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CINEMACTIVIST

CINEMACTIVIST

By John C. Lyons | CINEMACTIVIST
Filmmaking at the intersection of art and activism. We explore the films and filmmakers who use the art form to bring about political or social change, inform their audiences of important issues and perspectives, and whose goal is to ultimately make the world a better, more informed and empathetic place.

This is the official podcast of Lyons Den Productions, the filmmakers behind 2021's fracking horror film, Unearth.
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27 - Master with Dr. Rhonda Matthews
In this episode, I am joined by educator, Dr. Rhonda Matthews. Dr. Matthews has been a university professor of Sociology & Politics in Higher Ed since 1992 and was the perfect guest to dive into Mariama Diallo's Sundance film, Master. Beyond the film, we talk about how truth-telling media is dangerous, Incrementalism in storytelling and representation, Individual Work vs Institutional Change and much more. Master is available on Amazon Prime and stars Regina Hall, Zoe Renee and Amber Gray. [00:00] Dr. Rhonda Matthews’ education background and working at a wide variety of Educational institutions [07:48] Intro on Master by writer/director Mariama Diallo [12:15] The Intended Audience of a Film and Incrementalism in Representation [20:11] General Impressions of Master [27:57] Who is being skewered in Master and who do you feel is the intended audience? [33:00] The theme of Rotting in Higher Education and empty signaling [39:50] The Liv character, How Identity can be commodified and Individual Work vs Institutional Change [49:19] Freedom of speech or Privileged speech and Cancel Culture [58:01] Studying Popular Culture and recognizing its power [01:04:49] The “Horror” and “Scary” definition debate and the Horror of the Mundane, and diversifying critic commentary [01:15:09] Jordan Peele comparisons [01:19:58] Eerie Horror Fest presents… with Dr. Rhonda Matthews | Published on April 27, 2022 | Produced by Lyons Den Productions | Hosted by John C. Lyons | Music by Tony Grey | Support CINEMACTIVIST and Lyons Den Productions by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions
01:22:06
April 27, 2022
26 - Preview of the Unearth Ultimate Edition Blu-ray
Today, April 19 2022, we are self-releasing the UNEARTH Ultimate Edition Blu-ray. You can purchase the film through all the major online retailers: Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, you name it. We’re there. You can also order through www.unearthmovie.com. On today’s episode, I wanted to give you a preview of a couple of the new extra features on the Blu-ray. First, you’ll hear some comments from Marc Blucas, Allison McAtee, PJ Marshall, Monica Wyche and Rachel McKeon from last year’s cast reunion Q&A at the Eerie Horror Fest. Second, we will have film critic, Michael Guillen’s commentary from a scene in the film where Kathryn (Adrienne Barbeau) and Christina (Allison McAtee) get ready to go fishing, and Kathryn confronts Christina about the importance of protecting the land and the concept of querencia. [00:00] Unearth Blu-ray Release Day Intro [02:29] 2021 Eerie Horror Fest Cast Reunion Q&A [12:37] Film critic, Michael Guillen’s, Querencia scene breakdown [14:53] Unearth Blu-ray Promo | Published on April 19, 2022 | Produced by Lyons Den Productions | Hosted by John C. Lyons | Music by Tony Grey | Support CINEMACTIVIST and Lyons Den Productions by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions
16:17
April 19, 2022
25 - Trans Portrayal & What Moves the Social Needle with Dr. Tyler Titus and Elisabeth Koromaus
In this episode, we take a deep dive on trans portrayals in Film, TV and other media. I am joined by Dr. Tyler Titus and Elisabeth Koromaus. Dr. Titus is a mental health professional, small business owner and recently ran an awesome campaign for County Executive in Erie County, Pennsylvania. Elisabeth is finishing up her degree in the Animation program at Edinboro University. Our conversation should be of use to all writers, filmmakers, and all creatives considering the inclusion of characters who do not share their lived experience.  Support CINEMACTIVIST and Lyons Den Productions by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions According to stats from 2021 WGA West’s Screen Inclusion Report, LGBTQ+ screenwriters are faring relatively well compared to other underrepresented groups. “The best data available puts LGBTQ+ Americans at roughly 8% of the U.S. adult population,” the report says. “In 2020, LGBTQ+ writers were hired for 6% of screenwriting jobs. “However, the fact that LGBTQ+ screenwriters fare better in this chart than other underrepresented groups does not mean that they do not face discrimination in the workplace and erasure of LGBTQ+ characters in their stories. According to a recent survey of 158 members of the LGBTQ+ Writers Committee, 22% report having been the target of overt discrimination and/or harassment in an industry setting. Meanwhile, over half of the surveyed writers reported experiencing microaggressions based on their identity. Unfortunately, the most targeted individuals are often the most underrepresented and those who have multiple intersectional identities: transgender, non-binary, intersex, BIPOC, disabled, over 55, etc.” For the full report go to https://www.wga.org/uploadedfiles/the-guild/inclusion-and-equity/2021_Screen_Inclusion_Report.pdf [00:00] Meet Dr. Tyler Titus and Liz Koromaus [08:55] Fear of the Unknown and Othering People [13:00] What is Cisgender and how well are we portraying trans people today in media? [17:05] Should a cisgendered person write a trans story? What questions should they be asking? [24:27] What moves the social needle [26:30] Earliest memories of Trans characters in Media [32:40] Boys Don’t Cry [40:10] Laurence Anyways and Casting choices [46:02] Film, TV and Game Recommendations [55:54] Contributing to the Trans Narrative [57:32] Don’t just tell a transness story (Euphoria, Single Drunk Female, Life & Beth) [1:03:38] Advice for Creatives Check out the Netflix documentary "Disclosure": https://www.netflix.com/title/81284247 | Published on April 13, 2022 | Produced by Lyons Den Productions | Hosted by John C. Lyons | Music by Tony Grey | Support CINEMACTIVIST and Lyons Den Productions by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions
01:08:25
April 13, 2022
24 - Time to Take Off the Blinders with Jane Saunders [Part 2]
In this episode, we bring you Part 2 of our conversation with Jane Saunders. Jane Saunders is a New York based composer, arranger, musician and educator.  As a music technology & musicology enthusiast, she has toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe with various projects and is the creator of the Avant-Garde Metal project The Greatest Fear (recipient of The Independent Music Awards Hard Rock/ Heavy Metal Album of the year). Jane composed the awesome film score for our feature film, Unearth. Check out her work at http://www.janesaunders.org Please note we get into some light spoilers for Unearth in this discussion. The Unearth: Ultimate Edition Blu-ray features Jane's score as an isolated track option in the audio features. The Blu-ray releases April 19, 2022 but you can order it today at all major online retailers with 2 cover choices: Green Mold at Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Unearth-Ultimate-Green-Mold-Blu-ray/dp/B09T78X6P1 Red Rust at Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Unearth-Ultimate-Rust-Red-Blu-ray/dp/B09T75S1H9 [00:00] With technological advancements in music and sound our minds are the only limitation [06:25] The horrors of progress, constant pressure of perfection and Analog vs. Electric debate [11:58] Music Technology: Measuring earthquake magnitudes for An Agitated Earth [18:02] Unearth Origin Story and the impossible choice of livelihood vs. uninhabitable planet [25:00] Living a Mindful Life and affects of the Industrial Revolution [29:30] Inspired by composer Jóhann Jóhannsson (Arrival), Alien, The Shining [36:34] The Sound Balance and Scoring stories & tips [48:04] Post-production on Unearth and Chris Bell’s sound work and importance of a comfortable working environment [52:48] Hearing Unearth in a real Cinema and talk about specific moments and motivations | Published on April 6, 2022 | Produced by Lyons Den Productions | Hosted by John C. Lyons | Music by Tony Grey | Support CINEMACTIVIST and Lyons Den Productions by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions
01:09:24
April 06, 2022
BONUS - Nationalizing Gas, Fracking Fuels Plastic and Unifying Against Greed
In this episode, John sounds off about our reliance on fossil fuels, an update on a plastics processing plant in Erie Pennsylvania, and more. For more information go to www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions. This episode references: The Guardian Exclusive: oil companies’ profits soared to $174bn this year as US gas prices rose https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/dec/06/oil-companies-profits-exxon-chevron-shell-exclusive Breaking Points https://www.youtube.com/c/breakingpoints Breaking Points with Krystal and Saagar is a fearless anti-establishment Youtube show and podcast. Does FOX News want to Nationalize Big Oil? — Krystal Ball https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-AlxvlATfQ Bad Faith https://www.youtube.com/c/BadFaithPodcast Bad Faith is two shows in one: it's a panel show about politics and pop culture with a rotating cast of performers and politicians, artists and activists, writers and radicals; and it's a two-way podcast where two people from two very different parts of the left make the case for one less terrible world. Film Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania Film Grain Virtual Cinema: The Story of Plastic - Panel Discussion https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbujChY98EU Filmed across three continents and featuring interviews with experts and activists on the frontlines, THE STORY OF PLASTIC presents a cohesive timeline of how we got to our current global plastic pollution crisis and how the oil and gas industry has successfully manipulated the narrative around it. Panelists: Stiv J. Wilson - Producer, The Story of Plastic Monica Wilson - Policy and Research Coordinator and the Associate Director for the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives Sherri A. “Sam” Mason, Ph. D. - Sustainability Coordinator for Penn State Behrend | Published on March 17, 2022 | Produced by Lyons Den Productions | Hosted by John C. Lyons | Music by Tony Grey | Support CINEMACTIVIST and Lyons Den Productions by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions
24:27
March 17, 2022
23 - Finding Music on Mars with Jane Saunders [Part 1]
In this episode, we bring you Part 1 of our conversation with Jane Saunders. Jane Saunders is a New York based composer, arranger, musician and educator.  As a music technology & musicology enthusiast, she has toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe with various projects and is the creator of the Avant-Garde Metal project The Greatest Fear (recipient of The Independent Music Awards Hard Rock/ Heavy Metal Album of the year). Jane composed the awesome film score for our feature film, Unearth. Check out her work at http://www.janesaunders.org  [00:00] Alice in Chains, Nine Inch Nails and growing up in the Arts [12:22] Finding her way and Leaving Las Vegas [21:30] Pay to Play in L.A. and The Greatest Fear [28:34] Making Art Before and After The Internet, and Columbo Love [38:42] Living in Isolation, the Unearth Response and All-in on NYC [46:01] Finding her way back to Education | Published on March 9, 2022 | Produced by Lyons Den Productions | Hosted by John C. Lyons | Music by Tony Grey | Support CINEMACTIVIST and Lyons Den Productions by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions
58:15
March 09, 2022
BONUS - Monoculture & 2021 Favorite Films
