The Hollywood Apology Trend & Inside Pop Quiz: Oscars Edition – IP 146

This week, we bring you another installment of the Inside Pop Quiz – but this time, Sean quizzes Amita on her Academy Award History knowledge and also gets a few predictions for the upcoming awards ceremony. Then, we discuss the increasing amount of apologies in Hollywood – from Aziz Ansari to Kevin Hart, it feels like every day a celebrity is apologizing, or *not* apologizing for suggestive behavior, comments, tweets or actions. The sheer number of mea culpas these days makes it hard to tell who is being genuine and who is trying to get ahead of bad PR. We dissect who seemingly is getting the apology right and who may be a little too late to say sorry.

Plus, Amita reviews Sean’s big sell- the Oscar nominated Animated Short – Bao – and shares an album from the soul/funk band with an international vibe, Khruangbin.

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Inside the Production Design of Fargo, American Crime, Strange Angel + Casting Disabled Actors – IP 145

In this episode we speak to Warren Alan Young, the production designer of some of the most beautiful television shows and films we’ve ever watched. From Fargo to Strange Angel to American Crime to the upcoming film Harriet, Warren has been responsible for creating, designing and executing a look that propels the plot, illuminates the characters and elevates the overall storytelling of all of his projects. He shares the secrets of the craft of production design and reveals his journey as one of the only production designers of color in Hollywood.

And in this week’s Big Sell, Sean rates an article on Hollywood’s Disability problem and recommends the Oscar nominated animated short, “Bao”, to Amita.

Warren Alan Young’s Official Site

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Oscar Nominations – IP 144

And the nominees are…

In this episode, we share our immediate reaction to the 2019 Academy Award Nominations- what films we think might win Best Picture, what documentaries were snubbed and Sean shares his secret adoration for one of the Supporting Actor Nominees!

Plus, Amita gives her rating and review of the Actors on Actors conversation between Mahershala Ali and John David Washington. Then, she sells a thought piece about Hollywood’s Disability problem.

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Winter 2019 Pop Culture Preview – IP 143

We kick off the new year with a special Winter Preview edition of the Inside Pop Quiz! Sean tests Amita’s knowledge of major upcoming releases in TV, Music and Movie. Play along and see how much you know (and how much you find out) about some of the most anticipated offerings of the season.

Plus – the Big Sell returns in a big way! Find out why Amita’s Big Sell of a conversation between  Gina Rodriguez, Gabrielle Union, Ellen Pompeo and Emma Roberts gets four stars! Plus hear all about Sean’s Oscar campaign season influenced Big Sell – a revealing discussion between actors Mahershala Ali and John David Washington.

Links/Info:

The Horror films Jordan Peele asked Lupita Nyong’o to Watch Before Filming Us:

Dead AgainThe ShiningThe BabadookIt FollowsA Tale of Two SistersThe BirdsFunny GamesMartyrsLet the Right One In, and The Sixth Sense.

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Inside the World of a TV Casting Director: A Conversation with Evan Majors (Rhythm + Flow, The Real World) – IP 140

Have you ever wondered what minds were behind the casting of your favorite unscripted TV shows and how they found the personalities who’ve grown to feel like family?

In this episode, we chat with Casting Director Evan Majors to find out his approach to finding talent worthy of TV screens and pop culture obsessions. He shares how he approaches meeting and interviewing talent, the need for more representation in film and TV and a little insider info on his latest project, the recently announced Hip Hop reality competition show, Rhythm + Flow for Netflix featuring Cardi B, Chance the Rapper and T.I. as judges. He also reveals the one casting video he’d love to get his hands on.

Then, in this week’s Big Sell, Amita gives her review of Sean’s suggestion- an article about Stan Lee after his passing- and then sells Sean on an honest conversation between Gina Rodriguez, Gabrielle Union, Ellen Pompeo and Emma Roberts about equal pay and representation in front of and behind the camera.

Links:

Find and follow Evan Majors on Twitter, Instagram and check out his website here.

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Movie Trailers: An Insider’s Guide to How They’re Made – IP139

Have you ever wondered how a movie trailer is created? Have you ever questioned why you see a shot in a trailer that doesn’t exist in the film or fretted over the amount of plot detail a trailer reveals? Well wonder no more! This week, we speak to Nati Braunstein, Co-President and Creative Director at the Creative Advertising agency, Aspect, and get a look inside the process of making memorable movie trailers.

Nati discusses the collaborative effort behind the production of  trailers and reveals some inside info about the trailers and TV spots for the highly anticipated Aquaman and Mary Poppins Returns.

Plus, in the Big Sell, Sean reviews the new Riz MC single, “Mogambo” and sells Amita on an article about Stan Lee after his passing.

