Pilot Spotlight: Behind the Scenes of ‘The Cosmopolitans’

He developed a cult following in the 90s with films like Metropolitan and Barcelona, earning the banner of “cinema’s novelist of manners,” according to The New Yorker. Sixteen years later, Whit Stillman picks up where he left off with the pilot of The Cosmopolitans, the story of a group of expatriates in Paris, mending their broken hearts by setting out to create new lives in the City of Love. 

In this behind-the-scenes video from the Paris set, Stillman and cast members including Chloë Sevigny and Adam Brody talk about what drew them to story and where they see it going.   

For just one more week, you can watch the pilot of The Cosmopolitans and weigh in on whether you’d like to see the full series. 

Pilot Spotlight: The Making of ‘Red Oaks’

image The only thing better than a dream summer job could be making a pilot about a dream summer job – especially if it takes place at a Jersey country club in the 80s.  

If you’re nostalgic for the comedies of yesteryear, you might like the Steven Soderbergh-produced pilot for Red Oaks. As the New York Times describes it, “It’s as if the spirits of John Hughes, Harold Ramis and the young Richard Linklater had all gotten together to consult.” 

Get a look behind-the-scenes of this coming-of-age comedy and see how director David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express) went about “rebelling against the expectations of TV” and capturing characters “at the eccentric, awkward points in their lives.”

Then don’t forget to watch, rate and review the Red Oaks pilot here.

And stay tuned to Hollywonk as we offer up an inside look at each of the Amazon Original pilots over the next three weeks. 

Amazon Greenlights Five New Kids’ Series Pilots

A preschool whodunit. A hilarious friendship between dirty trucks.  An epic quest to defeat darkness.  An ousted crowd who navigates middle school cafeteria dynamics. And a trio who discover the power of magic.

These are the five kids’ stories Amazon Studios has ordered to pilot, officially announced today.  Early next year, all five will showcase their first episodes for viewer feedback on Amazon Instant Video. 

During the last kids’ pilot season, one of the highest-rated pilots was Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street, which was created by pre-school teacher David Anaxagoras, a first-time writer who was discovered through Amazon Studios’ open-door submission process.  In November, Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street will launch as a full series on Amazon Prime.

In a few months, viewers will have the chance to discover the next hit kids show.  “We’re very excited to be working with such talented creative minds to bring these five new pilots to life,” said Tara Sorensen, Head of Kids Programming at Amazon Studios.  “At Amazon, we’re focused on great characters and storytelling to create engaging programming for children.” 

So here they are, the five new pilot premises and the people behind them:

Buddy: Tech Detective (for preschool-aged children)
An interactive preschool whodunit that follows super-sleuth Buddy, his incredibly organized best friend Trudy, the funny furry ferret Ferdo and you, the smarty-pants viewer! Using a myriad of interactive technologies, Buddy and his team gather evidence, follow cues and crack the case. Written by Jennifer Hamburg (Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Super Why, Henry Hugglemonster), produced by The Foundation, a part of Zodiak Kids, and animated by Jellyfish Pictures.

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The Stinky & Dirty Show (for preschool-aged children)

The adventures and mishaps faced by best friends and unlikely heroes: Stinky the garbage truck and Dirty the backhoe loader. Whether it’s rescuing their pal Mighty the tugboat, or moving a giant boulder blocking the highway in their town of Go City, Stinky & Dirty are a dynamic duo of resourcefulness who make plenty of mistakes along the way. For them, hilariously failing turns out to be the most fun path to success.  The Stinky & Dirty Show is based on the “I Stink!” book series by Kate and Jim McMullan,and is written by Guy Toubes (The Adventures of Chuck & Friends, Littlest Pet Shop, Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi) and animated by Brown Bag Films (Peter Rabbit, Octonauts, Doc McStuffins).

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Niko and the Sword of Light (for children ages 6-11)

The epic story of a 10-year-old named Niko who is the last of his kind in a strange, fantastical world. He must embark on a quest to defeat the darkness and bring the light back to his land. Armed with his magic sword, brave Niko journeys to the Cursed Volcano while making new friends and powerful foes along the way, all while revealing secrets about his mysterious past.  Based on the motion graphic comic by Imaginism Studios, the studio behind character and concept designs for Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and Men in Black 3.The pilot was written by Rob Hoegee (Generator Rex, League of Super Evil, Storm Hawks, Teen Titans) and animated by Titmouse (Motor City, Metalocalpyse, Turbo FAST, Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja).

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Table 58 (for children ages 6-11)
The live-action story of a group of kids who are not part of the popular crowd, and not part of the geek crowd.  The only thing they’re a part of is Table 58: the odd table in the lunchroom, made up of kids from all different cliques who have been ousted from the table where they seemingly belong. When new kid Logan moves to town, he rallies the group of six mismatched middle schoolers to form a tenuous partnership in order to help each other get back to their rightful place in the cafeteria. Written by May Chan (Phineas & Ferb, Bucket & Skinner’s Epic Adventures), Table 58 is a single-camera live-action pilot directed by Gil Junger (10 Things I Hate About You,Greek).

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Just Add Magic (for children ages 6-11)
The live-action story about Kelly Quinn and her two BFF’s, Darbie and Hannah, who stumble upon her grandmother’s mysterious cookbook in the attic and discover it has some interesting recipes. The Shut’em Up Shortcake actually silences Kelly’s pesky little brother, and when the Healing Hazelnut Tart quickly heals Darbie’s ankle, the girls discover they have the power of magic. Based on Cindy Callaghan’s young adult book of the same name and adapted by Joanna Lewis & Kristine Songco (Sullivan & Son, Fairly Odd Parents, My Little Pony) and Nancy Cohen (Sabrina, The Thundermans), directed by Joe Nussbaum (George Lucas in Love, Awkward). 

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Stay tuned for more details from behind-the-scenes as these pilots get cast and come to life.