American Movie-goers Not Fans of Iraq Themed Films

by Shannonn Kelly

With all our Democratic leanings one would think we’d be hitting the theaters in droves to see “the other side of the story” when it comes to war in Iraq.

But it’s just the opposite when Hollywood looks at the latest figures for their A-list cast films that focus on Iraq:

  1. “Rendition” with Jake Rendition and Reese Witherspoon -$10 million
  2. “In the Valley of Elah” starring Tommy Lee Jone and Charlize Theron -$7 million
  3. “The Kingdom” starring Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Garner -47 Million

Those figures leaves Hollywood and the film distributors very worried about new releases such as “Lions for Lambs” directed by Robert Redford starring Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep and Redford.

Here at ReelHeART our odds on favorite for the film to be seen and to reap ticket sales well over it’s production budget is Brian De Palma’s Venice Film Festival winning film “Redacted”.

We think the story is hard-hitting and timely enough that despite its gut wrenching subject matter, it’s the “proven” film that movie-goers will want to see. Possibly if only for clarification of events surrounding this true life story of a 14 year old girl who was brutally raped and murdered by US soldiers.

If anything it’s the film you need to see before heading to the election polls-

Please go out to see and support “Redacted” if only because it’s extremely fact based. Something that De Palma himself is fighting against as he’s under constant pressure from his distributors to censor the “real life” events and perpetrators names and faces in his film.

To read more about “Hollywood Films Being A Casualty of War”, click here

East Coast, West Coast Who Fairs Better in the WGA Strike

by Shannonn Kelly

Most actors and actresses have two choices of where to go to follow their dreams. New York City or Los Angeles. Well, the same goes for writers and really anyone in the creative arts. 

A recent study on the Writers Guild of America strike suggests New York would fair better in a longer strike. With the majority of TV and film production concentrated in the West, Los Angeles has the most to lose during the strike.

According to the study, 6 out of 10 jobs in the industry are related to film and video production in Los Angeles. Whereas in New York, the number is much lower as many writers write for print and hard copy materials.

It’s an interesting study from the Beareau of Labor Statistics and you can read more about their findings by clicking here.

Hollywood Writers Still On Strike

By Shannonn Kelly

What does the Hollywood writers still being on strike mean for you and me?

It can mean a few things:

  1. You get to read more often
  2. You get to actually WATCH the evening news instead of it being back ground noise
  3. You get to get out of the house on evenings and weekends to
    1. Play Sports
    2. Meet Friends
    3. Research your screenplay or book
    4. See a film the way they’re meant to be seen…at a theater!
  4. Or, you get to be like millions of others and hop online to watch other people creating content, other than the studios who are taking the writer’s content and publishing it themselves

By the way, point # 4 is what the Hollywood writers strike is really about-

According to Jake Coyle at Associated Press (AP): “The Writers Guild of America wants a percentage of the revenue generated online from writers’ work, but the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers claims it’s too early to know how the TV and film industries will substantially capitalize from online platforms.”

Jake has written a pretty good snapshot article at Associated Press on the surge in visitors to the Internet to be mostly entertained, beating a virtual path to sites such as YouTube, and smaller niche sites like Joey and David, MediocreFilms.com and CollegeHumor.com

There’s a lot of articles out right now on what the strike means and how it will affect other media such as book to movie deals, as well as content on TV.

As I mentioned in a previous blog, we will be seeing a rash of reality shows. Keep in mind though; we’re not seeing them because reality shows don’t employ writers as erroneously stated at The Scotsman.

We’re seeing reality shows because the the majority of the content is provided by the “contestants”. The structure, tone and feel is however provided by staff writers.

These staff writers on most (if not all) reality shows are not currently covered in the Writers Guild of America (WGA) where they would get union pay and benefits.

To learn more about this distinction between writers, check out the essay by Nancy Miller in the August 2007 issue of Wired.

To go to websites other than Youtube where you can learn a thing or two and have a great web experience,  I invite you to check out three of my favorites Meta Cafe, The Daily Show and Best Documentaries.

