Listen: Cinema Squad podcast

Discussion about this week in Hollywood and interview with… me.

Yesterday, I was a guest on the weekly Cinema Squad podcast. Along with hosts Sean Wathen, Skye Wathen, and Nicole Murnery, we discussed the week in Hollywood movies, plus a Q&A about the business of screenwriting.

It was a fun and informative 90 minutes, so go here to give it a listen.

For more Cinema Squad podcast episodes, go here.

To learn more about the Cinema Squad hosts, go here.

Twitter: @Cinema_Squad.

Listen: Cinema Squad podcast was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story – Medium

‘Lady Bird’: Greta Gerwig on Why a Screenwriter’s Job is to Listen as Much as to Write

Greta Gerwig may be a new director, but she knows a thing or two about movies.

Greta Gerwig first came onto the film scene as an actress associated with New York City’s mumblecore movement. She was cast in a small part in Joe Swanberg’s LOL in 2006, while she was still a student at Barnard College. Though her career successes pulled her towards acting, Gerwig’s original and prevailing dreams were behind the scenes. She had gone to Barnard with the intention of becoming a playwright, and now all these years later, she’s finally taken the plunge.

“When I finished the script I was like, ‘you’ve always wanted to do this, you’re not going to get any more information, you just gotta jump.'”

Lady Bird is Gerwig’s first directorial work, and it’s strikingly personal. The film resonates with a soulfulness that is in part due to Gerwig’s leadership, but also due to the phenomenal acting presences of Saoirse Ronen and Laurie Metcalf. It’s clear from the film’s steady hand that Gerwig’s long-gestating directorship was well worth the wait.

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Guardians Inferno: Listen to James Gunn’s Original Song

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 director James Gunn just tweeted the lyrics to 'Guardians Inferno'

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 director James Gunn just tweeted the lyrics to ‘Guardians Inferno’

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 director James Gunn just tweeted the lyrics to the song “Guardians Inferno” from the soundtrack to the film. You can check out the tweet below and scroll down hear the song. “Guardians Inferno” is performed by The Sneepers featuring David Hasselhoff. The picture he posted shows the lyrics written in the phone app Notes while he was in a car on the way home. “Guardians Inferno” was co-written by Gunn and score composer Tyler Bates.

RELATED: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Soundtrack List is Here!

The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 cast includes the return of Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax, Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot, Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket, Michael Rooker as Yondu, Karen Gillan as Nebula, and Sean Gunn as Kraglin. New cast members include Pom Klementieff, who plays Mantis, Elizabeth Debicki as Ayesha, Chris Sullivan as Taserface and  KurtRussell as Ego, the Living Planet.

Set to the backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand. The film opens on May 5, 2017.

The soundtrack to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, including “Guardians Inferno,” is available today. What do you guys think of the song? Are you excited about the film? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @ComingSoonnet.

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Listen to an Exclusive Colossal Soundtrack Cut


An exclusive preview of composer Bear McCreary’s music for Nacho Vigalondo’s wild genre film Colossal

Composer Bear McCreary (The Walking Dead, 10 Cloverfield Lane, The Boy) continues to build his already staggering genre entertainment resume with his stirring, vaguely experimental score for director Nacho Vigalondo‘s new psychological kaiju film Colossal. Lakeshore Records will release McCreary’s Original Motion Picture Soundtrack for the wild film digitally on April 7th and on CD May 12, 2017. And we have an exclusive preview of the track “A Monster Hypothesis” to share with today.

Colossal is about Gloria (Anne Hathaway) is an out-of-work party girl who finds herself in relationship trouble with her sensible boyfriend, Tim (Dan Stevens), and is forced to move back to her tiny hometown to get her life back on track. She reconnects with childhood friend Oscar (Jason Sudeikis), a good-natured bar owner with a coterie of drinking buddies (Tim Blake Nelson and Austin Stowell), and resumes her drinking lifestyle.

RELATED: Read our Colossal review

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, a larger-than-life creature begins attacking Seoul, South Korea on a nightly basis, captivating spectators around the world. One night, Gloria is horrified to discover that her every move at a local playground is being mimicked on a catastrophic scale by the rampaging beast. When Gloria’s friends get wind of the bizarre phenomenon, a second, more destructive creature emerges, prompting an epic showdown between the two monsters.

“I chose to focus the music entirely on Gloria,” explained McCreary. “We witness the fantastic events through her eyes, so I generally chose to score her reaction to the events, rather than the events themselves.”

McCreary took an unusual approach to working on the film – he started at the end.  “It was vitally important that the score deliver an epic, soaring finale, without overpowering or destroying the tone of the film. The last 12 minutes of the film was the first thing I wrote.  Once the final reel was approved by the director and studio it was an easier process to reverse engineer the rest of the score.” He continued, “I wanted the score to feel almost schizophrenic for the first hour of the film. Like, some edgy indie rock band scored half of it, and a classically trained orchestral composer scored the other half. Then, as the film progresses, the two musical styles merge to form a coherent vision.”

Check out McCreary’s evocative track below and be sure to catch this oddball genre film when it hits theaters on April 7th.

