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Posts Tagged ‘Rebecca Keegan’

Roman Polanski Rape Victim on Surviving the Media Spotlight

Shutterstock_RomanPolanskiWe knew this was going to be a good conversation. Conducted Monday September 23 at KPCC 89.9 FM’s Crawford Family Center facility, the chat featured LA Times film reporter Rebecca Keegan interviewing Samantha Geimer about her new book The Girl.

They were joined at one point by the author’s attorney Lawrence Silver, who shared some expert opinion about Polanski legal dealings. Geimer responded to accusations by Nancy Grace that she was a “weak victim” and urged others who find themselves in the middle of a controversial case like hers to remember they are the masters of their fate:

“You don’t have to submit [to the media]. You don’t have to parade yourself around for show. You’re not entertainment. These people aren’t going to help you. So you don’t have to do it if you don’t want it.”

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LA Times Tandem Will Break In During Oscar Commercials

The LA Times, as you might expect, has a gaggle of reporters set to cover the Oscars on Sunday. In the press room will be Amy Kaufman (after live-streaming the red carpet for The Envelope), Yvonne Villareal, Jessica Gelt and Jasmine Elist; Rebecca Keegan will be roaming around elsewhere backstage; and Steven Zeitchik will be sitting in the audience and later at the Governor’s Ball.

And… live from the paper’s downtown newsroom, film critic Kenneth Turan (pictured) and columnist Robin Abcarian will break in during each Oscar telecast commercial block to comment on what just transpired. The stream will be available on the LAT home page, at The Envelope and via latimes.com/Oscar. It’s the first time the paper has attempted this experiment for any telecast. During the actual show, the stream will feature Oscar tidbits, trivia and stats.

Sunday’s Calendar section will include four Oscar preview covers designed by artists Chris Gall (Tucson), Jody Hewgill (Toronto), Joe Morse (Toronto) and Adam Simpson (London). The artwork will also be downloadable for paywall subscribers.

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This IMDb Catalogs Firearms

Twenty-nine-year-old Glendora freelance Web designer Christopher Serrano got some nice press over the weekend for his sideline project IMFDB.org, which stands for Internet Movie Firearms Database. His grassroots enterprise, which he launched back in 2007 because of a desire to itemize weapons shown in The Matrix, was the subject of an LA Times Calendar front-page story by Rebecca Keegan.

IMFDB is both a rewarding and time-consuming hobby. Serrrano told Keegan his site gets about 1.5 million visitors a month and requires him to work on it three-four hours a day:

Relying on the same wisdom-of-the-crowd model as Wikipedia, Serrano and a stable of about 300 regular volunteers have meticulously cataloged the [movie and TV] weapons, along with screen shots, in more than 11,500 articles, including entries on underwater firearms, missile launchers and flame throwers.

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Remembering Test Screening Pioneer Joseph Farrell

It’s easy to take audience research methods employed today by the Hollywood studios for granted. But none were really in use until Joseph Farrell introduced them through his company National Research Group (NRG).

In the wake of Farrell’s death last week from natural causes, studio executives and others are paying tribute to this marketing trailblazer’s lasting contributions to the way the industry tries to mitigate opening weekend risk. Per today’s LA Times piece by Rebecca Keegan:

The 1987 thriller Fatal Attraction got a new ending when test screenings revealed that audiences wanted Glenn Close‘s character to be punished for tormenting Michael Douglas‘ adulterous character and his wife, played by Anne Archer

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Zachary Quinto on Gershwin, LA Farmer’s Market and Coming Out

Actor Zachary Quinto is the real deal. This was evident when he blogged about his personal life on Sunday, October 16, and it remains so today via a crisp Rebecca Keegan interview feature in the LA Times.

Of George Gershwin, the man he may or may not enact for Steven Spielberg, Quinto muses that the project celebrates an era “when celebrity was associated with people who were actually good at something.” The actor also explains how his latest film, Margin Call, took shape at Farmer’s Market and re-frames his headline-grabbing decision to publicly announce his sexual orientation:

“This decision was made with a tremendous amount of thought and introspection –in my own time, on my own terms and with my own words. I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the scores of men and women who have preceded me to this action–both within the industry and in more intimate personal journeys throughout the world. Momentum builds in waves–and I am so grateful to be riding this wave of equality with more openness and integrity than I was ever able to embrace before making this declaration.”

