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Warner Bros.

  • According to an interview between the Kubrick and Michel Ciment, Kubrick attempted to create this photograph initially using extras. But was unhappy with the result. The photo we now know, was ultimately shopped together. Kubrick literally photographed Jack Nicholson from an approximate high angle shot peering down. Then airbrushed Nicholson into the “picture library” photo Kubrick found. Incredible.

    Did you have all those extras pose for the last shot?

    “No, they were in a photograph taken in 1921 which we found in a picture library. I originally planned to use extras, but it proved impossible to make them look as good as the people in the photograph. So I very carefully photographed Jack, matching the angle and the lighting of the 1921 photograph, and shooting him from different distances too, so that his face would be larger and smaller on the negative. This allowed the choice of an image size which when enlarged would match the grain structure in the original photograph. The photograph of Jack’s face was then airbrushed into the main photograph, and I think the result looked perfect. Every face around Jack is an archetype of the period.”

  • Danny Elfman is a musical genius. The man really needs no introduction. But, for those who are unaware, a small sampling of his talents includes: The Simpsons, Nightmare Before Christmas, several Tim Burton films, Mission Impossible, Spider-Man, MIB, hundreds of collaborators, and that’s just abridged resumé. Batman (1989) was a groundbreaking movie at the time, and the score is iconic to say the least.

    I saved an excerpt from his interview with GQ on the Batman score below because it’s simply amazing. Warner Bros. Studios wanted Elfman to collaborate with Prince to make a score for Batman. I don’t hate it, but it would have changed the movie in unimaginable ways I can’t even fathom:

    I’ve never done anything harder than Batman because first off, I had to prove myself. You know, it’s like, okay, he’s the quirky comedy guy, and here I am doing like this Batman movie. Understandably, I think they were like, “uh, we need somebody who knows how to do this kind of music.” But, nobody knew what kind of music it was. There really was no superhero music. There was just Superman. And, we said we know we don’t want it to be Superman — John Williams.

    And, then there was an element with the producer in the studio of wanting it to be a pop score. There was definitely this moment of like, “Danny, we want you to collaborate with Prince and co-write the score.” And I go, I can’t do that. People go, “you really said that?” I love Prince, but not for that score. I already knew what the score was, and I knew that if I collaborated, he’d be writing tunes, and I’d be orchestrating his tunes, and I would be essentially a glorified arranger rather than a composer, you know. Because he was world famous, and I was still nothing.

    I had to walk away. I was so depressed. I felt like I just blew up my own career. And then a month later I got the call saying, Danny, you’re back on. It’s like this gamble paid off. But, it was a miserable period of time. On the other hand, I already heard the music in my head. I knew what it was, and I was determined that that was gonna be the score. The producer was so hard on me, John Peters, and then [they’re finally] he’s in — I think it’s the third presentation. And, I didn’t know how to do presentations.

    I was playing this weird music stuff that was all like inspired, you know, crazy. And then Tim says, play the March, “play the March, play the march!”
    [That’s] what he called the titles. I go, “oh yeah, I got this piece here.” And of course, now I know, you lead with your headline, obviously. I didn’t really know, or understand that back then. And I put this piece of music on, and John starts conducting in his chair. And then at a certain point he stands up,
    and he’s going like this. [Danny waving his arms like a conductor] Tim looks at me and he’s like [Danny laughing], “yeah, we got it.”

  • Kinsey Grant for Morning Brew:

    HBO Max, the streaming service AT&T’s WarnerMedia revealed yesterday, is paying a reported $425 million for the exclusive rights for Friends when the show’s deal with Netflix expires in 2020. At least Monica can finally afford that apartment on her own.

    AT&T, though, can’t afford to watch other heavyweights like Disney and NBC invest in their own direct-to-consumer streaming services without planting its own flag. So it’s launching HBO Max next spring with 10,000 hours of content—both originals and classics.

    This is so interesting. Like, really really interesting. The deal kicks off with Friends which will catalyze thousands (if not a few hundred thousands) of subscribers alone. The real crown jewel will be the original programming such as Pretty Little Liars (including other works in the HBO pipeline I’m sure), and featured content from other networks. The Verge reports:

    The service will feature content from “Warner Bros., New Line, DC Entertainment, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, The CW, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Looney Tunes, and more.”

    Rooster Teeth? That’s new. I would have expected that from YouTube TV but HBO Max? Fascinating. It’s a pretty generous package to kick-off with. The direct-to-consumer streaming services well hasn’t dried up yet, but the options available aren’t the panacea we had hoped for. I suppose this is the future we wanted, and at least they’re competitive options. None of these services lock us in via expensive rented-hardware like cable-box providers. If anything, the programming is the lock-in. I think Netflix has learned that the hard way:

    I wonder how many subscribers Netflix will lose post-Friends? Or better-yet, how will this affect their growth strategy?