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Oak A of Sitatunga Pictures made his HTG movie debut today with Mountains: Andes, a documentary released by the Flip Brothers Studio. We invited him into The Hollywood Times office to chat about the new release.

TIMES: What made you want to write about the Andes?

OAK A: The visceral majesty of mountain ranges, and the amazement with which we have always regarded them, inspired this program. I have tried to launch a few nature-inspired documentary series insofar this has been the most successful one due to this, I suppose. Why the Andes? The blend of the aforementioned majesty, the heritage, and the inhabitants.

TIMES: What sets it apart from other Mountains?

OAK A: The inhabitants, former and present. Having been home to the Incan empire, being home to such unique creatures. With this program, we have only scratched the surface of the Andes range, even though it is figuratively overflowing.

TIMES: How did you go about choosing the narrator?

OAK A: When selecting a narrator, I wanted to select someone who conveys the essence of the topics. Antonio Banderas, although not hailing from an Andean nation, has the emotional breadth to portray mystique. This having been said, the accent certainly doesn’t hinder things!

TIMES: Will Mountains become a series?

OAK A: Oh, how I wish! In all seriousness, yes, there are scripts in the pipeline.

TIMES: What other spots do you want to spotlight?

OAK A: I cannot reveal much, but the next documentary will not have been the first program filmed in the topical region. Not nearly. Both Gladiator and Star Wars, among many, were partially filmed there. We have concepts for mountain ranges both notable and obscure, and on ranges on every continent.

TIMES: Anything else you want to tell us about Mountains: Andes?

OAK A: Please enjoy; just so long as we inform and entertain with this series, we feel we have accomplished all that we intended.


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Alan Rickman

The incredibly talented Alan Rickman sits across from him. He is seated on a tall director’s chair with his hands folded on his lap. Before him is the theatrical poster for Another Time to Die Hard, the latest sequel in the famed action series. There is also a cardboard cutout of Chris Harmer, his co-star and the movie’s producer. The cutout watches over us like Big Brother. I’m pretty sure one of its eyes is a camera.

I started the interview by asking Rickman how it felt to return to the Die Hard series after so many years. “It feels great, to be honest,” he began, “The Die Hard films have always had a warm place in my heart, because it was my first film role, first big exposure other than in the UK. It was complete serendipity to get the role as well, I was acting in stage productions at the time… that was what I did mainly… and the producers for the first Die Hard film came and watched.”

He paused to reflect, then continued, “They liked my stage presence and accent, I think, offered me the part and the rest is history. So yes, I’m very excited and thrilled to be back and be a part of it.”

His role in the new film has been top secret, his villainous role in the original ended with him being tossed off a skyscraper. That is hard to come back from, but I had to ask him about said return and what he could share with us. He laughed at me. “Well, not much, sadly.”He than pointed to the cutout and whispered, “Mr. Harmer has eyes everywhere.” Then with a hearty laugh he continued, “and it’s an important part of the film. What I can say though, is that, the film is quite an homage to the film that launched the series. There are many similarities and throwbacks, including my character. Obviously, it will be familiar to John McClane and the audience.”

He was kind enough to tell us more about the film, even if he can’t tell us about his role in it. “Well, the film is a real fan’s film, I would say. It’s a throwback and recognition of the film’s roots and what made the series so popular. John McClane in seriously nasty odds with seriously nasty baddies and situations, trapped in a confined space by himself. John McClane heads back to the Nakatomi Building to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his heroism, so it only makes sense that certain ghosts from his past would arise to haunt him.”

We talked about the future of the series. Will we see more? Where do the producers and studio go from here? “I can see it going nowhere but onward at this point.” Mr. Rickman told us, “I know Mr. Harmer was mentioning that he would like to do more films, and I think that’s a good thing. I know he, and the studio executive Mr. Marlowe, are both fans of the franchise. I think that’s important to have, if you aren’t fans of the material, you won’t put your all into it. The last few Die Hard films have not been well received, but I think that will change here.”

