When the Oscars are handed out on Sunday, the red carpet, the ceremony, the films and people who are honored, will be all about being seen. But there's a group of actors who will never be seen on screen. They're only heard — and barely.

Loopers are voice actors whose work begins after the show or film is shot and edited. Their job is to record what people in the background of a scene could be saying. Their dialogue is never really heard at full volume — and it's mostly ad-libbed.

File photo of Seattle skyline.
Flickr Photo/clappstar (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman speaks with The Stranger's David Schmader about the movie version of the bestselling book, "Fifty Shades of Grey." Both the book and the movie are set in downtown Seattle.

When an Abu Dhabi film company, Image Nation, asked filmmaker Tom Roberts last summer to come up with an idea for a documentary about polio, he was flummoxed.

When Beth Barrett was a girl, she and her mother had a Christmas ritual.

"My mom and I would watch 'The Sound of Music,'" says Barrett, now director of programming for SIFF, the organization that produces the annual Seattle International Film Festival. For her, the holidays weren't complete with this familiar cinematic ritual.

Couch Fest seeks to bring strangers together for a unique movie watching experience.
Flickr Photo/Mike Harber (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Jeannie Yandel talks with Couch Fest founder Craig Downing about why he thought a film festival where strangers get together in different houses to watch short films could help alleviate the "Seattle freeze."

Inside the Harvard Exit movie theater, which will be closing in January 2015.
Flickr Photo/Andi Szilagyi

Marcie Sillman talks to Lyall Bush, executive director of the Northwest Film Forum, about the cultural legacy of the Harvard Exit Theater and what it's closing means for this area.

The theater revised its number of seats down from 798 to 570. The seats are leather and offer enough leg room for an average size adult woman to fully extend her legs (claim tested).
KUOW Photo/Posey Gruener

The Cinerama, a property managed by Paul Allen's Vulcan Real Estate, has reopened after an extensive, top-of-the-line renovation. Marcie Sillman speaks with Jennifer Bean, director of the cinema and media studies program at the University of Washington, about the history of Seattle's Cinerama, and the ways that movie theaters lure moviegoers into their seats.


Ross Reynolds speaks with author and filmmaker Sebastian Junger about his latest project, “Last Patrol,” an HBO documentary about two soldiers and two war journalists hiking along 300 miles of  railroad tracks from Washington, D.C. to Pennsylvania.

Junger is an American journalist and author of the best-selling book "The Perfect Storm." In recent years he has chronicled stories of men at war in award-winning documentary films including "Restrepo."

Eight years after his death, James Brown is suddenly everywhere.

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Seattle cinephiles were shocked and saddened when the venerable Egyptian Theater shut its doors in 2013.

Built as a Masonic Temple in 1915, the historic building on Pine and Broadway was transformed into a movie house in 1980.

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

Georgia Durante's life has taken some unexpected turns. She was a model for Kodak — a "Kodak Girl" — who went on to do TV and commercial work as a stunt driver. In the '90s, she appeared in Chevrolet ads and was the stunt double for Cindy Crawford in a Pepsi commercial.

Film director John Sayles is in town with his partner in life and film, Maggie Renzi, ahead of the Port Townsend Film Festival. The two spoke with KUOW’s Marcie Sillman about their unique journey in filmmaking.

Sayles traces his interest in filmmaking back to his childhood. His family would head to a drive-in theater for hours of entertainment.

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Marcie Sillman interviews Seattle filmmaker Lynn Shelton about her sixth feature film, "Laggies," which opens SIFF's Women in Cinema Festival. The movie will have a wide theatrical release in October.

Jeannie Yandel talks with documentarian Ken Burns about what makes a good story. His new series, "The Roosevelts," airs September 14 on PBS.

Gillian Flynn's novel, "Gone Girl."

Welcome to the scary summer reading edition of Speakers Forum. This week you’ll be encouraged by our guest Gillian Flynn to read her best-selling novel, "Gone Girl," before the movie comes out in October.

You’ll hear her read the duly infamous “cool girl” passage, and learn the gritty details of her unusual writing technique. And as an added bonus, you’ll get Seattle writer Maria Semple’s take on the Flynn phenomenon.