Thursday, September 2, 2010

Floral 01 - Photography by Cassone

A variety of floral presentations, whether professionally designed or ones that came about in some yard along the way - these little inspirations are always fun and inspiring objects for my camera and I.

Photography by Antonio Cassone

Floral Design by Paul Miller
Lime Bouquet
Floral Design by Paul Miller
Love Among the Ruins
Lily Was Here
Magenta Mess

Behind the Lens 005 - The Scene by Scene Shoot with C.A. McKenzie: RAW

In 2005, I had the distinct honor to strike a pose for C.A. McKenzie of McKenzie Brothers Photography in Michigan. He definitely taught me a lot in just that one session and we were both impressed with what each other brought to the shoot. With Grace Jones playing in the background, McKenzie allowed me to let me chew the scenery and have a blast, while creating shots that propelled my portfolio into the stratosphere. These are some of the better of the raw edits from that shoot.

Photography by C.A. McKenzie for McKenzie Bros. Photography; 2005 in Detroit, MI
Model, Makeup, Hair & Wardrobe Styling by Antonio Cassone

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Preview: 62nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (My Picks and Predictions)

Here are my picks and (meh) predictions for the annual Television honors. I would like to say that I no longer predict, because let's face it...half the time I could care less who wins and why ponder who I think that Television Academy will go for? However, it does keep the night interesting when you are cheering for some and interesting to see how many of your predictions come to fruition. My list are the ones I would like, if not love, see walk away with the trophy. Followed by who I think that Academy may go for - which is usually a repeat of the prior year, because the Emmy's can be boring that way sometimes...LOL. I am not listing the nominees for this post - see them all at the Emmy Awards website HERE.

The awards will be telecast live on NBC beginning at 7pm/EST and hosted by Jimmy Fallon.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series:

My Pick - Matthew Morrison in Glee (FOX)
My Prediction - Steve Carell in The Office (NBC)

Carell seems like a sure bet this year, only because he has never won this category and with his Hollywood career on fire with some box office hits and rumors he will be leaving the show after next season, Emmy may want to go ahead and give him his due. Baldwin and Shalhoub have won this category multiple times before. While Larry David has never won for this category he has won several for producing and writing and Jim Parsons (Big Bang Theory) and Morrison may be too new still in the older Academy voter's eyes. Personally, I can't stand The Office. I think it is the cheapest looking thing on television and way over hyped, but who am I. Millions still tune in every week. So SOMEBODY thinks it is funny. I hope Morrison Glee-fully gets the gold this first time around.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series:
My Pick and Prediction: Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie (SHO)

I absolutely love Edie Falco and would not be surprised if she gets her fourth career Emmy win for Nurse Jackie. However, Toni Collette was strong again this season (and won the Emmy last year), Lea Michele could ride the Glee gravy train and I never count out Tina Fey. So we shall see.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series:
My Pick - Matthew Fox, Lost (ABC)
My Prediction - Michael C. Hall, Dexter (SHO)

Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) would definitely deserve a third Emmy win in this category. It would be one of the few times I wouldn't mind a repeat. That being said, Fox has never been nominated until this season and he should have been nominated long before now for his leadership on Lost, which went to a whole other level this last go around; convincingly making him my personal choice. Michael C. Hall has NEVER won an Emmy, after several nominations for Dexter, preceded by Six Feet Under. That coupled with his personal battle with cancer this past year makes him not only a sentimental favorite, but a deserving one. Besides, John Lithgow already won an Emmy this year for Guest Actor in a Drama Series for playing Dexter's father. Something tells me the Academy isn't gonna award him and not Hall, given the episodes they were both nominated for. Finally, I never count Hugh Laurie (House) out either, as his show is the most popular drama on TV right now. If anything, voters like the public saw his work.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series:

My Pick: Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC)
My Prediction: Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife (CBS)

Will Kyra Sedgwick ever win an Emmy for her brilliant work on The Closer? Probably not. Every year, someone else has been just a bit more stronger and Julianna Margulies' role alone has Emmy written all over it, let alone her performance in The Good Wife. Mariska Hargitay could pull an upset and I wouldn't mind, only because she was so unselfish this season with so many high profile guest stars chewing the scenery all around her. As an actor, I can appreciate her steady, controlled and consistency as Det. Olivia Benson on Law & Order: SVU more than anyone else in this fine category.

Outstanding Comedy Series:

My Pick and Prediction: Glee (FOX)

While I wouldn't mind Modern Family to win this category, as I actually laughed at that show the most (of the nominees listed), but Glee has the momentum and is good or better in other ways (ie the entertaining song and dance numbers). I always say, to me Family Guy and The Simpsons are the funniest shows on TV, but that is just me. Don't get it twisted though... that Academy seems to get stuck on don't be surprised if 30 Rock grabs the gold in the end.

