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‘Transparent’ Creator Jill Soloway Envisions Five Seasons For Amazon Series

Film Independent 2014 Film Forum - Day 1

The creator of Amazon Studios' acclaimed Transparent has an endgame timetable planned out for the streaming series, she said today. "In my mind, it's 5 years It's 5-years because Six Feet Under went for 5-years, " Jill Soloway told me after delivering the filmmaker keynote Saturday morning at the Film Independent Forum, held at the DGA HQ. “Five years because for some reason 5-years equals syndication money, even though this is a whole different ballgame. I don't even… Read

James Schamus On Bad Advice, Data Flow & The Four Most Important Words In The Business — Produced By NY

James Schamus Talks At Produced By NY Conference

Leading off the second Produced By NY 2014 interview session, producer Bill Horberg (The Talented Mr. Ripley, Disconnect) led an often hilarious conversation with film-biz polymath James Schamus, who started out by playing the devil's advocate on the theme of advice to young producers. As usual in such scenes, the question began with a reference to William Goldman's endlessly quoted observation of that in filmmaking, "nobody knows anything.” "Here's the thing about… Read

‘Ouija’ Box Office May Scare Up $20M, ‘John Wick’ No. 2 With A Bullet, Bill Murray Graces ‘St. Vincent’ – B.O. Weekend

Ouija John Wick

2nd UPDATE, Saturday 7:53 AM: This morning's estimates are pretty much on the money with what we had last night with few exceptions. Ouija could actually pull off a $20M weekend for Universal and Blumhouse if their audiences hold today, and the Keanu Reeves' actioner John Wick from Lionsgate will likely come in right around $15M, as we predicted. For a micro-budgeted film, this horror film — talking Ouija, not the ultra-violent John Wick — should end up yet another… Read

ICM Partners’ Interns Lawsuit Mediation Set For December

ICM Partners

UPDATE, 5:08 PM: Two days after NBCUniversal settled a potential class action lawsuit by former Saturday Night Live interns for $6.4 million, ICM Partners has moved one step closer to possibly resolving its own labor issue. As expected, the agency and representatives for ex-interns Kimberly Behzadi and Jason Rindenau have agreed to mediation, now scheduled for December 15. ICM Partners attorney Steven Herd said in a letter from both sides sent to U.S. District Court Judge… Read

Does Alibaba Plan To Take Control Of Lionsgate?

Lionsgate Logo Grid

Lionsgate shares rose 5.3% to $33.00 today after The New York Post reported that the Chinese e-retail giant is eager to buy Mark Rachesky's 37.4% stake in the independent studio. Although Lionsgate isn't commenting, there's enough in the wind to make the scenario plausible. Alibaba is flush with cash after its record-setting $25B IPO last month — and founder Jack Ma will be in Hollywood next week to talk with different studios. He already knows Lionsgate: Alibaba… Read

Terry Keenan Dead: Longtime Business Reporter-Anchor At CNN, CNBC & Fox News

Terry Keenan

Terry Keenan, a veteran business journalist who worked at CNN, CNBC and Fox News during nearly a nearly quarter-century TV career, died Thursday in New York of a cerebral hemorrhage. She was 54. For the past five years, Keenan had written a weekly business column for The New York Post; her final column was posted just days ago, on October 19. She learned the ropes in the 1980s working on Louis Rukeyser's PBS series Wall Street Week and then on Lou Dobbs' Moneyline at CNN… Read

Expanded Filming Hours In Downtown L.A. Shelved Amid Opposition

Downtown Los Angeles

First in a series. Los Angeles is gearing up for a significant increase in film and TV production once the new California production tax incentives kick in next year, but one group that isn't so excited about the coming boom is the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council, a private organization that represents downtown businesses and residents. In April, the City Council asked city officials to report on the possibility of expanding filming hours in downtown. The DLANC… Read

FCC Postpones Auction Of Broadcast TV Spectrum To 2016

TV Stations

Television station owners have more time than some probably ever imagined to decide whether to let wireless broadband providers buy airwave spectrum that they use to transmit programming. The FCC has been working on a voluntary auction for years with plans to have it take place in mid-2015. But today the agency says it will postpone the sale to early 2016 as it grapples with a lawsuit from the National Association of Broadcasters that says the plan will hurt stations that… Read

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Samsung Sign UHD Short-Film Deal

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Joseph Gordon-Levitt will direct a digital video short in 4K ultra-high-definition, using a moderately priced new Samsung camera under a deal announced this morning by the electronics giant. Former child star Gordon-Levitt has become something of a mini-media empire as an adult with his music, film, TV and online efforts. He has previously directed several projects, mostly shorts, but also the 2013 comedy feature film Don Jon, with Scarlett Johansson. That film, with an… Read

When Will Big Hollywood Studios Aggressively Produce Original Shows For Digital TV?

Man watching TV sets

That could start to happen soon based on some of the trends that RBC Capital Markets' David Bank identifies in a new report exploring the traditional and digital syndication markets — the latest in his must-read “Deep Dive Series.”  He notes that Netflix likely will spend around $3.3B next year on content, while Amazon ponies up $1.7B, and Hulu follows with $1.5B. And they're hungry for original productions; they'll probably account for 10% of Netflix's outlay. Yet except… Read

‘Ouija’ Box Office Starts With $911K, ‘John Wick’ $870K – B.O. Late Nights

Ouija John Wick

Ouija opened last night at 8 PM in 2,061 houses and scared in $911K to start its weekend off in what is expected to be a spirited opening for the micro-budgeted Blumhouse horror film. It is expected to best the other newcomer, the Lionsgate actioner John Wick, starring Keanu Reeves, which pulled $870K in over 2000 locales. A couple of comps to look at for this violent, R-rated film is last year's Escape Plan (also R-rated and also opened in October), which ended up… Read

AMC Networks And BBC Chiefs On The Future Of BBC America

TheWrap - TheGrill 2014 - Day 2

Don't be surprised if you see AMC Networks and BBC America collaborating on digital projects, films, or events following AMC's agreement to pay $200 million in cash for a 49.9% stake in the service. “Because the editorial alignment and point of view is so similar in terms of smart, quality and premium, we think that we will find lots and lots and lots of places to join on things that we are not yet doing today,” AMC chief Josh Sapan tells me. There will be changes at BBC… Read

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