“Kingsman: Secret Service” Is 2015′s First Great Action Film

Review by: Mark Salcido

Alright, let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Yes, this movie came out almost two weeks ago but give me a break; I do have a life outside of this website.

“Kingsman: The Secret Service “is the latest film from director Matthew Vaughn and second collaboration with comic book writer Mark Millar. It stars Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Michael Caine, 9859_kingsman_recruitsoMark Strong, Samuel L. Jackson, and Sofia Boutella. Based off the comic from Icon Comics written by Mark Millar, it tells the story of Gary ‘Eggsy’ Urwin (played by Egerton) who’s recruited by Harry Hart/Galahad (played by Firth) into the secret spy world to battle terrorism of all types wherever they may lie and save the day, in the most stylish fashion.

Now the formal shit is done, let’s really talk about the movie. This one is fun, fun, fun. Fuck proper grammar because that’s how good this movie is. It’s not a deep thinker or dumb down explosion fest. It’s a stylish action spy film that deserves your smile and hard earned money. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

The movie starts off by letting you know how cool kingsmanx01everything is going to be in almost every scene but doesn’t stick its pretentious nose at you. When Eggsy is picked from the slums of England because of his family history, he, along with a few other candidates, are molded and trained into proper gentlemen spies by Merlin (played by Strong), while Galahad and other fellow Kingsmen investigate the disappearance of Professor Arnold (played by Mark Hamill…yes, you read that right). This leads to a trail to tech billionaire Valentine (Jackson) and his bad muthafuckin’ ass henchwoman, Gazelle (Boutella). Now, doesn’t that just scream nefarious plans for world dominating?

You can tell that everyone involved with this movie had a blast making it. There is plenty of drykingsman 1 British humor that mixed well with American. You’ve probably heard that this movie is a blend of Vaughn’s early film Kick-Ass and James Bond, spot on. Kingsman takes the spy genre and brings it to a real world yet still comical place. The movie even pokes fun at itself by mentioning how it follows the tropes of a hip spy film.

The direction of Matthew Vaughn is so damn good. There are a few shaky cam-esq scenes that begin a little jarring but are quickly forgiven when it really brings you into the action. It’s been reported that Vaughn passed on X-Men: Days of Future Past to make this film and thank god he did. I don’t think anyone could’ve fit as director better than him for this type of story. No shot SamJacksonis wasted and Vaughn makes sure everyone hits their comedic mark.

The action is awesome. There is a great scene when Colin Firth’s character goes full Jason Bourne/Bryan Mills and takes out a room full of people to the tune of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Free Bird’ and with the flair of, you guessed it, Kick-Ass. I caught myself having the hugest grin because it was just that cool. This being a spy film, of course you’ll get your fill of handy dandy spy gadgets; even making a few cracks at some classic Bond tools.

This movie is a fun spy/action ride that I think you will want to go back again and again. It won’t win for the most thought provoking concerns on our society, but will do its job as this year’s first great action film. All in all, enjoy this film. Trust me, I am a trained professional.

Dick Cavett Re-Lives History in “Hellman v McCarthy” At Theatre 40

Review by: Peter Foldy

The play, “Hellman v McCarthy” at Theatre 40 in Beverly Hills tells the story of two old battle axes who also happen to be literary lionesses, as they battle it out in the court of public opinion, dragging the legendary talk show host, Dick Cavett and the PBS television network into the fight.

Mr. Cavett portrays a younger incarnation of himself in this fine production directed by Howard Storm and writtenImage 2 by Brian Richard Mori.

The circumstances leading up to this senior citizen cat fight are based on real facts.  In 1979, celebrated writer, Mary McCarthy (“Memories of a Catholic Girlhood,” “The Group”) was a guest on the “The Dick Cavett Show.”  During the interview the outspoken Ms. McCarthy slammed writers, John Steinbeck and Peal Buck before moving on the a more hated literary competitor, Lillian Hellman, author of the hit Broadway plays “The Little Foxes” and “The Children’s Hour” as well as the memoir “Pentimento: A Book of Portraits.”  Ms. McCarthy told Mr. Cavett that Hellman was an overrated as well as a dishonest writer, continuing to say that “every word she writes is a lie, Imageincluding ‘and’ and ‘the’.”

Hellman and her male nurse happened to catch the broadcast and aghast, Ms. Hellman filed a libel suit the next day, not only against Ms. McCarthy but also against Dick Cavett and PBS.

It is a fact that Hellman was criticized for inaccuracies in a particular chapter of her book, “Pentimento,” a story that was ultimately turned into the Academy Award winning film, “Julia” starring Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave.

It would seem that these two colorful women had a history of dislike for each other that likely started Image 4in the 1930s when Hellman became a communist sympathizer and McCarthy followed a more liberal path.  Professional jealousy and even a tryst with each other’s gentlemen friends didn’t help matters any.

After a  watching each participant give depositions and vent to their respective attorneys as well as directly to Mr. Cavett himself, the audience finally gets to witness the much awaited face to face confrontation between Hellman and McCarthy.

The playwright does a great job of showing us just how it might have gone down, because this event never happened and, as Mr. Cavett explains, might only be imagined.  And imagined it is.  Full of slurs, innuendo and bawdy language, the clash is vericious.  For the audience it’s fun being a fly on the wall.

In real life the conflict between Hellman and McCarthy was never resolved, the lawsuit was never settled because Ms. Hellman passed away.  One can almost be certain that had she not died, it almost certainly would havImage 1e gone to the courts.  Neither Hellman nor McCarthy were willing to concede an inch.  The case was finally dismissed in 1984 and this battle of the wills makes for wonderful drama that has been well brought to life by Mr. Mori.

Cavett playing Cavett is s great piece of casting.  He is charming and relaxed as himself, opening the show as he would on television with a playful monologue.   He introduces  his TV guest, McCarthy and recreates a portion of their interview, setting the nasty wheels in motion.

Marcia Rodd, recreates the role of Mary McCarthy, having originated the role off-Broadway in 2014 in a production that also starred Mr. Cavett.  Ms. Rodd is superbly dry and feisty as Mary McCarthy and ably delivers the writer’s point of view.

Flora Plumb is most compelling as the foulImage 6 mouthed, Lillian Hellman.  She delivers a balanced portrait and she makes the audience both hate and feel empathy for her .  Hellman refuses to back down, not only from the pending lawsuit but also from the mean spirited cranky old woman she has grown into.

M. Rowan Meyer is strong and believable “Ryan,” Hellman’s nurse, a fan boy who puts up with the Hellman’s meanness long after many would have walked away.  In a powerful emotional encounter with Hellman his character turns confrontational when finally pushed too far.  It is a touching moment from Mr. Meyer who also originated this role off-Broadway.

Martin Thompson and John Combs are a fine addition to this cast, but it is Dick Cavett who helps balance the story, moving us between actual facts and a dash of fiction, in a sense breaking the fourth wall by his very presence in this compelling play that should not be missed.

Hellman v. McCarthy
Theatre 40 in the Reuben Cordova Theatre
241 S. Moreno Drive in Beverly Hills
on the campus of Beverly Hills High School
For tickets, call (310) 364-3606 or visit www.theatre40.org
Ends on Feb 28, 2015
Tickets for one subsequent performance at The Saban Theatre on March 1, 2015 available at Ticketmaster -






“Birdman” Director, Alejandro Inarritu, Wins Top Prize At Directors Guild Awards

-1Century City, CA:  February 8, 2015

After taking top honors from the Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG) and the producing guilds, “Birdman,” a film about a washed-up Hollywood actor played by Michael Keaton has won the top prize at the Directors Guild Awards in Century City last night.

Alejandro Inarritu, the writer-director of “Birdman,” was honored at Saturday’s ceremony with the prize for outstanding directional achievement for a feature film.  Many had expected Richard Linklater, director of the film, “Boyhood,” to win the top prize at last night’s award and this win by Inarritu just may give “Birdman” an edge at the up-coming  Academy Awards.  59 of the 66 previous DGA winners have gonebanner-birdman-film_page_np on to win the directing Oscar.

The Director’s Guild dispenses awards to directors in TV and movie categories in what’s customarily a final calling for the film that goes on to win the best director trophy and possibly best picture at the Oscars.

Other winners Saturday included Jill Soloway for the TV comedy “Transparent” and Laura Poitras for the documentary “Citizenfour.”

Totalitarian “Disconnection” Rules at the Beverly Hills Playhouse

Review by Peter Foldy

Launching their 2015 season after a successful, award winning year in 2014, the Skylight Theatre Company has opened with a thought-provoking drama by Allen Barton called DISCONNECTION.  Based in part on the playwright’s own personal experiences with Scientology, the play is a powerful indictment of contemporary religious intrusion into personal lives and is a production that should not be missed.

As the story unfolds,Diconnection-Poster “Landon” (Jay Huguley)  is a successful lawyer who is depressed after the death of his wife four years earlier, a death he is responsible for.  He visits “Michel” (Dennis Nollette), an elderly piano teacher, thinking that by sharpening his music skills he may be able to find some peace of mind.  Both men are members of a powerful Church that pays no taxes and uses fear, threats of violence and an implied moral authority to restrict freedom of speech, and even more damagingly, forces it’s members to disassociate with friends and family who are deemed to be “suppressive.”

Landon’s daughter, “Tess” (Carter Scott) also a church member, has not been allowed to see or speak to her father since the deadly accident.  Tess has become a high ranking staff member who reports directly to the Church’s young and volatile “Chairman,” (Everette Wallin).  When Tess and her husband, “Nick,” (Luke Cook) another high up staff member in the organization discover that Tess is pregnant, she informs Nick that she is leaving the Church.  Children it seems are a distraction and are not allowed amongst the staff.

Tess’ husband soon reveals himself to be more loyal to the Chairman than he is to his pregnant wife.  He tries to convince Tess to have an abortion but she refused and before long faces the wrath of the Chairman as he rants and threatens to end her marriage to Nick and destroy Tess in the process.

We also meet “Oldman” (Robert L. Hughes) the DIS_0972founder of this dogmatic religion that uses a mix of science fiction, among other things, as it’s basis in fact.  Now in hiding and reflecting back on his life, Oldman is particularly unhappy about the fact that his Church is now in the hands of a mere ‘boy’ as Oldman refers to the Chairman.  His original intentions, he tells us, were well meaning, but his vision took a wrong turn and Oldman now feels guilt and some regret over the wrongs he has committed along the way.

Director, Joel Polis ably guides his highly talented cast.  Carter Scott, making her first professional theater appearance is exceptional as “Tess.”   It is hard not to identify with her plight. Luke Cook is perfect as her  weasly, brainwashed, robotic husband, “Nick,” who uses his real Australian accent in this production.  Whether intended or not, it subtly indicates the international reach of the Church of which “Nick” is a devoted member.

Robert L. Hughes finds a nice balance between dictator and prophet with his monologue as “Oldman” and EveretteDIS_0721 Wallin as “Chairman” is frightening in the role of the violent, crazy as a fox ‘boy’ now in firm control of the movement.

Jay Huguley as “Landon” and Dennis Nollette as “Michel” are also impressive in their respective roles.

Jeff McLaughlin’s set and lighting design and Peter Bayne’s sound design were effective in bringing the production to life.

It should also be mentioned that all the piano playing in the piece were performed (and pre-recorded) by playwright, Allen Barton.

Barton need to be commended for so ably telling this disturbing and pertinent story.  In this current age where dogma has taken a hold of many impressionable minds, it is important to get a glimpse at the inner workings of organizations such as the Church in order to learn about their their fear based modus operandi, not to mention the life-long damage they inflict on individuals who dare to defy them.

As a final statement to the audience, Carter Scott’s “Tess” reminds us not to be smug and believe that only stupid people fall prey to ill conceived groups and religions.  In a moment of weakness, she tell us, we are all susceptible.

Where: Beverly Hills Playhouse, 254 S. Robinson Blvd. Beverly Hills

When: 8:30 pm Fridays, 8:00 pm Saturdays and 7:00 pm on Sundays.

Closing: March 1, 2015.  (No performance Feb 1, or March 1).

For reservations call: 213-761-7061, or book online  HERE

Photos by Ed Krieger


Henry Jaglom’s Train To Zakopané Is A Ride Worth Taking

Review by Peter Foldy

The setting is Poland, 1928.  The play opens on an over-crowded train to Warsaw.

A handsome, sophisticated young Russian emigre called, Semyon Sapir (Mike Falkow) is invited to share a compartment with a man of the cloth, Father Alexandrov (Stephen Howard).  Also on the train is a retired actress,  Mme. Nadia Selmeczy (Cathy Arden) and an attractive army nurse, Katia Wampuzyk (Tanna Frederick) who is on her way to join her regiment.  The conversation soon turns political and the subject of those pesky Jews quickly becomes a topic.  Katia does not hide her deeply rooted antisemitism and Semyon, who we know to be Jewish, chooses not reveal that he is “one of those people” that Katia claims to be able to “smell a kilometer away.”

Tanna Frederick and Mike Falkow in "Train To Zakopané"

Tanna Frederick and Mike Falkow in “Train To Zakopané”

Despite her hatred of his race, Semyon feels a strange attraction for the young nurse and when the train stops at the beautiful ski resort town of Zakopané, a town where Katia grew up, he convinces her to disembark in order to spend a few days together before she has to continue her journey.  We are not sure what Semyon’s true intentions are.  Is it love at first sight, a sexual attraction, or perhaps the desire to teach the pretty young anti-semite a cruel lesson.

After a couple of beautiful, romantic days together, Semyon deflowers the virginal nurse and now he is even more torn whether to admit the truth about his religion.  But soon a more devastating secret is revealed and Semyon realizes that even before they ever met, Katia had indirectly impacted his life.  Again a hatred of Jews lies at the heart of the problem, and the conclusion of the play is both tragic and bitter sweet.  Adding to the impact, at least for this reviewer,  is the fact that the audience is left with the knowledge that in just over twelve years from when this story takes place, the Jews of Poland will be sent to extermination camps, wiping out almost three million citizens.  It is certainly a sobering realization, though not everyone who sees this play will make that connection.

Written by playwright/film director/actor, Henry Jaglom and ably directed by Gary Imhoff, Train to Zakopané” is an ambitious production.  The play is based on a true story told to Jaglom by his father who had a very similar experience as a young man in Poland.

Mike Falkow is well cast as “Semyon Sapir,” the suave, intelligent traveler who sets out to seduce a stranger on a train.  His polite manner and dashing good looks make him at first hard to figure and for the young nurse, even harder to resist.

Tanna Frederick comes across as somewhat annoying in the role of the naive, opinionated Katia, but as her story unfolds and her weaknesses revealed, I was able to see her character’s point of view.  Katia only knows what she knows, and happily believes those harmful stereo types that are reinforced as fact in certain European countries where it seems that  antisemitism is taken in with mother’s milk.  It was in the 1920s a fabric of their daily lives, and as history has proved, not just at the beginning of the 20th Century,  but sadly to this very day.

Stephen Howard  as “Father Alexandrov” and Cathy Arden as  “Mme. Nadia Selmeczy” are both excellent as fellow passengers who don’t challenge Katia’s virulent opinions and who are stunned when the young nurse gets off the train with a man she has just met.

One bump in the road for “Train To ” is the language.  It is thick and mannered and old world polite, but at the same time probably not inaccurate, because that is how most middle class and upper class Poles spoke in the 1920s.

Some of the delivery and mannerism, particularly from Ms. Frederick come across as as “acting” and may seem slightly over the top, but not unexpected from a character with deep insecurities who is trying to impress.  As the performance moved forward, Ms. Frederick grew more grounded and easier to relate to.

Certainly, by the time we meet Jeff Elan as “Dr. Nahum Gruenbaum” and Kelly DeSarla as Katia’s old friend, “Marousia Petronko,” (both grounded and convincing) in the second act,  the intentions are clearer, though certain story points are unnecessarily repeated.

Scenic design by Chris Stone is impressive, if perhaps overly ambitious, requiring lengthy set changes.  Costumes by Shayna Frederick are glamorous and appropriate for the ladies and less so for the gentlemen.  Dr. Grienbaum’s modern day suit and sweater especially made him look out of place.

Great music choices by the production certainly help to set the atmosphere and allow the audience relate to the era.

“Train To Zakopané – A True Story Of Hate And Love” feels in many ways like a grand motion picture from the 1940s.  It’s a sweeping story of a once in a lifetime romance and also a history lesson that, even in this day and age, may not has been fully absorbed.

Despite it’s minor flaws, “Train To Zakaponé” is a charming and important production that deserves to be seen.

Edgemar Center for the Arts, Main Stage, 2437 Main Street, Santa Monica 90405. Thursday – Saturday 7:30 pm, Sunday 5 pm

(310)392-7327 or The Edgemar Center for the Arts

Tickets: $34.99

Parking in building garage $6 flat rate.

Ends: March 29, 2015




2014 BAFTA Award Nominees Announced

London: January 9, 2015

The Brits have spoken.  BAFTA in London has announced the contenders for the 2014 EE British Academy Film Awards.  “Birdman,” “Boyhood,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,”Birdman_poster “The Imitation Game” and “The Theory of Everything” received the most nominations for Best Film.

The EE British Academy Film Awards will take place on Feb. 8 in London.

Here is a full list of the nominations:

BIRDMAN Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, James W. Skotchdopole
BOYHOOD Richard Linklater, Cathleen Sutherland
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales, Jeremy Dawson
THE IMITATION GAME Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky, Teddy Schwarzman
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony McCarten

’71 Yann Demange, Angus Lamont, Robin Gutch, Gregory Burke
THE IMITATION GAME Morten Tyldum, Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky, Teddy Schwarzman, Graham Moore
PADDINGTON Paul King, David Heyman
PRIDE Matthew Warchus, David Livingstone, Stephen Beresford
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING James Marsh, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony McCarten
UNDER THE SKIN Jonathan Glazer, James Wilson, Nick Wechsler, Walter Campbellboyhood-poster

ELAINE CONSTANTINE (Writer/Director) Northern Soul
GREGORY BURKE (Writer), YANN DEMANGE (Director) ’71
HONG KHAOU (Writer/Director) Lilting
PAUL KATIS (Director/Producer), ANDREW DE LOTBINIÈRE (Producer) Kajaki: The True Story

IDA Pawel Pawlikowski, Eric Abraham, Piotr Dzieciol, Ewa Puszczynska
LEVIATHAN Andrey Zvyagintsev, Alexander Rodnyansky, Sergey Melkumov
THE LUNCHBOX Ritesh Batra, Arun Rangachari, Anurag Kashyap, Guneet Monga
TRASH Stephen Daldry, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Kris Thykier
TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, Denis Freyd

20 FEET FROM STARDOM Morgan Neville, Caitrin Rogers, Gil Friesen
20,000 DAYS ON EARTH Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard
FINDING VIVIAN MAIER John Maloof, Charlie Siskel
VIRUNGA Orlando von Einsiedel, Joanna Natasegaracover326x326

BIG HERO 6 Don Hall, Chris Williams
THE BOXTROLLS Anthony Stacchi, Graham Annable
THE LEGO MOVIE Phil Lord, Christopher Miller

BIRDMAN Alejandro G. Iñárritu
BOYHOOD Richard Linklater
WHIPLASH Damien Chazelle

BIRDMAN Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr, Armando Bo
BOYHOOD Richard Linklater
WHIPLASH Damien Chazelle

GONE GIRL Gillian Flynn

EDDIE REDMAYNE The Theory of Everything
RALPH FIENNES The Grand Budapest Hotel

FELICITY JONES The Theory of Everything

J.K. SIMMONS Whiplash

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY The Imitation Game
RENE RUSSO Nightcrawler

BIRDMAN Antonio Sanchez

BIRDMAN Emmanuel Lubezki
IDA Lukasz Zal, Ryzsard Lenczewski
INTERSTELLAR Hoyte van Hoytema
MR. TURNER Dick Pope

Due to a tie in voting in this category, there are six nominations
BIRDMAN Douglas Crise, Stephen Mirrione
THE IMITATION GAME William Goldenberg

BIG EYES Rick Heinrichs, Shane Vieau
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock
THE IMITATION GAME Maria Djurkovic, Tatiana MacDonald
INTERSTELLAR Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis
MR. TURNER Suzie Davies, Charlotte Watts

THE IMITATION GAME Sammy Sheldon Differ
INTO THE WOODS Colleen Atwood
MR. TURNER Jacqueline Durran

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou, David White
INTO THE WOODS  Peter Swords King, J. Roy Helland
MR. TURNER Christine Blundell, Lesa Warrener

AMERICAN SNIPER Walt Martin, John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, Alan Robert Murray, Bub Asman
BIRDMAN Thomas Varga, Martin Hernández, Aaron Glascock, Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL Wayne Lemmer, Christopher Scarabosio, Pawel Wdowczak
THE IMITATION GAME John Midgley, Lee Walpole, Stuart Hilliker, Martin Jensen
WHIPLASH Thomas Curley, Ben Wilkins, Craig Mann

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Erik Winquist, Daniel Barrett
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Stephane Ceretti, Paul Corbould, Jonathan Fawkner, Nicolas Aithadi
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, R. Christopher White
INTERSTELLAR Paul Franklin, Scott Fisher, Andrew Lockley
X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST Richard Stammers, Anders Langlands, Tim Crosbie, Cameron Waldbauer

THE BIGGER PICTURE Chris Hees, Daisy Jacobs, Jennifer Majka
MONKEY LOVE EXPERIMENTS Ainslie Henderson, Cam Fraser, Will Anderson
MY DAD Marcus Armitage

BOOGALOO AND GRAHAM Brian J. Falconer, Michael Lennox, Ronan Blaney
EMOTIONAL FUSEBOX Michael Berliner, Rachel Tunnard
THE KÁRMÁN LINE Campbell Beaton, Dawn King, Tiernan Hanby, Oscar Sharp
SLAP Islay Bell-Webb, Michelangelo Fano, Nick Rowland
THREE BROTHERS Aleem Khan, Matthieu de Braconier, Stephanie Paeplow

THE EE RISING STAR AWARD (voted for by the public)



Actors Go Rogue For 2015 Nude Calender

Los Angeles, CA:  January 6, 2015

Trust the Rogue Machine Theatre in Los Angeles, producers of edgy, provocative plays such as Mike Bartlett’s award winning, “Cock” and the world premier of L.R. Gordon’s “Uploaded”Image 2 to come up with a sexy way to raise money for their up-coming 2015 season.   They’ve gone rogue and have just released a new calender featuring nude photos of cast members from Rogue Machine’s various productions.  And it isn’t just cheese and beefcake.  Testing the notion that brains and brawn sells, the Bard Laid Bare Calendar features notable death and battle scenes from Shakespeare’s greatest plays as portrayed by associates of this innovative theater company.

It seems most of the actors had no qualms about stripping for the camera.

“I’m not a huge fan of taking my clothes off for strangers. In fact, this is a first,” stated Justin Okin who portrays Brutus from Julius Caesar.  “I did this because Rogue Machine has shown me time and time

again that diving off the edgeImage 1 without knowing what is on the other side is truly the most ambitious and rewarding way to tell stories.”

And Burt Grinstead who recreated Hamlet for the photo shoot say he agreed to get naked because, in his words, “what better way to make it in Hollywood than to show a little skin.”

No doubt Grinstead isn’t the first to come up with that concept.

Proceeds from the sale of the calendar will go to support the Rogue Machine Theatre, primarily to purchase new light and sound equipment.

Participants of "The Bard Laid Bare" Calendar from Rogue Machine

Participants of “The Bard Laid Bare” Calendar from Rogue Machine

Considering the fine quality of Rogue Machine’s productions the selling price of $20.00 is more than a worthwhile investment.

You can order your copy of the Bard Laid Bare Calendar HERE or pick one up at the theater which is located at: 5041 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90019

Calendar Photos by: Jeff Lorch



Our Picks For The Top Ten Films of 2014

Here are our picks for the Top Ten Movies of 2014.

1. Boyhood:  The story of a young boy growing up before our very eyes, Richard Linkletter’s groundbreaking cinematic masterpiece was shot for a couple of weeks a year in a schedule that spanned twelve year.  We first meet Mason (in a breakthrough performance by Ellar Coltrane) when he is seven and follow him through the trials and tribulations of childhood, parental divorce, teenage angst and finally college life.  Strong performances all around but particularly from Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as Mason’s parents make this film an exceptional, experimental stand out.


2. Nightcrawler:  Jake Gylenhall has never been better in this thriller from first time director, Dan Gilroy.  Gylenhall plays a creepy sociopath determined to make a name for himself in the gritty world of Los Angeles street journalism with deadly results.  This is a must-see.


3. Ida: It’s 1962 and a young apprentice nun (first time actress, Agata Trzebuchowska) is about to take her vows at convent in Poland when she discovers that she is Jewish and a holocaust survivor.  The naive, innocent girl and her hardened aunt who is her only living relative, set out to find the graves of the girl’s parents.  By the end of the journey, she has a major decision to make.  Shot in glorious black and white and brilliantly directed by Pawel Pawlikowski, this a compelling film where every frame is like a photograph you would be happy to hang on your wall.


4. Whiplash: Writer/Director’s Damien Chazelle’s real life experiences at the music conservatory inspired this well crafted face off between a determined and talented drum student and the college professor who is determined to bust his balls. Both Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons are excellent in their roles and this film takes you on a fun ride that ends in face off that is both loud and satisfying.


5. The Imitation Game: The story of Alan Turing who in the early 1940s led a motley group of scholars, linguists, chess champions and intelligence officers in cracking the so-called unbreakable codes of Germany’s World War II Enigma machine. The film follows this genius, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, who under nail-biting pressure helped shorten the war and, in turn, save thousands of lives, only to be jailed a few years later for the criminal offense of homosexuality, at that time a crime in the UK.


6. Birdman:  A cinematic roller coaster about a Hollywood superhero (Michael Keaton) trying to get respect on Broadway. Keaton gives the performance of his career in this whirling comedy in which the laughs promise to hurt.


7. Selma: A compelling and well told film about  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s 1965 campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The epic march from Selma to Montgomery organized by Dr. King culminated in President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement.


8. The Theory of Everything: Eddie Redmayne shows true star power in his portrayal of Stephen Hawking, one of the world’s greatest living minds, who falls in love with fellow Cambridge student Jane Wilde. Once a healthy, active young man, Hawking receives an earth-shattering diagnosis at age 21 years  yet manges to embarks on his most ambitious scientific work, studying the very thing he now has precious little of – time. Directed by Academy Award winner James Marsh, the film is poignant and thought provoking.


9.  A Most Violent Year: Oscar Isaac totally dominates the screen in this drama that follows the lives of an immigrant (Isaac) and his wife, Jessica Chastain as they attempt to capitalize on the American Dream, while the violence, decay, and corruption of the day threatens to destroy all they have accomplished.  The film’s slow reveal works beautifullyA Most Violent Year will go on to be a classic.


10. The Grand Budapest Hotel: Wes Anderson’s film recounts the adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune — all against the back-drop of a suddenly and dramatically changing Continent.


21st SAG Award Nominees Announced

Hollywood, CA:December 10, 2014

Eva Longoria and Ansel Elgort announced the nominees for the 21st annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on TBS and TNT.  The film, “Birdman” got the most nominations with four nods, while “The Imitation Game” and “The Theory of Everything” landed three apiece. Those three, plus “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Boyhood” are finalists in the movie ensemble category.

Michael Keaton and Edward Norton in "Birdman"

Michael Keaton and Edward Norton in “Birdman”

Predictably, “Modern Family” grabbed four nominations, and “Homeland,” “Game of Thrones,” “House of Cards” and “Boardwalk Empire” each received three.

Here is the complete list of nominations:

Theatrical Motion Pictures

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
STEVE CARELL / John du Pont – “FOXCATCHER” (Sony Pictures Classics)
BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH / Alan Turing – “THE IMITATION GAME” (The Weinstein Company)
JAKE GYLLENHAAL / Louis Bloom – “NIGHTCRAWLER” (Open Road Films)
MICHAEL KEATON / Riggan – “BIRDMAN” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
EDDIE REDMAYNE / Stephen Hawking – “THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING” (Focus Features)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
JENNIFER ANISTON / Claire Bennett – “CAKE” (Cinelou Films)
JULIANNE MOORE / Alice Howland-Jones – “STILL ALICE” (Sony Pictures Classics)
ROSAMUND PIKE / Amy Dunne – “GONE GIRL” (20th Century Fox)
REESE WITHERSPOON / Cheryl Strayed – “WILD” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
ROBERT DUVALL / Joseph Palmer – “THE JUDGE” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
ETHAN HAWKE / Mason, Sr. – “BOYHOOD” (IFC Films)
EDWARD NORTON / Mike – “BIRDMAN” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
MARK RUFFALO / Dave Schultz – “FOXCATCHER” (Sony Pictures Classics)
J.K. SIMMONS / Fletcher – “WHIPLASH” (Sony Pictures Classics)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
KEIRA KNIGHTLEY / Joan Clarke – “THE IMITATION GAME” (The Weinstein Company)
EMMA STONE / Sam – “BIRDMAN” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
MERYL STREEP / The Witch – “INTO THE WOODS” (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
NAOMI WATTS / Daka – “ST. VINCENT” (The Weinstein Company)

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
BIRDMAN (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
AMY RYAN / Sylvia

ETHAN HAWKE / Mason, Sr.

F. MURRAY ABRAHAM / Mr. Moustafa
JUDE LAW / Young Writer
LÉA SEYDOUX / Clotilde

THE IMITATION GAME (The Weinstein Company)
MATTHEW BEARD / Peter Hilton
CHARLES DANCE / Commander Denniston
MATTHEW GOODE / Hugh Alexander
ALLEN LEECH / John Cairncross
MARK STRONG / Stewart Menzies

CHARLIE COX / Jonathan Hellyer Jones
SIMON McBURNEY / Frank Hawking
EDDIE REDMAYNE / Stephen Hawking
DAVID THEWLIS / Dennis Sciama
EMILY WATSON / Beryl Wilde

Television Programs

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
ADRIEN BRODY / Harry Houdini  - “HOUDINI” (History)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
ELLEN BURSTYN / Olivia Foxworth – “FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC” (Lifetime)
CICELY TYSON / Carrie Watts – “THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL” (Lifetime)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
KEVIN SPACEY / Francis Underwood – “HOUSE OF CARDS” (Netflix)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series (6 nominees)
CLAIRE DANES / Carrie Mathison – “HOMELAND” (Showtime)
TATIANA MASLANY / Sarah/Coxima/Alison/Rachel/ – “ORPHAN BLACK” (BBC America)
Helena/Tony/Jennifer and Various Others
MAGGIE SMITH / Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham – “DOWNTON ABBEY” (PBS)
ROBIN WRIGHT / Claire Underwood – “HOUSE OF CARDS” (Netflix)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
LOUIS C.K. / Louie – “LOUIE” (FX)
WILLIAM H. MACY / Frank Gallagher – “SHAMELESS” (Showtime)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
UZO ADUBA / Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren – “ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK” (Netflix)
EDIE FALCO / Jackie Peyton – “NURSE JACKIE” (Showtime)
JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS / Vice President Selina Meyer – “VEEP” (HBO)

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series

STEVE BUSCEMI / Enoch “Nucky” Thompson
PAUL CALDERON / Arquimedes
NOLAN LYONS / Enoch Thompson (young)
KELLY MACDONALD / Margaret Thompson
BORIS McGIVER / Sheriff Smith Johnson
VINCENT PIAZZA / Charlie “Lucky” Luciano
PAUL SPARKS / Mickey Doyle
SHEA WHIGHAM / Eli Thompson
ANATOL YUSEF / Meyer Lansky
MICHAEL ZEGEN / Benny Siegel

HUGH BONNEVILLE / Robert, Earl of Grantham
LAURA CARMICHAEL / Lady Edith Crawley
JIM CARTER / Mr. Carson
MICHELLE DOCKERY / Lady Mary Crawley
KEVIN DOYLE /  Mr. Molesley
LILY JAMES / Lady Rose
ALLEN LEECH / Tom Branson
ELIZABETH McGOVERN / Cora, Countess of Grantham
LESLEY NICOL / Mrs. Patmore
DAVID ROBB / Dr. Clarkson
MAGGIE SMITH / Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham
ED SPELEERS / Jimmy Kent
PENELOPE WILTON / Isobel Crawley

JOHN BRADLEY / Samwell Tarly
EMILIA CLARKE / Daenerys Targaryen
BEN CROMPTON / Dolorous Edd
CHARLES DANCE / Tywin Lannister
PETER DINKLAGE / Tyrion Lannister
NATALIE DORMER / Margaery Tyrell
IAIN GLEN / Ser Jorah Mormont
LENA HEADEY / Cersei Lannister
RORY McCANN / Sandor “The Hound” Clegane
IAN McELHINNEY / Ser Barristan Selmy
PEDRO PASCAL / Oberyn Martell
DANIEL PORTMAN / Podrick Payne

HOMELAND (Showtime)
NUMAN ACAR / Hassan Haqqani
CLAIRE DANES / Carrie Mathison
NIMRAT KAUR / Tasneem Qureishi
TRACY LETTS / Sen. Andrew Lockhart
MARK MOSES / Dennis Boyd
MICHAEL O’KEEFE / John Redmond
MANDY PATINKIN / Saul Berenson
LAILA ROBINS / Martha Boyd

JAYNE ATKINSON / Catherine Durant
DEREK CECIL / Seth Grayson
NATHAN DARROW / Edward Meechum
MICHEL GILL / President Walker
JOANNA GOING / Tricia Walker
SAKINA JAFFREY / Linda Vasquez
MICHAEL KELLY / Doug Stamper
MOZHAN MARNÃ’ / Ayla Sayyad
GERALD McRANEY / Raymond Tusk
MOLLY PARKER / Jackie Sharp
KEVIN SPACEY / Francis Underwood
ROBIN WRIGHT / Claire Underwood

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series

MAYIM BIALIK / Amy Farrah Fowler
JOHNNY GALECKI / Leonard Hofstadter
SIMON HELBERG / Howard Wolowitz
KUNAL NAYYAR / Rajesh Koothrappali
JIM PARSONS / Sheldon Cooper
MELISSA RAUCH / Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz 

DIRK BLOCKER / Hitchcock
TERRY CREWS / Sgt. Terry Jeffords
MELISSA FUMERO / Det. Amy Santiago
JOE LO TRUGLIO / Det. Charles Boyle
ANDY SAMBERG / Det. Jake Peralta

AUBREY ANDERSON EMMONS / Lily Tucker-Pritchett
JULIE BOWEN / Claire Dunphy
TY BURRELL / Phil Dunphy
JESSE TYLER FERGUSON / Mitchell Pritchett
NOLAN GOULD / Luke Dunphy
SARAH HYLAND / Haley Dunphy
ED O’NEILL / Jay Pritchett
RICO RODRIGUEZ / Manny Delgado
SOFIA VERGARA / Gloria Delgado-Pritchett
ARIEL WINTER / Alex Dunphy

UZO ADUBA / Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren
JASON BIGGS / Larry Bloom
DANIELLE BROOKS / Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson
LAVERNE COX / Sophia Burset
LEA DELARIA / Carrie “Big Boo” Black
BETH FOWLER / Sister Ingalls
ANNIE GOLDEN / Norma Romano
DIANE GUERRERO / Maritza Ramos
MICHAEL J. HARNEY / Ofc. Sam Healy
VICKY JEUDY / Janae Watson
JULIE LAKE / Angie Rice
LAUREN LAPKUS / Susan Fischer
SELENIS LEYVA / Gloria Mendoza
NATASHA LYONNE / Nicky Nichols
TARYN MANNING / Tiffany “Pennsatucky” Doggett
MATT McGORRY / Ofc. John Bennett
KATE MULGREW /  Galina “Red” Reznikov
EMMA MYLES / Leanne Taylor
DASCHA POLANCO / Dayanara Diaz
ALYSIA REINER / Natalie “Fig” Figueroa
NICK SANDOW / Joe Caputo
YAEL STONE / Lorna Morello
LORRAINE TOUSSAINT / Yvonne “Vee” Parker
LIN TUCCI / Anita DeMarco
SAMIRA WILEY / Poussey Washington

ANNA CHLUMSKY / Amy Brookheimer
GARY COLE / Kent Davidson
KEVIN DUNN / Ben Cafferty
TONY HALE / Gary Walsh
JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS / Vice President Selina Meyer
MATT WALSH / Mike McLintock

SAG Awards for Stunt Ensembles

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
“FURY” (Columbia Pictures)
“GET ON UP” (Universal Pictures)
“UNBROKEN” (Universal Pictures)
“X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST” (20th Century Fox)

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series (6 nominees)
“HOMELAND” (Showtime)

Screen Actors Guild 51st Annual Life Achievement Award

The SAG Awards will air live on Sunday, Jan. 25 at 8 p.m. ET.

Thought Provoking “Dog Sees God” Opens at the Santa Monica Playhouse

Reviewed by Peter Foldy

High school angst.   We’ve all experienced it.  Those years when all we want to do is fit in and be accepted.  Whether you go through high school by flying below the radar or above it, that rite of passage will surely influence how you see yourself, and maybe even determine where you’re headed in life.  In high school what people think of you matters and the Santa Monica Playhouse’s production of Bert V Royal’s “DOG SEES GOD: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead” attempts to show us just how much.

An homage to Charles M. Schulz’s beloved comic strip, “Peanuts,” “Dog Sees God” introduces us to Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus and the rest of the old gang, now re-imagined as high school kids.  Bawdy, pot smoking, promiscuous, foul mouthed drug taking high school kids, this is not your father’s “Peanuts.”  Far from it.

The cast of "Dog Sees God" at the Santa Monica Playhouse

The cast of “Dog Sees God” at the Santa Monica Playhouse

The story here concerns, Charlie Brown, (now called CB), a confused teenager with an occasional mean streak who starts out by asking esoteric questions about life and death and soon decides to put his popularity at risk by coming to the defense of “Beethoven,” (think Schroeder) a young man presumed to be gay after his father is arrested for molesting him.  Beethoven and CB used to be best pals but CB has stood by for way too long and watched as the homophobic “Pigpen” and his friends physically abuse the young musician.

Beethoven is actually not sure which side of the fence he falls, straight or gay, but an unexpected and violent confrontation with CB suddenly turns sexual and Beethoven goes along for the ride.

Troy Doherty (l.), Johnny James Fiore

Troy Doherty (l.), Johnny James Fiore

The next day he is more confused than ever but the encounter has suddenly made things clearer for CB, and he has no regrets.

As word of the tryst spreads like wildfire throughout the high school, everyone chips in with thoughts and opinions.  Some see it as an excuse to get stoned and promiscuous, while others see it as a motive for humiliation and revenge.

As the situation unravels and the play reaches a deadly conclusion, “Dog Sees God” points fingers at everyone.  Not just the culprits behind the foreseeable violence but those who stand by and do nothing to stop it.  It is an appropriate and timely message in this age of bullying, cyber and otherwise, when teenage suicide is on the rise, especially among gay kids with no one to turn to.

Bert Royal’s tale makes one realize that the old adage, “it will get better” is not always the case.  Sometimes it doesn’t, and while “Dog Sees God” raises valid questions, real, off-stage answers are probably harder to find.

Johnny James Fiore (l.), Natasha Capp

Johnny James Fiore (l.), Natasha Capp

While Royal’s writing is strong, his dialogue sharp, this production suffers from several below par, over the top performances.   Maria Capps’ direction tries to hold the piece together but a lack of sets and production design doesn’t exactly help her cause.  Frankly, if it wasn’t for the spicy language and pertinent subject matter, this staging of “Dog Sees God” at times come across as a high school production.

Despite that the show does have it’s shining stars.

Johnny Fiore is solid and likeable as “CB.”  He reaches deep as he tries to navigates the troubled waters his character has fallen into.   Fiore is clearly a strong presence here.

Troy Doherty shows us a sympathetic and likeable “Beethoven.”  The character’s angst is played with maturity and Doherty is the voice of reason in “Dog Sees God.”  A talented piano play, (and a musician with a new EP just released) Doherty helps to ground this story.

Lindsey Beckwith (l.), Ashley Stauffer.

Lindsey Beckwith (l.), Ashley Stauffer.

Other standouts include David Michael as a the homophobic Pigpen, a young man with clearly something to hide.  Lindsey Beckwith as “Marcy” and Ashley Stauffer as “Tricia” portray ditzy high school airheads as if they’ve been there and done that.

The audience, myself included, also enjoyed the relaxed and humorous approach of David Wunderlich as “Van,” the young stoner who’ll smoke anything that might get him high.  Though not given a lot to do here, Wunderlich was a breath of fresh air whenever he appeared on stage, a confident twinkle in his eyes.

“Dog Sees God” is a thought provoking and well intentioned production that still holds relevance–perhaps even more so then when it was first performed in 2004.

Now Playing:
Sunday Dec 7th at 2:30 & 7:30pm
Friday Dec 12th at 2pm
Saturday Dec 13th at 1pm
Friday Dec 19, Saturday Dec 20 and Sunday Dec 21 at 2 & 7:30pm

Santa Monica Playhouse
1211 4th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401

General Admission $20

Students with promo code 007 $15

Reserve ONLINE at: https://www.plays411.com/dogseesgod14





Film Independent Spirit Award Nominees Announced

Alejandro G. Inarritu’s feature, “Birdman,” scored six nominations when the Film Independent Spirit Award Nominations were announced this morning.

Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler, and Ava DuVernay’s Selma, were close behind with five nomination a piece. 

A complete list of nominees can be found below.


(Award given to the Producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.)

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Producers: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, Arnon Milchan, James W. Skotchdopole

Producers: Richard Linklater, Jonathan Sehring, John Sloss, Cathleen Sutherland

Love is Strange
Producers: Lucas Joaquin, Lars Knudsen, Ira Sachs, Jayne Baron Sherman, Jay Van Hoy

Producers: Christian Colson, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Oprah Winfrey

Producers: Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook, David Lancaster, Michael Litvak


Damien Chazelle

Ava DuVernay

Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Richard Linklater

David Zellner Kumiko
The Treasure Hunter


Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski
Big Eyes

J.C. Chandor
A Most Violent Year

Dan Gilroy

Jim Jarmusch
Only Lovers Left Alive

Ira Sachs & Mauricio Zacharias
Love is Strange

(Award given to the director and producer)

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Director: Ana Lily Amirpour
Producers: Justin Begnaud, Sina Sayyah

Dear White People
Director/Producer: Justin Simien
Producers: Effie T. Brown, Ann Le, Julia Lebedev, Angel Lopez, Lena Waithe

Director: Dan Gilroy
Producers: Jennifer Fox, Tony Gilroy, Jake Gyllenhaal, David Lancaster, Michel Litvak

Obvious Child
Director: Gillian Robespierre
Producer: Elisabeth Holm

She’s Lost Control
Director/Producer: Anja Marquardt
Producers: Mollye Asher, Kiara C. Jones


Desiree Akhavan
Appropriate Behavior

Sara Colangelo
Little Accidents

Justin Lader
The One I Love

Anja Marquardt
She’s Lost Control

Justin Simien
Dear White People

Read more Oscars: Where Are All the Best Actress Contenders?

Given to the best feature made for under $500,000.  Award given to the writer, director and producer.  Executive Producers are not awarded.

