Welcome to www.comprofessor.com a.k.a. Lynch Coaching: Media and Communication Prof's News and Views from Art Lynch. This blog exists to stimulate critical thinking, provide information on communication and media, stimulate discussion and share ideas. For additional media and other news see also sagactoronline.com. Thank you and tell your friends. - Art Lynch
Question for all those that are so up in arms about putting any kind of controls on internet theft: If it's OK to steal someone's work on the internet, is it also OK to just wander into a Barnes and Noble and walk out with whatever takes your fancy?
The film and TV industry is just that - an industry. If my employers can't hope to make some kind of profit on the content they hire me to make, they will simply stop making it. The idea that ANY kind of legislation to control internet theft is the gateway drug to TOTAL CENSORSHIP is bizarre, in the extreme.
Neither bill is perfect, fine - but let's stop pretending that the theft of billions of dollars is a-ok and get something in place before all we have are Youtube videos, and the entertainment industry's middle class disappears...
A primer for those wondering what the difference between SOPA, PIPA, and OPEN are—and how they might affect your life. It is not about taking away your rights, but finding a way to protect revenue for artist in the US, tax revenue to help us with our deficit, and stop the theft of images, music, word and ideas..
The fourth movie in Sony Pictures' "Underworld" vampire series should lead the box office this weekend as Hollywood hopes to continue what has been a strong January in theaters.
While people who have seen prerelease audience surveys are confident "Underworld: Awakening" will debut with between $20 million and $25 million, there's less certainty around another new entry, "Red Tails."
The George Lucas-produced movie about the Tuskegee Airmen is tracking for an opening of around $15 million, gaining momentum recently among African American audiences.
Underworld opens on more than twice as many screens as "Red Tails".
Those two pictures are expected to outpace Relativity Media's action film "Haywire," directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring mixed martial arts fighter Gina Carano, and Warner Bros.' Sept. 11 drama "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close," which is expanding nationwide this weekend.
Those relatively inexpensive movies, both of which were well-reviewed and generating interest mainly among sophisticated adult audiences, will likely open to about $10 million.
"Extremely Loud" has taken in $671,502 since opening in limited release on Christmas Day.
With "Underworld: Awakening," Sony's Screen Gems label and partner Lakeshore Entertainment spent a healthy $70 million on the production, which included bringing the franchise into 3-D for the first time.
The question is whether images popping off the screen will help the latest entry in the series about leather-clad vampires battling werewolves outgross 2009's "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans," which opened to $20.8 million.
In 2006, "Underworld: Evolution" debuted to a stronger $26.9 million.
If "Awakening" does top the box-office charts as expected, it will mark repeat success for star Kate Beckinsale, who also had a prominent role in last weekend's No. 1 film "Contraband."
"Red Tails" is also headed for a decent but not great opening given its reported cost of $58 million. The movie was financed entirely by Lucas, who is also covering the marketing costs. Twentieth Century Fox is distributing the film, which stars Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard and has received largely negative reviews.
In limited release, the Weinstein Co. is debuting the Ralph Fiennes-directed Shakespeare adaptation "Coriolanus," starring Gerard Butler, which had a one-week run in December to qualify for the Academy Awards.
"We Need to Talk About Kevin," starring Tilda Swinton in the adaptation of a book about the mother of a young killer, opens in Los Angeles this weekend after hitting New York City last week.
President Obama could face an anti-SOPA backlash from some of his traditional backers in Hollywood over his administration's stance on the controversial anti-piracy bills that have sparked a massive online protest.
Two senior entertainment executives and Obama donors, who declined to speak on the record, said they would not give the president's reelection effort further financial support because of his opposition to key parts of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA).
The two bills have been aggressively supported by the Motion Picture Assn. of America, which is Hollywood's chief lobbying arm, and entertainment industry unions, as a way to combat global Internet piracy. But the two groups have received serious push back from a coalition of top Internet companies that argue the proposed bills are poorly designed and don't have adequate civil liberties protections.
Other executives in the largely Democratic community said that although they are unhappy with Obama's position on the bills, they do not plan to abandon their support. “I don’t like the fact that Obama is against this,'' said producer Mike Medavoy, a lifelong Democrat and major Obama supporter. "But, this is a single issue and I’m not a single issue voter."
Barry Meyer, Chief Executive and Chariman for Warner Bros. Entertainment, said he and his peers were "very disappointed" with the White House's response to the bills, but declined to say whether he would not support Obama.
"They seemed to have bought into all this furor that has been raised,'' Meyer said. "It’s important that we register both to the administration and to Congress that this is important to the industry and to the jobs it supports."
In a recent email to fellow entertainment industry executives, Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix, urged his peers to continue to their support for Obama despite his administration's opposition to the bills in their current forms, according to a person who has seen the email.
Sarandos' wife, Nicole Avant, is Obama's former ambassador to the Bahamas and is currently assisting with his fundraising efforts in Los Angeles. The couple will host a fundraiser for the president, featuring First Lady Michelle Obama, at their Beverly Hills home on Jan. 31, according to a report in Variety.
