Wednesday, September 19, 2018

News Briefs

Displaying 121 - 130 of 3184
  • Monday, Jun. 25, 2018
Russell Crowe will play Roger Ailes in new Showtime limited series
This combination photo shows Roger Ailes at a special screening of "Kingsman: The Secret Service" in New York on Feb. 9, 2015, left, and actor Russell Crowe at the Australian premiere of his movie "The Mummy" in Sydney on May 22, 2017. Crowe will portray Ailes in a new Showtime series about the late Fox News founder. (AP Photo)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Russell Crowe will portray Roger Ailes in a new Showtime series about the late Fox News Channel founder.

The eight-episode limited series is based on the 2014 book "The Loudest Voice In The Room" by Gabriel Sherman.

Sherman's book chronicles the rise and fall of the media mogul who shook up the American political news landscape.

No air date was announced for the series, which will focus on Ailes' journey from local television producer to one of the most influential forces in news.

Ailes was CEO of Fox for 20 years before resigning after sexual harassment allegations against him surfaced in 2016. He died at age 77 from complications after a fall in May 2017.

Crowe is best known for his roles in "Gladiator" and "A Beautiful Mind."

  • Monday, Jun. 25, 2018
Sridevi, "Jurassic World" actor Khan win Indian film awards
Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor poses on the green carpet at 19th edition of International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, June 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
BANGKOK (AP) -- 

The late Sridevi was among Indian cinema performers honored at Bollywood's biggest annual event, the International Indian Film Academy Awards that concluded Sunday in Bangkok.

Sridevi received the best actress award for her final role, in the 2017 film "Mom," in which she played a woman seeking vengeance after her stepdaughter is raped.

Bollywood's leading lady of the 1980s and '90s, Sridevi was described as the first female superstar in India's male-dominated film industry. She accidentally drowned in February while in Dubai for a wedding.

The leading film coming into the event, "Tumhari Sulu," took home the best picture prize. The story of a housewife who becomes a radio jockey had seven nominations.

Director Saket Chaudhary and actor Irrfan Khan won top awards for "Hindi Medium," a tale of parents seeking a good education for their daughter. Khan, best known internationally for his role as the park executive Masrani in "Jurassic World," has been undergoing treatment for neuroendocrine cancer.

The IIFA awards event, held each year in cities around the world, celebrates the Hindi-language film industry with awards and performances.

Performers on Sunday included Rekha, who returned to the stage for the first time in 20 years. The 64-year-old star is known as Bollywood's timeless beauty and has acted in more than 180 films.

  • Saturday, Jun. 23, 2018
Producer Jennifer Todd voted to Academy Board of Governors in runoff election
LOS ANGELES -- 

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that Jennifer Todd has won the runoff election for the open Producers Branch seat on the 2018–19 Board of Governors.  Todd joins incumbents Albert Berger and Mark Johnson in representing the branch and will assume her post as of July 1.

Todd and Jason Blum tied for the seat in the Board election last week, and Producers Branch members were asked to vote in the runoff.  This is the fourth time in Academy history that a tie occurred in the balloting.  Runoff elections were held in 2009 in the Directors Branch, 2015 in the Writers Branch, and 2016 in the Film Editors Branch.

The Academy’s 17 branches are each represented by three governors, who may serve up to three consecutive three-year terms.  The Board directs the Academy’s strategic vision, preserves the organization’s financial health, and assures the fulfillment of its mission.

  • Saturday, Jun. 23, 2018
Netflix's top spokesman fired over use of racial term
In this Nov. 24, 2014 file photo, Reed Hastings, CEO and founder of Netflix, right, sits with Jonathan Friedland, global director of communications, as they pose for a portrait during a press conference about their three years of doing business in Latin America, in Mexico City. (AP Photo/Berenice Bautista, File)
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- 

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says he fired the company's top spokesman over use of the N-word.

The spokesman, Jonathan Friedland, confirmed in tweets that he was leaving the company, saying he was insensitive in speaking with his team about words that offend in comedy.

