At 50: Bond… James Bond
In 1952, an English author, journalist and former naval intelligence officer named Ian Lancaster Fleming sat down at his Jamaican retreat which he was vacationing at and started to pen a story that would become ‘Casino Royale’, the first of 14 novels and short stories featuring the fictional commander in the Royal Naval Reserve and British secret agent of secret intelligence service MI6, James Bond. The resulting work was a success with three print runs to answer demand and marked the start of a series that has sold over 100 million copies worldwide. Fleming also wrote the children’s story Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang and two works of non-fiction and received acknowledgement from London based The Times as one of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945″. In 1954 CBS commissioned Ian Fleming to adapt his novel ‘Casino Royale’ into a one-hour television adventure as part of its Climax! series. The episode aired live in October 1954 and starred Barry Nelson as “Card Sense” James ‘Jimmy’ Bond and Peter Lorre as Le Chiffre.
The first Bond film (set in Jamaica, W.I.), ‘Dr No’, would be released in 1962 with Sean Connery (a Scotsman) setting the standard for the Bond character, and marking the start of one of the most successful franchises in movie making history. EON Productions has produced the majority of the Bond series. The 1967 Bond spoof, ‘Casino Royale’, starring David Niven and the 1983 ‘Never Say Never Again’, with Sean Connery in a return performance after leaving the series, were not made by EON who produce the official Bond movies. Barbara Broccoli, the daughter of the late Albert “Cubby” Broccoli, the producer who brought Bond to the screen in 1962, maintains active control along with half-brother, Michael Wilson, in the productions of all Bond films right up to Skyfall, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the franchise. Incidentally, David Niven was the only James Bond actor mentioned by name in the text of Fleming’s novels. In ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’, Bond visits an exclusive ski resort in Switzerland where he is told that David Niven is a frequent visitor and in ‘You Only Live Twice’, David Niven is referred to as the only real gentleman in Hollywood.
American Film Market, the annual, anticipated film event that’s not quite festival, not quite conference, but mostly business opportunity — the business of independent motion picture production and distribution — set oceanside against Santa Monica beach. Generally 8,000 industry professionals converge in Santa Monica for the deal-making, screenings, seminars, networking and parties that continue through November 7. Participants come from over 70 countries and include acquisition and development executives, agents, attorneys, directors, distributors, festival directors, financiers, film commissioners, producers, writers, the world’s press all those who provide services to the motion picture industry. Separate from the conference schedule, the AFM Industry Conversations are interactive and informative discussions led by Hollywood thought leaders, decision makers, trendsetters and experts, and are free to anyone with an AFM Badge. This year AFM and AFI FEST that normally runs concurrent to AFM in Hollywood will join forces and introduce a new AFI FEST screening program. Three AFI FEST films seeking international sales representation will be screened at AFM on Tuesday, November 6. A total of 27 films screening at AFI FEST will also be represented at this year’s AFM. AFM is produced by the Independent Film & Television Alliance®, the global trade association of the independent motion picture and television industry and the voice and advocate for the Independents worldwide.
The Hollywood based American Film Institute Festival holds a well regarded FIAPF accreditation assuring a high standard for the films it screens in its festival. ‘Hitchcock’, with Academy Award® winner Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock, Academy Award® winner Helen Mirren as his wife, Alma Reville, Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh, Jessica Biel as Vera Miles and James D’Arcy as Anthony Perkins, will have its World Premiere on the Opening Night Gala of AFI FEST 2012. Tickets will be released the day before each screening at AFI.com and the day of each screening at the AT&T Box Office at Hollywood and Highland Center. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognizes AFI FEST as a qualifying festival for the Short Films category of the annual Academy Awards. The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel is the official host hotel where you can find the Cinema Lounge, Audi Sky Lounge, Media Center and other various reception/event spaces. The Festival closes November 8.
Starz Denver Film Festival showcases more than 200 new films from around the world with over 175 international filmmakers, directors, actors and other film artists participating. The annual celebration of film running through November 11 provides a prominent showcase for world cinema, a platform for international film artists, and promotes dialogue between participating filmmakers and the public. Panels slated for discussion include: “The Talent You Don’t See”, “Women + Film”, “Zombie Town Hall Meeting”. During the Argonaut Wine and Film Series, seven films have been specially paired with wines from the respective countries of production and tastings will either precede or follow the screenings. Another festival special event, Animation Station, will feature an Animation Station Competition at Open Media Foundation, Animation Station workshop, and Animation Station Screening.
