Jason Reitman's "Labor Day" Begins Production  

Paramount Pictures has announced that principal photography for "Labor Day" has begun. Written and directed by Jason Reitman ("Young Adult," "Up in the Air"), Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin star in the adaptation of Joyce Maynard's novel of the same name. The film is shooting in Massachusetts.

According to the press release:

“LABOR DAY” centers on 13-year-old Henry Wheeler, who struggles to be the man of his house and care for his reclusive mother Adele while confronting all the pangs of adolescence. On a back-to-school shopping trip, Henry and his mother encounter Frank Chambers, a man both intimidating and clearly in need of help, who convinces them to take him into their home and later is revealed to be an escaped convict. The events of this long Labor Day weekend will shape them for the rest of their lives.

I adore Reitman's storytelling, and he is always a fun interview! He told me that he writes in my hood, Palm Springs. (Check out my interviews with Reitman for "Up in the Air" here, and for "Young Adult" right here)

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Does "The Lone Ranger' Really Need $250 Million Budget? Maybe More? Really? 

And "The Lone Ranger" problems continue.

Last year, production was halted by Disney for fear of its escalating cost of....$250 million. Then, all sides agreed on a set budget of $215 million (still very high, if you ask me) and the film started shooting in New Mexico on Feb. 28th.

We even received the picture above as proof that yes, Johnny Depp is Tonto and Armie Hammer is the masked Lone Ranger and production, directed by Gore Verbinski and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, was moving smoothly.


THR is saying:

Insiders say the movie, which began shooting Feb. 28 in New Mexico, is not only running days or possibly weeks behind its 120-day shooting schedule, it's also over its revised budget. Several sources say the effects-heavy Lone Ranger is now back at its original cost of $250 million, while one source close to the production says it has surpassed that figure.

Will the film be finished on time for its July 3, 2013 target release date? There may be some silver lining though, according to insiders who had seen footage, "The Lone Ranger" may do to Westerns what "Pirates of the Caribbean" did to the Pirate genre.

We'll see, but going back to my original question -- why the heck do they need $250 million plus to make "The Lone Ranger?" It's cowboys, and Indians, and a few horses right? Unless, there are aliens and sci-fi elements in there, which is a bad sign. Remember "Cowboys & Aliens?" Or what about Disney's own "John Carter?"

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"Moonrise Kingdom" Fans -- Watch Suzy's Books Come to Life with Brand, New Animated Video 

When I was watching Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom," like a nerd, I was jotting down the titles shown of Suzy's (Kara Hayward) books -- "The Girl from Jupiter," "The Francine Odysseys," etc. I thought they were real books and perhaps, I could delve into them quickly to prepare for my interviews with the cast and Mr. Anderson himself. (Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman interview for "Moonrise Kingdom")

To my surprise, those books were fictional creation from the brilliant mind of Anderson and of course, his co-writing cohort, Roman Coppola. So when I interviewed the director, I asked him if those books have a deeper meaning behind Suzy's odyssey, and Anderson replied by saying the books actually would be available in animated form. And sure enough, it is now available for us to see! (Check out my interview with Anderson for "Moonrise Kingdom" right here and my movie review right here)

Narrated by the film's storyteller, Bob Balaban (yup, he's credited as the Narrator), take a look at the trippy fun video:


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Happy 100th Anniversary Paramount Pictures! Thanks for the Movie Memories! 

From George Clooney to Adam Sandler, Kirk Douglas to Eddie Murphy, 116 stars, directors, and studio executives gathered for a once-in-a-lifetime event -- celebrating Paramount Pictures' 100th year of awesomeness HA! :happy

The celebrities posed for Vanity Fair, go to their site right now for an interactive guide so you'll find out who's who in the picture plus a quick visit down memory lane for Paramount's rich history.

Oh, and the video below is the Behind the Scenes look at the photo shoot! Once again, Happy 100th Anniverary Paramount Pictures, in the words of one of your franchises, live long and prosper!

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Palm Springs ShortFest to Honor Gus Van Sant! Check Out Complete Forums Schedule! 

The Palm Springs ShortFest has announced that highly-acclaimed writer/director Gus Van Sant will be presented with the ShortFest Spirit of Short Film Award as part of a special Directing Master Class presentation celebrating his work in film. A selection of his short films will be shown on Saturday, June 23rd at 2:30 p.m. with a discussion headed by Festival Director Darryl Macdonald. Van Sant, who earned Oscar nominations for "Good Will Hunting" and "Milk," was previously honored at the Palm Springs International Film Festival in 2009 when he received the Sonny Bono Visionary Award.

I personally salute the Palm Springs ShortFest. It is such a grassroots effort that honor the diversity and talent of many striving filmmakers. And most of the films shown move on to win Oscars such as "Freeheld" which won Best Documentary Short in 2008.

The Palm Springs ShortFest happens on June 19th to the 25th. For more details, click here.

Here's the schedule for this year's ShortFest Forums:

Friday, June 22nd

11:00 a.m. Meet the Programmers: Programmers from all arenas—festivals, broadcast, theatrical and online—will be on hand to talk about what it takes to be seen, and picked up, by them for exhibition in their particular venues.

Panelists confirmed at press time: Sharon Badal (Tribeca Film Festival), Beth Barrett (Seattle International Film Festival), Andrew Crane (American Cinemathique), Scott Dwyer (KQED-TV), Claudette Godfrey (SXSW), Brad Horvath (Ouat Media), David Nugent (Hamptons International Film Festival), Paul Sloop (Cleveland International Film Festival).

Moderator: John Anderson

1:00 p.m. Mythbusters: Filmmakers who have already been through the festival circuit with their first features and award-winning shorts (and some who are going through it now) will share their stories from the front lines, as well as look back to what they wished they had known before it all began.

