James Bond FIGHTS BACK!!!

Over a month ago I was firing off about this very issue on this very blog.  This is taken from TMZ ( I know) but people are finally waking up.  This is just wrong!!!

Ex-James Bond OUTRAGED
Over Heineken Deal —
New 007’s a Sellout!!!

EXCLUSIVE                                                              5/23/2012 1:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF0522_George-Lazenby_heineken_logo_2

They don’t make ’em like they used to — at least according to the guy who played James Bond in 1969, who’s pissed the new Bond film has axed 007’s signature martini … in favor of a corporate-sponsored beer.

If you don’t know … the people behind Daniel Craig‘s next Bond flick “Skyfall” closed a reported $45 million deal with Heineken — forcing the iconic character to drink beer in the movie, instead of a vodka martini … Bond’s famous drink of choice.

Bond orders the drink in practically every movie ever — just check the clip below from “The World Is Not Enough.”


Devoted Bond fans everywhere are pissed — a list that includes former James Bond actor George Lazenby, who played 007 in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.”

Lazenby tells us, cutting the martini in favor of a Heiney breaks a sacred tradition — and to add insult to injury, “It’s not the best beer out there, either.”

Lazenby adds, it’s sad filmmakers will always “go where the money is.”

I mean, C’mon people, some things are sacred.  Don’t get art confused with product placement, they are two very different things!




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Hollywood Strikes AGAIN!

What in God’s, Buddha, Allah, Jehovah, etc’s… name was she thinking?  Ladies and Gentleman, I am proud to introduce you to, Hannah Montana!!! 0521_miley_cyrus_01

I realize she looks really hot, but she is 19.  She is still a kid or is she?  I don’t want to see Miley Cyrus looking hot, it freaks me out.  I watched her kid TV show with my niece, admired her Dad for somehow surviving the “mullet” and “Achy Breaky Heart” and watched her shoot to stardom.  She was the bucktoothed little cutie that you realized was going to be a star, but I don’t believe anyone could have imagined how high her star would shoot.  Now, I have to watch her change again, from Hollywood kid to Hollywood woman, which means it will happen far to early and the “no nudity” clause will be out of her contract.  This single picture will have producers lining up to get her nude on-screen.  You could shoot a whole movie about wooden spoons, jello and a cow bell, on HD Cam, with one 10 second scene of Miley Cyrus nude and you will clean up opening day on your 2600 screen release.  That is of course, 2600 screens, because the Studio threw in for 15 million in advertising you were short.  I am surprised Playboy has not offered her 10 million for a spread, or maybe they have, hmmm?  Bottom line is this,  this is the reality for many female child stars in Hollywood, the machine cannot wait to get them naked.

I realized this was going to happen, I was just not ready for it.  It is always hard to stomach the change when you know what is coming next.  Every time a young girl that has grown up in front of you makes the move to womanhood on the big or little screen, I always feel sadness; because, once the move is made, the little girl is gone forever.  She will now be exploited in ways that were not legal when she was under 18.  Now, more than ever, she needs protection.  She needs the people around her to question everything, her life needs to be monitored, she needs true friends supporting her.  We will either watch the unfortunate and early demise of a human being or the success of a true survivor.  The question I have:  Can she survive Hollywood or will she be a statistic.  I pray she can!

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Facebook takes over film business!

The amazing thing about film-making is how it is constantly evolving.  We remember the days when there was only film, G&E packages weren’t ridiculously priced and talent was accessible not insulated by 5 or 6 nickle or dimers.  Nickle and Dimers refer to the people that pinch nickels and dimes from their clients and that is how they live. Now we have to have social networking put in the budget, as a very high priced but necessary line item.

Facebook, Twitter, On-line advertising, these are absolutely crucial to the success of today’s films.  Big budget or small, without the proper online influence, you might as well kiss your movie good bye.  There are of course exceptions to the rule (John Carter who concentrated advertising online and put out weak commercials for television), but for the most part, social networking saves your movie.  The question I always ask is, “what is the downside of social networking” and “how can I protect my movie.”

