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Monday, January 4, 2010

Sandra Bullock breaks Hollywood's Glass Ceiling

Variety reports that Sandra Bullock made box office history. The holiday weekend saw a film she stars in topping the the $200 million mark at the domestic box office. "The Blind Side" became the first in history driven solely by a top female star to jump the $200 million mark.  With a stellar line up of female "leads" and produced by a woman for a primarily female demographic target, slightly older than the mega-hit mainstream audience target, the film adds to its historic marks.

Could this mean more opportunities, and more money, for women in film?

Soundheim adapting to the times

Lounder music, smaller orchestras (if at all), file sharing or music theft? Change is here. While we thick of rock stars and large corporation, how often do we think of famous composers and Broadway musicals? The experience of a student today, or a theater goer, is very different than it was in the 1970's, which is radically different than the hey-day of Great White Way earlieet in the previous century.

Broadway in 1909, Wikipedia

A few days ago I wrote about a National Public Radio story about how music is getting louder and louder, with the loss of fidelity and musical quality. Now another sign of the times is reflected in a New York times story about Broadway composer and legend Stephen Soundheim ("West Side Story", "Company", and may other) is having to deal with budgetary reductions in the size and nature of orchestras and the trend toward prerecorded "click-tracks" and electronic music. The story focuses on changes in "A Little Night Music" and his other works.

“I’ve reached an age where I’m two generations past when I was considered avant-garde. I went right from avant-garde to being old hat in five minutes, and you start to feel superannuated,” he said. “With every new generation, popular art changes. Already there’s a generation that thinks the Beatles are old-fashioned, which I find screamingly funny. The same thing is true of plays and musicals. People need things loud and fast. That’s one of the things that I like about ‘Little Night Music.’ The musical says: Slow down. Slow down and think.”

Also recommended is the video link in the New York Times story to Soundheim talking about revivals. Another link recommended on the page involves additional insight from Sounheim. "Stephen Sondheim talks with Howard Sherman, the executive director of the American Theater Wing, about the value of revues and what he learned from Oscar Hammerstein II. The entire podcast, episode #250 of the "Downstage Center" series."

ESPN and Discovery to offer 3D TV Networks

CNET preview photo of CES in Las Vegas

3 D is coming to TV.

Entertainment industry 3 D may be available in time for this month's CES in Las Vegas, where 3D televisions are expected to be the headline item. Samsung announced its new line of 3D televisions on January 4th. In a time when monitor prices are dropping, the new sets will be an expected 50% higher than similar traditional flat screen televisions.

Also being launched this year will be 3D for all computer screens, special 3D or "virtual reality" computer screens, "virtual" 3D projection screens and more.

So what will the future hold?

And who will invest in these expensive new receivers and technology?

Disney-ABC, the parent company for ESPN says it is in it for the long run. The targeted Hispanic and male sports fans are the most likely to spend funds on new required hardware and the distribution method (not all cable and satellite services will offer 3D, at least not in 2010.) Direct TV, Dish Network, Sony and others are also announcing 3D networks and on-demand launched late in 2010 or early in 2011. 3D TV delivered over the internet to your 3D TV is already available and will be showcased at CES. Over the air 3D is expected by 2012.

Discovery will be among the first to launch information and entertainment 3D networks, along with plans for premium service by HBO and other subscription services.

SAG Awards Saturday January 23

Screen Actors Guild Awards® Information

Final ballots for the SAG Awards were mailed to eligible members on December 29. To be eligible to receive a ballot, the deadline to pay your Nov. 2009 dues (and make any changes to your address) was December 15. You may vote either on-line or by mail. Online voting instructions and your PIN to vote on-line are listed in your ballot packet. All ballots must be received by Integrity Voting Systems by noon PT, on January 21. Please keep your ballot in a safe place as duplicates are not provided.

Seeing Nominated Films
Every year we work with the studios to try to provide you with opportunities to view nominated films. As some films are no longer in wide release, others are available on DVD, and still others have just opened. The options for each film are reviewed by the studios who make the individual marketing plans for their films. There have been questions from members as to why you can't just go to local movie theaters, as members of other organizations are invited to do. The answer is that the SAG membership is much larger than any of the other groups, so special arrangements must be made to accommodate the size of our national membership. As a result, some studios may elect to provide screenings, send DVDs to you or participate in the Movie Cash program.

We have confirmed the following DVD screeners are being mailed to members this year (please note only those members eligible to vote will receive DVDs)


DVDs are being mailed to you from our guild mailing house as quickly as possible. Please be patient. They should reach your mailbox this week or next. Please protect the DVDs sent to you - piracy is serious issue.

MOVIE CASH: Some films currently in theaters are being offered to you through downloadable Movie Cash coupons, which can be redeemed at your local theater. Only members eligible to vote will be able to download coupons. Your individual move code number is printed on your ballot, just below your individual pin number which allows you to vote on-line. The movie code number will allow you to go to a special movie cash web page that has been set up for eligible SAG members to download coupons for selected films offered by the studios. Please note: Your code is valid for one time use only. When you go to the Movie Cash site you will need to make all of your title selections and be prepared to print out all your coupons at one time. Your code will not work a second time. The coupons are valid at participating theaters only. You can find a listing of participating theaters on the Movie Cash website.

Details on Movie Cash, On Demand options, DVDs and screenings can be found on our website at Please continue to check this page often over the next few weeks as we will update regularly. Please visit for more information on the SAG Awards.

The SAG Award Stunt Ensemble honors will be announced January 23 at 6:15 ET/3:15 P.M. PT during the red carpet web-cast streaming live online at and prior to the telecast. TNT and People present THE SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS LIVE RED CARPET SHOW, premiering on TNT and online at and Saturday, January 23, at 7:30 p.m. (ET)/(PT). “The Actors®” will be presented at the 16th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® -- with special salute to this year’s Life Achievement recipient Betty White -- airing live from Los Angeles on Saturday, January 23 on TNT and TBS at 8 p.m. ET/PT (Check local listings if viewing via satellite or in HD). We hope you will watch!

Lots going on at CSN (Academic Calendar and "events")

Special events and calendar for CSN can be found at:

The calendar is updated frequently, and does not reflect fine arts or cultural events at this time. I am told it will. It also allows you to download events to your calendars.

There are many worth your attention events, updated frequently, on the calendar and through other campus resources.