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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, or by a member of our amazing team as noted.

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Sunday
Dec142014

Missi - Bzzzzzzzzz!

-by Missi Pyle

PUSHING DAISIES "Bzzzzzzzzz! (2008)"

Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies, Hannibal) is sooooo good. His writing is insanely magical. I keep begging him to make me a regular in one of his shows. We keep trying but I never quite get the job. So he once in awhile lets me play someone fabulous. "Betty Bee"? Come OOOON!!!!

I actually cut the tip of my finger off on camera while snipping roses in a scene on this job. 
I held the tip of my finger to stop the blood from coming out until the end of the scene. They were very impressed I didn't stop the scene right after I cut it. But I'm from the theatre -- the show must go on!
previously on 'The Missi Experience': gone girl, working actor, upcoming projects

 

Sunday
Dec142014

Missi's Obligatory Self-Promotion

Editor's Note: We're thrilled to have Missi Pyle guest-blogging for a day. I made her do this topic!

Kim Dickens & Missi Pyle (GONE GIRL) at the Hollywood Film Awards last month

What I am working on now

-by Missi Pyle

So yes. I sing. 'You sing?' People often ask? Yes. I do. I write (mostly) silly songs and I sing them. For awhile I had a band with Shawnee Smith. We did a pilot together and we got to talking one day and she asked me what I really wanted. And I said. To be in a band. That would be heaven. and she said. "OK. I'll do it with you. But just know. Its not all its cracked up to be. You'll be disappointed."

And we did. We made an album with Chris Goss, another genius human I have been lucky enough to work with. Shawnee and I's band was "Smith and Pyle". The album is It's OK to be Happy and you can get it on Itunes. Since then, I have been writing songs with a few other people and I have been working on an album for 4 years again with Chris Goss and I have about 20 songs. Ranging from titles like "I wanna fuck you up" to "Armageddon Excited" and there are a few simple (hopefully) sweet ones in there, too. I am terrible at self promotion but I WILL get this album out in 2015. I am making a video for "I wanna fuck you up" in January and hopefully someone will watch it.

If you wanna check out some of my stuff, check out my youtube channel. I sometimes get drunk and record myself singing. Hmmm maybe you shouldnt check it out. but if you wanna...

I had a crazy busy year. I have done more movies this year than in the last five combined. It has been wonderful. My agents keep telling me to say no. but I'm scared of another dry spell I guess.

Viggo with this screen kids in CAPTAIN FANTASTIC

  • Highly Functional ...is a sweet roadtrip movie about a kid with Autism and I have a couple scenes with Bruce Campbell. He is a trip. And the movie will be great. 
  • Captain Fantastic ...is written and directed by another modern day genius Matt Ross. The script is so fucking good and I get to (almost) make out with Viggo Mortensen.
  • Another Period ...is a new show coming out on Comedy Central starring Natasha Leggero and Riki Lindhome. It spoofs period dramas. I play the local society queen bee Celery. It is soooo funny and I get to wear super great costumes and be a total bitch. I worked with Tom Lennon who is the greatest master of improv of all time.
  • Bordertown ...is a new animated series on Fox. I think we got pushed so we are airing in the fall now? But it is the story of a fictional town called Mexifornia on the border of California and you know, Mexico. It is HILARIOus. I play a 200 pound 5 year old named Gert who is like honey boo boo on steroids. It stars Hank Azaria and Alex Borstein. It has been super dreamy!

 

previous Missi - advice for actors, gone girl & nancy grace

Sunday
Dec142014

Missi Arrives - Advice Dispenser

- by Missi Pyle

So Hello and Welcome to The Film E -- The Missi Experience! I'll be guest-blogging for the next 24 hours.

First of all. I always feel a bit like a con artist or something when I am interviewed. I read other actors interviews and I always think. Oh thats how you do it. Thats how you say it. I feel often like a charlatan. Other actors - they seem to be super picky. Or somehow more artistic. But me, I will pretty much do anything. I say yes to literally 90 percent of jobs that come to me. I am so happy and truly shocked to be a working actor.

