Saturday, June 30, 2012

Production, Event and Conservatory Nevada Hot Lines

Production & Events Hotline
SAG-AFTRA Nevada Hotline - 
(702) 737-8818 
Toll free - (800) 724-0767, x7  
For conservatory information press 1 
For production information & events press 2 To speak with the Branch Executive Director press 3

Nevada Film Office Hotline (702) 486-2727 

The Nevada Screen Actors Guild conservatory

The Nevada Screen Actors Guild-AFTRA Conservatory hosts professionals in the motion picture, television, voice-over, theater and commercial industries on a monthly basis.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Events Saturday June 30, 2012

Beauty Bar
9 pm The Peoples Whiskey, Surrounded By Thieves, The Balloon Master, Ivana Blaize $5

Boomer's Bar
8 pm, 11 pm Cha Cha Velour, Live Burlesque in Las Vegas 

$10- $15
Las Vegas Country Saloon
9 pm Sinn Bodhi's Freakshow Wrestling $10

The Smith Center (Troesh Studio Theater)
5 pm Las Vegas Children's Musical Theater: Willy Wonka Junior  $15

Spring Mountain Ranch State Park
8 pm Super Summer Theater: Crazy For You $12/$20

Town Square Theater
2:30 pm, 7:30 pm The Magic and Comedy of Rory Johnston


A New Union: SAG-AFTRA

A New Union: SAG-AFTRA
“An actor is an actor is an actor — on television, stage or radio. The divisions of representation hurt and weaken us, allowing us to be divided, and giving us each smaller pools for insurance and pensions. It’s past time that we come together as one.
” — Peter Coyote

Crafts unions reach new deal with major producers

Leo Reed negotiated a new three-contract on behalf of the Basic Crafts Unions. (Teamsters Local 399 / June 29, 2012)
Major producers and unions representing various crafts workers in the film and TV business have negotiated a new labor contract.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers said it had reached an agreement on a new three-year deal with the Basic Crafts Unions, whose members include electricians, plumbers, utility workers, location managers and studio drivers.

Modeled on a similar contract recently struck by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, the new contract provides a 2% annual wage increase and additional funding for the unions' health plan.
“I believe the tentative agr eement is fair and equitable for both parties,” said Leo T. Reed, chairman of the Basic Crafts negotiating committee. “It is my sincere desire to keep as much production in Los Angeles as possible.”

The AMPTP said: "The deals will help keep productions working without interruption in the Los Angeles area ... as the industry continues to adapt to the challenges of producing in today’s market.''
The new contract takes effect Aug. 1.

IATSE and studios reach tentative contract deal
Healthcare costs are likely to dominate Hollywood contract talks
IATSE and Teamsters picket producers of TV's '1000 Ways to Die'

Ryan Williams SAG-AFTRA Nevada Conservatory Tomorrow (Saturday!)

Nevada Conservatory
“Ryan Williams Experience”

Acclaimed director returns to Nevada with his popular acting workshop, Ryan Williams Experience. Here is what he recently shared about the workshop:

“Ryan Williams Experience” is what my students have affectionately dubbed my part-time acting class.  I never anticipated teaching.  After all, I'm a very busy and working film director.  But I must admit I enjoy watching the instant improvements that I can see in the actors I now coach.  

Since my last Conservatory I have launched a twice weekly acting class that has already seen its share of successes for the actors enrolled. This time around you will come into a dynamic environment where you should be prepared to work several times - Improv and cold reads will be provided. I am seeing some vast improvements from my regular students each week and I look forward to sharing with you again-thanks to Barbara Grant and the great people at SAG-AFTRA who have invited me back!

I will be casting local talent in lead rolls in a feature film I am shooting in Las Vegas this fall so feel free to bring your head-shots--and throw down because whenever I encounter actors, there is a part of me that is auditioning them.

 – Ryan Williams

When: 1–5 p.m., Saturday, June 30, 2012
12:45 p.m. Check-in

Where: Hollywood Bound
7220 S. Cimarron Road #100
Las Vegas, NV 89113

Parking: Free parking is available on-site.

Cost: Free for Nevada Conservatory members or $20 per workshop.

Nevada Conservatory Cost: $40/year for union members. $80/year for non-union members.

You will need your SAG-AFTRA card to join as a member and please remember to bring your headshots and resumes.

Check the Las Vegas Local hotline for updates or SAG-AFTRA members should contact Local Executive Director Steve Clinton by email if you have any questions.

Hotline: (702) 737-8818

RSVP: No RSVP necessary but please check the Local hotline at (702) 737-8818 or (800) 724-0767, option 7 for any last minute changes to the Conservatory program.

