“When There Is Nowhere to Go, Nowhere is Home.” Amazon Studios and Participant Media have released an official trailer for Human Flow, a new film directed by iconic Chinese artist/filmmaker Ai Weiwei. This will be premiering at the Venice Film Festival first before hitting theaters in October. This eye-opening, breathtaking, heart-wrenching documentary looks at the humanitarian crisis of our time. “Over 65 million people around the world have been forced from their homes to escape famine, climate change and war in the greatest human displacement since World War II.” Human Flow is made up of remarkable footage showing this mass migration and how people move around this planet. This looks incredible, I’m very excited to see the footage and experience it as presented by Ai Weiwei. I’m sure it’s going to be an emotional experience. ›››
Time for a quick look back at movie posters over the last 60 years. We’re all used to seeing Photoshopped movie posters these days, with massive floating heads, explosions and lighting effects, and plenty of other cheesy design tricks. However, movie posters have a glorious history, originating as hand-painted pieces of art that were just as iconic and unforgettable as the movie itself. This new infographic takes a look back at “The Evolution of Movie Posters“, featuring 12 different designs ranging from the 1950s to the 00s. It highlights some of the best movie posters in Hollywood history, and discusses how the design and style of posters has changed over time. The Jaws poster is one of the best ever made, and the designs for E.T. and Star Wars are also perfect. Check out the infographic below to dive even deeper into the history of posters. ›››
Need a seedy drug lab in your next movie? Build it yourself.
Looking back at when I first started filmmaking, I see that one of the most beneficial qualities I had was to never let myself get deterred by thoughts like “I can’t afford that” or “There is no way I’ll be able to do that with the tools I have access to.”
As an aspiring filmmaker, you have to be unstoppable, resourceful, think outside the box, and take risks. Figuring out new ways to create what you see in your imagination with minimal funding or resources will give you an upper hand when you finally get access to bigger/better resources, and it will challenge your creative mind in the ways you look at everyday objects.
Even the smallest details matter and can make or break an illusion.
One of my fondest memories is creating a beautiful drug lab for a little under $ 250. I was in high school at the time and barely had any money to cover the costs of my projects, but I had an extreme desire to make a fight scene inside of a drug lab for a short film. So my friends and I got together and we did.
“Where is the man with the hot dog?” There’s an odd little short film going around this week, debuted by GQ.com as part of their cover story on Robert Pattinson. The short film is called Fear & Shame and is written & directed by & starring Robert Pattinson. It is essentially just a 2.5 minute short about Pattinson running around New York City trying to find a hot dog to eat. He rambles on about fame and shame and fear and more while desperately trying to avoid the paparazzi. This doesn’t have too much going on in it, but it’s all from his perspective with some wacky voice-over, so why not enjoy. Plus, who doesn’t love NYC hot dogs? ›››
Continue reading Watch: Robert Pattinson’s Short ‘Fear & Shame’ About a NYC Hot Dog
“They say a circus is a lot like a family, but every family needs that special something that holds it all together.” Blue Dream Studios (not related to Blue Sky Studios) has released the first official trailer for an animated comedy called Animal Crackers, about a down-on-his-luck guy who tries to revive a circus. The catch – he finds a magical box of animal crackers that allows him to transform into any of the animals in his box. He thinks this might save the circus, until he discovers he has to go up against his long lost evil uncle – Horatio P. Huntington. The extensive voice cast in Animal Crackers includes John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Danny DeVito, Ian McKellen, Raven-Symoné, Sylvester Stallone, Patrick Warburton, Tara Strong, Lydia Rose Taylor, Wallace Shawn, Gilbert Gottfried, Harvey Fierstein, and Kevin Grevioux. This looks fun, even though it seems seriously derivative in many ways, but that’s not surprising. ›››
Continue reading First Trailer for Animated ‘Animal Crackers’ About Reviving a Circus
If you like your fantasy worlds full of ominous black structures and universe-vomiting turtles, you’re probably going to enjoy The Dark Tower.
