(2009–2010)

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'Patti Cake$' Stars Danielle Macdonald & Bridget Everett on Rapping, Karaoke and Crying at Cannes (Exclusive)

'Patti Cake$' Stars Danielle Macdonald & Bridget Everett on Rapping, Karaoke and Crying at Cannes (Exclusive)
Sitting down to interview Bridget Everett and Danielle Macdonald, it would have been too easy to forget to turn on the recorder. Everett, an icon on the New York City alt-cabaret scene and protégée of sorts to Amy Schumer, arrives first and asks if it would be Ok to let Poppy, her Pomeranian and an Instagram star in her own right, out of her carrier during our time. (Everett's necklace says "Poppy" in gold cursive.) We're deep into sharing our rescue dogs' obsessive-compulsive behaviors when Macdonald, an Aussie actress who's had bit roles on American Horror Story and Glee, sidles up.

The 26-year-old is still wearing her high heels after many hours of press junketing at Hotel Polomar in West Hollywood, which Everett commends her for. (She'd already swapped her own for a pair of pink flip-flops.) Talk of heels turns to talk of drag and, before long, Macdonald and I realize we both played in the same
See full article at Entertainment Tonight »

How ‘Patti Cake$’ Director Geremy Jasper Went from Indie Rocker to Breakout Filmmaker — Sundance 2017

  • Indiewire
How ‘Patti Cake$’ Director Geremy Jasper Went from Indie Rocker to Breakout Filmmaker — Sundance 2017
“Patti Cake$” has lived up to the hype. After its Eccles Theater premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Monday afternoon, the film scored two huge standing ovations, and another for breakout star Danielle Macdonald.

Patti Cake$ just dropped a hip hop bombshell on the Eccles. This movie could be huge. #sundance pic.twitter.com/Oqf0hcZpMA

— erickohn (@erickohn) January 23, 2017

This moment was a long and winding journey for writer-director Geremy Jasper. To look at him, you would never guess his alter ego would be Patricia Dombroski (aka Patti Cake$, aka Killer P, played by Macdonald), a 23-year-old, heavy-set Jersey girl with dreams of rap stardom. Jasper is tall, extremely easygoing, and has the style of a Williamsburg creative. In his 20s, he was the front man for a popular indie rock band, The Fever, and starred in Benh Zeitlin’s breakout short, “Glory at Sea.”

Read More: The 2017 IndieWire Sundance Bible: Every Review,
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Sneakers’: NBC Plans Series Reboot of Robert Redford’s Hacker Comedy

  • Indiewire
‘Sneakers’: NBC Plans Series Reboot of Robert Redford’s Hacker Comedy
In 1992, Robert Redford starred in the comedy “Sneakers,” directed by Phil Alden Robinson. The hacker film followed a security pro who finds his past coming back to haunt him, when he and his team are tasked with retrieving a particularly important item for the U.S. government. The comedy featured a star-studded cast including Dan Aykroyd, River Phoenix, Sidney Poitier, Mary MacDonnell and Timothy Busfield.

Now, NBC has handed out a script order for a TV series adaptation of the film, according to Deadline. Walter Parkes, who wrote the original film with Lawrence Lasker and Robinson, will executive produce the reboot alongside his wife and producing partner Laurie MacDonald. Tom Szentgyorgyi (“The Mentalist”), will also executive produce and pen the script.

The series hails from Universal TV, where Parkes and MacDonald have a first-look deal with production company.

Read More: ‘War of the Worlds’ TV Series in Development at MTV
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Sneakers’: NBC Plans Series Reboot of Robert Redford’s Hacker Comedy

‘Sneakers’: NBC Plans Series Reboot of Robert Redford’s Hacker Comedy
In 1992, Robert Redford starred in the comedy “Sneakers,” directed by Phil Alden Robinson. The hacker film followed a security pro who finds his past coming back to haunt him, when he and his team are tasked with retrieving a particularly important item for the U.S. government. The comedy featured a star-studded cast including Dan Aykroyd, River Phoenix, Sidney Poitier, Mary MacDonnell and Timothy Busfield.

