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‘Party Down’ Is Coming to Hulu. Dress Accordingly.

August 27th, 2014 by Editor

Even though summer is ramping down, there are still plenty of reasons to be in festive spirits: the 3-day weekend that is Labor Day, the impending return of Fall TV, the good Daylight Savings. Here at Hulu, we have another major reason to pull out the party hats – Starz’s original comedy Party Down is coming exclusively to Hulu!

Beginning Friday, August 29th, all episodes of Party Down will be available to stream exclusively on Hulu Plus. The first five episodes of the series will be available for a limited time on the free, ad-supported Hulu.com.

That means soon you’ll be able to watch all episodes of the cult comedy that celebrates mediocre employment and stars a cast of Hollywood comedic all-stars including Emmy® Award nominees Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex) and Jane Lynch (Glee), as well as Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation, Step Brothers), Ken Marino (Marry Me, Burning Love), Ryan Hansen (Veronica Mars), Martin Starr (Silicon Valley, Knocked Up) and Emmy® Award-winner Megan Mullally (Will & Grace, Fame).

Hulu is a top destination for great, cult comedies, so – needless to say – we’re very excited. And to be sure we celebrate this news with an appropriate bash, we asked some of the employees of Party Down Catering for professional tips from the field:

“I like to follow what I call ‘Ron Donald’s 3 D’s for a Successful Party’—Distribute food, Drink water so you don’t get too drunk and end up in the back of a van, Don’t forget to have everyone fill out a feedback card.” — Ron Donald

“The key to a great party? Low expectations. Like, really low. That, and an open bar.” — Henry Pollard

“’What business am I in? The Handsome Business.’ That’s what you should always say when you’re mingling with producers. Or cougars. Mostly producers.” — Kyle Bradway

“I think parties are kind of lame, especially Hollywood parties. I mean, who wants to deal with fake people and all of those self-absorbed—Oh, I need to answer this call. It’s my agent.” — Casey Klein 

“Well, if you want a party of quality—which no one in Hollywood seems to care about anymore, which is why I haven’t sold a script yet—you just need three people: Sulu from Star Trek, Vitaly Chernobyl from the novel Snowcrash, and legendary hard Sci Fi author A.F. Gordon Theodore. Done.” – Roman DeBeers

“Well, all I know is that parties are usually crawling with important people. If you’re trying to break into show business, it’s important to impress these people so be open to everything. And I mean everything.” — Lydia Dunfree

“My old actor friend Ed lived in a studio apartment alone and for years, could never land that one role that would make him a star. On his 60th birthday, he decided to quit acting. A week later, he died. So don’t make important life decisions at parties or on any special occasion. Also, make sure to order extra cheese. It’s important to serve lots of cheese.” — Constance Carmell

“Be there on time. Limit yourself to one h’ordeuvre per 15 minutes. Wear black. Limit yourself to one restroom break per hour. You think this is all unfair? Take it up with God who made you that way.”– Uda Bengt

Be sure to head to Hulu the Party Down page on Hulu to watch these characters and more when the entire series premieres just in time for your holiday weekend!

FOX’s Thriller ‘Sleepy Hollow’ – Now Streaming Only on Hulu Plus

August 22nd, 2014 by Lisa Holme Content Acquisition

Ichabod Crane is one of the best-named characters in the history of American literature, in my opinion.  For this reason, among many others, I’m extremely excited to announce that Hulu Plus has acquired the exclusive streaming rights to the Emmy-nominated, hit series Sleepy Hollow, starring a dashing (but not American) Tom Mison, as Ichabod. 

Beginning today, Hulu Plus will officially become the exclusive streaming home to the entire first season of the cult sensation Sleepy Hollow – giving fans a chance to catch up on the show ahead of its second season premiere on September 22nd on FOX. Additionally, Hulu Plus will have day-after-air access to new episodes after the season two premiere, and will have all season two episodes available to stream following their broadcast on FOX.

Sleepy Hollow has always been a popular show on the Hulu platform. It’s a high-quality series that really resonates with our audience; and now, with the second season premiere approaching, we are delighted to be able to give fans a chance to catch up with Ichabod Crane and the rest of the cast, as well as introduce the critically acclaimed supernatural series to viewers. 

FOX’s Sleepy Hollow is a thrilling mystery-adventure drama series spanning two and a half centuries, in which a resurrected Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) pairs up with a present-day police lieutenant (Nicole Beharie) to save the enigmatic town of Sleepy Hollow – and the world – from unprecedented evil.

The series isco-created by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Phillip Iscove and Len Wiseman (Hawaii Five-0, Underworld and Total Recall), and is executive-produced by Kurtzman, Orci, Wiseman, Mark Goffman, Ken Olin and Heather Kadin.

Check out the official trailer for the first season below and be sure to head over to Hulu for all your Sleepy Hollow needs (and watch out for the Headless Horseman)! 

 

Hulu Original The Awesomes to Return for a Third Season, Promising Three Times the AWESOME!

August 19th, 2014 by Beatrice Springborn Head of Originals

I’m very excited to announce today that the Hulu Original The Awesomes from our friends Seth Meyers and Mike Shoemaker has been renewed for a third season. The second season of the adult animated series continues to roll out every Monday with hilarious new episodes.

When we first premiered season one of The Awesomes two years ago, we knew it was going to be a big success for Hulu. With a growing fan base from season to season and a cast featuring some of the funniest people on television, it was a natural decision for us to renew the show for a third season.

