Archive for category: Entertainment (Page 3)

If Batman had been on Lost …

11 Jun
June 11, 2012

Love it. Batman definitely would have solved everything a lot quicker. (click image to see full size)

I miss Lost.

Movie Roundup

11 Jun
June 11, 2012

 None of them are worth their own blog post, but here are some of the movies I’ve been watching and what I think …

  • John Carter: yup, it’s already on DVD. The colossal flop of the year. Mostly due to poor marketing decisions. The movie itself was a fun version of a classic book. I enjoyed it.
  • Journey 2 – The Mysterious Island: fun sequel to the Brendan Frasier original. They replaced him with The Rock. My sons loved it and won’t stop telling each other to ‘pop your pecs.’ This is, of course, hilarious to me.
  • Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol: being a big fan of Mission Impossible movies, I totally enjoyed it. Nothing overly new about it, but still good.
  • Chronicle: another ‘found footage’ film about some teens getting super powers. It was unique, I liked it, and am looking forward to the sequel.
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks – Chipwrecked: better than the second Chipmunk film. My kids LOVED it, and I haven’t minded it the first few times I’ve seen it.
  • The Muppets: stinkin’ hilarious. You have to see it. I want an eighties robot.
  • Tower Heist: a lot of fun. Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, a bunch of other comedians. Not a new story of any sort, but still a good time.

Joe Castillo on America’s Got Talent

07 Jun
June 7, 2012

Joe Castillo is an amazing artist with a unique talent – telling stories with sand. I’ve seen him perform live several times at the National Youth Workers Convention over the years and have been blown away every time. It was fun to see another Christian artist/performer making the stage of America’s Got Talent. Hopefully he makes it far in the competition!

Avengers

28 May
May 28, 2012

Heather and I went to see Avengers Saturday night. Here are my thoughts …

  1. It was awesome.
  2. I thought they dragged out bringing them all together – after all, the post credit scenes had already done that in previous films.
  3. Heather thinks point number two is incorrect in that only nerds like me watch the post credit scenes and she didn’t know who most of them were so the beginning was useful for her.
  4. Hulk punching Thor. I about died laughing. I seriously didn’t hear the next few lines because it was so awesome.
  5. Hulk wrecking Loki. See point number four for the level of laughter I once again experienced.
  6. Is a flying aircraft carrier really effective? It just doesn’t seem practical.
  7. It was awesome enough to have two points referencing its awesomeinity. It’s a word.

And now I wait for The Amazing Spiderman.

Biggest Loser Casting Call locations announced!

21 May
May 21, 2012

Holland Strickland, the casting director in charge of casting for Biggest Loser posted the following on Facebook – including the dates and cities for Biggest Loser open casting calls:

#BL14 CASTING HAS OFFICIALLY BEGUN!!!

CASTING CALL CITIES:

  • JUNE 16: LOS ANGELES CA
  • JUNE 23: ATLANTA GA, CHICAGO IL, MIAMI FL
  • JUNE 30: DETROIT MI, KANSAS CITY MO, PHOENIX AZ
  • JULY 14: PHILADELPHIA PA, RALEIGH NC, SALT LAKE CITY UT
  • JULY 21: CLEVELAND OH, DALLAS TX, SAN DIEGO CA.

We hope to see you at a casting call near you, however, if you cannot attend a casting call then BE SURE to send us a video audition! We watch ALL videos that come in by the deadline! Even if you attend a casting call it’s a good idea to also send an audition video to double your chances! We will be updating our website www.thebiggestlosercasting.com this week with pre-registration, casting call information, how to make a video, deadlines, and all other important information…we will announce when it goes LIVE! Our casting team promises to do our best updating you throughout the casting process on www.thebiggestlosercasting.com, twitter.com/blcastingteam, and Facebook.com/biggestlosercasting!

