Where Breaking Bad was instantly dogged with criticism for the so-called glamorization of meth use and drug dealing, a prospective New Mexico television series takes up the reins of controversy, striking even closer at the heart of the average American home.
The New Mexico made series pilot, #Hashtag, will screen its trailer this Sunday, May 4 at 3:30 p.m. at the Santa Fe Film Festival, Jean Cocteau Cinema.
The premise is a dark thrill ride about the underbelly of social media and the online world where kids hang out today. It is a show about exploitation, manipulation, bullying, friendship and romance. “The feeling of being sixteen hasn’t changed, even when everything else has”, say filmmakers Hannah Macpherson and Angelique Midthunder.
The selection committee says #Hashtag “is a realistic look at teens and the online apps that shape their daily human experience. It is an exploration of how the new language of social media has impacted today’s youth, and how parents, law enforcers, and teachers can’t possibly keep up.”
With that, the series may well speak to anyone who is, or knows a young person who participates in online activity…could be a pretty sizable audience. And with popularity will likely come controversy.
Here’s a reminder of the swift action ‘Bad’ had to take to distinguish itself as anti-drug.
Following its debut screening, #Hastag is slated for meetings with major studio executives in consideration for pick-up and distribution. A look at the show’s premise short video has already elicited impassioned feedback*, including:
“The series follows a group of alcohol swigging, pot smoking ****** with daddy issues being lured by mother ******** pigs. Because men **** us up and then ***** us. Not necessarily in that order. If you are a parent, don’t get a ******* computer. Or if you have a computer, don’t give them the password to your youporn account. And don’t let them on “chat sites” you dumb ****, because there is some pedophile, in Minnetonka, driving an 18 wheeler to a Motel 8 to ******** your princess.”
With critiques like that, who needs focus groups. This controversial, real-world in your face drama looks ready, set, to air.
OHI checked in with local web savvy business, Drake Intel Group to get their tips and warnings for keeping kids off the wrong tracks on the world wide web. Check yourself against their checklist here.
Last year Denis Villeneuve became a red hot commodity with the runaway success of his Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal dramatic thriller, Prisoners, which led Alcon Entertainment to seal a two year deal with the French-Candian writer/director.
The very latest product of that partnership is set to land in New Mexico in just a matter of months. A crime thriller, titled Sicario is slated for production in NM this June.
Blunt will play a police officer in the Southwest who crosses the border with a group of mercenaries to track down a dangerous drug lord (hint, not Walter White). The film is already getting a lot of early buzz due to Villeneauve’s attachment and for the gritty premise being heroine driven.
Alcon has been here before with 2010′s post-apocalyptic action film, The Book of Eli and the brand new Johnny Depp sci-fi/drama Transcendence.
And even before production is underway on Sicario there are rumblings all over the web, already looking forward to Villeneauve’s follow-up picture, The Story of Your Life, another sci-fi drama, this time led by Amy Adams, Blundt’s co-star in Sunshine.
How’s that for an #NMFilm string!
Related: Variety reports that Benicio del Toro is in final negotiations to co-star.
After years of being in and out of active development, what was originally set to be the U.S. adaptation of the French Canadian film, Father and Guns – Blood Father is now ramping-up production.
Scripted by Peter Craig (The Town) and Directed by Jean-François Richet (Mesrine), Blood Father is set to star Mel Gibson.
The plot follows the plight of a father (Gibson) attempting to rescue his 17-year-old runaway daughter. After years on the run she’s taken up with a shady older man whose ties to nefarious activities land them both at the center of a spree of violent crimes.
The action/drama is scheduled to begin filming in New Mexico in mid May.
Before the stars of the New Mexico film, “50 TO 1” make their way to Albuquerque for tomorrow night’s WORLD PREMIERE, they will be at Billy’s Sports Bar & Grill at the Ruidoso Downs racetrack and Casino today.
