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POP INTERVIEW: Matt Brady on Working with Jessica Biel and Sundance 2013

Matt Brady produced Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes, a 2013 Sundance selection about a woman’s increasing curiosity when a neighbor resembles her deceased mother. Before he headed off to the film festival, mingling with fellow filmmakers and countless goodie bags, he chatted with Pop about his uniquely captivating first feature film.

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Matt Brady produced Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes, a 2013 Sundance selection about a woman’s increasing curiosity when a neighbor resembles her deceased mother. Before he headed off to the film festival, mingling with fellow filmmakers and countless goodie bags, he chatted with Pop about his uniquely captivating first feature film.

Matt Brady, producer, Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes

The obsession theme has been done time and time again in cinema. For every “Match Point,” there are a million disastrous scripts in the works. So, how do you make “Emanuel and the Truth about Fishes” fresh?
When we got the script for “Emanuel,” our project coordinator, Dee Farmand, read it and said, “You have to read this script! We have to make it. It’s the best script I’ve read in years!” – then I read it and knew she was right. We had to make it. With most scripts, people always have things they bump against, but with Emanuel, the whole team at MRB unanimously loved Francesca’s writing and her script.

This is your first foray into producing feature films. Primarily, you have a commercial production background, having produced countless sports spots and other commercial content. How has the transition been into film?
When we started “Emanuel,” we were just coming off the heels of producing Stephen Gyllenhaal’s indie “Grassroots” starring Jason Biggs and Cedric the Entertainer. It was a similarly low-budget movie, so the transition wasn’t hard at all; we’d already done it before! The biggest challenge with film versus commercial is the length of time involved (two years versus two months) and the proportionally smaller budget. But of course, you still need to deliver the same quality.

You started your production company, MRB Productions in 2001 and have already won two Emmy Awards. How did it feel to win the first one? When you found out you won, what was the first thing you said, and who was the first person you told?
I couldn’t believe it when she called our name at the Emmy Awards! I was 26 years old and running my company out of an office that used to be a coat closet for another company. It was a huge moment of pride! I immediately called my parents and they couldn’t believe it. I went to the Emmys with my best friend from high school, Deborah Snell, who worked at NBC and also won an Emmy that night. We ended up being featured in our hometown paper, The Source. Having a story in your hometown paper can be much more rewarding than a story in Variety!

How do you work on a film meant to be so mysterious and pull it off? How do you tease the audience in the right increments?
The film has a magnificent mysterious and magical quality to it that is largely thanks to the way Francesca wrote and directed it. She and our editor have a rich background in music which helped them build tension in all the right places that really gets you hooked into this magical other world.

For the worst sticks in the mud in the universe, and you know these people are out there in the world, why should people who might only watch big budget releases like “Men in Black” give indie cinema a chance?
Indie film gives film-going audiences a chance to see something they would never see from a big studio. If you look at films like “Transamerica,” “Boys Don’t Cry,” and “The Crying Game” – you get the chance to cover topics that would never have mass appeal, yet are stories that need to be told. And when these stories are told, audiences loves it. Popcorn blockbusters are great, but indie films that demand a two-hour coffee discussion afterwards are my passion, and “Emanuel and the Truth about Fishes” is one of those films.

Jessica Biel once said people do not give her powerful roles because she is pretty. How did you challenge her as an actress in this movie, and how will her character affect theatergoers?
This movie is a win for both Jessica Biel and for us. It’s a chance for her to step outside of the role she traditionally plays, and she knocks it out of the park! As a viewer, you immediately forget you are watching Jessica Biel and you see her as Linda, the mysterious neighbor. For me, watching a movie I worked on – it’s very hard to forget what happened that day on set and actually get into the story. But, our cast is actually so good that they immediately draw you in. I’m very proud of this film and very impressed by Jessica Biel’s diverse talent.

You had “The Confession” made exclusively for Hulu. What is this new medium like for both the viewers and the production team? Have you noticed any shocking things that may eventually make web releases on par with a traditional cinema release?
The work from a production standpoint is the same across all mediums, Internet, TV, and film. Just because something is made for digital doesn’t mean the quality needs to suffer. In fact, the quality of “The Confession” was so well done that it was purchased by Sony after its run on Hulu and sold on DVD as a full-length feature. There are some people that like to watch movies on their TV or iPhones, but there is still a big community that wants the social experience of seeing a movie together in a theater. I watch a ton of programming on Hulu, but there’s that special something about the atmosphere of the cinema.

What are you looking forward to doing at Sundance this year other than work related to your movie?
I’ll be on the slopes!

