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Venice Days Sidebar Includes Shawn Christensen, Laurent Cantet, Kim Ki-Duk

Venice Days Sidebar Includes Shawn Christensen, Laurent Cantet, Kim Ki-DukAhead of Thursday’s announcement of the Venice Film Festival competition lineup, the parallel Venice Days section has presented its roster. As previously noted, Kim Ki-duk’s revenge drama One On One will open the section out of competition. The Korean helmer’s Pieta won the Golden Lion in 2012. Closing the section is Alex De La Iglesia’s documentary about Argentine football great Lionel Messi. Titled Messi, the film uses reconstructions, archival material and interviews to trace the player’s rise to stardom. Among the competition titles is the world premiere of Palme d’Or winner Laurent Cantet’s Return To Ithaca. Set in Havana, the film sees five friends reflect on their past and future. The section also hosts the international premiere of Shawn Christensen’s SXSW drama Before I Disappear with Emmy Rossum, Fatima Ptacek, Paul Wesley, Ron Perlman and Richard Schiff. It’s based on Christensen’s 2013 Oscar winning short film Curfew. Click over for the full Venice Days lineup: Read More »

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Simon Cowell Exec Producing One Direction Event Cinema Concert Film

Simon Cowell Exec Producing One Direction Event Cinema Concert FilmEnglish-Irish boy band sensation One Direction gave fans something extra to get excited about this morning. The pop idols announced an upcoming film of their current Where We Are tour (see trailer below), touting it as “the first ever full One Direction concert experience on the big screen.” In keeping with the growing trend towards event cinema, One Direction: Where We Are – The Concert Film will screen for one weekend only — October 11 and 12 — in theaters worldwide. Recorded in June at Milan’s San Siro stadium, the film will feature the concert, interviews and backstage tour footage. In 2013, the Morgan Spurlock-directed 3D documentary One Direction: This Is Us grossed $68.5M worldwide. That Sony/Tri Star release was produced by Simon Cowell‘s Syco Entertainment in association with Fulwell 73. The latter is producing the new concert film which is presented by Syco, Sony Music Entertainment, Modest Management and Arts Alliance. Cowell is again among the exec producers. The five One Direction members were discovered on Cowell’s X Factor UK in 2010. Since then, they’ve sold over 29M records. Paul Dugdale, who directed The Rolling Stones ‘Sweet Summer Sun: Hyde Park Live’ last summer, is helming the Where We Are movie. And, just in time for the holidays, it will be released on DVD on December 1. (Parents taking their kids to VUE cinemas in the UK for the big screen event may want to inquire as to whether … Read More »

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Insiders Confirm CBS Films Co-President Wolfgang Hammer Move To Digital Consultant

By | Tuesday July 22, 2014 @ 12:26am PDT
Mike Fleming

Insiders Confirm CBS Films Co-President Wolfgang Hammer Move To Digital ConsultantCBS Films insiders confirm a report that about three weeks ago, CBS Films co-president Wolfgang Hammer quietly segued to become a consultant focusing on digital content. Terry Press, who ran the division with him, is alone at the top. The label, launched by Les Moonves to create homegrown films,  moved squarely into the acquisitions game in the last few years, and the results have been just okay. Last Vegas, a homegrown film, was a sleeper hit, and its highest profile acquisition, $4 million for  Inside Llewyn Davis failed to garner Oscar love in the major categories after the prestige folk music film got a rousing reaction at Cannes last year and won the Grand Prix. It got the label its first ever Oscar noms for cinematography and sound mixing and grossed just north of $13 million domestic, a number that could have been higher had Oscar voters embraced it more fully, the way critics did. The label has made other big festival buys including the Toronto acquisition Salmon Fishing in the Yemen to put itself on the map. The label has What If opening in August, Pride in September and just wrapped the teen comedy The Duff for a February opening. One potential gem it hasn’t been able to get into production is the series of bestselling novels by author Vince Flynn featuring counter terrorism operative Mitch Rapp. It’s a strong leading man role, but Flynn didn’t live to see the movie get made. He died of prostate cancer last … Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: André Rieu Sets UK Box Office Record; Venice Critics’ Week Roster; Alibaba Pacts With Helmers; More

