Category: Film

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.

Ernest Cline talks Ready Player One

Writing a book is like getting to direct a movie on paper. You get to do all the special effects, cast all the roles, dress all the sets and do it all yourself with no limitations. It’s really freeing for a writer. Screenwriting is much more restrictive if you actually plan to produce the screenplay. I love getting to make movies, but books will always be my first love. … Continue readingErnest Cline talks Ready Player One

Screenwriter Zak Penn talks Ready Player One

When I first saw the movie I caught a glimpse in the race scene of a marquee that says, ‘Jack Slater in …’, a Last Action Hero reference [Schwarzenegger’s character in the film] that I had no idea about. I don’t think Steven did either. I saw the finished movie and I couldn’t believe they got it past because I’d seen every shot, so I just never caught it. … Continue readingScreenwriter Zak Penn talks Ready Player One

Charlie Clouser talks Jigsaw

They’re rock stars turned movie soundtrack composers, and they’ve helped usher in a new era where musicians weren’t just inspired by movies and scripts but the iconic sounds they forged with their respective bands. Mothersbaugh specialises in the kind of pacey, pop-art esoterica Devo was known for and Ross was known for the alt-industrial, paranoid patois of The Nine Inch Nails. … Continue readingCharlie Clouser talks Jigsaw