Twilight Nation Script-to-Screen a Success {Austin Actors Conservatory, SAG}

That was most certainly an amazing project, not only due to content but to the quality of the people involved, from writers to actors.

Here’s a quick note I sent to the cast and crew after the performance:

Wow, what a journey! How to even begin to describe the adventure?

It all started with a little e-mail from my dear friend Pamela Denise Weaver. Who would’ve known how it would change my life.

A poignant script with a powerful and timely message: you can make a difference; you can take charge of your life.

Then, add some amazing people in the form of cast and crew, and the recipe was… more than I could have imagined.

Pamela, all-knowing producer – without you, I wouldn’t have know where to start. Your knowledge made things so much smoother, and your work behind the scenes freed me up to just interact with the actors. Thank you so very much, you can call me back any time!

Angela, my AD, which is to say, my brain – without you, your advice and your work, I’d probably still be stuck at the beginning, and wouldn’t have known how to convey things to the actors. Your notes were awesome, your insight priceless, your help… indispensable. Thank you.

David Pencil, our wonderful composer and AV guy – WOW! Your music and co-ordination ideas really bumped everything up a lot. So much emotion. Your cues were spot on and on time. I hope that when you’re up there with Jerry Goldsmith and John Barry, you’ll still have time for little ol’ me and my crazy films. Thanks!

Gareth – you had the perfect look, the perfect voice, and you became William Mitchell. No matter who portrays that role in the future, I’ll always remember you.

Grayson – you were Jake. Thanks for the energy, the ideas, and the great work. It will be hard to see anyone else in your role too. Great falls… I always wanted to reach down for my leg when you broke yours, and the emotion you brought out at the very end… killed! Thanks, buddy, look forward to seeing you here in Austin.

Paul – man, you were godsend. Your energy and caring were amazing. Thanks for all the lessons in Western lore, the incredible props. You may not have been on stage the whole time, but your mark was there for all to see. I still can’t believe you came down all the way from Oklahoma for this show… Thank you is not enough.

Sam – you stepped right into Flannery’s shoes and boy I wanted to sock you out too (thanks, Jake!). I really bought it, I really wanted to hate you… but since I know you in person, that won’t be possible. Thanks.

Frank – man, you really looked good as the bad man. Black suits you, and with a cool name like West, you were right at home in a Western. Every little idea, small as it may be (like wardrobe for instance) adds up into a big snowball of a production. Cheers!

Dean – oh, my goodness. You were incredible. I hope you realize just how much emotional impact you added the whole thing. I sincerely hope you don’t forget us when Hollywood comes knocking. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas during the production. Even if I didn’t accept every suggestion, I did hear  them all. Don’t stop. March on.

Dimitrius – buddy! Sorry for putting you on so much staging detail. Thanks for the very cool Indian costumes and energy. For me, energy on set is of paramount importance. I really had fun working with you. O si da Sv no i.

Whis – thanks for the great attitude, energy and willingness to help. All your roles were vital. All your performances were great. Many thanks.

David – trying hard not to sound repetitive, thanks to you too for the great attitude, willingness to help out and bring so much truth and energy even to the smallest role. Without the little cogs, the big cog won’t turn properly. You were an integral part of a great work of art. Thanks a lot.

Bethlyn – I will remember to call you Bethlyn, but it took me a year to learn to call one of my starts Matthew instead of Matt, so don’t take it personal if I mess up. Thanks for the great create on Razielle, from the accent to the attitude. As an aside, loved meeting your son, great manners and not afraid to communicate. Great work.

Mykle – you did such a good job as Gail. I really wish I could have had a camera for the close-ups. You brought so much emotion to each scene. Loved it. And you were also believable as Namid. Good versatility. Thanks for the energy, ideas and improvised monologues.

Patrick – loved the voice. You should consider doing audio-books! Your get-up was great, your performance was great (the sound effects really added another dimension) and your co-ordination with David were splendid. Even in the longest of your dialogues, I was never bored, you carried the energy all the way through.

Mindy – heck, you fell out of the sky at the last minute and saved the day with almost no time. You did your prep-work, picked it all up fast, added a bit of your spin, looked great and you really pulled it off. Thanks for topping off my “Val’s Bunch” for Twilight Nation.

Alex – you were a great asset during our last rehearsal; thanks for your help setting up and moving things around. You’re welcome on my set any time J

For everyone: I’m really happy with the overall performance. This was my first time doing something “on stage” and I didn’t know what to expect. You let me guide your craft, you offered many wonderful suggestions, you gave me an emotional ride. Thanks for trusting in me and my vision, and for making it better. I truly mean it when I say this journey did change me. Working with pros is easier and more rewarding.

I wouldn’t have missed this ride for anything in the world. And I highly recommend EVERY director do something like this at least once in their career.

Thanks to St. Edward’s, SAG, Pamela, Heather and Damon for having this wonderful forum. And extra thanks to Heather and Damon for the apple crates (not to mention support and advice) J

Someone once said something like “a civilization is only as great as its dreams, and its dreams are dreamed by artists…”   it is we who shape the future of our culture. We did great today. Thanks for doing your part!


Val Gameiro