Category:scott sforza, wh producer

September 2, 2004

Triumph of the W.

So you're saying, if you suspend habeas corpus and pre-emptively arrest hundreds of pedestrians, I'll be able to drive my Mercedes [sic] to the Upper East Side from the Holland Tunnel in 10 minutes every day? I have to confess, it's a seductive proposition.

[First they came for the carless, yet I did nothing...]

triumph_pataki.jpg used from reuters via yahoo

And while I'm watching the giant flag behind George Patton Pataki--It's rippling!-- I'm thinking, "gots to get me one of those 3-story high monitors."

[Then, they came for the flatscreenless, yet I did nothing...]

Then, when the guy who plays the Giuliani-style right-wing DA on L&O starts narrating a Bush video--I'm all, ah, a slide show; the resolution on that monitor probably can't handle full motion--the photographs seem strangely alive, with an intensified depth of field. And movement? Naw...


Oh my hell, talk about seductive. This full-blown cult of personality film is using a more sophisticated version of the entrancing photo-animation technique developed for The Kid Stays in The Picture, the ultimate self-deluded, "so seductive who care's how much of it's true" Hollywood insider documentary. They've turned Robert Evans and Graydon Carter against themselves--and the whole celebrity-worshipping country--and made them bow to George W. and His Will.

[Then they came for the DVD-less, yet I did nothing...]

Scott Sforza, you are truly worthy to be called the Leni Riefenstahl of your generation.

[And then they came for me, and there was no one left.]

Dude, I really wish you'd skip right to making movies about fish.

Stephen Baldwin: "Stephen Baldwin doesnít feel that he has this mission to make Christianity cool...God made me [Stephen Baldwin] cool so that the youth culture would look up to me."

NY Mag: We hear youíre going to the Bush twinsí convention party.
Stephen Baldwin: "Yeah, Iím going to pop in there, and, uh, make my presence known. [Chuckles.]"

- NY Magazine, RNC Edition

Dr. Jed Hill: "You ask me if I have a God complex. Let me tell you something: I am God."
Tracy : "Ask God how many shots of bourbon he had before he cut me open."
- Alec Baldwin revealing himself unto Nicole Kidman in the 1993 film, Malice

Dale Peck, writer/Hatchet man: will periodically leave Soho House to "commit civil disobedience as many times as possible." [via Gothamist]

Maer Roshan, magazine non-launcher/editor: will bombard and disorient conventiongoers with daily rundowns on the best plastic surgeons and spa treatments in town. Also, will depict attendees as big-hair-sporting, cowboy-hat-wearers. Not clear that this will be recognized as protest. [via Gawker]

Various anarcho-geeks: will ride around town on wi-fi- and gps-enabled bikes, hoping someone will text them. Ooh, you've got'em scared now, pal. [Eyeteeth, via waxy]

So which way does this go? I mean, I'm a pretty religious guy from a religious, hurricane-prone state, and I can't figure it out:

Does getting pounded by two history-making hurricanes mean God is displeased and punishing Bush and his supporters for their election year sins, OR

does it mean God's blessing him with several weeks of high-profile disaster relief photo-ops and FEMA-distributed largesse?

from an ongoing series:

If his behavior on my flight to Ozaka is any indication, Billy will dress like a 40-year old cop trying to go undercover at a high school.

He will sport long, greasy hair, with a ponytail on top, a la Patrick Rafter circa 1998, and a t-shirt that reads BUllSHit in foot-tall red letters. The t-shirt will be tight enough to reveal that he hasn't been back to Equinox 76th street since he used to hit on my friend there in 1993.

He will emerge from first to walk repeatedly around the business class cabin, presumably so that we can all read his shirt. He will be careful to avoid entering the coach cabin. At customs, once he's thrust back into gen pop, he will don a giant pair of sunglasses and keep his head down and arms folded (over his oh-so-rebellious slogan).

He will not wait for any checked luggage, but take his carry-on and disappear with a Japanese handler, presumably to shoot a pachinko commercial or some other mortgage-paying gig.

Steve Martin said it best: it's all in the ti-MING. ti...MINGming.

It's always risky shooting with locally cast talent. But after five tense days, the White House screening room erupted in fits of backslapping and high fives as the rushes showed Pakistan nailing its mark like Meryl Streep with a mustache and the bomb.

The interior ministry just announced--at midnight local time, which is 2pm in, say, Boston--the capture of a major Al Qaeda terrorist, his entourage, and his fearsome arsenal of weapons.

