Wednesday, February 29, 2012

One Union One Voice

SAG AFTRA - One Union.mp4

Mark and return your ballots

Merger Ballots To Arrive Today and Tomorrow

In the Los Angeles area and moving from there towards the east SAG and AFTRA members should start getting their merger ballots in the mail today and tomorrow. The ballot asks just one question, but dual card holders get to vote twice, once as a SAG member and once as an AFTRA member. All ballots have to be mailed to be received no later than March 30 at 10 AM Pacific time.

If the merger proposal is approved by 60% of each union the merger will become effective at the end of this month, and instead of two smaller unions there will be one union representing over 170,000 performers.

The leaders of both unions and more than 90% of the National Board members of the two unions have voted to support the merger.

An Inappropriate Evening with Shel Slverstein

"Turn in Your Hymnal" from Table 8 Productions in May

TURN OR BURN! Announcing Table 8 Productions' next original comedy by Georgia playwright Bric Barker. "Turn in Your Hymnal," starring Alex Olson and Gus Langley, directed by Troy Heard. Coming in May.

Friday, May 11 at 7:00pm at The Box Office Theatre/Performing Artist Venue

Talent Managers Needed to Build LA and LV Management Firm 

We are a upcoming management company building a team. We are looking for serious producers that would be interested in joining our team and growing with us. Contact me for more information.

Note: this is from Craigslist, so use appropriate precaution.

“The Merger That Solves Nothing”


SAG Will Include Anti-Merger Statement With Voting Materials

Scott J. Witlin is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Barnes & Thornburg and a member of the firm’s Labor and Employment Law Department and the Entertainment and Music Practice Group. His bonafides to comment on the proposed SAG-AFTRA merger include serving as chief negotiator on behalf of a group of leading videogame companies in their negotiations with the AFTRA and SAG. He is frequently quoted in the media on issues involving labor and employment law. Deadline is posting opinions on all sides of this issue in the weeks leading up to both memberships’ referendum vote:
SAG-AFTRA: The Merger That Solves Nothing
by Scott Witlin

The Screen Actors Guild’s National Board has approved its merger agreement with the AFTRA, the American Federation of Radio and Television Artists. If approved by AFTRA’s Board and the membership of both unions, the new union will be known as SAG-AFTRA.

Merger of these two unions with overlapping jurisdictions has been attempted several times in the past without success — most recently in 2003. However, this attempt has fed off a significant rank and file sentiment to address two key concerns: 1. Having to pay dues to two unions; and 2. Split benefit contributions. However, the proposed merger addresses neither of these issues.

The proposed merger agreement does nothing to streamline the staff of the newly merged union. As a result, the expenses of the two unions will remain largely unchanged. Even if some cost savings could be found, SAG’s shaky financial condition means that a dues reduction for members is highly unlikely. [One unconfirmed media report says] that for some members dues actually will increase. That the two unions are not touting how this merger will mean reduced dues for all their members likely means this goal was not achieved.

The benefit contribution issue arises from the fact that although the two unions have overlapping jurisdictions, and indeed bargain several of their contracts jointly, they have never unified their benefit funds. As a result, performers who split their work throughout the year between jobs under the SAG contract and jobs under an AFTRA contract may fail to meet the earnings thresholds under either contract to qualify for benefits. SAG and AFTRA chose not to attempt to address this issue before entering merger talks and as a result, the two unions could not solve this problem through their merger agreement. Instead, they must now bargain with the various employers with whom they contract such as the Alliance of Motion Picture Producers and the Joint Policy Committee of advertisers and manufacturers.

However, agreeing to merger without solving the benefit plan issues is like putting the cart before the horse. If the merger goes through, in order to appease the members who have agreed to this combined entity, the union will have to achieve a solution to the split benefit issues. However, the SAG and AFTRA pension plans each have deficits hundreds of millions of dollars in magnitude. Making changes to either plan will be prohibitively expensive. The employers are going to resist having to cough up hundreds of millions of dollars to solve the new Union’s problem. That is why if the merger does get approved, there are going to be many unhappy members down the line.

Online Meeting for SAG and AFTRA Members TODAY (Wednesday February 29)

All paid-up SAG and AFTRA members in good standing are urged to attend an important online meeting to learn the facts and impact of the merger. The second on-line presentation will be:

- Wednesday, Feb. 29, 4-6 p.m. PT/7-9 p.m. ET

Log in to your account 
to view this members-only presentation.

Ken Howard, SAG National President
Robert Reardon, AFTRA National President
Matt Kimbrough, AFTRA National Treasurer
Amy Aquino, SAG National Secretary-Treasurer
Holter Graham, AFTRA National Vice President
Ned Vaughn, SAG 1st National Vice President
Gabrielle Carteris, AFTRA 2nd National Vice President
Mike Hodge, SAG 2nd National Vice President
David Hartley-Margolin, SAG 3rd National Vice President
Rebecca Damon, SAG NY Division Vice President
Anne Gartlan, AFTRA New York Local First Vice President
Kim Roberts Hedgpeth, AFTRA National Executive Director
David White, SAG National Executive Director

Email your questions for the panelists to or on Twitter at #sagaftra.

Documents on the merger, FAQ's and video information are available now at Ballots will be mailed on February 27 to all eligible AFTRA and SAG members to vote on this historic change for your union. Learn the facts, so that you can cast an informed vote.