I can’t wait to see what “Prock” and his crime-fighting cohorts have in store for us next!

About:

The Awesomes follows the story of the greatest superhero team in history, The Awesomes, and what happens after most of them leave, and the rag-tag group that takes their places. The second season premiered on Hulu on August 4, 2014 and introduced a cast of new characters voiced by Amy Poehler, Will Forte, Maya Rudolph and Kate McKinnon.

Co-created by Seth Meyers and Mike Shoemaker, The Awesomes is adult animation at its best. The series combines the thrills of comic book storytelling with the unique comedic voice of show co-creators Seth Meyers and Mike Shoemaker (Late Night with Seth Meyers) and stars an all-star cast of characters including Seth Meyers, Ike Barinholtz, Bill Hader, Taran Killam, Rashida Jones, Paula Pell, Josh Meyers, Kenan Thompson, Bobby Lee, Steve Higgins, Emily Spivey and Bobby Moynihan.

The Awesomes is executive produced by Seth Meyers, Mike Shoemaker and Broadway Video’s Andrew Singer and is a Hulu co-production with Broadway Video (Saturday Night Live, Late Night With Seth Meyers, The Tonight Show), animated by Bento Box Entertainment (Bob’s Burgers).

Hulu Presents the First Annual Hulu Viewers’ Choice Awards

August 8th, 2014 by Editor

The Emmys are just around the corner and will officially kick off award season, but who says award show categories always have to be so serious? That’s why today, for the first time ever, Hulu is proud to present the Hulu Viewers’ Choice Awards!

The Hulu Viewers’ Choice Awards recognize TV’s biggest hitters in categories that viewers really care about! This new and never been done before event will let you – the viewers – cast your vote in the categories you want to see. Whether it’s proclaiming that Scandal’s Olivia Pope pulls off the trench coat look the best, or that Parks and Recreation’s Ron Swanson, hands-down, has the best facial hair on network television, the Hulu Viewers Choice Awards will put the power in YOUR hands.

Voting is officially open today and will remain open until August 21st. Simply head to hulu.com/viewerschoiceawards to vote on a variety of not-so-serious categories including:

  • Best Supporting Facial Hair
  • Best Villain to be Stuck in Traffic with
  • Best Leading Pant Suit
  • Best Character to grab a Drink with
  • Best Non-American American Accent Award

So which TV facial hair will reign supreme? You’ll just have to check back in on August 22nd when we officially announce the winners. Now, it’s time to pull yourself out of that groove in your couch cushion, brush off those crumbs, and vote!

Saddle up and get ready for more hilarious, gun-slinging action in the Wild West – “Quick Draw” Season 2 Premieres Today!

August 7th, 2014 by Mitchell Squires Public Relations Manager

This season, viewers will be treated to even more laugh out loud moments, romance and questionable decisions from Sheriff John Henry Hoyle (John Lehr). Favorites including Cole Younger (Brian O’Connor), Peculiar Deputy Eli (Nick Brown), gorgeous saloon owner, and Hoyle’s pseudo girlfriend, Honey Shaw (Allison Dunbar), feisty outlaw Pearl Starr (Alexia Dox), hot mess Wanda (Kate Frisbee) and clueless undertaker Vernon Shaw (Bob Clendenin) all return to round out a cast trying to navigate their way through 1875 Great Bend, Kansas.

In celebration of the premiere, we sent star and co-creator John Lehr and show co-creator Nancy Hower to Great Bend’s real life sister town – Dodge City, Kansas – for the 54th annual Dodge City Days celebration.

We asked John Lehr to share some highlights from his time in Dodge City and this is what he had to say…

+++

VIP in Dodge City

A brief memoir by John Lehr, AKA Sheriff Hoyle 

Dodge City, Kansas invited my co-creator Nancy and me out for the Dodge City Days rodeo festival. The last time I was in Dodge, I was 10 and had no idea what to expect this time around.  Quick Draw is a western, yes, but it was the show’s somewhat edgy comedy that made me a little nervous. Would the town tar and feather us and drag us out by our ankles? We were shocked that it was just the opposite. Honestly, this was the best event experience I have ever had. If you haven’t been to Dodge, get your butt out there. Speaking of butts, they worked ours to the nub. Here’s a brief recap.

Here I am explaining to a mother why her son watched a Quick Draw episode that included a steam-powered vibrator. You can’t see her husband who is just out of frame…loading a shotgun.  Yes, I am wearing a cowboy hat and a pink shirt. I was rollin’ Urban Cowboy-style. In all honesty the woman had no idea who I was and was just asking to borrow my pen. 

Here I am preparing to lead a herd of Texas Longhorn Cattle through Dodge City. The man on my left is Buck Taylor, the star of the Western classic Gunsmoke. Gunsmoke ran for 20 years. Quick Draw is starting its second season. That is why Buck gets the white horse and the buckskin. My outfit was purchased for me thirty minutes prior to this photo. Is my horse trying to get someone’s attention as if to say, “Really? This guy?”

This was an incredible moment for me. Believe it or not, I was actually inducted into the Wild West Hall of Fame, which is located near The Boot Hill Casino and Resort who hosted the event. Larry, the man standing, is in charge of the operation but failed to tell me that they used molten lava instead of cement for reasons unknown. 

This moment warmed my heart. Yes, like me, Nancy is forever maimed by the lava, but hell, she’s officially in the Hall of Fame! I told Nancy to wear that one-of-a-kind Quick Draw trucker hat so she could get it on with a cowboy. It worked. Nancy edits the show but now she has no fingers so we will have to find someone else. 

