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Santa Maria Sun / Art

The following article was posted on December 1st, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 40 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 21, Issue 40

Lompoc-based filmmaker and Mad Sin Cinema founder Shane Ryan discusses upcoming projects

By CALEB WISEBLOOD

From the suburbs of Buellton and Santa Maria to the sprawling fields of the Santa Ynez Valley, local filmmaker Shane Ryan never gets tired of shooting on location at destinations throughout the Central Coast—especially when they’re not too far from his hometown of Lompoc.

“Shooting in LA can be just the worst, and costly beyond belief,” said the 40-year-old director, writer, editor, and actor, who has lived in Lompoc since age 7.


Love the sin, love the sinner
Find out more about filmmaker Shane Ryan and his production company, Mad Sin Cinema, at madsincinema.com.

LOMPOC LOCAL
Independent filmmaker Shane Ryan (pictured) never gets tired of shooting on location at destinations throughout the Central Coast, especially when they’re not too far from his hometown of Lompoc.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SHANE RYAN

“It’s crazy how you can live in a small town most of your life and still discover new places every time you scout for locations,” Ryan told the Sun. “You can never cover every single corner of anywhere, it seems. There are always wonderful surprises.”

One of Ryan’s upcoming films, currently in pre-production, is Trash Kids, the filmmaker revealed, which he plans to shoot in Lompoc. While using a handful of locations where real-life shootings, stabbings, and other violent incidents have occurred, Ryan seemingly aims to comment on the city’s crime problem. The film’s plot also deals with universal themes, while acknowledging the COVID-19 crisis and analyzing its effects on society. 

“It centers around some kids in a small town who start turning towards the idea of crime to cope with their boredom due to the lockdown,” Ryan said. “It begins with them visiting all of the areas where murders, stabbings, and shootings have occurred—since Lompoc is flooded with them—and then the conversations lead them to discuss how they would have committed the crimes.”


CHARACTER STUDY
Shane Ryan is currently editing The Owl in Echo Park, which he also co-wrote and directed. The film explores the downward spiral of a corrupt cop, drug addict, and alcoholic, played by Kevin Gage—best known for his roles in Heat, G.I. Jane, and Con Air.
IMAGE COURTESY OF SHANE RYAN

Among other projects keeping Ryan busy during the ongoing pandemic is a film much closer to completion, The Owl in Echo Park, which is currently in post-production. Ryan has been editing the film from his home in Lompoc. He also produced the film, under the label of his production company, Mad Sin Cinema.

Described as both a tragic character study and crime drama, The Owl in Echo Park explores the downward spiral of a corrupt cop, drug addict, and alcoholic, played by Kevin Gage—best known for his roles in Heat, G.I. Jane, and Con Air. For Ryan, who was admittedly starstruck upon meeting the actor, working with Gage was a surreal experience. 

“I’ve gotten to be involved with lots of people that I grew up admiring, so that’s been very cool,” said Ryan, who listed 1995’s Heat in his top 10 favorite films of all time.

In Heat, Gage played Waingro, the memorably terrifying thief-turned-serial killer who manages to get under both Robert De Niro’s and Al Pacino’s skin. Ryan described Gage’s character in The Owl in Echo Park as an eclectic combination of Heat’s Waingro and Charles Bukowski, while the tone of the film was inspired by Bad Lieutenant, Training Day, Street Kings, and Deep Cover, the director said.


DARNDEST THINGS
“It centers around some kids in a small town who start turning towards the idea of crime to cope with their boredom due to the lockdown,” Shane Ryan said, discussing one of his upcoming films, Trash Kids, which is currently in pre-production. Ryan plans to shoot the film in Lompoc.
IMAGE COURTESY OF SHANE RYAN

“I remember when I saw that film [Heat] in the theater as a teenager thinking, ‘Damn, this guy [Gage] is scary.’ But in real life, he’s the best person I’ve probably ever worked with,” Ryan said. “So easygoing, so nice, so professional.

“Actually he was too nice, and sometimes it started to show through his performance,” Ryan joked. 

While the official release date for The Owl in Echo Park has yet to be announced, Ryan hopes that the majority of audiences will be closer to returning to movie theaters, rather than having to rely on streaming, by then.

“The filmgoing experience has meant everything to me since I was old enough to remember,” said Ryan, who preferred trips to the video store over modern streaming apps. “The ‘going’ in filmgoing has been completely wiped out. Going to the theater, to the video store, is an incredible journey. The film is the destination. 

“And a destination without a journey isn’t that great. It’s lacking something very special.”

 Arts Editor Caleb Wiseblood also ranks Heat high among his favorite films. Send comments to cwiseblood@santamariasun.com.










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