Cable Network NBCSN To Go Dark By Year-End, With Live Sports Telecasts Shifting To USA Network, Peacock

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January 22, 2021 12:15pm

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In the latest sign of the media industry’s rethink of the traditional pay-TV bundle, NBCUniversal will wind down the operations of its sports cable outlet NBCSN by the end of the year.

Live events carried by the network, a roster headed by NASCAR races and NHL hockey, will migrate to USA Network and, to a lesser extent, nascent streaming service Peacock.

NBCU’s deal with the NHL, whose games provided a core programming element for NBCSN, expires at the end of the current season.

The network existed under other names and brands (including Outdoor Life and Versus) since its initial launch in 1995. While it has added select coverage of niche sports like cycling and lacrosse to its higher-tier offerings, NBCSN has not managed to consistently compete with cable rivals ESPN, FS1 or TNT.

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In a staff memo, NBC Sports Chairman Pete Bevacqua called the shutdown the “best strategic next step” for the company. He said it would make USA Network “an extraordinarily powerful platform in the media marketplace.”

USA has existed for two decades longer than NBCSN and is among the most deeply penetrated cable networks on the dial. Over its history, it has carried sports like the U.S. Open tennis tournament and has enjoyed strong ratings from wrestling broadcasts by the WWE.

NBCU has shown a willingness to step back from traditional pay-TV networks before, winding down rating-challenged properties like Chiller, Cloo and Esquire in recent years. The number of U.S. pay-TV subscription households peaked at a bit more than 100 million homes a decade ago. Including virtual MVPDs, the total is now just north of 80 million and many analysts and forecasters have projected it will fall into the 50 million to 60 million range by 2025.

The increasingly discouraging economics, especially pronounced in the sports sector as rights continue to climb for many leagues in the U.S., come as NBCU confronts a potentially severe blow on the Olympics front. After having to postpone the 2020 Games in Tokyo to this summer due to Covid-19, organizers have been contemplating the daunting process of hosting athletes from around the world before vaccinations can vanquish the pandemic.

Live sports has been a foundational part of Peacock since it launched nationally last summer. The streaming service, which has a free tier as well as a premium level, both supported by ads, carried an NFL playoff game simulcast earlier this month. Last year, it streamed a number of Premier League soccer matches and had bonus live coverage of the U.S. Open golf tournament, which aired on other NBC properties. NBC Sports Gold has been in the market for several years as a subscription streaming offering with certain key rights.

Here is the internal memo sent today by NBC Sports Chairman Pete Bevacqua:

Team:

We’re all aware of how quickly the media landscape is evolving, and our Company is taking thoughtful steps to stay ahead of these trends wherever possible and, in many instances, help set them.

As evidence of our strong commitment to live sports programming, we recently transitioned all of Golf Channel’s linear studio productions to Stamford, and we’re producing multiple new programs for Peacock and other platforms in Stamford as well. In addition, we’re doing more in partnership with our colleagues at Telemundo and Sky Sports.

Commencing later this year, USA Network will begin carrying and/or simulcasting certain NBC Sports programming, including NHL Stanley Cup Playoff games and NASCAR races, as part of a larger transition within the Company.

At the conclusion of 2021, we have decided that the best strategic next step for our Sports Group and the entire Company is to wind down NBCSN completely, with key elements of NBCSN’s programming moving to USA Network and, in some cases, Peacock for 2022 and beyond.

This will make USA Network an extraordinarily powerful platform in the media marketplace, and gives our sports programming a significant audience boost.  We believe that the power of this offering is the best long-term strategy for our Sports Group, our partners, and our Company.

This transition, combined with our robust portfolio of assets, including Golf Channel, The Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, RSNs, SportsEngine, GolfNow, digital, audio, sports betting and gaming, puts us in an even stronger position as leaders in the sports media space and to continue to grow our business.

We will keep you informed as the broader plan develops, and please join me for a virtual meeting on Tuesday afternoon, January 26 to answer your questions. A meeting invitation will follow shortly.

Thank you for everything you’re doing on behalf of NBC Sports Group.

Scoot McNairy Signs With UTA

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January 22, 2021 11:58am

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Courtesy of Tony Byrd

EXCLUSIVE: Scoot McNairy, star of Netflix’s Narcos: Mexico, has signed with UTA.

The agency has signed the actor in all areas of representation. He was previously with WME.

McNairy is currently filming the third season of the Narcos spin-off, in which he plays Walt Breslin, the American DEA agent sent to Mexico to bring down the Guadalajara cartel.

He also recently starred as Rod Rosenstein in Showtime’s James Comey miniseries The Comey Rule and has appeared in the third season of HBO’s True Detective, Netflix’s Godless and AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire.

On the feature side, he starred in Ben Affleck’s Argo, Andrew Dominik’s Killing Them Softly, Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave, Lenny Abrahmson’s Frank, Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood, and David Michod’s The Rover and War Machine.

He will continue to be represented by manager John Pierce at The Group Management.

Sundance Film Festival 2021: ‘Genius: Aretha’ Star Cynthia Erivo, Raúl Castillo, & More Jurors Unveiled

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January 22, 2021 12:00pm

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With less than two months to go before Genius: Aretha finally hits the small screen, the Oscar nominee who is portraying the Queen of Soul is hitting this year’s Sundance Film Festival as one of the shindigs’ jurors.

Cynthia Ervio will be joining the likes of SFF alum Raúl Castillo as one of the 22 jurors at this year’s semi-virtual cinema gathering (see the full list of jurors below)

Watching films and conferring from home via the likes of Zoom, the jurors’ decisions in the six selection categories will be unveiled on February 2 at a now digital ceremony. Well, except for
the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize which has already been awarded to Son of Monarchs.

“Our jurors have reached a high level of achievement in their individual fields, and can bring their unique perspective to the process of analyzing and evaluating films,” Festival’s Director of Programming Kim Yutani said Friday. “We’re pleased to bring this accomplished, creative group together, and look forward to hearing their thoughts.”

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Like many festivals this past year, Sundance is having to shift its traditional stance and approach this time round because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Running from January 28 to February 3, Park City’s Ray Theatre will still be showing films, the majority of the 120 films in the  Tabitha Jackson-led 2021 will be playing online, as well as on screens and drive-ins in almost two dozen states and territories across the country.  Earlier this month,  the festival made the hard call to cancel its drive-in screenings in Southern California as the Golden State continues to be battered by a stream of see a record-breaking Covid-19 cases and deaths.

Deadline co-Editor-in-Chief, Film Mike Fleming Jr. will once again lead our team’s Sundance coverage with breaking news on the films, the deals, the new hybrid structure, the panels, and more. As in past years, we will have our Deadline Studio, but this time we, like much of the fest itself, are going virtual to speak to filmmakers about their projects.

