Monday, November 26, 2007

Is the strike over...?

By Steve Lee

...Not just yet, but keep your fingers crossed...

According to Nikki Finke's online column this morning, there could be a deal in place.

...But as Nikki herself says, "I must caution that this is Hollywood - where defeat is snatched from the jaws of victory nearly every time."

We'll know for sure soon... happy thoughts, everyone!

Hollywood stories for Monday, 26 November 2007

By Steve Lee

Happy Monday, everyone... here are a few stories from Hollywood on the internet...

The Writer's Strike begins its fourth week, with new contract negotiations starting today. Let's hope things go well.

Francis Ford Coppola talks about his new film, and his career.

Here's a fun piece on Alyson Moore and my pal John Roesch, two of the best Foley artists in the buisness, and how they record footsteps and other performance-movement sounds for films.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is 80 years old.

The Munchkins have gotten a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

David X . Cohen talks about the new "Futurama" Direct to DVD feature, and the future of the series.

With the renovations to Pinewood studios we told you about last week, they hope to create a town where their movie crews can live, as well as work.

Have a good week!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Hollywood stories for Monday, 19 November 2007

By Steve Lee

Another Monday has arrived... so here come a few stories from Hollywood on the internet...

The Writer's Strike begins its third week today. Contract negotiations will resume on the 26th, so there is a bit of hope.

Although it was previously announced that it wouldn't be affected by the strike, the sequel to "The DaVinci Code" will NOT be rushed into production after all.

Unfortunately, there's more to worry about - the Director's Guild contract expires on June 30. Normally they would have started their negotiations by now, but they don't want to undermine the striking writers. This could be a problem.

There's a "Ghostbusters" sequel in the works... sort of. It's a video game, and most of the major cast members are participating.

There are plans to redevelop the historic Pinewood Studios in England.

Casting for "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is complete.

Hugh Hefner has donated $2 million to the USC Cinema Department.

Tim Burton will direct a 3D feature length "Alice in Wonderland" for Disney, as well as a remake of his own short, "Frankenweenie."

Speaking of Disney, several new "Disney Legends" were celebrated on the Disney Studio lot recently.

Television news icon Walter Cronkite has signed a deal with the cable network Retirement Living TV to produce weekly editorial commentaries.

By the way, I will be appearing on the same network in the very near future. Stay tuned for details...!

Have a good Thanksgiving week!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Delbert Mann, 1920 - 2007

By Steve Lee

Delbert Mann, who directed the film classic "Marty" (1955), has died. He was 87.

Born January 30, 1920, in Lawrence, Kansas, he graduated from Vanderbilt University before becoming a pilot with the Eighth Air Force. He moved to New York in 1949 after a friend gave him the chance to direct television for NBC. He became one of the pioneers of what has been called "The Golden Age of Television."

Mann brought many of the cost and time-saving techniques from TV production to the film world, taking a mere 19 days - including pick-ups - to shoot "Marty." The film won Oscars in four categories - including Best Director.

His other feature credits include "The Bachelor Party" (1957), "Desire Under the Elms" (1957), "Middle of the Night" (1959), "The Dark at the Top of the Stairs" (1960), "The Outsider" (1961), "That Touch of Mink" (1962), "Fitzwilly" (1967), "Kidnapped" (1971), "Night Crossing" (1982) and "Bronte" (1983). His television productions include "Heidi" (1968), "David Copperfield" (1970), "Jane Eyre" (1971), "All Quiet on the Western Front" (1979) and "The Last Days of Patton" (1986).

He is survived by his three sons Fred, David and Steven. Our deepest condolences go out to them.

Read his obituary HERE, and visit his IMDB page HERE.

Hollywood stories for Monday, 12 November 2007

By Steve Lee

It's Monday again... so here are some stories from the Hollywood side of the internet...

The Writer's Strike begins its second week today.

Columnist Nikki Finke has criticized the local media for their horrible - or non-existent - reporting of the strike. For excellent continuing coverage, I recommend Nikki's column, and the strike blog on the "Below the Line" website.

By the way, what does it mean exactly, "below the line"? It means all the people who are NOT living a life of glamor, who are NOT making thousands of dollars every week - the ones who really make the magic happen, 'cause they're in this business because they love it. And a good percent of the people that could really benefit from this strike fall under this category. READ THIS.

The new "Star Trek" film has had a bit of casting news this last week... the most interesting has been for the role of Spock's mom Amanda, who will be played by the adorable Winona Ryder. (Variety's piece originally said she was a Vulcan. No Trekkies on the staff there, I guess - she's a human.)

Jennifer Connelly will star in the remake of the science fiction classic "The Day the Earth Stood Still." Although I still think it's a mistake to remake a classic, I might actually go see it just for her...

Speaking of remaking a classic... the rights to remake the Western "High Noon" have just been purchased. I dunno... we'll see.

"Silent Movies: The Birth of Film and the Triumph of Movie Culture" by Peter Kobel is a great new book - and its release coincides with a film series going on NOW at the Library of Congress.

Roman Polanski will direct "The Ghost" - a political thriller by Robert Harris, who is adapting his own novel.

Ford is debuting the new special edition Mustang "Bullitt," commemorating the 1968 Steve McQueen movie that featured one of the greatest chases in film history.

Sony Classical has released "The Music of Star Wars: 30th Anniversary Boxed Collector's Edition" - a boxed CD set of the complete soundtracks from the first Star Wars trilogy, and many extras.

You've all probably seen Jerry Seinfeld all over the place promoting "Bee Movie." HERE is the story of how it got made from co-director Steve Hickner... and where they bought cupcakes.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences just announced that the Frencharchitectural firm Atelier Christian de Portzamparc will design its new Hollywood Museum.

Have a good week!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Writer's Guild Strike

By Steve Lee

For those of you who are still not sure what the Writer's Strike means, CLICK HERE for a very short but brilliant video from the WGA explaining exactly what they're fighting for.

...And check out their other videos for continuing reports and testimonials from the picket lines.

Spread the word!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Hollywood stories for Monday, 5 November 2007

By Steve Lee

Happy November, everyone! Here are a few Hollywood stories on the internet....

It's official... the Writer's Strike begins today. Let's hope it's over soon.

There's a great piece on Cinematographer Haskell Wexler in a back issue of Movie Maker magazine, which just went online.

Sotheby's is selling Orson Welles' personal working copy of the script for Citizen Kane.

The Queen of England stopped by Pinewood Studios to watch stunt men at work.

Roger Ebert has returned to TV. Using a computer to speak, he interviewed Jerry Seinfeld.

Malibou Lake (yes, I said Malibou) has been featured in over 100 movies.

Have a good week!