Published on April 4th, 2018 | by Darren Paltrowitz0
The Hype Magazine’s Q&A With Cast & Crew From The Acclaimed New Movie “Dead On Arrival”
Hitting select theaters on March 23rd, Dead On Arrival is a 1950s-inspired noir thrilled by Stephen C. Sepher. Sepher, who previously wrote Heist starring Robert De Niro, directed Dead On Arrival beyond writing and producing the film. Starring Billy Flynn (Days Of Our Lives), Christa B. Allen (Youth In Revolt), D.B. Sweeney (The Cutting Edge), Chris Mulkey (Whiplash), Lillo Brancato (The Sopranos), Tyson Sullivan (Heist), Scottie Thompson (NCIS), Billy Slaughter (The Big Short) and Christopher Rob Bowen (Marauders), Dead On Arrival received its video-on-demand release on April 2nd, courtesy of Vision Films and Sony.
On behalf of The Hype Magazine, I had the pleasure of doing Q&A with Sepher, Bravo and Sullivan. More on Dead On Arrival — which was inspired by the classic movie D.O.A. — can be found at www.doafilm.com.
Had you worked with anyone from Dead On Arrival previously?
Tyson Sullivan: Stephen and I had met previously on Heist, and become close, always looking for something to work together on. So when he called me saying they were putting together DOA, I jumped at the opportunity and was honored to be in the mix.
Nazo Bravo: I have worked on a few short films with Stephen C. Sepher previously, which lead to the opportunity to come on board Dead On Arrival as a co-producer, actor, and doing an original song for the soundtrack. One of our shorts also included cast members Christopher Rob Bowen, Anthony Sinopoli, and Matt Pohlkamp as actors.
Stephen C. Sepher: Yes I have. I worked with Tyson Sullivan and D.B. Sweeney both in Heist with De Niro. Nazo and I have done a few shorts together as well.
Was there a highlight for you in making Dead On Arrival?
Tyson Sullivan: The people you meet on the journey along the way. It’s energizing just being on set and being around people who are talented and passionate about what they do.
Nazo Bravo: The highlight for me was just being able to help produce a great project, a project of this scale, and also have a great role. As a co-producer I was there at every step of the process, from Stephen writing the script, to pre-production in Louisiana, production, post-production, and rollout. I learned so much along the way and it has made me a better producer and actor.
Stephen C. Sepher: Shooting in the Louisiana Bayou was fantastic in the cold winter. I really enjoyed working with the actors in the real locations. It worked out nice for the story.
Do you have a favorite scene in the movie?
Nazo Bravo: The scenes where my detective partner D.B. Sweeney teases me about Armenians still make me laugh today, including when I finally get him back. Aside from that, I’d say my favorite scene is when the lead Sam Collins has a conversation with the nosey neighbor played by Maria O’Brien, the daughter of Edmond O’Brien who was the lead in the original D.O.A. in 1949. The story and coincidence behind it are pretty eerie; Billy Flynn who plays Sam in our film works with Maria O’Brien on Days Of our Lives, and when he mentioned to her that he got the lead role in our film, Maria told him that her father was the lead in the original. From there we had to bring her in for a cameo, and it was great to be able to pay homage to a classic piece of cinema history.
Stephen C. Sepher: Yes, the banter between the detectives, Hand Dunkle and the Zanca (Brancato) and Conte (Sinopoli) banter as fish out of waters.
Dead On Arrival aside, what is coming up for you?
Tyson Sullivan: I’ve got a couple of really fun things that are rocking right now, all of which my publicist won’t let me talk about. (laughs)
Stephen C. Sepher: I am working on The Operator, an action thriller we plan on shooting in Europe later this year.
Nazo Bravo:I am working on a new feature film called The Operator with the same team, Stephen C. Sepher and Rory Fradella, as part of Kingfisher Media. We just got back from a Europe pre-scout two weeks ago and are looking to shoot later this year. Aside from that I’m a rap artist — I actually started with music before I ever got into film — and will be releasing an original song called “The Money,” which I did for the Dead On Arrival soundtrack. I will be releasing more music as well in the coming months.
Finally, any last words for the kids?
Tyson Sullivan: My mom always says shoot for the moon and hopefully you’ll land among the stars.
Nazo Bravo: No one is going to care about your career more than you. No one is going to give you anything in this business, so if you want it, you have to really dedicate yourself, your time and energy, your own finances if you don’t have an investor, and make sacrifices. Like an athlete. If you do all that, AND you are lucky, then you might have a shot. And enjoy the journey, because you will be spending most of your time in the process, so you have to enjoy it if you’re going to persevere. Finally, find good people who have the same goals as you and build with them.
Stephen C. Sepher: Creativity is gold. Don’t ever give it up.