Noah Baumbach worked in secret with a skeletal crew, small budget and digital cameras to pull off his latest movie, Frances Ha. Why this auteur director wanted to keep his film off Hollywood's radar. Plus, the Anonymous PA speaks.
Banner image: Greta Gerwig in Frances Ha, courtesy IFC Films
It's a mega-banter on the highs and lows of the broadcast TV upfronts. The big four networks trotted out recognizable stars -- Robin Williams, Michael J. Fox, big-time producers -- J.J. Abrams and Joss Whedon, limited series of old favorites -- 24 is back for a 12-episode arc -- and a raft of ways for advertisers to reach audiences on multiple platforms. Kim and Joe Adalian, West Coast editor for New York magazine's Vulture.com, give us the mood of the TV executives and ad buyers in the rooms and discuss what seems worth watching come the Fall.
Filmmaker Noah Baumbach has made a name for himself as the kind of indie auteur who can tell naturalistic, character-driven stories, often about people who aren't too happy with how their lives have turned out. For his new film Frances Ha, which he co-wrote with Greta Gerwig who stars in the movie, he made some firsts. It's the first time he's shot on digital cameras and the first time he's made a movie in black and white. He was also highly secretive about the whole thing during production. Baumbach explains his desire to keep the project off of Hollywood's radar and out of the agency system.
Listen to an outtake from our interview on why Baumbach's HBO adaptation of Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections didn't work out, despite having big names like producer Scott Rudin and talent like Ewan McGregor and Maggie Gyllenhaall involved.
The writer who blogs at The Anonymous Production Assistant speaks (albeit in a voice-altered way). We hear who a PA needs to be ("a monkey in a helmet"), what a PA needs to get a job (a drivers license and a car) and what a PA does (deliver scripts, get coffee, obey orders). And we hear how this particular production assistant dreams of being a TV writer someday -- or at least a writers' PA.