Speaking of Mr. Harmer, I had to ask what it was like working with the icon and ex-mayor of HTG Hollywood.  Did he work directly with Harmer? “Yes, I did, on several occasions. He plays Erik in the film, and we have a few scenes together.” Then he continued to tell me about the legend, “He’s also very hands on behind the scenes as well. He wrote the script, but he was always on set to oversee things and offer any advice or suggestions that the director needed. He also seems to be simply a fan of watching his vision come to life. He’s an interesting character. Very short. Very Canadian.”

We were cut off there, Mr. Rickman had a half dozen other interviewers to chat with on this whirlwind press tour. Another Time to Die Hard does come out tomorrow, and I’m sure he will be glad to have the mystery of his return and possible future involvement in the series out in the open. I know I’ll be happy to get the answer.


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Who?

TCW 83 mostly focuses on the usual cast of TCW characters. Being only 28 pages long, and designed to be a development film rather than a major event film, not everyone appears. We get The Rock (pictured, top left), the Hardys (Jeff Hardy is pictured, center), Ric Flair and a number of the wrestlers who only appear in TCW. There’s also one big surprise.

What?

Three matches, two of them rematches from TCW XV and a women’s triple threat featuring Lita, Molly Holly (pictured, top right) and current champion Awesome Kong. Plus a lot of what are known in the business as angles.

Where?

TCW 83 comes to you from the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

When?

TCW events are always set in the present although they are recorded in advance.

Why?

TCW has come to outgrow television. Even with TCW’s massive talent cap it’s becoming difficult to manage the cast. As well, the cost involved really eats into the profits of a TV show. That said, since this is a minor show rather than a major one we’ve decided to scale back the advertising. This will mean lower grosses and possibly a talent fine if the Rock fails to meet his required earnings. But we feel it’s only fair to save the big ad bucks for the big films. TCW 83 is the first in a series of 6 films. Next will come TCW 84 through 86 and those will be followed by the two part TCW Hotter than Hell. Horizon Pictures is hoping the two-month time frame for franchise releases becomes a regular rule rather than only lasting through this summer.

How?

It seems with every TCW major film I consider ending it. But TCW is what I write when I can’t come up with anything else to write. It gets my creative juices flowing. We may not have many fans but the series is fun to write and it has such history I just can’t bring myself to give up on it.


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Hey everyone, just a note/introduction from RS before CzarTim introduces everyone to a concept and new site that he has put a lot of work into. We couldn’t be more proud of CzarTim and hope to support him however we can with this new site. CzarTim will of course continue to be an administrator and big part of HTG moving forward. Now, on to his big news…


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I’m super happy to finally show off Filmulation, a brand new site continuing in the long tradition of online Hollywood simulations. Much like Hollywood the Game and its predecessors, you will be able to write movie, pick your cast, get reviews, and more. Don’t worry, this isn’t a split from HTG. You’ll be able to play both games simultaneously. Filmulation will be a more focused on the writing and reviewing rather than the business side of Hollywood.

So What’s Different?

Movie Page

Click to see the Filmulation Movie Page

I designed Filmulation from the ground up to be focused and flexible with all the features you expect from a Hollywood sim. There will be frequent updates adding features and tweaks.

Movies

  • Cast is listed in the order you want. Also includes each talent’s photo.
  • Multiple genres for each movie.
  • (Optionally) Host your scripts directly on the site for easier access, or choose to have it “Available On Request” where the admin keep a copy and hand it out only when a player specifically requests it. Producers can change / update the availability of their script at anytime.
  • Clicking on the movie poster gives you a full size version of it. In addition, other posters / ads can be hosted directly on the MDB page.
  • Your soundtrack can be embedded directly on the MDB.
  • Link directly to the sequel or prequel of your movie.
  • A link to each review along with the rating and review summary will be viewable on the MDB page.

Franchises

  • Open Franchises — Write the adaptation you want without going through another player.
  • Franchise Page — Each franchise has a page on the MDB that lists every movie released using it.
  • Universes — Curate your own version of a fictional universe, choose who plays who, tell an on-going story, have other writers contribute or do it all yourself. You decide which movies get the added to the Universe page. Think of it as a mark of quality without preventing others from releasing competing movies using the same franchise(s).
  • Player Franchises — Release two movies within the same original universe and you can have the franchise officially added to the MDB. Include a picture and description of your choice. You remain in control of the franchise.
Producer Page

Click to see the Filmulation Producer Page

Producers

  • Keep track of every movie you’ve written or edited, review or article you’ve posted, and poster or website you’ve made all on one page.
  • Each activity earns you Points which will let you level up, unlock features and rewards, and more.