Chances are you’ve already seen the trailer. For anyone not familiar with Stephen King’s mighty eight-book series, though, you may be a bit fuzzy on some of the details. Where does the story take place, for instance? And what’s the significance of the tower?
From Mid-World to the sprawling concept of the Multiverse, we’ve broken down a few of the key points. Read more…
First, what actually is the Dark Tower?
“I’ve been drifting for so long, I don’t even remember where I want to go…” This might hit a little close to home for any up-and-coming filmmakers out there who have done this kind of work and felt this way. Sundowners is an indie comedy about two struggling videographers who decide to take a job filming a wedding down in Mexico. But, of course, they run into all kinds of problems after they discover their boss is playing fast and loose. The main cast includes Phil Hanley, Luke Lalonde, Tim Heidecker, Cara Gee, Nick Flanagan, Chris Locke, James Hartnett, and Leah Fay Goldstein. This looks amusing, and a bit depressing, but maybe it’s surprisingly quite good. There’s some impressive match cuts and sleek editing in this trailer. Perhaps it’s some kind of indie gem just waiting to be discovered. Who knows? Take a look. ›››
Continue reading Trailer for Indie Comedy ‘Sundowners’ About Wedding Videographers
Let’s glean some writing lessons from a business book, shall we?
There’s this book “everyone in Silicon Valley is talking about” or at least that’s the way it’s pitched at the book’s website. Its title: “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products”.
If you consider movies and TV series to be products, then it stands to reason so, too, are the screenplays we write.
So I checked it out. Here’s a summary of the four points the book makes:
1. Trigger: How does the loop initiate? In the beginning this may be through external triggers (such as an email, notification, icon badge, etc) but through successive loops the user eventually creates internal triggers where a particular thought or emotion will send them back to your product.
2. Action: Once the user is aware they need to use your product (through the trigger), what it the simplest action they can perform to get some kind of reward. For example a Facebook “Like”.
3. Variable reward: How are they rewarded for this behavior? This could be social validation (e.g. “my friends approve!”), collection of material resources (e.g. add a photo to a collection) or personal gratification (e.g. inbox zero). The “variable” part is important — rewards should not always be predictable, encouraging users to repeat the cycle.
4. Investment: Finally, the user needs to put something back in to increase the chance of repeating the loop. This could be content (e.g. a book in your Kindle), user entered data (e.g. profile information or linked accounts), reputation (e.g. something to gain a 5 star seller review), or a learned skill (e.g. I’m now really good at this software program). The investment also sets up the trigger to for the next cycle of the loop.
Okay, let’s work with a scenario applicable to screenwriters. We create the product: Our script. And the buyer? In the script acquisition process, it all starts with the supposed lowly script reader who actually has the first pass at creating an impression of our ‘product’ that follows all the way up the food chain, so in fact they are quite important to us.
In this scenario, it’s a Sunday night. Late. Our script reader — let’s call her Lilah — has been shut in at her cramped North Hollywood apartment all weekend, providing coverage on six screenplays, the proverbial ‘weekend read’. Now she taps out the last words on her final script coverage, checks her watch. Just enough time to catch a drink with some friends before she has to get to sleep for another harried 80 hour work week.
And just as Lilah begins to shut down her laptop… ping. An email. She winces. From her boss. Cover this script for tomorrow morning’s meeting.
That script? Yep, our script. So Lilah hates our script even while knowing NOTHING about it.
[I’m going to fudge this scenario a little bit in this respect: Our script has a logline. That’s normally not the case, but let’s run with that.]
Now back to the book “Hooked”, let’s focus on the four points cited above:
Trigger: How do I “initiate a loop” with poor Lilah? My logline. I’m hoping the central concept, the Protagonist’s situation, and the story’s entertainment potential will ‘trigger’ a response. That response? Open our script with an open mind.
