Steven Soderbergh really, really doesn’t want to get into another van to go scouting ever again. Photo credit: Joe Corrigan/Getty
We search for the more interesting and provocative news and views of the past week, just so you don’t have to.
This past week brought news on serious money for feature films on the web, feature films from your local multiplex, and a director giving up feature films.
How do you build a career out of a feature film that cost $1 million to create but you put on the web for free? Director Sebastian Gutierrez (Women in Trouble) is about to find out. His new comedy Girl Walks Into a Bar has shown in LA and at SXSW before popping up on Youtube’s new showcase site over the weekend, spiced up with a breathless The First Major Motion Picture Made For The Internet Only on YouTube tagline.
Granted, he does have someone else’s money proffered: a producer (Stephen Bing), an exclusive ad tie-in (Lexus), and some unspecified support (YouTube). Don’t know if this is something anyone but known directors will get traction on, but enough B-level actors (Carla Gugino, Josh Hartnett, Rosario Dawson) have signed on to lend some validity. For those DSLR heads, the whole thing was shot with a Canon 7D.
The annual South By Southwest music, film and technology fest, where with-it ventures like Gutierrez’ web feature turn up, is…face it, at this point SXSW has become a crowded, oversubscribed venue, at least according to any number of cranky web postings. If you now feel smart about not showing up, but would still like to be up with the latest SXSW gossip, head over to the GigaOM site; it offers an extensive listing of links to live streamed panels and concerts, all of which you can find here.
A slickly produced film that pushed new distribution scenarios via the web wasn’t the only notable news this past week, at least if you’re someone who moons over the passing of major studio Indie divisions. To whit, the two largest U.S. exhibitors–AMC Entertainment and the Regal Entertainment Group–launched a new venture, Open Road Films, which expects to release 8 to 10 films a year. First one to appear later in 2011, according to this posting.
Sony’s PMW-F3 camcorder, which just recently started shipping, is already winning enthusiastic responses. With features including a new Super 35 CMOS sensor, a new set of Sony primes and a price tag of 16,000 (body-only), the camera is spotted as a baby Sony F35/Red One/Alexa (as per Adam Wilt). If you’d like to know crucial, real-world details, Abel Cine has been running a series of tests. Here’s the most recent results from Andy Shipsides’ blog.
With all the commotion over Apple’s new iPad 2, some have wondered just how useful it might be for production professionals. Afterall, it does feature a dual core processor, improved graphics, and apps galore. How about a pro analyst’s take on it? Well, try one of theJon Peddie group’s reliably acerbic reports to help you figure out just how useful it might be by clicking here. (Hint: the iPad 2 is called a second-generation hype generator.)
For something less acerbic, and really, if you’re curious as to what serious, intellectual film mags have to say—you know, the ones that won’t discuss any films featuring regular series of explosions or excessive gun play—you might want to browse through this digest provided by David Hudson. Briefing us on what the top film mags (Cinemascope, Film Comment, Cineaste, and Offscreen) are covering this month, you’ll learn about Iranian filmmakers, German cinema at the Berlinale, and “La Lettre du cinema” by clicking here.
Oscar-winning Steven Soderbergh used the forum of an interview with Kurt Anderson on this past weekend’s Studio 360 to let the world know that “you’re not going to have Steven Soderbergh to kick around anymore.” With two more films to complete before he quits Tinseltown, the New York-based director—who expands on the above with a “if I have to get into a van to do anther scout I’m just going to shoot myself” comment—is said to be off on other creative endeavors that really, truly don’t require a van to scout.
Updated 3/15/11 with corrected links.