Weiss: Doing [digital] effects with the violence is tempting, because it doesn't take up shooting time, which is so precious. But if you can get the prosthetics-and-makeup version right, it tends to look better. And Neil had this kid-in-a-candy-shop joy.
Benioff: He came in and said, "What if we added a shot here?" And we'd say, "That's great, but I don't think you're gonna have time." And he'd say, "We'll find the time."
Marshall: I was determined to get some gore in there, some heads getting lopped off. That's part of the fun. In medieval battles, they're always throwing rocks off walls, and I wanted to see what would happen if a rock actually smashed into somebody's head. So I came up with a moment when a character runs through the gauntlet of archers and manages to make it to the wall. He breathes a sigh of relief, and then this big rock falls on his head. We made a very realistic dummy—his head had brain-like matter inside—and on action, dropped the rock on it. Blood sprayed everywhere. It was great.
Weiss: Everybody's gonna have a different line you cross when it comes to violence. You can only go with what feels right.
Benioff: Dan doesn't have a line. I'm the squeamish one. And [figuring out what's too much] is a learning process. In the joust episode from season one, when the newly knighted Sir Who's-his-face is dying with the tip of the lance in his throat, there's five seconds of him gurgling blood. If we had to do it over again, we'd have cut two seconds.
Weiss: So much of it is really editorial: "Do you have twelve frames too much of gore here?" Because the line between really powerful, visceral effectiveness and unintentional comedy or gorefest is thin. You don't want it to cross over to Evil Dead territory.
Benioff: We employ a lot of amputees, actually. So when a guy gets his leg chopped off, that's a guy with one leg, wearing a prosthetic.
Marshall: In the original script, Stannis Barantheon didn't get any further than the bottom of the ladders [at the wall of King's Landing] and then he sort of disappeared from the script. I thought, "We have to have him do more than that. If he's the polar opposite of King Joffrey, then he should be the first one up the ladder. Let's have a fight with him on the wall.' We choreographed a whole sequence which was never scripted, of Stannis having a sword fight on the wall, chopping a guy's head off, and then basically watching his army's defeat from a bird's-eye position before being dragged off by his own men.
Martin: I am protective of the characters, but at the same time, I recognize the books are the books, and the show is the show, and there are gonna be differences. The scenes David and Dan add are generally great. They're almost scenes that are implied in the book.
Benioff: Many of the scenes we've written are basically just taking George's characters and putting them into situations they hadn't been before. (The episode's concluding scene—where Cersei is about to poison both herself and her younger son—was also not in the book. The inspiration, according to Benioff, came from the wife of Adolf Hitler follower Joseph Goebbels, who poisoned her kids after Hitler committed suicide.)
Martin: David and Dan will say, "We're thinking of eliminating this character, and I tell them, "Well, you can eliminate that character, but in Book Six, he has this big thing that he does, so you're going to have to deal with that later." And then maybe they change their mind. Or not. [laughs] There's still two gigantic books to go (five have been released; Martin is halfway through the sixth of seven), and there are many things David and Dan don't know about the eventual fates of some of these characters. I have the main beats of the books in my mind. But there's a lot that I discover in the process of writing. The devil is in the details, as they say. And there are a lot of devils in these books.
Benioff: There's another battle bigger than this one coming up, but not until the end of season four. So we're preparing our speeches for how we're gonna ask for more money.
Baron Geisler at it again, causes commotion at TV5 ball
By Bayani San Diego Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
December 18, 2012 | 7:54 pm
MANILA, Philippines – Actor Baron Geisler did it again.
This time, the troubled actor, who is said to be fighting depression and alcoholism, caused a commotion at the TV 5 ball Tuesday when he quarelled with the station’s talents Edgar Allan Guzman and IC Mendoza and stole a kiss from Divine Lee, according to Guzman’s manager, Noel Ferrer.
As of posting time, the Philippine Daily Inquirer is trying to reach Arnold Vegafria, Geisler’s manager, for comment.
In November, Geisler was arrested after punching a neighbour.
Vegafria disclosed that Geisler has a “chemical imbalance and was undergoing treatment”.
