Category Archives: casting directors

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with David Murphy Casting Director

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David Murphy, casting director and acting coach, is co-founder of the Chicago  acting school known as The Green Room. Murphy, as he goes by, brings multiple areas of expertise to his teaching.

He’s worked in the acting field for 20 years. He joined the staff at O’Connor Casting Company in 2001. He splits time between casting commercials and teaching.

Around the casting office, there are two “David’s” (David O’Connor is the owner), so this David is often known as “Murphy”. He has conducted well over 50,000 individual actor’s auditions.

To Listen Live Or Archived Click The Bold Link Below:

Rex Sikes Movie Beat chats with David Murphy Casting Director

For 16 year Murphy taught at the Players’ Workshop of the Second City. He’s directed over a hundred shows ranging from improv reviews to children’s shows. He has created several touring groups performing for such clients as GE and Novis.

Murphy has worked as an artistic director for Bedlam Productions, has worked in casting for Toast productions and has been a consultant to several fledgling theatre companies.

murphy class shot

Beyond his acting and voice over credits, he has been a casting director, theatre director and instructor. What is not as widely is that he is a Reiki Master.

Reiki is a healing modality using energy. Often, unfocused energy can be at the root of an uncreative and uninteresting performance.

Have you ever had a poor audition and wrote it off as having been nervous, or simply not “on” without exploring further what was at the root of the problem?

He helps actors, through self-reflection, energy work and discovery of higher creative self, to gain better control of their instrument so they can be present during the audition and bring their best self to the room.

To Learn More about David, acting and commercial on camera classes Visit The Green Room Studio’s Website.

The Green Room Studio

PS I have been a student of The Green Room. Murphy and others have been my instructors. I highly recommend their offerings. I am enrolling in another class this week.

The official website of Rex Sikes Movie Beat can be accessed through the link below. Be sure to visit!

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Website

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Weyauwega Int’l FIlm Fest, Year Four, Day 2. Nov 12-15

weyauwega film fest 2014

Day 2 begins early and then with a delicious breakfast. I had to ask the chef her secret to making her eggs so tasty and she told me. But I promised I would keep her secret. On my way out I got to chat say hello and chat briefly with documentary filmmaker Dan Schneidkraut I told you about yesterday.

I had a delicious Latte at Rhythm and Brew and and wrote my daily blog entry and worked for a couple hours more before leaving for the festival venue.

I drove to the Gerold Opera House, the home of Wega Arts and the Weyauwega International Film Festival. I am recovered from a long day yesterday and I am eager to see today’s line up of films and meet more filmmakers and fans. As expected today the attendance is heavier than the first day.

By the way: It is not my intention to write about each fine offering. I do not mean to imply anything by not writing about a film. I simply want to feature highlights while at the festival.

weyauwega audeince 2014

As a filmmaker it is my position to not review other’s films. Since I know the labor and love, the hardship, of movie making I reserve my film opinions for close friends and do not dispense it for the public.

DAY 2 began with a talk by Dr. Jack Rhodes on Stanley Kramer’s ‘The Men’ starring Marlon Brando. Since this is a favorite film of mine, and Brando’s first screen appearance, it was wonderful to listen to Dr Rhodes discuss the film and then watch it.

Some of his points. First, 45 members of the cast were not actors but actual paraplegics. This fact is also pointed out in opening credits of the film.

Brando spent from 2-4 weeks in the hospital preparing for his role. He shared a story of Brando faking a spontaneous healing. A woman seeing the men in a restaurant all in wheel chairs mentioned to them that she wished deeply that they could be healed.

weyauwega anne casey by popcorn

Brando struggled painfully to get up from his wheelchair and took some halting steps  exclaiming ‘I can walk! I can Walk’ while the paralyzed men looked on and smiled knowingly.

Brando received 4 oscar nominations during his first 5 years as an actor. He won for ‘On The Waterfront’. After, ‘One Eyed Jacks’ 1961 his career went downhill until it was revived by ‘The Godfather’, 1973. He won another Academy Award which he declined.

Director Fred Zinnemann made numerous movies focused on this theme: A loan man triumphs over tremendous odds and institutions. ‘High Noon’, ‘From Here To Eternity’, ‘The Old Man and the Sea’, “A Man For All Seasons’, ‘Behold a Pale Horse’, and ‘Day of the Jackal’ among these.

He insisted ‘The Men’  have the gritty look of news reel footage. He went on to use virtually all of the crew, except for the cinematographer, on ‘High Noon’.

Dr Rhodes taught a graduate course  on Rhetoric of Film at the Miami University of Ohio and he teaches seminars on film at Lawrence University, events in Door County and at  Waupaca Library. He was enjoyable to listen to and the audience in attendance acknowledged this with applause. Then ‘The Men’ was screened. Great to see it again ON the big screen too!

It seems we have forgotten much about filmmaking as we advance our technologies. For me, there is nothing more fun than watching movies with an audience on a large screen.  Film instead of digital is still my preference, as is story over CGI, and performance over costuming.  It was great to see this movie again.

The movie ended to applause. Then the shorts began.  I remind you to check the showing schedule for information about the films shown. Plus, you can read more about Kathy and Ian AND listen to my Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat discussion, right here in these blog pages, anytime 24/7. Simply visit the link  below or at the official site (link provided at bottom).