My only upset during the strike: Law & Order running out of shows already in the can…

I would love to hear your comments and your experiences during the Hollywood Writers Strike.

Hollywood Talks Break As Contract Expires

by Shannonn Kelly

The sale of DVDs and how much revenue it generates for the writers of any and all content appears to be the main sticking point between Producers and the Writers Guild of America.

More than 12, 000 writers will go on strike if told to by WGA as a result of Hollywood talks breaking as their contract expires. Many writers are packing up their belongings as they leave their offices and at the end of Thursday November 1, 2007.

The last Hollywood writers strike was in 1988 and the longest in history. The strike lasted for 6 months and centered around another technology at the time, VHS sales and rentals. In that strike, the writers lost.

Knowing how much they will lose this time around (writers got 5 cents on each VHS sale) as technology advances the sales of content in general, will be a sticking point and if the writers do strike this time.

So, be prepared for a much longer strike, actors and actresses without wages and a barrage of some really awful reality shows.

Read more about what others have to say on this topic in magazine such as Variety, AFP, and ABC News and Nikki Finke’s column at Deadline Hollywood Daily.

The Theatrical Katharine Hepburn, in Journals and Letters

Actress Katharine Hepburn

by Shannonn Kelly

The Theatrical Katharine Hepburn, in Journals and Letters is a terrific article on the late actress published online at the New York Times Monday October 29, 2007 by By Patricia Cohen.

The article centers around a gift from Ms. Hepburn’s estate that was donated to the New York Public Library.  The collection is a “cache of theater-related photographs, scrapbooks, journals, scripts and more”.

Bob Taylor, the collection’s curator, said the, “collection should be available to the public in February (2008) at the Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.

ReelHeART also recommends the Slideshow which is a great companion piece to the article and an inside glimpse to one of the most forward-thinking, eloquent, witty and great actresses of this or any other time…

Deborah Kerr Dead at 86

by Shannonn Kelly

Actress Deborah KerrBorn Deborah Jane Kerr Trimmer on September 30, 1921 in Helensburgh, Scotland. Suffering since the 90’s from Parkinson’s disease, Kerr died, in Suffolk, England on Tuesday October 16, 2007. Her death was ‘officially’ announced on Thursday October 18, 2007 by her agent. Kerr, nicknamed “The English Rose” was 86.

ReelHeART is saddened to see this passing of this graceful beauty who just last month went back to watch her in one of her more ‘gritty roles’ as a boozy “used” woman in 1953s “From Here To Eternity” co-starring Burt Lancaster (whom she was rumored to be having an affair with), the lucious Montgomery Clift and Frank Sinatra, for which Kerr was nominated for an Academy Award. The beach scene is aguably one of the most well-known and well acted love scenes in cinema.

Kerr won a Golden Globe for playing “Mrs. Anna” in The King and I (1956) with Yul Brynner. She held the record for the most Oscar nominations for a female with 6 nods, until she was awarded an Honorary Oscar in 1994.

Read more abour Kerr in an article from the San Francisco Chronicle http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/10/19/MNSHSS9VT.DTL

Read more history on Deborah Kerr at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deborah_Kerr

Sign The Frances Bay Petition

by Shannonn Kelly 

Actress Frances BayWhen Hollywood needs a little old lady type, they call on Canadian born actress Frances Bay. Hailing from Dauphin Manitoba, Frances enjoyed success in all forms of the art of acting from stage to the silver screen. With over 150 TV and Film credits, you may not know the name Frances Bay but you do know her face and characters.

She’s a favorite of David Lynch (one of ReelHeART’s favorite directors) being in Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks.

Highlights of her successful career are roles such as Fonzie’s Grandma in Happy Days, Grandma Gilmore in Happy Gilmore with Adam Sandler and Mabel Choate as the rye bread lady in Seinfeld—

We all hope she got her marble rye bread back!

Go To:  Friends of Frances Bay

http://www.petitiononline.com/franny/petition.html

Want to read ReelHeART’s signature—We’re #799