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mightyflynn:

Look at the wall,” David Mellor, the Boston Red Sox groundskeeper, said to sports photographer CJ Gunther. “Ok,” shrugged back Gunther. “No. Really look at it.” It was then that Gunther realized he was staring at hundreds of baseball marks scattered along Fenway’s famous Green Monster wall. “You need to come shoot pictures of these,” said Mellor.” And with Mellor’s declaration in 2009, CJ Gunther began his body of work, chronicling the detailed scars scattered across baseball’s arguably most famous wall. “My first reaction was awe. I’ve been coming here forever and never seen this,” recalls Gunther.

- Sarah Polger (National Geographic)

Read and see more: "Marks on the Green Monster: CJ Gunther’s Baseball Graffiti" 

via bobbycaputo


barbarastanwyck:

Happy Birthday Barbara Stanwyck!
(July 16, 1907-January 20, 1990)

When we were shooting Golden Boy, the stages were dingy, dirty, and poorly ventilated. And the film wasn’t as fast in those days as it is now which necessitated the use of more electrical equipment, which, in turn, created heat. So anyone working from 8:45 in the morning until 7:30 at night could find it to be an exhausting experience. But when we would wrap production, and the staff and the cast and the crew would head for fresh air and home, very often Barbara would say to me "Golden Boy, get your ass into that set dressing room because we’re going to run tomorrow’s work." For an extra half to three quarters of an hour we would rehearse. She wanted me to be good. So if anyone ever needed a term for courtesy and consideration, generosity, and above all, professionalism, they would only need two words. One: Barbara. And the other: Stanwyck.

-William Holden




Back in April, a good friend came to LA for a visit. He and I are both big fans of the GREATEST MOVIE MUSICAL EVER, Singin’ in the Rain. We were both in it in high school (where he was the Gene Kelly role), in fact.
So I arranged a little something special for the both of us. You see, the Cinematic Arts Library at USC has quite a collection, and included in this are the 1st AD’s production reports from when they made the film back in 1951. And I cannot overstate: READING THROUGH THEM WAS AWESOME.
Each one has the call sheet, with the actors’ call times, lunch times, and dismissal times. And on the back, there’s a typed up minute-by-minute summary of the shoot day. Thumbing through the scores of these, you literally feel like you’re there on set, watching them shoot one of the greatest films ever made.
Poor Debbie Reynolds had three weeks of “dance rehearsal”, just by herself, before shooting even began. And then once shooting begins, it’s the little moments that really make you feel present. Like, as Donald O’Connor is filming “Make ‘em Laugh”, it reads like:

9:48 - Film Make ‘em Laugh, two takes. First take NG (no good)9:55-10:01 - Actor resting after strenuous dancing

Strenuous. No kidding!
Here’s some entries from July 9, 1951:

8:45am - Gene Kelly arrives on set1:40pm - Too ill to rehearse in rain; dismissed3:05pm - Listened to playback, tried out wet sidewalk in rain, checked camera angles

I learned some of the little tricks, like putting sawdust in the puddles so the splashing shows up on film. The times when the crew would wax the floor for a Gene Kelly floor slide. That the Culver City water pressure plummeted during filming of the rain number, and they had to stop filming.
But it was the little things that really put you there. Seeing the 1st AD has typed out “Rehearse Vo Dee Oh Girls” is just fun. Learning that rehearsing and shooting the “Broadway Melody" piece took almost two months (half of the film’s shooting schedule). The day that Kelly was ill and Cyd Charisse was listed as "INDISPOSED", which the historian explained to me as "she had her monthly visitor".
This isn’t the only gem at the USC Cinematic Arts Library. But if you’re a fan of Singin’ in the Rain and you’re in the Los Angeles area, I urge you to call, make an appointment (required), and head over to the reading room. You won’t regret it.

Back in April, a good friend came to LA for a visit. He and I are both big fans of the GREATEST MOVIE MUSICAL EVER, Singin’ in the Rain. We were both in it in high school (where he was the Gene Kelly role), in fact.

So I arranged a little something special for the both of us. You see, the Cinematic Arts Library at USC has quite a collection, and included in this are the 1st AD’s production reports from when they made the film back in 1951. And I cannot overstate: READING THROUGH THEM WAS AWESOME.

Each one has the call sheet, with the actors’ call times, lunch times, and dismissal times. And on the back, there’s a typed up minute-by-minute summary of the shoot day. Thumbing through the scores of these, you literally feel like you’re there on set, watching them shoot one of the greatest films ever made.

