The same kind of numbers analysis that has reshaped areas like politics and online marketing is increasingly being used by the entertainment industry. "A chain-smoking former statistics professor named Vinny Bruzzese – "the reigning mad scientist of Hollywood", in the words of one studio customer – has started to aggressively pitch a service he calls "script new evaluation". For as much as $US20,000 per script, Bruzzese and a team of analysts compare the story structure and genre of a draft script with those of released movies, looking for clues to box-office success." His research has lead to conclusions like "If it's a targeting demon, you are likely to have much higher opening-weekend sales than if it's summoned. So get rid of that ouija board scene." and "Bowling scenes tend to pop up in films that fizzle"
Without visual effects the average blockbuster movie would look like this. However as Hollywood comes under financial pressure they are putting the squeeze on the VFX industry that they rely on, who are in turn passing the pressure onto workers. Now VFX workers are organizing a protest in time for the Oscars, which will be celebrating visual effects as the companies responsible for them close down. [more inside]
Here Is What Happens When You Cast Lindsay Lohan in Your Movie. The movie in question is The Canyons, the Kickstarter-funded erotic thriller written by Bret Easton Ellis and directed by Paul Schrader. There's no release date yet, but the film does have several retro-themed trailers.
"...the first decade of the 21st century can be viewed as a singularly male-dominated era in American cinema."
New York Times Magazine "Hollywood Issue": Hollywood’s Year of Heroine Worship. Accompanied by an online web series of 13 original, short films: Wide Awake, each starring an actress whose performance helped 'define the year in film.' [more inside]
After 65 Years The Hollywood Reporter addresses its role in the hollywood blacklist, including an apology from W.R. Wilkerson III, son of THR founder Billy Wilkerson whose "A Vote For Joe Stalin" editorial named writers such as Dalton Trumbo, Lester Cole, Howard Koch and John Howard Lawson as communist sympathisers.
Today is the 100th birthday of Raymond Nicholas Kienzle, better known as Nicholas Ray. The seminal Hollywood-outcast-turned-French-New-Wave idol behind Rebel Without a Cause, Bigger Than Life, Bitter Victory and the hallucinatory Western Johnny Guitar made intensely emotional films about isolated people, often infused with profound desperation and a sense of the nightmarish. Francois Truffaut dubbed him "the poet of nightfall," while Jean-Luc Godard simply declared that "the cinema is Nicholas Ray." He studied architecture under Frank Lloyd Wright, mentored Jim Jarmusch and let Wim Wenders film him as he was dying of cancer. Bob Dylan even wrote a hit song about one of his movies. [more inside]
"As part of the DGA's 75th Anniversary, DGA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and three-time DGA Award winner, Steven Spielberg, was celebrated on June 11, 2011..." [more inside]
So here's what's on tap two summers from now: an adaptation of a comic book. A reboot of an adaptation of a comic book. A sequel to a sequel to an adaptation of a comic book. A sequel to a reboot of an adaptation of a TV show. A sequel to a sequel to a reboot of an adaptation of a comic book. A sequel to a cartoon. A sequel to a sequel to a cartoon. A sequel to a sequel to a sequel to a cartoon. A sequel to a sequel to a sequel to a sequel to a movie based on a young-adult novel. And soon after: Stretch Armstrong. How did Hollywood get here? There's no overarching theory, no readily identifiable villain, no single moment to which the current combination of caution, despair, and underachievement that defines studio thinking can be traced. But let's pick one anyway: Top Gun.
The Day the Movies Died. (via)
The Day the Movies Died. (via)
Rod Hilton has been "editing" and abridging movie scripts since 1998 (first script: Godzilla). In all this time, he has given 5 stars to only six movies: Saving Private Ryan; The Matrix; Being John Malkovich; Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back; The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King; and Inception. (Previously)
Lookout Mountain Laboratories (Hollywood, CA) was originally built in 1941 as an air defense station. But after WWII, the US Air Force repurposed it into a secret film studio which operated for 22 years during the Cold War. The studio produced classified movies for all branches of the US Armed Forces, as well as the Atomic Energy Commission, until it was deactivated in 1969. During this time, cameramen, who referred to themselves as "atomic" cinematographers, were hired to shoot footage of atomic bomb tests in Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and the South Pacific. Some of their films have been declassified and can be seen here. [more inside]
A Trailer for Every Academy Award Winning Movie Ever (single link cracked.com video)
Hollywood Bloopers: 1936-1947 A couple of the years won't load for me, but the ones I can watch are fun.
Just Like The Movies. Michal Kosakowski reconstructs the morning of 9/11/01 completely through clips from Hollywood movies released before 9/11. More of Kosakowski's short films are available here. [more inside]
Review on SF Site Here’s a question: what if the Wachowski brothers’ 1999 film The Matrix was not just an entertaining piece of sf-action-adventure hokum. What if, instead, it is all true? Imagine it as a message sent via the medium of the Matrix itself (Hollywood cinema) from someplace outside the Matrix, to wake us up to our human condition, to alert us all to the fact ‘that we are slaves’. If so, then we are not living the lives we thought we were living; we are instead inhabiting a virtual reality composed by oppressive machine-intelligences. What if this were literally true? How would it appear to us? Well, clearly, it would appear exactly as our lives presently appear to us. Unless we get ‘unplugged’, unless we become enlightened, we cannot see past the illusion that has been created for us. What should we do in this circumstance? Should we collaborate with the machines and not rock the boat? Or should we fight, free ourselves and eventually free everybody else? Clearly, says The Matrix Warrior, this latter. This is a book that proceeds from the assumption that the situation described in The Matrix is real, and tells you where to go from there.
Freddy vs. Jason. Batman vs. Superman. It seems Hollywood is done mining lame cartoons for movie fodder and has moved on to pitting tired franchises against each other. What's next? Hercule Poirot vs. Indiana Jones? (Actually, that'd be good.) Personally, I'd like to see Bugs Bunny vs. Sauron. We know who'd win that battle. What movie battles would you like to see?
Every wonder why most Hollywood movies completely stink? It's 'cuz all the decent writers get put through the wringer like this guy, and give up. He hasn't given up yet, and does seem to at least be getting a lot of free Evian at the production companies pitches at.
Brando ill. The saddest, scariest part of this story is that he was just getting ready to film Scary Movie II when he got sick. Scary Movie II...and the Oscar for "Most Pathetic Former Genius" goes to....