Wednesday, June 19, 2019

News Briefs

Displaying 1 - 10 of 3622
  • Tuesday, Jun. 18, 2019
Netflix announces 2 more seasons of "Queer Eye"
In this May 16, 2019 file photo, Karamo Brown, from left, Bobby Berk, Tan France, Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness arrive at a For Your Consideration event for "Queer Eye" at Raleigh Studios in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- 

Netflix's show "Queer Eye" says it's bringing fabulousness to the masses for two more seasons.

The streaming service announced Tuesday that the fourth season will debut July 19. The eight episodes were shot in the Kansas City area, where last season the stars revamped a prison guard, a children's camp program director and two sisters who own a barbecue joint. Netflix also says production will begin soon in Philadelphia for the fifth season, which will be released next year.

The show features resident fashion expert, Tan France, along with food guru Antoni Porowski, hairstylist Jonathan Van Ness, culture expert Karamo Brown and home designer Bobby Berk. The Emmy-winning show is a reboot of the 2003 series "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy."

  • Tuesday, Jun. 18, 2019
Ken Jeong, D’Arcy Carden to announce Emmy Awards nominations on July 16
Ken Jeong
NOHO ARTS DISTRICT, Calif. -- 

The Television Academy announced that Ken Jeong and D’Arcy Carden will present the nominations for the 71st Emmy® Awards from the Wolf Theatre at the Television Academy’s Saban Media Center on Tuesday, July 16, at 8:30 a.m. PT/11:30 a.m. ET.

Television Academy chairman and CEO Frank Scherma will join Jeong and Carden at the nominations ceremony, which will stream live on Emmys.com.

“Television is the world’s premier entertainment choice; and the global reach of U.S. television programming is immediate and impactful thanks to networks, channels, platforms and delivery systems that continue to grow,” said Scherma. “We are thrilled to have these two comedic talents join us to announce this year’s Emmy nominees—programs and individuals whose excellent work is reshaping the television landscape.”

Jeong is an actor, producer and writer who has established his place as one of today’s top comedic stars. He can currently be seen as a judge on the hit FOX show The Masked Singer and will soon return to the big screen in My Spy and El Tonto. He is best known for his roles in the NBC comedy Community, The Hangover franchise and ABC’s Dr. Ken, for which he also served as the creator, writer and executive producer. Recently, Jeong appeared in Crazy Rich Asians and also released his first Netflix comedy special, Ken Jeong: You Complete Me, Ho.

Carden continues to endear herself to audiences with critically acclaimed performances, including her breakout role as “Janet” in The Good Place, for which she received a 2018 Gold Derby TV Award. Her additional television credits include the Emmy Award-winning variety series Inside Amy Schumer, HBO’s Emmy Award-winning comedy Veep and Comedy Central’s Broad City. The actress can currently be seen starring in the smash HBO comedy series Barry. In addition to her work on screen, Carden is a longtime member of the Upright Citizens Brigade and regularly performs with her improv group, Search History, and in UCB’s longest-running show, ASSSSCAT.

The 71st Emmy Awards will telecast live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, September 22, (8-11 p.m. ET/5-8 p.m. PT) on FOX. The 71st Emmy Awards will be co-produced by Don Mischer Productions and Done+Dusted.

  • Tuesday, Jun. 18, 2019
Oceana Studios launches movie and financing divisions
Danny Sawaf
LOS ANGELES & DUBAI, UAE -- 

Oceana Studios, a global entertainment company specializing in films and content production, has officially opened movie and financing divisions. The first major project is the just announced feature Big Gold Brick starring Andy Garcia, Emory Cohen, Oscar Isaac, Lucy Hale and Megan Fox. Sawaf is working as a producer on the movie and Oceana Studios is a financier on the film, which will be directed by Brian Pestos.

“Oceana is about producing and financing films that move audiences around the world,” said producer/director/writer Danny Sawaf, founder of Oceana. According to Sawaf, in addition to Big Gold Brick, Oceana Studios has four more features in development. “The game plan for the studio is to produce five to six films per year,” related Sawaf. “The plan is to build Oceana Studios as a brand itself, where audiences flock to see our releases.” Films in development include Robbery 101, a stylized heist comedy film from writer Scott Reynolds, directors Cary Murnion and Jon Milott, and producer Nick Moceri; La Vida Coca, a gangster anthology consisting of five short films to be directed by five different directors on the Oceana Studios roster; and Open Waters, a thriller written and directed by Sikandar Sidhu about a celebrity actor getting abducted by a fanatical director. Also being produced is an animated feature directed by Lubomir Arsov.

