Monday, 30 May 2011

Canon EOS 7D 24p

First. This has nothing to do with Michael Mann. Second. When I saw this footage I thought it was beautifully shot and put together. Third. The reason I found it was because I am looking for a decent HD camera that shoots 24fps. Can anyone recommend one to me at a budget of your average Joe? I have a BA (hons) Degree in Photography, so the idea of combining a DSLR with HD video shooting 24fps seems good to me! What do you all think out there? On a DSLR, or dedicated cam?

Dublin's People: Canon 7d 24p from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

In looking at frame rates, I also came across this lecture as to why aspiring to 24p is in itself not important... I need help. Hmmmm.

The 24p Conspiracy from Videopia on Vimeo.

Michael Mann's "Luck" filming locations

We know "Luck" is being filmed at Santa Anita race track, but I just discovered this post, which is unfortunately retrospective, as it gives a "Luck" filming location on the 17th May. But if you are keen to see it in the making, you may want to keep an eye on this site (though I can't see anything posted for future dates):

May 17th
• Luck, a new HBO series, is filming at 2632 E. Washington Bl, Pasadena.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Michael Mann's House, the Waiting on Robert Capa deal and other bits.

Here are some random bits of information pulled from the net for your curiosity.

Michael Mann's House (Or so research tells me)
Michael Mann's House (one of them) - I am led to believe this is Michael Mann's house in Fort Lauderdale, but this is as many details I would provide. Location wise, you will need to find that out for yourself. The house is featured on star tours in the area, so the fact isn't well disguised locally. A stunning property... (sighs wistfully, imagining the palms blowing in the wind above him ... not indoors ... obviously)

Pontas Literary and Film Agency (Robert Capa)

Here is a record from the company's blog of a very special day for Pontas Literary and Film agency. The day they met Michael Mann to discuss rights for Waiting for Robert Capa. 

Michael Mann & Anna Soler-Pont

Pontas at the American Film Market 2010 November 9th, 2010

The American Film Market 2010
The American Film Market 2010  opened on November 3rd in Los Angeles and Anna Soler-Pont attended on behalf of Pontas in the aim to keep enlarging and strengthening the contacts in the film industry. She had a full schedule of meetings between Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, mainly with producers interested in acquiring the film rights of literary properties represented by Pontas or with possible partners for international co-productions.

... the most important meeting took place during a friendly lunch with film director and producer Michael Mann, whose company Forward Pass and Columbia Pictures acquired the film rights of Susana Fortes ’s novel Waiting for Robert Capa from Pontas last year. The screenplay adapting the novel is being written by Jez Butterworth.

Actors researching their role in "Luck"

Nick Nolte researching his role for HBO's "Luck"

Dustin Hoffman having a day at the races

Documentary of Key Scenes with Michael Mann and Actors

For as long as these videos are available online, you can treat yourself to some old but powerful Michael Mann interviews with some of our best loved Michael Mann scenes. This is wonderful footage, including actor interviews about the Tiger scene from Manhunter and that extraordinarily charged cliff scene in Last of the Mohicans. It includes scenes from Heat, and also the Insider. Actors speak about who they feel Michael Mann is, with some superb quotes to take away that sum up our favourite director. Get Michael Mann's inside story. Essential viewing, enjoy. I did... immensely. (Anyone know where these were first broadcast and who by?).

Part 1

"Les Réalisateurs" - Michael Mann (1/3) by SoWiFo

Part 2

"Les Réalisateurs" - Michael Mann (2/3) by SoWiFo

Part 3

"Les Réalisateurs" - Michael Mann (3/3) by SoWiFo

Michael Mann throws "Go Like Hell" in the hat

The book the script would be based on

Following the recent news round up we have a new twist to Michael Mann's future directorial roles. According to Variety Mann is in talks with 20th Century Fox to film "Go Like Hell", a true story by A.J. Baime depicting the USA's first victory at the famous 1966 Le Mans race, with Ford succeeding, pitted against the "unbeatable" Ferrari. America loves their "USA rules the world" flicks and this one will no doubt score a home run in the USA. Petrol's version of the Ryder Cup perhaps. Brad Pitt's name has been attached to the project as a lead, but no casting information has been released.

