Thursday 31 October 2013

A Brief History of Horror

Here we have a 29 minute video which traces the high points in the development of horror as a movie genre.

It was put together by John P. Hess of Filmmaker IQ. Their website has the text of this video, accompanied by twenty or so short film clips, as well as the still photos which appear in this documentary.

See some of what you've been missing...

Wednesday 30 October 2013

"The Bomb Shelter"

The Bomb Shelter is a comedic web series that follows the everyday lives of 5 people surviving in a bomb shelter.
They survived the apocalypse, but can they survive each other?
Written and directed by Marcus Kiehl, and starring Marcus Kiehl, Corey Landis, Mindy Montavon, William Cannon, and Brielle Batino.

Here is episode one: Lisa Leaves Bill.

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Tuesday 29 October 2013

Interview with Steve Kaplan

Steve Kaplan is an expert on comedy writing. He has taught at UCLA, NYU, Yale, and other top universities, Kaplan created the HBO Workspace, the HBO New Writers Program, and Manhattan Punch Line Theatre.
     He has served as a consultant to such companies as DreamWorks, Disney, Aardman Animation, and HBO. Steve has taught his Comedy Intensive workshops to thousands of students across the globe. Now the guy has written a book, The Hidden Tools of Comedy: The Serious Business of Being Funny (Michael Wiese Productions, 2013).

Where were you born, and where did you grow up?

I was born in Queens, NY, and grew up in a suburban area of Queens called Fresh Meadows, which was most notable for a distinct absence of meadows of any kind. But the good people of Fresh Meadows, Queens, must have been an optimistic bunch—the street I lived on was very near to Utopia Parkway, a street, I might add, that failed to live up to its name.

What kind of a family did you grow up with?

I grew up in a modestly lower-middle class Jewish family. My mom was a stay-at-home housewife (until she couldn't take it anymore and got a job working as an executive assistant in an office, not for the money, but for the escape) and my dad worked for the IRS. As long as I could remember, he only said one thing to me, over and over and over: get a civil service job. My clearest memory is of him coming to see me in some play that I acted in or directed and saying, as everyone else was leaving the theatre, "So, what about getting a civil service job? I understand the Post Office is hiring."

Where did you go to school?

Grade School: P.S. 173.

Junior High school: George J. Ryan 216 (I have no idea who George Ryan was).  

Stuyvesant H.S. (Stuyvesant was a specialized advanced high school in New York. You had to pass a very rigorous test to get in. When I went, Stuyvesant was an all-boys high school. As a result, our prom (or Spring formal) was very disappointing.)

Hofstra University. (This is where Francis Ford Coppola went to school. Like Coppola, I also directed the student musical at Hofstra my senior year. Unlike him, I have not won four Oscars, or own a vineyard. However, like Coppola, I do like a wine every now and then.)

When did you first take an interest in films/stories?

As early as I can remember, I've been interested in telling stories and making people laugh. As a child in the 60s, I grew up on comic books and television. From comics, I made my way into myth, The Once and Future King and Tolkien. Television introduced me to I Love Lucy, The Three Stooges, Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, Hope and Crosby, and the late night Million Dollar Movie series led me to a wondrous black-and-white world, where there's a broken heart for every light on Broadway, even if the heart belonged to a giant ape hanging on for dear life to the Empire State Building.

What was your first paying job (in any field)?

Aside from the few dollars I made tossing newspapers onto the wrong lawns or going door-to-door selling seeds or greeting cards, my first real job was as the Assistant Stage Manager for a summer stock company in Pennsylvania, where I was famous for having claimed I could drive a heavy equipment front-end loader, and proceeding to crash it into a ditch. Yes, I was fired.

You have a screen shot from Sullivan’s Travels as the header for your Twitter page. What, for you, is special about that movie?

