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A repository for my pop culture thoughts, in addition to my work at TalkingwithTim.com
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Best seats ever. At the 50 yard line.


Drawing of a Voting Machine, 08/10/1910.

Item From: Records of the Patent and Trademark Office. (1849- 1925).

As Election Day approaches we look back on patents that shaped our voting process. I wonder if inventor L.R. Winslow, signed his patent in time for the election of 1912?

Source: http://go.usa.gov/jH6d


I listed 15 films that have stuck with me. Not necessarily my list of the greatest movies ever made, these just made an impact on me. In no particular order.

1. Pocket Money (1972) - Director: Stuart Rosenberg, Screenplay: Terrence Malick
2. River’s Edge (1987) - Director: Tim Hunter, Screenplay:…

Someday I hope to get him to teach a film class via YouTube or something. In addition to being one of my favorite storytellers, gabrielhardman is my surrogate Roger Ebert.

DJ/writer/artist/designer Paul Sizer shares what he was listening to in 1981.
"What was I listening to in 1981? This. Songs with bad words in them! Had to post one more, this is a gold mine, and the roots of how I was learning about good music."

We are going to do some things to combat this problem because some of the numbers on DUIs and domestic violence are going up and that disturbs me. When there’s a pattern of mistakes, something has got to change.
Given that Roger Goodell said this in 2012, and then made his Ray Rice decision in 2014? I feel that a great deal of what he says is lip service.
I had to be very patient, because there were always very nice prop guys telling me how to work the Tardis, and I was like: ‘I know how to work the Tardis! I’ve known for a very long time how to work the Tardis. Probably longer than you. So you don’t need to tell me!’


Geoffrey Freedman’s Jog Road Productions presents The Road to Cinema Podcast; a continuation of their YouTube series of conversations with directors, screenwriters, producers, actors, editors, and other filmmaking professionals. This is an opportunity to speak in a relaxed, long-form conversation with some of the most respected figures in the film industry.

Our first podcast features the Producers Guild of America president Hawk Koch. As a producer and First A.D. (assistant director) he has worked with some of the biggest talents in Hollywood and has contributed to the making of some of the most celebrated American films of the 1970s and beyond. Producer Hawk Koch is the son of producer Howard W. Koch who was instrumental in bringing to the screen the classic comedy The Odd Couple starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, Airplane!, The Manchurian Candidate, and served as president of production at Paramount Pictures in the mid 1960s.

For those who have not ventured onto a film set, the first A.D. is one of the toughest jobs in filmmaking. While the director is dealing with the creative aspects of the production, the assistant director must schedule the entire shoot, organize the crew, and keep a general pace and “peace” among the crew so the production continues to move through out the day. The A.D. is right by the director’s side to ensure the shoot is efficient, the script pages are shot, and that every department is organized to the utmost detail.

Having such an incredible understanding of on-set production led Mr. Koch to produce such quality films as The Pope of Greenwich Village, Gorky Park, Wayne’s World, Losing Isaiah, and Edward Norton’s directorial debut Keeping the Faith. —Producer Hawk Koch debuts The Road To Cinema Podcast

“Editing is the final re-write,” said Oscar winning editor Scott Conrad when he sat down with us for episode #2 of The Road to Cinema Podcast. He explained how important it is for an editor to be as objective as possible when starting the editing process. Conrad reads the script before production and then blocks it out of his mind when he begins to cut scenes, ”I don’t want to be locked in by what the script says.” Conrad’s original goal was not to be in the cutting room but instead to be on the stage. He spent his high school years performing in plays opposite classmate Mia Farrow. After graduation, he auditioned for roles on television shows. He even became the top contender for the male lead on Peyton Place which eventually went to Ryan O’Neal.

Conrad took an entry level position in the 20th Century Fox mailroom. It was here that he found his home in the editing department. He observed some of the greatest editors at the studio. One of which was Robert L. Simpson who cut such films as: Miracle on 34th Street, South Pacific, and director John Ford’s The Grapes of Wrath. Conrad’s newly found passion for editing led him back to the classroom where he earned a degree in cinematic arts from USC.

Scott Conrad’s first break as a full-fledged editor was on a unique behind the scenes documentary of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid which is currently featured on the DVD and Blu-Ray. The film is a unique immersive experience that takes the viewer inside the production along with the director George Roy Hill and the film’s leading men Paul Newman and Robert Redford. The documentary would go on to air multiple times on network television and win an Emmy award. Conrad would soon edit one of the greatest sports films in cinema history which would win Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Editing — Rocky.

