Haley Joel Osment and Alison Brie on the Panel "In and Out of Hollywood" at the Orlando Film Festival 2010

Haley Joel Osment and Alison Brie were among other distinguished luminaries in the film industry invited to do a Discussion Panel on 4th November 2010 at the Orlando Film Festival.

Check out the Transcript of Haley Joel Osment and Alison Brie's comments during the panel discussion below...

Copyrighted © www.filmsnobbery.com and The Orlando Film Festival. First published Saturday, November 13th, 2010 at 8:13 AM

Transcribed by Daniel Chia

Be sure to view the ORIGINAL VIDEO


Full Length Panel Discussion "In and Out of Hollywood" Orlando Film Festival 2010


On 4th November 2010, Haley Joel Osment and Alison Brie were among a distinguished group of film luminaries , including Tim Wassberg, Sylvia Caminer, Artie Malesci, Nic Baisley ( of filmsnobbery.com ), and the legendary Ralph Clemente, invited to do a discussion panel on the theme "In and Out of Hollywood" with the audience of the Orlando Film Festival. The hour and a half long discussion was a wonderful time of discussion from these film veterans about the Independant Film Industry, and it is well worth sitting through the entire recording to hear priceless observations and anecdotes about the Independant Film Industry.

Both Haley Joel Osment and Alison Brie provided astonishing glimpses about their experiences not only Montana Amazon, but also from their other films and television work. It was interesting to note that Haley was his usual thoughtful, insightful self, with answers to questions that had depth that reflected his years of experience in his award-winning career. Alison Brie was a real surprise, displaying great wit and a tremendous sense of self-deprecation. Her rapid-fire answers to questions posed were hilarious, and showed off her deeply-ingrained theatrical background and training, and her anecdotes about what it was on the shoot of Montana Amazon is not to be missed.

I do recommend highly spending a profitable hour and a half to listen to the panel discussion, but if you want to get to the juicy parts featuring our two stars from Montana Amazon, click on the appropriate links below complete with a transcription of Haley and Alison's comments. Enjoy !


Haley Joel Osment introduces himself


Haley Joel Osment
(starting at the 12 minute 10 second mark) :

Hello, I'm from California originally but my parents are from Birmingham, Alabama , so I'm kinda from around the region down here. My father wanted be to be pilot when he was in college, and saw a play when he was at West Georgia College in Carolls in Georgia and was immediately hooked with acting. He moved out to California in 1984 where I was born a couple of years later, so I'm from California originally. When I was about 4 or 5 years old, just on a whim, I went in with my mom to one of those cattlecall auditions and ended up getting a commercial or two which led to a couple of films after that. So since I've was 5 years old, I've been pretty much working since then. For the past 4 years, I studied Experimental Theatre in NYU in New York, which was very exciting. So my interests certainly span from film to theatre, but in the world of film, having had the opportunity to work with a lot of directors and actors that I respect. Certainly a lot of producers and cinematographers and all the people whose extremely unique talents are needed on the set, I'd certainly like to try my hand at certain things behind the cameras. That's one of the most exciting things about watching independent film, it's the amount of freedom that creative artists have behind the cameras, and that's certainly exciting to me.


Alison Brie introduces herself


Alison Brie
(starting at the 13 minute 35 second mark) :

I'm same, from Los Angeles, born and raised. Though I lived in close proximity to Hollywood, that was never part of my reality, growing up, although I was really into performing and into theatre. And after my "amazing turn" as Toto in the Wizard of Oz [laughs], at the age of 7, I thought, "This is the life for me" [laughs]. So I did community theatre for a while, and went through regular high school, and my parents really wanted to encourage me to have a normal education and sort of do theatre on the side, but once they realised that I was really serious about it, they were like, " Well, you have to go to college for it" . So I went to California Institute of the Arts and I studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, and really cultivated theatre, and I was all about theatre all the time, theatre, theatre, and if I aspired to do any kind of film, it would be independent film, because that had integrity, and that would be the only thing I wanted to do... and lo and behold, I finished college, and needed to make money [laughs] and you know, started to audition for TV and landed on two incredible TV shows that I felt have an amazing, grounded sense of integrity, and amazing writing, and are smart, intelligent shows, and it was really the luck of the draw for me because I was going on these auditions for a million things and just trying to find people who wanted to cast me in something. I was willing to do anything, and luckily landed on shows where I am able to work with people I really respect, and it's opened other doors for me. Even on this film that we did (looks at Haley), to me it's about finding interesting characters, deep characters, that you can relate to, that other people can relate to, maybe just parts of them because they are so bizarre, they just run the gamut of all of that.So hopefully I'll continue to be able to do that.


