Nut Bucket Films

Posts Tagged ‘lije’

wait, it’s the 4th of July? when? Monday?

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2011 at 10:42 am

Miss you guys, Nick and Danny come back!

How far back can you remember your 4th of July’s?  I was trying this morning and I could only get to last year.  Everyone keeps asking me, “What’s going on this weekend?  What are you doing?  Where are the parties at?”  I guess it doesn’t matter cuz I can’t f#$%ing remember what I did the last twenty-some-odd years.  I do know last year I was in Michigan with my family for the 4th and for the Traverse City Cherry Festival.  That was a friggin’ blast.  I am actually headed there next week.

But let’s talk about this weekend.  It’s nice that the 4th falls on a Monday.  That means a three-day weekend for most.  Not me.  I will be slingin’ BBQ and drinks through Sunday but then I can festive too.  What do I do?  I live in Venice so it will be a madhouse here all dang weekend.  I am not a fan of the shit show that goes on so I try to hide from it.  I guess that’s why I work all weekend.  Then I don’t have to make up a lame excuse for not partaking.  Plus, if I can’t remember what I did for the last ten of these holidays then it doesn’t really matter what I do cuz I am not missing out on anything.  I can tell you that if I don’t remember what I did, I had a blast.  Some of the best times I have ever had I can’t f#$%ing rememebr.  Sad, huh?  It’s pretty funny actually.

I am, however, headed to Angel Stadium on the actual 4th to see the Tigers play the Angels.  Funny I was watching the game yesterday and was listening to the announcers, Rod Allen and Mario Impemba, and heard them talking about BBQ and how you must eat BBQ on the 4th.  They were doubting that California had any good BBQ.  Now, I follow Rod Allen on Twitter, @rodallen12.  He’s a funny man and I love listening to the games with those guys announcing.  I decided to offer to bring him down some BBQ for the 4th in a little tweet I sent him during the game.  He friggin’ answered me!  It was so cool.  He actually replied to me during the game.  That’s a cool dude.

So, my 4th of July will full of baseball, BBQ, Rod, my little family, and a fireworks show that should be out of this world since we will be about a mile from Disneyland.  I will be remembering this 4th for sure.


As for this weekend, who knows?  I might get into a little trouble on Sunday night after all the riffraff (disreputable persons) leave my neighborhood or the neighborhood that allows me to live in it.  Before that, I will be hanging down at Baby Blues BBQ with all my regulars and visitors for the weekend, watching baseball and getting people krunk and full.  It’s not a bad gig.  I actually enjoy the heck out of it.  See, I get to have fun, socialize, watch sports, and work at the same time.  Pretty much like going out at a bar except I am already at the bar or being at my crib with a bunch of friends over.  Double Whammy!
Football Sundays please come back and don’t be late.

Whatever you decide to do this weekend, I wish you the best.  A safe and happy 4th of July.

Cheers to America,


Come to Baby Blues BBQ this weekend!

the sun will set, eventually

more f$&@ing quotes

In Uncategorized on June 30, 2011 at 9:32 am




I usually hate when people always post quotes. Everyday. It gets so annoying. Maybe it is me being jealous cuz I didn’t find them. Who knows, but I have another one a good pal of mine threw my way.

‎”You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

I don’t know who wrote it but credit to the one who did.

My gut has gotten me pretty far in my short life. It has also gotten me in some trouble, and fatter at times. I love to eat and drink. All that trouble though has just turned into a bunch of life lessons and stories that I am now using to put down on paper. I guess it all happens for a reason, right?

Destiny. It’s such a fairy tale word. It even sounds fake when you say it out loud. I got to believe it though. I have never been happier in my life where I am right now. Shit is good. Home is good. Real good. Career has moved to the next level. It’s funny, all that blood, sweat, and REAL tears this year so far that has caused me to take a month and a half hiatus from thinking creatively has actually paid off. Again.

I am going to be producing a film a friend of mine is directing starting at the end of next month. Super f$&@ing excited about it. I am heading home to Michigan to take the last step in recharging the batteries so I can get back to writing my own feature film, my baby. There is also a chance I might be directing a music video at the end of July. Random. Never would have thought that but shit, people are approaching me with good projects. I must be doing something right.

