In this week’s Tuesday Treat, Jacob Leighton Burns and Stephen Goodman talk about the deadCenter award-winning movie, Electric Nostalgia, which is now available on DVD/Blu-ray. Jabob and Stephen also share their greatest challenges, what to do when your led star ends up in a different body, and who they would body switch with.
Tell me a bit about yourself and your role with Electric Nostalgia.
JLB: My name is Jacob Leighton Burns, I’m a filmmaker and co-founder of Planet Thunder Productions. Electric Nostalgia was my feature film debut as a writer/director and can’t believe it’s finally available for sale on Blu-ray and DVD!
SG: My name is Stephen Goodman and I’m an actor currently in Oklahoma, studying full time at the Actor Factory in Norman, OK. I play Leland Helm in Electric Nostalgia. Leland is a type of man who, if you said, go into that chicken coop and separate the ‘good eggs’ from the ‘bad eggs’, you’d go in to find that he has separated EVERY EGG into the bad eggs, because he would have found a flaw in every single egg. It’s not his fault, he just has a much more massive intelligence than anyone in the world and needs more space to let it out. The problem with that is, with someone like Leland, if you decided to go exploring like that. If you have the bravery to go do that, you are going to end up going down some dark places, all alone. And why I love this character is because he is so so so brave. He never allows himself or anyone to lock him into a certain corner and he is not afraid of anything, except himself, because there is only one person who could intimidate Leland Helm, and that’s Leland Helm.
What five words would you use to describe the film?
SG: It’ll be okay, Honey bee.
What is Electric Nostalgia about?
JLB: Electric Nostalgia is a science fiction thriller about a young woman who is haunted by mysterious dreams and visions of a man without a face after she is brought back from the dead in a body that is not her own.
What got you interested in making movies?
JLB: I’ve been wanting to make movies for as long as I can remember. When I was in third grade, I told my school counselor that I was going to be a movie director when I grew up. I think I’ve always been attracted to the storytelling aspect of it, and the camaraderie of people coming together to create something unique.
What was the greatest challenge you overcame in this production?
JLB: The heat and the lack of sleep. We filmed for three weeks in July 2014 in a building with no air conditioning, so… that was rough. Also, there are lots of advantages to keeping the crew small, but one of the disadvantages is that means that everything fell onto the three producers (me, Vinnie Hogan, and Zachary Burns). Therefore, there were a lot of really late nights and very early mornings. Eventually, I couldn’t tell the difference between being awake or being asleep anymore. The two had melded into a new third state of being.
SG: Unapologetic vulnerability. Before Electric Nostalgia, I would get cast as COP #2 or FRAT GUY. Well, it’s hard to get that stench off of you when everyone in this industry is smelling it. The good news was, Jacob trusted me and my natural instincts with the role, the bad news was, I had never gotten to play a role with that amount of vulnerability, I only ever got to read about them. So every single day, I had to open that locked up self-consciousness that we’re all carrying around with us, I had to open it and wait for the scary vulnerability to come my way. And when I finally let go and threw the lock and key away, it was glorious.
What did you enjoy about making this movie in Oklahoma?
JLB: The best part about filming in Oklahoma was definitely the amazing, talented, and supportive community. We could not have made this film without the contributions and support of so many Okies. People, businesses, etc offered so much support in so many different ways, it was hard to keep track. What’s kept us going for the last couple of years was the excitement we felt from our community, they want us to succeed and they want to help in any way they can. We couldn’t have made this film anywhere else, and it’s all thanks to the awesome people of Oklahoma.
SG: Jacob changed the city with his lease in a way I’ve never seen before. This city has many areas of personalities and Jacob latched onto that and made each of those personalities a character.
What’s the most “electrifying” thing or place in Oklahoma?
JLB: The Paramount Building on Film Row. We shot the majority of Electric Nostalgia there and they’ve been incredibly supportive and gracious throughout the entire experience. But beyond that, they’ve always got cool things going on there and I know they have big plans for what they’re going to do next and I can’t wait to see how they grow.
SG: Do yourself a personal favor… Brunch or Breakfast at Flint.
What advice do you have for other filmmakers when their lead star ends up in a different body?
SG: Pray and beg you have a trustworthy director like Jacob Leighton Burns.
JLB: Cast Lauren Analla and watch the magic happen.
JLB: After seeing Electric Nostalgia, I’m pretty sure I don’t want to be brought back to life in another person’s body ever!
Why should one see the movie?
JLB: I’ve always loved science fiction stories, like The Twilight Zone, that are more focused on characters and story, rather than showing off big special effects. There’s a lot of themes and ideas that can be explored in sci-fi that can be difficult in other genres. So I tried to incorporate that into Electric Nostalgia. Ultimately, it’s a tense, edge of your seat thriller that’s fun to watch, but if you dig a little deeper, you might find some interesting things under the surface.
SG: It’s pure cinema deliciousness. It gives you a love story appetizer, with a murder thriller main course, and finished off with a sci-fi dessert. It’s A Most Violent Year meets Brazil.
Anything else you want to say or let people know?
JLB: We just recently founded a new website called TheCinematropolis.com. The site is run by Editor-in-Chief Caleb Masters, and features thoughtful, analysis-driven conversations about the imaginative stories and diverse independent voices working in the arts and film. We do this through written analysis and essays, as well as podcasts and video essays. If you’re interested in exploring the art of film, definitely check it out! Also, Electric Nostalgia is available on Blu-ray and DVD at ElectricNostalgiaFilm.com!