Hugh Grant set to marry TV producer girlfriend

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Stuart Thompson, Broadway Producer of ‘Book of Mormon’ and ‘Mean Girls,’ Dies at 62

Stuart Thompson, the longtime theater producer and general manager of shows including “The Book of Mormon” and the upcoming musical adaptation of “Mean Girls,” died in New York on Thursday of complications from esophageal cancer. He was 62. A well-liked figure in the Broadway community and the winner of six Tony Awards, Thompson was the… Read more »

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‘Spider-Man’ Producer Uses Perfect Word To Explain Why The Cast Is So Diverse

With a great “Spider-Man” movie comes a greatly diverse cast.

Marvel and Sony’s new spin on the story, “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” includes actors from all different backgrounds, ethnicities and ages taking on pivotal roles. Zendaya and Jacob Batalon play Spider-Man’s friends, Laura Harrier is his love interest, and Marisa Tomei plays a younger version of Aunt May.

Everyone seems flipped around in one way or another, and the actors are into it.

At the “Spider-Man: Homecoming” press conference in New York on Sunday, Latino actor Tony Revolori thanked producers for giving him the role of Flash Thompson, which is traditionally a white character.

“Thank you to Jon [Watts], Amy [Pascal] and Kevin [Feige] for casting a 5-foot-8 brown guy to play a 6-foot-2 blond, blue-eyed guy,” said the actor. 

The actors and producers of “Spider-Man: Homecoming” were asked about the inspiration behind the casting during the press conference, and producer Amy Pascal stepped up and dropped the mic.

“I would say the inspiration for it was reality,” said Pascal.

Yup. Reality.

The response was met with applause and “amens” from the cast and audience. 

It appears everyone in production was on the same page from the beginning. Director Jon Watts previously addressed the diversity topic, similarly telling The Daily Beast:

Peter Parker goes to high school in Queens, and Queens is one of ― if not the ― most diverse places in the world. So I just wanted it to reflect what that actually looks like. 

By looking at the “Spider-Man: Homecoming” cast, it’s clear this is not the same old “Spider-Man” movie we’ve become accustomed to. This is something better, and it has the positive social media reviews — and will likely get the box-office numbers — to prove it.

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” swings into theaters July 7.

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‘Stranger Things’ Producer Says Season 2 Will Be Even Scarier

Stranger Things” producer and director Shawn Levy has offered up some hints on the future of the surprise Netflix hit that’s going to be a lot darker in Season 2. 

In fact, the new installment of the Duffer brothers’ series “makes the Demogorgon look quaint,” Levy said during a Facebook Live interview Thursday with The Hollywood Reporter. 

“I was just in the edit room with the brothers yesterday, and we were like, ‘This is definitely darker. I hope everyone’s down with this.’ Because the threats to Hawkins and to our characters are bigger, darker, oftentimes scarier,” he said.

“So, people who found Season 1 too scary for them, probably you’re going to be more scared by Season 2. But again, the best thing I can tell you is, through it all, it’s got the best heart. But it is ― cinematically and budgetarily ― it’s definitely more ambitious.”

Season 2 kicks off one year after Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) returns from the Upside Down. Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) is seemingly alive, according to the trailer that aired during the Super Bowl, and some new kind of monster is terrorizing Hawkins, Indiana. Will is also having trouble adjusting back into life after his trauma, along with Nancy (Natalia Dyer) and Mike (Finn Wolfhard). 

Levy stressed that although the “Stranger Things” bosses were fascinated by the outpouring of support last summer, they aren’t going to let fans’ wishes come before the creators’ instincts. 

“We are going to do things that fans will be disappointed in, but I think they will be more satisfied by,” he said.

Like what?

“People still think Barb’s alive,” Levy explained. “You think you want that! But you wouldn’t really want that,” he said, saying that celebrities have come up to him to ask about the fate of Shannon Purser’s character. 

“No, you saw! She had a creature ― a slug-worm-snake ― coming out of her mouth. I don’t know that there’s a bounce-back from that. So, no, we are not going to cravenly service the wish list of fans.”

Season 2 premieres Oct. 31 on Netflix.

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A Black Lesbian Horror Film From ‘Get Out’ Producer Is In The Works

Screenwriter Dee Rees is to heart-rending films about black lesbians as producer Jason Blum is to eerily relevant social horror movies ― and the two are joining forces for what should be a one-of-a-kind movie that speaks to the terror of homophobia, sexism and racism, at the very least. 

Rees is the director of the 2011 Sundance film “Pariah,” about a young black lesbian coming to terms with her sexuality and familial rejection, and the Golden Globe-nominated biopic “Bessie” about 1920s queer blues singer Bessie Smith. Blum produced the second highest-grossing R-rated horror film in North American history with 2017’s “Get Out,” a social thriller that intertwines components of the genre with the experience of being black in America.  

