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Live Stream Q&As with Blockbuster Filmmakers!

Chris Edwards, the founder/CEO of visualization studio THE THIRD FLOOR

ASU FILM SPARK HOSTS ONLINE QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSIONS WITH TOP HOLLYWOOD PROFESSIONALS ON YOUTUBE FOR EVERYONE TO STREAM

Mondays throughout the month of April, cinematographers, producers and other Hollywood professionals who helped bring audiences “Avengers: Endgame,” “Joker,” “The Amazing Spider-Man,” “Venom” and more will explore the debate on whether or not superhero movies are cinema.

TEMPE, ARIZONA – April 17, 2020 – ASU Film Spark, Arizona State University’s industry relations program in Hollywood, is hosting a series of free online Q&A sessions with respected Hollywood professionals on Mondays throughout the month of April on the Film Spark YouTube channel. ASU Film Spark welcomes anyone who is interested in hearing from some of the people who help create your favorite films to join them at 7:30PM PST for the live-streamed events. 

This series features conversations with cinematographers, producers and other Hollywood professionals who aim to answer the question, Are Superhero Movies Cinema? Speakers include:

  • April 13: Larry Sher, cinematographer, “Joker” and “The Hangover” – Watch his session here
  • April 20: Chris Edwards, founder/CEO of visualization studio THE THIRD FLOOR, “Avengers: Endgame”; “The Mandalorian”; “Star Wars Episode IX: Rise of Skywalker” 
  • April 27: Matt Tolmach, producer and executive producer, “The Amazing Spider-Man,” ”Venom,” “Jumanji” and “Future Man”

“Martin Scorsese’s claim that superhero movies aren’t cinema gives aspiring filmmakers the chance to think hard about the definition of ‘cinema,’” said Adam Collis, founding director of ASU Film Spark. “And who better to explore this question than some of the best filmmakers working today. ASU Film Spark has been sharing this special class with our friends at Santa Monica College, and, during these stay-at-home times, we are honored and excited to now share the class with anyone who loves movies, cinema or both.”

Arizona State University, which has been ranked as the most innovative school in the nation for the last five years in a row, is also the nation’s largest university and built on a charter which puts inclusivity in its very first sentence. In this spirit, ASU Film Spark is thrilled to include film students, cinephiles, comic fans, aspiring moviemakers and movie-lovers of all stripes in conversation. 

“I’m proud to have been the first industry guest Adam connected to ASU back in 2009, when we did a video conference with his students,” said Lawrence Sher, cinematographer for “Joker” and “The Hangover” series. “Since then, I’ve seen Film Spark and the film program grow in astonishing ways. ASU really is the most innovative school in the nation, and their students are spectacular. Our exploration of the superhero genre and the definition of cinema was a blast and one of the more thought-provoking conversations I’ve had on the subject.”

“Are Superhero Movies CINEMA?” is the latest example of innovative Film Spark classes and programming. Their Feature Film Internship Initiative gave 85 ASU students and 15 recent alumni the chance to learn filmmaking on an actual feature film set from an Oscar-winning cast and crew including Octavia Spencer, George Lopez and Nia Vardalos. Other examples include their Women in Film Zoom Q&A class featuring producer/former studio chief Nina Jacobson, director/co-chair of the DGA diversity committee Bethany Rooney and others; a semester-long class with Lionsgate in which students case-studied the film “Wonder” just before it was released; and a two-day symposium with producer Walter Parkes called “Inventing the Future All Over Again,” for which Film Spark reassembled the team of futurists Parkes gathered in 1999 to help Steven Spielberg create the futuristic world of Minority Report. Film Spark has also brought Spike Lee, Patricia Cardoso, Fanny Grande, Salvador Carrasco and Boots Riley to campus for special events and screenings at Sun Devil Stadium.

Guests who would like to receive an email reminder on the day of the event as well as updates about future events may RSVP here. RSVPs are not required and you may view each live session by visiting the Film Spark YouTube channel at 7:30PM MST on Mondays in April. 

About ASU Film Spark 

In Fall of 2009, ASU film professor Adam Collis hosted a simple video-conference between his students and Lawrence Sher, the cinematographer of “Garden State” and “The Hangover” films. The students liked it so much, Collis set upon a mission to connect ASU students with the best filmmakers and executives in the world. Since then, Film Spark has connected ASU with 5 Oscar-winners, 5 Oscar-nominees, 8 studio chiefs, the presidents of the Academy and the Directors Guild, as well as numerous blockbuster producers, award-winning directors and world class depart heads. Film Spark has grown to become the ASU Embassy in Hollywood—hosting career fairs, connecting students to jobs and internships, and building the Hollywood Sun Devil alumni network through mixers and professional development events for the School of Film, Dance and Theatre in ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. To learn more, visit filmspark.asu.edu

