Category Archives: Lists

Oscars/Academy Awards: The Fixing Debate

Pic taken from

Pic taken from

People have all sorts of ideas for how they want to make the Oscars less boring, but let’s face it: we’re going to argue over every new aspect that makes the cut. Something, of course, should be done with the program. It could have entertained spectators, say in the ‘70s, but our attention span has diminished considerably over the years. What’s more, the ceremony is supposed to be a celebration of movies, not a means for power and influence in the industry. And sadly, it is. Ideally, the Academy would let all that go and accept the fact that it isn’t what it should be today. Other than it being boring, it is also politically motivated. Frustrating, I know.

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Oh, Them Oscar Noms!

In just 1 month and  2 weeks… THIS


The only nominated films I’ve seen from the 2013 Oscar list are mostly in the animated category. Oh, and Skyfall and Hitchcock. I’ve got my work cut out for me before watching the Oscars in February.

I have no valid opinion (yet) on which I would like to see win the Best Picture award, but I’ll provide my thoughts anyway.

Full list of nominees here.

Best Picture

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Married…with Movies

My sister and I, playing dress-up in my mother’s wedding dress.

I’m back in Massachusetts for my sister’s wedding this Sunday. So forgive me if I have Wedding on the brain. I’ve never been this involved in a wedding before, and have only been to a handful in the past. And I can now say from experience that there’s a reason so many movies are plotted around weddings. The extreme importance can either greatly heighten the drama and tension between people, blow the tiniest things out of proportion to hilarious results, or both.

Thank God my family, and my sister in particular, have a very healthy and firm grasp on everything that’s happening. We’re as prepared as possible so things don’t go wrong, but understand unforeseen things happen and in that case we just need to go with the flow and enjoy ourselves. Overall, we’d make for a pretty boring movie. I guess that actually is too bad, because I’m a filmmaker and I could use some inspiration for scripts.

But from making sure we all remember to eat so we don’t pass out from the stress, to guest/table arrangement futzing, to worryingly over-editing my Maid of Honor speech, there’s been enough for me to see how easily things could get out of hand. It’s been making me think about some of the most memorable wedding-related movies (and about eloping, if the day ever comes).

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Promos, Promos, Promos! – The CW

It’s that time of year again, where TV networks repeatedly run promos of pilot shows for their fall lineup. Which shows will survive the pitfalls of ratings, and which will remain in Netflix’s future Watch Instantly queue?


A few weeks ago I listed the CW’s pilot shows for the 2012-13 season. Even though a Hunger Games-esque show got the boot, somehow the network made room for a “Beauty and the Beast” remake, another Superhero show, and a prelude to “Sex and the City.” The promos for these primetime shows are airing continuously, especially since the CW is towards the bottom of the ratings board between the major networks. It won’t be long before the second episode promos will bombard the network’s airtime. Can you blame them, though? All the other networks will be doing it. Oy vey!

As if there weren’t enough Superheroes going around…

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My Film Heroes

It’s tough enough just starting out in this business, so why not have a list of all the people who are the best at what you aspire to do? Instant inspiration!

Ava DuVernay (Writer/Director, I Will Follow, Middle of Nowhere and Founder of AFFRM)

An inspiration because: I’ve met DuVernay three times, each at an important stepping stone in my budding career. Each time I’ve felt that if I even had the opportunity to hover around the inner circles a game changer like herself dominates in, then I’ve got to be on the right track. Her message had me hooked from the beginning: “We don’t need permission.” It has been my mantra ever since. She has stood behind those very words, building a platform movement know as AFFRM (African-American Film Festival Release Movement) that distributes 2 films a year: her personal projects and work by new artists of color.

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2012 Emmy Nominations

The 2012 Emmy Nominations were announced this morning. Like any other awards there were some big snubs. Some how Louie & Parks and Recreation weren’t nominated for best comedy (even though they’re the best two comedies on television). But there were some choices that definitely make me happy. I love all the critical attention Homeland is receiving because it’s an incredible show and I highly recommend you watch the 1st season before the second begins this fall. After the jump is the nominations and I’ll bold what I think deserves to win and gives a few random thoughts a long the way. Continue reading

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Times A’ Changing – Have You Noticed?

Sadly, it’s been a few months since I’ve gone to the movies, i.e., paid for a movie ticket at the theatre, or the cinema, or the multiplex (what’s the proper expression again?). I’ve been somewhat spoiled with my roommate, Chris Britingham, working for Paramount. They have free showings of fairly new releases for employees’ families and friends, so I sometimes wait a few weeks and catch it down on Melrose Ave. So when I went just a few days ago to see “Brave,” several things struck me even before the movie started.

