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.
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.
Back in October, I expressed admiration for Allstate’s Mayhem commercial branding.
But today, I got contacted by the fine marketing folks at Allstate, who clearly appreciated my post. But they also wanted to make me aware that while I linked to the Allstate Mayhem YouTube page, I overlooked Allstate’s main Mayhem page, which is pretty engaging in its own right–as it provides links to the videos and Mayhem’s equally funny Facebook posts.
My thanks to Allstate for the comedy and for making me aware of the page. Enjoy.
Last night, a brief Twitter exchange between writer Chris Roberson and myself got me to thinking about the early career of one of the Muppets, Rowlf the Dog. As noted in his Wikipedia entry, ‘Rowlf was actually the first true Muppet ‘star’ as a recurring character on The Jimmy Dean Show, first appearing in a show telecast on September 19, 1963.”
Exploring further for online evidence of Rowlf’s role on the shoe, I was fortunate to run across a seven-minute clip of Dean and Rowlf discussing music, courtesy of the always enlightening blog for the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive. Why would an animation site cover the early work of a Muppet? As noted by the blog: “Animators can learn a lot from puppeteers when it comes to creating a living, breathing character.”
Check out the post, as it is almost as informative as the YouTube clip.
Added bonus, GAO is also on YouTube, leading to this slightly amusing video (as important and as much as I value the GAO, the music on this video cracks me up). Honestly, I ask you to watch the video and try to ignore the music (really hard to do) because the mission of the GAO is a valuable one.
Was stumbling around YouTube tonight and discovered Session Americana. It’s described as follows: “Session Americana sit tightly around a small round cafe table, ambient mics tuned to catch the complete sound of the voices and instruments. Players swap songs and instruments; a suitcase drum kit, an old electric bass, a field organ and a collection of acoustic instruments. The unique format feels fantastically theatrical and although the musicians face each other, the audience feels drawn into the circle by the warmth, joy and camaraderie that emanate outwards by the all-star cast of characters seated around the table.
“What keeps fans coming back show after show is the same thing that any audience member longs for; great songs performed by a great band. The core members of the band have brought enviable careers worth of experience to the “table”, featuring (current and former) members of Treat Her Right, Patty Griffin, Lori McKenna, The The, Dennis Brennan, Kris Delmhorst to name just a few. The group has grown from a rag tag jam at a local pub to a regional institution, playing gigs from coffee houses to urban nightclubs, regional festival tents to theaters.”
Here’s some YouTube for your enjoyment/consideration–a cover of Townes Van Zandt’s Pancho & Lefty.
This past Sunday night, TBS aired a show taped in Chicago earlier in June, Team Coco Presents Conan’s Writers Live (hosted by Andy Richter). Unfortunately I totally missed that it was scheduled to air. Fortunately for me (and hopefully for you), TBS has posted it here.
TBS had to trim some of the episode for time, and as the Team Coco site noted, that meant some of the writers got completed edited out of the show. So as to not disappoint the writers edited out, Team Coco has posted the extras online, including this routine from Matt O’Brien.
I’m really intrigued at how Team Coco and TBS are branding Conan O’Brien already despite the fact he cannot appear on TV until well into the fall.