Posted on 01/08/2013 3:59 PM | Updated 01/08/2013 6:25 PM
This question was posed to a friend of mine, a professional dancer and dance/fitness teacher, right before she was due to perform. It was an innocent question from one of the production staff in charge of obtaining information from the performers.
It puzzled her because she was doing what she loved doing, it just so happened it also put food on the table.
Pressed for a reason why a professional dancer would need a "day job," the staff person replied, "I have to introduce you as ___ (fill in "accepted" occupations like doctor, chef, etc) and that dancing is just a hobby."
The infantile in me would have easily blurted back, "Jealous much?"
It brought one thing in focus: there is a notion (I don't think it is limited to the Philippines) you can have something you're passionate about, and you can have work that pays the bills, but you can't have both.
People who write, dance, take photographs -- anyone who is in the arts -- feels this more acutely. There seems to be a belief that once you mention you are an artist, it must be qualified with the word "starving." Or more accurately, the qualifier isn't needed, it is implied and understood. Hence, the question asked of my friend.
The underlying message here is, "You don't expect me to believe that you actually make a living doing that?!"
It also explains the following scenarios:
People expecting you to take their pictures because you have a camera in tow all the time as a photographer. Gratis.
People expecting you to "show us a dance or two." For fun.
People telling you to teach a movement based class for an hour. For free.
People asking a favor to fulfill their graphic design needs because anyway, "it's very simple only."
All the while, everyone else is making a profit out of your art, the one they insist on pooh-pooing. The one that parents like to remind their kids of as "useless" and something that "will be a dead-end." The one that is seen as a "lowly" job, one that credit card companies would perennially raise their eyebrows on.
I am reminded of one of those posters in Facebook that reads: "Do something that you love, and you'll never work for a day in your life."
You see, the one thing artists have is passion. What artists do tends to be personal, because a part of them is invariably stamped on their "work." Whether it is a composition, a recital, a mural, a feature article. It isn't a job where you can "copy and paste" from somebody else -- well, you can, but they're called plagiarists, and something very much frowned upon in a field that prides itself as having practitioners who can claim the word unique in everything they do.
And, I would wager, artists have a work ethic that can be described as intense. Rethinking a sentence over and over to properly convey a thought, doing a pirouette so many times the dancer's toes start to bleed but having to do it to give a perfect performance, I personally know of so many artists who are almost obsessively perfectionist in the way they approach what they do. It runs counter to some of the portrayals in media of artists who are shiftless bums with no aim in life.
I wish we had a better appreciation of the arts and how it speaks to our inner lives. Until such a time comes, this view that the arts are something to "pass the time away" while slaving at your "day job" will prevail.
The changing of the current viewpoint should be started by parents and schools, who should nurture talent when it begins to manifest. Children shouldn't be given negative messages like "your talent is worth nothing," unless one is a sadist. They should be encouraged.
And I wish to differentiate it from the current obsession of young people to become artistas (celebrities). Yes, they dance, sing, act, but the companies that mold and train them do so with the view that these people are products, and are "training" to sell records, movie tickets, etc.
The prevalence of reality shows that are supposed to showcase budding actors and singers worries me, as most of the time, the "winners" are determined by text-voting, a clear-cut indication that their "appeal" is more important than the actual talent they supposedly bring to the table. The siren song of fame proves to be irresistible, judging by the number of young people who line up to be part of these shows.
Back to my friend who was asked about her day job. She declared that dancing was it, much to the wonder of the person who asked her.
If only everyone was so fortunate to be doing what they love best for a living. - Rappler.com
No one forced me, but I finally decided it was time to discover what all the business was about Honey Boo Boo.
Even though I’ve made reference to the show featuring a former beauty tot, now 7, and her family, I’d never actually watched a full episode. I still haven’t, but I watched enough to need a jaw adjustment.
Alas, a few minutes with “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” confirms that even mindlessness has its limits.
It gives me no pleasure to add to the ridicule of Honey, whose real name is Alana, or her family. That they have willingly participated in this spectacle — and, one hopes, are getting filthy rich in the process — is of little consolation. Far more offensive than the show is the fact of an audience.
Obviously, people watch because it is so awful. You can’t believe it and so you keep tuning in. But is it right to watch? Only to the extent that it is acceptable to accompany strangers to the restroom.
