Assorted movie news

Started by Jeremy Blackman, March 08, 2016, 03:51:00 PM

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Quote from: Sleepless on November 07, 2019, 09:53:41 AM
Quote from: polkablues on November 06, 2019, 09:08:57 PM
There is zero chance they already have the funding for this movie secured, and probably less than 5% chance their little gambit will allow them to get it. If this actually comes to pass, I'll be genuinely shocked.

My second thought was "won't it actually cost more to have a CG James Dean than casting literally any willing actor?"

And what kind of production period does that take?
Considering The Irishman and Disney, with all their resources, are hard-pressed to pull off CGI acting even when they've got the living actor alive for performance capture.


what the fuck is Chris going to do when robots do indeed begin to paint and make music. the idea of a robot writer intimidates me far more than a digital recreation of an actual person


Team Behind Digital James Dean Forms New Company to Resurrect Other Legends

The team that helped resurrect James Dean with visual effects for an upcoming Vietnam war movie isn't done creating digital versions of famous actors and other celebrities: Intellectual property licensing specialist CMG Worldwide has merged with immersive content creation studio Observe Media to form Worldwide XR, a new company that aims to bring digital humans to traditional film as well as augmented and virtual reality.

Worldwide XR holds and represents the rights for more than 400 celebrities, athletes and sports teams. In addition to James Dean, it will also enable creators to bring back stars like Bettie Page, Burt Reynolds and Andre The Giant, sports legends like Lou Gehrig, and artists like Maya Angelou.

"Influencers will come and go, but legends will never die," said Worldwide XR CEO Travis Cloyd. CMG Worldwide CEO Mark Roesler is joining the new company as chairman and co-founder.

Worldwide XR wants to not only license celebrities' likenesses, but also help creatives make use of existing assets as they look to transform them to digital humans. The way this is done depends on both individual projects as well as the recognizability of each celebrity, explained Cloyd. In some cases, creatives may rely solely on computer-generated imagery based on existing photos and films, while other projects may require combining existing assets with the work of look-alike actors.

When news broke last week that the upcoming Vietnam War era drama "Finding Jack" would feature a digitally-recreated James Dean, not everyone was happy. Actor Chris Evans slammed the move as "awful" in a tweet, saying: "Maybe we can get a computer to paint us a new Picasso. Or write a couple new John Lennon tunes. The complete lack of understanding here is shameful." Others who criticized the unusual casting included Zelda Williams, Elijah Wood and Dylan Sprouse.

"It's disruptive," acknowledged Cloyd. "Some people dislike it." However, he argued that the emergence of digital humans was inevitable, and promised that his company would vet any potential partners to make sure that they would do the celebrity in question justice. "We will do our due diligence," he said.

Cloyd added that he was most excited about the potential to resurrect celebrities in augmented and virtual reality, where they could more directly interact with the viewer. And he suggested that we may get to see Dean even beyond the Vietnam war movie. "There is a lot more to come for James Dean," he said. "Think of it as James Dean 2.0."


Quote from: jenkins on November 12, 2019, 07:08:09 PM
Team Behind Digital James Dean Forms New Company to Resurrect Other Legends
However, he argued that the emergence of digital humans was inevitable, and promised that his company would vet any potential partners to make sure that they would do the celebrity in question justice. "We will do our due diligence," he said.

"Think of it as James Dean 2.0."

Humans die. "Digital Humans" doesn't make sense. Digital Persona, perhaps?


Quote from: jenkins on November 07, 2019, 03:37:13 PM
the idea of a robot writer intimidates me far more

which is a relatable component in this Grimes v Zola Jesus thing my friend WF first told me about. in some interview Grimes mentioned robot musicians and Zola Jesus flipped out because this idea threatens our sense of identity as special creatures in this universe. now somebody went on about it like this:

and somehow this idea of "interdependent music" softened Zola Jesus

but, interdependent writing. grammarly in a creative capacity. my god. still going with my god in reference to this specific topic


Don't know which thread to put this piece in (JB, wilder, feel free to move this to a more apropos thread), but a great Interview/Retrospective from last year w/ Julie Dash, Matty Rich, Darnell Martin, Ernest Dickerson, Leslie Harris and Theodore Witcher and the NYT:

‘They Set Us Up to Fail’: Black Directors of the ’90s Speak Out
QuoteWhat other kinds of things did you hear?

