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Movie studio Ave Fenix Pictures expands branch into LA

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Movie studio Ave Fenix Pictures expands branch into LA

Mónica Esmeralda León founded Ave Fenix Pictures the first Hispanic movie studio in Chicago and the Midwest. Along with co-founders and executive producers Zachary Laoutides and Marius Iliescu. The team has been on a role since 2016 with films Adios Vaya Con Dios and Arise From Darkness now being found on Red Box through Lions Gate Films. Their latest film Black Ruby, the first film shot with the iPhone 7, released by The Orchard traveled the international film circuit snagging nominations in London and Rome. In late 2018 Black Ruby premiered at the Los Angeles Film Forum Awards taking home wins Best Feature, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Soundtrack and the Independent Spirit Award.

 

Co-founder European actor, dancer, artist and producer Marius Iliescu understood the genuine approaches of Ave Fenix Pictures taking the Chicago based movement to a new level. Iliescu executive produced Adios Vaya Con Dios, leading the film into a Hollywood premiere and afterward worked endlessly to establish the prevailing Los Angeles branch, creating feature films released via The Orchard, Redbox, Amazon Prime, and FandangoNOW. I was able to sit down with Iliescu, the head of Ave Fenix Pictures Los Angeles and probe about the type of journey it’s been,

 

“Ave Fenix Pictures has done extremely well since its inception in 2014 with three feature films conceptualized, produced and launched ‘in the house,’ against all odds of financial survival. Especially for an independent film studio born outside of the cinematic mainstream usually traced in between Los Angeles and New York with short stops in Atlanta and, occasionally New Orleans. Ave Fenix Pictures needed a special spark, which its founding members found and lit through a combination of gritty street storytelling and an unusual recipe of the Midwestern steady mind mixed with explosive Latino flair.

However, the big plays are still happening in the West and the second-best move after finding an original cinematic voice was to expand from Chicago to Los Angeles.”

 

Iliescu worked to pioneer the west coast branch since 2015 and the results started to show as distribution deals developed shortly with Ave Fenix Pictures becoming an inclusive brand. “Adios Vaya Con Dios” (2016) and “Arise From Darkness” (2017) were included by Indican Pictures in its roaster while “Black Ruby” (2019) got the eye of Random Media, a close partner of Orchard TV and Sony Pictures. Iliescu explained the methodology behind Ave Fenix Pictures in Los Angeles,

 

“These results are the products of a never give up let’s do this mentality, common cause for an ideal, an Edison finally lighting up his electric bulb for a successful ten thousandth time, if you wish… It’s important that Ave Fenix Pictures maintains its presence in LA for a number of reasons. One would be that the studio intends to start development here. Another, it’s the eye-to-eye mentality of Los Angeles, where a million-dollar deal could be happening in between a pair of raggedy jeans of an open-minded investor and a worn-out Dodgers baseball hat sitting on a head full of bright film ideas.”

 

Lastly, I inquired Iliescu how the creative process balances out with the duties of being the CEO of a studio?

 

“Creatively, I personally never met another screenplay writer with more out of this world ideas like the co-founder of Ave Fenix Pictures, Zachary Laoutides. He is not just a hell of an actor, but his mind puts such ideas on paper that are pure fuel for the expansion of the studio. There is no room here to talk about this now, but our near future actions will speak for themselves. Last but not least is the openness of the studio’s policy. We want to do good and honest business with anyone who believes that storytelling is a powerful tool in influencing people around us towards good. No matter the subject, if the film has indeed something to say, we the people, will find that element in our lives called ‘time,’ to stop whatever we’re doing and listen.”

 

Follow Ave Fenix Pictures at www.avefenixpictures.com

Follow Marius Iliescu at www.mariusiliescu.com

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ENTERTAINMENT

Inside the Life of Model : Liudmyla Tkachenko

Pierre Zarokian

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Inside the Life of Model : Liudmyla Tkachenko

Liudmyla is a Ukrainian model and actress living in Los Angeles. We believe she is the next best thing and we decided to ask her some questions :

Where is your favorite place in the world to take photos?

