StarstruckKidTurnedPro

Members
  • Content Count

    22
  • Joined

  • Last visited

About StarstruckKidTurnedPro

  • Rank
    Member
  • Birthday

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Las Vegas, NV
  • Interests
    Movies, Musicals, Film Music, Dance, Vegas Production Shows, Photography, Cinematography, Image Editing, Heirloom Photo Restoration, Genealogy, Scottish Ancestry, Civil War History, Reformed Theology.

Recent Profile Visitors

343 profile views
  1. StarstruckKidTurnedPro

    LaLa Land, Anyone?

    I posted the following in regard to the news that Spielberg wants to remake West Side Story. I post it here as it included my response to La La Land. This casting notice for a WSS remake is terrible. They say, dance experience is "a plus". Are they kidding?! Guess they didn't notice how much and how great Bernardo and Anita had to dance in the stage production and in the original film - on the NYC streets, at the Gym (Mambo and other styles) and on the rooftop (America). It sounds like this is another case of movie-making fools who think they can get by without hiring trained dancers for their leads. La La Land had good music and had good potential but didn't live up to it. The leads Ryan and Emma were terribly miscast. They could sing ok but they weren't proficient enough as dancers to pull it off. Their dance technique was so limited and their performing personalities were so lackluster that the backup dancers and even the scenery pulled focus from them. You can auto-tune singers but ya simply can't "fake" excellent quality dancing. And if it's supposed to be a musical, people will naturally compare your cast to the best dancers from the past. The waiters in Hello Dolly and Mary Poppins roof top chimney sweeps were better and more exciting than the lead couple in La La Land. I'd much rather have seen Derek Hough and his sister Julianne (or any of so many other dancers on DWTS or SYTYCD) in those roles as they can actually SING AND DANCE and have performed onstage in New York and London. And when Ryan and Emma Stone got to the finale with the black mirrored flooring and the starry background - obviously meant as an homage to Eleanor Powell and Fred Astaire in Broadway Melody of 1938 (or was it 39 or 40?) - that only made me MISS Eleanor and Fred even More. If ya can't improve on or even hold a candle to an original dance number then don't put it in your film as people WILL compare it and your remake's finale will leave the audience disappointed and nostalgic for the real STARS from the classic film. After seeing La La Land, I immediately turned on TCM to remind myself of what real TALENT looks like! The quality of dancing by trained dancers has improved so much in the last 80 years that there ARE lots of people out there who can perform fabulous choreography for movie musicals but it's up to the filmmakers to raise their standards and hire the most talented, best TRAINED and experienced people for the roles.
  2. StarstruckKidTurnedPro

    A West Side Story remake?!!

