Weathervane Productions & Melody Terrace Entertainment

The award winning Manipura, a dramatic thriller, produced by weathervane productions & melody terrace entertainment moves on to compete against other award winning short films at the 7th Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles (DFFLA). Manipura is the third in a series of seven films and has recently garnered best thriller at the Los Angeles independent film festival.  The film was subsequently nominated for best cinematography and best editing. DFFLA will mark the third time the award winning producing team of Joel Mahr, Jason Van Eman and Kelly Lynn Warren has shown Manipura in Los Angeles.  


The other two films, Muladhara and Swadihistana, together have made debuts in over 15 cities, receiving more than 25 laurels accumulative (and counting) as well as claimed numerous awards. These honors include best LDBT in New York (Swadihistana) and best actress in Los Angeles (Muladhara) in addition to Muladhara being an official selection of the prestigious 2012 Hollywood film festival.

Broadway Review: ‘Penn & Teller on Broadway’

Over the past 14 years, you could catch Penn & Teller live in Vegas, all over television, including on their Showtime series “Penn & Teller: Bulls—!,” and even on a Katy Perry music video. But in all those years their only New York appearance was a measly week at the Beacon in 2000.  No wonder the deprived fans of these thrillingly subversive comic magicians are lining up at the Marquis Theater for the six-week engagement of “Penn & Teller on Broadway.”

Among other marvels in this new show, the longtime (40 years, if you’re counting) partners pull a rabbit out of a hat, make an elephant disappear, and saw a lady in half. As Penn Jillette, the tall, talky one, puts it: “What more do you want out of a magic show?”

A lot more, actually, and we get it, too, in jokes serious and silly, political digs with sharp points, diatribes against fraudulent psychics, little lectures on ethics, and non-stop foolery that can be divided into pranks, stunts, tricks, illusions, deceptions, and baffling feats of — for want of a better word — magic.  (Penn prefers “God-given miracles.”)

Working in close partnership, Penn and Teller are uncommonly civil to their audiences, inviting people onstage before the show to learn some of the tricks of their offbeat trade and spending considerable time in the lobby after the show, talking and posing for selfies.  Maybe they’re tougher on the Vegas gambling crowd, but audience participation is warmly encouraged for this legit gig. They even buck the current trend of shaming theater audiences for the rude use of cell phones with their opening number, “Turn on Your Cell Phones,” which actively engages people in an elaborate routine that involves one person’s cell phone and — wait for it — a fresh fish.

Individually, the two performers work in different but compatible styles. Teller, the strange little guy with the unnerving habit of communicating only in mime-speak, is the classical magician in this partnership. He’s the one who gets to do the emblematic but rarely seen magic trick of pulling a rabbit (in this case, a little white bunny) out of a gentleman’s top hat.

Teller’s specialty is the apparently simple, low-tech, no frills trick — like crushing an egg in his hand and somehow restoring it to its untouched original form — that proves utterly baffling. The poetry of this classical style is on display in “Shadows,” his silent spectacle of making the petals on a rose fall off by clipping the shadow of the flower projected on a white screen.  And his signature trick (“East Indian Needle Mystery”) of swallowing loose needles that re-emerge from his throat fully threaded is surely as chilling now as it ever was when Houdini first performed it.

Penn is the most fun when he’s fuming about something that offends his skeptical, cynical, irreligious, libertarian and quite contrary sensibility. He’s in his full glory in “Psychic Comedian,” castigating “evil” and “immoral” charlatans who dupe credulous people by claiming to have supernatural abilities.  “They’re all tricks!” he thunders about the mind-reading acts that he then proceeds to duplicate with an uncanny act of his own — the trick of which he never reveals.

Pranks are quite different from tricks.  Offended by government poking and prodding into the privacy of its citizenry, Penn pulls off a politically charged prank by confounding an airport metal detector with a clever gadget that you, dear audience, can purchase at the gift counter in the lobby.