Predicting the Winners: 92nd Academy Awards

Best Supporting Actor

Tom Hanks, Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes

Al Pacino, The Irishman

Joe Pesci, The Irishman

Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Will Win: Brad Pitt

Could Win: No Contest

Want to Win: Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell

Laura Dern, Marriage Story

Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit

Florence Pugh, Little Women

Margot Robbie, Bombshell

Will Win: Laura Dern, Marriage Story

Could Win: Florence Pugh, Little Women

Want to Win: Florence Pugh, Little Women

Achievement in Costume Design

The Irishman

Jojo Rabbit

Joker

Little Women

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Will Win: Little Women

Could Win: Jojo Rabbit

Want to Win: Little Women

Achievement in Sound Mixing

Ad Astra

Ford v Ferrari

Joker

1917

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Will Win: 1917

Could Win: Ford v Ferrari

Want to Win: 1917

Achievement in Sound Editing

Ford v Ferrari

Joker

1917

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Will Win: 1917

Could Win: Ford v Ferrari

Want to Win: 1917

Best Original Score

Joker

Little Women

Marriage Story

1917

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Will Win: Joker

Could Win: Little Women

Want to Win: Joker

Best Animated Short Film

Dcera (Daughter)

Hair Love

Kitbull

Memorable

Sister

Will Win: Hair Love

Could Win: Kitbull

Want to Win: Hair Love

Best Live Action Short

Brotherhood

Nefta Football Club

The Neighbors’ Window

Saria

A Sister

Will Win: The Neighbor’s Window

Could Win: Saria

Want to Win: The Neighbor’s Window

Best Documentary Feature

American Factory

The Cave

The Edge of Democracy

For Sama

Honeyland

Will Win: American Factory

Could Win: Honeyland

Want to Win: American Factory

Best Documentary Short Subject

In the Absence

Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone

Life Overtakes Me

St. Louis Superman

Walk Run Cha-Cha

Will Win: Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone

Could Win: St. Louis Superman

Want to Win: Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone

Best International Feature Film

Corpus Christi

Honeyland

Les Miserables

Pain and Glory

Parasite

Will Win: Parasite

Could Win: No Contest

Want to Win: Parasite

Achievement in Production Design

The Irishman

Jojo Rabbit

1917

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Parasite

Will Win: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Could Win: 1917

Want to Win: Jojo Rabbit

Achievement in Film Editing

Ford v Ferrari

The Irishman

Jojo Rabbit

Joker

Parasite

Will Win: Parasite

Could Win: Ford v Ferrari

Want to Win: Jojo Rabbit

Achievement in Cinematography

The Irishman

Joker

The Lighthouse

1917

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Will Win: 1917

Could Win: The Lighthouse

Want to Win: 1917

Achievement in Visual Effects

1917

Avengers: Endgame

The Irishman

The Lion King

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Will Win: Avengers: Endgame

Could Win: 1917

Want to Win: Avengers: Endgame

Achievement in Makeup & Hairstyling

Bombshell

Joker

Judy

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

1917

Will Win: Bombshell

Could Win: Joker

Want to Win: Bombshell

Best Animated Feature

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

I Lost My Body

Klaus

Missing Link

Toy Story 4

Will Win: Toy Story 4

Could Win: Missing Link

Want to Win: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Best Original Song

“I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away,” Toy Story

“I’m Gonna Love Me Again,” Rocketman

“I’m Standing With You,” Breakthrough

“Into the Unknown,” Frozen II

“Stand Up,” Harriet

Will Win: “I’m Gonna Love Me Again”, Rocketman

Could Win: No Contest

Want to Win: “Into the Unknown”, Frozen II

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Irishman

Jojo Rabbit

Joker

Little Women

The Two Popes

Will Win: Jojo Rabbit

Could Win: Little Women

Want to Win: Jojo Rabbit or Little Women

Best Actor

Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory

Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Adam Driver, Marriage Story

Joaquin Phoenix, Joker

Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes

Will Win: Joaquin Phoenix, Joker

Could Win: No Contest

Want to Win: Joaquin Phoenix or Adam Driver

Best Original Screenplay

Knives Out

Marriage Story

1917

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Parasite

Will Win: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Could Win: Parasite

Want to Win: Marriage Story

Best Actress

Cynthia Erivo, Harriet

Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story

Saoirse Ronan, Little Women

Charlize Theron, Bombshell

Renee Zellweger, Judy

Will Win: Renee Zellweger, Judy

Could Win: No Contest

Want to Win: Saoirse Ronan, Little Women

Best Director

Bong Joon Ho, Parasite

Sam Mendes, 1917

Todd Phillips, Joker

Martin Scorsese, The Irishman

Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Will Win: Sam Mendes, 1917

Could Win: Bong Joon Ho, Parasite

Want to Win: Sam Mendes or Bong Joon Ho

Best Picture

Ford v Ferrari

The Irishman

Jojo Rabbit

Joker

Little Women

Marriage Story

1917

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Parasite

Will Win: Parasite

Could Win: 1917

Want to Win: Jojo Rabbit

The 92nd Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will honor the best films of 2019 and will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on February 9, 2020.