Blue Ruin
Writer/Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Producers:  Richard Peete, Vincent Savino, Anish Savjani

It Felt Like Love
Writer/Director/Producer: Eliza Hittman
Producers: Shrihari Sathe, Laura Wagner

Land Ho!
Writers/Directors: Aaron Katz & Martha Stephens
Producers: Christina Jennings, Mynette Louie, Sara Murphy

Man From Reno
Writer/Director: Dave Boyle
Writers: Joel Clark, Michael Lerman
Producer: Ko Mori

Writer/Director/Producer: Chris Mason Johnson
Producer: Chris Martin


Marion Cotillard
The Immigrant

Rinko Kikuchi Kumiko
The Treasure Hunter

Julianne Moore
Still Alice

Jenny Slate
Obvious Child

Tilda Swinton
Only Lovers Left Alive


André Benjamin
Jimi: All Is By My Side

Jake Gyllenhaal

Michael Keaton
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

John Lithgow
Love is Strange

David Oyelowo


Patricia Arquette

Jessica Chastain
A Most Violent Year

Carmen Ejogo

Andrea Suarez Paz
Stand Clear of the Closing Doors

Emma Stone
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)


Riz Ahmed

Ethan Hawke

Alfred Molina
Love is Strange

Edward Norton
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

J.K. Simmons

Read more Governors Awards: Top Contenders Celebrate Legends at Dress Rehearsal for Oscars


Darius Khondji
The Immigrant

Emmanuel Lubezki
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Sean Porter
It Felt Like Love

Lyle Vincent
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Bradford Young


Sandra Adair

Tom Cross

John Gilroy

Ron Patane
A Most Violent Year

Adam Wingard
The Guest

(Award given to the director and producer)

20,000 Days on Earth
Directors: Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard
Producers: Dan Bowen, James Wilson

Director/Producer: Laura Poitras
Producers: Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky

Stray Dog
Director: Debra Granik
Producer: Anne Rosellini

The Salt of the Earth
Directors: Juliano Ribeiro Salgado and Wim Wenders
Producer: David Rosier

Director/Producer: Orlando von Einsiedel
Producer: Joanna Natasegara

(Award given to the director)

Force Majeure (Sweden)
Director: Ruben Östlund

Ida (Poland)
Director: Pawel Pawlikowski

Leviathan (Russia)
Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev

Mommy (Canada)
Director: Xavier Dolan

Norte, the End of History (Philippines)
Director: Lav Diaz

Under the Skin (United Kingdom)
Director: Jonathan Glazer

Read more Oscars: 44 Movies Vying for Best Picture, From Clint Eastwood’s ‘American Sniper’ to Reese Witherspoon’s ‘Wild’

(Given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast)

Inherent Vice
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Casting Director: Cassandra Kulukundis
Ensemble Cast: Josh Brolin, Martin Donovan, Jena Malone, Joanna Newsom, Joaquin Phoenix, Eric Roberts, Maya Rudolph, Martin Short Serena Scott Thomas, Benicio Del Toro, Katherine Waterston, Michael Kenneth Williams, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon


Director/Producer: Bennett Miller
Producers: Anthony Bregman, Megan Ellison, Jon Kilik
Writers: E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman
Actors: Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, Channing Tatum

The 18th annual Producers Award, sponsored by Piaget, honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality, independent films.  The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget.

Chad Burris
Elisabeth Holm
Chris Ohlson

The 21st annual Someone to Watch Award, sponsored by Kiehl’s Since 1851, recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition.  The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Kiehl’s Since 1851.

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Director: Ana Lily Amirpour

Directors: Rania Attieh & Daniel Garcia

The Retrieval
Director: Chris Eska

The 20th annual Truer Than Fiction Award, sponsored by LensCrafters is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition.  The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by LensCrafters.

Approaching the Elephant
Director: Amanda Rose Wilder

Evolution of a Criminal
Director: Darius Clark Monroe

The Kill Team
Director: Dan Krauss

The Last Season
Director: Sara Dosa

The Spirit Awards ceremony is set to take place at 2 p.m. PT on February 21, 2015, the day before the Oscars, on the beach in Santa Monica. The show will air live on IFC. 

“Uploaded” Is the New Religion at The Rogue Machine Theatre

Review by Peter Foldy

Can a slacker, a young drug dealer and a free thinking hippie girl find happiness by starting a new religion in the middle of the desert?  That’s the question L.R. Gordon’s new play attempts to answer at the Rogue Machine Theatre’s Off-The-Clock World Premier presentation, “UPLOADED.”

When his dad finally cuts him off financially, Daniel (Jeff Lorch)  a 30 something layabout, goes on an angry, cocaine fueled, kinetic rant about the world and everyone in it.  As Daniel’s friend and local drug dealer, SamQuastOdomLorch (Eric Odom) continues to help him get him wasted on a new concoction Sam calls “the screwdriver” (half cocaine, half adderall), Daniel has an epiphany.  He suddenly comes to the realization that what he really needs to do is become a prophet.  To start a new religion.  And why not?  In this world of instant fame, (no talent or experience required), Daniel is a worthy candidate.  At least in his mind.

For reasons unknown, Sam initially plays along  as Daniel fleshes out the kinks of this new religion that he is now calling “Uploading.”   Basing his “brilliant” idea on something we all have, DNA, Daniel convinces Sam to accompany him to the desert where Daniel can begin preaching his genius.

At a sleazy Grand Canyon motel a couple of days later Sam is surprised when Daniel returns with his first believer, a beautiful young woman, Anikka (Suzanne Quast).  Tattooed and open minded, she tells the lads that her wealthy father loves to invest in schemes and just might be willing to finance a new one.

This is music to Daniel’s ears.  HeOdomQuast HiRes and Anikka quickly become lovers and get right to work on making a baby together.  But that doesn’t keep Anikka from also flirting with Sam, letting him catch a glimpse of her naked.  Before long, Sam wants what Daniel is getting.  To do that he has to prove to Anikka that he can make a commitment–that he is willing to go along with the program.

This impromptu love triangle ultimately leads to a violent finale, one that may inadvertently see Daniel’s “Uploading” concept take a small step forward.

Actor, Jeff Lorch brings his Daniel close to the top, if not quite over it as the the new prophet in training.  Eric Odom is initially monotone and merely reactive as Sam, his purpose and intention not quite clear, but it is ultimately Sam’s character that has the biggest arc in the play, and by the end of this twisted story, Odom ably steps it up a notch from his earlier scenes.

It is Suzanne Quast as Anikka,LorchQuast-4 however, who manages to ground the show and raise the stakes in “Uploaded.”  She is the prize worth fighting for.  Sexy, comfortable and always in control, Quast is the center-piece of the production.

Clocking in at 75 minutes, “Uploaded” moves at a clip with Mark L. Taylor’s fast paced direction.

Performed on the set of a different play that runs at the Rogue Machine, the creatives makes good use of what is available–but it is also the imaginative image slide projections designed by Nick Santiago, as well Stephen “DJ Baba Earl” Nichols excellent sound design that further help to set the appropriate mood.

This high energy, satirical glimpse into Generation Y’s narcissistic pursuit of easy-come fame is a compelling piece of theater.  “Uploaded” is well worth the price of admission.

“Uploaded” plays at the Rogue Machine Theatre, 5041 Pico Blvd., Los Angeles.

10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Ends Nov. 22.

Reservations: (855) 585-5185 or roguemachinetheatre.com/wordpress/show-info/uploaded/.

Photo Credit: John Flynn




2014 American Film Market Wraps in Santa Monica

Wednesday 12th November – The 2014 American Film Market (AFM®) wrapped its 35th edition today after 7,946 attendees visited the Loews Hotel in Santa Monica for the eight day market.

The AFM again was host to a truly global market, with 1,670 buyers coming from over 70 different countries.  Overall exhibitor attendance was up 1% from last year with 2,825 executives from exhibiting companies from over 40 countries, with the largest number of exhibitors coming from the IMG_4489United Kingdom, France and Japan, after the USA.

Overall industry attendees, the non-buyers and sellers that include Attorneys, Bankers, Festivals, Film Commissions, Filmmakers, Financiers, Post Production Facilities, Producers, Studio Facilities, and Writers finished at 2,624, up 1% from last year’s numbers.

The AFM also hosts a large segment of independent writers, producers, directors and wannabes of all ages.  Many of the faces haunting the lobby of the Loews Hotel have been attending the event for decades while many are just starting out.

Spotted at the AFM wasIMG_4271 this young man, Alexander Saffaie and his mother, producer, Michelle Alexandria. “With the film business being so youth oriented these days, you can’t wait to get in the game,” she explained with a smile as she and her baby, Alexander hurried to another power meeting.

This year’s AFM screened 432 films with 352 Market Premieres, 85 World Premieres and a total of 654 screenings across the AFM Campus in Santa Monica.

The popular five-day AFM Conference Series showcasing sessions on Financing, Pitching, Production, Marketing and Distribution featured global industry leaders including: Brett Ratner (producer), Cassian Elwes (Independent Producer), Tobin Ambrust (Exclusive), Mark Damon (Foresight Unlimited), Mark Gill (Millennium), Rena Ronson (UTA), Emanuel Nunez (Paradigm), Russell Schwartz (Relativity), John Sloss (Cinetic), and Nicolas Gonda (Tugg). The AFM IMG_4492Conference Series, which launched four years ago, hosted international audiences of more than 700 daily.

The 2014 Roundtables and Conversations featured notable industry elites including Wei Han (Bliss Media), filmmaker and comedian Adam Carolla, Meyer Schwarzstein (Brainstorm Media), Caroline Stern (Kaleidoscope Film Distribution), and many more.

Re-Animator:The Musical is Laugh Out Loud Hillarious

Review by Gordon Maniskas

Wickedly clever writing, a brilliantly funny cast, and a director that knows how to milk a joke combine to make RE-ANIMATOR: THE MUSICAL a gut-bustingly hysterical piece of theater.

I found myself at the Steve Allen Theatre knowing very little about Re-Animator. I imagined I was going to be sitting down for some sort of silly, campy Frankenstein spoof. But, what awaited me inside was an entirely different RTM2014-0518sort of spectacle…

Everyone in the first three rows of the audience were wearing lab coats. And some had goggles on. “Are they part of the show?” I wondered. It was only after they announced that the first three rows were the designated “Splash Zone”, and a friendly usher offered me some black-and-orange pom poms (which I accepted enthusiastically), that I understood what was happening. I wasn’t seeing a musical. I was seeing a CULT musical.

The lights dimmed, the overture played, and within moments a zombie was spraying blood all over the audience with eyes dangling out of their sockets, all the while clapping and doing a jaunty dance.

I was sold.

Now, at first blush, this could seem rather cheap or gimmicky. But, Re-Animator is filled to the brim with such gags and jokes, somewhat like a comedic sausage. RTM2014-0415And outlandish, dirty, or zombified as they may be, they are all delivered with a wit and abandon that make the show a constant delight.

A tremendous tip of the hat to Stuart Gordon, who directed the play and also co-wrote the book with Dennis Paoli and William J. Norris, for developing a show that hits so many dark, irreverent places in such a charming and light-hearted way.

Re-Animator: The Musical follows the dark mission of Herbert West, a genius medical student who developed “Re-Animator”, a glowing green serum that can bring the dead back to life… as Zombies! But Herbert believes the whole “zombie” thing to be due to the corpses not being “fresh enough”, or because he got the dosage wrong. What ensues during his quest for immortality is a tale of love, murder, and hilarity.

Graham Skipper’s portrayal of West is magnetic. You just want him to keep coming on stage! The man is a narcissistic egomaniac with a messiah complex – I mean West, of course. He will do anything to perfect Re-Animator and free the world from “Death”. Skipper controls the stage with a manic, wide-eyed intensity balanced by the tantrums and poutiness of a spoiled child. A simmering energy fills his every movement and quip, and infuses his moments on stage with presence and humor. And beyond that, onlyRTM2014-0430 someone with impeccable comedic timing like Skipper could make the line “I thought I rented a private room” a laugh riot.

Dr. Carl Hill, played by Jesse Merlin, is Herbert West’s archenemy – a lecherous professor with an eye for the dean’s daughter. First off, Merlin’s operatic vocal quality and bone-dry performance compliment the comedic lyricism of the score beautifully. While delivering a macabre, perverted toast to the dean’s daughter, Merlin’s flair for nuance peppers the purposefully dirge-like song with subtle body language that kept the room bubbling with laughter.  And I haven’t even mentioned the fact that he does nearly half of the show decapitated! That’s right, Dr. Hill gets his head cut off. But, due to “Re-Animator”, comes back to life, with his bloody head in his hands… and still singing.

Dan Cain, played by Darren Ritchie, is a dashing, hopefulRTM2014-1169 medical student engaged to the dean’s beautiful daughter, Megan Halsey, played by Jessica Howell. These characters serve the critical purpose of acting as a counterweight to the off-the-wall antics of the rest of the cast. But, both actors certainly bring their comic chops to the table and shine themselves. Ritchie’s light tenor and earnest performance make him a likable, strong, and (even more importantly) funny romantic lead. Howell with her ability to be simultaneously smoldering and girlishly innocent make her a very empathetic heroine. She brings an energy to the stage that is bright and engaging.

In many ways, Re-Animator is really an operetta in disguise. The piece is almost entirely sung, with the dialogue coming in mere smatterings between numbers. But, this only serves to make Mark Nutter’s score that much more impressive. The lyrics are sharp and clever with a musicality that is true Broadway, all of it wrapped in a twisted story of undead mayhem. But, even more impressive, is the insightful nature ofRTM2014-0005 some of the music, most notable captured when Dan and Megan sing about their future wedding. She wants a lavish, planned affair, and he wants to be spontaneous. And, as the show moves on, they reprise the number, but with their opinions reversed. What was once a battle-of-the-sexes joke number transforms into one that delicately reveals the hearts of the characters, and how their relationship has transformed so completely.

There is one section of the show, however, that falls a little flat compared to the rest of the piece. Mace, the security guard at the morgue, played by Marlon Grace, is a lazy wage slave eager to do anything but work. He sings a soulful up-tempo number about how much he loves his simple job, and this number is reprised several times. The musical phrases are long and open, seemingly intended for some mild vocal pyrotechnics, but none ever make an appearance. And the jokes, though amusing, don’t land quite as hard as those throughout the rest of the piece. There is a sharpness lacking here, whereas everything else in the show is so crisp, balls-to-the-walls, and specific. It just doesn’t hitRTM2014-1110 as hard.

The ensemble consisting of Brian Gillespie, Cynthia Carle, and Liesel Hanson is very strong, and every person has their shining moments. Their undying commitment to the seriousness of this ridiculous story, the unique character choices they make, and their cohesiveness as a semi-Greek Chorus keep the laughs rolling and the momentum moving. Ken Hudson Campbell’s depiction of Dean Halsey is warm and likable, like a teddy bear. That is until he turns into a zombie. Then it gets a bit more… colorful.

The set, imagined by Laura Fine Hawkes, consists of a steel door mounted on metallic bars – cold, utilitarian, and mysterious. The lights designed by Jeff Ravitz shine through slits in the set, setting the mood with an eerie ambience. The overall effect creates a play area that is versatile and simple.

Joe Kucharski’s costume design for Re-Animator is simply outstanding. Zombies in various forms of decay appear throughout the show, with entrails dangling and blood squirting. Often the actors would wear masks or prosthetic makeup to depict hideous wounds. But, the pièce de résistance is a life-size dancing zombie cat that swings its exposed intestine around like a cane… all for just 10 seconds of stage time! So much detail was put into that costume for such a brief appearance! For them to commit so completely to such a little sight gag is yet another example of the spirit of theatre-craft that makes this show works so well.

And the blood. So much blood. Props to Tony Doublin, John Naulin, and John Beuchler who designed the special effects. Little magic tricks are interspersed throughout the show, particularly with the transforming of a dead person into a zombie. They are done so cleverly that every potentially awkward transition is achieved in a smooth, graceful manner instead. And, of course, they made an intestine that blasts blood into the audience while Herbert West sings a twisted spoof of “My Way.”

There was so much about Re-Animator that reminded me of the experience of going to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The diehard fans clearly knew all the lyrics – often laughing before the joke even arrived. People snapped pencils on cue with actors onstage. And, I waved my pom poms with the rest of the crowd during a random school fight song. The only difference is that, unlike at Rocky Horror, the audience at Re-Animator was glued to every word of the show – not calling back to the performers onstage. But the passion and enthusiasm in the room was simply undeniable.  People love this show.

If you have a sense of humor and want to have an off-beat, laugh-out-loud theater-going experience, then you need to go see Re-Animator: The Musical. It’s one you’ll remember.

Re-Animator: The Musical

Based on H.P. Lovecraft’s “Re-Animator”


Steve Allen Theatre

4773 Hollywood Blvd.

Hollywood, CA 90027

Reservations: (800) 595-4849  or  www.trepanyhouse.org

Performances: October 17 – November 2, 2014.  Friday – Sunday at 8pm


Fest For Beatles Fans 2014 Invades Airport Marriott

by Peter Foldy

Los Angeles: October 11, 2014

Just like often retold bible stories, the brilliant career of the BEATLES continues to be celebrated and deservedly grow to legendary status throughout the world.  Fifty two years after the release of their first single, “Love Me Do” on October 5, 1962, the Fab Four are famous and successful beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.

Early on in their careers,IMG_4435 the Beatles themselves predicted maybe a five year run.  Ringo talked of opening hairstyling saloons when he thought his Magical Mystery Tour would come to an end.  And in-fact the Fabs only stayed together as a group for something like a dozen years if you count the Quarrymen period, but in those twelve years they changed the world and it is fair to say that the impact they made on their audience is immeasurable.

It’s no surprise then that the FEST FOR BEATLES FANS 2014, currently underway at the LAX Airport Marriott Hotel in Los Angeles is finding a devoted audience who have been showing up to bask in the Beatle mystique.  Celebrating 40 years of the Fest, the promoters have gathered an impressive collection of Beatle memorabilia, all avail available for purchase at the Airport Marriott.  Cups, mugs, luggage, poster and photographs, all with a Beatles theme.  And then there are the books.

Bob Eubanks and Chris Carter

Bob Eubanks and Chris Carter

Just when you thought you have seen every book on the Beatles ever written, this festival brings you even more.  And some seem fascinating.

“Liddypool’ by David Bedford (www.liddypool.com) promises unprecedented research into Liverpool, the city where the Beatles grew up.  Complete with eight hundred images, exclusive interviews with people who knew them personally as well as a foreword by fired Beatles drummer, Pete Best, “Liddypool” promises to separate fact from fiction.  Skimming the pages it certainly seems like a fascinating read.

On the lighter literary side comes “Confessions of a Beatlemaniac” by Dee Elias.  (www.ConfessionsofaBeatlesManiac.com)   A true story of a fan who broke all the rules to meet the Beatles.  When I met Ms. Elias this afternoon at the Fest, she shared stories of how she actually met the Fabs and also proudly showed me a single sock enshrined in a glass frame that the author stole BANDfrom singer, Billy J. Kramer’s room while he was sleeping some fifty years earlier.  She was about to return the sock to Mr. Kramer momentarily, him being probably unaware that it had gone missing.  Unfortunately I couldn’t stick around to witness the momentous event.

Another seemingly interesting literary work is “The Beatle Who Vanished” by Jim Berkenstadt.  (www.TheBeatleWhoVanished.com)  It is the first historical account of Jimmie Nicol, the mostly unknown drummer who replaced Ringo Starr on tour for thirteen days in 1964.  Berkenstadt promises to solve the mystery of what happened to the man who become a footnote in Beatle history.  Riddled with betrayal, drugs, divorce, bankruptcy and an eventual disappearance, many have wondered whether Jimmie Nicol is dead or alive.  Berkenstadt’s book has the answer.

But it isn’t just memorabilia you will find at The Fest for IMG_4434Beatle Fans.  As we have now come to understand, the Fab Four had a Midas touch and anyone who every had anything to do with the group is also still in demand by the public at large.

The promoters have gathered a fine collection of “Beatle people.”  Some of the special guests include PETER ASHER of Peter & Gordon fame, the aforementioned BILLY J. KRAMER, DENNY LAINE, (a member of Paul McCartney’s “Wings,”) JACK OLIVER, former President of Apple Records, BOB EUBANKS who presented the Beatles live in concert at the Hollywood Bowl and later at Dodger Stadium, Beatle fan club president and former Beatles secretary, FREDA KELLY, and JOHN KOSH, art director of Apple records and the man who designed Abbey Road album cover.

CHRIS CARTER, hostLA_poster_FEST of KLOS’ “Breakfast With The Beatles” radio show conducts the interviews and Mr. Carter will be broadcasting his program live from The Fest on Sunday morning, October 12!

There are live bands, movie screenings, and a great environment that brings a feeling of comforting nostalgia.

As the Fab Four once told us, all you need is love, and if it’s the Beatles you care about, The Fest for Beatle Fans, 2014 is definitely the place to be.

Closing 11pm, Sunday October 12, 2014.

LAX Airport Marriott
5855 West Century Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90045

Tickets on sale at the event.





Fest For The Beatles Opens Today At LAX Marriot Hotel

October 10, 2014

THE FEST FOR BEATLES FANS (www.thefest.com) hits Los Angeles Friday-Sunday October 10-12, when more than 5,000 Beatles fans from over 20 states, Canada, and other countries around the globe come together with West Coast Beatles fans to celebrate 50 years of the Fab Four’s legendary music and iconic influence.

Photo by:John Rowlands

Photo by:John Rowlands

Friends old and new gather in the beautiful LAX Marriott for 16 ballrooms of nonstop live music, concerts, interviews, panel discussions, photo exhibits, contests, art, yoga and meditation, films, author presentations, a giant Beatles marketplace, and Beatles jams into the wee hours!

Major special guests recall their memories shared with the Fab Four, and musical guests sing their own hits and favorite Beatles songs. LIVERPOOL, the world’s finest Beatles tribute band, performs in concert each night. Friday night, the dance floor opens up to kick off this incredible weekend with the Sixties Dance Party, where prizes for winners in both the general 60s and look-alike categories will be awarded. Saturday and Sunday nights, the three + hour rock concert will feature LIVERPOOL and all the musical guests, culminating in a thrilling All-Star jam.

Headliners include: PETER ASHER of Peter & Gordon, BILLY J. KRAMER, DENNY LAINE, former member of Paul McCartney’s “Wings,” and BOB EUBANKS who presented the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl.

Over 20 guest artists LA_poster_FESTand authors will speak, show presentations, and participate in lively and enlightening discussions about The Beatles. CHRIS CARTER, whose British Invasion show on SiriusXM is heard every Sunday on Little Steven’s Underground Garage, SiriusXM channel 21, will emcee. Chris will also be hosting his Breakfast With The Beatles show live from The Fest on Sunday morning, October 12!

Other speakers include, JACK OLIVER, former President of Apple Records, who will discuss the transformative years 1969-1971. ANGIE MCCARTNEY is showing up to talk about her new book as will former Beatles secretary, FREDA KELLY, who will be on hand to introduce her celebrated and not to be missed film, ‘GOOD OL’ FREDA.’

The festival opens today and runs through October 12th.

Sounds like a lot of fun.

Check it out at:

LAX Airport Marriott
5855 West Century Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90045
P: (310) 641-5700



“Cock” – A Review

by Peter Foldy

An impressive cast and a talented director bring the provocative, award winning playCock” to life at the Rogue Machine Theatre on Pico Blvd in Los Angeles.

Written by Mike Bartlett, “Cock” tells the story of a young man named John who has been living with his male lover, “M” for the past seven years.  Their relationship is passionate and comfortable, though “M” often belittles John and they ultimately break up, though neither expects the separation to be permanent.

The Cast of "Cock"

The Cast of “Cock”

During their time apart, John meets a young woman named “W” and much to his surprise, they become lovers.  The fact that he is able to perform sexually and even enjoy this new relationship with “W” puzzles but pleases John and before long he realizes that what he has with his new female companion is perhaps more gratifying than his life with “M.”

“W” also falls hard for John and the couple soon starts planning a life together, despite the fact that John is not entirely sure this is what he really wants.  Though he has enjoyed his flirtation with heterosexuality, he seems to be missing “M” and their life together.

“M” feels great pain at having lost John and invites him and “W” to dinner, surprising them with the fact that “M’s” devoted father, “F” will also be joining them.  “F” is a traditionalist who initially had trouble accepting his son’s sexuality. In his day men were put in prison for being homosexual but he has had to come to terms with “M’s” lifestyle, and now “F” wants only one thing.  For his son to be happy.  He has shown up at the dinner with a low-keyed determination to keep John and “M” together.

Rebecca Mozo and Patrick Stafford in "Cock"

Rebecca Mozo and Patrick Stafford in “Cock”

There are no sets or props used in “Cock.”  The production utilizes only a small, circular stage where the action unfolds.  The audience sits looking down at the performers, much as they would at a boxing match—or a cockfight. This tight environment creates considerable intimacy.  The actors pose, prance and spar, circling each other as they face off, the words, all delivered with a UK accent, roll out of their mouths like kicks to the groin or stabs to the heart.

As the often humorous dialogue drives the action forward, the emotional stakes keep mounting.  At times “W” seems to have the upper hand, calling “M” and “F” out on their hypocrisy, all the while John’s confusion growing deeper.

The question is can we blame John?  Does a successful sexual encounter with the opposite sex make a person one thing or another?  Does one really need to choose a lifestyle based on that encounter?  Should anyone even care?   The characters in “Cock” certainly do, and for ninety minutes on opening night, so did the audience.

Only a highly talented group of actors could deliver the play’s potent message, and the cast at the Rogue Machine is all of that and more.  They manage to bring heart and pathos to this psychodrama, making the audience relate to their struggle–perhaps even find a connection with at least one or more of these characters.

Patrick Stafford as “John” is both fragile and vulnerable as he navigates the emotional minefield he is forced to cross. Through John’s surprising discovery Mr. Stafford let’s us witness his second coming of age and the angst that accompanies it.

Mathew Elkins, (also a producer of the play), as “M” is quirky and manipulative as the jilted lover.  Elkins finds a strong balance between being somewhat campy and being the adult in his relationship with the younger John.  His strong ability to deliver comedy is a source of considerable laughter in the piece.

Rebecca Mozo is powerful as “W,” perhaps the most grounded of the characters.  Mozo transitions nicely from the young woman who, like John, is also experimenting, to a woman in love, determined to keep her man.

George Itzin shows up in the latter part of the play and brings an understated performance as “F.”  Though he does have a dog in this fight, Itzin is the chosen arbitrator of the conflict and manages gives “F” the ability of underhanded manipulation, making that his weapon of choice.

Cameron Watson’s fine direction drives the piece at a clip while maintaining its clarity.  The ninety minutes fly by and you almost wish you could see what happens after the curtain goes down.

Technical credits are impressive.  Jared A Sayeg’s creative lighting design is a useful tool in telling this story.  Stephen Gifford’s scenic design is bold and well compliments the set up.  Kudos also to Kate Bergh’s costume design and Christopher Moscatiello’s sound.

As the promo material states, “Cock” has no intermission, no retreat and no surrender.  It’s a play that is well worth checking out.


Rogue Machine Theatre

5041 W. Pico Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90019

 Reservations: 855 585 5185

 Opened: September 13, 2014

Schedule: 5 pm Saturdays, 7 pm Sundays and 8 pm Mondays

(No performance on 10/20, 11/2)

Closes November 3, 2014



Photo Credit: John Flynn

Lauren Bacall Dead at 89

Hollywood, CA:  August 12, 2014

Legendary actress, Lauren Bacall has died after suffering a stroke today.

Ms. Bacall was only 19 years old when she starred with the Humphrey Bogart in the 1944 movie “To Have and Have Not,” director Howardlauren-bacall-family-guy-300 Hawks’ film adaptation of Ernest Hemingway‘s novel. She would go on to marry her much older co-star and they began one of Hollywood’s most famed personal and professional partnerships.

Bacall and Bogart married in 1945 and were together until his death in 1957.

In 2009, she was selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to receive an Academy Honorary Award, “in recognition of her central place in the Golden Age of motion pictures.”

In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked her No. 20 on its list of the 25 actresses on the AFI’s “100 Years … 100 Stars.”

Lauren Bacall is survived by three children.

Her performance in the film, “The Mirror Has Two Faces” (1996) earned her a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination.

Actor, Robin Williams Dead at 63

Hollywood, CA: August 11, 2014

Academy Award Winning actor, Robin William has died at the age of 63.

The Marin County Sheriff’s Office Coroner Division made the following announcement:

On August 11, 2014, at approximately 11:55 am, Marin County Communications
received a 9-1-1 telephone call reporting a male adult had been located unconscious
and not breathingRobin-Williams-robin-williams-32089710-2798-2756 inside his residence in unincorporated Tiburon, CA. The Sheriff’s
Office, as well as the Tiburon Fire Department and Southern Marin Fire Protection
District were dispatched to the incident with emergency personnel arriving on scene at
12:00 pm. The male subject, pronounced deceased at 12:02 pm has been identified as
Robin McLaurin Williams, a 63 year old resident of unincorporated Tiburon, CA.

An investigation into the cause, manner, and circumstances of the death is currently
underway by the Investigations and Coroner Divisions of the Sheriff’s Office.
Preliminary information developed during the investigation indicates Mr. Williams was
last seen alive at his residence, where he resides with his wife, at approximately 10:00
pm on August 10, 2014. Mr. Williams was located this morning shortly before the 9-1-1
call was placed to Marin County Communications. At this time, the Sheriff’s Office
Coroner Division suspects the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia, but a
comprehensive investigation must be completed before a final determination is made.
A forensic examination is currently scheduled for August 12, 2014 with subsequent
toxicology testing to be conducted.

Frozen Lives Begin to Thaw In Paternus

Theater Review: by Peter Foldy

What if you’ve never been able to say the things you needed to say to someone you love.  Not till it’s too late.  And then you realize that you might even have to make the ultimate sacrifice for that person, but that act of selfless courage may or may not be enough to save their life. Darrell-Larson-and-Timothy-Walker-in-PATERNUS-at-Rogue-Machine-Theatre. That is the basic premise of Daphne Malfitano’s new play, “Paternus,” making its world premier at the Rogue Machine Theatre in Los Angeles.

Darrel Larson as “Steve” and Timothy Walker as his son, “Stephen” portrays a father and son embarking on a four hour drive to visit family when they are blindsided by an intense snowstorm that that finds them trapped in their RV and potentially dooms them with little hope of survival.

The story launches with it’s climactic high point and gradually unfolds in a series of flashbacks, each character peeling back the layers of what we discover to be a strained relationship.  And yet there is love and caring on both sides.  Steve is a tough dad, a military man who has seen the brutality of war.  His son, Stephen a typical teenager who resents having to accompany his father on this unexpected journey.  Both men soon struggle to come to terms with the need toPaternicus_Flynn do whatever it takes to survive.  For the father it is a chance to vindicate his part in this unrealized relationship.

After giving away the ending in the first few moments, writer, Malfitano, takes us to somewhat familiar territory as the father and son recap their past differences.  How to make this compelling is the challenge that Malfitano faces.  Fortunately her talented cast rise to the occasion.  An empathetic Timothy Walker is excellent as a boy struggling with his brutal reality.  One senses his innocence, his desire to survive as we gradually discover his character’s inner voice.

Darrell Larson grounds the play with his strong performance.  His character makes a choice to open his heart, his love for his son no longer buried under the macho façade that has kept these two from any meaningful communication.

Ably directed by Mark St. Amant, the play has a cinematic feel, the production employing black & white film clips of the location in which the action takes place.  Produced on the set of another production that runs at the theater, the out of kilter set design, or lack of one, is not hard to get over.  Brendan Han’s original score and sound design most certainly compliments the piece.

Running at a brisk 45 minutes, “Paternus” is intense and thought provoking.  A well performed two hander that is certainly worth a look.

Rogue Machine Theatre, 5041 Pico Blvd. (near La Brea Friday and Saturday at 10:30 pm (added performance July 31 at 8:00pm).

Scheduled to end August 9, 2013

For tickets call (855) 589-5185, or visit www.RogueMachineTheatre.com

Photos by John Flynn


Let The Audience Decide?

by Alan von Kalckreuth

The Bel Aire Country Club hosted the Social TV Summit, an executive conference focused on social media and its impact on television viewing.  The summit attempts to put multi-screen viewer engagement firmly in the digital landscape and identify the monetary opportunitiesBelAireCC that cross platform engagement has and will have.

WILL KEENAN, President of Endemol Beyond an international conglomerate of production companies forging new ground in audience participation through tablets and smart phones was the keynote speaker.  “Things are changing,” Keenan announced to the surprisingly well dressed attendees –it is the Be Aire Club after all.  “Social on-line must embrace live stream platforms,” he explained.  There is money to be made he assured the hopeful.  “At Endemol we build verticals around our talent,” hekid-on-smart-phone explained.  “Audiences on-line equal iTunes, tee-shirts, merchandise as well as ad revenue… YouTube celebrities are millionaires!”  And future members of the prestigious Bel Aire club possibly.

Curiously it turns out that the Bel Aire Country Club has a restriction on phone and other electronic devices being used in the general areas of the club… “for privacy reasons” I was told.  “So if the YT celebs did join the club they would have to check their Twitter and Facebook accounts out in their car in the parking lot.

ROBERT MILLS, VP of Alternative Series at ABC and one of the elves behind “Rising Star,” shared with the audience the success the show has had using the app download.  “We’ve get_smart_shoe_phonehad several million downloads of the app,” he revealed.  “The audiences are the producers, voting with the app… the app works brilliantly…” Mills enthusiasm was not diminished by some less than ideal ratings.  “It works, now what is the next step,” he teased his listeners.  “A one-on-one bases, we would like to see more audience participation in song selection,” his eyes were dreamy!  The image of a live audience yelling ideas and directions to the director and crew of a television show being taped flashed through my mind.

How “social” is all this audience participation really?  Mills felt it was, “we put their Facebook page up on the screen.”

Hollywood’s Silicon Beach

by Alan von Kalckreuth

Hollywood: June 30, 2014

Silicon Beach Fest just wrapped down by the pier in Santa Monica.  It’s the way the world should be, brilliant ideas, movie glamor and the pacific winds cooling the hopeful under the shade of palm trees.

The SBF is in its third year and was well attended making it clear to business developers, theSiliconBeach City of Los Angeles, the movie studios and the keen observer that technology is moving fast and smartphone users, tablet users and traditional computer users are fertile ground certain to provide bountiful harvests for shrewd seeders.

The impact digital technology is having on consumer behavior is obvious, the less obvious matter however is how do you deliver content and information and make money doing it.

Does Hollywood have a role to play in this new eco-system? According to Daniel Ornstein, Warner Brothers’ Home Entertainment front man, all the studios are primed with digital divisions and these divisions “spend a lot of time and energy not looking at the obvious ways of doing things, but in innovative ways”.  He gave the example of dealing with DVD distribution and returns as a drain on funds that disappear as soon as you introduce downloads.  And it is start-ups and outside sources that fuel this “reinventing” of delivery, access and marketing of WB content he declared.

“We work with accelerators with more than just money and advice,” he explained, but didn’t elaborate.  Instead he revealed one of the significant benefits to the WB, “Soft benefits –our “spend” time with people who think completely different than our people.”

Maria Pacheco, DreamWorks Animation, Sr. Director Marketing (Mobile) told the techies in attendance, “At Dream Works there are six of us and sometimes we get a little crazy, we are charged with internal education.”  This theme of the studio juggernauts lumbering through the new digital ecosystem wishing they could navigate the unpredictable landscape as nimbly as skateboards is one of the primary reasons that start-ups should reassure their parents, their “investor” uncles and their angel investors that they are in with a chance –not only do they ride skateboard, but they are not hampered by mega-systems that react with sloth-like slowness.

“We’re finally getting everyone on the same page,” Pacheco stated with a triumphant exhaling.  She cited their success with How to Fly Your Dragon, but revealed that it took al their muscle to get behind that one app.

Ornstein suggests start–up get shrewd about navigating the studio system, “Find the right department to approach,” he advises, “not the highest caliber person on LinkIn.”  Pacheco adds, “Have a strong 15 second elevator pitch”.  She explains that she gets hundreds of calls and e-mails every day, “if they don’t catch me in the first couple of seconds I’m on to the next.”

The possibility of techies finding traditional money to pursue their app dreams was slapped down… gently… by Steve Shapiro, City National Bank, Senior Vice President – Entertainment Division.  “We are looking for a person who has done well in a previous company and puts their name on the line (read: has the money to back the loan and signs it away along with children, all personal water crafts and expensive jewelry), or if a studio is backing them a purchase order, same as film financing.”  Shapiro did apologize for being dressed like a banker not a skateboarder, but made no apologies for being a banker.  “How are you going to pay us back?” was pretty much his embossed reverse side of his business card.

Shapiro did suggest a traditional model that he believes translates to techie start-ups, “Packaging, get a celebrity behind it –we’ll get involved based on the strength of the celebrity.”  Most of the attendees quickly scrolled through their iPhones and sighed.




Three Movies to See This Weekend

May 16, 2014

Here are our movie recommendations for the weekend of May 17, 2014.


Yes, it may sound like another cheezy video game movie, but this Godzilla actually has heart.  The story is compelling, the action non stop.Spanish_Godzilla_2014_Poster  Don’t listen to the haters who tell you there is not enough of the G monster.  He is there when you need him, and he does save the world.  The cast in Godzilla is strong,  especially young Aaron Taylor-Johnson and veteran actor Bryan Cranston.  If you are looking for a fun ride with huge special effects, this is the one to see.


Writer, Thomas McCarthy has crafted a well written Disney film that touches the emotions and delivers a sweet, well told true story in the process.  Directed by Craig Gillespie and starring John Hamm as a down on his luck sports agent who comes up with the brilliant idea of recruiting Indian cricket players Million+Dollar+Arm+Film+Posterand grooming them to be baseball stars.  After holding a nation wide contest in India he returns to the US with two wet behind the ears kids who have barely been out of their village, let alone to L.A.  Will they ultimately deliver?  Check out this congenial film to find out.  Be prepared to laugh and maybe shed a few tears in the process.

3.  IDA

From acclaimed director Pawel Pawlikowski comes this new Polish language film set in 1962 about a young apprentice nun (played by stunning newcomer Agata Trzebuchowska in her very first role), who is about to take her vows.  Before she does however, her Mother Superior insists that Ida visits her aunt Wanda, (Agata Kulesza) who lives in the city.  Ida soon learns that she is in fact Jewish and a holocaust survivor.  Ida and her aunt, a hard drinking, chain smoking judge who has sent people to the gallows, set out to find the grave-site of Ida’s ida-posterparents, and in the process discovers the truth as to how Ida’s parents died.  Ida experiences life and love, ultimately coming to terms with what she really wants out of life.  Not at all predictable, Ida is a beautifully made film about a deep and disturbing subject.  It has some of the most visual and compelling black & white images from cinematographers Ryszard Lenczewsi and Lukasz Zalwe have seen on film in recent times.  Hopefully the Academy will remember this one come award season.



A New Idiot Comes To The Pantages

Reviewed May 13, 2014

By Peter Foldy

A highly talented young cast burst onto the stage of the Pantages Theater last night as the National Tour of AMERICAN IDIOT invaded L.A.

Starring Jared Nepute as Johnny, Dan Tracy as Tunny, Casey O’Farrell as Will, Olivia Puckett as Whatsername, Taylor Jones as Extraordinary Girl, Mariah Macfarlane as Heather tn-500_idiot09and Carson Higgins as St. Jimmy, the show opens with the blockbuster title track “American Idiot” from Green Day’s Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum album.  Within seconds you are hooked into the infectious energy that is sustained throughout the entire performance.

The story, told partly through a series of cards and letters that are read out loud on stage, concerns three boyhood friends, two of whom escape the restraints of suburbia and head for the city to search for meaning in a shell-shocked, post 9-11 world.

Johnny soon discovers drugs that ultimately give him the confidence to embark on a sexual relationship with a girl he calls, “Whatshername.”  His guide and mentor for his volatile journey is an id like character, “St. Jimmy,” who points Johnny toward the dark side, leading ultimately to heroin addiction.

Johnny’s buddy, 10AmericanIdiotNationalTheaTunny, also grows disaffected with city life but finds solace by joining the military.

The other member of the trio, Will, stays at home, living vicariously through the letters he receives from his pals.  He and and his girlfriend are soon the parents of a child and Will’s frustration grows as he feels stifled by his surroundings.

As pedestrian as this story may sound, this show is anything but.  It takes off like a rocket and never stops.  With strong vocals, great music and choreography that might best resemble an aerobic class on speed, the stage is filled with light, sound and movement.  Even the live band on stage is brought into the action and are treated as characters in the play.

The cast is impressive.

Jared Nepute as Johnny is an edgy lovable actor whose charm and energy guides the show.  His journey from punk rocker to heroin addict andtn-500_idiot07 back again is a well told in Nepute’s meaningful and powerful performance.

A solid Olivia Puckett as Whatsername manages to temporarily tame the beast in Johnny, giving him momentary solace and ultimately a relationship to remember for the rest of his life.

All-American, Dan Tracy who makes his touring debut in American Idiot, is touching as Tunny, delivering an arc to his character that is perhaps the most potent and emotional in the production.

Casey O’Farrell as Will is clearly a strong talent who dominate the stage when ever his portion of the story is brought to the foreground, but it is Carson Higgins as St. Jimmy who practically steals the night.  He is a bawdy, ballsy, high octane young rocker who struts and poses to the delight of the audience.

Other cast members, Alex Boniello, tn-500_idiot06Liam Fennecken, Sean Garner, Francesca Granell, Antwaun Holley, Andrew Humann, Alison Morooney, Johnny Newcomb, Michael Pilato, Eric Presnall, Turner Rouse, Jr., Josephine Spada and Chelsea Turbin display an impressive kinetic energy, each of them playing various characters throughout the play, but also function expertly as a unit.  Every one of them shines.

AMERICAN IDIOT’S show stopping numbers include, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” “21 Guns,” and “Wake Me Up When September Ends,”which brought on the second standing ovation of the night.

The imaginative set by Christine Jones is a maze of windows and doors, graffiti and flat screen televisions, playing cryptic images and messages that are woven into the fabric of the story.  It is most innovative.

Missing from last night’s performance were the high flying sequences that had been a highlight of previous productions.   Nevertheless, AMERICAN IDIOT is a heart pumping joy ride, it’s message potent and meaningful.  This Idiot will rock you and perhaps manage to put a tear in your eye.  It is not to be missed.

The remaining performances for AMERICAN IDIOT are today, Wednesday, May 14 through Friday, May 16,  at 8pm, Saturday, May 17 at 2pm & 8pm, and Sunday, May 18 at 1pm & 6:30pm at the Pantages Theater on Hollywood Blvd.


Justin Bieber Accused of Attempted Robbery

Los Angeles, CA: May 14, 2014

The Los Angeles County Police Department is investigating pop singer, Justin Bieber in connection with an alleged attempted robbery. The Los Angeles Times reports that Bieber tried to take a phone from a woman at a San FernandoJustin-Bieber Valley miniature golf course Monday because he thought she was taking his picture.

So far police have not interviewed or charged the trouble young pop star.

According to the website, TMZ:

The woman says Justin and his crew got into an altercation with some guys at the batting cage when J.B. noticed she was going for her cellphone to take pictures. She says Justin demanded to see her phone so he could erase any photos. She says she refused to fork over the phone so he then went into her purse and grabbed it.

The woman says she began wrestling with Bieber, trying to get her phone back. She says he ripped it out of her hands but couldn’t accomplish his mission because the phone was locked.

She says Justin gave her the phone back and demanded that she unlock it to see if she took photos. She obliged and showed Justin she had taken none. She says she told Justin she and her 13-year-old daughter just wanted to say hi, and Justin screamed, “”You’re humiliating yourself in front of your daughter. Why don’t you just get out of here.” Her daughter started crying.



“Searching For Sugar Man” Director Found Dead

Los Angeles: May 13, 2014


The director of the Oscar winning documentary, “Searching for Sugar Man” has been found dead.  was 36.

Police spokeswoman Pia Glenvik told the Associated Press malik-bendjelloul_foto_linus-hallseniusthat Bendjelloul died in Stockholm late Tuesday, but wouldn’t specify the cause of death.

“Searching for Sugar Man,” about the life and career of American singer Sixto Rodriguez, won 2013 docu Oscar as well as awards from Bafta, the IDA, the PGA and the DGA.

Born in Sweden, Bendjelloul appeared on TV as a child and then studied journalism and media production. He produced music documentaries for Swedish television and worked as a TV reporter before leaving to travel in Africa and South America.

He filmed the story partly on an iPhone, and the film was accepted as opening night film at Sundance before it was even finished.

“I was backpacking around Africa and South America looking for stories with a camera. I found six stories and this was one of the six. I thought it was the best story I’d ever heard,” he told the Independent newspaper in 2012.


Bendjelloul’s brother, Johar Bendjelloul told a Swedish newspaper on Tuesday that his brother committed suicide.

In an interview with the Aftonbladet, the elder Bendjelloul brother said that Malik, who won an Oscar in 2013 for his film, had “struggled with depression.”

“It seems so unbelievable,” he said. “I saw him two weeks ago in London. He was so full of life, hope and optimism and happiness, and looking forward to the future and future collaborations. We were talking about working together and talking about specific ideas, so the idea that he is no longer is just too hard to process.”


Artists and Musicians to the FCC: We Demand Real Net Neutrality

May 13, 2014

WASHINGTON — On Tuesday, dozens of artists, musicians and other members of the creative community delivered a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler urging the agency to abandon its pay-for-prioritization proposal and stand up for real Net Neutrality. Wheeler’s proposal — which will be considered during a May 15 FCC meeting — reportedly allows Internet service providers to charge extra fees to content companies for preferential treatment.

