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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. 

A Feast for the Eyes: Dissecting the Cinematography of “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”

July 25th, 2014 by Kelly Lin

Editor’s Note: This post is in conjunction with a special summer program on Hulu called Hulu Summer Film School. This summer, Hulu is using 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. Learn more at hulu.com/film-school. 

In Jiro Dreams of Sushi, cinematographer David Gelb uses a variety of angles, framing, and compositions to capture Jiro’s world. Let’s take a closer look at the different camera shots Gelb uses to construct the overall style of Jiro and inject deeper meaning into the images.

1) Medium Close Up - A standard for interviews in the talking head style, the medium close-up frames the subject from just below the shoulders to the top of the head.

2) Wide Shot – In this shot, the entire subject is shown as well as their surrounding area. As a result, we are able to see both Jiro’s son, Yoshikazu, and the actions he is performing.

3) Extreme Wide Shot - Gelb uses this extreme wide shot to establish the subject in relation to the surrounding area.

4) Extreme Close Up - This is a tight shot that focuses on a part of the face. The motivation of the shot is to magnify detail.

5) Dolly Shot - In a dolly shot, the camera is placed on a track and moves forward or backwards to slowly reveal parts of the frame.

6) Tracking Shot – In this shot, the camera moves with the subject, making sure to keep them in frame.

7) Fish Eye Shot – This shot uses a fish eye lens to create an interesting visual distortion. Notice that the center of the image is the widest and the most in focus while the rest of the image is slightly blurred and a bit skinnier.

8) Pan Shot - In the pan shot, the camera stays in the same position, but moves on a tripod from right to left, or in this case, left to right.

9) Tilt Shot – In this shot, the camera stays in the same position, but moves on a tripod from up to down or down to up.

10) Cut-In- The cut-in is a shot that focuses on a part of the subject in detail. In this case, the emphasis of the shot is on Jiro’s hands.

Another beautiful cut-in.

Did we mention this film has beautiful cut-ins?

 

If a production team were a kitchen staff, then the cinematographer would be its chef. By employing a variety of shots throughout the film, David Gelb is able to capture the beauty of Jiro and his craft, turning each frame into a mouthwatering delight.

Visit the Hulu Summer Film School page to watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi and learn more about cinematography.

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Hulu Summer Film School Week 2: Cinematography

July 25th, 2014 by Kelly Lin


Welcome to Week 2 of Hulu Summer Film School! This week, we salute the work of the Cinematographer with a playlist of films that use the frame as a canvas for evoking emotion and meaning. For this week’s Cinematography lesson, we’ve selected a memorable scene from each of the films and commented on its visual style. 

Required Viewing: 

1) Jiro Dreams of Sushi 

Cinematographer: David Gelb
Much like the sushi that the movie’s lead dreams up, David Gelb’s cinematography in Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a work of art. Throughout the film, Gelb employs several visual tricks to set the scene. A fish-eye lens is aptly employed to add the slightest dream-like blur to the surrounding events. Macro shots transform each piece of sushi into a minimalist masterpiece and slow pans add a level of grandiose to even the simplest of actions.

In this scene, we follow Jiro’s fish dealer as he inspects and selects the superior cuts of fish to bring to Jiro’s table.The camera tracks around the dealer at a low angle, giving him a heightened level of authority, and then expands beyond the dealer to glide through and around the huddles of other fish workers. The constant movement throughout the scene—coupled
with the sights and sounds of the fish auction—build tension and anticipation, transforming the process of buying fish into a tribal-like ceremony.

-Kelly Lin 

2) Night of the Living Dead 

Cinematographer: George A. Romero
Casting its influence across the breadth of popular culture, George A. Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” is an icon of horror cinema and the seminal zombie film. In addition to his duties as director, producer, and co-writer, Romero also serves as cinematographer, utilizing stark black and white photography to create claustrophobic tension, while simultaneously emulating the coarse newsreel imagery of the era to engender an unnerving sense of immediacy.

Later in the film, as the disintegration of the group takes hold, the trembling camerawork captures the in-fighting, the desperation, and the outright fear of the survivors through canted angles and high contrast portraits of terror. The battle between Ben (Duane Jones) and Harry (Karl Hardman),in particular, illustrates not only an obvious life-and-death struggle, but also a critique of our worst tendencies: that in times of strife and dread, at any cost, it’s every man for himself. Meanwhile, the undead – shuffling and moaning with vacant gazes – are unified in their inexorable death march on the survivors. And against humanity at-large.

-Naveen Singh 

3) Tokyo Story 

Cinematographer: Yūharu Atsuta
Per Yasujirō Ozu’s direction, Yūharu Atsuta’s cinematography in Tokyo Story is carefully rendered: low angles, hardly any camera movement, and shots that are composed at very square angles. The result is to create a sense of visual order which seems to mirror the quiet drama of the film: an aging couple who visits their grown children in Tokyo, most of whom are too busy to spend any real time with their parents.

