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Writers Guild Seeking ‘Fair Share’ of Media Conglomerate Profits of $49 Billion

Leaders of the Writers Guild of America West have taken an aggressive first step toward the upcoming contract negotiations with the industry’s production companies.

The WGA West board of directors told the 8,000 members Tuesday that they plan to seek a bigger cut of the $49 billion in 2015 profits from the top six media conglomerates. The current three-year deal for the guild’s master contract expires in slightly less than a year on May 1.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which acts as the negotiating arm for the companies, was not immediately available for comment.

“49 billion dollars,” the note began. “Now contrast that with the economic picture facing the members of our guild, whose average incomes in both features and series TV have actually decreased over that same decade. And contrast it with the state of our Health Plan which – due to rapid inflation in health care costs nationwide
See full article at Variety - Film News »

No one can agree on the top 5 greatest Coen Brothers films

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No one can agree on the top 5 greatest Coen Brothers films
As we began talking about editorial content we could publish to celebrate the release of Hail, Caesar!, the latest film from Joel and Ethan Coen, we realized that none of us had the same top five lists, and that it seems unusual for that to be the case. The Coens have had such a rich and varied career that it is impossible to pin them down to one style or one theme or one type of storytelling. Some people love their comedies. Some people love it when they get dark. Some people love the underdogs, the least-liked of their films. But what's clear is that every film they've made has its fans, and even their worst films are beloved by someone. There are few artists like the Coen Brothers, and we were delighted to get lists from each of our special guest contributors this time. The diversity of the replies
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Songs on Screen: 'Streets of Fire's Lost Masterpiece 'I Can Dream About You'

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Songs on Screen: 'Streets of Fire's Lost Masterpiece 'I Can Dream About You'
Songs On Screen: All week HitFix will be featuring tributes by writers to their favorite musical moments from TV and film. Check out all the entries in the series here. When we talk about underrated directors, it's hard not to mention Walter Hill. Hill is an underrated director, the way Michael Ritchie and Peter Yates were underrated directors, the way Roger Donaldson, Joe Dante, and Fred Schepisi are underrated directors. They’re all underrated because it’s only when you look at their filmographies that the numbers start to total up and you realize, boy, he directed a lot of really good movies. In Hill’s case, that list includes "The Warriors," "48 Hours," "The Long Riders," "Southern Comfort,: "Hard Times," "Trespass," and "Wild Bill." Some great. Some solid. (My personal favorite of those is Hard Times, a pulpy film about bare-knuckle boxers in the Great Depression.) There were clunkers
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What was the best year in film history? HitFix readers continue the debate

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What was the best year in film history? HitFix readers continue the debate
HitFix's recent spate of "Best Year in Film History" pieces inevitably spurred some furious debate among our readers, with some making compelling arguments for years not included in our pieces (2007 and 1968 were particularly popular choices) and others openly expressing their bewilderment at the inclusion of others (let's just say 2012 took a beating). In the interest of giving voice to your comments, below we've rounded up a few of the most thoughtful, passionate, surprising and occasionally incendiary responses to our pieces, including my own (I advocated for The Year of Our Lynch 2001, which is obviously the best). Here we go... Superstar commenter "A History of Matt," making an argument for 1968: The Graduate. Bullit. The Odd Couple. The Lion in Winter. Planet of the Apes. The Thomas Crown Affair. Funny Girl. Rosemary's Baby. And of course, 2001, A Space Odyssey. And that's only a taste of the greatness of that year. "Lothar the Flatulant,
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Why 1973 Was the Best Year in Movie History

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Why 1973 Was the Best Year in Movie History
All week our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Click here for a complete list of our essays. It’s perhaps a little quaint to choose a year that I wasn’t even alive during to represent the best year of cinema. I was not there to observe how any of these films conversed with the culture around them when they were first screened. So, although I am choosing the glorious year of 1973, I am choosing not just due to a perusal of top ten lists that year—but because the films that were released that year greatly influenced how I engage with movies now, in 2015. Films speak to more than just the audiences that watch them—they speak to each other. Filmmakers inspire each other. Allusions are made. A patchwork begins. These are the movies of our lives. Having grown up with cinema in the 90s,
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Why 1995 Was the Best Year in Movie History