Poor Debbie Reynolds had three weeks of “dance rehearsal”, just by herself, before shooting even began. And then once shooting begins, it’s the little moments that really make you feel present. Like, as Donald O’Connor is filming “Make ‘em Laugh”, it reads like:

9:48 - Film Make ‘em Laugh, two takes. First take NG (no good)
9:55-10:01 - Actor resting after strenuous dancing

Strenuous. No kidding!

Here’s some entries from July 9, 1951:

8:45am - Gene Kelly arrives on set
1:40pm - Too ill to rehearse in rain; dismissed
3:05pm - Listened to playback, tried out wet sidewalk in rain, checked camera angles

I learned some of the little tricks, like putting sawdust in the puddles so the splashing shows up on film. The times when the crew would wax the floor for a Gene Kelly floor slide. That the Culver City water pressure plummeted during filming of the rain number, and they had to stop filming.

But it was the little things that really put you there. Seeing the 1st AD has typed out “Rehearse Vo Dee Oh Girls” is just fun. Learning that rehearsing and shooting the “Broadway Melody" piece took almost two months (half of the film’s shooting schedule). The day that Kelly was ill and Cyd Charisse was listed as "INDISPOSED", which the historian explained to me as "she had her monthly visitor".

This isn’t the only gem at the USC Cinematic Arts Library. But if you’re a fan of Singin’ in the Rain and you’re in the Los Angeles area, I urge you to call, make an appointment (required), and head over to the reading room. You won’t regret it.

12:53 pm, by frants2 notes Comments


This 1956 one-hit wonder from Patience and Prudence is begging to be used to creepy effect in a horror or serial killer thriller.

YOU. BELONG. TO ME.

04:37 pm, by frants Comments

This is a few years old, but it still makes me feel the feels.

Poor Wampa.

10:37 pm, by frants1 note Comments



Via Shorpy, here’s a photo of Times Square 70 years ago today, as people wait for news on the D-Day Invasion.

Via Shorpy, here’s a photo of Times Square 70 years ago today, as people wait for news on the D-Day Invasion.

12:07 pm, by frants Comments

9filmframes:

4 Films by Billy Wilder

Sunset Boulevard, Ace In The Hole, Double Indemnity, Some Like It Hot


Trailer for Christopher Nolan’s latest, Interstellar.

Sign me up.

(also, cue the right wing noise machine talking about Hollywood’s climate change indoctrination)

02:57 pm, by frants Comments

The new red band trailer for Snowpiercer, from Bong Joon-Ho (director of the absolutely fantastic film Mother). Holy crap, I can’t wait for this.

12:40 pm, by frants Comments



You will be missed, Bob Hoskins.

You will be missed, Bob Hoskins.

11:19 am, by frants5 notes Comments



Watching Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Hot (for maybe the 50th time), and there’s something that has always stood out for me. For those who haven’t seen it (and if you haven’t, go now! It’s on Netflix Instant!), Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon accidentally witness the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929 Chicago and have to go on the run…. disguised as two women in an all-girl band.
That concept obviously has plenty of potential (and in 1959, was quite risqué; the success of the film marked the beginning of the end for the Hays Production Code), but the moment in the film that really shows what a master Wilder was is one not of over-the-top hilarity but immense restraint.
In the top frame, Curtis is calling into the talent agency, using his best female voice, saying that he and Lemmon are the “two female musicians” they’re looking for. So we’re in! It’s coming, we’re going to see Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon dressed as women! It’s going to be hilarious!
What Wilder does next is what few directors in this day and age would dare: he simply crossfades to the punchline. A crossfade to their legs from behind, then a simple cut to their faces in full drag. No big reveal, no delay to play with the audience’s feelings and anticipation. He says it’s coming, and then he delivers it.
Because the story is bigger than this reveal. It’s not “look at them as women” but “how are they going to keep this up”? And that’s more than them in drag. Wilder knew that he didn’t need to build it up. It’s funny as is, and doesn’t need camera and editorial tricks to make it more so. This simple reveal is a promise: we’re not going to exploit our crazy concept, we’re going to use it smartly.
In fact, that’s not just directorial restraint. That’s pure confidence.

Watching Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Hot (for maybe the 50th time), and there’s something that has always stood out for me. For those who haven’t seen it (and if you haven’t, go now! It’s on Netflix Instant!), Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon accidentally witness the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929 Chicago and have to go on the run…. disguised as two women in an all-girl band.

