As the music supervisor for shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice, music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas has long been TV’s musical rainmaker. Pinpointing emergent, primetime-ready tunes for those shows is one challenge, but for her work on Scandal, another drama from Grey’s creator Shonda Rhimes, Patsavas faced another one — breathing new life into old-school R&B classics. Below, Patsavas discusses how she takes a well-worn track like Kool & the Gang’s “Jungle Boogie” and gives it new meaning, plus her one major exception in Scandal‘s soulful set list.
Tag: Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes) (1-10 of 31)
Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): Yes, NBC's Olympic diving producer knew you'd love those Tom Daley shower shots
The Summer Olympics wasn’t just about Phelps vs. Lochte, or smiling with Gabby Douglas while crying with Jordyn Wieber. It was also about those shower shots of British diver Tom Daley, bronze medalist in the men’s tense 10m platform competition. While NBC Olympic diving producer David Gibson insists he didn’t intentionally place graphics over the divers’ trunks to make them appear nude (“That was a coincidence,” he says, with a laugh), he does confirm that those Daley shower shots were, in fact, something he knew would be a hit with viewers. “I think we pretty much knew instantly, like yourself,” he says. “You could just tell. You could feel it in the truck. In the arena, when they put him up on the Jumbotron, people reacted to it.” For more stories behind this year’s top TV and movie moments, click here for EW.com’s Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes) coverage. READ FULL STORY »
Today, The Music of ‘Nashville‘ original soundtrack is released, but there’s a good chance you already own the two songs it features performed by British actor Sam Palladio (Gunnar) and Aussie actress Clare Bowen (Scarlett) — their duets in the season premiere (“If I Didn’t Know Better”) and midseason finale (“When the Right One Comes Along”). Below, Palladio takes us behind the music of the five Gunnar/Scarlett songs heard in the first half of season 1. For more stories behind this year’s top TV and movie moments, click here for EW.com’s Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes) coverage. READ FULL STORY »
Nothing kept us on the edge of our seats this year quite like the soapy, campy Revenge. While many revelations — the mysterious body identity, Victoria boarding a doomed plane — had us freaking out to our friends and hitting Twitter to float theories, one of the most buzzy and exciting twists was the introduction of the mysterious White Haired Man. We knew very little about him, and every morsel of intel we got just raised more questions. The pacing and set up were extraordinary, particularly in the penultimate episode of last season, “Grief.” Joe Fazzio co-wrote the episode, and below, he takes us inside the intrigue of creating the character — and tells us how one of the most famous lines of the season came to pass. For more stories behind this year’s top TV and movie moments, click here for EW.com’s Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes) coverage.
By: Joe Fazzio
Initially, the White Haired Man appeared on the dry-erase-paint-covered walls of the Revenge writers’ room as “the Bearded Man” as sort of an homage to such nameless TV character greats as The X-Files’ “The Cigarette Smoking Man” or Twin Peaks’ “The Log Lady,” who were so mysteriously connected that they couldn’t be bothered with something as frivolous as a name. And once James Morrison was expertly cast in the role, we shifted focus from the facial to the faded follicle, and the White Haired Man was born. READ FULL STORY »
One of 2012′s most polarizing-yet-popular shows was TLC’s Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, a pleasure even guiltier than Toddlers & Tiaras, from which it spun off. Below, TLC’s SVP of Production and Development, Howard Lee, who serves as the internal exec producer for the show, takes us inside the making of the reality hit.
For more stories behind this year’s top TV and movie moments, click here for EW.com’s Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes) coverage. READ FULL STORY »
Forget Glee’s covers. In 2012, it was all about the original musical numbers on Smash. Whether the performances were fully-staged show-within-a-show hits for the fake Marilyn Monroe musical, or fantasy numbers that brought out the emotions of the characters, we couldn’t stop humming along — or hitting replay. Here, Joshua Bergasse, who won an Emmy this year for his choreography on the show, takes us inside one of the most talked-about musical moments of the drama’s freshman season: A Bollywood-style fantasy sequence that featured the whole cast. “One funny story about the Bollywood number was with the marigolds, right before they fall down before the final chorus,” he begins. “When we did it the first time, nobody took the cue to throw the marigolds. So like two came down. They just floated down, then a couple more, then a couple more, it was really very sad,” he says, laughing. “The whole crew cracked up. It was funny because we had thousands of marigolds. People had handfuls, and there was, like, 10 on the ground.”
