20 items from 2014
It's 1994, and aspiring filmmaker Kerry Conran sits down with his Macintosh IIci to begin work on a short film that's a throwback to the buccaneering adventure serials of the '30s and '40s. In those post-Jurassic Park days, computer-generated visual effects technology was still in its infancy, but Conran, a former CalArts student, saw the potential to tell a story he'd dreamed about. After four years of painstaking work with blue screen and his already-obsolete Mac, he fashioned a black and white teaser trailer for The World of Tomorrow.
Alongside Conran for the entirety of the journey was his brother Kevin Conran, who served as production and costume designer on both the short and eventual feature film. Speaking to Digital Spy from his home in California, Kevin recalled the lightbulb moment when his brother first pitched him the idea.
"At the time I was working as a freelance »
Apparently, the success of the female-centric Wigs channel isn’t enough for its creators, because they want to take things to the next level. Filmmakers Jon Avnet, Jake Avnet, and Rodrigo Garcia are starting a new digital media production company which has already received investments from Wpp and the UK broadcasting company ITV. The production company, called Indigenous Media, plans to create original content and develop content brands across multiple, global platforms. Indigenous will specialize, among other formats, in scripted half-hour to hour-long series, with Wpp and ITV providing advertising and distribution aid. “Shortly after the launch of Wigs, Peter Tortorici [of Wpp] approached us with his vision for the potential of scripted content on digital platforms,” stated Jon Avnet in the release. “We agreed and now are working to scale this model with our new investors.” “As digital media continues to evolve and new models for content creation and distribution emerge and proliferate, »
- Bree Brouwer
Filmmaker Jon Avnet thinks the way to monetizing digital is premium content. To that end, Avnet is launching Indigenous Media, alongside his son Jake Avnet and filmmaker Rodrigo Garcia to bring high-profile half-hour and hour-long programs to the Internet. The new venture's principle investors include Wpp, the U.K.-based advertising and PR firm, and ITV, the largest unscripted producer in the U.S. and the largest and oldest broadcast network in the U.K. Wpp will provide advertising expertise and access to brands, allowing Indigenous Media to focus on creating content that will attract brand sponsorships. ITV will assist »
- Gina Hall
The Mfa graduates from the American Film Institute Conservatory weren’t the only ones receiving degrees Wednesday morning at the Tcl Chinese Theater.
Cicely Tyson and Oscar-winning scribe Robert Towne were awarded honorary degrees during the AFI commencement ceremony, which also bestowed diplomas upon the students in the areas of cinematography, directing, editing, producing, production design and screenwriting.
Following an introduction from the dean, who reminded the students that they were in “hallowed halls,” special guest and AFI founding trustee Francis Ford Coppola took the stage to present to his friend Towne.
Towne told the grads that Coppola has been instrumental in his career since 1971, when Coppola was shooting “The Godfather” in New York. The film had “a script problem,” as Towne put it, and Coppola turned to him for help. Towne, who worked closely with Marlon Brando on his performance, said the experience taught him to learn from his peers, »
- Andrea Seikaly
Ryan (Barnes) is a modern-day traveling folk singer with only a backpack and banjo to his name. Ryan puts his dreams of becoming a successful musician on hold when he meets Jackie, (Heigl) a former country singer fighting for custody of her daughter. Together, with their passion for music, and soon, each other, they form an unlikely relationship.
Rounding out the cast alongside Heigl and Barnes are supporting cast members Clea DuVall (Argo), Sheryl Lee (Winter’S Bone), Emily Alyn Lind (J. Edgar), and Academy Award Winning musician/actor Ryan Bingham
- Michelle McCue
Katherine Heigl is taking a break from big budget romantic comedies to sing a song of sadness and romance in the upcoming indie drama "Your Right Mind," directed by Ami Canaan Mann ("Texas Killing Fields," TV's "Friday Night Lights"). The first still from the film has been released. Take a look at the top of the story. "Mind" centers on Ryan (Ben Barnes, the "Chronicles of Narnia" films), a touring folk singer who puts his burgeoning career on hold when he meets and forms a bond with a struggling country singer named Jackie (Heigl), who is locked in a dramatic custody battle over her daughter. "Mind" also stars Clea DuVall ("Argo"), Sheryl Lee ("Winter's Bone"), Emily Alyn Lind ("J. Edgar"), and musician/actor Ryan Bingham Molly Hassell is producing with Ami Canaan Mann and John Jencks. Jon Avnet ("Black Swan"), Rodrigo Garcia ("In Treatment"), Highland Film Group's Arianne Fraser and Delphine Perrier, »
- Dave Lewis
Ben Barnes also stars in the pic being sold by Highland Film Group.
