March 10, 2016
"I want to do stories that have my heart racing. That’s why you don’t see me in romantic comedies. I love sappy movies, but I’m drawn to characters that are going through a lot. I don’t know what that says about me. Maybe I love feeling those emotions because I know I can zip the skin off and walk away from them." – Aaron Paul
You are a military drone pilot in Nevada, being directed to bomb terrorists in Nairobi by a British Colonel in Southern England, when suddenly a civilian enters the target area. What do you do? Follow orders and knowingly risk killing an innocent young girl and sparking an international incident, or listen to your conscience and disobey a direct order, allowing the terrorists to proceed with a suicide bombing as well as ending your career.
Such is the dilemma faced by IMTA alum Aaron Paul in the thriller Eye in the Sky. "I’m playing a pilot who’s safe in this bunker outside Las Vegas, flying a drone over Kenya," explained Paul. "It’s such a strange thing that this pilot controls this huge drone that has missiles attached to it, and is being ordered to drop them on buildings that could hurt innocent civilians in them. There’s a lot going on."
March 01, 2016
"All the artisans I met could have had bigger jobs, but they gave up that opportunity to do what they loved. Their passion for what they do is so strong the money isn't what matters." - Jill Wagner
If you have ever created something by hand, if you have ever wondered how something is made, or if you are simply a fan of Etsy, Pinterest, DIY, Kickstarter or Maker Faire, then "Handcrafted America" is a show you will definitely want to watch. IMTA alum Jill Wagner hosts the new series, traveling the country to seek out talented artisans who continue to make products the traditional way...with their own two hands.
In every half-hour episode, Wagner meets three gifted craftsmen and gets a behind-the-scenes look at how their products are created. Along the way, viewers learn about the history and cultural heritage that inspire and influence the design of their handcrafted items. "Americans still work with their hands and they seek out unique, one-of-a-kind creations for themselves and for others," said Craig Miller, VP of Original Series at INSP. "Artisans from coast to coast still create handcrafted treasures. This is the focal point of the series. From glass blowing to ornate clock making to blacksmithing, "Handcrafted America" entertains and informs – not in a dry, academic way, but with adventure, spirited discovery, fun and authenticity."
February 25, 2016
"Elias is going to blow people away. That kid is going to be a breakout star. He's really, really funny, doing jokes and rhythms I have never seen out of a little kid before." – Jeff Franklin, "Fuller House" Writer/Executive Producer
For fans of the classic TV sitcom "Full House" that ran from 1987-1995, the wait for the spin-off series is finally over. "Fuller House," which will stream on Netflix beginning February 26, is not a reboot of the original series, but a chance to catch up with the characters several years later. Child stars of "Full House"-Candace Cameron Bure, Jodie Sweeten and Andrea Barber-are reprising their roles as D.J. Tanner, Stephanie Tanner and Kimmy Gibbler respectively, but they are now adults with children of their own. One of D.J.’s children is “neurotic 7-year-old Max” who is being played by IMTA alum Elias Harger.
"The live taping nights were very exciting because there's a lot of dancing and music," Harger told People Magazine. "Filming the show was fun because I got to make a lot of friends."
February 25, 2016
"This film is so intense, it’s impossible not to be sucked violently into this story. I loved it!" – Aaron Paul
In Triple 9, a crew of dirty cops is blackmailed by the Russian mob to execute a virtually impossible heist and the only way to pull it off is to manufacture a 999, police code for "officer down." Their plan is turned upside down when the unsuspecting rookie they set up to die foils the attack, triggering a breakneck action-packed finale tangled with double-crosses, greed and revenge.
IMTA alum Aaron Paul stars in Triple 9 as Gabe Welch, alongside an ensemble cast that includes Chiwetel Ejiofor, Norman Reedus, Anthony Mackie, Clifton Collins Jr., Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Gal Gadot and Kate Winslet. “I have no idea why I’m part of this great ensemble,” Paul said. “But I am blessed to be in this film."
"I love playing characters with a lot of conflict," Paul explained about his role. "The very beginning of the film, you can tell he's, kind of an intense guy, and something very dramatic happens to him. He just continues down this very dark rabbit hole. For me it’s a lot of fun to play as an actor."
February 12, 2016
"I guess what I just like the most about my character is just her attitude, because she’s so athletic and cool and so unlike me in my normal daily life. She just doesn’t care." – Brianna Hildebrand
Based upon Marvel Comics’ most unconventional anti-hero, Deadpool tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.
