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Highlighting the work, ambitions, and stories of artists near and far!



We are excited to present not one, but two featured artists this month on Artistic Spotlight Corner! Let us welcome, the creative and talented duo that is, Matt and Jackie Hahn! Matt is a filmmaker and Jackie is an actress with a vast knowledge for technical theater, and together, they make one very inspiring artistic couple!

I first met the Hahns a few years ago through Axelrod Performing Arts Center, as they both were working there and my brother was acting in the theater’s productions. Last summer, I worked more closely with the two as Key Production Assistant on their proof of concept film, Generation Hack- a film surrounding the world of bio-hacking that follows the story of a brave young woman named Hilt (played by Angel Pean). For the trailer and more, check out their social media below! 


After working with this kind-hearted and skilled couple, I felt that I had learned so much, not only about filmmaking, but also about their relationship as two working artists who are also married. This brings us to the present, where I became curious to know more about the Hahns and how they balance it all, as they continue to create fantastic content. 


I began our interview by asking the couple about how they met, as I was wondering if their artistry was something that had brought them together. I learned that both Matt and Jackie were attending the same school, Five Towns College in Dix Hills, NY, when they met. Their first encounter was at a "back to school college party" for which Jackie added that she attended late "because [she] had rehearsal," as is the norm for many performing arts students. What came next seemed like a "typical 90's movie moment," as Matt described: "The door opened, and here's this red-headed girl just coming up the stairs." Jackie added that she had "gravitated toward him" and they talked for hours and the rest seemed to fall into place. While still in school, they would watch the Sci-fi TV series Heros together and then have in-depth discussions about the episodes. Matt would usually record the episodes for Jackie since rehearsal took up a lot of her time. He was studying Filmmaking, and she was receiving a BFA in Theater Arts, leading them to eventually collaborate on films throughout their college years and up until this very day and beyond! 


Today, you can find the Hahns working on many exciting projects including Generation Hack which was created and directed by Matt, with Jackie as Assistant Director. They also run a YouTube series, "Here are the Hahns," and much more. These days, one can also find the Hahns working on their most exciting collaboration yet, raising their new baby boy! Now that their family has grown, the couple had much to contribute on how they balance their art with their home life. When they first had the baby, maternity leave gave them room for creative time, along with baby time. Not long after, quarantine hit, and Jackie explained that they both realized they now "have all this amazing time" to spare. They decided to fill it with making videos and enhancing their current work, as well as spending all this extra time with their newborn. In short, they answered this question of balance, by sharing that they schedule much of what they do around taking care of their son and also working remotely (which Jackie is now doing). This actually leaves for a lot more spontaneity, especially with the baby, they film what and when they can. I admire their ability to find this balance and their dedication to continuing their passions! I think a great piece of advice can be taken away from this as well, in that there is always room and time for what you love if you actively put the effort in to make space for it.


Considering that both Jackie and Matt are artists, I asked if they ever find that their ideas clash with their partners. To this, they answered that they don't necessarily have differing ideas, but sometimes contradicting ways of executing them. Jackie elaborated by saying that often, they are "both so passionate" about the projects they are producing, that they "butt heads about ways that things should be handled or said...coming from a place of wanting it to be the best that it can be." Though this can happen, the Hahns are great communicators, and they use this skill to work through any opposing viewpoints about the details of what they are involved in. They expressed that they never let anything like this compromise their relationship, and they always make sure to talk things out thoroughly when need be. This stands as one of the reasons why I see them as such a superb and creative power duo! They have a good work flow and they both understand and know what the other is looking for. This mutual understanding comes from their multitude of skills that they acquired through school, and simply through knowing and working with one another. One important note that Jackie shared, was that they always keep it professional, to the point where people don't always realize they are married. A big reason for this is that when on set, they like to establish an "one-door policy" where anyone can come to either of them for anything, knowing that what is said can be in confidence. I can say from experience that what the Hahns bring-forth to set, makes for an efficient and fun workplace for everyone involved. As Jackie put it, it is their goal to "produce a product that we can all be proud of," and for that I am incredibly thankful to be a part of a collaboration such as Generation Hack. 


