Monday, June 29, 2009

Dodging the Sun -- and the Costly Beer

Thanks to free tickets for filling up on gas at 76 Stations, Gina and I joined my friends Chad and Lindsay at the Dodger game yesterday. Being from Seattle, they are loyal Mariners fans, and alas, their team prevailed.

It was a HOT day in LA, but fortunately our Top Deck seats were in the shade. Luckily that meant I didn't have to continually rehydrate with $13.00 "Premium Large Beers" (see full price list below.) In fact, by parking outside the stadium grounds and bringing in several bottles of water (and a giant bag of peanuts), we managed to spend a grand total of $0. Now, that's baseball on a budget.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Moneyball Back on the Shelf

I guess even being a big star like Brad Pitt is no guarantee that your film will get made. Production was halted on $57 million baseball movie, Moneyball, just days before principal photography was scheduled to start in Arizona this week. Apparently there were some concerns about Steven Soderbergh's script, as well as the film's box office prospects. Now, the star and director have to shop the movie to other studios...

Full article HERE.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Worst Part About Being Away

I got word from one of my best friends back home that his mom passed away this week. I really wish I could be close enough that I could be there to support him. But, being out here I have to support him from afar. My thoughts are with you and your family, Joey.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Batter (Finally!) Up

Being in LA (and not paying for the DirecTV baseball package), I rarely get to see my Brewers play on TV. And, so far this year, when they have been on National TV (ESPN, MLBN) they always seem to lay an egg. Last night looked like no exception, until a 6-run eighth inning highlighted by Prince Fielder's grand slam put them ahead. They held on for a 14-12 win over the Indians -- a score more suited to an Packer game it seems. It was nice to finally see the boys from Milwaukee (at least the hitters) show the nation what they can do.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Screen This

I often write about screenings. A screening is a movie - often a sneak preview of a film coming out at a later date, or a special event where the filmmakers/actors are present before or after. But, the best thing about screenings is that they are FREE! And LA has a ton of screenings...

This weekend I had the good fortune to attend two such screenings. The first was my friend Joe Burke's AFI (American Film Institute) graduate thesis film, Nice Knowing You. I know Joe from an acting project we worked on years ago back in Chicago. His is a good actor as well as an immensely talented filmmaker (he wrote and directed this one). His movie was really impressive and I expect big things from Joe in the future - keep an eye out for him. Joe and the rest of his production team were there to introduce the film and there was a reception with free food and drinks afterward. You can get more info about Nice Knowing You and Joe Burke HERE and HERE.

The second screening of the weekend was of Woody Allen's new film, Whatever Works, starring Larry David. Gina got tickets as a member of the USC Film School Alumni Club and it was right on campus. The movie was great - and maybe even better because it was free.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Wells Fargo

Print audition for Wells Fargo. A quick picture and out. Sure could use the work...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

SAG Contract Passes in Landslide

Wow! It was just announced that the new SAG theatrical contract was passed by a 78% to 22% margin. Can't believe only 35% of union members thought the issue important enough to return the ballot... Not sure what the future implications of the deal are... I just hope that it at least means more work in the short-term.

Some excerpts from the SAG press release:

Los Angeles, (June 9, 2009) – Screen Actors Guild announced today that members have voted overwhelmingly to approve its TV/Theatrical contracts by a vote of 78 percent to 22 percent.

The two-year successor agreement covers film and digital television programs, motion pictures and new media productions. The pact becomes effective at 12:01 a.m. June 10, 2009 and expires June 30, 2011.

The contracts provide more than $105 million in wages, increased pension contributions, and other gains and establishes a template for SAG coverage of new media formats.

Approximately 110,000 SAG members received ballots of which 35.26 percent returned them – a return that is above average compared with typical referenda on Screen Actors Guild contracts. Integrity Voting Systems of Everett, WA, provided election services and tonight certified the final vote tally upon completion of the tabulation.

The vote count in the Hollywood Division was 70.70 percent to 29.30 percent in favor. In the New York Division, the vote count was 85.74 percent to 14.26 percent in favor. And in the Regional Branch Division, the vote count was 89.06 percent to 10.94 percent in favor.

Screen Actors Guild President Alan Rosenberg said, "The membership has spoken and has decided to work under the terms of this contract that many of us, who have been involved in these negotiations from the beginning, believe to be devastatingly unsatisfactory. Tomorrow morning I will be contacting the elected leadership of the other talent unions with the hope of beginning a series of pre-negotiation summit meetings in preparation for 2011. I call upon all SAG members to begin to ready themselves for the battle ahead,” Rosenberg added.

Screen Actors Guild Interim National Executive Director David White said, “This decisive vote gets our members back to work with immediate pay raises and puts SAG in a strong position for the future. Preparation for the next round of negotiations begins now. Our members can expect more positive changes in the coming months as we organize new work opportunities, repair and reinvigorate our relationships with our sister unions and industry partners, and continue to improve the Guild’s operations.”

Full SAG press release HERE.

Monday, June 8, 2009

"Band of Gypsies and The Scarecrow"

Thusly was the way Joel McHale introduced the first topic of conversation at his Wiltern show over the weekend. Of course, he was talking about his fellow E! channel ‘stars’ The Kardashians (and Bruce Jenner.) Good stuff.

The show was a lot of fun; after hammering much of Hollywood the way he does on The Soup every week, he told many engaging and hilarious stories about his family.

Well played, McHale.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A & D a Worldwide Box Office Hit

From Nikki Finke's DHD Site:

'Angels & Demons' Passes $400M Global

Imagine/Sony's Angels & Demons this weekend became the No. 1 grossing global hit released to date this year. Of it's $409M, Angels & Demons has generated $292.9M in the international marketplace, including $22.2M this weekend from overseas. It also has a new North American cume of $116.1M after making $6.5M this weekend....

"No one ever expected to replicate the success of Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code, which was a cultural phenomenon. But for his sequel to hit $400+M and continue climbing is really quite an achievement," a Sony exec said. Especially since this wasn't a cheap sequel to make what with all the top dollar and/or gross players involved like Tom Hanks, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer. Screenwriter Akiva Goldsman received $4 million, a new high for a book adaptation, then another marquee name, David Koepp, rewrote the screenplay.

But the film took in more than its production budget in its first few days of release, and the studio expected a good multiple...

Full Article HERE

Getting My 'C' Legs

C as in court - basketball court. Last week, I finally started playing again at the Hollywood Y. I had been off since just about Christmas due to my shoulder injury. It's not completely healed yet, but thanks to some rest, stretching, and acupuncture, it is feeling better. (Those are my feet, I didn't get any pics of the needles stuck in my arm.)

Needless to say, the return to basketball was not pretty -- especially my shot -- but it did feel good to get back out there!