About Ryan Williams
Acclaimed director Ryan R. Williams has written, produced, cast and directed national television commercials and music videos that aired in over 150 markets across the United States and Canada.  His feature film debut as a director was the multiple awards winning, Abby Singer (Brad Pitt, Jake Gyllenhaal & Jodie Foster, 2003).  He followed that up with Chick Magnet, (Owen Wilson, Kristen Bell, Kevin Smith & Tracy Morgan) a widely distributed film that grossed several million dollars. His role as director on these films included producing, editing, acting, cinematography, casting and writing. Ryan recently wrapped production on a musical comedy shot right here in Las Vegas, Nowhere Fast (Quentin Tarantino, Sacha Baron Cohen and Christian Bale). Williams began his professional career as a local radio personality and nationally touring stand-up comedian. He is currently in pre-production on his fourth feature film, Chills, set to film in Las Vegas this fall. He is excited to be casting local actors this time around so bring your head-shots! 

This seminar is for informational purposes and does not constitute SAG-AFTRA’s endorsement of any particular product, service, or provider.

HD Net / AXS Live to become the CNN of entertainment and Pop Culture

Mark Cuban's HD Net to become AXS, but big changes will wait

Mark Cuban
Mark Cuban approached AEG last fall about turning his cable channel HDNet into AXS. (Associated Press)
On Monday, Mark Cuban's cable channel HD Net will become AXS TV. But for now, the only thing that will change is the name.

AXS -- a partnership of Cuban, concert giant AEG, Ryan Seacrest and Creative Artists Agency -- is hoping to eventually become the CNN of entertainment and pop culture.

Cuban apparently is in no rush to throw a half-baked product on the air. Although next week the switch will be flipped to turn the channel from HD Net into AXS, new programming isn't likely to appear for at least a few weeks, and when it does, it will be in small doses.

Fans of HD Net will immediately notice that some shows are gone, including "Girls Gone Wild" and other risque fare. The channel also will run more concerts.

When AXS does launch its own content, it will be for only several hours once a week. The network's flagship show, "AXS Live," will be shot at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles. No on-air talent has been hired to host the program, which will serve as a news show of sorts about what's happening in the worlds of entertainment, fashion, sports, music and celebrity.

"AXS Live" is looking for on-air reporters in Northern California; Seattle or Portland, Ore.; Texas; Miami; and Nashville to complement its Los Angeles and probable New York correspondents. A job posting on AXS' website describes the show as "the world’s music and pop culture voice" and says it wants reporters who "take us into the story LIVE, into the music LIVE, into the event LIVE every time, EVERY day."

Tapped to oversee "AXS Live" is Debra Weeks, a veteran producer who has had stints at the tabloid show "Hard Copy" and was a longtime executive for reality TV producer Bruce Nash.
And"Extra"producer Drew Lavey has jumped to "AXS Live."

Satellite broadcaster Dish Network is set to add the new AXS in 10 million of its 27 million households next week. Dish is giving AXS the spot that was held by AMC, which Dish said it is dropping this weekend because it hasn't reached a new carriage deal.

Cuban, Seacrest, AEG and CAA team up on new channel
Ryan Seacrest and Clear Channel deepen relationship

SAG's Mission

Sony now Largest Music Publisher

Sony completes EMI acquisition

Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder, whose publishing rights are administered by EMI, performing in May at the White House. (Kevin Dietsch)
Sony Corp.'s deal to acquire EMI's publishing assets has cleared U.S. and European regulatory hurdles and was closed Friday, the companies said.

EMI's catalog will be merged with Sony's to create a library of more than 2 million songs, making the combined entity the world's largest music publisher.

The deal, announced last November, called for an investor group led by Sony to pay $2.2 billion for EMI's rights to 1.3 million songs, including those written by David Bowie, Stevie Wonder and others.
Other investors in the Sony-led group include the Estate of Michael Jackson, Mubadala Development Co., Jynwel Capital, the Blackstone Group and David Geffen. Sony itself is a minority investor, but the company's Sony/ATV Music Publishing division, headed by Martin Bandier, will run EMI's publishing business.

Prior to the acquisition, Sony/ATV administered the publishing rights to 750,000 songs written by the Beatles, Lady Gaga,Taylor Swift, Bob Dylan and others.

EMI also agreed to sell its recorded music business to Universal Music Group for $1.9 billion. That transaction remains under review by U.S. and European antitrust regulators.

Two labor unions back EMI sale to Universal Music
European regulators approve Sony's acquisition of EMI
EMI Group is sold as two seprarate groups to Sony, Universal

Award Winning Cannes Lion Creative Festival 2012 Radio Scripts

Can NewCorp's Newspaper Empire Survive Spilt?

News Corp.'s headquarters in New York.

Will investors follow Rupert Murdoch to the newspaper rack?

. Newspaper companies are hardly a hot commodity these days with Wall Street investors.
At least 14 newspaper chains, including Tribune Co., publisher of the Los Angeles Times, have filed for  bankruptcy in recent years. Even the New York Times Co., publisher of the nation's pre-eminent daily newspaper, has seen its stock fall nearly 85% over the last decade, as advertisers and readers gravitate to other news sources.

That's why it's hard to imagine much investor enthusiasm for a new publicly traded publishing company carved out of News Corp.'s global media assets.

