Courtesy of Larry Sands
Once you get to know Larry Sands, it’s not surprising that the multi-talented filmmaker would start a podcast like Something Something. The show is all about creative people following their passions. That’s a topic Sands, an actor, writer, producer, editor and so much more, knows an awful lot about. In a recent interview, Sands told us about his own artistic journey and the podcast that highlights others’ imaginative pursuits.
Sands was born in Hartford City, Indiana on New Years Day and grew up in Texas — a far cry from the entertainment industry in Hollywood. But he started acting in high school and was quickly hooked. “My senior year we were doing dinner theater and my psychology teacher came and watched us. I had a very small part. But the next day in class she dropped off a note that just read, ‘There was something about your performance that I was drawn to. You did a very good job.’ That was probably the moment that I realized that I loved acting.”
Through continued work performing and studying with Gwynn Gilford at UCLA extension courses, Sands honed his craft. He also started in the industry at the ground level — doing background work. He realized his interest in production went beyond acting. “When you first move to LA, you want to get into everything you can acting wise. So I did background work. I liked it because you got to see the behind the scenes of what it takes to make a movie. The crew, director, lighting guys, sound, camera guys, the actors, how they work together and communicate to create what you see in the movies. I loved watching that.”
His early acting gigs included a slew of TV ads. “My very first commercial was for V8 Splash. It was so awesome and I was super excited... and very nervous,” Sands admitted. “I had a lot of dialogue. We filmed it in Malibu at a pool looking over the ocean. The longer the day went the more I kept forgetting my lines. I remember it was so frustrating that they began writing cue cards for me. Once I saw that I was like no way. I'm doing this next take and getting it right! I did and the rest of the day was awesome. I went on and did commercials for Pop Tarts, Microsoft, the power of cheese and Monday Night Football, that one in particular made my dad's day. He loved telling everyone he met about that one."
He took his first big step into production to make a movie with his brother, Josh. “I shot with my brother who taught me filmmaking,” explained Sands. “It's called Recycled Parts. It's a horror movie. I directed half the movie and edited it, did sound design, special effects — all of it. That's where I really began loving working behind the camera.”
He found his work as an actor invaluable in his new role. “I how to talk to actors and non-actors alike and communicate on all levels to bring out the best in front of and behind the camera. I anticipate the workflow in front of and behind the camera due to a large part of me being an actor. I would definitely recommend directors take an acting class and vice versa, actors take a directing class. It will only strengthen your craft.”
He also finds that his work as a producer gives him a sense of freedom that most actors don’t enjoy. “I don't have to wait on anyone really. If someone has a script, I can be the one to say let's do it, where as an actor I have to wait for someone to cast me.”
To see many of Sands’ talents in action, all you have to do is watch the film Adjusting Honor, about an Army war vet who returns from Iraq and has to learn to cope with a world that’s changed in his absence and PTSD. “It was a great role for an actor because there is so much going on,” noted Sands. “For that one I was a able to say let's do it because we had cameras, sound and editing equipment. All the basic things you really need to make a film and tell a good story. I am very proud to have produced that film and be apart of the film in every way actor, producer, editor. From that I can say I know my craft in front and behind the camera. One of the things I am really, really proud about is getting it up on Amazon Prime. I worked very hard on getting it out on Amazon Prime.”
It’s clear to see that Sands loves what he does — every aspect of it. So the Something Something Podcast is a logical extension of that. “The podcast is all about living and pursuing creative life. We talk to creative and passionate people about their pursuits chasing down their dreams. We find out who they are and what makes them tick. Where they are in their creative career and where they want to go. We help get their projects out there. We let our guests talk about themselves and what they are passionate about. I am firm believer about putting out into the world who you want to be. You will attract like-minded people. That's all about collaboration.”
As for what he’s passionate about, Sands had a long list — “really about creative work, being positive in life, projecting who I am and want I want to be — filming, acting, teaching, being productive in a positive way. Staying focused. Being creative you really need to stay in a positive mind frame. If you aren't, it's very difficult to operate and get anything done. Things I am going through now I really need to stay positive and focused. It's very important for me to be able to fit into each situation and be comfortable. That's who I find I am and what I need to do.”
To learn more about all of Larry Sands’ projects and the Something Something Podcast visit his websites — larryrsands.com and somethingsomethingfilms.com.