Tuesday, July 26, 2011


 Smurfs U.S. legal counsel Raymond Kurtz

Smurfs U.S. legal counsel Raymond Kurtz has penned a interesting article on how he did the deal to bring the Smurfs to the big screen. Here is a brief excerpt.
The process strung out for three years. My clients were ready to pull the plug a dozen times. But the deal did finally come to fruition. I remember that moment when my BlackBerry buzzed at 2 a.m. with a long-awaited email from a copyright lawyer at Paramount.
But we couldn't exhale yet. We waited for production to start, but years went by and the Smurfs sat in the seemingly endless queue of movies-to-be. Under the terms of our contract, the studio had the option to give the rights back to my client or assign their rights to another studio after several years.
If you want to get a inside view on what legal issues get involved when a major franchise goes Hollywood then here it is.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


The best of both worlds we get Bill Whittle on both The Firewall and Afterburner. Here is Bill's latest (and return) to Afterburner on PJTV.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Where are you Kev? 

Had a wonderful time in Tulsa, lots of stuff in the Bank of Kev pipeline for 2012 and I'm swamped with work for San Diego Comic-Con. So no blogging here for the time being but I promise you the wait is going to be worth it. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Our good friends at Declaration Entertainment have announced their first film, The Arroyo, directed by Jeremy Boreing, has gone into production.

Here is a brief look from the first day of shooting.

Getting any film into production, even with a major studio backing you,  is a difficult task. When you are an independent production its only more difficult to get the cameras rolling but when you do its a great achievement.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


It appears that failed Senate candidate Carly Fiorina is going to the NRSC.

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (R-Texas) announced Tuesday that former Hewlett Packard CEO and 2010 California GOP Senate candidate Carly Fiorina will be the committee’s new vice chair.
Cornyn announced the news at Tuesday’s lunch with fellow GOP senators. In a statement set to be released this afternoon, the Texas Republican says Fiorina should be a major asset — especially when it comes to fundraising.
“I’m pleased to welcome my friend Carly Fiorina to the NRSC team, where her many business and civic achievements will make her an invaluable leader and fundraiser during this critical election cycle,” Cornyn said in the statement, which was obtained by The Fix.
 The question everyone is asking is this: Where does The Demonsheep fit into all of this? It was Carly who summoned him back in 2010 and he has been eating souls ever since

I've learned from firsthand experience that if you do not keep The Demonsheep happy he can become one surly sheep. 

Friday, July 8, 2011


From a shocked Reuters

U.S. employment growth ground to a halt in June, with employers hiring the fewest number of workers innine months, dampening hopes the economy was on the cusp of regaining momentum after stumbling in recent months.
Nonfarm payrolls rose only 18,000, the weakest reading since September, the Labor Department said on Friday, well below economists’ expectations for a 90,000 rise.
Many economists raised their forecasts on Thursday after a stronger-than-expected reading on U.S. private hiring from payrolls processor ADP, and they expected gains of anywhere between 125,000 and 175,000.
The unemployment rate climbed to 9.2 percent, the highest since December, from 9.1 percent in May.
The U.S. has had an unemployment rate above 8% for over 28 months. To put this in perspective 20 years ago, in June 1992,  unemployment peaked at 7.8% then went lower.

As is our tradition with rising unemployment rates you get a drunk sad stormtrooper photo.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


From TheWrap.com

Paramount is getting into the animation game. 
The studio announced on Wednesday that it is launching an in-house animation division and expected to release its first film through the unit in 2014. 
In making the announcement, Paramount Chairman & CEO Brad Grey said that budgets on each of the division's films will be in the $100 million range. Grey said the company will draw on other members of the Viacom corporate family in developing its films, in particular the kids network Nickelodeon.

