Groundhog Day — Guest Jim Jermanok

"You couldn’t plan a day like this."

Jim Jermanok Writer/Director/Producer/Agent

Jim Jermanok
Writer/Director/Producer/Agent

The Next Reel’s Speakeasy is an ongoing series of ours in which we invite an industry guest to join us and bring along one of their favorite movies to talk about. In this month’s episode, writer, producer, director and former agent Jim Jermanok joins us to talk about one of his favorite movies, Harold Ramis’ 1993 film Groundhog Day

We talk about how this film was received at the time of its release, why this film holds up so well and perhaps why it took people some time to really find the meaning in the movie. We look at what Bill Murray is doing here and discuss why his character, Phil Connor, is easy to connect to despite the fact that he starts out as horribly unlikeable. We chat about Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott and Stephen Tobolowsky, as well as the rest of the cast, and what they bring to the table. We look at the evolution of Danny Rubin’s original script and how he and Ramis reworked it to create a timeless classic. And we ponder the strangeness of the actual Groundhog Day holiday and how it may have been just the perfect holiday to celebrate for a film like this.

It’s a great film and Jim brings plenty of perspective to the conversation, having worked both the creative and business sides of the industry. So check out the movie then tune in to this month’s Speakeasy again… and again… and again….

Film Sundries

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101 Dalmatians — Guests Tom & Tony Bancroft

"Such perfectly beautiful coats!"

The Next Reel’s Speakeasy is our ongoing series in which we invite an industry guest to join us and bring along one of their favorite movies to talk about. In this month’s episode, we’re honored to have two guests join us to discuss one of their favorite films – it’s the Bancroft Brothers! That’s right, twin brothers Tom and Tony Bancroft, both of whom are animators, are here to chat about Disney’s 1961 classic One Hundred and One Dalmatians

We talk about why they picked this film and why this film is a key shift in the world of animation at Walt Disney Studios (hint: it involves xeroxing!). We look at the animators involved – Milt Kahl, Frank Thomas, Marc Davis, etc. – and how they all fit into the looks of characters like Cruella De Vil, Pongo, Perdita, Jasper, Horace and more, really bringing them to life. We discuss the importance of what art director/production designer Ken Anderson and color stylist Walt Peregoy did with the impressionistic backgrounds. We chat about what the film’s three directors – Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske and Wolfgang Reitherman – did to bring the film together and how they likely split up tasks. We dig into the really amazing 3D modeling Ub Iwerks helped come up with to make Cruella De Vil’s car look more realistic. And, of course, we can’t talk about this movie without discussing Cruella’s cheekbones, which we do.

It’s a fantastic conversation with two gentlemen who really know what they’re talking about helping us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – sound like we know what we’re doing. The conversation will really make you look at this movie and animation with so much more respect. So rewatch this Disney gem then tune in to this month’s Speakeasy!

Film Sundries

The Philadelphia Story — Guest Steve Miner

"The prettiest sight in this fine, pretty world is the privileged class enjoying its privileges."

Steve Miner Director

Steve Miner
Director

The Next Reel’s Speakeasy is an ongoing series of ours in which we invite an industry guest to join us and bring along one of their favorite movies to talk about. In this month’s episode, director Steve Miner joins us to talk about one of his favorites, George Cukor’s 1940 film The Philadelphia Story.

We talk about the nature of this story and how it’s so much more than a screwball comedy, which is how it’s often billed. We look at how Katharine Hepburn was intrinsic in getting both the original play and this film made, what it meant for her career at the time and how well it holds up today (despite one potentially nasty depiction of abuse). We discuss Hepburn, Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart and how well they work together in this story. We look at what director George Cukor brings to the table, finding the right ways to bring the script to life. We talk about the nature of the media and paparazzi and how things really haven’t changed all that much. And we look at how the film did not just in the box office and during Awards season, but more importantly how it’s really proven that it can stand the test of time.

It’s a marvelous film, one that’s well worth watching. We had a great time talking about it with Steve and hearing his perspective on why it’s one of his favorites. So check out the movie then tune in!

Film Sundries