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Posts Tagged ‘Ken Burns’

Eliot Spitzer, a Party for Angela Cummings and the Story Behind the New Bernie Madoff Documentary

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In keeping with the usual head-spinning weekly scene that is Wednesdays at Michael’s, the joint was jumping today. It was SRO in the front dining room and at the bar where producer Beverly Camhe was holding court with fellow producer Marc Altshuler and writer/directors Derek Anderson and Victor Kubicek in celebration of their upcoming documentary In God We Trust Who Pays for His Crime on the Bernie Madoff scandal. The film will debut in the highly coveted Friday night slot at the Tribeca Film Festival next week.

Bev tells me the tickets for the highly anticipated film sold out in ten minutes when they went on sale at with American Express last night, and they are currently looking for a theater to handle the overflow. For those of you who missed the boat entirely, there’s always pay per view. Bev says anyone who sees the film should prepare to be shocked. “Don’t believe what you’ve heard. You’ll be surprised to know who knew what and when they knew it.” For the record, Bev believes that both Madoff sons, the late Mark Madoff and Andrew Madoff, didn’t know anything. I would have loved to have explored that very topic myself when I spotted Mark at Michael’s last spring, but he bolted before I could ask him anything about their father’s massive Ponzi scheme. “Bernie was a bi-polar sociopath, so it’s entirely possible he was able to keep it from them,” says Bev.  I asked Marc if they’d heard from any of the Madoffs or insiders since they began production, and he told me, “They’ve been oddly quiet. I’m surprised they even stayed in New York.” Some people have no shame.

Mickey Ateyeh and Angela Cummings

Not all the action was in the main dining room. I was invited to the swanky lunch held in the Garden Room for Angela Cummings today celebrating the launch of her new collection with Assael. Mickey Ateyeh, Angela’s long time BFF and business partner gathered 24 New York power gals – the ladies who never eat lunch who actually lunched today – for an intimate gathering.  The first to arrive was Liz Smith followed by a veritable who’s who in New York social and business circles, including Paula Zahn, Linda Fairstein, Jackie Leo,  Barbara Taylor Bradford, Christy Ferer, who is in hot pursuit for her company’s next CEO (Anyone?), Fern Mallis, DuJour‘s Cindy Lewis and Judy Licht

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Ken Burns: My First Big Break

When you hear a letter written by Thomas Jefferson being read by actor Sam Waterston or see a photograph showing the intensity in the eyes of a Civil War soldier, you know you’re watching a Ken Burns documentary.

In this episode of My First Big Break, the iconic filmmaker tells the MediabistroTV crew how he channeled his feelings of humiliation into his first masterpiece on the Brooklyn Bridge and reveals how his mother’s death sparked his need to bring the dead back to life, shaping the style we know today as the “Ken Burns Effect.”

For more videos, check out our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV

Ken Burns: My First Big Break

When you hear a letter written by Thomas Jefferson being read by actor Sam Waterston or see a photograph showing the intensity in the eyes of a Civil War soldier, you know you’re watching a Ken Burns documentary.

In this episode of My First Big Break, the iconic filmmaker tells the MediabistroTV crew how he channeled his feelings of humiliation into his first masterpiece on the Brooklyn Bridge and reveals how his mother’s death sparked his need to bring the dead back to life, shaping the style we know today as the “Ken Burns Effect.”

For more videos, check out our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV

Ken Burns is Coming to MediabistroTV

Watching a Ken Burns film is like watching the past come alive through the expert use of narration and still photographs. So how did he develop his signature style? The iconic filmmaker sits down with MediabistroTV in, “Ken Burns: My First Big Break.”

>UPDATE: Watch “Ken Burns: My First Big Break” in three weeks on MediabistroTV, Thursday, December 6.

And if superstorms on the East Coast and unseasonably warm weather on the West Coast wasn’t enough to satisfy your craving for major weather events, PBS presents an Extreme Weather Night of TV this Sunday (11/18), beginning at 7pm ET.

NOVA gets the party started with the premiere of Inside the Megastorm an original one-hour documentary taking viewers moment by moment through Hurricane Sandy. Then Burns gives us reason to give thanks when he presents The Dust Bowl. Burns tells the story of the worst man-made environmental disaster in American history in a two-part, four hour documentary detailing how the convergence of a terrible drought and the scramble for the American Dream nearly changed the southern plains forever.

