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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Stu Maschwitz blog ... Cruise financing ... `The lost art of film editing'

- I'm late in pointing you to Stu Maschwitz's blog. Stu is a co-founder of The Orphanage (which did visual effects recently for `Superman Returns' and `Sin City') and an alumnus of Industrial Light & Magic. Also a very busy TV commercial director and co-founder of Red Giant Software. He's got a book coming out this November that looks promising, called `The DV Rebel's Guide: An All-Digital Approach to Making Killer Action Movies on the Cheap.'

I've got a Q&A with Stu that should be running soon in The Hollywood Reporter; I'll post a link here when it does, along with a longer version of the conversation, which also included Orphanage co-founder Jonathan Rothbart. (Thanks, Mike, for the nudge.)

- Tom Cruise and his producing partner, Paula Wagner, were getting $10 million a year from Paramount for overhead expenses -- basically, the costs of running an office and developing movies. Since the Paramount split, Cruise/Wagner have lined up financing for just $3 million a year for overhead, according to the Wall Street Journal. The financing comes from the owner of the Washington Redskins and the CEO of Six Flags. (Perhaps hoping that a future Tom Cruise flick will inspire a new breed of roller coaster at his theme parks?)

- The Boston Globe ran a piece on Sunday headlined `The lost art of film editing', by Jessica Winter. Her gripe is a familiar one: cuts in contemporary movies are too fast and too furious. Still, it's a good read. (In part because she doesn't blame new editing technology, like Avid or Apple's FinalCut Pro -- an obvious and simplistic scapegoat.) One cause for the disappearance of the long take, she says, is filmmaking by committee:

    ...filmmaking by committee is nothing new -- countless auteurs have had to battle with the suits over final cut -- but the size and power of the committees have grown in the last couple of years, as digital technology has made it possible to burn multiple copies of a rough cut onto DVDs in a matter of minutes. That means more comments and criticisms from anyone involved in the production -- be it a producer, sales agent, publicist, or personal assistant -- who happens to get his hands on a cut.


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