Vodacom e-Magazine is out. Here’s my take on the impact of social media on the watching, funding and making of film and tv.
And then there’s the application of social media to fan-funding of productions. Veronica Mars, for instance, ran for 3 seasons, starring Kristen Bell as an aspiring Private Investigator solving cases at her school. When its run ended there was a lot of talk about a follow-up film, but the studio said they couldn’t guarantee a big enough audience to warrant the investment. So instead the team launched the project on Kickstarter to raise the money from their fans. They set a target of $2 million (the largest ever for a film project). In less than 12 hours they got $2.4 million, and if they continue at the current rate, they’ll make $39 million……
For the past 25 years, Lori Balton has been on the lookout for interesting L.A. locations, capturing a variety of spots in her Nikon lens in the hopes they’ll be used on the silver screen (some of her choices were used in films like Seabiscuit, Inception, and There Will Be Blood. Decrepit or luxe, Old World or new age, in this week’s LAMag she shares some of the places she’s snapped.
Set in the scary, chaotic aftermath of the Iranian revolution and the storming of the American embassy in Tehran, Argo sees six embassy workers take a gap and escape into the madness of the streets. Terrified and under very real threat of death, they seek sanctuary in the Canadian embassy like so many Anne Franks, as the Revolutionary Guard go house to house killing spies and counter-revolutionaries and anyone connected with the Shah. They are perilously exposed, and the CIA urgently needs a plan to get them out. But what? With the usual cover stories unavailable, they conjure up a fake identity for the team that so implausible, so ridiculous, it just might work. They’ll create a fake film crew for a fake film company making a fake sci-fi film – complete with ads in Variety – and they’ll smuggle the Americans out under the guise of a poorly-timed location scouting trip….
The result is really a fantastic, edge-of-the-seat thriller. Another appalling Ameri-centric re-writing of actual history of course (sorry Brits and Kiwis, and also you Canucks, the Yanks are the only game in town in this re-telling) but, what the hell – it’s really a fantastic cinematic experience from start to finish. Argo filmed in California, actually – even the tense scenes in the embassy compound as its invaded by the mob were filmed at the Veteran’s Administration north of Los Angeles. External scenes were shot in Istanbul. Emanuel Levy has good stuff as usual.
But here’s a strange thing; for a movie that relies on a location scout for its basic plot point, it’s kind of unforgivable that the film’s own location professionals are ignored in the closing credits. I think that’s even more uncool than slagging off the Brits….
As you may know, the VFX-heavy Life of Pi won Ang Lee the Best Director Oscar last weekend. That win also coincided with the bankruptcy and closure of Rhythm & Hues, the Hollywood VFX shop that created the famous tiger for him to direct in the first place. What the hell is going on? This great article at Gizmodo explains. And in the meantime, I thought this video was quite fascinating – especially the tv-heavy content. I wonder why that is?
Slate has a riling story about the environmental damage caused by the filming of Mad Max Fury Road in beloved Namibia here
Problem is, the story’s just not true. There were no complaints, either to the Film Commission or to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, and the area where filming took place is miles from where the fragile lichen grows….