Update: New Developments and Future Plans
Although there has been a paucity of new content on this website of late, writer and filmmaker Peter Hanson has been busy. From 2012 to 2015, he earned his MFA in screenwriting from UCLA, and more recently, he put several new projects (including books, movies, and a possible web series) into development. Meanwhile, Hanson has continued writing his daily blog, "Every '70s Movie," which has earned over 2.5 million views. (Check out the blog here.) Additionally, Hanson now teaches in the MFA screenwriting program at Pepperdine University, occasionally guest-lectures at UCLA, and contributes articles to "Written By," the official magazine of the Writers Guild of America, West. Stay tuned for announcements of exciting projects in the not-too-distant future . . .
12-9-15: New Short Film Now Streaming
Peter Hanson's latest short film, a behind-the-scenes comedy titled "The Pre-Interview," is now streaming on YouTube. Completed in late 2014, the project was shot in an afternoon and features two of Hanson's peers from the UCLA MFA screenwriting program, Suzanne Curtis and Stephen Peltier, giving wry performances as a talk-show guest and a talk-show producer, respectively. Watch the movie here.
7-1-13: Translated Edition of "Dalton Trumbo, Hollywood Rebel" Published in Japan
Newly translated into Japanese, Peter Hanson's first book, Dalton Trumbo, Hollywood Rebel, was recently published as a paperback in Japan to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the classic romantic drama.
November 2012: Final "Closure" Festivals
The festival run for Closure concludes this month with screenings at the Route 66 International Film Festival, in Springfield, Illinois (on Nov. 2) and at the Big Water Film Festival, in Ashland, Wisconsin (on Nov. 10). Congratulations to everyone involved, and thanks to the programmers who selected the film for exhibition!
4-17-12: "Closure" to Screen in Long Island
One of the next stops in the festival tour for Closure will be the Long Island International Film Expo, taking place from July 12 to July 19. Closure will screen on the opening day of the festival at 5 pm. Although the full schedule for the event has not yet been announced, you can find more information here.
3-8-12: Bare Bones Festival Next for "Closure"
Closure has been selected to screen at the Bare Bones International Film and Music Festival, taking place in Muskogee, Oklahoma, from April 13 to April 22. Billed as "the friendliest film festival in the world," Bare Bones will announce schedule details soon. For more information on the event, click here. (Update: Closure will screen during the comedy-shorts program showing at 9:30 pm on Wednesday, April 18.)
2-27-12: Los Angeles Premiere for "Closure" Set
Following its initial screening at the Taos Shortz Film Fest, Closure will make its hometown premiere on March 24 as part of the LA Film + Music Weekend, taking place at the Downtown Independent Theater. Closure will screen in the evening shorts program commencing at 10:15 PM (for more information, visit lafilmweekend.com). News about additional festivals should be on its way soon!
1-27-12: "Closure" to Premiere at Taos Shortz Film Fest
Peter Hanson's short film Closure will make its festival premiere at the Taos Shortz Film Fest, unspooling on the weekend of March 1-4 in Taos, New Mexico. (For more information, click here.) Watch this space for more news as Closure winds through the festival circuit throughout 2012.
12-31-11: Happy New Year, and What's Coming in 2012: "Closure" and More
As 2011 winds down, plans are taking shape for an interesting new year. Peter Hanson's short film Closure is now completed, thanks once again to the terrific work of editor J.D. Funari (who cut Tales from the Script), so watch for news about the comedy's film-festival premiere. On the journalistic front, Yahoo! Voices (formerly Associated Content) and Script magazine are both going through organizational changes, so it's not clear if Peter Hanson's Yahoo! articles or his Script column "Beyond the Page" will continue. However, the blog Every '70s Movie is going strong: To date, over 500 movies have been reviewed on the blog. In addition to Closure, the big Grand River Films project for 2012 is Peter Hanson's new nonfiction book, Scriptbuilding: A Common-Sense Approach to Screenwriting, which is nearing completion. As the saying goes, watch this space!
10-14-11: The Blog "Every '70s Movie" Is One Year Old Today
The first review on Peter Hanson’s blog Every ’70s Movie appeared online a year ago today, on Thursday, October 12, 2010—the review was of Martin Scorsese’s great entry into the annals of chick flicks, 1974’s Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, which got a well-deserved “Right On” rating—and hundreds of movies have been reviewed since the blog launched. If you haven’t checked out the blog yet, visit it here. Enjoy!
4-20-11: New Short Film "Closure" Now in Post-Production!
Production wrapped yesterday on writer-director Peter Hanson’s new comedy short film, Closure. The cast, pictured below, includes (from left) Alice Ensor, Scott Krinsky, and Holly Hawkins. Krinsky is a regular on the NBC TV series Chuck, and he plays an easygoing man faced with one of bachelorhood’s trickiest questions: “What do you say when she won’t go away?” Watch for more news soon as Closure moves through post-production on its way to a festival premiere later this year. In the meantime, congratulations to the fantastic cast and crew for a terrific shoot!
3-10-11: Project Updates
At least two new projects from Peter Hanson will hit the marketplace this year. On the film side, Hanson’s new short film, Closure, will soon enter production. It’s a comedy that Hanson wrote and will direct, and a completion date of this year is anticipated. On the literary side, Hanson is working on a new book, Scriptbuilding: A Common-Sense Approach to Screenwriting. Watch this space for news on these and other exciting projects!