The “50 TO 1” national tour bus will deliver producer Jim Wilson (Oscar®-winning producer of ‘Dances with Wolves’), actors; Skeet Ulrich (Jericho, ‘Scream,’ ‘As Good As It Gets’), Christian Kane (Leverage, ‘Friday Night Lights’), Todd Lowe (True Blood, ‘The Princess Diaries,’ Gilmore Girls) and Hugo Perez (‘Machete,’ ‘The Longshots’) to their Ruidoso appearance at 3:00p.m.
‘50 to 1’ is based on the inspiring true story of New Mexico’s Own, Mine That Bird and the cowboy trainer and owners who became the ultimate underdogs in a showdown with the world’s racing elite at the 2009 Kentucky Derby. With 50 to 1 odds the team sets out to do the impossible.
New Mexico Film, Lone Survivor, starring Mark Wahlberg, tells the story of four Navy SEALs on an ill-fated covert mission to neutralize a high-level Taliban operative who are ambushed by enemy forces in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan. Based on the New York Times bestseller, this story of heroism, courage and survival directed by Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights) also stars Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster and Eric Bana. LONE SURVIVOR will be released by Universal Pictures in platform engagements on Friday, December 27, 2013, and will go wide on Friday, January 10, 2014.
True to his own vision, Virgil Ortiz is taking his art in yet another direction. The famed potter whose work graces the shelves of everyone from the most avid collector to celebrities and royalty alike, all across the globe, struck out into fashion fame with a wildly successful collaboration with Dona Karen in the early 2000s.
Now the Cochiti Pueblo Native is taking inspiration from his own current pottery series to bring his artistic visions to the silver screen. In his 19 piece eVOlution series of clay sculpture, Ortiz fashions intricate lines into graceful angles representing the New Mexico Pueblos.
Having already translated the storytelling customs of his youth into the visual mediums of clay pottery and high fashion, the two art forms now blend together into the stunning visuals of the Evolution collection – which serve Ortiz as three dimensional representations of the characters he plans to bring to life through film, telling Indian Country Today Media Network, “Evolution,” is a movie script I am writing, my interpretation of the nineteen Pueblos’ revolt, when they came together in 1680 under the direction of the leader Po’pay.”
“The Pueblo revolt is not taught in history classes: with this project, I speak about that first American Revolution, breaking down the script into different series, to make a feature movie about the Pueblo revolt as seen by me, through my characters. It will resemble Star Trek or Star Wars, but with Native characters, and actors—a two-hour movie, with my understanding of history. The movie will give a better story, and get the kids interested, making it easier for them to understand history.”
Read the full article in Indian Country Today here, including the detailed account of the historical basis for the upcoming screenplay, as well as the controversial cultural events Ortiz plans to address in the film.
UPDATE 10/28/13: FULL DETAILS AND ENTRY RULESHERE!
In Vivian Ward voice, this is big, HUGE!
The die has been cast, and the call has been issued as of now. Independent filmmakers are hereby invited to put their think on producing their best possible work around a TBA themed Santa Fe show pilot.
Submissions will be accepted beginning October 31, 2013. 60 – 90 second entries will first compete for a viewers choice prize of $500, which will be awarded next month. In December a grand prize winner will be selected and given a $25,000 production package to create the full show pilot in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Check-in at SantaFeFilmFestival.com on Monday October 25, 2013 for full contest details.
1/2/2014: Vince Gilligan Talks ‘Breaking Bad’ Regret, Hints at Mike’s Return in ‘Better Call Saul’ – SlashFilm
As we’ve been following for you here, here and here, the project set to bring to light just how Saul became Saul will make its home in Breaking Bad’s backyard, now according to show creator Vince Gilligan:
“Why not shoot Saul in the same way? Let’s shoot it in Albuquerque; let’s get as much of the crew back together as possible, and let’s do it the way we did it before so that it will be of a piece with that pre-existing fictional universe that we had so much fun creating.” -Gilligan to The Hollywood Reporter
Now that the gods have spoken, Albuquerque can officially look forwarded to playing host to one of its most beloved home sprung characters to date, now as a leading man. And no doubt we’ll get to see some old friends again.
