Martin Scorsese Set to Receive Cinematic Imagery Award from the Art Directors Guild's Excellence in Production Design Awards, Feb. 8, 2014 December 5, 2013
whose films have consistently reflected the highest quality of production design, will receive the prestigious Cinematic Imagery Award
from the Art Directors Guild
(ADG) at its 18th Annual Art Directors Guild's Excellence in Production Design Awards, it was announced today by ADG Council Chairman John Shaffner and Awards Producers Raf Lydon and Dave Blass. Set for February 8, 2014
, the black-tie ceremony at The Beverly Hilton Hotel will be hosted by Owen Benjamin and will honor more than 40 years of Scorsese's extraordinary award-winning work.
The ADG's Cinematic Imagery Award is given to those whose body of work in the film industry has richly enhanced the visual aspects of the movie-going experience. Previous recipients have been the Production Designers behind the James Bond franchise, the principal team behind the Harry Potter films, Bill Taylor, Syd Dutton, Warren Beatty, Allen Daviau, Clint Eastwood, Blake Edwards, Terry Gilliam, Ray Harryhausen, Norman Jewison, John Lasseter, George Lucas, Frank Oz, Steven Spielberg, Robert S. Wise and Zhang Yimou.
Said Shaffner, "The ADG has wanted Scorsese to accept this deserving honor since the earliest days of its inception. We are beyond delighted that his schedule finally now allows him time to receive it! The ADG has always considered his hands-on pursuit of excellence of production design to equal all of the fine craftsmanship that goes into every aspect of all Martin Scorsese films."
Martin Scorsese is one of the most prominent and influential filmmakers working today. His latest film, Paramount Pictures The Wolf of Wall Street
, starring Leonardo DiCaprio
, Matthew McConaughey
, Margot Robbie
and Jonah Hill
, will be released on December 25. He directed the critically acclaimed, award-winning films Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ, Goodfellas, Gangs of New York
, The Aviator
, The Departed
and the 2010 box office hit Shutter Island.
Scorsese has also directed numerous documentaries including No Direction Home: Bob Dylan, Elia Kazan: A Letter to Elia
(both films garnering Peabody Awards), A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese through American Movies
, Il Mio Viaggio in Italia, Public Speaking
starring writer Fran Lebowitz and the documentary for HBO: George Harrison: Living in the Material World
Most recently he directed the Academy Award® nominated and Golden Globe®-winning film Hugo
, a 3D adaptation of Brian Selznick's children's book. Scorsese currently serves as Executive Producer on HBO's
hit series Boardwalk Empire
for which he directed the pilot episode. He is the founder and chair of The Film Foundation
and the World Cinema Project
, both non-profit organizations dedicated to the preservation, restoration and protection of film.
Nominations for this year's ADG Excellence in Production Design Awards will be announced on January 9
. The ADG will present winners in 10 competitive categories for theatrical films, television productions, commercials and music videos on February 8
. As previously announced, Rick Carter will receive the Guild's Lifetime Achievement Award; and Robert Clatworthy, Harper Goff, and J. Michael Riva will be inducted into the ADG's Hall of Fame.
As the year near ends and the seriousness of it all sinks in, I like to sit back and reflect on the documentaries that came out this year and make sure I didn't miss any worth my time. 2013 had some good ones. Here is a quick look at the ones Hollywood will be look at for an Academy this year:
The Act of Killing I
s about killers who have won, and the sort of society they have built. Unlike ageing Nazis or Rwandan génocidaires, Anwar and his friends have not been forced by history to admit they participated in crimes against humanity. Instead, they have written their own triumphant history, becoming role models for millions of young paramilitaries. The Act of Killing
is a journey into the memories and imaginations of the perpetrators, offering insight into the minds of mass killers. And The Act of Killing
is a nightmarish vision of a frighteningly banal culture of impunity in which killers can joke about crimes against humanity on television chat shows, and celebrate moral disaster with the ease and grace of a soft shoe dance number.
The Armstrong Lie
In 2009 Alex Gibney was hired to make a film about Lance Armstrong's comeback to cycling. The project was shelved when the doping scandal erupted, and re-opened after Armstrong's confession. This film picks up in 2013 and presents a riveting, insider's view of the unravelling of one of the most extraordinary stories in the history of sports. As Lance Armstrong himself says: "I didn't live a lot of lies, but I lived one big one."
Many of us have experienced the excitement and awe of watching 8,000 pound orcas, or "killer whales," soar out of the water and fly through the air at sea parks, as if in perfect harmony with their trainers. Yet, in our contemporary lore this mighty black and white mammal is like a two-faced Janus-beloved as a majestic, friendly giant yet infamous for its capacity to kill viciously. Blackfish unravels the complexities of this dichotomy, employing the story of notorious performing whale Tilikum, who-unlike any orca in the wild-has taken the lives of several people while in captivity. So what exactly went wrong?