Now, NBC has handed out a script order for a TV series adaptation of the film, according to Deadline. Walter Parkes, who wrote the original film with Lawrence Lasker and Robinson, will executive produce the reboot alongside his wife and producing partner Laurie MacDonald. Tom Szentgyorgyi (“The Mentalist”), will also executive produce and pen the script.

The series hails from Universal TV, where Parkes and MacDonald have a first-look deal with production company.

Read More: ‘War of the Worlds’ TV Series in Development at MTV
See full article at Indiewire Television »

Directors Share The Best Piece of Advice They Received at The Sundance Labs

  • Indiewire
Following in the footsteps of alums like Quentin Tarantino, Paul Thomas Anderson and Ryan Coogler, eight up-and-coming directors just completed the Sundance Directors Lab. For four weeks these directing fellows worked with actors and production crews to shoot and edit key scenes from their screenplays. Throughout the process they were mentored, working one-on-one with creatives advisors as they made key discoveries about their scripts, collaborated with actors and found a visual storytelling language for their films.

Photo Gallery: Sundance Lab Throwback — Tarantino, Pt Anderson, Cary Fukunaga, Ryan Coogler and Others Workshop Their First Features

Sundance’s creative advisors include an impressive list of great filmmakers and teachers, including Robert Redford himself, who return to Park City to mentor the new class of directors. We recently asked this year’s fellows what was the best piece of advice they received and who gave it to them.

Annie Silverstein:

“In working with actors,
See full article at Indiewire »

How One Filmmaker Made The Switch From Documentary To Fiction

  • Indiewire
Editor’s Note: Director Sandhya Suri is not a new face at Sundance, where her feature “I for India” premiered a decade ago. Suri though is new to the world of fiction filmmaking after working for years in documentaries. The filmmaker recently brought her first script “Santosh” — the story of a young widow in Northern India, who inherits her husband’s job as police constable — to the 2016 Directors Lab to workshop scenes and get hands on experience directing actors. IndieWire asked her to share her experience and find out what she learned about making the transition for nonfiction to fiction filmmaking.

Photo Gallery: Behind the Scenes at the 2016 Sundance Directors Lab

When I arrived at Sundance there was still snow on the mountains. It was like a landscape from “The Sound of Music.” By the end of the Lab, it had almost all melted and I was leaving decidedly changed by my experiences here.
See full article at Indiewire »

Inside The Sundance Directors Lab: Why It’s So Valuable To Workshop Scenes

  • Indiewire
Inside The Sundance Directors Lab: Why It’s So Valuable To Workshop Scenes
Be prepared. Write, then rewrite your script until it’s perfect. Shot list, storyboard, create a visual plan for your cinematic universe.

There’s a myth, which often starts in film school and is perpetuated by dissecting the work of great directors, that up-and-coming directors can plan their entire movies in their head. Yet what so often happens when first-time feature directors get to set — and their movie exits their head and becomes reality — is things are totally different than what they imagined. Previous concerns instantly become irrelevant, while problems never imagined become stark realities. Collaborations alter plans and bring new possibilities to the table, but it often becomes impossible to harness and adjust when low budget filmmaking, with its impossibly tight shooting schedule, is a race against the clock.

Photo Gallery: Behind the Scenes of the 2016 Sundance Directors Lab

At the heart of the Sundance Directors Lab is the
See full article at Indiewire »

Exclusive: How This Robert Redford-Narrated Doc Went From Self-Distribution to Finding a Home

  • Indiewire
Most movies produced independently hit theaters after they find a distributor, unless they’re self-released. But “Dying to Know,” a documentary narrated by Robert Redford,” is going to have it both ways. Abramorama has acquired the U.S. theatrical rights to the film after its initial grassroots screenings.

The doc focuses on former Harvard psychology professors Richard Alpert and Timothy Leary. A historical biopic that director-producer Gay Dillingham first began working on in 1995, the film chronicles the lives of the longtime friends and icons of the U.S. counterculture movement, both of whom were dismissed from Harvard in 1963 for researching and experimenting with psychedelic drugs including LSD.

