Posts Tagged ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’


You may not know the name Michael Muller, but you probably know his work. It would be hard to miss the ubiquitous face and claw of Hugh Jackman on the movie poster for X-Men Origins; Wolverine. Muller is the photographer who took that photo.

Muller started out getting paid to shoot as a fifteen year old shooting snowboarders.  He eventually found his way to L.A. where he attended Otis College of Art and Design.  But like a lot of creative and passionate souls he didn’t quite flourish in the classroom.

“After that first semester I went to the guidance consoler and I said what do I need a diploma for? And he said basically to teach.  So I don’t need to show a diploma or a piece of paper from Brooks or the Art Center or some school to get a job? And they we’re like. ‘no.’ And I was like great. And I left.

And I went right from there and I started testing models and friends of mine that were actors and in bands. I had a lot of problems with school because I had a lot teachers tell me what I was doing wrong or ‘Don’t do it this way.’ I never got the zone system… And so I quit and basically was paid to learn by shooting up-and-coming models and they’d pay me. And I’d try new films and I’d learn that way. So I sort of got paid to learn instead of paying to learn.

My experience with school is they teach you the box. They teach you the laws, they teach you the rules and they critique you. So by the time you walk out of there -–you’re so insecure—because they put your photo up in front of the class and everyone critiques it. What’s wrong with it is that you question everything you do – and you’re left with a quarter million-dollar debt…so I just went out and did it on my own.” 
Micheal Muller
                                                                      LightSource Photography Podcast 
                                                                      with Bill Crawford & Ed Hidden


Scott W. Smith

Read Full Post »

As one of the screenwriters for X-Men Origins; Wolverine, David Benioff is having a good run. Wolverine had an opening box office weekend of $87 million.  You wouldn’t think a novelist (The 25th Hour) who wrote the script for The Kite Runner would feel at place (or even be considered) writing a blockbuster film. (But no one saw Johnny Depp doing Jerry Bruckheimer blockbusters for Disney just a couple years ago.)

“The good part about screenwriting is that it made me a very disciplined writer. Working within the constraints and pressures of time . . . you have to tell a story, a fully fleshed out story, in 120 pages. If you see the number 200 or more on your page count, you’re done and over. So there’s a real discipline to telling a story in a compressed time. The bad part of screenwriting is that it makes you a lazy novelist. While I can just write ‘interior restaurant’ on a script and I know the production director and lighting guy and location scout will take care of it all, you can’t do that in a novel. You have to slog through descriptions of where you are and make it come alive on your own. And that takes discipline. “
                                                      David Benioff
                                                      Writers on Writing Podcast with Marrie Stone
                                                      (transcribed by Barbera DeMarco-Barrett )


Scott W. Smith

Read Full Post »

“Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

“Digital downloads! Internet video-on-demand! This is the future!”
                                                        Phil Alden Robinson
                                                        Director/screenwriter of Field of Dreams


In the last couple days I’ve written about webisode and Internet and the opportunities it is bringing screenwriters and filmmakers. But last night I had the antithesis of watching a two-minute web story alone on a 15″ laptop screen. I had a shared experience of watching The Wizard of Oz on the big screen with more  than 1,000 people accompanied live by a full orchestra.

It was quite an experience. Something even audiences 70 years ago when the movie was released didn’t get to experience. The Midwest premiere of Oz with Orchestra was performed by the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony under the direction of conductor Jason Weinberger. 

But as popular and magical an evening as it was, watching movies with live orchestras is not going to be a regular movie going experience if for no other reason as it is cost prohibitive. So here we are back in the land of the Internet.

Back in 2003 one place made the proclamation about watching movies online “someday all movies will be watched this way.”  Now there are several places like Netflicks and iTunes where you can legally download movies free or for a price. And who knows how many places there are to illeagally download movies? In fact, before the much anticipated film  X-Men Origins: Wolverine release next week it has been estimated that over 2 million people have already watched an  illegal download of the movie.

 I don’t know what all of this means for the movie industry so I thought I’d see what the Wizard of Hollywood had to say about all of this. Here’s what  Steven Spielberg told Katie Couric on the NBC Today Show back in 1999, “I think that the Internet is going to effect the most profound change on the entertainment industries combined. And we’re all gonna be tuning into the most popular Internet show in the world, which will be coming from some place in Des Moines.”

I hope he’s wrong. I hope that Internet show is coming from Cedar Falls, Iowa. (And I hope it’s being produced by River Run Productions.)

Oh, you don’t think Spielberg is the Wizard of Hollywood? Let’s go back a couple years ago when George Lucas according to Vanity Fair said in effect that the secret to the future is a large quantity of small, web-distributed movies; and the habit of moviegoing will be a thing of the past.

I wouldn’t bet against Spielberg and Lucas. But however inventive films are viewed in the future, scripts still need to be written the old fashioned way — word by word.

Oz trivia: Did you know that not only Dorothy had Midwest roots but so did the actress who played here? Judy Garland was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Minnesota and her childhood home is now the Judy Garland Museum.  The Minnesota town also is in its fourth decade of having a Judy Garland Festival each June. 

And if you’d like a different experience to watching the film that AFI has ranked as the number one fantasy movie, I’ve heard the The Wizard of Oz actually syncs up pretty good to Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon if you begin the CD on the third lion roar at the start. Really, who discovers these things? 


Scott W. Smith


Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: