Tag Archives: hollywood

VIDEO: Creative Spark Series: Casting Director, Marci Liroff

Happy Monday!  It’s March already and the year is in full swing. So, today we thought we’d bring you a video, courtesy of Academy Originals, featuring US Casting Director Marci Liroff.  Marci has worked in casting for many years and is a font of information about the biz.  She writes a regular column for Backstage (among other publications) and has cast many, many film and TV projects, including E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Blade RunnerMean Girls, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, St Elmo’s Fire, Poltergeist, Footloose, Pretty In PinkThe Spiderwick Chronicles and Gothika to name a few.

In this video, Marci talks about the role of the Casting Director and the creativity involved in doing her job.  It gives a great insight into what a Casting Director actually does and how they see their role in the filmmaking business.  Enjoy.

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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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SPECIAL EVENT: Oscar Awards 2015

Eddie Redmayne with his brand new Oscar on Sunday
Eddie Redmayne with his brand new Oscar on Sunday

The envelopes have been opened, the dresses and tuxedos returned (or stored for another year) and another gang of gold statuettes, fondly referred to as “Oscar” have all found new homes.

Yes, The 87th Annual Academy Awards, otherwise known as The Oscars, have come to a close.  It was a night of cheers, tears and praise from peers and we loved it as always.

Some of our favourite moments?

That Opening number!

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Patricia Arquette’s speech with support from Meryl Streep:

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The performance of the Oscar-winning song “Glory” from Selma and David Oyelowo’s reaction:

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Lady Gaga … what more can we say?:

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The beautiful speech from Graham Moore, screenwriter of The Imitation Game:

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Birdman, Birdman, Birdman!
(and we thought we’d share this hilarious, totally-off-the-cuff, Oscars backstage interview with director, Alejandro G. Iñarritu, because … why not?):

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Eddie Redmayne’s reaction, speech, reaction during his speech … we just love everything about this guy:

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In fact, while we’re on the subject of Eddie Redmayne, watch and listen to his backstage interviews just after winning the Oscar for some great tips on movement techniques used to recreate Stephen Hawking’s ALS symptoms/physicality where he speaks about the importance of research.  Keep watching to hear Eddie also acknowledge Alan Fletcher and Jackie Woodburne (who currently play “Karl Kennedy” and “Susan Kennedy” on Neighbours here in Australia) as influences on his work.

Why was he asked a question about Fletch and Jackie?  Because of his recent Elle magazine interview in the UK when he reportedly said about them: “Watch, and you’ll find that everything they do is on another level of genius. I really do think so. They are the greatest unsung acting duo in history … (If I met them) that would be complete stage fright. I’ve met quite a few extraordinary actors, but either Susan or Karl? Well, I don’t think I’d be able to talk.” Oscar-winning fanboys – gotta love it. And why not?  We’re all actors, in part, because we were fans of someone doing the same job at some stage, and this is a good reminder to continue to be a fan – no matter how far we get in the biz. Always remember and celebrate your influences and be grateful they showed you it was possible. Love.

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Here is a full list of nominees and winners from the ceremony:

BEST PICTURE

Birdman – WINNER
American Sniper
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Selma
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash

BEST DIRECTOR

Alexandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman – WINNER
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

Cate Blanchett congratulates Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne at the Oscar Ceremony backstage area on Sunday
Cate Blanchett congratulates Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne at the Oscar Ceremony backstage area on Sunday

BEST ACTOR

Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything – WINNER
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton, Birdman

BEST ACTRESS

Julianne Moore, Still Alice – WINNER
Marion Cotillard, Two Days One Night
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

J.K. Simmons, Whiplash – WINNER
Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood – WINNER
Laura Dern, Wild
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Birdman – Emmanuel Lubezki – WINNER
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Robert Yeoman
Ida – Lukasz Zal & Ryszard Lenczewski
Mr. Turner – Dick Pope
Unbroken – Roger Deakin

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Ida – WINNER
Leviathan
Tangerines
Timbuktu
Wild Tales

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

The Imitation Game – WINNER
American Sniper
Inherent Vice
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Birdman – WINNER
Boyhood
Foxcatcher
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Nightcrawler

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

The Grand Budapest Hotel – WINNER
Foxcatcher
Guardians of the Galaxy

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

The Grand Budapest Hotel – WINNER
The Imitation Game
Interstellar
Mr. Turner
The Theory of Everything

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

‘Glory,’ Selma – WINNER
‘Lost Stars,’ Begin Again
‘Everything is Awesome,’ The LEGO Movie
‘Grateful,’ Beyond the Lights
‘I’m Not Gonna Miss You,’ Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Big Hero 6 – WINNER
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Song of the Sea
The Tale of Princess Kaguya

