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Free money. Ask me how.

Need cash to make your own blockbuster? Edward Jay Epstein, author of The Big Picture, reveals how they do it: by taking a popular franchise and turning to immediate write-offs in tax shelters such as Germany, so that money starts coming in even before the movie enters production. No wonder we've been seeing so much crap as of late, with poor box office figures not hurting studios the way they really ought to.
posted by Goblindegook on Apr 25, 2005 - 29 comments

 

"To attract today's generation, glass boxes and yellow labels may not be enough".

"Calling it a museum is really a misnomer". The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum opens today in Springfield, Ill., with a silicone Lincoln posing in the rotunda and Tim Russert introducing mock TV attack ads from the campaign of 1860. In the Union Theater, an abolitionist roars "Lincoln was no friend of the black man" as hologram cannons boom to signal the start of the Civil War. Strobe lights flash; the plush seats jerk and rumble like a ride at Universal Studios. When Atlanta burns, the air feels hot. This is history, Hollywood style: A $90-million look at Honest Abe's life and times — with special effects created by the "Jurassic Park" and "Terminator 3" team of Stan Winston Studios (link with sound).
posted by matteo on Apr 16, 2005 - 14 comments

this is not the line you are looking for

The Good News: you're one of the first in line at Mann's Chinese for the last Star Wars movie ever. The bad news: the movie isn't scheduled to screen there. Logical conclusion: stay put. Out of protest.
posted by tsarfan on Apr 5, 2005 - 32 comments

Lord of the bling?

Peter Jackson sues New Line. Over money, naturally. Can 'the little hobbit that could' defeat the mysterious Dark Lordliness of Hollywood's Creative Accountants? Well, it worked for Stan Lee.
posted by Sparx on Mar 2, 2005 - 30 comments

Ivan Ho!

Ivan Brunetti, in addition to drawing dirty little comics (nsfw) and illustrations, has a great collection of vintage photographs of models, both demure and not-so-demure (again, nsfw), Hollywood starlets, cats, and comics ephemera. Finally, he also has a blog featuring a Doodle-a-Day.
posted by Robot Johnny on Feb 28, 2005 - 7 comments

Oscars for stuntmen

Do Hollywood stuntmen deserve their own Oscar category? Judge for yourself [qt]. Major stunt organizations have now joined forces to lobby the Academy to finally create an award for Best Stunt Coordinator. Does athleticism, courage and sheer gung-ho physicality deserve the same kind of recognition given to other Oscar categories? Only once has the Academy officially recognized a stuntman, with an Honorary Oscar for pioneering stunt coordinator Yakima Canutt in 1967.
posted by mediareport on Feb 16, 2005 - 23 comments

Schmucks With Underwoods

Tired of having to go through directors and producers, more and more screenwriters have their own websites to speak directly to the public (and to speak privately to each other.) Craig Mazin (screenwriter of the upcoming Opus the Penguin film) talks about why the hero aims low and how the screenwriter is like the Director of Photography. John Rogers worked on Catwoman and says "The one tiny shred of my artistic integrity I can take out of that process is that I've never actually seen the movie". Max Adams (whose Excess Baggage is reputed to be one of the best scripts ever made into a crappy movie) talks about how scripts get ruined. William Martell (the Robert Towne of made-for-cable movies) thinks it's a mistake to be too original. Terry Rossio (co-author of Pirates of the Caribbean reveals the physics of the story molecule. (Terry Rossio's site was mentioned in this thread on screenwriter John August's website but is worthy of a front page post of its own.)
posted by yankeefog on Feb 8, 2005 - 19 comments

"I'd rather play a maid than be one"

Call her Madame. Among the old-timers, the story went like this: a woman known to everyone as Madame came to California from Kentucky with her children and her husband. But once they were in the Gold Rush State, her husband left her. Desperate to find work, she introduced herself to a movie director named D. W. Griffith. He not only cast her in his movie, but the two became friends for life. And with this woman, called Madame Sul-Te-Wan, what we now call Black Hollywood began -- as a new book by historian Donald Bogle explains. (more inside)
posted by matteo on Feb 7, 2005 - 6 comments

Well, At Least It Has Three Acts

Just how bad are some of the ideas floating around in Hollywood? Very, very, very bad. Perhaps guys like this will prevent such monstrosities...and if not, at least there will be mockery to get us through.
posted by OhPuhLeez on Nov 29, 2004 - 26 comments

PABAAH?! Gensundheit!

