Variety

Founded in 1905, Variety is an entertainment newspaper published weekly by Reed Business Information. The subtitle of the paper is The International Entertainment Weekly. Variety features stories and columns pertaining to theatre, television, radio, music, records and movies. Variety's Vice President and Editor-in-Chief is Peter Bart. Charles Koones serves as President and Publisher. Dana Harris is the Editor and Olivia Hemaratanatorn is the Managing Editor.

Articles from Vol. 346, No. 1, November 5

Academy Changes Rules on Foreign Films
GOOD NEWS for subtitles lovers: The Academy is radically expanding how nominees are chosen in the new international feature film race.In the past, nominees were chosen in two phases, with the bulk of the work done by Academy members who volunteered to...
A POV Rooted in Nature
Live-action production designers are responsible for creating sets and environments. On an animated feature, however, their duties extend to overseeing everything that shows up on screen, from the "locations" to the look of every character. Production...
Assured Auteur Forged New Fantasy Classic
Each member of the "How to Train Your Dragon" team, it seems, has a different explanation for what makes writer-director Dean DeBlois so damn good.To producer Bonnie Arnold, in on the trilogy from the beginning, "he understands emotions that really resonate...
'Avatar' Series Means Business
BOX OFFICE RECORD-BREAKER and pioneer that it was, "Avatar" was in many ways a dry run for the mega-production that is now under way in multiple studios across New Zealand.James Cameron and his long-term producer partner Jon Landau have mounted an unprecedented...
Brave Hearts
Crazy Heart 2009Director, writer: Scott Cooper* Jeff Bridges plays a fading, alcoholic country music star who begins a doomed romance with a writer (Maggie Gyllenhaal) that forces him to reassess his life.You very well might have missed this alcohol-drenched...
Can Docs Level Up at the Oscars?
IN 2009, THE academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences expanded Oscar's best pic contenders from five to 10. Then-president Sid Ganis hoped this would open the category to animation, foreign-language films and documentaries.Animation and international...
Consumers Wary of Glut of Streamers
While Hollywood and Wall Street have been bracing for more than two years for a slew of competing streaming services, a new survey has some revelations about the marketplace these platforms will soon enter.Conducted in September by viewer tracking service...
Countries Join the Union
It is no small irony that while New Zealand competes with Canada, the U.K. and Australia for foreign productions, those three English-language territories have historically also been the country's most frequent partners for co-productions. But the tide...
Courtney B. Vance Takes Reins at SAG-AFTRA Foundation
THE SAG-AFTRA FOUNDATION has tapped actor Courtney B. Vance as its new president.The Emmy winner for "The People v O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story" succeeds outgoing president JoBeth Williams, as the charitable arm of the actors' union seeks to expand...
Cracks in the Glass Ceiling
WOMEN MAY BE THE GATEKEEPERS of the documentary arm of the entertainment industry, but this year marks the first time they have helmed the majority of awards season's high-profile documentaries.The filmmakers include Irene Taylor Brodsky ("Moonlight...
Crew Fine-Tuned the Drama on Race Car Pic
WHEN TALKING ABOUT Fox's "Ford v Ferrari," starring Christian Bale as race car driver Ken Miles and Matt Damon as auto designer Carroll Shelby, director James Mangold stresses the collaborative nature of filmmaking: "The triumph of our editing team is...
Custom Push Fits Diverse Slate of Pics
WARNER BROS. EXEC BLAIR RICH would be a worthy recipient of the Variety Marketing Visionary Award Presented by Spotify based on "Joker" alone. Rich and her team crafted a spare, haunting campaign that helped turn the intellectually challenging, darkly...
Deft Cutting Can Summon Tears
First cuts of any film can come in long. The first cut of "The Hidden World's" final battle, with aerial action and a fight on the ground happening simultaneously, presented editor John K. Carr with a puzzle.The sequence was too long and had to be trimmed....
Digital Dynamos
DAMIAN BAZADONAPRESIDENT AND FOUNDERSITUATION INTERACTIVEBazadona mounted a "Mean Girls Day" streaming party on Facebook Live, hosted by talent, to promote Broadway's musical adaptation of the 2004 theatrical. "It connects people with the brand," he...
