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”

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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Shining a Light on Cinematography: A Conversation with Graham Willoughby – IP 133

If you’ve ever been struck by the beauty that fills the screen while watching a particular film or television show you have the cinematographer to thank. The cinematographer – or Director of Photography – is responsible for helping the director achieve their vision; and whether the goal is to create an eye catching effect or to simply make natural light look ‘natural’ on film, the cinematographer commands a unique combination of creative intuition and technical expertise to achieve success.

This week- Amita and Sean speak with Graham Willoughby, the cinematographer of a number of incredible documentaries including the Oscar winning 20 Feet from Stardom and the hit doc of the summer, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Graham discusses the road that led him to be one of the most sought after non-fiction DPs working today. He also discusses television projects he has worked on (Abstract, Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas) and how he manages to work in a number of different genres including music, biography and comedy.

And in the latest Big Sell, Amita reviews the Frank Ocean-centric podcast Dissect and Big Sells Sean a song and video combo by the group Ibeyi.

Check out Graham Willoughby’s Official Site

Follow him on Instagram @nationalpleasure

Check out Sean’s overly precious, non-collaborative Afropunk Warm Up 2018 Playlist

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Highlights from San Diego Comic Con, Aquaman, Jacob Banks – IP 131

San Diego Comic Con is the epicenter of genre fandom, the ‘make it or break it’ launching pad of potential box office blockbusters and the most intensely overwhelming adventure a fan of pop culture can experience. In this episode, we bring you a report straight from the convention with entertainment journalist and Editor-in-Chief at Den of Geek US- Mike Cecchini.

No matter what you’re interest- Mike has you covered with inside info and insight including:

  • His interview with the star of  Aquaman, Jason Momoa and the director of the film, James Wan
  • A report on which trailers created the biggest buzz and which he thinks are most likely to live up to the hype
  • A special ‘everything Amita wanted to know about SHAZAM! and was brave enough to ask’ history lesson
  • The latest on the Buffy reboot (guess what? Sean’s got some opinions on this one!)
  • The DCU streaming service app that is blowing our minds
  • And the groundbreaking comic books coming out this Fall

Follow Mike Cecchini and Den of Geek:

Mike’s Twitter

Den of Geek US’s Twitter

Den of Geek Website

Mike’s interview with James Wan and Jason Momoa from Aquaman

Plus in the latest installment of The Big Sell – Amita rates soul singer Jacob Banks and sells Sean a new song from an iconic diva.

Links:

Inside Pop’s Episode on the Divas Who Defined Us (Episode 67)

Jacob Banks Sings Unknown (To You) Live

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Behind the Scenes at DreamWorks with Tony Ducret, The Handmaid’s Tale, Barry, Love Is – IP 130

This week, we speak with Tony Ducret who works in the story department at DreamWorks Studios / Amblin Partners. Tony speaks with us about the path that brought him to DreamWorks via a an early career as a producer and showrunner in unscripted programming; a writer and director in the independent film world and a student at the prestigious Peter Stark Producing Program at USC. Tony talks to us about how he uses his diverse background to contribute to the story department at one of the most successful studios in Hollywood.

We chat about the current state of development in Hollywood and the journey a script makes from submission to greenlit film. Do smaller budget films have a better chance of getting produced than larger budget projects? How do studios choose from the thousands of submissions they receive each year? What are the hardest movies to make in 2018? Tony tackles all of these questions and we also get his take on his favorite current TV programs including The Handmaid’s Tale, Barry and Love is__.

You can follow Tony @DucretMedia on Twitter and Instagram.

Plus in this week’s Big Sell- Sean reviews Amita’s Movie Montage from our last episode and recommends a new singer who will be performing at this summer’s AfroPunk Fest in Brooklyn aka two days of musical nirvana!

Links:

First and Final Frames Part 1

First and Final Frames Part 2

First and Final Frames Part 3

Jacob Banks’ Official Site

Jacob Banks’ Frank Ocean cover

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Strong Black Lead, Sense8 Series Finale – IP 129

Please note that this episode of Inside Pop is NOT sponsored by Netflix despite the fact that we’re celebrating the network’s content throughout the half hour!

First up – we examine the Strong Black Lead promo Netflix released at the beginning of the week. We discuss its impact, what iconic photo inspired it, who created it and yes – how it caused some controversy.

Then, Sean says good-bye to one of his favorite series of all time in a completely non-objective review of the Sense8 series finale. Sean will answer the following questions:

Did the cluster’s final synchronized bow meet all of his expectations? Did the finale provide a sense of closure? When is an orgy more than an orgy?

Plus Amita reviews Sean’s Big Sell from last week and sells him on a (say it like Oprah) MOOOVIE MOOOONTAGE!!!!

Links:

Find our more about A Great Day in Hollywood HERE

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Luke Cage Season 2, Won’t You Be My Neighbor – IP 128

We’re heading straight to Harlem for this special Luke Cage edition of Inside Pop. We’ve seen the second season of Marvel’s Luke Cage and we’re bringing you an exclusive preview of the first two episodes. We’ll also provide some fascinating behind the scenes info about the show’s music and production crew and theorize why vocal fans of the first season may have inspired the more volatile Season 2 Luke Cage. Plus, we question why we’re anti-shipping Mariah and Shades.

Then, Amita reviews the new documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor, about legendary children’s TV host Fred Rogers.

Plus, we have a brand new Big Sell that tackles one of the ugliest, and sadly most prevalent problems in Hollywood.

Fans of Luke Cage will want to check out our interview with showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker.

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