Grandma is a 2015 American comedy-drama film written and produced by Paul Weitz. It stars Lily Tomlin as Elle, a lesbian poet and widow whose teenage granddaughter visits her to ask for money for an abortion. Over the space of a day, they visit numerous people from Elle's past to call in favors in an effort to raise the money. Weitz wrote the script with Tomlin in mind after working with her on the 2013 film Admission. After she agreed to star, they edited the script together. Most of the other cast members were actors with whom Weitz had collaborated; the film was shot over 19 days in Los Angeles in 2014 with a budget of less than $600,000. The film premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival as the closing night feature and was released on August 21, 2015, by Sony Pictures Classics, it was well received by critics. The film was named among the top ten independent films of 2015 by the National Board of Review, Tomlin was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for her performance. Elle is a lesbian poet coping with the recent death of her long-term life partner.
She ends a four-month relationship with a younger admirer, telling her their relationship meant nothing, before receiving a visit from her 18-year-old granddaughter Sage. Sage is pregnant and requests $630 for an abortion, scheduled for that afternoon; as Elle is broke and Sage has had her credit card confiscated by her overbearing mother, the two embark on a road trip across Los Angeles to try and come up with the money. Elle forcefully extorts $50 from the father of the child, tries to call in a $400 debt from her friend Deathy, a tattoo artist; because she is broke at the time, Deathy cannot help them beyond some $60 she borrows from the register, but gives Elle a new tattoo that looks like the letter "O". Sage presumes this to be Olivia's initial. Elle tries to sell some of her rare books to an acquaintance, who owns a café, but gets into a fight with Olivia, working there. Elle storms out when Carla, much more tech-savvy than Elle, gauges the price of the books on eBay and offers her a paltry $60, Olivia berates her as they leave.
Becoming desperate and Sage visit Elle's ex-husband Karl, whom Elle has not seen in decades. She tells him she needs to borrow the money for rent, he requests a kiss in return; this leads to an argument over how Elle ended their relationship, but when she pleads with him, he agrees to hand over the cash. When he asks her to be honest about the reason for needing the money, she tells him that Sage needs an abortion, Karl becomes angry and emotional. Elle once aborted his child without telling him, yet went on to give birth to a baby born from a one-night stand, she explains that she wanted a child but not a husband, Karl angrily insists he will not pay for an abortion. Sage and Elle work up the courage to visit Sage's busy single mother, furious to learn Sage is pregnant. Judy reluctantly produces the money and Elle drives Sage to the abortion clinic. After the procedure, Judy takes her home. On her own way home, Elle rejoices at memories of her partner Violet. Before reaching home, she makes a short stop at Olivia's house to apologize for saying their relationship meant nothing.
Afterwards, Elle walks down the sidewalk. Numerous commentators have labelled Grandma a feminist film. Bustle writer Rachel Simon commented on the unusual fact that the film centers on two women – a septuagenarian lesbian and a pregnant teenager seeking an abortion – and features a supporting cast of characters including "another lesbian, a trans woman, a single mom who got pregnant using a sperm donor". Writer-director Paul Weitz said that he wanted to explore different eras of women's history through the three generations of Elle's family. While Elle was a fighter for women's equality, he saw Judy as "a product of it", he said that Sage, ignorant of the feminist movement, represented the "erasure of women's history in the minds of young people now". Variety critic Scott Foundas described Grandma as "an unforced but unmistakably political survey of three generations of independent womanhood in America"; the film has been described as pro-choice because of its portrayal of abortion. Weitz was influenced by the lack of mainstream films that depict abortion, saying, "there have been a lot of movies in the past which were unwilling to use the word, despite millions of women having abortions...
So I just wanted it to be real." Several critics praised the film's balanced treatment of abortion: Ty Burr of The Boston Globe wrote that it was "neither minimized nor built up into a Major Statement", while the Financial Times' Danny Leigh appreciated that "the sad gravity of the premise is not underplayed". The Independent critic Geoffrey McNab found it "heartening to see a film that tackles unintended pregnancy and abortion in a humorous and sensitive way". Paul Weitz conceived the idea for the story of Grandma, he never completed the story until he had met and worked with Tomlin on the 2013 film Admission, saying that "After meeting Lily, the voice and the character clicked, I had thought about it for years, so I had a lot of it worked out in my head, I just went to a coffee shop and wrote it longhand." He said that, as he wrote, he could hear her "performing it in head". After writing the script, he was afraid to present it to Tomlin in case she turned down the lead role. Tomlin said that she connected with the character and the story.