Another question that I posed for the team, prompted them to discuss what they enjoy most about being married to a person who shares a similar appreciation for the arts. Both Matt and Jackie agreed that a valuable quality of their relationship, is having the opportunity to do something creative and have your partner understand you and the artistic process. The ability to go off into your head and then get instant feedback from your significant other, is something that Matt expressed his appreciation for. He continued on by saying that him and Jackie love practically all of the same things. Contrary to common belief, that opposites attract, the Hahns find that actually having someone who can deeply relate to your interests, is much more fulfilling.


M: "This is the coolest part about it...because we are creative together...we discuss a lot of stuff."  

Just like in their college years, the Hahns love to enjoy and then analyze different forms of entertainment together (movies, tv, etc.) which makes for great "in-depth discussion[s]." And that is the beauty of having common interests with your partner, it allows each of you to bounce ideas off of one another and to receive feedback from a place of full understanding and appreciation. 


Now on the contrary, I wanted to know if there were any passions that both Matt and Jackie dabble in separately from one another. It turns out that Jackie has always had a strong love and dedication for singing, acting, dancing, and technical theater, which makes her as well-versed and talented as she is. Matt, on the other hand, has followed a more winding path in that although filmmaking is his most prominent focus, he also enjoys many other passions such as writing (screenplays, books, comics, etc.), drawing, video games, and more. "If it's something creative, I've tried it," shared Matt. He also said that right now, he is really interested in writing, as you can do it from practically anywhere, and the two would like to travel and see the world. It also gives you the freedom to create on your own, although Matt added that what he truly loves about filmmaking is that it is a collaborative effort. Another addition to Matt's repertoire, includes video game movie recaps, where he takes the storyline of a video game and edits the content into a film. Therefore viewers can watch the story play out without interruptions from the game itself. His most recent work was inspired by and centers around the video game The Last of Us. For Matt, "it helps to have all these different [creative] areas to go down." Both Jackie and Matt seem to pool their brilliant artistic energy in different ways, and together it works really well for them. 

 J: "[Matt] is normally the brains of the operation and I'm the arms and the legs." (Although, Here are the Hahns was Jackie's idea, for which she comes up with plot ideas and scripts for--Check out the series on their YouTube!) 


Towards the end of our conversation, we covered some insightful advice for young artists and for those sharing their work with another creative soul. Jackie encouraged that us young artists "absorb everything" and remember that "the rejection you may get isn't the end of the world." She kindly added, "be open to anything, learn all you can, and no matter what you learn, retain it" because you never know where you'll end up or what skills will come in handy in your career. It is important to try and not "always anticipate being on screen, the director...the top head honcho right away," because things take time and every experience is a chance to learn something new. I already began absorbing everything, as Jackie suggested, while she shared such great advice for which I will carry with me throughout my career and life in general. In an effort to continue inspiring young artists, Matt added "if you love it, never stop doing it...keep moving forward...don't let your life get in the way" of what drives you, because even if it is just a hobby, and not your career, never give it up completely. Matt also shared some advice about dealing with the continuous flow of creative ideas that many artists "suffer" with, including myself. This nonstop flow of ideas can be overwhelming and leave you feeling as if you don't have enough time, energy, or resources to possibly embark on every eye-catching idea that takes precedence in your mind. These were his thoughts on the matter, for which I find very helpful: 


M: "It's the most complicated thing about being a creative person." (You are so often left with unfinished work). "If you have something that pops into your head, ride on it a little bit...go through that idea, flesh out what's on your mind... and why it's interested you at this moment...[because] you may lose out on something important about that idea [if you don't] long as you're always being creative in some way, something will stick...eventually you will complete something."


