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September 30, 2019

Blink brings a Tactile Journey to Editorial Design

Blink brings a Tactile Journey to Editorial DesignabduzeedoSep 30, 2019

Blink magazine recognizes that the rise of the Internet has left the beauty of print media in the dust. The audience has unlimited access to information and resources online that is only a click away, however the intimate experience of a well designed magazine through the aesthetic quality of sheets will always leave a lasting impression. That’s the description of the project that Victoria Ng shared on their Behance profile.

Like all humans, we are made up of different layers and at Blink we uncover the hidden journeys behind the careers of our interviewees. The magazine focuses on individuality, it is a raw art that exposes trendy design and the craft behind it all.

The aim for this magazine was to bring the reader into a tactile journey whilst maintaining a minimalistic appearance through the different layers and paper material; mediums that cannot be experienced online. The use of tracing paper is a symbolism of the transparency that Blink magazine promises to their audience. The translucent layers was although difficult to hand-bind it reflected the core concept of Blink – the notion of invisibility and movement.  White Ink on translucent paper did not only maintain a simplistic visual style but ensure the text-imagery wouldn’t overcrowd the content and gives depth to the page.

The aim for this magazine was to bring the reader into a tactile journey

For the web component, it is important to maintain a visual relationship with the magazine. Thus, I chose to use the same fonts and color coordination for easy navigation. The broken shapes shadowing behind the main screen emphasizes this idea of transparency (relating back to the use of translucent paper). 

Editorial and Web Design

Source: Abduzeedo Editorial Design

September 30, 2019

Mohammad Gorjestani Discusses His Jury Award Winning Short ‘Exit 12’ – SXSW Interview

Mohammad Gorjestani is an Iranian-American filmmaker who has directed four short films that screened at the SXSW Film Festival: Refuge (2014), Miss Me: The Artful Vandal (World Premiere, 2016), Sister Hearts (World Premiere, 2018) and Exit 12. The latter took home the 2019 Jury Award in Documentary Shorts Competition.

Exit 12 tells the story of U.S. Marine Roman Baca, whose experiences in the Iraq War ravaged him with depression and anxiety. With the encouragement of his wife Lisa, he decided to return to ballet as way to cope. Baca is now the artistic director of the Exit12 Dance Company in New York City, where he — along with other veterans and military families — uses dance to tell stories about the effects of war. Through movement and creative expression, they work to not only reprogram and reclaim themselves, but also change the perceptions and stereotypes of the veteran community.

“I think SXSW does an incredible job of curating films that are on the pulse of what matters in the world, and we felt Exit 12 was a film that at the very least was critical to the national discourse at a time in this country where so much is at stake.”

Watch the film here and remember the Late Deadline to submit to the SXSW Film Festival is October 17.

Interview with Mohammad Gorjestani

In your own words, what does this film mean to you?

Mohammad Gorjestani: We’re conditioned in our culture to understand veterans as tough, resilient, and patriotic. But we are shielded from seeing them as sensitive, conflicted, and expressive. Exit 12 is an alternative perspective of who veterans are and of the traumatic effects of war.

We’re living in a divisive time where what patriotism is defined as has been hijacked and narrowed by one side of our politics. In this film, through its unexpected group of veterans remind us of another side of America that is more inclusive, compassionate, and still incredibly strong and proud. These veterans remind us of what true American values are and that is to believe in values rooted in the human condition. I can’t think of many messages more vital in 2019, a time this defining to our identity as a nation where so much is at stake, especially for marginalized communities.

What motivated you to tell this story?

MG: This film was the 5th film in the “For Every Dream” film series that was produced by Even/Odd in collaboration with Square. What I loved about this collaboration is that from Jack Dorsey at the top, down to the team we developed this series with at Square, we had a conviction to tell stories about the contemporary American Dream from a point of view of class struggle, and the need to provide economic access and empowerment to disenfranchised individuals and communities.