Helping Deadpool on his mission are X-Men allies, one of whom is goth girl Ellie Phimister, aka Negasonic Teenage Warhead, played by LA14 IMTA alum Brianna Hildebrand. "She is a 15 year old psychic, she reads the future, and she also is her own personal cannonball, she’s a warhead," Hildebrand said of her character. "So she runs at things and explodes at them, and she’s Colossus’ sidekick. Her relationship with Deadpool is friendly, it’s like a brother-sister relationship. They don’t really get along but they’re on the same side."
February 11, 2016
"There are things that are pure entertainment, and there are things that mean something to me. Touched With Fire — this really means a lot to me. I’m really proud of this." – Katie Holmes
In the romantic drama Touched With Fire, IMTA alum Katie Holmes plays Carla, a young poet who falls intensely in love with another poet. The complication? They met in a psychiatric hospital, both being treated for bipolar disorder. While their passion inspires them creatively, it also drives their mania, taking them to incredible highs before plunging them to soul-crushing lows. Written and directed by Paul Dalio—who struggled to overcome his own bipolar disorder—Touched With Fire also stars Luke Kirby, Christine Lahti, Griffin Dunne and Bruce Altman.
"I didn’t know much about [bipolar disorder], quite honestly,” Holmes told Yahoo Movies. “Our director is very open about having the disorder and this was very much his experience. When I sat down with him, I was really inspired by what he was saying. I’d never done a part like this before. The challenge of that was very enticing. I know there are so many families affected by this, so it became something bigger than just an acting job."
February 04, 2016
"Working with guys like this, you can see why they are so great. And for me to watch and work with them…I got a master class in how they do what they do." - Josh Duhamel
In the suspense thriller Misconduct, IMTA alum Josh Duhamel stars as an ambitious young lawyer who takes on a big case against a powerful and ruthless executive of a large pharmaceutical company. He soon finds himself involved in a case of blackmail and corruption, framed for a crime he did not commit and a fugitive on the run. Veteran actors Al Pacino and Anthony Hopkins also star, alongside Malin Ackerman, Alice Eve and Julia Stiles.
Duhamel has worked practically non-stop since competing at IMTA. Starting as a model (he was the NY97 Male Model of the Year), he then appeared on daytime drama in "All My Children," starred in primetime television on "Las Vegas" and "Battle Creek," and become a feature film star with Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! and the Transformers series.
January 25, 2016
The Sundance Film Festival is among the most prestigious festivals in the world. The Festival, which runs this year January 21-31, brings the most original storytellers together with the most adventurous audiences for its annual program of dramatic and documentary films, shorts, New Frontier films, installations, performances, panel discussions, and dynamic music events. Since 1985, hundreds of films launched at the Festival have gained critical recognition, received commercial distribution, and reached worldwide audiences eager for fresh perspectives and new voices. Year after year, the Festival pursues new ways to introduce more people to the most original and authentic storytelling.
Many IMTA alumni have appeared in films that had their world premiere at Sundance. This year, three IMTA alums-brothers Moises and Mateo Arias (LA05) and Brianna Hildebrand (LA14)-are staring in films making their premiere as part of the Festival’s Next Series, which are "Pure, bold works distinguished by an innovative, forward-thinking approach to story-telling. Digital tech paired with unfettered creativity promises they will shape a 'greater' next wave in American cinema."
December 07, 2015
“The way these writers write is my kind of funny. I love physical comedy — I love big, broad comedies that can appeal to everyone and that deal with universal themes. The world we’re in is specific, but the themes we deal with are pretty universal.” – Eva Longoria
Since “Desperate Housewives” ended its eight-year run in 2012, IMTA alum Eva Longoria has filled her time producing (“Devious Maids,” John Wick, Food Chains), starring in feature films (Any Day, Frontera, Visions), and doing occasional guest appearances on TV (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “The Simpsons,” “Mother Up”). She is set to return to prime-time TV in January with the ensemble comedy “Telenovela,” that goes behind the scenes of a Spanish-language TV show and its star, whose off-camera life rivals the drama of her on-screen story lines. As a teaser for the series, which will move to its regular Monday spot on January 4th at 8:30pm, NBC offers a 2-episode sneak peak of the show tonight.
November 05, 2015
There are very few children or adults who are not familiar with the Peanuts gang that was created 65 years ago by the late Charles Schultz. There are the comic strips, annual television holiday specials (It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and A Charlie Brown Christmas) that are required viewing in millions of homes, theatrical productions (You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Snoopy), greeting cards, merchandise, books…all lasting tributes to the group of children who never age while providing timeless lessons on life and living.
