ENTERTAINMENT 04/04/2018 10:39 am ET Updated 15 hours ago Charlie Kessler claims the Duffer brothers ran with his concept after he met them at a party. By Ron Dicker 310 A filmmaker says the creators of “Stranger Things” are copycats. Filmmaker Charlie Kessler is suing show creators Matt and Ross Duffer for allegedly stealing ideas for their hit Netflix show after he pitched a similar project to them. According to the suit, filed this week in Los Angeles (and posted by Deadline), Kessler met the brothers at a Tribeca Film Festival party in April 2014. Kessler, who’s since worked in technical operations for shows like “Jessica Jones” and “Daredevil,” introduced the concept of a feature based on his supernatural short film “Montauk” that had premiered at the Hamptons International Film Festival two years earlier. He later handed over the script, ideas, story and the short film to the siblings. Now, … [Read more...] about Filmmaker Says ‘Stranger Things’ Creators Stole His Ideas In New Lawsuit
For the past six years I’ve been curating content about filmmaking and the creative process at large. I’ve found a lot, and there’s a lot more to uncover, but the one thing that I have always found frustrating was how fragmented all the information remains.It takes an average of five to seven years to make an indie feature. What happens during that time? How do people make a living, juggle other aspects of their lives, and overcome doubt, blocks, debts during those five to seven years?We know so little about the current indie film industry landscape that UCLA is kicking off a new research project to gather data and update what we think we know about indie filmmaking. As they say, The Blair Witch Project was almost 20 years ago. Sure indie exceptions will always inspire many to take actions, and that’s great, but about all the other stories, the less prestigious ones that didn’t win Sundance but reflect the reality of many more filmmakers? I … [Read more...] about What Does it Really Take to Make a Film (When You’re Not on Studio Payroll)?
Mark Pellington, along with David Fincher and Mark Romanek, began his filmmaking career in what might be called MTV’s heroic age. After a series of music videos, which include Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy,” U2’s “One” and R.E.M.’s “Drive,” he made two skillful, flashy, mid-sized star-driven studio thrillers — Arlington Road and Mothman Prophecies. Over the last ten years, a succession of his indie films have all dealt in sometimes comic, sometimes melodramatic terms with people trying to manage death.Alex Ross Perry, perhaps at one point associated with the mumblecore movement, whatever that exactly was, has for the last eight years, been working on micro budgets even tinier than Pellington’s. He’s written and directed four extraordinarily compelling dark comedies involving unusually smart, articulate characters who tend to, somewhat casually, cannibalize each other.Pellington is an expressive visualist, and even on … [Read more...] about Inexplicable Traces: On the Beautiful Epiphanies of Mark Pellington’s
What is producing? I ask myself this question a lot, and the title on my business card literally reads “Producer.” I’m staff at a rad women-run studio in Brooklyn while also producing my own films as well as a handful of others. I say all this to reiterate just how amorphous the craft of producing can be. Because of its fluidity, it can also be a challenge to learn how to be better at it. Plus, producers rarely get interviewed in the industry articles that offer insights into filmmaking process. When they are featured, producing technique can be difficult to understand apart from its relation to a singular project. And while newcomers are often taught that “practice makes perfect,” anyone who works in film knows that we don’t all have the advantage of being able to “practice” making a movie.This year at Sundance, there were a lot of risks taken in storytelling, from genre-bending comedies like Damsel to complex concepts pulled off with … [Read more...] about What is Producing? A Group of Sundance Producers Share Insights on Financing, Selecting Projects and Making a Career out of Making Movies
I’m fortunate to work in action and with stunts, behind the camera. The stunt community is comprised of all kinds of talent — drivers, motorcycle riders, gymnasts, fighters, parkour, Cirque du Soleil acrobats and much more. They are the best of the best! I’ve been even more fortunate to train and work with the best stunt coordinators, innovators, riggers and performers in Hollywood. Most audiences, and even film critics, aren’t aware that action sequences are created by a separate team of technicians and performers. On Hollywood films, action is shot by a second-unit crew, with its own director and sometimes over 200 crew members. Prolific second-unit directors include Spiro Razatos (the Fast & Furious films) and Dan Bradley (the Bourne films). It’s time that the people who create the unbelievable stunts you see onscreen are given their due. In 2001, a stunt specific awards ceremony called the Taurus World Stunt Awards was started, with categories like … [Read more...] about It’s Time for Stunt Work to be Recognized by The Academy