Browsing articles from "February, 2015"

Fake It Till You Make It, Then Come Clean: A Sportscaster’s Big Break

Feb 15, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Fake It Till You Make It, Then Come Clean: A Sportscaster’s Big Break

Before a Lakers game this season, Adrián García Márquez and the rest of the TWC Deportes crew tapes a pre-game intro.i

Before a Lakers game this season, Adrián García Márquez and the rest of the TWC Deportes crew tapes a pre-game intro.

Nadia Gonzalez/TWC Deportes


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Nadia Gonzalez/TWC Deportes

Before a Lakers game this season, Adrián García Márquez and the rest of the TWC Deportes crew tapes a pre-game intro.

Before a Lakers game this season, Adrián García Márquez and the rest of the TWC Deportes crew tapes a pre-game intro.

Nadia Gonzalez/TWC Deportes

As part of a series called “My Big Break,” All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

Before he called play-by-play for the Los Angeles Lakers, before he called the Olympics, before he called the World Series, before he called Monday Night Football, sportscaster Adrián García Márquez was handing out flyers and bumper stickers for a hip-hop station in San Diego.

The year was 1997. He’d been struggling to launch his pro baseball career, where he’d bounced around low-level college ball and the Mexican League.

Then he found out his girlfriend was pregnant. It was time for a real career.

So he got a part-time job with the promotions department of San Diego radio station Jammin’ Z 90. A few months in, he started DJing overnight.

“In my heart, I didn’t want to be a hip-hop disc jockey,” he says. “I mean, I loved it. But I wanted to go to sports.”

But a radio station was a radio station, and working there was better than nothing.

Then, he remembers, a colleague told him, “I have a buddy of mine who told me that he has a buddy that knows this guy” who wanted to broadcast a handful of San Diego Flash games in Spanish on TV. (At the time, the Flash were an A-League soccer team — basically a minor league team, Garcia says.)

There was a problem, though. To get a sportscasting job, he says, you have to have a demo tape of yourself actually calling a game — a college game, a high school game, any game.

But Garcia didn’t have one.

“So how do I get a demo, on the fly, out of nowhere, having zero experience? Make one. Fake one, basically.”

He looked around the house to see what he could use.

“I did have a Sega. I did have [the video game] FIFA Soccer, 1995 edition,” he remembers. “So I pop that into the console, I recorded the beautiful crowd chants that they had. Because technology was advancing, so it sounded like a real soccer game. So I figured, I’ll grab that crowd noise, and put it on the tape.”

After landing a job with the San Diego Flash, Adrián García Márquez was at ESPN within just a few years. Now, he's the Spanish-language play-by-play announcer for the L.A. Lakers.i

After landing a job with the San Diego Flash, Adrián García Márquez was at ESPN within just a few years. Now, he’s the Spanish-language play-by-play announcer for the L.A. Lakers.

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After landing a job with the San Diego Flash, Adrián García Márquez was at ESPN within just a few years. Now, he's the Spanish-language play-by-play announcer for the L.A. Lakers.

After landing a job with the San Diego Flash, Adrián García Márquez was at ESPN within just a few years. Now, he’s the Spanish-language play-by-play announcer for the L.A. Lakers.

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Then he found a soccer match he’d recorded — América de Cali vs River Plate, he remembers, playing each other in the ’96 Copa Libertadores finals.

“So I grab that video, pull the TV into the bathroom, [and] had a boombox with that Sega crowd noise that I recorded from FIFA ’95.

“And I just grab my little handheld [recorder], and I recorded a minute of play-by-play.”

That’s the tape he turned in.

And the guy loved it. He told García that he’d get one of the two announcer jobs, though he’d still have to go through the formal audition process. García was elated.

But then the guilt started to set in.

“I felt like such a liar, so I went back and I told him the truth,” García told me. ” ‘Federico, you know what? I lied, man. I did the Sega.’ Told him the whole story.

“He starts laughing. He goes, ‘Well, if you can do this with home appliances and crap lying around your house, I can only imagine what you’re gonna do with the real gear. Thank you for being honest.'”

And García got the job.

That handful of Flash games only paid $50 (“I thought I had nailed it,” he laughs. “Like, oh! This is an awesome career! Fifty bucks for just sitting there, calling soccer!”). But it was a start.