And the love just kept on flowing. Here I stand at the top of the infamous outlaw cemetery. Boot Hill inaugurated me as an official honorary Marshal of Dodge City. Hell yes. My fellow honoree is Johnny Crawford star of The Rifleman. To my right is either Brent Harris, the face of Dodge City, or a drunk guy who rushed the stage. We simply don’t know.  And before you poo-poo this award you should know some fellow honorary Marshals: JFK, Ronald Regan, Duke Ellington and Johnny Cash. Nice.

Thank you Dodge City!!!

The Awesomes: Season Two and Still Saving the World

August 2nd, 2014 by Lauren Thorpe Public Relations Coordinator

 

“Some are born great. Others try super hard.” Following an awesome Comic-Con, Prock and his not-so-superhero team are back to fight crime and save the world in season 2 of “The Awesomes” premiering today on Hulu.

This season is better than ever with Entertainment Weekly claiming the “witty writing and spirited vocals from Meyers’ SNL pals are what truly animate this cartoon.”

‘The Awesomes’ returns for Season 2 under the leadership of Prock (Seth Meyers) to take on bigger and badder villains, welcome a new superhero and even navigate a steamy love triangle. The team encounters a world of trouble when Malocchio Jr. (Will Forte), a mild-mannered accountant, transforms into a maniacal supervillain. Do The Awesomes have what it takes to stop him? Will Prock ever fill his dad’s gigantic shoes? Whatever happened to Hotwire (Rashida Jones)? Questions will be answered! Adventures will be had!

Co-created by Seth Meyers and Michael Shoemaker, starring voices by Seth Meyers, Ike Barinholtz, Rashida Jones, Bill Hader, Taran Killam, Paula Pell, Josh Meyers, Kenan Thompson, Bobby Lee, Steve Higgins, Emily Spivey, Kate McKinnon, Amy Poehler, Will Forte, and Maya Rudolph. The Awesomes is adult animation at its best.

See below for a behind the scenes look at some of the new cast including Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Will Forte along with co-creators Mike Shoemaker and Seth Meyers.

And don’t miss out on Josh Meyers’ (voice of ‘Perfect Man’) appearance on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” tonight at 12:35AM ET/PT on NBC!

Hulu Launches the Month of Doctor Who!

July 31st, 2014 by Editor

Doctor Who fans rejoice! While you may have to wait until August 23rd for the season premiere of BBC AMERICA’a hit, Hulu will be your destination for two exclusive Doctor Who specials, one of which is a U.S. premiere, and two Classic Doctor Who stories that were recovered in 2013 after being lost for over 30 years!

Doctor Who follows the adventures of an eccentric Time Lord and his courageous companions throughout all of space and time.

Starting today, users can head to Hulu to watch Doctor Who: The Ultimate Guide. This two hour scripted special makes its U.S. debut exclusively on Hulu and features Matt Smith as the Doctor, and Jenna Coleman as his companion, Clara Oswald. In The Ultimate Guide, the Doctor has lost his memory and Clara helps him to take an in-depth look at the past of one of the most intriguing fictional characters of all time. This special is a great recap of some of the biggest and most memorable moments from the series, and offers a great summary to newcomers.

And, that’s not all. Over the next month leading up to BBC AMERICA’s season premiere, Hulu will add several more specials to give fans even more Doctor Who, including the 50th Anniversary Special: The Day of the Doctor (David Tennant returns alongside Matt Smith), and the 2013 Christmas Special Doctor Who: The Time of the Doctor, the regeneration episode which marks the conclusion of Matt Smith and introduces Peter Capaldi in the role of the Doctor.

Here at Hulu, we are huge fans of the series and we are thrilled to be a streaming home of so much great content from BBC AMERICA’s hit – the longest running sci-fi series in history.

What are you waiting for? Head over to Hulu Plus to get your Doctor Who fix!

 

Sample Free Content on Hulu for Android

July 30th, 2014 by Karan Nischol Senior Product Manager

At Hulu, we are always thinking of new ways to provide our users access to great content…when they want it, where they want it.

Today we are pleased to announce an update to our Hulu app for Android that gives users a taste of our comprehensive library with a selection of free content on Android phones and tablets. In addition to the latest and past episodes of popular current TV shows, users will be able to enjoy a selection of content from Hulu Originals, Anime, Kids, Movies and Latino. The content available on the updated app will mirror the ad-supported Hulu.com with a few exceptions.

And so, finding out who got down on one knee on The Bachelorette or who is killing it on America’s got talent would literally be a tap away.

To access our full content library of current and back seasons of popular TV shows and movies and stream it across all connected devices from the living room to the desktop, users will be able to upgrade to Hulu Plus directly from the updated app.

So if you are like me and want to host a weekend party with your friends and watch 11 seasons of Top Chef or catch the full season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine exclusively, you can simply upgrade to Hulu Plus from within the app in just one click and unlock the entire Hulu awesomeness.

The updated version of the Hulu app is now available for Android users on the Google Play store, check it out and we hope you enjoy it.

 

             

Doing Comic-Con the Only Way They Know How: Awesomely

July 30th, 2014 by Editor

There are worse ways to start your day at San Diego Comic-Con than boarding a luxury yacht packed full of other celebrities and – not to mention – an open bar. But for the Hulu team that was on-site representing our latest Original, The Awesomes, this was just the beginning.