Producers Kathy Fehl & Ian Teal | Weyawega International Film Festival Nov 12-15 

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Its mid afternoon and Dan Schneidkraut stopped by to say ‘so long’ he is traveling back to Minneapolis to continue to work on his next doc project. It is one I would like to see.  So we friended on Facebook to stay in touch.Kathy and I got to sit and catch up for a while and discuss plans for the coming year. John Pata showed up and we said hello and chatted awhile. I particularly liked his creepy short film “PITY’ shot in Oshkosh last year. Actor Jake Martin did a fine job, a disturbing job. Too disturbing. Thank goodness he is much nicer in real life.

John revealed secrets about the film. Based on a short story inside an album by Pig Destroyer called ‘Prowler In The Yard’ he aptly named the film PITY.I liked to sound design. The sound track score is comprised of the actors voice and breath converted to notes by Milwaukee musician Nicholas Elert.  It was shot on the red it looks great and is well edited. Pata presents a short suspenseful portrait of a very disturbed character in ‘Pity’.

This evening I also enjoyed the well made narrative feature directed by Shawn Telford, ‘BFE’. It appears to be non-union and crowd funded. Well made, acted, edited and entertaining. I liked an animated short by Wei lu, ‘Run Crab Run!’ and its score.

A few shorts followed the feature and the evening ended well. Tomorrow  Nov 14, DAY 3 the festival begins earlier at 10 am. I made it back to the lovely inn I am at and am currently enjoying getting cozy in my room. I look forward to what tomorrow brings in general and at the festival. It has been a wonderful couple days so far. Two more days to go.

weyawega from behind right side

On Sunday I have a special private screening to attend  before I return home. I miss my family back there and it will be great to see them. In the meantime more movies! See you tomorrow

OH By they way some of my upcoming guest on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat include; producer Rocky Lang, director Bill Rebane, director Peter Marshall, writer, producer Michael Frost Beckner, Actors Michael Spears and Eddie Spears and others. So be sure to stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted.

*** Please also visit Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Website.

Stay up to date with the live shows on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. You can join us and listen live as the show records. You can hang in chat and ask questions. All shows are recorded and archived at the official site.

Updates will be posted at this blog,  at the official site,  on the RSMB Friends page on FB,  through twitter and elsewhere.  When you can’t join us live you can still  listen to archived show from official site, from blogtalk radio and you can subscribe to the podcast at itunes.

Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Site

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with director Peter D Marshall

peter d marshall

Peter Marshall so far has had a 35-year career and has worked as a PA, dolly grip, electrician, assistant cameraman, commercial production manager, first assistant director, TV series creative consultant, television producer and director.  

He has worked on many different types of productions, from industrial films to documentaries; television commercials to music videos; Emmy Award nominated TV series to Hollywood feature films.

Peter has directed over 30 episodes of Television Drama and written, directed or produced over 50 hours of documentary and educational programs. His documentaries and dramas have won, or been nominated for, 14 International film awards.

UPCOMING LIVE: Thursday Dec 4, 2014  11aE 10AC 8aP TO LISTEN CLICK THE BOLDED LINK BELOW:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with Director Peter Marshall Pt 30

Peter has some incredible products for the director and 1st AD a his website. He also organizes thoughts and materials in an incredible easy way for filmmakers to use and apply. I asked Peter to discuss the criteria necessary to be a good director. In this series we go over elements and priciples critical to apply when preparing to direct and when directing. Enjoy this nuts and bolts Director Series with Peter D. Marshall.

***The Directors Series on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat is listed in descending order from first aired to last episode.***

TO LISTEN RIGHT NOW – CLICK BOLDED LINK BELOW:

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As a First Assistant Director he’s worked on 12 Feature Films, 15 Television Movies, 6 Television Series, 4 TV Pilots & over 20 Commercials. He’s  worked for directors such as Zack Snyder, John Woo, Ed Wick, Phillip Noyce, John Balham, Roger Adam, Anne Wheeler, Bobby Roth &  Kim Manners.

He has worked with talented actors including Michelle Pfeiffer, Kevin Spacey, Morgan Freeman, John Travolta, Mel Gibson, Kathy Bates, Adam Sandler and Peter O’Toole.

He has co-ordinated huge WW1 battle scenes, planned complicated visual FX scenes, managed large groups of extras & directed intimate emotional scenes between two actors. 

His first major series as 1st Assistant Director was Steven J. Cannel’s “Stingray” in 1986 after having been the 1st AD on a Canadian TV series called “Hamilton’s Quest”.

Thereafter he worked on several more TV series with Cannell and became 1st AD on “Wiseguy.” which he worked for two years. He  got his directing break on this series & directed a couple of episodes.

“The Fly 2.” was his move into feature films as a 1st AD. Other credits include “Happy Gilmore”, “Dawn of the Dead”, “The Butterfly effect”, “Lizzie McGuire Movie”,  “Look Who’s Talking Now”, “Bird on a Wire”,  scores of television series as 1st AD & as a director.

Peter Marshall Official Web Site  Peter has incredible learning products, ezine, workshops, blog and services. Check into these.

*** Please also visit Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Website.

Stay up to date with the live shows on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. You can join us and listen live as the show records. You can hang in chat and ask questions. All shows are recorded and archived at the official site.

Updates will be posted at this blog,  at the official site,  on the RSMB Friends page on FB,  through twitter and elsewhere.  When you can’t join us live you can still  listen to archived show from official site, from blogtalk radio and you can subscribe to the podcast at itunes.

Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Site

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with director Rex Piano on making TV movies – Thursday 10/2

rex piano directing

Rex graduated from NYU School of the Arts in 1981 as a film major – concentrating on writing, producing and directing. While there, he worked on several films and commercials, most notably: “Ms. 45” for director Abel Ferrara and “Mother’s Day” and “When Nature Calls” for director Charles Kaufman. Upon graduating, Rex worked as a 1st A.D. on dozens of commercials and films until he took a full time position at a NY Commercial Production Company.

UPCOMING LIVE: Thursday October 1 2014 11aE 10aC 8aP TO LISTEN CLICK  the bolded link below:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with director Rex Piano PT 5

Previous Episodes: TO LISTEN CLICK the bolded link below:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with director Rex Piano

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with director Rex Piano PT 2

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In 1985 Rex became Head of Production for O’Quinn Productions where he produced numerous videos for Fangoria Magazine (O’Quinn’s creation) that were distributed by MPI and Paramount Home Video.

In 1987 Rex moved to Los Angeles and was Head of Production for Associated Television International. While there, Rex wrote, produced and/or directed several TV specials and numerous travel videos. Rex also co-wrote and line produced the feature film “Chill Factor,” starring Paul Williams, Patrick Macnee and Andrew Prine.

Rex line produced “Severed Ties” in 1991 for Fangoria Films and continued freelance production work until 1995 when he was hired to produce the syndicated TV show “High Tide,” starring singer Rick Springfield. Rex also directed two episodes that season which lead to him becoming one of the series’ rotating directors.

Rex continued directing episodic TV shows, including “Mike Hammer, Private Eye”, “Silk Stalkings”, “Born Free”, “Air America” and “Nightman.”

In 2000 Rex produced and directed the multi-award winning romantic comedy feature film “The Month Of August.” The film garnered nine Best Picture awards and ten Official Designations at various film festivals around the country.

Rex followed that film with the highly viewed and critically acclaimed TV movie “Hope Ranch” for The Animal Planet channel. Rex then began directing TV movies that aired on PAX and Lifetime Television.

To date, Rex has directed or produced 21 movies that have either aired on television, gone straight to DVD or have had limited theatrical distribution.

In 2007 Rex was the primary director on “ROME – The Rise and Fall of an Empire,” for the History Channel.

Rex continues to produce and direct TV shows and Independent films; the most recent being “The Littlest Angel,” an animated Christmas movie that comes out in 2011.

Rex is currently attached to direct/produce several films including “Storm Front”, “Pizza Face” and “Phylicia’s Final Fling,” to name a few. Rex continues to write screenplays, his most recent a comedy called “In A Gadda Da Vida,” is currently making the rounds in Hollywood.

Rex Piano Official Website

Subscribe and Follow Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Blog!  Visit often & please share with others!

*** Please also visit Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Website.

Stay up to date with the live shows on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. You can join us and listen live as the show records. You can hang in chat and ask questions. All shows are recorded and archived at the official site.

Updates will be posted at this blog,  at the official site,  on the RSMB Friends page on FB,  through twitter and elsewhere.  When you can’t join us live you can still  listen to archived show from official site, from blogtalk radio and you can subscribe to the podcast at itunes.

Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Site

Milwaukee Film Festival: Marshall Curry; Debra Granik; Wesley Morris; Zucker, Abrahams, & Zucker, In Attendance

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It makes a film festival much more enjoyable when one can listen and learn from the filmmakers. This year Milwaukee Film Fest is bringing in some fine filmmakers for panel discussions.  Marshall Curry; Debra Granik; Wesley Morris and Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker will be present to discuss some of their films. You will not want to miss out. I know I will be there.  Read on to learn more.

Two award-winning directors, a Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic, and Hollywood comedy legends will be in attendance!!!

The 2014 Tributes lineup: two-time Oscar-nominated documentarian, Marshall Curry (Racing Dreams, Street Fight), Oscar-nominated director and writer, Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone), Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic, Wesley Morris, and the three Hollywood comedy kingpins who originally hail from Milwaukee, David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker (also known as “ZAZ”).

The Milwaukee Film Festival’s annual tributes celebrate the work of individuals who have contributed greatly to film culture through efforts in differing areas of the film world. Each tribute includes both a live appearance from the tribute’s recipient(s) and a screening of a film. In the case of Granik and Curry, their latest film is paired with a past one, exemplifying the scope of their work.

Each honoree will participate in an extended question and answer session following their featured films(s). Granik will also lead the panel “Working with Actors” in which she will discuss and demonstrate her process for auditioning and working with actors on set.

“We have a spectacular group of diverse honorees this year: two of the greatest film storytellers of our time–Marshall Curry and Debra Granik–whose documentary and narrative films have been vastly influential, along with the Pulitzer Prize winning film critic and presenter of our State of the Cinema keynote lecture, Wesley Morris, and finally, the legendary comedy team Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker,” explains Jonathan Jackson, Artistic and Executive Director for Milwaukee Film.

Returning to the Milwaukee Film Festival this year with his outstanding new documentary Point and Shoot, is director Marshall Curry. Curry’s Racing Dreams was the Opening Night film at the first Milwaukee Film Festival in 2009. Both Curry and Granik come to Milwaukee having just received major awards at two of the nation’s best film festivals: Curry’s Point and Shoot won the Best Documentary Award at the Tribeca Film Festival while Granik’s Stray Dog received the jury award for Best Documentary at the Los Angeles Film Festival.