“You need a lot of breaks,” he explains, if you didn’t go to college at a broadcasting school like Syracuse. “The breaks that you end up getting because of a college education [aren’t] gonna be there … for a guy like me that has to come in through the kitchen — not door, the kitchen window.”

So it took another fake-it-then-come-clean moment — pretending to be a San Diego Flash employee to score a meeting with an executive at a Spanish-language radio station, admitting his caper, then impressing him with his knowledge of the Padres — to land his next gig, this time hosting a Spanish pre-game baseball show.

That’s when the ball really started rolling. That fall, on the strength of his now-genuine demo tape, Garcia got picked up to call Chargers games. By 2000, he’d landed with the Oakland A’s.

“When I got the Oakland A’s, ESPN happened to show up on a weekend. They heard the broadcast. Álvaro Martín [heard me]. That was a huge break,” he remembers. “The next thing you know, I’m the voice of the Red Sox, at the same time that I’m doing Wednesday and Sunday Night Baseball, Monday Night Football, NFL Primetime.”

The Los Angeles Lakers sport Los Lakers jerseys each March, for Noche Latina games.

That job led to another, which led to another. Univision, Fox Sports, and now, Time Warner Cable Deportes here in Los Angeles, calling play-by-play for the Lakers.

“I caught myself in 2009, World Series, Yankees — opening up new Yankees Stadium, and there I am, behind home plate, calling the game. And I had that moment, like, ‘Adrián, what the heck are you doing here?’

“And I’m gonna be saying to myself when the Lakers get another title before Kobe retires,” he says with a wink, “‘Adrián, ¿qué estás haciendo aquí? What the heck are you doing here?’

“And I’m gonna have the answer. I earned it. That’s why I’m here. And thank you, Sega FIFA ’95.”

FAA Proposal On Drones Highlights Safety Over Privacy Concerns

Feb 15, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on FAA Proposal On Drones Highlights Safety Over Privacy Concerns

The Federal Aviation Administration has unveiled a long-awaited proposal for rules governing the use of small drones. If approved, the rules could expand the use of drones throughout the country.

Boehner Blames Democrats For Scuffle Over Homeland Security Funding

Feb 15, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Boehner Blames Democrats For Scuffle Over Homeland Security Funding

House Speaker John Boehner says he’s prepared to let the Department of Homeland Security run out of money to push the Republican majority’s efforts to reverse President Obama’s immigration initiative.

“Senate Democrats are the ones standing in the way. They’re the ones jeopardizing funding,” Boehner told Fox News Sunday.Certainly. The House has acted. We’ve done our job.”

Senate Democrats have filibustered the $40 billion funding measure for DHS because it also includes a rollback of the president’s executive action on immigration. Republicans don’t have the necessary votes to pass the measure and override a promised presidential veto. The department runs out of cash on Feb. 27.

“The House has acted to fund the department and to stop the president’s overreach when it comes to immigration and his executive orders,” Boehner said. “The president said 22 times that he did not have the authority to do what he eventually did. And the Congress just can’t sit by and let the president defy the Constitution and defy his own oath of office. And so the House acted. Now it’s time for the Senate to act.”

Even if the measure passes both houses, Obama has threatened to veto any DHS funding bill that also contains the immigration restrictions.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has said his chamber is at an impasse and the next move would be up to Boehner.

Commercial Drone Rules To Limit Their Weight, Speed And Altitude

Feb 15, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Commercial Drone Rules To Limit Their Weight, Speed And Altitude

Drones are displayed at an event with the Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) Coalition, last month. The FAA's proposed new rules for their commercial use require certified pilots to fly them and limit their speed, altitude and area of operation.i

Drones are displayed at an event with the Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) Coalition, last month. The FAA’s proposed new rules for their commercial use require certified pilots to fly them and limit their speed, altitude and area of operation.

Jacquelyn Martin/AP


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Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Drones are displayed at an event with the Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) Coalition, last month. The FAA's proposed new rules for their commercial use require certified pilots to fly them and limit their speed, altitude and area of operation.

Drones are displayed at an event with the Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) Coalition, last month. The FAA’s proposed new rules for their commercial use require certified pilots to fly them and limit their speed, altitude and area of operation.

Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET

The Federal Aviation Administration has released long-awaited draft rules on the operation of pilotless drones, opening the nation’s airspace to the commercial possibilities of the burgeoning technology, but not without restrictions.

In short, the proposed rules that have been a decade in the making would limit drones weighing no more than 55 lbs to flying no more than 100 mph at an altitude no higher than 500 feet. The FAA would ban their use at night and near airports. And, they could only be operated by someone with a certification who keeps the vehicle “in line of sight” at all times.

The FAA also will require anyone using Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) for commercial purposes to obtain a special pilot certification to operate them.

“We … want to capture the potential of unmanned aircraft and we have been working to develop the framework for the safe integration of this technology into our airspace,” Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said during a teleconference with journalists.

Under the rules, these aircraft could inspect utility towers, antennas, bridges power lines and pipelines in hilly or mountainous terrain,” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said, adding that wildlife conservation, search and rescue, movie making and aerial photographs for real estate purposes were also among the opportunities that could be opened up by the new regulations.

In a statement, the White House called drones “a potentially transformative technology in diverse fields such as agriculture, law enforcement, coastal security, military training, search and rescue, first responder medical support, critical infrastructure inspection, and many others.”

The statement says that the proposed rules ensure “that the Federal Government’s use of UAS takes into account … important concerns and in service of them, promotes better accountability and transparent use of this technology.”

FAA Drone Rules

Reuters, quoting industry experts, calls the new rules “relatively benign.”

Even so, the news agency says, “the rule was unlikely to help Amazon.com in its quest to deliver packages with unmanned drones, since its approach requires an FAA-certified small drone pilot to fly the aircraft and keep it line of sight at all times — factors not envisioned in the online retailer’s plan.”

The draft regulations must still undergo public comment and revision before being officially adopted.

Event For Controversial Cartoonist Targeted With Deadly Shooting

Feb 14, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Event For Controversial Cartoonist Targeted With Deadly Shooting

One person was killed and three police were injured in Copenhagen, after gunmen opened fire at a meeting featuring Swedish artist Lars Vilks. The cartoonist is known for his depictions of the Prophet Muhammad.

At ‘The Grand Budapest,’ A Banquet Of Beards And Melange Of Mustaches

Feb 14, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on At ‘The Grand Budapest,’ A Banquet Of Beards And Melange Of Mustaches

Actor Tony Revolori, who plays Zero Moustafa in The Grand Budapest Hotel, paints on a mustache. The movie was full of fake mustaches — but most were made of human hair and silk, rather than paint.i

Actor Tony Revolori, who plays Zero Moustafa in The Grand Budapest Hotel, paints on a mustache. The movie was full of fake mustaches — but most were made of human hair and silk, rather than paint.

Courtesy of Fox Searchlight


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Courtesy of Fox Searchlight

Actor Tony Revolori, who plays Zero Moustafa in The Grand Budapest Hotel, paints on a mustache. The movie was full of fake mustaches — but most were made of human hair and silk, rather than paint.

Actor Tony Revolori, who plays Zero Moustafa in The Grand Budapest Hotel, paints on a mustache. The movie was full of fake mustaches — but most were made of human hair and silk, rather than paint.

Courtesy of Fox Searchlight

Director Wes Anderson is known for his especially exacting visual style — an attention to detail that goes right down to the individual hairs on his actors’ faces.

Take The Grand Budapest Hotel, Anderson’s historical fairy tale about a luxury central European hotel on the edge of war in the 1930s. Nearly every male character in the film has some kind of painstakingly designed facial hair.

Oscar-nominated hair and makeup designer Frances Hannon styles actress Tilda Swinton on the set of The Grand Budapest Hotel.i

Oscar-nominated hair and makeup designer Frances Hannon styles actress Tilda Swinton on the set of The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Martin Scali/Courtesy of Fox Searchlight


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Martin Scali/Courtesy of Fox Searchlight

Oscar-nominated hair and makeup designer Frances Hannon styles actress Tilda Swinton on the set of The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Oscar-nominated hair and makeup designer Frances Hannon styles actress Tilda Swinton on the set of The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Martin Scali/Courtesy of Fox Searchlight

And in charge of the trimming, styling and coloring of each follicle — real or fake — was hair and makeup designer Frances Hannon. She’s been nominated for an Oscar for her work on the film, which has been nominated for nine Academy Awards in total — including in other behind-the-scenes categories like costumes and production design.

Hannon says once she received the assignment from Anderson, she “did a huge amount of research” on beard and mustache styles, stretching from the 16th century to the present day.

“I covered the spectrum completely,” Hannon tells NPR’s Arun Rath, “so that with all the mustaches, not only would I find something that suited that actor’s face, but I could give something different to everybody.”

Some characters’ mustaches were more classical and precisely clipped, like M. Gustave, played by Ralph Fiennes. (His mustache, Hannon says, was based on Austrian-born actor Anton Walbrook.)

Actor Adrien Brody portrays the villainous Dmitri in the film. To design the mustaches in the film, Frances Hannon studied facial hair styles throughout centuries of history.i

Actor Adrien Brody portrays the villainous Dmitri in the film. To design the mustaches in the film, Frances Hannon studied facial hair styles throughout centuries of history.

Courtesy of Fox Searchlight


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Courtesy of Fox Searchlight

Actor Adrien Brody portrays the villainous Dmitri in the film. To design the mustaches in the film, Frances Hannon studied facial hair styles throughout centuries of history.

Actor Adrien Brody portrays the villainous Dmitri in the film. To design the mustaches in the film, Frances Hannon studied facial hair styles throughout centuries of history.

Courtesy of Fox Searchlight

Others featured a slight twirl, like the mustache worn by the villainous Dmitri, played by Adrien Brody.

And then there’s Bill Murray’s vast face-spanning mustache, which Hannon says was not the work of CGI.

“I have to tell you that was real,” Hannon says. “Bill grew a full beard and mustache. He turned up the hairiest I’d ever seen him.”

(Hannon has some expertise there. She’s worked with Murray since 1997’s The Man Who Knew Too Little.)

But not every actor was able to naturally grow a mustache or beard for the film.

“The majority were fake,” says Hannon. “I would say probably about 60 or 70 percent were stuck-on.”

In part, that’s because several actors had commitments to other films, and couldn’t show up to another set wearing a mustache better suited to central Europe in the 1930s.

Nearly every male character in The Grand Budapest Hotel has some kind of beard or mustache. Some were real, but hair and makeup designer Frances Hannon says about 60 or 70 percent were artificial.i

Nearly every male character in The Grand Budapest Hotel has some kind of beard or mustache. Some were real, but hair and makeup designer Frances Hannon says “about 60 or 70 percent” were artificial.

Martin Scali/Courtesy of Fox Searchlight


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Martin Scali/Courtesy of Fox Searchlight

Nearly every male character in The Grand Budapest Hotel has some kind of beard or mustache. Some were real, but hair and makeup designer Frances Hannon says about 60 or 70 percent were artificial.

Nearly every male character in The Grand Budapest Hotel has some kind of beard or mustache. Some were real, but hair and makeup designer Frances Hannon says “about 60 or 70 percent” were artificial.

Martin Scali/Courtesy of Fox Searchlight

But Hannon says those fake mustaches are themselves works of art.

“They’re made of real human hair, which you buy in all different textures and colors,” says Hannon. “There’s usually five minimum colors in each mustache.”

The hairs are sewn individually into tiny holes — less than a half-millimeter in diameter — of what Hannon calls “the finest silk lace you can find. … So you can imagine the time that goes into the perfection of each.”

But of all the actors’ beards, Frances Hannon reserves special praise for Jeff Goldblum’s very real, somewhat Freudian goatee. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Hannon said Goldblum had “the most extraordinary beard I’ve ever come across,” and praised how carefully he took care of it.

“I think the difference with Jeff was firstly the way the natural color came through on his beard,” Hannon tells NPR. “I had never seen such distinctive black and white areas that weren’t peppered throughout. … That was completely natural. And we just enhanced the strength of the black [with coloring].”

Hannon told the Los Angeles Times that actor Jeff Goldblum, who plays Deputy Kovacs, had the most extraordinary beard I've ever come across.i

Hannon told the Los Angeles Times that actor Jeff Goldblum, who plays Deputy Kovacs, had “the most extraordinary beard I’ve ever come across.”

Martin Scali/Courtesy of Fox Searchlight


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Martin Scali/Courtesy of Fox Searchlight

Hannon told the Los Angeles Times that actor Jeff Goldblum, who plays Deputy Kovacs, had the most extraordinary beard I've ever come across.

Hannon told the Los Angeles Times that actor Jeff Goldblum, who plays Deputy Kovacs, had “the most extraordinary beard I’ve ever come across.”

Martin Scali/Courtesy of Fox Searchlight

Goldblum says he found out during pre-production that Wes Anderson was looking for a “banquet of beards” from the actors.

“And I wasn’t otherwise obligated facially,” Goldblum says, “so I allowed my hair to grow out for a couple of months.”

Hannon then took Goldblum’s salt-and-pepper palette to shape the final product.

“She would use her very talented hands and do some little pruning and shrubbery work,” Goldblum says. “We would come up with something and then we’d show Wes [Anderson], and he’d say, ‘I like that. What if we took off a few more hairs here and there? And I’m thinking this and that.’ And we had a few sessions like that, and then we wound up with that thing.”

Goldblum, who was thrilled the “alien creature” that wound up on his face, calls Hannon a “genius” — and he’s not alone in his praise. Hannon, along with makeup artist Mark Coulier, received a BAFTA award earlier this month for her work on the film.

As for the Oscars, Hannon says she was “very excited and a little suprised” to receive the nomination.

“But I couldn’t be more pleased,” she says, “because I do think that Wes created an extraordinary look in the end product of that film that I have never seen in another film before. So I’m really delighted for him and extremely delighted to have been a part of it.”

Canadian Police Say They’ve Foiled Would-Be Valentine’s Day Massacre

Feb 14, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Canadian Police Say They’ve Foiled Would-Be Valentine’s Day Massacre

A duplex where a 19-year-old man was found dead is shown in Timberlea, Nova Scotia, on Friday. Royal Canadian Mounted Police say they foiled a plot to commit a mass shooting.i

A duplex where a 19-year-old man was found dead is shown in Timberlea, Nova Scotia, on Friday. Royal Canadian Mounted Police say they foiled a plot to commit a mass shooting.

Reuters/Landov


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A duplex where a 19-year-old man was found dead is shown in Timberlea, Nova Scotia, on Friday. Royal Canadian Mounted Police say they foiled a plot to commit a mass shooting.

A duplex where a 19-year-old man was found dead is shown in Timberlea, Nova Scotia, on Friday. Royal Canadian Mounted Police say they foiled a plot to commit a mass shooting.

Reuters/Landov

Police in Canada say they’ve foiled a Valentine’s Day plot to carry out a mass shooting at a mall in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Dan Karpenchuk, reporting from Toronto for NPR, reports that one person was found dead and three others taken into custody on Friday by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in connection with the alleged plot, which authorities say was not related to Islamic terrorism. The suspects reportedly planned to kill as many people as possible before committing suicide.

The Associated Press quotes an unnamed police official as saying the RCMP acted on a tip that came in on a Crime Stoppers hotline.

A 19-year-old male suspect killed himself after police surrounded his home early Friday morning. The AP says: “a 23-year-old woman from Geneva, Illinois, was arrested at Halifax airport and confessed to the plot, the official said, adding that she had prepared a number of pronouncements to be tweeted after her death.”

Police said two others, males aged 20 and 17 from Nova Scotia, were also arrested in connection with the plot, but their exact role was still being investigated. The 17-year-old was wanted for threatening to shoot up a high school and had an outstanding warrant.

The AP, quoting the unnamed officials, says “the suspects used a chat stream and were apparently obsessed with death and had many photos of mass killings.”

The Halifax Chronicle Herald quotes Canada’s Justice Minister Peter MacKay as praising law enforcement in acting quickly to avert a tragedy.

“Based on what we know so far, it would have been devastating,” MacKay said. A day known to represent love and affection could have taken a much different meaning today had it not been for the exceptional efforts of the combined law enforcement community.”

“While this particular incident doesn’t appear to be motivated by terrorism, we believe, in particular, some of the online investigations that are required to avert this type of activity do require changes in the legislation and that’s why current legislation is before Parliament,” MacKay said.

“This appeared to be a group of murderous misfits that were coming here or were living here and prepared to wreak havoc and mayhem in our community,” he said.

Attack On Copenhagen Cafe Apparently Aimed At Cartoonist

Feb 14, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Attack On Copenhagen Cafe Apparently Aimed At Cartoonist

Damaged glass is seen at the site of a shooting in Copenhagen on Saturday. Shots were fired near a meeting in the Danish capital of Copenhagen attended by controversial Swedish artist Lars Vilks.i

Damaged glass is seen at the site of a shooting in Copenhagen on Saturday. Shots were fired near a meeting in the Danish capital of Copenhagen attended by controversial Swedish artist Lars Vilks.

Scanpix Denmark/Reuters/Landov


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Scanpix Denmark/Reuters/Landov

Damaged glass is seen at the site of a shooting in Copenhagen on Saturday. Shots were fired near a meeting in the Danish capital of Copenhagen attended by controversial Swedish artist Lars Vilks.

Damaged glass is seen at the site of a shooting in Copenhagen on Saturday. Shots were fired near a meeting in the Danish capital of Copenhagen attended by controversial Swedish artist Lars Vilks.

Scanpix Denmark/Reuters/Landov

Updated at 11:40 p.m. ET

Danish media are reporting that a number of shots were fired at the window of a cafe in Copenhagen where Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who has been threatened over his 2007 caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, was attending a free-speech meeting.

TV2 and Danish Ritzau News Agency say Copenhagen Police have confirmed that three officers were wounded in the gunfire. There were reports that the French ambassador to Denmark was also present, but unharmed. Reuters quotes Danish police as saying suspects fled in a car.

The Associated Press reports:

“Helle Merete Brix, one of the organizers of the event, told [the AP] that Vilks was present at the event but not injured. When the artist is in Denmark, he receives police protection.

“The cafe in northern Copenhagen, known for its jazz concerts, was hosting an event titled ‘Art, blasphemy and the freedom of expression’ when the shots were fired.

“Niels Ivar Larsen, one of the speakers at the event, told the TV2 channel that he saw two wounded people.”

Private, Government Cooperation Could Stem Cyberattacks

Feb 13, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Private, Government Cooperation Could Stem Cyberattacks

Rachel Martin talks to Derek Manky, lead threat researcher for Fortinet, one of the founding members of the Cyber Threat Alliance, about the White House executive order on cybersecurity.

See What ‘Saturday Night Live’ Looks Like The Rest Of The Week

Feb 13, 2015   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on See What ‘Saturday Night Live’ Looks Like The Rest Of The Week


The Saturday Night Live team meets for a read-through in 1994. Everyone has a designated seat: Lorne Michaels sits at the head of the table (between the windows) the host sits to his right, and the head writer to his left. Click to see a larger version of this image.

The Saturday Night Live team meets for a read-through in 1994. Everyone has a designated seat: Lorne Michaels sits at the head of the table (between the windows) the host sits to his right, and the head writer to his left. Click to see a larger version of this image.

Edie Baskin/Taschen


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Edie Baskin/Taschen


Saturday Night Live

When Saturday Night Live went on the air 40 years ago, few would have guessed how many of the cast members would go on to become household names. But you’ve probably never heard of Edie Baskin and Mary Ellen Matthews. They’re the official photographers on Saturday Night Live and their combined careers have spanned the life of the show. A collection of their work has been published to coincide with this year’s anniversary broadcast on Sunday.

Baskin’s career at Saturday Night Live got its start at a Los Angeles poker game where she met Lorne Michaels. After he moved to New York to start Saturday Night Live she showed him some of her photographs.

“Nobody knew what was happening,” Baskin recalls. “It was all very new and I said, ‘Hey do you think I can be the photographer?’ and he said, ‘Well, I don’t see why not.'”

Baskin had no idea that she was signing up for a lifetime career with a show that would soon become an institution. Baskin’s photographs captured the manic energy of the show starting with those early days when a bunch of unknowns created an unforgettable cast of characters: John Belushi as the Samurai deli guy, Steve Martin and Dan Aykroyd as two wild and crazy guys and Gilda Radner as Roseanne Roseannadanna.

Roseanne Roseannadanna (Gilda Radner) with Jane Curtin in 1979.i

Roseanne Roseannadanna (Gilda Radner) with Jane Curtin in 1979.

Edie Baskin/Taschen


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Edie Baskin/Taschen

Roseanne Roseannadanna (Gilda Radner) with Jane Curtin in 1979.

Roseanne Roseannadanna (Gilda Radner) with Jane Curtin in 1979.

Edie Baskin/Taschen

Baskin helped create the show’s signature look with her nighttime shots of New York City and portraits of the cast and guest hosts which she colorized by hand. “I used markers, pencils, oils, colored chalk,” she recalls.

Hugh Hefner poses with (from left) Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin and Laraine Newman in 1977. Edie Baskin says she remembers using markers, pencils, oils, colored chalk to create images like these.i

Hugh Hefner poses with (from left) Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin and Laraine Newman in 1977. Edie Baskin says she remembers using “markers, pencils, oils, colored chalk” to create images like these.

Edie Baskin/Taschen


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Edie Baskin/Taschen

Hugh Hefner poses with (from left) Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin and Laraine Newman in 1977. Edie Baskin says she remembers using markers, pencils, oils, colored chalk to create images like these.

Hugh Hefner poses with (from left) Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin and Laraine Newman in 1977. Edie Baskin says she remembers using “markers, pencils, oils, colored chalk” to create images like these.

Edie Baskin/Taschen

She was also a fly on the wall during all the work that went into creating the show — the writing and design sessions, the read-throughs and rehearsals. Baskin says the structure never changed.

“When you see a picture in the writers’ room in the ’70s and the writer’s room now, it’s the same writers’ room,” she says. “It’s the same read-through. It’s the same meeting in Lorne’s office.

The schedule hasn’t changed either. It goes something like this:

“Monday’s the pitch meeting, Tuesday’s the writers are writing, Wednesday’s the read-through, Thursday rehearsals start and the band comes in, and Friday just continues with rehearsals and blocking, and Saturday’s the show,” explains Mary Ellen Matthews.

Will Ferrell, being made up as George W. Bush in 2012, reviews dialogue for his monologue with Wally Feresten.i

Will Ferrell, being made up as George W. Bush in 2012, reviews dialogue for his monologue with Wally Feresten.

Dana Edelson/Taschen


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Dana Edelson/Taschen

Will Ferrell, being made up as George W. Bush in 2012, reviews dialogue for his monologue with Wally Feresten.

Will Ferrell, being made up as George W. Bush in 2012, reviews dialogue for his monologue with Wally Feresten.

Dana Edelson/Taschen

Matthews started as Baskin’s assistant in 1993 and took over when Baskin left in 2000. Of all the performers Matthews has worked with, her favorite is Will Ferrell.

“All my dreams come true when he walks in the door,” Matthews says.

She says that the cowbell skit with Ferrell and guest host Christopher Walken was one of the funniest she ever shot. “Oh my god, I couldn’t even really keep the camera steady,” she recalls. “The laughter in the studio … you could not believe how funny it was — no one could keep it inside.”

Matthews’ and Baskin’s photographs capture the zeitgeist of each era — stars on the rise or at their peak, playing to the camera, sneaking a quiet moment off-set, reveling during their moment in the spotlight.

Gilda Radner pays no mind as the Land Shark gobbles John Belushi's arm backstage in 1976.

Gilda Radner pays no mind as the Land Shark gobbles John Belushi’s arm backstage in 1976.

Edie Baskin/Taschen


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Edie Baskin/Taschen

“You’re right there when some great sketch is being written,” says Matthews “That’s always that feeling on the table that something great is being done — so let’s get it.”

And when new, unknown cast members have their debut, Matthews says she can always tell when they’re headed for stardom.

“Immediately, their first time on the show you can just see it that they’re going to fit in and they’re going to be great,” she says. “They kind of jump off the TV, don’t they?”

And when they do, Matthews is there, with her camera.

Pete Schweddy (Alec Baldwin) makes a guest appearance on the Delicious Dish public radio show with hosts Margaret Jo McCullin and Terry Rialto (Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon) in 1998.i

Pete Schweddy (Alec Baldwin) makes a guest appearance on the “Delicious Dish” public radio show with hosts Margaret Jo McCullin and Terry Rialto (Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon) in 1998.

Mary Ellen Matthews/Taschen


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Mary Ellen Matthews/Taschen

Pete Schweddy (Alec Baldwin) makes a guest appearance on the Delicious Dish public radio show with hosts Margaret Jo McCullin and Terry Rialto (Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon) in 1998.

Pete Schweddy (Alec Baldwin) makes a guest appearance on the “Delicious Dish” public radio show with hosts Margaret Jo McCullin and Terry Rialto (Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon) in 1998.

Mary Ellen Matthews/Taschen

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