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How George R.R. Martin Is Building Out A Howard Waldrop Short Film Anthology With ‘Night Of The Cooters’, ‘The Ugly Chickens’ Starring Felicia Day – Santa Fe Int’l Film Festival

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Days before a Targaryen civil war erupts between Rhaenyra and Alicent on the season one finale of HBO’s House of the Dragon, you’ll find the series creator staying mum on fire-breathing animals and talking up his latest rotoscope animated short, Night of the Cooters, in his Santa Fe, NM stomping ground.

The Vincent D’Onofrio cowboys vs. aliens directed short based on the Howard Waldrop short story is one of four short movies that Martin is producing in what is shaping up to be an anthology either for the big screen ala Creepshow or TV ala Love, Death and Robots.

Night of the Cooters follows a crusty sheriff, played by D’Onofrio, who musters up the townspeople in his Texas town to take on an invading UFO. The pic played last night at the Martin owned Jean Cocteau Cinema where the Game of Thrones architect sat for a Q&A as part of the Santa Fe International Film Festival.

'Night of the Cooters'

”Night of the Cooters’
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Lumenscapes Illumination Media / Trioscope

In addition to Night of the Cooters, Martin recently finished production on the second title he owns from the sci-fi author Waldrop, currently titled Friends Forever. The short was directed by Justin Duval, a producer and DP on Night of the Cooters, and is currently in post.

The second, which is currently shooting in Santa Fe under the helm of Steven Paul Judd, is Mary Margaret Road-Grader which Martin billed as a “Native American-Mad Max story about tractor pulls and feminism.”

Then there’s Waldrop’s most notable work, The Ugly Chickens, about the extinction of the dodo, which is about to shoot in Toronto with Kodachrome‘s Mark Raso directing.

“We have Felicia Day signed up to play the lead role,” Martin told the audience.

Martin bought the rights to Waldrop’s short stories four years ago. When D’Onofrio was in town filming his directorial The Kid. Martin sat down to dinner with him.

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“I have these scripts, one about a constipated sheriff,” beamed Martin about his pitch to the Men in Black actor for Night of the Cooters.

It was D’Onofrio’s idea to have the film, which was shot in Santa Fe, to receive the rotoscope treatment. The Daredevil actor drew on a napkin what the tentacled alien would look like. Originally, Martin conceived the short, written by Joe R. Lansdale, as live-action.

“We have great tax credits while Texas has no tax credits,” said Martin about shooting what was a Texas-based story in New Mexico.

He encouraged the audience to vote again for Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham who has been behind the state’s film and TV tax incentive program. In fiscal 2022, film, television, and digital media production industry in New Mexico reached a record $855.4 million, +36% over fiscal year 2021.

“It’s not easy to get things made, whether you’re in Hollywood or out of Hollywood,” said Martin, “and especially it’s not easy to get short films made.”

“Short films don’t get a lot of distribution, people don’t see them except at film festivals,” Martin continued.

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“It’s kind of frustrating.”

However, if Martin can build a house for dragons, he can also do so for shorts.



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Netflix & Paramount+ To Profile ‘Strip Search Caller’ ; TVOKids Spotlights Down Syndrome With Toon Series; ‘One Piece Film Red’ London Takeover — Global Briefs

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Netflix & Paramount+ UK To Profile ‘Strip Search Caller’

Netflix and Paramount+ have struck a first of its kind-of-deal over a true crime documentary telling the story of the strip search caller in the U.S. Paramount+ has taken UK rights to Pervert: The Hunt for the Strip Search Caller and Netflix has rest of world on the doc, which it will be calling Don’t Pick Up the Phone. The deal is believed to be the first time two streamers have worked in such a way in the UK and rest of world. The doc tells the shocking story of a hoax caller who targeted fast food restaurants across the U.S. – posing as a police officer investigating a theft, the caller instructed managers to strip-search the young female employees he said were suspects. For many victims, what began as a humiliating strip search escalated into sexual abuse.