As an immigrant who fled war to come to America and grew up in Section 8 housing, I have seen and experienced first hand how when the odds are stacked against you because of your socioeconomic disposition, that you have less opportunities to succeed. While this story is about veterans, it is also about creative entrepreneurship and a dancer trying to make his dream of having a dance company that has a deeper purpose be a sustainable dream in America. I can relate to that on so many levels as a filmmaker — trying to make work that doesn’t bend to the mainstream and stays true to who I am and the voice I want to add to the cinematic landscape while trying to make a living at the same time.

I also feel like right now — for all immigrants, especially Muslim Americans — you can’t help but question your place in America. This film was also a chance for me to contribute to what I feel is a better example of who America is through the point of view of veterans who are deeply patriotic, but who believe acceptance and compassion are at the core of America values. Veterans who don’t blindly follow any doctrine, but believe that the love for greater mankind itself is not excluded in their patriotism.

The undercurrent of this film felt like trying to understand what America is again in 2019 in a post 9/11 world, and I think that came full circle through the process of the film and also at SXSW because it is utterly the most American thing for an Iranian born filmmaker to make a film about veterans, and then to have the film screen and win in Texas.

What do you want the audience to take away?

MG: Veterans are not tokens or props for political debates. They are real people who often enter service with the absolute best intentions, it’s us as a nation who have failed them — investing so much effort to prepare them for war, but not enough to undo that and support them to successfully re-enter society.

How did you find your subject?

MG: The credit for that goes to an incredible research team we had working on this project and others at Even/Odd. We searched the whole country for veterans and veteran groups who were in many ways failed by the system, and took that adversity and did something entrepreneurial with it to create sustainable opportunity for themselves and others.

We knew wanted to find an unexpected story, but we never imagined a story that juxtaposed military training and ballet. So much of this work does rely on luck, but the best way of increasing your luck is through persistence, and our research process was a testament to that.

What made you choose SXSW to showcase your film to the world?

MG: SXSW has been my favorite festival for a long time. The curation of films and programming is incredibly strong and the festival draws an audience not just from across the country, but the world. So many of my favorite films have played at this festival and the films I’ve seen at SXSW have influenced not just my work, but myself as an individual. I think SXSW does an incredible job of curating films that are on the pulse of what matters in the world and we felt Exit 12 was a film that at the very least was critical to the national discourse at a time in this country where so much is at stake.

Do you have a past experience that impacted your decision to come back?

MG: In 2014 I had my first film at SXSW, a narrative short titled Refuge. For me, that marked a moment in life that, when I look back, was a springboard to so many of the fortunate opportunities and collaborations I’ve been able to have. I think back to that festival and think about all the incredible people I met that year that I consider some of the most important peers and even friends and collaborators that I have today.

Do you have any advice to filmmakers submitting to SXSW or any advice to first-time filmmakers?

MG: Make work that is personal and that you are proud of, regardless if someone else loves it or hates it. If through the experience of making the film you grew as an artist and person, then that is by far the most valuable thing and everything else is just a bonus.

Getting into a festival or not shouldn’t change the way you feel about your film and your work, and if it does it’s worth re-examining why you are making films in the first place. What’s most important, especially as a director, you want to build a family of collaborators that want to work with you because you bring out the best in them and they bring out the best in you. The rest will follow and take care of itself as long as you keep working and making stuff. Focus on making things that mean something to you and place value in personal over perfect.

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Documentary Short Jury Winner Exit 12 – Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW

The post Mohammad Gorjestani Discusses His Jury Award Winning Short ‘Exit 12’ – SXSW Interview appeared first on SXSW.

Source: SxSW Film

September 29, 2019

Robert De Niro Slams Donald Trump in Video Interview: ‘This Guy Should Not Be President. Period.’

No stranger to publicly denouncing the President, Robert De Niro has once again slammed Donald Trump in a new — and rare — with CNN’s Brian Stelter on “Reliable Sources.”

“This guy should not be president. Period,” De Niro says. Stelter asks De Niro how he felt about criticisms of the actor after he said “fuck Trump” live on the air during the 2018 Tony Awards telecast. De Niro’s blunt retort? “Fuck ’em. Fuck ’em,” before he goes on to apologize for dropping the “F” bomb on live TV.