My favorite place in the world to take photos in Hawaii. I went to Hanolulu for the first time this winter and fell in love with the nature of this amazing island. I love taking bikini photos on the beach and in the forest. Hawaii inspiring me for creating a beautiful photo. I’m looking forward to discovering all of the Hawaiian islands and create an amazing photo there.

Who is your role model? Who inspires you?

My role model is Natalia Vodianova. She’s a top model and a mother of five kids. Very inspiring and strong woman. She does a lot of charity work and helps people. She has a very given and loving personality. Natalia Vodianova really inspires me that everything is possible. Her amazing career and a lifestyle it’s what I’m looking forward to.

How do you stay fit? What tips do you have?

I do some kind of activity every day. One day could be lifting weights in the gym and another yoga or hiking. I am a vegetarian. I really love eating healthy food. I eat a lot of vegetables and fruits.

What is your beauty regimen?

I do face mask a few times a week and sauna sometimes.

I think the most important for beauty is healthy food, sport, and good sleep.

Who is your favorite designer?

My favorite designer is Chanel. I totally love Chanel! Very classy and super beautiful designs.

What does the future hold for you?

The future holds for me a lot of wonderful moments. Dreams do come true!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

On the covers on Vogue Magazines.

You will see me in a lot of TV shows and movies.

www.instagram.com/mylatkachenko

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ENTERTAINMENT

The Man, The Legend, The Musician , The Producer: Bubba McCarthy

Pierre Zarokian

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Delivering The Xfactor To Our Ears Every Week: Bubba McCarthy, The Musician and Music Producer That Makes All This Possible.

Bubba drums in the popular DJ Antics vs Drummers events which are a monumental part of The Antics Residency which is held at the Famous Koko Venue one of London’s biggest club nights. He has been nominated for a Brit Award.

Bubba performed with Jennifer Hudson, Cyndi Lauper and even arranged and programmed tracks for Simon Cowell’s girl group “The Girls”. The views for the songs that McCarthy has worked on have passed over 200 million views on Youtube.

Hi Bubba and Welcome to The Hear Up.”

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

I’ve had many highlights in my career but I would say playing with Jennifer Hudson has been amazing. She’s an Oscar winner and arguably has one of the best voices in the world.   I remember the first rehearsal with her was incredible. I was blown away by her talent.

Out of all the keyboard players in the world, she chose me, so it was humbling!

You’re a hugely successful musician, and producer, what is it like working for some of the top artists in the world?

It’s a huge honor and I have to pinch myself sometimes. No doubt, when I’m working with people of this caliber, it’s very high pressured, but the more you do it, the more you get used to it. The responsibility is huge working for some of these artists. The shows are big, the TV shows are high pressured, so you just have to be consistently at the top of your game.

You are constantly on TV. How does TV performances differ from normal gigs?  I’ve done a lot both of which have been very useful. I would say that TV gigs normally have more pressure on them. It’s life, so there is no room for error so everything, from your monitor mix to your instrument set-up has to be perfect. Nothing can go wrong on TV.  On a gig, there are techs who are there for any problems that might ensue. Experience does help.

You’re the Musical Director/keyboardist for Ivor Novello winner John Newman? What are the key attributes you need when working for A-list artists?

I would say the key to working with A-list artists is to: have done your homework and be a great communicator. Homework-wise, preparing the set and individual song arrangements are incredibly important. The artist, the band, the management team, the audience. Everyone relies on you to have put everything together. There is no room for error. I’ve played to shows in front of more 50,000 people. My responsibility for each project is very high.

How do you get the work that you do?

I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some of the biggest names in the world, from Jennifer Hudson, Cyndi Lauper, and John Newman. My industry is one of the words of mouth so once an artist has seen you work with another big name then they are more likely to call you. My reputation is hugely important to me, and so every project demands my full attention and the best I have to offer.

You also worked as a music director for years while also a music producer. Do you find that those two jobs are very similar?

The two jobs are indeed similar and I think you need the same qualities. Your attention to detail has to be second to know and you have to be super-creative. Everyone is looking for something that helps them stand out, whether it be a track or a musical performance.

