‘Simon Says’: An Interview With “Simon”, A Cast Member Of Berel & The Bus Driver

simon rebbe hill berel and the bus driver scene airport sceneAn interview with Simon, (pictured second from right), a member of the Berel & The Bus Driver cast, which is set to be released Chanukah. How did Rebbee Hill find you for his film?
Well, when my agent told me that Rebbee Hill was making a film… Just kidding! (In real life, I’m a yeshiva yungerman.) Actually, a friend of mine who had worked on another Rebbee Hill production called me and asked if I wanted to be part of this new project. I was very excited.

Was it as exciting as you expected it to be?
Absolutely! I’d never seen Rebbee Hill in action before, but by the very first script read-through, I could tell that this was something altogether different than anything I had expected. The intensity level was terrific.

What was filming like?
Honestly? I was shocked. I’d been expecting maybe a tripod or two followed by some clever video editing, but this was like nothing I had ever seen before. There had to be 12-13 crew members on set at any given time: lighting technicians, the make-up artist, cinematographer, the works. The level of professionalism and efficiency was impressive. The crew worked really hard and expected the same of the actors–or “Talent”, as they referred to us. Every day started at about 7:00 a.m. and ended at about 6:00 p.m.

Whoa! That sounds like a really long day!
It was, but B”H, everything really just went. It really was a top-notch production from the start: we’d start each day with a delicious catered breakfast from Four Corners bagel shop, then go through makeup (some of the actors had to go through several hours of makeup, even prosthetics, before they went on camera!) The rest of the day was filled with rehearsal after rehearsal and then, finally, take after take. It was painstaking, but Rebbee Hill wanted this to be perfect, something that would be in a class of its own, and so they spared no effort getting it right… and neither did we! (Laughs.)

What do you think people’s reaction will be to this film?
I think this will totally raise the bar as far as Jewish educational entertainment goes. Completely. Torah Umesorah and Rebbee Hill are taking the kids’ tapes and other video products now available and completely revolutionizing the experience. I think that both children and parents alike will be simultaneously fascinated by what they will see—and that the timeless lessons of Shabbos, and the other important limudim in this video, will be driven home with a deeper understanding and clarity than ever before.

Did you enjoy working with Rebbee Hill on this project?
And how! It was particularly inspiring to watch the joy and energy he brings to his work every day. He is totally devoted to what he can do for the children of today, constantly striving to present his vision of chashivus for Torah, and its message of the Jewish way of life. It really was an honor to be part of that vision.

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