The Crash Reel
Kevin suffered severe traumatic brain injury from a 2009 accident in Park City, Utah. His tight-knit Vermont family flew to his side, and together they began an intensive process of trying to rehabilitate him and help him rebuild his permanently damaged life. Kevin's determination and the tireless support of family and friends kept him focused on recovery. But when he insisted he wanted to return to the sport he loved, his family objected. As an elite athlete, Kevin was a professional risk taker, but as a brain-injury survivor, his skills were now impaired, and even a small blow to the head could kill him.
Cutie and the Boxer
A reflection on love, sacrifice, and the creative spirit, this candid New York story explores the chaotic 40-year marriage of renowned "boxing" painter Ushio Shinohara and his artist wife, Noriko. As a rowdy, confrontational young artist in Tokyo, Ushio seemed destined for fame, but met with little commercial success after he moved to New York City in 1969, seeking international recognition. When 19-year-old Noriko moved to New York to study art, she fell in love with Ushio-abandoning her education to become the wife and assistant to an unruly, husband. Over the course of their marriage, the roles have shifted. Now 80, Ushio struggles to establish his artistic legacy, while Noriko is at last being recognized for her own art-a series of drawings entitled "Cutie," depicting her challenging past with Ushio. Spanning four decades, the film is a moving portrait of a couple wrestling with the eternal themes of sacrifice, disappointment and aging, against a background of lives dedicated to art.
takes viewers to remote corners of the globe to see first-hand wars fought in their name and offers a behind-the-scenes look at a high-stakes investigation.
We are left with haunting questions about freedom and democracy, war and justice.
FIRST COUSIN ONCE REMOVED
“First Cousin” is a family story of an Alzheimer's life and an example of nonfiction film as a vehicle for pure art. Mr. Honig may occupy the center of the movie, but the periphery is what its director chose to make it — a torrent of metaphor and imagery provoked, but not dictated, by the story of Mr. Honig’s departure from his past.
The result is a vivid portrait of a wordsmith who, although he’s lost his memory... I forgot what I was going to say but you get my drift.
God Loves Uganda
Thanks to charismatic religious leaders and a well-financed campaign, these draconian new laws and the politicians that peddle them are winning over the Ugandan public. But these dangerous policies and the money that fuels them aren't coming from Africa, they're being imported from some of America's largest megachurches. Using vérité, interviews, and hidden camera footage, the film allows American religious leaders and their young missionaries that make up the "front lines in a battle for billions of souls" to explain their positions in their own words.
Life According to Sam
'Life According to Sam' is about one family's courageous fight to save their only son from a rare and fatal disease, progeria. The average age of death from progeria is 13, there is no treatment, and no cure. Dr. Leslie Gordon and Dr. Scott Berns are set on changing this. When their son Sam, now 16 years old, was diagnosed with progeria at age two, doctors told Leslie and Scott to enjoy Sam while they could. They refused to believe this was the answer. In less than a decade, their advances have led to identifying the gene at fault, creating the first drug trials for treatment, and revealing the amazing discovery that progeria is linked to the aging process in all of us.
Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer This is
a 2013 Russian-British documentary film by Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin. The film follows the court cases on the Russian feminist/Putinist punk-rock protest group Pussy Riot. Filmed over the course of 6 months, this documentary tells the incredible story of 3 young women: Nadia, Masha and Katia. But who is really on trial in a case that has gripped the nation and the world beyond - young artists or the society they live in?
The Egyptian Revolution has been an ongoing rollercoaster over the past two and a half years. Through the news, we only get a glimpse of the bloodiest battle, an election, or a million man march. At the beginning of July 2013, we witnessed the second president deposed within the space of three years.
The Square is an immersive experience, transporting the viewer deeply into the intense emotional drama and personal stories behind the news. It is the inspirational story of young people claiming their rights, struggling through multiple forces, in the fight to create a society of conscience.
Stories We Tell
In this inspired, genre-twisting new film, Oscar (R)-nominated writer/director Sarah Polley discovers that the truth depends on who's telling it. Polley is both filmmaker and detective as she investigates the secrets kept by a family of storytellers. She playfully interviews and interrogates a cast of characters of varying reliability, eliciting refreshingly candid, yet mostly contradictory, answers to the same questions. As each relates their version of the family mythology, present-day recollections shift into nostalgia-tinged glimpses of their mother, who departed too soon, leaving a trail of unanswered questions. Polley unravels the paradoxes to reveal the essence of family: always complicated, warmly messy and fiercely loving. Stories We Tell explores the elusive nature of truth and memory, but at its core is a deeply personal film about how our narratives shape and define us as individuals and families, all interconnecting to paint a profound, funny and poignant picture of the larger human story.
Tim Jenison, a Texas based inventor, (Video Toaster, LightWave, TriCaster) attempts to solve one of the greatest mysteries in all art: How did 17th century Dutch master Johannes Vermeer ("Girl with a Pearl Earring") manage to paint so photo-realistically - 150 years before the invention of photography? The epic research project Jenison embarks on to test his theory is as extraordinary as what he discovers.