Bonus Episode! John talks monoculture and shares his favorite narrative and documentary feature films of 2021. For more information go to www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions. NARRATIVES: Nine Days The Power of the Dog Nightmare Alley See for Me The Novice Dune: Part One Coming Home in the Dark The Last Duel Bergman Island Malcolm & Marie Don’t Look Up Boiling Point Test Pattern Last Night in Soho CODA Rurouni Kenshin: Final Chapter Part I - The Final Candyman The Dark and the Wicked Saint Maud The Night House NARRATIVE HONORABLE MENTIONS: The Hunt In the Heights Passing Judas and the Black Messiah The Suicide Squad The Beta Test The Lost Daughter tick, tick…BOOM! King Richard No Time to Die Identifying Features Shiva Baby DOCUMENTARIES: Val Woodstock 99: Peace Love and Rage Summer of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised) Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry Mayor Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror Flee | Published on February 16, 2022 | Produced by Lyons Den Productions | Hosted by John C. Lyons | Music by Tony Grey | Support CINEMACTIVIST and Lyons Den Productions by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions
09:58
February 16, 2022
22 - PJ Marshall and the Driving Force of Survival
In this episode, we bring you Part 2 of our conversation with actor, PJ Marshall. PJ plays Tom Dolan in Unearth and we got to talk about his memories on set, personal connection to the material, and finding a groove with your directors. Listen wherever you podcast. [00:00] How PJ Became Part of the Unearth Family and Marc Blucas: Team Player [06:18] Two worlds: Mindhunter and Unearth [09:06] Personal connection to the material and being moved by the Underdog [12:52] Alice in Chains’ Jar of Flies, Tom Dolan and Going off the Deep End [29:57] Unearth challenges and memories [38:35] Comedy and future projects | Published on February 9, 2022 | Produced by Lyons Den Productions | Hosted by John C. Lyons | Music by Tony Grey | Support CINEMACTIVIST and Lyons Den Productions by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions
42:10
February 09, 2022
21 - Andrea Londo and Adam Stilwell on Actor|Director Collaboration [Part 2]
In this episode, we bring you Part 2 of our conversation with Andrea Londo (Narcos on Netflix) and Adam Stilwell (The Triangle) of THE FREE FALL. After attempting to take her own life, a young woman (Andrea Londo) must wrestle with an overbearing husband (Shawn Ashmore). The Free Fall is now available on all the major VOD platforms and limited theaters across the US. John met Adam a decade ago at the Eerie Horror Fest and it was a treat to bring him and Andrea to the festival in 2021 for the film's Pennsylvania premiere. Check it out before listening as we get into heavy spoiler territory. [00:00] A conversation on character approach and the collaboration between actor and director [18:32] How Andrea made sure she became an actor [23:40] Stories you want to tell [36:32] Playing in the Genre space | Published on February 2, 2022 | Produced by Lyons Den Productions | Hosted by John C. Lyons | Music by Tony Grey | Support CINEMACTIVIST and Lyons Den Productions by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions
41:19
February 02, 2022
20 - Unearth Ultimate Edition Blu-ray Announcement
These days it's rare for independent filmmakers to have the opportunity to release special features for their films. That's why we held onto the Blu-ray distribution rights for Unearth. Today we are happy to share with you some of the details of what to expect on the Ultimate Edition Blu-ray of Unearth, available April 19, 2022! The package will be available through the websites of all major retailers in US & Canada as well as www.unearthmovie.com.  But that's not all -- we've also got new poster art coming in April as well from artist, Christopher Shy. If you're a fan of Unearth and our work, this Blu-ray edition will be a great way to support us. Dealing directly with the manufacturer means we receive a higher percentage of each sale. We hope you'll consider ordering one for your library. We'll be back next week with Part 2 of our conversation with Andrea Londo and Adam Stilwell of The Free Fall. | Published on January 26, 2022 | Produced by Lyons Den Productions | Hosted by John C. Lyons | Music by Tony Grey | Support CINEMACTIVIST and Lyons Den Productions by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions
08:40
January 26, 2022
19 - Andrea Londo & Adam Stilwell are Possessed by The Free Fall [Part 1]
In this episode, we bring you Part 1 of our conversation with Andrea Londo (Narcos on Netflix) and Adam Stilwell (The Triangle) of THE FREE FALL. After attempting to take her own life, a young woman (Andrea Londo) must wrestle with an overbearing husband (Shawn Ashmore). The Free Fall is now available on all the major VOD platforms and limited theaters across the US. John met Adam a decade ago at the Eerie Horror Fest and it was a treat to bring him and Andrea to the festival in 2021 for the film's Pennsylvania premiere. This one's all about control. Check it out before listening as we get into heavy spoiler territory. Part 2 of our talk will be posting in the coming weeks. Patrons of Lyons Den Productions will receive the complete conversation in the coming weeks. For more information go to www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions. [00:00] The Free Fall and Eerie Horror Fest [7:42] Demonic Possession and Domestic Abuse - The multiple layers of the story [11:12] Bringing Andrea onboard [15:48] Benefits of the Horror space and a freeing genre for Writing [21:34] John recs: Devil’s Backbone, Tigers Are Not Afraid, La Llorona, Identifying Features, Culture Shock [23:52] The Devil as a Writer and Shawn Ashmore [27:41] Challenges and progression of Sara character [34:43] The challenges of an 18 day Production and bonus Horror boost [39:18] Andrea compares experiences on Narcos on Netflix and other studio projects vs. Indie film | Published on January 19, 2022 | Produced by Lyons Den Productions | Hosted by John C. Lyons | Music by Tony Grey | Support CINEMACTIVIST and Lyons Den Productions by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions
44:37
January 19, 2022
18 - Adrienne Barbeau on Film as a Platform to Entertain and Educate [Part 2]