The film marked To
Paul Weitz (filmmaker)
Paul John Weitz is an American film director, film producer, screenwriter and actor. He is the older brother of filmmaker Chris Weitz. Together they worked on the comedy films American Pie and About a Boy, for which they were Oscar nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay as co-writers. Weitz is a writer, executive producer, director of the television series Mozart in the Jungle. Weitz was born in New York City, the son of actress Susan Kohner and Berlin-born novelist/menswear designer John Weitz, his brother is filmmaker Chris Weitz. Weitz is the grandson of Czech-born agent and producer Paul Kohner who managed the careers of Billy Wilder, William Wyler, Ingmar Bergman, actress Lupita Tovar on his maternal side. Tovar, from Oaxaca, starred in Santa, Mexico's first talkie, in 1932, as well as a Mexican version of Drácula. Weitz' paternal grandparents escaped Nazi Germany, where his grandfather had been a successful textile manufacturer, family intimates of Christopher Isherwood and Marlene Dietrich.
Weitz's father and maternal grandfather were Jewish, his maternal grandmother was Catholic. He was raised in a nonreligious household. Weitz attended Collegiate. In 1988, he graduated from Wesleyan University. While at Wesleyan, Weitz studied under film instructor Jeanine Basinger. Weitz' early career involved many collaborations with his brother; some of the work they have done as screenwriters has been both uncredited. Weitz began his film career as a co-writer on the 1998 animated film Antz, he followed this with work on various sitcoms such as Off Centre and the 1998 revival of the 1977 series Fantasy Island. In 1999, he and Chris directed and produced American Pie, written by Adam Herz, became a major box office success. Weitz returned as executive producer on the film's two theatrical sequels. In 2002, the Weitz brothers co-wrote and co-directed About a Boy, the Hugh Grant film based on the book by Nick Hornby; the film was set up at New Line Cinema with Robert De Niro producing, the main character as an American.
The brothers felt. Inspiration came from the film The Apartment, they were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Weitz has written and directed the well-received romantic comedy In Good Company and the political satire American Dreamz, which faced mixed reviews. Additional writing credits include, he has directed an adaptation of Darren Shan's young adult novel Cirque du Freak called The Vampire's Assistant. He directed the film the sequel to Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers. Subsequently he wrote and directed Being Flynn, an adaptation of Nick Flynn's memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, starring Robert De Niro. Weitz said he worked collaboratively with Flynn to translate the dense original source material into its film adaptation. Weitz directed the movie Admission, starring Tina Fey. In 2015, Weitz directed the film, which starred Lily Tomlin; the film premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival as the closing night film. The film was Tomlin's first leading role in 27 years, after co-starring with Bette Midler in the comedy film Big Business.
It is the second collaboration between Tomlin and Weitz, who directed her in his film Admission. The film was released on August 2015, by Sony Pictures Classics. Weitz had the story idea for many years, but it never formed until he met and worked with Tomlin on Admission, saying that "After meeting Lily, the voice and the character clicked, I had thought about it for years, so I had a lot of it worked out in my head, I just went to a coffee shop and wrote it longhand."Weitz said the film cost under $600,000 to make. It was well received. Weitz has a production company with his brother Chris Weitz and producer Andrew Miano called Depth of Field. In March 2016, Weitz and his brother signed a two-year first look deal with Amazon Studios. A live-action adaptation Michael Moorcock's Elric saga, which his brother Chris said he enjoyed as a child. Weitz's Depth of Field production company was meant to create the films as a potential trilogy for Universal Pictures. In a May 2007 interview with Empire magazine Weitz's brother announced that he had met with Moorcock, who trusted him with the films, described his wish for Paul to direct the film.
