My guests today - Melanie Ragone, Melissa Beaupre, and Nicole Higgins - are women who work in below the line film crew specialties typically dominated by men. We discuss the challenges and rewards of being film industry pioneers, and what attracted them to these careers in the first place.
The 21st Century has seen three film adaptations of C.S. Lewis’s Narnia books: “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” (2005), “Prince Caspian” (2008) and “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” (2010). Howard Berger, my guest today, supervised the prosthetic makeup for all three films, and he won an Oscar for his work on the first. In addition to discussing this effort, our conversation places Howard’s work within the context of his storied career.
In “The Harder They Fall”, currently streaming on Netflix, Jonathan Majors and Idris Elba are opposing outlaws, leading their respective gangs into a classic Old West showdown through a series of expectation-defying twists. Film Editor Tom Eagles speaks with me about the journey from page to screen for this stylish western, the first feature-length film from Director Jeymes Samuel (aka The Bullitts).
Today is Veterans Day, and, to honor the occasion, I’ve once again invited a panel of Combat Camera veterans to talk about their time in uniform. My guests - Jim Stayton, J.R. Cole, and Fred Johnson - reminisce with stories covering nearly 50 years of Combat Camera history . . . and still find time to laugh about the foibles of a certain L.T. for whom they once worked. Oh, and remember in 2008 when Air Force One flew over NYC at low altitude? We’ve got the inside scoop on that.
Edgar Wright’s latest film, “Last Night in Soho” (starring Thomasin McKenzie and Anya Taylor-Joy), is one of his most ambitious projects to date. My guest today is Re-Recording Mixer and Supervising Sound Editor Julian Slater, whose collaboration with Edgar Wright spans six films. Spoiler Alert: Soho is best enjoyed in the theater, and you’ll definitely want to see it there before joining us on this episode of the podcast.
“Man of the House”, the 2005 action-comedy starring Tommy Lee Jones as a Texas Ranger, is not well reviewed. It is, however, a film I worked on, as a consultant for a company called Big Crowds. Our mission was to fill a football stadium with background fans . . . or at least make it look that way on camera. My guests today — Alexa Sheehan, Ken Twohy, and Damon Chang — were members of my team.
“L.A. Confidential”, the 1997 film starring Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, and Guy Pearce, is an exceptional adaptation of James Ellroy’s novel about police and crime in 1950s Los Angeles. It was directed by Curtis Hanson, and my guests today are members of his assistant director team: Jim Goldthwait (Key 2nd AD), Heather Kritzer (2nd 2nd AD), and Kevin Koster (DGA Trainee). This was a challenging but rewarding film project for everyone involved, and we’ve got the stories.
I was a DGA Trainee on the fourth season of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, and I’m joined today by some of my crew mates: Todd McIntosh (Makeup Supervisor), Athena Alexander (Key 2nd AD), and Douglas Noe (Makeup Artist). We share stories from the set of this iconic Joss Whedon/Sarah Michelle Gellar series . . . and have a fun time catching up.
Today we’re talking about “American Horror Stories”, the weekly anthology show helmed by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, itself a spin-off of their long running series, “American Horror Story” (now in its 10th season). My guest is the Production Designer, Eve McCarney, who talks about the challenges of building a new world every week while remaining true to the aesthetic of the original show.
Contract negotiations between the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) are at a challenging juncture. My guests — Mike Loomer (Local 44), Dave Tuttman (Local 600), and Michael Taylor (Local 728) — discuss the union’s concerns and the possibility of a strike.
Today we’re discussing the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards, and my Emmy-nominated guests — Amy Duddleston (“Mare of Easttown”), Geoff O’Brien (“Framing Britney Spears”), Alexandra Fehrman (“The Boys”) and Rich Weingart (“The Boys”) — share stories from this year’s ceremonies.
Today we’re talking about “The Social Dilemma”, a documentary about the manipulative and dangerous aspects of our online social activity currently streaming on Netflix. My guests are the Emmy-nominated cinematographers, John Behrens and Jonathan Pope, who split oversight of the documentary and narrative portions of the film but share responsibility for the cohesive look and feel.
2021’s “Loki”, with all six episodes currently streaming on Disney+, is a surprisingly enjoyable expansion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. My guest today, Douglas Noe, both led the makeup department for the series and was the personal makeup artist for Tom Hiddleston, the continuation of a relationship that began with 2012’s “The Avengers”.
“Framing Britney Spears”, the New York Times investigative documentary released in February 2021, explores the conservatorship that Britney Spears has been living under since 2008, specifically within the larger context of her career and celebrity. My guests today - Geoff O’Brien and Pierre Takal - are the editors of the film.
Today my guests are a pair of Industry veterans - JR Helton ("Below the Line", the book) and Mike Taylor ("Confessions of a Hollywood Juicer", the blog) - who talk about the code of silence that surrounds most film productions and why they decided to break it.
I was the 2nd 2nd Assistant Director on Just Like Heaven, the 2005 Mark Waters feature starring Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo. My guests today are two other members of our AD team: Key 2nd AD Eric Pot and Production Assistant Taylor Phillips. We laugh about the challenges of filming in San Francisco and the extensive stage work involved once we returned to Los Angeles.
Today we're talking about Legacies, which recently concluded its third season on The CW Network. My guests are the Co-Department Heads for Creature Effects, Mark Villalobos and Heather Mages, and we're joined by the Assistant Stunt Coordinator, Jeremy Conner. Bring on the monster talk!
Mare of Easttown, the 2021 HBO series starring Kate Winslet, is a nuanced interplay of murder mystery and community drama. My guest is the Film Editor, Amy E. Duddleston, whose work on the series was recognized with two Emmy nominations earlier this week.
Today I’m discussing Into the Wild (the 2007 biopic directed by Sean Penn and starring Emile Hirsch) with the film’s Production Designer, Derek Hill. Derek also shared a lot of photos: after listening to the podcast, listen to Derek’s narrated slide show on our YouTube channel or Facebook page.
Film production is undergoing a digital revolution, and the pandemic has only accelerated it. My guests today — Michael R. Williams (Think Crew), Sam Patton (Castifi), and Alex LoVerde (SyncOnSet) — represent three companies at the forefront of this effort. We talk about the challenges on set for which digitization is the solution, and how the integration of digital tools will propel film production into the future.
As Amazon Prime prepares to release the seventh and final season of Bosch (starring Titus Welliver), I’m joined by an all-star panel to discuss Seasons 1 through 6: Frank Tignini (Unit Production Manager), Patrick Cady (Director of Photography), Trey Batchelor (1st Assistant Director) and Robert Paulsen (Location Manager) tell stories from the set.
In the Heights, the Jon M. Chu film adaptation of the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical (and already one of the best-reviewed films of the year), is currently in theaters and streaming on HBO Max. My guest is the film's editor, Myron Kerstein, and we talk about the challenges of adapting this story for the big screen (and completing post-production in the midst of the pandemic).
Today, I'm discussing John Carpenter's 1986 tour de force, Big Trouble in Little China (starring Kurt Russell), with a returning guest: Director of Photography Dean Cundey, the cinematographer for five of John Carpenter's films.
Welcome back for Season 8! Our first episode of the new season is a design-focused conversation about Judas and the Black Messiah with Sam Lisenco (Production Designer) and Jeremy Woolsey (Art Director). Enjoying the podcast? Please rate us, wherever you subscribe.