Sunday, January 21, 2018

News Briefs

Displaying 71 - 80 of 2812
  • Monday, Dec. 4, 2017
Screen Actors Guild Awards taps first host: Kristen Bell
In this Nov. 9, 2017, file photo, Kristen Bell arrives at the 2017 Patron of the Artists Awards at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

The Screen Actors Guild Awards will have a host for the first time next year.

Executive producer Kathy Connell said Monday that actress Kristen Bell will preside over the 24th annual ceremony in January.

Bell said in a statement that she's "a little nervous" about being the show's first host but glad she'll be in the company of her acting colleagues. The SAG Awards recognize outstanding performances in TV and film as chosen by members of the actors' union.

Connell said the awards committee wanted to "capture the cultural mood" of change by breaking with its own tradition and having a host for its gala show. The 24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will be held Jan. 21, 2018, and broadcast live on TBS and TNT.

  • Monday, Dec. 4, 2017
Director Bryan Singer departs Queen biopic mid-production
This Dec. 2, 2013 file photo shows Bryan Singer at the Los Angeles premiere of "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" at the Dolby Theatre. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)

Director Bryan Singer has left the Queen biopic "Bohemian Rhapsody" in the middle of production.

A representative for Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. says Monday that Singer is no longer the director of the film.

The Hollywood Reporter reported Monday that Singer failed to show up to the London set on a number of occasions. Actor Rami Malek who stars as Freddie Mercury in the film complained to the studio about Singer's unprofessionalism on behalf of the cast.

Studio representatives declined to comment on the circumstances surrounding Singer's departure or future plans for the film, which is currently slated for a Dec. 2018 release.

Singer, 52, is best known for directing the "X-Men" films and "The Usual Suspects." Representatives for Singer did not immediately respond to request for comment.

  • Monday, Dec. 4, 2017
Wes Anderson's "Isle of Dogs" to open Berlin film festival
Wes Anderson

This winter's Berlin International Film Festival will open with a world premiere of Wes Anderson's new animated film, "Isle of Dogs."

Festival organizers said Monday that Anderson's movie will open the event's 68th edition on Feb. 15. It features the voices of Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson and Tilda Swinton among others.

"Isle of Dogs" is set for release in U.S. movie theaters in March and internationally in April. It will be the first animated film to open the Berlin festival, and the fourth movie Anderson has presented in the event's competition. Most recently, he brought "The Grand Budapest Hotel" to Berlin in 2014.

German director Tom Tykwer will head the jury at the festival, which runs until Feb. 25. Other movies and jurors haven't yet been announced.

  • Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017
DGA unveils winners of 23rd Annual Student Film Awards
Thomas Schlamme, president of the DGA, said that the Guild's Student Film Awards program "is an important part of our efforts encouraging greater inclusion in the entertainment industry."

The Directors Guild of America has announced the winners of the 2017 DGA Student Film Awards for African American, Asian American, Latino and Women directors. The awards are designed to honor, encourage and bring attention to exceptional diverse directors in film schools and select universities across the country.
“We’re honored to shine a spotlight on these talented new filmmakers through the DGA Student Film Awards, and we congratulate this year’s exceptional recipients,” said Thomas Schlamme, DGA president. “Now in its 23rd year, this program is an important part of our efforts encouraging greater inclusion in the entertainment industry, and we’re proud that a number of our past winners have gone on to find success as film and television directors. We look forward to seeing what’s next for this talented group.”
The 2017 winners, selected by blue ribbon DGA member panels, are:
West Region

Award Winner: Sanford Jenkins of USC for A Craftsman
Jury Award: Lane Lyle of Chapman University for Distress
East Region
Award Winner: Kevin Wilson, Jr. of New York University for My Nephew Emmett
Jury Award: Alcee H. Walker of The New School for Child Support
West Region

Award Winner: Mei LiYing of USC for Cocoon
Jury Award: Michael Chan of AFI for Marc Chung Protects His Address 
East Region
Award Winner: Sudarshan Suresh of Columbia University for Absent
West Region

Award Winner: Annie Pace of UCLA for Beyond the Gate
Jury Award: Meedo Taha of UCLA for The Incident
East Region
Award Winner: Suzanne Andrews Correa of Columbia University for La Casa de Beatriz
Jury Award: Sebastián Pinzón Silva of Northwestern University for Palenque
West Region

Award Winner: Gisele Tong of USC for Spring Flower
Jury Award: Amanda Renee Knox of Chapman University for Night Call
East Region
Award Winner: Raylene Jin of Columbia University for SHUAI
The DGA Student Film Awards have highlighted dozens of African-American, Asian-American, Latino and Women filmmakers over the years. A number of past winners have gone on to enjoy successful directing careers, including:
Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians; G.I. Joe: Retaliation; Justin Bieber: Never Say Never; The LXD: The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers; Step Up 3D)
Ryan Coogler (Black Panther; Creed; Fruitvale Station)
Nicole Kassell (The Following; The Killing; The Leftovers; The Americans; Suits; The Closer; Cold Case; The Woodsman; A Little Bit of Heaven)
Patricia Riggen (Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan; Miracles From Heaven; The 33; Lemonade Mouth)
Sylvain White (Hawaii Five-0; Person of Interest; Covert Affairs; CSI: Miami; Stomp the Yard; The Losers)
Eligible films were made in the 2016/2017 school year (September 2016 through August 2017), and produced as a student project under the supervision of a faculty member – with students holding every major crew position. Dramas, comedies and documentaries are all eligible – animated and experimental films are not eligible. Applicants must be enrolled in, or be a recent (within one year) graduate from an accredited post-secondary institution in California or DGA-selected university offering a degree in film or television

  • Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017
Curt Doty launches “Vertical Storytelling” agency Vertuoso
Curt Doty

Entertainment branding and marketing veteran Curt Doty has launched Vertuoso, a creative and production agency specifically focused on “Vertical Storytelling” (think Snapchat). Vertuoso will work with studios, networks, brands, agencies, and media companies to collaborate on creating and optimizing their video campaigns--promotional campaigns for movies and TV shows, and advertising campaigns for brands and services--by taking advantage of the latest consumer behaviors in their consumption of social video. The new company is based in LA, New York and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Doty, who has long specialized in integrated marketing, multi-channel storytelling, branding, identity, and user experience, will serve as CEO of Vertuoso. Prior to launching Vertuoso and his consultancy in 2014, Doty held creative executive positions within Weber Shandwick (sr. VP), Universal Pictures (VP, Creative Services), Trailer Park (president, Advanced Content), and Pittard Sullivan (executive VP/executive creative director), working on projects for major entertainment, media, and brand clientele. Earlier, he had also been a creative director with 3 Ring Circus. 

Named as exec producer for Vertuoso is Greg Babiuk, a creative development and media production executive with over 20 years of experience across all media.

Regarding the launch of his new enterprise, Doty said, “My passion lies at the intersection of design, content, and technology. I have been fortunate enough to have worked on entertainment branding and marketing campaigns for many of the biggest companies in the world for the past few decades. With social video driving the adoption of square and vertical formats, we believe that mobile advertising should provide the same, and, at times, an even more interactive, viral experience. Vertuoso will provide our clients with multi-platform storytelling across multiple channels, with an ‘Always On’ approach to achieve ‘Flightless’ campaigns.”

Babiuk added, “Looking ahead, we believe that a major element of future marketing campaigns will involve Vertical Storytelling. We hold our phones vertically 94% of the time. Vertical viewing has increased 600% over the last 5 years, while vertical videos have nine times higher completion rates. Users want vertical content now, more than ever. We will focus our creativity and technological expertise on this new marketing tool, which we believe will quickly become invaluable for our clients.”

Concurrent with its launch Vertuoso has also assembled an advisory board comprised of: Spencer Gerrol, CEO of SPARK Neuro, a company which he founded on the principle of employing neuroscience in advertising and entertainment; David Shor, the CEO of Prove , and a veteran technologist, marketer, and analytics expert; and Hassan Wharton-Ali, CEO of AboveLine Media, who has over 18 years of experience in the media and entertainment industries working at major companies including Technicolor, Hulu, and Miramax.

  • Friday, Dec. 1, 2017
ADG Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients: Moffitt, Murakami, Kline, Newberry
Scenic artist John Moffitt

Scenic artist John Moffitt, Emmy®-winning and Oscar®-nominated set designer James J. Murakami and sr. illustrator Martin Kline join production designer Norm Newberry as recipients of the Art Directors Guild (ADG, IATSE Local 800) Lifetime Achievement Award. They will be honored at the 22nd Annual ADG Excellence in Production Design Awards on Saturday, January 27, 2018 at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood and Highland.

ADG Lifetime Achievement Awards are presented to outstanding individuals in each of the guild’s four crafts: Art Directors; Scenic, Title and Graphic Artists; Illustrators and Matte Artists; and Set Designers, Model Makers and Previs Artists. Previous recipients include production designers Rene Lagler (2017), Patrizia von Brandenstein (2016) and Jim Bissell (2015); set designers Cate Bangs (2017), William J. Newmon, II (2016) and John P. Bruce (2015); matte artist Harrison Ellenshaw (2016) and sr. illustrator Camille Abbott (2015); and scenic artists Albert Obregon (2017), Bill Anderson (2016) and Will Ferrell (2015). 

Scenic artist Moffitt is a master of perspective drawing and he was lead artist for Warner Bros.’ Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004). He is a fine artist and a muralist, teaming with Garth Benton to create the murals for the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu and the homes of many celebrities. His experience in large scale painting led him to the motion picture industry in 1975 where he started to work as a motion picture scenic artist. His work can be seen in such movies as Ghostbusters (1984), IronMan (2008), the Batman series and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008). Moffitt was the Art Directors Guild associate executive director from 2006 to 2014 when he retired to devote himself to painting fine artwork full time.

Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated set designer Murakami has designed numerous television shows and notable movies, among them nine for Clint Eastwood including Gran Torino (2008), Invictus (2009) and Sully (2016). Murakami received an Emmy and two Emmy nominations while serving as art director on HBO’s Deadwood. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on The Changeling in 2008. Some of his other credits include American Sniper (2014) and J. Edgar (2011).

Senior illustrator Kline has been doing visual effects, concept illustration, character design and storyboards since 1977. He is most known for his work on Jurassic Park (1993), Forrest Gump (1994), Spider-Man (2002), Polar Express (2003), Beowulf (2007) and many other notable films. Joining Sony Pictures Imageworks in 1995, Kline spent 12 years as managing art director. Kline has teamed up with Bob Zemeckis, Ridley Scott, and Steven Spielberg, among many others on iconic projects.

Production designer Newberry has a career that has spanned five decades. He is an art director, production designer and set designer, best known for his creative contributions to The Polar Express (2003), Beowulf (2007) and Avatar (2010). Newberry has pushed the excellence of his craft, first by becoming an expert in design and traditional visual effects and then by re-inventing himself as a “motion capture” art director who embraces the cutting edge of digital technology.

As previously announced, Kathleen Kennedy, the Oscar-nominated producer and president of Lucasfilms, will be honored with the “ADG Cinematic Imagery” Award. Sir Ken Adam, the Oscar-winning production designer behind the James Bond franchise, and Tyrus Wong, award-winning Illustrator of Bambi fame, will be inducted into ADG’s Hall of Fame. The guild will also premiere the “Excellence in Production Design for Animated Features” Award this year.

Producers of this year’s ADG Awards (#ADGawards) are production designers Thomas A. Walsh ADG and Thomas Wilkins ADG. Nominations will be announced on January 4, 2018. Final online balloting will be held January 8-25, and winners will be announced at the dinner ceremony on Saturday, January 27, 2018. ADG Awards are open only to productions when made within the U.S. by producer’s signatory to the IATSE agreement. Foreign entries are acceptable without restrictions.

  • Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017
Sundance plans to raise awareness, address sexual misconduct
In this Jan. 31, 2015 file photo, John Cooper, director of programming for the Sundance Film Festival, addresses the audience during the 2015 Sundance Film Festival Awards Ceremony in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

Sundance Film Festival director John Cooper says the 2018 festival will take steps to address the sexual misconduct crisis and boost awareness for both staff and attendees.

Cooper says they plan to publicly share a code of conduct previously only seen by staff and volunteers. The festival also plans to host multiple panels about sexual misconduct and misuse of power.

Two allegations of assault against Harvey Weinstein occurred during Sundance, including actress Rose McGowan's rape allegation from 1997. Representatives for Weinstein have denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.

Festival staff always works with local law enforcement and private hotel security teams in advance of the festival in an effort to create a positive and safe environment for everyone. This year Cooper says they will be "stepping up."

  • Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017
Heather Graham turns Hollywood sexism complaint into film
Actress Heather Graham takes part in the Women in Film Speaker Series' "Sexual and Gender Abuse in the Workplace" panel discussion on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017, in West Hollywood, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Heather Graham says she was so frustrated by sexism and Hollywood and the dearth of female perspectives onscreen that she made a movie about it.

She thought showing her experiences onscreen would be the only way to be heard in a system that favored the powerful and silenced the powerless. But that was before the flood of sexual misconduct allegations surfaced against Harvey Weinstein and other Hollywood power players.

"My only recourse was writing and directing a movie about it because I thought it wouldn't change, but now it is," Graham said Tuesday. "I really hope that it changes in a meaningful way."

Graham told guests at Women in Film's sexual harassment panel Tuesday that she was inspired to share her own experiences with Weinstein after so many women came forward. She said she met with Weinstein in the early 2000s to discuss possible film roles when he implied that she could have her pick if she had sex with him.

"It's scary to speak out but, I just thought how can I call myself a feminist and not?" she said. "These other women are so brave and I want to be with them."

Graham said the rash of allegations and the seriousness with which they're received reflects a cultural shift.

"I think that people that had these bad things happen to them felt shame, and I think now we're rethinking it," she said. "And we're thinking, no, the shame is with the predator, not with the victim.

