Ian Abercrombie dies at 77; actor played Elaine's boss on 'Seinfeld'

Ian Abercrombie, a British character actor with a long list of credits, said his seven 'Seinfeld' appearances changed his life.
By Dennis McLellan, Los Angeles Times
Ian Abercrombie, 77, the British character actor who played Elaine's demanding boss, Mr. Pitt, on "Seinfeld," died Thursday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, said his friend Cathy Lind Hayes. He suffered complications of kidney failure and recently had been diagnosed with lymphoma.

As the eccentric Justin Pitt, Abercrombie appeared in seven episodes opposite Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Elaine Benes in the high-rated sit-com.

"I was a pain in the neck. I was a hypochondriac. I was many things, and I just made her life so miserable," Abercrombie said in a 1998 CNN interview. "She wouldn't take the salt off my pretzels, you know. She brought me white socks … she did a lot of things for me, but she could never do it right."

Those seven appearances, he acknowledged, changed his life.

"Incredibly so," he said. "I mean, I have been around as an actor for 40-odd years, and this show knocked me out of the ballpark."

Born Sept. 11, 1934, in Grays, Essex, England, Abercrombie launched his stage career as a dancer. He arrived in the United States at 17 in 1951 and made his American stage debut in a production of "Stalag 17" with Jason Robards four years later. Drafted into the Army in 1957, he served in Special Services in Germany.

His theatrical work included Los Angeles productions of "Sweet Prince" with Keir Dullea, "A Doll's House" with Linda Purl, "The Arcata Promise" with Anthony Hopkins and the acclaimed one-man show "Jean Cocteau — A Mirror Image."

Abercrombie, who had roles in films such as "Army of Darkness," "Wild Wild West" and "The Lost World: Jurassic Park," made frequent TV guest appearances and was a regular, as Alfred Pennyworth, on the 2002-03 series "Birds of Prey."

He also did a lot of voice-over work, including a role in the animated movie "Rango" and recurring roles in the animated series "Star Wars: the Clone Wars" and "Green Lantern: The Animated Series."

He was a founding member and former board member of BAFTA-LA and was a board member of the Actor's Fund of America.

He is survived by his brothers, Douglas, Donald and Alex.

updated Final Cut Pro X, brings multicam support, broadcast monitoring love

By Tim Stevens 
The X version of Final Cut Pro was supposed to be all things to all people -- easier and more power for the serious amateurs and yet refreshing and comprehensive for the pros. In reality it seemed that neither camp quite saw it that way, but Apple has at least been listening. Today the company has announced version 10.0.3, which finally adds the one feature everyone's been clamoring for: multicam support. But that's not all. Join us after the break for a deeper look. 

With this new version, Final Cut Pro X can now support footage from up to 64 separate cameras, each with different combinations of codecs, resolutions and frame rates. The app can obviously sync based on embedded timestamps, but it can also automatically take a shot at lining up footage by looking at the waveforms of associated audio from each cam, even if that audio isn't used in the resulting production.

There's also a new advanced chroma key feature, which enables better tweaking of green screen-like footage from directly within the app, and the ability to work with layered PSDs right there as well. There's also beta support for broadcast monitoring hardware from the likes of Blackmagic, AJA and Matrox, all of whom are said to have or be working on Thunderbolt-equipped hardware.

Finally, three third-party add-ons are releasing today: Red Giant has a version of its Magic Bullet Suite, GenArts has is Sapphire Edge plugin and Intelligent Assistance has a $10 app called 7 to X that will convert legacy Final Cut Pro projects into the latest and greatest format.

The feature upgrades to Final Cut Pro X are nice, especially given this update is free to those who have already paid the $299 entry fee, but is it all enough to woo back those jilted pros who might have taken their multicam setups elsewhere over the past seven months? That we'll have to wait and see.

Larry Butler, Grammy-winning producer, dies at 69

Larry Butler, the only person in Nashville history to win an all-Genre producer of the year Grammy, died of natural causes Friday morning at his home in Pensacola, Fla. He was 69.
Mr. Butler produced works by numerous stars, including Johnny Cash, Charlie Rich, John Denver, Bill Anderson, Dottie West and Waylon Jennings, but his biggest impact was on the career of Kenny Rogers. Mr. Butler helmed Rogers’ shift from rock music to country, and he produced major hits including “The Gambler,” “Lucille” and “Coward of the County,” taking care to place Rogers’ vocals front and center in the mix, and accentuating acoustic guitar parts and percussion.
“The success he and Kenny had together is mind-boggling,” said Kim Carnes, who co-wrote Rogers’ Gideon album, produced by Mr. Butler. That album featured “Don’t Fall in Love with a Dreamer,” a Rogers/Carnes duet that became a top five country and adult contemporary hit. “Larry and Kenny were really intertwined. Larry worked with artists who had their own individual style, and he would figure out what made them unique and then get the best out of them.”
A native of Pensacola, Mr. Butler was also a celebrated songwriter, who with Chips Moman wrote the B.J. Thomas hit, “(Hey, Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song.” He also wrote “Only The Strong Survive” (Tammy Wynette) and “Standing Tall” (Billy Joe Spears, Lorrie Morgan).
Born and raised in Pensacola, Mr. Butler began playing music as a child, and as a teenager he hosted a radio show and co-hosted a television show. He moved to Nashville in 1963 with the encouragement of producer/publisher Buddy Killen. Mr. Butler was soon playing piano on recordings by Conway Twitty, Johnny Cash, Roger Miller, George Jones, Jerry Lee Lewis and many others. In the late 1960s, he moved to Memphis, recording as the Gentry’s with Moman and notching charting pop hits “Keep On Dancin’” and “Every Day I Have To Cry Some.” He returned to Nashville in 1969, working as an in-house producer at Capitol Records, though before long he moved to CBS Records, to work with Cash and others.
In 1973, Mr. Butler became the head of United Artists Records’ Nashville division, where he signed artists including Rogers and Crystal Gayle. He was instrumental in getting Rogers to record “Lucille,” and his crisp production of “The Gambler” expertly framed Rogers’ voice and Don Schlitz’s story-song, aiding Rogers’ rise to superstardom and helping “The Gambler” to a place among the 20th century’s best-known songs. The success of “The Gambler” and other Rogers’ hits led to Mr. Butler’s producer of the year Grammy, which he received in 1980.
“With Larry, everything that happened in the studio had to be tested out,” said country hit-maker Billy Dean, who said Mr. Butler was his first producer in Nashville. “And he was testing it out not in a technical way, but in an emotional way. If it won out emotionally, it stayed. He always led with his heart.”
In the early 1980s, he started independent company Larry Butler Productions, where he worked with Denver (“Some Days Are Diamonds”), Mac Davis (“It’s Hard To Be Humble”), Debbie Boone (“Are You On The Road To Loving Me Again”) and many more.
Mr. Butler helmed a publishing company and signed writers including Mickey Newbury and Dean Dillon and whose company’s songs were recorded by George Strait, Keith Whitley, Vern Gosdin and others (including, of course, Rogers).
In recent years, Mr. Butler was back in his native Pensacola, writing songs and mentoring young talent.
Memorial service and survivor information are as yet unavailable.
Reach Peter Cooper at (615) 259-8220 or pcooper@tennessean.com.

Disney CEO Iger's pay up 12 pct to $31.4M in 2011

Walt Disney Co. (DIS) gave a 2011 pay package valued at about $31.4 million to CEO Bob Iger, up 12 percent from a year earlier, according to an Associated Press analysis of data disclosed in a regulatory filing on Friday.

The company said Iger merited the raise, citing Disney's growth in the face of a challenging economic environment. Burbank-based Disney generated record-breaking profit and revenue for fiscal 2011.

The boost in Iger's compensation came after Disney's share price slid 12.5 percent to $29 during the company's fiscal year, which ended Oct. 3. That was also the same day the stock market reached its low for 2011 after a turbulent summer and early fall that drove the stocks of many companies sharply lower. Disney shares have since recovered and closed Friday at $39.31.

Iger, 60, received a base salary of $2 million, unchanged from the previous fiscal year, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

He also received stock awards valued at $8.1 million at the time they were granted, an increase of 10 percent from a year earlier, and option awards valued at about $4.8 million on the day they were granted, up 9 percent from the year before.

Iger's performance-based cash bonus grew 15 percent from the prior year to about $15.5 million.

His other compensation jumped 21 percent to $962,932, including $371,439 for personal use of company aircraft and $561,303 for security costs.

Iger's total compensation in fiscal 2010 was $28 million.

