During the Late Cretaceous period 70 million years ago, the Alexornis bird Alex narrates about three Pachyrhinosaurus named Patchi, Scowler, and Juniper who grow from infants into adulthood. Alex has a symbiotic relationship with Pachyrhinosaurus. Patchi leads the herd in migrating, and they also encounter the predator Gorgon the Gorgosaurus.
Walking with Dinosaurs is based on the 1999 BBC miniseries of the same name. It is directed by Neil Nightingale and Barry Cook. The film is produced by BBC Earth, an arm of BBC Worldwide that was launched in 2009. BBC Earth’s managing director Amanda Hill and creative director Neil Nightingale sought to produce film adaptations to extend the arm’s brand of nature programming. They were inspired by returns for Deep Blue (2003) and Earth (2007), both theatrical versions cut from their respective nature documentary series.
In June 2010, BBC Earth entered a deal with Evergreen Films, based in the United States, to produce a film featuring dinosaurs. By the following November, BBC Earth entered a deal with Reliance Big Entertainment to finance the production of three films, including Walking with Dinosaurs. Production of the film was anticipated to cost $65 million, and the deal initially attached Pierre de Lespinois of Evergreen Films and Neil Nightingale of BBC Earth to co-direct the film. Variety reported, “Nightingale describes the project as ‘mainstream entertainment’ rather than natural history… but draws accurately on the latest discoveries in paleontology.”
The film features computer-animated creatures in live-action settings. Production began in 2011 in the U.S. state of Alaska, where Evergreen Films is headquartered. The film’s dinosaurs lived in Alaska during the Late Cretaceous period approximately 70 million years ago, though they lived more in the northern part of the state due to the climate at the time. Filmmakers considered Southeast Alaska’s rainforests below the Arctic Circle close to the climate that the dinosaurs experienced, so they filmed there and in Southcentral Alaska. Specific locations included Crow Creek Mine near Girdwood, Alaska and the Kenai Peninsula. In 2012, the state government of Alaska awarded the production companies a subsidy of $1.7 million. Additional filming took place on an island off New Zealand.
The production incorporated animation work from the company Animal Logic, who is collaborating with animation producer Jinko Gotoh. The 3D effects were achieved with the use of the Fusion 3D system, which was used for Avatar (2009), Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), and live 3D sports broadcasts. In January 2013, Variety reported that Charlie Rowe was cast “in the lead role” for the film.
Walking with Dinosaurs
Directed by: Neil Nightingale, Barry Cook
Starring: Charlie Rowe, Angourie Rice
Screenplay by: John Collee, Theodore Thomas
Cinematography by: John Brooks
Film Editing by: John Carnochan
Art Direction by: Ken Turner, Simon Whiteley
MPAA Rating: PG for creature action and peril, and mild rude humor.
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: December 20, 2013
Taglines: Behind the headlines, beyond the spotlight, lies the real story.
The sequel to Never Say Never continues to focus on Bieber’s rise to international fame as he embarks on his Believe Tour. The film features interviews by his mother Pattie Mallette, his mentor Usher Raymond IV, his manager Scooter Braun as well as others.
Rumors of a sequel to Never Say Never began surfacing the media around May 2012, when Bieber himself hinted a possible sequel for some time. It wasn’t until January 2013 when the project was confirmed by Bieber himself tweeting about it. Concert footage was filmed during Justin’s Believe Tour on January 26–27, 2013 at Miami’s American Airlines Arena. Two months later, in March 2013, a $15 million budget was appointed for the production of the sequel.
On October 11, 2013, it was confirmed that Jon M. Chu reprised his role as director for the biopic and will be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival later in the month. Meanwhile, Justin Bieber released a teaser trailer on his kidrauhl YouTube channel for the sequel to Never Say Never with the tagline “There’s more to his story” and the hashtag “BelieveMovie” confirming the sequel title as “Believe”, to be released on Christmas day in 3D. The official trailer was released on Yahoo! Movies on November 15, 2013.
Justin Bieber’s Believe
Directed by: Jon M. Chu
Starring: Justin Bieber, Scooter Braun, Ryan Good, Usher Raymond, Pattie Mallette
Screenplay by: Sarah Landman
Production Design by: Tom E. Marzullo
Film Editing by: Jillian Twigger Moul, Avi Youabian
Music by: Nathan Lanier
MPAA Rating: PG for brief language and mild thematic material.
