Trailer for new documentary about the 60s-70s Laurel Canyon music scene featuring Tom Petty, Cat Power, Jackson Browne, Norah Jones

In the 1960s and 1970s, Los Angeles's Laurel Canyon neighborhood was flowing with sex, drugs, and folk-rock and roll. Joni Mitchell, the Byrds, Jackson Brown, Carole King, the Mamas & The Papas, and countless other musicians made the scene or had homes in the hills. Echo in the Canyon is a new documentary about that magical moment and the influential sound that emerged. The trip back in time to this "legendary paradise, as Tom Petty called it, was directed by Andrew Slater with Jakob Dylan as executive producer.

“The best test of songwriting is that it transcends its moment in time,” Dylan said in a statement. “And there is no doubt that the songs we explore in this film are as powerful today as they were in 1965.”

Echo in the Canyon will see a national release in June.

(Rolling Stone) Read the rest

The amazing story behind the sounds of Star Wars: Episode IV

In this wonderful video, Ben Burtt, sound designer for Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, reveals the secrets behind the fantastic zaps, beeps, and growls in that first film in the series. His first task was to figure out Chewbacca's voice that, ultimately, came from a pet bear on a farm in Tehachapi, California.

Also, I distinctly remember when I was a kid hearing for the first time that Burt discovered the blaster sound during a hike when he accidentally banged his backpack on a guy-wire anchoring a radio tower. After I learned that, I hammered on any guy-wire I came across for at least a week.

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The Joker trailer released

So serious.

I can't find a legit upload on YouTube, so expect the embed above to vanish. Here's the official Tweet:

I'm warming to it; naturalism is truly the an antidote to the last one, and he's such a good actor. Read the rest

WATCH: 'Joker' trailer features Joaquin Phoenix as new Batman villain

This might be the best trailer I have ever seen in my life.

Is this teaser trailer for JOKER available as a vape? I want to inhale it nonstop until the movie comes out in October. Read the rest

Trailer for new Ted Bundy biopic starring Zac Efron

Following director Joseph Berlinger's Netflix docu-series "Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes," he brings us "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile," a Ted Bundy biopic starring Zac Efron as the alluring and horrible serial killer. The story is apparently told from the viewpoint of Bundy's girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer, played by Lily Collins.

Coming to Netflix on May 3.

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2019 Hugo Award finalists announced

The 2019 Hugo Award nominees have been announced; the Hugos will be presented this summer at the 2019 World Science Fiction Convention in Dublin, Ireland. Read the rest

Remake of teen witch classic "The Craft" is underway

After a few false starts and rumors, the classic 1996 teen witch film The Craft will be remade, according to a fresh listing in industry trade Production Weekly. Not a big shock as right now there's a witchcraft resurgence afoot, especially among millennials. (In fact, the directors should hire badass witch Pam Grossman to help them make real magick!) Blumhouse Productions (Paranormal Activity, Get Out, BlacKkKlansman) will produce the remake. Daniel Casey (Fast & Furious 9) and Zoe Lister-Jones (Band Aid) are writing it and Lister-Jones is directing. Here's the synopsis:

A remake of the 1996 supernatural teen thriller. When starting at a new school, Hannah befriends Tabby, Lourdes, and Frankie & quickly becomes the fourth member of their Clique. Hannah soon learns that she somehow brings great power to the quartet.

(via Jezebel) Read the rest

The Oscars' speech for Best Film Editing, edited in the style of winner Bohemian Rhapsody

I haven't seen Best Editing-winner Bohemian Rhapsody, but I have seen a certain viral scene about five times. Is it fair to characterize the whole movie by an insanely jump-cutted scene of some guys being offered a record deal at a relaxing cafe? Here's the Oscar winner's acceptance speech edited in much the same way as the film. [via Reddit]

Ambient Film Tracks:

I just thought that the Oscars weren't edited quite as well as they could have been so I took what I learned from the film editing in Oscar winner Bohemian Rhapsody and attempted to improve this speech.

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Walt Disney's Frozen Head: a science fiction movie secretly shot at Walt Disney World

Filmmaker Benjamin Lancaster spent four years secretly shooting a science fiction movie called "The Further Adventures of Walt's Frozen Head," working with actors Daniel Cooksley and Ron Schneider to make a movie about a WDW cast-member who discovers the (urban)-legendary frozen head of Walt Disney, kicking off a series of adventures around the park. The movie premieres online later today. This is (at least) the second time someone has secretly shot a movie at Walt Disney World. (Thanks, Hugh!) Read the rest

Captain Marvel storms to $455m opening weekend

Despite a conservative boycott and their relentless online whining about the woman-led blockbuster, Captain Marvel stormed to an epic box office over the weekend, earning $455m.

