Friday, August 18, 2017

News Briefs

Displaying 1 - 10 of 2579
  • Friday, Aug. 18, 2017
21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch slams Trump's Charlottesville response
In this April 19, 2017, file photo, James Murdoch attends the National Geographic 2017 "Further Front" network upfront at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

The CEO of 21st Century Fox denounced racism and terrorists while expressing concern over President Donald Trump's reaction to the deadly violence surrounding a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

James Murdoch also told friends in a personal email that he and his wife, Kathryn, will donate $1 million to the Anti-Defamation League.

Murdoch writes that the events in Charlottesville last weekend and Trump's response "concern all of us as Americans and free people."

"I can't even believe I have to write this: standing up to Nazis is essential; there are no good Nazis. Or Klansmen, or terrorists," Murdoch added. "Democrats, Republicans, and others must all agree on this, and it compromises nothing for them to do so."

Trump has put the blame for the violence on both white nationalists and those protesting the gathering last weekend, saying there were "very fine people" on both sides.

Murdoch is the son of the 21st Century Fox's co-executive chairman, Rupert Murdoch, a Trump ally who The New York Times reported recently dined with the president at the White House. The company is the corporate parent of Fox News Channel, which has given friendly coverage to the president.

The email was first reported by the Times Thursday.

  • Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017
Syd Mead set as keynote speaker at VES Summit
Syd Mead
LOS ANGELES -- 

The Visual Effects Society (VES) announced acclaimed visual futurist and VES Visionary Award honoree Syd Mead as a keynote speaker at its 9th annual Summit, “Inspiring Change: Building on 20 Years of VES Innovation.” 

Featured speakers will include president of IMAX Home Entertainment Jason Brenek and online security expert and founder of SSP Blue Hemanshu Nigam. The interactive forum on Saturday, October 28 at the Sofitel Hotel Beverly Hills celebrates the Society’s milestone 20th anniversary and will bring together top creatives, executives, thought leaders and visionaries from diverse disciplines to explore the dynamic evolution of visual imagery and the VFX industry landscape in a TED Talks-like atmosphere.

Mead’s storied career spans almost six decades. He was honored as the recipient of the VES Visionary Award at the 14th Annual VES Awards in 2016 for his unique ability to create unforgettable images and advance storytelling through his futuristic design aesthetic. Mead’s career began as he created characters and backgrounds for animated cinema intermission trailers just out of high school. After serving in the U.S. Army and receiving his education at the Art Center School in Los Angeles, Ford Motor Company’s Advanced Styling Studio recruited Mead. After Ford, he took on high-profile design assignments for blue chip companies including U.S. Steel, Philips Electronics and Intercontinental Hotels.

In 1979, Mead’s projects expanded to designing for Hollywood as he began to work with most major studios. His cinema entrée was legendary, starting with the creation of the V’ger entity for Star Trek: The Motion Picture, followed by two cult classics--Bladerunner and Tron. Mead’s designs for robots, vehicles and other-worldly environments have also been featured in films including 2010, Short Circuit, Aliens, Time Cop, Johnny Mnemonic, Mission Impossible-3 and Elysium

With transportation design as his first love, Mead seldom misses an opportunity to provide his unique blend of futurism and believability to designing vehicles – from concept cars, cruise ships and hypervans to interplanetary cinematic spacecrafts that transport audiences to new worlds. In the 1980’s, Mead  established close working relationships with a number of major Japanese companies including Sony, Minolta, Dentsu, Dyflex, Tiger, Seibu, Mitsukoshi, Bandai, NHK and Honda as well as contributing to Japanese film projects, Yamato 2520 and Solar Crisis. In the 1990s, he supplied designs for all eight robot characters in the Turn A Gundam mobile suit series and TV show. Extensive collections of Mead’s work have been exhibited worldwide, drawing record crowds and he continues an active schedule of one-man shows and presentations.

