In January 1943 the Russian-born poet, essayist, former radical and future filmmaker Eleanora Deren wrote a friend that her husband, Alexander Hammid, was having a tough time finding work as a cameraman in Hollywood. The union, she wrote, was one of those “racketeer things,” though there might be a job at Paramount Pictures. “There are other prospects,” she added, “but in Hollywood prospects are a dime a dozen.” Four months later she and Hammid carved out a different future in the poetic form of “Meshes of the Afternoon,” a black-and-white, 14-minute silent film and a classic of the American avant-garde cinema that they shot a few blocks from the Sunset Strip.
Surely, any author's dream is to be able to walk into the world they've created in their book. Plenty of writers have been afforded virtually that experience as their books have been adapted to film, but perhaps no one has realized this dream so intensely as Brian Selznick when he visited the set for the Nov. 23 release "Hugo," based on his 2007 book "The Invention of Hugo Cabret."
The film — director Martin Scorsese's first geared toward a young audience — was shot on a full-scale train station set built from scratch, directly inspired by Selznick's illustrations.
This much is clear: It's 1891, a year after their first adventure, and the great English detective and Dr. Watson are facing off with Professor Moriarty, a mysterious, peripheral character from their initial blockbuster.
Ask the creative forces behind "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" for more details on the new Robert Downey Jr.movie, due in theaters Dec. 16, and you'll find tight lips. But the set here, a 40-minute train trip west from London, was rife with clues last winter.
What is talent?
For some, in the ever-evolving business world of Hollywood, it's the ability to see potential before anyone else does. For others, it's a knack for negotiating a deal through complex industry channels. Sometimes, says Fox co-chairman Jim Gianopulos, it's "coming up with the right answer. More often, it's coming up with the right questions. … And if you're smart enough to already have the answer, that's talent."
Headhunters, the Norwegian crime thriller based on the novel by Jo Nesbo, continues to set box office records in its home territory. This weekend Headhuntersreceipts should pass the 50 million Kroner mark - around $9 million. That’s more than twice the $4 million earned by Transformers: The Dark Side of the Moon in the territory and puts tinyHeadhunters (budget $5 million) in a class with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, this year’s box office champ in Norway with a total take of $11 million.
In terms of admissions, Headhunters is already the most successful film released in Norway this year, with 535,000 tickets sold. That's about 20,000 less than Potter 7.2 but ahead of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which sold 508,000 tickets in Norway. Pirates has a greater gross, however, due to higher prices for 3D tickets.
The history of micro-budget mainstream movies is a chequered one: for every Blair Witch Project there's a Birdemic: Shock and Terror, the famously inept 2010 homage to Hitchcock's The Birds which cost just $10,000 to make and featured horror scenes in which iffy CGI avians appeared to have been glued randomly onto the screen. The key to making a good film without spending much money seems to be in the scale: the first Paranormal Activity ($15,000) worked so brilliantly precisely because the major action utilised just a single camera setup, while Kevin Smith's Clerks ($27,000) was so tightly-focused on two adjacent New Jersey stores that one wondered where the money actually went.
Joss Whedon's forthcoming adaptation of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing looks, at first glance, like a pretty grand project. It's rare that the Bard's works find their way onto the big screen without millions being lavished on expensive location shoots, period costumes and A-list actors. Kenneth Branagh's 1993 take on the play was pretty cheap at just £8m – you can tell because there was clearly no money left over for to pay Keanu Reeves's accent coach. Michael Radford's The Merchant of Venice cost a respectable $30m in 2004.
Whedon hasn't revealed quite how much he spent on his latest film, but given it was shot in just 12 days on location at his Santa Monica home during a break from filming The Avengers, with a cast of Whedon regulars and in black and white, one suspects there will be few tears at the film-maker's local branch of Bank of America. A press release put out through Whedon's website speaks of "hilariously miniature paycheques" and a "DIY ethos". It all sounds delightfully distant from the usual Hollywood cash carousel.
Powered by WP Robot