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'Midnight Rider' to Resume Production in Los Angeles, IATSE Says
Production on Midnight Rider could resume in June and be relocated from Georgia to Los Angeles, according to a message from IATSE on Tuesday.

04/16/2014

L.A. Feature-Film Shoots Jump in First Quarter, Agency Reports
Despite the migration of film production from Southern California, the Los Angeles region saw double-digit percentage gains in feature-film production in the first three months of this year. Feature films generated 1,588 production days in the first quarter, a 24% increase over the same period last year, according to figures released Tuesday by FilmL.A. Inc., the nonprofit group that handles film permits for the city and county.

04/16/2014

‘Midnight Rider’ Investigation: Sheriff Will Leave Question of Criminal Charges to D.A.
Wayne County Sheriff John Carter said that his office will not pursue their own criminal charges stemming from the February 21 train trestle accident on the set of “Midnight Rider,” but will instead present the case to the district attorney to determine if any such action should be taken.

04/15/2014

WGA Diversity Report Finds Declines in Film, Small Gains in TV
The report analyzes employment patterns for broadcast and cable TV shows as well as movies from 2011-12, highlighting women, minority and older writers.

04/15/2014

SAG-AFTRA to Begin Contract Talks with Producers on May 5
The SAG-AFTRA National Board, meeting this weekend in a face-to-face plenary in Los Angeles, unanimously approved proposals for the upcoming TV/Theatrical negotiations, the union announced Sunday. As per custom and practice, the proposal package is confidential and will not be released.

04/14/2014

Musicians Union Slams Lionsgate Over 'Draft Day' Offshoring
To chants of To chants of "Listen Up, Lionsgate!" officials of the American Federation of Musicians and other organizations denounced Lionsgate at a rally on Thursday in Los Angeles, targeting the company for a history of scoring films overseas, including this weekend’s "Draft Day."

04/10/2014

Safety Concerns Raised Over ‘Midnight Rider’ Crew’s Previous Film In Georgia
Local, state, and federal investigations are underway to determine who from the Gregg Allman biopic Midnight Rider is responsible for the February 20 train collision on location in rural Georgia that left 27-year-old camera assistant Sarah Jones dead and seven others injured.

04/09/2014

WGA Boards Endorse New Studio Deal, Set Membership Vote
The governing boards of the Writers Guild -- the WGA West Board and WGA East Council -- have unanimously endorsed the deal reached with the studios last week and have sent it on to the membership for a vote. Ratification is expected. Next up is SAG-AFTRA, whose deal expires June 30. Talks have not yet been set, but there may be an announcement on the matter coming out of the union's board meeting this weekend.

04/09/2014

'Jersey Shore' Producer Hit With Class Action Suit for Overtime Pay
A former video editor has filed a class action lawsuit against 495 Productions, the company behind Jersey Shore and other reality programs, charging it with unfair business practices and saying it failed to pay for overtime work, violated minimum wage laws and acted improperly in other ways.

04/08/2014

WGA and Hollywood Studios Reach Deal on New Contract
After a final two-day session of negotiations that ended late Tuesday night, the guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers agreed on a tentative deal to replace one that expires May 1, a source close to the negotiations said. The proposed contract is subject to approval by the guild's members on the east and west coasts.

04/03/2014

WGA Announces New Deal Terms
The Writers Guild of America announced the terms of its new three-year deal in an email to members Wednesday, after news of the deal had earlier broken without details. The deal will take effect May 2 after approval by the WGA West board and WGA East council and ratification by the WGA membership.

04/03/2014

Arria: MSNBC Hosts Ignore Unionization Effort
“A couple months ago, MSNBC host Ed Schultz ignited something resembling an online controversy by ducking some important questions about unionization efforts at Peacock Productions,” writes Michael Arria in CounterPunch.

03/30/2014

Robb: Why Gains, Lessons from 2008's Writers' Strike Will Keep Hollywood from Another War
“As negotiators prepare to return to the bargaining table Monday to resume talks for a new WGA contract, many in the industry who saw the crippling writers strike of 2007-2008 as an avoidable debacle worry about the prospect of a repeat of that disastrous walkout,” writes David Robb in Deadline Hollywood.

