A few photos from the premiere of EVIL LURKS! It was a fantastic event and so exciting to see the final product. Future showings/distribution/DVDs TBD!
The time is fast approaching for Evil Lurks to finally make its big screen debut! We will premiere this wild indie horror feature in St. Charles, IL on July 17! I was going to post about buying tickets....but we are SOLD OUT! Never fear, future screenings are being planned and stay tuned for updates as we unveil plans for a limited DVD/Blu-ray release and potential streaming distribution.
It's been a long road from our first days on set back in 2019, through the pandemic and post-production process until now. It's exciting to finally see the film we all worked so hard on get the big screen debut we've been waiting for and we hope audiences will resonate with the film. It's a beast, but it's OUR beast!
Check out the new official trailer here, which just debuted Friday July 1!
Last week I had the absolute pleasure of filming my role (KAT) in Tin Roof, a new camp slasher indie feature film from the brilliant minds of Rob Mello (writer/AD) and Rebecca Rinehart (director). We managed to fully shoot everything in a packed week, pulling talent in from across the country, traveling to multiple locations across central Indiana, and executing several impressive practical effects to make the kills look incredible (and with SFX veteran Joe Castro at the helm, they're going to look amaziiiing). It's hard to describe the experience, but I have rarely worked with a cast and crew that worked so well together - not only did we bust our butts to get the shots, but the chemistry between the cast members was magical as well as the camaraderie between cast and crew. The group of "friends" in the film I was in quickly became true friends throughout the process - and it took real vision on the part of Rob and Becca to see that we would all work and gel together so well - especially considering the casting process was fully remote, and the first time we actually met in person was on set.
I've included a few photos I'm allowed to share (can't spoil the plot or any of the kills!) below. Something very cool was making the front cover of the local paper while shooting in Bargersville, Indiana!
The hope is that we can premiere Tin Roof in Summer of 2023 - in the meantime, keep an eye on our IndieGoGo campaign for opportunities to get cool perks and help fund the film!
New season, new updates from the world of Amanda Winston!
Since putting my updated headshots into the world I've gotten a great response and have been keeping busy with auditions across VO, film, TV and theatre. I'm very excited to update my reel eventually with footage from my work over the past year as well, once everything is out of post-production.
I had a great deal of fun earlier this year shooting background for a major beer brand, provided brand campaign VO for iv360, and started some industrial work with a national health insurance provider (shooting more this week!).
We've finalized shooting dates in June for new camp slasher Tin Roof as the fundraising efforts continue - and there are many unique perks and ways to get involved over at our IndieGoGo . I play Kat in the main ensemble and it's going to be a hell of ride!
And I've been continuing my NYU TV & Film certificate course, finishing a couple drafts of a short film I'm excited to bring to life! Honing my skills as a screenwriter has been a thrilling challenge, and of course so far I'm sticking to my go-to genre: Horror (#ScreamQueenForLife).
It's a quick update for now as I hustle on! As always, ~Stay Weird~ ;)
It felt like it was time to freshen up those headshots and get a bit more specific with the kinds of characters I play. You'll see updated headshots across my website and social media accounts, and dropping them here as well. This time around I worked with Nancy Vela Photography in Chicago. And while Nancy is relatively new to the headshot photography game, she's been doing hair and makeup for photo and camera for years, and truly has a knack and ease for this kind of photography. It was great working with her and figuring out small tweaks we could make to help tell the story of the different types of characters I often play. And the fact that she can do killer hair and makeup as well as take awesome shots is a major bonus! So here they are - and maybe it was happy headshot vibes, but I just got a callback for this weekend, so I have a good feeling about these ;)
Looks like I'm overdue for an update! I've been keeping busy with auditions, projects, travel and making the most of the summer.
I shot a few new projects:
In other news - I consider myself a life long learner - and so back in February I signed up for the NYU Tisch Film & TV industry essentials certificate course. I'm working my way through at my own pace, but am excited to see how this knowledge will further amplify and influence my career - particularly my hopes of bringing my first screenplay to life.
