Media Life: Auburn's "Juno" credits creator to reveal creative secrets

Ophir's "Deadliest Catch" photog back on TV; WWE winner from Auburn;artist Ramirez hot
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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If you saw the hit film "Juno," you probably were struck by the quirky quality of the opening title sequence. It shows its Academy Award-nominated star Ellen Page strolling from the real world into a minimalistic cartoon landscape, and back again, just in time to start the plot up - all the time holding a bottle of Sunny D sloshing away in one hand. Page herself is transformed into a tinted, primitively photographed version of herself. If you're curious about the creative process involved to get that original vision onscreen, its creators will be providing a talk in Auburn after today's 5:30 p.m. "Juno" showing at the Old State Theater. Gareth Smith, who grew up in Auburn and is now based in Los Angeles, played a major role in the credits. Shadowplay, the design studio he founded six years ago, is given the co-credit for the credits. Smith and artist Jenny Lee share credit as the creative team behind the opening credits. Shadowplay had already collaborated on "Juno" director Jason Reitman's 2005 movie "Thank You For Smoking." Reitman brought Smith et al into the film early on and the rest is Tinseltown history. Both Smith and Lee will be at the venerable State Theater to talk about the creation of the "Juno" sequence. The usual theater admission prices apply for the "Juno" showing. CATCH ON If the names Sig Hansen, Johnathan Hillstrand and Phil Harris get you yearning for salt water and snow crab, it's time to climb aboard legendary Alaskan fishing vessels Time Bandit, Northwestern and Carnelia Marie for another season of "Deadliest Catch" on the Discovery Channel. The TV version of the season starts this Tuesday and Ophir's Doug Stanley will be onboard and back behind the lens as director of photography for the show. Doug, an adventurer who served a stint as a Grand Canyon River guide, has been Emmy-nominated the past two years for his work on the program. He's also seen his share of media attention - most recently sharing the spotlight with members of the crabbing fleet in a feature article this past week in the New York Times. Stanley weighed in on the wild life at the fishing port of Dutch Harbor, noting being threatened a couple of times and witnessing a few knock-down-drag-out bar fights in a town where many don't warm to the attention "Deadliest Catch" is heaping on them. But Stanley said those threats can sometimes mean a certain level of acceptance and respect - in a kind of haywire way. "There are still guys who would like to beat us up," Stanley told the Times. "Just for the sport of it, because we're members of the community now." RAMIREZ TALK The recently revealed cache of Martin Ramirez drawings is continuing to excite. Maine Antiques Digest reported the drawings were "the talk of the show" at the recent American Antiques Show in New York. The report by Lita Solis-Cohen noted that Ramirez' use of primary colors in the new drawings - dating from about 1960 to 1963 - were a rarity in his work. The works were initially given by Ramirez to Auburn doctor Max Dunievitz, who his family credits with providing the colored pencils that allowed his progression into more color in the drawings. By the end of the preview night, four works on view at the Ricco Maresca Gallery stand had been sold and the Manhattan art dealer had three more leaning against a wall that were also spoken for, the report said. The big splash should come this fall when the Museum of American Folk Art in New York displays a large sampling of the more than 100 drawings that had been stored in a Dunievitz family member's garage - on top of a fridge and below where the cat slept. The drawings are being housed under more climatically controlled conditions in a Brooklyn warehouse. WWE HONORS Comparing body slams with the WWE's finest at the wrestling colossus' Bacon, Bagels and Biceps Breakfast March 30 would be sweet enough for fans like Auburn's Ruben Duarte. But to also get the invite to fly to Orlando, Fla. for WrestleMania XXIV was about as big as it can get in the world of wrestling. Duarte joined nearly 75,000 fans at the Citrus Bowl watching the event live. Duarte, a student at Auburn's E.V. Cain School, was one of three youths aged 10 to 17 from around the country who were honored in the WWE Community Champion contest for making a considerable difference in their community or overcoming significant personal adversity. Duarte battled adversity after losing a parent and ended up being nominated for the award by his teachers, neighbors and grandmother. One of his recent accomplishments was finishing first in the school's food drive competition. A sixth-grader, Duarte was praised by his teachers as an example to his peers, a WWE spokesman said. Media Life's Gus Thomson can be reached at or (530) 852-0232.