This meeting is only open to paid-up SAG and AFTRA members in good standing. You must log into your member account on and to view this livestream event. If you are not registered at or, you will need to register in order to access the livestream.

If you need ADA accommodations, please let us know by contacting us at or (323) 549-6644.

Ed O'Neill, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Julie Bowen and Eric Stonestreet from ...

One Union -- Bargaining Strength is the Foundation of all Union Protections

Actors from General Hospital are Voting Yes for SAG-AFTRA

SAG-AFTRA: Benefits

Ed Asner opposes the 2012 SAG-AFTRA Merger

Are Cable Neworks going the way of the dinasaur?

CBS Corp. CEO: Buying A Cable TV Channel Wouldn't Make Sense

Leslie Moonves
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Leslie Moonves predicts that more subscription VOD services will launch and his company will book solid political advertising business this year.

From the Hollywood Reporter. Click here for industry news. 

NEW YORK - CBS Corp. president and CEO Leslie Moonves on Wednesday said the economics of buying a cable network like the TV Guide Channel or Hallmark Channel wouldn't make sense and predicted more subscription VOD services would launch this year.

Appearing at an investor conference in a session that was webcast, Moonves also predicted that his company would this year book political advertising revenue close to the $180 million it got for the last mid-term elections.

In the year of the last presidential election, CBS Corp. made $150 million in political ad revenue. "We think it will be closer to the $180 million," Moonves said.

Following a recent report that CBS was among those looking at the TV Guide Channel, Moonves told the Deutsche Bank Media & Telecom Conference in Palm Beach, Fla. that "the economics of buying a cable network, we have explored that, don't really make sense," and investors wouldn't like the company "spending x amount for the Hallmark Channel, the TV Guide Channel." Asked if CBS couldn't use a cable outlet to distribute more of its successful content, he added: "They don't make sense per se at the prices being talked about now, and the economics of doing our kind of programming there wouldn't necessarily make sense - yet." He mentioned a $3 million episode of CSI as an example of high-quality content that wouldn't work financially on cable.

With Comcast's recent launch of the Streampix streaming video service, Moonves said: "Where Comcast goes, Time Warner [Cable] will probably [go]." Plus, Apple has had conversations with CBS over the course of time, meaning there are likely more digital players ahead that will pay CBS for its content.

Could CBS bring out an over-the-top version of Showtime? Moonves said his company has decided against it for now as "we like being bundled" at the premium TV arm. At CBS though, he said he wouldn't mind unbundling, "because we know we will be one of 15 channels" offered in such an environment. 

Discussing the CBS network's performance, Moonves once again touted its schedule's strength. "It's the weaknesses I worry about," he acknowledged. "And out of a 22 hour schedule, we maybe have an hour and a half of weakness. That's a pretty good position to be in." 

Questioned which one hour he was referring to, the CBS boss replied: "A lot of people in Hollywood would pay a lot of money to know that answer."

Asked about the effect that Oprah Winfrey’s departure from the first-run TV syndication market has had, Moonves said it “changed the market quite a bit” as CBS lost the distribution money from her show. But Judge Judy became the number 1 show in first-run syndication, followed by Dr. Phil, and CBS has eight of the top 10 shows in this space, he emphasized. “Net-net it ended up not being such a bad ting for us,” Moonves said, emphasizing though that he was not denigrating Oprah. “She's a legend,” he said.

Moonves also once again said that the goal of the young CBS Films business is to be "small, but profitable."

Twitter: @georgszalai

From the Hollywood Reporter. Click here for industry news.

Netflix the Cable Network. ESPN coming to Facebook. Monkey Davey Jones is dead. Setting Son at FOX/NewsCorp

Photo: Duke University basketball fans taunt Luke Loucks #3 of the Florida State Seminoles at Cameron Indoor Stadium on January 21, 2012 in Durham, North Carolina. Credit: Grant Halverson / Getty Images

ESPN to stream conference basketball tournament games on Facebook As March Madness approaches, ESPN will allow college basketball fans to watch its coverage of more than 200 conference tournament games on Facebook, marking the first time the sports network has provided live games for the sprawling social network.

The games will be made available on ESPN's Facebook pages beginning Thursday. Teams and conferences may also make their games available to be viewed online at ESPN3.

ESPN's move will allow the Walt Disney Co. cable network to take advantage of Facebook's platform to reach young viewers who aren't watching the games on TV.

“Our goal is to make our content available to fans where they want it," said Matt Murphy, senior vice president of digital video distribution for ESPN. "The timing made sense as well. Fans already spend time catching up with friends on Facebook -- and now they can watch games without leaving that environment. It’s a great way for us to reach our fans and increase awareness and usage of ESPN3.”
Millions of people who receive ESPN3 through their Internet providers can watch the games at no additional cost. The same is true for Time Warner Cable subscribers who already pay to receive the programming on TV.

Cost of doing business. When companies merge, the executives talk about all the synergies and cost savings that will come from teaming up. That usually translates into layoffs, and that's the case for Summit Entertainment, which is merging with Lions Gate. Variety on the first round of cuts.

