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Lyriq Bent, TITI Lead Actor Q&A

Please introduce yourself and share some career moments that you’re most proud of.


Lyriq: My name is Lyriq Bent, I’ve been an actor for 24 years. That didn’t sound right but that’s my truth. I’m not most proud of any moments of my career, I’m most proud that I choose acting as my career and proud of all the decisions I’ve made. 


At this point you’ve been acting for over two decades. Bringing it back to the beginning, what inspired or motivated you to pursue acting as a career? How did you go from dream to reality?


Lyriq: No real inspiration was responsible. It was more desperation meeting unseen opportunity. I only give myself credit for embracing something foreign/unknown to me. It was never a dream to become an actor. I didn’t even know it was an option. My reality was life needed to be lived and my new baby boy was my motivation. 


You’ve had a variety of opportunities, both as a co-star and a lead in films. Is there any difference in how to approach a role as a co-star versus a lead or is it all the same process focused on embodying that character as believably as you can?


Lyriq: That’s a subjective question. A great question nonetheless. I believe creatively the process is the same for lead and co-lead characters. However, socially my approach as a co-star is a large part of my process. I take the time to understand my leads personality and temperament to understand how to best assist them to be their best. 


In TITI, you’ll be playing the lead role, Titi Adroniki. What are you most excited about in regards to this role? Also how good of a rapper are you given that will he central of the Titi character?


Lyriq: I’m excited because it’s very different from what’s out there right now. Terrified because we’re turning Shakespeare upside down and making it our own. I’m not a rapper or musically inclined. That is also terrifying but also excites me. What can I say… I’m an artist.


You mentioned on one of the Mogul Live Spaces that when Richard Short approached you about doing something Shakespeare related, Titus Andronicus was the play you wanted to explore and reimagine. What about Titus Andronicus did you find more compelling than the other options?


Lyriq: I felt Titus Andronicus lacked courage. Not the character. The author. I felt like the characters were judged by the author, leaving no room for character growth. That concept goes against my belief when bringing a character to life. So not that Titus Andronicus was compelling, but more so lacking. 


Given your roles in the Saw franchise, which is known for its depravity and gruesome scenes, is there something you find interesting about films that depict humans at their worst? After all, Titus Andronicus is certainly one of Shakespeare’s more depraved works. Do you find these films offer unique challenges or opportunities for an actor?


Lyriq: I do believe such films offer unique opportunities and challenges but not for the reasons you mention. Part of my role choice was what was on the table at the time. Part me wanting to stretch myself creatively. It was never deep approach at that time.


With TITI what are you hoping audiences end up taking from the finished product?


Lyriq: I hope the audience walks away entertained! That’s it. And I hope we do it well enough that they can have conversations about why they were entertained. 


Now you’ve been involved with Mogul Productions for a little bit now. What attracted you to Mogul and what are some ways you think working with Mogul to develop TITI will be unlike other experiences you’ve had making films?

Lyriq: With Mogul getting the opportunity to build an organic fan base for TITI, and showing independent filmmakers a new way to go about making a film from the cradle to the grave is what’s attractive to me. TITI will be the blueprint.

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Richard Short, TITI Writer-Director Q&A

Please introduce yourself and share some career moments that you’re most proud of.


Richard: Richard Short. Mary Kills People, Tragedy of Macbeth, played Richard Burton in the world premieres of Lawrence Wright’s CLEO


I have a rather exciting project about to open in the UK in September. A play which I’ve co-written and produced. It’s called Two Of Us and I’ll be playing Paul McCartney. 


You got your start in theater. Did that play a factor in your admiration of Shakespeare or did the admiration come first? What led you to pursue acting?


Richard: An admiration of Shakespeare came first. The words. The literature. The poetry. There’s a reason we’re still telling these stories 500 years later. I started in acting because I moved around a lot as a child. Always having to be chameleon like in order to fit in. 


Obviously for TITI, you’re serving as Writer and Director. Do you plan to have any on screen presence for this film or will writing and directing be plenty to keep you busy?


Richard: No, I recently read the role of Aron Noire in a staged reading of the film but that role will be played by a French actor, ideally. This isn’t a performance piece for me. 


Could you describe the different ways you approach a project as an actor vs when you’re in the position(s) you’re handling for TITI?