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Have A Cool Summer With Cable Dramas Available for Streaming

Summer is officially is full swing which means that network TV is about to pump out an unhealthy dose of reality TV programming to American audiences. Luckily, this is means it’s the perfect time to check out or catch up on a few great cable TV dramas. Here’s a few on my list to hold me over until the Fall season premieres.

Misfits – Seasons 1 thru 3 on Hulu

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Great Podcasts for Indies on the go

If you’re tired to death of hearing “Somebody I Used To Know” by Gotye or “We Are Young” by Fun, switch off the predictable radio and put these podcasts on shuffle today. You’ll learn a ton and maybe even be inspired to jumpstart your latest project this summer. The internet is a big place so I thought I’d list three of my favorite film podcasts. They’re all FREE and available through iTunes. There’s something for everybody – writing tips, technical production advice and industry-related roundtables.   Since graduating from film school last year, I’ve learned the same lesson over and over: You can’t afford to stop learning. If you have a wifi connection, a countless years worth of the best film school education is right at your fingertips. And it’s FREE. Take a listen for yourself. It’ll be better than anything on the radio this summer, I promise.

Shadow and Act

iTunes Description: “The saying goes… those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. So, do something… become dynamite and explode! Created and managed by TAMBAY A OBENSON.”

Click HERE to subscribe on iTunes.

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10 Random Ways to Get Motivated to Write Your Script

I’ve been feeling a little down these last few weeks and haven’t found the energy to keep my scriptwriting up. I’m extremely disappointed in myself. Why did I settle for a part time job if I wasn’t going to use my free time for writing? (Well, technically the traveling takes up time and it’s not like I’ve been able to even find another job…) In any case, I could be doing more, and I’m not. But today I had to wake up at 5AM to go to a meeting at Sears. My coworkers and I laughed at some “mattress humor,” and I came to realize how absolutely and radically different my life is than what I expected. I’m laughing at a Stearns and Fosters joke, when I should be laughing at some grip or lighting jokes. I wish I were on set—rather, I wish I could get paid to work on set.  Instead, I’m memorizing coil counts, which beds have which layers of foams, and how to get customers to realize that returning a bed affects my being able to make rent each month.

If I settle on this notion, however, I’ll be all depressed and all the more unmotivated. It might be the three cups of coffee today, but I’ve decided to bring my spirits up come hell or high water. So, taking motivation from writing exercises I was forced to do in college, I’m finding that I do really miss scriptwriting. Hopefully you guys can work through your slumps with these pretty cool writing techniques that have helped me in the past (and I’m sure will help me now and in the future).

“I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.”

-James Michener Continue reading

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From Book Shelf to Big Screen: My Summer Book List

It’s June already and you know what that means. 90 degrees is considered a cool day and there’s never enough sweet tea and/or lemonade to quench your thirst. Ah, yes summer is here at last. Aside from gulping down the above beverages, there are two ways I know how to survive the endless heat these next three months: go to the movies and read good books. I’m still waiting for MOONRISE KINGDOM to get a wide release (Come on Wes, don’t forget the small town cinephiles!), so it looks like I have to go with my second favorite summer hobby.

You could say that every movie was once a book and a quick look at IMDB or will have believing it’s an absolute fact. So I thought it would be fitting to read a selection of the latest book-to-film adaptations set to hit theaters in the coming months. Anything…A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G to avoid the 50 Shades of Grey bandwagon. Is it just me or is this trilogy turning women across the globe into cats in heat? Maybe it’s just me. I’m also going to give “The Hunger Games” trilogy a spin (I only read the first one), but that movie already came out, so here’s my official “Book Shelf to Big Screen Summer 2012 Reading List”.  Any others you’d add?

Oldies but Goodies

I’ve read all three of these novels before in high school/college, but they’re absolutely worthy of a second and third read.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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TV News: The CW Pilot Updates for 2012-13!

I apologize for skipping out on my posts these past few weeks. It’s been a little hectic adjusting to a new schedule every week.  I didn’t come here to spew off excuses for my unprofessionalism, but I feel like my readers (however few you may be) deserve at least an apology. So, I’m sorry.

