Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Really Great Feature Article about 'Modern Family'

The cast of Modern Family
The pilot was ordered to series in May 2009. Rather than tease it with a minute of footage as ABC did the others at the upfront presentation, the network boldly opted to air it in full -- the first time a network had done so since NBC's ill-fated Joey. "It goes down as one of the greatest professional moments of my life," says [Steve] Levitan [Executive Producer] of the Lincoln Center screening, during which he watched a packed auditorium erupt in laughter at several points during the 22-minute pilot. 
When you know something is good, it's good! I thought that pilot of Modern Family and the subsequent season was the funniest I had seen in a while. Not surprised that a network had that much confidence because it was that good! The article linked below details what it was like to put together the show and work on the show now. A really great read for all Modern Family fans.

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Inside 'Modern Family's' Billion-Dollar Winning Formula and How Season 4 Might Change Everything

The cast and creators of TV's biggest scripted hit, which recently saw a high-profile salary negotiation and has one of the least conventional writers rooms in the business, tell THR about holding onto viewers' interest and the upcoming plot changes that could cost them their ratings crown.


Read the entire article here




ADDITIONAL

Monday, September 17, 2012

What is #NFOTD?




People who follow me on social networks might wonder what #nfotd means in some of my posts. Well first I’ll let you read about it from the person who created it, Cinematographer Cybel Martin
At some point during the day, I watch at least one film that I’ve never seen before. My Twitter friends know this as my #nfotd or “New Film of the Day”.  
The practice began in 2009. I was DP’ing a Bollywood inspired feature film for director, Arun Singh. He was educating me on Classic Indian/Bollywood films and recommended many films to watch. I had also befriended a ridiculously smart and visually savvy friend, Radhika Rai who gave me plenty of contemporary Indian films to watch. My exposure to and knowledge of Indian films was limited, so I promised myself to watch at least one a day. After a few weeks, I opened the practice to any film I'd not seen. The benefits of #nfotd can be another article. Briefly, they increase my visual vocabulary and options I can offer my directors. How do I find films? Netflix, Hulu, TV/Cable, the library (you can reserve DVDs), film screenings, screeners, theaters and YouTube.

Now I came across this @NotherBrother twitter account where I follow Cybel. I thought it was a clever hashtag for people like me, a filmmaker and student of cinema.

I tell people all the time I’ll watch ANY film for I’m a filmmaker and I think I can learn something from it. To that end I always seek out NEW films that I’ve never seen before. People are always surprised when I say I never saw *insert classic or highly regarded film here* “You never seen ________?” is the usual response. LOL. As hard as I try I can’t see every film and many of the ones people call “classics” I’ve never seen. So the hashtag #nfotd fits right in when I see a new film which nowadays seems to happen more than me rewatching a film.

I try to review as many films as I can. You can find my full reviews at the blogs:


I also try to post smaller more concise reviews at the movie review/info site Rotten Tomatoes here

People who follow me on Twitter will also usually get some additional on the spot commentary, but not much  during the film for I like to absorb the full experience because it is my first time ;-)


You can read the full article Cybel posted If I Am Not On Set, Do I Still Exist? How A DP Works When She’s Not Working here

Thursday, September 13, 2012

How Barack Obama Made His Fortune

Early photo of Barack and Michele Obama

has a very comprehensive article about just that. Click their logo above to read it


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Wreckage and Rage: The Making of Alien³


From Digital Bits, 11-3-03
The documentary on Disc Six, now simply titled The Making of Alien³, was originally called Wreckage and Rage: The Making of Alien³. More than thirty minutes of material that was produced for this documentary was cut at the last minute. You might be wondering what difference thirty minutes could make in a three hour documentary. A big difference.

Gone now is much of the honesty and truth about the hell director David Fincher went through on the production. Among the footage lost were actual moments with Fincher on the set, where you saw his frustration and anger. You saw his struggles with producers. You heard from Sigourney [Weaver] and the other cast and crew members talking about the problems, and what a raw deal Fincher got. You even heard from the film's producers and Fox executives talking about what went wrong. Simply put, this disc was about as good a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Alien³ as you could ever hope to get, short of Fincher returning to address the production himself (and he WAS asked to do so, but declined). Unfortunately, what you get now, while it still does contain some of the above (including material that you've never seen before), it sort of teases the stuff you really want to know, then glosses by it.

UPDATED: Digital Bits 10-25-10
Wreckage and Rage, was censored by Fox back in 2003, with some 21 minutes cut prior to release - footage detailing director David Fincher's struggles and frustrations on the set. You'll be pleased to know that ALL of that lost footage been restored, making this the most complete version of the documentary to date.
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THIS ^^^ restored version is the one I'm currently watching. Be prepared for an update afterwards.

UPDATE: November 20, 2012
I forgot to update this, but Wreckage and Rage: The Making of Alien³ was an excellent documentary. Throughout this extensive 2 hour and 40 minute doc you could see what kind of pressure a studio can put on a director, especially a first time one and Alien³ was David Fincher’s first studio picture.

As detailed above you do get:
honesty and truth about the hell director David Fincher went through on the production. Among the footage lost were actual moments with Fincher on the set, where you saw his frustration and anger. You saw his struggles with producers. You heard from Sigourney [Weaver] and the other cast and crew members talking about the problems, and what a raw deal Fincher got. You even heard from the film's producers and Fox executives talking about what went wrong. Simply put, this disc was about as good a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Alien³ as you could ever hope to get, short of Fincher returning to address the production himself (and he WAS asked to do so, but declined). 

In the doc you also find out that Sigourney Weaver maintained a lot more control over the story than everyone previously thought. Without revealing any spoilers, Sigourney says herself on camera that it was SHE who decided to take the Alien³ story in a different direction than what happened in Aliens (Part 2). Everyone blamed Fincher for that, but it was Sigourney.

Wreckage and Rage: The Making of Alien³ is on the fifth disc of the ALIEN ANTHOLOGY BluRay set (Pictured right) and one of the best DVD/BluRay Extras I have ever seen in its comprehensiveness.