» Posts Tagged ‘hollywood’

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Gone GirlEarlier this week, Adobe unveiled the features that will be rolling out in the next version of their Creative Cloud video apps, and the response thus far has been an incredibly positive one, especially for features such as DCP creation in Media Encoder and masking/tracking directly in Premiere. However, Adobe released quite a bit of other new information about their video products on Wednesday, most notably the fact that David Fincher’s upcoming film, an adaptation of the Gillian Flynn novel Gone Girl, is being cut exclusively on Premiere Pro by Kirk Baxter ACE. Will this be a major turning point for Adobe’s filmmaking software in regards to its use in Hollywood? Let’s take a look. More »

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Life After PiAs many of you know, Rhythm & Hues, the company responsible for the incredible visual effects work in Life of Pi, filed for bankruptcy just weeks before the film took home multiple Academy Awards, including best visual effects. Outside of the theater, during the Oscars ceremony, hundreds of local VFX artists were protesting the dismal state of the industry. Matters only worsened when VFX Supervisor Bill Westenhofer’s acceptance speech, in which he attempted to shed light on the financial troubles of Rhythm & Hues, was cut prematurely. Clearly the VFX industry was in a state of turmoil. Life After Pi, a short documentary focused on the downfall of Rhythm & Hues, looks to examine the underlying issues that are causing the VFX industry to become less and less economically viable. More »

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Gender InequalityGender inequality in film is one of those topics that can be difficult for some to talk about, but given the massive disparity between the numbers of males and females in the industry, the subject deserves our attention. In light of the enormous success of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The New York Film Academy decided to take a closer look at the participation, wages, and depictions of women in film and have put together an infographic that illustrates their research’s findings. More »

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MysteryExec_marqueeEvery once in a while you come across a piece of advice that just kicks you right in the crotch and leaves you weak and heaving in the middle of a crowded mall or desolate highway — in a good way. This is what @MysteryExec does for filmmakers daily. If you’re an avid Twitter user, you might’ve come across this mysterious individual who dispenses sardonic wisdom 140 very honest words at a time, but recently Tribeca gave him/her the opportunity to not only expound on his/her “kick someone in the crotch” message, but also how taking the anonymity route brings back some of what he/she thinks cinema has lost. More »

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Blue JasmineCould 2015 be the end of the filmmaking world as we know it? Over the past decade, the big budget Hollywood tentpoles have been the main attraction at the cinematic circus, and 2015 looks like it’s going to be the “biggest movie year ever.” So, why all the doomsday talk? Well, according to an article from Tribeca, this impending over-saturation of superhero movies, sequels, and franchise films will lead to audiences becoming tired of the selection, causing the current system to meltdown, and leaving a big steaming crater for more cerebral, plot and character-driven films to fill. 2015 could actually be the year indie filmmakers have been waiting for. More »

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Ron HowardRon Howard has been a presence in Hollywood, either as an actor or director, for decades. As a child actor, he was beloved as the character Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show and Richie Cunningham on Happy Days. As a Hollywood director, Howard has worked in almost every genre, from family films like Parenthood to thrillers like Ransom or his newest, Rush. Howard sat down to give a few thoughts on filmmaking to BAFTA (The British Academy of Film and Television Arts), and when as consummate a filmmaker as Howard speaks, we would be wise to listen. Click below to hear Howard’s thoughts on acting, editing and the role of a director! More »

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Hollywood’s blockbusters no longer cater towards Americans. That’s fairly old news; overseas markets have ruled the box office since Titanic swept international audiences into movie theaters in record numbers for the time. With the majority of modern moviegoers living abroad — 80% of box office figures, according to veteran producer Lynda Obst — one might think that a more diverse selection of films would emerge as a result. But as some might have noticed by the slate of mega-movies and sequels this summer, just the opposite seems to be happening. Americans and international audiences agree that this summer’s ‘hits’ were mostly misses, producing box office figures that were, in Obst’s words, “pretty catastrophic for the movie business.” Why did it take Hollywood over a billion in losses to realize what most sentient earthlings could have told them from the script?  Obst describes “the new abnormal in the movie business,” and why it’s bound to change. More »

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Iron Man 3 Chinese PosterFor the past several years, we’ve been noticing the ramped up production of big budget films based on comics, graphic novels, and books. The American Society of Cinematographers offers an analysis as to why that is, and what role the international market, namely the fast growing Chinese market, plays in how American films are made and marketed. Highly marketable under the lucrative umbrella of a franchise, American films are heavily influenced and favored by the international box office, indicating that self-distribution through platforms like VOD is more important for independent filmmakers than ever. More »

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Paramount ExpansionJust when you thought filmmaking was migrating to the seemingly greener grass of independent film studios, a peculiar thing occurs: 3 major Hollywood studios, Disney, NBCUniversal, and Paramount are reported to have massive, long-term studio expansions in the works. In light of lower film counts and production going elsewhere, why are these studios initiating the “most aggressive growth spurt in recent Hollywood memory” and what, if anything, does this mean for independent film? More »

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Filmmaking has gone through many great evolutionary events in its over 130 years of existence. It has seen technological advances: from Edison’s Kinetograph, (arguably) the first motion picture camera to the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, from exhibiting films on a Kinetoscope, to exhibiting them on smartphones. However, one change that has yet to really be made in the film world is its presence of female directors. Fandor released an infographic that breaks down the distribution of women in both independent cinema and Hollywood, and the figures may surprise you. More »

