“Access All Areas: Stories from a Hard Rock Life”
Author: Scott Ian
Hardcover: 243 pages
Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars
Anthrax guitarist and co-founder Scott Ian has seen his share of dive hotels, dirty tour buses and decrepit green rooms. “Access All Areas: Stories from a Hard Rock Life” is a collection of his craziest stories recounting Ian’s life on the road as a touring musician. Along the way the guitarist shares his experiences and encounters with celebrities like Kirk Hammett, Dimebag Darrell, David Lee Roth and Steven Spielberg to name just a few.
As the follow up to his autobiography “I’m The Man” guitarist Scott Ian takes readers even further into the depths of the heavy metal underworld. Unlike Ian’s first book which was a more biography than tell all where “Access All Areas” is the total opposite recounting in detail some of the writers more interesting encounters. Very rarely do you get to hear let alone read in published form stories like those shared by the veteran guitarist. From his experiences as a Pro Poker player playing alongside Kiss’s Ace Frehley and ZZ Top’s Dusty Hill to a confrontational meeting with REM front man Michael Stipe. Easily my favorite excert from the book was that where Ian sets the record straight about his guest appearance on “Married with Children” which was to include a story line featuring Christina Applegate.
Over the course of “Access All Areas” 243 pages readers are treated to a bevy of laughable stories that have not been shared before. As I made my way through the book I just kept thinking that even having one or two of these experiences in a life time would be enough for most people but to be able to compile enough for a book was mind blowing. Scott Ian has certainly to this point lived quiet an interesting life full of off the wall experiences which he has candidly detailed in this book. You don’t have to be a fan of heavy metal to enjoy this book as there are plenty of other colorful characters outside of the music world that you will surely recognize making “Access All Areas: Stories from a Hard Rock Life” a great pickup for any and all.
Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars
In 2013 Heavy Metal musician, author and television personality Scott Ian made his way over to Europe to perform his first run of speaking shows detailing his 30+ years in the music business. “Scott Ian: Speaking/Swearing Words In Glasgow” is the full length visual presentation of Scott’s show in Glasgow, Scotland which was made possible by fans from around the world donating money to the project through the PledgeMusic campaign.
Even if you are not a fan of Anthrax or heavy metal music in general there is plenty of humor in this release from Scott Ian. Shot live while performing his first ever run of speaking shows Scott shares some of his most wild stories from his career as the guitarist for one of the founding bands of thrash metal, Anthrax. From the tale of drinking with legendary Motorhead front man Lemmy Kilmister to his chance meeting with director Steven Spielberg, Scott’s dialogue will have you laughing from the word go. Over the course of the DVD Scott takes the viewer on a roller coaster that is his life. Through ups and downs Scott pulls no punches and is steadfast in his approach. You don’t have to be a heavy metal music fan to enjoy these stories!
To more to Scott’s witty banter are a handful of art slides that correspond with each of the stories told. This was a great addition as just seeing a cartoon version of 80’s era Scott with long hair was enough for me. Add in similar cartoon versions of Anthrax vocalist Joey Belladonna, heavy metal icon Johnny Z and of course the previously mentioned Lemmy and these entertaining slides act as the icing on the cake for this release. If you were fortunate to catch this show or one of the other European/U.S. shows this DVD is a must have for your collection. If you weren’t able to make it out to the live show but wanted to then you already know what you need to do. Buy this DVD!
To celebrate the DVD release of “Legendary” with Scott Adkins and Dolph Lundgren, Media Mikes is excited to giveaway one (1) copy of the Blu-ray to our readers. If you would like to enter for your chance to win one of this prize, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite Dolph Lundgren movie. This giveaway will remain open until August 8th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in US and Canada only. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.
Prepare for an epic battle between man and beast when action stars Scott Adkins and Dolph Lundgren collide in “Legendary”. Directed by Eric Styles (Miss Conception, True True Lie), the action-thriller follows the battle between two rivals who capture a mythical creature that shouldn’t exist.
Travis Preston assembles his team for an expedition to a remote region in China’s hinterland, where a wild animal that the locals believe to be a primeval monster they call the “Shocate” is said to roam free. Travis’ nemesis, Jim Harker, a merciless trophy hunter, has already set up camp. A race against time ensues and Travis and his team have to pool all their resources if they want to capture this legendary creature alive…
Scott Durbin is one of the founding members of the popular kids television show and band “Imagination Movers”. They have a successfully show that currently airs on Disney Junior. They are also constanstly touring bringing their music to fans all over the world. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Scott about their music, their tour plans for this summer and also what the future brings.
Mike Gencarelli: When you guys started “Imagination Movers” back in 2003, did you ever think that you would be still going this strong today?
Scott Durbin: I would have never imagined this that show would be seen in 50+ countries, translated in 12 languages and we are recognized around the world. For that part of it, I would say “Definitely no”. On the other side, we were so tenacious when we started. We believed that we wanted to create something to encourage creativity in kids, modeling problem-solving and create music for kids that challenged them and did not pacify them. This gets them off the couch and gets them moving around and also their brain moving. Even for parents, like yourself, we wanted to make it something that you could listen to over and over without starting to hate it. We also wanted to make it developmental and age appropriate, so it really connects with the kids. So that part of me says “Yes, I knew we were going to be a success”. We are coming from a real place and doing it for the right reasons.
