Interview: Anne Marie Murphy, President of Eastern Script Inc.

Anne Marie Murphy is the president and founder of Eastern Script Inc., an Ontario-based company that has been active in the business of script clearance and research for 20 years. She’s also a graduate of UCLA’s master’s program in critical studies (now known as cinema and media studies). She first contacted me in November 2012 after she read my initial Mediascape post introducing what remains an ongoing research project of mine into the world of script clearance and research. In the months since, we have corresponded frequently, and she has graciously allowed me to present her answers to my emails here. —Michael Kmet

Michael Kmet: Your biography indicates you held a number of positions in the film industry before getting involved in script clearance. You managed theaters, worked as a film booker, and were the office manager at a production company. In addition to that work, you earned a master’s degree in cinema and media studies at UCLA. Given that diverse background, how did you get involved in script clearance?

Anne Marie Murphy: I had finished my Master’s degree at UCLA in the Critical Studies program in September 1990 and looked at and applied for various jobs that popped up. The first one that seemed a perfect match for my skills was at Marshall/Plumb Research in Burbank which was, at that time, one of only three script clearance companies that existed. The job combined reading, writing, and research—three of my strengths and interests. It also involved tight deadlines (which I like) and constantly changing project work (which I like—no routines, no getting stale from boredom). There is also a certain amount of creativity involved in coming up with names of items as varied as you can imagine—not just character names, but fictional project names for items as varied as breakfast cereals, browser software, lipsticks…you name it, I have probably had to come up with a fictional name for it that “cleared” through a long gauntlet of sources. Continue reading “Interview: Anne Marie Murphy, President of Eastern Script Inc.” »

Interview: Filmmaker Jackie Raynal

The Mediascape Blog is proud to present an interview with French filmmaker Jackie Raynal. During a recent visit to UCLA, Mrs. Raynal discussed her pioneering experiences as a female editor working in the postwar French film industry, her collaborations with Eric Rohmer and other New Wave artists, and her career as a director and curator. The interview was conducted by students in the Cinema and Media Studies department and graciously sponsored by Dr. Janet Bergstrom. Special thanks to Shannon O’Kelley, director of the Billy Wilder Theater in Los Angeles, whose presence during the interview immensely enriched the conversation. The interview can be downloaded or listened to below. 


Click to download “JackieRaynal.mp3” (81 minutes, 38 MB)

The Mediascape Q&A: Stephen Mamber, Professor, Cinema and Media Studies

The Mediascape Q&A is a series of interviews designed to explore the work of UCLA faculty and graduate students beyond the classroom.

Dr. Stephen Mamber

Matthias Stork: Could you tell us about your academic background? Where did you go to school and what first drew you to studying media, specifically film?

Stephen Mamber: I was an undergraduate at Berkley, where I had a double major in Math and Drama because there wasn’t a film program there yet, but I took a class from Ernest Callenbach, who was the editor of Film Quarterly at the time, and that really affected me greatly. And it occurred to me somewhere in my junior year that film might be something to actually be able to study. I came down here to Los Angeles that summer and took a couple of classes from Howard Suber, and that really struck a chord with me. And from then on I knew I wanted to study film. My timing was good, I guess. This was the late ’60s, early ’70s, and I came down here for my master’s degree and fell in with some interesting people. One of my best friends while I was a graduate student was Paul Schrader, who was a year ahead of me. We went to the American Film Institute Center for Advanced Film Studies. He was in the first-year group of fellows. It was a different kind of place back then. It was at the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills and they took 10 people every year. In the second year, partly through his encouragement, I applied and got in. So I was in the group that included Terry Malick and David Lynch and various other people who turned out to be very talented filmmakers. It was an amazing experience then too because they were bringing in every great filmmaker you could imagine. One week it would be Rossellini and the next week it would be Jack Benny, the week after it’d be Alfred Hitchcock, it was like every major name. So I just thought this was heaven and this was what I wanted to do. Continue reading “The Mediascape Q&A: Stephen Mamber, Professor, Cinema and Media Studies” »

Interview with Steve Wiebe of ‘The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters’ (Part 2)

Steve Wiebe is the underdog protagonist of the cult documentary The King of Kong (2007), which chronicles his quest to capture the Donkey Kong world record from his eccentric and scheming rival, Billy Mitchell. In part one of our interview, Andrew Myers asked Wiebe to reflect on his participation in the film. Now, in the second half of the interview, Wiebe recalls how his life was affected in the aftermath of the film and talks about what makes classic arcade gaming so compelling. This interview was conducted by phone in January 2012.

