Author Archives: TBA

Is Hollywood Taking “Write What You Know” Too Far?

crashing excerpt“While the scripted versions of the behind-the-scenes world of entertainment can be insightful, it now feels like these kinds of projects are everywhere, to the point where even those of us who enjoy this kind of self-examination are throwing up our hands and wondering if it has all become overkill,” writes Neil Turitz.

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Bleecker Street Looks to Succeed Where Other Indie Distributors Failed

bleecker street excerptAs we march inexorably toward both the end of the Studio Series, we come to one of the most interesting entries of the entire enterprise. Bleecker Street is a new and exciting operation in the indie world that has designs on much bigger and more impressive prey, and ultimately succeeding where Broad Green recently failed.

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Everything I Know About Surviving the Apocalypse I Learned From Hollywood

mad max excerptWe live in troubled times. It’s on the news every day, we read about it, it keeps us up at night. Maybe it’s time to start thinking of survival plans, and who better to guide us than Hollywood?

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Glen Campbell’s Other, Equally Important Legacy as One of the Faces of Alzheimer’s

glen campbell excerptIn remembrance of country music legend Glen Campbell, Neil Turitz takes a look back at the documentary that depicted the star’s struggle with Alzheimer’s, bringing awareness to the disease and showing the power of filmmaking.

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Annapurna and Studio 8 Are Just Getting Started, But Can They Make It?

annapurna excerptIt’s one thing to take an existing company and examine its ups and downs based on a concrete history. It’s a whole other kettle of fish to utilize the same set of standards and apply them to a pair of companies that have no real track record at all, but which have declared themselves as major players in the arena moving forward.

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From “Mighty Ducks” to “Murphy Brown,” These Films & TV Shows are Begging for a Reboot

karate kidOn the heels of YouTube Red’s announcement to revive The Karate Kid as a new series with the original film’s stars, Neil Turitz gives a few ideas of where streaming networks should look to find their next reboot hit.

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Going to War Over Christopher Nolan

christopher nolanChristopher Nolan is regularly praised for his work, but not everyone is in love. Neil Turitz is ready to go to battle with Nolan fans as he gives some critical words to the acclaimed director.

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The Weinstein Company’s Struggles Continue, But Is There a Way Out?

the weinstein coExactly a year ago, when we took a look at The Weinstein Company during this Studio Series, we talked about the fact that the company was in the midst of a terrible year, and was strapped for cash. Three hundred and sixty-five days later, little has changed.

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Big Budgets, Television, and the New Indie Paradigm

valerian excerptIn a landscape where big names rule what was once a way to “break in”, Neil Turitz ponders what it means to be an independent film these days.

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Critics May Disagree, But Tom Rothman Is Leading a Strong Charge in Sony’s Franchise Hunt

sony excerptThe master plan Rothman has put in motion to set Sony up for future success might not be working so well at the moment, but the strategy behind it is sound, explains Neil Turitz.

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Focus Features Still Suffering Growing Pains at 15 (Studio Series)

atomic blondeIt’s tough to have one’s cake and eat it, too, but Focus is certainly trying. If you doubt it, look at the success of 2016 and, though the first seven months of 2017 have been the company’s worst since 2010, the list of upcoming releases is as impressive as anyone’s. In the 15 years since its creation, Focus it is responsible for some of the very best examples of what independent film is and can be.

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Batfleck, We Hardly Knew Ye

ben affleck excerptIn the midst of a mostly humdrum news weekend that was focused primarily on Comic-Con, a story suggested that Ben Affleck’s days are numbered as Batman in the DCEU. Everyone involved denied it, of course, when the question came up at the Justice League panel and presentation in Hall H on Saturday, but the writing has been on the wall for a while now.

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Isn’t It Fun to Be Shakespeare?

Will ExcerptRight now, William Shakespeare is as in vogue as he’s been in quite some time. There are two current TV shows about him, a plethora of stage productions (garnering attention for a variety of reasons), and several film adaptations in the works. Want a quality IP? Look no further than this dead English guy.

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Open Road’s Interesting Strategy Needs to Start Working Better — Now (Studio Series)

Open Road ExcerptWhat’s interesting about Open Road’s history is how much of an outlier a film like Spotlight was, and whether or not anything like it will come from them again anytime soon. Regardless, what is very evident is that the soft grosses of the last couple years can’t persist for too much longer, or else we could see Open Road fall to the second division of indie distributors.

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How Everyone Can Learn From the Genius of D23

D23 Expo ExcerptWhat Disney does is so darn smart. It shares the time and space with no one. While everyone else who might have something fancy to show is holding off until they head a hundred or so miles south, Disney is looking over all it has and holding out maybe one thing to tantalize the comic book crowd.