The final set of advice that Matt and Jackie offered was tailored towards those participating in creative collaborations. In all group projects, everyone is going to have "ideas, opinions, their own creative [thoughts that] you must be open to," said Matt. Which means that sometimes we have to take an idea that we may not like into consideration. This is where those vital communication skills come into play that the Hahns possess. Both Jackie and Matt agreed that each person should have a voice no matter what position they hold on set, and we must remember that not everyone is going to want to be in the position we want them in. When it comes to taking ideas, “hear someone out, it doesn't have to change your mind, but it can change the way you look at things or the way you look at a certain person" and how they process things. As a director, Matt is open to suggestions from those he is working with as everyone is involved in making the movie happen. Matt mentioned that if the sound guy has an idea, he welcomes it, and creates a space that is conducive for group creativity, even though he fills the position that has final say. A great director "surrounds themselves with intellectual people that can make a great product," it's not all you. Jackie added that this mindset not only helps you be a good filmmaker, but also a good person, and it allows you to learn new things about people and the way they think. In correlation to this, they sweetly added that if their little boy (only a few months old) has an idea, they listen and consider it! Jackie continued on expressing that talking things out, in both the professional and personal realm, is key to having a happy and healthy relationship with someone. "Never go to bed angry," she added. "You can't just expect people to know what you're thinking...[the] goal is [to] always be on the same page." Which is why that although the Hahns sometimes differ on the minor details of a project, they are still able to find middle ground just by discussing it. Matt chimed in with one other piece of helpful guidance: if you agree to something, show up and pull through. So often, people commit to things with one foot in the door, and to sustain a healthy collaboration, whether it be with a significant other or not, make sure you can be there for the long haul. As Jackie said earlier, even if you aren't in your dream role, you can still learn so much, so stick with it. Everything will happen when it is meant to happen! 


Speaking with the Hahn family was such a wonderful way to kick off my weekend. I loved everything they had to share and I am extremely excited to introduce them as our first artistic couple. I hope you all enjoyed reading about our conversation just as much as I enjoyed writing about it. Follow the Hahn family on all social media to see what new and exciting things they are up to next! Thank you for tuning in to this weeks Artist Spotlight, and subscribe to stay up-to-date with all the fun!


~Victoria Francesca 


Social Media: 

YouTube: Hahn Films 

Instagram: @hahnfilms

Twitter: @hahnfilms

Facebook: ⬇️

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This month on Artist Spotlight Corner, we are honored to welcome the multi-talented, award-winning artist, Merli V. Guerra! As a choreographer, filmmaker, graphic designer, writer, and all around kind soul, Merli shared with us some background on her latest work, as well as how she balances her many skills, and much more!

It was a joy to spend Friday morning talking to Merli, who I have worked with in the past as a dancer in her work, The Hostess Diaries, for the Liberty Hall Dance Festival and for Global Water Dances. Together, we discussed some of our common artistic interests, for which Merli went on to share how she got started in all four areas of her expertise.


Merli has always found a love in dance, but it wasn't until her senior year of college, did she experience filmmaking for the first time. Nearing the end of a film class she attended, she was assigned a final project, that would soon lead to Synchronic, a film that played with choreography and video projection. As a first-time filmmaker, Merli took home Best of Festival, Best of Mount Holyoke, and Best Dance-on-Camera at the Five College Film Festival in 2009. Merli noted that interestingly enough, dancers often perceive her films as "abstract" and less choreography based, when filmmakers on the other hand, usually note that her films are most "definitely dance." This can often make it tricky when submitting to festivals, though this has not stopped Merli from winning many awards in both film and dance-cinema festivals. For a full list of awards and achievements, check out Merli's website, which will be linked below this post! 


