Tag Archive | "Patrick Renna"

THE SANDLOT: Fox Celebrates 25th Anniversary of Classic Film With Collector’s Capsule!

THE SANDLOT: Fox Celebrates 25th Anniversary of Classic Film With Collector’s Capsule!

For years, sports collectors have had the opportunity to own mementos from the nation’s most cherished baseball fields, including Old Yankee Stadium, Wrigley Field, Fenway Park and more. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of hit classic, The Sandlot, Shop.FoxMovies is offering fans limited-edition collector’s capsules packed with dirt from the field that hosted Ham’s epic home run, Smalls’ lost baseball signed by Babe Ruth, and The Beast, the unforgettable threat that taunted fans’ favorite kids.

To showcase its authenticity, each capsule features an individually-numbered hologram seal. Shop.FoxMovies will offer these limited collectibles free with the purchase of any Sandlot merchandise from its exclusive line of apparel, home goods, stationary and Funko Pop! Figures, while supplies last.

“The Sandlot is a classic film that means so much to people of all ages,” said Craig Radow, VP of Global Marketing of Fox Consumer Products. “To honor the film and the devoted fans it has cultivated since its 1993 theatrical debut, we wanted to share this collector’s item, which can proudly be displayed to simultaneously celebrate the spirit of the film and the cherished game of baseball.”

Though set in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley, scenes on the famous baseball diamond of The Sandlot were filmed in Salt Lake City, Utah. Next month, Salt Lake City’s local community of Glendale will continue The Sandlot anniversary celebration by hosting a little league clinic in partnership with The Salt Lake Bees baseball team on August 10th and an evening screening of the film on the iconic field on August 11th, featuring special cast appearances. For more information about this event, please visit their event page.

Additional key licensing partners celebrating The Sandlot’s 25th anniversary include:

  • Funko –  The Sandlot x Funko Pop! Collection knocks it out of the park with memorable characters from the unforgettable coming-of-age film. Now available, the starting lineup includes Smalls, Benny, Ham, Squints, The Beast (GameStop exclusive) and a Squints & Wendy 2-pack (Target exclusive)
  • The Roosevelts (RSVLTS) – A recently launched The Sandlot x RSVLTS
    Collection includes the brand’s signature button down shirts, which have been featured everywhere from ESPN to Good Morning America.
  • New Era – Launched earlier this month, the New Era and Fox Consumer Products collaboration includes a hat line featuring iconic moments from The Sandlot, customized for local Major League Baseball teams.
  • Plus, Fox Consumer Products has teamed with Major League Baseball and Fanatics for Sandlot apparel and jerseys as well as with Tervis for a collection of film-themed drinkware.

Social Media: #TheSandlot25, @SwagByFox (FB, Twitter, Instagram), @SandlotMovie (Twitter), @TheSandLotMovie (FB)

About The Sandlot
In this beloved family-favorite movie, directed by David M. Evans, it’s the early 1960s and fifth-grader Scotty Smalls (Tom Guiry) has just moved into town with his folks (Karen Allen and Denis Leary). Kids call him a dork — he can’t even throw a baseball! But that changes when the leader of the neighborhood team recruits him to play on the nearby sandlot field. It’s the beginning of a magical summer of baseball, wild adventures, first kisses and fearsome confrontations with the dreaded beast and its owner (James Earl Jones) who live behind the left field fence. Soon, nine boys have become best friends, Scotty is part of a team, and their leader has become a local legend in this hilarious and warm-hearted comedy.

Critical acclaim for the movie focused on its charm and nostalgia, the film has become an often-quoted cult hit. THE SANDLOT ranks in the Top 10 Best Baseball Movies of all-time by critics, sport fans and movie-lovers, including: IMDb; Sporting News; Baseball America; Maxim; Bleacher Report; SportsNation/ESPN and others.

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‘The Sandlot’ Returns to U.S. Cinemas To Celebrate 25th Anniversary — Two Nights Only!

‘The Sandlot’ Returns to U.S. Cinemas To Celebrate 25th Anniversary — Two Nights Only!

Play ball! The legendary baseball comedy “The Sandlot” is back in movie theaters across the country for two days only this July – its first national theatrical run since its original release 25 years ago. The film will play with an exclusive sneak preview of an all-new Fox Sports documentary about the making of this coming-of-age comedy.

Tickets for “The Sandlot” can be purchased beginning Friday, June 22 at www.FathomEvents.com and participating theater box offices.

