Category Archives: Director Kevin Breslin

Documentary “Living for 32”: Virginia Tech’s Colin Goddard goes to Washington no longer a victim

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Living for 32 ‘s 2010 Academy Shortlisted Documentary’s Colin Goddard goes to Washington to speak on closing the gun show loophole with Vice President Biden and other victims of gun violence. Colin’s focus is on common ground and answers to one of the toughest issues America faces. 

Director Kevin Breslin and Producer Maria Cuomo-Cole joined forces with Colin Goddard in 2010 to tell Colin’s story of his experience during the Virginia Tech Massacre. Today was a day to find common ground in Washington on gun control. I asked the filmmakers to share some of their thoughts/experiences on Living for 32 and working with Colin.  

“The time has come for a common ground. Colin Goddard is the voice we need.” Director Kevin Breslin 

Brown: How do you feel about Living for 32’s message now that Colin has become such an incredible voice in Washington ?

Blowtorch_Breslin_DirectorBreslin: It only helps create awareness and that is good, However, we have had 1000’s of murders from a coherent way to control guns being in the wrong hands. Colin does what is essential. He goes to work every day and discusses the issue. The film supports his efforts.

0-filmmaker-coleCuomo-Cole: The rise of Colin ‘s voice a national advocate for gun safety and expert on federal and state gun law policies is warranted. As a survivor of one of the most devastating episodes of gun violence in the United States, Colin courageously dedicated himself to strengthening gun laws in order to spare others the tragedy and suffering he and his family endured. His intent was pure and his actions, sincere.

Brown: What were your feelings on the set while filming..?

Breslin: I felt that Colin would emerge as a powerful voice. The irony is that he is listened to after people are murdered. A wonderful way to have to be understood. He is finally getting the NRA people to pay attention to his lobbying efforts at Brady.

Cuomo-Cole: While shooting, Colin’s story emerged to become a compelling , sensitive and intelligent case , imperative for the world to hear and see. He needed no prompting. The story was his own.

Brown: Is there anything you would like to add?

Breslin: Yes…politicians and lobbyists and gun manufacturers all have to sit together and come to an understanding that life is a remarkable thing and help eliminate all the murders in America. This is way more than a financial or 2nd amendment threat; it has to do with life and humanity

Cuomo-Cole:
I am extremely proud of the formidable, effective young man Colin has grown to become. He will always have my support and partnership in the mission to implement legislation demanding safer national gun laws. The first time I heard Colin describe his personal experience and rational case for reform, I knew his story needed to be captured. He generously agreed for me to film him in order to share his story to promote change.

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“The president is going to act. Executive orders, executive action, can be taken,” Biden spoke to reporters prior to meeting with survivors of mass shootings and their representation. “We haven’t decided what this is yet, but we’re compiling it all with the help of the attorney general and all the rest of the Cabinet members.” Legislative action also is needed, Biden said.

Vice President Biden speaks during a meeting with victims groups and gun-safety organizations on Wednesday in Washington. Attorney General Eric Holder is at left. PHOTO Susan Walsh AP
PHOTO – Susan Walsh AP

“I’m convinced we can affect the well-being of millions of Americans, and take thousands of people out of harm’s way, if we act responsibly,” he said.

Left: Vice President Biden speaks during a meeting with victims groups and gun-safety organizations on Wednesday in Washington. Attorney General Eric Holder is at left. Colin Goddard to the left of AG Holder.

 Colin’s account of his experience during the Virginia Tech shooting.


The Young Turks report with Colin Goddard on CURRENT TV

Trailer: In 2010, Colin Goddard shared his story in Director Kevin Breslin’s documentary “Living for 32” produced by Maria Cuomo-Cole. The documentary was shortlisted for an Academy Award.

Living for 32 – Trailer from Living for 32 on Vimeo.

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On a snowy, windy April day in Blacksburg, Virginia in 2007, young Americans pursued a college education and their teachers engaged in providing it to them. Some of those students were attending Introductory German, Intermediate French, Advanced Hydrology Engineering, and Solid Mechanics classes in a building image (3)called Norris Hall.

Thirty-two of them died, 17 more were wounded, and six more were injured jumping out of windows. Their lives had collided with that of a tortured loner, whom a judge had written was “fundamentally ill and in need of hospitalization, and presents image (4)an eminent danger to self or others as a result of mental illness,” or is so seriously mentally ill as to be substantially unable to care for self.

One of those wounded was a 21-year-old senior International Studies major from Richmond, Virginia, named Colin Goddard. Goddard image (7)played a unique role in the horrific drama that played out at Virginia Tech University on that blustery April day: he was the only person within the building to call the police. Urged by his French professor to dial 911 as the crackle of gunfire came closer to the door of their classroom, Goddard made the call. Shot for the first time, image (10)he passed the phone to a classmate who gave the police enough information to get them to the scene three minutes later. Police got into the building, which had been barricaded, six minutes after that. For all the terrible damage that the killer did, the toll of lost lives might have been much higher if it were not for the 911 image (6)call started by Colin Goddard and continued by Emily Haas.

By the end of the ordeal, the killer had fired at him at three separate moments during the eleven-minute assault. Goddard had been shot four times. He heard the rescue workers walking through his classroom, living_for_32shouting ‚”red tag, black tag, black tag‚” a dire roster of the critical and the dead. He was later told he might not walk again, but fought his way through arduous physical therapy. And he grew a fire in his heart to do something about keeping dangerous people from having easy access to deadly weapons. The killer had two semiautomatic handguns, dozens of 10- and 15-round magazines, and 400 rounds of hollow-point ammunition.