Jackson continues, “It is exciting to have such a high-profile filmmaker as Marshall Curry return to our festival. We have grown quite a bit since that 2009 film festival and I can’t wait for him to come back and see what he helped inaugurate.”

2014 MILWAUKEE FILM FESTIVAL TRIBUTES

MARSHALL CURRY

MarshallCurry

Marshall Curry is one of the most important documentary filmmakers of our time, and he is an important person to Milwaukee Film. In 2009, his film Racing Dreams was the first to grace our festival screens on Opening Night at the inaugural Milwaukee Film Festival. Curry made his directorial debut in 2005 with Street Fight, a documentary that followed the campaign of the then-unknown Cory Booker, garnering his first Oscar nomination. Since that time, Curry directed If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front which tells the story of a radical environmentalist who faced life in prison for burning two Oregon timber facilities and won Curry his second Oscar nomination. Point and Shoot, Curry’s latest offering, is a documentary about a young Baltimore native who sets off for adventure and finds himself as part of the Libyan rebel army fighting dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Of Curry’s films, S.T. VanAirsdale (Movieline) said, “From vérité campaign-trail flashes in Street Fight to intimate dinner-table powwows in Racing Dreams to the candid, point-blank interviews in If a Tree Falls, his films take keen and unique advantage of both access and timing… getting down to the business of communicating without distraction, discrimination or guile. At heart, the films seek to detail the spectrum of grace.”

Marshall Curry is scheduled to attend selected screenings.

Point and Shoot

(USA / 2014 / Director: Marshall Curry)
Trailer: http://youtu.be/k8DUYyl1ods
Matthew VanDyke’s incredible personal odyssey from restless Baltimore native to Libyan rebel taking up arms against dictator Muammar Gaddafi is chronicled in the newest film from Oscar-nominated director Marshall Curry (Racing Dreams, MFF 2009). From his status as a young man diagnosed with OCD fresh out of graduate school, to his momentous international travel (a self-described “crash course in manhood”) that led him on a motorcycle trip across Northern Africa and the Middle East, to his eventual placement smack in the middle of the Arab Spring and Libyan revolution, VanDyke’s camera was always on—up until his capture and terrifying half-year spent in solitary confinement. This is a remarkable, sweeping story Curry tells in full.

Street Fight

(USA / 2005 / Director: Marshall Curry)
Trailer: http://youtu.be/fNrT2utrpAA

One of the greatest political documentaries of all time, Street Fight chronicles the very first political campaign of now-U.S. Senator Cory Booker as his grassroots campaign takes on the deeply entrenched political might of four-term incumbent Sharpe James for the mayoral seat in Newark, New Jersey. With the poverty-stricken streets as their battleground, 32-year-old Rhodes scholar/Yale Law School grad/Star Trek nerd Booker remains decent and straightforward despite the intimidation tactics and dirty politics (including claims that Booker’s background somehow makes him “less black”) employed by Sharpe. An edge-of-your-seat thriller even if you’re familiar with how this race ends, Street Fight is a wildly entertaining, modern-day Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

 

DEBRA GRANIK

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Debra Granik is the Academy Award-nominated director and co-writer of Winter’s Bone, which was

nominated for four Oscars, including Best Picture, and won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Granik’s first feature film, Down to the Bone, was awarded the Best Director prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. She is known for her amazing work with actors, essentially launching the careers of both Vera Farmiga and Jennifer Lawrence. Her work is known for an instinctive, collaborative style that Granik describes as “late-breaking global neorealism.” Granik’s most recent offering, the documentary Stray Dog, began with a chance encounter while scouting and casting Winter’s Bone. Granik met Ron “Stray Dog” Hall in the Biker Church of Branson and cast him as the film’s estranged father, Thump Milton. Of her work she says, “The question I’ve had for most of my life is, ‘How are you coping?’ Some people have these small, positive schemes for survival, a kind of strength that I am attracted to, maybe because I’m prone to the blues.” In Hall she found a worthy subject—one whose humor and lack of self-consciousness had the potential to make the plight of Vietnam vets accessible to a broader audience.

Debra Granik is scheduled to attend selected screenings and events.

Stray Dog

(USA / 2014 / Director: Debra Granik)
Trailer: http://youtu.be/5UKrOhJ0NRw
Ron “Stray Dog” Hall, Harley-Davidson biker, Vietnam veteran, husband, and father, receives a portrait every bit the equal to his substantial personality from Debra Granik, director of the Oscar-nominated Winter’s Bone. Defying expectations at every turn, Stray Dog tells a story of rough edges that give way to an expansive and tender heart as we see Ron equally at home shooting the breeze with his battery mates as they sip moonshine as he is opening up to his therapist or traveling to military funerals to pay respect to those he never met. A welcome corrective to rural stereotypes, Stray Dog is a slice of unforgettable Americana.

Winter’s Bone

(USA / 2010 / Director: Debra Granik)
Trailer: http://youtu.be/5O8F8JtSVmI
Winter’s Bone is an Oscar-nominated pitch-black slice of Ozarks noir following a young woman’s journey to protect her family no matter the cost. Seventeen-year-old Ree (Jennifer Lawrence, in her breakout role) discovers that her father has skipped bail, threatening the house he used as collateral, and leaving them homeless. Armed only with the knowledge of his involvement in the local crystal meth trade, Ree and her Uncle Teardrop (the mesmerizing John Hawkes) aim to find him despite the ever-increasing resistance to their inquiries. Told with incredible authenticity, this tale of family loyalty features a heroine for the ages, with minimalist setting and dialogue that add to its mythic flavor.