In this episode, we bring you Part 2 of our conversation with the legendary Adrienne Barbeau. Adrienne plays Kathryn Dolan in Unearth. We talk politics, the obligation to create socially-conscious cinema, She Kills, Catwoman, Carnivale and much more! Note: Recorded in March 2021. Patrons of Lyons Den Productions will receive the complete conversation in the coming weeks. For more information go to www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions. [0:00] Social Media, Politics and Morality [7:30] The Arts as a Tool against Corruption and a way to present differing views [13:43] Adrienne’s story about The Fog script and do filmmaker have an obligation to create more socially-conscious material [18:13] Alice Jacobs is Dead, Relic and Alzheimers [23:24] How the She Kills podcast on Shudder came to be and podcasting in general [24:57] Voicing Catwoman on Batman: The Animated Series [26:43] Lots of love for Carnivale on HBO [32:42] How did Unearth land on her radar? a George Romero story and a Devil’s Rejects story [39:10] The difference between and Agent and a Manager [44:29] Playing Kathryn in Unearth [48:16] Collaboration, Unearth’s Production and working in Indie Film [52:31] Geri Olszewski and Kathryn’s wardrobe [56:40] Lechefsky Farm, Sweet Corn and Presque Isle [57:30] The World to Come musical audio series, Cowboy Bebop and the Grease book [1:00:00] Video describing for the Blind | Published on January 12, 2022 | Produced by Lyons Den Productions | Hosted by John C. Lyons | Music by Tony Grey | Support CINEMACTIVIST and Lyons Den Productions by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions
01:03:29
January 12, 2022
BONUS - The Matrix Resurrections with Chris More
Christmas Bonus Episode! 1999 was a big year for cinema. One highlight came from The Wachowski's, who introduced us to the world of The Matrix. A film that unlocked a thirst for stylish, thought-provoking films in LDP's John C. Lyons and Dorota Swies. In this episode, Chris More, who John met in the late 90's while they were both studying Computer Science and Mathematics, takes a trip down the original trilogy rabbit hole. A fresh and original revisit care of the new film: The Matrix Resurrections. Knuckle up! Patrons of Lyons Den Productions will receive the complete conversation in the coming weeks. For more information go to www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions. 00:00 - Meet Chris More 11:55 - Revisiting The Matrix Trilogy 20:37 - Preparations for The Matrix Resurrections 25:12 - The Matrix Resurrections, Bugs and Nostalgia 29:40 - What’s a Modal? 32:01 - nu-Morpheus 40:33 - Original and Fresh Meta Commentary and Digital Self Images 47:48 - Truth, Control and the Analyst 51:21 - Neo and Trinity 4ever 56:21 - Weaponizing Everything and Everything is Fiction 1:02:44 - Overall Impressions 1:10:39 - Possible Glitches in The Matrix Resurrections 1:19:48 - Agent Smith 1:22:58 - Closing Thoughts and Animatrix 2.0 Wish | Published on January 5, 2022 | Produced by Lyons Den Productions | Hosted by John C. Lyons | Music by Tony Grey | Support CINEMACTIVIST and Lyons Den Productions by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions
01:31:23
January 05, 2022
17 - Art Unlocks the Side Door with Eleanor Goldfield [Part 2]
In this episode, Part 2 of my conversation with filmmaker, podcaster, journalist, musician, all-around creative radical, Eleanor Goldfield. Eleanor directed "Hard Road of Hope" (www.hardroadofhope.com), a documentary about coal miners and frackers in West Virginia who time and time again find themselves on the frontlines of labor issues and industrial repercussions. We dive into post production, self-releasing your film, how art can be insidious (in a good way) and much more. Patrons of Lyons Den Productions will receive the complete conversation in the coming weeks. For more information go to www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions. [0:00] Spending the extra time on Interviews [7:52] Getting Feedback and Calling in Favors [13:03] Release Plan, COVID Pivot and Film as an Organizing Tool [19:02] Wearing the Business Hat and Finding the Side Door [25:22] Art Killing Apathy, Mutual Aid and RIghts of Nature [33:55] The Role of Artists | Published on December 23, 2021 | Produced by Lyons Den Productions | Hosted by John C. Lyons | Music by Tony Grey | Support CINEMACTIVIST and Lyons Den Productions by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions
37:02
December 23, 2021
16 - Recontextualizing Home with Tara Eng [Part 2]
On the Fenceline: A Fight for Clean Air follows Philly Thrive, a South Philadelphia activist organization, as they mobilize to shut down all operations of Philadelphia Energy Solutions oil refinery. The largest on the east coast of the United States. On the Fenceline just screened at the UN Global Climate Summit in November. In this episode, we bring you Part 2 of our conversation with filmmaker, Tara Eng. Tara is a former Working Films George F. Stoney Fellow and has produced and directed short documentaries about abusive trust in gymnastics ("The Lucky Ones") and urban sustainability in New York City ("Growing Justice"). Picture 2 Picture Productions is a team of journalists, photographers, researchers, and producers committed to illuminating pressing issues through documentary storytelling. Learn more at: www.picture2pictureproductions.com  Listen wherever you podcast. Patrons of Lyons Den Productions will receive the complete conversation in the coming weeks. For more information go to www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions. [0:00] Choosing where to focus a documentary story [3:58] The demographics of activist groups: Gen X is MIA [10:09] Moving forward with the site after the explosion [15:37] A website as a companion piece and a way to contextualize a story, and plans for the film [20:49] Pandemic film release experience and what’s next [26:46] Recognizing change back home after a Sunoco pipeline project and childhood memories [33:45] Inspirations for Unearth and importance of authenticity | Published on December 15, 2021 | Produced by Lyons Den Productions | Hosted by John C. Lyons | Music by Tony Grey | Support CINEMACTIVIST and Lyons Den Productions by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions
39:41
December 15, 2021
15 - We Are the Villains in this Story with Gaia's Tertius Kapp
