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IRS Considers Exclusions on 'Cadillac' Health Plans
Some groups, particularly unions, have slammed the Cadillac tax as a way for employers to shift more healthcare costs to employees and reduce the value of collectively bargained benefits. Comments are due May 15.


New Mexico Governor Signs New Tax Incentive Bill
New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez signed a bill Tuesday that will allow production companies to pre-assign their tax rebates to third parties.


Want Full California Tax Credit? Bill Says Keep the Music Scoring Local
A bill introduced in the California Assembly seeks to change the state’s pending $330 million film incentives program by requiring that more of a film project’s music scoring be performed in California to qualify for the full amount of the rebates being offered.


Will 2015 Finally Be the Year of Women at the Movies?
Hollywood has long treated actresses like second-class citizens, but 2015 could finally be a turning point. Only three months into the new year, two of the three top-grossing films have been headlined by strong female characters: Universal’s “Fifty Shades of Grey” starring Dakota Johnson (with a worldwide gross of more than $550 million), and Disney’s “Cinderella” with Lily James in the title role and Cate Blachett as the evil stepmother (to the tune of $260 million worldwide).


‘Midnight Rider’ Producer Film Allman Contests Safety Citation in Court
Film Allman LLC lawyers continued in federal court in Savannah, Georgia arguing against the OSHA citations and $74,900 in fines. This has really become a mini-trial about whether "Midnight Rider" filmmakers intentionally put their crew in jeopardy on February 20, 2014 when they criminally trespassed on a Doctortown train trestle to place a metal hospital bed perpendicular on the tracks and shot a scene.


‘Midnight Rider’ Producer Film Allman Contests Safety Citation In Court
Lawyers for Film Allman arrived in federal court today in Savannah, GA to contest a safety violation and fine imposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration regarding the Midnight Rider set accident that resulted in the death of 27 year-old camera assistant Sarah Jones.


Jane Street Producers Vote to Join WGA East After Company Brass Urged Against It
Freelance producers and associate producers at Jane Street Entertainment have voted overwhelmingly to join the WGA East. Despite pleas from the company’s owners to reject union representation, the freelancers voted 46-3 to join the guild, and the National Labor Relations Board now has certified the guild as their collective bargaining representative.


Feds Probing Former Paramount Exec Over Embezzlement Allegations
The U.S. Department of Labor is investigating allegations that former Paramount labor relations executive Stephen Koppekin embezzled money from three of the union pension and health plans that he served on as a management trustee.


‘Midnight Rider’ Case Moves to Federal Court as OSHA Hearing Scheduled
A hearing will be held in federal court next week regarding the Midnight Rider train trestle accident that killed 27-year old camera assistant Sarah Jones to determine whether or not the film company behind the Gregg Allman biopic will have to pay fines levied against them by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.


NTSB Cites Trespassing as Cause of ‘Midnight Rider’ Accident
The National Transportation Safety Board has concluded that the probable cause of the February 20, 2014, train accident on the set of “Midnight Rider” was that the production didn’t have permission to shoot on the CSX trestle over the Altamaha River near Jesup, Georgia.


Husband of Worker Hurt on ‘NCIS: LA’ Calls for 'After-Injury Advocate'
Assistant location manager Brianne Brozey, who was injured on the set of NCIS: Los Angeles in March 2011 -- and was one of a handful of people Deadline found in the industry with enough courage to go on the record after the train accident that killed Sarah Jones -- now has difficulty speaking after going through a life-threatening, five-hour surgery.


Feds Cite CNN’s 'Anti-Union Animus,' Reject Latest Appeal In Worker Firings
CNN has lost another round in the broadcast industry’s longest-running labor dispute -- a battle that’s been going on so long that some of the workers wrongfully terminated by the news network 12 years ago have died before they could be rehired, as ordered by the National Labor Relations Board.


At the Box Office, It’s No Longer a Man’s World
Heading into the all-important summer moviegoing season, two converging box-office trends are startling studios: Women are driving ticket sales to a degree rarely, if ever, seen before, while young men --- long Hollywood’s most coveted audience --- are relatively AWOL.


