Tom Clark Interview
What drew you to this character and screenplay?
I really liked my character a lot because of his mindset, just a good guy, trying to do good in the world
with no strings a<ached. He gets sidetracked which we all do but he centers himself and realizes what’s
more important and that’s the love of his life. It’s all about family and that’s my philosophy. At the end of
the day I’d give it all up for family.
When people leave the movie theater after watching Sinking Sand, what do you hope they take away
from the film?
I want them to realize like I said in the previous question is that Family comes first, not personal gain or
those values that really don’t matter like fame and fortune. All that stuff is superficial and this film I hope
allows to look deeper into ourselves and start puJng the things that matter most, first.
What was your favorite scene to shoot (no spoilers)?
I can’t answer that then because I’d give it away. It’s one of the more powerful scenes and it helped me
pull things out of my character that I didn’t know I could. The emotions are all over the place and
watching it all unfold internally really helped me in the scene. Sorry, that’s all you get.
What do you think about husband and their career ambitions?
There’s nothing wrong with careers or ambiGons. We should have them and be very passionate about
them. It’s the roads we take when we are pursuing our careers and ambiGons that we need to be careful
about. Walk the straight and narrow, keep your nose clean and in the end it will all pay off. Remember,
this life is not what we are shooGng for to get the gold watch. Even if we don’t get the ReGrement home
on the island with our Lamborghini and Yacht, 5 servants and Donald Trumps cellphone number, our
rewards will come in heaven.
What are you working on now?
I’m doing several Corporate and Commercial projects right now, some
voice-‐over and general acGng stuff. I’ve written several childrens books that I’d like to try and get
published and I’ve got 3 movie ideas/treatments/scripts that I’m working on as well. No tell though, good
ideas that I’m going to save for the right time.
So you were a prankster on set, what was the best one you pulled off?
I stole the chicken out of chicken sandwich right in front of Kevin Sizemore who plays my courtroom
counterpart. Of course he scared the bejesus out of me one day when I turned the corner and he was
there, out of nowhere. I also took the directors wallet and borrowed $20 which he never found out about.
Uh-‐oh. I guess now I have to pay it back.
Do you oCen break into Disney tunes when on set?
Probably a great way to start. We're about to shoot a courtroom scene and for no reason I’m into Ariel singing “Look
at this Stuff”. An extra chimes in and before you know it we are doing the whole things. I’m a lik3
disruptive but always in a fun way. And yes, I do break into Disney tunes on set, and Broadway, and then
of course I make a lot of stuff up too. Cant’ help it. I love life and have fun.
Anything else you would like to add about the film or the experience?
It’s a great film about redemption and can’t wait to see it. I learned a lot from my Co-‐stars as they helped
me grow as an actor. I think Kevin and I had the best time during our scenes, fun guy. I need to also shout
out to our 1st AD Angelique who absolutely rocked the set for every day of filming. To knock that out in
the time we did she had to be spot on everyday. Without her, we’d still be filming
Lauren Spano Interview
You drove from Virginia to be a part of this film, why?
Well, honestly it's all Jenn Gotzon's fault! I first met Jenn when she scouted me for a talent development company, AMTC, in March of 2013. At that time, I was considering attending Savannah College of Art and Design to study acting further. Jenn was such an angel, she was so excited about my desire to pursue acting and about my intention to attend SCAD. That was how she first told me about this project. She told me that she was shooting a film in Savannah and she would love for me to be connected with it if I was in the area. I ended up not attending SCAD, but developed quite a close friendship with Jenn. Whenever we would communicate, I would always ask how Sinking Sand was coming and if she knew filming dates. She would keep me posted on the latest happenings. By that time, I had been hearing about Sinking Sand for almost a year; I felt invested in this film in a strange way. I began following the films Facebook page and hunted down True Exposure's page and found Brian Yarbough's page as well. So I suppose I was in full stalker mode in regards to this film! When I saw activity begin showing up on the pages, I messaged Brian and asked if he was in need of extra's for the film. I ended up being with the film for 5 days and it was an absolute blast! Like I said in the beginning, ultimately it's all Jenn Gotzon's fault that I was involved in this project, but I'm so grateful for it. I met so many amazing people and developed new friendships. That's one of my favorite parts of this business, all of the wonderful people you meet with each new project.