Sarandos could not be reached for comment, but a spokesman for Netflix said the company is not taking a position on SOPA and said, "We are not commenting on Ted's personal political involvement."
As a tech company that is closely tied to the major studios, from which it buys the rights to movies and TV shows, Netflix is in a tricky position when it comes to SOPA and PIPA. Netflix appears to be remaining neutral in the fracas between Hollywood and Silicon Valley. It did not take part in the protest Wednesday that saw other sites, such as Google and Wikipedia, shut down for the day or post criticisms of the legislation on their homes pages.
Seacrest in! Ryan Seacrest, Mark Cuban, concert promotion giant AEG and talent shop Creative Artists Agency are partnering on a new cable channel that will focus on covering the world of pop culture and entertainment. Think of what E! and MTV used to be with the added element of being live most of the time. The channel will be called AXS. No, it's not supposed to sound like a body spray. It means "access." Although Seacrest is an investor, he will not have an on-air role on the channel, and the partners stressed this will not be the Ryan Seacrest channel. Details from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.
The Daily Dose: How many producers of the Fox comedy "New Girl" does it take to sit on a panel about making hit TV shows? It takes three. That's two more than the other shows with producers on a panel discussion being held Thursday by the Hollywood Radio Television Society luncheon. While "Two Broke Girls," "Justified" and "Walking Dead" each will have one producer field questions from the moderator, "Rescue Me" co-creator Peter Tolan, "New Girl" finagled three seats and thus 50% of the panel. So is this a case of egos out of control? HRTS executive director Dave Ferrara tried to downplay the unusual situation, saying "it felt like since we had the space and the three were so closely involved with the creation of the show that it would be an interesting take on it." But we understand the three will have to share one microphone.
SOPA opera. The fight over the Stop Online Piracy Act continues to rage with lots of websites going dark to protest a bill they feel will stifle speech and innovation on the Internet. Hollywood, meanwhile, has seen its hopes of getting SOPA through Congress fade as the White House has voiced its concerns about the proposed legislation. The Wall Street Journal on Hollywood's challenge on the bill and the Los Angeles Times on how President Obama could face a backlash from his entertainment industry supporters.
Get out the checkbook! Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. will cough up big bucks to settle some 36 claims of phone hacking against the media giant's now-closed News of the World tabloid and its other gossip rag, the Sun. Among those settling with the company are actor Jude Law and soccer star Ashley Cole. More from the Associated Press.
Tacky! I don't watch CBS's "Hawaii Five-0", but the New York Times does and they spotted this over-the-top bit of product placement from Subway, the sandwich chain. Hope the writers at least got a piece of the coin for having to sell out in such a big way.
Get your tickets on Facebook. Five major ticket sellers, including Ticketmaster, StubHub, ScoreBig, Eventbrite and TicketFly, launched an online store on Facebook Wednesday night -- all hoping to tap into the social network's 800 million users to boost sales.
The announcement is part of Facebook's ambitious plan, unveiled in September, to become an entertainment hub for its users, an online touchstone for discovering new bands, watching the latest viral videos, finding local concerts, and organizing friends for a night out on the town.
That extension, from online socializing to real-world get-togethers, is what live entertainment companies such as Ticketmaster and ScoreBig want to capitalize on.
"Today’s launch marks a new frontier for fans of live events," said Adam Kanner, chief executive of ScoreBig, an online name-your-bid ticketing company based in Hollywood. "Our members and their Facebook friends will now have a much more robust experience discovering live events.”
Ticketmaster also has high hopes for its Facebook storefront. Already, the company is among the world’s largest e-commerce sites, selling billions of dollars worth of tickets through its online platform each year. But the Beverly Hills ticketing giant thinks it can do even better by leveraging social media to get people to go out more.
Its Facebook application, for example, looks at each user's list of favorite bands or genre of music, as well as their approximate location, to recommend upcoming concerts in their area.
"We can use that data to make targeted recommendations about what people want to go see," said Kip Levin, Ticketmaster's executive vice president of e-commerce. Levin and other ticketing industry executives estimate that about half of concert seats go empty simply because fans weren't aware the bands were in town.
"It’s really about focusing on the online fan experience and making it easier for them to learn when their favorite band is coming to town, organize with their friends and paying for it," Levin said.
Media analysts say the move to social networks is a no-brainer for companies such as Ticketmaster.
"In any business, when you can take your business directly to where 800 million people are already congregating, it’s a good move," said James McQuivey, a senior analyst at Forrester Research in Cambridge, Mass.
The shift to social media carries a risk for Ticketmaster, whose brand is among the most reviled among consumers. Its young, charismatic chief executive, Nathan Hubbard, said at a San Francisco conference in November: "People want to eat my kids, they're so angry."
But Hubbard is forging ahead, putting the company out on Twitter and Facebook in hopes of repairing its reputation and winning over customers.
"People say they hate a lot of things -- advertising, arrogant newspaper reporters and Ticketmaster," McQuivey said. "But the fact is, they still need and value those things. Ticketmaster doesn’t need to win your hearts. They just need to win your mouse clicks."
Inside the Los Angeles Times:Nicole Sperling on Tilda Swinton's dark movie "We Need to Talk About Kevin."