Celebrities

Watching Mayim Bialik Learn TikTok Dances Is Pure Joy

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It is so fun watching this mom’s viral dance moves blossom.

Nowadays you can’t go on social media without being introduced to some new viral dance craze and I am only salty about it because I was given the curse of two left feet. Once in awhile, however, I come across a video so entertaining that me and my sense of incoordination can’t help but to put our jealousy aside and let the amusement take over. And that has happened with Mayim Bialik’s latest post on her YouTube channel.

While we know the actress from her charmingly quirky roles in the hit tv shows Blossom and The Big Bang Theory, Bialik spends her days like most moms just trying to keep up with the latest trends that have her children so captivated. In her video entitled “My Son Teaches Me TikTok Dances” the mom of 2 makes it her mission to learn some of the viral dances sweeping the popular app from her teenage son. Bialik starts the video by calling the app “Tik-Toke” so you know we are in for a treat. The Ph.D (yes she has a Ph.D in neuroscience) then describes Tik Tok as being “impossible” to explain only for her son to quickly inform her that this is a very simple explanation of how the app works. It’s going well. Oh and Bialik is wearing a Pokémon t-shirt throughout the entire video…which should automatically make her TikTok famous imo.

Rather than just join the app and potentially humiliate herself and become a meme, Bialik decided to post her dance attempts to her own channel. Who would dare meme this queen!? The tv star then goes onto learn and demonstrate some of the most viral videos we’ve seen recently such as “The Renegade” and “Say So.” The video will keep a smile on your face for the entire 10+ minutes and is definitely worth sharing. We need all the good vibes we can get nowadays and trust me they don’t get much better than this!

Check out the charmingly quirky video below!

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Celebrities

You Can Now Purchase An Official Big Cat Rescue Mask From Carole Baskin

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More like Carole Maskin’.

Are you a cool cat? More of a kitten? Either way, you can now jump on the Tiger King craze and purchase an OFFICIAL Big Cat Rescue mask for yourself. Carole Baskin and her big cat organization took to Facebook over the weekend to promote their newest bit of merchandise. Capitalizing on the pandemic-induced need for masks, the Netflix star boasts two different color options available for purchase. For just $11 (before tax and shipping) you can choose between a black or leopard print mask emblazoned with Carole’s favorite tag line, “Hey all you cool cats and kittens.” Truly a steal for anyone obsessed with the buzz worthy docu-series.

In case you’ve forgotten, Carole is the arch enemy to Joe Exotic as portrayed in the Netflix docu-series Tiger King. She’s been making headlines lately as the series has launched renewed interest in the “disappearance” of her second husband. After watching the series, fans began speculating that Carole’s ex-husband didn’t disappear, rather that she murdered him. Just this week, reports were made that the signature on her ex-husband’s last will and testament may have been forged. Because of all these allegations, the case of Carole’s missing husband has been officially reopened.

But all that’s neither here nor there because there are adorable, trendy masks for sale! If you would like to jump on the craze and snag a mask for yourself, check out the post below!

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Broadway

Lin-Manuel Miranda Just Shared The Original Demo For ‘Moana’ Hit Song And It Features A Big ‘Hamilton’ Star!

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Another gem from the wonderful world of Miranda.

If there are two things musical lovers are forever grateful for it’s Disney and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Disney scooped up Miranda to write songs for the 2016 hit film Moana which told the story of a young princess chosen by the ocean to reunite an ancient relic with a powerful goddess. Unsurprisingly, the film’s standout song “How Far I’ll Go” won the Oscar for “Best Original Song” because everything Miranda touches turns to gold. What’s even more exciting than the award winning content Miranda creates, however, is the glimpses into the creative process he often shares with fans. After Hamilton became a smash hit, Miranda shared countless original demos and compositions of songs from the musical just to show fans the growth of his creativity. Well, moments ago Miranda took to Twitter to once again give us a peek into his process but this time it’s for the hit Disney film.

While Hamilton was still in it’s pre-Broadway run, Miranda was writing songs for Disney. He enlisted the help of his costar Phillipa Soo, the original Eliza Schuyler, to record the demo for “How Far I’ll Go” from their dressing room at the Public Theater. Finally after all these years, Miranda has decided to share the demo with us and it’s enough to make any theater geek freak out! In his tweet he apologizes for making the demo so “high” but applauds Soo because she “can sing ANYTHING.” And by the sound of this demo she really can!

Check out some Disney magic…or Miranda magic…or both(?) by listening to the original demo below!

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