• Composer Series,  Interviews,  Movies/Entertainment,  Podcast Interview

    Interview…Composer Kate Simko on Awareness and Acceptance in ‘Underplayed’

    American composer, electronic music producer, and leader of her ensemble London Electronic Orchestra, Kate Simko blends distinctive influences from her hometown, Chicago, and formal training in classical piano and jazz. Kate’s music has been licensed by ABC Television, Victorinox, and Giorgio Armani, and she has written original music for films, commercials and shows featured on the BBC, Netflix and PBS.  After graduating Northwestern University’s music school Kate’s career started in Los Angeles interning on feature films, and then took a surprise turn as her live electronic music career took off. She spent her twenties performing at revered clubs and festivals across the globe, from underground venues in Berlin and Tokyo…

  • Movies/Entertainment,  Off the Shelf

    Off the Netflix Queue…’Mank’

    Films like Mank are so incredibly rare nowadays, that people dissect them as strange specimens of something that went extinct decades ago. Its artistic rendering of a past era is magnificent, and trailers drove everyone wild at the expectation of reliving the golden era of Tinseltown. David Fincher makes Mank with the confidence he always holds. Netflix opens the wallet and lets him get away with making an improbable film about Hollywood. This is work of passion by one of today’s most important filmmakers, and it regards one of the most important films ever made. It’s not explosive, or luxurious as you would expect. It’s an honest rendition of a…

  • Composer Series,  Interviews,  Movies/Entertainment,  Podcast Interview

    Interview…Composer Jermaine Stegall on ‘Coming 2 America’ and the New Sound of Zamunda

    Jermaine Stegall is an accomplished and versatile composer and conductor. Stegall’s extensive music studies include a BA from Northern Illinois University’s School of Music, a Master’s degree in Music Composition from the University of North Texas, and the prestigious Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television program at USC. Following his formal education, he was selected as a Sundance Composer Lab Fellow, as well as the BMI Conducting Workshop. With over 50 projects to his credit, Stegall’s professional career began as a music intern for the film I, Robot, and Stegall’s scoring and conducting assignments have included film and TV shows in all genres, to leading bands at major musical events.…

  • Composer Series,  Interviews,  Movies/Entertainment,  Podcast Interview

    Interview…Composer Alec Puro on ‘The Crew’, ‘Black Summer’ and ‘The Mighty Ones’

    The composing world is a fast paced industry. It’s a lot of hustle just to get in the door, and then, once you got the job, it’s even faster. Oh, and if you’re in composing for television, it’s faster still. So why would anyone want to do this for a living? Well, if you’re like Alec Puro, it’s just too much fun not to. Alec has a lifetime of experiences playing and making music. A seasoned drummer, producer and all around nice guy, Alec makes it look easy and has done music (both composing and licensing) for multiple, multiple TV shows. On his crowded plate are a trio of projects…

  • Interviews,  Movies/Entertainment,  Podcast Interview

    Interview…Director John Swab on the Facts and Finances of ‘Body Brokers’

    One of the more eye opening films we’ve seen in a while is John Swab’s Body Brokers. A kind of medically-focused sister to The Big Short, Swab manages two things with his narrative: it is an exposé as well as an autobiography. Tulsa native writer/director John Swab lived the life portrayed by Jack Kilmer’s character in the film. He similarly got swept up in the true-life business happening in the healthcare world where drug treatment served as a cover for a predatory business, enlisting addicts to recruit other addicts. This is as wild a story as it comes, and Swab gives us some first-hand insight into it as well as…

  • Movies/Entertainment,  Off the Shelf

    Off the Shelf…’Scare Me’

    Horror movies are supposed to be scary. They’re supposed to disturb you, shake you, and leave you scarred at least for a couple of minutes. That’s the whole goal of the genre, to take you to a primal position of fear in order to escape the mundane, often overwhelming reality. Comedies are similar in nature. They’re supposed to make you laugh so hard you can forget about the things that happened to you minutes ago. If they’re actually good, you will get new memories and you will laugh several hours after at the same stupid joke. Again, you escape. Now, what’s the deal with horror comedies? Think for a minute…

