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Posts Tagged ‘John Horn’

EW’s Josh Rottenberg Joins the LA Times

As of today, LA Times film editor Rich Nordwind has a talented new charge: Josh Rottenberg. The former EW staffer started today as senior film reporter, presumably to fill the void left by the departure of John Horn for KPCC.

LATimes-LogoRottenberg had been with EW for a long time before being let go this spring. From today’s LAT memo:

Josh also contributed frequently to EW.com. When big news broke and deadlines were short, Josh was someone to whom editors turned to deliver spot-on copy, including the cover story on Heath Ledger’s death, which was assigned to Josh just a few hours before the magazine was put to bed.

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LAT Entertainment Journos Talk to ASU Students About the Job at Hand

Talk about an informative field trip stop. Last month, a group of students from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication came to LA and got to listen to the following LA Times entertainment journalists panel March 12: Steven Zeitchik, Amy Kaufman, Chris Lee, John Horn, Mary McNamara, Meg James, Scott Collins and Dawn Chmielewski.

The event was part of an ASU west coast swing titled “Covering the Business of Entertainment,” which has also encompassed visits to studio lots. From the Reynolds Center report about the panel discussion:

Kaufman said that reporters have to be careful about what information is on and off the record. It’s not a good idea to ruin a relationship with a publicist or contact, she added.

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The Biggest Stars of LAFF: John Horn, Nicole Sperling and Kenneth Turan

Never mind the Narrative Competition; never mind the docs. The most widely seen and strangely hypnotic offering at the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival is a nifty white-background promo from the event’s major media sponsor.

Playing before each featured attraction, the Calendar section shout-out showcases the brief close-up musings of entertainment reporters John Horn and Nicole Sperling, followed by those of esteemed film critic Kenneth Turan. The promo was shot in-house at the LA Times, and honestly, director Tim French deserves high marks for making it hold up under the burden of maximum repeat viewing.

The script was concocted by LAT VP of consumer marketing Donna Tarzian and her team consisting of Jim Fisher, Brandon Botta and Sally Lok. In terms of Hollywood leitmotif, Horn up on the big screen looks a little like Bruce Willis while Sperling actually bears a striking resemblance to Elisabeth Shue.

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George Clooney for the ‘Fall Sneaks’ Win

Veteran LA Times entertainment reporter John Horn has three pieces in this Sunday’s “Fall Sneaks” print edition Calendar section, covering Contagion, Tower Heist and the latest directorial effort from George Clooney, The Ides of March. On his way to Telluride for the picturesque Colorado film festival, Horn was kind enough to take time out to answer a few FishbowlLA questions via email.

Telluride has been very good to the reporter. The last two years, he was able to catch the first screening of that year’s eventual Best Picture winner, Slumdog Millionaire and The King’s Speech. This weekend, Horn has his eye on another film starring Clooney, The Descendants (Alexander Payne‘s first film since 2004′s Sideways), and says it’s always a pleasure to deal with the crown prince of Hollywood.

“He’s not full of himself. And he can speak in complete sentences,” notes Horn. “That’s actually saying a lot. Listen, you have to have some ego and even narcissism to be an actor. And any number of actors succeed more on good looks and dumb luck than talent.”

“But some of Hollywood’s most accomplished actors–I’m thinking of Sean Penn here–are not always articulate,” he adds. “Talking about acting is never easy, and it’s invariably a bit silly. Clooney does it better than many others. I think also because he didn’t become famous fast, he has some perspective–and appreciates the life and career he has.”

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LA Times Scans China’s $6 Billion Pirated DVD Industry

LA Times reporter John Horn and Beijing based colleague Dan Levin offer a highly entertaining and deeply sobering overview of the massive transacting of illegal DVDs in China. What’s most amazing is that even though titles like The Social Network can be had for as little as $1.22, annual pirated DVD sales in the country are estimated to total $6 billion. Adjusted for standard Hollywood admissions math, that’s more like $30 billion!

Right off the bat, the article frames the problem with a killer quote from a 26-year-old female PR professional, who probably would do the right, legal thing, if only she could. “Legal DVDs are like democracy — they don’t exist in China,” she says.

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Hollywood Thinks Twitter Could Predict BO

twitter-icon.jpgThere’s a story in the LAT about Silicon Valley nerds who think they can more accurately predict how movies will do by the tweets about the films.