The rant against Trump was sparked by the topic of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent impeachment inquiry. “We are in a moment in our lives, in this country, where this guy is like a gangster. He’s come along, he’s said things, done things. This is terrible. We are in a terrible situation, and this guy just keeps going on and on and on without being stopped,” De Niro says. Watch the CNN video clip below.

With “The Irishman” having just world-premiered at the New York Film Festival, De Niro is a leading contender for the Best Actor Academy Award, as is the film for Best Picture for Netflix. Voters throughout awards season might be willing to throw their weight behind the 76-year-old actor (two-time Oscar winner for “Raging Bull” and “The Godfather: Part II”) in order to see him use his global pulpit to make another rallying cry against Donald Trump. (In his IndieWire review of the film, Eric Kohn writes that this is the actor’s most satisfying leading role in years.)

De Niro also appears in “Joker,” opening October 4, as a talk-show host in a character that tips its hat to “The Irishman” director Martin Scorsese’s 1982 blackly funny satire “The King of Comedy” — a huge source of inspiration for the DC origin story. The movie has already ignited fierce political and cultural debates, and will continue to do so once the film opens in theaters and everyone, at last, gets the chance to see it for themselves. Still, it’s challenging to sit through this punishingly nihilistic movie without the discourse weighing on your mind.


Source: IndieWire film

September 29, 2019

‘The Story of Roy Cohn’ Review: A Filmmaker’s Frustratingly Impersonal Take on Man Who Killed Her Family

Even when Ivy Meeropol was just a little girl, the boogeyman always had a name in her house: Roy Cohn. To the rest of the world, Cohn was the unscrupulous power broker who had first risen to notoriety as the assistant prosecutor responsible for the executions of “atomic spies” Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. To Meeropol, born more than a decade after the fact, Cohn was the man who effectively murdered her grandparents long before she would ever have a chance to meet them.

From a young age, Michael Meeropol taught his daughter about how her family was torn apart for allegedly selling nuclear secrets to the Russians, and perhaps also about the ruthless, pug-nosed, pit bull of a lawyer who all but did the deed with his bare hands. Now a 51-year-old filmmaker, Meeropol even opens her latest documentary with black-and-white home video footage of her childhood, in which Michael reiterates the story to Ivy as if it will one day be her cross to bear. It’s hard to say if he’s passing this information down like a burden, or if Ivy is meant to inherit it as a birthright — if it’s something Michael is preparing his daughter to remember, or something that he’s already training her not to forget — but it’s clear that the rest of her life will unfold in the shadow of what preceded it.

With all of the baggage that its director brings to the project, it would be reasonable to assume that “Bully. Coward. Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn” offers a uniquely personal look at one of the most ruinous figures of the 20th century; that it doesn’t just contextualize its subject as Joseph McCarthy’s stooge or Donald Trump’s mentor, but as a multi-faceted monster who couldn’t have cared less about the trail of carnage he left in his wake. Even the title of Meeropol’s film — borrowed from the words that are sewn below Roy Cohn’s name on the AIDS quilt that stretches across the Washington Mall — suggests a documentary that aspires to see its namesake through a variety of different lenses: As a relentless aggressor, as a manifestation of his own self-loathing, and (to his eternal chagrin) as someone who eventually fell prey to his own humanity.

To a certain extent, that’s what Meeropol does. At once both heartfelt and exasperatingly broad, “Bully. Coward. Victim.” provides as fair and prismatic a character study as Cohn’s thin character might possibly allow. In addition to a scattershot biography that traces Cohn’s life from his formative days as a Columbia Law student to his infamous nights at Studio 54 and all points in between, the film complements its vast array of archival footage with a diverse smattering of talking heads that range from Cohn’s most basic flunkies (like his former driver, who bears an uncanny resemblance to his ex-employer) to his most savage critics (“Angels in America” playwright Tony Kushner, who wrote Cohn into his Pulitzer Prize-winning epic). This might be the first movie ever made that features both John Waters and Alan Dershowitz.

