Actress Erin Fogel has taken Hollywood into her own hands, rolled up her sleeves and successfully executive produced her first feature film, ‘The Strike’ currently out on all digital platforms.
The New Jersey-born “go getter”, who rose to fame in the blockbuster movie ‘27 Dresses’ starring alongside Katherine Heigl, chats to MarkMeets about making her own opportunities in the entertainment business.
Can you tell us a little about your latest movie ‘The Strike’, and how the story come about?
‘The Strike’ is a true-life tale of passion and a collective need to create something new and different. I had been ready to lead a crew for some time so began working on a script with fellow filmmaker, Josh Sugarman (Tenafly Films), which I was really excited about. I had put many carts before the horse on that project. I collected locations, secured a partial budget, and had some actors in mind I really wanted to work with – one of which was my friend, and talented producer/actor, Guillermo Ivan. I had been longing to work with Guillermo in many capacities, but was delighted to at least have the chance to work with him as an actor. To my dismay, the project “hit a wall” and could not move to the next phase of development. I was beyond disappointed. I called Guillermo Ivan and explained the situation. He comforted me with the reminder that “things happen in their own time”. Little did I know that the time was still NOW! Two weeks later Guillermo called me with the idea to do something together! We could retain all that I had collected and make something that utilized all those resources. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse. We both had such a surge of excitement in making something colorful, fun and zany, with a message of morality that could resonate with the whole world. Reverse engineered and with unmatched energy: ‘The Strike’ was born!
What drove you to executive producing this movie?
I was always an inherit networker. If you needed something and I had some sort of way to help you get it – it was so rewarding to help expedite. As the years progressed my “rolodex” was overflowing with people, places, and things that were often sought after by contacts of mine, who were producing films. If they needed a location, a makeup artist, a caterer I knew – they came to me. I was accidentally associate producing all along! As a TV/Film actress, I found myself becoming more and more curious with the other side of the lens. I was drawn to the crew. I was magnetically pulled to helping solve problems. I was a natural producer. It was just about finding my moment to dive in (head first), and create my own team to see if, in fact, I could successfully take a film from inception to distribution. It was a challenge that I had confidence I could fulfill.
How did you find the producing process?
I loved it. I dream about the next project because I felt I was satisfying every aspect of my personality. I got to work with people I adore, I was constantly jumping hurdles and finding solutions, to what initially seemed like unsolvable problems, all while doing my best to maintain a Zen disposition. I always feel proud to be able to give artists employment, and find new talent to start on their journey with their first resume credit. I count down the moments to start production on my next endeavor.
You also star in the movie. Was it hard to juggle both responsibilities on set?
You wouldn’t think this at first, but producing the film made acting much easier and more natural. In the past, I had a tendency to work a little “too hard” on characters I was playing. I think in my heart I focused so much on things I could control, which didn’t allow for as much freedom to play while performing. There were days that were so consumed with production that by the time I crossed the line to play Molly Mirovsky, it was a like an artistic vacation – one where I could really relinquish control and let the action guide the performance. It allowed for improvisation to flow freely and for the voice of Molly to be as natural and true to life as possible.
It seems more and more actors are creating their own filming opportunities. Why do you think that is?
I think that with the limitless number of distribution platforms, it creates so much more opportunities for a performer to take their fate into their own hands. If you have the passion, the drive, and the dream – you have nothing holding you back from believing that you can be your own boss and make your own luck. Once upon a time, there was a formula. There was a “type” that worked more than others. There was red tape and seemingly no scissor available in which to cut through. Audiences have learned to love and accept diversity and fall in love with characters that transcend “type”, and for that I think we are all very grateful.
Do you have any plans to produce any more projects?
Definitely! I have two in the works right now. My newest film is in the final stages of the script, where I have worked alongside the fresh, newcomer writing duo of Trevor Stankewicz and Rudy Gerson, as well as veteran visual effects artist Val Iancu. I am also dabbling in television, with a new ground breaking political series. We have a phenomenal team so far in place with Justin Ross (Bohemia Group), Amy Acosta (Ghost of Goodnight Lane) and Marc Morgenstern (Vitals). More to come for sure…
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