Saturday, June 7, 2008

latest from HOLLYWOOD- Sat, 7th June 2008

Where in the World is Angelina Jolie?

Birth of twins soon , but not this day as ET reported

By Brian Frederick

HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Today)

6/6/08 - -
Where is Angelina?

That’s what ‘Entertainment Tonight’ wants to know.

After reporting on the E.T. website that Angelina gave birth to twins which were confirmed from Angelina’s assistant, Holly Goline.

Goline contacted E.T to tell them that the person with whom they were corresponding with “was not her,” as told by AP.

Although E.T. was told of the inaccurate information by Goline later, the story was aired with Mary Hart confirming the birth of the twins.

Many news sources challenged the accuracy of the report on the E.T. website, which alarmed Goline.
According to other news sources, a letter from Joline’s attorney to E.T. confirmed the E.T. story as false, three days after the report was aired.

On Wednesday, E.T. issued a statement stating that the attorney letter was the first time they had heard about the imposter.

The story began when Entertainment Tonight executive Sharlette Hambrick obtained Holly Goline’s email from a colleague at CNN.

The email was sent out to Goline’s imposter to confirm the birth of Angelina’s twins.

The answer came back, “yes, they are doing fine,” according to AP.

Angelina has reported that her twins are not due until August.

The paparazzi have mobilized into a frenzy of hysterics trying to get the first pictures of Joline’s twins.
The first baby pictures could fetch up to $10 million.

Apparently Hambrick did get the correct email address for Goline and texted messaged the information to her for the original email address, asking, “is this not your email address?”

The answer from Goline came back, “no, this is not my email.”

‘Entertainment Tonight’ has been on the air for nearly three decades and has an average viewing audience of 6.6 million people.

The show is on CBS. Another CBS news program ‘Evening News with Dan Rather’ in 2004 was also part of scandalous reporting when news anchor Dan Rather reported claims that President George W. Bush’s Air Nation Guard service record was questionable.

Dan Rather stuck to the story, trying to keep the President from being re-elected, even though Rather knew the story false.

Having to finally admit the story was inaccurate, Rather resigned from the news program.

Simmons discusses philanthropy and online networking


By Matthew B. Zeidman

NEW YORK (Hollywood Today)
6/6/08 –

Multi-media giant Russell Simmons took the stage to address advertising conference attendees early Thursday morning in midtown Manhattan, and the topics on his mind included philanthropy and digital networking, in addition to an ever-changing marketplace.

“There’s a benefit for anyone of us who learns to give,” Simmons told the crowd at Advertising 2.0 New York.
“If you do the right thing, your ad dollars are not as effective as your philanthropy dollars.

It can be a key to building a brand in the future, and it will always be a key to me, but make sure it’s a fit with your company.”

Product Red, co-founded by U2’s Bono to fight disease in Africa, is a recent example of a successful charitable/commercial venture.
Partners include American Express, Apple, Gap, Microsoft and Motorola.

Simmons also took time to speak about Global Grind, the social networking and lifestyle Web site geared toward hip-hop fans, of which he is a financial backer.
“You can find out a lot about your brand online,” he said, stressing the importance of observing Internet-based consumer behaviors before formulating new product offerings.

Simmons, a native New Yorker, first came to prominence by producing and managing early hip-hop artists, such as Run DMC and the Beastie Boys.

He is an active supporter of several charitable and political causes, including anti-poverty and animal rights initiatives, and is the head of Rush Philanthropic, an organization that exposes underprivileged youth to the arts.

Band breaks personal record, teaming with Roth after decades of estrangement

By Gayl Murphy

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Today)

Van Halen announced the final tally on their just wrapped sold-out North American tour with the boys from Pasadena raking in a jaw-dropping $93 million plus, making it the most successful tour in the bands 30 years.

Not bad for nine months work.

In a joint statement, Van Halen gave a shout out to their admirers;
“We send our thanks to the countless new and longtime fans that helped make this tour our most successful.”

