Social Media

2013 Summer Movie Social Spectacular

[Click to largify.] It’s fitting that there’s a kind of social media silo that we create around ourselves that limits our perspective (mine is movies and equestrian artwork). After all, there’s no way we could take every bit of information in without going a little crazy. Fortunately, the fine folks at Silver Pop have done it for us — creating an overview of how movies large and small utilized social media this summer. This is only going to get more pervasive, people. The question is how far we’re away from actors and actresses being cast in projects because of how large their twitter following is. I give it 3 years. Of course, what this doesn’t tell us is the value of the Tweets and Likes. After Earth may have had close to 1.9M followers across networks, but that didn’t add up to box office success, and I’m curious to know if Man of Steel picked up any heat from people wanting to be in on the debate about mass destruction. As a bird’s eye, though, it gives a clear picture of how important social media is to the success of a summer movie. It’s also pretty awesome that the star who tweeted the most is also the youngest. Imagine what this thing will look like in 10 years when Twitter has been replaced by something even more terrifying: an all-acronym social network. TFIB.

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Jobs Instagram Trailer

It had to happen sometime. Today marks the first time a movie trailer has been released on Instagram, and that movie is Jobs, the upcoming biopic starring Ashton Kutcher as Apple icon Steve Jobs. Back in June, Instagram gave users the option to filter videos as well as photos, and now it seems as though Instagram movie trailers will become a regular thing.

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The staff here at FSR have been tracking the development of The Canyons pretty closely. The reportedly microbudgeted film directed by Paul Schrader from a script by American Psycho/Less Than Zero novelist Bret Easton Ellis and guided by indie producer Braxton Pope, The Canyons has gained notice for utilizing social media outlets like Kickstarter to help finance it and Facebook to cast as-yet-undiscovered talent. Now, it appears that legendary acting veterans James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor porn star James Deen and postmodern performance art project Lindsay Lohan will star in the film, which ComingSoon describes as a “contemporary thriller that documents five twenty-somethings’ quest for power, love, sex and success in 2012 Hollywood.” Lohan is best-known for her starring roles in The Parent Trap, Mean Girls, and the Los Angeles district court. James Deen is best known for his roles at Jimmy Olsen in Superman XXX: A Porn Parody, Moe in Simpsons: The XXX Parody, and Egon Spengler in This Ain’t Ghostbusters XXX.

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“We should get together and just make a movie” is the “we should open a bar” of Hollywood. Tons of people say it all the time because talk is affordable, but a very small percentage actually get out there and make it happen. That’s why it’s always refreshing to see people with talent match it with active ambition. Finite Films is built on fan-submitted concepts, crowd-funding and creativity. The fans and funding make sure they have user-submitted constraints on their filmmaking (think of it as Dogme 2012) and enough cash to get sandwiches for everyone; the creativity is all theirs. Of course, none of what they’re doing would be noteworthy if they weren’t churning out great short films every single month. After a submission and public voting process, the team takes their list of constraints (“One character has to be hiding a horrible secret”) and makes something magical happen. We’ll talk with two of their founders about the freedom that limitations can create. Plus, Movies.com managing editor Erik Davis drops by for a game of Movies News Roulette. Download Episode #136

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The movie industry has always been incapable of stopping itself from taking whatever is popular in current culture and tacking the phrase “: The Movie!” onto it in a lame attempt at making a quick buck. So, with the way social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have taken control of people’s lives over the last decade, and with the success that David Fincher had making The Social Network, a movie about the establishing of Facebook, it was always only a matter of time before we got hit with a deluge of embarrassing movies that had people sitting around on websites as their main conceit. Well, when movie geeks of the future look back on this period of history, many years from now, Thursday, April 12, 2012 might be seen as the day that the dam finally burst in that respect. Not one, but two social media-inspired films have been announced as getting underway in the last few hours. The first report comes from Variety, who says that My Week With Marilyn director Simon Curtis has decided that his second feature film will come from a script called Click to Connect. It was written by Liz Tuccillo, who co-wrote the best-selling book “He’s Just Not That Into You,” and it’s said to be a dating anthology set in the world of online dating sites like match.com and eHarmony. Curtis was reportedly drawn to the material, which is completely different from his period-set biopic debut, because he wants to show his […]

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A few weeks ago, legendary indie producer Ted Hope (21 Grams, American Splendor, Martha Marcy May Marlene, and 50 other movies) spoke at the Athena Film Festival as part of their “From Script to Screen, Producing Films in Tough Times” panel. He was the token male amongst the solid producing presence of Lisa Cortes (Precious), Susan Cartsonis (No Reservations), Nekisa Cooper (Pariah), and Mary Jane Skalski (Win Win). With considerable experience working outside the studio world, they offered advice and encouragement, and Hope was nice enough to spread it to the world at large through his twitter feed. He was unavailable to clear up who should be credited for which piece of advice, but it’s a safe bet to assume that the panel agreed on these points at-large. Not only are they essential for aspiring filmmakers, they also provide a window into the world for movie fans. No matter what side of the screen you’re on, there’s something here for everyone.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s all the movie news that’s fit to print. So, please, print it out and read it on your morning commute. The videos are especially effective that way. We begin this evening with four arms. This is just one of the ninety-seven images that Disney released in support of John Carter which means that if you make a flipbook of them, you’ve got a nice cheap version of the movie. Plus, John Carter wants you to read!