This year, we had our talented show creators Seth Meyers and Mike Shoemaker, head writer Dan Mintz, and voice talent Taran Killam and Josh Meyers on the ground at Comic-Con. They kicked off a day of fan interaction on TV Guide Magazine’s Comic-Con Yacht, one-upping each other’s dance moves during a quick photo shoot and mingling with the casts of other shows like The Walking Dead and Orphan Black, who were also down at the Con.

After the luxury of a yacht, it was time for Seth to get his hands dirty on the main floor of the convention center, where he took time to meet with fans and sign autographs. He also handed out limited edition Prock action figures, modeled after his character on “The Awesomes,” made especially for Comic-Con fans.

Among those who waited in line for the collectible was one particularly excited girl who, after finally reaching the table, couldn’t help but blurt out, “Oh my gosh, this is probably the closest I’ll ever be to Jimmy Fallon!”  Seth took in the moment and happily signed an action figure for her.

After making an appearance on the show floor, the cast and crew reassembled in front of a much larger audience for the official The Awesomes panel in the Indigo Ballroom of the Hilton Bayfront Hotel. The panel, moderated by TV Guide’s Damian Holbrook, included a special video presentation of behind-the-scenes interviews with Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Will Forte, – all of whom are some of the new, exciting additions to the cast this season. During the panel and audience Q&A, Taran Killam – who plays Frantic – revealed that, after being given free reign to come up with his own voice, he discovered that the Southern accent he tried oddly “seemed to be more lady Southern, for some reason. But everyone felt it worked for Frantic, so we went along with it.”

The final stop of The Awesomes tour was the Xbox Lounge where Comic-Con goers had been pulling out their superhero alter egos and auditioning for a chance to be animated into a guest spot in the show’s upcoming season. Once there, The Awesomes signed more autographs, checked out the fan auditions and even made their own custom Awesomes super hero capes. The crew then jumped on the X-Box stage for one last appearance, achieving the awesomest feat of all… getting gamers to look up from their consoles!

Season 1 of The Awesomes is streaming now, and Season 2 premieres August 4th only on Hulu. 

Hulu Plus Becomes the Exclusive Streaming Home to WGN America’s “Manhattan”

July 28th, 2014 by Craig Erwich Senior Vice President, Head of Content

There’s no question that we are in a golden age of television. One of the newest shows that holds true to this fact is WGN America’s drama, “Manhattan.” And, today, I am extremely excited to announce that Hulu has acquired the subscription video-on-demand rights to the series.

Beginning today, new episodes of season one will be available every Monday following WGN America’s Sunday night airing, with all 13 episodes of season one available on Hulu Plus. Hulu will also make the five most recently broadcast episodes of season one available for free, on a three-day delay on Hulu.com.

“Manhattan” may have just premiered last night, but it is already gathering acclaim with both critics and fans alike. That’s why it was no question for us to commit to the series before a single episode even aired to the public – making it the first time Hulu has stricken such a deal. Our partners at Lionsgate (“Deadbeat”), Skydance Television and Tribune Studios, and WGN America brought “Manhattan” to life and we are thrilled to be able to work with them to make Hulu the exclusive streaming home for the series.

The compelling drama created and written by Sam Shaw (“Masters of Sex”), and directed by Emmy Award-winning director Thomas Schlamme (“The West Wing”), follows the real-life mission and the greatest race against time to build the world’s first atomic bomb in Los Alamos, New Mexico. I was hooked after just the first episode and am thrilled to be able to make the series available to the Hulu audience.

Check out the trailer for yourself to see how gripping this drama is and be sure to watch all current and future episodes of “Manhattan” on Hulu.

Everyone Needs to Calm Down: It’s The Hotwives of Orlando

July 15th, 2014 by Editor

Beverly Hills has fancy cars and botox; New York has society parties and the Hamptons; Atlanta, lavish homes and expensive weaves.But there’s a new, untapped hotbed of luxury and haute couture in a city often overlooked: Orlando, Florida. At least, that’s what the creators of Hulu’s newest Original, The Hotwives of Orlando, want you to believe in the new parody show officially debuting today. 

Created by Danielle Schneider and Dannah Feinglass Phirman, the The Hotwives of Orlando features a strong cast of female comedy vets including Casey Wilson, Kristen Schaal, Angela Kinsey, Andrea Savage and Tymberlee Hill jumping into the high-heeled shoes of the outrageous society women we’ve all come to appreciate in our own special way. And whether it’s a Roaring ‘20s Intervention party or a ghost-shouting séance, these ladies know how to bring the dramain the most hilarious way possible. We politely asked the cast and creators to calm down for a minute and to tell us about how the show came together.

Tell us how the concept of the show came about: 

Danielle Schneider: It comes from a place of love. We think of it as an homage to the Housewives. I’ve been watching them since way before it was cool, from the very beginning, so this is definitely a tribute to them.

Dannah Feinglass Phirman: I came a little bit later to the Housewives but fell in love and become addicted.

Danielle: So Paul Scheer, our producer, came to us with this idea that might be kind of fun to do, and we were like ‘Yes! This is our dream job! How do we do it immediately?’ So we applied our love and our skills and wrote a script and then went out to all the funniest ladies we knew…

Andrea Savage: and when they all said no, they came to us!

Did you have a certain female comedian in mind for each character?

Danielle: I think the only person for sure was Casey Wilson, who is a good friend of ours and also a huge fan of the Housewives. I think she was someone who was on board from the day we said go, and then as we wrote and continued to get the women that we have, they all sort of made the roles their own just by doing them.

