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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Cieply’

Tom Freston Sponsors Two More Afghan Film Students

As noted in a recent “Media Decoder” item, former MTV and Viacom head honcho Tom Freston’s current efforts at USC Cinema School are not the first time he has been involved with Afghanistan. But already, the summer intensive is on track to be more successful than his late 1970s clothing company.

Two students were trained in 2011 and another pair are due to arrive on campus shortly for seven weeks of training overseen by program head David Weitzner (pictured). From Michael Cieply‘s report:

Kept under wraps until now because of security concerns, the program, entering its second year, enrolls two Afghan students annually for a crash course in the cinema school’s summer program.

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NYT: Hollywood Partying Like It’s 1987

New York Times show business correspondent Michael Cieply has some fun with the first few paragraphs of his look at the current retro remake craze in Tinseltown. With Footloose and Dirty Dancing to the left, and Schwarzenegger action flicks and a Robocop reboot to the right, here’s how he cleverly frames it all:

Hollywood is sloshing in its Hot Tub Time Machine with a cluster of projects that recall an era when hair was big, heroes had biceps and the stars who are returning to the limelight were a lot younger.

Billy Crystal’s return as the Oscars host, it turns out, was just a warm-up act. For the first time in a decade, Mr. Crystal, 64, is a leading man. He plays opposite Bette Midler, 66, as Artie Decker, a grandpa who takes charge of his daughter’s three children in Parental Guidance, set for release by 20th Century Fox in November.

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The Oscar Show That Could Have Been

With cynics predicting an Academy Awards snooze fest this year thanks to The Artist‘s inexorable march towards Best Picture, Best Actor and more, hints of a different kind of entertainment have been dropped in the New York Times.

According to reporter Michael Cieply‘s sources, more change was afoot last year following the disastrous James Franco-Anne Hathaway program. And that perhaps, if the production process had not been thrown into a tizzy by the departure of Brett Ratner and Eddie Murphy, there might have been a more radical flavor embraced than the one currently being rehearsed behind closed doors:

One line of thinking, according to people who were briefed on the discussions but insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to speak for the Academy, proposed throwing the Oscar process wide open to a public that has been trained by American Idol, TMZ and an endless feed of Internet moments to expect some grit with their glamor. Among the suggestions: nominees using smartphones to photograph themselves in the run-up to the show.

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NYT Reporter Dresses Down Dawn Hudson

Maybe Dawn Hudson would have been better off acquiescing to Michael Cieply‘s interview request.

The New York Times reporter, in the absence of access to the newly named chief executive of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences or her presidential colleague Tom Sherak, has offered up a rather strange passive-aggressive profile of the one-time Film Independent-IFP head.

For every flattering quote, there are basically two narrative insults. At the halfway point of the piece for example, after framing Hudson as a Harvard drop-out who suffered a “rare collapse in confidence,” Cieply goes on to gently question the lineage of her brief acting career:

High Crimes (2002) was directed by Carl Franklin, who won the IFP/West’s Independent Spirit Award for his One False Move in 1993. In 1994, Ms. Hudson had a small part in Angie, directed by Martha Coolidge, who won a Spirit award for Rambling Rose in 1992. The next year, the director Jonathan Wacks, a Spirit nominee for Pow Wow Highway in 1990, cast her in Ed and His Dead Mother.

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Journalism Prof Recalls Laborious LA Times Correction

The world of newspaper corrections policies is also sometimes one of contradictions. For example, the website for the Columbia Journalism Review, where author Justin D. Martin blogs today about this topic, itself does not have a dedicated corrections page.

Martin, a Ph.D. credentialed professor at the University of Cairo and, starting next month, Maine, argues that a sound corrections approach is even more critical for the realm of international reporting, given the embedded issues of language, cultural chasms, and so on. He also recalls an interesting experience earlier this year with the LA Times:

In spring of 2011, it took me the better part of a month to get the LA Times to correct a minor factual error about a storied cafe in Cairo. I called the paper’s correction desk and repeatedly filled out their online correction form, but I was ignored. It wasn’t until I started slamming the paper on Twitter everyday (“Day 24 of uncorrected @latimes error,” for example), that they grew tired of my harassment and fixed the damn mistake. But this was atypical of how the LA Times usually handles errors.