1-25-11: Yahoo! Contributor Award for Content of the Year
Peter Hanson's 2010 article “The Trouble with Truthiness: Are Movies Like The Social Network Irresponsible?” was honored today with a Yahoo! Contributor Award for Content of the Year. Originally written in early October for AssociatedContent.com, which was absorbed into the Yahoo! fold late last year, the article has received over 136,000 page views to date. For details and Hanson's brief acceptance speech, click here.
1-2-11: Praise From Jon Favreau!
This amazing Tweet from “Iron Man” director Jon Favreau speaks for itself: “For insight into screenwriting, check out Tales from the Script.” Thanks!
12-31-10: Looking Back at a Big Year
The release of the “Tales from the Script” project got off to an amazing start in 2010. As of year's end, the movie had scored dozens of outstanding reviews, played in 14 cities, seven states, and three countries; premiered on international television; and earned well over 20,000 user ratings on Netflix. The movie and the companion book have been adopted by film professionals and cinema teachers as important eduational tools.
Yet that's not all that happened in 2010 here at Grand River Films. Peter Hanson's script “Savage” sold to production company Picture Road LLC; he began preparations to direct his dramatic feature “The Eulogist," based on his original script; he created the “Beyond the Page” column for “Script” magazine; and he spoke at events and institutions including the American Cinematheque, the American Film Institute, the Great American Pitchfest, Loyola Marymount University, and the Screenwriting Conference in Santa Fe.
Furthermore, Hanson launched the blog “Every '70s Movie,” which is steadily building an international audience; he continued writing film-themed articles for Associated Content, where his pieces have earned over half a million page views; and he began Tweeting (@grandriverfilms). Hanson even made a brief appearance in the documentary “The People vs. George Lucas,” which played at international festivals throughout 2010. To close out the year, Hanson completed the first draft of his next nonfiction book, which will be released in 2011 (more news on that project soon).
With sincere thanks to everyone who supported these projects in 2010, here's to more great things in 2011!
10-17-10: Brand-New Blog!!! (Click Logo to Read)
10-10-10: Major "Field Guide" Update & Other News
As “Tales from the Script” continues to thrive on home video (to date, over 19,000 viewers have rated the movie on Netflix alone, giving the movie an enviable rating of 3.6 stars), Peter Hanson is working on several projects. News about his next book should surface by the end of this year; his feature-length drama script “The Eulogist” is in development for a possible 2011 start date, with Hanson directing; he’s contributing weekly articles about movies to AssociatedContent.com; he recently created a column for “Script” magazine titled “Beyond the Page,” which will debut in the Nov/Dec 2010 issue, on sale soon; and he will launch an entertaining new blog project later this month (more on that later). In the meantime, Hanson just completed a long-in-the-works update of his playful cinema directory “Peter Hanson’s Field Guide to Interesting Film,” found exclusively at this site. Check out the newly expanded guide to read 120 brand-new entries on actors, books, filmmakers, and movies.
6-14-10: "Savage" Screenplay Sells to Picture Road
Peter Hanson's screenplay "Savage," based on a story cowritten with Thomas Curley, was purchased today by Picture Road LLC, an independent production company that will now begin the process of attaching talent and securing a studio deal. The project and the company have a long history. Originally written several years ago under the title "Ten Feet Tall," the action/horror script was optioned by Picture Road partners Patrick Anding and Jesse Blanco in 2005, during which time an established genre-film director nearly came aboard to shoot the project. After Hanson and Curley regained the rights, the script went through a major rewrite and now the new version has landed back at its original home. The subject matter of the script is being kept under wraps until such time as Picture Road makes a formal announcement, which may not happen until a director is attached.
4-23-10: Leonard Maltin Praises the "Tales from the Script" DVD
Household-name film critic/historian Leonard Maltin prominently featured the "Tales from the Script" DVD on his Reelz Channel TV show "Secret's Out With Leonard Maltin," which celebrates worthwhile limited-release films. Maltin devoted several minutes to the movie, showing a number of clips and explaining that he appreciated the film because he realizes that screenwriters don't usually get to share in the Hollywood spotlight. Here's an excerpt from his terrific review: “A hidden gem . . . I’m happy to call your attention to 'Tales from the Script,' a documentary that celebrates both the art of screenwriting and the painful process of plying your trade in the tough town called Hollywood. . . . What can one learn from all the anecdotes gathered by director Peter Hanson? That if telling stories is your passion, and it’s the one thing you want to do most in life, you will somehow find a way to endure the slings and arrows of the movie business. Of course, it helps to have talent.” For more on the "Tales" DVD, click here.
4-1-10: "Tales" DVD Launch Event at the Aero Theatre Announced!
To celebrate the release of "Tales from the Script" on DVD, Peter Hanson will screen the movie at the American Cinematheque's Aero Theatre in Santa Monica, and then moderate a panel discussion featuring a number of the documentary's cast members. Scheduled panelists include Steven E. de Souza ("Die Hard"), Peter Hyams ("2010: The Year We Make Contact"), Adam Rifkin ("The Dark Backward"), Bruce Joel Rubin (the Academy Award-winning writer of "Ghost"), Stephen Susco ("The Grudge"), Kriss Turner ("Something New"), and more! "Tales from the Script" books and DVDs will be available for purchase at the event. To buy tickets, click the following text to visit Fandango.com. Last year's Cinematheque screening nearly sold out, so don't miss this exciting event!