Leeds International Film Festival, founded in 1987 and hosted in the main city of the UK’s Yorkshire region, features programme sections including: the competitions of the Official Selection; Fanomenon, the UK’s largest genre event; Short Film City; documentary strand Cinema Versa; Cherry Kino for artist film and video; and the Thought Bubble Comic Convention. LIFF is organised by Leeds Film, part of Leeds City Council, a local authority in the Yorkshire region of the UK. There are a number of free films and events at this year’s festival which runs until November 18, including ‘Unchosen Presents Ghosts’ with Nick Broomfield and The Golem + Live Organ Accompaniment.
Createasphere’s Entertainment Technology Expo in Burbank is a two-day gathering beginning November 7 for content creator professionals involved in production, post and delivery. Co-located with the Entertainment Technology Expo is Gear Alley where attendees can get to handle the production gear and participate in shoulder-to-shoulder demonstrations with active professionals. On the second day of ETE is the Post Production Master Class. This is an session focused on the trends, technologies, and the business of post production. Soon to be announced, Createasphere will launch the DPW Lab at the Entertainment Technology Expo 2012 featuring cutting edge digital process workflow. In one special Gear Alley session, attendees an handle and improve their technique with floating, camera boom, crane and jib shots during an info seminar led by Eddie Barber, Emmy Award-winner and cameraman with an extensive list of music video credits that include Michael Jackson, Madonna and the Beach Boys, among others.
Salon De La Photo is an international exhibition of photography in Paris put together by La Compagnie Du Nouvel Art De Vivre, a subsidiary of Comexposium. On display from November 8-12 will be the latest technological innovations, from cameras to printers to digital imaging techniques. It offers a range of demonstrations, hands-on workshops, classes, film sessions and public discussions. One particular interactive experience, “Grandes Rencontres du Salon de la Photo”, gives visitors the opportunity to meet photography professionals in an event that will be organized and broadcast by Photographie.com. Salon de la Photo will also be an innovative trade show and conference for creative professionals looking to update or enhance their studio and location equipment, pick up new tips and techniques, network with industry mentors and imaging gurus. Salon de la Photo will be giving the ZOOM awards for the third year running where ten photo magazines editors each choose their favourite up-and-coming professional photographer (French or living in France) who has real but as yet unrecognized talent and whose work deserves to be brought to the attention of the general public.
This year at the Oaxaca FilmFest in Oaxaca, independent filmmakers and screenwriters from each continent will be competing for six original hand crafted Agave Statues created by international artist Alejandro Santiago. The categories include: Screen Writing Competition Award, Audience Choice Award, Best Documentary Short Film, Best Narrative Short Film, Best Documentary Feature Film, Best Narrative Feature Film. And of course Oaxaca FilmFest will honor Excellence in Cinema, including: acting, editing, musical score, directing, and Mexican film. There will be a three day “Pitch It” event that includes two workshops on how to properly pitch a film script to industry professionals followed by the opportunity to pitch to and interact with industry executives from various regions around the globe in real time via live video streaming. “Meet the Directors”, a part of the festival format since its start, will be in La Choperia, a local bar, on a night when a handful of directors screen their short films and lead a discussion on the making their film. There will be a late night “Insominia” midnight outdoor screening overlooking the city of Oaxaca. Cocktails and After Parties are scheduled for every day of the festival which goes November 8-17, and are included on a schedule at this link.
Opening November 14-25, Brisbane International Film Festival in Fortitude Valley take place at what is for them the beginning of the Australian summer, as well as for anyone else in that region of the world. BIFF is a showcase for International cinema while also serving as a platform for local Australian and Queensland productions. The Opening Night film will be British crime drama ‘The Sweeney’ followed with a gala after party on the Barracks bridge. Closing night film is Tolstoy’s classic tale of obsessive love, ‘Anna Karenina’ (Keira Knightley), from Universal Pictures, then followed by the Closing Night Gala.
In San Francisco, the Billboard FutureSound Conference’s format includes a series of 15-minute presentations from digital music thought leaders outlining their visions for both existing and future opportunities in the music industry. Fred Wilson, Principal, Union Square Ventures, delivers the conference Keynote along the intersecting lines of music, digital and social trends and investments. Don Was, President of Blue Note Records, delivers a Keynote Q&A shares his insights on how apps can function as a music format, and other issues related to the intersection of music, tech and fans as it relates to music distribution and artists development. New at this year’s two-day conference starting on November 15 is the Innovators Showcase competition where digital music startups get the opportunity to pitch a company or product to a panel of judges on stage during the conference. Eligible startups must be pre-revenue, with a working demo or prototype to present that is directed at the music industry —- be that fans, artists, or insiders. Cocktail receptions close the evenings for both days of the conference.