Catch all the action next week.

See the full list of jurors for all the SFF ’21 competition categories here:

U.S. DRAMATIC JURY

Twenty-eight years ago, filmmaker Julie Dash broke through racial and gender boundaries with  Daughters of the Dust (Best Cinematography, 1991 Sundance Film Festival), and she became the first African American woman to have a wide theatrical release of her feature film. In 2004 the Library of Congress placed Daughters of the Dust in the National Film Registry, where it joins a select group of American films preserved and protected as national treasures. Dash has written and directed television projects including episodes of Queen Sugar for the Oprah Winfrey Network. She also directed The Rosa Parks Story, Incognito, Funny Valentines, Love Song, and Subway Stories.

Cynthia Erivo is a Tony-, Emmy- and Grammy-winning actress and singer as well as an Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild nominee. Erivo burst onto West End and Broadway stages in The Color Purple and has since taken the world by storm in movies such as Harriet. Currently, Erivo can be seen on the HBO series The Outsider. She will play Aretha Franklin on National Geographic’s Genius: Aretha in March, will be releasing her debut album in the Summer of 2021 and will soon star in Universal’s Talent Show.

Hanya Yanagihara is the author of the novels The People in the Trees and A Little Life. She is the editor-in-chief of T: The New York Times Style Magazine and lives in New York.

U.S. DOCUMENTARY JURY

Ashley Clark is the curatorial director at the Criterion Collection. He previously worked as director of film programming at Brooklyn Academy of Music and has organized film series at venues including MoMA, TIFF Bell Lightbox, and BFI Southbank. Clark has written features and criticism for publications including the New York Times, Sight & Sound, Reverse Shot and 4Columns. He is the author of the book Facing Blackness: Media and Minstrelsy in Spike Lee’s Bamboozled (2015).

Joshua Oppenheimer’s films include the diptych The Act of Killing (2013) and The Look of Silence (2015), which sheds light on one of history’s worst atrocities, the Indonesian genocide, and its terrible legacy of corruption and fear. His filmmaking explores impunity, fantasy, and guilt, investigating how our past haunts our present. Oppenheimer has received two Oscar nominations, a MacArthur Fellowship, a BAFTA Award, a Film Independent Spirit Award, and the Venice International Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize.

Lana Wilson is an Emmy-winning director. Her latest film, Miss Americana, premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and was a New York Times and IndieWire Critics’ Pick. Previous work includes The Departure (2017 Tribeca Film Festival, Independent Spirit Award nominee for best documentary), A Cure for Fear (International Documentary Association Award nominee for best short-form series), and After Tiller, which premiered at Sundance in 2013 and won an Emmy for best documentary.

WORLD CINEMA DRAMATIC JURY

Zeynep Atakan is a producer in İstanbul. She won the European Film Academy’s Best European Co-Producer award. Her production Winter Sleep won the Palme d’Or at the 67th Cannes Film Festival. She is the vice president of the European Women’s Audiovisual Network and the art director of the Sabanci Foundation Short Film Platform. Atakan is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the European Film Academy, and the Asia Pacific Screen Academy.

Isaac Julien CBE RA has had films in festivals at Cannes, Venice, and Berlin and in the Museum of Modern Art, Centre Pompidou, and Tate collections. Young Soul Rebels won the Semaine de la Critique prize at Cannes, and Looking for Langston has garnered 30 years of acclaim. Currently, 10-screen film installation Lessons of the Hour is at McEvoy Foundation for the Arts, San Francisco, and nine-screen film A Marvellous Entanglement is at MAXXI, Rome.

Daniela Vega is a Chilean actress known for starring in the Academy Award–winning feature A Fantastic Woman. She was the first transgender woman to present an award at the Oscars, and she was one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2018. Vega has won awards at several festivals and won the 2018 Platino Award for Best Actress. She currently works as executive producer and host on the upcoming docuseries Peace Peace Now Now.

WORLD CINEMA DOCUMENTARY JURY

Kim Longinotto attended the National Film and Television School, where she made Pride of Place and Theatre Girls. The Day I Will Never Forget premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2003. Other films include Rough Aunties, Pink Saris, and Salma. Dreamcatcher and Shooting the Mafia premiered at Sundance and the Berlin International Film Festival. Longinotto is currently making a film about a Jamaican-born musician based in the United Kingdom.

Mohamed Saïd Ouma currently serves as the executive director of Documentary Africa, an initiative that aims to bolster the African documentary ecosystem through funding, building and sharing knowledge, and complementary initiatives. He has cut his professional teeth as a festival manager and by working with the Pan African Federation of Filmmakers. His latest film, Red Card, premiered at the 2020 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam.

Born in Taiwan and based in New York, Jean Tsien has been working in documentary films for 35 years as an editor, producer, and consultant. Her editing debut, Something Within Me, won three awards at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival. Recently, she produced 76 Days and executive-produced the landmark five-part PBS series Asian Americans. Tsien received the Art of Editing Mentorship Award at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2020 DOC NYC.

NEXT JURORS

Kate and Laura Mulleavy received their liberal arts degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, and in 2005 launched their fashion brand Rodarte. At the center of the sisters’ unique approach to fashion is their pursuit of innovation through storytelling. Their vision expands into multiple artistic endeavors, including their work as costume designers, writers, and directors. In 2017, the two released Woodshock at the 74th annual Venice Film Festival. The film was written and directed by the Mulleavy sisters, stars Kirsten Dunst, and was distributed by A24.

SHORT FILM JURY

An actor in film, television, and theater, Raúl Castillo is known for his portrayal of Paps in the critical and awards darling We the Animals, based on the Justin Torres novel and directed by Jeremiah Zagar. Castillo recently wrapped filming for Mattson Tomlin’s Mother/Android and Adam Randall’s Night Teeth.  Upcoming 2021 film releases include Little Fish, with director Chad Hartigan; Wrath of Man, directed by Guy Ritchie; and Army of the Dead, directed by Zack Snyder for Netflix.

Tacita Dean is a visual artist who lives and works in both Berlin and Los Angeles. She exhibits her 16mm and 35mm films, large-scale drawings in chalk, and other works in galleries and museums worldwide. A passionate advocate for the use and preservation of analog media, Dean has campaigned tirelessly to keep photochemical film viable in the digital age. She is the recipient of many awards, most notably the Hugo Boss Prize in 2006.

Inge de Leeuw is an award-winning programmer and curator. Her work explores crossovers among film, visual art, and digital culture through exhibitions and film programs. She worked with International Film Festival Rotterdam as a programmer with a focus on the U.S. and United Kingdom. As a curator, she collaborated with Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, The Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Indie Memphis, Kino Forum in São Paulo, and Ghetto Film School.