Outstanding Drama Series:

My Pick: Lost (ABC)
My Prediction: Mad Men (AMC)

Interesting category, insofar as it isn't your typical cop shows and medical dramas of days gone by. Yes, the television drama has blossomed into ad execs, vampires and serial killers...none of which to be confused with each other...hahaha. LOL. This is one category I really, REALLY want my pick to win. Some people I know left Lost long ago, but for those of us who stuck with it to the very end already know that no other show on the list is as deserving. What a night cap that would be for such a dynamic, well written, fantastically acted and beautifully crafted series overall. However, Mad Men is the most stylized show on television and has three previous wins in a row in this they are the ones to beat.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Made for Television Movie:

My Pick and Prediction: Al Pacino, You Don't Know Jack (HBO)

I don't get wowed often and Al Pacino 'wowed' me with his performance. That storyline was from my hometown, so I was hauntingly familiar with all of the characters involved in You Don't Know Jack. In a role that could have just as easily been caricatured, Pacino finely, effortlessly makes Dr. Kevorkian his own and breathes life into the role, giving him much soul. Bravo!

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Made for Television Movie:

My Pick and Prediction: Joan Allen, Georgia O'Keefe (Lifetime)

Another very strong category, but Joan Allen served it up as Georgia O'Keefe, giving her so much depth and substance. You couldn't have asked for a better performance.

My Pick: You Don't Know Jack (HBO)
My Prediciton: Georgia O'Keefe (LIF)

This is always a tough category. All of the films were very strong. I have long loved the Miniseries, Made for TV Movie category because these larger than life stories all could have easily played just as well on the big screen. Based on buzz and awards thus far this season, it seems like Georgia O'Keefe has the edge. My personal favorite is You Don't Know jack. Both movies are anchored by very strong performances from their leads and, at the end of the day, Allen's bravura tour-de-force in Georgia O'Keefe edges Pacino's soul stirring Kevorkian biopic.

Outstanding Miniseries:

My Pick and Prediction: The Pacific (HBO)

Only two nominees this year. Hmmmm... Is the miniseries dying? Not so much. Return to Cranford is the 'other' nominee, but I think The Pacific is Emmy night's sure thing... a shoo-in. It already won seven creative arts Emmy Awards. Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg should already have a space on the mantle cleared because this category will make it win number eight for The Pacific.

Outstanding Reality Competition Program:

My Pick: Project Runway (LIF)
My Prediction: The Amazing Race (CBS)

I pick Project Runway, only because The Amazing Race has won every year since the inception of this category. While, I feel it is probably one of the hardest programs on television to produce...surely, something else in it's category is just as good, if not better. With Project Runway, Heidi Klum has brought to the forefront of American, if not pop, culture the ins and outs of fashion and what it takes to move up and onward in that industry. I think it is time. I never feel American Idol or Dancing with the Stars are deserving in this category; not because I don't enjoy them, but because to me they play more like variety programs than reality. If that is the case, them being considered reality, then I think So You Think You Should Dance topped both Idol and Dancing combined, but isn't nominated here. That being said, I think Emmy voters will either finally give it to American Idol (as it was Simon Cowell's last season) or give it to The Amazing Race again.

Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series:

My Pick: Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO) & Saturday Night Live (NBC)
My Prediction: Saturday Night Live (NBC)

This is one of the few instances I wish for a tie. The likelihood of that is one in a gazillion,but I just love Bill Maher. However, Saturday Night Live had Betty White and she is hot, hot, hot - and, once again, Golden with an Emmy win already for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series at the creative Arts Emmy Awards. I think SNL will win this category. I hope the Academy doesn't get caught up in the Tonight Show brouhaha and give it to Conan O'Brien. Love Conan, but that show is not the strongest in this category.

Outstanding Art Direction for a Single Camera Series:

My Pick: Hell's Kitchen (FOX)
My Prediction: How I Met Your Mother (CBS)

Not sure why this category wasn't handed out at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards - eithe rthat or they don't have a winner. Maybe it is to assist in announcing who did win at the Emmy Awards BEFORE the Emmy Awards... that being said, my personal choice would be Hell's Kitchen based on their kitchen and restaurant set. How I Met Your Mother has won this category a few times before. With the Academy's history, why should this year be any different?

Outstanding Directing, Comedy Series:

My Pick: Paris Barclay, Glee: "Wheels" (FOX)
My Prediction: Ryan Murphy, Glee: "Pilot - Director's Cut" (FOX)

Tough category, but I think it will be the dual between the two Glee episodes. Academy may be impressed with Modern Family enough to give them a category here and Allen Coulter (Nurse Jackie) has been invited to the party before (Sopranos). However, Paris Barclay is an Emmy veteran and what Glee did on Wheels was nothing less than an impressive message, if not an entertaining one. That being said, the pilot was where it all began, which (to me) gives it the edge.

