"Lien on Me": Dildo and Fart Jokes Slammed Between Two Slices of Silly

Sean Wing and Heather Williams in "Lien On Me"
Sean Wing and Heather Williams in "Lien On Me"
www.davidbeatty.net

Before we start, a moment of full disclosure: I've know photographer/playwright/actor/ director/screenwriter and filmmaker David Beatty for over a decade. He was a member of my late theater company, Rude Guerrilla, where he taught acting classes and I directed him in several productions. We've traded editing notes on our films, Surviving New Year's and Snuff and, most recently, he shot press photos for my productions of The Revenger's Tragedy and pool (no water).
I also know several cast members of his brand spanking new web series, Lien On Me. As a result of those myriad connections, no forthcoming reviews will be appearing from this critic. 
Just consider this an introduction: David Beatty, meet Art Whore Readers. Art Whore Readers meet David Beatty. 

Dyan McBride and David Beatty in a scene from "Lien On Me"
Dyan McBride and David Beatty in a scene from "Lien On Me"
http://www.davidbeatty.net/lienonmephotos.html

You've directed three films previously and also wrote them. How did those experiences differ from this one?  
Everything is different.  I produced this show with Ammar Ramzi and Nino Mancuso. The creative idea for this show might have started with me, but it really took off when I brought it to them. Nino had ideas right away and went home to write a script. A day later he had 22 pages of what would eventually become our first three episodes. We worked fast, so our process has always been changing.  Typically, Nino writes the first draft of a script then we send the script back and forth as we write the final version. Ammar and I give more notes than write dialogue and Nino incorporates all our ideas. We've had as many as 20 rewrites for some episodes. We make changes right up until the day of filming. This project has been a culmination of all three of us, and that has been the major difference.

 What's it like to be directed by someone that you wrote the script with? 
Nino is a very talented director. We've worked together on five other projects. He has directed me in three, I directed him and he was my cinematographer on my last film. As a director, he knows exactly what he wants when we shoot. Because he is also our editor, he can get what he wants quickly without wasting time. On average, we shoot two (sometimes three) episodes in one weekend. That's also testament to his working relationship with our primary cinematographer, Steve Smith. Steve is a very talented DP and camera operator with a long resume who fortunately doesn't mind slumming it with us. His ability to look at the boards, watch a rehearsal, and light the scene in a short amount of time is tantamount to our operation.

How did you meet all these actors?  How did the different acting styles and techniques of such a big cast work out?
Most of us met while going to school at UC Davis. We have worked together for a long time and we understand each other. However, when we shot the first few episodes, we didn't have our bearings yet. We were not exactly sure what the "feel" of the show was going to be. There was a learning curve as we worked.  It took us till our fifth or sixth episode to find our groove. Fortunately, we're shooting the show over the course of several months, so it gives us the opportunity to reflect on our work and make changes accordingly.
 
      One reviewer took you to task for essentially rubbing your potential audience's faces in the economic downturn. Care to rebut that?  
Nino would say "The economic downturn was rubbing all our faces in itself long before we started rubbing people's faces in the economic downturn. Where would Dr. Strangelove have come from if a bunch of paranoid government officials had not pointed nukes at each other? Or would we have had It's A Wonderful Life if there was no one jumping off bridges?"
      My producing partner, Ammar Ramzi, would say, "These times have turned so many people's lives inside out. People are finding themselves doing things they never thought they would to get by day to day. We are just taking things to comedic extremes to offer a kind of cathartic humor in the face of hard times."  
      Personally, I was just happy she noticed our show has a potential audience.

Have any new project(s) coming up?
Of course, there is always something on the horizon. In fact there are two, one of which is an indie feature film.

Do you have any advice to young DIY filmmakers?
There are no excuses. Do it Now!  
In fact, start by watching my web series. Go there right now and watch. Then tell all your friends to watch.  If you do this you will learn a valuable lesson in film making.


For more info/episodes of Lien on Me, visit www.lienonmetheseries.com 

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