51°F
weather icon Clear

Las Vegas producer’s horror film does double-duty as fundraiser

Vegas Voices is a weekly series highlighting notable Las Vegans.

Among all of Debbie Isaacs’ career highlights, two really stand out.

First, she’s founder of Unshakeable, a Las Vegas nonprofit that partners with area organizations and businesses to assist women who have experienced domestic violence, human trafficking, homelessness and addiction.

Second — in something that’s unrelated but really interesting — Isaacs produced “Ghosts of Goldfield,” which she unselfconsciously calls “the most horrible horror movie ever.”

In weird synchronicity, these two disparate tidbits from Isaacs’ life will intersect Oct. 29 when the movie is shown during a viewing party and fundraiser for Unshakeable. The event will be from 6 to 9 p.m. at The Space, 3460 Cavaretta Court, and Halloween costumes are encouraged.

Isaacs works for Levy Production Group in Las Vegas, where she produces corporate videos. She moved into the film business after having spent much of her career in meeting planning, special events and trade show production.

It was a family thing in that her father and uncle had a business setting up shows and conventions, says Isaacs, who calls herself “a recovering New Yorker.”

“I can remember going to work with my dad at 9. I really liked it. They were doing the auto show and it was fun to walk around. And the Toy Fair. I used to love walking through trade shows.”

In 1994, she moved to Las Vegas to take a job in meeting planning. “I fell in love with the city,” Isaacs says.

In 2009, Isaacs, by now a television producer, was sitting in a Las Vegas courtroom and listening to at-risk women tell their stories.

“I went there thinking I was going to make a documentary, and after sitting there and listening to the women’s stories, I just knew instantly that I wasn’t there to tell their stories,” she says. “My role was going to be to change their stories.”

Through Unshakeable, Isaacs works to inspire, teach and educate women in recovery through a program that includes individual career coaching and the use of area business partners to help the women create not just a job, but a path to a career and financial independence. The program also includes a 12-week lecture series that prepares women for a career.

And “Ghosts of Goldfield”? That came two years earlier, in 2007. It was filmed near Tonopah, has a cast that includes former wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, and led Isaacs into her producing career, even if, she says, the film wasn’t very good.

Isaacs has produced a few TV pilots since then, although none have gone to series. “I’m always looking for an interesting story for a documentary.”

Review-Journal: What was your thought process when you decided to create Unshakeable?

Debbie Isaacs: I visited a lot of other nonprofits to see what they were doing for women in trauma. I very clearly did not want to duplicate services. … So it really became about creating a path to financial stability and giving these women choices they hadn’t had before.

What attracted you to producing?

Really, for me, it’s always been about the human connection. I’ve always been interested in somebody else’s story.

You’re very candid about “Ghosts of Goldfield.”

I really felt that my background in trade show productions was transferable to movie producing. I figured, ‘What could go wrong?” (Laughs) A lot did. … I literally decided to make a movie with a bunch of friends and everything that could go wrong did, except for my cast.

What went wrong?

I think it was just a lot of misguided direction from a lot of people and a really bad script. … And how you get a really bad script is, a close friend tells you, “I can write” and you say, “OK, you write the script.”

At least you got a new career out of it.

It literally started me on a career that I continue to do. I still do video production.

Not to mention a fun fundraiser.

A few of my friends convinced me to use it for the fundraiser (for) Unshakeable. It shows your past doesn’t define you. … Everybody does galas and fancy dinners. This is just a fun night of poking some fun at me. It’s really campy. … People yell and scream at the characters. It’s everything you would expect from a bad movie.

