Long before Greg Pak became known for his comics, he was a successful film director and screenwriter. He recently released a brand new short film, Happy Fun Room, which can be viewed on YouTube (as part of the Futurestates.tv storyworld). Pak happily indulged my curiosity to email him a slew of questions for him to answer regarding this latest project. Enjoy.
Tim O’Shea: In what ways do you feel more confident as a short film writer and director with Happy Fun Room, as say compared to your 2011 effort, Mister Green?
Greg Pak: That’s an interesting question. A number of smart people have said that directing is basically deciding. A director has to make dozens of decisions every day in order for everyone else working on the film to be able to do their jobs. If a director can’t decide, everything grinds to a halt and the film eventually falls apart.
If you have not checked out the new USA Network comedy, Playing House, you are missing out. Here’s a snippet from the series’ official bio page: “Childhood best friends Maggie Caruso (Lennon Parham, Best Friends Forever) and Emma Crawford (Jessica St. Clair, Best Friends Forever) have shared countless adventures growing up together in the charming town of Pinebrook, CT. Now, Maggie and Emma are in store for one of their biggest adventures—raising a baby.”
The new MSNBC Friday night interview show, Up Late with Alex Baldwin, debuted in early October. I missed the premiere, but fortunately MSNBC has offered it a great deal of the content online for folks like myself.
Judging by the most recent episode, with 2001: A Space Odyssey stars, Gary Lockwood and Keir Dullea (discussing the film classic’s long-term cultural influence), Baldwin is going to book some obscure guests. That’s a trend I hope continues. Past guests support my impression considering that Debra Winger was the focus of one episode.
Jamie S. Rich is a writer/editor who I have respected and interviewed over the years. Now, it appears he’s trying to put me out of a job as he has started a new interview project, From The Gutters. I joke about him trying to put me out of work, the more folks out there interviewing creators–the best off we all are as an industry.
There are so many highlights to this PBS American Masters documentary, Mel Brooks: Make a Noise. To name a few of them: Brooks recounts when he realized the full measure of what Hitler did to the Jews; how he used comedy to belittle Hitler; and finally, The Producers (the musical) director/choreographer, Susan Stroman, recounting how Brooks’ humor helped her cope with the death of her husband, Mike Ockrent.
Roger Ebert’s death yesterday caught me by total surprise. I did not realize his Tuesday column was, in essence, his farewell.
I will try to write a tribute or an essay of some kind. But for now, I will save his one-of-a-kind 2011 TED Talk. To hear him “speak” of saying his last words and not realizing it was his last spoken words, is heartbreaking.