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Why 1995 Was the Best Year in Movie History
All week our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Click here for a complete list of our essays. When I picked this year, it was under the mistaken assumption that we were writing on the best film of a year, and not the best film year in general. But having realized the mistake, I stand by my choice. 1995 is still the best! Straight up: 1995 wins, because Todd Haynes’s “[Safe]" is still my favorite film to have come out since, Idk, I’ve been alive. It’s deeply self-conscious about genre, while still managing to not really resemble anything I’ve ever seen. It’s the perfect film about L.A.; about how space is mobilized in cinema; about the environment; about Gothic horror; about white femininity; about film bodies; about falling in love in the movies. It’s Todd Motherf*#@$^ Haynes’s best film.
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Why 1999 was the best year in movie history

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Why 1999 was the best year in movie history
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century? Check here for a complete list of our essays. The end of the 1990s was the end of an era on the big screen. The independent filmmaking movement that started the decade had taken full bloom and infiltrated the business. Major studios had begun to jump headlong into the "dependent" game, amping up prestige product and utilizing the awards season as a marketing tool. The blockbuster landscape at the summer multiplex had been interesting, full of original concepts (good and bad), but something else was on the way — a new overlord in the business of film, and one that would more or less make the age of the movie star (at least as we had come to know it) a thing of the past. For those reasons and a slew of others,
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Why 2012 Was the Best Year in Film History

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Why 2012 Was the Best Year in Film History
All week our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Click here for a complete list of our essays. I’m here today to argue that 2012 was the greatest year in cinema. I know you’re thinking: is she insane? How will she even begin to argue such a ridiculous theory? Sure, 2012 didn't bring us Vertigo or Citizen Kane or Chinatown or whatever, but it Was the year Spring Breakers came out, so I think it’s time you showed some respect. Just kidding, just kidding, calm down. The truth is, it really was the best year in cinema and here is why: Jennifer Lawrence. 2012 was the year J-Law rose to superstardom and showed the world how insanely talented she is in two very different but equally special films: Silver Linings Playbook and Hunger Games, the coolest dystopian film of our generation, and a creative,
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Why 1974 was the best year in film history

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Why 1974 was the best year in film history
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century.  Click here for a complete list of our essays. I was one of the first to select years for this particular exercise, which probably allowed me to select the correct year. The answer is, of course, 1974 and all other answers are wrong. No matter what your criteria happens to be, 1974 is going to come out on top. Again, this is not ambiguous or open to debate. We have to start, of course, with the best of the best. "Chinatown" is one of the greatest movies ever made. You can't structure a thriller better than Robert Towne and Roman Polanski do, nor shoot a Los Angeles movie better than John Alonzo has done. Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway give the best performances of their careers, which is no small achievement. If you ask
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Why 1988 was the best year in movie history

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Why 1988 was the best year in movie history
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Click here for a complete list of our essays. While I tend to think of the '80s as a crassly commercial lull between the artistic adventurousness of the '70s and the independent experimentation of the '90s, there were things about the '80s that i hold dear in terms of what I love about movies. And if you're talking about the best of the '80s, the year that crystallized all the things the decade did well was 1988, a year that looks upon closer inspection like an embarrassment of riches. One of my twenty favorite films of all time, as outlined in this article, was released in 1988, which automatically makes it a year worth closer consideration. The '80s may have begun with one of his strongest films, but
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Why 1977 was the best year in movie history

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Why 1977 was the best year in movie history
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Click here for a complete list of our essays. 1977 is the greatest year in film history. I'm positive. Why? It's the year that made you believe giant blockbusters could bring you state-of-the-art science fiction, modern (and enduring) takes on romance, compelling heroes, and a shrewd understanding of real people. It's the year that put us in touch with our most superheroic and most sentimental qualities, and that range alone is worth honoring. '77 is the year that gave us "Star Wars." I could go on about why that's a great movie, or we could just understand that every sci-fi blockbuster since "Star Wars" has had to deal with belittling comparisons to the greatness of "Star Wars." Sure, there've been other blockbusters with grandeur and special effects galore, but did they have C3PO's charisma?
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Why 2001 was the best year in film history

