1-20 of 27 items from 2014 « Prev | Next »
On the hit Fox series Gotham, actor Donal Logue plays Harvey Bullock, the brash and shrewd police legend who sometimes walks a very blurred line to get the job done. While his new partner Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) hopes to restore Gotham City back to the pure version he remembers it was as a kid, Bullock helps steer him around the often-underhanded politics of the city’s criminal justice system and the villains that inhabit it. During this exclusive interview with Collider, Donal Logue talked about how spoiled he feels with the worlds he’s gotten to run around in over the last couple of years, why being a part of the DC universe is like coming aboard an aircraft carrier that’s waiting for you, how showrunner Bruno Heller sold him on Gotham, how excited his kids are about him being on the show, that he’d love to »
- Christina Radish
The earliest surviving footage of broadcast television in America is a fragment of “The Streets of New York,” an adaptation of playwright Dion Boucicault’s 19th-century drama, aired by the experimental New York NBC affiliate W2XBS on August 31, 1939. All that now remains of the hour-long program is a silent, 11-minute kinescope, filmed off a TV screen and archived at the Paley Center For Media. And there, in those primitive flickering images, you can catch a glimpse of one of the show’s actors: the 24-year-old Norman Lloyd.
Next July, you can see the 99-year-old Lloyd in the Judd Apatow comedy “Trainwreck,” which shot on location in New York this summer and in which Lloyd plays, by his own admission, “a lecherous old man.” In between those unlikely bookends is a career that has quite literally spanned the 20th century and edged into the 21st, during which Lloyd has shared the stage, »
- Scott Foundas
Olivia Blaustein, 26
Coordinator, scripted television, CAA
Blaustein, a USC grad, joined CAA in 2011 as an assistant to TV packaging agent Peter Micelli and developed relationships with writer-producers Jenji Kohan, Brian McGreevy, Lee Shipman and Peter Lenkov. She also played an integral role in the deal for client Lauren Bachelis, creator of the “Hollywood Assistants” Tumblr blog, with Fox TV. In 2013 Blaustein entered CAA’s agent training program, working for TV agent Tiffany Ward before being upped to coordinator. She’s a member of CAA’s Assistant Task Force.
Shirit Bradley, 32
Having worked at Innovative Artists, Bradley brought agency experience to her role at Legendary. When the company embarked on the production of Godzilla, she transitioned to that film’s production team, relocating to Vancouver and assisting producers Patty Whitcher and Mary Parent as well as Alex Garcia. »
- Variety Staff
“Did you see last night’s ratings for ‘Ray Donovan?’”
It’s the morning after the show’s second-season finale, and Showtime president David Nevins sounds like a proud father, high-fiving a visitor to his Westwood office and firing off stats: The Liev Schreiber drama hit a series-high 2 million viewers. “It’s up 40% from last year,” he says, with a broad grin.
Nevins has good reason to be happy on this late-September day. “Ray Donovan” indeed blossomed into a ratings hit for his network in its sophomore season (even with behind-the-scenes drama forcing a change in showrunner for season three). “Masters of Sex” also wrapped its second season with heightened critical acclaim for the show and the performances of stars Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan.
With a week to go before the fourth-season relaunch of “Homeland,” the early reviews are mostly good as the drama reboots itself in an effort »
- Cynthia Littleton and Debra Birnbaum
The Negotiator has a deal. It will be one of two drama series Gaumont International Television (Git) and Emmy-winning writer-producer Tom Fontana will develop, the company announced at the start of Mipcom. Based on the 2011 bestselling memoir of psychologist-turned-hostage negotiator Ben Lopez, The Negotiator: My Life at the Heart of the Hostage Trade, the drama will delve into the world of K&R (kidnap and ransom). The deal was announced by Git CEO Katie O’Connell. “It’s a really interesting character study about someone that goes in and specializes in K&R, and there’s a complexity to that
- Rhonda Richford
"I remember when I first met J.K. Simmons, I just sort of told him, 'Remember how you were in Oz? I want to make that guy look like the teacher in Mr. Holland’s Opus." —Whiplash director Damien Chazelle Terence Fletcher, the intimidating music teacher in Whiplash, isn't a sadistic member of the Aryan Brotherhood, like Oz's Vern Schillinger. But for Miles Teller's high-school drum prodigy, Fletcher is practically evil incarnate, a bully whose primary methods of motivation are tossing chairs and playing cruel psychological mind games. He wants his school's jazz ensemble to be the best in the country, »
- Jeff Labrecque
The director will help develop the show that revolves around a single mother and FBI agent working undercover on an anti-corruption task force. Levinson will serve as exec producer and direct the first episode of the series, which earned a straight-to-series pickup from the Peacock in February.