Featured Speakers
Brenek joined IMAX Corporation in 2015 as president, IMAX Home Entertainment, where he oversees a series of global initiatives designed collectively to translate elements of The IMAX Experience® to the home setting, including the IMAX Private Theatres, an over-the-top movie service for delivering IMAX-enhanced Hollywood films into homes, and IMAX technology licensing into premium consumer electronics. He also oversees virtual reality content acquisitions and curation for the new IMAX location-based VR centers.

Prior to joining IMAX, Brenek spent more than a decade in senior management at The Walt Disney Studios. He led Disney’s international teams and sub-distributors in the commercialization of Disney, Pixar, and Marvel movies in New Media/Digital, Television and Retail channels. His teams have led the industry in the launch of innovative and lucrative partnerships and products around the world. In his concurrent role of head of global business development and strategic partnerships, Brenek was later responsible for sourcing new revenue opportunities, business models, investments, establishing strategic partnerships, and digital product strategy and incubation for the Studio’s multi-billion dollar Global In-Home Distribution segment.

Prior to these roles, Brenek worked in Disney’s Global Theatrical Distribution division as SVP, Worldwide Digital Cinema and Cinema Programming where he was responsible for setting and executing Disney’s global cinema strategy, overseeing Digital Cinema Operations, negotiating Digital Cinema deployment and digital 3D deals around the world, as well as developing and overseeing 3D and Cinema Programming. He was instrumental in Disney’s emergence to the forefront of the Digital Cinema and Digital 3D world. In 2015, the International 3D & Advanced Imaging Society awarded Brenek with its first Founders Award.

Meanwhile Nigam has worked inside the largest prosecuting agencies, software companies, media and entertainment giants, and most influential trade associations in the world. Nigam served as the chief security officer of News Corporation and Fox Interactive Media’s digital properties, as CSO of MySpace, and as a security executive in Microsoft. He was also the VP of Worldwide Internet Enforcement at the Motion Picture Association of America. Today, he is the founder of SSP Blue, a cyber security advisory company that has helped companies like Participant Media, SnapChat, Microsoft/Xbox, Disney, AT&T, Microsoft, JustFab, and others deal with challenges in cyber security, privacy, and safety.

For more info on the VES Summit and to purchase tickets, click here.

 

  • Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017
HBO regains control of hacked social media accounts
This July 30, 2017, file photo shows Melina Matsoukas, from left, Prentice Penny and Issa Rae participating in the "Insecure" panel during the HBO Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

HBO says it has regained control of its social media accounts after the latest security breach to hit the entertainment company.

The hacking group OurMine on Wednesday night took over several of HBO's Twitter accounts, including ones for "Game of Thrones" and John Oliver's show. The group posted that "we are just testing your security" and asked HBO to contact it for an upgrade.

HBO said in a statement Thursday that "the infringement on our social media accounts was recognized and rectified quickly." It declined further comment.

OurMine has a history of similar hacks showing companies' security vulnerabilities.

It caused far less damage and appeared unrelated to another group of hackers who broke into HBO's computer network and have been doling out stolen information and unaired episodes for several weeks.

  • Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017
Turner is latest to plan sports streaming service
Napoli's Jorginho celebrates after scoring during a Champions League playoff round, first leg soccer match between Napoli and Nice at San Paolo stadium in Naples, Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017. (Cesare Abbate/ANSA Via AP)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Turner Sports is the latest TV company to announce a sports streaming service as traditional television companies chase millennial audiences.

The service, expected next year in the U.S., has signed up European soccer with the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. Higher-profile sports on Turner's TV channels, such as baseball and basketball, won't move to the new service. Instead, Turner is looking for new deals with content owners and leagues.

Live sports get TV's biggest ratings and have helped keep customers hooked on the $100-and-up cable bundle. But it's getting easier to find sports online.

Major sports channels come with cheaper, slimmer web versions of the bundle, like Sling and YouTube TV . Amazon, Twitter and Facebook are experimenting with televising games. A sports-focused streaming service, Fubo, has been around for a few years. And CBS and ESPN are planning to launch sports streaming sites.