The Syfy network is looking to expand its original programming lineup with a possible 8 to 10 episode run of a time travel thriller based on Terry Gilliam‘s acclaimed 1995 film, 12 Monkeys in which:
“An unknown and lethal virus has wiped out five billion people in 1996. Only 1% of the population has survived by the year 2035, and is forced to live underground. A convict (James Cole) reluctantly volunteers to be sent back in time to 1996 to gather information about the origin of the epidemic (who he’s told was spread by a mysterious “Army of the Twelve Monkeys”) and locate the virus before it mutates so that scientists can study it. Unfortunately Cole is mistakenly sent to 1990, six years earlier than expected, and is arrested and locked up in a mental institution, where he meets Dr. Kathryn Railly, a psychiatrist, and Jeffrey Goines, the insane son of a famous scientist and virus expert.”
The pilot purchased for development by Syfy has been scripted by Travis Fickett and Terry Matalas, and is set to pick-up where the original film left off.
Jon Cassar will direct production for Atlas Entertainment and Universal Cable Productions.
Filming is rumored to take place right here in New Mexico where the Syfy series Stargate Universe was shot back in 2009 and 2010.
UPDATE 1/13/14: Stay tuned here for extras casting info. on this project, set to begin production in New Mexico in February.
A world at war, faceless dangers half the globe away, and threats of universal dominance by an alliance of untold magnitude, are what teams of top physicists, mathematicians, and engineers faced in defending allies from tyrannical rule in the 1940s.
As we told you here WGN America is taking that tumultuous time in real world history and scripting it into a new drama series. Now HOT off the wire this week is the news that the 13 series order will go forward with production right here in New Mexico in the upcoming winter months, as expected.
Created by Sam Shaw (Masters of Sex), “Manhattan” is set against the backdrop of the clandestine mission of the same name to build the world’s first atomic bomb in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The storyline follows the brilliant but flawed scientists and their families as they attempt to co-exist in a world where secrets and lies infiltrate every aspect of their lives.
Shaw will write and executive produce with David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Marcy Ross. Emmy-winning director Thomas Schlamme (The West Wing) will direct and executive produce the production.
“Sam and Tommy’s (Schlamme) passion for the world of Los Alamos, the Manhattan Project, and the characters who populate it came through from the moment we all sat down to discuss the project, and we couldn’t be more excited to support them as they bring their vision to life,” WGN America president Matt Cherniss told Deadline Hollywood adding, “We feel Manhattan has all of the elements to make for a provocative and memorable series…”
Deadline Hollywood reports that WGN America has ordered a thirteen episode, scripted drama series called, Manhattan.
The show centers on the lives and lies of “brilliant but flawed scientists” during the secret 1940s military project to create the world’s first atomic bomb.
Manhattan will delve into dramatized happenings surrounding the portion of clandestine mission as it unfolded in Los Alamos, New Mexico.
The project, originally based in New York, spawned facilities in Tennessee, Washington and New Mexico – where four weapons were produced; two of which, Little Boy and Fat Man, were used against Japan in August 1945. The Manhattan Project officially ended in 1946.
The series is set to premiere in the summer of 2014. Production is slated to begin this winter in… where else, New Mexico!
Production on “The Reach” will begin this month and run through late October.
The production is looking for men, women and children of all ages to work as paid extras.
The casting call is from 1 to 5 p.m. today in the Four Corners Grand Ballroom at the Red Lion Hotel, 700 Scott Avenue in Farmington.
For those who cannot make it, email a current color photo to New Mexico Extras Casting Director Lorrie Latham at lorrie@ lathamcasting.com. Include the following information: height, weight, age, phone number, email and location of residence.