My all-time favorite comedy quote is from Sullivan's Travels (1941), a quote that sums up my feeling about comedy, and its importance: 
"There's a lot to be said for making people laugh. Did you know that that's all some people have? It isn't much, but it's better than nothing in this cockeyed caravan."
Veronica Lake and Joel McCrea
When I hear the name “Kaplan,” I always think of George Kaplan in North By Northwest.  What do you think of?
"Calling Mr. Kaplan. Calling Mr. Kaplan. Telegram for George Kaplan." 
The first time I watched North by Northwest (1959) I thought, "Hey, wow, Cary Grant is a Kaplan! A Kaplan's gonna win! A Kaplan's gonna get the girl!" 
    And then, of course, Leo G. Carroll informed me that Kaplan was a nobody, and I was right back in the same existential funk that I had started in.
"Calling Mr. Kaplan. Calling Mr. Kaplan. Telegram for George Kaplan."

You did a teaching tour — THE ART OF ROMANTIC COMEDY — with Michael Hauge. How did that come about?

The tour was put together by a couple of organizations: Inscription and Epiphany Artists. I had previously toured Melbourne and Sydney under the aegis of Epiphany presenting my two-day comedy lecture, The Comedy Intensive
    Epiphany wanted me to come back, but not do the same presentation. Epiphany found out the Michael and I had previously co-presented a one-day Romantic Comedy seminar, so they approached us to see if we'd be interested in designing a two day course for Australia.
    It worked out perfectly! Michael did the first part talking about the structure of Romantic Comedy, and then I would come in and talk about how to make the structure funny, and then we would share the stage, debating the finer points of Romcoms.

Do you miss stage work, enough to consider going back to it?

I do miss it—what I don't miss is the insecurity of not knowing how to pay the bills and the poverty sometimes comes along with working in the theatre in the States. However, if you're asking because you want me to direct something... let's talk!

Who was the teacher who had the biggest influence on you?

As I was entering Stuyvesant High School, I had been in a few plays and loved the idea of theatre, but couldn't conceive of actually trying to make a career out of it.
     My high school drama teacher was an exuberant bear of a man, Sterling Jensen, who was so full of positivity and possibilities that he gave me the courage to follow my dream.
    My next most influential mentor was the director of my first professional acting job, Jere Hodgin. We were part of a troupe that had been given a grant to go into prisons and teach improv to inmates. What can I say? It was the 70s. 
    Jere taught me how to take a dream, no matter how preposterous (like teaching Viola Spolin to murderers) and turn it into a reality. By the way, those murderers and robbers—turned out they were great actors and improvisers! 
    The last teacher was Jay Harnick (brother of Sheldon Harnick, who co-wrote Fiddler on the Roof). Jay ran a company that produced original musicals that toured to schools. He had hired me to direct a new musical called Class Clown, about a kid who couldn't read. You try to make illiteracy funny! I was supposed to put together a full run-through after only 5 days of rehearsal, and when Jay walked in the rehearsal studio, I bombarded him with problems: I really needed another assistant stage manager, the recorded score wasn't finished, the sets were incomplete, the prop budget wasn't sufficient to purchase the correct props. And on and on. Jay looked at me sympathetically, and said, "Sure, we could fix all those problems—but then, where would the sport in that be?" And with that, the run-through went on. (Which went brilliantly, I might add.)

What are three things you wish someone had told you about managing actors when you were starting out at Manhattan Punch Line Theater?

1) Give them all your great ideas, but somehow convince them that they're really their own great ides!
2) Don't ever fire someone, especially if that someone goes on to get nominated for an Oscar, because then you're sure to be skipped over in the "thank-you" speech.
3) A wise saying from the old baseball manager Casey Stengel: The secret of managing is to keep the guys who hate you away from the guys who are undecided. And...
4) (and this is not original to me) The love you take is equal to the love you make. 

If you had to suggest just one screenwriting book (not your own) to a newbie writer back in Adelaide, which one would it be?

Adventures in the Screen Trade, by William Goldman, if just for the clarity, brevity and elegance of the opening scenes of Butch Cassidy.
(But then, for all that's holy, go and buy my book!)

What are your ten favourite (favourite, not ‘best’) movies of all time?

