Actor, writer, director and publicist Josh Mitchell is originally from Boston, but currently lives in the heart of Hollywood. He recently wrote, directed and starred in Hard Visit, a feature film about a down on his luck actor who is rescued from obscurity by his wealthy sports bookie brother but is forced to use his best performance skills to escape the clutches of a female con artist.
In addition to his prolific filmmaking career, Mitchell’s public relations company, Wickid Pissa Publicity, has become one of the most in-demand firms in the entertainment industry, offering services ranging from marketing, branding, event production and social media management. We caught up with Josh to get the 411 on the inspiration of his work and what lies ahead for him in the rest of 2017.
indieactivity: What was the impetus for creating Hard Visit?
Josh: Hard Visit was born at last year’s Sundance Film Festival. I met a few ambitious actors and we discussed the importance of creating and controlling your own content. We all threw our resources together and workshopped some scenes and carved out some characters and the script began to take shape. During production and a few pickup day after, we molded and caressed the nuts and bolts of the story so it all made sense in the end.
indieactivity: What was your process with capturing the array of beautiful drone footage in the film?
Josh: We bought a new drone and the latest GoPro 4K camera for this production because we knew we wanted to bring the viewer into the sprawling world of where these characters dwell. The opening credits focus and foreshadow the dusty desert and windmills of Palm Springs and we outline the challenges of an actor’s life by showcasing Hollywood Boulevard, casting call auditions, and the iconic landscapes of Los Angeles.
indieactivity: The spine of the movie is based on the gambling. Do you consider yourself an avid bettor?
Josh: No. Not at all. I’m a huge sports fans though and some of my family and friends are passionate gamblers so I was able to pull from real life experiences. The biggest element that fascinated me and which I tried to utilize in the conflict of the film is the idea of old technology versus new technology. When I was growing up if you wanted to place a bet you simply called a local bookie. In today’s world the bulk of it all is computer-based so skilled techies can place bets 24-7 without ever having to speak with anyone.
indieactivity: What do you hope audiences get out of watching Hard Visit?
Josh: The number one goal of all of my films is to entertain. This is a rock n roll, high adrenaline piece that has sexy girls, guns, expensive cars, a thrashing soundtrack, a cameo from a decorated character actor, and a big finale that will leave you thirsty for
indieactivity: Who are your biggest creative inspirations?
Josh: The iconoclasts who have influenced me in no particular order are Henry Miller, Keith Haring, Eminem, Quentin Tarantino, and Steven Soderbergh. I like artists who lift up the random rocks of the world and unveil a universe we would have never known existed if it hadn’t been for their inventiveness.
indieactivity: Why did you to move from Boston to LA? Was it difficult adjusting to life on the west coast?
Josh: I left Boston and moved to LA because I knew you had to be in the belly of the beast to truly maximize your chances of success in the film and TV world. There is a reason why all the studios are in Hollywood and why all the movie stars live here. Because this is where the magic happens. I recently celebrated my three-year anniversary on the west coast and the things I miss most are my family, friends, lobster, and Fenway Park. You can watch my feature film Helen Keller Had A Pit Bull to truly learn about my transition and some of the shady characters I have had to endure in the process.
— Josh Mitchell (@mitchellmadness) April 25, 2017
indieactivity: What is the most rewarding aspect of your work with Wickid Pissa Publicity?
Josh: The thing I love best about Wickid Pissa Publicity is the diversity of talent and companies I get to work with with on a daily basis. I specialize in elevating buzz, branding, and exposure for unique brands. So most days I am working with a female actress, a TV producer, a new energy drink, a t-shirt line, a Kickstarter campaign – it runs the gamut and keeps everything fresh and exciting for me. I also get to attend a surplus of red carpet events and networking parties which usually have delicious food and open bars.
indieactivity: What are you working on next?
Josh: I’m shooting an inventive and endearing kids movie I wrote called Harry Head next month and I just finished the script for an action-zombie piece called Dirty Water. After I execute these two thrilling projects, I hope to direct and star in a provocative new TV series called NoHo District, which I plan to pitch to Netflix and premium cable channels.