After being fired, Alpert traveled to India to become a renowned spiritual teacher, changing his name to Ram Dass and writing the hugely popular book “Be Here Now” about spirituality, yoga and meditation. Leary became an LSD advocate who was famously called “the
See full article at Indiewire »

“What If I Had the Baby on the Mountain?”: Livi Newman on the Sundance Directors Lab

Olivia Newman is at the Sundance Directors Lab with her feature First Match, the tale of “a teenage girl from Brooklyn’s Brownsville neighborhood [who] decides that joining the all-boys high school wrestling team is the only way back to her estranged father.” She is also eight months pregnant. Below, she writes about that experience. “What are you afraid of?” A month before the Sundance Directors Lab began, this question was posed to us via email by artistic director, Gyula Gazdag. I hadn’t yet met Gyula, and had no idea that he would eventually impart some of the deepest insights to […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Carson Mell At The Sundance Directors Lab, Part Two

The Sundance June Directors Lab is underway, and blogging here at Filmmaker from the Sundance Resort in Utah will be two of the Lab’s filmmakers. Here is Carson Mell, attending with his dark comedy, Ajax, about “a band of alcoholic astronauts and a young woman adrift in outer space [who] become at odds with one another after discovering the purpose of their mysterious mission.” Read part one of his series here.

The Sundance Directors Lab is over now, and I’m starting the Screenwriters Lab again in a couple of days. Out of the last 17 days, we’ve only had two days when we weren’t rehearsing, shooting, or editing. I’m exhausted, currently re-editing one of the four scenes I shot, but still wish that there was more.

My main goal up here has been finding a way to incorporate improvisation into my work, and at what stages in the process to do so,
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Marielle Heller At The Sundance Directors Lab, Part One

Marielle Heller, a New York-based screenwriter, actor and playwright, is attending the June Sundance Directors Lab with her project, The Diary of a Teenage Girl. “In the haze of 1970’s San Francisco, a teenage artist with a brutally honest perspective tries to navigate her way through an affair with her mother’s boyfriend,” is its description, and the film is being adapted from the graphic novel by Phoebe Gloeckner. Here is Heller’s first blog post from the Sundance Resort in Utah.

It’s the end of our first week of four at the Sundance Directors Lab. I feel as though I’ve been here for a month already – in a good way. We’ve spent the first week doing day-long workshops, getting to know each other and our crews, doing practice scenes and acclimating to the altitude.

Gyula Gazdag’s “Using the Camera To Tell a Story” was the workshop on our second day.
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Sundance Directors Lab Diary: Myna Joseph

Myna Joseph, one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces” in 2008, is attending the Sundance Directors Lab with her feature, My Favorite Nightmare. Here is how her project is described: ” A willful teenager, pregnant with her cousin’s child, travels to New York for an abortion, only to discover that her unpredictable father has followed her.” Below, she discusses working with advisors Joan Darling and Ed Harris as well as her actors at the Lab. Actors can be elusive, magical creatures, and seem at times to harbor secrets from another universe. I don’t always understand how they do what they do—I just know I need them to do it. I coax, prod and poke until I get what I need. Understanding what makes a scene...
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

[The Classroom] Becoming Sundance: The Development of America’s Premiere Film Festival

As June is the month of the Sundance Directors Lab, the writers of The Film Stage saw this as being an appropriate moment to reflect back upon the early days of all things Sundance.The Sundance Film Festival occupies an interesting space in history, as it was the first film festival to focus specifically on American film, and it helped to escalate the American independent film movement. In 2009, the Sundance Festival celebrated its 25th anniversary, showcasing reflective trailers with images dating back to 1985. What is interesting about this is that the festival had actually started in 1978, and 1985 simply reflects the year in which the Sundance Institute took over its management. One might assume that in this take over was also a name change, and that 1985 reflects when it became known as Sundance. However, it was not actually renamed the Sundance Film Festival until after the 1990 festival, so the fact that
See full article at The Film Stage »

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