Movies were always my first love but I’d been a technology reporter for almost a decade before I broke into entertainment in a serious way. I never imagined it at the beginning of my career, but tech actually gave me an edge as a movie and entertainment reporter.
I not only joined the throngs of other stringers going to junkets to interview great directors, actors and writers, my experience with computers, software and devices gave me a unique grasp of behind-the-scenes tools and skills.
I talked to puppeteers and engineers about the renaissance in animatronic robots. I tracked down and spoke to the writer/director of the first movie with completely CGI backgrounds (and have the distinction of being the first reporter he spoke to since the initial release, so burnt was he by its handling and so appreciative of my approach).
I’ve talked to editors about their lives and times, VFX animators about realistic worlds and stunt people about the field’s inherent dangers and how the industry occasionally lets them down.
And when publicists and gatekeepers have blocked me from the people or material I need, I’ve gone ahead and written the story from my own knowledge or gone straight to the source.
One other thing. As a longtime film reporter I’ve also been a critic for several publications, but you’ll only find a handful of examples of movie reviews on this site. The first reason is because there are literally hundreds of them going years back, and the second is because even if they were all here, I’d be doubling up. Since 2001 I’ve maintained filmism.net, which contains the reviews of every new movie I see and every old movie I’ve watched and includes all my professional reviews.
Meanwhile, such classic tropes will outlive us all. Maybe in 2023 a bunch of Gen-Yers will take their kids to see the latest CGI action adventure blockbuster and snort derisively to each other ‘this is just Harry bloody Potter all over again’. … Continue readingIs Harry Potter a ripoff of Star Wars?
With films and TV shows full of seemingly “kick ass” strong female characters, are they really a sign of change? Shuri. Furiosa. Sarah Connor. Hermione Grainger. Captain Marvel. The last
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In films about the military, America’s forces play a surprisingly big role behind-the-scenes. We find out more about the Pentagon’s ties to Hollywood. War is one of the oldest genres
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Wining the 2013 oscar for best visual effects should have been a highlight of Bill Westenhofer’s career. Instead, the special effects supervisor for Life Of Pi was infamously played off
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“It was The Stand. I was 16 years old. It was the peak of the Stephen King miniseries era, and it was appointment television. My whole family watched it on
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How a low budget sci-fi satirising Reagan’s America busted blocks and spawned a movement. Star Wars. The Avengers. Harry Potter. When we think of entertainment empires an inexpensive, ultraviolent sociopolitical
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In a time of social distancing and stay-at-home orders, the demand for entertainment hasn’t gone away – it’s exploded. People all over the world, with more time on their hands,
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Drew speaks to the scriptwriter behind The Last Starfighter If you’re a hipster music fan you never prefer the huge, popular song by a great band. You like the small,
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Few mainstream action sci-fi movies satirize modern society as perfectly as RoboCop, which is why there’s still life in the franchise 33 years later. Original screenwriter Ed Neumeier is returning
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Even though options over popular works are usually in the low tens of thousands, Weir says there are writers around getting ‘hundreds of thousands’ of dollars every year for movies that will never be made. Lawson says options have become a ‘significant’ part of his income compared to his assignments as a journalist. … Continue readingBased on a true story…