Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A Robotic puppet, ladders, and Lorne Michaels.

One thing not commonly known about SNL is that every week, one half hour of material (25% of the show) gets chucked between dress rehearsal and air. Every week the cast and writers script and fully realize two hours of funny- sets, full costumes, special effects- the works. This full two hours is then performed at a dress rehearsal before a live studio audience. Based on audience reaction, time constraints, and a few more aesthetics we're not privy to, half an hour or so's worth of sketches, shorts, etc., get cut from the live show. Occasionally, pretaped material (the stuff we work on...), resurfaces on a later episode. Sometimes, however, it is just flat out dumped, never to be seen again. Rosey Media put in a long day last Friday, shooting two sketches for the weekend's show. The Digital Short starring Rainn Wilson, a reasonably large endeavour featuring the full SNL cast, appeared about 20 minutes into the Saturday night broadcast. It was widely hailed as a progressive move and civil rights triumph, being the first digital short on national television to feature prominent roles by both a Giant Turkey Sub and a Mounted Tiger Head. Seriously. The second pretape, however, didn't make it to the show. At least not this week. How much of the content we are able to disclose and discuss here on our modest piece of cyber real estate is directly proportionate to how much we wish to incur the wrath of the National Broadcasting Company (spelled out fully for dramatic effect). . . which is not at all. So, suffice to say, we shot two things for SNL on Friday. One aired, and one is M.I.A.- whether or not it has in fact completely gone the way of the dinosaurs remains to be seen. We will give you a hint though- the skit had robotic puppets, ladders, and Lorne Michaels. Puts you on pins and needles, doesn't it?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Kimora Lee Simmons, Style Network, and Rosey Media. . . Together Again.

Tuesday Feb 13th- D.P., Ari Haberberg and sound engineer Dan Walter, found themselves braving wind chills in the teens on the tarmac at Teterboro airport, an exclusive airstrip about 20 minutes from the City. Kimora Lee Simmons, her two daughters, and a staff of about ten others were boarding Simmons' private jet and escaping to the warmer climates of Vegas. And as part of a new series in development for the Style Network chronicling the fabulous life of our Phavorite Phat Phashion Diva, Style producer Carmen Mitcho and the Rosey Media boys, undaunted by the weather, and the reports of the oncoming storm, were there to cover their departure. Even less daunted were DP Matt Beals, Sound Engineer Joe D., and Production Coordinator Brian Townes, who,after covering the journey's preparations at the Simmons' NJ mansion, watched the frigid action from inside the well heated Atlantic Airlines terminal, feeling really, really bad that airport security only allowed for one crew on the tarmac at a time. . . ...really.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Assisting the Good Doctor (Dr. Phil, that is...)

January 15th and 16th found RM audio engineer Andrew Barker, international adventurer (and sound guy) Alex Marshal, and DV documentary whiz Don Downie teamed with L.A. based hidden camera duo JR Reid and Dawn Fleischman. In a period of 48 hours, under the direction of Dr. Phil producer Kathleen Killeen, the crew completely wired and covered six Manhattan locations, including Grand Central Terminal, with as many as 8 hidden cameras at any given time. With temperatures barely in the double digits, the coffee bill went into the triples- and herein lay the problem. While the crew worked together dynamically and admirably on the personal and technical fronts, they could not reach an agreement on who had the best cup of joe. In the end, the West Coast delegation held tight to the Green and White, while the NYC crew insisted on Oren's Daily Roast. It appears Oren's simply cannot make a double upside-down caramel soy latte to L. A. standards. Our bad- we thought you wanted coffee. All kidding aside, it was a pleasure as usual working with all the Dr. Phil folks. The "Ethics" episode, featuring actors in hidden camera scenarios testing the ethics of the average New Yorker- or at least the ones caught on camera- is at press time scheduled to air on February 27th. Look for it on CBS!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

"Dick in a Box"

"Dick in a Box" Dec. 12th, 8:00am. In the first hours of what will prove to be an uncharacteristically chilly December morning in New York City, Rosey Media's President and lead Director of Photography John Rosenblatt, and Production Coordinator Brian Townes sit in the relative warmth of their production vehicle parked almost legally on the sidewalk across the highway from Chelsea Piers in NYC. While awaiting the arrival of Saturday Night Live producer Nick Mallardi, Digital Short director Akiva Schaffer, cast member Andy Samberg, and of course, the week's host, Justin Timberlake,their coffee and cell phone reverie is interrupted by a sudden frigid blast from the truck's rear passenger door. Jorma Taccone, the third member of the SNL Digital Short Triumvirate (along with Schaffer and Samberg,) resplendent in stovepipe jeans, uncombed shag hair and a light windbreaker ill-suited to the persistent Hudson wind, launches himself into the vehicle, with a groggy "What's up?" and a quick slam of the door. He is . . . well, exhausted. But everyone at SNL is exhausted. YOU try turning out an hour and a half of fully realized funny in a week. . . These guys work around the clock. They are witty, they are inventive, and they are tired. But they are always funny. And Taccone is no exception. "How are you, man?" Stretching himself across the back seat, shoving a nearby duffle and a folded piece of black duvateen beneath his head, Jorma groans. "I feel like my life is slipping away." he says, rubbing his eyes. "I got two hours of sleep last night." "So. . .how's the thing?" Rosenblatt asks- referring to the morning's shoot, of which he has been told only two things: 1.) It's a music video, and 2.) Justin Timberlake's in it. "Oh, man. . ." Jorma groans again- and then breaks into an ear to ear grin, his fatigue instantly replaced by an almost palpable energy. ". . . it's the JOINT." 16 hours later, Rosey Media, Taccone, Schaffer, Samberg and an affable, funny, and consummately professional Justin Timberlake wrap on what has become SNL's most successful Digital Short. "A Dick in a Box". has been downloaded over 15 million times since it's initial broadcast on December 16th, and has spawned at least 50 internet spinoffs. We at Rosey Media had a good time filming it, and were happy to have been part of the team. If you have not seen it, we invite you to come out of the cave, brush off your knuckles, and check out http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/ Seriously. . . go ahead. We'll wait.