It has become difficult to speculate what Mann's next film will actually be... it's as though Mann is throwing us lots of decoys for fun! I suspect though he is like a kid in a candy shop and really can't make his mind up. What a privilege for him to be in such a situation. At this time of life for him, his choices are so important. Agincourt is now looking most likely. Mann will no doubt be thinking of his own mortality, and a large scale, big budget film, such as this medieval adventure, will require enormous energy. It may be one of his last opportunities to do something on that potentially vast scale.

A.J. Baime
Mann has already worked with cars in successful commercials with Mercedes and latterly Ferrari. No doubt the prospective makers will be looking at the success of the present offering "Senna", a documentary film about Ayrton Senna, the late, legendary Formula One racing World Champion who was killed in a race because of a tragic mechanical failure. I actually saw Ayrton Senna race at Silverstone, England and could clearly see him push the limits of his car to the maximum. Formula One is really a European/Asian passion rather than a US one at present, but this is set to change once the USA has built it's new track in Arizona.

Michael Mann has always had an affection for cars, especially Ferraris, owning one himself. They were an iconic feature of the TV version of Miami Vice. They are another paint brush in Mann's hands, using them to reflect character and style of those in his films. In Miami Vice the movie, back in 2006, there was an early scene of men and attractive women arriving at the nightclub in white Range Rovers. It was startling to me at the time. Glistening white. Of interest to me is the fact that, in the UK at least, white is now the most fashionable colour for cars. Range Rovers, Audi's, Mercedes, Volvos, BMW's and you name it... white is in. Mann reads the times well.

I digress... I think Michael Mann has lots of wonderful material to choose from. Whatever he does, I am sure we will love it. If Mann does Agincourt, and if it means the English beat the French, then what can make an English Michael Mann fan happier? (I love the French really... well their bread anyway).

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Michael Mann's HBO Luck Screening

Turns out there was an HBO screening of Michael Mann's Luck yesterday in LA, looking to impress buyers of the show. See link to brief article. Some are calling it the new Sopranos.

Anyone reading this go to the screening? Would love to hear your review right here.

Michael Mann News Roundup: Gold, Luck, Big Tuna, Capa, Agincourt

It's a curious time following Michael Mann. We have a Luck trailer, but scant mention of the series anywhere. Only what the producers want us to know. This is well locked down, suggesting locations are not very public? Anyone know of any location shooting on Luck? There was a good article recently that gave inside information on some of the tensions between Michael Mann and David Milch. It details some inside arrangements, with Mann taking authority on the filmmaking process and Milch on the writing. Seems an obvious division of responsibilities, though one understands the unease when each has their own intense creative leanings in expressing themselves. Their respective approaches to the creative process must be at deep odds at times, with one scene pandering to Milch's version of the world, and another reflecting Mann's. Read about it here. For those who have lived on planet Mars for the last year, you can read about Luck as news about it broke out last year here. Luck is now more likely to air in early 2012, but could possibly be released late this year. I believe they are shooting 9 episodes (10 were originally planned, but Milch's writing is allegedly slowing the process), with the 9th in production still. With episodes already in the editing suite, a Fall release doesn't seem unrealistic. Since Mann is in the editing suite on Luck it isn't inconceivable that Mann has been totally pre-occupied in perfecting Luck, and not committing to any of these movie projects just yet.

Mann is attached to multiple projects,  and just when you think he has decided a project the rumor switches to another. Big Tuna was touted as a gangster Mann movie on the back of Public Enemies. We then thought it might be Robert Capa, with actors attached to the project and widely publicised as Mann's next directorial movie. We then hear it is Agincourt, as I recently posted. And sandwiched between them is "Gold"with D'Caprio invited to join the cast. We will have to see how Mann prioritizes these projects - which ones he directs, or produces under his Forward Pass company.

