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POP INTERVIEW: “Sister, Sister” Series Creator Kim Bass Makes a Western!

Kim Bass is most famous for creating hit children’s programming: the animated Men in Black, Nickelodeon’s Kenan & Kel and Sister, Sister. He also wrote the screenplay for A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, and some TV show you may have watched in the 1990’s called In Living Color. His upcoming film The UnBroken is set to shoot this fall.

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Kim Bass Kim Bass is most famous for creating hit children’s programming: the animated Men in Black, Nickelodeon’s Kenan & Kel, which starred future SNL cast member Kenan Thompson, and Sister, Sister. He also wrote the screenplay for A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, and some TV show you may have watched in the 1990’s called In Living Color. In 2007, he created Bass Entertainment to produce his own films. Up next is a western. Perhaps Hollywood is a town big enough for the two of us to talk about it. The UnBroken is set to film this fall.

 For “The UnBroken,” what made you want to shift into westerns?
I have always wanted to do a western since I was a young boy. My father was a cowboy and I grew up riding horses and even competing in a few horse shows. So, it’s not so much a shift to the western genre as it is going back to my roots.

Filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino look to the past to head to the future for their work. Did you study any old 1950’s or 1960’s western films? What about the style he used for “Django Unchained” called spaghetti westerns?
I really enjoyed Django. I think that Tarantino’s use of his talent and that of his actor’s coupled with a unique take on the genre struck just the right cord. The film was thoroughly entertaining on multiple levels.

What do you plan to do with filming the action sequences? Those are terribly hard to write and especially seem hard to direct.
We are scheduled to begin shooting in September of this year but I intend to handle the action sequences like the rest of the picture. Drama with words and drama with action can be just as deep and just as revealing when it comes to communicating the story and character arcs to the audience. The main thing is to make people feel something.

Do you plan to use any unexpected film editing or directing techniques?
Again, we haven’t begun filming yet. But I expect to utilize whatever techniques enhance the story without getting in the way of the story.

Avoiding any spoilers, how does this script bring on drama that is really necessary in order to have an excellent western? Nobody cares about the action unless you absolutely hate the bad guys, right?
The script, by its very nature is dramatic. The characters all need and desire love and happiness and to know that they mean something in the world, which are not easy things to achieve or attain in a hard land with even harder in habitants trying to tame the land. I don’t know if hate is the right word… To me, I think understanding the “bad guy” to be what he is and rejecting his philosophies and actions based upon his philosophies makes it more fun to root against him. A well conceived bad guy should ultimately be a mirror in which the audience and the hero can see something of themselves. Yin and Yang if you will.

This probably shows my age, and I’m kind of half ashamed to say this, but I’ll say this how I feel on paper in all caps. I WATCHED “KENAN AND KEL” AND “SISTER SISTER” LIKE, OMG, LIKE NONSTOP ON NICKELODEON AND DISNEY WAY BACK WHEN(!). I’m not saying this in TV show style false flattery. I really remember how I loved the episode where Kel and Kenan stain the girl’s sweater with orange soda. What I absolutely loved about both of these shows is although they starred African-American kids and represented black life in America well, they bridged across to kids of every color. And I know I wasn’t the only one who thought so, because the networks aired them nonstop for years. Being able to pull that off is incredible for anyone. How are you trying to make that widespread love among every race part of your current and future work? *sorry for gushing*
Well, first of all, thanks for being such a fan. Those shows were fun. Sister, Sister was actually inspired by my twin sisters and Kenan & Kel was somewhat modeled by the exploits of mine and my best friend when growing up. As far as race is concerned, I tend to populate my stories with characters from various ethnic backgrounds. That is the real world and I like stories to reflect the real world even if they are fictional in nature.

After “The Unbroken,” what do you have in mind for producing/directing? Do you ever want to step back into comedy, animation or family genres?
After The UnBroken, I intend to make an of beat comedy followed by a tear-jerker, family drama. I have worked in animation and would love to make a film from a story that my 8 year-old son and I are developing together. As far as getting back into television, I am always open to telling interesting stories on whatever screen suits the story best.

Entertainment

Celebrate Memorial Day By Watching Cynthia Erivo Perform This Touching Tribute

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To all the heroes.

On this Memorial Day, as with every Memorial Day, it’s important to take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices made to keep all of us safe. This year the the global coronavirus pandemic has the holiday feeling a bit more hefty since we are all forced to celebrate a little differently. Regardless, it is a day worth celebrating and what better way to celebrate than a special tribute from the incomparable Cynthia Erivo.

Musicians from the National Symphony Orchestra as well as stars like Erivo, Kelli O’Hara, Renée Fleming, CeCe Winans and Trace Adkins all took part in a special event for PBS called the “National Memorial Concert.” This year’s socially distant version of the celebration paid a special tribute to the healthcare workers on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis. Erivo performed a cover of the Mariah Carey classic “Hero” and it was obviously amazing. Watching the tribute is the perfect way to reflect on exactly why this holiday is so important.

Check out the heartfelt performance below!

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Broadway

POLL: Musical Theater Fans, Which Are You Most Excited To Watch From Home?

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Now I understand why parent’s can’t pick a favorite child.

It has been a week filled with highs and lows for musical theater fans. For starters, it was just announced that the coronavirus-related closures on Broadway will remain in effect until at least September. Then, Disney announced that their musical Frozen, based on the hit animated film, will not reopen at all even after the social distancing guidelines are loosened, an announcement that has Broadway fans concerned for the fate of other beloved shows on the Great White Way.  Amidst all the darkness there is always a glimmer of hope (any good Broadway musical will teach you that) and this week’s glimmer…or glimmers I should say…came in the form of three exciting announcements.

First, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Disney announced that a previously-recorded Broadway production of Hamilton will be available for streaming on on Disney+ starting July 3rd…which is ironically right before Independence Day and yet I will be tethered to my couch watching this masterpiece on repeat for at least a week.  Then, it was announced that the cast of NBC’s Smash is going to virtually reunite for a benefit concert on PeopleTV on May 20th, giving us just enough time to dust off our old Marilyn wigs. And finally, musical theater geeks everywhere were screaming “a wop baba lumop a wap bam boom” when CBS announced they will be airing a sing-along version of the 1978 musical-movie classic, Grease on June 7th. So. Much. Good. Content.

I truly could not pick which one I am most excited to watch but because curious minds have questions so I have to know…which musical event are you most excited for? Click on the poll below to submit your answer and see what everyone else is thinking!

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Celebrities

Kevin James Keeps Inserting Himself Into Famous Movies As A Boom Operator And It’s Hilarious

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The King Of Queens is now the King of the green screen.

Plenty of people fantasize about making it big in the movies some day but not everyone hopes to be working the boom mic when they do. While it’s definitely an integral part of the movie making process, it’s not quite as flashy as being the Ryan Gosling or the Bradley Cooper. And yet somehow, Kevin James has found a way to shine a bright spotlight on boom operators in his YouTube series appropriately entitled Sound Guy.

The concept is pretty brilliant. James and his production team use a green screen to insert the actor into famous scenes from iconic films. After what I can only assume is hours and hours of editing, James appears seamlessly as a sound guy just trying to get some good audio from stars like Lady Gaga and Will Smith. The original dialogue flows perfectly with the bits James is edited into so the end result is pretty damn hilarious.

The Notebook

The Joker

A Star Is Born

I Am Legend

Who would have guessed Paul Blart was capable of such cinema mastery?! There is no denying the genius behind these movies shorts! To see more of the Sound Guy click here!

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