A selection of Merli's most recent films include, The One I Keep and "For you, to mentor me." Having seen both films, I can personally say that Merli V. Guerra's storytelling skills through camera and movement are limitless and extremely moving- "For you, to mentor me,” had me in tears! This specific piece was originally made for the stage, performed by "incredible longtime company members" Melenie Diarbekirian and Jessica Chang, of Merli's Luminarium Dance Company. Throughout the film, and through the choreography, we are captivated by the complicated, yet loving world of motherhood and mother-daughter relationships that continues on cyclically through generations. The heart of this film lies in "the parallels of a young girl wanting a certain level of independence and a mother not necessarily ready to let go," which is a natural situation that I believe almost all mothers and daughters go through. I have experienced this with my own mother at times, leading to my emotional reaction whilst watching the film. In this regard, Merli added that she doesn't necessarily see the film as a narrative, although it did receive Best Narrative, as well as Best Choreography in the SounDance Film Festival - Spain & Argentina 2020. She explained that it is more of an endless story that will continue on- which paired nicely with a scene on a small boardwalk in the middle of marshy land, for which Merli found to be "so gorgeous" and "felt like the journey of time." This is Merli's most recent piece, for which she filmed, choreographed, edited, and produced with an exciting real life family. Merli noted that although some of the lineage was off in the film, almost all of the talent were family, including performer Wendy Lawson and her two daughters Kristen Antonio and Jessica Lawson. I found this to be so touching and a sweet real-life backstory. 


As we continued talking about "For you, to mentor me," Merli shared that one of the most beautiful and unexpected parts of the project, was when she "found out that both of the daughters were now pregnant." She added that this was such a "serendipitous...coincidence to have all these pregnancies" during this piece on motherhood. After lots of travel between New Jersey, Connecticut and Boston Massachusetts, this wonderful work was completed, and as Merli puts it, it was a "labor of love," and amazingly enough, a "labor of actual labor." One of my favorite things about talking to Merli, is that she is always so passionate when she discusses her art. You can tell that everything she says comes so honestly from her soul, and this clearly shines through in her work. 


As a filmmaker and dancer/choreographer, Merli "realized that one of the things [she] loved about [dance], is that when you work with live're never going to perform the same thing's always going to be a little bit different.” Often in dance "there are these moments that are so beautiful that [she] wished the audience could see again and again.” One of the things Merli appreciates about film is that “you can capture" those lovely, but fleeting moments, showing that “you actually can” enjoy them over and over.


Along with filmmaking and dance, one can also find Merli creating beautiful graphic design for periodicals such as Art New England Magazine, or writing artistic performance reviews such as her work for Fjord Review. Merli's journey into the field of graphic design began in a rather unexpected, but fun way. She began making personalized Yu-Gi-Oh! cards for her brother, and has been impressively self-taught ever since. As for writing, she expresses her gratitude toward her mother, who as an English major, passed on her knowledge and appreciation for the written word. Starting out with a small blog page documenting her creative process and reviewing performances, Merli quickly found herself working for The Arts Fuse in Boston, which later led to recognition and a job through the Fjord Review and Dance International Magazine. Merli noted an important point when it comes to writing reviews. She tries her best not to simply summarize the performance, but rather "get into the meat of it" and help readers truly "learn something about it beyond 'this happened and then that happened.'" She added that she also would like her words to "to do something for the person who created the work as well,” in both forms of great praise and honest constructive criticism. Interestingly enough, Merli's writing shows up in her film, The One I Keep, as tiny slips of paper fly upward surrounding performer Jessica Chang. Being the detail-orientated and dedicated artist that she is, Merli had cut up pages and pages of her old writing to use as the flying paper in the film. Working with Merli is like working with a choreographer, costume designer, set designer and prop master all in one. She is utterly dedicated and hands on in every step of her work, and as an artist, this is something that inspires me. 


