Rock the Lens with MJ Slide: Gone for the Day

August 12, 2013 2:44 pm173 commentsViews: 113
How did the name MJ Slide come about?
Amusingly enough the Mahogany Slide part of it came from the bottom of a Sobe cap. I was looking for a pen name because I find a certain charm in all that and it struck me as a good one. The J stands for Judith which is my Moms first name. I thought it would be an appropriate way to honor her because of how faithful she has been in supporting my creative endeavors all these years.
Gone for the Day how exactly did the story come about?
GONE FOR THE DAY started out as a simple exploration of a friend of mines unfortunately situation which out of left field, suddenly turned into my own. Similarly to my friend I had been in a relationship for more than 3 years and then like that I wasnt. It was this awkward painful season of life that left me feeling like I had no idea what to do with myself. I found myself going back to the places where me and my Ex. had shared happy moments and tried to rewrite those memories, to get over it and start anew. It wasnt easy, and I couldnt (and cant) do it on my own but with the help of friends Ive realized to not wallow in my singleness embrace and enjoy the little things in life.
How is Gone for the Day different from The Saving?
Its most definitely a lot more lighthearted and plays a whole different set of issues for the lead character. THE SAVING fell under Psychological Drama while GONE FOR THE DAY is more apt to being described as a Dramedy or how we said it on set, A Friendship Comedy. The tone is earthy and embraces a lot of warmer elements. My goal with the film was simply to put a smile on the audiences face while still provoking them think about the world and people around them. How we all have our own little battles of sorts.
Gone for the Day was filmed in Travels Rest, South Carolina correct?
Yup, that would be correct; when I originally wrote the script I wanted to go with an urban concrete jungle feel but realized that pretty much anyone can capture that sort of vibe. I pulled a one eighty and rewrote the storyline with a small town America as the backdrop. I looked around and concluded that I couldnt pass up the opportunity to showcase the quirky charm of a small SC mountain town.
You can read more about the films themes and GONE FOR THE DAYs conception on my
Every film needs great actors, how did you end up cast Daniel Bostic and Catherine Allen?
For some time Daniel  and I have been interacting on twitter and I had asked about 6 months before we actually shot the film I asked if he would be interested in the role. He gladly accepted and thats just one more item I can add to the list of awesome things twitter has made possible. As for Catherine I put out an open casting call on several different websites and she contacted me a few days later with her resume and headshot.
Tzuriel Kastel composed the original score how much direction did you give him with the music?
Tzuriel read the script first and then when we officially signed him onto the production I sent him a dozen or so tracks of the general vibe of what we were looking for and pretty much told him we were going unabashedly indie/borderline Hipster on the score.
Do you have any sound advice for young filmmakers who might be thinking about pursuing a career in the arts?
Know what you want and pursue it with passion, tenacity, and intelligence. Do not be afraid to ask for advice, set high goals, dont expect people to just hand you stuff, but if they do show you re eternally grateful. Work smarter, not harder, follow through, connect with a diverse group of people both on and off line and for heavens sakes, set up a twitter account.
You visited Seattle last June for the first Student Film Block part of Seattle True Independent Film Festival what was that like?
It was a blast, enjoyed every minute! The highlight was really the ability to connect with filmmakers and Creatives face-to-face, see my film among other great ones up on the big screen and test my marketing skills in a thriving artistic community about 3,000 miles away from my home in SC.
Would you recommend STIFFs Student Film Block to younger filmmakers who are looking to submit their work?
Most definitely!  Daniel Hoyos, the Student Block Fest Director seriously cares about each and every film he programs and the individuals behind those productions. The venue where the films are screened is fabulous and Seattle itself is an amazing and inspirational city and I am hoping one of these days to spend a summer there tackling a film project.
You can find GONE FOR THE DAY on the web at these three lovely sites and the official IMDb page should be set up quite soon. 

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