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Entries in King Dong (63)

Saturday
Dec082012

What Happens on a Film Set is None of Your Business! -- According to Daniel Craig

I’ve seen bloopers from many films -- some entertaining such as those from the comedy “Liar Liar” starring Jim Carrey and others that were boring including some of the “Bad Boys II” outtakes. Who hasn’t? No matter how funny or amazing or silly blooper reels are to watch, however, they’ve long since lost their novelty; still, movie goers expect to see them -- if not during the promotional period leading up to a film’s release -- at the very least, on the special features menu of its DVD.

If you’re a James Bond fan, you may not want to hold their breath waiting to see any “Skyfall” bloopers -- not now or anytime in the near future. Actor Daniel Craig, star of this twenty-third James Bond film, says the cast and crew were treated to a hilarious blooper reel during their wrap party -- but, no one outside of that group is going to see them. When it comes to audiences’ inability to access these types of extras, Craig wouldn’t have it any other way...

© 2012 Sony Pictures Digital Inc. All rights reserved. / Danjaq, LLC, United Artists Corporation, Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.“It’s what happens on a film set. You want to be in film? Get a job. -- People are like, ‘Show [the outtakes]!’ And it’s like, No! It’s a secret. It’s like smoke and mirrors.

It’s like that magician thing of giving the gag away. I really kind of respect that -- I think it’s great that you can keep a secret. ‘How does that trick work?’ None of your business!” - Daniel Craig

While I understand the importance of preserving the magic of movies, I also believe that showing bloopers from any film -- including a James Bond movie -- does not detract from the amazement of the final film itself nor does it give audiences an all-access pass to the inner workings of a movie set. If anything, it makes people more in awe of the magic and keeps them on the edge of their seats in anticipation for what comes next. Either that, or it makes them want to rewatch the film and brag to their friends about the fact that they know some juicy details about the making of the movie. Of course, this is assuming that the blooper reel is any good or worth watching at all.

There are times when sharing details about the making of a movie does more help than harm. “Life Of Pi” has a whole marketing campaign centered on how Ang Lee’s special effects department built a computer generated tiger -- going so far as to promote itself as the next “Avatar” -- another movie that didn’t hold much back in terms of telling and showing audiences about all of the fancy things that James Cameron and his production team did to make one of the most expensive movies ever released. No matter how much (or how little) I already know about the making of “Life Of Pi,” I’m still celebrating my birthday weekend watching it -- in 3D!

Having had the pleasure (and unfortunate displeasure at times) of making my own films, I know that there are tidbits about the scenes (such as having to reorder a key prop because the first one arrived broken or the wrong size; two actors started fist fighting, the caterer got punched in the process and called the cops) and related things that probably happened on the “Life Of Pi” movie set that none of us will ever know. Now, THAT’s the kind of stuff that people do have to literally work in film to find out.

What are the funniest movie outtakes that YOU ever saw?

Thursday
Nov292012

The Daniel Craig “Method” of Filming a Scene - Do Whatever Works! #indiefilm

"Method actors suggest that you do sense memory exercises every time you do a scene. I use every method I can. Whatever works, I'll use." - Daniel Craig on his nameless role in the gangster film "Layer Cake."

While initially shooting the main scenes for a short motion picture that I’m working on, it has become obvious that some of the rules taught in schools and books about production need not apply to this particular project. Blocking scenes -- an often essential part of the moviemaking process, is one of these rules. Most filmmakers, film professors and related experts will probably tell you that blocking is necessary for everyone including cast and crew to know where to stand or which directions to move in a scene.

Yes, blocking makes things move quicker and easier since people know how they are going to fulfill whatever role they’re playing (acting, makeup, focus pulling, cinematography, etc.) in the production. I won’t deny that. Blocking can also cause confusion, divides focus and lead to actors forgetting other important parts of the scene, such as the dialogue -- something that was brought to my attention this month. On this current project, I’ve started to realize that sometimes, blocking is not a useful method for which to set up some of the scenes that we’re shooting.

British actor Daniel Craig, who plays James Bond in “Skyfall” does not adhere to one particular method of preparing for a movie scene. Instead, Craig utilizes whatever helps him get into character for the particular role and production that he is involved in. Perhaps, it would do many filmmakers some good to take a page from his book of setups and preparation -- including me.

For the most part, it does not matter how you get to your destination, so long as you make it there. What started out to be so simple in concept became a little more involved than I anticipated. Now, I must adapt and adjust where necessary to make sure that the bigger picture is not lost in the shadows of minor details like whether a guy sips his cup of tea before or after he walks through a door. It doesn’t really fucking matter -- just get him moving; and no, this scenario is not from the production I’m in the middle of now. That would be too easy.

