What a fun way to start the New Year Whats your highlights of 2016? Some creative souls share their views

New Year resolutions, some people do them, a lot of people don’t. I sometimes do but not because its a New Year but because its just nice to start a new calendar year with a fresh set of ideas and goals. My resolutions are usually the same each year, work harder, be more productive and be more focused on what I want to do. 2016 had some amazing highlights for . They included meeting new creative people, watching some amazing films, and also hosting more Q&A panels at Scifi Wales, and attending several events not only for the purpose of entertainment, but also filming a lot of content for not 1, or 2 film projects, but 3 film projects. All of them currently in various stages of editing. 2017 will hopefully see all 3 of them released to the word for free. Of course 2016 also have some of the worst times for me including the loss of my long time feline friends Kat (19yrs) and Smudge (14 yrs) who both died naturally within 6 weeks of each other. That’s a heartbreak that I am finding very difficult to recover from, but we move on. We have to.

But in the last throws of 2016 I sent out a few tweets to people who have inspired me throughout 2016 and asked them what their personal highlight of the year was but also what they were looking forward to in 2017.

Here are their answers. I wish them all the very best in 2017!

John Foutz

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John Foutz is a man of many talents. Filmmaker, Actor, Editor, Designer and also one of my long time co hosts on the FromPage2Screen podcasts. I first ‘met’ John when he was a guest on one of my shows where he talked about his role in the film Dirt Cheap Therapy and we struck up a friendship that has lasted several years now. John also runs his own shows which he mentions in his ‘highlights’ speech.

I don’t know that I have a personal creative highlight for 2016. I enjoyed the little things, like creating new scifi blasters for the wall and I’m proud of the editing I did for the shows on Inspiration Network. By letting go of so much baggage from past years, I feel quite free to pursue all sorts of creative endeavors in 2017, which, I guess, answers the second part of your question. Looking forward to where the projects lead me, from features to shorts . . . and I have enjoyed being co-host on your show, as well as Waxing Cinematic, and 18˚ Below Horizon podcasts.
Cheers and Happy New Year!

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Guy Birtwhistle

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One of my highlights involved a comiccon in 2016. Sadly it was that chaotic and wonderfully busy that I wasn’t able to meet this gentleman. Guy Birtwhistle, a man of many talents who I saw in the film Alistair1918, one of the gems of 2016 as far as I m concerned and a film you definitely need to check out. Guy is the man on the right of this picture and also wrote the previous mentioned film as well as having the starring role as the ‘man out of time’

Guy and the films director Annie K. McVey appeared on one of my shows in 2016 and to date its one of my favourite podcast episodes.

I asked Guy what one of his highlights was (and I didn’t pay him for his answer either)

Hey Stuart, the highlight was being on your show 🙂 Seriously, it meant I had a movie in the marketplace that journalists wanted to talk about. For 2017 I’m looking forward to starting the next film. Happy New Year! Guy

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Petra Bryant

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Petra attended the same screening of a UK action film as I did, after He Who Dares had finished, we all gathered in a bar, to chat with the cast and crew of said film as well as friends of the cast and crew. It was a rather insane night where I met people who I had only ever seen on DVDs and Television shows. It was also surreal to meet people face to face who I had just watched on a large cinema screen. A definite highlight of 2014. Since then I have kept up with the careers of those people I met and have watched Petra appear in not only great photo shoots but also a lot of films that I now have on my DVD shelf including White Collar Hooligan, 3 and look forward to the up and coming projects that I know she has worked on.

What was Petra’s highlight of 2016 and what is she looking forward to in 2017?

My project (a novel & TV pilot) ‘Girl on a Rocking Horse’ has been a true highlight for me in 2016, because I have written, directed and acted in my own creation. (As an actress) I sometimes find my industry frustrating, but by producing my own material, I have taken control of my future. Instead of waiting for my phone to ring, I have written a book and created a pilot based on the same story. It might have been the most challenging point of 2016, but also super exciting and fulfilling.

What I am most looking forward to in 2017:

Having my book published and watching myself on the big screen in a Los Angeles comedy ‘For the Love of George’ ( I have a big supporting role alongside Tate Donovan, Rex Lee, Kristen Johnson, Rosanna Arquette)!

Happy New Year x

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Brooke Lewis

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Well anyone who has seen my Twitter feed, knows how much of a fan of Brooke’s I am. Super hard working, multi talented producer, writer, life coach, actress. Brooke is a powerhouse of creativity and definitely someone to support.

My personal creative highlight of 2016 was the COURAGE I found in myself to choose several CHALLENGING career goals, and with a lot of COMMITMENT, hard work and little sleep (LOL), I still cannot believe I brought them to fruition! On the Acting front, I had two feature horror, comedy films release (Slime City Massacre; Killer Rack; directed by Greg Lamberson) and I spent the year with the most wonderful writing and producing team to develop the Ms. Vampy Vamp It Out TV pilot and full season TV bible that is now in TV network pitches!

I was also honored and blessed to win five “Best Actress” and “Best Producing” awards at a few film festivals with Roger A. Scheck’s Sprinkles. On the Life Coach, Dating Expert and Author front, I published my books Coaching From A Professed Hot Mess and Ms. Vampy’s Teen Tawk: There’s A Lotta Power In Ya Choices (just released!), and never in my wildest dreams did I imagine winning three awards, thus far, with my coaching book (Southern California Book Festival; Beverly Hills Book Awards; London Book Festival (Yes…LONDON…my UK family!!! :). This book gave me the opportunity to get back on the TV morning show circuit again.

