Life in Hollywood, below-the-line

Life in Hollywood, below-the-line
Work gloves at the end of the 2006/2007 television season (photo by Richard Blair)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Back for 2012...

...the Tips 'o the Week

There’s a good reason I put “The Treatment” on this blog’s list of Essential Listening links -- Elvis Mitchell is a very smart interviewer whose considerable knowledge of and enthusiasm for the medium of film has induced a wide spectrum of accomplished Industry pros to sit down for a half hour interview. My only complaint is how fast those thirty minutes pass -- were I the God of Hollywood, "The Treatment" would be a full hour.

Elvis has been on a roll the past couple of weeks, airing fascinating interviews with Graham Yost (the man behind AMC’s “Justified”), and Whit Stillman, who seems to have devoted his cinematic career to chronicling the coming-of-age struggles suffered by the upper-crust youth of America.*

Interesting. There seems to be a lot of that going around these days.

I’m a big fan of Justified, which (IMHO) provides consistently dramatic, thoughtful, interesting entertainment. Blessed with terrific acting, wonderfully drawn characters, excellent production values, and the guiding hand of Elmore Leonard, it’s a great show. At least a million viewers agree with me, and thus far that’s been enough to keep the show on the air. In this half-hour interview, Graham Yost discusses the genisis of the show, how it evolved, the key characters, Elmore Leonard, and several other pertinent subjects. If you like “Justified,” you’ll thoroughly enjoy the interview. Even if you don’t like (or aren’t familiar with) the show, you’ll learn a lot about how a show gets made and put on television these days. That alone is worth your thirty minutes.

Alas, I’ve yet to see one of Whit Stillman’s films – “Barcelona” has been on my Netflix queue for a while now, along with a hundred other movies I’ll probably never manage to see until my phone stops ringing and I finally have the time – but he’s a thoughtful, articulate writer/director who has learned a lot over the years, and doesn’t mind sharing his hard-earned wisdom. Any wannabe directors out there would do well to hear what he has to say about the realities of making Indie films nowadays, the importance of avoiding cliche, and his new film “Damsels in Distress.”

And last but not least, here's the latest Martini Shot, wherein veteran writer/producer Rob Long finally gets a show past the pilot phase -- then ponders the ups-and-downs of employing an assistant.

Those are your tips ‘o the week. They're all good, so check ‘em out...

* Yeah, I know -- one could indulge in a full-bore snark-a-palooza on the trials and tribulations of growing up among the pampered rich, but the process of leaving one's youth and entering adulthood isn't easy on anybody, rich or poor, albeit for very different reasons. Life doesn't let any of us off the hook.


Ed (sloweddi) said...

I am currently going through "Justified" withdrawals after the season finale.

I am currently thinking I should start watching "Breaking Bad" as the backlog of seasons might stretch out long enough for the next "Justified" season.
But what if I get invested in BB enough that I will be torn between the two shows ??
I do have a second alternative. I hear there is this thing called "outside" where there is this really bright light in the sky and the "air" is what they call "fresh"

Any ideas??? I have stopped wearing my hat just in case...

Michael Taylor said...

Ed --

Why choose? When watching on DVD, neither show runs more than 45 minutes, which allows ample opportunity to watch them all. If you haven't seen all of "Breaking Bad" up to this point, you're in for a treat. Better hurry, though -- the new (and final) season will be coming to AMC soon.

Still, it's a good idea to put that hat back on and head outside every now and then...