Peter Bogdanovich to Direct ‘The Inventor and the Tycoon’ Miniseries

Hot news out of the blue,  from The Wrap:

By Tim Kineally, June 5.

GETTY IMAGES

GETTY IMAGES

Project will explore the origins of cinema

“The Last Picture Show” director Peter Bogdanovich will explore the story of the first picture shows for his next project.

Bogdanovich has signed on to direct a TV miniseries adaptation of Edward Ball’s 2013 book “The Inventor and the Tycoon: A Gilded Age Murder and the Birth of Moving Pictures.”

The book explores the true story of motion-picture pioneer Edward Muybridge and industrialist-politician Leland Stanford, and their effect on the early days of cinema.

Bogdanovich is developing the project with Cohen Media Group, and is also serving as co-executive producer, along with Charles S. Cohen, Cohen Media Group president Daniel Battsek and Fred Roos (“The Godfather Part II”).

Bodganovich called “The Inventor and the Tycoon” a “fascinating story about the origins of cinema/beginning of movies and the amazing series of coincidences that led to that creation.”

Set in frontier-era California, Ball’s book explores how Muybridge — a murderer as well a technological pioneer — and his patron Stanford teamed to launch the age of visual media.

“Part of the screen art of Peter Bogdanovich is to make the American past look beautiful, feel intense, and to people it with rare characters,” Ball said of the adaptation. “Between Edward Muybridge, the murderer who gave us motion pictures, and Leland Stanford, the robber baron made in Gold Rush California, this 19th-century story has big American aura suited to his hands, and to CMG’s program for memorable, ambitious television.”

http://www.thewrap.com/peter-bogdanovich-to-direct-the-inventor-and-the-tycoon-miniseries/
How this news will affect the several plans for a feature film about Muybridge (one of which has already been filmed) remains to be seen.

Posted here by Stephen Herbert, with thanks and acknowledgement to The Wrap, and Getty Images.

 

Table Reading Marks Debut Of ’Man in Motion’

News from The Malibu Times of a new play about Muybridge:

By Jimy Tallal / Special to The Malibu Times

Posted on May 28, 2014 by MalibuTimesEditorial

malibu
In an unusual move, the new play, “Man in Motion,” written by local stage and television writer D. Paul Yeuell, will be introduced to its first live audience in the form of a table-reading at the Malibu Playhouse this Saturday.
Yeuell chose the format as “a good way to determine whether the material is ready for full production and maybe generate the interest of a repertory company with resources to get the play on its feet.”
Eleven actors will sit onstage facing the house and read directly from the script. Real-life Malibu married couple Jamey Sheridan and Colette Kilroy, both veteran actors, are taking on lead roles alongside a cast that includes TV/film actor Gil Bellows and eight others.

Kilroy plays a professional midwife “in an incredible predicament, being witness to the complications of the household.” Although she’ll be acting next to her real-life husband, she said, “Jamey and I will not rehearse together beforehand – we’ll see what happens in the group. I steer clear of talking about characters with actors, even my husband … For me, it’s best to discover in the playing together.”

Normally, a “table read” is a behind-the-scenes step in the pre-production process attended only by staff, with the actors bringing their characters to life for the first time behind closed doors. At this event, the audience will be folded into the process.

“It’s a great story that Paul skillfully unfolds, interweaving Muybridge’s debut of amazing footage of animals in motion at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair with his murder trial. The testimony at the trial is the device for telling what happened the night of the murder. It’s a great story, and that’s what draws me into projects,” said Malibu local and successful producer Randy Olson.

Yeuell hopes to learn from the live reading whether any parts are too long or too difficult, and gather feedback from the audience at the reception afterwards.
The production team is renting the Malibu Playhouse for the event on Saturday, May 31 at 6:00 p.m. Godmother of Malibu will cater the reception following the reading. Tickets are available online only for $25 at brownpapertickets. com/event/699090.

 

Posted here by Stephen Herbert

From Kingston boy to Google Doodle

google-doodle-090412

Thursday, 8 May (this week) at 6pm I shall be giving  talk at Kingston Museum, Wheatfield Way, Kingston upon Thames, KT1 2PS.

‘How did the young bookseller Ted Muggeridge from Kingston become renowned photographer Eadweard Muybridge of San Francisco, and how did Kingston Museum become the home of arguably the world’s most important Muybridge collection?’

and…

‘How is Muybridge’s work relevant to artists and the media of today?’

Find out on Thursday.

 

Posted here by Stephen Herbert

 

 

9 rue Cadet, Paris

October, 2013. Paris is a black-and-white film. All of the cars, all of the motorbikes and scooters, are black, grey, or white. The people wear black, grey, or white.