Action: Lilah does, indeed, open our script. Now we’re concerned with this: provide the “simplest action [she] can perform to get some kind of reward”. That’s easy. We want to write an opening set of pages, in fact, a compelling first page to get Lilah to take ‘action’: Turn the page. Well, there’s Lilah who has scrolled to P.2… then P.3. How to keep her turning pages?
Variable Reward: “How are they rewarded for this behavior… The ‘variable’ part is important — rewards should not always be predictable, encouraging users to repeat the cycle.” Fortunately when we wrote our script, we varied multiple narrative elements: scene types, pace, subplots, plot twists and turns, and so forth. Ooh, look at Lilah now. She’s zooming through the script.
Investment: That’s easy. We want her to write coverage that is favorable to our script. And what’s that? OMG! She actually clicked on Recommend which is virtually unheard of.
Good job, folks! We got Lilah hooked on our script!
For more on “Hooked”, here’s a video by the book’s author Nir Eyal:
Writing and the Creative Life: Lessons from a book “everyone in Silicon Valley is talking about” was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
Spider-Man: Homecoming hits theaters this weekend, and like every other Marvel Studios movie, there are some bonus scenes both during and after the credits. It’s not quite as involved as the five credits scenes from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but there’s one after the animated closing credits sequence and one after the all the credits have scrolled by. The latter is merely a gag scene that we won’t give away here because it’s much better to just wait and experience yourself, but we’ll say it’s easily one of the funniest post-credits scenes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ranking up there with dancing Baby Groot.
However, it’s the mid-credits scene in Spider-Man: Homecoming that we want to talk about, because it might be perplexing to audiences for a number of reasons. So join us below as we talk about the Spider-Man Homecoming credits scene, but do not read any further if you want to avoid spoilers for the movie, because they’re all over the place.
Setting the Stage
In the middle of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Peter Parker tries to stop a weapons deal referred to as “the Gargan job” from happening on the Staten Island Ferry, a sequence that has been all over the marketing for the movie. Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton) is present to make sure the deal goes smoothly since Spider-Man has been showing up to create problems for he and his crew trying to steal various technology leftover from both the Battle of New York in The Avengers and the attack on Sokovia in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
At the back of the ferry, Herman Schultz (played by Bokeem Woodbine), who is given the moniker of Shocker, is the one tasked with finalizing the deal. The man present to make the purchase is MacDonald “Mac” Gargan, played by Michael Mando (Nacho from Better Call Saul). But before any deal can be made, Spider-Man shows up to stop the transaction, and eventually, the FBI reveal that they were waiting to stop the deal from happening too. Of course, Michael Keaton suits up as Vulture, all hell breaks loose and Iron Man has to come in and save the day. End of story…or is it?
Spider-Man: Homecoming Credits Scene Explained
Honesty, the Spider-Man: Homecoming credits scene isn’t all that complicated. We see Adrian Toomes being escorted through prison and Gargan, the man from the busted Staten Island Ferry weapons deal confronts him. He makes sure Toomes knows that he’s not there to threaten him, even though the looks of his face show that he took some damage in that face-off with Spider-Man and the FBI. But he does have something he wants to ask Toomes about.
Gargan says he has some people on the outside who have been telling him that Toomes knows the secret identity of Spider-Man. Toomes is indeed one of the few who does know Peter Parker is Spider-Man after figuring out his secret thanks to some quick deductive reasoning he made while driving Peter and his daughter Liz (Laura Harrier) to the school homecoming dance. You would think he has a bone to pick with Spider-Man for catching him, but instead, Toomes says, “If I knew who he was, he’d be dead already.” And he walks away, a slight smirk on his face, before the rest of the credits roll.
Some fans think that this might be a set up for Vulture to make a return and seek revenge on Peter Parker for himself, not wishing anybody else to take him out. But what if it’s not as sinister as all that? What if the scene is just meant to give Adrian Toomes a little bit of redemption?