Last, but not least, I had always dreamed of being branded with products throughout my career and was so fortunate to have opportunities appear to create a clothing line with Metal Babe Mayhem and a makeup line with TASH Cosmetics. 2017 is here and my teams and I are ready to ROCK! We start with rolling out the ‘Ms. Vampy Girl’ makeup brand at TASH Cosmetics, while I do book signings for the newly released Ms. Vampy’s Teen Tawk: There’s A Lotta Power In Ya Choices. I also look forward to hitting the film set in January to play the female lead role in Dave Reda’s zombie romcom Rotting Love, while we hit the film festival circuit with the incredible thriller Psycho Therapy that Staci Layne Wilson wrote and directed for me in 2016! That said, I look most forward to a 2017 filled with love, laughs, time with my incredible friends and family and maybe a bit more relaxation time!

What I have learned in all these years of focusing on my creative goals and dreams, is that none of the accomplishments, awards and successes means anything without the people we love to celebrate with us! May we ALL be BLESSED with that in 2017!!!” – Actress, Scream Queen, Life Coach & Dating Expert, Author Brooke Lewis 

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Kris Johnson

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To say that Kris is an up and coming name, does the man a disservice. With 13 onscreen credits to his name since 2011, Kris is already a name. Having starred in 2 of my favourite UK indie films of last year (Hooligan Legacy, and Undercover Hooligan). Dont be dissuaded by the film titles, these are actually wonderful character dramas that feature realistic people portrayed by super talented actors. Kris Johnson being one of them Kris Johnson is one to keep an eye on plus hes a super nice guy.

So what is Kris thinking about when I asked him about 2016 and 2017?

Hey buddy , personal creative highlights would have to be shooting Undercover Hooligan and working with Nicholas Winter (Director) and Picture Perfect for a 2nd time, felt like we really knew what to expect from each other, and what I’m most looking forward to in the new year ….probably Star Wars Episode 8 I will be seeing in my new year at the cinema watching Rogue one.

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Craig Conway

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Meeting Craig Conway late last year was super surreal for me, not only for the fact that I have seen him in so many films over the years (Including Dog Soldiers, Doomsday and How To Stop Being A Loser) but because before we met, he left me a voicemail message saying he was on his way. Super surreal to listen to the guy from my DVD collection leaving me a message. I love being a film geek!!! I sat down with Craig (and Shaun) and talked about not only his recent film Broken, but also his career for at least an hour. Super nice guy!

Hi Stuart I think for me 2016 was a truly incredible year. As a producer seeing Broken released was so satisfying then as an actor to shoot MARA which comes out in 2017 and then to launch @BB88Films and shooting Giantland was an incredible achievement too that alongside working with @GoldfinchEnt and helping others to achieve their goals and see their projects advance is always very exciting. The the birth of my son Hunter along with getting married again to @TheBrookeConway sealed the deal and made 2016 truly one to remember.
2017 for me see’s the start with a new movie working with Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
I’m also looking to ..something which will be announced in 2017 and then see what comes my way, lots on but all very very exciting x x x sorry it’s a bit long winded but I couldn’t pick just one thing!!!!

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Neil Johnson

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2016 was a wonderful year for me and one of the new friends that I met was this guy. Filmmaker Neil Johnson who those familiar with my podcasts will know. As well as appearing on a couple of them, Neil (and Tracey Birdsall) regular are mentioned on the show. Neils film Rogue Warrior:Robot Fighter is released early 2017 and I have followed the films production and journey from near start to finish (wonderful film by the way)  I asked Neil what his highlights were and he came back with this.

In 2017 I am looking forward to seeing The last great moments of Carrie Fisher in Star Wars:Episode 8.  Personal highlights for 2016 was completing Rogue Warrior and also making the Time War, which has emotionally traumatized me beyond what is natural.  I have gone to such personal creative lengths in the film that I am permanently changed because of how far we went. I know that I will always look upon this moment as a major turning point in my life.

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Tracey Birdsall

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Super nice, super talented, super hard working. Tracey is such a creative soul. I sat down with Tracey in 2016 and recorded an hour long ‘conversation’ with her as well as spending time with her and some of the cast of Rogue Warrior at an event in 2016. You meet people who you feel you have known for a long time, and Tracey and Neil (Johnson) are two of those people.  I saw Tracey in not one but two films last year and the films couldnt be more different. In ‘Whos Jenna’ Tracey is mistaken for a porn star in this lovely rom con film, and in Rogue Warrior, Tracey puts herself through the ringer in what must have been an amazingly touch shoot in scorching heat. Described by John Foutz as ”Hot Chick on a burning planet’

My personal creative highlight of 2016 was the depths of the characters I was able to portray, both in Rogue Warrior and in The Time War. I’ve always wanted to be pushed to such a creative high, but the roles previously weren’t written to a point where I could develop them to such a degree. I’ve been truly honored and blessed to be able to do this. Although I’m extremely excited about the movies I have coming out in 2017, I’m most looking forward to the new challenges… I wonder what new characters I get to become, and anticipate that the continuation of Sienna (my character in Rogue Warrior) in the television series — will be nothing short of a remarkable yet disturbing journey! You just never know where the mind of the director (Neil Johnson) will go with this…! I’m also looking forward to the other opportunities that this journey of 2016 will lead to in 2017. Yes, it really is all about the work… Happy New Year!

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Wishing you all the very best for 2017!

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