I was privileged enough to interview actor, producer and film director Mike Azevedo recently about his upcoming production Boy Meets Boy
Mike is one of those people whose enthusiasm for his craft, whether in front of the camera or behind it, shines through. He’s passionate about his ventures, and appears to have the drive and ambition to make things work. He kindly answered some questions about both himself and his new film, and you can read this interview and find out more about his work below.
Welcome, Mike, it’s lovely to have you visiting Divine Magazine.
What inspired you to both make and star in this film? The byline is ‘The pursuit for perfection and the hunt for love takes us on a mysterious and thrilling ride’. Tell us more about the reason this film was made.
As a television and movie actor, at the age of 38 I decided it was time to start creating my own work. I wanted to challenge myself and take a risk not only as actor but as a producer. Taking part in Crazy8s, an annual Vancouver filmmaking event that challenges moviemakers to create a film in just eight days, it was there that I met my amazing producer, Simona Atias, who would go on to write the screenplay with me for my film.
I met Simona through that festival and invited her to come on board as a Producer and Writer, I had the idea and she tweaked it and wrote the final script.
British Columbia has an amazing wealth of film industry talent and has a family atmosphere. So many great local industry professionals came forward to support, push, assist and take part in bring Boy Meets Boy to life.
It has been an incredibly rewarding and challenging journey. Four years later here it is; I’m ready to share it with the world.
You have an extremely prestigious training synopsis and it’s quite obvious from your bio and this project that acting is your passion. What made you decide to follow this path and why do you think you’ve succeeded when others failed? This is a cut throat industry; is it really all about ‘who you know’? Or is that the cynics view?
When you train yourself, believe in your goals and always keep working towards it you will succeed.
Yes, there is some truth that having connections helps because you need support, assistance, advice and introductions. However you can make those connections yourself – keep reaching out in a professional and positive way and it works.
Don’t wait around for someone to do it for you. Make it happen! After raising the necessary funds to complete the project, I found the right people to work with for the project. About a year of prep work, and planning, the shoot was completed in just 24 hours with a local volunteer cast and crew of 50; and then about 6 months of post-production work. Once the actual film was done then came the next test – marketing and promoting it. I hosted a Red Carpet Screening Premiere at the Vancity Vancouver International Film Festival Theatre in December, I created a ton of print and online promotional material, and recently it screened at the Whistler Pride & Ski Film Festival.
Boy Meets Boy has been a four year labour of love for me and it isn’t over yet. Now back after post-production to market the film, myself and my husband John are busy shopping the ten-minute short to GLBT film festivals around the world.
What hope is there out there for those young people coming into this career and perhaps not having the kind of training you’ve had? Have you any advice for them, to encourage them to not give up their dream.
Never give up! Reach out to those who have had success in the industry and ask for guidance, you will be amazed how people want others to enjoy what they also enjoy. Be persistent and keep positive. If you really believe you will do it and you are willing to put in the work and sacrifices it will happen. There WILL be times when you get knocked down, move on and keep going.
It isn’t for everybody but those who feel this industry as part of their being; you are the ones who can make it happen.
You’re working with some esteemed actors – Charles Zuckerman and Andy Thompson. They have impressive biographies in the film world. What do you think drew them to this film?
I mentioned the Vancouver film industry has some amazing professionals and many are willing to work together to support, join and take part in worthy local projects. I was thrilled and honored that both Charles and Andy volunteered to join the project. Also included in my team of volunteers were some other local heavyweights including Director Jonathan MacPherson who works on the locally shot Once Upon a Time television series and Cinematographer Rob Crone, who worked on Rise of the Planet of the Apes film earlier this year.
I wanted to not only showcase what I’ve done, but I also want to showcase the amazing talent we have in BC.
I have to mention this. One of the patrons who gets a special mention is Dustin Lance Black, more known here in the UK as the boyfriend of UK Olympic diver Tom Daley. Tell us a little bit more about his involvement in this project?
I first became aware of Dustin through his extensive GLBT activism (on the US West Coast at the time) that I really respect and then his Oscar winning Milk really inspired me. I reached out to him to ask if he would consider working with me as my mentor. He agreed and made the time. I would talk to him back and forth, and he pushed me to believe in myself and go forward. He made a donation during my crowd funding campaign and also agreed to have his name attached to the project.
Dustin is now a Global GLBT Activist and a celebrated Film Maker. That he allowed me to attach his name to the film was really surreal and a great way for me to thank him for his support.
Mike Azevedo- Biography
Mike Azevedo has been training and performing since 1993 starting out in Performing Arts at Thomas D’Arcy McGee then Fine Arts Program at Dawson College in Montreal followed by the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. He also trained in Musical Theatre in New York. Mike performed on stage in The Courageous One, Beyond Therapy, Stagedoor, and The Crucible. In Vancouver on stage in The Chatroom and Beyond Therapy, which he also produced. His on screen career began with a TV pilot The Dorm. Since then he can be seen on screen in many productions including The Jackal , The L Word, Stargate Atlantis, Fido directed by acclaimed Canadian director Andrew Currie , recently Delete miniseries for Showtime TV, and various TV commercials. Boy Meets Boy is a vision come to life for Mike, he has been working on it for a number of years developing it to share his project with the world. Thanks to an amazing producer, director, cast and co-stars it became a reality.
Mike IMDB profile http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2200217/
Boy Meets Boy Movie website http://boymeetsboymovie.com/