Disney's net income for fiscal 2011 grew 21 percent to a record $4.8 billion, or $2.52 per share, aided by the success of films such as "The Lion King" in 3-D, and improved revenue from its consumer products, TV and theme park businesses.

Revenue rose 7 percent to a record $40.9 billion.

The Associated Press formula calculates an executive's total compensation during the last fiscal year by adding salary, bonuses, perks, above-market interest the company pays on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock and stock options awarded during the year. The AP formula does not count changes in the present value of pension benefits. That makes the AP total slightly different in most cases from the total reported by companies to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The value that a company assigned to an executive's stock and option awards for 2011 was the present value of what the company expected the awards to be worth to the executive over time. Companies use one of several formulas to calculate that value. However, the number is just an estimate, and what an executive ultimately receives will depend on the performance of the company's stock in the years after the awards are granted. Most stock compensation programs require an executive to wait a specified amount of time to receive shares or exercise options.

'Lt. Dan: For The Common Good' tops POP BITEZ BEST DOCUMENTARIES OF 2011

2011 delivered an amazingly eclectic collection of documentaries and I think it only makes sense to give them their own list. After being a fan of the genre for many, many years it’s nice to see the public finally warming up to the art form. No doubt reality T.V. , the marching penguins, Ken Burns and the History Channel have contributed greatly to the success of the documentary’s rise in popularity. That and the fact that what passes for “fiction”, especially in recent years, has proven to be sadly lacking. When it comes to documentary films the old adage still holds true, you simply can’t make this stuff up, (though they did try with An Inconvenient Truth, didn’t they?)

You don’t have to be a “Trekkie” to enjoy William Shatner’s The Captains, you just need to appreciate one of the most influential show(s) in television history. The movie features Shatner’s one on one, sit down interviews with Star Fleet’s most famous Commanders. Scott Bakula, Kate Mulgrew, Patrick Stewart and, surprisingly, the most entertaining and strangest of the group, Avery Brooks, are all featured in this very entertaining doc. Actor Chris Pine, from the newly re-booted big screen franchise, even passes through to offer some of his thoughts and insights. Yes, I’m a bit of a nerd for including this one in my list but I’ve never been one to shy away from letting my geek flag fly. Live long and prosper my Captains. (Currently available on Netflix Instant Streaming)

It’s always a great year for documentaries when Errol Morris has one on the list. Tabloid is the tale of 70s headline celebrity Joyce McKinney, a former Miss Wyoming and dominatrix for hire who was charged with abducting and imprisoning a young Mormon Missionary. The film also brilliantly takes a look at the mad, mad world of tabloid reporters and the cloning of a dog named “Booger”. I don’t know where Morris finds the subjects for his often hilariously disturbing and jaw dropping documentaries, I’m only glad he does. Errol is the zookeeper of the absurd and Tabloid is another great addition to his ever-growing catalog of immensely entertaining- and illuminating- titles.

When Conan O’Brien left NBC the terms of his broken contract included an agreement that prohibited him from appearing on television for six months. Conan could have just put his feet up and enjoyed his brief hiatus from the tube but, as this film proves, Conan O’Brien CAN’T Stop, even if he wanted to. The film is a warts-and-all chronicle of O’Brien’s first ever comedy tour of the U.S. and, oddly enough, Canada. I’m a big fan of “behind the scenes” docs and this is one of the best I’ve seen, due in large part to it’s honesty. Even if you’re not a fan of O’Brien and his comedy style you’ll find this one surprisingly entertaining. (Currently available on Netflix Instant Streaming)

I was actually lucky enough to catch Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams on the big screen, in 3D no less. Leave it to Herzog to be the first director ever to film a documentary in the 3D format, his decision to do so was nothing short of genius and I feel bad for anyone who didn’t see this in the theatre. The director was given exclusive access to film inside the Chauvet Caves of Southern France, capturing, for the very first time, the oldest known pictorial creations of humankind in their astonishing natural setting. The images, both profound and beautiful, will stay with me for the rest of my life. (Currently available on Netflix Instant Streaming)

A few minutes into the documentary Project Nim you realize, Nim is where the first half of last Summer’s excellent Rise of the Planet of the Apes originated. In fact, the two would make a great double feature. If you watch this one first I guarantee, you’ll feel better when the apes begin to take over San Francisco, in fact you’ll most likely be rooting for them. In some ways, this is one of the saddest films I saw last year. It’s an endless parade of strange people with differing agendas and the lost monkey in the middle.