20 Feet from Stardom
The untold true story of the backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century. Triumphant and heartbreaking in equal measure, the film is both a tribute to the unsung voices who brought shape and style to popular music and a reflection on the conflicts, sacrifices and rewards of a career spent harmonizing with others.
Which Way Is the Front Line from Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington
Photojournalist and filmmaker Tim Hetherington was always searching for the humanity within wartime conflict, as evidenced in his award-winning body of work. When he and Sebastian Junger spent a year filming a platoon of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan in their Academy Award–nominated and Sundance Grand Jury Prizewinning film Restrepo,
they weren’t simply looking for action; instead, they chose to focus on the many small moments that make war real. Hetherington’s footage of time he spent with the rebel army during Liberia’s civil war and in Libya prior to his untimely death from a mortar blast in 2011 conveys a rare sense of intimacy in sharp contrast to the violence surrounding him. Although he spent most of his time traveling to the epicenter of war zones, he was seeking the truth, rather than adventure. That is Hetherington’s enduring gift.
| |Films Shot in Texas: Paris, Texas
First of all, although a good portion of this film was shot in Texas, this is not a Texas, nor a US film. This is a foreign film produced with backing from Germany and France, and directed by the German film director: Wim Wenders. So, this is no "Last Picture Show" or "Dallas" type film. This is a work of art and for those who don't appreciate a slow story this film will seem like, well, as Gene Hackman said about another foreign film: "Like watching paint dry." If that doesn't scare you, well, you need to see this film, now!!!
Where do I begin?… Okay, besides being directed by Wim Wenders, it won the Cannes Palme D'Or for Best Film in 1984 -- back when that really, really, meant something; equally as interesting: the screenplay was written by Sam Shepard (only, the most produced playwright in America after Tennessee Williams).
This unusual road movie tells the tale of Travis, a man lost in his own private hell. Presumed dead for four years, he reappears from the desert on the Mexico border, world-weary and an amnesiac.
He traces his brother Walt who is bringing up Hunter, his seven-year-old son, his ex-wife Jane having abandoned him at Walt's door several years before.
As virtual strangers, Hunter and Travis begin to build a wary friendship and conspire to find Jane and bring her back to be a real family.
With extraordinary performances from Harry Dean Stanton as Travis and Natassja Kinski as Jane, the film also boasts a soundtrack by Ry Cooder, ideally suited to the film's sun-bleached landscapes and melancholy undertones.
Finally, a few things to watch for: one, Natassja Kinski is made blond? Hot. Also, the cinematography will blow you away.
This is a run-and-gun 35mm film shot by Robby Müller, yes, the same guy who shot Repo Man and Mystery Man -- be still my beating heart. Look at the polarized filter he uses in the beginning scenes shot around Big Bend Texas. The sky almost looks like a backdrop it is so pristine. And then, the bifocal lens that keeps the mirror reflection in focus along with the road ahead. Yes, a lens that has two focus points. Crazy.
Okay, that's should be enough on this one. I rented it back in the 80's on VHS one weekend while living in Mesquite Texas and remember watching it at least three times thinking: wtf!!! How'd they do that? This is a film.
Oh, and, no scenes ever take place in Paris Texas.
You really should own this one too for the director's cut.
Joel and Ethan Coen are rightly lauded for the range of their films, as TIFF Bell Lightbox will do beginning Nov. 28 with an 11-film celebration of their work.
They never make sequels — fans of The Big Lebowski can stop hoping — and their love of all manner of movie genres often finds expression within a single movie.
The aforementioned TheBig Lebowski, for example, is a combination film noir, gaudy musical, stoner comedy and didactic western.
And O Brother, Where Art Thou?, for another, yokes a prison breakout drama into a political satire and folk musical, in a story loosely inspired by Homer’s The Odyssey and Preston Sturges’ Sullivan’s Travels.
“All we think about is how to keep the audience engaged,” Ethan Coen said at the Cannes Film Festival this year, as they unveiled their latest film, Inside Llewyn Davis, which concludes the TIFF series with its Dec. 25 debut.
Yet even as these sardonic siblings from Minnesota continue to delight fans with the incredible variety of their out-there offerings, they exhibit a consistency of thought about the human comedy.
Witty, wise and even profound thoughts about life flow from their pens into the mouths of their characters. Sometimes it’s just a snappy catchphrase (“The Dude abides”) but it’s always worth listening to, and maybe also taking to heart.
What follows are some of words to live by, courtesy of the Coens, as found in the 11 films of the TIFF retrospective:
Fargo (Nov. 28): “There’s more to life than a little money, you know. Don’t you know that? And here you are, and it’s a beautiful day. Well, I just don’t understand it.” — Frances McDormand.
Miller’s Crossing (Nov. 29): “It’s gettin’ so a businessman can’t expect no return from a fixed fight. Now, if you can’t trust a fix, what can you trust? For a good return, you gotta go betting on chance — and then you’re back with anarchy, right back in the jungle.” — Jon Polito.
