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October 18, 2011 | By Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times
A few days before filmmakers for the hit Fox TV series "House" were set to shoot a prison scene at a former boys correctional facility, the show's location manager, Nancy Haecker, got a phone call that made her stomach churn. Deputy State Fire Marshal Al Adams informed her that he could not clear the way for the July shoot because the vacant Fred C. Nelles Youth Correctional Facility in Whittier was overgrown and posed too much of a fire hazard. Determined not to disappoint her director, Haecker and her crew sprang into action.
April 25, 2014 | By Mark Olsen
If the clang and clutter of summer superhero movies and action behemoths aren't for you - or even if you just want a break - there are still plenty of options in the months ahead, both at the art house and the far corners of the multiplex. Which isn't to say that even these movies don't have some of the same features as their louder, bigger cousins. There's the end credits stinger of "Calvary," which instead of teasing a sequel hauntingly shows the locations from the movie without people, or the microbudget action sequence of "Happy Christmas," when a frozen pizza forgotten in the oven sets off smoke alarms and panic.
May 26, 2012 | By Ken Dilanian and Rebecca Keegan
WASHINGTON - Some Republican lawmakers were outraged when federal records released last week showed that the White House, CIA and Defense Department granted high-level access last year to a pair of acclaimed filmmakers researching an action thriller about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. The documents tell "a damning story of extremely close, unprecedented, and potentially dangerous collaboration" between the filmmakers and the Obama administration, fumed New York Rep. Peter T. King, GOP chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.
April 24, 2014 | By Sheri Linden
"Next Goal Wins" is an irresistible underdog story - sports-fan credentials not required. The lively documentary follows the biggest loser in international soccer as it tries to break a 17-year winless streak. To use the word "organization" is putting too fine a point on it: The team in question resides in the South Pacific territory of American Samoa, and the volunteer players are about as far removed as you can get - geographically and every other way - from the business of high-profile, high-stakes athletics.
June 8, 2013 | By Dana Ferguson
Sixteen young filmmakers took home prizes Saturday night at the 2013 Student Academy Awards at a ceremony at the Motion Picture Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Comedian and former Student Academy Award winner Bob Saget served as emcee for the evening. Writer-director Kimberly Peirce and actors Clark Gregg, Jason Schwartzman and Quvenzhané Wallis presented the awards. The academy established the awards in 1972  “to support and encourage excellence in filmmaking at the collegiate level.”  Past Student Academy Award winners include filmmakers John Lasseter, Pete Docter, Robert Zemeckis, Trey Parker and Spike Lee. Winners have gone on to receive 46 Oscar nominations and have won eight awards.  Thirteen student filmmakers from the U.S. and three international student filmmakers were named winners in the alternative, animation, documentary, narrative and foreign film categories.
July 4, 2010 | By Mark Olsen, Special to the Los Angeles Times
With their 2007 low-budget documentary-style horror movie "[REC]," Spanish filmmakers Paco Plaza and Jaume Balagueró harnessed the manic spirit of first-person shooter video games to find a fresh take on the blood-soaked zombie genre. But recapturing that same kind of frenzied energy for their follow-up, "[REC] 2," which opens Friday and is also currently available on video on demand, proved challenging. Audiences had seen the creatures terrorizing the inhabitants of a Barcelona apartment block in the first film, so the element of surprise was gone.
December 21, 2012 | By John Horn
In Sacha Gervasi's "Hitchcock," director Alfred Hitchcock begins the production of "Psycho" by having his cast and crew swear an oath not to divulge any of the film's secrets. The first day of filming of "Hitchcock" itself followed a different route, with Gervasi, who was making his narrative feature debut on the film, feeling both "wonderful" and "panic. " In this excerpt from the fourth annual Envelope Directors Roundtable, our panel of six filmmakers-- Tom Hooper ( "Les Miserables" )
December 18, 2012 | By Ken Dilanian
WASHINGTON -- There is no evidence that Mike Vickers, the Pentagon's undersecretary for intelligence, disclosed classified information when he spoke to the makers of the film "Zero Dark Thirty," the Pentagon's chief spokesman said Tuesday. “There is a pending inspector general investigation on the question of whether Mr. Vickers provided classified information in an interview with the filmmakers of 'Zero Dark Thirty,' ” Pentagon spokesman George Little said. When the Department of Defense reviewed a transcript of Vickers' conversation with the filmmakers after it was requested under the Freedom of Information Act, Little said, none of the material was deemed to be classified.
June 27, 2013 | By Ryan Faughnder
This post has been corrected. See below for updates.  Script-writing isn't for everyone, so Inc.'s movie and TV production arm is now encouraging filmmakers to submit "concept videos" that could be developed into features. Amazon, which is in a race with more established players like Netflix to develop original content, launched Amazon Studios in 2010 and has been accepting script submissions for movies. It has received 1,400 movie scripts to date. But now, people have the option to upload a two- to 15-minute video instead.
December 21, 2012 | By Steven Zeitchik
When it comes to “Zero Dark Thirty,” there's been a lot written about the CIA and torture - whether it looked in real life the way it does on screen, whether it was effective, whether it was ethical. As we've been reporting this week, John McCain and other lawmakers don't agree it went down that way . The film, they say, misrepresents how the CIA found Osama bin Laden. Filmmakers say they've created an accurate depiction. Now that the movie has opened, we thought we'd ask you what you thought of the scenes.
