“We are all Sarah Jones,” “Never Forget. Never Again,” and “Safety for Sarah” were the rallying cries tonight during the first of two tributes held this weekend by local unions for the 27 year-old assistant camerawoman killed on the set of Midnight Rider two weeks ago. Tonight’s tribute began at 7 PM this evening with candlelight walk and vigil that started at the DGA building and ended at the International Cinematographers Guild Local 600 offices two blocks down Sunset Blvd.
The crowd of almost 1,000 members from across several unions participated in the memorial vigil held for Jones who was killed on a train track on the set in Georgia. Seven others were injured included two seriously — the 42 year-old hairstylist Joyce Gilliard and the make-up artist.
Related: ‘Midnight Rider’ Suspends Filming Following Train Death
A scholarship fund has been set up in Sarah Jones’ name and donations can be made to the BCHS Foundation in c/o Sarah Jones, 1300 State St., Cayce, SC 29034.
The evening’s tribute began with a video slide presentation of Sarah Jones set to the music of Somewhere Over the Rainbow (the Brother Iz version) as her grieving (and very courageous) parents, Elizabeth and Richard Jones from South Carolina, along with members of the Local 600 — including a very emotional Bruce Doering, National Executive Director of the International Cinematographers Guild — spoke, but none so impassioned as Mike Miller, VP of the IATSE. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Mexican actor-singer-heartthrob Jaime Camil is making his US pilot debut with a co-starring role opposite Gina Rodriguez in the CW‘s drama Jane The Virgin. Based on the successful Venezuelan telenovela Juana la Virgen, Jane The Virgin centers on Jane (Rodriguez), a hardworking religious girl who, due to a series of outrageous events, is accidentally artificially inseminated. International telenovela star Camil will play the series regular role of Rubio, who happens to be a world-famous telenovela star with a surprising connection to Jane. Camil, who is coming off back-to-back hit Spanish-language series in Mexico and the U.S. with Que Pobres Ran Ricos and Poy Ella Soy Eva, is currently seen on Univision’s new rom-com novela, Qué Pobres Tan Ricos. He made a successful feature debut in the US as the star of bilingual Patelion/Lionsgate hit Pulling Strings, which ranked as the third highest-grossing foreign language film of 2013. Additionally, a recent guest appearance by Camil on Devious Maids delivered strong ratings for the Lifetime series, which also has Latin roots. Jane the Virgin, from CBS Studios, is written by Jennie Snyder Urman and directed by Brad Silberling. Camil is with ROAR, WME and attorney James Mandelbaum.
Nebraska director Alexander Payne, DP Haskell Wexler and location scout Scott Dewees will be honored by the Location Managers Guild of America on March 29th at the Writers Guild Theater. This is the first year of the awards show. Payne will receive the Eva Monley Award, named after the location scout who worked finding the perfect settings in Africa for such legendary directors as John Huston, Otto Preminger and David Lean and whose credits included Lawrence of Arabia, The African Queen, Exodus and The Man Who Would Be King. Wexler will receive the Humanitarian Award. Wexler’s well-known credits are fro Whos Afraid of Virginia Wolf? Bound for Glory, the 1976 Oscar winning best picture One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest (with Bill Butler), Blaze and Matewan. The Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to commercial location scout Scott Dewees. Other awards will be given out to location professionals as well and to outstanding film commissions, and to producers, studios and production companies for exceptional locations in features and TV programs.
Mary-Louise Parker‘s reunion with NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt is now official as the former Weeds star has closed a deal to topline NBC’s single-camera comedy pilot Feed Me. The project, from veteran producers Paul Junger Witt and Tony Thomas, received a pilot green light last month based on Parker’s intention to star in it. Following the end of Weeds, which Greenblatt put on the air while running Showtime, NBC had been pursing the actress for multiple projects, and Feed Me was the script she responded to. Talks with Parker had already commenced when Feed Me was picked up to pilot three weeks ago, now they have been successfully completed. Written by Sally Robinson, who penned Lifetime’s successful Steel Magnolias remake, Feed Me is described as a comedic exploration of adult intimacy and desire that centers on a dysfunctional family bound by love and the restaurant they run together. And when daughter Emma’s husband has an affair, they circle the wagons to fiercely protect one of their own. Robinson, Thomas and Witt executive produce for Universal TV. Parker serves as a producer.
Azure Parsons (True Detective, Salem) will co-star opposite JoAnna Garcia Swisher in ABC‘s summer drama series Astronaut Wives Club. The project, from Fake Empire, Groundswell Prods and ABC Studios, tells the real story of the women who stood beside some of the biggest heroes in American history during the height of the space race. Parsons, repped by Sweeney Entertainment and Imperium 7, will play one of them, Annie Glenn, the wife of John Glenn whom she’s known since they were toddlers in Ohio.
