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Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz

The reality gurus behind Magical Elves

Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz, the minds behind Magical Elves, the developers and producers of “Project Runway,” “Top Chef,” and the upcoming “Step It Up and Dance.” Also, “Air Guitar Nation,” currently airing on VH1.

Book I’m reading:
Dan: “Pompeii” by Robert Harris
Jane: “Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood” by Alexandra Fuller

Three books that mean a lot to me:
Jane: “Stars and Bars” by William Boyd
“The Liars’ Club” by Mary Karr
“Hug” by Jez Alborough (I read it to my one year old every night… several times)
Dan: “Goodbye to All That” by Robert Graves
“Moonfleet” by John Meade Falkner
“Rubaiyat” by Omar Khayyam

Last film I saw:
Dan: “Control,” directed by Anton Corbijn. Brooding depiction of the intolerable burden of fronting a post-punk band and enduring the Manchester weather.
Jane: “Knocked Up,” directed by Judd Apatow. Did I mention my one-year old?

Three films that mean a lot to me:
Jane:Gallipoli,” directed by Peter Weir
“Almost Famous,” directed by Cameron Crowe
“Air Guitar Nation,” directed by Alexandra Lipsitz (The hilarious documentary about the first US air guitar championships – see dream project below)
Dan: “Brazil,” directed by Terry Gilliam
“Withnail & I,” directed by Bruce Robinson
“Three Amigos,” directed by John Landis
I guess the ‘80s were the golden age of film.

Who do you think is the best actor in Hollywood at the moment? (male or female)
Cate Blanchett

Who do you think was the brightest star of the silver screen?
Richard Burton

If you could play any real-life person in a movie, who would it be and why?
Dan: I guess I would reprise my role as David, whom I portrayed in a play at Avebury Church in 1976. The climactic scene in which I slew Goliath (played by my teacher Mr. Jackson) is still talked about in hushed tones.
Jane: Ok, well then I guess I’d reprise my role as The Little Leftover Witch (not a real person although it seemed so in the third grade)

Who do you look to for inspiration?
Our parents

Song currently playing in my iPod:
Dan: “Hairy Trees,” Goldfrapp
Jane: “Ra Ma Da Sa,” Snatam Kaur

Three songs that mean a lot to me:
Jane: “Fall At Your Feet,” Crowded House
“Smile,” Flickerstick
“Knocks Me Off My Feet,” Stevie Wonder
Dan: “You Belong To Me,” Bob Dylan
“My Friend,” Groove Armada
“Who Knows Where the Time Goes,” Fairport Convention

Concert that changed your life:
Flickerstick, Harlow & Soulcracker at House of Blues 2001.

Guilty pleasures
* TV: “Celebrity Apprentice”/ “Law & Order:SVU” marathons. Many a lost weekend…
* Film: “The Devil Wears Prada”, “Glitter”, “Showgirls”
* Reading material: The Sun (UK newspaper)/ US Weekly
* Web sites: Andy’s Blog at BravoTV.com
* YouTube video: Nothing we feel guilty about

Who is your inner Muppet?Jane: I’d like to think Kermit – although those around me would probably say Miss Piggy
Dan: The Count. Enthusiastic, friendly, but slightly dark.

Best hangover remedy?
Chocolate ice cream

What’s the biggest upside of the Internet and what is its biggest downside?
Upside: iTunes.
Downside: Email

What advice would you give to someone trying to break into your profession?Dan: Someone once told me “You can be lazy, or stupid, but you can’t be both”. Words to live by.

Do you have a dream project?:
We turned a crazy hare-brained scheme for a TV show into a documentary film that won audience awards at festivals all over the country, was released theatrically all over the world and is about to start airing on VH1. It’s called Air Guitar Nation and it’s one of our proudest creative achievements. No less an authority than the Central Ohio Film Critics Association named it the best overlooked film of 2007.

What helps you get out of bed in the morning?:
Dan: My three-year old twins are pretty effective.
Jane: As is my one-year old.

Who was your celebrity crush growing up?
Dan: Debbie Harry
Jane: Scott Baio

Are there any activities you do to make you feel un-famous?
Many! We famous people are really a lot like you.

Would you rather see a Lakers game next to Jack Nicholson or a Knicks game next to Spike Lee?
Dan: England cricket match at Lord’s next to Mick Jagger.
Jane: Dan is a pompous ass.

What is the single worst purchase you’ve made in the past year?
Our new editing systems have been nothing but trouble.

What is the real reason behind answering these questions?
Dan: I love attention.
Jane: To watch Dan being a pompous ass.

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