To continue reading in the Los Angeles Times click on  More..

Casting Director Lauren Bass Workshop Tomorrow (Saturday)

Audition Workshop With HollywoodCasting Director LAUREN BASS!            ABOUT LAUREN BASS CASTING - IMDB

Lauren began her casting career working for one of LA's top television casting offices, Ulrich/Dawson/ Kritzer, where she worked on such hit shows as "CSI", "Jack & Bobby" and "Everwood". From UDK, Lauren went to work for one of the most respected feature film casting directors in the business, Mali Finn. 

Under Mali's tutelage, Lauren helped to cast such notable films as THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES...starring Brad Pitt & Casey Affleck, SHOOTER directed by Antoine Fuqua, starring Mark Wahlberg & Kate Mara, SERAPHIM FALLS starring Pierce Brosnan & Liam Neeson, THE NUMBER 23 directed by Joel Schumacher starring Jim Carrey & Virginia Madsen, as well as the highly acclaimed AVATAR directed & produced by James Cameron.

Bass Casting
opened its doors in 2006. Together the brother-sister team of Lauren & Jordan have worked on film and television projects including the Daniel Stamm directed thriller THE LAST EXORCISM for Lionsgate, Strike and Eli Roth, Joel Schumacher's TWELVE , the Starz series "SPARTACUS: BLOOD & SAND", the family film ELOISE IN PARISwritten & directed by Charles Shyer, the US Casting for James Cameron's SANCTUM, as well as the tv series "DANCE ON SUNSET" and "BIG TIME RUSH" for Nickelodeon Studios. Other credits include the Slamdance favorite WEATHER GIRL starring Mark Harmon, Patrick J. Adams & Ryan Devlin, MY GIRLFRIEND'S BOYFRIEND starring Alyssa Milano & Chris Gorham and KALAMITY starring Nick Stahl, Beau Garrett, Jonathan Jackson & Robert Forster.

Upcoming films include:
The Bryan Singer produced by Gary Entin starring Marin Hinkle ("Two & A Half Men"), 6 MONTH RULE starring Martin Starr, Natalie Morales, Blayne Weaver & Dave Foley, AUDREY executive produced by Ruth Vitale & Effie Brown, and Vin Diesel's online series "THE ROPES" from Fox Digital & One Race Films.

If you have any questions about the workshop, please contact 702-369-0400

Lauren Bass Workshop

Casting Call Entertainment
2790 E Flamingo Rd
Suite F
Las Vegas NV 89121

WHEN: June 30th


From the Casting Society of America related to California disclosure laws:
Classes taught by Casting Directors and Associates must be for instructional purposes only and not a “paid audition.” The workshop must clearly post that taking part in the class you are teaching is not a guarantee of employment. Casting Directors and Associates should be aware of how the Workshop Company advertises the Casting Director’s participation - especially on the Workshop’s website. A Casting office’s current projects must not be advertised.
Sides must be from past projects or material that has already been cast but can not be from projects currently being cast. Head-shots from the actors in the class can not be collected and taken at the end of the class. Casting Associates (and Assistants) must follow the guidelines and obtain a letter of approval to teach from a Casting Director they have worked for within the last 18 months. 
Mike Pniewski in "Safe Haven"

My friend Mike's lastest project...he is more
than an actor in the project.

Supreme Court refuses FCC bid to fine CBS for Janet Jackson Superbowl incident. Disney extends worldwide Oscars deal to 2020. 'Ted' to the top? Savannah Guthrie's moment.

Billy Crystal
Billy Crystal at the 2012 Oscars (Chris Carlson / Associated Press / June 29, 2012)

From the LA Times Company Town Blog
Click here for the latest industry news

Disney will continue receiving the Oscars.

The conglomerate announced Friday morning its Disney Media Distribution had negotiated a deal with the Motion Picture Academy to broadcast the Academy Awards worldwide through 2020, extending an agreement that had been set to expire in 2014. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The agreement will keep the show entirely within the Disney family -- ABC last year had signed a pact extending the Oscars through 2020 domestically as well.

The news comes about two months after the Motion Picture Academy voted to keep the annual movie fete in Hollywood, at the newly renamed Dolby Theatre, for the next 20 years.

The Oscars are broadcast worldwide to about 225 territories. In the U.S., the awards program is hugely profitable for ABC, which rakes in about $75 million a year in advertising from the broadcast.   This past February, advertisers paid a premium to reach the show’s affluent audience — $1.7 million for each 30-second spot on ABC.  Most advertisers return each year.

Last year’s domestic ratings were up slightly, with an estimated 39.3 million people watching the telecast, up from 37.9 million the year before.

The 2013 Oscars are to take place on Feb. 24 at the Dolby Theatre formerly known as the Kodak, in Los Angeles.

Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake
The Supreme Court declined to reinstate a fine against CBS for Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction' during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show. (Associated Press)

The long legal battle between CBS and the Federal Communications Commission over Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show is over.

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to hear the FCC's request to reinstate a $550,000 indecency fine against CBS for the halftime performance featuring Jackson and Justin Timberlake, who at the end of a song tore a piece of Jackson's top, exposing her bare breast to an audience of about 90 million.

In November, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia upheld its earlier ruling that the FCC's indecency fine against the network was invalid. The court didn't say whether the incident was indecent but said  the FCC's fine represented an undisclosed change in the enforcement of its  policy with regard to "fleeting images" and hence could not be enforced.
The FCC then appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court.

The incident, which took place during the Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers, led to a crackdown by the FCC on indecent content. The National Football League was also embarrassed by the incident and has since kept a tighter grip on halftime performances and tended to feature artists over the age of 50.

In a statement, CBS said it was "gratified to finally put this episode behind us" and noted that "at every major turn of this process, the lower courts have sided with us." The network added that since the Super Bowl, it has added delays to all live programming to prevent similar incidents from happening.

The Supreme Court also rejected the broadcast industry's effort to repeal an FCC ruling limiting the ownership of newspapers and television stations in the same market.

After the coffee. Before seeing how Charlie Sheen's 'Anger Management' performed.
The Skinny: Saw "The Amazing Spider-Man" Thursday night (no I wasn't at the premiere), and while I enjoyed it, I wish Emma Stone hadn't gone blond for the part. She looked too much like Lindsay Lohan and the two already share husky voices. Very distracting. Friday's headlines include the weekend box-office preview, a look at Savannah Guthrie, who will succeed Ann Curry on "Today" and reviews of "Ted" and "Magic Mike."

Daily Dose: Come Saturday, AMC fans who have satellite broadcaster Dish as their pay-TV distributor may find themselves staring at a blank screen. Dish is poised to drop AMC this weekend, a move which means fans of "Breaking Bad," which returns next month, may have to find a new provider. Dish says AMC wants too much money for its signal. AMC says this fight isn't about money but about a separate legal battle between the companies. Regardless, it's viewers who are left in the lurch as usual.

From the LA Times Company Town Blog
Click here for the latest industry news

'Ted' is expected to do well
'Ted,' a Seth MacFarlane comedy starring Mark Wahlberg, is projected to make $40 million in its opening weekend. (Universal Pictures / June 29, 2012)

 Bear vs Brave. This weekend's box-office battle will be between "Ted," a raunchy comedy directed by "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane, and Pixar's "Brave," which last week took in over $60 million. "Ted," about a man (Mark Wahlberg) and his talking teddy bear, is projected to make $40 million this weekend. Also premiering this weekend is Channing Tatum's stripper comedy "Magic Mike," Tyler Perry's "Madea's Witness Protection" and the drama "People Like Us." Box-office previews from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.

"Prototype 2" is one of the video games created by Radical Entertainment. 
Activision Blizzard Inc., which earlier Thursday said it may shut down or sell its Radical Entertainment game studio, issued a follow-up statement later in the day saying it is laying off 90 developers at Radical,  or 86% of the staff, and is keeping a skeleton crew of 15 developers to work on Activision's other games.

The Santa Monica company insisted that it will not be selling Radical, which created the "Prototype" series of games. Activision cited poor sales of "Prototype 2" as the reason for downsizing the studio.
To continue reading click on More...

 Double duty. With News Corp. splitting in two, Rupert Murdoch will now be a mogul of two media giants. Murdoch spent Thursday talking to Wall Street and the media about the decision to divide News Corp. into two companies -- one that will house its movie and TV assets and another that will be home to newspapers, book publishing and its education unit. Interestingly, some wonder if the newspaper company will be the one that is active on the deal front given that there are lots of newspapers in need of a committed owner. Analysis from the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal and New York Times.

Just the facts? The media's rush to get the story first bit it in the you-know-what Thursday when both CNN and Fox News initially goofed on the Supreme Court's ruling on President Obama's healthcare overhaul. This is the problem when everyone shoots first and aims later. FOX News and CNN both go it wrong by not reading the document first, while NBC/MSNBC got it right. Jumping to conclusion, meeting the expectations of management and the decline in journalism all deserve part of the blame. Analysis from the Daily Beast.

Open the floodgates. A federal court ruling may make it easier for writers who think their idea got ripped off to get payback. The case in question involves actor Hayden Christensen and his brother Tove who claim the cable channel USA stole their idea for the show "Royal Pains." Details on the case from Variety.

iHeartRadio on Yahoo
Yahoo integrates Clear Channel's iHeartRadio as its "preferred" radio service. (Yahoo Inc.)

Yahoo, the Silicon Valley Internet media company, on Thursday announced it is integrating Clear Channel Communications' iHeartRadio streaming music service into its Yahoo Music site.
The pairing comes on the heels of Yahoo's announcement Tuesday that it had added Spotify's on-demand digital music service.

The two services are complementary in that iHeartRadio continuously streams songs that are similar to what its listeners say they like to hear -- similar to what Pandora does. Spotify, on the other hand, lets users choose exactly which songs or albums they want to hear, much like a jukebox -- but one with 16 million songs.

