Filmmaker‘s blog, which we are having fun doing, hasn’t either ascended or descended, according to your point of view, into the realm of the purely personal yet. I have to say, while most of my favorite blogs are either link-oriented (like the great Greencine Daily) or else a mixture of links and commentary (like my favorite political blog, the Whisky Bar), I do admire those who lay their lives out on the web, updating the world on their business and/or personal adventures. There aren’t a huge number of working filmmakers who are doing this, but there are a few. Writer/director […]
One of my favorite new writers at Filmmaker is Graham Leggat, who contributes our “Game Engine” column. (Check out this issue’s piece, in which Leggat takes filmmaker Derek Cianfrance for a spin test driving the upcoming Dr3ver videogame, which comes complete with a groundbreaking video editor. In addition to his column next issue, Leggat wrote a short report on the filmmaker Shannon Plumb (who, coincidentally, happens to be Cianfrance’s wife). I just finished editing it when I got an email press release from the folks at Fountainhead Films, the company behind the feature Quatro Nozza. The company has just released […]
For all you Tarkovsky obsessives out there, check out this link, in which the great Russian filmmaker’s son Andrei posts and annotates some of his father’s Polaroid pictures.
From the excellent music online mag Pitchforkmedia comes this interesting review of The Advantage, the self-titled debut of a California five-piece band which exclusively plays “heavy, dynamic” indie-rock covers of Nintendo game music like Castelvania III and Super Mario Brothers 2 “that go far beyond simple nostalgia, exploring and ofthen enhancing the brilliance of their source material.” Continues Pitchfork’s Matt LeMay, “The music for the Nintendo Entertainment system was created under tremendously limiting circumstances– during the time that most of the songs covered here were written, composers had only three individual voices to work with at any given time, each […]
Most producers I know have their favorite teamster captains and are skilled at figuring out whose personality will mesh best with the particular needs of production. But the “teamster casting” process takes a new twist according to day’s Variety, which notes that 500 New York and L.A. casting directors are formally seeking to be represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. “The casting directors and associates cite lack of health care coverage, late pay and performing uncompensated work as key issues that have driven the organizing effort,” Variety writes. The Variety article goes on to suggest that casting directors may […]
Agent Mike Lubin has rejoined the William Morris Agency, his home for eight years before he left for the Gersh Agency in 2000. You may remember that we blogged his abrupt departure from Gersh a few weeks ago and wondered where he’d wind up. According to Variety, such indie directors as Nicole Kassell, Rose Troche, Debra Granik and Alan Taylor will be travelling to WMA with him.
Via my favorite non-film and non-politics Web site, the excellent music daily Pitchforkmedia, comes this tidbit of info that relates to a good cause. A number of musicians, including Cat Power, J. Mascis, and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion will play a benefit entitled “Fuck Cancer” May 11 at the Bowery Ballroom in New York. The evening will raise funds for Jackie Farry, a young tour manager with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood. Among the acts is Chavez, the beloved NYC band that hasn’t released an album since 1996’s Ride the Fader. I’ve known bassist Clay Tarver for […]
On Hollywood films and also those by conscientious independents, the American Humane Association is brought in by the production to “monitor animal activity” when animals are featured on the set. But as producers know, the AHA isn’t just there to protect the lives of the animals — the organization also serves to protect the sensibilities of the performers. Case in point: John C. Reilly reportedly walked off the set of Lars von Triers’ new Mandalay in protest after the production slaughtered an “old and sick” donkey on the set. Animal slaughter is nothing new in contemporary filmmaking. Gaspar Noe’s Carne, […]
Thanks to David Poland and his Hot Button for posting this link to the Holy Grail of underground videos: Todd Haynes’s Barbie-doll-epic Superstar. The Illegal Art organization, which highlights and exhibits works that tangle with and illuminate the complexities and inequities of copyright law, has posted a downloadable copy of Haynes’s hard-to-find first film. The 43-minute work draws on the same Sirkian influences displayed in his more recent Far from Heaven in telling the tragic tale of anorexic pop diva Karen Carpenter. And while you’re there, check out the rest of the site, which features work by Joe Gibbons, Negativeland […]
Working as a producer over the years, one is given pieces of advice about the job that initially seem vague, counterintuitive, or just plain silly. But as time passes, these pearls of wisdom ultimately prove their worth… if one is smart enough to apply them. Here, then, are a few thoughts people have passed on to me that may read a bit Erma Bombeck-ish but which I think are worthwhile if contemplated correctly. 1. From producer and Focus Films co-president James Schamus a long time ago: When seeking financing for a film, don’t get people to say “yes.” Get them […]