On having her brother Chase in her life: “My older brother Chase is a huge factor in who I am. Moving as many times as we have, heâ€™s the only kid Iâ€™ve known my whole life. There are things that I see in him that I wish I was like, & there are things that Iâ€™ve learned from. Heâ€™s been through more than he lets on & his strength, grace, hard work, & talent inspire me. Sometimes, heâ€™s my polar opposite, sometimes weâ€™re twins. He can be a teacher to me, a student, a father, and is always my best friend. Chase tells me everyday that Iâ€™m beautiful. He told me that every girl deserves to hear it. Probably the most important thing heâ€™s taught me is that I could live my life, not let people in, and never be hurt while never truly feeling. Or, I can, while still being wise, let people in, be hurt, take a chance, but really live, really feel, and really grow.”
On what she loves and dislikes about her job: “I love that I get to learn about different cultures, get inside someone elseâ€™s head. From a kidâ€™s point of view, I love being able to. through cake at someone (on Suite Life) or fall in the hot tub/I donâ€™t like to complain. Maybe, I wish that this industry wasnâ€™t based on surface. What people look like, dress like, how they hold themselves dictates a large part of their career.”
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As I discovered during my exclusive chat with Chris this afternoon, another idea that’s been banging around his brain has finally made its way to paper. So what is Chris’ next script about? And what do the final season three episodes ofGlee have in store for us? Keep reading to find out!
Insider.com: We’re less than a month away from the world premiere of Struck By Lightning — how are you feeling?
Chris Colfer: I can not wait. I’m giddy [but] terrified to see it with an audience. Recently I saw it with an audience full of my family and friends. It’s going to be quite a different audience in NY – I’m terrified of that. There’s a lot of pressure on this for me.
Insider: What were some of the reactions you got at that friends and family screening?
Chris: The best reaction I got, and I got this a lot, was, “Oh my God Chris, we’re so glad that was good! We talked in the car on the way here about what we’d say if it was bad.” That was the most honest reaction, so it was the best.
Insider: Are you working on any other movie scripts right now?
Chris: Yes. This next one is definitely a genre change for me. It’s not set in the high school world. For the first time, it’s something I had to do a lot, a lot, a lot of research for before I started working. It’s a period piece that takes place at an asylum in the early 30s. It’s interesting because while I was doing my research I met with a UCLA professor to talk about different disorders and conditions of asylums back in the day and I got so many suggestive looks on the Glee set because I would have all my books with me. People kept asking, “Chris, why are you reading books on asylums and schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder?” I think everyone thought I finally lost it when I was reading the Coping With Mental Illness book [laughs].
Insider: Sounds scary — is it a horror movie?
Chris: It’s not horror. There’s no ghosts or monsters popping out at you. It’s almost like a movie about characters after they have an experience like characters do in a horror movie. Almost like the aftermath of what a traumatic experience, a la a horror movie, would do to someone.
Insider: What inspired you to write this movie?
Chris: Honestly, I just wanted to do something really fun and something I hadn’t done before — something kind of creepy. Instead of waiting to find a script, I just thought, “I’ll write it myself.” And we have a director and producer attached already.
Insider: Will you be starring in this one as well?
Chris: I created a supporting role for myself in this one. I’m not the lead. It’s a role that people don’t write for young men, unfortunately. These types of roles are few and far between, so I thought, screw it – I’ll write it myself!
Insider: It feels like the only hurdle left for you to jump is directing — does that interest you?
Chris: It’s so funny because every one wants me to direct. I’d rather just create the characters at home in my pajamas than be on a set for 20 hours a day, coming up with shots. There are definitely a few things that I would absolutely direct – like if someone called me and said, “Do you want to direct a Candyland movie?” I’d jump at it, but directing is not my goal.
Insider: Fair enough. On another note, Glee is coming off a pretty sizable hiatus on April 10 — how excited are you for fans to see what’s coming up?
Chris: Oh, very excited. We have some great episodes coming up – there’s the Whitney Houston tribute episode, a Bee Gees tribute episode and the episode where Rachel & Kurt finally audition for NYADA. We got to work with Whoopi [Goldberg] who I absolutely love more than life itself. It’s really cool because Whoopi is the reason I started performing in the first place. Sister Act came out in 1992 and it was the first movie I was obsessed with. My mom used to tell me that she’d come home from work and I’d be standing in the living room with a towel on my head saying, “I want to watch Whoopi!” Singing along with the nuns in Sister Act is the first time I’ve ever performed.
Insider: In addition to Whoopi, you also have Lindsay Lohan coming on the show — what do you think about her going from subject of Glee mocking to a guest star?
Chris: There seems to be a pattern with Glee – first we insult you, then we hire you. We did the same thing with John Stamos. If you’ve been insulted by our show, expect a phone call [laughs]. I think it’s funny. A lot of people have strong opinions about it, but I think the fact Lindsay Lohan is judging a show choir competition is pretty damn funny.
(This is pretty old, but I’ve been watching the videos since they came out and really enjoy some of the stories. “Lauren” is my favorite so far.
Last week YouTube announced a new channel called Wigs that will feature short scripted dramas about strong female characters — played by stars like Jennifer Garner, Julia Stiles, America Ferrera and Dakota Fanning.
But why would marquee names sign up for a bootstrapped project on YouTube? According to several actors and directors involved, it has everything to do with sexism in Hollywood.
Jennifer Beals (The L Word), who stars in one of the series, says she was criticized for making small suggestions to a male director on a recent shoot for a Hollywood studio production. “I said to the director, is this going to cut together with my coverage? And they said back to me, ‘Wow don’t you worry your pretty little head about that.’ And I said, go f***yourself.’”
The channel will be helmed by Black Swan producer Jon Avnet and In Treatmentcreator Rodrigo Garcia (who’s also the son of writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez). “It is really appalling the way that female characters and the actresses playing them are subjected to the many layers of approval of how hair should look,” Garcia says of his past experience working in TV. “It’s things like whether you should and must wear heels while you’re gunning down people in an alley. It’s really a relentless judgment that’s passed about how a woman should look.”
He adds: “Here’s something you hear all the time: ‘Is she likable enough? Can we make her more likable?’ That’s the kind of scrutiny and judgment that the system puts on female characters.”
Caitlin Gerard (The Social Network), who stars in one of the Wigs series, says she butted heads with a director recently when he wanted her to look “sexier” — for a role that was supposed to be of a “young nerdy girl.” She says when she asked for which audience did she really have to be so sexy, they responded: “For the 10 to 13-year-old girls.”
The actors in the Wigs series say the channel has thus far been a refuge from Hollywood’s endless red tape and subpar treatment of women. “You can read something that’s fun and funny, but by the time it gets watered down through the layers and layers of sediment it has to go through, it comes out as what you see most of the time,” says Virginia Madsen, who starred in Sideways and A Prairie Home Companion. That’s not the case on Wigs, where Madsen plays a tough high-profile photographer and Beals is a soldier at war. And Julia Stiles’s series is about a prostitute simultaneously helping her son with AP Physics homework.
It’s been a home run for showcasing female actresses, but also for women behind the scenes. “When it comes to the characters women are portraying on screen, it has improved, but there’s a lot of room for more,” Avnet said. “Not only are we looking at actresses, we’re looking at female writers and directors too.”
Wigs and YouTube won’t disclose any information about salary or budgeting, but the actresses and directors made it clear that they’re earning less than they would from a Hollywood studio production. They all seemed content with the pay cut, grateful for the good roles, good treatment and creative freedom that Wigs is promising.
Going hand-in-hand with sexism in Hollywood is ageism, particularly for women. “Many of our actor friends who are actresses above the ripe old age of 30 are struggling to find good roles,” Garcia said. It’s an issue Wigs is actively trying to address — Beals, for example, is 48 — and one that more Hollywood insiders are speaking out about.
