The Top 10 Movies of the 1980’s

The Top 10 Movies of the 1980's

Back to the Future

The 1980’s were filled with incredible movies including Back to the Future. Michael J. Fox played Marty McFly and the movie encompasses his friendship with Doc played by Christopher Lloyd. Marty is accidently sent to the future in a time machine and changes the past. He must reunite his future parents or he will cease to exist.

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

ET is both a salute to childhood and a science fiction adventure created by Steven Spielberg. This is the story of a homesick alien and a young boy named Elliott played by Henry Thomas. Elliot is trying to help ET get back home. He learns how to communicate with ET telepathically while learning how to be brave.

Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters stars Bill Murray as part of a team of paranormal investigators including Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson and Harold Ramis. They use electronic paraphernalia to eliminate ghosties and ghoulies from the Big Apple in a film filled with comedy and special effects.

Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back

This is George Lucas’s second entry in the Star Wars Trilogy. Mark Hamill is back as Luke Skywalker and he is now a seasoned space warrior. Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher return as Han Solo and Princess Leia to battle Darth Vader and the insidious Empire. The film goes from the Ice Plant Hoth to tropical Dagobah with consistent action and excitement.

Sixteen Candles

This is a teenage comedy starring Molly Ringwald as a suburban teenager. She is suffering angst during the night before her sisters wedding because her family forgot about her birthday. This is a compassionate movie with respect for the characters.

The Shining

This horror film was based on a Stephen King novel. Shelly Duval and Jack Nicholson are acting as caretakers for the Overlook Hotel along with their son. The hotel is inaccessible due to the snow in the mountains. Jack Nicholson slowly descends into madness in this ghastly haunted hotel.

Raging Bull

This is a Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro film about middleweight boxing champion Jake LaMotta. The film covers LaMotta’s troubled personal life and the jealousy, suspicion and rage towards his manager and wife. He is eventually left alone looking for redemption.

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Harrison Ford portrays an extraordinary archeologist called Indiana Jones in this Steven Spielberg and George Lucas adventure. He is searching for the Ark of the Covenant which has long since been lost. This leads to non-stop action from snakes in the Well of Souls to finally unearthing the Ark.

Do the Right Thing

This Spike Lee film is a combination comedy and drama set in Brooklyn about a pizza parlor. The focus is on the Wall of Fame because it only contains famous Italian-American pictures and does not represent the blacks in the neighborhood. The result is tragedy and violence.

The Princess Bride

Rob Reiner directed this sensational fairy tale that is a play on the damsel in distress concept. This is the story of a gallant hero who rescues the beautiful princess.

Logan Sekulow is a renowned producer and director.

3 Social Media Tips For Aspiring Actors

3 Social Media Tips For Aspiring Actors

Social media comes with its own set of rules. Engage, don’t sell. Be present, but not too present. Interact, but don’t complain or get too political. This doesn’t scratch the surface of where to be present or when either. While this article discusses actors, keep in mind these tips can help anyone attempting to market themselves, reach fans, and maintain a positive social media presence.

The Famous 80/20 Rule

For actors, especially aspiring actors, social media is about fan connections and professional networking more than shouting the loudest about your new movie, role, audition, or show. The 80/20 rule puts emphasis on forming relationships, sharing interesting ideas, and actively communicating 80% of the time. This includes responding to others.

Why Only 20% Promotion?

Imagine your followers. Now imagine you’re one of them and following yourself. Would you want to see promotion all day? After a while, wouldn’t it become white noise amid all the other uproar? Would you unfollow or silence yourself?

Switch gears now. Instead of constantly promoting, ask your followers questions or share relative information that doesn’t scream “Buy me.” Do you notice a difference?

By keeping promotion limited, your posts will no longer seem like white noise or be lost in the folds of other promoters. You’ll also leave a better lasting impression on your fans so that when the time comes for you to promote they might be more receptive to purchasing, viewing, or celebrating your success.

Be Respectful, Always

Whether it is another celebrity or a fan, please remember your manners. You are a professional. While you should be yourself online, you should be your best self with your best manners. It’s easy these days to be swept up in debates, flame wars, and to call people out for XYZ. You are an actor. You are not a keyboard warrior, hiding behind a screen, hammering your device and saying things you would never say to a person’s face. The other person who is egging you on is still a human, even if their behavior is trolling you.