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Elmo is super desperate to meet Adele and he’s telling anyone who’ll listen


Elmo really, really wants to meet you, Adele.

Both the singer and the monster toddler are in Australia at the moment: Adele has been tearing up in her nationwide tour, while Elmo is helping promote Sesame Street’s 47th year on the air. 

Despite the Sesame Street’s many recent big time guests like Sia, Jason Derulo and James Corden, Elmo is desperate to hang out with the English singer-songwriter. So much so, that he made a public plea on TV.

“Adele! Elmo loves you with all of Elmo’s heart. Elmo wants to sing “Rolling In The Deep” with you, wherever you are. Elmo will fly there. Call Elmo! Thank you,” he said down the camera on The Project Wednesday. Read more…

More about The Project, Watercooler, Sesame Street, Adele, and Elmo

Listen to Every Song Ever Featured in a Martin Scorsese Movie

Check out this 326 track, 20-hour Spotify playlist encompassing 25 of Scorsese’s films.

Martin Scorsese’s ear for music is just about as good as his eye for pictures. Some of his most iconic shots are accompanied by equally iconic tracks from bands like The Band, Bob Dylan, and of course, The Rolling Stones. Who can forget The Stones’ Gimme Shelter behind the husky narration of Jack Nicholson’s Frank Costello in the opening sequence of The Departed?

But Scorsese’s involvement in the music scene goes much deeper than simply having good taste. In addition to his prolific career in feature films, he’s made a number of music documentaries and concert films, including 1978’s The Last Waltz, which captured The Band’s farewell concert, spearheading the documentary series The Blues for PBS; 2005’s No Direction Home, on Bob Dylan; the majorly influential Rolling Stones doc Shine a Light; and 2011’s Living in the Material World, on George Harrison.

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Listen to the New ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Theme Song by John Legend & Ariana Grande

Beauty and the Beast Theme Song Remake

You can hear John Legend on the La La Land soundtrack, playing the kind of jazz music that Ryan Gosling’s character actively hated until it provided him with a steady paycheck. So it only seems appropriate that John Legend cashes in himself by taking on a classic Disney theme song with another chart-topping singer.

Beauty and the Beast has one of the most famous theme songs from any animated movie, and it was all over the radio back in 1991 (and even 1992) thanks to Céline Dion and Peabo Bryson. Now John Legend has been tasked with remaking it along with fellow best-selling artist Ariana Grande (who hosted Saturday Night Live nearly a year ago). Does their rendition of the classic theme song shake a stick at the original?

Listen to the Beauty and the Beast theme song remake after the jump to find out.

While the vocals for the song are outstanding, there are moments when the instrumentals sound like some kind of karaoke backtrack. Then again, that can also be said of the original pop recording by Céline Dion and Peabo Bryson, so maybe that’s what they’re going for. There’s no denying that Legend and Grande have genuine talent, but I feel like if you love the original song already, this new one isn’t going to do much for you.

However, I really hope that we get to see one of these music videos with Legend and Grande singing the song in a recording booth, surrounded by an orchestra, with clips of Beauty and the Beast playing throughout. They just don’t make enough music videos like that anymore. If you don’t remember what the original was like, here you go:

The post Listen to the New ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Theme Song by John Legend & Ariana Grande appeared first on /Film.


Five Movie Commentaries to Listen to in January


While Damien Chazelle‘s La La Land wears its fondness for old school Hollywood productions proudly on its sleeve, his portrayal of present-day Los Angeles is hardly unflattering. It’s a movie so appealing to the eye it’s almost impossible to see nothing except beauty in La La Land, but it captures a genuinely lovely part of the city: it’s a place a lot of driven and passionate people move to every day.

After seeing the film a second time, it made me want to revisit a few movies set in Los Angeles, including Boogie NightsThe GraduateKiss Kiss Bang Bang, and a few others, which all feature some commentary tracks worth listening to.

Below, check out this January’s movie commentary recommendations.


Boogie Nights (featuring writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson ) 

Why Listen: “I think karate and porno is… how I wanna live my life.”

I would write this is “sadly” one of the only two audio commentaries Paul Thomas Anderson has ever done, but it’s impossible to complain after hearing his one for Boogie Nights. This commentary features a blunt, confident, sincere, and deeply passionate young Anderson discussing his epic sophomore effort. It’s obvious he’s enjoying reminiscing about the ensemble and days from the shoot. Anderson’s love for movies, moviemaking, and the experience of Boogie Nights is always palpable. It’s two and a half hours of listening to a brilliant and hilarious storyteller opening about his influences, sharing great stories about his dad, talking about growing up in the Valley and the porn industry, and much, much more.

What’s Said: With the camerawork, Anderson wasn’t afraid of getting a little flashy. “This is a good story for a lot of show-off moments, and hopefully I took advantage of every single one of them,” he says.

A Day on the Job: The shot of Dirk Diggler checking out during the “Jessie’s Girl” sequence was an unplanned shot and altered the scene, which was originally half as long. “That [shot] was something that just happened,” the director says.