Related: 2014 ABC Pilots
Kellee Stewart (Soul Man) has joined Lauren Iungerich’s ABC comedy pilot Damaged Goods. It revolves around damaged men (Justin Hartley, Steve Talley) and damaged women who explore the minutiae of love and relationships. Stewart, repped by Domain and Robyn Bluestone Management, will play one of the women, Betsy, who is living off alimony. She is coming off Lifetime pilot HR.
Both the International Cinematographers Guild and the Society of Camera Operators will honor the late Sarah Jones, the 27-year-old assistant camerawoman who was killed two weeks ago on the train tracks of the set of Midnight Rider in Jessup, GA. First, the ICG will hold a candlelight vigil and memorial Friday that will be attended by her parents Elizabeth and Richard Jones, who are flying in from South Carolina for the event. In addition to the Local 600′s memorial, she was also honored at the Publicist’s Guild luncheon last Friday and will be honored again Saturday by the Society of Camera Operators at the Skirball Cultural Center as they hold their Lifetime Achievement awards.
Jones was tragically killed February 20 on the set of director Randall Miller’s Midnight Rider, a film based on the life of singer Greg Allman, when she was caught on the tracks and hit by a train as the production crew was filming a dream sequence. The picture was to be distributed in the states by Open Road Pictures. Production has since been shut down until further notice. Jones’ death has spawned a flurry of commentary and calls to action regarding film safety. She has become the symbol of a rising movement in the production community, and several black ribbons were seen during Sunday’s Oscar ceremony including by Best Sound Editing winner Glenn Freemantle of Gravity. She was mentioned during the Oscarcast following the In Memoriam segments in a graphic pointing viewers to the Academy’s website.
Related: OSCARS: In Memoriam Includes ‘Midnight Rider’s Sarah Jones
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Virginia Madsen is set to co-star opposite Meagan Good and Kyle Schmid in NBC drama pilot Babylon Fields, from Michael Cuesta, Gerald Cuesta and Michael Atkinson. The 20th TV-produced project, originally developed and piloted at CBS seven years ago, is about a town’s residents coming back from the dead. Madsen will play Rhonda Wunch, CDC scientist Thomas Wunch’s (Schmid) mother who is close to her son and wants him to stay home in Babylon. Rounding out the pilot’s regular cast are Ritchie Coster as Ernie Wunch, Thomas’ father and Rhonda’s husband, a former cop who most people thought ran away to Daytona; and Yul Vazquez as Chief of Police Matt Conte. Madsen, repped by UTA and Untitled, has recurred on Lifetime’s Witches Of East End. Coster is with Gersh and Glenn Daniels Arts Management; Vazquez is managed by Untitled.
Related: 2014 NBC Pilots
6th UPDATE, 9 PM: Final numbers are in for The Lego Movie, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Pompeii and this year’s Best Picture winner 12 Years a Slave. All have been updated below. Slave grossed another $7M over the weekend in 55 markets to bring its total international cume to $89.93M and its worldwide to $140.5M. Its top grossing market is the UK, followed by France and Spain where it had a terrific jump of 56% at the box office. It also had a nice 20% bump in Australia. It will open in Japan on Friday, the first territory to open since winning the Oscar. The other big winner at the Oscars with 7 statues, Gravity is still playing to bring its international cume up to $436.9M for a worldwide total of $707.3M. The breakdown of grosses territory by territory are below.
5th UPDATE, Monday 12:33 PM: Ride Along numbers have been updated as have some of grosses of The Wolf Of Wall Street. Meanwhile, Dallas Buyers Club, which won Matthew McConaughey an Oscar is currently in its Latin American run and film has a cume of $1.16M in 10 markets, grossing $354K on 221 screens. It only has one more territory in Latin America to open before it completes its international run and to date has a worldwide total of about $32M on a $5M budget shot over only 23 days. Interesting to note also that Universal’s 47 Ronin is still playing in 23 territories for a total cume to date of $107.4M with four more territories to open over the next couple of months, including Italy and France.
