OSCARS: Craig Zadan & Neil Meron Return To Produce In 2015

86th Annual Academy Awards - ShowWe’re hearing the Academy is aiming for consistency and has nailed down Craig Zadan and Neil Meron to produce the Oscarcast for a third year running. Here’s how much consistency: the Academy announced the pair was returning for the 86th Oscars almost exactly a year ago (and they announced Ellen DeGeneres as host that August). It’s the first time since 1997-1999 (Gil Cates) that the Oscars has had the same producer three years in a row. In March, Meron, Zadan and DeGeneres together built a show that drew 43.7 million viewers with a 13.1/33 rating in adults 18-49, the most watched Academy Awards since 2000 and the highest-rated in the demo since 2010. The speculation right now is if the Academy wants consistency with the producers then they’d seek it with a host, but nothing has been set. Here’s today’s release:

Oscar_badge__140302212232BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Motion picture, television and theater producing team Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will return to produce the Oscars for a third consecutive year, Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced today. The 87th Oscars will air live on the ABC Television Network on Oscar® Sunday, February 22, 2015.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Craig and Neil back to produce the Oscars again in 2015,” said Boone Isaacs. “Their showmanship has elevated the show to new heights and we are excited to keep the momentum going with this creative partnership.”

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L.A. Mayor Praises “Dear Friend” Tom Sherak In State Of The City Speech

garcetti april 10 speechThe city’s first Film Czar was praised by LA Mayor Eric Garcetti today in his inaugural State of the City address. “With the help of my dear friend the late Tom Sherak and Ken Ziffren, who’s continued the fight, we reignited the movement to expand film tax credits in Sacramento,” said the SAG-AFTRA card carrying politician this evening. A couple of months after Garcetti took office, the former AMPAS president and studio exec was named head of LA’s Film Office late last September in an effort to expand and evolve production in the city after years of decline due to runaway production. After

sherak__130926172434Sherak passed away on January 28, heavyweight entertainment lawyer Ziffren was appointed LA’s second Film Czar on February 10. “In just nine months, we are changing the landscape—one summer job, one red button, one film production and one balanced budget at a time.”

Related:
L.A. Move For Colbert’s ‘Late Show’ Unlikely As Pols Continue To Pitch CBS
New Film & TV Tax Credit Bill Unanimously Passes First Hurdle In Sacramento

One production that looks pretty likely not to be coming to LA is CBS’ Late Show when Stephen Colbert takes over from David Letterman next year. Despite personal pitches earlier this week from Garcetti and Ziffren, the late night show seems certain to stay in the Big Apple. Still, Garcetti also made a point in his speech at the California Science … Read More »

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CinemaCon: Industry Icon Tom Sherak Remembered And Honored At Emotional Pioneer Awards Dinner

By | Thursday March 27, 2014 @ 1:00am PDT
Pete Hammond

The 73rd Pioneer Of The Year Dinner in honor of the late Tom Sherak just may have been the most emotional and moving event the philanthropic organization has ever thrown, certainly of those I have attended in the four years they have been held during CinemaCon. As 20thF Century Fox President of Distribution  and President of the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation Chris Aronson said, it was also “historic” as it represented the first time the Pioneer Of The Year award was presented posthumously. That was not the plan when they selected Sherak, who passed away in January, for the honor several months ago. The dinner raised over $1M for the Pioneer Assistance Fund. Sherak’s widow Madeleine told me Wednesday evening that he was thrilled to be getting the award and was well aware of it before his passing. Still, she noted it was very bittersweet. ”When Tom died he didn’t leave anyone in charge. There isn’t a vice-president of All Things Tom. But what he did leave was a piece of him in everyone he touched. He didn’t have a number two, he had a number hundreds. We all have watched him through the years, we were mentored by him, he taught us to ‘do’,” Aronson said in opening remarks.
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Need For Hit Fuels DreamWorks’ Lively And Raucous ‘Need For Speed’ Hollywood Premiere

By | Friday March 7, 2014 @ 2:54pm PST
Pete Hammond

Premiere Of DreamWorks Pictures' "Need For Speed" - Red CarpetThere may be lots of speculation about the future of DreamWorks in its current incarnation at Disney as my colleague Mike Fleming wrote earlier this week, but you would never know it from last night’s rip-roaring premiere of its latest film, Need For Speed, at the Chinese Theatre. I went in expecting a poor man’s Fast & Furious and instead got a riveting and fun entertainment with lots of heart and emotion in addition to all the stunt driving. The film, which opens Friday and stars Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul as a street racer out for revenge after being framed for a death of a young street-racing rookie, has all the requisite action you would expect from this kind of movie, but there’s so much more.  The fact that it marks the second feature directed by former stuntman Scott Waugh (the son of another stuntman, Fred Waugh, who passed away while his son was in preproduction) would lead one to believe it would be all pedal-to-the-metal and no soul, but that’s not the case. Waugh’s first feature behind the camera, Act Of Valor, proved he knew how to put humanity into a genre film. What he’s made here is a good old-fashioned movie that doesn’t rely on CGI, has a genuine story  to tell with three-dimensional characters (in 3D, no less), and great locations.

