Tuesday, July 23, 2019

News Briefs

Displaying 41 - 50 of 3678
  • Saturday, Jun. 29, 2019
DirecTV owner backs free streaming service Locast as hedge
In this Jan. 28, 2019, file photo the Locast website is displayed on a computer screen in New York. AT&T, the owner of DirecTV and other television services, is backing Locast, a free streaming service, as a hedge against losing broadcast channels in disputes over fees. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

AT&T, the owner of DirecTV, is backing a free streaming service as a hedge against losing broadcast channels in disputes over fees.

TV subscribers are increasingly finding the channels they pay for blacked out because channel owners and the cable or satellite companies such as DirecTV can't agree on fees. Such fights can drag on for months and block viewers from the Oscars, the Super Bowl and other events.

AT&T said Thursday that it donated $500,000 to Locast, a non-profit organization that streams broadcast channels for free. It's also offering access to Locast through DirecTV and its U-verse cable service.

This option could undercut threats by the station owners to pull channels during disputes. Customers missing channels like ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox could also use a digital antenna. Neither Locast nor an antenna would help if the blacked-out channel is a cable network like Comedy Central or ESPN.

The donation is a pittance for AT&T, with $19.4 billion in profit last year. But it's significant for Locast , which depends on donations and spends about $100,000 to launch each new market. It's now in 13 cities, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

Cable companies have pushed back against the rising fees demanded by owners of TV stations and cable channels as viewership shifts online. Those fees get passed down to the customer.

AT&T has found itself on both sides of these fights, as it's both a TV provider and a media company as the owner of networks including HBO, TBS and CNN.

  • Thursday, Jun. 27, 2019
Elba says race talk around Bond casting disappointing
This Jan. 21, 2018 file photo shows actor-director Idris Elba at the Music Lodge during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Elba confirmed in a Vanity Fair cover article that he will not be the next James Bond. (Photo by Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP, File)
LONDON (AP) -- 

Even though Idris Elba isn't trying to become the next James Bond, he's disheartened that some people don't think he should be considered for the spy role because he's black.

The British actor says in the August issue of Vanity Fair that it's frustrating that there are people who say "'It can't be.' And it really turns out to be the color of my skin."

Some have speculated that the "Luther" star would make the perfect Bond. Elba says although Bond is a coveted, beloved character that he would be fascinated to play, he doesn't need to put himself in the position of questioning whether a stint as Bond did or didn't work "because of the color of my skin."

Elba stars in "Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw" due in theaters in August.

  • Thursday, Jun. 27, 2019
"One Day At a Time" rescued from cancellation by Pop TV
This image released by Netflix shows Rita Moreno in a scene from "One Day At A Time." The series, a remake of the 1970's-80's Norman Lear TV series, centers on a Cuban-American family. The series, which was canceled by Netflix, will continue with a new 13-episode fourth season premiering on Pop TV in 2020. (Michael Yarish/Netflix via AP)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

There are more days ahead for "One Day at a Time."

The CBS Corp.-owned cable channel Pop TV says Thursday it's greenlighted a new season of the reboot canceled by Netflix.

In a statement, Pop TV President Brad Schwartz called the series both "culturally significant" and funny.

The original 1975-84 sitcom about a single white mom was reimagined with a Latino family at its center, a TV rarity.

Justina Machado stars as Penelope Alvarez, a Cuban American parent and military veteran, with Rita Moreno playing her mother, Lydia.

"One Day at a Time" was dropped by Netflix earlier this year after three seasons, prompting an outcry from fans. The streaming service said not enough people watched the show to justify renewing it.

Famed producer Norman Lear, who co-created the original series and is executive producer on the remake, said he was "heartbroken" when it was canceled.

"Today, I'm overwhelmed with joy to know the Alvarez family will live on," Lear said in a statement.

Pop TV says the new 13-episode season is planned for 2020.

  • Thursday, Jun. 27, 2019
Almost Gold expands into editorial, color, finish, audio
Linas Jodwalis
CHICAGO -- 

Design-driven production studio Almost Gold has unveiled a major expansion of both environment and talent. In addition to production, animation, and motion graphics capabilities, Almost Gold now offers editorial, color, finish, VO recording, and audio mix in its newly completed East Wing. The expansion comes as Almost Gold marks its five-year anniversary as a content-producing creative partner for agencies, brands and artists.

The East Wing features two bays outfitted with the latest technology to tackle full 4K throughout, as well as a VO recording booth and central conference room

Inspired by the concept of artists-in-residency, Almost Gold taps curated, premiere freelance talent for projects. “As we earned our clients’ trust in production and design, they’ve looked to us as a creative resource in expanded ways," related creative director Linas Jodwalis, who founded and designed the studio. "The strategic decision to embrace a non-exclusive talent model allows us to stay lean and flexible while emphasizing quality and creativity with longtime creative collaborators.” 

Among the artists represented on a non-exclusive basis by Almost Gold are sr. colorists Jeff Altman and Fred Keller, editors Dean Gonzalez and Nate Pence, editor/DP Kenneth Browne and audio engineer Sarah Krohn.

Altman has colored projects that have screened at SXSW, Sundance, Cannes, and TIFF, along with advertising campaigns for Capital One, Jeep, Toyota, Makers Mark, Michelob, Wendy’s, Disney, GE, Jack Daniels and more.

Working with agencies including Leo Burnett, DDB, FCB, BBDO, Havas and mcgarrybowen, colorist Keller has contributed to campaigns for McDonald’s, State Farm, Coors, Walmart, Alfa Romeo, Capital One, Skittles and many others.

Gonzalez has been the go-to editor for musicians like Aerosmith, Red Hot Chili Peppers, NAS, LL Cool J, Kid Rock, Nicki Minaj, and commercial clients such as Reebok, Nike, Bose, J Crew, Michelob, McDonald’s and Kohl’s. Additionally, Gonzalez finds time to cut award winning indie films, and documentaries.

Pence has worked nationwide at leading post houses and design companies, editing campaigns for Groupon with Tiffany Haddish, Intel’s collaborative launch with Tag Heuer, Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Illinois Lottery, and Nike Air Society.

Browne has shot and edited worldwide. His clients include Toyota, MAC, SC Johnson, Red Bull, The Food Network, Samsung, Caterpillar and Jack Daniels.

Hailing from the rocky shores of Southern England, Krohn has been engineering audio on this side of the pond for agencies and post houses for nearly 10 years. Some notable clientele include Google, Oscar Mayer, BCBS, Bud Light, Pepsi, Quaker, Samsung, SXSW Film Festival, Aleve, Wrigley, Hilton, Marriott, Disney, and CVS.

Almost Gold EP Paul Klinke said of the company business model, “Just a few years ago, shared workspaces disrupted the small business world. Our idea was to design an environment where creativity can thrive; where people from various disciplines can come together to hatch interesting ideas and make them happen. That’s the future we are betting on, and one we think resonates with both creators and clients.”

  • Thursday, Jun. 27, 2019
Martin Cohen to receive Motion Picture Editors Guild’s Fellowship and Service Award
Martin Cohen
LOS ANGELES -- 

The Motion Picture Editors Guild (MPEG) will honor veteran postproduction executive and producer Martin Cohen with its prestigious Fellowship and Service Award, recognizing an individual who embodies the values set forth by the Guild: professionalism, collaboration, mentorship, generosity of spirit and commitment to the labor movement.  Cohen will receive the award at a gala in his honor on October 5 at the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Universal City.

One of the most beloved and respected members of the post community, Cohen served as head of postproduction for Amblin Entertainment beginning in 1987 and then for DreamWorks from 1994 to 2005, before moving to Paramount Pictures where he oversaw all aspects of feature postproduction including editorial, sound design, digital intermediates and piracy protection for all the studio’s releases through 2010.  Cohen’s expertise and interest are not limited to editing or postproduction.  He has also served as a producer or executive producer on countless films such films as “The Hunger Games,” “Mothman,” “The Seventh Son” and “Godzilla,” among many others, and directed the pilot for the web series “Action Figures.”  A passionate cinephile, Cohen is a dedicated film preservationist and among his numerous projects and accomplishments, he supervised the restoration of several notable classics including Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather” trilogy and “Jaws.” 

“We are delighted to honor Marty with our Fellowship and Service award,” stated Alan Heim, ACE, president of the Motion Picture Editors Guild. “He perfectly exemplifies the values that the Guild holds most dear by forging a career in this industry that has served not only the films on which he has worked, but the many filmmakers and colleagues with whom he’s collaborated.  He has consistently given back to our community and that makes him the ideal recipient for our highest honor.”

“I am honored and deeply moved that the Editors Guild is bestowing me with this prestigious award. I thank all my brothers and sisters for this honor!” stated Cohen.

The Fellowship and Service Award was established 12 years ago by the Guild’s board of directors.  Previous recipients of this distinguished honor are Dede Allen, ACE; Joseph Aredas; Lillian Benson, ACE; Donn Cambern, ACE; Lee Dichter, CAS; Don Hall; Carol Littleton, ACE; Donald O. Mitchell and Thomas C. Short.

  • Wednesday, Jun. 26, 2019
Zuckerberg says company "evaluating" deepfake video policy
In this May 1, 2018, file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg makes the keynote speech at F8, Facebook's developer conference, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says the company is evaluating how it should handle "deepfake" videos created with artificial intelligence and high-tech tools to yield false but realistic clips.

In an interview at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado on Wednesday, Zuckerberg said it might make sense to treat such videos differently from other misinformation such as false news. Facebook has long held that it should not decide what is and isn't true, leaving such calls instead to outside fact-checkers.

But Zuckerberg says it's worth asking whether deepfakes are a "completely different category" from regular false statements. He says developing a policy on these videos is "really important" as AI technology grows more sophisticated.