Very recently I returned from a two week trip to Costa Rica! What does that have to do with acting? Not much, other than I am a firm believer that the best actors are ones who live their lives fully and experience the world beyond "the industry". So when I had the opportunity to visit Costa Rica (never been) and chaperone a group of future veterinary students (love animals! Was an RA in college!) I thought - why not? And it was plenty of work, but also incredible. We soaked up Costa Rican culture, worked with all kinds of wildlife, spent a 2 night stay essentially in the jungle (ever woken up at 5am to the sound of howler monkeys in the trees right out your window?), toured a coffee farm, and my favorite of all - we visited the Costa Rican Sloth Sanctuary. We met the incredible Dr. Becky Cliffe, the world's foremost expert on sloth science and biology, and founder of the Sloth Conservation Foundation, who took the time to speak to our group about the vital work they're doing in understanding sloths and conserving their natural habitats. I have been mildly obsessed with sloths for several years and following the Sloth Sanctuary with the hopes of going some day - and it did not disappoint! I'm looking forward to more travel in the next several months to San Juan, Puerto Rico and to several locations in Japan (life and Covid-19 permitting) - though these trips will be purely for fun :)
Live fully, stay weird, take care of each other, and I hope your summer included a few smiles :)
What on earth do I mean by Literal Scarlett Pineapples? Well news comes in threes, so I'm referencing three recent projects in various stages I'm now a part of!
Literal Revolution - written by Dylan Johnson, is a short film produced by Hollywood Casting and Film here in Chicago. This short has undergone quite the journey. Originally a concept by writer Nick Bain and cast just as the pandemic was starting to worsen in early 2020. The original concept required some crowd scenes and was indefinitely delayed. HC&F made the decision to go a different direction with the concept, bringing in their resident screenwriter Dylan Johnson and utilizing the originally selected cast. Come to April 2021, and we were able to shoot this delightful script. Looking forward to seeing the final cut in the near future!
Scarlett - I stumbled upon a somewhat short notice casting for the role of "Emma" in Scarlett, an indie feature film by local filmmaker Sam Vainisi and produced by Serrawyn Pictures. It was serendipitously brought to my attention by the director of Tin Roof, Rebecca Rinehart (who also happens to have a role in Scarlett). This suspense/thriller is the sister film to Violet, Sam's first directorial feature film venture - and I was thrilled to find out I've been cast and will be shooting in Mid May! Sam's working is detailed, edgy, and puts you on the edge of your seat.
Pineapples - rounding out recent project news, I had the pleasure of shooting a small role in the short film Pineapples with Great Fire Productions in mid-April. If you haven't heard of Great Fire in Chicago yet, you likely will soon. This young production company is quickly producing a number of exciting projects, from music videos, to branding videos, to narrative shorts and more. It's a very supportive group and was fortunate enough to have worked with one of the founders, Cameron Greenebaum, on past projects.
I know myself and many in the industry are thrilled that work is picking back up - and best of all, I'm fully vaccinated as are more and more folks on set - back to safe sets means back to working safely. Stay safe out there friends!
I've often joked about my desire to be the next big #ScreamQueen of B horror films. Let's be real though....I would be DELIGHTED to be known as a Scream Queen of the horror genre. Watching and making horror films is so much fun; whether it's the thrill of being scared, laughing at the absurdity, or geeking about the awesome (or sometimes terrible) effects, performances, and characters.
So I'm very excited to announce that I've been cast in another indie horror feature film, Tin Roof! Tin Roof is written and produced by Rob Mello, best known for his roles in Happy Death Day & Happy Death Day 2 U among a long list of credits. It is directed by Rebecca Rinehart, who directed, co-wrote (with Rob!), and produced the upcoming film The Embalmers, and has starred in plenty of indie horror herself including Frightvision, Boobs Blood and Mayhem: Volume 1, and Bloody Hooker Massacre - among many others. Tin Roof follows the story of Five adults as they attempt to save a beloved summer camp threatened to be closed permanently due to recent unfortunate events. We'll undergo principal photography in September and I am so thrilled to be part of the main cast of this killer project as "Kat"!
