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Us Briefs: Arnon Milchan to receive Gothams Industry Tribute

22 September 2016 3:56 PM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

The New Regency chairman and producer will receive the Industry Tribute at the 2016 Ifp Gotham Awards in New York on November 28.

The award is awarded each year to an individual “whose unique vision and contributions have made a significant impact on the motion picture industry.”

Milchan’s producing credits include recent best picture Academy Award winners 12 Years A Slave and Birdman, as well as Revenant, Once Upon A Time In America, The King Of Comedy and Brazil.

New Regency’s upcoming films include Warren Beatty’s Rules Don’t Apply, Assassin’s Creed and A Cure For Wellness.

Legendary Entertainment has hired veteran branding, consumer products and licensing executive James Ngo to the newly created role of senior vice-president of franchise management. Ngo will set to work finding additional revenue-generating streams for such properties as Godzilla and Pacific Rim and will also manage the company’s brand collaborations on established IP such as Pokémon.The American »

- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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‘Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise’ Trailer: October 14 Release Date Set For Documentary

21 September 2016 10:53 AM, PDT | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

Arc Entertainment has released the trailer for Sundance doc Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise. The film, presented by American Masters Pictures, will bow in theaters October 14. Directed by Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack, the film celebrates Dr. Maya Angelou by weaving her words in her voice with rare and intimate archival photographs, home movies and videos, which paint hidden moments of her exuberant life during some of America's most defining civil rights moments… »

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2016 Emmy Predictions: Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series

12 September 2016 6:00 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Quick Hits

Last Year’s Winner: “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst” Was It an Upset? Nope. Still Eligible? Nope. Hot Streak: “American Masters” has been nominated three years in a row – every year the category has existed. Fun Fact: Though only around for the past three years, four trophies have been handed out in this category. In 2014, “American Masters” and “Years of Living Dangerously” tied.

Read More: ‘Making a Murderer’ Wins Emmy For Outstanding Documentary Series

Last year, HBO walked away with this category because “The Jinx” became such a dominant cultural presence everyone and their brother was talking about it. The same could be said for “Making a Murderer, ” Netflix’s original docu-series that swept the nation upon its release and remains a talking point to this day.

That being said, “Chef’s Table” is nothing to sneeze at. If viewers check it out, they »

- Ben Travers

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WGA Reaches Deal For New Contract With Public TV

23 August 2016 4:31 PM, PDT | Deadline TV | See recent Deadline TV news »

The WGA East and West have reached an agreement with public television stations Wgbh Boston and Wnet New York on terms for a new three-year contract covering writers employed on such shows such as Frontline, Nova, American Experience and American Masters. The new contract provides for a 3% increase in all minimums, retroactive to July 1, with 0.5% of that amount diverted to the Writers Guild Industry Health Fund. Two other increases, effective July 1, 2017, and July 1… »

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Public Television Employees Ratify Writers Guild Contract

23 August 2016 4:23 PM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

The Writers Guild of America has reached agreement on a new three-year public television contract, which has been unanimously ratified by the members.

The deal covers about 200 employees working on shows such as “Nova,” “Frontline,” “American Experience”  and “American Masters.”

The new contract — negotiated jointly by the WGA East and WGA West — provides a 3% increase in all minimums retroactive to July 1, with 0.5% of that amount diverted to the Writers Guild Industry Health Fund.

Other increases to all minimums will be effective on July 1, 2017, and July 1, 2018, and will be the same as those negotiated next year for the successor deal for the WGA’s master contract, which expires May 1. All other terms in the previous Public Television contract will remain in effect.

The WGA has not yet scheduled negotiations on a successor deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

The WGA-pbs negotiating committee authorized the union to pursue a “cut through” negotiation with the the »

- Dave McNary

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Sound ace Roger Jay Pietschmann dies at 71

10 August 2016 6:14 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

It emerged on Tuesday that Roger Jay Pietschmann died in his Los Angeles home on July 26 after a six-year battle with multiple symptom atrophy. He was 71.

Pietschmann grew up in Los Angeles, attending University High School, Santa Monica Community College, and California State University at Long Beach.

Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, Pietschmann worked as a boom operator, sound recordist and mixer.

