Monday, July 17, 2006

Movies #8

Today I'm going present you one of my favourite actors. I like him since I saw Star Wars for the first time at the age of 7. If I have to describe him with one sentence only I;ll probably use one of his cult lines from Star Wars - "Charming to the last". Years later I watched him in "Horror Express" together with Christopher Lee. I think this was the movie which introduced the Hammer Horrors to me. So when I had to present a homework in the Uni on British Culture I decided to talk about Peter Cushing and his movies. The text bellow is gathered from various sources on the net.


Peter Cushing

Peter Wilton Cushing was born on 27 May 1913 in Kenley, Surrey, in England. He and his older brother David were raised first in Dulwich Village, a south London suburb, and then later back in Surrey by his mother Nellie Marie and father George Edward, who was a quantity surveyor. At an early age Cushing was attracted to acting, inspired by his favorite aunt, who was a stage actress. While at school Cushing pursued his interest in acting and also in drawing - He was an artist, skilled in drawing and painting; as a young struggling actor, he supplemented his income by selling scarves that he hand-painted and later, as an established actor, had showings of his water colors. His sketch of Sherlock Holmes became the official logo for the Northern Musgraves, a British Sherlock Holmes society. At this time he also dabbled in local amateur theater until moving to London to attend the Guildhall School of Music and Drama on scholarship. He then performed in repertory theater, deciding in 1939 to head for Hollywood, where he made his film debut in The Man in the Iron Mask (1939) directed by James Whale, a classic filmmaker of the Black and White age of the cinema, who shot masterpieces like Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein and The Invisible Man. Other Hollywood films included A Chump at Oxford (1940) with the famous comic duo Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, Vigil in the Night (1940) and They Dare Not Love (1941). However, after a short stay, Cushing returned to England by way of New York (making brief appearances on Broadway) and Canada. Back in his homeland he contributed to the war effort during World War II - Turned down for military service on health grounds, he instead joined a theatre company that performed at military bases.

Cushing came to work with actress Helen Beck, and the two fell deeply in love. They married in 1943. After the war he performed in the West End and had his big break appearing with Laurence Olivier in the film Hamlet (1948), in which Cushing's future partner-in-horror Christopher Lee also had a bit part. Both actors also appeared in Moulin Rouge (1952) but didn't meet until their later horror films. During the 1950s Cushing became a familiar face on British television, appearing in numerous teleplays, such as 1984 (1954), as Winston Smith in the movie based on George Orwell’s novel. At the end of the decade he began his legendary association with Hammer Film Productions in its remakes of the 1930s Universal horror classics. His first Hammer roles included Dr. Frankenstein in The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), Dr. Van Helsing in Dracula (1958) and Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959). Years later he appears on screen as the renowned detective in the classic TV series based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories and once again in “Sherlock Holes and the Mask of Death” in 1984.

Cushing continued playing the roles of Drs. Frankenstein and Van Helsing, as well as taking on other horror characters, in Hammer films over the next 20 years. His film career had taken off establishing him at once as a cult hero of the horror film aficionados, with Christopher Lee as the monster. These two, along with director Terence Fisher and writer Jimmy Sangster, claimed the next ten years of horror movie making as British. Hammer was to become the most successful british film company of all time and Cushing played an integral role. He also appeared in films for the other major horror producer of the time, Amicus Productions, including Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1965) and its later horror anthologies, a couple of Dr. Who films (1965, 1966), I, Monster (1971), and others. By the mid-1970s these companies had stopped production, but Cushing, firmly established as a horror star, continued in the genre for some time thereafter. When once asked about his favorite horror movie Cushing said: "Strangely enough, I don't like horror pictures at all. I love to make them because they give pleasure to people, but my favourite types of films are much more subtle than horror. I like to watch films like Bridge Over the River Kawi, The Apartment or lovely musicals." He also said: "Who wants to see me as 'Hamlet'? Very few. But millions want to see me as Frankenstein so that's the one I do. If I played Hamlet, they'd call it a horror film. People look at me as if I were some sort of monster, but I can't think why. In my macabre pictures, I have either been a monster-maker or a monster-destroyer, but never a monster. Actually, I'm a gentle fellow. Never harmed a fly. I love animals, and when I'm in the country I'm a keen bird-watcher."

