Saturday, October 31, 2009

Miami, Part 2

Well, our "official" season 3 portrait is here, proving that Miami was not all fun and games. We actually worked! Below, the hosts, me and Matt, and Technical Director, Cobra.

For fun, here are the other portraits from Seasons 1 and 2. This photo features two hosts, and two producers, Emily and my BFF working under her pseudonym, Lola Fontaine. Season 2's picture was taken in LA.

The photo that started it all.....Detroit, Season 1 with Apple's Photo Booth/Pop Art. Two hosts, the pensive Lola, and by far my favorite portrait of them all. A fun season that kicked off in Hawaii and ended in NYC.

The photos also highlight my ever changing hair color and length. What?!! You thought I was a natural blonde? For shame.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Behind the Scenes of MWG Entertainment's Camera Obscura

Earlier this year, I became a special effects makeup geek. I had the privilege of attending the Dick Smith tribute at the Academy of Motion Pictures hosted by Oscar winner and An American Werewolf in London legend, Rick Baker. After that evening, I was officially hooked on the art of makeup and special effects. When the opportunity presented itself to shoot MWG Entertainment's Camera Obscura interview at the Obscure Artifacts studio, I was giddy.

The series first came to my attention via the woman who does it all in the web series industry, Andrea Ball. She knows everyone and she has her finger on the pulse of the web series world. Sandra and I were looking to do a Halloween episode and we thought Camera Obscura would be a perfect fit once we saw their creepy trailer. So once we worked out all of the details with publicist extraordinaire, Gabriel del Rio, we were on our way.

I felt like a kid in a candy shop walking into Obscure Artifacts. It is fascinating to see all of the demons, creatures, and chopped off arms laying around. I am not sure I picked the right outfit for the day though. A special effects studio is a little messy and, of course, I choose a dress more appropriate for cocktails than demonic creatures.

The interview went by so quickly because we had so many people to talk to! Director Drew Daywalt truly represents his Twitter bio, "Nice guy, creep films". As a creator of short form horror videos for Fewdio, it is hard to imagine all of the horrifying images come from such a kind man. Visually, I think all of you are really going to be terrified by Camera Obscura from the Linda Vista Hospital location to the dreary sepia look of the show, it promises some true meat for horror fans to sink their teeth into. It is the anticipation of what is about to happen that is truly terrifying. During the interview, Drew gave a terrific explanation of how horror can work well in under 3 minutes and in a web series. And while I understand why so many new media creators look to take their web series to different platforms like film and TV, it was refreshing to hear that Drew created this show solely for the web.

I was thrilled to finally sit down with MWG Entertainment's Director of Distribution, Sarah Evershed. We both seem to be at the same places at the same time, but we never seem to find each other at the new media events. I think Sarah demonstrates the strength of MWG Entertaiment's slate of new shows and their focus on women....whether it is a comedy like Road to the Altar or the horror genre with a strong, female lead. MWG Entertainment is making web series for you, ladies!

Finally, we have Jeff Farley, the special effects creator for Camera Obscura and the owner of Obscure Artifacts. If you have a fascination for the behind the scenes creations, this is the man to follow. With an impressive resume filled with notable productions like Serpent and the Rainbow, Scary Movie 2, and an Emmy nod for his work on Babylon 5, Jeff brought the six demons that Drew created to life. While the time frame for the production might have been tighter and shorter than some of his prior big budget work, the demons are going to haunt you. I don't think we gave Jeff his full due because he shared so much with us in regards to his work on Camera Obscura. We are tossing around the idea of doing a supplemental episode with all of the extra Jeff Farley footage, so stay tuned for a future announcement.

Of course, I cannot forget Corpulence. As creepy as he is in person, I think he was flirting with me. Sassily played by the talented Paul Hungerford, I never knew what he was going to say next. In fact, I think Corpulence is a bit of a diva. Paul was a total trooper in the Corpulence suit. I am sure he lost half of his body weight from the interview alone, but he gave The Web Files some of the best sound bites yet. From the beak-like eyes to the chubby belly, the work that went into Corpulence is pretty incredible. I was completely freaked out by the clicking sound the beak makes when in operation. And yes, there is a wizard behind the moving appliances, it has to be controlled by another special effects artist who kneels behind the suit. It takes a lot of work to be scary!