Canada’s TVOKids Spotlights Down Syndrome In Animated Series ‘Griffin And Turner’

EXCLUSIVE: Ontario, Canada’s TVOkids and Big Jump Entertainment are working on 2D-animated series Griffin and Turner. Based on real Canadian brothers who a significant online following, the show follows the supportive pair as they, their friends and family undertake personal challenges but focus on the journey rather than winning. Turner has Down syndrome, and TVOKids executive producer Kirsten Hurd noted the series has been developed in consultation with the Down syndrome community. Producer Big Jump is behind shows such as Shutterbug and Big Words, Small Stories.

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London Gets ‘One Piece Film Red’ Takeover After Record Haul

To celebrate the record-breaking haul of One Piece Film Red in the UK, the Straw Hat Pirates are set for a takeover of iconic London locations on November 26. Via local distributor Anime Limited and Toei Animation, the cast and memorable scenes from the series will be projected onto the County Hall of London, opposite the London Eye as well as other key locations. One Piece Film: Red has grossed over £800,000 in the UK and Ireland since it released earlier this month, making it the biggest of the long-running franchise. A phenomenon in Japan, One Piece Film Red has grossed $162M to date worldwide 



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‘All Quiet On The Western Front’, ‘Belfast’ Top 2022 EFA Arts & Crafts Awards

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Edward Berger’s All Quiet On The Western Front and Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast top the European Film Academy’s Excellence Awards honoring achievement in the arts and crafts categories, the winners of which were announced on Wednesday.

Belfast won best European Production Design for Jim Clay, whose credits include Children Of Men, for which he won a Bafta in 2006, and Murder On The Orient Express.

The drama, set against the backdrop of the beginnings of “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland in 1969, also won best European Costume Design for Charlotte Walter (Blithe Spirit, Misbehaviour)

Netflix-backed German WWI drama All Quiet On The Western Front won best European Make-up & Hair for Heike Merker, and Best European Special Effects for Frank Petzold, Viktor Müller and Markus Frank.

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 In other categories, best European Cinematography was won by Kate McCullough for her work on Colm Bairéad’s Irish-language drama The Quiet Girl.

Best European Editing went to Özcan Vardar and Eytan İpeker for Turkish director Emin Alper’s drama Burning Days.

Polish composer Paweł Mykietyn won best European Original Score went for Jerzy Skolimowski’s EO.

Best European Sound went to Simone Paolo Olivero, Paolo Benvenuti, Benni Atria, Marco Saitta, Ansgar Frerich & Florian Holzner for Michelangelo Frammartino’s cave exploration drama The Hole.

The winners, which are decided by a special expert jury, will receive their awards at the European Film Awards ceremony on 10 December in Reykjavík.

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Jennifer Lopez’s Social Media Mysteriously Goes Dark

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EXCLUSIVE: The actress, producer and top-selling performing artist’s social media channels including Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter have suddenly gone dark in their featured/cover images.

Reps for Jennifer Lopez were unavailable for comment, but we hear from others that The Hustlers and Marry Me actress is on the verge of announcing a new project.

Here’s a look at her Instagram tonight:

While Lopez’s Instagram had erased all posts, a trail of her previous postings remained on Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter. Across all four social media portals, Lopez counts close to 347M followers, the majority of that coming from her Instagram.

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Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions in June 2021 signed a multi-year first-look deal with Netflix spanning feature films, TV series and unscripted content, with an emphasis on projects that support diverse female actors, writers and filmmakers. Lopez co-runs Nuyorican Productions with her producing partner Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas.

Lopez scored her best opening for a live-action movie at the domestic box office with STX’s 2019 stripper caper Hustlers which debuted to $33.1 million, and grossed $105M stateside, $157.6M worldwide.  As a recording artist, Lopez has sold over 70 million albums, with J.Lo became her bestselling album with 3.8M copies sold in the U.S. and 12M global. Her Netflix thriller The Mother from director Niki Caro is set to debut in May. Her romantic comedy Shotgun Wedding with Josh Duhamel will hit Prime Video on Jan. 27.

On Facebook, one of her followers, Steffany Merino wrote, “What’s happened? Hope you and your wonderful family are ok. I’ll pray for your health and safety.”

Again, we hear something special is in the works in the next few days.



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