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Aubrey Plaza and Her ‘Pistol Shrimps’ Team Explain How Ragtag Basketball (And a Doc) Brought Them Together

Aubrey Plaza and Her ‘Pistol Shrimps’ Team Explain How Ragtag Basketball (And a Doc) Brought Them Together
If you don’t know who the Pistol Shrimps are, you’re going to want to very soon.

Brent Hodge’s new documentary “The Pistol Shrimps” follows the eponymous all-women recreational basketball team, led by players like Aubrey Plaza, model/actress Melissa Stetten, comedian Molly Hawkey (who you may know as “‘The Bachelor’s oldest-ever contestant”) and many other incredible players just might be one of the funnest and funniest films of the year. During the film’s Los Angeles premiere, the laughs never slowed, but it also became apparent that this documentary isn’t about basketball. It’s about what basketball means and can do for these women as individuals and as a group of friends, empowering them, inspiring them, encouraging them and much more.

After screening Wednesday night at The Theatre at Ace Hotel, the Shrimps, their coaches, their announcers and director Hodge sat down for a Q&A. Like their team name implies — and they would suggest to look up what a pistol shrimp is — each woman’s personality popped like the crack of a pistol shrimp claw. They laughed at many of the high jinks that unfolded the season depicted in the doc, but also got real about how, no matter the small scale, the team is vastly important to them. That’s something that’s also evident in the documentary, as the film makes sure to highlight many of the team members, their personalities and how the team affects their lives.

Read More: SXSW: 10 Totally Random Minutes with Aubrey Plaza

The team itself came together in a rather interesting way. According to the film, it was a bit tough to get the league together, as there wasn’t really a league at all before they came along. In the Q&A, Shrimp Amanda Lund explained how the struggles of making a web series sparked the idea in the first place. “I remember the moment when Maria [Blasucci] realized she needed to start a sports team. We had made this web series ‘Ghost Ghirls’ that no one was watching. So we made our own flyers and started flyering in the streets, saying, ‘You got ghosts? Watch this web series.’ So we were handing out these flyers and Maria was like, ‘This is so fun being out and doing an activity.’ And then she was like, ‘I’m going to start a sports team.’”

But why basketball? Recounting a rather momentous and crazy achievement in her early life, Shrimp founder Blasucci said, “I used to play in grade school and one time, I was dribbling the ball in the park league on the Pacific Palisades Sparks and I lost my shoe at halfcourt as I was dribbling the ball. And I went to shoot the basket and I made it, but my shoe was still at halfcourt. It was a real whirlwind.”

Unfortunately, the ragtag group didn’t start off with success, with only a few members ever having played the sport, let alone in an organized way, and others not entirely knowing how the sport works. Originally, they came together with a shared sense of trash talking and putting down their haters to offset this lack of success. But during the documented season, the Shrimps went on to win the championship.

This did, however, come at a cost to their original skills. One of the Shrimps said, “I think it goes to the root of self confidence and when you don’t have a lot of self confidence, it’s very easy to talk trash. So when we finally got the skills, the trash talking went away. It’s like when you don’t dress for the job you have, you dress for the job you want and so we talked trash when we couldn’t play basketball.”

Read More: The 22 Most Anticipated Films Of The 2016 Tribeca Film Festival

After seeing the original trash talking chemistry, filmmaker Hodge knew he had to make a movie about them, telling the crowd, “One of my friends went to the games and he was like, ‘Dude, this whole thing’s a film. There’s a coach with a unicorn costume on, you’ve got to film this.’ And then we just started filming.”

He even theorized that the crew is why they won, explaining that “this is the only season you guys have won, so we’re like your lucky charm. And I don’t think we would’ve had a film unless they won.” Shrimp Molly Hawkey pleaded, “I was wondering if you could come out to the rest of our seasons because we didn’t do so well this season.” This past season, the Shrimps won only three games and lost seven.

But it wasn’t always easy for Shrimps. There were a lot of antics and even drama between teams during the season, exemplified in the documentary when Aubrey Plaza tore her Acl playing undercover in a second game on her sister’s team. The recovery, which Plaza described as taking “a couple steps forward, a bunch of steps backwards and I’m trying to just get forward again,” and the taste of the other team led her to test the market.

