Saturday, November 17, 2018

News Briefs

Displaying 21 - 30 of 3278
  • Monday, Nov. 5, 2018
Shaquille O'Neal, Ken Jeong team for reality TV comedy pilot
This combination photo shows actor Ken Jeong at the BUILD Speaker Series to discuss the film "Crazy Rich Asians" in New York on Aug. 14, 2018, left, and retired Hall of Fame basketball player Shaquille O'Neal during an NBA basketball news conference in Miami on Dec. 22, 2016. (AP Photo)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Shaquille O'Neal and Ken Jeong are trying out as comedy teammates.

TBS said it has ordered a reality series pilot that will test the pair's ability to take on odd jobs.

The pilot, with the working title "Unqualified," could be the basis for a series.

The concept: O'Neal and Jeong try to master jobs including mall rent-a-cop, substitute schoolteacher and train conductor.

TBS said basketball great and sports commentator O'Neal and doctor-turned-actor Jeong showed their chemistry when they appeared on the series "Drop The Mic."

In a joint statement, O'Neal and Jeon said they are "built to hustle."

Jeong's credits include "Crazy Rich Asians," ''The Hangover" and "Dr. Ken."

O'Neal has appeared or done voice-overs in films including "Scary Move 4" and "The Lego Movie."

  • Monday, Nov. 5, 2018
NBC says it will stop airing Trump immigrant ad
President Donald Trump speaks at a rally Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018, in Chattanooga, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

NBC says that "after further review," it will stop airing President Donald Trump's campaign advertisement that featured an immigrant accused of murder.

The advertisement aired on "Sunday Night Football" and on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Monday.

CNN rejected the same ad, declaring it racist. That drew a public rebuke from the president's son, Donald J. Trump Jr.

NBC said Monday that in its further review, it recognizes the insensitive nature of the ad.

  • Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018
Raymond Chow, producer behind Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, dies at age 91
In this Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2005 file photo, film producer Raymond Chow speaks to The Associated Press in an interview in Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu, file)
HONG KONG (AP) -- 

Legendary Hong Kong film producer Raymond Chow, who introduced the world to Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan and even brought the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to the big screen, has died at age 91.

Hong Kong' secretary for commerce and economic development, Edward Yau, said in a statement Friday that Chow "helped nurture a pool of Hong Kong talents and brought them to the international stage."

Chow was a journalist who became a publicist for Shaw Brothers Studios, which churned out hundreds of films and popularized the kung fu genre. Studio founder Run Run Shaw soon moved Chow to the production side of the business after Chow complained that the movies — made on low budgets and short schedules — weren't good enough.

"I said I did not think I could keep my job because the pictures were so bad," Chow told Asiaweek magazine in 1983. Frustrated with Shaw Brothers' assembly-line ethic, he created his own production company, Golden harvest, in 1970.

He soon outmaneuvered his gigantic old employer to grab the actor who would become synonymous with kung fu movies. Chow signed Bruce Lee in 1971 after seeing him on a Hong Kong television variety show.

"Facing you on the screen, you feel his presence is very strong, very powerful," Chow told The Associated Press in 2005.

Golden harvest signed Lee to a three-picture deal, with each breaking all Hong Kong box office records.

Those movies were followed by "Enter the Dragon," the first Chinese martial arts film to be produced by a major Hollywood studio, Warner Bros. It cost $500,000 and earned $40 million at the box office. Tragically, Lee died days before the film's release in 1973.

Lee's death left a void for kung fu heroes in Hong Kong's film industry that young performers were eager to fill. Chow signed one of them, a former stuntman named Jackie Chan, in 1979.

Chan's first taste of success in Hong Kong had come the year before with the film "Drunken Master." After signing with Chow, he made a number of increasingly popular Chinese-language action-comedy movies that made him a superstar in Asia.

Chow invested plenty of time and effort introducing Chan to Western audiences. He arranged for Chan to spend time in Los Angeles learning English and star in his first English-language film, 1980's "The Big Brawl," which flopped. A year later, Chow gave him a minor role alongside top Hollywood names in "The Cannonball Run." But it was 1995's "Rumble in the Bronx" that catapulted Chan to worldwide fame. The film was released on 1,700 screens in North America and grossed $32.4 million, becoming the most successful Hong Kong film released in the U.S. Three years later, Chan teamed up with Chris Tucker in 1998's "Rush Hour," becoming a Hollywood A-list actor.

Chan acknowledged the debt he owed to Chow's grooming.

"Mr. Chow gave me a chance to follow my dreams," he told Variety in 2000. "I think today that without Golden harvest, there is no Jackie Chan."

