Showbizreporting's Blog

August 4, 2009

Save the Motion Picture Hospital

Filed under: Entertainment — showbizreporting @ 12:24 pm
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Hawk Koch, spokesperson for the MPTF’s own version of Cash for Clunkers, has produced a YouTube ‘tour de farce’ that has resulted in embarrassing results for both Koch and the MPTF.

I invite you to check it out for yourself! I’ve written a blog about it at:

In the blog is a link to the video. I’m hoping Hawk’s movies get more than one star. I’ve reviewed it, and I give it one finger – up!

Please leave your comments on my blog, and your reviews on Hawk’s YouTube site. His ludicrous reasons for the closing of the LTC would be laughable, if the consequences were not as dire.

If you want to bypass my rant (and I don’t blame you), go directly to the YouTube video at:

As always, we are indebted to you for your great support.




June 9, 2009

Digital Media Law: More Bull in China’s Shop

More Bull in China’s Shop

Posted: 09 Jun 2009 02:25 AM PDT

There’s more from the country that’s bent Google and Microsoft to its will, forcing them to help censor the Internet, and that even apparently got Yahoo to provide information that led to the torture and imprisonment of dissidents. This time, not satisfied with censoring those services (and YouTube, Twitter and Flickr as well), and perhaps frustrated at the imperfect filtering provided by the nationwide system referred to as “the Great Firewall of China,” the Chinese government is requiring all PC’s sold in that country to come with filtering software, called “Green Dam Youth Escort.” The rule takes effect in three weeks, though how it could possibly be implemented so soon is unclear. The Chinese claim the software is just intended to block pornography, notwithstanding that the name itself sounds like a child prostitution service. “Green Dam” is apparently is the Chinese term for porn-free web surfing, but “Youth Escort” has a dubious ring. In any case, the claimed limited scope seems unlikely, given China’s approach to information freedom, which is generally to eliminate it everywhere except in the Special Administrative Regions, i.e., Hong Kong and Macau . The story was first reported by the Wall Street Journal (and a follow up) and appears in the New York Times as well.

June 3, 2009

Familiar Faces on Youtube

Here are some videos where the actors are in support or against the new contract.

Ned Vaughn’s video

Adam Arkin, Amy Brenneman, Ken Howard, Sam Freed, Jack Coleman, Kate Walsh, Stephen Collins, Ed Begley, Jr., and 26 other SAG members declaring their support for “Yes” on the TV/Theatrical contract.

Ed Harris video

June 2, 2009

Unite For Strength Supports Aftra’s No Residuals Deal by Charles Shaughnessy (Mar. 13, 2009)

Filed under: Entertainment — showbizreporting @ 10:37 pm
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A video from Charles Shaughnessy. Most of you remember him as Mr. Max Sheffield from the Nanny. Here his speech about SAG and Unite For Strength.


Filed under: Entertainment — showbizreporting @ 10:33 pm
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Someone’s opinion over the events that progressed since April 2008 (FEB. 14, 2009)

Filed under: Entertainment — showbizreporting @ 3:31 pm
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This is someone’s opinion. This is neither nor fiction. This is just someone’s opinion on matters at hand.

I am very pleased to report that the AFTRA New Media deal is well at work bringing productions that would otherwise have been non-union into jurisdiction.  There is nothing so useful as actual case-history unfolding before our eyes.


What follows is a report of new web-series currently in production.  As I mentioned, I do not have the resources of time to produce a video.  However, God bless actor David Lawrence who answers the “elephant” video better than I in a video response.  The link to David’s video follows my brief blog:

A producer reports that they are in the middle of producing several web series, each with 5 to 10 episodes a piece.  The content mirrors reality or variety t.v., with low-key product placement.  Although not a national signatory to the Net Code, the producer looked at the AFTRA language prior to commencing production.  They realized that even with their very low budgets, these productions would be above the per-minute budget to qualify for the Experimental waiver.  And, even though the shows are using real people or amateur performers, most of the shows would also end up using at least one Covered Performer – again, making the show ineligible for the waiver.
The producer – someone with whom we bargain (not a student making a film) ended up signing the Net Code and has been hiring a several actors for these series under AFTRA contracts.  The wages are 100% negotiable, but they’ve been reasonable.  Contributions are going into the AFTRA Health & Retirement funds.  Payments are being made on-time, since timely payment still applies to New Media production.  Instead of pushing this totally non-union, AFTRA has brought the production under their umbrella, even in a production that used primarily non-union performers.  Hello – we win.  AFTRA performers have more opportunities, contributions are made to our pension fund, and we are another step closer to the practice of jurisdiction in New Media becoming the standard. 

We must set a standard of giving our employers realistic choices that will encourage them to do things above board.  It protects everyone, including them.

Please understand what contract negotiators know first hand – contracts are enriched over years.  We have to start somewhere – and though certainly not perfect – at least AFTRA has made a real start.  We can not afford to let New Media go to the wind the way we did cable; and we are still in danger of that if we do not find a way to circle the wagons.  I do not envy our SAG negotiators going into meetings next week.  I do not believe it is going to be an easy path back to the deal that the AMPTP negotiated with AFTRA. 

Now: here is the link to David’s video.  Big thanks to him for stepping up to the camera and giving an actual account:

One more thing that has been bugging me – it has been said that Alan Rosenberg tried to unite the Guild by visiting branches and that “no other SAG president ever visited the branches” like Alan.  PULEASE.  I can name three who did.

And while Alan might have made a show of trying to unite the Guild – he worked against uniting all actors into one union.  Which is the only – only – only answer to the question — how the hell are we going to hold onto New Media.

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