Levi Meaden Talks Aftermath and More (Interview)

Aftermath - Season 1

Levi Meaden is starring as Matt Copeland on the SyFy channel’s apocalyptic science fiction drama, Aftermath.  Working alongside James Tupper, Anne Heche, Julia Sarah Stone and Taylor Hickson (who will feature in a Mike’s Film Talk interview shortly) Levi plays  the eldest son of a family struggling to survive the “End of Days.”

Meaden is a pleasant chap who was fun to talk with and he spoke highly of his colleagues on the show. He also emphasized how much he and his onscreen siblings got on like a family off-screen

Levi has been steadily working since 2012 and has been a regular on The 100, The Killing, and Olympus. He completed work on Incontrol, which we mention later and is slated to appear in the Pacific Rim sequel Pacific Rim: Maelstrom.

Michael: Hi Levi. Thanks for stopping by for a chat today. I’ve got to tell you that I love what your character brings to the show. He’s had a very impressive arc in the series. So what drew you to the part?

Levi: Thank you! I grew up as a huge sci-fi and fantasy fan as a teenager. I always loved the apocalyptic/post apocalyptic genres; like Mad Max…So the chance to run around with  guns and to  fight monsters just seemed like a lot of fun.

Michael:  Yeah. It looks a like a lot of fun.

Levi:  So I saw that aspect of it and thought, “Yeah let’s do it.”

Michael: Brilliant! I’ve got to ask you. Are you anything at all like your character, personality wise?

Levi:  Well, he’s certainly more of a football player/jock, which I certainly was not while growing up. He definitely has more of an affinity for guns and fighting than I do. Those are the differences, but, there is an  intensity and an underlying  “quick to anger” side to him that we both have in common.

Michael: Speaking of guns. Did you have to undertake any special kind of training?

 Aftermath - Season 1
Levi Meaden as Matt Copeland using a shotgun…

Levi: Not really. I’m already pretty familiar with shotguns as most of my family live on farms. I did go to the shooting range to get familiar with the different weapons, like the Glock and the shotgun,  just so I had it fresh in my head. Getting into the frame of mind of “fake shooting it for real.” 

Michael: Well it worked. Your character seems very competent.  You and Anne Heche looked quite proficient with the weapons.

Levi: Yeah, well initially we were very careful around the weapons but as time went on we got more relaxed as we got more familiar with them. 

Michael: I know we sort of broached this briefly, but what is it like working on the show. The subject matter is rather grim…

Levi: Yeah. Well we shot at such a breakneck pace that we really did not get a chance to get hung up on the grim moments. There were a lot of them (grim moments) and sometimes it did take a little bit of a toll on us. We liked the fast pace as it got us past the “grossness.” 

But it was kind of fun. There were so many stunts that we either took part in or watched and a lot of driving and shooting. Shooting the show at such a breakneck pace meant that things happened so quickly that the energy really translated to the screen.

Michael:  Yes it very fast paced. I’m guessing here, but is a lot of the work green screen? Is that hard to work through?

Levi:  Actually we were lucky. We didn’t have a lot of green screen. A lot of it was as practical as you could possibly make it.  The Quetzalcoatl, or the dragon as most people keep calling it…

(Sidenote: Many of the creatures that the Copeland family encounter are from different cultures. The Quetzalcoatl is from the Aztec culture and it does indeed, look a bit like a flying dragon.)

Michael: Yes, I’m guilty of that. I keep calling it a dragon as well…

Levi: Well that bit was pretty well laid out. We had parameters set out and we had a mark to show where the thing might be. So it was not too difficult. I’ve done green screen before and while practical FX take the challenge out of it, the green screen does become an acting exercise after a while.  It’s all about channeling your imagination to provide a realistic reaction to something like that. 

Michael:  Your character has actually evolved quite a lot in a short period of time. You mentioned it earlier when you said he (Matt) was a bit quick to anger. He does seem to be getting a handle on that. Where do you see Matt going next?