Yahoo has a standing arrangement with CBS Radio, a division of CBS Corp., which will continue to be available for now.

However, iHeartRadio will be the "preferred radio" partner, according to Lisa Goodwin, a Yahoo spokeswoman. Yahoo promotional campaigns, for example, would link to iHeartRadio rather than CBS, whose service is labeled iHeartRadio also is the site's default radio player. In addition, Clear Channel will be Yahoo's exclusive Web and mobile broadcaster for live concerts such as the upcoming iHeartRadio Music Festival.

Traffic to Yahoo's music site, which includes the radio service, grew 14% over the last year to 25 million unique visitors in May, from 21 million a year earlier, according to ComScore. Still, that's less than half of the 53.3 million people in May who tuned in to Pandora, a rival Internet radio service. (Spotify attracts 10 million listeners a month. Of those, about three million pay a monthly fee for Spotify Premium, which lets users access the service on mobile devices, among other perks.)

The addition of both Clear Channel and Spotify signals Yahoo's willingness to elevate its music and broader entertainment offerings. The company, which reaches 700 million users a month, on Wednesday announced it had hired Rich Cusick, who was senior vice president of digital media at Gemstar TV Guide, as vice president of its entertainment and lifestyle sections, which include Yahoo's Shine, Health, Movies, TV and Music sites.
On the hot seat. Although it's not official, Savannah Guthrie is expected to replace the departing Ann Curry and become Matt Lauer's new BFF on NBC's morning show "Today." Guthrie, host of the third hour of "Today" and the network's chief legal correspondent, was sitting next to Lauer on Friday's show and insiders at the network say the job is hers. A look at Guthrie from the Los Angeles Times and USA Today.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Betsy Sharkey on "Ted." Kenneth Turan on "Magic Mike."

Follow me on Twitter and I'll give you the world.

From the LA Times Company Town Blog
Click here for the latest industry news

High End Headphone Company buys Music Service

Beats by Dre to buy MOG digital music service

David Hyman
David Hyman, chief executive of MOG music service, at SXSW in 2010. (Alex Pham / June 29, 2012)
Beats by Dre, the Santa Monica-based maker of high-end headphones founded by rap pioneer Dr. Dre and veteran music executive Jimmy Iovine, is expected to shortly announce a deal to acquire digital music service MOG, according to executives familiar with the transaction.

The agreement, which is not yet finalized, calls for Beats to pay roughly $10 million for MOG, a Berkeley, Calif.-based streaming service with about 500,000 subscribers.

A MOG spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment. A Beats spokesman declined to comment.

The Times reported in March that the two companies were in acquisition talks. A deal could be announced within days, said people with knowledge of the matter.

Should the transaction go through, Beats would use MOG's technology to build on-demand music services into its products. Though the companies have no concrete plans to do so, MOG's service also could be embedded in devices made by HTC Corp., a Taiwanese manufacturer of cellphones and other mobile electronics. HTC in August paid $300 million for an undisclosed stake in Beats.

Under the proposed acquisition terms, MOG would continue to service its existing customers but shift its emphasis to being a technology platform for products sold by Beats and HTC, said executives who declined to be named because the negotiations are confidential.

As such, MOG Chief Executive David Hyman would remain with the company and work closely with the Beats' chief operating officer, Luke Wood, as well as Iovine, who is also chairman and chief executive of Interscope Geffen A&M, a top label under Universal Music Group.

Investors in MOG include Menlo Ventures, Balderton Capital, Simon Equity Partners, Universal and Sony Corp.

Monster, Beats by Dre split up
HTC invests $300 million in Beats by Dre
MOG in acquisition talks with Beats by Dre

2nd Circuit says Christensens can sue over USA's 'Royal Pains'

Appeals court makes it easier for writers


In a decision that bolsters the ability of writers to pursue claims of idea theft, a federal appellate court has ruled that Hayden Christensen and his brother Tove can revive their suit against USA Network over the idea for "Royal Pains."

The decision by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York is significant in that it could make it more difficult for studios to easily dismiss cases of idea theft on the grounds that they are preempted by federal copyright law. The appellate court found that the Christensens could pursue their claim of breach of contract under state law, rejecting arguments by Universal Television Network that federal law preempted it.

The ruling has similarities to a decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last year involving the Syfy series "Ghost Hunters." That court ruled that a parapsychologist and publicist producer could pursue a breach of contract claim against the studio and producers even though a copyright claim had been dismissed.

In 2005, the Christensens, through their production company Forest Park Pictures, created the idea for a series called "Housecall," in which a doctor who is expelled from the medical community for treating patients who cannot pay moves to Malibu and becomes a concierge doctor for the rich and famous. After sending the treatment to USA Network, they secured a pitch meeting with USA executive Alex Sepiol. Sepiol and Forest Park exchanged communications over the next week, but then contact stopped.

Forest Park filed a breach of contract suit against USA over "Royal Pains," but a district court dismissed the case on the grounds that it was preempted.