In any case, I digress. I’m back with TV pilot updates! I’ll keep today’s post rather short (seeing as I’m writing about the CW network) and have NBC’s update on Thursday. And by next Thursday we can get to the gritty—the cool part, where we analyze the shows across all the networks. Excited? Well, here goes your favorite (okay, your favorite at one point in time, maybe?)—the once WB, now awkwardly named “The CW” and its pilot listings! Continue reading

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The 4 Most Annoying Directions Given to Actors

There’s nothing more irritating than watching a film or television show and noticing bad acting. A lot of it has to do with the actors themselves, but sometimes it’s the directors that fail to direct the actors. You’d think that in preparing each scene and each shot, directors can try to stir away from making their actors look ridiculous while saying their lines. Well, that’s certainly not the case.

Here are four of the most annoying directions given to actors.

  • The Slow Motion First Encounter Stare Off

When our heroes first meet, time slows down, the two are not shy about the awkward staring and smiling, and at least one of them falls instantly in love. Watch this scene from “The Vow.”

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TV News: ABC Pilot LineUp for 2012-13!

I’ve discussed the pilots for the CBS and FOX networks, and now here are the pilots for ABC.

Based on the premise and the people associated with the projects, I’ve described why I wouldn’t and why I would see them.

As all pilots go, some may be ultimately canceled or pushed to midseason, but otherwise, this is what September-ish will look like for ABC: Continue reading

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TV News: CBS 2012-13 LineUp Update!

Two weeks ago, I posted the shows returning for the 2012-13 television CBS network. Well, finally the pilots are in.

Here’s a rundown on the pilots set for next season. Based on the premise and the people associated with the projects, I’ve described why I wouldn’t and why I would see them.

As all pilots go, some may be ultimately canceled or pushed to midseason, but otherwise, this is what September-ish will look like for CBS:

“2 Broke Girls,” “48 Hours Mystery,” “60 Minutes,” “The Amazing Race,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “Blue Bloods,” “CSI:Crime Scene Investigation,” “Criminal Minds,” “The Good Wife,” “Hawaii 5-0,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Mike and Molly,” “NCIS,” “NCIS:LA,” “Person of Interest,” “Survivor,” “Undercover Boss” –

and… Continue reading

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“However Long the Night, the Dawn Will Break” – Competition Deadlines

“However long the night, the dawn will break” -African Proverb

I wish I could say that after 7 months out here in LA, I am finally living the dream. I’m nowhere even close to it. Naturally, it’s hard to see my non-film-degree college friends starting their journeys in their entry-level jobs or getting into the grad school they’ve always wanted. Am I happy for them? Of course. But there’s a sort of hollowness that sits within me when I feel as if my entry-level job is 5 years behind everyone else.

Going into college, I had an aunt once tell me to have a second major as a backup. I was shocked and appalled that my own family didn’t trust that I could “make it” with my major of choice—my passion. Whenever I feel like waving a white flag or whenever I feel particularly disheartened, I go back to that memory with my aunt and wonder if I should have double majored. Maybe I would have stayed in New York, had a job, and spent my weekends partying with all my friends. Maybe I would have been happier. Continue reading

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TV News: CBS…and Community!

CBS is the first network to pick up shows for the 2012-2013 season. Here’s the rundown on CBS’s lineup so far for next fall (or, if it must, midseason).

*It looks like LL Cool J will continue to roam around the Paramount set, as “NCIS: LA” will return. CBS has also renewed its parent show (and highest rated television series) “NCIS.”

*2012 People’s Choice Award winner and freshman show “Person of Interest,” starring Jim Caviezel is on board. And surprisingly (to me, at least), freshman comedy “2 Broke Girls” has also been picked up.

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Bite the Cone: 7 Types of Trailers You’re Probably Tired of Watching


Aside from Stumbling and watching Jimmy Kimmel Live interviews online—and let’s not forget my social media sites, too—I spend a large portion of my time on the web watching trailers on Apple Trailers. After watching thousands (dare I say millions?) of them, I’ve compiled a list of the 7 film trailer types I’m sick of watching, and I’m pretty sure you are too. The movie may have very well been good, but the trailer, in one way or another, pissed me off. By the by, please excuse the ice cream metaphors, I took some sleepy time Vanilla tea for the night, and it seemed like a really good idea. In any case, if studios and independent production companies want me to shell out the 10-15 bucks to watch their so-called “#1 Movie of the Year,” then they’ve got a max of 2 minutes and a half to keep me interested. Easy enough, right? Apparently not…

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