ALFRED P. SLOAN FEATURE FILM PRIZE JURY

Joy Buolamwini is the founder of the Algorithmic Justice League. Her TED Talk on algorithmic bias has over one million views. Her MIT thesis methodology uncovered racial and gender bias in artificial intelligence services from Microsoft, IBM, and Amazon. She advises world leaders on reducing AI harms through service on the Global Tech Panel, congressional testimonies, and keynotes. TIME Magazine and the New York Times carry her op-eds. Buolamwini’s journey is depicted in the feature-length documentary Coded Bias.

Aneesh Chaganty is a writer/director whose two-minute short film, a Google Glass spot called Seeds, became an internet sensation after garnering more than one million YouTube views in 24 hours. His directorial debut, Searching, premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, winning the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize. His second film, Run, starring Sarah Paulson, was released on Hulu this past November and became the streaming service’s most watched movie ever during its opening weekend.

Dr. Mandë Holford is an associate professor of chemistry at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York, with scientific appointments at the American Museum of Natural History and Weill Cornell Medicine. She is active in science education, advancing the public understanding of science, and science diplomacy. Her honors include being named a 2020 Sustainability Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, a WINGS WorldQuest Women of Discovery fellow, and fellow of the California Academy of Sciences.

Lydia Dean Pilcher began her career directing documentaries and recently directed the feature A Call to Spy, about three female spies during World War II. Before that, she co-directed the feature Radium Girls, starring Joey King and Abby Quinn. Pilcher is an Academy Award–nominated and two-time Emmy-winning producer. Pilcher produced such movies as Queen of Katwe, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, The Namesake, Cutie and the Boxer, The Darjeeling Limited, The Lunchbox, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

Lena Vurma is a Berlin-based Swiss producer, a Film Independent and Tribeca Film Institute fellow, an Alfred P. Sloan grant winner, and an Inside Pictures alumna. She is head of acquisitions for German distributor Filmwelt, known for titles such as Gunda and Maudie. Her current film, Adventures of a Mathematician, based on the autobiography by Jewish-Polish mathematician Stanislaw Ulam, is an award-winning, Sloan-supported German-British-Polish co-production that premiered in 2020 at Palm Springs International Film Festival.

 

‘SNL’: John Krasinski Returns To Host Following Covid Cancellation With Dan Levy & Regina King Also Set For Hosting Debuts

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January 22, 2021 11:00am

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Saturday Night Live returns on January 30 with five consecutive new shows and is handing hosting debuts to a trio of multihyphenate stars.

John Krasinski, Dan Levy and Regina King are the first three hosts of the new year, with their respective musical guests Machine Gun Kelly, Phoebe Bridgers and Nathaniel Rateliff.

Jack Ryan and The Office star Krasinski will host on January 30 with rapper-actor Machine Gun Kelly, who recently released his Tickets to My Downfall album.

Krasinski, who recently hosted digital series Some Good News and directed A Quiet Place Part II, was set to host SNL back in March, but the episode was shut down as a result of Covid-19.

On February 6, Schitt’s Creek co-creator and star Levy, who scored a slew of Emmys for the sitcom, will host with Bridgers, whose sophomore album Punisher was released via Dead Oceans last year, as musical guest.

King, fresh from having her feature film directorial debut One Night in Miami launch this month, will host on February 13. She will be joined by musical guest Rateliff, who recently released his album And It’s Still Alright.

SNLwill then continue on February 20 and 27, with hosts and guests still to be announced.

The trio join the likes of Chris Rock, Bill Burr, Issa Rae, John Mulaney, Dave Chappelle, Jason Bateman, Timothée Chalamet and Kristen Wiig as hosts across its 46th season.

Saturday Night Live is produced in association with Broadway Video. The creator and executive producer is Lorne Michaels.

Cancellations/Renewals Scorecard: TV Shows Ended Or Continuing In 2020-21 Season

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January 22, 2021 11:14am

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Here is Deadline’s list of renewals and cancellations for TV series on broadcast, cable and streaming services from August 2020 to present (excluding syndicated shows). First-year series are in bold. Note that some shows listed as canceled are or were airing their final seasons. Keep checking back as we add to the list, and email here for additions and omissions. For the list of 2019-20 renewals and cancellations, click here.

ABC

United We Fall (canceled; one season)

Fox

Bob’s Burgers (renewed for Seasons 12 & 13)
Family Guy (renewed for Seasons 19 & 20)
Filthy Rich (canceled; one season)
Last Man Standing (canceled, nine seasons; ending in 2021)
Lego Masters (renewed for Season 2)
neXt (canceled; one season)

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NBC

Superstore (canceled; six seasons)
Transplant (renewed for Season 2)

The CW

Black Lightning (canceled; four seasons; ending in 2021)
Penn & Teller: Fool Us (renewed for Season 8)
Supergirl (renewed/canceled; will end after Season 6)
Two Sentence Horror Stories (renewed for Season 3)
World’s Funniest Animals (renewed for Season 2)

Amazon Prime Video

The Offenders (renewed for Season 2)
The Pack (canceled; one season)

AMC

Fear the Walking Dead (renewed for Season 7)
NOS4A2 (canceled, two seasons)
The Walking Dead (renewed/canceled; 11 seasons; will end in 2022)

Apple TV+

Dickinson (renewed for Season 3)
For All Mankind (renewed for Season 3)
Servant (renewed for Season 3)
Ted Lasso (renewed for Season 3)

BET

Sistas (renewed for Season 3)

BET+

The Family Business (renewed for Season 3)

CBS All Access/Paramount+

No Activity (renewed for Season 4)
Star Trek: Discovery (renewed for Season 4)
Star Trek: Picard (renewed for Season 2)
Texas 6
(renewed for Season 2)

CMT

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team (renewed for Season 15)

Comedy Central

Tosh.0 (canceled, 12 seasons)

Disney Channel

Big City Greens (renewed for Season 3)

Disney XD

DuckTales (canceled, three seasons)

E!

