Briefly Noted: Melissa’s Wayward Home for Television Professionals (Fiction)

Melissa’s Wayward Home for Television Professionals – Caroline Aponte’s delightful debut novel about five reality television professionals who decide to vacation together after their show is abruptly cancelled will leave you smiling after every page. Lured by advertisements of authentically working the land in lush surroundings, the story’s main characters arrive to find their cabin is actually a shell of its former self. Though their vacation is not quite what they had imagined, these professionals find that life and love can begin again when they step away from the computer. With writing that evokes the best of Kerouac and Yates, this charming story will remind you that everyday is a chance to start anew and engage with reality.

Briefly Noted: Previously On (fiction)

Previously On: Portraits of the Entertainment Proletariat – This gorgeous collection of photos curated by famed art dealer Jennifer Duveen presents television production crews at their most vulnerable moments. We witness the key grip pushing a dolly at 3 am Martini Shot just called. We evidence the audio engineer gracefully considering his options wiring a scantily clad enchantress. We empathize with the Production Assistant on his fifth morning coffee run. These portraits challenge the viewer to contemplate the complex dynamic between celebrity and exploitation. By the end of this assembly even the most diehard elitist will be saying, “In Hollywood, we are all proletariat.”

Producers on Stress

I recently read a great article in Filmmaker Magazine about Producing and Coping with Stress. The entire article resonated with me. The struggle to maintain balance between work and family life is something I feel acutely. It’s good to hear that I’m not alone. If you have fifteen minutes you should check it out. You should also check out my post On Creative Fulfillment too.

Article quotes of note:

  • Producing is about support — being everyone’s advocate, from the director to the actor to the crew. … Producing is the effort in the cracks and corners, the tossing in the mornings and nights. Producing is sweating in the dark and smiling in the light.
  • “The happier you are and the more healthy you are,” Robinson says, “the harder it is to sustain the dysfunction of film.”
  • “There’s this inherent narcissism of ‘serving the movie,’” Reardon says. “It’s like the movie is the patriarch.” Various forms of abusive behavior can be justified because there’s the sense that sacrifices must be made for the sake of the film.

Briefly Noted: The Preditor’s Dilemma (fiction)

The Preditor’s Dilemma: Age of the NLE virtuoso – Geoffrey Katopodis’s well articulated treatise on the problems facing professional editors in the next decade is a call to action. Katopodis argues that the duel pressures of Machine Learning and the unionization of independent story producers threatens the livelihood of the unscripted television editor and the quality of the unscripted American television series. Even if you know nothing about nonlinear editing or reality television this book is worth a read if only for seeing how Katopodis cleverly uses his background in Modern Art Symbology to comes to these conclusions in a rather unconventional fashion.

Briefly Noted: Cooking Competitions for the Home Kitchen (fiction)

Cooking Competitions for the Home Kitchen – Legendary television producer, Austin Berlin, creator of popular cooking shows Sapphire Chef and Culinary Curiosities, bring his taste for competition and cooking to your home kitchen. Berlin’s ideas for spicing up your next dinner party, family dinner, or holiday feast, by turning them into games is something surly to be discussed for years to come. We’re particular fans of his “Sous’s mama’s favorite chef” cooking game where siblings battle the clock, and each other, to serve mom ingredients in time to be added to the family stew.