October 26, 1995 |
In this era of the celebrity film director, we've become accustomed to "the making of" shows that amount to half-hour commercials for the latest would-be blockbuster. It's refreshing, then, to hear directors talking at length about their early days, when they were on the outside looking in. Twelve such interviews, originally seen on the Movie Channel, appear on two tapes by Rhino Home Video (120 minutes each, $39.95, or both for $59.95) and will debut today under the name First Works.
January 14, 1989 |
"One of my close friends said I should go see a film at the University of Texas student union called 'Night of the Living Dead.' I went to see it, and I knew then what (kind of movie) I was going to make. That picture just flipped me out. It made me see how the horror genre could be given new life. "I'd already been working on a story about kids in isolation, and, after seeing 'Dead,' the rest of it just fell into place one evening in about 30 seconds, while looking at chain saws in the Montgomery Ward hardware department.
August 4, 2009 |
Georgie Roland went to L.A. to learn moviemaking, but he came home to small-town Pennsylvania to finish his film education. In the hardscrabble hills of northeastern Pennsylvania, Roland would shed the influence of Hollywood and teach himself how to tell stories about the way people really live. The result was The Town That Was, a documentary about the strange history of Centralia, Pa., a once-thriving mining town in Columbia County that sits atop an underground coal fire that has smoldered since 1962.
December 12, 1999 |
A month before a pair of former Penn State film-school students wrapped up filming a feature called The Hall Monitor, two teenagers at a high school in Littleton, Colo., shot and killed 13 people at the school. After the initial horror of the incident sank in, the filmmakers - Kevin Hartman of Audubon and Shawn Gioiosa of Altoona - felt another kind of dread: Who would distribute their movie now? Their fear turned out to be justified. Despite extensive efforts to market their satire on cinematic violence, Hartman, the film's director, and Gioiosa, the screenwriter, still don't have a deal - though they haven't given up on getting one. They know it's a tough sell: The Hall Monitor features a gun-toting pseudo-hero who keeps the high school corridors clear with a .44 Magnum.
May 11, 2012 |
PHILADELPHIA NATIVE Rel Dowdell had a fairy-tale baptism in the world of independent film. While at film school at Boston University, Dowdell pitched his idea for a student short film to Esther Rolle, expanded that to a feature called "Train Ride," released it on DVD and saw it heralded as one of the top 10 titles of the year for 2000. That's the good news. The bad news: Dowdell had exhausted his lifetime supply of good news. He was about to discover firsthand just how hard it is to make and distribute a truly independent movie.
November 11, 2010 |
At the Toronto International Film Festival, members of the media interview people from all over the world, but it's rare to interview them while they still have their luggage. Gareth Edwards was at TIFF to talk about his new movie, "Monsters" (opening tomorrow), and the Daily News caught up with him in the bar at the Hyatt Hotel, moments after he'd arrived from London. Fortunately, Edwards was able to sleep on his flight. With "Monsters" appearing in so many festivals, he's become accustomed to snoozing on planes.
February 8, 2000 |
As the son of a doctor, M. Night Shyamalan briefly considered a medical career. But by age 11, he was making movies with the family camera in the back yard of their home in Penn Valley. And in his graduation yearbook at Episcopal Academy in 1988, he listed film as his life goal. Yesterday, Shyamalan, now widely known as the writer and director of The Sixth Sense, returned to his alma mater to talk about his success, taking questions from 600 sixth through 12th graders. "As a kid, I loved Jaws and Raiders of the Lost Ark. I wanted to make those kinds of movies," Shyamalan said.
September 22, 2000 |
These are tough times for Hollywood - revenue is down, movies are bad, and D.C. politicians are hammering studios for pitching sleaze to kids. To politicians, the industry has responded with outraged denunciations of creeping censorship and indignant expressions of their First Amendment freedoms. It would be far easier to sympathize with their position if we didn't routinely have to sit through crap gobs like "Urban Legends: Final Cut. " Here's a movie that represents precisely what Washington says is wrong with Hollywood - a trashy production whose only purpose is to offer up grotesque R-rated violence to a teen audience.
November 3, 1995 |
Bill Haley made his first film when he was 10. He pilfered his father's old spring-wound Sears movie camera from the bedroom closet and cast his brother as a spaceman. When he was a teenager, Haley bought a Super 8 model and began imposing on family and friends. At age 32, his passion never having abated, Haley is still making movies. His latest, an hour-long feature called Love of My Life, will have its Philadelphia debut at 2 p.m. Nov. 11 at the International House, 37th and Chestnut Streets.
August 18, 1995 |
A young man from a tony neighborhood and the best schools is working as an advertising executive in Philadelphia when, one evening, he picks up a hitchhiker, a mysterious woman who makes perfume for a living. The woman invites him to her house in the suburbs, and before he knows it, he is traveling through dream worlds via her hypnotic fragrances. This is not the concept for a Calvin Klein commercial. It is the plot for an independent feature film by 22-year-old Bill Tomlinson of Gladwyne.