Studio: Open Road Films
Release Date: December 27, 2013
An intimate all-access look at life on the road for the global music phenomenon. Weaved with stunning live concert footage, this inspiring feature film tells the remarkable story of Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry and Louis’ meteoric rise to fame, from their humble hometown beginnings and competing on the X-Factor, to conquering the world and performing at London’s famed O2 Arena. Hear it from the boys themselves and see through their own eyes what it’s really like to be One Direction.
One Direction – Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson – were discovered by Simon Cowell on the U.K.’s “The X Factor” in 2010. The band quickly gained a following to become one of the competition’s all-time most popular acts, finishing in the final three and garnering a gigantic and loyal fanbase along the way. In March 2012, One Direction’s debut album, “Up All Night,” made U.S. history, as it was the first time a U.K. group’s debut album entered the U.S. Billboard 200 chart at No. 1. The band has sold over 13 million records worldwide. In November 2012, One Direction released their sophomore album, “Take Me Home,” which includes the hit “Live While We’re Young.”
About the Production
Global superstars, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson introduce to you their big screen debut: ONE DIRECTION: THIS IS US. More than just a filmed concert and tour documentary, this is a chance to get up close and personal with the world’s biggest band. Filmed while the guys were taking their world tour to arenas around the globe — from Mexico to Japan to London’s famed O2 arena — the movie mixes high-energy performance footage, candid interviews, and behind the scenes footage to offer a one-of-a-kind perspective into the talent, hard work and mischief that goes into being One Direction. It’s a remarkable story of humble origins, an unprecedented rise to fame and a fan-driven phenomenon that enabled One Direction to conquer the world.
From the Beginning
In the summer of 2010, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, and Louis Tomlinson entered Britain’s biggest talent show “The X Factor,” as talented individual artists. At the boot camp stage of the competition X Factor judge Simon Cowell offered the guys the opportunity to stay in the competition as a group.
“I saw five solo artists who were five solo stars, but would be stronger in a group, it was that simple,” says Cowell, a producer on ONE DIRECTION: THIS IS US. “I liked each of them individually, and something made me think they would work really well as a group.”
Calling themselves One Direction, they were immediate sensations. A group of talented and cheeky guys who immediately captured a nation of young girls. They didn’t look or sound pre-packaged, they just exuded talent, friendship and charisma both on and off stage.
Says Cowell, “Right from the get-go, if I’d be honest … I was very much of the attitude, ‘I’m not gonna tell you what to do. You can probably tell me what to do,’ you know? ‘You’ve got to sort it out for yourself, ‘cause I think you’re smart enough.’ And that’s always been the way it’s worked with these boys. I had this just amazing confidence in them.”
Fans responded in their thousands, flooding social media, waiting for hours outside TV studios, and voting the boys through each round of the competition through to the grand final. Though they came in third overall on the show – narrowly missing the record deal awarded the first prize winner – the boys knew instinctively that this was not the last the world would see of One Direction.
That instinct to stay together instantly paid off. The band signed to their “X Factor” mentor Cowell’s record label, Syco Records and quickly got to work recording their debut album whilst performing across the UK and Ireland on the X Factor Live Tour. A book chronicling their experience on the road – Forever Young – went straight to number 1 on The Times Best Seller List. The album, meanwhile, was coming together with a stellar team of writers and producers, from Steve Mac (Westlife, Leona Lewis) to Rami Yacoub (Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys) and Red One (Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez).
The band’s debut album, Up All Night, released in October 2011, was an instant smash; a feat forecast by the fact that their first single, What Makes You Beautiful, had already become the biggest single pre-order in Sony Music’s history. In the United States, the boys sought North American success with a string of appearances and performances that not only turned What Makes You Beautiful into an iTunes hit, but led Up All Night to a feat never before achieved by a British band: entering the Billboard chart at number one with their debut record. With three MTV Video Music Awards, a Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award (for Favorite UK artist), and three MTV Europe Music Awards (including Best New Act and Best UK & Ireland Act), it truly seemed there was no stopping their rise to the top.
