In this exclusive interview, Todd Cericola, owner of Clocktower Pictures, talks about his movie studio, about music in movies and about the independent productions world.
Manuel Marino: When did you start your movie studio and how did you have the idea?
Todd Cericola: Clocktower Pictures was started in February of 2008. We are a new company in the Philadelphia area that specializes in independent films. We started it after working on a t.v. sitcom pilot called “Two One Five.” Myself, and my two partners Keelen Monahan and Matt Tomko had all been working individually on producing, directing, and writing and decided to put our efforts into one basket by opening up what would eventually become Clocktower.
How much is difficult to manage a movie studio?
I don’t know that it’s as difficult as it is fun. We are all doing something that we throughly enjoy doing. There is a strong workload, especially since we are a new company, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. We are a very hands on company working directly with our actors on a one on one basis. We try to cater to all of their needs as well as our own.
I’m a music composer, so the question is natural, how much music is important in the production?
As a musician myself, I think that music is one of the most important thing in a film. If you’re trying to paint a picture to set up a scene, background music is key to setting a mood. A good song will always have the scene set perfectly and you may not even notice it in the background, but when you have a bad song you, as the filmgoer, will always notice the mistake of choice.
What is your latest production? Can you tell us something about it?
Right now we are working on a few things. We are working on a feature film called “Describing the Moon,” about a guy in his mid-twenties struggling with trying to please his friends and complete his life’s goal of becoming a script writer. It’s a fantastic script that’s really dialogue driven, and very funny. We will be finishing up auditions for that next weekend, and should begin filming in October. Two One Five is a big priority as well, we are shopping around to try and sell and make an entire season. As well as entering short film and television festivals to get the name out. The entire episode is up on our website for free viewing at Clocktower Pictures. We are also looking into opening up a second branch of the company under the banner Clocktower Music helping to produce local artists and independent musicians. So we have a lot going on.
How we can define an independent movie and why it’s important that indies are supported in their work?
I think independent film is a very important thing because it brings out more creativity in people. When you’re writing without cause and shooting without big budget you’re working harder at making something the way you see it, so you’re getting the original vision of what you’re going for. It’s like an artists painting, you want to express your own ideas in your own way, not someone else. Too many hands in the cookie jar is never a good thing.
Do you think internet can help indies?
I think the internet is a great advantage for people in any area of creative arts. You can reach out to millions of people at the single click of a button for your company, your movie, your art, your music anything you want. I think with the advent of facebook, myspace, mandy, craigslist, and countless others we’re living in an age where getting yourself out to the masses of people is just that much easier, and that much better.
How do you see the future of movie production?
As far as movie production in general goes, I see it bulking up even more. Budget’s for production are getting larger by what seems daily, actors are making more and more money, and the intake is getting outrageous. On a smaller scale, Philadelphia is getting its own studio soon which has already scene production in the city jump up ten fold.