MG: I love that you guys have such strong educational messages in your show and music while still being entertaining and having fun…
SD: I think it is important to balance them both. If there is too much entertainment it can become campy. If it is too educational, it can be a turn off. But if there is a good balance, you can get the best of both worlds. You can teach and the kids will enjoy learning. I started off teaching in elementary education for 10 years. So in those years that I taught, I saw this level of creativity in the kids was just decreasing and I saw this need for creativity. I think part of the reason why we began. We say that there was no “real people” in kid’s entertainment (going back over 10 years now) and we wanted to change that. We wanted to bring strong male role models to kids. As a teacher, you had a lot of kids that didn’t have a strong male role model at home and I found that having that was invaluable.
MG: You guys are touring all this summer and through the fall, tell us about what you enjoy most about performing live?
SD: Obviously, we have been so blessed with just being able to travel and meet our fans across the globe. We just got back from the UK. We recently did a show in Dubai. An interesting thing about Dubai is that about 80% of the people there are ex-pats from direct countries. The group that brought us over there told us that most of the Western acts they bring over there, potential 95% of the audience are expats other countries like Australia, UK, Canada, or the States. So essentially they are all Western, but when we played in Dubai the audience was Indian, Philippian, Saudi Arabian and the group that brought us in said that they have never seen the amount of diversity that we brought to one of their shows. So for us, I think being able and being accessible to such a diverse group of people makes it worth it. That was so special. It just showed how four dudes from Louisiana can resonate with a six year old from India. When we tour, we get to meet families and hear stories about how the music has affected them and that is so humbling. We are very fortunate to be able to participate in this. There is a certain glimmer of magic in what we get to do.
MG: On July 27th, you guys are playing after the Tampa Bay Rays game at Tropicana Field for a special Christmas in July concert; tell us about that?
SD: I am very excited for this. We got to do it last year and we are lucky enough to get to do it again. The hard part about this is that the Rays are playing the Red Socks. I have a real soft spot for the Rays since I have been following them much more but my dad was a huge Red Socks fan. So I grew up rooting for the Red Socks, so I am little torn here [laughs]. For the Christmas in July, we will probably play about 70 minutes and throw in some fun Christmas songs. We have a really interactive set and the kids have a lot of fun. It is actually really a family concert that moms and dads will enjoy as well. We play live music, so there is so much great energy going around.
MG: Your latest album “Back in Blue” was released last summer which includes second set of songs from season 3; do you have plans for new music?
SD: Yeah, that is a great question. The music industry is changing and how bands get music out to their fans are changing. “Back in Blue” was our first digital release only, so there was no hard copy available. That is something that was so new to us to think that we can’t give you a CD and you have to download it. There are so many great songs from that CD including “Robot Chase Song” and “Have You Ever Seen a Unicorn”. In fact, right now we are actually starting on our ninth album. We did an album called “Rock-o-matic” a few years back, which was a CD/DVD. We created about 35 minutes of additional content with videos, sketches etc and we are looking to do a follow up to that. This time we are going to get our fans to participate. They are also going to get to experience more of the making of the CD and DVD. If you “Like” our Facebook, you can find out more about this.
MG: There hasn’t been new episodes for over a year now; is there a fourth season in the horizon for the “Imagination Movers”?
SD: Right now, episodes are currently are airing on Disney Junior. I don’t know if a fourth season will ever be made. But we are currently working with a production company in Canada right now to create new “Movers” content… So I will leave that at that because I do not know how much I can say right now. Around the corner, don’t be surprised if you are seeing some new content. So we are very excited about that.
- Patton Oswalt talks about hosting the 29th Annual Independent Spirit Awards
- Brendon Small talks about “Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem- A Klok Opera”
- Marina Sirtis reflects on the 25th Anniversary of “Star Trek:” The Next Generation”
- LeVar Burton talks about TNT’s “Perception”, “Reading Rainbow” iPad app and 25th Anniversary of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”
- Parks and Recreation’s Amy Poehler, Adam Scott and Mike Schur chat about the big wedding episode
Scott Stapp is probably best known as the singer for the Grammy award winning rock band Creed who’s music dominated the airwaves in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. In 2005 after Creed’s initial breakup Stapp began a solo career with the release of “The Great Divide” which was certified platinum within a month of its release. Scott is back with his second solo album titled “Proof of Life” a very dark and personal record that reflects on Scott’s life over the past few years. Media Mikes had the pleasure of speaking with Scott recently about the album and his thoughts on the future of Creed.
Adam Lawton: Can you give us some of the background that led up to the recording of this album?
Scott Stapp: This album to me symbolizes the next chapter in my life. It concludes the first half of my life and opens up the next. A lot of life was lived in between “The Great Divide” and now. I went through some of the darkest days as a human being between these two albums. I battled depression which led to fighting a battle with drugs and alcohol. That stuff was like a tornado that wrecked a lot of things in my life. This album really symbolizes me coming to grips with those things, understanding them and finding my way out. The school of hard knocks and life had to happen in order to get me to place to where I could write this record. I had to come out of the fog to be able to write this record. I had to realize that the stuff that happened in the past wasn’t going to happen again.