Daily Dose: Normally, broadcast networks don't promote their shows on cable networks unless they own those channels. In other words, it's not unusual to see NBC promos on Bravo or USA because they're all owned by Comcast. But a lot of promos for NBC's new dark drama "Awake" have been popping up on AMC, home of the cable smash "The Walking Dead." It's a smart move because NBC's low ratings mean that it can't count on its own shows to build awareness for something new.

Setting son? It was announced early Wednesday that James Murdoch was giving up his title of executive chairman of News International. Although the move is not a surprise given that Murdoch has relocated from London to New York, his future trajectory at media giant News Corp. has been tarnished by the ethics scandal at the company's British newspapers, which he had overseen for the last few years. The company said he will now focus on News Corp.'s international television business. Early stories from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

I hope there is no bullying going on. The Weinstein Co., still mad that its documentary "Bully" was slapped with an R rating, is now sparring with movie theaters over the film. Harvey Weinstein has suggested that the movie might be distributed with no rating. But theater owners might then treat it as if it were an NC-17 film, which would certainly limit its reach. Details from the Hollywood Reporter.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: The movie "Being Flynn," based on a dark book whose title I can't write because it has some naughty words in it, took a long time to get to the big screen.

-- Joe Flint

Follow me on Twitter. Every day's a Super Bowl day for me.


February 29, known as a leap day in the Gregorian calendar, is a date that occurs in most years that are evenly divisible by 4, such as 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016. Years that are evenly divisible by 100 do not contain a leap day, with the exception of years that are evenly divisible by 400, which do contain a leap day; thus 1900 did not contain a leap day while 2000 did. Years containing a leap day are called leap years. February 29 is the 60th day of the Gregorian calendar in such a year, with 306 days remaining until the end of that year.

A person who is born on February 29 may be called a "leapling" or a "leap year baby". In non-leap years, some leaplings celebrate their birthday on either February 28 or March 1, while others only observe birthdays on the authentic intercalary dates.
In the United States, a person legally attains a given age on the day before his corresponding birthday, i.e., the anniversary of his birth corresponding to that age. Accordingly, anyone born on a Leap Day legally turns 21 on February 28th, twenty-one years later. Incidentally, this also means anyone in the United States may legally consume alcohol on the day before his or her 21st birthday.[5] In England and Wales, the legal birthday of a leapling is March 1 in common years. The same applies in Hong Kong as well (see Leap Years, above). In Taiwan (Republic of China) and in New Zealand, the legal birthday of a leapling is February 28 in common years.

From: Wikipedia

No More Starz Movies or Shows on Netflix

Starz and Netflix deal ends
New Competing Services to make
Watching on the Internet More Costly and Confusing...
Starting today, Netflix is ending its deal with the movie channel Starz.
Jeremy Hobson: Now to another online company making changes. Starting today, Netflix is ending its deal with the movie channel Starz. That means the more than 1,000 movies Starz offers -- from "Teen Wolf" to "Toy Story 3" -- won't be available on Netflix.

Marketplace's Nancy Marshall Genzer joins us now live to talk about the broader implications of this. Good morning, Nancy.

Nancy Marshall-Genzer: Hey Jeremy.

Hobson: So if I'm not a big fan of "Teen Wolf," why do I care about this?

Marshall-Genzer: Yeah, I'm not either. Jeremy, it is important though because Starz was providing new-release movies to Netflix. Most people think access to the big-name Hollywood blockbusters is key to Netflix's success. But turns out, that's actually not the case. Netflix customers weren't watching that many movies from Starz anyway.

Ken Doctor is a media analyst for Outsell and Newsonomics. He says more than half of what people are streaming from Netflix are TV shows -- and Netflix has a big TV library.
Ken Doctor: So they have been bulking up on TV shows that people like. So they're in a race to replace as much of those movies as they can. At the same time, they'll continue to negotiate with the movie studios.
Hobson: So Nancy, is the future of these streaming video companies like Netflix more TV than film?

Marshall-Genzer: They're actually going to follow the HBO model. HBO of course has been successful by creating its own shows, which it can control. So there's no wrangling with Hollywood over access to and payment for movies. And Netflix already has one original series, it's called "Lillyhammer." And we'll see how it does.

Hobson: And I've heard that they are going to bring back "Arrested Development," which is very exciting for me. Marketplace's Nancy Marshall Genzer, thanks a lot.

Marshall-Genzer: You're welcome.

Dreamworks dumps. Murdoch out as Chair and CEO of NewsCorp. UlraViolet droops but hopes to bloom.

Company Town

The business behind the show

Kung Fu Panda 2
Image: A scene from "Kung Fu Panda 2." Credit: DreamWorks Animation

Reason to frown at the numbers. DreamWorks Animation saw a sharp decline in profit in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared with a year earlier, reflecting weak holiday DVD sales.

The Glendale studio reported that it earned net income of $24.3 million, or 29 cents a share, in the quarter, versus a profit of $85.2 million, or 99 cents a share, in the fourth quarter of 2010.
Revenue during the quarter totaled $219 million, down 21% from the same period in 2010, DreamWorks reported after markets closed Tuesday.

For the year, the company logged net income of $86.8 million on revenue of $706 million, compared with net income of $170.6 million on revenue of $784.8 million in 2010.

Part of the reason for the decline was that DreamWorks released two movies last year, "Kung Fu Panda 2" and "Puss in Boots," compared with three films in 2010.