The best illusion in the show is “The Vanishing Elephant,” a comic number performed in full view of a stageful of watchers recruited from the audience.  It’s quite silly, sure to leave you laughing, and also totally baffled.

At the end of the show, Penn slows down his rapid-fire patter to reminisce about the carnival sideshows he loved as a kid.  After informing us that the fire-eating display that fascinated him in his youth is neither a trick nor a prank, nor even an illusion, but a stunt, at times a painful, even dangerous stunt.  And after explaining exactly how it’s done, he then proceeds to … do … it.

What they are really doing is messing with your head.  By assuring us that all live animals used in the show are treated with “compassion, dignity and respect,” they elicit twinges of guilt in us for not having given a thought to the wellbeing of the bunny or the cow or any other animal paraded on stage.  And when Penn rages about “immoral” magicians who perform dangerous tricks for dramatic effect, he’s slyly laughing at us for watching his scary “Nail Gun” act and secretly wondering if this might be the night when this particular dangerous trick would turn deadly.

But let’s be honest, here. Is anyone in this audience really disturbed when the magicians saw a woman into halves in the most graphic and gory manner — and then don’t even bother to clean up the blood and gore and put her back together again?

Broadway Review: 'Penn & Teller on Broadway'

Marquis Theater; 1611 seats; $147 top. Opened July 12, 2015. Reviewed July 9. Running time: ONE HOUR, 35 min.

Production

A Marc Routh, Richard Frankel, Tom Viertel, Steven Baruch, Jason Van Eman, and Ben McConley presentation, in association with Glenn S. Alai, of a magic show in one act written and performed by Penn and Teller.

Creative

Directed by John Rando. Set, Daniel Conway; lighting, Jeff Croiter; sound, Peter Fitzgerald; production stage manager, Kathleen Burton Boyette.

Cast

Penn Jillette, Teller, Mike Jones, Georgie Bernasek.

Drama 'London Town' Underway in UK

EXCLUSIVE: Shoot underway in London on drama featuring Jonathan Rhys Meyers as frontman for The Clash, Joe Strummer.

Production is underway in the UK on London Town, the Dutch Tilt Film and Culmination Productions drama starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Match Point), Daniel Huttlestone (Into the Woods), Dougray Scott (Hitman) and Natascha McElhone (Californication).

Set in 1970’s London, the film charts the story of a 14-year-old boy whose life is changed forever after he is introduced to rock band The Clash by his estranged mother.

The Tudors star Rhys Meyers plays the late punk great and Clash frontman Joe Strummer while the production has secured rights to a number of the band’s songs.

The film is written by Kirsten Sheridan, Sonya Gildea and Matthew Brown and directed by Derrick Borte with Hubert Taczanowski serving as director of photography.

Producers are Sofia Sondervan of Dutch Tilt Film, Killer Films’ Christine Vachon and Tom Butterfield of Culmination Productions in association with WeatherVane Productions.

Cargo Entertainment is handling international sales. ICM will handle the US deal.

The film started shooting in London on June 28 and is expected to wrap by the end of July.

Executive producers are WeatherVane’s Jason VanEman, Ross Marroso, and Ben McConley; Vandermolen Film’s Alastair Burlingham, Lee Vandermolen, and Charlie Dombek; Angel Chen; Dennis Mykytyn; Head Gear’s Phil Hunt and Compton Ross; Tunnel Post’s Luke Daniels and Alan Poe; Jeff Rice; Matthew Lamothe; Steve Knox; Matthew Brown; Scott Lochmus, and Storyland Pictures.

Tim Roth Joins ‘Life At These Speeds’

EXCLUSIVE

After wrapping Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful EightTim Rothmoved right onto the role of Coach Jarhead in Life At These Speeds, the Leif Tilden-directed film that also stars Graham Rodgers, Billy Crudup, Liana Liberato, Peter Coyote, Melanie Lynsky, Stephanie Scott, Yul Vazquez, Elizabeth Canavan, and Tom Cocquerel. Pic is a drama about the power of our happiest memories to sustain us in the worst of times. After a teen loses his best friends in a tragic accident, he finds that running allows him to remember them perfectly. Running, however, also brings him a certain notoriety, and he soon finds himself caught between keeping the past alive and making new memories in the present. Marc Novak adapted the novel by Jeremy Jackson, and the pic’s produced by Scott Alvarez, Tom Butterfield and Peter Holden, with funding from WeatherVane Productions, Ingenious Media, and Content Media. Content also handles worldwide sales.

