‘Marshall’: DP Newton Thomas Sigel on Lighting for Character and Shooting 80′ From the Ground

Newton Thomas Sigel, ASC, brought courtroom drama ‘Marshall’ to vivid life despite a small budget and challenging locations.

Some of the most critical moments in American history have been realized courtesy of the country’s justice system and the courtroom. Brown v. Board of Education, Roe v. Wade, and the Scopes Trial were each landmark cases that dramatically shifted the tide of American life, helping lead to a national fascination with the courtroom that has extended to the cinema in the form of fictional masterpieces like To Kill A Mockingbird and A Few Good Men. On-screen, these monumental cases have drawn a great deal of attention, with movies suitably lending their focus to the dialogue. While questioning, cross-examining, and objecting remains at the forefront of the story in Marshall, DP Newton Thomas Sigel, ASC, also makes sure to bring a visual life to the courtroom drama.

“It was several stories up, almost 80 feet in the air, with huge windows, and 90% of my work was daytime.”

Read More

No Film School

New ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Character Reveal Coming During Force Friday II

Star Wars Force Friday II

We’re just one week away from Force Friday II, the big merchandising event that will see a slew of Star Wars: The Last Jedi toys, clothing, posters, books and more thrown on shelves as part of Disney and Lucasfilm’s massive hype machine that we happily crank up each and every week. While most of the secrets of The Last Jedi will likely be kept intact, it doesn’t mean there won’t be some details gleaned from the event. In fact, part of the Force Friday II promotion will include the reveal of a new character through the “Find the Force” augmented reality event accessed through the official Star Wars app.

Find out more about Star Wars Force Friday II and this special promotion below.

This video explains how you can unlock characters in the Star Wars app by participating in Force Friday II:

As you can see, by scanning the “Find the Force” logo, you’ll unlock characters in the app, almost as if they were trading cards. Apparently at least one of the characters you’ll be able to unlock during the global event that spans three days at 20,000 retail locations spread across 30 countries will be a never-before-seen character from Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Will this be a new key character in the Star Wars saga or are we talking about getting a glimpse at another Constable Zuvio here? It’s difficult to say, but it’s a relatively cool way to keep fans active on the Star Wars app while also unlocking new information about the movie.

You can use the Star Wars app right now to get an early look at the Porgs in augmented reality before the treasure hunt for more characters goes live next week for Force Friday II on September 1st. In fact, once you start the treasure hunt, you’ll be able to post photos and videos on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtags #FindtheForce and #Sweepstakes throughout that weekend for a chance to win the ultimate fan experience: tickets to the Star Wars: The Last Jedi premiere in December.

If you’re wondering where the best place to go for Force Friday II is going to be, StarWars.com has all the details on the various events and parties that certain retail locations are having. Some establishments like Target, Walmart and Meijer will be opening at midnight to start selling The Last Jedi merchandise immediately. Other retailers have their own exclusives and whatnot too, which you can find about in much more detail right here.

Happy hunting, and may the Force be with you!

The post New ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Character Reveal Coming During Force Friday II appeared first on /Film.


Character Driving Plot: “The Big Sick”

Analyzing the hit indie film starring Kumail Nanjani and Zoe Kazan.

A guest post from Tom Benedek, screenwriter (Cocoon) and co-founder of Screenwriting Master Class:

The Big Sick, based on the actual life story of Kumail Nanjani and Emily Gordon, centers around Emily’s life-and-death medical crisis but is almost entirely character-driven. The medical situation functions most certainly as the inciting incident, and offers dramatic tension throughout; but this is not a medical mystery. This is a love story, with Kumail caught between his love for Emily and his loyalty to his parents, who expect him to cooperate as they attempt to arrange a marriage for him to a Pakistani and Muslim woman. Emily, meanwhile, is caught between her love for Kumail and her conviction that she has been led on and betrayed by him.

Ray Romano, Zoe Kazan, and Holly Hunter in “The Big Sick”

Kumail, now the “ex,” waits awkwardly at the hospital with Emily’s parents.

The focus is on Kumail as he gets in touch with the depth of his feelings toward Emily and eventually wins over her parents, who’ve been predisposed to dislike him but witness up close Kumail’s devotion to their daughter. The medical crisis is ever-present. But a clear choice was made not to lean on hospital drama mechanics in order to maintain dramatic tension.

The script chooses to stay close to the internal struggle of Kumail.

He loves Emily and needs to live that truth, to be with her in spite of his family’s expectations of him. He overcomes the hostility of her parents and wins their love and respect. Emily overcomes her fear and hurt and regains her trust in Kumail’s love. The human drama is framed, but not overshadowed, by the medical drama.

Kumail Nanjani and Zoe Kazan in “The Big Sick”

Strategizing how character drives plot, finding that perfect balance of external and internal stories, is the screenwriter’s task.

