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Twin Peaks producer Sabrina Sutherland on OZ/NZ tour, Season 4

Kyle Milner gets the 411 on the “Conversation With the Stars” tour

Kyle Milner

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In an Australian first, select cast and crew from “Twin Peaks” tour Australia and New Zealand this month for the highly-anticipated ‘Conversation With The Stars’ event. The Australian tour will be a celebration for fans of this iconic television series to hear first-hand of some amazing in front of camera and behind the scenes moments of filming. In addition to cast members Sheryl Lee, Kimmy Robertson, Michael Horse, Al Strobel and Dana Ashbrook, Sabrina Sutherland, production co-ordinator of season 2 of “Twin Peaks” and executive producer of “Twin Peaks: A Limited Event Series” is headed down under. We caught up with Sutherland, also an associate producer on David Lynch’s ”Inland Empire”, Production Supervisor on ”Lost Highway” and Producer of ”David Lynch: The Art Life”, ahead of the event.

So it’s been a year now since Twin Peaks: The Return first aired on television, and you guys are still busy out there promoting it, talking about it online and on tour. As a fan, looking back at the show it seems like even when it’s all over and there’s seemingly no more show to come, Twin Peaks seems to just keep going on and living. People are so desperate for more, even if it’s just a little bit of conversation with anyone who worked on the show, like yourself. Would you agree that the show seems to have a life of its own?

Sabrina: Well, I think it’s not your traditional show. I do think it’s very unique, and I do think that the way David has left it, it’s open for interpretation, and there’s a lot of conversation behind that. There’s a lot of history with the show, being on for years and replayed throughout these twenty-five, thirty years almost. It seems like there’s a growth to it, and there’s a fanbase that, you know, our show, this new season wouldn’t have happened without the fans that existed from the previous series. So I think that generation or generational love for the show has really kept it going, and it just sparked all new things when the new season came out. I’m going on this new tour mainly to meet with fans and talk with people who I’ve only chatted with on Facebook or just not face-to-face, and it’ll be really wonderful to meet people who haven’t had the opportunity to talk with any of the actors or know about the show first-hand because they live so far away.

Of course, down here in Australia and New Zealand – where I personally live – because we’re so small and far away, we typically don’t get the chance to meet stars from shows that we love, people like yourself who have been such an integral part of them.  It’s great to hear that, for you, that this is an opportunity to finally get to meet face-to-face and take these questions in an intimate setting. That’s awesome.

Sabrina: Oh yeah, absolutely. And can I just say, I lived for a few months in New Zealand, and I loved it there. [laughs] I just wanted to say that.

We really appreciate people coming down here, it’s so rare for such cool people to come down.

Sabrina: Well I’m excited about it, and I’m hoping that fans will enjoy it, and certainly we’re open to questions and just, time to talk.

You’ve been involved with the show going right back, and being an Executive Producer on Twin Peaks: The Return you’ve been an integral part of it – not only the production, but your communication with fans online, your Reddit AmA semi-recently. You’re keeping a bridge for fans who want to know more. But I feel like a lot of the general public might not necessarily have an understanding of what Executive Producer means in terms of the show. What would you say, on a day-to-day basis, what was your involvement in The Return and making that happen?

Sabrina: Well, I would definitely say my title of Executive Producer is – my job description is different than other people who might have that same title. I was the right-hand person for David Lynch, I was the producer as well as executive producer. So I hired all the key personnel, I did the initial budget and schedule to propose for finding a distributor like Showtime. I worked with David very closely in the early months before the script was even finished, to figure out what he wanted on-screen. And my job, I guess the best description of it, is to help facilitate the vision in David’s head onto the screen. So that’s my job. But I deal with all the technical things, I deal with everybody, I deal with the budget, I deal with locations, I deal with post-production and production, pre-production. I am 100% throughout the entire show, and then deal with all of the things after the show as well. Any publicity, anything regarding festivals or anything like that. It all kind of falls under me.

It’s so impressive that you’ve been able to handle all of that, because the show seems to be such an immense, complex production.

Sabrina: Yeah. [laughs]

Even outside the realms of regular television production.

