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KCRW The Business

Podcast KCRW The Business
Podcast KCRW The Business

KCRW The Business


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  • Actor Billy Eichner on co-writing and starring in the gay rom-com ‘Bros’
    Comedy is not exactly in vogue among big studios, so when filmmakers Judd Apatow and Nicholas Stoller approached actor Billy Eichner about making ‘Bros,’ the first big-studio, big-screen LGBTQ+ rom-com for Universal Pictures, he was skeptical. “I have an openly gay man in comedy for over 20 years,” he said, “and I am telling you that even the most gay-friendly execs at a major studio are not going to greenlight this movie. And even if they do, they're not going to let me tell it in an authentic, honest way.” The movie was greenlit, and now Eichner talks about starring on a feature film for the first time, the thrill of co-writing the script with Stoller and how a major movie studio came on board to make a gay romatic comedy came to life. But first, Kim Masters and Matt Belloni look into the return of The Golden Globes to NBC in 2023, and what it means for next year’s awards season.
  • Aubrey Plaza, John Patton Ford on the student-loan anxiety thriller ‘Emily the Criminal’
    When Aubrey Plaza’s colleague handed her the script for “Emily the Criminal,” she was immediately struck by it. “It was just one of those scripts that I started to read, and I just flew through it,” she says. “It's so readable and fun…it has this momentum that propels you forward.” While Plaza had found her next great project, director John Patton Ford explains why it took 12 years to write the story. With Plaza, they discuss the struggles of making “Emily The Criminal” and independent movies in general, and the film’s unexpected success. But first, Kim Masters talks to Matt Belloni about her 15-minute interview with Disney’s head Bob Chapek at the D23 Expo, as well as the PR effort to give the embattled CEO an image reboot at the event.
  • Filmmaker Kevin Smith talks ‘Clerks III’ and industry changes
    In 1994 Kevin Smith wrote, produced, and directed his first feature “Clerks.” The movie became a cult classic, and Smith introduced the audience to Jay and Silent Bob, the fictional friends portrayed by Jason Mewes and Smith, respectively. Despite the film’s success, the filmmaker reveals he didn’t necessarily have a plan moving forward. “There's never been a career path,” he says. “There's never been, ‘One day I'll get to the Oscar.’ No, not at all.” Almost three decades later, Smith discusses his latest movie “Clerks III,” his work in animation, and changes in the movie industry. First, Kim Masters and Matt Balloni detail yet another setback for Warner Bros. Discovery on its quest to find a head to run DC Films. And, more about Disney+ perks.
  • ‘The Territory’ director on making a documentary in the Amazon rainforest
    Documentarian Alex Pritz didn’t have a background in film. He studied environmental science in college and was certain he wanted to be a scientist to “work on these big problems plaguing our planet,” he says. But at the end of his time at university, he realized that film was a better way to engage with big issues. “I have always been interested in participatory video working with communities that are experiencing conflicts and challenges to help them use film as a method of advocacy and also self expression,” he remarks. With that approach in mind, he went to the western part of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest to direct “The Territory.” The filmmaker discusses how he was introduced to the Uru-eu-wau-wau people, a small indigenous community that is fighting to protect their land, the challenges and accessibility issues he faced to make the documentary. But first Kim Masters and Matt Belloni look into the competition between Amazon and HBO for more viewers. Which series will win: ‘The Rings of Power’ or ‘House of the Dragon?’
  • Replay: Writer Danny Strong on his quest to make Hulu’s ‘Dopesick’
    This week, The Business revisits a conversation with Danny Strong, writer, producer, and creator of “Dopesick,” which has 14 Emmy nominations for the portrayal of the evils of Purdue Pharma. Before co-creating the hit show “Empire,” Strong won accolades for writing two HBO movies based on real events: “Recount” and “Game Change,” as well as “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.” So when he decided to make a series about the opioid epidemic based on Beth Macy’s book “Dopesick,” he thought he’d be met with open arms. “I was going around to these pitches like, ‘I’m coming back to my nonfiction roots, like ‘Recount’ and ‘Game Change,’ and I’ve got a bestselling book,” he recalls. But the reaction he got was, “No one cares. ‘Oh, ‘Recount?’ Cute. That was 14 years ago’... if no one cares who you are, or what you've done… or if they don't want the project, they're not going to engage. It's not it's not an easy business. It's a tough racket.” Hollywood can be cold, but “Dopesick” eventually found a home on Hulu. Strong tells Kim Masters about falling down the Sackler family rabbit hole while researching Purdue Pharma and its deadly drug, OxyContin, and the many challenges he faced to get the show made. First, KCRW has fresh banter with guest-hosts Matt Belloni and Lucas Shaw about how two major theater chain operators AMC and Regal have recently made desperate financial moves to stay afloat.

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