We woke up early on day three. I think it was because we couldn’t believe we were halfway through the whirlwind that is CinemaCon.
Our morning began with the presentation from Walt Disney Studios. Beginning with Marvels CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER that is being released April 4th, followed by GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. Disney is also slated to release a live-action CINDERELLA that stars Cate Blanchett, Lily James and Helena Bonham Carter. There wasn’t any real news regarding the highly anticipated STAR WARS.
What did catch our delight is the 2015 animated film INSIDE OUT and we can not wait to see it all come together! The story actually comes from inside the head of a young girl and I can’t even begin to tell you how hilarious this film is going to be!
Lunch was not about the food this day as Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures International presented “From Passion to the Big Screen: The Work of Christopher Nolan”.
Nolan spoke of his earliest memories of films as a kid. “One of my earliest movie memories was STAR WARS. When 2001 was re-released I remember the feeling of an other worldly experience. I had an extraordinary time being taken away to another world. I didn’t understand what it all meant at the time but I knew it was extraordinary.”
He also spoke of celluloid over digital films with, “I’m committed to film, not out of a sense of nostalgia but because film captures so much. Emotionally and as ethically people watch ‘film’ because it works. For me technology has to exceed what I want and nothing had done it yet. I feel a responsibility to the audience and to theatres to create something amazing. I have been in an audience in a theater and seen the results. I don’t like that you can’t put a title up on the screen without seeing pixels. The resolution and contrast ratios HAVE to get better!”
Nolan did speak a bit about the upcoming film INTERSTELLAR but not at all about the plot. Instead he spoke about the practice of using actual locations in his films as opposed to CGI locations. “In all my films I’ve felt that shooting in a real location lets the audience feel they are there. The camera gets something more and with much high quality than CGI. We built sets in scale and shot INTERSTELLAR like a documentary. That is a huge benefit for the actors and it was an exciting process to do.”
Finally, on working with exceptional actors like Matthew McConaughey, Nolan says, “He has such incredible potential and I have an inside track on how he will be in INTERSTELLAR. When you work with great actors, as acting is an odd craft when done really well, you see a completely different person other than who they are.”
You can’t beat that and Nolan gave the audience so much to think about!
The afternoon brought the Sony presentation with highlights of its 2014 films brought by President Rory Bruer. Starting out was THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN 2, 22 JUMP STREET, DELIVER US FROM EVIL, WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL, SEX TAPE, THE EQUALIZER, THINK LIKE A MAN 2, THE INTERVIEW, FURY and ANNIE.
The evening concluded with a touching and emotional tribute to Tom Sherak. An actor-producer in Hollywood, Sherak also served as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and after was appointed Director of the L.A. Mayor’s Entertainment Industry and Production Office. Sherak passed away January 28th of this year from cancer.
The Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation presented wife Madeleine the “2014 Pioneer of the Year” award. A performance by The Tenors brought many emotions and tears from the audience.
After an informative three days one would think the final day would slow down – well to them I’d say ‘are you kidding?’
Day four doesn’t leave time for packing or checking-out early because CinemaCon makes sure every moment counts.
The morning began with 20th Century Fox giving their presentation to an awaiting audience – and they didn’t disappoint. Starting off with feathery dancing showgirls shimmying to the song from the upcoming film RIO 2 had the audience delighted. President Chris Aronson gave a rousing welcome and talked about the success at the box office. Once house business was completed he introduced Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann who came to the stage to talk about there film THE OTHER WOMAN. Following the ladies was X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST and DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES.
Shailene Woodley, hot off the opening of her film DIVERGENT, hit the stage to talk about her next film THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. There were also hints about Guillermo del Toro’s BOOK OF LIFE, DreamWorks HOME, THE MAZE RUNNER, GONE GIRL and SECRET SERVICE. All came to a close when Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson hammed it up for their next film LETS BE COPS.
The final day luncheon included a fascinating presentation “Delivering Happiness: Tony Hsieh” who is the CEO of Zappos.com. He spoke on his beliefs about customer service and how his company is expanding. This was a key note speech filled with honesty, humor and promise.
The final studio presentation came from Warner Bros. and it was pretty cool. CEO Kevin Tsujihara started out with mention of J.K. Rowling’s book FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM coming to the screen.
Dan Fellman and Veronika Kwan Vandenberg led the show directly to Johnny Depp and Morgan Freeman along with director Wally Pfister hitting the stage for TRANSCENDENCE.
Channing Tatum and baby bumped Mila Kunis talked on stage about their upcoming film JUPITER ASCENDING. Director Gareth Edward was on hand to jazz up the audience for Legendary’s offering of GODZILLA.
Adam Sandler and a very pregnant Drew Barrymore spoke of their new collaboration of BLENDED. R.J. Cutler spoke about the film IF I STAY starring Chloe Grace-Moretz. My heartthrob Richard Armitage and THE WALKING DEAD’s Sarah Wayne Callies joined director Steven Quale for the weather thriller INTO THE STORM.
Director Ben Falcone and wife Melissa McCarthy brought a sampling of there comedy about a waitress who loses her job but gains a road trip with grandmother Susan Sarandon.
Wrapping up the presentation was a look at THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU, DOLPHIN TALE 2, THE JUDGE and HORRIBLE BOSSES 2. Of course what Warner Bros. presentation would be complete without a message from LOTR’s Peter Jackson and a peek at the next installment LOTR: THERE AND BACK AGAIN. Yes, I geeked out totally!
Bringing CinemaCon 2014 to a close was the 2014 Big Screen Achievement Awards with emcees Billy Bush and Kit Hoover from Access Hollywood. The awards included:
Lifetime Achievement Award: Ivan Reitman
Female Star of Tomorrow: Shailene Woodley
Male Star of Tomorrow: Chadwick Boseman
CinemaCon Vanguard Award: Andy Serkis
Rising Stars of 2014: Nicola Pelta & Jack Raynor
Comedy Star of the Year: Leslie Mann
Breakthrough Performance of the Year: Chris Pratt
Comedy Filmmakers of the Year: Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg
Cinema Icon Award: Kevin Costner
Male Star of the Year: Adam Sandler
Female Star of the Year: Drew Barrymore
The entire CinemaCon closed with time to relax, talk and even a few goodbyes-till-next-year with friends and colleagues all congratulating each other for making it to another fantastic convention. Sitting by Pools of the Gods we were treated to a performance by Grammy Award Winning Artist Taylor Hicks and his band. It was a great way to the convention and the evening.
Well, that’s it! You have now experienced almost everything Jenise and I did at this years CinemaCon. Every year gets better and better so we are truly excited to see what 2015’s CinemaCon has to offer!
See you next year!