3-12-10: "Tales" Hits the Marketplace, Wins Rave Reviews!
The "Tales from the Script" movie finally hit theaters this week, earning countless accolades on both coasts! To read a sampling of the amazing reviews, please visit the "Tales from the Script" page on this website by clicking here. And don't forget to buy your copies of the "Tales from the Script" book and movie, both available for purchase on the aforementioned page! To keep up with all of the exciting events surrounding the release of the "Tales from the Script" project, become a fan on the project's Facebook page by clicking here! (If you have any difficulty accessing the Facebook page, simply log into Facebook and search for "Tales from the Script Book/Film Project".) For your browsing enjoyment, below are two snapshots from the theatrical release. At left is the marquee of Laemmle's Music Hall in Beverly Hills, and at right is the lobby of the Quad Cinema in New York's Greenwich Village. The "Tales" movie is keeping good company, right next to this year's Best Picture, "The Hurt Locker"! More photos are on Facebook.
2-15-10: New Instructional Videos Online at TVLesson.com
1-9-10: New Article in "Script" Magazine
The new issue of "Script" magazine, featuring designer-turned-director Tom Ford on the cover, includes a new original article by Peter Hanson titled "The Agony of the Unproduced," an examination of the emotional and professional difficulties facing emerging screenwriters who have not yet had a movie made from one of their scripts. The issue is on newsstands now.
1-8-09: Los Angeles & New York Film Openings Confirmed
The "Tales from the Script" documentary will make its American theatrical debut on March 12, 2010, when it opens for a special one-week engagement at the Quad Cinema in Manhattan's Greenwich Village. And on March 19, the film will open at the Laemmle Music Hall Theatre in Beverly Hills for a one-week West Coast theatrical engagement. If you live in New York or Los Angeles, be sure to take advantage of these very special opportunities to see "Tales from the Script" in a theatrical setting!
12-22-09: First "Tales from the Script" Book Events Announced
Promotional events for the "Tales from the Script" book and movie will be announced throughout 2010, and the first events have already been scheduled. On Jan. 26, 2010 (the book's publication date), Peter Hanson will attend a book launch at Dolly's Bookstore in Park City, Utah, during the Sundance Film Festival. The event starts at 7 pm. Click here for information. And on Feb. 24, 2010, Hanson will sign books at Book Soup, the beloved independent bookstore in West Hollywood, California. The event starts at 7 pm; click here for information. Watch this space for additional events soon!
12-7-09: First Run Features Acquires "Tales from the Script"
Venerable independent distributor First Run Features, recently feted at Lincoln Center for three decades of releasing innovative films, has acquired North American distribution rights to director Peter Hanson's "Tales from the Script" following the documentary's successful yearlong run on the film-festival circuit. First Run will release the film theatrically on March 12, 2010, in New York City, with bookings and special engagements in other cities to follow. And then, on April 20, 2010, First Run will release the film on DVD. Watch this space for updates as additional theatrical engagements are announced!
11-15-09: "Tales" Praised by Kasdan, Pressman, Sayles
Peter Hanson solicited feedback on the “Tales from the Script” book from film-industry heavy hitters, and the early reviews are incredible. Lawrence Kasdan, the Oscar-nominated writer/director of “The Big Chill,” said the book contains “fascinating tales from the belly of the best.” Legendary independent producer Ed Pressman (“Wall Street”) added: “This book is a must-read for anyone who depends on the screenwriter’s craft. And that’s a lot of us.” And Oscar-nominated writer/director John Sayles (“Lone Star”) said the book “gathers notable veterans of the screen wars who demonstrate the basic truth of our adventures in Movieland: Writing is the easy part.” Hanson extends his immeasurable gratitude to these generous professionals for their kind words.
10-24-09: Final "Tales" Festival Screenings Set for Arkansas, Colorado
Following successful screenings at the Austin Film Festival (where the "Austin Chronicle" put "Tales" on its list of the seven most promising movies at the festival, and the "Austin American Statesman" picked "Tales" as one of the top ten movies to see at the festival), and at Big Bear Lake International Film Festival, the "Tales from the Script" documentary feature is completing its festival run with two final presentations. On Saturday, Nov. 7, the film will screen at 4:30 pm as part of the first-ever 540 Fest in Fayetteville, Arkansas (for more info, click here). And just before Thanksgiving, the last two festival screenings of "Tales from the Script" will take place at the Starz Denver Film Festival in Denver, Colorado. "Tales" unspools at 6:30 pm on Thursday, Nov. 19, and again at 12:30 pm on Saturday, Nov. 21; both screenings will take place at the Starz Film Center. Director Peter Hanson will be in attendance at both screenings. For more info on Starz Denver, click here. Watch this space for news about plans for the movie's post-festival release!