Oceana wants to be a complete studio, said Sawaf. To this end his company recently acquired a percentage of Hanzo Films, an award-winning commercial production house in Dubai. Oceana is also close to partnering with select post houses in both Asia and Europe. “We’ve been strategically forming alliances with companies around the world and our ambitions are much greater than just production and post, we plan to vertically integrate over time,” noted Sawaf. 

Oceana’s body of work spans film, TV, commercials and other content forms.

  • Monday, Jun. 17, 2019
The Rock and other stars promote positivity at MTV awards
Dwayne Johnson, also known as The Rock, accepts the generation award at the MTV Movie and TV Awards on Saturday, June 15, 2019, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson didn't make a household name for himself by conforming to someone else's idea of who he should be, an approach he encouraged others to take while accepting a top honor at the MTV Movie & TV Awards.

The actor, producer and former professional wrestler said embracing himself allowed him to carve his own space in the entertainment industry and become one of its biggest stars. He accepted MTV's generation award with fanfare — running down the stage amidst a blend of hip-hop and Samoan dancers with screens reading "The Rock" in flaming letters behind him — during the show, which was taped Saturday in Santa Monica, California, and aired Monday night.

"The most powerful thing we can be is ourselves," said Johnson, who is half-black and half-Samoan. He also reminded the audience of its responsibility to reach back for others in the midst of success.

Johnson, 47, wasn't the only one to use his platform during the show for empowerment.

Brie Larson, who won the best fight award for her battle against Minn-Erva (Gemma Chan) in "Captain Marvel," brought her stunt doubles, Joanna Bennett and Renae Moneymaker, on stage to recognize them for their work.

"They are the living embodiment of Captain Marvel," Larson said as she stepped aside to let the women give speeches in which they thanked the actress for the rare acknowledgement on an awards show stage.

Inclusivity and celebration seemed to be the themes of the night. The show included with a comedic take on a scene from Jordan Peele's "Us," featuring host Zachary Levi. Levi reminded everyone to nurture the kid in themselves and keep following their dreams into adulthood. Lizzo and Bazzi kept the crowd on its feet during their lively musical performances of "Juice" and "Paradise," respectively.

The upbeat nature of the night didn't stop some winners from getting serious.

Lana Condor managed to bring thoughtfulness to one of the night's more amusing awards.

"Kiss who you want to kiss. Love who you want to love, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise," she said, accepting the best kiss honor with "To All the Boys I've Loved Before" co-star Noah Centineo, who also won for breakthrough performance.

Daniel Levy shared a similar sentiment after winning the best comedic performance award for "Schitt's Creek."

"If I've taken anything away from making 'Schitt's Creek,' it's that kindness always wins, and love is best served unconditionally," he said, wishing everyone a happy pride month.

Jada Pinkett Smith accepted the trailblazer award, presented to her by "Girls Trip" co-star Tiffany Haddish, and assured attendees that each of them are trailblazing by leading the way and fighting for others.

Women took home several of the night's biggest awards, including best performance in a show (Elisabeth Moss, "The Handmaid's Tale") and in a movie (Lady Gaga, "A Star is Born"). The show features gender-neutral categories.

Sandra Bullock touched the audience during her speech for most frightened performance for "Bird Box."

The Oscar winner said she made the film for her kids after they asked when she would make a movie for them. Accepting the award from "Wonder Woman" star Gal Gadot, Bullock said that when her kids are old enough to watch the post-apocalyptic thriller, she hopes it will show them the lengths she is willing to go for them.

Bullock also said she was happy her son could see her accept her award in a room with "real life superheroes" like Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel.

"I'm sure he will notice that they are women, just like his mama," she said.

  • Monday, Jun. 17, 2019
Periscope up and running in Hollywood
Ben Benedetti
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- 

Chicago-based Periscope Post & Audio has expanded to the West Coast, opening a 22,000 square foot sound and picture finishing facility in Hollywood. The new site will offer a full range of post services including dailies, editorial, color grading, sound editing and mixing. Key resources include a theatrical mix stage with Dolby Atmos capability, three additional mix stages for home theater and streaming content, also Atmos capable, and five color grading and finishing suites, two with 4K capability to be certified for Dolby Vision. The Hollywood shop also features an ADR Stage as well as production and editorial office space available on a short- and long-term basis.

The new facility will target broadcast and streaming television content as well as high-quality independent features. “We want to build on relationships we’ve forged with producers in Chicago and extend our reach further into the television and feature markets,” said Periscope Post & Audio co-owner Michael Nehs. “We have been looking for the right property for several years, one that is convenient to studios and production companies, and big enough to support full-service solutions. We also wanted a space that would allow us to build large mix stages, which we believe are badly needed. This space offers all that and room to grow.”