Molly Hassell is producing with Ami Canaan Mann and John Jencks. Jon Avnet, Rodrigo Garcia, Highland Film Group’s (Hfg) Arianne Fraser and Delphine Perrier, and Main Street Films’ Craig Chang are serving as executive producers.
- Variety Staff
Prominent 1950′s politician, Adlai E Stevenson was quoted as saying, ”You can tell the size of a man by the size of the thing that makes him mad.” Justified‘s mobile drug kingpin, Wynn Duffy must be living large because through all of Boyd Crowder’s (Walton Goggins) misfires and failings, he rarely raises one of his expressive eyebrows. When Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) is playing Harlan Roulette with him, well, that’s reason to get plenty mad. But most of the time he sits parked in his mobile home, somewhere in Kentucky, scheming with his lone bodyguard Mike (Jonathan Kowalsky) on watch while he’s inside, drinking tea or watching a women’s tennis match.
He’s carried out the dirty work of the Dixie Mafia and served as Robert Quarles’ yes man; now he has stuck by Boyd, through thick and thin – all for a piece of the action in Kentucky. »
- Ernie Estrella
Justified, Season 5, Episode 11: “The Toll”
Written by Benjamin Cavell
Directed by Jon Avnet
Airs Tuesdays at 10pm Et on FX -
It’s been a pretty dark week for lovers of fine TV drama, and Justified compounds the issue with one of their grimmest episodes ever. “The Toll” doesn’t do much to clarify exactly what this season has been about, or make the Crowes a more compelling central force, but it at least shakes up the dynamics enough to make for a season endgame that…well, frankly, I have no idea will consist of, beyond the Raylan v. Daryl Jr. element.
Two major acts of violence punctuate the episode, though only one of them really works to raise the stakes. The first, and the most obviously game-changing, is the shooting of Art. Just to get it out of the way: I highly doubt Art is headed for the »
- Simon Howell
Spoiler alert! If you haven’t yet watched this week’s episode of Justified, “The Toll” written by Benjamin Cavell and directed by Jon Avnet, stop reading now. As he’ll do throughout the season, showrunner Graham Yost takes us inside the writers room. An additional warning this week for fans of The Good Wife: the big twist in that show’s March 23 episode is referenced, twice.
Entertainment Weekly: We have to start with Picker’s death, which was as surprising as Danny’s death last episode though not quite as funny. At their meeting with Wynn and Katherine, »
- Mandi Bierly
Wigs was one of the original recipients of a very large check from YouTube back in 2011 when the video sharing site first launched its Original Channels Initiative. Since then, the collection of dramatic, online video stories created by Jon Avnet (Black Swan, Fried Green Tomatoes, Risky Business), Rodrigo Garcia (Albert Nobbs, In Treatment, Big Love), and Jake Avnet has gone on to encompass “15 high-end original series, 7 short films and 10 documentaries” all featuring well-known females in leading roles. The production shop has also received funding from Fox. Meanwhile, YouTube has removed all references to its Original Channels Initiative and isn’t funding new programming the same way it once was. With an influx of cash from a major broadcast network and performances from traditional talent like Julia Stiles, Troian Bellisario, Jennifer Beals, Jennifer Garner, Virginia Madsen, Dakota Fanning, and more, it’s not surprising that Wigs is ditching YouTube for Hulu. »
- Joshua Cohen
If you’ve been watching the fifth season of Justified then you know one of the subplots is observing the relationship between Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) and his work-dad and boss, Deputy Art Mullen (Nick Searcy) disintegrate after Raylan confesses his role in the murder of one of Theo Tonin’s henchman. Art’s response to Raylan’s disclosure was connecting a right hook to his marshal’s face. Since then, things have been icy and Raylan has gone as far to request a transfer out of Kentucky. It may not be as fun as hunting Drew Thompson, but Art has had a volatile season so far including being a part of one of the most intense scenes in the show’s run. We caught up with actor and “Acting School Teacher” Nick Searcy to talk about the latest season of Justified.
Art appears to be the only Us Marshal »
- Ernie Estrella
Spoiler alert! If you haven’t watched this week’s episode of Justified, “Whistle Past the Graveyard” written by Chris Provenzano and directed by Peter Werner, stop reading now. As he’ll do throughout the season, showrunner Graham Yost takes us inside the writers room.
Graham Yost: Absolutely no idea.
