Antoine Doinel wrote:Thanks very much for the fascinating info AWA. Always a pleasure to read your posts on Woody!
Hey, I'm just glad someone's reading!
Antoine Doinel wrote:As for the Pinto and MediaPro situation, I guess we'll never know for sure, but perhaps Allen's bigger budget is allowing the producers to have a bit more influence in key decisions than Allen or his fans are used to. Let's just hope Pinto is up to the task because frankly, aside from being attractive, her performance in Slumdog Millionaire is hardly earth shaking.
If that is the case, that really is unfortunate as it would mean Woody has opted for the extra budget funds he needs and finally admitted that such sacrifices are necessary for him to continue to make films the way he does. He left American funding behind for this sole reason, so for him to make such a concession with the European funding is not only a dark cloud day for Woody but also for any other working or aspiring independent filmmakers who aspire to modest ambitions on similarly modest professional budgets. What you're capable to pay for on $10-$15 million seems to be increasingly less and less ... the gap between the small budget indies that don't get a lot of attention and the bigger budget productions which do seems to be getting increasingly wider. Which is one reason I hope this is just some misinformation.
I agree too about the doubts with Pinto's performance capabilities... her role in Slumdog was exceptionally shallow as the basis for love with the main character was that she looked pretty and they shared shelter together when they were children. For all the depth of the character that script gave her she might as well have been a CGI creation for all the character acting she needed to do in that film. Supposedly she is playing the "ingenue role" in the film, which should at least play into any weaknesses she may have as an actress.
knives wrote:Very interesting about the music. Considering Woody's casting process I doubt Pinto is a stunt and if that number is right then maybe the studio has more faith in the picture with her in it.
That's partially what worries me. Woody's casting process is based on him seeing your ability in other films (or occasionally theatre) and making a quick judgment while meeting them in person briefly (which is usually around 5 minutes in length). Woody's casting process is so simplistic that it wouldn't put her in any kind of situation to pass or fail, really - usually small time actors that do get hired are on the basis of some strength in previous peformances (however small) and the professional big-names Woody gets are based on their abilities being quite clear to begin with and their desire to challenge themselves and prove to others they are capable of succeeding in a challenging character-based, dialogue heavy role, which only enhances their value afterwards.
Pinto was a model, whose motion "acting" capability was limited to walking and smiling... or walking and look sexy-moody. Or being able to walk in goofy clothing or whatever. Which, arguably, is all she did in Slumdog anyways with that puddle of a character.
She actually took acting lessons after completing Slumdog, worse yet - theatre acting lessons... which of course is a very different method/process than film acting. If you want to ruin your little indie production, cast some of your local theatre actors to see an exaggerated form of the differences.
Considering the timing of the hiring seems to be that Slumdog's Oscar hype was the only reason Woody's team expressed interest in her, I also doubt Woody saw enough of her in Slumdog to really make that his main motivation, if it was in fact Woody motivating this decision at all and not MediaPro representatives.
I was really eager to see what would become of the MediaPro 3-film deal - and I thought that at least half that increased budget would free up Woody to fill his films with whatever music he so desired again and the remainder on anything interesting he wanted (***especially*** re-shoots, which he has not had the budget to do in the past decade or so that was an essential part of his editing process in his career prior to the financial squeeze). Everything had me excited - the cast, the fact that he could shoot anywhere he wanted, the fact he confirmed he would indeed be able to do his Paris project again... but this news about Pinto, with or without the $3mill payday info, is tainting this deal and has me concerned that a potentially perfect scenario for Woody to get focused on making some great material is going to instead produce films handicapped by flavour of the month acting talents like Pinto whose abilities to carry a role in a Woody film are in doubt. I certainly don't hope the reviews for this London project aren't talking about how great the film is until Pinto comes on the screen to make a populace-appealing cameo that sinks the film.
EDIT NOTE: It is also worth pointing out here that this is the first Woody film since Sleeper in 1973 to ***not*** have Juliet Taylor involved in Casting. I'm not sure why at this point, but that might also be indicative of some casting clauses in this 3-film deal with MediaPro. Or maybe Juliet has gone the way of the remaining Woody regulars who survived Jean Doumanian's late 90's purge and just simply retired due to their age (?).
The Casting Director for this London project is Gail Stevens... who, oddly enough, was the Casting Director for Slumdog Millionaire. Which is no doubt where at least some of the input on Pinto's abilities are coming from.
Jack Rollins (the other half of the Rollins-Charles Joffe producer team that guided Woody from the standup circuit to cinema) also looks to be officially retired now, his last picture being VCB, so perhaps that is also another factor - different representation (seemingly more and more his sister Letty these days) waging a different type of war on Woody's behalf is resulting in different results.