Our interview with Oscar winning editor Scott Conrad is loaded with lessons that are not only helpful to understand editing as a craft but are essential staples of the filmmaking process. Script, sound, music, the approach for editing comedies and thrillers, and even the unique situation of editing a film where the lead actor dies during the middle of production. All of those topics and more are featured in Episode #2 of The Road to Cinema Podcast. —“Editing is the final re-write,” Oscar winning Editor Scott Conrad on The Road To Cinema Podcast

This week on The Road to Cinema Podcast, we speak with first assistant director and producer Tim Zinnemann. As we learned with our guest Hawk Koch, a first A.D. runs the nuts and bolts of a film set assuring that every aspect of production is organized and executed to the utmost detail. Among Mr. Zinnemann’s credits; Bullitt, The Day of the Locust, The King of Marvin Gardens, Carnal Knowledge, and The Cowboys. Among the directors he worked with is a list that encompasses the most acclaimed Oscar nominated and Oscar winning filmmakers of 1960s and 1970s American cinema; Peter Yates, Mark Rydell, John Schlesinger, Bob Rafelson, Mike Nichols, John Frankenheimer, and Billy Wilder. —The Road To Cinema Podcast takes you inside the Steve Mcqueen “Bullitt” car chase with First A.D. and producer Tim Zinnemann

This incredible episode of The Road to Cinema Podcast features Oscar winning screenwriter Ronald Bass. Mr. Bass is extremely articulate when he discusses his writing process. Having accomplished over four decades of screenwriting prowess in this business, he still maintains the same steadfast writing routine. You will hear more in the podcast but a few interesting highlights are how he begins his work day at 3 AM, working on multiple projects in one day, a detailed brainstorming and outline session with his creative team, and handwriting every script page with a pencil. Our interview delves into the fascinating development process of Rain Man and Bass’s screenplay of the classic Julia Roberts romantic comedy My Best Friend’s Wedding. —Road To Cinema explores screenwriting with Ronald Bass; Oscar winning screenwriter of Rain Man

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The goodbye of #DerekJeter stars newest cover #NewYorker. Artwork by Mark Ulriksen


David Niven (and Errol Flynn) in The Charge of the Light Brigade  (Michael Curtiz, 1936) 


Still keeping Joan in my heart and in my every thought. Looking through old stuff and found this transcript of an interview I’d done with her for a magazine a few years back. I had already cut out a lot of the personal chit chat, which I’m kicking myself for now, because I’d love to still have…

A must-read interview that really puts Joan Rivers in a light that is rarely seen. Here’s hoping she makes a full recovery.

The Mickey Mouse Club, 1930s?
Yeah, this scares me. [Source: Historical Pics]


David Bowie, for his first RCA album, Hunky Dory, 1971

A white person could write a great character of color, and a man can write a great female character — but ability doesn’t equal intent and execution. Matt Reeves recently exemplified this problem. When Dawn of the Planet of the Apes came out, some noted that the film had exactly two female characters — neither of whom had much screen-time or value in the narrative. It wasn’t on purpose; when asked, Reeves said, “Gosh, I don’t know…it’s sort of a shame that, as you say, that’s sort of true.”

Like many habitual problems, this comes down to close-mindedness: if no one forces the creative to think outside the box or explain themselves, the practice will continue unchecked. It’s one of the best arguments for the value of diverse creatives — to break out of the habits that unintentionally create women-free or white worlds, reductive characterizations, or Bechdel-failing narratives.

Hollywood also has to be willing to retain diversity when it is present. As Ursula K. Le Guin wrote when her Earthsea was whitewashed: “With all freedom comes responsibility.”


On this day in music history: August 30, 1986 - “Higher Love” by Steve Winwood hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week. Written by Steve Winwood and Will Jennings, it is the first chart topping single for the British born singer and musician. Following the lukewarm response to his previous album “Talking Back To The Night” in 1982, Winwood will take a lengthy hiatus from the music business to regroup, and begin work on his next album. When Winwood begins working on the “Back In The High Life” album with producer Russ Titelman, he will suggest bringing in Chaka Khan to contribute vocals to the track after hearing Winwood’s demo for “Higher Love”. Chaka’s fellow Rufus bandmate, drummer John Robinson will also play on the song, adding live drums and the electrifying intro percussion and breakdown to the pre-programmed drum machine rhythm. Released as the first single from “Back In The High Life”, it will be an immediate smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #77 on June 14, 1986, it will climb to the top of the chart eleven weeks later. The success of the “Back In The High Life” album and “Higher Love” will earn a total of six Grammy nominations, including Album Of The Year. Winwood will win two Grammy Awards for the single, including Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male and Record Of The Year in 1987.

A little over 50 years ago, in the last days of a summer something like this one, a woman returned home from her publishing job to find a literal bloody mess. She shared the apartment on East 88th St between Madison and Park with two other young women in their early 20s. She took a few steps into the living room and saw a knife perched on the edge of the bathroom sink. Then she called one roommate’s father, Max Wylie, who lived nearby, and ventured no further. When he got there he went into the bedroom and saw his daughter, 21-year-old Janice Wylie, lying dead and bloody in the other room along with 23-year-old Emily Hoffert. Hoffert, who was in the process of moving out, was supposed to start work as a schoolteacher soon; Wylie was an aspiring actress whiling away her time as a researcher at Newsweek. They were found tied together with strips of bedsheet, facing away from each other. Hoffert was still wearing a skirt, blouse, shoes and socks. Wylie was nude. And the scene was as gory as it gets. Wylie was disembowelled, and the girls stabbed 60 times between them. A piece of one of the kitchen knives used to do it was buried in Hoffert’s chest.