[Editor’s Note: Ned Bitters is sleeping off a hangover in an alley somewhere, so today we bring you a special guest column written by Zach Cumer. In 2007 we profiled Cumer, who had just had his breakout role in the film Smokin’ Aces. We decided to give Cumer a chance to catch us all up on what he’s been working on since then and this time we let him do it in his own words.]
Hey Guys! Thought I’d blog it out tonight and give everyone an update on what I’m up to. First I’d like to say that the best way to keep up with everything I’m doing is by going to my imdb.com page.
Now, onto what’s been goin’ on. I currently am doing a show called Family Dinner with the lovely and legendary Phyllis Diller. 😀 She plays my grandmother in the show. I play Jeremy, an emo kid who can’t wait to move away from his crazy, dysfunctional family. He is very quiet and is always crankin’ up his iPod. The show’s shot very similarly to a reality show. There’s a lot of improv goin’ on. The storyline is a reporter, John, comes to document a “normal” family dinner once a week at our house. What he finds though is anything but normal. Keep your eyes peeled for that soon.
I am also currently on two web shows. The Hustler with Mark Fuerstein and Ghost Town. The Hustler is about a very strange man (played by Mark) who hustles people in very odd games (like a hot dog eating contest). I play Joe Meat, just a normal kid who gets wrapped up in one of his hustles and actually hustles him! So yes, I am his archenemy in a sense. Ghost Town is geared more towards kids and is about exactly what you think – ghosts! I play Jacob, a ghost hunter. Along with my three friends, I track down ghosts and get them to go into the light. And to stop haunting little kids! There are a few other projects in the works as well but let’s save that for a later date.
Now, many have questions on the life of a child actor, especially when that actor is really no longer a child. Hollywood loves to use kids to play kids but not when they have a tight budget or they’re a tight ass – ha – their solution to this dilemma is to cast someone older to play younger. Older usually means 40 to play 16 (no I’m kidding – but not by much). It’s been a while, hobos … I am 17 now. I find at casting sessions my competition is 18-year-olds who are not very tall and still have some baby fat. The 18-year-olds usually get cast because they can work as adults (which means they can work more hours on set and don’t have to have a teacher on set, which saves a lot of money).
In order to work as a 17-year-old, you have to find your niche. I guess I have found mine since I am working. The role I played in Smokin’ Aces (Warren) has served me well. Whenever there is a edgy, crazy type role for a kid, people call “Cumer” (pronounced KOO MER by the way, not Cum-mer like most people think). Some of my latest work is in projects that are really different and unique – roles you can really sink your teeth into.
I just finished a horror/thriller film called Necromentia, directed by Pearry Reginald Teo. My character Thomas is a very sad, depressed and disturbed young man. He is physically disabled (in a wheelchair). He lives with his brother. His parents are dead. He lives in a world separated from all outside life. Because he has no one to talk to (no friends), he doesn’t really talk. But he does have conversations in his mind with other people. He has an imaginary friend … a very deadly imaginary friend.
The director, Pearry, is so creative he tells you what he expects in a scene, but then allows you to do your interpretation as well, which is nice. He understands what his audiences want to see and he always delivers. His movies are bloody and scary but they are beautiful as well.
Another film I recently finished was Finding Bliss, a comedy/ romance written and directed by Julie Davis. This film stars Jamie Kennedy, LeeLee Sobieski and Denise Richards. I play Bobby Daples, he is the love interest that Jody Balaban (LeeLee) never got over as a child. So she is haunted for life by me!
Some upcoming films that I am attached to include The Science of Cool, a modern day twist on the 80’s movies that people loved so much like 16 Candles, The Breakfast Club and Weird Science. Tamara Tunie is attached as director. You may remember her from The Devil’s Advocate with Al Pacino.
The other film I am attached is Holly, Jingles and Clyde. This is a hilarious Christmas tale about Santa’s daughter and two accident prone elves trying to save a Christmas tree farm. DJ Perry is producing.
Our thanks to Zach for putting together this special guest post for us. For more information on Zach Cumer, visit his official website.