Sunday, March 29, 2009

Vivica A. Fox Set to Release Cougars in April on TV Land

While attending the 16th Annual CIMA Awards Brunch in Beverly Hills, award winning actress in her own right, Vivica A. Fox, talked to Hollywood: Live & Work about her return to television as producer and host of a sexy new reality show called, "The Cougar".

In case you haven't heard "cougar" is the term given to a woman, 40 and above seeking to date younger men. And by younger, we men at least 10 years or more.

Keeping in theme with the feline slang, Fox's "The Cougar" will feature a sexy, successful woman of 40 years of age, looking for love in a pool of 20 eligible younger men.

"Forty is the new 30 and we've got ladies dating younger guys in the society today," says Fox. "For years men could date younger girls and it was something that they did. Now it's the ladies turn."

"The Cougar" is scheduled to premiere on TV Land April 15th and is the first original programming for the network.

"I'm very proud as an African American female that they are trusting the brand of Vivica A. Fox to bring even more to the network."

So what is the brand of Vivica A. Fox ? For several years, the actress has been building her empire behind the scenes as a very successful producer of television, several straight to DVD titles and a stage play. Can you say, Miss Independent!

"The brand of Vivica A. Fox is a business woman that makes the most of out of her opportunities and changes with the busines," said Fox dressed fabolously in a stylish blue dress and matching high heels.

"A lot of people have asked, why would you do reality television? I say if that's what America wants to see right now, I just figure out how I can fit into that world as long as it's done classy."

To get a sneak peak of the show visit "The Cougar" website. While you're there check out the message board. Ladies are more than ready for this show based on comments and number of page views. I am woman hear me roar, but make me purr too! I'm predicting a hit, Viv!

Lou Gosset Jr. To Play Johnnie Cochran, Receives CIMA Award

You heard it here first!....Earlier today at the 16th Annual Catholics In Media Associates Awards Brunch in Beverly Hills, Hollywood: As I Live & Work was informed legendary actor and Academy Award Winner, Lou Gossett Jr. is set to portray famed attorney Johnnie Cochran in upcoming film, "4 Chosen". The film is a Starline Films production and will also star, Oscar nominee, Terrence Howard.

"4 Chosen" is the story of four African American basketball players from New York traveling to North Carolina for a college basketball showcase. During the trip the young men are racially profiled by New Jersey state troopers then shot 13 times. Representing the four men in a controversial case against the state troopers, is a team of powerful attorneys led by Johnnie Cochran.

To learn more about their story and the documentary visit 4chosenthemovie.com. No release date for the narrative film version was announced.

The Catholic in Media Associates (CIMA) was formed by entertainment professionals that desired to shared their experiences of faith and spirituality in the workplace. The CIMA Awards Brunch honors those projects and entertainers that "who, by their work, have made clearer the word of God...that uplift the spirit and help us better understand what it is to be a part of the human family." At today's event the organization honored Gossett with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

"He [Gossett] is not only an amazing actor, but also an incredible humanitarian. He gives so much back to his community. He's got a foundation called Eracism. He is really determined and active in working against violence and sexism and racism in our society. He's an amazing man," said Board of Directors President, Marilyn Gill.

Acclaimed actress, Vivica A. Fox, presented the award to Gossett. Other honorees included tv show, "Without A Trace", and film, "Doubt" for their uplifting stories and portrayals.

Starline Films Producers, Lou Gossett Jr., Vivica A. Fox

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fast and Furious 4: A Good First Ride

I have a confession. I have never seen a "Fast and Furious" film. Clutch the pearls! Scratch the record! What...! Before you snatch my black card and my avid movie-goer certification let me explain. Movies about fast cars and street racing just never really appealed to me. So why did I see this fourth installment of the popular "Fast and Furious" film series? Cause! I wanted to know what all the hoopla was about.

To say it had a fast start is an understatement. Dom Torreto (Vin Diesel) and his crew of drivers open the film with a heist that gives us a taste of their lives in the fast lane. But with authorities hot on Torreto's tail he leaves his partners, including girlfriend, Letty, behind and relocates to Mexico. When a call informs him of Letty's murder, Dom returns to LA to avenge her death.

