I Love the 80′s POP Culture

August 18, 2010 by cindy  
Filed under news

I’ve been thinking a lot about the 80′s lately and just how much that decade, more than any other, shaped my attitude towards pop culture. I was probably at the most impressionable time of my life in the 80′s, ages five to fifteen, and everything from film, television, comedy, and music, some of the most important things in my adult life, were shaped by this decade. There have been a number of times recently that I’ve heard a song from the 80′s and it will take me right back to a specific time and place during my adolescence, when life was just beginning and every moment, no matter how seemingly inconsequential, was full of all the heightened emotion of the end of a John Hughes movie, complete with emo soundtrack. Everything was new and fresh and vivid and everything mattered. Here is a list of some of the most influential pop culture icons of my day with all its guts and glory:

POP- Video Games

Pitfall, Adventure & Journey Escape
Video games were a big part of my childhood and that’s probably why I was inspired to write this blog after watching Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World last weekend. About halfway through the movie I knew that the director of the film was my age, or at least within five years of my age. I happened to be right as Edgar Wright was born in ’74 and I came along in ’75. His use of crude video game visual and sound effects took me back to the living room of the first house I lived in where I played countless hours of Atari with my brother, Brian. Some of our favorites were Pitfall, Adventure, and E.T. I remember when Brian beat Pitfall as he completed all of the hundreds of screens (that pretty much looked exactly the same) only to be taken back to the very beginning. That was big. A friend of Brian’s was the first in the neighborhood to get Pitfall II when it was released and I remember that Brian and said friend were nice enough to let me go to his house one day to play it. There were many many more “adventures” in the new game that included the ability for the Pitfall dude to float up many different levels in the caves on a balloon! There was also more than one background! It was huge. I also remember playing Journey Escape, which was based on the band Journey. The soundtrack to that game was the song Don’t Stop Believing, which upon hearing always takes me back to the basement of my cousin’s house, which was the scene of muchas Journey Escape game playing. Atari 2600, you gave us such joy.

POP-Film

Star Wars: The Original Trilogy
In my humble opinion, Star Wars should be on the favorite list of every filmmaker who grew up in the 80′s. This trilogy is probably the main reason that I wanted to be a filmmaker. I was two years old when the first movie came out and probably didn’t see it until I was about six or seven when it played incessantly on HBO. The Empire Strikes Back was released in ’80 when I was five and Return of the Jedi in ’83 (you do the math). Brian and I collected many Star Wars action figures and toys. I had the Death Star (that’s right, a seven year old girl had a toy Death Star) and Brian had the Millennium Falcon and various other ships and things. But besides just having great toys, these films were important for a number of other reasons including, oh I don’t know, maybe its cinematic genius! A New Hope was the epic set-up to a groundbreaking trilogy. There are the obvious grand and brilliant elements such as the earth-shattering score by John Williams and the amazing special effects (yes, those were real explosions) done by ILM that made the film grandiose and larger than life. But underneath all those layers of score and effects was a story; the story of a young man who had suffered great loss and who found his purpose in leading the fight against an evil empire. This team of filmmakers brought us into their world of droids, wookies, and mystical planets and sold us on an oft told and classic tale of good vs. evil. These movies weren’t about special effects and people in strange costumes, but rather those things supplemented the strong story and powerful characters. They immediately pulled us into the magical realm that they masterfully created and compelled us to care about Luke, Leia, Han, Chewy, and yes, even Darth Vader. A New Hope proved that it doesn’t take an unlimited source of money to make great movies, but rather a team of people dedicated to excellence and a whole heap of creativity. P.S. Marcia Lucas, wherever you are, Hollywood really needs you back.

