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Posts Tagged ‘Gil Cates’

TV Critic Recalls Gil Cates’ Words of Wisdom

Just a few months after Gil Cates told LA Times reporter Mary McNamara that he was amenable to engineering a 15th Oscars telecast, the much loved 77-year-old director, producer, founder of the Geffen Playhouse and two-term president of the Directors Guild of America has passed away.

In writing about him today, McNamara highlights some advice that Brett Ratner, Don Mishner and first-time host Eddie Murphy may well want to pay attention to. Cates, who entered the Oscar TV show producing fray in 1990, said the key is not to try and re-invent the wheel:

Cates brought a matter-of-fact understanding of the show, its strengths and its limitations, that is harder to replicate. “It is what it is,” he said when we last spoke of the future of the Oscars. “It’s a big beautiful television show about the movies.”

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LA Director Connects via Amazon Studios for $10,000 Win

Amazon Studios, the much ballyhooed movie development arm of Amazon.com, today announced the winners of its January contests. Among that group is Playa Vista based director Christian Davis, who landed $10,000 for a two-hour video recording that was judged Best Table Read.

The 43-year-old Davis connected via the service with 38-year-old Malboro, VT screenwriter Alex Greenfield, author of Memory, a thriller loglined as “Memento meets Se7en.” It’s the story of a former homicide investigator with a photographic memory who revisits his most traumatic case.

Davis got some actor friends together and shot the table read in about three hours. A few more hours of editing, and it was done… “Right now, I’m concentrating on the development of Memory,” he said. “I really think this script has a solid, commercial premise. I’ve never seen a hero like Nick. I’m especially excited to explore the visual potential of the script as the test movie develops.”

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Justin Timberlake Hosting the Oscars???? Anything’s Possible

Justin2.jpgAOL is putting out an item saying that Justin Timberlake – yes the Britney Spears ex, singer and occasional actor — is being considered to host the Academy Awards next year.

While AOL must be smoking some crack, Academy spokeswoman Leslie Unger said that the host hasn’t been chosen and that Timberlake could be considered if the producer (to be chosen soon) would pick him.

Timberlake is a singer and dancer and oh yeah, he is a Britney ex. While those qualifications haven’t defined the Oscar hosts of years past (Jon Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Crystal et al), it does allow for certain song and dance styles to be incorporated.

Timberlake came to people’s attention last month when he hosted the ESPN awards, or the Espies. Critics seemed to think he did a pretty good job. At least he gave a fine performance in the advertising for the Espies.

Last year’s producer was Gil Cates, but it’s unclear whether he’ll be invited back again. And who knows if he or his kids are big-time Timberlake fans?

AOL item below:

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Fashion Week: Oscar Posse Holds Breath On Red Carpet Fate

Academy Awards show producer Gil Cates has done such a good job of keeping his plans for an ‘alternate’ broadcast should the writer’s strike remain unresolved come February 24, that even Academy insiders who would ordinarily be gearing up for the big night by now are still in the dark. Tom Julian, who oversees fashion commentary on Oscar.com says he’s received no word on what to do with the usually all-encompassing fashion coverage that typically kicks into high gear come Fashion Week, should there be no red carpet runway:

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Alternative Oscar-cast Planned/ WGA Denies Waiver

alternaoscar (Small).jpg

Award show magic and mystery abounds. Or not quite. The WGA has granted waivers to the Feb. 14 NAACP’s Image Awards, the Jan. 27 SAG Awards and the Feb. 23 Independent Spirit Awards,while turning down the Golden Globes, and now the Oscars.

Is all this because the WGA
(1) has so few members of color,
(2) believes actors will sound really, really dumb if left to their own devices, and
(3) all the cool people watch the Indies?

Producer Gil Cates hinted at plans for an alternative Oscar show and we’re guessing he doesn’t have Kre8tive attire, dreads and a performance by Sleepytime Gorilla Museum in mind.

Trade Round-Up: Sept. 10, 2007

russell crowe.jpegYuma Scores at Boxoffice
James Mangold and producer Cathy Konrad‘s follow-up to their Walk the Line, the western 3:10 to Yuma starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, took top stop at the boxoffice over the weekend. Variety reports that it played on the high-end of expectations with Ben Fritz writing that it was moved up to “give it more breathing room” before the release of Brad Pitt’s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Read about how the rest of the pics played here.

Cates to Produce Oscars, Again
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is standing by its lucky guy Gil Cates who has signed on to produce the Oscarcast again next year. It will be his 14th time driving the Oscar train, a job that in itself has garnered 99 Emmy nominations and 25 wins, Variety reports.

Variety on Blanchett, Elizabeth
On the heels of her best actress win at the Venice Film Festival, Cate Blanchett made her way overseas to Toronto to tout a return to the throne in Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Variety‘s Todd McCarthy is happy to see her reprise the role that made her famous, but that’s about it. “Without the pleasure of watching Cate Blanchett…there would be little to recommend this latest of many cinematic and television accounts of the celebrated monarch’s life…” If you care to read on, click here.

Penn to Go Gay for Gus
Gay helmer Gus Van Sant is pushing Sean Penn and Matt Damon for a biopic about openly gay politico Harvey Milk. Penn is attached to play Milk with Matt attached to play the assassin who guns him down, reports THR out of Toronto. Sideways Michael London is producing.

Lionsgate loves Mandate
In other Toronto news, Lionsgate said in THR Monday that it has made a buy to acquire Mandate Pictures for $56.3 million in cash and stock. The trade paper writes that the deal reunites Lionsgate with Joe Drake, who prior to launching Mandate served as head of Lionsgate’s international distribution. Since he left, he has been involved in Mandate pics like Stranger Than Fiction and the upcoming Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium.

- CHRIS GARDNER