Michael Mann is notoriously indecisive about which movie projects he takes on. He admits it himself. So it may just be that even he doesn't know yet what he will finally direct - but that is unlikely. The good news is, that if he directs Agincourt we can expect his visit to Europe! A rare chance then for us Europeans to maybe catch a glimpse of him shooting here? If anyone gets any news on this front then please let me know! Would be a dream come true to see him at work, as peculiar that may seem to his beleaguered regular crew that have to work under his relentless pace and perfection - no glamour under the hood!

Material still pops up on the internet about Michael Mann. There are many articles, but most just repeating better articles already posted in this blog's archives. Here and there are interesting quotes and anecdotes. Here is a surprising one from a location scout on Collateral (link here):
Which leads Sandy to recall their own fear on a late-night location-scouting trip with director Michael Mann for Collateral. In a rough part of downtown Los Angeles, the group found themselves caught between rival gang members at opposite ends of a bridge.
Luckily, Mann had brought a friend of his whom Sandy describes as 'gang-savvy,' who broke the stand-off. The thugs 'parted, flashed handguns, and we were able to walk through,' David says, with a shiver. 'But everyone - Michael Mann! - could have been killed.'
Thanks to all who drop in what they find on the net, or can contribute to this blog. I can't always add it here but I appreciate the communication.  You can always visit my sister site, the social version, which is

Finally a question, to test those who actually read this far into one of my posts! We all know Mann's movies have wonderful layers. A question then: Who has noticed a particular colour that is a theme in Collateral, and is especially abstractly shown repeatedly in the very opening scenes in the form of carious objects? Its a strange one, but I think its fantastic. Surely not a coincidence? Or am I going mad? Tell me the colour and some of the objects, smile! Add it to Disqus below.

As ever, I will be keeping a watch out on Mann's activities and let you know what I find. Stay in touch.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Location, Location! Michael Mann Movie Locations

Whilst browsing around I fell onto the topic of location for Michael Mann movies. Lots of previous posts feature locations, but here are a few for your interest. No doubt over time this post will grow as I add more links. To get you in the mood, see below a CBS news piece on being a location scout... Peter - are you reading this??! Peter, a Facebook friend, perhaps known to other readers, scouted the famous opening scene for Heat, which also is used as a location in Collateral.

Here are a few filming locations. It's a humble list, but a start to whet your appetite, if you are a location buff.

Filming Locations:

Public Enemies:


Miami Vice:
One of MannFan's favourite locations

The Insider:



Michael Mann shooting difficult boat scene

Always great to find something new. I found this amazing YouTube clip of the Miami Vice film crew shooting the racing boat scenes that were supposed to feature at the start of the movie. I have only ever seen the original movie version and have only Standard Def DVD, so never saw the spoken of racing scene that Universal forced Mann to cut from the final edit to shorten the movie. Looking at this spectacular footage it was madness to cut it. Some shots are just stunning. Was this footage included on new bonus features for the BluRay edition?

You have Dion Beebe rigging up the cameras in the hull of the boat, and Michael Mann behind the cameras as they shoot that famous crane shot as the camera surfaces from beneath the bubbling water to reveal the boats speeding past. Great footage! Enjoy.

Also, I have never seen this featurette before... is this a BluRay edition? This is notable for watching Michael Mann location scout a guys house with a, errr, rather interesting "bed". I just think its great seeing Michael passionately looking at every detail with his DSLR. Us photographers are all the same... running around like rabbits finding aesthetic details under every rock!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Michael Mann closing on deal to direct Agincourt

Available from Amazon
ScreenDaily has posted information that suggests Michael Mann's production company Forward Pass is close to a deal with Independent to develop the rumoured Agincourt project. The Robert Capa movie was also supposed to be in the making, but the allure of Agincourt's sumptuous pallet of medieval grit appears to have finally won over Michael Mann. Ever since The Last of the Mohicans, I think Mann fell in love with period pieces. I generally think Mann excels most in the contemporary setting, but its not for us to decide. Check out the links to get all the details: