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Sarkozy Hires Glamourous New Minister

March 25th, 2009

Glamorous French TV news presenter and journalist Christine KellyNicolas Sarkozy, has just been picked by France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy to be part of his cabinet.

Christine, known for often appearing in pictures in her bikini, will become minister for overseas territories. Mr Sarkozy believes she will add to his ‘rainbow’ government because she is attractive and understands the modern world.  And I’ve just heard Fern Britton has quit This Morning and will leave in July….

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Posted in: International - Film & TV news

Block Bustin’

March 25th, 2009

Popcorn cartonDVD rental giant Blockbuster, is streaking ahead with technology which will allow it to sell and rent it’s movies and TV shows through TiVo.

New releases will be available two to four weeks after being available in stores, well ahead of pay-per-view. Addressing the trend towards downloading rather then renting from stores.  Charges will range between $1.99 – $3.99 (£1.37 – £2.74) for rentals and $14.99 – $19.99 (£10.30 – £13.75) for sales.  Staying-in is the new going out, staying on the sofa, is the new, going to the DVD store. Popcorn of course, is extra – ask mom!

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Posted in: US - TV news

New Model Crewbus

March 25th, 2009

Crewbus ImageBECTU  is soon to update it’s crew database, ‘Crewbus’.  Designed to enable employers to quickly find crew, it features 203 job titles including all camera, production and editing grades.

The new system will provide better functionality to make search results more accurate and will display a star-rating for relevance.  It will also let freelancers upload a showreel of up to 3 minutes.  The BECTU site also has useful info on rates, agreements and tax guides.

Crewbus is only available to BECTU members though, whereas at Production Wizard, we take anyone!

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Posted in: UK - Film news, UK - TV news

Alien Editor

March 25th, 2009

That iconic monster is raising it’s dribbling head again, this time in Brighton. Alien - Sigourney Weaver

Terry Rawlings, editor of Alien, Blade Runner and Goldeneye, among other classics, talks about working with Ridley Scott and about how the movie was put together, on this thirtieth anniversary of the film’s release.

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Posted in: UK - Film news

Film Council goes East

March 24th, 2009

As I write this piece, eleven UK film www.hkfilmart.comsales companies are chowing-down at the Hong Kong FILMART, Asia’s biggest and longest running film market and the Asia Film Financing Forum, courtesy of the Film Council.  It’s the fifth year the Film Council have supported UK companies at FILMART. The companies include, HanWay Films, Ealing Studios International, AV Pictures – sales agent for Lesbian Vampire Killers, and Goldcrest.  They will also be screening films by Terence Davies, Michael Winterbottom and Hunger PosterSteve McQueen’s excellent ‘Hunger’.  This is all to help UK companies access the huge Asian market, where Brit fare makes an occasional appearance with Quantum of Solace making almost $US2m in two weeks and Slumdog Millionaire currently passing $US2.5m in three weeks.

A ticket at a Hong Kong megaplex will cost you a modest £3.95 for a matinee to £4.83 for the evening show.  Plus popcorn of course.

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Posted in: UK - Film news

No Glamour on Idol

March 20th, 2009

Former employees of ‘American Idol’ are suing production company Freemantle Media North America, claiming they were overworked and underpaid. American Idol Staff who worked in various roles including, music coordinators and producers, claim they were working 24/7 without meal breaks, or proper rest periods and received no extra pay. They were even asked to falsify their time cards to make it appear they worked the statutory 40 hours a week.

In January, two similar suits against four major networks and production companies involved in reality shows who violated employment laws, were settled for $4 million.

That’s a big NO from the workers.         Simon Cowell was unavailable for comment.

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Posted in: US - TV news

Psycho

March 20th, 2009

Psycho Poster

I remember when Hitchcock’s Psycho first came out – I wasn’t actually there of course – but he made this most unique and creepy trailer. When it was actually released, there were many reports of people finding it so aweful, in the scary sense, that there were screams and people were fainting in the theatres. It was suggested of course that this was a publicity stunt, and then I read that people were fainting at UK screenings of Saw III. In Stevenage of all places, and then Peterborough and Cambridge. Ambulances were called. It may have been sickening, but really.

