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For the Love of Pete: Why “Crashing” is one of the Best Comedies on TV Right Now

Full disclosure, I fell in love with Pete Holmes the moment I saw him show up on my screen like some gangly white ray of sunshine.  I stumbled onto his show Crashing by accident, scrolling along the homepage of my HBO GO app until I saw a photo of a man sitting on a couch in the middle of the street mock-screaming directly into the camera. “I don’t know who this guy is,” I thought, “but I have a feeling he gets me.” Long story short, it was a show about a comedian, I’ve done stand-up a handful of times, and I’m a regular sucker for guys whose noses are of the Adrian Brody variety. I gave it a go.

My love of comedy about comedians started with Jerry Seinfeld. For me, he was the first comic to use serialized television to tell an audience the ins and outs of being a working comedian. Yes, I realize this dates me as a ’90s child – I’m sorry about it, too.

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THE REAR VIEW: Back to the Future with David H. Steinberg

“But the point of the scene is, Doc Brown is the one that is supposed to go back in time.  Until the terrorists show up, and we have the big chase scene, and Marty is the one that goes back in time accidentally.  So that’s the genius of the scene!” says screenwriter David H. Steinberg (Slackers, American Pie 2) when he sat down with Matt Edwards to discuss the rare perfect script of Back to the Future on The Rear View Podcast

Steinberg sheds light on how Back to the Future (written Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, and directed by Zemeckis) builds up enough goodwill with the audience that by the time the third act rolls around, the audience cheers in their seat with Doc Brown’s improbable zip-line flight to the rescue.  The film is 30 years old this year and with a script, cast and production  as perfect as you can get, it’s really… timeless.

 

 

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THE REAR VIEW: Movie Trailers

Over the years they have become the best part of going to the cinema.  A highly anticipated one can debut online and quickly break the internet.  And often times, they are the topic of discussion more so than what they are designed to promote.  I speak, of coruse, about the movie trailer.  In the latest reel of The Rear View, film trailer editor Joshua Dunn joins me to discuss the art form of the film trailer.

From the early beginnings of just previewing whole scenes from movies to the big voiceover days of Don Lafontaine to the overused “Inception Horn” of recent years, trailers are sometimes more exciting than the films they are supposed to market.

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THE REAR VIEW: Atonement

In the latest reel of The Rear View, Matt sits down with film composer Scott McRae to discuss the Oscar winning score by Dario Marianelli of 2007’s Atonement. The film is broken into three distinct acts and the score for each is masterfully woven throughout.  Scott is a Los Angeles based composer and can be found at mcraemusic.com.

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THE REAR VIEW: Michael Clayton

 

On the latest reel of The Rear View podcast, I sit down with director Matthew Szewczyk to discuss one of his favorite films as a filmmaker, writer/director Tony Gilroy’s 2007 film, Michael Clayton.  Starring George Clooney, the film was billed as a corporate scandal story of the institution versus the individual, however the central theme of the film is about a person trying to figure out their own identity.  George Clooney delivers a very nuanced performance among some other fine powerhouse performances from Tilda Swinton and Tom Wilkinson.  Matthew Szewczyk is also an alumus of the Taliesin Nexus Filmmaker Workshop.

THE REAR VIEW: The Empire Strikes Back

empire_strikes_back_ver6This week on The Rear View podcast I had the pleasure of sitting down with film composer Ryan Rapsys to talk about one of his favorite movie scores – John Williams’ The Empire Strikes Back. It was this score that Williams first introduced the “Imperial March” to his canon of iconic and unmistakable film themes. The film itself is often held up as the superior of all the Star Wars film, and it can be argued that film score may be what helped elevate its standing.

Ryan and I discuss the importance of collaboration with the director early in the filmmaking process and why a strong melody is vital in tapping into the emotions of an audience. The power of sense memory is unmatched when it comes to music and film. Filmmakers wishing to make an impact on the culture should always be looking to connect with their audiences and a simple and memorable melody can by just the ticket. You can also checkout Ryan Rapsys’ work on Soundcloud. 

 

THE REAR VIEW PODCAST – Sex, Lies, and Videotape

Filmmakers get into filmmaking for one reason. In short, they love movies. Specifically, they love this medium of storytelling. They love the reaction and emotion films generate in us.  They love to study a director’s technique or the way writers get themselves out of the corner they wrote themselves into. They love to make an audience laugh, cry or think. They love how a vast landscape looks on screen or the way a beam of light cuts across their actor’s face. Perhaps I’m speaking just for myself, but those reasons are why I am a filmmaker.

One of the best perks of the work is talking about movies with other filmmakers and really diving into all aspects of the craft and business. Over the years, I’ve been enlightened by some of the perspectives that my friends and colleagues have offered in conversation. And I hope I’ve been able to contribute in kind. Which is why I created this new podcast.

5Dpy8fNsThe Rear View is a chance for filmmakers to take a glance back at film history while driving forward into the future of cinema and television. Each episode, or reel as we’ll be calling them, I sit down with a filmmaker – be it writer, director, cinematographer, visual effect artists or composer – to discuss a film that influenced them in their craft. Or one they simply can’t talk about enough. Whether they liked the film or not, there is always something to learn about it.

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