Global Showbiz Briefs: André Rieu Sets UK Box Office Record; Venice Critics’ Week Roster; Alibaba Pacts With Helmers; MoreAndré Rieu Concert Sets UK Box Office Record
Flying the flag for event cinema, André Rieu’s 2014 10th Anniversary Maastricht Concert became the UK’s highest-grossing music event of all time at the box office this weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, CinemaLive screened the concert at 410 locations across the UK and Ireland, grossing $1.42M. The concert also screened at 234 moviehouses in European markets including France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Romania, Finland and Croatia, bringing the total gross box office figure to more than $2.05M for the weekend. Rieu’s July 2013 cinema concert event set UK records with about $766K. The massive jump this year is one more feather in the cap of live event cinema which has been growing in popularity with music- and theater-loving crowds. Classical violinist Rieu, aka “The King of Waltz”, is known for his energetic and festive live performances. He has sold more than 35M albums worldwide. Further screenings of the concert will take place this coming weekend in Australia and New Zealand, followed by Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Russia and South East Asia to ultimately reach more than 1,000 cinema screens in 35 countries. Pretty soon, I’ll have to start adding these to my international weekend box office reports.

'400 Blows' centerpiece of Venice Film Festival PosterVenice Critics’ Week Lineup Revealed
The National Union of Italian Film Critics has unveiled its selection for the 29th running of Critics’ Week at the … Read More »

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Aaron Tveit Toplines ‘Stereotypically You’; Jeffrey Donovan Joins ‘Sicario’; Courtney James Clark Cast In ‘Jurassic World’

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 7:49pm PDT

Aaron Tveit Toplines ‘Stereotypically You’; Jeffrey Donovan Joins ‘Sicario’; Courtney James Clark Cast In ‘Jurassic World’Aaron TveitAaron Tveit has the lead role in Stereotypically You, a romantic comedy from writer-director Benjamin Cox. Tveit plays Charlie, who goes on a hallucination-fueled post-breakup quest in New York City to find new love — and himself. Kal Penn, Shane McRae, Lauren Miller, Abby Elliot, Chris Elliot, Annaleigh Ashford, Lewis Black, Kelen Coleman co-star. Tveit also has landed a role in They Might Be Kennedys, which Neal McDonough is exec producing. The actor’s credits include the upcoming Big Sky and Undrafted along with Les Miserables, Premium Rush and TV’s Graceland. He is repped by CAA and Elin Flack Management.

Jeffrey DonovanJeffrey Donovan has joined the cast of Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario, which is filming in New Mexico. In the Lionsgate actioner starring Benecio Del Toro and Emily Blunt, he will play Steve Forsing, a no-nonsense DEA Agent who engages in an all-out firefight at the Juarez border while transferring a prisoner. Donovan starred on USA Network’s Burn Notice, which wrapped its seven-season run in September. His credits also include the upcoming feature Welcome To Harmony as well as J. Edgar, Changeling and Hindsight. He is repped by WME, 3 Arts Entertainment, and Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof & Fishman.

Courtney James ClarkCourtney James Clark has landed a role in Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World, from producer Steven Spielberg. She joins a cast that includes … Read More »

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Split Decision: New SAG-AFTRA Pact Calls for Sharing of Pension And Health Contributions

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 6:45pm PDT

Split Decision: New SAG-AFTRA Pact Calls for Sharing of Pension And Health ContributionsEXCLUSIVE: While SAG-AFTRA officials have been touting all the benefits of the union’s proposed new film and TV contract, they’ve remained mum about one key issue: How will the 17% of actors’ earnings that employers pay into the union’s two separate pension and health plans be allocated? It’s a key question because the two plans – the SAG Pension and Health Plan and the AFTRA Health & Retirement Fund – have different eligibility requirements and offer different benefit packages.