He began his career as the sound recorder on Taxi Driver and assembled a roster of credits that included Batman Returns, Project X, Twilight Zone: The Movie, Honey, I Blew Up The Kid, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure and The X Files.

Pietschmann’s work in television and documentary include sound operator on 60 Minutes, Dexter, Nature, American Masters, and Sleeper Cell

He received a Primetime Emmy nomination for Sleeper Cell and a Cinema Audio Society Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing nomination for the same show, as well as »

- govi2016@lawnet.ucla.edu (Alec Govi)

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‘An Art That Nature Makes’ Exclusive Trailer: New Doc Examines Rosamond Purcell’s Essential Work

21 July 2016 2:25 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Molly Bernstein’s “An Art That Nature Makes: The Work of Rosamond Purcell” examines the life and career of photographer Rosamond Purcell, bringing light to a major presence long unrecognized by the art world. A collector of objects that’s curious about human beings’ obsessive need to collect, Purcell is not an easily classifiable artist, but she’s someone who uses material objects as a medium to understand the collective human psyche. The daughter of an eminent Harvard University historian, she grew up in an academic environment where the written word was sacred, but eventually gravitated towards images both emotionally and intellectually challenging. Some of the images in her work include an old, discarded book transformed by the steady work of hungry termites, and a meticulously arranged box of human molars collected by Peter the Great. The documentary features interviews with not only Purcell, but admirers such as author Jonathan Safran Foer, »

- Vikram Murthi

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How ‘Norman Lear’ Directors Found ‘Just Another Version of You’

13 July 2016 1:23 PM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Ever since it wowed opening-night crowds at Sundance 2016, documentary biopic “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You” has met a range of reactions. That’s because it’s more than a straightforward cradle-to-grave chronicle of Lear’s remarkable decades of television creativity. (Music Box opened the film in New York July 8, Los Angeles hits July 15, PBS’s American Masters airs in October, followed in November by Netflix.)

 

Documentarians Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (Oscar-nominated “Jesus Camp,” shortlisted “Detropia”) recognized that, at 93, their subject is still vital and engaging—years after creating groundbreaking ’70s shows “All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons,” “Maude,” and “Sanford and Sons,” among others, not to mention founding liberal action group People for the American Way.

And so they gave Lear leeway to fashion his on-screen persona, and brought in plenty of friendly talking heads, including, most controversially, George Clooney. In turn, Lear let them dig and »

- Anne Thompson

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How ‘Norman Lear’ Directors Found ‘Just Another Version of You’

13 July 2016 1:23 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Ever since it wowed opening-night crowds at Sundance 2016, documentary biopic “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You” has met a range of reactions. That’s because it’s more than a straightforward cradle-to-grave chronicle of Lear’s remarkable decades of television creativity. (Music Box opened the film in New York July 8, Los Angeles hits July 15, PBS’s American Masters airs in October, followed in November by Netflix.)

 

Documentarians Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (Oscar-nominated “Jesus Camp,” shortlisted “Detropia”) recognized that, at 93, their subject is still vital and engaging—years after creating groundbreaking ’70s shows “All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons,” “Maude,” and “Sanford and Sons,” among others, not to mention founding liberal action group People for the American Way.

And so they gave Lear leeway to fashion his on-screen persona, and brought in plenty of friendly talking heads, including, most controversially, George Clooney. In turn, Lear let them dig and »

- Anne Thompson

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Hollywood Pioneer Lena Horne Talks Racial Inequality In Decades-Old Interview

9 July 2016 2:29 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Episode two of PBS’ “American Masters Podcast” features American singer, dancer, actress and civil rights activist Lena Horne as she discusses the difficulties of navigating the 1940s and 1950s Hollywood studio system and her involvement in the civil rights movement.

In the 30-minute podcast, Horne also recollects the times she spent with Count Basie, Medgar Evers, Billy Strayhorn and others.

Read More: Interview: Salli Richardson-Whitfield Talks Playing Lena Horne In ‘A Lady Must Live’ + Kickstarter Campaign To Finance

Then in a never-before-seen video from “In Their Own Words: The American Masters Digital Archive,” the legend shares her disappointment in the lack of progress made toward racial equality throughout her lifetime.

