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About Shelby & Mark:
Mark grew up an entertainer in theater plays and played at local bars when living in Maui. Lived out of his office and car when he got started in Hollywood and met Shelby on a racy set. Shelby was a print ad baby and has been acting since she was 9, she’s currently in advanced improv at the groundlings. We have worked on major film and TV sets such as Motherless Brooklyn, Gotham, Top Gun 2, Westworld, and more.
Watch the episode here:
Uncovering the Truth of Hollywood | Shelby Marie Sloan & Mark Smeltzer
I’m excited about my guests because we’ve been going back and forth a bit before the show around filmmaking and production. They even watch my documentary, which I’m excited about. We’re going to talk a lot about all the possibilities of filmmaking, how you are getting into the industry and that journey. That’s what I’m excited about, Shelby Sloan and Mark Smeltzer.
We’re excited to be here. Check out more open forums about the ins and outs that are still making and what the struggles have been going to what we’ve all been going through in 2020.
Mark, how are you?
I feel good. I appreciate that.
I love this show because I’ve had a lot of music artists on these types of shows and knowing their stories and the struggles of trying to make it. Same with filmmaking. I learned a lot about that in 2019 and 2020 as far as how difficult it can be to break into things, especially when you have a piece that gets a lot of nerves going like mine. I know you watch the documentary. We want to talk about your film too. Something like that to where it drives a lot of emotion. You start to see some studios that shrug some things off because it’s not the fit for them. I’m looking at the bios. You guys have worked on major sets like Gotham, which is a sick show. I haven’t watched that in a long time. What’d you do on the set there?
I was a day player PA. It was my first scripted show in the industry. They called me when they needed extra people. I do have to say, the person that made the biggest impression on me was Robin Lord Taylor. That dude could be having the nicest conversation with you and they would call him to set. He would turn around and be in character. It was the most nuts thing I’ve ever watched. He’s so talented.
I didn’t see the other side of him but that’s what you tend to think. He probably wasn’t much into method acting because if he can have a nice conversation with you, he wasn’t a method actor.
I had a couple with him here and there. I can’t say for sure because I’m sure there’ve been days where he probably stayed in it. Just seeing that, I got totally blown away. There are others on set that are in their bubble. You can’t talk to them before they go on. It’s interesting because I started in the industry as an actor. Seeing actors on that level when I’m still starting out and trying to figure it all out watching that was a huge blessing.
Besides that, Top Gun 2, Westworld and much more.
When I met Tom, he’s so charismatic. He’s on it, in it and focused. I got a huge man-crush on him. I have a piece that I’m working on. I even emailed their team. I met Christopher McQuarrie, who did Usual Suspects and Mission Impossibles. He’s a super cool dude. I was asking him about like, “Would you ever shoot something on iPhone, full feature type stuff?” I reached out to their team because they were working with SpaceX about a project. I’m like, “I’ve got space projects that I want to talk to you guys about.” I reached out to Nevine trying to be like, “I have space ideas I want to talk to you about.” No one’s listening. Hopefully, this show could help. I’m sure of that because you’re on the up-and-coming that it might.
If you start commenting about Bitcoin, I’m connecting Elon to that space, which I did an interesting conversation about him. I might derail our conversation. Where I’ve grown up is cybersecurity. Have you heard of the hacker group Anonymous? When I said, “All you have to do is tweet about Bitcoin and maybe you might rise to the top in your space ideas.” Now, he’s being targeted by these guys saying that he’s taken advantage of the working man because when he tweets, it’s like the market rises and falls.
Think about the last person who had that social power. Our former presidents. It’s an interesting connection between the two. Somebody was asking me about him. I’m like, “I may have some concerns about the dude himself.” Nevine is awesome. Nevine stays behind the scenes and drives the world. I’ve met his son too. His son is heavy into HUD, the Department of Housing Urban Development. He was in alignment with Dr. Ben Carson throughout the administration. They’re into making the world better, which is pretty awesome. It sounds like that’s the direction you’re coming from.
I started an entire company out of agitation with the world I’m working in. I was like, “No, we’re doing it my way now.” I’m 100% on board with making them a better place.
Let’s shift back. You were talking about a full feature film which is iPhones?
