Saturday, 29 January 2011

Michael Mann playing on Microsoft Kinect

Never thought I would see Oliver Stone and Michael Mann playing against each other on Microsoft Kinect! Well, here they are (I wonder who won?!):

Personally, I like a game of PS3 Call of Duty, but don't tell anybody!

To see who took the video and some other pics, see this link.

David Milch on Luck

David Milch
Found a brief interview in LA Times with David Milch talking about Luck. Not much given away, but worth a look. There was talk that Milch was brought up around racetracks, but Milch gives the impression that was his cousin! For a moment I was suckered into thinking that was true until someone who obviously knows his life background better than I do set the record straight and assured me he was joking. It wasn't his cousin! Here is the article in full.

Q: It must be exciting for you to build a show around Santa Anita Park. You've spent a lot of time in your life at racetracks ...
A:  No, that was a cousin. I had a cousin who spent a lot of time at racetracks. [Laughs] The setting is exciting, yes, but there's some nervousness in making it too. You want to get it right. You always feel a particular duty of care to whatever world you're trying to portray, but then you especially feel it when there is a lived experience against which you're measuring the activities of the imagination. I think that sense of responsibility is compounded. That's one of the reasons I was so grateful to Michael, to bring that separate eye. That really enriched the end product.

Michael Mann Public Enemies Interview

Here is an excellent interview with Michael Mann on his film Public Enemies, the link courtesy of "Hosea". Very insightful again, into Mann's vision for the movie.  The following was of interest to me in particular (get full article here):

Michael Mann:

So, with Homer, outside the bank, and he sees that police car drive up. There’s a close-up--it's something you can only do in hi-def--I've got the lens right here, and you’ll just see the focus shift to right to the stubble, and then I’m heightening that and color timing by raising the contrast just when we get there. So, you really feel you’ve gone right into Homer, and you can feel his awareness just climb up. There’s no nervousness, there’s nothing. But, you see he has totally taken in the arrival of the cops outside.
And so, I look for those moments. I look for where or how to bring the audience into the moment, to reveal what somebody’s thinking and what they’re feeling, and where it feels like you’re inside the experience. Not looking at it, with an actor performing it, but have an actor live it, and you as audience, if I could bring the audience inside to experience. It became critical in THE INSIDER, because the ambition was to make a film that was as suspenseful as I knew, and dramatic as I knew those lives really were. And, it’s all talking heads, but the devastation, the potential devastation to [Jeffrey] Wigand and Lowell Bergman was total annihilation, personal annihilation, suicide--all that was in the cards for these guys. And, yet, it’s all just people talking. So, that kind of began an exploration into how I could bring you into experience in as internal a way as I could.
Full article here. 

Dustin Hoffman Sky Atlantic TV advert

A Sky TV salesman came to my door last night. He wanted me to sign up for Sky TV. I said I might be interested for the sole reason that they will be airing Sky Atlantic HD. "Oh why? What do you want to watch?" I replied, "Luck, directed by Michael Mann." Looking nonplussed and tilting his head slightly, he asked, "who is in it?" With raised eyebrows and a smile I told him the best TV news of 2011, "Dustin Hoffman." With immediate recognition he let out an "Oooooooo ... So that's why Dustin Hoffman is on the new Sky Atlantic TV advert?". I nod. "So, you want to sign up for Sky sir?" I pause, and then sigh. "Not today ... I can't afford a HD flat screen TV yet. I still only have my 21" box from the the 20th Century." With that, he turned his heel and left. But he left me wondering... "what more motivation do I need to spend my children's education on a new TV?!"

Here is hoping for a blessed 2011. I really want a flat screen HD TV and a Sky subscription... in time for Luck.

If you haven't seen it already (and who hasn't?), here it is. despite the slightly cliche dialogue, I think it is beautifully spoken by Hoffman, and beautifully shot. I love New York and what a stunning use of camera. Sheesh, they really had to know the suns position and time for that one. Music by Cinematic Orchestra, To Build a Home.

Read more about Sky's deal with HBO here.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Camera used on Michael Mann's public enemies

About 95% of Public Enemies was shot with the Sony F23.

Do you fall weak at the knees whenever you see a gorgeous.... camera? If so, then we are alike. I love cameras (and yes, I would love a RED). We all know they are a workers tool, and nothing more. But a workman gets attached to their tools, and I am very sentimental about all the cameras I own. So, for all the camera buffs, here is an interesting mann link on the camera used for Public Enemies – The Sony F23 (which unlike the RED, isn't that pretty).

Here is an extract of the article – for the full link, click here.
A few months before principal photography began on “Public Enemies,” Mann and Carroll tested the F23 on a series of commercials. On one set, it was mounted to a race car driving at speeds of up to 140 miles per hour. On another, it was handheld with the operator running between football players on the practice field to capture the shots.

“The F23’s ergonomics, film-like design and incredible amount of features – such as multi-speed recording, ramping and, of course the 4:4:4, 10-bit quality – proved to be bullet-proof,” Carroll said. “The camera just works and does its job.”

About 95 percent of the movie was shot with the F23, while the Sony PMW-EX1 camcorder handled shots that required a more mobile tool. For example, the compact EX1 camcorder was used to lens the interior of planes and cars during high-speed chases.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Michael Mann at Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas

Michael Mann attended the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to promote the virtues of Blu-ray. It coincides with the not so long ago released Fox Blu-ray version of Last of the Mohicans.

For those who missed this news, here is a round up of all the relevant links and even a YouTube video of the proceedings. There was some talk about 3D, but Mann as ever wasn't really giving anything away. I can see something like Agincourt in 3D with fight scenes, but a Capa biopic?

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Michael Mann Public Enemies Extras shots

Just found some more behind the scenes sneak shots of Michael Mann's Public Enemies. The link below takes you to a shot of Michael Mann on the shoot, but there are some other interesting shots of crew and their equipment, all amongst the throng of in costume extras shots. There are one or two of Christian Bale playing Purvis.

Here are some others I may not have posted before:

I really need to somehow get on one of Mann's shoots just for the love of it... anyone know how to do it?

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Russell Crowe - The Insider

Russell Crowe is one of my favourite actors. His role in The Insider is in my opinion one of his finest performances, playing Dr Jeffery Wigand. The authenticity is outstanding in the character Crowe plays. When I say authenticity, I don't just mean emulating the real person the character is based on. It is the "truth" displayed in the character's emotional journey that is so extraordinary in Crowe's performance.

Here is what Michael Mann say's about Crowe:
"No training, no prior training, no theatricality is going to take you through this moment if you're an actor. You build it in yourself and you go through it. If he does it, the camera will see it. If he doesn't, it won't. Now, you go back and look at the moment and you know what's going on with this guy. And there are no tears, no bullshit, no burlesque. And then he gets up and he just walks away. That's the quintessence of Russell Crowe." - director Michael Mann explaining Crowe's technical work on "The Insider," in particular, the scene where Crowe is told his interview will not air on "60 Minutes." - Michael Mann
If you want to read some of Crowe's and Michael Mann's comments about The Insider, and reviews about the performance of Russel Crowe in it, then the following is a great webpage of information:

You can read about the real Jeffrey Wigand here where he talks about the production of The Insider.