Grey said that the market “'has never offered as many opportunities" for animated movies "at very appealing budget levels." He said that the company will expand into toons "with appropriate and prudent overhead and production budgets.” 
The move comes as Paramount's renewal of its current distribution pact with DreamWorks Animation remains very much in doubt. That deal is set to expire in 2012, but Katzenberg has clashed with Paramount's leadership, according to individuals with knowledge of the situation. Paramount, which makes an 8 percent distribution fee on the films it handles, is unlikely to sweeten those terms and if the studio is serious about creating its own in-house product, that could severely weaken DreamWorks' hand.
I think this is a great thing! The more studios and production companies get involved in animation the better off we all are going to be. Competition is a good thing for consumers and we now have one more player.  

I-405 TO CLOSE ON JULY 16-17 FROM I-10 TO U.S. 101

This is Carmageddon! 

Daily traffic in L.A. may be worst in the nation, but you ain't seen nothing yet.
Suddenly, just a month-and-a-half before the largest closure of the 405 since it became the Westside's clogged lifeline -- carrying about 281,000 cars per day -- L.A. transportation officials have decided to come out and warn the universe of this impending doom.
Not in time, unfortunately, to save thousands of pre-booked vacations from ruin. The world-famous Getty Center, for one...
... will be forced to shut down entirely on Saturday, July 16, and Sunday, July 17, along with its regular Monday closure. And the lockout couldn't come at a worse time: Getty spokeswoman Melissa Abraham says that of the 1.2 million visitors the museum receives every year, mid-July is "one of our busiest weekends."
Sorry, tourists. Guess you'll have to settle for them street-rat scribbles at MOCA.
Oh wait -- MOCA's situated right along the 101, that narrow relic of a freeway destined to take on the hundreds of thousands of pissy, honky drivers displaced from their normal route by the 53-hour summer closure.
The 405 will be completely shut down in both directions between the 101 and 10 freeways -- an insanely busy 10-mile stretch -- beginning the night of Friday, July 15 and ending 5 a.m. the following Monday morning. CalTrans explains why:
The I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project will add a 10-mile HOV lane and improve supporting infrastructure such as ramps, bridges and sound walls on the San Diego Fwy. (I-405); while widening lanes from the Santa Monica Fwy. (I-10) to the Ventura Fwy. (US-101). 
This project will reduce existing and forecasted traffic congestion on the I-405 and enhance traffic operations by adding freeway capacity in an area that experiences heavy congestion. In addition to these modifications, the project will improve both existing and future mobility and enhance safety throughout the corridor.
And don't even think about taking Sepulveda Boulevard, the 405's go-to surface-street alternative. "Sepulveda will be slammed," warns the Encino Neighborhood Council. "It will not be moveable."

Better yet, as L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky is urging, just stay home for the potential "mother of all traffic jams."

I'm very lucky as I will be out of LA for Tokyo In Tusla. God bless anime conventions! 


Sunday, July 3, 2011


From the Los Angeles Times

Atlas Shrugged: The Trilogy is still alive. The producers of the Ayn Rand adaptation will bring the first part of their planned series to home-entertainment platforms this fall, courtesy of a deal with 20th Century Fox, and expect to begin production on "Atlas Shrugged: Part 2" in September. They hope to bring the new film to theaters during the 2012 election season.

"Atlas Shrugged: Part 1," the low-budget adaptation of the first third of Rand's dystopian novel, grossed $4.6 million during its five-week theatrical run this spring. After the film drew scathing reviews, producer John Aglialoro said he was reconsidering whether to move forward with two sequels.
Now Aglialoro has resumed those efforts, according to producer Harmon Kaslow, and will devote all revenue from the release of "Atlas Shrugged: Part 1" to financing "Atlas Shrugged: Part 2."
"John has a much clearer perspective," Kaslow told 24 Frames. "He’s always wanted to have a studio level support for the film and I think feels that his effort in producing Part 1 has been validated by having the largest home video distributor in America aboard."
The producers are retaining the home entertainment rights, but are paying a distribution fee to Fox to release the film on DVD, Blu-Ray, digital download and video on demand, according to Kaslow. He said the deal was born of strategy, not necessity.
 One of the things I am constantly is asked is what I thought of AS:Part 1 and if there will be a sequel. If you are interested then this article is a must read.