Interviews by AwardsLine Editor Christy Grosz and Deputy Editor Anna Lisa Raya.
Here are some of this year’s lesser-known Oscar nominees, whose skills helped make the director’s and actors’ visions come to life. Without their research, technical mastery, or their ability to translate a story into melodies or visual effects, there would be none of the groundbreaking, iconic, historically significant films we’ve seen this past year. These are the real players who toiled in front of and behind the camera to make the 2013 Oscar season one of the best in recent memory.
Julie Delpy, Adapted Screenplay, Before Midnight
AwardsLine: What was the biggest challenge in writing and acting the 14-minute-long opening take?
Delpy: If we were able to do that as an improvised scene, we’d be geniuses. And we’re not geniuses. We work really hard at making it seem flawless, especially writing backstory stuff without seeming on the nose or expository. It’s the hardest part. How do you make it seem like we’re just having a conversation when we’re actually setting up the entire rest of the film, explaining what happened in the past nine years?
Related: OSCARS: How The Adapted And Original Screenplay Races Could Go Down To The Wire
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Captain Phillips writer Billy Ray is set to write and direct The Last Tycoon, an HBO drama series project based on F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s final unfinished novel. Party Of Five co-creator Chris Keyser … Read More »
Oscar-winning director Robert Zemeckis has teamed with the creator/executive producer of A&E’s drama The Glades, Clifton Campbell for Billy Ray, a drama series project that has landed a put pilot commitment at … Read More »
Good Universe has set Captain Phillips scribe Billy Ray to direct his script Departure. Jim Whitaker will produce the sci-fi/romance film and Good Universe’s Joe Drake and Nathan Kahane will executive produce. Good Universe has the project on the fast-track and will begin casting right away. Based … Read More »
Thursday night one of the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ most important events, the 27th Annual Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting named five 2012 fellows to an impressive honor roll that has included writers who eventually penned such films as Little Miss Sunshine, Children Of Men, Twilight, The Bourne Identity, Butter and many television shows including this year’s Emmy winner Homeland. The ceremony at the Regent Beverly Wilshire was opened by Academy CEO Dawn Hudson who announced that these finalists came from a massive 7,197 submissions. “I hope this is the last time you go up against that many people in your career”, she said before introducing producer Gale Anne Hurd, an Academy Governor who heads the Nicholl selection committee.
When the Nicholl fellowships started in 1986 there were only 99 entries but obviously word has gotten out that it’s a good place to be seen if you want a screenwriting career. Hurd pointed out that some 80 feature films written by these writers the Academy program has discovered over the past 27 years have earned $5.37 billion theatrically. She thanked the 173 volunteers from the Academy membership who judged the scripts. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has set Billy Ray to script Sinatra, the film Martin Scorsese will direct about the life of singer-actor Frank Sinatra. The film will be produced by Scott Rudin, Mandalay’s Peter Guber and Cathy … Read More »
The clock has started on 24, the feature version of the Imagine Entertainment/Fox series. The project brings back Kiefer Sutherland’s tireless government operative Jack Bauer. Mark Bomback — a favorite writer at 20th Century Fox writing The Wolverine and … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Mamie Gummer is attached to star in writer-director Stacy Sherman’s indie comedic drama Claire’s Cambodia, which … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount has acquired an untitled project that will team screenwriter Billy Ray with JJ Abrams and his Bad Robot banner. I’m told Ray and Abrams hatched the pitch together, and that it’s a mystery adventure.
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EXCLUSIVE: I’m hearing Sony Pictures is in negotiations to acquire Pan, which will be scripted as a starring vehicle for Channing Tatum. He’ll produce as will Reid Carolin and Joe Roth. Billy Ray will write the script, a dark re-imagining … Read More »
Billy Ray has been set to direct The Secret In Their Eyes, the English language remake of last year’s foreign film Oscar winner El Secreto De Sus Ojos. Warner Bros acquired rights to the Argentina pic directed by … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Gary Ross is in early talks to direct The Hunger Games, the first installment of the novel trilogy by Suzanne Collins. The film is a joint production between Lionsgate and Color Force’s Nina Jacobson. Filming will start next year with a script by Billy Ray, who rewrote a draft by the author. The huge sales of the trilogy make the film adaptations a potential game-changer for Lionsgate, the way that Twilight was for Summit Entertainment. It has been a coveted job among directors (Three More Directors Circle ‘The Hunger Games’), and Lionsgate picture chief Joe Drake and Jacobson spent the past two weeks meeting candidates that included Sam Mendes, David Slade (also a contender for the X-Men Origins: Wolverine 2 job), Andrew Adamson, Rupert Sanders, and Nanny McPhee Returns helmer Susanna White. There was also talk about Francis Lawrence. It’s unclear who stayed in or out as Lionsgate focused on Ross, who directed Pleasantville and Seabiscuit. He isn’t set yet, but he is the choice. Let the negotiating games begin. Mendes, for instance, bowed out of contention last Friday, and I’m told it was because the MGM picture is clearing up and it looks like production on 007 could begin by late summer or early fall, 2011 with Mendes at the helm and Daniel Craig back in the Aston Martin. Read More »