HARRIS I went to an interview and someone said to me: “You don’t look like a filmmaker. What are you doing here?”

MATTY RICH (“Straight Out of Brooklyn”) Wow.

ERNEST DICKERSON (“Juice”) What does a filmmaker look like?

DASH After “Daughters,” I tried to get representation at the Gersh Agency in New York. They told me I didn’t have a future. They saw no future for me as a black woman director. What were they going to do with me?

DICKERSON There used to be a time where you go after an agency, and they would always tell the story, “We already got our black filmmakers.”

MARTIN And you had to do what they wanted you to do, too, because you were their black filmmaker. It was like, “This is the film, you’ve got to do it.” It was like, “I’m not feeling it.” but you had to do it.

When did you sense that the well was drying up?

RICH I was told that I was in director’s jail. Director’s jail is if your film doesn’t make X amount of money, then it’s going to be hard for you to get another movie financed. [Rich’s 1994 follow-up, “The Inkwell,” earned just under its reported budget of $8 million theatrically.]

DICKERSON I’ve been there.

RICH They told me the only way out of director’s jail is that you have to write your way out of it. So I wrote a Tupac Shakur project for HBO, and I came onboard to write “Subway Scholar” at Showtime for Whitney Houston. But I got frustrated because I had a lot of things stuck in development. I met the C.E.O. of Ubisoft, a gaming company in Paris, and they needed some help on a game [“187: Ride or Die”] that they were about to release. I wound up living there for two years as the creative director and art director. That was kind of my new outlet for storytelling without Hollywood. It felt like everyone had wanted me to make another urban drama, instead of a family-oriented, lighthearted story like “The Inkwell.”

DICKERSON I made a movie called “Bulletproof,” with Damon Wayans and Adam Sandler. Working on that film was the only time I ever got mad enough to punch a hole in the editing room wall. It was supposed to be a raunchy, R-rated comedy slanted more for an adult audience. But I could see we had trouble when they were giving out tickets to 15- to 16-year-old kids at the first preview. Afterward, I had to really sanitize the relationships. It meant savaging the movie.

It still opened at No. 1, but I got the worst reviews of my career. I was criticized for not having everything I was told to take out. I had several projects lined up — I had been developing “Blade,” with Wesley Snipes. The whole idea of where “Blade” went was mine. But the producers looked to “Bulletproof” and thought I had completely lost my street cred. After that, nobody would touch me. I think I’m still in jail, in a way, because I’m doing television. [Dickerson — like many of his peers, including Martin and Dash — has found work on the small screen, with credits on “The Wire” and “The Walking Dead.”] I consider myself a filmmaker who’s working in television.


Ted Hope Exiting Amazon Studios Co-Head Of Movies Post For First-Look Producing Deal
May 28, 2020

Big move over at Amazon Studios. Ted Hope has decided to exit as Co-Head of Movies to go back to his origins as a producer. Next week, he will enter a multi-year, first-look deal with Amazon Studios. This is all very amicable, and I'm told that Amazon chief and Hope's boss Jennifer Salke has just divulged the news internally.

Hope came to Amazon in 2015 as head of the Development, Production and Acquisitions team, and he was elevated to co-Head of Movies in July, 2018. He has been running the film division along with Julie Rapaport and Matt Newman, who've been Co-Heads of Movies. She came to Amazon from The Weinstein Company, while he grew at Amazon on the business side. They are well regarded and will take over steering the division, with Scott Foundas continuing as senior executive and Christian Davin as Head of Marketing. They all report to Salke.

Hope started his career as a seminal indie producer, and a lot of his influence went toward establishing Amazon as a tastemaker label with films including The Big Sick and Manchester By The Sea. He first made his mark establishing Good Machine with James Schamus and David Linde as an important maker of indie films that included such triumphs as early Ang Lee films like The Ice Storm, Todd Solondz' Happiness and Todd Field's In The Bedroom. He moved from there with Anne Carey and Anthony Bregman to form This Is That, and later served a stint as Executive Director of the San Francisco Film Society before moving to Amazon and helping to establish the film program, which initially was acquisition-driven.

Here is the memo that Salke just sent out internally:

QuoteHello Team –

I'm writing today to update you on some changes to the Movies team. Ted Hope will be transitioning from his co-head role and returning to his passion of producing. Ted approached me earlier this year and expressed his feelings about taking on a new challenge. Over the course of several months and many conversations I came to realize Ted is a producer through and through and that now is the right time for both him and the studio to make a change. I couldn't be happier for Ted as he takes on this new adventure.

Beginning June 2nd, Ted will enter into a multi-year, first look deal with Amazon Studios. This will allow him to focus on the kind of critically acclaimed films he produced prior to joining Amazon and the prestige films he shepherded during his tenure here.

As many of you may know, Ted was hired to grow the movies team five years ago initially focusing on prestige films. His first production was Spike Lee's critically acclaimed Chi-Raq. What followed was a slate of daring, interesting and award-winning films including the Oscar-winners Manchester by the Sea and Cold War, The Handmaiden, Love & Friendship, Paterson, You Were Never Really Here, The Big Sick and this year's Oscar-nominated Les Misérables.

Ted is a beloved and widely respected figure throughout the industry. We're grateful to continue our partnership as he enters into this new chapter. Ted will consult on several movies planned for release in 2020 and he will produce select projects on the Studios' upcoming development slate. Amazon Studios will always be a home for the best filmmakers in the business, and we consider Ted a member of this group. I'm thrilled that Ted will continue to be a vital part of the Amazon Studios family.

Moving forward, Matt Newman and Julie Rapaport will be Co-Heads of the Movies team, reporting to me. I know the group will be in good hands as they continue their collaborative leadership, and build upon on the great successes AOM has had just within the past year with films including Late Night, Brittany Runs a Marathon, Honey Boy, The Aeronauts and Troop Zero. Please join me in congratulating Matt and Julie on their expanded roles.

I'm so proud of everything the Movies team has accomplished and look forward to continued great work in the future.

And finally, please join me in congratulating Ted on his new venture and thanking him for all his incredible work in helping build Amazon Original Movies.


MGM Makes First-Look Film & TV Deal With Killer Films
May 21, 2020

MGM has inked a two-year first-look film and TV development deal with Christine Vachon and Pamela Koffler's Killer Films.

"I had one of the best experiences of my career with Christine Vachon and Killer Films on Hedwig and the Angry Inch," said MGM Film Group Chairman Michael De Luca.

"All of us at MGM are excited to be their home for their particular brand of film innovation and excellence," added Pamela Abdy, MGM Film Group President.

Under the agreement, the studio will work closely with Vachon, Koffler and their partner David Hinojosa to develop and produce feature films and original scripted series together across a variety of genres and platforms. The first-look TV deal was handled by Rothman Brecher Ehrich Livingston. Sloss Eckhouse Dasti Haynes LawCo represented Killer Films in the negotiations for both film and TV deals.

Said MGM/UA President of TV, Steve Stark, "Christine and Pamela are two of the most influential independent producers in the industry, bringing audiences some of the most seminal film and television series of the past two decades. Their impeccable taste and passion for rich, diverse storytelling aligns perfectly with our mission to always put the creative first, and we look forward to collaborating with them on a wide range of scripted projects that help give voice to an entirely new generation of storytellers and creators."

