Category Archives: Backstage Hollywood

Alita: Battle Angel

 

Cover Art: Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox; TM & © 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Not for sale or duplication.

From visionary filmmakers James Cameron (Avatar) and Robert Rodriguez (Sin City), comes Alita: Battle Angel, an epic adventure of hope and empowerment, based upon the Manga graphic novel series by Yukito Kishiro.

When Alita (Rosa Salazar) awakens with no memory of who she is in a future world she does not recognize, she is taken in by Ido (Christoph Waltz), a compassionate cyberphysician who realizes that somewhere in this abandoned cyborg core is the heart and soul of a young woman with an extraordinary past. As Alita learns to navigate her new life and the treacherous streets of Iron City, Ido tries to shield her from her mysterious history while her street-smart new friend Hugo (Keean Johnson) offers instead to help trigger her memories.

But it is only when the deadly and corrupt forces that run the city, headed by Vector (Mahershala Ali), come after Ido and Alita that she discovers a clue to her past – she has unique fighting abilities ingrained in her that those in power will stop at nothing to control. If she can stay out of their grasp, she could be the key to saving her friends, her family and the world she has grown to love.

“You see this story through Alita’s eyes, eyes that have an innocence to them and see the beauty in things,” director Rodriguez says. “We set out to create something that feels very tactile, that’s immersive, that has unexpected moments, all the things you anticipate in a Jim Cameron movie. What’s amazing is that Jim has been working on Alita since 1999, but even now, nobody has made anything like it. Making it finally happen has been an incredible process of collaboration.”

Rodriguez adds, “The fervor, risk-taking and fusing of mind and machine, that drove the making of Alita echo what Alita discovers about pouring your all into what you do. At its core, this is the story of a girl who gets a second chance at life, and decides this time it will be about following her heart.”

About the Star; Rosa Salazar: 

Rosa Salazar (Alita) was recently seen alongside Sandra Bullock in Netflix’s Bird Box, directed by Susanne Bier, which premiered on December 21st and was watched by 45,037,125 accounts in the first week, the best first seven days a Netflix film has received.

In 2019 she will star in Undone, Amazon’s first primetime animated series from the BoJack Horseman team.

Her past films include The Kindergarten Teacher for Netflix, Maze Runner: The Death Cure for Twentieth Century Fox, CHiPS for Warner Bros., Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials for Twentieth Century Fox, The Divergent Series: Insurgent for Summit, Search Party for Focus and Night Owls for Orion among others.

Her past television work includes Big Mouth for Netflix, Man Seeking Woman for FXX and Parenthood for NBC among others. Her directorial debut, the short film Good Crazy, premiered in competition at Sundance in 2017.

Producer James Cameron recalls: “It’s almost impossible to quantify just how big the reaction was that Robert and I had to Rosa. She brought such heart and vitality to every moment. I’ve never seen anything like it.” Adds Director Robert Rodriguez: “It’s like a dream when someone walks in the door and you see that thing you were looking for that you couldn’t even describe. That’s what happened with Rosa. It was magic.”

Rosa Salazar knew she’d be walking a tightrope in the role—so she thrived on the safety net provided by Cameron and Rodriguez. “Jim explained all the nut-and-bolts of Alita to me, but also, Jim has such tenderness towards Alita and that gave me a lot of insight. And with Robert I felt an immediate artistic and human connection,” she says. “He’s so energetic and always creating, yet his demeanor is calm. When he listens to you, he really hears you. I always felt my words had weight with him.”

Martial Arts Training 

Months before production began, Rosa leapt into intensive training, studying the demanding arts of Wushu, Muay Thai and Kung Fu, and honing her inline skating repertoire as well. “The training almost killed me,” she admits. “I had to get my endurance way up, build lots of strength and start to think like a regimented warrior. A lot of it was learning the forms, harnessing that energy and rhythm.”

Though Salazar did some of her own stunt work, the overwhelming complexity of the shoot necessitated having up to nine different “stunt Alitas” in play, including world-class gymnasts and contortionists. “Alita kicks a lot of (butt) and she kicks the (butts) of huge, enhanced cyborgs,” Rosa Salazar explains. “What I like about her fierceness is that I think it gives girls permission to realize you can be both soft and brave, you can express your emotions but also be determined never to let evil win.”

Rosa was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Greenbelt, Maryland.

About James Cameron:

Producer James Cameron and Director Robert Rodriguez on the set of ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL. Photo Credit: Rico Torres. Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox TM & © 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.  Not for sale or duplication.

James Cameron (Screenplay, Producer) is an acclaimed film-maker and explorer.  As director, writer and producer he is responsible for some of the most memorable films of the past three decades: The Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, True Lies, Titanic, and Avatar.

Avatar is the highest grossing film in history with over $2.7 billion in global box office, beating the previous record holder, Cameron’s own film Titanic, which held that record for 12 years. Cameron’s films have also earned numerous nominations and awards, most notably Titanic’s 14 Academy Award nominations (a record) and 11 Oscars (also a record), including Cameron’s own 3 Oscars for Best Picture, Best Direction and Best Editing.  Both Titanic and Avatar won the Golden Globe for Best Director and Best Picture.  Avatar was nominated for 9 Academy Awards and won 3 Academy Awards.