Personally, I had struck up a conversation instead of talking. I started talking to him, “Would you ever do something like that?” He’s working, so we didn’t get to talk that much. I played as an extra that day but I have nuts. I talked to people on set. I don’t care. I’m like, “Let’s chat with these people.”
That’s how you got to be. I’ve ended up backstage in the days when I was rising up. I’ve been backstage with so many people because I literally walked backstage. Isn’t that a good lesson to learn? If you want to be in the room, walk into the room.
It’s also reading the room, which I do have trouble with.
We should probably get back to Shelby. What do you think, Mark?
I’ve been in this industry since I was six months old. I started as like a print ad baby. I went through everything of etiquette on set, mentorships, “This is what you do and don’t do. You never put extra work on your resume and you never talked to this person unless they talk to you first.” He’s gotten so much further in a shorter amount of time because he didn’t hear all those rules.
It’s gatekeeping. That’s all it is. I’m like, “There are no gates.”
There are amount of people that I’ve met and didn’t talk to because I’m some little Bernie when I was nine years old being like, “Don’t do this.”
You got to tell us the story from the Oscars.
The amount of times I’ve embarrassed myself in front of celebrities is stupid.
We need to get into the complexity of the two of your relationship at some point because this is great.
We’ve been together since April of 2020.
We started Zoom dating for two months because we’ve been friends for a while that. When I got back to LA, he got back to LA. When we were like, “I might be reopening?” We wrote this movie together and nothing reopened. We’ve been smushed together in a new relationship which has been interesting.
It’s been the best relationship.
Were you paused obviously with the pandemic in 2020?
I didn’t take it as seriously as other people because I don’t watch the news. There was a point of 0.02%. I was like, “You guys are literally freaking out about nothing.”
You’re hitting the hardest core data.
Don’t destroy an entire country and entire world for a couple of thousand people.
Isn’t it interesting coming out on the heels of that? You saw the film. This is a little bit of a sidebar. We almost demonized, in essence three specific governors, New York, Illinois and California. There was more than that. You had Cuomo, Pritzker and Newsom respectively. We took them, especially the individuals. There was Brown from Oregon as well, who decided they had all this power. It was interesting because here we are and you start to hear, “We need to open back up as fast as possible now.” Where did that shift come from? Like you’re saying, there could have been a better response. How did that affect the filmmaking industry too during those time periods?
I was entirely a freelancer. I was visiting my family in Texas when Trump started travel bands. I was like, “This is so stupid.” I thought he was overreacting and then I get calls from work. I was working on The Kid’s Choice Awards. They were like, “We’re not doing it anymore.” I was working only on live events at the time. All of a sudden, every single job got shut down and I hadn’t lived in California for eighteen months. You’re not qualified for unemployment. For four months, I was coasting on my savings being like, “This is the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.” My entire life is being around hundreds of people at all times. I worked on film sets and live events. I was in The Groundlings, which obviously shut down. I was at such a high level in my training that they didn’t even reopen that level of training until January of 2021.
I remember crying so much being like, “My life is over.” I worked for so long for this and I was so close. I’d finally got to go to the Oscars for the first time. I was booked for a Pilot as an actor. Everything was about to hit and it was like, “Goodbye.” When he came to me with this movie, I was like, “I’m doing that now. This is not going to control me anymore.” I was in Texas and got asked to do a couple of documentaries which saved my bacon financially. I was like, “I miss LA so much.” It’s become my home. I went back and it was this wasteland of terrified people who didn’t want to hang out with you. My roommate ended up trying to lock me in my room when I needed to go to the hospital. Thinking I’d danger people.
You guys have very similar things. You almost died years ago and she almost died this in 2021.
I almost died because of the pandemic without having COVID because my roommate wouldn’t let me go to the hospital and lock me in my room. I had a double kidney infection. That’s the whole saga. I was like, “You people are nuts.” We took a break from California. That’s why we’re not in California. I still keep in touch with the same people. There’s definitely a lot of incredible people in California but when this whole thing happened, I was around some of the ones that were completely off your rocker.
I’m grateful it happened because I’m like, “We need to get rid of this person.”
I was like, “I rely on the news and the government a little too much.”
If you’re not a California, where are you at now?
We’re in Washington State.