The Bradshaw Bunch (renewed for Season 2)
E! News (canceled)
E! True Hollywood Story (renewed for Season 2)
In the Room (canceled; one season)
Keeping Up with the Kardashians (canceled; 20 seasons; ending in 2021)
Pop of the Morning (canceled; one season)

ESPN+

Peyton’s Places (renewed for Season 3)

FX

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (renewed through Season 18)

HBO

His Dark Materials (renewed/canceled; will end after for Season 3)
Industry (renewed for Season 2)
Insecure (canceled; five seasons; ending in 2021)
In Treatment (renewed for Season 4)
Real Time with Bill Maher (renewed for Seasons 19 & 20)

HBO Max

Doom Patrol (renewed for Season 3)
The Flight Attendant
(renewed for Season 2)
Harley Quinn (renewed for Season 3)
Raised by Wolves (renewed for Season 2)
12 Dates of Christmas (renewed for Season 2)

HGTV

Flip or Flop (renewed for Season 10)

Hulu

Castle Rock (canceled; two seasons)
The Handmaid’s Tale (renewed for Season 5)
Helstrom (canceled; one season)
High Fidelity (canceled; one season)
Woke (renewed for Season 2)

IMDb TV

Alex Rider (renewed for Season 2)

Lifetime

Married at First Sight (renewed for Seasons 12-17)

Netflix

Ashley Garcia: Genius in Love (canceled; one season)
Away (canceled; one season)
The Baby-Sitters Club
 (renewed for Season 2)
The Big Show Show (canceled; one season)
Bridgerton (renewed for Season 2)
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (canceled; one season)
Emily in Paris
(renewed for Season 2)
Feel Good
 (renewed/canceled; will end after Season 2)
F Is for Family (renewed/canceled; will end after Season 5)
GLOW (canceled, three seasons)
Hoops (canceled; one season)
I Am Not Okay with This (canceled, one season)
Izzy’s Koala World (renewed for Season 2)
Narcos: Mexico (renewed for Season 3)
Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj (canceled; six seasons)
Peaky Blinders (canceled, six seasons; ending in 2021)
Raising Dion (renewed for Season 2)
The Society (canceled, one season)
Space Force (renewed for Season 2)
Teenage Bounty Hunters (canceled; one season)
The Umbrella Academy (renewed for Season 3)
Virgin River (renewed for Season 3)
Young Wallender (renewed for Season 2)

Nickelodeon

The Casagrandes (renewed for Season 3)
The Loud House (renewed for Season 6)

OWN

Cherish the Day (renewed for Season 2)
The Haves and the Have Nots (canceled, eight seasons; ending in 2021)
Queen Sugar (renewed for Season 6)

Paramount Network

68 Whiskey (canceled; one season)

PBS

Caillou (canceled, 20 seasons)

Peacock

A.P. Bio (renewed for Season 4)
Saved by the Bell (renewed for Season 2)

Pop TV

One Day at a Time (canceled; four seasons)

Showtime

Billions (renewed for Season 6)
The Chi (renewed for Season 4)
Desus & Mero (renewed for Season 3)
On Becoming a God in Central Florida (canceled; one season)
Penny Dreadful: City of Angels (canceled, one season)

Spectrum Originals

L.A.’s Finest (canceled; two seasons)

Starz

Power Book II: Ghost (renewed for Season 2)

TBS

Full Frontal With Samantha Bee (renewed for Season 6)
The Last O.G. (renewed for Season 4)
Miracle Workers (renewed for Season 3)

TNT

Animal Kingdom (renewed/canceled; will end after Season 6)

VH1

T.I. & Tiny: Friends & Family Hustle (renewed for Season 4)

‘Lost’ Showrunners Damon Lindelof & Carlton Cuse Remember Mira Furlan

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January 22, 2021 11:41am

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One of the most memorable American roles of Croatian actress Mira Furlan, who died Jan. 20 at the age of 65, was on the hugely popular and acclaimed ABC drama series Lost.

In 20 episodes of the show, Furlan played Danielle Rousseau, a French scientist who had shipwrecks on the island sixteen years prior to the crash of Oceanic Flight 815. She was killed in Season 4, with Furlan making one last appearance in Lost‘s sixth and final season.

Following the news of Furlan’s death, Lost executive producers/co-showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse paid tribute to the accomplished actress who won numerous awards in Yugoslavia and Croatia.

“Danielle Rousseau moves into the light. Rest In Peace, Mira… we are deeply grateful for all you did to protect the island,” Lindelof, who also co-created Lost, wrote on Instagram.

Said Cuse, “Mira gifted us all with her grace, intelligence and talents. She was a vital person whose artistic gifts contributed so much to defining the mysteries of our show. She will be truly missed.”

In addition to Lost, Furlan is best known in the US for her role as Minbari Ambassador Delenn on another sci-fi series, Babylon 5.

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Tom Brokaw To Retire From NBC News After 55 Years With The Network

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January 22, 2021 10:59am

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Tom Brokaw moderating a debate in 2008.
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Tom Brokaw will retire from NBC News after 55 years with the network.

He made the announcement in a statement on Friday.

“During one of the most complex and consequential eras in American history, a new generation of NBC News journalists, producers and technicians is providing America with timely, insightful and critically important information, 24/7. I could not be more proud of them,” he said in a statement.

Brokaw, 80, was the anchor of NBC Nightly News from 1982 to 2004. Since then, he has been a part of NBC News special event coverage, serving a special correspondent and often providing commentary and analysis from an historic perspective. His 2001 book The Greatest Generation put the spotlight on the sacrifice of a generation of Americans through the Great Depression and World War II. The book’s title is now commonly used to refer to WWII veterans and their families.

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Brokaw will continue to be active in print journalism and write books, along with spending more time with his wife, Meredith, his three daughters and grandchildren, the network said.

Brokaw started at the network in 1966, when he was assigned to the Los Angeles bureau and covered Ronald Reagan’s first run for office, while anchoring the nightly newscast at KNBC. He moved to Washington to serve as the network’s White House correspondent in 1973, where he covered the Watergate scandal and Richard Nixon’s resignation. He then became co-host of Today in 1976, paired with Jane Pauley.

Six years later, after John Chancellor stepped down, Brokaw was paired with Roger Mudd to co-anchor Nightly News. But the teaming didn’t work, and Brokaw became sole anchor and managing editor in 1983. He rose to the top of the ratings, and, among his standout moments, was being the first American journalist to interview Mikhail Gorbachev and to report from Berlin the night that the Berlin Wall came down.

A week after leading the network’s coverage of 9/11, Brokaw was among the targets of an anthrax attack. He was not injured, but his longtime assistant was infected, having opened a threatening letter laced with white powder that had been addressed to him. He addressed what happened on the air, expressing his anger but also his relief at an antibiotic treatment.

After the death of Tim Russert in 2008, Brokaw served as the interim moderator of the show, until David Gregory was tapped as permanent host later in the year.

Brokaw was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014. The same year, the network named its new Los Angeles broadcast facility on the Universal lot after him. In 2018, Variety and The Washington Post published allegations from former NBC News correspondent Linda Vester, who claimed that he groped her during the 1990s. But he denied her claims, writing a rebuttal letter in which he said that she had “unleashed a torrent of unsubstantiated criticism and attacks on me more than twenty years after I opened the door for her and a new job at Fox News.” Rachel Maddow, Andrea Mitchell and dozens of other women who worked at the network signed a public letter supporting Brokaw.

Along with Dan Rather at CBS Evening News and Peter Jennings at World News Tonight, Brokaw was part of a 1980s and 90s era of superstar anchors, chasing big “get” and going to the scene of major news events. But the impact of the nightly broadcast has waned since then, with the rise of opinion driven talking heads on cable news networks and a diffusion of information sources on the internet.

Brokaw appeared on Morning Joe on Dec. 30, but his appearances on the network have tapered off in recent years. On Friday, he tweeted about the death of Hank Aaron, writing, “what a loss. great ball player, great man. we became friends when i did a documentary with him he described growing up in South and being told he couldn’t play because he was black – which made him all the more determined. a gentle giant one of my great heroes.”

hank aaron – what a loss. great ball player, great man.
we became friends when i did a documentary with him
he described growing up in South and being told he couldn’t
play because he was black – which made him all the more determined.
a gentle giant
one of my great heroes

— Tom Brokaw (@tombrokaw) January 22, 2021

‘The Torture Letters’ Director Laurence Ralph Meditates On America’s History Of Racially-Motivated Police Brutality & His Hope For Change With Oscar-Contending Animated Short

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January 22, 2021 10:28am

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The New York Times Op-Docs / Princeton University

After publishing his book The Torture Letters in January of 2020, Laurence Ralph decided to adapt it into an animated short—reckoning in both cases with systemic racism in America, in hopes that society at large will address it, and take meaningful action to stop the violence it perpetuates.

Based on over a decade of research, both projects are structured as a series of open letters to victims of police violence, and to those who have spoken out against it. Drawing attention to a police torture scandal in Chicago that unfolded over the course of three decades, they use this history as a foundation, to open up a discussion around tragedies that continue to play out.

For first-time filmmaker Ralph—who serves as a Professor of Anthropology at Princeton University—the idea in adapting his book was to connect with younger generations, in order to educate and emotionally engage them with deep-seated social issues.

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The New York Times Op-Docs

“It’s challenging the viewer to be involved and to think about how they’re connected to the vulnerability of other people,” Ralph tells Deadline. “You might not have known about these particular cases, or you might have some vague idea that people experience police violence and suffer from it, but I want people to pause and think about how they’re impacted themselves, and how their not knowing is a kind of privilege, and a kind of complicity in it.”

Below, the Torture Letters directors reflects on the process of adapting his book for the screen, and what gives him hope that, like the abstract shapes in his film, America itself can transform.

DEADLINE: What can you tell us about your book, The Torture Letters, and the decision to adapt it?

LAURENCE RALPH: The book is about a scandal in which over a hundred Black male suspects were tortured in police custody. It happened in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, and since that time, there’s been a lot of activism to first just acknowledge that it happened, and then later, to get communal resources for the families and communities impacted by it. One of the things that happened in 2015 was The Reparations Ordinance, and it included a lot of collective resources for the city of Chicago. Alongside that, there was a mandate that the history of this police torture scandal be taught in Chicago public schools.

So, as an educator, I was drawn to that aspect of it. But I knew that the book I was writing wouldn’t be accessible to teenagers. So, I started then thinking about, “Okay, how can I translate some of this knowledge to that younger demographic?” And I began to be drawn to animation for that reason.

DEADLINE: How did you personally come to awareness of the police torture scandal in Chicago? And at what point did you decide to explore it with a book?

The New York Times Op-Docs

RALPH: It mostly came from my time in grad school [at the University of Chicago], and my time in the community. In 2006, I started doing research in Chicago, and gang research, and when I was doing that kind of research, this is well before the Black Lives Matter movement. There were incidents where young men were shot by the police, and I recall community members saying, “Well, if nothing happened to [Chicago PD Commander] Burge, nothing’s going to happen to these officers.” They were talking about the police torture scandal, and I knew at that time that I wanted to delve more into the history of that, and to think about why there has never been accountability for the police, when it comes to torture.

DEADLINE: What inspired you to embrace an epistolary mode, in telling this story?

RALPH: Well, I was struggling with how to write about torture, and this is part of the reason for the animation, as well. It’s like you write about a topic like torture, and it becomes either too graphic that people automatically get turned off, or it becomes sterile, and you lose the impact of what’s really happening.

It’s hard to find a middle ground where you can convey the reality and the experience of it, in a way that’s impactful. But I noticed that when torture survivors were talking about torture in community settings, it didn’t seem graphic and it didn’t seem voyeuristic, and I realized that that had a lot to do with who they were addressing, and the sense of urgency. And I began to be drawn to the letters because when you write a letter, you have to be clear about the purpose of it—about who it’s for, about what you want them to know. And I found that if I kept myself grounded in that kind of approach, I was able to convey the emotional reality and the nature of torture in a more humanizing light.

DEADLINE: What were the first steps in bringing your short film together?

RALPH: Once I decided on animation as a vehicle, I started doing research on animators, and different styles of animation that I wanted to express. I knew that I wanted to do something that was a little bit abstract, so it could convey the emotional nature of it, and the transformations that happen. You know, when you talk about violence, violence can transform into something else very quickly.

The New York Times Op-Docs

I was involved with this Conception series that The New York Times had, and one of the animators for that series really stuck out, Jocie Juritz. So, I reached out to her, and assembled the team from there. We also got a composer, Pierre O’Reilly, who does a lot of great work with sound, as a way to connect emotion. So, I reached out to him, as well, and it was supported by a grant from Princeton.

DEADLINE: How did you approach the challenge of mining a script out of your book? 

RALPH: I picked key people that I wrote to in the book, as a way to tell the overarching story of police violence in Chicago. So, I took key moments in the book and had to edit them a lot, just to get them in a place where they can be translated, visually. Most of it’s taken from the book, and from specific experiences, like interviewing teenagers about their experiences with violence.

I knew I wanted to include some of what the teenagers said, and some of what they asked me. When I interviewed teenagers in Chicago, the first thing they asked me was, “What was your first experience with the police?” You know, they didn’t trust me at first; they wanted to know where I stood. So, I wanted to include my experience, as well, because that was so important for allowing the research to happen in the first place.

DEADLINE: From what I understand, the cubist art of Jacob Lawrence was one of your key visual inspirations. Tell us more about how you worked with the abstract language featured in the film, and what you wanted to express through it.

RALPH: I think in talking about violence, especially like torture, there’s a way in which it can seem like there’s no way forward. So, a lot of the images just confront you, and are hard shapes. It seems like there’s no way to move beyond them, but then they shatter and break apart, and form something new. So, there’s a kind of cyclical nature to the short, where you’re confronted by these violent images in the form of abstract shapes, but then they morph into other things, and provide a way for transformation. I wanted to continuously think about that as a cycle, and as a way to move forward, beyond something that seems so devastating.

DEADLINE: What was it like for you to embed yourself within the world of animation for the first time, as a creator? Was there a learning curve?

The New York Times Op-Docs

RALPH: I realized through the process that I think very visually. I think when I write, there’s a way that I’m translating the visual that I see into words. But this is easier, in a way, because I can just describe what I want to convey, emotionally. So, the process was just going back and forth with Jocie, and talking about how to convey emotion most of the time, because the limitations of the book were that it’s hard to convey emotion.

DEADLINE: Were there other major challenges in realizing your vision?

RALPH: There’s a different time period than I’m used to, and a lot of moving parts, so just managing that production was challenging. But I think the nature of the collaboration was something that I enjoyed a lot. I felt that the team got on the same page, and everybody had a lot of freedom to express their ideas.

One worry all along was about distribution, and how to get it out to the world. But fortunately, or unfortunately, we were wrapping it up just as the summer hit, and with the events with Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, The New York Times expressed interest. So, then that was the other challenge. We had to speed up and finish it at that point, so there was a big push at the end to get it done.

DEADLINE: What gives you hope that America can get to a point where police brutality is less prevalent, and where systemic racism is meaningfully addressed?

RALPH: Right around the time when the film came out, it was an interesting moment, where former students were calling me and talking about what they learned in the classes I taught, and how it’s affecting them, and wondering what they can do. It coincided with the pandemic, and so there was a wider sense of the kind of vulnerability that I was talking about. We are connected in a way, and we are underprotected, and more people know what that feels like now. So, they can relate to other issues like police violence through the vulnerability that they’re experiencing in this moment, and knowing what it’s like. Like, it might not be your fault that you get Covid. It might not be your fault that a police officer stops you, but you can still be victimized. I think knowing what that feels like is important.

[Also], people organizing under the banner of Black Lives Matter, it was a very diverse group of people of all ages, various backgrounds, and I think that that was an important thing.

And just professionally, I was called to speak to a lot of different groups and companies and universities, and the dialogue is opening up in a way that it had never before around these issues, as long as I’ve been researching them. I think the success of the film is another indication of that, that I would have never expected, and it’s opened up conversations that I didn’t know that people wanted to have.

DEADLINE: Did your time making The Torture Letters leave you thinking about making more animated films?

RALPH: I’m definitely drawn to animation and I definitely feel at home in the animation community. I’m thinking through a lot of ideas about what’s next, and what I can do to bring social issues to light through animation.

Warner Bros. Names Blake Bryant Communications Head Of Global Brands & Experiences

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January 22, 2021 10:24am

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PR and marketing veteran Blake Bryant has been named Head of Communications for Warner Bros. Global Brands and Experiences.

He will report to Pam Lifford, President, Global Brands and Experiences and Johanna Fuentes, Head of Global Communications, Warner Media Studios and Networks Group. He’ll be based in Los Angeles.

Bryant will oversee external and internal communications for Global Brands and Experiences, DC, Warner Bros. Consumer Products, Themed Entertainment and the Global Franchise group. He’ll manage the teams responsible for consumer publicity, while also serving as lead on executive, business and strategic communications. He’ll also work with the various publicity teams across the Studios and Networks Group on all franchise-related communications.

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Prior to joining WBGBE, Bryant was SVP, Worldwide Marketing and Publicity, Warner Bros. Unscripted Television, with responsibility for all program publicity, marketing, brand management, media strategy, crisis communications and advertising creative for all programming produced by Warner Bros. Television’s three unscripted divisions (Warner Horizon Unscripted Television, Shed Media and Telepictures). Bryant worked on such series as The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Bachelor and its spinoffs, Who Do You Think You Are?, The Real, Ellen’s Game of Games, Extra and Ava Duvernay’s first unscripted series, the upcoming Home Sweet Home.

Before joining Warner Bros., Bryant worked for seven years as VP of Creative Services at Disney/ABC Domestic Television where he oversaw consumer and sales marketing creative and advertising for the unit’s off-network and syndicated programming. Prior to his work at the studios, he spent more than 20 years in local television station marketing, publicity, production, programming, and station operations, including seven years with the NBC Owned Television Station group in Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco.

He has been recognized with numerous Broadcast Marketing awards, including three local market Emmy Awards and Nominations and six NATAS Emmy wins for his work on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

“Since we founded GBE in 2018, our laser focus has been to develop and move our incredible brands and franchises even closer to our fans and become an organic part of their lives,” said Lifford. “A key component of this plan is effectively communicating directly with our various audiences, and we’re excited to have Blake joining the team to head up these efforts. He’s got great instincts and a seasoned perspective and will help us take our communications strategies to the next level.”

 

Fox Corp. Taps Former Disney+Hotstar Exec Varun Narang As Chief Product Officer

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January 22, 2021 10:12am

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Varun Narang, former chief product officer at India-based streaming service Disney+Hotstar, has been appointed to the same role at Fox Corp.

Reporting to Chief Technology Officer and President of Digital Paul Cheesbrough, Narang will oversee all Fox-branded streaming products, platforms and engineering talent.

Fox Corp. began a new chapter as a stand-alone company in 2019, with assets including the Fox broadcast network, Fox News, FS1 and a portfolio of local TV stations. Disney acquired most of its corporate predecessor, 21st Century Fox, including its film and TV studios as well as international operations like Star.

Unlike many of its traditional media peers, Fox has not gone pedal-to-metal on streaming, a logical approach given its highly lucrative linear network holdings and significant news and sports programming. Over time, though, the company has gradually increased its streaming efforts, acquiring a leading ad-supported platform, Tubi TV, expanding subscription service Fox Nation and launching free outlet Fox Soul.

“Varun is a unique visionary whose passion, expertise and creativity make him the ideal leader of our streaming products and experiences,” Cheesbrough said in the official announcement. “His leadership will accelerate the momentum of our digital businesses and deepen the outstanding digital talent that we have developed across our brands. I look forward to working closely with him to charter the next phase of digital growth and consumer offerings for the company.”

At Disney+Hotstar, Narang helped lead and expand the service, which reached 26.8 million subscribers as of December. Before that, he spent five years at Hulu, leading its product management and design teams as the head of product management. Narang also previously held positions at Amazon and Xerox.

More 2021 Q1 Release Date Fallout As Disney Pushes ‘The King’s Man’, ‘Bob’s Burgers’ & ‘Ron’s Gone Wrong’

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January 22, 2021 10:09am

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The King’s Man
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In the wake of MGM, Universal and Sony making major Q1 release date changes to their theatrical schedule yesterday, Disney is pushing a few of its 20th Century Studios releases to deeper in the calendar.