It’s like last year when we were talking, and you said, “Did you know that Shelby was gonna be Drew Thompson?” and I said, »
- Mandi Bierly
The Art Directors Guild (Adg) tonight announced winners of its 18th Annual Excellence in Production Design Awards, Presented by Kohler Co., in ten categories of film, television, commercials and music videos during the black-tie ceremony in the International Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. The awards took place before an audience of more than 800, including guild members, industry executives and press. Adg Council Chair John Shaffner presided over the awards ceremony with comedian Owen Benjamin serving as host. Martin Scorsese received the Guild’s prestigious Cinematic Imagery Award presented to him by Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill, his stars of The Wolf of Wall Street, which is currently nominated for five Academy Awards® including Best Picture and Best Director. Production Designer Rick Carter was recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by Kohler, which created a special award for the occasion. Adg President Mimi Gramatky and Production »
- Josh Abraham
“Her” (pictured) and production designer K.K. Barrett, “The Great Gatsby” and production designer Catherine Martin, and “Gravity” and production designer Andy Nicholson took top honors among feature films at the 18th annual Art Directors Guild Awards Saturday evening.
In television, “Game of Thrones” and production designer Gemma Jackson won for one-hour single-camera series, “Behind the Candelabra” and production designer Howard Cummings took the trophy for television movie or miniseries, and the “Helsinki” episode of “Veep” and production designer Jim Gloster copped the prize for half-hour single-camera series.
Other TV trophies went to the pilot of “Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome” and production designer Brian Kane for short format live-action series; the “Missionaries” episode of “Portlandia” and production designer Tyler Robinson for multi-camera, variety or unscripted series; and to “The 67th Annual Tony Awards” and production designer Steve Bass for awards, »
- Peter Caranicas
“Prima” (aka “Dance of the Mirlitons”) turns on 12-year-old Jesse Urchin, who shocks everyone when she gets into to a posh dance school, forcing her mother to adapt to her daughter’s new milieu.
Highland Film Group (Hfg) reps worldwide sales rights at the Berlin Festival’s European Film Market.
- John Hopewell
Berlin -- Clea DuVall, Sheryl Lee, Emily Alyn Lind and musician/actor Ryan Bingham have joined Katherine Heigl and Ben Barnes in the romance film Your Right Mind. Ami Canaan Mann (Texas Killing Fields) wrote and will direct the film, which is currently shooting in Utah. Highland Film Group (Hfg) is shopping the film to buyers at Efm in Berlin. Story: Berlin: Bruce Willis Sci-Fi Action Pic 'Vice' to Be Shopped to Buyers Molly Hassell is producing with Mann and John Jencks. Jon Avnet, Rodrigo Garcia, Hfg's Arianne Fraser while Delphine Perrier and Main Street Films’ Craig Chang are serving as
- Rebecca Ford
Highland Film Group also announces further cast for romance Your Right Mind.
Ami Canaan Mann directs from her screenplay about an itinerant folk singer who falls for a former country singer fighting for custody of her daughter.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Clea DuVall ( Argo , pictured), Sheryl Lee ( Winter's Bone ), Emily Alyn Lind ( J. Edgar ), and Academy Award Winning musician/actor Ryan Bingham have joined the cast of the contemporary romance Your Right Mind starring, Katherine Heigl ( Knocked Up ) and Ben Barnes ( The Chronicles of Narnia ). Ami Canaan Mann ( Texas Killing Fields ) is directing her script with principal photography currently underway in Utah. Molly Hassell is producing with Ami Canaan Mann and John Jencks. Jon Avnet ( Black Swan ), Rodrigo Garcia ("In Treatment"), Highland Film Group's (Hfg) Arianne Fraser and Delphine Perrier, and Main Street Films' Craig Chang are serving as executive producers. Hfg represents the worldwide rights and will continue to shop it to buyers at Efm in Berlin. Your »
Fox is extending its efforts to mine the next generation of TV hits on digital platforms, inking comedy troupe the Lonely Island to an “alternative” development deal.
The Lonely Island is comprised of Andy Samberg, who stars on the Golden Globe-winning Fox series “Brooklyn 99,” Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer. The trio became an Internet sensation shortly after joining “Saturday Night Live” in 2005, pumping out a steady stream of digital shorts that achieved viral status until their 2012 exit from the NBC series, including enough song parodies to fill three albums.
Music, however, is not part of this multi-year development deal. The trio will be called on to create serial comedy programming in the hopes they can graduate from digital platforms to 21st Century Fox-owned TV networks, including Fox, FX and Fxx.
Kevin Reilly, chairman of entertainment at Fox, has long sought to incubate ideas beyond the studio pipeline that yields most »
- Andrew Wallenstein
20 items from 2014
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