I was up there after the pandemic started and all riots happened. I’ve got some good memories at the Starbucks Reserve in Seattle. It’s an amazing place because it was 30,000 square foot Starbucks. I intentionally drove that way while we were filming the documentary. That’s where we started. It was by the hospital that had the first COVID death in the film. I drove by that Starbucks and all the windows were smashed in. It’s where they roasted the beans on-site. There’s graffiti all over the place. It was a sad state and where the country went. I’m hoping for things like what you’re producing because I love movies. It’s one of the reasons I made one. It’s also what I do to shut off my brain. It is the only thing that does that for me. Otherwise, it keeps going and going and developing new ideas.
We got to make it work.
With our movies, we’re trying to make people’s brains shut off enough that the message gets into your subconscious and makes you think about your life.
It’s easier to get somebody to laugh than make them think.
I appreciate what you guys are doing. Now that I’m seeing films start to hit the theaters again here. Almost every weekend, I’m scrolling through to see, “What’s new that’s out this weekend.” Why is it the horror genre? It keeps popping up all these new films all over the place. Do they have a backlog or something like that?
They were in such a heavy niche. I remember when I first moved to LA, all I could get was horror auditions. I was in tons of horror shows. They were in such a heavy niche right before the pandemic. Everything got held. Now it’s like, “We need to get this out because these things were slated to come out when everything hit.” They were like, “We’re not going to pull a Wonder Woman and lose a ton of money.” You’re right. It’s this backlog.
As I look at this, it’s cool because there are some females in leading roles on these too like A Quiet Place 2. I know Shelby, you talk a lot about the real truth in Hollywood and when it comes to women in film. What’s that all about?
This might sound bad but I think the #MeToo Movement has gotten a little too quiet. I have experienced it. I love everybody who worked on this show. I’m not going to drive them through the mud. There was a particular person who did sexually assault me on a set. They asked me back for another season with a pay raise and a better job. He got asked back in the same position, which made me laugh. I was like, “I knew you weren’t good at your job.” It’s a pain point. I asked them, “Are you going to fire him?” I told them what happened. The person that I talked to was like, “We can’t. We’ve already hired him back.” I was like, “Then you’re not getting me.” I walked away from the company entirely. I was like, “I’m not going to work with you guys if you’re going to condone that.” For me, especially the amount of times that it’s been like, “If you do this, you’ll get a better part.” I was literally cornered in an elevator, shoved against the wall and the guy does this stuff. It was like, “If this is going to be something you’re going to condone, I’m not going to be around this. I’m going to be loud about it.”
I ended up working in another film a couple of months after that, where it didn’t happen to me but I was hearing accounts of it happening to the actors and our wardrobe supervisor. I was the first AD. Two weeks before we were finished filming, I was like, “I’m done. I am not having this on my reputation. If this film goes down for this, I’m not getting anywhere near it.” I gave up the credit entirely. I was like, “I will sue you if you credit me on this or if you tell anybody I was ever a part of this. I don’t agree with anything you’re doing. Goodbye.” I will stand firm on it. It’s completely ridiculous.
When you get to high-level stuff like Gotham or Motherless Brooklyn that I’ve worked with, it never happens. As far as I have seen, at least in the high level, people are too scared now but it didn’t get to those lower levels. Every single instance I’ve had of any of this is coming from somebody who moved from out of the country or worked in a completely different field and this is their very first film they’re trying to work on or this is their entry into the business and knows nothing about it, they’re thinking they can take advantage of young women because now they’re big film directors. They think they can screw people over because like, “I’m a big deal.”
The guy on the movie I walked away from that I was ADeing. He was almost 30 years my senior. This guy is six months film course and I’ve been in the industry for over many years. I’ve been working behind the scenes, learning about these films professionally on high-level stuff for many years. He wasn’t listening to anything I said. He would railroad all my decisions. He was trying to film with guns without permits in public spaces in Brooklyn, New York. Because I was a woman, it was like any man on set, even if I had more experience would get the say and I would get railroaded. I was like, “I’m not going to do it for you. Sorry.” You can learn or you can’t. You can come from your insurance background and think you know everything about Hollywood in six months.