No Country for Old Men (Nov. 30): “What you got ain’t nothin’ new. This country’s hard on people. You can’t stop what’s comin’. It ain’t all waitin’ on you. That’s vanity.” — Barry Corbin.
Blood Simple (Dec. 1): “The world is full of complainers. And the fact is, nothin’ comes with a guarantee. Now, I don’t care if you’re the Pope of Rome, President of the United States or Man of the Year. Somethin’ can all go wrong.” — M. Emmet Walsh.
O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Dec. 3): “Deceitful, two-faced she-woman! Never trust a female, Delmar. Remember that one simple precept and your time with me will not have been ill spent.” — George Clooney.
Raising Arizona (Dec. 5): “Sometimes it’s a hard world for small things.” — Nicolas Cage.
Barton Fink (Dec. 6): “I gotta tell ya, the life of the mind, there’s no road map for that kind of territory, and exploring it can be painful. — John Turturro.
The Big Lebowski (Dec. 13): “That rug really tied the room together.” — Jeff Bridges.
A Serious Man (Dec. 17): “The Uncertainty Principle. It proves we can’t ever really know what’s going on. So it shouldn’t bother you, not being able to figure anything out. Although you will be responsible for this on the mid-term.” — Michael Stuhlbarg.
True Grit (Dec. 20): “You must pay for everything in this world, one way and another. There is nothing free except the grace of God.” — Hailee Steinfeld.
Inside Llewyn Davis (Dec. 25): “George Washington Bridge? You throw yourself off the Brooklyn Bridge, traditionally. George Washington Bridge? Who does that?” — John Goodman.
You might have favourite choices of your own, because the Coens are endlessly quotable. Feel free to put them in the comments section of this story.
But remember what The Dude says in The Big Lebowski, “Yeah, well, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”
Being a film maker, lover, stalker, etc., I love to watch old films from the 30's and 40's because they are like seeing life before "conservatism" was nothing more than a greedy old-man in a wheel chair and liberalism the guy trying to help the less fortunate. And my favorite of these films: "It's A Wonderful Life"
with Jimmy Stewart. What a film. Is there any doubt that the mean man in a wheel chair represented conservatism of the day and the compassionate Jimmy Stewar
t represented the liberals of the day. I'll get back to that in a moment, but first of all did you know that the film was in the public domain for years which means I could have posted the whole f'in film here for you to watch for free but then the greedy production companies found a way to own it through some bullshit law that Sony Bonner helped developed that allowed them to claim rights to the music. That's right, everything is for sale in this country and taking a film like "It's A Wonderful Life" out of the public domain is just more proof. Another interesting thing about "It's A Wonderful Life" is that the film flopped at the box office and Academy Awards for having the misfortune of being released the same year as "Gone With The Wind and Wizard of Oz."
So why am I blogging about this today?.... well,
today I found out Hollywood is so hard up for films they are going to make a sequel of "It's A Wonderful Life" next year. Come on, really? Well, for me unless Dick Chaney plays Mr. Potter in a wheelchair and they run it as a documentary on modern day Potters, I won't be watching it. Is it any wonder Independent Films are doing so well these days. I mean, the story is really basic: greedy mean people suck: compassionate nice people are angels.
ROME, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- Americans actors Matthew McConaughey and Scarlett Johansson won the top acting prizes at the eighth annual Rome Film Festival.The festival, set to wrap up Sunday, handed out awards Saturday night, The Hollywood Reporter reported.
McConaughey took home the best actor award for his role in Jean-Marc Valle's "Dallas Buyers Club." Johansson won the best actress prize for performance in Spike Jonze's "Her," which stars Joaquin Phoenix as a man who falls in love with his computer's operating system, voiced by Johansson.
Other big winners at the festival were Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, who won the best director award for his film "Seventh Code," and Romania's Andrei Gruzsniczk, whose film "Quod Erat Demonstrandum" won the jury prize.
Meanwhile Alberto Fasulo's documentary "Tir" won the best film award at the festival, becoming the second Italian documentary in 10 weeks to win the main award at a major Italian film festival.
Gianfranco Rosi's "Sacro GRA" won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival in September.
Indie Film Features JFK, Oswald, Monroe and Ruby in an Afterlife Waiting Room Posted with permission from PR Newswire TAMPA, Fla., Nov. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- On November 22, 2013, the world will remember John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, as he was assassinated while traveling through Dallas, Texas, in an open-top convertible 50 years ago.
Coincidentally, JFK was visiting Tampa, FL on November 18 just days before his trip to Dallas. Tampa-based indie Film Company, Gulf + Atlantic Films (GAF) recently wrapped their short film titled "The Limbo Kings," featuring the foursome in a fantasy drama taking place in an afterlife waiting room.
Director Eric Polins said "The film is an original screenplay developed years ago with the 50 th anniversary in mind. We wanted to produce a very unique film that captured all the players in Kennedy's life with a unique twist. It's an amazing story and we couldn't pick a better time to wrap it up for the 2014 film festival season."
