How kids will like Hitchcock’s Rear Window


❝When we were kids, we had cardboard-tube periscopes and plastic 007 briefcases; today’s children grew up playing with working, pint-sized surveillance equipment right out of “The Conversation.” But although they’ll understand the appeal of Jeff’s spying, they’ll also know that he’s doing something he shouldn’t — and will hold their breath waiting to see just how he’s going to get caught.❞

from Stephen Whitty’s Family Viewing: ‘Rear Window’

Christoph Waltz’s German bounty hunter character came “boom!”, flying out of Tarantino’s pen!


❝Oscar-winning filmmaker Quentin Tarantino says after working with Christoph Waltz on 2009’s “Inglourious Basterds,” he found himself writing a role specifically for the Austrian actor in “Django Unchained.”

“I’ve been wanting to do this story for a long time and there was never a German dentist-bounty hunter in the story. The next thing I know, I sat down and wrote that opening scene, and he just flew right out of the pen, like it was the tenant of God, boom!” Tarantino told reporters in New York while promoting “Django” before its theatrical release late last year.❞

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Extra narrative content via smartphone app


☞ Interesting development, but where does it lead? Why can’t we just have a movie on the smart phone and not bother about using it during a public movie screening?

App places viewers’ second screens at the heart of its narrative, providing extra content to those who keep their smartphones at hand for the duration of the film.

❝Some people may get annoyed when audiences start getting their phones out during a performance, but we’ve come across a few projects that encourage those with an urge to check their devices – such as the Providence Performing Arts Center’s Tweet Seat scheme. Now, a new movie from the Netherlands called App has placed viewers’ second screens at the heart of its narrative, providing extra content to those who keep their smartphones at hand for the duration of the film. …❞

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‘Oblivion’ director Joseph Kosinski sees his storytelling dream become sci-fi reality


'Oblivion: Tom Cruise and Joseph Kosinski

‘Oblivion’ star Tom Cruise, left, talks with writer-director Joseph Kosinski on the film’s Baton Rouge set. (David James / Universal Pictures)

Mike Scott, | The Times-Picayune  By Mike Scott, | The Times-Picayune 

❝It was April 2005, and — between dreams of one day becoming a real, honest-to-goodness filmmaker — an unemployed, unknown 31-year-old kid decided he wasn’t going to just wait anymore for good things to happen. He was going to make then happen.

And so Joseph Kosinski put pen to paper and started writing a story. He couldn’t have realized it at the time, but he was writing his own future at the same time.

His goal — as with any good writer — was simple: He wanted to tell a story that inspired people to think, something that affected them on more than just a superficial level, something that got under their skin. In that regard, the result of those long-ago labors — the big-budget, sci-fi adventure “Oblivion,” which shot in Baton Rouge and New Orleans last year, and which opens Friday (April 19) in wide release — is something of a two-for-one deal.❞

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On Genre


Some useful ideas on genre in screenwriting.

We screenwrite to produce spec scripts that communicate our talent to a decision-maker who will then pay us to write. To this end, your spec script should be familiar. Familiar means in a recognizable genre. We know genres – if a comedy makes us laugh it works. If a horror movie scares us, it works.

Genres work because they’re familiar, we have the tools to analyze them. But if you say “My script is an experimental piece, very stream of consciousness, a mix of Truffaut and Malick,” I have no way of knowing if you succeeded. The pile of papers you hand me might be brilliant, or it might be a pretentious pile of crap. Lacking a genre, I lack the tools to confidently make that decision, so I’ll cover my ass and I’ll recommend the competent comedy over the potentially brilliant new thing. And that’s the opinion of me, a relatively…

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Keanu Reeves’ documentary ‘Side by Side’: It’s time to accept that digital is the future


154690910 300x203 Keanu Reeves documentary Side by Side: Its time to accept that digital is the future

❝This week sees the release of the Keanu Reeves-fronted documentary Side By Side. The film features interviews with several respected filmmakers, each of whom discuss their personal attitude towards the decline in traditional 35mm photochemical cinematography, and the revolution in digital acquisition, distribution and exhibition. The documentary is impeccable both in its detail and balance, yet seems to ultimately focus on a debate that is already resolved.

Photochemical film stock was the primary format used to make movies for the 120 years after its invention, and has a special place in the hearts of many as a nostalgic medium that underlines the numinous quality of cinema.❞

From: The Independent Blogs; included in my Flipboard e-zine: The Cinematographer,