Images In Production Interesting

The Bourne Ultimatum at Waterloo

I got the train into Waterloo this morning and as soon as I got off platform 10 I noticed that the crew from The Bourne Ultimatum were filming there today.

I saw director Paul Greengrass in discussion with actor Paddy Considine and later on noticed Matt Damon and producer Frank Marshall. They were filming there last October so maybe they are back to do pickup shots.

What struck me was how laidback (yet professional) the whole thing was. Despite the presence of a big star and one of England’s best directors, commuters went about their business as usual without causing any fuss.

Here are some pictures:

Director Paul Greengrass in discussions with actor Paddy Consindine

Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass in discussion with producer Frank Marshall (in the centre of the picture)

The camera and some extras

Poster informing commuters that filming is happening today

Some of the crew by the monitors

Some boxes and lights

Matt Damon (in the centre of the picture about an inch right of the “sale” sign)

The film is the third Bourne film (after 2002’s The Bourne Identity and 2004’s The Bourne Supremacy) and is scheduled for release later this year on August 3rd.

> Find out more about the film at Wikipedia
> IMDb entry for The Bourne Ultimatum
> Check out a set photos over at Flickr

Awards Season Interesting

Cuaron, Innaritu & Del Toro on The Charlie Rose Show

Charlie Rose hosts a roundtable discussion with Mexican directors Alfonso Cuaron, Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu and Guillermo Del Toro. They discuss their latest films (Children of Men, Babel and Pan’s Labyrinth), their careers and their friendships.


Amusing Interesting Technology Thoughts

Back to the Future timeline on Wikipedia

Have ever sat around with friends and discussed the Back to the Future films? When you get past which one is best, conversation usually turns to the impressively complicated logic that underpins the plot of the entire trilogy.

If you need to refresh your memory there is a terrific explanation of the timeline currently on Wikipedia. But as Cinematical have reported, it does beg the question of whether or not it should actually be there:

There is a massive and mind-bogglingly complete Back to the Future timeline on Wikipedia that is the effort of some seriously fanatical fans. It details events that were cut from the original scripts (for instance, did you know that Doc Brown and Marty met in 1983 when Marty showed up to sweep the Doc’s garage?), the animated series, and meticulous picking apart of the films themselves. It’s a real labor of love, and it’s in danger.

Wikipedia has some pretty strict policies regarding verifiability, and that leaves the BTTF timeline somewhere between limbo and a hard place. Check out the discussion page where people are chiming in on whether to keep the article or not. So far is a resounding “keep it!” but if you want to give your own opinion on the matter, roll up your sleeves and dive right in. Wikipedia is by the people, for the people.

I think I’m in agreement with my Cinematical brethren. It should stay, just because it adds to our knowledge of the film (one of the biggest films of the 80s) even though, on the surface, it may seem trivial. And surely knowledge is what the online encyclopedia is all about?

> The Back to the Future timeline on Wikipedia
> Discuss the issue on the relvant Wikipedia talk page
> Cinematical’s take on ths issue

Interesting News Technology

Google to buy YouTube?

Techcrunch and the Wall Street Journal are reporting a rumour that Google could be buying YouTube for $1.6 billion. Its overpriced but the Mountain View search behemoth can clearly afford it.

The big question if they do buy it, will be what they do about the potential copyright lawsuits that could be slapped on them by media companies whose content is all over the video sharing site like a huge rash.

I’m sure they know all this but maybe they have a cunning plan that involves cutting deals with the likes of Viacom and Time Warner in return for ads or video channels on YouTube.

> TechCrunch with the latest rumours
> The Wall Street Journal with the story
> The (London) Times with their take

Interesting Trailers

New Trailer for 300

Frank Miller’s graphic novel 300 is being brought to the screen by director Zach Snyder and Warner Bros have put up the latest teaser trailer on Apple Trailers.

They also have a production blog with video journals from the behind the scenes.

> Teaser trailer at Apple Trailers
> 300 on MySpace
> Official site for 300


Ten Films in the Public Domain

Chris Baker at Wired has compiled a list of the ten best movies in the public domain that can be downloaded via sites like or

They are:

1) Detour (1945)
Snappy dialog, femme fatale, guilt-ridden hero, flimsy sets – it’s protonoir that helped launch a genre.

2) Driller Killer (1979)
Abel Ferrara (Bad Lieutenant) directs and plays a homicidal artist. Not the 1948 dance hit Killer Diller.

3) Night of the Living Dead (1968)
George Romero’s gritty classic out-brains the avalanche of zombie flicks it inspired. Mmm … brains.

4) Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)
It’s a Wonderful Life is out of the public domain? So what. The interplanetary battle for Christmas rules!

5) Superman cartoons (early 1940s)
Modern superhero flicks got nothin’ on these perfectly drawn shorts.

6) The Battle of San Pietro (1943)
Forget Private Ryan and get into real WW II bunkers with this gripping John Huston documentary.

7) The General (1927)
Buster Keaton is still the king of physical comedy. This train-hijacking romp is his masterpiece.

8) The Lost World (1925)
We’ll take the stop-motion dinosaurs in this seminal f/x flick over Jurassic Park’s CG crap any day.

9) The Street Fighter (1974)
Quentin Tarantino’s idol Sonny Chiba literally tears bad guys apart in a graphic karate-palooza.

10) Reefer Madness (1936)
One puff of wacky tobacky turns Depression-era teens into sex fiends, pinkos, and jazz pianists.

My two favourites here are Night of the Living Dead and The General but Reefer Madness is also a complete hoot.

> Original article at Wired
> Wikipedia on the Public Domain and a comprehensive list of movies in it
> Watch The General at Google Video


The Three Mexicans

Thanks to Jeffrey Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere for linking to a very interesting LA Times piece by Reed Johnson on Mexican directors Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro and Alejandro González Iñárritu that discusses their films and the faternity that exists between them.

It reminded me of a BAFTA screening of 21 Grams back in December 2003. Cuarón (who at the time was filming Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkabhan) introduced the film and sat in on the Q&A afterwards with Iñárritu. They were not only intelligent and engaging speakers but their deep respect and admiration for one another was clear. Cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto (who has worked on all of Iñárritu’s films) also participated, even though London traffic meant that he turned up a little late.

I haven’t yet seen Babel or Pan’s Labyrinth but if either are as good as Children of Men then it will indeed be a remarkable trio of films from these directors.

> The LA Times article by Reed Johnson
> Official Site for Babel
> Official site for Pan’s Labyrinth
> Official site for Children of Men
BBC News article on Children of Men with cast and crew comments
> Jeffrey Wells interviews Iñárritu about Babel back in May
> Cuarón discusses his influences in a short interview with New York Magazine
> Anne Thompson also profiles the “Three Amigos” at the Hollywood Reporter
> Rodrigo Prieto discusses shooting Babel with with Debra Kaufman of

Interesting Useful Links

Viral Video Chart

If you want to check out the latest viral videos doing the rounds on the Internet this chart comes in handy. It tracks the latest videos people are watching on YouTube, MySpace and Google Video.

> Viral Video Chart
> RSS Feed for the chart


The 25 Most Controversial Movies Ever

Entertainment Weekly had a list of “The 25 Most Controversial Movies Ever Made” back in June but it got dugg recently so its worth linking to if you missed it.

Number 1 is rather predictable but there are some interesting choices, especially Alladin (!).

> The full list at EW
> BBC News on the list
> A list of banned films at Wikipedia

Interesting News

Footage from Death of a President

The Daily Mail have posted a clip from Death of a President, the new fictional documentary that imagines President Bush getting assassinated in 2007. Check out showbiz writer Baz Bamigboye’s blog for the link (and notice the disgruntled comments below his post, which might give you some flavour of how controversial this film is going to be).

> Clip from Death of a President
> The Daily Mail’s Baz Bamigboye on the film
> Wikipedia entry for Death of a President

DVD & Blu-ray Interesting

Side-by-Side Comparison Shots of Changes Made to The Empire Strikes Back

In case you weren’t aware, the original versions of the Star Wars trilogy are being released on DVD for the first time. The revamped versions that were released theatrically in 1997 and on DVD a couple of years ago so I have mixed feelings about it.

Are fans that keen to see the original versions? If they were that good, then why did Lucasfilm redo them in the first place? That said I’m sure they will sell by the bucket load when they get released next Monday. Anyway, if you are curious this image gallery compares the 1980 version of The Empire Strikes Back to the 2004 DVD release. (Link via Digg)

> Official Star Wars site explaining the new DVD releases
> Wikipedia on the changes in the different releases of the Star Wars films


Stephen Soderbergh interview in The Believer

I just stumbled across an interesting interview The Believer magazine conducted with Steven Soderbergh whilst browsing around Jason Kottke’s blog. He talks about a few different things ranging from Brokeback Mountain to films of his that failed like Kafka. But the bit that stuck out for me was how cheaply films he thinks films can be made for and the problems they face getting distributed:

BLVR: When you shot Bubble, how much did the camera cost?