“The open Internet’s impact on the creative community cannot be overstated,” reads the letter, which was signed by Mark Ruffalo, Evangeline Lilly, Eddie Vedder, Neko Case, Roger Waters, Michael Stipe,ruffalo Erin McKeown, Joe Perry, Tom Morello, OK Go, Fugazi and Fred Armisen, among others. “The Internet has enabled artists to connect directly with each other and with audiences. It has eliminated the barriers of geography and taken collaborations to new levels. And it has allowed people — not corporations — to seek out the film, music and art that moves them.”

Signers of the letter urge Chairman Wheeler to scrap his proposed rules and instead “restore the principle of online nondiscrimination by reclassifying broadband as a telecommunications service.”

“Net Neutrality is the best thing going for our democracy today,” said actor Mark Ruffalo. “The folks who want to get rid of it are the worst thing going for our democracy today.”

“Maybe the term Net Neutrality is unfamiliar to most folks, but the concept it describes is one that everyone can and should care about: that the Internet shouldn’t be divided into fast lanes for the wealthy and slow lanes for everyone else,” said singer-songwriter Erin McKeown. “I am proud to stand with my fellow artists and citizens in support of an open Internet for everyone.”

“The people ARE the Internet.  Do not let the stock markets dictate our access to information,” said Brendan Canty of Fugazi. “Our government needs to hear from us on all fronts:  Free speech is not a commodity, it’s a right.”

The letter was coordinated by the Future of Music Coalition and Free Press, two nonprofit organizations with a long history of supporting accessible and open platforms for creativity and entrepreneurship.

“This is the crucial moment for artists and everyone else who uses the Internet,” said Casey Rae, VP of policy and education for the Future of Music Coalition. “We’ve seen time and again that musicians and other creators will go to bat for an open and accessible Internet. But what we’re seeing here is unprecedented. Net Neutrality has become the rallying cry for anyone who believes that creative expression and entrepreneurship must be preserved online. It doesn’t matter if you’re liberal or conservative, superstar or starry-eyed — we’re all banging the drum for nothing less than our right to use our voices in the way that we see fit.”

“2014 is going to be a make-or-break year for the Internet,” said Candace Clement, Free Press field director. “Stopping the FCC’s pay-for-prioritization proposal today is about making sure that artists can continue to create and innovate without fear of online discrimination. The FCC must protect real Net Neutrality for the sake of all Internet users, in particular for communities like this one.”

Stevie Nicks to be Honored as BMI Icon at the 62nd Annual BMI Pop Awards

Hollywood, CA:  March 31, 2014

BMI, (Broadcast Music Inc.) the global leader in music rights management, will bestow the BMI Icon Award to Stevie Nicks at its 62nd Annual BMI Pop Awards, slated for Tuesday, May 13, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills. The invitation-only ceremony will also recognize the songwriters 291221and publishers of the past year’s most-performed pop songs in the United States. The BMI Pop Song, Songwriter and Publisher of the Year will be named during the ceremony. The evening will also include an all-star musical tribute to Nicks.

BMI Icons are selected because of their unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers. As a BMI Icon, Stevie Nicks will join elite ranks that include Paul Simon, Carole King, David Foster, John Fogerty, Kris Kristofferson, the Jacksons, Crosby, Stills & Nash, the Bee Gees, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Brian Wilson, Carlos Santana, Dolly Parton, and others.

“Stevie Nicks is an extraordinary songwriter and pedigree artist of stunning genius and unwavering grace, on and off the stage. She has defined an era of pop and rock culture around the world with her brilliance and unforgettable magnificence,” said Barbara Cane, BMI Vice
President & General Manager, Writer/Publisher Relations, Los Angeles.

The legendary Stevie Nicks has an instantly recognizable voice that rises above all others. It is at once haunting, romantic, filled with mystery and completely unforgettable. Her spectacular talent has brought joy to her millions of fans for generations. With her incomparable songwriting ability, she has received 12 BMI million-performance citations, along with 12 BMI Pop Awards, a BMIUrban Award and a BMI Country Award for such hits as “Dreams,” “Rhiannon,” “Leather and Lace,” “Landslide” and “Gypsy,” among others. With songs such as “Edge of Seventeen” and “Stand Back,” Nicks has earned a top spot among a pedigree of timeless pop rock icons. From thestart of her career as a solo artist with the release of her five million-selling debut, Bella Donna, up to her current critically acclaimed album, In Your Dreams, Nicks continues to bedazzle audiences around the world. As a member of the legendary Fleetwood Mac, whose Rumours album was one of the biggest selling records of all time.

Nicks’ four-decade career includes induction into the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, multiple GRAMMY awards and numerous gold and platinum records. Collectively, these achievements add up to one of themost successful female artists in pop rock history.

The 62nd Annual BMI Pop Awards will be hosted by BMI President Del Bryant and BMI Vice President & General Manager, Writer/Publisher Relations, Los Angeles, Barbara Cane.

Buzzed, Happy and Helping Kids

By Alan von Kalckreuth

The recent gala Oscar party held at the salubrious home of Daphna Ziman to benefit the 15th Annual Oscar Viewing Party To Benefit Children Uniting Nations was an evening of fun, excitement, great food and hope – hope for the children in foster care who so often live in a twilight world where even the glimmer of distant stars –movies or celestial- seldom cast a beam.

So this year in Hollywood on Oscar night it was uplifting to see how fun, entertainment, high fashion and celebrities can swirl into a beacon of hope and promise for those who need Cun-3companionship, advocacy and love.   Children Uniting Nations is dedicated to the supporting children who are placed in foster care.  The foster system places children with caring foster parents, but all to often these children are shuffled from one home to another in the course of their childhood.  The Children Uniting Nations foundation bridges those transitions by giving the children a support group, that is as solid as rock, through counseling, mentoring friendship…  and a link to the world and energy that is the entertainment business.

The celebrities and guests at the event, who certainly had a bunch of options on how to spend Oscar Night, chose to attend the galaCun-2 over other “happening” parties and the place was buzzing, happy and moved to jive to the music of  “A” list performers, and the result was an alchemical swirl of fun, good cheer and awesome karma.

Founder and Chair, Daphne Zima: “Our mission is to create loving, tolerant, and capable world citizens. We are dedicated to help children find their way to fulfill their dreams.”


Speeding Driver Kills Two at SXSW

Austin, TX: March 13, 2014

A driver attempting to evade a drunk driving stop sped past a barricade on Red River Street and plowed into dozens of SXSW revelers, killing two and injuring 23 in a horrific scene here early Thursday morning, police said.

Red River Street is home to many popular clubs hosting South by Southwest music showcases, had beenIMG_0543 closed to motorists and was crowded with music fans waiting to get into the Mohawk nightclub.11:50 a.m.

Police Chief Art Acevedo said the man, identified by the American-Statesman (www.statesman.com) as Rashad Charjuan Owens, 21, of Killeen, will face two charges of capital murder and 23 counts of aggravated assault.

Police also clarified who was killed in the incident.

One of the dead, a man from the Netherlands, was riding a bicycle near the intersection of 11th and Red River streets when struck. The other, an Austin woman on a moped, also was killed. Both were pronounced dead at the scene, officials said.

Another man on the moped is in stable condition, Acevedo said.

Photo by:Bryan Beasley



The Highs and Lows of 2014′s Academy Award Telecast

Hollywood: March 3, 2014

One of the best Academy Award presentations of recent memory, last night’s show was not without some “what the F moments.”

Among the most jaw dropping segments started with host Ellen DeGeneres’ opening monologue where she proclaimed that “the night was going to end one of two ways. “Possibility No. 1, 12 Years a Slave wins best picture.” “Possibility No. 2, you’re all racist.”  Really, Ellen?

She carried on by takingIMG_3765 jabs at “Captain Phillips” co-star, Bakhad Abdi, actress, Jennifer Lawrence and actor, Jonah Hill.

The line however may have been crossed when she singled out Liza Minnelli who squirmed in her seat after DeGeneres proclaimed, “There is one of the most amazing Liza Minnelli impersonators I’ve ever seen in my entire life,” she said, pointing out the actress sitting in the audience next to sister Lorna Luft.  “Good job, sir,” said DeGeneres who herself is famous for wearing men’s suits.

Jennifer Lawrence’s comment to someone in the audience, asking “why are you laughing?  What, is this funny? I’m still watching you!” seemed odd and out of place.  It may have been an inside joke but it fell flat.

Then there was once beautiful Kim Novak’s drastic face job that left the room asking WTF.

Some presenters fumbled and embarrassed themselves, most notably John Travolta who had two words to pronounce, a name, Idina Menzel and could not get that right.  He introduced  the Broadway star as Adela Dazeem.  It makes you wonder how some people get to be presentersIMG_3769 on the Academy Awards and why.  Case in point is Harrison Ford whose gruff, pissed off persona is getting to be a real bore.

Thankfully the great moments outweighed the bad.

The selfie Ellen took with a room full of stars, the pizza she had delivered to audience members and then asking the crowd to chip in made for great spontaneous television. 

Jarod Leto’s speech was powerful and moving.  Spike Jones winning for his great screenplay, “Her” was gratifying, but it was Lupita Nyong’o acceptance speech  and “12 Years a Slave” winning best picture brought the award season to a highly gratifying end.

Here is a full list of all the winners last night:

Best Supporting Actor:

Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
WINNER: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Best Costume Design:

Michael Wilkinson, American Hustle
William Chang Suk Ping, The Grandmaster
WINNER: Catherine Martin, The Great Gatsby
Michael O’Connor, The Invisible Woman
Patricia Norris, 12 Years a Slave

Best Makeup and Hairstyling:

WINNERS: Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews, Dallas Buyers Club
Stephen Prouty, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny, The Lone Ranger

Best Short Film (animated)

Get a Horse!
WINNER: Mr Hublot
Room on the Broom

Best Animation:

The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Ernest and Celestine
WINNER: Frozen
The Wind Rises

Best Visual Effects:

WINNER: Gravity
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Iron Man 3
The Lone Ranger
Star Trek Into Darkness

Best Short:

Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)
Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just before Losing Everything)
WINNER: Helium
Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)
The Voorman Problem

Best Documentary:

Facing Fear
Karama Has No Walls
WINNER: The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall

Best Documentary:

The Act of Killing
Cutie and the Boxer
Dirty Wars
The Square
WINNER: 20 Feet from Stardom

Best Foreign Film:

Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium)
WINNER: The Great Beauty (Italy)
The Hunt (Denmark)
The Missing Picture (Cambodia)
Omar (Palestine)

Best Sound Mixing:

Captain Phillips
WINNER: Gravity
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Inside Llewyn Davis
Lone Survivor

Best Sound Editing:

All Is Lost
Captain Phillips
WINNER: Gravity
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Lone Survivor

Best Supporting Actress:

Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
WINNER: Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska

Best Cinematography:

Philippe Le Sourd, The Grandmaster
WINNER: Emmanuel Lubezki, Gravity
Bruno Delbonnel, Inside Llewyn Davis
Phedon Papamichael, Nebraska
Roger A Deakins, Prisoners

Best Editing:

American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
WINNER: Gravity
12 Years a Slave

Best Production Design:

American Hustle
WINNER: Catherine Martin, Beverley Dunn, The Great Gatsby
12 Years a Slave

Best Original Score:

John Williams, The Book Thief
WINNER: Steven Price, Gravity
William Butler and Owen Pallett, Her
Alexandre Desplat, Philomena
Thomas Newman, Saving Mr Banks

Best Original Song:

Alone Yet Not Alone, Alone Yet Not Alone [disqualified]
Happy, Despicable Me 2
WINNER: Let It Go, Frozen
The Moon Song, Her
Ordinary Love, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Best Adapted Screenplay:

Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Before Midnight
Billy Ray, Captain Phillips
Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, Philomena
WINNER: John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
Terence Winter, The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Original Screenplay:

Eric Warren Singer and David O Russell, American Hustle
Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine
Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack, Dallas Buyers Club
WINNER: Spike Jonze, Her
Bob Nelson, Nebraska

Best Director:

David O Russell, American Hustle
WINNER: Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Actress:

Amy Adams, American Hustle
WINNER: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

Best Actor:

Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
WINNER: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Best Picture:

WINNER: 12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
The Wolf of Wall Street

Sycamore Entertainment Group To Stream The Original “The Judy Garland Show”

Hollywood, Feb. 28, 2014

Sycamore Entertainment Group, Inc. a leading innovator in hybrid distribution, is pleased to announce it has acquired the exclusive USA licensing of 26 episodes of “The Judy Garland Show” to be available for the first time on streaming video.

To commemorate the 50thanniversary of the filming of “The Judy Garland Show”, Sycamore Entertainment tv022562a-cropwill stream the 26 one hour episodes of the first and only season of the original show. In these rare episodes, Judy performs solo and in once-in-a-lifetime musical duets with the likes of Barbara Streisand, Mickey Rooney, Count Basie, Lena Horne, Tony Bennett, Ethel Merman, Liza Minnelli and many more. These episodes are the only remaining recordings of Judy Garland performing at her peak.

“It’s an honor to present these rare episodes of “The Judy Garland Show” to an audience captivated by her talents” Says Ed Sylvan, CEO of Sycamore. He goes on to say “The Judy Garland biographical book ‘Get Happy’ being developed as a feature film by The Weinstein Company starring Anne Hathaway, hopes to captivate the essence of the woman that is seen in these 26 episodes. Fans will rejoice at seeing her talents in its purest form”.

Starting March 29th, consumers can stream each one hour episode individually or as a package. Fans will be able to stream the episodes on Android, Apple IPad, IPhone, Samsung and many other devices. All of the episodes are up-converted in full HD for maximum viewing experience. “As the upcoming 86thannual Academy Awards honors the 75thanniversary of the Wizard of OZ, a new generation of fans will discover the wonderful talents of Judy Garland”, Says Sylvan.

Sycamore acquired the rights from legendary music producer Darryl Payne of Darryl Payne Films. He says “I am delighted to be working with innovators like Sycamore Entertainment in bringing this iconic talent into a digital era”.

To get more information regarding the availability of the show visit
the website at: www.Sycamoreentertainment.com/TheJudyGarlandShow

Jake Gyllenhaal’s New Film, “Enemy,” is a Psychological Thrill Ride

Review by Peter Foldy

Dark, twisted and surreal, ENEMY, starring JAKE GYLLENHAAL and directed by DENIS VILLENEUVE is a quirky, hypnotic study of two distinct personas as their lives become irrevocably intertwined.

The story deals with a disconnected history professor named Adam Bell (Gyllenhaal) who is going through life onenemy-ENEMY_OS_LARGE_rgb auto-pilot, seemingly lost in a haze of self doubt and apathy.  Bell stays in a dumpy, barely furnished apartment in a seedy party of Toronto and not even his attractive, frisky girlfriend (MELANIE LAURENT) stirs him beyond the occasional and predictable sexual liaison the two of them share.

Watching a movie on the recommendation of a colleague, Adam spots his dobbleganger, a bit player in the film who looks exactly like him.  Compelled to track down the actor, Adam learns that the man’s name is Anthony Clair and the resemblance between them is uncanny in every way, right down to an identical scar on their bodies.

Before long Anthony Clair’s beautiful and pregnant wife, (SARAH GADON) is brought into the mix and the psychodrama begins to take some strange though not totally unexpected turns as it spirals toward it’s violent and stunning conclusion.

Adapted from Nobel prize winning author,enemy-ENEMY_DAY4-0054_rgb Jose Saramago’s 2004 novel, The Double, the film examines those dark corners of the mind where fear and fantasy reside, where hope is a limited option and psychological survival is something that may come with a price.

All the performances are subtle and exceptional but it is Mr. Gyllenhaal who does the heavy lifting here in the duel roles of Bell and Clair.  He manages to find the nuances of both the characters and in the process creates sympathetic portrayals that keep the suspense slowly bubbling till it come to a full boil.

Director of Photography,  NICOLAS BOLDUC and the film’s director, Villeneuve  turns Toronto into a bleak sea of bland, sterile high rise apartments where people live less than ordinary lives, where secrets abound, waiting to rise to the surface.  With muted tones and great attention to detail the film shows us a world where anyone might be the enemy, or is the enemy living inside us all?

Currently playing on VOD through DirectTV and opening theatrically March 14, 2014, “Enemy” is a film well worth seeing.


“Her” Screenplay Wins Top Writer’s Guild Award

Hollywood: February 1, 2014

Spike Jonze’s screenplay,  “Her” won a major victory at the Writers Guild of America Awards on Saturday night, taking home the award for the best original screenplay of 2013.

By beating “Blue Jasmine,” “Dallas Buyers Club,” “Nebraska” and particularly “American Hustle,” Jonze’s script showed that it has the potential to be a spoiler on Oscar night. And it deprived “American Hustle” of what would have been a big win as it heads into the Oscar voting period locked in a tight race with “Gravity” and “12 Years a Slave.”

"Her" screenwriter, Spike Jonze

“Her” screenwriter, Spike Jonze

With the former film not nominated by the WGA and the latter film ineligible under guild rules, the “Her” win meant that none of the Oscar leaders could gain any advantage from the last of the four major guild ceremonies.

In the adapted screenplay category, Billy Ray’s win for “Captain Phillips” was a nice boost for a film that didn’t do as well in Oscar nominations as expected. But with frontrunner “12 Years a Slave” not in the running, its victory was less important as an Oscar predictor.

As usual, the two affiliated guilds, the WGA, West and the WGA, East handed out awards at separate ceremonies in different orders — and as a result, most of the major awards were announced in New York long before the categories came up in Los Angeles.

The failure of the two guilds to work out a way to coordinate their shows has long been a source of frustration in Los Angeles, where nominees frequently learn that they’ve won or lost by hearing the news from New York. On Saturday, the East Coast show had ended well before the West Coast one even got to the top film categories, with the award to Spike Jonze announced in New York nearly 90 minutes before he took the stage to accept it in L.A.

Here’s a complete list of winners.


ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Her, Written by Spike Jonze; Warner Bros.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Captain Phillips, Screenplay by Billy Ray; Based on the book A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea by Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty; Columbia Pictures

DOCUMENTARY SCREENPLAY: Stories We Tell, Written by Sarah Polley; Roadside Attractions


DRAMA SERIES: Breaking Bad, Written by Sam Catlin, Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, Gennifer Hutchison, George Mastras, Thomas Schnauz, Moira Walley-Beckett; AMC

COMEDY SERIES: Veep, Written by Simon Blackwell, Roger Drew, Sean Gray, Armando Iannucci, Ian Martin, Georgia Pritchett, David Quantick, Tony Roche, Will Smith; HBO

NEW SERIES: House of Cards, Written by Kate Barnow, Rick Cleveland, Sam Forman, Gina Gionfriddo, Keith Huff, Sarah Treem, Beau Willimon; Netflix

EPISODIC DRAMA: “Confessions” (Breaking Bad), Written by Gennifer Hutchison; AMC

EPISODIC COMEDY: “Hogcock!” (30 Rock), Written by Jack Burditt & Robert Carlock; NBC

LONG FORM – ADAPTED: Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight, Written by Shawn Slovo, Based on the book by Howard Bingham and Max Wallace; HBO

SHORT FORM NEW MEDIA – ORIGINAL: “Episode 4: The Collected Sylvia” (Sylvia Plath: Girl Detective), Written by Mike Simses

ANIMATION: “A Test Before Trying” (The Simpsons), Written by Joel H. Cohen; Fox

COMEDY / VARIETY (INCLUDING TALK) – SERIES: The Colbert Report, Writers: Stephen Colbert, Tom Purcell, Michael Brumm, Nate Charny, Rich Dahm, Paul Dinello, Eric Drysdale, Rob Dubbin, Glenn Eichler, Gabe Gronli, Dan Guterman, Barry Julien, Jay Katsir, Frank Lesser, Opus Moreschi, Bobby Mort, Meredith Scardino, Max Werner; Comedy Central

COMEDY / VARIETY – MUSIC, AWARDS, TRIBUTES – SPECIALS: Blake Shelton’s Not So Family Christmas, Head Writers: Jay Martel, Ian Roberts; Writers: Alex Rubens, Charlie Sanders; NBC

QUIZ AND AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION: Jeopardy!, Written by John Duarte, Harry Friedman, Mark Gaberman, Debbie Griffin, Michele Loud, Robert McClenaghan, Jim Rhine, Steve D. Tamerius, Billy Wisse; ABC

DAYTIME DRAMA: Days of Our Lives, Written by Lorraine Broderick, David Cherrill, Carolyn Culliton, Richard Culliton, Rick Draughon, Christopher Dunn, Janet Iacobuzio, David A. Levinson, Ryan Quan, Dave Ryan, Melissa Salmons, Christopher J. Whitesell; NBC

CHILDREN’S – EPISODIC & SPECIALS: “influANTces” (A.N.T. Farm), Written by Vincent Brown; Disney Channel

DOCUMENTARY – CURRENT EVENTS: “Egypt in Crisis” (Frontline), Written by Marcela Gaviria & Martin Smith; PBS

DOCUMENTARY – OTHER THAN CURRENT EVENTS: (tie) “The Abolitionists” (American Experience), Written by Rob Rapley; PBS and “Silicon Valley” (American Experience), Telescript by Randall MacLowry and Michelle Ferrari; Story by Randall MacLowry; PBS

NEWS – REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN, OR BREAKING REPORT: “Tragedy at Newtown” Special Edition (ABC World News with Diane Sawyer), Written by Lisa Ferri and Matt Negrin; ABC

NEWS – ANALYSIS, FEATURE, OR COMMENTARY: “Lethal Medicine” (60 Minutes), Written by Michael Rey, Oriana Zill de Granados, Michael Radutzky; CBS


DOCUMENTARY: “2012 Year in Review,” Written by Gail Lee; CBS Radio News

NEWS – REGULARLY SCHEDULED OR BREAKING REPORT: “Afternoon Drive,” Written by Bill Spadaro; CBS Radio/1010 WINS

NEWS – ANALYSIS, FEATURE OR COMMENTARY: “Remembrances,” Written by Gail Lee; CBS Radio News


ON-AIR PROMOTION (TELEVISION, NEW MEDIA OR RADIO: “The Crazy Ones – Building a Better Comedy,” Written by Erial Tompkins; CBS

TELEVISION GRAPHIC ART AND ANIMATION: CBS News Animations: “Brain Injury,” “Pills,” “Bionic Leg,” “Midland Parade,” “Concordia Salvage;” Animation by David Rosen; CBS News

Oscar Nominations Announced

Beverly Hills, CA: January 16, 2014

The nominees for the 86th Annual Academy Awards were announced early this morning from Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

Chris Hemsworth and AMPAS President Cheryl Boone Isaacs revealed the nominations for cinema’s biggest night. The Oscars will be held on March 2.  Let the race begin.

Here is the full list of nominations:

Best motion picture of the year
“American Hustle” Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Megan Ellison and Jonathan Gordon, Producers
“Captain Phillips” Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca, Producers
“Dallas Buyers Club” Robbie Brenner and Rachel Winter, Producers
“Gravity” Alfonso Cuarón and David Heyman, Producers
“Her” Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze and Vincent Landay, Producers
“Nebraska” Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa, Producers
“Philomena” Gabrielle Tana, Steve Coogan and Tracey Seaward, Producers
“12 Years a Slave” Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen and Anthony Katagas, Producers
“The Wolf of Wall Street” Nominees to be determined

Performance by an actor in a leading role
Christian Bale in “American Hustle”
Bruce Dern in “Nebraska”
Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Chiwetel Ejiofor in “12 Years a Slave”
Matthew McConaughey in “Dallas Buyers Club”

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Barkhad Abdi in “Captain Phillips”
Bradley Cooper in “American Hustle”
Michael Fassbender in “12 Years a Slave”
Jonah Hill in “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Jared Leto in “Dallas Buyers Club”

Performance by an actress in a leading role
Amy Adams in “American Hustle”
Cate Blanchett in “Blue Jasmine”
Sandra Bullock in “Gravity”
Judi Dench in “Philomena”
Meryl Streep in “August: Osage County”

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Sally Hawkins in “Blue Jasmine”
Jennifer Lawrence in “American Hustle”
Lupita Nyong’o in “12 Years a Slave”
Julia Roberts in “August: Osage County”
June Squibb in “Nebraska”

Best animated feature film of the year

“The Croods” Chris Sanders, Kirk DeMicco and Kristine Belson
“Despicable Me 2” Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin and Chris Meledandri
“Ernest & Celestine” Benjamin Renner and Didier Brunner
“Frozen” Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee and Peter Del Vecho
“The Wind Rises” Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki

Achievement in cinematography
“The Grandmaster” Philippe Le Sourd
“Gravity” Emmanuel Lubezki
“Inside Llewyn Davis” Bruno Delbonnel
“Nebraska” Phedon Papamichael
“Prisoners” Roger A. Deakins

Achievement in costume design
“American Hustle” Michael Wilkinson
“The Grandmaster” William Chang Suk Ping
“The Great Gatsby” Catherine Martin
“The Invisible Woman” Michael O’Connor
“12 Years a Slave” Patricia Norris

Achievement in directing
“American Hustle” David O. Russell
“Gravity” Alfonso Cuarón
“Nebraska” Alexander Payne
“12 Years a Slave” Steve McQueen
“The Wolf of Wall Street” Martin Scorsese

Best documentary feature
“The Act of Killing”Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen
“Cutie and the Boxer” Zachary Heinzerling and Lydia Dean Pilcher
“Dirty Wars” Richard Rowley and Jeremy Scahill
“The Square” Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer
“20 Feet from Stardom” Nominees to be determined

Best documentary short subject
“CaveDigger” Jeffrey Karoff
“Facing Fear” Jason Cohen
“Karama Has No Walls” Sara Ishaq
“The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life” Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed
“Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall” Edgar Barens

Achievement in film editing
“American Hustle” Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten
“Captain Phillips” Christopher Rouse
“Dallas Buyers Club” John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa
“Gravity” Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger
“12 Years a Slave” Joe Walker

Best foreign language film of the year
“The Broken Circle Breakdown” Belgium
“The Great Beauty” Italy
“The Hunt” Denmark
“The Missing Picture” Cambodia
“Omar” Palestine

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling
“Dallas Buyers Club” Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews
“Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” Stephen Prouty
“The Lone Ranger” Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
“The Book Thief” John Williams
“Gravity” Steven Price
“Her” William Butler and Owen Pallett
“Philomena” Alexandre Desplat
“Saving Mr. Banks” Thomas Newman

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
“Alone Yet Not Alone” from “Alone Yet Not Alone”
Music by Bruce Broughton; Lyric by Dennis Spiegel
“Happy” from “Despicable Me 2”
Music and Lyric by Pharrell Williams
“Let It Go” from “Frozen”
Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
“The Moon Song” from “Her”
Music by Karen O; Lyric by Karen O and Spike Jonze
“Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”
Music by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen; Lyric by Paul Hewson

Achievement in production design
“American Hustle” Production Design: Judy Becker; Set Decoration: Heather Loeffler
“Gravity” Production Design: Andy Nicholson; Set Decoration: Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard
“The Great Gatsby” Production Design: Catherine Martin; Set Decoration: Beverley Dunn
“Her” Production Design: K.K. Barrett; Set Decoration: Gene Serdena
“12 Years a Slave” Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Alice Baker

Best animated short film
“Feral” Daniel Sousa and Dan Golden
“Get a Horse!” Lauren MacMullan and Dorothy McKim
“Mr. Hublot” Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares
“Possessions” Shuhei Morita
“Room on the Broom” Max Lang and Jan Lachauer

Best live action short film
“Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)” Esteban Crespo
“Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just before Losing Everything)” Xavier Legrand and Alexandre Gavras
“Helium” Anders Walter and Kim Magnusson
“Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)” Selma Vilhunen and Kirsikka Saari
“The Voorman Problem” Mark Gill and Baldwin Li

Achievement in sound editing
“All Is Lost” Steve Boeddeker and Richard Hymns
“Captain Phillips” Oliver Tarney
“Gravity” Glenn Freemantle
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Brent Burge
“Lone Survivor” Wylie Stateman

Achievement in sound mixing
“Captain Phillips” Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith and Chris Munro
“Gravity” Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick and Tony Johnson
“Inside Llewyn Davis” Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland
“Lone Survivor” Andy Koyama, Beau Borders and David Brownlow

Achievement in visual effects
“Gravity” Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and Eric Reynolds
“Iron Man 3” Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash and Dan Sudick
“The Lone Ranger” Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams and John Frazier
“Star Trek Into Darkness” Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann and Burt Dalton

Adapted screenplay
“Before Midnight” Written by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
“Captain Phillips” Screenplay by Billy Ray
“Philomena” Screenplay by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
“12 Years a Slave” Screenplay by John Ridley
“The Wolf of Wall Street” Screenplay by Terence Winter

Original screenplay
“American Hustle” Written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
“Blue Jasmine” Written by Woody Allen
“Dallas Buyers Club” Written by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack
“Her” Written by Spike Jonze
“Nebraska” Written by Bob Nelson

Fast and Furious Actor, Paul Walker Reported Dead

November 30, 2013

TMZ reported today that “Fast and Furious” actor, PAUL WALKER was reported to have died after his Porsche crashed and exploded.

“Multiple sources connected to paul-walker-picture-5Paul” state that the 40-year-old star lost control of the car and slammed into a post or tree, with the car bursting into flames after the impact. They published the photo below reportedly of the explosion.

A Santa Clarita police department officer confirmed to TheWrap that officers were investigating “significant traffic collision” on Constellation Road at the Rye Canyon loop, but could not confirm a fatality.

Walker is 40, and best known for starring multiple times in the “Fast and Furious” franchise. He is part of the cast of the latest in the series “Fast and Furious 7,” which is still filming.

12 Years a Slave Leads Spirit Award Nominations

November 26, 2013

Film Independent announced their nominees for the 2014 Independent Spirit Awards in Los Angeles today. Designed as an opportunity to recognize the niche films that are muscled out of the circuit131015184929-beale-12-years-a-slave-story-top by Hollywood headliners, the show has in recent years become increasingly Academy friendly. Though 12 Years a Slave unsurprisingly leads the pack with seven nominations, it’s nice to see a handful of wild cards getting their due.

Here’s a complete list of nominees.

Best Feature
12 Years a Slave
All is Lost
Frances Ha
Inside Llewyn Davis

Best Director
Shane Carruth, Upstream Color
J.C. Chandor, All is Lost
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Jeff Nichols, Mud
Alexander Payne, Nebraska

 Best First Feature
Blue Caprice
Fruitvale Station
Una Noche

Best Male Lead
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis
Michael B. Jordan, Fruitvale Station
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Robert Redford, All is Lost

Best Female Lead
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Julie Delpy, Before Midnight
Gaby Hoffman, Crystal Fairy
Brie Larson, Short Term 12
Shailene Woodley, The Spectacular Now

John Cassavetes Award
Computer Chess
Crystal Fairy
Museum Hours
Pit Stop
This Is Martin Bonner

Best Documentary Film
20 Feet From Stardom
After Tiller
Gideon’s Army
The Act of Killing
The Square

Best International Film
A Touch of Sin (China)
Blue is the Warmest Color (France)
Gloria (Chile)
The Great Beauty (Italy)
The Hunt (Denmark)

Best Editing
Shane Carruth and David Lowery, Upstream Color
Jem Cohen and Marc Vives, Museum Hours
Jennifer Lame, Frances Ha
Cindy Lee, Una Noche
Nat Sanders, Short Term 12

Best Cinematography
Sean Bobbitt, 12 Years a Slave
Benoit Debie, Spring Breakers
Bruno Delbonnel, Inside Llewyn Davis
Frank G. Demarco, All is Lost
Matthias Grunsky, Computer Chess

Best First Screenplay
Lake Bell, In a World
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Don Jon
Bob Nelson, Nebraska
Jill Solloway, Afternoon Delight
Mike Starrbury, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete

Best Screenplay
Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine
Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke & Richard Linklater, Before Midnight
Nicole Holofcener, Enough Said
Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber, The Spectacular Now
John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave

Best Supporting Actor
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Will Forte, Nebraska
James Gandolfini, Enough Said
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Keith Stanfield, Short Term 12

Best Supporting Actress
Melonie Diaz, Fruitvale Station
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Yolanda Ross, Go For Sisters
June Squibb, Nebraska

Piaget Producers Award ($25,000 grant to emerging producer)
Toby Halbrooks and James M. Johnston
Jacob Jaffke
Andrea Roa and Frederick Thornton

Someone to Watch Award
My Sister’s Quinceañera, Aaron Douglas Johnston
Newlyweeds, Shaka King
The Foxy Merkins, Madeline Olnek

Stella Artois Truer Than Fiction Award($25,000 grant to an emerging non-fiction director)
Kalyanee Mam, A River Changes Course
Jason Osder, Let the Fire Burn
Stephanie Spray & Pacho Valez, Manakamana

Robert Altman Award
Writer/Director Jeff Nichols, Casting Director Francine Maisler, and the Cast of Mud

The Spirit Awards are set to air March 1, 2014 on IFC.


Was Brittany Murphy and Husband Poisoned?

Hollywood: November 18, 2013

TheWrap reports that a new laboratory report lends credence to what actress BRITTANY MURPHY’S father has long suspected: that she and her husband died not of natural causes, but of poisoning by someone out to kill them.

“It’s a bona fide report,Brittany-Murphy-001” the lab’s general manager, Denny Seilheimer, told TheWrap. “It was our client’s prerogative to release the report. That’s all I can tell you.”

Murphy’s father, Angelo Bertolotti, didn’t accept the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office conclusion that the “Clueless” star and husband Angelo Bertolotti died of natural causes — pneumonia and anemia — five months apart. He sued to gain access to her hair samples, and hired Seilheimer’s private lab, the Carlson Company, to look for signs of poisoning.

The lab’s report found evidence she was was poisoned — probably by “a third party perpetrator with likely criminal intent.”

Coroner’s spokesman Ed Winter said the coroner’s sfdgsdfgsdfgsdoffice has not been in touch with Murphy’s father and had no updates.

“We have no comment on that and our report stands as of now,” he told TheWrap.

Bertolotti told TheWrap he was not immediately available to commentdid not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday. Murphy died in 2009, and Monjack in 2010.

LAPD spokesman Officer Cleon Joseph said it would be up to the coroner’s office whether to take further action.

“Whatever the findings, if there was something to report, they would report it to us,” he said.

Julia Verdin and her 2 Jacks

October 17, 2013.

JULIA VERDIN is an L.A. based British producer and former actress who has a long list of feature film credits.  Her most recent project, “2 Jacks,” is a well crafted Hollywood tale with excellent performances from stars Danny Huston, Sienna Miller and Jack Huston.  The film also stars Jaqueline Bissett, Izabella Miko, Lydia Hearst, Jamie Harris, Richard Portnow and Billy Zane and was directed by Bernard Rose.

HOLLYWOOD REVEALED: Hi, Julia.  Your latest independent film, “2 JACKS” has been enjoying some great success.  Tell us how the screenplay come to you and what was the turning point in you deciding to produce it?

Julia Verdin: BERNARD ROSE, DANNY HOUSTON and I have all known each other for many years and wanted to work together so we decided to make the sort of film we would all like to go and see.  BernardjuliaVerdin15_dh1 (1) has always been a big fan of Tolstoy and Danny was keen to do a movie with his nephew JACK HOUSTON, so Bernard decided on adapting the Tolstoy short story “Two Hussar’s” and set in Hollywood, making the father and son film directors as opposed to cavalry officers. The interesting thing about Tolstoy is that many of his themes are still very relevant today.

HR: Was there any other cast already attached?

Julia: No. Just Danny and Jack to start with.  Between us all we reached out to our other actor friends  who were right for the various roles and very quickly put this great cast together. I am very fortunate to have worked with many wonderful actors over the years that I have developed great relationships with, so I was bring people like BILLY ZANE, SIENNA MILLER andJACQUELINE BISSETT to the table.

HR: What do you think the attraction was for these actors?

Julia: I  think many of them were attracted to working with Bernard as he is a wonderful and prolific director. The material also provided them with interesting challenges and the opportunity to improve which can be fun and different.  Tolstoy’s characters live and breathe like Shakespeare’s and so they are very appealing to most actors.

HR: How would you describe the shoot?

Julia: It was fun and very collaborative, i think everybody really felt a part of what they were doing.

HR: What was the biggest challengeDanny and Sienna 0697 you faced in making this film?

Julia: The challenge on any independent movie is always finding creative ways to do things with a limited budget.  We had a large cast and also a couple of big party scenes and small things such as extra casting is always important and time consuming finding the right people who will be a good fit.  We reached out to a lot of our industry friends to be in the party scenes so they would look authentic. I had to organize tango lessons for Danny and Sienna and bridge lessons for some of the other cast. I also had to find great locations, musicians and dancers so it was quite challenging and a lot to do in a short time so found myself working round the clock and calling on the generosity of friends for help.  My very talented designer friend Julia Clancey did the costume design for the film and created wonderful costumes for us.

HR: Tell us about your background?  Where are you from and how did you start your career?

Julia: I startedJack and Danny 2580 in the business as an actress in England and then moved into producing. I am passionate about film and love the creative aspect of it. I love developing material with writers and then putting all the elements together.  It’s always challenging but enormously satisfying to see it coming to life.  First and foremost you need a great compelling story and well executed script , then attaching the right  director at the helm who has a real vision for the story  and  casting it right can often make the difference as to how it comes to life and blossoms.

HR: You are also a personal manager.  Was that a natural progression?  How and why did you take on acting clients?

Julia: I started managing actors about 18 years ago, i was constantly placing friends in jobs as I have always been good at putting people together so it seemed like a natural progression. I have a wonderful roster of great actors who I really love and believe in and they are constantly working in film and TV.  I really enjoy the synergy of managing and producing.  They work very well together.

HR: “2 Jacks” recently premiered at Raindance2 Jacks poster FLAT Film Festival in London.  Where else is it going to be seen?

Julia: “2 Jacks” has been at some great film festivals including Montreal worldwide, Vancouver International, Hollywood film festival and yes, the Raindance festival In London. It is currently the opening night film at LA FEMME INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL  on Friday Oct 18th in LA and  It will be coming out in Cinemas and on VOD platforms also on Friday 18th of October as well.

HR:  That’s a great end result for this exceptional little movie. What’s next for you as a producer?

Julia: I love bio pictures and have a wonderful project about the iconic French actress Sarah Bernhardt written by Cynthia Riddle, I am also producing a dysfunctional family Christmas story called Surviving Christmas written and to be directed by James Dearden for which we are in the process of assembling a wonderful cast. I will produce a female driven comedy called The Homecoming Queen goes down which will star and was brought to me by Olivia D’Abo one of my management clients.

HR: Nice.  One last question.  Please describe your perfect L.A. weekend.

Julia: My perfect LA weekend is hiking up Runyon Canyon, doing Kundalini Yoga, a lovely dinner with friends at The Chateau Marmont Hotel on Saturday followed by brunch at Soho house on Sunday, a tea party with all my film maker friends at my house in the afternoon, swopping ideas, sharing experiences and celebrating the wonderful lives we all are lucky enough to have and a good movie in the evening.

HR: Sounds like fun. Thanks for chatting, Julia.

Julia: My pleasure.

“2 Jacks” screens Friday, October 18, 2013 at:

Regal Stadium 14, LA LIVE : 1000 West Olympic Blvd Los Angeles, CA  90015.  Screening at 8:00 pm.

For full list of cinemas and VOD availability see: www.twojacksfilms.com


Stars Roll Out for “Kill Your Darlings” Premier in Hollywood

October 4, 2013

Daniel Radcliffe’s latest film, “Kill Your Darlings” premiered last night in Hollywood, sponsored by Blue Moon Brewing Company.

The film about the early life of Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael C. Halliconic beat poet, Allan Ginsberg (Radcliffe) also stars Dane DeHaan, Michael C. Hall,  and Jennifer Jason Leigh who all shined on the red carpet at the Writers Guild Theater.

Stars Aubrey Plaza, Sarah DuMontCaity Lotz, and Misty Upham were also in attendance.

Following the premiere, the cast made an appearance at a posh post party at Beverly Hills’ Caulfield’s where they enjoyed ice cold Blue Moon with the requisite orange slice.

The non-beer drinkers Sarah Dumontwere served Fleury Estate Winery’s 2009 Deuxienne Red and 2011 Fleurty Rose as well as Voli Light Vodka’s Lime Light and Coslowpolitan.

With a such a wide selection of fine alcohols, a good time was had by all, including Vincent Spano.

Interestingly, Super Size Me filmmaker Morgan Spurlock was shooting documentary footage in front of the bar during the party–coincidence?

Photo Credit: Todd Williamson

For more information contact: Matthew Honig




Mark Kearney’s Iced Out Luxury Suite an Affair to Remember

Los Angeles, CA (September 21st, 2013)

Stars showed up en masse for Iced Out’s Luxury Awards Suite during Emmy Week. The event, held on September 19th and 20th in a sprawling private residence in the Hollywood Hills, provided to be a wonderful time with a

Adrienne Maloof and Jacob Bush

Adrienne Maloof and Jacob Bush

diverse array of products and services—from Custom Tobacco’s Cigars to renowned plastic surgeon David A Feldmar’s botox procedures —being showcased. The star attraction, however, was the Tesla Model S – Voted “Car of the Year.”

Guest of Honor Mark Kearney is about to launch a new culinary phenomenon in at the beautiful Bahamas Baha Mar Resort in Nassau.  “The Bahamas and the Caribbean  offer a unique and undiscovered attitude t,owards local island seafood and vegetables,” says  Chef Mark. “ I can’t wait to join my love for the Pacific Rim exotic flavors  with my love for the Caribbean spices at the Baha Mar Resort!” The chef is also

Model, Cynthia Kirshner

Model, Cynthia Kirshner

working on an upcoming TV project.

Party attendees nibbled on Kerrygold cheese and luscious appetizers by  Chef Mark, whose Coconut Prawns, Maui crab cakes,Ribeye Sliders, Ahi Tuna on a Crispy Wonton, and Coconut Roquefort Terrine served on an Endive Leaf were the talk of the evening. Chef Mark’s signature Pacific Rim hors d’ouvres were accompanied by Adrienne Maloof’s exquisite Zing Vodka Martinis–Adrienne’s Favorite Raspberry Zing and The Red Sunset Cosmo. The former Beverly Hills Housewife came out in support of her liquor brand and absolutely dazzled on the red carpet. Richard Grieco of 21 Jump Street fame showed up to showcase his Gallerie Sparta art project, which

Chef Mark and Adrienne Maloof put some Zing into their lives.

Chef Mark and Adrienne Maloof put some Zing into their lives.

was created in conjunction with actress-artist Jane Seymour. Beat Ventriloquists (DJs James and Gene Bautista) kept the mood lively all through Thursday’s affair with their unique blend of old school jams and modern dance hits.

In addition to Maloof and Grieco, the guest list included actress-model Liz Fuller, Neal Mcdonough (Red 2), Breaking Bad writer producer George Mastras,  Jaclyn Betham (The Haves and Have Nots), Cody Kennedy, Tony Denison (Major Crimes),  Wes Ramsey (CSI: Miami), singer-guitarist

Actress, Liz Fuller enjoys the stylings of Gail Garrison

Actress, Liz Fuller enjoys the stylings of Gail Garrison

Laura Wilde, model Cynthia Kirchner, comedic personality Jessie Heiman, child actress Laci Kay, Stephen Glickman (Big Time Rush), comedienne Judy Tenuta, Masiela Lusha (The George Lopez Show), radio host Rolanda Watts, KIIS FM’s DJ Shy, celebrity stylist Okera Banks, and recording artist Vaja.

“We’re enormously pleased with the turnout we had this year,” says Kearney, no stranger to organizing gifting suites. “Everyone had a blast. I’m already counting the days until 2014’s suite! Special kudos definitely goes to celebrity photographer Michael Bezjian and his portrait studio.”

The event was made possible by sponsors

Omar Dorsey supports the Breast Cancer Society

Omar Dorsey supports the Breast Cancer Society

Tesla Motors, Fortress Jets, BizStar Media, Le Metier Cosmetics, Gallerie Sparta—A French International Gallerie, Dr. David A. Feldmar M.D. Board Certified Celebrity Plastic & Cosmetic Surgeon, Fantrac ~ Rewarding Feedback, Beat Ventriloquists, P&L Media, LLC, Adrienne Maloof’s Zing Vodka, Lovestruck Productions Inc., Mega Way Organic Nutrition, The Breast Cancer Society, Gail Garrison, Lashes M.D., Kerrygold, Carte Blanche Mobile Teeth Whitening, Custom Tobacco for Iced Out,  Daniel Decriscio, and Kathy Brown.

“We’re very fortunate and grateful to have had so many top-notch luxury brands on board with us,” said Kearney.  “They were truly the backbone of our event.”