Kevin Feige and Jon Watts Discuss the Credits Scene
Our own Peter Sciretta sat down with Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal for an interview about Spider-Man: Homecoming, and the discussion turned to this particular credits scene. Perhaps like some of you, Peter wasn’t entirely sure what to make of the scene in question, so he asked Feige and Pascal what they’re supposed to take away from it. Pascal wasn’t as forthcoming with her answer, opting to ask Peter what he thought it meant, and then Feige laid things out pretty well:
“I think it is different from the other credits sequences. I think people are conditioned to look for a forward facing tease about what’s to come. But that’s not always, maybe not even half the time, what our gags are about. Certainly, the one at the very end of the movie is clearly not that. But this was basically just meant to show that Toomes was not a horrible guy, had found himself in this position, and realized this kid saved his daughter, this kid saved his own life. He wouldn’t even be alive if it wasn’t for this kid. And in that moment where he had the opportunity to rat him out and have a guy go after him, he decides to keep the secret, because he appreciated ultimately what Peter did for him. He is one of the few villains to survive a movie, and I think you appreciate it.”
Director Jon Watts echoed those sentiments when he spoke to JoBlo about the scene:
“That’s what is cool — he gets a moment of redemption and he gets to protect Peter, even though Peter would never know. It’s his way of saying thank you. It was a really interesting thing in the development of the story. You couldn’t just rely on the tropes of the villain being a murderer and killing a bunch of people. He had to be redeemable in some capacity in the end and that he believes everything he said, especially about his family. So it was a really fine walk to create a villain that still has that moment of redemption in the end.”
Honestly, the fact that this scene is meant to give Adrian Toomes redemption instead of teasing something to come involving the return of the Vulture makes me wish that the scene was part of the movie rather than being a credits scene. Feige is right in that we’ve been conditioned to think that at least one of the credits scenes in question will tease what’s to come in future installments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and that makes the scene a little harder to get a grasp on in the moment.
The good news is that for fans hoping for some kind of tease of what to expect in future Spider-Man movies, the credits scene in question does have one thread that could turn into something down the road.
A Villain for the Spider-Man: Homecoming Sequel?
To hardcore Spider-Man comics fans, the name Mac Gargan certainly set off their Spidey Sense. That’s because it’s the alter ego of Spider-Man’s nemesis known as The Scorpion.
In the comics, Gargan was a private detective hired by J. Jonah Jameson to find out how Peter Parker was able to get such incredible pictures of Spider-Man for The Daily Bugle. Of course, Peter’s Spider Sense is triggered and Gargan doesn’t really get anywhere. Then, in the hope of giving Gargan the upper hand, Jameson enlisted the man in an experiment that would give him the useful characteristics of animal, in this case a scorpion, in an effort to thwart Spider-Man. Though he defeated the webslinger twice, the mutagenic treatment that turned him into a villain began to take a toll on his mind and drove him insane.
Obviously this iteration of Gargan isn’t anywhere near the same as the comics, but it has been confirmed by Michael Mando himself that he is indeed playing the character who would become The Scorpion:
For those who didn’t notice, there was a hint at Gargan’s future as a villain in Spider-Man: Homecoming because the character has a scorpion tattoo on the left of his neck. But will we see him become The Scorpion in the Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel that will arrive after The Avengers 4?
More than likely, we shouldn’t expect Gargan to become the full fledged version of the villain we’ve seen in the comics. I’m betting that we’ll see a version of The Scorpion that will be akin to the adaptation of Shocker that we saw in Homecoming. y guess is that Scorpion will just get his hands on some kind of weapon and will create some second tier trouble for the webslinger while a different villain takes top billing.
Unfortunately, we’ll be waiting awhile to find out what will happen with a Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel because it won’t arrive until after The Avengers 4 in 2019.
The post Let’s Talk About That ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Credits Scene appeared first on /Film.