AL: What was it like revisiting some of those more painful memories while writing the album?
SS: It was very cathartic. It was part of the process of getting through and coming out of those periods. It was party of making peace with that and developing incite and an honest reflection on that so I could grow and mature. All though there were things I wish didn’t happen or wished I could forget I was able to repurpose those experiences and see that those things didn’t happen for nothing. There was purpose in those things so that I could pay it forward and share how I made it through. This added a deeper purpose to my life both in and out of rock and roll.
AL: Can you tell us about the song “Break Out” which you wrote with your son?
SS: Jagger actually wrote the first three lines of the chorus a few years ago however we never got around to finishing the song. I just kept challenging him to work on it and finish the song as he was working on being in a band with some friends of his. During the writing process this song kept coming in to my head. I was connecting with the theme and the words so I went to Jagger and told him I was going to finish the song he started. Part of me working on the song became an exercise and instruction to him on how to turn his ideas in to songs. He has some really great ideas and it was definitely a bonding experience for the both of us. When it came time to finish the song I worked with Julia Michaels which was really great. I liked seeing that we could connect over similar emotions.
AL: Can you tell us about the upcoming tour you have planned?
SS: We just wrapped up our first run of US and European shows which went really good. This will be the second round of shows in the states and I am really excited to be able to bring this music and performance out on tour. It’s a rock and roll show that also encapsulates our journey as human beings. I am very connected to that. The stage performance and my connection with the emotions in each song and how I connect with those things are very important to me. I want the audiences to not only feel the power of rock and roll but also feel the spirit and emotion that each song represents.
AL: You had a number of musicians perform on the CD. Will some of them also be a part of the live band?
SS: I was fortunate that in the studio I got to use the best of the best. I was able to use guys like Josh Freese and Kenny Arnoff to Tim Pierce and Phil X among others. There was a lot of chemistry during those studio sessions and it was important for me to capture that with the live band as well. I am really excited with the group of guys I have behind me. I have Andy Wood on guitar, Chad Szeliga former of Breaking Benjamin on drums, Travis Colmer is my second guitarist and then I have Andy Waldeck on bass. Andy is a really talented guy that has worked with Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots and a bunch of others. These guys have such a desire and passion for this band and project. These guys have rekindled that fire and drive to perform. Its great working with like minded guys with that same passion for what they are doing.
AL: Do you feel this new found passion will transfer over to new Creed material?
SS: It’s always there. The door is never closed and we are still together. When the time is right and that fire and organic desire is all there I am sure we will make another record. Until then I don’t think it would be worth it as it would be a disservice to the fans.
Date: Thursday, March 6th 2014
Venue: The Lost Horizon, Syracuse, NY
Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Anthrax/The Damned Things guitarist and co-founder Scott Ian brought his spoken word tour to the quaint Syracuse, NY venue known as the Lost Horizon on March 6th were he spoke about his 20 plus year career in the music business. Though this is Ian’s first run with this venture here in the States and his first appearance in Syracuse since 1987,he showed himself as the consummate professional and left no stone unturned.
Prior to the nights event whenever I heard the term “spoken word” I immediately thought of Henry Rollins and his outspoken and sometimes controversial speaking sessions where he shares with those in attendance his recent travel stories and thoughts on various subjects. However I now have a new name to throw in to the spoken word ring as Scott Ian proved he is more than just a heavy metal guitarist with an impressive goatee. For close to 3 hours Mr. Ian took the 100-150 people in attendance on journey dating back to Anthrax’s first trip to Europe which included a chance meeting with Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead that resulted in a rather colorful explanation of what happens when a non-drinker hangs out with Lemmy for one evening. Accompanied by several cartoon like slides that added to the comedic side of Ian’s tales and a number of personal photos Scott progressed through his life and some of its darker days before closing out the night with tales of his late friend, Pantera/Damage Plan guitarist Dime bag Darrel.
After Ian finished up his portion of the evening he opened up the floor to questions from the audience. This proved quite entertaining as one fan in attendance proclaimed that he was there to request a DNA test from the Anthrax guitarist after being told by his mother that he was the result of a one night stand between his mom and Ian in 1983. Scott quickly put this person in place stating a number of facts proving that this was definitely not the case. Other questions tackled during the Q and A session included questions about the status of a new Anthrax album, the release of his upcoming book and DVD along with stories of Scott’s encounter with former area resident and heavy metal legend Ronnie James Dio.
It could have been very easy for Scott to get up on stage go through a pre-rehearsed routine and that would have been it however the evenings show was much more than that. Witty banter between Scott and the intimate crowd along with off the cuff stories and a lively question and answer session made the night unique and fun. You never knew where things would go next and it was something a bit different that a traditional stand up or spoken word performance. Another cool feature added to the night for those with a little extra drinking money was an after show meet and greet with Scott where he mingled with fans and continued to answer whatever questions people may have been too shy to answer during the open forum. The whole night was very relaxed and felt like you were hanging out with a bunch of friends telling war stories. My only hope is that Scott continues to do these types of shows and continues to evolve as a multi-tiered artist.