Alison Brie talks about her role in Montana Amazon

Alison, your character in Montana Amazon is off the charts. I mean, the character is funny, and gross, and cool at times, and you do some weird stuff, so talk a little bit about your character from Montana Amazon (starting at the 26 minute 38 second mark) :


Alison Brie : Well, I'm so glad you said "gross" when you were describing her, because I do feel like one of things that drew me to the character is that she is so "out there", and "gross" was one of the things, like she's so, all the characters, the whole movie has that kind of feeling like, "Do I want to love these people? I don't know..." and there's something about playing characters that you don't want to judge, your instincts will tell you to judge, but you're like "I'm not going to judge this person at all. I'm just going to see what the inner workings of them are." When I read the script, before I auditioned for the role, it's like I read it and like, "I get this girl" which makes me some kind of crazy. [laughter] But the great thing about independent film is the artistic freedom that you have, with these characters, and you work with your director and to have this collaboration there, working on Community is a blast, we have so much fun, but it's interesting even in seeing the difference working on Community versus Mad Men, which is a cable show, I would say that they have a lot more artistic freedom because when you are on a Network show, there are so many heads in the mix, there's like there are so many chefs making this meal. And it can be great, because there are a lot of different ideas coming, and it can also be restricting, because you can sometimes be like, oh, you know, they're doing test audiences, there are other things at play here. There's marketing, and ratings. When you're doing an independent film, and you're doing these outrageous characters, you really have the freedom to make them unlikeable, to make them gross, and erm, not really worry so much if people are going to connect with them, and hope that they will on some level, or maybe they won't, and it will give them some other experience watching them. So, it was an amazing experience for me to play this character, and to be in the middle of the California desert, in the middle of nowhere, sort of creating this person who wears long underwear all the time, and thinks she's 12, and wants to have a lot of sex, and doesn't really even know what that means! It was a sort of cool departure from the sort of clean cut person that people think I am. [laughs]


Haley Joel Osment talks about his role in Montana Amazon

Haley, we've seen you grow up, and now to see you play your character on Montana Amazon...a completely different stretch. You've got a lot of internal turmoil that's going on in this film, tell us a little about, you know, it being a road picture, and being able to work with 2 great actresses, and being able to bring what you bring to the table in the film. (starting at the 29 minute 25 second mark) :


Haley Joel Osment : Right. You know, there are some characters where your ..... is based on your similarity to them, and the common experience that you share with them, and then there's some like this film where, you know, normally when you read a script, you picture the circumstances and you picture the people that are going to be playing them, even though you don't know who the actors are yet. In this film, I had so much trouble imagining what the world would look like and how we would inhabit it and everything, so when you're dealing with something that strange, you know, the technique with this one was just that it was purely ours to deal with. This was a story and a group of characters that had not been dealt with before, so we would have the experience of discovering it as we went. If Alison hadn't mentioned long underwear, I would definitely have mentioned it. It was kind of a sensual aspect of her character [laughs] and representative of physical things that happened and that we picked up just based on our environment on the way. We were very dirty, literally dirty in this film, and before a lot of shots, I mean, we also spent half of that in the process trailer, you know, with a car mounted on a trailer, with Deborah our director, who is in the audience with us tonight, communicating with us with a walkie talkie, and Alison and I would, before the shots, sometimes just go to the side of the road to roll on the dirt a little bit, and get trashed, and just kinda do it, we kinda had the licence to take the grossness and the strangeness of these characters as far as we could, and that was a lot of fun. Also, the physical violence in this film was certainly a venue for individuality in these characters. I spent a lot of the film getting railed on by Olympia Dukakis, and I was so happy that she did not hold back at all. [laughs] Not always working with a stunt coordinator right before the fights and everything, and she would kinda be like, " Well, I'm going to beat you up" and that was how it went. Luckily no scarring [laughs] but that was sort of a wonderful time. So yeah, there are certainly major advantages to being on a studio set or a place where everything has been planned out for you, and there is no uncertainty... well, there's always uncertainty... but there's a lot of fun doing a version like this, where you can let loose and take the character to places you normally wouldn't.

Well you certainly did. Guys, you've never seen characters like these before. Never ever, ever. I don't think anybody has. I've never seen a film with anything as remotely close, so remember, Montana Amazon, mark it on your calendars, it screens tomorrow, same theatre, it's going to be a riot. You'll have a blast.


Alison Brie talks about the challenges of an independent film shoot

On independent films, money is tight, and time is tight. How do you balance making your day, and staying on schedule, and making the creative vision that you have ? (answer from Alison Brie starts at the 55 minute 55 second mark) :


