In the reader spotlight series we celebrate YOU, the reason The Film Experience keeps chugging along. Today we're talking to Michael Bina who just produced a well received short film! Let's meet him.
Nathaniel R: We met a couple years back at a guild screening for Coriolanus's tiny Oscar-qualifying run I believe?
MICHAEL BINA: Yes, that’s right! I remember you... loved it?
Well, Vanessa Redgrave in it! Otherwise not so much. How long have you been reading the site?
I’ve probably been reading The Film Experience for a little less than a decade. I was a huge fan of the Academy Awards growing up, so I began reading Oscar blogs. I stumbled upon yours and loved your insight on films, and just the way you wrote about them. The site's great at showcasing all aspects of the industry (film, theatre, television).
I understand you recently produced a film that was honored by the Producers Guild ? I'm fuzzy on details. Fill us in!
Every year the Producers Guild of America has a Weekend Short Competition. So over the course of one weekend you have to write, shoot, edit, compose and complete a film no longer than 5-minutes. This year the theme was Romantic Comedy in honor of Laura Ziskin. The film I made was called ‘The Squeeze’, inspired by my little cousin who has a Lemonade stand every summer.
That sounds fun. Let's watch it!
MICHAEL BINA: I used my cousin in the film, and made him a mafia-loving kingpin who runs all these lemonade stands in Beverly Hills. One day, this cute little girl opens an opposing stand, basically killing his business. So he tries to take her down, but falls in love with her. We ended up as one of the Top 10 Finalists, winning Honorable Mention. James Franco and Tom Cruise’s producing partner Paula Wager were two of the judges, so it was surreal knowing that they watched a film I wrote and produced.
Nathaniel: Congratulations so much. Okay, name 3 movies you've seen a bajillion times.
MICHAEL Movies are always playing in the background while I write, so this is easy.
... and lastly (I know it’s cheating) but the four Disney Renaissance films: The Little Mermaid, Beauty & The Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King.
Take an Oscar away. Regift it.
I want to say The Artist’s Best Picture win to A Separation, which is my favorite movie of all time. But, instead I’m going to make one choice that affects three outcomes. Take Hilary Swank’s 2nd Oscar and give it to Kate Winslet for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. This way Kate would lose for her work in The Reader, meaning the Oscar would have gone to Streep. Thus, Streep would have lost for The Iron Lady, meaning Viola Davis wouldn’t be Oscar-less! (And even if Streep didn’t win, it probably would have gone to a very, very, very deserving Hathaway for Rachel Getting Married).
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. So to wrap up, do like we did on sunday's podcast. Name your favorite turkey, succulent ham, and something you're sweet on for dessert.
Turkey: Independence Day
Ham: Jim Carrey
Dessert: Emma Watson
Thanks, Michael, Happy Thanksgiving!