The traffic no longer keeps up the continuous klaxon blaring that I remember so well (has there been a change in the law?) I am reminded of Maxim Gorky’s response to the first Lumière films, famously shown in this city in 1895:

“Last night I was in the Kingdom of Shadows. If you only knew how strange it is to be there. It is a world without sound, without colour. Every thing there—the earth, the trees, the people, the water and the air—is dipped in monotonous grey. Grey rays of the sun across the grey sky, grey eyes in grey faces … shadows of a bad engraving.”

Only the vibrant fruit and vegetables outside the shops give the city any colour, which has otherwise leached out of the streets.

I’m staying for several weeks in a studio flat on rue Lafayette, and one day I decide to walk two Metro stops to Cadet. Some years earlier, I had come across a tenuous but possible reference to a link with Eadweard Muybridge, and an address in rue Cadet. It’s a busy, interesting street, alive with lunchtime diners outside cafes, local traders, busy, busy….

Will number 9 still be the pre-1860s building? I have no idea what to expect. Suddenly there it is. If I had been sent to Paris for film location research, to find the spot to represent the 1860s Muybridge connection, here it is, and without much need of a period makeover. In the center of the wide building that is no. 9 there’s an archway, with big open wooden doors.

This 18th-century building is where Chopin gave his first recital in Paris, and was once the home of the gardener of Louis XV. Over the archway is an old sign: PHOTO INDUSTRIELLE. As I walk through the arch the decades peel away in union with the peeling paint on the walls, the scene becomes an Atget photograph of the grimy Paris that in recent times has largely disappeared.

Opposite the arch is a peak-roofed glass-sided greenhouse – or perhaps once a glasshouse studio?

Individual artisan workshops, mostly now storerooms, form the perimeter of the cobbled yard, one side of which is set up as an experimental urban garden. Local workers sit on benches beside the period streetlamps, reading Le Monde to while away their lunch break hour.

Here is the story, as it originally appeared on this blog in 2010.

===================

In search of ‘Helios’

Onward away ! away his steeds,
Mad with the momentary pause,
Plunge through the scattered clouds !

Helios !

Richard Henry Horne
Prometheus the Fire-bringer (1864)

A few years ago, I noticed that the online catalog of the George Eastman House included an early address for Muybridge – in Paris. Could he really have been located in France in 1864?

Late Summer 1861 he wrote to his uncle that he was leaving for the continent “on business that may detain me some months.” On 3 December 1862 the Daily Alta California reported: ‘A letter from Paris of Oct. 24th says: There has been a great influx of Californians within the past few weeks. […] E.J. Muygridge was here a few days since, but has returned to London…’

I contacted George Eastman House.

Hello, I note that one of the addresses on your Bibliog file (online) for Eadweard Muybridge is:

ADDRESS:
France, Paris — 9 rue Cadet (1864)

This was the address of photographer M. Berthaud. I believe that Muybridge may indeed have been in Paris at this time, but there are no details in any of the biographical works that I have been able to find. Would it be possible to find out where this address came from? Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you, Stephen Herbert (Muybridge Consultant, Kingston Museum).

I received the following response:

Dear Mr. Herbert,
Yes, that does seem questionable. I do not have a way of supporting this Paris address and am inclined to delete it from our (new) database (not yet available to offsite research). As a compromise, I have moved it into 2nd place from 1st place in the record. Sorry to be so slow in responding and so unhelpful as well.

Joe R. Struble
Assistant Archivist

So that, I thought, was that. No way to check.

And then days ago, a private collector – finding the “Rue Cadet” address on my website during an internet search –  sent me this.

berne1
On the back of which, is this:

berne2

Yes, the trade name of  Mons. Berne-Bellecour in association with M. Berthaud was – ‘Helios’.

Around 1867, Michel Berthaud became associated with Etienne Berne-Bellecour (active in photography from 1864 to 1870 – was this E. Berne-Bellecour the painter?) who had already established the ‘Helios’ firm – we do not yet know exactly when. By 1867 Muybridge was back in  France, so unless Berne-Bellecour was using the name Helios in 1865-66, or earlier, our Muybridge connection disappears.

(After Bern-Bellecour’s departure in 1870 the firm continued under Berthaud, using the ‘Helios’ name for decades, and with many branches in the 1870s-80s.) [Eves Lebrec]

The possibilities seem almost endless – but here are three:

a) Muybridge worked in France for M. Berne-Bellacour’s company in the 1860s, which used the name Helios as an encompassing title to cover the photographs of more than one partner. This was where Muybridge developed his photographic skills, and accounts for why he isn’t found in the English press (including the photographic periodicals) at that time, and doesn’t seem to have been a member of any British photographic society. Somewhere there is evidence of this French connection, used by the GEH cataloguer.

b) Muybridge, who certainly visited Paris in the 1860s, noted the name Helios at M. Berne-Bellecour’s establishment, and adopted it for the same reason – a trade name would cover the published photographs of more than one photographer – which would tie in with Weston Naef’s suggestion.

c) Complete coincidence.