Speaking of the whole learning thing. Going back to the Liberty lockdown too. We were talking about how the US is going communism and socialism. It has to happen in order for people to understand that’s not the right thing to happen. It’s like, “Let it happen. We’ll go. You guys have fun. Fight it out it. Duke it out. Kill yourselves. Kill each other. Go have fun. We’ll come back when the dust is settled and we’ll restart capitalism in a republic, not a democracy.”
It’s almost like you were talking about Bradley in a Civil War.
I don’t know if this is a thing but I’ll call the atomic bomb theory because as soon as we dropped two with World War II, it was like, “Those were bad.” It ended the war but after that, there was a nuclear arms race. Everybody was like, “Let’s try not to do that again ever because that was a bad idea.” It accomplished the result. Is that how you’re thinking, Mark? You feel that it has to happen or it would be like, “This is bad.”
With what Shelby was talking about, not to get off the rails on that one. In bringing it back, it has to happen to some people. There’s no one to blame. The thing about blame is people don’t realize that wise people know that there’s nobody to blame and that things happen, whether planned or chaotic. It’s your responsibility to either accept and move on or change the way that it’s going. I’m a big entropy fan. I love George Carlin. I love how he talks about things like this. Religion in general, I know that you were a pastor. I don’t know your personal life. Here’s the thing, I studied you for a sweet couple of hours. I researched your page, what you’ve been up to and watched a whole bunch of your stuff. It didn’t tell me anything about you.
There was somebody at the end of Liberty Lockdown who said, “Communism is coming as like this evil shrouded to look like good.” That’s what’s made me moved to this whole thing. Everything that these politicians are saying and my friends are fighting for is like, “I don’t want anything to be racist. I don’t want people to die. I don’t want to be a communist.”
It is interdependency.
That guy had it right. It’s shrouded in this good and people don’t know what they’re getting into. It makes me sad.
It’s interesting seeing where the country’s going with where we’re at. I saw a Tweet by our president. It was like, “One hundred days in, and America is getting back on track.” I was like, “Okay.”
I heard about the things he signed into law that were like already laws.
“I got a great idea. We’re going to put double.”
I saw it. It was on Facebook. All the laugh emojis were hilarious. There were two million reactions and 1.3 million were the laughing emojis on this thing. Another 100,000 was angry face emojis and another 200,000 was like, “What? Where is this coming from? What constitutes back on track? Where are we going with this?” Even with the film industry. That’s like a great mirror almost because you see everybody wearing masks on set still. I followed Dwayne The Rock Johnson, as does 200 million people. He is awesome. I saw him still filming some things.
November 2020, everybody on set was wearing the N95 masks and still trying to move forward. That’s great that they were doing that but that’s because, “We’re staying safe.” “It’s also that the state said that you have to do this otherwise, you can’t film. These are the new protocols you have to follow.” Those extra precautions are still leaning that way towards the West Coast. How does this affect filmmaking going forward? Do you think we’re going to see this mirror of the country as far as where we’re going? Does the filmmaking industry have to crash and burn? Just like you’re saying, we have to lean over into communism and it has to happen before we realize, “What the hell?”
No, I think the film industry is going to end up thriving through this so much because what are people going to do? They’re sitting on unemployment checks, doing nothing at home, being terrified to live their lives. It’s almost like music in the ‘60s and ‘70s. It’s is going to be the only thing that gets you through. This is my projection that is going to be good for it. There’s starvation for content.
There’s a lot of crap content out there.
There are also a lot of streamers and networks being like, “We need content so bad,” and they can’t wait to get back to filming because it’s a huge demand. People are at home. It’s going to make it amazing. There have been a few things I’m very grateful for, like no more buffet-style eating. I’m very excited about that. Do I like a gun-shaped thermometer pointed at my head? No, but we’ll get over it. We’ll get through that. Eventually, the film industry is going to start being like, “This is dumb,” because I know there are a couple of studios that are like, “You can come to work if you’re vaccinated,” and they’re dropping masks mandates over that. They’re moving toward, “What is this?” We’re out of this now. It’s because they’re losing so much money and they know there’s a demand for it. If they don’t go back, they’re being stupid.
In Hollywood, it’s not about the art. It’s show business.
Money makes a case for so many different decisions that happen in our lives, country and industries.
