At the recent Vancouver International Film Festival Trade Forum, Michael Oates Palmer, one of the screenwriters for the West Wing, gave an excellent overview of where North American episodic television is going. He also offered advice for budding television writers. Some of the information below is particularly focussed on North America, but much is universal or has parallels in the UK.
William Goldman's salutory comment that in the movie industry "nobody knows anything" has lost none of its freshness. Several delegates at last month's Vancouver International Film Festival Trade Forum, a four-day industry event of seminars and panels, reiterated the maxim. Perhaps it was by way of a casual disclaimer, but also it was clearly out of hard-earned experience.
Canadians are not happy with the state of their film industry. They look South of the border at the powerful US film industry and then they look back at their own output, and it's understandable that they feel like the anaemic waif to the big kid next door.
Cinemagoers are about to flock to the flicks in the Capital, taking their seats at the NFT on the South Bank, in Leicester Square, the ICA and the Ritzy, as the 49th London Film Festival gets underway in mid-October.
Whatever else he achieves in his acting career 27 year old Jason Biggs will go down in screen history as the man who engaged in an unnatural act with pastry product in American Pie. Two subsequent sequels subjected him to more embarrassment, and box office success, but he has continued to ring the changes in other roles. He starred opposite Woody Allen in Say Anything, and with Christina Ricci on Prozac Nation; played the title role in Loser and was directed by Kevin Smith on Jersey Girl.
Films examining man, the land, and cultural identity at Vancouver Film Festival touch on themes close to home in this West Coast city.The Vancouver International Film Festival gets under way this week. Of the films that I've had a chance to preview, one theme that is cropping up is the land and the way that our culture and identity feeds off it.
Editors are one of the least visible groups in the film industry. Even in this age of DIY filmmaking, where people are much more attuned to the editing process, the editor still carries little weight either for the success or the failure of a film, even though they can play an influential role.
For a German filmmaker tackling a film on this subject must have been a great responsibility.
I felt it much more while I was preparing the film. As soon as you shoot the movie, you deal with the responsibility in every set up, but you can't let yourself be carried away by that. It's a step-by-step process. But preparing it was really tough. And of course it's not a pleasant subject to deal with. As a civilised human being these are things you hate and detest. Nevertheless you have to dig deep and that's not pleasant.
Running parallel with the Vancouver International Film Festival is the Trade Forum, a four-day industry event that takes place between 28-30 September.
The Forum, which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary, will be the first event to rent the new Vancouver International Film Centre.
After years of anticipation the Vancouver International Film Centre, the newest cinema in this shimmering city of glass, finally opened its doors. The occasion: the launch of the Vancouver International Film Festival, which runs 29 September to 14th October.
There's still a few loose ends to tie up before the centre is open full-time, but Vancouver International Film Festival staff have moved into their elegant downtown residence at 1181 Seymour Street and are gearing up for the fortnight film feast starting at the end of this month.