Cast & Crew Interview: Mel Shaw

Mel Shaw

Mel Shaw (Producer, Actor (Sam)) on set in Defiance, OH. (Photo: Julie Hurford)

What’s your name?
Melissa  Shaw. A lot of people call me Mel.

Tell us a bit about what you’ve done so far on the Chartarum project.
I’m a producer and I’m playing the part of Sam. Beyond that, whatever needs doing (running the camera, cooking, some costume work…). I’m also the webgoddess for this site and Think Twice Productions!

What was the thing that you found most interesting? (Or, what was your favorite thing?)
I have not looked at a movie (or TV show) the same since the filming, and probably never will again. Seeing how a short scene can be made up of dozens & dozens of cuts, and seeing how they’re filmed… fascinating.

What do you do when you’re not working on Chartarum?
For a living, I work in Content Management (CMS). For fun, I read, knit, watch movies, play D&D…typical girl-geek stuff.

Mel S with rifle during night shoot

Mel Shaw (Sam) prepares to guard the encampment during night two of shooting. (Photo: Dale Everett)

You have unlimited funds for dinner at any restaurant. Where do you go & what do you order?
Either one of those amazing brunch places (There’s a great one in Plymouth, MI) or a fondue restaurant (all three courses).

You can also take a friend/SO and any person, living or dead, along. Who do you take?
My husband, John, naturally. If I could take someone from the past, it would have to be Carl Sagan.

What’s one of the sci-fi high-tech futuristic thingys you’re ready for right now (think StarTrek or The Jetsons (“Where’s my flying car?”))
I’m ready for teleportation now.

What’s your favorite movie snack?
Popcorn (with the topping in the middle) and M&Ms. I usually drink water, but if I feel like really splurging, then a frozen cherry pop.

Are you related to anyone famous or otherwise interesting (living or dead) that you can tell us about?
Family legend (aka my dad) holds that a great aunt owned a brothel in a small Michigan logging town many decades ago.

What’s your guilty pleasure movie (a bad one you love anyway)?
The House of the Long Shadows

Favorite video game character?
Alistair from Dragon Age: Origins (go ahead and groan). Followed closely by Zev from the same game.

What song are you currently hitting replay on the most?
I never have just one answer to a question like this!:

  • Heroes (Track 7 on the Chartarum soundtrack). I tell people it’s my theme song; it’s not really true, but I love it anyway.
  • I Think You KnowJulia Nunes.
  • Random selections from Tim Minchin, Muse and Apocalyptica

What’s your least favorite household chore?
Litter boxes. Followed closely by dishes.

Do you have a favorite chore?
Sometimes, I enjoy doing laundry. It goes back to my (religious) college days when I used to hide in the laundry room so I wouldn’t have to go to church.

Share something that scares you.
Creepy basements with open-back stairs.

You’re going on a year-long journey into space. What are the must-have books you’d take with you? (You have an electronic reader, so list as many as you like.)
I have an e-reader, although it will never replace the real thing; most of the books I have on my reader are also on my bookshelf. (I wish new books came with an electronic copy, much like a lot of DVDs come with a digital copy of the movie!) If I was going into space, where the weight of books would reduce how many I could take, I’d be happy to cram dozens onto my reader! I couldn’t possibly name them all, but here are a bunch:

  • Robert Heinlein: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress & The Cat Who Walks Through Walls
  • The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan
  • A large assortment of Terry Pratchett, at least the City Watch books and Hogfather
  • J.R.R. Tolkien – Lord of the Rings (trilogy) & The Hobbit
  • L. Neil Smith – Probability Broach, The American Zone & Pallas
  • Terry Goodkind – the Sword of Truth series
  • Virginia Lanier – the whole Bloodhound series
  • Dean Koontz – at least Dark Rivers of the Heart & the Odd Thomas series
  • Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell series
  • The Harry Potter series

What childhood toy do you wish you could have back again?
I already have an Easy-Bake oven, but I wouldn’t mind having my Growing up Ginger doll back (a “friend of Skipper” – that grew in height (and grew boobs) when you cranked her arm).

How do you feel about bacon?
Mmmm. Bacon. I don’t get to have it often, but I do love it. I’ve not been “allowed” to fry it for many, many years (long story), but I’ve found that I get excellent results baking it (foil-lined pan, 400° F).

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2 Responses to Cast & Crew Interview: Mel Shaw

  1. Julie says:

    An auntie who ran a brothel? If you ever find a time machine, take me with you – I’d love to meet her.

    • Mel says:

      That’s what my dad told me, Julie. I don’t think I ever met her; if I did it was when she was a very old woman (my grandfather was almost 30 years older than my grandmother, and this auntie was his sister).

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