Bernadette Peters to Play Animated Glinda

Summertime Entertainment’s animated 3D adaptation of The Wizard of Oz sequel cast Broadway legend Bernadette Peters as Glinda the Good Witch, according to Variety’s Dave McNary. The project, called Dorothy of Oz, also stars Glee‘s Lea Michele as Dorothy, Martin Short as the jester, Jim Belushi as the cowardly lion, Dan Aykroyd as the scarecrow, Kelsey Grammar as the tin man, Smash‘s Megan Hilty as China Princess, Hugh Dancy as Marshal Mallow, Oliver Platt as Wiser the Owl, and Patrick Stewart as Tugg.

If many of those character names sound unfamiliar, it’s because this movie takes place after the classic Wizard of Oz ends, and follows Dorothy and the gang on the adventures outlined in Roger Stanton Baum’s novel Dorothy of Oz. Given the vocally talented cast, we’re expecting the movie to be replete with memorable sing-a-long tunes. Bernadette Peters isn’t going to sing just anything.

The songs had better be good, given the abundance of Oz projects in development around town. There’s Oz Wars at Vanguard Films and Animation, which sets Dorothy in a contemporary and dark world with witches, warlocks, martial arts, monsters, and black magic. Warner Bros. is developing Oz: Return to Emerald City, a modern retelling of the classic tale and Oz, about Dorothy’s granddaughter returning to Oz to fight evil. New Line has Oz, a remake of the original film. Disney is shooting Oz: The Great and Powerful, a prequel to the original. Not to mention Universal’s Wicked, based on the famed Broadway show based on the novel about how the Wicked Witch of the West grew to be so wicked.

– Cindy Kaplan


Seriously, Everyone Wants to Cast Rooney Mara

Yesterday, we wrote about Rooney Mara closing a deal to join the latest Spike Jonze project. Today, word is circulating that the actress is also set to star in Brooklyn, a drama based on the book by Colm Toibin. Pascal Chaumeil is directing the movie, which will likely shoot in the spring of 2013.

Nick Hornby is writing the script. It’s the perfect material for Hornby, the author of A Long Way Down, About a Boy, and my personal favorite, High Fidelity.

The story, set in the 1950s, follows a young Irish woman who immigrates to New York and falls in love with an Italian plumber, until a letter from back home changes everything.

Mara’s not exactly the go-to for Irish typecasting, but she’s talented enough and dark enough to bring this story to life. And she’s really blowing up. In addition to this and the Jonze project, she’s in Steven Soderbergh’s The Bitter Pill, Terence Malick’s Lawless, and of course, in the Millennium trilogy as Lisbeth Salander.

What do you think of Mara? Is she A-list material?

– Cindy Kaplan

Time Magazine Says Harvey Weinstein is One of the 100 Most Influential People in the World

Harvey Weinstein is getting some love – or at least some major respect – from Time magazine.

The magazine has named the co-chairman of The Weinstein Company one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

That’s right: The world.

He’s in fancy company: President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Apple CEO Tim Cook, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, also are on the list.

So are Kristen Wiig, Jessica Chastain, Viola Davis, Tilda Swinton, Claire Danes, Stephen Colbert, Adele and Matt Lauer.

Johnny Depp wrote Time’s entry on Weinstein, and had this to say:

“While he’s certainly the charming servant to film he purports to be, Harvey isn’t afraid of a duke-’em-out. (I’ve had the pleasure of being both his ally and his enemy at various times.) He stops at nothing for what he believes in.

“He can be your most frightening nightmare and your closest friend.”

Given the choice, make the producer your friend.

Cannes to Close With ‘Therese D’

This year’s Cannes Film Festival will close with Therese D — the last film directed by the late Claude Miller.

Miller, a protégé of the brilliant François Truffaut, was a Cannes favorite. His 2003 Little Lili and 1998 La classe de neige were nominated for the Palme d’Or. La classe de neige won a Jury Prize.