In the midst of discussing the copious skills for which Merli V. Guerra possesses, I was curious as to how she finds balance amongst the overwhelming, and allows herself to be present through each project- something I often struggle with myself. To this, she jokingly responded, "I don't, next question." She then continued on more seriously and elaborated, "you're always going to feel that [way]…it’s not balanced." Though this may be the unfortunate truth for many artists, Merli followed this by confessing that all of her artistic avenues are part of who she truly is, each holding a special place in her heart, and she is "pouring 100 percent" into each of them. So she encouraged that when people come along and question when we will "choose one" of our many artistic loves, to not let this pressure us into giving up. As Merli explained, these artistic loves make up who we are as artists and human beings, and it is important not to let the weight of it all force us to lose sight of that. In response to all of this, Merli had actually created a performance called Phoenixial Cycle, which takes you through the life of the phoenix, paralleled with the life of a person who takes on so much and enjoys it all, but is also drowning in the exhaustion from their many projects and passions. This work spoke to me so deeply, as if a part of my soul had opened up on stage before my very eyes. I also found it somewhat comical that in response to this overwhelming pressure that comes from having many projects happening at once, Merli created and added another project to her agenda to express such difficulties. I am extremely grateful that Merli shared such wonderful insight about this common inner conflict during our interview, and through her moving choreography in Phoenixial Cycle. 


As we come to a close, I must reflect on two more points of topic for which Merli and I had covered. First, an inspiration herself, Merli let us in on some of her biggest inspirations, including Cindy Sherman and particularly her famous work Untitled Film Stills, as well as Abelardo Morell and his stunning work with the Camera Obscura (which may just be my newest obsession, it is so beautiful). "Identity is based on our surroundings," as Merli put it when describing why Morell's work really resonates with her. I asked Merli if she could end our meeting with her "best advice" for aspiring artists and young makers like myself, for which she in-turn replied with a quote from another artist she looks up to. "If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit" -Banksy 


Speaking with Merli was the highlight of my week, and I am incredibly thankful for the knowledge and kindness she has shared with me both in our interview and throughout my college experience. I hope you enjoyed this weeks Artist Spotlight and be sure to check out Merli's social media and website below to stay up-to-date with her latest work, you will not be disappointed! 

~ Victoria Francesca 

Social Media: 

Instagram: @luminariumdance & @merliguerra

Facebook: Luminarium Dance

YouTube: Luminarium Dance

Photo Credits in Order of Appearance: 

Merli V. Guerra. Photo: Somerby Jones. (2) -- The One I Keep. Film still: Merli V. Guerra, 2013. -- For you, to mentor me. Film still: Merli V. Guerra, 2019. (2) -- Phoenixial Cycle. Merli V. Guerra, 2015. Photo: Caitlin O'Brien. 

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Let us welcome Steven Lance to Artist Spotlight Corner! As an Actor, Sound Designer, Author, friend, and my mentor, Steven Lance walked me through the many highlights of his intriguing career up until now, discussed the exciting things that are currently in the works, and shared some moving words of wisdom that are sure to inspire!

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing the multi-talented Steven Lance, who is not only an amazing mentor, but a great friend too. Steve and I first met during the summer of  2018 at an event for the 15th Annual Garden State Film Festival, where we talked and instantly clicked. We became immediate colleagues, and not long after, we became friends.

Since then, Steve has taken me under his wing and helped me create my very first voice acting demo! Together, we have worked on the TV show pilot called "Arthur Futuro" and even a film for which I produced, "Hunting in the Past."

Steven Lance has remarkably been in show business since the young age of two (see photo gallery above), and expresses a great love for all that he does. From that point on, Steve has worked in radio, hosted “Star Trek” conventions and film festivals, written books, and has landed acting roles in films such as Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) and Woody Allen's autobiographical comedy, Stardust Memories (1980).

Although it is true that Steve did appear on-camera as the emergency room intern in Woody Allen’s Stardust Memories, he more often prefers to work invisibly as a voice artist, and as he did under the heavy prosthetic makeup for his role as a Rhaandarite crewman in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and as the “Man on Couch” in Sean Hogan’s music video, "Dream Staycation," a  tribute to Canada's health care workers, during the Coronavirus pandemic. As we began our conversation, Steve walked me through his career, telling wonderful stories and sharing much that he has experienced and learned. He also expressed great excitement for his current work as a sound designer, and all that he is looking forward to.

