Last night I was lucky enough to attend the Critics’ Choice Awards in Hollywood as part of redbox’s partnership with VH1. I was on the red carpet and later in the press room (you can read my press-room interviews here), and got to see up close, firsthand how a big awards show like this functions, as well as talk to some folks.
Now just a warning and reality check. There were tons of big stars on the CCMA red carpet–Jon Hamm, Emma Stone, Matt Damon, Robert Duvall, Ryan Gosling, Nicole Kidman, Natalie Portman, just to name a very few. I did not talk to any of them one on one. The fact is those stars came in, posed for pictures at the front end of the carpet, talked to some of the big broadcast folks, and then a lot of them exited the red carpet before they even got to my area. And those who did go past me were pretty much at a run, not slowing down to talk to anyone. (Meaning I have lots of grainy cell-phone shots of their backs as they zoom past.)
But I did get to talk a lot of the big films’ producers, as well as the Great Rip Taylor. Read on! (And please excuse the grainy, blurry cell-phone pics–but at least they give you an honest look at what the scene was really like.)
(Taylor guest cameos in the Jackass films – including appearing in the Jackass version of The Black Swan that aired during the CCMA broadcast.)
Joan Rivers has her documentary, A Piece of Work, where’s yours?
Taylor: I’ve done it! It’s called It Ain’t All Confetti, and I’m going to take it on the road, God willing. It’s very interesting because I’m not always on in the production–it’s serious. They audience comes in and they don’t believe you’re going to be serious, but at least they didn’t leave the theater!
(The Illusionist, one of my favorite films of 2010, is French director Sylvain Chomet animated adaptation of a script by the late Jacques Tati)
How did you find this lost Tati script?
Last: Sylvan put a clip of a Tati film in his first film The Triplets of Belleville, and as a consequence of that, the Tati estate told him about this unmade script from the early ‘50s. It was such a delicate story [of an aging magician on the road in Scotland] that animation was the right way to tell it – it’s like the script was sitting waiting for that to happen. And Tati’s the only other guy who writes a script with very little dialogue, so it was a perfect match for Sylvan’s talent. It did achieve a real sensitivity and nuance.
You both worked with director Danny Boyle on Slumdog Millionaire—there seems to be a common thread in the material, in finding hope and uplift from the most horrific of human situations.
Colson: There’s a kind of accidental connection between Slumdog and 127 Hours, which on the surface are very, very different from one another. Slumdog is set amid a billion people in India, 127 Hours is one guy, but they’re both about the pull of the crowd – our need to belong.
127 Hours often feels like an Englishman’s impression of America—especially the big, wide-open spaces.
Beaufoy: As a stranger in a foreign land, you notice things that the people who live there pass by every day, and they don’t see they’re remarkable, they just see it as ordinary middle day. That was the case with Slumdog, when all these Englishmen parachuted into Bombay.
Colson: In 127 Hours, those large, wide open American west landscapes are the landscapes that our guy is drawn to, he’s drawn to the expanse, that solitariness, that need to flee the city. But the arc of his journey is back to people.
Black Swan has seen some great success at the box office in recent weeks.
Franklin: It’s incredibly encouraging and fantastic. If you’d told me six weeks ago, before we had a wide release, that we’d be close to 70 million at the box office I’d have told you you were crazy. I think people are going back to see what they missed. It’s exciting to do a film and really go for it, that is so thought-provoking. We just wanted to do something sexy and different and edgy, pushing the lines of the horror genre and not getting caught up in today’s slasher films, but more of the classic horror films of the ‘70s. I was a huge fan of those films, The Exorcist, Rosemary’s Baby.
(Desplat scored The King’s English, The Ghost Writer, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt 1, Twilight: New Moon)
You do both the big, epic scores like Harry Potter and Twilight, and the smaller, more intimate films like Ghost Writer and The King’s Speech. Do you have a preference?
Desplat: It’s good to go from one to another, because if you only do drama or comedy, you repeat yourself. So I’m happy to go from big to small, medium, sad, happy.
The producers of The King’s Speech: Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, and Gareth Unwin
How did the film come together?
Canning: I’m based in London and Emile is in Sydney, and when Gareth brought us the play it was a fantastic way of summing up the quintessentials of the Australian-UK relationship, but also this idea of a man facing his fears and overcoming them in the best way he could and find his voice. We also wanted to subvert the expectations of what a “royal film” is and also deal with what could be seen as the “B Story” of history, with the “A-story” being Wallis Simpson and Edward.
At what point did you know who was going to be cast?
Unwin: When you look at the character Lionel Logue one Australian actor stands head and shoulders above his contemporaries, so we approached Geoffrey Rush quite early on.
Canning: We went to talk to financiers with Geoffrey attached and one of them said, “Well this film is Geoffrey Rush and Colin Firth,” and we said, “No, we haven’t even started to think yet about who will play the king,” but they said, “It’s Colin Firth,” and I said, “Well, I’m the producer and I’m telling you we don’t know yet.” And of course we did send it to Colin.
Later in the CCMA press room I did get to participate in Q & A press conferences with most of the evening’s winners, including Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Matt Damon, Colin Firth, Quentin Tarantino, and Steven Spielberg. Check out quotes and pictures from that here!
Rent the following CCMA nominated films from redbox:
- The Social Network on DVD and Blu-ray
- Inception on DVD and Blu-ray
- The Town on DVD and Blu-ray
- Toy Story 3 on DVD and Blu-ray
- Winter’s Bone on DVD and Blu-ray
- The Kids Are All Right
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
- Kick-Ass on DVD and Blu-ray
- Alice in Wonderland
- Despicable Me on DVD and Blu-ray
- How to Train Your Dragon on DVD and Blu-ray
- Date Night on DVD and Blu-ray
- Easy A on DVD or Blu-ray
- Get Him to the Greek on DVD and Blu-ray
- The Other Guys on DVD and Blu-ray
- Temple Grandin
- You Don’t Know Jack