Showbizreporting's Blog

May 5, 2011

Saving the Lives of our own

Filed under: Entertainment — showbizreporting @ 6:43 pm
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Dear Friends –

We are so fortunate to be in the enviable position of being ‘winners’ in our fight to maintain the Long Term Care unit at the Motion Picture Home. However, even though the commitment to continue this essential form of care for the motion picture and television industry has been affirmed by CEO Bob Beitcher and the MPTF board, we continue to be vigilant.

As you know, an agreement with Providence and UCLA to integrate their brand into the MPTF umbrella of care at the Woodland Hills campus has breathed new life into the mission of We Take Care of Our Own. As hopeful as this is, there is still controversy attached to it.

We lost a dear friend the other day at the Woodland Hills campus. Bill Campbell passed away. I was a real fan of this guy, having remembered him in the iconic Star Trek episode ‘Trouble with Tribbles’. He was a very familiar face to many of us baby boomers who sat transfixed in front of the tube in the sixties and seventies. He even acted with the king, Elvis Presley.

Our friend and supporter Arne Starr first notified me of Bill’s passing. Please keep his wife Tereza in your thoughts and prayers.

You can read about William Campbell at our website,

Our head is still in the game of watching over the MPTF’s plans and ministrations as they go forward with their plans. Stay frosty! Stay involved!

The good thing is that you don’t have to suffer through these inane messages quite so often.




April 6, 2011

WGA Ballots

Filed under: Entertainment — showbizreporting @ 2:26 pm
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WGA Ballots on the Way for Ratification Vote on Studio Deal

3:15 PM 4/5/2011 by Jonathan Handel

Ballots can be returned in person at meetings on April 26 or via mail by April 27.

The WGA deal reached last month is on its way to the membership for a ratification vote; ballots are in the mail. That’s evident from the guild website, where a member link provides access to the ratification booklet and related materials, but the guild has continued its mostly sotto voce approach this year by making no public announcement of the mailing.

The ballots are due back to the WGA by 9 a.m. on April 27. Members can also vote in person at meetings in Los Angeles and New York the day before.

Ballots were accompanied by a statement from negotiating committee co-chairs John Bowman and Billy Ray explaining why negotiations had been completed in less than three weeks of talks: “an economy still recovering from a deep recession; an economic pattern set in negotiations with other unions; and the willingness of the Companies to address the Guild’s most pressing economic need, regarding the solvency of the pension plan.”

The materials also included a cover letter from WGA West president John Wells and WGA East president Michael Winship that said, “We highly endorse ratification of this contract” and noting the unanimous recommendation of the negotiating committee, WGA West Board and WGA East Council.

The new accord with the AMPTP follows the pattern set by deals in the last few months with the actors and directors. The new three-year deal provides for 2 percent annual wage increases and a one-time 1.5 percent increase in employer contributions to the guild’s pension plan. SAG, AFTRA and the DGA received 2 percent annual increases also, and a one-time increase in employer contributions to pension and/or health plans.

The writers’ deal also includes a 20 percent increase in pay TV residuals – i.e., the residuals payable when a pay TV show such as Showtime’s Dexter is rerun on pay TV. That gain is less dramatic than the percentage may suggest, however, since those residuals are a small, fixed amount, in contrast to more lucrative formulas provided in the directors and actors agreements.

In a move that the letter acknowledged as “a concession,” the new agreement provides that network primetime residuals will be frozen at current rates for the duration of the contract. Such a move is unusual: primetime residuals usually increase when minimums do.

The new deal also includes a 2 percent increase in first year ad-supported Internet streaming of television programs. The DGA, SAG and AFTRA received a corresponding increase. In the case of the WGA, the dollar amounts involved are $16 to $32 per year.

Like the other unions, the WGA also accepted a shift from first-class air travel to new rules favoring business class and coach.

The WGA did not achieve any significant improvement in workplace conditions such as issues related to “sweepstakes pitching.”

Included with the ratification materials was a letter from WGA member Ari B. Rubin entitled “Divide and Conquer.” Although Rubin accepted the deal as the best obtainable under the circumstances, he decried what he called the studios’ strategy of “divide and conquer,” and colorfully compared it to a strategy the British army used in North Africa during World War II.