DreamWorks recently announced plans to build a studio in Shanghai, which it billed as a landmark agreement with two state-owned Chinese media operations.

Oriental DreamWorks, a joint venture with China Media Capital and Shanghai Media Group in concert with Shanghai Alliance Investment -- an investment arm of the Shanghai municipal government -- is to establish a family entertainment company in China.

With an initial investment of $330 million, the Shanghai studio would develop original Chinese animated and live-action movies, television shows and other entertainment catering to the Chinese market.
Photo: James Murdoch. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

James Murdoch has resigned his position as executive chairman of News International.
Once seen has the likely successor to his father, Rupert Murdoch, as chairman and chief executive of global media giant News Corp., James Murdoch has seen his reputation tarnished and business judgment questioned by his handling of the phone-hacking scandal that has torn through News Corp.'s British newspaper unit.

Murdoch's relinquishing of his News International title had been expected given that he recently relocated from London to News Corp.'s New York headquarters. Still, the backdrop of the move was not anticipated a year ago when the hacking scandal was still relatively minor in the public's eye.
In announcing the move, News Corp. made no mention of the hacking into phones of celebrities and royal family members and bribing of public officials alleged to have gone on at the company's now closed News of the World tabloid and its Sun newspaper.

Instead, Rupert Murdoch praised his son's leadership at other units of the company.

"He has made lasting contributions to the group's strategy in paid digital content and its efforts to improve and enhance governance programs," the senior Murdoch said.

James Murdoch said he would focus now on growing News Corp.'s international television business.
Close watchers of the Murdoch family will no doubt start analyzing what the latest news means for James Murdoch's future at News Corp. When Rupert Murdoch visited the Sun the other week in antcipation of the launch of a new Sunday edition, it was older son Lachlan, not James, by his side.

JeffBewkesPhoto: Time Warner Inc. CEO Jeff Bewkes. Credit: Brendan Hoffman / Bloomber

UltraViolet Video Cloud shaky opening will not stop media giants. Time Warner Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes defended last year's shaky public debut of the digital movie technology UltraViolet, led by his company's studio Warner Bros., claiming it was imperative to launch early rather than wait for further improvements.

"You get into this debate, 'Should you wait until it's perfect?' " he said at a Deutsche Bank-sponsored media and telecommunications conference in Palm Beach, Fla., on Tuesday. "The reason we didn't is consumers are used to seeing these new products improve over time. They know version 3.0 is going to be better than 1.0."

UltraViolet allows people who buy compatible DVDs and Blu-ray discs to also get a copy of a movie stored online that they can access on compatible Internet-connected devices. Warner and other studios are counting on the new technology to encourage people to keep buying movies, instead of renting or illegally pirating them, in the digital age.

"Some have speculated ... consumers don't want to own movies in a digital environment," Bewkes said. "We don't think that's right. One of the biggest problems is that while it's easy to rent a movie and watch it on your TV, until now it has not been easy to buy a movie digitally, manage a digital collection and watch it on the device of your choosing."

More than 1 million people have registered to use UltraViolet accounts, according a recent report on PaidContent. However, the UltraViolet initiative, which includes most Hollywood studios, suffered a wave of bad publicity when it launched this past fall. Consumers complained about cumbersome user restrictions and a complicated registration process.

Warner is the only studio that includes UltraViolet copies with every disc it sells. Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures and Paramount Pictures include it only with select films. 20th Century Fox isn't expected to jump on board until later this year, while Walt Disney Pictures is not part of the UV consortium.

At the conference, which is attended by media business investors, Bewkes urged his audience to pressure other entertainment companies to more aggressively support UltraViolet. "If we don't" he said, "we run the real risk of habituating consumers to rental when in fact they may prefer to own and build collections of movies."

Studios make significantly larger profits from movie sales than rentals.

Bewkes also urged attendees to pressure other media companies to put more television content online as part of TV Everywhere, which lets cable subscribers watch channels on digital devices. Warner has aggressively supported that initiative, making available more than 1,000 hours of content from its cable channels, including TNT and TBS, as well as more than 1,600 hours for the similar HBO Go.

Chase Carey expresses concern about "American Idol" ratings
Photo: Chase Carey. Credit: Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg

American Idol Ratings cause fear at the top of the food chain. News Corp. Deputy Chairman and President Chase Carey expressed concern about the declining ratings of Fox's "American Idol" during an investors conference Tuesday.

"The ratings aren't where we would have hoped," Carey said at Deutsche Bank's annual Media and Telecommunications conference in New York.

"American Idol," in its 11th season, is still a hit. But it is no longer untouchable. This season the show's audience has fallen 20% in total viewers to 19.8 million, compared with almost 25 million last season. Among adults 18 to 49, the show is down 26%.

Carey, who typically steers clear of the creative side of the entertainment business, said he thought "American Idol" must find a way to "drive some fresh energy" to it. He noted that with the success of NBC's "The Voice" and the introduction of Fox's own "The X Factor," the talent show category is much more competitive than in previous years and "American Idol" needs to up its game.

Fox, he said, has to "continue to make sure the show has a freshness and insight and originality to it."
However, Carey isn't ready to say "American Idol" is nearing the end. The glass, he said, is half-full.
"We think it is a franchise with a lot of legs left in it," Carey said, adding the program still makes Fox "a lot of money."

Teri EverettChanges near the top from Fox to Time Inc. Veteran media spokesperson Teri Everett, who recently exited the top communications job at News Corp., has joined Time Inc. as executive vice president of corporate communications for the publishing group.
In her new role, Everett will oversee media relations and publicity, internal communications and government affairs. She will report to Time Inc. Chief Executive Laura Lang.
Everett most recently served as senior vice president of corporate affairs at News Corp., a company she joined in 2000. Since last summer, the media conglomerate has been grappling with the fallout of a phone-hacking scandal involving its publishing group in the United Kingdom.
She has long ties to Gary Ginsberg, Time Warner's executive vice president of marketing and communications. The two worked closely together at News Corp.
Time Inc. is a division of media conglomerate Time Warner, which publishes such magazines as "Time," "People" and "Sports Illustrated."

From The LA Times Company Town Blog. Click here for the latest entertainment news.

The Cast of The Office are Voting Yes for the SAG-AFTRA Merger

Playdates reviewed by LVtaps Show

Short Film with Adult Theme Casting in Henderson 

Atomic Cocktail Entertainment's latest production, "V-Day", a short film that spoofs sex toy parties, is seeking actors. Principal photography will take place mid-March. Credit (IMDb), copy, and meals will be provided. Please email your headshot, resume, acting demo reel (if you have one), and contact info for consideration. Thank you.

We are casting for the following roles:

Tom, 20s, Caucasian, shy, nerdy hipster, rides a moped, amateur videographer, romantic. Love interest of main character, Adrian.

Shawntelle, 40s, African-American, consultant at the sex toy party. Spunky, charming, streetwise, slick-talking, pushy saleswoman. Very "Ghetto Superstar".

Moses, 20s, Caucasian, party guest, flaming gay Jewish guy. Very colorful, flamboyant, and funny. Friend of Shawntelle. Tries very hard to be as ghetto as she is.

Tina, 30s, any race, party guest, works as a recruiter for a staffing agency. Just got out of a nasty divorce, looking to start a new life.

Roberta, 50s, Caucasian. Executive Field Director of the sex toy company. Speaks with a Minnesota accent. Cheerful, bubbly personality. Plus-size actress preferred.

Police Officer - Male or female, any race. Non-speaking role. Arrests Shawntelle for drug possession.

We are also seeking male and female actors for extra roles as well.

NOTE: This is from Craigslist, so take appropriate precautions. Note adult content, altough no pornographic (if it is inform this blog and Craigslist). Union Talent may audition but may not work without a union contract. There are contracts to fit any producers budget that protect the producer as well as talent. Contact SAG for additional information by clicking here.

Washington State Incentives Pass that State's Assembly

Labor Supports Washington Filmworks

Click to visit the original post
We have solidified support from the unions that represent our state’s film industry  – SAG, AFTRA, IATSE and Teamsters.  The leadership of these unions has been speaking with key legislators in Olympia on behalf of 2ESSB 5539, the bill that supports the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Dancers Alliance SAG / AFTRA Merger - Kevin Stea

Screen Actors Guild

Screen Actors Guild is the nation’s largest labor union representing working actors. Established in 1933, SAG has a rich history in the American labor movement, from standing up to studios to break long-term engagement contracts in the 1940s to fighting for artists’ rights amid the digital revolution sweeping the entertainment industry in the 21st century. With 20 branches nationwide, SAG represents over 125,000 actors who work in film and digital motion pictures and television programs, commercials, video games, industrials, Internet and all new media formats. The Guild exists to enhance actors’ working conditions, compensation and benefits and to be a powerful, unified voice on behalf of artists’ rights. SAG is a proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO. Headquartered in Los Angeles, you can visit SAG online at

SAG-AFTRA Merger Information

'The Godfather' Returning to Theaters For a One-Day Engagment March 1 or 22nd

The Godfather
© Paramount Pictures/Getty Images

Paramount has restored the best picture Oscar winner, which will play 55 Cinemark XD theaters nationwide.

From the Hollywood Reporter (click here)

A restored version of Francis Ford Coppola’s Oscar-winning The Godfather is returning to theaters for one day  through a partnership between Paramount Pictures and the Cinemark theater chain.
The film, which is marking its 40th anniversary will play 55 Cinemark XD auditioriums across the country on March 1. Archivist Robert Harris and Gordon Willis, the film’s original cinematographer, have overseen the restoration of the best picture-winner, which has been re-mastered with 5.1 digital surround sound.
Cinemark also plans to screen The Godfather Part II on its XD screens on April 19. A full list of participating locations can be found at


Phantom Spooks Glascow Film Fesival on Oscar Night

Lon Chaney in Phantom of the Opera  
The classic silent movie Phantom of the Opera brought the curtain down on the film festival
It was rather apt on the night The Artist swept the boards at the Oscars, to be in a packed hall in Glasgow, watching the 1925 classic Phantom of the Opera. 

If Lon Chaney alone couldn't raise the hairs on the back of your neck, the resounding Wurtlizer organ accompaniment by David Gray certainly did.

And this was just one of a number of choices for discerning film fans on the closing day of the Glasgow Film Festival.


‘Mad Men’ Now Playing a Union Tune

“Mad Men”

Lionsgate and the American Federation of Musicians reach an agreement; it doesn’t cover other properties such as ‘The Hunger Games’ franchise, but the union is working on it.

