Thursday, December 29, 2005

City Hall to Build Soundstage?

The dirty little secret is out and the Film Commission members are talking about it. First, that S.F. is routinely used for exterior shots, and then the heavy budget TV and film productions sceddadle to places like Vancouver for the more lengthy interior soundstage work. Another “revelation”: this exterior work generates very little for the city compared to the steady interior work.

In January, a report on what the City can do to increase it’s out- of- town film production dollars will hit the commissioners, headed up by Stephanie Coyote.
Laurie Rowley, one of the authors feels that the lack of a proper soundstage is a big problem. What we have on Treasure Island is not a soundstage, and you can hear the bridge construction noise no problemo. We’re talking a 2 million to 100 million price tag.

At the same time Sup Alioto is introducing legislation to change the fee structure for filming, offering incentives to long term productions. Yaaaaaaaay~! Finally those people are doing something.

Reminder to the Commissioners: Add extra incentives for locally produced and locally made small indie productions. These are the seeds for future steady work here. We keep waiting for our own Woody Allen….well, he’s out there somewhere in the avenues writing a script right now……

Friday, December 23, 2005

Distribution:2 Points for the Indie!

All you Indie filmmakers out there know about Customflix right? The company where you can make and market your own DVD. There's been alot of gripes that well, yeah, you can make the DVD's all right...but wheres the marketing machine behind it? I got an email from Customflix....they were bought by first thought "WOW". My second thought --- cautiosly optimistic. 2 points for the Indie..

From Customflix:
Hello and welcome to the latest edition of DVD Publishing News. Since our last newsletter, we have been busy with an exciting organizational change — CustomFlix Labs, Inc. is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of, Inc. We are thrilled about this change because it dramatically improves our ability to help independent filmmakers, content providers, educators, and video producers connect their programs to a worldwide audience.

What does this mean for you? You will continue to receive the same great service and high-quality products from the same (and rapidly growing) team here at CustomFlix. As a member and content provider, you can also receive broader distribution and exposure for your films on's Marketplace program.

Finally-New Coppola (Francis) Film in Production

So the other day I'm in a meeting downtown, and it gets out about 11:30am--right before lunch...and lo and behold i'm in the neighborhood of Coppola's restaraunt in North Beach - Cafe Niebaum Coppola. Never been there, always wanted to.

I walk in, it's a tiny place, the wall crammed with pics - Coppola with Spike, Coppola with Brando, Coppola with Scorcese--you get the idea. I sit down at a small table near the bar, and order a delightful mussel-mixed green salad. The bartender (I'll call him Charlie) is a friendly sort--so I ask him if Francis actually eats in his own restaraunt

"Ohhhhhhhhh yeah. He loves the food...he loves food."
uh huh
"So, is this where he sits?" as I point to a roped off little booth with a huge Tati "Mon Uncle" poster over it.
"Oh yeah, thats were he sits with friends"
"Does he drink martini's" I ask.
"Nooooo, he luvs his wine, though, then after dinner, espresso, brandy, and a cigar...not necessarily in that order"..the bartender spoke with affection for his boss, you can tell. Francis may be a superstar, but he still connects with the regular joe.
"So whats his favorite wine?"
"Ahhhh, Francis likes the Claret, Diamond Collection"
Not missing a beat, I order up a glass.
Mmmmmmmmmmmmm, smooth as a babies behind. Damn. Part of the Cab family, and oh so oakey.
"mmmmmm nice"
"So I hear Francis makes more money off his wine than he does from film"
Flustered, Charlie corrects me, lest I make a wrong assumption:
"Francis is a filmmaker first, it's in his blood. It's part of him. He's in Romania now shooting YOUTH, small, low budget, with Bruno Ganz"

"Cool - finally"..........

From Variety:

Francis Ford Coppola will finance and direct Youth Without Youth starring Tim Roth (the bartender said Bruno Ganz).

In the movie, a professor's life changes after a cataclysmic incident during the dark years before WWII. Becoming a fugitive, he is pursued through far-flung locations including Romania, Switzerland, Malta and India. Alexandra Maria Lara, Bruno Ganz and Marcel Iures will also star.

The story is based on the novella of the same name by Romanian author and intellectual Mircea Eliade. Coppola also wrote the screenplay and will produce through his American Zoetrope production company. Shooting is in progress in Bucharest.

Although he hasn't directed a movie in the 8 years (since 1997's The Rainmaker starring Matt Damon), in the interim Coppola has produced several movies of note -- and also a lot of wine through his Niebaum-Coppola Winery in Napa Valley, California.

A small Francis Coppola film....Sounds like a special treat, like that Claret...