There is a plethora of film making talent in the DMV area. Want a tense crime drama? You need not look for a film directed by a “name” director in New York City or Boston. Look no further than CITY OF LOST SOULS, filmed in large part in Baltimore and other places in Maryland. (Watch the trailer here.)
CITY OF LOST SOULS is the product of director Jason Baustin’s Traveste Films. The film, which follows the life challenges of ex-con Mickey Wallace and his antagonist Assistant State’s Attorney Roger Kenfield. The film will premiere at the AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, Maryland, on November 10th at 7:30pm. (Get tickets here.)
Director, editor and producer of CITY OF LOST SOULS, Jason Baustin took time to answer a few questions about the film:
Q – What drew you to direct CITY OF LOST SOULS?
CITY OF LOST SOULS was a project that I came up with about a year ago. I became really interested in the criminal justice system and what drives the law breakers and law enforcement officials. I worked with writers Brooklyn Brown and Andrew Rein, they both helped turn my ideas into script form.
Q – Tell me about the character Mickey Wallace?
Mikey Wallace (Bobby J. Brown II) is a violent ex-con who is trying to lead a straight life. But he returns to his old stomping grounds and known associates and struggles to find legitimate work.
Q – What drives Assistant State’s Attorney Roger Kenfield?
Roger Kenfield (Altorro Prince Black) is a typical egomaniac and loves the limelight, he genuinely wants to clean up the city and is willing to win at all costs.
Q – What are some other important characters?
We have a fantastic ensemble cast, all local actors. Bob Clark (Richard Cutting) is the Baltimore State’s Attorney and is Roger’s boss and mentor, they have an interesting working relationship. Nyx Carlucci (Johnny Christos) is the city’s crime boss and Mikey’s old partner, they have a long history together. And finally J.J. (Patricia Mizen) is a desperate stripper who needs some serious help.
Q – What does the title of the film allude to?
The film showcases the notion that anyone can change under certain circumstances for good or bad. In a culture of corruption, is it possible to remain virtuous, or do we become a product of our environment?
Q – The trailer looked dynamite. How do you decide what scenes to put into a trailer?
I was lucky with the trailer, it just came to me. I tried to tell the basic story of the film using the most powerful scenes.
Q – What’s your definition of what a great director does?
A great director needs to keep the overall story in mind. It’s easy to get caught up in the specifics of each scene, but it’s good to take a step back. In addition a great director should be familiar with all the creative and technical aspects of film making.
Q – What’s the key to good storytelling?
The key is learning how to tell an effective story with the means you have, technology has definitely made it much easier. It also requires studying story structure and character arc, so your film is meaningful to watch.
Q – Where was the film shot?
All across the great state of Maryland: Silver Spring, Takoma Park, Rockville, Bethesda, Baltimore and Waldorf.