Nut Bucket Films

Posts Tagged ‘ryan philander’

jump off a bridge or into a shark tank?

In Uncategorized on May 10, 2011 at 11:30 am

I love where I live

Or both?

This Sunday is my pal Kerry’s birthday.  What is he doing for his birthday?  Dragging all his friends northeast to the “Bridge to Nowhere”.  I freaking love it!  He always has the best birthdays.  Last year we went paintballing.  The trip is a 4 1/2 mile hike to the bridge followed by a bungee jump off the bridge, then lunch, and a leisurely hike back.  Sounds awesome right?  What’s more awesome is the text I got from my friend Sarah last night after inviting her along.  Here it is: So I met a guy wearing a suicide ‘bridge to nowhere’ t-shirt today and he inspired me to do some research. F that place!! Over 100 people have committed suicide off that bridge.  Apparently it’s beyond haunted!”  I called Sarah last night and all she would say was, “If I jumped, all I would think about is all the dead people and what they were thinking while they jumped!”  I love you Sarah.  This makes me want to go even more now.  I didn’t know it was haunted or suicidal.

As for the Sharks, you all know how much I love my Detroit teams.  The Red Wings come back home to the “Joe” to host San Jose for game 6 tonight.  If they win there will be a game 7.  They will win and there will be a game 7.  Which means my buddy Brandon and I are driving our asses up to San Jose and jumping into that Shark tank to watch the Wings take ’em down.  We were supposed to go up Sunday for game 5 but shit got all f#$%ed up and we ended up watching the game at B’s.  Turns out this was fate.  What better than a game 7.  B is heading over to my pad tonight for rib-eyes and shark meat.  Go WINGS!!!

Lot’s of stuff happening in my film world so I am going to give you all a quick update.

orientation at DWF


This little short I directed is now on its 3rd festival in as many months.  We will have our West Coast premiere at Dances With Films film fest right here in Los Angeles, CA.  It is actually playing at the Laemmle Sunset 5 theatre on June 5th at 5pm sharp.  I will be throwing a dope-ass after party like I did two years back when the feature I directed, Alphonso Bow, premiered there.  If you come to the screening, you will know about the party.  “Like” us on Facebook HERE please!  We would love some more fans.  It is a great little film and the stars, Dave and Brendan, are f#$%in’ great dudes!  Check their interview HERE.


It has been almost exactly three long years since we wrapped shooting this feature film that I directed and my father, M Sarki, wrote.  I remember because we started shooting on “Cinco de Mayo” and we wrapped in five days.  Crazy that we did this feature in five days.  It feels great to say that it is being released in just over a month by Vanguard Cinema.  If you click the site you will see it in the upcoming releases.  June 21st is the date.  We are so proud of this accomplishment.  It has a been a bumpy ride and a hustle but soon enough you will all have the opportunity to watch it if you like.  They have done some great new artwork for the DVD!  It really brings it to life.  We are also releasing it in color and b&w.  Most of the festivals had only seen it in b&w so this is new look at the film.  I will keep everyone posted as it gets closer.  “Like” us on Facebook HERE!

fight scene, UNDERBELLY


This Pilot project in itself deserves its own long write-up.  And I will get it done.  Soon.  We are about three more “shoot days” from wrapping the shooting portion of the project.  It has been a hell of a ride.  Shoestring budget, amazing cast, great director and producing partner, all the favors for locations and props, the time donated, and I could go on forever.  I am going to save it for later though.  Our director is on another job for three weeks so we have to push finishing until mid-June.  I am going to leave you with our cast list so you can see for your self how awesome it is.  “Like” us on Facebook HERE please if you want to keep up with the project and learn more about what it is.  Hopefully you will see it on Showtime in the near future…

CAST: Andy Dick, Reid Scott, David Rogers, Lije Sarki, Phillip Jeanmarie, Greg Evigan, Jamie Harris, Vanessa Evigan, Sonia Rockwell, Lauren Ziemski, Stephanie Rae Anderson, Natalie James.  If I forgot someone I am sorry.

Underbelly has been a trip.  I am an executive producer on it as well as a producer, production manager, sound guy, camera operator, driver, actor, and whatever the hell else you can imagine.  I have learned a lot once again.  I will share a lot more once we finish.  We have a lot of work to do.  Still have to sync and edit this thing.  Ryan, I love you for that.  Lauren, I love you for all your help too and just being you.  It has been a ride that I will not forget.  It has engulfed four months of my life.  I was recently on the verge of explosion until Ryan got a gig he couldn’t pass up.  It’s a good thing.  It has allowed me to take a three-week hiatus from anything film/TV/production/creating related.  Granted I still audition and go sling some drinks at a bar but that is all mindless.  Effortless.  It is just fun.  Not that the other isn’t fun.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the shit out of it.  I will love it even more when that is all I have to do to pay the bills.