Shield of Straw – producing an English remake of the 2013 Japanese action thriller, Shield of Straw Ghost Train – producing a remake of the 2006 Japanese horror film, Soul Reviver Birthright – producing a remake of the 2010 Japanese thriller Sinatoro – producing TV series with Grant Morrison for Universal Television While in college at Wesleyan, Weitz wrote the play Mango Tea, performed Off-Broadway. Weitz has written a number of plays, including Roulette, Show People and Trust, all of which have been produced Off-Broadway in New York City. Trust starred Zach Braff, Bobby Cannavale, Sutton Foster, Ari Graynor, was directed by Peter DuBois at Second Stage Theatre, it will be produced in Brazil and Greece in 2013. Second Stage produced Privilege and Show People and produced Lonely, I'm Not, starring Topher Grace and Olivia Thirlby a new comedy by Weitz in 2012. Lonely, I'm Not; as a writer, Weitz has discussed semi-jokingly the fact that he avoids the discomfort in his life by turning to the act of writing.
He sees a good play structure as being different from a good film structure, thinks that it is rare for plays as source material to be adapted into film. In 2001, Weitz married novelist Patricia Brown. 1
Ken Watanabe is a Japanese actor. To English-speaking audiences, he is known for playing tragic hero characters, such as General Tadamichi Kuribayashi in Letters from Iwo Jima and Lord Katsumoto Moritsugu in The Last Samurai, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Among other awards, he has won the Japan Academy Prize for Best Actor twice, in 2007 for Memories of Tomorrow and in 2010 for Shizumanu Taiyō, he is known for his roles in Christopher Nolan's films Batman Begins and Inception. In 2014, he starred in the reboot of Godzilla as Dr. Ishiro Serizawa, will reprise his role in the sequel, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, he lent his voice to the fourth and fifth installments of the Transformers franchise Transformers: Age of Extinction and Transformers: The Last Knight, as Decepticon turned Autobot Drift. He made his Broadway debut in April 2015 in Lincoln Center Theater's revival production of The King and I in the title role. In 2015, Watanabe received his first Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical at the 69th Tony Awards for his role as The King.
He is the first Japanese actor to be nominated in this category. Watanabe reprised his role at the London Palladium in June 2018. Watanabe was born in Niigata, his mother was a school teacher and his father taught calligraphy. Due to a number of relocations for his parents' work, he spent his childhood in the villages of Irihirose and Sumon, both now part of the city of Uonuma, in Takada, now part of the city of Jōetsu, he attended Niigata Prefectural Koide High School, where he was a member of the concert band club, playing trumpet, which he had played since childhood. After graduation from high school, in 1978 he aimed to enter Musashino Academia Musicae, a conservatory in Tokyo. However, he had never received a formal musical education, because his father had collapsed when he was in junior high school and was unable to work, there was difficulty in finding the money for tuition; because of these problems, Watanabe gave up trying to enter the conservatory. After graduating from high school in 1978, Watanabe moved to Tokyo to begin his acting career, getting his big break with the Tokyo-based theater troupe En.
While with the troupe, he was cast as the hero in the play Shimodani Mannencho Monogatari, under Yukio Ninagawa's direction. The role attracted popular notice. In 1982, he made his first TV appearance in Michinaru Hanran, his first appearance on TV as a samurai in Mibu no koiuta, he made his feature-film debut in 1984 with MacArthur's Children. Watanabe is known in Japan for playing samurai, as in the 1987 Dokuganryu Masamune the 50-episode NHK taiga drama, he played the lead character, Matsudaira Kurō, in the television jidaigeki Gokenin Zankurō, which ran for several seasons. He has gone on to garner acclaim in such historical dramas as Oda Nobunaga, Chūshingura, the movie Bakumatsu Junjo Den. In 1989, while filming Haruki Kadokawa's Heaven and Earth, Watanabe was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia, he returned to acting while undergoing chemotherapy treatments, but in 1991 suffered a relapse. As his health improved his career picked back up, he co-starred with Kōji Yakusho in the 1998 Kizuna, for which he was nominated for the Japanese Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
In 2002, he quit the En theatre group where he joined the K-Dash agency. The film Sennen no Koi earned him another Japanese Academy Award nomination. In 2006, he won Best Lead Actor at the Japanese Academy Awards for his role in Memories of Tomorrow, in which he played a patient with Alzheimer's Disease. Watanabe was introduced to most Western audiences in the 2003 American film The Last Samurai, set in 19th Century Japan, his performance as Lord Katsumoto earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Watanabe appeared in the 2005 film Memoirs of a Geisha; that same year, he played Ra's al Ghul's decoy in Christopher Nolan's Batman film reboot, Batman Begins. In 2006, he starred in Clint Eastwood's Letters from Iwo Jima, he has voiced Ra's al Ghul's decoy in the Batman Begins video game. He has filmed advertisements for American Express, Canon and NTT DoCoMo. In 2004, he was featured in People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People edition. In 2009, he appeared in The Vampire's Assistant.
