Last Life

Make it count

A Los Angeles based production company focused on creating video game inspired content and other pop culture passions.

"Save and Continue" to premiere at LA Shorts International Film Festival

Hey everyone!

We're pleased to announce that our first project, "Save and Continue", is making its world premiere at the LA Shorts International Film Festival!

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We couldn't be more excited to be screening at such a prestigious film festival. If you're in the Los Angeles, be sure to check it out later this month. You can find screening details and more here at their website. Congratulations to our cast and crew! We can't wait to finally show you what we've been working on.

Last Life Team
Jori and Michael

 

Introducing Our Next Project!

Hey everyone!

Jori and Michael here. Just here to give a light update that we are well into pre-production on our next project. Details are slim right now but here's the title at the moment:

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So while we've been working on this, our current game streams have been put on hold for the moment. We'll resume our Story Stream series and general streams later next month.

As for Save and Continue, we have some exciting developments that we can't share with y'all quite yet, but we will have a cool announcement in our post next week. Stay tuned.

Till then, have a happy 4th of July in America! And a happy Wednesday in general to the rest of the world!

Last Life Team
Jori and Michael

Introducing Save and Continue Crew Members

Hey again!

Jori and Michael here! Last time, we showed off the cast of our new film, Save and Continue. Now we'll highlight our top-of-the-line crew:

 

Shane Spiegel - Producer

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Known for his work in comedy, Shane Spiegel is a highly regarded film producer and filmmaker out of Los Angeles, California. He's best known for his work making shows for DreamworksTV including the popular "Junk Drawer Magic", "We Build It, We Break It" and "OMG!". His most recent work is showrunning the first season of the TV show, "Junk Drawer Magical Adventures".

Shane and I go way back, working together for nearly 10 years on a variety of productions. We brought Shane in to the project early on not only to help the film get across the finish line, but for his impeccable storytelling taste and keen eye for details. Shane carefully combed through every frame of this film with us from the early stages of pre-production all the way to the final watch down months later. On set, Shane made sure each shot was in tip top form, treating the story as much special care as much as Jori or myself. On top of all that, his light hearted nature and wicked sense of humor always kept the crew in high spirits. We're already hard at work with Shane on our upcoming projects. Check out more at his website here.

 

Andrew Penczner - Director of Photography

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Andrew Penczner is a DP/Camera Operator out of Los Angeles, California for nearly a decade. His photography works extends to a variety of commercials, television shows, and films, including work with Lance Bass and Todrick Hall.

Andrew and I have been great friends since we met each other at Florida State Film School back in 2007. We've worked together a bunch over the years, including a few shorts I shot before founding Last Life with Jori. With just a couple of crew members and a few lights, Andrew creates a compelling look for Save and Continue by finding brilliant ways to shade mundane scenes with smart shot design and elegant lighting. His talented eye and nimble work ethic were able to elevate the film beyond its family drama roots into something deeper and darker within a shortened production period. Check out more at his IMDB page here.

 

Abigail Sanford - Production Designer

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Abigail Sanford has worked as a production designer and set decorator for many projects over the years. Her work includes shows from DreamworksTV, College Humor and an eclectic amount of indie short films and commercials.

I only just met Abigail from this film set, but based on her work on this film, I'll be sure to work with her even more. She was given the arduous task of designing multiple empty rooms from scratch to make it look like the early 90s. Not only does she knock it out of the park, but she surprised me with an impeccable attention to detail. From the designs of the Super Nintendo packaging, to the arts and crafts table in Sam's room, Abigail transported the entire set to an older time. We were in awe of the things she found and crafted with her team. It made all of us 20 somethings feel like being a kid again. Check out more at her IMDB page here.

 

Christopher Oroza - Costume Designer

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Christopher Oroza is world renowned costume designer who's work has been featured in many feature films and commercials. His work includes "The House" "Hollywood Adventures" and "Miles".

Like Andrew, Chris and I have been great friends for over 10 years. But not only do Chris and I have a great rapport on set, but he's absolutely a master in his craft in costume designing. Chris nails the difficult balance of making the film feel vintage and modern at the same time. Heavily influenced by styles of the early 90s, Chris makes the wardrobe feel of a time and timeless at the same time. A special attention is paid to Dennis's denim ensemble, Wendy's summer dress, and Sam's grade school outfits. All of his work adds to the film's layers of nostalgia for older and better times. The look of Save wouldn't be half as good if it weren't for Chris's exceptional work. Check out more at his website here.

 

Michael Ursu - Composer

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Michael Ursu, also known as "Maku", is a prolific composer having written music for some of the films he starred in, as well as several commercial spots including a popular Pokémon spec commercial that went viral back in 2016.

If there's one person who put almost too much good work in, it was Michael. This talented composer created so many beautiful compositions for Save, that we actually had to scrap older versions of fantastic music just to really nail the complicated tone of the film. What we came away with was something special that I still hear days after seeing the film. This especially applies to his simple yet elegant theme for when characters play video games. This theme lifts the movie away from its grounded drama roots into a state of yearning bliss. You watch these moments and feel as if you're playing video games for the first time all over again. Michael's work is phenomenal and truly memorable. Check out more at his IMDB page here.

 

Stephen Clark - Sound Designer/Re-Recording Mixer

Stephen Clark has been working in sound for film and television for 25 years. The amount of work he's done is too great to count one by one, but he's known for his extensive TV work as a re-recording mixer and dialogue editor.