ESPN, CBS and Turner are all hoping to lure sports fans with the new services while protecting the existing TV business, which relies on a big cable bundle.

For that reason, Turner doesn't plan to replicate what's being shown on its TV channels, truTV, TNT and TBS. The new service won't get Turner's televised coverage of Major League Baseball, the March Madness men's college basketball tournament and National Basketball Association games, including the All-Star Game.

Turner didn't announce a price for the upcoming service.

The UEFA rights have been held in the U.S. by Fox Sports and are new for Turner for the 2018-19 season. The rights with Turner run for three years. Turner will air about 20 percent of the games on its TV channels, primarily truTV; the rest are for streaming.

Turner Sports' owner, Time Warner Inc., is being acquired by telecom company AT&T for $85 billion.

  • Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017
Tom Cruise ankle break halts "Mission: Impossible 6" production
In this Tuesday, May 30, 2017, file photo, Tom Cruise poses during a photocall for the French premiere of "The Mummy" in Paris, France. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Production has shut down on "Mission: Impossible 6" due to star Tom Cruise's broken ankle. Paramount Pictures said Wednesday that production will go on hiatus while Cruise makes a full recovery.

Cruise broke his ankle while performing a stunt for the film during its London-based shoot.

TMZ posted a video Sunday that showed a tethered Cruise leaping to a building, hitting its side and then crawling over the top and running away. After he finished the take, Cruise is seen limping, though he was able to rappel back to the building he jumped from.

The 55-year-old actor is known for performing many of his own stunts.

The studio says that the film remains on schedule to open on July 27, 2018.

  • Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017
Susan Sarandon to receive upstate NY film festival award
In a Friday, April 21, 2017 file photo, Susan Sarandon arrives at the "Feud: Bette and Joan" FYC screening at The Ebell of Los Angeles. Organizers of the Woodstock Film Festival say Sarandon will receive the Maverick Award on Oct. 14 at the the annual film festival in New York's Hudson Valley. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File)
WOODSTOCK, NY (AP) -- 

Susan Sarandon will receive the Maverick Award at an annual film festival in New York's Hudson Valley.

Organizers of the Woodstock Film Festival say the star of such films as "Thelma and Louise" and "Bull Durham" will receive the award during the Oct. 11-15 event. She also will screen "Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story" for which she was executive producer.

Sarandon will receive the award Oct. 14 during a ceremony at Backstage Studio Productions in Kingston, one of the host communities of the festival.

Previous recipients include Steve Buscemi and the late movie director Jonathan Demme.

Sarandon won an Academy Award in 1996 for best actress for her role in "Dead Man Walking."

Besides Kingston, the festival is hosted by nearby Woodstock, Rhinebeck, Rosendale, and Saugerties (SAW'-ger-teez).

  • Monday, Aug. 14, 2017
Stunt driver dies while filming "Deadpool 2" in Vancouver
A police officer examines a motorcycle after a female stunt driver working on the movie "Deadpool 2" died after a crash on set, in Vancouver, B.C., on Monday Aug. 14, 2017. Vancouver police say the driver was on a motorcycle when the crash occurred on the movie set on Monday morning. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- 

"Deadpool 2" star Ryan Reynolds is mourning the death of a motorcycle stunt driver killed during production Monday.

Reynolds released a statement on Twitter a few hours after the accident near the waterfront in downtown Vancouver.

"Today, we tragically lost a member of our crew while filming Deadpool," the actor wrote. "We're heartbroken, shocked and devastated ... but recognize nothing can compare to the grief and inexplicable pain her family and loved ones must feel in this moment."

Reynolds, a native of Vancouver playing the Marvel Comics superhero Deadpool in the 20th Century Fox movie, said his heart "pours out to them — along with each and every person she touched in this world."

The motorcycle crash happened near the Shaw Tower office building, where a crumpled motorcycle was seen lying on its side and a window was smashed.

Nathan Kramchynski, who works on the seventh floor of the building, said he watched rehearsals for the stunt outside the Vancouver Convention Centre. The stunt woman had been riding the motorcycle down a set of stairs from the center and stopped when she reached the street, he said.

