Saturday, July 20, 2019

News Briefs

Displaying 101 - 110 of 3676
  • Friday, May. 17, 2019
4 New, 15 Renewed Major Network Series To Film In NY State This Year
This image released by CBS shows Eddie Falco, center left, and Rusell G Jones, center right, in a scene from the new series "Tommy." (Cliff Lipson/CBS via AP)
NEW YORK -- 

Empire State Development (ESD) has announced that 19 major network series will film in New York State this year, including four new series. The series activity was disclosed this week at the 2019 network upfronts, the presentations given by major networks to promote new and renewed series that will be part of their fall schedules. As of today, an additional 25 series distributed by streaming services, premium cable services or other broadcast companies have started filming or are confirmed to film in New York State. All series are participating in the New York State Film Tax Credit Program.

Empire State Development president, CEO and commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “The film and TV production and postproduction industry supports tens of thousands of jobs in the Empire State every year, and the series that film in the state in 2019 will bring an economic boost to local businesses and communities across New York.”

In 2018, through the May upfront week, 20 major network series had committed to film in New York State. These 20 series generated $1.35 billion in New York State spending and 81,000 hires. In total, 203 film and television projects applied for the New York State Film Tax Credit Program last year, estimated to generate more than 211,300 new hires and $3.9 billion in new spending for New York State. For each dollar of production incentive credit ESD issued in 2017, productions spent an average of $4.50 in New York State. The film and TV industry has grown every year since the incentive program was created in 2004.

Theatrical Teamsters Local 817 president Thomas J. O’Donnell said, “The Upfront announcements reinforce that New York is the go to destination for television and episodic content. It assures the continued growth of good paying jobs with good benefits that this industry provides.”

Silvercup Studios CEO Alan Suna said, “Silvercup Studios is excited that there will be so many new and continuing shows in New York. Getting the extension to the New York State Film/TV Tax Credit Program made all the difference. We are thrilled by all of the jobs this creates for New Yorkers and we are looking forward to a great future for New York’s booming film and television production industry.”

“I don’t know where else in the world you could find the wealth of talent and craft that The Good Fight depends upon as we enter into our fourth season,” said Brooke Kennedy, executive producer of The Good Fight for CBS.  “Completely made in NY!”

The 15 renewed major network series to film in NY State this year are:

  • Blacklist (Produced by Sony, distributed on NBC)
  • Blindspot (Produced by Warner Bros, distributed on NBC)
  • Blue Bloods (Produced by and distributed on CBS)
  • Bull (Produced by and distributed on CBS)  
  • FBI (Produced by and distributed on CBS)  
  • God Friended Me (Produced by Warner Bros, distributed on CBS)
  • Law & Order SVU (Produced by NBCU, distributed on NBC)
  • Madam Secretary (Produced by and distributed on CBS)
  • Manifest (Produced by Warner Bros, distributed on NBC)
  • Mr. Robot (Produced by NBCU, distributed on USA)
  • New Amsterdam (Produced by NBCU, distributed on NBC) 
  • Pose (Produced by Fox 21/Disney, distributed on FX)
  • Tell Me A Story (Produced by CBS, distributed on CBS All Access)
  • The Good Fight (Produced by CBS, distributed on CBS All Access)
  • The Sinner (Produced by NBCU, distributed on USA)

The four new network shows slated for lensing in NY State are:

  • Evil (Produced by and distributed on CBS)
  • FBI: Most Wanted (Produced by and distributed on CBS)
  • For Life (Produced by Sony, distributed on ABC)
  • Tommy (Produced by and distributed on CBS)
  • Thursday, May. 16, 2019
In Cannes, a gory Western stands against Bolsonaro's Brazil
Students light flares as they protest against a massive cut in the education budget imposed by the administration of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, May 15, 2019. Federal education officials this month announced budget cuts of $1.85 billion for public education, part of a wider government effort to slash spending. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
CANNES, France (AP) -- 

Kleber Mendonça Filho's Cannes entry "Bacurau" is a feverish and violent Western about a rural Brazilian community defending itself from a hard-to-comprehend invasion. For the filmmakers, it's not so different than President Jair Bolsonaro's Brazil.

"Bacurau," which is competing for the Palme d'Or, the top prize, gave the Cannes Film Festival's most searing political statement yet. While the film is a bloody, surreal Brazilian parable with shades of "The Most Dangerous Game" and "Seven Samurai," its makers spoke in blunter political terms Thursday.