***(I think anytime a filmmaker has the opportunity to explore the casting process and working with actors in set the filmmaker should take it. Auditioning and working WITH talent is one of the most critical aspects of a director’s job. It is equally important for others to understand and appreciate as well. I will see you there – Rex)***

Working with Actors
Access the process of one of today’s foremost directors as Oscar nominee Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone, Stray Dog) discusses and demonstrates her process for auditioning and working with actors on set. This is not to be missed by any filmmakers who plan to cast actors or actors who want to get into films.

 

WESLEY MORRIS

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In 2012, upon winning the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, Wesley Morris explained his attraction to film as an artistic medium with the following words: “Movies are visual, aural, they involve people, and life, and ideas and art, they are so elastic. They can hold anything, withstand everything, and make you feel anything. Other arts can do that, but movies are the only ones that can incorporate other media into cinema.” With those words, one can see easily why Morris earned this award—his writing is effortless, yet whip-smart, exuberant, yet precise. He is able to write about mainstream films as well as art house cinema, always compelling the reader toward a more nuanced understanding of the work at hand. Since 2013, Morris has been a cultural critic for the website Grantland; prior to that he wrote film criticism for The Boston

Globe (where he received his Pulitzer), San Francisco Chronicle, and San Francisco Examiner and contributed to Slate, Ebony, NPR, and Film Comment. Milwaukee Film is honored to present this tribute to Morris for his distinctive voice and remarkable career as a critic. As part of his visit, Morris will deliver our annual keynote address on the “State of Cinema,” followed by a presentation of Michael Haneke’s film Code Unknown: Incomplete Tales of Several Journeys.

 Wesley Morris is scheduled to attend the following:

 State of Cinema

Join us for our annual lecture on the “State of Cinema.” Each year we host a distinguished member of the cinematic community to reflect on the current position of the industry and possible futures for the medium. This year we host Wesley Morris, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism while at the Boston Globe, who now writes on film and culture at Grantland.com. The panel will conclude with a brief Q&A, after which patrons are invited to join Morris for a screening of Michael Haneke’s 2000 romantic drama, Code Unknown: Incomplete Tales of Several Journeys.

 

Code Unknown: Incomplete Tales of Several Journeys

(France, Germany, Romania / 2000 / Director: Michael Haneke)
Trailer: http://youtu.be/lNnwk7DSKb8

One of the many masterpieces created over the course of Michael Haneke’s career (Caché, Funny Games, the Oscar-winning Amour), Code Unknown chronicles the fleeting intersection of lives on a bustling Paris street corner. We see the fallout from this brief connection through an actress (Juliette Binoche), her photojournalist boyfriend, a young teacher of African descent, and a Romanian illegal immigrant. Able to wring unbearable amounts of tension from his frequent long takes, Haneke spins an emotionally complex tale of the simple ways in which we misunderstand one another on a daily basis. He spells nothing out and challenges viewers to decode these stories for themselves. Our 2014 Critic Tribute recipient, Wesley Morris, has selected this film to screen at our festival and is scheduled to participate in a Q&A with the audience after the screening.

 

ZUCKER, ABRAHAMS, ZUCKER

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The filmmaking team Zucker, Abrahams, and Zucker began their fortuitous union at Shorewood High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After college at UW-Madison, David Zucker, his brother Jerry, and their friend Jim Abrahams created the Kentucky Fried Theater in the back of a bookstore in Madison with a borrowed videotape deck and a camera. In 1972, they moved the show to Los Angeles, where the trio that would come to be known as ZAZ became the most successful small theater group in Los Angeles history. Their groundbreaking style of outrageous sketch comedy was later immortalized in their film The Kentucky Fried Movie, and a new brand of comedy was born. This style featured hairbrained dialogue delivered by dramatic actors with deadpan sincerity and would earn the trio recognition as Hollywood comedy kingpins. In their illustrious careers, the ZAZ team has worked with actors such as Lloyd Bridges,

Robert Stack, and Leslie Nielsen, to name a few, and cultivated a whole new genre of film. Together, they have been responsible for ‘80s comedy cult classics Airplane!, Ruthless People, and The Naked Gun. Their streak of successful movies included the secret agent spoof and now cult classic Top Secret! starring Val Kilmer. This year Milwaukee Film honors these local legends by screening this 1984 film and welcomes them home with a tribute. The trio recently returned to their native roots by creating commercials in their signature style with the Wisconsin Department of Tourism in conjunction with Laughlin Constable.

Zucker, Abrahams, and Zucker are scheduled to attend the following screening:

Top Secret!
(USA, United Kingdom / 1984 / Directors: David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, Jerry Zucker)
Trailer: http://youtu.be/mKHLPtH2I30

After the wild success of their comedy classic Airplane!, the anarchic trio known as ZAZ (David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker) set their sights on spy films and rock’ n’ roll musicals with the outrageous spoof Top Secret! In this film boasting the screen debut of Val Kilmer as a young secret agent tasked with crossing the Iron Curtain to rescue a scientist, ZAZ packs the proceedings with terrible puns, absurdist sight gags, and all the anachronism and political incorrectness that a breakneck 90-minute run time could contain. We proudly present this comedy classic on its 30th anniversary, in celebration of a film every bit the equal of its predecessor.