So I am using the dots from the past to tell some stories, creating some successes, and trusting that I am doing something right. Where it’s taking me feels very right.

The sun shines today and the water is calm. Gonna take out the paddleboard and catch some waves. I have a break from slinging drinks and am still on hiatus. I could call it a summer vacation. I will.  Happy days.

This is not meant for advice. I am the last person who should ever give life advice. But I can say that don’t sit around doing shit that doesn’t make you happy. All the other stuff will work its way out.



If I had a blindfold on and asked you to walk across this intersection with me, would you come?

In Uncategorized on June 21, 2011 at 8:11 am

DVD cover! Starring Jeffrey Pierce, Michael Dempsey, and Kasey Buckley

I am proud to announce that ALPHONSO BOW is officially released today, the 21st of June 2011, via Vanguard Cinema.

It has been a long time coming.  We shot this movie three years ago last month.  I remember because we started on Cinco de Mayo.  Funny, since the movie takes place in a Mexican Restaurant.  Three years is supposed to be the plan to start generating income, for most.  We are a year behind I think but I am happy where we are.  A lot of blood, sweat, and tears.  My father, M Sarki wrote the film and I, Lije,  directed it.

Less than a year after we shot the film, through a grinding effort of editing and more editing and scraping funds, we premiered the film at Dances With Films in Los Angeles (2009).  Coincidentally, last week I was privileged to have a West Coast premiere at the same festival with my most recent film, CLOSING DOORS.  It’s a bit symbolic, in a way.

Vanguard has been great so far.  The artwork has all been redone.  The film will be released in color (We have premiered the film in both color and b&w and had equally outstanding responses, but different) with a bonus b&w version on the DVD.  The film will be available in about 1000 independent video stores nationwide as well as online via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Netflix (soon), etc.  Just go to Vanguard‘s website for  more info.  I will soon have all the updated info on where you can also purchase the film direct from us here at Nut Bucket Films.  I ma hoping to have it available to stream online at our own site soon as well.

The film stars Jeffrey Pierce and Michael Dempsey with a hell of a performance from Kasey Buckley.  Jeffrey is set to be part of a new series called “Alcatraz” which FOX will release in September 2011.  Michael has a ton of credits and continues to work his butt off.  His latest film, Almost Kings, premiered at the L.A. film festival and also at Denver International.  Kasey is one half of the alt-country duo called MISS WILLIE BROWN who just played at Bonnaroo and have been touring the country with Dierks Bentley, a huge country star.  The film also features the talented composer and songwriter/singer Jason Sebastian Russo with the help of Alexandra Marvar recreating his own version of “Froggy went a’ courtin'”, an old folk song he made into his own.  He’s also got a second tune which wraps up the film.

This film is not short of talent at all.

Imagine two unique fellows from different backgrounds; one an ex male-exotic dancer trained in the martial arts, who also lays countless brick and loose women; the other an older brick salesman who provides him with jobs and materials, as well as his daily obsessive debate regarding among other things, the existence of life on other planets. Picture the two of them eating lunch together in a family restaurant, speaking entirely too loud on the topics of religion, sex, early childhood behavior, Samuel Beckett, Hitler, and a severely injured dog, and you get the idea that these two characters will surely tease ones palate. Much like the story of the old bull and the young bull, Alphonso Bow will stir up, leaving no one near them unaffected.

ALPHONSO BOW will satisfy us all.  Please enjoy and spread the word.

 Here is the trailer for you liking.
If you would like to support and watch a good film that might actually make you think, check it out.
Lije and Nut Bucket…

writer, M Sarki

director, Lije Sarki

DVD front and back


In Uncategorized on April 20, 2011 at 10:34 am




Man on a mission. Just getting the ole car washed with the Wednesday special. Twenty bucks for inside and out on Lincoln Blvd in Venice. Corner street Ashland. I usually do it myself but I always neglect the inside. It looks like I have five kids with all the crumbs in it. Gross. Got to have clean living to motivate for the productive shit. I spent yesterday doing some spring cleaning at home.

These last two months have been nuts. I have been out of town like eight times. Some for fun some for work. And some I can’t figure out why the f$&k I even went.