April 24, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
NEW YORK -- “The Lego Movie” this winter reawakened many people to the colorful plastic bricks they hadn't thought about since childhood. But a raft of people inside and outside the Danish company have been clued in to its pleasures for years, as a new movie gleefully and sometimes astonishingly documents. The film, "Beyond the Brick," which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival several days ago, is a playful if decidedly soft-lensed look at all things Lego. Directed by Daniel Junge and Kief Davidson and narrated by Jason Bateman, “Brick” looks at the subculture of Lego - or perhaps, given how dominant it appears to have become, the culture of Lego.
April 19, 2014 | By Janet Kinosian, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Documentary filmmaker Susan Rockefeller's eponymous ocean-inspired jewelry line is filled with treasures inspired by an overworked sea. Sea creatures carefully crafted in gold, silver and precious gems are the tools she uses to spotlight the plight of our world's oceans. Married to fellow sea-lover and philanthropist David Rockefeller Jr. in 2008, she launched the jewelry line on World Ocean Day in 2012. Her pieces ($190 to $16,600) use natural-colored cultured freshwater Honora Ming pearls and recycled metals.
April 18, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
The Cannes Film Festival can certainly welcome, and boost, movies that aim to be Academy Awards players - the festival has premiered at least one best picture nominee in four of the last five years, including "Nebraska" in 2013. But as it made clear when it announced this year's official selection Thursday, Cannes also operates independently from the awards machinery of its late-summer and early-fall counterparts, emphasizing such things as returning directors and dues-paying. As festival director Thierry Fremaux announced this year's selections at a Paris news conference, the returnees were much in evidence.
April 12, 2014 | By Amy Kaufman
"How you doin', baby?" Marlon Wayans said, leaning down to kiss a doll on the lips. The toy, a prop from Wayans' latest movie, "A Haunted House 2," was propped up in a chair across the table from the actor at a stuffy Beverly Hills restaurant. The doll, named Abigail, was meant to resemble a creepy figurine from 2013's "The Conjuring": Both shared the same dead green eyes, sooty peasant dress and pigtail braids. Wayans, 41, has long been known for his outrageous comic taste. He dressed as a Caucasian female FBI agent in "White Chicks" and has been poking fun at the horror genre for years, launching the hit "Scary Movie" parody franchise in 2000.
April 11, 2014 | By Susan King
When growing up in Singapore, filmmaker Anthony Chen's family had a maid from the Philippines, a woman he and his two younger brothers called Aunt Terry. But the family had to downsize in 1997 due to the Asian financial crisis, which plummeted the stock market and caused massive unemployment. They had to let Aunt Terry go and she returned to her hometown province of Iloilo in the Philippines. In 2013, Chen's film "Ilo Ilo" based on his childhood experiences was the talk of the Cannes Film Festival.
April 9, 2014 | By Richard Verrier
Before filming a massive battle on a freeway overpass in Cleveland, directors of Marvel Entertainment's recent release "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" didn't leave anything to chance. So Anthony and Joe Russo staged a kind of digital dress rehearsal for the scene, planning the entire action sequence - including the position of stunt performers, the placement of explosive squibs and the types of camera lenses that would be used - on a computer screen. They did so with the help of Proof Inc., a Los Angeles company that specializes in a process known as previsualization.
August 10, 2011 | By Michael A. Memoli
The White House on Wednesday defended its decision to grant filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow and others access to top officials to discuss the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, and called claims from a senior Republican lawmaker that classified information was being compromised for political ends "ridiculous. " New York Rep. Peter T. King, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, sent a letter to officials at the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency on Tuesday expressing concern about "ongoing leaks of classified information regarding sensitive military operations.
January 1, 2008 | By Rachel Abramowitz, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Dan Katzir was a thirtysomething Israeli filmmaker on vacation in New York City when he was accosted by 84-year-old Zypora Spaisman on the subway. The bird-weight octogenarian had been a star and director of New York City's Folksbiene, the oldest-running Yiddish theater in America, but when she met Katzir, she was in the midst of her last show, a production of 1916's "Green Fields," for the Yiddish Public Theater, which she founded in 2000. The play was slated to close in eight days -- on New Year's Eve -- and Spaisman, desperate to prevent that from happening, was not above soliciting help from attractive young strangers on the R train.
April 3, 2014 | By Mark Olsen
Picking up the story from the first film with little more than a title card - no "previously on" recap here - Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier jumps right back into it with "Nymphomaniac: Volume II" as Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) continues to recount her life as a sex addict to the man (Stellan Skarsgård) who found her slumped in the street and took her in. In "Volume II," Von Trier reveals that his "Nymphomaniac" project could also be called "The Hunger Games" for the way in which it explores the boundaries of need and want and the play between desire and demand.
April 1, 2014 | By Mark Olsen
The history of action cinema has a long tradition of international cross-cultural pollination, as films from one country inspire filmmakers from another. Directors such as Sam Peckinpah, Akira Kurosawa, Sergio Leone, John Woo and Quentin Tarantino learned and borrowed from one another, adding to the vibrancy of the genre. So why shouldn't one of the freshest, most exciting new voices in martial arts action be a Welshman living and working in Indonesia? With his new film "The Raid 2," filmmaker Gareth Evans - credited as director, writer, co-editor and action choreographer - confirms himself as a force in international action cinema.
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