WITH MEKHI PHIFER ON SET

I was on a set yesterday with Mekhi Phifer. We are doing this crazy low budget Virus movie and we have to wear hazmat suits and helmets and tape or gloves on and we were doing this scene where we are leaving the safe compound and going on a mission to find uninfecteds and we go through this tunnel and we are on this shitty bus whacking stunt people with rubber bats and crow bars and I was just laughing because its like -what the fuck are we doing? We are grown ups who leave their home and go to work and play dress up and make believe. And its awesome.

And then after like 11 hours you get so tired. And you get pissy and want to go home but then its like: 

I am getting paid for this

God. I don't know how anybody makes it as an actor. Really. I look back at my journey. And I think about how much LUCK had to happen. But you know what they say about luck. 'When hard work meets opportunity...'

I went to North Carolina School of the Arts and it was an incredible school.  But before that I ended up in a small town in Tennessee called Germantown. This was after my parents divorce. My mom married a German dude and we moved there. Totally unrelated. He was probably the only German in all of Germantown. Anyway, This school randomly had this magical Drama program led by this man Frank Bluestein. He was this gothic southern Jewish man. He is truly one of the most incredible humans I have ever met. I wouldn't be where I am without him. He just never would accept the words "I can't". So they left my vocabulary.

And I guess that would be my advice to young actors:

AS GOOD AS IT GETS (1997) at the very beginning...Take the words "I can't" out of your vocabulary.

And work hard. Harder than you think you need to. And try not to compare yourself to other people in the room when you are auditioning or, really, ever. You are uniquely you and that is what everyone is looking for. Someone who is genuinely just themselves. I think.

Anyway. thats it for advice. Oh and move to Atlanta. You will get mountains of work there. 

previous Missi...
Gone Girl & Nancy Grace

Sunday
Dec142014

Awards Roundup & Predictions: A Circus That Never Shuts Down!

I swear to you that I've been working my ass off of late but somehow TFE has fallen further and further behind. Let's blame the traffic nightmares in NYC of late (I normally subway it but with that fractured toe there were many cabs), that long Thanksgiving weekend, all the free food and drink consumed at various schmoozy Oscar campaign events and 1:1 interviews. These last are truly the Bermuda triangle of time-suckage. Interviews themselves generally last between 15-20 minutes but somehow they can consume entire days. I wish that I were exaggerating (since I love doing them) but I'm not what with travel time, scheduling negotiations, waiting time, rescheduling snafus, and then the only way those interviews gets to you: transcription time and article construction)

Wah Wah. I'll shut up. First world Oscar pundit problems! The inimitable Missi arrives soon (and while she's entertaining you we get caught up behind the scenes and update every single Oscar chart so comment on those right here )  After the jump all the stuff we haven't talked about yet (EFA Awards, Regional Critics Prizes + "Critics Choice" Predictions).

Can Unbroken start sprinting after a very rough week? Just how hot is Ida? Will the BFCA swarm around their fall favorite Gone Girl? 3...2...1... GO!

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Dec142014

SAG & Globe Reader Questions. Podcast Answers! 

Last week's tidal wave of precursor buzz - most notably the Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe nominations have everyone talking possible Oscar nominations. Those nominations are still one month away if you can believe it which gives us plenty of time to keep theorizing.

You asked a lot of questions. So Nathaniel, Nick and Katey answered them in this week's podcast!

How this one goes...
00:01 BFCA Ballot Buyer's Remorse. How many times did Katey vote for The Hundred-Foot Journey?
03:00 Is Jennifer Aniston going to happen?
05:15 Robert Duvall and/or Selma's Supporting Bids 
10:00 Humble Brag Jake Gyllenhaal Party
15:15 "What were they thinking?" & potential surprises
22:00 Julianne Moore's frontrunner status  
27:45 Boyhood's performances & Budapest's momentum
32:25 Rewatchability. Does it matter? Should it?
37:00 Miscellaneous Last thoughts
40:10 Julianne Moore Stinger 

You can listen at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes tomorrow. Continue the conversation in the comments. Hopefully though we answered your initial questions we raised even more talking points... 

Precursor Questions. Podcast Answer

Saturday
Dec132014

Oscars Songs & Scores. Plus: Chart Updates

Each year the list of eligible ORIGINAL SONGS that will vy for Oscar nominations holds numerous surprises. These surprises almost invariably fall under the question heading:

That movie had a song in it?"

Apart from song showcases that are an important part of the narrative - remember that sweet tense reunion between Hiccup's father and mother in How To Train your Dragon 2? - many songs are buried in their movies by way of incomplete airings or end credit positioning when people are exiting the theater  -- you have to be the first music in the end credits to be eligible at all. Come second and you're outta there as Madonna learned the hard way for her end credits "Masterpiece" in W.E. (that's the name of the song, not a qualitative judgement). The other annual head-scratcher question about this category is not the mean-spirited "Why does it exist?" but the far less frequently asked "Why is it afforded more nominees than the Makeup & Hairstyling category since literally all live action films require makeup & hairstyling and only a teeny-tiny portion of films have a composer on their payroll writing original songs. Indeed that question is only ever asked by The Film Experience though we think it a good one.

Makeup & Hairstyling is now the only Oscar category still considered unworthy of 5 nominations annually despite being a craft that's used in 100% of live-action movies which a few other categories cannot claim. But that's a topic for when the Makeup Branch finalist list is announced. Why am I talking about it now? My brain, inside a head that requires no hairstyling, hops track is all. Sorry bout it.

ORIGINAL SCORE
The annual list of eligible Original Scores for Oscar's music branch to consider holds a different kind of surprise altogether. Those surprises are about what's not listed. They fall under the question heading:

They disqualified that one? Why???"

This year apparently the music for Foxcatcher and The Two Faces of January -- to name two examples from famous composers (Danna & Iglesias respectively) -- wasn't "original" enough or something for Oscar. But the headline snub is Antonio Sanchez's work on Birdman. It's won much (rightful) attention for its unique percussive approach.

With Birdman out of the way, expect the five nominees to be: Alexandre Desplat (Unbroken), Alexandre Desplat (The Imitation Game) Alexandre Desplat (Godzilla) Alexandre Desplat (Grand Budapest Hotel) and Alexandre Desplat (The Monuments Men). I'm joking but there is no rule against it in the craft categories! You know if John Williams wrote five new scores in a year he'd win all five nominations. Somebody give Desplat a sedative before he burns himself out. He's so brilliant but do you think he'll stop working himself into an early grave once they give him the statue? He's won six nominations in the past decade, most of them from Best Pictures nominees or winners no less, but he has still yet to win the gold.

ELIGIBILITY LISTS AND A FEW MORE NOTES AFTER DESPLAT...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Dec132014

Team FYC: A Most Wanted Man for Best Adapted Screenplay

Editor's Note: We're nearing the end of our individually chosen FYC's for various longshots in the Oscar race. Here's Amir on "A Most Wanted Man".

Anton Corbijn’s latest film, A Most Wanted Man, is one of the year’s best American films. It’s the type of work that is elevated above the trappings of its overly familiar genre with superb performances and intelligent observations on the real world conditions that give birth to its story. It is arguably the smartest film made about America’s increasingly troubled relationship with, and its definition of, terrorism. Yet, it is surprising to compare the film's screenplay, penned by Andrew Bovell, to its original source, the 2008 novel of the same name by John le Carré, and notice the dramatic improvement that the adaptation has made to the text. 

With densely plotted novels, particularly in the espionage genre, one of the biggest challenges of adaptation is the careful omission of narrative threads without disrupting the harmony or logic of the story. Le Carré’s book is one of his lesser works, a straightforward piece about Issa (Gregoriy Dobrygin), a Chechen fugitive in Hamburg, whose history of being tortured in his homeland is sufficient cause for authorities (German and American) to assume ties with terrorist organizations. Issa’s story is intertwined to three other protagonists who are afforded equal attention in the novel: a banker named Tommy Brue (Willem Defoe), a lawyer named Annabel Richter (Rachel McAdams) and a spy named Gunther Bachmann (Philip Seymour Hoffman)...

Click to read more ...