POP- Comedy

Saturday Night Live, Late Night with David Letterman, and Eddie Murphy
My comedy education started at a very young age. I believe I started watching SNL around ’83 or ’84 and Late Night in ’85 or 86. I heard my first Eddie Murphy album at the tender age of nine. I guess my dad thought he was buying us a tape of Eddie Murphy singing the hits, but no, that wasn’t the case. Don’t judge dad too harshly, though, they didn’t have those clever little “parent advisory” warning labels back then. The classic album included hits such as Buckwheat, Doo-doo, and Hit by a Car. Ah yes, those were the days. If it’s any consolation, those bits were much tamer than Eddie’s later material! Some of my earliest SNL memories include the sketch with Billy Crystal and Christopher Guest who play janitors that try to one-up each other with ideas of self-mutilation while completing each other’s sentences and Phil Hartman’s Anal Retentive Chef. Some of the best years in SNL history were from ’87-’89, which included cast members and comic geniuses Dana Carvey, Jan Hooks, Nora Dunn and Phil Hartman. Not surprisingly these are the first years that Conan O’Brien wrote for this legendary show as well. Around 1985 I began watching a revolutionary new late night show aptly called, Late Night with David Letterman. My family had been fans of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson so I guess Letterman was the next natural step. I found his sense of humor to be fresh (from what I knew of comedy at ten years old) and it definitely appealed to my odd and early-shaped comic sensibilities. Although Letterman’s crude interview style offended many, I found it to be honest and refreshing. Carson was the consummate professional and could mock you while making you feel that he was still on your side, but Letterman took brutal honesty to another level while still staying somewhat personable. I believe that Letterman was also the first to bring the concept of the “remote” to late night. He actually LEFT the studio to throw things off of buildings and to meet the employees at the neighboring businesses including the one hour photo mat and the Hello Deli sandwich shop.

POP- Music


Michael Jackson, et al
I have an uncanny knack for remembering which year certain songs from the 80′s were released. Invincible by Pat Benetar from the movie The Legend of Billie Jean: 1985, U2′s With or Without You: 1986, Don’t Dream it’s Over by Crowded House: 1987. Most of my memories of these songs have to do with where I was living at the time of their release. My family moved around a lot in the 80′s (six times and three states between ’84 and ’89) and music became a sort of bookmark in my mind depending on the bedroom, friends, or emotional growing pains I was experiencing at the time. After my family moved for the first time in my young life we had a hard time adjusting to our new town. Brian and I, who were already close, spent a lot of time together during that time as we were trying to cope with the new surroundings. There were a lot of pop culture elements that we bonded to such as Michael Jackson’s Thriller album. Last summer when Michael Jackson died, there were so many cars that drove down my street blasting songs from his discography (which was awesome and I kind of miss it). When Billie Jean or Human Nature would drive by it would always take me right back to 1984, complete with all the mix of emotions that came with growing through a tough situation at the age of nine. The cool thing about those memories is that they also include the unforgettable time I spent with Brian, who is one of the greatest and most important people in my life. I didn’t know at the time, but those would be some of the last true childhood moments we would share together.

POP- Television

Days of Our Lives

There were many great TV shows in the 80′s, but none more memorable to me than Days of Our Lives. Of all the shows I was taken with in the 80′s including Family Ties, Cheers, Moonlighting and The Wonder Years to name just a few, it’s a soap opera that takes the #1 TV spot of that decade. You may be saying to yourself, “A soap opera was your favorite TV show of the 80′s?” and to that I say, “yes, it was”. Now before you totally loose all faith in my artistic sensibilities, just hear me out. I really think it was a different time for soaps in the 80′s and that there was much more time and attention invested in fleshing out the character’s stories. Besides, this is a list of what was most influential to ME in the 80′s so I get to put whatever I want on it. : ) It was 1986 when I began watching Days of Our Lives religiously and it had to do solely with the super-couple of the millennium, Patch and Kayla. I was eleven years old at the time and had never watched soaps except apathetically with my grandma when she used to babysit Brian and me. The chemistry between Stephen Nichols and Mary Beth Evans was astounding, even for an eleven year old and I was captivated by their characters and their story. It was the bad boy meets good girl story that we’ve seen thousands of times, but it worked because the characters worked and these two actors brought something spectacular and unique to this genre. I recently went back and watched some old clips on You Tube and was impressed with the writing, directing, and of course the acting. I’ve read interviews with both Stephen and Mary Beth where they talked about how hard they worked in those days. You can tell that they completely threw themselves into these characters and that they weren’t just going through the motions because they were on a soap opera. Like a good Robert Redford movie, the story took its time, paid close attention to detail, and gave us as viewers time to get on board with this relationship instead of just throwing us in the deep end and expecting us to swim. One of my favorite things to do with a movie, a TV show, or a script is to break down why something does or doesn’t work. Looking at the old Days clips makes me realize that part of why I liked the show so much back then and why it worked is not very different from why I love Lost today. Both shows (Days then and Lost) invested in their characters to make them multi-dimensional. If it’s not about the characters, then I usually don’t care about the material and don’t get involved. I stopped watching Days around 1993/1994 when I started college and when both Stephen and Mary Beth had moved on to other projects. It seemed like a good time for me to get on with my life as well.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little walk down memory lane. I know I did. I always like an excuse to reminisce about all-things-80′s and any excuse to bring up Lost, which has nothing to do with the 80′s. Stay tuned for more great podcasts!

