Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Press Coverage

We are thrilled to announce that starting today that we will now be doing weekly press announcements and coverage in association with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science.

As the nominations for the Oscars arrive, our press coverage will move to twice a week to keep you updated on everything Oscar related. 

Aside from the Academy Awards, the Academy does a lot to help preserve and promote the past and future of film. We will be promoting all of the projects the Academy is involved with to help you get the best inside look at preserving the wonder that is Hollywood. 

To ensure that you don't miss one announcement, we will be featuring a new tab on the site called "Academy Awards" where we will also post all of the previous announcements. 

We are excited with this new addition to On the Mic and look forward to bringing you all of the breaking news as the Oscar race heats up. 

Thank you for all of your support! Stay tuned for updates!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Clawson - "Learn Truth" Official Music Video

Over the last few weeks Austin and I had the pleasure of Directing and Producing the debut music video for my good friend and Salt Lake City Rap artist, Clawson. He released the music video today and we wanted to share it with all of you. Here is the debut of the upcoming single from Clawson, "Learn Truth". Enjoy!

[WARNING: Explicit Lyrics]

Clawson - "Learn Truth"

Directed by: Tim Drake & Austin Grant

Topflight Pictures 2014

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Oddball Comedy Festival 2014 - Salt Lake City

The Oddball Comedy Festival came to the USANA Amphitheater in Salt Lake City on Saturday, September 6th.

While the line up varied from city to city, Salt Lake's lineup was a great as we could have hoped for. The Salt Lake show featured Jeff Ross, Whitney Cummings, Chris Hardwick, Demetri Martin, Hannibal Buress, Sarah Silverman, Aziz Ansari, and Louis C.K. It was weird to be at a comedy show that started with the sun still out, but once the comic hits the stage they didn't disappoint. From the crowds energy you could clearly sense that we were about to take in one of the best comedy shows we would ever see. 

Brody Stevens of Funny or Die welcomed the crowd to the festival. He told the crowd about talking with Will Ferrell about bringing the show to Salt Lake City and entertained the crowd before welcoming our first comic, and host for the evening, Jeff Ross to the stage. 

Brody Stevens welcoming the crowd to the show

Jeff Ross, best known as the Roast Master for his Comedy Central Celebrity Roasts, took the stage showing off a new look for himself as he had shaved his head. 

The Roast Master, Jeff Ross

Jeff's show wouldn't be complete without having him roast somebody at the show. Jeff invited several members of the audience on stage to subject themselves to the verbal blows of Roast Master. 

Jeff Ross roasts the audience in Salt Lake City

The roast members were well humored and gave Jeff Ross all he could have hoped for. The crowd enjoyed being able to see Jeff do what we have all grown to love him for as the Roast Master. 

Following Jeff's set, the hilarious Whitney Cummings took the stage. 

Whitney Cummings

Whitney is best known for her NBC sitcom "Whitney" and as the writer and creator of the CBS hit, "2 Broke Girls". I have had the opportunity to see Whitney perform several times in Los Angeles, but she never disappoints! Whitney talked about relationships and where she is at in life. Whitney's set was sadly only 15 minutes. I really wish we could have had a lot more of Whitney Cummings comedy. 

As Whitney wrapped up her set the king of Nerdist, Chris Hardwick took the stage. 

Chris Hardwick

The audience gave Chris a warm welcome as the @midnight and Talking Dead host walked on stage. Even though Chris had just performed at WiseGuys Comedy a few months back, he kept his set fresh and interactive. After only being on the stage a few minutes, Chris climbed down from the stage to join the crowd and see the fans. Chris' set also talked about the recent death of his father, the legendary Bowler Billy Hardwick. 

Following both Chris and Whitney's sets I was able to talk with them for a few minutes. I've met Chris several times and he is always one of the nicest guys and always willing to talk for a few minutes. Even though I have seen Whitney perform several times, this was the first chance I had to meet her. Whitney was absolutely sweet and great to talk with as well. 

Following Christ Hardwick's set, the always hilarious Demetri Martin took the stage. Demetri brought his quick, witty comedy and of course his guitar to his stand up show. Demetri's set was everything his fans have expected. It was strong from the start and left everybody in stitches. 

Demetri Martin

I saw Demetri several years ago when his stand up career was first getting off the ground. It was great to see him perform live again. 

Hannibal Buress took the stage next, wearing a one piece jumpsuit with his picture printed on it. 

Hannibal Buress takes the stage in his jumpsuit 

Hannibal Buress

Hannibal's fans were loud and ready for their favorite comic. This was my first time being able to see Hannibal and he didn't let me down. I laughed from the minute he took the stage in his jumpsuit  to his last joke. It was a thrill to see Hannibal perform live and I can't wait to see him return to Salt Lake City. 

Hannibal's set was the last set before a short intermission in the show. Following the intermission, the great Sarah Silverman took the stage!