I don't think I can limit it to just ten, so I'll just write down the first ten I can think of, and limit them to comedies. 
Groundhog Day (1993)
The Sting (1973)
Ghostbusters (1984)
Annie Hall (1977)
When Harry Met Sally (1989)
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Singin' in the Rain (1952)
A Night at the Opera (1935)
The Producers (1967)
40 Year Old Virgin (2005)

Please don't send me tweets upbraiding me for neglecting Steve Martin in The Jerk (1979), or an email demanding me to include There's Something About Mary (1998). 
    I agree with you. Those should be in there, as well. The problem isn't with me, it's with the number ten. Ten is just so damn well... less than you need. It would be better if the number ten could include about 50 movies—that way, you could include all the movies you should include.
    And don't get me started on cable TV shows!

What’s next for Steve Kaplan?

I'm a Creative Consultant for a new sketch comedy show to be shot in Kiev in Russian and Ukraine. Do I speak Russian and/or Ukrainian? Of course not! Where would the sport in that be!

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Monday 28 October 2013

Lou Reed: 1942-2013

Lou Reed has died from complications from a liver transplant he received in May 2013.

He was born in Brooklyn in 1942. He met John Cale at a record store in New York in 1964. They formed a band which, after a few iterations, became Velvet Underground. He left the band in 1970 and commenced a solo career that made him world famous.

The two albums he released that had a big impact on me at the time were Transformer and Berlin. It was a delight many years later to have Perfect Day appear on the soundtrack of the movie Trainspotting (1996). His music has IMDb credits on over 150 movie soundtracks.

Blue in the Face (1995)
Here are a couple of tracks to remember him by.

10 Things Producers Should Know about Screenwriting

Elliot Grove founded Raindance Film Festival in 1993, the British Independent Film Awards in 1998, and Raindance.TV in 2007. He has produced over 150 short films, and five feature films. He has written eight scripts, one of which is currently in pre-production. His first feature film, Table 5 was shot on 35mm and completed for a total of £278.38. He teaches writers and producers in the UK, Europe, Japan and America.

The Raindance website is a wonderful source of information about filmmaking. The thing I like most about Elliot Grove's commentary is that he always has the big picture in view, whereas writers tend to bog down on the minutiae of their own little patch. This post is directed toward producers, but writers will benefit from thinking about the matters he raises.

10 Things Filmmakers Should Know About Screenwriting, by Elliot Grove

Most people know what a filmmaker does—they make movies, right? And a film producer has the most thankless job of all: he or she builds the movies from the ground up. The film producer’s job goes like this:

  • Get a screenplay.
  • Get a director and cast.
  • Get the money.
  • Make the movie.
  • Market and sell it.
  • Move on to the next project.
If the process is clear, and the workflow so obvious, why is it that 90% of filmmakers and film producers go so terribly wrong at the very first step: Getting a screenplay?

I could introduce you to dozens of film producers who would each proclaim what a wonderful eye for material they have. When cornered and asked what they base this on, usually they get lame and respond with something like: “I just ‘know’ when it’s good”‘ or “kids in America are eating this stuff up right now.”

The whole secret to a great screenplay is to have a successful story. Most filmmakers and film producers have practically no training in what makes a good story, and fewer yet understand the importance and fragile quality of the relationship between writer and producer. Even more basic is the plain and simple fact that most filmmakers and producers have not a single clue as to how to work with a screenwriter to develop the story or screenplay they have just purchased.

I could fill this article with story after story of my own experiences in ‘development hell’ listening to the critiques and story advice from under-qualified story analysts and development executives who pass off superficial advice as if it were gospel, and then demand a co-writing credit. I once looked across a desk of a senior British script development executive and saw a 42 page critique on a project I was producing that started off with the words: “Reading this screenplay was most instructive.” Imagine the pearls that followed that line!

Here’s a dirty little secret: Writers love feedback—if it is useful. Writers need constructive feedback. If you tell a writer that their “second act story curtain is a little weak,” they will have no idea what you mean, nor have a clue how to fix their story. Try to be specific with your criticisms.

Another common and lame response from a producer will be along the lines of this flaky cop-out: “I don’t want to tell you what to write since you are the writer, but...”

