Garrett Batty and Melissa Larson Interview – Episode 3.6

Visit the official Freetown site to find a local theater.

Garrett Batty:

Garrett Batty is the Writer and Director of The Sarratov Approach, and his latest film is Freetown. He graduated from BYU and has been a part of the developing LDS Film market in other capacities with his production company, Three Coin Productions.

Melissa Larson BIO:

Originally from Hau‘ula, Hawai‘i, Melissa Leilani Larson is a writer presently based in Provo, Utah. The award-winning author of a number of plays and films, she holds an a BA in English from Brigham Young University and an MFA from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop.

Mel’s plays have been produced all over the country. Little Happy Secrets received the 2009 Association for Mormon Letters Drama award and was published in August 2010 as part of the anthology Out of the Mount: 19 from New Play Project; after the 2013 production, Mel was nominated as an Outstanding Community Production Member by the Utah Theatre Lovers. Her produced plays include Martyrs’ Crossing (IRAM Best New Play; KC/ACTF Meritorious Achievement; Best of Utah Valley 2006), which was published in the anthology Saints on Stage and received its international premiere at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe; A Flickering (Trustus Playwrights Festival Finalist); Hope Falls; Standing Still Standing (Mayhew Contest Winner); The Church of St. Pinky at Katy, Texas; and Lady in Waiting (KC/ACTF Region VIII New Play Fest participant; Lewis National Playwriting Contest for Women winner). Persuasion has enjoyed several productions and positive audience responses. Mel’s first commission, an adaptation celebrating the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice, recently enjoyed a sold-out run in Brigham Young University’s Pardoe Theatre. Mel has helped co-write the book for The Weaver of Raveloe, a new musical inspired by George Eliot’s Silas Marner, conceived and composed by award-winning composer Erica Glenn; Weaver premiered in May 2014 at ART’s Oberon. Mel’s newest original play, Pilot Program, will premiere in April 2015, directed by Jerry Rapier, as part of Plan-B Theatre Company’s upcoming season.

Also an accomplished filmmaker, Mel is currently collaborating with Garrett Batty (the award-winning director of The Saratov Approach) on a new project, Freetown, which recently completed principal production in Ghana. She wrote and co-produced the independent feature The Lilac Thief and has written, produced, and/or directed a number of short films including “Cherry Pie” (writer), “Iscariot” (writer/co-producer), “Traces” (director/producer), and “4:53” (writer), which was included in the LDS Film Festival’s inaugural Best of Festival tour. She’s written a screen adaptation of Shakespeare’s pastoral comedy As You Like It, and is has several film projects in progress. Mel adapted her own play Standing Still Standing for film, winning the LDS Film Festival’s screenwriting award.

Works in progress include Sweetheart Come, about a young mother suffering through the onset of schizophrenia; a wacky Victorian comedy, The Mummy Play; a biographical drama about Russian poet Alexander Pushkin; adaptations of Thomas Hardy’s Under the Greenwood Tree and Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, as well as a musical version of Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South; a retelling of the Nordic fairy tale “East of the Sun and West of the Moon”; Island Rose, a screenplay about Ka‘iulani, Hawai‘i’s last princess; a Hawaiian history cycle for the stage; and several young adult novels (Mel loathes the term “juvenile” but she loves talking about herself in the third person).

An AEA EMC stage manager, Mel has stage managed at all levels, calling shows for Actors Repertory Theatre Ensemble, Brigham Young University, Utah Regional Ballet, Provo Theatre Company, Iowa University Theatres, Iowa Summer Rep, New Play Project, Utah Valley University School of the Arts, Sundance Summer Theatre, the Echo Theatre, and the Utah Lyric Opera. She is presently working with choreographer Graham Brown on his devised work You, which will be staged at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center in January 2015.

Mel was recently invited to be part of Plan-B Theatre Company’s Playwrights Lab, and to serve as a Dramatists Guild of America ambassador for the Utah Region. A certified KC/ACTF adjudicator, she occasionally serves as adjunct faculty at Brigham Young and Utah Valley Universities. She was one of the original Utah Theatre Bloggers, writing regular reviews for three years. Her favorite things include melty cheese, Hawai‘i, the UK, history, musicals that don’t suck, nice paper and even nicer pens. Oh, and just about anything sung by Audra McDonald.

Garrett Batty Interview – Episode 2.15


To fans and followers of LDS Film, today’s guest needs no introduction. Garrett Batty is director, producer, and writer of the film Saratov Approach now out on DVD and BlueRay.