In a memo to employees, published by Variety and The Hollywood Reporter and confirmed by Netflix, Hastings says Friedland used the word twice — first in a meeting of public relations staff several months ago about sensitive words. Hastings wrote that several people told Friedland how inappropriate and hurtful his use of the word was.

Hastings says Friedland, who is white, later repeated the word with human resources staff trying to address the original incident. Hastings wrote the second incident "confirmed a deep lack of understanding."

  • Saturday, Jun. 23, 2018
DuVernay scores another milestone for black female directors
In this March 13, 2018 file photo, director Ava DuVernay appears at the premiere of "A Wrinkle In Time," in London. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Filmmaker Ava DuVernay has checked off another milestone for black female directors. This week her film "A Wrinkle in Time" crossed the $100 million mark domestically, a first for a black woman. The film got a late-game boost playing as a double feature at drive-in theaters with the record-breaking "Incredibles 2" this past weekend.

DuVernay said on Instagram that she may be the first but will not be the last.

DuVernay was also the first black woman to get a budget of over $100 million to direct a film. "A Wrinkle in Time" cost around $103 million to make.

The Disney film has now grossed over $132.4 million worldwide, but with marketing costs well over $100 million, "A Wrinkle in Time" is also still not in the black.

  • Friday, Jun. 22, 2018
NorthSouth partners with Hearst to form content shop Good Kicks Media
NorthSouth Productions CEO Charlie DeBevoise
NEW YORK -- 

NorthSouth Productions, the company behind the hit comedy series Impractical Jokers and long-running Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta, is bringing its creative and distribution acumen directly to agencies, brands, PR firms, networks and others.

In partnership with Hearst Entertainment, NorthSouth has formed Good Kicks Media, a hybrid content company offering creative and production services for branded content, network promos, and live activations.

Good Kicks has already produced brand-related work for Marvel, Progresso, ESPN, and Discovery Networks. “We’ve been building popular media content for networks for 18 years,” said NorthSouth Productions CEO Charlie DeBevoise. “With the launch of Good Kicks, we’re spreading that success directly to brands.”

Neeraj Khemlani, president of Hearst Entertainment, added, “NorthSouth is one of those rare creative shops that have produced highly-rated and long-lasting formats across various genres, audiences and networks. Charlie and his talented team are now bringing that network quality polish to the branded content, promo and experiential marketing universe.”

To jumpstart the branded content division, DeBevoise has joined forces with Dean Crago, principal of SharpKnife Productions and former executive producer of Reveal 42, a post house in New York. Crago, who will serve as head of branded content, brings over 20 years of branded content development experience and a long list of top tier clients, including Johnson & Johnson, Listerine, Aveeno, Coca-Cola, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Sylvan Learning, Outback Steakhouse, Oral B, Crest, NASCAR, ESPN, Showtime Networks, HBO and JPMorgan Chase. Good Kicks has also tapped the promo market by hiring veteran artists, directors and editors David Klinkowize and Keith Crago.

Good Kicks’ live activations arm is a branded adaptation of the events NorthSouth produces for networks. The company produced a high wire act in the middle of downtown Manhattan for an Impractical Jokers season finale that attracted 3,000 onlookers and gave TruTV high ratings and impressions. For another event, the company partnered with Nitro Circus to fill a stadium with 5,000 fans. “We create massive live events that attract thousands of spectators and generate huge media interest,” said DeBevoise.

  • Friday, Jun. 22, 2018
New leaders tapped for Berlin film festival from 2020
In this Wednesday, July 12, 2017 file photo, Carlo Chatrian, artistic director of the Locarno Film Festival, speaks during a press conference, at the Bellevue Palace in Bern, Switzerland. Chatrian and German movie industry official Mariette Rissenbeek have been tapped to take charge of the Berlin International Film Festival starting in 2020. (Thomas Delley/Keystone via AP, file)
BERLIN (AP) -- 

Carlo Chatrian, the director of the Locarno film festival, and German movie industry official Mariette Rissenbeek have been tapped to take charge of the Berlin International Film Festival starting in 2020.