Going undercover again to investigate Letty's murder, agent Brian O'Connor (Paul Walker) is reunited with Dom and his sister, Mia (Jordana Brewster). A continuation from the last film, their relationship is tense due to Brian's job requirement of deceit. Having a shared enemy, however, forces the two to somewhat work together to find Letty's murderers and bring down Braga, a heroine dealer who uses racers as transporters.

In "Fast and Furious" Brian and Dom infiltrate Braga's operation as drivers. They race through busy city streets, narrow tunnels, and across state lines pushing the limits of street racing to the hilt. Directed again by Justin Lin, these scenes are definitely shot to make you reach for a seat belt. Quick edits, fast action, explosions, and near misses, may be a tad jarring to the eyes, but it definitely adds to the ride in watching this movie.

Leading their first transport mission is a modern Mr. T-esque, sans gold chains, Fenix Rise, portrayed by Laz Alonso ("Miracle at St. Anna", "This Christmas"). This former investment banker turned actor is definitely one to keep your eye on in Hollywood. He's been honing his acting chops for a while and in this blog's opinion, should have at least been nominated for an NAACP Image Award for "Miracle." In "Fast and Furious" his role is different than what we've seen him in before and he really brings it as a bad boy. Hit him up on Twitter @lazalonso.

So is "Fast and Furious" worth a swift visit to the box office? Honestly, having never seen any of the first three, I say, yes, especially if you like high action and beautiful muscle cars. With so much to hear and see it's perfect for a theater setting, just don't be surprised when you go at the number of teenagers vying for your favorite seat. For more info about the cast and downloads check out the tricked-out film website at www.fastandfuriousmovie.net.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

How To Promote Your Film or Business With Webisodes

Okay when the universe speaks, I listen. When I do extract my hands from the keyboard or can will myself to stop tweeting on Blackberry, I do actually talk to people face to face. And this week the term "webisode" has been popping up every where I go.

So not to assume everybody knows exactly what a webisode is, I'll explain simply as an episodic series aired on the internet. So what's so special about them? Well, as most of know in the bizz, webisodes are becoming the next best thing since "Young and the Restless", but millions of dollars cheaper.

And with so many people out of work in the industry, webisodes are providing creative outlets for actors, writers, directors, filmmakers, etc. and even businesses to promote themselves online at next to nothing in cost. How you ask?

1. If you've shot every phase of the production, then you probably have enough to edit into a series. Or another option is post the individual webisodes as you go. That way, audiences feel they are really seeing it as it happens--almost like vlog. And with sites like Ustream, you could actually "go live" from the set, conducting interviews, and possibly some behind the scenes footage.

2. Once you've got the first episode shot and edited, post it to the film's or company's website, blog, Myspace page or even Facebook. Keep in my this should be a simple edit. Save special affects, funky wipes, and dissolves for another on air project. This is the internet, all that ain't necessary and for the most part having to render those little extras will only slow you down. Cuts or simple dissolves will do.

3.If you've got a YouTube Channel, Vimeo, Google video then post it there. Be sure to always include a link where viewers can get more information about your film or product. Always refer them back to the main site is my suggestion. I would also tag the video with some sort of icon or logo to make it difficult to hackers to post it elsewhere as their own.

3. If posted on YouTube or social networking site, be sure to ask for comments or check the correct box in your settings to enable commenting. Be prepared, though, for criticism.

4. Respond to comments and questions to create a rapport with your viewers. If you get thousands of hits, just pick and choose which comments you want to respond to.

5. Keep the webisodes coming consistently. Once a week, once a month, set an editing and posting schedule so site visitors will keep coming back. Use your Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace tools to let friends and followers know the next episode is ready for viewing. Once the film is in the can or the product is ready to hit the market, use the same social networking tools to send out invitations to screenings, launch parties, etc.

That's it!

Monday, March 23, 2009

@IamDiddy Becomes King of Twitter

I'll say it again, if Twitter has not come up in your conversations with friends and associates, then your online social networking skills need an upgrade. And right the hot topic that's got the online social networking world all a twitter is P.Diddy aka Sean Combs.

Under his Twitter username, @IamDiddy, the music and business mogul informed his followers, that includes me, that he was going to do something major at 7pm/10pm on Ptwitty TV. At that time I had no clue what Ptwitty TV was so I made sure to be online. Sure enough, at 7 pm Diddy posted a tweet leading us to Ustream.com where he was "broadcasting" live from his recording studio. In web terms, he was conducting a live stream.