Facebook, like other social media companies, does not have a specific policy against deepfakes, whose potential threat has emerged only in the last couple of years. Company executives have said in the past that it makes sense to look at them under the broader umbrella of false or misleading information. But Zuckerberg is signaling that this view might be changing, leaving open the possibility that Facebook might ban deepfakes altogether.

Doing so, of course, could get complicated. Satire, art and political dissent could be swept up in any overly broad ban, creating more headaches from Facebook.

Other false videos could still get a pass. For instance, the recent altered video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that made her sound like she was slurring her words does not meet the definition of a deepfake.

  • Wednesday, Jun. 26, 2019
American Film Market to include Immersive Summit
LOS ANGELES -- 

The American Film Market (AFM®) has announced the addition of programming and dedicated exhibition space to spotlight immersive content and technology for the 2019 market.  AFM will celebrate its 40th edition November 6-13 in Santa Monica.

For the AFM’s expansion into Extended Reality (XR), the Immersive Summit presented by entertainment/educational conferences producer Winston Baker will take place on November 9 at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel. The half-day Summit will be a collaborative and educational event for creatives, buyers, sellers and innovators of the XR industry. The program will include keynotes and panel discussions featuring creators, international industry experts and decision makers, to address the stages of bringing immersive content, such as virtual and augmented reality, to market.

Further supporting the burgeoning XR industry, a new XR Space will run alongside the AFM’s marketplace and LocationEXPO. Located in the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel over four days, November 9 – 12, creatives, producers and tech leaders will converge in the XR Space to showcase their latest works and technology. The exhibitions will be open to all AFM participants seamlessly connecting the XR industry and experience to filmmakers and the global motion picture industry--over 7,000 participants from 70+ countries.

“The rapid developments in immersive technology are creating opportunities for artists, producers and entrepreneurs,” AFM managing director Jonathan Wolf commented. “The Immersive Summit is a perfect fit for our global participants who seek a glimpse into their future.”

“As the AR/VR industry matures, it’s crucial to provide a platform which supports immersive projects from development to distribution. We are honored and excited to join forces to bring our Immersive Summit series to the American Film Market,” said Katherine Winston and Amy Baker, Co-Founders of Winston Baker, in a joint statement.

Registration for the 2019 American Film Market is now open. Click here for exhibition and registration information.

 

  • Wednesday, Jun. 26, 2019
"The Office" to leave Netflix for NBCUniversal in Jan. 2021
In this April 14, 2009, file photo cast members, from left, Jenna Fischer, Angela Kinsey, Craig Robinson, and Steve Carell are seen after cutting a cake celebrating the 100th episode of the television show "The Office" in Malibu, Calif. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Netflix's announcement that NBC's hit show "The Office" will be pulled from its lineup after 2020 and head to NBCUniversal's upcoming service is the latest example of jockeying between streaming services that is set to heat up as they bulk up their TV and movie offerings to attract users.

In a tweet Tuesday, Netflix said it was "sad" that NBC was taking back the show but added it will still be on Netflix for the next year and a half.

As people abandon traditional pay TV providers like cable, services like Netflix and Hulu have benefited by offering viewers TV shows from traditional networks. But content makers like NBC Universal, Disney and Warner Media are entering the game and will likely take back much of their own shows and movies.

  • Wednesday, Jun. 26, 2019
Sheryl Crow says 2008 fire destroyed all her master tapes
Sheryl Crow on NBC's "Today" show in New York on April 19, 2017. (AP Photo)
LONDON (AP) -- 

Singer Sheryl Crow says the original tapes of albums such as "Tuesday Night Music Club" and the track "All I Wanna Do" perished in a 2008 fire at Universal Music Group.

Crow told the BBC Wednesday that her master tapes and back-ups were destroyed in the blaze and that she only discovered the loss after a New York Times report revealed the extent of the damage.

Crow says the fire "feels a little apocalyptic" and that she didn't "understand the cover-up."

A group of artists, including Soundgarden and estates representing Tupac Shakur and Tom Petty, have sued. The artists allege that Universal failed to protect music ruined in the fire and inform them of the extent of its impact.

Universal did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

  • Wednesday, Jun. 26, 2019
Sebastian Maniscalco to host MTV's 2019 Video Music Awards
In this Aug. 5, 2017 file photo Sebastian Maniscalco arrives at the LA Premiere of "The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature" in Los Angeles. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Comedian and actor Sebastian Maniscalco will host MTV's 2019 Video Music Awards.

He'll be joined at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, on Aug. 26 by some of the industry's biggest stars as they celebrate the year's music videos.

Executive producer Bruce Gillmer says Maniscalco's "comedic spin on relatable topics will make this year's show truly unforgettable."

Maniscalco is currently on his North American "You Bother Me" tour.

The 45-year-old was the 2018 Billboard "Comedian of the Year" and made his feature film debut last year in the Oscar-winning "Green Book."

He'll next be seen on Netflix in Martin Scorsese's "The Irishman," with Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci.

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