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Financial institutions have a leg-up on the American populace because economics are difficult to understand. They're also kind of boring, and Americans love to be entertained. We the Economy: 20 Short Films You Can’t Afford to Miss is a series of short films that attempt to use entertainment as means of educating people about the economy. Funny or Die has released two animated shorts from the anthology: "The Unbelievably Sweet Alpacas" directed by Adam McKay (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy) and "Gdp Smackdown" by Chris Henchy (writer on The Campaign). These are interesting shorts, but they unintentionally reveal another problem in America: confirmation bias. For example, those who deny income inequality exists in America or that any solution is "socialism" won't be swayed by McKay's short. There's no argument that can upset their worldview. These shorts may use entertainment to convey economic facts, but in America, the only "facts »
- Matt Goldberg
We the Economy: 20 Short Films You Can't Afford to Miss is a project tackling 20 essential questions about how money works—and for whom. The films, running between five and eight minutes, are viewable for free via multiple platforms and have been directed by Ramin Bahrani, Bob Balaban, Joe Berlinger, Jon M. Chu, Marshall Curry, Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing, Adrian Grenier, Catherine Hardwicke, Mary Harron, Chris Henchy, Lee Hirsch, Albert Hughes, Steve James, Barbara Kopple, Adam McKay, Jehane Noujaim, James Schamus, Morgan Spurlock, Miao Wang and Jessica Yu. » - David Hudson »
The Producers Guild has set Noah and Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky and his Protozoa partner Scott Franklin to speak at the first Produced By: New York conference on October 25 at the Time Warner Center in NYC. Others on the roster are Jon Kilik, Jake Gyllenhaal, James Schamus, Harvey Weinstein, Donna Gigliotti, Mark Gordon, Hawk Koch, Jenni Konner, Lydia Dean Pilcher, Peter Saraf, Morgan Spurlock and Terence Winter.
- Mike Fleming Jr
Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer, Morgan Spurlock, and comedian/actor Russell Brand are set to appear at next year’s South By Southwest confab, which today announced the first wave of 2015 Convergence speakers. The announcement of over 60 sessions includes panels in the growing SXsports program, TV, and Digital sidebars. The 2015 edition runs from March 13 – 22 in Austin, Texas – scroll down for the rundown:
A Curious Mind: The Inspiration for a Creative Life
Russell Brand Interview with Brian Solis
Russell Brand (Comedian), Brian Solis (Altimeter Group)
Athletes are Suddenly Funny: The Power of Comedy & Sports
Patrick Starzan (Funny or Die)
Battling Tradition to Re-Invent Youth Sports
Beyond the Bar Graph: Insights Over Info
Christopher Glode (Under Armour), Marybeth Thomson (MyFitnessPal)
The Business of Preparing Potential NFL Draftees
- Jen Yamato
Morgan Spurlock took the stage at Maker Studios’ 2014 Digital Content NewFront presentation to let the room full of advertising agency suits and the world at large know he was partnering with the YouTube multi-channel network on a brand new YouTube channel. The Oscar and Emmy Award nominee’s smartish was pitched as a “new type of channel for brands to partner on clever content that will exclusively be curated by ‘smartish’ talent across platforms” packaged in a variety of formats and produced by Maker Studios and Spurlock’s very own Warrior Poets. Five months later, Spurlock and Maker Studios announced they’ve greenlit at least 42 episodes across four original series under the smarish brand. “Smartish shows will make you laugh and make you think, and I'm a real believer that if you can make someone laugh then you can make someone listen,” said Spurlock in the release. “Through this partnership with Maker, »
- Joshua Cohen
Online video network Maker Studios announced Tuesday that four original series from Morgan Spurlock‘s Warrior Poets production company had been greenlit for the new channel, “Smartish.” The series will be collaborative productions featuring digitally native and traditional talent. “Smartish shows will make you laugh and make you think, and I'm a real believer that if you can make someone laugh then you can make someone listen,” said Spurlock. “Through this partnership with Maker, we are going to create the premiere destination for thought provoking and entertaining original content on the world wide interwebs.” Also read: Showtime Orders Morgan Spurlock Series ‘Seven Deadly. »
- Ryan O'Connell
Maker will create four original series for Morgan Spurlock’s fledgling channel smartish.
Spurlock’s Warrior Poets will co-own the series featuring digitally native and traditional talent.
“Smartish shows will make you laugh and make you think and I’m a real believer that if you can make someone laugh then you can make someone listen,” said Spurlock.
“Through this partnership with Maker, we are going to create the premiere destination for thought-provoking and entertaining original content on the worldwide interwebs.”
“Having worked with Morgan for many years, I couldn’t be more excited to team up on a premium content slate at Maker,” said Maker chief content officer Erin McPherson (pictured).
“Morgan has a unique ability to create poignant, digital-first content which is compelling across platforms, and have no doubt the smartish series will also translate to linear distribution.”
The four short-run series are: previously announced Consider The Source and How To Win At Life and »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen's Vulcan Productions and Morgan Spurlock's Cinelan are making their short film series We the Economy available for free on TV and digital platforms on Oct. 21. The 20 five- to eight-minute films were directed by James Schamus, Adam McKay, Catherine Hardwicke and Adrian Grenier, among others, and explore big questions about the economy, such as "What is money?", "What is globalization?" and "What causes inequality?" Read more Morgan Spurlock Previews 'Morgan Spurlock Inside Man' Season Two: A Lot More Travel and Living Out of a Bag The films will be released on more
- Hilary Lewis
A traditionalist would tell you John Oliver ought not be mentioned in the same breath as Scott Pelley, David Muir, or Brian Williams. In just a few years, however, traditionalists won’t be the people consuming the bulk of TV news.
Oliver is the HBO host who combines humor with investigative reporting on the premium cable network’s “Last Week Tonight” to such an illuminating degree that he’s made the cover of Rolling Stone after less than a year on the air and has been held up as a new example of presenting analysis of current affairs to a generation of viewers who find the usual sources to be too compromised or, worse, irrelevant. Would you have known that much about the pernicious influence of native advertising without Oliver on the beat? Or the flaws of the Miss America pageant?
He isn’t doing this all by himself. HBO »
- Brian Steinberg
Watch the Presidents Roundtable: The Future of Moviemaking, Marketing and Distribution: Watch Spotlight Interview with Ron Meyer: When Does a Mogul Become a Legend? Watch Jeffrey L. Bewkes’ Keynote Address: Watch Spotlight Speaker (Morgan Spurlock): See TheWrap's complete coverage of TheGrill 2014 — News, Photos, Videos TheGrill: Innovators Talk Opportunities, Pitfalls for Video Content in the Digital Age TheGrill: New Economy's Top Investors Reveal Why ‘Sports Rights Are Beachfront Real Estate’ (Video) TheGrill: Ron Meyer on Hollywood ‘Assholes,’ CAA ‘Monsters’ and Advice for the Next Generation TheGrill: ‘Rectify’ Star Abigail Spencer Says ‘Most of the Great Female Roles Are Happening »
- Wrap Staff
Going to the movies is expensive, and in this economy there’s less incentive than usual to make it to the multiplex just for a couple hours of entertainment, especially when so much of it is just reruns on the big screen (another Dracula, seriously?) — never mind all the other complaints you all have about the theatrical experience. The movies should be seen as a getaway from our troubles, just as they were for much of the Great Depression, but this time around we have so many other options to keep us distracted. Well, what if there was a movie playing in theaters for free? Yeah, you’ll still have to pay for a babysitter, gas, parking and concessions, if those things apply, but the main event costs you nothing on October 20th when you go out to see a bunch of new movies by Adam McKay (Anchorman), Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight), Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation), Steve »
- Christopher Campbell
When “Got Talent” was named the most successful reality TV franchise by the Guinness Book of World Records in April, it set a another benchmark for Simon Cowell’s Syco Entertainment. The top-rated Britain-born series has local versions in 58 territories, from Iceland to Kazakhstan, demonstrating just how much reach Cowell’s brand of talent scouting has worldwide.
Not only does Cowell produce shows that lead to hit records — and in the case of One Direction, a 3D Morgan Spurlock-directed concert film — he does so in a way that engages audiences around the globe, a skill Mipcom chose to honor with the Personality of the Year Award.
“We look for industry visionaries (who) have a very important role in creating original content that are driving major brands (with) impact internationally and, at the same time, are pushing boundaries. And Simon Cowell matches all of these,” says Laurine Garaude, who heads Mipcom for Reed-Midem. »
- Christy Grosz
Morgan Spurlock and a group of economically-minded filmmakers are on a mission to prove that the best things on screen are free.
The “Super Size Me” director is teaming up with Landmark Theatres this month to offer the new film series, “We the Economy: 20 Short Films You Can’t Afford to Miss” for free at 20 locations ranging from Boston to San Diego for one night only. The film will then be made available digitally and through other platforms the next day, also without charge.
Spurlock jokes that when he first told Landmark CEO and President Ted Mundorff that he wanted to offer the film for free there was a brief moment of silence before the exhibitor quickly said he was on board.
“We want to create an event to launch this and have it really take off,” said Spurlock.
