Indie News

How Two Indie Producers and a Former Wells Fargo Employee Allegedly Scammed Investors for Millions

How Two Indie Producers and a Former Wells Fargo Employee Allegedly Scammed Investors for Millions
Two executive producers, whose credits include the 2018 Sundance hit “The Tale,” are facing federal fraud and money laundering charges for allegedly running a scheme to bilk millions from investors who thought they were backing independent film projects. According to their indictment, the men instead used the money to spend lavishly on themselves: luxury cars, private air travel, real estate, and more.

Jason Van Eman, who heads the Oklahoma-based WeatherVane Prods., and producer Ben McConley allegedly teamed with a former Miami-based Wells Fargo Bank employee, Benjamin Rafael, who helped pull off the scam.

According to the indictment, McConley and Van Eman lured potential investors with the promise of “matching” their investments dollar for dollar, which they claimed to use to secure a loan to pay for the film’s production. The victim would transfer money to accounts controlled by the men, which they would use for their own purposes. Rafael would
See full article at Indiewire »

Spider-Man Studio Drama: It’s Just Business For Disney & Sony [The Discourse Podcast]

Part of the journey is the end… and all things must come to an end.

On this unexpected episode of The Discourse – the show where we discuss film and television news, reviews, and anything else in the zeitgeist that we feel the need to weigh-in on – I’m joined by Playlist Editor-in-Chief Rodrigo Perez to devote an entire episode to the fallout between Disney and Sony over Spider-Man‘s future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Continue reading Spider-Man Studio Drama: It’s Just Business For Disney & Sony [The Discourse Podcast] at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »

‘I Still Believe’ Trailer: Kj Apa Has A Song About God He’d Like To Share With You In New Faith-Based Drama

When you’re 20-years-old and a musician that can sell out arenas, why would you want to settle down and get married? Well, apparently that’s the question that everyone has for the lead in the new film “I Still Believe.” And the answer? Um, because…God?

The trailer for “I Still Believe” lays out the basic “based on a true story” plot of a young, insanely popular Ed Sheeran-esque singer/songwriter that falls in love with a woman that is sick with some sort of terminal illness.

Continue reading ‘I Still Believe’ Trailer: Kj Apa Has A Song About God He’d Like To Share With You In New Faith-Based Drama at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »

‘The Report’: Adam Driver & Director Scott Z. Burns Look At Post-9/11 Torture Methods By The CIA

If you’ve seen Adam McKay‘s “Vice,” the portrait of former Vice President Dick Cheney, the movie may have given you some handy context you may have forgotten. No, acclaimed writer/director Scott Z. Burns‘ “The Report” is not a comedic, dark political satire, but it does spin-off from some of the events in that film. In “Vice,” it’s shown how Cheney is instrumental in finding any shred of information, credible or not, to help justify the war in Iraq in the early aughts.

Continue reading ‘The Report’: Adam Driver & Director Scott Z. Burns Look At Post-9/11 Torture Methods By The CIA at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »

‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’: What Happened to Cliff Booth’s Wife? Brad Pitt Knows

‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’: What Happened to Cliff Booth’s Wife? Brad Pitt Knows
One of the most intriguing and mysterious characters in director Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” has to be fictional stuntman Cliff Booth, who is played by Brad Pitt.

While said to be stylistically inspired by actor Tom Laughlin in the “Billy Jack” movie franchise, Booth is an invention of Tarantino and Pitt, and is depicted as the loyal and deadly friend of fading television series star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio).

Accused by multiple people of being a murderer, Booth is somewhat of an outcast in the universe of stuntmen, and is believed to have gotten away with killing his wife, Billie Booth (Rebecca Gayheart). However, the film is ambiguous on that front and leaves Booth’s alleged dark past to speculation.

What Tarantino does allow the audience to see is a flashback scene that takes place on a boat, during which Billie scolds Cliff, as he
See full article at Indiewire »

Summer Box Office Grosses $4.5 Billion, Disney Takes Half, and Cinema Is At Risk

  • Indiewire
This was the summer in which Disney saw five films cross $1 billion worldwide. In North America, it’s also the summer in which fewer tickets will be sold than any year since 1992, a year when there were 90 million fewer Americans and Canadians.

How can so much moviegoing, and so many people, translate to a decline? Here’s a look at the strange and watershed summer of 2019.

Over 80% of the gross came from franchise and sequels

Summer totals for 2019 will be about $4.5 billion domestic, which is almost identical for the same period last year, when two original films were in the top 10: “Crazy Rich Asians” at #7, and “The Meg” at #9. This summer, the only original title is Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” at #10.

And of that $4.5 billion, Disney can claim about 50%. Certainly, the theater business would collapse if Disney didn’t do so well, or made
See full article at Indiewire »

How Anthony Bourdain Found His On-Screen Voice and Changed Television

In 1999, when “Parts Unknown” executive producers Lydia Tenaglia and Chris Collins first approached Anthony Bourdain about turning his then-yet-to-be written book “A Cook’s Tour” into a television series, the chef-turned-author, with his recent best seller “Kitchen Confidential,” was more than skeptical. He had been a sharp critic of the wave of celebrity chef shows that had become popular staples of cable television.

“I don’t think he was locked on making a TV show even when we went to make ‘A Cook’s Tour,'” said Collins, when he and Tenaglia were guests on IndieWire’s Filmmaker Toolkit Podcast. “I think Tony saw it as an opportunity to double dip. He was getting paid not that much money to make this show; meanwhile, his designs were always on writing. The thought of being the guy in front of the camera yammering away was not his thing.”

Subscribe via Apple
See full article at Indiewire »

Quentin Tarantino Announces That He and Wife Daniella Are Expecting Their First Child

  • Indiewire
Quentin Tarantino Announces That He and Wife Daniella Are Expecting Their First Child
Maybe it’s a sign that he really is thinking about retirement. Quentin Tarantino and his wife, Daniella, announced today that they’re expecting their first child.

The official statement, made to People Magazine, is brief and to the point: “Daniella and Quentin Tarantino are very delighted to announce that they are expecting a baby.”

Tarantino, 56, and the 35-year-old Israeli model-singer have been on the road in recent months to promote “Once Upon a Time In Hollywood,” which has made $183 million worldwide to date and is likely to score multiple Oscar nominations.

No word on a due date for the couple, who met at the Jerusalem Film Festival during his promotional tour for “Inglorious Basterds” in 2009 and began dating in 2016. They married nine months ago.

Tarantino has repeatedly hinted that he’s coming to the end of his filmmaking career, having long said he wanted to direct a total of 10 movies.
See full article at Indiewire »

MoviePass’ Latest Stumble: Exposing Users’ Credit Card Numbers and Other Data

In the latest turn in MoviePass’ downward spiral, a security researcher has reportedly discovered the movie subscription service had for months left a database of user data exposed, including credit card numbers — all because one of the company’s servers was not protected with a password.

TechCruch reported that the researcher found an unsecured database on one of the company’s subdomains with millions of records that included MoviePass card numbers as well as personal credit card numbers and associated expiration dates, names, and addresses. Some records included enough information to make fraudulent card purchases.

The unencrypted database also appeared to record failed login attempts, registering email addresses alongside failed passwords, the website reported.

The company’s response has left much to be desired.

Mossab Hussein, the researcher at the Dubai-based cybersecurity firm SpiderSilk, emailed MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe last weekend after discovering the database — he received no response.

Another
See full article at Indiewire »

First Same Sex Couple in ‘Bachelor’ History Hailed As ‘Groundbreaking’ and ‘Vital’

While reality dating shows like “Love Island UK” and MTV’s “Are You the One?” have embraced Lgbtq+ storylines in recent years, “The Bachelor” franchise, indisputably the blockbuster of the genre, has been far slower to adapt. Which is why a same sex story arc on “Bachelor in Paradise” has been praised by GLAAD and Lgbtq+ fans as groundbreaking. Contestant Demi Burnett came out as bisexual earlier in the season, but it wasn’t until last night that ABC introduced her girlfriend, Kristian Haggerty. Burnett’s storyline marks the franchise’s first inclusion of a same-sex relationship.

“’Bachelor in Paradise’s’ inclusion of Demi Burnett’s coming out story and her journey to accepting her queer identity is groundbreaking for the series,” said GLAAD Head of Talent Anthony Ramos in a statement. “Tens of millions of people around the world watch ’The Bachelor’ and ‘The Bachelorette’ franchises and this move
See full article at Indiewire »

HBO Scores Deal With Lena Dunham’s New Production Company

HBO has a Good Thing Going, both literally and figuratively, as the network announced an exclusive first-look deal with Lena Dunham’s new production company Wednesday. The “Girls” creator’s new company, Good Thing Going, is already working on a slate of television series, films, and other projects, and its deal with HBO will help the network stand out as the entertainment industry’s perpetual war over exclusive, high-quality content continues to rage on.

Good Thing Going, along with Bad Wolf, produced “Industry,” HBO’s upcoming financial drama series, and Dunham directed the pilot. Earlier in the week, HBO announced that the Dunham-produced “Generation” dramedy would be a pilot series for the upcoming HBO Max streaming service. Dunham is also working on an untitled HBO project about Russian fraudster Anna Delve and is writing and directing a film adaption of the “Catherine, Called Birdy” Ya novel.

Although Dunham makes as
See full article at Indiewire »

‘The Sound Of Silence’ Trailer: Scientist Peter Sarsgaard Is Tormented By Rashida Jones’ House Sounds

Your mood can be ever-changing and little things can suddenly take you from content to depressed. Well “The Sound Of Silence” takes sound and scientist Peter Lucian (Peter Sarsgaard who has starred in “An Education” and “Green Lantern”) calibrates the home to help adjust moods.

This project is the directorial debut of Michael Tyburski (“Palimpsest”), and is based on the short film written by Ben Nabors who served as producer on Tyburski’s Palimpsest.

Continue reading ‘The Sound Of Silence’ Trailer: Scientist Peter Sarsgaard Is Tormented By Rashida Jones’ House Sounds at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »

How ‘Chernobyl’ Creator Craig Mazin Morphed From Comedy Screenwriter to Emmy-Contending HBO Showrunner

How ‘Chernobyl’ Creator Craig Mazin Morphed From Comedy Screenwriter to Emmy-Contending HBO Showrunner
Craig Mazin is a workaholic who has not faced one day since 1995 without some kind of deadline. Pegged early on as a Hollywood comedy screenwriter, he weathered two “Scary Movie” and two “Hangover” sequels. So it was something of a surprise when he created riveting true-life drama “Chernobyl,” which became not only HBO’s most successful limited series since “Band of Brothers,” but scored 19 Emmy nominations, beat only by “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Game of Thrones.”

Apart from his own output, Mazin built a reputation as a writer partly via the popular Script Notes podcast. Back in 2011, fellow writer/blogger John August invited his colleague to join him on a new podcast; they have delivered it every Tuesday ever since, free of commercial interruption. Podcast producer August is “the classic Wasp-y not straight straight guy,” said Mazin in an interview at his Pasadena office. “I’m the goofy guy,
See full article at Indiewire »

From ‘Bernadette’ To ‘Ricki,’ Hollywood Is Still Confused By Mothers Putting Family Second [Be Reel Podcast]

There are “Bad Moms” in all their well-meaning comedy chaos, and then there are those movie mothers who reject the parental role for reasons the audience may never fully understand. “Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” the new Richard Linklater/Cate Blanchett film based on the bestselling Maria Semple novel, brings us into a Be Reel category of movie moms who decide they want more than what society (real or imagined) tells them they deserve.

Continue reading From ‘Bernadette’ To ‘Ricki,’ Hollywood Is Still Confused By Mothers Putting Family Second [Be Reel Podcast] at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »

Emmys 2019: This Year’s Drama Nominees Are Anything But Dramatic

Emmys 2019: This Year’s Drama Nominees Are Anything But Dramatic
For as stacked as the 2019 Emmy comedy categories are, the drama categories are comparatively dire. Blame it on a lack of competition, blame it on the TV Academy for overlooking viable contenders, blame it on the rain: No matter how you slice it, the drama races just doesn’t measure up this year.

It would be wrong to blame “Game of Thrones” for this lack of intrigue, what with its 32 Emmy nominations sucking up all the air in the room and all extra slots that could have potentially gone to a more interesting batch of candidates. Rip “Game of Thrones.” You will be missed. Eventually. Probably. But not this year.

And even if the batch of nominees is underwhelming, there’s still plenty to discuss.

