So, last weekend, I was a production assistant on a short film shot in nearby Owensboro and Henderson Kentucky. Lee Goldberg, executive producer of Diagnosis Murder, writer for Monk, Spencer For Hire, Psych, Nero Wolfe Mysteries, and a whole slew of other well known series, was the director on this project- his directorial debut from what I understand. Nicest guy you could ever ask for– very cordial on set, easy going, more than willing to sign any of his many books for you (if you ever try to get two books signed within 5 mins of each other, use a different name the second go around …just a really cool guy all around.
I read the script for Remaindered a few days before the first day of shooting on Friday, and I loved it. It’s comical, there’s a bit of violence, but it’s balanced so well with the light nature of the whole project that it doesn’t ever really get dark in any manner. It’s got some really nice plot twists…I remembering reading– thinking to myself, ‘this seems rather mundane– pretty standard stuff’…until the end where you sit back and smile at the smart ending. Very clever, Mr. Goldberg, very clever, indeed.
So, production assistant isn’t a very glamorous job, and I spent most of Friday night outside just waiting for something to do. I had to miss Saturday’s shooting due to issues at work I had to deal with, and Sunday was fun. I met a lot of nice people Sunday– it was definitely nicer to be inside to see some of the shooting and the whole process as it takes place, even if I was lying on the floor in the produce department cueing extras into the scene for background action. It’s always nice to get any experience possible.
I’m nearly finished with this video and film program at school, hope to move somewhere in the southwest next fall to finish a bachelor’s degree in film or something closely related. My goal is directing, but I do love cinematography- just the way they make things look really fantastic in movies and TV. God knows the raw footage looks nothing like the finished project, and that process is just exciting in a lot of ways.
I’d like to thank Rodney Newton and P.J. Starks, whom I got in touch with about taking part in this whole process. I had a small role, but like I said, any chance to get more experience is worthwhile if you ask me. I hope to get the chance to do some more projects with them in any role they’ll have me fill. Same goes for the rest of the crew- Marx, Lewis, Neil, Sharon, and all the others who couldn’t have been nicer throughout our time together on this project and others.
I’d also like to thank Lee for being a cool guy. Friday night, I approach him, all fanboy nervous (I love Monk and the Monk books he writes), my voice cracking, trying my best not to sound dumb in front of THE Lee Goldberg, and what do I do, I awkwardly mention we had chatted online twice before about his first Monk book, and how I made a big deal about how he had the character of Monk eating cereal and milk (not realizing Monk is deathly afraid of milk). Shooting was about to start again, so our conversation was kind of cut short, so I kept hoping he didn’t think I was bashing him! He took it in stride, making note that around 10, 000 people had told him about the milk thing, totally cool about all of it.
Lee did tell us some really interesting and often hilarious stories while on set…about Hollywood, his experience in writing for TV, and even some of his experiences in years past in Owensboro where he comes to work with the Mystery Writers group.
I got that first Monk book signed and got a second stand alone novel of his signed as well. Now, I just need to get a Burn Notice book signed by his talented brother, Tod Goldberg, who is also an author (of course). Someday.
Can’t wait to see the final product of a weekend of hard work by all. I have a feeling, from what I did see, that it’s going to turn out great. A totally enjoyable experience, and hopefully there will be more to come.
Monk comes to a close after 8 years on USA Network. Bitterweet for me…loved this series.
I remember 2002 when I watched the first season- I taped most of the season and watched, I’d guess, 8 episodes in a row at once…got up at 5AM, got breakfast, was still living at home at the time, was in between school and a job, it was great. I fell in love with the show and the character immediately.
Watch tomorrow as Monk discovers the truth about Trudy’s murder and say goodbye to a series that has given all of us lots of laughs and fun along the way…
UPDATED: The full transcript has been added to the end of this post.
Talked to Tony Shalhoub and Bitty Shram today. They gave us some insight on what it has been like working on MONK for 8 years, and what we should expect of them in the future. They didn’t really reveal anything about what happens in the last few episodes of the series- Tony was very hush hush on any information, saying he wasn’t at liberty to reveal anything really.
We did learn that, at some point in the final episodes, there is a wedding between a man and a woman. Anything more than that is a mystery. We will, as Shalhoub mentioned in another interview I was part of, learn all the details of Trudy’s death and that all the major plot points will be tied up quite nicely.