When people leave the movie theater after watching Sinking Sand, what do you hope they take away from the film?
This film is full of suspense! I hope that this film is one of those where the credits role and no one moves because they are still putting all of the pieces together in their head. I also hope that this film leads the audience to think about how each one of us could easily become someone we never imagined we would be. Upon this realization, I would hope that the audience would have a new set of eyes for those in difficult situations or less fortunate around them. None of us are more than a few bad decisions away from being someone we never thought we could be.
You and Tom Clark had a memorable moment on the set, tell us about it.
What set isn't memorable with Tom Clark? He is an absolute blast to be around! But I assume the
specific situation you are referring to is when, in the middle of a court room scene, Tom and I bust
out a mean version of "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid. It was awesome. I waited tables
at a diner in my hometown and they nicknamed me "Glee" because of how often I would burst into song.
It's difficult because I always have a song playing in my head, but sometimes it slips out. It was nice to
find a kindred spirit on set.
What surprised you on set?
I was so surprised at how close everyone on set was! I was only there for 4 days, but at the end of that I felt like a part of the Sinking Sand family! Not all film and television sets are so welcoming and easy going, so I was even more grateful for the experience because of those friendships made during my time on set.
Any advice you have for others wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Um. This is a hard one. For me, I feel like I was made for this type of career. I love working the long hours and meeting new people with each new project. I love that it's a weird mix of rushing around like crazy and then waiting around for hours. I guess my advise would be to make sure you love it; because it's not for everyone and it's definitely not easy. But it IS for me and I can't wait to see what my path holds in the future.
Anything else you would like to add about the film or the experience?
I would like to reiterate that this film was born from a passionate vision and each person involved believed in it wholeheartedly! I think that's why we all felt so close and worked together so well. We all loved this vision and wanted it to be the best it could possibly be! I would do it all again in a heartbeat.
Pat Cooksey - Through the Lens
Sinking Sand was a pleasure to work on. I think the first thing I appreciated about Sinking Sand was the script. I have been involved with a number of independent films and I have found that often a good solid script is an afterthought if a thought at all. It became clear to me that Brian Yarbrough and Glynis Becker had spent considerable time in refining the script. There were no loose ends or subplots that just peter out. The script was written in such away that I could visualize the scenes. I got excited, knowing Brian's vision, of how we could shoot the scenes.
As a director, Brian is a loyal Hitchcock fan and was true to Hitchcock’s methods.
He stuck with the script. We did not change anything “on the fly” except when a location
or situation made a little adaptation necessary. In the end, we have everything shot to tell
the story. I learned from him later that his method is to not give the editor so many choices
that the movie will be the one he wrote and directed. It will represent his original vision and
not the editor’s interpretation of it.
As the director of photography I liked Brian’s vision for the lighting style. He was aiming at a
film noir look with harder lights, rim lighting, shadows, and shadow patterns. Our beautiful
lead, Jenn Gotzon (Brooke McHenry) wore the hard lights well, as did our other female actors.
We screened scenes from some films from the 40s and decided to use Casablanca as a guide though we did shoot color instead of black and white. The challenge was to try to keep a consistent look while having to work with and merely supplement the natural lighting in some locations.
We chose to shoot digital and not film. The 4K Sony FS700 together with the Odyssey 7Q monitor/recorder gave us excellent images with tremendous dynamic range. It has a very filmic look. Sometimes we shot into the night and the sensitivity of the camera enabled us to work at some very low levels without any noise increase. As I pull the footage into my color grading software (Adobe Speedgrade) I am amazed at the images, their depth, their color, and how flexible they are. It is very similar to working with color negative film.
The cast was really impressive. They were so natural that I never felt I was watching them act. Holly Morris and Jenn Gotzon came off like BFF sisters and Kevin Sizemore and Tom Clark played together like they were a team. Jim Chandler was smooth and charming but then creepy when he needed to be.
My crew was excellent. James Greer, my first assistant cameraman, will be working on my next film if I can get him. Ryan Watterson grew in his capacity as a 2d AC throughout the film. My gaffer Carlos Jackson was a great problem solver, worked very fast, and was very thorough. The grips were always on the spot and ready with whatever equipment we needed.
I am enjoying seeing how the movie cuts together, how the scenes flow together in a suspensful way. The shots look great! We have wounderful little movie we can't wait to show off.