For more stories behind this year’s top TV and movie moments, click here for EW.com’s Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes) coverage. READ FULL STORY »
In the May season 3 finale of The Vampire Diaries, Nina Dobrev did some of the finest underwater acting ever in not one, but two drowning scenes — one that flashed back to the night Elena’s parents died and Stefan rescued her, and one in which Elena died after demanding that Stefan save Matt. Here, supervising producer Chris Grismer, who helped episode director John Behring helm the chill-inducing underwater sequence shot over three days, takes us inside the scene that changed the show forever. For more stories behind this year’s top TV and movie moments, click here for EW.com’s Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes) coverage.
As told by: Chris Grismer
I started the actors training for the scene about two months before we shot. They had to train every weekend with dive instructors. Nina Dobrev was already PADI-certified, but those who weren’t had to become. They also had to learn how to act underwater for a long period of time without air: They had to learn how to do a scene and then get air between takes from a safety diver, who was never more than five or six feet away, instead of coming back up to the surface, which I think was pretty terrifying for them. Some of them wanted to swim to the surface between takes, and I had to explain to them that if you start at the surface and swim 20 feet down, you’re kinda almost out of air by the time we say “action.” [Laughs] And then they had to learn how to do it in an enclosed space. I don’t know if you’ve ever been underwater in an enclosed space, but your body just doesn’t want you in there. The actors have to be pretty brave and pretty strong. Nina Dobrev took to it so unbelievably well. She was amazing. I think in the first two weeks, I saw some video of her inside pretending to panic, and I was just blown away by it. READ FULL STORY »
Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): Matthew Weiner and Jessica Pare on 'Zou Bisou Bisou,' the '60s tune that kept 'Mad Men' humming
When Matthew Weiner cast Montreal native Jessica Paré as a pretty assistant at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, only a few people knew that she would eventually become Mrs. Don Draper. Initially, Paré was not one of those few, so even after a moon-eyed Draper proposed to her during the final episode of season 4, she understood that her next scene could very easily include her resting peacefully in a casket. But Weiner had other ideas, and in the long-awaited season 5 premiere, he unveiled a whole new show dynamic, with Don and Megan’s relationship at the heart of it. “I said it as a joke, but the story of the season for me is that Don and Megan are soul mates,” says Weiner. “They are one person and that person is Don. And right in that first episode, there’s a line from Roger where he says, ‘They’re all great until they want something.’ As soon as Megan starts to separate from him by rejecting advertising and pursuing her acting career, it’s very hard on them. It’s very hard on him.”
In that two-hour premiere, titled “A Little Kiss,” the seeds of the season’s tension were ingeniously planted with one amazingly hypnotic song and dance number. Harry Crane wasn’t the only member of the audience who was mesmerized by Paré’s sexy rendition of Gillian Hills’ playful 1960 single. “Zou Bisou Bisou” was practically trending online before the episode concluded, and the catchy tune would reverberate for weeks. Below, Weiner reflects on the kernel of the idea that sprouted into an unforgettable moment for the Emmy-winning AMC drama, and Paré describes the terrifying challenge of bringing it to the screen.
MATTHEW WEINER: It would be a lie to say there wasn’t a showmanship aspect to it. We’d been off the air for 17 months – against my will — and I really wanted to make sure that we gave the audience some bang for their buck. It wasn’t the major thing, but it’s certainly where some of it came from. For me, the origin of the idea was that Don had proposed to this woman, and the audience didn’t even know if he was going to marry her. And the audience didn’t know anything about her. And I kind of wanted to give her a character moment, especially if the whole season was going to be about their relationship and what it meant to Don — to sort of introduce her to the audience and to the other characters through her personality. What I thought was, it’s one of the old saws of all entertainment — the surprise birthday party — and I loved the idea that this woman was very different from the people at the office. That she was younger, that she had a different set of rules, that she was more fun-loving, that she was extroverted, and that Don’s intense, almost-pathological privacy was going to be broken by this woman’s personality. She is throwing the surprise party — which means he has no say in it. No one knew at that time she was going to become an actress, so what better time to show her do this song for him, in front of all his “friends.” I mean, it was story: this is who this woman is. I think people thought that the whole story was going to be about him hiding his past from her, but you find out right there and then that she knows it all. So where is the show going to go? Well, whether you realize it or not in that episode, you just witnessed the major conflict in their relationship. That she has her own personality and Don can’t control it. She is expressing her sexuality out in front of everyone.