“By dedicating the closing night to him, the Festival de Cannes, along with his family, friends, producers, and distributors, is very pleased to pay tribute to the memory of Claude Miller,” festival organizers said.

Therese D — based on François Mauriac’s novel Therese Desqueyroux — stars the French actress Audrey Tautou as Therese, a woman who, stuck in a loveless marriage, poisons her husband, but doesn’t manage to kill him.

Tautou is best known for her role in the French film, Amélie, and for playing Sophie Neveu opposite Tom Hanks in The Da Vinci Code.

Cannes runs from May 16 to May 27.



Blackmagic Design Unveils Crazy New Camera

A high-quality, low-cost digital camera unveiled this week could be a game-changer for filmmakers.

Blackmagic Design, a company known for the DaVinci color correction products, showed off its Cinema Camera – a $2,995 beauty that includes some crazy features, including super wide 13 stops of dynamic range, high resolution 2.5K sensor, built-in high bandwidth SSD recorder, open file format support, color correction with full version of DaVinci Resolve and a built-in LCD with metadata entry.

Blackmagic’s new Cinema Camera

That’s all a fancy way of saying the camera is packed with stuff filmmakers want. Blackmagic promises the camera is good enough to make movies look like … movies.

Already, smart filmmakers are taking advantage of technology to make great-looking movies – cheap. Drake Doremus, for instance, shot his 2011 Sundance film Like Crazy, on a still camera – a $1,400 Canon EOS 7D.

Doremus shot that movie for only $250,000. It grossed $3.4 million.

The Blackmagic Cinema Camera is a professional-grade movie camera that opens a world of new possibilities to indie filmmakers.

Blackmagic announced its new camera at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show in Las Vegas. The company hopes to have the camera on the market by July.

And here it is all tricked out:

The same Blackmagic Cinema Camera — all tricked out


Newport Beach Film Festival: 5 Movies To Watch

Blog By: Armando Tinoco

The Newport Beach Film Festival is fast approaching. Known for its action sports cinema, the festival showcases studio and independent films from around the globe. This year the festival will run from April 26 through May 3 and will exhibit more than 400 films from 50 countries.

At the festival, fans can meet the directors, screenwriters, cinematographers and stars behind the films.

Film Funds loves movies and recommends these five in particular:


Heleno: Rodrigo Santoro
Rodrigo Santoro — from 300 and the upcoming What To Expect When You’re Expecting — stars in Heleno, a biopic about Heleno de Freitas, the controversial Brazilian soccer star from the 1940s.

The film is directed by Jose Henrique Fonseca and written by Felipe Bragança, Fernando Castets and Jose Henrique Fonseca.




Based on the hit play and bestselling book, Jewtopia, stars Ivan Sergei, Joel David Moore, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jon Lovitz, Rita Wilson, Tom Arnold, Peter Stormare, Camryn Manheim, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Wendie Malick, Nicollette Sheridan, Phil Rosenthal, Christine Lakin, Hayes MacArthur and Lin Shaye.

The story is about Christian O’Connell (Sergei) and Adam Lipschitz (Moore) — two childhood friends who reunite as adults to help each other land the women of their dreams. Chris wants to marry Allison (Hewitt), a Jewish girl, so that he’ll never have to make another decision for as long as he lives. Adam is on the verge of getting married to Hannah (Sigler), a woman he is not content with. When Chris enlists Adam’s help in pretending to be Jewish so that Allison will date him, cultures collide and chaos ensues!

Synopsis from Newport Beach Film Festival.

Jewtopia is co-written by Sam Wolfson and Bryan Fogel, who also directed and wrote the original play on which the film is based.


Shanghai Calling

Shanghai Calling
This romantic comedy, starring Daniel Henney and Happy Endings actress Eliza Couple, follows a New York attorney who relocates to Shanghai where he gets into a potentially career-ending legal mess. Shanghai Calling was filmed entirely on location in the beautiful city of Shanghai.

Shanghai Calling is directed and written by Daniel Hsia.

