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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Childish Gambino’s “This Is America”, Big Screen vs Living Room films – IP 122

From the visceral imagery to our initial reactions- we discuss and try to decode the video that everyone is talking about- Childish Gambino’s “This Is America”. We give our thoughts and praise to Donald Glover’s latest music video/artistic statement.

Then, we discuss what films are big screen worthy and which films you can watch at home. Amita shares her thought process on how she determines which films pass the big screen test.

And finally, Sean gets brutally honest about last week’s Big Sell and suggests a new Netflix Japanese anime series, Agretsuko.

Links:
5 Things to know about ‘This Is America”

The Swimmer trailer

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Best Music of 2017 – IP 104

This year we’ve listened to countless hours of new albums and songs and attended dozens of concerts and are now ready to declare our favorite music of 2017! Listen to this very special year-end episode to hear us discuss the artists who delivered music that inspired us, informed us, entertained us, made us want to dance and put us in that special mood!

We also discuss our favorite singles of the year, our most memorable concerts and the new music we’re craving in 2018.

Our favorite albums list includes:

Kendrick Lamar – DAMN

Jay-Z – 4:44

Laura Mvula – The Dreaming Room

Jamila Woods – HEAVN (Check out her video for Blk Girl Soldier )

Khalid – American Teen (Check out his video for Location)

Gorillaz – Humanz

Miguel – War X Leisure (Check out his video for Told You So)

Mavis Staples –  If All I Was Was Black

Earl St. Clair – My Name Is Earl

Sampha – Process (Check out his video for (No One Knows Me) Like the Piano)

SZA – CTRL

Lorde – Melodrama (Listen to Liability)

Valerie June – Order of Time (Watch her live performance of Order of Time)

 

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Life Defining Music, National African American Museum – IP 102

This is our final regular episode of the year and we are both sharing AND caring!

First Sean shares his experience visiting the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. He describes what it likes to visit this incredible new museum and discusses some of the amazing pop culture featured in the exhibits.

Then Amita and Sean revisit one of their favorite segments of the past year and share their discussion of the music by some of their favorite female singers that has defined pivotal moments in their lives. Whether grappling with life in the closet, coping with feeling like an outsider, celebrating the joy of a new found independence or discovering a strengthening friendship we highlight the music that has provided an essential soundtrack to our lives. Our “Defining Divas” include Mary J. Blige, Annie Lennox, Mariah Carey, Lauren Hill and BOTH Knowles sisters – Beyonce and Solange.

And then Sean rates the final big sell of the year – the single “Underdog” by singer/songwriter Banks.

And finally Amita and Sean preview their upcoming year end specials! We’re preparing our lists for the best TV, Music and Film of the year and have a few surprising choices in store!

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Thor: Ragnarok, N.E.R.D & Rihanna “Lemon”, Sexual Harassment in Hollywood – IP 99

This week, Christmas comes early in the form of the new single “Lemon” from N.E.R.D & Rihanna! We try (and fail) to contain our excitement about the song, video and their upcoming album. We provide an N.E.R.D primer and also bow down to the dancer in the music video- Mette Towley.

Then, Sean gives a review of Thor: Ragnarok he was not expecting to give; and we question whether we’re in the midst of a superhero films and TV overload.

Plus, we have a frank discussion about the recent sexual harassment allegations in Hollywood – our reactions, opinions and a personal story.

And of course- there is no Inside Pop without the Big Sell! Amita gives her thoughts, rating and review on Sean’s suggestion- the music documentary George Michael: Freedom and sells Sean on an innovative floral artist Makoto Azuma.

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LINKS:

If you like the new N.E.R,D video Lemon – check out its ancestor Janet Jackson’s The Pleasure Principle

Read the article Sean references in the discussion about how to handle sexual misconduct in the workplace:

Checking My Male Privilege by Charles M. Blow

 

Game of Thrones Finale: The Dragon and the Wolf; Pop Culture in NYC, Miguel’s ‘Sky Walker’ – IP 89

It’s all about our two favorite places on this week’s episode; New York City and . . .Westeros!