Keep Dirty Laundry Where it Belongs

You wouldn’t attend a dinner party and scream at the host or guests because they were too slow with your food. So your manners should extend to more than your career and social media. Respond to negativity with grace or silence, and if laws have been broken, take the information to the proper authorities. Don’t plaster it on your social media accounts. This applies to pictures and screenshots meant to hurt or disarm others too.

One final tip is to be reachable. The more you’re actively engaging fans about their lives and non-promotional topics, the more fans you will gather. Talk about your passions, hobbies, and the smallest details that will make followers want to speak with you. Respond to your fans when you can and make them a priority. Build relationships online, and when it comes time to promote, your campaigns can be more successful.

Logan Sekulow is a renowned producer and director known for relaunching the popular studio known as Laugh-O-Gram studios.

6 Ways to Improve Your On-Camera Acting

6 Ways to Improve Your On-Camera Acting

While acting for the stage and acting for a camera contain many similarities, major differences exist in the techniques that should be used for each respectively. Think about it: in the theater, actors have to convey the same story to people in the back row as the people in the front row, and so the story must be shared in a big, loud way. On camera, however, actors tend to have smaller spaces to convey similar stories, and so nuance can come into play. Here are six ways to improve your on-camera acting technique, particularly if you grew up as a theater kid.

Lean Into Nuance

As mentioned above, having a smaller space in which to tell a story lends itself to smaller gestures. A small smile or a look downward may not read at all on a stage from a distance of fifty feet, but the camera can zoom in nice and close to catch all those little quirks. These are things humans see in each other on a daily basis, and is not only limited to body language, but extends to voice and tone as well.

Keep it Real

Though acting tends to be closer to real-life behavior in film than in theater, the big screen can still depict a fair amount of drama that doesn’t usually exist in our day to day lives. Even in these instances, try to draw on real feelings and memories for your performance. As mentioned in the nuance section, the camera gets much closer and hones in on specific emotions needed for a scene. Reactions that are too false will then seem much worse when put under such scrutiny. Make sure the actions are coming from a place of truth, wherever that can be found.

Most Work is Off-screen

In the theater, the entire show must be rehearsed multiple times before performance. For film, single scenes can be shot hundreds of times, and only the best take is used in the final cut. In order to portray these scenes, film actors prepare for them individually, because there won’t be tons of rehearsal. They must be ready the moment action is called, and then perform.

Blocking is Still Relevant

Blocking (your rehearsed placement and movements) is essential in theater, and surprisingly just as important in film. Though camera angles can often obtain shots which would be impossible on stage, and can break the bounds of placement common in stage acting, it’s still important to not block other actors from the camera view, or relevant pieces of set. Even walking across a room must be carefully considered in case the actor accidentally walks completely out of view.

No Projection

Things are often smaller and quieter in film. With the many bits and pieces of expensive sound equipment, no sound tech wants the actors to be shouting into the microphones. Use clear and purposeful tones, but there is no need to “speak to the back row.”

Less is More

Trust the cameras and microphones to pick up what is happening. Trust the technicians to guide their equipment in the right direction. Unlearn the performative qualities of stage acting and remember that you’re not the only one who has to get your point across; a village of people are waiting to help your volume and lighting along. Tell your story naturally.

Logan Sekulow is a renowned producer and director.

5 Quintessential Summer Movies to Watch

5 Quintessential Summer Movies to Watch

What is summer without movies? And especially classic summer movies that refresh and rejuvenate us with memories? Not sure which ones to choose? Try these five summer favorites that are sure to help you recharge and relax while you reminisce!

American Graffiti (1973)

This is the perfect coming-of-age film about a seemingly normal group of teenagers growing up in Modesto, California in 1962. The comedy unwinds as stars like Richard Dreyfus, Ron Howard, Cindy Williams, Harrison Ford and many others enjoy cruising and 60’s rock and roll. The stories of each of this group are told in brief vignettes throughout one average night giving a charming glimpse into teenage life during the 60’s.

Jaws (1975)

No 4th of July is complete without a summer thrill with the shark that started it all.
“Jaws” is the epitome of summer thrills and will definitely make you think twice about going in the water! Based on the novel by Peter Benchley and starring Richard Dreyfus, Roy Scheider and Robert Shaw, Jaws keeps you mesmerized as a 25 foot giant man-eating shark terrorizes a small New England summer resort town called Amity Island.

Meatballs (1979)

This hilarious spoof stars Bill Murray in his first major movie role. A second rate summer camp is the setting where camp counselors play pranks on unsuspecting young visitors. Lots of camp competition, adventures on the lake and songs around the campfire making it a perfect movie for summer and as Bill Murray’s character says throughout, realizing that “It just doesn’t matter.”

National Lampoons summer Vacation (1983)

This classic road trip vacation movie starring Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo will have you laughing hysterically as you watch the Griswold family trek across the country to enjoy a vacation at “Wally World”. You’ll laugh at the ridiculous things that they encounter and probably a little at yourself when you realize that it could be any one of us on that trip!

Dirty Dancing (1987)

Fall in love with Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in this “feel good” movie. Set in 1963 at a sultry summer resort in the mountains on a lake, the classic “good girl” falls for the “bad boy”. They discover a mutual love for dancing and ultimately find out much about each other that they didn’t know. You’ll have the “Time of Your Life” watching one of the best romantic comedy-dramas ever made.

Logan Sekulow is a renowned producer and director who’s responsible for relaunching Laugh-O-Gram studios.

3 Steps to Having a Successful Acting Career

3 Steps to Having a Successful Acting Career

For many people, the idea of having a thriving acting career is just a dream. For others, the reality to chase after and go for their dreams is exciting and real. The acting world is large and highly competitive. It takes more than just schooling in drama or the arts. There are qualities that people must have in order for them to actually be successful in this line of work since the stakes can be so high.

Take the First Step on Your Path

This is the most important tidbit to remember for nearly everything in life. You must take the first step. The first step is always the scariest and the most unsure, but as you head on the right direction, the hardest part is already over with. There are countless people in life that regret not taking that first step or wish they had done it sooner. That path that you make your own can lead to the unimaginable or unthinkable; but you have to put the foot out and go first.

Be Patient and Work Hard

The best things in life usually take the longest. That means that even if you feel like you should be somewhere else more advanced or more superior in an area, it might take a little more time. Patience is a virtue because it is hard to attain. Master it. Work on yourself and know that no one is perfect and you can only get better in your craft. Take criticism and understand that it can only improve you if you allow it. The best people in their art are the people that worked hard and never quit. Everyone has days that they want to throw in the towel and think it will be easier by doing so. Do not allow that mindset to take hold. Keep pushing yourself and believe that you can achieve your dreams and desires that you want.

Be the Best and Sought After

Understand another important concept. Acting is a career or can be a full time career to those that go after it. If anyone wants to be the best in their field, industry or whatever their endeavor, than some sacrifices will have to be made. Realize that you will have to pay your dues and work the long hours or work part time gigs that are not that glamorous as well. In spite of all this, the work will pay off and once you become the best you can be one of the most sought after in the business. Study, learn and take advice from a mentor that can help you become the best.

Compiling all of this information, take the first step, work hard and be the best. Be yourself and do not let anyone or anything hold you back.

Logan Sekulow is a producer and director who’s known for relaunching Laugh-O-Gram studios.

The Best Movies to Watch on a Plane

The Best Movies to Watch on a Plane

If you’re looking for a great way to pass the time on a long flight, you’ll certainly enjoy watching a movie. However, some movies are better than others to watch on a plane.

Tear Jerkers:

According to experts, being on a flight puts you in a somewhat vulnerable emotional state, and you’re more likely to cry while watching a tear jerker on a flight than you would be otherwise. So, you’ll want a tearjerker that has a relatively good ending, such as these:

Lady Bird
Moonlight
Magnolia

Comedies:

Not only will being on a flight make it more likely that you’ll cry watching a sad movie, but it will also make you more likely to laugh. While you’re on a plane, you probably won’t be interested in a comedy that is difficult to figure out. Here are some examples of comedies with an easy to follow plot:

The Girls Trip
Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle
The Big Sick
Step Brother

Action Movies:

While some laptops can be a bit small for watching an action movie, this won’t be an issue with some action films. It’s a good idea to choose an action movie that has an interesting plotline. Here are some great action films to watch during your flight:

Raiders of the Lost Ark
Jurrasic Park
Crank
Hot Fuzz
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Movies That You Can Watch In the “Background”:

If you’re on a long flight, you might want to get some work done before you reach your destination. Here are some examples of movies that won’t distract you from your work too much:

The Big Lebowski
Singin’ In the Rain
The Princess Bride

What Types of Movies Should You Avoid Watching While You’re On a Plane?