Television writers, you need to write for the online as well as the production part of the show.  Writers need to keep everything fresh online, there should never be a moments disconnect from the online audience, literally!!!  More with television then film, tons of information has to be shared, even minutiae; because, the demand for information is so high, you cannot provide it fast enough.

We are in a social networking nightmare and it is not getting better.  We are trying to keep information constantly flowing, but we are giving too much information without realizing the consequences.  When you post about your movie or television show on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc…think about what you are posting. You may be posting personal information that can lead to identity theft and other identity scams. You need to make sure you are protecting yourself.

Hire someone with knowledge specific to your social networking needs.  Please, please, please, don’t be a moron and think you know it all.  GET SOME HELP!!!  Find someone who understands how the system works to guide you.  Make sure you are protected and all posts are going through some type of filter before they go up.  Remember, once it is up, it can be found, even after you delete it.

Read this article on social networking, it will change the way you think, as you set out to promote your next movie or tv show,  If it does not make you think, there is no hope for you.      http://finance.yahoo.com/news/facebook-and-your-privacy.html?page=1

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Location, Location, Location!!!

I have heard more first time directors scream about needing to go to Japan to shoot a legitimate looking period piece.  While we would all like to go to Japan to shoot the piece, the reality is we cannot afford it 98% of the time.  What is the answer?  Find the cheat.  Story locations are cheated for other locations everyday.  It does not matter if it is film or television, they all cheat locations.   The goal is to find the best looking location for what you need in the story and then finding a way to not break the bank in order to shoot.  This article talks about the new Nicole Kidman/Clive Owen movie that was shot in Northern California and it doubles for six different countries.  Given, they had money to spend, but it does let you know, Location, Location, Location!!!

On Location: HBO’s ‘Hemingway & Gellhorn’ sets global stage in San Francisco

Los Angeles Times:  

Written by:  Richard Verrier

April 24, 2012 |  1:12 pm

HBO Kidman Hemingway & Gellhorn
In the upcoming HBO movie “Hemingway & Gellhorn,” actors Clive Owen and Nicole Kidman bring to life the passionate and stormy relationship between Ernest Hemingway and World War II correspondent Martha Gellhorn — the inspiration for the writer’s classic novel “For Whom the Bell Tolls.”

But the real star of the cable network’s film, which premieres May 28, is the city of San Francisco and the Bay Area. Though the movie’s story takes place in nine countries, it was shot over 40 days last spring entirely on location within about 20 miles of the Northern California city.

Filmmakers usually come to San Francisco because they want to capture the city’s unique look and historical landmarks, such as the Golden Gate Bridge or the Fisherman’s Wharf.  In this case, the city and surrounding communities stood in for Spain, Finland, Cuba, New York, Shanghai, Key West, even Ketchem, Idaho, where the famous author took his life in 1961.

PHOTOS: Bay Area as a stand-in for the world

Producers relied not only on the area’s diverse locations but on state and local film incentives as well as advanced green-screen technology combined with actual historical footage from the period.
“We literally shot for every place, except for San Francisco,” said Trish Hofmann, the film’s executive producer who will share her experiences on the HBO movie at an annual industry breakfast Friday in Los Angeles sponsored by the California Film Commission.

Typically, a film with so many foreign locations would have been shot overseas. But with a tight budget — less than $20 million — producers ruled out shooting in Europe.

They considered Puerto Rico but settled on San Francisco, partly as a practical matter. Director Phil Kaufman (“The Right Stuff” and “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”) lives in the city, as do many of the actors, including Joan Chen, who plays Madame Chiang Kai-shek.

Local and state incentives also helped make the decision easier. “Hemingway & Gellhorn” received a $3-million tax credit from California’s film program, which awards credits based on a lottery system.

“We set up a little shrine to pray for the tax rebate, with a candle, a bottle of Vodka, a picture of Hemingway and Gellhorn and a copy of ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls,’ ” Hofmann said. “When we got it, we celebrated — Hemingway style.”

The project received $600,000 more in rebates from the city for police expenses and the cost of renting a warehouse at the port for production offices and sound-stage space.

