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KCRW The Business

Podcast KCRW The Business
Podcast KCRW The Business

KCRW The Business


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  • Peter Jackson: ‘I can talk about The Beatles till the cows come home’
    Filmmaker Peter Jackson was 3 years old when The Beatles first appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show” on February 9,1964. His family didn’t own a television and he didn’t see the original airing because he believes New Zealand didn’t broadcast the TV show. “Even though I was born in 1961, I kind of don't really have a story or any memory of The Beatles in the ‘60s, which is crazy because I lived all the way through that period,” Jackson remarks. His parents were not “rock and rollers,” he says, but he recalls hearing the band “endlessly through ‘65, ‘66, ‘67 because the radio was playing nothing else.” Sixty years later, he produced and directed the Disney+ docuseries “The Beatles: Get Back,” about the making of the 1970 documentary “Let It Be.” Jackson’s series has been nominated for several Emmys, and the award-winning director discusses what led him to tackle this documentary project, and how his labor of love morphed from being a feature film to a series. But first, Kim Masters and Matt Belloni, founding partner of Puck News, discuss the Disney+ positive quarterly results, and what the decision to raise subscription prices mean for consumers, and the future of its streaming services. 
  • Steve Martin can't imagine 'Only Murders in the Building' without Selena Gomez
    Actor, comedian, musician, and producer Steve Martin had been invited to one of talent manager’s Sandy Gallin’s showbiz parties in New York. There, he recalls seeing a lot of actors, including three older ones, when Gallin suggested he should write something for them. “I thought, ‘That's a good idea: three older guys who live in a building and solve murders because they don't have anything else to do,’” Martin recalls. His premise was: “They're too tired to go downtown to investigate things, so they limit it to only murderers in the building, so they could just stay home to solve the crime.” From that idea, Martin was introduced to John Hoffman and the two created “Only Murders in the Building,” the biggest comedy hit on Hulu. Now, the duo share how they met, and what it took for them to get Martin’s idea from paper onto the screen. But first, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav cancels “Batgirl.” Kim Masters and Matt Balloni discuss what this means for the DC brand and the studio. 
  • Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic on career-defining film 'Murina'
    Filmmaker Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic’s debut feature “Murina” won best first film at Cannes last year. Though it may seem like a story of instant success, the Croatian director says she spent years educating and establishing herself. When something happens “out of the blue and overnight, it's actually ten years of work behind it,” she explains. Kusijanovic had worked at different film companies and affirms those connections helped her finance the 2017 short film “Into the Blue.” The path to fund “Murina,'' she says, seemed easier, as she presented RT Features with only a letter of intent.  “Everybody already knew me, how I am in business, so I was already familiar to all of these people that were involved in the project,” she says. Now, Kusijanovic discusses her love for theater and the path that took her to co-writing and directing the coming-of-age drama “Murina.” But first, movie theaters will start to feel the summer cool-off, with moviegoers banking on streaming services’ shows, including the first $1-billion series. Plus, former Disney executive John Lasseter returns. Kim Masters discusses with guest-host Lucas Shaw from Bloomberg.
  • B.J. Novak reflects on his career from comedy to directing his debut film “Vengeance”
    B.J. Novak knows a thing or two about comedic writing. He spent a lot of time in the writers’ room and starred as Ryan Howard on NBC’s hit series “The Office.” Now, he’s taking his writing skills to the big screen, debuting as a director in the comedy-thriller, “Vengeance.” “When you realize someone has a little regret in their eyes… you could be very careful with an actor and see how you could capture that in a shot,” he says. For him, it’s all the same, but “being able to learn how to write directorially is a very special and exciting opportunity.” On this episode of The Business, Novak discusses “The Office” origins, his standup comedy career and first acting job on MTV, and how he teamed up with Blumhouse producer Jason Blum to write and direct “Vengeance.” But first, Kim Masters and Matt Belloni banter about Netflix’s Q2 numbers. Netflix was projected to lose 2 million subscribers, but only lost nearly 1 million, which its CEO believes it’s “less bad” than feared. Is the streaming service really over the hump?
  • ‘Marcel the Shell’ creators bring beloved tiny creature to the big screen
    After almost an eight-year hiatus, actor Jenny Slate and director Dean Fleischer-Camp are bringing their lovable Marcel the Shell back to life. This time audiences will see the seashell with two pink shoes and one plastic eye, who babbles insightful and funny life-observations, in the stop-motion, feature-length mockumentary, “Marcel the Shell With Shoes On.” The online shorts were a smash-hit at the time, so for Fleischer-Camp it was important for the film to maintain Marcel’s original online integrity. That is why, he explains, “it took a while for us to find the right partners to do that, in a way that was really holistic to what we had made and what and how we like to work.” And because Fleischer-Camp invented much of the filmmaking process, Slate remarks that they wanted to take that to the film production, “so we took the risk to try to create that [environment] for ourselves.” The duo now share the story behind how “Marcel the Shell” was created, and their trajectory of taking this tiny character from being a YouTube sensation to the big screen. But first, Kim Masters and Matt Belloni banter about the Emmys group-like nominations this year. And while Hulu got 58 nods, its future as a streaming platform remains uncertain. 

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