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[Interview] – Philip A. Ramos – ‘The Kidnapping of a Fish’ – A Feature Film

 

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Posted October 23, 2016 by

 
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The Kidnapping of a Fish follows a mild-mannered man who is forced to consider if his girlfriend is the cause of his unexpected situation. The mixed genre film explores and tests a relationship between two people who feel that they don’t deserve love.

Writer/Director Philip A. Ramos graduated from NYU and went on to work as a Production Coordinator for Blockbuster films like Bourne Ultimatum, Tracers, War of the Worlds and hit TV shows such as Mysteries of Laura and Sex and the City. The music is by Danielle Merlis and the Theme Music is by John Kaefer. It is Produced by John D. Hay Jr, who is also a writer/director on the short Attempt to Rise and the web series Work in Progress. The Director of Photography is award winning and VCU graduate Patrick Phillips.  Together, John and Patrick formed Team Biscuit Films.

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Interview – Philip A. Ramos:

To begin with, tell us about your latest film – ‘The Kidnapping of a Fish’ where did the idea come from?

The Kidnapping of a Fish is a mixed genre film that follows two people who don’t feel that they deserve love and the complications that arise when one of them is kidnapped.

The idea came from wanting to do something similar to a feature that I will be shooting next and the idea of doing a different kind of romantic film with a lot of layers that takes you on a journey.

It’s very cool because I was able to do a film that was full on suspense, full on comedy and full on drama. A director friend Mike Cheslik said that the film is “shaken, not stirred” which accurately describes how the genres interact in this film.

How did you get involved with the film?

I was asked to produce this web series Work In Progress for my friend John Hay Jr. and it really ignited my creativity. I had asked John and his best friend Cinematographer Patrick Phillips (They have a production company called Team Biscuit Films) if they would be willing to help me shoot this film and they said – let’s do it. We shot this film over 5 days with a four person crew. We did our own props, found our own wardrobe, found our locations and made it happen. I really love working with these guys and thankfully we work well together.

Lets talk about the cast, who stars in ‘The Kidnapping of a Fish’?

I’m so thankful to have the cast that I have and I must stress to all productions how important casting is, even for the smallest parts — if one actor is mediocre, you can tell. Stephen Friedrich (Alex), who next stars in MTV’s Sweet/Vicious is so adept at doing Comedy and Drama. We had a festival that nominated him for both Best Actor Drama and he won Best Actor Comedy for his amazing turn in this movie. Theodora (Woolley) Miranne (Cassandra) can do virtually anything that you throw at her and also make you instantly care for whatever character that she plays. Vasile Flutur (Volchek), who is from Romania, scared me in his audition. He has such intensity and vulnerability at the same time and he is so great to work with. During rehearsals, we had discussions about making sure that this character was not a caricature, which is so important when you are walking a fine line between drama and comedy. Steve Quimby and Kalen J Hall round out the cast and do outstanding work. That is really what is so amazing about this cast is that they are able to do both – have these comedic moments while keeping this dramatic line throughout.

What are your influences as a director?

I am a huge fan of Robert Zemeckis’s Back to the Future – that really is the movie that made me say – I want to make movies – movies that leave you feeling next level Euphoria. I also love Brian DePalma’s work and his editing style and I love Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds with its old style romance amid the backdrop of World War II. Ultimately, I strive to make movies that have emotional substance. A lot of movies can make you laugh, a lot of movies can make you cry – but the one that can do both at the same time – those are the really special ones that stick out. I want to make films that move people as I much as I was moved as a kid watching movies.

What top filmmaking tips would you give the readers of FilmDebate?

Surround yourself with positive people who have a strong desire to create and that will only give you the support and the encouragement to make things happen for yourself. There are so many excuses that you can come up with and ultimately that is what will separate the people who are successful and those that are not. It’s never too late to start making films. Just get out there and do it.

Where & when can we expect to see ‘The Kidnapping of a Fish’?

I’ve been so honored to have been an official selection of 15 film festivals thus far and seeing what kind of platform to put it on next. It’s best to check out Thatstormfilms.com and LIKE my facebook page (bit.do/tkaof for updates on the film).

What is the next step for you? Do you have any other projects in production?

My next film will be a feature film called Mr. Trevor, which is an action comedy that will hopefully have the same stars. I should add that it has a great role for an actress in her 40’s/50’s. It has similar elements to The Kidnapping of a Fish but a different story. I’m also toying with the idea of doing a musical short short and I’m continuing to write features. If any of your readers want to reach out for any advice or opportunities, please do not hesitate!

 

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