posterIt also presents yet another reason the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences needs to re-consider its decision not to create a 25th category for stunt work. Come on, these people deserve the recognition on a regular basis. I do understand the ticklish situation with the Actors branch, the Academy’s largest and most powerful, but this kind of work is definitely Oscar worthy. The Television Academy has a stunt peer group and recently even split comedy and drama stunt coordination into two separate Emmy categories. Veteran stuntman-director Hal Needham got an Honorary Oscar in 2012, and I suppose the Academy feels that’s enough recognition for now (Needham passed away several months after getting that Oscar). But it’s not.

Related: Hot Trailer: DreamWorks’ ‘Need For Speed’

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‘Son of God’ Was Born Before ‘The Bible’ And Angels Helped Along The Way

By | Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 8:36am PST

Son of GodThey knew what they had was dynamic. They were smart, did their research and worked hard — and the result was the Son Of God big-screen version that is expected to gross anywhere from $25.7M to $26.7M in its debut weekend. People in this world achieve great success for a reason, but not all get the reason why — whether it be George Clooney, who has used his celebrity to bring well-needed attention to the horrors of Darfur, or Angelina Jolie, whose humanitarian work is also well needed and appreciated, or Mel Gibson, whose The Passion Of The Christ brought the word of God beyond borders anyone had ever seen before ($611M worldwide — that’s a lot of eyes). These are the kings of charity, who understand their responsibility in the world. Mark Burnett — the reality TV entrepreneur behind such phenoms Survivor, The Voice, Shark Tank, and The Apprentice — understands the reason why, too. He and wife Roma Downey know in their core that they are on that path now — to spread the word to as many people as possible, he said.

Related: HOLY MOLY! Late-Night Showings ‘Son Of God’ Rises With $1.2M; ‘Non-Stop’ Also Strong Thursday

The BibleOn the wings of angels (and butterflies) and in many languages — the marketing behind this film is very interesting: The team wisely dubbed a Spanish version for this weekend’s movie debut, and it was put in 200 theaters; they also did a subtitled Korean-language version and placed it in 15 select theaters. “Because we are a small organization, we don’t have to ask permission — we just do it,” Burnett said. The theaters playing Spanish-language Son Of God grew in a just few days as they were booking theaters and 4% of the gross came from those theaters; 22% of the audience was Hispanic. In addition, the film had a phenomenal 91% rating on PostTrak and was heavily weighted to excellent with an impressive 72%. In addition, it has an incredible 80% recommend and played 62% female to 38% male with 82% of moviegoers over age 25.

Related: Hot Trailer: Fox’s ‘Son Of God’

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Sony/ATV Honcho Martin Bandier Also Wants Tune Reforms For Oscars

Mike Fleming

bandierEarlier, this afternoon, Bruce Broughton had his say about the rescinding of the Oscar nomination for the title song from Alone Yet Not Alone. Here’s another side of the story, in a letter Deadline obtained that was sent to the Academy by Martin M. Bandier, the influential chairman of Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Like Broughton, he also is calling for changes in the Best Song category, but he specifically has a beef with the rule that doesn’t provide for another nominee to replace one that might be nixed, as happened this year. There certainly were  other songs that warranted inclusion, and the one that I thought the category missed most was Lana Del Rey’s haunting “Young and Beautiful,” which added so much to the courtship seen between Gatsby and Daisy in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby. There were others, too. Bandier sent the letter to AMPAS chief Cheryl Boone Isaacs, and it won’t be surprising if she spend some energy looking hard at this, but it seemed relevant enough right now to air it here. Read the letter below:

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OSCARS: Academy Hears The Sound Of Music At History-Making Nominees Concert

By | Friday February 28, 2014 @ 9:30am PST
Pete Hammond

You have to hand it to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Just as it is in the heat of putting on South Bay Cities-20140228-00232a little TV awards show over at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday night, the group still found time to stage the first-ever “Oscar Concert” on Thursday night at UCLA’s Royce Hall — and turn out in force. This ambitious show, which featured suites conducted by all the nominated composers for Best Original Music Score as well as performances of the four Oscar-nominated songs, was put into the works and approved by the Board of Governors last year, according to former president Hawk Koch, one of last night’s attendees. But as Academy Music Branch governors Arthur Hamilton and Charles Fox put it, most of this was cobbled together in the six weeks since the nominees were named. All the top Academy brass were there humming along, including president Cheryl Boone Isaacs and CEO Dawn Hudson along with numerous members, particularly from the music branch.