How true did you stay to the script and how much was improv?

Tymberlee Hill: I think that was an individual thing, because I know I don’t have an improv background, so I wasn’t just going to go with whatever came through [my head]. But I didn’t have to because the writing was so good. Also [Danielle and Dannah] were sitting right next to us when shooting, so if something funny came up, they were usually like, ‘let’s give it a go!’

Dannah: Also the way that these ladies worked made it feel very improvised. A lot of times I couldn’t tell they weren’t improvising, but reading what I wrote!

Andrea: But a lot of it was there on the page. Danielle and Dannah really did come up with a great script.

Kristen Schaal: These two are the next Aaron Sorkins, for sure.

Was the original intent to take it to Hulu?

Danielle: When we first wrote it we didn’t know what it was going to be, we were just hoping to do something fun with it. And then when Hulu came aboard it become something bigger than we ever imagined and we’re super excited about it.

Are there ideas floating around for a Season 2? 

Danielle: We’re definitely thinking about it, but right now it’s wide open. So fingers crossed!

Did you get to keep anything from the set?

Tymberlee: I got to keep a couple of the dresses!

Danielle: I’m not sure where that tight little pursy is—it’s funny to see something that you write on the page and think ‘oh that sounds kind of funny,’ to actually seeing it made and realize ‘We birthed that into existence.’ 

Kristen: That’s something to be proud of.

Be sure to check out all episodes of The Hotwives of Orlando now streaming on Hulu!

Hulu at the 2014 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour

July 12th, 2014 by Craig Erwich Senior Vice President, Head of Content

Today, we presented Hulu’s upcoming content slate at The Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour. It is an honor to be able to take the stage and announce what’s coming to the service this year to a room full of professional TV critics and journalists. I could not be more thrilled to announce that we are continuing the momentum this year by bringing new seasons of our beloved Originals, as well as the premiere of our brand new title ‘The Hotwives of Orlando’ and new library deals that will make Hulu’s content offering more robust and diverse than ever before.

When we look for the best of television to acquire and develop, we listen to our fans first and foremost. That is why, today, I am pleased to share that Hulu is now the exclusive home for all seasons of ‘South Park.’ This show has revolutionized TV and it has consistently remained a top 10 most-watched show on Hulu. All summer long, every episode of the series will be available on Hulu and we will be the exclusive streaming destination for season 18 when it launches on September 24th. Check out the trailer to see some of the most memorable moments from ‘South Park’ that you will now be able to watch – and re-watch – only on Hulu.

On the Hulu Originals front, we have an exciting line-up of shows coming your way. Season 2 of our breakout hit ‘East Los High’ just debuted on Hulu this week and is already building buzz. This English language show with an all-Latino cast is hands-down one of the most addictive shows on Hulu, which is why we announced today that we are renewing it for a third season.  And, on July 15th, we will bring you the premiere of our highly anticipated and hilarious series ‘The Hotwives of Orlando’. We know fans are absolutely going to love this show.

Later this summer, we’ll have second season premieres of fan-favorite comedies ‘The Awesomes’ from creators Seth Meyers and Michael Shoemaker, and the hilarious improv-style western ‘Quick Draw.’

In addition to bringing you ‘South Park,’ the team at Hulu has been hard at work to continue expanding our library of exclusive, current and library content. Most recently, we’ve become the exclusive home for hit series like FX’s “The Bridge” and guilty pleasures from NBCUniversal’s Bravo Media including the “Real Housewives” franchise, “Top Chef” and many more.

As we head into the summer with a full line-up of exciting, new additions to Hulu, we are proud to be able to continue delighting audiences of all different tastes, ages and backgrounds. Until then, check out the trailers for some of the new seasons coming your way. Happy watching. 

Making the Cut

August 28th, 2014 by Jonathan Katz

Famed editor Sergei Eisenstein hard at work on his latest feature. As you can probably discern, he took his work VERY seriously. 

When putting together a jigsaw puzzle, each piece is part of a pre-determined whole.  There’s an image on the box, and that’s what you get. When you’ve run out of pieces and the picture matches, you know you’re done.

With editing, it’s not that simple.

The carefully-chosen shots, camera moves, and performances all end up in the same place, the proverbial puzzle box, ready to be put together by the editor. Until the film is edited, the story that was shot (likely out of order) hasn’t been told yet! The editor is as much a storyteller as the screenwriter, and controls many aspects of the film. These include: 

Pace: Editing determines the pace of a scene. Quick cuts and cuts that don’t match heighten a feeling of intensity. Crazy action sequences and car chases are notorious for lots of fast cuts – they have a lot of ground to cover!  But something as simple as a family argument at dinner can become an intense war when the editing takes us around the table.

Acting and reacting: They say “acting is reacting” and editing is, surprisingly, no different. We know it’s important to see a character while they’re talking, but it’s almost more important to see how the other characters react! A shrewd editor can create a poignant moment by mixing and matching reactions from different takes, sometimes even from different lines.

In his book “In The Blink of an Eye,” Academy Award winning editor Walter Murch talks about “the slate piece,” that bit of film shot before they slate and call “action.”  Even though that twenty-second piece of footage was never meant to be in the movie, perhaps the actor had the right look on his face.  Murch reiterates that anything captured on film is fair game for editing.

Continuity: We’ve all seen flubs, continuity errors, things in the background disappearing, etc. We think we’re smart for noticing. Believe it or not, these sorts of errors are at the very bottom of the list of importance for an editor. When choosing between an incredible performance by an actor or making sure the lamp in the background didn’t move, the editor will choose the performance every time.