This cinematic profile of veteran New York City fashion photographer Bill Cunningham is a great glimpse into the quirky and creative life of the celebrated shutterbug. Occasionally, throughout the film, when Cunningham briefly lets his guard down, the film transcends the typical day-in-the-life documentary and gives us a rare peak at the eccentricity behind the photographer’s genius. Good filmmakers know, honesty is always the great elevator, especially when it comes to the docs. (Currently available on Netflix Instant Streaming)

Exporting Raymond just may be the funniest documentary I’ve ever seen which, when you think about it, is quite an accomplishment for filmmaker Phil Rosenthal. After all, with a few possible exceptions, documentaries aren’t really known for their humor. Rosenthal writes, directs and stars in this fish-out-of-water doc that chronicles his attempts to adapt his hit sitcom, Everybody Loves Raymond, for Russian television. The flick is loaded with some gut busting laughs not to mention a lot of heart and humanity and is a must see for anyone with even a passing interest in what goes on “behind-the-scenes” both at home and abroad.

Being Elmo traces Muppeteer Kevin Clash’s rise from his modest beginnings in Baltimore to his current success as the man behind Elmo, one of the world’s most recognizable and adored characters. It’s a great story and a true American parable: pay attention to your kid’s dreams and support them as much as you can, Clash’s family did and the results are now and forever a part of our pop culture history. Elmo loves you and you will love his movie!

Buck is an examination of the life of acclaimed ‘horse whisperer’ Buck Brannaman, who recovered from years of child abuse to become a world renown expert in the interactions between horses and people. Buck’s story is profound, inspirational and, in the end, a perfect example of a man who conquered the demons of his past by choosing to succeed. At one point Buck asks, “Why let an animal live in fear?” and you know he’s not just talking about the horses, he’s talking about us. The philosophies and wisdoms Brannaman shares in this touching documentary go way beyond our relationships with our four legged friends and speak just as much about our relationships with each other. If Buddha had been a cowboy, he’d of sounded a lot like Buck. (Currently available on Netflix Instant Streaming)

Steve James, director of the award winning documentary Hoop Dreams has made another poignant and deeply affecting film that should be required viewing in every household in America, not to mention every class room. The film is a year in the life of a city grappling with urban violence and, before you say, “I can see that every night on the 11:00 news”, understand, this is the story the nightly news doesn’t show you. This is the human side, beyond the bloody headlines and statistics, these are the stories that challenge the apathy of our daily lives. The film doesn’t preach, it doesn’t offer excuses or ask us for undeserving sympathy for cold blooded killers and criminals, it simply shines a much needed light on the problems of our inner cities and shows us a group of very brave and determined people who have selflessly dedicated themselves to improving the lives of others. I needed to see this film, so do you.

1. LT DAN BAND: FOR THE COMMON GOOD Motivated in large part by the tragic events of September 11th, Actor/ Musician/ Patriot Gary Sinise, and his rock group The Lt.Dan Band, have been entertaining the troops on U.S. Military bases worldwide and also, stateside, at numerous fund raising events for everything from memorials for our first responders to the children of fallen soldiers. The band has averaged 40 shows a year for the last 10 years and, in USO shows alone, are close to breaking the performance record long held by the legendary Bob Hope, (rumor is, they already have.)In 2009-2010, filmmaker Jonathan Flora had the opportunity to follow Gary and his band, around the world, for an extended period of time, and the result is this deeply moving and inspiring documentary. I’ve actually seen this film a number of times and it always affects me in the same way, I end up asking myself, am I doing enough? The truth is, probably not, but I’m working on it.

I can’t recommend this thought provoking and heartwarming film to you enough, which is why it sits at the top of my list for the best documentaries of 2011.

