From what we've learned, it seems unlikely that James McAvoy won't be back as Xavier (aka Professor X) in X-Men: Apocalypse. So far, Bryan Singer is confirmed to direct this 2016 sequel, jumping into work directly after completing X-Men: Days of Future Past. We've also been told (by outside sources) that the movie will take place in the 1970s, and that it will focus on the X-Men: First Class cast of characters. Noted, none of this has been confirmed directly by the studio.
Could 20th Century Fox have something else in mind?
Last night, James McAvoy confirmed that he is under contract to reprise his Professor X role for a third and final time after X-Men: Days of Future Past. Although it isn't known if that will be in X-Men: Apocalypse. When asked about the recently-announced sequel, the actor reveals he just now heard about it.
"Yeah, I only heard about that this morning."
He said nothing further about this 2016 sequel, only noting his contract obligations. He did go onto discuss X-Men: Days of Future Past. The actor reveals that this impending follow-up, which will be in theaters this summer, is the biggest franchise entry yet.
"It's the biggest X-Men film yet, without a doubt. It's a journey into darkness."
"The personal pleasure for me in First Class was in presenting a Charles Xavier to the fans - but also a new audience - who's very different from the Charles that you expected ... In the second movie, I get to present another version of Charles Xavier who's still very different from the Charles that used to exist, but he's also remarkably different from the Charles in First Class as well. So what's great is that, even though it's a sequel, even though it's a franchise, I keep getting to reinvent Charles Xavier, and that's amazing. I've got to do it twice now because the Charles in this film is unrecognizable from the Charles in the last film as well as unrecognizable from the Charles played by Patrick Stewart, who I then get to face up to. That's sort of theatrical almost, it's like we're playing a game with the audience saying, 'Look at the many faces of Charles-Patrick-Stewart-Xavier-McAvoy. It's really good fun."
One of the most interesting moments from the trailer released in October was the future Xavier (Patrick Stewart) actually interacting with James McAvoy's younger version of the character. James McAvoy's Xavier is in a very dark and disturbing place in X-Men: Days of Future Past, after being confined to a wheelchair and cutting ties with Michael Fassbender's Magneto and Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique. After seeing that important moment in the trailer, it will be interesting to see if the future Xavier can bring his younger self out of the darkness in X-Men: Days of Future Past.
While all signs point to James McAvoy headlining X-Men: Apocalypse, Fox announced last week that Simon Kinberg has signed a three-year deal to help guide and expand their own Marvel cinematic universe, with stories that span multiple films across both the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises. Some fans have argued that the X-Men: Apocalypse in the comics doesn't line-up with what they are planning for the big screen in terms of their timeline (though, as the Apocalypse storyline and Days of Future Past both contain elements of time travel, this is probably easy to merge into one cohesive story).
With many X-Men movies in the works, could what we've heard about X-Men: Apocalypse featuring the X-Men: First Class and taking place in the 1970s be wrong? Its entirely possible that X-Men: First Class cast will star in an entirely different movie.
Maybe Bryan Singer can jump on Twitter and clear this up?
The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) organizers dished out over $25,000 to the winners of a series of prizes for projects participating in its Dubai Film Connection (DFC), a co-production market that pairs projects by regional film professionals with international producing and funding bodies.
The awards of over $115,000 represent three Dubai International Film Festival awards of $25,000, as well as cash prizes from international organizations including French government body Centre National du Cinema et de l’Image Anime, AFTE, and the New Century filmmaker award of $10,000 for a filmmaker who aspires to usher in a new and unconventional cinematic vision in the Arab world.
That prize went to a project named Bastard from Uda Benyanima.
DIFF awards of $25,000 went to Leyla Bouzid's God Protect My Daughter, Ahmed Ibrahim's Kharouf and The Forgotten from Ghada Terawi.
DIFF managing director Shivani Pandya said: "Since the DFC’s inception in 2007, 35 projects have been completed and a further five in various stages of production -- an excellent ratio for any project market, but even more so in an emerging film market where the industry is not mature. We recognized elements that were lacking in our regional industry and designed the DFC to unleash the potential of Arab cinema."
The cash prizes at the DFC aim to give the chosen projects a shot in the arm for production.
This article first appeared on Billboard.com.
Film studios are providing a rare fourth quarter in which honest-to-god musical history is explored in fact-based scripted films. Saving Mr. Banks, the story of how Walt Disney turned the Mary Poppins stories into a musical with Richard and Robert Sherman, and Inside Llewyn Davis, a fictional ramble through Greenwich Village's pre-Bob Dylan folk scene, are both stellar examples of creative storytelling driven by existing songs. A less obvious member of this new wave is 12 Years a Slave. The film's soundtrack, which hit stores Nov. 11, features fiddle-driven Americana instrumentals mingling with new songs from John Legend, Alicia Keys, Gary Clark Jr., Alabama Shakes and others inspired by the film.
