AwardsWatch Oscar and Emmy Podcasts
Podcasts from AwardsWatch on the Oscars, Emmys, Golden Globes, SAG and more.

This 70th AwardsWatch Oscar podcast I am joined by someone I've followed and enjoyed listening to for a long time, Isabel Custodio. You may know her better as be kind rewind from her fantastic YouTube videos that deconstruct the Best Actress Oscar races over the last 90 years. Always succinct and thoughtful; thorough and completely engaging, Isabel's passion for the Oscars, and especially, the history of actresses, is a natural fit for the AW podcast and I am so happy she was able to come aboard in a year with such a bandwidth of roles, performances and women heading up female-fronted films and controlling the narrative in them. 

The podcast opens with Isabel talking a bit about why she loves the Oscars and actresses so much and how it got her into creating her wonderful videos. 

As we start to dig into this year's race we quickly settle on the prevailing belief that the top 3 of Glenn Close (The Wife), Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born) and Olivia Colman (The Favourite) are as closed to locked in as can be and that it's nearly a dozen others fighting for the 4-5 spots. 

While we both think those two spots look the most likely for Viola Davis (Widows), Yalitza Aparicio (ROMA) and Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), each also comes with enough drawbacks that make room for a Felicity Jones (On the Basis of Sex), Nicole Kidman (Destroyer), Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins Returns) or KiKi Layne (If Beale Street Could Talk), just to name a few. 

We also dive into actress wins of the past and and offer some thoughts on the concept of a musical biopic vs a musical with regards to the Golden Globes.

Isabel and I offer our predictions as well as our hopefuls to get in in such a competitive year.

This podcast runs 1h 49m 30s.

Opening: "Look at me" clip from The Favourite, The Wife clip, "One Reason" clip from A Star Is Born

Closing: "New York City By Day" by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan

Direct download: Oscar_Podcast_70.mp3
Category:Oscars -- posted at: 9:37pm PST

In this titillating 69th Oscar podcast, I am joined once again by returning guest Kyle Buchanan, newly of The New York Times where he has his own column called The Carpetbagger

Kyle and I kick the tires on all four acting categories, taking a closer look at co-leads running in Supporting (like Best Supporting Actor frontrunner Mahershala Ali for Green Book) to a seemingly barren Best Actor season (with only two 'locks' in the form of Bradley Cooper for A Star Is Born and Christian Bale for Vice) and the overflow of great contenders in this year's Best Actress race that includes locked and loaded Glenn Close in The Wife, Lady Gaga in A Star Is Born. and Olivia Colman in The Favourite.

Category placement has been a jumble this last week with two studios walking back previously announced pushes: Paramount with Emily Blunt for A Quiet Place (going from Lead last week to Supporting this week) and Sony Classics, doing the same with Jonathan Pryce for The Wife.

We also take some time to talk about Black Panther as an across the board contender (including Michael B. Jordan in Supporting Actor) and why some pundits shouldn't dismiss it and Widows (from Viola Davis to Daniel Kaluuya to the film' technical mastery) as major Oscar player. 

With music Oscar Podcast #69 runs an 1h 19m.

Opening: Trailer clips from If Beale Street Could Talk and A Star Is Born.

Closing: "New York City By Day" by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to Desperately Seeking Susan

Direct download: Oscar_Podcast_69.mp3
Category:Oscars -- posted at: 2:16pm PST

On the 68th AwardsWatch Oscar podcast I am joined by Kristy Puchko, Managing Editor of Pajiba and we dig into what we saw at the fall festivals, what we liked and didn't like with Kristy talking a bit about her recent trip to Fantastic Fest.

We land on a long conversation about A Star Is Born, talking about elements both good and bad and the differences between festival audiences and audiences at large. 

Then we move into talk about the year of 'skater' movies including Skate Kitchen, Mid90s and how much we both love Minding the Gap, how great Hereditary is (and what it's like to sit next to Kristy at a movie) and that Toni Collette should be a real Oscar contender. 

We also talk at length about stories with female and queer perspective including Eighth Grade and the upcoming Can You Ever Forgive Me? and the fantastic performances from Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant. 

Kristy gets super excited to talk about The Favourite, most especially the costumes (which makes sense comes from a fashion maven such as herself).

Making sure we get some Oscar talk in there, we talk about the now defunct Popular Oscar category and why it was a bad idea. 

This podcast runs 1h 50m with music.

