Archive for the ‘Snitch Pictures’ Category

When Set Design Informs Performance …

Posted by:Kate Melville on Mar - 5 - 2018 - Filed under: Snitch Pictures -

“What helped them was us building that house out there on the side of the road as close to how the house would have looked originally. Those things became very important for me because I knew if we gave them the tools like the range, stove, hats, and just the overall layout of the house, it would make it feel real for them. At any point, they could walk out the door, walk around the house, and still be able to stay in that state of mind. It gives them great freedom as performers.” – Aisling Walsh

Aisling Walsh directed MAUDIE with such precision and grace – this interview from the dear-departed Toronto Film Scene details her process working with Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke, and how their set design informed performance. Reminds me of Derek Cianfrance giving Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams a month to live in that house together offscreen before filming their onscreen marriage’s meltdown in BLUE VALENTINE …

Maudie is nominated for a CSA for best picture.

On Being Punished For Purity …

Posted by:Kate Melville on Feb - 14 - 2018 - Filed under: Snitch Pictures -

Good discussion in the Guardian on the portrayal of young women losing their virginity in film – we did a gender-reversal on this trope in PICTURE DAY, and it was one of the more controversial scenes! Writers in TV seem to be pushing this topic farther, like that super-adorable moment when Jane the Virgin finally wasn’t one anymore — thanks to Canadian animators Cuppa Coffee.

Laurie Kilmartin’s “45 Jokes About My Dead Dad”

Posted by:Kate Melville on Nov - 30 - 2017 - Filed under: Snitch Pictures -

Beloved veteran stand-up Laurie Kilmartin recently wrote so thoughtfully about coming up as a female standup, and what might have been different if she was a guy.

I first encountered Laurie in 2014 when her Twitter account went viral as she live-tweeted her dad’s death.

Her comedy special called “45 Jokes About My Dead Dad” is very funny and very real – everything I want from my comedy.

Laurie Kilmartin- 45 Jokes About My Dead Dad – Seeso Stand-Up Special – Trailer from AMK Films on Vimeo.

Seeso is shut down now, so until this special resurfaces, you can listen to it in full via Spotify:

Don’t Think Women are Funny? Science Says That’s on You …

Posted by:Kate Melville on Oct - 19 - 2017 - Filed under: Snitch Pictures -

Why do people have trouble seeing women as funny? Nerd that I am, I think it has to do with the Benign Violation Theory, as outlined by Dr. Peter McGraw, co-author of The Humor Code.

When primates laugh, it is often in response to boundary being violated, while simultaneously being shown they are under no threat. Tickling is a great example.

But when women are funny, they often cross boundaries that have nothing to do with the actual joke. Professional female comedians are seen as violating a norm by daring to get on stage and be funny in the first place. If your perception of whether something is ‘benign’ is coloured by your preconceived notions of women in general, you may not find them funny, but science says that’s on you. Some of my fave female comedians play with ALL those boundaries, including the audience’s lack of comfort with their very existence.

Check out this killer bit from Hannah Gadsby, regarding some audience “feedback” on her appearance.

These Second City Teen Girls are a Harvey Weinstein Palate Cleanser

Posted by:Kate Melville on Oct - 18 - 2017 - Filed under: Snitch Pictures -

It’s been a rough week for women in film and TV — everyone’s #metoo posts are a sickening reminder of the ubiquitous sexism throughout our industry.

This Washington Post article about the importance of raising girls to be funny made my heart sing – especially the video featuring some amazing young women from Second City Youth Camp. Nerdy T-shirts FTW.

That Sinking Feeling of Recognition … A TV Writer’s Thoughts on Weinstein and the Low Bar

Posted by:Kate Melville on Oct - 13 - 2017 - Filed under: Snitch Pictures -

Like many women in film, I’ve been following the accusations against Harvey Weinstein with a sinking feeling of recognition. As my comedy hero-goddess Sam Bee points out, Harvey’s just the tip of the douche-berg …

The media industry’s professional standards are not creative, not casual, not old-fashioned — they just suck.

In my line of work, TV writers’ rooms have a notoriously low bar for workplace behaviour. This oddly hilarious article by Daley Haggar in today’s Lenny describes the dynamic perfectly:

“Being sexually harassed by a sitcom writer is like being sexually harassed by your gynecologist. It can be hard to tell if the guy’s being a pervert or just doing his job.”