In 1971, Peters beloved wife Helen died after a prolonged illness. It was a loss from which he never fully recovered. He threw himself into his work, but spent most private hours dreaming of when he and Helen would be reunited in Heaven. Peter Cushing was a deeply Christian man and attended St. Alphege Church in Whitstable, he also did extensive charity work and never failed to sign his cards and photos

Perhaps his best-known appearance outside of horror films was as Grand Moff Tarkin in George Lucas' phenomenally successful science fiction film Star Wars (1977). Prior to being cast as Tarkin in Star Wars (1977), George Lucas considered using him as Obi-Wan Kenobi (which ultimately went to Alec Guinness).
Carrie Fisher said in an interview that doing her scenes with him in the Star Wars (1977) were difficult for two reasons: she thought the lines were ridiculous and she found Peter to be so polite and charming off camera that it was hard to project the sense of disdain that her character, Princess Leia, held for his character, Tarkin.

Cushing himself says about his role in Star Wars: "My criterion for accepting a role isn't based on what I would like to do. I try to consider what the audience would like to see me do and I thought kids would adore Star Wars."

Biggles (1986) (aka "Biggles: Adventures in Time") was Cushing's last film before his retirement, during which he made a few television appearances, wrote two autobiographies and pursued his hobbies of bird watching and painting.

In 1989 he was made an Officer of the British Empire in recognition of his contributions to the acting profession in Britain and worldwide.

Towards the end of his life - he showed no regret or remorse about the things he had or hadn't done. His only regret was losing his wife and living for over twenty years without her. So he looking on death with a faith in God and reunification with Helen in Heaven.Peter Cushing died on 11 August 1994 in Canterbury, Kent, England, UK at the age of 81 with more than 130 movies in his filmography.

After he died, his colleague and close friend Christopher Lee said in an interview that he never felt closer and more open to any of his other friends than he felt to Peter.

Peter Cushing was one of those actors who took great pride in the work he did and it shows with each performance. His mere presence in a film was enough to guarantee it being an enjoyable experience.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Hey, hey! Wha'd'ya know! We launch the official web-site!

So now you can download and read a preview of our script (the first 18 of 122 pages), read the synopsis of the story, view the gallery with the few concept art drawings and wallpapers, visit our forum, contact us and take part in our Concept Art Contest :)

The one who knows the future has the power to change it
The battle for the Future begins today
A BRAN new hero

In the future the all-powerful Corporation hides a dark secret behind its facade and now the only one who has the chance to set things right is trapped back in our time, separated from his son... and maybe reunited with his long lost love.

It is the year 2270. Spaceship pilot Daniel Scott works for an almighty business establishment known as the Corporation. His job – to discover new worlds. Worlds with no life, but rich of natural resources and energy. After his last mission Daniel is infected with unknown alien virus. He must be frozen for several years until a cure is discovered. Daniel leaves his crippled son Harry and his brother Michael, who also works for the corporation as a highly trained security officer.
Daniel boards a medical freighter which will transport him to a corporate clinic on a distant planet, but during the flight the freighter encounters a hostile alien spaceship. After dazzling series of events the freighter is blasted and Daniel finds himself more than two centuries back in time with Klyona – an alien princess, who looks exactly as his dead wife. With her help Daniel discovers a dark secret about the true nature of the Corporation, responsible for the destruction of her world. Trapped in our time Daniel and Klyona see their new situation as a chance to erase every possibility that could lead to the birth of the Corporation in the future. With the help of his advanced technology from the future and his new friend Matthew – a young comic book artist (and teenage slacker), Daniel turns into a masked hero. He becomes an urban legend, a street myth and his friend starts a comic book series describing his adventures. Daniel still hopes he will find a way to return to his time and reunite with his son.
In the future everyone thinks Daniel has perished in the explosion of the medical freighter. Michael wants to take the case of his brother's death. An enigmatic one-eyed man, highly ranked corporate employee directs him towards the Resistance – a rumoured underground society. Michael discovers an extraordinary link between reality and old comic book series, which leads to them. Without knowing that the Resistance are not terrorists who work for the aliens, but the only people who know what lies behind the Corporation's facade, Michael is determined to bring down their organization.
Harry is visited by a mysterious old man, who helps him to find out the truth about his father's destiny. Maybe someday it will be up to the boy to take on Daniel's legacy and to continue his fight.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

BRAN is registered!

Writers Guild of America, west

Registered Item Information:
Material Type: SCREENPLAY
Intended Medium: SCREEN
Item Title: BRAN
Filename: Bran.pdf
Submission Date: 30/06/2006 5:58:18 pm

Our script is registered!!!