Tuesday, April 29, 2014

News Roundup for 4/29

Hollywood Reporter officially announced that Ryan Guzman is playing Rio, and includes this tidbit about the plot: "the film will follow Jerrica, an orphaned teenage girl who becomes an online recording sensation named Jem".

Ryan also appeared in a video on the set on JemTheMovie.com, where he appears to be filming and does not have purple hair.

SheKnows talked to Aubrey Peeples and Stefanie Scott, where they discussed working on the film:
Although casting news just broke last week, filming is already underway and the cast has been working tirelessly on perfecting their music. "We've been working 24/7 on it," admits Peeples. "It was crazy."

Keeping their band practice under wraps for so many months must have been quite a challenge, considering how much Hollywood likes to dish secrets.

Stephanie Scott agrees. "We had to keep it a secret, which was so hard, because we just wanted to show pics from the set and from practice, because we feel like a real girl band at this point. It's awesome!"

Filming took place for a second day at Hummingbird Nest Ranch in Simi Valley CA (which is clear from the set photo on Instagram posted by Stefanie Scott and the video of Ryan Guzman) where it was incredibly windy according to multiple tweets. Filming went on well into the night.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Week Two of Filming

The second week of filming Jem & The Holograms began bright and early this morning (according to makeup artist Samantha Rosenberg on Twitter).  Ryan Guzman who is playing Rio tweeted that it was his first day on the set.

The ASTRAL signs have been spotted in Simi Valley CA (a far flung suburb of Los Angeles) and it looks like they are filming at Hummingbird Nest Ranch - a popular filming location that has a large estate, several smaller guest houses, equestrian facilities, a polo field and a lot of rocky wilderness to film in.

A lot of TV shows have filmed at Hummingbird Ranch including The Biggest Loser, Savages and NCIS: L.A. The area around Simi Valley is frequently seen in tv shows and it's know for being the location where many Westerns were filmed like Gunsmoke as well as Little House on the Prairie and MASH. 

Since Blumhouse's model for low budget movies involves minimizing the number of locations, it's possible they can shoot a large number of different types of scenes at a place like Hummingbird Ranch especially since the plot involves a "scavenger hunt". 

Edited to add: Mary Klimek posted to Instagram a picture of a sunset from the set and it's clearly at the Hummingbird Ranch villa.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Molly Ringwald in Jem the Movie?

We're hearing some rumors that Molly Ringwald is appearing in the Jem & The Holograms movie. She tweeted about filming a movie, so we know she's doing some secret project.
What we've learned is the role is likely Mrs Bailey (or a character that is similar to Mrs Bailey). The character is the "mom" to Jerrica, Kimber, Shana and Aja. 

Ryan Guzman Confirms He's Rio in Jem The Movie

There's been a lot of speculation that Ryan Guzman could be cast in Jem and Holograms since he's worked with Jon Chu before on Step Up Revolution.  We've posted rumors about him being in the Jem cast and now he's confirmed it on Twitter:

First Look at Jerrica?

Well, it's been an interesting day to say the least and the staff here at Cool Trash is busy pulling together all the various tidbits that have leaked out.

Before the big casting announcement, Aubrey Peeples posted this picture on Instagram with the caption: "I may be wearing my #Nashville shirt but I am on set for something else....very exciting details to come...."

It sounds like this is an outfit she's wearing in the filming of Jem the Movie, so not only will Kimber have a more normal shade of red hair, but Jerrica won't have light blonde hair but rather light brown hair.

Aubrey also looks - dare we say - like a total nerd and this seems to fit the standard cliche nerdy girl becomes popular becoming someone else.  She takes off her glasses, lets down her hair and becomes cool and a different person.  Not sure that really fits Jerrica or the premise of Jem or she looks like someone who would be running a business and a foster home.

A comment Aubrey posted on Instagram mainly responding to the controversy about casting a light skinned bi-racial actress to play Shana has a few tidbits about the movie:
We are remaking it but with modern twists. it's an adaptation, our interpretation. the original series technically kicks off by supporting embezzlement, and that wouldn't be a good message, now would it - so of course it won't be exactly the same. Also the series was a cartoon. No one's gonna match the animated skin colors perfectly. The actress hired is African American and she may not be as dark but she is extremely talented and I would hope modern audiences hold that above skin color or race.