Imagine if we got rid of money. We’re printing it. Someone can cyberhack everything. Just change a number in a computer and now we have $30 trillion or $0 of debt. It’s that simple. It’s an old archaic system. You got credit cards that have the numbers. I’m going to give you certain ways to create like, “It’s not backed on anything. There’s nothing that backs on Bitcoin. There are no assets.” Somebody takes out an EMP and destroys all the networks. You’re screwed. You have no cash. Somebody takes a number or cyber hacks them. You got that. It’s gone. No more cash.
That’s one buffet’s argument with Bitcoin. It’s not tangible. I can’t touch it. I can’t go into a place and see what I’ve invested in.
It’s fool’s gold. Even money. Was it Bill Gates? He’s collecting land and tangible things. At the same time, even with religion, at the end of the day, what’s the point? That’s where I’m at. I’m having an existential crisis. That’s what’s going on.
You’re talking about #MeToo and the film industry coming back. There’s a couple of things that caught my attention as you were going through this. In #MeToo, you said most of them were 30 years to your senior. If we’re talking, they might be out of the film industry. Where does the #MeToo Movement go at that point? Does a new generation pick that up?
The biggest thing is that it hit A-listers. Harvey Weinstein totally out of business now. The real fear is at the beginning of the industry like those who are just starting out working with other people because you do get a lot of that. You get a lot of guys who have worked their entire lives in other fields and have no idea what Hollywood is about but now they’ve got a ton of money. Making movies a lot of times is a rich man’s game. They’re going in and being like, “I can take advantage wherever I want because nobody’s going to find out about me. Nobody’s looking at me. They’re looking at all these big corporations.”
Actors and producers are going to meet with their cast with other women present to make sure nothing’s going on but that’s not happening to me because I don’t have the radar on me. That’s the thing that I feel. We have to get loud about next is getting into Hollywood thing. Sometimes unions can be overbearing. If unions got a tiny bit easier to get into, we could regulate what’s going on in these more independent sets. People wouldn’t run into these problems. Anytime this has happened, it’s something that wasn’t regulated by the union. When you get on a union set, it’s like, “I always feel safe. I always feel like nothing’s going to happen to me. This has already been dealt with,” but when you deal with it on a smaller level people like to be gross.
I also see the dichotomy you’re talking about on the A-list film and TV productions. You don’t see that there like Gotham or Westworld. You do on more independent scenarios. There’s a friend of mine and her name’s Alison Savitch. She was the first-ever credited female special effects supervisor in Hollywood. She’s amazing. She worked on Terminator 2. She’s the one who designed the T-1000. They were examining the bullet wounds and how it’s supposed to make liquid disperse. She developed all that. When you watch the film, that was all her. She worked with James Cameron on a whole bunch of his films. Not that he’s made a lot but he’s made all blockbusters and all huge ones. She’s worked with Spielberg. She had an interesting take on the #MeToo Movement also. She never had a scenario like yours.
When I think of #MeToo, I think of what you described, somebody has been shoved into the wall, in the corner of an elevator. It’s those types of human beings who deserve to be castrated. Those are the ones who do this. I’m straight up because that’s not being a man to me. A lot of people could probably understand me wrong on this too. I’m relaying the contrarian points of view here. Her perspective was those who have a producer invite them up as talent to be like, “Let’s go over this in my hotel room. Let’s see what this is.” She’s like, “You know what you’re going up there for.” It’s the responsibility do you see on both sides? I can see both perspectives. It’s different aspects. For you, I want to castrate the dude. For her, I’m like, “I guess that sounds right.”
I feel like if I were in a situation where like, “You’re only going to get this part if you do this,” that’s where it’s wrong but if it’s like I’m the person trying to go after the part, I’m like, “Would it sweeten the deal if I did this?” That’s my choice as a woman. If they’re like, “You’ve already got the part but come up to my hotel room.” That’s my choice. I feel there are a lot of whistleblowers in that way where it’s almost disrespectful. If you made a choice to do that, knew what your friend is talking about and what you were going up there for then you try to ruin this guy’s career, you’re not being there for your fellow women who were in positions like myself where we had no choice. If you made a choice on your own, I feel maybe take back your power. You were put in a position where you were like, “I could make this decision and make my career better.”