Movie Review: “Trust Me” Starts Strong but Ends in a Sloppy Mess

Clark Gregg swaps superheroes for child stars in his latest dark comedy, Trust Me, in which he wrote, directed, and stars.

What begins as a Hollywood version of Jerry McGuire becomes a depressing and grim look of how far the people involved in this business will go to get what they want.

We begin by seeing, once child star and now Hollywood agent, Howard (Gregg) getting fired by his only notable client for blowing a potentially huge deal.  Sometime during this botched negotiation, he luckily stumbles into Lydia’s (Saxon Sharbino) dramatic audition which turns out to be a positive for the young actress.  When she is offered the starring role for the next vampire teen trilogy, she immediately claims Howard as her agent. Lydia views Howard as the “nice” alternative to dirt bag agents who care only about money and could careless for the best interest of their clients.  Much like Howard’s nemesis, Aldo (Sam Rockwell), a skeezy, douche of an agent who has managed to steal many of Howard’s talents.

Lydia and Howard have a great father-daughter bond and work well together, their only problem is Ray (Paul Sparks), Lydia’s greedy, alcoholic father who tends to cause a scene everywhere he goes.  And just when things seem to looking up for Howard’s career and love life, he witnesses what he thinks might be a sexually abusive encounter between Ray and Lydia.  Now he must decide if wants to continue his path of success with his inevitable profiting starlet or let the “good guy” within him follow his conscience.

From the start you are hooked.  All the aspects of Howard’s life are thoroughly engaging.  He pines over his beautiful neighbor (Amanda Peet), and the two share a surprisingly charming relationship.  He also has great chemistry with Lydia that you feel could lead to a Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding Jr. moment.  “Show me the MONEY!!!”

Needless to say Gregg gives a captivating performance along with his supporting cast.  Saxon Sharbino, who I had never heard of until this movie, shines as the tween actress who is so talented that it’s hard to tell if she’s being herself or playing a part.

In about the last 30 minutes of the film, everything starts to get muggy fast.  What seemed like powerful character development and a path of redemption quickly turns into an unsatisfying and truly unnecessary conclusion.
Trust Me has all the pieces for a fantastic, uplifting and/or solid flick; but maybe in an attempt to stay truly original, it past the mark a little too far.

Trust Me is in theaters June 6 and is  currently available OnDemand and iTunes.

Rating: 3/5

“Trust Me” Official Trailer HD

Originally posted on RedCarpetCrash.com

MOVIE ‘50 to 1’ ANNOUNCES ROAD TOUR

Feature film about Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, an inspiring underdog tale of misfit cowboys and their long shot racehorse, starring Skeet Ulrich, Christian Kane, William Devane, Madelyn Deutch, Todd Lowe and jockey Calvin Borel.

Hollywood, Calif. (Jan. 29, 2014)  — The cast and filmmakers of ‘50 to 1’ will hit the road rock-star style on a cross-country tour beginning March 17 to promote the major motion picture’s release, says the film’s producer, director and co-writer Jim Wilson, Oscar®-winning producer of ‘Dances with Wolves.’

“We’re bringing ‘50 to 1’ to the people of America,” Wilson says. “The group will travel in a tour bus from New Mexico to Kentucky, making stops in cities and towns along the way, mirroring the trip racehorse Mine That Bird took on his way to the 2009 Kentucky Derby.

Cast members joining the tour will be Skeet Ulrich (Jericho, ‘Scream,’ ‘As Good As It Gets’), Christian Kane (Leverage, ‘Friday Night Lights,’ ‘Secondhand Lions,’ ‘Just Married’), Todd Lowe (True Blood, ‘The Princess Diaries,’ Gilmore Girls) and Hugo Perez (‘Machete,’ ‘The Longshots,’ ‘Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay’). Also on tour will be Wilson and co-producer, co-writer Faith Conroy. The real Mine That Bird will make special appearances along the tour.

“When was the last time Hollywood’s leading men hopped on a bus and toured the country from town to town, introducing their film to the people of America?” Wilson says. “It’s unprecedented.”

