Kat’s (Definitely Not Definitive) Rules for Set Life

Life in Vancouver has been bliss. While I used to work in TV and film back home in Austria, set experiences here are a completely different matter. You can get so close to all the action and basically spend an entire day on set if you want to, I would have never expected that. People in Vancouver are so used to their city (and surrounding area) being occupied by film crews, most of them don’t even care to stop anymore unless it’s a scene for “Deadpool” (Seriously, the first question asked on any set is “Is this Deadpool?”). That means sets usually attract real fans or TV enthusiasts instead of random passersby and the crew does their best to accommodate these people while still trying to do their job. I think it’s only fair to not make their life any more difficult in the process, so here are some of my tiny tips and rules while visiting sets. *

*I am Jon Snow-ing this. I know nothing, I just pretend I do, so no guarantee on this working all the time.

RULE 1: Be Quiet

I was so used to just shutting my mouth mid-sentence whenever I heard someone scream “rolling” (pretty much what you’ll hear as soon as the cameras go on), that I didn’t even consider that some people might not know what that means. Technology is amazing these days and the microphones will pick up your voice for sure if you keep talking while they’re filming, even if you stand on the other side of the lot. I get that it’s exciting to be on set and to see your faves in action, you want to share that giddiness with the world, but there is nothing more uncomfortable than a crew member coming over to tell you that you just ruined a shot.

So, you don’t have to be mute the entire time. That would kind of defeat the purpose of the set visit, but just make sure you pay attention to when they are filming and when it would be more appropriate to be quiet.

RULE 2: Don’t Mess Up the Shot

This one goes kind of hand in hand with the previous one. Don’t just be aware of your sound volume, but also keep in mind the position of the camera. Most of the time PAs (Production Assistants, who you will recognise through their bright neon vests and solid attachment to their walkie talkies) will inform you if you are in the way, but you can make their life a lot easier if you just move on your own if you see they are changing the camera angle in your direction.

Also, even if you don’t feel like you are in the shot, move if the crew tells you to. This could have multiple reasons. For one, maybe you are wearing bright colors or fandom clothes and even if those were just in the periphery of the shot, they could be a real distraction. Second, and this isn’t the case very often but does happen from time to time, some actors/actresses prefer if the fans aren’t in their direct eye line while they are filming. As  pretentious as that sounds, imagine being deep into character and there are random people staring at you, sometimes even waving or maybe taking pictures from the other side of the street, it really ruins the mood. Speaking of cameras, this leads me directly to my next point.

RULE 3: Check What You’re Allowed to Photograph/Film

Most times it is perfectly okay to take pictures or film while you are on set, however, there can be certain restrictions to it. It may be due to the production not wanting certain details to leak (if certain characters survive/new costumes/special events or crossovers/etc.) before the release of the show/film or any other reason, but most of the time they prefer it if you don’t take pictures while they are rolling.

But don’t worry, essentially you’ll get plenty of chances to catch your faves during some fun behind the scenes moments and isn’t that better than the actual scene anyway? Now you just have to consider whether you really want to share those pictures on all your social media or not, because … spoilers?

RULE 4: Treat the Crew/Cast with Respect

Sometimes crew members will lie to you simply to get you out of the way. Sometimes actors/actresses had a rough day and don’t have the time to meet you. Don’t hold it against them. These people are only doing their job and believe it isn’t always an easy one. The hours are crazy, the concentration necessary is insane but they never actively try to work against the fans. They know that without them, they wouldn’t be able to work on their shows, but everyone has a bad day every now and then.

In my opinion this should be a no-brainer, but always treat the cast and crew with respect. There have been an increasing amount of incidences where fans were pulling and screaming at actors in an attempt to get a photo with them and it’s quite disturbing to be honest. Just because they lead a very public life, does in NO way whatsoever mean they are public property. I know that these people are a mere minority among the fans, but they are the loudest of them all and they overshadow all the others.

