Screen Talk: Dawn rising

By Stuart Kemp
Sunday 23 October 2011 03:01

There is little doubt that the Hollywood film-making industry takes its role as a global force very seriously.

And it is very protective of its status, investing heavily in readying generation after generation to take up the reins as executives capable of continuing the industry's success. So Woody Allen's humorous spin on George Bernard Shaw's saying, "He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches" making it "those who can't do, teach. Those who can't teach, teach gym" does not sum up the movie industry's sentiment. Dawn Taubin (above left), the former head of marketing at Warner Bros Pictures for six years, isn't thinking along Allen lines. Taubin recently joined the faculty of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts as a professor of public relations an d advertising. At the Orange County-based film school she will bring together PR and advertising students with student film-makers to create marketing plans for student films. She will also serve on the green- light committee for Chapman Entertainment, a fully functioning film production company set up to make up to 10 micro-budget pictures per year. A real taste of the future for wannabe movie sharks who do.

The life of Luxe

One of the surefire ways to get a shot at the big screen is to create a noisy success on the small screen. Which is why chins are wagging that the producing team behind Gossip Girl is taking on another bestselling young adult novel for the big screen. The Gossip team are setting up The Luxe, based on the bestselling books by Anna Godberson, at Paramount and have brought in Bess Wohl to pen the screenplay. The Luxe tracks four teens set in 19th-century New York and features conflicts between old money and new money, the upper class and lower class, and star-crossed lovers.

Night of the zemons

There is to be another new take on the undead on the big screen with the creation of the zemon. That's a cross between a zombie and a demon, in case there was any doubt. The fresh dead take features in Canadian indie 3D horror film Dead Before Dawn, currently being shot in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Christopher Lloyd has joined the ensemble cast to play an occult shop-running grandfather. Directed by April Mullen and written by Tim Doiron, the movies follows college kids that accidentally unleash an evil curse that causes people to kill themselves and turn into zemons. The ensemble cast includes Devon Bostick, Martha MacIsaac, Brandon Jay McLaren, Brittany Allen and Rossif Sutherland.

A touch more evil

Plans to resurrect The Evil Dead just got deadly serious. Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell are to remake their cult classic. This time around the movie will be co-written and directed by Fede Alvarez, a South American filmmaker behind the short film Panic Attack. Alvarez has written the Dead script with Rodo Sayagues and now Diablo Cody is revising it. The film-makers said they are hoping to use film-making techniques that weren't available 30 years ago to scare a new generation of cinema goers. The 1981 Evil Dead launched Raimi's directing career, which centered on five college teenagers vacationing in a cabin in the woods who unleash evil spirits.

A cold case for Errol

The film-maker Errol Morris's plans for his first non-documentary film since 1991's Dark Wind are coming together nicely. Paul Rudd is attached to star in the untitled project, written by Stranger Than Fiction scribe Zack Helm. It is based on We Froze the First Man, a memoir by Robert F Nelson, and a This American Life segment titled "You're Cold as Ice". It will tell the story of the first man to be cryonically preserved. It is unclear whether Rudd will play Nelson, the man who helped invent the technology used in the 1960s procedure or James Bedford, the dying man who was frozen.

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