The Cutting Room Floor: Not every shot makes it into the film. Maybe the tracking shot that took half a day that the director loved just doesn’t work. Maybe the close-up that the actor wanted disrupts the feel of the scene. It’s the editor’s responsibility to be divorced from on-set situations, and use the puzzle pieces they’ve been given to tell a story in the best way possible.


And… that’s a wrap!

Editing is abstract and virtually limitless. Choosing the pace, performances, and shots is a huge responsibility of storytelling.  Movies can be made or broken in the editing room. The next time you watch a film, try paying attention to the cuts – you’ll likely find yourself quickly forgetting about them and getting drawn back into the story. Great editing affects us on a subconscious level and disappears into the film.

This is the final blog for Hulu Summer Film School. We hope you’ve looked at movies a different way and learned something you didn’t know before! Image and video hosting by TinyPic

 Visit the Hulu Summer Film School page to see full-length versions of our selections and explore past lessons.

Hulu Summer Film School Week 7: Post-Production

August 28th, 2014 by Kelly Lin

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

In an interview with NPR, the acclaimed editor Walter Murch (Godfather Trilogy, Apocalypse Now) described his job as “a cross between a short-order cook and a brain surgeon.”

The work of an editor is highly complex. As the last shepherds of the film, they reorder, splice, trim, and shape the raw footage to breathe mood, tension, and structure into the film. Under the guardianship of a great editor, no frame goes unexamined and no contributionwhether it be in acting or cinematographygoes under-appreciatedIn this final week of Hulu Summer Film School, we’re celebrating these unsung heroes by exploring how they carry the film through its final legs of production. 

Required Viewing:

1) Sans Soleil

A fluid travelogue of cinema, Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil explores the mutable nature of memory, time, and its effect on our perception of history. Using elliptical editing techniques to marry documentary and found-footage, Marker’s film sends us from the bustling cityscape of Tokyo to the wilds of Guinea-Bissau in Africa to the extraterrestrial landscape of Iceland, and back again to Japan where we bear witness to a religious ceremony honoring cats. Through all of this dazzlement, Sans Soleil is devoid of synchronous sound and uses an unseen narrator (reading aloud the journal of a fictional traveling cameraman who captured the images we’re seeing) as the binding force for the material. The editorial synthesis of sight and sound becomes simultaneously lasting and ephemeral, not unlike someone trying to recall — and re-experience — a distant memory.

Later in the film, Marker reveals his affection for Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, referring to it as a quest to discover an “impossible memory, insane memory.” Memory and time contort into an endless spiral as Marker showcases still images from Vertigo intercut with footage of his own sojourn to San Francisco to recreate scenes from Hitchcock’s film. The editing is crisp and precise, snapping from a still of Vertigo to its corresponding live action shot in Sans Soleil while the narrator draws a comparative deconstruction of Hitchcock’s film, musing about the impossibility “to live with memory without falsifying it.” Memory becomes a kind of personal armor, protecting us from the harsh iniquities of objective truth and allowing us – both filmmaker and viewer alike – to remake history as desired by the needs of the present.

-Naveen Singh 

2) Breathless

Jean-Luc Godard’s first feature film Breathless revolutionized the way films were edited. It made the jump cut a viable way to compress narrative time. The plot is heavily informed by popular film culture from before 1960: a young thug goes on the run from the police with his American girlfriend. But the energy of the film has little to do with the plot and everything to do with the loose way in which the film was shot and the endless invention of the film’s editing.

Consider Michel (Jean-Paul Belmondo) as he takes off in a stolen car in this clip from early in the film. The jump cuts do not preserve continuity of time or space, but there’s an emotional logic to Michel’s tear through France. The film forces the audience to see Michel the way he sees himself (as cool, but playful, full of vibrancy and passion), and Godard’s style is like crazed stream-of-consciousness filmmaking – he captures life the way it is, or at least the way we would like it to be in our mind’s eye.

- Christopher Rowe 

3) Manufactured Landscapes

Much more than any other genre, the documentary’s structure is shaped in the editing room. On a typical documentary production, hundreds of hours of footage will be shot and then brought to the editor who will cut the content down to a 90-minute feature.

A testament to documentary editing can be seen in Jennifer Baichwal’s Manufactured Landscapes, in which Baichwal follows photographer Edward Burtynsky as he captures various landscapes around the world that have been shaped by industrial production. One of the film’s many visually-stunning shots is a long take of Chinese manufacturing workers lining up to take orders from their managers. The wide angle highlights the sheer magnitude of identically-dressed workers and also serves to emphasize the lack of individualism in the space. This shot is followed by a match cut to Burtynsky’s photograph of the event and then another match cut to Burtynsky’s photo in a gallery space with visitors passing by it. Through this sequence, Baichwal depicts editing’s ability to transcend not only time but also space. As a result, viewers gain a better understanding of the power of Burtynsky’s images to communicate social and economic situations to the rest of the world.

- Kelly Lin 

4) Primer

In “Primer,” two scientists accidentally discover time travel and it slowly affects their lives, over and over again.  It’s fast-paced, yet slow and brooding, and completely immersive.

In this clip, Abe and Aaron discover that time travel may be happening right in front of their noses.  As they are both trying to make sense of what’s happening, the editing is jumpy, frenetic, and a little disjointed, matching the activity of their brains.  But as they reach a conclusion they both agree on, the editing slows down, allowing us to spend a bit more time on each shot.  This subconsciously gives our minds a little space again – a way to say “we’ve settled here,” just like the characters have in the story.