And yet, Meeropol’s empathetic attempt to see the man she knew as a monster only reveals how little was actually lurking behind Cohn’s glassy eyes. For all of her efforts to make sense of a thug who tried to intimidate the world into submission, the director unearths the kind of self-evident sound bytes that have followed Cohn around since the 1950s. Someone quotes him as saying that “Law is an adversarial profession.” Someone else remarks that “Roy didn’t have friendships, he had alliances.” Eventually we arrive at a classic nugget that collects the man’s sociopathic ethos into just a few words: “Make the law, or subject to it — choose.” But the most damning line — both for Cohn, and for this frustrating documentary about him — comes from the late power broker’s cousin, who has no problem throwing an estranged relative under the bus: “Roy was pure evil.”

The past would be a lot easier to understand if anyone were actually pure evil, but the fact of the matter is that Cohn’s particular brand of sociopathy is very simple to diagnose; much like his protégé, the current President of the United States (at least at the time of this writing), Cohn was an uncomplicated man who managed to insert himself into historical complications. The mishegoss that Cohn marinated in was fascinating — entire movies could be made about each chapter of his life, especially “the Lavender Scare,” or his pitiable last days when it all fell apart — but the whole of it is all too obvious. There’s nothing more boring or played out than an insecure narcissist who’s conditioned to think of vulnerability as the opposite of strength, and driven by an all-consuming need to be the most powerful man in the room.

Meeropol’s film starts with a strong hook, but it ultimately takes a more roundabout path to the same roadblocks that stymied another recent Cohn documentary. Our resurgent interest in Cohn stems from the same reason that none of us need to see a documentary about his thought process: It’s on our televisions and in our newspapers every day. It’s in the concentration camps that have cropped up along America’s southern border, in the all-or-nothing hostility that has consumed its political system, and in the corruption that Trump reflexively spreads with every phone call. “Bully. Coward. Victim” is often engaging, if more for its history than for its insight, but the film’s erratic final third defines the project by its unrealized potential.

The deeper this documentary gets into the weeds of Cohn’s financial dealings, the more striking it becomes that Meeropol is telling the wrong story, or at least squinting at a story that she might have seen more clearly in a mirror. She points the camera at her own family with great hesitation, as if she doesn’t want to hex them any further with the residue of treason, or make this movie feel like a one-sided attack.

Both of those potential explanations are perfectly understandable, as is Meeropol’s apparent disinterest in relitigating the Rosenberg trial (though she obviously sides with the idea that Ethel was innocent, and Julius less guilty than Cohn made him out to be). And yet, the documentary becomes almost heart-stoppingly raw and immediate whenever Meeropol reflects on the personal impact of Cohn’s power games. Interviews with her father hint at how difficult it was to grow up as a child of “treason,” and the extent to which his life has been a Sisyphean battle against the forces of corruption; the film’s most extraordinary clip finds Michael Meeropol and Roy Cohn on a talk show together at some point in the early 1980s, and it’s devastating to see how only one of them still cares about what happened. Another striking moment comes when Meeropol interviews one of the male hustlers who was driven to Cohn’s Greenwich house in the dead of night, and saw first-hand how his venom sprang from his vulnerability.

Meeropol herself is almost entirely absent after the aforementioned prologue, though you can often sense her behind the camera, pushing towards a kind of catharsis that she doesn’t have the words to describe. The closer she gets to Cohn, the harder it is to feel her presence. This may be “The Story of Roy Cohn,” but Meeropol doesn’t meaningfully engage with how it might be her story, as well — with how “victim” may have been written on that corner of the AIDS quilt for her to find. She indicates how that could be, and then lets that bullying coward fill the rest of the film with his bluster. Meeropol has more to say than Cohn ever did, but it’s a shame that she doesn’t say it here.

Grade: C

“Bully. Coward. Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn” premiered at the 2019 New York Film Festival. It will air on HBO in the future.

Source: IndieWire film

September 29, 2019

‘Judy’ Sings at Box Office as ‘The Peanut Butter Falcon’ Tops ‘The Farewell’

Roadside Attractions’ launch of musical “Judy” gave the weak specialized box office a much-needed boost. The bravura performance by Renée Zellweger along with sustained interest in Hollywood icon Judy Garland propelled the film to a strong initial response at 461 theaters. Other award contenders will have to step up to similar numbers to redeem a problematic year, but this is a promising start of the season. Roadside also notched a box-office milestone as its steady performer “The Peanut Butter Falcon” passed A24’s long-running hit “The Farewell.”

