Posts tagged with "Netflix series"

Griffin Matthews Photography By Carson Davis Brown

Q×A With Griffin Matthews

By Justin Lyons

360 Magazine had the opportunity to sit down with actor, Griffin Matthews, to discuss his successful career. Matthews has been able to work on shows such as Dear White People, Ballers and The Flight Attendantas well as co-writing a successful musical. We were able to discuss his future career plans as well as his activism in the community.

Among acting, writing, directing and other creative positions, which one do you like the best, and which one allows you to best express your own creativity?

I love acting. I love writing. But I ultimately think I’m a director through and through. The responsibility of guiding the entire vision is so exciting to me. It’s such an honor when I get to direct because every story is a little baby that needs to be nurtured properly and guided along her way. And guess what? I’m such a dad. 

How has working with streaming services like Netflix and HBO Max changed the way you address your audience?

When you work on Netflix or HBO you get to really find your unedited voice. You get to be risky, controversial, imperfect, fabulous, complicated, political…I’ve been so lucky to get to work on Dear White People, Ballers and The Flight Attendant because I always felt like I could fire from all cylinders on day one. I did not need to ask for permission. I got to bring my entire self to each role. I got to curse. And kiss boys. And wear g-strings. And travel the world.

How do you use your experience acting in productions like The Flight Attendant to inform and influence your ideas on the stage?

I will always go back to the theater. I’m a theater kid. It’s where I honed my talent. So every experience that I have, I think about how I will translate that to the stage. I was lucky enough to travel the world and meet incredible people and see exotic places while we were shooting The Flight Attendant. I spent afternoons alone rummaging through the Bangkok market and got lost in the streets of Rome. I made friends with strangers and made peace with being a grown man and also homesick. As a writer, I’m a sponge. I soak up life and then look for an opportunity to let the water run out all over the stage.

How do you approach the assembly of a theatre show differently from how you approach the direction of a concert?

I approach concerts the exact same way that I approach theater. When I directed Shoshana Bean and Cynthia Erivo’s holiday concert at The Apollo, we had endless conversations about story and themes and vulnerability. All of those things make for an exciting night in the theater! I think a lot of concert directors only think about pyrotechnics, but I like to think about the heart of the performers. The message. The mission. And let all of those things spill out…and of course, we add some pyrotechnics, too!

How does your activism influence the projects you choose to be involved in or choose to create yourself?

Activism is such a sexy word these days. It seems like everyone claims to be. For me, my personal pledge is to be an activist when everyone’s looking, but more importantly when no one’s looking. That pledge always checks my motives and my ego as I navigate projects and stories that I want to be a part of it. Every time I sign on to a project, I bring my whole self, my whole truth, the parts that are great and the parts that are ugly. That’s what I’ve learned running a nonprofit for over 15 years. So much of the work is tough. It’s messy. But it’s real.

What are you most excited about with your career in the near future?

I’m currently developing a musical series with Ester Dean that will center black queer voices. It’s really exciting because I’m a fan of Ester and her work (Pitch Perfect, songwriter of Katy Perry’s “Firework” and Rihanna’s “Rude Boy”). She’s broken many ceilings in this industry as a songwriter, actor, musician, and host. We both want to create a show where young people (who look like Ester and I) will see their truths accurately and joyfully reflected on screen. I’m also directing a film called The Amish Project by a playwright named Jessica Dickey. When I tell people that I’m working on it, it can raise eyebrows because people don’t often hear about black directors working on pieces that don’t center black narratives. But here’s the thing: black directors want to direct EVERYTHING. And we can. And we will. And I’m excited to finally get my shot!

What is a creative role you haven’t taken up that you’d like to at some point in your career?

I really want to direct for TV. For some reason, the thought scares the hell out of me! There’s so much to manage: logistics, people, locations, safety, technology, performances, but I’m fascinated by it. It’s time for me to tackle that fear and get behind the camera ASAP. 

Photo by Cassandra Yany for 360 magazine

Stranger Things: The Drive Into Experience

By Cassandra Yany

Stranger Things: The Drive Into Experience recently opened in downtown Los Angeles, giving fans the opportunity to enter the world of the hit Netflix series from the safety of their cars. Hidden on Alameda Street, the socially distant event transports you back to 1985 to attend the Hawkins High School Reunion. 

The socially-distant experience begins as you pull into the illuminated parking lot of the Starcourt Mall and tune into the FM radio station where you can hear all of the audio for the event. The pre-show is hosted by Hawkins Middle School science teacher turned emcee, Mr. Clark. The event is immersive right from the start, with Mr. Clark engaging drivers and passengers in different activities such as trivia, a lip sync challenge and a best-dressed contest.

