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Seth MacFarlane on WGA Award: ‘I Am a Firm Advocate of the Power of Unions’
Naturally, there were a lot of jokes as Seth MacFarlane accepted a lifetime achievement award from the WGA’s Animation Writers Caucus Thursday at the Writers Guild Theater, but he also offered some serious comments about the guild and the status of writers. “I am a firm advocate of the power of unions,” said MacFarlane.


Dowd: The Women of Hollywood Speak Out
"Female executives and filmmakers are ready to run studios and direct blockbuster pictures," writes Maureen Dowd in The New York Times. "What will it take to dismantle the pervasive sexism that keeps them from doing it? ... Professor Martha Lauzen of San Diego State University reports that in 2014, 95 percent of cinematographers, 89 percent of screenwriters, 82 percent of editors, 81 percent of executive producers and 77 percent of producers were men."


CameraImage: Walter Murch on Editing, Cinematography and the Change to Digital
Walter Murch is extraordinary even within his own field, four times Oscar-nominated for film editing, three times nominated for sound mixing, achieving a landmark double when he won both for his work on 1997 movie “The English Patient.” This week, he attends the Camerimage film festival, which is devoted to the art of cinematography, to receive the Special Award to an Editor with Unique Visual Sensitivity.


Spike Lee is Still Speaking Truth to Power
When Lee was announced as an Honorary Oscar recipient, it was noteworthy for a few reasons. The first: Over the past quarter-century, Lee has been both participant and subject of some of the most heated debates over the Academy’s biases.


China to Surpass US as Biggest Movie Market by 2017
Despite the recent economic slowdown in China, the country's film market is growing even faster than anticipated. China is now on track to overtake the United States as the world's largest film market by 2017, said Mike Ellis, who heads the Asia Pacific operations of the Motion Picture Association of America.


US Union Sues ITV-Owned Production Company in Health Insurance Dispute
The Writers Guild of America has a court date for early next year with ITV production company Kirkstall Road alleging the production company scrapped existing health insurance coverage in favor of a plan so poor no one agreed to use it.


‘Midnight Rider' Company Denied Second OSHA Review
The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission has denied Film Allman’s request for yet another discretionary review as the film company behind the ill-fated "Midnight Rider" tried for a third time to get out of paying a $74,900 fine and also being found guilty of a “willful” safety violation.


Film Tax Credits, New Media Outlets Help Revive L.A.'s Entertainment Economy
There were 2,057 shooting days for scripted television shows filmed on location in the Los Angeles region for the three months that ended September 30, a 54% increase from the same period last year, according to FilmL.A. Inc.


Battle Over 'Cadillac Tax' Heats Up
Longtime opponents of the ObamaCare “Cadillac tax” met with lawmakers this week with a new message: We’re willing to compromise. Back in 2009, the tax was the target of an intense lobbying campaign led by the unlikely bedfellows of AFL-CIO and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.


Bob Minkler, Oscar Winner for Sound Mixing on ‘Star Wars,’ Dies at 78
Academy Award-winning sound mixer Robert Alan (Bob) Minkler died of respiratory failure at home in Oregon with his wife, Patty, at his side on October 11. He was 78.


AFL-CIO: Need Salary Negotiation Tips? Ask Union Member Jennifer Lawrence
Oscar-award-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence has been making headlines lately, but not because she is promoting an upcoming film. Lawrence recently penned an honest, frank letter on her personal experience with the wage gap in Hollywood.


Hollywood Donates $5.5m to Presidential Candidates
Hillary Clinton, leading in fundraising among Democrats with nearly $98 million, is outraising rivals Sanders and O'Malley both overall and in the entertainment industry -- where she has raised $5m. Sanders, a Vermont senator with about $42 million overall, has raised only $134,000 from Hollywood.


‘Midnight Rider’ Case: OSHA Says Another Review of Ruling is Not Guaranteed
The Occupational Safety and Health Act states that an employer may seek review of an administrative law judge’s decision from the three-member Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Review by Commission is discretionary, meaning that the Commission is not required to grant review.


Film Allman Defiant, Fights OSHA Ruling a Second Time
Lawyers for Film Allman, LLC, the production company that was set up by now-jailed filmmaker Randall Miller and his wife Jody Savin for the Gregg Allman biopic


Bradley Cooper’s Idea to Force Employers to Change What They Pay Men and Women
After Jennifer Lawrence’s essay last week reignited the furor over equal pay in Hollywood -- and, by loose extension, equal pay for American women without agents -- her four-time male co-star, Bradley Cooper, announced he’d include his female colleagues in future pay negotiations.


Cinematographers Guild Taps Rebecca Rhine as Executive Director (Left)
Veteran labor executive Rebecca Rhine has been named the new national executive director of the 7,700-member International Cinematographers Guild.


EEOC Begins Interviews with Female Directors in Discrimination Probe
The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has begun interviewing female directors as its investigation into discrimination against female film and TV directors is officially underway. First up was director Maria Giese, who was interviewed at the EEOC’s offices in Los Angeles for four hours on Wednesday.