Polins, the founder of 16-year-old GAF, is no stranger to the independent film market. GAF produced a feature film in 2006 titled "Descansos" starring Gary Busey, Charles Durning, Cindy Taylor, and Tom Nowicki. He was also a board member with The Gasparilla International Film Festival for five years and is a past president.
St. Pete-based Cinematographer Curtis Graham of Greyhouse Films jointly produced "The Limbo Kings". Graham directed the recently released "The Investigator" that was written by Richard Romano, Ray Romano's brother.
The cast and crew is a "who's who" in the Florida film market. The Retribution Agent is veteran actor Michael Ray Davis, JFK is captured by Michael Newman, comedian Tony Gaud gives a bone chilling portrayal of Lee Harvey Oswald, singer/actress Stephanie Coatney channels Monroe like no other, and Jack Amos is a dead ringer for Ruby.
Dale Gordon, Executive Director of the Tampa Hillsborough Film & Digital Media Commission said, "I had the opportunity to visit the set of 'The Limbo Kings' and was immediately impressed with the quality of the production, the story, talent, crew, and their vision of making a strong film that will compete nationwide in the film festival circuit. It's projects like this that showcases our great pool of talent and crew in our region."
The 50-year-old Montreal director skips between genres, often making artful use of pop or jazz tunes to accent his ideas.
His expanding roster of features includes an erotic thriller ( Black List), a coming-of-age comedy ( C.R.A.Z.Y.), a serious biopic ( The Young Victoria) and a time-shifting drama ( de FloreCaféde Flore).
With his new film Dallas Buyers Club, an inspirational AIDS activism drama starring Matthew McConaughey, Jaret Leto and Jennifer Garner, Vallée is now crossing physical borders, too.
It’s his first film made in the U.S., and it definitely won’t be his last: he calls the Star from the Oregon set of Wild, a life drama about wilderness walker Cheryl Strayed, starring Reese Witherspoon. But Dallas Buyers Club, set to the glam rock of T. Rex’s Marc Bolan, is still very much on his mind:
Your films are so varied. Do you go through a long process choosing your subjects?
I wouldn’t say a lot of thinking. It’s been mainly instinct and I’m looking for the humanity behind the project. Now that I’ve tried the $35-million film with The Young Victoria, I know this is not for me. I’m aiming for smaller things and I’m more comfortable between the $5-million- and $15- million-dollar film, the character-driven film, and I try to touch people. You want to make them cry, make them laugh, both at the same time sometimes. So that’s what I look for when I read a script. If I’m touched, if I have teary eyes or I laugh, if I see that I can recognize and relate to what they’re going through.
Were you previously aware of the story of Ron Woodroof, the accidental Texas AIDS activist?
Not at all. When I finished reading the script, I went, “Jesus, what? This is real? Come on. Where was I in the ’80s?”
What did you see Matthew McConaughey in that made you think he was right for the role of Woodroof? Was it Magic Mike?
No, it was a meeting with him. Because when I met him, Magic Mikehadn’t been released yet. I had my doubts about McConaughey, too, but Robbie Brenner, the producer, insisted that I meet with him and she had the right instinct. He’s from Texas and he has such a natural spontaneous understanding of the character. When I met him I just felt that the guy, in his speech and what he was saying, was ready to change the perception about him. He was aiming for new challenges and daring challenges. He was ready to lose a lot of weight and commit himself and not be a star but an actor. He proved it.
Jared Leto is another brilliant casting move, playing Ron’s transsexual pal and business partner. What inspired you to choose him?
It was a meeting on Skype. He doesn’t act often and I liked what he did in the past. When I Skyped with him, he was telling me in his own way, “Jean-Marc I’m doing this and I want to make this.” And his way to tell me that? He had a wig on, he had a dress on and he was playing some Marc Bolan. He was putting on lipstick and he was hitting on me. I thought he was going to stop after two minutes and he just held it for like 20 minutes on Skype. Just being in character, changing his voice and then when he arrived on set the first day, same thing! He got off the plane with high heels, a dress and a wig. He even left his hotel in character.
Do you identify yourself as a Quebec auteur or a regular Canadian filmmaker?
I think neither. I don’t say: “I’m a Canadian filmmaker,” or “I’m in Quebec.” I make films. Sometimes they’re made in Quebec in French. I’ve never made a film just in Canada outside of Quebec in English. Will it happen? Maybe.
You’re in good company with other Quebec directors gaining attention at home and abroad — like Denis Villeneuve, Philippe Falardeau, Denis Côté and Xavier Dolan. Do you feel as if you are part of a “Quebec New Wave”?
Yes, there’s something going on. I’m proud to be part of it. It’s not that I or the others are trying to be part of something, it’s just happening.
What’s the impetus for it?