Richard: Sure, as an actor it’s a more filtered approach. Myopic almost, selfishly so. To understand and empathize with one character’s actions. As a creator, of course you have to look at everyone’s track and explain every action and reaction. 


Now how did you decide on reimagining Titus Andronicus into what TITI will be? I remember hearing Lyriq Bent talking about how you and him were throwing around a few other works by Shakespeare before settling on Titus Andronicus. What led you to settle on that particular play for inspiration?


Richard: Honestly, I wanted to see Lyriq in a role that would stretch him and fully display his abilities. Othello was discussed, of course, but felt obvious and I wasn’t sure if I could bring any new discussion to that story. Titus is a whole other beast. A faulty play. I honestly think this version is better than the original!


What’s the most exciting aspect of this particular film and what do you anticipate the challenges will be?


Richard: The most exciting aspect is watching people’s reaction to quite how different this version of the story will be. The challenges will be turning the traditional perspectives upside down. Almost entirely actually. 


Getting more into the macro for a second, what was the reasoning behind bringing TITI to reality through Mogul Productions? What about Mogul made you feel they were a solid partner in this endeavor?


Richard: Speaking to Mogul, I found a fresh approach. The old conservative ways of film development, financing, and distribution are increasingly difficult for any project outside of the studio or streamer system. Mogul offers a more contemporary and innovative way of looking at things. 


Do you think that the film industry is ready for some healthy disruption, and if so, do you see TITI as something that could represent that both from a narrative and cinematic standpoint, but also as a result of the way it is being developed?


Richard: Very much so. That’s precisely what TITI needs. A brave team unafraid to announce new art in a new way. It’s precisely what Lyriq and I are hoping to do alongside Mogul. The film industry isn’t just ready to be shaken up, it’s positively crying out for it. It’s actually necessary. 


If there’s anything else you want to add, do so now, but really can’t wait to see what you create with TITI.


Richard: TITI may be something new to you as an audience. Please don’t be afraid of it and try to see what it’s saying. You’ll find that it’s incredibly relevant and I guarantee you’ll feel something.

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Tribeca Film Festival 2024 The Wrap Up with James Pratt

The Tribeca Film Festival 2024 concluded on June 16th, marking another successful year of showcasing outstanding films and celebrating cinematic achievements in the heart of New York City. Founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff, Tribeca has grown into a premier event that honors both established filmmakers and emerging talents.


This year’s Highlights included retrospectives like the 50th anniversary screening of Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets, attended by Scorsese and De Niro themselves. The event was moderated by Nas, underscoring the festival’s ability to blend cultural icons with timeless cinema.


In the competition categories, Nicholas Colia’s Griffin in Summer“l stood out, winning the Founders Award for Best U.S. Narrative Feature. Colia’s film impressed the jury with its innovative storytelling and compelling performances, highlighting Tribeca’s commitment to showcasing artistic excellence.


International cinema also made a strong showing with Assel Aushakimova’s Bikechess winning Best International Narrative Feature. The film’s unique style and engaging narrative resonated with audiences, further cementing Tribeca’s reputation as a global platform for talented voices in filmmaking.


As the curtains closed on Tribeca 2024, it became clear that the festival continues to be a vital force in the film industry, celebrating creativity and innovation. With each edition, Tribeca reaffirms its role in championing cinematic artistry and fostering a community of filmmakers and audiences who share a passion for storytelling.


List of Winners:


U.S. Narrative Competition:


Founders Award for Best U.S. Narrative Feature: Griffin in Summer directed by Nicholas Colia

Best Performance: Jasmine Bearkiller Shangreaux for Jazzy

Best Screenplay: Nicholas Colia for Griffin in Summer

Best Cinematography: Alejandro Mejia for The Knife


International Narrative Competition:


Best International Narrative Feature: Bikechess directed by Assel Aushakimova

Best Performance: Yu Aier for Some Rain Must Fall

Best Screenplay: Celina Murga, Juan Villegas, Lucía Osorio for The Freshly Cut Grass

Best Cinematography: Constanze Schmitt for Some Rain Must Fall


Documentary Competition:


Best Documentary Feature: “lHacking Hate directed by Simon Klose

Best Cinematography: Ezra Wolfinger for Shelf Life

Best Editing: Rupert Houseman for Antidote


Best New Narrative Director Award:


Nnamdi Asomugha for The Knife

Special Jury Mention: Nicholas Colia for Griffin in Summer


Albert Maysles Award for Best New Documentary Director:


Debra Aroko and Nicole Gormley for Searching for Amani

Special Jury Mention: Elizabeth Ai for New Wave


Viewpoints Award:


Viewpoints Award: Come Closer directed by Tom Nesher

Special Jury Mention: Witches directed by Elizabeth Sankey


Nora Ephron Award:


Ana Guevara and Leticia Jorge for “lDon’t You Let Me Go


Human/Nature Award:


Dust to Dust (Japan)


Shorts Competition:


Best Narrative Short: Ripe! directed by Tusk

Best Documentary Short: Makayla’s Voice: A Letter to the World directed by Julio Palacio

Best Animated Short: In the Shadow of the Cypress directed by Shirin Sohani and Hossein Molayemi

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Funky Matas, Creator of [why] Q&A

Please introduce yourself and share some career moments that you’re most proud of.


Funky: Hi. I’m Funky Matas.  I’m some sort of alien species apparently.  I like to do what my body and soul tell me to, and apparently that is really weird according to modern day society.  I’ve done a lot throughout my life. Breaking bones, fracturing my skull, climbing the Hollywood sign, breaking a world record, working with hundreds of celebrities, etc.  But what I’m mostly proud of is helping people in need.  


Now obviously you’re known for your unique tattoo experiments, specifically your world record for most tattooed signatures on your body. What’s something you’re not as known for but equally as proud of? What’s the Funky Matas lore people don’t know but you wish they knew?


Funky: I’m a musician.  I studied percussion in Los Angeles and I play the drums.  I eventually got kicked out for playing naked with a sock on my cock in honor of The Red Hot Chili Peppers because I got hired to do a music video with them.  Also I can eat 932 tator tots in one go.  


As a tattoo artist, are there any particular pieces you’re especially proud of? How active have you been as a tattoo artist since your career as a content creator took off?


Funky: I tattooed for a living for over 10 years.  But some of the things in my tattoo career that I am most proud of are getting tattooed by a monkey, getting a tattoo while riding a horse, getting tattooed on a jet ski, getting tattooed by a drone, and getting tattooed while skydiving.  


Beyond your tattoo skills, you mentioned you’re a musician and you got kicked put of music school for wearing only a sock. Are you still looking to pursue music at some point or is it more of a hobby? 


Funky: I don’t know what’s in store for me and my music career.  I use playing the drums as an escape of all the ignorance in the world.  I’ve been playing as a regular at a local bar here in Miami and it’s restarting the spark for music for me.  Who knows what will happen I am completely open to anything in the music world! 


As it relates to your Mogul project [why], what are some things you plan to cover in the series and what do you hope audiences take away from the show generally?


Funky: I just want to test the boundaries of society.  I want to see what is acceptable and what isn’t.  And why.  I’m planning on getting into a ton of trouble, but not without logical arguments in order to justify my actions and make people question the society they live in.  I would like people to wake up and open their eyes and see the reality of life and why society desperately needs to change!      


Are there any subjects or topics that offend or upset you that you’ll look to explore on the show, but in a way where you seek to better understand them and perhaps even change your own opinion or view? How much of the show will be about challenging your own views versus exposing hypocrisy of views you don’t align with or don’t understand?


Funky: It’s very difficult to offend me.  I’m very open minded and try to analyze situations before reacting to them.  Good luck!   


Ultimately it seems [why] will hit on some heavy or controversial subject matter, whereas much of your content is fairly fun and light hearted. How do you plan to make heavy topics match the energy of your usual content or will this project be more of a departure content wise for you?   


Funky: I’m tired of fun and lighthearted.  It’s time to leave a footprint on history.  I’m coming for nonsense with everything I have.  I’m confronting every controversial topic I can think of with logic, and I don’t care who is in the way.  


One of the things about working with Mogul is the ability to genuinely engage your audience and provide unique opportunities to them. When it comes to the perks and rewards for supporting [why] what are the ones you’re most excited about? Are there any you can’t wait to deliver to the Mogul members who support your show?   


Funky: All of them to be honest.  The more people involved the happier I will be.  I’m excited about people contributing to the ideas of the show.  I’m excited to have one lucky person’s signature tattooed on my back to be part of a world record alongside hundreds of celebrities.  I’m excited to bring someone on set and have them see the behind the scenes of what an actual day of filming looks like baby!   This journey will be incredible!  💛   


If there’s anything else you want to share that I might’ve missed, please do so here:

Funky: My left testicle hangs lower than the right one.    

