BURBANK, CALIF., March 27, 2011 – Warner Bros. Digital Distribution (WBDD), a market leader in video-on-demand and electronic sell-through, announced it will expand its test offering of movies for rental through Warner Bros. Entertainment’s Facebook Movie Pages. Starting today at 10:00 pm Pacific Time / 1:00 am Eastern Time, consumers will be able to rent five additional titles directly through each film’s official Facebook Page using Facebook Credits. The films include “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” “Inception,” “Life as We Know It” and “Yogi Bear.”
To rent a film, consumers simply click on the “watch now” icon to apply their Facebook Credits, and within seconds they will begin enjoying the film. This offering is presently available only to consumers in the United States.
Fans will have full control over the film while watching it through their Facebook account for up to 48 hours from purchase. They can choose to watch it in full screen, pause the movie, and resume playing it when they log back into Facebook. Consumers will also have full Facebook functionality including the ability to post comments on the movie, interact with friends and update their status.
EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned 2-time Oscar winner and Academy favorite Tom Hanks will be the first presenter and name winners in both the Art Direction and Cinematography categories right off the bat. Best Picture frontrunner The King’s Speech is up for both, so the world will quickly get an idea whether that Best Picture nominee is able to mount a sweep right in the first few minutes of Sunday’s Oscar show. Two other Best Picture pics are also nominated in both categories, True Grit and Inception, with the Christopher Nolan written and directed movie having taken awards at both the Art Directors and Cinematographer Guild awards earlier this month. The King’s Speech also won at Art Directors. The show’s theme exploring the past, present and future of movies will start right here and then wend its way throughout the evening. The producers wanted to have a big star kick it off and set the tone.
BURBANK, CALIF., February 16, 2011 – Warner Bros. Digital Distribution (WBDD), a market leader in video-on-demand and electronic sell-through, today announced the groundbreaking launch of the “App Editions” of feature films “Inception” and “The Dark Knight,” giving consumers around the world an entirely new way to own special edition movies with the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. The “Inception: App Edition” and “The Dark Knight: App Edition” are now available on the App Store.
App Editions provide a fully-loaded, connected viewing experience that gives consumers the first five minutes of a feature film and a portion of bonus content that can include games, trivia, soundtracks and soundboards. The entire feature film can be unlocked via an in-app purchase, which enables downloading and unlimited streaming, as well as access to the entire array of bonus content available within the App.
The “Inception” and “The Dark Knight” App Editions are available in over 30 territories, including some which previously did not have access to films through iTunes including China, Brazil and the Netherlands. They contain fully customized menus in 16 languages including Japanese, Greek and Russian and also provide consumers movie subtitles in 34 languages ranging from Arabic to Ukrainian (streamed via WiFi). While watching the film, fans can also connect with friends by sharing their favorite movie quotes through Facebook and Twitter and watch a feed of social networking chatter directly related to the movie in real-time.
“Warner Bros. is bringing more than 100 million Apple device owners a highly
The Deadline Team of Nikki Finke, Pete Hammond, and Mike Fleming have spent recent days interviewing the studio moguls to gauge their perspective on this very close Oscar race:
7 Nominations: 7 The Fighter
DEADLINE’s Nikki Finke: How did you first get involved with The Fighter?