Well, it just happened. It’s not like Hollywood is suddenly saying, “Let’s hire French-Canadian directors.” It’s a matter of circumstances, Falardeau’s film ( LazharMonsieurLazhar) and Villeneuve’s film ( Lazhar) had a lot of attention at the Oscars a few years ago and then they got some offers. I’ve done Young Victoria, Café de Flore and C.R.A.Z.Y., and I’ve always had offers before and now. I accepted this one for Dallas Buyers Club because I wanted to do it.
Being an independent film maker in Dallas has its ups and downs. The ups are things like most days are good for outdoors shots and its easy to fake seasonal changes; then there are a ton of great performers and crew willing to work for backend money; and, enough can never be said about the Dallas Film Commission when I have worked with them in the past to get location information, job postings, etc.. The downs?… The Texas Film Commission and Governor Rick Perry. Unless you are shooting a "True Grit" budget production and willing to be censored for "inappropriate content (2007 clause that allows the Film Commission to reject funds after your film is released as the commission did to Robert Rodriguez according to a 2009 lawsuit in which the commission withdrew its funding for Machete after the film opened and due to its content)."
The comparison of choosing Louisiana instead of Texas is really no choice at all. Texas Monthly wrote on this in their August 26, 2013 edition when they discovered that the film "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" with Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck, and Ben Foster, which they stated "…should be a source of pride for Texas…." was being shot in… wait for it… "mostly in Shreveport, Louisiana."
Texas Monthly also states: "Generally, low-budget movies can get refunds of ten to seventeen percent of what they spend on production and salaries in Texas… This is far less than the thirty percent to 35 percent offered by Louisiana and New York…."
And so today we found out that the man was shot dead with a gun that didn't make a sound (oppps, sorry, I was shooting a protest at the Grassy Knoll in Dallas yesterday which you can watch after I give you my last "Case in point").
Last Cast in Point: auteur Jean-Marc Valiée is a great director from Quebec who has recently made his first US film which is the story of the Texas electrician Ron Woodroof and his battle with the pharmaceutical companies after being diagnosed as HIV-positive in 1986. The film stars Matthew McConaughey and is titled "Dallas Buyers Club." And where would you shoot a film with "Dallas" in the title today? New Orleans, of course.
PS - this is a withinfilm.com clip I shot for some friends… I'm only posting it here because I learned what "tar sands" are and how lazy I've been on not researching it after I learned that the "soap" I was told they were using to do this with is really not soap. Oh, just for the record: The Texas Film Commission has nothing to do with fracking that I am aware of, but, if I do decide to go further with this documentary, I'll probably seek funding in Louisianna.
Acclaimed Chinese Film Director, Feng Xiaogang, to be Immortalized in Cement in Hollywood, November 1, 2013 Posted with permission from PR Newswire Republish Reprint HOLLYWOOD, Calif., Oct. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- On Friday, November 1, 2013, 11 a.m., at the TCL Chinese Theatre, 6925 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, the most popular film director in China, Feng Xiaogang, will be immortalized in cement during a celebratory Handprint Ceremony. Feng joins the ranks of Cecil B. Demille, Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood, Gene Kelly, and Ron Howard, among other great film directors.
Beijing-born Feng Xiaogang is a highly successful and visionary Chinese film director whose comedic films have consistently topped box office charts in China over the last 20 years. He recently broke that mold by making drama or period drama films such as the well-regarded Back to 1942, which will be shown at the TCL Chinese Theatre during the Beijing Film Panorama in America festival, Nov. 1–Nov. 3. The theatre will screen several of Feng's films with English subtitles throughout the three-day festival.
Feng is the first Chinese film director to be immortalized in cement at Hollywood's TCL Chinese Theatre. Formerly Grumman's Chinese Theatre and Mann's Chinese Theatre, the theatre has been home to many movie premieres, since 1927 as well as Academy Awards ceremonies. Among the theater's most distinctive features are the concrete blocks set in the forecourt, which bear the signatures, footprints, and handprints of popular motion picture personalities from the 1920s to the present day. A number of local government, civic and business leaders will be on hand to help recognize this special event in Hollywood film history.
Feng will also be joined by Chinese film luminaries Xu Fan, Zhang Guoli, Deng Jive, Tang Gouging, and many other famous Chinese movie stars. This celebratory event is hosted by the Film Bureau of the General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of China and the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Radio, Film and Television. The handprint ceremony and film screenings were organized by Beauty Media, Inc., ICN TV Network, and TCL Chinese Theatre, and co-organized by Huayi Brothers Media Group.