10-23-09: New Article in "Script" Magazine
9-12-09: “Tales” Set for Big Bear and Austin Festivals
“Tales from the Script” will screen later this month at the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival, set in the picturesque resort town of Big Bear Lake, California. The documentary will unspool at 1:15 pm on Saturday, Sept. 19, and a brief Q+A with project participant David S. Ward (“The Sting”) will follow. Ward also will receive this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Screenwriting at the festival. In October, “Tales from the Script” will screen at the prestigious Austin Film Festival in the capital city of the Lone Star State. The exact screening date will be announced in early October, and the Austin screening will be followed by a panel discussion featuring director Peter Hanson and participants Shane Black (“Lethal Weapon”) and David Hayter (“X-Men”). Watch for another announcement soon about the documentary’s final festival screenings.
8-8-09: New Article in “Written By” Magazine
The latest screening of “Tales from the Script” documentary took place last night at the historic Egyptian Theatre in downtown Hollywood, and the event drew an audience of over 500 moviegoers, including bloggers, producers, screenwriters, and other VIPs from throughout the film-industry community. After the screening, director Peter Hanson led a panel discussion featuring project participants Larry Cohen, Zak Penn, Billy Ray, Adam Rifkin, Jose Rivera, and David S. Ward. Also in attendance were project participants Michael January, Richard Rush, and Michael Wolk. Co-presented by the American Cinematheque, Final Draft Inc./Script Magazine, Grand River Films, and Greenwriter.org, the event was videotaped for a podcast that Script Magazine plans to release in the near future. Pictured below during the lively panel discussion, from left to right, are Peter Hanson, David S. Ward, Zak Penn, Larry Cohen (speaking), Adam Rifkin, Billy Ray, and Jose Rivera. (Photo by Michael Tran)
8-1-09: Video Release Date Announced for “Trumbo”
The outstanding documentary “Trumbo,” featuring brief appearances by Peter Hanson, will be released on DVD by Magnolia Home Entertainment on September 15. Highly recommended for movie buffs and students of American political history, the clever film meshes unscripted interviews with staged readings of Trumbo’s famous correspondence. Starring Joan Allen, Kirk and Michael Douglas, Nathan Lane, Donald Sutherland, and many more, the movie received accolades including recognition from the National Board of Review as one of 2008’s best movies. The DVD can be pre-ordered from Amazon by clicking here.
7-28-09: Peter Hanson Interviewed for “The People vs. George Lucas”
Peter Hanson was interviewed earlier today for the upcoming documentary “The People vs. George Lucas,” an intriguing project by Alexandre O. Philippe in which a courtroom format will be used to explore the reasons why fan reactions to George Lucas’ latter-day work, specifically the three “Star Wars” prequels released between 1999 and 2005 and the “special edition” re-releases of the original “Star Wars” trilogy, are so vehement. Key interviewees for the project include Gary Kurtz, producer of the original 1977 “Star Wars,” and Lucas biographer Dale Pollock. Hanson offered a critical analysis of the screenwriting in Lucas’ movies and, in his capacity as the author of “The Cinema of Generation X,” presented theories on why the original “Star Wars” trilogy affected Gen-Xers so deeply. To track this unusual project, visit the official site here.
7-25-09: Major Update of Site Content Completed!
A substantial update of site content has just been completed at GrandRiverFilms.com, and here’s a quick overview of the changes because there’s quite a bit of fresh stuff to enjoy. Thirty new entries have been added to Peter Hanson’s Field Guide to Interesting Film. Over five dozen photos have been added to the Photo Gallery section. An information page has been created for the “Tales from the Script” project. Several new videos have been added, including a special online-only ten-minute version of Peter Hanson’s short film “Stagehand”; just click here to watch the videos. Enjoy, and as always comments and feedback are appreciated: Write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for visiting.
7-10-09: Audio Interview Online at "Script" Magazine Website
The team at Final Draft Inc., publishers of the industry's leading screenwriting software, are getting behind the Los Angeles premiere of the "Tales from the Script" documentary in a big way. In addition to presenting the screening as a means of building buzz for a series of screenwriting-themed screenings that Final Draft will present at the American Cinematheque beginning in the fall, the editors at Final Draft's excellent magazine "Script" recently recorded and featured a podcast interview with Peter Hanson. To listen to the interview, click here. Thanks to the whole team at Final Draft Inc. for the generous support.
7-4-09: Los Angeles "Tales from the Script" Sneak Preview Announced
The "Tales from the Script" documentary will make its Los Angeles premiere on Wednesday, August 5, with a sneak-preview screening at the American Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre in downtown Hollywood. Unspooling at 7:30 pm, the film will be followed by a panel discussion featuring a number of the film's high-profile participants. Scheduled panelists include Larry Cohen ("Phone Booth"), Frank Darabont ("The Shawshank Redemption"), David Hayter ("X-Men"), Billy Ray ("Shattered Glass"), Zak Penn ("The Incredible Hulk"), Adam Rifkin ("The Dark Backward"), Jose Rivera ("The Motorcycle Diaries"), and David S. Ward ("The Sting"). Other special guests will be on hand for the festivities as well. Advance tickets are available at Fandango.com (click here), and further information is available at the Cinematheque's official site (click here). All proceeds will benefit the American Cinematheque.
