Friday, August 27, 2010

MTV Teen Mom: Interview with Morgan J. Freeman

Director Of MTV Teen Mom
REMEMBERING the glory days is easy, but Morgan J. Freeman remembers the nadir just as clearly. It was March 2003, and he had traded in his house in the Echo Park section of Los Angeles for his old room in his parents’ house in nearby Long Beach. Hollywood had shredded Mr. Freeman to bits, and this indie director was ready to head back to New York, where he’d last been a success.

One last wild night couldn’t hurt, right?

He slept through his flight and woke up to derision. “I just remember my mom, the way she looked at me that day,” he said recently, during an interview on the High Line, near his West Village office. “Like, at 33, this is how I showed up.”

At 27, he’d been doing far better. The first feature he directed, “Hurricane Streets,” a story of the tension between morality and reality as seen through the lens of a headstrong and streetwise New York teenager, had been the first dramatic film to win three awards at Sundance: the audience favorite, as well as prizes for directing and cinematography.

But Mr. Freeman had burned hot and fast, never again approaching the acclaim of his Hollywood debut. It took submergence in another world altogether for him to get his resurrection. Now 40, he is the executive producer of “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom,” tandem docu-series that have helped reposition MTV’s reality slate from tracking the lives of the young, beautiful and rich to capturing the lives of the young, beautiful and resilient.

Though the medium may be different and the subjects real, it’s a full-circle move for Mr. Freeman, whose early characters were just the sort who could have ended up on a show like “16 and Pregnant,” cocksure and naïve, not inclined to make bad decisions so much as unsure of how to avoid them.

Marcus, the protagonist of “Hurricane Streets,” evolved from a character Mr. Freeman had originally written based on his own mischievous childhood antics. He met Brendan Sexton III, the actor who would give the role intense life, on the set of “Welcome to the Dollhouse,” the Todd Solondz film that won the 1996 Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. Mr. Freeman had hustled his way from production assistant to second assistant director on that film, in charge of supervising its young stars, Heather Matarazzo and Mr. Sexton.

“He was genuinely interested in my thoughts and what I had to say,” said Mr. Sexton, who remains close to Mr. Freeman.

From “Dollhouse,” Mr. Freeman — not to be confused with Morgan Freeman, the actor — took a charmed, fast path to “Hurricane Streets,” quickly securing an initial $60,000 in financing and shooting over a few weeks in the summer of 1995. “I loved ‘400 Blows,’ all the antihero kind of movies,” said Mr. Freeman, who was still attending film school at New York University while he was shooting “Hurricane” in and around downtown Manhattan. When the film won at Sundance, though, Mr. Freeman was no longer just a film student with outsized ambition and ego.

“It was like ‘Entourage’ was starting,” he said. “I really had a sense that I’d arrived, and I was going to do it my way. I wouldn’t even go in and take certain meetings. I was so set I was going to be Woody Allen, Quentin Tarantino. I was only going to direct what I wrote.” It was the height of the independent film movement, and thumbing one’s nose at standard Hollywood practices seemed like a potentially viable career route.

“It went to all of our heads,” Mr. Sexton said. “He and I both suffered from a combination of arrogance and naïveté.” (“Hurricane Streets” remains an artifact of the day: it’s never been available on DVD or on any online streaming site.)

Mr. Freeman’s follow-up film, “Desert Blue,” had an undercooked script and was rejected from Sundance, the first sign of gloom on the horizon. “You don’t get to make a second film twice,” Mr. Freeman said. He had no third script, but “at this point,” he admitted, “people weren’t very interested in financing my ideas.” Neither of his first two films had been commercial successes. At the same time he was falling in with a fast Hollywood crowd: “the right clubs with the right people at the table.” He was publicly linked with the actress Michelle Williams, then a star of “Dawson’s Creek,” on which he’d worked briefly.

Over the next couple of years everything crumbled. His relationships were unhappy. His representation cut him loose. He struggled with substance abuse. “You never knew what you got when you invited me places,” he said. “You invite me to your graduation, I may show up and throw up on someone, or I may not show up.”

Concerned e-mails were exchanged among Mr. Freeman’s family, colleagues and close friends. His brother, who was beginning his own family, told him he wouldn’t be welcome around the dinner table. Mr. Sexton finally confronted Mr. Freeman on his misbehavior “after we’d both crashed and burned some more,” letting him know, “We’ll help you get well if you want to get well.”

A happenstance meeting led Mr. Freeman to MTV, as a director on the first season of “Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County,” the pioneering reality-soap about the indolent, suntanned youth of Southern California, during which he helped shape that show’s visual grammar: cool, spacious and patient. He was also an executive producer on the “Up” series by the British documentarian Michael Apted and one season of “Maui Fever,” about surfers in Hawaii.

“He was young, had a maverick eye and knew how to bridge the gap between vérité and cinematic film language,” said Tony DiSanto, MTV’s president for programming.