January 18, 2011

Who Am I Trailer

Filed under: Entertainment — showbizreporting @ 3:02 pm
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This is your chance to see some of the hard work that I have been up to lately.  As you know my business partner, Dave Andrews, and I got a great response from some of you for our kickstarter campaign for our TV Pilot called Who Am I?  For those of you that did contribute thank you very much and your gifts are being worked on and will be sent out soon.  We finished off our campaign with $29,040 pledged putting us over our $25,000 goal.  The pilot is going to be made and actually starts filming on Feb. 4th.  In the meantime we made a Trailer for the Pilot which through the company 3D Eye, is going to be converted into 3D and give us some good advertising for the show to find some networks to air on and become a full series.  The first of our trailers and the one that will be converted is now available to be seen on our company, Syzygy Holdings’ website at  I hope that you enjoy it and will continue to spread the word and support the show.

January 14, 2011

Saving the Lives of Our Own Hospital

Dear Friends –

It was two years ago today that the letter announcing the closure of Motion Picture & Television Fund Long Term Care was sent to spouses and children of the elderly nursing home residents. The letter gave us roughly 60 days to move our family to other facilities. Upon inspection, many of these facilities did not come close to the level of care or cleanliness of what was the only viable care facility for those who paid into it over the years.

Our elders, who in most cases had no more money left to support their care in an upscale facility, were about to be cast to the wind.

We stood up, and made a difference. As you are well aware, the Long Term Care unit is still active, and the MPTF has voiced their commitment to continue Long Term Care in the future. We rallied here on facebook, in the streets, on the Internet, and in the hearts of the motion picture and television industry. While we were waiting for A-list actors to stand among us, we decided to be proactive, and in the end, we didn’t need them.

Our work however is not done. The fight that began as saving a nursing home has turned into a Motion Picture Home campus wide struggle to insure the continuum of care. The fight that began on behalf of 130+ of the most elderly and infirm residents turned into a wave of consciousness whose aim is to insure skilled nursing and long term care for generations to come. The fight that began in Woodland Hills, CA has raised issues of elder care worldwide. The motion picture industry is a template for the world when it comes to charitable outreach and diversity. Now it will be a shining example of how ‘we take care of our own’ in a modern world.

We don’t cave to temporary economic challenges by plucking the low-hanging fruit of the elderly to salve our concerns. We dig into our pockets and use our creativity to raise funds.

In this case, it wasn’t about money – it was about compassion. And you showed it, delivered with a resolve that left the MPTF board shaking.

The third year will be the charm. Please hang in there and become even more involved in this struggle. It’s not over, not by a long shot. We will take the momentum we have and continue to shine a light on this to the industry and to the world.

Please enlist your friends to join us. Tell your industry brothers and sisters about the plight of the elderly at the Motion Picture Home. Join us at

You have already saved some lives, let’s continue to save more – along with the future of motion picture and television healthcare.

Please see my blog at



November 29, 2010

Who Am I? TV Series

Filed under: Entertainment — showbizreporting @ 12:36 pm
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The Final Plea for Who Am I?  TV Pilot Campaign:
We are down to the last 8 days of the campaign and it is truly too close to fail.   If we do not reach our $25,000 goal by Dec. 7th, then we get NOTHING.  As of this letter we need just $2000 more dollars. Please tell everyone you know as $5 can go a long way with enough people.  For all of those who have already pledged, I cannot thank you enough.  It will truly be because of all of you that our company will not only be able to create our first original scripted show, but will be able to take-off and literally get kickstarted for success.  Please help make this dream come true.  Your support has kept me going for all of these years, now I just ask you to put a little money where your mouth is.  Times are tough, but in this case $5 can truly go a real long way.  I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and I myself had a whole lot to be thankful for this year.  As you are bargain shopping for Cyber Monday, click over to kickstarter and spend a little money to help start a career and create a show for your own enjoyment.  
Click here to find out more and pledge:
Thank you all,  keep in touch.
If you have any questions at all, please contact me at

October 19, 2010


Filed under: Entertainment,Uncategorized — showbizreporting @ 4:48 pm
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SAG Division Elections Held in Hollywood and New York
Hollywood Division Elects Ned Vaughn 1st Vice President
New York Division Elects Mike Hodge 2nd Vice President

Los Angeles (Oct. 18, 2010) – The Screen Actors Guild Hollywood Division Board of Directors and New York Division Board of Directors today elected the union’s 1st vice president and 2nd vice president.

The Hollywood Division Board elected Ned Vaughn to the position of 1st vice president of Screen Actors Guild. The 1st vice president also serves as chair of the Hollywood Division Board. The New York Division Board re-elected Division President Mike Hodge to the position of Screen Actors Guild 2nd vice president.

1st Vice President Ned Vaughn said, “I am honored to serve Screen Actors Guild as 1st vice president and privileged to represent the members here in Hollywood. Our recent board election made it clear: Hollywood members overwhelmingly want performers in one union, not divided in two. I’ll work hard to advance that goal and to make progress in every aspect of protecting our members.”