7-1-09: Release Date Announced for "Tales from the Script" Book
Now officially titled "Tales from the Script: 50 Hollywood Screenwriters Share Their Stories," the nonfiction book extrapolated from the same massive project that generated the "Tales" documentary will be released on January 26, 2010. The nonfiction title is the first release from !T Books (pronounced ("It"), the new pop-culture imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Listing for an economical $14.99, the trade paperback is already available for pre-order from Amazon.com by clicking here. Featuring all the great names from the documentary, the book also includes interviews with luminaries not in the movie, including Mike Binder ("The Upside of Anger"), Nora Ephron ("Sleepless in Seattle"), Robert Mark Kamen ("Taken"), and Paul Mazursky ("An Unmarried Woman").
6-25-09: "Tales" Trailer Goes Viral, New Interview with Peter Hanson
Online reporters have started to discover "Tales from the Script," and here are a few samples of recent online coverage. JoBlo.com, one of the most-trafficked sites for in-the-know movie fans, posted the movie's trailer in an enthusiastic item you can read here. A site called The Documentary Blog picked up the story too, along with one of the portraits Peter Hanson took for the project; check out the article and Hanson's photo of legendary horror filmmaker John Carpenter here. And to wrap up this report, check out a brand-new interview with Peter Hanson via the blog component of Script-A-Wish, a website that helps struggling screenwriters achieve their dreams. Read the interview here.
5-14-09: "Tales from the Script" Screens at Writers Guild of America, West
Peter Hanson recently became a member of the Writers Guild of America, West, and the organization presented an intimate screening of "Tales from the Script" at the WGAw's offices in Los Angeles. Participant Ari B. Rubin, who contributes his perspective as a second-generation screenwriter to the film, was in attendance, and a spirited Q+A followed in which Hanson shared stories about the film's production. The documentary's formal Los Angeles premiere will be announced soon, and tickets will be available to the public.
4-26-09: Screening and Panel at Newport Beach Film Festival
Peter Hanson made two appearances at the Newport Beach Film Festival yesterday, presenting a screening of "Tales from the Script" and also moderating the panel "Screenwriting: Beyond the Blank Page." Presented to a near-capacity audience in the Edwards Island Cinemas multiplex at Fashion Island, the panel featured "Tales" participants Doug Atchison ("Akeelah and the Bee") and Mark Fergus ("Iron Man"), plus Oscar-nominated author/screenwriter Steven J. Rivele ("Nixon"). The panel covered subjects ranging from good and bad relationships with directors to the challenge of accepting the drastic changes that are made to most screenplays. Pictured below, from left to right, are Rivele, Hanson, Atchison, and Fergus.
4-8-09: "Tales" and Talk in Wine Country
The "Tales from the Script" documentary screened last weekend at the Sonoma International Film Festival, in the heart of Northern California's wine country, and audiences connected deeply with the movie's front-line stories about life in the Hollywood screenwriting trenches. In addition, Peter Hanson moderated "A Conversation With Robert Mark Kamen," a 90-minute presentation featuring part-time Sonoma resident Kamen. The wide-ranging conversation covered everything from the means by which Kamen's martial-arts background inspired him to create the "Karate Kid" franchise to the nuances of his long collaboration with Luc Besson ("Taken," "The Fifth Element"). Compliments to the whole Sonoma team for putting together a wonderful event. Pictured below are Hanson and Kamen. (Photo by Gustavo Fernandez)
3-26-09: Screenings at Sonoma and Newport Announced
The festival run of "Tales from the Script" continues with screenings at the Newport Beach Film Festival and the Sonoma International film festival, both in April. Sonoma comes first, with "Tales" appearing as part of the festival's opening night on Thursday, April 2, at 8:30 pm. A follow-up screening takes place on Saturday, April 4, at 9:30 am. Later that day, Peter Hanson will moderate an on-stage conversation with Robert Mark Kamen, the screenwriter of "Taken" and "The Karate Kid." And on April 25, "Tales" will screen at the Newport Beach Film Festival. Showtime is 3:15 pm. These festivals will feature the first public screenings of the documentary's new 105-minute cut.
1-10-09: "Tales from the Script" Premieres at Palm Springs Int'l Film Festival
A preliminary version of the documentary feature "Tales from the Script" was unveiled to the public at the Palm Springs International Film Festival today. Presented to a packed house at the Palm Canyon Theatre, the first-ever screening was followed by a lively panel discussion moderated by "Tales" director Peter Hanson. The panel featured screenwriters David Hayter ("X-Men"), Michael January ("The Heist"), Guinevere Turner ("American Psycho"), and Justin Zackham ("The Bucket List"). Pictured below, from left to right, are Zackham, January, Turner, Hayter, and Hanson. (Photo by Nick Fair)
12-4-08: NBR Recogntion for "Trumbo"
Peter Askin's documentary "Trumbo" will receive the Bulgari Award for Freedom of Expression from the National Board of Review, the critics' association that issues an influential list every December of the year's best films. The NBR, now celebrating its 100th year (!) of existence, will present its 2008 awards at a gala event on Jan. 14, 2009, in New York, with Whoopi Goldberg hosting.