Nearly four million rabid Van Halen fans converged on the much anticipated sold out reunion tour with David Lee Roth that kicked off last September in Charlotte, North Carolina and wrapped on June 2 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

With a lineup that included Eddie Van Halen on guitar, David Lee Roth on vocals, Alex Van Halen on drums and Eddie’s 17-year old son Wolfgang Van Halen on bass, the band delivered their showy live assault - three decades in the making - to throngs of diehard fans at 74 arenas throughout the U.S. and Canada.

With Roth front and center after a 23-year plus absence, Van Halen pummeled audiences for over two hours with their catalogue of mega hits, including; “Jump,” “Panama” and “Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love.”

Van Halen formed in 1974 and quickly won a loyal hometown fan base with their electrifying live shows;
from sun-soaked backyard parties to the glammy clubs along the fabled Sunset Strip.

Van Halen released their self-titled 1978 debut album which became one of the biggest selling rock debuts of all time, including celebrated tracks like “Eruption,” “Running with the Devil,” “Jamie’s Cryin’,” “ You Really Got Me” and “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” leading the show.

Talks ‘ongoing,’ says Decker at New York advertising conference

By Matthew B. Zeidman

NEW YORK (Hollywood Today)
6/5/08 –

Yahoo! president Susan Decker piqued investors’ curiosity at an advertising industry conference Wednesday morning, after revealing that talks with software giant Microsoft, whose takeover bid of the Internet portal was recently rejected, were still “ongoing.”

Decker did not reveal details of the negotiations, but did discuss several new initiatives being undertaken by her company.

“First, we are developing the technology, products and platforms that are designed to help advertisers find the right audiences and publishers find the right advertisers,” Decker stated while addressing Advertising 2.0 New York in midtown Manhattan.
“Second, we are partnering with publishers to secure and monetize inventory that advertisers and agencies find desirable, and third, we are partnering with advertisers and agencies to channel demand to the right consumer.”

Among the specific developments spoken about by Decker were the sale of display advertisements on and nearly 800 newspapers in total agreeing to distribute their content and potentially manage ad space over Yahoo!’s network.
Additionally, major ad agency Havas Digital has agreed to develop a proprietary media trading platform to enhance the buying and selling of ad space via Right Media Exchange, an electronic trading system acquired by Yahoo! in April 2007.

Microsoft made an unsolicited bid to purchase Yahoo! on Feb. 1, but the corporation’s board of directors rejected the offer 10 days later. Microsoft officially withdrew its proposal of $44.6 billion early last month.

Middle East rivalries set aside for Adam Sandler comedy

By Robin Rowe

HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Today)

6/6/08 –

“Comedy brings people together,” says Rob Schneider, who stars in Columbia Pictures
‘You Don’t Mess with the Zohan’.

“The Zohan is ridiculous, so ridiculous that, I hope, everybody takes a step back and laughs together.”

Adam Sandler stars as Zohan, a top Israeli commando who fakes his own death in order to pursue his dream of becoming a hairstylist in New York.

“I play Salim, a Palestinian cab driver who came to New York to fulfill his dreams,” says Schneider.
“He has some residual bitterness.

He’s harbored a grudge ever since, as a young man, a goat that he was very fond of was taken from him by Zohan.

That stuck with him, so when he sees Zohan in New York, he’s shocked by it and plans his revenge.”

“I was very flattered that Robert Smigel wrote this part for me,” says Schneider.

“It reminded me of our best ‘Saturday Night Live’ days.

He handed me a great character and I knew that I had to knock it out of the park.

So I had all my lines completely down, with the accent.”

To master Salim’s accent, Schneider was coached by a Palestinian physician in Milwaukee.

“I’ve got it on paper, spelled out phonetically, and then Adam starts to adlib,” says Schneider.
“I’m like, ‘Ohhhh.’

Fortunately, we had Palestinian actors on the set.

I would go up to Ahmed Ahmed and ask him, ‘How would you say this?’”

Ahmed Ahmed was the Arab comedian in Vince Vaughn’s ‘Wild West Comedy Show’.

“We went from Israel to Palestine to New York to Anaheim, all over Los Angeles, to find people from the Middle East, Israelis and Arabs alike, to be in the movie,” says director Dennis Dugan.
“I think we read every SAG and non-SAG acting aspirant for this movie.

With 175 roles in the movie, we had to do that.”

Daoud Heidami plays Nasi, a Palestinian cab driver who joins his friend Salim on the wild goose chase to catch Zohan.
“In the Middle Eastern culture, it’s like everybody is cousins, even if you’re not really related,” says Heidami.
“So if my ‘cousin’ calls me and says he needs help, I go.

Everyone’s family when you need a favor.”

“I grew up watching Rob,” says Heidami.
“When I found out I was going to have the opportunity to work with Rob, I was really excited.

It was exciting to watch and work with him.

He’s helpful and encouraging in a lot of ways.

He always has such a great energy that it’s really easy to work off of him.”

Sayed Badreya plays Hamdi, another Palestinian cab driver in New York.
“I’m a product of war and peace,” says Badreya.

“When Sadat made peace with Israel, I had the opportunity to come to America to study film [at NYU].

When I first came here in 1979 and first sought acting jobs, the only roles available were roles as terrorists.
I was young and fit and too good-looking to be a terrorist, so I couldn’t get a job.

I grew my beard, put on weight, and got a job right away.

Since then, for twenty years, I’ve had one line in every movie I’ve been in: ‘In the name of Allah, I kill you all.’”

“One of the great things on the set, and we didn’t do this intentionally, was that we had many scenes that involved all the Arab guys and the Israeli guys in the same scene, meaning they were all called to the set together,” says writer Robert Smigel.
“Everyone would be eating lunch together.

They had a lot of passionate discussions, but it was very friendly, very healthy, very open-minded.

It was really cool to see.

Some of the guys have said to me that it’s the most they’ve every talked to an Arab or an Israeli before.”

Ido Mosseri plays Oori, an Israeli who becomes Zohan’s guide to all things American.
“I’m always happy for the opportunity to work with Arab actors,” says Mosseri.

“On the Zohan set, the first time the Arab and the Israeli actors met each other, I think we immediately became friends.

We have a lot in common.”

“Toward the end of the shoot, I heard from some of the actors that they’d grown up hating or mistrusting all Israelis or all Arabs, until they came here,” Smigel adds.

“They actually said the shoot was a life-altering experience.

Even though we make the point in the movie, I think it was a shock to everyone to see how much they all had in common.”

About Mosseri, Smigel says, “When I was writing the Israeli characters as horndogs, I worried if it was too much of a stereotype
Fortunately, Ido fulfilled all my dreams.

At one point on the set he was raving about Tel Aviv, the scene there, and how I had to visit.

Then he paused and asked me if I was married, and I said yes.

He said, ‘Well… maybe you don’t need to visit.’”

‘You Don’t Mess with the Zohan’
Release Date:

June 6th, 2008 (US)

Rating: PG-13 for crude and sexual content throughout, language and nudity

Distributor: Columbia Pictures (Sony)

SAG union continues to make demands beyond what any other guild got, and the result is a disruption in movie production and a threat that could erode all the union has won in the past

-still, 139,000 actors– many mad as hell

By Alex Ben Block

HOLLYWOOD, CA. (Hollywood Today)

6/6/08 –

The Screen Actors Guild is becoming the Hillary Clinton of the Hollywood labor movement – asking too much, isolated and alone, and staying at the negotiating table too long.

SAG’s brinksmanship already guarantees that there will be a significant disruption in movie production even if there is no strike.

And now efforts to undermine the recently negotiated AFTRA contract not only could blow up in SAG’s face, but may also expose the soft under belly of the largest actor’s union and just how big a threat it faces in coming years.

SAG finds itself the last in a long line of guilds to negotiate a contract in this round, and it remains unwilling to accept the basic deal that the writers, directors, craft unions and other actor’s guild have already accepted, threatening yet another strike.
Even the effort to ramp up for a strike will have dire consequences for an American film and TV industry still recovering from the 100- day WGA work action, which cost California 37,700 jobs and $2.1 billion in lost output this year, according to a new report from the Milken Institute.