03/28/2014

‘Midnight Rider’ Location Manager Lawyer Defends ‘Conduct’
More than a month after the fatal accident on the set of “Midnight Rider,” a key question for the homicide investigation is whether the production had been granted permission to film on the Georgia railroad tracks and trestle where camera assistant Sarah Jones was killed.

03/27/2014

California Film Tax Credit Bill OKd by Assembly Panel
Proposed legislation aimed at providing more tax credits to attract so-called runaway movie and television productions back to the industry's birthplace in California won initial approval from a legislative committee Tuesday. The proposal would renew and increase a state tax credit -- amounting to as much as $400 million a year -- to better compete with generous tax subsidies available in more than 40 states, including New York, Louisiana and Michigan, as well as studios in Canada and Britain.

03/26/2014

Wallenstein: Oculus Rift Just Put Facebook in the Movie Business
"The surprise $2 billion acquisition of virtual-reality headset maker Oculus Rift by a social network company might seem to have nothing to do with movie theaters or films," writes Andrew Wallenstein in Variety. "But in the long term, this kind of technology is going to have a place in the entertainment business. It’s just a matter of time."

03/26/2014

Death Raises Questions About On-Set Safety
It took seconds for a freight train to kill Sarah Jones, a 27-year-old camera assistant who died on the set of an independent film, “Midnight Rider,” in rural Georgia on February 20. Sorting through the consequences may take years.

03/24/2014

Two Versions of Cesar Chavez Emerge in New Film, Book
In the film "Cesar Chavez," by a Mexican production team led by the actor-director Diego Luna, he is a heroic and beatific figure using nonviolence to lead his people to victory. The movie ends with Chavez's United Farm Workers winning contracts in 1970 from recalcitrant growers.

03/23/2014

How Erich von Stroheim Lost his 1924 Battle with the Studio Bosses – but Won the PR War
It was on March 18, 1924, that Goldwyn Pictures, in precarious financial straits and about to be merged into the new Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, announced that Erich von Stroheim had cut Greed in half. No longer more than nine hours in the running -- its length when first screened to a select few the previous January -- von Stroheim’s already notorious adaptation of Frank Norris’s celebrated 1899 naturalist novel McTeague was now weighing in at a mere four hours.

03/23/2014

Sarah Jones' Death Calls Attention to Film Crews' Safety
The film crew walked out on the old railroad trestle high above Georgia's Altamaha River, then placed a metal-frame bed on the tracks for actor William Hurt. The plan called for Hurt to lie on the bed in a dream sequence for the film "Midnight Rider," in which he plays rock singer Gregg Allman. Two trains had already crossed the bridge that day, and the crew was told no more were scheduled, hairstylist Joyce Gilliard recalled.

03/23/2014

U.K. to Give Film Industry More Tax Relief
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced Wednesday that the government had approved enhancements to the United Kingdom's film-tax-relief program, which will take effect April 1.

03/21/2014

Variety: To Hollywood, Men are the Bigscreen Heroes
"In 2013, female characters comprised only 15% of all protagonists and just 30% of all speaking characters in the top-grossing 100 films, according to a study released last week by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film,'" write Martha Lauzen and Jennifer Siebel Newsom in Variety. Women of color were even less visible."

03/18/2014

As Hollywood Films Slow to a Trickle in Connecticut, Many Express Regret
Come spring, when "Boychoir" wraps up its filming here, there will be one less chance to catch Hollywood stars on Connecticut turf. Since the state last summer put a two-year hold on a 30-percent tax credit for feature films -- in hopes of bolstering the state's TV and digital media sectors instead -- requests by movie producers to operate here have plummeted, state officials say.

03/16/2014

WGA Contract Talks in Recess Until End of Month
The Writers Guilds of America's contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers are being put on hold until March 31, the WGA told its members Thursday. Almost every aspect of the contract has been agreed upon, except for options and exclusivity, according to a letter to members from Negotiating Committee Co-Chairs Chip Johannessen and Billy Ray and WGAW President Chris Keyser.

