Happy birthday to me! Mark Tapio Kines turns 29 years old today. April 26 usually gets a bad rap, and who can blame it? This day marks the anniversary of the death of Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth, the Chernobyl disaster, the bombing of Guernica (which inspired Picasso's famous painting), and the marriage of Arnold Schwarzenegger. But let's pay tribute… read more!
While making my first feature Foreign Correspondents, I received lots of outrageous and inane suggestions from people who thought that the film needed improvement. I shouldn't dismiss all of these comments as stupid, necessarily, but they were all useless and/or inappropriate for this particular project. It does at least go to show you that a great many "experts" in Hollywood… read more!
Just before Oscar time - and just before the big glut of 1999 films starts pouring out - I thought I'd sneak in under the wire with my own annoying list of movies that I think you should watch. Please note that, although I'm calling these the nine best movies of 1998, they are really just nine films that I… read more!
Since half of my film Foreign Correspondents is about living in the city of Los Angeles, what better way to kick off the new year - soaking up the warm sunshine and blue skies while the rest of America freezes - with some myth-debunking truths about life in the City of Angels. And please, I'm not offering these up for… read more!
So you still haven't been talked out of making your own film, eh? Well, good for you. But don't go into such an endeavor unarmed. Naivety is lovely, but it's important to get an idea of what other directors have gone through, whether it's a fictional or a factual account. Here are some films that will give you a good… read more!
Here are a few little factoids about my film Foreign Correspondents that you may find interesting. Andy Tennant, who recently directed ForCor star Melanie Lynskey in Ever After, was also one of the main directors of ForCor star Corin Nemec's old TV series Parker Lewis Can't Lose. Corin's real name is Joseph Charles Nemec IV. His father, Joseph Charles Nemec… read more!
Almost every rational person understands that there is a lot of fakery in filmmaking: that's not blood, it's corn syrup; Tom Cruise isn't driving that car into a wall, a stuntman is. Still, there are certain little behind-the-scenes secrets that a lot of people don't know, or never picked up on. Movie stills are NOT actual footage from the movie.… read more!
This list assumes that you have already decided on the story you wish to write. Congratulations! For many, that's the hardest part. But between the time you first type "FADE IN" and the time you start showing your script to big Hollywood executives, I have a few important suggestions for you, in definite chronological order. Don't tell anyone your story… read more!
Here's a quick list of films that I personally happened to like, despite poor critical and/or public response, and I still recommend them for certain reasons (and certain moods). Casino (Martin Scorsese, 1995). Mostly dismissed by critics upon its release as being a poor copy of Scorsese's earlier Goodfellas, I contend that the world of Casino is much better suited… read more!
In honor of the date - 9/9 - this special List of 9 includes 9 other titles that were, for one reason or another, thought of besides Foreign Correspondents for my debut feature film. The first 5 were titles I once gave serious consideration to; the last 4 are funny (and completely true) variants on the actual title, the result… read more!
Although he wrote a song about it, David Bowie never committed rock & roll suicide. But many famous musicians did check out this decade, all by their own hand. It's a distressing signal to be seeing so many of them: before the '90s, rock's only noteworthy suicides were Joy Division's Ian Curtis (in 1980) and the Sex Pistols' Sid Vicious… read more!
Whether or not you accept this as an actual genre, I greatly enjoy every one of these strange and often disturbing little movies, and recommend them to all. The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1961). Based on Henry James' Turn of the Screw, this film stars Deborah Kerr as a Victorian-era governess whose young wards may or may not be possessed by… read more!
May 17 is Norwegian Constitution Day, the biggest national holiday in Norway. In celebration, I thought I would pay tribute to nine Norwegians who have left their respective marks in world history and culture. This list isn't as random as it may seem – one of the main characters in Foreign Correspondents is Norwegian, and in fact a good deal… read more!
April 28 marks the one-year anniversary of my Foreign Correspondents producer Julia Stemock sitting down with me and saying, "I will produce your film." It's also the one-year anniversary of the film's budget going sky-high. In the 365 days since then, we all went through the joys and terrors of casting, hiring, begging for money, filming, editing, and begging for… read more!
Some positions on film crews have funny titles - so funny that their obscurity has become a running gag among casual filmgoers. Everybody has heard the terms "best boy" and "gaffer", yet few people know what they do. Well, I'm here to set you straight. Please note that each position's definition varies a good deal, depending on the individual as… read more!
In honor of these two recently Oscar-nominated English actresses, I thought I'd take a little time out from talking about my movie Foreign Correspondents to have some fun with the List of 9. Both actresses made their big screen debuts as historical characters. (KW as Juliet Hulme in Heavenly Creatures, HBC as Lady Jane Grey in Lady Jane) Both have… read more!
It's been both blessing and curse that my first feature Foreign Correspondents consists of two separate stories. Many people got involved in the film because of its unusual structure; others shied away, fearing that it wasn't "commercially viable" enough. Actually, it's no better or worse than a single-story movie. It's just different. Still, it isn't the first of its kind.… read more!