‘Plato’s Reality Machine’ Puts the Machinima in NYC Relationships

PLATO’S REALITY MACHINE is an ensemble portrait of the modern relationship as it exists in the current wilds of New York City.  Three men: Charles, Josie and Scott, and three women: Maggie, Kim, and Zoe, crash into each other in a tangled web of late nights, painful mornings, hurt feelings and a very ill-advised trip to the strip club.  It’s a non-linear story of ex-girlfriends and brand new boyfriends, of one night stands and single men getting cats.  It’s a story of the timeless quest for a real human connection, however short-lived.

A mysterious video-game adventure interweaves with reality television inspired confessionals and traditional narrative stories to offer a fresh and modern twist on the “relationship movie”.  Get ready to get lost.  Lost in the game, lost in love, lost in Plato’s Reality Machine.


– TRIESTE KELLY DUNN (Zoe):  Trieste had a breakout performance as one of the leads in Aaron Katz’s 2011 indie hit “Cold Weather”.  She was recently cast as a series regular in the upcoming Cinemax action series “Banshee” from “True Blood” creator Alan Ball.  Named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of independent film in 2010, Trieste appeared in Paul Greengrass’ “United 93” and has appeared on “Bored to Death”, ”Fringe”, and “Cupid”.  You can also currently see her in film fest favorites “The New Year” and “Vacation!”.

CAROLINA BARTCZAK (Maggie): A multilingual actress who plays both lead and supporting roles in comedy and drama, on-stage and on-screen.  A graduate of The Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City, Carolina was recently profiled in the Who Got The Part column of Backstage magazine for her role in “Plato’s Reality Machine”.   If you want to see Carolina imitate a man’s voice, you can catch her on the CBC/Qubo cartoon “Mysteries of Alfred Hedgehog”, as Alfred, a young precocious hedgehog detective.

ED RENNINGER (Scott):  has worked as a principle actor on various productions at the Walnut Street Theatre, Theatre Horizon, and most notably founded his own theater company, Theatre Revolution.  He trained in the Meisner technique with first generation teacher, Ernest A. Losso.  Last year he filmed several commercials airing in national markets for AT&T, Klondike, and Publix.  Ed is managed by J.E.B. Management.

DOUG ROLAND (Charles): Doug’s recent film credits include the features “Wilt” and “Blemished Light”.  He produced, directed, and starred in the short film “Kidwalker”, currently on the festival circuit, and has written a feature film set to go into production later this year.  Some NYC theater credits include Elliot in “Wolves” (59E59 Theaters), Danny in “Over Here” (The Flea Theater), and Don Juan in “Don Juan Does New Jersey” (The Alternate Theater).  Doug is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and the conservatory program at Michael Howard Studios.

– HEATHER SHISLER (Kim):  Heather’s favorite film credits include “How to Rock a First Date”, “Taught to Hate”, and “Something about Ryan”.  Her NYC stage credits include “The Importance of Being Earnest”, “Carousel”, “No Problem”, and “An Ideal Husband”.   A trained comedic actress, you can catch her improv group at the Broadway Comedy Club.  Heather graduated from the University of Missouri and studied at NYU CAP21/ Stonestreet Studios.

– NATHAN SPITERI (Josie):  An Australian-born actor who starred in several films and theater productions back home before moving to New York four years ago.  He currently has three features in post, including Raj Amit Kumar’s “Blemished Light”, and has done several theater productions in NY.  He is in the middle of writing his first feature script.


MYLES SORENSEN (Writer/Director): Holds an MFA from the USC School of Cinema-Television, where his thesis film, “The Arsonist”, premiered at the Venice Film Festival.  In 2006 he relocated to New York, where he earns both bread and butter working as an editor.  He has written numerous award-winning screenplays, and garnered his first writing credit on Mun Chee Yong’s “Where The Road Meets The Sun” in 2011.  “Plato’s Reality Machine” is his first feature film as both writer and director.