“What movie would you make for them?” a former studio chief recently told Vulture. “They can’t date anymore, they’re all mothers. After a while, trying to extract the same story from the same tropes gets old.”
In January, George Clooney told Entertainment Weekly: “It’s much harder to get a film with a woman lead made. When a man hits 40 is when roles just begin to happen. And for women it doesn’t happen. I find that to be a very concerning issue.”
But now that they’ve gotten a taste of what the possibilities for women actors are outside of the Hollywood machine, will these women be able to return to Hollywood’s crappy treatment? “You can go back,” Beals said. “But you go back with a stronger voice, and you say what you really think. And you say, well Jon Avnet would let me do this. It’s really empowering.”
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Q: Did you get anything cool for your birthday?
Debby: I did. Ever since I got my DSLR, my digital camera, I’ve wanted a fisheye lens for it because I’m really big into taking pictures with symmetry and a fisheye lends kind of bends that a little bit and makes them symmetrical. I got that from my parents, which was huge because I didn’t think we were going to be able to afford it this year.
Q: Tell us about 16 Wishes.
Debby: It was my first starring role, which was surreal. It’s funny, kind of, when people are holding umbrellas over your head. I was like, “I have hands, I can do that.” My character, Abby, it’s her long-awaited 16th birthday. She has these 16 wishes, a wish list that she wants. It all takes place in one day, which was amazing to film over six weeks. On her birthday, her birthday fairy shows up and gives her these magic candles that correspond to the wishes on her list. So essentially she has the power to make all her wishes come true. And as she does that she grows and she learns. Everything goes great and then she makes one wish that kind of is taken out of context and she has to fight to get her old life back. She realizes that everything that gets taken away is not…
Q: Kind of like you don’t know what you got till it’s gone?
Debby: Exactly. And what’s cool about it too, as I was looking at it, it has a lot of different themes — be careful what you wish for, and then, she really wants to grow up too quickly, and she learns that that’s something you can’t really get back.
Q: Is there a love interest?
Debby: There is. Jean Luc Bilodeau from Kyle XY plays Abby’s best friend, Jay, which was awesome because I was such a big fan of Kyle XY. Hearing the dish on that was great, and working with him, he’s such a sweetheart. So he’s actually Abby’s best friend in the movie and we’ll see through the movie how…
Q: We all know where that’s going…
Debby: Of course.
Q: Where would you wish it would go?
Debby: It’s funny because as I’m looking at it, Abby kind of learns a lesson through the film but before she learns that lesson she really doesn’t deserve Jay. She kind of takes him for granted to be honest. But then afterward she doesn’t, and she realizes how special and amazing he is to her and for her.
Q: How do you find the leap to something different?
Debby: It’s, at the end of the day it depends on the script. You can do a comedy and it’s completely different than a different comedy. I watch a lot of movies. 16 Wishes, when I went up to do that I watched Sixteen Candles(rated PG) and a couple of coming-of-age films. I love Molly Ringwald. So getting into the feel of that…
Q: In school did you ever deal with bullies?
Debby: A lot. As I grew up, I had a lot of different…I was a cheerleader, I was a gymnast in competitive gym, I was also a mascot, chess club, so many things. And in 7th grade I was like the emo kid. I dressed in all black and had my rock ‘n’ roll friends and got made fun of for hanging out with certain people like that and also made fun of by the cheer captain for being the mascot, anything. We weren’t super well-off so I shopped at Wal-Mart and got made fun of for wearing Wal-Mart clothes. By the way I still have tank tops from Wal-Mart that I got in like 7th grade that I wear on red carpets. “Oh my God, that’s so cute!”
Q: Memorable first day of school?
Debby: I remember walking into school on my first day of freshman year, no it was 8th grade, and I remember being so out of my element because it was the first day of school. There was a girl who, it seemed like it was her classroom. She was so laid back and super-friendly to everyone. And I’m like, “Why can’t that be me?” We’re all in the same boat as far as not knowing what to expect.
Q: Did you become friends with her?