But in its decision issued on Tuesday, the 2nd Circuit said, "The alleged contract does not simply require USA Network to honor Forest Park's exclusive rights under the Copyright Act (assuming the material at issue to be copyrightable); it requires USA Network to pay for the use of Forest Park's ideas. A claim for breach of contract including a promise to pay is quantitatively different from a suit to vindicate a right included in the Copyright Act and is not subject to preemption."

The 2nd Circuit also said the breach of contract claim could be pursued even if there was not an express agreement for promise of payment if the idea was used. Instead, it cited Forest Park's argument that "USA Network knew or should have known" that it was a "standard" in the industry to pitch ideas with the expectation of compensation in the event they are used. Moreover, it noted that California courts enforce such implied-in-fact contracts even if there are not exact price terms "as long as the parties' intentions can be ascertained."

Allison S. Brehm, partner at Kelley Drye, said that the decision could mean that studios will have to spend more in legal resources to defend themselves in idea theft cases. "Studios more often than not win these cases, but it costs money to get there," she said. Studios and production companies had already been tightening their idea submission policies, she said.

The ruling also means that the two appellate circuits covering the centers of entertainment -- New York and Los Angeles -- have sided with the idea that breach of contract claims are not so easily preempted by federal copyright law.

Variety. com (click here) 

Entertaining Evil Dead lives on too long. AND Soundhiem to speak at Smith Center.

After three hours of Evil Dead, you may resemble this woman.
Tough to dis a musical with a hummable tune called “What the Fuck Was That.” … We’re tough. Don’t misunderstand: Evil Dead: The Musical is a bloody blast (there’s your out-of-context critic’s blurb, producers) that devolves into a hostage scenario (quote that part, we dare ya). Escaping David Saxe’s V Theater nearly three hours after you’ve arrived, you’ll have the oddest feeling of being captivated for much of this show, and a captive of it by the end.

Sending up Sam Raimi horror flicks with balls-to-the-wall zeal, Evil Dead is the first show born in community theater (at the Onyx) to advance to the Strip. Kudos to producer Sirc Michaels—who welcomes the crowd with a profanity-riddled warm-up in a demon getup.

Applaud the satire-savvy cast, too. Cutting up amid decapitated heads, severed limbs, chainsaws, zombie masks, talking moose heads, exposed intestines, spritzing blood and leering sex gags straight out of vaudeville, these actors don’t chew scenery. They gorge on it, swallow it whole and projectile-vomit it back at the audience. Tons of freakish fun that makes you want to jump up and join them. For a while.

Mostly, Michaels & Co. need to keep an eye on the clock. Opening night, the 10 o’clock Friday show didn’t start seating theatergoers till 10:04, and begin until 10:20. (Saturday shows start at 11:30 p.m.) Intermission was an interminable 25 minutes, and the second act seemed to have not one but three climactic numbers. Shortening scenes with some slicing and dicing would immensely benefit the slashing and dismembering.

Another annoyance: fake-blood splatter isn’t limited to the “splatter zone,” as patrons (including this one) a bit farther back were also sprayed. Excuse the spoilsport vibe, but that cranberry juice-like liquid? Hope you like splotchy clothes.

Still, all of this seemed just peachy to the debut-night crowd, loaded with boisterous fans from its community incarnations. Will tourists be as tolerant of having their patience tried and their clothes dry-cleaned? Doubtful—which could leave Evil prematurely dead. Ever been to a party where a gregarious guest is hilariously entertaining at 8:30 but not so much by 1:30? That’s Evil Dead. The party guest that won’t leave. Or more accurately, the party host who won’t let you leave.

NOSH ON NOTES: Two summertime gigs warrant special notice, both at The Smith Center. Debate the merits and demerits of Broadway shows in Vegas, but what’s not debatable is that one person embodies Broadway more than any other still breathing, and that man—Stephen Sondheim—is Vegas-bound. On July 14, the legendary composer arrives to reminisce about his storied career, punctuated by performances by Christine Ebersole and Brian Stokes Mitchell. Worship Broadway?
Catch this can’t-miss night. Same goes for fans of exquisite jazz singing, who shouldn’t pass up Diana Krall on Aug. 13. You won’t hear finer interpretations of the American songbook from anyone in front of any microphone. Plus, the lady’s voice is sex itself … and we’ll leave it at that.

STRIP POSTSCRIPT: One zombie in Evil Dead likens her flesh cravings to “Dom DeLuise at an all-you-can-eat fish house,” getting zippo laughs from the youngish crowd. Funny and adorable as we found the late, portly comedian—who didn’t seem the fish-eating type—the reference needs a contemporary rewrite. Perhaps … Zach Galifianakis at a deep-fried Twinkies stand.
Got a better stuff-yer-face analogy? E-mail

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Events Friday June 29, 2012

Really listen

Listening to others

MIKE PNIEWSKI “Effective listening inspires great teamwork. Great teamwork breeds great success. Don’t be so single-minded with your ideas that you don’t hear the message of others. Real change only comes when you allow it to happen. Really listen to what others say and allow yourself to be changed for the better.” 
Mike Pniewski, from “When Life Gives You Lemons, Throw ‘Em Back!”