Levi: Well a lot of the storyline has him embracing that anger and the darkness allowing him to become a protector for his family. He also has to learn where to draw the line and not become like the evil he is fighting against. He’s already crossed that situation in the show and I think he is motivated a lot by retribution and getting revenge for what’s happening to his family.

The challenge for Matt will be getting back a part of himself that allows in some happiness which will make him less grim  and allow him to stop beating himself up so much. He has to learn how to draw back that anger.  

We’ll see him kind of embrace that a little bit more. Somethings will come in and allow him to alleviate his guilt.

Michael:  I’ve got to ask you. I’m a huge fan of Anne Heche and James Tupper.  What’s it like working with them?

Aftermath - Season 1
Levi Meaden, Anne Heche, James Tupper and Julia Sarah Stone.

Levi: Well, when they were together they brought this high energy to the scene, it was like that when they were apart too, but when they were together they really brought it. They also kept things simple and got the ego out of the way to server the story. 

It was also interesting to see how they would work out a scene and kind of turn it. Making the most out of a  scene’s impact and then watching them in the scene taking back and forth and creating the sense of a real partnership.

Michael: They have a splendid chemistry on screen, as do you all. The chemistry between all the characters is really impressive.

Levi: Thank you. 

Michael: You’ve been working steadily since 2012. Most of your work has been in television but lately, you’ve started doing more films. Are you starting to have a preference?

Levi: You know it all depends on the project.  They’re very different mediums, although they both involve storytelling. You know, working long term on a television show is fun because you get to work on your character for months. And that is such a blessing, it is so great.

In movies though, you kind of have the entire arc of the story and your character and where you’re going to go  so you really kind of plan for that and build those moments in.  And you then find the best way to tell that story and how to make that character’s journey more interesting. 

They are both the same beast, so to speak, but I do love doing the indie film thing once in a while because you get to experiment and have some fun. You get to push things and kind of do your own thing a bit more. I miss getting to do that. Maybe after Aftermath is finished…

Michael: I see that you’re down for Pacific Rim: Maelstrom, the sequel. Have you started working on that at all?

Levi: Yeah, we’ve started a little bit. The filming hasn’t started yet but things are gearing up and getting ready to go. I’m still waiting for some small things to get worked out and if Aftermath is brought back for another season, that will keep me  pretty busy. 

Michael: Brilliant stuff, let us know how that all works out. Being a huge fan of the first Pacific Rim, I cannot wait to see what the sequel will do.

Levi: I know.  It gsoing to be pretty exciting. 

Michael:  Have you heard about Aftermath being picked up for a second season?

Levi: No, we haven’t heard anything yet. 

MIchael: I’m actually going to be talking to Taylor (Hickson) tomorrow. Is that anything you’d like me to pass on to her.

Levi: [Chuckling] Tell her hi and that she needs to give me back my Bowie t-shirt.

Michael: I have to ask you, in regards to the parents in the show. Joshua seems quite low key, although he is coming into his own as the series progresses, and Karen, the mum, is very “Rambo-esque…”

Levi: Yeah!

Michael: Are they anything like their characters when they’re not working?

Levi: Yeah, you know a little bit. Everyone was pretty much, I think, cast to type so that they are to a degree like the characters they portray. Like James is super insightful, quiet but direct and   to-the-point.  Anne is just a firecracker so yeah, they are similar to their characters. 

Michael: Brilliant stuff. That has me pretty much wrapped for today. Is there anything you want to mention? Like upcoming projects?

Levi: Yeah. I’m in a film called Incontrol that will be coming out in a few months. It’s on the festival circuit at the moment. It’s a thriller about these kids who find a machine that allows them to enter other people’s consciousness  and control them like an avatar. And they start getting addicted to it like a drug.  So that, Aftermath and Pacific Rim II.

