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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Big Movie Companies use House Bill Rider to stop Movie Future's Trading

      Below is from The Wrap,  a daily on-line Hollywood Entertainment Newspaper:
    House Adds Movie-Futures Trading Ban to Financial Reform
    By Ira Teinowitz
    Published: June 24, 2010
    Big movie studios early won their fight early Friday morning to include a ban on movie box-office futures trading in the final version of financial reform legislation.
    The move could end up leaving to the courts the question of the trading’s final fate.
    A House-Senate Conference Committee decided to adopt language that was in the Senate’s version of the financial reform bill banning the Commodity Futures Trading Commission from approving futures contracts based on box office revenues.
    The House’s version of the financial reform bill had no similar language
    The House and Senate are expected to vote on the final package by next week, with President Obama expected to get and sign the legislation before the Fourth of July.
    The CFTC already has approved Media Derivatives' plan to trade the futures, and on Monday is likely to approve a second plan to trade the futures, that one from Cantor Fitzgerald.
    The Motion Picture Association of America has said the legislation will supersede the commission approval and prevent the trading of box office futures.
    Media Derivatives chairman-CEO Robert S. Swagger has disagreed with that interpretation. He contends the legislation isn’t retroactive, and any trading already approved by the commission when the legislation becomes law is “grandfathered in.”
    He insisted Media Derivatives intends to move forward with the trading, which will likely force a court challenge either by MPAA or a government agency.
    The congressional vote culminates a battle inspired by concerns from MPAA and some Hollywood unions that futures trading would harm the movie industry.
    They have contented that box office futures aren’t commodities and resemble gambling much more closely than futures trading, and that the underlying measure for box office revenues could be ripe for manipulation, for instance by changing advertising and number of screens on which films are shown.
    They also have argued the futures would be ill-suited to hedge investments.
    Media Derivatives and Cantor have responded that the futures would dramatically boost investments in movies by allowing investors to hedge possible losses. They have offered letters of support from investment advisers. Lionsgate has also supported the trading.
    The CFTC, in approving the trading on a 3-to-2 vote, rejected the movie industry’s contentions that the numbers weren’t commodities, were subject to manipulation and couldn’t be used as hedges.).

    CSN student turned Journalist at U. Nebraska

    From: Warren Hale
    Date: June 23, 2010 1:14:20 PM PDT
    To: Createcom Lynch

    I took it three summers ago.

    I did speeches covering Julius Caesar, mandatory-minimum sentencing, and chess.

    Well, I moved to Nebraska almost immediately after class and I have been meaning to get a hold of you ever since. So, here we are and well met!

    I earned my A.A. at the college here and was accepted this summer into UNL's College of Journalism and Mass Communication. I recall that journalism was one of your passions.

    Anyways, I just got my first op-ed published in the Daily Nebraskan--UNL's newspaper--and thought that you may enjoy reading it. I hope that all is well and I look forward to future correspondence.

    Your friend,
    Warren Hale

    My first published work:

    Endorsements SAG pt I

    I work closely with Steve at the national level. I appreciate the unseen and unheralded work he does for the branch. He is not the type to blow his own horn or to grandstand. In fact he lets others take credit for work done as a team or ushered through under his presidency.

    I have walked picket lines with Steve Dressler, and met with other union leaders.

    I am against the type of politics that has recently surfaced. 

    An open Guild based on mutual respect, communication and supporting each other in our vital functions for the membership is what we need at this time and for the future. 

    Those who know Steve know that his heart and his time is with the membership, and he knows from experience how high profile Guild service can take its toll.

    I also respect the work done by each and every member of the Nevada Branch including the membership, council and officers, which includes incumbent President Steve Dressler.

    I work with a team, and Steve Dressler is a key member of that team locally and as part of the national president and board alternate system.

    We need someone to have the knowledge, background and drive to provide maximum support to the local and national executives, interact on a business level as an equal with board members who have been active for decades.

    Steve Dressler is already doing that job, and can with your support continue to do so.

    Steve knows the players in Hollywood, New York and the Regional Branch Division. He has built bridges as president that benefits our branch and our membership.

    His ten years of service as president and decades of service on council, committees and sets, speaks for itself. 

    I regret that he is the only Regional Branch Division President who sought their branch nomination to be denied a nominating committee endorsement. It was, as one member put it, "disrespectful" to Mr. Dressler. 

    Steve Dressler most certainly deserves to continue to serve and represent the Branch.

    With budget cuts there is minimal administrative support. We need to be the support for the executive and the union on the ground in Nevada.

    Egos should not be involved. Steve Dressler is not about ego. He serves the branch and does so with an open heart and as a true servent of the branch.

    Personal career, the interests in being in photographs with celebrities, or personal advancement need to be sacrificed for the good of the branch and the Guild.

    Perception of personal gain, title or power is false. In fact work is lost, both under contract and day-jobs, due to active Guild involvement.

    We need to work at the Chicago, New York, LA and national level of dedication, hours and knowledge. 

    Knowledge, experience the ability to work well with and fully understand contracts, to take part in and contribute to key national committees and when serving as a national board alternate are no longer luxuries, but a necessary part of service at the branch level.

    Anyone who serves must do so for reasons other than social, celebrity, or wanting paid trips to LA. 

    I am looking toward the future of the branch and the union, well beyond when anyone reading this is involved.

