Ken Burns Subpoenaed
Filmmaker Ken Burns— famous for documentaries about Americana like Baseball and Jazz— has co-directed a movie with his daughter Sarah Burns and her husband David McMahon called “The Central Park Five“. It’s about the infamous Central Park jogger case of 1989 when five black and Latino teenagers were convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park. After they spent between 6 to 13 years in prison, a serial rapist confessed to the crime. The documentary played at the Telluride Film Festival, Cannes and at the Toronto Film Festival but now—as it’s slowly being rolled out in theaters—lawyers for New York City have subpoenaed the filmmakers, demanding access to the film’s outtakes and notes. The film has extensive interviews with the five men originally convicted. Ken Burns told WNYC that he doesn’t know what the NYC lawyers would expect to find or want to do with that information but he and his co-filmmakers are not handing over any footage– claiming they are protected as journalists under New York’s Shield Law. (Trailer below)
L.A.’s Migrant Film Workers
Over the last 10 years, as cash-strapped states and countries have been looking for ways to bring revenue to their regions they’ve often turned to Hollywood productions and said, “we could do that!” The result is a slew of complex and varied production incentive programs that have done a pretty good job convincing studios and producers to make their TV shows and movies outside of L.A., meaning that more and more people working in the business have to be ready to pack a bag in order to pay the bills. A new study reported in on the L.A. Times has some dismal numbers for those entertainment industry folks who live in L.A. and would like to work locally, drive their kids to school, and be home for dinner. The study shows that L.A. has lost over 16,000 jobs in the last seven years. And even though the California legislature has put in place some production incentives to keep TV and Film crews from moving to New Mexico, NY, Vancouver or Louisiana, many say it’s not enough.
The private, non-profit Film LA seeks to educate filmmakers on the benefits of staying in LA specifically and California in general but they need to do more of a pr push to get into people’s heads the way that other states with more established and popular production incentives have.
Which Way, LA? will have more tonight on this issue of the migrant film worker and what the outsourcing of entertainment industry jobs has done to our local economy and morale.
KCRW’s Kim Masters Wins Top Entertainment Journalist Award
Last night, the L.A. Press Club held their annual Entertainment Journalism Awards dinner. A big winner that night was KCRW’s own Kim Masters. As host of The Business she’s conducted penetrating interviews with the likes filmmakers Bob Zemeckis and Werner Herzog to executives like FX Chief John Landgraf and Showtime Preident David Nevins to Entertainment personalities like Comedian Tig Notaro and Ben Affleck and on topics like marketing movies to the Christian and LGBT audiences. As Editor-at-large for The Hollywood Reporter she regularly reports on breaking industry news and writes feature articles. She recent wrote the cover story on Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit and her story with Daniel Miller on Hollywood Poker has won numerous awards.
One Twitter follower tweeted after hearing her KCRW interview with Filmmaker Bob Zemeckis this week:
Find more on The Business this week.