Director Troy Heard brings a stunning update of Shakespeare's masterpiece to the Insurgo stage.
"Who's there?" These words begin Western theatre's most famous revenge
thriller. A young man returns home from college to attend his father's funeral and
finds his mother married to his uncle. The father's ghost appears, accusing his
brother of his untimely end and spurring the young man to avenge his death.
Bloodshed follows.
"This isn't a high-concept revision of HAMLET," says director Troy Heard,
"but a lo-fi slicing to the bone. There's so much flesh on the play that makes this a
treasure trove of philosophy…but if you dig deep beneath the skin you find a really
gripping horror story. That's the one I'm interested in telling. And Insurgo is the right
place to do it. We've stripped the characters and story to the bare essentials: a cast
of seven, a bare stage, contemporary clothing, and ninety minutes of unrelenting
HAMLET, 20s, quick wit, frustrated with his inability, and better than anybody else
in the room, combat experience helpful
CLAUDIUS/GHOST, in his mind a fair man, in his soul a guilty bastard, 40s-50s
GERTRUDE/OSRIC, loyal, loving and pill-popping, 40s-50s
POLONIUS/GRAVEDIGGER, the ultimate manager, sarcasm covers his pain at
being stuck in mediocrity, late 40s-50s
HORATIO/PLAYER, 20s, the quintessential best friend, juggling skills helpful
LAERTES/GUILDENSTERN, 20s, loyal to a fault and very short tempered, stage
combat experience helpful
OPHELIA/ROSENCRANTZ, late teens, crazy in love and reluctantly obedient
ROUGH SCHEDULE (times wildly variable):
Rehearsals will be scheduled around the final cast, however we are hoping to work during the day.
The production opens September 7th.
There is some pay.
contact for more information


The Insurgo Theater Movement announces auditions for DASH RIPROCK AND
THE TENTACLES OF DOOM written by Mark Andrew Wilson and directed by
Daneal Doerr.

The production is the first script to be produced from Insurgo’s
Playwrights at the Plaza series. Writer Mark Andrew Wilson is a
theater creator from Southern California whose script was chosen. The
production will open in August for an open-ended run.
There is pay.
The director is Daneal Doerr ("Our finest director of actors" - CITY LIFE)
Insurgo is also seeking stage and crew positions for the production.
Send your information to

Auditions will be held 7pm June 27 and 28 at The Insurgo Theater at The Plaza.
The Plaza is located at Number One Main Street, at the corner of
Fremont and Main.
Insurgo Theater is located on the third floor.
Auditions will consist of cold reading from the script. Sides will be provided.

John Beane
Box Office: 702.772.3897

Email for advance copies of sides.

Click "read more" below for breakdown and details on this audition and script.

Las Vegas New Creative and Living Broadway!

Vice as a stage headliner

Before Broadway went and ruined things, theater was firmly entrenched as a den of iniquity — so much that, in Shakespeare’s time, women were forbidden to appear onstage. Nowadays, the vice is mostly playacting. The 2012 Fringe Festival alone contained infanticide, drug dealing, envy, deceit and douchebags. Downtown, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas’ vice is self-explanatory. Cannibal! The Musical adds “long pig” and implied bestiality to the mix. The Strip is comparatively wholesome, although the simulated sex in Marc Savard’s hypnosis show gets extremely raunchy. Peepshow offers promiscuity while The Price is Right Live promotes avarice (and undignified behavior). Lust is amply served by Fantasy and too many other topless shows to name. Las Vegas Little Theatre’s upcoming Great American Trailer Park Musical (opens July 13) may have hit the sin jackpot. Its litany of lascivious pleasures includes “adultery, drinking, smoking, stripping [and] marker sniffing” … but if your taste runs to worshipping false gods, there’s always Céline Dion. DAVID MCKEE

From: Las Vegas City Life

LV Shakespeare installs new "curtain warmer"

Can Batman top the Avengers? Ted Talks Nasty. Dotcom dodges the bullet. NBC relies on news, talk and sports.Madea's Witness Protection

"The Dark Knight Rises" is poised to have a blockbuster opening on July 20
"The Dark Knight Rises"is entering the final sprint to the box office just slightly behind "The Avengers," which set an all-time record in May with its $207.4-million domestic debut.
Warner Bros.' third and final Batman movie from director Christopher Nolanmade its first appearance Thursday morning on widely used research surveys known in Hollywood as "tracking" that gauge audience interest in upcoming pictures. To continue reading this story in the LA Times click More.

Mark Wahlberg stars as a man whose best friend is a teddy bear (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) in "Ted."

