Richard Sakai (I) - News Poster


Alf Clausen, ‘The Simpsons’ Composer, Fired After 27 Years

  • Uinterview
Alf Clausen, who has composed for The Simpsons for the past 27 years, has been fired from the show. Simpsons Composer Alf Clausen Fired Clausen reported that he received a call from Simpsons producer Richard Sakai, who said the company wanted “a different kind of music.” He confirmed the news on Twitter and thanked his fans for their […]

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‘Simpsons’ Producers Issue Statement Addressing Firing Of Composer Alf Clausen

Alf Clausen, the man responsible for providing music on animated TV show “The Simpsons” for the past 27 years, has been abruptly fired, reports Variety. Clausen told the industry publication that he was called by longtime Simpsons producer Richard Sakai, and was told that Fox was looking for “a different kind of music.” The TV veteran, who […]
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‘The Simpsons’ Fires Emmy-Winning Composer Alf Clausen After 27 Years

One would think that, after 23 Emmy nominations (with 2 wins) and 568 episodes worth of musical effort under his belt, composer Alf Clausen would have been safe at The Simpsons for years to come. Instead, the award-winning musician was fired from the Fox show just yesterday after 27 years of adventurous accompaniment. As Variety reported, Clausen fielded a call from The Simpsons producer Richard Sakai who informed him that Fox was seeking “a different kind of music” and that his services would no longer be needed going forward. The change was made rather quickly, too; Clausen's last …
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The Simpsons composer fired after 27 years

Alf Clausen, the award winning composer behind The Simpsons, has been fired after 27 years.

Clausen, an Emmy Award winner, has been scoring the lives of Homer, Lisa, and Bart for 27 years. However, the composer has told Variety that he received a call from producer of The Simpsons, Richard Sakai, informing him that the company was looking for “a different kind of music” and that his services would no longer be required.

Alf Clausen has been a staple of the long running Fox animated series over the years and a certain amount of speculation is circulating as to why he was fired. This includes cost-cutting measures that have been taking place on The Simpsons for some time, even though Fox still receives massive profits from the show.

The last complete score of Clausen’s Simpsons career was for the season finale of season 28 which aired back in May. Danny Elfman’s
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Simpsons producers say Alf Clausen will have an "ongoing role" despite being fired

Yesterday, we reported that longtime Simpsons composer Alf Clausen had been unexpectedly fired from the show after 27 years, with producer Richard Sakai telling him that The Simpsons was looking for “a different kind of music.” That reasoning seemed silly, since The Simpsons has had a very specific kind of music for…

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The Simpsons Fires Longtime Composer Alf Clausen After 27 Years

The Simpsons Fires Longtime Composer Alf Clausen After 27 Years
The sound of Springfield is going to be a little different when The Simpsons returns for its 29th season. Why? Because the show's longtime composer (we're talking 27 years here!) Alf Clausen has been fired. Per Variety, Clausen received a call from producer Richard Sakai informing him that the series was looking for "a different kind of music" and he wasn't the one they wanted to hear it from. His last complete score for the series will be the Season 28 finale, with the identity of the composer for the Oct. 1 season premiere not yet known. Clausen addressed his firing on Twitter, writing, "Thank you for all of the support...unfortunately, the news is true..." He takes his...
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‘Simpsons’ Composer Alf Clausen Fired After 27 Years

  • The Wrap
‘Simpsons’ Composer Alf Clausen Fired After 27 Years
Alf Clausen has been let go after 27 years as composer of “The Simpsons.” “Thank you for all of the support,” Clausen tweeted on Wednesday. “Unfortunately, the news is true…” He said he received a phone call from “The Simpsons” producer Richard Sakai saying the show was going in a different direction. Also Read: Is 'Hellboy' Whitewashing Proof of Hollywood 'Genocide Through Script Revisions'? The composer has scored the show since Season 2 but is not responsible for the theme music, which was written by Danny Elfman and is expected to continue to open the Fox animated series when it returns in the fall.
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The Simpsons Fires Musical Composer Alf Clausen After 27 Years

The Simpsons Fires Musical Composer Alf Clausen After 27 Years
The Simpsons might sound a little different when the Fox cartoon returns for Season 29 this fall.

Alf Clausen, who’s served as The Simpsons‘ musical composer for 27 years, has been fired, according to our sister site Variety. Clausen tells Variety he received a call from producer Richard Sakai, who told him the show was looking for “a different kind of music.”