"Brazil right now does feel like a dystopia in many, many everyday aspects," Mendonça said to reporters.

At the Cannes premiere to his 2016 film, "Aquarius," Filho and his cast three years ago memorably held placards that declared a coup had taken place in Brazil. Just weeks earlier, Brazil's left-wing former president Dilma Rousseff had been impeached. Last October, Bolsonaro — a populist, right-wing leader sometimes compared to U.S. President Donald Trump — was elected, ushering in a fraught new chapter for Brazil.

This time, Mendonça, his co-director Julian Dornelles and their cast didn't protest on the red carpet. "Bacurau," they said, spoke for them.

"We used the movie as our weapon," said actor Thomas Aquino. "This is our answer. This is how we protest."

While "Bacurau" was premiering Wednesday night in Cannes, tens of thousands of students and teachers protested in Brazilian streets over steep budget cuts to education that Bolsonaro has announced. The filmmakers said they stood in solidarity with those protesters.

"It's very important that you don't go insane," said Mendonça on Thursday. "Like: 'Yeah, maybe we cut 30% of education, maybe that'd be a good thing.'"

"We should never lose sight of what we believe in," he added. "I think that is what resistance is under some strange system you don't believe in."

Bolsonaro has said he believes indigenous groups in Brazil have too much land set aside for their control. He supports making parts of the Amazon easier for miners and loggers to access.

Bolsonaro has also criticized the arts for "cultural Marxism" and dissolved the country's ministry of culture. Funding for Latin America's biggest film and television industry has been significantly reduced.

But Brazil has a significant presence at this year's Cannes Film Festival, including Karim Ainouz's "Invisible Life," playing in Un Certain Regard, a section of the festival's official selection. As part of Cannes' main slate, "Bacurau" is the most prominent.

"It's just amazing that this film is seeing the light of day at a time when in fact they are trying to hide Brazilian cultural output," said Mendonça.

During production on "Bacurau," the Brazilian government declared that Mendonça had to return about $500,000 from a grant for his debut feature, "Neighboring Sounds." He calls the demand "unprecedented in the history of Brazilian filmmaking."

"When 'Bacurau' was announced in Cannes this month, they came up with another press package about this, which is not a coincidence," Mendonça said. "We are dealing with this with lawyers and we hope to overturn it. It makes no sense whatsoever."

While "Bacurau" has been in development for the last decade, Mendonça said the film's extremes of "Bacurau" were fueled by Bolsonaro's election.

"It was almost like reality was catching up with the script," said Mendonça. "When that happened, we went up to 11, we went over the top."

  • Thursday, May. 16, 2019
Who's ready for a new Archie Bunker, live on your TV?
This July 29, 2018 file photo shows executive producer Norman Lear at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour in Beverly Hills, Calif. A 90-minute ABC special will celebrate the writer, director and producer of classic comedies, “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons.” It airs May 22. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Archie Bunker is coming back to prime-time network TV and he might look a little different to viewers — even if what he says is exactly the same.

Woody Harrelson is stepping into the iconic role as part of a 90-minute ABC special celebrating writer, director and producer Norman Lear. It airs May 22.

"It's going to be exciting as hell," said Lear. "Another version of Archie Bunker is going to play Archie Bunker. A great, great talent is going to be Archie Bunker."

The live special will recreate one original episode from "All in the Family" and another from "The Jeffersons." It will be hosted by Lear and late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, who dreamed up the idea.

"It really is astonishing just how great these shows are. I say 'are' and not 'were' because they are still great," Kimmel said. "I'm excited that a new generation will get to see them, and be reminded of them and then maybe take the time to go back and watch all the old ones."

Joining Harrelson in Carroll O'Connor's old role in "All in the Family" will be Marisa Tomei playing Bunker's long-suffering wife, Edith. Jamie Foxx and Wanda Sykes will play George and Louise Jefferson in "The Jeffersons," in roles played originally by Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford. The special will also feature Ellie Kemper, Will Ferrell, Justina Machado, Kerry Washington, Sean Hayes and Anthony Anderson.

Lear's two 1970s-era sitcoms are cut from the same topical cloth, tackling racism, feminism and the Vietnam War. Asked if they still hold up, Lear was clear. "I think they work very well," he said. "Funny is funny."

Kimmel took inspiration from the recent move by networks to mount Broadway musicals and make them into live events, like "Rent," ''The Sound of Music" and "Grease."

"I'm not that interested in musicals. I love television shows. And I was just thinking about what gets ratings on TV nowadays," said Kimmel.