12 Years a Slave is the true story of Solomon Northup, a free-born fiddler from Saratoga, N.Y., who is kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841. The violin evolves from family provider to sanctuary to object of torment as the film progresses; waltzes and Virginia reels butt up against spirituals and work songs. Nicholas Britell, through composing and arranging traditional tunes, was responsible for at least a dozen cues in the film, all of them based on the music of the mid-1800s.
"The research focused on two areas," the pianist/composer says. "What fiddle tunes would an African-American play in New York in 1841 and, even bigger, the spirituals and field songs. Those wouldn't be recorded until the 1930s, almost a hundred years after [the film's time period]. The first musical notations of them came in after the Civil War, but in the preface of nearly every [book], they mention how difficult it was to write Western notation for the many African rhythmic elements and diverse sounds that did not fit Western melodic and harmonic structures."
Britell, who was involved from the beginning of the shooting, and director Steve McQueen focused on the functionality of the music, and how the cadences of songs coordinated with workers' movements in cotton and sugar cane fields. "Sparse and powerful" was Britell's objective, and research indicated biblical verses had begun to show up in field songs at the time. "[The slaves] had to lose themselves in the music to keep their focus and persist through the struggle," he says. "I looked to fiddle tunes to add levity and contrast with the spiritual, which spoke much more to the truth."
Credit Columbia Records for seeing a soundtrack opportunity that truly enhances the musicality of the film and extends the relationship between Northrup's world, related post-emancipation music and such contemporary acts as Clark and Cody Chestnutt. Tellingly, executive album producer John Legend connects folk music and spirituals with tunes from jazz, Broadway and the pens of Keys and Chris Cornell. Britell's "My Lord Sunshine (Sunrise)," sung by David Hughey and Roosevelt Credit, will receive an awards campaign.
Nonesuch has joined with CBS Films in promoting the music of Inside Llewyn Davis as a companion piece, and Disney is connecting with music aficionados by offering the Sherman brothers' demos of Mary Poppins songs in its deluxe soundtrack to Saving Mr. Banks. But they are easy sells compared with 12 Years a Slave, which isn't an easy film to watch; there's no visceral joy to be gleaned from listening to the soundtrack and associating it with the movie's brutal images. But its soundtrack offers a wider range in the listening experience, connecting past to present and including elements of Hans Zimmer's score that amplify the horror of Northup's reality.
"Inspired by" soundtracks, generally outdated, are often little more than marketing tools, though there are intriguingly curated exceptions, like the two Hunger Games albums. In the rare case of 12 Years a Slave -- which was just nominated for four SAG Awards -- the music elevates the storytelling and becomes a vital listen.
Actor Simon Pegg has signed to star in the sci-fi comedy Absolutely Anything, a live-action/CGI hybrid that features the voices of Robin Williams and Monty Python troupe members John Cleese, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin.
Simon Pegg portrays Neil Clarke, a teacher who suddenly finds himself blessed with supernatural powers, given to him by a group of aliens. John Cleese, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin will provide the voices of the aliens, with Robin Williams voicing the teacher's pet dog.
Here's what Simon Pegg had to say in a statement about working with the Monty Python team.
"As someone whose love of comedy was hugely informed by Monty Python, the chance to work with Terry was a gift. Meeting your heroes is one thing - working with them is something else."
Terry Jones is directing from a screenplay by Gavin Scott. The filmmaker co-directed the Monty Python and The Holy Grail and Life of Brian with Terry Gilliam, and directed Monty Python's Meaning of Life on his own.
Pre-production gets under way on February 2, with principal photography set to begin on March 23 in London.
As The Hunger Games: Catching Fire continues to burn brightly (sorry) at the box office, work continues apace setting up the two-part adaptation of Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins’ final novel in the trilogy. Today brings word that Robert Knepper will play a character called Antonius.
Who he? Well… there’s some confusion among Hunger Games fans, as the name doesn’t actually appear in the novel. Current speculation has him potentially being a version of Aurelias, the psychologist who treats Katniss, and Deadline makes mention of his character being a minister in President Snow (Donald Sutherland)'s regime but there’s been no official confirmation of anything. He may well turn out to be a character invented for the films that combines several from the books. We wouldn’t be all that surprised – Mockingjay is a sprawler even for the running time of two movies.
The book sees Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) leading the districts of Panem in a rebellion against the tyrannical and corrupt Capitol. As the war that will determine the fate of Panem escalates, Katniss must decide for herself who she can trust and what needs to be done, with everything she cares for in the balance. Along with the franchise regulars, new cast additions include Julianne Moore, Natalie Dormer, Stef Dawson, Patina Miller, Wes Chatham and Elden Henson. Francis Lawrence is directing the film, with Part 1 due November 21 next year and Part 2 scheduled for November 20, 2015.
MEXICO CITY – Lawyers representing Mexican pop icon Gloria Trevi have sent a cease-and-desist letter to the producers of the Mexican biopic Gloria for use of an "unauthorized" script about the singer-songwriter's life.
Shooting on Gloria (working title) began on Nov. 29, several weeks after Trevi told Mexican media that she had not authorized the story. Mexico's Rio Negro is producing alongside Oscar-winning Lord of the Rings producer Barrie Osborne, Alan Curtiss (Master and Commander: Far Side of the World) and Ocean Films Brasil.
Representing Trevi, Los Angeles-based law office King, Holmes, Paterno & Berliner said in a recent statement: "The project is being developed without script authorization on behalf of Gloria Trevi. In addition, the limited authorization that might have existed under contract has expired and it was not and will not be renewed by Gloria."
The film's producers said Trevi signed a notarized contract allowing for the biopic's production, including musical rights.
"The contract is not subject to script authorization on behalf of Gloria Trevi; in fact she read the screenplay in 2010, was fully in agreement and even passed along some notes which have since been included," a producers' statement said.
Often dubbed the "Mexican Madonna" for her provocative lyrics and edgy performances in the 1990s, Trevi's career came crashing down in the late '90s after she and her former manager were accused of luring young girls into a cult-like pornographic ring. Trevi went on the lam and was later arrested in Brazil, where she was held in a prison there for more than four years. She was released in 2004 when a court found her innocent on charges of kidnapping, rape and corruption of minors.
Trevi returned to Mexico and staged a successful career comeback.
Gloria marks the directorial debut of Swiss filmmaker Christian Keller. Sofia Espinosa, who appeared in the HBO prison drama Capadocia, plays Trevi.
"The production does not wish to stir up controversy on the matter," the producers said, "but it does wish to make clear that it has every right to proceed in the making of this film and to proceed with its commercialization accordingly."
Warner Bros.’ attempt to bring Tarzan swinging back to our screens is gaining yet more momentum. Alexander Skarsgard will indeed don the loincloth, and Christoph Waltz will be the villain he marshals jungle forces to fight. Variety reports that Samuel L. Jackson is also now in talks to sign on to the film.
Harry Potter veteran David Yates is directing, and he seems to have cracked the issues around the film, which has been through a troubled development that saw the studio cancel it at least once. Now, though, partly thanks to a pre-vis demonstration by Yates and his team, the executives may be ready to turn on the special green light and get things moving properly.
The delay has, apparently, also worked in Jackson’s favour, as he was interested in the unspecified role but couldn’t work out shooting dates thanks to a typically busy schedule. As for Jane, that casting remains up in the air, though About Time / The Wolf Of Wall Street’s Margot Robbie is said to be the hot favourite. Plot-wise, nothing is being said, though rumours have pointed to an adventure involving mining and conflict in the Congo, with Tarzan dispatched by Queen Victoria to investigate a warlord’s actions.
Jackson most recently finished work on Matthew Vaughn’s Secret Service, and is currently on our screens in Oldboy.
Python fans are being spoiled at the moment. Not only is the legendary comedy team reuniting for a series of sold-out stage shows at the O2 next year, but we’re also getting most of the surviving members’ combined talents in Absolutely Anything, which Terry Jones will direct. Now we know who will be joining them in their efforts, as Simon Pegg is on board to star.
Pegg is… Look, most of you reading this already know who he is, so we’ll skip that bit and boo boo off to talking about the plot. The film will find him as Neil Clarke, a disillusioned teacher who discovers he has magical powers. Well, not magic per se, more “magic” in the Thor style, as they’re bestowed by aliens.
The extra-terrestrials in question will be voiced by Jones, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin, with Robin Williams stepping into the voice booth to provide vocals for the main man’s dog. “As someone whose love of comedy was hugely informed by Monty Python, the chance to work with Terry was a gift,” Pegg tells Screen International. “Meeting your heroes is one thing - working with them is something else.”
Shooting is set to kick off in London on March 23 on what sounds like a comedy match made in heaven. Or, more likely, some agent’s office. But heaven sounds more poetic.