We recap the Game of Thrones season seven finale, “The Dragon and the Wolf,” and celebrate the Stark Siblings’ team work, analyze the Kings Landing Meet-Up Royale and question the ramifications of Jon and Dany’s union (and when we say ‘union’ we mean they SMASHED!) We also tell you where we think this season ranks compared to others and let you know how long you’ll have to wait for the 8th and final season of this epic series.

We also talk about the jam packed week of pop culture consumption we experienced in our hometown of NYC ( the greatest city in the world – just ask the Schuyler Sisters!). Our 7 days of being out and about include:

  • AfroPunk – where we saw live performances from Solange, Sampha, Soul II Soul, Raphael Saddiq, Michael Kiwanuka, Macy Gray, Nao, Blitz the Ambassador and hung out with hundreds of people representing Black Girl Magic and Black Boy Joy!
  • Dave Chappelle & Solange at the iconic Radio City Music Hall.
  • An exclusive screening of the new doc, A Suitable Girl, that explores arranged marriages in India.
  • Fellow Max Fun podcasters The Greatest Generation’s live Show (and after the live show there was the after party!).
  • Kendrick Lamar live!

And Amita Big Sells Sean something to help him – and you – deal with Game of Thrones withdrawal.

Plus – we review the new single and music video, “Sky Walker,” by singer, songwriter and mutual object of Pop Insiders’ affection -Miguel.

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Links

Check out the Youtube channel of Nao, one of our favorite discoveries at AfroPunk.

Game Of Thrones: The Spoils of War, Queen Sugar mid-season 2 finale, Detroit reactions, The Suffers – IP 86

This week, we have a spoiler FILLED discussion about the latest episode of Game of Thrones (You’ve been warned!) Reunions, Deaths (?) and Dragons- oh my!

Plus, we discuss the mid-season finale of one of our favorite shows- Queen Sugar and talk about how the series is taking it up a notch in its 2nd Season.

And we read some listener feedback to our discussion last week about the portrayal of South Asian relationships in Film and TV.

Then, we talk about the lackluster box office for the film Detroit and our thoughts on why audiences may not have embraced the film as expected.

And of course, we have another brand new Big Sell! Sean gives his thoughts on last week’s suggestion- the band, The Suffers, and sells Amita on a playlist that features artists from the upcoming AfroPunk music festival.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Instagram @PopInsiders

You can also find us at MaximumFun.org

Links:

Den of Geek Game of Thrones Death prediction article
Spotify AfroPunk Playlist

Jay-Z’s 4:44, Best TV of 2017 (So Far), Bishop Briggs – IP 82

This week, Inside Pop dives into Jay-Z’s new album 4:44- we discuss some of the personal issues he revealed in his lyrics along with his evolution from his first album to now. We then discuss other artists who have bared their soul through music and some of the confessional – like songs with which we have connected –  including Beyonce, Lauryn Hill, Prince, Mary J. Blige and more.

Then, we revel in the abundance of programming that Peak TV has given us in 2017 with our Best of TV picks of the last 6 months. Find out which shows made our individual lists and which shows we shared our undying affection for.

Plus, Sean gives his Big Sell review and rating of last week’s suggestion from Amita- the singer/songwriter, Bishop Briggs. Then, he shares his Big Sell which comes from one of the series on his Best of TV (So Far) list.

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You can also find Inside Pop on Maximum Fun network.

DJ Khaled, Chance the Rapper, The Handmaid’s Tale, Mary J. Blige, Prince & The Revolution, Jonathan Demme, Gorillaz – IP 73

The Pop Insiders never lie! As promised – May is lit and in this episode we dive into the unbearable ‘litness’ of pop culture in its first week. We discuss:

  • DJ Khaled’s new song of the summer contender, “I’m the One”. We review the song and focus on Chance the Rapper’s provocative verse.
  • Mary J. Blige’s new album, Strength of a Woman.
  • The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu.
  • Our ecstatic experience seeing The Revolution live in NYC.
  •  The passing of the great director, Jonathan Demme.

And of course we end with the Big Sell. Amita reviews Sean’s pick from last week – the recent Gorillaz episode of the music focused podcast, Song Exploder.

This week’s Big Sell: Amita sells a profile on Daryl Hall & John Oates featured on CBS Sunday Morning.

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Check Out James Dinh’s review of The Revolution’s show in NYC HERE