With a fresh take on the techniques of production — but without changing the essence of the characters — comes The Peanuts Movie, co-written by Schulz's son Craig and grandson Bryan, along with Cornelius Uliano. This is the fifth theatrical Peanuts film after A Boy Named Charlie Brown, Snoopy Come Home, Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown, and Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!). It is the first to use computer-animation and the first to be filmed in 3D.
October 22, 2015
“I find witchcraft to be interesting. It’s something that doesn’t often get explored in cinema or hasn’t been in a while. I think the approach is interesting in that it’s not a horror film and it doesn’t really have horror film elements. It’s more of an action-adventure film, fantasy adventure in a way, and that was something that was kind of intriguing.” – Elijah Wood
It makes perfect sense to release a film about witches right before Halloween. However, the kind of witches faced in The Last Witch Hunter aren’t the kind you want showing up on your doorstep trick-or-treating. These witches are vicious, supernatural creatures intent on unleashing the Black Death upon the world…which doesn’t sound like a good thing. Though the all-powerful Queen Witch was slain many years ago by valiant warrior Kaulder, her resurrection once again puts the world in danger and it is up to Kaulder (a.k.a., the Last Witch Hunter) and the Dolans to stop the Queen from unleashing a plague upon humanity.
October 08, 2015
“I read the script and I thought it was wonderful. Actually, I was extremely moved by it…I laughed, I cried, Ihad never seen a Hook like this before. I was wildly entertained by him, by all of his attributes—how clumsyhe was, how selfish and childish he was. ...He’s Hook without the hook.”– Garrett Hedlund
Nearly everyone knows the story of Peter Pan—the boy who can fly, lives in the magical world of Neverlandamongst warriors and fairies, battles pirates led by the infamous Captain Hook, andnever has to grow up. The tale by author J.M. Barrie has been animated, played out onthe stage and treated to several film versions. But none of the adaptations have dealtwith the origins of how Peter and Hook came to be sworn enemies…until now.
October 01, 2015
“I get really nervous especially with the whole red carpet thing. The worst thing about it is just standing there and all these people are taking your picture and I am just thinking ‘Why are you taking my picture?’ I'm just Jill Wagner.”
The Hallmark Channel, known for family-friendly programming and heart-warming movies, begins a new tradition this October with a “Fall Harvest” of seasonal programming, featuring four original premieres, one debuting each Saturday in October. Included in the programming are three new Hallmark movies and a two-hour sneak preview of the channel’s popular series “Good Witch.”
September 17, 2015
“We were nervous because we had a lot of kids, and a very short amount of time and limited budget to make the movie. It’s nerve-wracking – it could go either way with kids. But they were super-professional and really wonderful. We worked really fast and had a blast.” – Elijah Wood
Getting cooties from another kid at school is absolutely one of the worst things that can happen. Cooties are usually thought to be something imaginary boys can get when a girl touches them…or vice versa. But the word cooties is derived from the Malay word “kutu” that refers to body lice, and to literally catch cooties is grounds for being sent home from school. Unfortunately for the students at Fort Chicken Elementary School, the Cooties they get turn them into raving, flesh-eating zombies. Talk about a bad day at school.
September 08, 2015
Each year, fall is a time to look forward to new TV series, say goodbye to cancelled favorites, make decisions about what to watch (or not), bookmark web sites or YouTube channels, and make mental notes (or program your DVR) of upcoming shows. At IMTA, it is a time to celebrate the successes of some of our alumni who will be on the viewing schedule in broadcast, cable and web TV series as series’ regulars or guest-stars, appearing in made-for-TV movies or booked for a guest-star role in the upcoming year.
Not every new show has been announced and there will be many alums showing up in episodes that we do not yet know about. If you learn news of an IMTA alum’s casting, please let us know. While it may not be a comprehensive list, here are just a few alums to watch for in the upcoming season.
July 30, 2015
“Its a horror film, but its got a family love story to it. Its about two men, my dad and my neighbor…who are trying to protect my character from a new breed of zombies that evolved, and they are harder to beat.” – Quinn McColgan
The horror film Extinction is based on the 2010 novel “Y pese a todo...” (“And despite everything...”) by Spanish writer Juan de Dios Garduño. The setting is a forgotten, snow-covered town called Harmony nine years after a devastating zombie outbreak has wiped out most life on Earth. A father, his 9-year-old daughter and their grumpy neighbor are trying their best to survive. For a long time, their only enemies are the hunger and the cold…but then, one day, one of the flesh-hungry zombie creatures finds them and now they must fight for their lives.
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The IMTA Team