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They 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
On 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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Prolific award-winning filmmaker Alain Resnais passed away on Saturday night in Paris, his producer Jean-Louis Livi said this morning. He was 91. The Hiroshima Mon Amour director’s latest film, Aimer, Boire Et Chanter (Life Of Riley) was recently in competition at the Berlin Film Festival where it won the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize. It is due to be released in France on March 26. A giant of French film whose career spanned six decades, Resnais was born in 1922 in Brittany. He began making 8mm shorts at age 12 and later attended film school, training as an editor. Of his 1958 short, Chant Du Styrène, Jean-Luc Godard once wrote, “Alain Resnais is the 2nd best editor in the world after Eisenstein.” Resnais first appeared at the Cannes Film Festival in 1947 with Nicole Védrès’ Paris 1900 on which he collaborated. In 1956 his influential documentary Night And Fog, about Nazi concentration camps, was shown out of competition in Cannes despite difficulties with French censors and protests of France’s West German embassy. It later screened in Berlin and also won the prestigious Jean Vigo prize. Resnais later attended Cannes with Toute La Memoire Du Monde and in 1959 was in competition with Hiroshima Mon Amour, which was part of the French New Wave. Marguerite Duras’ screenplay was nominated for an Oscar and the … Read More »
The campaign teams from Warner Bros’ Gravity and FX’s American Horror Story: Coven came away with the respective Maxwell Weinberg Publicist Showmanship Award for Motion Pictures and Television at today’s 51st annual ICG Publicists Awards. Michael Singer received the Les Mason Lifetime Achievement Award. Other winners announced at the Beverly Hilton luncheon ceremony were Access Hollywood‘s Scott Mantz (American Press Award), former HFPA President Philip Berk (International Media Award). Peter Fountain (Excellence in Still Photography, Motion Pictures) and Michael Yarish (Excellence in Still Photography). Lionsgate Motion Picture Group co-chairs Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger were presented with the Motion Picture Showmanship Award by the Divergent duo of Shailene Woodley and Theo James, and Shonda Rhimes received the Television Showmanship Award from her Scandal actor Tony Goldwyn. Jerry Lewis also was on hand to accept his Lifetime Achievement Award. A complete list of winners follows. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: True Blood is adding a new vampire for its seventh and final season. Riley Smith (90210) is set for a major recurring role. He will play Keith, a sexy, rock ‘n’ roll vampire with a romantic side. A drummer in James’ (Nathan Parson) band, he becomes smitten with Arlene (Carrie Preston) on first sight. Smith, repped by Gersh and Sanders/Armstrong/Caserta, is a regular in Lifetime’s original movie/backdoor pilot Deliverance Creek from Nicholas Sparks Productions. The film has no airdate yet but is expected to premiere later this year, with the project still in series contention as backdoor pilot.
Related: Luke Grimes Exits HBO’s ‘True Blood’; Role Will Be Recast
Amy Poehler’s NBC comedy pilot Old Soul already boasts two Oscar winners, and casting is barely half-way done. Ellen Burstyn is set for a plum lead role opposite Natasha Lyonne in the single-camera pilot written/exec produced by Poehler, Josh Bycel and Jonathan Fener and directed by David Wain. Old Soul centers on a reformed wild child Nadia (Lyonne) who has a business caring for the elderly and feels she has more in common with her colorful old clients than she does with people her age. Burstyn will play aunt Nadia’s aunt Eileen, an earthy lesbian with a New Age bent who has recently survived cancer. Nadia may take care of her elderly clients, which are Eileen’s friends, but Eileen takes care of Nadia. Burstyn, repped by Innovative and the Schiff Co., joins recently cast Fred Willard and Oscar winner Rita Moreno and two of Eileen’s friends. She stars in Lifetime’s Flowers In the Attic movie franchise.
Related: 2014 NBC Pilots
Australian actress Indiana Evans, who toplined Lifetime’s Blue Lagoon reboot, rounds out the regular cast of ABC’s drama pilot Secrets & Lies, which has a series penalty. It centers on Ben (Phillippe), a family man who becomes the prime suspect in the murder of a young boy when he finds the body. Evans will play Natalie, Ben and Christy’s (KaDee Strickland) teenage daughter. Set as recurring in the project are Charles Dutton as Kevin Williams, one of the neighbors; and Steven Brand (Magic City) and Kate Ashfield (Shaun Of The Dead) as fellow neighbors, married couple Joseph and Vanessa Turner. Dutton is with Greene & Assoc. and Lighthouse, Brand is with Global Artists Agency; Ashfield by Resolution, iManage and UK’s 42.
