A new website has popped online with a useful, but lofty, goal: catalog as many filming locations for as many movies as possible so fans have the information at their fingertips. It sounds impossible, and most likely is, but the Where Was It Filmed Database is making a run at it anyway.
It’s a user generated site, such as the IMDB or Wikipedia, so in addition to just browsing around, users can head over to www.wwifdb.com and add in filming locations either from their favorite movies, movies shot near your hometown or whatever you can contribute. That info then gets put in the general database and hopefully, over time, most of the movies people might search will have a helpful map of filming locations.
Things are kind of sparse over there right now, but the set up is really nice, it’s very user friendly and contributors are adding more and more locations every day. Head over there to check it out.
I received an e-mail today from a /film reader telling me to check out the website Mouth-Taped-Shut.com. When you click the link you’ll be greeted by a Tumblr blog, which appears to be some fansite for David Fincher and/or The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I almost closed my web browser window before realizing that some of the content on the tumblr included images and video taken on the set of the film. Not the kind of set videos and photos that we’re used to posting — these appear to have been taken on closed sets (see the video embedded above), in the editing room, and in the production office by an insider. It seems as if the tumblr has been online for a couple weeks now (since August 20th 2011).
This doesn’t appear to be something set up directly by Sony Pictures (although, you never know), but more likely someone inside Fincher’s production company. David Fincher has always been vocal in his hate for traditional film marketing like featurettes. Could he be directly involved in this? Check it out for yourself.
I’m a huge fan of director Cameron Crowe, and Almost Famous is one of my favorite films of all time. Before I started /Film, one of the websites I use to check on a regular basis was a Cameron Crowe fansite called The Uncool (which, yes, is a brilliant reference from Almost Famous). The guy who owned the blog, Greg Mariotti, you might know from another film blog called PixarTalk (he’s appeared on the /filmcast as well), sold the site years ago to Crowe himself.
Cameron brought Greg on to help with his official site, which was a cool looking flash-designed dysfunctional mess, and the blog folded. Updates became few and far between. Recently Mariotti relaunched The Uncool as a stand-alone official blog, which is allowing him to post all sorts of cool Cameron Crowe-related material. I’ve been looking for an excuse to write about the blog for the past month, and now I have one.
Today Greg posted an article titled “5 Things I Learned About We Bought a Zoo”, which includes photos and observations from visiting the California-based se of his new film, a big screen adaptation of We Bought a Zoo which stars Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church, John Michael Higgins, Angus MacFadyen, Patrick Fugit, and more. I’ve never been to the set of a Cameron Crowe film, so I’ll have to live vicariously through Greg’s reports… but maybe someday? Head over to TheUncool to learn about the changes that Cameron has taken from Benjamin Mee‘s book, technical details (yes, the movie is being shot on film), details on Cameron’s new partnership with Director of Photography Rodrigo Prieto and more. I’m sure he has more, which will likely be posted in future updates.
Posted on Wednesday, February 16th, 2011 by David Chen
Beautiful. Sublime. Stunning. These are not usually words I usually associate with video game trailers (though there are exceptions), but they could all be used to describe the newest trailer for Dead Island. Techland is the developer behind the game, but it’s had a pretty rough history; it was originally supposed to be released way back in 2008 on PC and on Xbox 360. Nonetheless, you can bet people will get interested again right quick after watching this new trailer.
Kotaku has called it “the most heartbreaking zombie video game trailer you’ll ever see,” and AICN argues that it “could be better than any feature film trailer you see this year.” What do you guys think? Hit the jump to check out the trailer and leave your thoughts in the comments below. Read More »
Posted on Saturday, January 15th, 2011 by David Chen
Despite my reservations about his eventual performance, I was pretty thrilled when I heard that actor and Taiwanese mega-sensation pop music star Jay Chou had been cast as Kato in Michel Gondry’s The Green Hornet. Turns out, I was wrong all along; according to IMDB, it was actually Harold & Kumar star John Cho that starred in the film. Huh? Screenshot after the jump. Read More »
Comedian and actor Patton Oswalt has written an editorial for WiReD Magazine titled “Wake Up, Geek Culture. Time to Die”. In the article, Oswalt explains how our everything available anytime internet culture is making the concept of geek culture obsolete. Here is a short excerpt from the article:
The problem with the Internet, however, is that it lets anyone become otaku about anything instantly. In the ’80s, you couldn’t get up to speed on an entire genre in a weekend. You had to wait, month to month, for the issues of Watchmen to come out. We couldn’t BitTorrent the latest John Woo film or digitally download an entire decade’s worth of grunge or hip hop. Hell, there were a few weeks during the spring of 1991 when we couldn’t tell whether Nirvana or Tad would be the next band to break big. Imagine the terror! … When everyone has easy access to their favorite diversions and every diversion comes with a rabbit hole’s worth of extra features and deleted scenes and hidden hacks to tumble down and never emerge from, then we’re all just adding to an ever-swelling, soon-to-erupt volcano of trivia, re-contextualized and forever rebooted. We’re on the brink of Etewaf: Everything That Ever Was—Available Forever.