Photo Credit: Credit :Michael Bezjian/WireImage

Woody Allen Scores with “Blue Jasmine”

JULY 25, 2013

REVIEW by Peter Foldy

Woody Allen’s latest film, BLUE JASMINE, is probably his best work in years.  The movie boasts an impressive Oscar worthy performances from it’s female star, Cate Blanchette who takes on the challenging role of “Jasmine,” a well heeled, New York socialite married to a slick wheeler-dealer named “Hal” (Alec Baldwin) who we soon find blue-jasmineout is cut from the same cloth as Wall Street sociopath, Bernie Madoff.  

Jasmine turns a blind eye to her husbands cheating ways and rarely questions his business ethics, preferring to remain silent in order to keep living the lifestyle to which she feels entitled. But all good things come to an end, and when we first meet Jasmine, it is not as the rich woman of means that she once was, but as a broken, desperate soul moving in with her working class sister, Ginger, (Sally Hawkins) a kind-hearted under-achiever who dates an emotional hot head called “Chilli” (Bobby Cannavele).  Ginger and her two noisy sons live in a cramped San Francisco apartment above a store and you can feel the claustrophobia as soon as you enter the premises.  This surely puts our Jasmine out of sorts.

We soon discover that there are some dents in the sister’s relationship.  Ginger and her ex husband, Augie (a surprisingly impressive Andrew Dice Clay) had invested their lottery winnings with Jasmine’s husband, and he lost it all, destroying Augie and Ginger’s one chance to climb out of the gutter.

Jasmine however is unrepentant as she tries to adjust to this major downshift in her life. She unhappily lands a job as receptionist at a dentist’s office, tries to destroy Ginger’s943535_581150268591833_664076823_n relationship with Chilli, all the while studying to be an interior decorator, a line of work she seems well suited for.  Mostly Jasmine creates havoc, frequently thinking back to what she once was.  It is these flashbacks that allows Blanchette to stretch her talents as both the former and current Jasmine.  We see her at her snootiest as the well-off socialite, throwing dinner parties, indulging in the luxuries that she has mistakenly takes for granted.  We also observe her in present day as she recovers from what seems to be a nervous breakdown, a broke, desperate, humiliated woman trying desperately to hold on to some dignity.

When aspiring congressman, “Dwight” finally comes along, (played by Peter Sarsgaard) Jasmine sees him as her salvation and pulls out all the stops (and all the lies) to be able to get back to the pampered lifestyle that feels entitled to.

Blue Jasmine is an intelligently crafted character study that speaks to the morality of the last decade.  All the performances are exceptional.  Baldwin is at his usual best as “Hal”, and Cannavale is convincing as the rough and tough street hood, “Chilli,” a hood who cries like a baby when his heart breaks.  Hawkins is sympathetic as “Ginger” and Skaarsgard captures wealth and ambition to a T, but it is Blanchette who does the heavy lifting in Blueblue-jasmine-03 Jasmine and her performance is sure to be remembered come award season.

Beautifully shot by Javier Aguirresarobe, the film is one of Woody Allen’s less kinetic presentations, a welcome film for grown-ups in a summer of comic book fodder, Blue Jasmine is well worth a look. We give BLUE JASMINE **** (four stars).

Opens: July 26 (Sony Pictures Classics)
Production: Perdido Productions
Cast: Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, Louis C.K., Bobby Cannavale, Andrew Dice Clay, Sally Hawkins, Peter Sarsgaard, Michael Stuhlbarg, Tammy Blanchard, Max Casella, Alden Ehrenreich
Director: Woody Allen
Screenwriter: Woody Allen
Producers: Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum, Edward Walson
Executive producers: Leroy Schechter, Adam B. Stern
Director of photography: Javier Aguirresarobe
Production designer: Santo Loquasto
Costume designer: Suzy Benzinger
Editor: Alisa Lepselter
PG-13 rating, 98 minutes


A-List Communications Entertains Comic-Con With Two Cool Parties

San Diego: July 22, 2013

International event producer A-List Communications produced two of the leading events at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con.

First, eOne’s HAVEN cast, celebrity and Fan Fest on July 18th at the Sidebar, followed by the annual genre themed extravaganza,

Eric Balfour and DJ Qualls

Eric Balfour and DJ Qualls

“CON OF DARKNESS,” at the Voyer on July 19, co-hosted by Entertainment One (eOne), IFC Midnight, and MPI Dark Sky Films, Along with DreadCentral.com, The Haunted Hotel, Femme Fatales and Shocktillyoudrop.com

HAVEN featured the cast members of the  Syfy hit television series and other celebrities on the red carpet who mingling with fans and VIP’s. The event featured specialty drinks compliments of sponsor Wild Turkey bourbon.

Those showing up for the celebration included Emily Rose (Jericho, Brothers
and Sister) Lucas Bryant (Queer as Folk, MVP); Eric Balfour (24, Six Feet Under), Adam Copeland (WWE’s The Edge); Colin Ferguson (Eureka) and eOne TV’s CEO John Morayniss.

Other celebrity guests on the red carpet included:

Alex Essoe

Alex Essoe

Stephen Lundsford (Teen Wolf); The Femmes Fatales (Jacqueline Annette, Carlee Baker; Tiffany Brouwer (THE HELP), Stephanie Danielson, Kristen DeLuca Madison Dylan, Ashley Noel, and Jen Roa); Nikki Griffin; Ana Alexander; DJ Qualls and more.


Emily Rose Haven

Emily Rose Haven

featured celebrities such as cast mates Alex Essoe and Rileah Vanderbilt; Nelson Ascencio; Angelina Armani; Matt Bennett; Jonathan Daniel Brown; Cas Anvar; Megan Duffy; Kaj-Erik Eriksen; Adam Green; David Guy Levy; Sonia, Cleve and Constance Hall; Robert Hall; Kevin Kolsch; Gabriel Jarrett; Doug Jones; Derek Mears; Jim Mickle; Logan Miller; John Ratzenberger; Vigilante Diaries director Christian Sesma and the cast (Jacqueline Lord, Christine Nguyen, Paul Sloan and Jessica Uberuaga.

The series also stars Jason Mewes); Aimee Teegarden

John Ratzenberger

John Ratzenberger

(Friday Night Lights), Danielle Vasinova; Matiland Ward; Dennis Widmyer; and Saye Yabandeh.

As well as celebs, there were lifelike fantasy creatures including: a Swamp Thing, a Yeti, a goblin, zombies and various dismembered and hanging bodies and limbs.

Haven Party Photo Credits: Chrissy Kim & Todd Williamson

Con of Darkness Photo Credit: Todd Williamson


Emmy Nominations Announced

July 18, 2013

The 65th Primetime Emmy award nominations were read and revealed early Thursday morning in Los Angeles LAA2013on emmys.com

Many of the names on the list are worthy though predictable.  There were several huge snubs, one being the excellent FX drama, “The Americans” which well deserves a nod for Outstanding Drama.

Here is a partial list of nominees:

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
Damian Lewis, Homeland

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Connie Britton, Nashville
Claire Danes, Homeland
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel
Kerry Washington, Scandal
Robin Wright, House of Cards

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Benedict Cumberbatch, Parade’s End
Michael Douglas, Behind The Candelabra
Matt Damon, Behind The Candelabra
Toby Jones, The Girl
Al Pacino, Phil Spector

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Asylum
Laura Linney, The Big C: Hereafter
Helen Mirren, Phil Spector
Elisabeth Moss, Top of the Lake
Sigourney Weaver, Political Animals

Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Reality-Competition Program
Ryan Seacrest, American Idol
Betty White, Betty White’s Off Their Rockers
Tom Bergeron, Dancing With The Stars
Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, Project Runway
Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance
Anthony Bourdain, The Taste

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Jason Bateman, Arrested Development
Louis C.K., Louie
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Laura Dern, Enlightened
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
TIna Fey, 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

Outstanding Reality-Competition Series
The Amazing Race
Dancing With the Stars
Project Runway
So You Think You Can Dance
Top Chef
The Voice

Outstanding Variety Series
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Saturday Night Live
Real Time With Bill Maher

Outstanding Miniseries or Movie
American Horror Story
Behind the Candelabra
The Bible
Phil Spector
Political Animals
Top of the Lake

Outstanding Comedy Series
30 Rock
The Big Bang
Modern Family

Outstanding Drama Series
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
Mad Men

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire
Jonathan Banks, Breaking Bad
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
Peter Dinklage, Game Of Thrones
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Emilia Clarke, Game Of Thrones
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Morena Baccarin, Homeland
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series
Nathan Lane, The Good Wife
Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife
Rupert Friend, Homeland
Robert Morse, Mad Men
Harry Hamlin, Mad Men
Dan Bucatinsky, Scandal

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series
Margo Martindale, The Americans
Diana Rigg, Game Of Thrones
Carrie Preston, The Good Wife
Linda Cardellini, Mad Men
Jane Fonda, The Newsroom
Joan Cusack, Shameless

Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series
George Mastras, Breaking Bad • Dead Freight
Thomas Schnauz, Breaking Bad • Say My Name
Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey • Episode 4
D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, Game Of Thrones • The Rains Of Castamere
Henry Bromell, Homeland • Q&A

Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series
Tim Van Patten, Boardwalk Empire
Michelle MacLaren, Breaking Bad
Jeremy Webb, Downton Abbey
Lesli Linka Glatter, Homeland
David Fincher, House Of Cards

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
Adam Driver, Girls
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ed O’Neill, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live
Tony Hale, Veep

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Jane Lynch, Glee
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
Anna Chlumsky, Veep

Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy Series
Bob Newhart, The Big Bang Theory
Nathan Lane, Modern Family
Bobby Cannavale, Nurse Jackie
Louis C.K., Saturday Night Live
Justin Timberlake, Saturday Night Live
Will Forte, 30 Rock

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series
Molly Shannon, Enlightened
Dot-Marie Jones, Glee
Melissa Leo, Louie
Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Elaine Stritch, 30 Rock

Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series
David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik, Episodes
Louis C.K., Story & Teleplay by Pamela Adlon, Louie
Greg Daniels, The Office
Jack Burditt and Robert Carlock, 30 Rock
Tina Fey and Tracey Wigfield, 30 Rock

Outstanding Directing For A Comedy Series
Lena Dunham, Girls
Paris Barclay, Glee
Louis C.K., Louie
Gail Mancuso, Modern Family
Beth McCarthy-Miller, 30 Rock

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie
James Cromwell, American Horror Story: Asylum
Zachary Quinto, American Horror Story: Asylum
Scott Bakula, Behind The Candelabra
John Benjamin, The Big C: Hereafter
Peter Mullan, Top Of The Lake

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Asylum
Imelda Staunton, The Girl
Ellen Burstyn, Political Animals
Charlotte Rampling, Restless
Alfre Woodard, Steel Magnolias

Outstanding Writing For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Dramatic Special
Richard LaGravenese, Behind The Candelabra
Abi Morgan, The Hour
Tom Stoppard, Parade’s End
David Mamet, Phil Spector
Jane Campion and Gerard Lee, Top Of The Lake

Outstanding Directing For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Dramatic Special
Steven Soderbergh, Behind The Candelabra
Julian Jarrold, The Girl
David Mamet, Phil Spector
Allison Anders, Ring of Fire
Jane Campion and Garth Davis, Top Of The Lake

The trophies will be given out Sunday, Sept. 22.

Glee Star, Cory Monteith Dead at 31

July 13, 2013

Actor, Cory Monteith was found dead today in a room at the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel in Vancouver, Canada, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Cory had checked cory-monteith-image-337573-article-ajust_930into the hotel on July 6 and was expected to check out today. When he missed his checkout time at noon, hotel staff went to his room on the 21st floor and found him dead.

There has not been an official cause of death given yet, though foul play is not suspected. It is being speculated that it could have been a drug overdose.

Cory recently went through rehab for substance addiction and successfully completed a program after a month.

Dave Stewart Photo Exhibit Opens at Morrison Hotel Gallery

Hollywood: July 13, 2013

One of the most respected and accomplished talents in the music industry, English musician, DAVE STEWART, opened a special photography exhibit at the Morrison Hotel Gallery last night.

Among the hip Hollywood crowd that showed

Dave Steward and Morrison Hotel Gallery co-owner, Henry Diltz.

Dave Steward and Morrison Hotel Gallery co-owner, Henry Diltz.

up to check out Stewart’s work were celebs, Elliot Guild, Melissa Gilbert, Billy Bob Thornton, Jeremy Davies and record producer, Glen Ballard.

Other notables included legendary photographer and Morrison Hotel Gallery co-owner, Henry Diltz, publicist turned film producer, David Jay Lasky, filmmaker, Christy Oldham, and actress/singer,  Kat Kramer, daughter of the late film director, Stanley Kramer.

“The Dave Stewart: Jumpin’ Jack Flash & IMG_2763The Suicide Blonde” exhibition features Stewart’s iconic photographs of Damien Hirst, Demi Moore, Carla Bruni, Björk, Mick Jagger, Sinead O’Connor, Orianthi, Joss Stone and more, including new and unseen photos.

Beyond his creative work in the music industry, Stewart is also a renowned author, director, filmmaker and photographer. His career spans three decades and over 100 million album sales.

Behind the scenes, Dave has produced albums and co-written songs with Stevie Nicks, Mick Jagger, Bono, Joss Stone, Bryan Ferry, GwenIMG_2764 Stefani, Tom Petty, Damian Marley and more, earning numerous Golden Globe and Grammy Awards along the way.

Says Stewart, “I’ve always been obsessed with visual imagery since I was a child.

These portraits were mostly taken in my apartment, I don’t know how or why these shoots came together – usually it was just part of a continuing conversation or a spur of the moment thing. I’m always taking photos or filming stuff for no reason other than to document what is going on around me. It’s a kind of re-assurance to myself MickJaggerRedPantsthat these things did actually happen.”

“Dave Stewart is one creative powerhouse to watch when it comes to his photography and we are very pleased to present him in this exhibit,” says gallery co-owner and iconic photographer Timothy White.

Dave Stewart: Jumpin’ Jack Flash & The Suicide Blonde, will open to the public  Saturday, July 13th at the Morrison Hotel Gallery in the Sunset Marquis Hotel, located at 1200 Alta Loma Road in West Hollywood.

“Father’s at a Game” Earns Best of Hollywood Fringe Festival Extention

July 11, 2012

“Fathers at a Game,” an edgy new play written and produced by Trey Nichols and directed by Vesna Hocevar has received a Best of Hollywood Fringe Festival extension.

The production starring Luke Baybak, Tony Williams and Wendy Elizabeth Abraham will run for two more performances Friday July 12 at 8 p.m.; and Saturday July 13 at 6 p.m.

The play is a great example of the way trauma blurs the lines between reality and fantasy.  It’s a slow reveal but by the time the twists in the play become obvious the audience feels as stunned as the wounded souls on stage.

All the members of the cast get their chance to shine. Baybak as “Eddie” and Tony Williams as “Moe” trade energetic outbursts combined with gut wrenching realizations as the cold, hard facts knock the wind out of their sails.

It is no accident that this play has receivedFathers5( org3868) glowing notices in the mainstream press. 

The Huffington Post proclaimed, “‘Fathers at a Game.’ is a relevant, powerful story of the way imagination mollifies tragedy and pain. It’s nicely acted, well directed, and, after you see it, you won’t be able to disentangle football and war again” while The Examiner stated, “Fathers At A Game,” is an excellent example of why the Hollywood Fringe Festival is equivalent to off-off Broadway. Somehow it attracts brilliant directors (Vesna Hogefar); writers (Trey Nichols); and actors (Luke Baybak, Tony Williams, Wendy Elizabeth Abraham).

The play was co-produced by Jenny Gillett and Diana Woody and is presented by Moving Arts.

The Ruby Theatre at the Complex is located at 6476 Santa Monica Blvd. (at Wilcox), Hollywood, CA 90038. Admission is $15.

Reservations: (323) 455-4585.

Online Ticketing: www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/1360

“Father’s at a Game” is suggested for audiences 17 and older. 

Photo Credit: Rich Clark



Sopranos Star, James Gandolfini Reported Dead at 51

Los Angeles, June 19, 2013

James Gandolfini, star of HBO’s “The Sopranos” and most recently the feature film, “Not Fade Away” has died of a possible heart attack in Rome.  He was 51.

Gandolfini was in ItalyJames Gandolfini. photo: Barry Wetcher to attend the 59th Taormina Film Festival in Sicily — and he was scheduled to participate in a festival event this weekend with Italian director Gabriele Muccino.

Gandolfini shot to fame playing a hitman in the 1993 hit “True Romance” … and quickly became a Hollywood legend when he was cast as Tony Soprano in 1999.  He won 3 Emmy awards for the role during the show’s 6 season run.

Ciroc Vodka Hosts Downton Abbey Event

Los Angeles: June 13, 2013

Ciroc Vodka hosted one of the more stately and lavish events last night—in keeping with the show’s elegant hauteur—for PBS Masterpiece Theater’s hit Downton Abbey at the TelevisionAn Evening with Dowton Abbey After-Party presented by Ciroc Ultra Premium Vodka Academy in North Hollywood. Cast members Rob James-Collier, Phyllis Logan, Joanne Froggatt, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, the show writer/creator Julian Fellowes and Executive Producer Gareth Neame hosted a Q&A moderated Deadline Hollywood’s Pete Hammond.  Other celebrity guests included Bewitched’s beguiling Tabitha, Erin Murphy. Ciroc spokesperson Diddy was not present at the Q&A, although An Evening with Dowton Abbey After-Party presented by Ciroc Ultra Premium VodkaFellowes said that he was impressed with the rap mogul’s recent Funny or Die parody of the PBS program.

After the presentation, the show’s cast, creator and producer kindly mingled with the voters–many of them fans as breathless as any member of the public kept them busy signing autographs and taking mobile phone photos for hours.  But Downton celebs still found time to enjoy the signature Ciroc cocktails with MurphyAn Evening with Dowton Abbey After-Party presented by Ciroc Ultra Premium Vodka enjoying the Frenchside (Ciroc with simple syrup, lemon juice and mint; Frogget enjoying the Ciroc White Peach (Ciroc Peach and ginger ale); Collier the Coconut Caprioska (Ciroc Coconut with LimeAn Evening with Dowton Abbey After-Party presented by Ciroc Ultra Premium Vodka and ginger syrup.  Fellowes stuck with Hint Water.   Guests mauled hors d’oeuvres from The One Group’s STK; other sponsors included Hint Water and hot and iced Ahmad London tea.

Photo Credit:Colin Young-Wolff

Love Never Dies. Laughs Never Stop.

Reviewed June 9, 2013 by Palmerston Hughes

Half way through the play “You Make Me Physically Ill: Season 01, Episode 2: Love Never Dies” the character of “Jo” (Faith Hall) walks on stage and asks, “what the fuck is going on here?”  And that’s exactly what you will be wondering as you watch this tight little one hour of insanity and sexual perversion unfold at the Elephant Theater in Los Angeles.


But logic is not what you’re there for. Expecting “Love Never Dies” to make perfect sense is like going to a strip club for a higher education, or watching porn to gain insight into the world of politics.

Okay, if you really need to know, the story goes something like this. John, the demented head of a family of misfits has invested his life savings to put on a show starring himself and his lusty daughters Jennifer, Jaclyn, and Sally. Unable to afford an actual theater John manages to book time in a local strip club where he stages his musical, a ripped off work based on Andrew Lloyd Weber’s “Love Never Dies.”  Jennifer’s boyfriend, Will and his buddy, Eddie, try to stop the show but are foiled by the handsome “perfect man,” Jason.

Written by award winning theater director, Roger Mathey, who just scored a home run with his recently closed revival “Trainspotting” at the same venue, “Love Never Dies” is a jaw droppingly hilarious, politically incorrect piece of absurd entertainment that will make you cringeLove Never Dies as you laugh your ass off.

As with the first “episode” of “You Make Me Physically Ill,” Mathey again manages to push the envelope, this time perhaps even further.  Episode 2 is soft-core theater through and through.  If this were a real TV show ratings would be through the roof.

The able cast consisting of Katie Aquino, Amanda Rae Castruita, Joshua Hensley, Michael Lutheran, Travis McHenry, Emily Claire Tisler, Karl Wade, Faith Hall, Heidi Kendrick and Jacob Wolber dive right in and play along with the madness, all of them committed to the high jinx in this fast paced comedy.  Even the audience gets in the act by being invited to throw play money at the young ladies as they work the pole in the strip club scenes. Take that as you will.

Complete with a soundtrack that consists of some of your favorite hit songs, “Love Never Dies” plays June 16th @ 4pm, June 20 @ 7 pm, June 24 @ 8:30 pm, June 29 @ 7pm at the Elephant Theatre, 6322 Santa Monica Blvd. Hollywood, CA 90038. Tickets are $10.

The show is a part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival.

For reservations go to: http://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/1379





Michael Jackson’s Daughter, Paris, Rushed to Hospital


Hollywood, CA: June 5, 2013

Michael Jackson’s 15-year-old daughter Paris was hospitalized early Wednesday morning,Paris Jackson according to TMZ.

Jackson’s only daughter may have been attempting suicide, the gossip site reports. Paris was taken to a hospital at 2 a.m., according to the site, after a 911 caller stated she had cut her wrists.
The teen most recently tweeted on early Wednesday: “yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away now it looks as though they’re here to stay.” 
She also wrote: “I wonder why tears are salty?”Michael Jackson had three children Prince, Paris and Blanket.Paris was recently reported to be bonding with her birth mother, Debbie Rowe, who was married to Jackson from 1996 to 1999.

Angelina Jolie Has Double Mastectomy


May 13, 2013

Actress Angelina Jolie revealed in a New York Times op-ed article that she had a double mastectomy after discovering she carried the BRCA1 gene, which dramatically increases a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

Jolie’s doctors estimated she had an 87 percent riskangelina_jolie1a_300x400 of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer, she said.  But she cautioned, every woman’s risk is different.

Jolie’s mother died of ovarian cancer at 56-years-old.

The actress had kept the procedure a secret from the public for past several months and her revelation has come as a shock and a surprise to those hearing the news.

Click here to read the full story at NYTimes.com


For Bob Hiltermann Sign Language Is Love

April, 28, 2013

Bob Hiltermann grew up in Germany, where he was the tenth of eleven children. Spinal meningitis left him deaf at the age of four, but it was not discovered until he was 10 years old. When he was six, his family relocated across the Atlantic to Canada. Moving to a new country and adjusting to a different life with eleven children to care for, Bob’s parents never realized he was deaf, they just assumed he had learning disabilities. Besides not being able to hear, everyone was now talking in a new language. Bob wondered if he had learning issues himself when he could see others communicate so easily, and it was very hard for him. It wasn’t until a hearing test showed he was deaf at 10. Unfortunately, after all that time, his family had grown accustomed to treating him as if he were mentally challenged. It must have been extremely frustrating for Bob who is a very intelligent person.

His memories from the age of ten to seventeen were far from happy. When he was 18, a counselor suggested he go to Gallaudet University in Washington D.C.  His life changed when he was introduced to American Sign Language.

“I think that’s why it’s so important to him now to share the joy of Sign Language with others,” says director Marty Elcan, who directed and produced the popular DVD series Shut Up & Sign that stars Hiltermann.

His credits include; a year’s run on the soap “All My Children,” a guest star in “Cold Case,” several feature films that include, “Children of a Lesser God,” “The Heart is a Drum Machine” and “The Hammer.” Furthermore, he is one of four deaf entertainers featured in the well-received documentary “See What I’m Saying,” and is the drummer with the wildly popular, all-deaf rock band “Beethoven’s Nightmare,’ which performs around the world and will be in France and Russia this year.  Hiltermann co-founded “MUSIGN,” an extremely popular Signing/Mime musical troupe, Deaf West Theatre, a multi-awards theater in Los Angeles,

Hollywood Revealed: Tell us about the band and how you formed it.

Hiltermann:  Back in early 2000, I was thinking about reforming a deaf rock band after a long break since my college days. I contacted bassist, Ed Chevy and guitarist, Steve Longo and they agreed to regroup. We came up with the name, “Beethoven’s Nightmare.” This is in honor of Ludwig Von Beethoven, for his amazing classical music and his worst BeethovenNightmare-31Colornightmare, which was his deafness. We’re all deaf rockers, hence the name. We play all the original songs with the exception of one cover song, which is “Roll Over Beethoven.” Since we reformed, we’ve rocked across America and our fan base has grown dramatically.  I realize, now, that my band is truly remarkable – one of a kind – the only deaf band in the world. It’s been a great honor working with two extremely talented deaf musicians.

HR: Please explain how you can tell if your music sounds good to hearing people?

Hiltermann: We enjoy rock music because it feels right. We do intensive rehearsals with blood, sweat, and tears until the music is in sync. We tend to invite hearing friends to hear us play and give us feedback. During live concerts, we see hearing people pumping their fists, enjoying our music just as much as deaf people.Many people are astounded that deaf musicians can really play at the same professional level as their hearing counterparts.

HR: What challenges do you see your band having in the future?

Hiltermann: The biggest challenge we have is finding a manager who can help us to crossover into the major music environment. We’ve been together for 12 years since we reformed, and I would like my band to be the opening act for big name bands and show their audiences that we can rock their socks off. I would also like my band to perform on TV such as talk shows, music awards, Saturday Night Live, 20/20, CNN, etc. I just wanted to share with the world how miraculous it is that a deaf rock band can do what nobody ever thought possible. It’s like a freak show that everyone would be curious about. These are the challenges that I see my band having right now, but I’m optimistic.

HR: How do you think you are influencing other deaf students?

Hiltermann: My influence to deaf students has been mostly about positive attitude and believing in themselves no matter what anyone says.  If someone says no, move on to the next yes. They can make their dreams come true by staying focused and working hard. There’s no free ride.

HR: What would you like to see in the future for deaf people?

Hiltermann:  Since American Sign Language has become very popular (the third most common language used today), more and more hearing people are opening up and communicating with deaf people. I would like to see more accessibility, equal rights,BeethovenNightmare-2012-10-1527 and opportunities for deaf people. They can do just about anything hearing people can does, except hear.

HR: What do you do on the set when everyone else does not sign, how do you communicate?

Hiltermann: One of my skills is lip reading  I tend to understand better when I’m closer to a person, so I can see the details of the mouth movement and facial expression. Sometimes, they need to write down on paper, but usually, they hire a sign language interpreter on the set.

HR: Why do you think you’ve been so successful, is it the struggles?

Hiltermann:  Well, life is full of challenges. My struggles had shaped me into a stronger person. However, one of my on-going struggles had been being hired as an actor in films and TV. There aren’t any roles for me. I once played a hearing role with a voiceover in the movie and it was a success. Everybody thought I was hearing. It has never been done before. I would love to do that again. I believe anything is possible.

HR: I see there is a new band member, how did you find him.

Hiltermann: We’ve been looking for a rock singer who can also sign. I knew the actor and writer, Paul Raci, for many years, and he recently acted with me in the play “Cyrano.” In this play, Paul sang and signed a rock song that just blew me away to heaven. I never knew he could sing like that. Paul is a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults) and used to be in a heavy metal rock band before he became an actor. One day he offered to sing for the band. After discussing with Ed and Steve, it was a big YES from us. Paul just wrote an independent film, Deaf Ghost, in which he will star and feature the band. We’re very proud and honored to have Paul as a new band member.

HR: What is next for Beethoven’s Nightmare?

Hiltermann: This year we’re invited back to France to play for an audience that will be twice the size as when we performed in 2011.  After that, we will be touring in great Russia. We’re very excited and looking forward to these tours. During Memorial weekend, my band will have another intensive rehearsal and then record a new song. The song will be available on iTunes

HR:  What is next for Bob Hiltermann?

Hiltermann: I’ll be giving a motivational speech and conducting drumming workshops for deaf students at Deaf Arts Jubilee in San Diego. Next month, I’ll be hosting and acting for my 4th episode of the sign language educational series, “Shut Up and Sign.” This episode will be called, “What a Wonderful World.”

For more information please go to: http://bobhiltermann.com/  or http://beethovensnightmare.com/joomla/

For PR contact: AnnMarie@starprx.com 1-818-749-6721









Animals or People, Actor, Adam Meir Portrays Them All

Adam Meir started acting at the age of 11. He graduated with honors from the top High School for the Arts in Tel Aviv – Ironi Alef, and later served in the Israeli army for 3 years where he received an honorable discharge as a First Sergeant. He studied at Israel’s top acting school, Yoram Levinstein in Tel Aviv as well as the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles. 

After graduating he was cast in projects such as Quentin Tarantino’s “Freedoms Fury”, The Oscar Nominated and Golden Globe winner “Waltz With Bashir” and has been a voice over artist in films such as Tom Cruise’s “Mission Impossible 4.” Adam’s abilities as a mime landed him work as an animal suit performer, perfectly portraying apes, rhinos, squirrels and many more. We caught up with him recently at Swingers Diner in Hollywood.

Hollywood Revealed: Hi Adam, How are you? 

Adam Meir: Doing well thank you.

HR: Tell us about your background and how you got to Los Angeles, becoming once of America’s leading animal actors.

AM: I was born in Hungary and raised in Israel and after my military service and spending 5 years studying acting in Israel I felt that I_MG_0754 needed bigger opportunities.  I got the chance to study in Hollywood at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. After I finished my studies, like every other actor out of acting school, I tried getting an agent or a manager and land some auditions.

HR: How did that go?

AM: It was pretty slow at first but fortunately I also had a love for something that many people don’t do anymore, and that is mime and movement performances. By chance I met a teacher named Don McLeod who has been one of the most famous Gorilla actors and mimes in the country for the past 40 years and he hired me for his company. Don realized that I am the same size as he is and that I will probably fit into his Gorilla suits. After a while, every time that there was a Gorilla job and he wasn’t available Don hired me to fill in for him. Eventually I got to meet some more people from the strange world of animatronic creatures and animals and started working with them too. I soon realized that this is a really interesting niche of the industry that most people are not aware of.

HR: You speak four languages. Have you put that to good use in your career?

AM: Yes, I am also a voice over artist as Gorilla - Copywell as an actor. I have done major voice projects such as the Golden Globe winner “Waltz with Bashir” Quentin Tarantino’s “Freedom’s Fury.”  I spoke Hungarian and Russian in “Mission Impossible 4″, Arabic in “Lady Magdalene’s” and many smaller projects. I find languages and cultures fascinating and it’s definitely helpful in portraying and understanding characters.

HR: So what do you prefer? Speaking humans or silent creatures.

AM: I love both of them equally. I think that a performer’s job is more than just delivering lines. Since I was a little kid I had a dream to be diverse and to conquer different disciplines. To this day I sometimes wonder what a tree feels like in the middle of the forest, or what it would feel like to be one of the thousands of ants I see walking in a line on the pavement and what kind of memories could an ancient book could hold. So basically, at some point I decided that I will be all those things if I possibly can. Truthfully, I get just as exited when I get a call that there is a job where I have to play a dancing beer bottle as when I book a role as a mafia hitman.

HR: That’s cool. So what kind of characters are you working on right now?

AM: I am heading off to perform a Venetian Carnival Mime at the Branson, Missouri World Festival and I also just performed as a dancing Chimp in another project. On film I recently finished a role as a retired Mossad agent in “Alongside Night” starring Kevin Sorbo.  When I return from Missouri I will be filming a Game Show Host style character in a brand new, and yet untitled feature.

HR: You recently brought a a squirrel to life in a Pepto Bismo commercial. How does one prepare for that?

AM: Well,  first you need to research the right and true behavior of an actual squirrel.  When you have that done you go and meet the squirrel puppet and start playing.  These puppets usually have a remote control that handles all their movements like lips,  head,  arms,  legs,  sometimes eyes and breathing,  ears etc.  All those things have to move in sync and at once.  So you sit down with your new friend and practice.  Eventually you will have a good grasp and some muscle memory and you can work the puppet on the day.

HR: Well Adam, You are definitely one of a kind in this profession. Thank you so much for your time and good luck with all your endeavors.

AM: Thank you very much.

Contact Adam at: www.adam-meir.com

Trainspotting is Nude, Rude and Crude–but You’ll Love It

Reviewed March 10, 2013

In 2002, Roger Mathey shook up the L.A. theater scene with his daring and ballsy production of Irvine Welsh’s “Trainspotting.” The play went on to win a host of awards and was picked by the Los Angeles Times and Entertainment Tonight as one of the best of the year.

Mathey has revised the04 Tommy (AJ Jones) and Mark (Justin Zachary)-1 production for 2013, and it is as gritty and in-your-face as the original.  If you are looking for nude, rude and crude, this is the play to see.  Despite that, “Trainspotting” may also break your heart as these sad lives unravel before your eyes..

The staging here is crisper than the production I had the pleasure to see back in 2002.  This version feels tighter and darker.  There is truly never a dull moment and the Elephant Theatre feels like a great venue for this show.  Where ever you sit, you can practically smell the stench of these pathetic shit stained, heroin addicted characters, and  yet, you can’t help but feel some empathy for them.

Mathey rotates the cast with a Friday/Saturday group and a different set of actors on Sundays.  Justin Zachary, who was  the lead in the 2002 production and received a “newcomer of the year” nomination is back as the lovable loser, “Mark Renton.” He is your02 Mother Superior (Travis McHenry) helps Mark (Justin Zachary) to shoot up-1 narrator and guide through this brutal world and he manages to be both wide eyed innocent and at times cold, calculating and heartless.

Zachary does a lot of the heavy lifting in this production and is the only cast member to appear all three night.

Last Sunday’s performance boasted a fine turn from AJ Jones as “Tommy” who alternates the role with David Agranov, one of the 2002 originals and now a producer of the play. Karl Wade and Francesca Manzi were in fine form as “Mrs. and Mrs. Houston” and a variety of other roles.  Katie Aquino, Travis McHenry and Sam Bangs were all  outstanding as “Gail Houston,” “Mother Superior” and “Laura McEwen” respectively.

The Scottish accents in the play are thick and often hard to follow but the meaning and the intention is never lost.  Just in-case, there is a glossary in the program to help navigate the slang.

The cigarette smoke on stage can get a little thick, especially if you are sitting close, but that discomfort (if you’re not a smoker) only helps to augment the grungy feces, urine and vomit laced environment you have just found yourself in.

“I woke up in aTrainspotting-cropped-med strange bed, in a strange room” indeed.  “Trainspotting 2013″ is not to be missed.

Don’t bring the kids.

Fridays @ 8 pm: March 15, 22, 29; April 5, 12
Saturdays @ 8 pm: March 16, 23, 30; April 6, 13
Sundays @ 2 pm: March 17, 24, 31; April 7

Elephant Theatre
6322 Santa Monica Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90038
(1½ blocks west of Vine).
323-960-7785 or www.plays411.com/trainspotting

Sexual Confusion and Murder Prevails in “Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love”


by Palmerston Hughes

Set in Edmonton, Canada, the award winning play “Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love” by Brad Fraser follows the journey of seven lonely people in their search for meaning in the jaded, cynical world of the late 1980s. As the characters try to accept their sexuality and find worthwhile relationships, their lives are impacted by a serial killer who is stalking the city. When the identity of the killer becomes obvious, the characters realizeUHR 51 that he is as lost and confused as they are.

The main protagonist, David, a former child star, now reduced to being a waiter, seeks anonymous intimacy in his brief sexual encounters with strangers.  He ultimately begins a relationship with a 17 year old busboy, Kane, as a substitute for the man he can never have, his “straight” friend Bernie.

David’s roommate and former lover, “Candy” also appears confused and desperate in her need for love as she bounces between a male bartender and a lesbian she has met at the gym.

The character’s twisted troubles are all observed from the sidelines by David’s clairvoyant friend, an S&M prostitute named Benita. Deception, confusion, and lies permeate the dialogue as Benita tells urban legends to the audience, encapsulating the paranoia of a town caught in the shadow of a serial killer.  In this play everyone has a secret.  Everyone has something to hide.

Directed by Johnny Cole, the production that opened on March 3rd at the Chromolume Theatre in Los Angeles is a UHR 65noble attempt to give Brad Fraser’s play it’s due.  The cast work hard to convey the depravity of these lost souls as they unfold this compelling tale.

The glue that hold the piece together in this production is an excellent Tom Nyman as “David.”  He is focused and committed as his character navigates the sexual and emotional minefield he finds himself stumbling through.

Mike Hennessey is also strong as “Bernie,” David’s best friend with a soon to be revealed secret.  Sydney Davis rounds out the trio as “Candy.”   Gordon James Jr. makes a convincing debut as “Kane,” the innocent, confused 17 year old who falls under David’s spell.

The underwhelming set and lighting design is a detraction from this important piece of theater, as is the productions unwillingness to push the envelope a little.  To be daring.  Despite some other opening night flaws and stumbles, the cast is earnest and not untalented.

Though written over twenty years ago, “Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love” still packs a powerful punch.  This production from the Brighter Day Theatre Company deserves to noticed.

The show runs from Friday, March 8th through March 10th, 2013. Chromolume Theatre, 5429 W. Washington Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90016

Tickets: $20

For reservations and ticket info, call: 800 838 3006.

Online ticketing: www.brownpapertickets.com/event/348075



Razzies Dishonor “Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2″


Los Angeles: February, 23, 2013

“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2″ was picked as last year’s worst picture Saturday by the Razzies, an Academy Awards spoof that hands out prizes for Hollywood’s worst movies on the eve of the Oscars.

The finale to the blockbuster supernatural romance dominated the Razzies with seven awards, including worst actress forKristen-on-SWATH-Promo-Phootoshoot-outtakes-kristen-stewart-30727794-1000-1500 Kristen Stewart, supporting actor for Taylor Lautner, director for Bill Condon and worst screen couple for Lautner and child co-star Mackenzie Foy.

Adam Sandler was named worst actor for the raunchy comedy “That’s My Boy,” his second-straight win after 2011′s “Jack and Jill,” which swept all 10 Razzie categories a year ago. Pop singer Rihanna won worst supporting actress for the action dud “Battleship.”

“Twilight” movies had been well represented in Razzie nominations over the years but had not won any key awards there. Razzie voters joke that as with “The Lord of the Rings” finale winning best picture at the Academy Awards, they were waiting for the last “Twilight” flick on which to heap their scorn.

The “Twilight” finale also won for worst screen ensemble and worst remake, rip-off or sequel. For worst picture, it beat out “Battleship,” ”That’s My Boy,” the family flick “The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure” and Eddie Murphy’s comedy flop “A Thousand Words.”

Stewart’s worst-actress prize came for both “Twilight” and her fairy-tale update “Snow White and the Huntsman.”

In the five “Twilight” movies, Stewart stars as sullen teen adam_sandler_photo_2Bella Swan, who falls for ageless vampire hunk Edward Cullen (worst-actor nominee Robert Pattinson) and finds herself at the center of a love triangle with him and her childhood pal, werewolf stud Jacob Black (Lautner).

Stewart set a consistent standard of emotional stoniness throughout the “Twilight” movies, Wilson said.

“Acting should involve having an expression on your face, and she is blank, other than the morose kind of half-Goth thing her character does,” said Razzies founder John Wilson. “I didn’t realize Snow White and Bella were soul sisters, because of the very limited range of what she can do. I think it was Dorothy Parker who said about Katharine Hepburn that she runs the ‘gamut of emotions from A to B.’ Kristen Stewart is so expressionless she might as well be a brick wall.”

Sandler’s “That’s My Boy,” which also won the worst-screenplay Razzie, flopped at the box office and continues a gradual decline in receipts for the comic actor’s movies.

“He’s an enormous star who is on what I call the ‘down-alator’ of his career,” Wilson said. “He’s about to step off the same cliff Eddie Murphy stepped off about 10 years ago. Eddie Murphy has never come back, and Murphy is more talented.”

Kevin Bacon in Disguise

Los Angeles: February 5, 2013

Kevin Bacon’s main motivator for a life in show business was to seek fame.  “Show me an actor who doesn’t want to be famous and I’ll show you a liar,” he told Jane Mullkerrins of the Daily Telegraph (U.K.)  “Later, of course, you realize that there’skevin_bacon_man_eyes_hair_beard_61400_1600x1200 more to it than just the acquisition of fame, money and girls. But that is what drives them, and what initially drove me.”

And fame was certainly what he found. For more than half his life, the 54-year-old actor has been virtually unable to enter a bar or party without the DJ striking up the opening chords of Footloose, or to stroll down the street without fans tugging at his sleeve, quoting lines from the cult classic Diner. Things got so bad that a couple of years ago, he commissioned a Hollywood make-up artist to fashion him a prosthetic disguise, which he wore to the up-scale Los Angeles shopping center, The Grove – a fertile hunting-ground for celebrity-stalkers. “I just wanted to see what it would be like to try not being famous,” he shrugs, a little sheepishly.

But the sudden absence of celebrity, he soon discovered, was a double-edged sword.

“People didn’t bother me, but they also ignored me. No one was nice to me – they looked right through me, and pushed in front of me at the cash register.”  He hasn’t worn his disguise since.


Tap Dancing in the Kitchen

Los Angeles, CA (January 31, 2013)— Practice makes perfect. Just ask any professional dancer that started out as a tot in a tutu. However, a common problem arises for many tap dance students regardless of age or skill level: Where can you practice outside of a studio without wrecking your home’s flooring or even find somewhere to practice at all? Torrance, California native and third generation tap dancer Jackie Covas has come up with a solution for tap dance students everywhere. The Dance Dot!

For Jackie, tap dancingstanding has always been a family affair. “My mother and grandmother have been teaching in the South Bay for the past thirty years. When I was younger, we formed a dance act called ‘The Generations’ and even danced along side tap master Arthur Duncan.”

Covas also attended USC where she founded the non-profit organization Dance Included that offers free after school dance classes to children in public schools that lack arts funding. The organization will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year. After graduating, Covas landed a fundraising position at The Music Center in downtown Los Angeles, but her love for performing eventually led her straight to New York City.

Soon after relocating, Covas began teaching tap dance and booking work as a dancer in a number of regional productions as well as three national tours. While on the road, she ran into a frustrating problem that many dancers face; lack of areas to practice. She began working on an idea for a portable practice surface that would be light enough for her to travel, and fashionable enough to carry around the streets of Manhattan. Covas enlisted her husband Codey Girten to help create the first Dance Dot prototype in the basement of their apartment building. Keeping her youngerSasha Jump students in mind, she explained, “We wanted to create something that was colorful and fun. Something that families could easily use in their homes and on-the-go.” The couple landed on an innovative and kid-friendly design that would allow young dancers to safely practice their moves almost anywhere at anytime.

The couple spent a lot of time testing prototypes in their apartment. It wasn’t unusual to find Girten eating breakfast while Covas was tapping away in the kitchen on a Dance Dot. She was now able to create new choreography in the carpeted living room, rehearse her favorite steps on the hardwood floors, and transform almost any space into her own personal tap dance stage. Dance Dot made it all possible.

Covas couldn’t wait to share their creation with her students and brought a prototype with her to dance class. The studio owner loved the idea and began to offer the product to the rest of her classes. “It was a great place to launch because I got to see firsthand how the product was really helping my students. I saw so much improvement because they finally had a place to practice at home, which made all the difference,” said Covas. Parents also raved about the fun design and loved pink shoesthat it protected their beautiful hardwood floors from unsightly scuff marks.

Soon after the studio launch, the product was picked up by several retail locations across the country. The couple also created an online store where they began to see significant sales, prompting them to begin professionally manufacturing with an American company. They even expanded the Dance Dot line to include the DDPro, a larger model designed for “pros in the making.” Covas explained, “So many of our friends are Broadway performers and professional tap dancers who said they wished they had a Dance Dot growing up. What surprised us was that most of them were also interested in having a Dance Dot right now!”

Currently, the Dance Dot costs $75.00 and measures 2 feet in diameter weighing in at 3.5 lbs, and the DDPro ($129.00), measures 34 inches in diameter and weighs less than 10 lbs. Each is made out of tempered Masonite, the same material that was used for old performance stages. The underside features a soft rubber backing which keeps the product in place while dancing. With no sharp edges or folding parts, the seamless dance surface is perfect for kids.

“I grew up as a dancer in southern California, and I know what it’s like to want to go after a dream. When my students learn a new step, most of them can’t wait to get home and share it with mom or dad. Parents should be able to encourage their child’s passion for dance without having to worry about the damage it may do to their floors,” says Covas. Girten agrees, “Imagine the difference we could make in the lives of so many young dancers by finally providing them with the opportunity to keep dancing!”

You can also learn more about the product by visiting the company’s web site at www.mydancedot.com

Live Reaction to the 2013 SAG Awards

Sunday, January, 27, 2013

5:00 p.m. and the show has just started.    Nicole Kidman presenting the first nomination, Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role.