Golden harvest also helped bring to the silver screen another set of unlikely martial arts characters, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which began as a comic book and then became an animated kids' TV show with a cult following. Intrigued by the name, Chow agreed to produce a live-action movie based on the four crime-fighting, human-sized turtles after Hollywood rejected the idea.

The movie about the pizza-eating, surfer-lingo-spouting terrapins named after Renaissance artists became a worldwide smash.

Chow said that he made his choice based on a "gut feeling."

"It's very weird, very unique and very interesting. ... You have to be unique these days to be a big success."

Chow was born in Hong Kong to a nationalistic father skeptical of Western influences. Following his father's wishes, he completed his secondary and university studies in Shanghai.

As a journalist, Chow worked at English-language news outlets in Hong Kong, including United Press, which later became United Press International; The New York Times; and Voice of America.

Chow, an avid bridge player, told Forbes in 1990 about the business lessons he learned playing cards.

"When you are fortunate, you try to take advantage. And when you get a bad hand, you just try to watch yourself, minimize your losses, so that you don't get killed."

Golden harvest made its last film in 2003. Chow sold his controlling stake four years later to a Chinese businessman, who changed the name to Orange Sky Golden harvest.

  • Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018
Netflix to give 3 films an exclusive run in theaters
This image released by Netflix shows Tim Blake Nelson as Buster Scruggs in a scene from “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” a film by Joel and Ethan Coen which will have an exclusive run in theaters before becoming available on Netflix’s streaming service. (Netflix via AP)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Netflix will give three films an exclusive run in theaters before making them available on its streaming service.

Up until now, Netflix has steadfastly insisted on releasing films in theaters only simultaneously with their streaming premiere. Netflix's major pivot will give a handful of its most anticipated movies a stand-alone run in a relatively small number of theaters. Major chains still refuse to screen films that don't adhere to an exclusive 90-day window.

Alfonso Cuaron's "Roma," the Coen brothers' "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" and the Sandra Bullock-starring thriller "Bird Box" will play in theaters for one to three weeks before premiering on Netflix.

The move could aid the Oscar aspirations of "Buster Scruggs" and, in particular, "Roma," which critics have hailed as one of the year's best.

 

  • Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018
Google employees walk out to protest treatment of women
Google employees outside its European headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, Thursday Nov. 1, 2018. Hundreds of Google engineers and other workers walked off the job Thursday morning to protest the internet company’s lenient treatment of executives accused of sexual misconduct. Employees were seen staging walkouts at offices in Tokyo, Singapore, London, and Dublin. (Niall Carson/PA via AP)
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- 

Google engineers and other company workers around the world walked off the job Thursday to protest the internet company's lenient treatment of executives accused of sexual misconduct.

Employees staged walkouts at offices from Tokyo to Singapore to London.

In Dublin, organizers used megaphones to address the crowd of men and women to express their support for victims of sexual harassment. Other workers shied away from the media spotlight, with people gathering instead indoors, in packed conference rooms or lobbies, to show their solidarity with abuse victims.

The protests are the latest backlash against men's exploitation of female subordinates in business, entertainment, technology and politics. In Silicon Valley, women also are becoming fed up with the male-dominated composition of the technology industry's workforce — a glaring imbalance that critics say fosters unsavory behavior akin to a college fraternity house.

The Google protest, billed "Walkout For Real Change," is unfolding a week after a New York Times story detailed allegations of sexual misconduct about creator of Google's Android software, Andy Rubin. The report said Rubin received a $90 million severance package in 2014 even though Google had concluded that the sexual misconduct allegations against him were credible.

Rubin derided the Times article as inaccurate and denied the allegations in a tweet .

The same story also disclosed allegations of sexual misconduct of other executives, including Richard DeVaul, a director at the same Google-affiliated lab that created far-flung projects such as self-driving cars and internet-beaming balloons. DeVaul had remained at the "X'' lab after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced about him a few years ago, but he resigned Tuesday without severance, Google confirmed Wednesday.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai apologized for the company's "past actions" in an email sent to employees Tuesday. "I understand the anger and disappointment that many of you feel," Pichai wrote. "I feel it as well, and I am fully committed to making progress on an issue that has persisted for far too long in our society. and, yes, here at Google, too."

The email didn't mention the reported incidents involving Rubin, DeVaul or anyone else at Google, but Pichai didn't dispute anything in the Times story.

In an email last week, Pichai and Eileen Naughton, Google's executive in charge of personnel issues, sought to reassure workers that the company had cracked down on sexual misconduct since Rubin's departure four years ago.