I know it sounds great, but there’s a danger: Everything we have today that’s cool comes from someone wanting more of something they loved in the past. …. Now, with everyone more or less otaku and everything immediately awesome (or, if not, just as immediately rebooted or recut as a hilarious YouTube or Funny or Die spoof), the old inner longing for more or better that made our present pop culture so amazing is dwindling. … Here’s the danger: That creates weak otakus. Etewaf doesn’t produce a new generation of artists—just an army of sated consumers. Why create anything new when there’s a mountain of freshly excavated pop culture to recut, repurpose, and manipulate on your iMovie? The Shining can be remade into a comedy trailer. Both movie versions of the Joker can be sent to battle each another. The Dude is in The Matrix. The coming decades—the 21st-century’s ’20s, ’30s, and ’40s—have the potential to be one long, unbroken, recut spoof in which everything in Avatar farts while Keyboard Cat plays eerily in the background.
Read the entire editorial on Wired. What do you think of Oswalt’s theory? Is oversaturation leading us to the of geek culture?
From time to time, we like to point out articles in other publications and websites which might be of interest to the /Film readers. This weekend the Los Angeles Times published an article titled “Hollywood’s little secret: movie purgatory” which uses the recently released Case 39 (the supernatural horror film starring Renée Zellweger and Bradley Cooper which was shot in 2006) to talk about the growing Hollywood practice of shelved movies.
“Case 39″ was stuck in a little discussed corner of the industry: movie purgatory, where films with marketable stars — not just Cooper but Matt Damon, John Cusack, Eddie Murphy and Mel Gibson — can linger for months, even years, trapped by marketing disagreements, creative clashes, executive shuffles, money shortfalls or the judgment that they are such surefire flops that it makes no sense to throw good money after bad and distribute them.
In a larger sense, experts say, the trend speaks to the financial house of cards that is the feature film these days. Although they seem to arrive by the bundle at the multiplex every weekend, studio-produced movies now take more time and money to make and market than ever before — and then go before an ever-smaller and more fickle theater-going audience. In the old days of movie distribution — say, the early 2000s — many orphaned movies might have been granted a pass out of purgatory with a direct-to-DVD release. But the cratering of the home video market makes that less economically attractive. A direct-to-DVD release also risks offending the sensitivities of stars and other creative people the studios want to work with again in the future. These shelved movies often have their champions, who might note that at least one modern classic, “Diner,” and one recent Oscar winner, “Slumdog Millionaire,” were temporarily orphaned. But often these champions find themselves speaking into a void.
The Chicago Tribune has a somber nostalgic article about what we’ll miss about the video rental stores, just as the rental retail business is about to completely die off.
It’s the kind of thing that made video stores vital to movie culture, said Issa Clubb, a producer at the Criterion Collection in New York, which for decades has churned out an intricately curated selection of high-end video releases of classics and underrated films. “The best (stores) were run by people who happily said, ‘You didn’t come for this, but try it.’ A film blog might offer that, but it’s a self-selected audience. Without video stores I wonder what happens to that naive customer, the one who can be prodded to the unfamiliar.”
I love the convenience of digital on demand, netflix and redbox, but I miss the days of walking down the isles of Video Paradise — browsing the interesting movies that I had never heard of before. There was something magical and exciting about picking a movie based only on the cover artwork and short description alone. This might sound a little hypocritical, especially coming from a guy who started and runs a website which is focused on media and information overload on any given film project. The man who ran the store would recommend great classics that I had not yet seen. I guess blogs and social networks have replaced this type of recommendation.
I miss those days, yet am writing this post while watching a television show I rented on iTunes. Netflix launched 13 years ago, which means some teenagers have never experienced renting movies at the video store, and probably never will. And those that did, probably only visited Blockbuster or Hollywood Video — both of which didn’t really attribute much in the way of nostalgia.