Nominees: ALAN ARKIN – “ARGO”

19th+Annual+Screen+Actors+Guild+Awards+Show+HIyyhAdFE89lThe winner is: Tommy Lee Jones, who is not there to accept.  Disappointing choice for this award.  It should have gone to Arkin or Seymour Hoffman… but them’s the breaks.

5:09:  Justin Timberlake looking very conservative giving out the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role.  Nominees are:



The Actor goes to Ann Hathaway who gives a sweet sincere speech.

Next up:

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series

Winner is: Alec Baldwin, sporting a new haircut, giving a short but sweet acceptance speech.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
EDIE FALCO / Jackie Peyton – “NURSE JACKIE” (Showtime)
TINA FEY / Liz Lemon – “30 ROCK” (NBC)
SOFIA VERGARA / Gloria Delgado-Pritchett – “MODERN FAMILY” (ABC)

Will it be Betty White?

No.  The winner is: Tina Fay, looking very 1940s, receiving her 5th Actor award.  “Thank you for letting me in this union,” she tells the audience.

Next is the cast of Argo, introducing their film.


Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series

Amazing how these same shows dominate every award show.  And the Actor goes to: The cast of Modern Family, winning for the third consecutive win.  Boring.  Surely there are some other worthy show out there?

5:42 p.m.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries

The award goes to Julianne Moore for “Game Change.”

5:45 p.m.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries

The winner is: Kevin Costner who also won the Golden Globe.  He is not there to receive the award.

6:05 p.m. Alec Baldwin pays tribute to Dick Van Dyke who is getting a Life Achievement Award.  He gives a sweet, funny thank you speech.  “Aren’t we lucky to have found a line of work that doesn’t require growing up,” Van Dyke said in a speech that paused to recognize co-stars like Mary Tyler Moore and to poke fun at his iffy Cockney accent in “Mary Poppins.”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series

Brian Cranston wins for “Breaking Bad.”   “It’s good to be bad” he declares.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series

The award goes to new mom, Clare Danes for Homeland who seems to be winning everything these days.

6:20 p.m. A sad tribute to those actors who died in the past 12 months.

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
HOMELAND (Showtime)

In something of a surprise, the award goes to the cast of Downton Abbey.  “We are so not expecting this.  Shut the French windows” one of the actresses from the show exclaims.

We’re getting to the big awards asRobert De Niro introduces Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

The winner is Jennifer Lawrence who wins a SAG award for the first time.  In an emotional speech she begins by thanking MTV for earning her SAG card at the age of 14.

6:52: p.m. Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

And the Actor goes to: Daniel Day Lewis for “Lincoln” who gives a lovely, mannered speech, pointing out that it was an actor who murdered Abe Lincoln, and it’s appropriate that once in a while an actor brings him back to life again.

And the final award, presented by Jude Law:

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
ARGO (Warner Bros. Pictures)
LES MISÃ?RABLES (Universal Pictures)
LINCOLN (Touchstone Pictures)

And the award goes to the well deserved “Argo.”  Ben Affleck accepts in a humble speech, thanking all actors everywhere.  And there it is.  Another SAG award show over and done with.  It was fast paced with few surprises, but enjoyable non the less.

And now on to the party.



“The Adventures of Lewis & Clark” Set to Premier January 27th

Hollywood, CA January 26th, 2013:

A Joint Venture and Chronicles Film are celebrating the release of their webseries, ”The Adventures of Lewis & Clark” which is set to air online starting Sunday, January 27, 2013 at 6:00pm at www.AdventuresofLewisandClark.com  A new episode will air every Sunday for 12 weeks.

The show’s creator, lewis_and_clark_05actor, Mark Elias, best know for his work in the feature film, 16-Love, and TV shows such as CSI, Justified, Criminal Minds and upcoming on Castle was inspired by the Comedy Central TV show “Workaholics” that was originally a webseries before getting picked up.  Rather than following the normal Hollywood routine of waiting for the work to arrive at his doorstep, Elias created a show which follows Lewis and Clark, two best friends who are always looking to get rich quick, hook-up with the ladies, or just be good at anything.  The two are supported financially by Lewis’s older sister, Charese, who is relatively successful and constantly having wild affairs with men.  Somehow they all seem to balance each other out. “Having these three characters to throw into any scenario almost writes itself. You have two dreamers with their own ideas of success and the unfortunate responsible one who gets stuck in the middle. Charese is a real trooper,” says Elias.

The three main characters, Lewis (played by Mark Elias), Clark (played by Jus Riddick), and Charese (played by Charese Mongiello), also are producing  and taking turns directing.  There are 8 five minute episodes finished with 4 more to be shot after the launch party.  That will complete the first season of the show. “Sometimes it doesn’t take much to know if a project is the right one. You want your name attached to a show that is going to be a hit, something with real potential. After reading the first two episodes, I knew I wanted to be involved,” states Riddick.

The show targets the 18-36 age group with its slapstick humor and ridiculous scenarios.  The show is definitely unique and has it’s own flavor.  It is produced by actors and that puts it in a different, more free realm to play with than most TV shows.  “I believe that we have more freedom to get creative and entertain the audience than having all the rules of a network show,” says Mongiello. “I have worked on a lot of shows and this one is fun, creative, and the crew and actors just love being on set because they believe in the script and us as actors.”

After moving from Philadelphia, PA to Los Angeles, Elias joined the Beverly Hills Playhouse and began getting roles and building his resume as he gathered story and script ideas to develop as his career picked up, landing on a number of shows including Southland, Justified, and The Event while getting to the 2004 Valley Film Festival as a timid writer in Pushing Out Katherine, 2006 Milan Film Festival as a socially awkward serial killer in Cutting Room, and 2008 Sundance Film Festival as a thief in Reversion.

Riddick grew up in Atlanta, GA. Most of his youth was spent in movie theaters or renting movies. After earning a degree in political science from The University of Georgia, he moved to Los Angeles to begin his film career. He has starred in numerous indie films and loves performing improv. “Only in L.A.”, a feature which he wrote/directed has recently finished post-production. His production company, Chronicles Film, has begun pre-production for their next feature, “The Why Generation”.

Mongiello grew up in Pennsylvania and Riverside CA, She has produced, directed, starred in, and crewed on 20 plays, 40 start films, Over 30 feature films and 2 TV shows. She was taught to script supervise by one of the greats, Jim Kelly Durgin.  In Addition she wrote a commercial, starred in ten, and won a silver rooster award for acting. Upon graduating the University Of California Irvine she started a theater company called “The Rose Theater” where she produced and directed classical plays.

For information contact:

Jus Riddick     404.200.0711



Argo and Les Miz Win Best Picture at 2013 Golden Globes

January 14, 2013

It was a colorful star-studded night at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills as the 70th annual Golden Globe Awards were handed out by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

“Argo” surprised many by grabbing Best Motion Picture over “Lincoln” and Ben Affleck, who was snubbed by the Academy Awards this past Tuesday got some vindication by winning Best Director againaffleck-onstage-4_3_r536_c534 for “Argo.”

Jody Foster in a sometimes incoherent but emotional speech came out as a lesbian after receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award.

Here is the full list of the winners and nominees.


Warner Bros. Pictures, GK Films, Smokehouse Pictures; Warner Bros. Pictures

The Weinstein Company, Columbia Pictures; The Weinstein Company/Sony
Pictures Releasing

Fox 2000 Pictures; Twentieth Century Fox

DreamWorks Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox; Touchstone Pictures

Columbia Pictures and Annapurna Pictures; Sony Pictures Releasing














Blueprint Pictures/Participant Media; Fox Searchlight Pictures

Universal Pictures, A Working Title Films/Cameron Mackintosh Productions;
Universal Pictures

Indian Paintbrush; Focus Features

CBS Films; CBS Films

The Weinstein Company; The Weinstein Company














Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios; Walt Disney Pictures

Walt Disney Pictures; Walt Disney Pictures

Columbia Pictures / Sony Pictures Animation; Sony Pictures Releasing

DreamWorks Animation LLC; Paramount Pictures

Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Animation Studios; Walt Disney Pictures


Les Films Du Losange, X Filme Creative Pool, Wega Film; Sony Pictures Classics

(En kongelig affære)
Zentropa Entertainment; Magnolia Pictures

(Les Intouchables)
The WeinstenCompany, Quad Productions, Gaumont, TF1 Films Production, Ten
Films, Chaocorp; The Weinstein Company

Nordisk Film Production, Recorded Picture Company

(De rouille et d’os)
Page 114, Why Not Productions; Sony Pictures Classics

































Music by: Monty Powell, Keith Urban
Lyrics by: Monty Powell, Keith Urban

Music by: Jon Bon Jovi
Lyrics by: Jon Bon Jovi

Music by: Taylor Swift, John Paul White, Joy Williams, T Bone Burnett
Lyrics by: Taylor Swift, John Paul White, Joy Williams, T Bone Burnett

Music by: Adele, Paul Epworth
Lyrics by: Adele, Paul Epworth

Music by: Claude-Michel Schonberg
Lyrics by: Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schonberg


Sony Pictures Television

Leverage, Closest to the Hole Productions, Sikelia Productions and Cold Front
Productions in association with HBO Entertainment

A Carnival / Masterpiece Co-Production

Showtime, Teakwood Lane Productions, Cherry Pie Productions, Keshet,
Fox 21

HBO Entertainment














Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television

Showtime, Hat Trick Productions, Crane Klarik Productions

Apatow Productions and I am Jenni Konner Productions in association with HBO

Levitan-Lloyd Productions in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television

Universal Television in association with DreamWorks Television














Playtone and Everyman Pictures in association with HBO Films

A Wall to Wall, Warner Bros Entertainment GmbH, Moonlighting and BBC
Production in association with HBO Films

Thinkfactory Media in association with History

Kudos Film and Television/BBC America co-production

Berlanti Productions and Laurence Mark Productions in association with Warner
Horizon Television

























Adam Sandler, Barbara Streisand and Twilight Saga Dominate 2013 Razzie Nominations

Hollywood: January 11, 2013

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 earned a whopping eleven RAZZIE NOMINATIONS in Hollywood this week.  Stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson will compete for individual Razzie Awards as Razzies_01_1651510awell as the Worst Screen Couple title.

Right behind Twilight, Adam Sandler comedy flop, That’s My Boy was lavished with eight nominations. Action flick Battleship received seven, including one for Rihanna, who faces stiff competition from Jennifer Lopez in the Worst Supporting Actress category.

Other nominees includemadea David Hasselhoff, Barbra Streisand, Tyler Perry and Vanilla Ice, who earned a Worst Supporting Actor nomination for playing himself in That’s My Boy.

The famous gold spray-painted Razzie statuettes – said to be worth $4.79 (£2.93) each – will be given out at a ceremony in LA on February 23, the night before the Oscars.

If the public had their way, many would have put the new film, Les Miserables on the Razzie list.

The Goldenbarbra_streisand_5358284 Raspberry or “Razzie” Awards were founded by Hollywood publicist John JB Wilson in 1981 and have been held every year since on “Oscars eve”. Madonna has won an impressive nine Razzies over the years, while Sylvester Stallone has received a record 30 nominations.

Full List: Oscar Nominations

January 10, 2013

The nominations for the 85th Annual Academy Award nominations were announced today in Hollywood.  There were several surprises and omissions.  The nomination of nine year old Quvenzhane Wallis for her starring role in “Beasts of the Southern Wild”  and that film’s three other nominations for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay was not expected.

Seth McFarlane

Seth McFarlane











The depressing but seemingly popular “Amour” scored both a Best Picture and a Foreign Language Film nod.

Neither Quentin Tarantino, Ben Affleck or Kathleen Bigelow received recognition for their respective films, “Django Unchained” “Argo” and “Zero Dark Thirty.”

Seth McFarlane and Emma Stone announced the nominees at one of the most humorous presentations in recent memory.

Here is a list of nominations:

1. Best Picture: “Amour,” `’Argo,” `’Beasts of the Southern Wild,” `’Django Unchained,” `’Les Miserables,” `’Life of Pi,” `’Lincoln,” `’Silver Linings Playbook,” `’Zero Dark Thirty.”

2. Actor: Bradley Cooper, “Silver Linings Playbook”; Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln”; Hugh Jackman, “Les Miserables”; Joaquin Phoenix, “The Master”; Denzel Washington, “Flight.”

3. Actress: Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty”; Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook”; Emmanuelle Riva, “Amour”; Quvenzhane Wallis, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”; Naomi Watts, “The Impossible.”

4. Supporting Actor: Alan Arkin, “Argo”; Robert De Niro, “Silver Linings Playbook”; Philip Seymour Hoffman, “The Master”; Tommy Lee Jones, “Lincoln”; Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained.”

5. Supporting Actress: Amy Adams, “The Master”; Sally Field, “Lincoln”; Anne Hathaway, “Les Miserables”; Helen Hunt, “The Sessions”; Jacki Weaver, “Silver Linings Playbook.”

6. Directing: Michael Haneke, “Amour”; Benh Zeitlin, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”; Ang Lee, “Life of Pi”; Steven Spielberg, “Lincoln”; David O. Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook.”

7. Foreign Language Film: “Amour,” Austria; “Kon-Tiki,” Norway; “No,” Chile; “A Royal Affair,” Denmark; “War Witch,” Canada.

8. Adapted Screenplay: Chris Terrio, “Argo”; Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”; David Magee, “Life of Pi”; Tony Kushner, “Lincoln”; David O. Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook.”

9. Original Screenplay: Michael Haneke, “Amour”; Quentin Tarantino, “Django Unchained”; John Gatins, “Flight”; Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, “Moonrise Kingdom”; Mark Boal, “Zero Dark Thirty.”

10. Animated Feature Film: “Brave”; “Frankenweenie”; “ParaNorman”; “The Pirates! Band of Misfits”; “Wreck-It Ralph.”

11. Production Design: “Anna Karenina,” `’The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” `’Les Miserables,” `’Life of Pi,” `’Lincoln.”

12. Cinematography: “Anna Karenina,” `’Django Unchained,” `’Life of Pi,” `’Lincoln,” `’Skyfall.”

13. Sound Mixing: “Argo,” `’Les Miserables,” `’Life of Pi,” `’Lincoln,” `’Skyfall.”

14. Sound Editing: “Argo,” `’Django Unchained,” `’Life of Pi,” `’Skyfall,” `’Zero Dark Thirty.”

15. Original Score: “Anna Karenina,” Dario Marianelli; “Argo,” Alexandre Desplat; “Life of Pi,” Mychael Danna; “Lincoln,” John Williams; “Skyfall,” Thomas Newman.

16. Original Song: “Before My Time” from “Chasing Ice,” J. Ralph; “Everybody Needs a Best Friend” from “Ted,” Walter Murphy and Seth MacFarlane; “Pi’s Lullaby” from “Life of Pi,” Mychael Danna and Bombay Jayashri; “Skyfall” from “Skyfall,” Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth; “Suddenly” from “Les Miserables,” Claude-Michel Schonberg, Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil.

17. Costume: “Anna Karenina,” `’Les Miserables,” `’Lincoln,” `’Mirror Mirror,” `’Snow White and the Huntsman.”

18. Documentary Feature: “5 Broken Cameras,” `’The Gatekeepers,” `’How to Survive a Plague,” `’The Invisible War,” `’Searching for Sugar Man.”

19. Documentary (short subject): “Inocente,” `’Kings Point,” `’Mondays at Racine,” `’Open Heart,” `’Redemption.”

20. Film Editing: “Argo,” `’Life of Pi,” `’Lincoln,” `’Silver Linings Playbook,” `’Zero Dark Thirty.”

21. Makeup and Hairstyling: “Hitchcock,” `’The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” `’Les Miserables.”

22. Animated Short Film: “Adam and Dog,” `’Fresh Guacamole,” `’Head over Heels,” `’Maggie Simpson in `The Longest Daycare,’” “Paperman.”

23. Live Action Short Film: “Asad,” `’Buzkashi Boys,” `’Curfew,” `’Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw),” `’Henry.”

24. Visual Effects: “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” `’Life of Pi,” `’Marvel’s The Avengers,” `’Prometheus,” `’Snow White and the Huntsman.”

Paparazzo Killed Trying to Photograph Justin Bieber’s Ferrari

Los Angeles: January 1, 2013

A paparazzo attempting to shoot photos of Justin Bieber’s Ferrari was hit by another car and killed.  TMZ reports that one of Justin’s friends was behind the wheel of the singer’s parked vehicle.

Law enforcementJustin-Bieber_2012 sources told TMZ that Bieber’s white Ferrari was pulled over by California Highway Patrol for a routine traffic stop on Sepulveda Blvd. near the Getty Center in LA.

A photographer who was following the Ferrari at the time of the pull over attempted to snap photographs while CHP officers conducted the traffic stop.  CHP advised the photographer to move back because the situation was unsafe. justin-bieber-gets-pulled-over-by-police-in-white-ferrari-458_3

At some point the photographer was struck by an oncoming vehicle and killed.

LAPD is now on scene investigating the incident.

To date Bieber’s publicist has not offered a comment on the situation.

The identity of the victim has been withheld pending notification of his family.

More up-dates to follow.

Carol Burnett to Receive Honor of Distinction Award Presented by Betty White

January 1, 2013

Grammy nominated musical composer and director Stormy Sacks has announced plans to produce a major fundraiser called “HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD…HIGH” on January 10, 2013 at the
El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood,burnett CA. The event will honor Hollywood legend, Carol Burnett, who will be in attendance.

Ms. Burnett will be honored with the very first CAROL BURNETT HONOR OF DISTINCTION AWARD, presented by The Hollywood High School Performing Arts Center, the El Captian Theatre and “Brought To You By Madame Tussauds Hollywood.”  Betty White has been set to present the award to Carol Burnett with Charlene Tilton, Ruta Lee, Renee Taylor, Joe Bologna, Charles Fleischer, Margaret O’Brien, Shirley Jones, Marty Ingels, Dee Wallace, Judy Tenuta, Sally Kirkland and other major celebrities set to participate in the star-studded event.

An award-winning actress and best-selling author, Carol Burnett is widely recognized by the public and her peers for her work on stage and screen, most notably The Carol Burnett Show. Named in 2007 by Time magazine as one of the “100 Best Television Shows of All Time”, the show ran for 11 years and received 25 Emmy Awards. Recognized for her comedic and dramatic roles on television, film and Broadway, Burnett has also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and is a Kennedy Center honoree. “This is a great thrill for me. I am so proud to be a part of this effort to bring the arts to Hollywood High,” Burnett said.

The City of Los Angeles through Councilman Tom LaBonge will proclaim Jan 10th as Carol Burnett Day in Los Angeles.

Hollywood High School Performing Arts Magnet provides students with invaluable access to the highest caliber performing arts programming.  Because of major LAUSD cutbacks, funds allotted to the Performing Arts Magnet have diminished year after year. This year there is no funding for the fall and spring productions.  More than ever, there is a greater need to raise money allowing the Magnet to provide instruction and to220px-Betty_White_2010 support its annual productions.  “This incredible school has a legacy of major movie, TV and music stars who attended or graduated, going back to Fay Wray, Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, Carol Burnett, Brandy Norwood, John Ritter, Lana Turner, Charlene Tilton and Laurence Fishburne, to name a few”  stated Stormy Sacks.  “My vision is to have a legacy fundraising event yearly, so that the Hollywood High Performing Arts Magnet can be the training ground that supplies the industry with the most talented individuals, both on stage and behind the scenes. We hope to raise more than $100,000 so that we can provide those skills and opportunities for our students.”
For more information and to buy tickets for this event click HERE or call 1-800-DISNEY6

Press Contact:
PH: 323-366-2796

Hollywood Revealed: The Top Ten Movies of 2012

December 31, 2012

While it is hard to pick ten “best” films, here is a list of ten that we feel deserve to be commended–as well as five “honorable mentions.”  They are listed in alphabetical order.


Ben Affleck’s third film as director, Argo is an entertaining, accessible thrill ride that balances classic tension and humor in equal doses resulting in a satisfying motion picture that has firmly establishing Mr. Affleck as a director with a strong future.  “Argo” moves like a bullet as it’s unfolds.  It well deserves the accolades it is currently receiving.


A rowdy, bawdy, violent movie with a 1970s feel, “Django Unchained” is Quinten Tarantino at his best.  The film is filled with tongue-in-cheek humor and boasts great performances from Jamie Foxx, Christopher Waltz and Samuel Jackson.


After opening with one of the most terrifying flying scenes in cinema, in which an airplane is saved by being flown upside-down, Robert Zemeckis’ “Flight” segues into a brave and tortured performance by Denzel Washington as a pilot who has been hiding his drug and alcohol addiction for years.  The film is a well-rounded, compelling look at a tortured soul who refuses to face his demons.


Ang Lee’s masterful “Life of Pi” is soulful, spiritual and entertaining.  It’s special effects and CGI is a breakthrough in that arena and the film’s life affirming message is something that may stay with you for a years to come.  See it in 3D.


David Chase’s first effort as writer/director is a moving, insightful coming of-age film about dreams that may never be fulfilled and a young musician’s love affair that could potentially influence all his future relationships.  Set in the early 1960s, the film is well acted by it’s cast of young, mostly unknown actors.  John Magaro is particularly strong as the protagonist, holding his own against James Gandolfini who plays his stern, uptight father.  Well worth a look before it disappears from the big screen.


A brilliant detective story, this documentary about a real life musician who has no idea he is a gigantic star in South Africa fills you with emotion.  Directed by Malik Bandjellou the film is a feel-good documentary with a tremendous soundtrack.  It proves that real talent does not go unrewarded.  We can only hope the Academy takes notice.


A film that packs an amazing emotional punch, “The Impossible,” starring Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts boasts sensational performances from three young child actors, Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin and Oaklee Prendergast.    Based on the true story of a Spanish family caught up in the 2004 Tsunami in Thailand, “The Impossible” it is a stunningly well made, life affirming film that leaves you fighting tears as you take the journey with these shattered souls.   Watts has never been better as the mother fighting for her life.


A raunchy but realistic look at a couple’s mid-life meltdown as they approach their 40th birthday is both funny and heartfelt.  While seeing an upwardly mobile couple’s angst may not be everyone’s cup of tea, director, Judd Apatow has created a film that is real slice of life.  Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann are excellent as the couple with tasty appearances by John Lithgow, Melissa McCarthy and Chris O’Dowd.


Original, daring and captivating, from the glorious 65mm cinematography by Mihai Malaimare Jr. to the disturbing soundtrack by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood. Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix give performances that are alive with subtext and detail.  Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master” may leave you pondering it’s underlying meaning but it’s depth and attention to detail take you on a journey that is hard to forget.


Katherine Bigelow reteams with writer Mark Boal to bring the capture of Osama Bin Laden to the big screen.  The film is a taunt, exciting thrill ride.  The reenactments of how it all went down feels real and credible.   Zero Dark Thirty might be the one to beat come Academy Award time.


Arbitrage: A tense thriller and a penetrating character study starring Richard Gere as a shifty hedge-fund manager who’s foxed his way to the top of New York’s moneyed classes.

Beast of the Southern Wild: A 6 year of girl living in a desolate, poverty stricken community struggles to survive.

The Imposter: The story of a 21 year old Frenchman who convinces a grieving Texas family that he is their 16-year-old son who has been missing for 3 years.

The Sessions: A 38 year old man living in an iron lung sets out to lose his virginity.

21 Jump Street: Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star as two young cops turned undercover high school students in this hilarious big screen reboot of the old TV show.


Nick Stahl Arrested for Lew Conduct

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Actor Nick Stahl has been arrested for investigation of lewd conduct.

The 33-year-old “Terminator 3″ star was busted last Thursday and booked on a misdemeanor count of lewd conduct.  He was released from custody.

According to the The Los Angeles Times Stahl was arrested at an adult movie shop during a routine undercover police operation.

In May, Stahl had been reported missing by his wife, but later turned up safe, promising to go into rehab for an undisclosed addiction.

Stahl was a child star who performed in the 1993 film “The Man Without a Face” and also starred in the 2003-2005 HBO series “Carnivale.’”

‘Not Fade Away’ is Not to Be Missed

December 21, 2012

One of the best but unfortunately under-promoted films of 2012 is David Chase’s coming-of-age, 1960s music drama, “Not Fade Away.”  An honest, heart-felt look at a young man’s journey through those turbulent times, the film should be on many end of year short lists, but with a cast of mostly unknown actors, it seems that distributor, Paramount Pictures, has written off this little gem.

David Chase is best known as the creator of “The Sopranos” and he poured his heart into this partially autobiographical tale.   With a brilliant soundtrack by bands such as the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, and a star turns by young actor, John Magaro as David Chase’s alter ego, “Not Fade Away” is a film not to be missed.

Read the glowing Los Angeles Times review HERE.

See the film at the Hollywood Arclight, Sunset and Vine.

Gun Control… Hollywood Control

By Alan von Kalckreuth

“I just think, you know, there’s violence in the world, tragedies happen, blame the playmakers.  It’s a western.  Give me a break.” That’s Tarantino’s view about his new film, “Django Unchained” and the role violence on the screen, and in his films, has on society.

A friend said recently, Tarantino looks like Tarantino because he is Tarantino, and as the proverb says: until forty God is responsible for you face, after forty you are.

The Weinstein Company, the producers and long-term collaborators with Tarantino, canceled the red-carpet premiere of “Django Unchained” because of Friday’s shootings in Newtown, Conn.  Paramount reacted similarly and postponed a premiere for “Jack Reacher,” sensitive to the national horror the school shooting has invoked.  “Reacher” revolves around an apparent senseless and random gunning down of innocent pedestrians.

Fox network cancelled scheduled episodes of “Family Guy” and “American Dad”.  Back in July, Warner Bros. canceled the Paris, Mexico City and Tokyo premieres of its film “Dark Knight Rises” after twelve people were gunned down and fifty-eight injured in Aurora, Colorado.

What Tarantino seems blind to is culture –though he is a cross-beam and rebar pillar of the ‘‘culture of violence’’ the entertainment industry’s embrace in movies, television shows and video games.

‘‘The violence in the entertainment culture — particularly with the extraordinary realism to video games, movies now, et cetera — does cause vulnerable young men to be more violent,’’ Senator Joe Lieberman, Independent of Connecticut, said.

‘‘There might well be some direct connection between people who have some mental instability and when they go over the edge, they transport themselves, they become part of one of those video games,’’ said Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado, where 12 people were killed in a movie theater shooting in July.

White House adviser David Axelrod tweeted, ‘‘But shouldn’t we also quit marketing murder as a game?’’

2013 Golden Globe Nominations–the full list

Hollywood: 12/13/12

The nominees for the 2013 Golden Globe awards are here. It was a good morning for such awards front-runners as “Argo” and “Lincoln,” “Life of Pi” and a rough one for contenders like “This Is 40,” the Judd Apatow comedy that was shut out.

There were also some surprises, like the nomination of Richard Gere for “Arbitrage” and Jackk Black for “Bernie.”

Here’s a look at what films and performances the Hollywood Foreign Press Association singled out as the year’s best.

Warner Bros. Pictures, GK Films, Smokehouse Pictures; Warner Bros. Pictures
The Weinstein Company, Columbia Pictures; The Weinstein Company/Sony Pictures Releasing
Fox 2000 Pictures; Twentieth Century Fox
DreamWorks Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox; Touchstone Pictures
Columbia Pictures and Annapurna Pictures; Sony Pictures Releasing



Blueprint Pictures/Participant Media; Fox Searchlight Pictures
Universal Pictures, A Working Title Films/Cameron Mackintosh Productions; Universal Pictures
Indian Paintbrush; Focus Features
CBS Films; CBS Films
The Weinstein Company; The Weinstein Company



Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios; Walt Disney Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures; Walt Disney Pictures
Columbia Pictures / Sony Pictures Animation; Sony Pictures Releasing
DreamWorks Animation LLC; Paramount Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Animation Studios; Walt Disney Pictures

Les Films Du Losange, X Filme Creative Pool, Wega Film; Sony Pictures Classics
A ROYAL AFFAIR (DENMARK) (En kongelig affære)
Zentropa Entertainment; Magnolia Pictures
The Weinsten Company, Quad Productions, Gaumont, TF1 Films Production, Ten Films, Chaocorp; The Weinstein Company
Nordisk Film Production, Recorded Picture Company
RUST AND BONE (FRANCE) (De rouille et d’os)
Why Not Productions; Sony Pictures Classics






Music by: Monty Powell, Keith Urban Lyrics by: Monty Powell, Keith Urban
Music by: Jon Bon Jovi Lyrics by: Jon Bon Jovi
Music by: Taylor Swift, John Paul White, Joy Williams, T Bone Burnett Lyrics by: Taylor Swift, John Paul White, Joy Williams, T Bone Burnett
Music by: Adele, Paul Epworth Lyrics by: Adele, Paul Epworth
Music by: Claude-Michel Schonberg Lyrics by: Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schonberg

Sony Pictures Television
Leverage, Closest to the Hole Productions, Sikelia Productions and Cold Front Productions in association with HBO Entertainment
A Carnival / Masterpiece Co-Production
SHOWTIME, Teakwood Lane Productions, Cherry Pie Productions, Keshet, Fox 21
HBO Entertainment



Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television
SHOWTIME, Hat Trick Productions, Crane Klarik Productions
Apatow Productions and I am Jenni Konner Productions in association with HBO Entertainment
Levitan-Lloyd Productions in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television
Universal Television in association with DreamWorks Television



Playtone and Everyman Pictures in association with HBO Films
A Wall to Wall, Warner Bros Entertainment GmbH, Moonlighting and BBC Production in association with HBO Films
Thinkfactory Media in association with History
Kudos Film and Television/BBC America co-production
Berlanti Productions and Laurence Mark Productions in association with Warner Horizon Television






Two Men Accused in Plot to Murder, Castrate Justin Bieber


Police in New Mexico have confirmed the plot to murder and castrate Justin Bieber according to a report by Albuquerque news station KRQE.

The station, which sources a police investigation, alleges that a plot was hatched by two prison inmates and one of their nephews to murder Bieber at a sold-out show at NYC’s Madison Square Garden.

According to the station, a New Mexico prisoner named Dana Martin, serving out two life sentences for the rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl, enlisted the help of former fellow inmate Mark Staake and his nephew Tanner Ruane to carry out four murders. Two of the reported targets were Justin Bieber and his bodyguard.

KRQE reports that Martin is obsessed with Bieber, and actually has a tattoo of the singer on his leg.

They go on to report the details of the planned murders, which involved strangling the victims with a paisley tie before ultimately castrating them.

KRQE then states that what ultimately foiled the plot was Martin himself inexplicably turning in his co-conspirators. Staake was reportedly arrested in Vermont on outstanding warrants, while his nephew made it to New York, where police reports obtained by KRQE allege he was arrested with “murder tools and pruning shears.” Additionally, recorded calls between Ruane and Martin reportedly indicated Ruane’s dismay that he was unable to carry out the murders.

Future of Film Summit: An Overview

by Alan von Kalckreuth

Ben Forkner of Film 360 has it all, a studio first look deal and a stable of actors and writers that would give TMZ a good week of back-to-back material. So how good is it for him? That’s one of the questions raised at the Future of Film Summit held at the trendy Sofitel Hotel in Los Angeles this week.

First thing Ben should remind himself of every morning before brushing his teeth is that he’s in a small and elite club. Most producers do not have the luxury of a studio picking up a share of their overhead and get behind their project – assuming they don’t pass on it! Since 2000 the number of these deals has diminished alarmingly and the terms are not as sweet as they once were.

So what do studios want in return? Story driven, tent-pole movies that have strong international and domestic appeal… and if possible are the stuff of franchise. And that’s good news for writers. “The value of top writers has skyrocketed,” Ben declares. “Writers are now able to create a brand for themselves,” agreed J C Spink, “they were so passed over for a hundred years out here!”

So how’s the new digital landscape changing things? “As emerging platforms take shape you’ll see some changes”, Paul Green suggests. “But for the moment it’s steady as she goes,” he adds, but, “If digital distribution takes off, and Hulu and NetFlix start having first-look deals then things are going to change.”

J C Spink sees studios as being more savvy in the projects they go after. “Studios have a much better game plan, more sure of themselves,” he explained. As an example he pointed out that the dwindling return on DVD sales has hit the comedy market badly. Smaller budgets are now the norm for a genre that once demanded near action movie like coin.

Paul Green believes that the material and architecture of all movies, inside and outside the studio system is fundamentally the same, bankable players, soft money, foreign sales… oh! And a good story!

Where do you get that good story? J C Spink explained that that’s the hardest of all. “I read one hundred Nicholl’s scripts over a six week period and I found fifteen that might be worth a second look.” When asked what those fifteen looked like he said, “ten were good writers and five were good concepts.” But I guess zero were good writers with good concepts!


“Two and a Half Men” Actor Bites the Hand that Feeds Him

Los Angeles: November 26, 2012

Angus T. Jones who plays the “half” in the mega hit TV series, “Two and a Half Men” is now bashing the racy sitcom in a video clip released by the Forerunner Christian Church.

“If you watch “Two And A Half Men,” please stop watching “Two And A Half Men,” the religious nineteen year old says in a testimonial. “I’m on Two And A Half Men, and I don’t want to be on it. Please stop watching it and filling your head with filth…. If I am doing any harm, I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to be contributing to the (Satan’s) plan,” says Jones. “You cannot be a true God-fearing person and be on a television show like that. I know I can’t. I’m not OK with what I’m learning, what the Bible says and being on that television show.”

Jones, who earns more than $300,000 per episode, goes on to warn people about the impact of television and shows like Men. “People say it’s just entertainment,” he says. ”Do some research on the effects of television and your brain, and I promise you you’ll have a decision to make when it comes to television, especially with what you watch.”

There is no word on whether Jones plans to return the millions he has earned on the show since 2003.

CBS and Warner Bros TV, which produces Men, had no comment on Jones’ rant.

Park La Brea Infested with Bedbugs and Roaches say Residents

Los Angeles: Sunday November 18, 2012

L.A.’s largest apartment complex — PARK LA BREA, home to many Los Angeles entertainment types,  is infested with bed bugs, as well as rats, roaches and other vermin.  Residents say that it’s a problem that has been going on for years, and they now want action.

Local television station, KTLA spoke to three people who live at Park La Brea, who all have similar stories.

“The first time I noticed a roach was about a month into me moving in, and then September of this year is when the bed bugs started,” resident “Tina” told KTLA.  “Then they come in and they exterminate, but three weeks later you have the bugs again,” she said.

“They make you pack everything up like you’re moving, and the problems still wouldn’t go away,” a second resident, who we’re calling “Michael,” echoed.

A third resident described opening her kitchen cabinets and finding small, dead roaches. She says that even after a fumigation, the roaches came back.

The complex, made up of several 12-story buildings, has more than 4,000 apartment units.

Park La Brea’s website says the units are freshly upgraded and offer a tranquil retreat at the center of Los Angeles.  “They sell you a dream, but you wake up to a nightmare,” “Tina” said.

She posted flyers in several buildings asking anyone who shared her roach and bed bug problem to gather for a meeting.

“Do you know how many emails I got immediately? I got like 12 emails immediately,” she said.

The group is now considering a class-action lawsuit.

But, they feel that they can’t move out because they’ve signed strict 12- to 14-month leases that automatically renew and make it financially difficult to leave.

KTLA contacted the Prime Group, the company that manages the units, but did not get a response.

The L.A. County Health Department is now investigating the case.

American Film Market Opens in Santa Monica

Los Angeles, CA – October 31, 2012

The 2012 American Film Market (AFM), kicked off this morning in Santa Monica. The AFM will screen more than 420 motion pictures, including 77 world premieres and 306 market premieres, for thousands of film buyers and industry professionals from more than 70 countries.

Films making their World Premieres include: A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III, from writer/director Roman Coppola and starring Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman and Charlie Sheen (Independent); The Colony, starring Laurence Fishburne and Bill Paxton (Sierra/Affinity); Cottage Country, starring Malin Akerman and Lucy Punch (VMI Worldwide); The Frozen Ground, starring Nicolas Cage, John Cusack and Vanessa Hudgens (Voltage Pictures); Nous York, starring Leila Bekhti and Géraldine Nakache (Pathé International); The Numbers Station, starring John Cusack and Malin Akerman (Content); and Pawn, starring Nikki Reed and Ray Liotta (Red Sea Media) and Summer In February, starring Dominic Cooper and Emily Browning (Speranza13 Media).

This year’s film market has shown a preference for more “name” driven, higher budget projects signaling a slight shift in power toward the independent producers of the film world.

While the zombie and horror movies that have long been the hallmark of the AFM haven’t gone away, more would-be producers of star-filled films will be working the halls of the Loew’s Hotel looking for independent financing or to secure distribution for their projects.

“There has also been an influx of buyers this year” stated Jonathan Wolf, AFM’s managing director and executive vice president of Independent Film & Television.  “We are seeing more new international buyers come to the market than in a decade,” he declared.

The country with the most new buying companies this year is South Korea (25), followed by China (13), the U.S. (11), Japan (6), Turkey (6), and Russia (5), France (4) and Italy (4). New companies attending include Snap TV from Argentina, Lume Filmes from Brazil, JY Entertainment from China and Mountain Pictures from South Korea.

The American Film Market runs from October 31 to November 7, 2012.


A Tasty Wine for Republicans, Democrats and the Undecided

Los Angeles: October 14, 2012

Just in time for the Presidential elections in November comes a great new, you might say bi-partisan wine that is available along political party lines. Called Elephant Wine (for Republicans) and Donkey Wine for those of us more democratically inclined, this delicious libation is the brainchild of Leah Canon, a Los Angeles based wine promoter.

Ms. Canon was racking her brain to come up with a quality wine that tastes great and could be a unique concept that may inspire people to vote. Something that could be sold at large events. And what was the biggest event Ms. Canon could think of? The 2012 National Presidential Election.

Springing into action, she partnered up with entrepreneur, Peter Porreca and the pair soon raised the required funding to go into production. But they still needed a name for their new enterprise. While searching the web for available company names Peter turned to Leah and jokingly asked, ‘‘Want schmor wine?’’ And thus Schmor Wines Distributors was born.

Bottles have been flying off the shelves with Americans from both political parties ordering cases for their upcoming events.

Even the recent Presidential Debate has had an influence, claims Ms. Canon. After Mitt Romney was largely touted as the winner of the first debate, sales of the Elephant Wine saw an upswing. Is it possible Schmor Wines can predict the next President of the United States?

While all this may sound like pure novelty, it’s not. This wine is well worth the price and can be enjoyed alone or with your favorite meal.

Having recently sampled a glass of Donkey, I can report that the wine is primarily a blend of 2009 Central Coast Merlot and Syrah. There’s approximately 10% of nicely aged French Oak Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, with a tiny amount of Petit Verdot and Petite Sirah. These add a hint of austerity and structure to the flavor. A few drops of fruity 2010 Voignier from Santa Maria smoothes out any rough tannins and adds a floral note. The warmer climate Merlot and Syrah creates a fruit salad of red plum and raspberry notes. The Cabs add dark blackberry notes with hints of vanilla and dark chocolate from the barrel aging. This wine is decadent and clings to your challis.

But these wines don’t just please your palate. They come complete with their own wine-ties that speaks to you when you press their buttons. Red of course for the Elephant wine and a blue tie for the Donkey. These certainly add a touch of humor to experience and the otherwise serious side of listening to politics and debates.
Elephant and Donkey wines are available individually, by the case or in a gift pack. They are a limited edition and commemorative of the 2012 political season as well as a wonderful gift to any lover of politics or a keepsake for your own wine collection.

To PURCHASE or for more information go to: www.schmorwine.com

Actor, Writer James Mathers Reveals his Alter Ego

James Rudolph is the pen name of Hollywood denizen, writer and actor James Mathers, who has written two new e-books, Cindy Eyes and Henry & Dad. Mathers was born and raised in Seattle Washington and attended the University of Washington and Southwestern University Law School. He began his career as an actor and playwright in the 70s in San Francisco, moved to New York in the 80s to continue to work in TV, film and theater.

HR: Tell us a little about your books and what was the inspiration for them?

JR: “Henry & Dad” is based on a one-act play I wrote, inspired by a conversation I had with my son a few years earlier. The play was produced a couple of times, did well, and then the one-act turned into the novel. The hero, Henry, a construction worker finds his girlfriend pregnant and missing and has to reconcile with his alcoholic father in order to solve the mystery surrounding her disappearance. It’s a fast-paced novel. An e-book to open up at LAX and by the time you get to Denver, you’ll be at the last page.

“Cindy’s Eyes” is the story of Ray, a Hollywood taxi driver in the early seventies, and his remarkable fares. Ray falls for one of his fares, Cindy, a porno queen, and tries to drag her out of the hell she’s in. They try to make it but she’s a victim of her addictions and slides back into the life. Ray follows. This book has all the action of Hollywood in the early seventies – sex, drugs, rock and roll.

I actually did drive a cab in Hollywood in 1969 – up and down the boulevard, and these stories are a composite of some of the great fares I had. People open up in the back seat of a taxi cab especially at night, and they tell stories that they wouldn’t tell anyone else because they know the cab driver doesn’t give a fuck. These stories prompted the character of Ray, a great flawed hero who is looking for himself actually, as he drives his yellow sarcophagus through the night.

HR: What are you working on now?

JR: I’m finishing my third novel, “Gold Cup”, about the famous after hour’s coffee shop that used to be on the corner of Hollywood and Las Palmas, it’s gone now, but it was where everybody congregated – cabbies, hookers, all the people of the night.

HR: What is “Gold Cup” about?

JR: In “Gold Cup” Ray again recounts memorable fares, and falls for a biker chick named Mabel. Yes, that is her name. Mabel is the “property” of Fang, the leader of the local One-Percenters, a violent spin-off of the Hell’s Angels. “Gold Cup” deals with Ray’s adventure with them and his love for Mabel, the looker from the Valley. The book should be available for download by Christmas.

HR: Your bio says that you attended law school, what made you change your focus to show business?

JR: Well, I went to law school at night here in Los Angeles at Southwestern for a couple of years, then I graduated from Beverly College of Law which later became Whittier Law School, I believe. While I was there, I learned to have an appreciation for case law – stories that have happened to real people – and the stories fascinated me. I loved law school and was a good student, but during that time I was also starting to write and sell low-budget scripts, short stories and essays. Basically I was lured into show business by going to law school and driving a cab.

HR: What did you do in San Francisco before the move to New York and what was the attraction to go first to the Big Apple instead of coming to Hollywood?

In San Francisco, I actually joined the life of the theater. In acting, like in writing, you create a character and that’s what turns me on. I met my wife in San Francisco, and she and I built a couple of lofts – I was working as an actor in theater, commercials and movies and she worked as a graphic designer – but there was always the lure of the big city so we checked out the scene in both New York and LA, finally deciding to pack up, move to New York and become New Yorkers. We lived in lower Manhattan for almost ten years, where I worked as an actor, did theater, TV, movies. It was fine life – exciting.

HR: You have a website, what are you promoting on it?

JR: Oh, the studio44hollywood.com site is all of the projects and capabilities we have, my wife Dallas and I, including graphic design, writing and web projects we are producing. Now we’ve gone into this new world of publishing, and that’s on the web site. It shows the books we’ve done so far. It’s quite a process – writing the books, formatting, designing the covers, and also designing the websites including this one and our book sites, henryanddad.com and cindyseyes.com. We are offering these services to others as well.

HR: The Zombie Radio Show sounds very interesting…tell us about that?

JR: I started writing with my partner, Craig Sabin, a web series which is a radio show satire based upon the “zombie apocalypse” which stuck New York in 2013. New Yorkers find themselves faced with zombies lurching about trying to eat their brains. I’m Jimmy Rudolph, the radio show host who bring you jazz in the middle of the night, reports traffic updates, news and announces zombie outbreaks. We now have over seventy hilarious and edgy two- to five-minute episodes produced and up on zombieradioshow.com

HR: You have a unique style of writing, how did you develop it?

JR: Mostly playwriting. In playwriting you have the ordinary world and the characters populating that ordinary world. Playwriting helped me develop dialogue skills, because it requires that the story be told by the actor, who interprets the words, and presents them to you through behavior. So rather than just writing expositional paragraph after paragraph, I try to have more dialogue, more action, and let the reader imagine the location, the setting as the characters describe them. That’s where the fast action and fast pace comes from. Language is changing today. Short form content is replacing long form. I’m just trying to stay ahead of the wave, on the leading edge, but it ain’t easy.

HR: I understand you are a working actor. What are some of your recent roles and do you have anything coming up we should look for on TV or in the movies?

JR: I keep fairly busy acting. I’ve got some commercials running and a TV pilot coming out with Jon Voight, Leiv Schreiber and Elliot Gould. I’m also in the movie “7500”, a teen horror thriller on a plane, directed by “The Grudge” director, Tak Shimizu, where I play the old guy on the flight from LAX to Tokyo and then, well…horror happens. This will be released soon. In a recent Hyundai spot I’m a CEO riding in a Genesis with my minion. I have a heart attack and the driver shocks me back to life with the seat belt. It’s a funny spot and played on the Super Bowl and the Oscars. And I did a “Got Milk” spot and some other stuff – I just try to keep busy. That’s the name of the game.

HR: You have a Writer’s Group that meets at the Two Roads Theatre in Studio City, how did that get started and is it more for support or networking?

JR: That’s “The Writers Group”. My wife and I arrived here in LA from New York in 1990, got a sweet little house in the hills and thought we had it made, but soon found ourselves strangers in a strange land, and work was hard to find. So we got together with some other friends, writer and actors, from New York and began bringing them up to our house on Wednesday nights to read the work we’d all been doing – plays, short stories, screenplays, prose, poetry – and give ourselves positive feedback. Then that became a weekly thing – Wednesday night – from seven to ten. Eventually we moved to a theater over Jerry’s Deli, and then to NoHo for a while, then we found a permanent home at the Two Roads Theater in Studio City. We’ve been doing this now for 22 years and the output has been prodigious. The Writers Group has been a stimulus for all of us all these years.
It’s motivating, it’s community, it’s supportive and it’s networking – networking is the job of everyone in our industry – it’s the woof and warp of the industry.

HR: What is next for James Rudolph?

JR: Writing my third book, “Gold Cup” – That’s going to be a schlepp – I‘m only about half way through and I’m on the rotation at the Writers Group now and I’m going to have to start bringing in pages and let the group give me their feedback – which is always challenging to the writer. But it’s very good to get that kind of feedback because the writer’s skin needs to thicken up. You’ll need it if you ever get your screenplay into a studio, as Dallas and I did with a couple of pieces, one which we optioned with Fox Searchlight, and did a rewrite. We would sit in meetings with the suits and listen to them change our beloved screenplay into something almost unrecognizable. But you have to sit there and you have to address the notes, even if they are insulting, and not run screaming from the room. Anyway, right now I’m concentrating on finishing “Gold Cup”.

HR: Thanks for talking with us.

For more information please go to: www.studio44hollywood.com, www.henryanddad.com or www.cindyseyes.com

Seth MacFarlene to Host Oscars

Los Angeles: October 1, 2012

Academy Awards telecast producers, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today that “Ted” director and “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane, better known for his work behind the camera than in front of it, will host the Oscars.

McFarlene recently hosted “Saturday Night Live” for the first time with this season’s premiere. He also hosted last year’s Comedy Central roast of Charlie Sheen.

MacFarlane, 38, injects youthful energy into a ceremony that has struggled to appeal to a younger audience. MacFarlane’s show, “Family Guy,” has a young following, as did his summer hit, “Ted,” which paired Mark Wahlberg with a grown-up teddy bear voiced by MacFarlane. The film has earned $420 million worldwide.

“We are thrilled to have Seth MacFarlane host the Oscars. His performing skills blend perfectly with our ideas for making the show entertaining and fresh,” said Zadan and Meron. “He will be the consummate host, and we are so happy to be working with him.”

The 85th Academy Awards will be broadcast live on Sunday, Feb. 24, on the ABC Television Network.

Stars Share “Beatles Stories” in new DVD Release

Los Angeles: September 28, 2012

October, 2012 will mark the 50th anniversary of the release of The Beatles’ first single, Love Me Do, that launched the Fab Four’s stellar career. Nearly five decades later, The Beatles are still captivating audiences everywhere and are considered the most influential musicians of all time, according to Rolling Stone.  Along with their musical legacy, The Beatles left behind personal stories with those lucky people who were able to share a moment with these legends.

On October 2, 2012, to mark the anniversary, Cinema Libre Studio is releasing BEATLES STORIES, a documentary that captures cherished stories from famous fans – and the not so famous – about their unique encounters with these often imitated, but never duplicated, international stars.  To coincide with the DVD/digital release date, the film will make its official theatrical premiere on Tuesday, October 2nd at the Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles, with future showings to be announced.

Director/ Producer Seth Swirsky, an accomplished singer-songwriter and best selling author, grew up in the 60s and fell in love with The Beatles.  They greatly influenced his decision to pursue a career in music where he is known for writing the international #1 hit Tell it to My Heart by Taylor Dayne and Love is a Beautiful Thing by Al Green.

In 2004, Swirsky was invited to perform at The Cavern Club, which the Beatles made famous so many years ago.  While in Liverpool,

Seth Swirsky

Swirsky began asking the locals about The Beatles. To his surprise, these strangers shared their fondest recollections about the band; treasured stories he had never heard before, which he captured on his hand held video camera.  Swirsky then wondered, “How many more stories are out there that people have never heard before?”  That was the moment that BEATLES STORIES was born!

Over a period of eight years, Swirsky traveled around the world filming an exceptional array of people – many themselves celebrities – who wanted to share their stories.  Some of the stars he managed to sit down with include Sir Ben Kingsley, Smokey Robinson, Brian Wilson, Henry Winkler, Jon Voight, Art Garfunkel, Davy Jones and Graham Nash.

The DVD release also contains additional interviews with the likes of Peter Tork, Denny Doherty, Alan Livingston and Paul Tennant as well as an extended interview with Norman “Hurricane”Smith, the Beatles’ first recording engineer.

For more information on the October 2nd screening, visit www.egyptiantheatre.com or to purchase tickets, please visit: www.fandango.com

Website: http://beatlesstories.com

Actor Johnny Lewis from “Son of Anarchy” Dead

Los Angeles: September 27, 2012

Actor Jonathan “Johnny” Lewis best known for his role on “Son of Anarchy”  is dead after allegedly killing an 81-year-old woman in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, police told TheWrap.

According to a Los Angeles Police Department spokesman, Lewis, who left the show in 2009, died after falling from a roof in the neighborhood following the alleged murder.

Police believe that Lewis, 29, was renting a room from the victim, Catherine Davis.

Davis was murdered at her home at approximately 10:40 p.m. Wednesday, according to police. Officers responded to the scene after receiving a call reporting a screaming woman.

Police are still investigating the incident.

TMZ reports that neighbors fought with Lewis and that he showed super human strength, as he was on drugs of some kind.

In addition to his stint on “Sons of Anarchy,” Lewis’ roles included a part in the 2010 film “The Runaways” and in the series “Boston Legal.”

Kim Poirier Joins Moving Pictures Media Group

September, 24, 2012

(Hollywood, CA)  Independent production company, Moving Pictures Media Group (MPMG) has announced a new addition to their production team.  Actress Kim Poirier has signed on to be a spokesperson and host for the company as they move forward with their production schedule.

MPMG is currently working on a slate of 6 films, a television show and most notably, an apocalyptic zombie thriller franchise titled “100 Days of Death” that includes a feature film, graphic novel, video game as well as a trilogy of books.

“We are thrilled with the addition of Kim to our company” stated Ray Ellingsen, producer and partner at Moving Pictures Media Group.  “Kim is an extraordinarily talented actress as well as a savvy businesswoman.  She brings with her a successful career and has proven herself to be an unstoppable force in the entertainment industry.  We believe that this is the start of a long and successful working relationship together.”

Ms. Poirier has earned a loyal fan following from roles in feature films such as “Dawn of the Dead”, “Awaken”, “Decoys”, “Silent But Deadly, and “American Psycho II” as well as TV roles on “Mad Men,” “Eureka” and “The Exes.”  She was the female lead on the Gemini Award winning hit show, “Paradise Falls.”  Hosting credits include her own hit show “Hypaspace” on the Space Channel as well as “Triple Horror Marathon” for Drive in Classics, and the annual “Spacey Awards”.

For info on Moving Pictures Media Group visit:

For more on Kim Poirier, visit:

Maxwell Caulfield Opens Up About Life, Love and Career

September 20, 2012

Actor, Maxwell Caulfield shot to fame with the 1982 film, “Grease “2 and has sustained a thirty year film career that has seen both highs and lows. He has had a noteworthy presence on Broadway and London’s West End. This writer directed Mr. Caulfield in the feature film, “Midnight Witness” and sat down to chat with him recently at the Pali House Hotel in West Hollywood.

Hollywood Revealed: Maxwell, you are currently starring in the play “Euripides’ Helen” at the Getty Villa where you portray “Menelaos,” a character that has been missing in action for seven years. How do you personally relate to that role?

Maxwell Caulfield: (laughs) Brilliant question. Yeah, that’s absolutely the truth. I play Manelaos, The King of Sparta, and those so called missing years of both the character as well as myself were bloody–but will prove ultimately victorious.

HR: So what have you been up to since we last saw you on TV in the “Colbys?”

MC: I think I’ve racked up a decent body of work. Some pretty good film credits.

HR: Which ones are you especially fond of?

MC: One that comes to mind is “The Real Blond,” Tom DiCillo’s movie with an all-star cast in which I had the best part. “Empire Records” with Renee Zellweger and Liv Tyler has also gone on to become a bit of a cult favorite, and even a couple of my more obscure straight to cable films…

HR: Like our project, “Midnight Witness”.

MC: Well indeed, “Midnight Witness.” A wonderful little movie. Very under estimated. Produced by Menahem Golan and directed by your good self, with the wonderful Jan-Michael Vincent. What a true Hollywood legend.

HR: I agree.

MC: The movies that I am thinking of tended to be shot in Eastern Europe for not a great deal of money. One of them that I was in, “Dragon Storm,” went on to become Sci-Fi’s Channel’s biggest hit at the time. That was a whole lot of fun.

HR: You had tremendous early success with your films as well as your work on stage. Would you say that was a good thing?

MC: No. It was definitely misleading in so far as it set up one’s expectation level to inappropriate heights. While I was considering what my next film at Paramount would be under my three picture contract, they were rush releasing “Grease 2” to a less that stellar opening weekend and my contract suddenly went up in smoke, rather like a James Bond directive.

HR: Ouch. That must’ve hurt.

MC: It did, but I managed to work my way back into the game, specifically with a TV show, ironically again at Paramount, called “The Colbys” which was the spin off of “Dynasty,” but in all honesty, appearing in the sequels to big monster hits is not always the savviest move, particularly if the sequel under performs.

HR: So is there one favorite character you’ve portrayed?

MC: On film?

HR: Yeah.

MC: ‘Cause some of the best roles I’ve gotten to play have been on stage, but on film, there is one project I did that unfortunately didn’t get a theatrical release, even though it was getting a very excited response. It was “The Boys Next Door” with the young Charlie Sheen who just had bud-horns coming out of the top of his head at that point.

HR: What happened?

MC: The production company, New World Pictures, went under at the worst possible moment, so the film ended up, like a lot of my flicks, moving into that cult arena and that doesn’t ultimately serve you too brilliantly in terms of the jockey stakes of movie stardom. But that was a part where I really got to lose myself in the role, because that is what you are ultimately trying to do. Get immersed in the part so that where you leave off and where the part takes over is almost invisible. Considering that I was playing a homicidal maniac it doesn’t speak too highly of my character.

HR: So what advice would you have to the 22 year old Maxwell Caulfield who has just finished starring in “Grease 2?”

MC: (laughs) Don’t believe your own hype is top of the list. Definitely start shooting your second film before the first one comes out. Get out there as quickly as you can to display your versatility. Hollywood is inclined to consign you to a category and it’s up to you to make sure the box is as big as possible so that you can stretch. To quote Noel Coward, it’s imperative to come out of a different hole every time.

HR: And you did with “Boys Next Door.”

MC: Yeah, but it was about a year and a half after being left out in the cold by Paramount.  I was actually hopping mad and used that film as an opportunity to vent.  I did get to work with the wonderful and brilliant Penelope Spheeris on that one.  In fact on “Midnight Witness” you caught me at a pretty opportune time in terms of using a role as an outlet for my own pent up emotions.  I loved playing that guy in your film.  That psycho cop, “Garland.”

HR:  Your movie star status got that film financed.

MC: Wow, that’s a wonderful thing.  Maybe I should have tried to make it a bigger payday.  Just kidding.

HR: You could’ve hit Menahem up for…

MC: Another five grand? (laughs)  Hey, God love him.  He put a lot of us to work.

HR: You’re of course married to the beautiful and talented Juliet Mills, sister of Hayley Mills, daughter of Sir John Mills, who are part of an acting dynasty in the U.K.  What was it like for you, coming from humble beginnings to suddenly find yourself in the midst of British theater and film royalty?  And did your father-in-law give you any career advice?

MC: My father-in-law, the late, great Sir John Mills, chose to let me make my errors.  He did counsel me on occasion but I really should have towed the line a bit more.  I was very enamored of the antics of James Dean and similar rebel heroes of the mid to late fifties who kind of got away with murder on the basis of their talent and their indispensability.  Since then the business has become more corporate as it transitioned into the eighties and nineties.  There was no room for antics or acting out.  I’m not suggesting that I was particularly unprofessional, but Sir John was the height of professionalism and it would have suited me to try and be a consummate pro like he was.

HR: So you’re saying you were you a bad boy in your early days?

MC: It’s not like I was throwing tantrums on the set.  I’m talking about those things that show that you are a thoroughly prepared pro who goes along with the flow. That said, I doubt there are many people who you could talk to in the past two decades who would say that I wasn’t a team player, but at that outset, when I first started out, I admit I was looking for the teen rebel mantle.

HR: And why not?  You were barely out of your teens yourself.

MC: Barely.

HR: And that’s when you met your wife, Juliet.

MC: Yes, Juliet and I met in New York for the first tour of the play, “The Elephant Man” after it had won the Tony Award.  We did a prestigious winter tour of Florida in 1980.  I was playing the title role and she was playing the Victorian actress, Mrs. Kendal, and frankly, it really, truly was love at first sight.  Kind of a beauty and the beast story.

HR: Were you aware of her work?

MC: Yes. I was a fan of hers back in England.  I was very aware of Juliet and her family, but it was the woman I was attracted to, it wasn’t just her beauty and her fame and indeed her money at the time.  We quickly blew through that, by the way–but she was a spectacular woman, and she has made big sacrifices in her own career in support of mine.  That’s one of the reason’s I’m so determined to finally come good.

HR: So what have been some of your favorite on stage experiences?

MC: I’d say on top of the list is obviously “The Elephant Man” because of the great bonus of meeting the woman of my dreams, and “John Merrick” is a marvelous role.  A gift for an actor.  More recently “Billy Flynn” in “Chicago.”  I mean that was crazy.  You spend the show sliding around in a tuxedo with six-foot tall beauties in black lingerie cooing over you, so that was a fantastic role.  I got to do it in London and then a very brief run on Broadway.  “An Inspector Calls” on Broadway was a lot of fun.  Did that for 6 months.  I also toured in a wonderful play called, “Sleuth” with Stacy Keach.

HR:  You’ve actually had a really well-rounded career compared to a lot of actors.  Films, Broadway, television.  What do you think it takes for an actor to make it in today’s market?  ‘Cause things are very different from twenty years ago.

MC: It was definitely a smaller industry then.

HR: You saw the tail end of the star system.

MC: Yeah, I really did.  When I was cast in “Grease 2” I got my break from a genuine, bone-fide star maker, Alan Carr who helped make Ann Margaret a household name.  He was from that school of producers who believed that you cultivate an actor.  He said that Michelle (Pfeiffer) and I were going to become the next Ann Margaret and Elvis Presley.

HR: That must do something to your ego.

MC: Yeah. I think that when you’re young and you are trying to figure out who you are, you try to create an image that you can, (a) live with and (b) you hope will be alluring, particularly if you’re looking to enter this profession.  Anything that is going to give you a high level of self-confidence, ‘cause it’s a big factor in this game.  It’s not only believing in your path but also being very self confident which makes you more or less irresistible to men and women alike.  So for a younger actor, you not only have to have tremendous faith in your abilities but you also have to hone your craft.  You can’t just be lazy about it.  I think that’s critical.

HR: That’s good advice.

MC: I would also add that comedy is king in this town so if you can combine both worlds then you’re really styling, which is why the theater always had such appeal to me.

HR: So what’s next for Maxwell Caulfield?  After this play?

MC: I’m not counting on good old Tinseltown.  It’s been a bit of a jockey stakes for too long now so I’m going to hedge my bets.  Besides a sitcom pilot we’ve developed Juliet and I are combing through scripts at the moment, trying to find a good vehicle for ourselves.  I’m itching to work with her again.

HR: Film or theater?

MC: Theater.  If it’s got film potential and we enjoy success with it, in other words if audiences are touched by the story or amused, or it actually hasn’t been made into a film already, then what we might do is take it either to London or Australia first and then who knows.  Maybe bring it to New York.  It’s so incumbent on you now to generate your own work.

HR: If you could pick three people in Hollywood to sit down with and say, look I started a great career thirty years ago and I’m actually much better now than I was then, who might those three people be?  Who would “get you” right now?

MC: The director I’ve always wanted to work with, but he seems to have just disappeared off the face of the earth,  is Alan Parker but funnily the first person who comes to mind is Sean Penn because he’s an actor director and obviously a contemporary of mine.  There’s a producer I like a lot.  A guy called Laurence Mark who I had a very funny early encounter with at Paramount.  He is shooting a film right now called “Last Vegas” with Robert De Niro and he produced “Julie & Julia,” “As Good as it Gets” and “Jerry Maguire.”  I wouldn’t mind getting a break from him.  I would love to re-team with Tom DiCillo who made the “Real Blond.”  He’s kind of an auteur director and that has been slightly to the detriment of his own career because he’s probably passed on a lot of very good commercial opportunities.  I think when a director wants to work with you again, that’s the greatest compliment, and so it would have to be Penelope Spheeris, Tom DiCillo and Peter Foldy.

HR: Aw, thank you.

MC: It’s true!

HR: So which three actors you haven’t been in films with would you like to work with?

MC: There are so many.  I think I wouldn’t mind going toe to toe with Cate Blanchette.  I hear she’s a firebrand.  I wouldn’t mind being involved in scenes with Philip Seymour Hoffman and… Tom Cruise.  I think Tom is quite an enigmatic fellow.

HR: Good choices.

MC: Oh, and in the veteran acting department it would be a lesson I’m sure to work with Michael Caine.

HR: I’ll leave you with one last question.  Describe what would be your favorite L.A. weekend.

MC: I think it’s always great to catch an open-air concert.  A rock and roll weekend is always fun.  Juliet and I also love going to the racetrack.  It’s wonderful to bump into the same old characters.  Mel Brooks, Dick Van Patten.  They’re just terrific guys.  I’m a mad keen swimmer as you know so any chance to get into the ocean.  I prefer frankly Zuma Beach over Santa Monica bay, just in terms of the water cleanliness.  And obviously good food.  My wife is an awesome cook.

HR: That’s great, Maxwell.  Thanks for chatting.

MC: It’s been a real pleasure, Pete.

Catch Maxwell Caulfield in “Euripides’ Helen” playing Thursday through Saturday at the Getty Villa, closing September 29, 2012.  Showtime is 8:00 p.m. Tickets and further information is available by calling (310) 440-7300 or clicking HERE

Photos by:Peter Foldy

Geeks vs Zombies

Theater Review: August 18, 2012

Four geeks locked away playing video games in a basement are ready to fight for survival when they discover that the Zombie Apocalypse has begun. Armed with only baseball bats and a vast and extensive knowledge of every zombie film ever made, the geeks know exactly what works and what doesn’t when it comes to killing the undead. With little time to waste they plot their escape, hit Costco for supplies, hide out in a fort, kill a few dozen zombies and strengthening their friendships in the process.

Written by James Kopp and David Rock, “GEEKS vs ZOMBIES” began it’s theatrical life in Bakersfield where it enjoyed a successful run in 2010 and again in 2011.

Intent on bringing the play to Los Angeles, the writers approached Roger Mathey, the prolific director of the 2002 hit play, “Trainspotting” and asked him to help produce an L.A. version. Mathey signed on and once again brought back director John Morrison, who co-directed the Bakersfield run along with Kopp.

Mathey and Morrison don’t disappoint. The play is a rousing, fast paced, funny couple of hours that had the audience cheering every action scene, of which there are plenty. Boasting two large casts that alternate on different nights, there is a lot of traffic on the small stage at the Ruby, yet the well thought out direction makes it all flow effortlessly.

Our Geeks, “Macready,” “Blair,” “Loomis” and “Wallace” are a media savvy bunch. They know everything about fanboy culture, have opinions on music, video games and movies, including the yet to be released Brad Pitt zombie film “World War Z”. They have studied “Shaun of the Dead,” “28 Days Later” and “The Night of the Living Dead.”  These Geeks love “Star Wars” films but hate the 2008 flop, “The Spirit.” Rightly so.

Just in-case the earth and all it’s treasures are destroyed, our Geeks feel it their responsibility to make a list of the best and worst of mankind, highlighting their favorite films and video games while ragging on 80s music, boybands, posers and hipsters.

Geeks they may be, but our lads also boast a healthy supply of testosterone. There are several minor romantic plots woven into the story-line. While these never overshadow the gritty action scenes, they do manage to provide extra laughs.

The play also touches on a philosophical argument for and against free will vs god’s will as well as a metaphoric comparison to world events.

It is perhaps no accident that this Zombie Apocalypse started in the Middle East.

Despite it’s flirtation with serious issues (there is even an appearance by “God,”) “Geeks vs Zombies” knows its audience and fully understands what they want. Fun, raunchy dialogue and gore. Thus the play doesn’t linger too long on religion or politics, or even on women, concentrating on punch lines, and fight scenes. Oh, and did I mention blood? Yes, there is plenty of that.

Last Saturday night’s performance boasted stand-out turns from Josh Hensley as the level-headed “Macready,” Peter Mendoza as the porn loving “Wallace” and Steven Brandon as the clingy, needy “Blair,” an Aussie whose accent and cranky delivery put smiles on faces.

The ten actors playing zombies look the part in both makeup and movements. The program states that several of them are hearing impaired.

Lighting and set design are competent though the fine (uncredited) musical score that punctuates the action sometimes over powered the dialogue on stage the night of this review.

All in all, “Geeks vs Zombies” is delicious theatrical experience.  Like “Mcready” says, “hang out with more geeks. Maybe you’ll learn something.”

Geeks vs Zombies plays Thursday – Saturday at 8 pm, Sundays at 7 pm through September 23, 2012
Ruby Theater @ The Complex
6476 Santa Monica Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90038
Tickets $20 cash at the door

Check out their Facebook page HERE.

Click on photos to enlarge.

Marilyn Moss Announces Raul Walsh Documentary

Los Angeles: August 17, 2012

Biographer and film historian, Marilyn Moss, has announced commencement of pre-production on her up-coming, RAOUL WALSH feature documentary to be entitled,  The True Adventures of Raoul Walsh.  The doc will be partially based on Moss’ book, Raoul Walsh: The True Adventures of Hollywood’s Legendary Director.

Raoul Walsh directed some of Hollywood’s greatest gangster films of the 20th Century including HIGH SIERRA with Humphrey Bogart; THE ROARING TWENTIES with Bogart and James Cagney; THEY DIED WITH THEIR BOOTS ON with Walsh’s good friend, Errol Flynn; and one of the greatest gangster films of them all: WHITE HEAT with James Cagney.

Walsh’s films have influenced generations of film directors and to this day are seen as classics of the Hollywood genre film.

Walsh helped to transform the Hollywood studio yarn into a breathless art form. He belongs to that generation of filmmakers who learned to make movies on a dime in a fledgling industry at the start of the 20th century and invented a Hollywood that made movies bigger than life itself.

Off the screen, Walsh also knew an adventure or two. Friend to Pancho Villa and Wyatt Earp, Jack London and William Randolph Hearst, Walsh traveled the South Seas and Mexico as a young man, and then became an actor and ace cameraman for D.W. Griffith before he became a master film director.

“Walsh helped to transform the Hollywood studio yarn into a breathless art form. He belongs to that generation of filmmakers who learned to make movies on a dime in a fledgling industry at the start of the 20th century and invented a Hollywood that made movies bigger than life itself, yet he is the only major Hollywood director who does not yet have a documentary on his life and films” stated Moss, “and I intend to change that.”

Moss and her team, which includes director, Paul Lynch (“Prom Night) have already conducted interviews with the likes of Hugh O’Brian, Jack Larson, the late Jane Russell and Peter Bogdanovich with many more to follow.   The film will also include hundreds of stills and documents (including love letters to Gloria Swanson), posters, clips, trailers and footage of Raoul on the set working with actors such as Cagney, Flynn, Bogart, Gregory Peck, Virginia Mayo, Ida Lapino, Jane Russell, Gary Cooper, Rock Hudson and Kirk Douglas.

The project is only partially funded and producers have started an indiegogo campaign that includes a brief but compelling “sizzle reel” on Walsh, narrated by actor, JOHN GAVIN.


Moss has co-curated the Raoul Walsh restrospective at the American Cinematheque and has spoken on Walsh at such venues as UCLA and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. From 1995 to 2009 she was a film and TV critic for The Hollywood Reporter. Prior to that she was associate editor and film critic for Boxoffice magazine.

To contact Marilyn Moss, visit: http://www.indiegogo.com/mizmoss

Joan Rivers v Cosco–and the ADL.

Los Angeles: August 10, 2012

Joan Rivers has compared Cosco to Nazi Germany, upsetting the chain store as well as the Anti-Defamation League.  The problem started when Cosco refused to carry Rivers’ new book, “I Hate Everything … Starting with Me,” because the back cover contains swear words.

On Thursday, Rivers upped the ante.  In an interview, she told KTLA that “People should have the right to have the literature they want. This is the beginning of Nazi Germany.”

Annoyed by the comment, ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman, himself a survivor of the Holocaust, charged that the comedian is being insensitive to the victims of the Nazi regime.

“While Joan Rivers may be right in criticizing Costco’s decision, there is simply no comparison between a private company’s choice not to sell a book and the policies of the Nazi regime that engaged in the systematic persecution and slaughter of millions of Jews and others during the Holocaust,” Foxman said in a statement on Thursday.

“Such comparisons only serve to trivialize the Holocaust and are deeply offensive to Jews and other survivors, as well as those Americans who fought valiantly against the Nazis in World War II.”

In a letter to Rivers, the ADL called on the comedian to retract her remarks and refrain from using Holocaust imagery in the future.

Rivers created a scene at a Costco in Burbank on Thursday after she chained herself to a shopping cart and used a bullhorn to protest the retailer’s ban. She agreed to leave when police arrived.

UPDATED: 1:07 pm.

Joan Rivers hit back at the Anti-Defamation League Friday, after the group criticized her for comparing Costco’s decision not to sell her new book to the Nazis.

“My husband lost most of his family in Auschwitz, so don’t talk to me about the holocaust,” Rivers said in a statement to TheWrap.

The ADL slammed the comedian saying that her remarks were insensitive to the victims of the Holocaust and called on her to retract her comments.

In her statement, Rivers said the group was wasting its energy.

“The ADL should worry more about the world’s attitude toward Israel than waste their time and energy on me because I’m not going to stop saying what I think,” she said.

Mandi Perkins Talks of Verona

Los Angeles: July 30, 2012

Vibrant young Canadian singer, MANDI PERKINS, hasn’t wasted any time since landing in LA.  Tough, determined and highly talented, she has quickly become a well respected indie artist who now fronts a cool band, “of Verona.”  We caught up with Mandi recently and asked her to open up about her new CD, “The White Apple” and about her life in the music business so far.

Hollywood Revealed:  Hi, Mandi.  How long has “of Verona” been playing together?

Mandi Perkins: We’ve been a band for about 2 years now.

HR: Where is the band from and how did you guys all connect?

MP: I’m from Toronto and the other band members are from New York and LA.  We are now based in LA though. I began writing with Dillon Pace for other projects in early 2010 (after he moved from NY to LA) and then we realized that the music we were creating together didn’t sound like it could belong to anyone else. It was uniquely ours. And that is how of Verona began. Then in June of 2010, we met Jeff Sojka, saw him drum and asked him to join us. Luckily, he agreed.

HR: You’ve certainly managed to gather momentum rather quickly with both KROQ and Hits Magazine calling you one of the top 5 acts to watch for and MTV about to start airing your brand new video.  How difficult has it been to get where you are now?

MP: To be truthful it’s been a grind, but I think that’s life for every artist in the modern music industry. Although we quickly gained recognition from just a few demos that we put up, we also have a sound that is both commercial and indie. Meaning we aren’t creating a sound that fits into any one specific scene, which can sometimes be tricky.  But that often seems to be the case with many big bands like MGMT, Muse, Florence +Machine and others, so hopefully we can follow that trend. Fortunately, we have already garnered some great support from a few big industry players and radio stations. We also made the entire record ourselves, which takes a long time, but it’s been well worth it.

HR:  How would you describe your sound?

MP: futuristic rock or maybe electro indie pop.

HR:  Tell us about your new album, The White Apple.  Who is putting it out and what does the title mean?

MP: We put it out in partnership with Hype Music.  To understand what the actual title “The White Apple” means, you have to really listen to that particular song.  But as a whole, the album is a collection of songs about realizing what is real and what is an illusion and learning to tell the difference; It’s about letting go of the things we cannot change.

HR: Is there a single off the album?

MP: Castles is the album’s first single, with Dark in My Imagination to be released next. We also released a more viral video for our song Match.

HR: You’ve had a sold-out residency at The Viper Room here in L.A. and have played some great venues such as the El Rey and the Troubadour.  What’s next for of Verona as far as live performances?

MP: We are working on our Fall tour plans right now. We are looking forward to really playing this album out live. We have some very cool visual elements as part of our live show to really bring the songs to life.

HR:  Who are some of your songwriting collaborators?

MP: This album was written almost entirely by the band. I have so much to say and the band helped make worlds for me to say it in. We also produced and mixed it ourselves. Dillon handled the production and then mixed it along with Jeff.

HR: What’s been the best or most exciting thing to happen to you personally in the music business?

MP: Singing with Roger Daltry at a benefit was awesome and surreal. We’re all big fans of “The Who.”  Also the support of Hype and Converse has been really great for us. We are fortunate to have some really great sponsors in Sennheiser, Mac Makeup, Westone, D’Addario, Paiste and Swing House Studios.

HR: And the worst or the most disappointing?

MP: We’ve been literally in the middle of 3 or 4 different label deals this past year when either the A&R or label head has gotten let go. Every time someone flew us out or sent over paperwork, there would inevitably be a problem a few weeks later. It was almost curse-like. We even had a situation where we went to meet with a label and a month later the entire label was shut down. That’s why we decided to make the record ourselves and release it independently. We couldn’t rely on a volatile industry any longer.

 HR: What would you say is the biggest challenge you face as a female artist?

MP: You get put into categories a lot when you are a woman in the music industry. They like to think of you as either a pop artist or as a singer/songwriter. You just have to be who you are and hope people get it–because we are all made up of a thousand and nine things, and trying to pigeon hole an artist is a terrible idea.

HR: Who are your musical heros?  Who would you like to have lunch with and pick their brains if you could?

MP: Bjork, Bowie, Stevie Nicks, Leonard Cohen, anyone from Pink Floyd or Zeppelin. Dillon would probably also say Garbage and Jeff is really into dance now, so I’m sure he would love to chat with guys like Avicci and Skrillex.

HR:  If there was one thing you could change about your career so far, what would it be?  What would you have done different?

MP: I wouldn’t have had any shows until things were completely ready. With the sheer abundance of acts out there and with social media the way it is, people are quick to judge. Particularly in LA. And one bad show could take years to overcome. You can’t really play out and build things slowly like you could a few years ago. But patience and tenacity are key and just because things aren’t happening for you right now doesn’t mean they never will.

HR:  Describe your perfect L.A. weekend.

MP: Hanging with my nephew, hiking, and then sushi. Sushi is perfect at anytime.

HR:  Where can people buy your album?

MP: Any digital site worldwide.

HR:  And is there a website for of Verona?

MP: http://ofVerona.com and people can also find us on Facebook and Twitter: http://facebook.com/ofVerona & http://twitter.com/ofVerona

HR:  Thanks, Mandi.  Best of luck with the CD and your upcoming gigs.

You can click on images to enlarge.

Fred Willard Allegedly Lewd

Los Angeles: July 19, 2012

Actor and comedian Fred Willard was arrested Wednesday night and booked on suspicion of lewd conduct at an adult theater in Hollywood, police reported this morning.

The 72-year-old, who appeared in such films as “Best in Show” and “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” was released on his own recognizance, LAPD Sgt. Chuck Slater told NBC4.

Vice officers arrested Willard at about 8:50 p.m., Slater said.

Stay tuned for more details.

UPDATE: July 21, 2012

In announcing Friday that Fred Willard will not have to face jail time after being arrested on suspicion of lewd conduct, the Los Angeles prosecutor revealed that the actor had been arrested on a similar charge two decades earlier.

The L.A. prosecutor said Willard was arrested in 1990 on lewd conduct charges but did not reveal details or the disposition of the case.

Despite that earlier incident, Willard will be able to enroll in a “pre-filing diversion program” in lieu of a criminal filing, said Frank Mateljan, spokesman for City Atty. Carmen Trutanich.

The program is administered by an outside vendor and costs about $380. There are diversion programs for a variety of offenses, including drug and alcohol abuse in addition to sex-related crimes.

Downtown Film Festival L.A. Announces 2012 Award Winners

LOS ANGELES – July 13, 2012 – The winners of the 2012 Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles were announced earlier this evening in an awards presentation at The Hayworth Theater in Los Angeles.
Taking top honors were “Betty I Am” and We Are Legion” for Best Picture feature narrative and feature documentary, respectively. “Betty I Am” by director Jose Renteria Jr.is a stylish black-and-white film shot on 16 mm that follows the story of two siblings brought together by the untimely death of their father. “We Are Legion,” directed by Brian Knappenberger, is an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at the secret hacktivist movement Anonymous.

Best Director honors went to Anthony Meindl for his narrative feature “Birds Of A Feather”and to Caskey Ebeling for her documentary feature “Getting Up: The Tempt One Story.” Meindl’s film is a new twist on the time-honored comedic movie genre where the action revolves around the mounting of a musical play. Ebeling’s film is a poignant account of the comeback of well-known graffiti artist Tempt One who became ill with ALS, the debilitating neurological affliction also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

All four films – “Betty I Am,” “We Are Legion,” “Birds Of A Feather” and “Getting Up” made their Los Angeles premieres during the festival.

“These independently produced feature films reflect the extraordinary quality and diversity of content in today’s independent cinema. We’re very proud to have played a role in providing a showcase for them in the Film Capital of the World,” said Greg Ptacek, Festival Co-Director.
Sharing the Best Picture Short Film award were “Been Good To Know Yuh” by director Corey Brandenstein, an imaginative depiction of a chapter in the life of poet-songwriter and folk singer Woody Guthrie, and “This Is A Story About Ted and Alice” by director Teressa Tunney, a battle of the opposite sexes with a decidedly different ending.

The Audience Favorite award was captured by “Heathens and Thieves,” a genre-bending action thriller with a film noir plotline of intrigue and betrayal but set in the Old West.

Oscar winner Melissa Leo took the Best Actress award for her dark comic role as a woman on the dating circuit in “This Is A Story About Ted And Alice.” Joey Capone was named “Best Actor” for his role in “Carlos Spills The Beans,” playing a character who inherits the family restaurant with disastrously funny consequences.

A complete list of the film awards, as they were presented at tonight’s Closing Night ceremony, follows. Downtown Film Festoval L.A. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to spotlighting emerging film talent in the culturally diverse and historic downtown district of Los Angeles.

Downtown Film Festival L.A. 2012 Film Awards

Note: Titles in ALL CAPS indicate feature-length films. Titles in “quotes” indicate short films.

1. Best Director – Short Film
Lauren Lillie – “Paying for It”

2. Best Editing – Short Film
Nayeli Garci-Crespo & Santi Minasi – “Dissent”

3. Best Screenwriting – Short Film
Paul Grellong – “Tracer Gun”

4. Best Cinematography – Short Film
Joe Kocsis – “Legend of the Widower Colby Wallace”

5. Best Musical Score – Short Film
Paul Festa – “The Glitter Emergency”

6. Best Short Films – Honorable Mention
“The Glitter Emergency” directed by Paul Festa
“Past Due” directed by Denise C. Plumb
“Paying for It” directed by Lauren Lillie
“Scenen (Act 1, Scene 1)” directed by Hans Montelius
“Substance Ovüse”directed by Burke Roberts
7. Best Short Films (tie)
“Been Good To Know Yuh” directed by Corey Brandenstein
“This Is A Story About Ted and Alice” directed by Teressa Tunney
8. Best Los Angeles Films (All Films)
“Botes al Amanecer” directed by Nikki V. Roberts

9. Best Editing – Feature
Nils Arrington & Thom Newell – JUST LIKE BEING THERE

10. Best Screenwriting – Feature
Iris Almaraz & Gustavo Ramos – DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR

11. Best Cinematography – Feature

12. Best Music/Score – Feature

13. Best Performance by an Actor – Honorable Mention
Michael Buffo – “Slapstick Porno”
Jimmy Simpson – “Tracer Gun”
Rob Tepper – “Been Good to Know Yuh”

14. Best Performance by an Actor (All Roles/All Films)

15 . Best Performance by an Actress – Honorable Mention
Anishika Fontae – “Gasp”
Kelsey Ford – “Paying for It”
Celeste Pechous – “Past Due”
Matthew Simmons (playing Peg-Leg Ballerina) – “The Glitter Emergency”
16. Best Performance by an Actress (All Roles/All Films)
Melissa Leo – “This Is a Story About Ted and Alice”

17. Best Director – Feature Narrative
Anthony Meindl – BIRDS OF A FEATHER

18. Best Director – Feature Documentary

19. Audience Favorite Award (All Films)
Directed by Megan Peterson & John Douglas Sinclair

20. Best Picture – Documentary
Produced and Directed by Brian Knappenberger

21. Best Picture – Narrative
Produced by Joe Engelke, Israel Gomez
Directed by Jose Renteria Jr

Lenore Andriel: Cowgirl on the Rise

Los Angeles: July 10, 2012

Lenore Andriel is a hard working Los Angeles based actress who has recently co-written,  produced and starred in a successful western feature film that has received accolades and managed to win top prize at several prestigious film festivals.  We caught up with Ms. Andriel and asked her to enlighten us about her project and about how comedian Rodney Dangerfield gave her respect and pushed her to pursue acting as a career.

HR:  Hi, Lenore.  Congrats on the success of “Yellow Rock.”  This is a film you co-wrote, produced and starred in.  What was the genesis of the project?

LA: It actually started out as a web series, then a small film, set in present day, with some of the same storyline and characters.  This was my first time ever producing a film and it was daunting. On top co-writing the script and playing the female lead, I worked twenty four seven. Many people thought I was crazy to take it all on, even me! But when we started, it was a much, much smaller project.  It’s come a long way, from that idea!.

 HR: What made you chose a Western?  Did you realize you might be ahead of the current trend to make Western movies?

LA: When we initially got together with our first director and cinematographer, they weren’t that thrilled by our total concept. But they liked a lot of aspects of it, like my character’s right-hand being Native American, and the through-line of “deception”. So my writing partner, Steve Doucette, and I knew we had to make the story flow better. It was Steve’s idea to make it into a Western. We didn’t have the slightest clue that the Western genre was about to make a huge comeback! We just wanted to write a story we believed in. It’s based on historic fact of what happened to many tribes in California, but told through the eyes of the fictitious “Black Paw’s”, who would be symbolic of the others. It has already brought us more success than we could have dreamed possible.

HR: Your project is a great example of not giving up and going for what you believe.  How difficult was it to put “Yellow Rock” together?

LA: Difficult, but we felt that if we did a film with an important message, others might feel the same. We kept following our instincts. Some of those were wrong, but most of them, luckily were correct. In some ways it was difficult, because the project kept getting larger. It had a very small budget, but once we decided to do it as a Western period piece, set in 1880 California, that changed everything. It was tough putting aspects together, like getting the perfect location, cast, horses, etc. But once we found the right people to help us accomplish it, it shifted into high gear. We lucked out when our Costume Designer, Catherine Elhoffer, recommended actor Peter Sherayko and his company “Caravan West”, who supplied all the horses, wranglers, costumes, guns, production & set design, and the props – all authentic to the period!

HR: Did you have people telling you, you were crazy to go down this road?

LA: Shooting the movie, felt almost impossible!! And yes, we had tons of people telling us, every step of the way, that we were crazy! Even while shooting, some of the cast and crew were saying it! Things like “just shut it down” or “quit and cut your loses!” But thankfully, my partner Steve and our other Executive Producer Daniel Veluzat, would not bend, nor would I. Like Ed Harris said in “Apollo 13”, “Failure is not an option”. We felt that to give up when the going got tough, would have been very tragic and a financial loss on top of it. When Nick Vallelonga, my other producing partner took over as director, it breathed new confidence into everyone on set, yet even then, there were so many things that went wrong that we never saw coming.

HR: How did you lock your stellar cast?

LA: I went to (casting director) Paul Weber, through a director friend of mine, who highly recommended him. Paul wanted to read the script of course, before taking it on. I remember he called me while I was driving, around midnight. I pulled over and we talked for like an hour – he loved it! We decided he was going to cast the male leads, since we had Brigitte Burdine, casting the Native American actors and other roles. Paul was fabulous, but the actors we wanted initially, were TV Male Leads and their shooting schedules conflicted.

Finally, Nick recommended Michael Biehn and James Russo, whom he had worked with and were perfect for the movie. Paul Weber was then able to close the deals. Some of the other “Cowboys” were brought to us through those actors. For example, Clay Wilcox, who portrays “Roscoe”, and Brian Gleason, as “Billy-Boy”, James Russo suggested. I brought in Peter Sherayko, who had been in “Tombstone”, with Michael Biehn. Biehn recommended Jennifer Blanc, who we wrote the role of “Monica”, the Saloon girl for. Brigitte Burdine, did an excellent job of getting us Michael and Eddie Spears for the two Native American Lead brothers, and the supporting cast of Zahn McClarnon, Joe Billingiere, Angel Felix, Rick Mora, and all the rest of the terrific  Native American cast. Peter Sherayko got us Sam Bearpaw as “Strong Bear” and the Native American extras. I wrote the roles of “Dr. Sarah’s” assistants, “Martha”, Amy Jennings and “Sequilla”, Elaine Lockley-Smith, specifically for them, having been friends with them for years and working with them. Christopher Backus as “Cobb”, was brought to us by Nick. So it truly became like a family affair, with a lot of the actors knowing each other and the rest forming great friendships.

HR: What about those authentic looking locations?

LA: I had been pulling my hair out, running around scouting with our cinematographer, Ricardo Jacques Gale. Finally, Ricardo mentioned a place he remembered called “Veluzat Movie Ranch”, in Newhall so we went up to scout it and we FELL IN LOVE! The first thing we saw was a complete period Western town, that was incredible! Ricardo turned to me and said “Re-write”! I laughed, and knew I had to write this town in. It became the town of “Yellow Rock”, which the viewers will find out is for a reason!

We went further into the over 800 acres of this mythic movie ranch, and found the perfect “Open Plains” area, nestled against the back of the mountains, to build the entire “Black Paw Village”. I got chills and teared up when I saw it. I stood in this beautiful place and could see the tippees in my mind’s eye and hear the sound of Indians chanting! I knew we found the home for “Yellow Rock” to be filmed.

Next, we drove through gigantic, tall pine trees, which then revealed, the most perfect log cabin! It was tucked into the pines, exactly as I’d written it! Ricardo and the crew were all shouting, “Dr. Sarah’s Cabin”! I ran up the boulder-stone stairs into “my cabin”, and was jumping around like a five year old!

Each area we scouted was more rustic and beautiful than the next and completely gave you the feeling of being in the wild lands of California – all perfectly set, to have our cast on horseback, take us on the journey of their characters.

HR: So you shot the film entirely on location there? Did it all go smoothly?

LA: Yes, we did it all there. Daniel Veluzat, who owns the ranch, wanted to read the script prior to approving our shoot there. He loved it, and said he’d come on board! He became a God-send and not only acted as Executive Producer, with my partner Steve, but also wound up becoming our “on-set producer”, because Nick and I were too over-loaded with shooting, and couldn’t do it by ourselves.

For Nick, directing a “Cowboys and Indians”-type film in 120 degree heat, with all the horses, crew, and locations, was huge and exhausting, but he managed to do it and keep us on schedule. For me, portraying the Female Lead, of “Dr. Sarah”, galloping full speed with nine men shooting over my head and delivering lines, made me truly know what women in those days must have gone through. We were all filthy, soaked in sweat, bug-biten, and exhausted. But we used it and you truly feel you’re right there on the dusty, dangerous trails with us!

HR: What was the most difficult day on set?

LA: Oh My God! EVERY DAY was difficult! I don’t think a day went by, where at least three things weren’t going wrong all at the same time. For example, minutes before shooting, our videographer, Keith Clark, ran up and told me that Saginaw Grant, whom we cast as our “Chief White Eagle Feather”, was ill and couldn’t do the role! I turned to Joe Billingiere and Robert Pyute Hessen, who were cast in smaller principle roles, and said “How would you both like an upgrade?”. Thankfully, they both jumped at the chance and Joe became our wonderful “Chief” and Robert became our medicine man, “Healing Deer”!

While this was going on at base camp, Eddie Spears as “Angry Wolf”, was being thrown off his horse up on the mesa where they were shooting, and to top it off, someone ran up to me and said “The catering truck just got a flat tire and won’t be here for another hour AND they got a ticket, which you have to pay for!” For the most part, everyday was tough, due to unforeseen circumstances you encounter when shooting a Western – and still we pulled it off.

HR: What about for you, as the Female Lead “Dr. Sarah”?

LA: For me personally, it was when we were about to shoot a beautiful scene with myself, “Sequilla” my Tribal nurse assistant, played by Elaine Lockley-Smith, and the adorable children of the tribe.

I’m supposed to exit the main Tippee and turn to see the children happily run up, play with them, and then speak with “Sequilla”. But the wind and dust was whipping us and my long red hair was completely covering my face, so that I looked like “Cousin It”! Everyone was shouting to “get hair & makeup” on set to help, but they couldn’t get them from base camp in time. Our director started yelling at me, because we had to go. I went back into the tippee with Elaine and Daniel. I started crying because I had so looked forward to this scene and now it was going to be a mess and I was being yelled at. Daniel was amazingly inspiring – so I dried my tears and had to “buck up”. No matter what happens, you have to be a pro. So I went out to do this “happy” scene with Elaine and the children and still get it done in 1 – 2 takes at best. When you watch the film, thankfully, you would never know it.

HR: What was your favorite day?

LA: My favorite day started at sunset, galloping into the “Black Paw Village”, with my Co-Stars, Michael Biehn “Tom Hanner”, and Michael Spears “Broken Wing”. Though we had problems riding in, i.e. my reins broke in full gallop, and Michael Spears’ horse stumbled in a hole and almost threw him, we wound up getting the gorgeous shot we needed riding full gallop “back in time”. My mom was  watching and I saw the look of pride she had and it meant the world to me, to have her see what we had accomplished.

The scene then rolls into the evening, when an authentic  “Round Dance”, is lead by Michael Spears “Broken Wing”, with my character and Biehn’s smiling and looking on. The giant bonfire, tippees, druming, chanting, and dancing by the Native American actors, brought us all into 1880. At that moment, I truly was “Dr. Sarah” and felt her joy and love for the Tribe – I’ll never forget it and neither will anyone else!

HR: What are some of the accolades your film has received?

LA: We’ve been blessed to receive many awards so far. But first off is the “Western Heritage Awards” for which we received many “Wranglers” and is the most prestigious Western Award to honored with, in the U.S. and around the world. It is afforded by The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. We received the Awards for “Outstanding Theatrical Motion Picture”, “Best Director” – Nick Vallelonga, “Best Screenplay”, Lenore Andriel & Steve Doucette, “Best Actor” for Michael Biehn, James Russo, Lenore Andriel, Michael Spears, and Eddie Spears. We are so proud and honored to have received these beautiful, bronze, “Wranglers”. The sculpture is of an historic “Cowboy on his horse” and looks like a Remington statue. Last year’s winner was “True Grit”, and prior to that was “3:10 to Yuma”, “Unforgiven”, “Dances With Wolves” and every iconic Western you can think of for the past 50 years! We all accepted them at the museum’s gorgeous Award Ceremony, filled with 1200 attendees! When we all walked into the Black-tie event, it took our breath away, and the great people who run the entire program and museum, were truly wonderful to us! The memory of the entire weekend, will stay with all of us, always.

HR: I understand you met the late actor, Ernest Borgnine at the Western Heritage Awards ceremony.

LA: Yes, we had the honor of meeting him there and he was such a lovely, wonderful, man. Full of energy and kindness and you just couldn’t help but to adore him. We were Honorees with him and did a press conference on the panel together. He won for the television film he did. Ernie told the press how important doing “classic-style” Westerns with a message are. Telling a great story is what was important to him and to us as well. We all felt that being award winners with such an iconic Western figure as Ernest Borgnine, is a memory we’ll treasure.  So sad that he has passed away.

HR: What are some of the other honors you have received?

LA: We’ve also been greatly honored by the Red Nation Film Festival, here in Los Angeles. We were their “Opening Night Premiere” at the Simon Wiesenthal Theatre and won “Best Picture”, “Best Director”, and “Best Actor – Michael Spears” and a nomination for “Best Supporting Actor – Zahn McClarnon”. The RNFF award is a beautiful, golden statue of a Native American woman. It looks like the “Oscar” and she’s proudly displayed in my home!

We also just garnered the Lake Arrowhead Film Festival’s “Audience Award”, which is judged by your peers and the public, so we were deeply honored to receive that as well.  Additionally, we received a Nomination from the American Indian Film Festival in San Fransisco, for “Best Supporting Actor – Michael Spears”.

HR: Where will “Yellow Rock” be seen next?

LA: We’re an “Official Selection” at the Prescott Film Festival, in Prescott Arizona, August 1st -8th and will be premiering at their Performing Arts Center with 1200 seats. Then we will be premiering as an “Official Selection” at the Almeria Western Film Festival in Spain, the first week of September. So we’re looking forward to both of them!

HR: The film is about to be released soon, is that correct?

LA: Yes, it will be officially released August 7, 2012, by our Domestic Distributor Screen Media Films. Initially, it will be available on Netflix, Amazon.com, and through the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum Store. Then it goes wider throughout North America, but I’m not at liberty to say how and where yet. It is being distributed in the rest of the world, through Epic Pictures, who was just at the Cannes Film Festival, busy selling it to Europe, et al. So all those countries will all be announced shortly, as well.

HR:  Where are you from originally?

LA: I’m originally a “Jersey girl”, where I began my studies and doing theater. Then I moved to NYC, to further study acting at the Warren Robertson Acting Studio, Elaine Bovaso Studios, and many others, and to continue my stage and indie film career.

HR: What was the first thing you did when you got out here?  Were you excited or overwhelmed by Hollywood?

LA: Believe it or not, I rented a mansion on Mulholland Drive, from my hair stylist! I thought, “Oh my God! This is  an awesome way to live!” But then he came back from his   trip around the world, and I had to go down into the valley with the rest of the struggling actors! I figured it always gave me something to shoot for again! I was excited from the moment I got here and have never stopped loving California! But I’m thankful for having my roots in New York city – I studied and worked hard there and it was worth it.

HR: You’ve been a working actress for quite a few years but prior to that you were producing plays and concerts.  Tell us about that other life.

LA: I guess I started my career in very “backward” way. I found a 1920′s theatre for sale in Elizabeth, New Jersey. It was in terrible condition, but you could still see the beauty and craftsmanship from that era. It was a 3,000 seat theatre, from the days of vaudeville and loaded with potential. So a business friend of mine and I, were lucky enough to find an investor with the same vision, and turn it into a concert hall/theatre venue. The three of us oversaw complete renovation to the theatre, back to it’s original splendor and produced shows and concerts with incredible stars. We had everyone from Spyro Gyra, The Oakridge Boys, George Carlin, Ray Charles, and Charlie Daniels, to Rodney Dangerfield. I was producing at 21 years old and was the youngest and only female doing it in the country. It was an amazing time in my life, riding around in limos with these people, doing their contracts, and running the theatre with a huge staff, seven days a week.

HR: You had an interesting encounter with Dangerfield, tell us about that.

LA: When Rodney Dangerfield came in, he asked to speak to who was in charge. My staff brought me to him and he said “No, where’s your father or the guy who runs this place. I said “That’s me – I do.” He rolled his big, bulging eyes, then argued with me about how he didn’t want anyone getting up during his performance to get a drink. I argued right back with that big man towering over me – I looked like a little mouse! He finally said, “Kid, you got my respect!” We became great friends after that for years.

It was Rodney, who told me to be an actress. On show nights, prior to the curtain rising on our star act, I would go out on stage to welcome everyone and talk about upcoming shows. It was thrilling talking to 3,000 people a night and entertaining them. Rodney watched me from the wings one night, then sat me down and said “Kid, you got it, you got stage presence. You’re a natural and should get into acting, besides, you’re too emotional to be a producer!” So in some ways he was right and when I was ready, that sage advice helped me begin my journey into acting. I’ve come full circle now – producing and acting with “Yellow Rock” – it’s been a heck of ride!

HR: You mentioned “when you were ready”. Did you go right into acting after that?

 LA: No, I threw myself into studying acting first. But I needed to make a living, so I bought a white limosine from the Marshall Tucker Band, who had done a concert at my theatre. I started a company of all female drivers, myself included. I became Regis Philbin’s driver and would go out on stage with him at the start of his live shows. He’d say to the audience, “I’m sorry I’m late! My chauffer is to blame.” I’d then walk out in my white limo outfit, replete with white hat, short skirt, and matching heels, towering over Reg. The audience would always laugh and we’d do an impov together. They loved it and he likes redheads, so asked me to consider being his side-kick on his T.V. show. But I wanted to act in stage and films, which I love and went on to do.

HR: Hindsight is twenty/twenty. Looking back over your showbiz career, what would you have done different, knowing what you know now?

LA: I would have started acting sooner. It’s a long road and you have to be able to tough it out, plus it was hard hearing at 27, you’re too old to be an actor! It’s an ageist concept that I’ve never agreed with. But it is good to get the training earlier because it takes a long time to make a living at it. I also wouldn’t have let every remark and audition get to me so much. Now if I don’t get it, I just move on instead of going home crying about it. I think as actors, we have to not take ourselves and our careers so seriously and enjoy the journey more.

HR:  What have been some of your favorite projects and who have been some of your favorite people to work with?

LA: I’ve had small parts in big films, and big parts in small films, but with directors, I loved working with Marty Scorsese, Woody Allen, and the UK director Charles Jarrott. There’s such a galactic difference working with filmmakers of their magnitude. I’ve also had a great time with indie filmmakers, who have more time to work on a personal level and have deep conversations about your character. I don’t think I have a favorite project, because I’ve loved working on (most) of them. I did a film called “Jamie’s Secret”, with Paul Rudd, directed by Peter Foldy and was nominated for “Best Supporting Actress” and flew to Colorado for the Awards Ceremony, so that was fun. I did the Supporting role in “Midnight Witness”, with Maxwell Caulfield and Paul Johannson. It premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, so Maxwell, the director, and I were there to do the press and promo on it, and had a fantastic time! I also Won a “Best Actress” from Showtime’s Joe Bob Briggs for “Eyes of the Serpent”, which was a blast. I’m also the voice of several recurring roles in “World of Warcraft”. Oh! Yes, then there’s “Yellow Rock”! That’s my favorite! How could it not be?!

HR: What advice would you have for younger actors or filmmakers starting their careers?

LA: For younger actors, training is a must! I meet so many  who’ve been told they should be actors because of their looks. What they don’t realize, is that there’s a million gorgeous actors in L.A. It might get them in the door, but they’re eventually going to have to deliver. I saw it myself, when we were casting “Yellow Rock” – handsome guys would come in and everyone would get excited. Then they’d read, and there was nothing going on. They’d leave and everyone would look at each other and say “What a shame”.

I also think younger actors shouldn’t concentrate so much on becoming a “Star”. Everyone should absolutely have their dreams and hope it happens, but you have to be in love with the craft of acting, not with being a celebrity. That attitude comes through in auditions. Loving the work is what casting wants to see – it creates passion for what you’re doing, keeps you in the moment, and winds up being more rewarding in the long run.

For filmmakers starting up, I’ll pass on what I learned from a Producer at a seminar: “Make a film about what you  know about, or subject matter that you want to know about!” Then I’d add, put all your time, heart, and soul, into seeing it through. Listen to advice you get with a grain of salt, then use your instincts, and go for it. You might not make an “Award Winner” out of the gate, but at least you’ll have a voice and enjoy your path because it’s what you believe in. Just like acting, your passion for it always comes through.

HR:  Describe your perfect L.A. weekend.

LA:  Right now after completing “Yellow Rock”, it’s sleeping! But I  love to go dancing and to dinner with friends. I also spend time with my mom and watch movies. But I guess I’m also bit of a “work-a-holic”, so my partner Steve Doucette and go over “YR” stuff and the projects we’re working on for our company Enlightenment Films, which is exciting.

HR:  What do you have coming up next?

LA: “Yellow Rock” was just inducted into the Melody Ranch Museum, on display next to “Deadwood” and “Bonanza” and countless other Westerns that were shot there. We’re definitely are going back to Melody Ranch and Veluzat Motion Picture Studios to do another Western! We also have two other projects in development. One is a beautiful, medieval fantasy, which is hot right now, and the other is a suspenseful, haunting tale. I’m excited about all of them and can’t wait to start diving in!

HR: Is there a website for “Yellow Rock” and how can people contact you?

LA: Yes, it is www.yellowrockmovie.com

Our Facebook pages: www.facebook.com/yellowrockmovie, and www.facebook.com/lenoreandrielactress so folks can contact us, get updates, and follow us on Twitter too. Film festivals regarding “Yellow Rock”, can contact our Producer’s Representative, Noor Ahmed at Reder & Feig, LLP or via email to us at enlightla@yahoo.com

HR: Thanks for talking with us, Lenore.

LA: Thank you so much for having me, it was my pleasure!

Andy Griffith Dies at 86

Los Angeles: July 3, 2012

Actor Andy Griffith, who played Sheriff Andy Taylor in the fictional town of Mayberry, died Tuesday at the age of 86, his family said.

Griffith died at about 7 a.m. at his home on Roanoke Island, according to Dare County, North Carolina, Sheriff J.D. “Doug” Doughtie.

He passed away after an unspecified illness and “has been laid to rest on his beloved Roanoake Island,” his family announced in a statement.

Actor and director Ron Howard, who played Griffith’s son, Opie Taylor, on “The Andy Griffith Show,” said he is “forever grateful” to the actor.

“His pursuit of excellence and the joy he took in creating served generations & shaped my life,” Howard said on Twitter.

President Barack Obama also noted Griffith’s death, saying the actor had “warmed the hearts of Americans everywhere.”

“Celeste and Jesse” Film Premier After Party

Los Angeles: June 22, 2012

A fun time was had by all as cast members, Rashida Jones, Andy Samberg, (who arrived in a Kia) Ari Graynor, Chris Messina, Will McCormack, Rafi Gavron, director, Lee Toland Krieger; Producers, Jennifer Todd, Suzanne Todd; Sony Pictures Classics Co-President, Michael Barker all showed up at the CELESTE AND JESSE FOREVER Premiere After Party held at FigOly located in the Luxe City Center Hotel.

Other celebrity guests who were there to show support for the film included Quincy Jones and Peggy Lipton, Malik Bendjelloul (Searching for Sugar Man), Amanda Garagos (E!’s Live Countdown to the Emmy’s), band members

Director, Lee Toland Krieger

Trevor Bahnson, Ethan Glazer and Daniel Wright of Song Preservation Society, Richard Greico (21 Jump Street), Alice Amter (Big Bang Theory), Alex Lombard (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) and celebrity chef Alex Reznik of FigOly.

The evening started with some random gymnastics when young actor Rafi Gavron showed off his athletic skills, doing backflips at the press line.

As guests mingled and networked, the film’s co-writer and leading lady, Rashida Jones was spotted sharing tender moments with her parents, Quincy Jones and Peggy Lipton in the lounge.

Attendees enjoyed complimentary cocktails courtesy of Russian Standard Vodka.

CELESTE AND JESSE FOREVER opens in New York and Los Angeles on August 3rd, 2012.   Early word is that this is a great little film.  Watch this space for a full review.

Photo Credit: Todd Williamson/Invision

“War Horse” Begins Performances at Ahmanson on June 14th, 2012

West Coast Premiere of the Powerful, Tony Winning Drama Opens Friday, June 29

The National Theatre production of “War Horse” begins performances Thursday, June 14 at 8 p.m. at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre. Performances for the powerful drama will continue through July 29, 2012. Opening is set for June 29.

The National Theatre’s epic “War Horse” is the winner of five 2011 Tony® Awards including Best Play. Michael Morpurgo’s novel “War Horse” is also the inspiration for Steven Spielberg’s feature film of the same name, which has garnered six Oscar nominations including Best Picture.

Hailed by The New York Times as “theatrical magic,” “War Horse” is the powerful story of young Albert’s beloved horse, Joey, who has been enlisted to fight for the English in World War I. In a tale the New York Daily News calls “spellbinding, by turns epic and intimate,” Joey is caught in enemy crossfire and ends up serving both sides of the war before landing in no man’s land. Albert, not old enough to enlist, embarks on a treacherous mission to find his horse and bring him home. What follows is a remarkable tale of courage, loyalty and friendship, filled with stirring music and songs and told with the some of the most innovative stagecraft of our time.

Actress Carolyn Lawrence: A Life by Design

CAROLYN LAWRENCE is an actress, realtor and self proclaimed construction junkie.  She is best known as the voices behind some of television’s most popular animated characters.  She currently stars on Nickelodeon’s hit Sponge Bob Squarepants (Sandy Cheeks), The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron (Cindy Vortex) as well as the much loved dark comedy Moral Orel (Orel Puppington) for Adult Swim.

When she isn’t busy recording, running to and from auditions, showing homes or being a Mom, you can find her deep in the throws of a renovation project somewhere. Big or small she loves them all. Her specialty being in reconfiguring spaces.  Carolyn has the talent to see past walls and create a space that actually works for the individual home. Since she was a child she has built things, apprenticed with her Father, and taken design and landscape classes.

Some of her proudest renovations projects so far are a kitchen addition and a “studs up” renovation on a little one bedroom house in need of love.  The success she brings to her voice over characters, Carolyn brings to renovation projects of friends and clients to help turn their dreams into reality.

We caught up with her recently to ask about her various projects.

Hollywood Revealed:  Hi, Carolyn.  Tell us how you got involved in design work?

Carolyn Lawrence:  My work in design started early in life. I used to build homes out of cardboard boxes and used Pringles cans as the pillars when I was a kid. My dad introduced me to construction as his “apprentice.” My dad was one of those amazing people who could build anything.  Years later after going through a divorce I decided to take my love of design and see if I had any real abilities so I took an interior design course at a local community college and I was hooked.  Since then I’ve taken every free course in landscaping or design that I could find. Luckily I live in a city that offers a lot in the way of free education.  As I started buying and renovating my own homes people took notice and began asking me for help with their projects and I have been able to build on it from there.

Bathroom Before

Bathroom After

HR: So why the change from voice over actress?

Carolyn Lawrence:  There hasn’t really been a change.  I am very lucky to continue to work as an actress on many shows.  It’s been a blessing to get to the point where I am able to pursue both passions at the same time.

HR: How are you incorporating your new real estate license?

Carolyn Lawrence:  I finally got my real estate license because I was basically finding homes for my friends anyway just not getting paid for it.  Now I am able to find someone a home and share my vision for how to make it they’re dream home. Everything has come full circle.  My dream is to buy, renovate and sell a home as a full package experience for my clients.

HR: Tell us about the pilot you recently shot with Tri-con productions?

Carolyn Lawrence:  We shot a pilot based around my life. It revolves around the current renovation of my own home while living with my mom and raising my one-year-old daughter.  I also have three dogs and a cat so the chaos makes for good TV.

HR: So how did this acting background help with design and real estate investing?

Carolyn Lawrence:  Oddly enough the careers are similar.  Both acting and real estate are basically small businesses.  If you have experience running a small business it’s easy to apply those skills to a new field.  With my passion for creating it doesn’t matter in what genre I work as long as I’m creative I’m happy.

Living Room Before

Living Room After

HR: What is your vision of this business?

Carolyn Lawrence:  My hopes are to become a one-stop shop for people to create their dream homes.  Within the business we also hope to empower people to go after their dreams.  A good example is supporting other small businesses by finding ways to work together.

HR: And what about your business partner Becky Richards?  What is her background?

Carolyn Lawrence:  Becky has a professional marketing; commercial property management; and relocation background.  We started off and realtor and client.  After closing several deals together it was a natural progression to partner up in this new venture.  She has a vast knowledge in the business and I continue to learn from her everyday.

Kitchen Before

Kitchen After

HR: So being in partnership with Becky helpful to you.

Carolyn Lawrence:  Very much so.  We have different styles of working and bring different talents to the table but we do have a very similar work ethic.  That is what makes this a good partnership.

HR: What do you offer clients that is different from the mainstream?

Carolyn Lawrence:  In this day and age of technology and I hate to say it…. selfishness.  We are trying to bring good old-fashioned customer service to our clients. We truly want what’s best for them not just to close a deal.  We also are very creative thinkers.  If a situation arises we go to great lengths to think outside the box and find a solution.

Evergreen Backyard Before

Evergreen Backyard After

HR: So in what capacity can someone hire you?

Carolyn Lawrence:  They can hire us a just their realtors or we can take a larger role and help facilitate their renovations.  We’ve also worked as project managers over seeing renovations. Whatever the client’s needs we are open to talking about how to help.

HR: Give a little background in the renovation project in which the pictures are provided?

Carolyn Lawrence:  The photos above are from a house that was built in the 1940’s. I knew it was the perfect layout to make into a more modern California living type home.  The existing LR had a fireplace that completely blocked not only the view of the backyard but all the sunlight. I moved the fireplace so that we could install a large set of doors therefore opening up the room to the yard and flooding the whole house with sunlight.  We also raised the roof up to the rafters to give it volume.  One of the coolest happy accidents was running out of renovation money caused me to stain the existing concrete floors. It turned out to be one of the biggest highlights of the home.

This is the same 1940’s home I spoke of above.  The original kitchen was the size of today’s laundry rooms.  I knew something had to be done. So I added an addition to the empty space between the existing kitchen and detached two-car garage that was about 20 feel away.  I never seem to have enough storage space so my goal was to get as many cabinets into the space as possible. We ran them all the way across the entire space into the dining room.  This is a great example of using inexpensive IKEA cabinets but installing them in a way that feels custom.  The money that we saved on the cabinets we were able to put into installing higher end flooring, appliances and countertops.

 HR: Thanks for chatting with us, Carolyn.  Tell us how can people contact you or Becky?

Carolyn Lawrence: Best way is through our new website: www.lawrenceandrichards.com

You can click on the pictures above to enlarge.

Terminator 3 Actor Nick Stahl Missing

TMZ reported today that 32-year-old actor, NICK STAHL, has been reported missing.  Stahl began his acting career in the Mel Gibson 1993 film, “The Man Without A Face,” but was perhaps best know for leading roles in”Terminator 3″ and the Showtime series, “Carnivale.”

According to the missing-persons police report the actor’s wife, Rose Murphy, filed with the Los Angeles Police Department at 10 a.m. on Monday, Stahl was last seen in Los Angeles’ run-down Skid Row district on May 9,

Stahl’s career spans more than 20 years and also includes roles in movies as varied as “The Thin Red Line,” “Sin City” and “In The Bedroom.”

Stahl married Murphy in June 2009; the couple have a two-year-old daughter, Marlo. In February, Murphy reportedly filed for court papers asking to limit that amount of time Stahl could spend with their daughter, saying that the couple had been separated since January.

Actress/Producer Kim Poirier Tells All

Los Angeles: May 10, 2012

Kim Poirier is a Canadian actress who was last seen in the TV Land sitcom, “The Exes” and is currently doing the festival circuit with her new feature film, “Awaken.”  She is also involved with hosting duties on the website Pop Galaxy.  We caught up with the busy Miss Poirier to chat about the myriads of projects she has going on.

Hollywood Revealed: Hi, Kim.  Tell us about Pop Galaxy:

Kim Poirier: Pop Galaxy (www.popgalaxy.com ) is an interactive destination site that specializes in the entertainment industry.  We have everything from film and television news, on set reporting for films we are producing in-house, interviews, coverage on events, updates on new emerging technology, new comics, ebooks, video games, and we are also going to be hosting original content that we will shooting with the Studio W production team.

HR: How did you get involved?

KP: Studio W and Moving Pictures Media Group (the production company I have been working with) have a strategic partnership wherein they specialize in e-commerce and digital distribution through the various ancillary markets and the companies they own (Wowio – ebooks, and The Duck – ecomics), and we are the film production side of the operation.  I realized that Pop Galaxy didn’t have a host for all their content so I pitched the idea of being the face/liaison of sorts for all matters Studio W and MPMG.  I would connect the dots and present the material through Pop Galaxy.

HR: What kind of response has the site had?

KP: We are currently building the foundation for the site and integrating all the elements.  So far, it’s been a great tool and has had positive feedback all around.  We are working towards making it fan driven and it’s proving to be a viable asset for all companies involved.  We are currently teaming up with other various partners.  I’ll keep you posted on that!

HR: Where are you from originally?

KP: I was born in Quebec (Canada), and then moved to Toronto when I was two years old, then lived in Vancouver for about a year and a half, and now I’ve been in Los Angeles for almost three years now.

HR: How did you get started in the entertainment world?
My mother got me into commercials and modeling when I was a little kid.  I did 30 commercials growing up and tons of catalogue work.  My mom was even in a movie when she was 9 months pregnant with me.  So you can say I started early.

HR: What was your first strong role?

KP: That’s a strong tie between the feature film “Decoys” and my series regular role on “Paradise Falls”.  “Paradise Fall” was my first big role other then actor roles (under 5 lines) and we shot for 6 months.  We were shooting 10-15 pages a day so education wise, it was the best training I could have ever gotten with the hands-on experience.  I learned so much during that time.  It really shaped me.  But then with “Decoys”, it was my first lead in a feature so there was this level of responsibility that I felt that was different then being in an ensemble cast (there was still a responsibility in PF just in a different way – I wasn’t carrying the show).  We were shooting out of town for two months and I just jumped into it full fledged.  There was a real synergy between my leading man, Elias Toufexis, the director, Matt Hastings and myself.  There were some “magic” moments so to speak during that time.  It was also a huge discovery for me as an artist as to the range and depth I didn’t know existed within.

HR: Tell us about the other two films you have in the can?

KP: Just this past week, “Awaken”, premiered at the Newport Beach Film Festival.

HR: What’s the film about?

KP: It’s a fantasy romance wherein a man is deeply struck by a first encounter with this woman he meets in a coffee shop only to be tragically hit by a car moments after.  When he goes to bed that night, he has a vivid dream about her and continues to have this ongoing relationship through his dreams–all the while, she is in a coma and they are having this love affair through a different realm.  Another film I’m working on, it’s not quite in the can, but it’s a fully packaged and developed project and we are getting ready to start shooting it shortly

HR: What’s that one called?

KP: “Mad Mex.”  It’s a mockumentary in the vain of Christopher Guest’s work (A Mighty Windy, Best In Show, This Is Spinal Tap) about a famous movie star/Mexican wrestler/rap star who obliviously walks into success after success (meanwhile possessing no real talent) and at the height of his career, mysteriously disappears.  It’s sort of a satirical view on perceptions, and a play on the old tale of “The Emperor’s Clothes”.  The script is very much highbrow humor and has you experiencing ‘light bulb moments’ after the read.

HR: How did you make the transition to producing and why?

KP: I was cast in a film that was set to shoot at a specific date and they kept pushing it later and later.  I then discovered it was because they were short 2.5 million.  I was so passionate about this film, that I took the initiative the find the money.  It was like opening up a can of worms!  I started networking, meeting other creative types, various investors–a whole new world opened up to me, and life just started to fall into place in a synchronistic manner.  I had a short film I worked on back in 2006 that was at the Cannes Film Festival and I started working with their production team. That was my first taste.  Since I’ve been in Los Angeles, I’ve saddled up the Moving Pictures Media Group team ( www.movingpicturesmediagroup.com ) and haven’t looked back. I’m very fortunate to be surrounded by so many industry veterans and professionals

HR: What was the first thing you did when you arrived in Los Angeles?

KP: I went to a Tiger City concert that night! I’m a huge fan of the band so it was a real treat.

HR: What advice do you have for other Canadians looking to make the move down here?

KP: Network network network!  I would suggest having your agent/manager from Canada to set up some meetings with managers in Los Angeles and then take a trip out to meet them.  Get a sense of the city and where you might want to move. Get lawyer-ed up (if you can afford it and work appropriate) and start the process of filing for an O-1 Visa.  Once you find a good match with a manger out here, they can start submitting you and help you find an agent if need be.  Having a good team representing you is very important.  They especially need to know what the “sale” is – they need to know how to market you and how to submit you for the right roles.  Another big portion of it is confidence.  When you feel good in your skin, you will resonate that and start attracting opportunities.  It’s also a BIG city so it may take a while to get going (this is where your confidence will come in handy).  Once you are here, get out there and be seen.  Take meetings, go to events, meet new people, connect with other Canadians out here, share stories from the trenches, and keep at it!  Training is also essential; you want to ensure you are consistently in a state of preparedness cause you never know when opportunities will knock.

HR: Describe your perfect L.A. weekend?

KP: On a Saturday, sleeping in and going for a run with my boyfriend and the dog at Runyon Canyon, making brunch, going out and seeing a movie, getting some dinner and just chillaxing.  On Sunday, doing some early morning yoga, meeting a friend for lunch and going for a walk, catch up with all my Canadian friends via phone, and then reading a book. Sometimes Sundays can be filled with errands though…who am I kidding!

HR: Thanks for talking with us.

Contact Kim at:kp@movingpicturesmg.com


John Travolta Sued for Sexual Assult by Male Masseuse

Los Angeles: May 7, 2012

An anonymous  male masseuse, identified only has “John Doe” has filed a $2 million lawsuit against John Travolta, TMZ reports.  The suit alleges that a naked and “semi-erect” Travolta offered a “reverse massage” and touched the masseuse’s penis and testicles during a session at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

The suit claims Travolta described Hollywood as “controlled by homosexual Jewish men who expect favors in return for sexual activity.”

A rep for Travolta has shot down the allegations and strongly denied all claims made by the anonymous man.

“This lawsuit is a complete fiction and fabrication,” Travolta’s rep said. “None of the events claimed in the suit ever occurred. The plaintiff, who refuses to give their name, knows that the suit is a baseless lie. It is for that reason that the plaintiff hasn’t been identified with a name even though it is required to do so.

“On the date when plaintiff claims John met him, John was not in California and it can be proved that he was on the East Coast,” the statement continued. “[The] plaintiff’s attorney has filed this suit to try and get his 15 minutes of fame. John intends to get this case thrown out and then he will sue the attorney and plaintiff for malicious prosecution.”

Travolta has been the subject of numerous gay rumors throughout his career.

7th Heaven Star, Stephen Collins and Wife to Divorce

Los Angles: May 7, 2012

E Online reports that one of TV’s most famous dads and his real-life wife are calling it quits.

STEPHEN COLLINS, former star of 7th Heaven, told E! News in a statement Monday that he and wife FAYE GRANT “are moving forward separately in our lives.”

“She has been my dearest friend and a loving mother,” said Collins, 64 . “I know that we’ll go through this process in a way that honors our family.”

He and Grant married in April 1985 and are parents to a daughter, Kate.

Meanwhile, no one sounds more surprised than a very tired Grant about what happened.

“Stephen’s filing for divorce is a surprise. I am devastated,” she tells E! News. “I wish him the very best in whatever path he chooses to take. Twenty-seven years of marriage inHollywood is the equivalent of 189 dog years. I was exhausted.”

In addition to Collins’ starring role as the Rev. Eric Camden on 7th Heaven from 1996 to 2007, Collins appeared on Brothers & Sisters, Private Practice, The Three Stooges and The Office.

Grant, 54, is an actress who starred on ABC’s V and played Tattie McKee in State of Grace from 2001 to 2002.


The Academy is Going to the Dogs

May 4, 2012

Beverly Hills, CA – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will celebrate canine stardom with “Hollywood Dogs: From Rin Tin Tin to Uggie” on Wednesday, June 6, at 7:30 p.m. at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The evening will feature Susan Orlean, author of Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend, animal trainers Sarah Clifford and Omar von Muller sharing behind-the-scenes secrets, and a screening of “Clash of the Wolves” (1925), starring Rin Tin Tin, with live musical accompaniment by Michael Mortilla.

“Man’s best friend” has gotten a wonderful publicity boost from the movies. Canine cinema mythology has enhanced human appreciation of the dog’s loyalty, heroism, humor and intelligence from the earliest days of film with such immediate audience favorites as “Rescued by Rover” (1905) and “The Whole Dam Family and the Dam Dog” (1905).

More than any other four-legged actor, the dog has achieved a unique stardom with such long-lasting box office stars as Strongheart, Teddy, Lassie, Pete the Pup, Benji and particularly Rin Tin Tin. The original Rinty (there would be several over the years) was rescued in Germany during World War I by a U.S. soldier, and with his molding for Hollywood stardom, Rinty became one of the biggest box office draws of the late 1920s. The popularity of Rinty’s films would practically underwrite a struggling studio known as Warner Bros. and afford a young writer named Darryl F. Zanuck some of his earliest success.

Tickets for “Hollywood Dogs” are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID, and may be purchased online at www.oscars.org, in person at the Academy box office, or by mail. The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Ticketed seating is unreserved. For more information, call (310) 247-3600 or visit www.oscars.org.

Marty Elcan and Bob Hiltermann see the Signs

May, 2, 2012

Marty Elcan is a Hollywood-based Director with over 25 years of production experience, who has worked on numerous movies and television shows.  She’s always been fascinated by American Sign Language, which led her to her latest project “Shut Up and Sign.”  We caught up with Marty recently and asked her about this new venture.

Hollywood Revealed: Tell us how you got involved in Sign Language?

Marty Elcan: I was in the International singing group “Up With People” right after high school and a small group of us went to a deaf school to entertain the kids. I’m not quite sure about the logic of a singing group going to a deaf school, but the kids were so radiant and enthusiastic about us being there, and they taught us some of their songs in Sign Language. I was hooked. I studied it for a brief time many, many years ago, and then got too busy to continue it when I started working in the film industry.

HR: So what got you interested again?

Marty Elcan: I had the opportunity to work with actress Marlee Matlin on two different projects and though she was so appreciative of my efforts to communicate with her directly instead of an interpreter, I realized how rusty I was. A couple of years ago, I was “between assignments” as we say, and I decided to take a brush up class. That turned out to be a career-expanding decision!

HR: How so?

Marty Elcan:When I first entered Bob Hiltermann’s ASL (American Sign Language) class, I wondered if I had walked into an improv performance. The students were laughing out loud at the teacher’s antics, and were so fascinated by this crazy animated teacher that they all enthusiastically echoed

Marty Elcan

the signs he was teaching. A natural comedian, he made learning fun.At the beginning of some of the classes, Bob occasionally played 30-minute clips of several different Sign Language series currently on the market. Compared to Bob’s teaching style, these were deadly stodgy and boring, and almost unwatchable, so a light bulb went off. I talked to Bob about collaborating on a new Sign Language series that could incorporate his entertaining style, and he was immediately on board.

HR: Had Bob ever done anything like this before?

Marty Elcan: Well, as it turned out, besides being a teacher, Bob’s also an actor. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. He played Orin in the movie “Children of a Lesser God,” then he did another project with Marlee Matlin — the Hallmark movie “Bridge to Silence.” From there, he had a recurring role for a year on “All My Children,” a guest-starring stint on “Cold Cases,” a role in “The Hammer,” and he is one of four stars in the much acclaimed documentary “See What I’m Saying.” He’s also the drummer for the world’s only all-deaf band “Beethoven’s Nightmare” which is now well-known around the world, and he’s currently performing in the Deaf West Theater production of “Cyrano.”

HR: So how did this acting background help with Sign Language?

Marty Elcan: We set out to make learning Sign Language FUN, and with Bob, no idea was too zany to explore. We wanted a series that would teach with humor. He teaches the signs in a clear way, but we also developed a wide array of characters doing skits to reinforce the lessons, and all of those characters are played by Bob. Somewhere along the way, we decided to do a song in Sign Language for each of the dvd “episodes” and those have turned into full music video productions. In one of them, Bob plays nine characters, all floating on clouds.

HR: It’s one thing to get the idea for something like this, but another to get it made. How did you know how to do that?

Marty Elcan: I’ve worked in the Film and Television production for over 25 years. As an Assistant Director, I worked with Elizabeth Taylor, Sid Caesar, Milton Berle, Shirley MacLaine, Julia Roberts, Kevin Costner, Brad Pitt, Walter Matthau, Carol Burnett… on shows such as “Steel Magnolias,” “Driving Miss Daisy,” “Mystic Pizza,” “Amazing Stories,” “Six Feet Under, “Inherit the Wind” (with George C. Scott and Jack Lemmon).  I’ve had the good fortune to work with and learn from such directors as Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Bruce Beresford, Dan Petrie and Clint Eastwood. Several years ago, I started directing, and with 4 award-winning shorts and a mixture of other projects under my belt, I got to direct my first feature film “Next of Kin.”

HR: And Bob? What’s his background?

Marty Elcan: Wow. Interesting story!  He grew up in Germany. He was the tenth child of eleven. Bob was born hearing, but he had only recently discovered that he became deaf at the age of four when he had spinal meningitis. Shortly thereafter, when he was six, his family moved to Canada. Between moving to a new country and adjusting to a different life, and eleven children to care for, Bob’s parents didn’t realize Bob was deaf!!! They just thought he was “slow.” Keep in mind that not only couldn’t he hear, but everyone was now talking in a new language he didn’t know. His family just assumed he had learning disabilities. Bob wondered so himself, because he could see others communicate so easily, and it was so hard for him. It wasn’t until he was ten years old that a hearing test showed he was deaf. But by now, his family had grown accustomed to treating him as if he were mentally challenged. Knowing how smart he is, I can only imagine how frustrating this time was for him. He says his memories from the ages of ten to seventeen are far from happy.  When he was 17, a counselor suggested he go to Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. There, he was first introduced to Sign Language and it changed his life. I think that’s why it’s so important to him now to share the joy of Sign Language with others.

HR: Is this series for children only?

Marty Elcan: No, not at all. The series is for anyone “from age 8 to 108.” We heard about a nine-year old addicted to video-games who watched the series and now he goes for days without talking – only signing. He’s trying to get Sign Language taught at his school! Then another customer in his sixties told us he owns every Sign Language series out there and this is the only one that clicked – he says it’s the best and most entertaining series on the market. By the way, for anyone who already knows basic Signs, we also have three “Reading Fingerspelling” practice DVDs (Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced) that are each about an hour of finger-spelled words and great reading practice.

HR: So how can someone get the DVDs?

Marty Elcan: Thanks for asking!!!  Click HERE   There’s a big sale going on right now!

You can also email Marty c/o info@shutupandsign.com

Gene Kelly to be Honored by Academy

May, 2, 2012

Beverly Hills, CA – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present a two-night celebration of the life and career of legendary dancer, director and choreographer Gene Kelly on the 100th anniversary of his birth. Film clips, personal remembrances and an exploration of the technology Kelly used to change the look of dance on film will be featured on consecutive evenings: Thursday, May 17, at 7:30 p.m. at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, and Friday, May 18, at 7:30 p.m. at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood. Both programs will be hosted by Kelly’s widow, film historian Patricia Ward Kelly.

Kelly is perhaps best known for his remarkable dancing, but his talents extended to many different aspects of filmmaking. His work behind the camera, as an innovative director and choreographer, has had a lasting influence on the way that dance is filmed. On screen, he was the proverbial triple-threat as an actor and singer as well as a dancer.

“A Centennial Tribute to Gene Kelly” on May 17 will showcase Kelly’s charisma and creativity, his unique use of props (mops, sheets of newspaper, roller skates) and environments (a rain-drenched street, a creaky old barn), and his extraordinary athleticism in films like “Living in a Big Way” and “The Pirate.” His beloved classics “An American in Paris” and “Singin’ in the Rain” will be discussed along with later directorial efforts such as “Invitation to the Dance” and “Hello, Dolly!”, with insightful commentary on Kelly’s creative process.

“Gene Kelly: Choreography and the Camera” on May 18, presented by the Academy’s Science and Technology Council, will take a more in-depth look at how Kelly’s contributions helped change the look of dance on film. Even during the height of his career, Kelly frequently encountered technical barriers and studio resistance in his efforts to build dance numbers into the structure of film and bring the dance, quite literally, into the streets. The program will discuss how he overcame those obstacles and will also explore the innovative ways that he used cinematography, animation and sound to create some of his most iconic scenes.

In 1951 the Academy presented Kelly with an Honorary Award (an Oscar statuette) for “his versatility as an actor, singer, director and dancer, and specifically for his brilliant achievements in the art of choreography on film.” Kelly had previously received a Best Actor nomination for his role in “Anchors Aweigh” (1945).

Tickets to “A Centennial Tribute to Gene Kelly” and “Gene Kelly: Choreography and the Camera” are available for purchase. Tickets for each evening are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID, and may be purchased by mail, at the Academy box office (8949 Wilshire Boulevard, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), or online at www.oscars.org. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Ticketed seating is unreserved. In the event that tickets are sold out, a standby line will form on the day of the event, and names will be taken when the Box Office opens at 5 p.m.

The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at the 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. The Linwood Dunn Theater is located at 1313 Vine Street in Hollywood.

The Heiress is a Perfectly Nuanced Production

by Peter Foldy

April 29, 2012

A well crafted, finely acted production of THE HEIRESS by Ruth and Augustus Goetz opened tonight at the Pasadena playhouse.  Directed by DÁMASO RODRIGUEZ , the story deals with Catherine Sloper (HEATHER TOM) who stands to inherit a fortune from her ailing physician father (RICHARD CHAMBERLAIN).

A plain-looking, shy young woman, Catherine lives a quiet life under her father’s cold-hearted scrutiny.  Though he says he cares for her, he considers her plain and uninteresting.  Dr. Roper even blames his daughter for the death of his beloved wife who passed away during childbirth.

When an opportunistic young suitor, Morris Townsend, (STEVE COOMBS) comes calling, the good doctor is certain that the penniless young man has proposed marriage in order to get his hands on Catherine’s inheritance.  And this he he won’t stand for.

Catherine is too much in love to pay much attention to her father’s protests.  Though Morris is indeed the first man to ever pay attention to her, she agrees to a cooling off period by joining her father on his up-coming trip to Europe.

After a slightly slow set up the story compellingly comes to a head upon Catherine and the doctor’s return to New York.  Before long the young woman realizes that she is more like her father than she would ever dare admit. From here the production smoothly brings the drama to it’s psychologically nuanced and heartbreaking conclusion with no one ultimately ending up a winner.

Director Rodriguez has done an excellent job here and has managed to find the perfect cast for this play. Chamberlain is powerful as the malevolent doctor who schemes to keep his daughter in line. He is the backbone of the production.

Steve Coombs as Morris Townsend hits all the right notes as the young man whose true intentions are not immediately clear. Even when his cards would seem to be on the table, Morris plays his best hand to hold onto the prize.

JULIA DUFFY is a strong presence as Catherine’s aunt–but it is Heather Tom as Catherine who has the strongest arc in terms of both story and performance.  Starting out as a respectful, soft-spoken introvert, Ms. Tom slowly reveals Catherine’s hidden power and determination as she challenges and eventually outsmarts both the men in her life.

The scenic design by JOHN IACOVELLI deserve a special mention. It is stunning and highly effective. It almost feels like a set from an old Hollywood movie.

Costumes by LEAH PIEHL are impressive. Lighting design by BRIAN GALE helps set the perfect mood.

THE HEIRESS runs till May 20th.  It is a production that is well worth seeing.

More info HERE:

American Idiot’s National Tour Delivers

Review by Peter Foldy

From the moment the curtain opens, “American Idiot,” wrapping up a successful run at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go. It’s a jaw dropping moment as the cast explode onto the dazzling set fueled with high octane and youthful exuberance singing, “don’t want to be an American idiot,” with an energy that is sustained throughout the entire production.

Based on a successful concept album by punk rock band, Green Day, the story deals with three disaffected young men, Johnny (Van Hughes), Tunny (Scott J. Campbell) and Will (Jake Epstein) who try to bail from the restraints of suburbia and head for the city to search for direction and perhaps a chance to express themselves. Maybe to make their voices heard.

The action takes place in a turbulent post 9/11 America and as we all remember, they were confusing and uncertain times.

Our characters certainly think so.  Tunny quickly grows disenchanted with the city and gravitates toward the military. Will stay home to work on his relationship with his soon to be pregnant girlfriend while Johnny dives into his new life with wild abandon, first falling in lust and later almost drowning as an addiction to heroin threatens to ruin his life.

