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40 September 13th, 2015 Michael Easton and Trevor St. John Talk About Mutual Admiration, Collaboration & Hopes For Their Short Film, ULTRAVIOLENT!

Photo Credit: Sarah Anderson courtesy LA Shorts Fest

This past Wednesday night, former General Hospital and One Life to Live star Michael Easton’s short film Ultraviolent starring his best friend and OLTL castmate Trevor St. John was screened during the LA Short Fest.

The international festival showcased some of the most talented filmmaker’s works from around the globe, and some of whose short films will be eligible for Academy Award competition. Easton who wrote, directed, and produced Ultraviolent, chose none other than St. John to play the lead in the short film based upon the life of avant-garde film director Donald Cammell.  In the film as in his real life, Cammell shoots himself in the head putting an end to a lifelong obsession with art, insanity, and death.  All the more impressive is that Ultraviolent was shot over a two night period, and yet Easton was able to come out with this true piece of cinematic art.

Ultraviolent is all St. John commanding the screen in an incredible performance that left audience members breathless.  His acting talents were on display against the visual imaginary, editing, and creative storytelling under the direction of Easton.  On-Air On-Soaps caught up with Michael and Trevor immediately following the L.A. screening to get their thoughts on: collaborating on the project, how they chose to portray the life of the eccentric and troubled Cammell in their short film, shooting on such tight time constraints to get the desired effect, and their hopes for the future life of Ultraviolent.

Courtesy/BlackwatchFilms

When discussing working together, St. John said of his best bud:  “Oh, it was wonderful. Michael is the guy you want to work with.  He knows the good stuff when he sees it.  He lets you play.   He is open to change, but he also knows what he wants.  Michael has that perfect combination.  He has vision, but he is also free enough to let things transpire in ways he didn’t predict.  I will say, Michael is a brilliant man.  He is a brilliant director and writer, and he has a big career ahead of him.  This is his wheelhouse, and he should be doing this. “  

Easton said of St. John’s performance:  “Trevor is mind-blowingly good.  I picked the right actor!  I don’t think Trevor really knows how good he is.  That is one of the nice qualities about Trevor.  I like that.  You never want to hire an actor who knows how good they are. (Laughs)  He was magic in this movie, and there was a bit of magic while we were shooting it.  We were up there in this isolated house in the Hollywood Hills with the sights and sounds and the city below us, and using that.  The character is constantly looking out at this city that has rejected you, and having to face this every night, and yet still you face it.  One of the most amazing things for me when I watch Trevor’s performance is at one point; you think there are two people in the room, or at least I did.   A lot of credit for that goes to Don Hamilton our cinematographer.  I tried to edit it to look as if it were two people talking, instead of one person.”

Courtesy/Blackwatch Films

As for how Ultraviolent came to the screen, Trevor related it didn’t happen overnight:  “Michael was working on a script for awhile.  I would look at the script to tell him what I thought, but this film is something the two of us have been thinking about for a long time.  Michael created this structure, because it could be a much bigger story.”  Michael added Trevor’s involvement was very important to the project: “Trevor and I had talked about the script.  I had the advantage of being able to craft the script for him.  We talked about it for months before we started shooting.  But on the night we shot, it was basically Trevor’s stage.  He was free to do whatever he wanted.  There was no right take.  There were just takes.  I would say to him, ‘That’s great.  Let’s do it again.   Now, do it as if it’s the funniest story you ever told.’  Then, Trevor would go there.  Then I would say, ‘Now, it’s the saddest story you ever told.  Now it’s the most inspiring story you have ever told. Now you are talking to your father, and now you are talking to your son, and now you are talking to yourself.’  Trevor would then deliver all of that.”

Courtesy/Warner Brothers

In Ultraviolent, Trevor sounds a bit like Rolling Stones lead singer and pop icon Mick Jagger, who is actually very important to the back-story of Cammell.  St. John even emulates some of Jagger’s moves in a key scene.  Easton agreed: “Yeah, Trevor kind of did the Mick Jagger strut!  It’s interesting.  If you haven’t’ seen the film Performance that Donald Cammell directed, Mick Jagger is the star of it, and he’s amazing in it.  That is why in Ultraviolent we had the posters in the background of Mick, and stuff like that as a reference.”  Trevor concurred on his accent in the film:  “It was kind of Mick Jagger-ish, because Donald was a bit on the upper-to middle class side.  So that is what I chose.   I wasn’t doing cockney.”

