Episode 032 – Producer Director Actor Brad Coolidge – Part 1

Stephen Bittrich and Brad Coolidge after whacking some golf balls.

Stephen Bittrich and Brad Coolidge after whacking some golf balls.

My good friends Brad and Melissa Coolidge helped me transition to Austin.  That’s the kind of lovely, awesome folks they are!

And they also happen to make thoughtful, exciting independent movies.

In part one of this two part interview I talk to Brad about the movies he and his wife have been producing or co-executive producing (along with their partner, Todd Labarowski).  These include, What Maisie Knew (with Julianne Moore, Alexander Skarsgård and Steve Coogan – inspired by a Henry James novel), Prince Avalanche (directed by Austin filmmaker David Gordon Green and starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch, Joe (with Nicholas Cage and again directed by David Gordon Green),  The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him AND Her (which can now be seen as intended in the big markets like New York — and a combined version “Them” is playing in some smaller markets), Manglehorn, (with Al Pacino, Holly Hunter, Chris Messina, directed by David Gordon Green) and The World Made Straight (with Noah Wiley, Minka Kelly, Haley Joel Osment, and Jeremy Irvine).  These last 2 films have not yet been released.

In part 2 of the interview we’ll talk about Brad’s experiences directing a “creature feature” horror film.  So keep an eye out for part 2 coming soon.

If you’re in New York or other select cities go see The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him/Her.  Click here for tickets in New York.

Topics covered in the interview:

Episode 030 – Director Will Pomerantz


will_pomerantz_1Will Pomerantz and I grew up in the same small town of Seguin, Texas, and we both eventually made our way to the Big Apple to pursue a life in the theatre.  We first met when he was about 13 (which would have made me about 12), and while in Texas we did plenty of high school and community theatre together.  We recount a few tales from our Texas theatre roots in the interview.

Will has over the years evolved into an amazing director who is always busy with exciting projects.  I was lucky enough to rope him into directing a play of mine call Desert Rites, which for me was one of those great life experiences that one always remembers.  He’s very skilled at working on new plays, possessing the ability to help the playwright clarify and fine-tune what he’s attempting to say. I certainly had a better play at the end of our rehearsal process.

For more information about Will, check out his website.

Topics covered in the interview:

  • Hi Will… and Zoe.  Growing up in Seguin, Texas (2:17)
  • The director emerges, Cornell University (8:51)
  • An interview with the CIA (11:33)
  • MFA in directing at Carnegie Mellon University (13:27)
  • Drawn to the past, particularly the 1930s (16:49)
  • Will directs my new play, Desert Rites — a strength working on new plays (17:58)
  • Working with Nancy Harrow on This Side of Paradise about Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald (20:59)
  • The Blue Flower by Jim and Ruth Bauer at American Repertory Theatre and Second Stage Theater (24:58)
  • Adapting Tale of Two Cities at The Culture Project (28:38)
  • A tangent — The Godfather and Pulp Fiction (31:51)
  • Epic Theater Ensemble, Mahida’s Extra Key to Heaven by Russell Davis (34:30)
  • Working with John Guare — Landscape of the Body at Juilliard (38:57)
  • Working with Kathleen Chalfant, Great Expectations (43:48)
  • Audition stories from the other side of the table (49:22)
  • Stephen’s “bad director” story (54:25)
  • Directing philosophies — how to coax forth a great performance and how Will approaches a new project (58:27)