Wednesday, June 19, 2019

News Briefs

Displaying 51 - 60 of 3622
  • 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.

  • Tuesday, May. 14, 2019
Disney takes over Hulu
This June 27, 2015, file photo, shows the Hulu logo on a window at the Milk Studios space in New York. (AP Photo/Dan Goodman, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Disney cut a deal with Comcast to take full control of Hulu as each prepares to launch its own streaming service.

The companies said Tuesday that Comcast, which owns a third of Hulu, may sell its stake starting in 2024 for a minimum of $5.8 billion. Either company can require the other to make the deal.

Hulu launched more than a decade ago as the major entertainment companies dealt with the rise of digital media. Its owners have contracted as a wave of mergers consolidated the industry: The Walt Disney Co. absorbed 21st Century Fox's stake as it bought up Fox's studio and many of its networks, while AT&T sold off the share it inherited with the purchase of Time Warner, now renamed WarnerMedia.

AT&T's sale valued the unprofitable Hulu at $15 billion. The agreement with Disney and Comcast values Hulu at a minimum of $27.5 billion in 2024. Disney has forecast that Hulu will turn a profit around then.

Hulu today still shows network TV episodes and original series for $6 a month. It has a newer live-TV service that costs $45 a month.

Having total control of Hulu gives Disney more power to support its own streaming efforts. The company is launching a new kids-focused streaming service called Disney Plus this year, and is likely to bundle that with Hulu and its sports service, ESPN Plus.

Comcast's NBCUniversal, meanwhile, will debut a streaming service in 2020. And WarnerMedia is launching its own streaming service which will focus on HBO and other shows and movies owned by the company. There's also a new one from Apple, with original content.

An aftereffect of all these new services may well be the fragmentation of content across services. Most of the most popular shows on Netflix are owned by the big entertainment companies — "Friends," ''The Office" — which may well want them for their own services.

At least for Hulu, NBCUniversal has agreed to keep its shows and networks on there until late 2024.

However, NBCUniversal is preparing to stock its own service as the streaming wars heat up. In a year, it can start putting its video on its own streaming service that is currently exclusive on Hulu. (It'll cut Hulu's costs in return.) And NBCUniversal could choose to pull its content from Hulu early, in three years.

Michelle Chapman contributed to this report.

  • Saturday, May. 11, 2019
3 production companies boycott Georgia after abortion ban
In this Tuesday, May 7, 2019, file photo, protesters rally outside of the Georgia State Capitol following the signing of HB 481, in Atlanta. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed legislation on Tuesday banning abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, File)
ATLANTA (AP) -- 

Executives from three production companies say they won't film in Georgia because of the state's "heartbeat" abortion ban.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports they include David Simon of Blown Deadline, Christine Vachon of Killer Films and Mark Duplass of Duplass Brothers Productions.

The boycotts aren't likely to have an immediate effect because the companies don't regularly work in Georgia.

Killer Films and Duplass Brothers Productions specialize in independent films. Simon's company has produced HBO series he's known for such as "The Wire."

The Georgia law will ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, usually around six weeks of pregnancy. Critics say it's unconstitutional and have vowed to sue.

The Motion Picture Association of America represents major studios and is taking a wait-and-see approach. It said in a statement it was continuing to monitor developments.

  • Friday, May. 10, 2019
Man arrested in 1985 killing of Hollywood TV director
This photo from video provided by WSOC-TV shows suspect Edwin Hiatt after his arrest Thursday, May 9, 2019, in Burke County, N.C. Hiatt is charged with bludgeoning and strangling to death a Hollywood TV director more than three decades ago. Authorities say the FBI arrested Hiatt after DNA evidence linked him to the 1985 death of Barry Crane in Los Angeles. (WSOC-TV via AP)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

A man charged with bludgeoning and strangling to death a Hollywood television director more than three decades ago was arrested Thursday in North Carolina after police said DNA and a confession linked him to the crime.

Edwin Hiatt was arrested in Burke County for the 1985 death of Barry Crane in Los Angeles. He has been charged with murder in California and will be returned there, Los Angeles police announced.

A housekeeper found Crane, 57, dead in his garage in his Studio City townhouse on July 5, 1985. He was naked and had been wrapped in bedsheets. He had been beaten with a large ceramic statue and strangled with a telephone cord, the News Herald of Morganton, North Carolina reported, citing court documents.

Crane directed dozens of episodes of such hit 1970s and '80s TV shows as "The Incredible Hulk, "Hawaii 5-O" and "The Six Million Dollar Man." He also produced the show "The Magician" and was associate producer for "Mannix" and "Mission: Impossible."

He also was a world-class bridge player.

There was no word on a motive for the killing.

Crane's death went unsolved until police said they matched a fingerprint from Crane's stolen car to Hiatt last year. FBI investigators then obtained discarded cigarette butts and a coffee cup from the parking lot of the auto repair shop in Burke County where Hiatt worked.

DNA from some items matched that from cigarette butts found in Crane's stolen car, which was discovered shortly after his death on a mountain road, investigators said.

On March 8, homicide detectives went to North Carolina to interview Hiatt.

"During the interview, Hiatt admitted to killing Barry Crane," an LAPD statement said.

It wasn't known whether Hiatt had a lawyer.

Video from WSOC-TV showed Hiatt, 52, of Connelly Springs, being arrested. Hiatt, with long white hair and beard, held his handcuffed hands in front of him as he was taken to a car.

Hiatt told the station that he didn't remember Crane's name until it was told to him and had no memory of what occurred so long ago except for "bits and pieces that were brought back to me just by suggestion."

Asked if he could have killed Crane, he replied: "Anything's possible back then ... I was big into drugs."

"I just don't want to remember the past," he said, adding later: "It's a different life today."

Co-workers told the News Herald that Hiatt was a generous and peaceful man.

"He wouldn't hurt a flea," Dee Hall said.

"This is something that supposedly happened 30 years ago, the man's changed," Hall said. "Christ has come in and he's become a new creature. If God's forgiven you, you're forgiven. That's it."

  • Thursday, May. 9, 2019
James Cameron salutes "Endgame" for sinking "Titanic" record
This Feb. 5, 2019 file photo shows producer James Cameron arrive at the Los Angeles premiere of "Alita: Battle Angel." (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Filmmaker James Cameron has no bad blood with the Avengers, even though "Endgame" has eclipsed "Titanic's" worldwide record and bumped the 1997 blockbuster to third place.

Cameron tweeted a note Wednesday to Marvel president Kevin Feige and its employees congratulating the company for its success. Cameron writes that an iceberg sank the real Titanic, but it took the Avengers to sink his "Titanic." The accompanying image shows the Titanic crashing into a massive Avengers logo.

The studio, he says, has shown that the movie industry is alive and well and bigger than ever.

But "Avengers: Endgame" still has another Cameron film to conquer to get to the top. "Avatar" remains the highest-grossing film of all time with $2.8 billion worldwide, not accounting for inflation. "Avengers: Endgame" has earned $2.3 billion.

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