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Bat Facts

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  1. Bat Facts

    Episode 253. Cats

    Okay, one last comment. Jason mentioned the green screen issue. From the special features, it's clear that they used some other method where the actors/dancers were recorded using transponders in their suits rather than visual dots which would be painted on (though the faces had the reference dots and cat makeup painted on). They don't go too closely into detail, but this recorded multiple actors at once and their positions relative to each other and the set. You can see they are wearing weird white coresets with antennae coming out of small packs on their backs in the DVD features. It's mentioned briefly in this youtube clip, but not really and mostly shows the rehearsals: I don't recommend the commentary for the film, but the other special features are interesting to see how pivotal it seems Taylor Swift was in getting this greenlit and how everyone seems pretty optimistic about the finished project.
  2. Bat Facts

    Episode 253. Cats

    No one has mentioned Kimmy Schmidt's terrific send up of CATS the play where it's something of an Emperor's New Clothes. Webber had just won a Tony for Evita in 1980 and CATS came out in 1981. I can easily imagine that it could be embarrassing to admit you didn't "get it" at the time and everyone has just accepted it. My favorite bit of trivia of this movie is that Idris Elba, who himself is allergic to cats, had been named People's Sexiest Man of the Year in November 2018, a month after he accepted the role of Macavity. My personal theory is that Macavity is a lost pet, which is why there are signs with his face on them, though many of the signs switch during the first song from being about human things to cat things/puns to signify we are entering the jellicle world.
  3. Bat Facts

    Episode 253. Cats

    This was Judi Dench's role in the original cast before she broke her ankle and had to be replaced. She was also going to be Jennyanydots since the show allows for some actors to play multiple parts. There are a lot of weird choices in this movie that only make sense for fans of the Broadway production, like Jennyanydots unzipping her skin. That's a reference to an onstage costume change where she removes basically a fur coat and then has sequins on and does a dance. I think the film would have been better received among a certain demographic if they had leaned further into the weird horniness and went full-furry instead of falling into the uncanny valley. I also remember seeing a paper (which I admit I haven't read) which mentions that people on the autism spectrum may not experience the uncanny valley effect in the same way as neurotypical individuals. I don't know if Tom Hooper is on the spectrum, but that could be an explanation for why production proceeded in this direction. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6211702/
  4. Bat Facts

    Episode 247 - 2:22 (Live in Portland)

    The average annual salary for an air traffic controller was $118,430 as of May 2012, according to the Bureau or Labor Statistics. The top 10 percent earned more than $171,340 per year. The federal government paid air traffic controllers an average of $121,470. According to Glass Door the average income for pilot: $78,566/yr Assuming these figures are accurate, and they probably vary a bit, that’s a $40k pay cut, with a LOT of traveling. Probably not the best choice choice for a new father.
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