An unknown filmmaker from Uruguay has been given $30m by Hollywood studio bosses — to turn his $500 YouTube video of a giant robot invasion into a movie Would-be director Federico Alvarez, who runs a post-production visual effects house in Uruguay, filmed 'Panic Attack' with a budget of just $500 in his free time. The five minute clip — which he then uploaded to YouTube — shows an invasion of Montevideo by giant robots and had special effects which could rival many big budget movies. Once online it got the attention of thousands of movie fans… and (not surprisingly) studio bosses who wanted to meet with Alvarez to talk about his movie. The 30-year-old was whisked to LA where he was offered a $1 million directors fee and up to £30 million to make the film, by Mandate Pictures. The plans for the movie are said to have a "compelling original story" beyond big robots blowing stuff up. Alvarez has also been put up in a new apartment, given a new car and will work with Spider-Man director Sam Raimi on developing the film. (Read More: News Lite)
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Lauren Davis writes on io9.com:
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Roland Emmerich’s 2012 is jammed with every cliche and trope ever found in a Hollywood disaster movie, while giving the Earth an over-the-top pummeling. It’s a reasonably fun flick at times, if you don’t think about it … at all.
It seems that once Roland Emmerich was done assembling all the CG components for destroying the world and gathering a full complement of “Hey, it’s that guy!” actors, he realized 2012 had no script, and decided to cull characters and situations from every other disaster movie ever made. Despite its massive scale of destruction, 2012 will be familiar to anyone whose seen any movie about an earthquake, volcano, aquatic disaster, or celestial body striking the Earth.
2012 follows the parallel stories of several characters at the end of the world. John Cusack plays the sort of fellow John Cusack always plays, though this time he’s also a struggling writer whose only novel sold roughly 400 copies.
December 21, 2012 is the end date of the sophisticated Long Count Calendar created by the ancient Maya in Central America. But is it a doomsday that is foretold in the Mayan calendar, the Chinese oracle of the I Ching or in an Internet-based prophetic software program? Is there any truth to these doomsday prophecies? Some theorists believe that on that date, the Earth will experience unprecedented, cataclysmic disasters ranging from massive earthquakes and tsunamis to nuclear reactor meltdowns, while yet others see a coming renewal, a rebirth of consciousness.
To help sort out the information, Gary Baddeley, the writer/producer of 2012: Science or Superstition and president of The Disinformation Company will present the current schools of thought and answer questions from a public not certain if they should prepare for survival or something else entirely.
On the day that Roland Emmerich’s mega-budget disaster film 2012 opens nationally, discover the truth about the “End of Days” and the 2012 phenomenon with the video conference “Everything You Wanted to Know About 2012 But Were Afraid to Ask”, presented by The Disinformation Company, producer to the bestselling documentary 2012: Science or Superstition and it’s companion book.… Read the rest
Just seconds after telling us that he makes disaster movies because he hates sequels, director Roland Emmerich spilled all about his new ABC TV series 2013, that picks up after the waves part. It sounds epic. Spoiler warning. At the end of 2012 the cast members who have survived the massive floods and volcanic destruction on Earth head over to Africa, the new center of the world. What happens next has just been picked up by ABC as a television series that Emmerich is helping out with. We got the chance to find out more about his post-post-apocalypse series at the 2012 press day. (More on io9.com)Here's the 2012 trailer, yeah, I'd want to be alive after this happens...
Three decades ago, a loathsome, worm-like parasite burst from the chest of a hapless spaceship crew member — an electrifying moment that made cinematic history, as well as the reputations of pretty well everyone concerned. Sigourney Weaver, playing beleaguered Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley, had previously best been known for a minor role in Woody Allen's Annie Hall, and director Ridley Scott for his work in British television commercials. The creature was designed by Swiss artist H. R. Giger based on the nightmarish creature that had appeared in his then just-published art book, Necronomicon (Masks Of The Dead), which director Scott had seen. Together the two conferred on what the parasite should look like when it erupted from its human host's body. Giger readily admits he was influenced by another artist. "It was Francis Bacon's work that gave me the inspiration," Giger said, "Of how this thing would come tearing out of the man's flesh with its gaping mouth, grasping and with an explosion of teeth ... it's pure Bacon." Giger didn't directly work on any of the sequels, and his subsequent Hollywood experiences were not always salutary. Though Alien brought him worldwide renown and an Oscar in 1980 for best achievement in visual effects, the filmmakers continued to use variations on Giger's original creature without involving the artist. "With the fourth Alien film, they just took my creations, they used my ‘chest-burster' and they didn't even give me any credit. It's offensive. I mean, one of the reasons the film became so famous was because of my Alien, wasn't it?" The question is rhetorical. He pauses. "For the fourth Alien film, Sigourney Weaver got US$11 million. I received nothing."Read more in the National Post
From the great repository of correspondence Letters of Note:
The furious written rant concerned the movie adaptation of Thompson’s novel, The Rum Diary, to which Sorensen’s studio had acquired the rights. Progress had been slow and confused on their part. So slow in fact that Thompson reached boiling point.
HOLLY SORENSON / Shooting Gallery / Hollywood / Jan 22 ’01
Okay, you lazy bitch, I’m getting tired of this waterhead fuckaround that you’re doing with The Rum Diary.
We are not even spinning our wheels aggresivly. It’s like the whole Project got turned over to Zombies who live in cardboard boxes under the Hollywood Freeway… I seem to be the only person who’s doing anything about getting this movie Made. I have rounded up Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Brad Pitt, Nick Nolte & a fine screenwriter from England, named Michael Thomas, who is a very smart boy & has so far been a pleasure to talk to & conspire with…
So there’s yr.… Read the rest
If it wasn’t already apparent that what was underground or alternative is now coopted by the mainstream entertainment media at the first glimmer of a sizeable audience (a network giving disinformation a TV series for instance…), now the top Hollywood agency has signed up Weekly World News, according to the Hollywood Reporter:
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Move over, Astro Boy and Iron Man — Bat Boy could be stepping up to the plate soon.
The half-bat, half-human character is just one of 30-odd wacky creations spawned by the erstwhile supermarket tabloid Weekly World News and now up for grabs in Hollywood.
CAA has signed WWN to a representation deal, and DreamWorks is developing a TV show that likely will be the first to tap into the company’s library of characters and its tens of thousands of offbeat stories.
Founded in 1979, the tongue-in-cheek tabloid made its mark with stories about conspiracies, cover-ups, aliens, Bigfoot, Elvis sightings and supernatural phenomena.