We talk about true stories that we think should be made into TV shows or movies. First we talk about why they belong on-screen -- then we talk about how we'd like to see them on-air: Who should direct, who should write, who should star. We dig up lesser-known people whose stories deserve to be told, forgotten moments in history, and fresh angles on very familiar memories.
Your hosts, Tim and Deirdre, are married writers who only recommend stories that we would personally want to see. Join us and follow us at @ShootThisNowPod. Thanks!
We love you.
The Anti-'Citizen Kane': How Art Beal Built Nitt Witt Ridge, a House Made of Trash in the Shadow of Hearst Castle
Fifteen miles south of Hearst Castle, home of "Citizen Kane" inspiration William Randolph Hearst, is perhaps a more impressive dwelling: Nitt Witt Ridge, the house that former garbageman Art Beale constructed by hand from cast-off beer cans, shells, and other cast-off materials.
Beal, who once had a job hauling refuse from Hearst Castle, began work on Nitt Witt Ridge after his attempt at a normal life passed him by. In the 1050s, his neighbors mocked him as a "nitwit" as they watched him carve out his home with only a shovel and a device he called an "idiot stick."
But by the 1970s, he had started to gain recognition as a non-conformist hero. And Nitt Witt Ridge, a monument to his artistic genius, still stands today.
This week, we talk about why it's time to make a movie of Art Beal's life. And why only one actor can play him. (Okay, maybe two.)
Here are the fascinating videos we mention in this episode:
The Story of Public Enemy's "Fight the Power," and Spike Lee's "Do The Right Thing," 30 Years Later (feat. Dart Adams)
In 1989, Public Enemy broke up -- just after recording their signature song, "Fight the Power," and just before it became the musical centerpiece of Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing." The reason for their breakup, and the story of their reunion, is the subject of our latest episode.
Our special guest this week is Dart Adams of the "Dart Against Humanity" podcast, and the author of the Okayplayer story "In the Summer of 1989 'Fight the Power' Saved Public Enemy & Almost Sank 'Do the Right Thing.'"
Public Enemy had always been a team of rivals. Leader Chuck D managed both the flamboyant comedy of his legendary sideman, Flavor Flav, and the seriousness of Professor Griff, the group's designated "minister of information" and leader of the military-modeled step squad the S1Ws.
But then Griff make anti-Semitic comments soon before the release of "Do the Right Thing." The ensuing protests threatened both Public Enemy and Spike Lee's hard-fought achievements.
No one in the group condoned Griff's remarks. But no one wanted to be seen as kowtowing to critics, either, as a matter of principle. Chuck D had to decide whether to break with his friend to save the future.
We hope you like the episode, and will be sure to check out the "Dart Against Humanity" podcast wherever you're listening to this.
Sacheen Littlefeather Speaks: When Marlon Brando and John Wayne Fought for the Soul of the 1973 Oscars
Marlon Brando didn't attend the 1973 Oscars, but he did enlist Native American actress and activist Sacheen Littlefeather to reject his Oscar for The Godfather.
This week, we talk about why Littlefeather's speech was an iconic moment for Native Americans in Hollywood and nationwide, and why it was so cruelly misunderstood. Littlefeather says she remembers John Wayne being so angry at her speech that he wanted to attack her.
Every week on "Shoot This Now," we talk about stories that should be made into films. This episode, we also talk about why it would be poetic justice for Littlefeather's story to be made into a movie, nearly half a century after her speech to 85 million people.
This episode features Clint Eastwood, Angela Lansbury, Roger Moore, and a cavalcade of other stars of the 1973 Academy Awards. We also talk about the Native American protests at Alcatraz and Wounded Knee, which factor heavily into our story.
Meet Nakano Takeko, Female Samurai
Nakano Takeko was a 21-year-old martial arts instructor who came to lead a battalion of women against the Emperor of Japan's Imperial Army, 150 years ago.
On this week's episode of "Shoot This Now," we talk about how her story could be "The Last Samurai," minus Tom Cruise, with a huge influx of female fighters. It's a little bit "Kill Bill" and a little bit "Braveheart," with an incredible young front-and-center, wielding a bloody naginata.
We also talk about the overuse of the word "dragon," a Darth Vader-like Big Bad who wields a remote control as a weapon, and justice for Japanese pop star Maho Yamaguchi.
Maurice Ward was a British hairdresser and amateur inventor who was inspired by a horrific plane disaster to invent a material that could withstand fire, nukes, and perhaps even the sun. His invention, which his granddaughter named "Starlite," drew the attention of Boeing, NASA, and the British military.
Then it disappeared.
What happened to Ward's invention after his death is a complete mystery.
On this episode, we talk about whether Starlite was real or a hoax -- and note that many reputable scientists appeared to take the hairdresser very seriously. (Don't take our word for it; here's a video from the BBC.) We also talk about whether Ward's desire to do good was sidetracked by other motives, and whether some powerful force may have taken Starlite underground.
BONUS: Listen to 'Inside Star Wars' Revisit Day 1 of Shooting 'Episode IV: A New Hope
It was March 22, 1976 -- the first day of shooting "Star Wars." As Mark Ramsey's new "Inside Star Wars" reimagines that day in the Tunisian desert, it included hours of falling droids, an unlikely cameo by Jesus Christ, and lots of doubt from Sir Alec Guinness.
Ramsey, who also created "Inside Jaws," "Inside Psycho" and other podcasts, recently joined "Shoot This Now" to talk about Carrie Fisher's incredibly odyssey from reluctant actress to galactic icon. Ramsey also loaned us this brief excerpt of "Inside Star Wars," which you can subscribe to right here: https://wondery.com/shows/inside-star-wars/
With meticulous research and George Lucas-like levels of imagination, Ramsey and producer Jeff Schmidt take you back to the start of "Star Wars": Inside George Lucas' doubts, Carrie Fisher's apprehension, and Sir Alec Guinness outright bewilderment. If you've forgotten why you loved "Star Wars," Ramsey's latest will remind you.
And Tim and Deirdre will be back next week with an all-new "Shoot This Now."
These are movies I would pay to see
Love the podcast. I sincerely hope that Hollywood is listening. These are great ideas - a quantum leap over the tired remakes of seventies sitcoms that seem to have infested the big movie studios.
You people are sick in the head. What person would act like mj? Well I don’t know another 5 yr old genius that traveled around since he was 9 hiding from fans and media. Who?? Best know. Person in the world biggest humanitarian ever. Visiting more hospitals then concerts. Who has money to build there own neverland? To be able to try and recapture lost youth? Lisa Marie even said kids were drawn to hiM. Followed hiM everywhere. You people are just sick In the head.
Love this podcast!
Great would be-should be Hollywood stories buoyed by fun, stimulating discussion