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Directing & Producing

Lion Ark: Inside the Great Animal Rescue

LionArkPhoto 4 SMAll over the world, animal rescue groups are well aware that unpredictable situations often come with the ultimate goal of protecting the lives living creatures. Animal Defenders International (ADI) gave the term “animal rescue” a whole new meaning in the new documentary Lion Ark. Produced by ADI Films and directed by ADI VP Tim Phillips, the film documents the group’s infiltration of the South American circus industry to rescue 25 lions from circuses traveling across Bolivia. 

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Key Grip Sean Crowell On The Hangover III

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Key Grip Sean Crowell (Game Change) is no stranger to The Hangover franchise, after having worked on the first two films with Cinematographer Lawrence “Larry” Sher. “Where it really starts for me is when I sit down with the DP and we go through the schedule and each scene,” says Crowell. “Those are the building blocks for how we do our job. My interpretation of what Larry does is he brings a lot of scope to these films. I think people are surprised with how great the first Hangover was and how it redefined how people look at comedy. I think Larry really put his fingerprint on that genre. He creates really beautiful films, and when I sat down with him I was excited because I knew we would be pushing the envelope and try to bring grandness to the project. Anytime someone pushes you to do your best, that’s always a great way to work. There is no compromise in what Larry does.”

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J.J. Abrams on Embracing New Technology

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The NBC sci-fi series “Revolution” films in Wilmington, North Carolina. The show takes place in the not-too-distant future when a family struggles to reunite after the world experiences a mysterious technological apocalypse. The popular doomsday drama was created by Eric Kripke (“Supernatural”), who is executive producer along with J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk, and they’re all known for embracing technology and infusing their productions with lots of CGI and special effects. So how does technology help in their creative process? “The technology I use in my process almost starts and ends with the Internet, because of the unbelievable amount of information that is at your fingertips,” reports Kripke. “I’m definitely dating myself, but I still remember having to bury myself in the library to research a project, and then photocopy all the research that I needed. Now, at any given moment, at any given point of writing a script, I say, ‘You know what? I need to know what this process is. I need to know how this person works.’ And I can immediately search, find it, get the information, and put it right into a script. I think that’s pretty invaluable. I don’t know if I would be as good a writer without that.”

J.J. Abrams has done very high‑concept tech TV shows and movies, such as “Fringe,” “Lost” and the Star Trek film franchise. But could he be just as creative without today’s ground-breaking technology? “Everything that Eric said is so true in terms of research,” says Abrams. “And obviously I love what technology allows in terms of visual effects and in terms of just efficiency, whether it’s getting something quickly, reading something, looking at artwork, composition or anything. [When] I’m doing visual effects for Star Trek, it doesn’t matter where I am. I can look at the latest version of a visual-effects shot and give notes. [And] while that’s all true, what it all comes down to and what matters most of all is the idea, and the writing and the execution of that idea. And for that, I usually write it out in longhand first. There’s something about it, the tactile, tangible nature of writing that just feels like I’m feeling the stuff more than I am…. When there’s a deadline and it’s crazy, of course, the Mac Book Pro is the key. But it’s something that I think ultimately just comes down to ‘what is that idea you’re scribbling with that pencil?’”

 

 

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Nigel Lythgoe Talks Emerging Platforms for “American Idol”

digitalhollywood_nigelIt’s safe to say that Fox TV’s “American Idol” is one of the most successful shows in the history of American television. Created by British Entrepreneur/Manager/Producer Simon Fuller in 2002, “American Idol” was spawned from the British hit show “Pop Idol,” and the success of both shows can be largely attributed to Producer Nigel Lythgoe, who is also the co-creator, producer and judge of Fox TV’s “So You Think You Can Dance.”

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Live Production: Getting Down and Dirty

liveproductionAfter working in the business for 35 years, with 15 of those years on TV truck crews, I’ve learned a few things about production. With enough time and crewmembers, almost anyone can make a normal video production if they’ll keep shooting till they get it right. But the same can’t be said for live production, which usually calls for you to get it right in one take. For live production, your crew must be up to the task and ready to work as a team. Video, audio and the means for broadcasting your show have to be solid and workable from beginning to end or you will have no show. You’ll need to get it right, or go home.

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