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Thompson on Hollywood

Prana Studios Buys Bankrupt 'Life of Pi' VFX House Rhythm & Hues

It's official. A Los Angeles bankruptcy court judge has approved the acquisition of visual effects and animation studio Rhythm & Hues, which did the VFX for Oscar-winning "Life of Pi," by a wholly-owned affiliate of LA-based Prana Studios, Inc. Many VFX houses these days are beleaguered by price-gauging studios and overseas competition as layoffs are rampant and VFX practitioners talk about starting a union.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 29, 2013 7:27 PM
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  • 2 Comments
More: VFX, Life of Pi

Fay Kanin, An Appreciation

Fay Kanin died yesterday at the age of 95, and I suspect that her accomplishments have long since faded from the memory of most people. But, beyond her career as a movie and television writer and playwright, she was a remarkable woman – graceful, gracious, and determined that women should steer their own lives.
  • By Aljean Harmetz
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  • March 29, 2013 1:01 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Wes Anderson's Sprawling Period Pic 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' Goes to Fox Searchlight (PRADA VIDEO)

Wes Andersdon's eagerly awaited next film, "The Grand Budapest Hotel," which just wrapped principal photography at Studio Babelsberg in Germany, has been snapped up not by his last distributor, Focus Features, which released "Moonrise Kingdom" to good numbers and a writing Oscar nomination for Anderson and co-writer Roman Coppola (who have a perfume commercial making the rounds, see below) but by Fox Searchlight.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 28, 2013 2:13 PM
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  • 1 Comment

SXSW Grand Jury Winner 'Short Term 12' Goes to Cinedigm, Plans Awards Push for Brie Larson

Cinedigm has snapped up all North American and Latin American rights to Destin Daniel Cretton's SXSW Grand Jury and Audience award winner "Short Term 12," starring Brie Larson as a troubled foster care worker. The company is eyeing a late summer release, with an awards push for its star, who gives a "career-defining performance," says Vincent Scordino, VP of Cinedigm theatrical acquisitions. "'Short Term 12' is exactly the kind of film we are looking to champion as we expand our theatrical presence."
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • March 28, 2013 1:47 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Deadline Approaches for Film Independent's Fall 2013 Screenwriting Lab

The deadline for Film Independent's Screenwriting Lab is fast approaching. By Monday, April 1st, writers may submit a feature-length narrative screenplay for consideration in this five week program in LA.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • March 28, 2013 7:15 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Jon Stewart's Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' For Sale at Cannes Market

"Daily Show" host Jon Stewart's directorial debut "Rosewater" will hit the Cannes market this May. Independent film finance company Sierra/Affinity will sell rights to the film, which is produced by Stewart, Scott Rudin and Gigi Pritzker, whose production company OddLot Entertainment will finance this screen adaptation of Maziar Bahari's 2011 memoir "Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity and Survival." Stewart officially announced his venture into filmmaking earlier this month.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • March 27, 2013 6:36 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Dystopia Rules! Rudin and Paramount's Unpublished 'Annihilation' Joins Rash of Movies About Our Grim Future

In Hollywood, the end of the worlds is always at hand. Trust Scott Rudin to sniff out the next literary phenomenon. Yes, yet another dystopian picture is in the works. As John Carpenter and Kurt Russell reunite in advance of an "Escape from New York" reboot, and Roland Emmerich preps a sequel to "Independence Day," a plethora of dystopian movies are on the way.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • March 27, 2013 6:22 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Watch: Lena Dunham Directs Short Film 'Best Friends' for Designer Rachel Antonoff

The second season of "Girls" may have just ended, but Lena Dunham has yet to take a breath. The ever-productive writer/director/actress just released a new short film promoting New York designer Rachel Antonoff's Fall 2013 line. She's the sister of Dunham's boyfriend Jack Antonoff, guitarist for the Grammy-winning band Fun. (The NYT's power sibling profile is here.)
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • March 27, 2013 4:29 PM
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Magnolia Sets Malick's 'To the Wonder' For Both Theaters and VOD on April 12

In a sign of the times, Magnolia Pictures will release Terrence Malick's "To the Wonder" both in theaters (April 12) but also day and date via Video on Demand and iTunes. The film, starring Ben Affleck, Olga Kurlylenko, Javier Bardem and Rachel McAdams, showed initially at the Venice and Toronto festivals last year, and was acquired by Magnolia shortly thereafter.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • March 27, 2013 4:23 PM
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  • 0 Comments

MGM Grabs Vidgame Franchise 'Tomb Raider'

In the Hollywood studios' neverending quest for brand name franchises, MGM has acquired feature film rights to the updated vidgame missions "Tomb Raider," about a daredevil archaeologist on a series of globe-trotting quests. MGM, which owns some rights to "The Hobbit" and James Bond franchises, will reboot the new action adventure based on the Lara Croft video game franchise in partnership with GK Films.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 27, 2013 4:09 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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