The very threat of an actor’s strike is already having consequences.

Major movie distributors have stockpiled movies in case of a strike, and have put off new production that might be impacted.

While some companies can get waivers, the biggest players have simply shut down operations while they wait it out.

Even if there is a quick settlement, which remains unlikely, the stock pile of movies assures there will be a disruption in production, probably this summer.

In other words, it will take weeks, or months, to work off the stockpile before the production cycle gets back to normal.

Like Hilary Clinton, SAG won’t give up even though it has become clear it can’t win the battle on the terms it has laid out.

Instead of looking for a graceful exit, and a deal that will keep its members working and the industry going, SAG leaders still beat the war drums.

The reality of the situation, however, is about to come home.

SAG is expected to call on its approximately 44,000 members who also belong to AFTRA to vote down that guilds new deal.

Not only will this likely be a futile effort, but it will expose just how vulnerable SAG is to further incursions by AFTRA into what was once its exclusive realm – jurisdiction over TV shows on network, cable and elsewhere.
The AFTRA contract needs only pass by a simple majority and that is likely to happen no matter what.

Then SAG must face another deadline.

To make credible its threat to strike, SAG must start the process for a vote by its huge membership.

It will need a vote in favor of a strike by three quarters of its members to be in position to wield even the psychological threat.

That vote is not assured at all.

While the Hollywood group that dominates the leadership wants the authorization, many members across the country are not supporting the tough approach.

Sources close to the management side are disgusted with SAG, and feel the guild double crossed them.

As one mogul put it to me, SAG stood side by side with the WGA during their strike and so knew exactly what deal was being made.

For SAG now to say that deal isn’t good enough for them came as a shock to the top executives.

That is why the kind of back channel efforts which settled both the DGA and WGA negotiations have failed with SAG.

If the management, represented by the AMPTP, gave SAG more, it would also have to go back and give the DGA and WGA more, and that is highly unlikely.

So the situation remains tense.

If SAG calls for members to vote down AFTRA’s new contract and they don’t, and then calls for strike authorization and doesn’t get it, the guild will be all but crippled, and will lose credibility with its members and in the Hollywood community.

That could open the door for AFTRA and even IATSE, both of whose leaders openly despise the current SAG leadership, to make moves on organizing new shows and areas of new media where SAG believes they should reign.

In the old world, SAG did film shows and AFTRA taped shows but now those lines are blurred, and AFTRA’s recent moves to separate from SAG have shown they are willing to be more aggressive and less interested in SAG’s claims to jurisdiction.

So when SAG resumes its negotiations with the AMPTP on Monday, after meetings today and this weekend, the clock will be ticking and the future of the guild may well be on the line

Photo: SAG Awards
SAG : Screen Actors Guild
AFTRA: American Federation of Television & Radio Artists
AMPTP: Alliance of Motion Pictures & Television Producers
IATSE: International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees
DGA: Directors Guild of America
WGA: Writers Guild of America

A Behind the Scenes Look in Making of Indy 4 and candid peak into the minds of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas

By Brian Frederick

HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Today)
6/6/08 - -
Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and crew were dealt with more challenges in making ‘Indiana Jones 4’ then you might believe.

Facing real life challenges of film history, realistic set design, collaboration, rituals, criticism, and secret weapons, these are all normal issues a production crew would face in the making of any film, particularly one as grand as ‘The Crystal Skull.’

But making Indiana became more than that, it became a secret operation almost gone haywire.

The Sting

The last Indiana Jones film was nearly 19 years ago.

Making Indy 4 would be even more challenging and the pressure would be on Spielberg to direct a great action film after a long absence from the Indiana series.

With the heighten anticipation and the confidentially expected of the crew, there was plenty of opportunity for a rouge agent to take advantage of leaking the story plot to the press…, for the right price of course.
So the crew set out on their own to make two movies, one to be filmed for the public, the Indy we all love and the secret sting Spielberg carried out to nap an employee who stole a computer with 3,000 pictures of the film’s production before Indy hit the theater.