News 

  • Articles can tag producers, talent, and movies which link directly to their MDB page.
  • The MDB page for movies and people will list every article mentioning them.

Releases

  • Players vote on which movies will be released.
  • Use “High Priority Tokens” to skip the voting process. Earned by posting quality reviews and/or leveling up.
  • A limited number of movies can be released each week so each movie has its moment in the spotlight.

Why A New Site?

After a decade and 800 movies, Hollywood the Game has amassed a storied history. Losing even some of it moving to a new site would hurt what makes HTG unique. I didn’t design Filmulation to replace HTG, I designed it to be complementary. HTG does a lot that Filmulation doesn’t. Filmulation smaller and more focused on being easy to play and run. A lot has changed in the decade that HTG has existed, and I wanted a site that reflects those changes. A site that starts small and builds from there. A site that can react to new trends and ideas quickly.

What’s Next?

I already have several updates in the works. Here are a few coming post-launch:

  • Expanded Point System — Right now you collect points, but I want to add virtual rewards for leveling up which are added to your profile.
  • Talent Hubs — Sign talent and get points every time they appear in a movie.
  • TV — For shorter, serialized stories.

When’s It Launching?

The site will be launching in early June. Keep an eye on the HTG boards for updates.

Watch A Demo


Who?

Bluegrass Productions is releasing Energy Run with Horizon Pictures. This film is directed by Doug Liman making his HTG debut. Freddie Highmore (pictured, left) plays Matt Helton, a college student studying environmental engineering. Paul Dano plays Alex Winter, a police officer who answers his call for help. Gary Oldman (pictured, center) plays Blake Radford, a calculating assassin who would rather kill than see this go through. Alden Ehrenreich (pictured, right) plays Tom Kennedy, Matt’s partner. Kurt Russell makes his HTG debut as Agent Monroe, the FBI agent in charge of the case. Stephen Amell also makes his HTG debut as Agent Howard. Joanne “Jojo” Levesque plays Agent Dawson who works with Agent Howard to locate Matt and Alex. Rounding out the cast is Jenna Dewan who plays a dispatcher.

What?

The story is about a college graduate student named Matt Helton, who along with his assistant Tom Kennedy discovers that combining microorganisms with garbage from a landfill inside an industrial centrifuge leads to clean drinking water. That night while talking to his professor Dr. Trotter, he overhears Blake Radford killing him so he decides to call the cops. Alex Winter makes his way to Matt’s apartment where they decide to go on the run when Blake shows up. Eventually, they decide to take their stand to keep from running anymore.

Where?

It takes place in several small towns in Northern California. The opening few scenes take place in Glendale. Later on in the film when Alex and Matt are hiding, they end up in Rivermont and North Valley. The shoot itself was in Stage 1 of the Horizon Pictures Studio. For some scenes, the thriller backlot was used.

When?

It’s set in present day. It was written and shot over this spring.

Why?

I’m making this film to attempt an environmental thriller. It’s exciting to see a film that I created years and years ago get off the ground and have people have a chance to read and enjoy it. Matt and Tom are working on two fronts to reduce the amount of garbage in landfills while creating drinking water. Alex is doing his job of protecting and serving the public by helping to protect Matt. Alex goes away with him because he wants to find out who’s behind the attempt to kill both of them. Although it’s not revealed why Blake is supposed to kill Dr. Trotter or Matt, he’s under a contract and feels that he must fulfill his obligation. Tom helps Matt because he wants to do good in the world, but he’s tempted by greed and fame.

How?

I had gotten the dare from one of my friends who wanted to see me write something original. When I presented this to him, he rejected it and I had forgotten about it. Last winter, I did some spring cleaning of some of my drawers and found the plotline and thought it had potential. When it became clear that content was needed, I decided to dust it off and submit it. Made some changes to it that made sense and smoothed out some plot holes that were present.