*Update* Corey Grant: The Lost Coast Tapes

Movie Cover

A while back, I did an interview with up-and-coming movie director, Corey Grant.  He’s still making his way through Hollywood and picking up talent along the way.  He saw much success with the release of Dysfunctional Friends and is enjoying the success of his latest project, Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes.  Check out what Corey says about his current film and how you can show your support!

Just looking at the trailer, we can assume that this movie will be a thriller, suspense, “scary” film, but what is the basic plot/storyline that will make it stand out from other films within the same genre?

It’s about a disgraced television host who was hoaxed by a fictional UFO story on a previous show, and it killed his career.  He stages his comeback when he finds out there is a Bigfoot hunter who supposedly has a body of Bigfoot. He believes it’s a hoax so he figures he can do a show, but this time do it about people who pull hoaxes, then he can bring his career back. So, of course, they travel up to Northern California to find this Bigfoot hunter, but when they get up there…(he can’t reveal too much, you have to see the film!).  This is a POV film and it’s a thriller/horror film.  However, we blended the styles of traditional movies and POV movies and came up with hybrid, then I put my touch on it.. Its a fun movie to watch, but can be very disturbing and entertaining at the same time!

This movie is strikingly different from Dysfunctional Friends, how did you come up with the concept?

My producing partner, Chevez Frazier, and I are good friends, along with two writers, Bryan O’cain and Brian Kelsey.  We wanted to work with them and told them to give us 5 concepts; Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes was one.  It was a no brainer because I’m a fan of the Bigfoot legend!  All over the world, each continent has their own form or name for this creature.   We wanted to switch gears and do something completely different from Dysfunctional Friends and you can’t get any more different than this.  I gave them notes and ideas and they gave us a wonderful script! We raised the money and here we are!

What do you say to the critic who compares “The Lost Coast Tapes” to the “Blair Witch Project”?

All found footage/POV movies are compared to The Blair Witch Project, as it was one of the first to use this style in a fictional movie.  It was a trend-setting movie!  However, other than its POV and in the forest, it’s completely different.. The story is stronger and the camera, acting and effects are on a much bigger scale than what they were doing at the time.  I love Blair Witch [though];truly scary when first saw it.

When is the movie slated for release?

It opens in Los Angeles at the Lamele Theater in Beverly Hills on October 19th.  On the 26th it opens in SanDiego, then moving on to San Francisco, Seattle, Portland and Austin…  It’s also available right now on Premium VOD from your local cable or satellite  provider. It will be out on Blu Ray the second week in November.  The movie was released last month in JAPAN, GERMANY, SCANDANAVIA, NETHERLANDS, JAPAN and ALL over the UK and has been a big hit over there… It’s my first worldwide release!

You wasted no time getting right into production for this film so soon after the release of “Dysfunctional Friends”; how do you manage to keep sane with everything that’s going on?

Im driven…I have to make movies to live. I die when I’m not on set or writing a new script or preparing a new movie to shoot…I live for this.  I’m the happiest when I’m on set.

What breakout actors should everyone be paying attention to in “The Lost Coast Tapes”?

Drew Rausch, our lead, gives a great performance as “Sean”.  The ladies will love Rich Mac Donald as well and veteran, Frank Ashmore, gives a great performance as the Bigfoot Hunter “Drybeck”.  I was in awe working with him!  Great acting in this piece!  Ashley Wood, our lone female, is also going to raise some eyebrows.  She’s gonna be big real soon.

As always, how can fans show their support and/or get updates on any current/future projects you’re working on?

Follow me on Twitter @Corey_Grant and hit me on Facebook.  For all the fans of Dysfunctional Friends, I’m gonna be revisiting that world and style with my new romantic comedy, The Next Ex, which will have an all-star cast. If you liked Dysfunctional Friends you will love this.  My company, New Breed Entertainment, is co-producing it with Tri-Destined Studios and producer, ND Brown.  They have a new movie out called, Note To Self, starring my boy, Christian Keyes and directed by Trey Haley.  Great people and a great company to work with.  More quality black films to come!

Lastly, which of your projects is your favorite…and why (putting you on the spot with this one lol)?

LOL…Hard question to answer… I would have to say Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes because nobody expected this type of movie from me, let alone for it to be good. The fact that it is worldwide is major for a filmmaker of color and I want to be known as just a storyteller who isn’t boxed into any one genre..just good movies!

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Well, there you have it!  Corey Grant is doing well and seeing so much success!  He is bringing so much attention and positivity to black films; something that is still long overdue. Please be sure to support this young man and check out Dysfunctional Friends and Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes!  Here’s the trailer:

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Dysfunctional Friends…Here’s What I Think About It!

I’m going to attempt to share my thoughts about the film, Dysfunctional Friends, without giving away every detail (for those that haven’t seen it).  For those that did see it, I’m sure you can share in my sentiment of it being a good film.  Starting with the opening act, my attention was solely on the screen watching Persia White, who I think is a phenomenal and underrated actress in the industry (formerly on the hit show Girlfriends), involved in some girl on girl action.  The initial plot build-up was great!  Of course, everyone knows by now that the premise of the story involves a friend who suddenly dies from a freak accident and leaves his estate to his close circle of friends.  However, in order for them to cash in, they need to last a week together and work out whatever issues they have and get reacquainted.  This is an amazing storyline, being as though it relates to so many friendships nowadays where life gets in the way, people grow apart and before you know it, years have gone by!