This week, IndieWire Editor-at-Large Anne Thompson and TV Awards Editor Libby Hill are cracking open the drama series categories and trying to make sense of what’s inside,
See full article at Indiewire »

Brad Pitt Says He Knows The Truth About Cliff Booth’s Wife In ‘Once Upon A Time’ But His Lips Are Sealed

The film hasn’t even been out for a full month yet, and it feels like we’ve covered just about every aspect of “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Thanks to filmmaker Quentin Tarantino never backing down from offering answers to questions, combined with a Bruce Lee controversy, there’s been a lot of discussion about the director’s love letter to that era of Hollywood. But one aspect that hasn’t really been explored, outside of the film of course, is the mystery surrounding Cliff Booth’s wife.

Continue reading Brad Pitt Says He Knows The Truth About Cliff Booth’s Wife In ‘Once Upon A Time’ But His Lips Are Sealed at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »

‘It: Chapter Two’ First Reactions: Critics Call Bill Hader Scene-Stealing and Oscar-Worthy

‘It: Chapter Two’ First Reactions: Critics Call Bill Hader Scene-Stealing and Oscar-Worthy
Though humble peons will have to wait until September 6 to see the final installment of the smash hit Stephen King horror saga, a select group of film critics and lucky audiences have already been treated to an early screening of “It: Chapter Two.” While some say the follow-up to last year’s box-office sweeper pales in comparison to the first, calling it a “tough act to follow,” many praise the movie as “creepy,” and singled out Bill Hader’s performance as scene-stealing and Oscar worthy.

“It: Chapter 2” picks up 27 years after the events of the first movie. The story centers around the grown members of the Losers’ Club returning to their hometown of Derry, Maine, after It/Pennywise comes back stronger and crueler than ever. In addition to Hader in his scene-stealing role, “It: Chapter 2” also stars Jessica Chastain, Xavier Dolan, Jake Weary, and Jess Weixler.

Managing editor of Fandango
See full article at Indiewire »

Emmy Voting Halfway Mark: ‘Fleabag,’ ‘Game of Thrones,’ Beyonce & That Limited Series Race

We’ve now reached the halfway point in the voting period for the 71st Emmy Awards. At this point, any additional Fyc ads, screening events or publicity stunts will only do so much. There are 24,000 or so members of the Television Academy and you’ve either reached them or you haven’t. HBO, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, FX and Showtime, in particular, have a lot on the line. Let’s dive into some of the big questions that these major networks or streaming services with Emmys hauls on the line will lose sleep over before the awards are handed out at three different ceremonies beginning Saturday, Sept.

Continue reading Emmy Voting Halfway Mark: ‘Fleabag,’ ‘Game of Thrones,’ Beyonce & That Limited Series Race at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »

‘Magari’ Is A Sweet, Nostalgic Debut For Filmmaker Ginevra Elkann [Locarno Review]

Centered around the coming of age of nine-year-old Alma (Oro De Commarque), on vacation with her two brothers Jean (Ettore Giustiniani) and Seb (Milo Roussel), separated (and inept) father Carlo (Riccardo Scamarcio), and his writing partner/lover Benedetta (Alba Rohrwacher), Ginevra Elkann’s tender directorial debut “Magari” [aka “If Only”] is a sweetly nostalgic film that is intimate in its scope and treatment of its characters.

Continue reading ‘Magari’ Is A Sweet, Nostalgic Debut For Filmmaker Ginevra Elkann [Locarno Review] at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »

Director Jon Watts Reportedly Not Confirmed For Future ‘Spider-Man’ Films As Jeremy Renner Shows His Marvel Allegiance

Director Jon Watts Reportedly Not Confirmed For Future ‘Spider-Man’ Films As Jeremy Renner Shows His Marvel Allegiance
Welcome, True Believer, to Day 2 of the hostage situation regarding everyone’s favorite superhero wallcrawler, Spider-Man. As it currently stands, he’s being held by Sony Pictures, who have apparently turned down Disney and Kevin Feige’s ransom offer. With no reports of a counteroffer, it would appear that Spider-Man will end up locked away for the rest of time under the watchful eye of his captor, Sony.
See full article at The Playlist »
An error has occured. Please try again.

Recently Viewed