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Exclusive: Ron Howard Opens Up About Directing Jay Z’s ‘Made In America’

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Ron Howard has never directed a documentary before. But, that didn’t stop him from saying yes when an opportunity came his way to direct Jay Z’s music festival “Made in America.”

HipHollywood sat down with the Oscar winning director about his latest film Rush, and also got the scoop on how he came to direct Hip Hop mogul Jay Z.

“They needed somebody to direct some behind the scenes footage”, explained Howard who initially heard about the opportunity from his producing partner Brian Grazer. “I went in and I met with Jay Z and I said I don’t that much about music and and I’ve never made a documentary, and he said ‘that’s exactly it, that’s why we want you.”

The film chronicles the inaugural “Made in America” festival, which took place last year in Philadelphia over Labor Day weekend. Howard, who immersed himself in Formula One racecar driving for Rush, found himself similarly thrust into a new world of music, capturing performances by Pearl Jam, Skrillex, and Run-DMC (in the rap group’s first live performance since the death of Jam Master Jay in 2002).

“The spirit of the whole thing is this sort of genre blend,” said Howard. “There were a lot of artisit that I didn’t know anything at all about who are now on my iPod.”

Made in America debuts October 11th on Showtime. Check out the trailer below.

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EXCLUSIVES

What ‘Geostorm’s’ Gerard Butler & Abbie Cornish Wish They Could Control Via Satellite

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One of the many taglines for the new drama, Geostorm, is simply: “Some things weren’t meant to be controlled.”

The film follows a team comprised of world leaders that have one goal in mind: to save the world from natural disasters with the creation of Dutch Boy, a series of satellite grids that control weather and natural disasters around the world.

And while the movie is flooded with action and stellar performances, the film ironically rivals recent natural disasters and crises around the world, and welcomes a bigger conversation. “That’s the genus behind the movie,” the film’s star, Gerard Butler, told HipHollywood. “But nobody knew how acutely it was going to be happening when the movie came out.”

He added, “It’s fun, it’s epic, it’s exciting, but at its core, it’s like, listen, ‘We gotta be careful. We gotta be really careful.”

Co-star Jim Sturgess added. “There is this sort of backbone, a message about climate change, and you kind of hope that audience members leave with that somewhere in the consciousness.”

With the idea, however, that a large unit could control the world’s natural weather patterns, imagine if the same could apply for people’s personal lives.

So when HipHollywood sat down with the cast of the film, we asked: If you could have a grid of satellites over your personal life, what would it control?

For Abbie Cornish, she “wouldn’t mind a satellite that could bring all the local organic seasonal fruits and vegetables to my house ” or “a satellite to drop down fresh flowers.” Jim Sturgess suggested he would love help with “being late for things.”

But it was Butler who suggested “integration.”

He explained, “As opposed to having different satellites and saying, ‘Here’s one for my personal life, here’s one for my relationships, here’s one for my career; I’d rather just have one big satellite, combine them all together, and just shine a whole bunch of positive inspirational light on me as a whole.”

Geostorm hits theaters on Friday, October 20.

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