By: Nicki Legge
Several weeks ago I was Facebook stalking one of my favorite fellow filmmakers, Mike Rea, and I noticed a series of very intriguing photos from the set of a film called Poison Sky. Soon after, another one of my favorite people, Nile Popchock, suggested Steve Wargo as a Filmmaker of the Week. Since two of the most talented people I know in the Arizona film industry seemed to speak so highly of the same person, I decided to do a little research on his project Poison Sky. I was absolutely blown away by the scope and professionalism of the project, so I contacted Steve to do an interview.
Steve Wargo has been “in the video production business since 1981 when Director Ken Kennedy asked (him) to shoot a new open and a new close to his Nick Nolte film, Aggie.” He has been involved in over 7000 video projects, nine short films, and six feature films. He even acted as an extra in Used Cars, The Gauntlet, and Cloud Dancer. Instead of spending big bucks on film school, Steve “hooked up with seasoned veterans and learned from them.” His absolute passion is camera work. He loves to be the one “creating the image.” He says that “film is all about the message. It’s a communication medium that can have an entertainment wrapper.” Steve is constantly inspired by “directors who find a new way to present their images to their audience. Alfred Hitchcock had his style; he scared the crap out of people in a very subtle way. Quintin Tarentino has an alarming style. If we were to do what he does, it would not have the same level of acceptance.”
When I asked Steve to name one thing he wants people to know about him, his answer was far too good to paraphrase. Steve says, “I am 100% serious about my job – FilmMaking. I have a reputation of being a hard ass on set. Well, the professionals that I work with will tell you different. There are a LOT of people in Phoenix who want to be filmmakers and there are a few who really have the potential to go all the way; the remainder are dreamers who think that being on set is the time to socialize, tell jokes, talk loudly, and just generally act like children. Well, the children on our sets don’t act like children. They act like “actors”. Actors read their lines, get into their ZONE and become one with their character. I am a businessman who creates films for a living. I am not an artist. Almost all of my projects are paid. When we do free charity work, those jobs are treated the same as any paying jobs.”
Most recently, Steve has been working diligently on a film called Poison Sky. “In 2000, (his) friend Tony Kyle informed (him) that there were planes spraying chemicals on the populace of the United States. (Steve) laughed at him asked him what he was smoking. But, found out later that a whole bunch of people believed the same BS.” He decided to do a little research, and became fascinated with what he found; he even “started to keep records of what was going on in the sky above us.” In 2001, Steve wrote a screenplay entitled Chemtrails, DFA. The timing was not right for his screenplay to come to life, so Steve continued doing research over the span of about ten years. Steve says, “I started with a small film that I hoped someone would be interested in but it has grown far beyond my expectations due in part to my cousin, WGA writer, Julianna Joyce Feher, who has taken the film to an entirely new level.” Poison sky is not only going to be a full feature, but it is “the first of a three picture franchise.”
Tyler Gallant was recommended by Steve Briscoe… I invited Tyler to meet with me, Yvette Edmond and Georgia Tavera at Outback at the Scottsdale 101. We talked for two hours and I selected Tyler based on his person, his political convictions, his patriotism and his darn good looks.
Nicole Randall attended a fundraiser that I was part of for UMOM… with me, Diane Dresback, Yvette Edmond, Steve Gottry and a few others. Nicole… had just recently sent me a headshot and resume. We all sat at a few tables and just talked about things. As I looked at Nikki, I realized that she fit the part of Samantha to a T. I gave her what I call a table audition and selected her to do the part. I chose wisely as she does a great job and she is very physically appealing.
We wrote a very lightweight part for our Bad Guy. This was a character that we would only see in small parts, like a jaw, eyes, back of the head, a shadow. Over time, we felt the need to develop this character further and went looking for our villain. An actor friend, Arlene Newman-Van Asperen called me to recommend an actor named Glenn Plummer, star of South Central, Southland, and Sons of Anarchy. We looked him up and we were intrigued. I sent Glenn a note, along with a script and he called me two days later and we did a deal over the phone.
Now, we needed a sidekick for our villain. In actuality, the sidekick is a more dynamic part for reasons that I can’t disclose at this time… I called a friend to get the phone number for Trisha Mann in L.A. I had worked with Trisha on a project about 8 years ago. I offered her the part and she snapped it up.
On Sunday, June 2nd, we met with Glenn and Trisha at LuLu’s Restaurant in Van Nuys and sealed the deal. Glenn was a perfect choice because he has been a Chemtrail enthusiast for years. He already knows the subject. And, to top it off, he and Trisha played husband and wife in a film last year.
Poison Sky already has a huge following on social media sites, although it comes with no surprise since the film has such a controversial subject and such talented actors. Steve even received a check from an investor in Hawaii who did not even ask for a contract due to Steve’s reputation for ethics and honesty. He says, “That completely blew me away and it still doesn’t seem real.” Steve hopes to premiere Poison Sky in the fall of 2013. He is also “in development on (his) next film and has secured two of the actors so far. (Plus he has) five more films in the cue.” If you are interested in contacting Steve, he can be reached HERE. You can also check him out on IMDB. Read more about him in MyLife Magazine.