Watch: Take a Look Back at the Films That Inspired ‘Baby Driver’ and ‘Drive’

The origins of these stoic getaway drivers can be traced back to the samurai. Seriously.

Most good stories have lineage, meaning that they come from much older stories. It’s not that there’s nothing new under the sun, it’s that solid storytelling always circles back to a handful of origins. Take Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver, for instance, and Nicholas Winding Refn’s Drive. The films are united by their cool, silent, good-looking, somewhat mysterious protagonists, played with great restraint by Ansel Elgort and Ryan Gosling, respectively, who do little but drive criminals from one place to another and yet somehow manage to be the icy nucleus at the center of each film’s respective atom.

As Patrick (H) Willems astutely shows us in his new video essay, these two films both have their origin in a Walter Hill film from the late ’70s called The Driver, about a strikingly similar character. And yet the lineage doesn’t stop there.

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Is This Our First Look at Alden Ehrenreich in ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’?

Solo: A Star Wars Story First Look

We’ve heard plenty about next year’s new Star Wars spin-off focusing on Han Solo. After a troubled production saw directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller let go from the project, only to be replaced by director Ron Howard, the film wrapped back in October and was finally given the official title of Solo: A Star Wars Story. But when will we get our first official look at the movie? It might be today.

Thanks to a new piece of promotional material from the Hawkins Theater chain, it appears that we have been given the first image of Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo in the spin-off that dives into the smuggler’s origin story. Check out the Solo: A Star Wars Story first look below.

MakingStarWars had this photo of the Hawkins Theater promotional cup sent to them by Twitter user Mike De Rose:

Hawkins Theater Cup - Han Solo

As you can see, the cut isn’t just promoting Star Wars movies, but a bunch of the big blockbusters coming in 2018. Along with Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, we have Zoe Saldana as Gamora for Avengers: Infinity War, Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft in Tomb Raider, Eddie Redmayne and Katherine Waterston as Newt Scamander and Tina Goldstein in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Zazie Beetz as Domino alongside Deadpool on the far right.

Han Solo is the only character we haven’t seen in some kind of still released by the studio, but with all the trademarked characters on this cup, there’s little to no chance that this isn’t an official image of Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, even if it’s concept art instead of an stylized still photo. Hawkins Theater would get in serious trouble if they had trademarked characters on a promotional item like this without permission. That being said, this could easily be some kind of fan creation, since there are plenty of fans out there who like to play pranks on the internet like this for some reason.

We’re leaning towards accepting this as an official image, but hopefully we’ll find out sooner than later. MakingStarWars says this particular outfit is what Han Solo will be wearing in the third act of the movie, so we’ll be bound to see the smuggler wearing several different looks throughout his origin spin-off.

With Star Wars: The Last Jedi on the way, we’re not sure if Lucasfilm will tease the arrival of Solo: A Star Wars Story before the end of 2017. After all, we didn’t get the first Rogue One teaser until April of 2016 at Star Wars Celebration. But more than likely we’ll get some kind of look at the Han Solo movie before that, even if it’s just in the form of stills from the movie.

Solo: A Star Wars Story is slated to hit theaters on May 25, 2018.

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Documentarians – look to family stories for inspiration

The holidays are quickly approaching; for many of us, this means reconnecting with loved ones over hearty meals and meaningful conversation. This year as you sit around the dinner table, consider the stories that are shared and how they may find a life on film. Your next documentary project may be closer than you think. 

Strong trust leads to good access

In nonfiction storytelling, the term “access” refers to a character’s level of comfort with being featured in a story. When a character is supplying factual information – such as scientific evidence – strong access isn’t essential. However, when the character is putting themselves in an emotionally vulnerable situation – perhaps they are recounting a story about how they dealt with a difficult time in their life – strong access becomes an essential element of producing a compelling film in an ethical manner.

Unlike journalistic access, which typically only requires a one-time interview commitment, documentary access is not fostered overnight; instead, it is nurtured over months and often years of shoots and interviews. With time, the character becomes increasingly comfortable in the presence of the video camera, tending to open up and let the filmmaker deeper into their story. As the filmmaker becomes increasingly unobtrusive, the character lets their guard down.