12-3-08: "Tales from the Script" Publisher and Film Premiere Set
The release plans for the book/film project "Tales from the Script" are coming into focus. The world premiere of the feature-length documentary "Tales from the Script" will take place at the Palm Springs International Film Festival on Jan. 10, 2009, in Palm Springs, California. In equally important project news, the nonfiction book "Tales from the Script" has been acquired for publication by HarperCollins, with a release slated for late 2009 or early 2010. The deal was brokered by Anna Cottle and Mary Alice Kier of Cine/Lit Representation.
10-23-08: Festival Acclaim for "Stagehand"
Peter Hanson's short film "Stagehand" screened today at the Electric City Film Festival in Schenectady, New York, where the film received an Honorable Mention after competing with several finalists for a drama prize. Also among the finalists was "Against the Wind," a dramatic short by Hanson colleagues the Masucci Brothers. "Stagehand" and "Against the Wind" both feature Michael F. Hayes in leading roles. Congratulations to the prize winners, and compliments to organizer SACC-TV for a successful event.
9-17-08: "Pass!" Has Become "Tales from the Script"
The nonfiction book/documentary feature project previously known as "Pass! Screenwriters on Surviving Hollywood Rejection" has been retitled "Tales from the Script," reflecting the manner in which the project's subject matter has grown from an examination of a single topic to a broader discussion of the professional skills Hollywood screenwriters develop in order to survive and succeed in one of the world's most competitive industries. Post-production on the feature film is nearly complete, and the movie will soon start making its way through the festival circuit. News on the release date of the book is expected in the near future as well.
8-15-08: "Stagehand" Debuts Online
Peter Hanson's short film "Stagehand," now in a streamlined 10-minute version, debuted online today at Mini Movie Channel, the U.S. website of an international short-film exhibitor that licensed the movie late last year for its online, mobile, and TV outlets. For those who haven't seen the short version (and those who've never seen any version of the film), here's your chance to watch it free of charge. Viewers are encouraged to register at the site so they can rate the movie. To watch "Stagehand" on Mini Movie Channel, click here. Enjoy!
In a fitting conclusion to the production of "Pass! Screenwriters on Surviving Hollywood Rejection," Peter Hanson traveled to New York this week to interview living legend William Goldman. A two-time Academy Award winner, for the original screenplay "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and the adapted screenplay "All the President's Men," Goldman boasts an epic resume including "Magic," "Marathon Man" and "The Princess Bride" (all adapted from his own novels), "A Bridge Too Far," "Maverick," "Misery," and other beloved films. Goldman is also the author of several priceless books about the film industry, including the best-seller "Adventures in the Screen Trade." Goldman was interviewed in his home on New York's Upper East Side.
As production of "Pass! Screenwriters on Surviving Hollywood Rejection" project speeds toward conclusion, the final Los Angeles interview for the project was conducted this week with Frank Darabont, the three-time Oscar nominee best known for writing and directing "The Shawshank Redemption" from Stephen King's novella. Darabont also made the acclaimed King adaptations "The Green Mile" and "The Mist," as well as the Jim Carrey drama "The Majestic." Interviewed at home in Los Angeles, Darabont discussed his triumphs as well as his misadventures, notably the year he spent writing an unused version of "Indiana Jones 4" for producer George Lucas and director Steven Spielberg.
6-27-08: "Trumbo" Hits Theaters
Featuring two quick appearances by Peter Hanson amid a luminous cast of friends, contemporaries and admirers of the late, great writer Dalton Trumbo, the unique documentary "Trumbo" opens today at theaters in Los Angeles and New York. The film is steadily gaining critical momentum, so watch for the picture to open in a market near you soon.
5-1-08: Post-Production Team Set for "Pass!"
As production on the the documentary component of the "Pass! Screenwriters on Surviving Hollywood Rejection" project winds down, post-production has geared up with a talented crew of filmmakers joining for the final phase. J.D. Funari, a professional cutter for acclaimed Hollywood trailer house Alkemi Entertainment, is the documentary's editor. Tim Merrill, a writer/editor whose background includes behind-the-scenes documentary work on "Dances With Wolves" and other films, is the project's archival research supervisor. And T.J. Raider, who created the musical scores for Peter Hanson's previous films "Every Pixel Tells A Story" and "Stagehand," is back to compose the music for "Pass!"
3-23-08: Radio Interview on KGO NewsTalk AM 810
Peter Hanson was interviewed early today on "The John Rothmann Show," a discussion of culture and politics broadcast weekly on San Francisco-area talk station KGO NewsTalk AM 810. The hour-long segment focused on Hanson's book "Dalton Trumbo, Hollywood Rebel," and it featured audio clips from key Trumbo movies, a lively chat about Trumbo's involvement with legendary projects, and listener calls. Click Here to Listen to Peter Hanson on "The John Rothmann Show" (MP3 audio file).
2-1-08: Check Out the "Pass!" Page on IMDB
A detailed page featuring information about the "Pass! Screenwriters on Surviving Hollywood Rejection" documentary movie recently went live on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB), the most important online film directory in the world. Visit the project's IMDB page here, and you'll be able to navigate to pages spotlighting participating screenwriters.
Peter Hanson traveled to New York City this week to interview legendary screenwriter Paul Schrader for the upcoming book/documentary "Pass! Screenwriters on Surviving Hollywood Rejection." Famous for his collaborations with director Martin Scorsese, notably "Taxi Driver" and "Raging Bull," Schrader is an important director in his own right, with credits ranging from "American Gigolo" to "Affliction" to last year's "The Walker." The interview was conducted in Schrader's office near Times Square.