In 2010, he co-starred in Inception, where he stars as Saito, a mark-turned-benefactor businessman of the film's heist team. In 2014, he starred in the Hollywood blockbusters Godzilla and Transformers: Age of Extinction. In 1983, Watanabe married Yumiko. In September 2005, following two years of arbitration, he and Yumiko were divorced, he got to know Kaho Minami. Around the time of his divorce the two began dating, were married on December 3 of the same year, their marriage was announced by their agencies on 7 December, just after they had attended a New York City premiere of his film Sayuri together. Watanabe formally adopted Minami's son from her previous marriage to director Jinsei Tsuji, for a time the three of them lived in Los Angeles. In order to increase the amount of time the family could spend together, considering Ken's work requiring him to travel so much, they returned to Japan. Minami and Ken did not hold any wedding ceremony, but in 2010 they announced that they had held a ceremony on August 1 in Los Angeles.
Watanabe has an adopted son. His oldest son, Dai Watanabe, is
Julianne Moore is an American actress and children's author. Prolific in film since the early 1990s, she is known for her portrayals of troubled women in both independent and Hollywood films, has received many accolades, including the Academy Award for Best Actress. After studying theatre at Boston University, Moore began her career with a series of television roles. From 1985 to 1988, she was a regular in the soap opera As the World Turns, earning a Daytime Emmy Award for her performance, her film debut was in Tales from the Darkside: The Movie, she continued to play small roles for the next four years, including in the thriller The Hand That Rocks the Cradle. Moore first received critical attention with Robert Altman's Short Cuts, successive performances in Vanya on 42nd Street and Safe continued this acclaim. Starring roles in the blockbusters Nine Months and The Lost World: Jurassic Park established her as a leading lady in Hollywood. Moore received considerable recognition in the late 1990s and early 2000s, earning Oscar nominations for Boogie Nights, The End of the Affair, Far from Heaven and The Hours.
In the first of these, she played a 1970s pornographic actress, while the other three featured her as an unhappy, mid-20th century housewife. She had success with the films The Big Lebowski, Hannibal, Children of Men, A Single Man, The Kids Are All Right, Crazy, Stupid and won several awards for her portrayal of Sarah Palin in the television film Game Change. Moore went on to give an Academy Award-winning performance as an Alzheimer's patient in Still Alice and was named Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival for Maps to the Stars, she appeared in the final two films of The Hunger Games series and starred in the spy film Kingsman: The Golden Circle. In addition to acting, Moore has written a series of children's books about a character named "Freckleface Strawberry", she is married to director Bart Freundlich. Moore was born Julie Anne Smith on December 3, 1960, at the Fort Bragg army installation in North Carolina, the oldest of 3 siblings, her father, Peter Moore Smith, a paratrooper in the United States Army during the Vietnam War, attained the rank of colonel and became a military judge.
Her Scottish mother, was a psychologist and social worker from Greenock, who emigrated to the United States in 1951 with her family. Moore has a younger sister, Valerie Smith, a younger brother, the novelist Peter Moore Smith; as Moore is half-Scottish, she claimed British citizenship in 2011 to honor her deceased mother. Moore moved around the United States as a child, due to her father's occupation, she was close to her family as a result, but has said she never had the feeling of coming from one particular place. The family lived in multiple locations, including Alabama, Texas, Nebraska, New York, Virginia, Moore attended nine different schools; the constant relocating made her an insecure child, she struggled to establish friendships. Despite these difficulties, Moore remarked that an itinerant lifestyle was beneficial to her future career: "When you move around a lot, you learn that behavior is mutable. I would change, depending on where I was... It teaches you to watch, to reinvent, that character can change."When Moore was 16, the family moved from Falls Church, where Moore had been attending J.