Related: SAG-AFTRA Posts 10 Reasons To Vote Yes On New Contract; Do Members Agree?

Deadline has learned that SAG’s Pension and Health Plan will receive contributions from new one-hour network shows (mostly dramas), new half-hour basic cable shows (mostly sitcoms), and everything new made for syndication, other than shows made for the CW. Contributions on earnings from new TV shows made for new media, pay TV and home video also will go into the SAG plan.

Related: (Non) Shocker! SAG-AFTRA Board Approves New Contract

AFTRA’s Health and Retirement fund will receive contributions on earnings from new half-hour network shows (mostly sitcoms) and new one-hour basic cable shows (mostly dramas), all new longform TV shows (such as miniseries and telefilms), and everything made for CW. Read More »

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YouTube, TV Dancers Pop Into Dance Pic ‘Breaking Through’

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 5:12pm PDT

YouTube, TV Dancers Pop Into Dance Pic ‘Breaking Through’EXCLUSIVE: Writer-director John Swetnam (Step Up: All In, Into the Storm) and exec producer John Legend have cast the twinkle-toed lineup for their internet-generation dance pic, Breaking Through. Dancer, choreographer, and actress Sophia Aguiar was discovered via YouTube after performing with Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Ne-Yo, Usher, Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake, and Britney Spears. She’ll make her first feature splash in the pic alongside Jordan Rodrigues, who starred on Aussie teen dance drama Dance Academy and currently recurs on ABC Family’s The Fosters.

Related: John Legend, ‘Step Up 5′s John Swetnam Prepping Found Footage Dance Pic ‘Breaking Through’

Swetnam’s casting search also led him to Robert Roldan who appeared on Season 7 of So You Think You Can Dance, contortionist and dancer Marissa Heart who’s danced with Miley Cyrus, J. Lo, and Kanye West, and Taeko McCarroll who appeared on America’s Best Dance Crew. Pic will be choreographed by YouTube star Ian Eastwood (American’s Best Dance Crew, Season 7) with performances by dance groups Les Twins, Poreotics, dance personality Dominic D-Trix Sandoval (So You Think You Can Dance, America’s Best Dance Crew) and hip hop violinist-dancer Lindsey Stirling (America’s Got Talent). Read More »

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Amy Ryan To Co-Star In Steven Spielberg’s Cold War Pic; Alan Alda & Two Others In Talks

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 4:29pm PDT

Amy Ryan To Co-Star In Steven Spielberg’s Cold War Pic; Alan Alda & Two Others In TalksAmy Ryan will co-star opposite Tom Hanks in Steven Spielberg’s untitled Cold War Spy thriller for DreamWorks. Production is set to begin in September and will be shot on location in New York and Berlin ahead of its October 16, 2015 release date. In talks for roles are Alan Alda, Boardwalk Empire‘s Billy Magnussen and The Knick‘s Eve Hewson. Mark Rylance is already aboard.

The pic is based on the true story of James Donovan (Hanks), the CIA attorney who is thrust behind the Iron Curtain when he is sent to negotiate the release of captured American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers. The Coen brothers wrote the 1960s-set screenplay off Matt Charman’s original script. Ryan, repped by Gersh and attorney Dave Feldman, will play Donovan’s wife. Read More »

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Ex-Relativity Exec, Obama And Kerry Fundraiser Jamie Denenberg Named Alpine Labs Partner, Chief Strategy Officer

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 3:44pm PDT

Ex-Relativity Exec, Obama And Kerry Fundraiser Jamie Denenberg Named Alpine Labs Partner, Chief Strategy OfficerJamie Denenberg, a veteran entertainment executive and prominent fundraiser for the presidential campaigns of John Kerry and Barack Obama, was named partner and Chief Strategy Officer at Alpine Labs, which creates film, TV and online content and was formerly known as Ketchum Labs. Alpine principals Kevin Abrams and Patrick Weir made the announcement today.