Such diversions are reminiscent of carnival sideshows of my childhood — the bearded lady (who perhaps suffered hormonal excesses) or the fat lady (whose rolls of adipose were spectacularly offensive and, for her, no doubt tragic). Responsible parents steered their children away not only to protect them but also because, we were taught, it wasn’t right to enjoy the misfortunes or disadvantages of others.
No such lessons seem to prevail today. If we don’t revel in the hilarity of poor, uneducated people, neither do we protest their exploitation. Our silence conveys approval while ratings disprove objection. Culturally, we are all complicit in the decline of community values.
Whereupon, we reluctantly praise free speech.
I, too, argue — mostly with myself — that we tolerate the worst in defense of the best. We don’t need a First Amendment to protect the sublime or the popular but to protect what is unpopular and, in collateral damage, the grotesque.
Of course, such notions originally were aimed at unpopular political speech. The goal was to liberate ideas, which is not the same as exploring man’s basest instincts. One needn’t be a scholar to infer that our nation’s Founders were little interested in sharing the details of their ablutions or such bodily bloviations as are aired on so-called reality TV. Reality, after all, is what civilization attempts to mitigate.
The Honey Boo Boo family proudly shares even that which Beano intends to prevent. During the episode I watched, one was privy to a family weigh-in on a scale deserving of pity, the labor pains of what appeared to be a teenager and a smattering of remarks about various anatomical regions once quaintly referred to as “privates.”
In urgent need of purification, I changed the channel and, lurching past my usual flat-line pursuits, landed in a documentary about Alexandria (ancient Egypt, not modern Virginia.) How do you spell relief? (Don’t ask Honey Boo Boo.) Hearing about a day 2,300 years ago, when knowledge was valued as much as gold, was like sinking into a warm bath.
Alexander the Great, who had conquered much of the world by age 24, had learned early during his tutelage under Aristotle that knowledge is the greatest power and set about to make his city the aggregator of the world’s intellectual bounty. Alexandria’s library, ultimately destroyed by future hordes, was the largest on the planet — the World Wide Web of antiquity. Outdoor classrooms were as ubiquitous as Starbucks today.
Undoubtedly, there were plenty who, unable to avail themselves of Alexander’s noble intentions, happily would have cradled a remote-control device that permitted them passive depravity. But what was striking is that the larger culture collectively aimed at something higher.
Yes, as some are bound to note, there was blood in the streets. Alexandria through its history was home not only to some of mankind’s greatest intellectual achievements but also to some of the human race’s vilest expressions of violence.
Notably, in the fourth century A.D., Christian mobs dragged the beautiful and brilliant Hypatia — philosopher/mathematician/astronomer/teacher — from her carriage and commenced to strip, flay and chop her into pieces before burning her body parts on a pyre. A confessed pagan, she was a tad too smart for divinely inspired men — what with that astrolabe she was always toying with.
So not all was lovelier in other times. But culture does matter, as Alexander knew more than 2,000 years ago. Would that our attentions today were as riveted by our Hypatias as by our Honey Boo Boos.
Read more from Kathleen Parker’s archive, follow her on Twitter or find her on Facebook.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone are scaling back on South Park. The Book of Mormon creators are reducing their commitment to the long-running Comedy Central hit from 14 episodes per year (split into two short seasons) to 10.
“Why did we do seven and seven to begin with?” Stone said in a New York Times story earlier this week. “We just sort of made that up. And we are switching to 10 for the same reason. It just sounded like a good number, and we won’t break up the year so we can more easily do other stuff … In our first season, you had to show up on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. on the comedy channel to catch the show. Now, I don’t even know where or how people watch our show. We sort of don’t really care about ratings. It’s more important to come up with work that will add to the library in a way that we’re proud of and will make people want to catch the show wherever they want to.”
Added Doug Herzog, president of Comedy Central-owner Viacom Entertainment Group: “We’re happy to take as many or as few as they can produce. Frankly, I’m surprised it took them this long to get to a schedule like this.”
The South Park guys have been busy empire building lately. They’re finishing a South Park videogame, recently announced they’re forming a production company and overseeing the ongoing expansion of Mormon to new cities.
