Category Archives: Filmmaker Interviews

VIDEO: “Homeland” Creator, Alex Gansa on Criticism (THR)

After a hiatus, during which time we created our own web series “Shakespeare Republic”, starring Alan Fletcher, Michala Banas, Ben Steel, Rowena Hutson and the ActorSpeak.com team, Sally McLean and Billy Smedley – all playing Shakespeare (more on that at the official website: http://www.shakespearerepublic.com), we’re back with ActorSpeak.com updates and found the following video really fascinating and relevant to what we’ve just been through.

Today’s video, courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter, features screenwriter Alex Gansa, who is also the creator of the hugely popular Homeland, starring Claire Danes, Damien Lewis and Mandy Patinkin.

In this excerpt from a longer roundtable discussion with drama writers (that we’ll be sharing in a couple of days), Alex discusses how a scene can be written in the edit suite (an important thing for all actors to remember!), what it is like working with networks and what he thinks about criticism from the public.

Enjoy.

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VIDEO: Creative Spark: Screenwriter, Eric Roth

Today’s video, courtesy of Academy Originals, features screenwriter Eric Roth, known for Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Good Shepherd, Munich, Ali, The Insider, The Horse Whisperer, The Postman and Forrest Gump, among other screenplays.

Eric speaks about how he comes up with ideas, his writing process, what he feels makes a good writer, working with Studios, how he deals with writer’s block and much more.

Enjoy.

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VIDEO: Creative Spark: Screenwriter, John August

Today’s video, courtesy of Academy Originals, features Screenwriter John August, known for films such as Frankenweenie, Dark Shadows, Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Big Fish, Charlie’s Angels & Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle and Titan A.E.

In this interview, John shares his fascinating process, how he writes (both from a mental/imagination process as well as the practical application of that process), where he draws inspiration, how he gives himself the best environment to be creative and how he problem solves.

Two words that stood out to us “standing desk”.  What a concept.

Enjoy.

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VIDEO: Day In The Life: Production Designer, Jane Musky

Today’s video, courtesy of Academy Originals, features Production Designer Jane Musky, known for numerous films including Hitch, Mona Lisa Smile, Maid in Manhattan, Finding Forrester, The Object of My Affection, Glengarry Glen Ross, Ghost, When Harry Met Sally…, Young Guns and Raising Arizona, among many others.

In this micro-documentary, Jane takes us through her typical day, in this case on the upcoming film Freeheld, and gives us a brilliant inside look at what her role as Production Designer entails and, by extension, just how much her decisions and creativity can impact on an actor’s decisions once they are in the environment she has created.

Enjoy.

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VIDEO: Creative Spark: Costume Designer, Mark Bridges

Today we bring you a video, courtesy of Academy Originals, featuring Mark Bridges as he talks about the creativity involved in his work as a Costume Designer for film.  Mark is highly regarded in this field with numerous awards and nominations for his work to date and a long list of film credits including Inherent Vice, Captain Phillips, Silver Linings Playbook, The Master, The Artist,  The Fighter, There Will Be Blood, I Heart Huckabees, The Italian Job, 8 Mile, Blow, Magnolia and Boogie Nights, to name a few.

With fascinating information about how he sees his work in relation to how it effects and assists actors, the collaboration process between himself, the actor, the director and the production design department, what creativity means to him, how he problem-solves and how he sees his role in the filmmaking process.  A lot of what Mark shares can be also applied to acting – particularly the research aspect, reminding us that every role in the filmmaking process in interrelated and as vital as each other.  Enjoy.

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VIDEO: Creative Spark: Screenwriter, David Seidler

Today we bring you a video, courtesy of Academy Originals, featuring screenwriter David Seidler.  Best known for “The King’s Speech”, starring Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush, David talks us through is writing process, his inspiration and how he engages his creativity.  Also how he uses fly fishing to feed his creative mind.  It is a fascinating look at how one writer writes and understand the process behind one of the most important aspects of filmmaking.

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VIDEO: Film Producers Round Table Conversation (SAG Foundation)

Happy Saturday!

Today we thought we’d bring you a round table panel interview with four producers based in Hollywood, including Judi Levine – an Australian producer who arrived in LA 18 years ago and just had her (and her husband’s) first major movie success with “The Sessions”.

Side note: As actors, we often forget that we are not the only ones who have to graft and slog and keep aiming high against all the odds. The truth is that just about everyone in this biz has to do the same thing – no matter which side of the camera they stand on.

This interview session gives you a great idea of what a producer does and how that relates to you as an actor – which is always useful information, and, as they say, knowledge is power.

The panellists are:

Chay Carter (Producer, Argo)
David Klawans (Executive Producer, Argo, Producer, Nacho Libre)
Judi Levine (Producer, The Sessions)
Sean McKittrick (Producer, Donnie Darko, Producer, Pride & Prejudice & Zombies)

Enjoy!

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VIDEO: Jim Gianopulos, Brad Grey, Alan Horn, Donna Langley, Jonathan Sehring and Kevin Tsujihara Discuss Being Film Studio Heads (THR)

It’s nearly here … only one day to go until one of the red-letter days of the acting biz arrives – Oscars Sunday.  So today, in honour of the biggest event in Hollywood, we present the final video  in a series of current top movie talent round-table interviews, conducted by The Hollywood Reporter – The Studio Heads’ Round Table.

Traditionally less-forthcoming than the more visible actors, directors and writers, Hollywood Studio bosses, Jim Gianopulos (Fox), Brad Grey (Paramount),  Alan Horn (Disney Studios), Donna Langley (Universal),  Jonathan Sehring (IFC Films) and Kevin Tsujihara (Warner Bros.) discuss Superhero movie overload, the challenges of the box office and the rise of Netflix, among other issues now being faced by the traditional power centres in Hollywood and beyond.

In preparation for tomorrow’s Academy Awards’ presentation, curl up and get to know some of the biggest decision makers in the business and how the biz ticks from the top down in this engaging round table discussion.  Enjoy.

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VIDEO: Peter Chernin, Eric Fellner, John Lesher, Marc Platt, Cathleen Sutherland and Emma Thomas Discuss Producing (THR)

In the penultimate video in a series of current top movie talent round-table interviews, conducted by The Hollywood Reporter in the lead up to Oscar Night, we hear from top Hollywood Producers Peter Chernin, Eric Fellner, John Lesher (Birdman), Marc Platt, Cathleen Sutherland (Boyhood) and Emma Thomas (Interstellar) about the state of the biz, how movie Marketing budgets need to be bigger, what their views are on the movie business then and now and much more.

In the week leading up to the Oscars, sit back, grab a pen and paper and soak up a ton of fascinating info from the other side of the camera from The Roundtables: The Producers.  Enjoy.

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