Friday, August 5, 2016

Acting, Editing, Don Money Does It All

Starbound Talent’s success story and IMTA alumni Don Money has been thriving as an editor and actor in Los Angeles. Saturday August 6th, Don has a new movie “2 Lava 2 Lantula” premiering at 9:00PM on the Syfy channel. We asked Don about his latest project…

Starbound Talent - Tell us what your new movie “2 Lava 2 Lantula” is about. 

Don Money - 2 Lava 2 Lantula" is the sequel to "Lavalantula" that aired on Syfy last summer.  It is an action/comedy/create film, and in this one, Colton West (played by Steve Gutenberg) is an action movie star & America's hero (after he fought the creatures off and saved Los Angeles in the first film) - he is back on the set of his latest movie and life is good - that is until the lavalantulas show up again.  This time they erupt in Florida where his step-daughter is, and he must once again battle the creatures in order to save his daughter and the entire state of Florida.  Gutenberg's "Police Academy" cast mates Michael Winslow & Marion Ramsey reprise their roles and we've also added Eric Etebari (2 FAST 2 FURIOUS, WITCHBLADE, THE LINCOLN LAWYER), Jimmy Bellinger (LIV AND MADDIE), Josh Sussman (GLEE) & Martin Kove (THE KARATE KID) into the mix along the way.  And the film is littered with pop culture movie references & homages all throughout  like SCARFACE, JURASSIC PARK, MIAMI VICE, & DR. STRANGELOVE just to name a few, so the film is a lot of fun to watch!”

Starbound Talent - You had the opportunity to edit this movie as well as play a role in the film. Was it hard to edit the scenes that your character acted in?

Don Money - This time around it wasn't really.  In the movie, there is a bit where the Army's Colonel Jester (played by Martin Kove) sends a squadron of fighter jets into the skies to lure out and attack the mother of all spiders - the "Gargantulantula" - a Godzilla-sized spider that threatens to destroy Miami.  I play a fighter pilot that is the leader of the squadron.  It's only a couple small scenes and it was pretty simple to shoot, and it wasn't that complex of a sequence to edit, so even though it was myself, it was pretty easy to put together.  If I ever have to edit something I am in, and I have a bigger role, that is where it gets tricky for me because as an artist, I am always my own worst critic.  In those cases, it's usually better for me to team with another editor who cuts everything together first, and then I come in to polish it after that.  Going through hours of my own dailies is the worst!

Starbound Talent - This film is airing on Syfy. What are some of the challenges of editing a Syfy film? 

Don Money - Syfy films are a lot of fun!  It's one of the reasons I wanted to edit "2 Lava 2 Lantula".  The thing with TV movies though that differs from theatrical films is the pace of the story telling and the placement of certain moments in the movie.  In a two-hour movie, you only get about 85 minutes of that to tell the story, it unfolds much quicker, and you have to take into account the commercial breaks, which many times are placed in very specific places within the film.  So you need to edit with that in mind, as well as also knowing that after it airs on TV, the movie goes on to live on DVD or VOD in seamless form (without the commercial breaks), so the overall edit of the film and the way you are telling the story must also work with the breaks removed, so you have to know how to balance that.

Starbound Talent - What are some of the challenges of acting in a Syfy film?

Don Money - The acting challenges of a film airing on Syfy aren't really any different than acting in anything else.  It's about making strong acting choices that are honest & truthful and making sure you are being as organic as possible with the material.  And with "2 Lava 2 Lantula" it's, part of what makes it so fun and funny is playing everything in a truthful way, but at the end of the day, the catastrophe that everyone is trying to deal with is a bunch of lava-breathing, fire-spitting spiders, one of which is the size of a professional sports stadium, so it ends up being really fun and funny to watch.

Starbound Talent - Do you have a favorite memory of working with Steve Guttenberg and the rest of the cast?

Don Money - Steve Guttenberg was so awesome to work with, both as an actor and on set!  This movie really works, and it's totally because of him.  He sells this character the whole way through in an organic, charismatic, & funny way that only a handful of actors can do.  He's been around for so long and in so many memorable, iconic characters & films, it was so great to see him work in person and to see who genuinely nice of a guy he was.  This movie was not easy to make, it was shot in 12 days, very long hours, and in multiple locations & states, and Steve really was our emotional cheerleader along the way.  He always made sure to stay positive, and to thank everyone on set and tell them how great a job they were doing, and how talented they were, all the way down to the PAs.  He kept everyone's energy up and you could really tell that he loved his job and loved this movie, and I think it shows onscreen through and through.

Make sure you tune in to watch “2 Lava 2 Lantula” on the Syfy channel this Saturday at 9:00PM and check out the teaser below!