Denenberg was Kerry’s California finance director, raising tens of millions of dollars for his 2004 presidential campaign. She  also was an early “bundler,” pulling together contributions for Obama and organizing a number of “Young Hollywood” events for his 2008 campaign. Most recently, Denenberg was a partner in marketing company SA Entertainment. Before that, she led the creative content divisions at Relativity Media and Overture Films and worked for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
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FINAL: Intl Box Office: ‘Transformers’ Adds $84.6M; ‘Apes’ Swings Up With $61.9M; ‘Boyhood’ Growing In UK; More

FINAL: Intl Box Office: ‘Transformers’ Adds $84.6M; ‘Apes’ Swings Up With $61.9M; ‘Boyhood’ Growing In UK; Morecinemaworld2ND UPDATE, MONDAY 3:20 PM PT: Updated figures for the international weekend have come in with all studios reporting. Among the top movies in the marketplace, Transformers: Age Of Extinction‘s 4th frame was up from original estimates to $84.6M in 58 territories ($662.6M cume), and Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes was slightly higher than predicted in its 2nd frame with $61.93M on 10,347 screens in 51 markets ($103.6M cume).

Also of note, Fox’s The Grand Budapest Hotel has officially passed $110M internationally, adding $491K in 15 territories this weekend. Meanwhile, Boyhood, which Universal is releasing most everywhere overseas, added 60 locations in its 2nd UK frame. The result was a 0% drop from last week with $537K at 89 dates. The UK/Ireland total is now $1.5M (£892K). With the buzz growing, Universal is looking to continue the pattern by increasing the number of screens in more regional areas this Friday. In the next few days, the studio says the Richard Linklater drama will best the director’s Before Sunset (£932K) and A Scanner Darkly (£995K) to become his 2nd biggest film in the market behind School Of Rock.

Updated throughout the below are figures on the above films as well as Planes: Fire & Rescue, Sex Tape, The Purge: Anarchy, How To Train Your Dragon 2, Step Up All In, Maleficent, Blended, The Fault In Our Stars, 22 Jump Street, Edge Of Tomorrow, X-Men: Days Of Future Read More »

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Sony Pictures Moves Cameron Crowe Project Out Of Christmas 2014 And Into Summer 2015

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 2:29pm PDT

Sony Pictures Moves Cameron Crowe Project Out Of Christmas 2014 And Into Summer 2015Columbia Pictures and Regency Enterprises are delaying the release date of director Cameron Crowe‘s untitled project starring Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone and Rachel McAdams until May 29, 2015. The studio previously dated it for Christmas 2014, but execs decided after seeing the film that it was better as a summer release. That takes it out of any contention for Oscar nominations this year as well. It now will debut the weekend after Memorial Day and in a summer slot that has nothing really competing with it: Insidious: Chapter 3 and Monster Trucks. Read More »

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Time Warner Changes By-Laws To Help Block A Hostile Takeover

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 1:50pm PDT

Time Warner Changes By-Laws To Help Block A Hostile TakeoverThis is the first concrete sign that Time Warner is determined to fight Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch if he decides to do an end run around the board in an effort to acquire the company. Directors adopted an amendment to TW’s by-laws, which took effect immediately, that makes it harder for a small group of shareholders to call a Business Leaders Gather For B20 Summit In Sydneyspecial meeting, Time Warner says in an SEC filing. Previously investors holding at least 15% of the total votes could demand a meeting. The change limits that right to “the Chief Executive Officer or a majority of the entire Board.” The fear was that Murdoch — or anyone — could have tried to stampede short-term investors into accepting a deal even if the board concluded that it would not serve their long-term interests.

Related: Bart & Fleming: Fox-TW Mania Means Banker Fees And Layoffs, Not Quality

Time Warner shares are down 1.6% in post-market trading following disclosure of the change. The company says that it intends to restore the 15% threshold at the 2015 annual meeting.

Related: Will Anyone Besides Rupert Murdoch Take A Run At TW?

