New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT) and IRIS are pleased to announce that Academy Award, Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award winning actor Nicole Kidman has joined Meryl Streep in supporting The Writers Lab. The project, established for women screenwriters over the age of 40 by NYWIFT and IRIS, in collaboration with the Writers Guild of America, East, selects leading filmmakers to provide exclusive mentorship and increase opportunities for content made by women. The program has received funding from Streep every year since its inception in 2015. Kidman joins the likes of past supporter Oprah Winfrey, who matched Streep’s donation.
“What wonderful idea,” said Kidman of The Writers Lab. “A space for women to work with one another to develop the stories they want to tell. I’m a fan already.”
During Kidman’s acceptance speech at the Screen Actors Guild Awards for her performance in HBO’s Big Little Lies, she noted how opportunities for women are expanding: “How wonderful…that our careers today can go beyond 40 years old, because 20 years ago we were pretty washed up by this stage in our lives. That’s not the case now. We’ve proven…that we are potent and powerful and viable,” said Kidman. “I just beg that the industry stays behind us, because our stories are finally being told. It’s only the beginning and I’m so proud to be part of a community that is instigating this change, but I applaud the writers, directors, studios and financiers to put passion and money behind our stories. We have proven that we can do this. We can continue to do this but only with support of this industry and that money and passion.”
“We are beyond thrilled to have Nicole Kidman join Meryl Streep in supporting The Writers Lab,” said Terry Lawler, Executive Director of New York Women in Film & Television. “She is truly a champion of women storytellers, and has particularly been an outspoken advocate for women over 40. At this critical moment for women in the industry, it is heartening to see powerhouses like Meryl and Nicole take decisive action to combat both ageism and sexism by helping to provide a platform for these voices to be heard. It is an honor to have her support.”
“This is how change happens,” said Nitza Wilon of IRIS. “When extraordinary women – and Nicole Kidman is clearly an exceptional activist as well as an exceptional actor – use their power, they can shift the entire culture. We are euphoric that such superlative women support our work.”
The Writers Lab 2018 will take place Tuesday, September 25 – Saturday, September 29, 2018, and will include a select group of female screenwriters for a four-day intensive script development retreat with acclaimed mentors. Mentors already attached to The Writers Lab 2018 include: Pamela Gray, Mary Jane Skalski, and Pat Verducci.
The selected screenwriters will be announced August 1. Submissions must be feature-length, fictional narrative scripts of any genre written in English by women over the age of 40. The Lab announced earlier this year that it has expanded its scope to include international submissions.
Applications for the 2018 Lab are available now through February 28, 2018. For more information and to submit, please visit thewriterslab.nyc.
The Writers Lab was launched in 2015 to provide script development for women writers over the age of 40. It creates a springboard for scripts to reach the next stage of production and expands the diversity of narrative film.
Impact of the Lab to-date:
- Five writers have their first writer-for-hire jobs
- Three writers have their first manager and agent
- One writer won a teaching job at a university
- One of our inaugural scripts has been optioned by a production/financing company with a director attached
- One inaugural script has been optioned by an Oscar-nominated director
- One writer was awarded the prestigious Nicholl Fellowship for screenwriting
The Writers Lab is funded by Meryl Streep for the fourth year, and produced by IRIS and New York Women in Film & Television in collaboration with the Writers Guild of America, East, with support from The Black List, Relativity Media, Stony Brook Southampton+Manhattan, and Tribeca Film Institute.
Past Writers Lab mentors include Jessica Bendinger (Bring It On, Aquamarine), Susan Cartsonis (Carrie Pilby, The Duff), Rachel Cohen (Stranger Weather, House of Z), Lisa Cortes (Precious), Amy Fox (Equity), Pamela Gray(A Walk on the Moon, Music of the Heart), Caroline Kaplan (Time Out of Mind, Personal Velocity), Meg LeFauve (Inside Out, The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys), Darnell Martin (Cadillac Records, I Like It Like That), Gina Prince-Bythewood (Secret Life of Bees, Beyond the Lights), Mary Jane Skalski (Win Win, The Station Agent), Kirsten Smith (Legally Blonde, Ten Things I Hate About You), Guinevere Turner (American Psycho, The Notorious Bettie Page), Pat Verducci (Disney/Pixar), Ligiah Villalobos (Under the Same Moon, Firelight).
