Herbie J Pilato Presents the Man Wonder – Burt Ward

Everything you need to know about the “Legendary Pop-Icon and Humanitarian,” by our legendary Contributing Editor Emeritus.” (That title means that Herbie, erm, outgrew us…and his professional growth spurt makes us proud.) Anyway:

by Herbie J Pilato

Burt Ward, pop-culture icon and world-renown humanitarian, was about three seconds late for our phone interview, and he apologized.

But the apology, of course, was not necessary, certainly because his delay was only a minuscule of a moment, and secondly because he was detained due to his non-stop efforts to rescues dogs.

In the realm of classic television, Ward is best known as Robin, the Boy Wonder a.k.a., Dick Grayson, ward (“Holy irony!”) to Bruce Wayne, a.k.a. Batman, played by Adam West (who passed away in 2017) on the Batman TV series which originally aired on ABC, twice a week, from 1966 to 1968.

Today, more than 50 years after the show’s debut, the heroic-based Batman is more popular than ever, as is the heroically-human Ward.

Down-to-earth, bright, energetic, and unassuming, Ward continues to utilize his public persona to make a positive impact in the real world, just as did Robin on Batman.

In addition to keeping his Robin persona active in the public eye, Ward, and his wife Tracy, own and operate Gentle Giants Dogfood and Products, a company dedicated to the healthy meals and living for man?—?and woman’s?—?best friends, and saving the lives of those said canines, and as many beloved animals of every species as possible.

“When you’re involved with saving lives,” Ward said, “…sometimes, it’s a life and death situation,” and time is of the essence. “We’re known for rescuing dogs, but we’ve also rescued cats, horses, pigs, goat, sheep. And when you do that (save lives), and you give more of yourself. We actually get more pleasure of doing things for others, than doing for ourselves….”

Read it all at MEDIUM.COM

Herbie J Pilato is the Founder and Executive Director of The Classic TV Preservation Society and author of several classic TV companion books.  He has been part of TVWriter™ for 20 years and is Contributing Editor Emeritus. Learn more about Herbie J HERE.

The Writers Guild Foundation’s Veterans Writing Project

Veterans Wrilting Project group workshop

via TVWriter™ Press Service

The mission of the Writers Guild Foundation’s Veterans Writing Project is to identify emerging writers from United States military backgrounds and provide them with the tools and insights to nurture their passion for writing and successfully navigate the entertainment industry.

We do this in two phases over a yearlong program: A weekend-long retreat, and monthly follow-up workshops and special events. Each military veteran is paired with WGA members. Our writer-mentors represent some of the most beloved movies and television series of the past and present, and are committed to guiding the voices of the future.


When is it?
The program’s kickoff event – the weekend retreat – takes place in spring 2019. Ongoing mentorship workshops and networking events will continue each month through spring 2020 on weekday evenings.

Where is it?
All sessions take place at the WGF’s Shavelson-Webb Library in Los Angeles, CA.

How much does it cost?
The program is free. NOTE: those from outside the Los Angeles area are expected to cover their own transportation and lodging costs.

Am I eligible?
We encourage U.S. military veterans and military service members who are interested in the craft and business of screenwriting and storytelling to apply. Applicants must be 21+ years old and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

Should applicants have writing experience?
Writing experience is not a requirement — what is most important is that applicants show a passion for the craft and business of writing and a commitment to completing 1 screenplay or TV pilot during the program.

How many vets does it serve?
About 50 veterans are accepted to the program per year.

How can I apply?
The application window to apply to the 2019-2020 Veterans Writing Project is now open. View the application here. Please read instructions carefully before submitting.

What is the deadline to apply?
The deadline to apply to the 2019-2020 Veterans Writing Project is Monday, February 25 at 11:59pm PST.

Will there be an interview?
WGF staff and/or selection committee members may reach out to select applicants for a phone or Skype interview.

I am a WGA member; how can I help?
If you are a WGA member and you are interested in mentoring, please contact Libbie at vets@wgfoundation.org. And please consider making a tax-deductible donation here.

I am not a WGA member or a veteran; how can I help?
Our volunteer needs are currently met, but you may email Libbie at volunteers@wgfoundation.org for more information on how to give your time to the Veterans Writing Project. And please consider making a tax-deductible donation here.