“There was a great interest in the production of our film,” said Spielberg…at least for one person.

Unbeknownst to the rogue employee awaited the “Genius,” as stated by Harrison Ford and George Lucas to develop a plan to capture the bandit and recover the photos.
If it wasn’t for the honesty of the web site that contacted authorities when they were offered the photos, it is possible the public would have been told of Indy 4 before the film was complete.

The trap was set, the authorities in place, Spielberg and Lucas, one directing, the other producing, made a real life action movie never filmed, one we will never see when the bad guy was caught in the act and arrested, the pictures recovered and the good guys win and the public never knew…until now.

The Magic in the People

Movie magic was another critical part in making Indy 4.

The magic is not in the film making, the make is in the audience.

It is the power of the people to believe in an object as something real, “something that has a supernatural aspect to it,” said Lucas.

The objects that people believe in, whether they are a crystal skull or the Holy Grail, feed the magic of the Indiana Jones series.

The series is built with this fact, “the people believe in these objects as real,” said Lucas and that is what sets the tone for the film.

You can’t help wonder after seeing an ‘Indiana Jones’ movie, if that is possible?

“The Crystal Skull real, the Holy Grail Real?”
It makes you wonder and that is the magic of Indiana Jones.

This fits the general premise of a Spielberg film…, remember ‘Jaws?’

Can you truly go into the ocean after seeing the film ‘Jaws’ and not ever think of a giant shark every time you go into the ocean.

That’s the magic only Spielberg can bring.

Jurassic Park is another.

What an interesting film, a T-Rex cloned, you want to see it because the Spielberg magic has you hooked, you want to believe it’s possible but do you really want to see a wild T-Rex loose in the streets of Los Angeles…,

well maybe some of you do but for sure no one wants a 5,000 pound man-eating jaw swimming from the depths of the ocean and bite your torso in half.

The Improvise

A trick to Spielberg’s genius is the autonomy the actors and the crew are given in their work.
“This is the tenth film I have done with this crew,” said Spielberg, referring to Indy 4.

The crew knows exactly what Spielberg is looking for, from set design, to location, to story board, to the score, to the cinematography;

it’s the making of the film that is the art, not the film.

The film is the entertainment.

Spielberg acknowledged that the digital movie is the future but its not for him.

He wants that celluloid affect, he is old school, a traditionalist of sorts who is doing what he can to preserve film making in its truest form.

Its what seems to work best for the films he directs and apparently no one is complaining.

When the script was complete, finished, signed-off, and written for shooting, it changed and eventually was improvised on the set.
This is typical for many films but not all.

Some directors, take exception when actors improvise, many writers do too but not Spielberg,

“I am spoiled,” Spielberg states, referring to his cast and crew.

For instance, Ford improvised the Indy franchise’s most famous scene — in the first film where he is to fight the sword expert.

Ford had done several takes of a big physical fight scene, and was just tired.

In the next take, he pulled out his gun and just shot the guy.

Spielberg recognized the simple brilliance, and left in what other directors would have considered an outtake destined for cutting room floor.

It became film history.

During the course of this film, Spielberg makes the cast feel comfortable in suggesting changes in the script, it may not always go their way but “the Genius” who is respected and admired by those who work for him, except for that one person mentioned earlier, is always open to hearing how a scene might work better if the dialogue were changed, or a set design changed.

Generally Spielberg is open to new ideas, “I leave room open to improvise and this is what makes it fun,” he says.

The Secret Weapon

Of course there are very few people in the film industry who can snap a finger and get the financing they need for a $100 million film with little objection, it does help in making a movie.

That’s when you can attach a big name star and he is Harrison Ford.

Spielberg makes no mistake about it, “Harrison Ford is my secret weapon,” he said

The Take

Not only do Spielberg and Lucas create a wonderful world of movie action and surprise, you kind of wonder if working for them is just as fun and interesting.

And why not, ‘Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull,’ has brought in $215 million since it opened.

No wonder we love Hollywood…, and that’s a wrap

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