Said Tilden: “There’s no doubt [Tim] will craft a memorable character who represents, along with Stephanie Scott’s character, the idyllic life that our hero has lost and is trying so desperately to regain.”

Roth just starred in the Cannes-winning pic Chronic, and opens this week in United Passions, playing FIFA president Sepp Blatter in a film about the growth of soccer under its governing body. Given Blatter resigned today, it has to be about the worst timed movie release I can remember. It was made a couple years ago and funded by FIFA well before the bribe scandal erupted. Roth also has 600 Miles coming later this year. He’s repped by CAA and Jackoway Tyerman.

"Chronic" Star Tim Roth Joins "Life at these Speeds"

“CHRONIC” STAR TIM ROTH JOINS "LIFE AT THESE SPEEDS"

Los Angeles, May 15, 2015 – After wrapping Quentin Tarantino's THE HATEFUL EIGHT, Oscar-nominated actor Tim Roth, star of one of this year’s Cannes Film Festival main competition entries CHRONIC, will play Coach Jarhead in LIFE AT THESE SPEEDS, directed by Leif Tilden and starring Graham Rodgers (CRAZY KIND OF LOVE), Billy Crudup (ALMOST FAMOUS, WATCHMEN), and Liana Liberato (THE BEST OF ME, IF I STAY), with supporting performances by Peter Coyote, Melanie Lynsky, Stephanie Scott, Yul Vazquez, Elizabeth Canavan, and Tom Cocquerel.

LIFE AT THESE SPEEDS is an uplifting and emotional romantic drama about the power of our happiest memories to sustain us in the worst of times. After a teenager’s best friends die in a tragic accident, he finds that running allows him to remember them perfectly. Running, however, also brings him a certain notoriety, and he soon finds himself caught between keeping the past alive and making new memories in the present.

"I'm excited to work with Tim," says director Leif Tilden. "There's no doubt he will craft a memorable character who represents, along with Stephanie Scott’s character, the idyllic life that our hero has lost and is trying so desperately to regain.

Adapted by Marc Novak from the novel by Jeremy Jackson, LIFE AT THESE SPEEDS is produced by Scott Alvarez (DOWN FOR LIFE), Tom Butterfield (THE TRUST), and Peter Holden (SAINTS AND SOLDIERS). The film was financed by WeatherVane Productions, Ingenious Media, and Content Media. Content also handles worldwide sales. The film wraps production and post this summer.

Tom Butterfield’s Culmination Productions currently is in pre-production on LONDON TOWN, directed by Derrick Borte and starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Carice Van Houten, and Daniel Huttlestone. Peter Holden and Scott Alvarez currently are in pre-production on GRIEF CAMP, directed by Holden and starring Robert Forrester and Sharon Stone.

Roth also has the Berlinale award-winning film “600 Miles” coming out later this year.  He is represented by CAA and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein.

WeatherVane Productions, Inc. is a private investment production company specializing in entertainment and other non-entertainment related projects. Principals Jason Van Eman and Ross Marroso are committed to partnering with various producers and financiers to build the most advantageous finance plans for any and all media and entertainment projects. Most recently, WeatherVane announced a multi picture deal with Aldamisa Entertainment. Ben McConley, Ross Marroso and Jason Van Eman to executive produce.

Antibirth Wraps Principal Photography

Antibirth an indie thriller pic from writer-director Danny Perez just wrapped principal photography in Ontario. Natasha Lyonne played Lou, an anti-heroine struggling with a strange illness, paranoia and fragmented visions who embarks on an insane journey to regain control of her life.