Both have mastered the art of using cinema as insight into painful everyday American realities, and, according to a New York Times Magazine article published Thursday, will soon be combining their storytelling talents. 

Blum, who is a fan of Rees’ critically acclaimed Sundance movie “Mudbound,” said Rees recently pitched a horror film centered on a black lesbian couple who just moved to the countryside together, and he was all for it. 

They met at a recent event in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Bel Air, where both gave speeches to a room of Sundance Institute benefactors. After Rees and Blum both spoke to the other’s brilliance, they connected after Blum’s speech for a meeting of minds. 

Rees’ pitch to Blum went as follows: “You’ve got me and my wife, two black lesbians, and when we first moved in, we fought every day over all these little things: ‘Why is this over there? Did you move that?’ ” she said. 

“Maybe it was a ghost,” Rees continued. “Or maybe it was some other force — like us not wanting to be there or fitting in. Anyway, that’s my horror-movie pitch,” Rees said.

Blum was sold. Just a few weeks later, the two met for lunch and began talking business. 

“I can’t tell you how rare it is that people mean what they say in this business,” Rees told writer Ryan Bradley of Blum. “He’s just letting me make the best possible version of what I want to make.”

We don’t know how long this will take, but in the meantime, let’s imagine Jordan Peele is somewhere satisfying a screenwriting itch. 

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In Harry Styles’ World, Led Zeppelin Is Weird, Bukowski Is Cool: Inside the Album With Producer Jeff Bhasker (EXCLUSIVE)

“Maybe we’ll bring fathers and daughters together.”

Variety

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Music Producer Rick Rubin’s Malibu Oasis

The legendary producer—and first-time father—has spent a decade perfecting his secluded home in Malibu, California.
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Frozen producer reveals original ending

It made more than $ 1bn (£799m) at the box office and delighted children across the world, but Frozen’s producer has revealed the film nearly ended very differently.
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Hollywood producer guilty of attempted murder

An award-winning Hollywood television producer, who once made a movie about a landlord killing his tenants, has been convicted of trying to kill his real-life tenant.
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Glencore, Qatar Buy Stake in Russian Oil Producer Rosneft

Russia sold a 19.5% stake in state-controlled oil giant PAO Rosneft to a consortium formed by Glencore PLC and Qatar in a deal valued at $ 11.3 billion, bringing much-needed cash to Russia.
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IPhone Producer Foxconn Bids $5.3 Billion to Buy Sharp

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IPhone Producer Foxconn Bids $5.3 Billion to Buy Sharp

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Producer Kristin Hahn Reveals What It’s Like to Be Best Friends and Producing Partners With Jennifer Aniston

The angular jaw line, the dirty blond hair, the toned arms—at first look, it's easy to mistake Kristin Hahn for Jennifer Aniston. When you sit down and spend a few hours with the writer/producer/director, the…


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What Does it Take to Make a Movie? Wisdom from Effie Gray Producer Donald Rosenfeld

When he was just a boy, one of the first movies that really stood out for Donald Rosenfeld was the epic World War II film, Bridge on the River Kwai. “My parents first took me to the Cinerama at age five in St. Louis where I grew up, probably because there was no babysitter available that night,” he recalls. In fact, many images from the film continue to stay with him. And the movie’s essential concepts came to represent the nature of producing films. “You have to build this thing and yet remain conscious that you’re also in the world. Because you can lose your life, (or your movie),” Rosenfeld explains. “You need to have a foot in the mad quixotic void of making a movie, but also be able to remain a centered human being. And I think that’s often forgotten in Hollywood today.”

He was also enchanted by the Robert Aldrich classic The Longest Yard which starred Burt Reynolds. “It’s set in a prison and about a football game. It showed me that you could make a movie about something impossible, which no one would ever do based on potential commerce alone,” says Rosenfeld.

Yet, somehow the film lives somewhere between total tragedy and comedy, and survives. And a magnificent movie was created breaking all the rules. If you create movies based on Instinct and passion rather than demographics and marketing concerns, you have a chance at greatness.

Since the the 1980s, Rosenfeld has been producing great movies like Howards End, Mr. and Mrs. Bridge, Remains of the Day, Surviving Picasso, Tree of Life and Jodorowsky’s Dune. Rosenfeld was the President of the esteemed film company Merchant Ivory Productions for more than a decade.

And just last month, he debuted the film Effie Gray starring a stellar cast of actors including Dakota Fanning, Greg Wise, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Tom Sturridge, Derek Jacobi, Robbie Coltrane, David Suchet and Claudia Cardinale. In Emma Thompson’s original screenplay, based on a true story, a teenage Effie Gray, and adult art critic John Ruskin are in a loveless unconsummated marriage during the Victorian era when divorce was not an option. “It’s a very modern story that seemed alive,” says Rosenfeld. “There’s just so much about marriage, about discontent.”