Opening music: "Sulk" by TR/ST

Closing music: "New York City By Day" by Thomas Newman from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Desperately Seeking Susan

 

 

Direct download: Oscar_Podcast_68.mp3
Category:Oscars -- posted at: 10:41pm PST

Since graduating from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Brian A. Kates has edited many acclaimed films, with 14 films selected to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and 5 films in Cannes.

He has been honored with an Emmy Award for his work on Taking Chance, and an Emmy nomination for editing the pilot episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. He also won two ACE Eddie Awards for his work on Bessie and Lackawanna Blues, in addition to two other Eddie Award nominations.

His collaborators have included Andrew Dominik (Killing Them Softly), Dee Rees (Bessie), Joseph Cedar (Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer), Michael Cuesta (Kill the Messenger), Tamara Jenkins (Private Life and The Savages), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Jack Goes Boating), John Cameron Mitchell (How to Talk to Girls at Parties and Shortbus), Lee Daniels (Shadowboxer and The Butler), Nicole Kassell (The Woodsman), George C. Wolfe (Lackawanna Blues and Nights in Rodanthe), Moisés Kaufman (The Laramie Project), Ross Katz (Taking Chance), John Krokidas (Kill Your Darlings), and Jeremiah Zagar (We the Animals).

In addition to his work in fiction, he was Jonathan Caouette's co-editor on the groundbreaking documentary Tarnation.

His television work has included collaborations with Alfonso Cuarón (Believe), Bill Condon (The Big C), David Simon and Eric Overmeyer (Treme), and Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel).

He is currently finishing his third collaboration with John Cameron Mitchell, a 10-episode original audio musical, featuring the music of Bryan Weller and Mr. Mitchell, and a cast including Glenn Close, Patti LuPone, Cynthia Erivo, Ben Foster, Nakhane, Bridget Everett, Justin Vivian Bond, and Laurie Anderson, entitled Homunculus.

I had the pleasure of chatting with Brian this week about his Emmy nomination for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, his summer camp background that got him into film and his collaborations with Lee Daniels and John Cameron Mitchell.

By the end it turns a bit into an impromptu gushing about his work on NBC's Kings and a promo for his new film We the Animals, which is in theaters now. GO SEE IT.

You can see Brian's work next in the upcoming Tamara Jenkins film Private Life, which will world premiere at the New York Film Festival next month.

There also might be a bit of tea spilled on an upcoming sequel to a gay classic. 

This interview runs just shy of 37m with music.

Opening: "A Wonderful Day Like Today" from The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd (Original 1965 Broadway Cast) 

Closing: "Girls Talk" by Dave Edmonds

Direct download: Brian_A_Kates_interview_.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 10:24am PST

Christopher Scott never wanted to dance. Now he's a three-time Emmy nominee for Outstanding Choreography. 

After his mother packed him and his sister from Maryland to Hollywood to give them better opportunities, Scott defied having to enter a dance class, opting for track and field instead. "If you had told me I was going to be a dancer I would have laughed in your face," he says.

He entered Hollywood High School in the 9th grade, and applied and was accepted into the performing arts magnet program. It was in his very first semester that he checked out the school's production of West Side Story (his sister was in it and dating the "coolest guy in school") and out of sheer boredom learned the songs and the dance moves and landed a part in the production. During his four years in the program, he had leading roles in several stage productions and studied various styles of dance, particularly excelling in tap. To hone his tap dancing skills, he spent many weekends as a street performer on the Venice Beach boardwalk and the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, California.

In 11th grade, three-time Emmy winning actress and choreographer Debbie Allen (and future So You Think You Can Dance judge) came to the school to audition dancers for the opening of the American Music Awards with Mariah Carey. "I feel like the luckiest kid in America," he says. It was his first paying job and when he got his paycheck (about $650) he thought 'I think I'm gonna go with this,' and his dancing career began.

Since then Chris has worked with renowned artists such as Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, Imagine Dragons, Khalid, and Gloria Estefan, and has worked on a variety of film and TV projects including the Emmy-nominated 82nd Academy Awards, Step Up 4: Revolution, Step Up 5: All InDancing with the Stars, and America’s Best Dance Crew.

In 2009, Scott teamed up with Harry Shum, Jr. to choreograph the super hero inspired web series The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers, aka The LXD. An experiment in storytelling through dance, the series is the brainchild of writer/director/producer Jon Chu. 

In 2011, Scott made his So You Think You Can Dance debut and thereafter made frequent visits choreographing contestants' duets and group routines. He received Outstanding Choreography Emmy nominations for his work on the show in 2012 and 2014.

In my interview with the three-time Emmy nominee and Scott talks about his leap from dancer to choreographer, his love of props in routines, reveals his advice for new dancers and the song that got away - the only tune he hasn't been able to snag the rights to (yet).