You can view our other MediabistroTV productions on our YouTube Channel.

Ken Burns is Coming to MediabistroTV

Watching a Ken Burns film is like watching the past come alive through the expert use of narration and still photographs. So how did he develop his signature style? The iconic filmmaker sits down with MediabistroTV in, “Ken Burns: My First Big Break.”

>UPDATE: Watch “Ken Burns: My First Big Break” in three weeks on MediabistroTV, Thursday, December 6.

And if superstorms on the East Coast and unseasonably warm weather on the West Coast wasn’t enough to satisfy your craving for major weather events, PBS presents an Extreme Weather Night of TV this Sunday (11/18), beginning at 7pm ET.

NOVA gets the party started with the premiere of “Inside the Megastorm” an original one-hour documentary taking viewers moment by moment through Hurricane Sandy. Then Ken Burns gives us reason to give thanks when he presents “The Dust Bowl.” Burns tells the story of the worst man-made environmental disaster in American history in a two-part, four hour documentary detailing how the convergence of a terrible drought and the scramble for the American Dream nearly changed the southern plains forever.

You can view our other MediabistroTV productions on our YouTube Channel.

Ken Burns Sticks Up for Public Media

In a release sent out today, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Ken Burns is speaking out in support of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, in the face of proposed Congressional budget cuts.

“The proposed elimination of funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will deny the American people access to news and information and, just as importantly, deny our children access to the best educational and science programs at a time when studies suggest such knowledge is at its lowest.”

Burns’ great documentaries regularly appear on PBS.

His full statement after the jump:

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Lesher Series Producer Praises Tom Brokaw

Following Tom Brokaw‘s Monday night “Newsmakers” series speech at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek, event producer producer Steve Lesher blogged some interesting observations.

He deemed Brokaw one of the best speakers to have graced the event, right up there with Colin Powell, Ken Burns, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. He also noted that Brokaw, during a dinner held immediately beforehand, suggested that Ronald Reagan‘s terms as California Governor dealing with Jessie Unruh and the Legislature prepared him better than most for the challenges of the U.S. Congress. Writes Lesher:

It is interesting to me that in their visits to “Newsmakers,” Brokaw, Bob Schieffer, Lesley Stahl and Powell all had anecdotes about Reagan that were central to their talks. One can recall when it was downright hip to criticize the Gipper as being unintelligent, superficial and the like.

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Lunch: James Cameron’s Oscar Campaign Comes to Michael’s

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— DIANE CLEHANE

It was Hollywood on the Hudson at Michael’s today as Peggy Siegal hosted one of her legendary lunches right smack in the middle of the dining room. Today’s guest of honor was James Cameron. Looks like Peggy pulled out all the stops, rounding up quite an eclectic collection of actors, directors, and entertainment A-listers to celebrate the Avatar auteur’s nine Oscar nominations and, no doubt, drum up a few votes. Ballots are due March 2! In case you haven’t heard, Cameron is up against some stiff competition in the best picture and director categories. His ex-wife, Kathryn Bigelow, has been nabbing plenty of statuettes this award season for helming The Hurt Locker, and everyone in Hollywood is waiting to see who comes out on top on Oscar night.

I was squeezed into the bar with Redbook‘s editor-in-chief Stacy Morrison and Hearst’s director of public relations Alexandra Carlin. Stacy is about to publish her first book, Falling Apart in One Piece: One Optimist’s Journey Through the Hell of Divorce (Simon & Schuster) next month and it’s a real page turner. After spending a year “trying not to write the book,” Stacy decided to chronicle her painful but ultimately life-affirming journey from jilted wife of a year-old baby to happy single mother. The memoir, which seems destined for the big screen, took two years of writing and rewriting on weekends to finish. “I wanted to make people think differently about divorce,” Stacy told me. After tiring of deflecting people’s inappropriate questions about the split, Stacy says she ultimately thought: ‘If you want to see the real story, here it is.’ And she doesn’t hold anything back. From the nights spent sobbing on her kitchen floor to the painful conversations with her soon-to-be ex, it’s all there.

