How did you come up with the idea and how did you get it going?I was living in New York City and feeling a bit homesick for Pittsburgh. I called my friend Craig Cunningham (a Pittsburgh native), who was living in Los Angeles at the time, and started telling him about an idea I had. He kept picking up the phone and was a massive sounding board for me. I finished the script and sent it to Steve Parys, who agreed to direct the episode, and we were off and running.
What were some challenges that you have encountered?I made Mulligan with the hopes a network would see it and want to come on board to fund/help produce the remaining episodes/seasons. It was a bit of a Field of Dreams but they never did come. That being said, I’m damn proud of what we created with very, very little money.
The burning question: how did you arrange the budget?We roughly raised half of it through crowdfunding (IndieGogo) and half through individual donors.
What are the plans for distribution?Mulligan is available to watch on Amazon Prime and Facebook.
Care to share all the amazing accomplishments, awards and selections?Mulligan was an Official Selection in Film Independent’s LA Film Festival and Rhode Island International Film Festival, both of which are Academy Award Qualifying Festivals. We won “Best TV Pilot” at the RIIFF. This April we are thrilled to be receiving the Indie Award at the Elly’s, run by Steeltown Entertainment Project.
Which film festivals do you suggest submitting to?Pittsburgh Shorts is one of the best Festivals I have attended across the country and they are right here in our backyard.
Why did you choose to film in PA and what do you love the most about working in Pennsylvania?In short, it’s home.
What are some of your favorite shooting locations in Pennsylvania?Scally’s Golf Center in Moon and Barto’s in Coraopolis come to mind. I’ve been fortunate enough to live and NYC and Chicago, but Pittsburgh is as cinematic and photogenic as it gets as far as I’m concerned.
How did you get started in the film industry?I’ve been making short films and videos with my friends since high school, but have usually focused on theater. In the last couple of years my focus has shifted into screenwriting and filmmaking.
What do you love the most about your job?The people.
What is your most memorable, most awkward, or funniest on set story?I remember driving away from set on our last night of filming Mulligan and not being able to bring myself to pull into my driveway. I drove in circles around my neighborhood, not wanting it to be over- and realizing that this was what I wanted to be doing…making art with people I loved.
Do you have any upcoming Pennsylvania-based projects?I am in pre-production of a feature length film I plan on producing and directing here in Pittsburgh. And yes, we are looking for funding, producers, and crew!
PAFIA has been working hard on increasing the film tax credit in Pennsylvania and bringing more film work to our local crew and talent, but we must all unite to really make a difference. What can you tell our elected officials about the importance of PA film industry and the difference it has made in your life?So many of my loved ones rely on film and television in Pittsburgh to pay their bills and feed their kids. Allow artists to change the world with their art by creating opportunities to pay them a living wage.
What is your advice for the aspiring actors and filmmakers? Some steps to take? Some mistakes to avoid?Hollywood is a myth. Tell your story, make your art, and don’t wait for permission.
What are some of the most valuable lessons that you have learned about this industry and wish you knew earlier?…Hollywood is a myth. Tell your story, make your art, and don’t wait for permission.
What is your biggest aspiration in this industry?I want to make films in Pittsburgh that we can share with people all over the world.
Pennsylvania Film Industry Association (PAFIA)461 Cochran Road, Box 246Pittsburgh, PA 15228(717) 833-4561 firstname.lastname@example.org