Last weekend I went to Mexico for a wedding. I am not responsible enough to go for one day. Less than 24 hours was the trip. That killed me. That drive off no sleep. Sara was flying to Paris the next day so we charged back same day. Took till Tuesday to get back on my feet.

There are so many sports on TV right now I can hardly handle it. Hockey playoffs, go Wings, NBA, and baseball. I followed my baseball team to Oakland last Thursday. Got to watch Phil Coke eat up the A’s and meet some new friends. Too bad Phil sucked it last night against the Mariners.

I followed my team (Tigers) to Florida in March, hit Mexico, went to San Diego to meet some parents, and have been shooting the shit out of the Pilot, Underbelly. Oh, and I went location scouting to the Mojave to find the place for my next project. Not to mention some baseball games in LA to celebrate birthdays and a couple shows for entertainment. Most importantly took my short film, Closing Doors to a couple of film festivals. I was exhausted. From all of 2011. Out of fuel. Enough coffee couldn’t cure it.

So I had one final loss of my self-control and I am back baby. Well it is final for now. I am human. I lose control. Probably happen again soon.

Doing a little acting showcase tomorrow to sharpen the skills with my pal Anna. Hopefully wrapping Underbelly by April 30th seeing how I take one more trip to Catalina for some scuba diving and fun at the end of the month. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh…

I don’t have much else. Well I do but it’s more blah blah blah what the eff did Lije do last week type shit and some other stuff a bit too personal for now. Maybe soon though. Nothing super exciting but forward progress. Mind is clear. Life is good.

Congrats Meghan and Scott. See some pics poolside. My friend Sara said she never saw me so happy. A smile says a thousand words is true I guess. If I only could have lasted a little longer.

Hope u feel good too.







My short filmmaking BIO…Part 2

In Uncategorized on February 15, 2011 at 12:35 pm

me and my director, Rob Ciancimino

Part 2:  Get She Water

Over the next year we got together over a handful of times and shot some footage doing different types of shit and situations.  I kept editing it, cutting out the crap, and sending it to Dad.  I guess he kept writing.  He didn’t really tell me what he was doing or what his plan was but about six months later he sent us a script.  A screenplay that we were in.  One that could potentially pave our way as actors in this tough brutal world of Los Angeles and Hollywood.  We all got together and read it.  I thought it was the greatest thing on the planet, of course.  It was called Get She Water (GSW).

I heard a great way to get money for a film is to shoot a teaser or a trailer.  Coincidentally the film’s first eighteen pages all take place in Los Angeles and introduce all the main characters and sort of establishes their mission for the rest of the film.  So I decided to shoot the first section of the script for our little teaser.  I started from scratch.  We had a small budget.  I had about $5000 to play with of my own hard cash I had saved from booking a commercial or two.  So I was set to produce.  I think it was my first producing job.  The only thing I had produced so far were these little tapes I had been sending off to my dad, but hey, you gotta start somewhere.  Next I needed to hire a director.  At this point in the game I was going step by step with Dad.  I had a friend Rob, who was one of the extended characters in GSW and was not only a pretty good actor but one of my best pals.  I lied earlier because we actually included some other characters in developing the script outside of the original four.  I purposely left out that part of the story saving a bit of face because another character I had put on tape back then was a chick I was together with, seriously.  And of course that ended in a nightmare but that is another story in itself that I would not bore you with.  Actually, it is far from boring but not quite ready to be revealed to the world.  If you know me you probably know the story anyway.  So really there were more than four of us that were put on tape, but that doesn’t matter really in the overall scheme of things.  Except, don’t mix relationships with projects!  That was some major diarrhea of the mouth so I apologize.