Episode Forty: John Paul Rice & Katrine Lieberkind

May 23, 2010 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

John Paul Rice- Producer

John Paul Rice attended Georgia State University in 1997 with a focus on Business. In 1999, while at college, Mr. Rice was given a rare opportunity to work on Jerry Bruckheimer’s Remember the Titans. After working almost three months on the film, John returned to school and directed his studies toward learning the history of cinema. He moved to Los Angeles in January 2001 to pursue a career in film production. By mid 2001, John landed a position at the Los Angeles division of the German distribution company Senator International (which later became Mandate Pictures) lead by industry veteran Joseph Drake (Juno, The Grudge, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, 30 Days of Night, American Psycho). Under Joe’s mentoring, John developed an interest and dedication to producing feature films. John left Mandate in the fall of 2005 to form No Restrictions Entertainment LLC with filmmaker Edgar Michael Bravo. In 2008, John produced his first feature One Hour Fantasy Girl with Edgar Michael Bravo directing, Levi Obery co-producing.  In 2009, the team produced formed a new production entity, Bravo-Obery-Rice Productions, producing their second feature film now in post production, (psychological thriller) The Magic Stone, a journey into the mind of a homeless man who is trying to stay connected with reality as he struggles to protect a runaway boy and a girl he loves.
John Paul Rice will produce his third feature, Mother’s Red Dress, an unusual love story, this summer.

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Links
http://www.norestrictionsent.com
The Magic Stone Movie
John Paul Rice Facebook Page

Katrine Lieberkind- Makeup Artist


Katrine Lieberkind is a self-starter, a celebrity makeup artist, and a makeup and special effects instructor. She is experienced in high fashion, print, runway, commercial, film and TV.  Katrine moved to Hollywood after working as a freelance makeup artist in Copenhagen, Denmark. She is a full-time freelance makeup artist, but has also been teaching makeup and special effects at the Joe Blasco Makeup School in Hollywood. At the school she teaches on HD cameras and works with award winning makeup artists every day. Katrine is a Danish girl with a mission: to create opinions and open the mind of the audience by making them believe in the reality she presents to them through her work in makeup and special effects.