Christopher Scott is nominated for Outstanding Choreography for So You Think You Can Dance.

The Emmy voting period ends August 27th at 10pm PST.

The Creative Arts Emmys will be a two-night affair on Saturday, September 8th and Sunday, September 9th.

The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards will be Monday, September 17th.

This interview runs 25m.

Opening: So You Think You Can Dance theme

Closing "Say You Won't Let Go" cover by Boyce Avenue (used by Christopher Scott in one of his nominated dance routines featuring Allison and Logan)

Direct download: Christopher_Scott_interview_.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 10:18am PST

 
Costume designer Meghan Kasperlik has made a name for herself in the world of feature films after first cutting her teeth in the fashion industry and then television.
 
Out of college she jumped at the opportunity to work with the legendary Patricia Field (Emmy winner for Sex and the City, Oscar nominee for The Devil Wears Prada). Building her resume on shows like Hope & Faith, Cashmere Mafia and Royal Pains, Meghan made the jump to feature films, working as an assistant costume designer on The Dark Knight Rises, American Hustle, The Amazing Spider-Man 2Noah and Joy before being the head costume designer on Little Accidents, Crown Heights and It Comes at Night.
 
 
Her work on Ramin Bahrani’s 99 Homes brought her to the HBO movie that would earn her her first Emmy nomination, Bahrani's update of Fahrenheit 451 which made its world premiere at this year's Cannes Film Festival and stars Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon. 
 
In my interview with Meghan the Emmy-nominee talks about her approach to color and texture when she designs, how she's an expert second-hand shopper and some of her costume design inspirations and favorites of all time (including Keira Knightley's iconic green gown from Atonement).
 
You can see some of Meghan's most recent work on the upcoming second season of Netflix's The OA.

The Emmy voting period ends August 27th at 10pm PST.

The Creative Arts Emmys will be a two-night affair on Saturday, September 8th and Sunday, September 9th.

The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards will be Monday, September 17th.

This interview runs 23m

Opening: "Fahrenheit 451" from Fahrenheit 451 music byMatteo Zingales and Antony Partos (Milan Music)

Closing: "Resurrection" from Fahrenheit 451 music by Matteo Zingales and Antony Partos (Milan Music)

Direct download: Meghan_Kasperlik_Emmy_interview_Fahrenheit_451.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 3:35pm PST

There are some major changes coming to the very next Oscars ceremony...and they're not good.

Yesterday, the Academy, in a bombshell announcement, revealed that they would be creating a new category: Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film. 

After yet another year of dropping ratings, this attempt to secure viewership from audiences that have shelled out their money to the year’s blockbusters like Black PantherMission: Impossible Fallout and Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, can be assured that ‘popular’ will now equal ‘best.’ 

The Board of Governors have also committed to a 3-hour telecast. Even though ad rates for the Oscars are still among the highest in television, the length of the Academy Awards has always been the butt of jokes, often by the host themselves. One of the ways the show intends to shorten the running time won’t be asking winners to make quicker speeches but to move some categories to commercial breaks. Other awards shows implement this already, like the Tonys or the the MTV Movie Awards, and it’s likely that categories such as Live Action Short (and its kind) will be moved there. 

The third big change won’t involve next year’s Oscars but the 92nd Academy Awards. They’re moving up from their previously announced date of February 23rd to February 9th. That is going to result in a seismic shift in every other awards show, nomination date and give pause for every studio in how they dole out their fall and winter releases. 

In this podcast, I am joined by returning guest Daniel Joyaux, freelance film writer (The Verge, Vanity Fair, Moviemaker magazine and more) and publications editor for the Sundance Film Festival.

We discuss in enraged detail each of these changes (and the real reason behind them), whether they'll be able to withstand the barrage of hate they received on social media and I posit a way that maybe, just maybe this new category nonsense might actually work the way they want it to. 

This podcast runs 1h 29m

Direct download: Oscar_Podcast_67.mp3
Category:Oscars -- posted at: 10:00am PST

Bill Groom is no stranger to the Emmys, he's a four-time winner for HBO's Boardwalk Empire. With its expansive sets and designs of Atlantic City, both the boardwalk and interiors, Groom was more than ready to take on the mid-century look of New York City for Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which earned 14 Emmy nominations for its freshman season, including one for Groom's meticulously detailed production design. 

In my interview with Groom we discuss his incredible body of work which includes HBO's Vinyl, ABC's miniseries When We Rise and the feature films Eat Pray Love and Milk, the process of location vs sets and the leg work involved in recreating the period with accuracy and detail. 

