Will Haza, Ali Lukowski, and Erik Kristopher Myers with their awards

“It is with great pride that we screened Roulette at the World Music & Independent Film Festival on August 15th, this being the first time that the completed film was shown for an audience; and it was with equal pride that we accepted not only the multiple nominations bestowed upon us, but the multiple wins: Best Director in the DMV (Erik Kristopher Myers), Best Actor in the DMV (Will Haza), and Best Actress in the DMV (Ali Lukowski). These awards represent the work of the individuals recognized; but without the rest of the talented cast, crew, and Producers of Roulette, the likelihood of such recognition is reduced. Such victory should reflect upon all who worked so hard throughout the three years it took to bring this project to a close, and it is my sincerest hope that the sum total of these efforts is appreciated by the widest audience possible in the days to come.” E.K.M.

The above is a statement that was given to Smash or Trash by ROULETTE director Erik Kristopher Myers. We at Smash or Trash have been following this film with great interest for the past three years. This August (2011) The cast and crew got to see the world premiere of ROULETTE in Washington DC at the World Music & Independent Film Festival. The following Saturday The movie was nominated for numerous categories, and took home three prestigious awards. We know it has been a long trek for Myers and Co. to get to this point, and there had been many setbacks and hurdles to overcome. Smash or Trash correspondent Leanna Chamish had a supporting role in the film, and gives the reader a first hand view about the screening and her thoughts on the movie. (Robert Long – editor)

Roulette poster animation

On August 15, 2011 I attended the premiere of the film “Roulette” at the World Music and International Film Festival in Washington, DC. I have a supporting role in the film and was eager to see the film in what director Erik Myers said was the finished state, a version he improved since the “sneak peek” at the film at the Charles Theater in Baltimore last year. I went into the screening with a great sense of excitement about seeing the film as Erik said it was “meant to be seen”.

Roulette cast and crew at the Burke Theatre

I was not disappointed! The film is absolutely brilliant! At the end I was overcome with emotion from the excellent acting and filmmaking. Yes, I am in this film, but I do not think I am biased when I say this film deserves to be screened as a major release to the general public. If it had been made in Hollywood instead of Baltimore, Maryland, I believe it and many actors and crew members would be nominated for Academy Awards.




After the premiere screening, cast and crew of “Roulette” fielded questions in a Q&A session. The reaction of the audience was approval and admiration. Although the film contains some controversial and difficult to watch content, no one left the theater or seemed angered by it.


Ali Lukowski fields questions

Later, Erik Myers told me he thought the projection of “Roulette” in the Burke Theater at the Navy Memorial building was a bit dark, that did not detract from my understanding and enjoyment of this film. This film deserves all the awards it won at the festival and more!

“Roulette” is a meticulously crafted film which interweaves the lives of three main characters. Built on a foundation of a creative and tight script, the themes of the movie play out with sound, music, color and visual story telling emphasizing the inter-relationships. It all builds to an ending which director Myers has referred to as “an opera” of intermingling plots, color palettes and musical scoring. This is an accomplished work of art.

Leanna Chamish and Ali Lukowski at the ROULETTE screening.

I give kudos to the excellent actors playing the leads, Ali Lukowski, Will Haza and Mike Baldwin. The larger supporting roles also were portrayed so well you never doubted for a moment the relationships and actions they portrayed. Special acknowledgment must be given to the musical scoring by Dan Schepleng. The musical score is a stunning achievement. Another essential crew member to making this a memorable film is Dylan Lee who was the colorist, working with director Myers to give each character and some locations a distinct color palette to set the mood and relate to the psychology of the characters and situations. I know also that Adam White did heroic work in making all the characters’ voices sound right, especially since a lot of dialog in this film was re-recorded after shooting in ADR sessions. Adam seamlessly synced everything up and made it sound like it had been recorded on location. Of course, there’d be nothing to edit without the outstanding work of cinematographer Jamie Bender.


Katherine Hearn Will Haza at ROULETTE

I wish I could go on on about everyone on the crew– there were so many important contributions by everyone. But one person I want to be sure I don’t leave out is Laura Myers, producer, who is also director Erik Myers’ wife. She wore so many hats on this production, from scheduling to costumes. She also opened her home to cast and crew, and their house at the time was the location of the crew called the “suicide room”, the location for scenes that form the spine of the film’s narrative. I am told she is the one who convinced Erik to go pro on this film and use the best cameras available. She and Erik began this film soon after their wedding and this film has filled their entire lives since marriage — that’s commitment!

Erik Kristopher Myers signs poster

If you want to get a sense of everyone’s hard work on this film, watch the informative and interesting behind-the-scenes video series about “Roulette” called “Luck of The Draw”.

I urge you to to go see “Roulette” when it is screened or when it is released. It was filmed in Baltimore on a shoe-string budget but it looks and feels like a multi-million dollar production. It is a world class film.

Leanna Chamish


Smash or Trash Independent Film-making