If (b) or (c), the GEH cataloguer must have noted the address on a dated French carte printed with the ‘Helios’ design, and aware that this was Muybridge’s trade name, made a leap of faith and assumed that he was working from that address at that time.

For a few moments I hoped that I would find an early use of Muybridge’s scratched ‘Helios’ with an acute accent (Hélios), a tiny Roland Barthes ‘punctum’ that would instantly prove a French connection, but as I peered fruitlessly at the various relevant photographs that hope gradually dissolved.

All of the above is circumstantial evidence at best, and proves nothing. But it certainly indicates that there are places to look in an attempt to find out what Muybridge was doing in Europe – including a possibility that he was already deeply involved in photography – in the ‘lost years’ of 1861-66. And if indeed he was involved in a photographic studio then a letter, or dusty ledger, or account book, or agreement  … some scrap that’s survived the century and a half between then and now, is out there waiting to be discovered, somewhere. Somewhere…. [end of blog post]

=================

And there has been a photographic connection that continues – one of several photographic companies that was set up here in 1861 survived until 1995. There is still a photographic laboratory on one of the floors of the current occupier, the Département Histoire de l’Architecture et Archéologie de Paris & secrétariat de la Commission du Vieux.

But it’s all too easy to be seduced into weaving this location into Muybridge’s life. In reality, any connection is most likely a fantasy, based on one simple error – the assumption that the trade name ‘Helios’ on the back of a carte-de-visite indicated an association with Muybridge. Just a fantasy. But I’m glad I came here to no. 9 rue Cadet, Paris. I’m very glad I came. I sit on a bench and eat my cheese baguette.

https://ejmuybridge.wordpress.com/2010/08/06/in-search-of-helios/

Eadweard – Cast & Creators on Global News tv (Canada)

global2Sara Canning, who plays Flora

Picture 14

“Just based on the photographs [of Muybridge] I’ve tried to fund an essence of who this madman was …  I’ve done a lot of just staring into his eyes….” says co-writer and producer Josh Epstein, explaining on Global News tv how he tried to get a hold on Muybridge’s character and personality.

The seven-minute tv clip is here:

http://globalnews.ca/video/717068/eadweard-muybridge-cast-creators

More location photos soon…..

global1

Posted here by Stephen Herbert

‘Eadweard’ influenced by Vancouver theatre scene

IMG_1362Photo credit to follow

Josh Epstein is co-producer of the Canadian Muybridge movie, and here’s his blog on preparation for this week’s shooting…

“The last few weeks working on our EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE movie have been an absolute rollercoaster.   Navigating making our first feature has presented an astounding amount of challenges, from raising (and securing!) the money to budgeting an epic period film with children, animals, artistic nudity, 50 locations, 40 actors, 100 extras, 400 period costumes, over 50 1880′s specialized cameras, a top notch film crew, a compound build at one location, and doing all that on a low indie budget and there’s no getting around paying for trucks, gas, security, insurance, meals, equipment.  All things that don’t actually improve your film but are essential for making a film.  We knew we had to be involved in every department to make this happen…. [read more]

http://www.motion58.com/?p=757

and some more here…

http://www.motion58.com/?p=642

Posted here by Stephen Herbert

Eklund on Muybridge

8588987

Michael Eklund is growing out his beard for his new role in the upcoming feature about early 20th century photographer and filmmaking pioneer, Eadweard Muybridge.

Photograph by: Arlen Redekop , PNG

 

Hollywood North: Michael Eklund pioneers a new look

for Vancouver-shot feature Eadweard

By Mark Leiren-Young, Special to The Vancouver Sun June 27, 2013

If there was a Leo Award for “best beard,” actor Michael Eklund would have won by acclamation.

Instead, Eklund got to show off his old-style face bush when he recently accepted an award for Best Performance by a Male in a Feature Length Drama for his role in Errors of the Human Body at B.C.’s annual film and television prize party earlier in June.

Eklund was already riding high on the success of The Call — Oscar winner Halle Barry’s surprise box office smash — where he played a serial killer who kidnaps Abigail Breslin (an Oscar nominee for Little Miss Sunshine).

Said Eklund, “Yes, they are both as beautiful and cool in real life.”

Both movies — along with a third film, Ferocious — debuted in theatres in the last three months.

Talking to The Sun in the lobby of the Westin Bayshore during the awards ceremonies, Eklund explained that his current facial fur is meant for his new role in the upcoming feature about early 20th century photographer and filmmaking pioneer, Eadweard Muybridge, which goes to camera in and around Vancouver on Canada Day.

The movie is directed by Kyle Rideout and produced by Josh Epstein, who co-wrote the script. Eklund said the low budget project was love at first read.