03/13/2014

'Midnight Rider' Accident: Who Will Be Blamed for Sarah Jones' Death?
The principals involved in the production have not commented on what, if any, safety protocols were in place, although Nick Gant, creative director of the Savannah-based film-crew services company on the film, has denied that any corners were cut. Yet an initial Sheriff's Department report quoted an official from CSX, the railroad company that owns the tracks, as saying the production had been denied permission to shoot there. The report also said that when the executive producer was asked if it had permission, he responded, "That's complicated."

03/12/2014

California Sees Huge Drop in Film Production, Ranks Behind Louisiana and the U.K.
California, which was the dominant location for big movies 15 years ago, today is a poor fourth behind Louisiana and the United Kingdom. If you exclude animated features, California's share of the top 25 live-action films declined from 64 percent in 1997 to just 8 percent in 2013.

03/09/2014

Weinstein Calls for Expansion of California Production Incentives
Harvey Weinstein, appearing at the UCLA Entertainment Symposium in interview with Ken Ziffren, Los Angeles’ newly appointed film czar, called for California to expand its production tax incentives.

03/09/2014

Sarah Jones Hollywood Memorial Draws Calls for Safer Film Sets
Two tributes were held this weekend by local unions for the 27 year-old assistant camerawoman killed on the set of 'Midnight Rider' two weeks ago. The crowd of almost 1,000 members from across several unions participated in the memorial vigil.

03/09/2014

Pilot Locations 2014: New York Production Rises, Los Angeles Plummets,Texas Hot
While California Governor Jerry Brown is still “not committed” to expanding the state’s film and TV tax credit, Los Angeles is seeing another drop in broadcast pilot production to what appears to be an all-time low. Meanwhile, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been doing photo ops with Disney and Marvel execs to celebrate their commitment to film some 60 episodes of Marvel’s four Netflix series and a miniseries in the Big Apple.

03/04/2014

Writers Guild, Studios and Networks Head Back to Negotiations
The Writers Guild of America and the major studios and networks head back to the bargaining table Tuesday, after are taking a two-week break from the negotiations.

03/04/2014

Oscar Show Producers Reveal Secrets Behind Meryl's Selfie and Remembrance of Sarah Jones
The show's producers, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who, responding to a request from the Academy, suggested a way that Sarah Jones, the camera operator who died in the Midnight Rider train accident February 20, could be remembered with an on-air notice at the end of the "In Memoriam" section.

03/04/2014

Visual Effects Workers Rally Outside Academy Awards, Protesting Tax Subsidies, Job Losses
More than 500 visual effects workers gathered in the rain and drizzle outside of the Academy Awards Sunday to protest the spread of film incentives and the loss of local jobs to countries such as the United Kingdom and Canada that offer production subsidies.

03/04/2014

Oscars: '12 Years a Slave' Wins Best Picture
The winners of all three Academy Award categories in post production were for contributions to the film "Gravity." The winner for best achievement in Picture Editing was presented to Mark Sanger. The Oscars for best Sound Mixing were presented to Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro. Glenn Freemantle was given an Oscar for best Sound Editing.

03/03/2014

Alain Resnais, Acclaimed French Filmmaker, is Dead at 91
Alain Resnais, the French filmmaker who helped introduce literary modernism to the movies and became an international art-house star with nonlinear narrative films like “Hiroshima Mon Amour” and “Last Year at Marienbad,” died on Saturday in Paris. He was 91.

03/02/2014

Security Officers to Protest Outside of Dolby Theater Friday
A union representing security officers is planning a protest outside of the Dolby Theater, the site of Sunday's Academy Awards.

02/27/2014

Production of 'Midnight Rider' Film Suspended After Death on Set
Production of the Gregg Allman biopic "Midnight Rider" has been suspended after the death of crew member Sarah Jones, 27, who was struck by a freight train while filming in Savannah, Georgia, last week.

02/26/2014

Production Community Rallying to Add ‘Midnight Rider’ Crew Member to In Memoriam Tribute
A campaign to include Midnight Rider camera assistant Sarah Jones in this weekend’s Oscars In Memoriam tribute is gaining traction online, but time will tell if the Academy will acknowledge the increasingly vocal outcry within the production community to her tragic death.