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NASA Adjusts Its Hollywood M.O.

These are turbulent times for NASA, with the Space Shuttle program mothballed and Russian transit being used to ferry U.S. astronauts to orbiting accommodations. But per a fun piece in the LA Times today by Rebecca Keegan, the government agency continues to evaluate Hollywood PR opportunities one goofy project at a time.

According to Keegan, NASA was all over Transformers: Dark Side of Moon but is less married to the Weinstein Co’s faux doc Apollo 18. There’s also this fascinating little tidbit, about an outreach conducted by NASA in LA late last year:

In December, the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge hosted a workshop for filmmakers called NASA 101, in which astronauts and scientists addressed producers and screenwriters on subjects such as robotics, astrobiology and Mars.

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Disney Puts Pedal to Cars Merchandising Metal

The all-media screening for Cars 2 is tonight at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, and those parking their less colorful vehicles across the street at Hollywood & Highland have the power of merchandising to thank for this summer’s eve screening. The numbers, per today’s LA Times piece by Dawn C. Chmielewski and Rebecca Keegan, are simply staggering:

In the five years since its 2006 release, Cars has generated global retail sales approaching $10 billion, according to Disney. That ranks the Pixar film alongside such cinematic merchandising standouts as Star Wars, Spider-Man, and Harry Potter, as well as its own paen to playthings, Toy Story, according to researcher NPD.

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Variety Critic Pummels LA Times Calendar Piece

It didn’t take long for a Twittering journalist to react to Variety critic Brian Lowry‘s harsh takedown of Rebecca Keegan‘s LA Times Sunday Calendar cover story “Muscle Summer – The Men of Captain America, Thor and Conan.” Lowry holds up the feature as an example of questionable entertainment journalism, suggesting it is “filled with ridiculous statements” and “tricks of the trade,” which he breaks down paragraph by paragraph.

Entertainment Weekly film writer Anthony Breznican quickly jumped to Keegan’s defense, rebutting the Lowry item as “a crock” and offering some Variety blog item critiques of his own in the A), B), and C) format used by Lowry:

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LA Times Calendar Section Defends Itself

Yesterday we listed all the people who are no longer at the Calendar Section of the LA Times. We noted it makes the section look pretty dysfunctional. We don’t hear of en masse exits from say the Sports Section. But it’s been pretty consistent at the Calendar section.

The newspaper has sent us a statement saying we forgot to mention they’ve hired people too. Hear that obit writers? You should also talk about how people are being born. Otherwise it’s only half the story.

From Nancy Sullivan:

LA Times Calendar section: The Mass Influx

NEW HIRES (in the same frame):
Joy Press, Randall Roberts, Melissa Maerz, Gerrick Kennedy, Yvonne Villarreal, Nardine Saad, Nate Jackson, Rebecca Keegan, Nicole Sperling, Ben Fritz, Joe Flint, Steve Zeitchik, Julie Makinen, Deb Vankin, Jori Finkel, Amy Kaufman, David Ng

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Tom Hanks Provides Oscar Acceptance Speech Tips

There is, arguably, no bigger media message that emanates from Los Angeles than a successful major category Oscar acceptance speech. While the great majority of these are boring disappointments that quickly dissipate from the public consciousness, when an A-list podium moment clicks, it can forever brand the speech giver.

This year, potential winners were provided with some counseling from a most qualified source. Per Rebecca Keegan‘s LA Times article:

To underscore the need for brevity, the Academy gave nominees a practice DVD with a 45-second countdown timer and a video tutorial by two-time winner and Jedi master of the acceptance speech, Tom Hanks. Hanks recommends winners choose in advance who will accept for a group, and never take out a piece of paper to read from. “Reading a long list of names only shows us your bald spot,” he said in the video.

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