Bath Film Festival was originally established in 1991, in Bath, by members of the Bath Film Society and the three cinemas in the city at the time. An expanding program over the years now includes workshops for festival goers, live music accompaniments to silent cinema, open-air cinema. On November 21 screenwriter Bob Baker, who has been writing scripts for over 40 years from television dramas to children’s programs, gives advice on writing for film and television and talks in detail about his screenwriting while showing clips. On November 23, BAFTA-winning, and Oscar-nominated producer, Stephen Woolley, shares insights from his 30 year career. Bath Film Festival in conjunction with the Internet Movie Database – IMDb – have instituted two new film awards in 2012, IMDb New Filmmaker Award aims to discover new directorial talent and the IMDb Script to Screen Award. On the evening of November 25, Screen Award winner titled Pussy Cat, by Simon Wharf, will get its world premiere, and five finalists and the winner of the £1,000 prize of the New Filmmaker Award will also be screened. The festival in its entirety runs from November 15-25.
According to festival organizers, the International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography selects films according to their visual, aesthetic and technical values. The Bydgoszcz based Festival strives to be a forum not only for presentation but also for further development of international moviemaking. Apart from the Main Competition the Festival also contains other events such as Student Etudes Competition, Documentary Films Competition, Music Videos Competition, Feature Debutes Competition, Plus Camerimage Market, Plus Camerimage Forum, Polish Films Competition, special screenings and premieres, various reviews, retrospectives, meetings and accompanying events such as art exhibitions and music performances. During the Festival, which has its run November 24 to December 1, the gymnasium of the University of Economy is turned into a functioning film studio, where filmmakers lead film workshops for accredited guests of the festival. This 20th edition of the festival will present Latvian Cinema Review, a program that will provide festival participants with a selection of films displaying the variety and the value of Latvian cinema. Latvian Cinema Review will not only be a chance to learn more about the country’s history, mentality, and current situation, but also explore the Latvian sense of humor and the unique atmosphere of Latvia’s cinema.
Siggraph Asia 2012 happening in Singapore November 28 through December 1 is put on by The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), an educational and scientific society uniting the world’s computing educators, researchers, and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. The convention’s trade exhibition will offer participants from hardware and software vendors to studios and educational institutions a platform to market their products and services to computer graphics and interactive techniques professionals and enthusiasts. This year the conference will introduce a new program – “Technical Briefs”. Other featured events include Art Gallery, Computer Animation Festival, courses, Emerging Technologies, Symposium on Apps, and Technical Papers. The Symposium on Apps program aims to cover the development, technology, and marketing of mobile applications, and this year’s program will put more emphasis on graphics and replace “motion tracking” with categories like hardware, games, augmented reality, location-based services, animation, and social networking.
“Birds of a Feather” events are proposed by SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 attendees and are informal presentations, discussions, and demonstrations for people who share interests, goals, technologies, environments, or backgrounds. These events will be free of charge, related to computer graphics or interactive techniques, and open to all SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 conference attendees. Blender, the free/open source 3D creation software developed by a worldwide community of 3D artists and developers, holds a November 30 session for users (open to Siggraph attendees) of Blender to showcase their work, ranging from technology demos to animation and VFX for film. The official SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 Networking Reception will be at |MAX Atria Foyer, Level 1, on November 29. Stroll through the Art Gallery and Emerging Technologies demonstrations with live entertaining music in the background. A standing dinner buffet including a free flow of refreshments will be provided. Wine and beer will be available as well.
The above events are only a sample of what is fully listed. Complete details are on the “Media, Entertainment and Performing Arts Industry News and Events” page at: http://www.actorschecklist.com/news.html which now has pages translated into 10 of the most widely used international languages that can be accessed from the blog page. This month’s photo composite celebrates the 50 years since the world’s best known secret agent — James Bond — came unto the cinematic screen as Agent 007. If the composite does not appear in this post please click this link. Looking ahead into the next month, be aware that December will be a slow month with most activities reserved for holiday celebration, but there will still be… Burleighfest in Perth, All Things Hollywood; International Festival opens in Burbank, Future of Film Summit in Los Angeles, European Conference on Visual Media Production opens in London, The Bahamas International Film Festival opens in Nassau, DocMiami International Film Festival will be in Miami, the International fest of experimental film and digital art will be in Bratislava, NewFilmmakers New York comes to New York City.