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.
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
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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
Continue readingFilm and TV Productions Are Using Drones for Scouting Locations, Lighting and More
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
As soon as the stunt axe hit him on the Malaysian set of the action/adventure film he was wokring on in 2011, stunt performer Destan Arslanoski knew something had gone
Continue readingWhen Stunts Go Wrong
In traditional filmmaking, once a script is written, the director and department heads break it down and figure out the costs and logistics of production. But if the screenwriter collaborates
Continue readingHow Writer-Crew Collaborations Are Changing the Script for the Creative Process
Though the future of filmmaking encompasses many changes, two that will affect it the most are the nature of the creator (ranging from auteur with a single vision to collaborative,
Continue readingThe Future of Filmmaking
If there’s one thing Lucasfilm has always been known for, it’s creating some of the most iconic stories, characters, and properties in the history of pop culture. If there’s something
Continue readingHow Lucasfilm Sued The Guy Who Made The Stormtrooper Helmets… and Lost
The complaints are nothing new: Hollywood doesn’t make mid-budget dramas anymore. The assembly line of superhero blockbusters results in bigger, louder and less coherent movies. Easily distracted audiences demand an
Continue readingVolume of Effects-Heavy Movies Threatens Perception of VFX
In 2011, a 22-year-old stunt performer from Australia named Destan Arslanoski suffered a career-ending injury while working on a film in Malaysia. Arslanoski says that the performer who was scripted
Continue readingStunt Performers Say There’s Not Enough Being Done to Address Risks of the Job