On a smaller scale, Japanese genre film “First Love” (Well Go USA) also started impressively for a subtitled film with $25,000 in two theaters. This bodes well for several highly anticipated foreign-language films ahead.

Several titles of note did not report grosses this week: Netflix opened Steven Soderbergh’s “The Laundromat” starring Meryl Streep and Gary Oldman ahead of its October 18 streaming date. No gross was reported, but some shows at two New York and Los Angeles Landmark theaters were at least close to sold out. “The Death of Dick Long” (A24), which heads to video on demand on October 8, looks to have grossed under $1,000/screen at 30 theaters. Drawing smaller numbers was “The Day Shall Come” (IFC), a British comedy set in the Dominican Republic starring Anna Kendrick, which went day and date with home viewing at 32 theaters.


Judy (Roadside Attractions) Metacritic: 62; Festivals include: Telluride, Toronto 2019

$3,091,000 in 461 theaters; PTA: $6,705

The fall awards season started strongly with the national release of “Judy” (Roadside Attractions/LD Entertainment). Zellweger’s portrayal of the singer late in her career is similar to recent biopics such as “The Darkest Hour”; Gary Oldman won an Oscar playing Winston Churchill over a short period. For now, Zellweger is considered the Best Actress frontrunner. This initial response supports her chances and sets up the film for quick expansion and a significant gross before other awards contenders open.

Roadside has been a pioneer in opening top titles in the 300-500 theater range with frequent success. This ranks among their best similar titles: “A Most Wanted Man,” “Mud,” and “Mr. Holmes” all rose (adjusted) to between $18-23 million.

This September date boasts advantages, even though it comes earlier than most prime-time awards openings that sustain momentum through the new year. (Last year at this point Glenn Close was the Actress frontrunner, only to be upset by later entry Olivia Colman.) But it seems like a smart move: the film comes in at #7 despite playing just 462 theaters. It is expanding quickly next week against wide-release “Joker” (Warner Bros.). That’s a strong title to compete with, but there are no other openings (and no major threat until its third week or later). That positions arthouse counterprogrammer “Judy” to reach more people than might be possible with more competition and the coming flood of major specialized films.

Awards interest should help sustain “Judy.” We’ll need to see how it broadens next week, but  the film might pass the year’s biggest initially limited specialized release “Fighting With My Family” ($23 million, United Artists) and wind up Roadside’s biggest specialty release since Oscar-winner “Manchester By the Sea” (released with Amazon). “Judy” is setting a strong initial benchmark for contenders ahead.

What comes next: The movie is expected to reach considerably over 1,000 theaters next week. That’s wider than Roadside usually expands, but it is now the norm to reach out to audiences as soon as possible rather than build slowly. In this case, it makes total sense.

“First Love”

First Love (Well Go USA) Metacritic: 79; Festivals include: Cannes, Toronto 2019

$24,150 in 2 theaters; PTA: $12,075

An excellent initial weekend for prolific veteran Japanese genre director Takeshi Miike (“Ichi the Killer,” “13 Assassins”), who spins a yarn about a Tokyo boxer and a hooker who get involved in a drug-smuggling scheme. Miike’s trademark mix of stylish elements (comedy, romance, action) often attracts younger-than-normal foreign-language fans. Backed by strong reviews, “First Love” notched one of the best limited subtitled openings of late in exclusive dates in New York and Los Angeles to start its national run.

What comes next: Along with expansion in its initial markets, this will add about a dozen more cities this week with wider release the following weekend.

Fantastic Fungi (A23) – Festivals include: Maui

$20,100 in 3 theaters; PTA: $6,700; Cumulative: $39,459

In advance of its New York debut this Friday and other dates. this Brie Larson-narrated documentary with strong visual elements about fungi’s role in the ecosystem has played various event dates. This weekend it showed in the Denver area and Portland to a healthy initial result.