Fathom Events and Twentieth Century Fox, In Association with Island World, present “The Sandlot” in hundreds of select movie theaters on Sunday, July 22 at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. and Tuesday, July 24 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. (all local times). A complete list of theater locations will be available June 22 on the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

Directed by David Mickey Evans, “The Sandlot” was a well-reviewed box-office success when it was first released in April 1993, but in the ensuing quarter-century it has become an integral film for both baseball fans and movie lovers – so much so that “The Sandlot”has been named one of the best baseball movies of all time by Bleacher Report, Men’s Journal, Esquire and Sporting News, among others.

Told in a charming, rambling fashion, “The Sandlot” is set in the summer of 1962, when Scotty Smalls (Tom Guiry) moves to a new town. Awkward and friendless, Scotty is on the brink of despondency when he runs into the never-ending baseball game that takes place on the sandlot behind a ramshackle house.

He’s befriended first by Benny Rodriguez (Mike Vitar) and ultimately by the whole team, including Hamilton “Ham” Porter (Patrick Renna), Michael “Squints” Palledorous (Chauncey Leopardi), Alan “Yeah-Yeah” McClennan (Marty York), Kenny DeNunez (Brandon Adams), Bertram Weeks (Grant Gelt), and Timmy and Tommy Timmons (Victor DiMattia and Shane Obedzinski). On and off the baseball field, they experience an unforgettable – and unforgettably hilarious – summer of discovery and friendship. “The Sandlot” also stars James Earl Jones, Karen Allen and Denis Leary.

“Watching ‘The Sandlot’ has become an annual event that no summer is complete without – but since its original release, it has never had a nationwide theatrical re-release,” Fathom Events Vice President of Studio Relations Tom Lucas said. “We’re proud to be able to bring ‘The Sandlot’ to families and fans all around the country with this special cinema event, paired with a sneak peek at a brand-new Fox Sports documentary.”

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CRUSHIN’ IT: Patrick Renna On 25 Years of ‘The Sandlot’ & New Role on ‘G.L.O.W.’

CRUSHIN’ IT: Patrick Renna On 25 Years of ‘The Sandlot’ & New Role on ‘G.L.O.W.’

Patrick Renna continues to bring awesome characters to life. Photo by Bjoern

Over the last 25 years, actor Patrick Renna has brought iconic characters to life on the big and small screens proving, from comedy to drama and action adventure to romantic comedies, he can do it all. Born in Boston, Renna moved to Los Angeles at a young age with his family to pursue acting. At 14 years old he landed his breakout lead role, starring in 20th Century Fox’s blockbuster hit film “The Sandlot.” Twenty-five years after its release the film is still a cult classic and Renna’s character Hamilton “Ham” Porter remains an icon -!with one of his token catchphrases, “you’re killing me smalls,” still used by kids and adults today.

In 2018, Renna will be on season two of Netflix’s award-nominated comedy series “GLOW.” Produced by Jenji Kohan, “GLOW” follows Ruth Wilder (Alison Brie), a struggling, out of work actress in Los Angeles in the 1980s, who eventually creates the first women’s wrestling TV show. Slated to  premiere season two summer on June 29th, he’s is sure to steal the show with yet another memorable performance. Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently sat down with Renna to discuss his unique career path, celebrating 25 years of ‘The Sandlot,’ his highly anticipated role on Netflix’s ‘G.L.O.W.’ and what the future holds for him!

You are a familiar face to audiences around the world. How did you get involved with the arts?

I’m originally from Boston. I think I did things that all normal kids do when growing up, like school plays and everything like that. Early on, I found I had a knack for it and I really loved it. I moved out to Los Angeles when I was 13 years old. My mom had a job out here and also knew that I really loved to act. It was a dual reason for her to take the job and bring me out with her. I moved out here and the rest is history! It just happened pretty fast. “The Sandlot” was basically my first audition and first job. It exploded from there and other movies and TV shows came after that!

Patrick Renna as Ham in ‘The Sandlot.’

What do you recall about that first audition for “The Sandlot?”

