Interview with Andrew M Karasik

Andrew M Karasik

ED- The Eerie Digest in viewing several screenings at The Reel Independent Film Festival and Extravaganza in Washington, DC. had the chance to meet Executive Producer Andrew M. Karasik there, and would like to introduce him to all our readers. Andrew, it was pleasure to meet you at this event and I know that our readers will love to learn all about you. What first drew you interest into filmmaking?AMK- To me, filmmaking is the truest and most honest art form. Not only does it allow audiences to share in a wonderful experience together, it allows for us as creative visionaries to convey important stories messages to a mass audience in an accessible medium. We all have been affected by the “magic of the movies” and it was the opportunity to affect others using that same magic that attracted me to this wonderful art form.

ED- Tell us about your earliest work.

AMK- My earliest work consisted of small productions for academic purposes. My first real narrative short was a film called Trivial Pursuit. It was about two friends who go on a wild goose chase in search of the punch line to a silly pun. The entire film is basically just a “play on words,” including the title, which takes its name both from the game played at the beginning of the film, as well as the “trivial” journey they take.

ED- In visiting THEARC theater we chanced upon your film, ‘Iowa Is Closed Today’. Can you tell us about the theme behind the production? AMK- At its heart, Iowa Is Closed Today is about discovering what things are important in one’s life. We all search for the balance between our personal lives and our vocational ones. We felt it was important to convey the story of a character who faces that decision and through the help of some fortuitous circumstances, realizes that not only is his life worth living, but the thing worth living for lies in our personal relationships, not in our success or fame.

ED- Please tell us about its Director and Writer, Ryan Quinn and producer Erica R. Sperber.

AMK- One could not imagine a better team to work with, and that is what we are: a team. I consider Erica my better half as she and I compliment each other fully in every aspect of producing. Ryan is about as talented as young filmmakers come and he continues to impress me with his original stories and artistic visions.

ED- This is not the first collaboration with Ryan. Tell us of your first project together, ‘The Commandeer Club’.

AMK- ‘The Commandeer Club’ was Ryan and my first project together. The story took the form of a support group for persons who have had their car commandeered by a rogue police officer. As a group, they attempt to make him understand the effects of his actions, and in the end come to teach him a very important lesson.

ED- Please tell us about the cast members and the roles that they play.

AMK- We could not have asked for a more talented cast. Andy Adams (Eddie Szewczyk) is a book bootlegger who has to choose between his rising position in his job and the love of his life, April Mae (Rebecca Sussman). Andy dies as a result of Heaven’s mistake and lands in Gabriel’s (the angel of death, Matt Klein) office. He guides Andy on a journey of self discovery with recounting the recent decisions he has made. All the while, Andy is joined by his faithful sidekicks, Vince (Rohan Khatri) and Sam (Sam Broscoe) and chased by a group of library avengers called The Pagemasters (Derek Biddle, Eric Lawry, Jacqueline Rosenthal).

ED- Please tell us about the interaction between the characters in the production, ‘Iowa Is Closed Today’.

AMK- All of the characters inhabit a fantastical world. Together the form the fabric of our story and serve various purposes on screen. Andy, as our protagonist serves as the surrogate for our audience. He embodies the same emotional journey we hope they take throughout the story. April Mae serves as the love interest and the representation of the importance of personal and human interactions in one’s life. The Pagemasters could be described as our villains, serving as a foil for Andy’s business endeavors. And Gabriel serves as Andy’s spirit guide along this journey, assisting him in coming to a very important realization.

ED- This film also has a large and talented crew. Please describe some of the work behind the camera and the coordination involve in filming the movie.

AMK- As stated before, we operate as a team. But more importantly, we consider ourselves “friends who make movies”. Similar to our cast, we could not have asked for a more talented crew. We believe that both our effective collaboration, and our joint desire to create a meaningful film show through the final product.

ED- When do you project this film to be presented to the public ?

AMK- As the film is still on its festival circuit, we do not have an official “sale” date for the film. The film officially premiered April 2010. For more information about the future of the film, please visit http://www.iowaisclosedtoday.com or http://www.30thstreetentertainment.com.

ED- We are also very interested in your production company 30th Street Entertainment. How did this start and who was involved ?

AMK- We founded 30th Street Entertainment in 2008 as we saw a definite need for a small independent production company devoted to assisting young and aspiring filmmakers. We are committed to providing those filmmakers with the capital and backing to make meaningful films and gain experience in the independent film industry. Since our inception, we have provided many young filmmakers (including many students) with such opportunities. As a Pennsylvania based independent film corporation, 30th Street Entertainment is also devoted to furthering the film industry within the commonwealth.

ED- To go about creating such a company, what advice would you give anyone who wished to do so ?

AMK- My advice is just to do it. Go ahead and incorporate the company and go from there. All one needs is a unique idea and a desire to succeed and evolve creatively. As clichéd as it is, we must follow our dreams because they tend to lead us to exactly where we want to be in life.

ED- Andrew, it has been a real pleasure to have met you, and thank you for your interview with us. Please keep us informed of any new projects on the horizon and we wish you the best of luck in all your endeavors.