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Sundance: Participant Media Acquires Occupy Wall Street Docu ’99%’

Mike Fleming

January 28, 2013 – Los Angeles, CA – Participant Media has acquired North American rights to Audrey Ewell & Aaron Aites’ documentary 99%–The Occupy Wall St. Collaborative Film, directed by Ewell & Aites, along with Lucian Read and Nina Krstic, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last week. Following its theatrical run, the film will have its world television premiere on Participant’s new TV channel targeting millennials, scheduled to launch in August.

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WGA East “Disappointed” By Occupy Protesters’ Siege Of ‘Law & Order: SVU’ Set

By | Thursday December 15, 2011 @ 12:30pm PST

The WGA East like other unions and guilds has been a supporter of the Occupy protests that have cropped up around the nation, especially in New York City. But Occupy Wall Street’s recent siege of a Manhattan set for NBC and Wolf Films’ Law & Order: SVU — a show written and produced by WGA East members and featuring a crew from other industry unions — has got the guild peeved. The set was part of an episode that centered on a crime committed at the Occupy camp site at New York’s Zuccotti Park, and protesters made their opposition to it known by “occupying” the location at midnight before the NYPD cleared them out. The city pulled the show’s filming permit and the shoot never happened. Here’s WGA East’s open letter to protesters and the police, whom it takes to task for making them strike the set.

To Occupy Wall Street and the New York Police Department:

The Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE), an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, has strongly and actively supported the Occupy Wall Street movement from its inception. Our union members and staff have participated in many OWS actions, and we have endorsed OWS’ important message that corporate greed and economic inequality are wrong.

So we were disappointed to learn that last week people associated with Occupy Wall Street disrupted the set of an episode of Law

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Occupy Wall Street Protesters Crash ‘Law & Order: SVU’ Set; Filming Permit Pulled

By | Friday December 9, 2011 @ 10:05am PST

Complete with a sign reading “We are a movement, not a TV plot,” New York’s Occupy Wall Street protesters made their way last night to “occupy” a Law & Order: SVU set in New York’s Foley Square that featured a mock-up of the protesters’ onetime camp at Zuccotti Park. The replica included a library and a kitchen like at the original site, which was taken down last month by the city. The plan was for SVU to shoot this morning one of its ripped-from-the-headlines episodes featuring a story with the camp as a backdrop. But protesters, evidently not fans of that idea, changed that: In the end, after the NYPD came in to clear out the crowd, producer Dick Wolf Films saw its film permit rescinded sometime overnight, and no scenes were shot. Dick Wolf Films and NBC have declined comment so far. Here’s a video from the event:

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Alan Moore & David Lloyd Part Of Occupy Comics Push

By | Wednesday December 7, 2011 @ 9:03am PST

Alan Moore, whose graphic novels V For Vendetta, Watchmen and League Of Extraordinary Gentleman have been turned into major movies, has joined the roster of Occupy Comics, a group of comic book and graphic novel artists and writers joining to support the Occupy protests nationwide. He joins his V For Vendetta collaborator David Lloyd, who came aboard last week. (The coalition, which numbers 53 artists to date, also includes The Walking Dead‘s Charlie Adlard.) Occupy Comics is creating new art and stories inspired by the protesters and has already raised $15,000 on crowd-funding site Kickstarter; the plan is to roll out a series of digital comics early next year, followed by limited-edition paper comics and then a hardbound collectable book. Moore will contribute a longform prose piece with illustrations, with Lloyd also offering up original art. All profits and payments will go to the Occupy movement, the group says. One artist who won’t be joining this group, or forking over a donation: Sin City‘s Frank Miller, who on his own website railed against Wall Street protesters for being “nothing but a pack of louts, thieves, and rapists, an unruly mob, fed by Woodstock-era nostalgia and putrid false righteousness.”

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Jonathan Demme Scripting Two Films, But Finds Time For Occupy Wall Street Shorts

By | Wednesday October 26, 2011 @ 11:37am PDT
Mike Fleming

While Jonathan Demme is busy writing the script for Stephen King’s upcoming thriller novel 11/22/63, and completing another script for an animated feature adaptation of the Dave Eggers novel Zeitoun, the Oscar-winning director has become so captivated by the Occupy Wall Street movement that he brought his camera down and filmed a 15-minute atmospheric piece, with at least one more in the works. Demme called it “an informercial for Occupy Wall Street, a citizen’s response to something important,” he said. “I have no agenda, but I’m an enthusiast and support this so passionately that in a tiny way I wanted to contribute.”

To Demme, Occupy Wall Street is a game-changing expression of youthful outrage reminiscent of protests against the Vietnam War and segregation. “I’m from the hippie generation, I came aware in that age of protests and demonstrations,” he said. “These young people are living that sense of potential change, and when you go downtown to see it, it’s such an oxygenated atmosphere that it’s thrilling. Many people dump on Barack Obama, they say once he got in office he didn’t do anything. But neither did we, the people who supported him and then went off and lived our lives. The only voice that has been in his face has been the Tea Party and I promise you, if Occupy Wall Street had taken root when the president was elected, we’d … Read More »

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MTV Zooms In On Wall Street Protesters (Again) With ‘True Life’ Look

By | Monday October 24, 2011 @ 11:00am PDT

MTV Casting Occupy Wall Street Protesters

You can’t accuse MTV of not mining the ongoing Occupy Wall Street protests for potential content. First came word that the network placed a Craigslist ad seeking protesters to audition for the next installment of The Real World. Now the network said it will use its Emmy-winning True Life documentary platform to air True Life: I’m Occupying Wall Street on Saturday, November 5 at 6 PM ET/PT. MTV said it embedded cameras with three people at the protests for a two-week period to “capture the day-to-day realities” of the protesters as the movement gains visibility — even among MTV’s target youth demos. Here’s a preview clip:

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RUPE ON THE ROPES At Annual Meeting: Insults Fly As News Corp Fights Shareholders Pushing For Better Governance & Independent CEO

The Deadline team is covering the News Corp shareholders meeting inside and outside LA’s Fox Studios. Nikki Finke is now writing from staff and news reports.