NBC's 'Alice in Wonderland' sequel gets pilot order
by James Hibberd
NBC is going further down the rabbit hole. The network has greenlit a pilot order for its Alice in Wonderland sequel project.
Titled Wonderland, the show is a modern-day follow-up to Lewis Carroll’s classic novel that will focus on a new character, Clara. Here’s the official logline: “Seven years ago Clara’s life took an unexplained turn for the worse, but a mysterious stranger tells her there may be an explanation after all … an explanation that lies in the fantastical world of Wonderland. Determined to revive her dreams and get her life back on track, Clara agrees to wage war against the reigning but malevolent Queen, the woman we once knew as Alice.”
The pilot is written by Whit Anderson and executive produced by CSI creator Anthony Zuiker along with Matt Weinberg, JoAnn Alfano and Margaret Riley.
This isn’t the only Alice in Wonderland TV project in the works this season. The CW is developing a variation of the story (called Wunderland) that’s set in modern-day Los Angeles, but that title did not receive a pilot order and The CW might be finished with its pickups. The NBC pickup comes the day after the broadcaster greenlit a pilot that puts a new spin on another well-known story, the Hatfields & McCoys. More on that project here.
Having a situation where two networks are developing dueling projects based on the same idea seems to happen every year. Last pilot season, The CW and ABC faced off with rival Beauty and the Beast projects. The only thing that’s pretty certain is there probably won’t be a Wonderland and a Wunderland on the air next season.
'How I Met Your Mother': Five scoops on the rest of the season
by Sandra Gonzalez
Monday’s How I Met Your Mother marks the return of everyone’s favorite Canadian pop star, Robin Sparkles.
And to celebrate what could be the final installment of this iconic series (we’ll expand on that in a bit), Cobie Smulders and executive producer Craig Thomas hopped on a conference call with reporters to tease her return and talk about what else is in store for Robin and the gang this season.
1) This MIGHT not be the end of Robin Sparkles
Even though Monday’s episode, which finds Barney uncovering an unseen Robin Sparkles video — has been highly touted as the final installment of Robin Sparkles, Thomas says, the writers don’t rule out the possibility of bringing her back again should a fantastic idea come to mind. However, he adds, “we’re pretty happy with this as a potential final chapter of Robin Sparkles. I think people will see how this bridges the gap between the Robin we’ve seen before and what came next and what was the end of Robin Sparkles’ career. So if it’s the end, it feels like a fitting ending” One idea that Thomas might pitch? “In the back of my head somewhere I’m thinking how do [we] not get Robin up at her own wedding to perform some medley of Robin Sparkles songs?…But who the hell knows.”
2) Robin’s “obsession” revealed?
In Monday’s episode, the gang has a debate about obsessions and, according to Smulders, “how one becomes obsessed with another person.” In this talk, Robin admits that she was obsessed with someone in the past, which, naturally, launches Barney into a search for that person. “He goes on this mission and at the end of his mission, he finds this video,” says Smulders. But will the identity of Robin’s obsession be revealed? Is it James van der Beek? We’ll find out Monday. Meanwhile, expect to see a darker side of Robin Sparkles and what Thomas calls “the craziest” version of the persona yet. Hint: Both Smulders and Thomas admit that Alanis Morissette was a big influence on this version of Sparkles.
3) There WILL be a Barney-Robin wedding this season.
“We’ve been seeing glimpses of this wedding for, like, three years!” says Thomas. “We have to get there already.” But before they make it to the altar, says Thomas, it’s not entirely clear whether or not Barney and Robin will discuss the possibility of children. (In the past, Barney has entertained the idea, while Robin is aware that she is medically unable to have any.) “Definitely it’s an issue we’re interested to cover…but I don’t want to say we’ve completely ruled out a discussion between them.” Moreover, he said, Barney and Robin are on “an accelerated timeline” so the coming months will see “Robin and Barney realize all the topics they do have to talk about and cover — whether it’s Robin’s dad or all the other things that will come up as they go.”
4) Ted isn’t entirely over Robin.
Even though Ted had some closure on the issue of Robin in recent episodes, Thomas says the door is definitely not closed on that issue. “I don’t want to say how or when, but yeah,” he says, “it’s so built into the DNA of the show and, we’re heading toward this huge finish of this series. Whether sooner or later, there’s a big culminating ending coming in the near future of the show, of course, that dynamic has to be addressed again.”