Considering his range of experience, I asked him what his workflow looks like. He used the project "Arthur Futuro" (a Great Mustachio Filmworks production) as an example. Steve produced the sound design for this TV pilot, but originally was brought on as a voice artist as the voice of the school’s Public Address Announcer. When starting out the sound design process, he began, of course, by reading the script. Steve said that, "First I read the script. Then I read it again . . . and then I read it again." This gives him a chance to thoroughly understand the story. He also mentioned that he always sets aside enough time to read the story all the way through in one sitting, with no interruptions. Then, Steve included that he goes back to the script “with his Sound Designer hat on,” reviewing sound notes from the scriptwriter, director, and producer. Generally, Steve has found there are very few of these notes in the actual script. So, if there are “sound notes,” they are provided in a separate document usually along with time codes for the mixing/editing process. Steve added that he will then meticulously sift through the script and make his specific sound idea notes. The next step is to "get into the studio and start looking through your sound effects (SFX) library for lightning crash sounds (for example).” It helps to really understand the scene when choosing just the right one from what could be dozens of lighting crashes for the best effect—in that instance. From here on, it is a process of perfecting the soundtrack, hiring actors where necessary for Foley work (actors like myself, as this was my first-ever experience with voice acting) and finalizing a project. I really admire Steve's ability to narrow a story down to the smallest of details, which is what sound design is all about. He added that when he had an opportunity to spend some time with actor, writer, director and producer Danny DeVito. “Danny told me that when he worked on Throw Momma From the Train, he spent more than two hours finding ‘just the right sound at the right length for a pan that hit him on the head.’"  Sound design is a tedious process that creates the expected in a show or film, meaning that viewers are usually not aware of the sound effects because everything sounds just as they expect it to sound, real. If it doesn’t, then the soundtrack is noticeable and this can sometimes make or break a project. There is naturally so much that goes on behind the scenes for which Steve is so skilled at mastering. 

Alongside his workflow, I also asked Steve to give us some of his best advice, to which he immediately answered, "The world is unfair. You just have to make it unfair in your favor." That thought really blew me away—specifically due to his attitude surrounding the advice. At first glance, it seems like a rather negative statement as he points out the "unjustness" of our world. But, Steve's take is a bit different. To him, this advice is not just to show us the reality that exists. It encourages us to challenge ourselves to alter a situation—to our benefit. According to Lance, the world can be changed one decision at a time, regardless of the constraints we may be facing in any given situation, on the set or in everyday life. Everyone's path is different, and it's important to remember that, especially when in the entertainment industry. This is definitely something I will always hold close as I move forward in my career. 

Continuing on, Steve and I discussed some of his other areas of interest, which include program hosting and teaching. Steve's love for the live stage started many years ago, and after emceeing nearly a dozen of the original New York City “Star Trek” conventions, he actually landed a role in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979). Steve then sheepishly backtracked to admit that he didn’t actually “win” the role in the Star Trek film. Instead it was “gifted” to him by “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry for his years hosting those conventions, which in great part helped prove to those at Paramount Pictures that there was an untapped paying audience out there for a Star Trek movie. Who could have imagined back then that a three-season NBC network television series that was cancelled in 1969 would give Paramount Pictures such an extremely lucrative and long-standing franchise with literally dozens of films and television series that has now spanned more than five decades!

And, as if making his first foray into the motion picture business wasn’t exciting enough, Steve didn’t even stay in a hotel when he travelled from Freehold, New Jersey to Hollywood, California. He instead, was invited to stay with a friend, and childhood idol—James “Scotty” Doohan, (and his family). As an aside, Steve said that if you want to hear the whole story you’ll just have to read his Star Trek memoir, which is currently in the works.

Steve explained that what makes him . . . him, is that he loves to teach while entertaining . . . or entertain while teaching. Speaking with Steven Lance, and having the pleasure to be his friend is definitely educational and always entertaining!


Furthermore, Steven Lance embraces every chance to teach and share his knowledge. Even throughout our interview, he taught me many valuable things about the art of interviewing which will help me make these posts even better going forward.