“The Kong Off by 3henchmen (via YouTube)

Andrew Myers: In the years since the film came out, how has your life been affected from your participation in the film? I assume a lot of people that you know have seen the film. Do you feel that the people in your social relationships see you any differently after being in this movie? Or what other consequences has it had on your life?

Steve Wiebe: I think my friends still see me for who I am. They kind of joke around and call me “Hey King” and stuff. So it’s kind of funny. I’ll get recognized in public here and there. There’s definitely people who have been influenced or touched by the film that have reached out and emailed, and sent letters and things. I’ve been able to go to events, people will call me or email me and ask me to appear at an event that they have. So I definitely see that it has impacted a lot of people. I have great times meeting different people and experiencing that. Continue reading “Interview with Steve Wiebe of ‘The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters’ (Part 2)” »

The Mediascape Q&A: Chon Noriega, Professor, Cinema and Media Studies

The Mediascape Q&A is a series of interviews designed to explore the work of UCLA faculty and graduate students beyond the classroom.

Dr. Chon Noriega

Matthias Stork: Since I have not yet had the pleasure to take a class with you, Professor Noriega, could you briefly explain what it is exactly that you do in the department? And additionally, could you illuminate some of your past and current research projects?

Chon Noriega: OK. I’ve been a faculty member in the Cinema and Media Studies program for 20 years now. And for the last 10 years I’ve also been directing the Chicano Studies Research Center, which currently accounts for about half of my time, primarily on the teaching side. I am still a full-time faculty member, in terms of service, in terms of student advising. But on the teaching side, it’s been reduced, although in 2011-12 I agreed to do a startup on our Colloquium. So, I taught five courses that year, and three of them were the Colloquium. The idea for the Colloquium was to create an intellectual commons where the faculty and the graduate students could come together to learn about new research by students, faculty in the program, faculty across the campus, and visiting scholars. But it was also designed as a forum for town halls to discuss programmatic issues related to the M.A. or the Ph.D. curriculum. I’m in the process of assessing this experiment right now, to understand whether we actually accomplished what we set out to do and how it could continue. In terms of my teaching, I try to balance it between doing core courses in the program and then the electives on the graduate side. In the past I’ve also taught undergraduate courses. The one I really like is “The History of African, Asian, and Latin American Cinema.” And I think, with the exception of Teshome Gabriel, I’ve been one of the few people that actually teaches all three regions rather than emphasizing just one of them. Continue reading “The Mediascape Q&A: Chon Noriega, Professor, Cinema and Media Studies” »

The Mediascape Q&A: Allyson Field, Assistant Professor, Cinema and Media Studies

The Mediascape Q&A is a series of interviews designed to explore the work of UCLA faculty and graduate students beyond the classroom.

Dr. Allyson Field (center) with CMS Ph.D. candidate Samantha Sheppard (l) and Dr. Jacqueline Stewart of Northwestern University (r) at an L.A. Rebellion event, December 2011.

Dr. Allyson Field (center) with CMS Ph.D. candidate Samantha Sheppard (l) and Dr. Jacqueline Stewart of Northwestern University (r) at an L.A. Rebellion event, December 2011.

Matthias Stork: All right, here we go. The first question: what first drew you to studying film?

Allyson Field: [Laughs] Oh, wow, OK. I have to think way back. Well, I began studying film as an undergraduate. I was an art history major at Stanford. And Stanford’s one of the very few art history programs that doesn’t have a critical animosity towards film as a medium, and so it seemed very natural for me. I was interested in 20th-century art, mostly painting and theory. And I was interested in limits of representation, and then I started taking film classes with some professors when I was an undergrad, most notably Scott Bukatman when he came to Stanford when I was a junior, and then Pamela Lee and then some classes in the French department with Jean-Marie Apostolidès on political filmmaking in France. And then I ended up writing my senior thesis on Jean-Luc Godard and Guy Debord as political filmmakers. I was really interested in theoretical questions about representation of politics and questions of modernity answered through film, and so I started in art history but I was really gravitating towards film studies. When I graduated, I ended up applying to the University of Amsterdam to work with Thomas Elsaesser, and there I started working more on film. So I guess that’s the trajectory to film through art history. And then it wasn’t really until much later that I realized that looking at or studying film within the context of art history was really uncommon, that it had been a discipline that really emerged out of literary criticism or language departments. I was very privileged to be able to study film with a background in formal analysis but also theory, and that bode well for future studies, I guess. It’s a very different trajectory than I think a lot of people who either come to film from literature or come to film from industrial studies ever encounter. I was studying film as art, focusing on the avant-garde and then that post-’60s experimental filmmaking, but it was really not until much later that I kind of understood film as an industry, or as an object of industrial concern as well. Continue reading “The Mediascape Q&A: Allyson Field, Assistant Professor, Cinema and Media Studies” »