What comes next: Backed by some director Q & As, this movie is slated for a mix of regular and further event showings. Los Angeles opens on October 25.

Anthropocene: The Human Epoch (Kino Lorber) Metacritic: 77; Festivals include: Toronto 2018, Telluride 2019

$(est.) 117,000 in 110 theaters; PTA: $(est.) 1,064

This visual documentary on environmental change launched as an event showing last Wednesday at the same time it opened at New York’s Film Forum for a regular engagement. Initial results are encouraging and suggest further interest.

What comes next: More full week dates are expected ahead.

A still from Where’s My Roy Cohn? by Matt Tyrnauer, an official selection of U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Ap/REX/ShuttersockAll photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited

“Where’s My Roy Cohn?”


Week Two

Where’s My Roy Cohn? (Sony Pictures Classics)

$60,089 in 12 theaters (+8); PTA: $5,007; Cumulative: $120,813

The second weekend was decent for this documentary about the arch-villain of the McCarthy era and beyond, the New York powermonger and attorney who mentored Donald Trump. As the opening showed, it’s tricky to find audiences for non-heroic icons who make people feel uncomfortable. That’s the context for judging the early response, which is building to a significantly wider arthouse release.

Pomare (GKids)

$113,455 in 31 theaters (-23); PTA: $3,659; Cumulative: $1,068,000

The second weekend grosses held well for this Japanese anime which took in the bulk of its gross at an initial weekday event showing.

Britt-Marie Was Here (Cohen)

$5,002 in 8 theaters (+5); PTA: $625; Cumulative: $11,865

This Swedish story of an adventurous older woman added cities with continued lack of response similar to its opening.

"The Peanut Butter Falcon"

“The Peanut Butter Falcon”

Ongoing/expanding (Grosses over $50,000)

The Peanut Butter Falcon (Roadside Attractions) Week 8

$908,270 in 935 theaters (-193); Cumulative: $18,129,000

The unexpected under-the-radar performance for this South by Southwest premiere about a challenged young adult striving to become a wrestler has been impressive from the start. This week, “The Peanut Butter Falcon” passed “The Farewell” (A24) to become the second-biggest initially platformed independent release this year. (UA’s “Fighting With My Family,” also centered on pro wrestling, remains tops at $23 million.) A sign of the movie’s continued strength is a remarkable drop of only 11% this weekend– with the per theater average actually higher than last.

Brittany Runs a Marathon (Amazon) Week 6

$641,900 in 917 theaters (-116); Cumulative: $6,285,000

This high-end Sundance acquisition is losing the race as it heads to a $7-million total, about half of what Amazon paid for it.

Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (Greenwich) Week 4

$416,729 in 247 theaters (+29); Cumulative: $2,297,000

With close to the same theater count, the gross for this documentary on the musical legend remained the same. This is gaining momentum with a gross perhaps close to $4 million possible.

Official Secrets (IFC) Week 5

$(est.) 155,000 in 259 theaters (-226); Cumulative: $(est.) 1,713,000

Gavin Hood’s British whistleblower drama starring Keira Knightley has run out of steam, and will likely top out at about $2 million.

Monos (Neon) Week 3

$70,149 in 33 theaters (+18); Cumulative: $218,244

This acclaimed Colombian Oscar submission continues to get decent interest for a subtitled film as it adds more cities.

The Farewell (A24) Week 12

$74,075 in 75 theaters (-51); Cumulative: $17,489,000

Lulu Wang’s multi-month success isn’t done yet.

Miles Davis: The Birth of Cool (Abramorama) Week 6

$51,278 in 31 theaters (+9); Cumulative: $411,467

The slow expansion for this documentary on the music legend keeps adding gross with more likely to come.

Also noted:

Honeyland (Neon) – $21,900 in 40 theaters; Cumulative: $617,280

Luce (Neon) – $17,750 in 36 theaters; Cumulative: $1,993,000

Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles (Roadside Attractions) – $13,560 in 26 theaters; Cumulative: $511,361

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Source: IndieWire film

September 29, 2019

Report: Over Half of Independent Films Get a Theatrical Release, but Few Make Money There

New research on independent features made in 2017 offers encouraging news for aspiring filmmakers: Three in five independent films made that year got some sort of theatrical release. The not-so-good news? Very few made substantial money at the box office.

