News Corp Goes to China

by Larry Brody

My experience working in China tells me this is going to be interesting. No predictions here. I think all of us should sit back and watch and learn:

News Corp. Joint Venture in China, Partner to Invest in International TV Content
by George Szalai

Star China Media, a joint venture of Rupert Murdoch‘s News Corp and state-backed China Media Capital, on Tuesday unveiled a partnership with investment firm Puji Capital to finance and develop international TV content for the Star pay TV platform.

The partners will make the investments via Puji Star Media Co., a venture that will be based in Shanghai.

The company will invest “in internationally inspired TV content and advertising with particular interest in the Americas/Hollywood, Europe, Japan, Korea, and, among others, tailored for the local Chinese viewers onto the Star TV platform,” the partners said.

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A Genuine Masterpiece

As far as we’re concerned, this work of art is why the interwebs exist. Caroline Torres, you fill everyone here at TVWriter™ with awe. XXXOOO…

“21 Years in 7 Minutes”
by Caroline Torres

Welcome to the third annual Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival. Over the course of the next ten weeks, we’ll be debuting ten remarkable student animated shorts.

We’re launching the festival today with 21 Years in 7 Minutes by Caroline Torres (Rhode Island School of Design). Autobiographical stories are a staple of student filmmakers, but rarely have we seen one as confident and original as this one. Torres’ fast-paced accounting of her life uses superb visual storytelling filled with comedy and heart, and pairs it with a distinctively quirky animation style that complements the simple line artwork. The film is a pleasant reminder that life is most often about friendship in all its many forms, from boy-next door crushes to BFFs who share in everything to animation school friendships in which people often connect through their characters.

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Before You Dedicate Your Life to Facing the Blank Page…

by Larry Brody

…Take a look at this:

Writers Guild of America Inc., West Annual Financial Report
June 29, 2012

Dear Fellow Members:
we are please to present the Guild’s annual financial report. this year’s report reflects that, as the
economy continues its slow recovery from a deep recession, the Guild remains financially sound
and strong.

In this booklet, you will find the wGAw’s financial statements and a summary of industry and
employment data for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012. these are the headlines:

• the Guild ended the fiscal year with total net assets of $34.4 million. the Guild owns its
headquarters free of mortgage debt and our investments stand at $19.6 million, including a
total of $12.2 million in our strike and Good & welfare Funds.

• the Guild had an operating surplus for the fiscal year of $2.8 million based on total revenues
of $26.1 million, up from $25.3 million last year. the increased revenues were the product
of a 3.1% increase in total revenue and investment gains generated by a recovering equities
market.

• Annual expenditures of $23.3 million were lower than FY 2011’s total of $24.6 million. the
biggest contributor to this decrease was lower legal expenses in FY 2012.

• this year’s financial statement contains a new feature: a supplemental schedule, prepared by
the Guild’s auditors, summarizing the financial activities of the Guild’s Foreign Levies Program
during the fiscal year just ended. this annual review is also posted on the Foreign Levies page
of the Guild’s website, www.wga.org/foreignlevies, along with other information about the
program, which has distributed more than $121 million to writers and heirs since 1993…

So far so good, but, unfortunately, the following pages aren’t so rosy:

 

Bottom line: Writer income for TV and films was down last year.

Bottomer line: If you’re only going into it for the money you’re in the wrong place. You’ve got to love writing, and showbiz, and all the ups and downs they entail.

That’s right. So let me say it again, with a bullet:

  • Like everything else worthwhile in the world, television and film writing are all about LOVE.

You’re welcome.

HBO Orders more of THE NEWSROOM and TRUE BLOOD

This Just In: HBO Orders New Seasons of The Newsroom and True Blood
by Kimberly Roots

HBO renewed two of its popular hour-long dramas Monday.

The cable net announced that it would bring back The Newsroom for a second season after airing only two episodes of the first season.

Additionally, the supernatural soap opera True Blood also has been renewed for a sixth season.

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Shows like these are the reason DVRs exist. Thanks, HBO.

BATES MOTEL: Yeah, Baby!

We’ll definitely give this one a try:

A&E Network Orders Carlton Cuse Series ‘Bates Motel’ Direct To Series

A&E Network is checking into Bates Motel without even a pilot, it was announced today. The network is putting in a 10-episode order of the Alfred Hitchcock Psycho-inspired series from Universal Television.  Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin will serve as executive producers. Cuse wrote almost three dozen episodes of Lost and served as executive produce on the show. Ehrin served as a writer and producer recently on Parenthood and Friday Night Lights. Roy Lee, John Middleton Jr, and producer Mark Wolper originally put Bates Motel together. As A&E announced earlier this year, the series goes into the story before Psycho. With a contemporary touch, Bates Motels looks at the twisted relationship between serial killer-to-be Norman Bates and his mother Norma. Bates Motel will debut on A&E in 2013.