Which of the character interactions did you resonate with most in The Big Sick? How important is conflict between characters in the movie?

Here are some clips and the trailer for The Big Sick, a wonderful movie:

Tom’s one week online class Writing the Character Driven Script starts Monday at Screenwritingmasterclass.com.

Character Driving Plot: “The Big Sick” was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story – Medium

Lying builds character

Chris Csont looks how a little deception makes heroes feel more genuine:

As the audience, we have an important advantage over the other people in a character’s world: We can see a character when they think nobody’s watching.

When we see the contradiction between a character’s presented self and their internal self, it helps to make a fictional person feel dimensional and real. We relate to that feeling of having a part of yourself cordoned off from the rest of the world, and we also recognize the discomfort of having that barrier breached.

It’s a great piece with lots of examples.


Paul McCartney Gets a Pirates of the Caribbean Character Poster!

Paul McCartney Gets a Pirates of the Caribbean Character Poster!

Paul McCartney gets a Pirates of the Caribbean character poster!

Walt Disney Pictures has released yet another character poster for the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales though not for someone fans may have been expecting, Sir Paul McCartney! It’s unclear who the former Beatles front man will play in the film but he joins Keith Richards as being a a famous musician to take on a role in the franchise (Richards played Jack Sparrow’s father, Captain Teague, in the third and fourth films).

RELATED: Pirates of the Caribbean Characters Guide

Johnny Depp returns to the big screen as the iconic, swashbuckling anti-hero Jack Sparrow in the all new Pirates movie. The rip-roaring adventure finds down-on-his-luck Captain Jack feeling the winds of ill-fortune blowing strongly his way when deadly ghost sailors, led by the terrifying Captain Salazer (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle bent on killing every pirate at sea – notably Jack. Jack’s only hope of survival lies in the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it he must forge an uneasy alliance with Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), a brilliant and beautiful astronomer, and Henry (Brenton Thwaites), a headstrong young sailor in the Royal Navy. At the helm of the Dying Gull, his pitifull small and shabby ship, Captain Jack seeks not only to reverse his recent spate of ill fortune, but to save his very life from the most formidable and malicious foe he has never faced.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales also stars Kevin R. McNally as Joshamee Gibbs, Golshifteh Farahani as the sea-witch Shansa, David Wenham as Scarfield, Stephen Graham as Scrum, and Geoffrey Rush as Captain Hector Barbossa.

RELATED: New Pirates of the Caribbean 5 Poster and Photo

Directed by Norwegian filmmakers Espen Sandberg and Joachim Rønning (Kon-Tiki), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales will debut in theaters on May 26, 2017.

The post Paul McCartney Gets a Pirates of the Caribbean Character Poster! appeared first on ComingSoon.net.


‘Cars 3’ Character Cruz Ramirez Gives the Sequel a Big Heart, But She Almost Didn’t Exist

Cars 3

In case you didn’t see, /Film was invited to screen a bunch of footage from Cars 3, which is about half the movie. You can read through our detailed reaction to the footage to see how it holds up against not just the rest of the Cars franchise but also Pixar’s body of work in general. But we wanted to call specific attention to a particular new character in the sequel who elevates the movie to a place that the Cars franchise has never reached before, at least from my perspective.

Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo) is a yellow 2017 CRS Sports Coupe who works as a trainer at the new Rust-eze Racing Center where Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is hoping to get the same state of the art technological training that has turned his rival Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer) into a finely tuned racing machine who is dominating the track. She’s tech-savvy and upbeat and has no problems telling McQueen how slow and old he is, despite the fact that she’s been a big fan of his for years.

Initially it appears like this character is just a means to an end for Lightning McQueen to win yet another race, but a turn comes when the emotional core of Cars 3 is revealed, and the big beating heart of this sequel is just what the franchise needs. Find out more about Cruz Ramirez in Cars 3 after the jump, but beware of possible spoilers.

Cars 3 Concept Art

Cruz Ramirez Was Originally Male and a Farmer

When I sat down for an interview with director Brian Fee to talk about Cars 3 (we’ll share the full interview soon), I asked him what some of the huge changes were made between early development and the long road that a Pixar movie has to take before the story is finalized (which still fluctuates even while the film is being animated). It turns out one of the major changes involved the character of Cruz Ramirez. While the character is a female race trainer in the final version of Cars 3 we’ll see this summer; originally the character was a male farmer. Brian Fee explained:

“Cruz was a male character. The story took place in central California. Cruz was a farmer and was completely different. McQueen was just on this journey throughout the central valley of California and he happened upon Cruz. He was kinda handcuffed with Cruz throughout the journey. We always had a mentor story looking at McQueen and Doc’s relationship and then looking at McQueen and Cruz’s relationship. Then the story went through completely different changes where we kept that mentorship, but we moved them across the country to the South, and we were looking at McQueen’s career as a racer a little more.”

Eventually, Cruz became female and received the design that you see in the concept art above. But for a brief while, the mentorship part of the story took a backseat to the movie becoming a more typical sports flick with the mentoring element used as more of an undercurrent. But Pixar determined that angle wasn’t working, and they brought that mentor relationship back to the core of the movie. It’s a good thing they did because it gives Cruz a wonderful story arc where it’s not just about her helping McQueen.


Cruz Ramirez’s Secret

In the footage presentation shown to us, the final sequence that we saw in Pixar’s private theater had Lightning McQueen and Cruz Ramirez getting into an argument. McQueen flat out tells her that she doesn’t understand racing because she’s just a trainer, and he’s sick of wasting his time trying to get her to understand where he needs to be in order to get his career back on track. Suddenly, Cruz loses her chipper personality and gets somber and serious.

Cruz Ramirez tells Lightning that she didn’t have dreams of becoming the trainer who prepares other cars to hit the race track. She wanted to be a racer herself. In this heartfelt scene, she explains how she loved racing growing up and saved all her money to go to the races and studied the sport her whole life. During this story she still refers to Lightning as Mr. McQueen, showing the respect that she still has for her fallen idol, even in this vulnerable time. She’s a car who has racing in her heart, and she wanted to be a racer because of Lightning McQueen.

Even though her family told her to “dream small,” she still persevered and made strides towards become a real racer. But when she entered her first race, she felt out of place. She says the other racers didn’t look anything like her because they were all so big and confident, just the sound of their engines said as much. And she gave up.

This adds such a meaningful layer to her character. Cruz Ramirez isn’t a character who was held back by a glass ceiling or adversity but only her own self-doubt. In comparing herself to the racers around her, she feels inadequate, out of place, and unable to follow through on her dreams. That’s something that anyone can identify with, but there’s a thread here, albeit possibly but doubtfully unintentional, that ties Cruz’s story to that of immigrant families and the difficulty children from these units have in succeeding because they’re intimidated by the status quo. This especially holds significance with a comedian like Cristela Alonzo voicing the character. Producer Kevin Reher even says:

“We were inspired by Cristela’s story. Stand-up comedy is an intimidating industry for a newcomer and Cristela had to find her way despite huge odds. Cruz’s passion for racing is pretty reflective of Cristela’s experience.”

Cruz Ramirez is a character that will resonate with anyone who has ever had self-doubt and lacked confident in themselves. It’s not just a character meant to appeal to female audiences, though that will be a side-effect of her creation, but a character that gives a voice to those who maybe need the right motivation and encouragement to succeed in following their dreams.

Cars 3

The Future of the Franchise?

Cruz Ramirez is a prominent character in Cars 3, but since we’ve only seen half the movie, we don’t entirely know where she ends up just yet. However, knowing her backstory and the obstacles that she has to overcome, I have a feeling that Cruz will eventually realize her dream to become a racer. In fact, since this movie is about Lightning McQueen, perhaps in the last leg of his career, I think this would be a fine time to pass the torch of the franchise from McQueen to Ramirez. And it seems as if Pixar might be thinking that too.

Right now there is a traveling Cars 3: Road to the Races tour that has life-size versions of Lightning McQueen, Cruz Ramirez and Jackson Storm for fans to see and take pictures with. What’s interesting is that Cruz Ramirez looks a little different than she does in all the footage that we’ve seen so far. Here’s an image of the real-life Cruz Ramirez:

Cars 3 - Cruz Ramirez Real-Life

Notice anything different from how she looks in the above images? Not only does she have those blue rims, but she also has some noticeable aesthetic changes that indicate she becomes a race car. Not only does she become a race car, but she’s sponsored by the big time fuel company Dinoco, the company that Lightning McQueen was so desperate to land in the first Cars movie.

This isn’t a look that we saw the character have in any of the footage screened at Pixar and there isn’t a single shot of her in the trailer with these modifications. There’s a chance this is just a cosmetic change to make her look a little cooler on display, but more than likely, it’s because, by the end of Cars 3, she finally follows her dream of being a racer. And who better to continue the Cars franchise than a character who had to overcome her own self-doubt in order to reach her goals.

Here’s hoping Cruz Ramirez actually becomes a racer and carries on the franchise. If you want to see Cruz in person, see where the tour is stopping through the spring and early summer over here. Otherwise, we’ll see what happens when Cars 3 arrives on June 12.

The post ‘Cars 3’ Character Cruz Ramirez Gives the Sequel a Big Heart, But She Almost Didn’t Exist appeared first on /Film.


Riz Ahmed Signed on to ‘Rogue One’ to Play a Completely Different Character

Riz Ahmed's original rogue one character

With Rogue One: A Star Wars Story available for digital download, we have been learning a lot more about John Knoll‘s original pitch for the film, Gary Whitta‘s original screenplay, and the pre-reshoots cut of Gareth Edwards‘ movie. The latest bit of trivia gives us some insight on who Riz Ahmed‘s character, Imperial pilot Bodhi Rook, was in the original plans for the movie.

Let’s run down the details about Riz Ahmed’s original Rogue One character and how/why the story evolved to what we saw on the big screen.

EW has learned that Riz Ahmed’s original character was “a crazed, imprisoned engineer named Bokan.” When the actor signed on for the film, it was to play a much different character than we see in the final film. He says:

“His name was Bokan, and he was actually Saw Gerrera’s engineer, living on a planet with a strong electromagnetic field, which meant that electronics were never working. He was actually an Imperial engineer who had been kidnapped and kind of had Stockholm Syndrome. He had been living there for so long, he kind of lost it, like Dennis Hopper in Apocalypse Now.”

Or perhaps like Samuel L Jackson’s character in the Apocalypse Now-inspired Kong: Skull Island.

In the earlier screenplays, Jyn Erso and her rebel team initially wrecked their U-Wing while trying to track down Bokan, who had knowledge about a Death Star exploit and was wanted by both sides of the war. Luckily, the ship crash-landed on the same moon that Gerrera was using as a hideout, where they had been trying to extract the desired information from the former Imperial engineer. This probably explains why Saw Gerrera’s alien Interrogation creature Bor Gullet had a bigger role before the reshoots.

Originally Gerrera operated out of a ship graveyard, which is part of the reason the Empire never found him. In this early version of the film, the rebel crew took an Imperial shuttle from the wreckage and used it through the end of the film. In the final version, you see this scene happen on Eadu.  Director Gareth Edwards explains how the character evolved through the process:

“With Riz, we needed a person that was stuck in this life with the bad guys. He had gotten there by accident and the only way he could survive was to play along. Deep down he had guilt. He was going to be one of those characters that was going to help turn this around. He wasn’t brave at the start but found bravery in the end. Even though we changed the literal character, that underlining concept stayed intact. We thought it would be stronger if he wasn’t Saw Gerrera’s guy, but instead he knew Galen. Those sorts of things changed, but the desire for them feels similar.”

And we know that the ending of the film was dramatically reworked by extensive reshoots that changed the geography and even deaths of the Rebel crew.

Bodhi originally died during the sequence where the former Imperial runs around with the plug (if you’ve seen the movie, you know the one). Apparently, there is even a one-minute long, one-shot take that was left on the editing room floor featuring “Bodhi ducking and diving from Stormtroopers” as he tried to “get the plug to where he wanted it to go while Chirrut and Baze were kind of flanking him.” Sounds like a cool sequence that, sadly, we’ll probably never see. At the end of it, Bodhi was shot and severely injured, forced to crawl his way back onto the ship before his triumphant final moment.

This all makes sense. In the final film, I do feel like Saw Gerrera and Bodhi Rook both feel like the remnants of previous drafts and ideas and never quite realized to their fullest. At least now I know why.

The post Riz Ahmed Signed on to ‘Rogue One’ to Play a Completely Different Character appeared first on /Film.


Guardians 2 Character Posters Flood Social Media

Check out all the Guardians 2 character posters. Which of the Guardians 2 character posters is your favorite?

Guardians 2 character posters showcase James Gunn’s cosmic ensemble

It’s a busy day for comic book movie posters! Not to be outdone by the Distinguished Competition‘s newly revealed Justice League design, Marvel has released a series of Guardians 2 character posters, each debuting through social media accounts tied to the film’s stars. So far, we’ve tracked down eight designs, but we’re likely still missing a few as Star-Lord and Drax are currently MIA. We’ll update the gallery viewer below with additional reveals as soon as they’re made available but right now you can check out Guardians 2 character posters featuring Baby Groot (via Vin Diesel’s Facebook page), Gamora (via Zoe Saldana’s Twitter), Mantis (via Pom Klementieff’s Twitter), Nebula (via Karen Gillan’s Instagram), and Yondu (via Michael Rooker’s Twitter) and Ayesha, Ego and Rocket (all via James Gunn’s Facebook).

RELATED: And Now, A Special Message From Starlord

Along with the posters, the announcement was made that movie tickets for Guardians will officially go on sale tomorrow, Friday, March 24.

Walt Disney Pictures and Marvel Studios production, the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 cast also includes Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket, Sean Gunn as Kraglin, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sylvester Stallone and Michael Rosenbaum.

Set to the backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.

Which of these Guardians 2 character posters features your favorite design? Let us know in the comments below and check back later as we’ll be updating our gallery with any additional posters.

The post Guardians 2 Character Posters Flood Social Media appeared first on ComingSoon.net.


1 2 3 4