Tonya Stinson, executive director of the Farmington Convention and Visitors Bureau, said Hollywood’s interest in the area continues to grow. More production companies are taking an interest because of the diverse landscape, she said.
And that, Stinson said, adds to the local economy, especially as film locations become tourist attractions, like the “Breaking Bad” tours that have developed in Albuquerque.
Filming of “The Reach” comes on the heels of other movies filmed in Farmington and Shiprock.
The last word from George Lopez regarding his upcoming projects came in April via Twitter, where the actor said, “la Vida robot !! Is moving !” In June Production Weekly tweeted of Lopez that his “FX series SAINT GEORGE begins shooting mid-August and plans to follow with Sean McNamara’s feature LA VIDA ROBOT”.
Now our sources are reporting that the actor is indeed set to star in and co-produce La Vida Robot, right here in New Mexico. Lopez has previously worked in the New Mexico films, Swing Vote and The Spy Next Door.
La Vida Robot centers on a group of Latino high school students who compete in the National Underwater Robotics competition despite the fact that they are undocumented.
Disney television series director, Sean McNamara (That’s so Raven, Shake it Up!, Sonny With a Chance, Jonas, Jessie) will direct the movie as written by Elissa Matsueda. Brookwell-McNamara, the family entertainment production company behind Soul Surfer, is scheduled to bring the production to New Mexico in the Fall of 2013.
After settling legal matters concerning film rights in early 2012, the Weinstein Company and Relativity Media are ready to partner on a remake of the beloved 90s classic, The Crow.
Following what amounts to years of speculation on the interwebs of who will step into the iconic lead role, Luke Evans (The Three Musketeers, The Raven, Fast & Furious 6) is set to star as Eric Draven. Bradley Cooper, Mark Wahlberg, Channing Tatum, Robert Pattinson, James McAvoy, Tom Hiddleston and Alexander Skarsgard were considered to play Draven before Evans was finally cast.
Director F. Javier Gutiérrez, has said that the upcoming remake will be even more faithful to the 1989 comic than its 1994 predecessor. Earlier this month, original comic book creator James O’Barr told TFM of Gutiérrez, “It was his idea to go right back to the source material and essentially shoot it shot-for-shot, as in the book, but with a little more backstory for some of the characters…He wants to be as faithful as possible, even down to all the visual metaphors of trains and horses.”
Word on the wire is that production will get underway in 2014 in New Mexico and Michigan for a 2015 release.
Horses, trains? Get ready to saddle-up NM! Choo-choo!
Long ago at a studio not so far away, this bloggette told the world that it only makes sense for the ultimate War of the Stars to set up shop right here in the New Mexico desert.
The Disney acquired Lucasfilm franchise has already proclaimed that three Star Wars installments are in the offing. Now where better than NM, an established Disney friendly backdrop, to put down roots?
The original home to Tatooine is rapidly disappearing and Tamalewood has served Disney companies (ABC Family, Disney Channel, Marvel) very well for many previous productions.
For decades New Mexico has quietly been a hot spot for film location scouting. Now more than ever locals are becoming aware of the very real and growing presence of the global film industry right here in The Land of Enchantment.
As the Winter/Spring 2014 production start approaches for Star Wars Episode VII, eyes and mouseears all over the world will once again turn to NM. Confirmation that New Mexico will play host to the film is inching ever nearer.
Albuquerque director Michael Perez has just completed production on his first feature film, a gritty crime drama titled “Big Mistake”.
The desert-noir movie, scripted by Nu City publications film editor and critic extraordinaire, Devin O’Leary is about a young bounty hunter who falls for a troublesome socialite who he is supposed to bring in and soon finds she is more then he can handle.
Actress/Producer Sylvia Adelina Padilla (Blue Aria, Paul) stars as the handful of a socialite to Samson Snell’s (Blue Aria, Prompt Critical) taxed bounty hunter.
Check out the production stills here and watch for it in 2014!