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Monday, September 13, 2010

The Biz...weekly observations

Do we get enough news or are we "news" apathetic?

Survey out from Pew Trust this weekend shows we are spending 57 minutes getting news from TV, newspapers and radio. Same amount we did ten years ago. Add in an average two hours of internet and assuming on third of that is news related, we are at the same news literacy level as fifteen years ago.

Of course in the past fifteen years what is news has migrated from hard core and public good to whatever will keep viewers or listeners hanging on in six minute metered increments, or readers paying for a paper copy of a publication.

Hard news and large staffs gathering the news are both fading into a fog of talking heads, slanted coverage,  ripping and reading the same coverage from single sources, and some may believe yellow journalism.

Also with modern media it is possible to "pod" and feed yourself only with the information you already agree with or what makes you feel good. In addition the shift to entertainment and ratings driven news delivery increase audience while decreasing actual diversity of views and balance of information.

It's Hollywood's Spring Training Season.

This is the film festival season, with key distribution hoping films and films where buzz is being built for awards are competing for attention and press. Are they Oscar launching pads? Mostly for the media, yes. Festival films do get critics attention. Behind it all is the quality of the film and almost the only remaining venues for quality adult (not to be confused with X) films.

Are movies social and engaging, or just products on the marketing shelf?

The fourth "Pirates of the Caribbean" represents a make-over of the film devision of Disney and how they build and market films. A firing of most of the staff and replacement with "markers" failed for two big films this summer, so with "Pirates" and "Tron" ahead, the heavy use of outside firms is a first for Disney. The loss of the ABC news chief, change of both cable and broadcast presidents, reshuffling of programming on cable franchises and ramping up of low budget spin offs of their historic library mark the new "marketing" Disney, which some in Hollywood say is no longer a true studio, but a product factory.

For more go to KCRW's The Business....Material in this post is both from that broadcast and from other sources and the authors's industry knowledge and gleaning.

Smith Center books musical 'Wicked' as its inaugural Broadway touring show

Reasonable ticket prices part of agreement

Welcome the wicked witch to our corner of the West.
"We've been waiting for you to have a performing arts center so we could come to Las Vegas," says David Stone, producer of megahit "Wicked," which has been booked as the first Broadway touring production at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts in 2012, providing a big dose of prestige for the under-construction complex.
"If you asked me last year if there was one show I would put at the top of my list of Broadway shows to bring to Las Vegas, this would've been the pick," says Myron Martin, president of the Smith Center. "It gives us a chance in our first full season to have a show that will run for (six) weeks, guaranteed to sell out every performance. I couldn't be happier."

Broadway's No. 1 show for the past six years, with touring productions and "sit-down" engagements in cities worldwide, "Wicked" will fly into Reynolds Hall, the center's main performance venue, Aug. 28-Oct. 7, 2012, about five months after its March 2012 opening, scheduling eight performances each week.

While the announcement comes two years before the show arrives, the "Wicked" tour is booked through 2013, and sealing the deal before the center is built is not unprecedented. "We've done that before," Stone says. "We committed in Durham (N.C.) before the building was finished. They have a few months' grace if they have some production delays before we get there."

"Their stealing our bodies"

"Invasion of the Body Snatchers" 'hero' Kevin McCarthy is dead at the age of 96. He played the doctor who tried to warn a small town and the world of the invasion in the 1956 classic film. The remainder of this post is from Wikipedia. 

Kevin McCarthy

in Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
BornFebruary 15, 1914
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
DiedSeptember 11, 2010 (aged 96)
Hyannis, Massachusetts, U.S.
Other namesKevin Mc Carthy
Kelvin McCarthy
Kevin Mccarthy
Years active1944–2010
Spouse(s)Augusta Dabney (m. 1941–1961)
Kate Crane (m. 1970–2010) (his death)

As an American stage, film, and television actor, he appeared in over two hundred television and film roles. For his role in the 1951 film version of Death of a Salesman, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and won a Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year - Actor.[2]
McCarthy went on to have a long and distinguished career as a character actor. He has had some starring roles sprinkled in his career, most notably the science fiction film classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers. On television, he had roles in two short-lived series: The Survivors with Lana Turner; and NBC's Flamingo Road as Claude Weldon, father of the Morgan Fairchild character. In 1956, he appeared with Alexis Smith in the NBC anthology seriesThe Joseph Cotten Show in the episode "We Who Love Her". McCarthy appeared too in the 1959 episode "The Wall Between" of CBS's anthology seriesThe DuPont Show with June Allyson. He guest starred in the 1960 episode of The Twilight Zone entitled "Long Live Walter Jameson", as the title character.
In 1963, McCarthy appeared in the ABC medical drama Breaking Point in the episode entitled "Fire and Ice". In 1966 he appeared in the episode "Wife Killer" of the ABC series The Fugitive. In 1967, he appeared in the episode "Never Chase a Rainbow" of NBC's western series The Road West starring Barry Sullivan. In 1977, he and Clu Gulager appeared in the episode "The Army Deserter" of another NBC western series, The Oregon Trail, starring Rod Taylor, a program cancelled after only six weeks on the air. In 1985, McCarthy guest-starred in a fourth Season episode of The A-Team called "Members Only".
McCarthy was one of three actors (along with Dick Miller and Robert Picardo) frequently cast by director Joe Dante.
In 2007 McCarthy appeared as himself in the Anthony Hopkins film Slipstream. The film made several references to his Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
On October 24, 2009, McCarthy was honored at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival.[5]