Peter Jackson, Steven Spielberg, and JJ Abrams Support $50 Movie Rental Service

Following the unveiling of Screening Room, a $50 home movie rental service developed by Napster founder Sean Parker, three major film directors have spoken out in support of the idea. Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies), JJ Abrams (Star Trek (2009), Star Wars: The Force Awakens), and Steven Spielberg (duh) have thrown their support behind the movie rental initiative, which allows customers to view new cinema releases at home, for a premium.

Jackson spoke at length to Variety about why he supports Screening Room, while Spielberg and Abrams (pictured above) have been revealed as investors in the business, alongside fellow directors Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, and Frank Marshall.

“I had concerns about ‘DirecTV’ in 2011, because it was a concept that I believe would have led to the cannibalization of theatrical revenues, to the ultimate detriment of the movie business,” Jackson (pictured with Spielberg, above) told Variety. “Screening Room, however, is very carefully designed to capture an audience that does not currently go to the cinema.”

That is a critical point of difference with the DirecTV approach – and along with Screening Room’s robust anti-piracy strategy, is exactly why Screening Room has my support,” Jackson added. “Screening Room will expand the audience for a movie – not shift it from cinema to living room. It does not play off studio against theater owner. Instead it respects both, and is structured to support the long-term health of both exhibitors and distributors – resulting in greater sustainability for the wider film industry itself.”

Images courtesy of The Guardian and The Independent.

JJ Abrams Comfirms Portal and Half-Life Movies Still Happening

During the press junket for Bad Robot’s latest horror suspense movie 10 Cloverfield Lane, the studio’s founder, director, writer, and producer JJ Abrams confirmed that film adaptations of the lauded Valve video games Half-Life and Portal are still in development, and both have writers attached.

The Star Wars: The Force Awakens director gave the update during an interview with IGN, assuring fans that Bad Robot’s collaboration with Valve, which was first announced at DICE 2013 summit. Abrams appeared on-stage with Valve founder Gabe Newell three years ago

“Not yet, but they’re in development,” Abrams told IGN, when asked if we’d be seeing the Half-Life and Portal adaptations any time soon. “And we’ve got writers, and we’re working on both those stories. But nothing that would be an exciting update.”

While Abrams has confirmed the projects are on-going, they don’t sound much further along than when they were revealed three years ago. Back in 2013, Polgyon reported that Bad Robot had attached writers to both projects, but that they were in the early pre-production stages.

a Portal and Half-Life movie are things I want to see,” Abrams said at the time. “We’re also aware of the cautionary tales of movies that became games and vice versa. Our goal here to is to treat the world Valve has created in both these properties like anyone would a book or some great story that comes from a pitch or original script — just to treat it with the respect they treat their games and their players with.”

Abrams, though, did add the caveat, “It’s as real as anything in Hollywood ever gets.”

Image courtesy of Arcade Sushi.

J.J. Abrams Wife Told Him To Stop Using Lens Flare

J.J. Abrams is known for a wide range of movies, from the latest Star Trek films to Cloverfield. Out of all of his films though there is one thing that is constantly missing, and that is special effects. To be more precise I don’t think I’ve seen a single one of Abrams films which feature Lens Flare, that could be because I’m blinded by its overuse in his films, though. Seems I’m not the only one with everyone including his wife telling him to stop using lens flare.

In the below video Abrams explains how it was during a scene from Star Trek Into Darkness that his wife demanded he stopped using the effect in his films.

If you disagree with her point there might be something you should watch, two and a half minutes of lens flares courtesy of Star Trek Into Darkness.

If that wasn’t enough you could just watch some of his other films, with the effect seeming to be synonymous with his name in the credits. While he’s not the only one who uses the effect, sadly you will often find it in a lot of video games as well, he is definitely known for it but even with all of these facts we just can’t seem to figure out why his wife would tell him to stop using the effect.

Kodak Relaunches the Super 8 Camera

Kodak has delighted film lovers by announcing the relaunch of the fabled Super 8 film camera. Super 8, named for its 8mm single perforation film stock, was the entry-level format that inspired generations of film directors, ranging from old legends like Steven Spielberg, to (relatively) young upstarts Christopher Nolan, director of Inception and the Dark Knight trilogy, and the man behind the recent Star Wars revival, JJ Abrams. Jeff Clarke, the CEO of Eastman Kodak, described Super 8, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year, as “an ecosystem for film.”

“The news that Kodak is enabling the next generation of filmmakers with access to an upgraded and enhanced version of the same analog technology that first made me fall in love with cinematic storytelling is unbelievably exciting,” Christopher Nolan said.

“For me, 8mm was the beginning of everything,” Steven Spielberg added. “When I think of 8mm, I think of the movies.”

“While any technology that allows for visual storytelling must be embraced, nothing beats film,” said JJ Abrams. “The fact that Kodak is building a brand new Super 8 camera is a dream come true. With a gorgeous new design, interchangeable lenses and a brilliant scheme for development and delivery of footage, this camera appears to be the perfect bridge between the efficiency of the digital world and the warmth and quality of analog.”

The new Super 8 cameras and film stock are expected to hit the market at some point this year, with the hardware priced between $400 and $750.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-v2Cwz_yXZo

Star Trek 3 Secures 2016 Release With Fast and Furious Director

The last two Star Trek films haven’t done too badly, but they haven’t been massive hits for Paramount. Well, the company has reportedly secured Justin Lin as the director of the third outing, Star Trek 3, who is known for his work with the Fast and the Furious franchise.

Star Trek was released in 2009, while Star Trek Into Darkness was released last year. Both of the movies were directed by J.J. Abrams who has since moved off to the Star  Wars franchise, with next year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Source: Polygon.