Hollywood

5:58am

Fri May 16, 2014
All Tech Considered

Are Filmmakers Using Drones Illegally? Looks Like It

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 10:11 am

Jeff Blank, of Los Angeles-based Drone Dudes, prepares a quadcopter for takeoff. The drone has to chase a motorcycle down a hill.
Aarti Shahani NPR

It is illegal in the U.S. to operate a drone for cash. That's the position of the Federal Aviation Administration — which is in charge of protecting air space. But at least one industry has decided that it doesn't care and it's going to put drones to work anyway: the film industry.

Drone Startups Hit Hollywood

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3:14am

Mon April 7, 2014
Remembrances

The Inimitable Mickey Rooney Dies At 93

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 10:48 am

Mickey Rooney plays Oliver Nugent in the short-lived television series One of the Boys in 1982. Rooney died Sunday at the age of 93.
NBC via Getty Images

Mickey Rooney was a 5-foot-3 dynamo. Whether he was acting, singing or dancing, he poured an uncanny energy into his performances. It's an energy that sustained a lifelong career alongside some of the biggest names in show business, including Judy Garland and Elizabeth Taylor.

He died Sunday at his North Hollywood home, at age 93. He was still working — on a new film version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

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5:27am

Fri February 28, 2014
The 86th Annual Academy Awards

Keen Eyes, Uncanny Instincts Keep Films In Sharp Focus

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 12:41 pm

On location for Walk of Shame, camera crew members Larry Nielsen (center) and Milan "Miki" Janicin (right) help set up a crane shot. The wireless focus remote Nielsen will use is hanging from that purple carabiner on his jacket.
Cindy Carpien NPR

You won't believe it — I didn't — but the person responsible for keeping each and every shot of a movie in focus never looks through a camera lens.

"No," says focus puller Baird Steptoe. "We do not look through the camera at all."

Steptoe has worked as a first assistant cameraman on films from The Sixth Sense to Thor to last year's Grownups Two. He says he's learned to judge distances — precise distances — with his naked eye alone.

"I mean, I can tell you roughly from you to me right now," he says. "I would say about 2-11."

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5:27am

Fri February 28, 2014
StoryCorps

A Cowboy Stunt Double Who Made The Stars Look Good

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 1:25 pm

Dean Smith, doubling as Maureen O'Hara, with stuntman Lee McLaughlin on the set of McClintock!
Courtesy of the Smith Family

For 40 years, Dean Smith made his living as a stunt double in Hollywood Westerns — including eight Oscar winners and nominees — like True Grit, The Alamo and How The West Was Won.

"I was able to make all the leading men look good," Dean tells his wife Debby in an interview with StoryCorps. And not just men, he adds.

"One time, I doubled [as] Maureen O'Hara. I got the clothes and I got this big red wig. When I got back on the set, they laughed at me and they said my legs didn't look too much like Maureen's," he laughs.

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5:30am

Thu February 27, 2014
Hollywood Jobs

'Clap!' On Set, The Signature Sound Of The Slate

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 11:12 am

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Given the crowded location, "I'm actually on the phone with my first assistant, so he could let me know when the camera is rolling," Janicin says." href="/post/clap-set-signature-sound-slate" class="noexit lightbox">
Milan "Miki" Janicin slates a scene on a location shoot for The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Given the crowded location, "I'm actually on the phone with my first assistant, so he could let me know when the camera is rolling," Janicin says.
Sidney Ray Baldwin

More than the roar of the MGM lion, more than the 20th Century Fox fanfare, the iconic sound of moviemaking is the sharp clap of a slate — although film folks have a language of their own to describe it.

"Miki's hitting the sticks on this one," says assistant cameraman Larry Nielsen, pointing to his assistant.

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