    This casting notice for a WSS remake is terrible. They say, dance experience is "a plus". Are they kidding?! Guess they didn't notice how much and how great Bernardo and Anita had to dance in the stage production and in the original film - on the NYC streets, at the Gym (Mambo and other styles) and on the rooftop (America). It sounds like this is another case of moviemaking fools who think they can get by without hiring trained dancers for their leads. La La Land had good music and had good potential but didn't live up to it. The leads Ryan and Emma were terribly miscast. They could sing ok but they weren't proficient enough as dancers to pull it off. Their dance technique was so limited and their performing personalities were so lackluster that the backup dancers and even the scenery pulled focus from them. You can auto-tune singers but ya simply can't "fake" excellent quality dancing. And if it's supposed to be a musical, people will naturally compare your cast to the best dancers from the past. The waiters in Hello Dolly and Mary Poppins roof top chimney sweeps were better and more exciting than the lead couple in La La Land. I'd much rather have seen Derek Hough and his sister Julianne (or any of so many other dancers on DWTS or SYTYCD) in those roles as they can actually SING AND DANCE and have performed onstage in New York and London. And when Ryan and Emma Stone got to the finale with the black mirrored flooring and the starry background - obviously meant as an homage to Eleanor Powell and Fred Astaire in Broadway Melody of 1938 (or was it 39 or 40?) - that only made me MISS Eleanor and Fred even More. If ya can't improve on or even hold a candle to an original dance number then don't put it in your film as people WILL compare it and your remake's finale will leave the audience disappointed and nostalgic for the real STARS from the classic film. After seeing La La Land, I immediately turned on TCM to remind myself of what real TALENT looks like! The quality of dancing by trained dancers has improved so much in the last 80 years that there ARE lots of people out there who can perform fabulous choreography for movie musicals but it's up to the filmmakers to raise their standards and hire the most talented, best TRAINED and experienced people for the roles.
  3. Hi Rochelle, I'm using the latest Firefox browser on my Windows desktop. First thing I did was check to see that all my plugins were updated and activated per Firefox browser settings. They're good. I can watch Youtube and Vimeo videos and other video formats (.avi, .mov, mpeg/mpg4 files, flash, proshow presenter, etc) but for some reason the Arc system used by Canvas for the M.A.M course only shows a "loading" message (as if it's going to eventually display the video) but then it goes to the black box w/ teal bar or only an outline of a white box. Neither of them show any navigational icons - no "play" arrow to click. I've been trying to solve the problem for the last month with no luck. If it was the plugins, then more than likely I wouldn't be able to see videos on any of those other websites either but I can do that.
  4. Dear Dr. Edwards, I posted a message to you at the very beginning of your Mad About Musicals course about our not being able to view any of the video lectures or daily dose video clips. (I use latest version of Firefox for my desktop computer). You replied to me that you'd check with Canvas to resolve the issue or else you'd find another way for us to view the videos but I never heard back from you. Now it's the 4th week - the course is almost over but we still haven't been able to see any videos - it just displays either a black box with a horizontal teal bar at the bottom or on the daily dose page, it just shows a blank box. Luckily I am very familiar with the various musicals from the course so I still got 100 on all my quizzes but it is very disappointing to miss all the lecture info by you and the other professors. The next time you do a film course please consider using a totally different video service. Youtube would probably be best as we have no problem viewing those videos or the ones on Vimeo. Thank you.
  5. StarstruckKidTurnedPro

    'Easter Parade'... Ann Miller

    Yes TCM - It would be great to have Ann Miller as your Star of the Month! She always seemed like a gal you could be great pals with - sassy and so much fun. She was a worthy successor to Eleanor Powell as Queen of Taps at MGM!
  6. LKitten16 asked if others noticed how the orchestrated drumming of "Prehistoric Man" and "Pass that Peace Pipe" from Good News" sounded similar. Yes, there is definitely a distinctive MGM sound that one can hear in its musicals. That can be attributed to the fact that many of MGM's arrangers and orchestrators worked on the same films, even as their melodies and themes were composed by different composers. And of course many of the same studio musicians performed on the scores. One of my fav moviemakers from MGM's Music Dept. was the FABULOUS Conrad Salinger - a composer/orchestrator/arranger who worked on the music for over 75 films, including BOTH On the Town and Good News, so yes, there is an aural connection between the songs LKitten16 mentioned.A favorite dance number Conrad created was the fabulous "How Could You Believe Me When I Said I Love You When You Know I've Been A Liar All My Life" performed by Fred Astaire and Jane Powell in Royal Wedding. The dance's variation in musical rhythms is simply wonderful and gives the dancers so much inspiration to work from. It's a great example of what the MGM orchestras was capable of producing during those many decades. Listen to it and I know you'll agree! Another great orchestration for dance that I love by Conrad Salinger is "A Shine on Your Shoes" - done by Fred Astaire in the film The Band Wagon. You can't watch nor hear that number without smiling so check it out! Side note: 20 years ago, I saw a film "Dangerous Beauty" whose score by film composer, George Fenton literally changed my life. Over the next month, I had my own Fenton Film Festival & viewed 28 of his movies. For some unexplained reason, I found myself writing down who the musical team was and taking thorough notes on the scores. Somehow I felt like I was being "Called" by God to work in the film music biz but since I lived in Nashville then, was poor & had no connections to Hollywood, i had no way to move there. 10 months later, another wild thing happened, I met one of George Fenton's orchestrators online (while he was working on You've Got Mail about 2 people who meet online!) which began a long and interesting association. I'd always loved film music and had 16 years of early music training but hadn't really used it, (except to sing in shows in my 1st career as a dancer.) I noticed that, at that time. there was no websites about film orchestrators (this was 2 years before IMDB) so I created "The Orchestrator's Voice," a site dedicated to pay tribute to the unsung heroes of movie music. This led to me connecting with many of Hollywood's best. Then in another Hand of God event, I was invited by a composer to move to CA and work as his assistant as he aimed to move into film music after creating soundtracks for many of Vegas' big production shows and Carnival Cruise Line Shows. I worked as his Studio Mgr, Marketing Director, Music Copyist and Score Librarian for several years until he decided to move out of state. The next Hand of God moment was in 2002, when I was hired by one of the top two Film Music Agencies in the world to executive assist their Vice President. Helping represent A-list film composers for Film and TV projects was a dream job for me and it truly validated that strange feeling I had had in '98 about being called to work in that field. In 2003, Composer George Fenton conducted his score to Blue Planet at the Hollywood Bowl and I got to meet him backstage and tell him thank you for how his music had changed my life. It was a Come Full Circle moment for sure!
  7. StarstruckKidTurnedPro

