Monday, May 6, 2013

Step 9 World Premier

Fair Port Pictures is proud to announce the premier of our 2nd short film, the dramatic Step 9: - a film about a former drug addict who makes one last attempt to make amends with his ex-wife by letting her in on a secret he's been keeping from her for years. It is never too late to make amends...

Friday, May 10th 7:00PM - Memorial Art Gallery - 500 University Ave, Rochester NY
We are grateful to the organizers of the Alternative Music Film Society for accepting our film to open up the show. The AMFS has partnered with the Memorial Art Gallery of Rochester, NY and the Rochester Movie Makers to attract a larger and younger crowd to the Gallery as well as create a new venue to showcase both local independent film as well as hard to find and otherwise obscure music-based documentaries, films and videos. They also plan music performances and other social gatherings as part of future events which will take place every month at the Memorial Art Gallery.

View the trailer:

Step 9: (Official Trailer) from Scott W. Fitzgerald (FPP) on Vimeo.

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Little Tease

We are very proud to have cut together a short teaser, using some ingenuity considering this film is over a month from the first scene being shot. Danny Hoskins and Kelly Fitzgerald were gracious enough to do a voice recording and quick shoot so we can give you a glimpse of what is to come. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Rising Stars Volume I: Jesse Conklin

I first met Jesse on the set of Victims of an Earthquake in Some Country or Other, a short film written and directed by Wayne Coughlin. It was my first time working on any kind of 'real' narrative production. I had directed countless corporate videos and other genres of motion foolishness, but here I was with actors! I think being on set and working on this project is what got me motivated to finally get off my keister and get something done.
Not your typical evil German.
Jesse became one of the defacto actors in short films happening in the Rochester area. When I was ready to cast for my first, Jesse immediately came to mind. He did a wonderful job for me and you can see his performance here. So in attempt to keep writing when I am not really writing (huh?) I decided to make some noise in the blogosphere. Hence, The Fold. Under the guise of reputable journalism, I took Jesse out for an imaginary cup of coffee and E-Mailed him my questions for this interview.

<-----------THIS GUY IS A NICE GUY

I am not joking. I know when he is famous he will claim that this was an unauthorized bio-interview by some hack in Fairport, but right now he is really approachable. Actually, I jest. If there is one thing I have learned, and I have learned many things, but one thing I am certain of is that Jesse Conklin is the real deal. He'd give you the shirt off of his back - then quietly reach into a secret pocket and don his backup shirt. Did I mention he is thorough too?

Recall your fist acting experience for us.

I always joke that I got my start in theater as a child in church, participating in several “David & Goliath” plays over the years.  For some reason, I was always cast as Jesse.  One time I put my foot down and told them I wanted to play a different role.  So that year I was cast as a Philistine soldier AND Jesse.

But seriously, I’ve only been acting since 2005 when I saw an ad in the paper for “Beauty and the Beast” auditions.
I came close to landing the role of Gaston, but I think my complete lack of experience understandably made the director a bit nervous.  I ended up getting an ensemble role.  My very next role after that was Macbeth, so that was kind of a gigantic leap.

Wow, Macbeth!

JC: I never realized until I did that play how approachable Shakespeare is.  Our local theater company performs a Shakespeare play every year, and I look forward to it every time.  I enjoy the challenge of presenting a product to the audience that they will find entertaining and relevant to the present day.   Acting is all about communication.  I think that if the audience finds Shakespeare dull or difficult to understand, then I’m doing something wrong as an actor.

Who would you credit as a mentor in the craft?

It’s difficult to pinpoint just one person.  One of the things I love most about acting is that you’re collaborating with a group of creative people to make this thing that is beautiful, inspirational, thought provoking, etc.  In that regard, every person I’ve ever worked with has contributed immensely to my growth.

A couple people still specifically come to mind.  I owe a lot to Lynda Hodgins, who directed “Beauty and the Beast.”  Ever since, she has kept her eyes open and sent me audition notices for area productions she thought I’d be a good fit for, and I’ve had the pleasure of working with her several times since, both as a director and a fellow actor.  I also have to mention Jane Burk, who directs the annual Shakespeare production.  I’m still not sure what possessed her to cast a completely untested actor in the title role of Macbeth, but I’m grateful that she took that chance on me. We’ve worked together many times since, and it’s always a pleasure.  I most recently took an acting class with Frank Rossi in Buffalo, which has been instrumental in helping me reach further into myself to reach my next goals in acting.  I look forward to working more with Frank in the future.

Two roles, most fun and most challenging...go!