Dine out during Afm
Sunny skies are a given during the American Film Market. Westside Los Angeles and Santa Monica restaurants provide ample ways to enjoy the fair weather from the newly opened rooftop bar and restaurant at the Santa Monica Proper Hotel to Chez Jay's freshly...
Doctor Sleep
Doctor SleepOn the face of it, making a sequel to "The Shining" does not sound like a promising idea. Stephen King's original novel, which was published in 1977, remains one of his greatest (it's not a tale that needs to be messed with). And in the 40...
Dry, Not High
IN AN INDUSTRY KNOWN for the mantra "sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll," it's hard enough for addicted musicians to get sober, but staying sober, especially on the road, can seem next to impossible. At least it did before manager Tim Collins designed an early...
Epic's Ending Stirs the Heart, Spurs the Mind
Amidst a decade-long, worldwide chorus of praise for the visual inventiveness and excitement of DreamWorks Animation's "How to Train Your Dragon" trilogy, less attention has been paid to its themes. But this is a movie - and the three chapters deserve...
Exposure
BOO-TIFUL PEOPLEBen Platt channels his inner Tin Man with Bette Midler at her annual Hulaween benefit for the New York Restoration Project on Oct. 31.'The Morning Show' PremiereLINCOLN CENTER, NEW YORK CITY, OCT. 28The world premiere of "The Morning...
Finding Beauty in the Unreal
The Hidden World by the Numbers*J Lighting and Digimatte were in progress for 6 months*J Total data for the Caldera (Hidden World entrance) 68.5 terabytes*J 19.25 million core hours to render*J Over 3000 unique waterfalls in the Hidden World were created...
Finding Her Power
Eleven years ago, I met, and then became, Astrid Hofferson. A blond-haired, blue-eyed Viking. And that, to me, is one of the awesome things about animation; worlds are created that require audiences to completely suspend their disbelief, worlds in which...
Getting Humble
AFTER I FINALLY surrendered and decided to seek treatment for my addiction, there came a point when I wondered if I would ever go back to work as Elton John again.But at that time, I wasn't thinking too much about being an artist. I had reached the lowest...
Have-Nots Make a Bid for Awards Glory
THE HAVE-NOTS have had enough this awards season.As economic strife is seemingly deepening worldwide, those without financial resources are fighting back - on the big screen, at least.Oscar hopefuls ranging from "Hustlers," "Parasite," "Joker" and "Les...
Hong Kong Group Goes Global
AS THE OLD SAYING GOES, timing is everything. Such could be true for Hong Kong's Mei Ah Entertainment Group. Founded in 1984, the company went from distributing video tapes and laser discs during the golden era of Hong Kong's film industry to operating...
Honoring Those on the Road to Recovery
We're very proud to bring you our first-ever Recovery Issue, featuring inspirational testimonials from people in Hollywood who have wrestled with substance abuse and have found ways to seek help and live a sober life. One of the things that really struck...
How to Sound like a Dragon
Once upon a time, onscreen dragons merely roared and breathed fire, priming audiences to believe them fearsome, evil creatures.Enter Academy Award-winning sound designer Randy Thom and his team, who gave these once misunderstood creatures something they...
Inspired by a Master
Roger Deakins, the Academy Award-winning DP who served as visual consultant on the Dragon trilogy, says that if a single word could sum up the photographic aesthetic of "The Hidden World," it would be 'restraint.'"That's my mantra," Deakins says, "whether...
Laser-Like Focus on Showbiz
1984Li Kuo-hsing founds Mei Ah Entertainment Group in Hong Kong, focusing on the video rental business. Throughout the 1980s, Li expands the business to VHS video and laser disc distribution until it becomes one of the major distributors of film and...
Lessons from Their Father
TO THE 35-YEAR-OLD Jason Li, leading one of Asia's most prominent film and entertainment companies can be stressful. The pressure, however, comes not just from building a bigger business, but also keeping his father's legacy alive."My father founded...
Life out of the Spotlight
AS the stars of Terrence Malick's "A Hidden Life," August Diehl and Valerie Pachner, walked the red carpet at the film's world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, the famously reclusive writer-director was nowhere to be seen.Nor did he appear in video...
Mackenzie Phillips 'I Was Kind of like the Pioneer of How to Not Get Sober and Lose Everything'
Since landing on the pop-culture radar at age 13 with "American Graffiti," Mackenzie Phillips has become as known for her struggles with drug abuse as for her work on screen. Following her star-turning role as a rebellious teen on sitcom "One Day at...
Marquee Names Bring Big Laughs to N .Y.'s Annual Fest
THE NEW YORK COMEDY FESTIVAL has always tried to outdo itself, adding more big names, more venues, more unique events. In its 16th year, the organizers say they have outdone themselves."We always strive to be different from other festivals," says Louis...
Moment of Clarity
ANDY LASSNER HAS BEEN candid on Twitter and other social media platforms about how low he sank in the 1990s as his addiction to heroin, alcohol and other drugs spiraled out of control."I'm someone who hit bottom and then furnished it," says "The Ellen...
Money Makes the Biz Go Round
FOR A SMALL COUNTRY with a film industry that is export-driven, the quality of New Zealand's incentives is critical.Despite the kudos and tourism dollars delivered by producing the New Line's "Lord of the Rings" franchise and "The Hobbit," by 2013 New...
More Than a Memory
LIKE ALL GREAT DOCUMENTARIES, Netflix's "Tell Me Who I Am" focuses on a unique situation but makes it universal. The film centers on twins Alex and Marcus Lewis. The 18-year-old Alex went into a six-week coma after an accident. When he awoke, he didn't...
Netflix Takes over the World
NETFLIX IS PUTTING boots on the ground in ever greater numbers and setting up offices and production hubs worldwide.With a splashy regional HQ being prepped in Amsterdam and a Paris office about to launch, as well as new outposts that opened this year...
New Zealand Takes Biz beyond Incentives
LOCATIONS, TALENT, MONEY DRIVE ISLAND'S BIZNew Zealand's growth thrives on savvy policies, special effects and lots of 'overcompensation' from industryitesTO HEAR CELEBRATED production designer Grant Major tell it, New Zealand's film industry was reborn...
No Going Back
DANNY TREJO HASN'T HAD a drink or taken an illegal drug since Richard Nixon was in the White House and "Mid-night Cowboy" was in theaters.The "Machete" actor, who became a heroin addict as a teenager, has been sober for 51 years. He worked for a time...
Norman Lear Takes Sale of Villa One Day at a Time
The longtime Los Angeles estate of pioneering television mandarin Norman Lear, which sprawls over more than eight hilltop acres in the tony Brentwood area (not near the Getty Fire but within the evacuation zone), has returned to the market with a trio...
Open Door Policy
LONGTIME MUSIC MANAGER Jeff Jampol is known as one of the top estate representatives in the world. He's made a career out of monitoring - and monetizing - the brands and assets of such legends as Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin and the Ramones, among many...
Out in the Open
Jamie Lee Curtis Had Just turned 40. She and her husband, director Christopher Guest, had been married for 14 years and had two children, Annie, 12, and 2-year-old Thomas. A two-time Golden Globe winner, Curtis had just landed on the New York Times best-seller...
Paul Hirsch Tells Tales from the 'Cutting Room'
FILMGOERS DON'T KNOW THE NAME Paul Hirsch nearly as well as those of Brian De Palma, George Lucas or John Hughes, but after a five-decade career as a film editor, he's been an integral part of some of the biggest movies ever.Hirsch says editing is a...
Paying It Forward
THE PREMIERE SCREENING of "Knives Out" at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival last month went fabulously well. The audience and film critics in attendance loved director Rian Johnson's darkly comic whodunit.By the time the post-screening party began around...
Pics Vying from around the World
Among the record 93 submissions this year, 27 titles are directed or co-directed by women. There are six documentaries in the mix, as well as two animated features. Moreover, for the first time, Ghana and Uzbekistan are each fielding an entry. Here's...
Playful Score Helps Story to Take Flight
"How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World" director Dean DeBlois doesn't mince words when it comes to the application of music to his images: "Music is half of the equation. I can't emphasize how important it is in the mix."Music transcends dialogue...
Salvation or Swindle?
NAVIGATING THE MAZE OF rehabilitation facilities for substance abuse problems is a daunting task for anyone, let alone an addict in desperate straits.In California, the situation is made even worse due to a lack of regulatory standards for rehab facilities....
