Inside the Mind of a Music Supervisor: A Conversation with Matthew Hearon-Smith – IP 157

If you’ve ever admired the soundtrack to a film or TV show and wondered who was behind the music, we’ve got you covered! Sean sat 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 and have indelibly changed the memory of that song for us.

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- IMDb | Website | 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

Jameela Jamil Channel 4 Interview

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Interracial Relationships in Pop Culture – IP 156

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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And you can also find us on MaximumFun.org

Riz MC- “Mogambo”

Rebellion! Stonewall on MSNBC, Split Screens Festival, Handmaid’s Tale, Queen Sugar, When They See Us & Late Night – IP 153

June is bursting at the seams with pop culture and we are here for it! We’re celebrating Pride month with a conversation with the producers behind the MSNBC documentary special- Rebellion! Stonewall. Katherine Linton & Joe Danisi share their journey to making this important and timely film, the queer history surrounding the Stonewall Riots and how it directly connects to present day politics and our future. The documentary premieres on MSNBC on Sunday, June 16th at 10pm, but can also be found on demand and will have multiple airings throughout the month- Tune In!

Then, Amita shares some of her pop culture escapades over the last few weeks including the screenings she attended as part of the Split Screens Festival in NYC. She took in the Season 3 premiere of The Handmaid’s Tale, the Season 4 premiere of Queen Sugar and the highly acclaimed mini-series from Ava DuVernay, When They See Us

Amita also attended an early screening of the Mindy Kaling/Emma Thompson comedy- Late Night, had the privilege to meet the fabulous writer, producer and actor afterwards and lived to tell the tale!

Plus, in the Big Sell, Sean gives his review of R&B artist Masego and shares a custom playlist that he curated featuring the best guest verses by the uber talented André 3000.

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Game Of Thrones: The Long Night, Avengers: Endgame, Tribeca Film Festival – IP 150

It’s official- good things happen in April and this past weekend was proof positive with two of the most anticipated pop culture events of the year- the Game of Thrones epic white walker showdown and Avengers: Endgame. Somehow, we handled (survived) all of the epic pop culture offerings this weekend and have thoughts, questions and predictions! (Warning: This episode contains spoilers for Game of Thrones, but NOT Avengers)

We start off with our reactions to the epic third episode of Game of Thrones  and one of the most surprising and satisfying Stark moves of the entire series! We chat about the suspense, horror and action filled 87 minute journey that took us on a fire and icy ride through Winterfell. Plus, we pour some out for those who didn’t make it and try to predict what will happen next.

Then, Sean tries to discuss Avengers: Endgame without spoiling anything for Amita. We discuss what it was like to avoid spoilers all weekend and how it may have been easier than expected.

Plus, Sean attended a few screenings at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival and gives his take on the new Wu-Tang Clan doc series, Of Mics and Men and a new Naomi Watts and Octavia Spencer film called Luce.

And in the Big Sell, Amita reviews the 2019 playlist from our podcast friends JoJCast and sells Sean on an interesting essay from Vulture about pop plagiarism.

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A Conversation with the director of American Horror Story, Mayans M.C., and Raising Dion – IP 147

This week, we are excited to bring you our conversation with Rachel Goldberg, a successful TV and Film director who has worked on episodes of American Horror Story, Mayans M.C., and the upcoming Netflix series Raising Dion. Rachel discusses how she approaches directing in different genres, the recent shift in Hollywood when it comes to hiring female directors and gives some sage advice on how to be successful in the industry.

We are also in the midst of the Max Fun Drive! Take the time right now to head over to maximumfun.org/donate to become a member, renew or upgrade your membership. We appreciate your support!

Then, in this week’s Big Sell, Sean gives his review and rating of a recent album from the soul/funk band with an international vibe, Khruangbin, and sells Amita on new music from Tierra Whack.

You can find more info about Rachel Goldberg here.

Check out Khruangbin’s Tiny Desk Concert performance of Maria Tambien here.

Sean’s Top 4 female bass players:

4. Melissa Auf der Maur

3. Gail Ann Dorsey

3. Tina Weymouth

1. Meshelle NdegeOcello

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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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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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The Best Television & Music of 2018 – IP 141

Inside Pop presents our year end special highlighting the very best Television and Music of 2018! That’s right – this one episode brings you our picks for  the most binge-worthy TV shows ( including Atlanta, Dear White People, Barry, The Haunting of Hill House, Killing Eve, Queer Eye, Sense8) and most addictive music (including Janelle Monae, Cardi B, Meek Mill, Florence and the Machine, Ella Mai, Jacob Banks, Chloe X Halle) of the past 12 months. Listen to hear new insights into the shows that sit on top of the TV peak, plus we’ll celebrate our favorite albums and each declare our Song of the Year!

Sean’s Top TV

black-ish

Dear White People

Castle Rock

Daredevil

Glow

The Haunting of Hill House

Killing Eve

Sense8 (Series Finale)

Amita’s Top TV

Atlanta

Barry

The Handmaid’s Tale

Killing Eve

Murphy Brown

Queer Eye

Amita’s Top Albums

A Star is Born (Soundtrack) – Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper

Championships – Meek Mill

Dirty Computer – Janelle Monae

Invasion of Privacy – Cardi B

Ventriloquism – Meshell Ndegeocello

Sean’s Top Albums

Dirty Computer – Janelle Monae

High as Hope – Florence and the Machine

Lean on Me – Jose James

Piano & a Microphone – Prince

Remain in Light – Angelique Kidjo (Remain in Light X 2 playlist)

Ventriloquism – Meshell Ndegeocello

Village – Jacob Banks

Sean’s Song of the Year

Happy Without Me – Chloe X Halle

Amita’s Song of the Year

Boo’d Up – Ella Mai

 

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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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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

Follow us on Twitter & Instagram @PopInsiders

Like us on Facebook

And you can also find us on MaximumFun.org

Riz MC- “Mogambo”