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 animated 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, VFX animators 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 movie reviews on this site. The first reason is because there are hundreds of them going years back in my files, and the second is because if they were all here I’d be doubling up. Since 2001 I’ve maintained filmism.net, which contains movie reviews of every film I’ve ever seen on an ongoing basis, and that includes all my professional reviews.
How far back can we trace current trends in Hollywood? Digital filmmaking in the late 1990s? Talkies in 1927? Celluloid, Georges Méliès and the Lumiere brothers in the 19th century? How about an inexpensive action adventure yarn from 2004 that did okay with critics and so-so at the box office? … Continue readingBuilding the World of Tomorrow
In director Brian Kirk’s “21 Bridges,” Chadwick Boseman plays a very different kind of hero than T’Challa in “Black Panther”: He’s an intense New York cop tracking a pair of
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When thinking of Star Wars, we invariably think of a single name: George Lucas. And while Lucas is a natural-born world builder, many will tell you the influence that gave
Continue readingIn An Edit Bay Far, Far Away: Star Wars Editor Paul Hirsch On His New Book And Lucas’ Legacy
Filmgoers don’t know the name Paul Hirsch nearly as well as those of Brian De Palma, George Lucas or John Hughes, but after a five-decade career as a film editor,
Continue reading‘Star Wars’ Editor Paul Hirsch Shares Tales From the ‘Cutting Room’ in His New Book
On the 15th anniversary of “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow”, Drew speaks to writer/director Kerry Conran. Think of the technological advancements we’ve seen in moviemaking in the 125
Continue readingHow Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow Changed the World
Where do Gen X nostalgia and a new paradigm in documentary funding meet? With the new film In Search of Darkness, a look about 80s horror that asks the people
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With films easier to make than ever thanks to digital tools, there are more producers wrangling low/no budget movies every year, many with nothing more than a mobile and a Gmail address instead of the studio jet and a Feng Shui budget. They need people you’ve heard referred to by mysterious terms ‘backers’, ‘financiers’ and ‘investors’, but who are they? … Continue readingShow Me The Money
The features editor of the world’s biggest magazine sits down for a chat You’d think being Features Editor of the world’s most widely read movie magazine would satisfy any desire
Continue readingDrew talks to Nick de Semlyen about ’80s movies and Wild and Crazy Guys!
Since a ruling by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2014 that cleared the use of drones in film and TV production, the acquisition of footage by these unmanned flying machines
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When you consider the effect game engines will have on moviemaking, one term that might spring to mind is ‘flattening’. Not having to wait for render farms to spit out
Continue readingFun and Games