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Chikako Fukuyama, Lead Actress for Lady Samurai Q&A

So to start off, please introduce yourself and share some of your career moments that you’re most proud of.


Chikako: Most people know me from the Netflix breakout hit Terrace House: Aloha State. But not many people know about how my career started with NHK World here in Japan.  But recently, I was in Blade of Ronin 47, where I honed my skills as a woman warrior, before being cast in Juror No. 2 and Lady Samurai this year. 


Now as it relates to Lady Samurai, what attracted you to this project and what excites you most about it? Is there any aspect of Lady Samurai or the history around Tomoe Gozen that you can’t wait to see represented on screen?


Chikako: I actually can’t think of a better role for me to play. You may even call her my own personal spirit guide and role model for courage and strength. It’s a privilege to be such a historical figure.


As an actress, how do you approach developing a character that is based on a historical figure?


Chikako: I try to find an emotional connection between myself and the character. For example with Tomoe, I am always looking deep within to find strength in moments where I need to be strong. I imagine that she felt the same way at times. This helps me connect with her. 

Once you find a place in your heart, then the role is much easier to embrace.


In recent years, you’ve gotten to work on some pretty exciting projects. You’ve recently been working on Juror No. 2, which is directed by Clint Eastwood and written by Jonathan Abrams. Could you reflect on that experience and share some details about what role you’re playing in it?


Chikako: I am very excited about Juror No. 2. I can’t believe that Clint chose me to be in his next film. It was an unbelievable experience to work with such an amazing cast under the direction of Eastwood. I play one of the jurors in the film, but you will need to see it when it releases soon. It’s really better to experience it first-hand. I can’t wait to see it in theaters!


Building off some of your recent roles and success, what specifically made you interested the role of Tomoe Gozen in Lady Samurai?


Chikako: I thoroughly enjoyed playing Aya in Blade of the 47 Ronin. I found strength in myself as a person and an actor. This was inspiring to me so I was ready to embrace Tomoe completely.


Was it as simple as it being the lead role or given that you yourself are Japanese, did you find it extremely compelling to get to play a Japanese historical figure?


Chikako: Yes. Absolutely. Growing up in Japan with our deeply rooted culture and having such a strong desire to bring our culture to the rest of the world as a woman, I am very compelled to play this role, but to also honor Japan in the best way I can. 


Generally, how do you go about evaluating a role or acting opportunity? What are the traits or qualities you personally look for in characters? What are your hopes or aspirations for how Lady Samurai is received by audiences?:


Chikako: I am always looking for characters who are strong women with Japanese influences. My hope is to play strong roles that help to inspire young women everywhere to believe in themselves. I hope they will see my work and realize that they can do whatever they set their mind to, and that they can be anyone they choose to be, because if the characters I portray can be an inspiration then I can feel good about my little contribution to the world.


Any lessons you hope they take from it? If there’s anything I missed or anything you’d like to add, please do so here:

Chikako: Throughout our history in Japan, and around the world, women have always been strong influences to culture. The lesson is that we cannot forget about this. Women have power and help to guide our destiny.

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Koji Steven Sakai, Lady Samurai Writer Q&A

So to start off, please introduce yourself and share some of your career moments that you’re most proud of.


Koji: I’ve written 12 feature films and served as a producer on 9 films. My recent projects include a film on Hulu called “Ruthless”, starring Dermot Mulroney, and another film called “Damaged” starring Samuel Jackson. I also was a staff writer on a Hulu show called “House of the Owl”. But one of the favorite things I do is a podcast called, “Unofficial Official Story” where we look at the weird things in the world and make up our own stories about what happened.


Now as it relates to Lady Samurai, what attracted you to this project and what excites you most about it?


Koji: I have always loved samurais and samurai culture. There is something so elegant and beautiful about it. As a kid, I practiced a martial art called Kendo, which is the martial art that samurais used to train to fight with swords. I did it for almost twenty years and ended up as a black belt. My time doing that made me really appreciate how elegant and dangerous fighting with swords really is. 


Is there any aspect of Lady Samurai or the history around Tomoe Gozen that you can’t wait to see represented on screen?