It is true that sometimes you have to be bold and go up to the person to chat with them and take a picture. No one will ever hold that against you and most people are really used to it (just don’t do it while they are eating. Seriously, don’t ever get between people and their food), but in most cases, the actors/actresses came up to the fans when they had the time. It means they don’t feel ambushed and may even be up for a little chat. To me, that’s the best case scenario.

In conclusion, I feel like most of these were pretty obvious ones, but apparently not to all people. Being on set can be exciting, but also super boring. Sometimes you just stand around for hours, not even really seeing what’s going on. It’s up to you to determine whether it’s worth it or not. I hope this post was a little helpful in case you want to try your luck one day. If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments below!

TBT: My Mad Fat Diary (TV Review)

I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s Thirteen ending last Monday and me missing Jodie Comer or because it features one of my all time favourite TV couples, but somehow I just feel the need to talk about My Mad Fat Diary!

First off, I used to love this show. It started in 2013 and had its final season last summer. On the one hand, I was sad that there weren’t more episodes, but on the other hand, I think the story might have been ruined if it had gone on for too long. The show is based on My Fat, Mad Teenage Diary written by Rae Earl, who is also the protagonist. But let’s see what it’s about:

Set in the mid-90s, My Mad Fat Diary follows the story of 16-year-old, 105 kg girl, Rae Earl, who just left a psychiatric hospital. She soon begins to reconnect with her former best friend, Chloe, who is unaware of what Rae went through. She neither knows about Rae’s mental health or her body image issues, instead Rae tells her she has spent the past couple of months in France. She keeps her secret bottled up while trying to make new friends and falling in love for the first time.

Cast: Sharon Rooney, Claire Rushbrook, Ian Hart, Nico Mirallegro, Jodie Comer, Dan Cohen, Jordan Murphy, Ciara Baxendale
Episode Order: 3 Seasons, 16 episodes in total
Running Time: 45 minutes

I was undetermined whether I would like it or not in the beginning. The accents are quite heavy and that can be so distracting sometimes, also, Rae is absolutely sex-crazy – which is both, hilarious and weird. However, the show completely won me over by treating serious topics with the kind of humour and wit that doesn’t ridicule the subject, but gets the point across to a broad audience. It treats mental illness with respect and that just makes you feel with the characters all the more.
Rae as a protagonist is just so authentic and so are her friends. Not all of them are supermodels, but all of them do have their very own quirks and flaws. In the end it is about friendship, family, facing problems head on and more importantly, about self-acceptance.

I for one laughed and cried and had butterflies in my stomach while watching this show. If you haven’t ever seen it before, I don’t want to tell you who Rae truly belongs with, that would ruin part of the journey. Just thinking about that person makes me swoon already though. However, I do urge you to check it out and give it a try for at least a couple of episodes!

So, this was a little throwback more for me than for you and I am off to watch some ship-related YouTube videos now. Tell me if you’ve ever heard of the show and if you’ve watched it in the comments!

Sleeping With Other People (Movie Review)

sleeping_gallery

I haven’t done a movie review in a while, but I recently watched Sleeping With Other People and I just couldn’t not write a review about it!

Genre: Romantic Comedy
Length: 101 min
Cast: Alison Brie, Jason Sudeikis, Amanda Peet, Adam Scott, Jason Mantzoukas, Andrea Savage, Adam Brody …
Director/Writer: Leslye Headland

(Click here if you want to see the Red Band Trailer!)

More than ten years ago Lainey and Jake had their first time with each other. Ever since then, neither one of them had much luck in the department of love since both seem to purposely sabotage their relationships. Upon a chance meeting, they rekindle their friendship and are determined to keep it platonic … but that isn’t as easy as it sounds.

I offered you the possibility to watch the Red Band Trailer for the movie because I think it has a more accurate depiction of what’s going on, even though both trailers can still be a little misleading – like none of the characters actually have a sex addiction. The movie obviously involves a lot of of sex and jokes about that topic though. Just wanted to get that out of the way!

