Exclusive Interview with Al Julian – Writer/ Actor/Producer
AL JULIAN entered the world of film and television writing, acting and production a short nine years ago after long careers in clinical psychology and law. Since then, he has authored a dozen feature length screenplays and a variety of teleplays, shorts and commercials. Productions made from his scripts have done extremely well on the festival circuit, and his feature thriller FEVER DREAMS was picked up by MBUR Films for distribution and is now streaming on Amazon Prime, Plex and TUBI platforms. Two of his multi-award winning short films, GIFT and THE REUNION were recently picked up for distribution by Filmocracy.
Al has several more projects, including THE LAST TO KNOW, a psychological horror feature, THE SESSION, a thriller television Pilot and the faux nostalgia short CALL ME NEVADA in preproduction.
Al currently operates the business FEEDBACK FILMWORKS, L.L.C., which will continue producing short films and features throughout the southeast region, from Baltimore, Maryland to Austin, Texas.
NY Glam: What projects are you’re currently working on?
I have a feature film, “The Last to Know” based one of my scripts in preproduction with coproducer Triad Studios. We are currently casting and anticipate shooting in late May, 2022, Covid permitting. I’m also in very early preproduction on two other projects; a television pilot called “The Sessions”, an enclosed six episode series I wrote based on my experience running murderer’s groups years ago, and a short filmed titled “Call Me Nevada” based on my short script that won the Creative World Award for Best Short Screenplay in 2021. Both are scheduled for shooting next Fall.
NY Glam: What makes a great film for you? Are there certain qualities that make a film better for you?
Regardless of genre, the characters in a film must play as “psychologically correct” for me to resonate fully with the narrative. By that, I mean the characters need to act/react the way that real people might in the same circumstances. Writers and directors that are tuned into other people and have significant life experience naturally seem to find this easier to do well.
NY Glam: As a screenwriter, what is the most important aspect of building a character?
Knowing a lot about what makes up character, or should I say, a vast multitude of characters and character variations. Again, this ties back into experience of the world and deep interest in the workings of folks around you. A poor listener is usually also a poor judge of character or weak in creating them. So, learning to listen I think is essential to the character building process when writing.
NY Glam: How important is it for you being a finalist at the International Screenwriting Competition?
It is a personal pleasure and honor to be recognized by outstanding competitions, which this one is. At a practical level, doing well in this competition, and others of high caliber can significantly increase professional or industry interest in your scripts.
NY Glam: Top 3 favorite projects that you have been involved in?
I have enjoyed most of my projects, with two exceptions (both due to significant audio problems on set that delayed or diminished our efforts). Perhaps my favorite film projects have been recent based on recent scripts I wrote, such as “Birthday Boy”, “Gift” and “The Reunion”, probably because I’ve become more skilled in the producer role (based on a ton of mistakes I’ve made over the years!)
In addition, the feature film “Fever Dreams” (now streaming on Amazon Prime, Tubi and PLEX platforms) was terrific fun, and I’m thrilled to see it get noticed, especially for our fine ensemble cast. Lastly, I continue to write screenplays and enjoy that process more and more as the years pass. I have two new feature scripts I’m currently working on.
NY Glam: Do you express yourself creatively in any other ways?
During my years as a clinical psychologist, I was the first author of the “Family Apperception Test” in 1986; a psychological test that sells internationally to this day.
I have also published poetry in several magazines and at one point played guitar and sang (before the vocal cords got too old, lol). I have written tons of unsung songs, and still spin one out occasionally.
NY Glam: What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a career in filmmaking?
First, I’d say have a number of people read your script before filming to make sure the story works. And garner readers from different backgrounds and perspectives if you want you tale to have broad appeal. Second, I’d advise starting with short films, which, although they typically won’t make you money, they will, if well done, get you notice and open some doors. You’ll also gain experience about all the pitfalls of filmmaking, but if you can be patient enough to learn from mistakes, you will eventually become decent at the craft.
NY Glam: What can we expect from you in this actual year?
I’m sincerely hoping to produce the feature film “The Last to Know” I discussed earlier. We do have our budget, story board, locations and many of our actors in place. However, we want to avoid Covid complications, and may delay a few months if this nasty virus isn’t under better control. Nothing can blow a production budget like having to shut down everything in the middle of a project (in this case 16-18 days) because a significant actor or crew member gets sick.
NY Glam: Where can everyone keep up with you to learn more?…social media…website
I probably use my Facebook page at Alexander Julian as my promotional website, although I am in the process of making a formal website for my production company, Feedback Filmworks, L.L.C. And of course, anyone wishing to contact me about film projects or any other film related issues can do so via emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.