“I’m going to be playing for the Spice Squirrels in the fall. After my injury, I had a lot of time off and I just decided to test free agency,” she said. “I had to make the best choice for my family and my basketball career. And I just felt like the Spice Squirrels have a lot to offer me.”

Toward the end of the Q&A, founder Blasucci touched on an empowering point about the team, an aspect that was the documentary’s most lasting impression.

“I went to an all girls high school and I learned that girls can be the best of friends if they allow themselves to kind of let go of all the claw,” she said. “You know, ‘Ah, I need to get ahead of you!’ If you could just let that go, you can have such deep relationships with girls and I feel that with all of you girls and I, at no point, ever feel jealous or envious or anything. I just feel 100% support and I feel grateful and it’s wonderful. I suggest any girl out there that doesn’t have a tight group of girlfriends to really search for that, because as hard as it may be, you find these people that are so important to you and I feel that with all of these girls and I’m really grateful.”

Read More: Morgan Spurlock on Why Documentaries Matter More Than Ever

“Pistol Shrimps,” which is the first original feature film released by Seeso, an ad-free comedy streaming service, premieres today, June 16, on seeso.com. The film was shown at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year and was executive produced by Morgan Spurlock, the filmmaker behind “Super Size Me.” Check out the trailer below!

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See full article at Indiewire »

Aubrey Plaza Hits the Basketball Court in First Trailers For ‘The Pistol Shrimps’

While she’ll be seen in comedies both on the indie and studio side this summer (Joshy and Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, respectively), Aubrey Plaza will also be featured in a documentary. The Pistol Shrimps follows her all-female basketball team, also made up of Melissa Stern, Maria Blasucci, and more, as they compete in last year’s recreational season. Coming from producer Morgan Spurlock and director Brent Hodge (I Am Chris Farley, A Brony Tale), the first trailers have landed ahead of a release this week.

We said in our review, “As far as sports documentaries about female friendships, there are too few and Pistol Shrimps, as enjoyable as it is, really is exactly what it is — like the league and the podcast it’s something to do. Surely one’s free time can be better spent elsewhere screening a film that’s more profound, but that is not what this is, the same way this rec league is not the Wnba.”

Check out the trailers and poster below.

The Pistol Shrimps” is the fun new documentary following the 2015 season of the popular all female basketball team called The Pistol Shrimps – made up of actors, comedians and models in La. Comic actress Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation), model Melissa Stern and actress/writer Maria Blasucci (Ghost Ghirls) are part of the ragtag team of trash-talking, hard fouling, wisecracking women who bring a much-needed edge to the game. Off the court, these women are also making it happen as writers, musicians, actors, comedians, moms and wives, who always have time on Tuesday nights for their games. The Pistol Shrimps are truly fearless women who are both ballers on and off the court.

The Pistol Shrimps arrives on SeeSo on June 16th.
See full article at The Film Stage »

‘Convos With My 2 Year Old’ Stars Branch Out With New Channel

In 2013, Matt Clarke and David Milchard scored a hit with Convos With My 2 Year Old, in which Milchard combined the adorable sayings of Clarke’s two-year-old daughter with his own adult body and mannerisms. Almost immediately, Clarke and Milchard vaulted to YouTube stardom, and they now have nearly 800,000 subscribers.

Three years later, Clarke and Milchard are still cranking out new Convos (they’re on season six now), but at the same time, they are branching out. They have launched a new channel called Cocomilk TV, on which they are working with various producers to explore new projects. Specifically, a press release describes Cocomilk as “a platform that will specialize in formats and be a venue for audiences who are looking for unique, irreverent and good-ole- silly-fun- time content.”

The first show to arrive on Cocomilk is Paranormal Solutions, which premiered in April. It is a comedy about occult investigators, a la Deadbeat or Ghost Ghirls,
See full article at Tubefilter News »

TV News Roundup: ‘Spartacus’ Actor Cast in ‘The Expanse’ & More

TV News Roundup: ‘Spartacus’ Actor Cast in ‘The Expanse’ & More
“Spartacus” alum Nick Tarabay has been cast in Season 2 of Syfy’s “The Expanse.” Plus, the cast of “Happy Days” will guest star on Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob Squarepants.”