In a healthy documentarian-subject relationship, interviewees must trust that their interviewer is going to represent them in an accurate and non-exploitative manner. However, when interviewing close friends or family with whom you have long-established relationships, this level of trust is often already present. This may allow you to bypass the length of time it takes to gain access, thus allowing you to focus your energy on telling the story effectively.

Access to home videos

Think of all the old VHS tapes collecting dusk in your parents’ attic. Or the bins of old photographs in your grandparents’ basement. Maybe you’ve forgotten about the photos and videos waiting to be uncovered on the camera rolls of your old phones and laptops.

Obtaining the rights to images and videos that don’t belong to you can be an expensive and time-consuming procedure; it is much easier to obtain permission to use videos that belong to people you already know.

Home videos can be powerful because they bring the past to life; when juxtaposed with present-day footage, the use of found footage can be a powerful method of showing your characters’ evolution over a period of time.

Family stories are exclusive

Filmmakers often dream of having the exclusive rights to a story, a phenomenon that occurs when a filmmaker has sole access to individuals with a compelling story. Having the exclusive rights to a story is a good bargaining chip when conferring with potential investors. You will need to be able to communicate why you – and only you – should be the one to tell the story. Without exclusive access, you will be unable to distinguish yourself from other filmmakers who desire to tell the same story.

Thankfully, unless your friends or family are famous or otherwise high-profile, you will likely be unrivaled for exclusive access.

An example:

In Memories of a Penitent Heart, Puerto Rican filmmaker Cecilia Aldarondo communicates her catholic family’s struggle to accept her gay uncle Miguel, who died of AIDS in the 1980s. Through photographs, audio recordings, letters, and interviews with family, Aldarondo reconstructs Miguel’s life, the conditions surrounding his death, and the disconnect between his legacy and reality.

Aldarondo is the only person who could have told her uncle’s story. She had the exclusive access to interviewing family members and rifling through old home movies. She had already built trust with her interview subjects, so she could instead focus her efforts on telling the strongest possible story.

Getting started

Think about a story within your family that only you could tell. Perhaps your family has a history of mental illness. Or alcohol abuse. Maybe political divisions have led to familial tension. Maybe you’re curious about an uncle’s early death, as Cecilia Aldarondo was. Consider the struggles that are unique to your family and consider how you may be in a unique position to communicate these via film.

A pre-emptive warning…

Relationships between filmmaker and subject can be delicate yet enriching. Documentary filmmakers are constantly walking the fine line between ethical storytelling and exploitation. They often develop very close relationships with their characters, yet there is also the potential for misunderstandings to give rise to hurt feelings. It is important that the characters you interview in your film understand your long-term plan for distribution. It is also important that they consent to the use of their image, likeness, and story.

There is more personal risk when making a film about close friends or family because you may strain relationships. Keep this in mind throughout all stages of production. Telling family stories can be extremely powerful if done right. Though it’s also important not to burn any bridges.

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How to Get the ‘Film Look’ Regardless of What Camera You Use

Whether you’re shooting on an ARRI Alexa or a Canon T3i, you can achieve the “film look” by putting these cinematic techniques to work.

We’re all going for the film look, but if you aren’t capturing their images on a powerful cinema camera like the ARRI Alexa or RED Weapon, you might think that this is a level of quality you’ll never be able to achieve. That’s simply not true. Though cameras do play a role in making an image look “cinematic,” there are so many other factors that play an even bigger one, and Jonny Von Wallström of Creative North talks about some of them in the video below.

When it comes to creating a cinematic image, there are several important elements that will dictate (more than your camera will) the look of your images: color, composition, camera movement, and lighting.

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First Look at Theo James and Emily Ratajkowski in Lying and Stealing

First Look at Theo James and Emily Ratajkowski in Lying and Stealing

First look at Theo James and Emily Ratajkowski in Lying and Stealing

Principal photography has begun on location in Los Angeles this week on the heist thriller Lying and Stealing, directed by Matt Aselton (Gigantic) from his script co-written by Adam Nagata.

Theo James (Divergent franchise, Secret Scripture, War on Everyone) stars as Ivan, a suave, young thief whose specialty is stealing high end art from the LA elite. It’s a dirty business, and business is good, but Ivan wants out. Elyse, played by Emily Ratajkowski (Gone Girl, Entourage) is an aspiring actress with a closet full of skeletons and a mountain of debt. Soon these two clever grifters decide to team up for one last, big daring heist. With money, incarceration, and lives on the line, their edgy plan tests their love and loyalty in this fun heist thriller set in a very contemporary Los Angeles.

The film also stars Fred Melamed (A Serious Man), Ebon Moss-Bachrach (Girls), Isiah Whitlock Jr. (Chi Raq), Evan Handler (Sex and the City, American Crime Story) and John Gatins.

Michael Costigan (Ghost in the Shell, Stoker, Brokeback Mountain, American Gangster, Dumplin’), Naomi Despres (Kill the Messenger, High Crimes, Zero Effect), Mohamed AlRafi (Above Suspicion, Dumplin’) and Asleton are producing. Theo James is Executive Producer. Global Road Entertainment (formally IM Global) has international rights to the film at AFM, with UTA Independent Film Group has North American rights.

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Final ‘Justice League’ Trailer Gives Us Our First Real Look at the Villainous Steppenwolf

Final Justice League International trailer

The release of Justice League is fast approaching, tickets are on sale now, and there’s a final international trailer loaded with new footage, including our first good look at the film’s big bad, Steppenwolf. So come together below and watch the final Justice League trailer.

It’s hard to believe Justice League is finally about to hit theaters. It feels like we’ve all been talking about this movie for the longest time, and now the big team-up of the DCEU heroes is mere weeks away. We’ve already had multiple trailers to give us a sense of what to expect, but a brand new final Justice League trailer has even more action-packed footage.

Justice League Trailer

Not only does this final international Justice League trailer give us new footage, it also gives us our first real look at the film’s villain Steppenwolf, played by Ciarán Hinds. Steppenwolf is an intergalactic threat to the Justice League, leading an army of Parademons (those winged creatures you glimpsed in the lengthy desert dream sequence in Batman v. Superman), who are on the hunt for three Mother Boxes on Earth. A deleted scene from Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice gave us the briefest of glimpses of the character, and previous trailers included quick shots and a few voice overs. Here, however, we see Steppenwolf in action, growling, “This world will fall, like all the others!”

The trailer also puts Gal Gadot‘s Wonder Woman front and center, which makes sense, since Wonder Woman was the only DCEU film almost everyone seemed to like. On top of all that, we get more Aquaman drinking and more Batman making jokes. But if you were hoping for some shots of Henry Cavill‘s Superman in action, you’re out of luck. All the trailers for Justice League have been low on plot and big on action, and this one is no exception. That’s not a criticism; it just shows that Warner Brothers and DC are working hard to keep most of the plot details secretive so they’ll feel fresh when audiences get their first look at the film.

Here’s the official synopsis, which is also vague enough to keep spoilers to a minimum:

Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s (Henry Cavill) selfless act, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) enlists newfound ally Diana Prince to face an even greater threat. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to recruit a team to stand against this newly awakened enemy. Despite the formation of an unprecedented league of heroes — Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and the Flash — it may be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

Justice League opens November 17, 2017.

The post Final ‘Justice League’ Trailer Gives Us Our First Real Look at the Villainous Steppenwolf appeared first on /Film.


‘BoJack Horseman’: An Inside Look at How the Show Makes Us Cry Over an Animated Horse

Director and animator Anne Walker Farrell discusses the challenges and mechanics of convincingly bringing a horse-man to life.

In the world of cinema, there are many filmmakers who will tell you that comedy is the absolute most difficult thing you can do. Evoking a laugh from audiences is nearly impossible. Other filmmakers will claim that good drama is the toughest thing to create. After all, getting people to buy into the lives of strangers for two hours is no easy task. But what about combining the two? Apparently, you should only try if you’re putting together an animated show about a world where anthropomorphic animals live alongside humans in peace.

BoJack Horseman is the story of a washed-up sitcom-star who now struggles to find his way in life as he battles through depression, anxiety, and issues of identity. It’s one of television’s most poignant shows, and it has the ability to make you sob in pain and laugh out loud within the smallest time frame in a way that no other show can.