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Why 2001 was the best year in film history
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century.  Click here for a complete list of our essays. "Mulholland Drive." "Donnie Darko." "Spirited Away." "Ghost World." "The Royal Tenenbaums." "Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring." "Wet Hot American Summer." "Pulse." "Hedwig and the Angry Inch." If you're not stunned by the sheer variety of greatness in the above list of films, you probably won't be on board with my argument for 2001 as the greatest year in movie history. And if you're puzzled by the exclusion of "A Beautiful Mind," then you might as well stop reading now. "A Beautiful Mind," of course, won Best Picture at the Oscars the following year, an honor that felt undeserved at the time and positively baffles in hindsight. The Ron Howard-directed drama was an ephemeral triumph, the kind of middle-of-the-road Hollywood
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Why 1982 was the best year in film history

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Why 1982 was the best year in film history
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century.  Click here for a complete list of our essays. 1982 is the Best Movie Year Ever. How do I know this? Well, it's not just that it contains an absolutely perfect comedy with the name "My Favorite Year." It's that it contains so many different movies that you could consider the best ever of their particular type. In "E.T.," it has the best kids movie ever (and perhaps Steven Spielberg's best movie ever, depending on your preferred flavor of Spielberg). In "Tootsie," it has perhaps the best movie comedy ever (the AFI ranked "Some Like It Hot" one spot higher in its top 100 comedies list, but since this year also has "Victor/Victoria," I say you combine the two gender-benders to outmuscle Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis). In "Diner," it has the
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Why 1998 Was the Best Year In Film History

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Why 1998 Was the Best Year In Film History
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Check here for a complete list of our essays. Just one glance at the Oscar nominees for 1998 might make it seem less a questionable choice for “best year in film” — and more an insane one. Instead of a 1974 – The Godfather II, The Conversation, Chinatown, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, etc – or even a 1994, where Shawshank, Quiz Show, and Pulp Fiction lost to Gump – you choose a year where the Oscars would allow Roberto Benigni to climb atop both the figurative and literal chairs of the Shrine? Fine, step away from the Oscars. Would you still celebrate a year that saw not one, but two movies about asteroids threatening the Earth? A year that saw such scars carved across cinematic history as Patch Adams, My Giant, Stepmom, and Krippendorf’s Tribe? It bears repeating: Krippendorf’S Tribe?
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The Great Debate: What Was the Best Film Year of the Past Half-Century?

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The Great Debate: What Was the Best Film Year of the Past Half-Century?
Come December, it is customary for film critics introducing their Top Ten lists to declare that the 12 months just past have been “a very very good year” for film, and bemoan the hard choices they had to make to pick just 10. Among the hundreds of films released every year, there are few years that can’t supply a few happy moments, thankfully. However, looking back over the years past, it is clear that not all years are born equal. While there may have been things to celebrate in the weakest of years, there were times when the culture, the industry and the fates aligned to let genius flourish, and then there were moments when genius seemed to have other things on its mind. Here at Hitfix, we’ve decided to weigh it all up and answer the question: what was the greatest year in film history? Actually, we’re asking
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Shawn Ryan Top Vote-Getter in WGA West Board Election; Incumbents Keep Seats

Shawn Ryan Top Vote-Getter in WGA West Board Election; Incumbents Keep Seats
Updated With Corrected Membership Figures: TV writer and producer Shawn Ryan was the top vote-getter in the WGA West’s board election, which saw a turnout of 22.4% of the guild’s members casting ballots. Ryan, creator and showrunner of The Shield and The Chicago Code, got more votes than all of the incumbents in the race, with his name appearing on nearly 67% of the 1,835 ballots cast. The guild has more than 21,000 members, according to its latest filing with the Department of Labor. The guild said there were about 8,200 members eligible to vote.