4TH UPDATE, NOON WRITETHRU: News Corp.’s annual shareholder meeting today at LA’s Fox Studios turned into a pitched battle of words and accusations and insults. Rupert Murdoch’s critics lined up at two microphones and vented their anger at what they consider to be a corporate culture run amok. At the same time the Chairman/CEO’s defenders opposed the shareholder calls for better corporate governance and the separation of the chairman/CEO title in order to have a CEO independent of Murdoch. Rupert, for his part, could barely stay polite when he was challenged again and again. ”I hate to call you a liar, but I don’t believe you,” he cut off shareholder Stephen Mayne, director of the Australian Shareholders Association who was criticizing News Corp’s corporate governance. Edward Mason of the Church of England spoke in support of the motion that would oust Murdoch as chairman. But Murdoch interrupted Mason almost immediately, saying “your investments haven’t been that great”.

Other shareholders were focused on the UK phone hacking scandal and its origins within the company. UK parliament member Tom Watson caught a plane from London to LA just to confront Murdoch during today’s shareholders meeting. He asked in a very British polite way whether the chairman and CEO was aware of more allegations, this time of computer hacking, at News Corp-owned newspaper News of the World. Murdoch said he wasn’t and responded, “I have assured that what went wrong a few years ago and the recent rumors by you is being worked out with the police. We will put this right.” Watson was interrupted by News Corp board member and Murdoch ally Viet Dihn, who said, “We’re fully cooperating with the police and aren’t permitted to comment on allegations per their instruction. I welcome any information you have for our investigation after the meeting.” But Murdoch told the shareholders: ”I promise you absolutely that we will stop at nothing to get to the bottom of this and get it right.”

Murdoch also tried to reassure shareholders that News Corp was doing well financially, boasting about ”digital treasure droves” from New Media and results showing that cable channels were providing half of the company’s total profit. But that didn’t appear to calm the shareholders at the microphones. Especially with institutional investors like Calpers, the Christian Brothers investment services, and the Australian Shareholders Association calling for an independent CEO.

Outside, members of the media and police far outnumbered a small group of protesters numbering about 50 in total who gathered at the main gate of Fox Studios. Occupy Los Angeles, according to information posted on the Occupy Wall Street offshoot’s website, planned to protest “one-sided reporting, job cuts, phone hacking, and bad governance.” Besides a “Fox News Lies” banner, protesters seemed to focus mainly on animal rights and anti-war issues. There was no disruption to the work of studio employees who were allowed to go in without incident.

2ND UPDATE, 9:45 AM: News Corp intentionally drove the shuttle carrying media to the shareholders meeting on the Fox lot through a side gate so the press wouldn’t see the protesters.

UPDATE, 9:59 PM: A British Member of Parliament scheduled to join News Corp stockholders inside Fox’s Zanuck Theatre is expected to address protesters in front of the studio on Pico Boulevard before heading into the meeting, one of the organizers told Deadline late Thursday. Labor Party MP Tom Watson, a key figure in the Parliament’s investigation of the phone-hacking scandal, has said he plans to present new allegations of other types of technological surveillance methods News Corp has used in addition to phone hacking by representatives of the now-defunct News of the World. Holders of proxy shares — apart from institutional and other groups who plan to vote against Murdoch-allied board members — are also certain to have harsh questions for company execs.

PREVIOUSLY, 7:31 PM: News Corp shareholders arriving for their annual meeting Friday at the Fox lot on Pico Blvd. in West Los Angeles will encounter some uninvited greeters bearing unhappy tidings. Occupy Los Angeles, according to information posted on the Occupy Wall Street offshoot’s website, plans to protest “one-sided reporting, job cuts, phone hacking, and bad governance.” Read More »

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MTV Casting ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Protesters

By | Tuesday October 18, 2011 @ 9:40pm PDT

Really? An ad appeared on Craigslist seeking members of the Occupy Wall Street movement to audition for MTV’s The Real World 27. The New York Observer surmises that maybe someone at  Bunim/Murray Productions saw the Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street Tumblr. Says the ad: “Are you part of the Occupy Wall Street Movement? MTV’s Real World is seeking cast members to tell their unique stories on our show. If you are over the age of 20 and appear to be between the ages of 20-24, and the description below sounds like you, we want to hear from you!” along with a request for recent photos, bio and contact information. Apparently oldsters in the OWS movement — anyone who even looks like they might be 29 — need not apply.

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‘The Dark Knight Rises’ NYC Location Shoots May Occupy Wall Street

The Dark Knight Rises, which has been shooting in Los Angeles and other settings worldwide, is about to head for New York City locales that may include the vicinity of Occupy Wall Street protests, the Los Angeles Times reports. Producers of the third movie in Christopher Nolan’s vision of the Batman saga recently issued a casting call under the code name “Magnus Rex,” and cast members have been told the shoot could include scenes shot at the Occupy Wall Street protests. Those demonstrations likely will be taking place during the two-week period the Warner Bros-Legendary Pictures production is scheduled to be shooting in the city that happens to be nicknamed Gotham, starting October 29. That doesn’t mean specifics of the protests will figure in the storyline, but they could add authenticity to themes of the franchise. The shoot was planned months ago, and Nolan most likely would use the protests as a backdrop for something that’s already in his script. Exact locations remain secret, but the casting call specified that interested actors should have “military and/or law enforcement training/experience, weapons training, and/or martial arts training.” Maybe they’re also recruiting for location security.

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