5) WILL THERE BE A FINAL SLAP?
“I don’t want to say one way or another,” says Thomas. “But I love that people are finding that the slap bet clock still exists.” Additionally, Thomas says they are aware there are two slaps left and “we’re hoping to pay off every loose end before the end of the series.”
The six-month probation slapped by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) on the GMA 7 musical-variety show “Party Pilipinas” for airing a “sexually-charged” dance number can be lifted any time at the board’s discretion.
This was according to vice president for Entertainment TV Marivin Arayata, who explained that the board would only have to see “that we’re cooperating and following its rules and regulations.” Arayata added, “We will definitely comply.” He said the board and the network agreed on all the provisions of the ruling.
The MTRCB decision released on Feb.7 required GMA 7 to submit, on a daily basis, taped episodes of the program for the next six months. During the probation period, the resolution said, any violation of MTRCB rules could lead to the show’s cancellation.
“We are very willing to cooperate with them,” Arayata stressed. “Right now, we’re conducting our own investigation of what really happened. We’re talking to everybody—from the performers to the producers. [The officers] will meet on this matter again within the week.”
In compliance with the MTRCB ruling, the Kapuso network issued a public apology yesterday for airing the sexy song-and-dance number of Lovi Poe, Rocco Nacino and a few other artists on Jan. 27.
The board’s adjudication committee asserted in the ruling that there was a “need for [GMA 7] to assure the public [that] there will be no repetition” of the incident.
MTRCB chair Eugenio “Toto” Villareal said the board received “numerous complaints from concerned viewers” about the sexy number.
The board required the network to submit “the final report on its internal investigation” within 15 days. The report will “serve as basis” for the board’s ultimate decision—whether to require another public apology or terminate the case.
The network’s “concerned officials and personnel” were required to undergo Gender and Development (GAD) training under the supervision of the MTRCB no later than the end of March 2013.
“We are still looking for a date for the seminar,” Arayata said. “We hope to hold it at one of our studios to accommodate more people. We plan to invite not only our officers but also the choreographers and members of our creative team. We look at this as something that’s beneficial to all of us.”
Among those required to undergo the GAD training were Jose Mari Abacan, vice president for programming; Mark Reyes, director; and Lui Cadag, executive producer.
(The Philippine Star) | Updated March 13, 2013 - 12:00am
The Innovators: The Men Who Built America chronicles the stories of Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Carnegie, Astor, Ford and Morgan, and how they actualized their vision for America
MANILA, Philippines - Industries weren’t discovered. They were built. Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Carnegie, Astor, Ford and Morgan — these are the men who built it and their names have become synonymous with the American dream. The Innovators: The Men Who Built America, premiering tonight at 9 on History and airing every Wednesday thereafter, chronicles how these great minds succeeded in actualizing their vision for the nation.
First episode A New War Begins follows Cornelius Vanderbilt, an industrialist and philanthropist who was the first to see the need for unity for America to regain stature in the world. He sells his shipping empire to invest everything in railroads.
Vanderbilt soon expands the industry further in the second episode, Oil Strike, which airs on March 20. The demand for oil is sky-high and Vanderbilt knows that oil can fill his trains. He turns to John Rockefeller, a young maverick oilman from Ohio, to do just that.
Third episode A Rivalry is Born screens on March 27, where Scottish-American industrialist Andrew Carnegie becomes part of the business. After immigrating to the States with his parents, Carnegie begins working at age 12 and finds a patron and mentor in railroad executive Tom Scott.
By age 30, while already running his own business, Scott hires him to build a bridge over the Mississippi river to link East and West in a way never before thought possible by train. Carnegie agrees, but has yet to find how he can build a strong enough bridge. His doubt is quelled when he finds his solution: Steel. Carnegie eventually leads the steel industry into enormous expansion.
The Innovators also profiles the millions of American workers, from the steel mills of Pennsylvania to the assembly lines of Detroit, whose dreams were turned into reality.
History is available on SKYCable Ch 67; Cable Link Ch. 44; Dream Satellite Ch 30; Destiny Cable Ch 57.