BEST DOCUMENTARY—SHORT

Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 – WINNER
Joanna
Our Curse
The Reaper
White Earth

BEST FILM EDITING

Whiplash – WINNER
American Sniper
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

The Grand Budapest Hotel – WINNER
The Imitation Game
Interstellar
Into the Woods
Mr. Turner

BEST ANIMATED SHORT

Feast – WINNER
The Bigger Picture
The Dam Keeper
Feast
Me and My Moulton
A Single Life

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT

The Phone Call – WINNER
Aya
Boogaloo and Graham
Butter Lamp
Parvaneh

BEST SOUND EDITING

American Sniper – WINNER
Birdman
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Interstellar
Unbroken

BEST SOUND MIXING

Whiplash – WINNER
American Sniper
Birdman
Interstellar
Unbroken

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Interstellar – WINNER
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy
X-Men: Days of Future Past

BEST DOCUMENTARY — FEATURE

Citizenfour – WINNER
Finding Vivien Maier
Last Days of Vietnam
The Salt of the Earth
Virunga

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

The Grand Budapest Hotel – WINNER
Inherent Vice
Into the Woods
Maleficent
Mr. Turner

And here’s a quick recap of the night, courtesy of the Associated Press:

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SPECIAL EVENT: Golden Globe Awards 2015

So, yesterday we had the 72nd Golden Globe Awards hosted by Amy Poehler and Tina Fey.

The girls hosted in their usual irreverent style in a year that marked a strong “girl power” orientated skew in both the speeches and the tone of the night generally, which we loved and say “More, please!”.

Our favourite moments?

This.

These two.

“It’s nice at last that men are getting the recognition they deserve for being good at comedy. You’ve come a long way, baby!”

This man.

“For the record: If you are in this room, you’ve caught the brass ring. You get to do what you’ve always dreamed to do and be celebrated for it, and that just… it ain’t losing. I don’t remember what awards Lauren Bacall won. I just remember her saying, ‘You know how to whistle, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.’ And I have no idea what kind of hardware Robin Williams took home. But I sure remember “carpe diem” and, ‘Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.’ I never forget that. … And one last thing: To reiterate what we’ve all been talking about, today was an extraordinary day. There were millions of people that marched not just in Paris, but around the world. And they were Christians and Jews and Muslims. They were leaders of countries all over the world. And they didn’t march in protest; they marched in support of the idea that we will not walk in fear. We won’t do it. So, Je Suis Charlie. Thank you.”

This woman.

“I’ve noticed a lot of people talking about the wealth of roles for powerful women in television lately. And when I look around the room at the women who are in here and I think about the performances that I’ve watched this year, what I see actually are women who are sometimes powerful and sometimes not; sometimes sexy, sometimes not; sometimes honorable, sometimes not. What I think is new is the wealth of roles for ACTUAL women in television and in film. That’s what I think is revolutionary and evolutionary, and it’s what’s turning me on.”

And this guy … yep, this guy …

“This is the eighth time I’ve been nominated. I cannot f—— believe I won. I want to thank Netflix for their incredible support of this series. Ted (Sarandos), all of you guys have done an incredible job. I have an extraordinary time coming to work every day with brilliant writing from Beau Willimon and his incredible writing staff. An incredible cast … Kate (Mara), Robin (Wright), it’s a joy to come to work with you every day and all of those that I work with every day. The last time that I saw Stanley Kramer — one of the great filmmakers of all time — was at the Motion Picture and Television Home, and I was sitting with him and he was in a wheelchair. He was ill at this time. And, as I was about to leave, I realised that I had never told him what I thought about his work … how much his work had meant to me. And so I said to him, the films you made, the subjects you tackled, the performances you got out of some of the greatest actors that have ever walked the face of the Earth, the Oscars you won … your films will stand the test of time and will influence filmmakers for all time. And I didn’t know whether he had really retained what I said or not. Sometimes he did, sometimes he didn’t. But as I stood up to leave, he grabbed my hand, and I looked at his wife, who was across the room, and I sat back down. And he said as clear to me as anything he had ever said, ‘Thank you so much for saying that. That means so much to me. I just wish my films could have been better.’ And so as I stand here tonight as someone who has enjoyed such an extraordinary career, in large measure because of the people in this room, I just want it to be better. I just want to be better, but this is very encouraging. Thank you very much.”

For those who didn’t get to see the full broadcast, here is a chance to do some catch-up viewing via YouTube below (not our video and so we can’t guarantee the quality or how long it will remain online – just sayin’).  Enjoy!

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