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  • Comedy Director Paul Feig Screens “Bridesmaids” at NYFA Los Angeles

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    On Wednesday, October 19th, 2016, famed comedy director, Paul Feig, came to the New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus to celebrate the fifth anniversary of his beloved film Bridesmaids. Feig’s prolific film and television directing credits include Spy, Ghostbusters (2016), The Heat, The Office, Nurse Jackie, Freaks and Geeks, and Arrested Development. NYFA’s Director of Industry Lecture Series and successful Hollywood producer, Tova Laiter (Varsity Blues, Glory) hosted the event.

    Paul Feig

    Feig began the conversation by talking about his relationship with Judd Apatow. As the saying goes, “it’s not what you know it’s who you know.” A lot of Mr. Feig’s career has been closely tied with Apatow’s career. “I’ve known Judd since he was seventeen. If he produced something, I’d act in it.” When Feig made a short film, Apatow liked it so much he helped him to get Freaks and Geeks green-lit. And in 2007, Apatow once again called Feig, this time for a table read of an untitled female comedy about a wedding.

    Feig said of that first table read, “I remember thinking ‘my gosh this is such a great vehicle for a bunch of funny women.’ Now, of course, this was the early days and the script needed a lot of work so I gave a bunch of notes. I called Judd (several months later) and asked him what happened. He said it was dead, so that was the end of that.”

    Three years later Feig got a call from his agent saying they were trying to revive the “bride movie.” The first name Feig thought of was Kristen Wiig. He had cast her in her first film role, “Unaccompanied Minors,” a few years before and “instantly fell in love with her.”

    laiter and feig

    When he started looking at how he was going to approach filming the script he used a standup comedy trick; write a bunch of jokes and then test them on audiences. The jokes with the best laughs stay in the movies, everything else is left on the cutting room floor. “I like doing action stuff. How can I make it physical and suspenseful so you’re scared and screaming at the same time? To get that kind of reaction out of the audience is a good time,” Feig said.

    One student asked, “When it comes to directing is there a difference between working with stand-up comedians as apposed to straight actors?” Feig responded, “Most of the funniest people I work with are really funny. If they’re going all out I usually tell them to pull back. [Directing] it’s really kind of guiding them. That safe environment is really important. Actors need to feel they can make mistakes. Let them try everything and don’t ever be punitive with them.”

    New York Film Academy would like to thank Paul Feig for taking the time come speak to our students. Ghostbusters is now available on DVD, and look out for his next film Song of Back and Neck coming out in 2017.

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    October 24, 2016 • Filmmaking, Guest Speakers, Producing • Views: 4571

  • SNL Uses Super Bowl to Share Super 40th Anniversary Lineup

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    west & mccartney snl

    Kanye West & Paul McCartney are part of SNL’s 40th Anniversary Lineup

    Saturday Night Live’s 40th birthday is fast approaching—its Anniversary Special is set to air on February 15. If the celebration is anything like it’s star-studded 25th Anniversary, expect a mix of best-of clips, new material from a mix of former & current stars, and some touching tributes to cast members who’ve since passed. Considering that three out of the four new Ghostbusters came from SNL, expect at least a couple proton pack jokes, maybe even with the two former Ghostbusters who also got their start in studio 8H.

    While some of the lineup was already public, including Eddie Murphy’s surprise announcement that he’d be returning to the show for the first time in thirty years, a more extensive list was given out during the Super Bowl’s premium ad time.

    Confirmed for the big night are Fred Armisen, Dan Aykroyd, Alec Baldwin, Jim Carrey, Dana Carvey, Chevy Chase, Jane Curtin, Robert De Niro, Jimmy Fallon, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Zach Galifianakis, Bill Hader, Jon Hamm, Derek Jeter, Norm Macdonald, Peyton Manning, Steve Martin, Melissa McCarthy, Paul McCartney, Seth Meyers, Garrett Morris, Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, Laraine Newman, Jack Nicholson, Amy Poehler, Chris Rock, Paul Rudd, Maya Rudolph, Andy Samberg, Adam Sandler, Jerry Seinfeld, Molly Shannon, Martin Short, Paul Simon, David Spade, Emma Stone, Jason Sudeikis, Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, Christopher Walken, Kerry Washington, Kanye West, Betty White, and Kristen Wiig. Tom Hanks will also take a break from his new project at HBO to join the festivities.

    If you’re so excited you can’t wait two weeks, you can check out VH1 Classic’s current marathon of the entire series.

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    February 3, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 2957

  • Kristin Wiig and Melissa McCarthy Lead Ghostbusters Reboot

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    The new ghostbusters cast

    After months of speculating about who would be starring in director Paul Feig’s all-female Ghostbusters reboot, the director himself revealed his future ‘busters in a simple Tweet yesterday that displayed pictures of Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon. The announcement shows Feig, who’s carved out a profitable niche at the box office with his female-led comedies, re-joining with his Bridesmaids star Wiig and McCarthy, who also was in the film alongside the more recent The Heat.

    While McCarthy had long been considered a likely lock for the film as Feig had indicated as such, the rest of the cast came as a bit of a surprise in its SNL-heaviness—besides Jones and McKinnon being current members of the show, Wiig is a veteran cast member and McCarthy is a frequent host. What has most surprised industry insiders is that this will be both McKinnon’s and Jones’ first leading roles in a big budget film, showing a strong vote of confidence on behalf of Feig. However, it should be remembered that the original Ghostbusters cast was also packed with SNL cast members such as Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray.

    The movie is set to start shooting this summer and although The Holly Reporter indicates that Wiig, Jones, and McKinnon are still in negotiations, the fact that Feig made the announcement himself makes the casting seem all like a done deal.

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    January 28, 2015 • Entertainment News • Views: 4443