"It seems like live events are still pretty popular and still doing well. I was thinking about the old shows and I thought, 'Why don't we do one of these great old shows?' I know people love 'Grease' but how many times do you need to see that?"

Though producers won't reveal which episodes of the sitcoms are being restaged, Kimmel promised having them live in front of a studio audience — and the world on TV — will give the shows a jolt of electricity.

He wants Americans to watch them the way they used to — together, at the same time. He's not worried about any screw ups, either, since that adds to the suspense.

"We may release a box of rats onto the set just to see what happens," he joked. "I think it adds something to the production. You see it in the live musicals. They wouldn't be nearly as interesting if they were on tape."

  • Thursday, May. 16, 2019
In Cannes, "Les Miserables" rings alarm for Paris suburbs
Actors Damien Bonnard, from left, Djebril Zonga, director Ladj Ly and actor Alexis Manenti pose for photographers at the photo call for the film 'Les Miserables' at the 72nd international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Thursday, May 16, 2019. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)
CANNES, France (AP) -- 

More than 150 years after Victor Hugo's classic novel, a French film titled "Les Miserables" gives a gritty, modern view of the Paris suburbs where Jean Valjean first met Cosette.

Ladj Ly's "Les Miserables," which premiered Wednesday at the Cannes Film Festival, contains no singing or romance, but rather a tough, "The Wire"-like street-level portrait of the Parisian banlieue of Montfermeil. It's the same neighborhood where the 37-year-old Ly grew up and still lives.

Ly says he made his movie as "an alarm bell" for the plight of kids growing up in neighborhoods like Montfermeil.

"For the past 20 years, we've said things are not going well. We have the impression no one's listening," said Ly. "I wanted to address a message to Emmanuel Macron, the president of the Republic. It's important for him to see the film."

"For 20 years now, we have been yellow vests," he added, referencing the ongoing protests of working-class French. "We've been demanding our rights for the past 20 years. We've had to cope with police violence for over 20 years."

"Les Miserables," which is competing for the top Palme d'Or prize in Cannes, shows the Paris suburbs as a combustible powder keg, where neighborhood gang leaders and overanxious police are in a constant dance. Much of Ly's film revolves around the young kids growing up in the housing projects.

In 2015, the Paris banlieue of Clichy-sous-Bois exploded in riots that put an international spotlight on the lives of immigrants and French-Africans in the areas surrounding Paris.

"One shouldn't forget that three-fourths of the people who live in these housing estates are French," said Ly. "Now we have the impression that there are different classifications of citizenship. But we're just French full stop, so accept us as French, full stop."

Other recent films have sought to capture the reality of the banlieues, including "La Haine" and "Dheepan," which won the Palme d'Or in 2015. "Les Miserables," Ly's feature directing debut, drew largely strong reviews in Cannes for its muscular genre work and passionate social commentary.

"One century later, misery, abject poverty is still present in these housing estates," said Ly.

  • Thursday, May. 16, 2019
Elton John and "Rocketman" touch down in Cannes
Actor Taron Egerton, left, and singer Elton John pose for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film 'Rocketman' at the 72nd international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Thursday, May 16, 2019. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)
CANNES, France (AP) -- 

Elton John and his biopic "Rocketman" landed Thursday at the Cannes Film Festival, where the 72-year-old pop star came dressed in a tuxedo with "Rocket Man" emblazoned on the back and regaled attendees with an after-party performance on the beach.

John, an executive producer of the film, hadn't spoken much about the movie before it made its premiere at Cannes. But donning heart-shaped, red-tinted glasses he gave the movie his hearty blessing Thursday. At the post-premiere party, he called it "an emotional night."

"Even if the movie doesn't make one penny at the box office — which will kill (Paramount Pictures chief) Jim Gianopulos — it is the movie I wanted to make," John said from the stage.

At the party John performed "I'm Still Standing" before being joined by Taron Egerton, who plays him in the film for a rendition of "Rocket Man." Egerton was visibly moved to tears after the premiere.

"Rocketman" is directed by Dexter Fletcher who also took over directing duties on last year's hit music biopic, "Bohemian Rhapsody," after Bryan Singer departed mid-production.

"Rocketman" isn't so dissimilar from "Bohemian Rhapsody." It's a glossy music-stuffed biopic with a star-making turn from Egerton. But "Rocketman" is R-rated and less cautious about its star's homosexuality.

Paramount Pictures hopes "Rocketman" can also mimic the box office of "Bohemian Rhapsody." It grossed $903 million worldwide.