Scene Specifics Inspire Creativity from 'Harriet' Crew
THE JOYS - AND COMPLEXITY - of making movies often can be found in different aspects of creating a scene. For Focus Features' "Harriet," director of photography John Toll was challenged by a sequence in which 19th-century abolitionist Harriet Tubman,...
Seven Reasons to Film in New Zealand
HOBBITONOriginally a sheep farm 60 kilometers from Hamilton and 10 kilometers from Matamata on North Island, owned by the Alexander family, the spot has been transformed into a major tourist destination by its use as The Shire in "The Lord of the Rings"...
Showbiz Rallies to Support Vets
DONALD BELL ISARIOBellisario served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1955 to 1959, long before creating military-oriented television series such as "JAG," "Airwolf," "Quantum Leap" and "NCIS." He cast veterans in those projects. "NCIS" is still on the air...
Showrunners Step in as Assistants Fight for Fair Wages
Assistants Across Town, increasingly fired up online, are challenging the long-accepted industry standard of paying support staffers barely above the minimum wage. But in person, speaking up for these workers - on television productions, at least - is...
Small-Screen Boom Time for Indies
FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ITS 38-YEAR HISTORY, the American Film Market is producing a conference about what was once considered taboo at the confab's Loews Santa Monica digs: television. The Nov. 11 event will address how indie filmmakers can cash in on...
Streamers Tackle Military Themes in Films
WHILE THEATRICAL EXHIBITORS continue to reap profits showcasing the stories of military men and women on the big screen, streaming services have not only become a destination for smaller and sometimes lesser-known projects, but have also provided a new...
Taking Stock of a Crowded Field
WITH ALL OF THE CHANGES IN OSCAR VOTING - and the changes in Oscar voters - that have taken place over the last few years, it's hard to know how much of the conventional awards season wisdom to retain, and what can be thrown out. But one place where...
The Contenders
1917 UNIVERSALStill an unknown commodity at this point, "1917" comes with a promising pedigree: Directed by Sam Mendes from a script he wrote with Krysty Wilson-Cairns, the World War I drama stars Andrew Scott (aka the hot priest from "Fleabag"), Benedict...
Time to Break Language Barriers
ONLY PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS knows the final tally, but from the sidelines, it sure looked like last year was the closest the Academy has ever come to awarding best picture to a foreign-language film. Instead, an old-school studio movie, Peter Farrelly's...
Too Much of a Good Thing?
IT'S BEEN SAID THAT THE GOLDEN AGE of non-fiction filmmaking is upon us. From "The Jinx" to "CitizenFour" to "Free Solo," the documentary sector has exploded creatively and commercially in the past few years. Key to the docu spike has been Netflix's...
TV Takes on Addiction
AFTER FIVE SEASONS of hallucinogenic trips and drunken meltdowns, Netflix's "BoJack Horseman" faced a crucial crossroads. The animated comedy series is, overall, one of Netflix's best, and yet its main character is an acerbic jerk whose love of escaping...
Unanimous Applause
when CHARLIZE theron received word that the American Cinematheque wanted to honor her with its award this year, her response was somewhat unique. "My go-to reply is always: 'Are you sure?'" Theron says with a laugh. "The human being inside of me still...
Variety Honors Media Heroes
Variety will continue its tradition of honoring entertainment and media figures who support veterans' causes at its third annual Salute to Service event. Among the 2019 list of honorees confirmed to attend the event, which takes place on Nov. 6 in New...
Vikings & Dragons
How the team of actors, animators and designers crafted the characters of 'The Hidden World'Hiccup"Hiccup sees his weaknesses as flaws," says writer-director Dean DeBlois. "His journey is to discover those weaknesses are strengths in disguise."Jakob...
What You See Is What You Get
What You See Is What You GetJust like athletes' jerseys get taken out of service to be hung up on a wall because no one could dribble the same way in that number again, the word "everyman" may have to be retired by the time Luke Combs is through, so...
Where to Find Help
ORGANIZATIONSThe entertainment industry offers a host of resources for those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. Following is a rundown of industry-backed organizations that provide addicts a way to find help.MusiCaresgrammy.com/musicares Established...
Women and Maori at the Filmmaking Fore
SITTING OUT ON A COOL EVENING on a headland high above Auckland's Waitemata Harbour, it is difficult to understand how recent the country's unpalatable history really is. And the past injustices, combined with the emergence of the New Zealand movie industry...
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