    Jerry Mouse in Anchors Aweigh

    Thanks for sharing this wonnnnderful clip on the process of creating live action and animation together. This was truly remarkable and painstaking work, especially since all those tens of thousands of cells were drawn, handcolored, projected front and back in in the pre-digital Green Screen Days. I always love seeing the special features and extended editions of movies showing the creative process. So wish they had thought of doing something like that for all the old musicals. The newer version of An American in Paris DOES have behind the scenes info and audio too.
  8. StarstruckKidTurnedPro

    The Wizard of Oz

    See pix of W of Oz sets below. Yea, I hear ya Pastiche and the wild thing is how the wind is so strong it will pull a tree out of its roots and toss it away past her and takes the front door right off its hinges yet the hanging plant on the front porch barely moves ha! I once had a dream about the "twister" scene and in it, I was down in the storm cellar with Uncle Henry, Auntie Em, Hickory, Zeke and Hunk and we were all wondering what was happening outside haha. Yea, I grew up in the Midwest too and one time I did have a dream where 2 tornadoes touched down not far from my house and guess what, 2 days later, 2 tornadoes did touch down in a suburb not far from mine. Pretty wild huh! Here's some pix I found of the W of Oz sets.
  9. StarstruckKidTurnedPro

    The Wizard of Oz

    Oh my Tomilee, how you have made me cry with that wonnnnderful clip of our fav WWW, Margaret Hamilton. How great it was to see her with Mr. Rogers in her Oz costume, no less! I was blessed to get to meet her and get her autograph way back in the mid-'70s, when she played the mother role in the Broadway touring musical -"A Little Night Music" with Jean Simmons in the lead. And we met her on Halloween, no less. What perfect timing, huh! My then boyfriend, an artist, gave her a picture he had drawn of her as the WWW. and she signed the front cover of my original 1956 (MGM Records first edition soundtrack) 33 1/3 vinyl recording of The Wizard of Oz soundtrack. I still have it, of course! On it she wrote "To Betty With my warmest & best wishes & my thanks for my cute counterpart (the artwork)- Witching Wishes, W.W.W. Margaret Hamilton & she drew a little pointed hat next to her name. I can't tell you what a thrill that was, since Wizard has been my first and favorite movie since I was born. I've collected Oz memorabilia my whole life and have games, glassware, posters, books galore, dolls, plates, music boxes, Xmas ornaments/lights - you name it. Besides Fred and Gene, Oz has me wrapped around its finger ha. Seeing this clip helped me remember what a wonderful lady Margaret Hamilton was and a great actress too!!
  10. StarstruckKidTurnedPro