Contact reporter John Przybys at jprzybys@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0280. Follow @JJPrzybys on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Entertainment Videos
Smoked Sazerac at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse in Las Vegas
Chase Jefferies, a bartender at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse in Las Vegas, makes a Smoked Sazerac by shaking Hennessy, Bulleit Rye, Pernod Absinthe, maple syrup and Peychaud’s Bitters with ice, then filling a snifter with applewood smoke and pouring the drink over an oversized ice cube. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Red Rock Canyon free to all Monday for Veterans Day - VIDEO
In honor of Veterans Day, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is free to all visitors on Monday. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Artist dedicates heart sculpture on Las Vegas Strip - VIDEO
Artist Katy Boynton dedicated her sculpture depicting a giant steel heart to the Las Vegas community Saturday night outside Fashion Show mall. (James Schaeffer /Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Warm Salt-Roasted Beets at La Cave Wine & Food Hideaway in Las Vegas
Chris Yamauchi, sous chef at La Cave Wine & Food Hideaway at Wynn Las Vegas, roasts fresh beets for three hours, peels, cubes and chills them, then sautés them with butter, sherry vinegar and black pepper and tops with goat cheese and pistachios. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
O.J. Simpson files lawsuit against The Cosmopolitan over TMZ story - VIDEO
A lawsuit filed Thursday alleges that The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas defamed O.J. Simpson when hotel employees told TMZ he was kicked out of the casino “for belligerence” in November 2017. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Smith Center will now be charging $5 fee to park - VIDEO
Patrons now have to pay to park to attend events at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts in downtown, continuing a recent trend in the Las Vegas Valley. (James Schaeffer / Review-Journal)
Prove you're a local: Try to pronounce these Nevada cities - VIDEO
Try your hand at pronouncing these Nevada cities and watch as other locals from Downtown Summerlin attempt to get the names right along with you. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Making Cochinita Pibil Tacos at Santos Guisados Tacos & Beer in Las Vegas
Lola Vasquez, a cook at Santos Guisados Tacos & Beer in Las Vegas, makes Cochinita Pibil Tacos by rubbing a pork shoulder with signature seasoning, marinating it in a mixture of achiote, peppercorns, clove, cumin, salt and fresh lime and orange juices and roasting overnight. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal )
Joey D'Ambrosio talks about playing on "Rock Around the Clock" - VIDEO
Saxophonist Joey D'Ambrosio, who lives in Henderson, was a member of Bill Haley & His Comets. “People were looking for something new,” D’Ambrosio said. "When they heard ‘Rock Around the Clock,’ there was something about that record that turned them on.” (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nation’s Largest Student Farmers Market
600 students participate in massive farmers market, Oct. 23,2019. (Elizabeth Page Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Giant Student Farmers Market in Las Vegas
The largest student-run farmers market in the country involved 600 kids from more than 50 schools in the Las Vegas area selling fruits and vegetables grown at their schools. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ryan Reaves beer special in the Las Vegas Arts District - VIDEO
James Manos of Able Baker Brewing talks about offering a Golden Knights game-day promotion to celebrate partner Ryan Reaves at its Main Street tasting room. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas native Ethan William Childress of "Mixed-ish" - VIDEO
Interview with Las Vegas native Ethan William Childress, a young star of the new ABC comedy "Mixed-ish." (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review -Journal) @bizutesfaye
Sourdough Cafe at Arizona Charlie’s in Las Vegas makes horseradish potato chips - VIDEO
Sean Gassaway, room chef at the Sourdough Cafe at Arizona Charlie’s Decatur in Las Vegas, makes horseradish potato chips by heating prepared horseradish to remove some of the moisture, mixing it with kosher salt and further dehydrating it, tossing it with house-made chips and serving it as a monthly special with a bratwurst on a roll, sauerkraut, spicy mustard and a cup of cheese dip. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Central Perk coffee shop opens for business
As part of Saturday’s “Friends” Fan Experience at New York-New York hotel-casino, the artist Nathan Sawaya debuts his life-size, 700-square-foot re-creation of the show’s Central Perk coffee shop that’s constructed entirely out of Lego bricks. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Binion's debuts a spinning bar overlooking Fremont Street Experience - VIDEO
