Sunday, October 3, 2010

Independent Film Producer Shadowing Legendary DIrector

Antonio Saillant, an Indie film producer has been given the chance of a lifetime to shadow his mentor "Ted Kotcheff" Executive Producer and one of the Show- Runners of the NBC top television series, "Law & Order: SVU".

Kotcheff directed many U.S. films throughout the 1970's and 1980's perhaps the best-known films being Fun with Dick and Jane (1977), starring Jane Fonda and George Segal; Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? (1978), starring Jacqueline Bisset and George Segal; North Dallas Forty (1979)--which he also wrote--starring 'Nick Nolte' (a film considered by many in the sport to be one of the best ever made about professional football); First Blood (1982), starring Sylvester Stallone--one of the biggest box-office winners of all time--Uncommon Valor (1983), starring Gene Hackman; and Weekend at Bernie's (1989). In the mid-'80s Kotcheff made a film of another Mordecai Richler novel, Joshua Then and Now (1985). This film, starring James Woods and Alan Arkin, was the official Canadian entry in the Cannes Film Festival, and together with "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz", is one of the most widely known and acclaimed Canadian films in the United States.

Saillant initially met Kotcheff in his New York City resident building years ago and after being invited on the set of SVU fell in love with Kotcheff's style of directing and producing and they met many times after to discuss how the mentoring would work.

Saillant commented "Learning from Kotcheff was definitely a stepping stone in the right direction." In order to gain someone's friendship in the industry, when meeting a director or a producer for the first time, "be yourself". Everything you read, learn or experience changes who you are and your goals for who you want to become. You should strive to constantly develop your relationship as you develop yourself.

Saillant, who "work shadowed" Kotcheff for three weeks on Law and Order SVU said the opportunity was "fantastic". Meeting the cast and crew especially Marishka Hargitay, Christopher Meloni, Ice-T and Sharon Stone was outstanding. Sharon Stone who joined the cast of Law & Order: SVU as a guest spot in which she plays a retired cop who becomes an assistant district attorney. Seeing Sharon Stone in action during the filming last season was breathtaking, said Saillant.

Saillant is best known for his amazing networking abilities and charisma. His networking led him to meet and learn from high profile industry professionals as well as being able to gain trust and friendship from his mentors by simply being genuine. His list of mentors are known to be high established people in the film, television and even Broadway Musical Theater. Just to name a few:

MICHAEL RAFTER - conducted Gypsy on Broadway, as well as the TV movie starring Bette Midler, and won an Emmy award for his music direction of the movie. His recent movie credits include 2 movies with Hugh Grant, Music and Lyrics (piano/vocal coach, produced vocals) and Did You Hear About The Morgans? (produced vocal tracks). RAFTER recently returned from Melbourne, Australia where he supervised the music for the hit Broadway show, Jersey Boys. He has traveled the globe this past year, working on the other 6 productions of Jersey Boys as well - from Toronto and Las Vegas to Melbourne.

He has supervised the Broadway and/or national touring companies of Thoroughly Modern Millie, Sunset Boulevard, The Sound of Music, The Buddy Holly Story and the current hit Jersey Boys. On Broadway, Michael has served as music director/conductor of Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Sound of Music, The King & I and Gypsy.

JEANINE TESORI - Tesori married to conductor and musical director Michael Rafter has composed music for the films Nights in Rodanthe, The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond, The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning, Shrek the Third, Mulan II, and The Emperor's New Groove 2: Kronk's New Groove. Tesori's most recent stage project is Shrek the Musical, which earned her both Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations for her music.

Tesori has collaborated with Tony Kushner twice, supplying music for Caroline, or Change in 2004 and a new translation of Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children, which was produced as part of the 2006 Shakespeare in the Park season staged at the Delacorte Theater by The Public Theater. Caroline garnered her a second Tony nomination for Best Original Score.

SYDNEY POLLACK - was an Academy Award-winning director, producer, actor, writer and public figure, who directed and produced over 40 films. Pollack showed his best as a comedy director and actor in Tootsie (1982), which was nominated for ten Academy Awards. Pollack also made success in producing such films as The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), The Quiet American (2002) and Cold Mountain (2003). Pollack returned to the director's chair in 2004, when he directed The Interpreter (2005), the first film ever shot on location at the United Nations Headquarters and within the General Assembley in New York

Saillant, owner of Angel Light Pictures, an independent production company that gives inspired film-makers the chance to make their dreams into reality. Entertainment has a new light.

Saillant who has a story of his own that can be made into a film all on its own. He was a former baseball player in the minor leagues. More than 400 Dominican born players have made it to the Majors in the United States. The difference is Antonio was an American playing in a foreign country. The Dominican Republic Winter League has 6 teams that play a 50 game schedule from October through December, culminating in a playoffs with the winner moving on to the Caribbean Series against the winners in other Latin countries. Almost every Major League Baseball team sponsors a baseball academy in the Dominican Republic where young prospects eat, sleep, and play baseball in its Summer League. New signees, as young as 16 years old, get at most two or three years to show they warrant a promotion to the U.S. minor leagues before getting cut loose.

Almost reaching the Major Leagues in the late 1980's with the New York Mets. Flew to New York from the Dominican Republic to meet his brother Angel who announced his engagement to his girlfriend. A few days later on the way to Jones Beach the car lost control and turned over which resulted in the death of his older brother. Traumatized by his brother dying in his arms, he left baseball and decided to enroll in The Farmingdale State University of New York where he studied Aerospace Technology. Never to pick up a bat again.

Years later, the family was suffering again with his sister, by means that is too graphic to mention. The experience, according to Antonio, was a turning point in his life that played a large part in shaping him into the accomplished entrepreneur he is today.

Antonio's realization of painful family struggles and personal confusion, led him to embrace the entertainment industry. He evolved through the varied characters he portrayed, which helped him to develop a more fulfilling and emotionally healthy life for himself. He found passion in the entertainment industry which led him away from engineering and carried him into motion pictures. Saillant entered TVI Actors Studio in New York City for two years and then went to LA where he joined AIA Actors Studio in Burbank, California. Upon his return to New York City, Saillant was taken on by Sandi Shurin, whose teachings helped him appear in both film and television.

While relishing his role both behind and in front of the camera, Saillant was also busy pursuing his own film career. He formed his own company "Angel Light Pictures" with the goal of developing films for a global audience. Saillant worked with Director/Producer Robert Stock at "Stocks Eye", an independent production company which produced the SyFy thriller, "The Ascension" starring Corbin Bernsen.

Saillant also worked on the independent film "Heterosexuals" produced by J. Robert Spencer, who starred in two outstanding Broadway musicals "Jersey Boys" and "Next to Normal".

Saillant is on a mission to bring a new light to Indie films. Future works from Saillant include a football drama entitled "The Golden Knights", two comedies entitled "If" and "Pumping Up", as well as thrillers "Wormhole", "The Expendables: Soul Harvest" and "Gripped".

Saillant, who was once a semi-pro baseball player turned Aerospace engineer and now filmmaker studied at the New York Institute of Technology in Long Island, Old Westbury and The Farmingdale State University of New York.

Saillant is true to his beliefs as he remains humble and continues to receive much praise for his works.

Antonio Saillant: IMDB:

Angel Light Pictures: IMDB:

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