Hooray for Captain Spaulding

Thursday, May 18, 2006

If you're not sick yet of movie-trailer mash-ups (or even if you are), here's one marketing The Ten Commandments as a teen comedy.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I haven't watched it yet so I can't comment but YouTube has the six-minute previewshown yesterday of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Comments later maybe.

In other SNL-related news, SNL is accused of ripping off a New York improv group because they both did that bit where misleading camera angles and misleading dialogue make the viewer think one thing which is humorously revealed to be wrong. Details here.

UPDATE NBC (or maybe Warner Brothers) made YouTube drop the preview so the link stopped working. When Grey's Anatomy kicks that show's ass, NBC is going to wish they had allowed Internet buzz.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A Page-Six report on the NBC upfronts makes a claim about 30 Rock, NBC's other backstage-of-SNL show, that I know is untrue:
"Aaron came up with the original idea and NBC bought it," our source said. "But then ['SNL' creator] Lorne Michaels found out and went ballistic. He said - and he has a point - 'someone is going to do a behind-the-scenes show about my show?' 'SNL' is NBC, and so NBC had to give Lorne and Tina their own show. It is costing millions. A big, expensive mistake."
Now, I know for a fact that the Fey show was kicking around well before the Sorkin show (as confirmed by this article about the Fey show dated from February 2005 and this article about the Sorkin bidding war from October 2005). Indeed if you examine the history of both shows, you can see why NBC is doing two behind-the-scenes shows. The Fey show was in development from February of last year. Sorkin writes a pilot without pitching it. This is an unusual move that very few writers could get away with; assumably, if he had pitched it to NBC, they would have steered him towards something else. Instead he gets a bidding war between networks (which means it was getting on the air regardless of whether NBC bought it or not). Meanwhile NBC doesn't want to sour their relationship with Lorne Michaels and Tina Fey (who wrote a #1-movie, remember) so they're not going to drop her show. Best of a bad situation, they buy both shows, try to juggle the schedule so they're not competing with each other (which would have been less certain if CBS bought Sorkin's show) and keep a relationship open with folk who might provide future hits. (Hat-tip to JW for the Slate item).

The Page-Six item, while untrue, gives me an idea for my TV show pitch. It's a behind-the-scenes show of a behind-the-scenes-show of a sketch show granted to the fictional producer of the fictional sketch show to keep him happy. The logo of the show will be a snake-eating-its-own-tail.

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Sunday, May 07, 2006

SNL really zinged it to Wheel of Fortune with a sketch on how dopey the contestants can be. [Taps watch] Is it 1984 again already?

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"How Dey Do Dat?" Dept"There have been a couple of commercials for DirecTV where characters from movies interrupt the movie to talk about how great DirecTV is (one features Bill Paxton in Twister and one features Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller's Day Off). Stein looks like he did twenty years ago but they weren't dubbing voices on the original footage since the lip movements meshed with what he was saying. I find out from an interview with Sir Ian McKellan that they have the technology to morph an actor to look younger:
I don't know if it's in the press notes, but the first time that Patrick Stewart and I appear in [X-Men: The Last Stand], we appear to be 25 years younger than we are. That's been done by a technology never used in film before, which involves no makeup, no special effects whatsoever. We just go into the studio and do the scene as is, and then they morph our faces on to photographs of ourselves 25 years ago. Lo and behold, there we are. They can take any shaped person and they can slim you down, they can build you up, they can bring out your shoulders, change the style and color of your hair. Remove every wrinkle. They removed so many wrinkles from my face, I looked so young that Brett Ratner said, "You've got to put a few wrinkles back. It's looking ridiculous." It would mean that I could play myself at 25, feasibly, as long as I can keep myself lithe and sounding young. I mean, that's the big story of this movie is once the stars realize that they don't have to have facelifts anymore, at least as far as their work is concerned, Meryl [Streep] and I can go on playing Romeo and Juliet for the next 20 or 30 years. It's astonishing. It's like airbrushing, but for the moving picture.

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