02/26/2014

VFX Pros Plan Oscar Day Protest in Hollywood for Second Straight Year
A year ago February 24, an estimated 400-plus supporters of the visual effects industry gathered at Hollywood and Vine as the glitterati walked the Oscar red carpet just blocks away. Get ready for Round 2.

02/26/2014

Sony Pictures Pitches for Nevada Film Tax Credits
The filming of "Mall Cop: Blart 2" would highlight Las Vegas, the surrounding region and jump start Nevada's film industry, representatives of Sony Pictures Entertainment told a state panel Monday in making their pitch for tax credits to bring the silver screen production to the Silver State.

02/24/2014

DGA Deal Details Revealed
The DGA has posted the details of the contract it ratified last month. The document, 47 pages of legalese that only a lawyer could love, lays out in contract language the gains that the DGA achieved in wages, residuals and other areas. The revisions in the document -- which is termed a Memorandum of Agreement -- take effect July 1, 2014.

02/24/2014

Cinema Audio Society Awards: ‘Gravity,’ ‘Frozen’ Tops in Sound Mixing
“Gravity” and “Frozen” continued to lay waste to their competition in technical awards races as the two much-lauded pics collected motion picture mixing honors at the Cinema Audio Society Awards Saturday night.

02/24/2014

Hollywood Unionists Rally for Improved Tax Credits
More than 700 attendees came to the standing-room-only rally at Pickwick Gardens in Burbank -- three days after the introduction of Assembly Bill 1839, aimed at overhauling the current incentive program and attracting bigger movies and TV series. Speakers urged the audience to press their legislators on the issue, stressing their assertion that the tax credits are essential to keep productions from being lured out of state.

02/23/2014

MPSE Golden Reel Awards: ‘Captain Phillips,’ ‘Gravity,’ ‘The Great Gatsby’ Win Sound Editors Awards
Sound Editors united at the 61st MPSE Golden Reel Awards on February 16 with “Star Wars” creator George Lucas dubbing them “the backs on which the entire film industry rests.” “Gravity”, “Frozen” and “Captain Phillips” took home top awards in feature film, along with “The Great Gatsby” for best sound editing of music.

02/21/2014

Women Still Underrepresented in Film and TV, Study Says
A new report by the Women’s Media Center finds that women are still underrepresented on screen and behind the scenes in film and television, the Center announced Tuesday.

02/21/2014

'Gravity' Wins Six BAFTA Trophies Including Best Director for Cuaron; Hanley and Hill Win for ‘Rush’
Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity” led the field with six prizes at the BAFTA film awards, which unspooled at London’s Royal Opera House Sunday. “American Hustle” took three awards. The BAFTA award for best Editing went to Dan Hanley and Mike Hill for their work in “Rush.” Best Sound went to Glenn Freemantle, Skip Lievsay, Christopher Benstead, Niv Adiri, Chris Munro for their work on "Gravity."

02/17/2014

Writers Guild of America and Studios Suspend Contract Talks
The Writers' Guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers announced Saturday night that they had not yet reached a deal on a new contract for film and TV writers, but they said talks would resume March 4.

02/17/2014

Attention, Oscar Voters: The Polls Are Open!
Final voting for the Oscars will open Friday, February 14 at 8 a.m. PT and close on Tuesday, February 25, at 5 p.m. PT.

02/14/2014

'Rhythm & Hues: Life After Pi' Documentary Trailer Released
One year after Rhythm & Hues filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy shortly before its work on "Life of Pi" won the Oscar for VFX, a new documentary will examine the incident and the impact it had on mobilizing the VFX industry to try to fix its troubled business model.

02/14/2014

China Box Office Strength Boosts Quota Chatter
A strong start to the year at the Chinese box office has helped spark speculation of change to the regime that controls the import of foreign movies -- two years after the last change to the quota regime.

02/10/2014

Ken Ziffren Introduced as L.A.’s New Film Czar
In selecting Ken Ziffren as Los Angeles’ next film czar, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has picked one of the entertainment industry’s most prominent attorneys who has emerged as a kind of elder statesman for the business.

02/10/2014


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