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Posts Tagged ‘Anne Thompson’

Jay A. Fernandez Officially Starts at Indiewire

Several weeks after the hiring was first announced by Anne Thompson, former Hollywood Reporter staffer Jay A. Fernandez has officially started today as Indiewire news editor and senior writer.

Per usual when it comes to these sorts of things, the Twitter welcome mat continues to be cast far and wide. Indiewire founder emeritus Eugene Hernandez welcomed Fernandez last Thursday to New York, where the latter has traveled to help cover the Tribeca Film Festival. Meanwhile, former THR colleague Daniel Miller returned a Fernandez weekend tweet-compliment by linking today to a review by the writer of a pair of Tribeca documentaries:

Festival co-founder Jane Rosenthal introduced Sexy Baby Friday with the straightforward admonition that as the mother of two teenage girls, she feels this doc is “the scariest movie I watched” from the fest program. When some in the crowd chuckled, she added, “We can laugh about it, but it’s not funny.”

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Brian Brooks Starts Blogging for Movieline

From Indiewire to Deadline to Movieline. That’s the 2012 progression (so far) for Brian Brooks. After jumping Nikki Finke ship earlier this month, he has officially this week begun posting blog items for the PMC sister site.

Brooks was barely noticeable at Deadline. He helped with Sundance coverage and the last leg of film awards season, but from the get-go it seemed like an odd match. Here’s what Finke told his former Indiewire colleague Anne Thompson last week:

Finke says that Brooks was homesick for New York, where Movieline happened to have some openings. “He’s a great piece of manpower and there was no way the parent company was going to let him go,” she says. “It worked out well, he will fit their needs. It’s a win-win for everybody.”

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Indiewire Staffer Gets Into the Short Film Business

This qualifies as an extremely smart organic move. Sophia Savage, a staff writer for Anne Thompson‘s TOH! Indiewire blog, is readying her directorial debut with a little help from Kickstarter. Her dramatic short will be filmed this coming January at a gorgeous Topanga Canyon location, and currently gets tipped on the fundraising site with an impressive eight-minute video.

Inspired by real events, Empyrean will tell the story of a daughter who returns home to help care for her terminally cancer-stricken father. Dual resident Chayse Irvin, a Vancouver native, will handle the cinematography chores, while the paternal role of Jimmy will be played by veteran actor Sonny King.

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Credits Roll on Venerable THR Critic Kirk Honeycutt

When Kirk Honeycutt joined the Hollywood Reporter in 1992, his name was attached as screenwriter to the Roger Corman made-for-video thriller Final Judgement (sic). Brad Dourif plays a preacher investigating the murder of his estranged daughter and other strippers, alongside the estimable talents of Karen Black, Isaac Hayes and Orson Bean.

The glory days of low-budget VHS studio production are long gone, as are rock-solid film critic positions like the one Honeycutt was lucky enough to occupy from 1999 through the fall of last year. As first reported by Anne Thompson, the former chief film critic of the revamped Hollywood trade has been given his walking papers. His last day will be next Monday, following a stint as a THR juror at the Napa Valley Film Festival.

Ironically, Honeycutt’s switch to international critic and now layoff was brought about by the arrival of Todd McCarthy, Variety lead critic until a spring 2010 firing. These are different times on Wilshire Blvd., buffeted by the fact that the trades no longer have a monopoly on setting the buzz for major releases with those once vaunted first-look reviews.

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EXCLUSIVE: For Its 110th Year, Popular Mechanics Will Embrace YouTube

When the announcement was made a few days ago that Hearst magazines is creating a pair of 2012 YouTube channels, FishbowlLA couldn’t help but notice the name Popular Mechanics. Founded in 1902, the publication will provide content for an automotive-themed channel alongside Hearst mates Car and Driver and Road & Track.

While spinning off the current Popular Mechanics feature “Jay Leno’s Garage” for YouTube seems like a no-brainer, Hearst men’s enthusiast group editorial director James Meigs (pictured) says that idea has yet to be broached. However, given that the magazine was, even back in Thomas Edison‘s day, dedicated to the coverage of cutting-edge technology, automotive and otherwise, he confirms there will definitely be some sort of historical component.

“The channel will be launching towards the middle of next year,” Meigs explains via telephone. “It’s an ambitious schedule with a whole range of distinct programming. It will be branded Car & Driver Television, but we’ll be tapping into the resources of all three participating magazines.”