The band’s sophomore album, Take Me Home turned 2012 into a banner year for the boys, hitting the top of pre-order charts in 50 countries. The album’s first single, Live While We’re Young, went straight to No. 1. All in all, Take Me Home topped the charts in 37 countries. The Take Me Home tour, which continued into 2013, was a global sellout, taking Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry, and Louis to Europe, North America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.
In July, they released Best Song Ever, a track written specifically for the film. The fun and cheeky video for the song (Directed by Ben Winston) broke records on VEVO with 12.4 million views in one day, making it the most viewed debut video ever on the platform.
Cowell says, “What I’ve loved about working with the boys is that they haven’t taken anything for granted, and they still appreciate and still are in awe of what’s going on. They’ve survived, and they’ll continue to survive because first of all, they’re smart, and secondly they understand their audience and respect their fans. They’ve matured really, really quickly.”
During the tour, though, the notion of a film came together, giving the boys a chance to conquer an entirely different medium.
Making the Movie
When Morgan Spurlock was approached to make a movie about One Direction, he jumped at the chance. “One of the things I’ve always tried to do from the very beginning of my career is create very popular documentaries,” says the Super Size Me director. “And I think that this film, coming off the work I’ve done in the past is the next step. Making something that’s successful to a large audience that tells a great story, that is really intimate and gets you into their lives, but at the same time, is also really entertaining and engaging, with great music.”
Naturally, meeting Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry and Louis was important. Spurlock found the boys completely charming but also level-headed about the phenomenon they were in the middle of experiencing. Notes Spurlock, “They’re very fun. I think they’re incredibly grounded considering the amount of crazy that’s surrounding their lives on a daily basis. And I think that was one of the things that I really liked about them.”
It’s not enough, says Spurlock, that they’re “five good looking guys that get put together in a band. That happens all the time. But the fact that, you know, they actually had the talent and the ability and the drive to kind of push it as far as they have, and continue to do, is remarkable.”
Spurlock filmed in various locales for almost six months, including the band’s performance in Mexico City in early June, 2013. The crew number ranged anywhere from Spurlock alone holding a camera without even an audio person, to fully coordinated concert set-ups involving, says the director, “an army of people.” Filming the band’s O2 performances alone were massive undertakings for someone used to the run-and-gun nature of most documentaries. Says Spurlock, “Probably about, I don’t know, 250 people were working on the concert when we shot at the O2, it was massive.”
As for the behind-the-scenes footage, which runs the gamut from backstage mischief before the show to touching hometown scenes, like Harry working at the family bakery, those moments alone amounted to 500 hours of material. Editing it down was challenging, but the band were instrumental in helping Spurlock and the editors pick the most choice moments. Says Spurlock, “They’ve given really insightful feedback about things that are very personal to them … to things that they remembered that we shot that we have forgotten about, and to remind us to dig and find. It was like, ‘Oh my gosh, you’re right, that was a great moment.’”
For producer Cowell, Spurlock was the ideal choice as director because he was never going to stage scenes or manufacture magic. “Morgan is somebody who likes to kind of eavesdrop,” says Cowell. “He wants to pick stuff up without people realizing that they’re being filmed and that’s his skill and he’s very patient. It’s not about set pieces or ‘Do this for the camera.’ He’s just put the cameras in all these different places and he’s just filmed what it’s like being in this group. It’s fascinating.”
What ultimately emerged from the editing process was the sense that moviegoers were going to get a special peek into the members’ lives. Adds Spurlock, “You feel like you really do get to become a part of this journey and these boys and this band.” It could even generate new fans, he suggests. “I think every One Direction fan should take someone who isn’t a One Direction fan, because I think when people see the movie, they’ll see a different side to these boys that they probably didn’t think existed or they didn’t think they would enjoy. And I bet they’ll convert a lot more fans than they think they will.”
As for the decision to film the 02 concerts in 3D, Cowell says it’s “unbelievable. The 3D is sensational. It actually makes the concert like being there. It’s really clever.”
None of ONE DIRECTION: THIS IS US would have happened, however, if the boys hadn’t put their faith in the project, and from the get-go, they all believed in what could be achieved.
“There’s a tremendous amount of trust you have to have, between you and the subjects that are in the film,” says Spurlock. “It takes time. It takes conversations. You have to spend time with one another to talk, feel comfortable, and know that this person is there to tell an honest story about you, and tell a story that you ultimately want to be told. And, you know, I give them credit. I mean, they were really open and honest with us about their lives, their fears, about the things that were going on with them, and kind of letting us come into their world. It’s a big undertaking, and it takes a lot of courage, and they were fantastic about it.”
In the end, says the director, the boys in One Direction understood that this was an opportunity to document a special time in their lives. “They realize this movie is a time capsule,” notes Spurlock. “They already know how special it is, and to be able to have something like this where you can really show – whether it be your family down the road, your kids down the road, something you just want to keep for yourself – that really does capture the essence of this moment in its purest form.” Adds Spurlock, “I think they’ll treasure this whole experience.”
And is he now a fan?
“Listen, I’ve seen thirty-plus One Direction concerts at this point,” says Spurlock. “I am like a hardcore Directioner now!”
One Direction: This Is Us
Directed by: Morgan Spurlock
Starring: Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Jon Shone, Dan Richards, Sandy Beales, Josh Devine
Cinematography by: Neil Harvey
Film Editing by: Marrian Cho, Guy Harding, Cori McKenna, Wyatt Smith, Pierre Takal
Music by: Simon Franglen
MPAA Rating: PG for mild language.
Studio: Sony Pictures
Release Date: August 30, 2013
‘The Trials of Muhammad Ali’ covers Ali’s toughest bout: his battle to overturn a five-year prison sentence for refusing US military service in Vietnam. Prior to becoming the most recognizable face on earth, Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali and found himself in the crosshairs of conflicts concerning race, religion, and wartime dissent. ‘Trials’ zeroes in on the most controversial years of Ali’s life, when an emerging sports superhero chooses faith and conscience over fame and fortune.
To this day, Muhammad Ali is an international icon, the subject of books, feature films (including one he starred in as himself) and documentaries. The latest “The Trials of Muhammad Ali,” deals specifically with the time he spent fighting his conviction on draft evasion in 1967. During that time, he was stripped of his boxing license and unable to fight.
Instead, he made his living as a speaker, supporting his growing family with then wife Khalilah Comacho-Ali by traveling and talking openly about his resistance to the Vietnam War, racism and his conversion to the Nation of Islam. He fought his draft evasion case all the way to the Supreme Court, ultimately winning, but not without collateral damage to his career and his reputation.
“When I heard [director Bill Siegel] was doing it, I was very honored because he contacted me,” Camacho-Ali says. “I was there. Other times when they do a lot of things on Ali [when] I was there, I knew exactly what was happening, nobody asks me anything. Even when they did the “Ali’ movie, nobody asked me. I felt like Moses, like I was written out of the tablets or something.”
In “The Trials of Muhammad Ali,” people like Camacho-Ali and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan are interviewed, people who haven’t shown up in other documentaries. Tom Joyner, a lifelong fan of Ali’s who hung around the Champ’s camp as a teenager and has watched all the Ali docs, says that even he learned something from this latest project on Ali’s extraordinary life.
This new doc may not be the last look at Ali. Camacho-Ali, known as Belinda Ali when she was married, had four children with the champ before divorcing him after the “Thrilla In Manila.” Ali brought Veronica Porsche, who would become his third wife (and Laila Ali’s mother) along to the Philippines, publicly humiliating Comacho-Ali , who was memorably played in the movie “Ali” by Nona Gaye.
The Trials of Muhammad Ali
Directed by: Bill Siegel
Starring: Muhammad Ali
Film Editing by: Aaron Wickenden
Music by: Joshua Abrams
MPAA Rating: None.
Studio: Kartemquin Films
Release Date: August 23, 2013
The reinvention of Verdi’s masterpiece, La Traviata, as sung by world-famous French coloratura soprano Natalie Dessay, is the subject of Philippe Béziat’s thrilling new movie. A modern, minimalist, post-punk approach strips away the opulence and grandiosity associated with operatic productions. Concentrating on director Jean-François Sivadier’s working relationship with Dessay, the film reveals how two great creative minds build the story of a doomed love affair.
