In Part I of this interview with Jonathan Lisco, the Halt and Catch Fire showrunner and executive producer talks about the true nature of Joe MacMillan and the parts of himself in the show’s characters.
Q: You wrote Episode 4, “Close to the Metal.” How does showrunning compare to writing? What’s unique about each?
A: Writing, in its purest form, is a solitary exercise. You sit in a room and bang your head against the wall (metaphorically speaking, mostly), as you try to create something from nothing, as you confront the blank page. Showrunning, on the other hand, is hardly just writing. It’s running the writers’ room, supervising the invention, the story-telling; but it’s also managing all aspects of the production and the post-production side. What’s interesting and potentially crazy-making about that is that writers who wind up becoming show-runners often get more than they bargained for, because they began sitting by themselves in their underwear, so to speak, trying to crank out stories all alone in the wee hours. Then suddenly they’re expected to be the head writer, a leader, and on top of that, they’re asked basically to run a corporation. Oversee this 100-headed monster called a television show. Luckily, in the case of Halt, I have two wonderful, indispensable partners who help me with many of the non-writing aspects of the show, Mark Johnson and Melissa Bernstein. I also have Jeff Freilich our great producer in Atlanta managing the day-to-day. So though technically I am running things, and that is my ultimate responsibility, anyone on the inside knows it takes a village of very smart and committed people to make a show function.
Q: We asked Lee Pace if he thought his character, Joe MacMillan, was a good guy, bad guy or something in between. What do you make of him? Continue reading “Halt and Catch Fire Q&A – Jonathan Lisco (Showrunner and Executive Producer), Part I” »
• TV Guide publishes reader reactions to Halt, saying it has “some of the best-developed characters on TV.” [No link]
• Rolling Stone declares that Season 1, Episode 8, “The 214s” is Halt and Catch Fire’s “best episode yet” of the season.
• In a review of last Sunday’s episode, The Pop Eye Guy calls Halt “mesmerizing” and praises Scoot McNairy’s performance, saying he “conveyed the complexities of his character beautifully.”
Continue reading “Readers Write to TV Guide About Halt; Rolling Stone Lauds Latest Episode “The 214s”” »
Things are heating up for Cardiff Electric’s rogue PC team. With the company’s senior VP John Bosworth under investigation for embezzlement, Joe MacMillan, Gordon Clark, and Cameron Howe are making a last-ditch effort to sell the “Giant,” their PC clone, at COMDEX in Las Vegas. An annual computer expo where all the major PC contenders show off their wares, COMDEX is the party the Cardiff team has been waiting for, and what’s a party without a killer mixtape?
To that end, Halt and Catch Fire music supervisor Thomas Golubić and his team at SuperMusicVision have crafted this new Spotify playlist from artists like Men at Work and A Flock of Seagulls. Rock out to the playlist now, then check back next week for the final Halt and Catch Fire playlist of the season.
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Look after the jump to download songs from the “GIANT!” ’80s playlist now.
Q: What drew you to the role of Hunt? Was there anything in particular that interested you about this character?
A: I grew up in Dallas and my Dad works for IBM, so I grew up in the environment of Silicon Prairie. I had stories from when I was a kid from my Dad about what the PC in the early age was like. I remember watching my dad work on PCs and I remember using Texas Instrument calculators in school. It was a bit nostalgic. Where Hunt goes in the show — it’s a very interesting story arc — and I think the audience will enjoy it. It was fun for me to play into because I was left in the dark, too, so I found out who Hunt was along the way.
Q: Hunt is a VP at Texas Instruments and uses a lot of technical jargon. Did you understand the terminology you were reading in the script?
A: A lot of that stuff was definitely technical mumbo jumbo that I had to look up. [Laughs] Once it was explained it me, it made a lot more sense.
Q: What do you make of Hunt’s relationship with Donna? Continue reading “Halt and Catch Fire Q&A – Scott Michael Foster (Hunt Whitmarsh)” »
When Halt and Catch Fire‘s Joe MacMillan (Lee Pace) first sauntered into Cardiff Electric, he was as cold and smooth as the electro-synth pop tunes on his first Spotify playlist. But as his professional and personal relationships with Cameron and Gordon have grown, Joe’s icy veneer has begun to crack, revealing his warmth and humanity. Joe’s emotional transformation is on display in this new Spotify playlist of ’80s music for Joe MacMillan, curated by Halt and Catch Fire Music Supervisor Thomas Golubić and his team at SuperMusicVision, and featuring warm pop classics from artists like New Order and Tears For Fears. Check it out below, and come back each week for a new ’80s playlist based on the show.