Successful producers know and understand story and the principles of genre. Most other producers don’t. Successful filmmakers make the study and understanding of story and screenplay their primary focus. Most wannabe filmmakers won’t at their peril.

10 Things Producers Must Know About Story

1. Verbal Pitches

The art of pitching is essentially a producer skill that should be honed and sharpened. Verbal pitches are a great way to browse ideas. Learn to identify potential story problems at pitch stage and see whether or not they can be solved. Often story problems can be resolved simply by re-pitching the story using the ‘what if?” approach.

2. Predictable and generic story ideas

According to western thought, there are only seven basic story lines:

[wo]man vs. nature
[wo]man vs. [wo]man
[wo]man vs. the environment
[wo]man vs. machines/technology
[wo]man vs. the supernatural
[wo]man vs. self
[wo]man vs. god/religion
All stories have elements of predictable and generic ideas. Your job as a producer is to identify these elements, and then be able to demonstrate or inspire your screenwriter to surmount these ideas and take these generic ideas to a place that hasn’t been seen before.

3. High concept vs low concept

Low concept films deal primarily with relationships. High concept films do as well, except most film producers get so swept off their feet by the logline of the high concept that they forget that the high concept can deliver just a handful of scenes. It is the producer’s job to work with the writer and extend the story beyond the promise delivered by the high concept, and turn it from a set-piece into a story. A good tool to use for this is to focus on the main opponent and the moral tale within the story.

4. Understanding the rewriting process

It is completely understandable that the second draft of a script is worse than the first for the simple reason that the writer’s awareness of the story are ahead of the actual words he or she is able to put onto paper. A skilful producer will learn to nurture a writer through this painful step and also be able to offer sound advice.

5. Being seduced by dialogue

No one can fix a script by rewriting dialogue. Dialogue is the glitter on the surface of a story. Delve deep into the story and assess the storyline weaknesses and focus on reforming these essential elements before moving on to a dialogue rewrite.

6. Understanding character

The common flaw of unsuccessful scripts is that the main character does not have a clearly defined goal – a goal that can be measured. There must be a point in time when we, the audience, can see if the main character has achieved or failed to achieve their goal. Well drawn characters also need to have morals – and these need not be the morals accepted by western civilisation.

7. Understanding genre

Most, if not all, films sold in America and Britain are combinations of two or more of the basic genres. Romantic/comedy and action/adventure are two of the most popular genre blends. Edgar Wright, my first intern, made Shaun of the Dead work by combining horror and comedy, with a sprinkling of Love.

Writers have it easy – they need to specialise in two or three genres. But producers need to specialise in all eleven of the basic genre forms because their next project could come in any of the genre combinations.

8. Understanding universal appeal

A comedy with local humour will never travel. But a comedy based on institutions or cultural systems can become huge international hits.

9. Surmounting genre and genre blends

Learning the different genres and genre blends doesn’t make you a good film producer (or a good screenwriter). It simply means that you have joined a cast of hundreds of thousands of sophisticated storytellers with cliched patterns. The writer’s and producer’s job is to take these generic story forms and twist and bend them into a shape that no one has seen before.

10. Understanding story structure

Story structure is the most unhelpful phrase created in the lingo of screenwriters and film producers. It implies some sort of measure or slide-rule that will make your story work.

I prefer to talk about the patterns of your story. Producers and filmmakers should study the story patterns readily seen in commercially successful films and learn how these patterns can be replicated. A producer and writer working together on this can be an awesome and inspiring team to see. Remember that a producer doesn’t write. Writing is the writer’s job. But seeing the bigger picture, and understanding rules’ can be broken is the producer’s job.

Fade out

There is no denying that mastering these ten steps is a demanding process that requires intense concentration and hard work. There are no short cuts either: you either master these points or you don’t. The upside is that, if you do master these 10 points you will be an unstoppable force in the film industry at a time when everyone is crying how difficult it is.


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Sunday 27 October 2013

Interview with Nora Ephron

Because of her movies and despite no other, more personal, contact, I have long felt affection for Nora Ephron. The news of her death came as a major shock. A heap of interviews with Nora appeared on YouTube after she died. Here's one from Author Magazine.