A committee led by Germany's culture minister, Monika Gruetters, on Friday designated Chatrian as the festival's future artistic director and Rissenbeek as its managing director.

Dieter Kosslick, who has been in charge since 2001, will preside over his last edition of the "Berlinale" next year. The annual event is one of Europe's main film festivals, along with Cannes and Venice.

The Italian-born Chatrian has led Switzerland's Locarno festival since 2013. Rissenbeek is currently the managing director of German Films, an advisory center for marketing German-made movies internationally.

  • Thursday, Jun. 21, 2018
ABC orders "Roseanne" spinoff for fall minus Roseanne Barr
This image released by ABC shows Sara Gilbert, left, and Roseanne Barr in a scene from "Roseanne." (Greg Gayne/ABC via AP)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

ABC, which canceled its "Roseanne" revival over its star's racist tweet, said Thursday it will air a Conner family sitcom minus Roseanne Barr this fall.

ABC ordered 10 episodes of the spinoff after Barr agreed to forgo any creative or financial participation in it, which the network had said was a condition of such a series.

In a statement issued by the show's producer, Barr said she agreed to the settlement to save the jobs of 200 cast and crew members who were idled when "Roseanne" was canceled last month.

"I regret the circumstances that have caused me to be removed from 'Roseanne,' she said, adding, "I wish the best for everyone involved."

The revival of the hit 1988-97 sitcom "Roseanne" was swiftly axed by ABC last month after Barr posted a tweet likening former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to a product of the Muslim Brotherhood and "Planet of the Apes."

Tom Werner, executive producer of the original series and the revival, said in the statement that he was grateful to reach the deal to keep the team working "as we continue to explore stories of the Conner family."

ABC said that the new series, with "The Conners" as its working title, will star John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert and other "Roseanne" cast members.

How Barr's character, the family matriarch, will be erased from their life was left unexplained for now by ABC.

"After a sudden turn of events, the Conners are forced to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before," the network said in its announcement.

The spinoff will continue to portray contemporary issues that are as relevant today as they were 30 years ago," ABC said, a nod to the show's unusual portrayal of a  blue-collar family.

The new show was ordered from producer Werner Entertainment without a pilot episode, the typical basis for a series to be greenlit.

Barr's tweet had been condemned by ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey as "abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values."

Barr initially apologized and deleted the post, which had followed her pattern of making controversial statements on social media. Some observers questioned why ABC had ordered the revival given her history.

But the comedy's return was an instant smash for ABC, owned by the Walt Disney Co., and was counted on to lead the network's fortunes next season.

Its first new episode last March was seen by more than 25 million people, with delayed viewing counted in, numbers that are increasingly rare in network television.

  • Thursday, Jun. 21, 2018
The Female Quotient partners with Deutsch to launch career advice bot
LOS ANGELES -- 

The Female Quotient, a company and community dedicated to achieving workplace equality, has selected ad agency Deutsch as its brand partner to launch its first career advice bot at The Girls’ Lounge @ Cannes Lions. This tool provides women all over the globe access to the wisdom of female leaders on core content pillars--work/life balance, knowing your worth, owning your brand, leadership and equality, and navigating challenges. 

Inspired by The Female Quotient’s CEO Shelley Zalis, the bot will live on Google Assistant and Facebook Messenger and will be accessible from all mobile and computing devices. Users can ask the bot a variety of questions from maternity leave, pay negotiation, to how to build confidence and addressing diversity issues, to leadership training and navigating challenges like harassment in the workplace. Using artificial intelligence technology developed by Deutsch’s AI division, Great Machine, users can ask a question on the platform and will be served video content from one of the many female leaders in the network.

