Posts Tagged ‘Regina Taufen’

Wrapped OFFICE BET

January 14, 2012

I’ve been quiet in the blogosphere because I’ve been in hardcore pre-production on a short film called OFFICE BET that we shot on Monday 1/9 and Tuesday 1/10! First and foremost, I and Aaron (producer) want to thank the amazing cast and crew for all their hardwork!

OFFICE BET is a witty short film about the awkwardness of dating in the digital age told through the story of a two couples operating at very different connection speeds. One couple is “logged in” while the other totally unplugged, yet both find romance in this comedy in the vein of Albert Brooks and Noah Baumbach’s films.

We decided to make this film for a variety of reasons — because the script is fantastic; because I wanted to direct something narrative before directing my one-act play in UNSCREENED in Feb. (the Activia behind-the-scenes internet video doesn’t count as narrative!); because, possibly most excitingly, the OFFICE BET creative team is putting together a feature film of similar tone/themes. We wanted to make a short film together that can act as a proof of concept for both us as a team and the kind of feature we will produce.

I loved my crew and cast. Dominique came on to shoot with her great team (and a killer crane!!) and capture a VIRGIN SUICIDES-inspired look, complete with soft lighting, romantic flares, effortless-looking compositions, long lenses and floaty camera moves.

Dom in red. Technocrane in metal.

I had the opportunity to collaborate with new people like Ed, (pinch hitter UPM ’cause Gabe had to step away to another project) Caity (1st AD), Anatasya in wardrobe, and Sam on makeup/hair. Plus, I was so inspired and grateful for all the super positive, happy-to-help friends who joined us as PAs.

My SAG cast oozed talent and amazingness. We had Lauren Flans as “Cynthia,” Daniel Berson as “Peter,” Abbe Meryl as “Allison” and Jonathon Trent as “Jack.” The whole cast breathed even more life and comedy to the roles which were already incredibly rich and funny. And, Abbe and Jonathon delivered great make-outs for all six takes of the unforgettable “your mouth tastes like cotton candy” scene. Thank you to Dan and Sherrie at Dream Big Casting for securing these all-stars for us.

Lauren and Daniel as Cynthia and Peter.

Abbe and Jonathon as Allison and Jack.

The project was a two-day shoot.  The first day was at Chez Germen in Beverly Hills. The cafe was closed so we “owned” its outdoor space, giving Regina Taufen, my production designer, both the joy and challenge of creating a cafe with zilch money and only two days prep. It also didn’t hurt that David “Dave” Anderson graced us with his beauty and talent as background talent.

Chez Germen in its natural state.

Chez Germen post Regina's awesomeness. *Note David our A-list extra.

The second day started again at the cafe and then moved to residential sidewalks and, finally, to the front steps of a nearby house where we had a whirlwind hour and a half to shoot three scenes (2 and 3/8 pages).

Our last location of the day... three scenes in one and half hours! Don't shoot exteriors in January when the sun sets at 5.

It’ll be a while before we’re done with post and ready to premiere, but I’ll keep you posted and hopefully these quick pics have started painting the picture of the greatness ahead!

The image that inspired our last shot of the film because of its romantic look and visual play on duplicity.

Visual reference.

VIRGIN SUICIDES was our primary movie reference for the look of OFFICE BET.

MEOW! The Incredible Kitty Is Alive

July 7, 2011

The new website for The Kitty Landers Show is live! And it’s chockablock with fun, fresh Kitty-rific stuff! Check out the “Fun

It’s been so long since I got to direct the Kitty pilot (which you can watch as a 11-part webseries on the site) that I definitely am feeling nostaglic looking at pics and watching new videos Regina (aka THE Kitty Landers) has been making for the site like the fancy home page landing video. Don’t miss “Sergio’s Weekly Fortunes.” Sergio is a plant who is very wise and handy with fortune cookies. Remember, you’re in Kitty Landers land. There’s interactive elements too! No joke!  Check out the “Fun and Games” section.

As always, Kitty/Regina is such an inspiration to “Use whatch’ya got, not whatch’ya not.” This wonderful site is a credit to that philosophy and her talent as both an actress and artist. I can’t wait for all our Kitty fans, both the kiddies and the adults, to enjoy a new dose of Kitty.

New Installment of TSILA?

September 22, 2009

Regina and I are kicking around  the idea of shooting a few new THEY SAY IN LOS ANGELES (TSILA) after we post on FUNNY OR DIE next week.  If we shoot again, we’ll focus on bringing back people’s favorite characters (who were your faves?) and optimizing on current events and timely topics.