12-13-07: "Stagehand" Gets New Edit, Two Distribution Deals
Peter Hanson's 2006 comedy-drama short "Stagehand," which debuted a year ago with a 14-minute running time, has been re-edited to a streamlined 10-minute length, and the new version has already scored two distribution deals. Mini Movie Channel, an international cross-media project debuting in mid-2008 with a U.S.-oriented website featuring short comedies, has licensed the 10-minute version for exhibition online and on other media platforms. Concurrently, respected indie distributor Big Film Shorts has signed a deal to represent the film, which means BFS will seek licensing deals for DVDs, TV, and other outlets. Watch for more news when Mini Movie Channel's site live, among other developments.
12-7-07: "Trumbo" Documentary Set for National Distribution
Just weeks after its triumphant debut at the Toronto Film Festival, Peter Askin's star-studded documentary "Trumbo" has been picked up for theatrical and home-video distribution. Samuel Goldwyn Films will release the movie theatrically in mid-2008, and Red Envelope (the acquisitions/distribution arm of Netflix) will handle video distribution. Watch for the movie at an arthouse near you, and if you know the management of your local theater, encourage them to pick up the movie.
10-29-07: Principal Photography Completed for "Pass!"
Principal photography of the "Pass! Screenwriters on Surviving Hollywood Rejection" documentary has been completed. In just under a year, over 50 Hollywood screenwriters were interviewed. The final day of principal photography featured conversations with Doug Atchison, the writer-director of "Akeelah and the Bee," and Mark Fergus, the Oscar-nominated cowriter of "Children of Men." The filmmakers extend their deepest gratitude to the dozens of writers who shared their experiences, hardships, and insights.
9-10-07: Star-Studded "Trumbo" Documentary Hits Toronto
Brief interview segments with Peter Hanson are featured in the new documentary "Trumbo," which premiered this evening as part of the Real to Reel component of the Toronto Film Festival. Directed by Peter Askin, the documentary is based on the play "Trumbo: Red, White and Blacklisted," written by Trumbo's son Christopher. As does the play, Askin's movie utilizes excerpts from Trumbo's legendarily witty correspondence. Letters are read onscreen by Joan Allen, Michael Douglas, Paul Giamatti, Nathan Lane, Liam Neeson, Donald Sutherland, and others. As the only living author of a book about Trumbo, Peter Hanson was interviewed late last year for the picture, and three clips of him appear in the version that screened tonight.
7-1-07: "Dalton Trumbo, Hollywood Rebel" Hits Paperback
Originally published by McFarland & Co. in 2001 as a pricey hardcover, Peter Hanson's first book will be reintroduced sometime in the next few weeks as a $35 softcover. A finalist for the Theatre Library Association Award, "Dalton Trumbo, Hollywood Rebel" explores the politicized artistry of screenwriter-novelist-provocateur Trumbo, the most notorious member of the Hollywood Ten. A group of left-leaning writers and directors, the Ten comprised the first wave of Tinseltown talents to see their lives thrown into chaos by the machinations of the rabidly anti-Communist House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in the late '40s and early '50s. The first book-length study of Trumbo's screenwriting output, "Dalton Trumbo, Hollywood Rebel" was extrapolated from research including correspondence with Trumbo's son, Christopher.
4-25-07: "Pass!" Featured in "Los Angeles Times"
While still more than a year away from completion, "Pass! Screenwriters on Surviving Hollywood Rejection" is already drawing noteworthy attention. An item about the book/film project ran today in the Los Angeles Times as part of an important column titled "Scriptland," by freelance writer Jay Fernandez. The column, which has become a must-read for screenwriting professionals, looks at the Hollywood news cycle from the screenwriter’s perspective, so "Pass!" was a natural fit. In other "Pass!" news, here’s an updated look at some of the Hollywood luminaries involved in the fast-growing project: John August ("Charlie’s Angels"), Mike Binder ("Reign Over Me"), John Carpenter ("Halloween"), Larry Cohen ("Phone Booth"), Steven E. de Souza ("Die Hard"), Mick Garris ("Masters of Horror"), Dennis Palumbo ("My Favorite Year"), Richard Rush ("The Stunt Man"), Ronald Shusett ("Total Recall"), Stephen Susco ("The Grudge"), Guinevere Turner ("The Notorious Bettie Page"), Richard Wenk ("16 Blocks"), and Michael Wolk ("Innocent Blood"). A slew of writers are poised to join the party in the next few weeks.
2-12-07: Major Update of Site Content Completed!