Links
Katrine’s MySpace Page
Katrine’s Twitter
Katrine’s Facebook Page

Conan’s New Day

May 3, 2010 by cindy  
Filed under news

May 3, 2010

Although the name of this podcast is Film Method, we recognize the importance of all aspects of the entertainment industry including TV and the Web and it seems appropriate to publish a blog about Conan O’Brien the day after he broke his silence on 60 Minutes. As most of you know from listening to the show, I am a huge Conan O’Brien fan. I’ve been a fan of his comedy for many years now and when he took over The Tonight Show almost a year ago, I was beside myself with excitement and as giddy as a school girl in the springtime. I also believed that it was a new day for late night TV. Traditionally, The Tonight Show was hosted by old white haired men (most funny, one not). When I saw Conan running across the United States, from New York City to Los Angeles, in that landmark television moment just before Andy Richter announced him as the new host of The Tonight Show, it was a watershed moment for my generation and it seemed that The Tonight Show wasn’t just for old people anymore.
Since the day it was announced that NBC wanted Jay Leno to move back to the 11:35 time slot, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and reflecting on how it all went so horribly wrong after the new day had just dawned only to be cut short by a meteor that hit the earth sending dirt and ash into the air thus blocking the sun and ending the beautiful new day. When I got over my initial anger and bitterness towards the incredibly short-sighted NBC executives who had, in essence, set Conan up for failure, I began to think of the very antiquated system which dictates who wins and who looses in television: the Nielsen ratings system. I also began to think about the demographic of the average Conan O’Brien viewer and the viewing habits of myself and most of my friends, who rarely schedule our lives around prime time television let alone any sort of late night television. Most of us don’t even own DVRs, which is pretty amazing considering that many of us are fans and regular viewers of popular shows such as Lost, Glee, and The Office. How do we do it? Are we all “taping” our favorite shows on VHS recorders? No. We’re watching our favorite shows online when we want to and not stopping our lives to tune in during the regularly scheduled time slot. Now, I must admit that I am generalizing a bit. Do I really know exactly what the viewing habits are for every single one of my friends? No, I don’t, but I can say that I do have discussions about these things with the friends that I hang out with regularly and they just happen to be in the very sought-after 18-49 age range. Watching online is how most of those friends view their favorite shows.
Interestingly enough, from all of the information I’ve found online about how the ratings are calculated, it doesn’t seem that internet viewing plays into the numbers that networks use to sell space to advertisers. Apparently, although it’s easier to track what people are watching online, it’s not easy to track who is watching it, and there lies the problem. I can only hope that with the myriad of new technology being birthed every day that the ratings system will soon catch up and start including these internet numbers in order to track what we are really watching.
When the news came out that Conan was going to TBS I saw many comments online disparaging his move from network TV to basic cable. My attitude was and still is that Conan should be on television and it doesn’t really matter where as long as the show is available online and is broadcast in the English language. I’ve noticed that many fans on Conan’s Facebook fan page (pop. 994,928) feel the same way. Unfortunately for NBC, they may not realize the gravity of their mistake of throwing Mr. O’Brien under the bus for another few years, when most of Leno’s fan base has moved on to the afterlife. By then, it will be too late, though, as building a successful late night franchise takes many years and NBC will probably be selling Sham-Wows in the current Tonight Show time slot while other progressive-minded networks will be capitalizing on all sorts of crazy new media outlets. Now that the dirt and ash have cleared, I can see that this, Conan O’Brien, is really your new day, and what a glorious day it is.

Episode Thirty-One: Directing Your PR Campaign

March 17, 2010 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

We feel that we really can’t talk too much about publicity since it is the key to getting your film seen and distributed. In this digital age there are many opportunities to take advantage of new publicity mediums such as social networking tools. Come listen as we banter with director Jenine Mayring about press releases, Twitter and our OT topic, Star Wars.

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Jenine Mayring- Producer/Director/Writer

Born and raised in the Big Apple, award-winning multi-hyphenate Jenine Mayring began her career as a stage actor. Today, she is a producer/director/writer and President of Brooklyn Girl Productions. Jenine has won numerous awards including a Davey Award and a Telly Award. Her producer/director credits range from theater in New York to films and commercials in Los Angeles. Simone, a psychological thriller that she wrote, produced and directed, had its world premiere at the 2009 LA Femme Film Festival and was nominated for Best Short Thriller at the 2010 Trail Dance Film Festival. Jenine produced the award-winning documentary From Silence to Sound (Best Inspirational Documentary, New York International Film Festival) which tells the miraculous story of a deaf man who hears for the first time at age 27 (available on IndieFlix and Amazon). A former American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter and instructor, Jenine’s credits as an ASL consultant include the hit TV shows ER and Nip/Tuck. Jenine earned her bachelor’s degree in Theater Arts (Acting & Directing) from the State University of New York at New Paltz (alma mater of John Turturro) in only three years. Prior to that, she graduated with honors from the prestigious Brooklyn Technical High School with a major in Graphic Communications.

A certified SCUBA diver, tennis player and four-time marathoner, Jenine lives in West Hollywood.

To find out more about Jenine or her projects, please see one of the following links:

Brooklyn Girl Productions Webpage
Brooklyn Girl Productions Twitter Page
Jenine’s Twitter Page
From Silence to Sound
Getting Started on Twitter

Jeremy McGovern- Producer

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Jeremy McGovern was born and raised in Pueblo, Colorado.  From a young age McGovern showed a knack for the arts and his interest was cultivated by his Grandmother (a prominent local artist).  In Colorado McGovern was accepted to and finished several rigorous art programs with honors.  After graduation McGovern took his first independent leap into the business world when he owned and operated his own successful business and founded a non-profit organization while attending Colorado State University where he studied Clinical Psychology and Biology.

