EXTRA! EXTRA! EXTRAS CATCHING UP: Connections #70

     NAB is coming up again, starting this weekend and I am going to travel to Las Vegas on Tuesday, April 28th.  The major attraction at the Las Vegas Convention Center will be 4K camera acquisition with Black Magic, Sony, Canon and Panasonic leading the way.  Of course, other companies will be making surprise announcements that are always very exciting for me and everyone else.

     I plan to take pictures next Tuesday and Wednesday at NAB and will post them when I return home.

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EXTRA! EXTRA! Technology and Academy Awards: Connections #69

NAB 2013.   Model of Black Magic's new 4K Camera.

NAB 2013. Model of Black Magic’s new 4K Camera.

     Last year I attended NAB — the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, where Black Magic announced it would deliver a Cinema Camera with 4K resolution for $3,999.  Well, it has taken them almost one year to deliver this camera to the folks who want it.  It is a great camera for a very low price.  The marketing talk was “4K for 4K (four thousand dollars) but Black Magic did themselves  one step better.  It’s now 4K for a ridiculously low price of $2,999.  And it includes their hi-end post production color timing tool Resolve.

     This Sunday night is the Academy Awards.  Who will win?  Who will lose?  But in  truth everyone nominated is a winner.

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EXTRA! EXTRA! 2014 Grammy Awards Ceremony: Connections #68

Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr at the Grammys

Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr at the Grammys

     I enjoyed last Sunday’s Grammy Awards Ceremony that featured the reunion of former Beatles members Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, they both have their chops, and watching them performing together brought back so many fond memories.

     Today Sir Paul McCartney is a very wealthy man.  Forbes Magazine estimates his net worth at around $650 million.

     I remember back in the 1960′s when the Beatles visited Los Angeles and stayed in a rented house in Coldwater Canyon that hordes of young people caused a massive traffic jam – I witnessed this first hand because I was working as a newsreel camera for KHJ-TV, channel 9, in Los Angeles.

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EXTRA! EXTRA! EXTRAS ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL: CONNECTIONS #67

Green Screen Shoot on 12/30/13

Green Screen Shoot on 12/30/13

     This year is ending on a high note for me.  Yesterday, December 30th I directed a green screen shoot with actor Martin Bell at Prestige Studios in Hollywood, California.  This shot is VFX 1 and the actor standing  at the podium behind the camera slate will be digitally composited with the stage of Miami Auditorium at it would have looked during the Miami Beach High School graduation ceremony in 1956.

Director John Orland telling actor Martin Bell how to wave cashiers check in the air.

Director John Orland telling actor Martin Bell how to wave cashiers check in the air.  Note the American Flag has only 48 stars because this scene takes place in 1956

     I am always the first person to arrive at a location and the last one to leave, and yesterday was no different.  So, for me, it was a 15 hour day.  No complaints, though, because I love to make movies.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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EXTRA! EXTRA! PASSINGS! Connections: #66

     It’s been a tough couple of months with the passing of two dear friends.    First, a while back, was Lew Weitzman who was my literary agent, on and off, for more years than I care to mention.  However, I will mention that Lew was one of the kindest, most mannered, honest, caring men I’ve ever known.  I attended his memorial at the Directors Guild Theatre in Hollywood, which was filled to capacity with family and friends.  He founded the Preferred Artists Agency, which is now being headed by his son Paul Weitzman.

     Just last Sunday Syd Field passed away.  We worked together back in the day at David L. Wolper Productions.   The show, which ran for 33 weeks, was Hollywood and the Stars on the NBC Television Network.  Syd then wrote a “how to” book  for screenwriters that sold over one million copies.  He went on to write several other best selling tutorials, and he is acknowledged by his peers as the most effective teacher of screenwriting — Ever!

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EXTRA! EXTRA! Cinerama Dome’s 50th Birthday: Connections #65

     November 7th, 2013 will be the 50th anniversary of the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, California.

     November 7th, 1963 I was a newreel cameraman for KHJ-TV in Los Angeles.  The occasion was the world première of “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” in a theatre based on a geodesic dome developed by R. Buckmaster Fuller.  This premier marked the dawn of “single lens” Cinerama.

Photo of the Cinerama Dome on November 7, 1963

Photo of the Cinerama Dome on November 7, 1963

     Directed by Stanley Kramer, the cast was outstanding: Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Ethel Merman, Mickey Rooney, Phil Silvers, Terry-Thomas, Jonathan Winters, Edie Adams, and a host of other stars including legendary Buster Keaton.

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