‘Midnight Rider’ Director Issues Statement from Jail
"Midnight Rider" director Randall Miller, who pleaded guilty to criminal trespass and involuntary manslaughter in the on-set death of 27-year-old camera assistant Sarah Jones, issued a statement to the Associated Press from his jail cell saying that he accepted responsibility for the accident that killed her and injured six others.


New Mexico Legislature Votes to Increase Film Tax Credits
Two new bills to increase New Mexico’s film tax incentives have sailed through the state Legislature. The measures now go to Governor Susana Martinez, who is expected to sign them into law.


U.K. Sweetens Incentives for Film, TV, Videogame Industries
The U.K. government has sweetened incentives for the film, TV and videogame industries as part of its annual budget statement, announced by Chancellor George Osborne on Wednesday.


Upfront 2015: Time May Be Running Out for Primetime TV
Madison Avenue and the nation’s biggest media companies are about to go to war over something that may not exist in its current form just a year from now.


Bogdanovich Pushes for Non-‘Titanic’ Tentpoles
Peter Bogdanovich blames James Cameron’s success with 1997’s “Titanic” for studios pulling the plug on smaller movies, such as his 1971 hit “The Last Picture Show.”


IATSE Rips Into 'Lying' ‘Sharknado 3' Producers
It didn’t take long for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees to respond to dismissive and disparaging remarks from 'Sharknado 3' producer The Asylum earlier Friday.


Viacom to Pay $7.2m in Interns Lawsuit Settlement
On the same day that they were pink-slipping people at Paramount and Nickelodeon, the Sumner Redstone-controlled Viacom was putting a price tag on how much it will shell out to make their interns lawsuit go away. That will be $7,212,500 to be exact.


Proyect: Films on the Lives of Ordinary People
"After being asked to chair a panel discussion on storytelling at the Socially Relevant Film Festival 2015 in New York that runs from March 16 to 22 and previewing a dozen scheduled films, both narrative and documentary, I had an epiphany: 'socially relevant' films have a higher storytelling quotient than Hollywood’s for the simple reason that they are focused on the lives of ordinary people whose hopes and plight we can identify with," writes Louis Proyect in CounterPunch.


‘Sharknado 3’ Strike: IATSE Accuses The Asylum of ‘Lies,’ ‘Anti-Union Screed’
The “Sharknado 3” strike has been a whirlwind of biting (remarks, at least) -- not unlike the plot of the campy Syfy TV movie franchise from The Asylum.


Dayen: Michele Bachmann in ‘Sharknado 3’: Brought to You by ‘Strikenado’ Scabs
“This week, the cottage industry of sites formerly dedicated to covering ex-Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s every move had reason to celebrate, as she resurfaced in Washington, filming a scene for ‘Sharknado 3,’ the latest installment in the so-bad-it’s-actually-really-bad science fiction franchise,” writes David Dayen in In These Times.


Global Box Office Hits Record $36.4 Billion Fueled by China
The global box office was essentially flat in 2014 with worldwide receipts reaching $36.4 billion, according to a new study by the Motion Picture Association of America.


‘Sharknado 3' Strike Hits White House
Just over a week after the watery Syfy sequel was hit by labor action, IATSE has taken its bark and bite to the nation’s capital. Shooting on Sharknado 3 in front of the White House this morning was interrupted by picketers. All the IATSE members on the Asylum produced shoot walked off the job, the union says.


‘Midnight Rider’ D.A.: ‘This Was a Very Preventable Tragedy’
Jackie Johnson, the district attorney who led the prosecution in the “Midnight Rider” criminal case, said she hoped that they were prepared to show the extent to which the filmmakers knew that they did not have permission to be on the CSX railroad tracks and that their location was dangerous. “I think it is easy to call this an accident; this was a very preventable tragedy,” she told reporters after the final defendant, the movie’s first assistant director Hillary Schwartz, was sentenced to 10 years’ probation.