“Adi has written a police drama that gets into the fascinating dirt behind law enforcement with a female character we haven’t really seen before,” Levinson said.
- Variety Staff
British TV writer Jamie Mathieson, who has worked on such shows as BBC hit series Doctor Who, has come on board to reboot sci-fi series Metal Hurlant. Atlantique Productions, the Paris-based company behind action series Transporter and Tom Fontana's period series Borgia, has teamed up with original producer, We Productions, to relaunch the show based on the cult French comic book, published as Heavy Metal in Britain. Syfy aired two six-episode seasons of the original show called The Metal Hurlant Chronicles. The original series was an anthology, with each episode mimicking the style of The Twilight Zone in its
- Scott Roxborough
Atlantique Productions is joining forces with We Productions, the outfit behind “Métal Hurlant Chronicles” - the English-language skein (pictured above) that sold to more than 80 countries, including Syfy in the U.S. — to co-produce “Metal Hurlant: Origins.”
“Métal Hurlant: Origins” is in development and will go into production in early 2015 for delivery in the third quarter.
“Metal Hurlant” is based on the French sci-fi and fantasy comics anthology published in the U.S. as “Heavy Metal” and created by comic artists Jean Giraud (a.k.a. Moebius) and Philippe Druillet in 1974.
The reboot will depart from the anthology format used in the first two seasons to become serialized. It will therefore span a single story for a whole season with a recurring cast. »
- Elsa Keslassy
In the words of playwright Theresa Rebeck (from a talk she gave in 2010, reprinted in Women & Hollywood) : ‘It’s time to hear both sides, to hear all voices, to build a culture where stories are told by both men and women. That is the way the planet is going to survive, and it’s the way we are going to survive.’ So, how can we build that culture? Where do we start? I will list a few options to start with, and I’m inviting you to suggest more:
Create funds and tax incentives for films and TV programs written by women.
Legislation to give tax credits to female writers (like the one the Wgae is currently fighting for in Albany) and/or the creation of funds for the financing of films and television programs (see, for instance, Gamechanger Films) created by women are two necessary steps on the way to greater diversity. »
- Christina Kallas
American TV is written for the most part by (white) men. The same applies to American movies, as well as European movies and European TV. Is it then a surprise that male characters outnumber females at least 3 to 1, even though females comprise over 50% of the population? Even more staggering is the fact that this ratio remains the same since 1946! According to Stacy Smith of the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, 80.5% of all working characters are male and 19.5% are female – in contrast, of course, to real world statistics, where women comprise 50% of the workforce.
What is rather surprising is the realization that although there are some local differences the percentage of women writers and women directors of narrative features is about the same everywhere in the Western world. Consider these figures in connection with the percentage of films with women as protagonists, which is a mere 16 percent: obviously, there is »
- Christina Kallas
In the second episode of Season One of Mad Men, one of the copywriters is showing the agency to a new secretary, trying to impress her: “You know . . . there are women copywriters!” he claims. – “Good ones?” – “Sure,” he says. “I mean, you can always tell when a woman is writing copy. But sometimes she may be the right man for the job, you know?” Not much has changed since the days depicted in Mad Men. Or at least, not enough. This is still a man’s world – and sometimes a woman will get a writing job not because she is “the right man for the job” but because she is a woman.
In the writers’ rooms I have worked in it was usually myself and a bunch of guys. So I was in charge of the female perspective – and I did not want to be that. I knew that what »
- Christina Kallas
The Producers Guild of America has expanded its “Produced By” conference to New York and set the inaugural event for Oct. 25 at the Time Warner Center.
Speakers will include Bob and Harvey Weinstein, “Wolf of Wall Street” producer Terence Winter, “Girls” producer Jenni Konner, “Ray Donovan” producer Mark Gordon and PGA presidents Gary Lucchesi and Lori McCreary.
Other speakers include Barbara Hall (“Homeland”), “Silver Linings Playbook” producers Bruce Cohen and Donna Gigliotti, Colin Carrier of Twitch.tv; James Schamus, Keith Arem, Lydia Dean Pilcher, Morgan Spurlock, Peter Saraf, Stephen Totilo and Tom Fontana (“Borgia”).
Additional speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.
“The ‘Produced By’ conference has proven to be an industry-defining event which offers unparalleled networking opportunities, as well as a wide array of educational seminars, and professional resources,” Lucchesi and McCreary said. “We are thrilled to expand ‘Produced By’ to New York City after six successful years in Los Angeles. »
- Dave McNary
So what is the big difference between the film and TV industries? And why is American TV so successful? There are surely as many theories as there are shows, and they are probably all right. Still, allow me to add one more, based on one very important difference that I believe has been overlooked till now despite its enormous significance.
