Actor Daniel Day-Lewis cast as Abraham Lincoln

Daniel Day Lewis is Abraham Lincoln

Academy Award-winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis has been cast as Abraham Lincoln for Steven Spielberg's next movie "Lincoln". Dreamworks will release the high profile movie project.

The actor is preparing for his role as Lincoln by visiting the state where the former president began his political career. The movie is based on the book "Team of Rivals" by Doris Kearns Goodwin, who joined Day-Lewis on his tour in Illinois. The actor toured several historic sites Friday in Springfield, including the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, the Lincoln Home and the Old State Capitol, where Lincoln served as a legislator.

Filming is expected to begin next fall, and the movie is to be released in late 2012.

Amazon unveils movie studio for the masses

Amazon movie studios

Amazon has just got into the movie business with the unveiling of Amazon Studios. Amazon Studios has a “first-look deal” with Warner Bros. Pictures, which will consider Amazon’s top award winners for major motion pictures. Should Warner Bros. pass on a project all is not lost. Amazon is free to shop the project to other Hollywood studios.

So what does this mean for filmmakers who are still behind the scenes? Well, it means more democratization in the movie making process. It means you get to submit script and Amazon gets to crowdsource it and get feedback. That said, this is a fresh take on creating movies, using a collaborative, brainstorming, team approach — an exercise that could be a lot of fun and definitely a learning experience.

The script awards competition goes like this: First, a screenwriter submits a script. They may also pitch their idea in a short video to get people pumped about reviewing it. Then the rest of the world can download it, make comments and suggestions, or rewrite it entirely.

The original writer can take the suggestions, or not, and submit rewrites, or not. Amazon believes this unique process “gives artists and film fans around the world the chance to create and evaluate potential movies.”

Filmmakers, on the other hand, submit a full length “test movie” — a video that gets the story across and engages the audience. No matter how “primitive” the test movie is (it’s an appetizer after all, to whet the appetite of judges for the whole enchilada) Amazon still expects good actors, good sound and good music to help it sell.

Harry Potter reaches final saga in successful movie franchise

Harry Potter

Daniel Radcliffe has grown up on the big screen as the young wizard Harry Potter.

Now, after ten years and seven hugely successful films, the 22-year-old actor is reaching the end of the magical odyssey withHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2. Parade's Jeanne Wolf found out about the incredible journey he's taken.

Is it really over?

"J. K. Rowling pretty much promised me that she wasn't going to write any more Harry Potter books. But, subsequently, I've heard she's been quoted as saying she hasn't ruled it out. So I think the two of us have to have a very interesting conversation at some point in the near future."


Why Cable TV Might Be All Consumers Need

The modern world is obsessed with having hundreds upon hundreds of channels to choose from, and so it is all too often that this sells consumers at the drop of a dime. However, when other aspects are considered, cable TV can often rule out satellite for a number of reasons. It is much better in terms of customer service, obligations and contracts, and sturdy equipment.

Satellite companies are able to flourish without the use of store-fronts due to the digital world. Phone and online customer service representatives are seen as accessible enough. However, cable companies that utilize store-fronts have much more to offer its consumers. Most consumers would much rather speak to a representative in person than get an automated machine, and store-fronts allow this. They are also an easier place to pay bills and get new, updated equipment.

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Great Gatsby movie to be made with Leonardo DiCaprio

Great Gatsby movie Leonardo DiCaprio

A new Great Gatsby movie is in the works with actor Leonardo DiCaprio getting ready to play Jay Gatsby. The famosl iterary novel has been made into a movie in the past, most notably in 19—with Robert Redford playing Gatsby. The new Gatsby movie will be directed by Australian director Baz Luhrman and will costar Tobey Maguir and Carey Mulligan. Luhrman has worked with DiCa[prio in the past before on another adaptioan of a literary classic, ‘Romeo and Juliet’.

Luhrman has been castinbg the movie for a while now and been workshopping many of the part with actors, most recently with Rebecaa Hall who is seen in Ben Afflec’s ‘The Town’. Other actresses being considered are a  who's-who of young female stars: Keira Knightley, Amanda Seyfried, Blake Lively, Abbie Cornish, Michelle Williams, Scarlett Johansson, and Natalie Portman.

Eventually, it was actress Carey Mulligan who won the part of Daisy Buschanan, who plays Gatsby’s love interest. Luhrman told the website Deadline: “Specific to this particular production of The Great Gatsby, I was thrilled to pick up the phone an hour ago to the young Oscar-nominated British actress Carey Mulligan and say to her: 'Hello, Daisy Buchanan,”.

Production will begin shortly.

Martin Scorsese helps restore Fellini’s ‘La Dolce Vita’

Scorsese La Dolce Vita

Director Martin Scorsese goes on the restoration bandwagon and has decided to unveil a new restoration of Fellini's La Dolce Vita. “In my mind, there is a before and after ‘La Dolce Vita,’ ” he told audiences in Rome this weekend when he unveiled a digitally restored copy of Fellini’s cinema milestone.