Jem Filming on Location in Van Nuys

Jem & The Holograms are officially Valley Girls!  Filming for Jem kicked off in the San Fernando Valley on Monday.  OLV had the scoop that they were on location on Peach Avenue in Van Nuys with signs that said "Astral" (maybe using a Jem character as a codename for the Jem production isn't the best idea guys).

Jem fan Mike posted on a Jem message board that he drove by to see if they were still there and as of last night, it looks like they are still filming at several houses on the street.

The first house is 6619 Peach Ave

The second house is 6648 Peach Ave:

One of these houses could Starlight House. Based on the casting call information Rio (called Ryan) is possibly a neighbor of the Bentons and it sounds like storyline is sort of Truly Outrageous meets Out of the Past, so he could live across the street from Starlight House. But neither of these houses looks big enough to be home to 12 foster girls plus Jerrica and the Holograms.

The VFX supervisor posted a picture of himself on the VFX Legion Facebook page that looks like he's at 6619 Peach.  The question we have is why do they need a VFX supervisor on set?  It's not Star Wars.

We know Zipper is in the film and he has already filmed scenes.  In the cartoon, Zipper burns down the original Starlight House. If that happens in the movie, then VFX are going to have to play a major role in showing that happen.

Jem Casting: You Heard It Here First

JemTheMovie.com has finally posted the cast list for Jem & the Holograms, but our Cool Trash readers already knew who they are:
Jem - Aubrey Peeples
Kimber - Stefanie Scott
Aja - Hayley Kiyoko
Shana - Aurora Perrineau
Hollywood Reporter has a more in-depth article.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Jem The Movie Casts Fans as Extras

The results of the fan auditions were revealed today in a video where casting director Terri Taylor revealed that a handful of fans with professional acting experience would be featured extras in the film.

Nathan Moore also was cast as Zipper from his audition - which wasn't a role anyone really knew to audition for. Moore has appeared in bit roles the tv shows Dawson's Creek and Gilmore Girls and long list of shorts and minor roles in films.

It appears that those that were cast had very professionally produced videos and previous film experience, likely were SAG actors in the Southern California area. Considering that the movie is already filming and as extras actors will receive very little in terms of pay, it is very impractical to think many individuals could travel at a moment's notice.

As Cool Trash exclusively revealed, the Jem movie began casting in February under the false name #Famous and casting call information for which specific roles were being cast were sent out to agents. This information was not given to fans, many of whom were well outside of the age range being cast for. Nor were any of the lead roles really up for grabs.

Fans auditioning would have been better off doing an audition video like Nathan Moore did for Zipper rather than trying to audition for one of the lead roles which were already being cast.

Who is Jem?

Like the premise of Jem & the Holograms, there's a mystery about the identity of Jem. Day three of filming starts today and we still don't know who is playing Jem. Even more curious is why is this a mystery? Why are Jon Chu and Jason Blum waiting so long to make a casting announcement?

Based on a process of elimination, Aubrey Peeples is Jem. There is far too much circumstantial evidence online that puts her in the project, but in an unknown role. We here at Cool Trash think she would make a great Pizzazz and she's great playing the bitchy rival type character, and she seems far more "rock & roll" and hard edged to play Jerrica and certainly Jem.

At this point, there's no evidence the Misfits are even in the movie and Blumhouse movies have very small casts to keep the budget low. The Misfits could be held for a sequel where there's a bigger budget.

Another possibility is that a bigger name has been cast. Scooter Braum's clients, Ariana Grande and Madison Beer, seem to crop up a lot in speculation. Ariana Grande's tweets don't indicate she's filming a movie. With a low budget movie like this, time is money and why wouldn't the actress playing Jem be filming?

Beer seems too young now, since we know 17 year old Stefanie Scott is playing Kimber. But she is an example of the type of social media stunts that Scooter Braun pulls with his clients, and the possibility could be they pretend to have discovered one of his new clients during the Jem auditions. They could be waiting to put the finishing touches on the first Jem & The Holograms video to make the announcement, since announcing a name no one has heard of doesn't cause any buzz.