By comparison “16 and Pregnant,” about young moms-to-be and “Teen Mom” are rougher around the edges, an evolution for an audience perhaps fatigued with the visual flawlessness of the earlier shows. Mr. Freeman is an executive producer on both shows (through his company, 11th Street Productions), no longer a director, though he still aspires to bring some of his old filmic impulses to the show: “I like to get nice establishing shots and cutaway details and to build a richness in the story.”

The second season of “16 and Pregnant” averaged 2.4 million viewers per episode. “Teen Mom,” which follows the lives of four women who initially appeared in the premiere season of “16 and Pregnant,” has averaged 3.3 million viewers per episode this season. It has also emerged as a surprising pop-cultural phenomenon: Two of its stars, Farrah and Maci, were on the cover of Us Weekly this month, grinning and hoisting their toddlers high.

The shows have become “an unexpected franchise,” Mr. DiSanto said, noting that initially, the network felt “16 and Pregnant” would be driven more by concept than casting. But now that some of the mothers have graduated to “Teen Mom,” that show is “almost becoming ‘The Hills,’ a cast-driven show,” he said. (This season of “Teen Mom” will conclude next month, and the third season of “16 and Pregnant,” with a new cast, is scheduled to begin in October.)

Mr. Freeman has become attached to the shows’ stars, even envisioning the possibility of sticking with these young women through motherhood’s various stages — “first words, first walks, first conversations “ — in the spirit of the “Up” series. “It would be amazing for Morgan to be the guy to bring the Apted thing to MTV,” Mr. DiSanto said.

Barring that Mr. Freeman sees many untapped teenage stories yet to be told. “Can we shine a light on truancy? Can we shine the light on the dropout rate?”

Mr. Sexton said that the teenage years are a natural milieu for Mr. Freeman. “He’s a jubilant, exuberant, youthful person,” he said. “He respects teenagers and respects them as a voice.”

And now Mr. Freeman is finally equipped to handle success. “I have two shows that are working,” he said. “I don’t take that lightly.” He has a place in Brooklyn with a backyard. He’s in a healthy relationship. “I feel like I should go buy a briefcase,” he said.

“What a travesty my life would have been if those had been hits,” he continued, speaking of his early films. “I would be dead.”

Thursday, August 26, 2010

VIDEO: Tyler Will Do His Easter Basket, And Catelynn Will Do Hers.

We were relieved to see Catelynn come completely clean to Tyler about her ex-boyfriend on this week's episode of "Teen Mom." While Ty considered making some less-than-mature decisions (like wanting to go through her phone records), he ultimately made a personal breakthrough by deciding to stop allowing his childhood pain affect his current relationship. Hopefully that's what the two need to move forward together.

Check out this bonus scene for the episode, where Tyler seems annoyed at the thought of visiting the adoption agency with Catelynn. Even though he's very excited to see photos of their daughter, Carly, the experience might actually be eclipsed by his anger.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Interview With A Teen Dad: Tyler Opens Up About Love And Loss

The original focus of "Teen Mom" was to highlight the ups and downs young women face when raising a child born from an unexpected pregnancy, but since the series first aired, we've also gotten a unique opportunity to see the babies' dads struggle to find their own place in this brave, new world. One such dad is Tyler, who together with his girlfriend Catelynn made the heartbreaking decision of planning an open adoption for their daughter Carly.

Since Season 1, we've caught many glimpses of Tyler's sadness and confusion, but it's his supportiveness of Catelynn that's attracted the most attention on "Teen Mom" -- that is, until lately. As Season 2 moves forward, fans of the show are witnessing Ty's delayed acceptance and unresolved resentment as he finally begins to explore his own raw emotions, which is why we thought it was time to sit down with him for a personal interview.

Below, watch two clips from SuChin Pak's one-on-one with the sweet, caring father/fiance we've all grown to love. In the first video, Tyler explains that he's come to terms with his own father's weaknesses and limitations, which has put his mind at peace. In the second, he describes his selfless dream for Carly.

Teen Mom (Season 2) > Teen Mom (Season 2) | Ep. 6 | Act 1

So disappointed that there was no teen mom last night as I am sure there are others out there who were just as disappointed to the same why could they have not put that movie they aired on a different night or a different time. Here is next weeks sneak peak for the upcoming and new show to air next week August 31st at 10 pm cant wait to blog this one not sure how blogging is gonna really work this week since we had no show I guess I can be grateful they showed old shows but that doesn't help me and you my readers at all huh so if you have any ideas for me to blog about please feel free to tell me i don't want to louse you my readers or my followers either thanks heather.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

MTV's Teen Mom: Episode 5 Recap "Secrets and Lies"

Last night's episode 5 of MTV's hit show, Teen Mom, was filled with challenges, arguments, and new love.The episode was was cleverly titled "Secrets and Lies." Oh and of course there were secrets and lies (read: Amber). Here's what went down.