Ya know, it was definitely a bit intimidating. It’s certainly not a process I was used to and the audition process, in itself, isn’t the most welcoming! You’re in a room with a bunch of people who are all trying to get the same role! Most of the time it’s friendly but, at the same time, it’s highly competitive. At 13, I went in and met the director and casting director. I auditioned for a scene that I had put a lot of work into. Even at that age, you can tell when the director is responding and the audition is going well. I kinda get the sense that it was, even at 13. After that, I had a sort of meet-and-greet with the other right cast members. I was actually the last person cast for that movie! From my recollection, I only had one audition and the second audition was more of a meet-and-greet. I was even told beforehand, “Hey, you don’t have this job yet. It’s kinda dependent on how you mesh with everyone.” Luckily, I got along with everyone!

Who influenced you early on as an actor?

For me, my “Sandlot” was probably “The Goonies.” That was my top movie growing up and I couldn’t get enough of it. I also loved “The Karate Kid.” I was 13, so the films that inspired me then are certainly different than the films that inspire me now. My favorite films now are “The Godfather” and “The Godfather 2.” I don’t even give “The Godfather 3” as hard a time as some people do! [laughs] Those are the ones that really hit home for me in my later years.

I imagine you have terrific memories from your time on “The Sandlot.”

Yeah, absolutely! It was a great experience. It was so long ago but I recently got to see almost all the guys, aside from Mike Vitar. I had seen a few of them over the years but all right of us hadn’t been together in 25 years! It was a bit of a junior high reunion! When we were doing the movie, we spent about a month together playing baseball together in Los Angeles and then went on set and filmed for two months and then we had the publicity tour. So, we spent about six solid months together and hanging out. When we got together this year it did have that reunion feel and it was nostalgic to see all those guys and reminisce. The times spent filming that I remember the most are the bigger scenes from the movie. Those scenes are the ones that lasted so long, so I always remember filming them.

Patrick Renna and the cast of ‘The Sandlot.’

For example, the “Big Game” scene, which isn’t really a big game as we slaughter them! After the stuff where we talk trash on the field, the next scene where I’m catching and each batter is coming up is one I remember a lot! None of it was written and it was all kind of spur of the moment. The director was behind the backstop or in one of the dugouts with video village. Each batter would come up and he would get on the bullhorn to scream out some sort of insult! [laughs] Everyone would giggle for a second! You also have to realize this was during the days of film, so this was probably an expensive shoot day because he was rolling the whole time. There were no cuts, digital or free! He would yell an insult over the bullhorn and the whole cast and crew would crack up! I would too and every once in awhile I’d say, “Really? You want me to say that?” He’d say,
“Yup” and I would say something like, “Is that you sister out there in left field? She’s naked!” We’d just roll with it! [laughs] That is definitely one of the moments that truly stands out in my mind all of these years later!

It seems “The Sandlot” is talked about and quoted more with each passing year.

Ya know, that’s a good point and I totally agree! The movie was very popular when it came out and it was still great in the years to follow. I’ve lived with it for the whole time but, for the past 10 years, it’s gone to another level. I think, having talked to a lot of people about it, it comes down to the people who watched it back then and loved it are now having kids. People who watched the movie back in 1993 are having kids and introducing it to their kids 25 years later and it probably means even more to them now. It’s really reaching a new generation, which is really cool! You know what else I think it is? In this day and age, with everything that’s going on in this world, I think what “The Sandlot” represents to people is that it takes you back to a simpler time. Some of the other guys said it in interviews — “It’s how America should be.” That is fine and I don’tbdisagree but I think it’s also a movie without iPhones and videogames. It’s about getting your butts out on the field and playing a sport with your friends. There is something great about that! I think with this new generation, it’s important to show them the great things about not sitting on the couch with a tablet in hand. I think that makes this new generation of parents want their kids to see it!

As you said, this film was popular when it came out. Was it difficult for you to deal with its success and becoming instantly recognizable from your role?

I don’t know that it’s been difficult because it is a character that I love! One of the things that is so great about Ham is that he’s the protector of the group. He’s brash, in your face and says what’s on his mind. Obviously, there are negative parts to a personality like that but it’s also such a fun character to play. I enjoy playing something that has that sort of personality in it. I’m a character actor, so I love to play all sorts of different characters. With that said, I’ve been lucky to do that in my career and I haven’t been pigeonholed into one type of character. No two characters are the same, so there are always differences. I have found that my role as Ham has only added to my career!

You’ve done a lot of work since “The Sandlot.” What are some other roles people might want to seek out to get a glimpse of your range?