Anyways, Dad liked Rob and they shared some dialogue and I liked Rob and trusted him, so Daddio and I picked him to direct the film.  So from that point on he was at all of the meetings to help pick the rest of the crew, mainly the Director of Photography (DP).  I needed a good DP that was able to shoot on the fly, pretty fast, good, and also in physical shape enough to follow a dude running down the street at full speed.  And cheap.  Dan Coplan was our choice, except he wasn’t cheap.  We interviewed about twenty different guys that answered our ad.  Dad and I watched footage of about thirty people who had submitted for the job even before we narrowed it down to the interviews.  Of course Dan “the man” was the most expensive, but we thought he was the best.  He won me over with a crazy diarrhea story about a trip to Mexico or back from Mexico, all I remember was diarrhea.  Speaking of diarrhea, Dan had his own sound person.

shooting at Air Conditioned Supper Club

I had a make-up and hair chick from my acting school who was awesome, Amy Rene.  Then I was wardrobe and catering and everything else.  Oh and let me give credit to Sara Woo who was so amazing in the last-minute-painting of a room at my house we were to use for a scene in the shoot.  We pulled an all-nighter in between shoot days to paint the f#$%er.  Sara and I worked at a bar together at the time, the Air Conditioned Supper Club, where we shot the main scene of the teaser.  We painted the room on day two of the shoot after working at the bar the night before.  Yup, I pulled an all-nighter, but I didn’t have to act the last day, I just had to produce, or monitor, and make sure everything went as planned.  I remember falling asleep while sitting-up on the last day of shooting.  I could hear Rob Smith acting in the other room and then suddenly sawing logs.

Lije Sarki, Rob Smith, and Kasey Buckley

Long story short, we shot the whole thing in three days.  Eighteen pages total and eleven were in the bar in one twelve-hour span.  That was rough.  Three pages per day is what is normal for a normal shoot.  But we weren’t normal.  We had a tight budget and time constraints and everything else that goes into making an Indie flick. But fact is, we got it done and now I needed to edit the thing.  iMovie wasn’t going to work for this so I put up another ad and went through the same process again to find an editor.  Except this time it was just Dad and I watching more demo reels.  I picked a chick to do it named Paula.  I think my dad had second guessed the decision but mistakes are what makes us better.  Paula was very sweet and nice in the beginning but we had our differences and that proved to be a major pain in the ass down the road.  But funny thing is, I still hired her months later to edit my acting reel.  We found out while editing that our sound sucked in a lot of it and that we couldn’t use most of the close-ups in the bar because the acting was not nearly as good as the acting in the master shots.

Garrett, Kasey, and Rob at the screening...such a great moment. ahhh

So in the end, rushing through all that bar scene and all those pages proved to come back to bite us in the ass.  AND SOUND IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS EVER!  Always have good sound.  You can watch something all day long that might not look perfect but could be acted well but as soon as the sound is f#$%ed you lose the audience.  My good friend Dave Hughes who was a DJ that I met at the bar I worked at told me one day he did post-sound.  Turns out he helped me on this project.  He did mini-wonders with the sound and between my father and I working directly with Paula to choose the “right” acting clips we got a little 23-minute teaser we were ready to show for some dough!  Would I show that same little teaser today?  HELL NO!  But back then, it was all I knew.  My first little project of many.  FYI, I have worked with Dave Hughes on every single one of my projects since and he is so dang talented and such a solid dude that he needs a “shout out”.  Thanks Dave.

the first batch of audience...

I found a little screening spot in Venice by my house and invited about a 100 people to come and check it out.  The place only sat about forty so I had to show it twice back-to-back.  I had some agents and managers and producers and casting directors show up.  Mostly I had friends come and support and the cast and crew.  I don’t know how I got so many people to come.  When I think about it today, it is quite impressive.  We were all pretty proud of the project.  It felt good that night.  It got some laughs and a lot of praise of nice work.  This happened in October of 2006.  What happened next was like a row of dominos collapsing.  This was a good thing.

Here is the trailer of the teaser for your enjoyment:

Thanks for keeping up,


the cast of Get She Water...Lije, Garrett, Kasey, and Rob

Next week is Part 3: Alphonso Bow

Superbowl TEST

In Uncategorized on February 6, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Testing mobile blogging. This is proving to be fun. Go PACKERS.

My short filmmaking BIO…Part 1

In Uncategorized on February 5, 2011 at 11:47 am


This headshot has to be from 2006 or earlier...Greg Crowder photography


Part 1:  The Inspiration

Sitting in an acting class at the “Kahnstitute” sometime early in 2006 is where this crazy idea came from.  The “Kahnstitute” is what we called the acting studio I studied at.  Lesly Kahn is the creator of the studio and everyone and their mother has studied there at some point in their newbie acting career.  One of my classmates at the time, Kristen Alcala, had her father, Felix, come in and speak to the class one day.  I guess from what I can remember he was coming in as a mentor or someone who had been around the block, come up the tough way, and had to work hard to get where he was at.  He was going to share some trials and tribulations with us.  Teach us something, hopefully.

