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items tagged with Bryan Woods

Whole Lotta Shakespeare Goin' on: "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)," at the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre through April 19
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2015-04-13 12:00:00

Bryan Woods, Stacy McKean Herrick, Angela Rathman, Rebecca McCorkle, and Martha O'Connell in The Complete Works of William Shakespeare AbridgedThe Richmond Hill Barn Theatre's The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) is a loosely staged, sloppy mess of the comedy by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield. In presenting (almost) every single one of Shakespeare’s plays in about an hour and a half plus intermission, director Tom Morrow didn’t seem to give his five actors much in the way of blocking, leaving them to frequently mill about or form awkward clumps. Yet it’s this unrefined quality that turns out to be the production’s chief strength; it's all the more delightful for feeling less like a scripted piece than an improv show.
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A Foot in the Door: With “Nightlight,” Scott Beck and Bryan Woods Go from the Quad Cities to Hollywood
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2015-04-01 17:42:49

Scott Beck (left) and Bryan Woods. Photo by Fred Hayes.

The train rumbles toward you, and then it’s over you, throwing sparks. It’s a short train, but it’s nonetheless a harrowing seven seconds – looking, sounding, and feeling uncomfortably real.

That’s because, on a practical level, it is real.

This happens less than 10 minutes into the new, nationally distributed horror movie Nightlight by writers/directors Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, the filmmaking duo from the Quad Cities now based in Los Angeles.

“That whole sequence was a lot of fun to figure out,” Beck said in a recent phone interview. The special-effects team proposed using computer animation for the train, he said, but he and Woods asked: “Could we actually get a real freight train on these tracks?”

We’ve been introduced to five teens who’ve come to a supposedly haunted forest for “flashlight games.” One involves laying down a flashlight on railroad ties, running down the tracks to a specific point, and then running back and grabbing the flashlight. There’s not much to it ... except for the train.

This bit lasts roughly a minute and 40 seconds, done in a single shot.

“The scene starts with the train incredibly far away, [and] it just gets closer and closer,” Woods said.

We can only hear the train’s horn as the first three people complete the task – getting louder with each blast. With the fourth teen, we can see the headlight peeking through the trees as the engine comes around a bend.

And after Shelby, our protagonist, puts her flashlight on the ties, we see the train itself, with her sprinting toward it and then back toward her flashlight.

She jumps away just before the train hits her, but her flashlight – which belonged to a friend who committed suicide and provides the point of view for all the movie’s action – remains on the tracks, and the audience gets an unsettling understanding of what it would feel like to be under a freight train moving at full speed.


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The Woods Beckon: Bluebox Films’ "Nightlight," Available on VOD March 27
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-03-26 18:16:27

Shelby Young in NightlightOnly six actors appear in writers/directors Scott Beck’s and Bryan Woods’ supernatural thriller Nightlight, and the film’s most inventive performance, by a considerable margin, is given by its lead. That this lead isn’t actually one of the aforementioned six – and is, in fact, an inanimate object – isn’t quite the detriment you’d think.


Read More About The Woods Beckon: Bluebox Films’ "Nightlight," Available On VOD March 27...


How to Build a Better Mousetrap: "The Mousetrap," at the District Theatre through March 22
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2015-03-10 11:00:00

Mike Kelly and Doug Kutzli in The MousetrapAgatha Christie’s whodunit The Mousetrap is among my favorites in the genre, mostly due to the humor the author wrote into it, as well as the clues she included that make it possible to actually discern who did do it. Although the murderer’s identity still comes as something of a shock, the game of figuring out the killer remains fun. I just wish the District Theatre’s current production of the piece were as enjoyable.


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A Coupla Theatre Guys Sittin’ Around Talkin’: Mike Schulz and Thom White Discuss 2014's Area Stage Scene
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2014-12-18 12:00:00

the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's Irving Berlin's White ChristmasIf you’re new to this almost-annual recap, what follows is my conversation with Reader theatre reviewer Thom White about the area’s stage stage over the past 12 months.

If you’re not new to it, you know the drill. Clear some time, grab a snack, and enjoy!


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