Elliott Kalan was an intern at The Daily Show (thedailyshow). Then he became a production assistant, a segment producer, a writer, and now, head writer. Here, Kalan talks to Co.Create about the kinds of choices that can help sustain momentum in a career that requires creativity.
“I wish there was a comedy census that the government would send out like ‘Here’s the top percentile of funny people in America. You should hire them.’ But unfortunately that program I think got shot down. Probably by the Republicans.”
“Democrats became, unfortunately, a centrist party, and I think, in a lot of ways, a right of center party. And the Republicans just took the short bus to crazy town. So it’s usually not a big decision on who’s the worse one in any given district.”
A bowl of honey oozes into frame. A cup of cocoa is carefully tipped to spill in casual opulence. Nuts and seeds are sprinkled everywhere. A cutting board is turned a few millimeters to the perfect angle. Whose hands are doing the work? We never know.
This isn’t a professional food photo shoot. It’s a live cooking show called nowyourecooking. By Stockholm creative agency House of Radon, in a promotion for Electrolux, the video looks nothing like your average Food Network programming, in which an overzealous personality talks you through the steps of making some new spin on boneless skinless chicken breasts. Instead, there are no words at all, as a camera fixates on a meticulously staged and styled kitchen surface, and you watch dishes get prepared like a cover of Saveur has come to life.
Silicon Valley is not your typical workplace comedy. The new HBO series, loosely based on creator Mike Judge's experience as test engineer at a tech startup in the ’80s, follows protagonist Richard Hendriks—who invents a powerful file-compression technology called Pied Piper—as he starts his own company and fights for a slice of the tech-boom pie. Along the way, we get a fictionalized glimpse of Silicon Valley office spaces—a subject easy to satirize, given how Bay Area tech giants such as Google have become famous for their zany, playground-plush offices spaces.
Silicon Valley is a meticulously researched show—tech advisors help ensure that even scribblings on Post-It notes on set seem as realistic as possible—and the work spaces that appear on screen are no exception. Production designer Richard Toyon, the man responsible for the visual storytelling, called up friends all over Silicon Valley to get a peek inside the offices of Facebook, Google, Zynga, and others. Security often prevented Toyon from taking pictures inside the buildings, so he made due with mental notes.
“My hope is that someone like Disney or someone on an ABC show can show women in roles where they have a computer, are programming and having a lot of fun building things.”
Starting April 28th, Netflix will be accessible via TiVo DVRs on some cable providers.
In a bid sure to lure binge watchers of quality programs like The Sopranos and The Wire, a new deal will bring HBO series to Amazon Prime streaming and Fire TV.
Sterling Cooper and Partners is an agency whose reputation is built on a progressive approach to advertising. So it has made sense, throughout the last few seasons, to see Herman Miller’s mid-century aesthetic seep into the offices designed by Mad Men’s set decorator Claudette Didul-Mann. An Eames Time-Life chair shows up in Roger’s office; Don gets an Aluminum Group chair. And for good reason. Herman Miller helps to visually represent the cultural evolution at the heart of Mad Men.
Relax: It’s only by a buck or two.
HBO director of digital and social media Jim Marsh breaks down the Game of Thrones approach to social marketing and fan engagement.
HBO has managed to ride the wave of fans’ organic social interaction around the show by getting involved in the conversations, while also using creative campaigns to keep stoking the fire during and between seasons.