Having read and enjoyed the LGBT novel Missing, by Drake Braxton, which I found to be a fun and unique romance/mystery, I wasn’t surprised when the book went on to win several awards, including Best Gay Fiction for the New England Book Festival. Now, two years later, I’ve learned not only that the book is getting the feature film treatment (as He Is Gone), but that my dear friend Gregory G. Allen has written the screenplay. I had the pleasure of speaking with him and director/producer Lois Munoz Merka to learn more about the project and its journey from page to screen.
Kergan Edwards-Stout: Thanks for joining me! I’m very excited to see how you’ve taken this from book to movie…
Lois Munoz Merka: Thanks for sharing the project with your readers.
Edwards-Stout: For those who haven’t yet read the book, tell us a little about it.
Gregory G. Allen: The simple answer is that a gay couple goes from Boston to Alabama for a high school reunion and when one turns around — the other is gone. He Is Gone becomes a pulsating ride to unravel the mystery of his disappearance.
Edwards-Stout: Funny enough, when I reviewed the book, I called it ‘a challenging, sexy, and worthwhile ride’! (more…)
For any of us who came of age during the 1970’s, the era was a pop smorgasbord of fashion, art, culture, and music. From the iconic John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever, to the music of ABBA, to classic TV series such as All in the Family, Mary Tyler Moore, and Carol Burnett, such references have not only helped define my generation, but have inspired in others an ongoing love for all things 70’s.
Actor/singer Michael Vaccaro is attempting to capture that spirit in a new web series, Child of the 70’s, which is currently fundraising at Indiegogo. An indie actor in such movies as Todd Verow’s Deleted Scenes and The Endless Possibility of Sky, Michael also won a MAC award for Outstanding Musical Comedy Performer, and has recorded two CDs, Archangel and Wait for Him.
To create Child of the 70’s, he has joined with friend and collaborator, Terrence Moss, as co-writers. Terrence is an independent writer based in Los Angeles who operates a website for longform content at www.terrencemoss.com, consisting of articles, commentaries, reaction pieces, essays, actor/actress profiles, and an ongoing short fiction series.
The two recently met to discuss this shared love of the 70’s, and how it helped inspire their new series.
Kergan Edwards-Stout: Michael, what is it about the 1970’s which entices you? Is it the music? The TV shows? Something more?
Michael Vaccaro: All of those–and more. It was a magical era. Look at TV alone. It was the best TV ever! I mean, Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart, Cloris Leachman, Valerie Harper, Carol Burnett, Bea Arthur, and Esther Rolle–and so many more. Back then, TV was interesting, smart and funny –and unafraid, just like the people who were coming of age then.
Edwards-Stout: That was your time, huh?
Vaccaro: Yeah, I was young and really cute, and I could get into clubs and drink and have sex with hot bartenders! You could dance and go home with strangers, and everybody was doing it and no one cared or judged. It was before we all started dying, and I remember such a sense of freedom and abandon.
Edwards-Stout: So you associate it with freedom…
Vaccaro: Exactly. There was a sense of achieving whatever dream you had. Take cinema–also the greatest decade. Actors and directors and writers were unafraid, fearless, raw. It’s all pretty much sucked since. And music? No can tell me there’s a greater album, an album that better captured the feelings of an entire generation of people, than Saturday Night Fever.
Edwards-Stout: With your new web series, Child of the 70’s, you’re hoping to capture some of that?
Vaccaro: I wanted to do something really fun, that brought back many of the actors that I loved from that time. I’m casting a few of my absolute favorites, though I can’t talk about who just yet. So many, deserving of attention. Look at the amazing resurgence of Betty White! I want to do that for a few of the people who helped make my childhood happy! (more…)