The Fresno Bee, Nov. 21
Maryland is well-known for its crab cakes and the Chesapeake Bay. But that's not all. Just since 2000, 78 films and five television shows have been shot in Maryland, according to the Maryland State Archives. When people think of movie and television locations, California's pristine oceans and rolling Hollywood hills, or the sprawling urban jungle of New York come to mind. Though it's smaller, Maryland has more than held its own.
The Poly Post, Nov. 20
A camera pans across a dark park showing images of the homeless sleeping on benches, or gathered in groups. A woman’s voice narrates the scene, recounting the time police officers threw away her mother’s ashes. This isn’t a scene from a Sundance documentary, this is the work of Cal Poly Pomona students. Manshaan Singh, first-year environmental biology student, and Kanwar Bir Singh, fourth-year mechanical engineer student decided to lend their passion for storytelling and create a short documentary for Campus MovieFest titled, “Trash or Treasure: Humanizing the Homeless.” “Basically, we made a documentary on the lives of the homeless, and how people perceive them and who they really are,” Kanwar Bir Singh said. “We’re trying to break the stereotypes and show that the homeless are just one of us.”
BBC News, Nov. 20
A British camera operator has died while shooting a stunt sequence for a BBC drama in Ghana. Mark Milsome, whose credits include Saving Private Ryan and Sherlock, was working on upcoming drama The Forgiving Earth when the incident occurred. The BBC said it was "deeply shocked and saddened" by the news, calling Milsome "a much respected colleague". His agent said he would be "greatly missed" and that an investigation into Saturday's incident was under way. "We all need answers to this dreadful tragedy," said Sarah Prince of PrinceStone. It has been reported that Milsome, who was from Builth Wells, was taking part in a night shoot for a car stunt scene.
Cryptovest, Nov. 20
Famed Hollywood producer Christopher Woodrow, who has blockbusters such as “Birdman” and “Black Mass” to his credit, has announced his intent to bring cryptocurrencies into the film-making business. The former Worldview Entertainment head is planning to introduce his own digital token called MovieCoin. The coin is slated to launch in the first quarter of 2018, with a target of selling $100 million of tokens, and all funds raised via the initial coin offering (ICO) will be used to fund a portfolio of movies. Drawn by the disruptive nature of DLT, Woodrow is driven by blockchain tech’s potential to democratize the process of financing films.
New York Times, Nov. 19
When the Pixar writer and director Lee Unkrich received the green light in 2011 to develop his follow-up to “Toy Story 3,” the best picture nominee that made his career, his initial excitement dissolved into fear. Mr. Unkrich, 50, hadn’t caught sophomore jitters. He knew his idea for a new animated film, which eventually became “Coco,” arriving in theaters in the United States on Wednesday, had the same potential for dazzling visuals and emotional catharsis that distinguished “Toy Story 3” and other hits from the Disney-owned studio.
Variety, Nov. 18
Building diversity in cinematography – and in the film industry in general – is a career-long goal for most members of the Camerimage film festival panel that takes on this subject and most report progress since the event launched at the event last year. But, as moderator Elen Lotman, an Estonian cinematographer, cautioned at this year’s panel, “We will not solve this tonight.” Still, as Heather Stewart, creative director of the British Film Institute, reported, significant efforts to identify and quantify the problem of under-represented women and minorities are now building.
Indianapolis Business Journal, Nov. 18
Three years after raising its curtain on operations, Bloomington-based Pigasus Pictures is making its mark, with one award-winning feature film to its credit and another with growing expectations set to wrap up production within a month. And the firm’s two young Hoosier founders say they’re ready to accelerate production even faster. The company’s early success has put a spotlight on a unique financing method founders Zachary Spicer and John Armstrong are using for Pigasus’ projects, including three more feature films and two television pilots. All that work is slated for production in 2018 and 2019, with initial release by 2021.