The story of a passive journalist’s week in Rome, and his search for both happiness and love that will never come, Scorsese praised the picture for “a moral intensity, an intelligence and a maturity” that was until then unseen in mainstream cinema. Starring Marcello MastroianniAnita Ekberg andAnouk Aimée, it was hailed as “one of the most widely seen and acclaimed European movies of the 1960s” by The New York Times. Nominated for four Academy Awards, winning one for Best Costume Design: Black-and-White, “La Dolce Vita” also won the coveted Palme d’Or at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival and is widely recognized as one of the most influential foreign films of all time (if you haven’t seen it, what’s wrong with you?). A two-disc DVD set was released in 2004 and has a good introductory appreciation opening by filmmaker Alexander Payne. Aside from being a landmark picture in world cinema, “La Dolce Vita” marks an important juncture in Fellini’s career: his last exercise in expressionism and neo-realism before he would turn cinema on its head with the more abstract “8 1/2” just three years later.

More than 8,000 hours were spent cleaning up the film’s widescreen negative. “La Dolce Vita,” is celebrating its 50th anniversary and the Italian rights owners are releasing the restored version theatrically next week free in 12 local cities. Scorsese’s next picture is the 3D children’s mystery “Hugo Cabret” starring Chloe MoretzJude Law and Ben Kingsley and it’s scheduled to arrive in theaters December 9, 2011

‘Glee’ creators stage movie musical in a week

Glee movie musical

Did you know that the creators of Glee can create a movie musical in about a week? With enormous pressure, the show creators are driven to make it happen in that time crunch.

According to costume designer Lou Eyrich,  "Every episode is eight days. And we get a script three, four days into it, so we basically have four days of prep and then start shooting, and then catch up a little bit in the next few days.

There are many talented artists on Glee that make the show sing when it finally airs. Among them is Music director Adam Anders, who preps and orchestrates the music. Anders is gleeful about the process: "I think this is the most civil you will ever see us because we are always fighting for time," he says. "We never have enough time, of course. But you gotta make it work."

Working with a partner in Sweden, Anders works an episode ahead of the others. "When they're shooting, the music has to be done," he says. "We arrange everything ... we take our cues from (co-creator) Ryan Murphy. 'Do you want this to be a kind of ode to the original? Do you want a reinvention? What are we looking for here?' We're trying to serve the story, and we go from there.

Then there’s the chorepgraphy and Zach Wodlee has the challending job – he preps for eight hours for each dance number wich includes the singing.

The show creator of Glee is Ryan Murphy who created FX’s Nip/Tuck in the past. Murphy says, “We didn't know what we were doing when we started. We were kind of making it up as we went along. But the one thing that really clicked for me is when we went on tour, which was instantly sold out, which was amazing, and all the kids were there, and they would come out. Some of them would have two lines, three lines, and they got these huge ovations, and they had their sort of mini fan clubs.”

Murphy’s initial inspiration for ‘Glee’ was the movie ‘Election’. "I think high school shows work, and I think college shows do not, because I think high school shows are about firsts: first love, first kiss, first fights," says Murphy.

"And one of the concepts of the show is when you are in a high school, at moments I think it feels like a suddenly bright light, spotlight hits you, and you feel very exposed, which is sort of a hyper-surreal place, so I think with that in mind, that's why we do some of those moments."

Green Screen Technique

green screen technique

green screen technique

Green screen technique, means the blending of video or photographic pictures taken in two unique places, with one acting as a background and presenting a sense of the talent undertaking in that area. This procedure entails removal of one color to bring in another picture which can serve as a background for the subject. The phrase Green screen technique is used since the green color is popularly used as backdrop because the digital video cameras include picture sensors that happen to be responsive to this color than other colors. This supplies the cleanest mask, in addition to the other facility of reduced light needed to glow green which is also simply because of the picture sensors' higher sensitivity to this color. Green screen technique is found in many science fiction and horror movies which call for a lot of "effects" to produce the false impression of transporting us to the times that the story is coping with.

The word Green screen technique is used as the green color popularly used as backdrop because the digital video cameras are equipped with picture sensors that are responsive to this color than other colors. This offers the cleanest mask, in addition to the other facility of reduced light essential to glow green which is mainly because of the picture sensors' higher sensitivity to this color. Green screen technique is found in many science fiction and horror movies which involve a lot of "effects" to create the illusion of moving us to the times that the story is dealing with. Some critical factors which should be remembered while utilizing this Green screen Technique involve sufficient lights, cameras of premium quality which can generate fantasy through the green screen. Realize that if you are using lighting in a non-professional means, your product will end up with different shades and shadows on the screen.

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A Forthright Review Of Weeds From Showtime

One of the best and funniest tv shows of the last ten years would have to be Weeds. The show is one of many in the trend that defined television for the last decade: Realism. Weeds definitely belongs on your queue the next time you log into your TV and movie download service.

This trend towards realism began with shows like Survivor, which wound up really killing fictional shows in the ratings. See, sitcoms and dramas became incredibly formulaic and predictable. You always knew the punchline of every joke before it came: I get it, the dad likes watching football and the wacky neighbor wants to date his daughter.

Reality television really changed things and it became clear that fictional television had to adapt to survive, as people had come to prefer the realism of those reality shows. Even if reality television can be artless, crass, and not as real as it pretends to be, it remains a fact that it showed real human emotion and unpredictable situations.

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The Tao of Russell Crowe

Russell Crowe - The Next Three Days

Russell Crowe - The Next Three Days

Actor Russell Crowe doesn't like to reveal himself too much during interviews.

As almost everyone on the planet knows, the star resists most attempts to get him to reveal anything. And he's happy to taunt those who take on the challenge. Which tonight happens to be me.

Sitting with director Paul Haggis at Beverly Hills' Polo Lounge several weeks before the release of their prison break thriller, "The Next Three Days," Crowe begins talking about the film. But it isn't long before one of his favorite topics comes up.


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