After much tinkering in the Grand River Films laboratories, a massive update to this site has been completed, so each and every section is finally active, and many previously activated sections have received additional content. Here are some of the highlights of the updated material. Eighty articles have been inserted into the previously inactive Selected Journalism section, featuring everything from celebrity interviews to hard-news stories to thoughtful features and essays. Two gallery pages have been activated in the previously dormant Photo Gallery section, featuring 20 favorite photos taken throughout the years. In the section Peter Hanson's Field Guide to Interesting Film, check out 25 new entries about movies and movie people. As noted in a previous news item, the new book "The Mourning Queen" has been added to the Books and Movies by Peter Hanson section; that page has also been streamlined, and videos of the trailers for two movie projects are now accessible. Please take a peek at the trailers for "Every Pixel Tells A Story" and "Stagehand"! Next, a Store page has been created, so get those checks and money orders handy to buy DVDs and books available only through this site; you can access the store page through the appropriate links on the "Books and Movies" page. Finally, the Bio and Credits section has been updated to reflect recent activities. To those who've been visiting the site over the last few months, thanks for your patience in awaiting these new features, and to first-time visitors, welcome to the best version of this site yet! Feedback is always appreciated, so drop a line about any of the new (or old) site content to email@example.com.
2-2-07: Meet "The Mourning Queen"
Frequent visitors to the site may notice some changes afoot, because a major content update is in progress. One addition that's already online is information about Peter Hanson's new novella, "The Mourning Queen." Written last year and available exclusively through this site, the story is a departure of sorts because it represents the writer's first foray into fantasy literature, even though the 15,000-word tale is rooted in character-driven drama. Please visit the "Books and Movies" page to check out a synopsis, and watch for the cover art to go online soon. More importantly, you can now access a 1,400-word excerpt from the novella via the "Books and Movies" page, and the full novella is available for purchase. Finally, please check back a bit later this month for the unveiling of the site update as well as exciting news about "Pass! Screenwriters on Surviving Hollywood Rejection."
12-8-06: "Stagehand" Completed
After several months of post-production and the creation of an atmospheric original score by T.J. Raider, Peter Hanson's new short film "Stagehand" is complete. Running 13 minutes and 20 seconds, the comedy-drama set at a community theater audition will be shown for the first time at a cast-and-crew screening in early January 2007 before the film is submitted to national and international film festivals. Information about the movie, including production photos, will be featured on this site as part of an influx of new content in early 2007, and the movie itself will be part of the site in the near future. For a bit more on the completion of the movie, check out the blog portion of the site for a "Hollywood Periscope" post on the subject. Congratulations to the cast and crew on a job well done, and special thanks to Charles Galuski, who joined the project after production to supervise a re-recording session. Pictured below is the film's cast, from left to right: David Bunce, Sandra Bauchiero, John Romeo, April Marie, and Michael F. Hayes. (Photo by Jay Pregent)
11-10-06: New Book/Film Project Launched
Work began this week on a new book/film project titled "Pass! Screenwriters on Surviving Hollywood Rejection," with Peter Hanson directing. The plan is to interview a broad range of working screenwriters about their experiences with having work rejected along the road to success, and the hope is for the resulting book and film to be an inspirational guide for those already in the business and for those trying to notch their first credit. The first writer interviewed for the project was Kris Young, scribe of several family-oriented TV projects; Young spoke at UCLA, where he teaches screenwriting. Production of the book and film are expected to continue throughout next year.
9-28-06: "The Last Round" Screens in Albany, New York
An advance screening of "The Last Round," the debut feature of upstate New York indie filmmaking duo the Masucci Brothers, will be held today at the Madison Theater in Albany, New York. Featuring a screenplay by Peter Hanson and the Masuccis, the picture dramatizes a game of Russian roulette in which six desperate souls risk everything while confronting their personal demons. The cast comprises several top regional actors, including Michael F. Hayes of "Stagehand." William B. Davis, notorious as "The Cigarette-Smoking Man" on "The X-Files," appears in a pivotal role. Based on the award-winning short of the same name,"The Last Round" is the most ambitious project yet from actor-director Dan Masucci and cinematographer-producer Joe Masucci.
8-8-06: Photography Completed on "Stagehand"
Production on writer-director Peter Hanson's upcoming short "Stagehand" went smoothly on Aug. 5 and 6 at Schenectady Light Opera Company’s theater in Schenectady, New York. The piece will run somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes, and the target date for completion is late October or early November. Details on the movie can be found on the “Books and Movies” page of this site, including an an essay about the production. Just navigate to the "Stagehand" section of "Books and Movies."
8-1-06: Welcome to GrandRiverFilms.com!
I'm writer-filmmaker Peter Hanson, and welcome to my brand-new website. Let me explain some of the features I've included for your surfing pleasure. In the "Books and Movies" section, you'll find information about books including "The Cinema of Generation X" and film projects such as my upcoming digital short "Stagehand." The biggest online exclusive for this site is "Peter Hanson's Field Guide to Interesting Film," a massive directory of movies and movie professionals that's an outgrowth of the twenty years I've spent as a film critic/scholar/fan. The guide will grow with the site, and there's already quite a bit of content. The inaugural version runs nearly 47,000 words, with more than 250 entries. Please explore! Other sections of the site provide biographical information and details about my script-consulting services. As the site grows, I'll populate the "Selected Journalism" and "Photo Gallery" sections with highlights from my ten years as a reporter and critic, plus a sampling of photos I've taken over the years. I hope you enjoy GrandRiverFilms.com, so please let me know what you think of the site. My contact information is on the home page, and you can e-mail me directly via firstname.lastname@example.org. Finally, watch this page for updates on "Stagehand" and other projects. Thanks again for visiting, and come back soon.