SCOTT IAN: Legendary ANTHRAX Guitarist, Author, and TV Personality Officially Announces “Speaking Words” Tour, North American Leg
New 60-Second Video Teaser Launched via VICE Noisey
SCOTT IAN’s Hilarious One-Man Storytelling Experience Kicks Off in Chicago, IL on February 20, 2014
“Geek, author, guitarist, icon: when it comes to recounting the history of metal, SCOTT IAN is the man – catch him while you can.” – Alex Milas, Editor, Metal Hammer
At this point, it’s no surprise to anyone that legendary heavy metal musician, author, and television personality SCOTT IAN has a lot to say. After decades-worth of international touring with Anthrax, bumping elbows with illustrious (and sometimes ridiculous) characters all over the media spectrum, and undergoing general “you won’t believe this” experiences— SCOTT IAN certainly has some hilarious and surprisingly personal stories to share.
Following the resounding success of the UK leg of his “Speaking Words” tour, Scott is picking up the mic again for a 15-city North American leg, kicking off in Chicago, IL on February 20th.
An official “Speaking Words” tour teaser, featuring professional footage from his upcoming “Speaking Words: Live in Glasgow” DVD (pre-order coming soon), has been exclusively released via VICE Noisey today. Watch it here.
Don’t mistake this for your run-of-the-mill spoken word tour. In SCOTT IAN’s own words, “it ain’t no poetry reading” either. “Speaking Words” is an honest look at the insane life that Scott has led for the last 31 years, the people he’s met, and the events that coincide. During each show, Scott will take part in a special Q&A session with the audience.
SCOTT IAN adds, “England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, Germany; I’ve been “Speaking Words” all over the world. My friends in the U.S. and Canada, you asked for it and now I finally get to bring it home! I’m looking forward to talking with ya, talking at ya and telling you some amazing tales of drunken debauchery and ridiculousness. No punches pulled, no swear word left unturned, and no question avoided in the Q&A. Let’s do this!”
A special opportunity to join a VIP meet & greet at each date is available now via SCOTT IAN’s webstore. This unique and limited event will allow you to spend time with Scott like never before. It’s a veritable post show hangout with a metal legend— one that’s sure to enrich your knowledge of not only all-things SCOTT IAN, but Anthrax and metal history in general. The VIP meet & greet also includes a special VIP laminate, banner, and other goodies. Learn more and get your passes here: http://bit.ly/1jXEPen
Currently Confirmed SCOTT IAN “Speaking Words” Dates:
2/20 – Chicago, IL @ Mayne Stage
2/21 – Westland, MI @ The Token Lounge
2/22 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Rex Theatre
2/24 – Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theater
2/25 – Toronto, ON @ El Mocambo Club
2/26 – Kingston, ON @ The Mansion
2/27 – Ottowa, ON @ Ritual
3/01 – Baltimore, MD @ The Ramshead Live: Power Plant Live
3/02 – Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live
3/04 – Boston, MA @ Hard Rock Cafe
3/05 – New York, NY @ BB Kings
3/06 – Syracuse, NY @ Lost Horizon
3/07 – West Warwick, RI @ Manchester 65
3/08 – Portland, ME @ Port City Music Hall
With a career spanning three decades, Scott is heralded as metal elite. As the co-founding member of Anthrax, SCOTT IAN helped to create the thrash metal genre in the 1980’s. Anthrax have sold over 10 million records worldwide, have multiple Gold and Platinum awarded recordings, multiple Grammy nominations and have toured the world over on roughly 90+ tours since 1984. SCOTT IAN is recognized as a constant and unanimously recognizable figure in the worlds of music, poker, comics, movies and television. Currently, SCOTT IAN hosts Blood & Guts for the Nerdist Channel, and along with Anthrax, is writing songs for their presently untitled 11th studio album, due out in 2014.
For more information on SCOTT IAN, please visit these websites:
Official SCOTT IAN: www.Scott-Ian.com
Official Anthrax: www.anthrax.com
Scott Frazelle co-produced and co-wrote December’s House of Bad. Media Mikes had a chance to catch up with the multi-tasker to get the low-down on one of the most buzzed about horror films on the net. Be sure to check out “House of Bad” when it hits DVD on December 3.
Mike Gencarelli: What exactly does a co-producer do?
Scott Frazelle: In my experience, that title is given to an individual that not only has a specific job, but also brings something to the table in the form of resources or creativity, or both. In the case of House of Bad, our Director, Jim Towns, Producer Dorota Skrzypek, and myself all shared an equal part of producing this feature. Jim brought the script, and a location already in mind. I secured resources and began planning logistics. Dorota found capitol. We equally hammered out the creative details to make it work on screen, and we did the same through the process of post-production. There are plenty of examples where one individual took the lead, but it is absolutely accurate to say we shared this task equally.
MG: How hands-on were you? Was it a case of being on set, doing whatever needed to be done there and then, or was it more a case of making sure the ducks were all in a row before Jim started shooting the movie?