It’s hard to say. Obviously, as I grew up, I did even more movies. I did “Son In Lawn” and “The Big Green,” which were a lot of fun. There was also a movie of the week that I did called “Blue River,” for something that I thought was a little bit different. More recently, in my 20s, I did a recurring role on “Boston Legal,” an episode of “The X-Files” and I produced and acted in “Bad Roomies.” I did a film called “Fear, Inc.” right after that. The latest thing is that I have a multiple episode arc on Netflix’s “G.L.O.W.,” which premieres this June. I’m pretty excited about that because it was a great show to work on and a great experience!

Patrick Renna will appear on Season 2 of Netflix’s ‘G.L.O.W.’ – Photo by Bjoern

We’re big fans of “G.L.O.W.” and can’t wait for the new season. How did you get involved?

I think I was just right for the part and my reps got me involved. I had a meeting with the team and they liked what I had, so it was just the normal Hollywood way. It’s such a fun show! I had never seen it before but when I booked it my wife and I binge watched the first season and I was blown away. Alison Brie is next level — all of the ladies are! They are all so talented! I just really fell in love with the show. It’s really cool to have the opportunity to be on the show that I loved watching so much!

What is your process for bringing a new character to life? Has it changed through the years?

I always try to create something that’s a bit different. One thing I’ve learned over the years, especially through producing and starring in the movie, is how important the written word is. It can make or break something. You don’t gain an appreciation for the other parts of filmmaking as much as you do as when you do what I did on “Bad Roomies.” You see every aspect of it come to life. My appreciation for writing has really come up. Now, going into a new role, I really expect what has been written as opposed to me trying to change it or trying to fit into what I have going on. Whatever the writers have created in their mind, I try to bring that to life. Of course, I try to add my own flair to it, but I try not to detract from the writing anymore because that is what makes it so good. When you have a show like “G.L.O.W.” that is so popular and so loved, why reinvent the wheel? So much of that love comes from the writing. That’s something I’ve really learned in the past few years and something I’m sticking with. There’s also a whole arc that the show goes through, so if you try to jump outside of that for whatever reason it can take away from the overall picture. It’s truly a team activity! It’s kind of like sports in a way. You can score all you want but you could still lose. The most important thing is that you win and that your team is strong. Most important thing is that the show is good and what comes next is if you are great in it, ya know!

Absolutely! Netflix likes to keep things under wraps but what can you tell us about the character you play in the series?

They are pretty tight-lipped over there about plotlines for the next season. I think that’s because it is such a popular show that they don’t want to give anything away. What I can say is that I play a character named Cupcake who is a super fan and that’s all I can say! [laughs] They are tight-lipped, and I’ve never been on the show that was like that. It’s kind of fun because they have to protect their next season from spoilers, so that fans are still excited to see it when it is released. Like I said, the cast of gals is so great and so are the guys. You can tell they are really having a good time and I think you can tell that from watching the series. I think that’s why it’s so popular. I think that’s why “The Sandlot” ended up being so great because we really, truly all loved each other and got along so great. The director had a great relationship with us and was like our coach. I can see that on “G.L.O.W.” as well. They all get along and it’s work but it’s not, ya know?

Patrick Renna – Photo by Bjoern

You mentioned “Bad Roomies” and the impact it had on you. Are there any other passion projects in the works?

I’m developing a TV show with the writer from “Bad Roomies.” I guess it’s loosely based on my character from “Sandlot.” There are some of those elements to it. We are developing a show right now and hopefully, at some point, we will go to Netflix and talk to them about it. I think it’s a pretty good idea, so stay tuned for that!

You and your wife recently welcomed your first child into the world. How has fatherhood impacted you?

Yeah! It’s definitely adding elements into this show that I’m creating. There is a lot of hilarity that ensues from being a parent and the trials and tribulations of having a child but it’s the best thing ever! It’s an experience I’m so happy to share with my wife! He just turned one! He’s definitely giving us a run for our money but he’s a cool dude and we are beyond happy to have him in our lives!

Making a living in the entertainment industry isn’t easy. What are the keys to longevity?

You’ve got to be smart with your money when you do get it. Realize that it may not always be there. That’s one thing. I know that’s something they really push in the sports world, like the NFL, but it’s the same thing when it comes to acting. You’re young and you get all this money then you just blow it. That’s a mistake. However, anytime you hear about these guys who were really smart and do well with it and they can keep going. Then you can pick and choose the projects that you want to do. I think that’s my best advice financially. As far as continuing, nothing is more important than loving what you do. You have to keep going and never give up. So many people give up and so few keep going. At least you have that working in your favor! You are part of a small percentile if you stick with it! It will hit if you work hard. It will! There’s no way that it won’t as long as you stay true to your goals.