Note: All screening and panel times will be announced Saturday, September 6 at the Program Book Launch located at Cathedral Square Park from 9am-6pm.

The 2014 Milwaukee Film Festival runs September 25 – October 9, 2014 at the Landmark Oriental Theatre, Landmark Downer Theatre, Fox-Bay Cinema Grill and Times Cinema. Passes and ticket 6-Packs for the 2014 Milwaukee Film Festival are currently available at discounted rates exclusively online at mkefilm.org/tickets.

Tickets for individual screenings will be available through Milwaukee Film Festival Box Office starting September 10 for Milwaukee Film Members and September 11 for the General Public.

 

Subscribe and Follow Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Blog!  Visit often & please share with others!

*** Please also visit Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Website.

Stay up to date with the live shows on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. You can join us and listen live as the show records. You can hang in chat and ask questions. All shows are recorded and archived at the official site.

Updates will be posted at this blog,  at the official site,  on the RSMB Friends page on FB,  through twitter and elsewhere.  When you can’t join us live you can still  listen to archived show from official site, from blogtalk radio and you can subscribe to the podcast at itunes.

Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS blog.

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Site

Making Movies Is Not a Hollywood Private Party It Is Pot Luck!

 

behind the hollywood sign

“Have you ever noticed how hopeful show biz people are?  Actors want to act and star in movies, writers want to hit it big, directors desire to get their movie made and distributed. The list of hopefuls in film goes on and on. Some of these people will do nearly anything to make a connection and get ahead.

They want to make it in Hollywood. They want to be star actors, directors, writers, whatever their department they want big success. They know they have talent and a lot to offer and they are not ashamed to tell everyone. They will state, they are “only working this job until they get their break”.

They wonder at times why the rest of the “Industry”, “The Business” doesn’t recognize how talented they are. They exclaim, “If I only had a shot, got a break, then everyone would see”. They believe in themselves, they are sold on themselves and they think everyone else should be too.

These hopefuls think getting ahead means making the right connections. It does.

They think if they only connect with and get to know the right people they will be welcomed into Hollywood with open arms. Yes, most likely.

To connect with industry leaders they eagerly hand out head shots and their resume to those important people they meet. They lug out their script or demo reel on DVD and ask others to look at, to read or to watch their talent. It doesn’t matter where they are when they meet this ‘industry mogul’ they want to connect and make an impression on them. They clamor to get their materials into the hands of those who might be able to help them whether they are at a car wash, restaurant, gas station, party, on the street, anywhere and everywhere.

Sometimes they may be rebuffed, the person they approach doesn’t want their materials.  Instantly, that big name producer, director, writer or star suddenly becomes an ‘U93e0)@(EU@#’ to them. They complain that the person didn’t take their materials and brushed them off. ‘Don’t they know I am going to be big someday?’ their thinking goes. Yes, they may.

Sometimes, they are resentful when their friends or others get an opportunity or a break that they didn’t. Then they secretly, or not so secretly, hope or wish bad things upon the person who “got lucky”, or “slept their way up” or “bought their way in” or “we born into a showbiz family” or “knew somebody”.  Whatever the flavor of disparaging comments of the day are they banter them about with callous disregard.

Somehow they think if only they were understood, given a chance then everyone would know how big they were going to be.

Not all people are like this. But some are. You may even know some. You may be even one but let’s hope not.

The problem with this person is not, that they may not be talented. They may be extremely talented. Talent is not the issue. Business smarts and wisdom is what is lacking, the ability to know and understand people is what is missing.

Talent may be there. What is missing is critical.

The necessary people skills that help people connect with others needs improvement. The focus of this person is in the wrong place. While it is great, even necessary, to believe in oneself, how you go about connecting with others is more important in many ways.

These hopefuls, these wanna be’s on the ladder of success just don’t understand why no one “gets them”, sees their talent or opens the doors for them. I’ll tell you why.

I think these hopefuls imagine succeeding as going to a private Hollywood ‘big name’ party.

Here is what I mean.  You are invited to a private party. You go there to be seen, to connect, to meet up, to have fun, to get laid, to eat and drink the food and beverages the host supplies. You primp, you peacock, you expect others to take notice. It is a big spread and a big deal and you are invited in. Everything is supplied. The place, the people, the food, the drink, the entertainment. All you have to do is eat, drink and be merry. Lap it up.

In your head you imagine  that someone looks at you and states, ‘Of all the parties, in all the private mansions, in all of Beverly Hills YOU walked into mine… I have been waiting for this moment, My god there is no one like you, you are going to be a big star. Let me help you’. And it happens you are discovered! You are in for the big ride to stardom and success. WOW!

Okay, it could happen but it is so rare that it will you would be better off having another plan of action.

I get it, we get it, in fact everyone in show business gets it – you want to work, you want to be somebody, a contender, you want to make it.

We all do. We all think the same way. That is the issue.

So how does one make it? How might you open the doors for greater and easier success?  Begin by considering this:

Everyone is in it for themselves. ‘WIIFM’. You know what those letters stand for! ‘WHAT IS IN IT FOR ME?’ Since this is in the forefront of all of our minds,  when you approach someone else their first thought, or one soon after is, ‘What is in it for me?’