SF: It worked out that Jim asked me to get involved right at a moment where I was between projects for a short time. I was able to do a few weeks of solid prep, then we were off and running. Things were organized pretty well. I stayed on set and was Line Producer through the shoot, as well as another pair of hands wherever needed. I’ve worked in many capacities on Indie features, so its hard for me not to be involved while on set. Plus, I love the culture of being on set. Its amazing to watch complete strangers come together and step into this circus that is filmmaking.
MG: What’s the biggest difficultly doing an indy film?
SF: Overcoming the urge to let enthusiasm overpower good judgement. A lot of Indie projects are a labor of love or a great idea that hasn’t reached the right channels to properly realize them. As a result, the movie suffers, and the people involved suffer. There’s a saying that goes around town, “If you don’t have enough money… you don’t have the right script.” Often times that’s thrown at small projects that are trying make ends meet as a criticism, but really, it should be a mantra that helps guide your judgement. Its not easy, sometimes, to get your start or see your project come to life, but you have to pick your projects in a way that best honors the quality of the project. If you’ve done a budget several times, and you know you really need $250K, it’s going to get rough when you raise only half of that, and decided to do it anyway. Asking people to work 16 hour days for an entire week “for the sake of the movie” is garbage, damaging, and insulting. You can’t do that if you want to work with people again, and you certainly can’t do that if you want what’s on screen to be right. I’m a firm believer in quality, and it begins with EVERYTHING. The script you write or choose, the people you hire, how you treat them, it all has to be guided by doing it right. The best decision you can make could be to NOT proceed with a project…until you’re prepared.
MG: You’re actually a bit of a horror veteran. I see you were in “Creepshow III”! Where and when did the love affair with fright-films begin?
SF: Like all good American kids of the time, through television! I fell in love with classic, and b-movie horror films, at an early age. I remember being fascinated watching The Creature from the Black Lagoon around age 6, followed quickly by Tarantula, Them, The Blob, and re-run after re-run of The Twilight Zone. My father has an affinity for those works, so I was able to catch them on TV with him. Those kinds of horror films really had a fantastic quality to them, they were able to make an impression on me much better than say, Casablanca, would have at that age. I think I saw Whatever Happened to Baby Jane and Psycho when I was about 10, and I no longer needed a monster suit to hold my attention, those were the films that made me realize people are the monsters in our world. My involvement with Creepshow3 was in many ways a dream come true, I got a chance to be a part of the legacy of one of my most favorite movies.
MG: Did the script go through many drafts?
SF: I don’t know how many rewrites Jim went through before he decided to show it to me, but when we both agreed to move forward on it together, there wasn’t the need for a lot of work. I wanted to make some changes, but mostly in the nuances. I thought Jim had some great little moments still lurking in his script, and that the movie would be better served by dragging those things into the light. Jim and I worked together to do that, and it didn’t take much time before we both felt it was done.
MG: When you sold the film to the distributor, were you forced to make any changes – either in the title, how the film was marketed, or otherwise. Was it like handing over a baby to a stranger and just hoping it’d be Okay?
SF: It was! We had been handling everything about the movie from day one-including PR, and generating reviews, and all the stuff it takes to get a distributor interested; so when we made a deal with Osiris Entertainment, there was the relief of not having to do all that any more. At the same time, it was the beginning of a whole new kind of stress because, you know, there goes our baby. But one of the biggest factors in accepting the offer from Osiris was that they genuinely liked the film, and didn’t feel there was a need to change anything about it. Jim, Dorota and myself, all agreed that we’d get the best support from a company that appreciated and enjoyed what we had created, so when they did decided to change the DVD cover, we felt their reasoning was sound and continued to put us in the best position possible.
MG: Was it always called House of Bad? or did you have some alternative titles at one stage?
SF: It’s always been House of Bad. I liked the title when I first read it, I thought there was something just a little spooky about it. It never made me think of a slasher film, or torture porn, or anything like that. There was something unsettling about it, in just the right way. Our cast and crew were one of the best little production families ever, we got along, and there was a lot of fun riffing on the title throughout the production, but nobody ever came up with anything that fit better. Once we began, and started talking about it with friends, everyone seemed to react the same way. The planned sequels, however…
MG: You’re also a book editor. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
SF: My formal education is in writing, and one of my gifts, I believe, is the ability to help a fellow writer improve or refine their ideas. This is different from Punch-Up, where you’re hired to take a script and actually rewrite portions of it to meet certain needs; I feel like when I read another writer’s work, I can see their story through it’s flaws, the most common of which is keeping a particular voice, and pacing. I don’t like to put my words into other people’s work, but I can help another writer see where they’ve gotten off course, or change things to keep to the spirit of their story. Its a little like being a coach; sometimes, because you’re the not the one swinging the bat, or club, or whatever, you can see where a tiny adjustment harnesses the all the power. The first time I’ve officially been named Editor was in 2008, when Dorota began her women’s fiction series Sex, Life, and Hannah. She had this idea for a dating series set in Los Angeles. It was high-energy, and magnetic, and the characters were all very real, but it was still evolving. I’ve been attached to that project for three books now, with a fourth on the way, and it’s been great. I’m also serving as editor on her erotic thriller, The Need, which is going to blow people’s minds (and which I really hope gets realized as a feature)! Its great to work in that creative capacity, being there to help things click.