Dressed casually in his own brand named t-shirt and jeans, Diddy gave us a front row seat to a night in the life of a Hip Hop music producer. In the studio with him was singer Cassie and a small team of assistants, all paying close attention to their individual Mac laptops. And on a table behind Diddy was his signature vodka, Ciroc, displayed perfectly for everyone to see as if it was the sponsor of the occasion.

After greeting his growing online audience and chatters, he poured himself a little drink, and then proceeded to tell us about his upcoming album, Last Train to Paris, and the romantic tale behind it. And while he talked, new music from the album was played.

There was so much traffic to his live show , his video stream literally shut down. But as we say in this business, the show must go and it did. In a Twitter post, Diddy linked us to a different live web streaming site called Mogulus.com and the online party continued there. Here's a peek of what you missed supplied by fellow @IamDiddy follower and Social Networking Guru, Wayne Sutton.


@iamDiddy on Mogulus from Wayne Sutton on Vimeo.


So why is this is so significant? Because Diddy is the perfect example of how social networking sites like Twitter can be used to market not only music but businesses in general. And in this economy, the least expensive but effective means is best. That said Twitter, Ustream, and Mogulus are all FREE and providing wonderful opportunities for artists and corporations to connect with their audience.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Duplicity

Duplicity n 1. deceitfulness in speech or conduct; speaking or acting in two different ways concerning the same matter with intent to deceive; double-dealing.
2. a twofold or double state or quality

My definition: 1. a two-facedness 2. a can't be trusted any farther than you can throw 'em state or quality.

It's the common trait between CIA officer, Claire Stenwick (Julia Roberts) and M16 Agent, Ray Koval (Clive Owen) that attracts and repels them simultaneously. Think Jamie Foxx's song, "Just Like Me" and you'll understand the basis of their relationship. Both work for competing manufacturing companies as spies and both will do just about anything to see their company win the war to get a top secret product to market first. But are they in it to win it for their bosses or for themselves. It's hard to tell with these sly characters.

Through overused flashbacks, we see Stenwick's and Koval's uncanny relationship evolve. From Dubai to Nassau to London and Miami both try to out-dupe the other as they work initially for different companies then find themselves on the same team. But somewhere in the middle of their sexy role play, the two realize the only thing they can really trust is how they feel about each other. Yet, even that must be questioned since neither is totally trusting of the other.

Overall, "Duplicity" plays out like your favorite spy novel. It's set in some of the sexiest cities in the world with two of Hollywood's sexiest actors. There's plenty of intrigue and surprising plot twists that keep you guessing from beginning to end. And I could see a possibility of a "Duplicity" 2 being made. It's like an old school Bond movie or an "Oceans" flick without the distraction of guns, violence, and explosions every 15 minutes.

Written eight years ago and directed by Tom Gilroy ("Micheal Clayton"), the film is a little hard to follow. But that may be by design, a distraction possibly to keep movie-goers from figuring things out too soon. One thing that is easy to figure out is Robert's shine. Although she's been absent from the big screen for a minute (translation " long time", 2004 to be exact) it doesn't appear she's dropped one Hollywood star.

"Give me a scene with no wardrobe and watch me cook!" she joked, writes the Press Association.

And sizzle she does with her clothes on, in a particular bar scene with Owen thanks to Gilroy's great dialogue. But Roberts isn't alone in heating up the screen with a little flash of flesh. Owen gives us a great view of the landscape he's working with too wrapped in only a towel as he prepares for bed, not to sleep mind you, but to do other things.
So, there's something to lust after for everybody.

Universal's "Duplicity" opens this Friday. Want more insider information on the film visit http://duplicity.net for downloads and cast bios. Want to know what I'm doing in the meantime, follow me on Twitter, http://twitter.com/hollywoodlvwork.com.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Are You LinkedIn Hollywood?

While seemingly everyone around you is either "tweeting" or "Facebooking", your interest right now is finding a job. Pure and simple. The acting and production gigs are few to none or you foresee the next executive layoff being you. No, I'm not psychic, just living--thus the blog name. And while searching your email inbox for a potential new boss to contact, "You've been invited to LinkedIn" pops up for the upteenth time.

