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Academy responds to open letter blasting Oscar plan

Academy responds to open letter blasting Oscar plan
Statement follows open letter from nearly 100 filmmakers about decision to present four Oscars during commercial breaks.

The Academy has responded to growing outrage over its plan to present four Oscars during commercial breaks in the 91st annual Academy Awards telecast, a move that sparked a wave of derision after the categories were clarified last weekend and provoked an open letter on Wednesday (13) from nearly 100 filmmakers including Spike Lee and Martin Scorsese.

Citing “inaccurate reporting and social media posts”, a statement issued on Wednesday night by the Academy’s officers including president John Bailey said no award would be presented in
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese among 90-plus filmmakers to slam Academy plan

Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese among 90-plus filmmakers to slam Academy plan
Decision to present senior Oscars during commercials derided in open letter.

More than 90 distinguished filmmakers including Oscar nominee Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese, Damien Chazelle, Rachel Morrison and Emmanuel Lubezki have blasted the Academy’s plan to present four Oscars including two from senior categories during commercial breaks at the upcoming show.

“Relegating these essential cinematic crafts to lesser status in this 91st Academy Awards ceremony is nothing less than an insult to those of us who have devoted our lives and passions to our chosen profession,” the directors, cinematographers and editors – many of whom have won the Academy Award or
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Spike Lee, Quentin Tarantino, Roger Deakins Blast Academy’s Awards Exclusion in Open Letter

  • Variety
Spike Lee, Quentin Tarantino, Roger Deakins Blast Academy’s Awards Exclusion in Open Letter
More than 40 high-profile cinematographers and directors including Spike Lee, Quentin Tarantino, and Roger Deakins have blasted the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’s decision to not televise four of the awards — including best cinematography, best editing, best hair & makeup, and best live action short — in an open letter to AMPAS president John Bailey.

The signers have urged the Academy to reverse the decision, saying, “The vocal response from our peers and the immediate backlash from industry leaders over the Academy’s decision makes it clear that it’s not too late to have this decision reversed.”

The letter was released Wednesday, two days after the announcement that the four categories would not be broadcast live, but presented in a delayed and edited version during the televised Oscar ceremony on Feb. 24. AMPAS made the decision in order to shorten the length of the Academy Awards broadcast.

“Since its inception,
See full article at Variety »

'Cold War,' 'Roma' Cinematographers on the Appeal of Filming in Black and White

'Cold War,' 'Roma' Cinematographers on the Appeal of Filming in Black and White
The last time a black-and-white film won a cinematography Oscar was in 1994, when Polish cinematographer Janusz Kaminski won the category for lensing Steven Spielberg's haunting Schindler's List. This year could be the next if one of two cinematographer nominees — Alfonso Cuaron for Roma (Netflix) or Lukasz Zal for Cold War (Focus Features) — claims the prize.

A cinematography Oscar was first handed out in 1928 — to Charles Rosher and Karl Struss for the silent film Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans. In 1939, the award was separated into two different categories, color and black-and-white. In 1968, cinematography again became a ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

How Writer-Crew Collaborations Are Changing the Script for the Creative Process

  • Variety
How Writer-Crew Collaborations Are Changing the Script for the Creative Process
In traditional filmmaking, once a script is written, the director and department heads break it down and figure out the costs and logistics of production. But if the screenwriter collaborates during the creative process with key crew members, the entire production can benefit.

Such collaboration offers the prospect of help on many fronts. For example, rather than pore over details of period dress, a writer can talk to a costume designer, who can aid in the research. Or, if the script calls for a spaceship to land on an alien planet, the writer can confab with a production designer who’s well versed in extraterrestrial visuals.

One director who’s a big proponent of such teamwork is Steven Spielberg. Mark Scruton, who served as supervising art director on Spielberg’s “Ready Player One,” credits the director with communicating exactly what he wanted and instructing his key crew to thrash it out.
See full article at Variety »

Months of Meryl: The Post (2017)

John and Matthew are watching every single live-action film starring Meryl Streep.

#52 — Katharine “Kay” Graham, pioneering Washington Post publisher who authorized the printing of the Pentagon Papers.