Sarah Silverman

Sarah Silverman

Sarah is another comic that I have had the chance to see perform in Los Angeles a few times before, but her set was as solid as ever. Sarah walked down from the stage early in her set to visit with the crowd. Her crowd work was absolutely hilarious, sitting on fans laps and surely making some of those guys year. Sarah's set is a small glimpse inside her Emmy winning special "We are Miracles", that comes out September 23rd.

As Sarah left the stage. the powerhouse comics just kept coming. Aziz Ansari from NBC's Parks and Rec took the stage next. 

Aziz Ansari 

I feel that Aziz has reached a point in his stand up where he can't stop writing great comedy. It's rare to see a stand up that can continually write a new hour every year or every other year. Aziz has quickly started to become one of these comics. Following his Netflix's special last year, Aziz hit the stage with fresh material and kept the crowd laughing until the end. Aziz's set still consisted of talk about relationships, vegetarians, his heritage and more. Towards the end of Aziz's set the rain started coming down at the show. Aziz's set was great and left me wanting more. 

Aziz was the last comic before our headliner, Louis C.K. The crowd was eager to see Louie and let him know as soon as he took the stage. The rain kept coming as Louie took the stage. He quickly addressed the rain and made fun of having to perform in Utah. 

Louis stepping out to the rain and checking it out. 

Louis C.K. 

Louie's set was everything I had expected. It was aggressive yet light hearted just as we have come to expect from him. Many fans were thrilled to finally be able to see Louis C.K. live and in person. It was a moment that I didn't think I would get a chance to see and was thrilled to be able to see him perform. 

The Oddball Comedy Festival was an amazing time and something that every comedy fan needs to experience. Thanks to Funny or Die and all of the comics for bring the show to Salt Lake City. I can't wait to see who they bring next year! 

(Due to coverage of Salt Lake Comic Con in the same day, I was not able to see the 2nd stage that featured some of our amazing locals with Spencer King, Steve Soelberg and Marcus. Congrats to those guys for being able to perform on this huge show.)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Salt Lake Comic Con 2014 Wrap Up

Salt Lake Comic Con wrapped up this weekend and what an amazing experience it was!

I was absolutely thrilled to be able to work with Salt Lake Comic Con this year not just as a panelist, but as one of their Official Bloggers. 

Being able to share my comic and pop culture knowledge with the fans in Salt Lake City was an incredible experience. I loved being able to meet so many new fans that started listening to On the Mic because of Salt Lake Comic Con and being able to give out passes to people to attend their first Comic Con. 

The lineup of guest for the 2014 Salt Lake Comic Con was excellent as always. This year's guests included the likes of Stan Lee, Simon Helberg, Stephen Amell, The Aquabats, Giancarlo Esposito, Bruce Campbell, Alan Tudyk, John Barrowman, and Cary Elwes, just to name a few. The panels put on by these excellent guests did not let the fans down! Before I had the chance to attend any of the guest panels, we had to run over to the opening press conference featuring almost every one of the weeks guests. 

Setting up the press conference stage. 
Dan Farr and Bryan Brandenburg bringing out Comic Con guests
(Seen onstage: Lou Ferrigno, Manu Bennett, Eugene Clark)

As the guest were announced it turned out that it was Jason David Frank's birthday, so everybody took a moment to sing him Happy Birthday. 

Manu Bennett announces that he will be donating proceeds from his signings to help with this child's Make A Wish dream. 

My first panel was on Thursday for the hit AMC show, 'Breaking Bad'. We had an absolute blast on this panel talking everything 'Breaking Bad' and what our hopes are for the upcoming 'Better Call Saul' series. As panelists, 'Breaking Bad' was of course one of our all-time favorite shows, so I suggest that our panelists, and the fans in attendance at the panel, give the cast and crew of 'Breaking Bad' the proper Thank You. Check out the selfie video of our Thank You below. 

The 'Breaking Bad' panel

Salt Lake Comic Con 2014 'Breaking Bad' panel Thank You

Friday Morning started off strong with X96's Radio From Hell Show. As many of you know, aside from working for On the Mic and covering Comic Con for my own show, I was also helping Produce all of Radio From Hell's shows at Comic Con. We had so many great guests stop by the show, but my favorite of the morning was the band The Aquabats. The Aquabats were in town for 'The Aquabats Super Show' and joined Radio From Hell to talk about this event. I've had the pleasure to meet The Aquabats a few times, and it's always great to chat with them and see what's new with the band.

Kerry, Bill and Gina of Radio From Hell

A snake decided to hang out with us on the show today as well. 

The Aquabats on Radio From Hell

Hanging out with The Aquabats following their interview

As the doors open and the crowds rushed in, we immediately hit the spotlight panel for Cary Elwes, moderated by one of our regular guests, Jimmy Martin. Cary was incredibly entertaining telling stories about times on set, jokes he's played, his new book and of course a very entertaining fan Q&A. 