I am confused about all the reviews out there. So many people seem to either completely dislike Sleeping with Other People or only find it mediocre. They criticize that it is very humorous in most parts, but streaked with real sincere and more serious moments. They say the movie doesn’t know what it wants and that it’s a wannabe retelling of “When Harry Met Sally” filled with clichés, but I wonder, what’s wrong with having both? Yes, I mostly laughed throughout the movie, but I was equally touched during some of the scenes that went deeper. Why aren’t they allowed to play with the mood a little?

Lainey and Jake’s relationship is the kind without boundaries and with endless trust and that’s something beautiful. So what if they start out as friends and then fall for each other? There are worse things than being in love with your best friend. The important thing was that it didn’t feel like they were pining for each other most of the time, instead their relationship progressed nicely and they knew what was going on. They weren’t fooling themselves, they just weren’t ready either. The happy ending probably wasn’t necessary, but I am still glad it happened. Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie had mad chemistry and that is the main reason why I loved the movie so much. 

In the end I really enjoyed the movie! I hope I can feel secure enough with someone to have such an open relationship with them like Lainey and Jake did! Have you watched the movie? What are your thoughts on it?

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Teaser Trailer Release

I am not going to lie, Zombies usually aren’t my thing, but I am intrigued about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. It’s based on the bestseller adaptation of Jane Austen‘s novel by Seth Grahame-Smith and includes a cast that makes me feel obliged to watch the movie. Some of the names featured in the film are: Lily James, Douglas Booth, Matt Smith, Lena Headey, Jack Huston, Charles Dance, Sam Riley, Hermione Corfield, Suki Waterhouse, Bella Heathcote, Emma Greenwell, Sally Phillips and many more!

It seems to have worked really well as a book, so I am quite excited to see it as a film. I have not yet read it but I do intend to get myself a copy before the movie release in 2016. I think it could be interesting to see such a well established story changed up and as I said above, the cast looks great!

What do you think? Are you scared for a beloved Austen story to be ruined or excited for all the new possibilities?

Fall Review: Quantico and Blood & Oil

Today’s shows are both from ABC. While they do have to work on their CGI, they definitely know all about drama. Here’s what I’ve got for you!

Quantico

CastPriyanka Chopra, Aunjanue Ellis, Josh Hopkins, Jake McLaughlin, Yasmine Al Massri, Johanna Braddy, Tate Ellington, Graham Rogers, Anabelle Acosta, Mark Pellegrino, Brian J. Smith, …

An explosion in the middle of New York, the city is in chaos. Amidst it is young FBI agent Alex Parrish and it seems like she is going to get framed for the whole incident. Now she has to go back to her training at Quantico to find out who of the other cadets or staff could have done this.

The first episode definitely starts with a bang – both literally and figuratively. I can’t believe how many known faces are in this show, I was just like “Oh, I know you from somewhere and you and you …”. At first I thought that the constant switch between present day and the start of the academy was a bit too fast and random, but it worked better as the episode progressed. I like a lot of the characters with my current favourites being Simon, Nimah, Shelby and Ryan, but it’s a ton of information at once. Especially considering how many lies and secrets are uncovered in those first 45 minutes.

I was personally more invested in what’s going on at the Academy, because we still need to get to know everyone and can’t really judge who’s framing Alex from the get go. The whole explosion is just too far in the future and too many pieces are missing inbetween. However, the show knows how to deal with drama and is surprisingly funny at times. I definitely want to continue watching, even though I am still sad that Brian J. Smith‘s character was such a bust.

Blood & Oil

Cast: Chace Crawford, Don Johnson, Scott Michael Foster, Rebecca Rittenhouse, Amber Valletta, India de Beaufort, Adan Canto, Miranda Rae Mayo, Delroy Lindo, …

Billy and Cody gave up everything to make a better life for themselves during the modern-day oil boom in North Dakota. While they are resourceful and hard-working they have no idea what they are getting into, playing with high stakes and rich devils.