More power to you. Who cares who you sleep with? If you and somebody have an agreement and you’re like, “I want to sleep with you to get to the top.” They’re like, “I wasn’t going to say that but sure.” That’s you’re right as a woman to do that. You can sleep with whoever you want. If you’re like forced into it, almost like a rape scenario, that’s when you’ve been sexually assaulted on a set and you should talk about that. That’s my angle on it. There are people who knew exactly what they were getting into and said something about it because they had a buyer’s remorse thing, regrets or wished they didn’t have to do it or felt like in that moment they shouldn’t have and they didn’t listen to their moral compass. I feel that’s diminishing the actual situations that people who didn’t have a choice were put into. I agree with your friend.
It’s what our film deals with in a new, fresh and interesting way. We also have some deep subjects that we deal with nations. It’s quite a bit. We animated it because we thought it would be a lot easier for people to swallow. We’re not preaching because if you get too preachy with the film, people are like, “Screw this crap.” We make it interesting in a fresh, new way. No one’s doing what we’re doing.
You never want to be like, “This is the tone and listen to the message. It’s right here in front of you.”
Whereas with us, it was like, “We’re going to entertain you. You might learn something at the end but have fun. Hang on for the ride, buckle up for about 100 minutes and enjoy the show.”
This movie is definitely not about the #MeToo movement. I’m very personally passionate about it.
We agreed that it’s not preachy. It’s more of, “Enjoy the ride.”
Let’s talk about the film. You said that this is the first public appearance that you can talk about in the film.
Everybody’s like delve deep with us. We’re not going to be able to talk too much about nations. We haven’t even signed in.
What can you say? Where can people find information about it?
We can’t say a lot because the nature of the film is about the twist. We’ve even had to be very careful about what films we compare it to because if we compared it to a certain film, people would immediately know, “I know exactly what the end is.” That’s the thing that I feel if you know the ending at all before you’re in that final act, you’re going to ruin the film for yourself. It’s a difficult sell because in my opinion, we’ve got a pretty interesting ending. The people who have looked at it and looking to make it have said, “No one’s doing this. This is fantastic. I never saw this coming.” When you sell the film, it’s like, “It’s a crime drama about a widow reopening a cold case.” That’s about all I can tell you. It’s like, “That does not sound interesting. It sounds like something that’s been done before.” In selling, we’re trying to be like, “There are all these like emotional elements. It’s three timelines. You got to read this script.” We’ve found a hard uphill battle with that of trying to make sure people don’t read the script because I can’t tell you.
Have you ever been to a film where you’re like, “You just have to watch it. I can’t tell you about it. You have to go see it for yourself. You have to enjoy the experience yourself in it?” Even on some of the stuff that you do is like either cyber or anything. You can’t explain how it feels. You have to go and feel it for yourself.
It’s like Pulp Fiction or Shutter Island.
It’s funny, fantastical, strange and confusing. We like it.
It’s called Nascence. Shelby, you’ve thought about making a podcast around filmmaking or starting a podcast around that? What are your thoughts around that?
We have a podcast called Sloan and The Smeltz on our YouTube. It started by interviewing film professionals who also have businesses. I have a friend who is an actress and also got hit with the pandemic. She started a bathery and sells bath bombs and candles, body lotions and another actor who’s also a fitness health expert. It started as that. All of a sudden, we had a cryptocurrency CEO on there. We were like, “I guess we’re interviewing everybody now.”
The revolutionary film stuff goes on my production company, Damn Martini Entertainment. The entire point that I want long-term is to be that middleman because when you started out in the film industry, it’s like, “I don’t know what I’m doing.” You circle around in this bucket of other people that don’t know what they’re doing for a long time. It’s not like being a doctor where you go to school, med school, residency and then you become a doctor. There’s no road. The entire purpose of my company is one day, I want to build that road of, “This is exactly the steps you get to go be in Hollywood.”
For all the particular roles that you want to do so it’s basically a school.
That’s incredible because each role would have a different road. You’ve been on many of them too. With those roads, how do the politics of Hollywood play into that?
