Join noted film critic debbie lynn elias and a line-up of talented co-hosts and informed guests each week as she goes BEHIND THE LENS and below the line with in-depth looks at films and filmmaking with the movers and shakers and up and comers of the industry, along with movie reviews, interviews, box office round-ups, awards, festival coverage, specialty segments like Tech Talk, Legalese and Classic Corner, and more every Monday at 11am PT/2pm ET - only on Adrenaline Radio!
BEHIND THE LENS #416: Featuring Matt Hutchinson
t's a fun-filled, interesting, and enlightening episode of BEHIND THE LENS thanks to composer MATT HUTCHINSON talking about his new film YOUR LUCKY DAY while writer/director GERALD BRUNSKILL talks about his wild and wacky out-of-this-world gem ADVENTURES OF THE NAKED UMBRELLA MAN!
First up, MATT HUTCHINSON joins us live discussing his new film, YOUR LUCKY DAY. Always a treat for me to speak with a composer and dive into composition, instrumentation, themes, motifs, moods, and more, and with YOUR LUCKY DAY, not only do we delve into some dramatic darkness, but doing it with a holiday flair. Not an easy task for a composer!
Then hear writer/director GERALD "GERRY" BRUNSKILL talk about his latest film, the wild and wacky but filled with heart, ADVENTURES OF THE NAKED UMBRELLA MAN. Boasting an outstanding cast that includes two of my faves – Tom Arnold and my old friend Richard Riehle – along with Jeremy Davies and Taryn Manning, ADVENTURES OF THE NAKED UMBRELLA MAN is quite honestly, out of this world! I love it! Listen as we dig into the multiple themes, the genesis and development of the story, casting, cinematography, score and needledrops, editing and finding pacing, and all of the elements that Gerry tackled in bringing this story to life on screen.
BEHIND THE LENS #415: Featuring Frank Meyer
Tricks, treats, mischief, and the multi-hyphenate and multi-talented filmmaker, musician, singer, author FRANK MEYER. What more could one want for an episode of BEHIND THE LENS, especially on All Hallow's Eve!
That's right folks. FRANK MEYER is back in-studio for another fun-filled extended #BTLRadioShow talking about his latest documentary FREESTYLE 101: HIP-HOP HISTORY and a few other upcoming projects.
FREESTYLE 101: HIP-HOP HISTORY is a love letter to hip-hop. An eye-opening and entertaining experience for hip-hop novices and experts alike, FREESTYLE 101 crosses the musical divides with energy, passion, insight, and joy. Narrated by Chuck D of Public Enemy, we get an in-depth look at the birth of hip-hop and most particularly, freestyle hip-hop, as we follow the careers of the West Coast's Open Eagle Mike and the East Coast's Iron Solomon. Jam-packed are interviews and studio sessions with some of the legends of the genre as the film covers everything from the different styles of hip-hop, the varying approaches and styles of different artists, battle rap, breaking into the business, challenges of recording and potential signing with "name" studios, touring versus recording, making a living in an ever-changing industry, surviving and thriving, and more. Adding some gravitas to the documentary are some of the final interviews of rap legends Guru (Gang Starr), Prodigy (Mobb Deep), Gift of Gab (Blackalicious) and Sean Price (Health Skeltah). Given 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of hip-hop makes FREESTYLE 101: HIP-HOP HISTORY more than timely.
BEHIND THE LENS #414: Featuring Jennifer Cram, Kevin Good and Jenna ST. John
Comedy ensues on this episode of BEHIND THE LENS thanks to our very special guests as Writer/Director JENNIFER CRAM discusses her laugh-out-loud funny feature directorial debut SICK GIRL, while that dynamic duo KEVIN GOOD and JENNA ST. JOHN join us once again, this time discussing their long awaited riotous and sexy comedy series SEXPECTATIONS!
First up, take a listen to my fellow Philadelphian writer/director JENNIFER CRAM as we talk about her feature directorial SICK GIRL starring Nina Dobrev in the tale of Wren Lawrence, the one in the friend group who hasn't grown up or moved on and then pretends to have cancer to reconnect with her friends. The cast is terrific, the comedy and antics funny, but at the core of the story there's a lot of heart, redemption, and one new friendship that just soars. A very interesting conversation with Jennifer as we dive into the balance of comedy and the seriousness of the subject matter, the benefits of having been a casting director for many years when stepping into the director's shoes, cinematography, production design and costuming, the use of visual metaphor, music, and more!
And then, get ready, because they are back! KEVIN GOOD and JENNA ST. JOHN are doing a lot of talking about their finally completed and launched series, SEXPECTATIONS!!! Hilarity (and a bit of raunchiness) ensues as wannabe writer Katie Lawrence needs to punch up her manuscript with some detailed sex scenes. The problem is – she's still a virgin. A fabulous cast of characters who deliver great performances (some very tongue-in-cheek laced with romance novel perceptions), and just an all-around good time thanks to some spot on clever writing from Jenna St. John and Sophia Medley and some first-rate direction and VFX courtesy of Kevin Good, make SEXPECTATIONS an absolute "must see"!
