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.
Crains New York, Nov. 13
Unless a holiday miracle occurs, the city's oldest costume-rental business might shut its doors in the spring. For the past 10 years, Helen Uffner Vintage Clothing, a film, TV and Broadway fixture for nearly 40 years, has been ensconced in a 6,200-square-foot showroom at Queens Plaza in Long Island City. A new landlord increased the rent 26%, to more than $100,000 annually, in May and gave the company until next May to move out. Though the city's film and TV production business is booming, the industry's growth has somehow overlooked the wardrobe business.
Animation Magazine, Nov. 13
The Art Directors Guild has announced that eight-time Oscar-nominated filmmaker and President of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy will receive the 2018 Cinematic Imagery Award at the 22nd Annual ADG Excellence in Production Design Awards. The ceremony is scheduled for January 27, 2018 at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood and Highland.
Port City Daily, Nov. 12
When Mike Roberts applied for the production rights to Stephen King’s “The Doctor’s Case,” a Sherlock Holmes story, he didn’t expect to get a contract back, three days later, with King’s signature on the dotted line. “Honestly, it was a blind shot in the dark,” Roberts said. Stephen King’s Dollar Baby program is a deal King offers to aspiring filmmakers to adapt his short stories that have not yet been made or auctioned off – for $1. Filmmakers are guaranteed King’s eyes on their final product.
ABC7.com, Nov. 11
It's the kick off to awards season with the ninth annual Governors Awards. Oscars were presented to four movie-industry veterans: writer-director Charles Burnett, director Agnes Varda, cinematographer Owen Roizman and actor Donald Sutherland. The recipients of the award, and their famous friends, were happy to share their love of the arts at a ceremony in Hollywood.
Hollywood Reporter, Nov. 10
Women in Film Los Angeles is establishing a help line for men and women who experience sexual harassment in the entertainment industry. The help line, which is expected to go live by Dec. 1 and be available year-round, will serve as a confidential crisis center for callers and refer them to follow-up resources, including mental-health counseling and law-enforcement and legal services.
The 2022 District 2 Convention will be held June 24-26 at the San Francisco Westin Hotel. As of this printing, the event is scheduled to be held in-person. Further information will be provided as it becomes available.
Behind the Scenes is a charity that provides financial assistance by paying the rent or paying down your bills until you can get back to work, click here to find out more about this valuable organization. Cases are reviewed quickly and confidentially.
Feeling generous? Click here to donate.