Felix is a very established Director with a very nice resume.  One that I would like to have someday.  Someday soon.  He had a lot of stories to share with us.  I remember how he said he worked at one of the main studios as some low-end assistant or something, but in his off time and during breaks he would go to the archive department and the “head” over there would let him read scripts and watch old footage.  Or something like that.  I was drinking a lot back then so memory gets foggy from time to time.  The important part of his visit to class or the part that really grabbed me was when he was explaining where film and TV were headed.  How it was so cheap and easy these days to make your own stuff.  How the digital era had arrived and tools to make stuff was so much cheaper and more available.  How we should just go out and shoot our own stuff.  I was like, “Whoa!, BIG IDEA, light turns on!”  I was excited.  Let’s pave our own way as actors.  Let’s show everyone how good we are ourselves.  We don’t need to wait to be cast in a movie or a TV show by some lame-ass casting director who barely calls us “nobodies” into the room anyway.  So that’s when it hit me.  I am going make my own f#$%ing movie.  That was the idea at least.

My father is a writer.  He has had a life.  Lot’s to draw on I guess.  He is a very good writer.  He is a different kind of writer.  He writes kind of f#$%ed-up, or crooked, or dark, or mysterious.  Unique is also a good word.  I have a hard time understanding some of it.  Most of it actually.  Most of what I have read.  I was thinking, “Let me get Dad to write a script and then I can make it into a movie.”  I just wasn’t sure what to do next.  Over the next holiday I spent with him I sort of pleaded my case.  I think it was Thanksgiving in Louisville in 2005.  He agreed to do it, but with no guarantees.  That’s how he is though.  If he said, “Let’s see where it goes,” then that was good enough for me.  I figured once we get him started then it will finish by the power of the universe and everything else.

Over the next week I asked around to some of my fellow classmates, some older acquaintances, some friends, and some co-workers to see if they had any interested in the opportunity to make a movie.  Ya know, be part of something special, something bigger.  Now let me tell you that all these people I approached were all very different and unique.  They had to be.  Guys, girls, big, small, obnoxious, cute, hot, nerdy, all types.  I got my one pal that I knew with some camera experience, Justin Feldman, to come shoot this “idea” that I had.   I got these ten or so people together at the “Kahnsitute”.  Lesly let me use one of the acting studios to shoot it in.  I told everyone I invited to be prepared to tell the whole group their most embarrassing story.  I gave them a heads-up so they could think of something and then when they showed up we taped them telling the story.  One at a time we went through everyone.  Some of it was funny.  Some was painful.  My acting teacher at the time, I think it was Todd Stashwick, said that if someone tells something truly embarrassing, it shows their true character, their true colors.  You will see their mannerisms and their vulnerabilities and weaknesses and even their sense of humor, or lack of.  So everybody got taped telling their stories.  I remember Garrett talking about pissing himself in front of a cop.  I talked about shitting myself.  You get the idea.  it was not all toilet talk, that’s just all I remember.  Then we all went out on the town.  Still on camera being taped.  We tried to go bowling and got kicked out of the alley because of the camera.  We were at Lucky Strike and I guess they don’t like cameras. Freakin’ Hollywood.  We ended up at the Pig & Whistle They were cool and let us kick it on the on the patio for a couple of hours.  We all just talked and told stories and said whatever came to our minds for the next few hours.  All on tape.  All recorded.  I recently watched that footage.  I can’t believe the shit I told people.  I can’t believe some of the stuff my pal Keith said!  None of these people knew each other at the time either.  Crazy.

Lije and Rob at Pig & Whistle

I took all that footage we shot, watched it a bunch of times, and edited it into a nice little “best of the best”.  I was not an editor but I had a MacBook.  And MacBooks have iMovie, an editing program that is pretty easy to learn.  So over the next few days I put together the little movie from our night out.  I sent it to Dad to watch.  He watched it.  I was nervous.  I didn’t know what we were doing yet.  I waited for his call.  I remember he called me.  He told me to keep doing the same thing but just use Garrett, Kasey, Rob, and myself.  Forget about the rest.  Now the four people I just mentioned make a hell of a squad.  All sorts of types and styles and characters.  Great for a movie.  Sorry to the rest.  it was nothing personal.  It just didn’t fit the next plan.  This puts us at February 2006.  This is a good spot to stop.