The application window to apply to the 2019-2020 Veterans Writing Project is now open!


Please subscribe to the Project’s email list here to receive updates about the program.

The Good Side of TV, Film, etc. “Piracy”

What? You didn’t know that there was a good side to unauthorized posting of certain intellectual property? Neither did we. Which is why, now that we’ve seen this article, we believe it’s important to pass it along:

Tolerating Piracy Can Benefit Consumers, Creators and Retailers, Research Finds
by Ernesto

New research suggests that turning a blind eye to piracy can benefit consumers, creators and retailers, all at the same time. This win-win-win situation has a positive effect on the economy at large. Using Game of Thrones as an example, the researchers conclude that tolerating piracy to a certain degree can be a wise decision.

Over the past decade, various entertainment industry groups have lobbied hard for tougher anti-piracy measures.

The harder it is for people to download something through unofficial channels, the more revenue will flow to the creators, the argument goes.

However, a new study by Indiana University researcher Antino Kim conducted together with colleagues from the University of Texas-Dallas and the University of Washington, suggests that this is not always the case.

The findings from their economic impact model are published in the latest edition of the MIS Quarterly Journal, in an article titled  “The ‘Invisible Hand’ of Piracy: An Economic Analysis of the Information-Goods Supply Chain.”

According to their analysis, piracy limits the pricing power of both the creator and the retailer. This reduces the impact of double marginalization, which occurs when creators and retailers both add significantly to the price of a product.

Because piracy is seen as a form of “shadow competition” the price of a product, such as an HBO cable subscription, is pushed closer to the economic optimum. At that optimal price point, everyone is better off, including the broader economy.

“When information goods are sold to consumers via a retailer, in certain situations, a moderate level of piracy seems to have a surprisingly positive impact on the profits of the manufacturer and the retailer while, at the same time, enhancing consumer welfare,” Kim and his co-authors write.

“Such a win-win-win situation is not only good for the supply chain but is also beneficial for the overall economy,” they add….


Larry Brody: Live! From Paradise! #33 – “Going to Branson, the Hard Way”

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THE USUAL NOTE FROM LB: From the summer of 2002 to  the spring of 2010, Gwen the Beautiful and I were the proud and often exhausted owners of a beautiful Ozarks property we called Cloud Creek Ranch.

In many ways, the ranch was paradise. But it was a paradise with a price that started going up before we even knew it existed. Here’s another Monday musing about our adventure and the lessons we learned.

Oh, and if y’all detect any irony, please believe me when I say it comes straight from the universe and not your kindly Uncle Larry B.

by Larry Brody

Branson, Missouri is my bane.

I’ve been trying for four years to get to the town that calls itself “Nashville North,” and for four years I’ve failed every time.

Until last weekend, the trip always went the same way. Gwen the Beautiful and I would get into our truck and head up Highway 65 for a couple of days of what the ads call “good old-fashioned entertainment the whole family can enjoy.”

We’d see the billboards with Andy Williams and Petula Clark and Glen Campbell and Yakov Smirnoff and Ray Stevens and get all het up about seeing these old faves—

Only suddenly, after the Arkansas-Missouri border, the billboards would vanish. In their place would be the usual highway signs about how many more miles it was to Springfield, Mo. and its amenities.

But there wouldn’t be another word about Branson.

For four years somehow we’d drive right past Branson, realize our mistake, and double back. Drive slowly and deliberately from the Missouri side. Keep our eyes on the billboards…

And still find nothing.

We took every exit and followed where it led. There’d be gas stations, inexpensive motels, large, looming buildings like unmarked high school auditoriums.

Once we ended up in “Historic Branson,” and I was so excited I drove right off the road. Eventually we ended up in a quaint little Western town like Old Tucson, Arizona or Deadwood, South Dakota. Cute street. Good atmosphere, sure. But not the “Las Vegas of the Midwest But Without the Stuff You Don’t Like About Las Vegas” that we were looking for.

Hope, however, is my middle name, and last weekend we tried again. This time Gwen proved what a genius she is by making a reservation at a high-ticket Bed and Breakfast. She figured that a place that expensive would provide the best service in town. Including—please, oh, please—detailed directions telling how to get from our driveway to its door.