New York Division President and 2nd Vice President Mike Hodge said, “It is an incredible honor to serve New York Division members of Screen Actors Guild. I look forward to another year of productive service and to real progress on important initiatives like uniting all actors in one union.”

Vaughn is serving his first term on the Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors and his second term as a member of the Hollywood Division Board of Directors. Vaughn is a career actor whose list of credits includes roles in major motion pictures including Apollo 13, The Hunt for Red October, Courage Under Fire and Frost/Nixon as well as guest star and recurring roles in hit television series such as 24, Mad Men, Desperate Housewives, The Mentalist, and the upcoming Harry’s Law among others.

Hodge is serving his first term as New York Division President and has been on the Screen Actors Guild Board of Directors for ten years. As a national director, he served as New York Division secretary and vice president. As a member of the New York Division Legislative Committee, he testified before the New York City Council in the successful effort to get city tax incentives and furthered lobbying efforts at the New York State Legislature. He has also been a part of the Guild Governance, Communications and Negotiations committees. Hodge’s acting has included guest-starring roles in television with recurring work on Law and Order and Fringe, as well as film, commercial and stage work, including four Broadway shows.

The Regional Branch Division will elect the 3rd vice president at its next meeting October 22.

October 1, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — showbizreporting @ 2:39 pm
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AFTRA employees sign new pact

Posted: 30 Sep 2010 02:07 PM PDT

Details: my Hollywood Reporter article.

Watch for my new book “Hollywood on Strike!,” due out next month. Subscribe to my blog ( for more about entertainment law and digital media law. Check out my residuals chart there too. Go to the blog itself to subscribe via RSS or email. Or, follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, or subscribe to my or Huffington Post articles. If you work in tech, check out my book How to Write LOIs and Term Sheets.

August 11, 2010

DML – Court Case

Rosenberg v. SAG Lawsuit Dismissed

Posted: 10 Aug 2010 02:08 PM PDT

The lawsuit filed 1-1/2 years ago by SAG’s then-president Alan Rosenberg against his own union has finally been formally dismissed, according to court records and a source with knowledge of the matter. The formal dismissal actually came in late July, but appears not to have previously been reported. The dismissal was expected, as the judge had ruled on the matter a month earlier.

The action ends with a whimper a suit that attempted to reinstate SAG’s previous National Executive Director, Doug Allen, and impede the ultimate achievement of the 2009 agreement between SAG and the studios and producers.

Subscribe to my blog ( for more about entertainment law and digital media law. Check out my residuals chart there too. Go to the blog itself to subscribe via RSS or email. Or, follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, or subscribe to my or Huffington Post articles. If you work in tech, check out my book How to Write LOIs and Term Sheets.

July 20, 2010

New Network Coming Soon!

Filed under: Entertainment — showbizreporting @ 7:09 pm
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New SciFi and Fantasy Network in the Works

There’s a new cable televison network coming your way! A TV channel JUST for fans of Science Fiction and Fantasy movies, television, books, and comics. That network is Syzygy (pron. Si-Zi-Gee).
Syzygy is a network being created by real fans of SciFi, not corporate suits who cancel many fan favorites prematurely. We know the market because we’re members of it. Each of the six current members of the Network’s executive team is not only an industry professional, but also a real SciFi fan – it was a requirement of the job. We’re not taking this company public in order to make sure that our number one priority will always be you, the SciFi/Fantasy fan.
To make it to market, we need your help, though! We need the awesome power of the SciFi fan community. We’ve told investors that fans are just itching for a new network made just for them – now they want us to prove it. We need for them to see there are tons of fans who want this.

To voice your support for a new SciFi and Fantasy network TV network, just go to the Syzygy Network page on Facebook.

Once you’re there, “like” the page. That’s it! feel free to browse around and join in the discussions whlie you’re there. If you’re not a Facebooker you can go to our website at:

Post your support on our community forum.

You can also write to us at:

The Syzygy Network
P.O. Box 504
Green, OH 44232

July 19, 2010

Digital Media Law

Filed under: Entertainment — showbizreporting @ 4:10 pm
Tags: , ,
Transportation strike could paralyze Hollywood

Posted: 18 Jul 2010 10:39 PM PDT

Believe it or not, Hollywood may be headed for another work stoppage in just two weeks. In 2007-2008, the Writers Guild struck, shuttering television and film production. In 2008-2009, a Screen Actors Guild stalemate lingered for almost a year, shutting down primarily film production. This time, the Hollywood Teamsters may strike – and that could immediately halt television and film production. For details, see my exclusive Hollywood Reporter story.

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