Casting:

“Spartacus” alum Nick Tarabay has been cast in Syfy’s “The Expanse” for Season 2, Variety has exclusively learned.

Tarabay joins the series in a major recurring role and will appear in at least eight episodes. He will play Coyter, a former spy now working in the private sector who is approaed by Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) about working undercover for her.

Aside from Starz’s “Spartacus,” in which he starred as Ashur, Tarabay’s credits include “Castle,” “Longmire,” “Person of Interest,” “Arrow” and “Star Trek Into Darkness.” He is repped by Abrams Artist Agency.

Guest Appearances:

Happy Days” alums Henry Winkler, Michael McKean and David Lander are venturing down to Bikini Bottom later this week for a guest appearance on Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob Squarepants.
See full article at Variety - TV News »

This week in tv news: John Singleton to make the jump to TV with FX

Lisa Kudrow in The Comeback, which she announced will be returning for a third season.

John Singleton is poised to be the next filmmaker to make the leap to television, as FX has picked up the pilot for Snowfall, a show co-created by Singleton. The press release had this summary of the series.

Los Angeles 1981. A storm is coming and its name is cocaine. Snowfall is a one-hour drama set against the infancy of the crack cocaine epidemic and its ultimate radical impact on the culture as we know it. The story follows three characters on a violent collision course: Franklin Saint, young street entrepreneur on a quest for power; Gustavo Zapata, a Mexican wrestler turned gangster in search of his American dream; and Logan Miller, a prominent family’s “black sheep” desperate to escape his father’s shadow.

Singleton will also direct the pilot.

———

The partnership between Fox and
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Comedy Central Buys Female Basketball Comedy From ‘Ghost Ghirls’ Team

Ghost Ghirls’ creators, Jeremy Konner and stars Amanda Lund and Maria Blasucci, are reteaming with Jack Black’s Electric Dynamite, which produced the well-received Web supernatural spoof, for a new comedy series project. The half-hour, set in a women's basketball league, has landed at Comedy Central. Created by and starring Lund, Blasucci and actress Angela Trimbur, the ensemble comedy revolves around a group of misfit women in La who find new leases on life through their…
See full article at Deadline TV »

Here’s The Trailer For ‘Spooked’, Bryan Singer’s Geek & Sundry Series

Director Bryan Singer's X-Men: Days of Future Past is currently the most popular movie in America, but while Singer's mutants may rule the theaters, his ghost hunters are about to take up residence on the web. Geek & Sundry has released the trailer for Spooked, a paranormal comedy co-produced by Singer's Bad Hat Harry production company and Felicia Day. When I first heard about Spooked, my mind jumped to two other paranormal comedies released on the web in the past year: Yahoo's Ghost Ghirls and Hulu's Deadbeat. The new trailer confirms that Spooked will have a similar tone to those two series. Its main "Paranormal Investigative Team (P.I.T.) will be a motley and unprofessional group of misfits that I can only assume will somehow manage to save the day in each of Spooked's four TV-length episodes

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See full article at Tubefilter News »

The Fear Monger: More Michael Myers, More Hell House And More V/H/S

Good day, hounds of all things hellish. Is everybody having fun for Star Wars day? The way I like to do it is roasting a Jar Jar over a sarlacc pit, and serving it up with some Boba Fett-a cheese and herb dip. Enough filler and more horror! First of the bite-sized kind: Rob Letterman.s feature take on R.L. Stine.s Goosebumps now has Timothy Simons (Veep), Amanda Lund (Ghost Ghirls) and Halston Sage (Neighbors) joining Jack Black in the cast. Universal.s adaptation of Jo Nesbo.s dark crime novel The Snowman took a hit recently when Martin Scorsese dropped out, but Let the Right One In director Tomas Alfredson will make this a presumably gloomy follow-up to the superb Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. And this isn.t exactly news, but Dread Central is currently taking submissions for a horror anthology called Zombieworld, which is free to
See full article at Cinema Blend »