Bill Groom is nominated in Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Period or Fantasy Program (One Hour or More) for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel episode "Ya Shivu v Bolshom Dome Na Kholme."

The next season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel will hit Amazon in late 2018 or early 2019.

This interview runs 34m with opening and closing music.

Opening music: "Egh-choh-choh" by The Barry Sisters

Closing song: "Rebel Rebel" by David Bowie

The Emmy voting period ends August 27th at 10pm PST.

The Creative Arts Emmys will be a two-night affair on Saturday, September 8th and Sunday, September 9th.

The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards will be Monday, September 17th.

Direct download: Bill_Groom_Emmy_interview_Marvelous_Mrs_Maisel.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 9:40am PST

Cort L. Hessler, with his 2014 Emmy for Stunt Coordination on 'The Blacklist'

Cort L. Hessler lll, with his 2014 Emmy for Stunt Coordination on 'The Blacklist'

Emmy-winning stunt coordinator Cort L. Hessler lll got his start in Florida, where he grew up, at Disney when the theme park came to his high school scouting for talent. He water skied, did live shows, anything and everything that was available to him.

When Universal Studios opened in 1990 he auditioned for, and got, a Miami Vice-style show in the park's lagoon and that kicked off his film and television stunt career. With live shows and film and television being shot for onlookers and tourists to see, Hessler jumped in head first, filming stunts in the park. That led his first big break, the NBC primetime show SeaQuest 2032 starring Roy Scheider and Jonathan Brandis. Hessler doubled for Brandis and he became a go-to for water and underwater stunt work.

On The Blacklist, a job he got over Facebook while working on Blue Bloods, Hessler is proud of the level of practical stunts he employs (including more than one character on fire, CGI-free) and the safety he demands on his set.

In our chat we talk about his directorial debut on the show last season (he'll have another one next season), his favorite types of stunts, his favorite sequences from this last season, his advice for those interested in this (sometimes literally) backbreaking work, and if the Oscars will catch up to the Emmys and Screen Actors Guild in recognizing stunt work.

Season 6 of The Blacklist will return this September on NBC.

The Emmy voting period ends August 27th at 10pm PST.

The Creative Arts Emmys will be a two-night affair on Saturday, September 8th (where Hessler’s category is slotted) and Sunday, September 9th.

The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards will be Monday, September 17th.

Direct download: Cort_Hessler_The_Blacklist_interview.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 12:10pm PST

For Ben Kutchins, his love of film and filmmaking started out the way it did for a lot of kids; finding an old 35mm camera in a parent's drawer, dusting it off and giving it a go. Looking at life through a lens became a hobby, then a passion and during college he interned, as many people who are interested in film and live in Northern California do, at Lucasfilm. That internship turned into a job but he saw the tides turning from film to digital and that he was on track to a working at a desk, which he didn't want.

Pushing back, he left a job offer from Lucasfilm and entered NYU's film program. It was everything he wanted; shooting over 60 short films, learning the language of film and learning from and with Reed Morano (Emmy-winning director of The Handmaid's Tale) and Rachel Morrison (Mudbound, and the first ever female director of photography nominated for the Cinematography Oscar).

Throughout his career Kutchins has been inspired by cinematographers like Oscar-winner Emmanuel Lubezki ("He moves the camera in the most naturalistic way that I've seen of any modern cinematographer"), Roger Deakins ("The best lighting cameraman I've ever seen), Gordon Willis ("He knows how to give each location its own beating heart") and more.

For his work on Netflix's Ozark, Kutchins earned the first Emmy nomination of his career in the category of Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (One Hour). But he'll tell you he didn't get there alone ("I take every day as a gift, I don't take that lightly"). He had been the cinematographer on a film starring Jason Bateman (The Longest Week) and that relationship earned him a spot on Bateman's team for the Emmy-nominated Netflix hit ("We get excited about the same things, we're real film nerds"). Working with Stephani Lewis (costume designer) and Derek Hill (production designer, who's also Emmy-nominated) on finding the look of Ozark, Kutchins calls it a "melding of minds" and "gearing towards the same aesthetic."

Ozark returns to Netflix for its second season on August 31st. You can watch the trailer here.

The Emmy voting period ends August 27th at 10pm PST.

The Creative Arts Emmys will be a two-night affair on Saturday, September 8th (where Kutchin's category is slotted) and Sunday, September 9th.

The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards will be Monday, September 17th.

Direct download: Ben_Kutchins_Ozark_interview.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 8:22am PST