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In this filmmakers video learn about the importance of Harold Ramis in the film industry.
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Film History Biography of Harold Ramis Hi this is Mike from the substream.com and this is an episode of The Very Important Dudes and Dudettes in Film History Show. Harold Ramis is one of our favourite actors, writers and directors. To celebrate the release of his first feature film and I think five years, we’re going to take a quick sprint through his really impressive, really kind of ugly, underappreciated while at the same time, being spectacularly well known history and body of work. The dude’s criminally underappreciated. When you look at that body of work, stuff that he’s done over the past 30 years writing, directing and acting, it becomes clear that it’s really weird that he’s not recognized as one of the major cinematic talents of his generation. A lot of that disregard I guess, is obviously due to the fact that comedy is never been seen as being as worthy of respect or critical praise or serious scrutiny and study as drama; especially not the kind of screwball stuff that Ramis has specialized over the course of his career. He started out in the Second City Theatre in Chicago, working with John Belushi. And from there, he went to New York to work on the National Lampoon Radio Hour with guys like Chevy Chase and Gilda Radner. He didn’t spend some time working with Bull Murray and Christopher Guest and people like. With his weird RD video collection called TVTV that was founded by a bunch of people including Michael Shamberg. And they were among the generation of people that picked up Sony Portapak Video Cameras, which were available in late 60’s and became the first legitimately, cheap alternative to film filmmaking. And with this rig that you can put on your back and had a camera that would send a signal down the wire into the VCR thing that you were suppose to carry around and, this guy’s give you TV including people that would later go on to winter ant farm kind of just happen to kick off forty years of video art with the stuff that they were doing in the late 60’s and early 70’s. And Harold Ramis was a part of at least some of those productions which is really neat. Ramis then spent some time working as the Head Writer and occasional performer on the Canadian TV show the first two seasons of it SCTV. He then left to go, become incredibly famous and incredibly wealthy which he did starting out by creating a movie called Animal House, which completely changed the path and direction of cinematic comedy forever. We’re still feeling the reverberations of that film. He then wrote Meatballs which co-starred Bill Murray and was for a long time and still is one of the financially successful Canadian films of all time. Something you probably are not going to say about the remake is coming up. For his third film, he decided what he was going to do is co-write and direct, make his directorial debut with the film called Caddyshak. Are you starting to kind of see the direction that this guy’s career is taking? He decided to relax a little bit then and he directed the National Lampoon Vacation film; and then co-wrote and starred in the Ghostbusters Movie. For the next nine years his career was kind of the, a lot of sequels Ghostbusters II, Caddyshak II, some movies with John Candy and Rodney Dangerfield. But in 1993, he directed his masterpiece, the absolutely, shockingly, critically underappreciated Groundhog Day with Bill Murray. When the film came out, it was kind of successful and it’s been undergoing kind of a critical reappraisal by people who are starting to recognize how good of a film it is and it started to make its way into the Top 20 Films of the 1990’s, Top 15 Films of 1984 to 1989 kind of thing. But it’s still underappreciated it’s an absolute work of art, incredibly well-made, funny, and incredibly well-acted and indeed most kind of the beginning of the proof that Bill Murray wasn’t just a goofball but actually incredibly talented actor. So if you haven’t seen it, part and get into a blockbuster it’s an incredibly well-made film. Deciding I guess that he hadn’t worked yet with all the people, would’ve been funny in Hollywood for the past forty years. He’s directed the Judd Apatow produced, Year One, which stars Jack Black and Michael Cera which comes out on Friday. Harold Ramis is absolutely one of our favourite filmmakers working. And truly should be seen as one of the most important dudes and dudettes in film history. He’s incredibly funny, talented actor, writer and director; and he should be up there with the greats of this generational filmmakers. God damn it and the fact that he’s not is an outrage. That was a joke. But seriously he’s a really talented guy. And he should be winning awards for himself.