Our guest this episode is Matthew Jensen, director of photography for the worldwide hit film, Wonder Woman. The Patty Jenkins directed film has been enthusiastically received by fans and critics alike, with standout performances from Gal Gadot and Chris Pine. It’s beautifully shot, with a very distinct visual identity that sets it apart, particularly from other super hero films. And that comes from the work of Matthew Jensen. We talk with Matthew about how he was brought on board for Wonder Woman by Patty Jenkins, the production’s challenges and technical choices, and what it was like shooting their strikingly charismatic leads. He shares the advice from a college mentor that lead him to focus his entire career towards the goal of becoming a DP, and the path from humble beginnings to a worldwide smash.
We talk with Flora Lichtman, host of the new podcast “Every Little Thing” from Gimlet Media. “Every Little Thing” explores the stories behind the obscure, seemingly mundane, or delightfully bizarre aspects of our world. Flora previously wrote for “Bill Nye Saves the World” on Netflix, worked for public radio’s popular “Science Friday”, and co-directed an Emmy-nominated series of short animated documentaries for the New York Times.
We talk with Ildy Modrovich, co-showrunner, writer, and executive producer of “Lucifer”, which is about to wrap it’s second season on Fox. The show is based on the Vertigo comics series which spun out of the pages of Sandman. The TV series follows Lucifer Morningstar, the literal devil, having abandoned hell to live in modern day Los Angeles to run a bar called Lux. The show departs from the source material’s high fantasy mythology by grounding it as a police procedural, with the fallen angel assisting LA detectives – in his own unique, self-absorbed way – while combating supernatural conflicts and balancing a dysfunctional family of earth-bound celestials. We talk with Ildy about the themes, production process, and character evolutions on the show. Fans should enjoy our discussion of its humor, fantastic cast, and how much fun it is to create. We also discuss Ildy’s career path from musician to writer to producer.
We talk with pop-culture icon, actor Ernie Hudson. Film fans know him from his role as Winston Zeddmore in Ghostbusters I & II, and from the cult classic The Crow. Ernie has been very busy working across 3 different current television series – Grace & Frankie (Netflix), Graves (FX), and APB (Fox). APB is a police drama with a high-tech twist, produced by Len Wiseman. It follows a billionaire engineer who, after witnessing a violent crime, takes charge of a troubled Chicago police department and reboots it as a technically innovative force for 21st century challenges. APB stars Justin Kirk, Natalie Martinez, and Ernie as the skeptical police captain Ned Conrad. Adron and Ernie talk about his long history as an actor and how he keeps the work rewarding. They discuss being a steadily working professional whose name carries the weight of a beloved franchise. And Ernie talks about the fun of moving between different shows filled with fresh faces, and legendary veterans.
We talk with American Ninja Warrior breakout star Jessie Graff. Jessie is a Hollywood stuntwoman, with an amazing body of work in film and television, including Supergirl, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., X-Men First Class, Iron Man 2, and many more. But while most stunt people are hidden faces behind the scenes, Jessie has become a very popular public persona through the television competition American Ninja Warrior. Through several seasons of amazing athletic feats, Jessie has broken barriers as the first female athlete to advance to the city finals, and the first to make it to Stage 2 of the national finals. She stands among the sport’s most elite competitors.
Michael Wylie is the production designer for the Marvel television series “Legion”, airing Wednesday evenings on FX. His production design resume also includes such fan favorites as Marvel’s Agent Carter, Masters of Sex, Grimm, Californication, Pushing Daisies, and The Tick. Legion follows a troubled young man, a diagnosed schizophrenic, who may in fact possess incredible telepathic and telekinetic powers. The show stars Dan Stevens, Aubrey Plaza, and Rachel Keller. It’s a remarkable series with a non-linear story, incredible design and music, and stellar performances. It’s by turns fascinating, disturbing, and intriguing, and it will keep you glued to the screen and constantly questioning reality.
Rachael Stott is a comic book artist, currently doing covers and interior art for the official Doctor Who series published by Titan Comics, which follows Peter Capaldi’s 12th Doctor. And while she’s only been a professional comic artist for about two years, she’s already racked up an impressive resume. She drew the Star Trek/Planet of the Apes crossover series for IDW. She did covers for the licensed Assassin’s Creed and Heroes comics, and covers for Archie. She provided covers for the Green Lantern / Star Trek crossover series, as well as covers and interiors for Ghostbusters International. And she won the 2015 British Comics Award for Best Newcomer.
Legendary comics editor Karen Berger talks with us about her new project at Image Comics, Surgeon X, with writer Sara Kenney and artist John Watkiss. We also talk about her work at Vertigo, the creator-driven, mature-readers publishing imprint she founded at DC Comics.
NaNoWriMo executive director Grant Faulkner joins us to discuss National Novel Writing Month. We discuss how the NaNoWriMo initiative promotes daily writing habits, community building, and leads to the galvanizing goal of a 50,000 word novel. Grant explains how social events and communication are at the core of the NaNo experience, how to survive writing obstacles – both situational and self-imposed – and how NaNo can jumpstart your efforts at a serious writing career.
We talk with Emmy-winning choreographer and comedienne Kathryn Burns. Kathryn has contributed dance numbers and movement direction to five seasons of Key & Peele, to the hit Netflix series Wet Hot American Summer, and to tons of productions with the Upright Citizens Brigade. She worked on Children’s Hospital and Another Period, and danced in a “Weird Al” Yankovic video. She also choreographed the Grammy-winning international megahit music video “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. Kathryn is currently working on the critically acclaimed CW series, Crazy Ex Girlfriend. It’s a comedy punctuated by impressive musical sequences that heighten the absurdity but also showcase an immensely talented cast and crew. And, as a show flying below the radar of mass audiences, Crazy Ex Girlfriend manages to be one of the most hilariously raunchy, explicit, subversive shows on network television. There’s nothing else out there like it. The series has won a number of awards, including a Golden Globe and a couple of Emmys – one of which went to Kathryn, for her choreography routines.