Oscar_Concert-618x400

It was quite a logistical challenge pulling the event off, which I am told by reliable sources cost in the neighborhood of half a million dollars to produce. And it may be sparking a trend: The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences plans to do its own concert at Royce Hall on May 21st featuring composers of new and classic TV scores. But I’m afraid Oscar has set this bar pretty high with a program that ranks as one of the highlights of the entire awards season, a classy event that saw tickets going to the general public for up to $100 each and discounted tickets for Academy members at $75 for orchestra seats. Box office was sweet as the place was packed. Read More »

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Image Awards: Kevin Hart Named Entertainer Of The Year; Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Kerry Washington, LL Cool J Honored

By | Saturday February 22, 2014 @ 8:17pm PST

Kevin Hart was named entertainer of the yearnaacp-image-award__131007152952-275x479 (1) tonight at the NAACP‘s Image Awards aired live on the East Coast on TV One. Forest Whitaker was named best actor and Angela Bassett best actress for their respective roles in Lee Daniels’ The Butler and Black Nativity. Best picture award went to 12 Years A Slave. Kevin Hart was named best actor in a comedy series for Real Husbands of Hollywood and LL Cool J took the best actor in a drama series prize for NCIS: Los Angeles. Kerry Washington was named best actress in a drama series for Scandal. The award for best actress in a comedy series went to Wendy Raquel Robinson for The Game. Scandal and Real Husbands Of Hollywood took nods, respectively, for best drama and comedy series.

Oprah Winfrey honored Nelson Mandela with a tribute. Forest Whitaker received the NAACP Chairman’s Award. And Paris Barclay and Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the first African-American Presidents of the Directors Guild of America and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, respectively, were inducted into the Image Awards Hall of Fame. The complete list of winners follows: Read More »

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Academy Hands Out First Oscars, But You Need To Be A Scientific Whiz To Win One Of Them

Pete Hammond

One winner thanked “giant killer robots”. Another said, “When you see the next Michael Bay extravaganza it was all worth it”. And yet another called it “the Winter Olympics for geeks”.

the-academy-oscars-new-logo-1Welcome to the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Scientific & Technical Awards which were handed out last night during a surprisingly entertaining ceremony at the Beverly Hills Hotel. I have been to just about every different conceivable kind of Academy function over the three decades I have been covering Oscars but this was my first time at this event which the Academy has been doing in one form or another since they started handing them out in the Oscars‘ fourth year, 1930-31. I guess I always thought this might be a rather dull sort of thing to sit through. I barely understand how to get my emails so imagine a ceremony that is all about honoring the ILM Plume System, the Flux gas simulation system, the Zeno application framework, a thesis on the fundamental concepts of deep shadowing technology, the design of the Pneumatic Car Flipper or the Flying-Cam SARAH 3.0 system? And that’s just for starters in a show that handed out a LOT of Technical 86th Academy Awards, Scientific and Technical Achievement AwardsAchievement certificates, Scientific and Engineering Plaques and even a couple of real Oscar statuettes toward the end of the evening (Peter W. Anderson won one of those as recipient of the Gordon E. Sawyer award this year). But there was a lot of spirit in the room and judging from the whoops and hollers that went for five guys in tuxedos going up to accept for the development of the ASC Color Decision List technology you’d think they just won Best Picture. “When I was a kid nobody told me if I wanted to win an Academy Award I should study mathematics,” one winner said wryly. Like I said this was an entertaining evening, particularly considering the geek factor. And the clips were great too, going a long way to shedding light on just what these unheralded wizards do for the movie industry. Read More »

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UPDATE: It’s Official – Lawyer Ken Ziffren Named New LA Film Czar

By | Monday February 10, 2014 @ 1:13pm PST

UPDATE, 1:13 PM: LA Mayor Eric Garcetti today made official what I exclusively revealed Saturday to Deadline readers: Hollywood heavyweight attorney Ken Ziffren will be the head of the City of LA’s Entertainment Industry and Production office. The card-carrying SAG-AFTRA member Garcetti said that Ziffren will be “a powerful leader in our fight against other states that are taking our jobs, and he will be aggressive about streamlining government so red tape doesn’t contribute to driving production away.” Ziffren takes over from former AMPAS president and studio exec Tom Sherak. who died January 28. See today’s full release below the original story.

