Jack Settipane: Interview with a producer of Last Call, starring John Malkovich.
Jack Settipane is an actor and filmmaker based in Los Angeles. He made his first original short film at the age of 11. Jack is most known as a producer on Last Call starring John Malkovich, Rodrigo Santoro, written and directed by Steven Bernstein. The film is slated for a 2021 release. Jack became involved in the film in post production and essentially rescued the project from being shelved after a series of financial entanglements.
Christos Arfanis: Hello Jack. It is a real honor for me to interview such a talented man. Please tell us a few things about yourself.
Jack Settipane: Thank you kindly, Christos. It’s an honor to talk with you. This is a tough question, because it assumes I know myself. In truth, I am in a constant process of getting to know myself, as time goes on and I am met with unfamiliar situations and experiences. Perhaps this is something you can relate to. Now that my pretentious harangue is out of the way, I have some fun facts: I have been slapped in the face by a pelican. I shot and directed a Tik Tok video that received 11 million views and I hate myself for it. At a family gathering, I once became so bored that I smashed my face as hard as I could into a bowl of spaghetti. I have made Mel Gibson laugh. I once ate seven lobsters in one sitting… My life in review.
Christos Arfanis: Was there a particular event or time that you recognized that filmmaking was not just a hobby, but that it would be your life and your living? Or did you always approach filmmaking as a job?
Jack Settipane: That moment my face was covered in marinara sauce and a few strands of spaghetti, that may have been the moment I realized I couldn’t do anything else. A momentous epiphany at the age of seven, much to the dismay of my family sitting around the dinner table. I think I’ve always known. My parents have told me that I started “binge watching” films and acting them out at age four.
Christos Arfanis: What are your favorite movies and who are your favorite actors and directors that might inspire you to follow that career?
Jack Settipane: Just Friends, The Judge, The Matrix to name a few; All of those hit the mark for me. Robert Eggers is a director to watch right now, his two features The Witch and The Lighthouse were spectacular. The director of our film Last Call, Steven Bernstein, has films upcoming that I am eager to see play out. It has been remarkable to work with him, and he has become one of my closest friends. He shot so many of my favorite comedies growing up and of course the Oscar-winning Monster. The man has been all over Hollywood, writing, directing, working in many capacities. To me, that’s a great career.
Christos Arfanis: Do you prefer to be an actor or a director in a project?
Jack Settipane: Both have their points of pride and tribulations. I’ll tell you this, as an actor you have a singular focus; your sole concern is to understand and embody the character you are to depict. As a director, the position encompasses a wide range of duties both artistic and organizational. It’s a lot of stress, everything is on your shoulders to see a good product is put out and to make tangible your vision.
Christos Arfanis: Despite your young age you have managed many things in the
entertainment industry, and all with great success. What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a filmmaker?
Jack Settipane: Get started as young as possible. I wish I had really began my career in my teens, not just make films with friends, which is also important. I didn’t know any better and I learned later on that building a career in entertainment takes years, outside of perfect serendipity. Try to film a feature; even if you fail, people will gravitate to you and you will learn so much in the process that cannot be ascertained doing shorts. Content is king, you have to be putting it out and making it as high quality as possible.
Christos Arfanis: Do you have any future plans and projects that you would like to share with us?
Jack Settipane: My experimental short film Tick just completed post-production, which I directed, acted in and DP’d. It’s received some attention from the right people and I’m excited to share it with the world. I have a couple pilots in development that have gotten attention from key people and we’re taking them around town. We are optimistic with where things are going at my production company Lesnik Entertainment, especially with Last Call coming out.
Thank you for your time, Jack Settipane. I wish you all the good luck with your career!