The BBC's plan to open a new state-of-the-art broadcasting centre for the North in Manchester may depend on the settlement of the licence fee. Ministers are now discussing how much the BBC can charge in future for the licence fee. A decision on this is expected in June or July.
The remake of a 1977 Wes Craven slasher frightened off the competition in the UK box office this opening weekend. The Hills Have Eyes, directed by Frenchman Alexandre Aja, raked in £1.1m. The film tells the story of a family who become stranded in the Mexican desert, only to come under attack from a bunch of flesh-eating mutants. The remainder of the box office chart was spread between a selection of crowd-pleasers and Oscar-winning indie films.
The filmmakers behind best live-action short nominee Cashback may have left left the Oscar ceremony empty-handed, but their film is poised to grow bigger. Writer-director Sean Ellis and producer Lene Bausager have turned the sexy, 19-minute supermarket drama ("think a UK-style Clerkswith lots of nudity" - Variety) into a feature-length film, reuniting the short's ensemble cast.
Tim Burton has always had something of a schizophrenic career. On one hand he’s the eccentric visionary who works on the fringes of Hollywood with such films as the fabulous Edward Scissorhands and the commercially unsuccessful yet brilliantly twisted Mars Attacks. On the other hand he’s at the heart of the Hollywood machine, helming the merchandise monster that was Batman and the critically maligned yet financially lucrative ‘re-imagining’ of Planet of the Apes. Can Burton on Burton reveal just which is the real Tim Burton?
Channel 5 and DFG are challenging emerging filmmakers to look for strong, contemporary and domestic story-lines, from both London and the regions, with emphasis on the cultural richness and diversity of Britain, for network broadcast as part of Channel 5 news. They offer support and facilities to new filmmakers to meet their brief.
The first HD-DVD player should be available within the next couple of weeks, but there is a slight catch. It comes as a part of a portable Toshiba Qosmio G30 Core Duo-based PC costing around £2,000. No rush to buy is expected because at the moment there are no films released on HD-DVD to watch on it. All the same, Toshiba feels they are keeping their customers ahead of the game.
British filmmakers are to get a shot in the arm as Warp X, a new digital film studio designed to shake up the way feature films are financed and produced in Britain, launches on 23rd March. Warp X is backed by £4.5 million of funding from the National Lottery, Film Four and regional screen agencies and by using the latest digital production methods, Warp plan to make seven low budget feature films over the next three years.
Ravensbourne College students have launched an online post-production business in a bid to kick start their careers. The new company, called Pretentious Post Production, will offer services in editing and sound design at an expenses-only basis, targeted on new producers working to tight budgets.
The cartoon short before the main feature used to be an integral part of the cinema going experience. Generations of adults remember them fondly and now in a media first, Cartoon Network UK is bringing them back as a way of promoting its TV brand to the kids of today. This seven figure campaign is Cartoon Network’s single largest ever marketing initiative.
"It was terrible trying to fund Crash. No one wanted to do it. First of all I was an unknown director. I had directed for television but that's actually worse. It would have been better if I had been a complete unknown. Also, it's very hard to tell the tone of the movie from the script, because it could have come off as really preachy, or rather the characters preaching and being didactic, which I didn't want. I wanted to lampoon these characters who were saying these great, wonderful things. So we took it out of the studios, no one wanted it, and we took it to quite a few financiers, and they liked the script but didn't want to do it with me as the director. And then, finally, we found Bob Yari and Cathy Schulman, and they said, 'Yeah, we'll put up a little bit of money to get it cast.' So it took us a year and a half to get the right cast that worked for them so they'd put more of the money up. All the actors worked for nothing. We all waived our fees.”
Paul Haggis' Crash beat Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain to the best film award at the Oscars on Sunday in a night which favoured independent titles over studio pictures, and saw the brits pick seven gongs. The race relations drama also won best original screenplay and the award for best film editing.
Brit winners pictured - Rachel Weisz & Nick Park (click the photos for exclusive in-depth netribution interviews from Stephen Applebaum).
A teenage novel by Harrogate writer Julia Clarke is to go into production with Bavaria Films, one of Germany's biggest film producers.
Scots Oscar hopeful Sharon Colman has already come a long way from Balloch, but tonight she'll be mixing with moguls and stars. her seven minute debut animation, Badgered, has already opened doors for her and she has had meetings with the co-founder of Pixar Entertainment.
Paradise Now, the Oscar-nominated film directed by Hany Abu Assad, is the first feature film to take on the theme of suicide bombers. It is a film that plays across a hugely emotional landscape which inevitably polarises people. For every terrorist there are victims, for every oppressed person, there are martyrs: it all depends on your viewpoint....
Khaled and Said, two young Palestinians, friends since childhood, have been selected for a mission as suicide bombers in Tel Aviv. For one night, they are permitted to visit their families in Nablus, to spend with those they love what is likely to be the last night of their young lives. They tell no-one of their plans, so they don't really take their final leave of their relatives. The next morning, they are brought to the Israeli border. They carry the bombs concealed on their bodies.