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In our first show of the 2012 season, we set off the filmmaking fireworks by finding out why Innkeepers director Ti West doesn’t believe in spooks, and by talking to indie icon Ed Burns about the twitter revolution, his $9,000 budget, and his new must-see movie Newlyweds. Plus, Neil Miller stops by to dangle the hope and potential of 2012′s most anticipated movies over our noses. Will he say the movie you’re thinking of and validate his opinion to you, or will he neglect it, making everything he says in the future suspect? Be prepared to find out a metric ton about movies and their makers, because it’s our third season, and we’re only getting started. Download This Episode

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Can an indie filmmaker upset the apple cart twice in a career? Evidence seems to point to Edward Burns doing just that, quietly dominating a niche audience without the aid of big budgets (or any budgets really) and without the hollow aid of buy-the-bank advertising campaigns. His first bow on the scene was in 1995 with Sundance favorite The Brothers McMullen, and now he’s capitalizing on the same social networking tool that protestors are using to overthrow dictators: Twitter. At a time when Hollywood is struggling, post-movie star, to figure out what works, Burns is exercising a formula that involves tiny bottom lines and an audience that already trusts and reveres his work. It’s almost certain that few filmmakers will be able to rise to prominence through Twitter, but since Burns is a known entity dedicated to finding his fans and engaging with him, he’s been able to make back money with ease and tell the stories he wants to tell. His latest is Newlyweds, a slice of life written/directed/produced and starring Burns as one-half of a newly married couple whose lives (much like an apple cart) are upset by a half-sister coming on the scene. As the thorough Christina Warrren over at Mashable explains, Burns shot the flick for $9k and raised massive awareness for it and for his process using the little blue bird of tweeting. He also found talent through it. Her full article deserves a read, and in a time where mature adult situations are nearly […]

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Culture Warrior

For the past few weeks, cinephiles, journalists, and critics have been grappling with the notion of what ‘post-9/11 cinema’ is, has been, will be, and/or looks like. What they’ve come up with are a group of wildly different, potentially specious, but ultimately quite fascinating explorations on the relationship between art, commerce, and life – and by ‘life’ I mean, in this case, that rare type of event whose effect takes on an enduringly profound, universally personal, omnipresent ripple. The overwhelming conclusion that most of these observations end with is, rather appropriately and naturally, “I don’t know, but here are some thoughts.” Besides those works of audiovisual media that were directly inspired by, intentionally referenced, or somehow directly related to 9/11, it’s difficult to say exactly what a post-9/11 film is unless one allows for literally every film made afterward to potentially enter such a category. But perhaps we’ve been asking the wrong question.

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After David Fincher’s The Social Network became such a huge hit both critically and commercially, it didn’t take long before everyone started making jokes about the copycat movies that would follow. How much money is the MySpace movie going to spend on CGI glitter? How will the Twitter movie be able to tell a satisfying story in 140 characters or less? It didn’t take a genius to figure out that anyone else trying to make a movie about an Internet startup was going to be laughed out of the box office. That’s an especially rough situation for Alex Winter, who has been trying to get a Napster movie off the ground for the last ten years. Add the fact that the idea of a Napster movie seems very passé in a post Justin Timberlake as Shawn Parker world to the fact that whatever Winter tries to do is already going to get bombarded with jokes about how he was Bill S. Preston, Esq. in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and finding funding for his rise of Napster script starts to look like an uphill battle not worth fighting. So, in that tough situation, really there’s only one course of action: turn your narrative film into a documentary. People can make documentaries about anything.

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Perhaps motivated by all of the awards season rivalry that existed last year between his own script Black Swan and the Aaron Sorkin penned The Social Network, writer Mark Heyman has written a Facebook story of his own. This new script, titled XOXO, seems to have a little bit in common with both of those aforementioned films. Like Black Swan it is a story about obsession and one character stalking another. Like The Social Network it examines the way that social media has altered our interactions. The story is about a young man who meets a girl online, starts up a relationship with her, but then finds her to be not quite what he expected once she starts taking the relationship to strange, stalkery places. The film is said to incorporate both webcam, documentary elements like last year’s case of mistaken online identity film Catfish, but also it will create stylized visual sequences to depict the online interactions between the two main characters, I guess kind of like Hackers.

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It seems so long ago that people were laughing about the idea of a Facebook movie. Then David Fincher signed on. Then Aaron Sorkin signed on. Then things didn’t seem so funny anymore. It’s a film that’s been almost over-exposed even before launching its first trailer, but that moment has arrived, and it’s time to see truly how much over-exposure this bad boy can get.

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