Panelists: Robert Bella (Director/Producer), Blerim Gjoci (Writer/Producer/Actor), Matthew Lillard (Director), Katherine Lindberg (Writer/Director), Glenn Lund (Producer).

Moderator: Kathleen McInnis

3:00 p.m. Producers’ Landscape : This panel is designed for independent producers to talk about the current landscape for all things film including the creative, financial, marketplace and logistical aspects of making and marketing films.

Panelists confirmed at press time: Oorlagh George (Independent Producer, Academy Award Winner The Shore), Chris Goodwin (Head of Content, Madatoms.com sister of Fox Digital Studios), Kevin Iwashina (Producer, Narrative Features), Ted Kroeber (Producer, Narrative Features/TV), Amy Lillard (Producer/Financier), Michael Roiff (Producer, Narrative Features).

Moderator: John Anderson

Saturday, June 23rd

10:30 a.m. Agent, Managers and Actors: Agents, managers and actors will debate, expose and illuminate the process by which projects get considered for attachments and packaging, and what elements filmmakers should be thinking about first to get to the best talent for their project.

Panelists confirmed at press time: Raul Castillo (Actor), Miles Levy (James Levy Mgt.), Brent Sexton (Actor, “The Killing”), Bec Smith (UTA), Peter Trinh (ICM).

Moderator: Kathleen McInnis

12:30 p.m. Cinematography Master Class with Robert Elswit, DP: Academy Award® winning cinematographer Robert Elswit shot one of the most amazing and daring scenes in motion picture history. The film was last year’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and the scene showed star Tom Cruise hanging from the world’s tallest building in Dubai—and the camera crew was right there with him. Elswit was awarded his Oscar® for the 2008 There Will Be Blood. He has been director of photography on more than 60 films, going back more than 30 years including The Town, Good Night and Good Luck, Salt, Michael Clayton, Syriana and Tomorrow Never Dies. Robert’s most recent film is The Bourne Legacy starring Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton and set for release in August.

Moderator: John Anderson

Sunday, June 24th

10:00 a.m. Filmmakers and Industry Brunch

12:00 p.m. Meet the Press: Chroniclers, purveyors, assessors of the film industry at large, these top film journalists will speak about trends in storytelling, advances in technologies, the value of awards, and the festival circuit.

Panelists confirmed at press time: John Anderson (New York Times, Variety), Steve Gaydos (Variety), Dana Harris, (IndieWire), John Horn (LA Times), Gregg Kilday (The Hollywood Reporter), Steve Pond (The Wrap).

Moderator: Kathleen McInnis

Industry Roundtables
New this year, the Industry Roundtables consist of three industry experts and seven filmmakers meeting together for an unscripted, no-holds-barred, private conversation. These roundtables are meant to be unfettered, unstructured, intimate and casual opportunities for our filmmakers to pick the brains of the industry representatives attending.

Those scheduled at press time to participate include: Scilla Andreen (Buyer, IndieFlix), Kalman Apple (Buyer, Shorts International), Sharon Badal (Programmer, Tribecca), Beth Barrett (Programmer, Seattle), Robert Bella (Post Production Supervisor/Filmmaker), Kimberly Browning (Programmer, Hollywood Shorts), Ezra Buzzington (Actor/Filmmaker), Nancy Collet (Festival Consultant), Alessandro Cortini (Composer), Mike Dallatorre (Services, Panavision), Scott Dwyer (Buyer/Exhibition KQED/Imagemakers), Steve Gaydos (Variety), Asher Goldstein (Distribution/Acquisition Traction Media), Chris Goodwin (Head of Content Madatoms.com/Fox Digital Studios), Eliza Hajek (SAG), Steven Hein (VP Production, Fox Digital Studios), Brad Horvath (Buyer, OUAT Media), Jon Korn (Programmer, Sundance), Ted Kroeber (Producer), Lisa Landi (Mgr Program Distribution, KQED), Amy Lillard (Financier, Washington Filmworks), Katherine Lindberg (Writer/Director), Kathy A. McDonald (Journalist), David Nugent (Programmer, Hamptons Film Festival), MJ Peckos (Distribution/Exhibition), Robert Ramsey (Screenwriter), Michael Roiff (Producer), BC Smith (Composer), Katherine Tulich (Journalist), Kim Yutani (Programmer, Sundance).

Panel only tickets are available for $10 each, Master Class tickets are $11 each. The Festival also offers the ShortFest Film School Weekend Pass for student filmmakers priced at $100 (with student ID). The pass provides access Friday, June 22 through Sunday, June 24 for regular film screenings, all panels and master classes and one festival-sponsored party on Saturday, June 23. Tickets can be purchased by calling (760) 322-2930 or visiting www.psfilmfest.org.

About Palm Springs International ShortFest
Designated by AMPAS as an award-qualifying festival, and accredited by the International Short Film Conference, the Palm Springs International ShortFest and its Short Film Market are the largest and most prominent short film showcase in North America. The Festival and its concurrent 3,000-film Market continue to serve as a scouting ground for new filmmaking talent and are well attended by those in the business of buying and selling short films.

The Palm Springs International ShortFest is supported by an ever-growing number of new and longtime sponsors with local, national and international prominence. The Title Sponsor is the City of Palm Springs with Presenting Sponsors The Desert Sun and Spencer’s. Major Sponsors include, Panavision, The BottomLine, Stampede Post Productions, Greenhouse Studios, KQED San Francisco and The Australian Consulate General in Los Angeles. Special support has been provided by The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. The official host hotel and media center is the Renaissance Palm Springs. More information is available online at www.psfilmfest.org or by calling (800) 898-7256.

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