    Shall We Dance

    Edward Everett Horton is my favorite character actor - so charming at playing the fool and the MASTER of the TRIPLE TAKE. What a delightful "worry-wart" fellow he acted in the Fred and Ginger movies. He had a house and farmland in the Valley (Encino) in Los Angeles but when officials decided to build Highway 101 that runs through that part of town, they ended up taking his property for it. They did rename a block of the street he lived on as Edward Everett Horton Lane.
  11. There's actually a more personal connection between the two films, than merely being an homage. The prolific MGM musical producer Arthur Freed (head of the Freed Unit on the lot) wrote most of the songs for "Broadway Melody" so when he decided to make a movie about the silent era of movies converting to talkies - "Singin' in the Rain" - it's no wonder he utilized his earlier work, plus it made the production cheaper since the music already belonged to the studio. There is an interesting biography of Freed in Hugh Fordin's book The World of Entertainment.
  12. Oh, man, I'm in Heaven now as TCM plays Fred & Ginger Movies. I could die happy now! Those 1930s fitted sheath dresses sure make a woman look taller and slinkier! (Ginger was only 5'4" but, of course with 3" t-strap or ankle strap heels, she was 5'7" to Fred's 5'9.") And naturally the full skirts or dresses with bottom flares are simply divine and perfectly suited for doing chaine' turns. Ginger's dresses for their "big numbers" by Irene and other costume designers were constructed of shiny satin, silver (or gold?) lame', sequins or with ostrich feathers, of course, for the fabulous "Cheek to Cheek" so that when the lights hit it, they realllllllly looked luxurious. (Ostrich are the long, skinny, delicate feathers, turkey feathers are the wider ones usually used in huge boas for draping over arms.) Watching "Shall We Dance," I see Ginger's jacket is made of white "monkey fur" that she wears before the finale dance. It's interesting to note that Fred danced twice with a gal in ostrich feathers - Harriet Hoctor being the other one, though her part was mostly done as a featured solo. I don't think I've ever seen anyone else dance on Pointe in a backbend like Harriet - ha! I can't imagine how that would throw one's balance off as the blood rushes to your head ha. I've heard that often a pastel colored dress was substituted for white as the early black white film produced a WHITE that was verrrry reflective for the camera. The chorus dancers in these movies really had a lot of costume changes, too. From a line of "blondes" in all white, a line of brunettes in all black and the same for the boys, to mixing half black & half white outfits, from long dresses to satin "shorties." The line dance formations, "peel-off's" and "dive" moves were great with the variations of rhythm introduced to make the numbers longer. Though I'm now old and disabled and can't stand for long, I still sit and watch these numbers and mimic the tap steps Fred and the chorus girls do! LOVE IT! I'm sure you all, like me, just love the high contrast deep black and white film format of this decade of musicals - that made the Big ALL White Sets have even more impact on screen. Even the "Boiler Room" on the ocean liner in Shall We Dance is a fabulous if totally unrealistic all white set. Did ya notice how Fred wore white shoes in the Boiler number so it made his feet even more visible against the shiny grey (white?) floor?)And wasn't Fred fabulous as he turned all around that walkway - oh, my goodness, as a dancer I know how hard that would've been and the practice it would have taken-ha! The set design by Van Nest Polglase is so sleek and modern (for those times) and I think it's what comes to mind when people think of the Art Deco era. Ahh, those glamourous black or grey mirrored floors in the nightclub scenes were wonderful. Makes one want to dress up and go out to a night on the town!!! The sculptures, vases, lamps/light fixtures, couches, beds, wall and door and even dance floor artwork, etc all had those wonderful arched corners or geometric or chevron designs. I always felt I was born 20 years too late as I would've loved to have lived in such a stylized era. Even the dance floor F & G dance on for the “Pick Yourself Up” number is round! And don't ya just love the spats he's wearing on his shoes and the lines on the back of her stockings. (At 65, I still remember wearing those with garters)! As a young adult, I so adored Fred and Art Deco that I had my artist boyfriend paint designs on the front and backs of all the doors in our apartment and added palm trees to the corners and round mirrors and end tables with blue cobalt mirrors, just like in F & G's films ha. (a bit "obsessed," you say - yea, I know, hah!). The feeling I/we get from watching the "Waltz in Swingtime" is so magical. I used to think if "aliens" ever landed, we should show them that number for surely that is Pure Joy and maybe would make them smile too! I saw these films as a kid and always wanted to be in them. During that Golden age of Movies, the studios would scout for talent and give potential stars singing, dancing, acting lessons but by the time I grew up, the studio system was over and if you wanted to be a Singer/Dancer, you had to provide the training yourself. I loved the cast of thousands, fabulous costumes and huge sets of these movies and since they weren't making them like that anymore, the closest thing I could find to huge spectacular shows was dancing in Las Vegas hotel production shows. Unfortunately, now in 2018, even all of those old Showgirl shows are gone, replaced by "Cirque du whatever" shows consisting of aerialists, acrobats, contortionists, swimming, trampoline and other novelty acts, no more big shows with actual dancing and kicklines except for the Rockettes at Radio City. I'm thankful I had the chance to dance when I did. And thank God for TCM so I can relive it all through our favorite classic movie Musicals! I uploaded Ginger's dresses and big white set .jpg files successfully to my "conversation attachments" folder on my M. about M./canvas account but for some reason, this page says there's a processing error when I tried to upload or insert them here. Sorry. Still can't see the lecture videos or doses of delight, any news for us, Mr. Edwards?
  13. StarstruckKidTurnedPro