And she was right!

Armed with a map and two pages of “Turn here and go straight there,” we drove up the 65 to Highway V, where we turned left and went past The University of the Ozarks, hung a quick right, and found ourselves driving through a suburb that looked just like a place where they could’ve shot any teen comedy starring Lindsay Lohan.

Except for one little difference.

The houses were built atop a cliff directly overlooking Lake Taneycomo.

And eagles rode the air currents over the front yards.

At Cameron’s Crag, our anniversary retreat, our Charming Hostess took us to our suite, complete with private entrance and solarium and hot tub and an even better view of the eagles than we’d gotten from the street.

“We’re having dinner at the Top of the Rock,” Gwen said to her. “Can you tell us how to get there?”

“Ah,” said Our Hostess, “that’s a lovely place. And there are a couple of excellent restaurants for a celebration like this in Branson too.”

“Wait a minute,” I said. “Isn’t the Top of the Rock in Branson?”

“Not really,” Our Hostess said. “You passed it on your way here.” She smiled. “Actually, we’re not in Branson either.”

“We’re not?”

“Heavens no. This is Hollister!”

“Uh…then…where’s Branson?” I said.

She pointed out the window, past the lake and the sheep farm beyond the lake. “See those buildings? That’s Branson.”

“But we can get there from here, right?” Gwen said.

Our Hostess nodded and took out a map. She drew a line to Highway 65, and another to Highway 76.

“Most of the Branson shows and shopping and restaurants are right along this road,” she said.

Highway 76! It sounded so familiar…but why?

“When we get there, how will we find the shows?” Gwen said.

“Oh, you can’t miss them,” said our Hostess. “They’re in the big buildings that look like high school auditoriums.”

And there we had it. Of course Highway 76 was familiar. It was where we’d always turned around, giving up in disgust because we were sure we’d missed…Branson

That night we had dinner at the Top of the Rock. The next day we slept in, used the hot tub, and had the kind of day you always dream your anniversary will be.

But next time we’ll make it into Branson. We’ll turn onto Highway 76 and go from faceless auditorium to faceless auditorium. Sooner or later we’re bound to find Andy. Or Petula. Or Yakov.

And then, I swear, we’re gonna rock out on “good old-fashioned entertainment the whole family can enjoy!”

Animation jobs are booming in Southern California

So ya came to L.A. to get into showbiz, didja? And things ain’t goin’ the way ya thought they would? According to the Los Angeles Daily News that’s because you’re looking in the wrong showbiz niche. Animation’s the future, boys ‘n’ girls. Here’s the scoop on how to join the parade:

by Bob Strauss

It used to be something of a Mickey Mouse business. But an exploding desire for animated entertainment content – supercharged but not entirely due to the expanding new medium of streaming services’ constant need for product – is turning cartooning into a rewarding career for, perhaps, more than ever before.

“It seems like a lot of studios are eager to capitalize on streaming and technology in general to present things in totally different formats than we used to,” observed Danny Ducker, who’s been drawing storyboards at The Cartoon Network’s Burbank headquarters for the past three years. “Which I am super for, whether or not every single experiment works.”

Southern California’s drawing factories have never been so busy. The Burbank-headquarterd Animation Guild (IATSE Local 839) reported an all-time high of more than 4,500 artists, technicians and writers currently working under its agreements, up from 4,200 individuals employed a year ago and around 2.400 in 2008.

“It’s a really, really exciting time for animation over here, and it’s an exciting time for animation worldwide,” said Mike Moon, an animator and studio executive for three decades who currently oversees Netflix’s adult animation operation. “I’ve been in the business almost 30 years now, and I don’t ever remember a time when the studios in L.A. were as busy as they are now. That’s not just because of us, it’s because of everybody. It’s a great, great time for the artform and there are so many different options for animators now.”

As it is in most other aspects of streaming, Netflix is spending big on family, adult-oriented, Animeand other types of cartoon content. Soon-to-come-online will be streaming services from such traditional studios as Disney, Warner Bros. and NBCUniversal, all of which own massive animation operations and intellectual properties ripe for new, on-demand iterations….

Read it all at DAILYNEWS.COM