Those findings came from a deep dive into all narrative non-studio films distributed made in 2017 conducted by Bruce Nash, whose company operates The Numbers, and producer and analyst Stephen Follows. The American Film Market published their article ahead of its annual event in November.

The researchers offered three release outcomes that together accounted for 60.4% of all movies shot in 2017.

  • Nominal releases (35.3%): movies that have theatrical release dates, but reported no box office figures. This could happen when a filmmaker rents a theater to show their movie to a small audience, for example.
  • Small releases (8.1%): movies that reported grosses up to $100,000
  • Large releases (17%): movies that reported grosses over $100,000

The remaining 39.6% of films indexed by by Nash and Follows got no theatrical release, though may have premieired at a theater or played in film festivals. Others were released straight to streaming platforms.

The takeaway for filmmakers? “You should accept the fact that you can get there, but do not expect to make money on your theatrical release,” Nash told IndieWire.

Of the 877 independent films they counted, about a quarter reported box office earnings.

Comscore media analyst Paul Dergarabedian said his company tracks box office results for about 90 films each week. The vast majority are independent films.

“The level of competition is incredibly high if you look at the number of independent films that are actually being shown in the marketplace with patrons paying to see them,” he said.

Take last weekend’s box office report, for example. Number-one performer “Downton Abbey” made $31.03 million in its opening weekend at 3,079 theaters. The 94th highest-grossing film was Lila Avilés’ Spanish-language “The Chambermaid,” which brought in $197 on two screens in its 13th week, bringing its total gross to almost $82,000.

“The Chambermaid,” would fall under Nash and Follows’ “small release” category, 8.1% of independent films made in 2017. The fact that it was one of the top 100 grossing films last weekend illustrates the enormous divide between big and small movies — the highest-grossing movie of all time, “Avengers: Endgame,” pulled in over 10 times as much money from US viewers after it was released this year.

But “The Chambermaid” is far from a failure — it’s found universal acclaim from critics, was nominated for eight of Mexico’s Ariel Awards, and won for best debut film, is Mexico’s Oscar submission, and will likely be available to an even wider audience on iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Vimeo, or Fandor, all of which are regular platforms for Kino Lorber and present another opportunity for the distributor and filmmaker to earn money.

Another recent AFM report from Follows and Nash that also used the 2017 data found that star power increased the likelihood of a movie getting a wider release, but it wasn’t the only factor for such an outcome.

A quarter of non-theatrical Indies featured a star, compared to just under 50% for small releases and 65% for large releases.

Source: IndieWire film

September 28, 2019

‘Fast and the Furious’ Director Rob Cohen Faces Another Sexual Assault Allegation

The Fast and the Furious” and “xXx” director Rob Cohen is facing another sexual assault allegation in the wake of a story published by The Huffington Post on Saturday. Cohen, whose transgender 32-year-old daughter Valkyrie Weather earlier this year said the director molested her when she was two years old, allegedly assaulted a then-28-year-old actress after they met in New York to discuss a pilot that never came to be.

Jane, as identified by The Huffington Post, said that after ordering her a drink she didn’t ask for, Cohen “moved the meeting to a restaurant that happened to be situated right by the hotel where he was staying, ordered a carafe of wine and encouraged her to drink some more.”

According to the story, Jane recalled feeling “fuzzy” after sipping her drink and “feeling suddenly alone” in the restaurant with Cohen. She said he then tried to kiss her. “The next thing she remembers is waking up naked… She remembers Cohen’s face in her crotch and his fingers inside her. She had not consented to any of this.” According to the piece, she vomited in the bathroom and then returned to bed, where Cohen tried to initiate intercourse but stopped when she asked him to.

Hollywood lawyer Martin Singer, known for representing men in the industry accused of sexual misconduct such as now-imprisoned Bill Cosby, sent a 13-page letter to The Huffington Post in anticipation of the story.