-Jonathan Katz 

Supplemental Viewing:

5) Rashomon 

6) The Pianist 

Extracurricular Links: 

1) The Top 10 Most Effective Editing Moments of All Time – Some of the best editing in film is the editing that draws us so deeply into the story that we aren’t even cognizant that the post-production process is taking place. This video from CineFix takes some of the most highly regarded films of our time and explores how different editorial techniques help them achieve greatness. After watching this clip, check out some of CineFix’s other short form content, all designed to both instruct and entertain filmmakers and movie buffs alike.

2) Vashi Visuals - Run by editor Vashi Nedomansky, this blog gives an in-depth look into the editorial workflow and the reasonings behind editorial choices made both by him and other editors in the business.

3) Movie Editing Techniques from LA Video Filmmaker - This blog post explores the most commonly used editorial cuts in cinema, with gifs to back them up.

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Visit the Hulu Summer Film School page to see full-length versions of our selections and explore past lessons.

The Secrets of Animation: An Exploration of the Guiding Principles behind The Secret of Kells

August 22nd, 2014 by Kelly Lin


Whether your interests lie in CG or stop-motion, traditional 2D or puppetry, there’s a famous set of 12 Principles used throughout the medium to give all these forms the illusion of life. Popularized by Disney animators Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas, the goal of these principles is to cultivate believability and style. Let’s examine their use in the Hulu Summer Film School selection, The Secret of Kells.

The Secret of Kells tells the story of Brendan, a young monk in search of a legendary crystal that he can use to complete the Book of Kells.

1) Squash and Stretch - Squash and stretch is the extending and compressing of a character’s body to create the illusion of weight and volume. In this scene, squash and stretch is used to establish how two of Brendan’s mentors, Brother Tang and Brother Assoua, are different not only in height but also in the way their bodies move to form expressions.

2) Anticipation - Animators use anticipation to prep the audience for a forthcoming action. In this scene, Brendan pulls the quill back in anticipation before touching it to the book to make the line.

3) Staging -  This is the concept that every pose or action that a character takes should clearly communicate a character’s goals, attitude, mood, or reaction. Compare these images of Brendan from different scenes. Notice how each pose is different from the other and expresses a clear emotion. If you were to make a silhouette of the character’s pose, you would still be able to tell that these are distinct poses.

4) Straight Ahead & Pose-to-Pose - More related to process than product, this principle highlights the two major methods of animation production: straight ahead and pose-to-pose. Straight ahead animation is popular in stop-motion animation. In this process, the animator will animate one frame at a time in chronological order. Pose-to-Pose involves creating key poses and then adding the in-between “filler” later.

Pose-to-Pose: To animate this scene from The Secret of Kells, animators first developed these key poses for Brendan and his mentor, Brother Aidan and then passed the scene on to other animation studios in Brussels, Belgium, Brazil, and Hungary to fill in the action between these poses.

Straight Ahead: By contrast, on their 2012 feature, ParaNorman, stop-motion animation company LAIKA employed the straight ahead production process, moving their figures ever so slightly, taking a picture, and repeating again.(This gif is a time-lapse of how the animators from ParaNorman were able to make Norman come to life.)


5) Follow through, and Overlapping Action - Follow through is the concept that when a character stops running or performing an action, their body parts stop moving different times. This one is kinda difficult to see, but if you look closely you’ll notice how when the magical forest fairy Aisling jumps, her body stops on a rock but her hair continues to move a couple frames after.


Tied to the concept of follow through is overlapping action. This concept posits that when the body is in motion, certain parts will inevitably move faster than others. In this scene, take note of how the philosopher Colum-Cille’s arm holding the cane moves at a faster rate than the rest of his body.

6) Slow-In and Slow-Out - The more frames of an action there are, the slower the action will seem. The less frames of an action there are, the faster the action will seem. Thus when animating an action scene, animators will add more drawings to the beginning parts of the action, less towards the middle, and more again towards the end, creating the effect of a slow-in and a slow-out. In this scene, notice how the action seems to slow down when the bell is at the highest and lowest portion of its arc and speeds up when the bell is in the middle of the arc.

7) Arcs - Almost all of life’s actions have a slightly circular flow to them. Thus animators will often animate actions with an arc trajectory. Sometimes this principle can be exaggerated to add appeal to a character, as in this awesome curvature animation on Aisling’s hair!

8) Secondary Action - This is an additional action that helps to supplement the main action of a scene. For instance, in this scene where Brendan is walking, the movement of the character’s legs and feet are the main action while the movement of the character’s arms, head, and subtle body motions make up the secondary actions of the scene.

9) Timing - By incorporating more or fewer drawings into the range of an action, an animator is able to mimic the laws of physics to create either slow and smooth movements or fast and crisp movements, as seen here.

10) Exaggeration - Exaggeration involves broadening your character’s facial features, poses, and expressions to add greater understanding to their movements. As a result of the principle of exaggeration, it is pretty clear to the audience that this goose is terrified!

11) Solid Drawings – This principle posits that the basic ideas related to traditional drawing should also be applied to the animation space. This character sheet shows how the artists designed Brother Aidan’s cat Pangur Ban, taking into account the various poses that the character would assume and the perspectives at which it might be depicted.