If Grande had been cast, then why would blonde haired Stefanie Scott be playing her sister? We think there's enough evidence that Grande isn't involved to eliminate her from the speculation.

Could Peeples be simply a stand-in for Jem? Could different actresses be playing Jerrica and Jem? Could Britta Phillips be playing Jem (she looks ridiculously young for 50!)? All we can say is, "Who is she anyways?"

Another question is why hasn't a casting announcement come out? If it was a bigger name actress like Grande, then she would need to be signed on before an announcement could be made which would cause a delay but Blumhouse would be keen to get the word out.

If a nobody like Peeples is playing Jem, then they would likely bury the news. No one except the Jem fans will care and it will be a disappointment to those who were auditioning that that a working actress from Nashville was cast and to those who wanted someone like Grande or Katy Perry to play Jem. The announcement will only come when there's a trailer or video that will promote the film and make people forget that no one they've ever heard of is playing Jem.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Britta Phillips Cameo Appearance in Jem & The Holograms Movie

The original singing voice of Jem, Britta Phillips, was asked on Twitter about whether she would be in the Jem movie and she responded that she would once she returned from her tour:
"Your" is likely a typo and she meant "Tour".

Britta has been touring with her husband, Dean Wareham, and they will be performing at Amoeba Records in Hollywood (the world's largest record store) on Thursday April 24th. Dean's tour continues on in May in Europe, so there seems to only be a short window for Britta to appear in the movie.

While fans were waiting for Jon Chu to call them last weekend about the fan auditions, Jon tweeted about talking to Britta back on March 28th:

No word yet if Jem's speaking voice, Samantha Newark, will also have a cameo appearance.  Samantha appeared last weekend at a comic convention in Texas and I'm sure a lot of fans asked her about it.

Britta has done far more on-camera work than Samantha (who is primarily a singer) and seems like a natural choice for an appearance in the Jem movie.   Not only was Britta the singing voice of Jem, but she was in the iconic 80s girl band movie Satisfaction with Julia Roberts:

Photo From Hair & Make-up of Aja and Jem?

Hayley Kiyoko posted a picture to her Instagram from the Hair & Makeup which in the background you can see someone with pink hair (or a wig?):
Either this is confirmation that Hayley has been cast in Jem and the Holograms or she is going to great lengths to make everyone think she has.

Monday, April 21, 2014

First Day of Filming of Jem the Movie

Today was the first day of filming on the Jem movie, which is only a month after the film as announced. Still the cast has not been announced, but that hasn't stopped the cast members from tweeting about starting filming.

Jem & The Holograms Movie Budget is $5 Million

ScienceFiction.com talked to Jason Blum and got a few scoops about the movie and how it came about.

The biggest news is the that budget for Jem & The Holograms is $5 Million.  To put that into prospective,  the Veronica Mars movie had a budget of $6 Million.  The Josie & The Pussycats movie in 2001 had a budget of $39 Million.   Quite a few low budget horror flicks are made for about $5 million, including Blum's recently released Oculus which has made $21 Million at the box office.

What isn't clear is whether $5 million is the final budget with marketing expenses or will just be the production costs. 

This is how Jason Blum described how the Jem movie came about:
So ‘Jem’ is really Jon Chu’s vision 100%. He drove it. He was passionate about it. He did ‘G.I. Joe’ with Hasbro, so he had a relationship with them, and he pitched them on it, but they were on the fence about it. Then I said we’ll do it for $5 million, instead of $30 million, which is what they were thinking. They were doing ‘Ouija’ for $110 million and we were doing it for $5 million. So as financers, they say go for it and then they leave you alone because it’s so little money.”

Friday, April 18, 2014

More Jem Casting Rumors

We are hearing some names from multiple sources and these sound like Jem and the Holograms have been cast:

Aubrey Peeples (best known for Nashville and also was in the Sci-Fi channel movie Sharknado) might be playing either Jem or Pizzazz. She's 21.

