W., Local Movies, Digital Silver Screen 

Freeze Frame

W.'s Rumor Mill

Rumors spread last week that Oliver Stone's biopic, W., had been "banned" from local movie theaters. It began when local lawyer and activist William Hamilton wrote an e-mail last Monday wondering "if pressure or a threat of a boycott has been applied to keep the movie out of most of South Carolina."

Hamilton sent out the e-mail to local media outlets, including the City Paper, before movie theaters announced what movies were to open locally on Oct. 17, including W., Max Payne, Sex Drive, and The Secret Life of Bees. On Tuesday, most movie theaters had listed Stone's biopic. Two did not.

By then, the rumor mill was churning, fueled by local radio and television news stations that relayed Hamilton's announcement to hold a press conference later that week to address the absence of the movie.

Hamilton, in his e-mail, did not use the word "ban." But by Tuesday, the game of telephone was complete. The following is an e-mail I received that day: "South Carolina has banned the movie W. from being shown in the metro area ... I am an educated woman from the Eastern establishment and have never heard of such nonsense. ... Please put a reporter on this and make this state join the Union. This is the worst kind of ignorance." —John Stoehr

Locally Made Movie Debuts in N.C.

Song of Pumpkin Brown recently debuted at the 2008 Charlotte Film Festival. It was produced in 2007 by the South Carolina Production Fund Grant, a grant awarded to S.C. filmmakers. Brad Jayne of Creative Forge Productions, located on Daniel Island, joined forces with film students from Trident Technical College. The film follows a 10-year-old orphan who learns to play an instrument with the famous Jenkins Orphanage jazz band in Charleston. —Myles Hutto

In Theaters Near You

Universal, Fox, Disney, and Paramount are joining forces to take digital from the screen in your living room to the Silver Screen. The deal between movie companies and New York-based Digital Cinema Implementation Partners will cost more than $1 billion to convert 15,000 theaters to digital over a three-year period. At roughly $100,000 a pop, the technology will give theaters the ability to project the highest quality visual image and give them 3-D projection capability. The technology will first appear in larger markets and gradually trickle down to markets the size of Charleston. —Myles Hutto


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