A rickety pier and wooden houses in China Camp State Park east of the Golden Gate Bridge provided the backdrop for scenes set in Key West and Cuba, with the help of a few palm tree props. The salt flats in the South Bay represented the rice paddies of China in the 1930s.

An old railway station in Oakland covered in graffiti and bird droppings was cleaned up to look like a hotel in Madrid, while Spanish Civil War scenes were filmed in an arid, flat area of Livermore east of the city that bears a remarkable resemblance to the Spanish countryside.

Shanghai of the 1930s was re-created in the back alleys of Chinatown, while Finland was represented by an actual Finnish church in Pacific Heights.

“If you challenge me, I can find you within 20 miles of San Francisco, 40 feet from anywhere in the world,” said Patrick Ranahan, the film’s location manager.

Borrowing a technique Kaufman employed for his 1983 movie, “The Right Stuff,” producers also made extensive use of archival footage from the Library of Congress and other sources.  And they used advanced green-screen technology to insert actors into actual  footage from late 1930s Spain, World War II and other periods.

“We spent a year before principal photography going through a 100 hours of archival footage,” said Chris Morley, visual effects supervisor at Tippett Studio in Berkeley. “It’s the only way it could have been done.



Photo:HBO’s film “Hemingway and Gellhorn,” chronicling the romantic relationship between the writer and journalist, was filmed entirely in the Bay area, which stood in for 9 different countries. The Chinatown neighborhood of San Francisco stood in for Shanghai in the 1930s. Credit: Karen Ballard/HBO

Where the cameras roll
Map data ©2012 Google – Terms of Use

Sample of neighborhoods with permitted TV, film and commercial shoots scheduled this week. Permits are subject to last-minute changes. Sources: FilmL.A. Inc., cities of Beverly Hills, Santa Clarita and Pasadena. Thomas Suh Lauder / Los Angeles Times


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Film now obsolete?

I am going to show my age with what I say, but the lack of a congruent hair line on either side of my head does it for me already.  I grew up in the age of television with wonderful ensemble casts, ample time being given to the developmennt of the characters, their story lines and even the look of the set, but that changed fifteen years ago.  T.V. is really expensive to make, yet all the cable channels had the big three scrambling (If you don’t know who the big three refers to, I am not telling) and they produced  terrible, one off programs.  Scripted television was being thrown at us and overnight T.V became mundane, contrived, and old. We all started going to the movies more and renting movies to bring home. Here is the kicker, everyone wanted T.V. to be great, but the studios forgot the need to have great a great story line along with a great look.

But then it happened…

I have always loved movies and scripted television and I just realized that the best of both worlds have officially come together.  There is nothing like watching a really good movie in the theater, the popcorn, smells, excitement, etc…but many of us do not have the time like we used to, the box at home has become our movie theater.  With our small screens at home finally becoming the norm for viewing any media content, the T.V. studios are now making 1hr. weekly motion pictures.  Have you watched Showtime recently? Amazing!  We are in the age where the line between televsion and feature films has blurred.  T.V. was always limited by time and cost, but NOW, T.V. spends in one episode, what others might spend on a low budget feature film (5-10 million dollars). The cable channels, with no commercials, give us a mini movie every time we watch one of their shows.  Sure, T.V. is lit differently and shot differently, but isn’t every movie lit differently and shot differently?  T.V. is now watched and critiqued just like a movie. Why? Because, it is a movie.  I will always love movies, the grand scale of a shot, the characters being limited to two hours of running time, and the big screen, which adds that incredible dimension that cannot be copied, ever…but T.V. is pretty damn close.  Hollywood is a television town now and we all have to get used to it, even as I bitch and moan.

Has scripted television and the way it is shot, taken over the feature film world?

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Everyone has to watch VEEP!