To lead the Hollywood facility, Periscope has appointed veteran postproduction executive Ben Benedetti as general manager. Benedetti, whose background includes executive posts with Sony Pictures Entertainment and Ascent Media, will oversee daily operations, direct strategic planning, and develop sales and growth plans. “I’ve worked with Ben in the past and it was a wonderful experience,” Nehs said. “He offers deep expertise in every facet of postproduction and is very well connected to the studios and streaming companies.” Additional staffing will be announced soon.

Benedetti said that Periscope is seeking to capitalize on the surge in production by streaming services and has built a facility to meet that segment of the market’s technical and creative needs. “We want to support directors and producers in achieving their creative visions,” he noted. “We understand their requirements and will cater to them.”

The Hollywood facility’s two 4K grading theaters feature Black Magic Design Da Vinci Resolve systems with added support for Dolby Vision color correction and IMF delivery. They also include Avid and Adobe Premier platforms for editorial conforming. The three other color grading suites offer similar set ups with Da Vinci Resolve, Avid and Premier technology. Dailies processing and look development services are also available onsite.

The large theatrical mix stage is anchored by an Avid S6 digital console supported by Avid Pro Tools workstations. It is capable of mixing in Dolby Atmos for theatrical release. The other three mix stages are also equipped with Avid S6 consoles and Pro Tools systems, and are set up to mix in Dolby Atmos for streaming and home theatre. Additionally, the facility has two sound design suites and four sound editorial suites. A second ADR room will be added next year.

The facility also includes 42 rental unit spaces that can function as production offices or editing rooms. For productions wishing to take up residence at the site, Periscope can provide editing systems, networked storage, communication, infrastructure and technical support.

Periscope Post & Audio launched in Chicago in 2013 and has enjoyed rapid growth while servicing episodic television, independent features and other projects. 

  • Friday, Jun. 14, 2019
NBCUniversal to build state-of-the-art studio in New Mexico
This Dec. 3, 2009, file photo, the NBC Universal logo hangs on a building in Los Angeles. NBCUniversal announced plans Friday, June 14, 2019, for a state-of-the-art television and film studio in a warehouse district just north of downtown Albuquerque. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
ALBUQUERQUE, NM (AP) -- 

NBCUniversal announced Friday it will build a state-of-the-art television and film studio in a warehouse district just north of downtown Albuquerque as it seeks to expand its footprint in one of the fastest growing film production hubs in the country.

The media giant said it has entered a 10-year venture with a developer to reshape an empty warehouse into a studio with two sound stages, offices and a mill. The studio will be used to produce shows for broadcast and cable channels.

"NBCUniversal has enjoyed a longstanding and productive relationship with New Mexico and Albuquerque and we are grateful for the opportunity to expand our presence in this community through our venture," said Dawn Olmstead, president of Universal Content Productions and Wilshire Studios, and Pearlena Igbokwe, president of Universal Television said in a statement.

The pair thanked Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Mayor Tim Keller for helping NBCUniversal with the project.

City and state officials are offering more than $10 million in incentives but promise the economic impact will top $1 billion over the next decade.

NBCUniversal will have more than 330 full-time jobs at its New Mexico hub, state officials said. The total number of jobs, direct and indirect, should exceed 800, according to an economic analysis by the state.

"We are growing New Mexico's film industry, diversifying our economy and creating exciting jobs — this is a home run deal," Gov. Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, said. "I'm incredibly thrilled to welcome our state's new partner, NBCUniversal."

NBCUniversal will be joining Netflix, which solidified its footing in New Mexico last year.

In recent months the state has experienced a big jump in film productions. It is set to more than double its annual spending cap on film incentives. The USA Network series "Briarpatch," starring Rosario Dawson, is set to film in Albuquerque.

  • Friday, Jun. 14, 2019
Britain bans "harmful" gender stereotypes in advertisements
The Advertising Standards Authority logo
LONDON (AP) -- 

Hapless husbands and housework-burdened moms are being banished from British advertising, as a crackdown on gender stereotypes comes into force.

From Friday, advertisements must not include "gender stereotypes which are likely to cause harm or serious or widespread offense."

Examples include depictions of men struggling to complete simple domestic tasks or ads that suggest women are solely responsible for cooking and cleaning.

Complaints will be assessed by the Advertising Standards Authority. British broadcasters are bound by the terms of their licenses to comply with its rulings.

The authority says its aim is not to ban all gender stereotypes but to remove those that are harmful.

Authority chief executive Guy Parker said "put simply, we found that some portrayals in ads can, over time, play a part in limiting people's potential."

  • Friday, Jun. 14, 2019
Almodovar to receive Venice Film Festival career achievement honor
In this Sunday, July 23, 2017 file photo, Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar poses for photographers after winning the best director award during the Platino Awards ceremony in Madrid. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, file)
ROME (AP) -- 

The Spanish Oscar-winning writer and director Pedro Almodóvar will be awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement by the Venice Film Festival.