Among other things, Pichai and Naughton disclosed that Google had fired 48 employees , including 13 senior managers, for "sexual harassment" in recent years without giving any of them severance packages.

But Thursday's walkout could signal that a significant number of the 94,000 employees working for Google and its corporate parent Alphabet Inc. remained unconvinced that the company is doing enough to adhere to Alphabet's own edict urging all employees to "do the right thing ."

A Silicon Valley congresswoman tweeted her support of the Google walkout using the MeToo hashtag that has become a battle cry for women fighting sexual misconduct.

"Why do they think it's OK to reward perpetrators & further violate victims?" asked Rep. Jackie Speier, who represents an affluent district where many of Google's employees live.

  • Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018
Amazon's new goal: Teach 10 million kids a year to code
This Oct. 23, 2018, file photo shows an Amazon logo atop the Amazon Treasure Truck The Park DTLA office complex in downtown Los Angeles. Amazon launched a program Thursday, Nov. 1, that aims to teach more than 10 million students a year how to code. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Amazon wants to get more kids thinking about becoming computer engineers.

The company launched a program Thursday that aims to teach more than 10 million students a year how to code. Amazon said it will pay for summer camps, teacher training and other initiatives to benefit kids and young adults from low-income families who might not have learned to code otherwise. It hopes the programs spur more black, Hispanic and female students to study computer science.

Amazon declined to put a price tag on the program, called Amazon Future Engineer, but said it will take up a big chunk of the $50 million that it committed to spend on computer science education last year.

Other corporations, including Microsoft and Facebook, have also committed cash to bring coding to schools, which could ultimately benefit the companies. There's a shortage of computer engineers, and teaching students to code will ensure a pipeline of future talent to hire.

Jeff Wilke, Amazon's chief executive of worldwide consumer, said he hopes some of the students who go through the Amazon Future Engineer program will work for the company, creating skills for its Alexa voice assistant or programming its delivery drones. But he said other companies are increasingly relying on technology, and coding has become a valuable skill to more employers.

"We're pretty confident that knowing how to code will be as important as knowing how to read for the jobs of the future," Wilke said.

Amazon Future Engineer will offer kids in kindergarten through eighth grade free summer camps and after-school programs that will take place in Amazon offices around the country. Amazon employees will volunteer, and online classes, lessons and games will be provided by Amazon's partners, such as Code.org and Coding with Kids. The company also said it plans to pay for online training for teachers at 2,000 low-income high schools around the country to teach to teach introductory and college-level advance placement computer science classes. In addition, it will offer college students scholarships and internships. Schools, teachers and parents will be able to apply through AmazonFutureEngineer.com .

Amazon said some schools have been testing the program, including Monsignor Scanlan High School in New York. Science teacher Jennifer Tulipano began taking coding classes online in September and started teaching two computer science classes that month where the students learn how to create games and make animated characters dance. It's the first time the school has offered computer science classes.

Tulipano said the school applied for the Amazon program because more students were getting feedback from colleges saying they needed some background in computer science.

"So much is now online," Tulipano said. "It's a skill set they need moving forward if they want to go into these fields."

  • Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018
Katz, Novak launch No Other Way Productions
Alex Katz
LOS ANGELES -- 

Veteran executive producer Alex Katz (World of Dance, The Biggest Loser) is set to lead newly established No Other Way Productions along with longtime collaborator and postproduction producer Mandy Novak (Making It, World of Dance).  

With over 600 combined hours of programming, Katz and Novak will focus on providing unique post and editorial services to meet the needs of networks, streaming services and cable channels. They will also have a separate production arm focusing on development and production of original content for scripted, unscripted and digital projects. 

In its 14,000-square-foot facility, located in the heart of the San Fernando Valley, No Other Way Productions is currently housing season three of NBC’s Jennifer Lopez-fronted World of Dance and the upcoming second season of Making It, with Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman.  

Since inception, in addition to World of Dance and Making It, the facility has also onlined and color corrected Kevin Hart: What the Fit for YouTube, American Grit and Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell & Back for FOX, Candy Crush for CBS, Black Card Revoked for BET, as well as Better Late than Never and Running Wild with Bear Grylls for NBC.  

The facility provides access to 22 full offline edit suites with Avid systems, 17 producers’ stations, one Petabyte of media storage, one DaVinci Resolve color-grading suite with full 4K capability and color-calibrated monitors, as well as an online room for finishing and show delivery all within a secure Cisco network. No Other Way Productions also offers media archiving and has a fiber Internet connection for file delivery. 