Clearly not content with being in just one big science fiction franchise re-working, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes’ Jason Clarke now has his eye on fighting that other big threat to humanity – the machines. Clarke, probably best known for Zero Dark Thirty, is in talks to play John Connor in the Terminator reboot.
Thor: The Dark World (and Game Of Thrones veteran) director Alan Taylor is calling the shots for this one, working from a script by Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier. The plot is largely being kept quiet, though it may well follow much of the basics of James Cameron’s original (wo)man vs. machine narratives with a few changes here and there (particularly if the intent is to launch a TV series to run alongside it).
Connor, of course, is the heroic leader of the human resistance, the man who must help us battle Skynet and stop the species becoming a footnote that is deleted because the technological terrors are really good at using both weapons and Wikipedia. He’s the son of Sarah Connor, made iconic by Linda Hamilton in the original and possibly to be played in the new version by either Emilia Clarke or Brie Larson, though casting has still not been locked down there. Arnold Schwarzenegger is also linked with his memorable role, though our big theory is that he plays the scientist who works on the Terminator cyborgs and either creates them in his image or is forced to. We’ll see how it all shakes out when Paramount brings the film to cinemas on June 26, 2015.
Jason Clarke just may be the man to save the human race.
Clarke has the offer and is in talks to play the role of human rebel leader John Connor in the Terminator reboot being made by Paramount, Annapurna Pictures and Skydance, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
The project is in the early casting stages and is seeking actors to fill in the iconic roles created by the early James Cameron-Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi movies where robots and artificial intelligence seek to exterminate humanity.
Schwarzenegger is back and the role of Connor is in the midst of being decided between Emilia Clarke and Brie Larson, both of whom tested in November.
The project will also look to cast its Kyle Reece, the resistance fighter who travels back in time and end up fathering Connor.
Clarke has wrapped several movies since breaking out with last year’s Zero Dark Thirty, with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes among them. He is also due to star in Universal’s Everest movie.
Clarke is repped by CAA.
After the tragic, accidental death of Brandon Lee while shooting the original cult classic The Crow, many fans thought the production itself was cursed. With The Crow remake gearing up to start production, star Luke Evans revealed he doesn't believe in any sort of curses or superstitions.
"I'm not one of those superstitious people. It is incredibly sad that Brandon died making the movie. He was a very talented actor. It is a very beautiful story, The Crow. It is a very tragic story with huge emotional themes. We plan to tell the story differently and with a lot of integrity to the original comic book."
Samuel L. Jackson is in talks to join Warner Bros.' Tarzan, which stars Alexander Skarsgård as the title character. We reported in September that Christoph Waltz was circling the villain role, which he has now been confirmed for.
The story centers on John Clayton III (Alexander Skarsgård), an "ape man" who lives in the jungle. He is tasked by Queen Victoria to investigate a military conflict in the Congo. Although these story details have not been confirmed, Christoph Waltz is reportedly playing a military man who comes across Tarzan in the jungle.
Samuel L. Jackson had actually been in talks to star back in 2012 as George Washington Williams, a Civil War veteran and mercenary who teams up with Tarzan to take out an evil warlord. At the time, scheduling couldn't be worked out with the actor, with Warner Bros. offering the role to Jamie Foxx, but he was forced to pass when production was postponed.
Our report from September also indicated that Margot Robbie and Emma Stone were the top contenders to play the female lead Jane. Margot Robbie is now considered the front runner, although Warner Bros. has not issued an offer at this time.
David Yates is directing from a script that was most recently worked on by Adam Cozad (Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit). Other writers such as John August, Marianne Wibberley and Craig Brewer had previously worked on the script. Warner Bros. is reportedly close to issuing a green light for the project, although it isn't known when production may begin.
Hollywood Reporter's Women Breakfast: Oprah Winfrey, Maria Shriver, Sherry Lansing Bring Star-Packed Room to Tears
The Hollywood Reporter gathered some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry Wednesday morning at the Beverly Hills Hotel for the 22nd annual Women in Entertainment breakfast to honor the Power 100 and present Oprah Winfrey with a leadership award named for former Paramount and 20th Century Fox exec Sherry Lansing.
Lansing took the stage at the packed event, sponsored by Lifetime, Gucci, Samsung Galaxy, Audi, Roberto Coin, Guggenheim, City National Bank, the Gersh Agency, Loyola Marymount University and the Entertainment Industry Foundation, to speak about Winfrey, whom she called one of her personal idols.
"You conduct your life in a way that has inspired all of us," she said.
Winfrey's longtime friend Maria Shriver took the stage for a funny and touching introduction, including a poem she had written titled "Becoming," before bringing her friend to the stage.
"That beats a eulogy, I gotta tell you," confessed Winfrey, dabbing at her eyes while getting a hearty laugh from the crowd. "You're still alive to hear it!"
Winfrey's words visibly moved a crowd that included A+E president and CEO Nancy Dubuc, A+E chairman Abbe Raven, Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chair Amy Pascal, DreamWorks Studios CEO Stacey Snider, NBC's Jennifer Salke, Universal Television's Bela Bajaria, DreamWorks' Jeffrey Katzenberg, WME's Ari Emanuel and The Butler director Lee Daniels. Past Sherry Lansing Leadership Award recipient Jane Fonda also attended the event, along with Girls' Allison Williams, Mandy Moore, Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Scandal's Darby Stanchfield, model-actress Molly Sims, actress Judy Greer, Glee's Naya Rivera, Kris Jenner, Khloe Kardashian, Kim Kardashian and her fiance, Kanye West.
After welcoming speeches from The Hollywood Reporter editorial director Janice Min and senior vp and publisher Lynne Segall, Lansing introduced a moving video highlighting THR’s Hollywood Mentorship program, produced in cooperation with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles. The program pairs some of the industry's leading women with underprivileged high school students, all of whom will also receive $10,000 scholarships to the colleges of their choice. As a special surprise this year, presenter Demi Lovato revealed that two of the mentees were each awarded four-year, full-ride scholarships to Loyola Marymount University -- each with a value of $200,000.Winfrey told the crowd she was overwhelmed to receive an award named after Lansing, whose accomplishments she closely followed as a fledgling radio and television reporter.
"My favorite definition of power is 'strength over time,' " Winfrey told the crowd, saying that Lansing had carved out a phenomenal career in a male-dominated industry and comparing that to her own struggles to make the OWN network successful. The honor, she confessed, "brought great reflections" for her.
Winfrey's inspirational speech ended with strong words encouraging everyone to use their own power for good works.
"How do you use your power to elevate the life of somebody else?" she said.
While guests enjoyed spinach and feta frittatas, roasted potatoes and fruit salad, Jimmy Kimmel greeted the crowd, describing it as a "sea of perfect blowouts," and, in a reference to West's stage-crashing MTV Video Music Awards moment with Taylor Swift, warned the rapper and fashion impresario: "Don't even try to take Oprah's award away."
"It's a recognition of how women have contributed to the industry -- and not in a small way," Raven told THR of the event. "Women are running some of the major organizations in this business and are doing it well."
Added actress Ahna O'Reilly: "I'm excited any time we get to be around and celebrate strong and intelligent women and especially in this business. And, of course, Oprah!"
The event follows the publication of THR's Women in Entertainment special issue, which ranks the 100 most powerful women in entertainment. Past recipients of the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award have included Fonda, Meryl Streep, Helen Mirren, Jodie Foster, Halle Berry, Glenn Close and Barbara Walters.
Primus inter pares. It's a Latin phrase that means "first among equals" -- and so we have a first among the trifecta of Marvel Comics-based blockbuster franchise entries coming out next summer.
The debut trailer for Amazing Spider-Man 2 scored 19.7 million YouTube views in its first week out, according to Internet monitoring service Zefr.
Spider-Man: primus inter pares.
Amazing Spider-Man 2, which stars Andrew Garfield as everyone's favorite webslinger and Emma Stone as his love interest, opens May 2, 2014. X-Men: Days of Future Past, which stars, well, just about everybody who was ever in an X-Men movie, opens May 23, 2014. Chris Evans' Captain America: Winter Soldier arrives the month before, on April 4.
Not only does this represent three of Marvel's most beloved comic franchises competing against on another, but it represents a battle between three studios: Sony controls Spider-Man, Fox X-Men and Disney Captain America.
In the second slot was 300: Rise of an Empire trailer No. 2 with 3.5 million views, followed by Amazing Spider-Man 2 international trailer No. 1 (3.2 million), Pompeii trailer No. 1 (1.8 million) and Her trailer No. 2 (1.1 million) in the fifth spot. All four trailers debuted this week.
The bottom five slots were: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug No. 1, X-Men: Days of Future Past No. 1, The Hobbit No. 2, Noah No. 1 and Sabotage No. 1, with 539,621 YouTube views to take the tenth spot.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the second movie in Peter Jackson's three-part adaptation of the beloved J.R.R. Tolkien classic, opens Dec. 20. The movie's first trailer has recorded more than 36 million views since its debut in June -- the most lifetime views of any on the top 10 list.
This story first appeared in The Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment Power 100 issue.
If you're a working mother in this or any other industry, and you're looking for a magical app or shared calendar that will help you find the correct equilibrium between work and home life -- forget social life! -- you won't find it here, because it doesn't exist. We're all rolling calls in the car on the way home from the office. We're all texting at traffic lights (but not when the kids are in the car, right?). We are all very grateful for the domestic help we've been lucky to find and fold into our families. We are all not going to the yoga class we so badly want and need to attend. We are all sure we're not doing this right.
But if you're looking for perspective on how to handle the guilt and which way to wiggle on the choices you do have, well, you've come to the right place. "I like to say my job has flex hours," cracks UTA's Louise Ward, who has three children and reps Channing Tatum and Colbie Smulders. "Twenty-four of them a day!"
Embrace the chaos because you have no choice
When CBS Films co-president Terry Press, a married mother of 14-year-old twins, went to stores in Beverly Hills (where she lives) with a six-page, single-spaced document in August looking for holiday gifts, salespeople laughed at her. She didn't care. She was just hoping to find one gift that would accommodate at least 12 people. Yet, as of this printing, not one gift had been procured. "There just hasn't been an hour," she says.
Notes FX senior vp series development Nicole Clemens, who is married to writer Vaun Wilmott and resides in Malibu with their sons, ages 6 and 4: "I'm Lucy in the chocolate factory. Two sports schedules, two playdate schedules. This is how it is for me right now."
Surround yourself with people you really trust
"On every movie I've produced, I've had a business partner," says The Hunger Games producer Nina Jacobson, whose kids are 15, 13 and 7, and who comes home to them and her wife from the set three out of four weekends of a domestic shoot -- two out of four of an international one. "They have to cover for you when you're not there." Plus, she says, she has a "kick-ass assistant."
People to rely on are doubly important at home. "The key ingredient is a great partner," says Jacobson. "It's knowing that when the kids aren't home with Mom, they're still home with Mom."
Outsource what you can
Clemens recently hired a business manager to pay the bills and do tax prep. "I always thought that was a luxury item," she says. "But it's been three weeks, and I see it's a total necessity. My husband and I didn't have an hour to sit down to talk about bills."
Adds Press, "I don't do my own travel or my own laundry." You can also find her at Subway having sandwiches made for the lunches she packs on "more days than I'd like to admit."
UTA's Ward has a babysitter who helps with homework (she and husband William, a Roar Management founding partner, have two boys, 10 and 9, and a 6-year-old girl) and a housekeeper who gets a meal plan, shops and cooks. "My nanny is very involved," adds CAA's Tracy Brennan (who is a single mother to 6-year-old Dash while repping Jennifer Lawrence and Kerry Washington). "My nanny is my partner. She remembers when it's spirit day or when the lunch has to be in a brown bag for a field trip." Seconds FX's Clemens: "My nanny is the key; she gets it all done. She's like our wife."
Optimize your technology
"I marvel how women did this before the Internet," says Brennan, whom you can find in the middle of the night online, signing up her 6-year-old for sports leagues, researching coaches and ordering uniforms and supplies. "If I had to go around town for all this or even had to order it during office hours, it would kill my day."
Brennan fully works the apps on her phone: WAZE, which gives her real-time traffic-avoidance suggestions; and Facetime and Skype, which allow her and Dash to see each other when she's away. As for Jacobson: "I use my technology to organize me." She doesn't procrastinate when it comes to calendaring and works the reminder and checklist functions on her phone so that her mind isn't weighed down with extraneous details and what-am-I-forgetting twinges. "It's a blessing and a curse because you have to know when to stop," she says.
You don't want to take tech too far
UTA's Ward never will forget the day years ago that her toddler son came over to her and her phone and asked if he could "play with my work," she remembers. "I was horrified. I realized I couldn't allow the kids to see my phone as an extension of myself." Since then, she doesn't ever let them see her take a call. "I live two miles from my office. The pull of both jobs is so compelling and important, but you have to be 100 percent focused on each of them." Adds Clemens: "I never walk into the house on the phone. I'll go around the block a few times if I'm still on a call."
Jacobson also draws a line. "I try to employ a no-technology rule in the car for them and for me other than listening to audio books or music," she says. "There are significant transgressions, but we try. I love to listen to Radiolab and books on tape."
Ask for what you need
Recently, Brennan had to ask her son's teacher if she wouldn't mind starting parent-teacher conferences at 7:30 a.m. instead of 8:30. "She said, 'No problem,' " says Brennan. "People are always willing to help. Women have this reputation for not helping each other, but I've had the opposite experience. There are all these moms at school and in my neighborhood who are so helpful to me."
Actively cultivate the time you do have with the family
Like other working mothers, Clemens doesn't have the amount of time she wishes she did for her kids, but she does have a system: "We literally make Mommy or Daddy time," she says. Each child gets a half-hour (whenever time allows) to close the door with a parent in the room and do whatever the kid wants. They also make it a point to eat together on weekends and each morning.
Ward used to think that eating together was crucial and that time like that would prevent the kids from becoming drunks and drug addicts, but she soon learned that she only had the kids for as long as the food interested them. Now she's figured out some diabolical games to keep her young children at the table longer. One of them: She'll put 10 odds and ends -- salt shaker, ketchup bottle, etc. -- on the table, then make them close their eyes, take one away and have them guess what's gone.
Ward also warns not to underestimate the power of a long drive home. "I find the best time to connect with the kids is if you can pick them up once or twice a week. If you're in their face, you get a 'fine' on how things are going. But facing down endless traffic on the 405, not looking you in the eye, that's when they talk."
Jacobson does school pickup and drop-off when she's around. "On days they don't have school, they come to the set."
Make taking care of yourself a non-negotiable
Clemens recently returned to a sport she loves but had abandoned: show jumping. It didn't make sense that adding a leisure pursuit would help her stay on track or even accomplish more, but now she doesn't question it: "The smartest thing I did this year was go back to riding horses." And while she still rarely gets to see her family and friends, waking up at 6 a.m. on weekends and driving out to Hidden Valley has been worth it. "The drive and the riding -- it's like meditation and grounds me," she says.
Jacobson loves bicycling but can't manage to do it at home, so she takes her bike on location with her.
As for self-care, house calls can become a priority. Brennan always remembers that there are hairdressers, manicurists and facialists who will come to her house. "You may have to pay more, and you may not get to have your favorite person anymore, but you have to choose people who are flexible," she says. Brennan also sees a Pilates instructor near her home who has "very flexible hours." Once or twice a month, Clemens will have a masseuse come over at 8:45, after the kids are in bed.
Exercise your power of 'no'
Yes, learn to say no. "Don't forget you're dealing with people who never have heard no," says Press. "It's part of the biggest problem in our culture and our industry that people react to it like it's a racial slur. You have to be able to do say no."
Family can be a good motivator -- and excuse. "With a baby, you work so much smarter," says Renee Tab, president of Sentient Entertainment who reps filmmakers like David Cronenberg. Tab says she also used her pregnancy to "cleanse" herself of clients who weren't quite what she wanted anymore. "You're just so much more strategic about what your function is and how to get there. This is my business, and I've got to execute."
Accept the things you can't do anymore, says Tab: "I don't have drinks, late meetings or dinners. That's what my 20s were for. Now, I have to be laser-focused and home for dinner."
Remember to enjoy the small wins
"There's a feeling like you've gotten away with something if you've heard an entire This American Life," says Jacobson, who also cherishes time to walk the dog.
Recently, Clemens had a revelation: "One of the things about getting older is that you realize there's no later or 'there,' " she says. "We're 'here.' The list is never going to be checked off. Everything that has to get done will get done. You have to trust your process." And, she adds, trust others: "Everyone around me has a kid. We're all grown-ups. Everyone knows we're doing our job and then some, so taking a half-hour to go to a school play isn't going to affect your job."
Tab explains that a fair amount of weighing of professional perceptions against personal realities does occur: "As a woman [in the industry], you have to be concerned about how much you put out there," she says. "But family comes first. If you need to go to the pediatrician appointment, go. I wouldn't announce that I was in a baby music class, but everyone gets that health comes first."
And now that you've leaned in so hard on the job, you also need to lean in on the guilt, too. "You have to be able to tolerate feeling guilty most of the time," says Jacobson. "You have to sort of accept that it's a part of being able to have both a job and a family you're devoted to."
Notes Press: "I would love to live in a world where I think I'm a great wife, mother and executive -- in that order. But I guarantee you, it's like a slot machine. You can get two cherries in a day. Three, maybe, but I don't think so. Every day, I pull the arm and hope for the best."
This story first appeared in The Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment Power 100 issue.
None of them are household names, but they literally helped shape many of the most significant movies ever made, including The Birth of a Nation (1915), The Wizard of Oz (1939), All About Eve (1950), Singin' in the Rain (1952), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Jaws (1975), Star Wars (1977) and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), plus this year's Blue Jasmine, Labor Day, Star Trek Into Darkness and The Wolf of Wall Street. They are female film editors, and if you flip the switch in dark cutting rooms, you'll find them helping take films to places the directors themselves didn't imagine.