“Maybe it’s because I’m a black woman, but maybe because I’m a woman, I don’t see as much as I wanted,” Lena says in an interview released on August 29, 1996. “I don’t see it happening as »

- Liz Calvario

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Director Jeremy Konner Reveals How ‘Donald Trump: The Art of the Deal’ Came Together

9 June 2016 11:50 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Jeremy Konner loves history. And comedy. His passions come together as one of the creative forces behind Comedy Central’s “Another Period,” a sort of “Real Housewives of the Gilded Age” sendup, and the Emmy-nominated “Drunk History.” Konner directed Funny or Die’s “lost TV movie adaptation” of Donald Trump’s 1987 book “The Art of the Deal,” starring Johnny Depp as the presumptive Republican nominee that was released earlier this year.

What was the motivation for “Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal: The Movie”?

It was a huge surprise. From what I understand Johnny Depp was meeting with Adam McKay and Owen Burke, who runs Funny or Die and is also a “Drunk History” producer. Owen had wanted to do an “Art of the Deal” spoof. He pitched it to Johnny: “You ever want to play Donald Trump? We’re shooting this feature film in four days.” And Johnny, »

- Carole Horst

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Us Briefs: FilmRise acquires Elaine May’s Mike Nichols film

7 June 2016 | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

FilmRise has acquired worldwide rights to Elaine May’s Mike Nichols: American Masters and will release the documentary throughout the world in all media as early as this summer.  

FilmRise has acquired worldwide rights to Elaine May’s Mike Nichols: American Masters and will release the documentary throughout the world in all media as early as this summer.  

May enjoyed a comedy dup partnership with the late Nichols, who died in 2014, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, before he went on to direct such films as Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and The Graduate.

Universal Pictures has dated three untitled event films for August 10, 2018, January 18, 2019, and April 10, 2020. 

Veteran development executive Lillah McCarthy has joined Allison Shearmur Productions as head of television operations. »

- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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PBS’ ‘Mike Nichols: American Masters’ Acquired By FilmRise

6 June 2016 8:13 AM, PDT | Deadline TV | See recent Deadline TV news »

FilmRise has acquired worldwide distribution rights to Mike Nichols: American Masters, the documentary directed by Nichols’ longtime comedy partner Elaine May that premiered on PBS. Under the pact, FilmRise is selling the film for distribution, including theatrical, in territories outside the U.S. via its international sales partnership with Content Media. The docu features commentary on the Oscar-, Emmy-, Tony- and Grammy-winning Nichols from Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep… »

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PBS’ ‘Mike Nichols: American Masters’ Acquired By FilmRise

6 June 2016 8:13 AM, PDT | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

FilmRise has acquired worldwide distribution rights to Mike Nichols: American Masters, the documentary directed by Nichols’ longtime comedy partner Elaine May that premiered on PBS. Under the pact, FilmRise is selling the film for distribution, including theatrical, in territories outside the U.S. via its international sales partnership with Content Media. The docu features commentary on the Oscar-, Emmy-, Tony- and Grammy-winning Nichols from Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep… »

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How Morgan Neville Kept Chelsea Handler Honest (Emmy Watch)

1 June 2016 2:30 PM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Documentary filmmaker Morgan Neville is hard to pin down. While he made his name with music docs, from Oscar-winner “20 Feet from Stardom” to Yo-Yo Ma concert film “The Music of Strangers” (HBO/The Orchard), he’s moving away from music subjects. “There are a handful of music docs I’d love to do, including David Bowie,” he said in a phone interview. “But at the moment I’m interested in stretching myself on projects on design, food, and art.”

Over the last year, Neville jumped into the debates between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley for “Best of Enemies,”  (Participant/Magnolia) and took an unexpected ride with Chelsea Handler on Netflix documentary series “Chelsea Does.”

Netflix approached Neville after working with him on “Keith Richards: Under the Influence.” Said Neville, “I’d worked on music docs for years. It felt like writing a novel. By the time I got to Keith Richards, »

- Anne Thompson

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Morley Safer, Legendary ’60 Minutes’ Reporter, Dies at 84

19 May 2016 9:10 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Emmy-winning newsman Morley Safer, one of the first reporters to convey the brutality of the Vietnam War to America’s TV viewers and a mainstay on “60 Minutes” for 46 years, has died, CBS News reports. He was 84.

Safer annouced his retirement just last week.