Related: R.I.P. Tom Sherak

PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, SATURDAY PM: Los Angeles is about to get its second Film Czar. Mayor Eric Garcetti has decided on Ken Ziffren for the job he created last fall and the powerhouse entertainment attorney has accepted the gig, I’ve learned.  Ziffren will step into the position vacated by the death of the city’s first Film Czar Tom Sherak. The former AMPAS president and studio exec passed away from cancer on January 28. A formal announcement of Ziffren’s appointment to head the Entertainment Industry and Production office is expected to come from the Mayor’s office early next week, sources tell me.
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OSCARS: Academy Makes History Sending Screeners And Opening Voting In All 24 Categories To Every Member For The First Time

By | Friday February 7, 2014 @ 10:41am PST
Pete Hammond

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is jumping into the screener business. Big time. DVDs for Animated, LiveAcademy Awards Action and Documentary Shorts as well as Feature Documentary and for the first time, Foreign Language Film nominees are officially on their way to all 6,028 eligible voting members, according to an email sent to the membership Thursday afternoon from President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. So the Academy will soon have another 25 nominated films of various lengths to check out before casting their ballots. Voting opens next Friday and continues through February 25th.

Related: Academy Thanks Members For “Record” Oscar Voting Turnout

Although most Oscar voters are inundated with DVD screeners of movies during awards season, the Academy itself has always turned its back on the process refusing to provide studios and distributors with addresses of their members. Those companies have to get that information on their own and untitledconsultants with the goods make a lot of money. It’s certainly true that the Academy doesn’t prohibit the practice, which has obviously been in place for years, but they have never officially encouraged it, correctly preferring to urge members to try and see the films on the big screen if at all possible. The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, on the other hand, actually facilitates mailing of Emmy screeners for networks and studios by  providing a complete list of TV Academy members to … Read More »

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Tom Sherak Funeral Brings Laughs, Tears & Respect From His Hollywood Peers

By and | Thursday January 30, 2014 @ 4:04pm PST

Tom Sherak probably has a couple of words of advice for God about how he could improve things in heaven, 83rd Academy Awards Nominations Luncheon - ArrivalsRabbi Uri Herscher told a packed Temple Aliyah today during Sherak’s memorial service. “And God should listen,” Sherak’s longtime friend added to hearty laughter from the more than 1,000 mourners attending the funeral in Woodland Hills, CA. The laughter was welcomed in a moving morning funeral that saw his widow Madeline, daughters Melissa and Barbara, and daughter-in-law Ginger speak of the loss of the man they loved so deeply. Madeline Sherak brought many of her husband’s fellow Hollywood power players and family friends to tears as she spoke of the life she and the former Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president built from their meeting on a blind date in 1967 to his death Tuesday. She said how at peace Sherak was in his final days and how he told her he was “happy.”

Related: Tom Sherak: “It’s About Love”

Flowers Placed On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame Star In Honor Of Tom SherakSherak’s children memorialized their father, sharing personal moments and remembrances — from how he, as “Papa,” interacted with his 10 grandchildren and the moments of laughter and love between them all. He would say, “I love you, I love you, I love you,” and keep repeating until the little one said, “I know Papa.” All of them spoke about the unconditional love Tom and Madeline had for each other.

Madeline Sherak also spoke about how the couple’s numbers were 22 and 18: They met on the 22nd of the month and were married on the 22nd when Tom was 22 years old and she was 18. Madeline said Tom told his parents that he knew he was going to marry her after their first date. Madeleine’s tears came as she said she would miss having his arms wrapped around her.

Related: Tom Sherak: Remembering A True Hollywood Star Read More »

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Tom Sherak: Remembering A True Hollywood Star

By | Tuesday January 28, 2014 @ 7:25pm PST
Pete Hammond

Tom Sherak got a star today on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. Actually it was dated February 14, 2014, the day the ceremony was planned. Buttom_sherak_top3 knowing his condition was worsening by the hour, the installation was moved up and the plaque was sent over and presented to Tom. He may not have been fully aware, but I hope he was. It probably doesn’t really matter in the scheme of things. The fact is everyone in this town knew what tourists strolling down the Hollywood Walk Of Fame will soon find out. Tom Sherak was a star — and a champion. Deadline’s obituary states many of the reasons why. So let me make this personal.

Related: Hollywood Remembers Tom Sherak
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R.I.P. Tom Sherak

By | Tuesday January 28, 2014 @ 4:29pm PST

Tom Sherak DeadFormer Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak died today of complications due to a long battle with prostate cancer. The studio marketing, distribution and production executive whose Hollywood career spanned five decades was 68. President of the Academy from 2009-12, Sherak also was a champion of the Southern California Multiple Sclerosis Society, helping to raise about $40 million for the organization’s research and programs during the past 20 years — his charity work meant more to him than any of his business endeavors. Sherak died at his home in Calabasas, CA, surrounded by family and friends.