February 21, 2013 – Tonight’s Parks and Recreation will see the wedding of Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) in a spontaneous ceremony put on by the Pawnee Parks department. The two stars spoke together, along with series Executive Producer and Writer, Mike Schur about the special occasion as well as Leslie and Ben’s relationship throughout the series.
Element of Surprise
Back in October, Ben Wyatt surprised viewers with his impromptu proposal to Leslie in one of Schur’s favorite moments of the series so far:
Mike Schur: “I like the proposal the most of the things that have actually aired because I’m of the belief that the most powerful weapon we have in tv these days after sixty years of sitcoms is surprise and that has been our goal with every relationship really and with every non-romantic story we tell on the show we just try to always be surprising to the audience. And that was the idea, we were not going to have the proposal come in the season premiere or in you know, November sweeps or you know, Christmas or whatever. We’re going to do it at a time where it just feels natural and right and that kind of takes people by surprise. That was the plan with the proposal and I think it worked.”
Everyone has to Chip in
Originally planned to take place in May, Ben’s sudden decision to hold the wedding instead at tonight’s Parks Department gala puts the entire cast to work:
Schur: “They basically have two hours to throw it together. So everybody kind of has a role to play. Tom Haverford becomes the officiant and has to get ordained online in like an hour and Donna plays a role in that for the first time we’re going to feature her beautiful and professionally trained singing voice…In order to pull this thing off, in classic Parks and Rec fashion, everyone has to chip in.
Will the wedding see Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari) looking for ladies?
Schur: “The wedding is really about Leslie and Ben and everyone sort of gets that. So Tom is not—Tom has a desire to kind of shine at the wedding, as he always does in any social situation that he’s in. But it’s not about ladies. It’s about him wanting to be a star at the wedding.”
Did Leslie miss having a big production wedding?
Amy Poehler: “Leslie…is a modern woman. So it’s not like she has these weird fantasies about marriage or of weddings necessarily. So she’s kind of a combination of her liking to be in control. And what’s cool about that moment for both Ben and Leslie—because they tend to like to control things—is that they kind of throw things up in the air.”
Ben Wyatt as The One
Leslie Knope has dated an assortment of men throughout the series from Louis CK to Justin Theroux, but it became clear to everyone that Adam Scott as Ben Wyatt would be the one to wind up tying the knot with Knope.
Adam Scott: “We thought that it might be—Leslie and Ben might be a couple at some point but I think it was sort of a wait-and-see sort of thing. Because if we got together and didn’t quite click as a relationship…I sort of got the sense that they were gonna try that out and see if it works and if it didn’t maybe find something else for me to do.”
Schur: “The plan was always that this was a love interest and a long-term love interest. Our initial idea for Leslie was that she was gonna have a series of relationships with different men, different kinds of men over the course of the show and that she would sort of learn something different from each of them…She learned something from Mark Brendenowicz [Paul Schneider], she learned something from Louis CK’s character, she learned something from Justin Theroux and we were kind of like oh, Adam Scott, she’ll date him for a while and she’ll learn something from him. It was certainly the plan to have him be the love interest…The first episode—in the Master Plan episode—they have a conversation in a bar and I wrote this thing into it where Ben says to her very casually ‘You want to run for office someday, right?’ and she says ‘Yeah, how did you know?’ and he just sort of blows past it. I mean he’s just kind of got her number, he just kind of gets her. He understands her and what her goals are. And the second episode that we had which was the finale that year called Freddy Spagetti, they have a conversation and Leslie smiles at him and walks off and there’s a shot of Adam looking after Leslie with a smile on his face and as soon as I saw that I kind of realized that not only were they going to get together but they were never going to break up. It became really clear in that moment that this was it.”
Poehler: “It’s chemistry baby, you can’t fight it!”
Pawnee after the wedding
As always with Parks and Recreation, work goes on in Pawnee right alongside the romantic plots.
Schur:“In the second episode [tonight’s 9-9:30 half of the hour]… the cold open of that episode is Leslie and Ben coming back from their Honeymoon and just sort of talking about how much fun they had on their Honeymoon but the episode is just a regular episode of Parks and Rec and Leslie and Ben are in the same story. Ben is starting a new job and it’s the first day of work and he’s sort of thrown into this new challenge of his new job and Leslie has an event that she’s planning for which is sort of a correspondent’s type of event where the politicians roast each other and stuff.
And so I think you’ll see right away that there’s sort of a blue print going forward that yea, they’re married now but you know, they also have other aspects of their lives that are very important to them and so I hope and very much feel like that will be the thing that keeps it from feeling like the ‘magic is gone.’”
Parks and Recreation airs every Thursday at 8:30pm on NBC.
One of three sons born into a military family in Britain, Scott showed an interest in art and painting and pursued that career in college, earning a Masters of Fine Art from the Royal College of Art. After failing to make a successful living painting for a couple of years, he teamed with his brother, Ridley, to form the Ridley Scott Association, where he began directing commercials.
His 1983 feature film debut was “The Hunger,” a vampire romance starring David Bowie, Susan Sarandon and Catherine Deneuve. He followed that film with 1986’s “Top Gun,” which launched Tom Cruise to super-stardom. The next year he directed Eddie Murphy in the hugely successful sequel “Beverly Hills Cop II.”