She will release her film "Half Magic" next year.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017
ESPN eliminating 150 production, tech jobs in latest cuts
This Sept. 16, 2013, file photo shows the ESPN logo prior to an NFL football game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Pittsburgh Steelers, in Cincinnati. ESPN says it is eliminating 150 studio and production employees as the sports broadcasting giant continues to shift its focus to a more digital future. The company says the layoffs, which were announced Wednesday morning, Nov. 29, 2017, in a memo to employees, don't include on-air talent and will have a minimal impact on the network's signature SportsCenter news program. (AP Photo/David Kohl, File)
BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) -- 

ESPN is eliminating 150 production and technical employees as the sports broadcasting giant continues to shift its focus to a more digital future.

The company says the layoffs, which were announced Wednesday morning in a memo to employees, don't include on-air talent and will have a minimal impact on the network's signature SportsCenter news program.

"The majority of the jobs eliminated are in studio production, digital content, and technology and they generally reflect decisions to do less in certain instances and re-direct resources," ESPN president John Skipper wrote in memo. "We will continue to invest in ways which will best position us to serve the modern sports fan and support the success of our business."

The 38-year-old network has been squeezed by rising fees to broadcast live events. ESPN also has lost about 10 million subscribers during the past six years, based on estimates by Nielsen Media Research.

The company says it will grow its business in several key areas, including the planned launch early next year of "ESPN+", an app-based service that will allow viewers to purchase sporting events a la carte.

ESPN is opening a new studio in New York, which will serve as home base for a new show featuring personalities Mike Greenberg, Michelle Beadle and Jalen Rose. Another new daily show will feature Bomani Jones and Pablo Torre, the network said.

The company said it plans to streamline and merge its news-gathering operation across all formats and evolve the SportsCenter show. That includes a new 3- to 5-minute digital version that launched this month on Snapchat. It's also working on the 2019 launch of the ACC Network.

The sports broadcaster has about 8,000 employees worldwide. ESPN laid off 100 employees in April, including some on-air personalities. That followed about 300 job cuts in 2015.

  • Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017
Gary Oldman named recipient of Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylist Guild’s Distinguished Artisan Award
Gary Oldman (photo by Sarah Dunn)

Academy® Award-nominated legendary actor Gary Oldman will receive this year’s Distinguished Artisan Award at the 5th Annual Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards (MUAHS, IATSE Local 706) celebrating his prolific acting career and the plethora of characters he embraces. The black-tie awards gala, honoring both make-up artists and hair stylists outstanding achievements in motion pictures, television, commercials and live theater, returns to the NOVO in L.A. Live on Saturday, February 24, 2018. 

Susan Cabral-Ebert, president of IATSE Local 706, stated, “Gary is known as a chameleon, an actor who changes his appearance, his voice, everything about himself from film to film. He has worked with the finest artisans in the world, he collaborates with the team and probably knows more about make-up and hair than any other actor. When you consider the hundreds and hundreds of hours he has spent allowing us to transform him, we are delighted to present him with our Distinguished Artisan Award to show our appreciation.” 

Academy Award-nominated and Emmy-nominated actor Oldman is the kind of thespian who disappears into his roles and completely alters his appearance with the talents of the make-up and hair teams. He boldly embodied the characters of Winston Churchill in The Darkest Hour, Sex Pistol Sid Vicious in the biopic Sid and Nancy, and George Smiley in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. The later portrayal brought him accolades worldwide including BAFTA Award, British Independent Film Award, European Film Award, and Academy Award nominations for Best Actor. 

Oldman’s diverse career encompasses theatre, film and television and has garnered over 30 awards and 44 nominations. He is well known for playing over-the-top antagonists such as Russian terrorist Egor Korshunov in the blockbuster Air Force One, Lee Harvey Oswald in JFK and the title character in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. He scored the coveted role of Sirius Black in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, giving him a key part in one of the highest-grossing franchises ever. He reprised that role in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Oldman played on the iconic role of Detective James Gordon in Batman Begins, a role he played again in The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. Among his many other roles, Oldman played a main scientist in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and Norton, the scientist in the remake of RoboCop.

The Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild’s Distinguished Artisan Award is given to those whose body of work in the film industry was richly enhanced by the consistent collaboration of make-up and hair styling artistry creating memorable characters throughout their career. Previous recipients include Johnny Depp, Ryan Murphy and Guillermo del Toro. 

As previously announced, Oscar®-winning make-up artist Greg Cannom and Emmy®-winning hair stylist Mary Guerrero will receive the Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Awards. Additional awards will honor nominees for outstanding achievements in motion pictures, television, commercials and live theater. Nominations for this year’s awards will be announced on January 5, 2018. Final ballot on-line voting at closes on February 16, 2018. Winners will be announced on Saturday, February 24, 2018 at the awards gala.