DAGMAR WEAVER-MADSEN (Director of Photopgraphy):  Earned her MFA in Film Production at UCLA, and is especially proud of her work on Alex DeMille’s “The Absence” for which she won the American Society of Cinematographer’s Heritage Award.  Her win was profiled in the May 2011 issue of American Cinematographer Magazine.   Currently based out of both Los Angeles and New York, Dagmar shoots feature films, music videos and commercials all over the world.

– OWEN COOPER (Producer):  Recently finished producing the ITVS-funded feature documentary More Than a Month, which follows filmmaker Shukree Tilghman on a cross-country campaign to end Black History Month.  The film airs nationally on PBS in February 2012.  A graduate of the SUNY Purchase film program, Owen has several projects in development at the moment.  As a live television director, he has helmed programming for CNBC, CNN and ABC.  Owen has also produced webcasts, award winning festival shorts and music videos.

– PADMINI NARUMANCHI (Producer):  Brooklyn-based independent film Producer and media educator.  She earned an MFA in Film Production from USC, where she was a Courtney & Steven J. Ross Fellow.  Committed to working with underserved youth, she has taught Media Literacy, Video and Radio in award winning after-school programs and was a participant in the 2008 NAMAC Media Leadership Institute.  Most recently, she has been focused on producing narrative features, which include “Plato’s Reality Machine” and “In Real Life”.  She has several screenplays tucked and hopes to direct them in coming years.

CLIFFORD FIELDS (Producer):  was born and raised in the suburbs of Detroit.  After graduating with a degree in Film & Video Production, he quickly moved to Los Angeles and spent 13 years in the world of commercial, music video and film production.  A New York resident since early 2010, he has written multiple screenplays, a collection of one-act plays and in 2008 he directed “POV” – an award-winning short film that served as his narrative directorial debut.

CHRISTOPHER VITALE (Producer):  Began his career at Propaganda Films, working for Spike Jonze on “Being John Malkovich” and the Coen brothers on “O Brother Where Art Thou?”.  He recently finished producing “Mi Aldea, Mi Langosta” (“My Village, My Lobster”) a feature documentary film about the harrowing lives of Nicaraguan lobster divers.

– JAMES C. MARTIN (Lead Animator) Attended school at the Fort Lauderdale Art Institute and then went on to work for animation software developers REALLUSION, makers of iClone. From there, James has operated studios across the country.  “Plato’s Reality Machine” is his first feature film, but he has created 3D animation for the British Army, American Express, the University of Kentucky, the Beastie Boys and many more professional and corporate entities.  Along with animation production, James is also a 3D online instructor and consultant of real-time animation tools, providing services to students around the globe.

RAYMOND WATTS (Composer):  Escaped the smug complacency of the English music scene to found the legendary industrial group KMFDM in Hamburg in the mid 80’s.  After the wall crashed down, Watts split his time between London and Tokyo with his solo project, PIG, opening for Nine Inch Nails on their 1994 world tour.  He returned to KMFDM for Nihil, their most successful album to date,  which included the massive Watts-penned hit “Juke Joint Jezebel”.  In recent years, Raymond has focused increasingly on composing, writing the music for several of Alexander McQueen’s fashion shows, including “Plato’s Atlantis”.

MARI BECKMAN-LAU (Editor):  Earned an MFA in film production from USC, beginning her career editing television shows in Los Angeles before moving to New York in 2007.  She currently works for National Geographic television as an editor on several different series.  Short film credits include “Four Degrees” and “The Liar”.  “Plato’s Reality Machine” is her feature editorial debut.

KRISTI VOSBECK Costume Designer):  An emerging evening wear designer carving out a niche for herself as an innovative creator of edgy, yet classic designs that enhance a woman’s curves.  After a succession of jobs in the fashion industry and a degree from Parsons,  Kristi made her move and formed KRISTI VOSBECK LLC in March 2009.  KV is currently featured in fine specialty stores throughout the country.  She also just launched KV NUIT, a collection of dramatic long dresses getting rave reviews from buyers and press.





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James C Martin
James C Martin

Just a thought, if you're going to publish a piece on Machinima, you might want to mention the animator.