Saturday 26 October 2013

10 Lessons for Filmmakers

Scott Macaulay is an editor with Filmmaker Magazine, and an independent film producer with many years experience. Ten years ago he created the Independent Film Narrative Lab, still the only film lab focusing entirely on what happens after rough cut—from locking picture to devising a distribution strategy.
A successful career in film is partly based around making mistakes—and then not making those same mistakes again. But first-time filmmakers don’t have prior experience to draw upon, and in today’s hyper-competitive, content-swamped environment, failure is a luxury many of them can’t afford—especially when that failure is made in public, at a festival premiere.

Think of the IFP Narrative Lab as a crash course in best practices—the best process by which to lock picture, to work with sound designers and composers, to make your DCP. And to submit to festivals, work with marketing teams, and develop a social media strategy. And, finally, I hope, to birth a long-term vision of yourself as a creative artist, so that you are able to grow and sustain yourself—creatively and financially—while making work you care about.

Below are ten lessons for filmmakers from this year’s IFP Narrative Lab.

Know the calendar.

Filmmakers don’t need to know all the ins and outs of the business, but they should know enough to know the calendar. That was the message of sales agent/producers representative Josh Braun of Submarine. In his presentation he walked filmmakers through the calendar of film events and festivals that distributors and buyers regularly attend. The ability to close deals depends on knowing when business types are back at their desks. And the ability to get business types to look at your film is knowing when they have the time to do that. In other words, don’t send your film to a sales rep in the lead-up to Cannes or Sundance—unless your film happens to be premiering in one of those festivals.

Each film has its own path.
In addition to presentations and Q&A’s with guest speakers, the Lab has breakout sessions, where the filmmakers split into small groups and discuss their projects specifically with the group leaders. The four films I focused on were all incredibly different, ranging from a doc-fiction hybrid using real people as actors to an anarchic, B-movie styled Latino martial arts comedy. And what I said after the audience-building sessions was that each of these films would have its own path. Some should finesse their cuts as best as they can and then go straight to the festivals. Others should start seeding their press right now, placing preview features in websites and publications read by their target audience so as to solidify their cred early on. Others should explore screening and audience possibilities within the regions of their makings. In other words, one size does not fit all.

Say, “That’s what happened.”

That’s from filmmaker Ira Sachs, who is one of the most hands-on directors around when it comes to the production and distribution of his films. For Keep the Lights On, he created a website chock full of content appealing to all the various niche audiences who might be attracted to his film. But, he told the IFP Lab filmmakers, there comes a time on every project, after the film has made its way through the festival circuit, gotten its reviews and opened in theaters, that he says to himself, “That’s what happened.” In other words, what’s done is done and move on.

“It’s not networking, it’s community building.”
Thats another one from Sachs. He told the filmmakers that from the very beginning of his career he’s made a point to develop friendships with fellow filmmakers, producers, agents, managers, actors and financiers. And the community he immersed himself in is the community that has sustained him over the years. The cynical way to look at this type of work is “networking,” he says. But it’s really community-building—a long-term endeavor that brings both tangible and intangible benefits.

Don’t cut for comedy.

This comes from filmmaker Afia Nathaniel, at the Lab with her film Dukhtar:
One of the most fun sessions at the labs were the editing feedback sessions. Every film is different yet in the re-edit it comes down to two important things you initially began with at the writing stage: story and characters. Craig McKay shared some great insights. While commenting about the approach to cutting a comedy he said, “Don’t treat a comedy like a comedy. The moment you do, you’re dead.” It was a short sound byte but one loaded with years of experience – the genre should serve your edit and not let the story or characters become subservient to it. So don’t forget that in your re-edit.
Figure out who makes the deal.
Here’s another one from Braun: 

Before you head to your film festival premiere, decide among your team who will make financial decisions and how they will be made. Often this is decided at the financing stage, but sometimes it’s not. And even when it is nailed down contractually, conflicts can emerge between directors, producers and financiers when, for example, the director realizes that his or her financiers are set to take a deal from a distributor offering a more minimal release but a higher advance. That these conflicts exist and arise is something many teams don’t even begin to understand until late in the game. After all, don’t you just take the highest offer? Well, sometimes, no. 
Braun recommended that filmmakers and their team discuss these issues early on and game out various scenarios in advance. And to be clear with their reps about who among their team has the authority to agree to a deal.

