News Reel & Blog

Written by Jack Hopkins on 31st October 2017

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! It always seems a bit strange to say ‘happy’ at a time when you’re supposed to be scared the most. Particularly with some of the films that have been released this year – the jumpy, gory, grotesque qualities of horror films have been stepped up a notch, making it a defining year for the genre.

One of the stand out movies of the year has to be Andrés Muschietti’s remake of Stephen King’s IT. Not only has it worked incredibly well the release of Stranger Things, but it’s also reimagined some of the horror tropes that have proved to be successful for movies of a bygone era. The images of abandoned gothic houses and creepy shadows, contributed with contemporary gore and special effects has created one hell of a film that will stand the test of time - unlike its predecessor.  

Jordan Peele’s Get Out has had a monumental effect on the genre and has reintroduced the topic of race to proceedings. Reminiscent of George A Romero’s Night of The Living Dead, Peele focuses on race relations as a pivot point in his film, seeing the African-American hero hitting back at white enemies. The psychological nature of the film not only creates an enthralling horror narrative but it also strikes a poignant nerve within the contemporary audience.

One film that perfectly described the era we live in is Jigsaw, the 8th film in the Saw series! The unprecedented gore-fest shows how much horror films have changed come since the implicit gothic flicks of the 1960s. It’s also displays how desensitized audiences have become as we’re always on the look out for something that can top the previous spectacle. This has become even more apparent in the light of the announcement that Silence of The Lambs has been reduced from an age rating of 15, to an 18.      

What’s your favourite horror Film? Would it still have the same impact on audiences today?

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Written by Jack Hopkins on 25th October 2017

Technology is always being pushed beyond unfathomable boundaries within the ever-changing entertainment landscape, adapting to wow audiences across different mediums and platforms. This blog will take a look at the advances within cinema, television and what was revealed at this year’s MIPCOM.  

Developments in motion capture technology have allowed Mark Ruffalo to expand the role of Hulk in Thor: Ragnorak. Unlike previous animated characters, Ruffalo can really personalise his movements on set instead of it all being done externally. Likewise, 4DX cinema technology has been used in recent screenings of Geostorm, portraying the extreme weather conditions through jostling seats, light flashes and gusts of wind. Virtual Reality is already creeping into society at great commercial gain. Recent estimates report that VR could make up to $75 billion a year by 2021. 

Many actors and actresses have made the move across to the small screen, cottoning on to its capacity to reach larger audiences. It’s been reported that 37% of adults now have a smart TV, unshackling them from a restrictive linear schedule. This makes it easier to watch shows in groups, creating a more collective experience. Everyone is looking forward to the new season of Stranger Things and the technology behind it’s creation enables it to be enjoyed by future generations too. The show is shot with revolutionary sensors, pushing the boundaries of 4K to ensure that the show can be adapted to fit with future technological advancements.  

This year’s MIPCOM threw up some amazing announcements and online content was a major talking point. Viacom have launched a new mobile channel in Japan, establishing the first online global Nickelodeon branded TV channel. German news outlet, Ripley, have announced their plans to provide a service that can be directly streamed to social media platforms without the hassle of specialist software. Sky Vision have also taken a step into the streaming world, joining with The RightsXchange to make their content easily accessible for programmers all over the world.

It’s all change in the entertainment world, as it’s always been. What do you think is going to be the next big thing?

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Written by Jack Hopkins on 19th October 2017

It can be hard getting your first break in the entertainment industry. But, with the industry thriving, there are more opportunities than ever before.  In this week’s blog we’re going to explore the state of the entertainment recruitment playing field and how it’s adapting.

There have been significant strides to provide more chances for young creatives to flourish in 2017. Young directors like Michael Pearce, Rungano Nyoni and Francis Lee were all given opportunities to showcase their outstanding work at the BFI Film Festival. The same can be said about women in the theatrical sphere, growing and improving their status as leaders of some of the most successful theatres in the UK and Ireland.