I hope you all have a truly spooky and safe Halloween. If you haven't caught our episode yet, watch it right here: Camera Obscura. And here, you will find the blooper reel of our beloved Corpulence: Corpulence.


Really, this view is responsible for my lack of posts this week.......

I mean, I am here for work. And it is very hard work each and every day.

My days are spent like this. It is exhausting.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Behind the Scenes of Compulsions

This interview was a long time in planning and it finally all came together on a Sunday in September, just days before I took off for a month long jaunt to Dallas. It, of course, managed to be another one of those super hot days that always make our makeup artist, Melissa Anchondo's, job that much harder. Sandra Payne, The Web Files' EP, managed to come up with another genius location for the shoot. Compulsions is a gritty, edgy drama, so Sandra found a spot in Studio City in former office supply store. Yes, an office supply store. Amazing, right? Honestly, it looked like a place where bodies long-forgotten might be hidden, but it used to be filled with retro and art deco office furniture along Ventura Boulevard.
This episode featured Show Creator Bernie Su, Producer Michael Tohl, and actors Craig Frank, Seth Caskey, Annemarie Pazmino, and Janna Bossier. It is always interesting to interview people you are friendly with because I am never sure how the show will turn out. Sometimes the familiarity can breed a weak interview, but Bernie had a strong vision for Compulsions and that was communicated well throughout the interview.
I had the opportunity to see the first two episodes and I must say, I am impressed. All of the buzz around the show is well-deserved. Fans of The Crew will be surprised to see Craig Frank's dark performance, but be prepared for some stomach curdling moments. This show is not for the faint of heart judging from the first two episodes. I begged Bernie for a few more episodes, but no luck. He left me hanging, so I will just have to wait until the debut in December like everyone else.
We also interviewed the cast including The Web Files' first repeat guest, Craig Frank. We will have more with the cast after the show debuts, so stayed tuned. I want to save a few surprises until then, but I will say AnneMarie has turned out to be one of my favorite new Twitter pals. As a fan of The's Sorority Forever, I was thrilled to not only meet her, but we discovered we are the perfect Oreo cookie pals--she eats the chocolate cookie and I eat the sugary, cream filling. Annemarie, I owe you a you want the regular kind or the Double Stuffed?
Finally, I get a lot of questions about the hats I wear during the show. I am a fan of hats, but I only own three or four. The hat I wear in the intro to The Web Files belongs to my boyfriend who is a huge Indiana Jones fan. The hat was made by the original hat designer, so I was lucky he let me have it for the day. Trust me, that hat is as well cared for as our pets at home. Since I didn't wear a hat in this episode, Bernie picked up the slack with one of his signature hats. If you ever meet Bernie at one of the Tubefilter functions, you will know him by his hat and the camera hanging from his neck.

So, look for more from The Web Files and Compulsions in December and find out why the NY Times marked Bernie's show as a "must see" on a list of hot fall Web TV series. If you missed our interview, check it out here: Compulsions.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Web.Files #16 Compulsions

Web Files' host, Kristyn Burtt, gets a preview of the highly anticipated web series, Compulsions, a gritty drama by creator Bernie Su and his team of web luminaries and Hollywood veterans. This one has addictive written all over it.

The Final Days: Can I get a "Yee Haw"?

What an experience it was! 25 days at The State Fair of Texas, braving the elements, learning the religion of football, and eating more toxic food than one body can handle. It wasn't all hard work, we did have time for a spa night.......
With fantastic clay masks and cucumber to cool our tired eyes......

......because our days were filled with State Fair-like activities. A cow....actually a Brahmen. See, I learned something while I was there.

Yet the weather continued to test our patience and the drains that were built uphill. Yes, I said uphill.

