Leaving Hollywood To Break Into Hollywood: ‘Thula’
I recently sat down with the filmmaking team of Jahmela Biggs , Caitlin Talbot and James Bland to talk about how they pulled together an international shoot on the back of a crowdfunding campaign. We started with the choice to go to South Africa in the first place. “The decision to shoot there was made before we had the script,” said writer-actor Biggs. “Or the crew,” added her co-star Talbot. “Or the money,” tagged in director Bland . “Right, exactly, or the financing,” continued Biggs. “So we decided pretty early on we wanted to make that happen. We wanted to have James direct it. We knew that we’d be able to shoot at (Talbot’s) aunt’s house. We knew certain things were given so the script was created from that.” What the “Thula” team displays with this kind of thinking is the tried and true practice that some call “availiblism”. You’ve got some actors (Biggs and Talbot), a director (Bland) and a key component–the location–so you build your work around that. In this case the location happened to be 10,000 miles away.
The Hollywood Reporter’s best stories of the week
EDT October 14, 2013 In this undated handout photo provided by the Belgian government, the Belgian ship Pompei, owned by De Nul, is shown in unidentified waters. (Photo: Belgian Government) Mohamed Abdi Hassan was charged with hijacking a Belgian ship He was baited with a promise of a movie about piracy Prosecutor: Hassan is one of the most ‘important and infamous’ pirates SHARE 61 CONNECT 28 TWEET 2 COMMENTEMAILMORE BRUSSELS (AP) The alleged pirate kingpin thought he was going work in the movies. Instead he landed in jail. In a sting operation worthy of Hollywood, Mohamed Abdi Hassan was lured from Somalia to Belgium with promises of work on a documentary about high-seas crime that would “mirror his life as a pirate,” federal prosecutor Johan Delmulle said Monday. But rather than being behind the camera as an expert adviser, Abdi Hassan ended up behind bars, nabbed as he landed Saturday at Brussels airport. “(He’s) one of the most important and infamous kingpin pirate leaders, responsible for the hijacking of dozens of commercial vessels from 2008 to 2013,” Delmulle said. Abdi Hassan whose nickname, Afweyne, means “Big Mouth” was charged with hijacking the Belgian dredger Pompei and kidnapping its nine-member crew in 2009, Delmulle said. The Pompei’s crew was released after 10 weeks in captivity when the ship’s owner paid a reported $3 million ransom. Belgium caught two pirates involved in the hijacking, convicted them and sentenced them to nine and 10 years in prison. But prosecutors still wanted the ringleaders. “Too often, these people remain beyond reach while they let others do the dirty work,” Delmulle told reporters. Malaysian authorities almost captured the reclusive Adbi Hassan in April 2012, but a document from the Somali transitional government let him slip back home, according to a U.N. report last year that called him “one of the most notorious and influential” leaders of a piracy ring that has netted millions in ransom. So Belgian authorities decided to go undercover to get him, because they knew he traveled very little and that an international arrest warrant would produce no results in unstable Somalia. They approached an accomplice known as Tiiceey, dangling a fake job as an adviser to a fake movie about piracy, Delmulle said.
View gallery A general view of the exterior of Linda Vista Hospital is seen during the “American Horror Story: Asylum” sleepover, on Monday, Oct. 7, 2013, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP) The Hollywood Reporter’s list of its 10 best stories of the week: DARREN ARONOFSKY, PARAMOUNT SPAR OVER ‘NOAH’ FINAL CUT (EXCLUSIVE) The auteur and the studio are at odds over the final cut of a $125 million biblical epic plagued by troubling reactions from audiences in New York (largely Jewish), Arizona (Christian) and Orange County, Calif. (general public). http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/darren-aronofsky-paramount-spar-noah-648777 ‘LION KING’ IS BROADWAY’S FIRST $1 BILLION SHOW Disney’s musical relies on consistency, not sky-high prices, to hit a historic milestone. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/lion-king-is-broadways-first-648455?AP MANIC MONDAY: CBS RETOOLS LINEUP AS RATINGS FALL FROM GRACE Struggles for “2 Broke Girls,” lackluster comedy launches and a troubling start for “Hostages” leave next season’s “How I Met Your Mother”-less block looking dreary. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/2-broke-girls-hostages-ratings-648543?AP ‘FIFTY SHADES’: CHARLIE HUNNAM’S SCRIPT SHOWDOWN AND CHAOTIC FINAL DAYS Why the star got cold feet and the studio’s wish list of actors willing to step in, as a deadline to start shooting the sexy book adaptation looms. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/fifty-shades-charlie-hunnams-script-648778?AP ‘BRAINWASHING’: HOLLYWOOD EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM FOR GRADE-SCHOOLERS UNDER FIRE A partnership between ISPs, the MPAA and RIAA will include “age-appropriate concepts of sharing and ownership,” like illegally downloading movies because “taking without asking is mean.” http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/brainwashing-hollywood-educational-program-grade-648907?AP ‘BREAKING BAD’S’ VINCE GILLIGAN REVEALS DETALS OF ‘SAUL’ SPINOFF AND TERROR OVER WHAT’S NEXT The anxiety-ridden showrunner is mulling a Western film, saying “no” to dozens of film pitches and how Jeffrey Katzenberg courted him, even as he admits “the odds of winning the lottery (twice) are pretty infinitesimal.” http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/breaking-bads-vince-gilligan-reveals-648425?AP VINCE GILLIGAN TACKLES FOUR ‘BREAKING BAD’ MYTHS The show’s creator is on the hot seat as THR’s Aaron Couch drills him on four myths about the hit AMC series. With the finale behind him, Vince finally busts or confirms “Breaking Bad” fans’ favorite theories, plus reveals a X-Files shoutout that was incorporated into the show. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/video/vince-gilligan-tackles-four-breaking-648851?AP THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER NAMES THE 50 POWER SHOWRUNNERS OF 2013 THR’s annual list of TV’s top writer-producers reveals the latest swings in the revolving door of who’s on top — and what it takes to stay there. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/lists/hollywood-reporter-names-50-power-648546?AP THE BIG PROBLEMS BEHIND THE DELAY IN A NEW ‘BRIDGET JONES’ MOVIE As Helen Fielding’s third book piques interest, a rival project and Renee Zellweger’s fading star could prevent a trilogy.