Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (David Fincher version) Trailer Manipulations and TAS DVD Extras

Sony Pictures has withdrawn the above trailer...er, I mean has asked youtube to take it down due to copyright violation. The following blog post was written before the trailer was taken down. We stand by the blog post.

You can view a non-shaky (you'll know what we mean by non-shaky after you read the blog post) version of the trailer at the following link: http://www.buzzfeed.com/gavon/official-trailer-for-the-girl-with-the-dragon-tat

What is true? Can we trust anything? Or, lighten up - it's just a movie.

The above "bootlegged - leaked" trailer is for the David Fincher directed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (it's the so called "American version" since there is a wonderfully done Swedish original, Man som hatar kvinnor, directed by Niels Arden Oplev and starring Noomi Repace (love her!) and Michael Nyqvist). Here is the situation...it is said that this is a special European only released trailer. Someone in a theater audience using a consumer video camera secretly and illegally shot this copy and then posted it on youtube. Wow, we're getting a sneak peak here in America! I am such a special person to have found it!

But, hold on. It does have the image movement that is consistent with someone shooting a theater movie screen (floating image in hand held style) to create a bootleg copy. However the movement is really smooth and the image quality really good. And, where are the normal ambient sounds that is typical of "bootlegged" videos (coughing by someone in the audience, poor sound quality of the camera microphone, the clicks of camera microphone as the operator moves the camera, etc.). It's all so clean. Plus, as The Hollywood Reporter points out, "the trailer is preceded by an MPAA red-band, advising that the preview has been approved by the MPAA for mature audiences. But why would theaters in Europe be showing an MPAA advisory that is aimed at U.S. moviegoers?"

Conclusion: Sony Pictures is creating an advance buzz by making us believe we are getting an illegal sneak peak! When in fact it is just a well designed fake. It's not illegal and "bootlegged" but, in fact, their own work product. We aren't special people for finding it on the web. We aren't really special for having this advance knowledge of a film we are all excitingly anticipating. Darn, I'm not special. Damn you Sony! (I do think the trailer is pretty cool.)

One last comment...it seems a little foolish for Sony to have done this (assuming they did fake this) because film piracy/bootlegging/illegal file sharing is a big problem for the film business. Using it as a promotional ploy seems to undercut the seriousness of the problem. Maybe we shouldn't take the FBI warnings we all see on DVDs so seriously.

Speaking of DVDs...PBS Video will release These Amazing Shadows on DVD in the fall. We are currently putting together the DVD extras. Next week Paul and I will go into a studio to record the directors commentary. If you want your name or a special someone casually mentioned by me or Paul during the commentary please send us $100 c/o of Gravitas Docufilms (only kidding). Our DVD extras will have many surprises including portions of the interviews left on the cutting room floor of John Waters and Christopher Nolan, bloopers and a wonderful 25 minute piece on film preservation entitled, Lost Forever.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

These Amazing Shadows Interview subject updates: Wayne Wang, Barry Jenkins, Christopher Nolan and Barbara Kopple.

Wayne Wang: His new movie, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, has just been picked up for domestic distribution by Fox Searchlight for probable fall release. We're so excited because it looks like a beautiful film. His Hollywood studio films like Maid in Manhattan and The Holiday are nice, but we really love his work when he tells stories that are close to his heart. Check out the trailer above. Our sources tell us that Wayne is prepping for his biopix on Albert Einstein.  Hummmm...who to cast as Einstein? Young Albert: Giovanni Ribisi. Old Albert: Richard Dreyfuss. Oh, don't like that...suggestions???

Tracey Heggins (Jo') and Wyatt Cenac (Micah) in Medicine for Melancholy.
Barry Jenkins: He joined us for a post screening Q&A at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas in San Francisco. He is one of those rare filmmakers that is as good at promoting a film as making one. His feature film directorial debut, Medicine for Melancholy, is now running on Showtime. I am watching it as I write this fascinating blog post - so enjoyable.
Showtime schedule for Medicine for Melancholy: http://www.sho.com/site/movies/movie.do?seriesid=0&seasonid=0&episodeid=136098

Christopher Nolan (center) shooting on the streets of Pittsburgh.
Christopher Nolan: Christopher is working on Dark Knight Rises, his last installment of the Batman franchise. We wish we had some inside info but........we don't. We do however offer a twitter pic (above) of Christopher (center) and crew shooting in Pittsburgh. Notice the snow blower in the lower right corner - it is reported that the photo depicts him reading the owners manual trying to figure out how to get the snow blower to work. We believe that story is true because it seems consistent with how he was during our interview. You see we were having problems with a coffee maker and...(just kidding).

Sheet of the new Gregory Peck US Postal Service first class stamp.
Remember the US Postal Service? Well, it still exists and sometimes can be pretty cool. On May 13th they issued a Gregory Peck stamp. One of the stamps release events (there were others including in LA at the Academy of Arts and Sciences) took place at the Historic Richmond Town on Staten Island. Peck's grandson, 19-year-old Zackary Peck, was on hand as well as family friend Barbara Kopple. Scenes from Kopple's Documentary A Conversation with Gregory Peck was shown while Peck's Oscar performance as Atticus Finch in "To Kill a Mockingbird" was re-enacted by S.I. Shakespearean Theatre Co. actor Joseph Daly. The stamp bears Peck's likeness from the movie because as Stephen Peck says in These Amazing Shadows - Atticus Finch "was closest to his true character, certainly the character he would want to be."

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bill Gold Posterworks

I have always been amazed that the person who designed the iconic poster for Casablanca also did the poster for Woodstock and Dirty Harry. Bill Gold is not only remarkable for the range of his design style and setting design standards, but for his longevity. His career started with the poster for Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942). He went on to do Giant (1956), My Fair Lady (1964), The Sting (1973), Bulitt (1968), Unforgiven (1992), The Big Sleep (1946), The Searchers (1956), Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Dog Day Afternoon (1975) , All the President's Men (1976) (all of these titles are on the National Film Registry) and many, many more. A complete list can be seen at the following Wikipedia page:

A new book entitled, Bill Gold Posterworks, was recently published by Reel Art Press. It is an impressive piece of publishing (as the price suggests: $650.00). Bill is 90 years old and still going strong. According to The Hollywood Reporter Bill is retired, but would consider consulting on a poster design if the right project comes along. His influence on popular culture cannot be overstated.

Reel Art Press, a British outfit, has other equally amazing titles such as The Rat Pack and the affordable movie star series - Weddings and Movie Stars ($79.95).

Bill Gold: Posterworks at Reel Art Press

Reel Art Press on Twitter

Reel Art Press on Facebook