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‘Will and Grace’ Revival First Look: Still Very Much The Same, With More Fox News Jokes

will and grace revival first look

Will and Grace have made a miraculous comeback, and it’s all thanks to a “Get Out the Vote” sketch. No one was expecting a late ’90s/early 2000s sitcom about two gay guys and their straight girlfriends to be so relevant in 2017, but a hop, skip, and a Fox News joke later, and we’re as timely as you can get!

The first look at the Will and Grace revival teased new footage from the series return on NBC this month, interspersed with some footage from the good old days when ’90s TV was slightly grainier, and the world was a little less terrible. At least Jack has Grindr now.

Watch the new Will and Grace trailer below.

Current jokes about Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s divorce, Newt Gingrich, and Fox News aside, it feels like Will and Grace never left. The preview features scenes updated for this time period, like the foursome playing Heads Up with a phone app for game night.

“He’s a man, but he has aged into a lesbian,” challenges Will (Eric McCormack).

“Steven Tyler! Jon Voight! Newt Gingrich!” Debra Messing’s Grace guesses, acing it on the last one.

More of your usual jokes from Jack about Will being an old, middle-aged lady, Karen jamming to a song on her headphones only revealing it to be Fox News, and Will’s obvious meta-joke:  “All the other times we’ve done this, we thought it would be different, but we knew it would be exactly the same.”

It’s on the nose, but it gets to the point: Despite updating for the modern era with a few jokes and a refurbished kitchenWill and Grace still feels comfortably the same — and that’s good. I was a casual fan of Will and Grace back in the day — though I admit, I didn’t get a lot of the “queen” jokes — and the tone and characterization is so spot on that it would seem like the sitcom was created in this decade. This benefits Will and Grace as one of the first series in NBC’s planned slate of revivals, as it proves that many of these classic comedies can be updated for modern times. Though it may also be a case of lightning in a bottle, as Will and Grace feels much more adaptable to today’s climate than Arrested Development‘s awkward revival ever did.

Plus, look at all the Grindr jokes you can make.

Will and Grace premieres Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 9 pm ET on NBC.

The post ‘Will and Grace’ Revival First Look: Still Very Much The Same, With More Fox News Jokes appeared first on /Film.


Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 6 Preview and a Look Inside Episode 5

Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 6 Preview and a Look Inside Episode 5

Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 6 preview and a look inside Episode 5

Following the fifth episode of Game of Thrones Season 7, HBO has revealed a preview for Episode 6 of the season. You can watch the Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 6 preview using the player below! Underneath, you’ll find an inside look at the fifth episode.

At the end of last season, Daenerys’ (Emilia Clarke) dragons and her immense army were finally on the way to Westeros, where Cersei (Lena Headey) has now become Queen after the death of her children. The Night King’s (Vladimir Furdik in season 6) army is heading south, and a battle appears to be imminent.

The show is based on the novel series “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George R.R. Martin. Last season, however, the TV series moved past the point where the books have stalled.

Returning series regulars on Game of Thrones this season also include: Emmy and Golden Globe winner Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Aidan Gillen (Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Diana Rigg (Lady Olenna Tyrell), Sophie Turner(Sansa Stark) and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark).

Additional returning series regulars this season include: Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy), John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth), Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth), Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei), Jerome Flynn (Bronn), Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont), Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark), Conleth Hill (Varys), Kristofer Hivju (Tormund Giantsbane),Hannah Murray (Gilly), Carice van Houten (Melisandre), Indira Varma (Ellaria Sand), Pilou Asbaek(Euron Greyjoy), Rory McCann (Sandor “The Hound” Clegane) and Richard Dormer (Beric Dondarrion).

New cast members for the seventh season include: Jim Broadbent, Tom Hopper, Megan Parkinson and Ed Sheeran.

The executive producers of Game of Thrones Season 7 are David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Carolyn Strauss, Frank Doelger and Bernadette Caulfield; co-executive producers are Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis, George R.R. Martin and Bryan Cogman; and producers are Chris Newman, Greg Spence and Lisa McAtackney.

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When It’s Time to Look Beyond the DSLR

I started my career before you could capture video on DSLRs. Right out of business school, I started shooting local cable commercials first on a 1/3rd inch chip Sony PD150 at the tail end of the “DV revolution” before graduated to an HDV Sony Z100 and then making my way to full HD 1/2 inch […]

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