Debby: Yeah, we became friends and hung out. I remember she was going through kind of a crazy problem and I was really helping her through that and by the end of the day we were chill friends. But I remember realizing that being the popular one, the confident one has nothing to do with upper hand. It has to do with the way you approach it. So that was super memorable to know that and it still helps me now. That was my 8th grade year.
Q: Any summertime embarrassment story, maybe 4th of July or the beach?
Debby: Funny that you said 4th of July, actually. The 4th of July I went to Disneyland with my friend. We were like the last people there in the parking garage. I tripped up the down escalator, I’m so clumsy it’s tragic, and long story short, we tried to find… we ended up in three different emergency rooms. One of them I remember was just disgusting. I was bleeding from the knee. It was gashed open and my best friend faints at the sight of blood so she’s trying to help me and we have like a Kleenex and a sock in the car and we’re trying to find an emergency room. The best part, I’m laying there and they stitched it and we’re good to go, and my best friend comes in and she’s ghost white, and I look over and she’s hooked up to an IV. The best part was me sitting there with stitches doing better than my best friend who’s about to pass out.
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ELLE FANNING would make more sense if she’d walked into the lobby of the Sunset Tower Hotel with her face pointed toward her steel-capped boots, grim-mouthed and moping behind a flat sheet of blond hair. The characters she has recently played have had a tender, distinctly mid-’90s languidness that recall the combined agita of Jeffrey Eugenides’ Lisbon sisters and the tentative, bruising vulnerability of Angela Chase. Fanning is only 14 years old. Surely she’s experiencing some pubescent anguish.
But on the morning of our interview, Fanning makes her entrance as though she’s morning itself—cheery, optimistic, and with an airy lightness that reaches all corners of the room. She’s lithe and foal-limbed in a long rose floral dress that brushes the round tips of her sensible clogs. Her face is fresh-scrubbed, and possesses a luminous grin that seems almost physically impossible to invert. As she energetically shakes my hand, I find myself searching her clear eyes for some darkness or injury lingering deep inside, closer to her brain. But all I get is clarity and more clarity, the pure goodness of a person who so far has eluded the Bad Feelings brought on by the emotional shifts of adolescence.
Fanning plays the scarlet-haired titular character of her latest film, Sally Potter’s Ginger & Rosa, in which she amply and astoundingly holds her own against Annette Bening, Oliver Platt, and Christina Hendricks. Ginger, a teenager growing up in 1962 London, is so brimming with existential angst, fear of The Bomb, and quiet rage aimed at her parents that in the final explosive scene of the movie, it seems she might actually crack open from unarticulated sadness. Her father (Alessandro Nivola) is fun, but he is also selfish and smug. He has thinly-concealed love affairs, and demands that Ginger call him by his first name. His permissiveness forces Ginger’s mother (Hendricks) to be the bad cop. They fight; they separate. Meanwhile, Ginger’s dearest friend Rosa (Alice Englert)—a girl with whom she shares the type of sticky intimacy that rarely exists outside of teendom—is drifting out of their secret world of matching smocks and infectious giggles.
When Ginger begins to cry at the unbearable lurching caused by all that flux, there are tears, real fat splashers. There is a terrible moment of silence, then comes the flood—hiccupping, wailing, slurping, and heaving. And then another breath, inhaled like someone is choking her. For a second it looks like Fanning might vomit. “I was so nervous about that scene,” says Fanning, who smiles gamely and winds her long hair into a tube. “It’s a monster—12 pages or something crazy like that. In the rehearsals before we’d even started shooting, Christina and I were like, Oh, that scene! And after each day, we’d say, We’re getting closer… When the day finally came, I felt like I was genuinely going to explode, and on the first take I literally just blew up. Maybe it was a combination of the nerves and also listening to the scene play out. Each time we did it, we’d start from the beginning. We filmed it in two days and afterwards, I felt so fresh. It totally got everything out of my body.”