Binion's debuted its spinning bar inside the Whiskey Licker Up Saloon. The Rotating bar only goes at one full rotation per 15 minutes overlooking the Fremont Street Experience. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Green Eggs and Ham at Carson Kitchen in Las Vegas
Scott Simon, executive chef at Carson Kitchen in Las Vegas, makes a Green Eggs and Ham Flatbread with pistou, smoked mozzarella, tasso ham and eggs. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Lemon Semifreddo Dessert at Vetri Cucina in Las Vegas
Ashley Costa, pastry chef at Vetri Cucina at the Palms in Las Vegas, freezes lemon curd with whipped cream, sandwiches it between polenta-based crumiri cookies, sprinkles it with powdered sugar and drizzles it with argrumato, a lemon olive oil. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Las Vegas supermarket has a full-service wine and beer bar - VIDEO
Smith’s Marketplace on Skye Canyon Park Drive draws 300 people a day to socialize in what has become a neighborhood gathering spot. (James Schaeffer/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hard Rock Memorabilia Exhibition
The 2,600-square-foot exhibit, which is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays to Mondays through Jan. 31, spans eras and genres alike. There are numerous rare and never-before-seen items here, featuring artists from ZZ Top to Nine Inch Nails, Bo Diddley to Britney Spears. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Museum of Selfies coming to Las Vegas - VIDEO
The interactive attraction offers several new selfie opportunities. (Museum of Selfies)
Show of Strength in 'A Choreographers Showcase' - VIDEO
"A Choreographers Showcase" pairs artists from Nevada Ballet Theater and staff from all facets of Cirque du Soleil to design an annual show. (Elizabeth Page Brumleyy/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
David Chang talks about what to expect at his new restaurant, Majordomo Meat & Fish - VIDEO
David Chang tells fans what to expect at his new restaurant, Majordomo Meat & Fish, at The Venetian on the Las Vegas Strip. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pink Lady and Rosey Mary cocktails at Therapy in Las Vegas
Terence Beach, bartender at Therapy restaurant in Las Vegas, makes original pink cocktails to benefit breast cancer research. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Torrijas dessert served at Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill in Las Vegas
Chef Christian Lee of Sugarcane at The Venetian in Las Vegas makes a dessert of torrijas, a Latin French toast, serving it with a caramelized-apple sauce and cinnamon ice cream. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
David Chang to sell Tasty Patties at Palazzo in Las Vegas - VIDEO
Chef David Chang has announced a casual concept that will accompany his new Majordomo Meat & Fish at Palazzo on the Las Vegas Strip. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Latkes, tzimmes at Market Place Buffet in Las Vegas for Rosh Hashanah
Ryan Swanson, Market Place Buffet room chef at the JW Marriott/Rampart Casino in Las Vegas, makes potato dishes as part of the resort’s Rosh Hashanah buffet. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
How Elphaba In "Wicked" turns green - VIDEO
Mariand Torres gets "painted" by makeup supervisor Joyce McGilberry for her role as Elphaba in "Wicked" at The Smith Center. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Hangover is served at The Crack Shack in Las Vegas - VIDEO
Khine Moore, executive chef at The Crack Shack at Park MGM in Las Vegas, makes The Hangover with a fried chicken breast or thigh dipped in honey-butter, sprinkled with Crack Seasoning and topped with an egg. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dessert Before Dinner winner Becky Quan
Nine of Las Vegas’ top women pastry chefs offered original creations built around Girl Scouts Trefoils shortbread cookies Saturday night at Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada’s annual Desserts Before Dinner Gala. The top dessert, as voted on by the audience, was an homage to Good Humor’s old-fashioned Strawberry Shortcake ice cream bars created by NoMad’s Becky Quan. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST
These stores are open on Thanksgiving and Black Friday

The Thanksgiving holiday weekend is still a prime time for shoppers, as more retailers have taken their business online to compete with Amazon and other online stores.

Synthetic grass options are better than ever

Today’s synthetic turf advances have addressed many long-held questions that have plagued them, and many high-quality offerings make it difficult to distinguish them from a rich green fescue grass.

Make sure new purchase fits in home

The best thing you can do before you shop for anything is to measure all of the space in your home around where you want the new piece to go. Measure your doorways, hall widths and how much space you have to fill with the new piece.