Latest Blog Posts

We Built This: Dave Matthews Band's fans create video for 'Mercy'

We Built This: Dave Matthews Band's fans create video for 'Mercy'

How many fans sent in images?

What happens when you ask fans to collaborate on your new video by sending in photos and videos? You get a patchwork of images and a huge headache if you’re the editor. You also get a lot of people who came up with the exact same idea to visualize the song.

Dave Matthews Band’s video for “Mercy” may be the biggest crowd-sourced clip ever made. According to the clip, 14,334 fans contributed footage. The editor managed to find all 438 who drew hearts for the word “love,” and group many of the lipsyncers together.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>William Friedkin, seen here on the set of his latest movie 'Killer Joe,' has taken to Twitter like a duck to water.</p>

William Friedkin, seen here on the set of his latest movie 'Killer Joe,' has taken to Twitter like a duck to water.

Credit: LD Entertainment

The Vacation Read: Do filmmakers and social media make a good mix?

As studios begin to use social media to market movies, we look at one major change

Have you ever spoken to a filmmaker via Twitter?

When I was a kid, it was unthinkable to have unfettered access to someone who made a movie I loved.  If there had been a Twitter account for George Lucas, I shudder to think what kind of lunacy I'd have indulged.  These days, you see all sorts of filmmakers signing up for social media outlets that allow the public to speak directly to them in a way that is truly unprecedented.  There was one evening in particular recently where we all sort of simultaneously realized Billy Friedkin had signed up for Twitter, and it turned into a three or four hour free-for-all with people bombarding him with questions about everything from "Cruising" to "The Guardian" to "The Exorcist" to "Jade," and he answered everything with grace and charm.  It was amazing.

It also may have been contractually obligated.

Until I interviewed Derick Martini recently about his film "Hick" as part of the Motion/Captured Podcast, I had no idea companies were now including a social media clause as part of the standard filmmaker's contract.  When he told me, it blew my mind.  It seems counter-intuitive to me, since forcing someone to interact with the public rarely ends well.  Still, we are in a new age of how media works and how audiences interact with the media they consume, and so I guess things are going to evolve no matter what.

Read Full Post
"So You Think You Can Dance"

 "So You Think You Can Dance"

Credit: Fox

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: The top 8 perform and 2 more go home

'Modern Family' star Jesse Tyler Ferguson returns to judge

We're down to the top eight (the finale is just three weeks away) and it's getting harder and harder to see some of these dancers go. But go they must. The good news? With the herd having been thinned, we get to see a little more about each dancer -- and a little more dancing, too. Best news? Superfan Jesse Tyler Ferguson of "Modern Family" is back at the judges' table, and he's both funny AND a good judge. Good times!

Read Full Post
2012 MTV Video Music Awards Predictions

2012 MTV Video Music Awards Predictions

Who will take home a Moonman this year - and who should?

The winners of the MTV Video Music Awards always take a back seat to the stage antics and performances at the annual show, but there are a number of notable entries in this year’s contenders.

Drake and Rihanna lead the pack with five nominations each; Katy Perry has four, while Coldplay, M.I.A. and Watch The Throne (Jay-Z and Kanye West) have three nods each.

Though all eyes will be on Chris Brown and Drake to see if they have an on-air altercation over Rihanna, there will also be performances from Frank Ocean, Rihanna, Pink, Green Day, Alicia Keys, Taylor Swift, and One Direction.

Winners are selected by the fans, who can vote as many times as they’d like during the eligibility period, so our predictions took that into account.

This year’s VMAs, hosted by Kevin Hart, will air live Sept. 6 on MTV.
 

Read Full Post
"Big Brother"

 "Big Brother"

Credit: CBS

'Big Brother' recap: Can Dan get himself off the block?

With two POVs and flip-flopping alliances, anything is possible

So, as we head into yet another labyrinthine maze of backstabbing and trash talking, the game stands at Dan and Danielle perched precariously on the block, with Dan being Frank's main target. This should be pretty cut and dried, right? I mean, the whole game can't be turned upside down in a matter of days, can it? Like, Dan should just pack his stuff and look for his hair gel. Or not. This season seems to be a lot twistier than any other in recent memory, and alliances come together and crumble in the space of a single episode. Heck, we've had alliances on top of secret alliances, which is making "Big Brother" feel a little like a low I.Q. Roman play. Et tu, Dan?

Read Full Post
<p>Rolling Stones members Charlie Watts, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Mick Jagger attend a celebration of the band's 50th anniversary in London last month.</p>

Rolling Stones members Charlie Watts, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Mick Jagger attend a celebration of the band's 50th anniversary in London last month.

Credit: AP Photo/Jonathan Short

Source: The Rolling Stones to play four dates in November

Two U.K. and U.S. dates to herald 50th anniversary

After first saying they had no plans to tour behind their 50th anniversary, it now looks like the Rolling Stones may play at least four shows this year to commemorate the occasion.

Billboard is reporting, according to sources, that the Stones will play two shows in November: two at London’s O2 Arena and two at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The paycheck for the four gigs: a whopping $25 million.

Richard Branson and Australian promoter Paul Dainty will promote the shows. If that is true, that means that Michael Cohl, the Rolling Stones’ longtime promoter, would not be involved. He told Billboard in late June that he had no information about 50th anniversary shows; however, that was two months ago.

The Stones have been seen going into a Paris studio and Mick Jagger tweeted how much fun the band is having. What's not clear is if they are recording new material or rehearsing for a tour.

 

Read Full Post
<p>Paul Newman arriving at the 1963 Venice Film Festival.</p>

Paul Newman arriving at the 1963 Venice Film Festival.

Credit: THR

A look ahead to the rest of the Venice Film Festival

Fest kicked off today with 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist,' but what's coming up?

VENICE - Bar this morning's review of "The Reluctant Fundamentalist," which christened the 69th Venice Film Festival (and the first under new director Alberto Barbera's rule) this evening, I'm afraid I haven't offered much in the way of festival foreplay.

I had meant to write up some form of preview piece, but travel preparations were more manic than usual, and Venice itself always offers its fair share of practical obstacles. Since arriving yesterday afternoon at the otherwise delightful flat I'm sharing with two colleagues, we've been trying to solve the riddle of how to run electricity, wi-fi and air conditioning simultaneously without short-circuiting the building's entire switchboard. I'm not going steal Jeff Wells' schtick with a diary of technical woes, but suffice to say we're still working on it.

Anyway, offering up a "preview" after the opening film would be more than a little redundant -- and anyway, yesterday's combined HitFix gallery of our most anticipated titles of the fall festival season, to which Kris and I both contributed, set the festival mood rather nicely. The long and short of it is that I'm here and, with the programme's prime offerings still under wraps -- well, mostly -- I'm excited.

Read Full Post
<p>Thom&nbsp;Yorke of Radiohead</p>

Thom Yorke of Radiohead

Credit: AP Photo

Radiohead kicks off season 38 of 'Austin City Limits'

The Shins, The Civil Wars and Bon Iver also on tap

Radiohead, the Shins and the Civil Wars are among the acts on tap for season 38 of “Austin City Limits,” the long-running live music show that runs on PBS stations.

Radiohead will kick off the season on Oct. 6 with a full-hour performance. 

Below is the broadcast schedule. Seven additional episodes/artists are still to be announced.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;Le Tableau&quot;</p>

"Le Tableau"

Credit: GKIDS

More on the four GKIDS animated feature qualifiers

'Poppy Hill,' 'Le Tableau,' 'The Rabbi's Cat' and 'Zarafa' officially join the race

As noted in the updates of Monday's Best Animated Feature Film ponderings (which revealed the acquisition of Cannes hit "Ernest & Celestine" for a 2013 release), the indie distributor GKIDS will be qualifying four films for Oscar contention this year: "From Up on Poppy Hill," "Le Tableau," "The Rabbi's Cat" and "Zarafa." Added to Disney's "Secret of the Wings" and "Arjun: The Warrior Prince" (which were confirmed to me as well), that puts us at 17 titles officially in the running thus far, one more than the 16 necessary for a full slate of five nominees. And I don't see any eligibility concerns being raised for any of them on the horizon, so we should be good to go.

I assume many readers would like to know more about these films, which could ultimately shake up the race much like the studio's efforts did last year. So below, read through the official GKIDS synopses of each and start your speculating: which, if any, could end up on the eventual slate of nominees? My bet is currently on "Poppy Hill," but each film has a shot and each, most importantly, could really connect with animators -- you know, the folks who have the ultimate say on the matter.

Read Full Post
<p>Taylor Swift</p>

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift's 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together' stays atop the Billboard Hot 100

Which two artists have two songs each in the top 10?

Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” spends its second week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 as the song gains in airplay, but drops in sales.

Following a record-setting digital download week with 623,000 copies sold, sales of  “Never” drop to 307,000, according to Billboard, but that monster sum is still enough to keep the tune at No. 1 on the Digital Songs chart as well.

Interestingly, the song, which does not have a hint of country in it, drops 13-19 on Billboard Country Songs chart, while gaining on both the ADult Pop Songs (21-18) and Pop Songs (18-16) charts.  In a move clearly designed to court country fans (and her original fan base), who may be feeling  little left out on this one, Swift will debut the video for “Never” on CMT on Thursday.

The next two spots on the Billboard Hot 100 remain the same, with Flo Rida’s “Whistle” at No. 2 and Ellie Goulding’s “Lights” at No. 3.

Maroon 5 sees “One More Night,” the second single from “Overexposed,” leap 9-4, while Fun.s’ “Some Nights” rises 6-5.

Carly Rae Jepsen continues to be the girl of summer as “Call Me Maybe” remains ensconced in the Top 10 at No. 6, while her duet with Owl City, “Good Time,” bursts into the Top 10 at No. 9.

Rounding out the top 10, Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake” drops 5-7, Maroon 5’s “Payphone” featuring Wiz Khalifa slips 7-8, and Justin Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me” featuring Big Sean slides 8-10.

Read Full Post
<p>Madonna in Philadelphia</p>

Madonna in Philadelphia

Madonna starts U.S. tour off with a bang, despite a few boos

Here's what the critics had to say about opening night

After raking in more than $115 million from her 34 shows overseas, Madonna brought her “MDNA” tour,  guns blazing, to the U.S. Tuesday night. The show, at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center, did not start until 10:24 p.m., which added insult to injury to some who paid $355 top ticket, according to reports. The only explanation offered by Madge was “I want to apologize for being late. We had many changes to make from Europe to America, and I wanted the show to be perfect for you because my fans deserve it and quite frankly I deserve it.”

She also continued to voice support for Pussy Riot, as she did on stage in Russia, telling the Philly crowed, “We have freedom of expression. Never forget how lucky you are to live here.”

Watch very high quality video of the opening at the bottom of this post.

From most reports, all was forgiven once she took the stage in a spectacular that won’t soon be forgotten.
Here are some excerpts from opening night reviews:

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
Cyrus Spencer of "So You Think You Can Dance"

 Cyrus Spencer of "So You Think You Can Dance"

Credit: Fox

HitFix Interview: Cyrus of 'So You Think You Can Dance' talks plugs, critics

The show's first top 20 animator talks about his unique look

Cyrus Spencer, the 22-year-old animator/robotics dancer currently competing on "So You Think You Can Dance," has been a lightning rod for viewers this season. While some viewers have grumbled about his lack of dance skill, his adoring fan base continues to vote him through week after week. Tonight, fans will get a chance to speak (or not) for Cyrus again during the show's double-barreled competition/elimination episode starting at 8:00 p.m. on Fox. I had the chance to speak with Cyrus during the TCAs, and we hashed over why he doesn't read his own reviews, what he's hoping to convince the judges to say about him, and the good thing he wants to do once the show ends.

Read Full Post
BLOGS BY NAME