It shouldn’t come as a complete shock that Fanning was able to pull off such a textured depiction of heartache, especially if we subscribe to Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-Hour Rule that says the key to success is logging that much time focused on a specific task. Her resume is too long to list—she’s currently at 36 projects—which isn’t bad for a person who’s still two years away from her driver’s license.
At nearly 3 years of age, Fanning just so happened to be visiting the set of I Am Sam, in which her sister Dakota (four years Elle’s senior) played the daughter of Sean Penn’s character. The director, Jessie Nelson, needed a an actor to play a younger version of Dakota. “It was so random,” Fanning says. “They were like, ‘You look just like Dakota. Can you come and just swing on this swing with Sean Penn?’ And that was my first acting job.”
She has worked steadily since 2001, booking small but memorable parts in films like Babel, Reservation Road, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. There is a hilarious scene in 2004’s The Door in the Floor when a tiny, pajama-clad Fanning walks in on her mother (played by Kim Basinger) in a nude, animal-style embrace with her much younger lover. Fanning begins screaming bloody murder, only to be told by an out-of-breath Basinger that everything is all right, that what she’s just witnessed is an act of love and not violence. She turns off the screams like you’d yank shut a faucet and, satisfied with the explanation, says, “Okay,” then spins on her heel and exits.
Fanning’s breakout roles came in a cluster right around the age of 12,a threshold many child actors fail to cross: they hit puberty, they get bored, directors stop casting them. Best-case scenario, they launch careers as pop or hip-hop musicians. Yet in 2010, Fanning appeared in Sofia Coppola’sSomewhere, an elegant, sparse film that relied heavily on the young actor’s superb ability to silently and searchingly react to Stephen Dorff ’s character—her father, an aging, narcissistic actor living in the storied Chateau Marmont. Against the superficial environs of Los Angeles, the Chateau, and her father’s Peter Pan life, the humanity of Fanning’s character stood out. The script had just 40 pages of dialogue, but when Fanning crinkled her nose, or widened her eyes to stare glumly off into the middle distance, she was saying everything.
Photography by Pierre Debusschere
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As an actor and woman who, at times, avails herself of the media, I am painfully aware of the conversation about women’s bodies, and it frequently migrates to my own body. I know this, even though my personal practice is to ignore what is written about me. I do not, for example, read interviews I do with news outlets. I hold that it is none of my business what people think of me. I arrived at this belief after first, when I began working as an actor 18 years ago, reading everything. I evolved into selecting only the “good” pieces to read. Over time, I matured into the understanding that good and bad are equally fanciful interpretations. I do not want to give my power, my self-esteem, or my autonomy, to any person, place, or thing outside myself. I thus abstain from all media about myself. The only thing that matters is how I feel about myself, my personal integrity, and my relationship with my Creator. Of course, it’s wonderful to be held in esteem and fond regard by family, friends, and community, but a central part of my spiritual practice is letting go of otheration. And casting one’s lot with the public is dangerous and self-destructive, and I value myself too much to do that.
However, the recent speculation and accusations in March feel different, and my colleagues and friends encouraged me to know what was being said. Consequently, I choose to address it because the conversation was pointedly nasty, gendered, and misogynistic and embodies what all girls and women in our culture, to a greater or lesser degree, endure every day, in ways both outrageous and subtle. The assault on our body image, the hypersexualization of girls and women and subsequent degradation of our sexuality as we walk through the decades, and the general incessant objectification is what this conversation allegedly about my face is really about.
A brief analysis demonstrates that the following “conclusions” were all made on the exact same day, March 20, about the exact same woman (me), looking the exact same way, based on the exact same television appearance. The following examples are real, and come from a variety of (so-called!) legitimate news outlets (such as HuffPo, MSNBC, etc.), tabloid press, and social media:
One: When I am sick for more than a month and on medication (multiple rounds of steroids), the accusation is that because my face looks puffy, I have “clearly had work done,” with otherwise credible reporters with great bravo “identifying” precisely the procedures I allegedly have had done.