“When they first sent me the script I had no idea who they were or who this Eadweard Muybridge character was. After I turned the last page of the script I felt I needed to know everything about this mysterious sweaty-toothed madman, as well as the talented artists who wrote it and sent it to me.

“You do not read too many scripts like this. Every actor knows that feeling when they find it. For me, it was beautiful yet dangerous, soiled and yet whitened. All these words also describe the man who was Eadweard Muybridge. I was ready to sink my own sweaty teeth upon the goal to find out more.”

Currently known as Eadweard, the film will feature over 150 extras, 40 actors, 50 locations, period costumes, animals, children and “a stage coach squished with passion,” Eklund said. “The word ‘collaborative’ sums it up perfectly as the whole community seems to be involved.”

Epstein said that not only did the local film community embrace the making of the movie, the theatre community did as well.

“We’re making a $3 million dollar movie on a very, very low budget so we’ve been getting amazing resources from a lot of the theatre companies in town: The now defunct Playhouse, the Electric Company, the Arts Club, Studio 58, Playhouse Theatre, Chemainus the Renegade Arts Society, and also theatre lighting people and costume people,” Epstein said when interviewed last weekend at the Jessie Awards, where the popular stage actor (last seen in the Arts Club’s remount of The Craigslist Cantata) performed a song-and-dance number celebrating the Vancouver theatre scene.

“It’s sort of a mesh of film and theatre people helping us out. It’s a highly ambitious, epic indie film. Very epic.”

A native of Saskatoon, Eklund recalled falling in love with the movies as a five-year-old when his mom took him to a Sunday matinee, “planting the seed of magic inside of me.”

Determined to perform like his matinee idols Eklund spent the next decade auditioning for school plays — and not getting cast.

Unable to convince the world he was an actor, Eklund enrolled in art school to study painting. It didn’t take long before he was dropping out, packing his stuff and his dreams in a U-Haul and heading West to Vancouver to take a shot at stardom.

Eklund credited persistence and “the power of being so naive” for landing a top agent despite a complete lack of acting experience.”

The agent wasn’t the only one who saw potential — practically every casting agent in B.C. did.

Over the last few years Eklund has been featured on almost every major series shot here including Smallville, Supernatural, Intelligence and Alcatraz.

Eklund saw his latest role as a chance to explore the origins of his passion for moviemaking.

“I discovered that Eadweard Muybridge was a man who could stop time, a man obsessed with freezing motion. His work unknowingly was creating and inspiring the basis for moving pictures. He was the pioneer of film. And without him and his work the actual film we are making based on him could not have been made.”

Posted here by Stephen Herbert

‘Muybridge’ shooting next week

sara_canning_a_pSara Canning           Getty Images

From The Hollywood Reporter:

“The Vampire Diaries actress Sara Canning, Ian Tracey and Jodi Balfour have joined the cast of the untitled psychological drama centered on Eadweard Muybridge.

Michael Eklund is starring in the Canadian indie, which is being directed by Kyle Rideout and produced by Josh Epstein. Rideout and Epstein were behind Wait for Rain, a short that won best science fiction/fantasy at last year’s Comic-Con International Film Festival. The Muybridge project is their first feature. Also joining the cast are Christopher Heyerdahl and Torrance Combs. The movie begins principal photography next week in Vancouver…….

Canning will play Muybridge’s wife, while Balfour will be one of the photographer’s models who became the focus of some of his very first nudes. Tracey will portray the founder of Stanford University who enlists Muybridge’s services to win a famous bet over whether a horse had all four hooves off the ground while galloping. Canning stars in Primeval: New World, the North American version of the hit BBC sci-fi show. Tracey has appeared in the popular Canadian sci-fi show Continuum and appeared in Man of Steel and A&E’s Bates Motel. Balfour is one of the stars of CBC’s acclaimed show Bomb Girls.”

Phree Phantasmoscope

phenakHorseMuyb

Queensland Figaro, 14 July 1883. (National Library of Australia. Creative Commons)

Source: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article83677612

It’s 1883, you’re editor of the Queeensland Figaro, and looking around for a space filler. An old issue of the Scientific American is on a shelf by your desk. In the Supplement there’s a pretty cutout toy of a phenakistiscope (they call it a Phantasmoscope) with silhouettes of a Muybridge horse trotting endlessly. Snip out the piece, and paste it into your next issue. Better still, create an advert for your newspaper in a circle, and paste that in the middle. ‘Weekly, Wisely, & Wittily … 12/- a year in advance.’

phenakHorse4

Then every time one of these magic discs that your readers have cut out and pasted onto cardboard is handed to a friend to enjoy, they’ll read the advert and rush out and buy the paper, or better still subscribe. Brilliant, and all for free, courtesy Scientific American.

And the best bit is, 130 years later, it’s still for free, courtesy of that excellent resource, the National Library of Australia’s TROVE.

More about these paper discs, here.

Posted here by Stephen Herbert