HOLLYWOOD – The Exec can exclusively reveal everyone’s favorite ‘he who must not be named’ is to starring in Reginald Perrin The Movie. Ralph Fiennes has started shooting Reginald Perrin The Movie in London, with Charlie Kaufman directing. We spoke with Ralph Fiennes about the project.
Ralph, What Drew You To Reginald Perrin The Movie?
People say I look like Leonard Rossiter. That’s about it, really. Oh, and the money was good.
Was That It?
At first, yeah. But then they got Charlie on board to direct it. So it went from a low budget remake of a beloved 70s British sit-com to some kind of meta upon meta, upon meta version of Leonard Rossiter’s life. Honestly, I haven’t got Scooby Doo what’s going on now. But then Netflix came on board. So therefore the budget shot up, as did my fee. Happy fucking days innit!
Can You Tell Us Anything About The Changes From The 70s BBC Version We All Know?
I’ll try, but you know, it’s a Charlie Kaufman movie so who the fuck knows what’s going on. It’s pretty much the same up until the point Reggie fakes his own suicide. He then comes back as Leonard Rossiter and auditions for 2001: A Space Odyssey. The script then keeps changing between Reggie’s and Leonard’s lives. They both judge each other with a melancholic, self-referencing, self-loathing irony. You know, standard Charlie Kaufman stuff. Everyone drifts away until it’s just them, sat in a room staring at each other as they discuss the merits of the Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais so-called comedy, Water. That was Leonard’s last film. I think Michael Caine has agreed to play himself.
Hey, you said it man. Nobody f- oh wait. Hang on, that’s the Coens, not Kaufman. My apologies. Wrong meta gag. Can you tell me what’s real please? I’m getting tired of Charlie’s shit.
Reginald Perrin The Movie Is Due Out Next Year
HOW TO WRITE A SCREENWRITING – Is a new feature that will lead you through the process of writing a screenplay in the tradition of the great gurus Robert McKee, Syd Field and Damon Lindelof.
Part 1. Story – camera – action.
A man walks into a room. That’s a story! A woman eats a peach that’s too big for her small mouth. That’s a story! A dog has worms and keeps rubbing its rear end on your new carpet. That’s not a story. You just need to take the dog to the vet and buy a new carpet. The point is we are surrounded by story. Story is everywhere. It is in the food you eat, on television, in the newspapers, in the conversation of your co-workers. Story is the warp and woof (there’s that dog again) of life, the rich tapestry from whence we all come, the undiscovered country to whence we all go.
But how do I write a story? Which story should I choose? What story do people want to hear? And what’s the difference between a story in a book and a story in a building?
All these questions will be answered in this 23 part on line course on How to Write a Screenwriting. Whether you want to be the next J.K Rowling and die under the weight of all the money, or you want to be the next Charlie Kaufman and die under the weight of everyone going ‘what?’, How to Write a Screenwriting is the ONLY online resource you need as a screenwriter who wants to write a screenwriting.
Of course writing is not easy. Look at the title to this whole course that I’m writing. Have you looked? Okay, the more perceptive among you will have noticed that there is something not quite right, something that the unkind might refer to as ‘wrong’. Of course, I wanted to write ‘How to Write a Screenplay’ but I was also thinking of ‘A Guide to Screenwriting’ and so accidentally I wrote ‘How to write a Screenwriting’, erroneously combining to the two titles because I was hungry and I was thinking about dinner – I’m thinking lasagna specifically. So do I go back and change it? NO. Why not? Well, for one thing it’s more work. But the more important reason is that LIFE DEPENDS ON MISTAKES.
Think about it.
All multi-cellular life comes from errors in replication of DNA. If there weren’t any errors, if everything was perfect, then no evolution. No evolution then no complexity; no complexity, then no us. No us, no cinema. No cinema and we’re out of a Goddamned job, just because the asshole DNA worked too damned well. Perfection is the death of life and the death of story. Do you think Jonathan and Christopher Nolan wanted to write Memento? No, they just kept forgetting the story-line and had to keep going back. Do you think Larry McMurty wanted Brokeback Mountain to be a heart-breaking gay love story? No, the original novel has the two cowboys fighting but a slip of the pen and fellatio as all over the page! Do you think Quentin Tarantino meant to write The Hateful Eight? No, his original screenplay was supposed to be called The Careful Eight, but one accidental slip of the fingers and suddenly he has to write something violent to justify the wrong title.
You NEED to make mistakes. And I promise you if you follow this EXCLUSIVE online Screenwriting course, you will be making tons of them.
ANOMALISA – REVIEW: Imagine Wallace and Gromitt but written by Franz Kafka and Samuel Beckett’s insecure child.
Charlie Kaufman is really the screenwriter Philip K. Dick would have been if he’d had a settled into writing non-Science Fiction. With co-director Duke Jones, he has created in Anomalisa a deep, witty and moving portrait of alienation filmed in stop-motion slightly furry animation. Everything here is obviously fake, the sky, the city, the plane, so much so that it takes you a while to realize that all the voices except for Michael Stone’s (David Thewlis, drawling and ornery) are all the same, played by the original Mr. Dolarhide, Tom Noonan in a tone as soft as the fabric world around them. Stone is a perplexed motivational speaker who is in the middle of a mid-life crisis, gripped by an ennui which is either caused by the fact everyone sounds the same or causes everyone to sound the same. Visiting Cincinnati for a speaking engagement, Stone struggles with every interaction. Tersely polite, he teeters on the edge of irritation and suppressed rage. All seems lost to him and the same. He has a happy family life at home, but has no connection to it. He falteringly tries to reconnect with a former lover Donna (Noonan again), but the date goes predictably wrong. Ultimately Stone can’t escape his own head until that is he meets a girl whose voice is different. Lisa (Jennifer Jason Leigh in what is proving a watershed year) is the anomaly of the title. And now all the cliches of love at first sight (listening?) come literally true. Stone inadvertently proves himself the ideal companion. He doesn’t care about her appearance all he wants to do is listen to her voice, hear her sing, talk, chat away. She is unique to him – the only person he wants to be with etc.
The question might be why does this film have to be animated? Well, why not? but to take it further Kaufman and Jones really do something with the animation. Because animation of this kind is so labor intensive, it tends to conventionally operate on a certain elegant economy of movement. Here, this is subverted and every minor gesture is reproduced, every tick, every hesitation, all the things that make us human in fact. There’s the reality of the gestures and motions against the artifice of the world. Stone is a characterless character to some degree – white middle aged man of minor success – but he’s surrounded by people who also look alike and sound identical. So what makes people individual? “What is it to be human?” Stone asks. “What is it to ache?” And weirdly without a single human appearing on screen, Anomalisa kind of answers those questions.
VENICE – Our intrepid Studio Exec has braved the screening rooms of the Darsena, the Sala Grande and even the dreaded plastic cavern that is the Palabiennale and now is here to give you his critical opinion.
The awards are out and the results are – as is traditional – baffling and underwhelming.
Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson should have won the Golden Lion, but instead got the runner up Grand Jury Prize for Anomalisa. It’s like an R-rated Wallace and Gromit film, but with Gromit dead and Wallace really unhappy and perhaps mentally ill. The best director prize went to El Clan which was the best Argentinian Martin Scorsese film of the last year. The winner was Venezuelan film From Afar, which is okay. But a quick glance at some past winners will show how often a fairly twee choice will trump better films. Does anyone remember Scra GRA? Somewhere? Did anyone see Faust? Or the Pigeon Sitting on a Branch Contemplating Existence, which won last year? The last two were actually good films, but Somewhere? How did that win? How did Quentin Tarantino’s ex-girlfriend Sofia Coppola’s rather drab film impress the head of the jury Quentin Tara… oh.
There is a chance that Venice were copying Cannes who awarded Dheepan the Palme d’Or despite the fact it was only a bit better then How to Train Your Dragon 2.
The Venice Film Festival is done. I hope you enjoyed our coverage which is all available here.
LOS ANGELES- Justin Timberlake’s long awaited directorial debut is going to be a film version of Radiohead’s seminal 1997 concept album Ok Computer it was announced today at a press conference at the Los Angeles Hilton.
Timberlake says that he is inspired by such films as Ken Russell’s Tommy and Alan Parker’s Pink Flyod: The Wall but not Rob Marshall’s Chicago.
The pop star turned pop star told the Studio Exec EXCLUSIVELY:
I want to take inspiration from music that changed the era and to some extent summed up the era. And Radiohead have been instrumental at every stage of the creative process. As a first time director I feel particularly grateful to Thom Yorke for his guidance. Once you get through the abuse, there are actually some words of real wisdom immersed deep in the vitriol.
Plot details were few on the ground but Timberlake and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman said that the band would be characters, they would all live in the same house and they would go on holiday to Europe in a red double-decker bus. As for casting, the young director and star of Southland Tales said the band had all agreed to appear as themselves and astrophysicist and – in something of a scoop – Nobel prize winner Stephen Hawking has also signed up for a cameo, although Timberlake refused to say if the role involved any singing.
Shooting is due to begin in April and finish in September, with a release date already set for Christmas Day, 2014.
HOLLYWOOD – Screenwriter of Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Charlie Kaufman is writing a movie entitled Charlie Kaufman Writes a Movie.
The director of Synecdoche New York spoke EXCLUSIVELY to the Studio Exec about his new project:
I am endlessly fascinated by myself and the way when I do something other things happen. I don’t know what it is. I have a mirror placed so I can see myself writing in my room and I often catch myself looking at myself as I write so I began to wonder what if I was writing about myself writing about myself. To help the process of writing, I placed another three mirrors at angles around the room. Now I can see all the different versions of me writing and the reflections of the reflections lead to an infinitude of Charlie Kaufmans.
What will the film be about?
Essentially me writing the movie. At the beginning I’m writing down ideas and getting nowhere and then I notice this mirror and I start thinking about me writing the movie and then I place these other mirrors, like I just told you and… well, you see. It’s really easy once you get started.
Kaufman will direct the movie and has already begun the process of casting.
Initially, I was going to cast John Cusack, but after Synecdoche he’s basically way too expensive for me. Jack Black has expressed an interest and Chris Dowd. But even as we’re going through this process I began to think, ‘You know what, THIS could be the second movie’. We could even have a trilogy. Charlie Kaufman Writes a Movie, Charlie Kaufman Casts a Movie and Charlie Kaufman Releases a Movie.
You could do a follow up, Audience Goes and Sees a Charlie Kaufman Movie.
No, that would be stupid.
Charlie Kaufman Writes a Movie will be released in 2016.
HOLLYWOOD – The third installment in the surprisingly popular action adventure Journey franchise was announced this morning by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Jack Black.
Entitled Journey to the Center of Jack Black, the film has a script by Charlie Kaufman and will be directed by Spike Jonez, who agreed to the project after Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson dangled him from the top level of a multilevel car park.
Journey to the Center of the Earth and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island were both huge successes for Disney and they’ll be hoping to be having money baths after this outing.
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson commented:
The concept is fairly simple. Jack Black is really upset because although he’s a funny guy, he hasn’t made a funny film for like centuries. So we get in a special boat which is shrunk and we have to go into Jack Black and find out why he ain’t funny no more.
How come Jack Black agreed to this? I mean there’s a disconcerting honesty to the idea.
General anesthetic. He won’t know about this until he sees his face on the poster.
Journey to the Center of Jack Black will be released tomorrow at 6pm EST.