Next week:

Part 2:  Get She Water

Thanks for reading,

always feel free to email me if you want to know more or if you think I can help you in anyway.


chasing chairlifts…almost blown away

In Uncategorized on December 29, 2010 at 3:39 pm

the car after twelve hours of snow

Another crazy day on the mountain.  I woke up to find 2-3 feet of snow on my car and still coming down strong.

I rose early at about 7am.  Went to sleep at 11pm.  I know, LAME…I told you all how tired I was from the holiday.  I slept so f$^&ing good.  All warm and cozy in a mountain bed all by myself.  I actually am excited to do it again tonight.

Today was bananas!  The mountain at Mammoth is/was getting pummeled.  I hot the mountain right at 8:30am when it opened.  The only chair open on our side  was 8.  I took a run and waited for Chris’s lazy ass to wake up.  The line was pretty long so by the time I was about to go up a second time he showed up.  I stepped out to meet him and then proceeded to wait again with him for 25 minutes.  I hate lines.  Especially at the mountain.  I will usually go in the single’s line and that moves pretty quickly.  That’s what I did the rest of the day.

We basically chased chairlifts all friggin’ day.  We caught Canyon chair, 16, right when it opened.  We were some of the first ones up.  That was worth the wait.  Got some nice Pow Pow (powder).  The top of the mountain was closed and will be until tomorrow sometime.  It is a blizzard out there!

Gettin' slizzard in the Blizzard...pre-video

We hit Canyon for a few runs and then headed over to Mill Valley to try to catch the other chairs that opened a bit higher.  We stopped for a hot chocolate and a beer.  Should have skipped the hot chocolate because rumors started floating around and everyone was saying they were closing most of the mountain.  Too much wind.  We tried to hustle out to catch the last chair up so we didn’t have to hike or take a bus back around but we were too late.  It stopped right in front of us.  Motha F#%^a.  Kind of funny though.  Who tries to catch the last chair up when they are closing because of danger?  Especially when a place in Michigan and  place in Maine had chairlifts blow off the railings yesterday.

We snuck up to Chair 21, a small hike from Mill, and headed back to Chair 8 which I was originally riding early in the morning.  They shut Canyon down right when we got back.  The winds at the top of the lifts must have been 55mph.  Check out this video.  This was out last time at the top for the day.  Crazy.

That’s the day so far.  It is about 1pm.  The Grizzly bar is going strong.

Grizzly cafe goes off in the blizzard

I am going to head back to the condo and chill before all the fools get here tonight.  My last night to relax.  Gonna hit the Hot Tub.  Maybe I will chat with ya tomorrow…


Want to be a part of the NBF film, “Closing Doors”???

In Uncategorized on August 17, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Lije, blood, sweat, and tears…TBD

Hey everyone,

I want to give a special invite for anyone and everyone who might be interested in making this Nut Bucket Film, Closing Doors, come to life.  We are full force into production and we have just cast our lead actors.  We are very excited to have Dave Rodriguez and Brendan Coughlin on board!  They are going to make a heck of a film.  In order to finish the shoot and submit to festivals we need to raise some funds.  Please, if you can, take some time to read more and help us out!!

The great news is, we have been accepted and approved by the “Sponsor a Filmmaker” program from the non-profit company PATRON OF THE ARTS (POTA).  This is a program designed to help filmmakers fund their projects.  It is similar to sites like IndieGoGo and Kickstarter but the beautiful thing with POTA is that it is a non-profit organization so EVERY DONATION IS TAX DEDUCTIBLE.  YOU CAN WRITE THE DONATION OFF!!!  Click POTA to read more about the program.

So here is how you can donate.  The simplest way is to click HERE and you can use PayPal.

We are offering a ton of awesome perks for Donating:

Click $10You will be mentioned on all of our social media sites as a contributor.