So, the sweeping continued and I swept a pretty mean broom.......

I was so good that Mary Poppins offered me a Broadway contract as a chimney sweep......

Once the rain stopped, the raking began to dry out all of the rain......

Can you tell we were confused about the weather on a daily basis?

Just this a typical Texas sign?

The delicious fried food run continued with some soul food........good for the soul, not for the waistline.

Here it is.....fried butter!

I brave the first bite.......

Thinking about it..........

It's pretty good......although I am not sure my face is convincing enough.

Corn in a cup from the infamous Fuel City....corn, hot sauce, sour cream, butter, and cotija cheese! Heart attack in a cup.

Sigh, now the monkeys have joined the bananas in Texas.

There was a nightly electric light parade, kind of like Disney. Kind of........

Have you ever seen an albino catfish? Me neither. Moving on......

Interacting with the crowds during Toyota Live.

Talking future technology.....

And my personal favorite, the PHEV Prius! The first 10 in the test fleet were just distributed in Colorado.

Everyone likes to join in on the fun. Three little ones giving us their rendition of "ABC".
This is important to Texans and we have the sticker to prove it.

I had a true lesson in the religion of football while I was here. I went to a high school and a university without a football team. We played lacrosse and field hockey, what do I know? So, we must decorate the Tundras with OU and UT colors.

Even Scooby Doo was getting in on the action.....

Let's call this DARTgate 2009. I thought LA didn't know how to handle public transportation, but Dallas exceeded LA's failure. A 3 hour wait to get a train to carry you 2 miles=FAIL.

A UT fan dancing his way to a prize on the Toyota Live stage. The crowds were huge that day.

We muscled our way through 25 days....or at least Troyer tried to.
But we succeeded in having fun, ate tons of fried things, and mopped up buckets of rain. It indeed was a pleasure, Texas. Thanks for having us. Yee Haw!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Behind the Scenes of The Cabonauts

This had to be the hottest day in LA in September and of course, we shot in the Valley. I thought I was being clever when I dressed in my Cabonauts-like sweater for the shoot, but I was regretting the sweater choice the second I walked on set. Remember, no AC on set, so we were all rather cozy and warm. It is one of the few times we have had to stop shooting for sweat breaks. It was that hot.

Despite the heat, nothing was going to damper my excitement for this shoot. I was lucky enough to watch the pilot in its entirety before the interview. I wish I could tell you all about it, but Hayden would squish me like a grape. I can tell you that it is colorful, absurd, fantastic, funny, and everything you would expect from a sci-fi musical comedy romp.
To me, the best part is that it is the 80's all over again. The Solid Gold dancers and spandex are back and you will enjoy every moment of it. Even after interviewing Hayden, I am still amazed that he had never written a musical before. It is no small feat and Hayden seamlessly moves from the musical elements to the story throughout the pilot. Hayden is also surrounded by a talented cast including Monica Young, Norm Thoeming, and Nichelle Nichols, who has some pretty impressive moves.
The other element to this story is the cab which is all created by green screen. We were fortunate enough to shoot in the cab for the interview. You can see the basic structure of the cab which includes the walkie, gear shift, and a steering wheel. Everything else is created in post from the doors, walls, and ceiling of the cab. Pretty incredible, right? I was so excited to see the final version because there was a whole world around us created after we shot the show.
I know there is a lot of buzz around this show and Hayden's fans are eager to see the first show. Trust me, your patience will be rewarded. The response has been huge to The Web Files interview, so I hope this gave you a little taste of what is to come. In fact, the interview gives you a taste of The Cabonauts with highlights from the dancers, Nichelle, the colors, the music, and all of the hilarious cab shenanigans.

Finally, I always love the absurd and I found it at the studio that day:
I guess the former owner was one of the few Republicans in liberal LA County back in the 1960's. He was so closeted, he put the bumper sticker on the wall, not on his car.

If you missed The Cabonauts interview, check it out below: The Cabonauts.

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