This is not my typical TV show. It’s very Dallas-y, which you could probably already guess, and while I appreciate some good soap drama, there is just not much mystery to it. First off, Blood & Oil does not seem realistic at all to me. There are already so many twists and turns, money owed and deeds to pay, they could have easily put those in 3-4 epsiodes. I cannot imagine how they’ll keep up with the pace.

I started watching the show because of the cast, really being excited to see Chace Crawford on TV again. Also, Scott Michael Foster is one of my favourites and he is reprising the role of a rich bad boy. Unfortunately, I think I have to be disappointed and he won’t have a golden heart deep down though. But I am not sure that will be enough to keep me as their viewer. While I do understand the motives of everyone, I don’t really feel sympathetic with a lot of the characters – it’s all happening too fast.

I’m going to stick around for a couple more episodes, hoping for a little slower pace and for the characters actually having to work for what’s coming to them.

So, what do you say? Are you in for the drama?

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Movie Review)

Once again Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a movie where I have actually read the book beforehand, but can’t remember it in much detail. Maybe I should really start reading them closer to the movie release date …

me-and-earl-and-the-dying-girl

Genre: Drama/Comedy
Length: 105 min
Cast: Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler, Olivia Cooke, Nick Offerman, Connie Britton, Molly Shannon, Jon Bernthal …
DirectorAlfonso Gomez-Rejon
Writer: Jesse Andrews (for both, the novel and the screenplay)

Greg Gaines tries to survive High School by being on good terms with everyone but friends with no one. He usually spends his time making parody-like remakes of classic movies with his co-worker Earl. That is until his mother forces him to hang out with Rachel, a girl who just got diagnosed with cancer and who will profoundly change his life.

Me and Earl was originally a YA novel and reeked quite some havoc at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, igniting a bidding war for the movie. I have to say it is definitely one of the the better Indie movies out there and after the whole The Fault In Our Stars hype an original and refreshing take on the cancer-topic. Alfonso Gomez-Rejon puts his own spin on the story and makes every scene feel either beautiful, comical or deeply relevant.

I remember not liking Greg very much in the book and maybe he still isn’t the most likable character out there. Greg is just such a freaking liar, most of all to himself I think and that broke my heart. However, this time around I just felt so much more with him. And with Rachel as well. And also with Earl. I really have to say that all three (Mann, Cyler and Cooke) did a brilliant job with their respective characters. The adults were also cast very well, but they are just not the focus of the story.

I like that Me and Earl wasn’t pretentious or over the top. It had a beautiful cinematography, but often in the most simple ways. I can tell you that I was just crying by the end – the final message was just brilliant. I hope that this movie will get a bigger audience over time and won’t get stuck in the art-house or indie sector, because it does have commercial potential.

Fazit: I am glad that I’ve watched the movie. It made me feel so much more than the book.

What’s your take on Me and Earl and the Dying Girl? Do you prefer the book or the movie or like them both equally?

Man Up (Movie Review)

As a little surprise I won’t be talking about the new show Rosewood today (which just really isn’t worth talking about, everything interesting got revealed in the first episode). Instead I want to talk about Man Up!

As always some facts up first:

Genre: Romance/Comedy
Length: 88 min
Cast: Lake Bell, Simon Pegg, Olivia Williams, Ophelia Lovibond, Rory Kinnear, Stephen Campbell Moore, …
Director: Ben Palmer
Writer: Tess Morris

Nancy (Lake Bell) is a cynic and despite her sister’s encouragement just doesn’t really put herself out there into the dating world. However, fate intervenes and she gets mistaken for someone’s blind date. Instantly hitting it off with Jack (Simon Pegg), she decides to play along. Obviously this can’t go on forever.

I just love everything that has Simon Pegg in it, because I can’t help but smile every time I see him, so he was also the reason I checked out this movie. I do not regret it! Lake Bell and Simon Pegg play off each other perfectly. A lot of the time it comes down to the leads and their chemistry and this time it was fizzy and weird yet so delightfully good. Unlike in many other Romantic Comedies these days the romance doesn’t feel thrown into your face or unrealistic – it develops and therefore feels a lot more genuine. Also, it’s just really funny and clever – not simply a cheesy flick. In addition to that the story seems original, because I definitely haven’t heard of stealing someone’s blind date before.