Koji: I can’t wait to see Tomoe fighting on screen. She’s one of the most badass fighters of all time and to see her taking on some of the greatest warriors of all time is something I look forward to seeing. 


You’ve mentioned your appreciation for samurai culture and lore, and even made a comic book about another famous samurai, Yasuke, an African samurai. Between Tomoe and Yasuke, there’s a pattern here around you choosing characters that are outside the conventional understanding of who can be a samurai. Could you elaborate on why these characters inspire you to the point or developing projects around them?


Being a fourth-generation Japanese American, I have sometimes felt like an outsider in Japan – despite the fact that my mother is from there. I often see the country as a place that is familiar but also foreign, a place that I am drawn to but also a place that I don’t necessarily belong to. Because of all that, I have always been drawn to outsiders in Japan and their stories.


Given your experience, what challenges or opportunities do you see when creating a film project about a historical figure?


Koji: One of the challenges with telling any story about a true person is trying to tell a story that is historically accurate. The good thing about Tomoe is that there just isn’t a lot about her, so I was able to use my imagination to fill in the details. That takes a lot of the pressure off of me. 🙂 


How did you first learn about Tomoe Gozen and what aspects of her life or story made you realize you needed to develop a film about her?


Koji: I learned about Tomoe Gozen while watching a YouTube video about the toughest women warriors in history. I had never heard of Tomoe before that video, which led me down a rabbit hole into her life.


What are your hopes or aspirations for how Lady Samurai is received by audiences? Any lessons you hope they take from her story?


Koji: I would love to see Lady Samurai inspire a new generation of girls and boys—maybe in the same way I was inspired to learn about sword fighting from Luke Skywalker! 


If there’s anything I missed or anything you’d like to add, please do so here:

Koji: One of the things that isn’t mentioned a lot about this story is that it’s really a love story. But it’s not your traditional love story. It’s Tomoe learning to love herself! If I had a daughter, this is the kind of story I would not want her to watch–rather than a princess story about a girl who gets rescued by the prince!

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Luna Zhang Q&A for Lady Samurai

So to start off, please introduce yourself and share some of your career moments that you’re most proud of.


Luna: I came from the business/startup world. In the past, I successfully built and exited a few companies. Now, I have brought my business background to the entertainment world, helping independent filmmakers to make their dreams come true. 


I strongly support women empowerment in business and entertainment. I set up a short film fund self-funded two years ago,  supporting women and non-binary filmmakers with social consciousness/true storytelling that speaks for minorities.  


So far, I have funded six short films all done by female and filmmakers from LGBTQA+ communities. One of the milestones is a short film I financed that was screened during the 2024 Sundance Film Festival, won the Culture award talking about Indigenous women gone missing at their native reservations (there have been more than 6,000 Indigenous women/men missing at native reservations since 2016). We are continuing with our festival circuit with this film, and just got selected by the Academy Award qualified Indy Short Film Festival.


I also do hands-on producing for passion projects. It has to be based on true story/events, speaking for minorities and women empowerment. Besides Lady Samurai, I am producing an Iranian woman’s journey, a filipino female with her special needs kids, and an anthology that tells the stories of how America changed through decades.   


Now as it relates to Lady Samurai, what attracted you to this project and what excites you most about it?


Luna: She’s a badass woman. That’s what attracts me the most. She turned the impossible to possible, to reality.  There is so much about her that needs to be told to the world. 


Is there any aspect of Lady Samurai or the history around Tomoe Gozen that you can’t wait to see represented on screen?


Luna: Yes, there are historical records about her in Japanese history. There’s a statue of her standing next to Lord Kiso at Tokuonji temple in Japan.


Given your experience, what challenges or opportunities do you see when creating a film project about a historical figure?


Luna: Hollywood is so creative. But nowadays, audiences want more and more authentic storytelling. It’s very challenging to balance the authentic part of this project with creativity. But we are confident we can do it right. 


When you were doing your due diligence on this film project, are there any fun facts or unique tidbits you discovered that made your decision to sign on easy?


Luna: Reading stories about her online has already been fascinating to me. I cannot wait to do location scouting and find out more about her.


Additionally, what attracted you to Mogul Productions and why are you excited about collaborating with Mogul to produce Lady Samurai?


Luna: We are super excited working with Mogul. Not only because they are the experts on NFT communities, they are professional, but also they are so supportive to this project. You always want to work with people who are like-minded and have synergies working together.


