchell Fink, Lucie Pohl, Sean Hemeon, Nikita Black and Jenimay Walker.
The film is Executive Produced by Michael Biehn (ALIENS, THE TERMINATOR), Jennifer Blanc-Biehn, Lony Ruhmann, Brianne Davis, and is produced by Mark Gantt.
Blanc/Biehn and partners ready Psychophonia
SCREEN DAILY EXCLUSIVE:
Lony Ruhmann, Blanc/Biehn Productions and Give & Take Productions are ramping up production on the thriller.
Nicholl Fellowship winner Barbara Stepansky wrote the screenplay based on a story by Ruhmann about a widow who comes to terms with who her recently murdered husband really was as she probes his secret sex.
Brianne Davis, who earlier this year directed The Night Visitor 2: Heather’s Story, will direct.
Vedette Lim will play the lead and the key cast includes Andrew W Walker, Kellee Stewart Adam Rose, Daniel Quinn, Mark Gantt, Mitchell Fink, Lucie Pohl, Sean Hemeon, Nikita Black and Jenimay Walker.
Mark Gantt produces Psychophonia while Michael Biehn and Jennifer Blanc-Biehn (pictured) serve as executive producers alongside Ruhmann and Brianne Davis.
Blanc/Biehn Productions recently released Treachery through Traverse Media and completed post on Jennifer Blanc-Biehn’s directorial debut The Night Visitor.
WTF is handling sales on Hidden In The Woods – The Remake.
The Night Visitor 2 Poster Released
Be Thankful for this Poster Debut for The Night Visitor 2: Heather’s Story
Blanc/Biehn Productions wants to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, and to add a bit of spookiness to your holiday, they’ve just released the poster art for Brianne (“True Blood,” Among Friends) Davis’ directorial debut, The Night Visitor 2: Heather’s Story.
The Night Visitor 2: Heather’s Story was written by Kevin and Bradley Marcus and Mark Gantt. Caitlin Carmichael, Mark Gantt, Chip Coffey, Jennifer Blanc, and Michael Biehn star. Frequent Blanc/Biehn collaborator Lony Ruhmann is executive producer.
The Night Visitor 2: Heather’s Story is a sci-fi thriller that runs parallel to the original The Night Visitor, telling the story of Heather (Carmichael), a special young girl who must protect her family and the planet from the same other-earthly being. The sequel delves deeper into the mysteries that plagued the Stevens family and their son, Ricky, with the help of psychic and medium Daniel (Coffey).
ONLY 10 PERFORMANCES
Beverly Hills Playhouse
254 S. Robertson Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 901210
FOR CLASSES AND PUBLIC
(these are for the acting classes, so might be better on other nights, but welcome to come to these.)
November 3rd,4th,5th,6th at 7:30pm
November 7th,8th, at 8pm
November 9th at 7pm
November 14,15 at 8pm
and FINAL PERFORMANCE November 16th at 7pm
NO RESERVATION NECESSARY
BUT EMAIL ME IF YOU ARE COMING AND I'LL MAKE SURE YOU GET IN.
Horror Movies - Fear The Second Reign of Night
Backstage Article on Streamys
L.A. Actor Got Boost From Streamys Win
The Web is meant to be a bastion for indie TV producers and actors but even the Streamy Awards, which were created to honor the best of Internet entertainment, have some prominent mainstream performers among its honorees.
Ken Marino won for his performance on “Burning Love” last year. Weird Al Yankovic won in 2010 for his guest appearance on “Know Your Meme” and Neil Patrick Harris took home a statue in 2009 for his turn on “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.” And this year Zach Galifianakis, a past winner, is nominated for his “Between Two Ferns” interview with President Obama. These are hardly performers who were on the brink of stardom before receiving a Streamy.
Still, the awards can give a boost to actors who are struggling for recognition beyond the Web, according to Mark Gantt, a Los Angeles-based performer who won Streamys for his acting and producing on “The Bannen Way” in 2010.
“It opened a lot of doors,” he told Backstage. “For me as an actor, it’s still not an Emmy. The Streamys hasn’t hit that place in the mainstream consciousness, but with agents, managers, and casting people who are aware of the space, having won those awards has helped me.”