There maybe were a few elements I could have done without, like Sean – Rory Kinnear‘s character. The ending looses a bit of the smart wittiness, but remains cute. Who wouldn’t want a happy ending after all? Ultimately, this was so much fun to watch and it is truly a feel-good movie.

Fazit: Honestly one of the best British Rom-Com’s of the year!

This was rather short and sweet. What do you think? Would you watch Man Up?

Fall Review: Blindspot & Minority Report

It’s that time of the year again – a ton of shows are starting and my TV schedule will be close to bursting. As per usual I am trying to review as many shows as possible. But because of the sheer quantity of shows, I’ll keep the reviews rather short. You’ll get the gist of it!

Blindspot

Network: NBC
Cast: Jaimie Alexander, Sullivan Stapleton, Audrey Esparza, Rob Brown, Kelly Aaron, Caliph Jones, Michael Gaston, CJ Parson, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Ukweli Roach, …

As the trailer above shows quite well, Blindspot is about a woman with tons of tattoos but no memory. My first impression was that it looks really good, but in the end the pilot didn’t blow me away. Jaimie Alexander definitely has it down to look really scared and confused while being fierce to no end. However, the situation is just not that believable. I just can’t get it into my head that a federal agency would let a civilian with amnesia tag along and their lack of control over said person is frightening. I mean they just let her wander around and get into all sorts of trouble.

Also, I am afraid the show will have a sort of villain-of-the-week-theme and that can get boring easily. Nonetheless, the concept is still interesting and I’ll definitely continue to check it out for a couple of more episodes. After all, I do want to know what’s up with those mysterious tattoos.

Minority Report

Network: FOX
Cast: Stark Sands, Meagan Good, Nick Zano, Wilmer Valderrama, Laura Regan, …

So, obviously this show is connected to the movie of the same title. It takes place 10 years after the end of Precrime and focuses on one of the PreCogs who has difficulties adjusting to “normal” life.

I have watched the movie, but it’s been a while. Still, I think it was a mistake to set the show after Precrime has already been abolished. There is none of the moral dilemma as to whether it makes sense to arrest someone before they’ve actually committed a crime, because this time around it is all about catching the bad guys on time. Now it is just yet another cop show and the acting wasn’t really that breathtaking either.

Aside from FOX having a track record of cancelling sci-fi shows pretty fast, I have decided for myself that I won’t continue with that show, because it just didn’t really hit home with me.

What are your thoughts? Are you going to watch Blindspot or Minority Report?

Naomi & Ely’s No Kiss List (Movie Review)

A month or so ago I wrote about the trailer release of Naomi & Ely’s No Kiss List and I can’t believe it’s already time to talk about the movie itself. There are not really any Spoilers in the review itself, but as always, I can’t promise the same for the comments!

naomiNaomi and Ely are best friends and they are both into guys. The “No Kiss List” (a list of guys neither of them is allowed to hook up with) has been their insurance against a Naomi and Ely break-up for all their lives. Yet everything changes when Ely kisses Naomi’s boyfriend.

So let’s start with the basics:

Genre: Comedy/Drama/Romance
Length: 89  minutes
Cast: Victoria Justice, Pierson Fodé, Matthew Daddario, Monique Coleman, Ryan Ward, Danny Flaherty, …
Director: Kristin Hanggi

I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I am just going to say it again: I have read the book of the same title written by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn, but it’s been a while. I mostly remember a ton of emojis that replaced words and that confused me sometimes, but other than that I am not sure I could give the most accurate account of what happens in the book. However, I will try and mention things that were different if I noticed them.