Jimmy Martin and Cary Elwes

Cary fields questions from the audience

A Wesley cosplayer has a chance to get upclose with Cary

Cary Elwes and Josh Twelves 
(Picture courtesy of Salt Lake Comic Con)

One of the great highlights of Cary's panel, and even of Comic Con was when Cary step down from the stage to join disabled actor Josh Twelves to recite lines from the 'The Princess Bride' with him. 

Following the Carey Elwes panel, we made our way to the next Ballroom to see the spotlight panel for Giancarlo Esposito, best known for his role as Gus Fring on 'Breaking Bad'. Giancarlo had amazing energy from the start and kept the crowd laughing the whole time. Even with Giancarlo's vast film resume, the entire panel was pretty much just focused on 'Breaking Bad'. It was really cool to hear all of his stories from behind the scenes, as well as the possibility of him being a part of 'Better Call Saul'

Giancarlo Esposito greets the crowd in Salt Lake City

Giancarlo Esposito taking questions from the audience

The first panel I was moderating on Friday was for The Muppets. As a huge fan of The Muppets my entire life I was honored and excited to be part of a panel to talk everything Muppets! The panel was packed and the crowd was awesome! I couldn't get enough of the many great Muppet Cosplayers and fans at the panel. All of the panelists were great and I hope to make this panel one of my regulars. 

Warming up the crowd before the Muppets panel with Robert Easton

The Muppets panel from the crowd

The Muppet Cosplayers!

Between panels, I went out to the convention floor to see some of the sites. I ran into my good friends Gollum, but we had a bit of a dispute over who was the rightful owner of the newly caught fish.

My final panel for Friday was the fan panel for former NBC, now Yahoo! Screen show, 'Community'. Despite my promise that we would try not to "Britta the panel", I managed to forget to introduce the panelist right of the bat. Good job, Tim! The 'Community' panel was a ton of fun! Despite it being fairly late, and the last panel of the night, we had a great turn out and had a lot of fun with all of the fans that came. 

The 'Community' panel

Saturday was spent checking out the Comic Con floor and hitting up some of the panels. One of the first panels we hit was with Bill Daley and Barbara Eden from 'I Dream Of Jeannie'. I didn't know what to expect from these TV legends and their panel did not disappoint! Bill and Barbara shared incredible stories from the set of 'I Dream of Jeannie' and kept the crowd laughing and entertained for the entire panel. 

Barbara Eden and Bill Daley

After Barbara and Bill's panel was another panel that I had been very excited about, Patrick Warburton. Aside from Patrick's amazing voice work on Family Guy and The Emperor's New Groove, Patrick has always been one of my favorite character actors with his roles in Seinfeld, Ted, and of course 'The Tick'.

Patrick Warburton answering fan questions

Following both of the panels we hit the floor to check out the vendors and buy some cool art. Here is just a glimpse of everything we experience on the Salt Lake Comic Con floor. 

One of my favorite picture opportunities as Salt Lake Comic Con has always been the 'Lord of the Rings' trolls. 

Weta also brought in a special section to the convention floor bringing fans some incredible looks at 'Lord of the Rings' and 'The Hobbit' films. I personally enjoyed the head of Smaug from 'The Hobbit' films. Smaug watched over the audience with his eyes popping open and scanning the convention floor. 

Guest celebrities lined the floor signing and taking pictures wth fans throughout the convention. 

Ernie Hudson from 'The Ghostbusters' signing for fans. 

Alvin and The Chipmunks made their guest appearance as well. 

Salt Lake Comic Con always brings in the bet vendors to help fans be able to find all of the great collectibles they've been searching for. 

Saturday's panels did not disappoint! We started off the morning with Simon Helberg from 'The Big Bang Theory'. Simon was a gracious guest as he had just spent the entire week filming and quickly jumped on a flight to join us in Salt Lake City. Simon's panel was a lot of fun hearing all about his time on 'The Big Bang Theory. Hopefully, we will see more guests from 'The Big Bang Theory' in the years to come. 

Finally the moment I had been waiting for all weekend long arrived. It was time for Stan Lee's spotlight panel. I was living in Los Angeles during the inaugural Salt Lake Comic Con and missed Stan Lee's first appearance. Stan has always been a huge hero of mine and it was great to see Stan in the flesh and enjoy the hilarity and fun of everything his panel had to offer. 

Stan Lee greets the fans in Salt Lake City

My last panel for the day was planned to be the Marvel Movies panel, but due to a scheduling conflict with my Oddball Comedy obligations I had to miss this panel. A huge Thanks to my friend, comedian Christopher James for stepping in for me last minute on the Marvel Movies Panel. Sorry to anybody that came to that panel expecting to see me on the panel. I wish I could have been there!

A huge Thank You to Salt Lake Comic Con for allowing us to be a part of this again. We have such an incredible time being able to participate and cover this event. It gets better and better every time! We can't wait for the FanX announcement! See all of you in the Spring. 

(All photos by Vanella Drake for On the Mic Podcast)