While many are intrigued about movie making, most don’t really know the nuts and bolts — what it actually takes to get a film to the screen. Rosenfeld shared the nitty gritty of what producing a film involves.

Hire a great diva-free actress like Dakota Fanning to star in your film.

Every day, she’s grateful for all. She’s like Paul Newman who I worked with on Mr. and Mrs. Bridge. They embrace the luck of their life as opposed to resting on their laurels. They’re really out working. They’re out trying things. She’s like a great Hollywood star from the Garbo era.

Also, Dakota knew everybody’s name from the smallest crew member to the most elevated. She was as interested in talking to Emma Thompson as she was our Key Grip and Electrics. She’s a real person and that’s not that often the case, especially with people who have grown up in this business.

It can go either way. But she was completely engaged. One day she was sweeping the streets with me when we had to rush and get a set ready. She was always saying, ‘What can I do? Put me to work.’

When making a movie, expect the unexpected and carry on.

Movies are full of tremendous disasters — natural and otherwise. On the Ballad of the Sad Café a tornado literally brought down our western town set. We had rented Willie Nelson’s property and the set just disappeared!

We rebuilt it all and then 45 days later continued shooting. But then the IRS came and locked up the whole set because Willie had some tax issues — we weren’t allowed access to our new set. We eventually enlisted Senator Moynihan to come and fight for us against the Revenue Service foreclosure, and we were able to finish the movie.

That movie was just fraught with problems. But you solve them. And sometimes those problems lead to a better movie. So many times people say, ‘It’s raining: we cannot shoot today.’ But rain in general looks beautiful on film.

I say, ‘So we’ll shoot something. Let’s make something out of it.’ And some of those shots become the most beautiful shots in the movie. Whatever befalls you, you have to continue shooting your movie — especially on location with a tight budget.

Always keep your cast and crew happy.

Every day is different and kind of a performance. You are taking care of 150 to 200 people. And you have to be resilient and open to that actual day. It really is exciting. You have to keep people inspired and entertained and keep morale up.

You have to figure out a way to do it every day. When I was down in Texas and we had a terrible tornado, we had Vanessa Redgrave, Rod Steiger starring in the film. We had Walter Lassally on camera, who had shot Tom Jones and invented something called Day for Night which allows you to shoot in the day but it’s night.

We had Willie Nelson there because it was his ranch and we had Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson.

I called Zakir Hussain who’s a great tabla player who had done film scores for us. He’s now become a kind of a rock star with the Grateful Dead: I said, ‘You’re coming down here.’ He said, ‘What do you mean?’

I said, ‘Where are you?’ He said, ‘I’m in San Anselmo, California. I’m not going anywhere.’ I said ‘you’re coming here.’ So, he finally came and he did an Indian Rag, playing all night. Willie eventually joined. Waylon Joined and Kris Kristofferson, who was visiting Vanessa Redgrave, In the end we had a concert and crew and cast party that went on forever.

We brought in wagons of beer and barbecue. I have to say for the next six weeks, my crew was pretty happy. And these were 115 degree days with rattle snakes everywhere. Willie and his family were amazing. They took such good care of us.

The film producer is responsible for everything.

It’s as if the director is the errant son and the producer is the father. The only directors I know who are kings are their own producers — people like Steven Spielberg or Francis Ford Coppola who are also producers.

That’s when a director starts to really run the show. On my movies I choose who works with the director, whether it’s the art director, the costumer, composer or the actors. I’m the final word. I certainly permit my director to come and be part of it and I’ll listen to him.

But I have final cut of the movie. I finance them independently: So I make my movies with the huge collaboration of 200 people!

But the bottom line is we make them very cheaply but beautifully, so the money’s on screen. I have a producing partner, Andreas Roald, who’s a former Norwegian television star turned producer. And he’s been an incredible complement to what I do and an all-around good guy. He and myself really decide everything.

A good attitude will get you far.

Producers watch everything. I watch all the footage. I can tell people, we really blew it or we have to do more. In so many cases you’re far off and away, so you’ve got to find a way to make things work and you do.

Sometimes I’ll fly out, look at footage and fly back four hours later. A movie is something that you experience. It’s not perfect. If it were, it would be ugly. The beauty of movies is that something great can come out of near disaster, something beautiful that comes out of even mistakes.

Sometimes I’ll jump in and be in a scene because we’ve lost an actor. I can be the back of their head. Whatever it takes you do it. You do what you need to do. But most of all you’re thinking about tomorrow.

You’re thinking things are going this way today. How are we going to get tomorrow to be even better? How can I make that happen? How can I make it work? And you do it. And it’s always a challenge, but a happy challenge because you’re making your movie. How many people get to do that?

Being a film producer is like being the captain of a ship.