Chloe Sevigny, Meg Tilly, Marc Webber and Neville Edwards co-star. Lyonne, repped by WME and 3 Arts, stars on Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black. Recent credits also include Portlandia, Comedy Bang! Bang! and the features Sleeping With Other People and Fresno. She next appears on the big screen in #Horror and Bloomin Mud Shuffle.  Antibirth is produced by Cole Payne of Travers Media along with WeatherVane Productions, Inc.

Traverse Media is a Los Angeles-based motion picture production, film distribution, and talent management company.  Traverse’s agenda is to create an efficient and strategically effective bridge between the different facets of the motion picture industry, as well as between content creator and consumer.

WeatherVane Productions, Inc. is a private investment production company specializing in entertainment and other non-entertainment related projects. Principals Jason Van Eman and Ross Marroso are committed to partnering with various producers and financiers to build the most advantageous finance plans for any and all media and entertainment projects. Most recently, WeatherVane announced a multi picture deal with Aldamisa Entertainment. Ben McConley, Ross Marroso and Jason Van Eman to executive produce.

Lower Bay Begins Principal

Psychological thriller “Lower Bay” begins principal photography on Monday, May 11th in Toronto.  The feature from producer Michele Weisler (“The Ring”) and scribe Jenna Mattison (“For the Love of Money”) is based on true events.  The indie project has cast Rose McGowan (“Grindhouse”) in the role of ‘Kelly Johansen,’ a best-selling author who studies tactile sound, sound that is felt rather than heard and it's connection to hallucinations and ghost sightings.

Additionally, Richard Gunn (James Cameron’s “Dark Angel”) who recently joined the cast for the upcoming third and final season of Netflix’s original series “Hemlock Grove” has been tapped to play Rose McGowan’s fiancé, ‘Ethan Andrews.’  Christopher Lloyd has also been cast as ‘Clinton Jones,’ a mysterious man that ‘Johansen’ meets in the abandoned subway station while she's researching to uncover the truth. With Michael Eklund will co-star as Detective John Richards.

The film is being produced by Michele Weisler, Jenna Mattison, with Cody Hackman, Geoff Hart and Allan Ungar representing Lower Bay Films and Jason Van Eman, Ross Marroso and Ben McConley producing under the WeatherVane Productions, Inc.

McGowan is repped by Innovative Artists, Weisler and Lloyd are both repped by The Gersh Agency, Gunn is repped by Global and Untitled Management and Mattison is managed by Geoff Silverman at The Cartel.

WeatherVane Productions, Inc. is a private investment production company specializing in entertainment and other non-entertainment related projects. Principals Jason Van Eman and Ross Marroso are committed to partnering with various producers and financiers to build the most advantageous finance plans for any and all media and entertainment projects. Most recently, WeatherVane announced “Royal Ice,” based on a story by Prince Albert II of Monaco, Scarlett Johannson’s directorial debut with “Summer Crossing.” Ben McConley, Ross Marroso and Jason Van Eman to executive produce.

Magicians Penn & Teller Are Headed Back to Broadway

Jason Van Eman and Ben McConley as an extension of WeatherVane Productions, Inc. are excited to be co financing the return of Penn and Teller to Broadway.

Penn & Teller will be produced by Marc Routh, Richard Frankel, Tom Viertel, and Steve Baruch: the same team of producers that has produced all their Broadway and off-Broadway engagements. Jason Van Eman and Ben McConley, of WeatherVane Productions, will also be producing alongside the original team.

WeatherVane Productions, Inc. is a private investment production company specializing in entertainment and other non-entertainment related projects. Principals Jason Van Eman and Ross Marroso are committed to partnering with various producers and financiers to build the most advantageous finance plans for any and all media and entertainment projects.

Most recently, WeatherVane announced “Royal Ice,” based on a story by Prince Albert II of Monaco, Scarlett Johannson’s directorial debut with “Summer Crossing.” Ben McConley, Ross Marroso and Jason Van Eman to executive produce.