“The Bannen Way,” which Gantt co-created with Jesse Warren, is an action-adventure series that was produced for Sony’s Crackle as a feature-formatted as a Web series. Gantt believes it was able to stand out because the medium wasn’t as saturated. “Four years ago there wasn’t a lot of mainstream talent out there doing [online series],” he said. “The reality now is digital studios and multi-channel networks are basically cable companies, and they’re looking to do half-hour and hour long series.”
That makes it more difficult for indie TV producers and actors to find an audience online. “In terms of you having $250 and a camera to go shoot something, you’re one of thousands—how do you stand out and create something different? It’s much more a challenge now,” said Gantt, who’s set to direct his first feature, titled "A Place Apart," later this year.
Gantt said he understands the tension between honoring YouTubers and established talent for Internet-based awards like the Streamys. Still, he said, “they can’t ignore somebody with a name that is out there doing stuff in the space. It is tougher for an indie person who's unknown to create a show and get known.”
Actors should still try their hands at producing their own content, he adds. “You have to keep going 'next' all the time. Something will pop.”
His advice to aspiring Streamy winners? Have passion and don’t go it alone. “We surrounded ourselves with professionals who could do this in their sleep,” he said of his 2010 production.
The 4th Streamy Awards are set to air here Sept. 7 at 7:30 p.m. PT.
Blanc Biehn Productions Article
How Mark Gantt Has Changed The Way Things Are Done In Horror
Mark Gantt is a multi-talented film industry professional who has done it all at one time or another. He is well known for being an actor, director, producer, and writer. However, when new filmmakers look at his work, they are often drawn to the amazing way he has used the internet.
Mark Gantt didn’t actually get his start in horror, but probably made the greatest early impact in his role as Neal Bannen and executive producer of “The Bannen Way.” This crime drama series helped him to draw on his own experiences as a member of a law enforcement family.
“The Bannen Way” was carried as a completely exclusive online experience, and won a Streamy Award for its outstanding writing, acting, direction and production. During this time, Mark had to fight for the production to be recognized, since it was “geoblocked” and not available to the entire World Wide Web.
The quality of “The Bannen Way” helped to change the Streamys, leading to a ruling that geoblocked content was eligible for the award. Besides this, Gantt was able to demonstrate that a web-only focus could build up a dedicated following while reducing production costs.
At The BB Basement, we respect everything Mark has done so far — so it’s important to direct some attention to his latest achievement, the successful crowd funding of “The Night Visitor.”
“The Night Visitor” Achieved Production Faster Thanks To Mark Gantt’s Savvy
Following his success with “The Bannen Way,” Mark was looking for innovative ways to bring his vision to life and he found it in the form of Kickstarter. Kickstarter was the perfect platform to fund “The Night Visitor,” and he used it expertly.
“The Night Visitor” was a horror/sci-fi tale about a family in turmoil. A couple must struggle to save their marriage while protecting their son from an invisible “Night Visitor” with terrible powers.
With the success of “The Night Visitor,” the path was open to “The Night Visitor 2: Heather’s Story,” which will continue the tale. Naturally, the collaboration between Mark Gantt and Jennifer Blanc-Biehn will continue as well!
Wondering how to get your creative ambitions realized? It’s important to carry the same spirit of creativity and innovation into your funding and marketing that you do in your acting and directing. Mark Gantt has definitely shown how to do it — and we foresee great things for him in the future!
On Set of TNT's MAJOR CRIMES
LIFELINE - Photos from set
Written and Directed by Jeffrey Wang and starring Mark Gantt and Kathleen Gati.
EXAMINER: Lifetime Film Article
Since its inception in the year, 2009, the crowdfunding organization known as Kickstarter has claimed to have raised over one billion dollars in donations to fund more than one hundred thirty-five thousand projects of artistic ventures of various sizes. There have been many success stories and many recent ones include the Veronica Mars motion picture. The latest success story involves an ambitious and very talented couple whose list of credits in the entertainment industry is stunningly impressive. Heather and Jeffery Wang have worked on a number of impressive projects which include "Justified," "Breaking Bad," "Lone Survivor" and "A Million Way to Die in the West."
The talented duo started a Kickstarter campaign in order to direct and produce a short horror film entitled, "Lifeline." The short film is based on a story written by Jeffery Wang of which he has also just completed directing on June 1st. I was given details of the project by actor, producer, writer and director, Mark Gantt who is one of the leads in the short. This interview took place after the short film's principal photography wrapped and the two were able to catch their breath after a whirlwind filming schedule.
