Tag: chris pine

The making of “People Like Us” movie

The making of "People Like Us" movie

“People Like Us” was filmed entirely in Los Angeles and the surrounding area. Instead of iconic landmarks and tourist attractions, the locations the filmmakers chose were more grassroots, hometown Los Angeles—the L.A. most tourists never see. As producer Bobby Cohen explains, “There is something special about shooting in real locations. There is a texture to them that you can’t rebuild. It makes a difference. That had been one of Alex’s [Kurtzman, director] main things from the get-go—he wanted to shoot the parts of L.A. that don’t normally get attention.”

Continues Cohen, “We’re not shooting the tourists’-eye view of L.A. As a born New Yorker, it’s been fun shooting in more offbeat neighborhoods. Alex intuitively understands the moods of these places and has done a very good job of capturing those moods on film.”

Director Alex Kurtzman comments, “I’m a native Los Angeleno and my city is not the glitzy, cliched Los Angeles that I feel like I see on screen in other films. I felt strongly about representing the L.A. that was the story of the movie and was one that others had never seen.”

One of the scenes in the film was shot at Rhino Records, one of the oldest record stores still in existence, and famed Hollywood High School became the setting for the Toluca Park Middle School. Old-time eateries Henry’s Tacos, Cole’s French Dip and Neptune’s Net were featured to lend authentic L.A. flavor—no pun intended.

The making of "People Like Us" movie

Shooting in real locations, such as the houses, restaurants, schools and churches used in the film, presents challenges for lighting—walls cannot be moved and there are usually not high ceilings to accommodate the lights. But director of photography Sal Totino was a genius at coming up with simple, yet elegant ways to light the film that did not sacrifice the high quality of the filming.

Director Alex Kurtzman relates, “To Sal Totino, it isn’t about what’s the most beautiful lighting scheme. It’s about: how is this frame telling the emotional story of the characters? That’s the first question that he asks. He translates an emotion beautifully. I can’t imagine ever working with anyone else.”

Production designer Ida Random brought a very real look to the film, as if the audience were actually brought into the living room of a familiar house. Without overdoing the production design, Random was able to create an intimacy and comfort level that draws the viewers in, but never visually bores them.

Much of the music business memorabilia in the “Jerry’s Study” set belongs to Jody Lambert’s father Dennis Lambert, a Songwriters Hall of Fame nominee whose hits as writer and/or producer include “Ain’t No Woman (Like The One I Got) “, “Rhinestone Cowboy”, “Baby Come Back” and “Nightshift.” Lambert showed production designer Ida Random a storage unit full of his father’s memorabilia and she used it in the set, including photographs of Dennis Lambert himself and his actual Gold records.

The making of "People Like Us" movie

Costume designer Mary Zophres continued the “real” look with her choice of clothing for the characters and the extras. Zophres says, “It’s not the kind of movie where you want the clothes to be front and center. They tell the story of who the characters are and then you move on. You shouldn’t be aware of the clothes. They should just sort of tell the story and go away.”

In dressing Chris Pine’s character Sam, Zophres had him in an expensive suit that is above his means at the start of the film, but when he goes to L.A. he only packs casual clothes for what he thinks is a 48-hour stay: two pairs of jeans, three T-shirts, a jacket and two button down plaid shirts.

For Elizabeth Banks’ character Frankie, Zophres chose a leather jacket that she wears a lot in the beginning of the movie. Then as the story progresses, she loses the jacket as her character evolves. The subtle shift in costuming was deliberate to parallel the storyline.

In dressing Michelle Pfeiffer’s character Lillian, Zophres took into account that the character had cared for her dying husband for some time and probably lost some weight without knowing it, thus she dressed her in slightly looser clothes.

Zophres was also very aware of the background costuming. “The background helps tell the story. We’ve had very specific scenes where there should be a look to where were, like we were at Cole’s downtown versus The Standard. Those are two hugely different looks. One is an old diner and the other is a trendy nightclub. You reveal those two places through how you dress the people in the background. It is a very important element to me.”