Related: Hollywood Remembers Tom Sherak

His family has released a statement this afternoon: “To the entertainment community: With broken hearts we want to share with you the news that Tom Sherak passed away today after a long 12 year battle with prostate cancer. He died at home surrounded by his family giving him hugs, kisses, and love. Tom is, was, and always will be, our loving husband, daddy, papa, brother, friend, and “Go to Guy.” He blessed this earth for 68 incredible years, and he will be missed every single day. Tom lived his life as an open book. He opened his heart and let the world in, and anyone who was lucky enough to know him knew first hand the power of his love. He gave everything he had to help others, regardless of whether or not he knew them. Tom is a true hero in our lives who has a star on the sidewalk and wings to fly. We love him so very much.”

In September, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed Sherak as the city’s first film czar. Taking a $1 salary, he was tasked with putting together a plan to halt runaway production and increase the shooting of films and TV shows in Hollywood’s backyard. Along with his growing team at the city’s Entertainment Industry and Production office, he had brought aboard former MPAA President Bob Pisano as an unofficial “consigliere” and tapped former Time Warner exec Rajiv Dalal as his deputy. “In just a few short months, Tom laid a policy foundation that my Administration will stand on for the next four years,” Garcetti said tonight. “Tom’s work will continue through my office and the many charities to which he devoted so much of himself. Tom was a public servant in the truest sense long before he joined my administration. He will be deeply missed.”

Related: Health Battle & $1 Salary Not Stopping New L.A. Film Czar’s Latest Quest

In October, during his first civic event since being named film czar, today said he intended to have a plan to increase production in the city around the beginning of 2014. Sherak and his team were working on that plan when his health took a turn for the worse, though he told our Pete Hammond after his job was announced that his public battle with cancer was not an issue. “I am going through all kinds of stuff with my body, and somebody once said don’t make a decision when your body’s going one way and your head’s going another way,” he said at the time. “I took another couple of days and said I wanted to meet with the mayor. … I told him when it was all done to let me go home and talk to (my wife). I did, and she said, ‘Take it.’ I next called my oncologist, and he said, ‘Tom, take it; you’re going to be fine.’ And that’s what happened.”

Related:
Tom Sherak: Plan To Boost LA Production Coming By Early 2014

The Academy's Flight Of The Oscars Media EventSherak began his career at Paramount in 1970 in distribution, and after a stint as head film buyer at General Cinema, he worked at 20th Century Fox in various capacities in the 1980s. That’s where he began to put his stamp on some of the biggest movies of that decade, first as President of Domestic Distribution and Marketing, then Senior EVP of 20th Century Fox, and eventually Chairman of 20th Century Fox Domestic Film Group. He oversaw such titles as Romancing The Stone, Commando, Aliens, The Fly, Broadcast News, Predator, Wall Street, three Die Hard movies, Working Girl, The War Of The Roses, Home Alone, Edward Scissorhands, the Star Wars trilogy special edition, Mrs. Doubtfire, True Lies, Speed, Independence Day and Star Wars: Episode I –The Phantom Menace. Afterward he became a partner with Joe Roth in Revolution Studios, which released more than 30 movies during its seven-year run including Black Hawk Down, Rent, Click and Rocky Balboa. After serving at treasurer at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Sherak was elected president in 2009 and served three one-year terms.

Related:  Tom Sherak’s Farewell Letter To Motion Picture Academy Members

He also had been a consultant that worked all over Hollywood, including for Marvel Studios on its superhero pics including Iron Man, Iron Man 2 and Thor; for Relativity Media; and Skydance Productions. Most recently he had an office on the Paramount lot and helped the studio work with the MPAA on ratings negotiations for Best Picture Oscar nominee The Wolf Of Wall Street.

Related: Sherak On Kodak Theatre’s New Name, Show Ratings And Star Power

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Producers Guild Leaders On Their Banner Year, The p.g.a. Mark, Sunday’s Big 25th Anniversary Awards, And Why Scorsese And DiCaprio Didn’t Make The Cut

Pete Hammond

When I ran into Ben Affleck at the Golden Globes on Sunday he told me he thinks this wide open Oscar race won’t really come into focus until theProducers Guild of America Producers Guild names its choice for Best Picture on January 19th at the Beverly Hilton. Of course Affleck (with George Clooney and Grant Heslov) won at the PGA last year for Argo and it went on to take the Oscar for Best Picture as well. Now about to celebrate their 25th anniversary the PGA awards have become one of the most reliable bellwethers of eventual Oscar glory. In fact the last six films in a row that have taken the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures has gone on to win the Academy’s Best Picture prize too, a list that in addition to Argo includes The Artist, The King’s Speech, The Hurt Locker, Slumdog Millionaire and No Country For Old Men. In fact it was the PGA that turned the race completely around for The Hurt Locker by unexpectedly choosing it over Avatar and picking King’s Speech over The Social Network, the favorite until that point. The PGA turned both races on a dime. In fact since handing out awards a quarter century ago the Guild has had a strong overall track record in matching Oscar’s sentiments. Perhaps one reason is they work very closely with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in vetting producers credits and determining which producers are eligible not only for the PGA award, but also the Oscar, although the final decision on the latter is up to the Academy’s producers branch.

