Filmmaking in New York now cool again

Rebecca Traitser writes in the Observer that the tide has turned (again), and studios are coming back to New York to develop new films. As John Lyons puts it, "I think there is a little sense of exhaustion creeping in with all the high-concept action-sequel movies." Mr. Lyons, it turns out, was just named president of production for Focus Features (Congratulations, Mr. Lyons. Muffin basket's on the way.) , and is staying put in New York, where ex-Good Machiners David Linde and James Schamus are, rather than decamping for LA.

Dreamworks and others are opening development offices here, mostly to scout books. But frankly, that doesn't seem like a huge story. If a studio didn't have a book person in NYC, the books just went west. Lyons' choice to stay just consolidates mini-major power in New York. New Line and Miramax have always been NYCentric; Bingham Ray keeps UA's center of gravity here (his reported brushoff line is, "Call me in LA."); Christine Vachon stays here; Soderbergh moved here. Why, it's the thinking person's Hollywood.

Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

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