Another salvo in the growing culture war. PABAAH (Patriotic Americans Boycotting Anti-American Hollywood) takes on Skinny Puppy and college radio. College radio mostly yawns; Some fans resort to bad language and idle threats, a few others offer highly eloquent and reasoned replies.
posted by loquacious on Nov 16, 2004 - 50 comments

Godzilla, Tintin and Daffy

As matteo's thread noted earlier this week, the Godzilla PR Monster is rampaging over the University of Kansas, but that's just a stop on the way to his ultimate destination: The Hollywood Walk of Fame, where the Big Green Guy will get his own star just in time for the premeire of his latest flick, joining previous ficticious recipients Big Bird, Bugs Bunny, Kermit the Frog, Pee-Wee Herman, Mickey Mouse, The Rugrats and Woody Woodpecker (and maybe Clayton Moore as The Lone Ranger), and ahead of Donald Duck.
In other news, The Democratic Republic of Congo is comparing Belgium's foreign minister to Tintin (and not in a nice way).
And Daffy Duck is running for president. (Throwing his beak into the ring?) The state of American politics must be pretty pathetic if Daffy gets the nod over Bugs Bunny...
posted by wendell on Oct 22, 2004 - 3 comments

Lack Of Originality

Shyamalan may face legal action over Village - The Village can now join the long list of films accused of plagiarism in recent years. A lawsuit may be filed against M. Night Shyamalan's Blinding Edge Pictures and Disney for alleged plagiarism. Kiddie book writer Margaret Peterson Haddix claims that the movie bears disturbing similarities to her 1995 novel Running Out Of Time. While plagiarism of any kind is no laughing matter, it must be stated that the "disturbing similarity" is a plot twist many of us once used in our own stories back in grade school.
posted by circe on Aug 16, 2004 - 68 comments

Brainwash

Hollywood Propaganda

The Manchurian Candidate remake has all the makings of a cunning piece of republican political propaganda. The most obvious theme of the movie warns a politician war hero is a danger to the country.

The movie has all the makings of a good thriller. However, the script and screen play are so heavily slanted the movie comes across as a commercial just like other movies geared towards one political ideal.
posted by lightweight on Aug 12, 2004 - 36 comments

Framed

Prime Suspects. Providing actors, extras and consulting services to the movie and TV industry, Suspect Entertainment is Hollywood's best source for street cred.
posted by jacquilynne on May 27, 2004 - 3 comments

We hope, very shortly, to release a mouse in the elephant's cage.

If you're a fan of the works of J. Michael Straczynski (especially Babylon 5, and let me take this moment to give massive props to The Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5, the second website I ever visited (after searching Yahoo! for "Babylon 5")), then you probably already know that he has long been an advocate of online communication as a means of both promotion of his work and communication with the fans of said work. JMSnews.com has an archive of all his postings going back eleven and a half years, a neat accomplishment by ephemeral Internet standards, and it's fascinating reading that gives you a nice portrait of a guy with a story to tell, and his journey to get it told. If you're a geek for "the business" that is Hollywood, this is for you.
posted by WolfDaddy on Jan 19, 2004 - 12 comments

As the wind blows, we see the anus of a chicken.

Hollywood? Old. Bollywood? That's soooo 2003. Make room for Nollywood, Nigeria's own film industry which is growing by leaps and bounds every year, and is currently worth about $45 million dollars. About 400 Nollywood films are produced every year many on a budget of around $15000 and are distributed almost entirely by VHS and VCD. The stories are very much simplistic and pulpy (check out 419 Stalk Exchange. Yes, 419 as in the email scam) but are much preferred by local residents and emigre's than the usual arthouse fair one often thinks of when talking about African cinema. Now if you'll excuse me there's a bucket of popcorn and a copy of GSM Connection waiting for me in the living room.
posted by PenDevil on Jan 19, 2004 - 13 comments

Dude, Where's My Oxygen?