Looks like the musicians aren’t as mad at Lionsgate any more: the American Federation of Musicians has reached an agreement with Lionsgate, producers of AMC’s Mad Men.
“We are pleased to have begun a relationship with Lionsgate that will bring fairness to musicians in its television production of Mad Men,” AFM president Ray Hair told The Hollywood Reporter.

The deal will see the musicians receiving union wages, residuals and pension and health benefits.

“And,” said union official Marc Sazer, “(they’ll) be getting something else that was overdue – respect, and an acknowledgement of the dignity accorded to professional musicians.”

Sazer’s the president of the Recording Musicians Association, an AFM subgroup focusing on the interests of musicians who work in movies, TV, sound recordings and commercials. He said that the agreement resulted from “calm private discussions, informational picketing (and) gathering the support of a variety of AFM Locals and other entertainment industry unions and guilds.”

The deal applies only to Mad Men, not company-wide or to such other Lionsgate properties as the March 23 opener The Hunger Games, which set a record earlier this week for first-day advance ticket sales and is the first installment in a planned franchise. However, said Hair, “we are working toward broadening our coverage in the company's other TV and film projects.”

A Lionsgate spokesman declined to comment.

The AFM agreement isn’t Lionsgate’s only recent activity on the deal front: last month, the company reached an agreement to purchase Summit Entertainment, the studio behind the hit Twilight franchise.

Twitter: @jhandel

From the Holllywood

Ed Harris opposes the 2012 SAG-AFTRA Merger

Broadcaster Joe Krebs is Voting Yes for the SAG-AFTRA Merger

Curb Your Entusiasm for TV Guide. Oscars a Social Media Hit. Behind the Scenes Drama at Despirate Housewives.

Curb Your Enthusiasm didn't deliver for TV Guide Network
 Photo: Larry David of "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times. 
From the LA Times Company Town Blog. Click here for the latest entertainment industry news;

Will suitors "curb their enthusiasm" for TV Guide Network? When Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. bought the TV Guide Network just over three years ago, chief executive Jon Feltheimer told the Los Angeles Times he wanted to turn the cable channel into a "billion-dollar asset."

That may turn out to have been wishful thinking. Lions Gate is now shopping the channel, and the price tag being floated is about one-third of what Feltheimer thought the property could one day be worth.

If the channel were sold for north of $350 million, Lions Gate would come out a little ahead. It paid $255 million for the channel and later sold about half of it to One Equity Partners, an investment arm of JPMorgan Chase.

While Lions Gate still has not officially said TV Guide Network is on the block, it is no secret that the film and TV production company is looking to unload it. In light of Lions Gate's $412.5-million merger with production company Summit Entertainment, the importance of TV Guide Network as a strategic asset has taken a back seat to the opportunity to raise cash. Also, the company as of late has made clear that while it values the television production business (Lions Gate shows include AMC's "Mad Men" and Showtime's "Weeds"), being in the distribution business is not the high priority it was three years ago.

Still, finding a buyer for the channel may be no small task. While TV Guide Network is in more than 80 million homes, it has never established itself as a competitive outlet. Launched in 1981, TV Guide was initially a programming guide telling viewers what shows were on what channels. Over the last decade, the channel has tried to become more of a general entertainment network while also maintaining the program guide that eats up a chunk of the screen. It has bought reruns of shows including HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and its own "Weeds."

However, neither purchase panned out. A glance at TV Guide Network's schedule shows "Curb Your Enthuisam" playing at 4 a.m. and "Weeds" at 5 a.m. The network's evening hours are filled with even older reruns, including "Dharma & Greg" and "Designing Women." There is also a heavy diet of old movies and reality shows.

In a story Monday, the New York Post said CBS and Discovery were interested in the channel. While both companies declined to comment on the story, people familiar with the matter said neither had any real interest in making a purchase. Other major cable network owners including Time Warner, Viacom and News Corp. also seem unlikely to make a play for the channel.

That does not mean there are not potential suitors in the form of private equity firms. Although the consensus is that cable networks are better off in the hands of big media companies, where there is more synergy, a deep-pocketed equity firm might figure it can turn around the network and flip it in a few years.

Besides the ratings, there are other red flags for potential buyers. Derek Baine, an analyst with SNL Kagan & Co. said "anyone looking at TV Guide would have to go through the affiliate agreements very carefully." That's because many of the channel's agreements with cable operators require the onscreen programming guide. If it goes away completely, the operators could either drop the channel or renegotiate the terms for carrying it. "You would have to be very cautious with the due diligence," Baine warned.

According to SNL Kagan, last year TV Guide Network made about $101 million in advertising revenue and subscription fees, and that figure could jump to about $122 million in 2012.
"It's still a very attractive property. I just think buyers are being very cautious after what happened with OWN," said Baine, referring to the cable network that Oprah Winfrey and Discovery Communications launched last year that has yet to find solid ground.

The Skinny: I saw a BMW on Monday with a media placard that allows it to park anywhere without worry. Where can I get one of those? Tuesday's headlines include: a look at Universal Pictures, Wal-Mart may be working with Hollywood on UltraViolet, and previews of the legal battle between a former star of "Desperate Housewives" and the show's creator, Marc Cherry.