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These Emmys Might Mean More If the Voters Actually Watched the Shows

Gillian Anderson American Gods ExcerptThere’s a big difference between the Emmys and every other major awards show. Besides the TV half of the Golden Globes, only the Emmys allow for repeat nominees and winners, because every year, new content is being created for the same shows. Herein lies the issue. Emmy voters are lazy, and the question has to be asked whether or not the majority of them are even watching the shows for which they’re voting.

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Roadside Has Become More than Just Another Indie Attraction (Studio Series)

Roadside Attractions ExcerptA big part of success is finding the right plan and sticking with it to fruition. If we judge Roadside by that measure, and by the quality of the projects they put on screens, then we also have to acknowledge that Roadside Attractions is one of the better examples out there of just what an independent film distributor should be.

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“True Blood” Star Nelsan Ellis Dies at 39, But He Was Always More Than the HBO Show

Nelsan Ellis RIPAs it turned out, all the depth and complexities seen in Lafayette Reynolds in HBO’s True Blood were reflections of the man playing him, the late Nelsan Ellis.

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How In the World Is the Best High School Movie In Years a Superhero Movie?

Spiderman Homecoming ExcerptWhat’s amazing about Spider-Man: Homecoming is just how brilliantly the film captures the feeling, the spirit, the tone, the essence of high school, in a way that none of the other five movies featuring the character ever have. It’s at least partly, for this reason, that the movie was such a box office sensation over the weekend, because it was putting a new spin on an old character.

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Summer Movie Season Mid-Term Report: Franchise Fatigue — It’s Real, and It’s Spectacular

The Mummy ExcerptIf this is the midterms section of the summer movie season, we’re looking at a D, and that grade is right on the precipice of a D-minus. Because we’re bored. We are bored to tears of the same old, same old. It’s possible that the second half of the summer could surprise us and come up with enough hits to balance things out, but don’t count on it. Truth be told, it’s just too late to save 2017.

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Fox Searchlight Needs a Hit, But Luckily, There Might Be a Few On the Way (Studio Series)

fox searchlight excerptFox Searchlight is not in any trouble, but they need to make sure their miserable 2016 doesn’t become a habit. However, both the company’s history and its upcoming slate suggests the future is far more promising than the past.

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The Exec Shuffle – The Blotter Recap (06.30.17)

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 4.52.36 PMKeep up with what’s happening in the industry with the inside information on who’s getting hired, promoted, and let go. FX and BET have made multiple promotions and Jon Hookstratten joins Sony from Fox.

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The Launch Pad Pilots Competition Is Thrilled to Announce the Winners of 2017

2017 LPPC Winners Announcement 200x133The Launch Pad Competition in association with our partners Endgame Entertainment and Fourth Wall Management is pleased to announce our winners for the 2017 Launch Pad Pilots Competition.

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Marvel, Original Content, and How Edgar Wright Made the Best Move of His Career

Baby Driver ExcerptEdgar Wright did something right by leaving Marvel. MRC did something right by giving him the chance to do something different with Baby Driver, and Sony did something right by putting it in theaters for us to enjoy as proof that people still desperately want to see original content.

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“The White Princess” Star Jodie Comer to Headline “Killing Eve”

jodie comer excerptBBC America has tapped Jodie Comer to star opposite Sandra Oh in the dramatic thriller Killing Eve. The eight-episode series was penned by Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

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Netflix Developing “Tales of the City” with Laura Linney to Star

laura linney excerptArmistead Maupin’s Tales of the City is in the works for an episodic adaptation at Netflix with original castmembers Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis attached to star. The pair starred in miniseries adaptations based on the first three books in the series, with the first airing on 1993 on PBS, and 1998 and 2001 on Showtime.

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Cole Hauser, Wes Bentley, & Kelly Reilly Board “Yellowstone” at Paramount Network

cole hauser excerptUpcoming Kevin Costner-starrer Yellowstone is filling out its cast with Cole Hauser, Wes Bentley, and Kelly Reilly. The family drama hails from Oscar nominee Taylor Sheridan who penned and executive produces.

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J.J. Abrams & Stephen King Tap Melanie Lynskey to Star in “Castle Rock”

melanie lynskey excerptTogetherness star Melanie Lynskey has been cast as the female lead opposite Andre Holland in J.J. Abrams and Stephen King’s upcoming Hulu drama Castle Rock. The series also stars Sissy Spacek and Jane Levy.

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A24’s Rise to the Top of the Film World Has Been Fast and Furious (Studio Series)

A24 ExcerptIn the world of independent film, and the distributors involved, having a definitive identity is a major part of the battle. It’s a battle that, for now, A24 appears to be winning.

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YouTube Red’s “Step Up” Revival Adds Naya Rivera and Ne-Yo

naya riveraGlee alum Naya Rivera has signed on to star opposite Faizon Love in YouTube Red’s upcoming series Step Up: High Water, based on the popular film franchise. They are joined by recording artist Ne-Yo who will recur.

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