Check out the trailer here…


Behind The Orange Curtain

Behind The Orange Curtain

Behind the Orange Curtain is a documentary about an epidemic plaguing Orange County: Prescription drug addiction. Director Brent Huff’s movie takes an in-depth look at teens and adults who fall victim to this form of drug abuse.

Watch the trailer for Behind The Orange Curtain here:

Bringing Up Bobby

In her directorial debut, Famke Janssen (X-Men), tells the story of con artist Olive and her 10 year-old son, Bobby. Both of them spend their lives scamming the rich — until they move to Oklahoma with hopes of building a better life. When Olive’s criminal past comes back to haunt her, she is forced to make a decision that can alter both of their lives forever.

The film stars Milla Jovovich, Bill Pullman, Marcia Cross and Rory Cochrane.

You can see more on this movie here:

Newport Beach Film Festival offers features, shorts and documentaries from around the world. The festival opens with the world premiere of Jewtopia. For $125, fans can watch the world premiere and attend an exclusive after-party.

The festival closes with the world premiere of Shanghai Calling. Tickets for that film and the gala that follows are $60 a piece.

Other movies cost $12 — $10 for seniors.

For a look at the complete list of the movies playing and admission prices for each film, check out the official site.

Which movies are you most looking forward to?

Today, In the Wonderful World Of Cinema…

Blog By: Caroline Wingard


Oliver Stone’s New Movie

Oliver Stone is coming out with a new movie and its release date is set for September 28. The movie, Savages, is an adaptation of Dan Winslow’s best selling novel, following two men who are fighting the Mexican drug cartel. Pot growers Ben (Aaron Johnson) and Chon (Taylor Kitsch) have to violently fight the Mexican drug cartel, who kidnapped their shared girlfriend, O (Blake Lively), as they are looking to move into their territory. Sounds like an interesting story! The movie is also stars Emile Hirsch, Uma Thurman, Salma Hayek, John Travolta and Benicio Del Toro. The trailer is only a few days away from being released, so we will not have to wait long!

Speaking of Blood…

If you are dying to make a horror movie, but don’t have a budget for all the awesome effects, wait no longer, we are here to help! compiled a list of horror effect tips that you can use for your own film and here are some of them:

1. Keep it simple
Sometimes less is more, and more often than not, it is better to keep the effects simple and to a minimum. Instead of using that huge, scary monster that you dream of every night, use a human antagonist. Monsters are indeed scary, but a hooded figure in the shadow can create even more mystery and creep out the audience.

2. Find an expert
If you still believe that more is more, and a monster is the way to go, the best way is to find someone who is already an expert within the field of horror. They will be full of great tips and tricks on how to get the most effect out of your low budget. You might have to pay them, or pray that they will help you for free because they are so passionate about what they do. Fingers crossed!

3. Get cheap props
You should start with making a list of all the props that you will need for your film in order to get organized before you start to hunt them down. Look around your house, work, school and ask all your crew members to do the same. You never know what can be hiding under your bed. If you still need props, search online, go to auctions, pawn shops etc. There are always ways to find cheap props if you just spend some time looking.

4. Use food
Time to get creative! Your kitchen is full of items that can be useful for your horror movies effects. For fake blood, simply mix corn syrup, chocolate syrup, and red food coloring. You can thicken it up with corn starch. You can also use raw meat, especially cheap trimmings for gore or organs and body parts.

5. Use Makeup
Ordinary cosmetics can be very useful. If you don’t own your own makeup, ask your girlfriends, your mother or even your grandmother. Red lipstick makes for a good infected cut, and rouge makes for good bruises. Vaseline can be added to make cuts look fresh or to give a bruise a good shine.

6. Use your computer
A lot of effects can be added in post production. Get a free video editing program, find someone with access to one, or see if there is a school computer you can use that has one. Add any effects that you could not afford to do using effects. If you are not computer savvy, grab your nerdy tech friends and ask them to help you.