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Posts Tagged ‘James Cameron’

Jay Leno Still Getting a Charge Out of His Chevy Volt

When James Cameron sang the praises of his Chevy Volt on a recent episode of Nightline, it seemed like the kind of celebrity PR that would be hard for GM to beat. But as of this week, the Detroit auto maker has a brand new EV benchmark–Jay Leno on half a tank of gas.

In conjunction with the Los Angeles Auto Show, which opens to the public Friday, Leno has been giving interviews about his love of the electric car and participated in a special preview event yesterday. He told the New York Times that the Volt has become his daily commute car of choice, quite a statement when you consider the talk show host has about 300 gassed up vehicles to choose from:

The comedian said he had put about 11,000 miles on his Chevrolet Volt in the last 11 months. “They gave it to me with a full tank of gas,” he said. The tank, by the way, holds 9.3 gallons. “I’ve used less than half of that…”

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GM Delivers James Cameron to Nightline

Last night’s Bill Weir interview with James Cameron on Nightline wasn’t just the first on-camera look at the filmmaker’s 100-acre off-the-grid oceanfront compound north of Santa Barbara. It was also a fantastic commercial for the Chevy Volt, albeit engineered from a much broader initial segment blueprint.

“ABC News approached us a couple of months ago with the idea that they wanted to do a story on electric vehicles,” explains Rob Peterson, a spokesperson for Chevrolet Volt, on the phone with FishbowlLA from Detroit. “They asked us if there was a high-profile Volt owner we could recommend.”

“Mr. Cameron has been an advocate of plug-in hybrid vehicles for many years,” he continues. “We knew that he could be the right person for the story. We had a contact in California who could reach out to him and find out it was alright to put ABC News in touch. From that point forward, it was between Nightline and Cameron.”

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Manhattan Beach Is the New Pandora*

James Cameron and his production company Lightstorm Entertainment will be moving the production of the next two Avatar flicks to Orange County the South Bay. Manhattan Beach’s MBS Media Campus will be the site of Cameron’s blockbuster sequels, which also houses the headquarters of Marvel Studios. MBS bills itself as eco-friendly, but Cameron is apparently footing the bill to install solar panels to handle the making of the films.

Interestingly, MBS Media Campus is owned by the Carlyle Group, and is managed by Raleigh Studios, whose president is named Michael Moore. Fahrenheit 9/11 irony much?

And in other film news, Chewbacca reads the newspaper.

*Post altered for fairly major geographical brain fart. We’ve lived in Southern California off and on since 2002, but we’ve only been to the South Bay twice in our entire life. Give us a break.

Newspaper Profiles Leader of Glendale’s Irish Movie Colony

It’s a long way from Dublin’s Ballyfermot College of Further Education to Glendale, but that – per a highly entertaining Sunday, February 20th article in London’s Daily Mail – is the trajectory followed by a number of same-year classmates. Led by Richard Baneham (pictured), an Oscar winner last year for his visual effects contributions to Avatar.

Baneham spent five years working on the James Cameron blockbuster and expects to spend the next five supervising two simultaneous-shooting sequels. The 40-year-old husband and father of three is currently enjoying the fruits of his labor, alongside his transplanted Irish mates.

Baneham can’t stop laughing as he crosses his arms and poses for the camera, much to the amusement of the Armenian contractors working on the palatial former artists’ residence he recently bought in Glendale. The family hopes to move into the hacienda-style house this spring, and continues to live in their smaller house in the same suburb until then. Many of their Irish friends live nearby.

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Short Attacking Robert Redford Gets Little Liberal Media Coverage

You’d think that a short film taking Sundance Film Festival founder Robert Redford to task for a questionable Utah land deal would get its fair share of across-the-board media coverage. Especially when the short in question was unleashed to coincide with the final days of this year’s Park City event.

But save for some UK press as well as coverage at FOX News and Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government, there has been nary a peep so far from less right-leaning domestic media types about Phelim McAleer‘s Robert Redford: Hypocrite. Are these folks perhaps afraid that writing something up will risk the loss of media accreditation for the 2012 edition?

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Avatar the Most Pirated Film of the Year

Torrent Freak reports that James Cameron‘s Avatar was far and away the most pirated film of the year–downloaded 16,580,000 times on BitTorrent. Kickass was a distant second at 11,400,000 downloads.

Despite the pirating, Avatar still made over $2 billion worldwide. So, don’t feel too bad for Mr. Cameron.

H/T THR, Esq.

Downtown LA’s Christian Rock Star

Tomorrow will see the release of a new album from the very ebullient Jaeson Ma. To celebrate, the San Francisco bred, LA located pastor, entertainer and entrepreneur plans to host a live stream, “GLORY Album Online Release Experience”, beginning at 8 p.m. PT on Tuesday December 7th.