Mark Wahlberg stars as a man whose best friend is a teddy bear (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) in "Ted." (Universal Pictures / June 28, 2012)

Seth MacFarlane's 'Ted' to dominate stuffed box-office weekend

The potty-mouthed “Ted” will heckle the male strippers off the box-office stage, as the Seth MacFarlane comedy will take down “Magic Mike” and all other new movies hitting theaters this weekend.

"Ted," starring Mark Wahlberg as a man whose best friend is a talking teddy bear, is expected to open with a robust $40 million in ticket sales, according to people who have seen pre-release audience surveys. Universal Pictures, which is distributing the film, is predicting a softer opening of between $26 million and $36 million. To continue reading click on More..

Tyler Perry's "Madea's Witness Protection" will aim to appeal to an ethnically diverse audience.
Denise Richards, left, stars with Tyler Perry in "Madea's Witness Protection." (Lionsgate / June 27, 2012)

When "Madea's Witness Protection" opens this weekend, Hollywood observers may think they know exactly what to expect. The film is the 13th released by Lionsgate and written, produced, directed by and/or starring Tyler Perry, and the seventh featuring his trademark cross-dressing Madea character.

But "Witness Protection" marks a first: Never before has a Tyler Perry movie been released during the high-stakes summer movie season, which is traditionally packed with big-budget tent poles. The brand-name filmmaker has consistently found success during the "off season" for Hollywood's biggest-budget pictures, typically between February and April or between September and November.

There are plenty of examples of low-budget pictures that succeed as "counter-programming," like the recent adult drama "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" and last year's comedy smash "Bridesmaids."

Perry's "Madea" movies have been consistent box-office performers no matter what time of the year they've premiered. Movies starring the character -- a loud-mouthed grandmother played by Perry -- have all debuted with at least $25 million and typically grossed between $50 million and $60 million. (One exception was 2009's "Madea Goes to Jail," which launched with $41 million and ultimately collected $90.5 million.) To continue reading in the LA Times click More..

Matt Lauer and Ann Curry in happier times.
Matt Lauer and Ann Curry in happier times. (Associated Press / June 28, 2012)

"I'm sorry I couldn't carry the ball over the finish line," NBC "Today" co-anchor Ann Curry said during her tearful farewell speech on Thursday morning's show.

Whether Curry was apologizing to the audience or her bosses, or both, is unclear. But fairly or not, she has been pegged as the cause of NBC's ratings woes. Curry was tapped to replace Meredith Vieira as Matt Lauer's co-anchor a year ago and almost immediately ABC's"Good Morning America" started to close the ratings gap.

Now with "Good Morning America" running neck-and-neck with "Today" and even winning on occasion, NBC and its parent company Comcast can't afford to risk any further damage to its news franchise.

This season, "Today" is averaging 5.3-million viewers, which is a 4% drop from last season. At the same time, "Good Morning America" has gained 4% to 4.9-million viewers, according to Nielsen. To continue reading this story in the LA Times click on More..

Screen shot from "Prototype 2," released in April.

Activision Blizzard on Thursday confirmed it is seeking to sell or shut down Radical Entertainment, the game studio that created the "Prototype" action-adventure series of games.

The Santa Monica game company in a statement said the decision stemmed from the failure of "Prototype" to "find a broad commercial audience."

Activision did not say how long it will continue to pay Radical's 90 employees, or whether it will shut down the studio entirely. To continue reading in the LA Times click on More..

Kim Dotcom, left, founder of file-sharing site, with Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak in Auckland, New Zealand, in May. Wozniak has said that the U.S. piracy case against Dotcom is "hokey" and a threat to Internet innovation. (Kim Dotcom / June 28, 2012)

Dotcom search rules illeagle. A New Zealand judge has ruled that investigators obtained evidence unlawfully in a search of founder Kim Dotcom’s home, dealing a huge blow to the U.S. case against the online file-sharing company.

High Court Chief Justice Helen Winkelmann said in the ruling Thursday that warrants used by New Zealand authorities to conduct the search at the FBI's behest were too broadly defined and “did not adequately describe the offenses to which they were related.”

“Indeed, they fell well short of that,” she said in the 56-page ruling. “They were general warrants, and as such, are invalid.” To find out more, continue reading in the LA Times by clicking on More...

Jean-Bernard Levy
The chairman and chief executive of French telecommunications company Vivendi stepped down on Thursday following a disagreement with the board. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times / June 28, 2012)

Jean-Bernard Lévy, the chairman and chief executive of the French telecommunications company Vivendi, stepped down Thursday following a disagreement with the company's board.

The company, in a statement, described the tension as "a divergence of views on the strategic development of the group." News reports and financial analysts suggest that the board has been embroiled in a debate about whether to carve off assets or break up the company, which consists of European pay-television operations, including France's popular Canal+, Activision Blizzard video game company, Universal Music Group, and phone and Internet services.

The company's stock has also been stagnant.

"The most likely explanation would seem to us to be Lévy's long-standing opposition to a fundamental shake-up of the group's corporate structure," London-based Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Claudio Aspesi wrote in a research report. To continue reading this story in the Los Angles Times click on More..

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