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Our Jonathan Thompson has been taking a deep look at Virtual Hitman, a independent film that has been screened as part of GeekFest Film Festival. In this interview, Jonathan speaks with the project’s producer about her inspiration and what it took to get the project to movie screens around the world.
Doing double duty on Virtual Hitman, Kristina Esposito gave me an inside look at what it took to play Terri, the best friend of Amanda Joy‘s Lily, as well as the challenges of being the producer of this fascinating short film.
JT: First off, as someone who is slowly getting learning about what happens on the opposite side of the camera, what does a producer do behind the camera?
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KE: The producer is kind of like the organizer of the film. Sometimes they get a script, sometimes they have an idea, then they put the team together, get the money together, sometimes with smaller, lower budget productions, help find locations, etc. Basically they put the film together. In my case with Virtual Hitman, I read a newspaper article that I thought would be a great short. So I contacted Joy and told her my ideas and she said she’d be interested in writing!
JT: According to IMDB, you’ve worked on quite a few short films. Is that a specific choice you’ve made, only doing short films, or is that those stories are the ones that truly move you?
KE: I have worked on a bunch of shorts! I went to theatre school, not film school. So creating shorts was my way of learning how to produce by just jumping in and doing it! I’m now starting to transition into feature films and that is what I’m concentrating more on for projects in the future. But I do love shorts and will probably do them as long as I can. It would be great to one day turn this story into a feature!!
JT: What made you want to help make Virtual Hitman?
KE: I read a newspaper article about a man who hired an online assassin to kill his son’s video game character. He was sick of his son (who I believe was 27 at the time) quitting his job to play video games. I thought that would be a great short!
JT: Are you a gamer?
KE: Personally, I’m not a gamer. Growing up I didn’t have video games, but now my fiancé loves them so I watch him play a lot now. I try to play sometimes but I’m terrible at pretty much all of them.
JT: What made you want to play Terri?
KE: I just really loved the character of Terri. The idea of being a supportive friend, someone to encourage Lily to really pursue her dreams. I’m lucky that I have a lot of people in my life who are super supportive of my career, but I know a lot of people who don’t have that support system. I like to think Terri plays an important role in helping her friend!!
JT: The heart of this movie is communication between different generations. Do you have a similar story about trying to communicate with a different generation about a choice you’ve made or didn’t make?
KE: I personally don’t really have a story about the generational gap. I’ve seen it with my grandparents and parents however. Not this situation exactly, but there are definitely things that they see differently than I do.
JT: What do you think about when you choose a project to act in? Is it different than choosing a project to produce?
KE: Really, I just love to work on great projects! Since acting is my true love (with producing a VERY close second) I do tend to pick projects I also want to perform in.
Just like Brad Pitt – lol.
JT: And since I’m writing for a comic website, are there any comic books you enjoy reading and/or are there any character you’d like to play; either on the big screen or television?
Or maybe something that’s already on the air you’d like to be a part of?
KE: Batman has always been my favorite character. I wanted to be Batgirl growing up and I’d LOVE to play her someday. From Adam West to Christian Bale. I just love the character!
Jonathan Thompson is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @Jon_Toast