That concept obviously has plenty of potential (and in 1959, was quite risqué; the success of the film marked the beginning of the end for the Hays Production Code), but the moment in the film that really shows what a master Wilder was is one not of over-the-top hilarity but immense restraint.

In the top frame, Curtis is calling into the talent agency, using his best female voice, saying that he and Lemmon are the “two female musicians” they’re looking for. So we’re in! It’s coming, we’re going to see Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon dressed as women! It’s going to be hilarious!

What Wilder does next is what few directors in this day and age would dare: he simply crossfades to the punchline. A crossfade to their legs from behind, then a simple cut to their faces in full drag. No big reveal, no delay to play with the audience’s feelings and anticipation. He says it’s coming, and then he delivers it.

Because the story is bigger than this reveal. It’s not “look at them as women” but “how are they going to keep this up”? And that’s more than them in drag. Wilder knew that he didn’t need to build it up. It’s funny as is, and doesn’t need camera and editorial tricks to make it more so. This simple reveal is a promise: we’re not going to exploit our crazy concept, we’re going to use it smartly.

In fact, that’s not just directorial restraint. That’s pure confidence.

04:28 pm, by frants4 notes Comments

Yes, this version of the Happy video without any music is pretty darn funny.

But it also shows you just how damned important good sound design and foley effects can be.

02:18 pm, by frants1 note Comments

In what amounts to a tremendous resource and amazing way to lose countless hours to history, the British newsreel service Pathé has uploaded over 85,000 newsreels from its archive, from 1896 to 1976. They’ve even created playlists like A Day That Shook The World and Weird Newsreels

Personally, I love the access to all the newsreels from both World Wars (including the above, one of the many about the London Blitz, a subject I’m fascinated by).

Their YouTube page is here.

01:17 pm, by frants Comments



If you happen to be wandering around the Warner Brothers lot in Burbank, you may notice Stage 16 seems a bit different. It has these buttresses around the entire base, and it’s taller than all the other stages. Why this is is one of my favorite Old Hollywood stories.
In 1936, Warners was developing a starring vehicle for Marion Davies called Cain and Mabel, with Clark Gable to co-star. Hollywood was known for big, showy sets and musical numbers in those days, but Marion’s then-boyfriend wanted her to have the biggest, most grandest of them all.
Also, Marion’s boyfriend was a gentleman named William Randolph Hearst, the uber-rich newspaper man (also, let’s replace “boyfriend” with “sugar daddy”). So he paid to have Stage 16 raised 30 feet, making it one of the tallest soundstages in the world. And raise it they did….. from the bottom. They literally removed the lower walls, and jacked up the foundation, a little at a time, adding bricks when there was enough room. Sounds iffy in regards to workplace safety, but hey, it was the Depression.
Cain and Mabel was a flop, and Davies only made one more picture. But still today, Stage 16 stands tall above all the rest at Warner Brothers. Since then, countless films have taken advantage of the giant set. The pirate ship from The Goonies was in there, as were parts of Jurassic Park, Ghostbusters, Inception, The Big Sleep, and The Music Man.

If you happen to be wandering around the Warner Brothers lot in Burbank, you may notice Stage 16 seems a bit different. It has these buttresses around the entire base, and it’s taller than all the other stages. Why this is is one of my favorite Old Hollywood stories.

In 1936, Warners was developing a starring vehicle for Marion Davies called Cain and Mabel, with Clark Gable to co-star. Hollywood was known for big, showy sets and musical numbers in those days, but Marion’s then-boyfriend wanted her to have the biggest, most grandest of them all.

Also, Marion’s boyfriend was a gentleman named William Randolph Hearst, the uber-rich newspaper man (also, let’s replace “boyfriend” with “sugar daddy”). So he paid to have Stage 16 raised 30 feet, making it one of the tallest soundstages in the world. And raise it they did….. from the bottom. They literally removed the lower walls, and jacked up the foundation, a little at a time, adding bricks when there was enough room. Sounds iffy in regards to workplace safety, but hey, it was the Depression.

Cain and Mabel was a flop, and Davies only made one more picture. But still today, Stage 16 stands tall above all the rest at Warner Brothers. Since then, countless films have taken advantage of the giant set. The pirate ship from The Goonies was in there, as were parts of Jurassic Park, Ghostbusters, Inception, The Big Sleep, and The Music Man.

03:32 pm, by frants3 notes Comments