What are your hopes or aspirations for how Lady Samurai is received by audiences? Any lessons you hope they take from it?


Luna: I hope they will enjoy the movie. I hope Tomoe’s story can inspire them that no matter who you are at the beginning, you can dream big and make big things happen.


If there’s anything I missed or anything you’d like to add, please do so here:


Luna: I just want to express my gratitude to all of you supporting us. I cannot wait for the world to see this incredible project that we all work together to create.

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Randy Charach, Mogul Head of Film Development Q&A

Please introduce yourself, your role with Mogul, and some of the things you’re most proud of as it relates to your career.

Randy: I was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada and currently spend most of my time between Vancouver and Los Angeles. My background is in business and entertainment. I’ve been in show business my entire working life. I’m really excited about my new role as Head of Film Development at Mogul Productions.

This is an amazing opportunity for me to share my knowledge and experience in film making while increasing my knowledge and experience in the crypto, blockchain, crowdfunding, and NFT space. I also have a great amount of experience in marketing. Being able to work with Mogul in all these areas of interest is really exciting.

I’m blushing while admitting there are several things I’m proud of in my career. As a live comedy magical entertainer, I’ve performed for over 5000 audiences all over the world. I’ve authored dozens of audio programs, books, and courses on self-help topics and online marketing. I’ve also produced over 50 feature films and have worked as an actor alongside many movie stars including several Academy award nominated actors. In addition to this, I have created, built and exited several multi-million dollar businesses. 

Can you tell us about your early days in the entertainment industry? What inspired you to pursue a career in acting?

Randy: I wanted to be an actor ever since I was a young boy. Watching movies and television shows was something I did a lot of, and still do. I pictured myself in various roles and thought it would be fun to be a character actor. I hardly pursued it though, as I started performing magic shows as a business at the age of 12.

For the next several decades I was in high demand as a magician, mentalist, and stage hypnotist. Additionally, I started, operated, and eventually sold several businesses. These businesses ranged from an entertainment booking agency to a specialty toy company. I just didn’t have time to audition for roles as an actor.

However, for six years I did act as Ronald McDonald the clown in Canada. I was hired through the advertising agency that handled the McDonald’s account and performed shows and made public appearances. 

You started out performing as a magician, eventually playing one on the original MacGyver TV series. Could you explain how you got into performing magic and what ways that helped you transition into acting?

Randy: I started performing magic at the age of five. My Uncle was a Las Vegas magician who taught me my first few magic tricks. In addition to performing, I consulted for TV and Film productions shooting in Vancouver. MacGyver was one of the first series to come to Vancouver, in the late 80’s. Paramount Studios hired me as the magic consultant for several of the episodes. I also appeared as an actor/magician on the show.

I’ve consulted for many TV shows when they had magic involved in the story. I found opportunities to work as an actor and become an executive producer as a result of my exposure to the industry. One contact led to another as I networked my way through the Vancouver and Hollywood film communities. 

I attended full-time acting school for a year, around 25 years ago. It’s been a slow and gradual transition from magician to actor. One which has spanned decades and has only come to full fruition around seven years ago. This is when I decided to pursue the childhood dream of acting and put live performing aside. I auditioned for a rather large role in the film Zombie Tidal Wave and eventually won the role. We shot in Thailand and the producers were great to work with and offered me opportunities to produce. From there I started acting and producing full-speed ahead. 

As for Mogul, what attracted you to the Head of Film Development role and what are the aspects of the position that you’re most excited about?

Randy: I love how Mogul is a crypto based crowdfunding platform for film; among other things. It combines elements of show and business that greatly appeal to me. I was mining bitcoin back when it was at $300. So, I’m not brand new to that space, but I’ve just been HODL’ing for several years (and will continue), and I’m excited to learn more.

The success of Mogul also relies on marketing and that’s another passion of mine. Now, my main passion and focus is on film production and as I’ve mentioned, it’s been this way for a few years now.

I’m most excited about bringing films to our Mogul community that will entertain people and see commercial success. My role is to bring new projects to Mogul and screen submitted projects and shortlist viable candidates for the platform. I’ll then consult with our team to determine which projects to develop programs for and offer participation to $MOGUL token holders. 

What are some Mogul projects you’re looking forward to seeing on the screen?

Randy: I just wrapped my third feature film this year and have two more in pre-production right now. To kick things off, we’ll be bringing these five films onto the platform and creating incentives and perks around them.