Two: When my skin is nearly flawless, and at age 43, I do not yet have visible wrinkles that can be seen on television, I have had “work done,” with media outlets bolstered by consulting with plastic surgeons I have never met who “conclude” what procedures I have “clearly” had. (Notice that this is a “back-handed compliment,” too—I look so good! It simply cannot possibly be real!)
Three: When my 2012 face looks different than it did when I filmed Double Jeopardy in 1998, I am accused of having “messed up” my face (polite language here, the F word is being used more often), with a passionate lament that “Ashley has lost her familiar beauty audiences loved her for.”
Four: When I have gained weight, going from my usual size two/four to a six/eight after a lazy six months of not exercising, and that weight gain shows in my face and arms, I am a “cow” and a “pig” and I “better watch out” because my husband “is looking for his second wife.” (Did you catch how this one engenders competition and fear between women? How it also suggests that my husband values me based only on my physical appearance? Classic sexism. We won’t even address how extraordinary it is that a size eight would be heckled as “fat.”)
Five: In perhaps the coup de grace, when I am acting in a dramatic scene inMissing—the plot stating I am emotionally distressed and have been awake and on the run for days—viewers remarks ranged from “What the f—k did she do to her face?” to cautionary gloating, “Ladies, look at the work!” Footage from “Missing” obviously dates prior to March, and the remarks about how I look while playing a character powerfully illustrate the contagious and vicious nature of the conversation. The accusations and lies, introduced to the public, now apply to me as a woman across space and time; to me as any woman and to me as every woman.
That women are joining in the ongoing disassembling of my appearance is salient. Patriarchy is not men. Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate. It privileges, inter alia, the interests of boys and men over the bodily integrity, autonomy, and dignity of girls and women. It is subtle, insidious, and never more dangerous than when women passionately deny that they themselves are engaging in it. This abnormal obsession with women’s faces and bodies has become so normal that we (I include myself at times—I absolutely fall for it still) have internalized patriarchy almost seamlessly. We are unable at times to identify ourselves as our own denigrating abusers, or as abusing other girls and women.
A case in point is that this conversation was initially promulgated largely by women; a sad and disturbing fact. (That they are professional friends of mine, and know my character and values, is an additional betrayal.)
News outlets with whom I do serious work, such as publishing op-eds about preventing HIV, empowering poor youth worldwide, and conflict mineral mining inDemocratic Republic of Congo, all ran this “story” without checking with my office first for verification, or offering me the dignity of the opportunity to comment. It’s an indictment of them that they would even consider the content printable, and that they, too, without using time-honored journalistic standards, would perpetuate with un-edifying delight such blatantly gendered, ageist, and mean-spirited content.
I hope the sharing of my thoughts can generate a new conversation: Why was a puffy face cause for such a conversation in the first place? How, and why, did people participate? If not in the conversation about me, in parallel ones about women in your sphere? What is the gloating about? What is the condemnation about? What is the self-righteous alleged “all knowing” stance of the media about? How does this symbolize constraints on girls and women, and encroach on our right to be simply as we are, at any given moment? How can we as individuals in our private lives make adjustments that support us in shedding unconscious actions, internalized beliefs, and fears about our worthiness, that perpetuate such meanness? What can we do as families, as groups of friends? Is what girls and women can do different from what boys and men can do? What does this have to do with how women are treated in the workplace?
I ask especially how we can leverage strong female-to-female alliances to confront and change that there is no winning here as women. It doesn’t actually matter if we are aging naturally, or resorting to surgical assistance. We experience brutal criticism. The dialogue is constructed so that our bodies are a source of speculation, ridicule, and invalidation, as if they belong to others—and in my case, to the actual public. (I am also aware that inevitably some will comment that because I am a creative person, I have abdicated my right to a distinction between my public and private selves, an additional, albeit related, track of highly distorted thinking that will have to be addressed at another time).