One of Steve's biggest inspirations in life, was actually his Ranney School English teacher, Mr. Quinn—Mr. Aloysius Kevin Quinn. Steve refers to him as, "The Mighty Quinn" (an allusion to Manfred Mann’s 1968 hit pop single). He mentioned that, "Mr. Quinn taught me the love of language and I channel him every time I teach.” (Author’s note: Steve also works as a Language Arts substitute teacher and tutor when time in his schedule allows) Steve said that he always thinks to himself, "how would Mr. Quinn approach this?"

Speaking of inspirations, Steve also shared his greatest creative inspiration, William Henry Pratt, better known to us by his stage name, Boris Karloff. From studying the various works of Karloff, from Dr. Frankenstein’s tormented monster to his often loving, but troubled fathers. Steve first learned as a kid that he "could do a voice that wasn't his own, and does a spot-on Karloff impression." Steve expressed his respect and love for Boris Karloff, saying that he is "truly my acting inspiration." There are, of course, many well-known show business artists that inspire and motivate Steve, “but it’s my dad, Seymour, (a research chemist by day, and magician by night) who taught me timing . . . and stage presence."

During these difficult pandemic times, Steve explained that he is still keeping very busy by working on his Star Trek memoir. This will only be the second published book with Steve’s name on the cover, "Written Out of Television" is the other. However, his name appears inside more than a dozen other television reference books by James Robert Parish, and Vincent Terrace, as both Lead Researcher and Research Assistant.


When not writing, Steve is thrilled to be working (safely) behind the scenes with his business partner, John Albino, on innovative upgrades to their recording studio endeavor, Bulletproof Sound Design, in Hazlet, New Jersey. The facility is beautiful and the studio and personnel are top-notch. Bulletproof Sound Design is where we did our ADR and voice acting work for Hunting in the Past, the film that I line produced. 

As I wrapped up my interview with Steve, I asked if he had just one more piece of knowledge to share, which he did with what I found to be some very moving words: "You can! Don't let anyone ever tell you that, ‘you can't.’" With those closing words, I am again so grateful to have been able to sit down with actor, writer, sound designer—renaissance man—(and my friend and mentor), Steven Lance—and to have been able to give him this forum to inspire us all because . . . we can!

~Victoria Francesca 


Social Media:

Twitter: @StevenLance

LinkedIn: Steven Lance

Photo Credits/Captions in Order of Appearance in Photo Gallery: Steven Lance in Voice Acting Booth for "Hunting in the Past" at Bulletproof Sound Design, Hazlet, NJ (Photo By: Jennifer Bongarzone) -- "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" James "Scotty" Doohan (L) Steven Lance (C) Grace Lee "Rand" Whitney (R). (Photo courtesy of the Steven Lance collection) -- Steven Lance and Victoria Francesca with other members of the "Arthur Futuro" cast (Photo By: Madeline Motyczka) -- Steven Lance (R) in Tot and Teen Shop Advertisement -- Steven Lance with Director Peter Gillette and CEA ADR Engineer J.R. Sanson working on "Hunting in the Past" at Bulletproof Sound Design, Hazlet, NJ (Photo By: Jennifer Bongarzone) -- Steven Lance, a Rhaandarite crewman in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, flashes the Vulcan Hand Salute alongside Christopher Lloyd, who appeared as Kruge, the Klingon Commander in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. (Photo By: Andrei Jackamets - © 2018 Andrei Jackamets Photography/

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We are proud to welcome Writer/Director Eddie Vigil V as our first featured artist ever! He is a writer, director, and script supervisor, and has a plethora of shorts and fun videos to check out, and is currently in the editing process for his first feature film, It's What's On The Inside.