John: Since it was first announced in March of 2017, deep into the first hundred days of the Trump presidency, The Post moved at a breakneck speed from rewriting to shooting to post-production before it quickly arrived in theaters in December of that year. Spielberg had paused production on his historical drama The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara and after reading a spec script by Liz Hannah, set the gears into motion on The Post, assembling his usual team, along with two screen legends who had never before shared a single frame. This urgent sense of timeliness is palpable in The Post, which is both a riveting period piece about a landmark historical moment and a rousing paean to the free press in our distressing present.
See full article at FilmExperience »

Witold Sobocinski, Polish Cinematographer, Dies at 89

Witold Sobocinski, Polish Cinematographer, Dies at 89
Witold Sobocinski, the respected Polish cinematographer who collaborated with directors Andrzej Wajda and Roman Polanski, among others, has died. He was 89.

His death was announced Monday by the National Film School in Lodz, Poland, where he was a professor as well as a graduate.

On Nov. 10, Sobocinski was in Bydgoszcz, Poland, at the 26th Camerimage International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography to receive the Camerimage Lifetime Achievement Award. Polanski presented the award to him, and director Ron Howard and cinematographer Janusz Kaminski congratulated him via prerecorded videos.

The festival described him as "one of the ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Roman Polanski Joins EnergaCamerimage’s Emotional Tribute to Lenser Witold Sobocinski

  • Variety
Roman Polanski Joins EnergaCamerimage’s Emotional Tribute to Lenser Witold Sobocinski
Europe’s mainstay fest for cinematography, newly rechristened EnergaCamerimage, launched its 26th edition and a week of 241 film screenings in the Polish town of Bydgoszcz on Saturday with a guest appearance by Roman Polanski.

The controversial but seminal director of classics such as “Rosemary’s Baby” and “Chinatown” took the stage to honor a longtime colleague, cinematographer Witold Sobocinski, with a lifetime achievement award for his luminous lensing. The pair, who shared stories from film school in Poland under the former communist regime, worked together in 1988 on “Frantic,” the Paris-set thriller starring Emmanuelle Seigner, now Polanski’s wife.

The master lenser also filmed “The Wedding” and the Oscar-nommed “The Promised Land,” both directed by Andrzej Wajda.

Fest director Marek Zydowicz credited Sobocinski with influencing a generation of cinematographers, noting he continues to teach at the Lodz film school that has set dozens of future directors and camera people on their professional paths.
See full article at Variety »

“The Walking Dead’s” Jeffrey Dean Morgan Investigates ‘The Postcard Killings’

“The Walking Dead’s” Jeffrey Dean Morgan Investigates ‘The Postcard Killings’
Jeffrey Dean Morgan, star of AMC’s series “The Walking Dead,” and Connie Nielsen (The Devil’s Advocate) have signed on for the Janusz Kaminski-directed thriller The Postcard Killings, writes Variety. The two will co-star in the film adapted from James Patterson and Liza Marklund’s bestseller. “The film follows a New York detective (Morgan) whose life is thrown […]
See full article at Bloody-Disgusting.com »

Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Connie Nielsen to Star in Drama ‘Postcard Killings’

  • Variety
Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Connie Nielsen to Star in Drama ‘Postcard Killings’
Jeffrey Dean Morgan, star of AMC’s series “The Walking Dead,” and Connie Nielsen have signed on for the Janusz Kaminski-directed thriller “The Postcard Killings.”

The two will co-star in the film adapted from James Patterson and Liza Marklund’s bestseller. The film follows a New York detective (Morgan) whose life is thrown into turmoil when he learns that his daughter and son-in-law have been brutally murdered in London. As he digs into the case, similar crimes are reported across Europe with each killing accompanied by a postcard sent to a local journalist.

Nielsen will play the detective’s ex-wife, who turns her grief back home into action when she becomes an active part of the hunt for her daughter’s killer. Jamie Blackley (“Irrational Man”) is attached to play a young American who gets caught up as the horror unfolds.

Good Films Collective is producing and financing the project,
See full article at Variety »

Steven Spielberg’s Restored ‘Schindler’s List’ Gets Limited Theatrical Release

  • Variety
Universal Pictures will release a restored version of Steven Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List” on Dec. 7 for a limited theatrical engagement to commemorate the 25th anniversary of its opening.