Signed copies of the Saratov Approach DVD can be purchased here (while supplies last)


Studio C – Mallory Everton and Matt Meese Interview – Episode 2.2

Studio C is a sketch comedy television show produced by BYUtv. The show traces its roots to the BYU sketch comedy troupe Divine Comedy, from which all cast members are current or former members. The show aims to produce clean, family-oriented comedy for a national audience.

Our guests on this episode are two of the shows main writers and actors, Mallory Everton and Matt Meese.

Mallory Everton is a Portland, Oregon native, as demonstrated by her hippie-ish, grunge-loving hair and the fact that she sometimes cries when she sees especially tall trees. She owes any good qualities she possesses to her incredible family; all her other qualities were acquired from watching too much television and listening to boy band music before we knew what it would do to our brains. She studied film at Brigham Young University where she emphasized in screenwriting, editing, and directing. She’s also an avid distance-runner, music-lover, and pizza-eater. 

Mallory stumbled into sketch comedy as a freshman in college when she went to see Whitney Call (a good friend from her childhood; also a Portlander, also emotional about trees) audition for Divine Comedy at BYU. She quickly realized that nothing could be more fun than sketch comedy, and it’s all been downhill from there. And by downhill, she means awesome.

Matt is probably best known for his work with Divine Comedy, BYU’s premiere sketch comedy troupe. It was there that he met fellow Studio C cast members Jason Gray, Mallory Everton, and Whitney Call. The four became fast friends, and began writing sketches together. When the time came to assemble a writing/performing team for Studio C, Matt was an obvious choice. 

Born in New Jersey, and raised in Phoenix, Matt graduated from BYU with a B.S. in Psychology. Given the vast amount of time he spent writing and performing, however, he feels that what he really studied in college was sketch comedy. Greatest achievement to date: having a proud mother.

Visit Studio C or watch episodes online here.

Adam White Interview – Episode 2.1

Adam White was born and raised in Gilbert, AZ. Adam started making movies when his Dad bought a VHS camcorder all the way back when he was 11 or 12 not ever considering it a possible career path. He dreamed of one day playing in the NBA played college basketball at Eastern Arizona college which is where he met his wife. Later he went to BYU and graduated from ASU with a degree in Business Administration.

Adam now lives in Lehi Utah with his wife and 5 children. He enjoys creating. Writing movies, writing songs on the piano, creating businesses. Adam White also started several online businesses and sold them all to pursue his dream of being a filmmaker.

Adam secretly wishes we could go back to the olden days where one could wear a cloak and have a sword strapped on their back and no one would think anything of it. Adam is now the writer and director of the movie, Inspired Guns hitting theaters January 24th 2014.

Jonathan Decker Interview – Episode 157

Jonathan Decker is a licensed marriage and family therapist and a family life educator. He has a passion for film and performance, having written, directed, and starred in several independent films as well as writing for and acting in the popular BYU comedy group Divine Comedy. Jonathan writes Hollywood film reviews from an LDS perspective at his website He hosts a weekly classic film segment on The KJZZ Movie Show. His book, 250 Great Movies for Latter-day Families is out now!

Merrill Osmond and Shirley Bahlmann Interview – Episode 135

Merrill Osmond and Shirley Bahlmann interviewMerrill Osmond has celebrated over 50 years in the world of show business. Merrill, the unique lead voice of the famous Osmond family is also an established solo artist, writer, producer, motivational speaker and philanthropist. Merrill co-founded the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN), currently one of the largest children’s charities in the world that has raised over 4 billion dollars for children’s hospitals to date.

In collaboration with his brothers, Merrill has written the music and lyrics for five number one hit records and sang lead on the group’s collective 27 gold records.

Merrill has a wide variety of talents and interest that involves healing and wellbeing. He has produced a series of CD’s to help with relaxation and stress management. With his awards and accolades, as well as his professional accomplishments, Merrill’s believes his greatest accomplishment is his family. He has been married to Mary Carlson for over 30 years, and together they have 6 beautiful children, 9 grandchildren. Merrill Osmond is the co-author of the fiction novel, Faith, Hope, and Gravity along with our other guest, Shirley Bahlmann.

After serving as editor of her 6th grade and high school newspaper, Shirley Bahlmann told the judges of the Miss Snow College Pageant that would be a published author some day. After winning the crown, she met and married her husband, Robert Bahlmann.

Her stacks of journals, road shows, plays, and skits attest to the fact that she has been writing all her life. She now teaches writing classes to children and adults and has written more than twenty books in ten years.

To purchase Faith, Hope and Gravity by Merrill Osmond and Shirley Bahlmann click here.