This week, Social Hollywood Magazine had the pleasure of interviewing multi-talented director Sergio John Myers on his new short films “LA Love Story Part 1” and “LA Love Story Part 2.” The project was inspired by the true events of a couple trying to make it in Hollywood … while also trying to maintain their relationship. The film stars Ryan Caldwell and Jeannine Kaspar.
LA Love Story Trailer (or play it below): www.youtube.com/watch?v=834n7e-R5kc
Myers first got his start as a Director/Writer/Producer of films with the haunting documentary on Heaven’s Gate, the infamous suicide cult. The film won the EBE Award for Best Documentary and has since been in the American Museum of Natural History. Myers then went on to produce, direct and write multiple episodes of “E! True Hollywood Story,” and was the creator of the MTV hit, Fraternity Life and Sorority Life. Myers also acted in, wrote, directed and produced the feature length hit film Jordan Saffron Taste This! which was filmed in a little over a week.
Here is our exclusive one-on-one interview with the talented Mr. Myers:
1.) What was the inspiration behind “LA Love Story?” Did any of your experiences in reality television, such as Fraternity Life and Sorority Life, provide the idea for this story?
Yes, and yes. LA Love Story Part 1 and Part2 were inspired by true events in my life as a reality tv Creator/Exec Producer. Basically the decisions you make while chasing your Hollywood dream have dramatic effects on all parts of your life. Making one stupid mistake could cause you to loose the love of your life or your career. It’s a give and take when it comes to chasing fame.
2.) Please tell me a little bit about your writing process. I am intrigued by the way that some of your films seem to have full scripts where as others seem to have a great deal of improvisation (there is a question on “Jordan Saffron Taste This!” that touches on on-the-spot comedy.) What inspires you to write certain films with full scripts, and others not as much?
That’s a good question, as an artist or filmmaker why play it safe? I always try and push the boundaries. With Jordon Saffron Taste This, I literally came up with the idea, 2 days later started hiring people and filmed the entire movie in a little over a week. I wanted to see if I could do it. I kept creating the scenes as I was shooting. Fortunately the actors went along with me. With LA Love Story Part 1 and Part 2, I had a general idea of the story I wanted to tell. I started writing a few of the scenes and after casting rewrote everything over two nights and started filming two days later. The actors in both movies were truly great and I’m thankful they decided to go along with my vision.
2.) Please describe any difficulties you faced filming on a Canon EOS-5D Mark II. How was this different that shooting with a standard HD camera? What inspired you to shoot “LA Love Story” on this camera?
You know so many friends who are in filmmaking were like there’s no way you should use that camera. I had been experimenting with this camera on commercial type projects and had a feeling of what I could get out of it and it worked. The DP and I really focused on creating a shallow dept of field so the audience would focus more on the actor and not the world around them. It worked well with the tone of LA Love Story (plus it was a hell of a lot cheaper) and I am currently filming my next documentary based on the Frockon.com female fashion writers.
3.) Your comedy feature, “Jordan Saffron Taste This!” is rather unique due to it’s lack of a solid script. Please describe what it was like to act, write and direct a comedy feature. Were many of the lines improvised/do you have a background in improvisation? What inspired you to make a comedy on the go?
People who meet me never see that side of me and I just wanted to go for it and say hey I’m not always an asshole. I love making a movie this way it’s like having a blank canvas and painting the exact picture I want. I control the scenes by starring because the actors are playing off of me, my tone, emotional levels etc. I don’t have a background in improv but I loved the challenge.
4.) I must congratulate you on getting Oliver Stone to do his first ever televised interview–that is quite impressive! How did you accomplish this feat?
It was Oliver Stones first ever interview for E!. I was one of the producer/writers for The Kennedy’s 4 hour E! True Hollywood Story and wanted to land a really big interview with someone other than the makeup artist who was a friend of a Kennedy cousin, lol. So I researched every article Oliver Stone had been quoted in regarding JFK and wrote him a letter with his quotes on why it was important for him to tell his story to me. It worked.
5.) I noticed that much of your background in film includes documentaries (May I also congratulate you on Heaven’s Gate.) Did this background also help to inspire “LA Love Story?”
No. Heaven’s Gate cult doc was my first major project and that project still haunts me to this day. The group had been around for over twenty years and was very interesting as a documentary filmmaker. In the end the whole event was very tragic.
6.) What future projects are you working on that viewers can have the pleasure of looking forward to?
Currently I’m working on a documentary about this great group of girls who are fashion bloggers. The website is Frockon.com. The girls live all over the world and either go to school and or work normal jobs but have a love of fashion. They all have unique styles and are bringing the latest ready 2 wear trends to girls all over the world through blogging. I love it, they are empowering themselves and doing something they love. The website is currently getting completely revamped and designed but you can check out some of there blogs on their old site.
7.) What other films, music, books and works of art inspire you as a filmmaker and as an artist?
Wow, too much to list. Foreign cinema and reality TV. I know that’s a strange combination but people inspire me. Foreign cinema really cares about the story and showing you a glimpse of someones life. Everyone has a story to tell, everyone is unique. Basically I truly find inspiration in everything around. Anything can spawn an idea.
8.) There is an expression that goes “You go to New York to find yourself, you go to Los Angeles to be someone else, and you go to San Francisco to be yourself.” How would you feel this expression would apply to “LA Love Story?”
Very true, I went to New York to find myself after loosing myself in LA. I haven’t made it to San Fran yet.