As previously reported, Stefanie Scott is another actress/singer that may have been cast. She could be playing Jem, but it's also possible she's Kimber if Peeples is Jem.  She's 17 and best known for the Disney Channel show ANT Farm.  She recently has had a reoccurring role as a 16 year old runaway/prostitute in Law & Order SVU.

Aurora Perrineau  is 19 years old and primarily a model. She's posted pictures on her Twitter account of a drum set so we're guessing she's Shana or a Misfit that plays the drums. She's the daughter of Harold Perrineau from Lost and appeared in a guest role on Pretty Little Liars.

23 year old Hayley Kiyoko is best known for appearing in the Disney Channel tv movie Lemonade Mouth.  She also had a reoccurring role in the Wizards of Waverly Place, has played Thelma in a live action Scooby Doo tv movie and is currently appearing in The Fosters.  Our guess is she's Aja.

Casting Rumor: Has Stefanie Scott Been Cast in Jem and the Holograms?

We're hearing rumors that that Stefanie Scott may have been cast in Jem and the Holograms.  The 17 year old singer and actress from Chicago may be working with Jon Chu on a project, and considering she fits the bill perfectly for a teenage Jem, it's safe to say what that project is.

Stefanie is best known for playing Lexi on the Disney Channel show A.N.T. Farm and more recently had a recurring role on Law & Order: SVU as a runaway on  which she showed some acting ability.

She also is a singer, and did performed this cover of the Taylor Swift song "Everything Has Changed":

From what Cool Trash is hearing, it's possible that the actress that has played Jem has been onboard the project since March - before the official, public announcement that the movie was  being made and asking fans to audition of all roles.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Assignment #2 is Updated

The second assignment was updated with two new caveats:
1. Keep the video limited to 2 minutes only!

2. Make sure you don’t have any music playing in the background. We need to only hear your speaking voice / see your face. No music, no clips of Jem, etc!

It's interesting that they do not want any Jem music or clips of the cartoon in the videos.  This likely will be used for DVD bonus features.  If clips of Jem songs are used, even for a brief second in an excerpt from a fan video, then the movie will need to pay the writers of the music - Anne Bryant and Barry Harman.

This has become a point of contention with Transformers and an updated version of the theme song  has been created to avoid paying royalties to Anne Bryant.  Anne was involved in a lawsuit with Hasbro over unpaid royalties for the Transformers theme song in 2005.

Camera, Hair and Make-up Tests Today

Today were camera, make-up and hair tests based on tweets from producer Jessica Hall and Head of the Make-up Department Mary Klimek. The filming was done at Panavision Hollywood - a camera and film equipment rental store, according to Jessica Hall.

Klimek tweeted about specific make-up she was using and Hall tweeted a photo of some brightly colored wigs.

No actual pictures of the testing were shown and the question is who was the hair and make-up tested on? The stars of the movie or stand-ins? 

Casting may not be announced until there are pictures of the cast in costume, so this could have been the opportunity to take press photos for the big announcement.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Possible Jem & The Hologram Casting Call Information

Is Jem the Movie being secretly cast under the name #Famous?  Casting call websites list information for a #Famous that is eerily similar to Jem.  These match characters everyone is familiar from the Jem cartoon but key details like NAMES and possible ETHNICITY have been changed.

Casting for #Famous began in February and the casting director for #Famous is Terri Taylor - who is the casting director for Jem and the Holograms according to Backstage and casts many of  Blumhouse's films.

These are the roles that are being cast for #Famous:

Role: Angie - Female, any ethnicity, 16-17 years old. A tomboy kind of girl, technology guru. She rocks the bass guitar and loves to remix songs

Role: Shana - Female, any ethnicity, 16-17 years old. A sassy fashionista with a knack for playing drums. She's a foster child, but has impenetrable ties ...

Role: Ryan - Male, any ethnicity, 18 years old. Handsome and square-jawed, he keeps an eye on the girls as per his father's request.

Role: Kim - Female, any ethnicity, 14-15 years old. She's the baby of the family, but far more studious and precocious than her sisters. She's tenacious...

The casting calls are archived on CastItTalent.com on February 27, 2014 and March 21, 2014.

