Fans have a Chance to be in ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’

 

J.J. Abrams Announces “Force for Change” Campaign to Benefit

UNICEF’s Innovation Labs and Programs

Beginning Today, Visit Omaze.com/StarWars to Enter for a Chance to Win

Today in a special video message from the set of Star Wars: Episode VII, director J.J. Abrams announced the creation of Star Wars: Force for Change, a brand new Star Wars initiative from Disney and Lucasfilm in collaboration with Bad Robot dedicated to finding creative solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems. The first Star Wars: Force for Change campaign will raise funds and awareness for the United Nations Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF) Innovation Labs and its innovative programs that are benefitting the world’s most vulnerable children.

Disney has committed US $1 million to support the launch of Star Wars: Force for Change. Fans can now contribute directly at Omaze.com/StarWars for a chance to appear in Star Wars: Episode VII. For each $10 contribution made through the Omaze fundraising platform, eligible participants will be automatically entered for a chance to win this once-in-a-lifetime experience. The campaign runs from 12:01am PST on May 21stth until 11:59pm PST July 18th.

The Star Wars: Force for Change Grand Prize includes:

  • Airfare and accommodations to London for one winner and a guest
  • Behind-the-scenes access on the closed set of Star Wars: Episode VII as VIP guests of J.J. Abrams
  • Winner will have the opportunity to meet members of the cast
  • Winner and their guest will then be transformed by makeup and costume teams into a Star Wars character and filmed for a scene in Star Wars: Episode VII

“The Star Wars fans are some of the most passionate and committed folks around the globe,” says director J.J. Abrams. “We’re thrilled to offer a chance to come behind the scenes as our VIP guests and be in Star Wars: Episode VII. We’re even more excited that by participating in this campaign, Star Wars fans will be helping children around the world through our collaboration with UNICEF Innovation Labs and projects.”

Star Wars continues to inspire generations of dreamers and doers to use their creativity to accomplish great things. Star Wars and Lucasfilm were built on the belief that in uniting creativity with innovation, you can make the impossible possible.

“The Star Wars films were made through George Lucas’s adventurous combination of technology and creativity,” says Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. “We wanted to honor and carry on that positive spirit as we start production on Episode VII and use Star Wars to make a difference in the world. Star Wars: Force for Change will help us do that, letting us give back to the fans who keep Star Wars alive, and raising much-needed funds for programs like UNICEF’s Innovation Labs.”

By pledging support for Star Wars: Force for Change, fans are helping UNICEF create a brighter tomorrow for kids and families around the world. Through its global network of Innovation Labs, UNICEF helps create sustainable solutions to major issues facing children in the areas of nutrition, water, health, and education. The Star Wars: Force for Change campaign will help fund innovative, life-changing projects in communities around the globe.

“UNICEF works in over 190 countries and territories  to help the world’s most vulnerable children and young people identify solutions and create change,” says Christopher Fabian, UNICEF Senior Advisor on Innovation and co-Lead of the Innovation Unit. “We work together with the greatest technologists and designers of our time to create open-source solutions that help millions of people. The support from Star Wars: Force for Change will help to bind these innovators together on a mission to solve the world’s most pressing problems, and create a better future.”

Visit StarWars.com/ForceForChange to learn more about this new charitable initiative and the work of UNICEF’s Innovation Labs and programs, and be sure to enter through contribution or free entry for your chance to win at Omaze.com/StarWars.

May the Force be with you!

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.  For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org.  Follow us on Twitter@unicef and FacebookUNICEF.

Massachusetts Native Talks about Writing and Hollywood

Massachusetts Native Talks about Writing and Hollywood

by Jason Harris

J.P. Ouellette

J.P. Ouellette has worked on a number of films in Boston such as The Box and The Fighter. Working in the city allowed him to “learn filmmaking from some of the best crews around” while being at home.

“The mix of local and Hollywood talent brought my knowledge of film to the next level,” Ouellette said. Being an assistant to great storytellers like Richard Kelly was better than grad school.”

Kelly was the writer and director of such movies as The Box and Donnie Darko.

Ouellette started working in Hollywood after taking a risk in order to pursue his writing career. He states that “Los Angeles is the best place to be for an emerging writer.”

“The whole city is dedicated to the film business, and there are endless opportunities here to build your resume.”

His latest film, Captured, which he produced, wrapped in June and is scheduled for release in October of 2013, which is “a perfect time” to release it, Ouellette said. It’s about a rock band that goes off to shoot a music video where an escaped convict becomes obsessed with them.

“It is a classic slasher flick with a lot of psychological twists. It blends genres, and is made for the true horror fan who is tired of the same old thing.”

Ouellette became involved with Captured when writer and director Joe Arias hired him to write new drafts of the script.

“It took us (a lucky) 13 drafts to get the shooting script ready. It was the hardest writing sessions either one of us has been apart of, but it was worth it, this story will blow your mind!”

Captured took three weeks to film, but it was in the works for two years since Arias came up with the film’s concept, Ouellette said. He is in the process of working on the sound editing, special effects, and the score now.

“It’s been quite a labor of love. It’s all very exciting to see something you help create come together.”

Along with finishing up Captured, he is producing another horror movie, Do Not Watch.

“Due to the high-concept of this project, the synopsis is being kept under wraps.”

Not only has Ouellette worked on more than 20 movies in his career, you can take a look at his Internet Movie Database profile, http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1965594/ to see everything that he has worked on, but he has also found the time to write a novel, 2501. His writing and this story’s style was inspired by Arthur C. Clarke and George Orwell. Its “hard science-fiction blended with political overtones is something everyone can get behind.” The e-book can be purchase on Amazon by clicking here.

It originally started out as a script idea, but “it was way too involved for the screen at that time.”

“I really had to dig into the characters and the science in order to find my story. Funny enough, the book now represents the outline for the proposed film version.”

He is still looking for the right Hollywood screenwriter to adapt 2501. He could adapt it himself, but he wants to step back and let someone else take care of it.

“The projected budget for this Blockbuster is over $50 million, and that is not in my price range … yet.”

He “would love Steven Spielberg to direct [2501] because of the Stanley Kubrick feel of the story.” If that happens he would love to be on-set, which he would consider “a dream project for sure.”

He does have an outline for another book, but his screenwriting schedule is keeping him from working on it.

“With 2501, I had to isolate myself while traveling in Mexico, writing the first draft freehand while sitting on the steps of the Mayan Ruins. It is the only way to get a novel done in this distracting day and age.”

Ouellette has a number of directors such as John Carpenter, J.J. Abrams, Duncan Jones, and Kelly, who has influenced him. He says that Kelly’s film, Donnie Darko, is the reason he went to film school, he said.

He has worked with many directors and actors, and wants to work with many more.

“They all have their own style to this art, and I love learning from them.”

He doesn’t have a dream project. All he wants to do is “to keep making great movies, and create opportunities to make more of them.”