NORTH BY NORTHWEST

In my metafictional satire, THE MIRROR, a version of myself attempts to help the enigmatic lifestreamer “Taylor” realize his dream of recreating scenes from some of his favorite movies.

As the two dreamers embark on a veritable journey back into cinema’s golden age, they attempt to recreate one of the most thrilling and iconic scenes ever to be projected onto the silver screen: Cary Grant running for his life from a crop-dusting biplane in Hitchcock’s NORTH BY NORTHWEST. As far as I know, this scene has never been recreated in its entirety.

In 2008, Vanity Fair organized a photo shoot that involved Seth Rogan inhabiting the role of Grant as he attempted to escape the wrath of the plane.

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But this was a mere still from a single shot of the scene.

It was not until Taylor — the one, and the only, @TaleOrTaylor — jumped into the middle of the famous scene and became the target of a shot-for-shot (more or less) reboot that it was fully recreated. He endured 3 full passes, the Boeing Stearman biplane missing him by just a few feet. This is the first time this death-defying scene has been authentically reproduced…and with NO computer-generated effects!

We’ve released the full clip of the scene. Check it out here!

As the master, Alfred Hitchcock, himself once said: “The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them.” For a lot more cinematic hijinks, you can watch the entire movie on iTunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/the-mirror/id797187475

Thanks for watching!

And…That’s A Wrap!

If you’re reading this, you can tell that I haven’t updated my blog for a while. That’s because shortly after my last post, I started production on my third feature film.

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The new film is a psychological thriller. It’s minimalist, but not even close to as minimalist as Detour. The shooting title was The Cabin, but it’s since been updated to: Don’t Look Back.

Here’s the logline from IMDb:

Nora Clark is a children’s book writer whose life is at a crossroads. After moving back into the house she inherited from her grandmother, Nora comes to grips with the traumatic memories from her childhood, and takes in an inquisitive, seductive new roommate, Peyton, who is not entirely whom she appears to be.

We began pre-production in October 2013 and started shooting two months later in early December. It was a 14 day shoot, which isn’t that long, but not uncommon in the world of indie filmmaking. The movie is a contemporary thriller that has a bit of a throw-back quality to it; a quality that, as a filmmaker, I felt channeled the early work of De Palma and Polanski. It is a type of project that I’ve always wanted to explore as a director.

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I had a wonderful crew. I re-teamed with my Detour cinematographer, Rob Kraetsch, and first assistant director, Paul Yates, to shoot the film. It was my first project with producer, Andrea Ajemian, who helped bring the movie, which was built from a story by Michael Testa, to life. I also had the privilege of working with a terrific cast, including Lucy Griffiths (True Blood), Cassidy Freeman (Longmire), Tyler Jacob Moore (Shameless), Kate Burton (Scandal) and Roddy Piper (They Live). I must admit, I was duly impressed that we had two John Carpenter alums on set: Kate, who starred in Big Trouble in Little China, and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, who starred in the cult classic They Live. If I’m not mistaken, They Live still boasts the longest fight sequence in cinema history.

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You must remember Roddy’s signature line from They Live….if not, I’ll remind you: “I’ve come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I’m all out of bubblegum.”

My first AD carried around a bucket full of bubblegum on set, just in case.

In all seriousness, Roddy was just amazing to work with; a true professional in every sense of the word. He plays against type in this film, and I strongly believe he’s gonna get some notice for his performance. It’s sure to hit a lot of nerves.

We just finished post-production, and the movie looks and sounds terrific. MarVista Entertainment is set to release it.

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Please stay tuned…I will be sure to post more info when the time comes. In the meantime, DON’T LOOK BACK!

DETOUR: Now On DVD!

My debut feature film, DETOUR, was released today on DVD through Kino Lorber.

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Here’s the lowdown: Trapped inside his car by a mudslide, slick Los Angeles businessman Jackson Alder suddenly finds himself in a situation he can’t talk his way out of.  With no hope of rescue, he must defy the odds, battling Mother Nature for his survival.

This also means the film is available on NetFlix.  Put the movie at the top of your queue and take the ride with Jackson.  I recommend watching it late at night, in a dark room, and with a sound system that includes a subwoofer.  We designed the home video experience to look, sound and feel like you are trapped in the car right there with him.

The rat’s rabbits are calling, the ladies and rabbits are calling…what are you waiting for?

The DVD is available for purchase on Amazon here:

http://www.amazon.com/Detour-Neil-Hopkins/dp/B00CBVWX5G/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1376422648&sr=8-3&keywords=detour

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