RYAN KAVANAUGH: Mark Wahlberg brought us the project. It was developed at Paramount by David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman and they put Mark on the project. Everybody knows there were a lot of starts and stops. When Paramount told them, ‘We’re not making the movie,’ Mark called us because we had a prior relationship with him. Effectively, the script that Paramount had developed was very dark. So we said to Mark, ‘Look, it can be a modern-day Rocky. The good news is we love the story. The bad news is we need to pay someone to rewrite it.’ Mark and David O. Russell had worked together on Three Kings and we had actually met with David a few times on other movies. So we brought David in and in a very short period we had a shooting schedule. He was not contractually given any writing credit. It went to Scott Silver. But at the end of the day David was really responsible for 90 percent of the rewrite. The budget was $50 million, and we gave him a budget of $25 million. Then, we shot the movie in 33 days. And here we …
In Other Deals: French Paper Taps Marion Cotillard For Batflick; Javier Bardem Wins Goya; Broadway Spider-Man Gets SNL Parody, More Bad Press
French newspaper Le Figaro reported Marion Cotillard is set for Chris Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. We’ll get some clarity today, but the move makes sense given that most everyone in that cast but Anne Hathaway (Catwoman) worked with Nolan on a previous film, including Christian Bale (The Prestige), and Cotillard’s Inception cohorts Tom Hardy and Joseph Gordon-Levitt…
While industry attention on the weekend was mostly on the BAFTA wins by Colin Firth and The King’s Speech, Javier Bardem won Best Actor for his Biutiful performance at the Goya Awards, Spain’s version of the Oscars. The King’s Speech won Best European Film but the big winner was Agusti Villaronga’s Black Bread, which won Best Picture and eight other awards. Bardem seems like a dark horse in this race, but it sure does seem like it’s Firth’s year…
Magnolia Pictures acquired North American rights to Headhunters, the Morten Tyldum-directed adaptation of Jo Nesbo’s novel. Magnolia is likening it to another The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. That is easy hype because of the geographical proximity to Sweden. But nobody in the movie business cared much about fiction that came from this region until Larsson, and it’s possible nobody will care about any of the work written by anyone but Larsson…
Cinematographers Award Wally Pfister For ‘Inception’, Jonathan Freeman-’Boardwalk Empire’, Stephen Windon-’The Pacific’
LOS ANGELES, February 13, 2011 – Wally Pfister, ASC, Jonathan Freeman, ASC and Stephen Windon, ACS claimed top honors in the three competitive categories at the 25th Annual American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Outstanding Achievement Awards celebration here tonight at the Hollywood & Highland Grand Ballroom.
Pfister won the ASC Award in the feature film competition for INCEPTION. Freeman earned top accolades in the television episodic category for BOARDWALK EMPIRE (HBO). Windon was the recipient of the television movie/miniseries award for THE PACIFIC (HBO).
“All of the nominees here tonight earned the respect of their peers,” said Richard Crudo, ASC, chairman of the Awards Committee. “Once again, they showed the world that while cinematography requires mastering a complex craft, the art of telling stories with moving images comes from the heart and soul.”
Pfister, who was regrettably not able to attend, was previously nominated by the ASC for BATMAN BEGINS (2006) and THE DARK KNIGHT (2009). This is his first win.
Freeman won the Outstanding Achievement Award for the BOARDWALK EMPIRE episode “Home.” This is the second ASC Award for Freeman, who previously won in 2005 for the telefilm HOMELAND SECURITY. He has also earned ASC nominations for PRINCE STREET (1998), STRANGE JUSTICE (2000) and TAKEN (2003).
The television movie/miniseries award went to Windon for the “Okinawa” episode of THE PACIFIC. This was Windon’s first ASC nomination.
The presentation of the ASC Lifetime Achievement Award to 10-time ASC Award nominee Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC by
Overall, tonight’s BAFTA awards show — known as “the British Oscars” – was marred by human errors and technical flubs. But the winners didn’t care. I counted 7 name-checks for Harvey Weinstein during the evening. In fact, pretty much every time one of The King’s Speech’s 7 award winners thanked the British academy, they thanked The Weinstein Company brother. A visibly emotional Colin Firth, accepting his second straight Best Actor statuette, referred to “the unstoppable Harvey”. Winning The King’s Speech screenwriter David Seidler said: “Harvey, I guess you’re not British but you’ve made and distributed so many British films we owe you an honorary tally-ho.” Presenter Jessica Alba, referring to Geoffrey Rush not being on hand to accept his Best Supporting Actor award, said that Harvey would give it to him. Helena Bonham Carter, accepting her Best Supporting Actress award, called Harvey her “nominations godfather”. Even emcee TV chat show host Jonathan Ross, admonishing everyone to turn off their cell phones, worked in a reference to the man: “I can see that Harvey Weinstein is gagging for a tweet.”
In Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House tonight, Inception won 3 technical awards for Sound, Production Design, and Special Visual Effects which prompted one VFX designer to pay homage to the film’s writer/director Christopher Nolan: “I spent 3 weeks in Chris Nolan’s garage visualising this film, which wasn’t hard because Chris had done all the work.” The Social Network also received 3 BAFTAs, including a surprise Best Director for David Fincher. But …
The Deadline Team of Nikki Finke, Pete Hammond, and Mike Fleming have spent recent days interviewing the studio moguls to gauge their perspective on this very close Oscar race:
12 Nominations: 8 Inception, 1 The Town, 2 Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part One, 1 Hereafter
DEADLINE: What was it like at Warner Bros when they announced the nominations? Was it funereal?