IRIS was founded in New York City in 2013 by Nitza Wilon, Kyle Ann Stokes, and Elizabeth Kaiden to champion the female voice in fictional narrative film. A co-founder of The Writers Lab for women over 40, and partner in the Athena IRIS Lab for emerging women writers, IRIS supports and promotes women writers and filmmakers.
For more information, please visit: thewriterslab.nyc/about/iris/
New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT) advocates for equality in the moving image industry and supports women in every stage of their careers. As the preeminent entertainment industry association for women in New York, NYWIFT energizes women by illuminating their achievements, presenting training and professional development programs, awarding scholarships and grants, and providing access to a supportive community of peers. NYWIFT brings together nearly 2,500 women and men working both above and below the line. NYWIFT is part of a network of 50 women in film chapters worldwide, representing more than 15,000 members. NYWIFT is a nonprofit 501c3 public charity.
More information can be found online at: www.NYWIFT.org
The Glorious Corner
A CHER STEAL — This year’s 97th edition of the Macy’s Day Parade was a rather underwhelming one, save for Chicago – inexplicably singing “Your My Inspiration” – and the always, indefatigable Cher, singing a track “DJ Play a Christmas Song” off her new holiday-themed album. The first few bars will terribly auto-tuned, but that seemed to disappear and Cher’s vocals rang full and bold.
She was, typically, a pro. Mixing effortlessly and emotionally with the dancers in a terrific set. Some pundits reported the clip was shot days earlier, but she was live and, just sensational. I wish more of today’s performers possessed her vigor and skills. That’s why most of the current acts, here today, will be gone tomorrow.
As we went to press, we learned that this parade was Macy’s most-watched edition ever! Congrats.
HALL VS. OATES — Some terrible news appeared in Wednesday’s media that Daryl Hall had taken out a TRO against partner-John Oates. I’ve loved what these two have done for decades and I loved Hall’s solo albums; especially the one he did with Robert Fripp in 1977 Sacred Songs. His record company at the time (RCA) hated it so much, they held up its release for three years.
I also well remember them in the 80’s when it seemed you could’t turn on a radio without hearing their music. 29 of their 33 singles were major chart hits on Billboard. But I do go back to them even in the 70’s, with their terrific “She’s Gone” which basically launched them. And, my favorite album of their War Babies, produced by Todd Rundgren. Quick note: That album sounds as good and relevant as it did when it came out in 1974.
The problem seems to arise from Oates wanting to sell his portion of certain songs to Primary Wave Artists – which ironically owns several of their songs already. It’s a small point, but that seems to be the issue. In all actuality, it’s another case of a classic-rocker selling his music.
In Oates’ book several years ago (Change of Seasons: A Memoir), he hardly mentioned Hall and regrettably that animus has apparently reared its angry head. They’re Philly boys, I’m from Philly and it’s just an awful coda to what was one of music’s major success stories. Sad all around.
SHORT TAKES — Terrific article in this week’s Closer on Micky Dolenz. Check it out here: https://www.closerweekly.com/posts/micky-dolenz-on-telling-stories-on-stage-and-in-his-book/
btw: Dolenz tapes KTLA’s Countdown To 2024 this week in LA …
I first met Phil Quartararo in the lobby of the old Mondrian Hotel in LA with John Sykes and we struck up a friendship that lasted until he passed last week. He was at Virgin for a time and worked with the artists there including The Spice Girls and Paul Abdul. In these fast-changing-times in the music business, he remained somewhat behind the scenes of late, but admitted he missed working with the artists. Phil was a guy you never ever heard a bad word about. Huge loss. Here’s Billboard’s take on Phil:
… As you’ve not doubt read, there is trouble in the Marvel-comic kingdom. The latest Captain Marvel movie (The Marvels) didn’t perform nearly as well as everyone hoped for and their newest star, Jonathan Majors as Kang, is tied up in several court matters.
