Welcome to my world. I'm an actor who hates waiting for shit to happen... So I create... One of the projects I'm most proud of is my Streamy award winning series I co-created and starred in called The Bannen Wayfor Sony's Crackle.com.
So browse around - check out latest projects, videos, photos, news, blog posts and connect with me on the interwebs.
Neal Bannen wants to get out of the criminal lifestyle forever… but he owes $150,000 to the notorious prison gangster Sonny Carr. After failing to triple his money and losing all his money in a poker game, Bannen’s forced to do one more job.
Buy Bannen on Amazon
My new photography site is up and running. You can check out all my new photos as well as order limited edition, signed, and numbered giclee prints.
Past Events 2011
Dexter episode airs on Showtime
New series Once Upon by YouTube genius Myster Guitar Man launches. New episode every Tuesday.
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.
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!
We are asking for your support in raising funds so that 60 students, ages 13-18 can participate in a 2-DAY LEADERSHIP EMPOWERMENT TRAINING course called Momentum Teens for Leadership.
We don't have much time: we need to raise over $6000 by JULY 21, 2014. Please support us in any way that you can by making a contribution. Thank you so much for your help!
WHO ARE THESE YOUTH:
We will be servicing 60 students at the Luskin Academy. Here is some information about the type of students we will be servicing:
- The school has 271 students - 74 are African American - 1 Native American - 194 Latino - 2 White - 262 Are Socioeconomically Disadvantaged - 131 are English Language Learners - 14 are students with Disabilities - On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest) Luskin Academy is ranked a 4 Statewide - According to the Safety by Zip Code website on a scale of 1-100 (100 being the least safe) Luskin Academy is located in a zip code ranked between 74-94.
We are what is wanted and needed to touch move and inspire the students of Luskin Academy. We can make a difference in this community that so desperately needs change.
WHO WE ARE:
We are the first Momentum Leadership team in Los Angeles, and we're excited about sharing this amazing opportunity with you to help change lives, particularly the lives of "at-risk" youth.
Our team recently participated in the adult version of this powerful course and can guarantee that it will change lives. We were so inspired by this transformative, groundbreaking work that we are 100% committed to providing this opportunity to our youth.
WELCOME TO MOMENTUM TEENS FOR LEADERSHIP (MTFL):
Momentum Teens for Leadership (MTFL) empowers youth to be responsible, authentic, contributing leaders. Momentum Teens for Leadership, founded by Robin Lynn, provides workshops and ongoing programs designed for 13-17 olds to enhance communication and empower new discoveries and conversations of choice, responsibility, trust, cooperation, contribution, integrity, and team. Programs led by expert trainers provide practical tools and hands-on experiential learning to support teens in being responsible leaders in their families, schools, communities, and the world. Participants leave MTFL with practical skills and enjoyable memories to last a lifetime. Are there young people in your life that you'd like to invite to Choose, Commit, and Create extraordinary results in their lives NOW?
GOALS: Give these teens the proper tools to overcome personal obstacles so that they can thrive in their communities and live healthier, happier lives in pursuant of their their dreams
GUARANTEED RESULTS: Momentum Teens for Leadership has served over 800 participants year-to-date 50% of our participants increased their grade point average by one letter grade in a 3-month period. 100% of our graduates with GPA’s of 90% or more have maintained their averages or increased their averages by 5 grade points. 71% of our participants increased their hours of service in their communities and school by 20 hours per month 75% of our participants improved family relationships 84% of our participants changed their health habits by exercising and eating nutritionally 90% of our participants return to serve as peer mentors to new participants 100% of our graduating high school seniors go on to college
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?
Shooting Top-Of-Show Guest-star on TNT's MAJOR CRIMES
Shooting begins on LIFELINE opposite Kathleen Gati(General Hospital)
Begin filming 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.
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.