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.
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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.
Check out the latest videos and clips from my projects and my favorite videos.
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Mark Nominated for 2 BANFF Interactive Rockies Awards
The Bannen Way - Episode "The Prep Day" Created & Written by Jesse Warren & Mark Gantt Executive Produced by Mark Gantt & Jesse Warren Directed by Jesse Warren
Suite 7 - Episode "Company" Written by Yuri Baranovsky Executive Produced by Wilson Cleveland Directed by Mark Gantt
Nominees of the 2011 Rockies Program Competition announced!
After reviewing over nine-hundred entries from around the world, our international juries have singled out the best programs and projects from the past year. Winners will be announced at one of three special Rockies awards ceremonies taking place during the Festival.
When I first started acting, I felt like I did when I first got sober, I was ashamed and embarrassed to say that I was an ac... act... actor. Like the Fonz in Happy Days trying to say he was wr... wr... WRONG. God forbid someone would ask me what I'd been in or why I wasn't on TV like the other guy that looks just like me. Several years in acting class did not fix it. Doing plays, short films, even a scene in Ocean's 11 opposite Brad Pitt didn't fix it either. I still could not help but feel uncomfortable about saying I was an actor. What I've come to see now is, I'd been focusing on what I thought it meant to be an actor. I thought, to be able to say you're an actor, you had to be a "Successful Actor" -- meaning someone who made a living from their acting. My mentor, Milton Katselas, didn't bother with the psychology of the whole thing when I wanted to quit acting and just direct. He said to me, "You haven't given the acting thing a hundred percent. What you're not confronting in your acting will block you as a director. Do twenty scenes for me, I'll pick them out, and then you decide if you're done with acting." (You can read more on this in a previous blog, TO ACT... OR TO DIRECT... THAT WAS THE QUESTION) He knew that I couldn't think my way into confidence as an actor, I had to actually push past my shit and build the confidence.
These days, production companies are pouring actual money and talent into web series. As a result, there are more webisodes hitting the Internet daily -- and it can be pretty hard to keep up. This article represents a (paltry, desperate, probably doomed-to-failure) attempt to do so.
Keep in mind, you can't actually watch some of these web series yet. While one has already released an episode or two, the others highlighted here have nothing but publicity photos and teasers available.
But if you keep checking back, maybe you'll be the cool kid who sees the new webisodes first! You know, if that's your thing.
Leap Year (episodes airing now) Have you been laid off? Do you want to watch a web series about layoffs happening to other people? Of course you do! In Leap Year, the five main characters don't sit around and moan while collecting unemployment like normal, sane laid-off people. Nope, they start businesses and then enter a contest for $500,000. The money is promised to them by "a mysterious stranger with an exorbitant amount of money" who somehow has access to their office. OK, so it's not the most realistic depictions of unemployment. Still, the series, written by Yuri and Vlad Baranovsky and sponsored by Hiscox Insurance, is kind of entertaining. Also, I'm jealous about the money. If nothing else, Craig Bierko is in it!
Look familiar at all? It's the same creators as Leap Year. Only this one's about a dating service that provides way more assistance to clients than most. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, the preview trailer is all that exists. There hasn't been any recent mention of the series happening. And the main people involved are off doing Leap Year. Too bad. The trailer is cool, and this is supposed to be a web series with 30-minute episodes, a much-needed variety. Maybe it will turn up someday!
Do any of these new web series look interesting to you? What do you think could make the series a success? Leave a comment below with your opinions!
Will ‘LoveMakers’ be the First 30-Minute Web Series Hit?
A half hour web show. It’s a simple premise. It makes sense. You don’t want to sit down after a long day at work and watch four minutes of something. You want to relax and engage in a passive entertainment experience that at most requires your active participation in scrolling to the next episode and hitting play once every 22 minutes.
And the reason I say a 30-minute web show makes sense isn’t simply intuition supported by hypothetical, anecdotal evidence. Hard facts show online video consumers seem to be ready for a half hour web show, too.
But even if the market’s ready for it, executing a half hour web show is the tough part. You need a premise with long enough legs that it can sustain a full season of 30-minute episodes, a killer cast, a web savvy production company, and a talented crew that can create something that looks at least as good as what you can find on Hulu, but for a fraction of the cost.
Good in Bed - directed by MARK GANTT written by SUSAN MILLER starring EDDIE MCCLINTOCK & JAIME MURRAY
You might not expect a Web series produced as a promotional tool for the Better Sleep Council to be very interesting, but “Suite 7” at MyLifetime.com is worth checking out. The free-standing episodes — the sixth of seven goes up on Friday — all revolve around the same bed, situated in the hotel suite of the title.
What the council’s money has bought is the participation of recognizable performers like Milo Ventimiglia (“Heroes”) as a skeptical best man and Illeana Douglas as an actress on location debating whether to have sex with her co-star. (Mr. Ventimiglia also directed his episode, while Ms. Douglas wrote hers.) Best, so far, is the more sober, 11-minute “Good in Bed,” starring Jaime Murray (“Dexter”) and Eddie McClintock (“Warehouse 13”) as a divorcing couple brought together, for a moment at least, by that magical bed. (YES... THIS IS ONE OF THE EPISODES I DIRECTED!)
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.