12) Appeal – This concept is hard to pinpoint but easy to identify. Simply put, appeal relates to the idea that images should be able to craft a connection with their audiences. This does not necessarily mean that the image has to be cute and cuddly, but rather that the actions on screen will spark the interest of the audience. In The Secret of Kells, the filmmakers use a variety of different setups and textures to spark the interest of the audience, including this beautiful triptych set-up.

By employing the 12 Principles of Animation, The Secret of Kells is able to achieve not only believable characters but also a compelling story. To learn more about the process that went into creating The Secret of Kells, visit The Secret of Kells official blog and wiki page.

Additionally, be sure to visit the Hulu Summer Film School page to learn more about Animation and view the full film (for FREE!).

Last comment: Sep 13th 2014 3 Comments

Hulu Summer Film School Week 6: Animation

August 22nd, 2014 by Kelly Lin

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Picture this: A character sits at a table and takes a sip from a glass of water.

In the live-action world, this shot might take 15 minutes to set up and shoot. In the animation world, this seemingly simple action might take 3 months. Not only do the characters and sets have to be designed, rigged, and modeled, but the sound of the character drinking and putting the glass on the table has to be recorded; the movements of the character, the character’s clothes, the chair, and the water have to be animated, and don’t even get us started on if this scene were crafted in traditional 2D.

Welcome to the world of animation where artists begin with a blank canvas and from that blank canvas, they build a world. This week’s Hulu Summer Film School selections explore a wide variety of animation styles and how animators use their tools to create worlds that extend beyond our wildest imaginations.


Required Viewing: 

1) Sita Sings the Blues 

Director: Nina Paley
Nina Paley’s “Sita Sings the Blues” is a charming and unique collage of animation styles and narrative strands, that, when considered as a whole, exemplifies the ability of an auteur animator to pioneer her vision with near complete creative control. As a medium, animation offers the potential for a purer authorship than live action because it limits the contentious issue of sharing authorship across many different roles. “Sita” offers different tellings of the traditional Indian story of Ramayana about the troubled love between Sita and her neglectful lover Rama. Paley was eventually able to distribute the film through a Creative Commons license which let her use music that would otherwise be protected by copyright law (in one strand of the film, Sita sings Annette Henshaw songs from the jazz era). In addition to Paley’s role as narrative auteur, “Sita” becomes an intellectual embodiment of her artistic creed. Paley is an advocate of the free culture movement – best summarized by the title of her original song, “Copying Isn’t Theft.”
-Christopher Rowe

2) The Secret of Kells 

Director: Tomm Moore
The 12 Principles of Animation as illustrated through The Secret of Kells

3) The Muppets Take Manhattan 

Director: Frank Oz

Whether puppetry should be considered “animation” is a polarizing topic among film buffs, but there’s no denying that the form of theater performance is deeply rooted in the simplest concept of animation: Performers animate inanimate objects to tell a story. Just like in traditional pencil-and-paper animation, this effect is achieved not only through scenes that are “drawn” out, but also through the sounds and movements of the made objects to create an illusion that it is all real.

Operationally with Jim Henson’s puppets, one hand manipulates the head and mouth while another manipulates the hands and arms. Because of this, the puppets’ faces remain static so emotion is primarily expressed through tone of voice and arm movements. Through her powerful voice and aggressive arm movements, you can tell that Miss Piggy is tempestuous; Kermit is mild-mannered because of his permanent pensive eyes and soft movements.

Jim Henson’s “Muppet” characters are a definitive example of puppetry used in movies. In “The Muppets Take Manhattan,” the group of fuzzy, big-eyed characters hit the streets of New York City. With puppetry magic, these furry objects sing, dance, and feel sadness and happiness all while experiencing what it’s like working at diners, being broke, and having failed dreams in the big city.

-Sheila Dichoso

4) The Secret of NIMH 

Director: Don Bluth

A cult favorite of many established animators today, The Secret of NIMH draws on classical animation techniques to tell the tale of a field rat who seeks help from a colony of other rats to try to save her sick son. In many ways, the story behind the film is as compelling as the film itself.

Flash back to 1979. Disney Animation Studios was in production on The Fox and the Hound. Animator Don Bluth was dissatisfied with Disney’s increasingly computer-based modes of production and wished to revive the traditional animation techniques used by Walt Disney in the 1930’s. With a rag-tag team of sixteen other Disney animators, Bluth left the studio to form Don Bluth Productions. Their first feature was The Secret of NIMH. By placing a deeper focus on character body language and detailed backgrounds, Bluth’s team was able to create one of the most vibrantly animated films of all time and spawn subsequent Bluth features including An American Tale, The Land Before Time, and All Dogs Go to Heaven.

-Kelly Lin

Supplemental Viewing:

5) Tatsumi

6) Alois Nebel

7) My Dog Tulip 

8) The Cat in the Hat

Extracurricular Links: 

1) CartoonBrew - The go-to destination for information on the latest news and trends in the animation industry. Be sure to check out their Animated Film Preview guide about the animated features getting released this year as well as their collection of the best student and studio short films on the web.

2) Monsters University Progression Reel – These days it takes a village to make an animated film. Watch this video to see just how many different teams touch the footage before it is released in its final form.

3) ParaNorman: This Little Light - If your interests lie in the stop-motion animation realm, then you’ll definitely enjoy this ParaNorman making-of video from the wizards at LAIKA about the extensive process that goes into the creation of a single prop from the movie, a little light. Watch the trailer LAIKA’s latest feature, The Boxtrollshere.

Visit the Hulu Summer Film School page to see full-length versions of our selections and explore past lessons.