More Cowbell

To celebrate Christopher Walken‘s birthday today, here is the famous ‘More Cowbell‘ sketch from Saturday Night Live in 2000.

It depicts the (fictionalised) recording of Blue Öyster Cult‘s classic rock song (Don’t Fear) The Reaper and Walken plays a legendary music producer who suggests they include more of a certain instrument.

Will Ferrell wrote and stars in the sketch, which also features Jimmy Fallon.

> Christopher Walken at the IMDb
> More Cowbell at Wikipedia

Vimeo Launch Free iPhone App

Vimeo have just launched a iPhone app which allows users to upload and edit videos.

Since launching in 2004, the video-sharing site has become popular with filmmakers and currently has over 3 million members.

They also launched a festival and awards last year with M.I.A., David Lynch, Ted Hope, Lucy Walker and Morgan Spurlock among the judges.

Part of the site’s growth was down to the fact that it was an early adopter of HD and in 2009 Engadget reported that around 10% of uploads were in high definition.

The interface for the new app is pretty slick and the combination of the site and mobile editor make it very handy indeed.

It is a free download which you can use on newer iOS devices including the iPhone (3GS or 4), iPod touch (4th generation), or the iPad 2.

After a quick play around, it seems easier to use than the iMovie app (which costs £2.99 in the UK app store and $4.99 in the US) and the fact that its free is also a major bonus.

You can download the app from iTunes or via Vimeo.

> More information on the Vimeo blog
> Find out more about Vimeo at Wikipedia
> Filmmaker Magazine on the 2010 Vimeo Festival and Awards

Joe Alves on Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Production designer Joe Alves describes how he found the iconic locations for Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1978).

He had already worked with director Steven Spielberg on films such as The Sugarland Express (1974) and Jaws (1975), but Close Encounters involved more elaborate sets and visual effects.

In this interview with Herve Attia he discusses:

  • Finding the houses for the Neary and Guiler families
  • The enormous set built for various sequences including the climax
  • How his musical background influenced the famous colour scoreboard
  • His thoughts on the different versions
  • How the light of the spaceship was created

> More on Close Encounters of the Third Kind at Wikipedia
> Herve Attia’s channel on YouTube

Poster: The Tree of Life

The latest poster for Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life has appeared and is a patchwork affair with various characters and scenes from the film.

Look at little closer and you’ll see the dinosaur that is rumoured to make an appearance in the film.

The official website has been unveiled at www.twowaysthroughlife.com and intriguingly they also have a Tumblr site at twowaysthroughlife.tumblr.com

In other news, Empire dropped the bombshell earlier today that the film will be getting a UK release on May 4th, a full week ahead of its expected première at the Cannes Film Festival, which starts on May 11th.

There hasn’t been any official word yet from UK distributor Icon about their release plans, but it seems staggering that it would open at UK cinemas and completely scupper the possibility of what would be one of the most anticipated Cannes screenings in years.

The idea that a high profile festival premiere, featuring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn on the red carpet alongside Malick, would be sacrificed so UK audiences and critics could see the film a week earlier is fairly mind boggling.

It has already been announced that the film will screen there, but whether it will show in competition won’t be officially confirmed until April 14th when Thierry Fremaux announces the full lineup.

As I speak it isn’t listed on the official FDA release schedule, nor is there any word on Icon’s UK website.

According to Hollywood Elsewhere and Thompson on Hollywood, sources at US distributor Fox Searchlight are claiming that the Empire story is incorrect.

> The Tree of Life trailer
> More on the film at Wikipedia