  • Movies/Entertainment

    David Oyelowo’s Directorial Debut ‘The Water Man’ Acquired by RLJE Films

    We always love to see an actor take the leap from working in front of the camera to behind it. And the next star to make that transition is David Oyelowo. Some of Oyelowo’s best and most recent work has been in Selma, Gringo, and Come Away. Now for his directorial debut, he helms the family adventure film, The Water Man, which has been acquired by RLJE Films, a business unit of AMC Networks, for North America, and by Netflix for the rest of the world. The film had its world premiere at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival to much critical praise and also opened this year’s Urbanworld Film Festival. Oyelowo had this to…

  • Movies/Entertainment,  Reviews

    G-S-T Review…’Rage’

    Call it fear, or an unsettling feeling, but this is precisely what I generally get with genre films made in Australia. They hit a nerve with their ability to show violence in a brutal and realistic way, and it’s like filmmakers have no sense of limits when trying to portray a horrific situation. I don’t stay away from those films, but I’m not the same guy when credits roll. With Rage this was a surprise because I definitely did not expect the movie to go that way. It certainly doesn’t show it from the beginning when we feel like in an indie universe of performers trying to do their best.…

  • Features,  Mondo,  Movies/Entertainment,  Music Review

    Music Review…’Spider-Man: Miles Morales’ Swings and Soars on Vinyl

    Erich Wolfgang Korngold once said that “music is music whether it’s for the movie theater or the concert hall or a video game.” We might have paraphrased a little at the end, but he’s right. Moreover, it’s long been understood that a good video game score can help make any game memorable. It can also have a wondrous life outside the pixelated adventure as well.  Today’s music review focuses on Mondo and Hollywood Records’ vinyl release of the soundtrack to Spider-Man: Miles Morales. However, before we dig in, here’s sliver of transparency: this review was done as a stand-alone listening experience. I’ve not played a Spider-Man game since the PS1…

  • Interviews,  Movies/Entertainment

    Interview…Cinematographer Richard Schaefer Discusses Visual Impact and Shooting Style in ‘The Last Champion’

    Last year, the Glenn Withrow directed family drama, The Last Champion, was released by Redburn Street Pictures. It tells the story of John Wright (played by Cole Hauser), a scandal-ridden ex-Olympian who, following his mother’s death, returns to a hometown that has not forgiven him. It’s an emotional sports movie, and we’re glad to see one about wrestling. In a story about facing the past, it’s also about finding the hero in all of us. We spoke to cinematographer Rich Schaefer about his experiences on the uplifting film. Schaefer used to wrestle, so he was able to bring some personal expertise to the shoots and help Glenn Withrow get some…

  • Composer Series,  Features,  Interviews,  Mondo,  Movies/Entertainment,  Podcast Interview

    Interview…John Powell on ‘Solo’, John Williams, and A Long Time Before A Galaxy Far, Far Away

    British composer John Powell began his career in the advertising world writing music for commercials. Growing up in a musical family, you could say it was in his blood and it wasn’t long before he left the jingle world and headed to Los Angeles after being recruited by Hans Zimmer. While there, he worked on titles like The Prince of Egypt and The Road to El Dorado before being groomed for his first big solo outing: Face/Off. Talk about making an entrance. Powell came out swinging – to match the ballet of bullets and boat chases in the John Woo actioner – but he also gave the film lots of…

  • Composer Series,  Interviews,  Movies/Entertainment,  Podcast Interview

    Interview…Composer Will Bates and Director Mike Cahill Discuss ‘Bliss’

    Will Bates is an award-winning composer, multi-instrumentalist and founder of music production company Fall On Your Sword. As a solo artist and multi-instrumentalist, Bates has recorded and toured around the globe. As a saxophonist, Bates has collaborated with legendary artists ranging from 60’s icon Lulu to techno legend Marshall Jefferson. Bates works frequently with director Mike Cahill, and the two weave mind-expanding narrative magic for TV and film. Cahill (Another Earth, I Origins) wrote and directed the new film, Bliss, which is being distributed by Amazon Studios and the soundtrack will be released by Milan Records. It tells the multi-layered story of a man whose life lacks purpose, and he…