Consider this introductory scene in which the parents arrive. The cinematography suggest an orderliness to the way the drama unfolds: perfectly square compositions and low angles in very well-maintained living quarters – quarters that house material things and human beings with equal efficacy. But that same squareness seems to box our characters in, to trap them, and this mirrors the drama of the film. The children of the elderly couple feel as if it’s in life’s inexorable drift that parents and their offspring move further and further from one another. There’s a “naturalness” and “order” to the drift that finds its visual equivalent in the balanced frames from cinematographer Atsuta. But there’s also a stifling, almost repressive quality to the drama and the cinematography. 

-Christopher Rowe 

4) L’Avventura

Cinematographer: Aldo Scavarda

The bored and affluent are delineated through unconventional composition and long still shots in Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’Avventura. As a mystery without clear resolution, it shifts its focus from missing woman Anna to a forbidden affair between Anna’s boyfriend Sandro and her best friend, Claudia. Its quiet pace and and visual artistry is akin to art on canvas: Each still tells a story.

Within the first 10 minutes,  we see Anna in bed with Sandro, whom she hasn’t seen in a month, in the right corner of the frame. As he hungrily blankets her neck with kisses, he is unaware that her eyes drift off in a distance, seeming as if the walls of the room are much more interesting at this very moment. The imbalanced composition combined with Anna’s detached stare makes even the viewer feel somewhat isolated and empty.

Next, the scene cuts to her best friend Claudia, who is waiting for Anna and Sandro outside of the house. Yet she curiously walks in, looks around to take everything in, then closes the door and leaves. Claudia’s curiosity contrasts with Anna’s aloofness, foreshadowing what’s to come in the dynamic between the two best friends.

-Sheila Dichoso 

5) City Lights 

Cinematographer: Roland Totheroh
Sometimes the simplest set-ups can be the most effective. In this finale scene, Charlie Chaplin’s Tramp reunites with his long lost love, a blind flower seller who has recently been cured of her blindness. The scene excels in cinematographer Roland Totheroh’s insistence on holding static shots for extended periods of time in order to show the actors’ shifts in emotion.

In one shot, we see the girl’s face shift from sympathy for the Tramp, to shock at the realization that the Tramp was her hero from the past, to concern that he is not the handsome well-off man she envisioned, and finally to compassion that he is in such an unkempt state. This shot is later followed by an equally emotive shot, in which the Tramp peers over at the girl in nervousness and slowly breaks into a reluctant smile. For the first time in the film, the girl can finally see the Tramp for the person that he is, but will she still accept him? Either way, the simple shots of our cinematographer ensure that the true focus of the scene—the acting—is placed at the forefront. 

-Kelly Lin 

6) Pi 

Cinematographer: Matthew Libatique

“This in insanity, Max”  “Or maybe it’s genius.”

Pi is one man’s search for order in our crazy world.  Max lives a life of near solitude, choosing to spend most of his time holed up in his tiny apartment, rarely pursuing human interaction.  The close, intimate shots give us the same sense of confinement Max feels in his world, and in his mind.  Shaky camera moves and jarring, frenetic spinning spiral us out of control, right along with Max.  Additional disorientation is achieved through the black and white film stock, which provides grain, grit, sharp angles, and shadows, reminiscent of the German Expressionist movement of the early 20th century.

In the scene above, Max plays a game of “Go” with his mentor Sol, who views the empty “Go” board as an example of the infinite possibilities of our world.  Max counters with the astute observation that as the game is played, the possibilities become more finite and eventually predictable. The overhead shots of the board give us a godly angle into this vast world. Shots of “Go” stones are repeated throughout the film, calling viewers back to this symbolic imagery.

-Jonathan Katz 

7)  The 400 Blows 

Cinematographer: Henri Decaë
The cinematography of The 400 Blows has a playful but patient quality that reflects the soul of its precocious protagonist, Antoine, who is a troubled but mischievous stand-in for director François Truffaut. What the audience sees is what Antoine perceives, so the world reveals character as much as Antoine’s actions do.

Consider a long take following a group of schoolchildren as they march single-file around Paris. The shot follows as, one-by-one, each child runs away, free from the authoritarian rule of their miserly teacher. The angle of the camera, its precarious position at a high vantage point, and the way it cranes to follow the children all suggest a rough-hewn, homemade quality – the way a child might observe the scene. However, the shot’s length implies a patience on the part of the observer – it’s a long take that, because of deep staging, lets the gag play out all at once, without cutting around. This captures the tragic and comedic paradoxes of Antoine as a character. He’s a child with a playful sensibility who’s dealing with adult situations. He just wants to be a kid, but he’s thrust into a world where there is no escape from the responsibility of adulthood. 

-Christopher Rowe 

Required Reading: 

1) A Feast for the Eyes: Dissecting the Cinematography of “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”

Visit the Hulu Summer Film School page to watch the full-length versions of the films and learn more about this project!