Stephane Scupham, Kansas City Film Commissioner and Film Manager at Visit KC, talks movie making in KC, Laugh-O-Gram and more in The Pitch Q&A
Twitter handle: @kansascityfilm @stephscupham
Hometown: Born in Los Angeles and raised in St. Louis. (I went to Kirkwood High.)
Current neighborhood: Waldo
What I do: I hold a vision that KC is a film-production hub in the Midwest. I am the liaison for filming in KC and first point of contact for film, TV and commercial productions that come to Kansas City. I laugh-snort, love dogs, eat cheese, read books, heart movies and dance with abandon.
What’s your game? Table tennis. I took the table-tennis/pickle-ball-combo gym class. Honestly, I’m average, but I put a lot of vocals into it, and it ups my game.
What’s your drink? Hot cup of PG Tips tea with milk and sugar in the morning.
Where’s dinner? Justus Drugstore, Jun’s and Westside Local
What’s on your KC postcard? The city skyline. Producers are SURPRISED when they see it. We have a downtown. We have culture. We have craft cocktails and beer. We have art. We are having a very good time in Kansas City. When producers come to film here, they have a good time, too.
Finish these sentences: “Kansas City got it right when …” The city and Visit KC reopened the Kansas City Film Office after a 10-year absence.
“Kansas City screwed up when …” I found an entire naked loaf of bread on the streets in the Crossroads Arts District. Not sure who is responsible for this travesty, but we need to take better care of our baked goods.
“Kansas City needs …” To support and optimize our Walt Disney history and legacy with Laugh-O-Gram studios. KC can rally behind this effort at thankyouwaltdisney.org. Be sure to check out the “future plans” page of the site.
“As a kid, I wanted to be …” Several things — a singer-dancer on the old TV show Fame, to be the first Filipina Charlie’s Angel and to be called Sherry.
“In five years, I’ll be …” Happily hustling for #FilminKC.
“I always laugh at …” Outtakes shenanigans and videos of animal shenanigans.
“I’ve been known to binge-watch …” Anne of Green Gables, House of Cards, Girls.
“I can’t stop listening to …” I’ve been hooked on Harry Potter audiobooks ever since a family road-trip. I love the voice artist — he can do all of the voices to perfection!
“My dream concert lineup is …” I love so much music … this one’s too hard.
“I just read …” A Man Called Ove (book) and Different Flowers (film script coming to KC in late summer).
What’s your hidden talent? I used to sing opera arias and had a scholarship for singing and theatre. Lalalala …
What’s your guiltiest pleasure? Lactose-free Breyers vanilla ice cream with blueberries and chocolate sauce (the kind that dries into a shell)
The best advice I ever got: Best advice I’ve soaked up is “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right.” — Henry Ford. And Miguel Ruiz’ “The Four Agreements” — 1. Be impeccable with your word 2. Don’t take anything personally 3. Don’t make assumptions 4. Always do your best.
Worst advice? My grandpa said, “You can’t kid a kidder.” Wha? Sure you can! I don’t even know what that even means.
My sidekick? Tater-tot Jones, a small funny sideways-ear dog, terrier-dachshund mix who lives with me and follows me everywhere.
What is your spirit animal? I choose wolf because I value a pack/team and how we take care of each other.
Who is your hero? Maya Angelou. She expressed herself fully. She is a role model and an inspiration. She sang, danced, acted, wrote, spoke, taught, mothered, laughed. (She had the best laugh.)
Who (or what) is your nemesis? Trolls who tear people down on the internet and don’t offer any solution-based information or ideas.
What’s your greatest struggle right now? Taking time for myself, my family and my friends. I love what I do and I am trying to balance work and life better.
My favorite toy as a child: Weeble-wobbles.
My dating triumph/tragedy? I once went on a date with a hot guy. After a lovely dinner, we drove to a park. I thought we were getting out to enjoy the scenery and chat some more. He pulled out a bag of weed and started smoking and inhaling deeply. Then he leaned over, grabbed my head in his hands, turned my head to the side and blew smoke right into my ear. He said, “That’s like how you get a dog high.” I couldn’t get away fast enough. And I prayed he didn’t own a dog.
My brush with fame: I was fast-walking up the sidewalk in Park City, Utah, during Sundance Film Fest. A large man interrupted my stride when his beefy arm struck out in front of me and said “Ma’am.” I’m so lucky because he stopped me from running straight into Robert Redford. THE Robert Redford, who I didn’t think had actually attended his own festival. Thank God for that beefy-armed man. He saved two lives that day: mine and Bob’s.
My soapbox: Everyone is entitled to a life of love and joy.
What was the last thing you had to apologize for? A Facebook message. My intended tone may not have come through the text. Things get lost in the typing.
Who’s sorry now? The Smiths!
My recent triumph: This summer All Creatures Here Below is filming in KC and bringing an incredibly talented team of filmmakers — David Dastmalchian (Dark Knight, Ant Man, Animals), Collin Schiffli (jury award SXSW for directing Animals), Amy Greene (X-Men: First Class, Dumb and Dumber To, Crash, Chronic). It’s been over a year since we started working to bring them here.
Scupham will be honored Tuesday, June 7, at the Kansas City Women in Film & Television Awards luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Lidia’s (101 West 22nd Street).