    "That's Entertainment" (1974)

    Sadly, I never got to meet my heroes Fred and Gene but I did get to meet Stanley Donen (who created On the Town and Singin' In The Rain with Gene plus directed Royal Wedding - a fav w/ Fred and Seven Brides for Seven Bros. and others) back in the 2000s, backstage at the Hollywood Bowl's Night of Movie Musicals (conducted by John Williams too!) and tell Mr. Donen how his work had influenced my career as a dancer and how that had given me a wonderful life. It was such an honor to meet him and thank him for inspiring me throughout my life.
  14. StarstruckKidTurnedPro

    Ruby Keeler

    Ruby appeared to be a rather heavy-footed hoofer who really bent her knees a lot and got down into the floor vs Eleanor who held herself up higher and even when vertical, tended to lean back a lot, including with her head. Ruby did wear those heavy, flat black tap shoes in her 42nd St solo in her black outfit and those shoes aren't exactly dainty looking and they produce a louder and heavier sound when you tap and flap. Ruby did look cute in the white "kitten heel" tap shoes, as seen in the photo above. Eleanor usually wore medium / kitten to high heels for her tap numbers as did Ginger (t-strap shoes were popular choices for her). I was always amazed at how Ann Miller could tap in regular pumps (high heels) without a strap or elastic over the top to hold her foot in.
  15. StarstruckKidTurnedPro

    What's missing?

    I hear ya, Speedracer5. I had such high hopes for La La Land as the music/songs were quite memorable but casting Ryan and Emma as the leads left so much to be desired. Don't read my next comment, folks, if you haven't seen the movie - Spoiler Alert: When they got to the finale of La La Land, all I could think about was how much I miss Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell in Begin the Beguine and how this modern "musical" couldn't compete with the brilliance of the original performers. Just recreating a beautiful set isn't enough when your leads are not up to professional standards of dancing. One can auto-tune someone's voice these days but dancing is an Art that can't be faked well. While several times I've seen the dramatic set from Let's Face the Music and Dance (F & G's Follow the Fleet) recreated, those were better because they were either set up as a comedy homage (Pennies from Heaven) where you didn't expect the dancing to compare to the original or were a fantasy element (The Shape of Water). I don't know why they cast Emma Stone when there are other actresses who have studied dance and are much more graceful.

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us