Click $25Signed DVD given out two weeks before release date.  First fifty people get their name on “official” t-shirt and movie poster.  And all of lower donation perks.

Click $50Name in film credits.  And all of lower donation perks.

Click $100Receive a mention in the first Closing Doors Press Release.  And all of lower donation perks.

Click $500Associate Producer Credit.  And all of lower donation perks.

Click $1000 Invitation to the set and can have your “look” at the first “cut” (throw in your two cents)

– First fifty people to donate $25 or more get their Name or Company on the artwork for the film, which includes the “official” Closing Doors t-shirt and movie poster.

Official DONATION WIDGET is coming HERE soon.

Make sure you enter the specific amount you would like.  The widget keeps track of contributors and we will constantly be updating our site as well with the list.

We are on the process of putting the widget on this site but bare with us and just click the links for now!  Any problems please email us with any questions at


Closing Doors is short film written by Bill Wanek and is being produced and directed by Lije Sarki.  It is a quick lesson in life, growing up, and opening one’s eyes to new beginnings.

Lije and Bill have a long relationship stemming from acting together.  They have continued to collaborate on a lot of unfinished writing projects including several other short films, TV and Web Pilots, and commercials.  This is the first project they have worked on together since Bill’s move to Chicago two years ago.

The idea for this project is to develop Lije’s production company, Nut Bucket Films (NBF), and continue creating a brand of great films and productions while building an unstoppable and passionate team around them.  Nut Bucket Films has a brief history of successes including a feature film called Alphonso Bow that was just released on DVD and VOD through Amazon and Indiefix, the short film Get She Water, which is now in pre-production as a full-length feature that Lije will direct in 2011, and the feature For Whom He Tolls where NBF teamed up with the FU MAN KRU producers. For Whom He Tolls is now stepping into the festival circuit for release later this year. NBF will also produce another short film in 2010 that is to be determined by the team producing Closing Doors.  The goal is to indefinitely maintain the same team behind Closing Doors for future projects.  NBF will continue to create and produce quality and unique projects where the team can feel accomplishment from them and continue to build their credibility as creators in all aspects of film.

NBF not only wants to create amazing projects but also ensure the masses will have the ability to view them.  We plan to distribute each project in the most strategic way possible creating a  viral following.  These platforms will be film festivals, online networks, indie movie cults, and just awareness as a whole, a BRAND that we all can be proud of.

Team Nut Bucket

The Nut Bucket team is headed by Lije Sarki.  Lije has an MBA from San Diego State University with an emphasis in Marketing that has been followed by a very thorough six years in the entertainment industry here in Los Angeles.  Lije moved from San Diego up to Los Angeles in 2004 to pursue his acting and modeling passion that stemmed from a couple “easy” jobs down in San Diego.  Over the past six years he has acted in all forms of entertainment including film, TV, theatre, and many commercials.  He has appeared in campaigns like Dodge and ASICS, starred in the indie features’ Stabbin’ Kabin and For Whom He Tolls, and landed roles on TV in Greek and a MOW starring the “late” Dennis Hopper called The Last Ride.  In 2007 he partnered with his father, M Sarki, in creating the recently distributed feature film Alphonso Bow and the short film Get She Water which is now in production as a feature. Lije’s experience in business and world travels has given him the know-how, a clear vision, and expectations to obtain success for NBF.  He has slammed the Caiparinas in Rio De Janeiro and “ran” through the streets of Berlin and now continues his passion for the growth of his company and baby, Nut Bucket Films.

William Wanek, writer of Closing Doors, was born and raised in rural Illinois, where he spent most days gallivanting barefoot wearing his “country shirt” (shirtless). After a four and a half-year stint at Western Illinois University, he moved out west to study acting, where Bill studied under Jeff Goldblum at Playhouse West.  He lived in LA for 6 years; where he performed as an actor, improviser, stand-up comic, and prolific David Hasselhoff activist.  He discovered a passion for writing commercials and moved to Chicago in 2008 to attend graduate school for advertising.  He now works as a copywriter at Young and Rubicam Chicago, and was recently voted one of America’s Top 100 New Creatives by CMYK magazine.  He currently resides in Chicago with his beautiful fiancé and they’re blessed enough to have a newborn baby girl, Lily Rose.