After recovering and finishing his degree, Colin Goddard decided he was going to volunteer for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the nation’s largest gun control organization. And he was going to convince them to sponsor him in wearing a hidden camera and going undercover into gun shows all across America, to prove how easy it is for anyone to buy a gun, with no identification, no Brady background check, and just a wad of cash.

Living for 32 is his story. ( credit: http://livingfor32.com/story/ )

CNN – Colin Goddard – VA Tech survivor on gun violence meeting


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EXCLUSIVE Interview with Director Kevin Breslin and his New Indie, “Blowtorch” starring William Baldwin, Lois Robbins, Kathy Najimy, Armand Assante, Jared Abrahamson

EXCLUSIVE Interview with Director Kevin Breslin and his New Indie, “Blowtorch” starring William Baldwin, Lois Robbins, Kathy Najimy, Armand Assante, Jared Abrahamson

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Let’s shoot a film in the middle of hurricane cleanup:  Director Kevin Breslin’s New Indie, “Blowtorch” stars William Baldwin, Lois Robbins, Kathy Najimy, Armand Assante, Jared Abrahamson 

by Karen A. Brown @StardustBluCEO

On October 29th when Hurricane Sandy hit the The Northeast, Director Kevin Breslin was in pre-production to begin filming “Blowtorch”. Little did Breslin know, he would first have to watch 100 homes burn to the ground in his neighborhood of Rockaway, NY and lose two cars while being forced to weather the storm on the top floor of his home. He has spent  the last two months living in 5 different locations while he’s been filming “Blowtorch” on the streets of Brooklyn. On one night, he had to direct from his car, as the deluge from the sky made it impossible to be out in the street.

BT_DAY_017-03576 (1)With a stellar cast of veteran actors William Baldwin, Lois Robbins, Kathy Najimy, Armand Assante, Paul Ben-Victors and Jared Abrahamson burning up the screen, this drama is sure to be powerful. The story, written by Breslin, is set in Brooklyn. “Blowtorch” tells of a murder of a teen over ‘bathsalts’. (http://www.drugfree.org/drug-guide/bath-salts)

BT_DAY_05-01204I caught up with Breslin to get the inside scoop on “Blowtorch”, which will be released sometime late this year.

What was it like filming on the streets of Brooklyn?

BT_DAY_017-03420Breslin: Brooklyn is the greatest place on earth to film. For “Blowtorch” I tried to relive the naked city and on the waterfront. It still has cobblestone. It has the old crumbling factories and the lonely streets. The piers jut out with NYC in the background. The hard edge of the waterfront in Sunset Park allowed me to show the working class world. The rich and the dreams of greatness always twinkled across the river.

BT_DAY_01-00282You wrote “Blowtorch”, can you share more about the process of creating the script?

Breslin: This is a story out of my mind. I worked in many factories and knew many tough people. I loaded trucks for years at night in Canarsie. I knew about a few different murders in my life and had to get at some fiction. I have made one doc after the next in BT_DAY_01-00205the past few years and knew it was time for me to start working with fiction. It is in my blood.

Your last film, “#whilewewatch” was a raw fast paced doc on the Occupy Wall St Media team, how different was shooting with seasoned actors?

BT_DAY_13-03095 (1)Breslin: I was excited to meet all the actors. I loved them. Billy Baldwin, Armand Assante, Kathy Najimy, Jared Abrahamson, Paul Ben David and Lois Robbins. They were all great. All the characters are New York. The actors gave brilliant performances. This is about a teenager murdered over bathsalts in Brooklyn. I know reality and doc story telling. I trusted my instincts about story and just giving the actors the freedom to work. BT_DAY_01-00054 (1)I loved when they said to me, ‘Hey, I have an idea. Can I try this or that?’ I loved that. They were invested in their characters. I just wanted them to bring the rhythm of their roles to life. Can’t wait to do it again. Actors are smart people.

Any quirky stories during the shoot that you would like to share?

BT_DAY_05-01177Breslin: Yeah, I was homeless because of Hurricane Sandy and have been sleeping all over the BT_DAY_016-03161place till my house is ready. My son Quinn, age 5, thought he was Billy Baldwin’s son. And called himself Jesse. He would run lines with Billy at 3 am. He started asking when was his chance to do a scene. The camera crew put him in makeup and I called action. He stared throwing out some lines. Insanity… (*laughing*)

You are editing now, when will the film be released?

Breslin: This is an indie. It will be out sometime next year. This is an edgy murder story on the waterfront in Brooklyn. A teenager dies over bathsalts. His mother seeks revenge and wants the murderer caught. She becomes inexorable and takes the law into her own hands. Lois Robbins BT_DAY_01-00142is the mom. Billy Baldwin is a detective who is after the killer and has to use all his skills to keep the mother from ruining a murder case.

Is there anything else you would like to share about the writing and/or filming of Blowtorch?

BT_DAY_13-02760Breslin: I was blessed to have a great NY crew. The mayor’s office gave us ‘cart blanche’ and we shot all over the Brooklyn streets. For a film with a small budget I think we will give the streets a big-time look. I look forward to getting the film out for everyone to enjoy. I wanted to a film in the vein of the old NY movies from Lumet…even the edgy look from  Billy Friedkin. I used old lenses from the 60’s to give the film a unique look…. Thank god for cobblestones.
Still Photos: SABRINA LANTOS
Find more on Director Kevin Breslin at http://www.breslinfilms.com Follow on Twitter @KevinBreslin
#whilewewatch on Snagfilms.com 

Blowtorch on IMDb

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