The decision from the board of the Biennale di Venezia, follows a proposal by the festival's director, Alberto Barbera.

Almodovar, whose film credits include 1999's All About My Mother and 2002's Talk to Her , said Friday he has good memories of Venice, where he made his international debut in 1983: "This Lion is going to become my pet, along with the two cats I live with."

Barbera praised Almodóvar as "the greatest and most influential Spanish director since Buñuel" and "a filmmaker who has offered us the most multifaceted, controversial, and provocative portraits of post-Franco Spain."

The 76th Venice Film Festival runs Aug. 28 to Sept. 7.

  • Thursday, Jun. 13, 2019
Director Bryan Singer reaches settlement of assault claim
This Dec. 2, 2013, file photo, shows Bryan Singer at the Los Angeles premiere of "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." Singer has agreed to pay $150,000 to settle allegations that he raped a then-17-year-old boy on a yacht 15 years ago. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)
SEATTLE (AP) -- 

Movie director Bryan Singer has agreed to pay $150,000 to settle allegations that he raped a then-17-year-old boy on a yacht 15 years ago.

Court records show that Singer, whose credits include "Bohemian Rhapsody," ''Superman Returns" and "The Usual Suspects," continues to deny he assaulted Cesar Sanchez-Guzman or ever attended a party with him on a yacht as it sailed on Lake Union and Lake Washington in Seattle.

A trustee who is overseeing Sanchez-Guzman's bankruptcy case filed a motion Wednesday recommending the settlement be approved. The trustee noted that it would be enough money to pay off the $61,000 in claims against Sanchez-Guzman, pay the costs of administering the case and leave money left over for him.

Sanchez-Guzman sued Singer in King County Superior Court in 2017.

  • Thursday, Jun. 13, 2019
Amy Poehler, Issa Rae recognized for their entrepreneurship at Women in Film Gala
Issa Rae accepts the women in film emerging entrepreneur award at the Women in Film Annual Gala on Wednesday, June 12, 2019, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) -- 

In a night of commanding words from some of the most accomplished women in entertainment at the annual Women in Film Gala Wednesday night in Beverly Hills, from the likes of Issa Rae, Viola Davis and producer Cathy Schulman, Amy Poehler put her own unconventional spin on the "empowerment speech."

Poehler, who was accepting the final honor of the evening, the Entrepreneur in Entertainment Award, simply read off a list of names: "A League of Their Own," Patti Smith, "Fleabag," ''The Virgin Suicides," Judge Judy, U.S. Women's Soccer, "American Psycho," ''Russian Doll," Dolly Parton. She continued listing off female creators and female-created shows and films for two and a half minutes.

"Thank you, thank you," Poehler said. "More, more, more."

It was simple, brief, and got the point across to the ballroom full of women working in the industry. She followed a riotously funny speech from "Insecure" creator Rae, who decided to take inspiration from her hip-hop idols and buck the social convention of women being humble. She said she was just going to say the opposite of, "What I would normally say."

"You future hoes need to bow down," Rae said as the inaugural recipient of the Emerging Entrepreneur Award. "Entrepreneur means I did that s--- by myself."

Producer Cathy Schulman, and former Women in Film board president, who was being recognized for her advocacy in entertainment, took a vastly different approach with a vulnerable and open story about the personal and financial trials she's had to endure while trying to "make it."

Although she won an Oscar for producing the film "Crash," she said she never made a dollar from the film, which earned almost $100 million at the box office, and even went into credit card debt trying to make sure the production had what was needed. She's produced 30-something films and raised a daughter too, but she said she has from pre-school through graduation only picked her up from school four times.

"I've paid a deep price for my advocacy," Schulman said.

She said there's still, "A long way to go" and she hopes, for one, that the words "diversity" and "inclusion" are decoupled.

"Diversity is a counting mechanism," she said. "Inclusion is not something you can count, advertise or market. Inclusion is what happens when diverse people are actually present in equal numbers in decision making positions."

Davis, who is working with Schulman on a project called "The Woman King," which she described as "'Braveheart' only with all black women and no Scottish brogues," said that, "In a world that has a bad habit of erasing us girls...we need champions like Cathy."

Women in Film, the advocacy organization putting on the event with the help of sponsor Max Mara, announced a new initiative at the event called Entrepreneurial Pathways which is intended to help knock down the roadblocks to capital for female filmmakers and creators.

Kirsten Schaffer, the executive director of Women in Film, said that women currently get only 16% of the overhead deals and 23% of the overall deals in television. Their goal is to, "Strategize ways to advance parity."

The organization raised over $50,000 for program over the course of the event.

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