Sabrina: Yeah, it definitely was not the usual. We shot it as a film, and going in we didn’t know how many hours it was going to be, but we had a very set budget and we had a set time schedule. So we had a due date, regardless of if we had nine hours or what turned out to be eighteen hours, we still had that same due date. So it was very hard to meet that due date with all the hours we ended up doing.

It’s incredible that it’s managed to come back from the 90s, and not only come together in the way that it did, but to be such an impressive new thing while still being it’s own thing like back in the day.

Sabrina: I think that’s 100% David. I mean, it definitely tied into the original show but it was new and it’s just a unique visual representation of something, you know. So I think that’s all David.

I imagine you must constantly get questions in relation to David – “can you interpret this for me”, “what the hell was that”, “what the hell happened there?” I know he can be a cryptic guy, he’s a dreamer, and doesn’t seem to necessarily enjoy going all that in-depth about his work. He doesn’t like to tell us everything. Do you often find it challenging when you’re asked to talk about the show, in regards to things he’d perhaps prefer to leave as a mystery? As a fan of a show, I love that a lot of the things in it don’t necessarily have a solid answer, or are just up to interpretation. Do you find it challenging to have to say “I’d love to tell you that, but…”?

Sabrina: No, I don’t. David has a unique vision. I’ve worked with him a long time, I know that it’s not confusing for him, what’s up on the screen. He understands all of it. My working on it and my understanding of it – which can be completely different from my understanding of it – for me, it totally works and I understand the whole show too. Again, it’s my interpretation, David hasn’t told me “this means this”, or anything like this. I find that this show is like a work of art. And David, being an artist, it’s a moving art piece. And you never really explain art. I think once an artist finishes something, it’s there, you look at it. It’s an emotion, and it’s your understanding of how that piece of art hits you. And I think that’s how the show is. I don’t really have a problem with explaining things. And I would never want to say something that isn’t necessarily the case, it’s my point of view. I don’t know the answers, only David, in his head, understands what certain things are. And that’s up to him to say.

I think it’s so exciting that in 2017, 2018, there’s a show in the modern era that still has that exciting air of mystery and interpretation, not just in its form and aesthetic but is genuinely this sort of phenomenon. I was poring over forums while the show was airing and it’s rare for a television series to give you that kind of feeling.

Sabrina: That’s so great! That’s such a compliment, thank you. I mean, it’s not that it’s my doing, but I feel a part of the show and that’s such a wonderful thing to say about the show.

It’s incredible that so little of the show was spoiled or leaked. The promos were such teasers, and so often with television series you seem to get someone at the studio leaking an episode online or a synopsis might be mistakenly released. But I found that it was pretty much a complete mystery going in each week.

Sabrina: Yay! That was my job! [laughs]

And you did a fantastic job – each week, sitting down, it was like “what the hell is going to happen this week?” Was it difficult on your behalf to keep it all under wraps?

Sabrina: Yes. I’ll say with the teasers, David created the teasers. He was very adamant that nothing from the show was to come out in terms of picture. And on set, it was my job to make sure photographs weren’t taken, actors and crew members didn’t talk to the press, didn’t talk to people. There were a few slips here and there, but I think that overall, considering how long people had to kind of keep a secret, and how many days we were shooting, I think it went pretty well. I’m still knocking on wood that it didn’t leak out as much as I feared it would.

As someone who spent countless hours searching for anything I could, yeah, you guys did an immense job of keeping it all under wraps each week.

Sabrina: Yay! [laughs] That’s the thing, you experience it, and if you have some pre-conceived image or an idea of something when you go in, it takes you out of the show. And this way, you don’t know what to expect and you can just immerse yourself and just watch it and experience it.

I imagine you’re constantly asked, “is there going to be more Twin Peaks?”. And don’t worry, I’m not going to ask. [laughs] But everybody, whether it’s fans, critics or – I imagine, even cast and crew – would love there to be more. Even if there isn’t another season, just to know a little bit more. A bit more of the lore, that we even got from the books as well, Mark Frost’s books.

Sabrina: Let me just interject here and just say that, with Mark’s books, they were written entirely by Mark. They’re Mark’s ideas and his vision of what he thinks Twin Peaks is, or what happens in the future and that. That’s not David’s ideas. I just want you to know those weren’t part of the series, those were Mark going off and doing that himself.

Oh, absolutely. There just seems to be this desire for anything new, regardless of whether it’s straight from David himself, or Mark, or anything else. There just seems to be this insatiable thirst for more. Personally, would you feel satisfied if The Return was the last glimpse we get into the world of Twin Peaks?

Sabrina: I definitely feel that it ended well. It has room for interpretation, and there’s more story, for me. So I like how it ended up, but I would absolutely love to have another season. Absolutely. But if it ends here, I’m totally satiated and feel like it was an experience, and a one-of-a-kind experience that’s so unique you can’t put your finger on it. And I think years from now, if there isn’t anything more, you can still go back to this and say, “wow, that’s a pretty incredible series”.

TOUR DATES
WEDNESDAY 22ND AUGUST – AUCKLAND, ASB THEATRE
THURSDAY 23RD AUGUST – CHRISTCHURCH, ISAAC THEATRE
SATURDAY 25TH AUGUST – MELBOURNE, PALAIS THEATRE
SUNDAY 26TH AUGUST – BRISBANE, EATONS HILL HOTEL
WEDNESDAY 29TH AUGUST – ADELAIDE, THEBARTON THEATRE
SATURDAY 1ST SEPTEMBER – SYDNEY, DARLING HARBOUR THEATRE, ICC SYDNEY
SUNDAY 2ND SEPTEMBER – PERTH, ASTOR THEATRE

TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE.

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Caffeinated Clint’s Ten Favourite Films of 2018

And also his least favourite films of the year!

Caffeinated Clint

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I don’t know that it was a great year for movies – in fact, most of the films I’d been anticipating bit me like a leech on the testicle – but that doesn’t mean there still wasn’t some tasty meat in between the pellets. For every “Jurassic World : Fallen Kingdom” there was a “Blackkklansman”, and for every [Insert Amy Schumer Movie Title] Here there was “Boy Erased”. Studios stuck to the recent norm of putting style over substance when it came to their tentpoles, leaving so many of the hotly anticipated and unyieldingly-promoted fare from the likes of chafing disappointments, but those major independent labels and artistic auteurs more than made up for any bugs in the system, smearing MacAfee virus removal all over the marquee with their distinct, diverse and surprisingly unique offerings.

The year’s biggest surprise  – if only because it was a project that had been simmering away for the better part of fifteen years, losing director after director, leads after leads – was undoubtedly “A Star is Born”, which not only introduced audiences to ‘up and coming’ actress Lady Gaga, whose name will now be firmly cemented in cinema as much as it’s been in music, but also tyro director Bradley Cooper, who took on a discarded Eastwood project and put his own unique and powerful spin on it. Sure, it’s a story we’d seen time and time again (in fact, this is the fourth version of “A Star is Born”), but it was the chemistry of the leads, those dynamite performances, and the emotion carved into the libretto that kept critics and audiences hooked.

Like Cooper, freshman director Joel Edgerton also hit it out of the park this year with his turn behind the camera – “Boy Erased”. What a film that was. Just sublime. Powerful stuff.

On the no-surprise front, the always-dependable “Mission : Impossible” franchise continued to impress – is it the only series that actually improves as it goes on!? – just as much as its headline act, Tom Cruise, does with the most entertaining, most skilled blockbuster of the year “Fallout”. Featuring a killer turn from Henry Cavill as its hulking villain, eye-popping stunts and action sequences, and endless reminders why Tom Cruise is still the most bankable box-office star of our times, sixth time was the charm for the now 22-year-old movie franchise.

If one genre had the monopoly on the ‘best of’ list this year it was the family category, with everything from Paramount’s “Bumblebee”, Pixar’s “The Incredibles 2” and “Ralph Breaks the Internet”, and Sony Animation’s “Spider-Man : Into the Spider-Verse” all topping most live-action fare when it comes to sheer storytelling, allure and uniqueness. Seems the computer maketh some awesome filmeth!

Also very solid, the superhero movie fare of 2018 – sure, there were the fun, enjoyable time-passers like “Deadpool 2” and “Aquaman” but at the top end of the scale were some truly magnificent pieces, like the ground-breaking and exceedingly breathtaking “Black Panther” from Marvel.

Bearing in mind I’m still to catch up with quite a few movies that have made most Top Ten lists (including “If Beale Street Could Talk”, “Green Book”, “Suspiria” and “First Reformed”) here are my top ten favourite movies of 2018 :

 

A Star is Born

Mission : Impossible  – Fallout

Boy Erased

Blackkklansman

A Quiet Place

Black Panther

Ralph Breaks the Internet

Avengers : Infinity War

Game Night

The Incredibles 2

 

Runners-Up : Annihilation, Bumblebee, Spider-Man : Into the Spider-Verse, Ant-Man & The Wasp

 

And, for me, these were the least enjoyable films of the year…

 

Tag

Super Troopers 2

Holmes & Watson

I Feel Pretty

Truth or Dare

Oceans 8

Skyscraper

Gotti

The Predator

Jurassic World : Fallen Kingdom

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Apparently Sinbad stars in the new Aladdin?

Don’t worry, he’ll be a Man in Blue come summer 2019

Caffeinated Clint

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The Fresh Prince of Blue Heir.

Disney have unveiled a first look at Will Smith’s Genie from the upcoming live-action (in case you haven’t heard, that’s the latest thing Disney have dampened their undies for lately) ‘Aladdin’, and I gotta tell you, it is absolutely beautiful to see such full those hearts at Christmastime… as evident in social media responses.

For the record, and if it helps with the eye chafing, the character will be ‘blue’ in the finished film. Mike Lowery said it himself. In other words, the movie is going to be the shizzle. All it needs is a blue genie, after all. Right!?

Some other pics from the upcoming flick are below, but first, a new photo from Disney’s upcoming “Lion King” adaptation – here’s Mufasa.

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We’ve got your first look at Deadwood the movie!

First pics feature Ian McShane and Timothy Olyphant; executive producer talks storyline

Caffeinated Clint

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Sayin’ questions in that tone and pointin’ your finger at me will get you told to **** yourself.

Christmas comes early for “Deadwood” fans with the first pics from the long-awaited film version – releasing – hitting the online distraction service today.

There’s Ian McShane, hardly aged a day, looking as devilish as ever as saloon owner Al Swearingen, and also our first look at a slightly older but even slightly more distinguished Seth Bullock, now a U.S Marshal, played by Timothy Olyphant.

Also returning from the HBO series : Molly Parker (Alma Ellsworth), Paula Malcomson (Trixie), John Hawkes (Sol Star), Anna Gunn (Martha Bullock), Dayton Callie (Charlie Utter), Brad Dourif (Doc Cochran), Robin Weigert (“Calamity” Jane Canary), William Sanderson (E.B. Farnum), Kim Dickens (Joanie Stubbs) and Gerald McRaney (George Hearst).

They’ve been yakking about a movie version of “Deadwood” for quite some time – in fact, near as soon as the show was cancelled, at the conclusion of its third season. It’s taken a number of years to get together, largely because of cast scheduling, but the photos above prove it’s finally a reality.

”Tim was pretty tough. I will say he really dug in — in a good way, not a stubborn way — with good thoughts on where to take his character and the story and kept pushing on that, and they were helpful thoughts in terms of getting the script where it needed to be”, the film’s EP Carolyn Straus tells EW.

Series creator David Milch scripted the film, which airs sometime next year. It will reportedly be about time taking it’s toll on people.

“If you ask David, it’s about the passage of time”, says Straus. “The toll of time on people. It’s mellowed some people and hardened others. And it’s about the town’s maturing and becoming part of the Union and what that event sets in motion, in a very personal way for the people that it brings in town and what ensues. The toll of time has not just struck Deadwood and the characters but all the people making it as well, you get to see the faces of people 12 years later. And it was really profound. Actors were crying at the table read — not necessarily from the script but the emotion of being back and doing something we all loved doing so much. You normally have a great experience and then it’s over. You don’t normally get the chance to do this in life. It was kind of a gift.”

Swearingen has endured a lot since we last saw him, says Straus.

”The time has taken its greatest toll on Swearengen. He’s the person who really drove so much of the life of the town and there’s a sense of that power waning somewhat, and what ensues of that is a big part of the story.”

There was originally talk of two “Deadwood” movies – which Milch had said would wrap up the storylines left dangling after the series annulment – but at this stage, even if we only get the one, it’s one more than I think most of us assumed we’d ever get.

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