Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hollywood Producer William Fay: The Man Behind “300” and “Clash of the Titans”

My interview with Bill Fay - Producer of “Clash of the Titans”, “300”, "Independence Day" and other notable feature films. 

The remake of the cult film “Clash of theTitans” smashed opening weekend records, bringing in an estimated $61.4 million in sales over three days. The film kept its No. 1 spot at the box office two weekends in a row, bringing in a total of $110.5 million.

“We’re very proud of the film and its success, domestically and worldwide,” said William Fay, executive producer of “Clash of the Titans” and president of production at Legendary Pictures. We had the opportunity to sit down for lunch with the renowned Hollywood producer, to discuss some of the emerging technologies in Hollywood and how they are changing the landscape.

During our visit with Fay, he confirmed that there would be a sequel to “Clash of the Titans.” “Legendary Pictures has multiple titles in various stages of production and development,” he told us. “Currently, a sequel is in the works for ‘Clash Of The Titans’ and is planned for a release date in April 2012. We’re not planning on slowing down anytime soon,” he said. For Fay, success seems to come with every release he’s involved with. Over the years, he has produced blockbusters such as “300,” “Independence Day,” “Superman Returns,” and “The Patriot,” to name a few.

"Independence Day" was, without a doubt, an unforgettable experience,” Fay commented. “We produced it with a group of friends and colleagues, working as a team through trial and error. The film was made for $65 million and had a box office return of $815 million dollars worldwide.”

We asked Fay about the advantages and disadvantages of filming using green screens. Some actors have described their use as somewhat isolating and lonely. “‘Clash of the Titans’ and ‘300’ set new trends in filmmaking. ‘300’ was done almost exclusively in a warehouse in Montreal, with only one scene—the messenger’s arrival on a horse—filmed as an exterior shot outside of the warehouse. Green technology is challenging to actors. They have to create images in their mind with only a prop to suggest the presence of a figure or physical threat to react or respond to.

They have to adapt, as this is the new trend and way of the future. In the process, new ways have been developed to help actors in fully visualizing the scene on a display that shows the storyboard and its actual [and fictitious] participants. This process is making it more realistic and easier for actors to adapt to,” he responded. Unlike “300,” “Clash of the Titans” had a lot of on-location shooting on the island of Tenerife, which is part of the Canary Islands and is south of Morocco. Other locations included Ethiopia and Wales.As we continue to follow Fay’s projects with great interest and anticipation, we'll look forward to his continued success at the box office.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Great Pretender

For the longest time, Robert MacLean was hailed as a national hero. He was paraded around by the Government Accountability Project (GAP) and the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) as one of the most important whistleblowers of our generation. The mainstream media published a multitude of articles about MacLean and the horrors he faced for blowing the whistle. GAP and POGO called MacLean a prime example of the federal whistleblower experience. Lawmakers rallied to join the outpouring of support, praising his heroic actions. MacLean declared that as the result of his firing by the Department of Homeland Security, he was destitute, in desperate need of a job and on the verge of bankruptcy. His case sounded like the prototype of a heartbreaking whistleblower story. Trouble is, much of it simply wasn’t true.

Click on the link to read the rest of the article:

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Here Comes the Bride of Frankenstein

Throughout their travails, whistleblowers were made vulnerable to the onslaught of corruption by the monstrosity known as the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA). According to one of WPA’s key proponents, Tom Devine of the Government Accountability Project (GAP), the bill has become a “disastrous trap” that hurt whistleblowers, instead of helping them. Devine testified: “the WPA is like my professional baby. I spent four years devoted to its unanimous passage in 1989, and another two years for unanimous 1994 amendments strengthening the law…and my baby grew up to be Frankenstein. Instead of creating safe channels, it degenerated into an efficient mechanism to finish off whistleblowers“.

WPA’s Mary Shelley, Tom Devine, is now laboring to breathe life into the Bride of Frankenstein. Meet the WPEA (Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act), a bill S. 743 that is now pending in Senate. While the whistleblowers desperately lack adequate protection under the law, the WPEA fails to meet that need.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Former head of OSC Scott Bloch gets off scott-free

Hundreds of whistleblowers betrayed by the disgraced former head of the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), Scott Bloch, were conflicted about his recently imposed 30-day prison sentence. It was too light of a punishment, but it seemed better than nothing. However, aided and abetted by government prosecutors and a federal judge, Bloch managed to avoid serving any part of that sentence. On August 3, 2011, Chief U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth allowed Bloch to withdraw his guilty plea.