E. B. Stuart High School, to Frankfurt, where she attended Frankfurt American High School, she was clever and studious, a self-proclaimed "good girl", she planned to become a doctor. She had never considered performing, or attended the theatre, but she was an avid reader and it was this hobby that led her to begin acting at the school, she appeared in several plays, including Tartuffe and Medea, with the encouragement of her English teacher, she chose to pursue a theatrical career. Moore's parents supported her decision, but asked that she train at university to provide the added security of a college degree, she was accepted to Boston University and graduated with a BFA in Theatre in 1983. Moore moved to New York City after graduating, worked as a waitress. After registering her stage name with Actors' Equity, she began her career in 1985 with off-Broadway theatre, her first screen role came in an episode of the soap opera The Edge of Night. Her break came the following year. Playing the dual roles of half-sisters Frannie and Sabrina Hughes, she found this intensive work to be an important learning experience, she said of it fondly: "I gained confidence and learned to take responsibility."
Moore performed on the show until 1988, when she won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Ingenue in a Drama Series. Before leaving As the World Turns, she had a role in the 1987 CBS miniseries I'll Take Manhattan. Once she had finished the soap opera, she turned to the stage to play Ophelia in a Guthrie Theater production of Hamlet opposite Željko Ivanek; the actress returned intermittently to television over the next three years, appearing in the TV movies Money, Murder, The Last to Go, Cast a Deadly Spell. In 1990, Moore began working with stage director Andre Gregory on a workshop theatre production of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya. Described by Moore as "one of the most fundamentally important acting experiences I had", the group spent four years exploring the text and giving intimate performances to friends. In 1990, Moore made her cinematic debut as a mummy's victim in Tales from the Darksid
American Dreamz is a 2006 comedy film that satirizes both popular entertainment and American politics during the second Bush administration, called a "cultural satire" by director/producer/writer Paul Weitz. Reviews were lukewarm and the film just about broke at the box office. On the morning after his re-election, US President Joseph Staton decides to read the newspaper for the first time in four years; this starts him down a slippery slope. He begins reading obsessively, reexamining his "black-and-white" view of the world in a more "gray-seeming" way, holing up in his bedroom in his pajamas. Frightened by the President's apparent nervous breakdown, his Chief of Staff pushes him back into the spotlight, booking him as a guest judge on the television ratings juggernaut, the weekly talent show American Dreamz. America cannot seem to get enough of American Dreamz, hosted by self-aggrandizing, self-loathing Martin Tweed on the lookout for the next insta-celebrity, his latest crop of hopefuls includes Sally Kendoo, a conniving steel magnolia with a devoted, dopey veteran boyfriend William Williams, Omer Obeidi.
Because Omer's mother died in the Middle East in an American attack, he joined a group of jihadists. He was an actor in an instruction film for terrorists, but he was too clumsy, his interest in show tunes was frowned upon. Therefore, he was sent to the U. S. to await further instructions. He moved to Southern California to live with his extended family there, including his effeminate cousin Iqbal and Shazzy. Iqbal hoped to be selected to participate in American Dreamz, but in a misunderstanding, Omer was selected instead. Iqbal becomes angered by this at first but agrees to help Omer win and makes himself his manager. Omer's terrorist organization now sees an opportunity: Omer is instructed to make it to the finale, kill the President in a suicide attack, he succeeds in getting to the finale. Security is bypassed by assembling the bomb after the security check, in the toilet, from small parts smuggled in. Omer agrees, but disposes of the bomb in the trash can. Sally is the other finalist. Earlier in the film, she had dumped William because she believed that her life would've gone nowhere if she still had him for a boyfriend and that he'd only drag her down.
This drove William to join the army, only to be wounded in Iraq and sent back to the U. S. For the purpose of the show and at the insistence of her agent, Chet Krogl, Sally has to pretend that she still loves William. On the eve of the American Dreamz finale, William proposes to Sally, which she rejects until Chet decides to boost Sally's popularity and chances of winning the show by asking William to do the proposal on air. However, William witnesses Sally having sex with Martin, is furious; when he throws out the engagement ring, he finds the bomb Omer tossed in the trash can. He comes out on stage and threatens to detonate it. While the other people evacuate, William starts singing and Martin, who refuses to let go of the camera, films it; as William reaches the end of the song, he detonates the bomb by walking into the camera, killing both himself and Martin. The film cuts to shots of people dialing up their cell phones to vote in for the winner, it is revealed that William Williams was voted the surprise winner of American Dreamz.