Columbia Univ. severs ties with Biosphere 2. I remember when Biosphere 2 opened and watched as the team of starry-eyed scientists entered the self-sustaining environment. It's even been the subject of a bad Hollywood movie. But now the structure may become nothing more than a giant scrap pile of steel and glass in the desert. The mission of the project was impressive, and despite glitches such as acidic water and "crazy ant" infestation, should an experiment be abandoned because it didn't go as expected? Or is it just man's folly to try and replicate intelligent design?
posted by archimago on Sep 10, 2003 - 11 comments

some must put it on with a trowel.

A gallery of photos showing celebrities with and without make-up.
posted by crunchland on Aug 29, 2003 - 58 comments

Hollywood is calling

Hollywood Is Calling. What do b-list celebrities do when they aren't running for governor? They converse with you -- for a fee. Because those What's Happening? stories never get old, right?
posted by herc on Aug 14, 2003 - 13 comments

Hollywood's Golden Era

GLAMORLUX Cool Collections ~ vintage photos, movie posters, book covers and album covers from Hollywood's golden era.
posted by crunchland on Jun 28, 2003 - 6 comments

Predict-a-flop

The Box Office Oracle You pick the writer, director, genre, actrons, budget, rating and month of release. You get projected box office receipts, chance of winning an Oscar and critics most likely to praise and pan your movie. There's even a BOO Hall of Fame. [via All Movie Guide reviewer Matthew Tobey]
posted by mediareport on Jun 26, 2003 - 25 comments

http://www.sfsite.com/singularity/criticism/criticism_detail.php?critID=9

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.
posted by metameme on Apr 20, 2003 - 54 comments

Hamlet 2471

Film Mogul is an online RPG that's "a simulation of what it is like to be a power player in the movie industry today." Take on the role of studio head, agent, producer, critic, or journalist and make virtual movies every bit as crappy as the ones that the real Hollywood churns out!
posted by MrBaliHai on Apr 6, 2003 - 5 comments

Hollywood? Huh huh, you said

Can I catch Gay if I watch the Oscars?
posted by vito90 on Feb 13, 2003 - 25 comments

Celebrity Nudity Database

Celebrity Nudity Database [via Anil] I'm not usually one to accredit websites to the whim of the Almighty, but in this case, one has to wonder. The site bills itself as "the most comprehensive reference for celebrity nudity on the Internet" with "reviews of over 12,000 nude scenes -- updated daily". This is work-safe; it's not porn.
posted by jdroth on Jan 29, 2003 - 11 comments

Hollywood Walk of Fame

The Hollywood Walk of Fame gives Suzanne Somers (of "Three's Company" and ThighMaster fame) her own star. Did you know that there's a fee to get a star? $15,000 is the going price of being having a star, evidently.
posted by msacheson on Jan 25, 2003 - 14 comments

The lost Egyptian city of DeMille

The lost Egyptian city of DeMille In 1923, Cecil B. DeMille built an Egyptian city in the dunes of the Guadalupe Desert north of Los Angeles as the set for "The Ten Commandments," the first true Hollywood epic. Cost over-runs on the filming left too little money for a complete dismantling of the set, so DeMille had it buried instead. In recent years the set has been partially uncovered by Pacific winds, revealing the remains of three-story-tall plaster sphinxes and other artifacts, and leading to a campaign to excavate and preserve this important piece of film history.
posted by me3dia on Sep 16, 2002 - 15 comments

Broadcast Flag!

Broadcast Flag!
Why are the rights of the consumer constantly compromised? Technology may soon be governed by Hollywood Studios...
posted by I am Generic on Aug 16, 2002 - 12 comments

Freddy vs. Jason.

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?
posted by billder on Aug 5, 2002 - 146 comments

The Dead Zone's Michael Piller

The Dead Zone's Michael Piller is probably one of the most under-appreciated creative talents in Hollywood. One of the most egalitarian executives, he always lets the fans of his shows have a chance to get behind the scenes. (Acrobat required for download you'll find at link, and more inside)
posted by WolfDaddy on Jul 29, 2002 - 17 comments

Congress is about to consider an entertainment industry proposal that would authorize copyright holders to disable PCs used for illicit file trading. "The measure would permit copyright holders to perform nearly unchecked electronic hacking if they have a "reasonable basis" to believe that piracy is taking place."
posted by mathowie on Jul 23, 2002 - 40 comments

Every wonder why most Hollywood movies completely stink?

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.
posted by GriffX on Jul 18, 2002 - 21 comments

HMOs sign on with William Morris. "We're not saying it's verboten to attack some part of the health care system. We're saying there is another side to what we do." No word yet on whether the American Association of Health Plans is set to star opposite Tom Cruise in the next summer blockbuster. But, aside from moving beautiful people from casting to marquee, I believe this is the first time in history that the William Morris Agency has been set up as a Hollywood lobbyist. It's bad enough that more than 100 product placement agencies continue to bombard movies with increasing junk. But, assuming the studios take this representation seriously, is it too much to ask that corporate interests be denied any potential sullying of the cinematic voice? Will CAA follow suit and take on the NRA? Or are today's movies beyond salvation?
posted by ed on Jul 16, 2002 - 4 comments

The Garden of Allah, at times, does not reflect the first images that come to mind. It is the title of an amazing 1904 Robert Smythe Hichens book that spawned not one, or two, but three movies, including a 1936 Marlene Dietrich classic; and inspired a 1918 Maxfield Parrish painting. In a seemingly unrelated coincidence a famous contemporary Hollywood hangout spot was also called The Garden of Allah; razing of which prompted Joni Mitchell to sing: "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot." [Gossip] Journalist Sheilah Graham wrote a book on this Hollywood landmark where once her love interest F. Scott Fitzgerald lived. I don't think Don Henley drew from any of these two for one of the two original songs in his 1995 Actual Miles album or its controvertial video.
[ In order: I heard the Joni Mitchell song, without knowing of its inspiration, and then in the span of a few months saw the replica of the Hollywood landmark and came in contact with the original Parrish painting. I eventually read the Hichens book. I have yet to see the movies or read the Graham book.]

posted by tamim on Jun 21, 2002 - 12 comments

Star Trek's George Takei scoops LA Times by two months.

Star Trek's George Takei scoops LA Times by two months. Los Angeles is so big that The Valley wants to secede as does Hollywood. Takei, who grew up in LA, pointed out in his web site months ago that if Hollywood split away, the world famous sign, which isn't technically in Hollywood would be on LA real estate. Not until today, LAEXAMINER.com reported, did the LA Times seem to think this newsworthy.
posted by tsarfan on May 6, 2002 - 6 comments

"The military's role is not to advance social issues. That's Hollywood's job!"

"The military's role is not to advance social issues. That's Hollywood's job!" So argues gay cutie-pie Danny Roberts, who made waves as a cast member on MTV's Real World for his relationship with a closeted military man. Meanwhile, Michael Signorile has taken Rosie O'Donnell to task for "some rather homophobic whoppers of late – e.g., saying she wouldn’t want her children to be gay...that betray she’s got some issues to deal with." Is it smart for queer people to rely on newly out Hollywood stars to do their talking for them?
posted by mediareport on May 1, 2002 - 13 comments

Stupid URL. Stupid Site.

Stupid URL. Stupid Site. GREAT gfx. and don't look for any content - there isn't any. warning: bandwidth!
posted by heimkonsole on Apr 8, 2002 - 26 comments

Hollywood loses another giant.

Hollywood loses another giant. Billy Wilder passes on at 95. Just the quick list of movies at the top of the article gives me pause..Stalag 17, Some Like it Hot, The Seven-Year Itch. Damn, this is definitely a sad week in the entertainment business.
posted by PeteyStock on Mar 28, 2002 - 15 comments

The "Sum Of All Fears"

The "Sum Of All Fears" trailer recently went online, and is already causing some heated discussion over major changes from the book. In the wake of 9/11, it seems that terrorists in the film have been changed from Muslim to Neo-Nazi (who then go on to detonate a bomb within the United States). Hollywood knee-jerk reaction or a good call given the timing of things? Discuss...
posted by almostcool on Mar 28, 2002 - 28 comments

Send Them Packing!

Send Them Packing! That's right -- the uninformed opinions of well-known Hollywood actors have grated on you for years. They seem to love Cuba more than America. Well, with the click of a mouse, you can buy them a ticket! [more inside]
posted by dhartung on Mar 20, 2002 - 46 comments

When the Secret Service agent called him, Ellsworth ad-libbed: "Tony, if you keep telling people, it's not a secret."