Let’s return to the party analogy for a moment. It is a gathering, you don’t have to do anything but show up, you are welcomed in, you eat someone else’s food, drink their drinks, spend time in their abode and you enjoy yourself. You might dress or be flashy, but you meet people who can further your career or your interests. You have your elevator pitch for each person you meet. Your attention, for the most part, is on you, your needs, your desires, your breaks and how others can benefit you. Well, it’s true isn’t it? Your concern is your career, right?

Well, that is everyone else’s concern as well.

If you want to succeed in show business, ‘the industry’ or ‘Hollywood’ you have to change your thinking.

Do not think of it not as going to a private Hollywood celebrity party think of it as going to a Pot Luck Event.

That’s right Hollywood Success is Pot Luck!

Here is what I mean. What IS a pot luck event is all about?

It is about everyone else. It is about the other people! At a Pot Luck EVERYONE brings something to contribute to the well being of all involved.  At a Pot Luck you bring something of value to share with others.

Whatever your motives are for bringing a dish you do not show up empty handed. You bring something to share.

Perhaps, your reason for bringing the dish is that you  want to ‘blow everyone’s mind’s with your amazing Tiramisu’ or your 5 Bean Salad.  Maybe, you just hope everyone likes your cheesecake. Perhaps, you bring your favorite beer because that is what you want to make sure they have on hand or maybe you want others to discover it too.

Whether secretly hoping to make a memorable impression or simply happy to share a dish bought from the deli you bring something for all.

Movie making, television, filming of any kind is collaborative. Everyone person is a valuable member of a team. Each team member performs specific tasks to help get the movie made. Everyone is in it together.

A saying I learned early in the film business is,  ‘ be nice to others on the way up because you will again pass them on the way down’. While this is a nice reminder for at least one reason why you should be nice I think there is a more important reason.

The real reason is that birds of a feather flock together. Like minded people gravitate towards each other. Successful people hang together. Friends seek each others companionship and company. Like attracts like.

The people who like each other and hold each other in high regard and find value in each other and their projects, wish each other  well. They want to work with each other as often as possible because they enjoy it. They benefit from the experience and the project benefits.

The people who complain ‘I can’t break in, I can’t break in’ are part of the very reason they can’t break in.

As I have been pointing out, if all the attention is only on you and your career you will have a much tougher time of it. The focus needs to be on other people and it needs to be genuine.

The fact  of the matter is, those successful people who work together and maintain a tight core group that is difficult to get into,  are busy working together with people they value. They have developed relationships of friendship and mutual respect. Their core group is tight for these reasons.  They want to work with the same people again because they contribute to each other and the projects and they have fun together. They have good relationships.

You will find your core people and you will make inroads as you pursue your career. There is always hope that you can penetrate one of these talented core groups, and you may, but you have to have something to offer them beyond your talent.

You have to learn how to make everything a win/win for people. They have to win while you win. It can be no other way. If it is only good for you  then there is nothing in it for the other person. You must first address their ‘What is in it for me?’ concern.

Do you see that t has to be about the other person first? It cannot be about you first. No one likes someone who blows their own horn and who is only focused on self.  They will potentially like someone who is interested in them and asks questions sincerely.

You need to explore how you can help other person and you win in this relationship. You have to have a collaborative frame of mind. You need to consider, how do you work together, how can you contribute to other person first?,

Those who know me  know that one of Rex’s Rules is to GO FIRST. That means you need to do it before anyone else does it. Your reputation will precede you if you focus on helping the other person win first. You will become known near and far as the person to know and include on the team if they perceive you as someone who adds value to them before ever asking anything from them.

You see you have to bring something to the party. When you bring it in this manner you will blow their minds because most people seeking a career do not think this way. They only think about their career goals.

Someone once said ‘ You can get anything in this life if you help enough people get what they want’. This is true.

People respond positively to people who provide value and they don’t respond to or they respond less than gloriously to people who don’t so get known as some one who does.  Get known as a true team player, a collaborator, someone who knows how to fit in and who contributes.

It comes down to this:  If you hand me your picture and resume I know what you want. You want me to hire you or refer you.

Okay, so I think what is in it for me if I hire you?  If you state “I am talented and your project will be better off because you hired me’, then your answer is still only about you.  Your answer has nothing  to do with me or my concerns for the project. All you have done is pitched you.  Do you understand this? It is all about where the focus is.

You gave me your resume for me to give you a job.

People thin,k ‘you have to do something for me, here is my screenplay, my headshot, my reel.’  They don’t consider that out of a 24 hour period with 8 to 16 hours dedicated to work, family, friends, that taking a couple hours to read your screenplay or watch your movie means less time for themselves, their business concerns, their friends scripts and movies or their family. It is a big chunk of their time. You have just asked someone to give you value, to invest their time, energy, interest, potentially money in checking you out with absolutely NO GUARANTEE of RETURN ON INVESTMENT!

Do you get that? You ask someone to give up their time, or carry around your materials because they are important to you, but the person, at that moment has no way of knowing whether these materials will be important to them. How could they know this?

It is the equivalent of someone knocking on your door while you are at home asking for your time or money. It is like getting a sales call during dinner time it is not wanted. When you do this to another without providing value at the very least you are a pest.