Alison Brie : I was going to say, as the question was about preparation, I realise I have not produced any film, but just thinking about making your day. I think that something that was very helpful to us on the movie (Montana Amazon) was preparation and creativity. As soon as we had script, as soon as we were cast in the film, and this was before production was starting or any of that was going, Deb (director D.G.Brock) had us in this little room at this weird music, sort of rehearsal, space, but it was great because these characters are so different, and I felt like so much of the movie was the dire landscape that they were living in, and what does that entail, and how to really make it specific. So we had already gone and rehearsed a lot of it, and, you know, had lunches, and had talked to each other, and had the material to go and lay that groundwork. So when we got on set, and we were fighting daylight, and we were in the dirt and all this unexpected stuff that was happening, at least we were going, "we know these people, we know how they awould react in this situation". We didn't have to spend another hour rehearsing here. We would rehearse the basics of this action that we were gonna do, because now we've all got that stuff to build on top of it, but at least we know these people, we were ready to go. And then the other thing, in terms of creativity, I think is thinking on the fly. When you do get out there, I keep thinking in the middle of the desert, it really felt like we were stranded in the middle of the desert sometimes, and daylight can be a tricky thing. And you get out there, and you have this vision, and I can't speak for all of Deb's visions in her head of what the movie was going to be like, or Bruce's (producer Bruce Stubblefield) , but you run into things and you go, " well, can't we make this mound of dirt higher, so that we can hide behind it more?" and the people go, "Yeah, but it's going to take a couple of hours, and we really don't have that much dirt here... " and as opposed to being married to that idea and going, "Well, let's do it, let's all sit around, we need this pile of dirt to be here..." it was a matter of, "Well, let's throw some bricks down, what do you guys have to come up with?", kinda like opening it up to the group, and working at it on the fly. And I think some of the best things in the movie sort of came out of us going, "What can we make out of this?" There was supposed to be sex toys in the dirt in one scene, and they give me a bag with crotchless panties in it, and we were like, "we can make this work, we can make this...[laughs] oh my, that's the problem. What do I do with this crotchless panties?" [laughter] But Deb instead of standing there, going, "No, this was supposed to be six condoms and a plastic bag", she was like, "Well, do something ..." [laughter] It was a matter of getting to where we're going, assessing the situation in that moment, and going, "Here's how we're going to make it work for these people. Let's do it. Let's move froward. Fearlessly." Thank you.


Haley Joel Osment talks about movie scores and how he stays
in character in his films

This question is for Haley. I've been pretty much watching a lot of your films since, I think the first time I saw you was in Forrest Gump. I've been trying to break in as a score composer, and I try to view myself, kinda not necessarily compose for the stages as an absolute jazz composer, but also as an actor , kinda bury myself into the story, as an actor with the score as its own emotional entity. When I notice your acting, from A.I. or Secondhand Lions, you always seem to do it best for the character, not necessarily what's best for Haley. I don't know if I am making sense. You seem to focus on, like, Haley doesn't exist any more, if that makes sense. Whatever that character needs. What do you do to prepare yourself or to lose yourself into the character? (starts at the 1 hour 10 minute 40 second mark) :



Haley Joel Osment : It's interesting that you mention music, because I think just for me personally, that's one of the things with films that I'm in, with films that I am watching, that I obsess over [laughs], there are certain films that I like watching where a lot of it is hooked into the song choices or the score. I don't know why, but I just think it's important to me. But if there's something that strikes the wrong note, or there's something that's out of place, I think the music can be disruptive to the film as well. So you have one of the coolest jobs that's involved with film, and one of the most important even though other people may not even realise back when they are watching it. But that's tied in for me, with what you mentioned about the actor being part of the film, and being out to take care of themselves, the most basic thing that people are familiar with, the idea about staging, or making sure that you are always getting the most out of it, you know, that you're getting it for yourself and everything. I've been really lucky... I can't really think of instances where I've worked with actors like that. Very lucky. So in answer to your question, it's just been watching the sacrifices that other actors make, you know, I've worked with Robert Duvall who insisted he would do the behind-the-camera eyeline shots and everything...that's when you have someone behind the camera and feeding you the line and everything, and sometimes it doesn't even make sense for the actor trying to squeeze into the room and take that, but he would insist on being there, for every actor and everything. So it's examples like that, that I really try to follow. Again, I just really like you brought up the thing with music, it has to do with the timing of it, it has to do with everything at the correct level, in place within the whole picture, so that's something that I try to be mindful of within the film.


Haley and Alison talk about intellectual property rights and
preserving the film experience

Alison and Haley are asked what they feel about intellectual property rights and illegal downloading of films off the internet (answer begins at the 1 hour 27 minute 20 second mark) :


Alison Brie : I would agree with you that once something is on the internet, it just spreads like wildfire. There's not much you can do. I also agree that it can be a big advantage. Take a show like Community which is on a big network, obviously it's not independent in any way, nor a film, but I will talk about it. I think a lot of people are watching it on Google, and if you limit that, people might not watch it at all. So it is the people who are watching it for free who are telling their friends about it, that are then going on to watch it on TV. So it's that word-of-mouth that's spreading. If it were totally limited, it's a touch and go thing. You want people to see it, but then you want people to pay for it, but you do want to get it out there. So I think that's a useful tool, for us (as actors)

Haley Joel Osment : My main concern is that people still want to go to the movie theatre and not because it's financially sound for all the artists, because you can still get whatever everybody is owed through Netflix or however films are going to be distributed in the future. For me, in the films that I want to be a part of, in the films that hopefully I am about to make in the future, I think it's preserving the fact that it's not the same if you're watching it on your laptop, and it's not the same if you are watching it in a big movie theatre. A big part of the American tradition is to come to the theatre and to watch it with an audience. I'm not sure how we can protect that most effectively but I think the best way to protect our intellectual property is having it seen best at the venue where it's supposed to be seen, because nobody really likes to watch those DVDs that you buy on the street corners with people's heads in the frame and everything.


Be sure to view the ORIGINAL VIDEO

video Copyrighted © www.filmsnobbery.com and The Orlando Film Festival





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