Variety, Nov. 18
Cinematographer Steven Poster, who’s shot such films as “Donnie Darko” and “Stuart Little 2,” and is a former president of the Americans Society of Cinematographers, has been head of the International Cinematographers Guild, Local 600, since 2006. At the just-concluded Camerimage cinematography film festival in Bydgoszcz, Poland, he sat with Variety to assess the state of the organization at this point in its history (good) and anti-union trends at the national level (bad). The organization, he says, continues the fight against the view, in some quarters, that labor is just another commodity.
HotHardware.com, Nov. 16
Movie studios and content creators have taken a step towards crushing the add-on scene (or at least the illegal aspect of it) surrounding Kodi, a free and open-source media player developed by the XBMC Foundation. The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment, which is led by the MPAA and includes Netflix, Amazon, Disney, Warner Brothers, and several others among its members, has been sending cease and desist letters to certain add-on developers.
Baltimore Sun, Nov. 16
Joe Swanberg doesn’t envy today’s emerging filmmakers. They’ve got a tough road ahead of them — far tougher, he says, than just a decade ago, when he was making a name for himself on the indie film scene. “They're already entering a tough market, no matter what they want to do,” Swanberg, 36, says over the phone from his home in Chicago. One of the guiding lights of the character-driven, relationship-obsessed mumblecore film movement and a longtime favorite of the Maryland Film Festival, Swanberg will be in Baltimore this weekend for the latest installment in the MFF’s “Behind the Screens” series. He’ll be leading a discussion titled “How Streaming Services are Changing Filmmaking.”
BBC News, Nov. 16
The hero jumps through a glass window and escapes unscathed. A man smashes a beer bottle over the head of his nemesis. A woman hurls a glass vase at her paramour. From The Wizard of Oz to the Wolf of Wall Street, smashing glass is a fixture of most Hollywood movies and TV shows. And it's entrepreneurs with secret recipes that create the "breakaway" prop glass bottles and windows, which are brittle enough to shatter but safe enough to prevent lacerations to actors and stunt people. In the past, movie glass props were prohibitively expensive for low budget projects. But entrepreneur Ryan Johnson has created an affordable line of props to smash for theatres, film and television - and increasingly for YouTubers.
The Daily Reveille, Nov. 16
For professional in residence Glen Pitre, premiering a film at Cannes is nothing new, teaching film techniques to college students, on the other hand, is entirely different. Pitre rose to prominence as a director with his 1986 film “Belizaire the Cajun,” a period piece portraying Louisiana’s Cajun culture. Growing up in Cut Off, his grandparents barely spoke English and stressed the importance of telling stories through the oral tradition, he said. “In Lafayette, you had to be a musician to be looked up on,” Pitre said. “In Bayou Lafourche, you had to be a storyteller.”
WTMJ-TV, Nov. 15
New study results released from the Milwaukee Filmmaker Alliance shows the film industry is bigger than the beer industry in the Milwaukee-area. The results revealed millions of dollars generated through labor income, billions in sales and nearly 15,000 film and media jobs -- which five times more than the area's beer manufacturing and distribution industry.
Sactown Magazine, Nov. 15
Director Steven Spielberg leads the pack of nine new inductees into the California Hall of Fame's 11th class, which the California Museum and the office of Gov. Jerry Brown and first lady Anne Gust Brown announced Tuesday.
Huffington Post, Nov. 15
Director Jon Watts advocated for a diverse cast in “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” because, as he said, he wanted the film to reflect the real world. Now Jacob Batalon, one of the film’s stars, wants the diversity in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to go even further. During a Q&A session with fans on Tumblr in September, the actor and co-star Laura Harrier supported the idea of having a trans Spider-Man. During an interview with HuffPost at New York Comic-Con in October, Batalon echoed that sentiment, telling us he still wants to see a trans superhero join the MCU.
The IATSE Women’s Committee is working with the Coalition of Labor Union Women and Healthy Women on a campaign called “Spread the Word” to disperse helpful health information to women.
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