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UPDATE: Judge Denies Seven Arts Founder’s Motion To Have Louisiana Tax Fraud Charges Dismissed

UPDATE: Judge Denies Seven Arts Founder’s Motion To Have Louisiana Tax Fraud Charges DismissedUPDATED, 1:47 PM: A federal judge has denied Seven Arts Entertainment founder Peter Hoffman’s motion to dismiss the fraud charges against him stemming from $1.13 million he obtained in Louisiana tax credits to refurbish a run-down old New Orleans mansion and turn it into a state-of-the-are postproduction facility. Hoffman declined comment until he’s had time to study the judge’s 27-page ruling. A trail is set for January 20.

peter-hoffman-seven-artsPREVIOUSLY, June 2: The founder of Seven Arts Entertainment claims that he did nothing wrong in obtaining tax credits to restore a rundown New Orleans mansion and convert it into a modern postproduction facility. Peter Hoffman has filed a motion to dismiss the criminal tax fraud charges (read it here) brought against him by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Louisiana in February. The 22-count indictment accuses Hoffman, a former business partner, and Hoffman’s ex-wife, producer Susan Hoffman, of conspiring to secure $1.13 million in Louisiana tax credits without having done the work they told state officials they were going to do. All three have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Related: Peter Hoffman Says He’s Being “Targeted” By Federal Prosecutors In Louisiana Film Tax Fraud Case

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Box Office Final: ‘Apes’ No. 1′ With $36.2M, ‘The Purge’ With $29.8M+, ‘Planes’ Flies Low $17.5M, ‘Sex Tape’ Unravels To $14.6M In Soft Weekend

Box Office Final: ‘Apes’ No. 1′ With $36.2M, ‘The Purge’ With $29.8M+, ‘Planes’ Flies Low $17.5M, ‘Sex Tape’ Unravels To $14.6M In Soft Weekend8th UPDATE, Monday, 1:32 PM: It was a down weekend. After the dust cleared today, we can see the final dips: The calendar year-to-date is down 6% with the weekend of the Top Ten from last year to this year down 25%. All films added in, the business is down 23.9%. Given that all pictures underperformed a bit, here are the final box office numbers as they look this morning. Dawn-of-the-Planet-of-the-Apes-Caesar-eyesOf all the newbies, The Purge: Anarchy actually was able to gross the high end of yesterday’s estimate and ended with $29.8M. Both Disney’s Planes: Fire & Rescue and Sony’s Sex Tape took more of a hit, both off just a tad from their yesterday expectations; neither performed well. Meanwhile, Earth To Echo and Maleficent came in only $29K apart and the more exciting part of this box office weekend was that the smaller films did exceptionally well. Dinesh D’Souza’s controversial documentary America from Lionsgate, at No. 12, held quite well, down only 30% as did Jon Favreau’s Chef (Open Road), which even after dropping about 150 locations saw a significant jump on Saturday and ended the weekend at $25.9M. Another bit of sweet news was the solid per-screen number of Richard Linkaleter’s little masterpiece Boyhood (IFC) which held a nice $34,418 per screen; its cume is now $1.785M after two weeks in a platform release. The Top 20 chart follows: Read More »

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Oscar-Nominated Film Now Aiming To WIN An Emmy For Netflix – How Is It Eligible For Both?

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 11:39am PDT
Pete Hammond

Oscar-Nominated Film Now Aiming To WIN An Emmy For Netflix – How Is It Eligible For Both?The Squarea harrowing documentary about the Egyptian revolution as seen through the eyes of six of its participants, was Oscar-nominated in the 2013 Best Feature Documentary race. So how come it is suddenly a major contender at the Emmys too? Inquiries have come to our attention, including one calling for its withdrawal from Emmy competition, so I decided to check it out.

