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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!


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. 

Valley Girls and Alien Hunks: The Cool Costumes of Earth Girls Are Easy

August 14th, 2014 by Marie Lodi

Editor’s Note: This summer, Hulu’s taking you behind-the-scenes on some of your favorite films to explore how filmmakers use elements such as sound, cinematography, and lighting to tell powerful stories and create moments that are unforgettable. To celebrate Costume and Set Design week, Hulu Summer Film School is excited to bring you a special guest post from Rookie Magazine staff writer Marie Lodi. Visit theRookie Magazine website to read more awesome style posts from Marie

Earth Girls Are Easy (1988) stars Geena Davis and Jeff Goldblum (who were also husband and wife at the time!), as a sweet Valley Girl manicurist and a hunky space alien who fall in love after his UFO crashes into her pool. Valerie (Geena) works at a beauty salon called “Curl Up and Dye,” which I always thought was the coolest name for a place to get one’s hair did. A quick Google search revealed that many other people must have thought the same, because salons from Las Vegas to Bakersfield to Texas operate under the same clever pun! When Valerie senses her fiancé losing interest, she enlists the help of her salon boss, Candy Pink (the iconic Julie Brown who also penned the film), which results in one of the funnest makeover montage scenes to exist. Though I MUST disagree with Candy’s insistence that blondes have more fun…

Makeovers were a recurring theme in the movie. The furry alien dudes needed to blend in with their newfound Earth surroundings so they went from this:


(Many of us whose first crush was Jeff Goldblum maaaay have been because of this movie, just sayin’.)

From the set design to the costumes, Earth Girls is a visual feast for those of us who embrace color in colossal amounts, both in our personal wardrobes and interior decor. Costume Designer Linda Bass and Production Designer Dennis Gassner made sure that both of their respective worlds were the perfect combo of pastels and geometric shapes. “80s does 50s” was a theme that was seen a lot during that time and it makes plenty of appearances in the film, from Valerie’s retro cotton candy-colored kitchen to her nosy neighbor’s sky-high beehive hairdo, to Candy’s black and white-striped miniskirt and crop top which she wears while belting out “Cause I’m a Blonde” with her gaggle of beach bunnies and bros.

Although the film was released over two decades ago, many of the characters’ outfits could probably be seen on fashion-loving Tumblrs today. Go on any trendy clothing site like Nasty Gal or Dolls Kill and you will more than likely will find a few outfits that could easily have been worn by Julie Brown’s Candy. The kitschy heart-shaped purse that Valerie carries? The credit card earrings on a female club extra? Both of those accessories could have 100 likes on Instagram today, at least!

Nail design has amassed unbelievable levels of popularity over the years so it’s fun to see closeups of 80s-style nail art in the salon scenes. Valerie would definitely have been referred to as a nail artist instead of a manicurist if EGAE came out today. The film also features a cameo from LA billboard queen, Angelyne, whose frequent sightings of her driving around in her still-there (but most likely a successor) pink camaro around town are almost considered a token of good luck to LA residents. Such dedication to a signature color should be applauded!

Earth Girls are Easy is no doubt the perfect movie for those who are obsessed with camp, color, and crazy costumes and sets. You can also see the early comedic stylings of Jim Carrey and Damon Wayans who played Goldbum’s extraterrestrial buddies! Even the film’s premiere had their cast in amazing outfits:

- Marie Lodi, Style Advice Columnist and Staff Writer for Rookie.
@agentlover //agentlover.com

Visit the Hulu Summer Film School page to view Earth Girls are Easy (FOR FREE!)  and learn more about Costume and Set Design. 


Last comment: about 10 hours ago 1 Comment

Hulu Summer Film School Week 5: Costumes & Set Design

August 14th, 2014 by Kelly Lin

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Where and when does the story take place and how can we design the film’s landscape to reflect this? Is the film’s setting rooted in reality or does it have fantastical elements? What will the characters wear and how will their clothing reflect their inner thoughts and feelings?  These are just some of the questions that run through the minds of the costume and set designers during the production process of a film.

As the architects of the film’s visual environment, the costume and set designers create stunning visual experiences that immerse the viewer into the world of the film. For this week of Hulu Summer Film School, we’re honoring their work with a playlist of films that use visual style to craft substance. For each film featured, we’ve honed in on a specific costume or set piece that helps cultivate the visual experience. 

Required Viewing: 

1) Earth Girls are Easy

Valley Girls and Alien Hunks: The Cool Costumes of Earth Girls Are Easy by Rookie Magazine writer, Marie Lodi. 

2) Ghostbusters

Costume Designer: Theoni V. Aldredge & Suzy Benzinger

Production Designer: John DeCuir

While the overall costume design of Ghostbusters deftly utilizes the ordinary as a means to reveal character (the sarcastic Venkman, for instance, dresses like a slapdash substitute teacher), the most memorable vestment is clearly the Ghostbusters’ workman uniforms and their weapon of choice, the proton packs.  The uniform is the work of costume designers Theoni Aldrege and Suzy Benzinger, while the proton pack — equal parts attire and prop — was created by John DeCuir and his production design team.

The Ghostbuster uniform conveys the team’s blue collar work ethic and is akin to that of a janitor or exterminator’s outfit.  Similarly, the design of the proton pack looks cobbled together, as if made in a garage from discarded hiking gear and a spare nuclear reactor.  After all, what better way to take down some ghosts than to fire an iridescent silly string of positron particles (to counteract the negative ectoplasmic energy of said ghosts, of course).  It’s the combination of costume and prop gives the Ghostbusters their identity and swagger, inspiring countless fans to create homemade versions of their own.

Don’t cross the streams.

-Naveen Singh 

3) Computer Chess

Costume Design: Colin Wilkes

Andrew Bujalski’s Computer Chess has a tricky tonal feat to accomplish: it’s an absurdist comedy set in the 1980s with a found footage aesthetic that eventually devolves into surreal chaos. And while Mr. Bujalski’s direction deserves a lot of credit for keeping these disparate ambitions part of a cohesive whole, a lot of credit for the tonal success must go to costume designer Colin Wilkes.

The costuming in Computer Chess accomplishes many objectives that are seemingly at odds with one another. The costumes are inconspicuous and plain enough to perpetuate the suspension of disbelief necessary for a viewer to believe that this is “real life” being recorded for documentary purposes, yet also heightened enough to give the impression that the characters are “types” – caricatures you would encounter in a dream (or nightmare). The costumes are appropriately specific to the 1980s so as to create a sense of authenticity, and yet timeless enough to invoke the spirit of the True Nerd. It’s all there in Patrick Reister’s glasses and expressions: this is the world as you know it, and the world as you’ve only dreamt in all of its mundane and weird, zany glory.

-Christopher Rowe 

4) Hook

Costume Design: Anthony Powell

Set Design: Norman Garwood & Garrett Lewis

Journey into a world of pirates, fairies, mermaids, and lost boys with this popular feature about a grown up Peter Pan who returns to Neverland to save his kids from the grasp of the evil Captain Hook. An Academy-Award nominee for both its Costume and Set Design, Hook is a visual treat that provides an ocean of scenery for Hook  (a wigged Dustin Hoffman), Peter (portrayed by the late, great Robin Williams), and the other actors to explore.

While there is much to discuss in this elaborate feature, the movie’s title object, Hook’s shiny prosthetic, plays a key role in the film both for identifying our villain and symbolizing his past experiences fighting and losing to Peter Pan. Furthermore, it serves as a daily reminder to this character of what has been lost and what drives him towards revenge.

-Kelly Lin 

Supplemental Viewing: 

5) The Great Beauty

6) Grey Gardens

7) Whale Rider

8) Primer

9) Charade

10) Bill Cunningham New York

11) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 

Extracurricular Links: 

1) 45 Iconic Fashion Films as chosen by the writers at Stylist Magazine

2) 17 Costume Designers Reveal Their Favorite Film and TV Fashions - Really interesting read featuring the costume designers for shows like Breaking Bad and Scandal discussing the significance behind their visual choices.

