Philip Curran – One Life
HD 1280×720 (watch on Vimeo for full HD quality)
There are many people in our lives whom we know well but how many of those people do we really know and understand, beyond what they present to the outside world? Beyond Closed Doors is a look into that very personal realm, into the private conversations between two people. The series is currently comprised of five episodes with the descriptions and cast as follows:
Ryan and Therapist – A man in his late 30s discusses with his therapist why his marriage has failed.
Ryan – Arturo Portillo
Arturo is a screenwriter and actor who has worked on several independent and well-known films. His most recent work was as a supporting actor in Ilegales about Mexican laborers for which he is currently touring the film festival circuit and as a stand in for Robert Downey, Jr. in Due Date. He’s won awards for three of his screenplays When Darkness Falls, The Last Ride, and Beaten and for his short film Not Human. He is also one of the lead writers for the indie comic book studio Urban Myth Studios. Arturo is currently trying to shoot his fan film A Nightmare on Elm Street, which has garnered good fan support, which you can read more about here and here. When not acting or working on his projects, he works as a Senior Video Editor and Videographer for a television marketing agency. Beyond Closed Doors is his first venture into voiceover work for machinima.
Therapist – Ricky Grove
Ricky is an actor, writer and animator living in Los Angeles with horror writer Lisa Morton and two wonderful cats Roxie and Sylvia. He has been involved in machinima for almost a decade and is one of the most prolific and talented machinima actors today. His acting experience spans several decades and includes both television and film including Money Train, ER, and The Outer Limits. He co-produces the annual Machinima Expo which takes place in November of each year. Ricky’s day job is working in a bookstore and he loves it.
Henry and Erica – A couple in their late 20s argue after one reveals an infidelity.
Henry – Nile Zam Jones
Nile Zam Jones is an aspiring actor and writer who has been actively involved in voicing and creating machinima and video game mods for nearly a decade despite no formal training. He has been in various projects featured on machinima.com, TMunderground.com, and other machinima sites. He has recently broken into doing live action with the short art-house film that he co-directed and starred in called Yielded Nature which is available on vimeo and youtube. Niles currently lives near Cincinnati, Ohio, and plans to enroll in film school.
Erica – Emily Carroll
Emily is a graduate of pastry school and works as both a barista and cake decorator. She plans to enroll in flight school in the coming year. She has always been interested in acting because she saw it as a way to experience everything in life, from all different perspectives. She has taken singing lessons and acted in several school plays. This is her first venture as a voice actor in machinima.
Mother and Baby – A pregnant woman in her early 20s talks to her unborn child.
Mother – Tamara Russell
Followers of Adventures in Dating will immediately recognize Tamara as the talented voice of Ellen. She used to create machinima with Sims 2 under the production name Artcgrrl Studios, which she discovered in 2004, but is now exploring Second Life. Her contributions in Second Life include filming and providing narration for Lainy Voom’s Virtual Build Archive which features some of the most interesting and creative builds in SL. Most of Tamara’s time in SL is spent designing furniture for her shop Art Dummy. Tamara loves all things art and holds a degree in Fine Arts. She currently lives in Virgina where she is busy taking care of her son.
Helen and John – A married couple in their late 30s deal with infertility.
Helen – Sonya Cross
Sonya is one of the most in-demand female voice actors in machinima today. She has voiced numerous roles for a number of machinima projects spanning multiple platforms and other movie making communities across the internet. She is known more commonly by her aliases QueenofHearts and Bella and is instantly recognizable by her distinctive, gentle voice. Some of her other projects include radio plays and original animations. She has had experience in professional work, voicing for training videos and advertisements.
John – Benjamin Tuttle
Benjamin began making machinima in 2007 when he purchased the Movies game. He later joined TMUnderGround where he developed short films and radio plays. His filmography includes Fatale, Shadows of the West, Reflection, It Always Rains on Tuesday, The Assignment and Phantom of the West. He’s won both the Harb40 and Best Western Ollie competitions. Along with creating machinima, he has acted in over forty different machinima productions across various platforms. He is currently in college pursuing a degree in Film Studies.