    It is not a club, or social organization, or a way toward career advancement.

    The truth is that service on this union can and does, if done in honest ways and with the actual Guild policies, purpose and mission in mind, create a wall that damages career and position.

    Council leaders and members need to be able to put aside loyalties to agents, casting directors,  and self interests or special interests, including their own career and income. This is not about playing up to celebrity or perceived power, but about honest unionism and understanding the history and need behind Guild policies, procedures and the tools the Guild uses in what for all of us has been a tough economy and changing production environment.

    Steve deserves your support for another term as your Nevada SAG Branch President.

    Please join me in supporting Steve Dressler for reelection.

    2010 SAG RBD Endorsements

    I work closely with all national board members nationally and with the presidents of the Regional Branch Division on the board, on national committees and on special projects within the Screen Actors Guild.

    I know the work done for their branches by those listed below, as well as for the entire union. It is important to note, as with Nevada's President Steve Dresslermany do not brag about what they do in the course of their duties or the countless hours of work they take on with their elected offices and as volunteers on the national and local levels. We may not always agree, in fact discourse a debate is the heart of a Democracy, but we do respect each other, know of and honor the work we all do for the membership of the Screen Actors Guild in our branches and nationally, as well as for the future of all talent and future talent. The relationships built in our non-paying volunteer positions through incumbency helps both our branches and the overall well being of the Screen Actors Guild. 

    While those on who have not served may think there is power, money or career advancement and opportunity in service to the Guild and contact with the magic perceived as Hollywood or Broadway, this could not be further from the truth. The time is spend in building relationships, friendships that work to the advantage of our membership, in long hours of meetings, sidebars and caucus's. The truth is that service to the Guild takes time from and interferes with career and in the eyes of producers may reduce the potential of employment, even more so in Right to Work Anti-Union States such as Nevada.

    Incumbents deserve the positive attention and consideration by their sisters and brothers of this proud union, the Screen Actors Guild.

    I am endorsing reelection of the following representatives of the Regional Branch Division, both SAG National Board members and Presidents, including Nevada's Steve Dressler.

    arizona (steve fried incumbent)
    chicago (todd hissong incumbent)
    florida (nancy duerr incumbent)
    georgia (debra nelson incumbent)
    new mexico (roy costley incumbent)
    san francisco (tom chantler incumbent)
    seattle (abby dylan incumbent)
    utah (anne sward incumbent)

    rbd constituencies will be electing branch presidents in:

    chicago (todd hissong incumbent)
    dallas (brent anderson incumbent)
    detroit (peter tocco incumbent)
    florida (steve gladstone incumbent)
    georgia (wilbur fitzgerald incumbent)
    houston (robert nelson incumbent)
    nashville (mike montgomery incumbent)
    nevada (steve dressler incumbent)
    philadelphia (tom mccarthy incumbent/retiring)
    san francisco (kathryn howell incumbent)
    washington/baltimore (kirk penberthy incumbent)

    In addition I may add other local endorsements, however at this time petitions are out and it is not known which races may be contested in Nevada or the other Regional Branches.

    This is not a document or blog of the Screen Actors Guild or any other organization. This blog is the private and personal property of myself, Art Lynch, as a public service and an information channel for talent in Nevada and by extension those interested in the field of acting on a national and international basis. I do serve on the National Board of Directors of the Screen Actors Guild and am a past president of the Nevada Branch of the Screen Actors Guild, but do not speak or write for the union or any union related entity. These are personal endorsements and honest statements from myself, Art Lynch.

    Google Wave

    From the article  “The Educator’s Guide to Google Wave”  by Communication Blog contributor Anna Miller. The site does promote private colleges and schools, but also contains a wide range of entired on education, communication and the challenges both students and faculty face in today's educational environment. Below is an excerpt from the "Wave" blog entry:

    Google Applications have already proven themselves as extremely valuable tools for educators of all types, and the launch of Google Wave for general use in 2010 continued the internet juggernaut’s dominance in shaping the future of how people communicate. Unsurprisingly, their dynamic, interactive Wave communities provide a glut of opportunities for savvy teachers eager to embrace the latest technological developments.

    At its core, Google Wave seeks to provide a means of organizing and streamlining projects involving a group of people. Anyone approved to participate in a particular community wields the power to edit and change information to keep others updated on any changes, challenges, and progress involving the goal at hand. This interface certainly improves upon the old system of group e-mails, phone calls, notes, and other scattered bits of information that could easily overwhelm all group members. Google Wave’s all-inclusive environment definitely allows newcomers to the specified projects a quicker means of soaking up all the data may have missed had they been forced to scan a plethora of e-mails, instant messages, and voice mails. Best of all, users have the option of making their collaborations either public or private, so anyone concerned about confidential research need not worry about sneaky leaks.
    Beyond the sheer convenience factor, the Wave communities also supply members with a lovely selection of multimedia tools - including maps, images, videos and text - to create something interesting, creative and unique. Any and all changes to the various media are archived so that participants and newcomers have a frame of reference for how any issues or evolutions came about. Suffice to say, teachers and students of all levels can benefit from this sleek and flexible product. Google Wave itself spotlights at least 2 projects, using them as examples of how educators have creatively applied the available tools to creating a nurturing environment that opens people up to new ideas and information. More stimulating than a lecture, participants now have a far more interactive means of learning everything they can about the world they inhabit.  (Story continued at: