Emmy-nominated DP Michael Goi says persistence is key.
Michael Goi, ASC has an impressive slate of TV credits to his name, including popular hits like Glee, The Mentalist, and American Horror Story. His track record is in part what led to his service as President of the American Society of Cinematographers from 2009-2012. But the success didn’t come overnight.
In an ASC Masterclass series, Goi reveals his humble beginnings and what he did to move up. The main key, more than talent and creativity? Persistence.
“When you move to Los Angeles, you’re starting over again at the bottom.”
When he first moved to LA, he recalls, “For six months, I lived on the two hot dogs for 99 cents at the A&P…but I refused to leave and I refused to give up.” And this was after he already had 300 commercials and six features under his DP belt. “When you move to Los Angeles, you’re starting over again at the bottom,” he said.
One of the most amusing things about watching the construction of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at both Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World in Florida has been seeing familiar designs take shape in the middle of active construction sites.
Now, a new Star Wars land construction photo hints at another location guests will probably visit during their journey: the interior of a First Order Star Destroyer.
Like other theme modern park lands, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will offer an immersive experience that includes dining, drinking, shopping, and simply existing in an exacting replication of a beloved fictional world. It will also include two major rides at opening: one that puts you in control of the Millennium Falcon and one that will put you in the middle of a battle between Resistance and First Order forces. The latter, which has become known as the “Battle Escape” ride amongst theme park fans, is our focus today.
Check out the construction photo below from MouseInfo, who note that the distinct shape of that interior wall looks an awful lot like the docking hangar of the Finalizer, the Star Destroyer commanded by Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
There’s not a lot we know for sure about this still untitled (at least in public) attraction, but we do know that it will employ that new-fangled trackless technology that powers next-generation rides like Hong Kong Disneyland’s Mystic Manor and Disneyland Paris’ Ratatouille attraction. Rather than follow the same path every time, this tech allows vehicles to change paths, rotate and turn at different times, and communicate with other vehicles to provide near misses and coordinated movements. It’s cool stuff, especially since the ride vehicles themselves will be “piloted” by an astromech droid.
And it’s those ride vehicles themselves that actually make it pretty clear that this is most likely the Finalizer and that this is most likely the setting of the “Battle Escape” ride. After all, a model of the ride vehicle at D23 noted that vehicle is a “First Order Fleet Transport” and is used to “traverse the interiors of massive ships.” Oh, and they’re programmed with access codes allowing them to get around easily, which is pretty convenient for a theme park ride!
So, Disney is building a ride where guests escape a big battle in a vehicle used to transport First Order troops around ships. And Disney is currently building a structure that looks very much like a Star Destroyer from the new movies. We may not know the specifics, but we can put two and two together: this ride will almost certainly send you driving through the interior of the Finalizer, trying to escape as war rages around you. And past construction photos seemingly promise that First Order walkers will be involved as well.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is currently under construction on both coasts with an estimated 2019 opening date.
Sony Pictures is setting and shuffling a handful of release dates for upcoming movies in 2018 and 2019.
Sony and their Columbia Pictures banner have set a release date for their second Spider-Man spin-off Silver and Black, as well as the sequel to the hit drug trafficking thriller Sicario. Meanwhile,the release dates for Barbie and Bad Boys 3 have been shuffled around along with a few more projects in the coming years. Get the Silver and Black release date and more information below.
First up, Sony Pictures seems to be going on all in this separate Spider-Man universe that will not be tied to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, nor involve the webslinger himself. After setting Venom starring Tom Hardy for an October 2018 debut, the studio has now staked out February 8, 2019 as the release date for Silver & Black.
For those who haven’t kept up with the title, Silver and Black will bring together two characters from Marvel Comics who frequently showed up in Spider-Man story arcs. There’s Silver Sable, a mercenary who hunts down war criminals, and Black Cat, a master thief not unlike Catwoman whose secret identity is Felicia Hardy, a character who became a love interest for Peter Parker in the comics. Beyond the Lights director Gina Prince-Bythewood is slated to direct, but we have no details on the story just yet.
Next, Sony Pictures also brought some bad news for Bad Boys fans eagerly awaiting a reunion of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. Though the sequel titled Bad Boys for Life had been set for November 9, 2018, it has now been removed from the calendar entirely with no replacement date named yet. The movie has been pushed back several times now, and it’s starting to feel like a pipe dream rather than a project that will actually happen.
There will still be some action to behold from Sony in 2018 though as the Sicario sequel directed by Stefano Sollima has been slated to arrived on June 29, 2018. The film has been officially called Sicario 2: Soldado, and it brings back Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin from the first movie, but Emily Blunt is sitting this one out.