As to if this is just a stepping-stone in order to do a full-length feature on the life of Donald Cammell, Easton said: “We have a larger story about Donald Cammell, and getting to tell that would be the goal.  And it’s not this story, per se. This film is just a little appetizer of what his life was like.   I think it’s very relatable to anybody who has strived to do something, and is more talented and able to do it better than others, and doesn’t get recognized for it, and lives a very frustrating life.”  Trevor added that he would jump at the chance to play the eccentric filmmaker again exclaiming:  “Oh, yeah!  I would love to play Donald!  It would be amazing.  I had a blast doing this role.”

Courtesy/Blackwatch Films

In one of the most horrific and heartbreaking scenes during the film shortly after recalling his young son, Cammell shoots himself in the head.  Trevor said his wife had an emotional reaction to the scene: “She had a hard time watching Donald killing himself.  She also had a hard time watching our son.  That was actually my son Aidan in the film, as well.” Easton added about the film’s very dark turn and how Cammell took his own life:  “No one is quite clear on exactly what happened.  He did shoot himself in his home and these are the stories that came out of it.  He wrote that he studied at CIT with a neurologist about different ways you can live after shooting yourself, and the heightened consciousness of it, and all those variations of it, and heavy detailed subjects.  Trevor and I talked about it.  We thought no matter where you were, or how detached you were, that one of the thoughts you would have is about your son – even if you were, as he was, very disassociated from his son having never seen him in 20 or 30 years at this point.  But that may be the moment it all comes back to you in the last moments of your life.  No matter what the value you placed on being successful as a writer, director, or in Hollywood, in general.  The film strikes people in difference ways, and loneliness is a very dangerous thing for most people.  It was a heavy subject.  But, it was a something we thought we would try to bring something to, and shed light on.”

Photo Credit: Rex Features

Having played Victor Lord Jr. on One Life and countless motion picture and television roles, Trevor said he certainly does gravitate to a certain kind of role: “They don’t need to be  dark, but screwed up.  It could also be a light-hearted character who doesn’t understand what he is doing.  I kind of like playing anyone who is kind of messed up. “  And speaking of roles, St. John is about to be seen in the brand new series Containment for the CW come mid television season, “I don’t know the premiere date, but shooting in Atlanta had been a ball.  We have a great cast, great directors, and a great executive producer in Julie Plec.  I do play an investigative reporter/blogger, and it is such an intriguing story.”

As to the opportunity to display their talents at the festival and this film that they are most proud of, Trevor related: “I think it is a great avenue for filmmakers and actors who feel they need to do something and get their stuff out there.  That is kind of where Michael and I were.  We were saying, ‘Why are we waiting around to make something?  Yes, we can’t make a feature, but we can make something.  So, let’s do something.  Who knows what that will generate?’” 

Photo Credit: Sarah Anderson courtesy LA Shorts Fest

Michael added: “We are overwhelmed. This is only our second festival.  When you hear about the thousands of films that are submitted for this from 30 something counties, we feel so fortunate.  We saw some really good films here.  When I see those I go, ‘Wow! We should have really made more of an effort!’ (Laughs)  I watched the credits go by on these films and there were like 200 people in them.  I go, ‘Wow, well we only have six!’” (Laughs)

Fans can view the trailer for Ultraviolent below! Then let us know, would you like to see the short made into a full length motion picture? What did you think of these two talented gents comments about each other, and the emotionally riveting short film? Does the trailer and Michael and Trevor’s thoughts on their collaboration make you want to see more from the former stars of OLTL?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

(NEW) "Ultraviolent" Trailer

(NEW) "Ultraviolent" Trailer

Posted by Michael Easton on Sunday, September 13, 2015

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  1. Deborah Corte says:

    I’m really hoping to catch a screening of Ultraviolent and would absolutely love to see it made into a full length motion picture. The trailer was amazing. I am looking forward to anything these two extremely talented men create.

