A Tribute to Randy Cellan

“Fluffy” was the nickname we gave Randy Cellan when we were in production on my feature length action thriller, Dishonorable Vendetta, 7 years ago. Even though he did not have much acting experience, Randy was one of the most generous and funny people that I ever had the privilege to work with. When I learned about his battle with Chronic Lyme Disease, I did my best to donate what I could for his medical expenses and encouraged others from the film to do the same. Having now heard the sad news of his passing today, it truly breaks my heart to see a strong family man and a good friend gone too soon.

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In the 3 days of filming that I shared with him on Dishonorable Vendetta, the most memorable was the first day we met. It was an abandoned warehouse scene when my character and his partner are put at risk by the Russian bad guys. As a henchman, Randy grabs me and holds me captive in a small office where I eventually make my escape. When he first gets ordered to detain me, I improvised a part on the first take where he pushes me and I respond in a Jamaican accent, “Hey! Watch the suit, fluffy!”. After that one take, we all joked about it. But the name soon became a term of endearment every time we saw each other after that.

I always had plans to work with Randy again after filming wrapped. A few years later, I had him and our mutual friend, Drew Henriksen, perform voiceovers as racist southerners in the old west for an animated storyboard video to another short film I worked on called Civil Wrath. Anytime I wrote a new script, I would try to keep Randy in mind for bigger roles that he could excel in. Some comedic and others very dramatic because I believed he had the range to be a strong actor.

As we prepare to screen Dishonorable Vendetta later this summer at the IronDragon TV Action Fest in August as well as the plan to unveil the sequel, Vendetta Games, later this year, our efforts with those projects will now be dedicated in Randy’s memory. My heart and my prayers go out to the Cellan family at this difficult time. He was a wonderful man that I know most of us who worked with him will miss dearly.

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RIP Christina Wood

I was saddened to learn the news this morning on Facebook when I heard about the passing of my friend and actress Christina Wood. Christina had a long fighting battle with leukemia and as of yesterday, she was taken off life support. Though we never met in person, Christina was a big part of the community of Long Island-based actors and filmmakers that I was well acquainted with. I had seen her work in the Left of Center Films projects of TEN QUESTIONS and MIRROR IMAGE at film festivals and I was often told my her co-workers how much of a professional she was on set.

Christina and I had connected on Facebook a few years back. She would often reply to my posts sometimes with inspiring advice and also gave me positive feedback on some of my projects. We had spoken a few times about working together and I had written scripts with major roles in mind for her. While I’m saddened to not have that opportunity to work with her, I am still very grateful for the brief time I knew her. Not only was she a talented actress and singer but she was also a hard working school teacher with a master’s degree in Special Education.

Heaven took Christina way too soon. But for the short time she had on this earth, it should put a smile to everyone’s face to know that she was able to live her dream before it was time to be called home. My heart goes out to her friends and family at this difficult time.