That concluded our interview with Levi Meaden.  Incontrol is a Canadian film due out shortly  and it does sound very good. Pacific Rim: Maelstrom has a projected release date of 2018 so keep your eyes peeled for the first one and pencil “Maelstrom” into to your diary.

Aftermath - Season 1
Levi and his onscreen sis, Taylor Hickson.

 

In the meantime, fans of Levi’s can see him weekly on SyFy’s Aftermath. The series aries on Fridays and there are two episodes left in this season.

As mentioned in the interview Mike’s Film Talk will also be talking with Taylor Hickson, who places Levi’s sister on the show.

 

 

Dead of Summer and Guilt Get the Freeform Axe

ZELDA WILLIAMS, MARK INDELICATO, PAULINA SINGER, ELIZABETH LAIL, RONEN RUBINSTEIN, ELI GOREE, ELIZABETH MITCHELL

According to SFGate, Freeform have given Dead of Summer and Guilt the axe after one season.  While ABC, according to Variety have cut down their order for Conviction and Notorious.

Rather interestingly, Freeform waited well beyond the normal time frame to make up their minds about three series up for renewal. Stitchers was kept hanging on the fence for ages while the network dithered about. It seemed they had their hopes set on Dead of Summer being their answer to MTV’s Scream.

Guilt, the Amanda Knox styled thriller set in England never really took off for a number of reasons. While Dead of Summer took too long to catch fire. The latter series crept along and never really made the most of the two “names” attached to it. Horror icon Tony Todd and Elizabeth Mitchell were little more than add-ons in the juvenile heavy cast.

ABC, after deciding to axe Hayley Atwell’s Agent Carter have shown little enthusiasm for the English actress’s next project, Conviction. Variety reports that the initial 13 episode run has been cut down to 10 with no chance of a back nine being ordered.

That networks other starter, Notorious has not had any more episodes ordered and the series numbers seem to indicate that Piper Perabo may face a similar fate to Atwell.

ABC are said to be “keeping their options open,” but the reduction of episodes for the Atwell vehicle is a clear sign that the network have lost faith in the show.

Conviction starred Atwell as a former “first daughter” who breaks as many laws as she upholds. She is blackmailed into working cases that may have resulted in miscarriages of justice.  While Hayley’s American accent was passable, the storylines were a tad humdrum.

Notorious is based on the real life relationship between criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos and the award-winning cable newsproducer Wendy Walker.

Neither of these shows caught the eye of the audience and while ABC have not officially announced the show’s cancelations it is good bet they are both going to go.

Freeform’s reluctance to renew Stitchers (A show where a group of 20 something specialists help Kirsten Clark “stitch” into the minds of the recently deceased.) seems to indicate a reluctance to stick with original shows.

The other two contenders for renewal were either influenced by real life events, Guilt, or were an attempt to jump on the small screen slasher train, although Dead of Summer used the trappings of a slasher flick and morphed the whole thing into a “ghost story.”

Freeform also cancelled Recovery Road. The network is putting all their new ratings eggs in one basket with  Pretty Little Liars producer I. Marlene King’s new series Famous in Love,  starring Bella Thorne.

The newly renamed network, Freeform was ABCFamily previously, have made a few miscalculations on what their youthful demographic will actually like.

There will be plenty of slots left to fill after these cancellations as well as a chance to fill the Switched at Birth time slot once the last season finishes in 2017.

 

Stitchers Gets Third Season

Emma Ishta

After a very long wait, Freeform has given the greenlight for fan favorite procedural drama series, Stitchers. This means the show will have a third season and executive VP of Programming and Development Karey Burke made the announcement on October 6.

This makes it official and all the fans who complained about the amount of time it took Freeform to renew their favorite series can now smile.

Stitchers has a very vocal and passionate fanbase, Burke said. She also revealed that the show has been proven hit.  The series has performed strongly and Burke revealed that the network was very proud of the Stitchers focussing on #smartgirls “everywhere.”