But, there is still a major problem with the amount of women being employed in key roles within the entertainment industry.  Personified by the fact that Kathryn Bigelow was the first female to win a Bafta for Best Director…in 2010! Paul Greengrass, director of The Bourne Supremacy and Greenzone, has been speaking at the BFI Film Festival. He mentions that ‘diversity is a profound challenge and we have to do much better, including addressing our lack of women directors as a matter of urgency.’ Ellie Kendrick, who has recently starred in Game of Thrones, is an ambassador for Creative England’s Shortflix Scheme. They are also striving to give opportunities to underrepresented youngsters who are struggling for their first chance in the industry.   

There has also been a shift in industrial recruitment processes. The BBC, for example, announced in September that they will remove educational information from applications and purely focus on experience. This, they hope, will level the playing field and eradicate the elitist agenda that the BBC are occasionally labelled with. Although this somewhat undermines the importance of education, it does, like some of the above efforts, open the industry up to those that may not get that initial chance.

Things are improving, and the ever-changing entertainment industry means that there are always opportunities in a field we all love!

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Written by Jack Hopkins on 11th October 2017

MIPCOM is back which means a return to the beautiful Cannes for a few days of industry leading speakers, innovative announcements and exclusive screenings. Running between the 16-19th October, its networking opportunities make it a crucial date in anyone’s diary. Here’s a few things at MIPCOM 2017 that have caught our eye.  

There’s a variety of world famous stars attending the event to give talks on the media industries and their careers. Catherine Zeta Jones is just one of the icons there, addressing the attendees of the Women in Global Entertainment Power lunch. Gordon Ramsay is also attending, talking about his techniques and processes that have kept him in the limelight for over 25 years. The HBO Chairman and CEO, Richard Plepler, will also be there to pick up the renown Variety Vangaurd award for his international growth of the HBO brand. 

Industry professionals also make the pilgrimage to the event, publicising their upcoming projects to likeminded individuals and potential clients. Sumi Connock is the Creative Director at BBC Worldwide and is looking to showcase its new formatting programme to stir up interest in the brand. Another professional that’s off to Cannes is Charlotte Walls, the co-founder and CEO of Catalyst Global Media. She’s there to talk about how the film and television financing worlds are merging into one holistic business.

Exclusive screenings are always popular and continue to be one of the most significant parts of MIPCOM. It therefore seems to be a fitting stage for the launch of David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II, featuring the music of Hanz Zimmer and a one-off masterpiece by Radiohead’s Thom Yorke. The BBC are also taking their adaption of Jessie Burton’s thriller, The Miniaturist, to MIPCOM which is set to turn a lot of heads. As is Michael Portillo’s new venture, Portillo’s Hidden History of Britain, set to air on Channel 5 after his hugely successful documentary series Great American Railroad Journeys.

Have an amazing time if you’re off to sunny (we hope) Cannes and we hope you fit everything in!

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Written by Jack Hopkins on 4th October 2017

It’s that time of year again when British people buy into one of Germany’s main exports, Oktoberfest.  It’s a festival that runs at the beginning of October, focusing on beer, beer and more beer. With the widespread success of Oktoberfest in the UK we wanted to look at which German exports have struck a chord with film and television audiences around the world.

Most audiences would have first seen Diane Kruger in Troy, portraying Helen of Troy. Since then, she has gone on to star in films all over the world. Her roles in Inglorious Basterds, Unknown and more recently The Infiltrator, with Bryan Cranston, have boosted her prestige in the UK and we can’t wait to see her in something again soon. The German actress was awarded Best Actress at this year’s Cannes Film Festival for her role in In The Fade, the German entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Awards.

Many will remember Downfall for its iconic Hitler scene which has been repeatedly parodied over the years, featuring hilariously edited subtitles and contemporary subject matter. The gritty war drama was also very successful at the box office, winning the BBC Four World Cinema Competition in 2005 and picking up a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in the same year.

One of the most notable German exports in recent years is Deutschland ‘83, a stylish drama that depicts the conflict between West and East Germany in the 1980s. It was broadcasted by Channel 4 in 2016, receiving huge critical claim and viewing figures in the process. The series became the highest rated foreign-language drama in UK TV history with it’s second episode boasting an incredible 2.5 million viewers.  Its suspenseful charm was also recognised at the 2016 Emmys, with the series collecting the acclaimed International Emmy Award.

These are just a few of our favourite German media exports. Alongside Oktoberfest, what are yours?

                                                                                                                                   

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