Among Killer Films' independent feature credits are such Oscar winners Boys Don't Cry and Still Alice, and Oscar nominated features Carol, Far From Heaven, and I'm Not There; as well as notable pics as One Hour Photo, Kids, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Happiness, Velvet Goldmine, Safe, I Shot Andy Warhol, Swoon and Kill Your Darlings. Additionally, Killer Films executive produced Todd Haynes' Emmy-Golden Globe-SAG winning HBO miniseries "Mildred Pierce" starring Kate Winslet and Guy Pearce. On deck, are Todd Hayne's documentary on The Velvet Underground, The World To Come, starring Vanessa Kirby, Casey Affleck and Katherine Waterston; Ryan Murphy's untitled Netflix mini­series about fashion designer Halston starring Ewan McGregor; and the multi-part docuseries on LGBT+ rights in the US Pride for FX.


Of primary interest to Angelenos, perhaps, but...

Music Hall Theater in Beverly Hills Acquired By Blue Fox Entertainment

QuoteThe historic Music Hall Theater in Beverly Hills has been acquired by film distribution company Blue Fox Entertainment, which will renovate the three-screen complex for a planned October reopening.

Blue Fox, a 6-year old company based in Century City, sees taking over a long-term lease on the theater as a natural extension of its independent film distribution and sales business. Blue Fox owner James Huntsman says "People are going to be blown away" when they see the new design for the theater, which is the only multiplex operating in the city of Beverly Hills.

Built in 1936 and opened in 1937, the art deco landmark had been part of Laemmle Theaters until 2019, when a trio of Laemmle vets took over briefly to run it as the Lumiere until the COVID pandemic closed down theaters.

Huntsman says there's a need in Los Angeles for space for premieres, special screenings and four-wall bookings. The Blue Fox Theater will also program foreign and arthouse films from Blue Fox and other distributors, and Huntsman hopes the remodeled theater will prove attractive to bookers from the most prominent specialty labels.

"The renovation is quite extensive," Huntsman says, and will include an expanded lobby and totally reimagined concession stand with unique offerings of beer, wine and food. All three auditoriums will be retrofitted with new screens and fully reclining seats.

Great news.   No mention of parking.

[edit]  Is there
going on behind this article?


Quote from: wilberfan on February 17, 2021, 10:45:22 PM
Of primary interest to Angelenos, perhaps, but...

[edit]  Is there
going on behind this article?

~this drama is of city interest~

the situation is that "a trio of Laemmle vets" is three ex managers who were able to assume operation and though Blue Fox seems benevolent they might be the money people pushing the little guy


Los Angeles Movie Theaters Could Reopen Next Week

QuoteTHR reports that Los Angeles movie theaters might only be a scant number of days away from being able to reopen, although they'll certainly have restrictions in place like 25 percent capacity or no more than 100 people in any auditorium. Today, Los Angeles County moved from the purple tier to the less-restrictive red tier in Governor Gavin Newsom's reopening system thanks to a decreased number of COVID-19 cases in the area. If that trend continues for one more week, L.A. theaters should be able to open their doors on March 19.

Deadline says the reopening could actually happen even sooner; it all boils down to the number of vaccinations that can happen and if the daily cases per 100,000 residents drop below 10. But keep in mind that even if they receive the go-ahead from the state, "the county itself has to decide if it's OK to proceed here after it meets the state's requirements." Not to mention the fact that theater chains will probably need to ramp back up, hire more people, and train workers on how to operate under the new COVID restrictions. But after an excruciatingly long year, this is a step in the right direction and could finally be a sign that theatrical moviegoing could once again be approaching a level of normalcy in the somewhat near future. THR says "the larger Los Angeles market provided nearly 9 percent of all box office revenue in 2019," and the combination of L.A. and New York being open should go a long way toward jumpstarting the theatrical film business after the longest dormant period in living memory.

I'll just wrap this up by saying that we still can't recommend that you actually visit a movie theater in person until you've been vaccinated, and even then new CDC guidelines say to continue to wear masks in public places. But after a year away, we're finally getting close to a point where it won't feel actively dangerous to go to a theater again.




[a lengthy, very lengthy video of me literally crying because of pandemic fatigue related to the ongoing absence of cartoons in a theater]

^ continuation of a previous conversation o-kay