Tony Awards Show Sings Hollywood’s Praises While Oscar Producers Return The Favor At PGA’s Produced By Conference
Presenting the two directing prizes on Sunday night’s Tony Awards, Clint Eastwood, who was on the show because he has directed the film version of the Tony winning Broadway musical Jersey Boys (6/20), summed it all up for me. “It seems like producers and directors from the stage and from movies are always looking for good new material, and sometimes they don’t find it. Sometimes they have to take it from one another with The Bridges Of Madison Country (Eastwood starred in and directed the film) or Bullets Over Broadway going to musical plays, and I’m proud to say that we’re bringing Jersey Boys to the movies and that will be after nine successful years on Broadway,” he said in introductory remarks. It was an understatement as most of the evening’s winners, spread among a larger number of shows than usual, have deep ties to Hollywood and that included Bridges which picked up a couple of key Tonys for its composer Jason Robert Brown, despite closing last month. There’s also Rocky (Best Scenic Design of a Musical), Aladdin (Best Featured Actor in a Musical), as well as the two big musical winners of the evening (each with four victories), A Gentlemen’s Guide To Love And Murder (winner of Best Musical and which is derived from the 1949 Alec Guiness film Kind Hearts And Coronets), and …
Produced By: Hispanics “Most Important” Ticket Buyers; Theater Owners Testing In-Movie Language Translation App
“Hispanics are far and away the most important consumers at our cinemas,” declared National Association of Theater Owners head John Fithian at Sunday’s Produced By panel on the voracious spending habits of the growing Hispanic population. Fithian described Hispanics as “the most valuable component of moviegoers” and credited them with the 5.8% boost in ticket sales in the family flick-filled first quarter of 2014. A sizzle reel opening the session called the demo “the biggest game changer since the baby boom,” a claim supported by NATO and Nielsen stats with even more growth projected by 2050, when one out of three Americans will be of Hispanic descent.
According to Fithian, 44% of Hispanics go to the movies a few times a month, 63% rent movies on DVD or Blu-ray, and 76% own high quality televisions in their home – all in numbers higher than other ethnicities. Naturally, theater owners would like Hollywood to cater more content to their highest-volume customers. They’re also taking the initiative by testing an in-theater app that can translate English language films into multiple languages live during a movie. “We are testing simultaneous translation, personal devices that sync up with movies with an app while you’re watching a movie,” Fithian revealed.
Encouraging moviegoers to use their smart phones during movies might invite piracy and disturb other moviegoers, obvious downsides that NATO is trying to work around. “We are talking to a couple of companies who will be working with our members to test usability and any possible disruption to other patrons,” a rep for the organization told me. “Since smart phones can also record, we want to make sure the apps are usable when the devices are in your pocket, so ushers don’t have to worry about a lot of people pointing phones at the screen and trying to guess if they are pirating.”
‘A Million Ways To Die In The West’, ‘Transcendence’ Haven’t Reaped Their New Mexico Film Tax Credits Yet
New Mexico’s film tax incentive program got two black eyes today at the PGA’s Produced By panel on state tax incentives. Transcendence and A Million Ways to Die in the West, which both shot in New Mexico last year, still haven’t received their tax incentives, which are being tied up by a bureaucratic mind boggling array of red tape and audits.
Panelist Peter Wentzel, vp of production finance at Media Rights Capitol, complained that this company’s film A Million Ways to Die in the West is still dealing with the state’s auditors even though the production wrapped there in August.
Describing New Mexico’s new auditing process as “onerous”, he stated that the company had to scan over 12,000 pages of financial documents to get its incentives. “it’s tough to get answers and explanations”.
“It’s been interesting,” said Yolanda Cochran, SVP of physical production at Alcon Entertainment.
Alcon’s Transcendence wrapped there in June and hasn’t received their tax incentives either, its state audit is stalled in what she called “A holding pattern. It’s quite the process which is unfortunate. You don’t have this with other states incentives.”
Other panelists gave high marks to tax incentive programs in Louisiana, Georgia, and Massachusetts.
The Producers Guild’s 6th ‘Produced By Conference’ is slated for June 7 and 8 at Warner Bros Studios in Burbank (Fox hosted last year). The guild hasn’t revealed the lineup yet, but last year’s speakers included JJ Abrams and Roland Emmerich. “Producers are the driving force behind the entertainment and media industries, and we love creating this annual gathering where they can come together as a community,” said Producers Guild of America National Executive Director Vance Van Petten. “Each year, our sold-out Conference continues to grow because it represents a truly unique setting that encourages creativity and collaboration between our industry’s storytellers, innovators and thought leaders. We are thrilled to welcome Warner Bros. Studios as the host of the 2014 Produced By Conference.” The 2014 PBC is chaired by Guild members Tracey Edmonds, Marshall Herskovitz, Rachel Klein and Gary Lucchesi. Diane Salerno (Six Degrees Global) is the PBC Sponsorship Director, Barry Kaplan is the PBC Supervising Producer, and Lynda Dorf is the PBC Marketing Consultant.
Produced By Conference: Jerry Bruckheimer Says ‘Top Gun’ Sequel Still In Play, ‘Lone Ranger’ Sequel Not Set Yet
Top Gun 2 is still aiming for lift off, said Jerry Bruckheimer today. “For 30 years we’ve been trying to make a sequel and we’re not going to stop. We still want to do it with Tom [Cruise] and Paramount are still interested in making it,” the producer said Sunday at the Produced By conference. “What Tom tells me is that no matter where he goes in the world, people refer to him as Maverick,” added Bruckheimer of Tom Cruise who starred as the rebel fighter jet pilot in the original 1986 movie. “It’s something he is excited about so as long as he keeps his enthusiasm hopefully we’ll get it made,” Bruckheimer said about the sequel and its star. Bruckheimer noted that the death of original Top Gun director Tony Scott last August did put a pause on the project.
In a wide-ranging discussion with Deadline’s Pete Hammond at the PGA event, the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise and this summer’s Lone Ranger producer also revealed that star Johnny Depp often travels with his Captain Jack Sparrow costume and visits children’s hospitals unannounced. “He knows he is a very fortunate person and he wants to give back,” Bruckheimer said. Praising the actor and others, Bruckheimer said the success of his films over the decades, both with partner Don Simpson and on his own, is “always about the talent… our company worships talent.”
Produced By Conference: ‘Sons Of Anarchy’s’ Kurt Sutter, Other Showrunners Look To “Scary” Digital Future
“New is always scary to the old and it is always about money and profit margins,” said Kurt Sutter today about the digital distribution and content models of Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. “And the talk right now is how do we make money because we are all selling either soap or subscriptions,” the often blunt Sons of Anarchy producer added. “The upside for everyone at this table is we may not know what it looks like or what the profit margins are but more people want our content,” he also said. Sutter was appearing on this year’s Produced By Conference’s Hit The Ground Showrunning panel along with House of Cards‘ Beau Willimon, Parenthood‘s Jason Katims and The Big C creator Darlene Hunt. “I’m dying to do something for Netflix. They say we’ll throw money at you and leave you alone,” joked Hunt. The producer and performer added that her current deal with Sony limits her right now from going to do a project with the likes of Netflix but she wants that to change. “I’ve told them, you have to figure it out or I won’t reup my deal,” she added. Hunt inked a two-year seven-figure overall deal with Sony Pictures TV in early April.
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