East Anglian Amubulance spokesman Gary Sanderson said, “In 19 years with the ambulance services I haven’t seen anything like this. There were three separate call-outs to the Cineworld cinema in Stevenage on Friday night.”

I thought this was just more PR, but then last night I saw ‘Watchmen’ in London – where we’re used to this kind of movie, and much to my dismay, one of my friends actually fainted. A guy. Now it was pretty violent to be sure, but really.

Watchmen Poster‘Watchmen’ is indeed a most excellent movie and I was amazed to see the list of end credits was probably longer than our entire Glossary! A crew of over 600, not surprisingly dominated by the Visual Effects department followed by the Art Department then the stunt team. The stunts were exceptional, as was the art department and the visual effects, some of which were done by MPC in Vancouver. Now MPC – the Moving Picture Company originated in London as a commercials company and are now huge in Visual Effects in London, LA and Canada. Indeed many pictures heavy on Visual Effects, farm-out work to many companies just to get it done so MPC London can work on projects from anywhere in the world. One area of movie making where there will always be jobs for people who like the dark.

My favourite ‘Watchmen’ credit was ‘Truck Costumer’ looks like we’ll have to update our glossary already, but let us know what you think they do. No prizes, just grateful thanks from our Glossary Editor.

In the UK, we rarely, if ever, have movies with such a large crew, but despite the downturn, business is still good. Last year there were 111 films made in the UK, some of course were foreign productions shooting here, but 66 were British films, including, Easy Virtue, The Damned United, Lesbian Vampire Killers, Bronson, An Education and of course Harry Potter and Quantum Of Solace.

The Film Council, does a huge job of promoting the UK to producers from the UK and abroad with info on tax incentives and a crew database.

So, a lot of productions and hopefully more this year, looking for crew – both for shooting, visual effects and other post-production roles. One Brit project already in pre-production is The Lost.

I was talking to an actress friend of mine who’s phone is always ringing, not a big star regretfully but I wondered how she does it, “Let people know you’re there” she told me. Simple. People need to be able to find you to offer you a job.

One great way of being in front of a lot of potential employers is to register your profile with Production Wizard. It’s free and allows you to detail many different skiils.

Keep watching.  Justice for all.

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Posted in: The Weekly Wizard

Bollywood Blackout

March 20th, 2009

With Hollywood concerned about running out of product to screen for 2010, Bollywood is set to have no new releases Mumbai multiplexin it’s multiplexes after April. This is due to an ongoing row between The United Producers Forum and exhibitors, in which producers want a 50-50 share of the box office. Discussions have reached deadlock while audiences will be reaching for the DVD shelves to get their regular dose of Bollywood action.

Go here for a great piece from the Weekly Wizard

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Posted in: International - Film & TV news

Picks and Shovels

March 18th, 2009

BE076805There always seems to be many, many training courses around for television and film roles. Skillset strive to make sure there are courses available to provide training to specific industry standards, including sound recording, Avid Editing, along with a huge list of camera courses and Skillset’s training subsidies become available from April. They also have a course accreditation scheme which requires a course to reach a certain standard of excellence to become accredited. Others include Raindance – more creative, directing, writing etc, and on Mandy, more choices again. But which ones are most beneficial and value for money?

In the days of the American gold rush it was said that the people who made the most money, were those who sold the picks and shovels. So which of the many courses on offer are worth your hard-earned cash? Let us know.

Let us know which courses you’ve done, and if you’d recommend them.

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Posted in: UK - TV news

Comedy Tiger

March 18th, 2009

Horne and CordenUber production company Tiger Aspect have finally put a new name on the door of Creative Director Comedy, and the name is…Ben Cavey, producer of Horne and Corden’s new BBC 3 sketch show. Cavey’s interest in comedy goes way back to working on the live comedy circuit and he’s been with Tiger Aspect since 2005, previously at Box TV. Cavey said, “Comedy at Tiger Aspect has never been in a better shape so I’m really excited about the new position and working with the team here to make shows that push creative and artistic boundaries in new and exciting ways”

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Posted in: UK - TV news

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