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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Google is now the number one in corporate lobbying.


Last year the single largest corporate lobbyist was General Electric.  The second biggest? A new arrival, called...Google. Time Magazine White House correspondent Michael Scherer tells Brooke what took the tech industry so long to get lobbying and what they're doing to influence politics. Silicon Valley is both libertarian and liberal, with liberal social values but right wing Republican corporate power financial interests. Above all they want government to stay our of business.

In both of President Obama's campaigns he raised more money in Silicon Vellay (meaning the computer software world) then Hollywood (meaning the entertainment industry) based on social values, however the tide may be shifting.

Is unchecked corporate growth for Apple, Google, Mocrosoft or other companies healthy for America, our privacy and our overall social values?

12 Angry Men

Will theatrical movies disappear? Follow the money.


Why Television Is Trouncing Film at Major Media Companies

Movies are fast becoming the ugly stepchild for major media companies, while television continues to be the cash cow that drives profits.

That’s the message that emerges from an analysis conducted by TheWrap of the annual reports of five major media companies in 2011. And it's a dramatic change from the way things used to be, when movies were the straw that stirred Hollywood's drink.
“I remember when international buyers had to be forced to take TV product, and they only wanted movies -- now it's the other way around,” Jeff Sagansky, former president of CBS Entertainment and a former senior executive at Sony, told TheWrap.
The latest annual reports show that film has become a very small piece of the overall revenue pie. Television can be counted on to generate roughly half of a company’s revenue and up to 80 percent of its operating income, such as at Time Warner. (Sony does not break out its TV and film revenues and thus was not included in the survey.)
Read the full data comparison here: By the Numbers: Television Trounces Film (Slideshow)

Though Paramount has began to ramp up its film production in recent years with hits like “Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol” and “Star Trek,” its big screen successes cannot match those of Comedy Central, Nick at Nite, MTV and Nickelodeon. From ad sales to SpongeBob SquarePants merchandise, the margins and opportunities for ancillary revenue are more generous on the television side of the business.
The strength of cable networks like ESPN and the Disney Channel and the affiliate and advertising revenue they generate enabled the Mouse House to emerge relatively unscathed from its recent “John Carter” and "Mars Needs Moms" debacles.
In a recent presentation at Barclay’s Global Technology, Media and Communication Conference, Warner Bros. Television Chief Bruce Rosenblum boasted that Time Warner’s small-screen divisions are responsible for about 80 percent of its profits. Although its film side has produced global smashes like “The Dark Knight” and the Harry Potter franchise, it cannot match the combined earnings of HBO, Turner and Warner Bros. TV Group. Plus, Warner Bros. hit programming like “The Big Bang Theory” and “Two and Half Men” earns countless millions more in syndication.
Fox News continues to dominate the cable-news ratings, while the company’s broadcast network has churned out hits like “Glee” and “Family Guy” that allows them to paper over misfires like “Terra Nova.”
NBC may be a ratings also-ran, but MSNBC has carved out a niche for itself in the crowded cable-news space, and overall cable operations have benefited from higher licensing fees. It is easy to see why Comcast Chairman Brian Roberts’ first love is cable, not film.

Click here to continue reading this story in The Wrap...

L.A. movie palaces still matter to film industry

Orpheum the artist j. edgar

From the LA Times Company Town Blog (click here)

The opulent picture palaces and vaudeville halls of Downtown Los Angeles may be monuments to a bygone era, but they are still keeping their ties to Hollywood.

Theaters in the historic Broadway District, including The Orpheum, the Palace Theatre and the Los Angeles Theatre, are featured in several current and upcoming movies, including Walt Disney Pictures’ “The Muppets,” Warner Bros.’ “J. Edgar” and “The Dark Knight Rises,” and the Weinstein Company’s “The Artist,” the silent, black-and-white period romance that opens in the U.S. this week.

The elegant structures are popular among location managers and set designers because of their rich and varied architecture, which ranges from Art Deco to French Baroque and Spanish Gothic -- sometimes all in the same venue.

“These downtown L.A. theaters constitute a local treasure trove of historic and exotic show palace interiors and exteriors,” said Harry Medved, co-author of the book "Location Filming in Los Angeles." “They can double as live theaters, nightclubs, casinos, hotel lobbies or music halls in London, New York, Detroit and Paris.”

Another selling point: because they are no longer used for showing first-run movies, the buildings are readily available for dressing up as movie sets.

“They are an incredibly valuable resource for filming in Los Angeles," said John Panzarella, location manager for “In Time,” the recently released sci-fi thriller starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried. Panzarella booked the grand lobby of the Los Angeles Theatre to depict a futuristic casino.
“In Time” is among more than a dozen movies that have filmed at the Broadway District landmark, which was designed by architect Charles Lee and opened in 1931 for the gala screening of Charlie Chaplin’s “City Lights.” The building, now listed with the National Registry of Historic Places, was the last and most extravagant of the downtown movie palaces built between 1910 and 1931. Together they formed the core of the city’s entertainment district, which also hosted live performances by artists from Judy Garland to Duke Ellington.

Later, they hosted puppets. Producers of “The Muppets” also shot a scene in the same lobby, where Kermit the Frog makes his final speech on the grand staircase.

Most of the original 19 theaters have long since closed. A handful -- including the Orpheum, the Million Dollar Theater and the Palace -- remain open for special events, screenings and concerts. (Loew’s State Theatre, at 7th and Broadway, is a church.) Several rent their auditoriums, lobbies and ballrooms to film crews, which may be the reason they’re still around.

“Their use as film locations is one of the main reasons they are still here and intact," said Hillsman Wright, co-founder of the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation, which has been working to preserve the storied real estate. “They are very powerful buildings that were designed to take you away from the troubled world, particularly during the Depression era. They were built to inspire, and they still have that quality.”

Richard Middleton, executive producer of “The Artist,” said the old movie houses are an asset to a city that has suffered from runaway production.

The story, including photos and video continues at

Classic Shot

There is a scene in the John Huston classic "The Maltese Falcon" in which Sydney Greenstreet's character Gutman has to choose between his right-hand man Wilmer or toss him to the cops so he can continue on with his quest for the priceless falcon statute.
Gutman mulls it over for a few seconds and then turns to Wilmer and tells him, "I am sorry indeed to lose you and I want you to know that I couldn't be fonder of you if you were my own son. But, well, by gad, if you lose a son, it's possible to get another and there's only one Maltese Falcon."