True, the guy's name is "Foopie," his entourage was his wife and children-with whom he had been living for some time in Pakistan, and his arsenal consisted of "two AK-47 rifles, plastic chemicals [huh? like caulking?], two computers, [and] computer diskettes," and the arrest actually happened Sunday. But Scott can fix all that in post.

Besides, all they needed was an "Al Qaeda bigwig netted" hed stepping on the "Kerry slams Bush on terror 'war'" lead this weekend; it could be any one of the terrorists in Pakistan's Rolodex, really. And if the guy's story's really got legs, they can just get the nets to call him the Tanzanian Devil. [Note to self: contact TW/CNN re licensing and permissions.]

Related: White House Production Notes: Summer Blockbuster Edition

From: Scott Sforza, Head of Production, White House Studios
To: Karl Rove, CEO,
RE: Summer Schedule

As requested, sir, an update on this summer's production/release schedule. It's filling out quite nicely, and there's no doubt in anyone's mind it'll go well. That said, it IS a lot of work for one man. I would ask you again to rethink the NO INTERNS policy; we could really use an extra hand down here.

- The Sidekick/Mentor/Villain is still causing trouble, and not testing well, either. We could finesse recasting, no problem. First, though, I recommend The Gyllenhaal Strategy: float the idea of replacing him with look-alike for the sequel. Looking good in a uniform's nice, but remember: we can always stuff a sock in the jumpsuit. We just need someone with a temper who knows his way around a combover. And who can swear like an oilman. [via boifromtroy]

- Release date for the 'Foreign Production': It's exciting to hear we're buying the rights to a new war picture, even if sellthrough on the last one is underperforming in both domestic and foreign. Still, I have some serious reservations about the release date--"the 26, 27 or 28 of July"??

I'm know this has serious tentpole potential, but HAVE WE EVEN SEEN THE ROUGH CUT? With all due respect to the many studio execs who came back from the set saying, "This is great stuff!" and "It'll be done on time, no problem!" I'd feel more comfortable if we had some people in the editing room for this. Never mind, I'm told it's being taken care of. Sorry. I still have that "They'll shower us with flowers" song stuck in my head. [via Talkingpointsmemo]

- The Broadway Musical: What can I say, it's costing more than we budgeted. I still don't understand why we couldn't shoot this in Toronto instead. The unions are whining, surprise surprise. Can't wait for that scene in the sequel where we ship'em all of to Gitmo. haha. Bloomberg's dealing with the leafblower-extortionists on the set problem, though. Sending them to the park or something. The "extras" are ready, and we'll have a fleet of Prius's ready to shuttle anyone who wants to see Hairspray, undetected. The set will look fabulous.

This is so beyond jumping the shark. At least the shark was jumped on the main show.

Colin Powell singing YMCA in Jakarta (he was the construction worker.) is the political equivalent of a bitter, aging Erin Moran, who--realizing her series isn't going to be renewed, and without even a glint of hope for a Charles in Charge of her own--just pushes through the script and tries to get through the week so she can cash her check and suck it up her nose. [via waxy]

On Monday, the Bush-Cheney show had (yet another) location shoot in Ohio. Exec Prod. Karl Rove is guarding the script closer than a CIA agent's identity, it appeared to be (yet another) Bush Liking Black People scene.

The production company has published some pictures from the set on their website. They reveal some useful tips for imagemakers who need to utterly transform an alcohol and drug treatment center into a TV-friendly black-box studio.

First, the basics:

  • Design backdrops with both wide shots (banner and happy collage) and tight shots (image closeups, and/or tiny banners illegible at a distance)
  • Position backdrops in line with both TV and print camera pens.
  • Wrap crowd around for alternate background, as needed

    Rarely Ideas:

  • Rig even lighting on the set; light the audience for wide shot; spot the backdrops.
  • Lay matte-black flooring on set.
  • Paint all chairs and railings matte black.
  • Add matte black screen to avoid (unwanted) up-the-skirt or bulge shots.

  • June 22, 2004

    The W is for WTF?

    w_ketchup.gif"W Ketchup would like to thank President Reagan for his selfless service to this nation.

    "Reagan won the Cold War, let private enterprise flourish, and most of all made Americans proud to be Americans again...

    "You donít support Democrats. Why should your ketchup?

    "W Ketchup is Americaís Ketchupô."

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    Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

    Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

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