I asked Stacy if she had any misgivings about exposing so much about her personal life in the book, given her high-profile position as a relationship ‘expert.’ (She got her boss Cathie Black‘s blessing to write it.) On the contrary, she told me. “The book is a resilience road map,” says Stacy. Miraculously, she and her ex-husband have managed to remain friends (really!) and have a co-parenting strategy that works for the couple and their young son. Stacy even dedicated the book to the man who left her because, she says, “I couldn’t have written it without him in more ways than one.”

The book is getting plenty of good buzz and even earned high praise from none other than Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote of her own reawakening after divorce in Eat, Pray, Love. Gilbert “loved the tone” of the book, calling it “real, without the slightest hint of self-pity.”

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Just an intimate lunch for 38 including James Cameron and pals Bob Balaban, Oscar winner Ellen Burstyn (looking absolutely ageless), Avatar villain Stephen Lang, indie It girl Parker Posey, documentarian Ken Burns and director Julie Taymor, Jean Doumanian and Warner Music’s Lyor Cohen. Also in attendance: Les Moonves, John Stossel, Felicia Taylor, and “Mayor” Joe Armstrong. Entertainment Weekly’s Oscar odds-maker Dave Karger was also on hand taking it all in.

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Condé Nast Traveler Shows Travel Industry How To Save The World

world savers.jpgToday, we spent some time at Condé Nast Traveler‘s World Savers Congress, a conference that gathered members of the tourism and travel industries that are trying to make a difference in the world through conservation, sustainability and other philanthropic efforts, along with other companies and philanthropists that share their vision and goals.

We were drawn to the conference by special guest speakers Mandy Moore, Wyclef Jean and Edward Norton — all inspiring philanthropists and world travelers — but there were some media personalities there as well. CNT‘s editor-in-chief Klara Glowczewska opened the event by welcoming everyone and served as master of ceremonies throughout. “We’re at the dawn of a new era,” she said “Business will be transformed, and ultimately in the best possible ways.”

New York Times columnist and author Nicholas Kristof moderated the first panel of the day, featuring TOMS Shoes CEO Blake Mycoskie and Rachel Webber, the director of energy initiatives for Rupert Murdoch‘s News Corp. Although News Corp.’s energy initiatives grew out of the desire to streamline their business expenses, they now realize that folding socially conscious initiatives into their business model can improve the brand’s reputation around the world, Webber said.

Later, documentarian Ken Burns previewed his latest project, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea”. You can check out a clip here.

Then, over lunch we sat at the bloggers’ table with CNT bloggers Julia Bainbridge, Mollie Chen and Wendy Perrin, Jen Leo of The Los Angeles Times and bloggers Todd Lucier, Aimee Barnes and Elliott Ng (who snapped some great photos of the event).

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After lunch, Norton spoke to the crowd about his travels and various philanthropic works. He spoke at length about the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust in Eastern Africa, where he serves as president of the board. Norton says he primarily helps the trust raise money that is then invested back into conservation, education and health care programs in the Maasai community. Right now, the New York resident is training to run the New York Marathon on November 1 with three Maasai warriors. All the funds raised in support of his run will go back to the Maasai, he said. Come marathon day, we’ll be keeping an eye out for Norton and his Maasai running buddies.

Overall, all the talk about sustainability and conservation and saving the world got us thinking: what can we do to give back? Give us some ideas. What are some ways you give back to the community and help the world at large?

After the jump, more photos of the day’s event

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Reed Martin Wanted To Tell His Story His Way

New York University adjunct associate professor Reed Martin wanted to clarify the aim and the scope of his new book, “The Reel Truth,” which FBLA wrote about last week. To be honest, we gave an honest interpretation. As marketing books are extremely difficult to market and having contributed to several marketing texts in the past, we simply told him Good Luck. That wasn’t enough.

To wit, we’ll let Mr. Martin have it his way:

“NYU adjunct associate professor Reed Martin has written a new book he hopes will help first- and second-time indie filmmakers navigate the current economic downturn. ‘The Reel Truth,’ (Faber & Faber, Jan. 2009) draws from more than 100 interviews with leading names in the independent film world, which has seen its share of hard times of late. This past year alone saw the closings of New Line Cinema, Picturehouse, Paramount Vantage, and Warner Independent Pictures, as older audiences stayed home with Netflix rentals and TiVo while younger moviegoers found it hard to pull away from Facebook updates and Xbox LIVE.”

See more below:

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