As one of the early execs at New Line Cinema, producer Brian Witten (Spawn, Final Destination) had a seat at the 50-yard line of Hollywood's '90s heyday -- from being in the room when the first draft of Boogie Nights was bought, to personally settling the legendary daily disputes between American History X director Tony Kaye and star Ed Norton. This alone, of course, makes him the perfect guest to referee our discussion of three choice Napa Valley cabernets: a 2012 Carpe Diem Napa Valley ($25), a 2013 Snowden The Ranch Napa Valley ($50), and a 2013 Lail Blueprint Napa Valley ($75). Along the way, we talk about Brian's beginnings as a comic book writer, why studios don't have to be the enemy, and how Mike DeLuca lured him into the Hollywood executive ranks.
A veteran agent at United Talent Agency, Charlie Ferraro grew up in Los Angeles and became convinced he wasn't meant to write or direct while attending USC film school. So he took a job in the UTA agency mail room and the rest is history. On today's episode, we sit down to discuss how the skills of a beginning agent are judged, why they have such infamously short attention spans, and the secrets of staying on top of a never-ending phone call list. Along the way, we sample three Argentinian Malbecs: a 2014 Crios ($12), a 2014 Achaval Ferrar ($26), and a 2011 Zuccardi Aluvional Altamira ($55). Also find out which member of the podcast just discovered he bought a house once owned by a porn star.
November 1, 2016
September 27, 2016
Kirsten "Kiwi" Smith in unabashed that champagne helped her write such beloved and enduring comedies as Legally Blonde, The House Bunny and 10 Things I Hate About You. So we plied her with a bunch of the stuff and got her talking about Hollywood -- from the perils of pitching too much story, to finding her writing partner via a query letter, to her first gig driving Alyssa Milano to a movie set in her '85 Jetta.
October 18, 2016
There are lots of ways to make a career in entertainment, and Steve Samanen is a fine example indeed. After earning a film degree from Florida State, he got his first job on a set in the art department -- and decided to make his career there. A graphic designer on such shows as Veep and Desperate Housewives, he's responsible for all the printed props a movie needs -- from a positive pregnancy test for Gwyneth Paltrow to a 47-foot billboard on Sunset Boulevard. Between bottles of Groth ($20), Merry Edwards ($40) and Favia ($75) sauvignon blanc, he spills on the people who make up an art department, what any aspiring Hollywood graphic artist should know, and the time he designed a vintage billboard for Milos Forman on Man on the Moon and got back: "It's beautiful. Shoot it."
August 30, 2016
As Nancy Meyers' long-time producing partner, Suzanne Farwell established her career making studio films like The Intern, It's Complicated, The Holiday and Something's Gotta Give. She's stepping out as an independent producer with the upcoming Carrie Pilby, which premiered last week to rave reviews at the Toronto International Film Festival. In this episode, she sits down with us to discuss the state of female films, the battles of taking a small book to the big screen, and how an overnight "dialing friends for money" campaign saved her movie from falling apart a month before shooting. Through it all, we drink three bottles of white Burgundy (whose Frenchy names are too long to account for here) and get the dish on Suzanne's first movie job working with an 11-year-old Lindsay Lohan in The Parent Trap.
September 13, 2016
If producer Navid McIlhargey (RocknRolla) showed up to this episode with a few already in the tank, he came by it honestly. A longtime film executive for companies like Revolution and New Regency, he now navigates the tricky waters of independent film and is set to release the upcoming Hunter's Prayer with Sam Worthington. While the journey through Hollywood's ever-changing marketplace has admittedly left him jaded and cynical, it's also given him a particular capacity for helping us mow through three 2013 wines from noted Spanish producer Juan Gil: Juan Gil ($14), Clio ($39), and El Nido ($144). Along the way he discusses what it was like working for Joel Silver, the transition from executives pitching one-line ideas to relying almost exclusively on intellectual property, and what it will take to get the two-hour movie back into peoples' lives.
August 16, 2016
Whether you watched him in college on Talk Soup or heard him sneak dirty jokes into family programming over seven seasons of Wipeout, comedian John Henson is hilarious, sardonic and doesn’t drink. Which makes him the perfect guy to join us on a sober spin through the world of non-alcoholic wine. Okay, technically it's not non-alcoholic. It's de-alcoholized. But, as we learn, swill like this isn't worthy of any level of technical adherence. In this episode, we bravely endure three bottles of this genetically compromised grape juice as Henson discusses how to host 1,140 episodes of television with absolutely no creative oversight and how not drinking makes the last hour of a party far more fascinating.
July 26, 2016
June 28, 2016
The Double-Double from In-N-Out. By itself, a cultural colossus. But pair it with wines hand-picked for compatibility, and this meat-and-cheese stomach bomb achieves a whole new level of flavor. Check out our all-new episode as Dan Perelli, operator of The Wine Hotel in Hollywood, helps us bridge the worlds of wine and fast food, and exposes us to his unique wine code, which had him threatening to leave the country in 1997 over California's over-blown wine market.
With clients like Kiefer Sutherland, Viola Davis, director Marc Webb, and Oscar-winning screenwriters Josh Singer (Spotlight) and Chris Terrio (Argo), Jamie Feldman is a mainstay on Hollywood Reporter's list of power lawyers. He joins the podcast to talk about leaving a traditional legal career to make his mark in entertainment, the protocol of Hollywood's wine-gifting culture, and the appropriate amount of gluteal cleft in a nudity clause.
July 12, 2016
Chances are, you've been listening to the music of Grammy winner Heitor Pereira for a long time -- from his guitar work for the pop band Simply Red to the scores he's composed for movies like Despicable Me, If I Stay, The Smurfs, Minions, the recently released Angry Birds Movie, and many more. On this episode of Hollywood & Wine, Heitor gives away some of his songwriting secrets, discusses being out in Paris the night of the fall terror attacks, and helps the guys quaff their way through the favorite wines of the world's great composers.