“Shelley has inspired and brought together thousands of women through experiences and mentorship which all root back to her motto, the power of the pack,” said Kim Getty, president of Deutsch’s Los Angeles office. “The Female Quotient bot is bringing the collective ‘wisdomship’ of widely respected female leaders to your pocket. It’s taking mentorship to the next level. We’re so excited to be partnering with such an incredible team to build this tool that will help women rise up.” 

Notable women leaders from a range of industries were tapped into to provide advice for the bot, including Carolyn Everson, VP, global marketing solutions at Facebook, Fiona Carter, chief brand officer at AT&T, Linda Yaccarino, chairman of advertising and client partnerships at NBC Universal, and Tara Walpert Levy, VP, agency and brand solutions at Google, to name a few. As the bot continues to build its knowledge on workplace equality topics, other influential women will be selected to share their advice.

“The Female Quotient was developed to incite real change in the workplace for women and to create equality in male-dominated industries,” said Zalis. “The power of the pack has given women the knowledge and confidence to advance in their careers. By working with Deutsch’s strategy and technology team, we are able elevate our network and give female leaders the ability to give back.”

The Female Quotient is widely known for The Girls’ Lounge experiences across the globe which have become a destination at conferences, companies and college campuses where women connect, collaborate and activate change together. It has evolved into the largest community of corporate women and female entrepreneurs transforming workplace culture.

For more information, click here. To interact with the bot, visit here.

  • Thursday, Jun. 21, 2018
Days after buying Time Warner, AT&T launches new TV service
This July 27, 2017, file photo shows an AT&T logo at a store in Hialeah, Fla. AT&T is launching a new streaming service incorporating networks from the Time Warner company it just bought for $81 billion. Thursday, June 21, announcement comes just days after AT&T closed its Time Warner deal. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

AT&T is launching a new streaming service incorporating television networks from the Time Warner company it just bought.

The WatchTV service, a cable-like package of more than 30 TV channels delivered over the internet, is an example of the "skinny bundles" coming from telecom and broadband providers as more people watch TV online. Competitors include Sling TV, PlayStation Vue and AT&T's own DirecTV Now.

WatchTV will be free for subscribers of two unlimited wireless plans AT&T is launching. Others can get WatchTV for $15 — $20 less than DirecTV Now, but with just half the channels.

Thursday's announcement comes just days after AT&T closed its $81 billion Time Warner deal. AT&T said it needs to combine its distribution channels with entertainment properties to compete with internet-based rivals like Amazon, Netflix and Google, although the wireless carrier has a direct connection to its 92 million subscribers that its internet rivals do not. The Department of Justice sued to block the Time Warner deal on anti-competition concerns, but a federal judge sided with AT&T.

WatchTV is the first example of how AT&T plans to marry distribution and programming from Time Warner. If it gets enough subscribers, it will be able to collect valuable data and offer more personalized content — and ads.

But with people paying for a growing number of services like HBO, Hulu, Netflix and DirectTV Now, streaming can end up being just as expensive as cable, if not more so.

The new service will offer 31 channels at launch, including CNN, TBS and TNT — all part of Time Warner's Turner networks. It won't feature any sports networks — no ESPN for subscribers — but is heavy on news and entertainment offerings such as AMC, the History Channel, BBC America, Lifetime and Oprah Winfrey's OWN.

Six more channels, including Comedy Central, will be available "soon after launch," according to a lineup provided by AT&T.

DirecTV Now starts at $35 a month for more than 60 channels, including sports channels, with additional channels available at higher prices.

The new wireless plans will be AT&T's only unlimited offerings for new customers, though existing customers can keep their current plans. They would need to upgrade to a new plan, though, to get WatchTV for free. The new plans start at $70 a month for a single line, $5 more than the current cheapest plan, though the new plans offer more benefits, too.

Subscribers of current and new plans can also get $15 a month off DirecTV Now. However, AT&T will no longer include HBO for free on all unlimited plans, although the more expensive of the two plans, which starts at $80, will offer one free premium video or music service, such as HBO, Showtime or Amazon Music Unlimited. HBO is also part of Time Warner.

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