Friday, August 13, 2010

"Legally Blonde" and "Freaky Friday" script writer interview

As the City of Stars, Kilgore's racking up some more candidates.
Former Kilgore area resident Jason N. Hearne is up for an Emmy this week forhis work as an animation director on the National Geographic show, "AlienEarths."
The son of Kilgore attorney Nick Hearne and Carolyn Fox-Hearne, an artinstructor at Kilgore College, Jason Hearne is nominated in the "OutstandingAnimated Program" category, along with Dana Berry, the show's creator ­director/producer and Dave Jerrard, another animation director.
The show's more-than-lifelike animated effects depicted Super Novas andexploding planets.
"The show I work on turned out to be the dark horse in the category it was nominated in ­- we're up against The Simpsons, South Park, the Ricky Gervais Show and Disney's Prep and Landing," Hearne said. "It just so happened toget picked up and to share the limelight with those big cartoons. We're upagainst some heavy hitters."
The Creative Arts Emmys will be held in a week, on Aug. 21 ­- that's one weekprior to the Primetime Emmys.
Technically a multimedia designer, Hearne received his BFA in studio artfrom SMU and his MFA in studio art from The Art Center College of Design. He was co-owner and senior director of Video Box Studios, an animation studio in Los Angeles that was recently purchased by one of the largest postproduction companies, Point 360, where he is now executive creativedirector. The group, Point 360 Eden FX, has provided visual effects forshows like Lost, Fringe, Ghost Whisperer, Chuck and Benjamin Button.
The National Geographic show had its own unique challenges, Hearne said.
"We're using a lot of techniques to replicate Hubble telescope photographywith incredibly high resolution, amazingly dense footage that we create.That's really pushing the envelope," Hearne said.
His role in the series, which aired in 2009, was to oversee the team toproduce the footage the director needed, as well as rolling up his sleevesto get on the computer and animate the footage himself.
"My goal is to get it the way the director wants it to look," he said. "We're going into high bitmapped images and all kinds of things. Thesoftware can do what it can do, but you have to really push it to get thekind of imagery NG expects. They expect incredibly realistic footage as ifit were being photographed by the Hubble telescope itself," Hearne said.
The Los Angeles resident is part of a dynamic domestic duo. His wife,Heather Hach Hearne, is a writer who penned the script for the LindsayLohan-Jamie Lee Curtis movie "Freaky Friday" and the libretto for the smashBroadway hit, "Legally Blonde: The Musical."A graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder, Heather Hach Hearne gother start in magazine journalism before leaving Colorado for Los Angeles.
"If you want to be serious about it, you've got to be here," she said. "I just loved movies more than I, quite frankly, love anything. I needed tochange my life and I just decided to go for it," she said.
She had done some troupe comedy work, and applied that love of fun to her work.
"The things I love are movies and comedy ­ put it together and that's a script writer, isn't it?"
Heather was approached by the producers of the Broadway musical version of"Legally Blonde" and hired as the librettist (script writer) about the sametime the lyricist and composer were brought on board.
"They saw 'Freaky Friday' and thought I might be a good fit," she said.
As a writer, she quickly discovered the differences between stage and screen­ when it was time to "cut" and change locations, quick movie turnaroundsthat can't be replicated on stage.
"It was a different animal - but at the same time, a story is a story. Soyou just tell the story as well as you can," she said.
It was the second adaptation for the "Legally Blonde" franchise, with ElleWoods' travails taken from a novel into movie format first.
The same was true for "Freaky Friday," which she co-wrote with Leslie Dixon.That had already been adapted from a novel to a 1970s film.
Her new movie script, "What to Expect When You're Expecting," will go todirectors next week. (Think recent ensemble movies, like "Valentine's Day" and "Love Actually" ­but this one's about couples getting pregnant. And not unlike "He's Just NotThat Into You," it takes a non-fiction self-help book and transforms itthrough plot and character.)
Hearne said she enjoys the adaptation process. "I like having the bare bones of the story and then giving it my own flavorand my own spin," she said.
Jason and Heather Hach Hearne have a daughter, Harper, and a son, Drake.

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