At a pot luck everyone brings something to serve everyone else. It is about contributing and sharing. It is about coming together and giving. IF you want to succeed don’t ask first, give first. Help out first. Provide value first. Solve a problem for the person first. Refer a resource,  provide some needed information or timely assistance just because it is the right thing to do not because you want to get ahead.

When your heart is in the right place, when you are genuine and your interest is in serving or helping the other person they will recognize it. When the other person gets the feeling that their interests are in your heart then they are more apt to respond in kind.

When you want someone to listen to you be the first to listen to them. Take all the time necessary to really hear and listen to what they say, what they are about, give your time and energy and attention to them first and then they are more likely to respond in kind.

When you behave like this, most probably at some point, they will ask for you head shot and resume. They will ask to read your screenplay or watch your movie. People like to say yes to people they like. When the ‘industry leader’ asks you for your materials that is far better than you asking them.

The principle of the ‘Golden Rule’ is ‘treat or do to or for others as you would have others treat or do to or for you’.

If you want people to wish you success begin by wishing them success first. If you want them to value you value them first. Wish them well, celebrate their successes, understand, sympathize or empathize with their problems, difficulties and disappointments. How do you want people to treat you? If you want them to recognize you as a person of value recognize them as valuable first.

Keep a couple of principles in mind to guide you.

The first is ‘People like people who are like themselves’. This means it is important to have something in common. You should  have something you share between you.  It could be values, mutual respect, your station in life, interests, sports, fishing, cars, came from same neighborhood and more. There can be a bridge, a common ground, something mutual you have interests in or are able to discuss.

Second, ‘People tend to say yes to people they like’. So, if you want people to say yes to you and remember you and to possibly hire you they need to like you. They need to want to be with you and hang around you. So are you the kind of person another can easily like?

The consideration for them is:  Would they want to go camping with you? Would they want to be working somewhere with you? Are you the kind of person they would want to have around in an isolated area with the rest of the people?

This is a big concern casting directors have. Their job is to find and recommend talent for hire. They need know that the director, the producer or the star would enjoy your company and would want to be around you on location for a significant amount of time?’

They may think of you as the most talented actor they have seen in decades BUT is not just about whether you are talented. It is ABOUT can they TRUST YOU to get along well with everyone.

Yes, they want to know you are a pro, that you can deliver, that you are not intimidated by who you work with, that you can carry your own, that you are confident and positive, that you can hit your mark, know your key light and your lines. Yes they want you to be able to act and navigate a set and in front of the camera.

Most importantly they want to know you aren’t going to be someone who the ‘powers that be’ regret bringing along. When they send you up for a job their reputation is on the line.

What is in it for them? You make them look good and the producers and director and star thank them for such a wonderful find. Their future jobs and relationships are determined by how well they people read you. Their concerns are beyond  just the acting ability.

The same is true for anyone in the business. The same concerns apply whenever hiring. Can you do the job is a given. Do they want you around to do the job is a great concern? Do you add to them and the project or do you detract?

Which do you think is more important when thousands of dollars per minute are being spent: the acting ability or what kind of person the actor actually is?

Frankly, they could put any competent player in front of the camera and get decent results. We have all seen people on TV and in movies and we wonder ‘why were they cast?’ So remember, this  it is not just about how great an actor, writer, director, musician (or whatever you skill is) it is about who you are and the kind of person you are.

Are you a team player? Do you contribute? Is your first concern about yourself or the well being of your teammates and the project? Do you know where you fit in? Are you high maintenance? Can they absolutely trust you?

You need to bring quality to the networking. It is all about the relationships you form.

Don’t ask people to go to bat for you before you have demonstrated your worth and what kind of person you are.

Be genuine, no one likes a phony. Be sincere, be honest, be friendly, be positive. Be interested in the other person and find a way to contribute to them.

When you have these qualities, when you ARE this kind of person, you can be confident that you will begin to make quality connections with the people you meet.

You will get further faster when you are the kind of person people naturally gravitate to. Be likable and enjoyable. Be kind and don’t gossip, don’t spread ill-will. Spread positive ‘vibes’ and get known for these things.

Treat all assistants, casting assistants, producer assistants, like gold. Someday they will be producing or directing or starring in large projects, so be respectful of everyone regardless of where they are in the business ladder. Be nice and respectful to everyone!

If you are known for being friendly, thoughtful and kind people will want to see your other talents as well. If you are truly talented in the acting, writing, directing, other areas, then you have a winning combination.

The true talent comes in being a fine human being. Be the kind of human being we need more of. Be the type of human being we all want to become friends with and hang out with. I want to spend time with the best of the best, don’t you? When you are know as a great person and a talented actor (or whatever) that truly is a winning combination.

It is considered in poor taste to show up to a pot luck empty handed. So offer everyone else the best you that you have to give. When you do these things you will get known as  a great person to be around. You will connect up with the right people and you will move your career ahead easier and more quickly.

It is never about what you have – it is always about WHO YOU ARE!” Rex Sikes

Subscribe and Follow Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Blog!  Visit often & please share with others!

*** Please also visit Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Website.

Stay up to date with the live shows on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. You can join us and listen live as the show records. You can hang in chat and ask questions. All shows are recorded and archived at the official site.

Updates will be posted at this blog,  at the official site,  on the RSMB Friends page on FB,  through twitter and elsewhere.  When you can’t join us live you can still  listen to archived show from official site, from blogtalk radio and you can subscribe to the podcast at itunes.

Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Site