When the Secret Service agent called him, Ellsworth ad-libbed: "Tony, if you keep telling people, it's not a secret." You're in Hollywood, and you're writing scripts, and it's impossible to get anyone to read them. And the cops come in, and the script was right there, and they wouldn't read it!
posted by magullo on Mar 13, 2002 - 12 comments

File Under "Duh": Hollywood Colluded With Tobacco Giants. You'd think they'd never seen film noir...
posted by solistrato on Mar 11, 2002 - 28 comments

Oh how the mighty have fallen. He went from this to this. There's nothing like watching the "downward spiral" segment of an E! True Hollyword Story unfold before your very eyes. Any other favorite falls from grace?
posted by lawtalkinguy on Jan 17, 2002 - 77 comments

"Leave no man behind"

"Leave no man behind" is the tagline for the new Scott/Bruckheimer battlepic, Blackhawk Down.

In October of 1993, US Rangers and Delta Force personnel stationed outside of Mogadishu, Somalia, launched what should've been a 30 minute grab-and-go mission to capture higher-ups under the command of Mohammed Aidid, a Somali warlord. Before it was all over, many hours later, 19 US servicemen and 1000+ Somalis were dead.

PBS has a decent writeup on the Bakara Market ambush, but I still feel like I am missing something. Some sources share the movie's claim that the US was there to support humanitarian relief efforts, that Aidid was preventing the distribution of food. Others say we were there to protect American oil interests.

So what really happened on that day in October 1993? The movie opens on Friday, I saw it last night, and I am still exhausted. Admittedly, this film is far better than Pearl Harbor (no contrived love-triangles are used as a framing device here), but for all the simulated shooting and on-screen heroism, it still seems hard to make out the truth through all of the Hollywood dust. So I guess I am wondering, can we prevent Hollywood's versions of history from replacing the truth (or even the truth-as-we-knew-it)? Should we even try? Is it even possible?
posted by grabbingsand on Jan 16, 2002 - 39 comments

What is it about brothers and film?

What is it about brothers and film? You've got the Hughes Brothers, the Cohen Brothers, the Polish Brothers, the Wachowski Brothers, the Farrelly Brothers, to name the best known. We also have the Weinstein Brothers, and numerous up-and-comers taking the fraternal route. What's behind this phenomenon? And where are the sisters?
posted by cell divide on Dec 6, 2001 - 26 comments

Want to escape CNN's round-the-clock war coverage? Don't head for the theater. Faster than Lee Marvin could say "Dirty Dozen," Hollywood is rounding up its good-looking troops, rallying the editing rooms, and launching a war-time celluloid offensive. Groovy. And just when I'd started getting bored with the real deal...
posted by Bixby23 on Dec 4, 2001 - 6 comments

AOL Time Warner's Marketing Wizardry

AOL Time Warner's Marketing Wizardry : "With its Hollywood studio, Warner Bros., AOL leveraged its promotional and advertising might across its empire of Internet, cable TV, movie, music and magazine outlets to ensure that kids, parents, teens and everyone else knew that "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" was debuting in theaters Nov. 16. In the days leading up to the film's release, tracking studies showed an extraordinary 100% awareness among moviegoers that "Harry Potter" was coming."
posted by owillis on Dec 2, 2001 - 18 comments

"Gutless" Hollywood stars

"Gutless" Hollywood stars - too scared to fly Concorde. Send ME a ticket. I'll go...
posted by scotty on Nov 9, 2001 - 15 comments

Pentagon asks for help - from Hollywood screenwriters and directors

Pentagon asks for help - from Hollywood screenwriters and directors. Hilarious, yet true. Some of the makers of MacGyver, Die Hard, Death Wish II, and Grease, among others were invited to "brainstorm possible terrorist events and solutions" and return this information to Army Brigadier General Kenneth Bergquist. Everyone's doing their part (including Spike Jonze).
posted by kokogiak on Oct 8, 2001 - 26 comments

America's Obsession With Movies Reaches The WTC Attacks

America's Obsession With Movies Reaches The WTC Attacks The website Metaphilm(grrr...)says the 1998 movie The Siege eerily anticipated the WTC attacks and offers a list of impressive coincidences to back up its analysis. Is this taking moviemania too far? Or is there something in it? (More)
posted by MiguelCardoso on Oct 2, 2001 - 15 comments

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