BEHIND THE LENS #413: Featuring Jeremy Pion-Berlin
A jam-packed and eclectic show on this episode of BEHIND THE LENS as director MARC MARRIOTT talks about his new feature, the delightful fish-out-of-water tale, TOKYO COWBOY. Then we shift gears and get serious talking with writer/director JEREMY PION-BERLIN about his new documentary FAILURE TO PROTECT which takes a look at three families whose children have been taken away from them by CPS and who are now embroiled in the child welfare system and the court system.
First up, take a listen as director MARC MARRIOTT discusses his new film TOKYO COWBOY. And let me just say right up front, going in I knew I was going to be a fan of the film thanks to a script by the fabulous Dave Boyle and Ayako Fujitani. I've been on Dave's bandwagon since the world premiere of his first feature film and were he not shooting in Japan right now, he would be joining us as well. A terrific fish out-of-water story with the melding of cultures, wonderful performances, nuanced character construction and character development, stunning locations, and a lot of heart, TOKYO COWBOY is an absolute delight.
Then we're talking about a hot-button documentary with director and editor JEREMY PION-BERLIN and his film FAILURE TO PROTECT. The film focuses on five parents whose children have been taken away from them by CPS and who are now embroiled in the child welfare system and the court system in an effort to be reunited with their children. It's an interesting multi-year look at the system from the perspective of these parents (and some of the children who are now in foster care) as well as interviews with various social workers, directors of Child Family Services, psychologists, attorneys, and even the presiding judge of the Los Angeles County Juvenile Dependency Court. An interesting conversation with Jeremy on his process in subject matter selection, families to speak with and focus on, expert interviews, and a big thing with any documentary – the editing process.
BEHIND THE LENS #412: Featuring Kyle William Roberts
On this episode of BEHIND THE LENS we take a look at two films that speak to redemption, finding one's self, hope, faith, and inspiration and hear from two passionate and talented filmmakers as NADINE CROCKER talks about DESPERATION ROAD while KYLE WILLIAM ROBERTS discusses WHAT RHYMES WITH REASON.
First up is my prerecorded exclusive interview with director NADINE CROCKER talking about her new film DESPERATION ROAD. A story of redemption, DESPERATION ROAD is a Southern noir thriller written by Michael Farris Smith based on his novel of the same name. Stunning cinematography and powerhouse performances by Garrett Hedlund, Willa Fitzgerald, Mel Gibson, and a breakout performance by Pyper Braun pull you deep into rural Mississippi as twists and turns make the road to redemption a desperate one for more than one person. An energetic and upbeat conversation with Nadine in which we dive deep into the minutiae of making DESPERATION ROAD lets you know what a gifted and attentive storyteller and filmmaker she is.
Then take a listen as co-writer/director/editor KYLE WILLIAM ROBERTS joins us live talking about his new film – WHAT RHYMES WITH REASON. An inspiring and hopeful film for families and teens tackling issues of grief, loss, depression, anxiety, and teen suicide that takes us on a journey with 6 friends who come together after a tragic accident and venture into the wilderness to find a legendary, and perhaps mythical, landmark. Along the way, each is buoyed by their friendship and faith as they face the darkness within themselves. Wonderful performances. Breathtaking forested locations. Shot on location in Oklahoma with 16 locations in 18 days, Kyle and I discuss everything from research and crafting the script, finding locations, taking advantage of natural light, casting an ensemble and character development, score and needledrops, the need for a family film like this in the world today, and more.
BEHIND THE LENS #411: Featuring Andy Palmer and Tracy Droz Tragos
It's an enlightening, educational, and entertaining show this week on BEHIND THE LENS thanks to director ANDY PALMER and his new film THE RE-EDUCATION OF MOLLY SINGER, and documentarian TRACY DROZ TRAGOS and her new film PLAN C!
Take a listen as we kick off the show with director ANDY PALMER who is with us live chatting about his new comedy THE RE-EDUCATION OF MOLLY SINGER! Sweet, funny, filled with some raucous collegiate hijinks, loaded with charm and terrific performances, Andy and I hit the books and dive into all of the cinematic chapters that bring THE RE-EDUCATION OF MOLLY SINGER to life. Covering everything from casting (fabulous performances from most notably Britt Robertson, Ty Simpkins, Jaime Pressly, and Nico Santos) to cinematography to editing to score and needledrops to crafting freewheeling collegiate escapades to the importance of location, color and costume, we "cram" it all in for you! And how about those "happy accidents" that often happen when working on a lo budget/no budget/micro budget film? Andy gets into those as well. An energetic effervescent joy, Andy Palmer is a filmmaker who knows his stuff and his comedy.
Then things get serious as TRACY DROZ TRAGOS joins us live, giving us an education on her new hot-button documentary, PLAN C, a look at the abortion pill now known as "Plan C" and the underground network that helps bring the medication to women in need in these politically charged and divisive times. Listen as we discuss Tracy's process, the turning point of putting down the camera and stopping the research and getting the film finished, travelling the country to meet the women who are doing the grassroots work with getting "Plan C" in the hands of the women who need it, working with her editor and culling through over 300 hours of footage, the documentary structure and decision to avoid a film of talking heads and personalize it so we get to know the women showcased in the doc, and so much more.
Brilliant Cinephile who really gets film making!!
Debbie pays attention to detail like no other. Smart, astute, and insightful conversation about the ins and outs of movies and the film makers who make them!