Jessica Guynn and John Horn write:

Want to know how “Clash of the Titans” will fare at the box office this weekend?

Check Twitter.

So say two Silicon Valley researchers who claim they have discovered a way to use the popular social media service to gauge real-time interest in movies and accurately predict how they will perform at the box office on opening weekend.

Sitaram Asur and Bernardo Huberman, two social computing scientists at HP Labs in Palo Alto, contend that computational formulas using Twitter feeds can predict with as much as 97.3% accuracy how a movie will perform in its first weekend of release.

That’s all fine. But according to some other number crunchers, the average Twitter user is a 39.1 year old – 65% of Twitter users are over 35. And the age group who’s most likely to go to the movies? Not them. It’s 12-24 year olds making up the bulk of the seat filling.

So this new Twitter “oracle” thing will work if they track which movie the Twitter users are dropping their kids off at.

Journos And Marketers Tee Off On Hollywood Re: Oscars

alexbenblock.jpgThe same day Golden Globe nominations were announced, a panel of journos and Oscar-experienced marketers held a small crowd in rapt attention last night for the L.A. Press Club, telling horror stories out of school about the sleazy tricks committed over the last decade in the name of getting the prized statue.

Not the Globes, but definitely their kissing cousin, the Oscars.

The topic was Oscar marketing and how reporters covered it, studios manipulated it and the great unwashed out there lived through it, year after year.

Show business historian and Editor-at-Large of The Hollywood Reporter Alex Ben Block (see, at left) moderated the panel, which included at Ben Block’s request, Patrick Goldstein, film writer for the Los Angeles Times and author of the column and blog, “The Big Picture;” John Horn, entertainment reporter for the Los Angeles Times; Mark Pogachefsky, Co-founder and co-president of mPRm Public Relations; and Dennis Rice, a veteran marketing guru and publicity expert who has held high-level posts at Miramax, October, Walt Disney and United Artists Pictures.

Mordant bunch of battle-scarred vets…at least when it comes to the Oscars.

More below.

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LAT In 90 Seconds

38906869-15172456.jpgAn Item That Will Make To-Be Brides Wish They Were Famous: Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz have sold the exclusive rights to their wedding photos to People magazine for over $1 million. That’ll buy you a lot of Jordan almonds.

mariah_carey_stars_in_tennessee.jpgBetter Than Bad: Forget the best of Cannes, John Horn delights in bringing you the worst. Horn horns in on B-movies debuting in France that star bold faced names in shame-faced productions.

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Hot On A Cold Trail: Lynn Smith showcases the casualties of the possible SAG strike with the tale of Austin Highsmith, an unknown actress whose Big Breaks have been big letdowns thanks to the changing climate in Hollywood.

Loeb Award Finalists Announced — SoCal (Finally) Represented

01largenews.jpg Unlike some of the other prizes recently, SoCal newspapers are better represented in this morning’s announcement of Loeb finalists (the award is based out of Los Angeles, so we’d better be!).

Some of the local points of pride:

Finalists in the Breaking News category include Claudia Eller, Richard Verrier, Maria Elena Fernandez, Jay A. Fernandez, Meg James, John Horn and Joseph Menn for their LAT writers’ strike coverage.

In the Best Writing category, Lisa Girion is up for her story “Coverage Denied.”

Congratulations!

(photo of 2001 winners from the OC Register)

LAT In 90 Seconds

36511794-07195036.jpgWe Are Officially The Only People Who Didn’t Think Ang Lee’s Film Sucked: This John Horn piece about the new Hulk film is one of many that accepts Lee’s suckitude as a foregone conclusion. This… makes… us… so… angry!

38638066-08075410.jpgRabbi Rushfield’s Eulogy: “And so we bid farewell to Jason Castro, American Idol’s first hippy finalist. With his piercing eyes, goofy remarks, perpetual smile and unmistakable sweet nature, he was a contestant who was impossible not to like… Whether through his music or his personality, Castro always brought a bit of fun to the Idol stage, was never just filler, and for that we wish him well and treasure the time we’ve shared in the Idoldome.”

burglarpic.jpgSteal This: “The six major Hollywood studios have won a $111-million judgment for copyright infringement against shut-down file-sharing website TorrentSpy.com.”

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