Margaret Booth, who started under director D.W. Griffith, was later so valued by Irving Thalberg, MGM's head of production, he coined the term "film editor" to replace the more menial-sounding "cutter." Dede Allen was fired for piecing together the bloody shootout at the end of Arthur Penn's Bonnie and Clyde (1967) by studio head Jack Warner but then was put back on the job by producer-star Warren Beatty out of his own pocket. She became the first film editor to receive a solo mention in the opening credits of a film. Thelma Schoonmaker salvaged one of Martin Scorsese's student films during an NYU summer course in 1963 and has edited every major film he has made since, through the years winning a record-tying three Oscars. "Very early on, a certain kind of trust developed between us, which really is the basis of our relationship," says Schoonmaker. "I think he knows that I will do everything I can to carry out his vision on every film I work on with him, and I will work till I drop to do it."
How important is the film editor to the director? Dana Glauberman, a former assistant to Ivan Reitman's film editor, has edited all five features directed by Reitman's son, Jason Reitman, two of which -- Juno and Up in the Air -- received best picture Oscar nominations. Jason describes Glauberman as "one of the key reasons why I have a career today." He explains: "As a director, you spend many months with hundreds of people, balancing everyone's ideas and dealing with constant input, and then literally overnight you're in a small box -- a jail cell -- with one person, and the two of you have to carry the film across the finish line. And it often does feel like a marriage. 'Who do I want to spend all that time with?' " He adds: "You spend more months editing than you do shooting, and you do it sitting a few feet from each other. There are very few people on earth that you want to share that sort of proximity and time with, so you better have good chemistry. I'll probably end up spending more time with Dana, all added up, than any other human being I'll ever meet. So she's my work partner, and the movies we make are our children."
Glauberman agrees: "All of the aspects of a marriage -- trust, respect and everything that comes along with it -- are in our relationship. We call each other 'work husband' and 'work wife.' Occasionally we don't agree with each other's viewpoints, but we make it work, and it's a true collaboration."
Today female film editors account for about 20 percent of all members of the Motion Picture Editors Guild and can look to Glauberman and Schoonmaker as inspiration for what is possible in the profession. But for much of Hollywood history, film "cutter" was the only position available to women beyond acting and for a few, screenwriting. Cutters were used only to maintain continuity by running film reels with hand cranks and manually cutting and gluing together film strips. They almost never received screen credit.
A job that was considered merely manual or technical was shown to be an art form by four early standouts: Booth, Anne Bauchens, Dorothy Spencer and Barbara McLean. Their careers spanned decades, from the end of the silent era through the fall of the studio system. Bauchens began as a stenographer for Cecil B. DeMille's brother and ended up editing every one of the director's films, from 1918 including his last, The Ten Commandments (1956), becoming the first female film editor to win an Oscar in 1941. Spencer cut for the likes of Elia Kazan, John Ford and Alfred Hitchcock from 1926 through 1979. By the late 1960s and early 1970s, following Lawrence of Arabia -- which was edited by Anne V. Coates, who came up with its iconic "match cut" from flame to desert sun and continued to work into the 21st century -- a generation influenced by European cinema began to experiment beyond the classic Hollywood film editing style.
They included Allen, Schoonmaker and Verna Fields. Portrayed violence proved to be a powerful inspiration for innovation, from Allen's rapid cutting in Bonnie and Clyde to Fields' making a fake shark seem petrifying in Steven Spielberg's Jaws and Schoonmaker bringing to life the balletic brutality of Scorsese's early films. Fields cut the breakout films of George Lucas (American Graffiti), Peter Bogdanovich (Paper Moon) and Spielberg -- who nicknamed her "Mother Cutter" because of her maternal personality in the editing room. After Jaws' blockbuster success, for which Fields received her own Oscar, she became one of the first high-ranking female studio executives, vp feature production at Universal.
That generation, in turn, mentored and inspired Hollywood's current class of film editors, including Alisa Lepselter, who once worked as Schoonmaker's assistant and has edited all of Woody Allen's films since 1999, and Mary Jo Markey and Maryann Brandon, who, separately or together, have edited all of J.J. Abrams' feature films since 2006 and will reteam for the next Star Wars film.
And as for why so many male directors have chosen to work with female film editors throughout history and today, veteran Schoonmaker explains: "Filmmaking is a collaboration. People have to learn how to deal with their own egos and work as partners. And I think women are probably better at that than men."