Technology and Exploration 

Over the last 17 years Cameron developed cutting edge 3D camera systems for movies and documentaries, as well as for broadcast sports and special events. He was at the vanguard of the 3D renaissance that has transformed the movie industry in recent years. He also developed unprecedented deep ocean exploration vehicles, lighting and 3D camera equipment. Most recently, Cameron led his eighth deep ocean expedition to some of the deepest trenches in the world. On March 26, 2012, he set the world’s solo deep diving record of 35,787’ in the Challenger Deep in a vehicle of his own design.

Activism 

Cameron is a National Geographic Explorer in Residence, and recipient of their most prestigious award, the Hubbard Medal, as well as the Explorer’s Club medal for Explorer of the Year.

Cameron is also passionately involved in sustainability issues, having founded the Avatar Alliance Foundation to take action on climate change, energy policy, deforestation, indigenous rights, ocean conservation and sustainable agriculture. His production company, Lightstorm Entertainment, installed a 1-megawatt solar array on the roofs of their soundstages at Manhattan Beach Studios, to generate all the power for the Avatar sequels. James and Suzy Amis Cameron, both environmental vegans, founded the Plant Power Taskforce to promote awareness of the impact of animal agriculture on the environment and climate.  He is currently in production on Avatar 2, 3, 4 and 5.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.AlitaBattleAngel.com
FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/AlitaMovie
TWITTER: www.twitter.com/AlitaMovie
INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/AlitaMovie
PRIMARY HASHTAG: #Alita

Alita: Battle Angel

Starring: Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Ed Skrein, Jackie Earle Haley, Keean Johnson
Directed By: Robert Rodriguez
Produced By: James Cameron, Jon Landaus

ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL, text, images and trailer with kind courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox TM & © 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.  Not for sale or duplication. All rights reserved.

Hollywood Sentinel, 2019

 

Hollywood’s Iconic Image Maker: Anthony Richmond

Image: On the set of the 20th Century Fox motion picture “Men of Honor,” pictured left to right; Russ Engels (gaffer), George Richmond (camera operator), Chunky (focus puller), Anthony B. Richmond (cinematographer), and Robert De Niro. Also starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and Charlize Theron. Image used with kind courtesy of Mr. Richmond for The Hollywood Sentinel, 2018, all rights reserved.

ANTHONY B. RICHMOND A.S.C., B.S.C.  

Director of Photography

One of the world’s most accomplished cinematographers, Anthony B. Richmond’s career spans over five decades.  Born and raised in London, Anthony Richmond worked his way up through the ranks to his current position of Director of Photography. He began at the age of 16 as a messenger with Associate British Cinemas and later with Pathe-News, where he was promoted to the camera department. He next worked as Assistant Cameraman on films including; Call Me Bwana, From Russia with Love, Devil-Ship Pirates, The Gorgan, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Truffaut’s Fahrenheit 451, and David Leans’s Dr. Zhivago.

Image: Jean Luc Godard with Cinematographer Anthony B. Richmond. Image used with kind courtesy of The British Film Institute, and with kind courtesy of Mr. Richmond for The Hollywood Sentinel. British Film Institute: http://www.bfi.org.uk/

Mr. Richmond also served as focus-puller on Casino Royale and on Far From the Madding Crowd for Director John Schlesinger, for who he also later served as Cinematographer for the documentary; Israel: A Right To Live, made just days after the Six-Day War.  Shortly afterwards, Mr. Richmond began working as Director of Photography on feature films, with his first being the 1967 motion picture; Only When I Larf directed by Basil Dearden.


An award-winning Cinematographer, Anthony Richmond has had numerous collaborations with Director Nicolas Roeg who recently passed. Lensing five of his the legendary directors films including; Don’t Look Now – for which Richmond won the prestigious BAFTA award, The Man Who Fell To Earth, starring David Bowie, Bad Timing, Heart Of Darkness, and Full Body Massage for Showtime.

Some of Mr. Richmond’s additional credits include; The Sandlot, the cult classic horror film Candyman, based on a Clive Barker short story, Stardust for Michael Apted, Playing God, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, Rough Riders for John Milius, Silver Bears for Ivan Passer, That’s Life, and Sunset for Blake Edwards, The Eagle Has Landed for John Sturges, and The Greek Tycoon for J. Lee Thompson.

Anthony Richmond  also served as Director of Photography on Tony Goldwin’s directorial debut Walk On The Moon, Sean Penn’s directorial debut Indian Runner, and Anjelica Houston’s directorial debut Bastard Out Of Carolina, collaborating  yet again with her on: Agnes Brown, and Riding The Bus With My Sister.

