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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.

A Mandy Moment

World Premiere Red Carpet : Ride Like a Girl

Mandy Griffiths

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Melbourne was home to the world premiere of “Ride Like a Girl” this weekend, the directorial debut from renowned Australian actor Rachel Griffiths that follows the true story of Michelle Payne; the first woman to win the Melbourne Cup.

Teresa Palmer stars as Michelle Payne alongside Sam Neill, Sullivan Stapleton, Magda Szubanski and Stevie Payne, Michelle’s brother who plays himself in the film.

We spoke to the stars, the inspiration and the director herself about bringing this film to life.

Why this story and why now

Rachel Griffiths: It’s hard to articulate – when my brain gets on fire, you just can’t put it out. It just didn’t go away. I thought this was one of those great ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’ films – like “Hidden Figures” was. It’s so important that women have the opportunity to see heroines like Michelle that are unconventional, that have a dream in a man’s world but also realising the toughness, the resilience, the tenacity that’s required over a long period of time to realise it.

An actor’s director

Rachel Griffiths: I definitely think working with the actors was my talent. I think Teresa [Palmer] and Sam [Neill] give the best performances of their careers in this film. Stevie [Payne] had never acted before. I’m so proud of all of them. I think on my first day I had eight actors who had never acted on screen before. And I had a lot of people from the racing industry doing scenes and saying lines and they all nailed it. I’m particularly proud of that.

Sophia Forrest (Cathy Payne): Rachel knew exactly how to talk to an actor on set to get the right moment out of a scene. So every day on set was like a master class in acting [laughs]. Even if you only had one line, Rachel would give it as much respect as a two-page scene. It was great.

Zara Zoe (Maree Payne): She’s such a mega star, you know, but you she just made everyone feel comfortable. Everyone could just walk on set and feel like it was a creative, collaborative atmosphere. It was really nice.

Teresa Palmer can do it all

Rachel Griffiths: Teresa Palmer is spectacular in this film. One thing the industry has said is ‘oh my God I didn’t realise she could do that’ and I said ‘well no one’s given her the opportunity’.

On whether she always had Teresa in mind for the role. “Always.”

Michelle Payne: We spent some time together. She is just the most beautiful soul you could ever meet in your life and I was so happy she said yes to playing my part. And as an actress she has just absolutely nailed it. It’s just hard to believe there’s someone so good at their job – her and Sam Neill and everyone, the whole crew, I was just blown away by the cast that they had and I’m so proud of it.

Honouring their real-life counterparts

Sophia Forrest: I think it was definitely nerve wracking because you just want to do that person justice in telling their story. But the script was written with such deep respect and sincerity I feel like it carried the film from start to finish.”

Zara Zoe: There was a bit of pressure there as there always is in playing a real-life person but everyone was so warm and welcoming, it never felt tense, it felt like an accepting and wonderful environment. And the Payne family was so wonderful and open with us all.

Michelle Payne: This is the story of perseverance and resilience and believing in yourself. That’s anything is possible if you stick at it. Obviously, there’s going to be some tough times along the way and I think you really have to believe in yourself and follow your dreams.

When asked what was more nerve-wracking, racing in the Melbourne Cup or attending the premiere of a film about her life, Michelle did not hesitate: “Racing in the Melbourne Cup!”.

“Ride Like a Girl” gallops into Australian cinemas 26 September 2019. 

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What to do this summer : Universal Studios

Escape dinos! Fall under Potter’s spell! Go for a tram ride!

K.T Simpson

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Put an Australian in LA and it’s a little embarrassing, the “G’Day Mates” you get from staff makes us feel a little bit bogan but hey.. it’s a small price to pay to be in the heart of film and television! While Queensland offers Hollywood on the Gold Coast, California offers the actual Hollywood, and if you don’t visit in the midst of summer – it’s safe to say you’re missing out!

With that said, Moviehole have hit the main attractions in LA to bring to you the best of the best to spend your summer doing! First up, let’s look at…

Universal Studios

From rollercoasters, to shows, to a world famous studio tour, there’s literally something for everyone at Universal Studios. Whether you’re a film buff or a thrill ride lover, you cannot miss the attractions that the theme park has to offer.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a great start – stroll through the cobblestoned streets of Hogsmeade and pick up a glass of Butterbeer, before visiting Ollivander’s to pick up the perfect wand. You can choose a furry friend to have as a pet at The Owl Post, and stock up on the sugary stuff at Honeydukes. Be sure to climb aboard Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, and fly the skies alongside Harry and co, while facing all sorts of mystical creatures. The Flight of the Hippogriff is a fun ride for rollercoaster fanatics, speeding along through the pumpkin patch.

If you’re looking for more fun experiences, the newest to open at Universal is Jurassic World – The Ride. A thrill ride to remember, Jurassic World is your chance to live with the dinosaurs – even for just a short period of time. Come face-to-face with the famous Blue the Velociraptor and a Triceratops at the Raptor Encounter, and let the littlies run wild at Dino-Play. Don’t leave without visiting the cafe and rocking some new dino-apparel from Jurassic Outfitters.

On the topic of thrill rides, Universal Studios has a number of fun rides that really are fun for all ages. The Mummy Ride: for those looking for a fast-paced rollercoaster, or The Simpsons Ride: for those who want something fun but perhaps a little bit easier on the heart (or if you don’t want to change your pants). You’ll also get to explore the little town of Springfield while in the area, so check out the Duff beer guys,

If you like a milder experience, don’t miss the shows that Universal has. Check out the animal show and be impressed and the trained cuties – including cats, seriously?! Who can train a cat!? WaterWorld gives you a glimpse at the impressive behind-the-scenes stunts that create movies: explosive effects and impressive stunts, all on water!

Of course for the film-buffs among us – that’s why we’re here, right? – you cannot miss the World Famous Studio Tour. If you’re lucky you might get to see an actual film set – “The Good Place” was filming as we made our way through the backlot – but regardless you’ll see New York City, Mexico and a Subway station, all without leaving the backlot. King Kong will come at you in 3D, and you’ll also get a glimpse at some “Fast and Furious” action, not to mention the part where Jaws comes out of the water: those who have seen “Mallrats” will get the reference. Along with the great commentary, you’ll get some entertainment from Jimmy Fallon on the screens in the tour bus.

This is only a drop in the ocean of what you can see at Universal Studios – so do not miss out on going this summer, while the sun is out and the weather is just perfect!

Universal Studios is open daily from 9am-10pm over the summer. Moviehole attended as a guest of Universal Studios.

 

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Reboot-Palooza : Willow, Dawson’s Creek, Warm Bodies next?

Ron Howard says “serious discussions” are underway to bring the ’80s fantasy to TV

Caffeinated Clint

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Remakes, reboots, revivals and returns are the new school socks – the turn-over rate is high.

Today, news on a “Willow” reboot series (this is the thing Ron Howard’s been hinting at for a while now) for Disney Plus, a possible revival of “Dawson’s Creek” (I’ll believe it when I see it) and a television adaptation of a saccharine spooker from a couple of years ago.

 

George Lucas had long wanted to turn ’80s fantasy film “Willow”, which Howard directed and the former Lucasfilm CEO produced, into a series. He won’t have anything to do with it, but his initial proposition looks to have come off.

According to the former Ritchie Cunningham, Disney’s streaming division is looking at bringing Warwick Davis’s pint-sized adventurer to TV.

Howard tells MTV’s Happy Sad Confused podcast that they’re in “serious discussions” to make it happen.

“Warwick is so cool and so good and he’s such a good actor that I really hope we get the chance to see the mature Willow in action,” the “Solo” director said.

The 1988 film, which also starred Val Kilmer, Jean Marsh, Billy Barty, Joanne Whalley and Kevin Pollak, starred “Return of the Jedi” actor Davis as a dwarf who reluctantly agrees to protect a special infant named Elora Danan from an evil queen. Kilmer played the mercenary swordsman that assists in the mission.

 

Warwick Davis in “Willow”

 

Most folks involved in the original take have never expressed too much enthusiasm for a “Dawson’s Creek” reboot, but according to the couple who played the title character’s parents on the hit show – the original cast, and creator Kevin Williamson, might have had a change of mind.

The revelation comes via John Wesley Shipp and Mary-Margaret Humes who recently went off about not being invited to feature in Entertainment Weekly’s March 2018 reunion cover.

“I did take it a little more personally [than John] because there was all this talk about a possible reunion,” Humes told Us Weekly. “Because I’d been doing all of this on Instagram, which I — just a couple months before, I felt like I was helping to make a reunion happen. Not a photo shoot, but actually bring the show back by revisiting what it was like.”

“She’s the one that keeps in touch with the kids, I keep in touch with the kids through her. It’s kind of like a stereotypical marriage,” Shipp added. “You have to realize that that was the role that [she] fulfilled in the company and on the set. She was the glue that kept everybody going out together. She had the boat, making sure that everyone was taken care of, doing the footage. Giving the parties when people had birthdays.”

The actress now believes her efforts have led to something positive though – ‘reboot’ talk.

“I’m glad I spoke out, because Katie [Holmes] called me, James [Van Der Beek] called me, Kerr [Smith] called me, Kevin [Williamson] texted me, Julie Plec texted me,” she told the publication. “It reunited us, and now there is actual talk about, secret talk, like, ‘Maybe we should do this.’ So, fingers crossed. I don’t know anything more than anybody else, but there has been a group text going around saying, ‘Maybe it’s time.’”

James Van Der Beek in “Dawson’s Creek”

 

Out plugging his wonderful frickin’ rom-com “Long Shot”, director Jonathan Levine has confirmed plans for a small-screen take on his sweet zombie comedy from a couple of years ago, “Warm Bodies”.

Per The Hollywood Reporter, Levine has signed a first-look deal with Lionsgate that encompasses film and TV. As part of the dead, he’ll be producing “Warm Bodies: The TV show”.

Former Lionsgate exec Gillian Bohrer is launching Levin’s new prod co Megamix with the filmmaker, and said in statement that, “Jonathan and I have a shared passion for movies that defy conventional wisdom about what defines a ‘commercial movie.’ I loved the diverse slate of projects I was able to shepherd at Lionsgate, and we’re delighted to bring Megamix to a company that believes in taking risks.”

Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer starred in the 2013 movie.

Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer in “Warm Bodies”

 

 

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