During Unearth's festival run, one film title kept coming up in reviews: GAIA. This week, we speak with writer/producer, Tertius Kapp, about all things Gaia, indie film challenges and more. In Gaia, an injured forest ranger on a routine mission is saved by two off-the-grid survivalists. What is initially a welcome rescue grows more suspicious as the son and his renegade father reveal a cultish devotion to the forest. Find Gaia on HULU and rent on Amazon Video here in the USA. Or go to https://gaia.film Tertius references Pentti Linkola, Finnish deep ecologist in this conversation. Learn more at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentti_Linkola [00:00] Background, Partnerships and Kernels of the Idea [14:21] - Nature, Fungi and Filming in the Wild [21:57] - Filmmaking in South Africa, Film Initiative Africa, Funding and Distribution [33:46] - Themes in Gaia (spoilers) [42:38] - The Cast, filming on the Water and Product Placement [47:23] - The Script, VFX enhancements (spoilers for Gaia and Unearth), Writing for your Readers & Crew [59:09] - Production changes due to COVID, Compromises and releasing this story during a Pandemic [1:06:20] - The State of Horror, Eco-Horror / Eco-Terror and Future projects CINEMACTIVIST explores the films and filmmakers who use the art form to bring about political or social change, inform their audiences of important issues and perspectives, and whose goal is to ultimately make the world a better, more informed and empathetic place. | Published on December 8, 2021 | Produced by Lyons Den Productions | Hosted by John C. Lyons | Music by Tony Grey | Support CINEMACTIVIST and Lyons Den Productions by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions
01:15:20
December 08, 2021
14 - Filmmaking to Change the World: Joshua Pribanic & Melissa Troutman [Part 2]
This is Part 2 of our conversation with Public Herald investigative journalists, Joshua Pribanic and Melissa Troutman. Public Herald’s mission is two-fold: truth + creativity. Their work uses investigative journalism and art to empower readers and hold accountable those who put the public at risk. Public Herald has garnered millions of readers, over 2,000 Lifetime Members, published exclusive investigations that reshaped the narrative on fracking, been cited in more than 20 peer-reviewed studies, regularly cited in national coverage, is licensed to more than 100 U.S. colleges, led to probes of criminal conduct, and produced three feature-length documentaries with international distribution.   Our full conversion, which includes an additional 30 minutes of our conversation with Joshua and Melissa, will be made available in 2022 to our Patreon patrons. Support CINEMACTIVIST and Lyons Den Productions by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions [00:00] Submitting to Sundance, Mark Ruffalo, Festival censorship and Self Distribution Round 1 [11:15] Triple Divide Tour and early days of Tesla travel [20:42] Invisible Hand, the Rights of Nature, CELDF and approaching Indigineous groups [34:25] The Peacemaker Prophecy with a 30 sec. Tornado Intermission [40:49] The Importance of Music in telling a story, producing a film score during a pandemic and trying to license music for an independent film [48:27] Self Distribution Round 2 … in the virtual world created by the COVID-19 Pandemic CINEMACTIVIST explores the films and filmmakers who use the art form to bring about political or social change, inform their audiences of important issues and perspectives, and whose goal is to ultimately make the world a better, more informed and empathetic place. | Published on December 1, 2021 | Produced by Lyons Den Productions | Hosted by John C. Lyons | Music by Tony Grey | Support CINEMACTIVIST and Lyons Den Productions by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions
01:03:58
December 01, 2021
13 - The Beach House Deep Dive with Jeffrey A Brown
This week's guest is Jeffrey A Brown. Jeffrey wrote and directed his first feature, The Beach House, and has years of experience as location manager on  everything from The OA to Spider-Man 3. In The Beach House, a romantic getaway for two troubled college sweethearts turns into a struggle for survival when unexpected guests - and the surrounding environment - exhibit signs of a mysterious infection. Check it out on Shudder (or rent/own everywhere!) and jump into the deep end with us.  [0:00] Festivals and Shudder [5:21] Challenges of an 18-day shoot [9:05] Post-production & Practical Effects: Cheap, Good or Fast [19:32] Assembly Cuts, Locations & Story Roots [26:16] Genre Niches and Audience [36:19] Cosmic Horror and The Color Out of Space | Published on November 24, 2021 | Produced by Lyons Den Productions | Hosted by John C. Lyons | Music by Tony Grey | Support CINEMACTIVIST and Lyons Den Productions by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions
01:17:08
November 24, 2021
12 - And We're Back
... Next week! John here. Cinemactivist took a few months off while we re-launched the Eerie Horror Fest, completed a new short film, and more. We've got some news in this short episode as well and we officially return next week with new interviews. | Published on November 17, 2021 | Produced by Lyons Den Productions | Hosted by John C. Lyons | Music by Tony Grey | Support CINEMACTIVIST and Lyons Den Productions by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions
05:39
November 17, 2021
11 - How Dance and Film Joined Forces During a Pandemic
Under quarantine I got to create a short film, DEINCEPS MOTUS, with dancemakers and choreographers Angela DiFiore, Corinne Justine and Mark Santillano. In this episode, we reunite to talk about the Erie Dance Film Festival, the themes of our film and the process of working together for the first time, during a pandemic. Watch the Festival Cut of Deinceps Motus: https://vimeo.com/517946264 DEINCEPS MOTUS (2021) - 8 minutes Filmmaker: John C. Lyons Dancemakers: Angela DiFiore, Corinne Justine Artistic Statement: Our film title, Deinceps Motus, means “forward motion” when translated from Latin to English. This film includes themes of corporate greed, toxic masculinity, the patriarchy, and most importantly what the world could look like if we as a society do not respond to the climate crisis we are in. Our main character finds herself traveling from outdoor locations to seeking shelter in an indoor, dystopian environment, where she is joined by others who are inspired to unite in her journey. The group dance movement at the end of the film represents power in numbers and hope for the future. We are very proud of this film and enjoyed the collaboration immensely. Creating this film during the Covid 19 pandemic provided lots of challenges and opportunities that ultimately shaped all of the artistic choices that were made. Our team agrees that this opportunity to create a dance film during this time has been one of the silver linings of a particularly challenging time. Learn more about the Erie Dance Film Festival: www.eriedancefilmfestival.com | Published on August 11, 2021 | Produced by Lyons Den Productions | Hosted by John C. Lyons | Music by Tony Grey | Support CINEMACTIVIST and Lyons Den Productions by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions
43:21
August 11, 2021
10 - Unearth Home Release News and Grassroots Theatrical Debrief
Unearth is just days away from VOD & DVD release in the USA, UK and Ireland! In this episode, we give you all the information on where to see it, and how to help us maximize our release impact. We also recap our theatrical, drive-in and virtual cinema grassroots efforts and share our takeaways and tips for other filmmakers looking to do something similar with their projects -- hopefully not during a pandemic. US residents can find convenient links to Pre-order Unearth at www.unearthmovie.com  [0:39] All of our Unearth VOD, DVD and Blu-ray release news for USA, UK and Ireland residents [6:19] Check us out as guests on other podcasts [8:38] The ways you can help us today [11:50] Full breakdown of our Theatrical and Virtual Cinema grassroots run | Published on June 23, 2021 | Produced by Lyons Den Productions | Hosted by John C. Lyons | Music by Tony Grey | Support CINEMACTIVIST and Lyons Den Productions by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions
24:44
June 23, 2021
09 - How Monica Wyche Makes it Feel Like Summer Camp
In this episode, I got to catch-up with actress, Monica Wyche. Monica plays "Aubrey" in Unearth and you're sure to recognize her from TV Series like The Path, The Sinner and For Life. She was a joy both on screen and off. Check out her website at www.monicawyche.com.  [3:58] South Carolina to NYC [18:07] Collaboration with your Partner [20:26] Transitioning into TV [24:42] The On Location Experience [27:58] Does Where you Reside Matter for Actors? [41:19] Directing Stylesds on the Page to Life [39:37] Working with SAG [41:19] Directing styles [44:32] Writing [48:34] Memories of Unearth | Published on June 16, 2021 | Produced by Lyons Den Productions | Hosted by John C. Lyons | Music by Tony Grey | Support CINEMACTIVIST and Lyons Den Productions by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions
53:23
June 16, 2021
08 - How Dirty Industries Win the Messaging War with Eleanor Goldfield
In this episode, Part 1 of my conversation with filmmaker, podcaster, journalist, musician, all-around creative radical, Eleanor Goldfield. Eleanor directed "Hard Road of Hope", a documentary about coal miners and frackers in West Virginia who time and time again find themselves on the frontlines of labor issues and industrial repercussions. We also get into her process, the need for strong unions (now more than ever!) and how damaging industry is able to get entrenched in isolated communities in order to win the messaging battle. Patrons of Lyons Den Productions will receive the complete conversation in the coming weeks. For more information go to www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions. | Published on June 9, 2021 | Produced by Lyons Den Productions | Hosted by John C. Lyons | Music by Tony Grey | Support CINEMACTIVIST and Lyons Den Productions by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions
39:38
June 09, 2021
07 - How PJ Marshall Found Purpose on Stage and Screen
In this episode, we bring you Part 1 of our conversation with actor, PJ Marshall. Listen wherever you podcast. [00:00] Exercise gets you back to the Present [03:22] Anxiety and Self-doubt [08:35] Childhood [12:10] Early Inspirations  [17:10] NYC and LA [30:00] Navigating the Industry Patrons of Lyons Den Productions will receive the complete conversation in the coming weeks. For more information go to www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions.  | Published on May 19, 2021 | Produced by Lyons Den Productions | Hosted by John C. Lyons | Music by Tony Grey | Support CINEMACTIVIST and Lyons Den Productions by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions
42:20
May 19, 2021
06 - How Non-extractive Filmmaking can Strengthen Our Big Picture Bonds with Tara Eng
On the Fenceline: A Fight for Clean Air follows Philly Thrive, a South Philadelphia activist organization, as they mobilize to shut down all operations of Philadelphia Energy Solutions oil refinery. The largest on the east coast of the United States. In this episode, we bring you Part 1 of our conversation with filmmaker, Tara Eng. Tara is a former Working Films George F. Stoney Fellow and has produced and directed short documentaries about abusive trust in gymnastics ("The Lucky Ones") and urban sustainability in New York City ("Growing Justice").  Listen wherever you podcast. Patrons of Lyons Den Productions will receive the complete conversation in the coming weeks. For more information go to www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions. About Picture 2 Picture Productions: Picture 2 Picture Productions is a team of journalists, photographers, researchers, and producers committed to illuminating pressing issues through documentary storytelling.  Our process holds space to reflect often on our identities and biases, and how they might shape our decision-making and filmmaking approach. As outsiders, we are conscious of the history of oppressive power between white folks and communities of color, and we continue to seek resources about non-extractive filmmaking practices and environmental racism that might inform our own approach. While two of our directors are from the Greater Philadelphia area, their experiences of growing up in their respective communities do not parallel growing up in South Philly. Our four directors do not know the lived experiences of being Black in South Philly. When we traveled to Philadelphia to film, we knew we were showing up to listen. Engaging with the community without cameras was imperative to listening and learning. We joined Philly Thrive and our documentary participants for various fundraisers, actions, and slices of pizza in the park to learn about the organization’s history, goals, and membership so that we might understand the full scope