Eighties music blasts through car speakers as vehicles are directed by parking lot attendants disguised as Lynx employees from season three of the series. After guests have their tickets scanned, they are given a menu to order food and beverages directly to their car. Drivers and passengers can place their order online and will be helped by a server dressed as a Scoops Ahoy employee. 

Every aspect of the event is themed, even with face masks being attributed to a “chemical leak” that had occurred in Hawkins. While you are waiting to get into the experience, you can watch Mr. Clark host the event from the stage, and you may even see Eleven or Max amongst the crowd. Mike, Lucas and Will weave through the cars on their bicycles and you might even get the chance to interact with them. 

When it is your turn to enter the experience, you drive past the Starcourt Mall, and into a parking garage where the remainder of the event takes place. As you are entering, Chief Hopper and Murray can be heard over the radio discussing how they have to save Dustin who is stuck under the mall. 

As you enter the experience, you are first greeted by Steve and Robin as Dustin tries to save them from the Russian soldiers who have infiltrated Hawkins and are stationed underneath Starcourt. In the process of doing this, Dustin accidentally released the demogorgon, who is chased through the cars until Steve is successfully able to trap it back into the Upside Down. The trio then enlists drivers and passengers to go and find the mindflayer. 

The next scene brings guests into what looks like the Upside Down where cars are surrounded by eerie red lights and other-worldly sets. Screens depict the mindflayer leaving Will’s body at the end of season two and entering Billy’s during season 3. Soldiers then come around, searching throughout the cars and shining their flashlights into windows. 

The third and final scene leads guests to the roof of the parking garage where the set is made up of a large stage and multiple screens. Billy emerges as the mindflayer from under the stage, and is joined by the other Hawkins residents who have also been “flayed.” Eleven then enters the scene and tries to fight the monster, as the audience is given a look at her past throughout the series. 

After an intense battle where Eleven flies above the crowd, she is victorious in defeating the mindflayer and is embraced on stage by her friends, and greeted by her past self. As the characters exit the stage, the sound of a news station talking about the mysterious events at the mall plays through car speakers. 

Just as you think the experience is over, Dustin and his long-distance girlfriend from science camp, Suzie recreate what is arguably one of the most iconic scenes from the series. From opposite ends of the stage, the couple sing the theme song from the 1894 film The NeverEnding Story, just as they do in the last episode of season 3, creating the perfect, feel-good ending to this one-of-a-kind experience. 

As you exit the experience, guests are given the opportunity to purchase exclusive merchandise. 

This event truly makes guests feel as if they have been placed in an episode of Stranger Things, caught up in the action of Hawkins and the Upside Down. It is the perfect way for super fans to come together safely as a community and feel that they are part of the beloved show. 

The drive into experience is presented by Netflix and Fever with Secret Cinema. Prices for the event vary depending on which day and time customers are purchasing tickets for. Standard Access includes admission and access to the Hawkins Online Portal prior to the event where you can create your student profile. In addition to this, VIP Access includes a special welcome to the event, faster entry and a mystery box containing merchandise, snacks and beverages. 

Guests remain in their car throughout the experience and masks are worn by employees at all times and by drivers and passengers when speaking to the staff. The event is currently scheduled to take place through Sunday, March 7. 

Vijay Mallya illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 MAGAZINE Netflix article.

King of Good Times

By Hannah DiPilato

Last month Netflix released a new documentary that gives an inside look at the corruption and greed of some of India’s most prominent billionaires. The first episode tells the store of Vijay Mallya’s extravagant life that takes a drastic turn. 

Vijay Mallya was born to Vittal Mallya, an entrepreneur who founded the United Breweries Group. When Vijay Mallya was only 28 years old his father died suddenly and Mallya had to follow in his father’s footsteps and run a business empire. 

When Mallya took over his father’s business he shook everyone up with his lifestyle. In an interview, he was compared to Donald Trump to which he responded he was “nowhere near bankruptcy,” an ironic foreshadowing to his future. He also talked about having many enemies. 

Alcohol is not viewed in India as it is in America and in some states of India alcohol is banned. Due to this negative stigma, Mallya needed a different way to advertise his brand. He became a pioneer for different kinds of advertising. He used surrogate advertising to promote his company while keeping the sale of alcohol disguised, instead he advertised soda. The brand was still high profile even if the beer wasn’t what was being advertised. In 1996 the World Cup was hosted in India and Kingfisher launched a campaign with a catchy jingle that was a memorable success. 

Vijay Mallya’s genius was making his lifestyle the centerpiece of the brand. He became known as “the king of good times” and this became Kingfisher’s tagline. He knew how to build his image off of this to make everyone desire the lifestyle he was living. According to Sid Mallya, Kingfisher became “more than just a beer, it became a lifestyle” and everyone aspired to live like the king of good times. Vijay Mallya was one of the first people in India that wasn’t afraid to live lavishly and use his money unapologetically. 

In 2003 Mallya survived a devastating helicopter crash. The ride was only supposed to be a short 45 minutes and Mallya’s executive assistant, Tushita Patel, recounted the terrifying crash in the documentary. It was her first helicopter ride and she thought she was going to die. Mallya survived the crash and said, “Miracles do happen, there’s obviously a message from above.” He believed he would use his “second life” to the fullest.  

Mallya became one of the world’s largest liquor producers, but that wasn’t enough for him; he wanted to be recognized all over the world as more. In one recording he explained he wanted to be “a catalyst for change.” He had an urge to be number one, the boldest and brightest and he would do whatever he could to get there. 

The next year in 2004, Mallay got in touch with Alex Wilcox to help begin the next Kingfisher adventure. Here is where Kingfisher airlines began. Mallya created a promotional video that showed how luxurious and unique flying on Kingfisher airlines would be. Mallay appealed to the rising middle class of India, larger than the population of The United States, and knew this would be the perfect consumer for this new flying experience. This was beneficial to Kingfisher as another way to advertise and promote the flamboyant lifestyle. 

On Sid Mallya’s 18 birthday the airline was officially launched. At first, the airline was a rapid success. The brand focused on high-frequency and low-cost eliminating serving meals and first-class like many other airlines. The airline sent the message “everyone is welcome here.” 

Although the company was thriving, in 2005 Mallya went behind the back of Alex Wilcox and spent billions of dollars on new planes. The airline was no longer going to be the same low-cost service it once was, this was not what the market wanted. The desire to expand the airline began to put Mallya in debt as he borrowed money from the bank. Mallya continued to expand and eventually, Wilcox could no longer help Kingfisher airlines; the two men had different expectations for the future of the company. 

Mallya’s debt continued to grow as he continued to buy into more companies. In 2008, the global economic downturn stopped people from traveling, Kingfisher airlines was not making what it needed to, daily, to survive. The company continued to fall into a pit of large debt through 2009 and 2010. The reports of the business numbers were published and scrutiny of the company was heightened. The flights were even running out of food and the crew was giving away their meals to customers. Although things were bad, Mallya thought he could save his airline. 

By 2011 Mallya was doing everything to save the airline. The workers of Kingfisher were severely underpaid. Many went on strike and the wife of an airline worker committed suicide because of the financial stress. Mallya begged his employees not to turn to the press, but eventually, his true character was revealed. He could have paid off some of his debt out of pocket but refused. Eventually, the license of Kingfisher Airline was suspended, the money had run out and the airline closed. 

When Mallya’s 60 birthday came around in 2015, he did not shy away from another profligate party. This party created a negative view towards Mallya and he was seen as a theft that did not care about the lives of his employees. This tipping point led to an investigation into his finances and prosecutors believed he was hiding his finances. Allegations against him included money laundering and fraud. 

Mallya fled to London with no plan to return against the orders of the government. He said, “I disprove the narrative that I stole money.” He was charged by the UK court for money laundering, conspiracy and cheating. Some argued there are worse criminals that need to be caught, while others declare he is a thief and needs to be prosecuted. His son Sid concluded because this was a “lifestyle brand, he was easier to target.”

Mallya has sold most of his business and as of summer 2020, he remains in London where he continues to fight all charges against him. You can watch the documentary on Netflix along with the next two episodes of Bad Boy Billionaires: India.

Jackie Jacobson, 360 MAGAZINE, Netflix, Malibu Rescue

Actress Jackie R Jacobson

Jackie R Jacobson is one of the fastest rising young actresses with an impressive slate on the horizon. Jackie is currently one of the stars of Netflix’s hit teen comedy “Malibu Rescue.” On the show she plays the co-lead role of ‘Dylan;’ a super-cute-but-overwhelmed prefect of the valley pod.  A bit of a dork and an infamous scatterbrain, Dylan has been deliberately assigned to teach lifeguard training skills to “The Valley Pod” consisting of Tyler (Ricardo Hurtado from Nickelodeon’s “School of Rock”), Eric (Alkoya Brunson), Gina (Breanna Yde) and Lizzie (Abby Donnelly) to ensure they would fail. Justifiably angry with this realization, Dylan is determined for her valley pod to succeed.  “Malibu Rescue” the movie premiered May 13th and the series is set to premiere June 3, 2019 on Netflix!

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Jackie knew she wanted to be an actress at a young age. After landing her first acting gig at 11 years old with “Criminal Minds,” from there she went on to shoot a variety of roles showcasing her versatility. Past credits include guest-starring roles on “The Night Shift,” “Bella and the Bulldogs,” and “Game Shakers” just to name a few.

When she isn’t acting, Jackie is an outspoken advocate for American Diabetes Association & The Alzheimer’s Foundation, both causes that have directly affected her family.

Jackie resides in LA with her family and toy Pomeranian named Chicken Wings.