Two of the films already shot are urban thrillers. They are titled “Homicide Suicide” and “Lies Between Us”. We just wrapped on an action film called “Clutch”. And, next to go to camera are two horror films called “Texas Nightmare” and “Harvester of Eyes”. These, and other films will kick things off at Mogul and are just the beginning. 

Are there any types of projects in particular that you hope to see Mogul help develop?

Randy: I’m really excited to see what people submit to us. In addition to films, we are open to documentaries, series, and even short films. While I will have no shortage of projects I personally bring to the table, it’s what the community pitches to us at Mogul I’m most excited to help develop and promote. 

In 5 years, where do you envision yourself and Mogul Productions? What would you like to see happen in that time?

Randy: I would like to see dozens of successful projects come to fruition through the Mogul platform. In five years, with the anticipated growth of our platform, token, and company, I imagine there will be many more film experts working with the current team on the film side of the company.  

If there’s anything I missed or anything you’d like to add, do so here:

Randy: I encourage people to submit their projects through our website. Before doing so, please know that in most cases in addition to a solid script and a realistic budget, there should be some valuable attachment(s) to the project. Having star actors and/or a director and some equity attached to your project will help you stand out and get noticed. 

We’re looking for viable projects and not just “naked” scripts. We’re here to help filmmakers who have already put in some work and have something to show for it. 


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TITI Looks to Remind Audiences Revenge is a Dish Best Left Unserved

Inspired by the Shakespeare play, Titus Andronicus, “TITI”, a film from Richard Short starring Lyriq Bent as Titi Androniki, looks to modernize one of Shakespeare’s more controversial works.


Perhaps Shakespeare’s most deranged play, Titus Andronicus weaved together his usual themes of power, family, and of course, revenge and madness, but in a way that adequately freaked out audiences long after he died.


Given the madness of our current times, Short (“Vinyl” and “The Tragedy of Macbeth”) and Bent (“Four Brothers” and “SAW IV”) have found an opportune time to revitalize the story for modern audiences.


Bent plays Titi Androniki, who is a former general turned African rap superstar, forced to return to his home country of Gaboria after political disputes and the murder of his son leave him with no other choice. Despite his fame, Titi’s circumstances demonstrate that no one is immune to social and political unrest, setting Titi on a path of retribution towards those who have taken his son and threaten his homeland.


But as Titi will learn, the cycle of revenge and retribution is one that only spins faster once it starts, grinding down everyone who get caught up in it.


Richard Short, Producer and Writer of “TITI”, explained that while the film will certainly match Shakespeare’s energy relative to Titus Andronicus, he plans to imprint a slightly tweaked perspective on the story.


“Titus Andronicus, as originally written, is perhaps known as a villainous man. He carries out some of the most heinous actions in all of Shakespeare,” Short said. “But what if he was right? Or at least, what if YOU empathized with his choices?”


Adding to that, Short acknowledges that “TITI” also provides an opportunity to update the story in a way that reflects modern sensibilities rather than some of the antiquated cultural norms Shakespeare leveraged to depict certain characters in certain ways.


“The most exciting thing about ‘TITI’ is the chance to right an historic wrong,” Short said. “William Shakespeare is the greatest writer in history but he undoubtedly wrote a despicable character (Aaron the Moor) and chose to make him dark-skinned in order to highlight his ‘untrustworthiness’. Because of this, an audience of the time would’ve thought the character ‘evil’ on sight. Obviously, a modern audience would find that unacceptable. We aim to finally provide some balance.”


Short added, “While the actions of most aren’t racially motivated, the actions of one most certainly are.”


Short, Bent, and Mogul Productions are eager to help bring “TITI” to theaters sometime in 2025.


Blog Posts

How To Get People to Movie Theaters Again

There’s a variety of reasons for why less people are going to the movies these days, whether it’s the abundance of home entertainment options and tech or simply concession prices being too expensive.


In some ways COVID certainly played a role, but movie ticket sales were steadily declining prior to the pandemic, even if they only recovered to half of pre-pandemic levels since.


Barbie was probably the most successful movie in theaters in recent years (other than Top Gun), and part of that certainly was due to smart marketing but also because it allowed people to have fun with the theater experience. We’ve seen it with superhero movies and things like Star Wars, where if the subject of a film is culturally significant in a broad way, there’s usually more engagement from audiences in the form of well attended midnight releases by fans in costumes and in character.