Almost every shooting day, you’re the captain. But you also have to go down with the ship. i am blamed for everything. Everyone has demands and needs and often excuses, And the reality is you have to stick by the movie and be the one who’s smiling.

One thing (producer) Ismail Merchant showed me from the beginning is no matter what happens, you’ve got to get it done. But you also have to do it with some level of kindness and charm because we’re making these movies from our hearts.

Find material that you love and feel passionate about.

I loved Effie Gray. Until this point, you’ve never seen a Victorian movie about people like us, They’re always about the kings and queens and Victoria and her lovers or young Albert.

I just couldn’t find a Victorian movie that wasn’t based on a novel, that was real – that actually dealt with non-aristocratic, non-royal people. Where we could get some sense that this fascinating era is the beginning of the modern age. I thought you can only do it through people who aren’t hidden in the history with all the regalia.

Effie Gray had been taken out of an idyllic, agrarian life up in Scotland. She’s brought down to London and she thinks the city’s going to offer great wonders. She really got into this hopeless arranged marriage.

Emma had been reading Parallel Lives:Five Victorian Marriages by Phyllis Rose. I knew the book and the stories. And I really wanted to do something original with an original script.

There’s just so much about hope filled marriage, met with sadness and discontent. It’s a very modern story and seemed alive. I thought let’s go make this.

Donald Rosenfeld

2015-05-29-1432931445-4114233-DonaldRosenfeld.jpg
Photo credit: David Salle 2015

Dakota Fanning and Greg Wise

2015-05-29-1432931825-3743678-DakotaFanningandGregWise.jpg
Photo credit: David Levinthal

Emma Thompson

2015-05-29-1432931864-132728-EmmaThompson.jpg
Photo credit: David Levinthal

All photos used with permission.

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Amy Poehler Comments On Death Of ‘Parks & Rec’ Producer Harris Wittels

Amy Poehler was honored at Thursday night’s unite4:humanity gala for her work with Worldwide Orphans Foundation, but the “Parks and Recreation” star used the event to pay tribute to Harris Wittels. The 30-year-old “Parks and Rec” producer, writer and guest star died on Thursday at his home.

“Today, I lost a friend,” Poehler said. “I lost a dear young man in my life, who was struggling with addiction and who died. Just a few hours before we came. […] I’m sharing it with you because life and death live so close together and we walk that fine line every day. At the end of the day when things happen in our lives we turn to the people that we love and we look to our family and our community for support and we lean on people in a hope that they will ease our pain.”

Wittels had gone to rehab twice for drug addiction. He memorably talked about it during an episode of the Nerdist podcast “You Made It Weird.”

“I have done drugs recreationally since I was, like, 12,” Wittels said in the episode, which aired in November of last year. “The thing that happens with opiates is you get sick. You fucking go into withdrawals. So now it’s like I have to do drugs, or I’m not well.”

No cause of death has been determined for Wittels yet. According to the Los Angeles Times, an autopsy will likely be performed this weekend and results of any toxicology tests will not be known for more than six weeks.

Poehler wasn’t the only member of the “Parks and Recreation” team to comment Wittels’ death. Rob Lowe, who also appeared on the show, tweeted his condolences:



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Harris Wittels, ‘Parks And Rec’ Executive Producer, Found Dead At 30

Harris Wittels, co-executive producer of NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” was found dead at his Los Angeles home on Thursday. TMZ was first to report the news, which was confirmed to The Huffington Post by a spokesperson for Creative Artists Agency (CAA).

In a statement to The Huffington Post, a Los Angeles Police Department representative said the 30-year-old was found by his assistant at around 12 p.m. PT on Thursday. The cause of death is not yet determined, and will be decided by coroner.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, police responded to a call to Wittels’ home for a possible overdose.

Wittels had spoken about his battle with drug addiction in the past, and had been to rehab twice.

In addition to “Parks and Recreation,” which ends it series run next week, Wittels also worked on series such as “Eastbound And Down,” and “The Sarah Silverman Program.” He is also credited with coining the term “humblebrag,” a type of boast disguised in modesty. He published a book in 2012, “Humblebrag: The Art Of False Modesty,” based on his Twitter account.
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Dallas Austin Signed 8×10 Photo w/COA R&B Producer Hip Hop Legend

Dallas Austin Signed 8×10 Photo w/COA R&B Producer Hip Hop Legend


Dallas Austin Signed 8×10 Photo w/COA R&B Producer Hip Hop Legend
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Gotta Get Signed: How to Become a Hip-Hop Producer

Gotta Get Signed: How to Become a Hip-Hop Producer


King lays out the steps one must take to learn the art and craft of hip-hop production. He begins with a brief history of the genre, explains the roles of a producer and beat-maker, how to build a studio, assemble a production team, and promote the music. He also reveals invaluable information about how advance-against-royalty deals work.

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