‘Midnight Rider’ First AD Hillary Schwartz Guilty; Gets 10 Years Probation
'Midnight Rider’s' first assistant director Hillary Schwartz was found guilty of criminal trespass and involuntary manslaughter today and will receive 10 years probation and no prison time.


‘Midnight Rider’ Director Pleads Guilty, Gets Two Years in Prison
A plea agreement was reached on Monday in the “Midnight Rider” case in which director Randall Miller was sentenced to two years in jail and executive producer Jay Sedrish was sentenced to 10 years probation.


‘Midnight Rider’ Trial: Director Randall Miller Pleads Guilty
Director Randall Miller entered a guilty plea on Monday in the “Midnight Rider” case, reversing a not guilty plea just as a trial was scheduled to begin.


TV Pilot Locations 2015: New York Slips, Los Angeles & Vancouver Rebound
California’s long-awaited expansion of the Film and TV Tax Credit Program is still months away, but things are starting to look up for the state in the high stakes of broadcast pilot production. After hitting a new low last year with a measly five drama pilots and slipping to 85% of comedy pilot production, Los Angeles regained some ground with seven drama pilots, tying Vancouver and last year’s leader New York for No. 1.


L.A. Mayor Cuts Production Red Tape, Appoints New Chief Film Liaison for City
Nearly two weeks after he announced his Greenlight Hollywood campaign, Mayor Eric Garcetti on Wednesday unveiled further measures to make L.A, the friendliest city in America for production.


Returning TV Series to Receive $90 Million in Next Round of California Credits
Returning TV series will receive the lion’s share of allocations -- $90 million of the $100 million available -- in the next round of the California film and TV tax credit program before the commission launches its expanded program.


Albert Maysles, Legendary Documentarian, Dies at 88
Albert Maysles, the documentary filmmaker and cinematographer behind “Grey Gardens,” a look at the bizarre lives of Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter; Rolling Stones film “Gimme Shelter”; cinema verite classic “Salesman”; and Muhammad Ali docu “When We Were Kings,” died Thursday of natural causes. He was 88.


‘Sharknado 3' Strike Day Two: Syfy Sequel Could Be 'Pushed Back'
There may be blood in the water for the latest installment of Syfy’s kitsch flick series. As the strike on 'Sharknado 3' by production and other crew goes into a second day, concerns are mounting that the TV pic won’t be finished in time for its July broadcast.


'Sharknado 3' Strike: Production Crew Walks Out for Union Contract
The Los Angeles-based production crew for "Sharknado 3" refused to work on Thursday for the third straight day. The roughly 40 employees on strike -- some of them union members, some of them not -- are asking for a contract with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.


'Sharknado 3' Producer Mocks Picketing Union by Touting Deal with Sharks
As picketing crew members circulated outside two Sharknado 3 production locations Tuesday -- presumably idling the sharks that would otherwise be swirling on set -- an IATSE executive told The Hollywood Reporter that she didn't know why producers were declining to sign a union contract.


‘Sharknado 3' Hit by IA Strike
It looks like the Syfy sequel has had a bite taken out of its schedule, to say the least. On Tuesday morning, approximately 30-40 members of the 'Sharknado 3' production crew voted to walk off the job in search of an IATSE contact. The crew are seeking a health and pension agreement. Sharknado 3 is set to air this summer on the NBCUniversal owned channel.


Reality Producers 'Jane' to Freelancers Seeking Union: 'You Aren’t Part of a Machine'
Who needs a union? The owners of Jane Street Entertainment certainly don’t think their freelance writer-producers do. The New York-based company, which produces reality shows for Food Network, HBO, NBC, TLC, USA, Lifetime and HGTV, is urging its freelancers to vote no on union representation, arguing that the company can do a better job of safeguarding their interests than the WGA East can.


‘Midnight Rider’ First A.D. to Get Separate Trial
Hillary Schwartz, the first assistant director on “Midnight Rider,” will get a separate trial from three other defendants who also face charges of criminal trespass and involuntary manslaughter stemming from the February 20, 2014, accident on the movie’s set near Jesup, Georgia, according to the Associated Press. Director Randall Miller, producer Jody Savin and executive producer Jay Sedrish are scheduled to go on trial in Wayne County Court on March 9. They each have pleaded not guilty.


