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.

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.

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
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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.

July 6, 2010

Industry Wife and Mother Speaks Out

Subject: An Industry Wife and Mother Speaks Out
This message is from our own Pat Alexander – wife of DGA member Hal Alexander who is a resident at the Motion Picture Home’s Long Term Care unit. Please give this a read and then share your feelings in the comment section on The Wrap. There’s a link at the end. – Richard

Two years ago this September, shortly after our 57th anniversary, I admitted my husband Hal Alexander to the Motion Picture Home’s Long Term Care center.

Hal is a past member of AFTRA, SAG, Actor’s Equity, and to this day is a dues paying member in good standing of the DGA. Having been a volunteer at the Fund for 38 years, I knew that this was the only facility for my husband to convalesce and spend the rest of his days. After all, that was the assurance that I received when Hal was admitted.

No matter what your role in the entertainment industry, you were given star treatment if you were a resident. It was no different for my husband. Until lately.

It should be added that when Hal was admitted to the Fund, the wheels were already turning to close down the Long Term Care unit. It is shameful that this man who gave his life to the industry and fathered three upstanding industry professionals was misled and lied to. Now they want us to foster an environment in the home for care for those they want to wash their hands of.

I had tried to care for Hal in my home. Hal had fallen ill and needed 24-hour care. Care was not only costly, but hardly affordable at nearly $1,000 per week. The strangers that would come into my home to care for my husband created anxiety and mistrust. They were not of the caliber of Hal’s caregivers today.

Since the MPTF was the charity that was first in line when we had extra money to donate, they stepped up to the plate and relieved me and our children of the stress of trying to fulfill an impossible task in caring for Hal at home. Nothing was as impressive as the level of care that greeted my husband for a short time after he was admitted.

It’s all changed now.

The Fund is tearing the people in Long Term Care and their families to pieces. Stop this! Stop this!! Stop this!!! You may as well just put these tragic people in a crematorium and get rid of them quickly. Scatter their ashes in all of the sub-standard long term care facilities that you have pushed others in our industry to. Having done that, you would be free to do what you want with the Long Term Care and Acute Care units and you won’t be killing us, little by little, bit by bit.

It will be over quickly and we can go home and cry. As many of us who are able to pick up the pieces and carry on, we will never forget and never forgive you. More importantly, none of you will be able to forgive yourselves.

Personally, I’ll never forget the day when the handwriting was on the wall, and it was time for me to leave as a volunteer. Because I stood up for the promise that was made to my husband and the then nearly 130 other residents, I was told that I had to make a choice, that my services as a volunteer were no longer needed if I intended to fight for my husband and for long term care to stay open.

I’m not comfortable that people today who care for our beloved family members and friends cannot talk honestly and say what is in their heart without being censored and threatened. I will not let them negate my 38 years of volunteer service, nor my commitment to my husband, my immediate family, and my extended family -– those whose loved ones depend on the promise of “we take care of our own.”

Please comment:;

July 5, 2010

The Syzygy Network

Filed under: Entertainment — showbizreporting @ 11:11 pm
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We are asking people to join this group. As of right now the group has reach almost 4,000 members. All you need to do is click on “Like”.

We are trying to get as much members ASAP. Our goal is to reach at least 1,000,000 members. Please tell your friends, neighbors, etc.

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