In fact, Shalhoub said that he thinks the last few episodes are some of the best stuff of the entire series as far as the storylines go.
We also learned that Tony visited a Los Angeles psychiatrist before starting the role to learn all he could about OCD and mental health issues. This was basically just normal research, he said.
I asked the duo what was the most important thing they took away from the series in regards to people who deal with mental health problems. Bitty sat the question out, but Tony said that the biggest thing he took away was that sometimes we all have problems, we all have our own idiosyncrasies, but often these so-called negatives turn into positives. Monk’s obsessive attention to detail was what made him a brilliant detective. His problem was turned into an asset, and that happens with a lot of people.
Bitty mentioned she’s written a pilot that she’s trying to get off the air, and Shalhoub joked that he would stalk her now that Monk has ended for a big role in the series.
They talked more about the series and what it meant to them, and to expect everything to be wrapped up. The fans of the show should be happy once the series finale comes around.
It’s been a pleasure to watch Shalhoub as one of the greatest characters ever written for television. It’s been an interesting run, and the characters and the show itself will be sorely missed.
A full transcript of this interview will be posted once that arrives.
TRANSCRIPT CAN BE FOUND BELOW….CLICK THE LINK TO SEE THE REST OF THIS ENTRY!
I just finished watching the premiere episode of Monk for the 8th and final season. To celebrate the new season, The Blue Site is giving away a few Monk prize packs.
Don’t miss the start of the 8th and final season of MONK on USA NETWORK, Friday at 9/8c. Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG award winner Tony Shalhoub returns as the obsessive-compulsive detective Adrian Monk with 16 brand-new laugh-inducing episodes. The final season promises to be a memorable one for all Monk fans. So tune in and watch one of the most successful series in basic cable history give its final farewell. Become a fan on Facebook, Follow Monk on Twitter, and play Monk games on USA’s Character Arcade.
ENTER TO WIN THE FOLLOWING PRIZE PACKS:
Two Winners will receive:
Monk Season 6 & 7 DVD
Monk Commuter Mug
Five Runners Up will receive:
TO ENTER TO WIN- Leave a comment below and let me know who your favorite Monk character is. I will choose a random winner from the pool Friday night after the season premiere. I will EMail the winner, so when you enter, you must make sure I have your EMail address. With the commenting system, you can sign in via twitter or facebook or a disqus profile. With facebook and twitter, I can message you somehow, but if you use disqus, it doesn’t list an EMail address on your profile, so please leave it in the comment so I know how to get ahold of you! If you don’t feel comfortable leaving your EMail address you usually use, go to gmail or yahoo.com and create a new address and use it.
Come back to The Blue Site to see if you won, and feel free to discuss the season premiere here with me and the rest of the Monk fans after you watch Friday night! Good luck to everyone!
Read my previous write up for more information on the conference call I took part in with Tony Shalhoub from Monk. He talked about the 8th and final season as well as what to expect in the wrap up of the storylines.
Moderator: The next question comes from the line of Josh Bozeman with TheBlueSite.com.
J. Bozeman Tony, it’s an honor to talk to you. Thanks for taking the time today.
T. Shalhoub Thank you.
J. Bozeman I think the character of Monk has been portrayed very respectful. What was the process you went into in the research to try to make sure you didn’t go over the top and play it maybe possibly offensive?
T. Shalhoub The process was really one of – it’s a process that I use and have used in approaching other characters, which is to find out – you know, knowing that it’s a comedy and to find out what – in any comedy, what I try to do is I try and find out what are the more serious aspects of the character. And, conversely, when I do a serious role, I try and find out what’s funny about the character. And the beauty of this particular character is that I’ve had the opportunity to do both comedy and drama within one series, one character.
So I guess to answer your question, it’s really digging out the – when you’re doing the comedic moments, digging out what’s really, really at stake and what is the most important and most serious thing to the character, which I believe informs the comedy. And then conversely, you know, when the moments are really dark and poignant, trying to infuse those with an unexpected and sometimes inappropriate or seemingly inappropriate comedic flash, you know, a little spark of something absurd or comedic. That’s been my approach.
READ THROUGH FOR ENTIRE TRANSCRIPT: