The Teresa Jusino Experience

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HOTPIXEL POST: "THE HOT LIST: Karl Mueller – Writer/Director of "Mr. Jones"

Production still from Mr. Jones.

Production still from Mr. Jones.

Hey everyone!

Finally back to writing over at the HotPixel Blog, and this month’s Hot List covers a film that’s very near and dear to my heart (mostly because The Boy was the sound mixer on it). I usually don’t like horror, but Mr. Jones is a horror movie that makes you think and is anchored by a solid relationship between the two leads. I was able to talk to the film’s writer/director, Karl Mueller, about making the film, and the result is over at the HotPixel blog right now!!


This is writer-director Karl Mueller’s first feature film in the director’s chair. Up until Mr. Jones, Mueller had been working as a screenwriter and developed a strong working relationship with producer, Ross Dinerstein. Together, they worked on several projects, including 2012’s The Pact, another horror project. When that film did well, Dinerstein’s financiers were excited to embark on another, similar project, so he turned to Mueller, whom he already trusted as a writer, and asked him for a new story. This time, if they moved forward, Mueller would also get to sit in the director’s chair.

“It’s a tough thing,” Mueller explains. “There’s no ‘apprentice path’ to becoming a director. People who don’t know anything about the film industry will say things like Oh, well just be a second assistant director then a first assistant director! But if you actually work on sets, that’s a career path unto itself. Being an AD is a skill set unto itself, and – because there’s so few slots available to be the director, the boss of the set – nobody’s gonna naturally bump you up. You have to figure out a way to leap up a level or game the system. And there are a million ways that’s done, but for me, the thing I could create that could give me some leverage to get me in the director’s chair was a script.”

However, Mueller warns budding writer-directors not to be too ambitious budget-wise when it comes to writing their first, or even their first few scripts. “You have to make a certain level of script, within a certain budget,” he says. “You can’t just write the next Star Wars and say ‘I wanna direct this!’ That’s not gonna happen!”

For the rest of the article, or to post a comment, CLICK HERE!

HOTPIXEL POST: "The Hot List: Greg Laemmle – President, Laemmle Theaters

Greg Laemmle and his father, Robert, at the Laemmle Royal Theater. Photo Credit: Wally Skali/LA Times

Hello everyone!

It’s time for another Hot List over at the HotPixel Blog! I had a chance to interview Greg Laemmle, President of Laemmle Theaters,  and talked to him about his love of film, and what he looks for when choosing what indie films to screen at his theaters. Independent filmmakers, take note! 🙂


When you think of where to go see quality independent films in Los Angeles, it’s likely that the first places to come to mind are Laemmle Theaters. Back in 1938, Kurt and Max Laemmle, nephews of the founder of Universal Pictures, Carl Laemmle, created Laemmle Theaters as a place where quality independent, foreign, and arthouse cinema could be viewed alongside more mainstream fare, giving indie filmmakers a proper showcase for their work.

More than 70 years later, Laemmle Theaters have seven locations throughout Los Angeles, and it’s still very much a family business. HotPixel recently talked with Laemmle Theaters’ current President, Greg Laemmle, to discuss its place in the independent film community, and the ways in which Laemmle Theaters gives burgeoning filmmakers a chance to shine.

What’s interesting is that, despite the Laemmle family’s film legacy, Greg is the only one of his five siblings to go into the family business.

For the full interview, and to post comments, CLICK HERE!


Photo Credit: Bill Young Photography.

Photo Credit: Bill Young Photography.

Hey everyone!

Check out the latest at the HotPixel Post Blog. I wrote a short piece about an awesome musical short film that HotPixel co-produced called String Theory!


You’ve heard about the Kickstarter, and you’ve been keeping tabs on the “Making Of.” Now, one of HotPixel’s labors of love is finally out in the world! 

HotPixel teamed up with Paper Windows and Image Craft to bring you a singular short film written and directed by Jonathan Pezza! Starring Abraham Benrubi (E.R, U-Turn), Paulina Cerilla (NBC’s The Voice), and newcomer Thien Nguyen, String Theory is a musical short film that follows three singer-songwriters through a day in L.A. While each of them faces different circumstances and come from different life experiences, the one thing that connects them all is their relationship to music.

For the rest of the article, or to comment on it, CLICK HERE!

HOTPIXEL POST: DEBBIE PRESTON – Writer/Producer of "By God's Grace"

By God's Grace

Check out my latest interview over at the HotPixel Blog with first-time writer/producer/director Debbie Preston about her new film, By God’s Grace!


“I had a dream about it,” Preston says. “And the story was very vivid in my mind. Of course I didn’t have all the pieces of it, but I had enough of it that I thought ‘I’m going to jot this down…’ I wrote the idea down, and it was a couple of pages long…then I told a friend about it, and she said “Why don’t you do a treatment for it?” And I was like, “What’s that?” She laughs as she remembers just how green she was at the beginning of the process.

In the three years since she first wrote the script, she’s learned not only what a treatment is, but everything it takes to bring a film to life. It wasn’t always peaches and cream. There were a few crew changes as the film was being shot, and Preston found herself wearing several different hats over the course of the shoot, including a portion of the film as co-director.

For the entire interview, or to leave a comment, CLICK HERE.

HOTPIXEL POST: "ART ON FILM: How to Make Movie Theaters Want You"

Art Freed.  Photo Credit: Bill Young - Young Photography.

Art Freed. Photo Credit: Bill Young – Young Photography.

Hey there, indie filmmakers!

If you’re disheartened by how difficult it seems to connect your small film to its audience, fret not! Check out the HotPixel blog this week, where founder, Art Freed breaks down what gets films seen in our blog’s new feature, Art On Film.


Last week, Teresa Jusino and I were talking about who would be interesting to feature on the HotList this month. My mandate for the list is that the subject must be really interesting or important to indie film to be featured. Teresa mentioned she would like to feature Greg Laemmle of Laemmle Theaters, as the Laemmle is instrumental in getting indie films out to their audiences.  I thought it was a great idea and look forward to seeing that come out later this month. It got me thinking about how many of my clients got a theatrical release or have been released on Video On Demand in the last few years. Films finished at HotPixel keep showing up at the Laemmle NoHo and on my TV at home via VOD. While I won’t list them all, I thought it would be interesting to look at the common denominator shared by our more successful clients. This is based purely on my observation, because not every client reports back to us their success or failure, but what I’ve seen in my years of experience at HotPixel seems to point to some definite trends.

To read the rest of the post, or to comment on it, CLICK HERE.

HOTPIXEL POST: Introducing, Teresa Jusino!

Photo Credit: Michael Jackson for ChileJam!

Photo Credit: Michael Jackson for ChileJam!

Hey there, everyone!

My latest blog post over at the HotPixel blog is an intro about me and what I hope to accomplish as editor over at that site. I hope you’ll check it out, and be a part of the conversation about independent film!


I’m always looking for new and amazing independent film projects and personalities to cover! So if you, or anyone you know would be a great subject for our Hot List, because they’re working on something that’s not only a quality film, but captures the spirit of independent film making, send a tip my way! You can reach me at

You can also feel free to email me with ideas about what you’d like to see here at the HotPixel blog, or just to tell me that you think I’m amazing and that you’re thinking of naming your first-born child after me! (You can also write me with questions, concerns, or complaints, but that’s less fun than the other stuff.)

For the full blog post, or to leave a comment on it, CLICK HERE!

The Voice of Hot Pixel (and Of the Apocalypse!)

I’ve been alluding to a new blogging gig lately, and it’s about time I tell you what it is, huh? 🙂

I’ve recently been hired as the new blogger for the post-production house Hot Pixel! (Much love and thanks to Bin Lee for reaching out to me about this!) It’s a great post-production company run by an awesome dude named Art Freed, who is just so full of integrity and a strong work ethic. The entire Hot Pixel crew is a bunch of awesome people, and I’m thrilled to be a part of the team! In addition to blogging, I’ll also be handling their monthly newsletter, as well as general promotion/growing of the site.

Photo Credit: Karianne Flaathen of KF Photography

That said, my first post – a regular feature focusing on awesome independent filmmakers called “The Hot List” – is up at the blog! And those of you who travel in my circles are in for a special treat, because it’s about the wonderful and talented Gabriel Diani and Etta Devine and their independent film, Diani & Devine Meet the Apocalypse, which recently ended a successful Kickstarter campaign and is now in pre-production.


These days, the terms “independent filmmaking” and “crowdfunding” are damn near synonymous, and when it comes to crowdfunding for an independent project, producer/director/writer/performers Etta Devine and Gabriel Diani are Kickstarter veterans. Diani & Devine – as they are known by their fans – have already used Kickstarter to bring the world a feature-length film (The Selling, a supernatural comedy available for digital download and on DVD), and a robot version of a literary classic (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn [Robotic Edition], in which the n-word is replaced with the word “robot” to brilliant, satirical effect). This is in addition to several video sketches and a charming stand-up act featuring heightened, comedic versions of themselves that they’ve performed in clubs across the country.

It’s those heightened, comedic versions of themselves who are the stars of their latest feature film, Diani and Devine Meet the Apocalypse, an end-of-the-world comedy that shows you that surviving the apocalypse is almost as difficult as surviving in Hollywood.

To read the full article and comment, CLICK HERE! Comments are important, especially if you wanna help me show my boss how interactive you folks are! 😉

Also, if you want to keep up with my work at Hot Pixel, you should like their Facebook page, and follow them on Twitter! You’ll be hearing a lot more from me (and them) in the days to come!

Lastly if you, or anyone you know, is working on an amazing independent film (or a web series!), I want to know about it! Send all tips for Hot Pixel to me at Who knows? Maybe you and your project will be worthy of being included on our Hot List!

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