The epilogue reveals. Omer went on to become a successful star of his own Broadway revue, where he is shown performing a scene from the musical Grease; the President makes his wife his new Chief of Staff. And Sally Kendoo becomes the new host of American Dreamz. Although the singing contest depicted in the film has been interpreted as a direct satire of American Idol, Paul Weitz said in an interview that the similarities are accidental, that the showrunner is not based on Simon Cowell but on Hugh Grant himself: "a depressive, morbid but funny, cynical guy... too egotistical to have any other judges so it's just him kind of projected up on screen judging the contestants". Weitz went on to call the film a cultural rather than a political satire. American Dreamz made $3.7 million in its first weekend, placing ninth. The film had a total domestic gross of $7.2 million and an international gross of $9.2 million, for a total gross of $16.4 million. It had its widest release in its opening weekend, opening in 1,500 theatres across the USA, ended its national release after only four weeks on May 28, 2006.
In the Netherlands, the film debuted at # 7. As of June 14, 2006, the film has grossed a total of €92,432 in the Netherlands. In Spain, the film debuted at # 11; the following week dropped to #15, grossing $58,467. On the review website Rotten Tomatoes, 40% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 163 reviews, an average rating of 5.3/10, with the consensus: "A cheerfully silly satire with an unfortunate lack of focus, American Dreamz takes aim at numerous targets, but isn't pointed enough for relevant social commentary." Giving the film a C+ in her review, Rebecca Murray writes that Weiz tried to do too much: "Simply put, American Dreamz suffers from an overabundance of subplots and characters. There's so much going on, the comedy can't survive the film's scattershot approach." Leonard Maltin in his book 151 Best Movies You've Never Seen says director "Weitz holds a mirror up to American society and uses humor to help us see ourselves at our b
Principal photography is the phase of film production in which the bulk of the movie is filmed, with actors on set and cameras rolling, as distinct from pre-production and post-production. Principal photography is the most expensive phase of film production, due to actor and set crew salaries, as well as the costs of certain shots, on-set special effects, its start marks a point of no return for the financiers, because until it is complete, there is unlikely to be enough material filmed to release a final product needed to recoup costs. While it is common for a film to lose its greenlight status during pre-production – for example, because an important cast member drops out or unexpectedly dies, or some kind of scandal engulfs the studio or an actor – it is uncommon for financing to be withdrawn once principal photography has begun. Feature films have insurance in place by the time principal photography begins; the death of a bankable star before completing all planned takes, or the loss of sets or footage can render a film impossible to complete as planned.
For example, sets are notoriously flammable. Furthermore, professional-quality movie cameras are rented as needed, most camera houses will not allow rentals of their equipment without proof of insurance. Once a film concludes principal photography, it is said to have wrapped, a wrap party may be organized to celebrate. During post-production, it may become clear that certain shots or sequences are missing or incomplete and are required to complete the film, or that a certain scene is not playing as expected, or as seen in the late stages of filming The Hate U Give, that a particular actor's performance or behavior has not turned out as desired, causing him or her to be replaced with another. In these circumstances, additional material may have to be shot. If the material has been shot once, or is substantial, the process is referred to as a re-shoot, but if the material is new and minor, it is referred to as a pick-up. Learning materials related to Filmmaking at Wikiversity Media related to Filmmaking at Wikimedia Commons
Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant
Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant is a 2009 American dark fantasy film adaptation of the Vampire Blood trilogy of the book series The Saga of Darren Shan by author Darren Shan. 16-year-old Darren Shan and his best friend Steve Leonard visit. During the performance, Steve recognizes one of the troupe's members, Larten Crepsley, as a vampire, prompting him to try to find Crepsley after the show. Darren, fascinated by Crepsley's spider, Madam Octa, impulsively steals her. Before he can leave, he is forced to hide as Crepsley returns to his room. Steve arrives, begging to be made into a vampire, but Crepsley refuses after tasting Steve's blood, which he says "tastes of evil"; when Crepsley realizes that Madam Octa has been stolen, Darren flees from the theater with Crepsley hot on his trail. He gets away only when the mysterious Mr. Tiny arrives in his limousine, accompanied by the mad Vampeneze Murlough; the latter is unimpressed with Darren, dismissing him as a "bag of blood", but Tiny is impressed, promises to "be in touch" after dropping Darren off at home.