SS: It’s like four thousand dollars. You could do the whole thing for ten thousand dollars.

BLVR: How much did Bubble cost altogether?

SS: One point six million. Because I paid people. There’s a tipping point. If you’re going to make a movie for ten thousand you can talk everybody into doing it for free. You could make a really good-looking movie right now for ten grand, if you have an idea. That’s the trick. I was watching Alphaville this weekend, and I’d love to do like a ten-minute version of Alphaville here in Manhattan. It’s so easy now. I don’t know what the ultimate result of that will be—whether you’ll see a sort of a film version of iTunes, where you can access things that have been made independently by people.

BLVR: Books, as well—you can self-publish your book easily, have them ship boxes of the book to you, but there’s no vetting process.

SS: You’re right. But then the question is—whose vetting process is this, and who are these people? A buddy of mine, I went and saw his art at DUMBO, and I asked him why his shit wasn’t showing in the big New York galleries. And he said he can’t get in there, he doesn’t know anybody. It’s just the way it works. Your response to that can be “Fuck them, I don’t need the imprimatur of a bunch of Manhattan gallery owners to know that I’m good,” and you’d be right. But if you’re a painter and you want people to know who you are and recognize your work, you’ve got to build some long-term value, you’re beholden to this cabal. I don’t know where the middle point is—“I can’t find anyone to vouch for the legitimacy of this thing that somebody’s asking me to download”—and access that’s being controlled by a bunch of people who, it’s possible, if you met, you’d actually hate.

I wonder if he is making an oblique analogy between New York gallery owners and Hollywood studios?

> IMDb entry for Steven Soderbergh
> Wikipedia entry for Bubble

Interesting Interviews

Samuel L Jackson talks about “Snakes on a Plane” to TalkSPORT

I interviewed Samuel L Jackson for TalkSPORT recently and we talked about his latest film Snakes on a Plane. We discussed the proposed title change (“Pacific Flight 121” just doesn’t have the same ring to it does it?), the enormous buzz about the film on the Internet and how marketing a film like this has changed in recent years. We also chatted his love of golf, the atmosphere of a Merseyside derby and whether or not “Snakes…” will be an inflight movie.

Coincidentally, the interview took place in the same TV studios where, 10 years ago, Samuel first expressed an interest in being in the Star Wars prequel which was in pre-production in the UK at the time. In late 1996 whilst promoting The Long Kiss Goodnight on the Channel 4 chatshow TFI Friday he told host Chris Evans that he’d like to be in the “new Star Wars movie” (which turned out to be The Phantom Menace). Someone saw that and word eventually got back to George Lucas who eventually cast him as Mace Windu.

Anyway, you can download an MP3 of the interview from the link below.

> Download an MP3 of the interview from TalkSPORT
> Samuel L Jackson at the IMDb
> Check out reviews and showtimes for Snakes on a Plane near you
> See the latest entries for Snakes at Technorati


How trailers are made

The LA Times has a short but interesting interview with Devin Hawker from Gas Station Zebra. They are a company that helps copy write and cut trailers and he explains the art behind creating one. He also reveals why footage sometimes appears in the trailer but not in the movie:

“When I talk to people outside the business they think that’s some sort of devious thing going on. But what happens is that [the filmmakers] are cutting the movie the same time we are cutting the trailer. It is a concurrent thing and so they are making their decisions and the studio is making theirs on what the trailer should be so a lot of times the trailer will go out and two months later they will pull something out of the movie.”

> Gas Station Zebra
> Apple Trailers
> Google Video Movie Previews (why didn’t they just call it “Google Trailers”?)


“Me” – A short film by Ahree Lee

Since 2001 artist Ahree Lee has been taking digital photos of her own face every day. In 2004, she compiled all of her daily images into a short film set to music. It is simply called Me and you can check it out here:


> More info on Ahree Lee at her official website
> Ahree Lee’s profile at YouTube


Richard Donner on the deleted scenes of Superman II


Interesting Lists

The Top 50 Movie Endings of All Time

Some folks at have come up with this list of classic movie endings. There are some great ones in here and – as usual with these kinds of lists – you can have a lot of fun disagreeing with the selections. (It goes without saying that there are a lot of spoilers here if you haven’t seen the films).


The original Marty McFly

Back to the Future helped Michael J Fox to become a big star but one lesser known fact is that Eric Stolz was originally cast in the lead role of Marty McFly. has some interesting images from the original scenes shot with Stolz before he got replaced. (Link via Digg)

> Eric Stolz as Marty McFly
> Wikipedia with more on Michael J Fox vs Eric Stolz