    Reply

    Lee Riggs replied

    Totally agree! Miss OLTL but over it. They are two excellent actors/producers on their own :)

    Reply

  2. Scoma60 says:

    I’m a huge fan of both men. I can’t wait to see this film and will continue to follow both men’s careers.

    Reply

  3. Debbie Leonardo says:

    I would love to see more! It looks and sounds commanding and emotional.

    Reply

  4. carla halifax says:

    God, I have to see this, give me details on how I can!!!!!

    PLEASE

    Reply

  5. Claudia says:

    Need to see a full length movie after that teaser!!!! Please???

    Reply

  6. Liz says:

    I hope this gets screened in New England.

    This week a friend asked on FB what song would you do in lip sync battle. I posted a clip YouTube clip, Memo From Turner from the movie Performance!! To see ME & TSJ referencing the same movie, that I hadn’t thought of in years….

    Nobody plays messed up better than Trevor. I wish Michael great success with this short. I’m sure he has a future in this, his “wheelhouse”.

    Reply

  7. Tracey Ohnmeiss says:

    Wow about the trailer was awesome I wish I was there and the screening because know it was amazing. I think I would really enjoy it.

    Reply

  8. Becca says:

    Two extremely talented guys. Really looking forward to seeing the film. I’m sure there is much more to come from both of them. Thanks for the interview Mr. Fairman. :)

    Reply

  9. Llanviewer717 says:

    Trevor St. John is an amazing actor. I fell in love with his work during his time on OLTL. He can play so many diverse layers of a character. I’ve only known Michael Easton’s work as an actor and love him too. I’m very excited to see another avenue of his creativity.

    The trailer is riveting. I definitely want to see Ultraviolent.

    Reply

  10. TnT 2.0 Forever says:

    So happy for Trevor. He is such a talented actor. I wish him all the best.

    Reply

  11. louisa says:

    Oh wow. How I love Trevor St. John! I would love to see this.

    Reply

    Addison replied

    Me as well. Trevor is the real Todd Manning.
    Great piece! These two gents are true talents and I am happy to know that greener pastures await them. They both deserve it.

    Reply

  12. su0000 says:

    Michael has the artistic deep dark in him sorata like Stephen King kind of mind..
    I have read his writings and they are spellbinding.

    Trevor is a great actor in many directions he and Michael make an awesome team..
    I see success ahead for both..

    Reply

  13. nell brooks says:

    Looks like a great film .please give more information on this , like a date and time to start with .. Love how they used the name of the Club from One life to live

    Reply

  14. nell brooks says:

    Love how they used the Club name from One life to live.. Looks like a great film , please give more information, like date and time

    Reply

  15. Cindy Lopez says:

    I truly love these gifted actors!!! They are a rare treasure on T.V. And in Film . Trevor St. John I can’t keep my eyes off you, one of the best actors of are time, truly magnificent!!!! Loved you in Finding Normal a warm hearted spiritual family movie . The grief of other what a wonderful film . I’ve been watching you since you first appreard in Llanview on OLTL!!

    Reply

  16. TayloRose says:

    Michael Easton’s “Ultraviolent” was disturbingly AH-mazing. The nuance and honesty in his work is unparalleled, no matter what artistic expression he uses. Trevor St. John’s performance was powerful and mesmerizing. Together, these two are MAGIC on the screen. FABulous interviews Michael Fairman…TY!

    Reply

  17. Timmm says:

    Look at these two guys, I would cast Trevor as Billy Abbott and Michael as a new detective for the GCPD!

    Reply

    Linda Cece replied

    I would do like to see full length. Absolutely love Trevor, where I was first introduced to his acting on OLTL. Excellent actor. Love Michael and am pleased with his decision to put this at the film festival. Have loved Michael since first seeing him on OLTL

    Reply

    Timmm replied

    Wasnt a fan of Silas but Michael seems like a good guy. Never saw Trevor act but heard a lot of good things and his name alone would carry some weight in casting him as Billy Abbott. The current Billy is horrible!