Related Link: View the Full Production Notes for People Like Us

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Star Trek sequel gets a title

Star Trek sequel gets a title

J.J. Abrams’ upcoming “Star Trek” sequel finally has a title. The latest installment in the ongoing adventures of the U.S.S. Enterprise has been christened “Star Trek Into Darkness.”

The follow-up to the 2009 reboot will once again star Chris Pine as Captain Kirk, Zachary Quinto as Mr. Spock and Karl Urban as Dr. McCoy, with Abrams returning as director. Benedict Cumberbatch, who is best known for his work on the BBC mystery series “Sherlock,” will play the villain.

Set in the 23rd century, Kirk and the crew of the USS Enterprise are sent to the Klingon homeworld seeking former Starfleet member-turned-terrorist John Harrison. After the release of Star Trek, Abrams, Burk, Lindelof, Kurtzman and Orci agreed to produce its sequel. Filming began in January 2012. Into Darkness’s visual effects were primarily created by Industrial Light & Magic.

The film was converted to 3D in post-production. Star Trek Into Darkness premiered at Event Cinemas in Sydney, Australia, on April 23, 2013,[6] and was released on May 9 in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Europe and Peru,[7] with other countries following. The film was released on May 16 in the United States and Canada, opening at IMAX cinemas a day earlier.[8][9]

Into Darkness was a financial success and garnered positive reviews, but was received more controversially and critically among Star Trek fans. Its gross earnings of over $467 million worldwide made it the highest-grossing entry in the Star Trek franchise. A sequel, Star Trek Beyond, is scheduled to be released on July 22, 2016.

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This Means War or spy against spy

This Means War or spy against spy

This Means War is about two of the world’s top spies who’ve been partners and best friends for many years. Through a series of circumstances even they couldn’t anticipate, they fall in love with the same woman,” says producer-screenwriter Simon Kinberg. “FDR and Tuck decide they’re both going to date Lauren and see which one she chooses. As each begins to fall for Lauren, they get increasingly competitive and employ their spy tactics and techniques to sabotage each other. Lauren, who just wanted to find the right guy, has no idea that FDR and Tuck are waging war for her love.”

The “spy against spy” storyline – what happens when two best friends who have incredible skill sets turn on each other – is integral to the film’s humor and action. At the same time, director McG wanted these bigger than life situations to be relatable.

“We wanted to present that in a way that felt very credible,” says the Charlie’s Angels and Terminator: Salvation helmer. “We weren’t interested in making a spoof. And I liked taking advantage of Tuck’s and FDR’s ‘Alpha’ characteristics. I would ask, if James Bond encountered [Mission: Impossible protagonist] Ethan Hunt, would they have a great deal of respect for each other? Of course they would. But would one ever acquiesce to the other? No way. Each man recognizes the skill of the other but at the end of the day, each is betting on himself. And that is a great engine for a movie.”

This Means War or spy against spy

“It’s every woman’s fantasy to have two unbelievably hot, sexy guys battling over you,” says Witherspoon. “Lauren doesn’t know that Tuck and FDR are secret agents for the CIA. THIS MEANS WAR is almost like two different movies. My character’s in a comedy and Chris’ and Tom’s are in a big action film.”

Witherspoon also appreciated the two sides of Lauren. “At work, Lauren is the most decisive woman in the world, but in her personal life, she’s very indecisive. I think a lot of people can relate to her feeling of, ‘Am I picking the right guy for me.'”

It’s a tough choice, to be sure, because her suitors are handsome, smart, romantic…and the world’s greatest secret agents. For generations, movie audiences have been entertained and beguiled by the thrills, chills and sex appeal of super spies. “With FDR and Tuck, we were going for the classic movie special agent,” says McG. “What’s sexy about that world is it’s life and death; it’s international; and it’s the antithesis of what most people experience in their everyday lives. I think we all want to travel around the world, go to exotic locations, drive fancy cars, fire guns, and be romantically irresistible. We’re having fun with that, and FDR and Tuck are incredibly proficient in that world. But when it comes to affairs of the heart, they’re just like everyone else. Clueless.”

For the character of FDR, the filmmakers were looking for what McG calls a “rogue – somebody who was lovable, even while possessing supreme self-confidence. And when it comes to that kind of energy, someone who embodies that magical mix, Chris Pine is the heavyweight champ.”