Meanwhile, a few films have been delayed on Sony’s release calendar. The big screen Barbie movie has been pushed back to August 8, 2018 from a previous June 2018 date. Alethea Jones is still set to direct with Anne Hathaway playing the title doll from Mattel. Breaking Bad director Michelle MacLaren‘s feature film debut The Nightingale will arrive on January 25, 2019 instead of the previous August 2018 date, and the comedy Holmes and Watson with Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly as the detective duo (respectively) will now arrive on November 9, 2018 instead of the previously set August 2018 date.
Sony Pictures hasn’t had the best year in 2017, so hopefully their schedule for 2018 will offer up more positive results for them at the box office. Unfortunately, they won’t have an official new Spider-Man movie to help them, but maybe Venom will work out for them instead.
Can you believe it?! I don’t know if I do?! Reports are going around that Studio Ghibli has re-opened its doors, started hiring a new team of animators, and will soon start working on a brand new project. It was massive, heartbreaking news a fear years ago when legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement (after finishing The Wind Rises in 2013) and then subsequently the studio he helped start, Studio Ghibli, decided to stop making new films and instead focus on monetizing their old filmography. In the last few years, Miyazaki kept himself busy by making an animated short film for the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo. But now the studio is back from the dead and Miyazaki has a new idea for a film, which is what this is about. ›››
Japanese horror auteur Yoshihiro Nishimura’s latest, ‘Kodoku Meatball Machine’, confirms his rep as a wizard of carnage.
Filmmaker and make-up artist Yoshihiro Nishimura lives by his own rules. Known affectionately by fans as the uncontested godfather of contemporary Japanese horror, he’s responsible for cult classics such as Tokyo Gore Police and Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl. A glance at his IMDB page shows just how influential he’s been as a make-up artist: a veritable wizard of carnage. Japan’s Tom Savini.
Wherever Nishimura dives in, he makes a huge crimson splash—but he’s far more than just a bloody face. A bonafide jack-of-all-trades auteur, he’s a DIY screenwriter, producer, director, make-up artist, FX master and editor. Even better, in the process of achieving all that with minimal outside assistance, he has developed an unmistakable—and surprisingly hilarious—style. His latest victim is the Fantasia Film Festival, where his Kodoku Meatball Machine had a standout North American debut this past month.
Dementia 13: Remake of famous Corman/Coppola shocker coming from Chiller Films
Director Francis Ford Coppola‘s 1963 shocker Dementia 13 was quickly thrown together by the young filmmaker (his first feature, outside of an earlier nudie Tonite for Sure) at the behest of producer Roger Corman, who was mentoring the young filmmaker at the time. The crew was in Ireland and finished shooting The Young Racers early and Corman pushed Coppola to whip out a Psycho-riff quick. He did. And many cite the results as one of Coppola’s best films.
Now, 54 years later, Chiller Films have announced that they will be releasing a remake of the shuddery, black and white psychodrama in theaters on October 6, 2017 and on VOD and Digital HD on October 10, 2017. This retelling is directed by Richard LeMay (The Dark Rite, Naked As We Come) and is written by Dan DeFilippo (The Invaders, Chilling Visions: 5 Sates of Fear) and Justin Smith (Siren, The Boy). The cast includes Julia Campanelli (Walking Away), Ana Isabelle (The Eye, Lost Cat Corona), Marianne Noscheze (Horror Time), Channing Pickett (Redheads Anonymous) and Christian Ryan (Celebrity Ghost Stories).
In the original Dementia 13, Luana Anders murders her husband and ventures to Ireland to his family estate where she is menaced by his disturbed family and then beheaded by a roaming axe-murderer. In this remake, a vengeful ghost, a mysterious killer and a family brimming with secrets converge in one night of terror. Dementia 13 is produced by DeFilippo and is executive produced by Smith.
FRIDAY AM UPDATE: War for the Planet of the Apes got off to a strong start from Thursday night previews, delivering $ 5.012 million from shows beginning last night at 7PM in 3,251 locations. By comparison this tops the $ 4.1 million preview gross for Dawn of the Apes, which resulted in a $ 72.6 million opening as well as the $ 3.7 million preview gross for Kong: Skull Island earlier this year, which led to a $ 61 million opening. As for Broad Green’s Wish Upon, it delivered $ 376,000 from pre… Box Office Mojo — Top Stories
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:
What a crazy few weeks it has been for Hollywood. As we all know, directors Phil Lord & Chris Miller were shockingly fired from Disney’s still-untitled Han Solo project a few weeks ago. It was shocking because they were already several months into filming the new Star Wars Story movie, with only a couple of weeks remaining. Lucasfilm eventually announced that Ron Howard had been hired to replace them. Lord & Miller aren’t the first directors to not work well within the studio system as of late. Jon Favreau, Edward Norton, Patty Jenkins and Edgar Wright have all faced similar problems in recent years. So, are auteur filmmakers doomed? Let’s take a look at why studios like Disney & Marvel still need auteur filmmakers. ›››