Know your sub-genre.
Ask most filmmakers and they’ll tell you their film is a drama, comedy, horror film, thriller, dramedy, etc., but there are sub-genres. Being able to identify the specific type of story your film is can help in both its final edit and its marketing. After viewing one lab film, editor McKay succinctly said, “It’s a ‘first step movie.’” Meaning, the story dramatizes a character’s “first step” from a situation that is ensnaring her into a new mode of living. Once a film is identified like that, useful reference points more easily appear.

Identify your transmedia form.

A highlight for me at the Labs was listening to Murmur Company's Mike Knowlton’s short presentation on getting started in transmedia. With more and more films having interactive and transmedia components—whether those are primarily marketing-focused or, hopefully, creative extensions of their film’s story worlds—many filmmakers are beginning to plan for more than just their feature films. But just as films have forms, so too do transmedia works. A transmedia extension of a feature film requires a reimagining of the expression of its content, and that reimagining can employ different models. At the Lab, Knowlton identified five predominant models for interactive, online and transmedia production today.
1. Crowdsourced. Examples: Life in a Day, Psych Slumber Party.
2. Real-time Conversations. YouTube Stars.
3. “Design With.” Johnny Cash Project, Star Wars Uncut.
4. Non-linear. Choose Your Own Adventure, Alma.
5. Personalized. Take this Lollipop, Wilderness Downtown.
(If you’re interested in this subject but aren’t making the connections above, Google the pieces cited, check them out, and then figure out how they fit into their respective category models.)

Live during production.
That’s another from Knowlton, who described a model for transmedia production that borrows a page from the iterative design of software. “It’s a radically different model,” he said. “It’s about releasing stuff that’s kind of imperfect, but you want it to be imperfect so you can iterate and make it better. It’s about being live when you’re in beta.”

“Consider how you can create scarcity around your work.”

Finally, here’s one from Jon Reiss, who discussed how, in an age of content abundance and instant access, filmmakers can differentiate and add value to their work by limited its availability. Yes, I know, that’s the opposite problem of most independents who just want someone, anyone to watch their work. But, echoing a topic Lance Weiler has written about here, by making scarcity part of your release plan, you can paradoxically get more people to watch your work. “For instance,” said Reiss, “make events one of a kind experiences that have to be experienced live.” 


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Friday 25 October 2013

"Versus Valerie"

Versus Valerie is a web series which follows Valerie Lapomme, YouTube's Sexy Nerd Girl, as she navigates her chaotic life, sliding between reality and her video-game and genre-bending imagination.

The show was created by Simon Fraser, Stephanie Kaliner, and Mike Fleischhaker, and stars Hannah Spear and Adam Christie.

Here is episode one, Sexy Nerd Girl Versus Valerie.

Val is late for her regular Comic Book Wednesday brunch with Guy. To make it up to him, she offers to pay for his weekly pull list. But the dude from the night before might complicate matters.
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Thursday 24 October 2013

John Sturges on his filmmaking philosophy

John Sturges was an editor on Gunga Din (1939). After eight years as a film editor, he graduated to being a director. He made Bad Day at Black Rock (1955), Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957), The Magnificent Seven (1960), The Great Escape (1963), The Eagle Has Landed (1976), and some forty others.

Here he is, talking about his film Bad Day at Black Rock, and what he learned from Cary Grant and Spencer Tracy and Alfred Hitchcock, and how he got to be a film director.

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Gunga Din (1939)

Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)

Gunfight at The O.K. Corral (1957)

The Magnificent Seven (1960)

The Great Escape (1963)

Wednesday 23 October 2013

Italian Film Festival - Adelaide

The biggest Italian film Festival outside Italy, the Lavazza Italian Film Festival, takes place in Australia each year. The opening is tonight, and the Festival runs at Palace Cinemas until November 11.