In the Adults 18 – 49 demographic, Stitchers comes in as the firm number two new series of the past two seasons. The show came in closely behind Shadowhunters.

Only Pretty Little Liars and Shadowhunters came ahead of Stitchers making the sci-fi, drama show the number three original series across digital platforms.

The lead character, Kirsten Clark is uber smart and intelligent. Add to that  a stubborn resistance to giving up and you have one formidable young lady hacking into the memories of the recently murdered victims.  The Stitchers program is part of the NSA and thus far the team have no real idea what the hacking technology is really going to be used for.

Neuroscientist Cameron, a brilliant and dedicated teammate who has an encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture works along side Kirsten. They also have a “connection” that tantalizes fans enormously. Camille, an expert computer graduate and hacker extraordinaire  works with Clark and she is romantically entangled with…

Linus who is  another pop culture aficionado and the team engineer and comms expert.  Maggie runs the show and she also looks out for the younger members of her team.  Detective Fisher is a new yet important part of the team.

The season two finale saw another cliffhanger and fans are desperate to learn more about “Camsten” and the mystery behind Kirsten’s father and what really happened to her mother.

Stitchers is executive produced by Jeffrey Alan Schechter, who is also the show’s creator. Jeff is also well know for Overruled.  Jonathan Baruch and Rob Woken also executive produce the series.

Freeform have not explained why they took so long to renew the series. Fans, who were impatient to learn their favorite show’s fate,  created petitions for a third season. Social media platforms were used to query  why there was no immediate renewal of the show.

Regardless of the reasons, Stitchers is now going to return and fans will hopefully learn more about the characters and where they are headed next.

There is still so much for Kirsten to learn about her father and what his true intentions are/were. Many questions still need to be answered and more layers peeled back to reveal secrets that have been hidden throughout the first two seasons.

Many fans want to see Cameron and Kirsten get together as a couple and it will be investing to see what Jeff and the writers come up with this season.

Congratulations to all the cast and crew for finally getting the greenlight for season three. Suffice to say, we cannot wait.

The Cast:

 

 

 

SyFy Gears Up for Another 31 Days of Halloween

"SyFy" New Logo, SCI FI ChannelNBC Universal Logos

It is that time of year again.  Crisp autumn nights, bonfires and the month of “tricks or treats” are but a day away as is SyFy’s “31 Days of Halloween.” The annual celebration,  with its immense collection of spooky shows on offer,  starts off with a brilliant new series.

The “October Spook-a-thon” will feature the Channel Zero: Candle Cove premiere on October 11. It will also include five “made for” SyFy films and air some new features from the big screen.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Zombieland,  I, Frankenstein, Cabin in the Woods, Drag Me to Hell, The Strangers, Wrong Turn and Maleficent will all be shown to celebrate the season.

On top of these cinematic treats, SyFy will be airing some original films on Saturday nights.  The Crooked Man, The Night Before Halloween and a sequel to the brilliant Stake LandStake Land 2.

All of the regularly programmed shows will continue to air throughout the month:  Van Helsing, Z Nation and Aftermath will continue uninterrupted.

As well as this terrifying lineup of toe curling horror, Syfy will explore some creepy Halloween lore and present a load of  horror film trivia throughout the month.

SyFy will also take the audience right into the action at  Universal Studios with their “Halloween Horror Nights” and include some fan interviews. Syfy.com and  Blastr.com, will provide some great accompanying treats that will include daily Top 13 lists.

There will also be some amazing party tips to help make your party scream along, horror trope bingo cards and interviews with genre experts.

SyFy’s social channels will ask viewers to  show off their best trick or treat outfits and Halloween decorations along with their finest bloodcurdling screams.  SyFy’s Snapchat and Instagram accounts  will feature the scariest entries.

On  October 31 viewers  can celebrate Halloween with the Syfy social team inside the New York City Greenwich Village Halloween Parade via Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.