Related: Producers Guild Unveils Motion Picture And Long-Form TV Noms
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OSCARS: 86th Academy Award Nominations Announcement: Nine Best Film Nominees – ‘American Hustle’ And ‘Gravity’ Lead Way With 10 Noms Each, ‘12 Years A Slave’ Gets 9 (FULL LIST)

By | Thursday January 16, 2014 @ 5:31am PST

Related: OSCARS: Who Got Snubbed By Academy?

Oscar Nominees 2014Nominations for the 86th Academy Awards were announced at 5:30 AM PT this morning at a news conference at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The Best Picture category ended up with nine nominees, including for Sony’s American Hustle and Warner Bros’ Gravity, which led the field with 10 nominations overall. They were followed by Fox Searchlight’s 12 Years A Slave, which had nine noms overall. 86th Academy Awards Nominations AnnouncementThe rest of the Best Pic list: Sony’s Captain Phillips (though no actor nom for Tom Hanks or director nom for Paul Greengrass), Focus Features’ Dallas Buyers Club, Warners’ Her, Paramount’s Nebraska, The Weinstein Company’s Philomena and Paramount’s The Wolf Of Wall Street, the last and maybe most hot-button movie to land in voters hands this awards season which also landed noms for Best Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio), Supporting Actor (Jonah Hill), Directing (Martin Scorsese) and Adapted Screenplay (Terence Winter).

Related:
OSCARS: Nominations By Picture
OSCARS: Nominations By Studio & Distributor

New Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Cheryl Boone Isaacs presented the nominees list this year with Thor star Chris Hemsworth. The Oscars for outstanding film achievements of 2013 will be awarded on Sunday, March 2 at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland, televised live on ABC and hosted by Ellen DeGeneres for a second time. Nominations voting in the Oscars’ 24 categories closed January 8 and final voting begins February 14, with ballots due back February 25 at 5 PM PT. Here is the full list of nominees:

Related: OSCARS: Reactions To Academy’s Nominations

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Christian Bale in “American Hustle” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
Bruce Dern in “Nebraska” (Paramount)
Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Wolf of Wall Street” (Paramount)
Chiwetel Ejiofor in “12 Years a Slave” (Fox Searchlight)
Matthew McConaughey in “Dallas Buyers Club” (Focus Features)

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Barkhad Abdi in “Captain Phillips” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
Bradley Cooper in “American Hustle” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
Michael Fassbender in “12 Years a Slave” (Fox Searchlight)
Jonah Hill in “The Wolf of Wall Street” (Paramount)
Jared Leto in “Dallas Buyers Club” (Focus Features)

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Amy Adams in “American Hustle” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
Cate Blanchett in “Blue Jasmine” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Sandra Bullock in “Gravity” (Warner Bros.)
Judi Dench in “Philomena” (The Weinstein Company)
Meryl Streep in “August: Osage County” (The Weinstein Company)

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Sally Hawkins in “Blue Jasmine” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Jennifer Lawrence in “American Hustle” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
Lupita Nyong’o in “12 Years a Slave” (Fox Searchlight)
Julia Roberts in “August: Osage County” (The Weinstein Company)
June Squibb in “Nebraska” (Paramount)

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM OF THE YEAR
“The Croods” (20th Century Fox)
Chris Sanders, Kirk DeMicco and Kristine Belson
“Despicable Me 2” (Universal)
Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin and Chris Meledandri
“Ernest & Celestine” (GKIDS)
Benjamin Renner and Didier Brunner
“Frozen” (Walt Disney)
Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee and Peter Del Vecho
“The Wind Rises” (Walt Disney)
Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki

ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
“The Grandmaster” (The Weinstein Company) Philippe Le Sourd
“Gravity” (Warner Bros.) Emmanuel Lubezki
“Inside Llewyn Davis” (CBS Films) Bruno Delbonnel
“Nebraska” (Paramount) Phedon Papamichael
“Prisoners” (Warner Bros.) Roger A. Deakins

ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN
“American Hustle” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Michael Wilkinson
“The Grandmaster” (The Weinstein Company) William Chang Suk Ping
“The Great Gatsby” (Warner Bros.) Catherine Martin
“The Invisible Woman” (Sony Pictures Classics) Michael O’Connor
“12 Years a Slave” (Fox Searchlight) Patricia Norris

ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING
“American Hustle” (Sony Pictures Releasing) David O. Russell
“Gravity” (Warner Bros.) Alfonso Cuarón
“Nebraska” (Paramount) Alexander Payne
“12 Years a Slave” (Fox Searchlight) Steve McQueen
“The Wolf of Wall Street” (Paramount) Martin Scorsese

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
“The Act of Killing” (Drafthouse Films)
A Final Cut for Real Production
Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen
“Cutie and the Boxer” (RADiUS-TWC)
An Ex Lion Tamer and Cine Mosaic Production
Zachary Heinzerling and Lydia Dean Pilcher
“Dirty Wars” (IFC Films)
A Civic Bakery Production
Richard Rowley and Jeremy Scahill
“The Square” (Netflix in association with Worldview
Entertainment and Participant Media)
A Noujaim Films and Maktube Production
Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer
“20 Feet from Stardom” (RADiUS-TWC)
A Gil Friesen Productions and Tremolo Production
Nominees to be determined

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
“CaveDigger”
A Karoffilms Production
Jeffrey Karoff
“Facing Fear”
A Jason Cohen Production
Jason Cohen
“Karama Has No Walls” (Mudhouse Films)
A Hot Spot Films Production
Sara Ishaq
“The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life”
A Reed Entertainment Production
Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed
“Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall”
A Prison Terminal LLC Production
Edgar Barens

ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM EDITING
“American Hustle” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten
“Captain Phillips” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Christopher Rouse
“Dallas Buyers Club” (Focus Features) John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa
“Gravity” (Warner Bros.) Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger
“12 Years a Slave” (Fox Searchlight) Joe Walker

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR
“The Broken Circle Breakdown” (Tribeca Film) – Belgium
A Menuet Production
“The Great Beauty” (Janus Films) – Italy
An Indigo Film Production
“The Hunt” (Magnolia Pictures) – Denmark
A Zentropa Entertainments 19 Production
“The Missing Picture” (Strand Releasing) – Cambodia
A Bophana Production
“Omar” (Adopt Films) – Palestine
An Omar Production Company Production

ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
“Dallas Buyers Club” (Focus Features) Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews
“Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” (Paramount) Stephen Prouty
“The Lone Ranger” (Walt Disney) Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny

ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES (ORIGINAL SCORE)
“The Book Thief” (20th Century Fox) John Williams
“Gravity” (Warner Bros.) Steven Price
“Her” (Warner Bros.) William Butler and Owen Pallett
“Philomena” (The Weinstein Company) Alexandre Desplat
“Saving Mr. Banks” (Walt Disney) Thomas Newman

ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES (ORIGINAL SONG)
“Alone Yet Not Alone” from “Alone Yet Not Alone” (Enthuse Entertainment)
Music by Bruce Broughton
Lyric by Dennis Spiegel
“Happy” from “Despicable Me 2” (Universal)
Music and Lyric by Pharrell Williams
“Let It Go” from “Frozen” (Walt Disney)
Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
“The Moon Song” from “Her” (Warner Bros.)
Music by Karen O
Lyric by Karen O and Spike Jonze
“Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” (The Weinstein Company)
Music by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen
Lyric by Paul Hewson

BEST MOTION PICTURE OF THE YEAR
“American Hustle” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
A Columbia Pictures and Annapurna Pictures Production
Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Megan Ellison and Jonathan Gordon, Producers
“Captain Phillips” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
A Columbia Pictures Production
Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca, Producers
“Dallas Buyers Club” (Focus Features)
A Voltage Pictures, R2 Films, Evolution Independent Production
Robbie Brenner and Rachel Winter, Producers
“Gravity” (Warner Bros.)
A Warner Bros. UK Services Limited Production
Alfonso Cuarón and David Heyman, Producers
“Her” (Warner Bros.)
An Annapurna Production
Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze and Vincent Landay, Producers
“Nebraska” (Paramount)
A Paramount Vantage Production
Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa, Producers
“Philomena” (The Weinstein Company)
A Pathé, BBC Films, BFI, Canal+, Cine+ and Baby Cow/Magnolia Mae Production
Gabrielle Tana, Steve Coogan and Tracey Seaward, Producers
“12 Years a Slave” (Fox Searchlight)
A River Road, Plan B, New Regency Production
Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen and Anthony Katagas, Producers
“The Wolf of Wall Street” (Paramount)
A Red Granite Production
Nominees to be determined Read More »

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AFI Awards Lunch Brings Out Hollywood’s Heavy Hitters And Contenders For Season’s Ultra-Cool Event