There's a special mention for Stephen here because I feel his work really is the film's secret weapon. His tuned ear for cinematic sound really makes the movie feel not only professional, but gives it a special haunting that only the best dramas seem to have. This is especially prominent when Sam tries to drown out her parents fighting. As Sam covers her ears, the levels of different pervading sounds as the fight escalates really pull us into Sam's mind in an unsettling way. Stephen's work gives the film a much needed jolt of character empathy. It really blew us away. Check out more at his website here.

 

We're so proud of each department and all the awesome crew that worked along with them.

Stay tuned for more developments on Save and Continue, our game streams and more coming announcements!

Last Life Team
Jori and Michael

Introducing Save and Continue Cast Members!

Hey there!

While our projects continue to develop and we set up more cool aspects of Last Life, we're gonna take a moment to shout out our stellar cast of our first project: Save and Continue. These wonderful actors poured so much of themselves into their roles and were an absolute delight to work on top of it all!

 

Casey Lynn Lopez as Sam

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Casey plays the role of Sam, a timid child of divorce learning to cope with parent fights she doesn't understand. Her inquisitive nature into her parents' emotional state and the elements of video games help her realize how the pains of life can be better seen through the escapism of interactive entertainment.

Casey started acting when she was 8 years old in local musical theater and on-camera acting classes. It was obvious from the start that she was naturally talented, and meant to pursue a career performing arts. She started filming her first lead role in a dramatic short film on her 9th birthday and she has continued to work steadily ever since. 

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Casey was, hands down, the heart of this film shoot. We knew from the first self-tapes that she has a very gifted talent in dramatic acting (though she'd later mention to me that she can't wait to do more comedy after all of her dramatic roles). Casey was not only talented on camera, but she was an excellent listener and more engaging than most actors I had ever worked with. She knew exactly how take redirection was also braving through the film's more emotionally demanding beats. AND on top of it all, she was an awesome Mario Kart player in between takes.

 

Nick Burr as the father, Dennis

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Nick plays the role of Dennis, Sam's soon to be divorced father. While the exact details of the divorce remain unclear, he seems to be more concerned with being a fun dad than a good husband. He stays at home unemployed and escapes into nightly video games while putting on a good face for his worried young daughter. 

Casey and Sam at Save and Continue callbacks.

Casey and Sam at Save and Continue callbacks.

Nick pulls off a complicated role by focusing on the most crucial aspect of the part: the amazing chemistry with his daughter. Out of all the chemistry readings we saw for Sam and Dennis, only Casey and Nick had that amazing spark together. It's the kind of chemistry where you can see the energy continue even when the cameras weren't rolling. Nick was an absolute delight who after delivering emotionally draining performances would immediately bring the room back together with jokes, enthusiasm and sincerity. 

 

Candice Bolek as the mother, Wendy

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Candice plays Wendy, Sam's stern mother. Wendy is on the opposite end of the spectrum from Dennis. She's the kind of person who's holding the family together one work day at a time. She would make sure Sam's homework is as perfect as it could be so her daughter, even at the expense of enjoying family time.

Behind The Scenes 

Candice brings in a much need dramatic edge to Save. She brought raw energy to her role the minute we saw her dramatic monologue in auditions. Yet the power in her performance comes from just the look in her eyes as simple glances give deep context to how broken her marriage is with Dennis. Candice brings an emotional commitment to the role of a tired mother that's especially hard to pull off. But when she does, she inspired applause on the last day of set.

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Best of all, Candice, Nick and Casey came together on set in a way the story didn't even call for. They were an amazing trio that gave fantastic performances and made the short something more beautiful than I could possibly imagine.

Thanks for checking this out. Next, we'll introduce some of our crew members from the shoot. Till then, enjoy our updates and our game streams for more from us!

Best,

Last Life Team
Jori and Michael

 

Game Streams Are Now OPEN!

Hey there again!

We have finally opened our game streams page! Tune into our Twitch channel for our live streams and our Youtube channel for all our archived videos soon after! We'll be playing games while chatting about ourselves, projects we're working on, and our favorite films, games and more.

We're trying to do at least two streams a month for the time being as we finalize our streaming setup. And eventually (if we have the time), we'll make short "best of videos" so you don't have to watch hours of streaming to get to any fun stuff. Until then, check out our Launch Stream embedded below for nearly three hours of gaming, bad jokes, technical difficulties and gooood times.

Last Life Team,

Jori and Michael

First Project Announced: "Save and Continue"

Hey there! Last Life team here.

Today, we have officially announced our first project: a short film called "Save and Continue"! The story follows a young girl who copes with her parents divorce by learning to play video games with her father. Inspired by a personal story, this short dives into the pain of divorce through a child's eyes and how discovering video games can be a transcendent medium to helping anyone overcome life's many hardships. 

We have just recently finished making the short, and we're so happy to share with your more over the coming summer. In build up to its upcoming release, we will release bios with the cast and crew and share with you behind the scenes from the making of process. Until then here are the first stills featuring the cast from the film. Click their name to see more at their IMDB pages.

Casey Lopez  as the young girl, Sam.

Casey Lopez as the young girl, Sam.

Nick Burr  as the father, Dennis.

Nick Burr as the father, Dennis.

Candice Bolek  as the mother, Wendy.

Candice Bolek as the mother, Wendy.

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And of course we will have even more to announce for upcoming projects in the near future. Thanks and enjoy!

Best,

Jori and Michael
Last Life Team

Last Life is LIVE!

Welcome to Last Life!

After many many MANY months of hard work and a little sleep from production, we have finally officially launched our website!

Right now... we don't have much yet. But that won't be the case for long! Check back here soon for announcements and developments of our ongoing projects!

Best,

Jori Richman and Michael Felker
Last Life Team

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