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Fumbling the Ring: New Line Pt.2

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

With Peter Jackson’s second Tolkien trilogy about to hit theaters, it seems a good time to reflect on another part of my New Line experience. Like the last time, it involves Lord of the Rings, but unlike last time this is more of a cautionary tale.

The Proverb says pride comes before the fall. This was true in the case of New Line. To me, a clear symbol of this downfall was a Ring… not the One Ring of Sauron, but a custom made ring on the finger of the company’s founder, Bob Shaye.

After the LOTR Trilogy made Billions in the theater, and Return of the King swept the Oscars with 11 wins, New Line was the talk of the town and riding high. This mini-studio, with rented office space and also-ran status in the Time Warner Universe, had pulled off a coup. And those at all levels of the company were quick to believe the hype that New Line had been the vital component in this rousing success.

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I’ve been Punk’d

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Celebrity is one of the things I find fascinating and infuriating about our society. People who are our entertainment have now become our idols. It’s as if the court Jester ( a slave-like role in its day) has now become the champion of the kingdom.

And the phenomenon has turned the corner from people famous for doing something we love, to people who are famous for just being famous.

Which leads me to my recent irksome line of questioning:

What is Ashton Kutcher known for? Why is this guy famous?

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Green Means Go (FoF#3)

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

Looking at the date, I realize it’s been almost a year since my last update on this topic.

And now, for actual certainty, I can say that “Fight or Flight” is being made.  Of course, there’s a lot of days and updates and Hollywood madness in the past year.  Generally, I didn’t post any of that information because so much of it was talk instead of reality.

If you’d like to start at the beginning of all this, click HERE.

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Porn For Everyone

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Yep. I said Porn. For Everyone. And to those of you who are already either offended or embarrassed… I do have a point to make here.

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Carried Away…

Friday, May 29th, 2009

picture-3My wife and I went and saw “UP” on opening day. In 3-D no less. And I won’t fill this entry with all the reasons why Pixar is in a class by themselves, or why they are able to avoid the story stupidity and low-brow mimicry of typical studios. Suffice to say… they know how to tell a good story.

When it was over I found myself not just thinking about “Up” or Pixar, but my personal connection to movies. More specifically… why films can make me cry. Click to continue »

Fear. Hope. And “The Redemption”

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

I’ve had an odd experience in the last week or so… I’ve fallen in love with movies again. Seems strange to say it, as a filmmaker – and as a guy about to direct a feature. But there it is.

You see all the years of working at a Studio: …watching everything New Line released 20-50 times…. getting buried in the minute technical details… breaking things down to their lowest pieces…
Like looking at a masterpiece and only noticing the brushstrokes, or absorbing a moment of musical genius and only hearing the hiss from the analog recording.

Yes… there were a lot of bad movies in there too…

But in the last week, for various reasons… I’ve revisited ones I like, or ones I’ve always wanted to see. And I’ve found the wonder in it again.

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The Logic Vacuum…

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

When I left New Line Cinema in June of ’07, and I was seriously considering writing a book about the idiocy I saw everyday in the way the studio was run.

A year later, June ’08, New Line was officially closed and folded into Warner Bros, leaving nearly 600 people without a job.  Suddenly my book idea seemed like sour grapes.

I did learn a lot at New Line.  And I lived and breathed feature post production for a long time.  So now that I’m working Freelance I’ve come across a consistently strange misunderstanding.

There’s a term in Post Production called “Picture Lock”.  And as a writer I’m a guy that thinks words mean something…. Picture (the film, the edit choices, the way things go together)…. Lock (Final, decided, no longer up for debate or open for changes).

Elementary?  I thought so – but the logic vacuum which seemed a plague of the studio system is sucking it’s way through indie films as well… Just in different ways.

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