  • Wednesday, May. 15, 2019
Julianne Moore on gender parity: "I believe in quotas"
Director Werner Herzog, from left, actress Julianne Moore and Xavier Dolan pose for photographers at the See The World Through A Different Lens photo call at the 72nd international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Wednesday, May 15, 2019. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)
CANNES, France (AP) -- 

Julianne Moore said Wednesday that larger efforts are needed in order for the movie industry to reach gender parity, and that means implementing quotas.

"We will not have gender parity unless everybody is cooperating. Women are not a special interest group. We're 52 percent of the global population," Moore said during an event at the Cannes Film Festival. "In order to restore the balance, I do think that there will be, that we will need some measures to change our culture."

"We will have to make major changes to reach parity. That's just a fact. So, I do believe in quotas. I really do," added Moore. "I believe in trying to level the playing field for everybody regardless of their gender or their culture or ethnicity. You have to open doors."

While gender quotas haven't been much discussed in Hollywood, they're more common in Europe where filmmaking is often partly supported by public money. Sweden, Norway and Ireland have instituted 50-50 quotas in allocating public funds for male and female filmmakers, as has the British Film Institute.

Women made up 8% of directors on the top 250 films at the U.S. box office last year, down from 11 percent the year before, according to a study in January from San Diego State University's Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film.

Moore spoke Wednesday at a Mastercard MasterClass event alongside Werner Herzog and Xavier Dolan. In Cannes, she stars in the short film "The Staggering Girl" directed by Luca Guadagnino, which is playing in the Directors' Fortnight section.

  • Tuesday, May. 14, 2019
"Game of Thrones" showrunners behind next "Star Wars" film
In this Wednesday, April 3, 2019, file photo, creator/executive producers David Benioff, left, and D. B. Weiss attend HBO's "Game of Thrones" final season premiere at Radio City Music Hall in New York. Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger said Tuesday, May 14, 2019, that “Game of Thrones” showrunners Benioff and Weiss are working on the new “Star Wars” film expected in theaters in December 2022. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

A piece of the "Star Wars" puzzle has just fallen into place.

Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger says Tuesday that "Game of Thrones" showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are working on the new "Star Wars" film expected in theaters in December 2022.

Iger revealed the information at the MoffettNathanson Media & Communications Summit in New York. He also said he would not be commenting further.

The company had previously announced that "The Last Jedi" director Rian Johnson, separately, and Benioff and Weiss were working on new "Star Wars" films but it wasn't clear whose would come first.

Both, however, are expected to be separate from the Skywalker saga which will wrap up this December with J.J. Abrams' "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker."

  • Tuesday, May. 14, 2019
"Avengers: Endgame" seeks top honors at MTV Movie & TV Awards
This image released by Disney shows Robert Downey Jr. in a scene from “Avengers: Endgame.” (Disney/Marvel Studios via AP)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Avengers: Endgame," ''Game of Thrones" and "RBG" are the top nominees heading into next month's MTV Movie & TV Awards.

The network announced Tuesday that the three titles each garnered four nominations for the awards show, which will air June 17. The show will also introduce new categories including reality royalty, most meme-able moment and best real-life hero.

"Endgame" will compete for best movie against "BlacKkKlansman," ''Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," ''Us" and "To All the Boys I've Loved Before." The Marvel superhero film also earned nods for stars Robert Downey Jr. and Josh Brolin.

The Oscar-nominated "RBG," which focused on the life of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is nominated for best documentary, most meme-able moment and inaugural real-life hero. The film will also face "Endgame" and HBO's "Game of Thrones" for best fight.

"Game of Thrones" is up for best show along with nominations for Maisie Williams and Emilia Clarke.

"Shazam" star Zachary Levi will host the show, which will be held in Santa Monica, California. The actor is also nominated for best hero and best comedic performance.

  • Tuesday, May. 14, 2019
HPA Awards open call for entries in creative categories
BURBANK, Calif. -- 

The Hollywood Professional Association (HPA®) has opened its call for entries in creative categories for the HPA Awards. The Awards, now in their 14th year, are considered important recognition for groundbreaking work and artistic excellence, acknowledging creative artistry in color grading, editing, sound, and visual effects in feature film, episodic, and commercials. The 14th HPA Awards gala will be returning to the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles on the evening of Thursday, November 21, 2019.

The HPA Awards were conceived to draw attention to the talent and innovation that fuels the professional media content industry, celebrating the behind-the-scene collaborators who support the vision of filmmakers remains the focus of the HPA Awards.