“I’m extremely excited to hit the road with a film I’m very proud to be a part of,” Ulrich says. “It seems fitting we’d be selling our wares from a gypsy-like caravan, given the underdog nature of our story, and I’m hoping this journey answers three burning questions. One, are audiences tired of the blockbuster and ready to be uplifted by the values of hard work and integrity? Two, can we inspire our audiences to stick to their guns and do what they love at all costs? And three, does Christian snore louder than Todd?”

“Man, this almost feels like we’re carnies or something. Or an old whistle-stop political campaign,” Lowe says.

“I’m looking forward to rolling into different towns and shaking hands and kissing babies.”

“Personally, I’ve always wanted to be a rock star,” Conroy says. “And seriously, traveling across the country for weeks on end with a busload of gorgeous cowboys? Sign me up!”

“I’ve done tours before. I’m excited!” Kane says. “It’s old hat for me in the sense that when you love something so much, you will put 18 wheels and lives in motion just to bring it into town and say, ‘I hope you like this. I made this for you.’”

“It’ll be a fun, fun road trip vacation for me, part of the dream-life I want to live,” Perez says. “It’s also an honor and I’m so fortunate to be a part of this adventure.”

Inspiration for the tour came during a brainstorming session by Wilson and Conroy. “I thought, why not meet the audience this movie is intended for, introduce them to the stars and shake their hands,” Wilson says. “It’s the audience that matters the most. It’s why we make these stories, to share them with the world.”

‘50 to 1’ is based on the inspiring true story of Mine That Bird and the cowboy trainer and owners who became the ultimate underdogs in a showdown with the world’s racing elite at the 2009 Kentucky Derby. The film was shot in 40 locations across New Mexico, Kentucky and California, and will open theatrically in roll-out fashion beginning in New Mexico March 21, followed by Texas and Louisiana April 4, Oklahoma and Arkansas April 11, Tennessee and Kentucky April 18, and will then expand across the country.

The tour mirrors not only the true story, but also the release, and will weave its way from town to town through the initial seven states. “This is just for starters,” Wilson says. “We have every intention of crisscrossing America, but it’s dependent on demand. If you want us to come visit your city, let us know.”

People interested in having the ‘50 to 1’ tour stop in their town can email their requests to 50to1themovietour@gmail.com.

Include in the subject line: 50 to 1 Movie Tour – First and Last name, Town, State and Zip Code.

Special Events: Ben Stiller Adds his Hands & Footprints to Chinese Theatre!

THE CHINESE THEATRE IS TO HOLLYWOOD WHAT THE GREAT WALL IS TO CHINA, A MUST SEE!

BEN STILLER TO PUT HAND AND FOOTPRINTS IN CEMENT DEC. 3 AT TCL CHINESE THEATRE FORECOURT

Recent handprint-footprint celebrants have included Robert DeNiro, Jackie Chan, and Sandra Bullock 

(Hollywood, Calif., Nov. 5, 2013)—The most famous movie palace in the world, The TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX® (www.tclchinesetheatres.com), is set to honor actor-writer-director BEN STILLER, who stars in and directs the upcoming feature film, THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY (www.waltermitty.com) which opens Dec. 25, 2013. The traditional handprint-footprint ceremony honoring Stiller takes place Tues., Dec. 3, at 11AM.

THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY is James Thurber’s classic story of a day-dreamer who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job along with that of his co-worker (Kristen Wiig) are threatened, Walter takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York is about to devote an entire weekend to Ben Stiller’s work behind the camera. The Film Society will screen five Stiller-directed films from Dec. 6-8 in a program called Ben Stiller Directs.

Stiller is currently in production on Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young opposite Naomi Watts and Amanda Seyfried. He previously collaborated with Baumbach in 2010 and received rave reviews for his lead role in Greenberg, which also earned him an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Lead Actor.

In 2008, Stiller starred in, co-wrote and directed Tropic Thunder under his Red Hour Films production banner. Starring Robert Downey, Jr., Jack Black and Tom Cruise, the film garnered several award nominations including an Academy Award®, BAFTA, SAG and Golden Globe® for Robert Downey Jr. as well as a Golden Globe® nomination for Tom Cruise. The film also won the Broadcast Film Critics Award and Hollywood Film Festival Award for Comedy of the Year.

His other directing credits include Reality BitesThe Cable Guy, and Zoolander, which he co-wrote and starred in. As a writer, Stiller won an Emmy Award® for the short-lived sketch comedy series The Ben Stiller Show, which he also directed and produced.

Stiller’s acting credits include: Permanent MidnightYour Friends & NeighborsFlirting with DisasterEmpire of the SunThere’s Something About MaryThe Royal TenenbaumsNight at the Museum and Night at the Museum: Battle of the SmithsonianTower Heist; Meet the ParentsMeet the Fockers and Little Fockers; and Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, a Red Hour production.