Anthony Richmond was also responsible for iconic photography for much of the seminal British music scene of the late 60’s.  He shot the Rolling Stones classic, Sympathy For The Devil (aka One Plus One) for the legendary Jean-Luc Godard, with which he then collaborated with Michael Lindsey Hogg on The Rolling Stones Rock And Roll Circus, and also, The Beatles’ Let It Be.  Mr. Richmond’s additional   rock and roll credits include: The Who’s The Kids Are Alright, as well as the documentary Glastonbury Fayre.

His most recent credits include; Good Luck Chuck, The Comebacks, Shade, Havana Nights, Legally Blond, Ravenous, Men Of Honor, The Sweetest Thing, Someone Like You, Just Friends, John Tucker Must Die, Autopsy, Sex and Lies in Sin City, The Rocker, Alvin the Squeakquel, Coffee Town, and The Assets for Peter Medak.

Most recently for the past two years, Mr. Richmond has served as Faculty Chair of the Cinematography Department at The New York Film Academy in Burbank, California.  Here, Mr. Richmond  teaches the next generation of Cinematographers,  and frequently collaborates with other creatives outside of the academic community to development significant relationships between his students and industry professionals.  Mr. Richmond is fulfilled in  mentoring aspiring filmmakers and enjoys meeting students to discuss their goals.

In addition to giving back as a teacher and having a legendary career as  widely esteemed, and prolific Cinematographer,  Mr. Richmond  additionally a member of the Academy Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (A.M.P.A.S), British Academy of Film & Television Arts (B.A.F.T.A), American Society of Cinematographers (A.S.C), and British Society of Cinematographers (B.S.C).

The following is an exclusive interview with Hollywood’s legendary image maker; Anthony Richmond, for The Hollywood Sentinel:

Textual content; official biography of Anthony B. Richmond courtesy of Mr. Richmond.  Textual editing, title and audio content are  ©2018, Hollywood Sentinel, all world rights reserved.

Oscars® Announce Next Producer and Director

ONNA GIGLIOTTI TO PRODUCE THE 91ST OSCARS®
GLENN WEISS TO CO-PRODUCE AND DIRECT THE OSCARS

Oscar®-winning producer Donna Gigliotti will produce the 91st Oscars®, and Emmy®-winning director Glenn Weiss will co-produce and direct the show, Academy President John Bailey announced today. The Oscars will air live on the ABC Television Network and broadcast outlets worldwide on Sunday, February 24, 2019.

“Donna and Glenn will infuse new energy and vision into this 91st awards presentation, and we are excited about a broad-based creative relationship with these two artists,” said Bailey.

“I’m grateful to the Academy and ABC for entrusting me with this very special opportunity,” said Gigliotti. “I’m sure it will prove to be a humbling, exhilarating and completely unique experience. Thankfully, I will have Glenn Weiss by my side every step of the way!”

“I’m so looking forward to being back to help celebrate and honor the film industry and all the talented people behind this year’s movies,” said Weiss. “And I am ‘co-excited’ to be co-producing this year’s show with Donna Gigliotti!”

“We’re thrilled to work with someone as passionate about the Academy as Donna Gigliotti—an Oscar winner and multiple nominee. She and (the now famous) Glenn Weiss are committed to making the most of the innovations we’ve embraced for our 91st Oscars,” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson.

“Donna Gigliotti has worked on some of the most celebrated films of our time and is uniquely qualified to bring her talent to the most anticipated awards show of the year,” said Channing Dungey, president, ABC Entertainment. “And, thanks to Glenn Weiss, we just experienced the most talked-about moment at the Emmys with his heartfelt onstage wedding proposal. We can’t wait to see how they top that at The Oscars.”

Gigliotti won a Best Picture Oscar for “Shakespeare in Love” and earned nominations for “Hidden Figures,” “Silver Linings Playbook” and “The Reader.” Her other producing credits include such features as “The Fundamentals of Caring,” “Beasts of No Nation,” “Two Lovers,” “The Good Night” and “Emma.” The films she has produced and overseen have earned a total of 43 Oscar nominations.
Returning to direct his fourth consecutive Oscars, Weiss has won 14 Primetime Emmy Awards, including one earlier this year for the 90th Oscars. He has directed and produced numerous televised events, including 18 Tony Awards® shows. His other directing credits include “The Kennedy Center Honors,” “Billboard Music Awards,” “BET Awards,” “Peter Pan Live!,” “Dick Clark’s Primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest,” “Primetime Emmy Awards,” “Live from Lincoln Center,” “Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular,” “Garth Brooks, Live from Las Vegas” and the “American Music Awards.”

The 91st Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 24, 2019, at the Dolby® Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscars also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

ABOUT THE ACADEMY

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a global community of more than 9,000 of the most accomplished artists, filmmakers and executives working in film. In addition to celebrating and recognizing excellence in filmmaking through the Oscars, the Academy supports a wide range of initiatives to promote the art and science of the movies, including public programming, educational outreach and the upcoming Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, which is under construction in Los Angeles.

Image and textual content courtesy of AMPAS, all world right reserved. 2018,  Hollywood Sentinel.