By | Friday January 10, 2014 @ 5:14pm PST
Pete Hammond

AFI Awards 2013“Storytellers, welcome,”  said AFI president and CEO Bob Gazzale as he opened the AFI Awards 2013 luncheon today. “We open each AFI gathering with a single word: ‘Relax’. You have won. Each of you, and more importantly, all of you, because here you are one community of artists gathered in this room for what we hope to be a bit of respite from your job, but not from your work. Gone from this moment are the ratings, and red carpets and box office and all that you have to endure to sell art. Our goal is nothing short of epiphany, that you feel proud when you consider the compendium and see your place in it”. Gazzale’s welcome came before what appeared to be all of the heavy hitters currently running Hollywood as well as 20 tables full of artists repping AFI’s choices for the year’s Top Ten movies (12 Years A Slave, American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Fruitvale Station, Gravity, Her, Inside Llewyn Davis,  Nebraska, Saving Mr. Banks, The Wolf Of Wall Street) and Top Ten TV programs (The Americans, Breaking Bad, Game Of Thrones, The Good 14th Annual AFI Awards - Cocktail ReceptionWife, House Of Cards,  Mad Men, Masters Of Sex, Orange Is The New Black, Scandal, Veep).

For my money , this is the most relaxing and fun  awards event of the year. There are no losers, no acceptance speeches, only good vibes. And if you want to network, this is the A-list networking opportunity of the season. Where else are you going to find just about every studio head in the same room including Sony’s Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton, Warner Bros’ Kevin Tsujihara, Fox’s Jim Gianopulos, Disney’s Alan Horn, Paramount’s Brad Grey, and Fox Searchlight’s Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula? They were mixing it it up with the TV side including CBS’ Les Moonves (who also was there for CBS Films’ Inside Llewyn Davis), Fox’s Peter Rice and FX’s John Landgraf, and AMC’s Charlie Collier among many others including new kid on the block Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, who had two shows among the Top Ten, House Of Cards and Orange Is The New Black. It was his first time to this party and he was impressed. Oh, and did I mention both directing icons Martin Scorsese (with Wolf Of Wall Street) and Steven Spielberg (repping FX’s The Americans) were there, but quite14th Annual AFI Awards - Cocktail Reception frankly just about everyone in this room at the Four Seasons Hotel was someone. Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences president Cheryl Boone Isaacs was also taking it all in and told me how she’s suddenly getting lots of calls after it was announced earlier today she would be delivering news of Oscar nominations next Thursday with Thor aka Chris Hemsworth. She’s excited to say the least. Read More »

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OSCARS: Chris Hemsworth & Cheryl Boone Isaacs To Handle Nominations Announcement

By | Friday January 10, 2014 @ 9:12am PST

oscarBEVERLY HILLS, CA — Actor Chris Hemsworth and Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs will announce the 86th Academy Awards® nominations on Thursday, January 16. The Oscars® will air Sunday, March 2, 2014, live on ABC. Boone Isaacs and Hemsworth will unveil the nominations at a 5:38 a.m. PT live news conference at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Hemsworth made his feature film debut in 2009’s “Star Trek,” but it was his title role in “Thor” two years later that propelled him to worldwide prominence. He reprised the character in the Marvel blockbusters “The Avengers” and “Thor: The Dark World.” Hemsworth’s other feature credits include “Snow White and the Huntsman” and “Rush,” and he has starring roles in “Cyber” and “In the Heart of the Sea,” both due out next year.

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Paul Mazursky To Receive WGA West’s Screen Laurel Award

By | Tuesday January 7, 2014 @ 10:21am PST

wgaawards4Los Angeles – Acclaimed screenwriter-director-actor Paul Mazursky is set to receive the Writers Guild of America, West’s 2014 Screen Laurel Award, honoring lifetime achievement in outstanding writing for motion pictures. The award will be presented to Mazursky, among other honorees, at the WGAW’s 2014 Writers Guild Awards West Coast ceremony to be held on Saturday, February 1, 2014, at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE.

"Gomorrah" at the Egyptian Theatre and at Ago Restaurant“Paul Mazursky’s talents as an actor (he was in Stanley Kubrick’s first film) and filmmaker (one of the signature directors of the 1970s) should not be allowed to obscure a central fact: he is among our greatest living screenwriters. Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Blume in Love, Harry and Tonto, Next Stop, Greenwich Village, An Unmarried Woman – five films in six years, any of which can make you laugh and cry, break and mend your heart. His voice is strong, unique, hilarious, wise, unmistakable. He is fearless about his characters’ flaws, but always has the generosity of spirit to make us see the ways in which they are far more like us than not. His work in the ’80s and ’90s – Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Scenes from a Mall – only deepens that generosity. And his adaptations of Shakespeare (Tempest) and I. B. Singer (Enemies: A Love Story) are at once unflinching and celebratory. With appreciation and respect, we take this moment to celebrate an American master,” said WGAW Vice President Howard A. Rodman.

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