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  • #ICastIt AJ Vargas Helps Backstage Actors Make Their Mark

    With no script and no specific roles, producer AJ Vargas faced a unique challenge finding actors for his short film entry in the Producers Guild “Make Your Mark” short film competition. The film, “Song,” focuses on an Asian-American soldier in wartime. Cast completely through Backstage and directed by Jon Shaivitz, “Song” stars Quinn Knox as Song, Rane Jameson as Lucas, Amy M. Morgan as Haley, Salina Soto as Krysal, and Nicholas Talone as Marcus.
    Although Vargas works in TV animation, he wanted to challenge himself with producing a live-action short. As a member of the Producers Guild, the “Make Your Mark” competition provided the ultimate opportunity to do just that.
    Specific criteria had to be incorporated into the film, but those assignments were only given 51 hours before the deadline. Vargas secured his location at the YouTube Space LA Studios in advance, which led to his decision to use the “wartime era” setting. His screenwriter, A. Diallo Jackson, incorporated sheet music, a passport, and ice as the required props. He also opted to tackle both themes (passion as genius/obsession and passion as conviction) instead of picking one.
    With the tight time

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