Katz is a television producer who has been under an overall development and production deal with NBC Productions for the past five years. He previously served as executive producer for NBC’s World of Dance, Better Late Than Never and The Biggest Loser. Prior to his deal with NBC, Katz worked as both an editor and a producer for numerous shows on NBC, FOX and ABC. 

Novak has served as supervising post producer for several series, including Making It, Better Late Than Never, World of Dance, Deal or No Deal, Running Wild with Bear Grylls, Food Fighters, American Dream Builders and Fear Factor. Novak spent six years as the executive producer at graphics design studio Fish Eggs, where she produced more than 200 graphics packages and won multiple Promax Broadcast Design Awards.

No Other Way Productions is represented by Abrams Artists Agency.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018
Actress-writer Waithe: Films fall short of ethnic equality
This combination photo shows Lena Waithe (left) at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Grants Banquet in Beverly Hills on Aug. 9, 2018, and Hannah Gadsby at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on Sept. 17, 2018. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Hollywood is falling short of ethnic equality despite black-led films including "Black Panther," actress and award-winning writer Lena Waithe said.

There are "a million 'La La Lands' every year. How often do we get a 'Moonlight'? How often do we get 'Black Panther'?" she said. "What to me will be true equality is when 'Black Panther' comes out and it's just like 'Captain America.'"

Waithe, an actress and Emmy-winning screenwriter with the streaming comedy "Master of None" who was in the film "Ready Player One," joined in conversation with comedian Hannah Gadsby at an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences lunch.

The event marked the launch of an academy initiative aimed at creating opportunities for female filmmakers to network and celebrate inclusiveness. It included presentation of a newly established Academy Gold Fellowship to young filmmaker Geeta Malik, writer-director of the award-winning online short "Aunty Gs" and films including "Beast" and "Troublemaker."

Music legend and activist Annie Lennox also spoke at the event, making a case for "global feminism" to support women and girls in crisis worldwide.

Gadsby, the Australian comic who made a splash with her standup special "Nanette," said her autism has made her acutely aware of screen characters who are relegated to the "periphery" of the action.

She said television has become a "Trojan horse" that brings such sidelined characters into the forefront of stories.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018
Ava DuVernay to make Prince documentary for Netflix
In this Nov. 22, 2015 file photo, Prince presents the award for favorite album - soul/R&B at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles. Ava DuVernay is making a multi-part documentary on Prince for Netflix with the support of the late musician’s estate. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Ava DuVernay is making a multipart documentary on Prince for Netflix with the support of the late musician's estate.

The director on Tuesday confirmed Twitter reports late Monday that she's working on the film. The documentary will be made with extensive use of Prince's archives and will span the artist's entire life.

It will be the "Selma" filmmaker's second documentary for Netflix. Her 2016 film, "The 13th," explored mass incarceration as a form of continued slavery for African-Americans. It was nominated for best documentary by the Academy Awards and won an Emmy Award for outstanding documentary.

DuVernay, who earlier this year directed Disney's "A Wrinkle in Time," is currently filming the Netflix miniseries "Central Park Five."

 

  • Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018
Editorial/VFX company Nomad opens Tokyo office
Nomad Tokyo's Yoshinori Fujisawa (l) and Masato Midorikawa
TOKYO -- 

Creative editorial/VFX company Nomad has opened its new space in Tokyo, adding to a network that also includes offices in New York, Los Angeles and London. Nomad Tokyo is led by managing director Yoshinori Fujisawa and executive producer Masato Midorikawa, a duo who bring years of agency experience from their previous work with TBWA.

“We work with many creatives who regularly travel between LA and Tokyo, and we have been interested in Tokyo for several years,” Nomad partner/editor Glenn Martin explained. “We are very excited to establish a creative presence in Japan, and we are looking forward to working in our new space. We have a fantastic Tokyo-based group and will be supporting their talents with editors and VFX artists from our other offices whenever larger teams are needed.”

In a joint statement, Fujisawa and Midorikawa shared, “The role of a postproduction house is also quite different between the U.S. and Japan. Although people in Japan are starting to see the value of the Western style postproduction model, it has not been properly established here yet. We are able to give our Japanese directors and creatives the ability to collaborate with Nomad’s talented editors and VFX artists, who have great skills in storytelling and satisfying brand’s needs. Having been well-established in the industry for more than 20 years, Nomad has a comprehensive postproduction workflow that enables the company to execute global projects for the biggest brands in the world. It’s now time for Japan to experience this great process.”

MySHOOT Profiles


Director, Editor
Josh Ausley DP
Cinematographer
John Komnenich
Director, Editor

MySHOOT Company Profiles