Saturday, 30 July 2011

Michael Mann / David Milch HBO Luck televising January 2012

As Reported in the LA Times, Michael Mann's & David Milch's Luck is coming to TV screens in January 2012:
As HBO executives finalize their plans for the upcoming season, it looks like viewers will finally get some "Luck" early next year.
Set in the world of horse racing, "Luck" is the brainchild of David Milch, who previously created the western "Deadwood" and the surreal surfing drama "John From Cincinnati" for the pay-cable network. Oscar winner Dustin Hoffman plays a lifetime gambler recently released from prison.
"We’re definitely gonna premiere it in January 2012," HBO programming chief Michael Lombardo revealed to reporters at the TV media tour in Beverly Hills Thursday afternoon. "Luck" will take over the Sunday slot once occupied by the polygamy drama "Big Love," which recently wrapped its run. 
Read full article here

Friday, 29 July 2011

A Michael Mann tribute challenge

On YouTube there are film shorts made as a tribute to the style of Michael Mann. And I am not referring to a montage of Mann made scenes. Personally shot films in the image of Michael Mann are often city slick night scenes, the noir feel for some reason being most associated with what Mann shoots. Collateral and Heat has much to do with that. But Michael Mann's movies are far more than cool architectural flavours, wet street scenes lit at night, and hypnotising electric music. A film short video maker would do well to put just those aspects together visually and technically successfully.

The core of a Michael Mann film is the story, and the aim to bring that story to the audience with authenticity, both in its physical and emotional connection. To that end, a Mann film is an orchestra for a crew, and a conductor for a director. A Mann film, if you really want to create a tribute, is to not just be stylistic, but to convey a conversation, a look, a glimpse, a conflicted heart... a universe of human condition that is limitless in its complexity, yet focussed on a part of it. Just look at the Amy Winehouse life story. If ever there was a life made out of extreme conflict and tragedy over such a short space of time, hers is one. Many, including myself, felt a depth of sorrow for this damaged life - A life I didn't know much about, but "experienced" whenever I saw her performing, or on the news.

Yes, we have Michael Mann tributes...  agile camera movements and cold minimalism providing the effect. But that is way short of what a Mann film is ultimately giving us.

As we are in the Michael Mann news doldrums, I welcome anyone with a decent film short to have it posted on this blog. I am happy to share your talent, so long as it fits the theme of what makes a Michael Mann movie. I love the visual side, but a challenge would be to see some acting in there too. Post it on YouTube, let me know, and I will post it here if it ticks the Michael Mann ingredients boxes!

To kick things off, here is a piece put together by Andre Rehal. Tell us what you think.

"Grey" An Arri Alexa Short Film from Andre Rehal on Vimeo.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

David Milch & Michael Mann rumblings

The following article indicates all is not well behind the scenes of Luck. Milch has changed agents from CAA to ICM. Until this switch, Mann and Milch both shared the same agent under CAA. Any rift is pure speculation, with some hoping that Mann and Milch are not getting on with each other. Irrespective of their potential differences, I can't wait to see the fruit of their struggles. With such artistic friction and mutual accountability we can be sure to enjoy the highest standard of writing and filming.

Read more here.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Picking up some crumbs on the trail of Michael Mann's HBO Luck

Finding crumbs about HBO's Luck

Feeding HBO's Luck Crew: Slammin Sliders
Food Vendors for Luck:

Tim Clarke, 2nd AC, with cameras on set of Luck.

HBO Scene Filmed at Central Women's Jail
Tim Clarke, 2nd AC on Luck
You may have noticed unusual activity at the Central Women's Jail on Monday.  There were StarWagon trailers and a convoy of trucks packed with equipment, along with a "Lunchbox" setup with top-of-the-line cuisine. The Women's Jail has been virtually vacant since July 2009 and for the first time in the facility's forty year history it was used as the set for filming a series involving a major Hollywood star and director. It will be a year before the film can be viewed, however.  A nearly seventy-member crew was here to film a scene for an HBO series-in-the-making titled "Luck".  This was a small set by Hollywood standards.
Filming at Central Womens Jail, LA
Female Jockey on Luck

An HBO "Luck" crew member leaves a message on Wilshire for LA charity Walkers.

Phillip Noyce on Michael Mann's Luck

Philip Noyce, one of the appointed directors on HBO’s Luck:

Philip Noyce: Recently I did a HBO series with Michael Mann written by David Milch called Luck where we used the Alexa camera which is a real breakthrough. I can say after working with that that film unfortunately is dead, because you can do everything on the Alexa camera that you can do on film. It can look exactly like film when it’s projected. We were shooting exterior L.A. streets no lights. It’s become a situation where night shooting is actually quicker than day shooting now with the new cameras. Whereas night shooting you’d say, ‘Oh, you’ll shoot 11 shots at the most.’ Now you can shoot 60. It’s really fast. It was the freest shooting I’ve ever been involved with. Michael Mann has chosen the three operators from experience, so they’re all really inventive. Usually you finish early because the crew are living in terror of Michael turning up on set. So they’re fast like a wild horse that’s been broken in. So they’re director friendly.

Taken from an article at