Pine has become one of Hollywood’s hottest stars with his critical and box office success portraying the young James T. Kirk in Star Trek, and an inexperienced train conductor in the heart pounding drama Unstoppable. Pine describes FDR as “a consumer of all things – of fine whiskey, good cigars, nice suits, fast cars, and beautiful ladies. Not necessarily in that order. He enjoys being a spy. He’s the guy who would have watched James Bond movies as a kid and said, ‘I want to do that.’ There’s not a lot of brooding or complication in FDR’s life.”

“Tuck, however, comes from a more serious school of espionage,” Pine continues. “Tuck is complicated, interesting, and internal. He’s the spy existentialist while FDR enjoys the bacchanalian universe of being a spy. The infuriatingly talented Tom Hardy plays Tuck. Tom is super charismatic and handsome as all hell and he brings a complicated nature and an English sensibility to his role.”

The filmmakers’ long search to cast the role of Tuck ended when they saw Hardy’s performance in the box office hit Inception. “Tom had everything we wanted,” recalls Kinberg. “His sense of humor had a much different tone than Chris’. Tom has an aura of danger, which we really wanted for Tuck. He was very physical, conveyed the character’s complexities, and was perfect for the role.”

Though Hardy seemed to become an overnight sensation with his breakthrough work in Inception, he has also turned in much lauded performances in the recent dramas Warrior; Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Bronson, and RocknRolla. So his role in THIS MEANS WAR, a big comedy-action film, was a substantial departure from his earlier work. “Tom is an actor who loves challenges,” observes Kinberg. “He had done heavy drama and action, so I think the challenge of playing THIS MEANS WAR’s humor and fun is what drew him in.”

Hardy concurs the film presented a very different kind of opportunity than his previous work. “Comedy, in itself, is not an easy thing to do,” he explains. “I thought it was going to be a walk in the park, but it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I’m very grateful for the experience.” Hardy was also drawn by the opportunity to play opposite Witherspoon. “Working with Reese was like a master class in the comedy genre for me.”

Joining Witherspoon, Pine and Hardy in the starring cast are Til Schweiger and Chelsea Handler. Schweiger, one of Germany’s biggest movie stars and film directors, portrays Heinrich, a menacing international arms dealer who seeks revenge against FDR and Tuck for causing his brother’s death. Best known to U.S. audiences for his memorable turn as Sgt. Hugo Stiglitz in the Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, Schweiger says that while his character figures in some of THIS MEANS WAR’s enormous set pieces, there’s much more to it than high-powered action. “Most of the film is about fun, friendship and trust,” he notes.

Starring as Lauren’s best friend Trish, is inimitable talk show host, comedienne actor, and author Chelsea Handler. Trish is a wife and mother whose mission in life is to offer frank and explicit opinions on her single friend’s love life. “Trish is basically me, but married,” says the famously single Handler. “Trish is not the best advisor, but Lauren needs her to provide a jolt of energy. “‘Listen,’ Trish tells Lauren, ‘you better get out there and do the things every woman wants to do! So get the party started, Chaka Khan’ (who’s not in the movie, by the way).”

Says Witherspoon: “Everybody has one of those crazy friends who does wacky things and lives vicariously through their dating friends. I’ve known Chelsea for a while, and it was fun that we got to make this movie together. She’s just perfect person for the role.”

Related Link: Read Full Production Notes for This Means War >>

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Chris Pine talks Star Trek shooting days

Chris Pine talks Star Trek shooting days

Although James T. Kirk is destined to become the kind of starship captain that legends are made of, as “Star Trek” begins, he is a brooding Iowa teenager full of smarts, charm and a mile-wide rebellious streak that can lead him astray. Kirk must first overcome what one character describes as “an instinct to leap before looking.” Yet, when he spies the gleaming U.S.S. Enterprise under construction in a well-guarded hangar, something in his heart is stirred and Kirk is struck with the ambition to attend Starfleet and try to make it to the top entirely on his own terms.

This view of Kirk as a raw, unformed young man searching for his future before he is ready to take on the responsibility of becoming a great leader is one that has never been seen on screen before. “We had the idea that Kirk would be almost a rebel without a cause when we first meet him. He’s a renegade, a nonconformist, a go-by-the-gut kind of guy, but he’s basically lost. It’s only when he sees the Enterprise that he’s inspired by a sense of purpose that alters his path,” says Abrams.

To find a young actor who could play the role that William Shatner made so unforgettable, yet establish his own take on the character, the filmmakers embarked on their own epic quest. It was only when they were nearing the end of their search that Chris Pine auditioned for them, and took them by surprise. Pine’s roles in a number of romantic comedies and in the action film “Smokin’ Aces” had established him as a young star to watch, but no one anticipated he would be such an intuitive match up for Kirk’s intensity, humor and individualism.

Sums up J.J. Abrams: “Chris has the wit, sharpness and athleticism of Kirk, but, equally important, he can be a complete goof and very vulnerable. Most of all, he was game for anything, always engaged and present in the role. He made Kirk very real, which was everything we wanted.”

Pine was, in turn, impressed by Abrams. “The energy surrounding him and this project was just palpable,” he says. “I couldn’t wait to be part of it.”

From the beginning, Pine understood that he would have to forge his own individual path and take only a dash of inspiration from what Shatner had done to transform the character into a global icon. “Mr. Shatner created a character who was an action hero and a ladies’ man and he did it with an incredible amount of humor. What I really love about this film is that you get the chance to see why and how he became the man he was,” Pine says. “It was incredibly overwhelming to step into Mr. Shatner’s shoes and the whole canon of `Trek’ film and television history. We all agreed it would be a mistake to try to recreate what he did. The challenge was to make it my own.”

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J.J. Abrams is directing Star Trek 2

J.J. Abrams is directing Star Trek 2

After months of hopeful speculation, J.J. Abrams has officially signed on to direct Star Trek 2, which is a sequel to 2009’s galactic hit that starred Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto.

While many assumed he would make the follow-up to his 2009 hit, he would never give a date for the project, or actually say for sure that he would be the one directing. In July, reports elsewhere surfaced that Abrams was “moving towards a commitment” to direct the sequel but his delay had pushed a nervous Paramount Pictures to give Star Trek 2 late June 2012 release date to a G.I. Joe sequel.

According to Vulture, part of the hold-up has been that Alex Kurtzman, who wrote Abrams’ first Star Trek with Roberto Orci, has been busy editing and posting Welcome to People, his directing debut at DreamWorks Pictures. We’re told that now that Kurtzman is finished with those duties, he is back in his office and the team is ready to work. Screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are writing the script.

Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto and the rest of the main cast are all set to return. The sequel was originally set to come out June 2012, but the film wanted to give the writers enough time to finalize the script. No production date has been set.

Star Trek news, production notes, history, pictures and more >>

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Hollywood’s new leading men

Hollywood's new leading men

These young actors may soon match Brad Pitt and George Clooney as big-screen draws.

Who’s going to be Hollywood’s next crop of uber-famous movie stars? The Hollywood Reporter lays out who it thinks it’s going to be.

Chris Pine, 30

Biggest Hit: Star Trek: $258 million, Upcoming Blockbuster: Star Trek II

Taylor Lautner, 18

Biggest Hit: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse: $300 million, Upcoming Blockbuster: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn

Bradley Cooper, 35

Biggest Hit: The Hangover: $277 million, Upcoming Blockbuster: The Hangover II

Chris Hemsworth, 27

Biggest Hit: Star Trek: $258 million, Upcoming Blockbuster: Thor & The Avengers

Ryan Reynolds, 33

Biggest Hit: X-Men Origins: Wolverine :$180 million, Upcoming BlockbusterGreen Lantern

Shia LaBeouf, 24

Biggest Hit: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: $402 million, Upcoming Blockbuster: Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Taylor Kitsch, 29

Biggest Hit: X-Men Origins: Wolverine :$180 million, Upcoming Blockbuster: Battleship

Sam Worthington, 34

Biggest Hit: Avatar: $760 million, Upcoming Blockbuster: Clash of the Titans 2

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