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SDCC Panels, Upcoming Projects and More – An Interview with Leah Cevoli

We were super lucky to be able to chat with Leah Cevoli (Deadwood, Robot Chicken, etc.) about her upcoming projects and where you can find her next month at San Diego Comic Con!

AoG: Based on the poster alone, and the newly release trailer, The Grid: Zombie Outlet Maul already looks to be a super fun movie. Could you tell us a little about this project and why you’re super excited to be a part of its cast?

Leah: Yes, it’s about a town in crisis and they’re in jeopardy of running out power supply.  Additionally, there’s a gang of bandits on the loose, The Voltz Gang, who are stealing  what little power the town has. To add to the hillarity, the townspeople are all electrical devices! I give voice to two characters  Sgt. Filament who has a pretty sweet interrogation scene and Gennie The Generator who is just as sweet as she sounds!  

I’m excited anytime I get to make a living pursuing my passion, and especially excited when i get to work with people I respect and admire.  Linda Andersson, writer/director/producer, is about as authentic and real as you get. She’s also a super hard worker, and has put her blood, sweat and tears in this.    I also get star in a film that includes a ton of amazing voice actors, including my dear friend Daniela DiMase.  It was a win-win all-around on this project! 

AoG: First off, I’m super glad Nowhereland was backed! It seems like a film that needs to be made and to see that is it’s in post-production is even better. What’s it like working on a film with such a heavy subject?

Leah: Thank you! Yes, I agree it’s an important story. The final cut has just been made, and now it’s on to color and final sound mixing.  We’re expecting a fall release. It’s an intense film.  When writer/director Robin Bain first approached me about Nowhereland early 2014, she told me that I was one of the only people she knew to reach out to, who wouldn’t be scared away by the material. It was a delicate line to walk, while promoting a kickstarter campaign, casting actors, many of whom look very young, and coming up with marketing and promotional materials, utilizng proper hashtags etc.   Something that sold me on it, is that the story is not suger-coated at all, yet, I took comfort in the fact that it’s a female written/produced/directed film. I knew and trusted that Robin was there to tell the story and not exploit the actors 

As a producer I was on-set off and on throughout filming; it was an emotionally charged set from start to finish. The actors really gave it their all, and Robin has a very calming, quiet, yet super in control personality, which helped a lot.  Teenage prositution and the sex trade are very real problems not just around the world, but here in our country too.    I’ve seen an almost-final cut of the film, and it’s not a feel-good movie.  You will walk away changed in some way, and that’s what good story telling does. 

AoG: Snatched is another film you’re starring in! The synopsis and poster alone make it seem to be this really fun comedy. Could you tell us a little bit about your character, Minerva?

Leah: Snatched is being produced by Mighty Pharoah Films, a husband/wife team who I’m crazy about.   I’d known of the project for some time now, and knew that they had attached Nicholas Brendon (Buffy) and Brea Grant (Heroes) to play the leads, so I was surprised when I found out that Barry Levy (writer/producer), had created Minerva specifically for me to play.

She’s a tough ass bitch, a bit of a black widow character. A business owner, who runs a lot of shady dealings, and has a lot of shady characters around her.    I’m looking forward to it. The script is a strong script, it has everything you’d expect from a neo-noir heist film! This project is currently talking with investors, so hit me up if you want in! 

AoG: The Last Beat’s synopsis has intrigued me. It’s plot and the fact that it focuses on the poet in Morrison is very interesting. What first attracted you to the role of Bebe Markham?

Leah: The Last Beat is a gorgeous script.  It’s inspired by Jim Morrison and his last days in Paris… a time that no one really has a whole lot of first-hand knowledge or info to go on.   Robert Saitzyk (writer/director) is a poet himself, and he’s really taken Jim’s story and put a beautiful twist on it thru his character Jay Douglass.   

The character of Bebe Markham… it’s sort of a funny story.   The actors hired to play the band in the film, are actual real life musicians. Good ones! (George Adrian, Jason Mezilis..)   When I first moved to Hollywood at the end of the 90’s, I used to book bands and produce rock concerts for a living; including many bands that both George and Jason performed in.  When I sat down with the director for the first time, and he learned of my connection with the band members, he said, I have the perfect role for you.   Bebe Markham plays the band’s publicist.  She’s always running around trying to get the band to focus, to show up on time, to pose for the press, etc.  She’s a little wacky with a heart of gold, trying to coral a bunch of musicians.  

I think out of any character I’ve had the chance to play so far, Bebe has the most similarities and characteristics of me as a person. It’s going to be a lot of fun to shoot. 

AoG: You’ll be attending San Diego Comic Con next month, correct? Could you tell us a little bit about what panels you’ll be on and where can find you?

Leah: COMIC CON!!   Yes, I will be there from start to finish!  I have three panels I’ll be appearing on, two of which I’m also producing/moderating.   All three happen to fall on Thursday, which I’m pretty stoked about.  Thursday is a great day to take in some informative panels before the masses arrive on the weekend!

First up at 11:30am in Rm 24ABC is “Taming The Web- The Nuts & Bolts of Webseries Creations”  produced Fast Company’s Susan Karlin.  I’ll be on that panel with Shira Lazar and a few other heavy hitters.  

2pm in Rm 14AB, I’m producing a panel called “Greenlight Your Passion Project”.  I’ve gathered a group of filmmakers and crowdfunding experts for an informative and uplifting discussion on crowdfunding.   This is legit. The folks on this panel, have a combined raise of MILLIONS of dollars for independent film, web, radio, theater, music, and more.  I have filmmakers who have done multiple successful campaigns as well as crowdfunding professionals like Erica Anderson, director of crowdfunding from Seed & Spark! If you’re interested in crowdfunding AT ALL, or maybe you’ve done one and failed, you need to be at this panel. (FB Event Link)

And then at 7pm in Rm 7A on Thursday is my favorite panel.  This is my third year producing the All Shapes and Sizes Welcome panel; and our second appearance at SDCC. This panel is an emotional ride. We discuss body image, self love, eating disorders, the sexualization of women in film and comics, and so much more.  It’s always a great discussion, and I leave this panel, feeling like we’re making a difference.  The women on the panel are amazing, I have a rotating cast, and this year I’ll be joined by Miracle Laurie, Helenna Santos, Sherry Lee Meredith, Malia Miglino, Asha Dahya, and Dani Dixon.   I’m excited.   Please check out our website for more info 

http://www.AllShapesAndSizesWelcome.com (FB Event Link)

The rest of the weekend you’ll find me on the floor, geeking out, taking photos, and tracking down friends!!

The Author

Travis Grimm

Travis Grimm

Travis has been a self-proclaimed geek ever since being introduced to Star Wars before he could speak. He spends most of his free time reading comics, watching TV, collecting toys, blogging, and traveling the US to attend all sorts of conventions. He also likes coffee quite a bit.

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