On the drama side, writers navigate the murky waters of misogyny and rape culture, as Ellen Vanstone brilliantly described in the Globe and Mail.

This is nothing new: the lawsuit testimony by the writers assistant on Friends in 2006 was hideous, AND SHE LOST, in the name of “creativity”, to which I call bullshit.

Some say these conversations are happening within a brainstorm of ideas, and we’re all trying not to censor ourselves. But creativity and professionalism are not mutually exclusive. Studios, production companies and networks need to step up with policy, not apologies. We can do so much better, and should.

Freaks and Geeks To Be Featured in Morgan Spurlock’s Upcoming A&E Docu-series CultureShock

Posted by:Kate Melville on Sep - 28 - 2017 - Filed under: Snitch Pictures -

I’m thrilled to see Morgan Spurlock’s documentary on Freaks and Geeks next year! That show was revolutionary because the teenage characters never learned any lessons, but they weren’t exactly aspirational either. They were just flawed hilarious people, played by some incredible actors just getting their start – Seth Rogan, Jason Segel, Lizzy Caplan and Rashida Jones.

And that’s not a fluke – we can (and should) thank Allison Jones, genius casting director and an unsung hero of comedy. She also cast a few other shows you may have heard of like MASTER OF NONE, THE OFFICE, PARKS AND REC, VEEP, BROOKLYN 99, ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, GHOSTBUSTERS, BRIDESMAIDS and many, many more.

I love this profile of Allison Jones and how she finds new comedy talent – they call her the Nerd Hunter.

Suddenly Everyone’s Concerned With Her “Likeability”

Posted by:Kate Melville on Sep - 22 - 2017 - Filed under: Snitch Pictures -

I love this profile of Charlize Theron by the brilliant culture analyst Ann Helen Petersen (author of Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud).

I’ve been fascinated by Charlize Theron’s career since her bold performance in Diablo Cody’s under-appreciated YOUNG ADULT. Theron plays a sad, lonely woman who peaked in high school, whose toxic obsession with teen culture and her glory days has warped her sense of reality. Charlize’s performance was pathetic, delusional, mean and so, so funny.

Steve Coogan and Larry David have built careers out of playing misanthropic, self-obsessed comic heroes, but when a woman does the same thing, suddenly everyone’s concerned about her “likeability” – a word I’ve come to loathe.

In YOUNG ADULT, and in this ridiculous Funny or Die series, Charlize Theron’s intensity makes the comedy so much funnier. She clearly doesn’t give two shits about being likeable, and that makes me love her all the more.

Is the Bechdel Test Still Relevant?

Posted by:Kate Melville on Sep - 22 - 2017 - Filed under: Snitch Pictures -

“It’s such a low bar to limp over, but so many films fail …”

Is the Bechdel Test still relevant? How about a DuVernay Test? It’s pretty sad that we’re using a joke from a 1985 comic strip to determine a standard of feminism, but with so few tools available, it seems any measurable criteria by which to measure equality is helpful. Otherwise we’re stuck talking about how decision-makers FEEL, and we all know change feels scary.

Read “Why the Bechdel Test Has Failed Women in Film” via The DeBrief.

13 Emmy Nods for Handmaid’s Tale, Including One for Reed Morano for Outstanding Directing For a Drama Series

Posted by:Kate Melville on Sep - 15 - 2017 - Filed under: Snitch Pictures -

THE HANDMAID’S TALE – Offred, one the few fertile women known as Handmaids in the oppressive Republic of Gilead, struggles to survive as a reproductive surrogate for a powerful Commander and his resentful wife. (Photo by: Take Five/Hulu)

In a recent Huffington Post piece, double-Emmy-nominated director and cinematographer Reed Morano talks about how she breaks down the walls between audience and actor. I love how she’s using all her skills to world-build (she came to her directing interview for The Handmaid’s Tale with a 70-page lookbook and playlist), create emotion, and capture it with an intimate camera.

Of her style, Bustle notes:

She’s perfected a style that has less to do with what you see, but how you feel when seeing it. “I think of myself as an emotional storyteller,” she says. With each tight shot, she puts you in the subject’s shoes, — whether that’s Elisabeth Moss’ Offred on The Handmaid’s Tale, or Olivia Wilde’s grieving mother in her 2015 directorial debut Meadowland, or Beyoncé in the heart-wrenching video for “Sandcastles.”

If she wins, she would be only the second woman to take home the prize.


       Snitch Pictures

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