When I caught up with Timothy McDermott, he was celebrating his birthday by not letting anyone around him know it was his birthday. He was planning on spending the night with his family, having some pizza and maybe going to see The Muppets with his girlfriend. He was also two weeks into a personal experiment of only listening to holiday music until Christmas Day. A Scranton native, McDermott was recently voted Best Local Actor in the ec Best Of Readers’ poll and is part of the creative forces churning out visual butter at 25/8 Productions, a locallly based multimedia company. You may also recognize him as one half of the hard rocking duo The Push, a musical act with a witty split personality. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Timothy McDermott…
Looking back, describe yourself when you were younger.
I was the most obnoxious person alive when I was little. I think that it may have been more acceptable then because I was a child. I was very loud and always acting up. I needed attention all the time. I commanded attention no matter what was happening. That was probably the reason why I was on Ritalin until eighth grade.
What were you interested in?
I was always interested in movies. I remember being little and my aunt left her VHS camera at our house. I remember teaching myself how to use it and learning how to charge the battery. I would be upstairs in my room making movies. The camera was pointed at me and I would pretend I was inside an airplane. There is an entire series of these movies with the exact same plot. The plane would run out of gas or I was a skydiver stuck without a parachute. I guess I had an intuitive knowledge of editing. I would shoot myself jumping out of frame and then I would cut the camera, use a crash test dummy, throw it down the stairs, cut the camera and jump into frame like I fell.
What did you want to be?
I think I wanted to be a scientist (laughs) which is completely unrealistic. It wasn’t until early high school that I knew I wanted to and could go to school and study film. I was never shy, (laughs) unfortunately. I wanted to be performing in front of people all the time.
Like a scientist would be.
Right. Just like a scientist would be.
How did you get involved with 25/8 productions?
I met 25/8′s Mark Dennebaum at the Scranhattan Film Festival where I had a short film called Call Waiting, which won best Undergraduate feature at Temple. We were working together on several projects, one thing lead to another, and a few months later I joined Mark. We share the same sensibilities about work and film.
What are some projects you are working on?
We just finished the Brian Langan “Ladyblade” video and another music video. We are working on a project with a major national chocolate company. We are currently working with many local businesses and you will soon see television spots that have our fingerprints all over it. We have a possible feature film on the horizon and ideas for short films as well. We’re enjoying working with local bands. There is just so much talent here to work with.
I love Citizen Kane. Punch-Drunk Love is my favorite movie of all time. I love everything about it. In my eyes, it’s a pitch perfect movie. Airplane is the funniest movie of all time. I just watched A Christmas Story the other night. It’s not just a good Christmas movie, it’s a really good movie overall. I do like Christmas music better than Christmas movies.
Least favorite movies?
I hate the Wizard of Oz. I hate it. This is coming from someone who loves The Muppets and Peanuts. I don’t like any of the songs, it just rubs me the wrong way. Even when I was little I remember not liking what was happening throughout the entire movie. The Scarecrow and the Tinman are just creepy. The biggest compliment I can give it is that I like the voice of the Cowardly Lion. It was innovative for the time which I respect, but I don’t have to like it.
Let’s talk about The Push.
There are two sides to The Push coin. There is the hard rocking side, which not many people are unaware of. We have been working on an album since 2004. It started as a joke with producer/engineer Jim Reynolds, my close friend since first grade. In 2004 we recorded the first Push song, “Hit and Run.” It set the tone because every lyric and every line contained the biggest late seventies rock clichÃ©s imaginable. We wanted to make sure everything sounded familiar, but not a specific parody. We are hoping to release our first album, “Greatest Hits Vol 1,” this upcoming spring. Then there is the Christmas side of The Push. We want to come across as 13-year-old girls who are just discovering Christmas for the first time, every year, over and over again. Hard rocking 13-year-old girls.
I hear there is a new video coming out very soon.
We will be releasing a new video the week before Christmas. I think we are going to make all of Scranton proud with this one.
You recently won Best Actor award in the ec Best Of Readers’ poll.
I was completely blind sided. I appreciate it, but I don’t believe it. I suspect foul play.
You’re stuck in an elevator for 10 hours, pick two people, alive or dead, that you would want to be stuck with.
My girlfriend, Jessica Ferrise, with a dozen of her delicious cake pops. So definitely her, and Orson Welles. I think I would let Orson do all the talking. He would have some fantastic stories unrelated to his movies.
You wouldn’t talk about how you are going to get out of the elevator.
No way! I’m with my girlfriend and Orson Welles.
What is your personal motto?
I’ll just quote The Push. There’s no time to be lazy when push comes to shove.
- tom graham
The Push will release a new holiday video sometime next week. To check out older videos as well as an exclusive interview, visit www.youtube.com/christmaspush for more information. The Push comes to shove …