Before you send that missive to its death, let me school you as to why getting "LinkedIn" is a good thing for this business of show. Unlike the other "let's be friends" sites, LinkedIn requires a more conservative approach. So there are no typical celebrity pages nor cutesy applications that allow defenseless animals to be thrown at you. It's about sharing resources, resources that write visible glowing recommendations and are connected to other like-minded business professionals that could be your next boss, client, or executive producer of your independent film.

Access to the right people is always key, and with LinkedIn you can literally see the degrees of separation between you and that Hollywood exec, assistant, or power player you've been trying to meet for some time. Or better yet see, you can see who the employees are at say, Hulu, that may have pertinent insights to share about the company or a position there.

So how do you best utilize the free tools the site has to offer? And I stress free because you can upgrade for a monthly fee. In a talk with LinkedIn Video Production Manager, Rob Getzchman, I received a wealth of answers. Here's a few tips to get you started. (THANKS ROB!)

  • Use Your Legal Name. As creatives, you may have different names or monikers which you go by. For LinkedIn purposes use the one your mamma gave you to set up your profile unless you've legally changed it. Stage or stripper names are not appropriate. Don't laugh, strippers often have "regular" jobs too. Should you have websites or videos displaying your stage names and creative talents, and you want them known, LinkedIn provides ways to display them within your profile through links and applications that are not distracting.

  • Get a 100% Profile Status Reading. To do this you need at least 3 previous work experiences. So put your best ones forward. You also need a pic or some image you want associated with you. However, leave the sexy shot of your tattoo on Myspace or Facebook. The only "sleeves" LinkedIn is interested in have real buttons or cuff links. It ain't that type of party there unless you want to be hired as a tattoo artist. Thirdly, get ye 3 glowing recommendations from former co-workers, clients, or bosses that speak to the kind of work you do or looking for.
  • Import Email Contact Lists. Just like Hollywood itself, LinkedIn is about who you know, and better yet, who knows you. So don't be afraid to import your connection-rich email accounts. LinkedIn WILL NOT spam them. You'll probably find that many of your associates and friends are LinkedIn already. So go for who you know first.
  • Start Connecting Wisely. Your profile is your business card so send out connection invitations carefully--only to those you desire to do business with. Then as more people accept your invitation, browse their connection list. However, not everybody likes to share and you have that option as well. But if they do share and you see a name or company your interested in contacting, send that person or business an InMail. You can also also ask for an introduced by a mutual connection.
  • Be Observant. As your network grows take notice of your updates. See what groups your connections are joining and join too. Valuable information is shared within those discussions that may very well lead you to new employment or business partner.
  • Check in Frequently. Jobs and positions are changing quickly, especially lately. So check in to your LinkedIn account often. If you're seeking work, I would suggest 3 times a week or daily. LinkedIn is over 35 million strong and growing by the second. So read the company blog and its Find Answers page for information and company updates.
With those tips you're off to a good start. I really hope it helps you. Before I close, special shout out to The Actors Fund on Wilshire Boulevard. The folks there are doing a fantastic job in providing human services and resources, for those that work in the entertainment industry. Their invaluable information inspired this post.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Real or Fake Celebrity Profile?: Valebrity Knows the Truth

Okay people I'm on a roll! Information just seems to be falling in my lap. Of course, when your lap is sitting under a desk instead of in your Corolla jetting to a job interview or "Hollywood" lunch it's easy to catch information "falling" out of the internet sky. I digress.

So, as I've said before if Facebook and Twitter are a not a part of your publicity campaign or your celebrity hustle then you're slipping. Never underestimate the power and reach of the internet and use it all willy-nilly. That said, I've got a new tool to help you get your online ID right, especially if you're in the limelight or striving to get one key light from press to shine your way for an interview.

Earlier today while "tweeting," KTLA's Cyberguy, Kurt Knuttson, informed his followers--that includes me--of a site that verifies whether celebrity Facebook, Twitter, Bebo, and Myspace pages are actually official or fake. It's called Valebrity.com.

At Valebrity.com you can search for any celeb or public figure and see where they have official pages online. For example, I clicked on Diddy's name and was taken to a listing of his social networking sites and others. He's on Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, YouTube, Imeem, and Diddynetwork.ning.com. It also lists links to his Wikipedia page, IMDB, and official website.

To an entertainment reporter under a tight deadline this is a great resource. Valebrity.com saves them from having to Google all your various sites, leaving more time to research and write your glowing feature story. And if they're really on it, they'll include in the story links to your sites which means increased traffic and potentially better SEO ranking.