It’s a funny thing, because we planned the whole fucking sequence out to music but I only planned it out to half of ‘Jessie’s Girl.’ I didn’t care about the second half because I knew we’d be out of the house by that point. It turns out, when we kept playing ‘Jessie’s Girl’ over this shot, it got to this wonderful bridge in the song for the whole shootout thing.’ I don’t know if I explained that well, but it was a massive fucking serendipity and coincidence of laying music into the movie, which I couldn’t have fucking planned. I was pretty good at planning the shots out, but not this fucking good.

Trivia: Paul Thomas Anderson’s favorite scene is where Rollergirl asks Amber, “Are you my mom?”


The Graduate (featuring director Mike Nichols and Steven Soderbergh)

Why Listen: Steven Soderbergh asks all the right questions. Mike Nichols tells so many funny, honest, and wonderful stories with the (now-out-of-retirement) director. This a rare commentary where it feels like you’re eavesdropping in on a conversation. It’s a wide-ranging discussion covering the extensive rehearsals, why Dustin Hoffman is a great movie actor, and even Nichols’ problems as a young, less patient filmmaker. You get to learn a tiny bit about the Nichols that made The Graduate and the Nichols that sat down with Soderbergh for this lovely conversation, which has a perfect ending. The Graduate director even knows exactly when to end a commentary on a high note.

What’s Said: When Soderbergh asks Nichols for his thoughts on expectations, and how they play a role in Benjamin and Diane’s lives, he responds with:

My experience of expectations in others and in myself has been that, people who expect wonderful things have serious problems and are truly out of touch with reality. The people that I know, including myself to some extent and you [Soderbergh], if I may, who get things done are people with very low expectations or people who fear the worst certainly of themselves and, to some extent, of the world.

I don’t know anybody of any significant talent that goes into something saying, ‘This is going to be great. I just know it.’ That’s already not an artist talking. The artist fears the worst, and for good reason. Every time the worst doesn’t happen it’s a miracle one more time, which I still believe. I mean, I love my life, and I’ve had the most amazing luck. I can never, ever get used to it. When I go home, I love my home and when I see my wife, who I love, every time I see her, every day I think — it sounds idiotic — why did I get so lucky? What did I ever do to deserve this happiness? It’s very, very hard, as you know, to have a high opinion of yourself, sometimes for moments about something you think that you did that’s okay, sometimes having to do with your kids that you didn’t mess it up completely. I mean, to have great expectations? I think even Dickens was speaking ironically.

A Day on the Job: Nichols credits his unconscious for the film’s final scene. The day he shot the scene, he acted poorly, which helped provoke the unforgettable expressions of horror on Benjamin and Diane’s faces.

For some reason I could not comprehend, I said, ‘Okay, listen, Dustin, Kathryn, we’ve stopped traffic for 20 blocks. You can’t fool around. You gotta get on that bus and laugh. I can’t do it over and over again because we’re not going to get a chance. Just be sure you laugh and you’re happy. They were terrified and deeply upset. I thought, I’m nuts. Why am I doing this to my own actors before the climax? And then when I saw the dailies I thought, Well, that’s why. It literally made itself. When we saw it the next day, we thought, Here it is, here’s the end of the picture. This terror that’s about to happen to them, that was me scaring the crap out of them before we did it. And I didn’t know what I was doing, but I did.

Trivia: Mike Nichols wasn’t a fan of the first song Paul Simon wrote for the film, so the director asked if he had another one he could use. Simon went away with Art Garfunkel and returned with “Mrs. Robinson,” a song originally called “Mrs. Roosevelt.”

Continue Reading Five Movie Commentaries to Listen to in January >>

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Listen: ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’s HAL 9000 and Samantha From ‘Her’ Argue Like A Married Couple

HAL 9000 and Samantha From Her Argue

The more advanced our technology gets, the more stories we’ve gotten about artificial intelligence. However, sci-fi narratives about artificial intelligence have started to grow more complex and interesting as the real-life technology advances and influences our ideas. While Westworld is telling a much bigger, longer story involving some of the most advanced androids we’ve ever seen becoming self-aware of their abilities and questioning their purpose and existence, movies like Ex Machina and Her have give us very different portraits of artificially intelligent creations.

Now a new video imagines what it might be like if two different artificially intelligence beings from the big screen talked to each other. HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey and Samantha from Her are two very different artificially intelligent constructs, but thanks to some clever editing, they sound like an old married couple.

Listen to HAL 9000 and Samantha from Her argue after the jump.

Creator Tillmann Ohm explains his creation:

Composed of original lines from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and Her (2013), the mashup creates a new context to the words of the electronic protagonists. The two operating systems are in conflict; while Samantha is convinced that the overwhelming and sometimes hurtful process of her learning algorithm improves the complexity of her emotions, HAL is consequentially interpreting them as errors in human programming and analyses the estimated malfunction.

Their conversation is an emotional roller coaster which reflects upon the relation between machines and emotion processing and addresses the enigmatic question of the authenticity of feelings.

The coldness of HAL 9000 serves as the perfect contrast to Samantha’s more chipper, charismatic attitude. It’s almost as if he’s completely detached from a relationship they had for years before, ready to break-up. It almost makes me want to watch some kind of indie romance with these two pieces of A.I. as the leads.

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