The stars rehearse in what look like yoga outfits, on a bare stage, with minimal props. The final production, set against a backdrop of sky and clouds, punctuated by a single chandelier, features Violetta and Alfredo (a darkly gorgeous Charles Castronovo) as the very essence of hipster-chic. Their passion, however, is for the ages. With music performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Louis Langrée.
Directed by: Philippe Béziat
Starring: Charles Castronovo, Natalie Dessay, Louis Langrée, Matthew Polenzani, Jean-François Sivadier
Cinematography by: Raphaël O’Byrne
Film Editing by: Cyril Leuthy
MPAA Rating: None.
Studio: Distrib Films
Release Date: May 24, 2013
We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks is an American independent documentary film about the organization started by Julian Assange, and people involved in the collection and distribution of secret information and media by whistleblowers. It covers a period of several decades, and includes considerable background material.
Filmed with the startling immediacy of unfolding history, Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney’s We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks details the creation of Julian Assange’s controversial website, which facilitated the largest security breach in U.S. history. Hailed by some as a free-speech hero and by others as a traitor and terrorist, the enigmatic Assange’s rise and fall are paralleled with that of Pfc.
Bradley Manning, the brilliant, troubled young soldier who downloaded hundreds of thousands of documents from classified U.S. military and diplomatic servers, revealing the behind-the-scenes workings of the government’s international diplomacy and military strategy.
In seeking to expose abuse in the corridors of power, Assange and Manning were undermined by forces within and without, as well as by their own human failings. We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks is a riveting, multi-layered tale about transparency in the information age and our ever-elusive search for the truth.
The Story of Wikileaks
Directed by: Alex Gibney
Starring: Julian Assange, Adrian Lamo, Chelsea Manning, Heather Brooke, Robert Manne, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, Birgitta Jónsdóttir
Cinematography by: Maryse Alberti
Film Editing by: Andy Grieve
Music by: Will Bates
MPAA Rating: R for some disturbing violent images, language and sexual material.
Studio: Focus World
Release Date: May 24, 2013
Charged with overseeing Israel’s war on terror-both Palestinian and Jewish- the head of the Shin Bet, Israel’s secret service is present at the crossroad of every decision made. For the first time ever six former heads of the agency agreed to share their insights and reflect publicly on their actions and decisions. The Gatekeepers offers an exclusive account of the sum of their success and failures. It validates the reasons that each man individually and the six as a group came to reconsider their hard-line positions and advocate a conciliatory approach toward their enemies based on a two-state solution.
In The Gatekeepers, I go to the heads of the Shin Bet, the people with the power to shape history from behind the scenes. Living in the shadows, they have never spoken about their work in front of a camera before.
The idea to do this movie came to me while I was working on my previous film, Sharon. From my discussions with the prime minister’s innermost circle of advisors, I learned how the critique of some of these Gatekeepers influenced Sharon’s decision to disengage from Gaza.
I went to each of the Gatekeepers and asked them to tell me their life stories. I wanted them to share their unique perspective on the Arab-Israeli conflict. I was startled, but also thrilled, when they agreed. This gave me an unprecedented, intimate opportunity to enter the inner sanctum of the people who have steered Israel’s decision-making process for almost half a century.
The Gatekeepers were generous with their time and information. Some were better storytellers than others, but they each had a story to tell in their own distinct voices. They were there at all the most important junctions in the history of the State of Israel since the Six Day War.
Day after day, while interviewing them, I found myself staring in disbelief at these anonymous soldiers. Their stories and testimonies were often overwhelming. I couldn’t help but ask asking myself how far I would have gone if confronted with the same life-or-death dilemmas that they dealt with on a day-to-day basis. I still do.
No one understands the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians better than these six men. When they speak, leaders listen. Perhaps the time has come for the Gatekeepers to address the people at large, and not just the inner circles of decision-makers. I hope this film initiates that dialogue. — Dror Moreh
Directed by: Dror Moreh
Starring: Ami Ayalon, Avi Dichter, Yuval Diskin, Carmi Gillon, Yaakov Peri, Avraham Shalom
Production Design by: Doron Koren
Cinematography by: Avner Shahaf
Film Editing by: Oron Adar
Art Direction by: Doron Koren
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violent content including disturbing images.
Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
Release Date: February 1, 2013