“The proposed Story is an outrageous defamatory hit piece, making extraordinarily offensive assertions that my client engaged in heinous sexual misconduct, criminal wrongdoing, and other inappropriate behavior, which are vehemently disputed and denied by my client,” Singer wrote. He added that publishing the story is “an effort to feed the ‘Me Too’ media frenzy.” Singer also asserted Cohen’s denial of the allegation, and his insistence that Jane left once their meeting was over.

Jane was compelled to come forward about her experience in the wake of Valkyrie Weather’s account in February. Medical records reviewed by The Huffington Post indicate that Jane sought treatment after her encounter with Cohen.

The article also reveals how Jane contacted Cohen after Harvey Weinstein was outed for decades of sexual misconduct in late 2017. In a text shared with The Huffington Post, Jane wrote Cohen, “The night we met, you really hurt me and fucked me up. hearing all this shit about harvey is really hard and i can’t stop thinking about what you did. i keep wondering if you even know or care how much you hurt me. im guessing no.. Anyway, im not tryina be in the news or anything, i don’t want anything from you, but an apology would be nice.”

Jane attempted to reach a detente with Cohen, but his lawyer now claims that the director thought she was talking about money.

Source: IndieWire film

September 28, 2019

How Hitchcock's 'Psycho' Changed How We Watch Movies in Theaters Forever

Everyone knows all about Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho”, but few people know how it changed cinema forever.

If you’re like me, you love the movie Psycho. It’s a perfect film. It’s one of the first slashers and a movie Hitchcock made on a shoestring budget after the insane success of North by Northwest.

No one wanted to make a tawdry murder movie with the first scenes of a woman and man in bed…pre-marital sex implied. The horror! Lucky for us, Hitch was kinda sick in the head.

The movie, based on the book of the same title, was an insane gamble by Hitchcock, who was (and still is) possibly the most famous director of all time. His name was a brand. It turned out millions if not billions of people to the box office. His movies were must-sees. Social events.

But if Psycho had gone wrong? He’d have been written off instantly. He’d have squandered everything he worked so hard to get.

However, when Psycho came out in theaters, people lost their damn minds. The movie made millions over its budget and solidified Hitch’s place in Hollywood history.

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Source: NoFilmSchool

September 27, 2019

Taika Waititi's Tips for Pulling Off a WWII Love Story with a Funny Hitler

At the Fantastic Fest US Premiere of “Jojo Rabbit”, Taika Waititi shares insights into how he was able to create a lighthearted love story in the darkest of times.

Less than two weeks after its world premiere at TIFF, and just a month before its scheduled theatrical release in October, Taika Waititi seemed visibly nervous trying to find funny answers to serious questions about his upcoming black comedy Jojo Rabbit, which seems appropriate for what is basically a coming-of-age love story set against the backdrop of WWII.

Waititi himself portrays a make-believe Adolf Hitler as the imaginary best friend to a young and impressionable German boy who is adamantly part of the Hitler Youth, and whose worldview is tested when he discovers his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their attic.

“It’s not a comedy about World War II. It’s a love story about World War II with some jokes.” – Taika Waititi

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Source: NoFilmSchool

September 27, 2019

Here's How Vince Gilligan Made 'Breaking Bad' So Damn Good

The showrunner ran one of the most secretive and complicated writers’ rooms in history. But what was his average day like?

Being a showrunner is one of the most demanding jobs in all of Hollywood. You have to be in the writers’ room, on set, in the edit, and everyone wants your opinion on everything. That’s why it’s so cool to get an inside look at Gilligan’s day to day from the Breaking Bad special features.

The show has been over for years, but I wanted to revisit this to emphasize how much work goes into every episode of television you see.

Check out this video from the Breaking Bad DVD extras and let’s talk after the jump!

What’s the life of a showrunner like? Some days they are jam-packed and you have to be everywhere at once.

The Writers’ Room

Writing is problem-solving. Of you have a bad script you have no foundation for whatever comes next. This means that Gilligan’s number one priority is as a writer on the show. He has to manage the room, help with ideation, and give notes on every episode turned in.

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Source: NoFilmSchool