A longtime correspondent as well as a writer for documentary series such as “CBS Reports,” Safer described his legacy to broadcast journalism as “a pretty solid body of work that emphasized the words, emphasized ideas and the craft of writing for this medium.” The 12-time winner of News and Documentary Emmys, including a lifetime achievement award in 2003, from 39 nominations also won three Peabody Awards.

He left an indelible impression on broadcast journalism in 1965 with a key report from Vietnam broadcast on “CBS Evening News With Walter Cronkite.” The report depicted Safer accompanying U.S. Marines on a military action into a complex of villages called Cam Ne. »

- Laura Haefner

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Jacob Bernstein Talks About Telling His Mother’s Story at the Premiere of Nora Ephron Documentary

15 March 2016 1:24 PM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

A few months after essayist and screenwriter Nora Ephron died of leukemia in 2012, her son, New York Times writer Jacob Bernstein, was doing a profile on documentary filmmaker Lisa Immordino Vreeland. She’d recently finished the film “Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel,” about the well-known fashion editor. When he asked her what her next project was, she said she was considering doing a film on the art collector Peggy Guggenheim, but mentioned there was one other project she might “put in front of that.”

“What’s that?,” Bernstein remembered asking her. “And she said ‘Nora Ephron.’

“And I said, ‘Well, I think there might be someone in front of you.’ ”

At last night’s New York premiere at the Museum of Modern Art of Bernstein’s film “Everything Is CopyNora Ephron: Scripted & Unscripted,” the writer-turned-filmmaker told Variety that he knew he had to get to work »

- Michael Tedder

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'The Birdcage': 11 Things You (Probably) Don't Know About the Robin Williams Hit

5 March 2016 7:00 AM, PST | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

At times, while directing Robin Williams and Nathan Lane in "The Birdcage," Mike Nichols found himself laughing so hard that he had to work from beneath a soundproof blanket in order not to ruin the takes. Can you blame him?

Twenty years after its release on March 8, 1996, "The Birdcage" remains a hilarious landmark. Besides being a smash hit, the film made a movie star out of Lane, gave Calista Flockhart her big break, and provided probably the only opportunity in film history to see Gene Hackman in a platinum blonde wig and a gown. Still, as many times as you've watched it on cable over the past two decades, there's still much you may not now about the beloved drag comedy. Here are the secrets "The Birdcage" has tucked away.

1. "Birdcage" was already the seventh incarnation of the story, which started out as the French play "La Cage aux Folles »

- Gary Susman

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Missed It? Watch PBS' Feature Documentary on Rock 'n' Roll Legend Fats Domino

29 February 2016 3:14 PM, PST | ShadowAndAct | See recent ShadowAndAct news »

Fats Domino was one of the most popular rockers of the 1950s and early 60s. His achievements and record sales during that time were rivaled only by Elvis Presley. With his piano playing rooted in blues, rhythm & blues, and jazz, he became one of the inventors of a revolutionary genre of music, rock 'n' roll. In celebration of Fats Domino's 88th birthday, PBS' "American Masters" aired the feature documentary, "Fats Domino and The Birth of Rock 'n' Roll," premiering nationwide last week Friday, February 26 at 10 p.m. (Et). If you missed it, the full feature is now available online, thanks to PBS, and embedded below, so check it out! The »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Missed It? Watch PBS' Feature Documentary on Rock 'n' Roll Legend Fats Domino

29 February 2016 3:14 PM, PST | Indiewire Television | See recent Indiewire Television news »

Fats Domino was one of the most popular rockers of the 1950s and early 60s. His achievements and record sales during that time were rivaled only by Elvis Presley. With his piano playing rooted in blues, rhythm & blues, and jazz, he became one of the inventors of a revolutionary genre of music, rock 'n' roll. In celebration of Fats Domino's 88th birthday, PBS' "American Masters" aired the feature documentary, "Fats Domino and The Birth of Rock 'n' Roll," premiering nationwide last week Friday, February 26 at 10 p.m. (Et). If you missed it, the full feature is now available online, thanks to PBS, and embedded below, so check it out! The one-hour documentary traces how Fats Domino's brand of New Orleans rhythm and blues morphed into rock and roll, appealing to black and white audiences alike. "He [Domino] had four major riots at his shows partly because of integration," says Fats Domino biographer Rick. »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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