But when the accident happened, the driver appeared to pick up speed, crossed the street and swerved to avoid pedestrians before disappearing from his view, Kramchynski said.

"She lost control really quickly. It happened in a split second," he said. "She was going full throttle and then there's a building there."

Another witness, Sharmina Kermalli, said she had just walked into a Starbucks next door to where the accident happened when she heard a loud crash. She ran outside and saw glass still falling on the body of the motorcycle driver.

The name of the stunt woman was not immediately released.

Police said WorkSafeBC, the British Columbia provincial workplace safety agency, and the coroner's service were investigating. Trish Knight Chernecki of WorkSafe BC said some investigators are looking at any possible occupational health and safety issues while others examine the cause of the crash and prevention in the future.

The last stunt death in British Columbia was in 1996, when a person jumped from a helicopter and a parachute failed to open, she said.

In March 2016, actor Dylan O'Brien suffered injuries on the British Columbia set of the latest instalment of the "Maze Runner" film series. WorkSafe BC said Fox Productions Inc. didn't rehearse a stunt sequence properly, but Fox said the stunt was thoroughly rehearsed.

A stuntman was fatally injured last month in Georgia during production of "The Walking Dead." He fell head-first onto concrete about 22 feet (7 meters) below after appearing to try to grab a railing to stop his fall.

  • Monday, Aug. 14, 2017
Oscar-nominated writer Joe Bologna dies at 82
In this October 1989 file photo, the Dalai Lama, left, talks to the comedy writing and acting team of Renee Taylor and Joe Bologna, during a backstage visit prior to the Dalai Lama's convocation on the subject of compassion at UC Irvine in Irvine, Calif. (AP Photo/File)
PHOENIX (AP) -- 

Oscar-nominated writer Joe Bologna died Sunday. He was 82.

Bologna died in the Los Angeles area after a three-year battle against pancreatic cancer, his manager Matt Sherman told The Associated Press.

The actor and director was married to actress Renee Taylor, who credited his doctors for prolonging his life so he could receive a lifetime achievement award at the Night of 100 Stars for the Actors' Fund of America on Feb. 26.

"He had a beautiful life," Taylor said in a statement.

Born Dec. 30, 1934, Bologna was a native to Brooklyn, New York. After he graduated from Brown University with a degree in art history, Bologna served in the Marines.

​Bologna and Taylor married in 1965.

"Joe was a loveable man, a kind soul, a good friend and always a pleasure to be with," Sherman said.

Bologna was nominated for an Oscar in 1971 for best adapted screenplay for "Lovers and Other Strangers." He won an Emmy in 1973.

He had a string of television appearances, but he was best known for the 1982 comedy "My Favorite Year."

Bologna was a voice actor for the 2006 animated film "Ice Age: The Meltdown" and had a role in the 1999 Adam Sandler comedy "Big Daddy."

  • Monday, Aug. 14, 2017
No "Game of Thrones" in latest HBO hacker leak
This image released by HBO shows a scene from an episode of "Game of Thrones," which aired Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017. The series continued its ratings reign with a best-yet audience of 10.2 million. (HBO via AP)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Hackers continue to pester HBO, but didn't release any material related to the network's hit show "Game of Thrones" in their latest leak.

The hackers, who broke into HBO's computer network and have been doling out stolen information for the past several weeks, released more unaired episodes, including several of the highly anticipated return of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," which debuts in October.

The latest dump includes Sunday night's episode of "Insecure," another popular show, and what appear to be episodes of other lower-profile shows, including "Ballers," the unaired shows "Barry" and "The Deuce," a comedy special and other programming.

The network acknowledged the hack in late July, and the thieves have been dribbling out stolen video and documents since then while demanding a multimillion-dollar ransom .

They have leaked "Game of Thrones" scripts, sensitive internal documents like job offer letters and a month's worth of emails from a programming executive. But the intrusion has so far fallen well short of the chaos inflicted on Sony when the studio was hacked in 2014.

Still, the criminals may be holding on to more damaging data — both intellectual property, like unaired programming, and sensitive personal information of HBO employees — that they can use as leverage to try to get money from HBO, said Gartner analyst Avivah Litan.

"It's kind of like kidnap and ransom and torture," she said. "Eventually HBO may have to give in."

In an emailed statement Sunday, HBO said it's "not going to participate" in what it described as attempts to generate attention by dropping "bits and pieces of stolen information." The company added that it was not in communication with the hackers. It has said previously that it doesn't believe its email system as a whole was breached.

 

  • Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017
Industry Mourns Edward J. Greene, CAS
Edward J. Greene
LOS ANGELES -- 

Edward J. Greene, CAS--a multiple award-winning mixer in television production, postproduction and an audio system design consultant--died peacefully in Los Angeles on August 9, with his family by his side. He was 82 years old. 

Born and raised in New York City, Green attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  He began his professional audio career with a summer job in 1954 at Allegro Studios in New York doing voice and piano demos for music publishers. Within two years the studio was doing full recording sessions. Greene joined the army in 1956 and served as recording engineer for the U.S. Army Band and Chorus in Washington, D. C.  Upon discharge from the Army he co-founded Edgewood Studios in Washington, with two partners--radio and television commentator Charles Osgood and composer George Wilkins. Some of Greene’s recordings are legendary and include Charlie Byrd and Stan Getz’s “Jazz Samba” and Ramsey Lewis’ “The In Crowd”.

In 1970, Greene came to California as chief engineer for MGM Records and worked with Sammy Davis Jr., The Osmonds, Lou Rawls and other prominent artists of that time. When many of these artists started doing television programs, Greene was asked to participate.  He was brought into television mixing by Frank Sinatra, at a production meeting for the legendary singer’s first broadcast. 

Greene mixed some of the most highly regarded music, variety and award shows as well as earned the well-deserved reputation of being the “go-to” guy when it came to doing live drama for television like ER, Fail Safe, and The West Wing Live. Greene garnered 22 Emmy wins, his most recent in 2015, and an astonishing 61 Emmy nominations (ranking him 3rd for most nominations and 2nd for most wins by an individual). He was a member of the Television Academy when it formed its current incarnation in 1977, and served as Governor of the Sound Peer Group from 2013–2015. 

Greene had a special affinity for mixing live broadcasts, often displaying a baffling degree of calm before they went on the air to an audience of millions of people around the world. His live productions included decades of The Kennedy Center Honors, The Grammy Awards, The Tony Awards, The Academy Awards and The SAG Awards. He also mixed the Live from Lincoln Center specials, Carnegie Hall, Live at 100, numerous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades, Tournament of Roses Parade, The AFI Life Achievement Awards, The 52nd Presidential Inaugural Gala, The 1996 Summer Olympics, The 2002 Winter Olympics Opening and Closing Ceremonies and years of American Idol. His live production work garnered him a Cinema Audio Society Award and four additional CAS nominations. 

He was an advocate for better sound on both broadcast and the web. He passionately believed that mixers’ and producers’ good work should be delivered intact to the listener, although the exponential growth of program media outlets and systems made consistent delivery of quality sound a growing challenge. Throughout his career, Greene was willing to mentor others and encourage students. In 2004 he participated in the Oral History Project of the Audio Engineering Society. He also taught for many years at the Summer Recording Institute program at the Eastman School of Music, in Rochester, NY.  
 
Greene served on the Board of Directors of the Cinema Audio Society from 2005 to his death. In 2007, he was presented with the highest accolade of the organization, the CAS Career Achievement Award recognizing his career, his willingness to mentor and his contribution to the art of sound.  

Greene is survived by his wife of ­­­30 years, Lynne Cruise, and his children, Grant, Sam, Lynda and Larry in Los Angeles, and his brother David in Toronto. 

A memorial service will be held at a later date.  The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, friends can donate to their individual charity of choice in the name of Edward J. Greene.