Neighbor Film Cast and Director Interview

Neighbor is a short film about a homeless man who witnesses a kidnapping in the heart of suburbia. Written and directed by Tony Gapastione, the film deals directly with the uncomfortable issue of human trafficking happening here in the United States.

On today’s episode of Story Punch, we talk with some of the actors behind Neighbor who generously donated their time and traveled to Redwood City to make this project a reality. Along with the director, we’ll hear from actors Bruce Beatty (Straight Outta Compton), Anjelah Johnson (Not Fancy), and Dove Meir (NCIS: LA).

Visit to find out more!

Listen to Episode #46 below – iTunes – Stitcher – mp3


Stories Are More Than Marketing


It seems like more and more people want to harness the power of stories for the purposes of marketing. But is that really what stories are for? I could have sworn they were about something else besides selling products.

I understand that stories are often seen as a nifty way to connect with customers but I’m concerned that that isn’t quite capturing the true intent of storytelling.

I talk a lot on the podcast about learning to tell better stories but marketing seems to take that to an extreme. If you can make good enough stories, you can probably convince people to buy things they don’t need. That’s not actually something I want to see happen. I don’t want marketers to develop the storytelling skills they need to convince us all that we need whatever it is that they are selling.

What if there was more to storytelling that just telling good stories? What if it also meant a willingness to stop and listen to the people who have important stories of their own that the world needs to hear?

It’s easy to become focused solely on self-promotion and getting your own creativity seen and heard, but maybe there is a better way to go about doing things. Maybe by focusing on the people who really really need to be heard and helping share their stories, we can actually make more of a difference than by focusing on our own projects.

If you get a chance, listen to today’s episode as we talk more about how listening to other people’s stories might be more important than telling great stories.

We’ll also look at how Slack managed to create a great customer service experience despite a massive outage as well as how the efforts of marketing to use stories to sell products isn’t quite capturing the true intent of storytelling. I’ll also share one really cool project that needs your help.

You can listen to Episode 27 here!

Two Short Film Projects You Should Check Out

I’m constantly amazed by the sheer amount of creativity on display here in the Bay Area. Seems like everyone I meet is working on some incredible project or the other. It’s a little intimidating at times!

But today I want to highlight two short films that are absolutely worth your time and your attention.

Over My Dead Body

Just when you thought the zombie genre had been beaten to death, here comes a heartwarming story tinged with horror about two people trying to connect in the aftermath of the apocalypse. And one of them just happens to be a zombie.

I recently watched this film with a live audience and it was so cool to experience their laughter and the feedback afterward. I also got a chance to meet the filmmakers, Timothy Plain and Alrik Bursell, who are both really cool guys. Every Monday they put out a very informative podcast about the daily challenges of making movies.

Take 5 minutes, watch their film, and share it with a friend!


This short film is currently raising funds, but it tells the story of a homeless man who witnesses a kidnapping. Director Tony Gapastione hopes the film will raise awareness about human trafficking and highlight real ways people can make a difference.

Tony is the real deal, a swell guy with a big heart for enabling people and their creative pursuits. Let’s spread the word and help him out!

You can watch the promo for the video below and learn more about how to support the project here.