All five incumbents — Chip Johannessen, Scott Alexander, Michael Oates Palmer, Katherine Fugate and Marjorie David — won re-election to two-year terms on the board. Fugate finished second in the voting, with her name appearing on 1,124 ballots (61.3%), followed by Johannessen (1,071, 58.4%); Alexander (965, 52.6%); Aaron Mendelsohn (964, 52.5%); David (952, 51.9%); Palmer (817, 44.5%); Jonathan Fernandez (722, 39.3%); and Peter Lefcourt, who was elected to a one-year term (648, 35.3%), filling the vacancy
See full article at Deadline Movie News »

Shawn Ryan, Chip Johannessen Win Seats for WGA West Board

Shawn Ryan, Chip Johannessen Win Seats for WGA West Board
Showrunners Shawn Ryan and Chip Johannessen have won two-year board seats for the Writers Guild of America West.

Ryan, creator and exec producer of “The Shield” and other shows, becomes a first-time member of the board after serving on the guild’s negotiating committee at recent bargaining with producers. He was the top vote-getter among the 17 candidates for nine open seats and said on his Twitter account that he was “very honored.”

Being serious now, very honored to be joining the @WGAWest Board of Directors… http://t.co/ILpQ0Xf8N7

Shawn Ryan (@ShawnRyanTV) September 17, 2014

Incumbent Katherine Fugate (“Valentine’s Day,” “Army Wives”) came in second, followed by “Homeland” exec producer Johannessen, an incumbent who co-chaired the contract negotiating committee this year with Billy Ray.

Incumbents Michael Oates Palmer, Marjorie David and Scott Alexander also were re-elected, along with former board members Peter Lefcourt and Aaron Mendelsohn. Newcomer Jonathan Fernandez also won a seat.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

WGA West Board Hopefuls Have Plenty To Gripe About At Candidates Night

It’s Candidates Night at WGA West headquarters, and all 18 writers vying for nine open seats on the guild’s board of directors are expected to be on hand tonight to answer questions from members. Expect candidates to talk about how lousy the film and TV industry is, how deceptive and devious the companies are — and how they intend to address the major issues facing writers.

Related: WGA West Urges FCC to Block Comcast Merger with TWC — This Time It’s In Writing

“Our business continues to be at a crossroads, and in some cases, in the crosshairs,” incumbent Michael Oates Palmer wrote on his website.

Possible Candidates Night topics include the declining number of films being made; the guild’s bad relationship with its New York-based sister union, the WGA East; new-media rights; late pay, which candidate Shawn Ryan called “an age old problem for us”; equal pay for
See full article at Deadline Movie News »

18 Writers Vying For 8 WGA West Board Seats

The WGA West has issued its final list of 18 candidates, including five incumbents, who will be competing for eight seats on the its board of directors in the September election. Incumbents Chip Johannessen, Scott Alexander, Michael Oates Palmer, Katherine Fugate and Marjorie David will square off against challengers Shawn Ryan, Chris Derrick, Cynthia Riddle, Peter Lefcourt, Shernold Edwards, Peter Murrieta, Doug Atchison, Stan Chervin, Jonathan Fernandez, Courtney Ellinger, Mark Amato, Aaron Mendelsohn, and Aaron Fullerton. The guild will host its annual Candidates Night forum, where members can grill the candidates, on September 3 at the guild’s La headquarters. Ballots […]
See full article at Deadline Movie News »

Shawn Ryan, Chip Johannessen Among Candidates for WGA West Board

Shawn Ryan, Chip Johannessen Among Candidates for WGA West Board
Showrunners Shawn Ryan and Chip Johannessen are among the 17 candidates for eight open board seats for the Writers Guild of America West.

Ryan (pictured), creator and exec producer of “The Shield” and other shows, was on the guild’s negotiating committee at recent bargaining with producers. “Homeland” exec producer Johannessen is an incumbent who co-chaired the contract negotiating committee.

Other prominent candidates include “Moneyball” screenwriter Stan Chervin; incumbents Michael Oates Palmer, Marjorie David, Scott Alexander and Katherine Fugate; and former board members Peter Lefcourt and Aaron Mendelsohn. The other candidates include Aaron Fullerton, Cynthia Riddle, Chris Derrick, Doug Atchison, Peter Murrieta, Jonathan Fernandez, Courtney Ellinger and Shernold Edwards.

Ryan and Johannessen were the most notable high-profile members of the negotiating committee in addition to co-chair Billy Ray and Damon Lindelof.

The 17 candidates were selected by the WGA West’s nominating committee. Members may also be nominated by petition with 25 member
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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