Thanks so much for your time today, Patrick! I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us in the years to come!

Thank you, Jason! I really appreciate your time! I’m sure we’ll be talking again soon!

Catch Patrick Renna in Netflix’s ‘G.L.O.W.’ returns for Season 2 on June 29th. Connect with him on social media via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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BAD ROOMIES: Patrick Renna, Tommy Savas & Jason Schnell On Their New Film!

BAD ROOMIES: Patrick Renna, Tommy Savas & Jason Schnell On Their New Film!

Bad Roomies

Every once and awhile the stars align and allow friends to turn their creative visions into realities. Such is the case with long time friends Patrick Renna (“The Sandlot”), Tommy Savas (“The Sopranos”), writer Justin Mooney and director Jason Schnell (creator of Reckless Tortuga) joined forces. Along with a cast made up of some of the funniest actors in film, television and social media today, this dynamic foursome created the hilarious new dark comedy, “Bad Roomies.” (The films hits digital/VOD on December 1st, 2015.) The film centers around two best friends who live together who, after losing their roommate, go through a series of disastrous interviews to find a new one. They settle on an apparently harmless but beautiful girl and all seems to be going well, despite the simmering rivalry, until a drunken, horrible mistake starts them on a downward spiral. A hilarious yet disastrous game of roommate vs. roommate takes a turn that will change their lives forever. Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently sat down with Tommy Savas, Patrick Renna and director Jason Schnell to discuss how their friendship lead to their latest creative venture, the challenges of bringing “Bad Roomies” from script to screen and the lessons learned through the process. 

I have to start by saying you guys really hit it out of the park with “Bad Roomies.”

Jason Schnell: Oh my gosh, thank you so much. That is great to hear!

Before I get into the movie, I want to give everyone background on each of you. You all come from different worlds, so to speak. How did you each get started with a career in entertainment and what continues to excite you about it today?

Patrick Renna

Patrick Renna

Patrick Renna: You know, I started in the early ‘90s and one of the first auditions I went out on was for “The Sandlot.” I booked that movie and it was kind of a pretty wild experience for a first movie because it was 20th Century Fox, a studio picture, and it was playing baseball with a bunch of friends over the summer. I think that my image of Hollywood and the movie industry was a little wrong after that film! [laughs] Not that it is worse or anything but it is definitely different when you come back to the daily grind and realize it is a job, a wonderful job, but one you have to stick with. That was my introduction into it. I think what keeps me going is the potential to do things like “Bad Roomies” with these guys. For me, the thing I love so much about this movie was being able to have creative control over everything and being able to put all of our artistic thoughts and wishes into the movie. You normally can’t do that. You can’t always have that much control, so I think that potential is what keeps me going.

Jason Schnell: I have always known, since I was 13 years old, that this is what I wanted to do. I pretty much spent my life finding a way to get to this point. I knew early on I wanted to be a director. Entertaining people via storytelling has always been something exciting and personal for me. I have never wanted to do anything else. I have spent my life taking any job I could get and scratching and clawing my way to where I could be in the position to direct this movie. Finally getting to the point of directing my first feature film has been like a dream come true! I am so excited about the potential to continue.

Tommy Savas: For me, I have a story very similar to Patrick’s story. I was the youngest of four kids and I fell into the role of being the family’s entertainer. At a young age, I really found my voice doing that. When I was 16 years old, I won my first role on “Sopranos” on HBO. That is where my story is similar to Patrick’s. I got a taste of what I thought Hollywood was like: being on what was the number one show at the time. Being an Italian kid from New Jersey on “The Sopranos,” you couldn’t have asked for a better job. When I got that gig, it was something I fell in love with and continued you. When I graduated high school, at 17 years old, I moved out to Los Angeles. That is where I met Patrick and Jason, almost 15 years ago now. It really became a passion of mine. Being able to work with your friends and being able to create something without someone in a suit breathing down your neck and telling you what you have to do is an experience I loved and will always cherish.

Tommy Savas

Tommy Savas

How did you all cross paths in the creative sense and what led to you working together to bring “Bad Roomies” to life? Was working together a no-brainer?