ROBINOV: I think we were all disappointed for Chris, more than Chris was for Chris. Chris doesn’t take any of this personally. At least in my experience of him, he’s very sanguine about the whole thing. I just felt very sorry for him because I thought that he deserved it and I know Barry Meyer and Alan Horn and everybody else at the studio felt the same way. Plus, we all had a tremendous amount of pride in the film. You become very protective of it, very parental in a way.
DEADLINE: How do you explain this snub — again?
ROBINOV: He’s never really had, and his movies never really had, the critical support that some of these other films have had. As you go through a lot of the nominations, frankly, it’s just confusing. All of them are good movies and all of them are well directed, but none of them faced the challenges that Chris faced. …
BEVERLY HILLS, February 5 —The Art Directors Guild (ADG) tonight announced winners of its 15th Annual Excellence in 2010 Production Design Awards in nine categories of film, television, commercials and music videos during black-tie ceremonies at the International Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. The awards took place before an audience of more than 650 persons, including guild members, industry executives, studio heads and press. ADG Chairman Thomas A. Walsh presided over the awards ceremony with Paula Poundstone serving as host for the second consecutive year. Honorary awards were presented to Production Designer Patricia Norris for Lifetime Achievement and to Syd Dutton and Bill Taylor for Outstanding Contribution to Cinematic Imagery.
Presenters for this year’s awards included Kristin Bauer (True Blood), Maria Canals-Barrera (Wizards of Waverly Place and Larry Crowne), Yvette Nicole Brown (Community), Willie Garson (White Collar), Mariette Hartley, David Lynch (Director, Twin Peaks), Kevin McKidd (Grey’s Anatomy), Ben Rappaport (Outsourced), Vik Sahay (“Chuck”), Robert Stromberg (Production Designer, Avatar), and Michael Weatherly (NCIS). During its ceremony tonight ADG inducted three additional legendary Production Designers into its Hall of Fame, bringing the roster to 33. The new inductees were Alexander Golitzen, Albert Heschong and Eugène Lourié.
ADG awards recognition always goes to the Production Designer, Art Director and Assistant Art Director of each nominated and winning project.
WINNER FOR EXCELLENCE IN PRODUCTION DESIGN FOR A FEATURE FILM IN 2010:
THE KING’S SPEECH
Production Designer: Eve Stewart
Production Designer: Guy Hendrix
Los Angeles, February 1, 2011 – The Visual Effects Society announced the winners of the 9th Annual VES Awards tonight at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. The annual event recognizes outstanding visual effects in more than twenty categories of film, animation, television, commercials and video games. Filmmakers, producers and guests joined more than a thousand attendees from the visual effects industry for the sold-out gala which honored Christopher Nolan with the inaugural VES Visionary Award and Ray Harryhausen with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Inception’s Tom Hardy was on hand to present the award to Nolan while Harryhausen was feted by video tributes throughout the evening. Randy Cook and Dennis Muren presented from the stage to Harryhausen who appeared via video to thank VES for this honor. The event was hosted by Patton Oswalt.
Inception was the evening’s most honored project with four awards including Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects Driven Motion Picture. The animated feature film How to Train Your Dragon was honored with three awards including Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture — both films winning in every nominated category. Television’s big winner was The Pacific, also grabbing three honors.
The 9th Annual VES Awards will premiere on REELZCHANNEL Saturday, February 19 at 10 PM ET/PT with encore presentations throughout February.
