DAILY NEWS: "Memento" In the Spotlight; Creative Planet's Indie Focus; and Toronto Parties
by Eugene Hernandez/indieWIRE with a report from A.G. Basoli
>> TORONTO 2000: Nolan's "Memento" Debuts in Toronto as It Nears a Deal
(indieWIRE/ 9.11.00) -- "Memento," an acclaimed thriller from filmmaker
Christopher Nolan, is nearing a theatrical deal that will take it to
theaters domestically in the Spring 2001. A source close to the film
indicated that specifics on the pact are expected to be announced shortly.
At a press conference in Venice last week -- as reported in indieWIRE --
the "Memento" team confirmed that a deal was in the works. The film
screened at the Cannes market where it was reportedly snatched by
Paramount Classics, but the deal was not confirmed for the press.
Filmmaker Nolan returned to the Toronto International Film Festival this
weekend, for the screening of his second feature film -- Nolan debuted his
first feature, "Following," here in 1998. The film stars Guy Pearce,
Carrie-Anne Moss, and Joe Pantoliano joined Nolan for the public showing and a Q & A session with a perplexed but satisfied audience.
The film starts where its story ends, and it unveils -- in reverse order --
a complicated drama told in a succession of connected sequences, building
towards a payoff that reveals the details of the murder that opens the
When asked if he might consider making a sequel to the movie, Nolan quipped,
"We were thinking more of a prequel," eliciting laughs from the supportive
audience. For those interested in learning more about the film, Nolan
encouraged attendees to check out its website at www.otnemem.com, that's
"memento" spelled backwards. [Eugene Hernandez]
>> Creative Planet Lowers Price in Move to Reach the Indie Filmmaker; Web-based Production Management System Will Soon Go Wireless
(indieWIRE/ 9.11.00) -- Creative Planet, Inc., the resource outlet and
website for Hollywood and the filmmaking community, will annouce today an
initiative to make its upgraded Movie Magic Budgeting and Scheduling
programs available to filmmakers for a significantly reduced price. The move
comes as it begins rolling out the upgraded software to wireless
devices and expanding web-based production management tools for all types of
film and video makers. The software was acquired last year as Creative
Planet was building its B2B website and company.
The move is significant because it will provide low-budget filmmakers the
opportunity to utilize tools that were previously only available to
big-budget movies, at a cost of only $99 as opposed to the previous price of
$899. As productions embrace new technologies, the initiative will help
"democratize" the process, according to Creative Planet Chairman and CEO
Allen DeBevoise who added, "We wanted to come up with a concept that really
allowed more people to use budgeting and scheduling in a different way."
DeBevoise indicated that over time the company will unveil wireless products
for Assistant Directors and web-based applications for managing a film
production. Early editions of the web version, dubbed Movie Magic Web, are
currently in use by a number of productions, according to DeBevoise, who added
that George Lucas is using it for the new "Star Wars" film. The CEO added
that his developers are tackling templates for many people working in
production outside of the big-budget Hollywood world, including music video
and commercial production, with a goal of embracing the net-based film
business as that sector grows.
The news comes after the recent announcement of $38 million in financing for
Creative Planet (www.creativeplanet.com), following the acquisitions of The
Studio System, GoodStory.com and others. [Eugene Hernandez]
>> TORONTO 2000: Partying with Miss Canada, Jay McInerney, Norman Jewison and Some Stylish Shoes
(indieWIRE/ 9.11.00) -- Gala parties dominate industry and media attention
here in Toronto, leaving some events lacking in Hollywood star power but
delivering a fun evening without the entourages of publicists and star
gazers that hover around the big name celebs. Such was that case at Friday
night's annual bash at Citytv. Parent CHUM Limited's funky downtown Toronto studios -- home of MuchMusic, Bravo!, Star!, and numerours other outlets -- was the site of the popular party, which was broadcast live on TV. Large crowds gathered on the streets to watch the arrivals, while inside an
eclectic array of guests mixed and mingled as cameras milled around.
Miss Canada, Christine Cho, at Friday's Citytv bash
Photo by: Brian Brooks/indieWIRE
On hand at the Citytv bash, just a couple of weeks after she was crowned the
new Miss Canada, was Christine Cho. A Toronto native who was attending her first festival, Cho told indieWIRE that she is an avid moviegoer who favors
dramas, action flicks and romantic movies as long as they are "not too
cheesy." She was planning to catch a couple of movies over the weekend,
including Sally Field's "Beautiful" and Robert Altman's "Dr. T and the Women."
Hanging out inside the studio were Chelsea Pictures Jeanine Pepler and date, author Jay McInerney ("Bright Lights, Big City," and new book, "Model Behavior"). Chatting with indieWIRE about MTV and VH1, on the set of Canadian counterpart music channel, MuchMusic, McInerney complained that MTV just doesn't show enough videos and wondered why a band like No Doubt deserves to be chronicled on "Behind the Music." Dissing the network of Carson Daly and TRL in a good-natured debate with indieWIRE's Brian Brooks (who is formerly involved in the music video biz), McInerney added, "I don't care what some vacationing 19 year old says down in Daytona Beach."
Over at the annual Gay Flambé on Saturday night, Toronto's Inside Out, the 10 year-old Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, welcomed members and others to a party at Mockingbird on King Street. Festival Executive Director Rachel
Giese held court near the door and greeted guests, while industry-types and
a few publicists dropped in for a drink at the crowded event. Also on hand were Laurie Shapiro, here with "Keep the River on
Your Right: A Modern Cannibal Tale" and doc subject, artist Tobias
Schneebaum. The pair were chipper after a resounding screening earlier
in the day that has them fielding distribution offers, according to Shapiro. Flamenco
dancers entertained inside, while schmoozers found reasons to chat each
other up outside on the patio.
Sunday's annual Canadian Film Centre (CFC) barbeque was again a crowded
affair at the institute's spacious estate on the outskirts of town. CFC's
Norman Jewison -- an acclaimed Canadian filmmaker who brought "The Hurricane" to last year's fest -- announced that the CFC has received a $1.5 million
donation from Global Television, the Canadian media concern.
Guests mingle at the CFC BBQ, Helen Shaver pictured center
Photo by: Moira Griffin
FILMMAKER Magazine's Moira Griffin joined indieWIRE at the event. As talk about "the biz" grew tiresome and we began to survey guests attire on the
hot and humid afternoon, she offered her theory that a person's shoes tell
more about them than any other aspect of their wardrobe. Griffin nabbed a
photo of "We All Fall Down" actress-producer Helen Shaver. Shaver, sporting proudly a pair of Miu Miu high heels, is busy these days, preparing to direct an episode of the Showtime series' "Soul Food," and work on the CBS series, "Judging Amy." Commenting on her shoes Moira Griffin offered, "All of the actresses seem to have the same high heels, Helen Shaver is distinctive." Calling the shoes "different" and "unique," Griffin added, "She had powerful shoes on, shoes that made a powerful statement." [Eugene Hernandez]