Eva and Max – Two online friends in their mid 20s transition from friendship to something more.
Eva – Allison Berger
Allison is studying dance and anthropology at Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania. Her recent credits include performing in a dance-theater rendition of Shakespeare’s The Tempest and choreography for her own dance film “!dentity.” She uses her anthropology studies in her choreography and hopes to study the influence of dance on cultures around the world. Along with dancing, Allison writes music for voice and guitar or piano and her songs range in subjects from the typical love song to a jazzy slurring style, even some done completely a capella. She studied acting in high school and workshops and Beyond Closed Doors is her second venture into voice acting. She dapples in modeling, dance on film (directing, producing and choreographing), writing (short stories, poetry and novels), and music. Her rambling endeavors can be found on her blogs.
Max – André Lopion
Followers of Adventures in Dating will instantly recognize André as the voice of Eugene which garnered quite a following from viewers, particularly of the female set. He was a popular Sims 2 machinima director under the name Jixs from 2005 to 2007. His music video Me & Myself was screened at the DC Independent Film Festival in 2006. He also worked with Todd Stallkamp and Trace Sanderson for the ITV Westcountry to produce the current affairs program Special Report: The Future Game, which used mostly footage from The Sims 2 and went on to win a few awards including the Media Innovation Award in 2007. He currently lives in Johannesburg, South Africa and is studying for a degree in Multimedia Design after realizing Computer Programming wasn’t right for him. He loves cats and hates spiders.
About the Trailer
I decided to film the trailer using the simple color scheme of black and white to reflect the concept behind the series. Most of the scenes have black backgrounds to serve as a metaphor for the viewer being in the ‘dark,’ of not knowing what’s really going on in people’s lives. Once we hear the characters talk, the screen fades to white to represent ‘light,’ and of getting a glimpse into the private lives of the characters. I decided to have text over actual scenes from the episodes for several reasons. First, I expect the series to take me about a year or less to complete particularly since Moviestorm requires heavy modding for me to get what I want and it was unrealistic to have all the sets and animations built in time to release the trailer (not to mention all the work and time it takes to produce an episode). More importantly, text was used to reflect the nature of the series- each episode is a character study and what each character says is paramount to anything I could show visually on screen. It’s the words that matter and what better way to reflect that than to show them as they are spoken. You’ll note that some of the words are larger than others; they are that way because those specific words are significant to the dialogue and story. The other words fade while the significant ones linger. Although words only last the duration that they’re spoken, they are powerful and we can often remember them long after they’re said. This was the impression and mood I was trying to convey to the viewer.
My biggest challenge with working on the trailer was dealing with the all the different actors’ voices, their tone and microphone qualities. It was particularly hard to put together two actors where one had a high quality, professional sounding mic and the other a lower quality one. In my ideal world, all my actors would have the same recording equipment and set up so that they all sounded as if they were coming from the same room. Alas, that was not the case so I tried to adjust settings as best I could and I’m hoping I did enough to not make the differences too glaringly obvious. I’m sure someone with more experience and a finer ear for sound would have done a better job but I did the best I could and I suppose the compression on Vimeo lessons the quality of all the audio anyway.
I hope the trailer and piqued your interest in the series. You can read more about Beyond Closed Doors and how it was conceptualized on the BCD page. I want to thank my entire cast not just for providing lines thus far but for committing to the series with incredible professionalism and enthusiasm.
*Just as a side note- I posted a picture of one of the couples in a previous post. I decided to change them a bit after getting my actors’ final voiceovers for the trailer. The voices just didn’t fit those characters and I ended up changing them to better suit what I envisioned.
*Poster image photography by Don Chu.
*Newer version posted with voiceovers edited further. Additional editing assistance provided by Ricky Grove.