1994: Gone Forever with My love
1997: The Dream Factory
1998: Be There or Be Square
1999: Sorry, Baby
2000: A Sigh
2001: Big Shot's Funeral
2003: Cell Phone
2005: A World Without Thieves
2006: The Banquet
2008: If You are the One
2010: If You are the One 2
2012: Back to 1942
Chinese film director Feng Xiaogang began his career as a set designer in 1985, later moving on to write screenplays. With Farewell My Love (1984), Feng Xiaogang began his journey as a director. In the beginning of 1988, his film The Dream Factory became a big box office hit and marked the birth of " Chinese New Year Films." Since then, watching Feng's films during the New Year holiday has become a custom for many Chinese people. The dialogue in his films is widely quoted in people's daily lives. His New Year film of 2000, A Sigh, received five awards at the Cairo International Film Festival, including the Golden Pyramid. In 2003, Feng's film Mobile Phone, went beyond simply entertaining the audiences. The film is a subtle critique of today's society in China, leaving audiences a great deal to reflect upon.
In Feng's 2004 A World Without Thieves, he integrated action sequences with the intertwining plot, making this film commercially successful and artistically valuable. The film earned 130 million Yuan ( $21 million) in box office, breaking the record of all Chinese New Year Films.
In recent years, Feng has made some explorations to make his films thrive both commercially and artistically. His 2006 film, The Banquet, is a costume epic. In this film, Feng worked with the world-renowned composer Tan Dun, Oscar® nominated costume designer Timmy Yip and the internationally acclaimed Woo-ping Yuen.
Feng's 2007 film, Assembly, is China's first attempt at a war film. Feng's realistic depiction of brutal battle scenes and his usual gentle touch on the relationship between people made the film Best Asian Picture of the 28th annual Hong Kong Film Award.
In 2008, Feng wrote and directed If You are the One. This romantic comedy is filled with Feng-styled humor. In addition, the film's gorgeous artistic and visual elements truly left the audiences in awe. If You are the One earned a stunning 325 million Yuan ( $53 million), which broke the all-time Chinese box office record, and Feng became China's first director to earn more than one billion Yuan ( $164 million) in box office revenue. Aftershock (2010) successfully relived the catastrophic 1976 Tangshan Earthquake. It added substantially to his films' box office earnings with yet another record take of 660 million Yuan ( $108 million).
Feng's films have been topping the domestic box office chart for more than two decades and his never-ending passion for film is continuing to push him to make even greater breakthroughs. His works are greatly appreciated by the Chinese audiences, and have earned him the title as "The Box Office Guarantee."
Acclaimed Chinese Film Director, Feng Xiaogang, to be Immortalized in Cement in Hollywood, November 1, 2013
What: The Film Bureau of the General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of China and the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Radio, Film and Television are hosting a handprint ceremony honoring Feng Xiaogang and a three-day film festival, Beijing Film Panorama in America. The event has been organized by Beauty Media, Inc., ICN TV Network, and TCL Chinese Theatre, and co-organized by Huayi Brothers Media Group. A cross section of Chinese film stars and film industry leaders will be on hand to support Feng Xiaogang and the three-day film screening of his films.
Who: Beijing-born Feng Xiaogang, is China's most popular and successful film director. His comedic films have consistently topped box office charts in China over the last 20 years. He recently broke that mold, however, with an award-winning feature film, Back to 1942, which chronicles one of China's darkest moments in the 20th century, the famine in Henan province during WWII. Two American actors, Adrien Brody and Tim Robbins starred in the film.
Why: Opportunity to emphasize the international scale of Chinese filmmaking and the remarkable credentials of filmmaking talent in China, in particular, Feng Xiaogang.
Who Should Attend: Hollywood film and TV industry CEOs and Directors, A-List Actors, Talent Agencies, Entertainment Industry Executives and Investors, Entertainment and Business Media, Entertainment Marketers, Entertainment Lawyers, Local & Regional Government Authorities, University & College Film Schools.
Friday, November 1, 2013 , 10:00 a.m.: Handprint Ceremony;
7:00 p.m.: Reception & Black-Tie Dinner
Friday-Sunday, November 1-3: Beijing Film Panorama Film in America
TCL Chinese Theatre, 6925 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028
Backgrounder on Event Organizers and Hosts
Beauty Media, Inc.
Beauty Media, Inc. was set up in 1994 and is headquartered in Beijing. It is a Chinese private cultural media enterprise. Beauty specializes in media production, broadcasting, industrial management, audio-video programming, creation and distribution of animated programs, and the planning and holding of large scale cultural communication activities and festivals.
The company has a massive collection of audio-visual resources and has developed distribution channels for cultural products around the world in order to spread its excellent Chinese cultural products. Beauty Media consists of various divisions including the Beauty Cultural Communication Co., Ltd., ICN TV Network, Chinese American Voice Radio and Laugh Bar Co., Ltd.
Film Bureau of the General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of China
Film Bureau of the General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of China is in charge of Chinese film industry.
Major duties: formulate development plans and policies of the film industry; guide and regulate film production, release and screening; examine and approve the establishment and revocation of film production houses, cross-region distribution and screening unites; organize the film censoring work, and issue and revoke the film production permits and film screening permits; guide and organize film screening in rural areas; supervise film archive management and technology R&D; undertake international exchange and cooperation on co-production and film import and export; guide the management of earmarked funds for films; guide and coordinate major film events in China.