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Look after the jump to download songs from Joe MacMillan’s ’80s playlist now.
• The Austin Chronicle lists five reasons to watch Halt and Catch Fire, including the fact that “the main characters work.”
• Halt and Catch Fire has “enough charisma and synergy to transcend being a show for geeks,” Computerworld proclaims.
• CarterMatt previews Season 1, Episode 8, “The 214s,” and speculates about the meaning of the episode’s title.
To stay up-to-date with all the latest Halt and Catch Fire news, sign up for the Halt and Catch Fire Members Only Club.
Halt and Catch Fire‘s Cameron Howe and her fellow coders are heavily into the exploding world of ’80s video games. From their obsession with Colossal Cave Adventure to Cameron’s love of arcade games (and stealing lives with the quarter-on-a-string trick), they know their stuff. But are you just as savvy? For instance, can you recognize the game that introduced the character who would become Mario? Now is your chance to find out with the Halt and Catch Fire ’80s Video Game Photo Quiz. See how many classic games you remember, then try your hand at Colossal Cave Adventure on amc.com.
This week, Mackenzie Davis talks about Cameron with the New York Daily News, while Rolling Stone examines tech-geek nostalgia. Plus, a Halt and Catch Fire cast member is tapped to play Frozen‘s Kristoff. Read on for more:
• Mackenzie Davis tells the New York Daily News that Cameron’s not only about attitude: “She’s so not just that rebel without a cause. She has a larger sensibility. She wants to make a difference.”
• Rolling Stone cites Halt and Catch Fire as an example of “tech-geek nostalgia,” which “seems to be in the air.”
• TVLine reports that Scott Michael Foster (Hunt Whitmarsh) has been cast as Frozen‘s Kristoff in Season 4 of ABC’s Once Upon a Time.
Continue reading “Mackenzie Davis Talks Cameron With NY Daily News; Rolling Stone on Tech-Geek Nostalgia” »
Gordon Clark has come a long way since he joined Joe MacMillan‘s rogue PC project. His confidence dashed by the failed Symphonic, Gordon is finding himself again as lead engineer. But his growing obsession with the computer is pushing him precariously close to the edge. What does a man on the brink of either greatness or disaster listen to? Warren Zevon, Bob Dylan and Pink Floyd, to name a few. Listen to this updated playlist of ’80s music for Gordon Clark on Spotify created by Halt and Catch Fire’s Music Supervisor Thomas Golubić and his team at SuperMusicVision, then be sure to check back each week for updated playlists based on Halt and Catch Fire’s characters.
Follow AMC Halt and Catch Fire on Spotify.
Look after the jump to download songs from Gordon Clark’s latest ’80s playlist now. Continue reading “Listen to Halt and Catch Fire’s Gordon Clark’s Musical Evolution on Spotify” »
Q: You’ve played a football coach, a detective, and now you play a lawyer. Is there any other type of role or character you haven’t played but have always wanted to?
A: The only one that ever comes to mind when people ask me that question is some day, I want to get the girl. I always play the best buddy or the guy next door or the brother of the handsome guy who gets the girl. Someday, I hope to get the girl, but at this point in my career, it’s probably going to be some nursing home movie.
Q: Did any bits and pieces of the ’80s resonate with you after working on the show?
A: A lot of it did. A lot of the clothes did, the glasses that I wear — I had a pair of glasses very similar to those in the ‘80s. The clothes felt very similar to a lot of things I wore. Just looking around, it was almost like time travel. I got out of college in ‘83 so I was in my 20s in the ‘80s. Your senses are very alive at that time. You remember that time very vividly. All of it felt very real and very much like I was back in my 20s again.
Q: Were there any challenges that were unique to your role as Barry? Continue reading “Halt and Catch Fire Q&A – Mike Pniewski (Barry)” »