My Pick: Jack Bender, Lost: "The End" (ABC)
My Prediction: Agnieszka Holland, Treme: "Do You Know What It Means" (HBO)

I really want Lost to win every category they are in..because it deserves it. However, again - this is a tight category with strong episodes from Breaking Bad, Dexter and Mad Men in the mix as well - something tells me Holland's career on the big screen as a master filmmaker will pay off on their small screen efforts here with the very powerful, thought provoking pilot for Treme.

Outstanding Directing, Miniseries or Made for Television Movie

My Pick and Prediction: Barry Levinson, You Don't Know Jack (HBO)

The Pacific could win in this category as well, but for which part of the epic miniseries? The two nominees may cancel each other out. I looked at the fact that while it was Al Pacino's fine lead performance that garnered the most praise for You Don't Know Jack, Levinson is a fine director with a long, storied career who also managed to pick apart the nuances of even the most featured of his impressive supporting cast. For that, I think the Academy will take notice.

Outstanding Directing, Variety, Comedy or Music Special:

My Pick and Prediction: Bucky Guntz, Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games Opening Ceremony (NBC)

I almost think Louis J. Horvitz will win for The Kennedy Center Honors, as he seems to have this category in his pocket year after year. However, historically when he has lost it has been at the hands of an Olympic Opening or Closing ceremony. I don't think that will be any different this time around.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

My Pick: Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men (CBS)
My Prediction: Neil Patric Harris, How I Met Your Mother (CBS)

Modern Family has three nominees in this category. Any one of them would be a deserving choice. It certainly supports the notion to have an ensemble acting category. However, I alway find Jon Cryer consistently hilarious in Two and a Half Men. Neil Patrick Harris has not won this category after many tries, but has won two this year at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards for his work on The Tony Awards. Make this one three.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

My Pick and Prediction: Michael Emerson, Lost (ABC)

Even though he and Terry O'Quinn could cancel each other out, I feel Michael Emerson is the most deserving individual for a performance Emmy win in any category this season. He was brilliant, per usual. This one, I hope I am not wrong!

Outstanding Supporting Actor,for a Miniseries or Made for Television Movie

My Pick: John Goodman, You Don't Know Jack (HBO)
My Prediction: Patrick Stewart, Hamlet (Masterpiece Theatre) (PBS)

Can you say eenie meenie minie moe? WOW! If any category is solid to the point where it truly is may the best man is this one. Each were solid, brief and very strong in their performances. Bravo!

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series:

My Pick and Prediction: Jane Lynch, Glee (FOX)

Another strong category, but Lynch had me from the very first frame of her feisty Sue Sylvester. I hope she wins.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

My Pick: Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife (CBS)
My Prediction: Christine Baranski, The Good Wife (CBS)

Hmmm.... It could really be between Sharon Gless (Burn Notice) and Rose Byrne (Damages) since these two don't have a co-star as a co-nominee. Either way, I think the two from The Good Wife are the strongest and I would be happy if either Panjabi or Baranski walked away with an Emmy.

Outstanding Supporting Actress for a Miniseries or Made for Television Movie

My Pick: Brenda Vaccaro, You Don't Know Jack (HBO)
My Prediction: Susan Sarandon, You Don't Know Jack (HBO)

Like I said earlier, director Barry Levinson's depth of what performances he pulled form his ensemble ran deep. I think Vaccaro was slightly stronger than Sarandon, but think Sarandon will get the Emmy win here. Kathy Bates wasn't chopped liver either in Syfy's Alice.

Best Comedy Writing

My Pick and Prediction: Christopher Lloyd, Modern Family "Pilot"

So funny. So real. So today and fresh. That is Christopher Lloyd's pilot for Modern Family. BRAVO!

Best Drama Writing

My Pick and Prediction: Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, Lost "The End" (ABC)

When you think about what an undertaking writing one of the most anticipated series finales ever must have been, I can't see anyone else winning this category. BUT That is just me.

Best Writing, Miniseries or Made for Television Movie

My Pick: Adam Mazer, You Don't Know Jack (HBO)
My Prediction: Peter Morgan, The Special Relationship (HBO)

Again, The Pacific could win here, but AGAIN they have two of it's parts up against one another - the they could cancel each other out. You Don't Know Jack showed a fair assessment of all parties involved, making it my personal favorite. However, The Special Relationship's script had a bit more political meat on it's bone. We shall see.

Outstanding Writing, Variety Special

My Pick: Bill Maher, Bill Maher ...But I'm Not Wrong (HBO)
My Prediction: Bruce Vilanch & Team, The 82nd Annual Academy Awards (ABC)

I will leap for joy if either Bill Maher or Wanda Sykes win this category. Maher has the edge a tad over Sykes as my personal fave. However, The Academy Awards have historically been the ones to beat in this category. Why should this year be any different? Their quick quips for hosts Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin were priceless.