It’s much delayed Matthew Vaughn directed period action feature The King’s Man is no longer going on March 12, rather Aug. 20 this year.

The big screen take on Bob’s Burgers on April 9 is now unset. That obviously raises questions about the TV animated piece of IP heading to Disney+ or even sister Hulu, though no word from Disney.

Also the Locksmith Animation movie Ron’s Gone Wrong, about an 11-year-old boy who finds that his robot buddy doesn’t quite work, goes from April 23 to Oct. 22. Pic is directed by Sarah Smith, Jean-Philippe Vine and Octavio E. Rodriguez.

Sticking on the Q1 calendar for Disney is Searchlight’s awards season release of Nomadland on Feb. 19, Disney’s day-and-date theatrical and the Disney+ premium release of Raya and the Last Dragon on March 5. Marvel’s Black Widow sticks on May 7, kicking off summer followed by Free Guy on May 21, Cruella on May 28, Pixar’s Luca on June 18, Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on July 9, Searchlight’s The Night House on July 16, Jungle Cruise on July 30, 20th’s Deep Water on Aug. 13, then King’s Man, and the doc The Beatles: Get Back on Aug. 27. Man, that’s quite a summer schedule. Let’s hope that this Covid vaccine works.

Visual Effects Society Elects Lisa Cooke As First Female Board Chair, Names 2021 Board Of Director Officers

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January 21, 2021 1:02pm

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Courtesy of VES

The Visual Effects Society (VES) named its 2021 Board of Directors officers with Lisa Cooke being elected as Board Chair. She is the first woman to hold this role in VES’s history.

The five officers, who comprise the VES Board Executive Committee, were elected at the January 2021 Board meeting. They embody the global makeup of VES, coming from Sections in the United States, New Zealand and London.

“The Society is proud to have exceptional leadership represented on our Executive Committee,” said Eric Roth, VES Executive Director. “This is a group of impassioned and venerated professionals with a vision for the Society’s future, especially amidst this time of dynamic change. We appreciate their commitment to serve our organization and our members worldwide.”

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“It is my great honor and privilege to Chair this society of exceptional artists and innovators,” said Lisa Cooke, VES Chair. “I’m proud to be the first woman in this role, and I’m committed to lifting up our future leaders, so that I’m not the last.” I look forward to working with the Executive Committee and Board of Directors to support our members during these challenging times and advance the work to propel the Society and the industry forward.”

The 2021 Officers of the VES Board of Directors and their bios can be read below.

Lisa Cooke, Chair

Lisa Cooke has spent several decades in the entertainment industry as an animation/FX industry producer, story consultant, screenwriter and actor. Firmly believing that effective science communication is vital to our world, she founded Green Ray Media, and for the last ten-plus years, has been producing animation and VFX to create scientific, medical and environmental media for a broad audience.

Cooke has worked for entertainment clients including Lucasfilm, Fox, Nickelodeon Films, ABC, CBS, Paramount and Universal and in the VFX and animation industry for companies including Pixar, Glasgow-based Digital Animations Group and Tippett Studio. As Senior Producer at Reardon Studios, she helped bring MOVA Contour Reality Capture to the film industry.

Cooke has also taught story structure at the SF Academy of Art, JFK University and Ex’pression College, and is a member of the Screen Actors Guild. She served six years on the VES Bay Area Board of Managers Executive Committee and as Chair, before joining the VES Board of Directors, where she serves as Chair of the Archive Committee. In 2019 she held the position of 2nd Vice Chair and served as 1st Vice Chair in 2020. She is honored to Chair the Visual Effects Society in 2021.

Emma Clifton Perry, 1st Vice Chair

Emma Clifton Perry has more than 15 years experience across feature films, longform/TV series, commercials and advertising.

Clifton Perry offers a truly global perspective, having lived everywhere from Saudi Arabia to Canada. She has worked both in-house with FOX and at VFX facilities worldwide including WETA Digital, Framestore, MPC, Rising Sun Pictures, DrD, Method Studios and The Mill, amongst others, working both as an artist and in leadership roles. She is currently based in Wellington, New Zealand, providing remote compositing and VFX consulting/lecturing services worldwide. She studied at the NCCA, Bournemouth University, UK.

This is Clifton Perry’s second consecutive term on the Executive Committee, serving as 2nd Vice Chair in 2020. Clifton Perry has served for four consecutive years on the Board of Directors and eight cumulative years on the New Zealand Board of Managers. She was the 2nd ever New Zealand Section Chair, serving as Chair for three years and a year as secretary/treasurer.

David H. Tanaka, 2nd Vice Chair

David H. Tanaka has worked in visual effects and animation for over 25 years. For 15 years he served at Industrial Light & Magic in VFX Editorial on such films as Jurassic Park, Forrest Gump, and Star Wars. He went on to work on Cars, Ratatouille, WALL•E, UP, and Toy Story 3 as a Special Projects Editor at Pixar Animation Studios over the next 10 years.

In 2015, in addition to his freelance editing for studios, corporations and private clientele, Tanaka served as Editor, VFX Supervisor, Post-Production Supervisor and Co-Executive Producer on the independent feature film Guitar Man (currently in festival run and garnering awards for Best Editing and Best Picture). Tanaka is also an Adjunct Professor for the Academy of Art University, San Francisco, specializing in Editing, Producing and Cinema History.

David H. Tanaka has been a proud member of the Visual Effects Society for close to two decades. He served three terms as the VES Bay Area Section Chair, and one term as Co-Chair. Now in his third term on the VES Board of Directors, he has collaborated on projects ranging from educational outreach and VFX workplace code of conduct standards, to special VFX artist tributes and establishing best editorial practices for the VES Archives Committee.

Jeffrey A. Okun, VES Treasurer

Jeffrey A. Okun, VES, is known for creating ‘organic’ and invisible effects, as well as spectacular ‘tent-pole’ visual effects that blend seamlessly into the storytelling aspect of the project, and has won the VES Award for Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects for his work on The Last Samurai.  Okun has also delivered wide-ranging effects in award winning films such as Alpha, Blood Diamond, Stargate, Sphere, Red Planet, Deep Blue Sea, Lolita and The Last Starfighter and acclaimed television programs such as Cosmos: Possible Worlds for National Geographic and Fox TV.