Octavia Spencer Best Supporting Actress
Photo: Octavia Spencer, escorted by Christian Bale, after Spencer's win for supporting actress for her performance in "The Help." Credit:  Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Oscars a Social Hit. Although the 84th Annual Academy Awards came across decidedly old school in its television broadcast, the event delivered high marks in new media.

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences is taking a lot of heat for Sunday's lackluster show. However, critics seems to have missed the point of behind all those vignettes of stars reminiscing about when they fell in love with the big screen, and all those tributes to classic films. Those weren't there because Hollywood people can't help but talk about themselves. They were there as a bone to theater owners and were aimed at encouraging people to actually go to movies rather than wait for the DVDs or steal the films. Guess the plot wasn't clear enough.

Sunday's Oscar ceremony generated 3.8 million comments on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites, according to data generated by Cambridge, Mass.-based Bluefin Labs. That made this year's awards show the second most talked-about entertainment event on TV since the company began measuring and analyzing social media traffic several years ago.

CBS' telecast of the Grammy Awards this month was the undisputed champ with 13 million social media comments. The third most popular awards event was last year's MTV Video Music Awards with 3.1 million comments, according to Bluefin Labs.

The ABC television network, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and advertisers stepped up their social media campaigns promoting the Oscars this year, in large part, to keep the TV ratings high. Their efforts appeared to have paid off with Nielsen's estimates that more than 39 million viewers tuned in -- an increase of 1.4 million people compared with last year's show.

Comments on social media sites surrounding Sunday's ceremony and red carpet arrivals surged nearly 300% over last year's gala. In 2011, there were fewer than 1 million comments. The trend suggests that more people are turning to social media outlets while watching TV by using a "second screen" -- a tablet, smartphone or laptop computer -- to stay connected to their friends and followers who are also watching TV.

Bluefin Labs' analysis found that the gender breakdown for the social media pundits was roughly in line with the composition of the TV audience. An estimated 57% of those who commented were women; men made up 43%.

It was more difficult to ascertain the mood of commenters. Bluefin found that 22% of the comments about the Oscars were positive, 16% negative and 62% neutral.

Peaks in the social media traffic came at somewhat predictable intervals.  The most talked-about moment came at the end of the evening when the nearly silent film, "The Artist," won for best picture. The second most popular portion was the presentation of three awards by Tina Fey and Bradley Cooper -- two crowd-pleasing comedians particularly popular with the social media demographic.

The pair was on screen several minutes, presenting honors for film editing, won by "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," and sound editing and sound mixing, both won by Martin Scorsese's 3-D family film "Hugo."

Octavia Spencer's emotional acceptance speech for supporting actress for her performance in "The Help" was the third most popular highlight in social media. Remarks about Spencer ranked highest in terms of "most positive."

And even though, at age 82, Christopher Plummer would seem to be well beyond the Facebook demographic, his win for supporting actor in "Beginners" registered as the fourth most buzzed-about Oscar moment.

 Photo: Nicollette Sheridan in a scene from "Desperate Housewives." Credit: Danny Feld / ABC.

Better than any soap opera. The trial pitting Nicollette Sheridan, former co-star of ABC's "Desperate Housewives," against the network and the show's creator, Marc Cherry, is starting. Sheridan has charged that she was fired from the hit for daring to take on Cherry and accuse him of hitting her. Lots of big-name executives are on the witness list, including former ABC Entertainment chief Steve McPherson. Several "Desperate Housewives" co-stars are also likely to appear. Previews from the Daily Beast and Deadline Hollywood. Sounds like it will be more entertaining than the legal fight between the Golden Globes and Dick Clark Productions that I was stuck covering for three weeks.

Swinging for the fences. Universal Pictures is taking the big-bet approach to movies. In May, it will release "Battleship," which cost over $200 million. That will be followed by a pair of $175-million movies -- "Snow White and the Huntsman," starring Charlize Theron and Kristen Stewart, and November's "47 Ronin," with Keanu Reeves. Universal Pictures Chairman Adam Fogelson said the new strategy comes in part from new owner Comcast's willingness to put money into the unit. The Los Angeles Times looks at the studio's strategy.

Wal-Mart to the rescue? Wal-Mart may be lending a hand to UltraViolet, Hollywood's struggling service that allows consumers to store movies in an online library. According to the Wall Street Journal, the retail chain will set up account centers to encourage people to embrace the service. I've always learned it is best never to pretend to know more than you do, so I won't even attempt to explain how this works or why UltraViolet is so important to Hollywood -- other than by possibly slowing piracy and being another way to track consumers' spending. UltraViolet has limitations in that it is tooc complex to lose, has been known to lose purchased films and while heavily marketed by the studios behind it has had little use by consumers.

It's just our nature. News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch acknowledged a "culture of illegal payments" at the media giant's Sun newspaper. Several Sun staffers have been accused of bribing law enforcement officials for news tips. There are also probes into whether the British paper tried to buy information from politicians and government officials as well. The Mirror quotes Murdoch as saying, "We have vowed to do everything we can to get to the bottom of prior wrongdoings in order to set us on the right path for the future." I'm guessing that means there's going to be more money in the petty-cash envelope. Additional coverage of the black spots on Murdoch's Sun from the New York Times. Makes you wonder what things are like behind the scenes at FOX News and The Wall Street Journal?