The next day, Steve discovers Darren heard the conversation between Steve and Mr. Crepsley, forcing Darren to admit he overheard what Steve said to Mr. Crepsley. Steve comes over to Darren's house and performs tricks with Madam Octa Darren loses his concentration and Madam Octa bites Steve and escapes, leaving Steve to succumb to her deadly venom in the hospital. Becoming desperate, Darren begs Mr. Crepsley for help. Annoyed and contemptuous, Crepsley agrees only if Darren becomes a half-vampire and Crepsley's personal assistant. Darren agrees, only to flee as soon. After nearly attacking his sister out of bloodlust soon after, Darren reluctantly agrees to leave with Mr. Crepsley, who arranges it so everyone believes Darren has killed himself. After being buried, Darren is dug up by Mr. Crepsley, only for the both of them to be ambushed by Murlough and several Vampeneze. Crepsley fights them off and the two return to Cirque du Freak where Darren meets the snake boy, Evra Von, Rebecca, the monkey girl.
Meanwhile, contemplating suicide after losing his best friend, is stopped by Mr. Tiny who offers him a chance to become a Vampaneze, telling him that Darren has achieved his dream of being a vampire, wasn't the loyal friend Steve believed. Steve is turned into a half-Vampeneze, after learning that Darren has been refusing to feed, Tiny has his family kidnapped, leaving a flyer for the Cirque du Freak at Darren's former home. Darren arrives at the theater, where Steve are waiting for him, they fight. Crepsley arrives to fight Murlough. Rebecca frees herself. Rebecca offers Darren some of her blood, he agrees and fights with Steve using his new powers. Crepsley stabs Murlough and with his dying words Murlough declares that the truce between the two clans is broken. Steve and Darren continue to fight. Darren asks Steve to stay, but Steve refuses, saying "I have my destiny and you have yours." Steve leaves with Mr. Tiny. Darren's family are hypnotized to have forgotten. Left by themselves and Darren share a long heartfelt kiss before being interrupted by Mr. Crepsley.
Crepsley gives Darren his own coffin, Darren accepts his new life as a member of the Cirque du Freak. Main article: Mary Elisabeth Winstead as School Teenager / Carnival Teenager Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant was shot between February 19-June 1, 2008 in New Orleans, the villages of Folsom and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; some of the characters required a great deal of prosthetics and makeup led by Steve Koch, Brian Sipe, Mark Garbarino. Prosthetics did not quite add the height needed on certain shots for the character of Mr. Tall, played by Academy Award-nominated Ken Watanabe. Although Watanabe is six feet tall, a body double was cast for certain shots. Trevon Flores, a local basketball player who stands 6'10" tall and weighs 210 pounds, was used for certain shots to show the abnormal height of Mr. Tall. Additionally, Watanabe utilized dialogue coaches Kathleen S. Dunn and Francie Brown in pre-production and production to further enhance his performance as the circus barker; the filmmakers took advantage of computer-generated imagery to portray other fantasy elements.
John Marshall High School in Los Angeles was used to film a few parts of the movie. They used Sophie B. Wright Charter School in New Orleans to shoot a couple of scenes from the film; the film began principal photography on February 8, 2008 in New Orleans and ended on June 3, 2008. The film was distributed by Universal Studios. A portion of The Vampire's Assistant was filmed on a set constructed within New Orleans City Park 1,000 feet off of the side of the road, along Harrison Avenue. In one of the manga additions of the saga, the director says that the character of Gavner Purl was a hint of the sequel he wanted to make; the score to The Vampire's Assistant was composed by Stephen Trask, marking his third feature film with director Paul Weitz. He recorded his score with an 86-piece ensemble of the Hollywood Studio Symphony at the Newman Scoring Stage at 20th Century Fox; the movie features the songs "Something Is Not Right with Me" by Cold War Kids, "Chelsea Dagger" by The Fratellis, "Red Right Hand" by Nick Cave.
The trailer features the songs Asleep From Day by The Chemical Brothers, Bliss by Syntax, Superhero by Immediate Music. The film was set for release on January 15, 2010, but was moved ahead to