Ok, I miss Seinfeld.  For years that was the show you could always count on to get a laugh, but in an instant it was gone.  I was not that upset as I was sure there were going to be reunion shows, fun episodes previously un-aired, a T.V. movie, etc…that never happened.  For years, I was mystified why none of the lead actors could get a show that was right for them.  Michael Richards had an epic meltdown, Jason Alexander did better on Broadway, Jerry Seinfeld can always rely on his stand up routine and Julia Louis-Dreyfus had a quick run with The New Adventures of Old Christine, but that eventually fell flat.  Today, is a new day!  HBO, in their brillance, has cast Julia Louis-Dreyfus to lead their new show VEEP.  Vicious, rude, crass, are the words that come to mind when reading the reviews of this show, but watching the teaser, BRILLIANTLY FUNNY!!! This looks promising, heck I might even laugh out loud again, anything is possible.

From the Hollywood Reporter:

Veep: TV Review by Tim Goodman

Vicious political comedy is best post-‘Seinfeld’ role Julia Louis-Dreyfus, taps Armando Iannucci’s genius.

Any savvy television viewer who knows Armando Iannucci’s brilliant, rambling, angry, profanity-spewing British series The Thick of It must have been pleading for his 2007 American remake at ABC to slip quietly into forgotten history.  Luckily, it did. The political-comedy pilot — Iannucci hated it — wasn’t picked up, and in 2009 Iannucci instead gave the world In the Loop, a movie version of his original series. Not that anyone saw that, either.

Which is a shame. Imagine an even funnier, infinitely angrier and less sentimental Aaron Sorkin. Iannucci shares Sorkin’s love of fast-talking characters and quick-cutting camerawork. More, he’s a sublime political-comedy scientist who mixes swearing, anger and yelling with intelligence and cynicism, as well as vicious wit that floats to the top when the level of discourse calms down. Iannucci’s actors are like soldiers sent in to kill weak or sweet comedy. Not everybody can do that, especially at a network.
STORY: HBO’s ‘Veep’ Tackles a Flawed, Dangerous Political System
Veep stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as former Sen. Selina Meyer, who accepts the vice presidential duty and regrets it almost immediately: She has no real power and gets muscled by the Senate, Congress and the (so-far-unseen) president, who delegates all the truly crappy jobs to her. Louis-Dreyfus has found perhaps her best post-Seinfeld role and takes to it with such fervor — the constant swearing, the barely veiled desire to become president, the unhappy give-and-take with other politicians and a delightful disdain for average citizens — that you can’t help but applaud what is clearly an Emmy-worthy effort.
Her work alone makes Veep a gem, but there’s even more to like. Meyer’s team includes chief of staff Amy (Anna Chlumsky of In the Loop), tasked to put out endless fires; right-hand-and-body man Gary (Tony Hale of Arrested Development), who basically lives on the veep’s shoulders whispering tidbits in her ear about people she meets: “Wife, not daughter; wife, not daughter!” “Plays the trumpet.” “He’s got a glass eye”); jaded-and-losing-it press spokesman Mike McClintock (Matt Walsh), who pretends to have a dog so he won’t have to stay late at the office or go on boring trips (everyone calls the dog a bullshitzu); Dan (Reid Scott), an ambitious political operative who one-ups everyone; office secretary Sue (Sufe Bradshaw), who keeps the plates spinning and doesn’t suffer fools or obvious questions; and Jonah (Tim Simons), the slimy and arrogant White House liaison who lords his position and proximity to the president over everyone in the vice president’s office.
Every actor nails their lines, which keeps Veep moving at a brisk pace. In fact, the episodes seem to end so quickly, you’ll wish they lasted an hour. Iannucci hasn’t quite created a character as momentously awesome as The Thick of It’s angry, foul-mouthed buzzsaw Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi), but Veep hits on all cylinders, even with small roles such as that of the senator who swats down a trial balloon from the veep’s office by saying, “I imagine I’d mix ape-shit with bat-shit, raise it to a whole new level of fury, and then I’d probably rip your face off and use your eye sockets as a sex toy.”

