You often hear of actors moving behind the camera, but it is rare to hear about directors moving in front of the camera. D.C. Area-based director Justin Timpane is such a director. As writer and director, Timpane has created the popular films Ninjas Vs. Zombies, Ninjas Vs. Vampires, and Ninjas Vs. Monsters (available on Netflix), and the Start Trek-podcast-based documentary TREKOFF. 

Timpane returns to acting in the short crime Film, Dropped in the lead role of “Arthur”, alongside longtime friend DC Cathro, himself also an award-winning playwright, Actor, and director, who will be playing “Donnie”. In an August 23, 2016, interview, Justin discussed how he transitioned back into life in front of the camera.

William Powell: What made you decide to finally return to acting

Justin Timpane: It's been years, but it was always my first love. Ninjas was originally going to be the pathway for Daniel Ross and myself to the roles we wanted. For Daniel, it was perfect, and now he is in LA, just killing it [as a voice-over artist]. For me, I kept writing myself fun roles and then casting other people who could do it better than I could – balancing acting and being a new director was too much...I wanted to go home to that first love.

WP: What is “DROPPED”?

JT: It’s a gritty crime short film being directed by Johnny Mercer II. Basically, a regular guy (“Arthur”, the role I will be playing) has dabbled in the crime world, and it comes back to bite him violently. I was drawn to the different aspects this guy gets to play in a short time.

Top Videos of the Day

Despair, hope, regret, passion, anger, brokenness...its all right there on the page. What actor wouldn’t relish this?

'Star Trek' role-playing at Kings Dominion

WP: On Facebook people are saying “I didn’t know you acted!” What was your pre-directing experience?

JT: Well, let’s not forget I was “Reefer” in "Ninjas Vs Vampires" (laughs), but seriously…I started acting in plays when I was in fourth grade and did it kind of non-stop until I was about thirty. My first professional experience was playing a Romulan at Kings Dominion (as my TREKOFF audience well knows), and then did musicals and films and plays and commercials and TV all around the DMV. I actually got a chance to play [the lead in The Scottish Play ] after Ninjas Vs. Zombies, and that was fun… I’m hoping to bring the same fervor to this role that I brought to that one.

WP: Are you doing any behind the camera work for Dropped?

JT: Not really. These guys have a real vision, one that I believe in, and I’m just there to play my part.

Now, as an actor, it is my job to make suggestions and do what I can to help the production, but I am relieved to be able to not have that weight on my shoulders this time. It lets me focus just on the craft and not so much of the other ancillary stuff producing and directing is about. 

"Star Trek" based movie takes off

WP: You’ve referred to a “next chapter”… What does that look like?

JT: Well, beyond being really super excited to be acting again, I continue to co-host the TREKOFF podcast (on which the TREKOFF movie was based) with the incredibly funny Alexia Poe (who is a stunning actress in her own right). As for directing, let’s just say that I am working on a feature: something that I’ve always wanted to try, and this fall we are entering pre-production on it.

WP: Anything else you want your fans and friends to know?

JT: Yes. DROPPED has an Indiegogo (of course it does, you’re thinking, doesn’t everything?) – but really, this one has a start date, a tight production schedule, and while it can be made for what they’ve raised ($5,802 at press time), these guys are seeking to raise the bar on this one. So I would ask folks, even if they just wanna throw a couple bucks at the production, check out the Indiegogo fundraiser at Indiegogo dot com (search for "Dropped").  Also, I want to thank you, William, you have been a friend to me and to so many of my friends in the film community. We all appreciate it a lot.