They’re ALL fun!  But if I have to choose, a couple of my film roles come to mind.  I loved playing the bank robbing clown in the short “Unmasked,” which we filmed for RMM’s 2011 72 hour film competition.  The whole concept was so offbeat I just loved the whole project.  And I think it turned out exceptionally well, especially considering the extreme time crunch we were working under.  The other role is Klaus, in “Disingenous,” which some local film guy wrote and directed and asked me to be part of!  Not sure why, but it’s usually more fun to play bad guys.  This role was a bad guy with an awesome twist at the end.  You just have to see the movie.  BTW—have you heard anything about that film being released yet?

Challenging? A couple roles come to mind, for completely different reasons.  I have to say that Macbeth was one of my most challenging roles, simply from the standpoint that I’d never done anything like that before.  I went from being a dancing knife to being a murderous king with at ton of lines. Delving into that character was a fascinating study for me, and probably one of the best experiences I could have had to learn what acting is all about.

The other role is more recent, but every bit as challenging. Last year (2010) I had the privilege of portraying Mitch Albom in “Tuesdays With Morrie.”  I auditioned, not really expecting to land the role because it’s a two-man play, so what were the odds?  When I got the call that I’d been cast, it was somewhat terrifying.  I’d never done a two-man play before—that’s a ton of responsibility!  The gentleman who played Morrie is a prince of a man, and he made it so natural to play off him that every performance was fresh and didn’t feel like work at all.

Well, that was just a glimpse. Jesse tells me that he has been cast in Mudjumper which will shoot in Canandaigua, NY early 2012, directed by Oscar-Winning Actor Adrien Brody. Mr. Brody's directorial debut.

Be on the look out for volume II of this series, where I make an attempt to get personal with some of the rising stars in film and theater.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Movie Scenes that Made Me

Each filmmaker has a style. Even the real hack-jobs still have an influence they can give props to. I like to give props where said props are due - though the 'examples' of my influences may be obscure. Indie-film buffs will really put Spielberg down for his happy ending story formula, but that man can make an entertaining film. Ed Wood also made entertaining films, but in a totally different way. The filmmakers I have met and have also learned about can usually attribute one film or filmmaker that really changed their lives. I find it difficult to name just one picture that drove a bolt of lightning through my soul - so I figured I would just drop a few clips of some films that I believe have influenced me in some way. Here are the first two, there will be  more to come.

(In no particular order)

JAWS, [1975] - Stephen Spielberg, Director
Roy Scheider / Richard Dreyfuss / Robert Shaw
Based on the Book by Peter Benchley
Screenplay by Peter Benchley and Carl Gottlieb

Well, this one is first because it is my #1 all-time-favorite film. This film really defined Spielberg as a director and launched his career. Interestingly enough, it was thought by many to end his career just as it was about to get off the ground. NOT!

There are plenty of great scenes and lines in this movie. Like many, I will have to put up Capt. Quint's [Robert Shaw] infamous USS Indianapolis speech. Rumor has it Shaw was considerably inebriated when they shot this. It is also a known fact that this speech was dramatic improvisation at the very finest. Robert Shaw was kind of a tough character to work with, at least if you're Richard Dreyfuss, but he was one serious talent. It really is tough for me to say that THIS scene is my favorite. I like it because of the ambiance of the Orca and the impending doom of the morning - but the speech is good too.

                                                                       So..."here's to swimming with bow-legged women".

The Crucible [1996] - Nicholas Hytner, Director
Daniel Day-Lewis / Winona Ryder / Paul Scofield
Based on the play by Arthur Miller
Screenplay by Arthur Miller

Some folks don't dig period pieces, for the most part I do. The subject of this film is the Salem Witch Trials of the 17th century in Massachusetts Bay Colony, Town of Danvers. The Puritans were real buckle-heads and ran away from England because they were made fun of for not drinking and smoking - or dancing or anything. They read the bible and tried not to die in this difficult new world. They were also superstitious as hell and because their scientific knowledge was based on the supernatural and not the factual - they pretty much believed anything. 'Spectral Evidence' was not only admissible in court, it was highly regarded as fact. So the 'his word against mine' pretty much was rule of thumb. Arthur Miller wrote this during the Red Scare of the 1950's, when Senator Joseph McCarthy decided to go on a rampage and smoke out all of the communists. These trials were a miscarriage of justice in so many ways, but just like the witch trials of 1690's Salem, once accused - you had to defend yourself and prove yourself innocent, as opposed to the quite accepted method of 'innocent until proven guilty'. This ruined the lives of many prominent people including these guys.

OK - so history aside, and I love me some history - this film is filled with passion. Daniel Day-Lewis is one hell of an actor. Once you work past ye olde english way of speech - you can really feel the anguish that these people must have felt. Good God-fearing and skeptical folks who were accused of being witches that had no defense against some girls who let the power get to their little heads. Watch as his character, John Proctor, exclaims why he cannot allow his 'confession' to be displayed. This is probably my favorite scene in any film ever made (so far).

You cannot beat the froth and grit, he really sells it.

Be on the look out for the next installment of this article and I will drop some more clips on you.