Other early successes include “True Romance,” “The Last Boyscout” and “Days of Thunder.” He then began a long association with Denzel Washington by directing the actor in “Crimson Tide.” He guided Will Smith, Jon Voight and Marty Kircher through the political thriller “Enemy of the State.” His last four features, “Man on Fire,” “Deja Vu,” “The Taking of Pelham 1,2,3” and “Unstoppable” all co-starred Washington.
Scott Hoying and Avi Kaplan are members of the Arlington, Texas based a cappella group Pentatonix. The group burst on to the scene last fall after winning season 3 of NBC’s “The Sing Off” Media Mikes talked recently with Scott and Avi about the group’s formation as well as their new hit single “Starships”.
Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background on how the group came together?
Scott Hoying: We started out as a trio. Mitch Grassi, Kirstin Maldonado and I all grew up together. Later when I move to Los Angeles to go to school I decided I wanted to try out for “The Sing Off”. I talked to my friend and he told me I was going to need a really awesome beat boxer and bass if I wanted to have a chance at the show. We found Avi through a friend as he had a really great reputation for singing bass in the Los Angeles area. We later found our beat boxer Kevin Olusola through a viral video of him playingcello and beat boxing. We sent him an email and after a phone call or two he was interested and he came out. We actually all met the day before the audition. Everything just clicked and the audition went really well. Now we are all best friends and it’s a happy go lucky story.
AL: What was it like competing on the show while you were still getting to know each other as a group?
SH: It was an interesting thing. On the show we were developing both as a group and as friends. If you watched the show you could actually see how we interacted with each other. We were also finding out how to work with each other as we didn’t really have a leader. We sort of sat in a circle and just talked. It was super hard to do at first because we were all different people and liked different music. We eventually clicked and ever since things just keep getting better and better.
AL: Was it hard working with the cameras around?
SH: Not really. I expected it to be hard but literally after one day you forget that they are there. You just go on your way and do what you have to do.
AL: What have been your thoughts about the success of your EP and its first single“Starships”?
SH: It been overwhelmingly exciting. We never thought a year ago when we were trying out for the show that anything would become of it. To be able to do what we love and are passionate about is really great. When we made the EP we worked so hard on it and the scary thing is people don’t really buy albums anymore. We were afraid it wasn’t going to do well. People have been really intense about supporting us and we really appreciate that. Things are going better than we have ever hoped. We are still celebrating.
Avi Kaplan: The whole thing for me has been a dream comes true. It’s an amazing experience. This is just something that I have always wanted to do. I never thought this type of music would be my profession. I am getting to live my dream everyday and it is just so amazing.
AL: What made you choose “Starships” as the first single?
AK: When we were arranging all of the songs “Starships” was one of the last songs we arranged. The song just stuck out and we were very proud of the arrangement. We thought that this song would be a great spring board for our album.
AL: What were the writing/recording sessions like for the EP?
AK: It was definitely a collective process as we all have different styles. We appreciate all types of music so things were very collective.
AL: What are the group’s plans for the rest of this year?
AK: We really want to start recording our next EP or LP. We also want to start working on our Christmas Album. Besides touring those are the two things on our plate right now. We have a few different shows already scheduled and will be announcing more as the dates become available.
SH: We are going to be touring in a lot of different places. Even though were not doing an official tour nationwide. We plan to do a number of shows in different areas where it will feel like a tour.
Scott Shuffitt is one of the minds behind Lebowski Fest, which is a traveling tribute gathering to celebrate “The Big Lebowski”. The fest has been going strong for over 10 years and is only growing and getting more popular. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Scott during their recent visit to Orlando, FL to chat about the fest and what else we can expect for 2012.
Mike Gencarelli: After going over 10 years what do you do to keep the Lebowski Fest fresh every city/every year?
Scott Shuffitt: There are new challenges in each city and we are still learning and growing so that helps to keep it fresh. Of course new achievers are still discovering the fest. I ask the crowd at the House of Blues Movie Party how many where at the fest for the first time and it seemed to me that at least 40% were first timers.
MG: Tell us how long it takes for you guys to setup an event like this?
SS: What’s kind of hard to say but basically I start working on a fest about eight months or longer before. A lot of it depends on if is a return to the city or new to us.
MG: What is the craziest thing that has happened at Lebowksi Fest over the years?
SS: Our first event outside of Louisville was in Vegas and everyone was super pumped about it. There was a guy wearing a rug as a costume, he cut a hole in it and put it over his head. After the fest he laid it out in the parking lot and a bunch of dudes piss on it.. Kinda gross, def crazy. We’ve seen plenty more, probably none as gross though.
MG: Tell us your favorite line in the film if you had to choose one?
SS: I like “Darker than a black steers tookus on a moonless prairie night” a lot but there are plenty of others. I kind of like how when the Dude muddles his words like in the back of The Big L’s limo.. What in God’s name are you talking about?
MG: Why do you think fans resonant with this movie for through it’s cult status?
SS: At its core it is a great comedy, all the actors really nail the characters, and it is great visually. Add that to the fact that its kind of anti-establishment and that it isn’t really a film that has wide appeal and you can’t stop quoting it, I think that is what makes it a cult film. Seemed to work on me at least.