For now, I am on vacation.  Enjoying where I live, the fruits of my labor, baseball, hockey, the beach, hikes, skateboarding, my lady friend, other friends and just being present and put together.  I love you Life.

Cheers!  GO WINGS! and Happy Birthday Kerry!

Lije and NBF

I am going to leave you with another quote from my good friend Sarah, “Hi kids! I’m going to work out with Richard Simmons at 6:30 on Tuesday at Beverly Hills studio. If anyone wants tocome let me know! Class is $15 and eveyone needs to be there 45 min early so factor it in!”  

SPECIAL NOTE:  Think twice before you ever ask me to do some shit like that again!  I am experimental, of course, but Richard Simmons scares the shit out of me.  

slingin' drinks

pal Brandon (B), repping the beer for the ticket to the game, GO WINGS!

Steph Rae, pre-fight scene, UNDERBELLY


Mike, on a boat, Catalina

psychiatrist scene, UNDERBELLY

me, life, fun, Catalina, again

poolside, UNDERBELLY

My lady friend

Hunt and Sarki…shredding the AM

In Uncategorized on February 1, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Early morning skate session...

Ha Ha Ha!

That’s what it felt like at least.  Shredding.  My buddy Andrew Hunt who is now a “big-time” producer called me out on a post I had written a while back.  He said we needed to go skating.  So he showed up at my house this morning at 8am so we could hit the Venice skatepark before it got too busy.  Well, I also wanted to go early because I haven’t ridden the park in years and I used to be pretty good and I was afraid of getting embarrassed.  Honestly, I am not embarrassed because of what other people think.  It bothers me that I use to kind of rip it and now I am afraid I can’t do what I used to.  So it’s basically me not wanting to suck for my own well-being.  Same reason I don’t play video games anymore.  I used to destroy me some Mortal Kombat and Madden.  Now I get owned online by a three-year-old.  It has also been about ten years since I have consistently ridden a skateboard.  I mean, I ride my skateboard still, just not how I used to.  Not as many tricks and stuff, ya know?

So we rolled out at 8am.  Cruised over to the park.  I instantly dropped into the bowl and started messing around.  After about ten minutes of cruising, I shit you not, I was busting fatty kick-flips and heel-flips up off the wedges.  I still had my “pop” too!  I was so proud and pumped.

skating the wedge

This was honestly the best morning I have had in a long time.  I felt like I did back in the day.  It is sort of like getting in the ocean first thing in the morning.  It affects the rest of your day in such a positive and productive way.  I suggest to everyone to find that “something” that does it for you and start your day with that.

Andrew Hunt and shred

Then I went to Dogtown Crossfit and got my “work-out” on, dropped my car off to get fixed, and ran back four miles from the shop.  It is only noon in L.A.

Skateboarding rules.  We made a commitment to do this every week.  I made a commitment to get all my skills back by the end of February.  That’s if I don’t break something.  Thank gosh for SAG insurance.

I get to act tomorrow in my favorite scene from Underbelly with Vanessa Evigan.  Ryan Philander is directing.

Happy Tuesday,

Lije and Nut Bucket…


In Uncategorized on January 31, 2011 at 9:42 am

Lije Sarki as "JC Sedwick" in SUPERHEROES

At least for a day.  At least for two hours.  Twice so far I have played a Superhero.  My name is JC Sedwick and I have the power of “mind control”.  But I am also working on other abilities like “levitation”.

That’s what I did on Sunday.  Bright and early in the middle of the streets of Beverly Hills.  Screaming, “Pick a card, any card…I this your card??”  And then I saved an old man from being ran over by a truck.

Lije and shoot

I was acting  in a nice little project written and directed by my pal Bentley Montes.  It is a fun little project he put together and he offered me one of the roles as one of the superheroes.  I study with Bentley at John Rosenfeld Studios, an acting studio.

Lije and Steve (on left) and pal

That acting studio has been responsible for a lot of recent connections in my filmmaking/acting career.  I met my producer for Closing Doors there.  I met some of my cast for the Pilot, Underbelly, that we are shooting now.  I have become a better Director by watching my teacher, John, work/teach.  I have become a better actor by getting to practice every week.  That’s what it is all about.  Practice.