Please read our prior tweets, FB posts, and website FAQ before asking questions that likely have already been answered. We appreciate your cooperation as we may not able to respond to every single tweet, email, or Facebook post. Most importantly, there will be MANY rumors you will hear by reading other potential candidates posts, tweets, blogs, etc…unless you hear it straight from the BL14 Casting Team then it may not be true. The BL14 Casting Team should be your go-to source of casting information. Throughout the casting process we suggest avoiding driving yourself crazy by listening to all the speculation by other candidates as it may cause unnecessary self-doubt, depression, emotional eating, etc…and as you know we want to promote as much positivity, healthy lifestyles, and an overall fun and exciting casting process for everyone involved! Last but not least, if you are considering auditioning but are on the fence, we say GO FOR IT! EVERY SINGLE CONTESTANT that has ever been on the show was on the fence at one point and never thought we would pick them…now here they are living the new and healthy life they always dreamed of! With that we say…WELCOME TO BL14 EVERYONE! SIT BACK, RELAX, and ENJOY THE ADVENTURE YOU ARE ABOUT TO EMBARK ON!

-The BL14 Casting Team

Grab Michelle Aguilar’s book for free!

21 May
May 21, 2012

Michelle Aguilar, the season six winner of Biggest Loser, wrote a great book, ‘Becoming Fearless: My Ongoing Journey of Learning to Trust God.’ What’s even better? It’s free for Kindle for a limited time! Grab it while you still can!

Click here to go grab it!

And on a side note, I love that she did an ‘I am second’ video. Powerful stuff!

I knew Star Trek could be real!

19 May
May 19, 2012

According to an engineer, we could build the Enterprise in 20 years for a trillion dollars. Sounds like money well spent to me! Read the whole article here. He created a website detailing how it would all be able to work here. What do I have to do to be a crew member?

The estimated cost of building the Enterprise: about $50 billion a year for the next 20 years — $1 trillion in total. That sounds like a lot of money (because it is), but considering that the United States spent nearly that much on the controversial Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to bail out banks in 2008, putting a trillion towards making Star Trek a reality suddenly doesn’t seem as ludicrous. Yeah, it’s still pretty ludicrous, but in a reallycool way.

Jason Castro coming to my church!

10 May
May 10, 2012

The paperwork is all signed and done, the deposits paid. It’s happening. I’m very, very excited – I think it’s going to be an amazing event.

The tour, featuring For King and Country, Dara Maclean, and Jason Castro, will be coming to our church on October 5th. Crazy cool. It’s going to be a great event all around; for our people and for the community. With American Idol being the number one show in more than a decade, it seems like a slam dunk when it comes to setting up our church for an easy invite to the friends in their neighborhood to have a former contestant (Castro) come! He was a worship leader before making the show and it was great seeing him live out his faith in front of America.

Plus, he’s pretty cool.

Not only that, we’re starting to have a power lineup of music events in the fall:

Todd Agnew in August. The Respect & Honor tour in October. Watoto Children’s Choir in November. Our Christmas Concerts in December.

Yup. Fall is going to be awesome. I hope Castro brings his ukulele. That dude knows how to rock a ukulele.

Biggest Loser casting tips (season 14)

09 May
May 9, 2012

Biggest Loser is getting ready to start casting for season 14!  Casting calls will be happening this summer and will be posted soon on the Biggest Loser casting website.  Basically, this post is a collection of tips I’ve written based on my experience making the cast of season three, as well as some links to casting advice I don’t think you should miss:

  • NBC has posted casting information and the application here.  They have all the casting news and information on a special blog just for Biggest Loser casting, which you can find here.
  • Pete Thomas, the season 2 $100,000 winner has some of the best casting call advice out there, which you can find at his website, Winning Man.
  • Holland, a casting director for Biggest Loser sent me a bunch of great advice on how to be casted, you can find it here.  She updated them October, 2009.
  • I’ve been posting these casting tips for the last few seasons and they always seem to end up with thousands of comments; just about every season has contestants that were hanging out on here, reading and giving each other thoughts and advice.  You can find the most recent one here.
  • If you’re dealing with disappointment about not being cast, then check out my post on Biggest Loser casting disappointment.