Okun is a VES Fellow and recipient of the Founder’s Award. He created and co-edited, the VES HANDBOOK OF VISUAL EFFECTS, an award-winning reference book covering all aspects of creating visual effects, techniques and practices.  As VES Board Chair for seven years, Okun fostered a global community, focused attention on bringing business and creative education to artists, facilities and studios and guided the Society to help create a worldwide software anti-pirating alliance with the US Government to ensure that all facilities have a fair and level playing field from which to bid. He created visual effects tracking and bidding software in wide use within the industry as well as the revolutionary visual effects techniques dubbed the “PeriWinkle Effect” and the “Pencil Effect.”

Okun is a member of the Visual Effects Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), the Academy of Television Arts and Science, and an associate member of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC).

Gavin Graham, Secretary

Gavin Graham is the General Manager of DNEG Montréal. He has spent almost 20 years of his 21-year career with DNEG, having also worked for MPC and Cinesite. Originally an FX artist, with a background in Computer Science, he has also created tools and worked in development in the area of simulation and rendering. He has FX and CG Supervisor credits on projects such as Stardust, 2012, multiple films in the Harry Potter franchise and Captain America: The First Avenger.

In 2011 he moved into a management position with DNEG, initially as the London Head of 3D, and then as Global Head of CG, before moving to Montréal to his current role in 2019.

Graham joined the VES Board of Directors in 2019, and previously served as Secretary during his six-year tenure on the London Section Board.

The CW Streaming App Launches On Vizio SmartCast On Heels Of Season Kickoff

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January 21, 2021 1:20pm

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(L-R): Geffri Maya as Simone and Michael Evans Behling as Jordan
The CW

Days after the CW premiered a batch of new episodes and officially kicked off its 2021 season, its streaming app has launched on Vizio SmartCast.

Vizio is the No. 2 manufacturer in the growing U.S. smart TV sector, with about 20% of the market. Its SmartCast platform reaches about 14 million viewers.

The CW app last week rocketed to the top of the app download charts as viewers looked to get current with new episodes of shows like Riverdale and All American. The ad-supported app, which was an early entrant in the streaming business, is free and does not require a subscription or a pay-TV login. Full seasons of Batwoman, Nancy Drew and DC’s Stargirl are also available on the app, and the CW Seed sub-brand also offers a selection of library titles, including Schitt’s Creek, 90210 and Nikita.

“We want to provide fans of The CW’s programming a choice of how and where they consume our content,” said Hiram Norman, EVP of Digital for The CW. “Vizio is a great partner that will help provide our audience the viewing experience they’ve come to expect from The CW.”

Katherine Pond, VP of Business Development for Vizio, called the CW app a “fantastic addition” to SmartCast. “As a popular broadcast network, The CW app provides SmartCast audiences with on-demand access to fan-favorite series, modern classics and highly anticipated series premieres.”

The CW, in a departure from the strategies at other broadcast networks, delayed its new season until this month due to production delays and complications of Covid-19. The new slate includes freshman series Walker and the third season of Legacies. Shows like Charmed, Black Lightning and Superman & Lois will continue to premiere over the next several weeks, culminating with the new season of The Flash on March 2.

‘I’m Your Woman’: Read The Screenplay For Julia Hart & Jordan Horowitz’s Amazon Crime Drama

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January 21, 2021 1:00pm

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EXCLUSIVE: Crime kings may have graced the screen in a number of cinema’s greatest titles but director Julia Hart flips the script to spotlight the women behind the gritty antiheroes with I’m Your Woman.

Written by Hart and husband and Oscar-nominated La La Land scribe Jordan Horowitz, I’m Your Woman follows Jean (Rachel Brosnahan), a suburban housewife who lives a seemingly easy life supported by her husband Eddie’s (Bill Heck) career as a thief. Life takes a turn for the worst when Eddie betrays his partners, sending Jean and her baby off on a perilous journey under the supervision and safekeeping of Eddie’s old friend Cal (Arinzé Kene).

But even in the company of Cal and his wife Teri (Marsha Stephanie Blake), Jean and her child are far from safe. Teri and Jean team up to get to the bottom of things, taking matters into their own hands. James McMenamin, Marceline Hugot and Frankie Faison also star.

I’m Your Woman kicked off the 34th annual AFI Fest in October ahead of its December bow on Amazon Prime Video. Deadline’s Pete Hammond lauded the Amazon Studios flick, noting it “has surprising relevance for today.” He also praised Brosnahan for her performance, which takes the Emmy winner beyond the world of Mrs. Maisel. “And you have to really give her props for sharing the screen with a baby for much of the running time,” he wrote, “a feat she pulls off effortlessly.”

I’m Your Woman is written and directed Hart. The film is produced by Horowitz and Brosnahan. Bart Lipton executive produced.

Read the screenplay below.

Joe Biden Announces “Wartime Effort” Against Covid-19; Includes Speedier Vaccine Distribution, “Full Force Of Federal Government Behind Testing”

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January 21, 2021 12:55pm

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President Joe Biden
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“There are moments is history when more is asked of a particular generation — more than is asked of Americans in another time. We are in that moment now,” said newly inaugurated President Joe Biden on Thursday. “History’s going to measure whether we were up to the task. I believe we are.”

Biden then previewed a nearly 200-page plan that was being released to the public. “This is the model we used to respond to Hurricane Sandy,” he said. He also signed 10 executive orders related to fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

On Day 2 of his presidency, Biden announced 100 federally funded vaccination centers. He said there would be “a Covid liaison for each state,” a move that would hopefully clear up recent confusion between those parties about allotments and delivery.

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He called for “a wartime effort by ramping up production … to accelerate the making of everything that’s needed.”

“We’re going to put the full force of the federal government behind testing,” said the president, adding that the American people will receive briefings “not from the president but from the real experts in science.” A short time later, in fact, Dr. Anthony Fauci lead the administration’s first Covid briefing.

Tune in as President Biden provides an update on the Administration’s COVID-19 response. https://t.co/xFHzMcVRti

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 21, 2021

Americans will need to wear masks for interstate travel. Biden said specifically that masks would be required on “planes, trains and buses.” He called masking up “a patriotic act.”

All international travelers coming into the U.S. will have to be tested before departure and quarantine for 10 days after arrival, the president said.

“Let me be clear: Things are going to continue to get worse before they get better,” he warned. “The death toll will likely top 500,000 next month.”

He added: “We didn’t get into this overnight. The brutal truth is, it’s going to take months to get Americans vaccinated.”

And that effort “will be one of the greatest operational challenges out country has even done.”

Biden also rattled off brief descriptions of each of the executive orders as he signed them. According to the president, they addressed:

  • Supply chain
  • Keeping workers safe
  • Ensuring equitable response
  • Promoting safe travel
  • Setting up a pandemic testing board
  • Studying a safe schools commission
  • Maintaining Covid data
  • Expanding access and care and treatment
  • Making sure the National Guard and FEMA are available
  • Our global response directive