As a resident of Marlboro Andrew Suydam came to an independent film set to cast a role as an extra, he also got a leadership role with a new streaming platform.
Suydam, 29, is the chief producer of live events for MOBFI-TV, a streaming service named for the media to which it is dedicated (cellular, film and television). In his position he is responsible for comedy specials, concerts and congress reporting as well as the animation of the platform.
Started in March 2020, MOBFI-TV has undergone a content expansion this year with the participation of Suydam. Before he secured his current position, Suydam was on the lowest production level of the platform.
It was summer 2020 and the production of “Love Dave” had just started when Suydam showed up for a bar scene.
His appearance came at the request of Mike Mazza, a social media friend and lead actor, who posted a message on Facebook looking for extras. Suydam had never met Mazza before that day, but the sight of the post made him take part in Love Dave.
What followed was the first face-to-face meeting between Suydam and Mazza, which might have been their last meeting if Suydam had left for the day with the other extras.
Instead, Suydam was willing to take another risk with someone he had just met. He stayed back to speak to the film’s director, Marcus Reyes, and made an offer for a bigger role on Love Dave.
The offer was not for a major acting role as Suydam’s main skill was in a different area.
During Suydam’s standby to achieve resulted in a meeting with Reyes. That commitment was complemented by something that would grab Reyes’ attention: Suydam’s decades of manufacturing expertise and a lifelong passion for creating projects.
“I’ve always wanted to be a content creator,” says Suydam. “I’ve always wanted to do something, bring it out and let people criticize it.”
Speaking from his home in Marlboro in a room adorned with movie and television memorabilia, Suydam described how he spent many years making videos, drawing cartoons, and filming live events such as bar mitzvahs, weddings, and plays.
He had built an impressive and creative résumé, but he hadn’t found the industry connections he needed to advance his career.
Despite its place outside the entertainment world, Suydam stood firm in creating its own material. He once had an opportunity to work in the larger industry while interning at Nickelodeon under Nick Cannon.
Cannon was Suydam’s celebrity boss, but he was far from being Suydam’s only celebrity encounter.
Suydam often met celebrities at events, autograph sessions and on the street, which often led to positive and sometimes less positive encounters.
While these experiences were meant for fun only, they were the accidental ignition to get into the industry after Mazza, an aspiring actor, saw Suydam’s celebrity photos.
“When I saw him meet all of these celebrities, I was hoping he would pair me up,” Mazza said.
It was through Mazza that Suydam had his first real connection in Reyes. Their first meeting was followed by a phone call during which Suydam presented his previous work.
“We got along very quickly, very well,” said Suydam. “He was very impressed with what I could do.”
One of the videos submitted by Suydam was “The Unsuspecting”, a short film that he made in 2013. The film was shot in 48 hours for a film festival at Brookdale Community College in Middletown, where it took second place and won an award for best editing.
But aside from showing off his skills to Reyes, Suydam believes they are connected through their common goals.
“[Reyes] asked me what I wanted to do, ”he said. “I said I just want to do content.”
After talking to them, Reyes realized that Suydam would be a valuable addition to “Love Dave”.
“He shared his ideas, I mean, and we realized that we can definitely work together,” said Reyes.
Suydam became the producer on Love Dave and was responsible for ensuring the cast and crew arrived on time, planning locations and dates, and confirming that those around them understood their roles.
At Reyes’ request, he did camera, light, and audio work and provided special effects.
The production of the film was concise. Reyes said the script, which emerged from a conversation between him and Mazza, was completed in a day.
Filming took place in the summer and fall of 2020 at locations in Jersey Shore and White Plains, NY. In November “Love Dave” was released digitally. And because all the scenes filmed before Suydam’s arrival had to be re-shot, Reyes thought Suydam was part of the bigger picture.
Efficient production took place despite the fact that the film (according to Suydam’s admission) had no budget and was shot during the coronavirus pandemic.
In fact, Suydam found that the pandemic made it easier for the small cast and small team to film in locations that would otherwise have been open to the public and would have resulted in more people attending.
Marked during 2020 The end of “Love Dave” did not mean the end of Suydam’s work with Reyes. Before Reyes started working on Love Dave, he created a more ambitious project – MOBFI-TV.
“Marcus wanted to do MOBFI-TV because Netflix, Hulu, Hollywood and everyone else have red tape,” Mazza said. “If you bring them something, they can refuse it because they don’t like it, they can cancel you. Marcus wanted to avoid all of that and we are filming original content so there are no rules for us. If we do a TV series, it can run as long as we want. “
MOBFI-TV was scheduled to launch before Reyes met Suydam – “Love Dave” was original content for the service – but the experience of working with Suydam convinced Reyes to take him on as the project grew.
“I realized he knows a lot about what he’s doing,” Reyes said. “I could trust him to take on the role of producing projects for MOBFI-TV. He was always one step ahead and, as I have seen, he was always on point in everything he did. “
In line with his previous experience, Suydam was responsible for the live events and animation of the platform. And perhaps most importantly, he maintains unity among his teammates.
“It’s our moral compass,” said Joey Sousa, a chief producer for the service. “He is the heart of the group. We have become a band of brothers with our strengths and weaknesses, but Andrew holds us together. He controls the chaos by keeping us all on track. And he’s really nice. “
Suydam has shown his generosity towards the MOBFI-TV team by once again going beyond his responsibilities.
In addition to the animated introduction for “Dat’s Slamin”, a MOBFI TV series with Sousa, he created merchandise to promote the platform.
Suydam proudly displayed the MOBFI TV shirt he designed and worn, while Sousa showed the “Dat’s Slamin ‘” stickers he made.
In his new role, Suydam tries to help people with whom he was previously friends. Among them is Vinnie Brand, the owner of the Stress Factory Comedy Club in New Brunswick.
While MOBFI-TV wants to show a lot of comedy acts, there will be a special section dedicated to the Stress Factory.
Another comedian Suydam contacted was Paul Venier, who joined for MOBFI-TV.
Venier shared how Suydam would bring crowds to his live shows and now Suydam is hoping to attract a larger audience to his work.
In addition to comedy specials, Venier will be seen in his first serious role in the upcoming thriller series “Secret Society”. Suydam believes Venier was born for the role.
“I know he’s always wanted to do something like this, so it’s really his dream to be part of a project,” Venier said of Suydam. “I’m happy for him.”
Since MOBFI-TV wants to expand in 2021, Suydam is looking for more creative minds – provided they bring the same commitment, passion and ambition as he did in summer 2020.
“I’m very lenient, but you have to give me a chance,” he said. “If you keep saying ‘no’ to me, I can’t use you. But I’m still very generous. I like to help people, especially in this difficult business. “
If Suydam hadn’t been helping a Facebook friend (Mazza) he’d never met, he wouldn’t have met Reyes.
If Suydam hadn’t offered to take on more responsibility without being asked, he probably wouldn’t have joined Reyes’ team.
But that commitment has led Suydam to take up his greatest creative stance to date, with full support from the rest of MOBFI-TV.
“I love working with him,” Reyes said of Suydam. “He understands the vision of the project, he understands what is needed and is always there and very reliable. As a team, we have a great relationship. “