Patrick Renna: The flash answer is, “Yes. It was a no-brainer.” Like Tommy had said, I have known them both for about 15 years. Jason was a co-creator of the YouTube channel Reckless Tortuga, which is pretty huge. Tommy has been one of the main actors on the channel through the years. They had worked together quite a bit. Watching them work so well together, I knew we would be a great fit. Us three would mess around doing short films over the years, so we knew there was a great chemistry there. When we all got this opportunity to make a feature, it was a no-brainer. Then you throw the fourth person of our team in there, our writer, Justin Mooney. He is so hilarious and we knew it was the perfect fit with “Bad Roomies.”

Tell us a little about the script. What made this story the one you wanted to tackle as your first feature as a team?

A dark comedy not to be missed!

A dark comedy not to be missed!

Jason Schnell: Well, I have a pretty strong background in comedy with all the online stuff I have done and creating Reckless Tortuga gave me a leg up. We were doing scripted comedy on the channel when nobody was doing scripted comedy! [laughs] I think from the get-go we all wanted to do a comedy because we knew we had strength in that area. Honing in on the story, the four of us developed multiple stories and finally landed on “Bad Roomies.” We felt it was our strongest first outing.

Tommy Savas: Yeah, I believe “Bad Roomies” was the fourth script we had written. The first one was about zombies, the second was about herpes and I believe this one was the obvious choice! [laughs]

Jason Schnell: I think as far as dark comedy goes, if you are at all familiar with Reckless Tortuga, it has a harder slant and edge to it. From our perspective, the thing that excites us more than anything is stuff that has a strong message that is presented and is more equated to how people actually speak and relate to one another, along with some scenarios that could actually happen.

What goals or expectations did you have creatively going into this project?

Tommy Savas: You know, as we were saying, we have all had our own unique experiences working in the film industry, both good and bad. We wanted to do something to show people you can produce a film, it can be done correctly and it can be done morally and ethically. You can also be in the situation where everyone gets paid. When you give people points in movies, those points can actually mature and be given. We looked at what we felt was a flawed model in Hollywood and wanted to show that four not so affluent kids, who are all in their 30s [laughs], could break that model and be successful in our own right!

Director Jason Schnell

Director Jason Schnell

Jason Schnell: To that point, with all the production that has gone on with Reckless Tortuga through the years, there was a lot of stuff we were able to do based on how much we had taken on ourselves and how well we know ourselves to be able to produce at a budget level that would not excite anyone from a studio system, which allowed us the freedom to create whatever we wanted. When we looked at what is happening these days with the model of how money gets spent on a movie, we looked at it from a different perspective. We looked at it and asked, “What do we need to tell our story?” We settled on an amount that would make most studios laugh and what is probably closer to their craft services budget on “Avengers.” [laughs] Because we had honed these skills over the years, we were about to trim a lot of the fat in filmmaking and put something forward that we are really proud of and is of a certain quality and one I think most people would be surprised at the actually price tag of.

Patrick Renna: Yeah. We had the decision-making ability of putting everything into the budget. We didn’t have a big budget but we put it all on the screen. We are all pretty proud of that because it is something we worked pretty tirelessly to do. It truly is all on the screen because it didn’t go into anyone’s pockets. From us to the crew to the other actors, everyone was willing to do it for next to nothing to make what we feel is a really funny movie.

Patrick Renna

Patrick Renna

Have you all had or been bad roomies in the past?

Patrick Renna: Yeah, haven’t we all. I think even more than bad roommates, this film came from past experiences with women and relationships. I think everyone can say they have had bad experiences there. I think that is at the core of it — our poor broken hearts! [laughs]

Tommy Savas: A lot of the moments in the movie are ones we all pulled from our real life. I won’t name them all because some of them, if I admitted they were real, I would be shamed but the roommate application scene is true to life. A lot of those characters you see during the scene, for example the erotic puppeteer, is a real story from my life! [laughs]

It really shows through. Let’s focus on the other cast members of the film as well. What went into finding the right mix of people to bring the script to life on screen?

