C.J.: Minnetonka grad’s in the ‘viz’ biz on Braff film

  • Article by: C.J. , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 5, 2014 - 7:41 PM

Filmmaker “Scrubs” alum Zach Braff used Kickstarter to finance “Wish I Was Here.”

Zach Braff is a hugger, according to Ari Feblowitz.

A 2009 graduate of Minnetonka High, Feblowitz got plenty of hugs while working on “Wish I Was Here,” a movie screened at Sundance and controversially financed through the Kickstarter website. Braff directed the movie he co-wrote with his brother Adam Braff.

From Feblowitz, I learned to say “viz,” as in visualization.

“I worked in preproduction in something called previsualization,” the son of photographer Gary Feblowitz and real estate agent Sonja Dalbey told me. “It’s a process of planning out the movie, in digital storyboards. You animate everything, set up the camera, put the lights in and film a whole scene in a computer before they ever film it. And Zach would be like, Oh, what if we move the camera and what if we move this guy over and set up a light here?” said Feblowitz, who said his title was “lead post-viz artist.”

Feblowitz told me he landed this job after interning with Trevor Tuttle, “the pre-viz and post-viz supervisor for ‘Oz, the Great and Powerful.’ ”

Feblowitz came off the set with stories.

“I talked to Kate Hudson. It was one of those scenes where the actors were wearing not a lot of clothing. Everyone had to clear the set. I had to hide in a closet, ’cause I had to be on set to make visuals come up on a screen. At one point Kate Hudson poked her head in the closet and said, Are you OK in there?

Jim Parsons, CBS’ “Big Bang Theory” guy, walked by one day. “I was talking to this 15-year-old kid,” when a conversation ensued about whether those standing around could meet Parsons. “I was like, ‘No, he’s probably way too busy.’ Next thing I know the 15-year-old is just gone. Next thing you know he’s walking down the street with Jim Parsons … and says I have some friends I’d like you to meet. Jim shakes hands with all of us. Goes Hi, I’m Jim. Hi, I’m Jim. Hi, I’m Jim. Very kind of nerdy and awkward, even in real life.

“[With] Zach, the personality you know him for in the TV show [NBC’s ‘Scrubs’] is very accurate to how he is in real life. Really, really funny. Always telling jokes. Very open arms. Down to earth. He’ll just go grab you food. … He just like gives you big hugs. I am pretty sure every set I was on in college the director never gave you the time of day. But [Braff] would come up, pat you on the back and say How are you doing? I would think but not say out loud, ‘You’re directing a movie right now.’ ”

New anchor ‘a smarty cookie’

Get ready for the second coming of Pat Miles.

Word around Fox 9 is that Kelcey Carlson will remind viewers of the former WCCO-TV and KARE 11 anchor who charmed the Twin Cities.

A North Carolina anchor whose first day on the air is Sunday, Carlson hasn’t a hint of prima donna in her, plus she has blue eyes that pop and a twang in her voice reminiscent of Miles’. Carlson was also well-versed about this market during interviews. Could she have been helped by a news colleague in Michigan, Mark Albert, late of KSTP-TV?

“I just told her what I really enjoyed about the Twin Cities was that everyone consumes news, it’s a great news town. I was kind of giving her the lay of the land,” Albert said Wednesday, taking no credit for Carlson knocking her interviews out of the newsroom. “Kelcey is a smart cookie. I’m sure she did her own homework.”

Timberlake cupcakes

Justin Timberlake doesn’t look like much of a cupcake eater.

St. Paul’s X is showing its appreciation for the Sunday stop on his “20/20 Experience” tour with some special JT-inspired cupcakes from Buttered Tin, 100 packs of golf tees inscribed with the name of this tour and a donation on behalf of the avid golfer to the First Tee St. Paul, a charity that provides facilities and educational programs to improve the lives of young people.

I hope that the insanely talented JT brings his Ely native wife, actor Jessica Biel, and that she’s caught dancing at the X in a photo that is then e-mailed to me.

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