The SyFy schedule for the 31 Days of Halloween is as follows:
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1 at 9/8c – The Crooked Man stars Michael Jai White  and Amber Benson .

Synopsis:
Singing a nursery rhyme summons the demonic Crooked Man. Once The song is sung, everybody in the house will be killed by the summoned demon.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8 at 9/8c – Day of Reckoning stars Raymond J. Barry and Barbara Crampton.

Synopsis:

Years ago, the world experienced a “day of reckoning.” Creatures came up from beneath the Earth and purged humanity of evil. Looks like it is  happening all over again.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 11 at 9/8c – Premiere of Channel Zero: Candle Cove. 

Synopsis:

A man’s is obsessed with his memories of a children’s TV show from the ’80’s and his belief that the show caused a series of deadly and nightmarish events.

http://player.theplatform.com/p/HNK2IC/syfy20141201/select/media/HjqwKyaNoPN9

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15 at 9/8c –Stake Land 2 starring Conor Paolo, Nick Damici and Laura Abramsen.

Synopsis:
Vampires have evolved. Mister has to save an innocent young woman from a brotherhood of Evil.

SATUDAY, OCTOBER 22 at 9/8c –Shadows of the Dead

Synopsis:
A group of teenagers must get away from a creature that lives and hunts in the shadows.  The thing is killing them off one by one.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29 at 9/8c – The Night Before Halloween starring Bailee Madison and Anthony Lemke (Marcus Boone from Dark Matter)

Synopsis:

A Halloween prank goes wrong and unleashes  a monster that tracks down  all the participants. It will kill them all unless they can divert the murderous creature to someone else.

SyFy has gone all out to make this years 31 Days of Halloween as scary as possible.  Tune in and catch up on Mister and Martin in Stake Land 2 or to see just what Anthony Lemke gets up to when he is not Number Three on Dark Matter.

Or stop by to see Johnny Depp in that barbershop.

With plenty of scares on offer, there is a lot to choose from. Stop by or compete in the contests.   The celebration starts 1 October with  The Crooked Man.

Miley Cyrus Tells Jimmy Fallon “Hands Off My Hair”

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon - Season 3

Miley Cyrus, who was actually wearing clothing that was not overly revealing, performed on the 16 September episode of The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon. In the middle of her musical performance, Cyrus stopped to tell the host to keep his hands off her hair.

Cyrus stopped mid performance and joined social media to mention Fallon’s guest earlier in the week; Donald Trump.  The show’s host has been getting slammed over the Internet about his “non” questioning of the presidential candidate.

Jimmy was also drug over the coals for mussing Trump’s hair.

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon - Season 3

The presidential hopeful was on the 15 September episode and he allowed Fallon to muss his hair. In keeping with the more light-hearted air of The Tonight Show, Jimmy kept away from contentious questions and joked about with Trump.

Miley may have been on to promote her upcoming  appearance on The Voice newest season as a regular. She also was there to plug being in the Woody Allen series Crisis in Six Scenes on Amazon Prime.

Over and above Cyrus’ career, is her political distaste for all things Donald Trump.   She has joined a number of celebs who have stated they will leave the country if Trump is elected. Of course Miley also shed a tear just thinking about Donald being her president.

Before the song Cyrus and Fallon did not discuss politics at all. It was all about yoga, The Voice and suicide prevention.

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon - Season 3

Miley waited until she was singing her rendition of the Bob Dylan song “Baby, I’m in the Mood for You,” to broach the subject. In the middle of the performance, Miley stopped singing.

She then professed her pleasure at performing with The Roots and being in New York on The Tonight Show.  Miley then mentioned Trump and told Fallon not to even “think” of touching her hair.

The controversial actress, singer and songwriter was safe from Fallon’s hair mussing hands so Jimmy was safe.

As a sidenote, Cyrus gave good interview and managed to keep the swearing to a minimum. She even managed dress appropriately for the show. And in terms of performance, Cyrus nailed it.