MG: You have expanded this fandom from the fest to a book, what’s the next goal for you?
SS: Not really sure, we would like to take the fest to some new cities, including Canada and maybe even some European stops, but that kind of depends on the Dudes budget, you know.
MG: What can we expect from the Lebowski Fest for the rest of 2012?
SS: More party!
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Scott Schiaffo is known best for playing the role of the Chewlies Gum Guy from Kevin Smith’s debut film “Clerks”. To celebrate the book release of “VDAMISNOS” written by Scott, Media Mikes would like to giveaway TWO copies of the book. If you would like to win one of these great prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email and let us know your favorite quote from the film “CLERKS”. This giveaway will be open until Tuesday February 28th at Noon, Eastern Time. Only one entry per person, per household; all other entries will be considered invalid. Once the giveaway ends, Media Mikes will randomly pick out winners and alert the winners via email.
In this bold collection of prose, tales, and streams of semi-consciousness, actor and musician Scott Schiaffo (“Clerks”, “Vulgar”) takes you through the depths of existential angst, addiction, and near death experiences. This book reflects a troubling time in a gifted man’s journey.
- Complimentary Passes to the Orlando, FL Screening for “End of Watch” [ENDED]
- “I Heart Shakey” DVD Giveaway [ENDED]
- Win Passes to Con X 2012 – Kansas City [ENDED]
- Scottish comedy-horror “Attack of the Herbals” DVD Giveaway [ENDED]
- Complimentary Passes to the Orlando, FL Screening for “People Like Us” [ENDED]
Scott Schwartz is known best for playing the role of Flick in the timeless holiday classic “A Christmas Story”. Scott also starred alongside Richard Pryor in “The Toy”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Scott about his experience on “A Christmas Story” and revisiting it every holiday season.
Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your experience working with Richard Pryor in the film “The Toy”?
Scott Schwartz: Richard made the experience ten times more fun than what normal movie making was. He was very gracious and kind and he would let me go to him for advice and to ask questions. Whatever I needed I could always go to him. He was an amazing person and outside of my family Richard was probably one of the most influential people I have ever had in my life.
MG: What is your most memorable experience working on “A Christmas Story”?
SS: I don’t know if there is any one particular moment that stands out other than being out in the cold for the infamous tongue on the flag pole scene. It was about 25 degrees below zero with the wind chill and I was out there for that shoot over the course of a few days. It was great forming relationships with Peter Billingsley, Bob Clark and everyone else on the set. Every movie and experience is different but I had fun shooting in Cleveland and Canada. For kids movie making should not be a job. My Dad would tell me you are making a movie but enjoy yourself. Richard Prior told me the same thing so that’s what I have always done.
MG: How was it working with Bob Clark?
SS: Bob and I got along from the first time I met him during my audition for the film. He didn’t even have me read any lines. Him and I just sat down and shot the bull. He wanted to see if I was a decent guy and if I could carry on a conversation. He told me to do whatever felt right and that if I did something he didn’t like he would let me know. When I did the first take of the tongue on the flag pole scene I was kind of conservative. He told me that I had to bring it up so I did and then it was too much so we brought it down a little and it was great. I had a very easy time working with Bob.
MG: Did you get to keep any props or memorabilia from the shoot?
SS: No I have nothing from “A Christmas Story” at all! From “The Toy” they sent me a bunch of stuff like shirts, a jacket as well as the spider man pajamas and military uniform. I think you have to have at least one or two things from every movie you do because it’s yours and down the line it becomes your kids and its now something that Dad used or wore.
MG: This film is such a classic amongst many generations and new fans discover it every year, how can you reflect on that?
SS: That’s an interesting question. That movie was made to not be a generational movie. Yes it was made in the 1980’s however, in terms of a generation that really enjoys the film it’s more those from the 1950’s that enjoy it due to the film being a time piece film set in the mid-west . Most good movies are relationship films. You can say “A Christmas Story” is about a kid wanting a BB gun but when it comes down to it it’s really the father and son relationship between Darren McGavin and Peter Billingsley. At the end of the film when he gives Peter the BB gun you can see the pride in the fathers face because he gave his child the ultimate gift.
MG: Tell us about the development and your involvement with “The Untold Christmas Story”?
SS: We did that so we could have something of ours so that we would never forget this stuff. It’s about five friendships that have developed over the years as well as the back story to the shooting of the film as well as the following that the film has. It really is a multi generational film. Mom and dad grew up in the 40’s-50’s and know about the era Grandma and Grandpa also knew about that generation. Our generation didn’t know what it was like having to go to the radio and listen to our favorite show so the moms and the dads bring this film to us and as we have kids we bring the film to them. It’s a wonderful family movie about relationships and the holiday known as Christmas.
MG: How do you feel when you return to Cleveland each year for the conventions?
SS: I am thrilled that Cleveland is not the same city as it was when we shot the film there 20 or so years ago. Higbee’s square at the time of shooting was very run down and most of the stores were closed and boarded up. To go there now and see stores in places that used to be all boarded up and to see the city is a different light is really nice. Cleveland now has the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame and “A Christmas Story” house.