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New York Times Debates Pros and Cons of Comic-Con

What to make of the upcoming absence from Comic-Con 2011 in San Diego of Warner Bros., Disney, Dreamworks, The Weinstein Co., and possibly even Marvel Entertainment? That’s the question New York Times reporters Brooks Barnes and Michael Cieply tackled in a Sunday piece bound to be chewed over today by a thousand and one movie blogs.

Thanks to the ridiculously high expectations of attendees and this group’s ability to go ape on social media about any disappointment with previewed blockbuster and comic book movie elements, Comic-Con has become an extremely tricky PR proposition. The reporters wonder whether the absence of some of the big studios has anything to do with last year’s push-and-pull, which overwhelmed Sucker Punch, TRON: Legacy, Buried, and a certain Michael Cera flick:

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was the big alarm. That Universal movie was the belle of last year’s convention, and the studio spent heavily to make it so, draping the entire side of a skyscraper with an ad, for instance. Released just three weeks after the convention, Scott Pilgrim fizzled and the $60 million movie sold just $32 million in tickets.

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NYT Documents the Decline of Variety

varietycoverwhiteman3333.jpgNew York Times’ Michael Cieply and Brooks Barnes write about the history and plight of the entertainment business’ oldest trade Variety:

In a more detailed interview, Neil Stiles, Variety’s president, said his paper was profitable but declined to disclose financial figures for the operation, which has been owned since 1987 by Reed Elsevier. He said Variety had suffered a year-to-year ad revenue decline less severe than the estimates of 50 percent or more that have been heard in Hollywood.

But Martin Kaplan had the best quote:

“Traditionally, the trades have offered gossip, casting announcements, advance reviews and hopefully a little news,” he said. “Go through that list and ask what’s left. It’s all widely available elsewhere.”

Whole piece is here.

Previously on FBLA:

  • Todd McCarthy and David Rooney Out at Variety

  • Slamdance, Sundance, Squaredance: The Buzz

    slamdance.jpg

    Slamdance

    Religous sex cultists from the Children of God broke up a screening of Noah Thompson’s film about growing up in the cult.

    From the folks who brought us Cops: The King Of Kong.

    Sundance

    Nick Nolte

    I can’t even get an erection anymore.

    All the noise about Hounddog can’t hide the fact that the movie’s a mutt. (Dakota Fanning might want to meet Jena Malone and talk about stage mothers.)

    Squaredance
    Aka the Oscars.
    Kenneth Turan, in the LA Times, tries very hard to convince us and maybe himself that the nominations weren’t predictable. Quirky the Academy is not.

    David Carr, blogging in the NY Times confesses that his readers know more than he does. Nikki Finke reminds him that Dreamgirls wasn’t all that fabulous.

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    Times Shakes Up Its Hollywood Coverage

    NYT_hollywood_shakeup.jpg

    Interesting insidery news from Nikki Finke, who has good grist on some Hollywood coverage changes at the New York Times. First, the Times is dropping L.A.-based movie editor Michael Cieply, adding him to its stable of Hollywood reporters, and replacing him with Lorne Manly, a long-time media reporter-turned-writer in New York.

    The move leaves the following reporters covering Hollywood for the Times: Cieply, Sharon Waxman, David Halbfinger, Laura Holson and freelancer Allison Hope Weiner — all of whom work out of L.A. — and media reporter, friend of FishbowlNY and Oscar blogger David Carr in New York.

    Shockingly, the Times also decided to send only one reporter — Carr — to Sundance this year.

  • Big NYT Hollywood Coverage Shake-Up [Deadline Hollywood Daily]