In 2003 McGovern relocated to Los Angeles.  Since his arrival in Los Angeles McGovern has been selected to be a part of the opening management team for flagship locations of several Fortune 500 companies as well as working as an independent contractor for smaller local upstart companies. While continuing to work McGovern returned to school to complete his film education and in 2007 graduated Magna Cum-Laude from Columbia College Hollywood with a double emphasis in Cinema and Television.  Recently McGovern co-founded Mattoid Entertainment with Producer Jenna Edwards and Director Andrew Robinson. Their film In the Darkness releases on Hulu on March 30, 2010.

In the Darkness Movie

Tales from the Con: Lost Part One

July 28, 2009 by cindy  
Filed under news

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July 28, 2009

This past weekend I attended the Comic Con convention for the first time in many years. I’ve decided to devote blog space on the Film Method site to this incredible Con as a special tribute this week in place of a regularly scheduled podcast recording. I’ll be blogging my Comic Con memoirs for the rest of the week so get ready for 5 awe-inspiring installments of the Tales from the Con.

I think the last time I was at Comic Con was in 1998. I was with my brother Brian, who happens to be a tremendous comic book artist, and he had a blast. I have never really been much of a comic book or sci-fi fan. That being said, I must admit that one of the most influential movie trilogies for me as a budding filmmaker and storyteller was the first Stars Wars movies and now I am a huge Lost fan, go figure.

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Episode Four: Networking

July 8, 2009 by cindy  
Filed under episodes

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Networking in the film industry is not only essential, it’s a way of life. If you shudder when you hear the word “networking”, don’t worry, you’re not alone. The term has garnered negative responses from all of us in the entertainment industry. You may be glad to know that it might not be as daunting as you originally thought. In this episode we talk about many different ways you can meet people in the industry, not only in LA, but also in cities across the country.


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Julie Inmon

Julie is a graduate of The Second City Training Center in Los Angeles with experience on both stage and screen.  She recently appeared in the feature films Disfigured by Glenn Gers and Broken Windows with Michael Gross and Larisa Oleynik.  Her comedy credits include the rambunctious Pool Party and the illustrious cable TV show Manswers.  Julie can often be found performing musical improvisation in venues around Los Angeles.

For more information about Julie Inmon or to contact her please visit her at one of the following locations:

www.julieinmon.com
Julie’s Twitter

Julie’s Networking Suggestions

Actorsite -workshop place with classes and events
Women in Film
Hollywood Happy Hour
Meetup
Hollywood Networking Breakfast

Also, several actors try to start their own power groups, workout nights, etc- just meeting them in acting class and other opportunities sprout off of that.

Hollie Hummel

Numerous television/film/voiceover/commercial/psa/industrial and theatre performances have earned this award winning actor a Telly for 60 Seconds on a Steward’s Journey PSA, plus various other awards. She can also be seen in several What I Like About You episodes, currently rerunning on ABC Family or you may have heard her giggle in Walk The Line.

Thanks to networking Hollie turned producer launching HHGIRL Productions in 2006 working with Oak Films on two Sprouse Twins movies and Academy Award Winning producer/director Bobby Moresco. The Prince and the Pauper is in stores everywhere being distributed by Sony and Kings of Appletown is in process to do the same with a possible theatrical release.

For more information about Hollie Hummel or to contact her please visit one of the following websites:

www.holliehummel.com
Hollie’s LinkedIn
Hollie’s MySpace
Hollie’s Twitter

Hollie’s Networking Suggestions

Actor’s Network -818-509-1010. Use Hollie’s name as a reference
APS Entertainment -323-462-2777

Jenna Edwards

In the year 2000, Jenna, made the journey to L.A. to pursue acting. She appeared in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Malcolm in the Middle as well as several independent films. Her natural charisma, inherent organizational skills and art for problem solving led her to producing student films and as of late, her feature film debut, April Showers. Producing has given her a rare gift, one that allows her to truly love her job and to be excited every day about what she can achieve and enable others to achieve. Edwards and her directing partner Andrew Robinson have recently formed their own distribution company called Pure+Motive. Jenna and Andrew have recently begun work on their second feature film collaboration, an adaptation of Dancing Carl based on the novel by three-time Newbery Honor author Gary Paulsen.

For more information about Jenna Edwards or to contact her please visit one the following websites:

Jenna’s Twitter
www.aprilshowersmovie.com
www.dancingcarl.com

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