You’ve played on the MainStage at Glastonbury. How was that experience?

This was one of the craziest experiences of my life. I was playing drums and I had over 30,000 people watching, screaming and dancing. To be on one of the most iconic stages in the world performing was a humbling experience. A very small percentage of musicians in the world get to experience that, and I was one of them.

You have been the principal keyboard player for Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson. How was that experience?

That was a great experience. Jennifer is one of the biggest artists in the world. She is also one of the nicest humans in the world. She made my job easier. It was a great experience working for her.

Why do people keep coming back to you?

I believe you’re only as good and relevant as your last job, so I try my best to put in the work on every job and also maintain a high standard of excellence. The aim is that people keep calling me back, which amazingly most of my clients have done.

Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?

I would say, number one is to become a master of your craft. Secondly, make sure you’re prepared for every job you get so you’re able to deliver a high level of musicianship to your client. Be creative, be a troubleshooter, and be humble.

Anything, in particular, you’re looking forward to in 2020?

I’m looking forward to a lot of stuff. I’ve got quite a few production projects booked. I’ll be working out of Neilaproduction studios with the producer Nico Farmakalidis and the artist Aika, which I am very excited about. I’ll be also working on albums with Alessia Cara, Tori Kelly, and Demi Lovato. Massive love to Milk & Honey for setting that up. I’ll also be working with the amazingly talented George Solonos on a cool instrumental project! It’s going to be a fun year!

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ENTERTAINMENT

Meet Dang Tra Xuan Minh, A Guitar Player With High Likes On Social Networks

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Meet Dang Tra Xuan Minh, A Guitar Player With High Likes On Social Networks

When interviewing Xuan Minh, with full name in native language “Đặng Trà Xuân Minh”, I was surprised by this talented boy. He is still a student at FPT University but he has multiple talents. He not only has a beautiful voice but also can play diverse musical instruments like piano, guitar… However, he is most interested in playing the guitar.

Thehearup: Can you introduce yourself?

Xuan Minh: My full name is Dang Tra Xuan Minh and you can call me Xuan Minh in shorten. I was born in 2002 so now I’m 18 years old. My hometown is in Da Nang City.

Thehearup: What is your work?

Xuan Minh: I am still a student at FPT. I am pursuing an Information Technology (IT) major at school. Besides, I also work as a freelancer by creating a personal music channel. Accompany with studying at University, I play some instruments such as the piano and guitar as well.

Thehearup: What got you to pick up the guitar as your passion?

Xuan Minh: When I was in high school, I used to have a lot of depression from studying because of facing up with too many tests. Sometimes, I felt so stress and I came with playing guitar by chance. At once, searching the internet, I accidentally met a guitarist who was playing guitar so professionally. I could not take my eyes off him and luckily, his sound made me felt so relaxed and energetic. Therefore, I decided to try this instrument after that. Day by day, the guitar comes along with me like a best friend. It makes my life more exciting, appealing and colorful.

Thehearup: You are well known for a handsome talented person at a young age. Have your parents also followed the art industry?

Xuan Minh: Neither my mother nor my father is an artist. They just do normal work that does not relate to art. Nevertheless, they are my influencers in music as well as my life. My parents always stand by my side, support me and give me helpful advice. I appreciate them so much. Especially, thanks to my father because I can not pursue my interest in playing the guitar without him. When I was in 10th grade, he realized my ability then he sent me to a professional guitar class that helps me develop my possibility at most. I started to learn guitar from then. 

Thehearup: How do you feel after attracting attention to many teenagers in social networks?

Xuan Minh: I have never thought about it before so I’m very surprised. When I posted singing combined with playing guitar video on my Facebook, Youtube, and Spotify, I just thought it like a way to mark my memory. Unexpectedly, it immediately received lots of reactions and praise from my friends, even from people I had never met me before. It seems like luckiness and motivation that always remind myself never gives up.

Thehearup: If you could choose one of your favorite quotes, what would it be?

Xuan Minh:You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough” 

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