This year, the Directors Guild of America nominated six directors for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in First-Time Feature Film. I’m joined again by Katie Carroll, Bill Hardy, Roger Mendoza and Shaun O’Banion to discuss these films from a below-the-line perspective.
Welcome to Awards Season! For the third year in a row, I’ve assembled a panel of fellow below-the-liners — Katie Carroll, Bill Hardy, Roger Mendoza and Shaun O’Banion — to discuss the five directors recognized by the Directors Guild of America for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Feature Film. How did we rank them? Answers at the end of the podcast.
The tv shows set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe almost always have a parallel filming unit focused on the stunts and action sequences, and “Hawkeye” (the latest to stream on Disney+) is no exception. Two members of Hawkeye’s 2nd Unit, 1st Assistant Director Tim Fitzgerald and Cinematographer Darin Moran, discuss how their team aligned with the overall production effort.
Writer/Director/Producer Helen Alexis Yonov and Cinematographer Matt Rodgers join me today to discuss their recent project, “The Gesture and the Word”, a 23-minute short film that was in limited release for most of 2021 (logging 87 festivals and 65 awards). It’s a lively conversation, exploring the complexities of the production and the nuances of the festival circuit. The film is currently streaming for all audiences at Omeleto.com/257318/
“The Witcher”, currently streaming on Netflix, is a rousing mashup of monsters, mages, and mayhem. My guest today, Cinematographer Romain Lacourbas, talks about his work on the second season and how interdepartmental teamwork is a critical component of the production mix.
Apple TV+’s “Invasion”, with storylines spanning four continents, was an epic production in terms of both scale and scope. My guests today — Production Designer Loren Weeks, Leadman Kerry Weeks, and Set Dresser Dan Fisher — discuss how the art department met the challenges of this massive undertaking.
“The Shrink Next Door”, currently streaming on Apple TV+, stars Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd as patient/therapist, tracking their dysfunctional relationship over more than three decades. My guest today, Costume Designer Helen Huang, discusses how wardrobe is an important aspect of the storytelling.
I was the DGA Trainee on Tim Burton’s "Planet of the Apes" (2001), and I’m joined today by some fellow crew members with stories to share: Douglas Noe (Ape Makeup), Kevin Haney (Ape Makeup), Steve Thorp (Electric), and Ryan Miningham (Production Office) reminisce with me about our days together on set.
"8-Bit Christmas", currently streaming on HBO Max, is a holiday nostalgia tale reminiscent of "A Christmas Story" but set in the 80s and trading its Red Ryder air rifle for a Nintendo Entertainment System. My guest today is Avery Plewes, the film’s Costume Designer. Happy Holidays!
"The Matrix", the 1999 sci-fi classic written and directed by the Wachowski siblings, is rightfully praised for its groundbreaking visual effects. My guest today is Diana Giorgiutti, Digital Effects Producer for all three films in the original trilogy.
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s directorial debut, “Tick, Tick . . . Boom!”, both features and reflects upon the creative works of Jonathan Larson, best known as the creator of the Broadway musical, Rent. My guests today are the film's editors, Andy Weisblum and Myron Kerstein, who discuss the challenges of shepherding this ambitious adaptation from script to screen.
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”.