The project is a collection of twenty short films from such »
- Brent Lang
Hollywood creative types should brace themselves because at least one “big data” advocate insists the industry would be better served by introducing advanced marketing as early as the first pitch meeting. C4 founder and CEO Vincent Bruzzese appeared at TheWrap's conference TheGrill at the Montage Beverly Hills on Tuesday, and he explained why the industry's current feedback cycle is inefficient. Also read: TheGrill: Morgan Spurlock on Making ‘Super Size Me’ and Saying No to Yes-Men (Video) “Let's say you have an idea that needs to be made into a movie or a TV show — if you're lucky enough it goes into coverage, »
- Travis Reilly
AMC Networks’ official motto might not be “good things come to those who wait,” but it might as well be. Josh Sapan, president & CEO of AMC Networks, appeared at TheWrap's conference TheGrill at the Montage Beverly Hills on Tuesday, repeatedly emphasizing the need to give shows the room to grow, and to let the craft of storytelling dictate content. Also read: TheGrill: Morgan Spurlock on Making ‘Super Size Me’ and Saying No to Yes-Men (Video) Sapan would know. AMC has thrived due to slow-burn series such as “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men” — now in its final season — which didn't »
- Tim Kenneally
It's been 25 years -- yes, 25 years -- since documentary filmmaker/overall s**t-disturber Michael Moore came out with his seminal doc "Roger & Me," which took a look at the United States' precarious dependence on the auto industry and the crumbling city of Flint, Michigan (his hometown).
Since that film, we all know the story: Moore shot to super-stardom and essentially became the face of the modern documentary with international hits like "Bowling for Columbine," "Fahrenheit 9/11," and "Sicko." In many ways, he paved the groundwork for future of-the-moment pop-culture documentarians like Morgan Spurlock and the "Catfish" brothers.
Moore attended the recent Toronto Film Festival (where "Roger & Me" first premiered a quarter-century ago) to be feted by the cinematic community and to speak at a conference, and Moviefone Canada caught up with him for a brief chat. Wearing his ever-present askew baseball hat, Moore went off on a small tangent about Canada, »
- Chris Jancelewicz
Morgan Spurlock had an unorthodox initiation into filmmaking, which shouldn't come as a surprise to people familiar with the body of work of the “Super Size Me” star and director. Spurlock joined TheWrap's CEO and editor-in-chief Sharon Waxman for a conversation Monday at TheGrill, TheWrap's fifth annual Media Leadership Conference at the Montage in Beverly Hills, where he revealed that the film opened all the doors that's led to his current career path. See photos: The Scene at TheGrill 2014: TheWrap's Media Leadership Conference (Photos) “I remember thinking, ‘We should figure out a way we can do this every week, »
- Linda Ge
There are few aspects of modern life as crucial to the day-to-day of lives of Americans as the worldwide economic system, but with so many figures, numbers, and phrases thrown out in headlines and turned into soundbites, it can be difficult to understand what the conversation is really about. But the upcoming web series "We The Economy" hopes to change that. Featuring twenty short films directed by Catherine Hardwicke, James Schamus, Chris Henchy, Morgan Spurlock, Jon M. Chu, Ramin Bahrani, Adrien Grenier, Lee Hirsch, Joe Berlinger, Jessica Yi, Barbara Kopple, Marshall Curry, Rachel Grady & Heidi Ewing, Bob Balaban, Albert Hughes, Miao Wang, Jehane Noujaim, Adam McKay, Shola Lynch, Steven James and Mary Harron, "We The Economy" is using some major names to help make the issues a whole lot easier to digest. Actors such as Kerry Bische, Judah Friedlander, Adam Goldberg, Patton Oswalt, Lili Taylor, Werner Herzog, and Isaiah Washington will appear in short. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
The series will launch across all digital platforms on October 21.
“At its core, the vision of this project is to fuse artistry and storytelling with economic expertise to engage the public in a truly informed dialogue about the Us economy,” said Vulcan Productions general manager and creative director Carole Tomko.
“This esteemed group of artists and thinkers galvanises our mission of bringing innovation to the public discourse about the economy, and empowering people to make better economic choices in their »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
Patton Oswalt, Amy Poehler, Sarah Silverman, Adrian Grenier, and Werner Herzog are among the more than 80 actors, directors, and academic and civic leaders who are collaborating on the digital series We the Economy: 20 Short Films You Can't Afford to Miss. Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions and Morgan Spurlock’s Cinelan will produce the series of informative and entertaining films that tackle serious economic issues. “At its core, the vision of this project is to fuse artistry and storytelling with economic expertise to engage the public in a truly informed dialogue about the U.S. economy," says Carole Tomko, general »
- Jeff Labrecque
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