One of the questions I hear a lot is about money … how do contestants afford to be away from home and work for months at a time? I don’t know what it is now, but when I was a contestant there was a $500 a week stipend for cast members on the ranch. When you received the check you could cash it and spend it, send it home, save it, whatever. All airplane tickets, hotel accommodations, etc., for the contestants and potential cast members are taken care of by NBC, and during the casting process it self there was a $50 per diem to cover food costs.

Another question is timing; typically a season lasts for about 8-9 months. About four of this is spent in filming; if you last all the way until the final three or four, you could be away from home for as much as four months or so. Once the ranch filming wraps and the last few contestants are sent home, however, there is still another four or five months that all the contestants have to continue losing weight until the finale. In addition, potential cast members are flown out to California a couple weeks before filming begins for the final round of casting, medical checkups, psychological evals, etc. NBC brings out more people than what they need and the cast is not finalized until filming literally begins. People have been cut at the last minute and replacements flown in with hardly any time to spare. Nothing is in stone until it’s on camera!

When will you hear from Biggest Loser about your video? There is no way of knowing. I heard back a few weeks after I sent it in, but even after that it’s a big waiting game. If you get a phone number or email from a casting direction, definitely drop them a line/call every couple weeks to find out if you’re still in the running or what’s going on. Schedules and plans change almost every day, so it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. If you don’t hear back within a month I would think your video didn’t make the cut. That doesn’t mean you can’t send in another or visit a casting call – it’s just up to you!

Finally, here’s my video application tips! This is by no means a recipe for success; it’s based on my video application and the conversations I had with casting directors out in LA in between things. I was pretty curious about the whole process so I was pumping them for info even after filming began. I’m such a nerd!

  • They’ve usually decided if they’re interested in you within the first 30-60 seconds of your video, so front load it with your best stuff. Make it interesting! Start off with something funny or exciting!
  • Keep in mind, if you’re going to be cast, your video is going to be watched hundreds of times by producers, executives, casting directors, etc. If it bores you or your friends the second or third time watching it … put some more time into it!
  • Special effects? Don’t bother! We’ve all got video editing software with all sorts of bells and whistles on our home computers, but fancy transitions are not going to sell you to people who do video editing for a living. In fact, it can distract from who you are. I’m a video editing nerd and I didn’t use any special effects other than putting my name and contact info on as a subtitle at the beginning.
  • Don’t bother talking about why you need to lose weight. When I first started filming my audition video I started describing all of my health reasons for losing weight – but when I was watching it back, I realized … they don’t need to hear it! One look at me was all they needed to know I needed to lose weight! Show them why you need to lose it; I said I needed to lose weight for my kids, and then I followed it with a minute or two of the best footage I could find of me with wrestling with my three boys. We probably filmed half an hour of that insanity and I grabbed the cutest, loudest, and funniest few moments for the audition video. Your physical need to lose weight is not nearly as interesting as who or what your losing the weight for.
  • Live loud! Reality TV is over the top, dramatic, and filled with loud personalities. They need to see that on your video! I wanted them to know that even though I was morbidly obese I was up to the challenge of the crazy competitions and workouts – so I threw on a bunch of clips from my different youth group activities; me getting slimed, snowtubing, playing paintball, screaming at events, being on stage, running around … you get the idea. Other contestants did things appropriate to their lives; Tim from Oregon had himself spinning out on his Harley, Tim from Delaware recruited his elementary school class to do things with him, Heather Hanson filmed herself running around in a sports bra all day doing her household chores and errands. The less talking and more action you can have, the better (in my opinion)!
  • If you have footage or photos of yourself thin, include those at some point on the video. If you can show them what your after will be, then do it!