Related: 2014 ABC Pilots
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The Location Managers Guild of America will hold its first-ever Location Managers Guild Of America Awards on March 29 at the WGA Theater in Beverly Hills. Winners in six categories spanning film, TV and commercials will be announced, and the guild will bestow honorary awards including the Eva Monley Award, presented to an industry pro who has demonstrated above and beyond support of the work of location professionals; a humanitarian award; and a lifetime achievement award. Here are the noms:
FIRST ANNUAL LOCATION MANAGERS GUILD OF AMERICA AWARDS
Outstanding Achievement by a Location Professional – Feature Films
Ilt Jones (Iron Man 3)
John Latenser V (Nebraska)
Rick Schuler & Steve Mapel (Her)
Andrew Ullman & Lori Balton (Saving Mr. Banks)
David Velasco (American Hustle)
Outstanding Achievement by a Location Professional – TV Programs
Robert Boake (Game of Thrones)
Patrick Burn (House of Cards)
Christian Diaz de Bedoya (Breaking Bad)
Caleb Duffy (Behind the Candelabra)
Veronique Vowell (Scandal) Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Drama writer-producer Rick Eid has closed an overall deal with Warner Bros TV. Under the two-year pact, Eid will develop new projects for the studio. He also is boarding Warner Horizon’s newly picked-up Lifetime drama series The Lottery as executive producer/showrunner. Written by Timothy J. Sexton and starring Marley Shelton, David Alpay, Michael Graziadei and Martin Donovan, The Lottery is set in a dystopian future when women have stopped having children. Remarkably, 100 embryos are successfully fertilized and a national lottery is held to decide the surrogates. Eid will executive produce alongside Sexton, the pilot’s director Danny Cannon and Dawn Olmstead. Eid is coming off executive producer/showrunner duties on WBTV’s drama series for CBS Hostages. Before that, he was under a deal at CBS TV Studios where he served as co-executive producer on the studio’s long-running CBS crime drama CSI. At WBTV/Warner Horizon, he previously served as executive producer/showrunner on TNT drama series Dark Blue. WME-repped Eid also co-created the NBC/Universal drama series Conviction.
Related: 2014 Lifetime Pilots
EXCLUSIVE: Hallmark Channel has greenlighted The Good Witch, a 10-episode original scripted series based on the network’s very successful movie franchise. The series will star Catherine Bell, reprising her role of raven-haired enchantress Cassie Nightingale from the TV movies. The series is slated for a premiere in Q1 2015, following the debut of the seventh movie in the franchise, The Good Witch’s Wonder on October 25. Hallmark Channel had been mulling the idea of a Good Witch series for awhile but couldn’t proceed without Bell who only recently became available for a regular gig following the end of her long-running Lifetime drama Army Wives. “From the moment the first film in The Good Witch series premiered, we knew audiences would fall in love with Catherine Bell and this character and want to see more of her,” said Michelle Vicary, EVP, Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel. “Catherine has been one of the most sought after talents in our industry, and now she has a weekly home on Hallmark Channel.”
The Good Witch, a Whizbang Films Production, is executive produced by the movie franchise’s producers Orly Adelson, Jonathan Eskenas, Frank Siracusa and Craig Pryce, who directed the films based on characters by Rod Spence. Bell is co-executive producer. ITV Studios America, which Adelson recently joined as president, will distribute the series outside of North America. At Hallmark, The Good Witch joins … Read More »
3rd UPDATE, 3:20 PM PT Monday: The Lego Movie has upped its overseas weekend cume to $24M in its 48 markets due to stronger UK and France numbers. It now has an international total estimated at $93.5M. Key building block territories yet to bow include Russia, Japan, Australia and Germany. In the UK, Lego took the wind out of the box office with a 55% share among the top five films and its gross actually increased 1% from opening weekend. It has taken $36M in the UK since its debut. The French opening also came in higher than expected this frame with $3.1M from 521 screens. With U.S. cumes this weekend (where it was No. 1 for the third week in a row), the worldwide total is now $276.5M. Also via Warner Bros, Best picture Oscar contender Gravity‘s new cume worldwide is $703.6M after this weekend with international repping $434.4M. We are still waiting on confirmed opening weekend numbers from China for The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug.
2ND UPDATE, 2:10 PM PT MONDAY: Actuals are trickling in with no huge surprises in the bunch so far. Universal added figures for Ride Along, the Ice Cube/Kevin Hart action comedy that’s been so hot Stateside. It bowed in Iceland and South Africa this weekend with $20K at seven dates and $87K at 50 dates, respectively. Its … Read More »
Alice Herz Sommer, who at 110, was known as the oldest-living Holocaust survivor and the subject of the Oscar nominated short subject documentary Lady in Number 6: How Music Saved My Life, died today in London, according to the Israeli newspaper YNET, who confirmed the passing with her grandson. YNET is one of the country’s leading daily newspapers. Herz Sommer survived a Nazi concentration camp and used music to empower herself and others. She was a concert pianist, who initially was mentored by her sister and went on to study with the noted pianist Vaclav Stephan. The story about Herz Sommer and her uplifting philosophy about how to live a happy life despite enduring pain was made into a film directed by Malcom Clarke and produced by Nicholas Reed. The film, which was shot over the past two and a half years, was nominated for an Oscar last month.
“All of us are in shock. Alice had such a strong life force and her spirit was so strong that I could never imagine her not being around,” said Lady in No. 6′s producer Nicholas Reed. “She had been sick a few times over the last few years, but her indomitable spirit always pulled her through. The fact that we were able to capture Alice’s lessons for all the generations to come makes us feel very proud.” Reed said that he and others on the crew, when things got … Read More »