It was about a year and a half in between me making a film.  The time between Alphonso Bow and Closing Doors was nearly two years.  Granted there was a lot going on with Alphonso Bow and I was basically the only one left to work on it.  The festival circuit and then the release.  Then the un-release.  And now the soon-to-be announcement of some great news for Alphonso Bow!  It takes time and energy finishing a project.  But after shooting Closing Doors I realized I need to be making at least a film a year.  I need to keep fresh and keep my skill-set on point.   Plus making movies is fun (tagline).  And I believe I have been doing a pretty good job.  Maybe not “Superhero” good but pretty darn good.  A lot of my recent inspiration has come from knowing I have completed another project.  And they keep getting better.

The next two days are crucial.  I am going to start posting some of my filmmaker Bio from the last three or four years as soon as I finish it.  But more importantly, we shoot one of the scenes I am acting in on Wednesday from the Pilot, Underbelly.  I am really looking forward to it.  It is actually my favorite scene in the entire script.  Maybe because I am in it.  No really, the script is great and we have some really wonderful actors attached to the project and hoping to attach the final few after next week by using some of the footage we have already shot.  Maybe I can give you all a taste with some photos later in the week.  Maybe.

I wanna give a shout-out to Tim McCarthy.  You are a good dude.  I had a great time hanging with you this weekend and seeing your little boys.  You too Rick.  Have fun in Disneyland.

sweet and short today,



In Uncategorized on December 8, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Time to break away...

Yo yo yo yo!

I have been gone for almost three weeks.  I was on track to writing at least once or twice a week, but I tell you, life gets ahold of you sometimes.

I have been on a few adventures, that’s for sure.  Every single one of them deserves their own separate blog.

I went to the Red Wings vs Kings game this last weekend with my pal, Sonia Rockwell.  “Big Ups” to my man Will Wright for hooking-it-up with the tickets!

Detroit lost but the poster was a hit.  Go Wings

I spent my Turkey Day  in Maui!  I have a buddy by the name of Keith Zielinski who has a house out there.  he is a real Estate guru.  if you ever need a house there look him up.  Pacific Shore Realty.  He puts me up, cooks me dinner, and takes care of me like a five-star hotel.  My wife outside of America.  I like to think Maui counts as leaving the country.  It is far and definitely doesn’t feel like I am in the USA.  I got SCUBA certified there and swam with some more sharks!  I got a nice video to edit so that will go up this week or next, hopefully.

"Big Beach" in Maui

Me and Lenny Schmidt shot some more little web gems for Baby Blues BBQ.  Here is the latest.  I truly believe this one to be funny.  You can find them all at or the Facebook page.

Lately, I have been editing Closing Doors. Yup, that’s right, I edited the film.  I was not an editor before this.  I had very basic skills on Final Cut Pro.  But, like I said in the last post, I took a tutorial on AVID and BAM!  I was not an editor before but I am now.  Thankfully, I am a quick learner.  Minus a couple of hold-ups, actually a giant f%&*ng hold-up (the 30-day trial for AVID stopped working on day 14), I am almost done with the edit.  “Thank you” people at AVID for saving me.  I will save the story for the “trials and tribulations” section of making a movie when I write my biography or accept my Oscar.  The last piece is the Score.  I am so grateful to have Lol Tolhurst from The CURE composing it!  Now that is cool.

OK, so now what?  I am almost finished with Closing Doors.  We are going to do a festival run.  I hope.  I think it’s pretty dang good.  It should do well.  So, minus submissions and some marketing, that project is in a holding pattern.  We still need help financially help to finish the project so if you want a perk, feel good about helping out, and be a part of a dope-ass film then check this out right HERE.

I am working on a TV Pilot with writer/director Ryan Philander and my producing partner Lauren Ziemski called Underbelly.  We have some super talented and “working” actors attached.  I will announce the names when the time is right.  We are still casting a couple of the roles.  Patience people.  We start shooting after the new year begins.  Not only producing it, but I will also be playing the role of Eric, an out-of-work actor in rehab, struggling with life and a cheating ex-girlfriend who we find out is pregnant with one of his best friends.  That is just episode 1.  Can’t wait to put the acting hat on again for something substantial.

Now for the big announcement!!  The big punch!  The motha f%&*in snake on a plane!  I am going to direct the teaser (Episode 1) of a 10 episode web project me and my partners in Texas are creating.  Yup, I am working with the Fu Man Kru once again and Jeff Grettler is playing “point”.  It is a high intensity thriller/horror in the realm of  Traffic meets Lost in a little dirty Border Town.  It will represent a feature film in length and could play out as that, but instead will play in 10 separate episodes in the Internet.  That’s about as much info as I can give at this point.  We have a little handshake deal with a company that wishes to stay anonymous for the time being.

How did I get to here?  Today?  Now?