Maci, Bentley's mom, introduced her son to Kyle, her new boyfriend. At first Bentley was extremely shy hiding behind a couch, but he eventually warmed up to Kyle. Before you knew it he was giving him kisses and in a preview for next week he called Kyle "da-da." Uh oh, Ryan. Maci seems to be approaching the relationship like an adult and is upfront with Kyle about what he is signing up for. Despite everything, Kyle seems to really care about Maci and the couple seems pretty serious. Hopefully Bentley is more like his mother than his father. Check out what Maci has to say during the MTV aftershow.

Farrah and her daughter, Sophia are struggling to get by. Farrah is determined more than ever to support her family alone and last night she learned the hard way. She decided to sell her car and ended up getting scammed $3,000. She broke down to her friend Christina and confessed how stupid she felt and how this is all such a struggle. She said, "I'm not used to all this." Farrah is strong willed to make things work, but at what cost? Sophia seems to get the cold shoulder from her over-worked and stressed mama. Maybe Farrah should consider reuniting with her parents.

Katelyn and Tyler received new pictures of their adopted daughter, Carly. The couple still seem so attached to their daughter and really miss her. Tyler kept accusing Katelyn of lying and demanded to see her cell phone records. Katelyn seemed pretty torn up the whole episode and Tyler finally decided that he needs to trust her and that he has his own issues he's struggling with. These two have been on a rocky road lately, but them seem to be in it for the long run.

Gary and Amber. Ah, this couple can be described in one word - dysfunctional. Amber constantly fights with Gary and he can never do enough. For Easter she had him dress up as the Easter bunny for Leah and she was constantly nagging him to suck it up. But the weird part was that Gary wasn't complaining. The couple told Gary's family that they are engaged for the third time and when his family wasn't too pleased (hm, wonder why) Amber walked out. Classy. There's no doubt that these two will argue forever, yet they can't seem to end things. Poor Leah sees and hears all the fights which can't be a great foundation for a childhood.
Teen Mom really gives viewers an inside look at parenthood. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Last night's episode was another A+ in my book.

NEW YORK - MAY 05: TV Personality from MTV's 'Teen Mom' Maci Bookout attends The Candie's Foundation Event To Prevent at Cipriani 42nd Street on May 5, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Go Check out are new message board

Topics of conversation are starting  back  there on are message boards now so feel free check them out comment on what is alreadys been started or start your own post for us to comment on.  so feel free to check them out or feel free to post something your self if you are signed up for the blog let the chatting begin cause lords knows how much a girl loves to chat about things she thinks and likes to talk about and since you have joined my blog you must love the show teen mom as much as i do let the chatting begin girls

I hope every one is rooting for this couple like me: Catelynn and Tyler

Catelynn and Tyler look like there relationship is seriously on some rocky ground this week. On teen mom and I think Catelynn thought that it was seriously going to end at some point soon. Because of the way that Tyler the one who was so strong for her in the past got really mean towards her. By  first asking her for phone records from three years back.  Since she talked to the ex boy friend in Florida lots of tears were shed this week from Catelynn because of the way Tyler  treated her.

And Catelynn chatted the Tyler about the phone records and she told him that she talked to the ex in Flordia a total of only twice but that she also tried 6 times to talk to he and her got into a heated conversation were it ends in Tyler leaving the room after Catelynn trys bringing in the baby carylee into it thats when Tyler i guess decides he has had enough and walks out .

       Catelynn then talks to the counselor that they have been seeing about what was going on because she was hurting so bad and she couldn't talk to her mom about it cause her mom was in a bad mood. And Catelynn tells the counselor that he has requested her to give him phone records she also told her that  Tyler has been being really mean to her and texting her mean things to her telling her that the sight of her disgusts him and that she tried to sit down and talk to him about everything that was going on. And then  she got some encouraging words from the counselor telling her to hang in there and things will get better and that maybe she needs to back off a little and give him a little space to breath its obvious that he still wants to be with her other wise they wouldn't be seeing her.

       Catelynn and Tyler then get some Easter Baskets to send to there daughter and they get to see new photos of her and Catelynn then tells her mom that she wants to try and talk to him again about the phone records but she says she is not going to push it . Catelynn then gets the phone records from the phone company that Tyler  requested from her and Tyler has a nice conversation with his mom outside in the back yard and though that conversation comes to realize that he really does love Catelynn. And Catelynn worries about giving the records to Tyler considering how mean he has been to her and the fact that he is what she says is so mad at her and he texts to tell her that he is sorry and that he really does love her and he requests to see her And she gives him the phone records which since he has told her sorry they end up kissing and making up and tyler shreds and throws the records  out into the water .
            And tells her that he is going to do his best to trust her and have the faith in her that he knew was there for her all along i think tyler may need to go in to some of his own counsling because of the things that seem to bother him about his and his dads realionship does anyone eles feel this way cause when he was talking to his mom he expressed thoughts there with his and his dads reaionship so maybe that is gonna need some work in the near future for Tyler some how i have noticed that every time he talks about him and Catelynn and the things going on with them some how his dad alawys gets brought into that too not really sure what this is all about but just some thoughts from me and wondering what its all about  feel free to tell me what you think would love to hear from you