So, we hear that Kang is out and Doctor Doom is in. Stay tuned …
And Forbes’ James M. Clash has released Amplified; culled from his terrific interviews with the icons of rock ‘n roll; including Grace Slick; Art Garfunkel; Ginger Baker; Micky Dolenz; and Roger Daltry. Here’s the Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CNJZYW2J?ref_=cm_sw_r_apan_dp_WKCSH7AC0ZTK18RZF4ED&language=en-US NAMES IN THE NEWS — Steve Leeds; Kate Hyman; Bono; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Peter Abraham; Bobby Bank; Dina Pitenis; Frank DiLella; Donnie Kehr; Steve Leber; Don Wardell; Anne Adams; Billy Smith; John Boulos; Kimberly Cornell; Sam Rubin; Nexstar; and ZIGGY!
Midnight Moment For December: Doku: Digital Reincarnation
The shape-shifting protagonist in this five-channel work is Doku – the name derived from the phrase “Dokusho Dokushi,” which translates to “We are born alone, and we die alone,” and references a canonical Buddhist scripture. While sharing Lu Yang’s facial expressions and features, the nonbinary character was generated from an amalgamation of various dancers and musicians, and created in collaboration with a team of scientists, 3D animators, and digital technicians using the latest in motion capture technology. Through this repeated incarnation, the artist is reborn as an ever-present avatar, endowed with talents surpassing physical limitations – uniting ancient concepts such as reincarnation with the latest technological innovations.
Lu Yang is a Shanghai-based artist who creates work exploring themes and formats, inspired by both traditional Chinese medicine and contemporary digital cultures. Through the medium of video, installation and performance, Lu Yang explores the fluidity of gender representation through 3D animated works inspired by Japanese manga and gaming subcultures. With a fascination with the human body and neurology, Lu Yang’s work bridges the scientific and the technological with aesthetics drawn from popular youth culture creating new visions of China in the face of modernity.
Born in 1986 in Shanghai where they are currently based, Lu Yang prefers to play with pronouns and insists she “lives on the internet” to further confuse fixed notions of identity. They attended the China Academy of Fine Art in Hangzhou, BFA and MFA, under the tutelage of Zhang Peili, the godfather of Chinese video art. A 2019 winner of the BMW Art Journey award, she has shown internationally including the M Woods Museum in Beijing, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in Melbourne, and in many other shows, including the Asia Society Triennial in New York.
The Glorious Corner
NINA CHASE LIVES! — (Via Deadline) Shantal VanSanten is moving from FBI to FBI: Most Wanted for the latter show’s fifth season. She will reprise the role of Special Agent Nina Chase.
Nina is a well-seasoned FBI agent who is strong-willed, sharp and used to working undercover. The character was first introduced on the mothership series toward the end of Season 4 and she continued her recurring role in various episodes of Season 5 which concluded in May. Nina remains in a relationship with FBI’s Stuart Scola (John Boyd) as they raise their infant son Douglas together.
VanSanten is joining the cast following Alexa Davalos’ exit from FBI: Most Wanted, which Deadline reported exclusively in August. Their new season will debut on Tuesday, February 13.
The show is part of the massive Dick Wolff-empire and is actually a rather brilliant move; as the character has established itself on the other show and should fit nicely with Dylan McDermott and cast. The Wolff-machine just lost Jeffrey Donovan from Law & Order and recently installed their fifth showrunner on the much-troubled Law & Order: Organized Crime with Christopher Meloni; which is due to start their fourth season next year.
VanSanten also portrayed Karen Baldwin in the Apple TV+ show For All Mankind and was just terrific. Never heard of her before that show, but just a stunningly good performance, Nina Chase.
SHORT TAKES — Always read the posts. Loved this one: I was so confused! In Australia the show is called Morning Wars. And, yes, they were talking about Apple TV+’s Morning Show. That would be a more apt title … Looks like the NYC-launch for Mark Bego’s Joe Cocker-tome will be Tuesday, January 9 at Steve Walter’s Cutting Room. And Bego does an 11-city radio tour next week for Premiere Radio … Micky Dolenz’s R.E.M. cover of “Shiny Happy People hit #5 of the Heritage Chart in the U.K. … Every six months or so I read something about how The Starship’s “We Built This City” is the worst record of all time. Being home-bound for a time, I began hearing it regularly on my iHeart Hits of the 80’s and began to like it. Here’s a terrific summary of the song by Rob Tannenbaum. It’s actually hilarious: https://www.gq.com/story/oral-history-we-built-this-city-worst-song-of-all-time …
Deadline reported that NBC’s La Brea will end with a six-episode season next year. This is the show about a massive sinkhole in Hollywood that tuns into a time-travel escapade. Crazy writing, but somehow addictive. I found it a guilty-pleasure. Here’s the story: https://deadline.com/2023/11/la-brea-canceled-season-3-1235630123/ …
Sad that CBS’ Blue Bloods is ending after a spectacular 14-season run. I watched it when it started, then was out for a few seasons, but came back after Steve Schirripa joined the cast. Costs indeed did the show in, but you have to admit those family dinners which closed out each episode were sensational. Selleck, an icon. There’s not another show like this on TV right now; smart writing and brilliant acting. Treat Williams had a re-occurring role as an old mate of Selleck’s. Hope they do a proper tribute to him as he was stellar. Will be missed for sure … A 16-date Rolling Stones tour was announced Tuesday. Sponsored by AARP no less. Stones Tour 24 …
NY-Nightlife-Mayor Eric Adams seems to walking a tightrope – what with the ongoing FBI probe and city budget-cuts … Wintercon’s Frank Patz is interviewed for Medium today. It’s December 2 and 3 … Happy Thanksgiving!
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Richard Johnson; Ian Mohr; Harvey Levin; Kimberly Cornell; Plastic EP; Jane Blunkell; Tony King; Dave Mason; Michael McDonald; Kenny Loggins; Fortune Benatar; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Race Taylor; Jim Kerr; Ken Dashow; Plastic EP; Brad Balfour; Frank Patz; and ZIGGY!
The Mayor of Times Square Interviews actress Sean Young on The Motivation Show Podcast
Sean Young was one of Hollywood’s leading actresses in the 1980’s. She starred in iconic movies like Blade Runner, No Way Out, Wall Street, Fatal Instinct and showed her comedic chops in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.
She is now starring in the four act Play Ode to the Wasp Woman playing at the Actor’s Temple Theatre at 339 West 47 Street. Here are some excerpts from The Mayor of Times Square’s interview with Sean on The Motivation Show podcast:
Eli Marcus: When did you decide you actually wanted to be an actress and why?
Sean Young: I grew up primarily in Ohio, in Cleveland Heights, and we had this Black and White TV and after school they used to screen all the MGM musicals and I fell in love with Singin’ in the Rain and I had a massive crush on Gene Kelly like a lot of people. I became a bit of a retro movie buff. I even actually wrote to Gene Kelly and I have a signed autograph. I wanted to be the female version of Gene Kelly. That’s what started it. The number in Singin’ in the Rain called Moses Supposes, oh man, that used to blow my mind. Every time I saw it, I was just like…oh my god! And then I went to Interlochen Academy for my last two years in high school and then right after high school I came to New York City.
Eli Marcus: Why did you think you could make it in a profession where most people don’t? Is it self-confidence or something else that drove you?
Sean Young: I really don’t know the answer to that question. I do know that I have a lot of energy, at certain times quite bit of courage. You do need those two things. I’d probably be great in the army if I was wanting to be in the army, which I’m not.
Eli Marcus: What motivates you and drives you TODAY to continue to do what you do?
Sean Young: I’m not as motivated today because I love being at home and petting my cat and all of of that kind of thing. When my agent brought that to me it is pretty true that most actors like to work and I read it and I thought I would be a good fit for the Susan Cabot character. It’s a challenge, it’s a big challenge, but I am having a lot of fun with it. I always liked being in a group with other actors which is the case here. We cover four different tragic ends. One is Alfalfa, Carl Switzer, another is George Reeves, the Superman on TV. Then Susan Cabot. I guess you would call her a B movie actress and didn’t have a pleasant end in life. Then Barbara Payton who was also an actress and had a rough road. These are the four characters that are covered in the four acts.
Eli Marcus: What really intrigued you about this Play, what made you really sold on this, what really sung to you?
Sean Young: I felt I could do a really good job with it, let’s call it I felt like I could be of service to the director.
Eli Marcus: That’s another kind of twist. Most people are self-centered and you are like you could be of service to the Director, wow!