WGA East Wins Unionization Vote at ‘Pawn Stars’ Producer Leftfield Entertainment
n a major organizing victory, the WGA East has won an NLRB-sanctioned election to unionize Leftfield Entertainment, the largest reality TV company on the East Coast whose shows include "Pawn Stars," "The Real Housewives of New Jersey," "Monster In-Laws" and "Counting Cars."


How Kickstarter is Changing the Film Industry
Kickstarter, the crowdfunding platform has ventured into the film world, in a big way. Last month’s Toronto International Film Festival featured a record five Kickstarter-funded movies.


With New Equal-Pay Act, Will Jennifer Lawrence Get Paid Like Bradley Cooper?
Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence was paid 7% of the profit on the 2013 ensemble film "American Hustle," a big payday for the A-list actress. But Bradley Cooper and two other male co-stars each earned 9%. That's the kind of inequity potentially targeted by California's Fair Pay Act, which is aimed at leveling the compensation field between men and women.


New Tax Credits Boost Filming In L.A. In Q3
On-location TV production hit a five-year high in the quarter, with 4,308 filming days. This is especially noteworthy since reality TV, which is still the region’s largest television production segment despite not being eligible for tax incentives, fell 20.2% in the third quarter to 1,259 shoot days.


SAG-AFTRA Members Authorize Strike Against Video Game Industry
Members of SAG-AFTRA have voted overwhelmingly to give their leaders the authority to call a strike against the video game industry, which is expected to rake in more than $20 billion this year in the U.S. alone. The strike-authorization vote comes after negotiations for a new contract broke off in June.


Valerie Joseph, ‘Masters of Sex’ Post-Production Supervisor, Dies
Valerie Joseph, a veteran TV post-production supervisor who most recently worked on Showtime’s “Masters of Sex,” has died after a brief illness.


Hollywood Gender Discrimination Investigation is on: EEOC Contacts Women Directors
“It feels historic,” said Lori Precious, a director of commercials and music videos who received a letter from the EEOC. “We were all hoping it would go this far. I'm so tired of hearing, ‘There aren't qualified women.' There are qualified women to do every directing job in Hollywood.”


Handel: New Studio-Backed Union Contract Hurts Independent Producers
“While independents have advocated that the unions adopt a simplified formula for residuals,” Jean Prewitt tells THR, “the lack of consultation here suggests that the blended rate agreed by the union and the majors may well be out of touch with the independents’ actual sales experience in today’s international marketplace.”


Video Game Voice Actors Push for Strike
After several failed negotiations with producers, frustrated video game actors may vote to strike for royalties and fairer work conditions that match those of other industries, threatening potentially massive upheaval in the $91.5 billion industry.


Film Allman 'Misrepresented' Facts Repeatedly, Judge Ruled
The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission Judge Sharon Calhoun found Film Allman to have repeatedly misrepresented the facts in court and demonstrated a “plain indifference to the safety of its subordinate employees” of “the highest order” on the set of "Midnight Rider" which resulted in the death of Sarah Jones and the injury to several others.


Female Cinematographers a Rarity in Hollywood
Recent reports reveal that female writers and directors remain woefully underemployed in the film and TV business; the numbers are so dismal that in May the ACLU called on the government to launch an investigation. But the numbers are far worse for female directors of photography, who make up less than 4% of the membership of the American Society of Cinematographers.


Howard Rodman Elected as President of the Writers Guild of America, West
Screenwriter Howard Rodman has been elected president of the Writers Guild of America, West in an election that highlighted the growing anxieties among writers in Hollywood.


HBO Rules 67th Emmys with ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Veep’ and ‘Olive Kitteridge’
It was HBO’s night, as “Game of Thrones” not only took home the outstanding drama series award at the 67th Emmys, it racked up a record 12 wins, the most for a show ever in a single year. Also winning big were perennial favorite “Veep,” which took outstanding comedy series, while limited series “Olive Kitteridge” won best limited series.


Emmy Awards: Tight Races, High Temps Heat Up Ceremony
The heat is on -- literally. As the stars arrive today at the Microsoft Theater, the pressure is on not only to crown the best in television in one of the most competitive years in recent memory, they’ll also have to contend with a sweltering red carpet, as the thermometer flirts with the high 90s in downtown Los Angeles. The 67th Emmy Awards kicks off at 5 p.m. PT tonight on Fox.


Showrunner Gender Has Major Effect on Key Employment Off Screen, Study Says
Shows with a female creator or EP were substantially more likely to employ female writers, directors or editors.


‘Midnight Rider’ OSHA Fines Upheld: Sarah Jones Death 'Entirely Preventable’
A federal court has upheld the Occupational Safety and Health Administration safety violations and fine levied against production company Film Allman, LLC, which was set up by director/producer/co-writer Randall Miller and producer/co-writer Jody Savin to make the Gregg Allman biopic 'Midnight Rider.'


Scant Diversity Among First-Time TV Directors, Study Finds
The DGA, which recently issued its annual report on diversity in TV directing, has crunched the numbers extending back six years with a focus on first-time directing, and the results won’t surprise.


Review: PBS’s ‘Walt Disney’ Explores a Complex Legacy
Disney was no better at riding the 1937 success of "Snow White" than most other people are. His company became a big business, which also meant a big work force, which in 1941 meant a strike that seemed to turn Disney from a driven but likable innovator into a suspicious autocrat.


Creative Arts Emmys: ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Bessie’ Make HBO Top Winner
This year’s Creative Arts Emmys proved there’s no sure thing in awards season. After a night that was full of surprises, awards pundits are going to have their work cut out for them ahead of next Sunday’s Primetime Emmy Awards. Seven categories of Picture Editing were given awards. Winners were Jeffrey Werner, Katie Weiland, Peter Chakos, Brian Merken, Richard Hankin, Jason Baker and Josh Earl.


Hollywood Film Festival Shines Light on Social Causes
The 19th annual Hollywood Film Festival has unveiled a quartet of opening night films for its September 24 launch: Scott Ehrlich’s “Pearly Gates,” Eshom and Ian Nelms’ “Waffle Street,” Eric Weber’s “Outliving Emily” and Eugene Corr and Roberto Chile’s “Ghost Town To Havana.”


California’s Bid to Bring Production Back to State Striking Gold
Now that the California Film Commission has unveiled the first round of feature films to receive incentives under the state’s recently expanded tax credit program, producers are indicating that the new scheme is an anti-runaway success.


No, Hollywood Did Not Just Have Its Second-Biggest Summer Box Office Ever
The latest estimates for the domestic box office take from the summer season, which officially lasts from May 1 through Labor Day, put the tally at around $4.47 billion or $4.48 billion (depending on the source). That sounds like a lot, I know. Except that ticket prices have gone up a little bit each year, just as the prices of other consumer goods and services do.


Meryl Streep's Equal Opportunities Plea Virtually Ignored by Congress
Meryl Streep has revealed she received only five responses after writing personally to all 535 members of the US congress calling for the introduction of new equality laws.


The Crowding-Out Effect of Gargantuan Movies
Hollywood had one of its best summers ever at the domestic box office, but it was a sharply lopsided victory. Studios either thrived or withered, an outcome that reflects the winner-take-all nature of the mass-appeal movie business.


Almost Five Years After Kirkstall/ITV Employees Voted for WGAE, Still No Union Contract
There’s no love lost between the Writers Guild of America, East, and ITV, it appears, in the wake of back-to-back press releases from the union accusing the company of violating federal labor law.


Soap Opera Writers Forced by Producers to Get WGA Waivers for Less Work & Pay
More and more soap opera writers are being “bullied” by producers into requesting waivers from the WGA to take pay cuts, according to guild sources, one of whom described it as a “particularly insidious” problem that’s “cropping up regularly on daytime TV.”


Deluxe Culver City Post-Production Staff Overwhelmingly Vote for IATSE Contract
The former employees of Sony Colorworks officially want back the union benefits they used to have. In an election Wednesday conducted by the Labor Relations Board, 23 of the 25 votes cast among postproduction technicians and artists at Deluxe’s Culver City unit on the Sony lot were to join the Motion Picture Editors Guild and IATSE.


SAG-AFTRA Reaches Deal with Music Labels Over Online Payment
SAG-AFTRA and a consortium of recording industry players, including Sony, Warner affiliates, Universal, Capitol and Hollywood Records, have announced a tentative deal that, if passed, will include a payment formula for online streaming and non-permanent digital downloads that accounts for revenue generated outside the U.S.


WGA East Calls for Union Exemption to Obamacare’s ‘Cadillac Tax’
The WGA East on Thursday called for all union health plans to be exempted from the Affordable Care Act’s so-called “Cadillac Tax,” a 40% nondeductible excise tax that is scheduled to go into effect in 2018 on employers who provide high-end health benefits to their workers.


The Bizarre Case Against a Rana Plaza Documentary
In its ruling the Dhaka High Court provides a strange rationale for banning screenings of the movie for at least six months. A two-judge panel said the movie could not be shown because it would “negatively portray” the country’s powerful garment industry.


Animators Ratify 3-Year Deal with Producers
The members of the Animation Guild have ratified a three-year successor deal to its master contract with producers.


Two Actors Unions Boycott Tyler Perry's Stage Play
Atlanta entertainment mogul Tyler Perry is in hot water with actors labor unions SAG-AFTRA and Actors' Equity, according to


West Coast IATSE Ratifies Deal with Studios
The thirteen Hollywood IATSE locals have ratified a new three year deal with the AMPTP, representing studios and producers, the union announced Tuesday. Key provisions of the agreement include annual wage and pension increases, and no cuts or increased costs to the participants of the health plan, and what the union called “substantial improvements in working conditions” for new media productions.


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