Examples: Caroline is getting ready to throw a college football (superbowl?) party. Angela wants to pay her respects to Michael and tries to visit his final resting place. Magda ways in on healthcare after she visits the emergency room with a sprained ankle from a dancing accident.

Let me know who you want to see do more TSILA and what you want them to be about.  If we can do it, R and I will carve out an afternoon this Fall of painless shooting and get more TSILA in the can.

Regina as Veronica on our first TSILA shoot in April '09.

Regina as Veronica on our first TSILA shoot in April '09.

They Say In Los Angeles HERE

July 3, 2009

THEY SAY IN LOS ANGLES has been on YouTube and floating around on DVD for a few weeks, but that’s no fun.  You’re not on YouTube, are you?  No.  You want TSILA here.  NOW.  Well it is!  The entire TSILA collection is available below.  You’re welcome.

TSILA is improv comedy videos about five very different Angelenos (all played by Regina Taufen) and their insider insights on life in the city of angels. Set in some of L.A.’s most famous locations and in the style of BORAT, all of Taufen’s in-character interactions with the public are unrehearsed, unapologetic, and unforgettable.

Directed by: Anna Christopher
Improv by: Regina Taufen
Edited by: Sarah Broshar
Hair/Makeup by: Melissa Chmielowski
UPMed by: Nichole Patxot

Outtake Bonus Video:

“They Say in Los Angeles” LAUNCHES

June 10, 2009

They Say in Los Angeles started as a joke between Regina Taufen (The Kitty Landers Show) and I. Then it snowballed into a fun side project that we wrote and developed together.  Then we shot for ONE day and edited for ONE day (with the brilliant Sarah Broshar who I hadn’t been in a cutting room with since The Break Up. Now TSILA exists!  It’s on youtube.  And I like it. A lot.

Check it out:  http://www.youtube.com/user/theysayinlosangeles

IMG_1998

We hit Hollywood Boulevard. "Veronica" found some suitors.

In Echo Park, "Caroline" wooed the locals.

In Echo Park, "Caroline" wooed the locals.

 

 

 

"Sylvia" was our first character of the day. We shot on the Lot and in a golf cart!

“Sylvia” was our first character of the day. We shot on the Lot and in a golf cart!
"Angela" needs to get her script to Charlize Theron.

"Angela" needs to get her script to Charlize Theron.

 

They say in Los Angeles that you gotta hustle. But you also gotta smile. Regina and I do both.

They say in Los Angeles that you gotta hustle. But Regina and I think you gotta smile too. And, if possible, get someone to braid your hair for you.

 

An Old Flame

May 11, 2009

Me (strangely working a pink scarf), Regina (onscreen as 'Magda') and Sarah only needed one day to cut all six videos. Thanks Dominique for letting us edit at your place!Sarah Broshar and I got to edit together today!  She jumped on the They Say In Los Angeles project because a) it’s cool b) she’s on hiatus from her job for a month.  Score. For. Me and Regina (co-creator of the idea and genius improver starring in ALL six of the videos)!  We got the Brosh for today, and in 9 hours we cut all six of the videos together. 

And they are good.  Really good.  

Again, I’m so impressed with us accomplishing such high quality work with such low levels of stress, money and time.  Is this possible?  We’re figuring out the release forum and timeline so stay tuned.
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One Sunday, Four Ladies, Six TSILAs

April 27, 2009

Sunday’s They Say in Los Angeles shoot was a major success!  I am so proud of the great shots we got and the amount of content we captured.  

Actually, I’d say I’m inspired.

Considering we were a four person crew — me on camera/direction/sound, Melissa C. on hair/makeup, Nichole producing, and Regina acting — I am honestly so impressed with the hilarious, solid-looking material we created.  It felt good to get back to basics and remember the joy of going out and making something great.  We didn’t get tied up in permits or budgets or regulations.  We just did it.  And we did a really good job.

Sunday in a nutshell:  we hit six different locations for six different characters’ improvs and TSILA statements.  The itinerary:

  1. Studio Lot = The Brit
  2. Bel Air Gates = The Brooklynite
  3. Cedars Sinai = The Irish Girl
  4. Grauman’s/Kodak Theater = Valley Girl
  5. Echo Park = Southern Belle
  6. Chateau Marmont = Magda, the Russian

Favorite moments?  All of ’em because I was working with Regina.  Now that we’ve made a TV pilot together, developed show ideas together, pitched together, and outlet mall-shopped together, we have an amazing shorthand.  It’s so easy for me to direct her and (it seems) that it’s so easy for her to deliver memorable, varied, and nuanced performances.  A pretty dynamic duo.