In related horror news, the forthcoming Evil Lurks has graced its first billboard on the 210 highway near LA, and will be coming to a billboard near Chicago soon. Definitely fun to cross the "be on a billboard" item off my bucket list! We've also picked up another official festival selection for the trailer with the March 2021 DMOFF (Directly Monthly Online Film Festival). We'll find out if the trailer won any awards from DMOFF soon.
In addition, the short horror film Love Me Tinder in which I play a small part has started making its rounds in the festival circuit, and snagged its first official selection in the 2021 MLC Awards. I have to say, writer/director/producer Sean Patrick Leonard did an excellent job with this short and in particular the lead Mickey O'Sullivan pulls off a darkly brilliant performance. Hoping for more official selections (and wins??) coming our way :)
My next bit of news has nothing to do with horror but I am excited/nervous to share that the guest appearance as a player/character on the Star Wars RPG podcast, NRPR: New Republic Radio, has finally dropped! The episode is being released in multiple parts, and part 1 is available now as "S1A7 – A Bridge to Tomorrow, Part 1" on Apple Podcasts and Podbean. If you like Star Wars and RPGs, this podcast is a whole lot of fun and explores an imagined Star Wars universe in an anthology of encounters set during the events after Return of the Jedi. While I've played my share of Dungeons and Dragons with friends, I've never felt particularly "skilled" at it, and playing "live" with the Star Wars RPG system for the first time was definitely a step outside of my usual performance endeavors - but all in all I had a great time and I think it turned out pretty well! So if Star Wars RPG is your thing, please give it a listen and subscribe/rate at Apple Podcasts or Podbean.
Apple Podcasts Direct Link: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/nrpr-new-republic-radio/id1502724299#episodeGuid=newrepradio.podbean.com%2Ff39cf7db-df3a-3259-831b-877f648122b8
Podbean Direct Link: https://newrepradio.podbean.com/e/s1a6-%e2%80%93-a-bridge-to-tomorrow-part-1/
After a quiet and restful holiday and new year... and gritting my teeth through freezing cold Chicago weather and the tumultuous political and cultural landscape we're all navigating... I am pleased to share that Evil Lurks, though still in post, has started earning awards for its trailer! We won best trailer in the Hollywood Blood Film Festival and the Rome International Movie awards, and made it to the Semi-Finals for Best Trailer in the Vegas Movie Awards. Once the film is complete (coming soon in 2021), it'll be open season in regards to film festivals so hopefully more awards to come (fingers crossed!). In the meantime, Homecoming Massacre has been making the festival rounds throughout 2020, and ended the season with 12 official selections and 4 wins (including an audience favorite award!), as well as its debut screening at the Highlands Film Fest.
Does it seem like I enjoy doing horror movies? Because I definitely do :) #screamqueen
Posters & trailers below!
The pandemic has caused a lot in the entertainment industry to shift, speed up, and slow way down in different areas. I'm thrilled to say I feel like I've hit warp speed - I am now represented by Gray Talent Group! I am forever thankful and humbled by my time with Dream Team Talent and am so encouraged by Vilma & the agency's tenacity, care for the talent, and the opportunities they're bringing to Chicago and beyond.
Gray Talent Group has proven to be one of the top and most well-respected agencies in Chicago and are making their mark in LA and NY as well. My husband Jonah, also an actor, has been represented by Gray for several years, and as more casting offices are looking for talent that are real couples or people quarantined together, the time seemed right to get our representation "all in one house". I can't wait to dive into whatever opportunities may be on the horizon. Onwards!
Gray Talent Group, Inc.
727 S. Dearborn St. Suite 312, Chicago, IL 60605
Phone: 312-663-1659 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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