Daytime Emmy Awards WinnersThe film, which accounts for four of the impressive 31 Emmy nominations Netflix received this year, was picked up by the streaming service and qualified last year for the Oscar race with a seven-day run, according to the Television Academy, which has assured me they thoroughly examined this one. “The Square was not in general release prior to it TV appearance; rather, it qualified for the Oscars under the ‘one week NY-LA limited screening rule’ which would not have affected Emmy eligibility. Please know that we and the documentary peer group vetted the hell out of this one, and it’s good to Emmy go,” according to John Leverence, SVP Awards for the TV Academy. Read More »

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Matthew McConaughey Circles Black List Spec ‘The Company Man’

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 11:29am PDT
Mike Fleming

Matthew McConaughey Circles Black List Spec ‘The Company Man’Here’s one to keep an eye on. I’m hearing that Matthew McConaughey has come aboard The Company Man, the Black List script by Andrew Cypiot that had been known as the Untitled Ed Wilson Project. The Oscar-winning actor’s reps caution that none of this is set in stone, but I’m hearing he’s guiding the process of looking for a director before the project is shopped as a spec later this summer. It’s based on true events. CIA agent Edwin Wilson went behind enemy lines to secure a weapons contract and report information back to the CIA shortly after the Cold War. He had a meteoric rise until company policies changed and he was unceremoniously fired. Even after, he continued to operate as a man without a country and became public enemy No. 1 to the U.S. Attorney’s office. Former DreamWorks senior exec Mark Sourian is producing with Josh Kazdan. McConaughey’s repped by CAA, Cypiot by Verve. Sounds like another gritty project for him to sink his teeth into, after his superb performance in HBO’s True Detective.

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DeadlineNow Morning Report: Weekend Box Office Results, Netflix Earnings Preview, Comic-Con Chatter (Video)

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 11:20am PDT
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Morning Report, Monday July 21

'Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes' took the top spot at the box office again holding off a trio of newcomers, Netflix's second-quarter earnings come after the market closes today, kicking off earnings season, JJ Abrams' latest 'Star Wars' video hits the web just in time for Comic-Con's kickoff later this week. Dominic Patten reports.

Related: Box Office Weekend: ‘Apes’ No. 1′ With $36M In Soft Weekend

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Hot Trailer: ‘The Imitation Game’ With Benedict Cumberbatch & Keira Knightley

Hot Trailer: ‘The Imitation Game’ With Benedict Cumberbatch & Keira KnightleyEarlier today, the London Film Festival set The Imitation Game as its opening-night gala. We now have a trailer courtesy of The Weinstein Co — which paid a whopping $7M for the Morten Tyldum-directed movie at the Berlin EFM in February. Benedict Cumberbatch stars in the story of Alan Turing, the genius British mathematician, logician, cryptologist and computer scientist who led the charge to crack the German Enigma Code that helped the Allies win World War II. Winston Churchill said Turing’s was the single biggest contribution to Allied victory, but the brilliant scientist was later prosecuted by the UK government in 1952 for homosexual acts which the country deemed illegal. He died two years later and was just granted a posthumous pardon by the Queen in December last year. The film centers on Turing and his team’s race against time to break the Enigma code at Britain’s top-secret Bletchley Park facility. Graham Moore wrote the script. Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Mark Strong, Rory Kinnear, Charles Dance, Allen Leech and Matthew Beard also star. Weinstein will release in the awards-season corridor on November 21; Studiocanal releases a week earlier in the UK.

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Origin Digital Studios Opens New VFX Ops In Burbank

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 10:15am PDT

Origin Digital Studios Opens New VFX Ops In BurbankVisual effects house Origin Digital Studios is opening for business in Burbank, even as VFX companies increasingly flee Los Angeles for more enticingly incentivized cities. The new mid-sized indie studio is backed by Miami-based Lincoln Road Advisors and already has a key strategic partnership in place, with Origin HQ operating out of a Fotokem facility in Burbank and its NY outpost fiber-connected to Fotokem’s network.

Origin is headed by president Mark Miller, the Emmy-nominated VFX veteran who previously held exec posts at Pixomondo, Eden FX, and Digital Magic and is a founding member of the Visual Effects Society (VES). He should know the pains and pitfalls of the current VFX landscape, grown increasingly tumultuous in recent years. Earlier this month, the monster merger of VFX houses Prime Focus World and Reliance MediaWorks marked an industry shift toward global consolidation. Read More »

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