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Interview – Eric Baird – “Asia A” – A Short Film


Posted August 12, 2018 by

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Interview – Eric Baird – “Asia A” – A Short Film

ASIA A tackles the subject of sudden disability and stars London Brown (Ballers), Pruitt Taylor Vince (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D), Paulina Bugembe (The Good Place) and Elizabeth Keener (The L Word). Just having begun its festival run this live action short is already a semi-finalist at the 45th Student Academy Awards, has been selected for LA Shorts International Film Festival and HollyShorts.

ASIA A was created by director Andrew Reid, writer Roberto Saieh, and producers Jake Katofsky and Eric Baird.

ASIA A is the story of a recent spinal cord injury patient struggling to reconcile his sense of self-worth with his new reality as a paraplegic.

Director/Writer Andrew Reid graduated with a Masters of Arts in Film Production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. When he was 21, he became paralyzed from the chest down. He was told by doctors he would never walk again, but with dedication and perseverance he regained movement. To keep the film authentic the filmmakers intermittently interviewed spinal cord injury patients for research, and to create public awareness of the ASIA test and spinal cord injury.  His previous work includes the award winning film Geeta and Road to Zion.

Writer Roberto Saieh has an MFA in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California and was placed twice in the PAGE Awards with his feature Magdalena and his short Shine.

Producer Jake Katofsky is a recent MFA graduate of the USC Peter Stark Producing Program. Jake has associate produced feature Live Cargo, starring Lakeith Stanfield, Dre Hemingway, and Robert Wisdom and has produced four shorts including Duvall et al., The Shadow, and The Bare Knuckle Gentlemen. Co-producer Eric Baird is recent grad from USC with his Masters in Film & Television Production, Eric focused primarily on directing and producing.  He was a producer on The Waste Land and associate producer on My Loyal Audience.

Interview – Eric Baird


To begin with, tell us about your latest film ‘Asia A’, where did the idea come from? How did you get involved with the film?

ASIA A is about a recent spinal cord injury patient who must figure out how to reconcile his self worth with his new reality as a paraplegic.  The idea originated with the director, Andrew Reid, and his experience being paralyzed from the chest down at 21.  It is not a direct take on his life, but it is influenced by that.  I was the first person on the project besides Andrew himself.  We knew each other from our program and after reading the script and discussing it with Andrew I jumped on board.

Tell us about the cast, who is starring in ‘Asia A’?

Our lead actor for this film is the wonderfully talented London Brown, known best from his role on HBO’s Ballers.  Additionally we were extremely honoured to get Pruitt Taylor Vince to play the curmudgeonly roommate, known for his roles in Constantine,Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Stranger Things, amongst another 100 credits.  And we had a wonderful supporting cast with Paulina Bugembe (The Good Place), Elizabeth Keener (The L Word), and James Shipp (Ballerz World Live).

Did you face any significant challenges throughout the film’s production?

Like any production there were a couple hiccups and stumbling points.  The most significant bump in the road was when we lost our Production Designer and the replacement we found within a week of each other and with less than a week before the production began.  Luckily we were able to find a replacement.  But it was a pretty difficult period during pre-production.

What are your influences as a filmmaker?

Personally, Alfred Hitchcock and John Hughes have significantly influenced me. I realize they may seem like very different filmmakers but what I truly appreciate in their work and approach to film making is the level of intricacy and care with which they crafted their films. I aspire to have Hitchcock’s eye and Hughes’s heart.

When and where can we expect to see ‘Asia A’?

ASIA A will be screening at HollyShorts Film Festival on August 14that the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

What advice would you give any up-and-coming filmmakers, trying to crack the industry?

Make movies, write, and practice your craft.  The only way you get better is through experience.  And find people who you love to work with because it is a hugely collaborative effort.

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

Currently I’m doing some writing for some upcoming pitches and trying to get another short film up off the ground, which I will be directing.


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