Sunday, March 27, 2011

That Banned Sexy Serena Williams Commercial!


Booty! Booty! Booty! Rocking everywhere! Yes, Serena's got asssets and it appears she doesn't mind using them to not only promote fashion but also this new 2k Sports video game commercial. But the question is, is it too much for television or the target market?

Personally, I'm all for being sexy but exposed butt cheeks, breast close-ups, and porn-like screams of passion--for tennis that is--are all a bit much to sell a video game, even if it's all fantasy as Serena alludes to.

I'm obviously not the only one that thinks so. Yep, the powers that be changed their minds after it received negative feedback thanks to Serena sharing it online via Twitter.

Take a look yourself at this vid, tell me if you think it's a bit much and why.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Actor Anthony Mackie, "Black Filmmakers Are Kinda Lazy..."


Recently, "Night Catches Us" actor, Anthony Mackie made some eye-brow raising comments concerning black filmmakers and black Hollywood that's generated some buzz online and off. Here's one comment that's got people talking and bloggers blogging:

"I think right now, we are being kinda lazy on our game...There are enough brothers with distribution deals and production deals where we should be making our own movies.."

It's the "lazy" part that's pissed people off, but hear it for yourself in The Grio's interview below.

Then later in an interview, talk show host Tavis Smiley gives Mackie an opportunity to further explain his previous comments and share his opinion on the state of black filmmaking:

In that interview is where I really pause to look at Mackie kinda crazy. Asking where is Spike Lee, John Singleton, and the Hughes Brothers as if they've been sitting on their asses for the last couple of years ain't cute nor is it an accurate judgment.

In the past 3 years, which isn't that long, Spike gave us "Miracle At St. Anna", Hughes Brothers did "Book of Eli". Singleton stepped out of the typical black film genre and gave audiences, "Illegal Tender," a Hispanic mafia film centered around a female character. So has Mackie been so busy that he missed these films or does he feel these directors should be doing more?

What I totally agree with Mackie on is the fact that there is enough black talent and wealth in the industry to produce more quality films. HOWEVER, based on our current collective behavior at the box office, I really question whether the black audience will financially support them. More and more, we as movie goers are forgoing the theater and waiting for DVD or cable when it comes to movies for us by us.

That said, why should a filmmaker make a film knowing full well he or she's film will not make a profit nor even break even? And though Mackie may be willing to work for nothing based on the strength of the project, many name actors will not. Honestly, how many people actually BUY films with a cast of unrecognizable up-and-comers? The reality is, generally, black audiences don't see filmmaking as a business but as solely an art form.

Lastly, whether you agree with Mackie's comments are not, the truth is we ALL as black filmmakers and black audience members play a significant role in the success or failure of black filmmaking. The question is, how do we best support each other?

Friday, March 11, 2011

How To Break Into Filmmaking By Guest Blogger, Joseph Raditch


"It's all about who you know in the entertainment industry!"

"They only hire their friends and family, that's why it's so hard to find work."

"If you don't live there, you won't be taken seriously. You'll have to move."

Yes, people complain all the time how hard it is to break into the industry of television and film. And for many, it is a valid complaint. But obviously, it can be done. You're reading the blog of someone who did it and is willing to share all the good, some of the bad, and glimpses of the ugly.

While on LinkedIn recently a fellow group member, Joseph Raditch, raised the discussion about how to break into the film industry. Even with film production experience, he'd experienced what most of have...a lot of closed doors. So he reached out to fellow industry peers for some insightful advice and what he received was helpful.

"This is information I wished I had when I graduated from film school. I was asked to share some of that information with you," wrote Raditch to me in an email.

After sharing my experience with him on LinkedIn, I asked Raditch to share some of the comments and tips he received on the social network here on Hollywood As I Live & Work. Hopefully, these tips will help those of you still bruising your nose on closed doors, chasing mirages of opportunity, and feeling defeated in your efforts to break into the entertainment world, especially as a filmmaker. So take Raditch's helpful tips and work them!

1. GO TO SCHOOL: There are two schools of thought in the independent film world that boil down to this; go to film school or make a movie. My advice? Go to film school. Both endeavors require money, however, most state colleges have a film department. Go there and make friends, partners, crew-members, and even investors.

2. MAKE THAT MOVE OR PRETEND TO: If you’re looking for a job with a production company in LA or NY, either move there or get a P.O. box within the city. While it is most unfair, production companies are known to toss out résumés from people who do not live within the state. If you can’t afford to make the move, pretend.

3. INTERN: Internships are rare, treat them with respect if you get one. Most jobs require experience, experience is gained through internships. Sadly, most internships within the business are given out as favors to high rollers.

4. PRO BONO: Work for nothing, at least once. There are opportunities out there, they just don’t pay upfront. However, you’re looking at a business that doesn’t pay upfront without a clause within a contract. In this case, the clause is networking and showing off your skills. People will want to work with you if they know you have the skills.

Many of you have paid your dues already and have become producers, directors, etc. But remember the time when YOU delivered the doughnuts, walked the executive's overly energetic dog down Sunset Blvd, cleaned the production office refrigerators...YOU were in, but it didn't feel like it. It wasn't where you, and experienced professional, wanted to be, but it was at least a start.

So pass this blog post on to those trying to get where you once were. Somebody helped you break in long ago. Return the favor! Thanks Joseph!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

NEW Micheal Jackson Video, "Going Hollywood"

Awww yeah! Chicka ahhhhh! Micheal Jackson's new song, "Going Hollywood", reminds me of the passion I had when I first arrived here in 2002! The car was packed with all my must-havs; I had no job waiting for me; no relatives that worked in the industry; no idea how it was all gonna turn out. But I had a measure of faith and the feeling that, "come what may, at least I tried."

Seeing this new video, was just the fire I needed this morning to re-light that spark I had in 2002. For those of you "Going Hollywood" the right way, I hope this gives you too a little push to keep striving toward doing what you came to here to do. Remember, you made it farther than most.

Now go get your penny loafers, white socks, black fedora, white bedazzled glove, and DANCE! Grab your crotch! Moonwalk! Don't stop til you get enough!

Never can, never will say goodbye!

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