Category Archives: Filmmaker

Lawrence Bender And The Making Of “Pulp Fiction”

Many people love the crime film “Pulp Fiction.” However, many people don’t know the story behind how the ground breaking movie was made. Nor, do they know the story about the producer behind Quentin Tarantino’s opus. That producer, Lawrence Bender, has a background story worthy of the big screen.

Bender was not a top movie producer when he helped Tarantino make “Pulp Fiction.” In fact, just a few years before making the film, Bender was a lowly producer of straight to video slash movies after years cutting his teeth as a production assistant. It was a chance meeting in 1990 that changed everything from the young producer.

At a friend’s barbecue, Lawrence Bender met another young man looking to make it big in Hollywood. That young man, Quentin Tarantino, was a semi-employed actor, film geek, budding screenwriter and aspiring Director. Quentin was known for talking about nothing but movies. So when Tarantino sprouted out an idea about a crime film to Bender, the young producer encouraged Tarantino to write up the script and send it him.

Two years later, that barbecue conversation turned into the film, “Reservoir Dogs.” The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival where it caused a sensation. More importantly, it gave Bender and Tarantino the calling card they needed to make a bigger budget Hollywood film. With their chance to hit it big, both Bender and Tarantino swung for the fences.

Their next film would be “Pulp Fiction,” widely regarded as one of the best crime films of all time. Released in 1994, the film would go on to gross over $100 million dollars in the United States alone. Starting Bruce Willis, , Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta, “Pulp Fiction” would go on to win the grand prize at the Cannes Film Festival and garner the first of three Academy Award nominations for Bender.

Born in the Bronx, in 1962, Lawrence Bender has been working in Hollywood for almost four decades. In that time, Bender has produced such popular films as “Jackie Brown,” “Good Will Hunting,” and “Inglorious Basterds.” As he continues to shake up the world of Hollywood, Lawrence Bender’s legend should only continue to grow.

Coming Soon to Amazon: The Departed as a Miniseries

For decades, acclaimed filmmaker Martin Scorsese came very close to getting an Oscar, but this award proved to be very elusive until movie theaters in 2006 screened The Departed.

Scorsese’s gritty portrayal of the Boston criminal underworld and police corruption was a masterpiece inspired by Infernal Affairs, an action film from Hong Kong. Amazon Studios, a production label that seeks to replicate the success of original Netflix programming, will turn The Departed into a streaming miniseries that moves the action to Chicago.

In The Departed, Leonardo DiCaprio plays the part of an undercover detective who infiltrates an Irish crime family that dominates Boston. Amazon Studios will not only change the setting to Chicago but will also change the ethnicity. The new miniseries will feature a young police officers with an axe to grind who infiltrates the upper ranks of a Latino gang. As in The Departed, there is a problem with this undercover operation: the street gang is actually very sophisticated and has one or more insiders within the Chicago Police Department.

An interesting detail about this streaming version of The Departed is that the same production houses that produced the Scorsese film will collaborate with Amazon Studios.

Amazon, Hulu and Netflix are some of the digital entertainment firms that are giving television a run for their money in terms of quality programming. With this new announcement by Amazon Studios, television networks will likely pay close attention to whatever is brewing in the streaming world.