Thank You all for visiting and interacting with this blog. I know that it’s behind on the Monday Movie Meme (let’s just skip this week, ok?) and the King Dong series among other posts. I will do what I can to keep this thing going and not lose my mind in the process.

If you have any requests with regards to these blog series or any others (movie cocktails, reviews, festivals, events, interviews, etc.), feel free to send them my way.

Sunday
Oct142012

It's that Extra Mile that Counts - Words from an Oscar Nominee

"Sometimes in life you have to give that extra 5 or 10 percent, and that really makes the difference.” - Jeremy Renner

Actor Jeremy Renner at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards. Photo Coutesy of WEBN-TV.Some movie goers may be surprised to learn that Jeremy Renner was an savvy real estate expert before becoming the action star he his today -- the kind of action star who also receives Academy Award nominations and performs his own stunts. If his Esquire Magazine cover story is any indication, however, Renner’s experience flipping houses has not only aided in the progression of his film career but also offers some mighty useful lessons on the importance of taking calculated steps toward specific goals.  

Renner says "Architecture and building is about how you get around the obstacles that are presented to you -- That sometimes determines how successful you'll be: How good are you at going around obstacles?" and he sure does know a thing or two about getting around obstacles. When Jeremy Renner was first starting to get noticed for his acting work, a stalker fascinated with Jeffrey Dahmer stole his cat and then, using a contract for his role in the crime-thriller ‘S.W.A.T,’ he managed to obtain enough capital from a bank to purchase a home -- despite having only $200 to his name at the time.

That one purchase eventually led to him buying, renovating and selling over one dozen houses for millions of dollars -- during the same time when he wasn’t even earning more than mid five figures for his acting work on some of the most critically acclaimed films with million-dollar budgets. Although Renner, who is not in favor of gambling in the stock market, made enough savvy investment choices in the real estate market to turn a profit, he still maintained a modest lifestyle -- even sleeping on plastic-covered mattresses in the very houses he was renovating, and using the bathroom at Starbucks when these properties didn’t have plumbing.

You’d probably never guess that Renner was attending red carpet events as a tuxedo-sporting Academy Award nominee who didn’t have lighting in his own home -- but this is an actor who sees the bigger picture and focuses on that. Jeremy Renner seems like a guy who would rather sleep on the floor in an empty home that he owns than pay to rent rooms at lavish hotels, despite the fact that he could afford it, even with the little bit of money coming from Hollywood.

Affordability appears to have never been a big deal to Renner, more so than having options to help further his next move, whether that be in film or real estate. The money coming in from selling houses gave Renner more flexibility when it came to choosing the kind of acting roles he could play and then parlay his talents into even bigger opportunities from one film to the next. He hasn’t needed to accept a role out of desperation and still managed to go from playing a cannibalistic serial killer in ‘Dahmer’ to doing fight scenes with Tom Cruise in ‘Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol’ and then becoming internationally known as a superhero in ‘The Avengers.’

The advancements that Jeremy Renner has made so far in his career couldn’t be planned any better. Much like the real estate business, however, there was no way for Jeremy Renner to guarantee that he would do well in the film industry. All he could do was put his best foot forward and let the chips fall where they may. “The Avengers” could have bombed at the box office and “The Bourne Legacy” could have been a flop but Renner took a gamble on his most valuable asset -- himself -- and it paid off well, literally (His earnings from “The Bourne Legacy” makes what he was paid on “The Hurt Locker” look like lunch money) and figuratively.

Every time they bought a new house, Renner and his partner-friend would meet at a diner where they used napkins to map out plans for turning it into the kind of property that they want. When the house sells, this duo got more out of if than they put into it where finances are concerned, but, there is no price that one can put on their sweat equity during the renovation process nor the sacrifices they made (going without power and plumbing; sleeping on floors to save money, etc.) early on in the game. Adopting the same practices for almost any area of life are bound to bring us similar results.

If there is a lesson in this for us to learn, it is that of not only realizing the importance of knowing where we want to go, but also to know how we’re going to get there and then do it. Who knows, if we add on a little five to ten percent of extra effort, maybe, just maybe, we might land on or near our target. I guess it’s better to be closer to where you want to be than far away, doing nothing and wondering what could’ve been. So, I’ll try to keep this in mind when I think I’m moving too slow because slow motion may be better than no motion at all.

What is YOUR favorite Jeremy Renner performance to date?

I liked him in "The Bourne Legacy," but "The Town" still wins in my book.