I have done some projects.  I directed a feature called Alphonso Bow.  I produced a couple features with my partners in Texas, For Whom He Tolls and Stabbin’ Kabin.  I just directed the short film, Closing Doors.  They are all solid projects.  I am especially proud of each and every one of them.  I am excited about the new one, Underbelly.  It has a lot of potential.

I am having a wonderful time creating and I love my job.  I wear a lot of hats.  I want to get rid of some hats.  I want to Direct and I want to get paid for it.  I have talent.  I need to get noticed.  I have decided I have a Mentor.  He doesn’t know it.  Maybe he does.  It doesn’t matter if he does or doesn’t.

I went to my mentor on Monday and said “Yo, ____ , what the hell do I have to do to get to do what you do?  This is what I have done…How do I make the leap?  How do I get to the next level?  What the F%k do I do next?”  He replied to me, “Do the ‘Narc‘ version of your movie.  Do something that will knock people’s socks off.  You either got to do something really funny or really action packed or really f%&*in’ relevant.”  That’s when it hit me.  Why produce just a script for the web series?  Why not shoot the opening episode?  Why not you, Lije Sarki, direct the opening episode and show what you got?  Why not knock the doors off it?  Why not blow people away?  Then we have a teaser to pitch with the project (the already great idea).

So there you have it.  The next big thing for me is this teaser. This BIG teaser.  Lots of work ahead.  Shooting in the Winter/Spring 2011.

Muchas Gracias Mentor.

Lije and a bucket of Nuts…

Damn it feels good to be a gangsta…

In Uncategorized on September 11, 2010 at 11:44 am


in the dugout


 This is like my last moment alone before I go out for the big game. Except it is not. Well, kind of. 2010 seems like it is winding towards the end.  Football season is here.  Baseball season is coming down to the final stretch before October.  I am trying to plan some end-of-the-year vacations to see some family and friends.  It is cloudy out.  Maybe that gloominess is influencing me.  But I honestly feel like I “look” in that photo.   Just straight reminiscent.  I took that photo last night at Dodger stadium.  I am actually in the Dodger’s dugout.  Was super freakin’ cool.  Thanks Jessica!  I was visiting the set of Moneyball again and watching the players/actors field baseballs.  I would post pictures of that but I don’t want to piss anyone off.

Deep thoughts.  This will be like my 3/4 year check in.  We are scheduled to shoot Closing Doors starting on Oct. 1st.  It has been postponed twice so far.  Both were for very good reasons but they will be the last delays.  I am going to say “thanks” to everyone for hanging on to the feeling and passion for an extra month!  It will pay off.  For more info on the film and how to be a part of it click HERE.  We are still raising money and would love your help.

I am teaming up with another pal of mine, Lauren Zeimski, to produce this Pilot that another pal of mine, Ryan Philander, wrote.  This one is not so small.  It is  a sixteen person (substantial players) cast and about twenty-six locations.  Pretty exciting actually.  It is a really fun script but is going to be a challenge to put together.  That should wind me through the end of 2010.

Then I have the day-to-day.  Doing my best to be social.  Got to get out there and meet people, ya know?  Stopped at my old friend Ame’s Birthday last night and ran into at least ten people I haven’t seen in forever.  It is important to keep those connections.  And all I had to do was suck it up and hang for an hour.  Funny, I sent out an update email for Nut Bucket Films the other day and reconnected with a buddy, Andrew, that I used to work with at Miyagi’s.  We had a great little “catch-up” and maybe we will do a project together soon.  He made me realize how much the bar and restaurant industry has had an impact on the amount of people I know in this town.  I am grateful for that.  I really have a network of connections that I would never have without it.  I recommend it for anyone new to L.A.  Get a job at a bar.  Just don’t get sucked up in the party aspect.  I did for years and all it did was delay talent.  

I booked a commercial for Wells Fargo yesterday.  That is nice for the acting career that I also try to jam into my already congested life of the Entertainment industry.  I had “acting” class on Friday and man-o-man it is a beautiful group of people.  That John Rosenfeld Studios really knows how to put a group together.  They can act too!  It is great for me because it is a nice pool of actors when good projects come up!  John is a heck of a teacher and coach.  I steal a lot from him and use it in my own stuff.  I give him credit, of course.

And let’s not forget about Baby Blues BBQ!  I still hang out there on the weekends.  Some would call it work but not me.  It’s honestly a lot of fun.  I can say most people who go there are my friends.  A lot of them I actually have worked with outside of the restaurant and are a substantial part of my life.  Some of my best friends have come out of there.  I am grateful to Baby Blues BBQ and Rick and Danny for that.

I am gonna leave you all today on that.  I  think it is a good finish.  Let’s go Detroit Lions.  I have a poll if anyone wants to vote with me.  Click HERE

Until the next one,