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Boom in TV Period Dramas Raises Demand for History Consultants

  • Variety
Boom in TV Period Dramas Raises Demand for History Consultants
Ask production designer Maria Djurkovic how she researched period-accurate sets for the late 1970s-set espionage miniseries “The Little Drummer Girl,” which airs on AMC, and she answers: books, the internet, some personal experience. But then she brings up her secret weapon: Philip Clark.

“Phil is something like a detective,” she says. “He can respond to a very specific brief, and my inbox will soon be filled with thousands of images that are appropriate. He has a skill of tracking everything down.”

It may take a village to shoot a TV series, but historically based shows such as “Drummer Girl,” Starz’s “The Spanish Princess,” FX’s “Fosse/Verdon,” History’s “Vikings,” Amazon’s “The Man in the High Castle” and PBS Masterpiece’s “Victoria” rarely get very far without some added know-how.

It’s these outside experts who make the shows historically believable. But even though their work is invaluable, their
See full article at Variety »

Shekhar Kapur to Direct ‘Ibis’ Trilogy for Endemol Shine (Exclusive)

  • Variety
Shekhar Kapur to Direct ‘Ibis’ Trilogy for Endemol Shine (Exclusive)
Acclaimed Indian director Shekhar Kapur is to direct a TV series for Endemol Shine based on historical novels by Amitav Ghosh, known as the “Ibis Trilogy.” The deal was announced at Series Mania in Lille.

The books “Sea of Poppies,” “River of Smoke,” and “Flood of Fire,” are set in mid-19th century Asia. They interweave the lives of vividly-drawn characters against the backdrop of the narcotics trade between Britain, India and China and including the “Opium Wars.”

Justin Pollard is on board as historical consultant and story editor. A lead writer has yet to be appointed.

“Our ambition is to create a major high-end franchise for the international market, matching the scale and epic sweep of the Ibis novels. This deal represents our group collaborating at its best, creating an exotic, never before seen tale with wide audience appeal,” said Lars Blomgren, head of scripted entertainment in Europe, the
See full article at Variety »

Martin Scorsese is Developing a Julias Caesar TV Series with the Wrier of Vikings

Martin Scorsese has a new TV series in development that will focus on Julius Caesar and the Romans. He is working on this series with screenwriter Michael Hirst, who is best known for his work on History Channel's Vikings, which is such a great show! k

The series will be called The Caesars and according to The Guardian, the story will focus on the early rulers of ancient Rome, beginning with the rise to power of Julius Caesar. The plan is to have the series run for several seasons.

When talking about working with Scorsese, Hirst says that the filmmaker is “totally passionate about the Romans” and has been “desperate” to make a film or TV drama about them for years.

“He genuinely loves the period and knows a lot about it. He got on the phone to Justin Pollard, my historical adviser. They chatted, partly in Latin, about
See full article at GeekTyrant »

Vikings creator teaming with Martin Scorsese for The Caesars

Vikings and The Tudors creator Michael Hirst has revealed to The Guardian that he is set to team with filmmaker Martin Scorsese for a new series entitled The Caesars, with a plan to tell the story of the early rulers of Rome across several seasons, beginning with the rise of Julius Caesar.

“In the movies he [Caesar] is usually a middle-aged guy, struggling with political complexities,” states Hirst. “But he was fantastically interesting and ambitious when he was younger. A lot of the Caesars came to power when they were young, and we’ve never really seen that on screen. It’s the energy, the vitality, the excess of a young culture that’s being driven by young people. There is something astonishing about the rise of a relatively small kingdom to world power within a very short space of time. It couldn’t have been done by tired old politicos and faded warriors.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Martin Scorsese Teams With ‘The Tudors’ Creator to Tackle Epic History of Roman Empire for New TV Series

Martin Scorsese Teams With ‘The Tudors’ Creator to Tackle Epic History of Roman Empire for New TV Series
Beloved filmmaker Martin Scorsese doesn’t seem to be resting on his laurels as he approaches the sixth decade career of his career, recently making waves for taking his much-hyped “The Irishman” to Netflix, and now reportedly returning to the small screen for a long-time passion project. The Guardian reports that Scorsese has teamed up with screenwriter Michael Hirst — the creator of series like “Vikings” and “The Tudors,” though he also wrote the big screen scripts for “Elizabeth” and “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” — for a lavish new television series about the Roman Empire.

The new series will reportedly “tell the story of the early rulers of ancient Rome, beginning with the rise to power of Julius Caesar.” The series’ pilot has already been written, along with an outline for a full first season. Per The Guardian, “the plan is to create a television drama, several seasons long.”

The screenwriter added
See full article at Indiewire »

Can historically inaccurate movies still win Oscars?

Most of this year's Oscar contenders are based on historical events – and there are academics waiting to pounce on every slip-up and blunder. But there is more to a great movie than getting the facts straight

• Top 10 biopics

Alex von Tunzelmann's Reel History series

It's Oscars time again, and this year many of the big contenders have one thing in common. Two thirds of the contenders for best film are based on historical events. History also picks up four out of five best actor nominations, two out of five best actresses, and three out of five directors. So fierce has the competition among historical films become that it was reported that academic "history assassins" were paid handsomely by marketing consultants to spot errors in other studios' films. These errors would then be filtered out subtly through blogs, undermining rivals' Oscar hopes.

It was rumoured that sniping about the liberties
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Can inaccurate films still win?

Most of this year's Oscar contenders are based on historical events – and there are academics waiting to pounce on every slip-up and blunder. But there is more to a great movie than getting the facts straight

• Top 10 biopics

Alex von Tunzelmann's Reel History series

It's Oscars time again, and this year many of the big contenders have one thing in common. Two thirds of the contenders for best film are based on historical events. History also picks up four out of five best actor nominations, two out of five best actresses, and three out of five directors. So fierce has the competition among historical films become that it was reported that academic "history assassins" were paid handsomely by marketing consultants to spot errors in other studios' films. These errors would then be filtered out subtly through blogs, undermining rivals' Oscar hopes.

It was rumoured that sniping about the liberties
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Review: Vikings: The Complete First Season

  • Comicmix
Mining history for fictional fodder has been a staple of television program dating back to HBO’s Rome and now series set across the years can be found on prime time and basic cable channels with more on the way. Whereas some like the CW’s new Reign is laughably inaccurate, others do their homework and mine the reality for nuggets to hang characters and stories on. Most audiences are blissfully undereducated about world history so they will swallow events on The Tudors, Borgias, and others without realizing how many liberties have been taken in the name of dramatic license and television realities.

No surprise then that the venerable History Channel would want to get in on the fun and they wisely picked one of the least known and richest cultures to mine for dramatic fare. Last spring they unleashed the nine part Vikings, a Canadian-Irish coproduction developed and written
See full article at Comicmix »

Emmys: ‘Vikings’ Justin Pollard

Diane Haithman is an AwardsLine contributor. In the first episode of History’s Vikings, lead character Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) can barely contain his excitement as he tries to persuade brother Rollo (Clive Standen) that Viking ships might venture West to discover what new cities and new gods might be found in uncharted territory. How, wonders Rollo, can a ship stay true to its course with no land in sight? Ragnar shows Rollo the sunboard, a disc that floats on water and charts direction by the location of the noon shadow. Rollo remains skeptical: What happens when clouds obscure the sun? Ragnar then unwraps the precious sunstone, a crystal whose reflective properties can pinpoint the sun’s position even in blinding fog. The sunstone had long been part of Viking legend when Justin Pollard, historical consultant and associate producer of Vikings (History’s first scripted series), suggested to series creator-writer
See full article at Deadline TV »

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