Mayor Garcetti Debuts New Film Marketing Effort
"Our entertainment industry is essential to our city's identity and economy and this campaign represents the next step in a strategic agenda to ensure Los Angeles remains the entertainment capital of the world," Mayor Garcetti said in a statement. "We're launching this campaign to make sure decision-makers understand all of the incentives we can provide for filming in L.A."


L.A. Mayor Unveils ‘Greenlight Hollywood’ Initiative to Fight Runaway Production
With eyes and cameras all over the world focused on the Oscars this weekend, Eric Garcetti is set Friday to formally announce the next steps City Hall is going to take to curb runaway production and keep filming in Hollywood.


'Citizenfour' Triumphs: Snowden Documentary Nabs Oscar
Citizenfour, the film chronicling the decision made by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to expose wrongdoing to the world by leaking details of the agency's top-secret global surveillance operation to journalists, was awarded the Best Documentary Film award at Sunday night's Academy Award.


‘Birdman’ Wins Best Picture, Director at Politically Charged Oscars
Politics took center stage at the 87th Academy Awards on Sunday, as winners and presenters used the widely watched telecast to draw attention to everything from civil rights to whistleblowing. “Whiplash” ranked as the second most- honored picture in the early going, nabbing Oscars for best sound mixing for Craig Mann and Ben Wilkins, and film editing for Tom Cross. Best sound editing went to Alan Robert MurraPolitics took center stage at the 87th Academy Awards on Sunday, as winners and presenters used the widely watched telecast to draw attention to everything from civil rights to whistleblowing. “Whiplash” ranked as the second most- honored picture in the early going, nabbing Oscars for best sound mixing for Craig Mann and Ben Wilkins, and film editing for Tom Cross. Best sound editing went to Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman for their work in "Sniper."


WGA Asks Members for Moment of Silence for Sarah Jones’ One-Year Memorial
The WGA asked its writers to observe a moment of silence, at 1:29 PM, to honor the memory of Sarah Jones. It is joining other unions representing cinematographers and mechanics in Georgia in memorializing Jones, who was killed a year ago today at that time on the rural Georgia set of "Midnight Rider."


Former Rhythm & Hues Owners Sued for Having 'Pillaged' Oscar-Winning VFX House
On February 13, two years after Rhythm & Hues filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the Trustee in the case brought a new complaint against the company's former officers and directors, including John Patrick Hughes, Pauline Ts’o and Keith Goldfarb.


'Birdman,' 'Big Hero 6' Earn Cinema Audio Society Awards for Sound
"Birdman" and "Big Hero 6" won the feature film honors Saturday evening in Los Angeles at the 51st Cinema Audio Society Awards.


‘Birdman,’ ‘Unbroken’ Lead MPSE Golden Reel Awards
The 62nd Motion Picture Sound Editors Golden Reel Awards recognized features including “Birdman,” “Big Hero 6,” “Unbroken” and “Get on Up” at Sunday night’s ceremony at the Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles.


‘Grand Budapest Hotel,’ ‘True Detective’ Top WGA Awards
Wes Anderson’s whimsical script for “The Grand Budapest Hotel” took the Writers Guild of America award for original screenplay, while Graham Moore’s script for codebreaking thriller “The Imitation Game” won for adapted screenplay. HBO’s “True Detective” and FX’s “Louie” each took a pair of TV trophies.


Contender -- Editor Barney Pilling, 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'
English editor Barney Pilling had never worked with director Wes Anderson before, but during The Grand Budapest Hotel’s principal shoot in Görlitz, Germany, director and editor quickly settled into a copacetic flow, refining but mostly sustaining the small masterpieces of performance the film’s cast delivered for the cameras.


L.A. Film Czar Ken Ziffren Q&A
With a system based on qualified wages and potential bonus points for economic drivers like VFX, the vote comes just over a year to the day that Hollywood heavyweight attorney Ken Ziffren was officially appointed as Los Angeles’ second Film Czar.


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