Remember, enjoy the conversation here and know that I will never compromise your anonymity – not to NBC, 3Ball, Casting Directors or anyone. You can post anonymously, or you can leave your names and contact information … just remember that NBC likes to be the one announcing their cast for the show, so if you start identifying yourself publicly as a finalist, you’ll probably find yourself eliminated from the casting process. Be aware that casting directors do check in at my blog to see what people are saying, get a feel for what questions are going on out there, and sometimes to give us updates. Good luck to everyone … and let me know if you make the show! I get a kick out of hearing about the different contestants that have hung out on my blog before making the show! ;)

Biggest Loser producer admits they made a mistake

22 Apr
April 22, 2012

The New York Post and Reality Blurred posted articles about an interview with the producer seen in the ‘walk off’ episode of Biggest Loser. Some revealing tidbits that, honestly, confirm some of my suspicions.

In the episode they portrayed the contestants as having a clear understanding all along of exactly how the game would play out regarding eliminated contestants, setting the viewer up to sympathize with mystified production staff who were just going along with what they had said they were going to do all along. The same producer’s comments in the interview, however, suggest something else:

Lubin acknowledges that the contestants “made one good point: We should have been clear from the beginning [about the returning-contestants twist]. We did that last season, on Day One, but this season it was only implied and then happened so late in the game.”

‘Only implied’? Late in the game – later than has ever happened before? Implied is a world different than the ‘clearly stated’ portrayal they gave in the episode.

In addition, he talks about how both Mark and Buddy are forbidden to do any media/interviews about the walkoff and their reasons for doing so. Some might speculate, what difference does that make? They broke the contract once, what stops them a second time? Simply that the show never has financially punished someone for quitting; it’s not even the first time this season (remember Joe Messina?). However, it is clearly stated in the contract that they will sue if a contestants’ actions threaten the value of the show (in other words, profitability), with the penalty being in the million dollar range.

The thing is, the fact that they are tightly enforcing that, and what we saw in the episode was so clearly staged for the cameras after the real conversations had already taken place, gives more weight to the idea that there is more to the story than we saw. It wasn’t just about returning eliminated contestants.

I’ve heard it from so many different corners now that I really do believe one of the issues behind the conflict between producers and cast is the portrayal of the cast on the show. Lubin even mentions in the interview that how they were being portrayed was an issue particularly significant for Mark and Buddy as pastors. The general reaction from cast members is shock to find out their season has come across as one of the most drama filled to date – their perception was that it was a great experience, not the conflict we have seen. I know as a pastor I went into my season very nervous about the potential damage bad editing could have on my ministry – it was something I had in the back of my mind as something worth walking over.

I know the response has been consistently been from some quarters, ‘it doesn’t matter how much editing does, they still made the faces, said the words, and had the moments.’ The problem is, things can be taken wildly out of context. I remember being disappointed at the portrayal of one of the women on my season; she was deeply religious and NEVER swore. Yet she was bleeped repeatedly in just about every episode she was in. Why? The story written for the season before any of us had ever shown up had her on the ‘evil’ team, part of the villainous trio of women they wanted viewers to hate. So innocent words were bleeped to give the perception that she was foul mouthed.

On another reality show, another deeply religious woman and church leader was portrayed as watching other contestants skinny dip in the pool. Just staring away. Only thing was, the first she ever knew of the skinny dipping was when she watched the episode at home – editors had spliced together footage of her sitting by the pool one day, with the footage of the other housemates skinny dipping. But the damage was done; people were shocked to think she was some sort of dirty gawker.

I love the video before – it shows some great tricks to the trade:


Here’s the thing, I love Biggest Loser. I had an amazing experience. I would do again in a heart beat. I made incredible friendships, learned volumes about health and myself. But I feel bad when good people get hurt because of the realities of a tv genre that survives on conflict, fan reaction, and drama – whether there was any or not. For me, that means I will always give contestants on any reality show the benefit of the doubt. Because there are always two sides to any story, and the cast are not the ones sharing their side. Especially in this particular instance.

I keep telling myself I’m done blogging about this episode. I think I really am this time!