Hulu’s ‘Deadbeat’ Is Catered To The Binge-Watching Crowd

Hulu has released Deadbeat, its first scripted original series of 2014. The ten-episode comedy about a slacker who works as a medium has been released in its entirety on the Hulu Plus subscription platform. Deadbeat stars Tyler Labine as Kevin, who has the ability to commune with spiritual beings. This premise is similar to Ghost Ghirls, Yahoo Screen's paranormal comedy, but while that series' protagonists are dumb, imperceptive, and self-absorbed, Kevin's fatal flaws are his laziness, slovenly appearance, and lack of self-confidence. Most of Kevin's jobs are low-maintenance, matching his personality. He's not trying to fight discordant spirits or fend off Gozer. Instead, in the first episode, he helps a deceased soldier lose his virginity. The best news is that Deadbeat is pretty good. It won't blow anyone away, but it's definitely better than Mother Up!, consistently funnier than The Awesomes, and is on the whole one of the better original series Hulu has distributed.
See full article at Tubefilter News »

Web Series Wednesday: Updates

Welcome back to the series of posts here at SciFi Mafia that we’re calling Web Series Wednesday where we devote a space to the wonderment of the web series. Every Wednesday we’ll cover an awesome web series and give you all the info to get into it.

If you’ve got a favorite web series you’d like us to cover, head on over to the Contact Us page and shoot us your request. To catch up on past Web Series Wednesday posts click here.

This week we’re taking a little time to update you on shows we’ve already covered!

Space Janitor’s second season is available since we reported last. And they also met their Kickstarter goal for a third season and it is currently in production! Huzzah! You can see our initial review here, and you can check them out to your heart’s content here.
See full article at ScifiMafia »

Hulu’s Searching For The Next ‘Burning Love’ In 2014

At the Consumer Electronics Show, Hulu announced its lineup of original programming for 2014. Among a class of overseas imports and renewals, two debuts stand out: Deadbeat and The Hotwives Of Orlando. Both of these new originals represent Hulu's plan to score an online video hit on the level of Yahoo's Burning Love. Deadbeat is the original series drawing the most hype. It stays Tyler Labine, best known for starring in Reaper (which, cleverly, is also distributed in the Us by Hulu). Labine plays a hapless paranormal investigator who must stop ghosts from haunting the living. The ten-episode comedy, which is produced by Brad Pitt's Plan B production company, will debut on April 9th and will also star Brandon T. Jackson and Cat Deeley. The other big original coming to Hulu is The Hotwives of Orlando, a Real Housewives parody with an impressive cast. Casey Wilson, Kristen Schaal, and Angela Kinsey
See full article at Tubefilter News »

Why Are There (Almost) No Ads On Yahoo Screen?

Yahoo Screen is Yahoo’s premium online video destination, which relaunched on September 9, 2013 with a sleek new user interface. I’ve been spending a lot of time on the site for a few reasons: The platform is home to some of Yahoo’s most high-profile programming, most of which are totally worth a watch, including select Saturday Night Live clips, Jack Black’s Ghost Ghirls, John Stamo’s sex-fueled Losing It, Ed Helm’s Tiny Commando, the fantastic puppet-themed The Fuzz, and more. The site is clean, quick to load, and while other online video players may need to buffer a bit too much when I have dozens of tabs open on my computer screen, Yahoo Screen’s player still seems to run smoothly. There is almost zero advertising. That third reason is the rationale for this story. It's incredibly odd that an online video service that doesn't require a subscription fee in any way,
See full article at Tubefilter News »

Fox Buys Comedy From Amanda Lund, Matt Gourley, Jack Black & Diablo Cody

Exclusive: Fox has put in development Wunderland, a workplace comedy written by Amanda Lund and Matt Gourley, with Diablo Cody supervising and Jack Black’s Electric Dynamite producing for 20th Century Fox TV. Co-created by Lund and Gourley, Wunderland explores the minutiae behind the scenes of America’s most beloved (fictional) theme park. The project is inspired by the couple’s years working at multiple theme parks, where Lund played an array of beloved princesses. Cody, a self-professed rabid theme park enthusiast and roller coaster expert, is executive producing with Electric Dynamite’s Black and Priyanka Mattoo. This marks a reunion for Lund and Electric Dynamite, who collaborated on the well-received web series Ghost Ghirls, which Lund co-created and stars in. Lund is repped by Wme and 3 Arts. Writer-performer Gourley created the podcast Superego. Cody, repped by Wme, Mxn Entertainment, and McKuin, Frankel, Whitehead, is currently developing her TBS talk
See full article at Deadline TV »