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With news surfacing a few days ago about Lynne Ramsay’s mysterious ’no-show’ on the set of her first gig as a director-for-hire Jane Got A Gun, many media outlets are reporting it as ‘irresponsible’ behavior. Speculation abounds. The ‘feminist western’ with Natalie Portman did not shoot as planned last Monday, leaving a crew of 150 wondering why they didn’t have a director and resulting in sending 175 extras home on the first day. Lynne had reportedly been having a feud with producer Scott Steindorff over the privilege of the all-important final cut. In the wake of this news that could either be interpreted as a middle finger to Hollywood or an artist’s attempt to grasp the ideal, it’s interesting to revisit this recently-published 2011 interview from DP/30, below: More »

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If you’ve ever heard someone play an electric guitar totally unplugged, tasted raw cookie dough, or planted a seed, you know the feeling. There is potential there, but something is clearly missing. This is the exact feeling you get scrolling through the Tumblr blog ‘Before VFX.’ The title just about says it all, along with its brief self-description: “Blockbuster movies without visual effects.” The core or basic element of a shot is there, for certain, but in each case, it’s obvious there’s plenty of additional magic and ingredients that must go into the shot before it can be called complete. Check out a few examples from Before VFX below. More »

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There are plenty of vital positions in the entertainment industry we inevitably end up appreciating less than we probably should. So much has to go on in the background for each element to crystallize and become integrated into the final product in an organized way. The agent is a large part of this — the intermediary between the creative artist (writer, director, actor, etc.) and what their next gig will be — or, from another perspective, where their next paycheck will come from. Thanks to The Hollywood Reporter (you can watch the other roundtables we’ve shared here), we are now privy to a great deal of anecdotes, recollections, and candor from a number of high-profile agents, all of whom happen to be women. More »

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Getting a film made in Hollywood is no small task, and more often than not, many projects wind up in what many call “Development Hell.” This is where a project gets stuck in an endless loop of nonsense that usually involves a back and forth among the various individuals who are working on a particular film. Joshua Marston, writer/director of Maria Full of Grace and The Forgiveness of Blood (which also happens to be available from the Criterion Collection), has put together a graphic giving a (only slightly) tongue-in-cheek step by step process to getting a film green-lit in Hollywood. More »

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Speaking of Scott Myers and the Go Into The Story blog, Scott (writer of K-9, Alaska, and Trojan War) is doing something that I’ve never really seen done before at this scale, and with no entry fee. Starting today, he’s going to give four screenwriters the chance to write a screenplay and be mentored by him for a total of 24 weeks. I’ve been following this for the past week, but Scott has been writing posts describing the foundations of screenwriting and what he expects from those who submit — and they are very important to increase your odds of being picked. So what is the contest, that Scott is calling “The Quest”? I’ll let him explain in his own words below: More »

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Getting a producer to read your script can be almost as daunting a challenge as getting beyond the blank page. But before you even think about a producer reading your script, you need to get your script past the script readers. Contrary to what you may believe, script readers want your script to be good because they want to read good scripts. Recently, Scott Myers of the Go Into the Story blog on The Black List stumbled into a late night Twitter conversation with The Bitter Script Reader, Nate Winslow, and Amanda Pendolino, three Hollywood script readers, and he captured their conversation for our educational purposes. Here are some of the highlights: More »

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Hollywood’s accounting practices are so infamously convoluted that you could write a book on them. Two, in fact: author Edward Jay Epstein has written two books on the topic, [easyazon-link asin="0812973828"]The Big Picture: Money and Power in Hollywood[/easyazon-link] and [easyazon-link asin="1933633840"]The Hollywood Economist: The Hidden Financial Reality Behind the Movies[/easyazon-link] (with an [easyazon-link asin="1612190502"]update of the latter[/easyazon-link] on the way). I read his first book, but by this point my memory’s a bit hazy, so listening to the latest episode of the Script Notes podcast by screenwriters John August and Craig Mazin was a great refresher on the topic of where the money goes in Hollywood. More »

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A $160 million movie that grossed $825 million worldwide isn’t exactly DIY filmmaking, but because I wrote about the film when it came out — and because this is just really cool — here’s a behind-the-scenes look at [easyazon-link asin="B002ZG981E"]Inception’s[/easyazon-link] “horizontal rotating corridor” sequence: More »

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If you’re a screenwriter and you don’t live in LA, odds are you’ll be making a trip — or many trips — to LA in order to take meetings. 26-year old screenwriter Bradley Jackson (@BradleyJackson) has written a great guest post on John August’s blog about how to make the most of such a trip. Speaking from personal experience, when I was in LA with the project 3rd Rail, we had eleven meetings in three days: we had our pitch, we had a borrowed car, we had a primitive phone-based GPS, we had a full docket of meetings all around town, and we didn’t have a clue as to how to pitch or what to expect. Bradley’s post includes a lot of useful advice for screenwriters who might find themselves in a similar situation, and I wish his post existed before I went. Here’s one of his tips (a short film he wrote and directed is also embedded below). More »