So, now to the real review. I LOVED IT! I even liked it a whole lot more than the book. While the different POVs weren’t as balanced and more focused on Naomi, it just all felt right. I very much liked the casting (and not just because Matthew Daddario is absolutely swoon-worthy). While Naomi was never my favourite character, Victoria Justice really showed her development and there couldn’t have been a better Ely than Pierson Fodé. Bruce 2 was adorable and Ryan Ward looked exactly like the Bruce 2 in my head. I forgot everything about the Robins, and even though I would have liked to see them more, they were a great addition as well. The rest of the people from the apartment complex were just hilarious as well.

As any story written by Levithan and Cohn, it was a sort of love letter to New York City, showing off its quirks and awesomeness. The music was great and for real hardcore fans like me, take a closer look at the T-shirt of the drummer from Gabe’s band – he wears a “Where is Fluffy?”-shirt from Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. I wasn’t sure they’d connect the stories like they did in the books, but I almost shrieked when I saw it.

I think I hugged my pillow during the entire movie and really felt with the characters when their relationship seemed doomed. I don’t know why exactly, but it just touched me a whole lot more than it did in the book. It portrayed the complexity of friendships and that change is inevitable. Yet, it managed not to be heavy at all. If I could change one thing, I would want it to be longer. It would mean more time for the Naomi-Gabe-story to develop and maybe more glimpses at the adorable awkwardness of the Robins.

Fazit: I loved it! And while it may be short, it’s definitely sweet and worth a watch.

Have you read or watched Naomi & Ely’s No Kiss List as well? What were your thoughts?

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Movie Review

I’ve never seen the TV series from back in the day, but I can tell you I thoroughly enjoyed the movie The Man from U.N.C.L.E.! The review is spoiler-free, but I can’t promise the same about the comments!

Genre: Action/Adventure/Comedy

Length: 116  minutes

Cast: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki, Hugh Grant, Luca Calvani, Jared Harris, …

Director: Guy Ritchie

So, the movie is placed in the year 1963 and is about an American agent, Solo, and a Russian agent, Illya, who have to work together to protect a German mechanic who’s father is on the brink of developing a nuclear bomb. Sounds confusing, but isn’t really if you watch it. Loyalties will be tested and there may be some unforeseen twists (although they are not completely surprising if you watch closely).

I should probably start by saying that I like Guy Ritchie‘s movies. His style, although it may be a bit too much at times (I am looking at you shaky-camera-scenes!), is just so fitting for the setting and cool to watch. It includes a lot of split-screens, genius angles and shots seen through mirrors, perfect costumes and a very fun soundtrack. Nonetheless, I went in to The Man from U.N.C.L.E. with fairly low expectations, being pleasantly surprised within the first couple of minutes of the movie.

At the beginning my friend and I were the only ones laughing, but we honestly didn’t care – to us the movie was hilarious. Then after a while, and I don’t know if it was because of our loud giggles or really just because of the movie, the rest of the audience joined in and by the end everyone was laughing together. I seriously did not expect the movie to be so hilarious, but the main trio consisting of Cavill, Hammer and Vikander is just too good. Those three really made the movie what it was and I would be more than happy to see them working together in several sequels (which this movie definitely set up) or a continuation of the story in TV format (although that is more than just unlikely and not planned whatsoever – just my dream …). It is no secret that I am a huge Alicia Vikander fan and love her in everything she does from Ex_Machina to Testament of Youth, but seeing her in a more playful and lighter role made me love her even more. Armie Hammer and Henry Cavill really did a great job with their accents and were genius as a duo (but I still like them better with Vikander in the mix as well)!

If there was one thing I had to complain about, it’s the German in the movie. There were a couple of actors who were actually German (like Gaby’s father and uncle) and they were of course fine, but Cavill butchered the language and Vikander was difficult to understand as well. Also, Vikander did not have a German accent when she was speaking English, I don’t know what kind of accent it was, but definitely not German. But that is beside the point. Even if they had no idea what they were saying, couldn’t they at least have had a vocal coach teach them how to pronounce it? I guess I am being too demanding here, but it would have been even cooler (but maybe less funny) if they did it the right way.

Fazit: If you want to watch something fun and entertaining, yet still action-packed, I’d recommend it!!!