Patrick Renna: Yeah, that was a wild experience. Probably not as wild for Jason because he has casted before as a director but for Tommy and I, we had never sat on the other side. I have to be honest, even when someone was good, it was cringingly awful to be on the side we were on as actors. I am sure you hear actors say all the time that casting is one of the hardest things about Hollywood and being on the other side is definitely one of the hardest things I have ever done. You feel the pain of every person coming in. It was a good experience to have as an actor. We put a lot of work and time into it because we really wanted to find the right characters, especially for the two lead girls. I think that is where we spent most of our casting time. A lot of the auxiliary characters are played by friends of ours, who we already knew were great actors. We knew there was no need to search Hollywood when we already had a bunch of great actors willing to do the project with us. With the two girls, we battled between the four of us, especially when it came to the lead girl. It was so important to us to have the right person. I don’t know if you have been watching “Project Greenlight” at all but it really reminded me of when they picked the director for the show, they went with the director who had the most clear personal view. I think that is what we ended up doing in our situation with our lead actresses. We went with the best actress and the one who scared us the most because she was different than everyone else. At the end, it was a choice we were all very happy we had made.

Tommy Savas, Annie Monroe and Patrick Renna

Tommy Savas, Annie Monroe and Patrick Renna

Jason Schnell: Casting for me, from a directing point of view, I knew that 50% of my job was done before we even step in the room because we had Patrick and Tommy. I knew, no matter what, I was going to get something amazing from them. It was really about pairing them up with someone who we all thought would really compliment the movie. With the casting of Annie Monroe, to be honest, initially I was not thinking on that area. I think we were thinking a little more broad. I think the thing she really brought to the table was a very interesting tone to the movie that the movie benefited greatly from. It doesn’t feel like your conventional, everyday comedy. It has a heart and a lot of depth to it. I think what everyone brought to the table as far as casting is concerned has really made me tickled pink.

bad-roomies-2015-6

You also dabbled in crowdfunding during the process. What was that experience like for you and is it something you would delve further into in the future? I am sure it is full of pros and cons.

Jason Schnell: It is. Being in the digital world and having been in the digital world for a very long time, at the point at which we did crowdfunding it was the flavor of the month, if you will. It seemed like everyone was doing it but it was something none of us had tried before. We thought it might be a great fit to try with our movie. I think going through the experience, it definitely has its pros and cons and almost needs to be supported by an already engaged audience to even have a shot at success. At the end of the day, I really feel the old model works well in the sense that there is something to be said about people paying for a movie that they are eventually going to pay for to see. Speaking for myself, it not something I see myself doing ever again. I just don’t know if it is a model that really makes sense for the business of making films.

Tommy Savas: One thing that is great is that now with crowdsourced funding, you can actually give ownership to a project to those who are investing in it. I think that will become a whole new realm for crowdsource funding.

Jason Schnell: Oh really? I didn’t know about that.

Tommy Savas: Yeah, yeah. I read about it about a month ago.

Jason Schnell: Yeah, if people could share in it, that is something I would be interested being a part of it.

I am sure you all took away something special from the experience of bringing “Bad Roomies” to life. What is the biggest lesson you took away from this project?

Tommy Savas: In doing a production of this size, where we had crowdsourced funding and an executive producer, it is very important that everyone wears the hat of the role they are supposed to be wearing. For example, the producer is the producer and the director is the director. You allow people to do their specific jobs and operate in that way they are accustomed. There was a time, early on, when I thought we could be in trouble if we had a producer trying to insert something or doing something other than his job. All in all, on the production side, that was the biggest lesson I learned. On another side, I would say, if I had my way, I would always work with my friends. Working with your friends and people you have a lot of love for makes the experience that much better.

Jason Schnell: For me, the biggest lesson I learned was a bit more general, which was managing a production on that scale. It was something I had never done before. What I had done in the past was on a smaller scale in a short film form. The difference between long form content and short form content, on the outside, seems like it is only more time but it is such a completely different animal. An entirely different set of problems occur when you go to long form. Being able to manage on that kind of scale is a learning experience that provided invaluable information to me.

Patrick Renna: I agree with both of them! [laughs] The only thing I would add to what Tommy was saying is that the ins and outs of pre-production and post-production. As an actor, it is a side of the process you don’t know. After this process, especially post-production, you realize how much goes into those areas. The more pre-production you can do, that is good financially for what you have, the easier the shoot will be. The more post-production you allow yourself, the less stress you will have at the end of it. That is what fascinated me most about post-production. You just don’t realize that the crew almost doubles after shooting a film. The amount of trades that go into completing a film is pretty shocking and spectacular. Learning to separate those processes out was important as well, as our poor director had to do many of them at the end. I think to be able to allow a director to just direct and get him an editor he can work with to have everything lined up for post-production.

Tommy Savas and Patrick Renna

Tommy Savas and Patrick Renna

There are so many great scenes in “Bad Roomies.” Which are your favorites and what were the more difficult ones to pull off?