The Festival this year opens with The Great Beauty, a film which draws on Fellini's Roma, which was chosen to close the Festival.

All non-English language films have English subtitles.

Here is the Festival trailer.

The 27 films to be screened at the Festival include:
A Five Star Life
A Perfect Family
A Special Day
About Face
Alì Blue Eyes
Balancing Act
Ben Hur
Cosimo and Nicole
Every Blessed Day
Fellini's Roma
It Was the Son
Long Live Freedom
Mr Volare: The Story of Domenico Modugno
The Great Beauty
The Human Cargo
The Ideal City
The Interval
The Landlords
The Lithium Conspiracy
The Red and the Blue
The Unlikely Prince
The Worst Week of My Life
There Will Come a Day
Viva Italy
Women Drive Me Crazy

Here are some trailers you might enjoy. (I know my wife will watch these. She loves trailers...)

Are YouTubers Revolutionizing Entertainment?

Another interesting video from PBS Off Book:
Over the past 8 years, YouTube has given birth to an increasingly sophisticated entertainment culture that operates outside of the traditional television and film ecosystem. With humble roots in charismatic and creative people simply sharing their lives, thoughts, and humor to their webcams, YouTube entertainment has diversified and grown into tens of thousands of unique channels with millions of loyal fans and subscribers. With a new generation of viewers increasingly turning to YouTube instead of broadcast TV, a new industry is being built around personalities who have dissolved the barriers between on-screen talent and the audience, and who employ visual aesthetics that make the viewer feel as if they are a part of the creator's life. Truly, we are in a new era of entertainment, one being led by millions of young people who are equally happy to watch video on their laptop as they are on their TV.
Channels Featured in this video include:
1) Hannah Hart
2) PewDiePie
3) Elle Fowler
4) Sam Merrick
5) Sam Pepper

6) Wheezy Waiter
7) Charlie McDonnell
8) Magic of Rahat
9) AmazingPhil
10) Daily Grace
11) Dave Days
12) Community Channel
13) RealityChangers
14) Kevin's Channel
15) Ray William Johnson
16) Smosh
17) VlogBrothers
18) Joe Sugg
19) Ben Breedlove
20) Idea Channel
21) MyMusic: The Experience
22) Jenna Marbles
23) HotForWords
24) Cracked
25) VlogCandy
26) Vsauce
27) Vsauce2
28) Vsauce
29) CTFxC
30) DanIsNotOnFire
31) PointlessBlog
32) MeekaKitty
33) Ryan Higga
34) MemeMolly
35) Mitchell Davis
36) Shut Up! Cartoons
37) The Lizzie Bennet Diaries
38) Choose A Different Ending
39) Shane Dawson TV
40) The Philip DeFranco Show
41) Kassem G
42) The NoHo Girls
43) Luisito Rey
44) Rosanna Pansino
45) Swoozie
46) DSPGaming
47) KittiesMama Family Channel

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Tuesday 22 October 2013


Abigail is a webseries written and directed by Nathaniel Collum, and starring Meghan Moonan and Olubajo Sonubi.
Troubled by an unsettling nightmare, a knock on the door will change Abigail's life forever.
Here is episode one, Wake Up O' Sleeper.

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Monday 21 October 2013

Documentary on the Coen brothers

This is post #700.

Here is a documentary profile of film-makers Joel and Ethan Coen, who—according to the BBC—began their career with little money but ended up successfully taking on the Hollywood establishment.

Actually, they're just a couple of guys who make movies for fun. Movies such as:

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
True Grit (2010)
A Serious Man (2009)
Burn After Reading (2008)
No Country for Old Men (2007)
The Ladykillers (2004)
Intolerable Cruelty (2003)
The Man Who Wasn't There (2001)
O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
The Big Lebowski (1998)
Fargo (1996)
The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)
Barton Fink (1991)
Miller's Crossing (1990)
Raising Arizona (1987)
Blood Simple (1984)
This documentary was made just after The Big Lebowski (1998) first came out.