17 Sep

Lisa Kudrow interviews director about Friends, comedy

first_imgOn Saturday actress Lisa Kudrow hosted a conversation with veteran director James Burrows. Burrows — who’s earned 10 Emmys, four Directors Guild Awards and a spot in the TV Academy Hall of Fame — received the Jack Oakie and Victoria Horne Oakie Masters Award for Comedy during this year’s [email protected] Festival.Burrows has a long list of directorial credits to his name including The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Cheers, Will & Grace and Friends. His more recent credits include directing episodes of The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men and Mike & Molly.Both Burrows and Kudrow received scholarship funds in their name through the Okie Foundation. The “Humor is 90 Percent Surprise” award will be given in honor of Burrows and the “Just Stay With it and Keep Working” in honor of Kudrow.  The scholarships will be given to USC School of Cinematic Arts students starting next year.Kudrow spoke of Burrows’ ability to foster familial relationships and creativity. While shooting the first season, Burrows said he took the six Friends cast members to Las Vegas.“I said, ‘This is your last shot at anonymity,’ because the show hadn’t been on the air yet and I wanted them to bond. I wanted them to love one another,” he said. “I wanted them to, if another director came in, have the guts to say, ‘I think for me it would be better if it went this way.’ I knew they were all creative and that would only make the show better.”But according to Kudrow, Burrows’ generosity extended both on and off set. He gave up his dressing room — which was larger than the actors’ — to the cast so they could play poker.“For the actors you create this playground during rehearsal. It’s a very productive rehearsal, and you encourage those who are willing to pitch jokes. You make it really fun and it feels really collaborative,” Kudrow said. “Thanks for the money you fronted us to gamble.”Though Burrow’s ability to direct comedic television might not have changed much over the years, he said the business of television has. With the rise of cable television and networks such as HBO and Showtime, Burrow said there are more shows on television and comedy writers working at the networks are no longer necessarily the best comedy writers.“With the amount of shows being done now — most of them are not any good,” he said. “But there are maybe 10 shows that are really good, which is probably the same as what it was in the ’70s when there were just three networks.”The volume of shows is not the only thing that’s changed, Burrows said. Starting in the 1990s when Burrows worked on Friends and Will & Grace, networks began to meddle with the plots, claiming that Will & Grace had too many gay jokes and that Monica — one of the Friends — shouldn’t sleep with someone on a first date, as she did in the pilot. Kudrow said that on the night of the pilot taping they did a survey and the audience approved of the plotline.“[The network] didn’t really trust that [writer/creator] David [Crane] and Marta [Kauffman] knew what they were writing about or new the people they were writing about and the network didn’t trust that the audience were the same people,” Kudrow said. “They also wanted an adult on Friends because there hadn’t been a show with just 20-somethings and who’s going to watch that or be interested in those people?”The importance of being innovative and persistent was a key takeaway for students who came to the event.“These two are both very important people in our field and I think the important thing they said was just keep at it,” said Thomas Truax, a freshman majoring in writing for screen and television.David Himelfarb, executive producer of My Wife and Kids and Kyle XY, said he came to the event to see the legendary Burrows, but was excited to see so many eager students.“It’s a business in which training and knowledge is passed on a verbal basis,” Himelfarb said. “There’s a living tree of memories and tradition and ideas and thoughts that are passed along and that’s how the business grows.”Ultimately, Burrows said the most important thing is to have fun with what you’re doing.“I tell actors, ‘Check your ego at the door,’” he said. “I have a fun clause in my contract.”last_img read more

22 Dec

Cranes, She Cranes and UAF to meet the President this evening

first_imgFUFA President Moses Magogo hands a ball to President Museveni at a FUFA recent meeting with the President a Entebbe. Courtesy photo.Delegations from the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA), Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) and Uganda Netball Federation (UNF) will this evening (Tuesday) meet President Yoweri Museveni at his country home in Rwakitura.The three federations who were enroute to Rwakitura by press time have sent a group of 35 people each for the visit as confirmed by the commissioner for primary education in the ministry of Education and Sports, Lamix Omara Apita.The FUFA team which include the entire Cranes team that are still in camp ahead of the CHAN tournament spent last night in Masaka and have this morning continued their journey to Rwakitura.The Cranes took part in the AFCON 2017 where they were eliminated in the group stage and this visit could not have come any more timely with the team departing for Morocco tomorrow evening.The President through his office has of late always come to the resque of the Cranes by financing them on several occassions which include paying for their trips and helping out on the issue of allowances most notable, him giving each player $15,000 (about Shs57m) after AFCON 2017 in Gabon.On the Netball front, Uganda She Cranes won the the 2017 Africa Netball Championship and qualified for the 2018 Commonwealth Games to take place in Australia.The Junior team (U-21) also competed in the World Cup in Botswana.During the previous year, Uganda through the UAF hosted the World Cross Country Championship winning one gold medal won by Jacob Kiplimo in the presence President Museveni.Joshua Cheptegei also won a silver medal in 10,000m at the World Championships.It remains to be known what the agenda for the meeting with the President is but going by past history, one can be sure that the trio of federations will surly come out smilling as some if not all of their issues will be taken care of.Cranes players still in campGoalkeepers: Isma Watenga (Vipers Sc), Benjamin Ochan (KCCA FC), Saidi Keni (Proline FC)Defenders: Nico Wakiro Wadada (Vipers Sc), Joseph Nsubuga (Sc Villa Jogoo), Isaac Muleme (KCCA FC), Aggrey Madoi (Police FC), Timothy Dennis Awanyi (KCCA FC), Bernard Muwanga (Sc Villa Jogoo), Mujuzi Mustapha (Proline FC), Mustapha Kiiza (KCCA FC)Midfielders: Tadeo Lwanga (Vipers SC), Tom Masiko (Vipers SC), Ibrahim Saddam Juma (KCCA FC), Muzamiru Mutyaba (KCCA FC), Milton Karisa (Vipers SC), Abubaker Kasule (Express FC), Allan Kyambadde (SC Villa Jogoo), Paul Mucureezi (KCCA FC), Rahmat Senfuka (Police F.C)Center Forwards: Derrick Nsibambi (KCCA FC), Muhammad Shaban (KCCA FC), Nelson Senkatuka (Bright Stars FC), Daniel Isiagi (Proline FC)Commentslast_img read more