So, for reference, the online review-bombing from trolls, bots, so-called "toxic fans" and other disgruntled folks didn't mean a damn thing this weekend. Here's what else didn't matter: folks allegedly upset about Brie Larson's request for the press junket to be more diverse than normal, alleged controversies over Brie Larson's performance (judging entirely from the trailers) and whether she should be smiling more (spoiler: she smiles a bunch in the movie and is hopefully laughing this morning), attempts to use Alita: Battle Angel as a battering ram against the latest female-led action fantasy (#YouCanAndShouldSeeThemBoth) or concerns over the comparatively obtuse marketing campaign (okay, that's a mea culpa from me on that score).

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Watch the new trailer for the JRR Tolkien biopic

Directed by Dome Karukoski, Tolkien is the new biopic about the author's childhood where, of course, it all began. The film, written by David Gleeson and Stephen Beresford and starring Nicholas Hoult as John Ronald Reuel Tolkien and Lily Collins as his wife and inspiration, will be released May 10. From the trailer description:

TOLKIEN explores the formative years of the orphaned author as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts at school. This takes him into the outbreak of World War I, which threatens to tear the “fellowship” apart. All of these experiences would inspire Tolkien to write his famous Middle-Earth novels.

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2001: A Space Odyssey, the 15-minute "audiobook" version for kids

In 1984, Kid Stuff Records & Tapes released "2001: A Space Odyssey" as a book/7" record set for children along with "2010: The Year We Make Contact" to coincide with the latter's release that year. Audio of the "2001: A Space Odyssey" adaptation above. Photos of book pages here. Spoiler: HAL still won't open the pod bay doors.

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View-Master movie in the works

MGM and Mattel are developing a live-action movie based on the iconic View-Master stereo viewer. This news comes on the heels of the two companies' announcement of an American Girl film based on the insanely popular doll brand. From Hollywood Reporter:

“Since the 1940s, View-Master has inspired wonder and joy in children of all ages, creating huge opportunities for storytelling,” said Brenner in a statement. “MGM Pictures has tremendous expertise and a proven track record in capturing audiences’ imagination through film, and we’re proud to be partnering with them to bring another Mattel franchise to theaters. This marks another important milestone as we transform Mattel into an IP-driven, high-performing toy company.”

Stated Jonathan Glickman, MGM's motion picture group president: “View-Master was the first device that allowed families all over the world to escape their reality and take them places they never thought they could go. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Mattel to create a family adventure integrating the old school turn and click stereotypic device with the modern world of virtual reality.”

(Thanks, Jason Tester!) Read the rest

Trailer for Star Wars: The Whole Damn Thing

Topher Grace, creator of the famed Star Wars: Episode III.5: The Editor Strikes Back that recut the prequels into a single film, has now released a trailer that combines material from all ten Star Wars films. I'm going to send this to the two people I know who have never seen a single Star Wars movie. Not that they will bother to watch it, of course.

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The making of It, Stephen King's 1990 miniseries

From the scary movie documentarians "You're So Cool Brewster: The Story of Fright Night" and "Unearthed & Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary" comes "Pennywise: The Story of It."

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Make: high-end eyeball props, from humans to monsters to gore

Fourth Seal Studios has everything you could possibly want from high-end prop eyeballs, including $40 "camera-ready" eyes ("Gray cores darken the the 'white' of the eye and can add a more realistic sense to the overall piece the eyes are being featured in"); $22-40 sculptural eyeballs in a variety of scales; "Undead and Creature" eyes (including Red Lich, Hemorrhage, Goat Eyes, etc); kits for making your own eyes and irises; painting and display stands, and custom eyeballs to order. Check back frequently for discounts on seconds and imperfections. (via JWZ) Read the rest

Billy Wilder's 10 tips for screenwriting

Billy Wilder was the director of many excellent movies, including Sunset Boulevard, Some Like It Hot, and Double Indemnity. Here are 10 tips about moviemaking that he shared in the late 1990s with Cameron Crowe (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Almost Famous, Jerry Maguire)

From Open Culture:

Wilder was 90 years old when the young director Cameron Crowe approached him in 1996 about playing a small role in Jerry Maguire. Wilder said no, but the two men formed a friendship. Over the next several years they talked extensively about filmmaking, and in 1999 Crowe published Conversations with Wilder. One of the book's highlights is a list of ten screenwriting tips by Wilder. "I know a lot of people that have already Xeroxed that list and put it by their typewriter," Crowe said in a 1999 NPR interview. "And, you know, there's no better film school really than listening to what Billy Wilder says."

Here are Wilder's ten rules of good filmmaking:

1: The audience is fickle. 2: Grab 'em by the throat and never let 'em go. 3: Develop a clean line of action for your leading character. 4: Know where you're going. 5: The more subtle and elegant you are in hiding your plot points, the better you are as a writer. 6: If you have a problem with the third act, the real problem is in the first act. 7: A tip from Lubitsch: Let the audience add up two plus two. They'll love you forever.

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