After a very interesting chat with Justin Phillip to catch up on what he has been up to since he was a featured artist, November last year; I honestly expected a brief answer about a project or two that he was working on, but I was instead blown away by all he has been able to accomplish in just a few months! It just goes to show, hard work does pay off. And what I gleaned most from Justin is his determination to rise to the top, even if it means pulling himself up by his own bootstraps.
Justin was recently featured in a Nationwide Credit Karma Commercial, which he got through his Commercial Agent. He didn’t even have to audition for it. (And he was great in it!) Justin has two Agents, a commercial one and a theatrical one. He said, “by separating both fields of work, you are guaranteed to get a lot more work opportunities,” especially where commercials are concerned. In fact, just today Justin had a call back for another commercial that he auditioned for (fingers crossed).
Justin hopes to have at least 2-3 commercials on the air, running simultaneously, stating that using commercials as calling cards is the best way to gain popularity and open more doors for future work opportunities. (Solid advice to actors trying to break in).
When I asked Justin “So what are you working on now?” instead of the simple answer I expected, I found myself barely able to keep up with the outflow of information.
Justin recently started his own Production Company called DogTimes. The company is made up of himself, a co-writer (Marianne Burch), a DP (Jon Schweigart), a special fx makeup artist (Trisha Heal), and a team of Editors (Richard Eggly, Alex Baker and Chad Narducci). Right now DogTimes are just making their own stuff but they hope to be hired out for other projects in the future.
Last year Justin’s Production Company made the film, You Have Arrived. It’s a short film about a group of friends that set out on a vacation to Washington State, following their GPS. Unbeknownst to them, their GPS has been hacked. The GPS leads them to an old abandoned motel called ‘The Washington’ and that is when the real trouble ensues…
You Have Arrived won an award at the LA Cinefest of Hollywood in January this year. The film will be playing later this month at the Noho Cinefest, at the Laemmle NoHo 7 Theater, March 27th at 6pm. Justin plans to submit this film for more festivals.
Also recently, Justin hooked up with a Producer from 317 Productions, and they co-produced Justin’s next short film; Wolf Game. This film is about a young wealthy couple whose dream getaway vacation is disturbed by the untamed locals who can’t stand the couple being in their town, and so start to torment them. The couple quickly gets caught up in all the drama…
For this project, Justin is not just co-producing it, but directing it, and starring in it as well.
Most would call Justin’s career path a budding success but he hasn’t let that slow him down one bit. His production company plans to make a lot more short films in the near future and enter those films into as many festivals as possible.
Justin stated that it is a lot of hard work running your own production company as things can get a bit expensive, but like any other business; nothing good comes easy. “If it’s what you love to do, then it’s worth it.” And Justin likes the fact that he can follow his other passion, which is directing. With his own company, he is free to make the movies he wants, the way he wants to make them.
Justin has also been working on a lot of other indie films/projects. He just wrapped up on a UCLA Thesis film that he starred in and just a few days ago, he was offered a promo spot on Crypt TV. Crypt TV (inspired by the TV series Tales from the Crypt) creates its own original content in the horror genre, guided by the motto #weirdisgood. Justin got the gig through a good friend of his, who is a Producer on Crypt TV; she offered him the Promo spot and once more, he didn’t have to audition for it.
Justin thoroughly exemplifies the well-known Hollywood concept; “it’s all about who you know.” His work ethic is simple: make a lot of friends in the Industry, keep putting yourself/stuff out there and work your butt off to make your dreams come true. After all, adhering to all these principles can literally only propel your career upward.
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