MISPLACED: A Short Film I Did Not Write

So, back in the fall of 2009, my brother, Greg, shot is latest short film, Misplaced. When Misplaced was still in the pre-production phase, he recruited my help with regards to working out the story. I did not, however, co-write the screenplay, as I was working on another project. Among other duties, I wrote naughty headlines for a fake porn magazine called Grunt. I also wrote a fake radio show (in the spirit of Howard Stern) about clown porn.

Anyway, Greg felt he owed me a film credit for the writing I'd done (and, please, so we're all clear here, this was his idea) only he didn't quite know what credit to give me. He ultimately credited me with an "Additional Material by" credit. And, in quintessential Greg fashion, he couldn't resist the urge to explain himself in an article called "Martin Lastrapes: Not the Writer." Here's an excerpt:

Lurking somewhere in every film I’ve made is one of the best friends a guy could ever hope to have: my brother, Martin. I frequently place him in front of the camera and ask him to do ridiculous things while being side-splittingly funny, and he never disappoints. Never. I’ve yet to discover something he absolutely refuses to do. He is the actor every director dreams of working with. Yet despite his natural acting skills and flawless comic timing, he’ll always point out that he’s not an actor. He’s wrong about this, of course, but we’ll indulge his obviously false modesty because he is, first and foremost, an incredibly gifted writer.

You can read the rest of Greg's glowing love letter HERE.

It also includes the full audio presentation of my clown radio show, Bonkers and the Daff, featuring, among other talented folks, the voice of Jesse Meriwether, who, when she's not filming JC Penny commercials with Ellen DeGeneres, is usually getting recognized on the street as the lint licker actress from the Orbit commercial.

When you're done reading the article and listening to Bonkers and the Daff (which, by the way, is totally NSFW), be sure to look around the website, where you can watch trailers for the film, read the screenplay (as well as the screenplay for Bonkers and the Daff), and see lots of beautiful still shots from the film.


Feature This! (GUEST POST)

A few months ago, I was approached by Jose Oliver De Castro, a college student and contributor to his school's newspaper and magazine. He wanted to interview me for a feature article in the newspaper and I, obviously, was more than happy to comply. Along the way, Jose's editor decided to make the interview part of the magazine. Jose was excited, but he had his reservations. He worried that the story would get dropped, since not everything makes the final cut. I told him that if it did get dropped, I'd publish it myself on Inside Martin. Well, the fact that we've gotten this far should tell you how the story ends. So, for your reading pleasure, I present to you...

FEATURE THIS!: An Interview with Novelist Martin Lastrapes

By Jose Oliver De Castro

“I’m a vegetarian and, as a vegetarian, I was fascinated with the idea of cannibalism.”

This was just one of the ideas that Martin Lastrapes, 34, had in mind when writing his debut novel, Inside the Outsidewhich tells the story of a young girl named Timber Marlow who grows up as a cannibal in a cult in the San Bernardino Mountains. When she is about 14 or 15 years old, she manages to escape the cult into the mainstream society, where she tries to assimilate.  For Lastrapes, Inside the Outside is his dark and twisted version of the coming of age story.

“I always thought of it as a metaphor for growing up. When you grow up you live in a relatively small place. You start off with your house, eventually your house turns into your block and your neighborhood,” Lastrapes said. “At some point you have to leave that small isolated corner of the world that was your own and discover the world is bigger than you realized and there are different people that you have to encounter.”

While writing Inside the Outside, Lastrapes used the metaphor with Timber Marlow in mind.

“I took it to the extreme in a relatively dark book,” Lastrapes said, “where instead of growing up in a neighborhood, she grew up in a cult of cannibals.”

Upon its release, the book reached #3 on Amazon’s Top 100 Hot New Releases in Horror.

“There was actually a certain point where I was even ahead of Stephen King, which was very exciting,” Lastrapes said. “It’s been an exciting time and I’m sort of blown away by both the initial success of the book and also the reception of the book.”

Lastrapes was born on December 9, 1977, in the city of Orange and was raised in Rancho Cucamonga, California.  After graduating from Alta Loma High School in 1996, he attended Chaffey College, Cal State Fullerton, and Cal State San Bernardino. While at Cal State San Bernardino, Lastrapes met James Brown, a creative writing professor and acclaimed author of The Los Angeles Dairies and This River.

“The time when I met James Brown is really when I got serious and focused about my career as a writer,” Lastrapes said.

Brown described Lastrapes as a serious, determined student when they first crossed paths in the classroom years ago. As Brown’s student, Lastrapes made it easy for him as a professor.

“I’d like to flatter myself that I helped improve his already strong writing,” Brown said, “but all I can really take credit for is encouraging an already talented writer.”

In 1996, during his first year in college, Lastrapes took his first English course with S. Kay Murphy, author of Tainted Legacy: The Story of Alleged Serial Killer Bertha Gifford. It was Murphy who Lastrapes credits with being the first teacher to take notice of his writing and encourage him to pursue it.

“Martin’s essays were far and above the writing level of the rest of the class,” Murphy said. “I enjoyed his casual yet fluid writing style, and often wrote notes in the margins of his papers about his writing ability.”

Growing up, Lastrapes' first significant creative influence was his older brother, Greg, a filmmaker and musician.  As a kid, Lastrapes watched his brother perform on stage at the Roxy Theater in Hollywood, while also making many television appearances as an actor and singer. Greg made it a point to tap into his brother’s creativity early on.

“Since the day that Martin could read, we have been collaborating,” Greg said. “I always work him into whatever project I've got cooking, and that has included writing projects.”

While Lastrapes had many creative interests growing up, from comic books to movies, it was his discovery of creative writing that lit a fire inside of him.

“Writing became the ideal medium to sort of exercise my creativity,” Lastrapes said. “I fell in love with it when I was 18 and we have had a passionate love affair for the last 15 years.”

For the next 15 years, Lastrapes is looking ahead as he evolves and develops as a writer.

“I’m definitely not done growing and I plan on getting better,” Lastrapes said, “otherwise it would just be boring if this were the end of the road.”