The show is particularly adept at getting at the back-stabbing, bureaucracy-laden, vote-swapping hustle that is politics and mines as much comedy as possible from every bit. Madame Vice President, for example, is quite skilled at the fake “walk and talk,” where her staff whisks her into the hallway, followed by angry politicians who can’t catch her (one adaptation is the “widow walk,” where Meyer uses a dead senator’s wife as a shield from angry aides and lobbyists).
Louis-Dreyfus manages to capture all of the disparate parts of Meyer’s personality. Those include her no-muffler love of swearing, even when she talks about voters: “I’ve met some people. Real people. And a lot of ’em are f—ing idiots.” And her insecurity, played up in a recurring joke in which she asks her secretary, “Sue, did the president call?” He never calls. Louis-Dreyfus also pulls off what others might mangle: a clear disinterest in her college-age daughter (not in a mean way, but her political career comes first). Where others might opt for the comic cliche of overcompensating with gushing attention when the daughter visits, Louis-Dreyfus makes it another day at the office for Meyer, who mostly ignores her child.
In that sense, Louis-Dreyfus finds herself in another comedy where Larry David’s Seinfeld mantra “No hugging, no learning” aptly applies. For Iannucci, Veep is just different enough from The Thick of It and In the Loop to not be seen as a remake but a fresh shot at the ripe target of American politics. As in his previous work, there’s an improvisational feel, though the show is scripted. A shaky-camera effect makes the hustle-bustle more naturalistic and the hilarious, impromptu veep conferences seem intimate — and desperate. Most important, Veep looks as if it’s being filmed right next to the real thing and as if Iannucci and his writers are simply mirroring the ineptness and soul-crushing compromises around them.

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James Bond, what happened?

Look, I rarely get incensed but this one has me INCENSED!  Product placement is a huge part of making movies in hollywood.  Without product placement, many movies would not be able to support their art department, wardrobe and props departments needs, but there needs to be a line to the insanity.  It is widely reported that James Bond, in the new 007 movie, will be passing on the martini “shaken not stirred” but in fact have a Heineken.  Really, a flipping Heineken, a green bottle of beer, not even draft, wth.  So, for the past 40 years James Bond has been fine with a really dry martini, but NOW, he has to have a beer?  What, there was a run on really good vodka and they only had the bad stuff left or did the whole liquor part of the bar shutdown and that was the only thing available.  Did he really walk into the most elegant bar you have ever seen, in a $2000.00 suit and perfectly coiffed, to order a bottle of Heineken.  Bartender:  “good evening sir, the usual I presume?”  “would you like the glass chilled as well sir?”  Bond: “no thank you, tonight is special my good man,  just pop the top off a Heineken for me.”  Bartender: “would you like it in a glass sir?”  Bond: “absolutely not, Heineken is to good to put in a glass, just give me that cold bottle of Heineken.”  C’mon, this is ridiculous.  Some things should be left untouched and in my world, this is one of them.  What happens next, James Bond changes his name to Sir Viagra Trojan and tries to save the world from the evil Dr. Facebook Mozilla?  Just sayin’.

Overreacting or Justified?

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Are you living in fear of hate? Read this!

Please follow the link.  This article is very powerful and let’s you know change is possible.

Please do not let fear run your life, allow yourself to feel happy and alive!


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Who Inspires You?

I realize that the people who truly inspire me are not the people who have power, money or prestige, it is often the people that have to work hard everyday to get what they want.  Some of those people may have power, money and/or prestige, but these material things do not define them.  I try hard every day to be better then the day before, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but I try.  The reason I try, because all the people that inspire me say the same thing, “everyone get’s knocked down, it is how you get up that matters.”

Who inspires you?

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Monday Morning

Happy Monday to everyone.

On Monday morning, I like to look at the box office results of the top 10 movies and compare the artistic results to their budgets.  I know that sounds weird, but I am always trying to figure out how I can shoot what I need and have it be financially feasible.  I realize everyone wants to have that artistic masterpiece, but some movies or scripts are never going to be that; however, if a movie is made well, it can still turn a profit.  I find myself constantly trying to learn from others mistakes in hopes that I will not make the same mistake.

I have a couple questions of my own:

What makes you decide if you are going to take on a project?

Do you try to find the pitfalls first or learn as you go?

These do not have to be film projects, it can be any project you take on.

Have a great Monday!


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