It took Evan Sarki eight years to finish his Bachelor of Fine Arts at New York University, but his time off from school was not in vain.  He spent the four years between semesters assisting fashion photographers: Bruce Weber, Ben Watts, and Eli Schmidt.  He interned at both Interview Magazine and Milk Studios.  He designed and helped build a successful and popular bar in Manhattan’s NOLITA district.  While doing all of this he continued to produce his own shoots and own artwork showing in a handful of galleries throughout New York.  Born in Michigan and raised in Kentucky, Evan is using his education in photography as a base to dedicated his life to traveling and living throughout the world.  Now located in Venice, California, Evan is ready to continue his travels by being an active member in his brother Lije’s production company, NBF.

Christine Kolenik is a graduate of Lehigh University.  She has extensive acting training with such teachers as Larry Silverberg who is one of Meisner’s protégé’s, Jeffery Stocker, Ruth Nerken, and Brian Reise. In New York she was in a variety of theatre productions such as Pizza Man and Single and Proud.  Christine taught acting classes and produced plays in New York at Star Map Acting Studio.  In the past eight years she has acted and starred in various productions like the Indie suspense film 69, multiple short films, and on TV in Rescue Me, and Hope and Faith.  Christine is a published author of the children’s acting book, Finally….Monologues that Work (Ages -18).  She has extensive public relations and marketing experience working at the companies, Nightingale and Partners, Inc. and Stratus Media Group, Inc.  She is thrilled to be a part of the highly coveted team of Nut Bucket Films!

A native of Orlando, Stephanie Rae moved to Los Angeles after graduating from the University of Florida with a B.A. in Theater to continue a career in Film & TV.  Some of her acting credits include, Descansos starring Gary Busey and Charles Durning, Locusts starring Lucy Lawless, and Nip/Tuck.  Shortly after arriving in Los Angeles she began training at Groundlings where her true passion in comedy began to take shape.  Stephanie started the sketch comedy group Just Friends and has performed in theaters all over Los Angeles including the Los Angeles Comedy Festival.  Stephanie was approached three years ago asking for help writing a short film for The Young Actors Camp. As a result she has sold three short films, one of which, Slinging Mud was nominated for Best Comedic Scene at the AOF International Film Festival in 2008. She also helped produced, write, and performed in Stuntacular, a live Halloween Stunt Show helping to raise over $35,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles.  Stephanie has functioned as associate producer, script supervisor, production assistant, and director on numerous shorts, commercials, and independent films.  She is excited to bring her wide range of experience to Nut Bucket Films and Closing Doors.

David Navarro decided not to waste his money on film school but instead purchased a five-ton truck and $40,000 of grip, lighting, and electric equipment thus creating his own curriculum.  He is a working CLT, proud member of IATSE Local 728 – Hollywood Set Lighting Technicians and Cinematographer.  For the past ten years he has been the independent owner and operator of Dream Lighting, a successful provider of grip, lighting and electric equipment in the greater Los Angeles area.  In that time, he has built a resume of well over 400 music videos, commercials, pilots and feature films, having lit such notables as Anthony Hopkins, Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Ileana Douglas, Jason Biggs, Justine Bateman, Robert Patrick, Jane Lynch and Lauren Holly.  He has also lit musical artists such as Miley Cyrus, Adele, Leona Lewis, and Dave Navarro.  His current projects in national release and “on-air” are Black Waters of Echoes Pond, Sports Science on ESPN, Fact or Faked [Paranormal Investigators] on Sci-Fi and coming in August, Fact Checkers Unit (FCU) a web series for NBC. Within all, David continues to strive to bring his extraordinary vision to the entertainment industry.

Trevor Hirsch grew up in Palmdale, California.  He attended the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he majored in Film and Media Studies.  While in school, he interned with the Montecito Picture Company (Up in the Air, I Love You Man, Old School).  Since graduating in 2009, Trevor has worked as a Production Assistant on film and television shows, and worked extensively with the President and Vice President of Seminal Films following their relocation to Los Angeles, prior to joining Nut Bucket Films as Lije’s right-hand-man absorbing everything he can as an integral part of the film Alphonso Bow and all projects to come.

NBF’s team as set forth above will strategically approach any and all people interested in funding this project and making “Art”.