Aspect Website

Aspect on Twitter

Aspect Instagram

If you enjoyed this episode check out:

Our conversation with the Music Supervisor of The Florida Project and Tangerine

Our conversation with the Cinematographer of 20 Feet From Stardom and Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

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Interracial Relationships in Pop Culture – IP 138

Why is it still rare to see a romantic relationship between a black man and a white woman on TV? Is Netflix more progressive depicting interracial relationships than other networks?  How did the casting of a Cheerios commercial ignite a racist backlash?

In this week’s episode, we chat with Lori Tharps, a former Entertainment Weekly and Vibe Magazine writer, novelist and Associate Professor of Journalism at Temple University about how interracial relationships are portrayed on film and TV.

Lori breaks down the positive and negative aspects about the depiction of some of the more memorable interracial relationships in pop culture including Tom and Helen Willis on The Jeffersons, Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner in The Bodyguard and Aziz Ansari’s love interests in Master of None.

Then, Amita gives her rating and review of Jose James’ latest covers album Lean on Me and sells Sean on a new single from her multi-talented fantasy husband- Riz MC aka Riz Ahmed.

Links:
Follow Lori on Twitter & Instagram
Lori’s blog- My American Melting Pot

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Riz MC- “Mogambo”

Women in the Director’s Chair: A Conversation with Queen Sugar’s DeMane Davis – IP 137

In this encore episode,  we speak with DeMane Davis, the director of the hit OWN series Queen Sugar. We chat with DeMane about the unique way she connected with Ava DuVernay to get the opportunity to work on the series and also discuss how she approached directing the premiere episode of the most recent season.

DeMane also discusses her new role as the series Producing Director and the responsibilities and creative challenges that come with the job. And she also dissects one of the most emotionally impactful moments of Season 3  – of course we’re talking about that infamous paternity test reveal scene!

Plus, Amita gives her rating and review of Sean’s Big Sell – Angelique Kidjo’s cover of the Talking Heads hit- “Once in a Lifetime” and sells a powerful TED Talk from Tracee Ellis Ross in the midst of the #MeToo movement.

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Netflix Goes for the Oscar, How to Watch a Movie, Jose James Covers Bill Withers – IP 136

This week we tackle the age old, innuendo laced question – ‘Does size matter?’ Our resounding answer is – ‘yes!’ – especially when it comes to the size of the screen on which one watches feature films. This week news broke that Netflix is considering releasing Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma and the Coen Brothers’ The Ballad of Buster Scruggs in movie theaters before these films play on its streaming service. This would be an unprecedented move by the media behemoth that might give these movies a much better chance of getting some awards love.

Is a movie still a ‘movie’ if it plays on your tablet before it hits theaters? Is the motion picture academy ready to change the way it defines films? Should movie directors have a say in how their works are distributed? We tackle all of these issues in this episode and discuss our ideal way of watching movies (fyi – if it’s The Conjuring 2 Sean likes it in the dark, on his couch).

Plus – Sean reviews Jameela Jamil’s “I Weigh” movement and Big Sells Amita a new Bill Withers cover by the great vocalist Jose James.

Links:

Watch the trailer for Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma

Watch the trailer for The Coen Brothers The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Listen to Jose James’ rendition of Bill Withers’ ‘Hope She’ll be Better

I Weigh Instagram feed

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Music Matters: An Interview with Music Supervisor Matthew Hearon-Smith- IP 135

Ever wonder how some of your favorite songs in films and TV shows are chosen? This week, Sean sits down with Music Supervisor Matthew Hearon-Smith, who has selected songs for the award winning films Tangerine and The Florida Project and also has curated the soundtracks for various television shows including Viceland’s My House. We discuss his process for finding the right song for the right moment and how he collaborates with directors and showrunners to create the mood for specific scenes.

Then, we share some of our top picks for popular songs that have been featured in films and TV programs that have been embedded in our brains ever since.

Plus, Amita gives her rating and review of Sean’s Big Sell- Fantastic Negrito’s latest album, Please Don’t Be Dead and big sells an honest and revealing interview from “The Good Place” actress Jameela Jamil about the standard of beauty that women have been held up to and how she’s trying to rise above to help women love themselves for who they are, as they are.

Links:

Matthew Hearon-Smith’s IMDb

Matthew Hearon-Smith’s Website

Matthew Hearon-Smith’s Twitter

Sense8‘s use of the song- “What’s Up?”

Blue Velvet’s use of the song – “In Dreams”

Blue Velvet’s use of the song – “Blue Velvet”

Captain Fantastic‘s use of the song- “Sweet Child o’Mine

Little Miss Sunshine‘s use of the song- “Super Freak

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