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Thompson on Hollywood

Michelle Manning Explains Why She's the Latest Hollywood Producer to Indiegogo

More Hollywood producers are starting to come around to the idea that crowd funding sites like Indiegogo can help them get their independent projects made. On Wednesday, writer-director Mary Agnes Donoghue ("Beaches"), producers Michelle Manning and Gail Levin are launching a new campaign on IndieGoGo to raise post-production finishing funds for indie romantic comedy "Jenny's Wedding," starring Katherine Heigl.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 12, 2014 5:38 PM
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David O. Russell and Oscar-Nominated Crew Talk the Craft of 'American Hustle'

David O. Russell's on a roll with his Oscar-contending "American Hustle," his most personal and popular movie yet. It's smart and funny, and has obviously touched a nerve with its story of survival and reinvention during the cultural and political upheaval of the late '70s. "I don't care about pure dissipation or pure cynicism -- I've gotta have the thing that people live for," he insists. So in a recent roundtable discussion, we explored how this passion spilled over to his Oscar-nominated crew: production designer Judy Becker, costume designer Michael Wilkinson and editor Jay Cassidy.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 12, 2014 2:50 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Leonardo DiCaprio: Hollywood Indie, from 'This Boy's Life' to 'Wolf of Wall Street' (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

Leonardo DiCaprio explains why he's been an independent since he was 15, how 'Titanic' allowed him to be a producer and chart his own course, and how McConaughey and Hill exploded the process on Martin Scorsese's 'The Wolf of Wall Street.'
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 12, 2014 2:12 PM
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Santa Barbara Film Fest Finds a Star in Alex Beh, Writer/Director and Leading Man of 'Warren'

Alex Beh's indie rom-com "Warren" is the kind of indie festival darling that you can tell, almost immediately, has legs. Set in and around the improv comedy scene in Chicago, the film follows its ambling title character (played by writer/director Beh), a late-20something comedian who moonlights as a barista. I sat down with Beh at the Santa Barbara Film Festival to talk about the film.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • February 10, 2014 12:25 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Best of the Week: 'Grand Budapest Hotel' Charms Berlin, Cate Blanchett Courts Santa Barbara and More

The top stories of the week from TOH!
  • By TOH!
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  • February 8, 2014 5:33 PM
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Talking 'The LEGO Movie' with Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller

There's more than meets the eye in "The LEGO Movie." It's not only smart and witty but it also explores the essence of LEGO and Master Building and, finally, storytelling in a Pirandello-like way. I spoke with directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (at LEGOLAND, of course) about making a subversive movie at Warner Bros. that pokes fun of studios, franchises and safe storytelling.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 7, 2014 4:15 PM
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Talking Johnny Depp's Oscar-Nominated Makeup and Hair in 'The Lone Ranger'

When it came to Johnny Depp's trippy Tonto in "The Lone Ranger," there were two makeup and hair challenges: the middle-aged Native American as well as the old man (a tribute to legendary Dick Smith's Jack Crabb from "Little Big Man"). We get the lowdown from Oscar-nominees Joel Harlow, who's become Depp's go-to makeup guy, and hairstylist Gloria Casny.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 7, 2014 2:28 PM
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Talking with the Oscar Nominees for Animated Short Film

I recently chatted with the Oscar nominees for "Feral" (Daniel Sousa), the Annie-winning "Get a Horse!" (Lauren MacMullan), "Mr. Hublot" (Laurent Witz), "Possessions" (Shuhei Morita), and "Room on the Broom" (Max Lang). We discussed personal connections and challenges. Interestingly, all five of the films explore the theme of adjusting to change in our lives.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 6, 2014 1:19 PM
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Five Things I Learned at DGA Symposium with Scorsese, Greengrass, Russell and McQueen (UPDATED)

Paul Greengrass, David O. Russell, Martin Scorsese and Steve McQueen explain how they shot key sequences their films at the annual pre-DGA Awards Directors' Symposium.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 6, 2014 6:15 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Talking Benedict Cumberbatch, Dragon Secrets and More with the Oscar-Nominated Sound Editors of 'Smaug'

In returning to Middle-Earth for the second "Hobbit" adventure, "The Desolation of Smaug," Oscar-nominated sound editors Brent Burge and Chris Ward were given a gift with the very hot Benedict Cumberbatch. But when he was first announced, they were apprehensive that his overexposure on "Sherlock" and "Star Trek Into Darkness" might make his voice too familiar. But that all changed when he showed up and got down on his hands and knees, played around with his voice, and became the dragon.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 5, 2014 2:53 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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