I love music from this period. I didn’t know it was a genre, but I was raised on a lot of light French movies. There was a lot of this music in the Pink Panther movies and things like that, American movies with a little bit of European flair to them. So I was looking for the right sort of sexy song for her to sing, and for some reason or another I found this song, realized I’d heard it before, and it just had the perfect mix of childishness and sexiness that made it a socially-appropriate strip tease. The other thing was I wanted it to feel like a real person doing it. I didn’t want it to feel like it was some big, rehearsed choreographed number. I wanted to feel like it was somebody who had just sort of practiced it a few times in their house and had the guts to do it. READ FULL STORY »
After seven seasons on Saturday Night Live, Kristen Wiig said goodbye on May 19. She’d co-written and starred in the surprise 2011 blockbuster Bridesmaids and the time had come, just as it had for stars like Chevy and Eddie and Will before her. SNL godfather Lorne Michaels called her one of the “top three or four” performers the show had ever produced, and during her reign, the show was dominated by sketches filled with the likes of the Target Lady, tiny-handed Dooneese, and compulsive one-upper Penelope.
Colin Jost started writing for Saturday Night Live in 2005, the same year that Wiig began as a featured player. They connected creatively and ultimately collaborated on several sketches, including some of her Björk bits and a commercial parody for Red Flag perfume. With Mick Jagger hosting the season finale, Jost assumed the responsibility of sending her off in style. The premise he came up with could not have been more simple — Jagger bidding farewell to an honored “graduate” with an impromptu dance — but when each cast member cut in to share one last moment while Arcade Fire played the Stones’ “She’s a Rainbow,” the effect was magical.
As told by: Colin Jost
I don’t think I raised the bar in any way. I think people find different ways of saying goodbye or people find different ways of saying goodbye to them. I remember when Will Ferrell left, he had a really funny documentary where people talked about Will, and Tracy Morgan talks about how Will Ferrell stole from him and [says] really mean stuff. I remember that Tina [Fey] and Jimmy [Fallon] had done one that was like a “Summer Lovin” from Grease kind of farewell. So people have different ways of doing it, and I think this is just one of them. READ FULL STORY »
In EW.com’s annual season finale awards last May, Revenge‘s Victoria Grayson (Madeleine Stowe) earned the title of Best (Presumed) Death. Here, in an excerpt from an interview originally published during Emmy season, Stowe talks that moment.
MADELEINE STOWE: Really, what I liked, if there is a single moment, it’s the particular scene in the finale that is entirely silent. It was really kind of spectacular for tying in the entire story. The scene begins with this incredible crane shot that our director did that starts at the side of the plane and booms up, and you see these cars driving up to this plane. There was a great sense of fatalism there. I think it’s an incredibly compelling way to close the story. It’s very interesting because the initial idea was to just have a car roll up and you don’t see anything. And then you cut to a report. I said to Mike [Kelley, show creator], it would be much more interesting if you actually see Victoria walking to what could be her death and having to make that choice, knowing all the warnings and everything else. I had long discussions with the director about that approach, and we thought it would be wonderful if you saw most of it on her back, approaching the plane! [Laughs] She looks up the plane, and for me that moment was all about the character finding the truth, determined to go through with it and try to repair the horrible damage she created.
(Watch the scene here!)
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: And what a great choice in wardrobe, wearing all white!
To me, everything you put on has a meaning. And initially, the cinematographer and the director saw her all in black, but [I suggested] ivory, because to me it was about purification. It ended up working really well. I love long pieces of storytelling without dialogue. And then the camera goes into Charlotte, which is really compelling and heartbreaking. Then Conrad burning these photographs and coming apart because he knows what he’s done. And the show ending on Emily, who is sitting in shock. All these things that Emily has put into motion have failed miserably. There are serious consequences here.
Did people ask you on the street if you were dead?
I’m going to be really honest about this: When this was shot and when it was written, there was not an indication whether the show was going to be picked up. If the show wasn’t going to be picked up, it was a spectacular way to end that story, with no resolution whatsoever for anybody, the idea that revenge just brings terrible things to people. And I thought, if the series didn’t go forward — we were all talking about this — what a great way to end it! You’re talking about Victoria’s death, the ramifications on her children, and the things that Conrad did. Everything spiraled of control and Emily is left with nothing.
In March, Discovery debuted Frozen Planet, a breathtaking polar exploration series from the makers of Planet Earth and Life. During four years of production, the temperatures went as low as -58°F and the winds as high as 148 miles per hour. In total, the crew spent 2,356 days in the field, 840 hours trapped in blizzards, and 134 hours filming under the ice to capture jaw-dropping footage like the killer whale “wave wash” behavior in which orcas swim in a line to make waves that knock a seal off an ice floe, and a pack of 25 patient wolves working together to separate a bison from its herd. Below is our interview with series producer Vanessa Berlowitz and director Chadden Hunter, originally published in two parts. For more stories behind this year’s top TV and movie moments, click here for EW.com’s Best of 2012: Behind the Scenes coverage. READ FULL STORY »
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