MC Hammer‘s former right-hand man tells that he spent two years working on his “GLORY” spoken word rap album, with first single “Love Featuring Bruno Mars” having already garnered three million hits on YouTube. Ma also offers this intriguing idea of the second coming of his messianic muse:

I tell people all the time, “I believe if Jesus was alive today living in Los Angeles, he wouldn’t be a pastor preaching behind a pulpit. I believe he would be the greatest Hollywood director making films bigger than Avatar!” Why? because if you read the life of Jesus, he spent most of his time telling stories or parables, relating to common people, engaging culture personally and directly to communicate his message.

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Rebecca Keegan’s First Exclusive

Newly minted LA Times film writer Rebecca Keegan is off to a good start. After her item on the seemingly rare availability of the original Tron DVD got picked up by several fan boy blogs, she checks in today with a Hero Complex Q&A with departed Twilight auteur Catherine Hardwicke.

The trick these days with any big movie is to get to the writer and-or director before the cavalcade of set visit journalists and long-lead time magazine correspondents publish as well. Keegan does this with Hardwicke, ahead of next spring’s Warner Bros. revamp of Red Riding Hood, and right off the bat has some interesting info.

Apparently, says Hardwicke, it all started with Leonardo DiCaprio.

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Feds Ask Terminator Director to Help With Oil Geyser

arnold-schwarzenegger-the-terminator.jpgThe important thing about this story is the EPA also met with scientists…and James Cameron. We apparently will only care about the filmmaker much to the chagrin of the scientists.

CBS News reports:

The “Avatar” and “Titanic” director was among a group of scientists and other experts who met Tuesday with officials from the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies for a brainstorming session on stopping the massive oil leak.

The Canadian-born Cameron is considered an expert on underwater filming and remote vehicle technologies. “Avatar” and “Titanic” are the two highest-grossing films of all time.

Can’t say the government isn’t trying to save the gulf now!

Previously on FBLA: BP Interested in Waterworld Star’s Idea for Cleaning Up Disaster

Lunch: Happy Birthday Donna Hanover & Paula Zahn



If it’s Wednesday, it’s party time at Michael’s. We’re still recovering from the head spinning spectacle of last week’s A-list lunch for James Cameron. This week, the celebration was a tad more low-key at Table One as public relations maven Joannie Danielides hosted her annual birthday luncheon for her good pal and long time client, Donna Hanover, whose actual birthday was February 15. Joannie, who is busier than ever these days with a full roster of clients in health care and education, told me it was actually a double celebration since it was guest Paula Zahn‘s birthday as well.

I caught up with Paula before she joined the party to chat about her new show, On the Case with Paula Zahn, on Discovery ID. “We’ve just been renewed for a second season,” said Paula, who looked better than ever in a chic leopard print top and some killer stiletto boots. “It’s been great. I’m getting to do some amazing stories. Right after this, I’m getting on a plane and heading to an Alabama prison.” Some people have all the fun.

I had lunch with two of my favorite people today: producer Joan Gelman and Robert Zimmerman, partner of the Long Island based marketing firm, Zimmerman/Edelson. Joan arrived first and told me about her recent trip to Vietnam with her husband, Don Aronson. Both Joan and Don were anti-war activists back in the day and are still true believers. On this trip, the couple spent some time visiting orphanages and were “shocked and appalled” to see the awful effects that Agent Orange has wrought on the country. “It was horrifying to see the stark reality of what war can do to a people — and what we did to these people,” Joan told me.

Things lightened up a bit when Robert arrived. Between the two of them, they know just about everyone in New York and, trust me, the conversation is never dull. (Most of the juiciest stuff is, of course, off the record.) Since Joan is a die-hard Democrat and Robert is an in-demand political commentator for all the cable channels, we had plenty to talk about. When Evan Bayh‘s surprise resignation from Congress came up, Robert offered this assessment: “Saying he’s fallen out of love with Congress is something a 14 year-old adolescent would say. There’s a lot more to it than being in love; it’s about getting the job done.” Robert had these words of advice for jump-starting the stalled government: “The challenge for the Democrats is to come out of group therapy and get things started again. The ball is in our court. Success depends on us acting on our message.”

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Birthday girls Donna Hanover and Paula Zahn, Joannie Danielides, Gayle King, Time Inc’s Ann Moore, Linda Stacey, Karen Scott, Sue Leibman and Matilda Cuomo. A little birdie told me the girls dug into two birthday cakes: one carrot cake and one chocolate. It seems like the group couldn’t get enough sweet treats. We spied doggie bags stuffed with cookies being packed into a few purses.

2. Most of ‘The Imber Gang:’ Dr. Gerald Imber, Jerry Della Femina and Jeff Greenfield

3. Gerry Byrne, who just launched Fidelis Global Enterprises LLC. New clients of his advertising media consultancy agency include Adgenesis and Beezag. I caught up with Jerry until his guest, Jane Hanson, arrived. I told Jane I loved the stuff she’s been doing on LX New York, showing the fledgling talking heads how it’s done.

4. A bespectacled Mike Ovitz and a fellow we didn’t recognize

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