Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Directors’ Guild Calls for SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS on FILM and TV SETS Following EDDIE GARCIA’s DEATH

This month of June saw the Philippine entertainment industry say goodbye to veteran actor Eddie Garcia, who passed away last week at the age of 90. His departure was especially sordid as it came about due to an accident on set for what should have been his latest TV soap appearance. Garcia had fallen down and suffered a cervical fracture that landed him in a coma until his death June 20. In the heels of his unfortunate end have come calls for greater safety measures to be enacted at production sets for film and television, spearhead by several movie organizations.

Film Council MEMORANDUM Shifts MOVIE Premieres from WEDNESDAY to FRIDAY

In the Philippine cinema scene, it is general practice for new movies, both domestic and foreign productions, to make their premiere in the middle of the week, on Wednesdays. This release schedule usually means that for Hollywood movies, the country gets an earlier moment to look at the films in theaters ahead of their release in what should be their default domestic markets. That has helped immensely in our publication getting some early reviews in. But motion picture organizations here believe the midweek movie premiere date is problematic in getting premiere-night crowds. So they have moved the day to the beginning of the weekend instead.

Inquirer.NET reports that the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) has released a memorandum for the country’s movie theaters to shift their premiere of new movies to Friday. In a statement released Tuesday, June 25, the FDCP Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2019-01 which provided outlines and regulation changes regarding the release of films in Philippine cinema. Putting the premiere date on the start of the weekend rather than the middle of the week, for example, would encourage larger numbers of audiences to turn out and watch on the weekend, when most box-office readings are usually done by industry trackers.

According to Lisa Diño, chairwoman of the FDCP, MC 2019-01 “addresses the gaps that have long plagued our industry when it comes to screening films in commercial theatres.” She adds that the decision has been arrived at following consultations by the FDCP with stakeholders in the film industry: producers, media distributors, exhibitors, and the moviegoers themselves. The original mid-week premiere setup tended to cause staggering of audience counts for film screenings, thus giving a less substantial number of who goes to the premieres, particularly for movies made in the Philippines.

In addition to the premiere date change the Film Development Council of the Philippines’ MC 2019-01 includes other changes to who films are screened in theaters. For example, all movies will now be guaranteed a full first-week run minimum in cinemas, rather than being prematurely pulled for low audience counts. Next, for their first three days’ run all movies must be full-screened, and not be double-booked in one theater. A balance between Filipino and foreign films must also be observed in multiplexes. Pricing will also be regularized. Metro Manila student patrons of age 18 and below need only pay P200, while provincial rates are P150.

Finally, MC 2019-01 states that all new movies must be given 150 days holdback following their cinematic premieres in the country, before they are made available on other platforms like home video or streaming. This is to maximize the revenue from traditional box office gross for movies, domestic or foreign.

Image courtesy of Inquirer Entertainment


Among the first new Hollywood blockbusters to greet moviegoers when the month of July comes is the absolute last segment of Phase 3 for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That is “Spider-Man: Far from Home,” starring Tom Holland as the un-“snapped” Peter Parker who embarks on a European adventure with super-beings to fight, just following “Avengers: Endgame” and the passing of his mentor Tony Stark/Iron Man. By this point most of the promotional material has gone out from trailers to posters. In the latter regard, actor Samuel L. Jackson, who plays Nick Fury, is not impressed by a poster of “Far from Home” that he saw.

USA Today tells us that Samuel L. Jackson has heavily criticized the photo of a poster for “Spider-Man: Far from Home” that has popped up on social media. On his Instagram page, Jackson showed the image of two “Far from Home” posters side to side. The one on the right showed him in character as former director of SHIELD Nick Fury with his trademark eye-patch. The one on the left depicted another shot of Fury, but it had its image flipped; Fury’s eye-patch was on the left eye, and this one was on the right.

Commenters on the actor’s Instagram post found the error humorous, including Jackson’s fellow MCU star Pom Klementieff (Mantis in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”). Another comment on the post identified the place where the “Spider-Man: Far from Home” posters were display at to be in Singapore. Said photo with the flipped-image poster was first revealed on Reddit, with similar humorous pokes at Fury’s character, such as him pretending to have a wounded eye to fraudulently claim disability benefits. Jackson on the other hand was his trademark swear-spouting self on his post which he punctuated with hash-tags such as #headsgonroll.

Stories on how the super-spymaster Nick Fury lost his eye will depend on the story medium. In the MCU franchise the origin was finally revealed early this year in “Captain Marvel” starring Brie Larson. The film, set in the 1990s, features a digitally de-aged Samuel L. Jackson as a younger field agent Fury with both eyes intact, until the left one is scratched blind by Goose, Captain Marvel’s alien “cat.” Although rendered sightless, Fury would keep the eye covered in his eye-patch, which would come to play in 2014’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” when he uses the blind eye for a retina security scan.

In other news, the May-released MCU epic blockbuster “Avengers: Endgame” has already gone past the original box-office run earnings of Steven Spielberg’s “Avatar” from 20th Century Fox. Comic Book Resources elaborates that “Endgame” needs only $38.3 million more added to its $2.7 billion to next surpass the 2009 sci-fi blockbuster’s lifetime total gross. As for Marvel-Sony’s “Spider-Man: Far from Home,” it will premiere July 2.

Image courtesy of Mashable