It’s important to be considerate of other passengers. Therefore, you should avoid watching films that are extremely violent or contain a lot of graphic scenes involving nudity. This is especially important if children are around. If you’re watching a film that has graphic scenes of nudity or violence, you should fast forward through these scenes, and wear headphones while watching a film that has any violence.

Logan Sekulow is a renowned producer and director.

5 Movies That Were Hurt By A Mid-Film Director Change

5 Movies That Were Hurt By A Mid-Film Director Change

Movies cost more to make than ever before. Studios are keen to see their films make a profit. If a production is taking too long or not hitting the beats the studio wants to see, there’s a high chance the suits will step in to make things right. Sometimes studios think a film is so far gone that the only option left is to replace the director.

Changing a director is like giving a film a heart transplant. It’s a huge risk and many films that make the change end up flopping. Check out our list of five films that were hurt by a mid-production director change.

Justice League

Sometimes director changes can’t be helped. Zack Snyder made the decision to step down as director of Justice League after his 20-year-old daughter tragically committed suicide. Warner Bros. brought in Joss Whedon to finish the film, whose lighthearted style clashed with the darker tone Snyder had work. Whedon’s changes required reshoots that resulted in poorly done CGI being used to remove a mustache Henry Cavill had grown for another film.

Exorcist: The Beginning

This movie has a sordid pre-production that eventually resulted in two different films being produced about the same idea (both starring Stellan Skarsgard). Paul Schrader had already replaced an ailing John Frakenheimer when the studio decided that the film would not draw audiences. They went back to the drawing board and hired Renny Harlin who shot an entirely different screenplay. The Schrader film was eventually released as Dominion: Prequel To the Exorcist. Neither film was successful.

The 13th Warrior

The adaption of Michael Crichton’s epic book Eaters of the Dead was originally going to share its name with the book but was reimagined as The 13th Warrior when John McTiernan was replaced by Crichton after the film failed to please test audiences. This pushed the film’s release date back by a year. While Crichton shot a new ending and replaced the film’s composer, McTiernan was still billed as the film’s director. Despite a strong opening, the movie was not able to make a profit.

Rumor Has It

What happens when you fire a writer/director from their passion project? Their passion project flops. Such was the tragic story of Rumor Has It. Director Ted Griffin was let go for falling far behind schedule. This was in part due to his firing of cinematographer Ed Lachman. Village Roadshow Pictures hired Rob Reiner as a replacement and the script was reworked by Kathy Bates. None of the original film saw the light of day.

Solo: A Star Wars Story

“Creative differences” can mean whatever a studio wants. For Phil Lord and Chris Miller, it meant that they were removed from the latest Star Wars film. Rumors still make the rounds of the cut of the film we would have gotten if the duo had not been let go. Some speculate that they were replaced because they were working too much comedy into the script but it is more likely that Lucasfilm did not approve of the directors’ improvisational style that would have deviated from the screenplay penned by Lawrence Kasdan.

Logan Sekulow is a producer and director who’s known for relaunching Laugh-O-Gram studios.

How to Pursue an Acting Career

How to Pursue an Acting Career

Building a successful acting career requires talent, practice, and hard work. Some might even say luck helps as well. But one thing is certain, and that is you need a plan. You’ve taken several acting classes, but what’s next? Here are a few pointers to get you on the road to acting success.

Decide What Type of Jobs You Want

Some actors primarily make movies. Some appear mostly on Broadway, and still others are seen primarily on television. That’s because most actors focus on a specific area. That doesn’t mean they can’t accept a variety of jobs. It’s just the main focus is on building a career in a specific area. So, what do you want to do?

It’s great if you already know what you’re going after. Maybe you know you’re meant for movies. Or maybe Broadway is your goal. But if all you know is that you want to act, then you need a more concrete goal. Put yourself out there and audition for various jobs. You’ll discover what type of roles you do and don’t enjoy playing.