One of the biggest perks of the film is seeing actors/actresses who are super talented, yet haven’t been on the big screen in a while, i.e. Wesley Jonathan, Reagan Gomez-Preston, Persia White, Tatyana Ali.  Another added bonus is that even though there’s a heaviness of the initial plot (death), there is comedy throughout to provide a healthy balance.  What you will find is that each character is probably a representation of someone that you call a friend or whom you know in real life and because of this, there’s nothing phony or “Hollywood” about the film; it’s actually a very accurate depiction of the real world.

One thing that some may find is that the pace of the movie is steady and almost teetering on slow, BUT for someone like me who appreciates character and plot depth it matches perfectly with the story.  For example, there are close to 10 main characters and the basis of the scenario requires them all to remain in the same house for the majority of the film.  So all of the craziness that ensues forces each character to develop in front of one another, which allows the viewer to truly understand each role and get familiar with who is who and what there purpose is.  How many times do we see a film and there is so much going on that we sometimes forget the name or what happened in the beginning of the movie with them?  Not in this case! Corey Grant does an awesome job with the script and the direction.

The ultimate kudos is for the film NOT BEING PREDICTABLE.  There were plot twists, moments of who’s sleeping with who, what secrets are they hiding, who ends up with who in the end…there is so much that will allow you to really appreciate this independent production.  There were some really awesome breakthrough roles, fresh faces (Vanessa Simmons) and finally great representations of black actors! I give it two thumbs up and strongly recommend purchasing the DVD!  Showing support for independent films is key!

Visit www.amazon.com to make your quick purchase!

Here’s the movie trailer:

Dysfunctional Friends…A Film You Need to Support!

What if you were rich and larger than life…you died unexpectedly…all of your closest friends came to your funeral…and you left each of them a piece of your estate?  Furthermore, what if the only way your friends could cash in on their piece of the pie was for them to grant you your one last wish?  Want to see how a story like this ends?  You and me both!  This is the plot of Corey Grant’s new independent film, Dysfunctional Friends.

Hailing from Illinois, Corey graduated from Howard University in Washington, D.C. receiving his Master’s in Film.  Shortly after graduating he relocated to Hollywood to immerse himself in the hub of the entertainment world.  He has a couple of films under his belt, Hip Hop Task Force and Hip Hop Task Force vol 2, but his new project offers something different.  He explains, “This is the first film where I had an all-star cast, had to worry about overtime and union permits…it was also the first movie I’ve done which was strictly character driven so it was a very unique experience.”  For such a big project, I was more than curious to know how he was able to gather his all-star cast.  He held nothing back in letting me know the magical formula:

The lead producer, Datari, reached out to his friends and they reached out to their friends.  I already knew Tatyana Ali and Wesley Jonathan, Essence Atkins and Christian Keyes from another project I had in development that they were attached to, along with Meagan Good. Plus our Casting Director, Phaedra Harris, reached out and it all came together…

It seems like the perfect story thus far, but his journey to getting this film backed by a major studio was nearly impossible.  Dysfunctional Friends is an independent film, meaning that every ticket sale counts!  The film was released in select theaters in NY and LA, so if you want it to come to your city, you must demand it!  I asked Corey how the DMV can show support to ensure the film gets released right here in D.C.and here’s what he had to say:

Spread the links to the trailer online, blast it on Twitter [and Facebook], demand it and show up the opening weekend. The reason we have self distributed this movie is because all the major studios didn’t want to put the promotional money behind it because they believe our audience is unreliable unless it’s Tyler Perry.  I love and respect what Tyler is doing, but it also hurts us because studios only want to put money behind formulas.  To them, Tyler is the formula.  [Nothing] else has enough value for them to gamble promotional dollars on. That’s our audience’s fault for not supporting other quality films and only we can correct that.  Dysfunctional Friends is a different kind of movie and people are responding to it.  Prove the studios wrong and go see this movie and if you like it, tell a friend.

To come back to D.C. with his new project would add another notch under his belt, being as though his story somewhat began here.  Corey lets me know, “Oh, it’s going to be major coming back to the DMV. My time at Howard was what inspired me to write the script.”  His Director of Photography, Richard Vialet, has the honor of being a Howard alum as well.  He adds, “This is where we both started so you can imagine how excited we are!”

If you’re an aspiring writer or simply want to break into the film industry, Corey offers some advice:

You have to learn the craft.  If you don’t respect the craft you won’t be able to make quality products.  Also if you are trying  to get in it for the money, DON’T.  It takes a while to start making money and it’s a hard business filled with ups and downs. You have to love it to stick it out.  Be persistent and don’t give up.  Also, at some point you have to make that trip to Los Angeles. This is where the industry is and there is no way around it if you want this as a career and not a hobby.  Believe in yourself when no one else does.  I’m proof that it can happen because nobody let me in the game.  I had to make the industry take notice of me and then the doors opened.  Confidence, Persistence, Patience, Integrity, and Talent is what it takes.  If you have that you can’t lose.

As if he hasn’t given great insight to his world already, he ends our interview on an amazing note.  When asked what he thinks his God-given purpose in life is he said, “To touch people and spread love.  I love people and positive energy and I feel that if I exude that in my work and life, I have fulfilled my purpose.”  Despite the doors that may have closed on him, another big one certainly opened up.  Dysfunctional Friends seems like it will not only be the next big independent film to keep your eye on, but it just might give any Tyler Perry film a run for its money. Support, support support!

*Check out the movie trailer here:

*Full Cast: Stacey Dash, Reagan Gomez-Preston, Wesley Jonathan, Persia White, Jason Weaver, Stacy Keibler, Terrell Owens, Datari Turner, Hosea Chanchez, Christian Keyes, Tatyana Ali, Vanessa Simmons, Essence Atkins, Keith Robinson, Meagan Good