Recently, I had the exciting opportunity to talk with Eddie Vigil  V, where he shared with me some thoughts on his current work, his inspirations and how his career began, and some great advice for young filmmakers everywhere! He initially reached out and shared with me a comedic short he directed "Popcorn," which I loved and you should all check out, his social media will be listed below this post! Alongside this short and freelancing as a Script Supervisor, Eddie is also in the editing stage of his first feature film as a Writer and Director, It's What's On The Inside. This film is about an agoraphobic life coach who must overcome her fears to continue making money and in turn, finds herself surrounded by an amazing support team of friends who help her to achieve so much more. When I asked Eddie what inspired him to make this film, he had a lot of amazing things to say! He mentioned that about a year ago he set his mind on making his first feature. Eddie said that he's a fan of exploring "people's insecurities and why they have these fears" through his art, and that "people often perceive things to be wrong with those who are anxious," but he demonstrates in his work that this is not the case and that people who may suffer from mental health issues can actually "use that to lift [them] up." With that said, Eddie also mentioned that choosing to go with a lead character that suffers from agoraphobia, allowed him to be economic in production design and location, which is always a valued skill to have in filmmaking. Eddie and his team were able to successfully fund enough to make It's What's On The Inside, for which he also shared some great advice about: "Approach [funding] with the same intensity that you would in filmmaking, if you put the effort up front, people will know you'll follow through." 


I also spoke to Eddie about some of the comparisons between his short "Popcorn" and his feature, as well as how they’re different and his inspirations. He mentioned that they are similar to some degree, but overall "so different." The similarities lie in themes such as "miscommunication, [lack of] listening” and “assumptions of how other people feel." "Popcorn" was a chance for Eddie to "dig into the fun side" of himself and his storytelling, in comparison to some of the deeper topics that exist in It's What's On The Inside. These two differing sides of Eddie's dynamic work, show just how much his art drives him, and the variety of stories he has to share with the world. Eddie also spoke about some of his influences in the industry and who inspires him most.  He said that he values the humor that Taika Waititi often brings in his work, as well as the way that Waititi presents himself. Eddie said he had "watched an interview of Waititi and he was just being himself," he mentioned him having a "distinct style and voice" and that "watching him inspired confidence." Eddie added that the Duplass brothers and Lulu Wang are other creators who he also admires. 


Our last two topics that we discussed, were his thoughts on living in LA as an artist, and advice for young filmmakers. Originally from Reno Nevada, Eddie spent years creating shorts and working on films, where he eventually stumbled into an appreciation for script supervising. He mentioned that LA is filled with so many opportunities. "Being in LA gives you so much power to everything" he expressed, along with the fact that you can "find lots people that are awesome and work with them." In terms of advice, Eddie said that the number one thing he wants other artists to remember, is that "when you make something, get it out quick and move on to the next one...don't add too much weight, experiment, do your best, and get it out." Eddie mentions that this outlook comes from one of his artistic inspirations, the Duplass brothers. He emphasized that "people like seeing progression" and that most importantly, "you should make stuff because you love the process, not the result." I loved this comment, because this is something I often struggle with. It's hard to stay focused without always thinking 10 steps ahead, but Eddie notes that it is so vital to stay in touch with each moment throughout the entirety of a project. He expressed that this is what truly helped him make his feature, “a classic to-do list, one step at a time." 


I am thankful to have had such an impactful and informative conversation with filmmaker Eddie Vigil V. His advice is not only something that I hope all young filmmakers hold on to, but also something that I personally will carry with me (as a young filmmaker myself) from here on out. I had the pleasure to watch an early cut of It's What's On The Inside, and this heartwarming, relatable, and triumphant story is truly one you will not want to miss! Stay tuned for the finished product, the estimated release is Fall 2020. I look forward to seeing everything that Eddie has in store for us, and I hope you enjoyed our first Artist Spotlight! Be well :)


~Victoria Francesca 

Social Media

Instagram: @eddievigilv

Twitter: @EddieVigilV

YouTube: Eddie Vigil V

Photo Credits In Order of Appearance in Gallery: Michelle Hinsberg, Max Goldberg, Eric McQueston,   

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