I don't think I qualify. Time Warner Cable, which has flirted with trying to find a way to charge people for how much Internet they use (versus a flat fee), is unveiling a low-budget broadband plan in a part of Texas. According to Multichannel News, the Essentials Broadband plan would cap users at 5 gigabytes per month. I have no idea how much I use, but I'm pretty sure I blow through 5 GB every day.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Mary McNamara on the PBS documentary "The Amish."

-- Joe Flint and others

Follow me on Twitter. Like Meryl Streep, I always deliver.

Looking for JIMMY for Reefer Madness! The Musical!

 Looking for JIMMY for Reefer Madness!
Monday, February 27, 2012 at 11:30am until Monday, March 5, 2012 at 2:30pm

Chaos Theatre, in conjunction with Insurgo Theater Movement, is looking for JIMMY for its upcoming production of the off broadway hit: “REEFER MADNESS!: THE MUSICAL” by Dan Studney & Kevin Murphy.

We are looking for upbeat, professional actors who can sing and dance with a nightly availability. Subject material includes: drugs, sex, rock &/or roll, murder, partial nudity, cannibalism, and the degradation of America’s youth. Rehearsals will take place week nights from 7-10pm at The Plaza and will run Fridays and Saturdays April 20 – May 5(with a possible extended run)

Jimmy – M [18 -25] a sweet, all-American high school boy. Tenor

For more information please call (702)601-9502 or email

A cash stipend will be provided for all actors

Couldn't we all work together?

"Wouldn't that be lovely if we all worked together?... it could benefit us in ways we don't even understand yet." -RJ

There is something about Las Vegas. Acting teachers find ways to belittle each other instead of working together for the betterment of talent. Groups and organizations work against each other, competing for members and member time, instead of jointly working for the advancement of the industry and the art in Las Vegas.

Efforts to have an easy place for community members to go to find information about auditions, performances, performers and opportunities have been resisted and even undermined deliberately in ego based attacks.

You could explain this by saying we are in competitive fields. But if that were true why would associations from Hawaii to Chicago, Atlanta to Maine formed and helped both the audience and the performer, the technical staff and the marketing folks to lighten their load and make gaining information easier.

The RJ goes on....
"Competitive? Theater companies are surely that. Yet in many cities, states, regions and even nationally, groups organize into alliances with mutual benefits and a unified effort to advance the idea of attending your local playhouse."
Along those lines I am involved in three separate sites that promote local theater, yet those involved in theatre prefer to launch their own sites and promote those, dividing publicity, promotion and potential cooperation a dozen or more ways.
Other communities have one location to go for collective information and promotion, helping audiences, the general public, local actors and theatre companies communicate and stay on top of what the opportunities are any given week or month.
Why is Las Vegas so divisive?


Check out -- Atlanta Coalition of Performing Arts is a GREAT model to base this sort of venture on. There are so many producing companies there that they are able to run their own version of the TKTS booth: AtlanTix!

The First Best Picture Oscar: "Wings"

Academy Awards

The first film to win "Best Picture" (awarded a year later because there was no "Best Picture" at the first Academy Awards)


Film poster
Directed by William A. Wellman
Produced by Lucien Hubbard
Adolph Zukor
Jesse L. Lasky
B. P. Schulberg
Otto Kahn[1][2]
Written by Story:
John Monk Saunders
Hope Loring
Louis D. Lighton
Julian Johnson
Starring Clara Bow
Charles "Buddy" Rogers
Richard Arlen
Gary Cooper
Music by Uncredited:
J.S. Zamecnik
Cinematography Harry Perry
Editing by E. Lloyd Sheldon
Lucien Hubbard
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) August 12, 1927
Running time 141 minutes
Country United States
Language Silent film
English intertitles
Budget US$2,000,000 (est.)[3]

On May 16, 1929, the first Academy Award ceremony was held at the Hotel Roosevelt in Hollywood to honor outstanding film achievements of 1927 and 1928. Wings was entered in a number of categories but in contrast with later awards, there was no Best Picture award. Instead, there were two separate awards for production, the Most Artistic Quality of Production, won by Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927) and the Most Outstanding Production, won by Wings as well as Best Effects, Engineering Effects for Roy Pomeroy.[13]

The following year, the Academy instituted a single award called Best Production, and decided retroactively that the award won by Wings had been the equivalent of that award, with the result that Wings is often listed as the winner of a sole Best Picture award for the first year. The title of the award was eventually changed to Best Picture for the 1931 awards.

Wings is a 1927 silent film about World War I fighter pilots, produced by Lucien Hubbard, directed by William A. Wellman and released by Paramount Pictures. Wings was the first film, and one of two silent films (the other being The Artist in 2012), to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.[4] Wings stars Clara Bow, Charles "Buddy" Rogers, and Richard Arlen. Gary Cooper appears in a role which helped launch his career in Hollywood and also marked the beginning of his affair with Clara Bow. [5]

The above is from Wikipedia (click here).
IMDB Gallary of stills of the actors and scenes from the film (click here). 25 stills and 3 videos.
Still of Clara Bow in Wings Wings Still of Clara Bow, Richard Arlen and Charles 'Buddy' Rogers in Wings Still of Gary Cooper, Richard Arlen and Charles 'Buddy' Rogers in Wings Wings Still of Gary Cooper in Wings