If this conversation about me is going to be had, I will do my part to insist that it is a feminist one, because it has been misogynistic from the start. Who makes the fantastic leap from being sick, or gaining some weight over the winter, to a conclusion of plastic surgery? Our culture, that’s who. The insanity has to stop, because as focused on me as it appears to have been, it is about all girls and women. In fact, it’s about boys and men, too, who are equally objectified and ridiculed, according to heteronormative definitions of masculinity that deny the full and dynamic range of their personhood. It affects each and every one of us, in multiple and nefarious ways: our self-image, how we show up in our relationships and at work, our sense of our worth, value, and potential as human beings. Join in—and help change—the Conversation.
When I first read this I thought it seemed absolutly terible and the fall of classic films. But maybe it could be a good thing. I’m still kind of torn on how I feel about this.
Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, two of the biggest filmmakers of all time, expect some massive upheaval in Hollywood as the division between TV and film content disappears. Spielberg even forecast that the film industry would “implode.”
Both see changes in the way movies are made, the way content is distributed and to the business itself, they said during a panel discussion at University of Southern California’s School for Cinematic Arts, where they are board members.
But Spielberg also said that it’s like 2008 in the business again, with the market bottomed and on the way up. There has never been more exciting potential, he added.
Spielberg and Lucas expect consumers to watch more content, including movies and TV shows, on giant screens at home, as the separation between TV and film content disappears and theatrical releases are limited to fewer, big-budget films.
"There’s going to be an implosion where three or four or maybe even a half-dozen mega-budgeted movies go crashing into the ground, and that’s going to change the paradigm again," Spielberg said.
Lucas predicted that the movie-going experience would become more of a luxury.
"You’re going to end up with fewer theaters, bigger theaters with a lot of nice things," he said. "Going to the movies will cost 50 bucks or 100 or 150 bucks—like what Broadway costs today, or a football game."
He forecast that the movies that do make it to theaters will stay for a year, similar to the run of a Broadway show.
The two joked that they barely got their films “Lincoln” or “Red Tails” into theaters. Spielberg ribbed his friend that more people saw “Lincoln” than saw Lucas’ “Red Tails” but admitted that it was a close call, adding that the presidential biopic almost ended up on Time Warner’s HBO.
In the future environment, neither of those films would have made it into theaters but would have been available instead on the big screen in people’s living rooms, in a new video-on-demand paradigm, they said.
In a building full of high-tech tools to help the next generation of filmmakers tell stories, Spielberg and Lucas had warnings for students.
First, technology should never be in the driver’s seat, because the narrative is always the most important thing, they said.
"There is going to be a day when the experience is going to be the price of admission," Spielberg said. "What I fear about that day coming is that the experience will trump the story or the ability to compel people through a narrative. And it’s going to be more of a ride, a theme park, than it is going to be a story, and that’s what I hope doesn’t happen."
He doesn’t want movies and TV to become too interactive. The best movie experiences are ones “where we lose control, and the movie and the images and the excitement is washing over us,” Spielberg said.
But he seemed optimistic about entertainment’s potential to be immersive. “We will be literally inside the experience, so the imagery will envelop us,” he said. “You won’t even sense you are in a chair. … You’ll totally be … enrapt and drowning in images, and that is going to happen someday.”
Both passed the buck on another Indiana Jones movie. Spielberg said Lucas is the boss and that Indy’s future lies with him.
"I’m happy to direct for George," he said. "If George decides to make another one, I’ll be happy to shoot it."
Lucas countered that he didn’t hold the power, saying that Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy will make the call.
"I’m just a lowly writer. I mean, I won’t even be a writer—I’m just the guy that comes up with the story," he said. "And I’ve been working on a story. You know the issue is that now it’s owned by Disney and Paramount, and I don’t know how they’re going to work that out.”
—By CNBC’s Julia Boorstin. Follow her on Twitter:
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17: Did acting help you discover more about yourself?
DR: More than anything, acting helped me discover who I’m not. I’ve learned that I’m a girly girl, but not a prissy girl. When you play a character, you learn the inner workings of someone’s heart. I’ve learned something about myself through every character I’ve played!
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You don’t make movies for your ego. You make movies to transfer information, to bring joy, to add value to the world.
Source: The Huffington Post
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