3) Christopher Guest’s Production Designer On How He Sets the Movie’s Mood – The designer behind such iconic mockumentary projects as Waiting for Guffman and This is Spinal Tap talks about working with Guest and playing with a “playground of imagery.”

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

Last comment: about 18 hours ago 3 Comments

Setting the Score with Source

August 8th, 2014 by Jonathan Katz

A character flies down the street in a brand new hot rod.  He makes a turn at breakneck speed, burning some rubber.  All the while, we hear rock music turned up to eleven as he careens down the road.

But when he parks the car, that loud music is now much softer, and sounds like it’s coming out of the car radio!  How did this happen?  What’s the difference?

When music appears in a film, it falls into one of two categories: source and score.

If the music is coming from headphones, a radio, a speaker, even a human being’s mouth, it’s source music.  The characters can hear it, the audience can hear it, and its origination point is clear – it’s coming from somewhere within the world of the film.  Think of a character singing “Happy Birthday” or a couple dancing to music at a party.

If the music is not coming from an identifiable source, it’s score.  The characters can’t turn it on, nor turn it off, and they certainly can’t hear it.  The music is there to heighten the scene, highlight the story, or even help to connect a montage together.

“A Hard Day’s Night” begins with the Beatles comically avoiding screaming crowds of fans as they make their way to the train station.  It’s all set to the title song, but it’s being used as score.

How do we know?  The Beatles are running around without their instruments, and Paul isn’t even with them!  He’s busy hiding behind a newspaper.

The music isn’t coming from anywhere on screen.  It’s only there to entertain us, highlight the craziness, and introduce us to the film.

Not too much later, on the train, the Fab Four take a much-needed break from their capers and settle in for a card game.  It isn’t too long before instruments appear out of nowhere, and we get the second song of the film, “I Should Have Known Better.”

This time, we see the Beatles perform, and the music is clearly coming from their instruments and their voices.  Here, the music is source.  As further proof, there is a small audience of girls listening to them.  Since other people within the film can hear them, the music is source.

However, what makes “A Hard Day’s Night” so brilliant is that it blurs the lines between source and score.  Are the Beatles really playing that song on the train right now?  Those instruments did, after all, appear out of nowhere.  Yes, we can see John Lennon singing, but the scene feels more like a music video than a character breaking into song and dance.

In fact, it was this film that pioneered so many of the music video techniques that we’ve become used to.  Imagine that – the Beatles innovating things that were ahead of their time.  Who knew?

Check out the film and decide for yourself what is source and what is score.  No matter what you decide, the timeless tunes of the Beatles continue to inspire and entertain us all.

Visit the Hulu Summer Film School page to view A Hard Day’s Night and learn more about Soundtrack, Score, and Sound Design. 

Hulu Summer Film School Week 4: Soundtrack, Score, and Sound Design

August 8th, 2014 by Kelly Lin

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Dear Students,
It’s hard to believe but we’re already halfway through the Hulu Summer Film School semester. This week, we’re exploring the role of the Soundtrack, Score, and Sound Design in the development of the film.
The job of the composer, music supervisor, or foley artist is to use sound to breathe life into the story. Through tinkering with the sounds of the film, they can make the hairs on our neck stand up at the surprise arrival of a villain or our hearts swell over a first kiss. When these auditory artists are able to pair the right song with the right scene, it’s a moment of pure movie magic.
Enjoy the following selections and if you have any suggestions on specific content you’d love to see us feature, shoot us a comment below. Happy Learning!
– The Hulu Summer Film School team

Required Viewing:

1) A Hard Day’s Night

Setting the Score with Source by Jonathan Katz (an analysis of the use of sound in A Hard Day’s Night)

2) Black Orpheus

Composers: Antônio Carlos Jobim and Luiz Bonfá
Recently featured in the music video for Arcade Fire’s “Afterlife,” Marcel Camus’ Black Orpheus celebrates the carnaval atmosphere of Brazil and radiates energy and visual spectacle through every frame. Composers Antonio Carlos Jobim and Luiz Bonfa score this Grecian tragedy with the music of their homeland, inspiring a generation of music lovers across the world to fall in love with the infectious beats and rhythmic guitar stylings of the bossa nova genre. Of special note is the movie’s closing scene in which a young boy serenades the rising sun with Orpheus’ signature tune “Samba de Orfeu” while a little girl dances beside him. By revisiting this song in the final scene, the composers encourage a nostalgia towards the start of the movie and create one of the purest exclamations on the cycle of life in cinematic history.
Extra Credit: Watch Black Orpheus and That Bossa Nova Soundan 18 minute feature from the Criterion Collection exploring the history of bossa nova and the film’s influence on the genre.

3) M

Sound Designer/Director: Fritz Lang
Released at the dawn of film’s conversion from silent to sound, Fritz Lang’s M is a master class on using sound to reflect a character’s internal state. In this case the character whose mind we’re entering is Hans Beckert, a child killer who whistles “In the Hall of the Mountain King” whenever he’s hunting for his next victim. In one memorable scene, the sounds of a bustling city street encompass the soundscape as Beckert prowls the neighborhood. Suddenly all goes silent as our villain notices a child from the reflection of the shop window and is overcome with desire. It’s as if the sight of prey has caused his whole world to come to a standstill. When the child begins to wander off, the sound is abruptly un-muted and we are sonically tossed back into the honking horns and footsteps of the city. Although M is a sound film, it’s these pockets of silence in which it draws its strength.

4) Eraserhead 

Location Sound and Re-Recording: Alan R. Splet
Sound Editing: Alan R. Splet
Sound Effects: David Lynch and Alan R. Splet
Lady in the Radiator Song Composed and Sung by: Peter Ivers
David Lynch’s obsessive attentiveness to sound is apparent in all of his work, and that’s especially true of his debut feature film, Eraserhead. To Lynch, a film’s sounds are as important as its images. Sounds include everything from music to diegetic noises to surreal embellishments and canvases of abstract soundscapes. Eraserhead’s sounds paint a portrait of its vaguely dystopic world. Henry’s jaunts across a barren exterior landscape are supplemented by wind and groans that suggest an alien industrial wasteland. As Henry unravels psychologically, Lynch’s sound design builds to an unsettling crescendo, a technique often used in subsequent films (see: Laura Palmer’s descent in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me or the final sequence of Mulholland Drive). Eraserhead also introduces the seamless integration of song with narrative as a psychologically-illuminating device. When the Lady in the Radiator sings “In Heaven,” it’s a great, cathartic musical number whose strange beauty seems to bridge the surreal visuals of the film with its very real emotional states.

Supplemental Viewing:

5) Waste Land 

Composer: Moby

6) Gimme Shelter 

Composers: The Rolling Stones

7) The Pianist 

Composer: Wojciech Kilar

8) The Coal Miner’s Daughter 

Composer: Loretta Lynn

Extracurricular Links:

1) The Soundworks Collection - This video series profiles the composers and foley artists behind some of Hollywood’s most popular hits. Be sure to watch the episodes about The Sound of Wall-E and the spotlight on Gary Hecker, foley artist behind iconic films such as the Star Wars and Spiderman trilogy.

2) How to Compose a Killer Film Score by Michael GiacchinoThe composer behind beloved features such as Up, Star Trek, and Lost walks us through his filmmography and explains his creative choices and where he finds inspiration for his scores.

3) How Wes Anderson Soundtracks his Movies – Wes Anderson’s music supervisor Randall Poster talks about working with Wes and his process selecting and licensing songs.

Visit the Hulu Summer Film School page to view A Hard Day’s Night and learn more about Lighting and Color Theory.