Submissions are now being accepted in the following competitive categories:

  • Outstanding Color Grading - Theatrical Feature
  • Outstanding Color Grading - Episode or Non-theatrical Feature
  • Outstanding Color Grading - Commercial
  • Outstanding Editing - Theatrical Feature
  • Outstanding Editing - Episode or Non-Theatrical Feature (30 Minutes and Under)
  • Outstanding Editing - Episode or Non-Theatrical Feature (Over 30 minutes)
  • Outstanding Sound (Design, Editing, Mixing) - Theatrical Feature
  • Outstanding Sound (Design, Editing, Mixing) - Episode or Non-Theatrical Feature
  • Outstanding Sound (Design, Editing, Mixing) - Commercial
  • Outstanding Visual Effects - Theatrical Feature
  • Outstanding Visual Effects - Episode or Non-Theatrical Feature (13 Episodes and Fewer)
  • Outstanding Visual Effects - Episode (Over 13 Episodes)

Complete rules, guidelines and entry information for the creative categories and all of the HPA Awards are available here

Submissions for consideration in the creative categories will be accepted between May 13 and July 12, 2019. Early Bird entries (at a reduced entry fee for the creative categories) will be accepted through June 10, 2019. To be considered eligible, work must have debuted domestically and/or internationally during the eligibility period, September 5, 2018 through September 3, 2019. Entrants do not need to be members of the Hollywood Professional Association or working in the U.S.

Seth Hallen, president of the HPA and a founding member of the HPA Awards Committee, commented, “The HPA Awards represent so much of what the HPA itself is about, which is giving well-deserved recognition to the artistry, ingenuity, and flat-out brilliance of the community of creative people who help realize filmmakers’ creative visions.  As our industry evolves, what remains constant is the HPA’s true passion for honoring and celebrating the talent behind the talent.” 

The HPA Awards recognize an entire spectrum of the creativity behind the scenes.  The call for entries for the HPA Engineering Excellence Award opened last month and submissions will be accepted until May 24, 2019.  The Judges Award for Creativity and Innovation, a juried award, will be announced in advance of the gala. The recipient of the HPA Lifetime Achievement Award will be announced in the coming weeks.

The HPA Awards are made possible through the generous sponsorship of Awards Title Diamond Sponsor Blackmagic Design, Platinum Sponsor IMAX, and Foundation Members Avid, Co3, Deluxe, Dolby, EFILM, and Encore.

  • Tuesday, May. 14, 2019
Ntropic launches London office headed by ECD Gibbons, EP Livingstone
Aidan Gibbons (l) and Laura Livingstone
LONDON -- 

Ntropic has launched an office in London, joining its current network of studios in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

“I’ve always loved London for its aesthetic and the creativity on display there,” said Ntropic founder and chief creative officer Nate Robinson. “We also saw a growing industry trend, in every sector from CPG to technology, toward unifying all creative across global markets. So, it made sense for us to extend Ntropic in order to support our existing clients abroad, bring our expertise and process to this new market and gain access to diverse talent.”

Ntropic London will offer direction, design, VFX, color, and finishing, as well as AR and VR experiences through its sister company Tactic. The office will seamlessly collaborate with client partners and U.S. teams, further amplifying its overall bandwidth and ability to deliver results for its worldwide clients. 

Leading the London office will be executive creative director Aidan Gibbons and executive producer Laura Livingstone. Gibbons joins from The Mill in London where he spent 13 years and served as director and 3D supervisor. His creative style and passion for directing is on full display in his work for Bentley, Huawei, Guinness and BT. Gibbons also led artists on a number of high profile advertising campaigns for Lexus, Audi, Santander, O2, Jaguar and Brother. 

Meanwhile, Livingstone’s U.K. arrival marks her return to her native home in Europe. Previously, she was at Ntropic SF where she was head of production, working on everything from their groundbreaking AR project for Treasury Wine Estates and VR experience “Phone of the Wind” to spots for McDonald’s, Toyota, Facebook, Apple, Netflix, Uber and others. Before that, she was a sr. producer at several entertainment FX companies, including Zoic Studios--where she worked on TV shows such as Banshee, Arrow, The Flash and The Blacklist--as well as Shade VFX, Atomic Fiction and ILM where her film projects included A Good Day to Die Hard, Flight, Looper and Iron Man 2.

Ntropic’s expansion follows the recent successful launch of Ntropic’s NYC color department and the addition of colorist Ayumi Ashley and sr. producer Will Mok.

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