Complete list of winners of the 9th Annual VES Awards:
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual-Effects Driven Feature Motion Picture
Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, …
You know the oft-repeated phrase heard this time of year, “It’s an honor just to be nominated”? That was never more true for some who might have actually won the Academy Award but tripped on their way to the Kodak stage by failing to get to first base with a nomination this past Tuesday. This year, presumed frontrunners in different categories weren’t moved forward in the Oscar race because of their own peer group. In case you’re not aware, peer groups pick the individual nominees in their categories. In the final vote, the entire Academy votes for the winners. The membership at large, thought not to be as technically judgmental as the formidable peer groups (or, in some situations, as swayed by petty jealousies), usually tend to select the more obvious choices. But what should be an anomaly happens a lot when it comes to Oscar. In 1989, Driving Miss Daisy was the big winner with four Oscars including Best Picture. Its director Bruce Beresford almost certainly would have made it five except for one small thing: the Director’s branch didn’t nominate him so the Academy at large couldn’t vote for him. It was the first time since Grand Hotel (1931-1932) that a director was not nommed for a movie that won Best Picture. (Instead, Oliver Stone won for Born On The Fouth Of July.) Most famously, Hollywood was shocked when the actors branch didn’t nominate Bette Davis for 1934’s Of Human Bondage even though it was considered one of the greatest female performances ever and its omission caused such a stir that the Academy augmented their rules to allow a write-in vote. (The write-in didn’t work, and Claudette Colbert triumphed.) Out of embarrassment, the Academy tried to make amends and gave Davis the Oscar the next year for the much-lesser Dangerous.
For instance, this year in the Best Make Up category, Alice In Wonderland was considered the frontrunner among the seven finalists – but shockingly failed to even be nominated. Instead, the final three nominees were Barney’s Version, The Way Back, and Universal’s early 2010 dud The Wolfman, forcing Academy voters to choose from these far more obscure entries. Which is why I have to ask: Was Paul Giamatti’s disheveled hair in Barney’s Version really better than the Make Up artistry on the Red Queen or the Mad Hatter? It’s all a very closed club, and the answer may not lie in the work itself but in who did the work and who is a member of the club.
For instance, the critically drubbed The Tempest‘s Sandy Powell, a 3-time winner in Oscar’s Costumes category, can get nominated for just about anything she does because she is one of Costume branch’s inner circle. The same is true for the Music branch and John Williams who doesn’t score for movies as much anymore. But any time he does, he’s likely to get a nomination because he’s an icon among musicians.
Regarding the Best Documentary nominations this year, I heard that one Governor of the Academy’s Documentary branch told a consultant that if Waiting For ‘Superman’, Davis Guggenheim’s widely favored education doc from Paramount, received a nomination it would win Best Feature Documentary with the membership at large. But he wasn’t voting for it and neither were some other branch members he knew due to questions they had about the way some of the documentary was conducted. Specifically, objections were raised about one scene recreated for the camera after it happened in real life. The result is that Guggenheim won’t be getting that second Oscar this time around (he won for An Inconvenient Truth) since his documentary didn’t make the cut with his branch.
Christopher Nolan was now infamously passed over in the Best Director category, first for The Dark Knight and this time for Inception. Would he have won this time out for staying true to his passion project? We’ll never know. My guess is there’s a certain level of jealousy because he pretty much can do whatever he wants and wherever he wants. (I often say he could go in and pitch a remake of Howard The Duck and studios would say yes.) Steven Speilberg was famously not nominated as Best Director for the Best Picture nominee Jaws. (Worse, a TV show following around Spielberg that day the Oscar nods were announced showed him anxiously anticipating a nomination that never came.)
Lee Smith’s dazzling Editing for Inception was thought to be an easy winner in that category once it got to the general vote. Problem is, the editors themselves dissed it. No Oscar for Lee this year.
Diane Warren won a Golden Globe this month for the anthem she wrote for Cher in Burlesque called “You Haven’t Seen The Last Of Me”. And she was considered a likely Academy Award winner this time after 6 previous Oscar nominations. Plus, Cher was expected to perform it on the telecast. Unfortunately, the Academy’s grumpy Music branch decided we had seen the last of Warren this awards season and nominated only four tunes, none of them from the critically reviled Burlesque. Talk about a backlash. (A publicist connected with Warren’s campaign even wanted to ask for a recount but knew the Academy would never allow it.) The same Music branch disqualified Clint Mansell’s soaring blend of original music and Tchaikovsky in Black Swan which almost certainly could have triumphed with the general Academy membership when voting starts on February 2nd.
Kathy Vrabeck is leaving her post as head of Legendary Digital at the end of January. The executive came on board in 2009, but the company has recently decided to focus more on movies and TV and less on games. Legendary has served as co-producer (with Warner Bros) of Oscar nominated Inception as well as The Hangover, among other titles. Vrabeck previously worked at Electronic Arts. During her tenure at Legendary, she oversaw mobile gaming for Ninja Assassin and digital efforts behind Clash of the Titans. Vrabeck is currently on the board of directors of — and an investor in – GeekChicDaily.