    Rebecca1 replied

    Hi Timmm…Trevor is an excellent actor but wanted off OLTL for awhile before anyone suspected the show would be canceled. They wrote him out and brought back Roge Howarth who played Todd Manning before him. Trevor’s Spain in interviews he then changed his mind and decided to finish his role as Todd when they learned it was going off the air…but it was too late by then. It wasn’t that he didn’t love his role or the soap, but he stated that he never intended to stay so long on any soap. Wanted to do theatre and film. All this to say if his mindsrt is the same he probably wouldn’t be interested in a long term soap role.

    Rebecca1 replied

    Ughhhhhh! Corrections…

    Roger

    Said, not Spain

    Mindset, not mindsrt

  18. Karen K-D says:

    I would not normally be attracted to this type of movie, but I am such an avid fan of both Michael Easton and Trevor St. John that I would definitely want to see it and also see it as a full-length feature. I loved watching them both on OLTL and I always felt that Trevor St. John, especially, was an intense, incredible yet underrated and under-appreciated actor. I always look forward to seeing both of them on the screen(s).

    Reply

    Jean Donovan replied

    I agree with you Karen, not my type of movie. I so loved you Michael on GH and hated to see you go. I would love to see the full length feature, to show me your talent.
    By the way Michael, my grandson’s first name is Easton. Is that your family name?

    Reply

  19. Dawn says:

    Looks great would like to see a full length
    Movie for sure. Michael and Trevor are great actors!!!!!

    Reply

  20. Nicole says:

    Of course I would love to see a full version. I think both Michael and Trevor are brilliant actors. It’s not often you find actors that bring characters to life like these guys do. When they play a character, they put their heart and soul into it.

    Reply

  21. Nena Castle says:

    Yeah! Michael and Trevor this is the start of a long relationship of genius. We are so happy when we are kept posted during your journey as you venture into your own creations. I really enjoyed what I have seen and read so far. You, Trevor and your team rock!

    Reply

  22. Bernadette McMahon says:

    2 fantastic actors
    1 intense trailer that leaves you at the edge of your seat

    My opinion? Of course, a movie needs to follow! !!!!!!!

    Reply

  23. su0000 says:

    hey!
    Michael should have been hired on as a writer for GH and possibly director..

    he is knowledgeable with soap scripts..

    Reply

  24. elm51 says:

    trevor st john & michael easton together are a force to be reckoned with – i would definitely like to see a full length movie……………….

    Reply

  25. Marcy says:

    Would love to see this made into a full length film. I love both Easton and St. John as actors and look forward to seeing more from both of them.

    Reply

  26. Liz Lovely says:

    I am very interested in seeing a full film of this. I know how good you both are and I think it would be very good.

    Reply

  27. MBmomof3 says:

    Love these guys! Wishing them great success!

    Thanks for another great interview. These are 2 of my favorites!

    Reply

  28. Anita says:

    I actually had the great privilege of going to the L.A.gilm fest on Wednesday and viewed Michael Easton short film and it was amazing. I loved Michael and Trevor on oltl and knew these actors were talented,but they showed a different side of to their talents. Would love to see the full version of this story.

    Reply

  29. Rose pavlicek says:

    I loved the clip, and would like to see more. Will it be on Netfix, Hulu, or Amazon. I am a fan of Both Michael and Trevor.

    Reply

  30. Bruce says:

    I love both of these men! They are truly a class act. Trevor is amazing and his portrayal of Todd Manning was truly amazing. He was truly robbed of the Emmy when Todd almost died on death row. Wonderful man. Michael is right about Trevor, he doesn’t know how good he truly is. Michael is truly the best! he is always so great to his fans and his work is outstanding. I would love to see this project in full length.

    Reply

  31. TinaLBP says:

    Great interiew as always, thanks Michael! It’s great seeing their frienship and mutual admiration! I do hope they make this into a full lengthed feature film. I know it would be amazing as is the short from what I have seen. I was thrilled it won a best of show award! Michael told me he submitted it to the Nashville Film Fest just for me, so I will see it then.

    Reply

  32. Sue Williams says:

    Trevor is my favorite actor and is the reason I miss OLTL.
    John is also one of my favorites.
    I can’t wait for Trevor’s debute in his new TV show.
    I would love to see him with John again.
    Are you listening General Hospital. Of course
    Trevor is destined for greater things.
    An Oscar someday? I hope!!!!

    Reply

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