of Thrive before constructing a story. During this time, we learned of our documentary participants’ neighborhood communities, and their rich family roots in the South Philly area, which gave us a different understanding of the urgency and stakes of shutting the refinery down for good. We believe it is important to center the voices and experiences of people of color and fenceline residents. People of color and fenceline residents bear the brunt of refinery pollution, and as their voices have been swept over for years, our goal is to amplify their calls for justice and the stories they shared. Throughout the making of the film, we continue to consult the community and our documentary participants about the representations in our film in order to maintain transparency, authenticity, and dignity. Although our praxis is nowhere near perfect, we are committed to taking an active role in decolonizing documentary. We welcome and continue to seek learning opportunities about non-extractive filmmaking practices and issues of power. For additional information about non-extractive filmmaking: Story Shift – Working Films Collective Wisdom – MIT Open Documentary Lab | Published on May 12, 2021 | Produced by Lyons Den Productions | Hosted by John C. Lyons | Music by Tony Grey | Support CINEMACTIVIST and Lyons Den Productions by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions
45:11
May 12, 2021
05 - How Laemmle Theatres Survived a Pandemic
As we announced in last week's episode, Unearth is releasing theatrically on Earth Day: Thursday, April 22, 2021. In this episode, we bring you our full conversation with Gregory Laemmle, the President of Laemmle Theatres in Los Angeles county. Greg saw our pitch email and Laemmle Theatres became the first venue in the USA & Canada to agree to program Unearth. Tickets available now! We talk about meeting the arthouse demand in Los Angeles, the importance of curation, pandemic shutdown, challenges, pivoting to virtual cinema and re-opening.  Listen wherever you podcast. Patrons of Lyons Den Productions will receive the complete conversation in the coming weeks. For more information go to www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions. About Laemmle Theatres (from their website): Laemmle, pronounced "LEM-lee", is synonymous with great independent, foreign, and art house cinema. In over 75 years of operation, we have been guided by our commitment to exhibit "quality film without regard to genre or provenance". Our theaters serve over a million film patrons each year from several locations in the greater Los Angeles region including West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pasadena,  North Hollywood, Claremont, and Santa Clarita. In addition to standard movie-going, Laemmle provides unique cinematic experiences such as one-night screenings, special events, premieres, and Academy qualifications. These events reflect Laemmle's commitment to being an artistic resource and gathering place for the entire Los Angeles community. In addition, our popular Sneaks Club gives over 60,000 cinephiles access to movies prior to their release, helping to create a buzz for an eclectic range of films that may rate high on artistry yet lack the marketing reach of big Hollywood releases. Laemmle is a scion of cinema's golden age. The company was established in 1938 by Kurt and Max Laemmle, nephews of legendary Universal Pictures founder Carl Laemmle (click here for an amazing video of Carl Laemmle and Albert Einstein! speaking in German together). The company is currently run by Robert Laemmle and his son, Greg Laemmle. | Published on April 14, 2021 | Produced by Lyons Den Productions | Hosted by John C. Lyons | Music by Tony Grey | Support CINEMACTIVIST and Lyons Den Productions by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions
41:28
April 14, 2021
04 - Unearth Theatrical Announcement
Our feature film, Unearth, will premiere theatrically, both in-person and in virtual cinema formats, on Earth Day: Thursday April 22nd, 2021! We're kicking off the theatrical opening in person, in Los Angeles, at Laemmle Theatres. How does an independent filmmaker approach independent cinemas? We share our method in this episode. Unearth Theatrical Schedule: http://www.unearthmovie.com/schedule.html Laemmle Theatres Unearth Page: https://www.laemmle.com/film/unearth  | Published on April 7, 2021 | Produced by Lyons Den Productions | Hosted by John C. Lyons | Music by Tony Grey | Support CINEMACTIVIST and Lyons Den Productions by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions
16:35
April 07, 2021
03 - How Adrienne Barbeau Found a Way to Earn a Living Doing What She Loved
When we heard actor/author, Adrienne Barbeau, was interested in being in our upcoming feature film, Unearth, we were over the moon. Her involvement, passion for the material, and efforts as a collaborator took our production to the next level. In this episode, we bring you Part 1 of our conversation. Listen wherever you podcast. Patrons of Lyons Den Productions will receive the complete conversation in the coming weeks. For more information go to www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions. Adrienne began her career in 1963. She's travelled the world many times over for the stage and screen. She received a Tony nomination and a Theatre World Award for her creation of Rizzo in the original Broadway production of Grease. She played the role of Bea Arthur’s daughter, Carol, in the hit series Maude. She has become a best selling author, a recording artist, and the star of numerous features, films for television, concert performances, musicals and plays. Adrienne has a Golden Globe nomination, over 450 screen performances to her credit and has starred in over 25 theatrical productions. Movie fans know her best for her performances in The Fog, Escape From New York, Creepshow, Swamp Thing, Back to School, Cannonball Run and the Academy Award winning, ARGO. She starred as Ruthie, the Snake Dancer, on HBO’s fascinating series, Carnivale. She was Oswald’s mom on Drew Carey, Victoria Grayson’s mom on Revenge, and Venus’s mom on Sons of Anarchy. Daytime viewers know her as Suzanne Stanwyck on General Hospital. Her recent television appearances include Criminal Minds, Grey’s Anatomy, and the Netflix series A.J. and the Queen, starring RuPaul. Off camera, Adrienne is the voice of Catwoman in Batman, The Animated Series, Ms. Simone in Scooby-Do on Zombie Island, and Scooter’s Mom in the 3-D animated film Fly Me To The Moon. She can be heard in a myriad of video games: God of War, Halo 4, and Fallout 76 among them. Adrienne is the author of four books: the best-selling memoir There Are Worse Things I Could Do; the comedic thriller Vampyres of Hollywood and its comedy romance sequels, Love Bites and Make Me Dead.   [2:43] - Getting into writing, and (creatively) writing what you know [9:38] - Screenplay writing and revisiting grease [18:18] - Becoming a performer [26:42] - Achieving the dream goal [29:22] - Advice for entertainment industry newcomers [36:02] - Collaboration between actor, director and writer [41:15] - Working with John Carpenter on The Fog [42:51] - Adrienne’s writing process [50:54] - Always reading [56:55] - Politics | Published on March 31, 2021 | Produced by Lyons Den Productions | Hosted by John C. Lyons | Music by Tony Grey | Support CINEMACTIVIST and Lyons Den Productions by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions
58:14
March 31, 2021
02 - How to Survive the Current Independent Film Landscape with Clapboard Jungle's Justin McConnell
We met filmmaker Justin McConnell, virtually, last year in the Discord filmmaker community space at the Fantasia International Film Festival, where our new feature film, Unearth, had its world premiere and his new documentary, Clapboard Jungle was in the middle of its festival run. Clapboard Jungle follows five years in the life and career of an independent filmmaker (Justin McConnell), supported by dozens of interviews, posing one question: how does an indie filmmaker survive in the current film business? We feel the documentary is required viewing for creatives, especially filmmakers. In this episode, we bring you our complete conversation. Listen wherever you podcast.   [00:00] Justin McConnell and his film industry background [11:36] The Horror genre [15:02] Recent changes in the film industry [24:05] Does the cream rise to the top? [30:58] How do you handle rejection? Was making Clapboard Jungle therapeutic? [42:44] Ideas and Writing alone or with a Partner [51:54] Considering your audience [57: 22] Landing Interviews and Leveraging connections [1:05:39] Raising Money, Benefits of a Sales Agent early in the process [1:16:25] Watch out for Predators [1:21:09] What to look for in a Sales Agent or Distributor and Contract tips CINEMACTIVIST explores the films and filmmakers who use the art form to bring about political or social change, inform their audiences of important issues and perspectives, and whose goal is to ultimately make the world a better, more informed and empathetic place. | Published on March 24, 2021 | Produced by Lyons Den Productions | Hosted by John C. Lyons | Music by Tony Grey | Support CINEMACTIVIST and Lyons Den Productions by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions
01:30:10
March 24, 2021
01 - How Joshua Pribanic and Melissa Troutman Became Investigative Fracking Journalists
Our new feature film, Unearth, would not exist without the tireless work of Public Herald. Co-founded in 2011 by investigative journalists Joshua Pribanic and Melissa Troutman, Public Herald’s mission is two-fold: truth + creativity. Their work uses investigative journalism and art to empower readers and hold accountable those who put the public at risk. Public Herald has garnered millions of readers, over 2,000 Lifetime Members, published exclusive investigations that reshaped the narrative on fracking, been cited in more than 20 peer-reviewed studies, regularly cited in national coverage, is licensed to more than 100 U.S. colleges, led to probes of criminal conduct, and produced three feature-length documentaries with international distribution. This is Part 1/3 of our conversation. Listen wherever you podcast. [00:00] Meet Joshua and Melissa [15:52] Creating Public Herald and uncovering widespread water contamination cover-ups in Pennsylvania [24:48] 30 sec. Intermission [25:24] Making their first documentary feature: Triple Divide [41:10] Collaboration CINEMACTIVIST explores the films and filmmakers who use the art form to bring about political or social change, inform their audiences of important issues and perspectives, and whose goal is to ultimately make the world a better, more informed and empathetic place. | Published on March 18, 2021 | Produced by Lyons Den Productions | Hosted by John C. Lyons | Music by Tony Grey | Support CINEMACTIVIST and Lyons Den Productions by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions
51:47
March 18, 2021
00 - The 5 W's of CINEMACTIVIST
Cinema is the venue for exhibiting a motion picture or the art or technique of making a motion picture. Activism consists of efforts to promote, impede, direct, or intervene in social, political, economic, or environmental reform with the desire to make changes in society toward a perceived greater good. CINEMACTIVIST is a podcast for anyone who appreciates the power of film and craves context.  On CINEMACTIVIST, we will be exploring the films and filmmakers who use the art form to bring about political or social change, inform their audiences of important issues and perspectives, and whose goal is to ultimately make the world a better, more informed and empathetic place. There’s a story behind every film, and on CINEMACTIVIST we will tell a number of those stories. Stories from our own films. And with those films and series that inspire us in their courage to swing for the fences, hold a mirror up to its audience or the storytellers themselves. CINEMACTIVIST will also serve as the companion piece to everything we’ve done at Lyons Den Productions, and do, going forward. We’ll answer that question every filmmakers hears the moment they complete a project: “What are you working on next?” In fact, we’ll not only answer that question, but bring you along through the motivations and process of creating, and reflecting. | Published on March 17, 2021 | Produced by Lyons Den Productions | Hosted by John C. Lyons | Music by Tony Grey |  Support CINEMACTIVIST and Lyons Den Productions by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/lyonsdenproductions
09:40
March 16, 2021