Beijing Municipal Bureau of Radio, Film and Television
Beijing Municipal Bureau of Radio, Film and Television is a direct affiliate of Beijing Municipal Government, responsible for the management of the radio, film and TV industries in Beijing. Its major duties include the following: Implement national principles and policies of radio, film and TV publicity and production and properly guide public opinion and production; formulate local regulations and draft regulations of audio-visual programs on the radio, film, TV and Internet and supervise and inspect the implementation of these regulations; promote the institutional reform in radio, film and TV industries; regulate radio, film, TV industries in Beijing; promote public services in these industries; supervise service organizations providing audio and video programs on radio, film, TV and Internet and supervise their businesses, and regulate radio, film, TV programs, audio and visual Internet programs and programs on public audio-visual carriers; manage the technological work of the service industry of audio-visual programs on the radio, film, TV and Internet in Beijing and guide the international and domestic exchanges and cooperation of the industries; and, manage industry safety in Beijing.
Huayi Brothers Media Group Corporation
Huayi Brothers Media Group Corporation, one of the largest private entertainment groups in China, was founded in Beijing in 1994 by Chairman & CEO Wang Zhongjun and President Wang Zhonglei. It is the owner, producer and distributor of some of China's most popular film and television productions, and leads the entertainment industry through highly innovative approaches to its film, television, talent agency, music and other businesses. Over the past several years, Huayi Brothers has built a library of marquee entertainment properties and has established itself as a trusted brand that consistently delivers high-quality commercial entertainment.
As one of the most successful private film and television companies in China, Huayi Brothers has helped bring more than a dozen financially successful blockbusters to the silver screen, including "Cell Phone", "A World Without Thieves", "Rob-B-Hood", "Assembly", "The Blood Brothers", the "If You Are The One" series, "The Forbidden Kingdom", "The Message", "Look For A Star", "Aftershock", "Detective Dee and the Mystery of Phantom Flame", "Love", and "Painted Skin".
"Painted Skin", hailed as both an artistic and commercial triumph, reinvigorated a flagging film industry by earning a record more than RMB700 million at the domestic box office. In television, Huayi Brothers has also been the driving force behind hit series such as "Soldiers Sortie", "My Chief and My Regiment" and "Dwelling Narrowness", all winning top ratings in the same year.
As a leader of this talent-driven industry, the Huayi Brothers' success is based on its deep commitment to forming cooperative partnerships and putting the needs of its people first. In film, the company has established close relationships with some of the Chinese film industry's most distinguished filmmakers, like Feng Xiaogang and Chen Kuofu, and its highly innovative approach toward film production has both influenced and led the development of the entire industry.
In television, Huayi Brothers has built a sophisticated production studio network by bringing in some of China's greatest production talent. By the end of 2011, the company has expanded its network to 12 studios.
As a talent agency, Huayi Brothers represents more than 100 A-list and emerging stars in movies, television and music, making it the leading talent agency in China. The company's success is borne out of a passion for discovering and cultivating new talent, earning it a reputation for its lasting relationships with many of China's most gifted contemporary stars and filmmakers.
Huayi Brothers' business development philosophy has always been grounded in future-oriented thinking and constant innovation. Since being listed on ChiNext in 2009, the company has served as the global ambassador for Chinese pop culture by expanding its business up the industry chain. Today Huayi Brothers not only does content production, it has also built new distribution channels (such as self-owned cinemas) and invested deeply in derivative businesses based on original IP, including cultural tourism, video games, location-based entertainment and more, This ambitious goal will reshape how the world sees Chinese entertainment, aligning with Huayi Brothers' mission to "touch the hearts of audiences" in China and abroad through meaningful, entertaining, and unforgettable works of art.
ICN TV Network
ICN TV Network was formerly known as International Audio-Visual Communication Inc. (hereinafter referred to as IAVC). IAVC, founded in 1980, was the first media group to broadcast high-quality Chinese programs from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan to the Americas.
After ICN was founded in 2010, it has played a bigger role in media, expanding its television coverage all over North America. ICN, with offices in Southern California, is a Chinese TV media group with large audience coverage in North America. It has 16 channels covering Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Houston, Seattle, Austin, Dallas and Vancouver, Toronto in Canada. Chinese and English channels broadcast 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including programs of real-time news, entertainment, dramas, education and culture, current events, and financial investment, by the means of satellite, terrestrial TV, cable TV, Internet and mobile phone. ICN has more than 100 million direct audience of terrestrial and cable televisions, satellite TV signal covering all of North America. Audiences from all over the world can also watch ICN shows on both Chinese and English channels through Internet and mobile phones.
ICN has a powerful team specialized in resource integration, which is capable of penetrating deeply into local media resources. This team provides customized public activities and promotions to customers together with other media such as radio, TV, printed media and outdoor advertising. In the future, with its unique advantage and influence, ICN plans to build up more effective media platforms to provide convenient one-stop services. ICN believe that dissemination creates value, dissemination accomplishes brand.