Patrick Renna: I have two favorites. The first was watching Tommy Savas guzzle milk. That is just part of my mean-spirited friendship with my bud but it was unbelievable! When the sound cut out on one of the takes and he had to do it a third time, it was just amazing! [laughs] My favorite scene to shoot was probably the drug trip in general. It was its own day and we had a lot of time to have a lot of fun. I think the most challenging scenes came from all of our non-house scenes being at the beginning of our shooting schedule. We were on location for the first week of filming. I think that was a challenge because we were running around Los Angeles for the first week that any of us had ever done a film and we are on location. Because of that, I feel that section was the most challenging. After that, the house stuff became a bit easier.

Jason Schnell: I think my favorite scene is the first time Ray and Bobby are in bed together. To me, it sums up the whole theme and narrative of the movie, which is the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. The idea of something is always better than the actuality of it. Their relationship is so perfectly quantified in that scene. I just love it so much! The biggest challenge in the filming was the stunt work. We only had one day to shoot the entire fight sequence! I had never worked with a stunt coordinator or filmed stunts before. Managing all of that was a big challenge. Watching Tommy go through a table was probably the most nervous I had ever been in my life, next to having my child! [laughs] The whole experience was very scary to me, especially since I hadn’t done anything like it before. I think, ultimately, it turned out wonderful and I am very proud of that as well!

Tommy Savas: Yeah, my favorite scene was definitely the stunt scene where I actually got to go through the table. I was so excited to do it! I actually went through it twice and the second time was just because I wanted to! [laughs] A funny story about that is I had just gotten off a show called “The Last Ship,” which is produced by Michael Bay. I was lucky enough to hit it off with the stunt coordinator on that show. I told him I was making an independent film with my friends and he was really into it. We were really lucky he came on and gave us some of his guys to help us with the scene. So some of those scenes you have in “The Rock” and “G.I Joe,” same stuff as “Bad Roomies!” [laughs] That was my most favorite scene for sure! I would say the most challenging scene for me is when we are burying a body, at the beginning of the movie. It is a dark comedy, so figuring out how to play that scene where you still see the levity of the situation and the comedy in what happens, even though somebody is dead, so the stakes are still there. That was the most challenging thing for me. That and shooting it at 4 in the morning in the middle of the woods.

Tommy Savas, Annie Monroe and Patrick Renna

Tommy Savas, Annie Monroe and Patrick Renna

Is it safe to say we will see you all working together again on another project in the near future?

Patrick Renna: Yeah, I think I speak for us all when I say we would love to! Assuming there will be some great things to come from “Bad Roomies,” we would definitely love to work on another film together.

Tommy Savas: Absolutely. We would love to go all “Fast and Furious” on this bitch and go eight deep! [laughs]

Jason Schnell: Eight deep! [laughs]

I have to say great job on this film, guys! It looked great and the characters and story just jump right off the scene. I can’t wait to see where you are headed next!

Patrick Renna: Thank you, Jason!

Jason Schnell: Thanks, we really appreciate it!

Tommy Savas: Thanks and take care!

“Bad Roomies” hits digital/VOD release on Tuesday December 1, 2015. Click here to purchase!

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ICON VS. ICON PRESENTS: Acid Pop Cult Podcast – Episode 170: Off The Top Rope

ICON VS. ICON PRESENTS: Acid Pop Cult Podcast – Episode 170: Off The Top Rope

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It’s time once again for a fix of pop culture goodness with the Acid Pop Cult Podcast. This week Jeremy and Jason offer up some sage advice to a younger generation. With tips ranging from spending your hard earned cash on a quality mattress or avoiding the pitfalls of a back injury by avoiding the recreation of the high flyers you know and love from the WWE, this tag team has you covered. Jeremy offers a look inside the world of WWE fandom both retro and nu-wave, while Jason gives us the rundown on beloved child actor Kurt Russell’s horror-western “Bone Tomahawk.” They also recap Jason’s recent interview with Patrick Renna (Ham of ‘The Sandlot’), Tommy Savas (The Sopranos) and director Jason Schnell for their upcoming dark comedy, ‘Bad Roomies.’ Jeremy also offers another update on ‘Friday The 13th: The Video Game” as it surges past it’s Kickstarter goal. Like a fine wine, they get better with age but they are still getting too old for this sh*t. Download, listen and spread the word!

Download the latest episode of Acid Pop Cult on iTunes!

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