Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Wednesday Spotlight with Gregory Collett
Deep in the foothills of Red Rock Canyon, a serial killer stalks. He leaves his signature—a skull mask on the corpse. But when the homicide cop realizes the crimes are the reenactment of a case never solved ten years ago--all fingers point to Michael DeVeccio. And when Margot realizes she is married to the killer, her life becomes a living nightmare.
Hello and welcome to Wednesday Spotlight! My featured guest today is Gregory Collett, the actor who played the role of Detective Diego Santiago in my book video Mask of the Betrayer. Before I bring him out, let’s have a peek at the video produced by Triad Productions.
Thunderous applause explodes as Gregory struts into the parlor
Sharon: Welcome, Gregory, have a seat. Can Oliver get you something from the bar?
Gregory: Tequila, always tequila. Patron is sufficient unless you have a mescal from Oaxaca estado. On the rocks, squeeze of lime. Thanks…
With a nod, Oliver presents a CC& club soda and shot of Mexican tequila with a squeeze of lime on the rocks.
Sharon: First of all, I want to thank you so much for bringing my character to life so well. Detective Diego Santiago is a streety cop with attitude personified, and you certainly fit the bill. Santiago is first introduced when his team discovers the corpse of Lacy Diamond in the bathtub with a death star in her throat and a death mask on her face. Can you give us any inside scoop on that scene?
Gregory: I was haunted by my past the instant I saw Lacy Diamond lying in that bathtub. There was a murder some ten years ago ‘we’ never solved. Dejavu hit me like lightning. There was an immediate juxtaposition with the murder of Carlos DeVeccio some ten years before and Lacy Diamond’s murder. Death star in the throat. Accurate, precise, and well thought out. We had our suspicions, but never found that killer so this was immediately a highly personal affair!
Sharon: In the next scene, you are at the DeVeccio mansion, questioning the suspect. The antagonism between Santiago and DeVeccio is palpable. Santiago hates the smug billionaire, knows he’s guilty as sin, but can’t prove it. DeVeccio taunts the cop with flip remarks, enjoying the game of cat and mouse. What was going through your head during this scene? What were your thoughts of Michael DeVeccio?
Gregory: He’s the typical wealthy stereotype. For us working stiffs, whatever the job ethic, he’s immediately wrong just by his very stoic, elitist nature. My stomach turns inside every time I have to talk to him. My instincts alive with disapproval. But, an education and aristocratic background has trained him well. He’s very hard to properly accuse. Harder to even catch since he leaves no evidence worth a damn. That’s why this type of case is so difficult and it holds itself deep in my psyche.
Sharon: Santiago’s a tough cop, street-wise and full of confidence. And he’s a master at getting into the mind of a killer. He sees things other cops miss. What were your thoughts about Santiago and do you have anything in common with the character?
Gregory: A man dedicated to his art, his focus must rely upon his instincts always. This is the ultimate fighting tool in crime solving cases. Pathological murderers are the clearly the most psychotic. They hide their very nature from the public eye. There is always many faces but the killer has a glitch, personality flaw if you like, which essentially condemns him regardless his fate with the law. He or she is always in prison. A prison of the mind. This is when my instinct allows itself access into the killers ‘true nature’. It’s my job to remove him from the public so no further carnage occurs. The ‘game’ that is created is done so for the killers sake. A cheap, short control because he has no control. He is trapped inside, inside his mind. There is nothing left to live for when one has turned into this. It’s finding the weakness, often visible only second maybe minutes, into the murder’s mind which gains me eventual success. I see each situation similarly until that short access is allowed. That is my art. Michael DeVeccio has a trained mind. He is always a greater challenge regardless the opportunity. He covers his bases brilliantly. Takes me more time but I will prevail since there is no other way!
Sharon: Now let’s talk a bit about the props used in the video. The Ninja star or the death star is a weapon used in Martial arts. Prior to the research for Mask of the Betrayer, I’d never heard of it. Are you a fan of the arts and if so, are you familiar with the Ninja death star?
Gregory: Of course, I grew up watching Bruce Lee films. I still say the film ‘Hero’ was one of the great films made(must be seen on film screen for full effect). The death star was always one of the weapons of the dark arts. One of the tools of the great Ninja warriors.
Sharon: About how long does it take to film each scene? Are there a lot of cuts and interruptions?
Gregory: No, we worked through the script quickly. I think, maybe, too rapidly but I’m not the director. There was a pace required for the project. This is when I’m only a cog in the wheel. I play the part as best I can but the cadence of the scenes is up to the production crew, mainly, the director.
Sharon: And finally, what was your reaction to the face mask used in Mask of the Betrayer, the macabre skull mask?
Gregory: Believable. It’s a useful and powerful technique to use. The audience immediately knows the goals of the protagonist. It’s literal and exact. If there were vague variables, less exact metaphors, then the power of the protagonist would have to be developed more thoroughly. The mask gives ‘us’ quick access into the intent of the story.
Sharon: Thank you so much for joining me today, Gregory.To read Gregory Collett’s impressive resume, visit his website:
Sharon: And here are some final words from Gregory Collett:
I work on films throughout the west coast, Mexico and really wish to access into a world market. I love travel and love culture. Currently, I live above SLC in the mountains. Out of the traffic, off the grid, surrounded by nature, but a 15 minute bike ride down the hill (about an hour into town).
Thanks for having me Sharon, it was good chatting about ‘Mask of the Betrayer’.