Oscar: I have read the information on your Kickstarter campaign pitch and have viewed your video. I am impressed! Your influences are well stated in your campaign. Will you be trying to create a similar visual quality that many of the horror film of the 80's had?
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Producing/Acting in Brianne Davis' second fetaure film PSYCHOPHONIA starring Vedette Lim
NOVEMBER 3 - 16
Acting in PROJECT X
- a play at Beverly Hills Playhouse
Shooting pick up shots for SECOND REIGN OF NIGHT
Shooting CADILLAC Commercial
Shooting Top-Of-Show Guest-star on TNT's MAJOR CRIMES
Shooting begins on LIFELINE opposite Kathleen Gati(General Hospital)
Producing/Acting in THE NIGHT VISITOR 2: HEATHER'S STORY starring Mark Gantt, Jennifer Blanc, Caitlin Carmichael, Brianne Davis, Gary Cairns, Hudson Pischer and Chip Coffey. The film will be directed by Brianne Davis.
THE NIGHT VISITOR screens as part of the ANOTHER HOLE IN THE HEAD FESTIVAL in San Francisco.
Shooting Los Angeles portion of THE SECOND REIGN OF NIGHT
Mark begins shooting lead role in THE SECOND REIGN OF NIGHT, written and directed by Antoni Sole. Shooting in Barcelona, Spain.
Begin shooting HIDDEN IN THE WOODS in Houston, Texas opposite William Forsythe.
On panel for SAG-AFTRA's Liferaft with Yuri Baravovsky, Ian Moffit, Helena Santos and Zadi Diaz.
Shooting Pilot D-TEC, a series for new second screen technology Samsung.
Begin shooting THE NIGHT VISITOR. Produced by Mark Gantt, Directed by Jennifer Blanc-Biehn and starring Brianne Davis, Gary Cairns, Tara Buck, Jennifer Blanc-Biehn and Mark Gantt.
Booked new feature film HIDDEN IN THE WOODS. They are shooting the English Language version with Michael Biehn.
Final day of shooting on WHOA! with Taryn Southern, Linda Blair and Leslie Jordan.
First season of new digital series THE INN launches. Created by Steve Silvmeran and stars Crystal Chappell and myself. I come towards the end of this season.
Shooting great film with Joe Penna again. Very excited about this project!
JANUARY 19 - 20
Shooting pilot presentation for new digital series WHOA! Created by Scott Richter, starring Linda Blair and myself!
Shooting scenes from new feature film FINDING CALI
Alexis Boozer wins Best Overall Actress
Begin shooting new digital series THE INN opposite Crystal Chappell (Days of Our Lives, Guiding Light, Venice the series)
Created by Steven Silverman (Pretty The Series)
First Glance Film Festival - Philadelphia
I won BEST DIRECTOR for DONOR!
Speaking at the 2nd Annual
Shooting new TV Series BLUFF in Calgary, Alberta created by Jewelle Colwell
Shooting new series MERIDIAN by Joe Penna (MysteryGuitarMan) with Orlando Jones. Yeah I'm playing that douchy office manager.
Producing new online series
Created and Executive Produced by Sybil Temtchine & Steve Peros
Directed by Perry Andelin Blake
Executive Produced by Mark Gantt
Starring: Sybil Temtchine, Dennis Dugan, Frank Coraci, Eric Avari, Gwendolyn Yeo, Mark Gantt, Brianne Davis and Michael Lerner
Completed shooting Pilot Presentation THE PROGRAM that I produced and starred in.
Created by Matt Lutz, Directed by Dylan Mulick
With Robert Forster, Kate Siegel and Brett Fliesher
Attending AMONG FRIENDS screening at Universal City
Shannen Doherty honored for Best Individual Performance from the 2012 Webby Awards in the SUITE 7 episode "Company" that Mark directed. Episode was written by Yuri Baranovsky and stars Shannen and Wilson Cleveland.
SECRET PROJECT REVEALED - I'm shooting HUNGER GAMES fan film STAR SQUAD playing Dr. Aurelius.
Shooting a few episodes of new digital series.
Check out the latest videos and clips from my projects and my favorite videos.