Jack Black and Tim Robbins Sign on for HBO Comedy

Jack Black and Tim Robbins Sign on for HBO Comedy
Jack Black and Tim Robbins will costar in and produce a pilot for a new HBO series called The Brink, according to Variety. The show will be a dark comedy that focuses on the ways in which a geopolitical crisis affects three different men in varying degrees of desperation. Black will portray Alex Coppins, a foreign service officer caught on the ground during the crisis, while Robbins will depict Walter Hollander, the short-fused U.S. Secretary of State who tolerates little from those calling shots in the White House Situation Room.
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Yahoo Exec Erin McPherson Joins Maker Studios as Chief Content Officer

  • The Wrap
Yahoo executive Erin McPherson is joining Maker Studios as the company’s chief content officer. In her new capacity, McPherson will be responsible for driving Maker’s content and programming strategy, reporting to Ynon Kreiz. At Yahoo, McPherson was the vice president & head of Video Programming and Originals. In her now-former role, McPherson oversaw the launch of Yahoo Screen, Yahoo Studios, and brought to Yahoo a large roster of third-party partners, including Red Hour/Paramount (“Burning Love”), Playtone/Tom Hanks (“Electric City”), Dolphin Digital/Anthony Zuiker (“Cyberggedon”), Electric Dynamite/Jack Black (“Ghost Ghirls”), ABC News, CBS/Insider, Broadway Video Entertainment
See full article at The Wrap »

Watch Dave Grohl, Jack Black, Val Kilmer Perform as Ghost Supergroup "Sweetriver and the Huckleberry Dogs"

You may not be familiar yet with the name Sweetriver and the Huckleberry Dogs, but after today the group could be the hottest Southern rock supergroup around. Starring Jack Black, Val Kilmer and Dave Grohl, the group combines their collective rock power in the latest installment of Yahoo's web series Ghost Ghirls as three '70s swamp rock spirits who haunt their old recording studio.
See full article at PasteMagazine »

Web Series Wednesday: Jack Black’s Ghost Ghirls

Welcome back to the series of posts here at SciFi Mafia that we’re calling Web Series Wednesday where we devote a space to the wonderment of the web series. Every Wednesday we’ll cover an awesome web series and give you all the info to get into it.

If you’ve got a favorite web series you’d like us to cover, head on over to the Contact Us page and shoot us your request. To catch up on past Web Series Wednesday posts click here.

This week we’re covering Ghost Ghirls.

Ghost Ghirls is the web series brain child of Jack Black about two friends, Heidi (Amanda Lund) and Angelica (Maria Blasucci) and their bumbling attempts at being ghost hunters. Sometimes they win and sometimes they lose, but every time they’re hilarious.

The guest star list is amazing. Jason Ritter, Bob Odenkirk, Lorenzo Lamas, Colin Hanks,
See full article at ScifiMafia »

Take A Dip With Natasha Leggero In ‘Tubbin With Tash’

We've seen Natasha Leggero pop up in a number of prominent web series in the past year. She starred in Ford-branded series Escape My Life on Hulu, scored a regular role in seasons one and three of Yahoo's Burning Love, and recently delivered a memorable guest appearance in an episode of Ghost Ghirls. For her next act, Leggero is teaming up with Jash for Tubbin' With Tash, in which she talks with celebrity guests in a hybrid talk/comedy show set in a pleasant-looking hot tub. Tubbin' With Tash looks at first like a talk show, but it is driven more by the personalities of its characters than the substance of its chatter. Leggero's lead is halfway between the unhinged party animal she played in Burning Love and the seductive madam she played in Ghost Ghirls, and co-star Moshe Kasher has a great little part as Pig Bottom, Leggero's spa boy.
See full article at Tubefilter News »

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