Find the Work

An actor interested in theater might move to New York or Chicago. An actor interested in television or movies might choose Los Angeles or London. Investigate to discover which cities offer the best opportunities for actors. If you’re not close to one of these locations, you’ll want to consider relocating. You’ll never get work if you’re too far away to reach auditions.

Get Experience

When you’re a new actor, it helps to start building a portfolio as soon as possible. The more credits you have, the better. That means taking small parts in commercials, doing local theater, or being an extra. You might audition for one role, but then a casting director suggests you try for another part. Do it. At this stage in your career, you’re just trying to get work. However, don’t let anyone force you to perform roles that make you feel degraded or ashamed. If it feels wrong, then it’s not for you.

Network

Having the right connections plays a big role in building an acting career. People like working with actors that they already know and like. They’re also likely to recommend those actors to others in the industry. Attend networking events, parties, conferences, expos, shows, and other events that allow networking. Just keep in mind that getting work in your number one priority. Networking is important, but it shouldn’t interfere with auditioning.

Hire an Agent

An agent will have information about roles and auditions that aren’t publicly known. This will give you access to roles you couldn’t get on your own. Get an agent who has access to the type of jobs you want. If you want to pursue television, then find an agent who works in that area. An agent who specializes in theater isn’t the best choice for finding work in movies.

Logan Sekulow is a renowned producer and director.

The Top 5 Most Underrated Movies of All Time

The Top 5 Most Underrated Movies of All Time

Making a film is always a bit of a gamble with no perfect formula for a success or a flop. Even movies with A-list actors, award winning directors, and an established fan base, such as the recent Solo: A Star Wars Story, can fall short at the box office. Whatever the reasons, some wonderfully made films just don’t get the attention they deserve. Below is five of the most underrated movies of all time.

About Time:

This 2013 film has the wonderful ability to balance so many aspect of storytelling. It’s comedic, dramatic, sincere, and magical, all while maintaining a grounded sense of realism. The film is centered around Tim Lake, an awkward and anxious guy who discovers the men in his family have the gift to travel back in time. Tim uses his gift to improve his life, but soon realizes that time is more complicated and precious than he ever considered. While it is plagued with a handful of plot holes related to the time traveling, the film’s charm outshines it’s problems by far.

Waitress:

While this story has become more popular thanks to the hit Broadway musical, the movie experienced mild success at the box office. The film is a quintessential American dream story. Jenna Hunterson (played by Keri Russell) is known throughout her small town for the deliciously inventive pies she makes at Joe’s Pie Diner. Jenna dreams of a better life away from her brutish husband Earl, but an unplanned pregnancy make her dream seem impossible. Upset over the baby, she goes to meet with her doctor to discover he’s been replace by the young and attractive Jim Pomatter. Sparks fly and Jenna has to figure out what she truly wants in life.

A Goofy Movie:

Nestled in the heart of the Disney animated renaissance with a release date surrounded by films like The Lion King, Pocahontas, Nightmare Before Christmas, and Toy Story…A Goofy Movie never stood a chance of being a box office success. While Goofy is often used as a source of slapstick comedy, this film displays the emotional side of the classic Disney character. In the film, Goofy wrestles with the reality that his son Max is growing up and distancing himself from his father. In an attempt to repair their relationship, Goofy plans a father-son fishing trip that quickly turns into a hijinks riddled road trip across the country.

Hot Rod:

Originally written for Will Ferrell, this comedy was shelved by the studio until Andy Sandberg’s The Lonely Island gave the project new life. The film follows Rod Kimble, who dreams of becoming a famous stuntman like Evel Knievel. When Rod finds out that his step-dad Frank needs a heart transplant, he decides to jump his motorcycle over 15 school buses to raise money for the surgery. The film is a classic “village idiot” tale filled with offbeat humor that true comedy diehards will love.

Hunt For The Wilderpeople:

This New Zealand film made a splash internationally, but barely made a ripple in the United States. Critics loved the film with Rotten Tomatoes giving it a 97% rating. In the film, Ricky Baker, a troubled kid in the child welfare system, gets place in the rugged home of Bella and Hec. After Bella unexpectedly dies, Ricky runs off to the woods, fearing he’ll be taken back by child welfare. Realizing Ricky is gone, Hec decides to chase after him and the two become fugitives together. This oddball adventure is as heartfelt as it is funny.

Logan Sekulow is a producer and director who’s known for relaunching Laugh-O-Gram studios.