 Whether the names will remained changed or if it is to throw us off the trail from realizing #Famous is Jem remains to be seen.  If these really are Aja, Shana and Rio then "any ethnicity" means they are not looking to keep the same ethnicity from the cartoon and original dolls.  It also means that the characters will be de-aged to high school aged students - but this doesn't include whether they are casting actual teens or 20-somethings that play teens.

Casting for the film started well before the publicized crowdsourcing announcement from Jon Chu asking for fans to audition.  Why wasn't this information given to fans auditioning?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Chu Returns with Jem the Movie Assignment #2

Jon M Chu posted the second Jem The Movie crowdsourcing assignment on YouTube requesting concert posters (but with only the logo image available, there's not much for graphic artists to work with) and for videos talking directly to Jem (perhaps for some weird DVD bonus feature about delusional Jem fans who believe Jem is a real person who they talk to?)

From JemtheMovie.com's tumblr:

1. For everyone — Make a video or write a letter like you’re talking directly TO Jem and telling her what she means to you! Just like you submitted your auditions, go to our submit link to share and use the tag #jemthemovie!

2. For our graphic designers — we need Jem concert posters! You can download the elements in our Dropbox, then go to Submit to share your creations!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Scooter Braun Cutting Jem Record

So, Jem music is being recorded. After Jon M Chu suggested that he was heading into the recording studio two days ago, now Scooter is teasing recording as well. This evening, Scooter Braun tweeted the following:


How the heck can they be recording if they are still casting? And how can they still be casting if they are filming in a little over 2 weeks? There are two possibilities: either they are incredibly behind schedule or the roles have already been cast and the fan auditions were a massive hoax to stir up publicity.

We here at Cool Trash fully endorse the utilization of hoaxes for publicity. Good job, Jem Team!

Production Updates

Still no casting news, but a few more names can be added to the Jem the Movie team.

Backstage.com's production listing has been updated with a listing for Jem, which includes the casting director:

NEW Jem and the Holograms (Adaptation) A former orphaned teenager and a music executive who has a secret rock star life joins her sisters on a music-driven scavenger hunt across Los Angeles in search of a final message left by their father. Directed by Jon M. Chu. Casting: Terri Taylor, 2417 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90057 Begins shooting in April; location TBA

Casting director Terri Taylor was a casting assistant for American Beauty and Ocean's Eleven and has been casting a lot of Blumhouse's horror flicks like the Paranormal Activity sequels.

IMDB Pro today added Ray Siegle as Stunt Coordinator (hey, there's going to be enough action that they have a stunt coordinator, cool!). Ray has a long list of stunt credits and has appeared in The Dark Knight Rises, Iron Man and Transformers 2.

Jon Chu Wants to Know Who to Cast As Rio

We knew the budget for the Jem movie was low - so low that auditions are being conducted via YouTube but Jon Chu is so out of ideas, he wants fans' help:


Unfortunately, Jon Chu directed Justin Bieber's last movie, so he's followed by a bunch of moronic idiots who all want Justin Bieber to play a tall Hispanic man with purple hair.  God help us if Bieber is cast.

Our advice to Jon - HIRE A CASTING DIRECTOR and also, don't listen to people who are still obsessed with Justin Bieber after he became a drugged out wannabe thug.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Jem is Filming in THREE WEEKS?!?!

What the-???  The Jem movie was just announced on March 20th and now we get word that it's filming in just a meer three weeks?  What kind of schedule is this?

According to producer Jason Blum to Collider, "We start shooting right away. Very soon. In like three weeks."
We start shooting right away.  Very soon.  In like three weeks.
Read more at http://collider.com/jem-and-the-holograms-movie-details/#D2fSrVgxgZcJ9QxT.99

According to the JemtheMovie.com, they are only at the casting and design stage and are crowdsourcing with fan auditions.  How can a movie filming in three weeks just be starting casting and needing to crowdsource for key production positions?  How is that even possible.

In other news from Blum, "It’s PG." Like DUH.  It's a movie being made to sell dolls to 5 year old girls.  Hasbro is still a toy company after all.  What did anyone expect?  An R-rated Jem movie with a Misfit dancing at a strip club and doing drugs?