Even then there’s lessons there for films or IP that might not have similar cult followings (yet).


Ultimately, the way to get folks back into theaters, especially for new releases, is to sell more than the ability to watch a movie. Theaters and movie makers have to sell an experience or at the very least give audiences something they can’t get at home.


While some film purists view the silver screen and the theater experience as a necessary aspect of movie viewing, it’s fairly clear most people will settle for the comfort of their own home the majority of the time.


So reframing the problem from that perspective will be helpful towards finding ways to get people into theaters again.


With that in mind, let’s explore some possible solutions.


  1. Benefits For Costumed Attendees


Film studios and their theater partners should look to get movie goers personally invested in the theater experience. One area that certainly is low hanging fruit, is to offer opening week perks for any movie goer who gets into the spirit of the film and shows up dressed as a character in the movie.


While this may not be possible for every movie, since you know, some movies just have characters who dress like normal people, there’s still plenty of movies that this is possible for. And if some of those perks happen to be free or discounted concession items, it creates an additional incentive beyond having fun, as concession prices are a pretty big reason people choose to stay home.


That said, it wouldn’t be fair to not acknowledge that movie ticket prices haven’t exactly kept up with inflation and movie theaters have operating costs they need to cover. So it’s difficult to be too hard on theater owners for using food and beverage to keep the projectors running.


  1. Unique, Limited Edition Collectibles


Surely most people have seen promotions around special promotional cups or suggestive popcorn buckets, but despite their novelty they also tend to be cheap, low quality items.


One way theaters and film studios can up their collectible game is to include QR codes on tickets that allow movie goers who attend on opening weekend to have the opportunity to unlock digital tokens such as a branded NFT that can either be resold online or be used to claim a limited edition physical collectible tied to the movie.


These can be anything from movie props or thoughtfully curated and well made collectibles that are only produced once in limited quantities. With only so many available, attendees who catch the film on opening night all but guarantee they’ll be able to secure their collectible token and item.


It’s certainly one of the ways Mogul is thinking about how Blockchain tech can enhance the overall experience for the audience while also ensuring strong opening nights.


  1. Creating More Symbiotic Value via Membership Programs


As noted above, theater owners do have unique challenges and tight margins to work with. They’ve responded by offering higher prices on concessions, which has had a deterrent effect for audiences.


And while some theater brands like AMC have tried to build out membership programs, they under delivered by offering underwhelming or unrealistic perks. While being able to see 3 movies a week for $20 a month sounds good on paper, not so much in reality given the time commitment and only so many new movies to see.


If the goal is to get butts in the seats, there needs to be options for members that encourage them to bring a friend or two. 


Again, it isn’t exactly a new preference that people would rather stay home than go to the movies. Going back a decade to 2014, before the expansion of streaming options and affordable home theater setups, 58% of people would rather stay home.

And while some do enjoy the experience of attending solo, going to the movies is largely a social experience. Creating membership benefits that offer discounted tickets and concessions based on the number of people a member brings might help move the needle as it relates to incentivizing people to choose the theater over their home.


To tie this option into the aforementioned suggestion, these membership programs can also have opportunities to earn outside the theater through strategic partnerships where there are better rewards based on members who enjoy movies in theaters more frequently.


These can be anything from collectibles, apparel, props, gift cards, and even one-of-a-kind experiences like getting to visit the set or be an extra in an upcoming film (similar to perks Mogul offers).


At the end of the day, the way to get people going to movie theaters again begins with getting them excited about going in the first place.


A big screen and booming sound system are no longer enough. More comfortable theater seating and enhanced food and beverage options also haven’t been able to make much of a difference, not even the ability to catch a buzz.


Some might bemoan the state of things as a sign that consumers are spoiled and impossible to please, but that’s a cynical view and one that doesn’t solve for the problems theaters are facing.


It’s also easy to say studios need to make better movies, but when they do, folks would simply rather wait until it’s on streaming platforms.


That’s why the only reasonable approach is for theater chains and studios to collaborate in order to find ways to make audiences feel like there’s more value to going to theaters than sitting at home. Fortunately there are ways to do that, some we mentioned above.


Nevertheless, we encourage our readers to share the things that would get them out to the movies more often in the comments, in the Mogul Telegram, Discord, or on our Twitter/X.