The producers of The Simpsons provided the following statement to Deadline regarding Clausen’s departure: “We tremendously value Alf Clausen’s contributions to The Simpsons and he will continue to have an ongoing role in the show. We remain
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‘The Simpsons’ Fires Longtime Composer Alf Clausen After 27 Years

‘The Simpsons’ Fires Longtime Composer Alf Clausen After 27 Years
After 27 years of faithful service to America’s favorite four-fingered family, two-time Emmy winning composer Alf Clausen has been fired from The Simpsons. Variety first broke the news, reporting that Clausen received a called from “Simpsons” producer Richard Sakai informing him that the show would be using “a different kind of music” from now on.

Reached for comment through email, producers issued the following statement: “We tremendously value Alf Clausen’s contributions to ‘The Simpsons’ and he will continue to have an ongoing role in the show. We remain committed to the finest in music for ‘The Simpsons,’ absolutely including orchestral. This is the part where we would make a joke but neither Alf’s work nor the music of the Simpsons is treated as anything but seriously by us.”

Read More: Amy Poehler and ‘The Simpsons’ Alums Developing New Fox Animated Comedy — First Details

Though the famous theme song is composed by Danny Elfman,
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Longtime composer Alf Clausen has been fired from The Simpsons

After 27 years of making jaunty cartoon music for The Simpsons, longtime composer Alf Clausen has been fired from the show. That’s according to Variety, which reports that Simpsons producer Richard Sakai recently called Clausen and told him that the show is looking for “a different kind of music,” so someone different…

See full article at The AV Club »

‘The Simpsons’ Composer Alf Clausen Fired After 27 Years (Exclusive)

‘The Simpsons’ Composer Alf Clausen Fired After 27 Years (Exclusive)
Two-time Emmy winner Alf Clausen has been fired from “The Simpsons” after 27 years of providing music for Bart, Lisa, and company.

Clausen told Variety that he received a call from “Simpsons” producer Richard Sakai that the company was seeking “a different kind of music” and that he would no longer be scoring the longtime Fox hit.

A Fox spokeswoman declined to comment.

Clausen, whose Emmy record includes two wins (1997 and ’98) and another 21 nominations for “The Simpsons” dating back to 1992, has scored more than 560 episodes of the series, starting early in the 1990-91 season. He is believed to be the most-nominated composer in Emmy history, with a total of 30 nominations overall.

He has also won five Annie Awards, all for his “Simpsons” music. His long tenure with the series has made him one of the most respected creators of animation music in TV history.

Clausen’s last complete score for the series was for the season finale of
See full article at Variety - TV News »

The Edge of Seventeen

The Edge of Seventeen

Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD

Universal Studios Home Entertainment

2016 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 105 min. / Street Date February 14, 2017 / 34.98

Starring – Hailee Steinfeld, Woody Harrelson, Kyra Sedgwick, Haley Lu Richardson, Blake Jenner, Hayden Szeto, Alexander Calvert.

Cinematography- Doug Emmett

Film Editor – Tracey Wadmore-Smith

Original Music – Atti Övarsson-

Produced by – James L. Brooks, Kelly Fremon Craig, Julie Ansell, Richard Sakai

Written and Directed by – Kelly Fremon Craig

Teen comedies can be annoying, but every year seems to bring a good one. What work nicely are thoughtful movies that acknowledge the modern problems of teens in such a highly sexualized world, and place the sexual aspects in a non-exploitative context. I have been entertained and moved by Reese Witherspoon and Matthew Broderick in Election, Ellen Page in Juno and Thomas Mann and Olivia Cooke in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. This year’s The Edge of Seventeen is a bright writing-directing
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Steven Yeun, Randall Park, Constance Wu to Attend Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment Anniversary Gala

Steven Yeun, Randall Park, Constance Wu to Attend Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment Anniversary Gala
Advocacy group Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (Cape) will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a gala on Saturday, Oct. 22 at The Belasco Theater in Los Angeles.

The evening will include remarks by co-founder Justin Kan and COO Kevin Lin, and a look at the history and future of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Additionally, magician David Kwong will perform.

“For a quarter of a century, Cape has promoted and nurtured Asian American and Pacific Islanders who are among the most creative and influential change-makers in Hollywood,” said Michelle K. Sugihara, executive director of Cape. “In a time when diversity and inclusion are finally more than buzz words, and as the entertainment industry scrambles for more inclusive leaders and stories, Cape looks forward to cultivating the rich talent pool within our community and to becoming an effective resource of Aapi talent for the industry.”

Among those scheduled to
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Mila Kunis-Kristen Bell Moms Comedy Set for August by Stx

Mila Kunis-Kristen Bell Moms Comedy Set for August by Stx
Stx Entertainment has set Aug. 19 as the opening date for its untitled moms comedy starring Mila Kunis, Christina Applegate and Kristen Bell.

Jon Lucas and Scott Moore are directing the movie, previously titled “Bad Moms,” from their own script. Suzanne Todd (“Alice in Wonderland”) and Bill Block are producing.

The film follows three moms who embark on a quest to liberate themselves from their mundane, everyday chores, accidentally landing themselves on a collision course with their children’s school’s PTA president and her blindly devoted clique of “perfect” moms.

Stx also set its untitled coming of age comedy, starring Hailee Steinfeld, for a Sept. 30 opening. The project, known as “Besties,” also stars Woody Harrelson, Kyra Sedgwick, Haley Lu Richardson, Blake Jenner and Hayden Szeto.

Kelly Fremon Craig is directing from her own script. Producers are James L. Brooks, Richard Sakai and Julie Ansell.

Stx also gave a pre-Halloween date of Oct.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Hailee Steinfeld to Star in Stx's Coming-of-Age Drama (Exclusive)

Hailee Steinfeld to Star in Stx's Coming-of-Age Drama (Exclusive)
Hailee Steinfeld is in negotiations to star in Stx Entertainment's coming-of-age film, previously called Besties. In the vein of John Hughes film, the story centers on two high school girls who are best friends until one starts secretly dating the other’s older brother. Director-producer James L. Brooks (As Good As It Gets, Spanglish) is producing the project, while Kelly Fremon Craig, who wrote the spec script, is set to make it her directorial debut, with Brooks serving as a mentor. Richard Sakai and Julie Ansell also are producing. Craig's spec, which was called Besties, was originally scooped

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See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Mitchell Block Direct: V1 Issue 3: Chasing Ice, Maggie Simpson, and the Academy Shortlisted Documentary Film Nominations

Vol. I Issue 3

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Chasing Ice directed by Jeff Orlowski

Chasing Ice is the story of James Balog’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. Within months of that first trip to Iceland, the photographer conceived the boldest expedition of his life: The Extreme Ice Survey. With a band of young adventurers in tow, Balog began deploying revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers.

In a year where the Short Listed Academy documentary features deal with issues ranging from sexual harassment in the military to the Catholic Church’s cover-up of sexually molesting children, Chasing Ice deals with arguably the most important issue proving that the ice caps are melting and that the warming of the planet will have a catastrophic effect. But this is a year where the MPAA rating of a film about bullying school students has seemed to get the most press. That’s a shame. Chasing Ice needs to be seen. It is the most important short listed documentary film of the year. Like Davis Guggenheim’s Al Gore PowerPoint presentation, this film is scary. With never-before-seen time lapse photography we can dramatically see the ice caps and giant glaciers shrinking. A chunk of ice the size of lower Manhattan crashes into the sea. The ice flows like a river into the sea. We all know that when the ice melts, it releases its fresh water into the sea and that the water will rise. In time a few feet. Say good bye to land that several hundred million people live on.

So what’s the problem? They don’t have the press machine of Bob and Harvey Weinstein that makes a mountain out of an MPAA rating. Can the Oscar nomination go to the most important film? (could this paragraph go after next paragraph?)

But wait, there is more. This is a strikingly well made film. It has a compelling character, James Balog, who is giving his body to science and this cause. The cracks we hear are not chunks of ice but his knees disintegrating as he scales cliffs of rock and ice. The filmmakers really are risking their lives making the film, the ice takes no prisoners, the small planes and helicopters regularly crash. The film unfolds with precision; we are moved and awed by the characters and the stunning photography. The score is first rate as is the editing. This is a work that should be short listed but might be overlooked because it lacks the political coolness of some of the other films. This would be a shame.

The Filmmakers

Chasing Ice is directed by Jeff Orlowski, cinematographer for the Extreme Ice Survey, and an award-winning filmmaker. A Stanford University graduate, he has been working with Balog since 2007 and has shot over 300 hours of footage of Eis in the field. His work for Eis has screened on NBC, CNN, PBS, National Geographic, and hundreds of other venues around the world.

The film is produced by Paula DuPre’ Pesmen, the winner of the 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary and 2010 Producers Guild of America ‘Producer of the Year’ for her role on The Cove. She has also served as producer on three Harry Potter films, Rent, and Mrs. Doubtfire. The film is also produced by Jerry Aronson, nominated for an Academy Award for the documentary The Divided Trail, and the director of The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg.


Director/Producer: Jeff Orlowski

Producers: Paula DuPre’ Pesmen, Jerry Aronson

Executive Producers: David and Linda Cornfield

Writer: Mark Monroe

Cinematography: Jeff Orlowski

Music Composer: J. Ralph

Editor, Mark Monroe

Production: Diamond Docs (in association with)

Exposure Production, Exposure

Distributors (Us): Submarine Deluxe and National Geographic Channel

Maggie Simpson a short animated film by David Silverman

The Longest Daycare is a four-and-a-half-minute-long animated 3D short animated film based on the animated television series The Simpsons.

Directed by David Silverman The Longest Daycare is one of my favorite short animated films short listed for the Oscar this year. Silverman, credited with creating the look of the Simpsons, has directed numerous episodes of this hit series. Daycare has no dialogue. It is hilarious in part because of its silent film style. It is smart and fun. Maggie is a delight. This short film is really special. Between the 3D, the super clever writing and the stunning animation style, it is one of the very rare animations that can be enjoyed by any audience. Silverman’s work deserves an Oscar.

Scored by Hans Zimmer, best known for his work on Hollywood blockbusters, the score references numerous films scores and adds another layer of meaning to this magnificent (really?) work. Silverman attended the University of Maryland College Park and studied animation at UCLA.


Directed by: David Silverman

Produced by: James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Al Jean, Richard Raynis, Richard Sakai

Written by: James L. Brooks, Joel H. Cohen, Matt Groening, Al Jean, David Mirkin, Michael Price

Music by: Hans Zimmer, James Dooley (addition music)

Distributed by: 20th Century Fox

Running time: 4:30

Academy announces 15 feature documentary films shortlisted for the Documentary Film Nomination

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced the short listed documentary features on December 3, 2012. Under the new documentary branch rules all of the branch members as well as documentary nominees and award winners from other Academy branches could vote for the short listed films. About 180 Academy members participated. Dropping the committee process where four committees would screen one quarter of the submitted films, Documentary Branch Governor Michael Moore pushed the branch to use a preferential voting system with all branch members and other qualified Academy members participating. As this writer expected, works with a lot of hype, such as Bully, were short listed. One can wonder how many members who voted for this film actually saw it. In addition to changing the short listing process, the branch demanded that films had to have been reviewed in either the New York Times or the Los Angeles Times. Voters received 126 DVDs in the mail.

A number of worthy films were omitted, as is always the case, including: The Central Park Five (directed by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and David McMahon), West of Memphis (directed by Amy Berg), The Queen of Versailles, directed by Lauren Greenfield. I also really liked Bad 25 (directed by Spike Lee) and Love Marilyn (directed by Liz Garbus). Samsara (directed by Ron Fricke) is the year’s best documentary for its sheer poetry

The Academy can choose to nominate up to three people. However, only the director has a lock on the nomination. Individuals credited as “Producer” are vetted by the Producer’s Guild. Each must prove that they did a majority of the producer roles. This is the third year that this rule has been in force. Many of the films have multiple “producers” so it remains to be seen who will receive nominations. The decision of the Academy will be announced once the films are nominated. This has been somewhat contentious in the past.

AMPAS rules follow:

The nominee(s) should be the individual(s) most involved in the key creative aspects of the filmmaking process. A maximum of two persons may be designated as nominees, one of whom must be the credited director who exercised directorial control, and the other of whom must have a producer or director credit. If a producer is named, that individual must have performed a major portion of the producing functions, in accordance with Academy producer criteria. No more than two statuettes will normally be given in the Documentary Feature category. All individuals with a “Producer” or “Produced by” credit on films that reach the semifinal round will automatically be vetted. The Documentary Branch Executive Committee will determine which producers, if any, are eligible to receive an Oscar. In the unlikely event of a dispute, filmmakers may appeal the committee’s decision. In extremely rare circumstances, a third statuette may be awarded. Production companies or persons with the screen credit of executive producer, co-producer or any credit other than director or producer shall not be eligible as nominees for the motion picture.

The Short List:

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, directed by Alison Klayman

Bully, directed by Lee Hirsch

Chasing Ice, directed by Jeff Orlowski

Detropia, directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady

Ethel, directed by Rory Kennedy

5 Broken Cameras, directed by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi

The Gatekeepers, directed by Dror Moreh

The House I Live In, directed by Eugene Jarecki

How to Survive a Plague, directed by David France

The Imposter, directed by Bart Layton

The Invisible War, directed by Kirby Dick

Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, directed by Alex Gibney

Searching for Sugar Man, directed by Malik Bendjelloul

This Is Not a Film, directed by Mojtaba Mirtahmasb and Jafar Panahi

The Waiting Room, directed by Peter Nicks

The nominations for the 85th Academy Awards will be announced at 5:30 am (Pst) on Thursday, January 10, 2013. The awards will be handed out on Sunday, February 24, 2013.

Mitchell Block specializes in conceiving, producing, marketing & distributing independent features & consulting. He is an expert in placing both completed works into distribution & working with producers to make projects fundable. He conducts regular workshops in film producing in Los Angeles and most recently in Maine, Russia and in Myanmar (Burma).

Poster Girl, produced by Block was nominated for a Documentary Academy Award and selected by the Ida as the Best Doc Short 2011. It was also nominated for two Emmy Awards and aired on HBO. He is an executive producer of the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Carrier, a 10-hour series that he conceived & co-created. Block is a graduate of Tisch School and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. He is a member of Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the Television Academy, a founding member of BAFTA-la and has been teaching at USC School of Cinematic Arts since 1979. Currently Block teaches a required class in the USC Peter Stark Producing Program.


©2012Mwb All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved. All information and designs on the Sites are copyrighted material owned by Block. Reproduction, dissemination, or transmission of any part of the material here without the express written consent of the owner is strictly prohibited. All other product names and marks on Block Direct, whether trademarks, service marks, or other type, and whether registered or unregistered, is the property of Block.
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Bottle Rocket in Novemeber finally completes my Criterion Anderson Collection

To be brutally honest, I've been growing somewhat tired of Anderson's ongoing dire and deadpan family dramedies, but I think it's due to my own shifting sensibilities rather than anything that the director has been doing wrong. Wes Anderson is a friggin' American treasure and Bottle Rocket remains a crucial 90s indie flick. That said, this DVD has been a long time coming and news of this brilliant double disc set fills me with all kinds of giddy feelings this hot Tuesday morn. The set, which streets on Nov. 25th, will also be released in single disc form for those of you not willing to shell out 50 bucks. Full list of special features after the break.

Director-approved Double-disc Set Special Edition Features:

- New, restored high-definition digital transfer supervised and approved by director Wes Anderson and director of photography Robert Yeoman

- Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack

- Commentary by director/co-writer
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Criterion Collection's First Blu-ray Release Dates Announced

Late last week Criterion announced the first five titles they will release on Blu-ray high-definition discs and they will come loaded with bonus features and are already available for pre-order on Criterion's site. The first five titles include The Third Man and The Man Who Fell to Earth on November 18 and The Last Emperor, Bottle Rocket and Chungking Express the following week on November 25. I have included the specs and special features below as well as the cover art for three of the titles. The Third Man (1949) Will feature a restored high definition transfer in 1.37:1, and an uncompressed mono soundtrack. Video introduction by writer-director Peter Bogdanovich Two audio commentaries: one by filmmaker Steven Soderbergh and screenwriter Tony Gilroy, and one by by film scholar Dana Polan Shadowing "The Third Man" (2005), a ninety-minute feature documentary on the making of the film Abridged recording of Graham Greene's treatment, read by
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'Prada' director joins Endeavor

'Prada' director joins Endeavor
David Frankel, director of the summer hit The Devil Wears Prada and the pilot of HBO's Entourage, has signed with Endeavor. Frankel comes to Endeavor from ICM on the heels of former ICM co-president Nancy Josephson's move to Endeavor as a partner (HR 8/9). Other former ICM clients making the move along with Josephson include writer-producers Adam Chase (Friends), Adam Glass (All About the Andersons), Mark Gross (Rodney), Christopher Keyser (Party of Five), Claudia Lonow (The War at Home), Steve O'Donnell (Jimmy Kimmel Live), Richard Sakai (The Simpsons), Tom Straw (Grace Under Fire), author Adriana Trigiani and Steve Young (Late Show With David Letterman).
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