From almost the very beginning of TVWriter™, Herbie J Pilato has been part of our family. In fact, Herbie J was our first Contributing Editor.
For the last year and a half or so, Herbie J’s appearances on this site have been far too few because he has been working on his own TV series. We’re hoping to get him to give us the inside scoop on the process, but until we can corral him (as in tie him up and sit him down with his hands to the keyboard and his feet to the fire), here’s a little bit showbiz insider-ness, a sampling of several already shot episodes that, in keeping with the metaphor above is known to insiders as:
Herbie J Pilato’s Now & Then Sizzle Reel
From Council Tree Productions, headed by Joel Eisenberg and Steven Hilkards. Director: Steve Akahoshi, DP: Michael Walker, Sound: AV Viricel, Audio Mix: Brendyn Adams
Special Thanks to all celebrity guests, GeekNation Studios, and Sound With Motion for their contribution of time and support.
Jack Tracer: An Audio Drama With A Curious Style
by JV Torres
Anyone with a genuine interest in podcasts eventually happens upon audio dramas, which come in many varieties. Some have storylines ranging from lighthearted to ambiguous, but most have the essential elements that keep a story flowing. My curiosities always lead back to the plot, the setting, and the overall progression of the characters, though quite a few lose me in their filibustering narratives. Perhaps all those years at the university studying literature have finally come to fruition. The affinity for Shakespeare and the greatest novels and stories ever written sets the bar very high, as one might imagine. Therefore, it should be no surprise a person like myself would be finicky when choosing audio dramas to indulge in.
Audio dramas became a thing when I found some old CBS radio detective stories on podcast revivals. The horn lines dramatizing shock and awe and the ever confident detective stereotype had me hanging on every word. I could envision the offices, the bars, the clacking shoes on the pavement, running, chasing, cocking the gun, and taking aim before firing at the bad guy. The scenes played out so vividly in my imagination, I’m smiling just thinking about it. This is why out of all the many amazing audio dramas out there, I put Neon Nights: The Arcane Files of Jack Tracer in a special class.
It’s fair to state there are other very well produced noir style detective audio dramas (like the fascinating Roswell BC, for example), and many deserve to be written about. Right now, however, it’s Jack Tracer in the spotlight. This show delves into many offbeat motifs and peculiar themes including interdimensional travel, run-ins with almost human robots, and combating agents of the underworld (literally). Of course, there’s the complicated love interest Red (and her parallel world double, Scarlet), who both stabilizes and destabilizes the balance among the characters she comes in contact with. Such as the main character, Jack Tracer, who generally faces certain doom on a regular basis in order to meet his ever-changing objectives. He is either an adrenaline junkie or truly a “good guy” that simply has to do bad things sometimes to set things right -all while staying cool as a cucumber. At first, I thought Jack Tracer was a simple, one-track mind type of guy with a raging fire in his belly kept well hidden, but the more I listened to the show, the less I thought of him in simplistic terms and now realize he’s a logically sane person surrounded by a motley of bizarre individuals, each with their own style of hustle….
DIVISION is a short film about a young, interracial couple who find themselves in a long-distance relationship… even though they live in the same city. In the sprawling city of Chicago, Michael and Camilla’s connection is tested by everything from Cubs traffic and Uber driver road rage, to OCD and work-life balance issues.
Cara Winter & George Ellzey Jr. are the co-Writers, Directors & Producers of DIVISION, working in collaboration with Director of Photography Leonardo Fallucca, and Alex Molnar, Associate Producer. As a team of Chicago-based filmmakers, they share an interest in telling compelling, authentic stories, with an eye towards inclusion and diversity.
Cara Winter is a writer, director, and producer, and, back in the day, she was a frequent contributor to TVWriter™. As a screenwriter, Cara’s original TV pilot, Evolution, won 1st Prize in the 2015 People’s Pilot, and is now represented by the LA-based management firm Bohemia Group. Cara was also named one of ISA’s Top 100 Emerging Screenwriters of 2017.
George Ellzey, Jr. is an actor, writer and producer. Credits include Wait, I’m a Racist? (Rogue Shark Pictures), Off the Rails (Artigianale Films), the critically acclaimed Hellcab at The Den Theater, and producing Desperate, the TV series (RGE Entertainment).
Here at TVWriter™ we think very highly of Ms. Winter and Mr. Ellzey, and our confidence in them as creators is the reason we are recommending that TVWriter™ visitors “hie themselves over” (as LB used to say) to Indiegogo to learn more about Division and contribute what you can to help this dream project come true.
NOTE from Cara Winter:In just under three weeks, thanks to donations that ranged from $5 to $1,500, we’ve raised 30% of our total budget! Plus, award-winning editor Scott Jacobs has agreed to consult on Division. And both the Parent Artists Advocacy League and Moms In Film want to partner with us! We would love for all of you to be involved too!