Sean Young: Self-centeredness is one of those qualities that show up quite a lot in show business. I have reached some enlightenment in life. I have a pretty much blissful life every single day I wake up. I appreciate things. I learned a lot. I’ve become very wise. I am capable of humility. I really like people in general unless they prove to me I shouldn’t. So it’s a good group, and I am having a lot of fun and I am enjoying working.
Eli Marcus is the host of The Motivation Show podcast. Listen to his full interview with Sean Young on any podcast platform like Apple Podcasts, Amazon Radio, Google Podcast, IHeart or use this Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/episode/0NeDa0PqwteXf0UnfinyEU?si=3d286784e1154b2c. Contact Eli at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Eli on Facebook at TheMotivationShow, Instagram at EliMarcusPodcast and Twitter at TheEliMarcus.
The Glorious Corner
HACKETT’S 48 — (Via PROG) Steve Hackett returns to the world of concept albums for the first time in 48 years with the release of his latest studio album, The Circus And The Nightwhale, which will be released through InsideOutMusic on February 16.
“The Circus And The Nightwhale is an album with a difference,” states Hackett. “This time it is a story, based both literally and metaphorically on my life… It’s both faction and fiction, beginning in a gritty world of harsh reality, spinning off into a colourful and dark, weird metaphorical universe of wonder turned to terror, with an ultimately beautiful resolve.
“It spans the musical range from the heaviest to the heavenly, with musical influences, instruments and artists from several countries around the world. I’m hugely proud of this new album which I see as intensely personal, yet totally universal at the same time… If ever there was a film for the ear, this is it!”
The Circus And The Nightwhale was recorded at the UK’s Siren Studios in between tours in 2022 and 2023. The album features Hackett’s touring band as well as a raft of guests including Amanda Lehmann and Big Big Train’s Nick D’Virgilio, Hugo Degenhardt return as guests on the drumstool, Benedict Fenner features on keyboards and Malik Mansurov on tar, with Hackett’s brother John once more on flute.
The Circus And The Nightwhale will be available on several different formats, including a limited edition CD and Blu-ray mediabook (including 5.1 Surround Sound and 24-bit high resolution stereo mixes), standard CD jewelcase, gatefold 180g vinyl LP and as digital album. All feature a cover painting by Denise Marsh.
Pre-orders for the album will open soon.
SHORT TAKES —Alert! Keane at Radio City Music Hall on September 24. Book now! … The Peter Jackson “Now & Then” melee continues. From Slate: https://slate.com/culture/2023/11/beatles-now-and-then-new-song-video-peter-jackson.html?via=rss_socialflow_facebook&fbclid=IwAR03vS0PqYuWjhWSjphms7JAi4wFb0hfvAcq5WqwN59jcqq1-lwTUtfW7hQ
… Mark Bego’s Joe Cocker-bio jumped on the Amazon charts last week at #28. Congrats …
NY1’s Roger Clark (aka sweet knees) was on the anchor desk this weekend. Great job Sir …
Not to date myself, but I watched and just loved the Albert Brooks-doc (Defending My Life) directed by Rob Reiner on HBO MAX. I’ve loved Brooks for as long as I can remember and his dialogue with Reiner is just sensational. I think the one thing that shocked me was the revelation that all of Brook’s routines were never, ever tried out beforehand in a club. As Chris Rock says in the doc, these days everyone tries out their routines in a club -at least once- before going public. The doc is not for everyone, but sensational …
Don’t miss David Letterman guesting on tonight’s Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Amazingly, his first visit there ever …
Roger Friedman posted last night that the Rolling Stones may be the next guests-in-residence at The Sphere in Las Vegas and that they are quietly planning their final tour … And we haven’t heard anything about the Madonna-bio pic since January when Universal scrapped plans. Is the deal gone? …RIP Rosalynn Carter; Joss Ackland and Dex Carvey.
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Kathie Lee Gifford; Tunc Erim; Steve Leeds; Jann Wenner; Bobby Bank; Mark Bego; P Diddy; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Kent & Laura Denmark; Lee Zimmerman; Vinny Rich; Bert Bogash; Thomas Silverman; Howie Weinberg; Vinny Rich; Second Self; Herbie Powers; Lisa Gallant; Carol Ruth Weber; Angela Tarantino; Kyla Nicole; Jay Mark; and CHIP!
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