As their individual stories unfold we are treated to episodes of passion, rage, humor more rage and sensual flying dreams, all loosely bound together by a series of short dispatches Johnny conveys to his mother back in the suburbs.

The music in this show is exceptional, the performers highly gifted. Every last person in the cast of twenty get their moment to shine, even the excellent band members who are on stage the entire time. But it is Van Hughes as “Johnny” who revs the engine and firmly grabs the wheels of this fast moving vehicle. His quirky, sweet, offbeat personality, even when he is high on heroin, is never short of compelling.  Sometimes you want to smack him, but mostly you want to give him a hug and say, hang in there buddy.  It’s gonna be okay.

Gabrielle McClinton as Johnny’s girl friend, “Whatsername” tries to do just that.  She is a grounding, soothing character that balances the manic Johnny’s lust for life, taming him briefly with her body and joining him in his experimentation with drugs.

Yet one of the most moving arcs is that of Tunny who returns from war a wounded soldier, both emotionally and physically. He is a boy who has grown to be a man and is finally able to find love, ending up the only character that does.

Scott J. Campbell wears his heart on his sleeve, even when he tries to be brave. Campbell’s performance is both touching and heartbreaking.

The choreography in the show is kinetic and jerky but so perfect and so much fun to watch.  I found myself saying how do they do that?  Steven Hoggett has done an excellent job here.

And then there is the aforementioned set. It is a maze of windows and doors, graffiti and flat screen televisions, playing cryptic images and messages that are woven into the fabric of the show.  It is impressive.  So are the flying sequences between Campbell and his nurse and later his love interest, a talented Nicci Claspell.

“American Idiot” truly rocks.  Not since “Hair” in the late sixties has a musical been this innovative, this fresh while still managing to touch your heart.

Directed by Michael Mayer, “American Idiot” has a few more days left in L.A. so there is still some time, though probably only a few tickets.

They do hold a lottery for a number of front row seats at a cost of only $30.00.  Get there at least an hour and a half before the show to register.   This is one “Idiot” that is well worth the effort.

Screenwriter Joe Eszterhas Accuses Mel Gibson of Hating Jews

Los Angeles: April 11, 2012

TheWrap.com has revelead that Hollywood screenwriter Joe Eszterhas is accusing actor, Mel Gibson, his recent collaborator on a movie about Jewish revolt, of “hating Jews” and using him to deflect his anti-Semitic reputation.

In an explosive nine-page letter to Gibson obtained by TheWrap, the screenwriter wrote that the director of “The Passion of the Christ” never intended to make the movie about Jewish heroism, called “The Maccabees.”

Read the full article HERE.

SAG and AFTRA Will Merge

Los Angeles: March 30, 2012

The Screen Actor’s Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists will merge into one union.

SAG President, Ken Howard announced that 82% of SAG members approved the merger while 86% of AFTRA members voted to approve.

SAG-AFTRA is born.

Weinstein Co. to Release “Bully” Without MPAA Rating

Los Angeles: March 27, 2012

The Weinstein Company have rejected the “R” rating their film “Bully” received from The Motion Picture Association of America.  The documentary lands in theaters on March 30 without a rating, leaving the decision to show the film in the hands of individual movie theaters.

“It’s up to theaters to let them [young people] in,” said filmmaker Lee Hirsch.

The MPAA gave the “Bully” an R rating for language and declined to change it when the Weinstein Co. appealed.

John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theatre Owners, told the Weinstein Co. that releasing the film unrated could result in theaters treating the teen-focused documentary as an NC-17 film, which means no one 17 and under can be admitted.

Stephen Bruno, president of marketing for the Weinstein Co, isn’t too concerned.

“We believe theater owners everywhere will step up and do what’s right for the benefit of all of the children out there who have been bullied or may have otherwise become bullies themselves,” Bruno said Monday, adding that the company plans to make the film available to teachers, parents and students nationwide.

Hirsch said he declined to edit the documentary’s offensive language because it would diminish the painful reality of bullying.

Renée George Talks About “The Artist” and “Le Petit Nuage”

Los Angeles: April 24, 2012

Renée George is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker who is also an experienced lighting professional in Hollywood. She studied photography and film and holds a BFA in Media Arts from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and attended the Graduate Film program at New York University. After working on the Academy Award winning film, The Artist” she wrote and directed an impressive short film called “Le Petit Nuage” and is now transitioning to feature-length projects. We caught up with the filmmaker and asked her about her life and career.

HR: What was your job on “The Artist?”
RG:I worked in the lighting department as a Best Boy. I was so inspired by the sets and costumes, the wonderful direction by Michel Hazanavicius, and performances by Bérénice Bejo and Jean Dujardin, that I decided to make a “response” film, my own black and white, silent film. The French had come to the U.S. to make a film about love in Hollywood with an American crew. I traveled to France to make a film about love in Paris with a French crew.

HR: How long did it take to put your project together?
RG: The idea started to form on the set of “The Artist.” I thought about exploring the concept of two people meeting in a cafe in Paris, struck by love at first sight, and what happens to them afterwards. I didn’t decide to actually shoot the film until I was on the beach in Cannes just after watching “The Artist” go from out-of-competition to in-competition. The screening with a twenty-minute standing ovation was awe-inspiring! It was a fantastic celebration of the art form. I decided then and there – with some goading from my friend from Berlin – to stay a week longer and film “Le Petit Nuage” in Paris. I asked Isabel Ribis, the French script supervisor from “The Artist,” if she knew a cinematographer in Paris. She referred me to a friend who was already in Cannes. Twenty minutes later, I was talking to Stella Libert, cinematographer extraordinaire, who agreed to work with me on my project.

HR: How did you find the cast?
RG: Just after Stella said yes, I met with Sarah Demeestère, my lead actress, in Cannes, though she was not yet my lead actress at that time. I had met her before leaving Los Angeles at a movie screening from a French Conversational meetup group. She’s an actor/director, her film screened during the meetup and she speaks both French and English so I thought it would be interesting to check out her film. Her film was wonderful and we became friends. She told me to contact her once I arrived at Cannes, which I did shortly after meeting with Stella.

At Cannes, I asked Sarah to play the female lead in my film, and she said yes. Knowing I didn’t have time to do a proper casting with only one week of pre-production, I asked her if she knew any male actors for the lead role. She showed me some of her actor friends on Facebook and there was one in particular who seemed perfect – Joffrey Platel. She arranged a meeting the next evening in Paris. We met, he said yes, and invited me to see him in a theatre play two days later. I brought Stella with me so she could meet him and watch his performance. Onstage with Joffrey was Sébastien Pierre, another actor who seemed perfect for the role of the waiter, as his comedic talents were obvious. After the performance there was a soirée for the cast and crew across the street and I asked Sébastien if he would play the waiter and he said yes. Then we just needed the little dog. As I was discussing this point with Joffrey a female friend of his walked up with a little dog! The film was successfully cast in three days.

HR: The music in the film is beautiful. Who created it?
RG: I co-composed the original score with Robert Casal. Robert is an amazing talent, and a wonderful collaborator. I am not a classically trained musician – I sang melody lines and Robert would transcribe them into sheet music. He also wrote parts on the keyboard. It was a wonderful experience; one of the most enjoyable moments of my life.

In a twist of fate, after shooting my film in Paris I was in the Charles DeGaulle airport waiting to board my flight when I saw a familiar man carrying an instrument case on his back. After wracking my brain, I realized who it was – none other than Gautier Capuçon, the famous French cellist and international concert soloist standing in line to board the same plane! I hurriedly scribbled a note in French to ask him if he would play on my soundtrack. Miracle of miracles it actually happened. Robert and I flew to Washington D.C. to record him with the Argentinean bandoneonist Emmanuel Trifilio before Gautier’s performance at Kennedy Center.

HR: Tell us about your background in film?
RG: I started out studying photography and then film at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. I have a BFA in Media Arts from that school. I also studied at NYU’s Graduate film program in New York. I have worked in the industry as a union lighting technician for many years. As far as music goes, I used to play and record in bands, Tetes Noires, who toured and recorded three albums one on Rounder Records, and Big Lucy who played locally in Los Angeles and recorded a seven inch.

HR: How did you land the job on “The Artist”?
RG: Two wonderful men named Jim Plannette and Joseph Capshaw gave me the opportunity. Both Jim and Joseph are incredibly talented Gaffers (Chief Lighting Technicians) and I learned so much from them. Their vision for lighting is so clear and so confident. Jim is a huge film buff and loves movies more than anyone else I know. The French were quite lucky to have them working on the film. The depth of experience both of those men brought to the table really shows in how beautiful the lighting is in “The Artist.” Jim did “Young Frankenstein,” “E.T.,” “Oceans 11” and many more. Working on “The Artist” really changed my life. It turned out to be an incredible opportunity.

HR: Did you have any idea the film would be this successful while you were working on it?
RG: I really did feel something special. I felt like the ghosts of Hollywood were there with us, supporting us, all around us all the time. I could feel them. We were shooting in the houses and all the places where they used to work. It was very special. I also bought my ticket to Cannes in November, before the film was finished shooting. I had heard a rumor that they might take the film there, and somehow I knew they would, although Michel the director wasn’t sure at that time if they would have the film finished in time to submit it. I told him “oh of course you will…”. And they did!

HR: What was the set like on The Artist? Calm or crazy?
RG: The set on the artist was quite lively. Michel would play music – which is never done on sets unless you’re on a music video or m.o.s. commercial. The dog trainer would be yelling commands and even the crew felt comfortable to talk quietly during takes. It was quite loud at times. We worked long hours every day – the shooting schedule was very short 35 days – so our turnarounds were very short. Go home, sleep, back to work. But it was such an incredible project, no one really seemed to mind.

HR: Did you meet Uggie the dog?
RG: Of course! Everyone loved Uggie. He is the MAN. Biggest star from the film! I heard he retired. Talk about going out on top. That little guy deserves all the kudos because he worked really hard and I’m telling you, that dog can act! You can see it on the film. It’s incredible. I know it’s just training, and he’s just a dog, but he really looks like he’s acting. Kudos to Omar and Sarah! They are amazing people.

HR: What advise do you have for people just entering the film business?
RG: Be certain that you are passionate about doing it for a living because it is a very difficult business to be in, with no guarantees of future work and a lot of uncertainty. If you can live with that, because you can’t live without doing film, then you are in the right business.

HR: What’s next for Le Petit Nuage? Festivals?
RG: Yes we are submitting to festivals now. It is in consideration at Edinburgh, the Los Angeles Film Festival, Palm Springs Film Festival, CFC International Short Film Festival and the USA Film Festival with many more to follow. We are submitting to all the larger, well-established festivals.

HR: And what about you? What is your next gig?
RG: I have decided to expand “Le Petit Nuage” into “Seven Short Films About Love”, which will eventually become a feature film once all of the shorts are completed. Each short will be filmed in a different country, each with the central theme of love. The next short will be filmed in Lake Como, Italy, this year. I look forward to co-composing the music for this next film in the series with Robert.

I also have several other feature-length projects in development. I have an original screenplay about Nikola Tesla and the birth of the film industry, and another for the French market, a French-language biopic about a famous French musician. I’m also consulting producer on an international thriller and an animated children’s film.

HR: Thanks for talking with us, Renée.

Photo of Renée George on the set of “The Artist” by Yvette Gallardo D’Elia.

You can follow Renée on twitter: @7ShortFilms

–and also on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/7ShortFilmsAboutLove


21 Jump Street Opens Number 1. at Weekend Box Office

March 19, 2012
The R-rated comedy, “21 Jump Street”  starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum,opened at Number 1. this past weekend, posting an impressive $35 million Friday through Sunday.  This was the biggest opening weekend for a non-summer, non-sequel .  The comedy deals with young cops sent undercover in a high school to bust a drug ring.


“Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” added another $22.8 million in its 3rd weekend. The Universal Pictures release continues to be the top choice for families and has now earned $158.4 million in domestic revenue.

Disney’s mega-budget action adventure “John Carter”earned $13.5 million in North America this weekend bringing its 10-day total to $53.2 million and its worldwide total to $179.3 million.

Warner Bros’ R-rated comedy “Project X” from producer Todd Phillips in its third weekend added another $4 million. The modestly-budgeted (a reported $12 million) story of high school kids trying to build their reputations as the ultimate party hosts neared the $50 million mark this weekend.

Eddie Murphy in Paramount’s “A Thousand Words” held up reasonably well this weekend dropping just 39% in its second weekend and taking the fifth spot with $3.75 million and a 10-day total of $12.1 million.

Just outside of the top five, Relativity Media’s “Act of Valor” crossed the $60 million in its fourth weekend of release.

Lionsgate’s “The Hunger Games” should stimulate the box office in it’s much anticipated opening later this week.

George Clooney Arrested

March 16, 2012

George Clooney was arrested while participating in a protest outside the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, DC.

The actor was at the event in his capacity as the President of United to End Genocide. Along with other political and faith leaders, Clooney was calling on Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to immediately end the blockade that is preventing food and humanitarian aid from reaching the people of Sudan’s Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile regions.

He was arrested for civil disobedience along with former Congressman Tom Andrews, Congressmen Jim McGovern (D-MA), Al Green (D-TX), Jim Moran (D-VA) and John Olver (D-MA), Martin Luther King III, and NAACP President Ben Jealous.

Michael Madsen Arrested for Fighting with Teenage Son

Los Angeles: March 11, 2012

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department announced that actor Michael Madsen was arrested after getting into a fight with his teenage son Friday.

Madsen, 54, was arrested Friday afternoon after deputies were called to his Malibu home, according to a sheriff’s department statement.

“Madsen appeared under the influence of alcohol and got into a physical altercation with his teenage son,” the statement said.

The teen whose name and age were not announced did not need medical attention.

Madsen, who starred in the movie “Kill Bill” and frequently acts in dozens of low budget film faces a charge of cruelty to a child. Bail was set at $100,000.

Madsen’s attorney, Perry Wander, tells TMZ that “[Michael] found his son smoking pot and they got in an argument when he tried to take it away.  It’s a family matter and Michael asks that his families privacy be respected.”

Rat Pack Show Pays Tribute to Las Vegas Royalty

by Peter Foldy

What happened to Las Vegas? When I first went there in the 80s it didn’t feel like a city of glass and steel high-rises, a corporate Disneyland. Hotel prices were low, meals were practically free and the atmosphere authentic. There was a vibe of, dare I say it, danger in the air when you sat down at a blackjack table and the stern pit boss studied you with a cold, calculated stare. Mobsters by then were probably mostly imagined, but who knows. Maybe not. Back then, Vegas shows were lavish with topless girls waving feathers. Hundreds of them it seemed. Vegas was pure Vegas. It was fun and a pleasure to experience.

If that felt like the good old days, one can only imagine what it must’ve been like in the 60s when the Rat Pack, Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. reigned at the old Sands Hotel and sophisticates flocked to see them. Most of them would say it was a once in a lifetime experience.

Those golden years may be a thing of the past but there is good news. “The Rat Pack” is back, and they are currently at the newly named LVH Hotel, (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton).

Produced by Sandy Hackett, son of the late comedian Buddy Hackett, The Rat Pack Show is a fun, nostalgic, musical trip down memory lane filled with comedy, great musical standards and an on-stage camaraderie between the performers that, from the film clips I’ve seen, perfectly mimics the rapport Sinatra had with his old pals.

The show starts with a group performance of “Mack the Knife” followed by some Catskill style comedy courtesy of Hackett portraying Joey Bishop. He is cool, loose, with a confident swagger that almost gives away the fact that he is also the producer of the show.

Tom Wallek as Dean Martin takes the stage and continues to warm the crowd with the old sing-along favorite, “That’s Amore.” He is soon joined by Nicholas Brooks as Sammy Davis Jr. who nails the Sammy vibe with “What Kind of Fool am I,” augmenting it with some cool Sammy dance moves throughout the show.

Dean joins Sammy as they carry on with more music and whacky stage banter. At one point Sammy asks Dean, you like this suit? Sure, Dean replies. Me too, says Sammy. I was buried in it.

The comedy, infact the whole show works because while they are recreating a legendary lounge act of the past, the performers readily acknowledge the present, letting the audience in on the fact that they are not the real guys. Real or not, we buy it; we believe it because we want to. We accept the illusion because these performers are so damn good.

An addition to the program is the excellent Lisa Dawn Miller who appears as Sinatra’s “one love” (implying actress Eva Gardner).  Miller, also a producer of the show, performs “Wasn’t I a Good Time,” a song written by her father the late Motown hit songwriter, Ron Miller who penned classics such as “Yester-me, Yester-you, Yesterday,” “A Place in the Sun” and “Touch me in the Morning.”

Saving the Chairman of the Board’s solo spot for last, David DeCosta as ole blue eyes returns, drink and cigarette in hand as he belts out some Sinatra standards. “A Foggy Day in London Town,” “My Way” and the Ron Miller written Stevie Wonder smash, “For Once in my Life.” DeCosta is once again joined by the rest of the cast as they close with “New York, New York” by this point bringing the audience to their feet.

DeCosta is perfect as Sinatra. He has the nuances down pat and his vocals shine. Nicholas Brooks is almost as charming and sweet as the real Sammy. Wallek as Dean Martin is casual and relaxed with a strong singing voice. A stellar Dean Martin. Master of ceremonies, Hackett as Joey Bishop rounds out this talented quartet.

After the show the performers are happy to pose for picture, sign autographs and sell a few knick-knacks.

“Sandy Hackett’s Rat Pack Show” is about to hit the road. Catch them in Vegas or where ever they appear. Take your significant other, your parents or your kids. The Rat Pack is a fun, timeless, nostalgic evening with superb, uncanny performances and a great synergy on stage that makes the price of admission well worth while.

Lindsay Lohan on SNL

Los Angeles: March 4, 2012

Lindsay Lohan’s comeback as host of last night’s Saturday Night Live proved to be something of a disappointment.  A number of fans and critics alike have panned her performance.  On the show Lohan seemed nervous and unprepared, reading most of her dialogue from cue card which she fumbled on several occasion.  The Los Angeles Times story re her hosting skills summed up consensus with the headline: Fans Rip Hosting Job.

Still we have some sympathy for Ms. Lohan.  It is not an easy task to perform live on television in front of millions of people especially with the less than stellar comedic material which was handed to her.  Lohan clearly felt the pressure and it was obvious that at times the task was slightly overwhelming for her.  Perhaps we should take her at her word when she says she is trying to get her life back on track and cut her some slack.  Not jump all over her as navigates the road back to respectability.   She is a talented actress and like everyone, she deserves a second chance.

Former Teen Idol Kirk Cameron calls Homosexuality “detrimental and destructive”

Los Angeles: March 3, 2012

Former teen idol, Kirk Cameron, is under fire after calling homosexuality “detrimental and destructive.”

The actor who once starred in the sitcom “Growing Pains” is now a born-again Christian and evangelist.  Appearing on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” on Friday, March 3, Cameron told the host about his position on gay marriage and how he would react if one of his six children turned out to be homosexual.

“Marriage is almost as old as dirt, and it was defined in the garden between Adam and Eve. One man, one woman for life till death do you part, so I would never attempt to try to redefine marriage. And I don’t think anyone else should either. So do I support the idea of gay marriage? No, I don’t.”

On the topic of homosexuality, the conservative actor said, “I think that it’s – it’s – it’s unnatural. I think that it’s – it’s detrimental, and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization.”

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) fired back at Cameron on Saturday.

“In this interview, Kirk Cameron sounds even more dated than his 1980s TV character,” Herndon Graddick, Senior Director of Programs at GLAAD said in a statement on the organization’s website. “Cameron is out of step with a growing majority of Americans, particularly people of faith who believe that their gay and lesbian brothers and sisters should be loved and accepted based on their character and not condemned because of their sexual orientation.”

Scarlett Johansson to Star in “Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Pshyco”

Los Angeles: March 2, 2012

Variety reports that Scarlett Johansson is now set to play Janet Leigh in the up coming film, “Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho” at Fox Searchlight.  James D’Arcy has the Anthony Perkins role. Anthony Hopkins will play Hitchcock with Helen Mirren as his wife, Alma.

Sacha Gervasi is set to direct with a script by John McLaughlin. Ivan Reitman, Joe Medjuck and Tom Pollack will produce through their Montecito Picture Company along with Tom Thayer.

Sources report that the project has drawn comparisons to “My Week With Marilyn” with the role of Janet Leigh possibly leading to the same awards consideration for Johansson that the Marilyn Monroe role did for Michelle Williams.  Johansson is expected to do the naked shower scene that cause so much shock and awe when the original film was first released.

Per The Hollywood Reporter, the project earlier spent four years in development at Paramount and is based on the non-fiction book by Stephen Rebello that tracks how Hitchcock, at the height of his game as a director, decided to make a “lowly” horror movie. Hitchcock had to scrounge for financing by himself while the film ultimately became one of his biggest hits and one of the most influential of all time.

This is one we look forward to.


Los Angeles: February 29, 2012

TMZ.com is reporting that Davy Jones of the Monkees has died of a reported heart attack at the age of 66.

According to TMZ, they have received confirmation from Martin Memorial Hospital in Martin County, Florida, regarding Jones’ passing.

Jones joined The Monkees in 1965 and along with Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork, the band released a number of hits including, “Daydream Believer,” “Last Train to Clarksville” and “I’m a Believer.”


Los Angeles: February 23, 2012

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has banned actor Sacha Baron Cohen from attending Sunday’s Oscars even though he is an Academy member and one of the stars of Hugo, Paramount’s 11-nominated movie and Best Picture contender. The reason given is that word reached the Academy suggesting that Baron Cohen planned to walk the Red Carpet in full costume as his title character in the upcoming Paramount comedy The Dictator.

According to Nikki Fink of the website, “Deadline Hollywood,” The Academy’s Managing Director Of Membership Kimberly Rouch phoned Paramont’s awards staff to say Baron Cohen’s tickets had been pulled unless he gives the Academy assurances ahead of time promising not to show up on the Red Carpet in costume and not to promote the movie on the Red Carpet. The Academy made it clear that, without those assurances, it would not issue him the tickets.

Does this make sense? Isn’t everyone on the carpet promoting something? Our heads spin from hearing the words “who are you wearing” being asked over and over and over again. The red carpet has become a platform to flog fashion designers and their wares. “Who are you wearing”? It’s not even proper grammar.

Sasha Baron Cohen is one of the funniest actors around. If he dons a beard or a costume to walk the red carpet at an event the is clearly designed to promote product we would find it a welcome treat. So very tired of the boring, gushing, salivating that goes on prior to award shows on red carpets. Mr. Cohen’s answer to “who are you wearing” would be the only one we would want to hear. Let him go the awards and do what the Oscars were designed to do. Promote movies.


Los Angeles, February 11, 2012

Whitney Houston is dead.

The singer’s publicist, Kristin Foster, broke the news of Houston’s passing to the Associated Press. No cause of death has been revealed. Houston was pronounced dead at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Friends found Houston in her hotel room about 3:30 p.m. and immediately called 911, said sources, who asked to remain anonymous because the investigation is ongoing. Arriving emergency medical personnel found the singer unresponsive, and she was pronounced dead shortly before 4 p.m.

Houston’s self-titled debut album, released in 1985, sold 25 million copies worldwide. In total, she released seven albums and three film soundtracks; a winner of six Grammys, Houston sold over 200 million albums and singles worldwide. She earned 30 Billboard Awards, 22 American Music Awards and two Emmy Awards.


PaulMcCartney will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Thursday February 9th, 2012, at 2pm.

Paul’s star will be lined up on the famed walk alongside his fellow Beatles, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and John Lennon in front of the historic Capitol Records building located at 1750 N. Vine Street. Presenting the star will be President and CEO Leron Gubler. Other guests have yet to be announced.

Get there early as it is sure to be a mob scene.

Hugo Leads Academy Award Nominations

Los Angeles: January 24, 2012

The 84th Academy Awards were announced this morning in Beverly Hills. Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” has the most nominations with 11, “The Artist” follows with 10.

Here is a partial list of nominees.

Best Picture

The Artist
The Descendants
Midnight in Paris
The Tree of Life
The Help
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
War Horse

Best Director

Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Woody Allen Midnight in Paris
Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life

Best Actor

Damian Bichir, A Better Life
George Clooney, The Descendants
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt, Moneyball

Supporting Actor

Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Max Von Sydow, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Best Actress

Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis, The Help
Rooney Mara, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn

Supporting actress

Berenice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer, The Help

Animated feature

A Cat in Paris
Chico & Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss In Boots

Documentary feature

Hell and Back Again, Danfung Dennis and Mike Lerner
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front, Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, An @radical.media Production, Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky
Pina, Wim Wenders and Gian-Piero Ringel
Undefeated, TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay and Richard Middlemas

Foreign language

Bullhead, Belgium
Footnote, Israel
In Darkness, Poland
Monsieur Lazhar, Canada
A Separation, Iran

Adapted Screenplay

The Descendants, Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
Hugo, Screenplay by John Logan
The Ides of March, Screenplay by George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
Moneyball, Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, Story by Stan Chervin
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Screenplay by Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan

Original Screenplay

The Artist, Written by Michel Hazanavicius
Bridesmaids, Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
Margin Call, Written by J.C. Chandor
Midnight in Paris, Written by Woody Allen
A Separation, Written by Asghar Farhadi


Los Angeles: January 23, 2012

In the recently released motion picture “16-Love,” actor Mark Elias manages to do a lot with little. The film’s plot-line deals with “Ally Mash” played by Lindsay Black, a young, female tennis pro, who after an ankle injury, meets up with and begins to motivate “Farrell Gambles” (Chandler Massey), a handsome up-and-coming tennis player who wants badly to be a contender. In the process, the couple manage to fall in love and wouldn’t you know it, by the end of the last reel, Ally is fully healed and manages to win her big match against Russian arch-rival “Katrina Apranova,” well played both on the tennis court and on screen by Susie Abromeit.

While the picture, (rated PG) doesn’t claim to break any new ground or reveal much about teen angst we haven’t already seen in, oh, probably a hundred other movies, “16-Love” is an enjoyable, lighthearted film that is perfect for family viewing.

While the leads handle their roles with charm and professionalism, it is journeyman actor, Elias that manages to grab your attention in his supporting role. His natural unaffected performance got a number of the bigger laughs at the recent L.A. screening at USC. We managed to talk to Elias afterwards and questioned him about his life and career.

HR: You had a strong screen presence in “16-Love.” Funny and natural. Any of your good scenes end up on the cutting room floor?

ME: Actually, yeah I was pretty bummed to see one scene in particular didn’t make the final cut. Chandler (Massey), Steven (Christopher Parker) and I are playing Wii Tennis together and just having a great time. We shot it on the first day of filming and it really helped show our friendship, our bonding. But hey that’s filmmaking. Maybe it’ll make the DVD extras.

HR: Talking of cutting room, you starred in a film of the same name shortly after arriving in Los Angeles. Tell us about how that happened?

ME: I was hired by the director after he saw a short film I did with a mutual friend. He thought I was right for the part and that was pretty much it.

HR: Were you shocked to be offered the lead? Did his investors want a name in the role, like most money people do?

ME: Luckily he and the investors decided to go with me and I think it showed, although there were definite names being thrown around for the role. When I got the call it was a Friday night and I was elated all weekend and then some.

HR: What did you learn on that film, and how did it help your career?

ME: I learned that you can never predict how a scene or a shoot is going to go, so you have to be as prepared as possible and just roll with it. And have fun with it. And play a lot of video games. Lots of video games. Like… Lots.

HR: How did you land the role of “Nate” in “16-Love?”

ME: The audition was a lot of improv and British accents for the tennis announcing scene. It was a fun audition and we given the ability to have fun and create. I was happy it worked out.

HR: How many call backs?

ME: I think I booked it straight from the first audition.

HR: How much of your stuff in the film is ad-libbed, if any, or did you guys stick to the script?

ME: We tried sticking to the script but a lot of the stuff that ended up working was when we improved and got up off the page. Leigh Dunlap, the writer gave us really cool characters to play with so I just took that and ran with it. Developed some aspects of Nate’s personality, like his geek pop culture love.

HR: Where are you from and how long have you been an actor?

ME: I was born in Houston and raised in Philadelphia. So I’m basically a Philly boy. Which generally means trouble! And I’ve been an actor since the first time I tried to get out of trouble.

HR: When did you realize you would have to make the move to L.A?

ME: I quickly realized that being in LA was the right place to be to take an acting career seriously. I can’t put a finger on the exact date but it was very much a feeling of “I’m going to do this.” And began to take it seriously.

HR: What’s the first thing you did when you got here?

ME: The first thing that propelled my career in L.A. was signing up for classes at the Beverly Hills Playhouse. That was the “I’m doing this one hundred percent” moment.

HW: What did your family think when you told them that acting was going to be your chosen career path?

ME: Next question? Ha. I remember it wasn’t an overwhelming feeling of agreement but I knew if I was going to do it, I needed to do it right and do it then, and rely on my family’s “hard work breeds success” attitude.

HR: What are the bigger challenges you face as you try to further your career in Hollywood?

ME: I think a huge step is making it to the next level but in a more specific terms I want to get films made that I’m creating, not just acting in.

HR: So are you planning to write and direct?

ME: It’s something that I’d like to do when the time is right, directing. Writing is quickly becoming an enjoyment that I’m trying to keep as a fun outlet and not “work.” I don’t want to end up caught in chasing the next hot idea and get lost in that tunnel.

HR: You directed a short film called “The Juggler” that had some famous faces in it. Can you tell us about it?

ME: It really started out as a fun exercise and all of a sudden friends of mine were getting excited about it and a lot of them were in between gigs and it just worked out really well. Josh Sussman, Penn Badgeley, Shawn Pyfrom, Aviva, they were all willing and excited to be a part of it. The story itself was sort of a nod to the Chaplin era films, a lead character with no dialogue, an every day guy, based around his girlfriend’s high school party.

HR: Who’s been your biggest influences?

ME: I think as a kid, the actor that amazed me the most was Dustin Hoffman. I saw “Rain Man,” “The Graduate,” “Little Big Man,” and “Midnight Cowboy” in the span of about two days. Also Robert Downey Jr,’s screen presence and unpredictability are great qualities I always try to be aware of. He’s just got his own style of doing things. I’m also a huge fan of Charlie Chaplin.

HR: What are some of the other films audiences might have seen you in?

ME: I was in a little horror film called “Animals” directed by Doug Aarniokoski, and I also have a few other feature projects in post right now. One is called “From the Head” and another called “Favor.”

HR: And on television?

ME: I had a great little part on Justified which is a show with a lot of buzz. I also was recently on The Event and Criminal Minds.

HR: What’s been your favorite role to date and why? On stage or on film.

ME: Most recently, I really enjoyed playing Nate in “16-Love” because it was a great, great feeling to be funny and make the background actors laugh by just doing improv. It was immediate feedback of what worked and what didn’t!

HR: What recent film do you wish you had been a part of?

ME: “The Artist.” I am in love with silent films.

HR: What’s the worst thing about being an actor in Hollywood?

ME: The eyes that roll when you say you’re an actor. Gotta love the cynics.

HR: And the best?

ME: Just being creative and expressive.

HR: What’s your main focus in the coming months?

ME: My feature “Beachwood Drive” that I actually wrote and hope to have shot by this summer.

HR: Describe your perfect L.A. weekend.


HR: Thanks for talking to us, Mark.

Can a Film Get into Sundance Without Industry Pull?

Hollywood: January 23, 2012

With the 2012 Sundance Film Festival underway in Utah from January 19th through January 29th, we cannot help but ask this question.

Does a filmmaker without a famous last name, without representation by a major agency or a “festival rep” or without having a recognizable name in his or her film have even a remote chance of being accepted by Sundance or by any of the top tier festivals?

In looking at the Sundance lineup this year, it would seem highly unlikely. Sundance is a private club reserved for the famous and the connected.

Sundance should release a list. They should be accountable and tell us how many films playing in their festival were submitted by “civilians.” People without industry connection or access to star power. Prove us wrong, Sundance.

With thousands of film schools around the country promising young filmmakers a career, perhaps they should also be teaching “ass-kissing” as a subject.

We’re just saying.

“Better Call Saul.” A TV Review

Season 1, Episode 3.  “Nacho”

Reviewed by: Mark Salcido

BETTER CALL SAUL premiered on AMC on February 8, 2015.

Created by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, the show is a spin-off, prequel, and sequel to “Breaking Bad” which was created by Gilligan.

Set in 2002, “Better Call Saul” is about small-time lawyer, James McGill, well portrayed by Bob Odenkirk, seven years before his appearance on Breaking Bad–though events during and after the original series are also explored.

Before I get started on this review of episode 3, you might be wondering, “where the reviews for episode 1 and 2” might be found? Well my mouse clicking friend, there is no review for those episodes. It’s not because I’m lazy, it is because if you are reading this article, you are already watching the show and do not need to be told to do so. And if you have 1423600761166not jump on this very stable and very worthy band wagon, what the hell are you doing? Go watch it…now on to the review.

Since the shows premise is to tell us the early years of Jimmy McGill who would later be known as Saul Goodman, it’s not afraid to let us go even further back. We find a more coherent Chuck (Jimmy’s brother) as he is called on once again to help Jimmy out of a jam that may follow him for the rest of the life. This scene reversals what we have known so far of the brother’s relationship. Chuck, the prodigal lawyer son and Jimmy, the fuck up. As we jump back to the present, Jimmy is much better off, but not far from finding himself in another jam.

On last week’s episode, Nacho, a man with ties to the criminal underworld, presented a proposition for Jimmy that might be too good to pass. Find out whether or not the Kettlemans (Jimmy’s missed opportunity clients) did indeed steal the money they embezzled and if so, where is it?  better-call-saul-episode-103-post-jimmy-odenkirk-9801Jimmy walks that fine line of “concerned citizen” and “opportunist” when he calls his friend Kim (a lawyer at his brother’s firm HHM played by Rhea Seehorn).

Jimmy makes an anonymous call to warn the Kettlemans and things are set in motion that may blow up in his face. When the Kettlemans disappear, Jimmy is pursued by the police when a detained Nacho calls him his lawyer. Once the two are alone, Nacho blames Jimmy for the Kettlemans’ disappearance, believing that Jimmy is working with another crew and that Nacho is to be the fall guy. Jimmy races against the clock to find the Kettlemans when Nacho presents him two options; get Nacho out of jail or Jimmy won’t see tomorrow.

Jimmy continues his parking sticker debate with parking lot guard Mike (Jonathan Banks)better-call-saul-episode-103-post-jimmy-odenkirk-9801 to a point where Jimmy says “fuck it” and dashes out of the parking lot without paying the fee or getting the right amount of stickers.

When Jimmy makes it to the Kettlemans’ home to view the crime scene, he is able to deduce that maybe the family staged the kidnapping and is hiding.

Though Jimmy may try his hardest to convince Kim as well as the detectives working the case, they don’t buy it. With his theory in hand, Jimmy hurries back to tell Nacho only to be stopped by an already annoyed Mike. A small physical confrontation, started by Jimmy, ends with Jimmy at the other end of arm twist that would make any man submit.

The detectives use the assault in hopes that Jimmy will finally help make the disappearance case stick to Nacho.

Before Jimmybetter.call_.saul_.thm_1 can be taken away to booking, he yells out his findings, making sure Nacho can hear it in the hopes of saving his ass. Mike eventually decides to have the charges dropped.

Jimmy, shocked by Mike’s help and asks, ‘why”? Mike reveals a bit of his past by telling Jimmy of a similar case he had as a detective. Same results, and the people where closer to home than anyone suspected.

Jimmy finds a camping decal placed on one of the Kettlemans’ vehicles and makes the trek through a desert trail behind their home.  He stumbles upon the Kettlemans; gleefully singing camp songs.

Jimmy makes a phone call to Kim and confronts the Kettlemans only to have a struggle ensue when Jimmy grabs one of their camping bags and rips it open, revealing the embezzled money.

This episode leads you to believe that this would be a Nacho heavy episode but it’s easily stolen by Mike and the beginnings of his relationship with Jimmy. As Mike becomes a more of a crucial character in this show’s universe, I only hope more of his past and badassism becomes revealed.

Kim’s history with Jimmy is sprinkled a tidbit in an early conversation with the line “You’re calling me to talk dirty again, are you?” Along with a bit of comfortable back and forward with the two, you can bet there was definitely “something” there between the two.

Everyone here, expect for Mike, thinks they’re pulling one over each other only to show that maybe, they aren’t as bright as they might think. Nacho driving his own vehicle on the night in question, Jimmy trying a ridiculous muffled voice when he calls the Kettlemans, and even the Kettlmans themselves trying to hide their crooked ways.

Plots have become thickened and more characters have been brought in to keep the tires spinning on this enjoyable ride of “Better Call Saul.”

The score, writing and direction is awesome as it gets you more into the life of a good lawyer turned sleazy andI highly recommend you tune in for next week’s episode called “Hero”.

“Better Call Saul” airs Monday nights at 10pm on AMC.




“Dontrell, Who Kissed The Sea” Brings a New Perspective to Hollywood

The Skylight Theatre Company first heard Nathan Alan Davis’ play, DONTRELL, WHO KISSED THE SEA read last season and set out to launch it in Los Angeles during the celebration of Black History Month.

Last year, The National New Play Network, an alliance of non-profit theaters that champions the development and continued life of new plays, announced that Davis’ play had been chosen to receive their support for a 2015 rolling world premiere. NathanAlanDavis It premieres at the Skylight Theatre in Los Angeles on February 20th before moving to the Phoenix Theatre in Indianapolis, IN; Theater Alliance in Washington, DC; the Cleveland Public Theatre; and finally the Oregon Contemporary Theatre.

“Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea” is being co-produced by Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble, whose founders were equally stunned by the beauty of the language and the importance of the play’s theme…yearning for lost knowledge of ancestral truths.

The story concerns eighteen-year old Dontrell whose dreams have never been more fantastic or more harrowing. Nightly, he sees a captive African—the spitting image of his own father—thrown overboard during the Middle Passage. As visions of this man’s last fateful hours continue, Dont_326 copyDontrell makes a decision: He will dive into the ocean and retrieve the drowned captive from the deep.

Like all great explorers, whether of land, sea, or the human heart, Dontrell’s journey has the makings of a classic adventure. It’s a tale that resonates for our time.

Playwright Nathan Alan Davis says he is “compelled by transcendence. By our ability to reframe, re-imagine and re-define the world as we move through it.” Indeed a refreshing new young perspective in Hollywood…and beyond. Influenced by Hip-Hop and the spirit that animates it, Davis is a writer of mixed race.  The African Diaspora and the Western tradition are both essential parts of his identity. He works for “an ever advancing, united world civilization.”

We had a chance to discuss his work recently:

Hollywood Revealed: Was “Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea” inspired by your personal journey of self-discovery and ancestral history?

Nathan Alan Davis: Yes and no. In many ways it was inspired by what I do not know about my ancestral history. The play is a dream, a fantasy, a hope, a prayer. It is a fable that I believe the world needs.

HR: What was your mindset when you began work on this play, and did you start with an outline or was it more of a streaming of consciousness?

NAD: I started working on it in the spring of 2012. The idea snuck up on me and the story formed kind of gradually. I don’t have a clear recollection of a single moment that sparked it. My mindset was: this play is going to be produced (at Indiana University, as part of my MFA program) and I need to tell a good and entertaining story that comes from the heart.  Ken Weitzman was heading up the program at the time and he established a wonderful system: MFA students in their 2nd and 3rd years get full productions of their brand new plays as part of the department’s main stage season. You learn about your play (and the playwriting craft) by bringing it through the production process. That really made all the difference in the world.  Knowing that the play was going to be staged the following spring added a natural sense of urgency, excitement and danger to the writing process.

HR: In the Skylight Theatre production, the play is infused with drumming, dance, and poetry. Is that unique to this performance, or a style experienced in all the incarnations of the play?

NAD: The poetry is all from the script. Dance is mentioned in the script as well, though of course I did not write choreography. Rhythm and percussion is also present in the script and I think the drumming in this production is a natural outgrowth of that. I’m sure each incarnation of the play will be somewhat unique, but movement and rhythm are key elements in this piece.

HR: What are your greatest influences in life, and how have they informed your work as a writer?

NAD:  I am a Baha’i and have been all of my life. The Baha’i teachings are by far my greatest influence and it’s impossible to quantify how they have informed my work. One thing I can say related to this play is that Dontrell sees his quest as his “contribution to civilization.” I would like to see my life and my writing that way: as an important contribution to a story much greater than myself and more wonderful than I can imagine.

HR: Why do you think this play is important for people to see, and what do you hope that they will come away with after attending?

NAD: I hope they come away wanting to come back again. That may sound glib, but it’s very sincere. Plays are so ephemeral. I hope this one is so compelling and funny and truthful and entertaining that you want to spend more time with it. That you drag your friends and loved ones out to see it before it disappears. I really think I have to let the audience’s experience of the play speak for itself when it comes to things like lessons and takeaways.

HR: How did this happen to come to Los Angeles during the celebration of Black History Month?

NAD: It came to Los Angeles because Skylight Theatre Company and Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble were both excited about the script and wanted to produce the play–so they came together and made it happen. Gary Grossman (Producing Artistic Director of STC) engineered the timing by carving out a spot in his season so it would launch during the February BHM celebration. This is the first of five productions of Dontrell around the county this year. The others will be in April, May and June.

HR: Do you have a vision for this story to become a film?

NAD:  I think the story could make an excellent film. If that opportunity presents itself, I’d certainly be open to adapting it. For now I’m focused on making the play as strong as it can be.

DONTRELL, WHO KISSED THE SEA opens at 8:30pm on Friday, February 20th and runs 8:30pm Fridays, 8pm Saturdays, and 3pm Sundays through March 29, 2015 (12pm on Sunday, February 22nd, only, with added matinees at 4pm on Saturday March 7th and 14th).

The Skylight Theatre is located at 1816 1/2 N. Vermont Ave, LA, 90027. Tickets are $30. Reservations: 213-761-7061 or online at http://skylighttix.com

Twitter: @SkylightThtr

Facebook: Skylight Theatre Company

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The Art of Art

By Alan von Kalcreuth

The International Contemporary Art Fair wrapped on February 1 after four days of artsy madness.   Art Los Angeles Contemporary took place at the impressive Barker Hanger at Santa Monica Airport and the massive structure was crammed with exhibitors and art-minded, trendy people.

“There are aImage lot of people here,” observed , a photographer dedicated to photographing art and art-gazers.  “This is the best show on the West coast.”

But what of the art on display?  “Tedious, and not much better than the spontaneous work of kindergarteners,” was one attendee’s opinion. “Only these artist have a larger work space that they don’t have to share with five other five-year-olds, and they the opportunity to use stuff that the kids can’t always get their hands on.  I prefer the kid’s stuff, it’s not supposed to be impressive, or expensive.”  The attendees did not want to identify themselves, but revealed they were in the film industry.

One noticeable feature of the opening night, a sixty-dollar ticket event, was SO many people.  The first impression one gets is there is a load of contemporary art lovers in LA.  It soon became apparent however that the hoards were NOT gazing at the art they were gazing at themselves.  With a glass of champagne and a hanger full of trendies the Art Fair was clearly a great destination point.

One of the hanger-strollers, most probably a mid-level Image 2corporate manager by day, was dressed smartly in an off-the-rack Macy’s suit BUT was sporting what looked like his mother’s Chanel scarf around his neck, a sort of cautious Yankee Doodle Dandy.

Investing in contemporary art is big business and the escalation in “value” of a piece is a curious affair. “People look at artists like Damien Hirst and the impression is that the international contemporary art market is very wide and very deep,” explains Michael Findlay, director of Acquavella Galleries in New York and the author of The Value of Art. “I think that impression is largely created by marketing.”

“Very few artists have sell-through rates of over 80% at auction” art adviser Todd Levin points out.  There are artist like Alexander Calder, who hit an incredible 95% sell through he explains, but these are exceptions. “The meaning of art is collapsing under the brute weight of data,” reveals Levin.

Thea Westreich, an art broker and adviser, points out the value of these contemporary art fairs.  “Sit with the dealers, talk to them about their new artists. If they are there, talk to the artists. That is priceless. It’s very unusualImage 1 for us to walk away from an art fair without discovering an artist we think has great potential that we want to tell our clients about.”

The contemporary art market is volatile, the crash in 2008 saw the value of most contemporary art pieces fall by as much as 50% while the traditional art market only dropped 35%.  The experts advise for protecting your investment is to buy stuff you actually like, not what some dealer has declared as a sure and safe investment.  This means that if you are stuck with it you won’t mind because you like it!