In the movies, and unless writer and director are one and the same person, the one person who has deep knowledge of the story is the one who cannot hear whether her lines are working, cannot see what is doing the job and what is not; and when the scene is on its feet, cannot delete or add anything. It is someone else who will do all that, if it is done at all – and all this happens in the name of some strange policy deriving from fearing the writer »
- Christina Kallas
TV is known as a better place for writers than any of the other dramatic media, with the sole exception of the theater, of course. Besides, TV drama is nowadays so highly regarded that it is already changing some of the old rules regarding old industry traditions. The crossover of the boundary between cinema and TV, whereby writers can move once again from one medium to the other, with greater ease, is one of the changes. It remains to be seen whether the crossover experiment will affect the writer’s importance in other media too – especially in film.
In television, writer-producers write their own scripts and they rewrite other people’s scripts; it’s their show and their vision. In the movies, it’s all about the director. As opposed to movies where the writer won’t even be on set, in TV it is the writer who tells the director what to do. »
- Christina Kallas
So how can you stay true to yourself as a writer, especially when one is supposed to be imitating another writer’s voice? For one thing, one can stop chasing fads or writing what one think the showrunner might want to see. Jane Espenson, who has written for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica and Game of Thrones and has also created her own Web TV show, Husbands, talks to me about how important it is to trust your own instincts and your own good taste. She is not the only one: Jenny Bicks encourages “writing what you want to write, going towards the love” and Tom Fontana goes as far as to very simply state that “being successful is being faithful to oneself.”
Tom thinks that people often look to being successful as opposed to being faithful: “And when I say faithful, I mean faithful to themselves and to the truth within them. »
- Christina Kallas
One thing’s for sure: people don’t go to writing to be rewritten. But they still are, first and foremost by the showrunner. The showrunner is the writer who tells the writers what to do, and who will eventually do it herself.
So should a showrunner polish the final draft of every episode to preserve the “voice” of the series, or should each individual writer be allowed to use their voice to bring out new sides to the characters and the series? The conventional wisdom seems to come directly from auteur theory and wants everything to be from one mold, carrying a single signature and voice – so as to pretend that one person wrote it.
- Ted Hope
Paddy Chayefsky once wrote that “television is an endless, almost monstrous drain” (The Television Plays, 1955.) And he continued: “How many ideas does a writer have? How many insights can he make? How deep can he probe into himself, how much energy can he activate?” Furthermore, “he (the writer) has no guarantee that his next year will be as fruitful. In fact most writers live in a restrained terror of being unable to think up their next idea. Very few television writers can seriously hope to keep up a high-level output for more than five years.”
Today’s TV requires a level of complexity which is higher than ever before. As Robert Carlock, who has written for Friends and SNL and was the showrunner of 30 Rock together with Tina Fey, points out, on a TV show you will be doing at least an average of three stories an »
Paris– Miranda Raison (“24: Live Another Day”), Brendan Coyle (“Downton Abbey”), Marc-André Grondin(“C.R.A.Z.Y”) and Denis Ménochet (“Inglourious Basterds”) are set to topline “Spotless,” the upcoming dark comedy series that Tandem Communications is producing for French pay TV Canal Plus.
Ed McCardie (“Shameless”) and Corinne Marrinan (“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”) co-created the series. Pascal Chaumeil, the helmer of French hit romantic comedy “Heartbreaker,” will direct the first two episodes.
The one-hour drama series – comprising 10 episodes — will be shooting on location in London starting on July 2. It was produced in association with Rosetta Media.
“We’re very excited to be producing our first series for the prestigious Canal+ Original Programming label and to have the platform to expand our narrative into the Premium Television arena,” said Jonas Bauer, Tandem partner, exec VP who is exec producing the show. “Our four highly talented leads, coupled with the voices of our co-creators, »
- Elsa Keslassy
The comparison with a novel or with watching a very long movie is a good one for yet another reason: serialization means that you cannot watch the episodes in whichever order they reach you. You have to watch the whole season as if you were watching a 12-hour movie. Terence Winter, creator of Boardwalk Empire and one of the writers for The Sopranos) talks about how the effort still goes towards ensuring that each episode may stand alone, as if it were a mini-movie. So when you just happen to watch this one it still has its own beginning, middle and end, and it makes sense. But it’s like one chapter in a book. To really appreciate it you have to watch the whole series, as you would read a book.
Actually, it is quite intriguing to think about the effect that long cinematic narrative has on our sense of story. »
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