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Oscar Blogger Calls Out Publicists for Use of ‘Sure Fire’

Ha ha. In a blog post yesterday, indieWIRE’s Hollywood movie maven Anne Thompson suggested that publicists hyping the Oscar-qualified Sally Kirkland live action short African Chelsea should have stayed away from the word “sure fire.”

The expression appears in both the press release headline and body-text, although it turns out the real culprit looks to be populist film critic Leo Quinones. On one of his “Film Freak” KFWB-AM broadcasts, it was he who first deemed the short to be “a sure fire Oscar nominee.”

FishbowlLA took the time to watch the six-minute drama, which is available for free at IMDB.com. And we’re here to tell you that the Oscar hype makes as much sense as calling a movie about a Hollywood exotic dancer African Chelsea.

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Michael Moore Recalls Two Monumental LA Moments

Last night at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills, Michael Moore kicked off the 16th year of long-running non-profit literary conversation series Writers Bloc Presents with a couple of great LA stories. He was there, along with journalist-moderator Anne Thompson and a pair of bodyguards, to promote and sign copies of his new book Here Comes Trouble.

Moore explained how, on the weekend of his Oscar win for 2002′s Bowling for Columbine, a casual invite from Tim Robbins turned into a hotel room full of Hollywood stars, each sharing their suggestions for his possible Best Documentary acceptance speech. Sean Penn pitched the idea of 45 seconds of stone-faced silence, while Robbins—with others like George Clooney and Eddie Veder looking on–thought perhaps that Moore could announce he was giving up the Academy Award statuette in honor of Lent.

But the real LA humdinger occurred the following year, 2004, when TIME magazine arranged for Moore and Mel Gibson to travel to LA for a photo shoot and sit-down interview in support of a shared “Person of the Year” cover:

“The night before, Mel went to his church in Malibu and had a revelation,” Moore explained. “Jesus, God, the Holy Ghost, who knows… Or as the lady in the front row here just said, St. Jack Daniels. But a voice told him, ‘You are NOT to appear on the cover of TIME magazine with the Devil.’”

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LA Press Club Adds Twitter, Facebook Awards

For the first time, the Los Angeles Press Club is seeking to recognize entertainment journalists who are wizards on Twitter and Facebook.

When the Fourth Annual National Entertainment Journalism Awards are presented November 21 at the Biltmore Hotel in downtown LA, the following three entertainment news reporting categories will be awarded:

Tweet, single or series;
Facebook presence, organization;
Facebook presence, individual.

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Fellow Journalists Place Their Elvis Mitchell Bets

In the wake of Elvis Mitchell‘s latest Hollywood shuffle, the best place to try and get a handle on the critic’s mercurial MO is the comments section to Anne Thompson‘s indieWIRE opinion piece. Several readers take issue with her use of the old trade axiom “Ankles” in the headline, since it implies that he left voluntarily, rather than was axed.

Beyond Thompson’s speculation that Mitchell’s release appears to have had equal amounts to do with a high Movieline.com salary and his failure to respond to some Summit Entertainment feedback about a minor error in his Source Code review, there are some very revealing comments from fellow reporters. Especially this one, from Jack Mathews:

I was the movie editor at the LA Times when Calendar editor Bob Epstein told me he’d hired Elvis to write cultural opinion pieces. Epstein even gave me Elvis’ start date. At precisely the same time, my former editor at the Detroit Free Press told me they’d hired Elvis as their chief film critic, with the same start date. I passed this along to Epstein, but he laughed it off, saying he was certain Elvis was joining us.

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Dana Harris Keeping Busy as indieWIRE Editor-in-Chief

It’s been a few months now since former Variety staffer Dana Harris set up shop from a home office in Highland Park as editor-in-chief of indieWIRE. Just back from SXSW and one of her monthly sojourns at the Snag Films parented website’s New York headquarters, she took time to chat via telephone with FishbowlLA about what lies ahead for the rest of 2011.

On the heels of The Playlist and Ted Hope, Harris says the company will be announcing another addition to the indieWIRE blog network in April. In terms of evaluating potential partners who retain ownership of their blog and split advertising and other revenues, she says it’s not as simple as finding sites with a particular monthly traffic threshold.

“Blog network partners are programmed into a specific infrastructure,” Harris explains. “This represents a significant investment on our part, so it’s a real balancing act to find a partner like The Playlist that hits that sweet spot.”

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