But, if I had to be specific, filming the Valley Girl in front of Grauman’s was unforgettable.  Regina didn’t let the fanfare and wild performers intimidate her.  She played the Valley Girl huge, just like the other performers on the strip, just like she needed to play her.  

We interacted with Bubble Bee (from Transfomers), Zorro, a scary ‘Glam’ Vampire with sparkly blood coming out of his mouth, Jason and Chucky, Yoda, Tinkerbell, Crazy Flying Monkey Man and a tropical parrot.  It was absolutely intoxicating and energizing to be out there with the crowds, wielding a camera, reacting to the ever-changing scene, the unfolding story.

I also love that we knocked out a few shots IN the Bar Marmont before being asked to stop.  I think our semi-success has something to do with our suaveness, speediness, being four attractive girl-ness, and Regina’s blue sequined mini dress costume.  I know a foursome of geeked-out film dudes in cargo pants and unkept facial hair would never have made it as far at the bar as we did.  

Onward to post!  We’re gonna ask a few editor friends for favors but if no one can help, the shots are simple enough that we’ll cut it ourselves.  As soon as something’s viewable, I’ll post the videos and release the blog’s address.

Bathrooms and Skylines

April 22, 2009

This Sunday, we’re shooting They Say In Los Angeles guerilla-style, which means we’re shooting when and where we want and without permission and planning on not getting busted.  It’s gonna be about improvising and thinking on our feet.  It’s not gonna be about bananas and King Kong.

I’m still seeking two locations.  Maybe you have some suggestions for:

  1. A super sexy, trendy, club/bar bathroom that might as well be its own destination.  It’s from the future or the way hip present.  It has some fascinating gimmick — almost transparent stall doors, NASA Shuttle lighting, a giant communal sink.  Whatever the case it’s memorable and stylish.  
  2. A view of the LA skyline ideally to be framed with a bit of highway and reminiscent of shots in the opening sequence of Woody Allen’s Manhattan.

Did a place pop into your mind?  Let me know.

PrePro on ‘They Say in Los Angeles’

April 20, 2009

About a year ago, my friends and I had our annual Girls’ Night.  An evening of pub-crawling, pizza eating, dancing, drinking, letting loose.  Girls only.  Early on in the night, I filmed the first They Say in Los Angeles by accident.  Let me explain.

This evening was coming on the heels of editing the 30 minute version of The Kitty Landers Show, which meant that Regina Taufen and I were spending a lot of time together.  She’s the star of the show and a writer/producer so even when she wasn’t literally in the edit room, she was on my mind.  Somewhere in the end-of-a-project-and-we’re-exhausted-giggles haze, we found what has turned into one of our favorite ongoing jokes… and now our latest project together:  They Say in Los Angeles (aka TSILA).*

In the midst of the Girls’ Night revealry, I asked Regina to perform a TSILA. Luckily I had my camera-video rolling and BAM!  The first TSILA existed. 

A few months later we were still cracking each other up with TSILAs.

A few months after that we realized the potential for TSILA as funny, web-friendly, travelogue-esque nuggets.  

And BAM!  We were developing this itsy-bitsy, totally fun project.  We’re doing it our way.  On our own time. With our own equipment.  Without permits (don’t tell!)  As our own crew and talent.  And we’re gonna have a blast.  We shoot all over LA on Sunday, April 26.

We’ll be launching the TSILA videos and blog soon after.  Will keep you posted!  

*I’ll save you from a boring, written explanation of what exactly the joke is because:

a) you’ll experience a TSILA in a few weeks

b) nothing kills a joke like describing it in a blog.  It’s instantaneous death by guillotine, injection and execution all in one whereas if you describe the joke in an email, it’s only the latter two.

Regina and I discussed TSILA while shopping our brains out at Camarillo Outlet mall.  I. Love. A. Deal.

Nickelodeon and Laurette T. Hinch

April 13, 2009

It’s timely that around the same time we went in to meet with the fine folks (and fellow Wildcat alumni) at Nickelodeon about The Kitty Landers Show, we also released on YouTube a solid-gold segment from the original 33 min cut of KLS — The Artist’s Roundtable with Laurette T. Hinch.  See it below!

This bit was the very first thing we shot for KLS.  We used my small, consumer grade cameras, put the comedic genius Lauren Weedman in a room with a cool four year-old, and rolled camera.  Nothing was scripted for this hilarious Charlie Rose-esque piece.  I still giggle when I watch it. 


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