Monday, 27 August 2012

Website Redesign

I am currently very limited with how I develop the current Michael Mann website, so I am moving it over to a different platform. You can still access the blog at www.michael-mann.blogspot.com, but I am moving the domain michael-mann.net to the new site in development.

The aim is to improve the entire look and navigation of the site, with new additional reference type content. Hopefully, this will become a site that is more befitting of the subject matter. I am also keen to make the material more easily accessible on smartphones, so I will implement a responsive design.

It's about time I tackled several years worth of content and take more time to compile a more useful reference style  resource of information.

Keep in touch via my twitter account @michaelmannblog



Sunday, 19 August 2012

Michael Mann Latest News


Michael Mann set to produce new HBO Pilot
Michael Mann is set to be producing a new HBO pilot and possibly series on a futuristic crime story. The series touted as "Buda Bridge" is being directed by fresh talent Michael Roskam, whose latest directing work was on the Oscar nominated 'Bullhead" last year.

Keeping irons in his fire, Roskham is also to direct "The Tiger", which was originally linked with Darren Aronofsky who is currently shooting "Noah" with Russell Crowe in Iceland. No doubt due to that commitment, Aronofsky is instead intending to produce for Roskham.



The Last of the Mohicans
Further excellent news is that The Last of the Mohicans in Blu-ray format is making its way here to the United Kingdom with a release date soon for October 8th. Unlike the US edition which is distributed by 20th Century Fox, the UK edition will be distributed by Warner Brothers. There are no details of what bonus features may or may not appear.

For fans of The Last of The Mohicans, here is a great page of trivia about the movie and its historical context. Fascinating reading. Click here to go to the page.






Monday, 6 August 2012

Danny Lacey Workshop

Given the dearth of information there is on the future developments of Michael Mann's next film projects I just wanted to give a shout out to an emerging new film director in his genesis years  - Danny Lacey. I today attended his first ever filmmaking workshop which covered all the details of his journey to becoming a fully fledged independent filmmaker. It was a fascinating and enjoyable day, with special guests including Philip Bloom, who I genuinely admire. Philip was DP on two of the most recent films, with David Beaumont, who I didn't know, doing an excellent job on the earliest of Danny's films. Working with professional crews and actors, Danny has an extraordinary knack in soliciting for free, what would otherwise be prohibitively expensive film services - actors, DPs, ADs, sound guys, gaffers, catering trucks, film stock, cameras... he either got free, or at a crazy low price. It means those involved around him have bought into his immense energy, enthusiasm and vision. It is for this same reason I wanted to share his work with all you film enthusiasts. Lacey's work doesn't display any particular reference to Michael Mann's style (normally a pre-requisite for this site), but if you are a young filmmaker, you will find him both an inspiration and also a source of valuable information about the enormous process of true independent filmmaking.

One of the most vivid parts of his story into filmmaking was when he had assembled his first ever fully professional crew complete with actors. Danny told the story of how on the first day of shooting, after all the in-depth theoretical planning, he had turned up on location to suddenly be faced with this giant film making machine. Everyone was there... primed to go. A thirty-man crew. He just blanked, not knowing where to start, or how to set each person into sequential motion. Astonishingly, it was his first time ever on a film set! In Danny's words, he almost pulled the plug on the film there and then, before it started. But an encouraging word from his DP meant he overcame the panic and it became Danny's greatest learning experience. He never looked back. It's a great story for new filmmakers to relate to.

If you are established in the industry, then I encourage you to check Danny out. He is one to look out for in the future.

At the end of today's workshop he gave a premier screening of his three short films. I include them below. I won't add a full review of his films here, and in fact with all the final grading, the finished results look much improved to the trailer footage here. In Danny's role as a director, I really do admire how well he has, for his first time efforts, managed to evoke some real depth and "truth" to the acting in the films. There are obviously flaws of all kinds, but between those is a real talent that is taking shape. So without further delay, here are the trailers to his films. Check out his site at: http://www.dannylaceyfilm.co.uk which is full of information.

Kindly leave a comment, if you found this post useful.


That Day
That Day (teaser trailer) from Danny Lacey on Vimeo.

Host
'Host' Teaser Trailer (a film by Danny Lacey) from Danny Lacey on Vimeo.

Love Like Hers
Love Like Hers (Teaser Trailer 1) from Danny Lacey on Vimeo.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Michael Mann interview about the now late HBO Luck

For those who know Michael Mann's films, you will know that he uses the term "Time is Luck", quite often. It relates so vividly to this situation. Did you know that this term probably relates to a Biblical verse in Ecclesiastes 9:11. Read that verse, and you can directly apply that to what happened on the now unfortunately named "Luck".

Despite the horribly disappointing end to the making of Luck, I am ready for more Michael Mann material. The truth is, the end of Luck was a devastating blow to all involved in the project, and it was further marred by ill reported stories that I had no appetite to blog. This was supposed to be Mann's nine hour movie - to use the amazing opportunity such time presents to the storytelling creative director/producer. We all feel robbed of that same rush of enthusiasm to see and experience that happen. It is therefore poignant to post an excellent interview to be seen in full between Michael Mann and Tavis Smiley about the making and development of Luck. I may have even posted it before. But here it is, to help me move on to what is the next "thing". In the interview Mann says more than once how "careful" they are with the horses.

Going back to the interview, here it is below. Asked what movies he is likely to work on he mentions Agincourt, but adds a new story to his already large list in waiting: The Tam. He refers to Alex Sage, writing a story in Indonesia on the South China Sea. 

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Go Like Hell

Apparently, with the F1 film Rush having been announced, the studios have put Mann's project "Go Like Hell" on ice, until it has passed through. The Rush article can be read here:


In the article, it is reported that "Michael Mann's 'Go Like Hell', about the Ferrari vs. Ford rivalry for supremacy at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race during the 1960s was close to being set up at Fox last year, but is reportedly on hold until 'Rush' is finished." I tweeted the Variety link a few days ago, but for those just looking at the blog, this is the latest I have on that project. If anybody knows more, let me know.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Michael & Ami Canaan Mann interview

There is an indepth interview with Michael & Ami Canaan Mann that gives considerable enlightenment on how the father and daughter team came up with and executed the project, The Texas Killing Fields. It obviously took a great deal of Michael's time to help develop the movie. With typical attention to detail, Michael goes into how the entire movie was written, cast, shot and distributed. For those wanting to know every nuance about the working approach of Michael Mann as producer, it is worth waiting through the introduction. It will be interesting to see how Ami Mann's career develops.

Michael Mann to work on documentary about modern war photographers

Michael Mann is enjoying his freedom with HBO and according to Hollywood Reporter has teamed up on another reported collaboration on the making of a documentary about a new generation of combat documentary photographers. It takes Mann back to his early roots of documentary filmmaking of riots in Paris, France and feeds his appetite for men in extreme scenes of conflict both internally and externally. He is teaming up with documentary director David Frankham.

It looks an exciting project, and could take documentary film making to a completely different level. In an earlier post I shared my thrill and depth of emotional experience at watching Mugabe and the White African, which was cinematic in its appearance, and breathtaking in its story telling. As someone who studied photography, I have admired war photographers. Being British, some of the shots by Don McCullin were of great interest and are extraordinary in capturing the haunting effects of shell shock, having seen his exhibition in London some years ago now.

This is definitely a Mann fit project, taking in South America, where drug lords are something of an interest to Mann. Read the full news piece to get the details.