“Schindler’s List” follows the enigmatic Oskar Schindler, played by Liam Neeson, who saved the lives of more than 1,100 Jews during the Holocaust. The film has been remastered in 4K, Dolby Cinema, and Dolby Atmos. Spielberg supervised the restoration from the original film negative.

The film won seven Academy Awards, including best picture and best director for Spielberg. It also won Oscars for composer John Williams, screenwriter Steven Zaillian, director of photography Janusz Kaminski, art directors Allan Starski and Ewa Braun, editor Michael Kahn, and producers Spielberg, Gerald R. Molen, and Branko Lustig. It was also a strong box office performer with $320 million worldwide.

Spielberg shot “Schindler’s List” in black-and-white over 72 days in Poland with the goal of giving the
See full article at Variety »

Ready Player One

Lifelong gaming fan Steven Spielberg goes all-in for motion capture, with much different results than The Adventures of Tintin. It’s an ode to 1980s videogame fads and pop culture that could be re-titled ‘Astounding Adventures in Licensing.’ It’s Star Wars, Tron and Avatar mashed together for young teens, and more interesting than it ought to be.

Ready Player One

Ultra-hd + Blu-ray + Digital

Warner Brothers Home Video

2018 / Color / 2:39 widescreen / 140 min. / Street Date July 26, 2018 / available through the WBshop / 44.95

Starring: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg, Mark Rylance, Philip Zhao, Win Morisaki, Hannah John-Kamen.

Cinematography: Janusz Kaminski

Production Design: Adam Stockhausen

Film Editors: Sarah Broshar, Michael Kahn

Original Music: Alan Silvestri

Written by Zak Penn and Ernest Cline based on his novel

Produced by Donald De Line, Dan Farah, Kristie Macosko, Steven Spielberg

Directed by Steven Spielberg

In early 1979 I was on the set
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Megan Ellison Lists Mid-Century Modern Fixer-Upper in Beverly Hills (Exclusive)

  • Variety
Megan Ellison Lists Mid-Century Modern Fixer-Upper in Beverly Hills (Exclusive)
Megan Ellison, one of Hollywood’s most prolific and frequent buyers and sellers of multi-million dollar homes in some of L.A.’s most sought after zip codes, listed a mid-century modern fixer upper that comprises a portion of her multi-residence Beverly Hills, Calif., compound on the open market with an asking price of $7.495 million. The 32-year-old software heiress turned high-powered mega-producer purchased the property in May 2017 for $6.85 million after she’d spent $15.5 million in late 2016 to acquire a 1.2-acre neighboring estate from Oscar winning cinematographer Janusz Kaminski.

Originally designed by architect Alfred T. Wilkes and built in 1957 on a coveted street just behind The Beverly Hills Hotel near the base of Benedict Canyon, the low-slung residence measures in at 4,251-square-feet with four bedrooms, five bathrooms, high ceilings and, in juxtaposition with the boxy front façade, curved walls of floor-to-ceiling glass along the back that open to the backyard and swimming pool.
See full article at Variety »

Travis Fimmel, Luke Bracey to star in Saboteur Media's Cannes-bound 'Danger Close' (exclusive)

Saboteur Media handles sales. Australian production to commence principal photography this month.

Travis Fimmel and Luke Bracey will star in Vietnam War film Danger Close, one of the marquee titles on a New York-based Saboteur Media slate that president of distribution Mark Lindsay will introduce in Cannes next week.

Richard Roxburgh and Daniel Webber also star in the Australian production that Kriv Stenders (Red Dog) will direct from a screenplay by Stuart Beattie.

Danger Close chronicles the events of August 18 1966 in south Vietnam, where for three-and-a-half hours in torrential rain a largely inexperienced company of Australian and New Zealand soldiers
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Billion Dollar Cinematographer Jonathan Sela Rises as Master Storyteller

  • Variety
Director of photography Jonathan Sela was born in Paris and raised in Israel, but it was during a boyhood visit to his grandfather’s hometown in Poland that his future in filmmaking was foreshadowed. The family was surprised to find a Hollywood film crew working in the tiny village. The production was “Schindler’s List,” and among the filmmakers were Steven Spielberg and his Dp, Janusz Kaminski. The film went on to earn seven Academy Awards, with an Oscar for best cinematography among them.

