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Aftermath: Starting to fill out

Over the weekend and early this week, “Aftermath” saw a lot of progress as the cast is starting to fill out some. Pat and I both were very interested in seeing a few of the actors from “Shady Business” read for a few parts, and our instincts were right on. Zach Lawrence, (who is beginning to be a MINDSCAPE PICTURES staple) is perfect for the role of “Al,” and his friend Eric will be reading for the small part of “Nick” next Tuesday night. Also from “Shady Business” is Nikki Sella, who Pat and I were a bit unsure about when we first considered her. In “Shady Business,” she just had to look cute and smile, and that’s not the hardest thing it the world for someone who looks like Nikki to do. But in “Aftermath,” the part of “Britney”is all smiles and hugs on the surface as there’s a lot of real, raw emotion underneath. There’s one scene in which Britney confronts Al with her real feelings about the horror of seeing their friend shot, and in her reading, I could really see Nikki had the emotional context right. Actually put her in the moment, and I think she’ll shine.

Also cast in the picture is a local actress and model named Gail Simeone. She had submitted her headshot some time ago, and when Pat came over last week we went through the file and saw her. I had her read for the small role of “Debbie Marshall,” Britney’s mother, on Monday afternoon, and again, I could sense the emotional context, but I feel that once she’s in the scene, she’ll nail it. What’s interesting is that Gail doesn’t have any experience with moviemaking – at least not at this level. A few years back, she did a featured extra part on “Meet Joe Black,” a gig that lasted 8 weeks! Yipes!

Finally, one more call was made… to a newcomer named Michael Stephens who seems perfect for the role of “George.” George personifies the anger many people feel after a tragedy, and he’s looking to punish someone for the loss he’s experiencing. When I called Michael, he said he related to that sort of reaction rather well, and he was very interested in the part! His look, quite frankly, it perfect for the picture.

So… there’s a chance we’ll have a full cast come early next week as Justin Grace has already agreed to play the lead role of “John” and Pat’s friend Sarah Ashton is in as “Penelope.” To be quite honest, I’m shocked we managed to find such a great cast so quickly. I really thought we were going to struggle with getting young people right for the roles!

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