There isn’t a lot of movement once you get higher up unless you’re Margot Robbie. You’re not going to get a lot of mobility unless you’re at the very beginning of your career. A lot of people will tell you that. You’re starting out and they’re like, “If you want to be a comedic actor, senior comedic actor and only be in comedy. Don’t do drama.” You pigeonhole yourself. You can either start out as an actor or as a production assistant. You work your way up from there but what I noticed with being a production assistant is if you want to be a DP, makeup artist, special effects designer or stunt guy, starting in a PA position is amazing. If you want to be a director, producer, or actor and you started as a PA, good luck. It’s not happening. You’re never going to get there. In those roles, you have to start as that thing. Even if you’re crazy broke, call yourself director, even if you’ve never directed anything. If you’re like, “I want to be a director,” and say you’re a director. Get your iPhone out and direct your friend who works at Starbucks.
Don’t do porn.
I’m thinking like, “There’s got to be something behind that.”
If you’re curious, we’ve never done porn.
Anybody reading this, if you’re trying to get into Hollywood, porn is not the way to do it. You’re not going to get out of porn. I first moved to LA. My friend sent me up on a blind date. The guy was like, “I’m a director.” I was like, “I’m an actress.” If we ended up being this awesome couple, then we’re mutually beneficial. Four months into the relationship, I walked upstairs and there was a lot of porn on his computer. I was like, “What are you doing? I’m hanging out at your house and you’re watching porn. You’re a porn director. You’re not a director. It’s totally different. Don’t tell people you’re a director when you’re not.”
What if he started out when he wasn’t even a director? He’s like, “I’m a porn director.” What if he followed your advice?
If he wanted to be a porn director, yeah. As far as I knew, he’d already made a film a regular one. He was trying to be a director and had gotten tight on the rent. He took this job and I begged him. I was like, “You have to quit before you’re at six months.” Once you hit six months in a job, you have to put it on your resume. I was like, “You have to quit. You have to get out of this or you’re never working in Hollywood the way you want to.” He did listen to me but I got blamed for that a lot.
Wise people know there was no one to blame.
Where can people go to find out more about the film, Nascence?
We’re talking to a couple of people about starting whisper marketing so that we can get a website up. It’s going to be difficult because of the nature of the film. Now it’s our Instagram and the Nascence Instagram. We’re going to be slowly dropping stuff but we won’t even be in production until September 2021 and it’s going to be two years until the thing is out. This being the first thing. This is so ground floor. Readers, if you are on the ground floor, nobody knows about this yet.
The only people that do know are the people that we got attached letters of intent from like the Animation Studio Lex & Otis. They’ve done stuff for like Wonder Woman, Deadpool and the new Justice League. David Hartman wants to direct it. He thought it was great. We’re super excited that Lex & Otis wants to make it because they’re starting. They’ve got stuff like Netflix, Wild Card and all these other places. We’re like, “We would like to work with you.”
We have some of the teams in place. We have some actors that I would call a friend, Dave Fennoy. I love his work. He’s the original voice of Hulu. He’s done the Walking Dead, World of Warcraft. He’s a super cool guy. He wants to be a part of the project and he’s signed on LOI. We have names and some tangible things. We can go to people that have $200,000 to get started with the development funding and say, “Here’s what you can expect. Here are the people that want to be a part of it. Let’s put something together and get it in front of Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Warner Brothers.” All these places that are maybe looking for projects. It’s got a little bit of a horror element to it. I’m not looking for horror right now in case anybody cares.
I know that there’s an email that goes directly to me on my Instagram. If people ever feel like, “I to talk about the project. I want to learn more.” They can always reach out to us. We’re not hard to get a hold of yet.
That is @TheShelbySloan and TheShelbySloan.com. If you want to follow Mark, it’s @MarkMSmeltzer. You guys are awesome. Thanks for having the conversation. I’m going to keep following. I can’t wait to read the script looking forward to guesting on your show too. We’re going to stay in touch through those means. Thank you for bringing an interesting perspective to Hollywood and where things are at and where things are going.
A quick final thing before we get going. Ariel, your daughter. Picture it this way. It does deal with some human trafficking elements. Get ready for that. She’s got an idea that she can change the world through her stuff, either through milkshakes and waffles. She’s using that vehicle in some way, whereas the exact same way that we’re doing with more adult theme stuff of we’re dealing with really huge issues. Consider us as your son and daughter. Enjoy when you read it. When you’re ready to invest, you’re in it to invest.
She’s moved past the milkshakes and waffles now. Her cupcakes are insane and she’s perfected her buttercream icing. She doesn’t do vegan. Sorry.
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