So how do you get added? There are various ways ranging from a personal video to validation from a celebrity already on the site. Click HERE for the others ways to join.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Building Celebrity Status with Facebook

In my last post, Twitter took the main stage. This time it's all about Facebook. And again, if you're not hip to this social networking site, then you really need to have your face up in the place, especially when you're trying to create a brand.

"But, why should I join Facebook when so much of my loyal fan base is already blowing up my Myspace?" Because, more and more people are flocking to Facebook and Twitter instead of Myspace to connect online. Why the mad exodus? Reasons vary from functionality, to layout, to membership. Just Google Facebook vs. Myspace to understand why.

But before you sign up at Facebook, I will warn you to keep a careful eye on the small print. As of now, according to it's Terms of Service, your posted photos and videos may--and I stress MAY--belong to you but Facebook reserves the right to use the content as they wish. However, Founder, Mark Zuckerberg, claims the website would never do so without permission. Only time will tell.

Still, there's no need to throw the social networking baby out with it's dirty water. Facebook has mad potential as a major mass marketing and publicity tool. Just ask any real publicist or marketer. And starting this week users can expect even more benefits. Up and coming celebrities and some of you A & B-listers, this where you need to take note.

In his blog, Zuckerberg announced Facebook will be adding a Twitter-esque "stream" . In other words, you the "star" will be given a new profile that will look and function like a regular user profile. This "Page" will allow celebs and organizations to update fans on what they are doing at any given moment just as Twitter does. Videos, photos, and typical status updates can also be used.

With this "accelerated stream" of info user's now will not only see what their friends are up to, but also what their favorite celebrity is doing backstage before a show all in one "Newsfeed." This also means posted tour and performance dates, promo reels, and celebrity news will now be front in center. Need an example? See Ashton Kutcher's celebrity Facebook page HERE.

Overall, the change may not mean much if you've already established your celebrity Facebook profile with thousands of friends and comments. But if you're just starting out, these newly designed pages may help set you apart from the rest of up and comers with general profiles.

So if you're still hesitant to dive in to this hot new way of communicating, come on in the water's cool at Facebook. You may be surprised how easy it is to swim. Building a brand online is a lot of work but also can be a lot of fun if you genuinely like to connect with fans. Go http://www.facebook.com/FacebookPages to set up your celeb or organization page.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

How To Be An Online Celebrity With Twitter

If the term "twitter" or "tweet" has not come up in conversation lately, then you're not as hip as you think. So what is "twitter" or a "tweet"? You, the uncool, may be asking. Well, they're not necessarily what twits do in their free time nor baby talk for candy. For you dirty minds out there, it has nothing to do with "twat" either. Shame on you! And ebonically speaking, "tweet" is not the past tense of any verb, ie...I tweet it yesterday.

Twitter is another social networking site--as if we didn't have enough already--that's really gained popularity not only with kids but Hollywood movers and shakers too. Want to know what you're fav celebs are doing in the middle day? Follow them on Twitter. At least that way you can't be accused of physically stalking them because they voluntarily or under duress of their publicist joined the site to update or "tweet" loyal fans of their activities throughout the day.

Now see the guy pictured below. His name is Chris Pearson He's a web developer. Cute, isn't he? Great deltoids, pecs, and looks great in a tank top. Lord, I'm easily distracted! He's chilling here in my spot not because he's cute, but because he's got an interesting perspective on the Hollywood celebrity lifestyle and how Twitter can up your game. Take a listen.



I joined Twitter two weeks ago. Why? My publicist made me. Stop laughing! It's somewhat true. But really, I joined so when I cover events or do interesting things, I can share my experience quicker than blogging. However, Twitter limits your word count so you have to write succinctly and there's no pictures. So check me out online at http://twitter.com/ellenoir1.

A few days after joining, I actually acquired followers. Trust, it surprised me. I knew eventually it would happen, but not that quickly. I'm usually "incognegro" where ever I go. I slip in and out like a ghost. No pics, please! Even here, on my own blog, I hide behind a black wall and that animated chick in the upper right corner. Not because I've got a nipple on my forehead, but because I just want to write and not worry about appearance. But, maybe it's time to come out of hiding. Twitter may be the first step.

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