Monthly Archives: October 2012

Movies | The Descendants – the script and intriguing tales about the production, director, writer, cast

The Descendants is a 2011 American comedy-drama film directed by Alexander Payne. The script by Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash is based on the novel of the same name by Kaui Hart Hemmings.

The film stars George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Judy Greer, Matthew Lillard and Beau Bridges, and was released by Fox Searchlight Pictures in the United States on November 18, 2011 after being screened at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.

Tracing the journey of land baron Matt King who struggles with unexpected occurrences in his monotonous life, The Descendants was released to positive reviews from critics and won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, as well as two Golden Globe Awards for Best Picture – Drama and Best Actor – Drama for Clooney.

The Descendants Movie Trailer


The film began its on-location shoot in Hawaii on March 15, 2010. Most of the film was shot in Honolulu and around Hanalei Bay. Underwater photographer Don King filmed a crucial scene where Alex King sinks below the surface of a pool and screams out her grief underwater.

the_descendants_movie poster

The Descendants movie poster

The house used as Matt King’s house had one major flaw in that it lacked the banyan tree described in the book; the filmmakers solved the issue by transplanting a banyan. For the scene where the King family drives up to a ridge to look over their beautiful land, the film used a 3,000-acre private cattle ranch on the south shore of Kauai, Kipu Ranch. Kaui Hart Hemmings, the author of the novel on which the movie was based, had a cameo as Matt King’s secretary.

Post-production began on June 14, and continued into February 2011.It screened at the Telluride, Toronto and New York film festivals and was originally scheduled to have a limited release on December 16, 2011, but was moved to November 23, 2011[9] and then November 18, 2011.

The soundtrack uses Hawaiian music, featuring artists including Gabby Pahinui, Ray Kane, Keola Beamer, Lena Machado, Sonny Chillingworth, Jeff Peterson, and Reverend Dennis Kamakahi.

The Descendants Script

The Descendents script pdf download

TROUBLE IN THE TROPICS by Visual Hollywood

“My friends on the mainland think because I live in Hawaii, I live in paradise. Like a permanent vacation, we’re all just out here drinking Mai Tais shaking our hips and catching waves. Are they nuts?” — Matt King

George Clooney’s Matt King joins the characters of Alexander Payne’s previous films as a flawed individual finding his way through a world of lunacy, bittersweet emotion and surprises; he is neither a hero nor anti-hero. Continue reading »

Essay | My fun time hanging out with a “serious” Oscar-winning director

Hanging out with Oscar-winning director Errol Morris, I learn the “serious” filmmaker is actually a fun goofball. Morris has been my doc hero for many years and his latest film, TABLOID, is superb.

Errol Morris sure fooled me. If you’re familiar with this filmmaker’s serious-minded work, it’s logical to anticipate meeting a somber, reserved, deep thinking, perhaps even a somewhat humorless fellow. Nope. The guy I shook hands with is a combination of goofy Mel Brooks with a sprinkling of Steve Carrel silliness who’s powered by the hyper and mischievous energy of a quirky kid sputtering out of a hunkering six foot plus frame.

And I mean all that in a nice way. Because Morris is also quite a pleasant and down-to-earth guy who was a joy to hang out with. Although he was funny and playful, speaking with him, one could not help but also notice his grey head housed a keen, deep-thinking mind which was always percolating.

Roger Ebert has said, “After twenty years of reviewing films, I haven’t found another filmmaker who intrigues me more…Errol Morris is like a magician, and as great a filmmaker as Hitchcock or Fellini.” Ebert has placed Morris’s first feature GATES OF HEAVEN on his list of the 10 Best Films of All Time. Recently, the Guardian listed him as one of the ten most important film directors in the world.

So there you go, it ain’t just me. I’ve been a big fan of Morris going back 25 years, since the time I saw his first feature documentary GATES OF HEAVEN.

This night I was hired to shoot Morris at a screening of his latest film TABLOID. I was also paid to consume copious amounts of delicious food, champagne, hobnob with celebs, and relax in CAA’s most comfy and superb theater and watch a fine movie. Sometimes my jobs are such a hardship.

Tabloid movie trailer

First off, being the sophisticated film reviewer that I am, I have to tell you the rating I give TABLOID is my top “gotta-gotta-see”! Yes, that’s a rare, double-gotta rating. This true-story documentary was hilarious and made me laugh out loud more often than any Hollywood comedy concoction has in years. Continue reading »