Sela found his way to cinematography over the next two decades, but not because of that brief, chance encounter. His love for storytelling was — and is — the driving force. “I was always fascinated by the experience of seeing films in the theater,” says Sela. “I loved the escape from reality into some kind of alternate reality. I’ve never really had another job besides working on movies.
See full article at Variety »

Cinematographer Janusz Kaminski Warns That Directors of Photography Are Losing Control of the Images They Shoot

Cinematographer Janusz Kaminski Warns That Directors of Photography Are Losing Control of the Images They Shoot
Cinematographers are increasingly worried that the images they shoot during production aren't reflected in what appears in the final motion picture. When movies were shot on film, cinematographers controlled their look, but in this digital age, images can be altered in post-production — colors can be made lighter, darker or altered altogether — in a way that doesn't always reflect the cinematographer's original creative intention.

Two-time Oscar-winning cinematographer Janusz Kaminski gave voice to that concern today at the National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas in a frank conversation presented by the International Cinematographers Guild ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Review: ‘Ready Player One’ Has Verve But No Soul

Ready Player One is an abomination of a novel, but it was never going to be that bad as a movie. If nothing else (and frankly, there may be nothing else), Steven Spielberg is an infinitely better director than Ernest Cline is a writer. For the auteurists out there, this film’s most obvious sibling in Spielberg’s oeuvre is Tintin, as it similarly exploits the unlimited, camera-less potential of all-cgi worlds for extraordinarily elaborate sequences. Anyone can do a long take, but not everyone will do a long take that pivots into a rapid zoom in on a subject. But Tintin is a supercharged Indiana Jones adventure; Ready Player One doesn’t merely up the scale but overcrowds itself. The scenes of millions of things happening at once are skillfully made, to be sure, but they’re still visually busy to the point of numbness instead of energization. The
See full article at The Film Stage »

Steven Spielberg makes the ultimate fan film with the amazing “Ready Player One”

Anyone who read the novel Ready Player One knew that it both would make for a fun movie and also would be really hard to adapt. Jam packed with pop culture references and dense with callbacks, it could be overwhelming and one note in the wrong hands. Enter Steven Spielberg. This week, Ready Player One hits theaters and represents Spielberg having a ton of fun. He was the perfect choice to adapt Ernest Cline’s novel, elevating the enjoyable source material into a work of pop art. This is the most fun that any film has been so far in 2018. You’re watching a master at work, one who is loving every moment of this movie too. Trust me when I say, it shows. It’s an absolute blast. This epic takes place in the future, after society has come down a few pegs. Most people spend their free time getting away from it all,
See full article at Hollywoodnews.com »

Second Opinion – Ready Player One (2018)

Ready Player One, 2018.

Directed by Steven Spielberg.

Starring Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Mark Rylance, Simon Pegg, T.J. Miller, Lena Waithe, Hannah John-Kamen, Ralph Ineson, Mckenna Grace, Win Morisaki, and Philip Zhao.

Synopsis:

When the creator of a virtual reality world called the Oasis dies, he releases a video in which he challenges all Oasis users to find his Easter Egg, which will give the finder his fortune.

To everyone who once doubted (myself included) Steven Allan Spielberg, shame on you! Spielberg is clearly a bigger geek than all of us, and no one could adapt a book that is little more than a list of pop-culture references than the man who gave us Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List in the same year. At the world premiere of his newest project, Ready Player One, the legendary director told a thousand fans that he “This is not a film that we’ve made,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Over 50 New ‘Ready Player One’ Images Showcase The Easter Eggs

Warner Bros. have released over 50 new images from Ready Player One, showcasing Steven Spielberg‘s return to blockbuster filmmaking. Based on the Earnest Kline novel of the same name, Ready Player One follows Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) as he navigates a virtual reality world dubbed “The Oasis” in search of Special “easter eggs” that will grant the user full control over the virtual environment. Ironically enough, the film was made using a combination of Vr and Motion Capture technology. Considering that the film is loaded with fourth-wall breaking easter-eggs, it will be interesting to see how Spielberg, along with long-time cinematographer Janusz Kaminski will handle the self- reverential nature of the source material.

Regardless, the screenplay Ready Player One was written by Cline and Zak Penn, and the film also stars Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe, Mark Rylance, Simon Pegg, T.J. Miller, Philip Zhao, Win Morisaki, and Hannah John-Kamen.
See full article at Age of the Nerd »
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