Golden Globe Nominations & Winners 2011

* Indicates winner *

Cecil B. DeMille Award

Morgan Freeman

Best Motion Picture - Drama

The Descendants
Ad Hominem Enterprises; Fox Searchlight Pictures
The Help
DreamWorks Pictures, Participant Media; Touchstone Pictures
Paramount Pictures presents a GK Films Production; Paramount Pictures
The Ides Of March
Columbia Pictures, Cross Creek Pictures, Exclusive Media Group, Crystal City Entertainment; Sony Pictures Releasing
Columbia Pictures; Sony Pictures Releasing International
War Horse
DreamWorks Pictures; Touchstone Pictures

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama

Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis – The Help
Meryl Streep – Iron Lady
Tilda Swinton – We Need To Talk About Kevin

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama

George Clooney – The Descendants
Leonardo DiCaprio – J. Edgar
Michael Fassbender – Shame
Ryan Gosling – The Ides Of March
Brad Pitt – Moneyball

Best Motion Picture - Comedy Or Musical

Summit Entertainment and Mandate Pictures; Summit Entertainment
The Artist
a La Petite Reine - Studio 37 - La Classe Americaine - JD Prod- France3 Cinema - Jouror Production-uFilms coproduction; The Weinstein Company
Universal Pictures, Relativity Media, Apatow Productions; Universal Pictures
Midnight In Paris
A Mediapro, Versatil Cinema & Gravier Production; Sony Pictures Classics
My Week With Marilyn
The Weinstein Company; The Weinstein Company

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy Or Musical

Jodie Foster – Carnage
Charlize Theron – Young Adult
Kristen Wiig – Bridesmaids
Michelle Williams – My Week With Marilyn
Kate Winslet – Carnage

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy Or Musical

Jean Dujardin – The Artist
Brendan Gleeson – The Guard
Joseph Gordon-Levitt – 50/50
Ryan Gosling – Crazy, Stupid, Love.
Owen Wilson – Midnight In Paris

Best Animated Feature Film

The Adventures Of Tintin
Paramount Pictures/Columbia Pictures/ Hemisphere Capital/Amblin Entertainment/Wingnut Films Production/ Kennedy/Marshall Production A Steven Spielberg Film; Paramount Pictures and Columbia Pictures
Arthur Christmas
Columbia Pictures & Sony Pictures Animation, Aardman; Sony Pictures Releasing International
Cars 2
Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios; Walt Disney Pictures
Puss In Boots
DreamWorks Animation; Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies present A Blind Wink / GK Films Production; Paramount Pictures

Best Foreign Language Film

The Flowers Of War (China)
The Country of China
(Jing Ling Shi San Chai) New Pictures Film Company; Wrekin Hill Entertainment
In The Land Of Blood And Honey (United States)
The Country of United States
GK Films; FilmDistrict
The Kid With A Bike (Belgium)
The Country of Belgium
(Le Gamin au Velo) Les Films du Fleuve; Sundance Selects
A Separation (Iran)
The Country of Iran
(Jodaeiye Nader az Simin) Asghar Farhadi; Sony Pictures Classics
The Skin I Live In (Spain)
The Country of Spain
(La piel que habito) El Deseo D.A., S.L.U.; Sony Pictures Classics

Best Performance by an Actress In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Berenice Bejo – The Artist
Jessica Chastain – The Help
Janet McTeer – Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer – The Help
Shailene Woodley – The Descendants

Best Performance by an Actor In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Kenneth Branagh – My Week With Marilyn
Albert Brooks – Drive
Jonah Hill – Moneyball
Viggo Mortensen – A Dangerous Method
Christopher Plummer – Beginners

Best Director - Motion Picture

Woody Allen – Midnight In Paris
George Clooney – The Ides Of March
Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist
Alexander Payne – The Descendants
Martin Scorsese – Hugo

Best Screenplay - Motion Picture

Michel Hazanavicius - The Artist
Nat Faxon, Alexander Payne, Jim Rash - The Descendants
George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon - The Ides Of March
Woody Allen - Midnight In Paris
Stan Chervin, Aaron Sorkin, Steven Zaillian - Moneyball

Best Original Score - Motion Picture

Ludovic Bource - The Artist
Abel Korzeniowski - W.E.
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross - The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Howard Shore - Hugo
John Williams - War Horse

Best Original Song - Motion Picture

"Hello Hello" – Gnomeo & Juliet
Music By: Elton John
Lyrics By: Bernie Taupin
"Keeper, The" – Machine Gun Preacher
Music & Lyrics By: Chris Cornell
"Lay Your Head Down" – Albert Nobbs
Music By: Brian Byrne
Lyrics By: Glenn Close
"Living Proof, The" – The Help
Music By: Thomas Newman, Mary J. Blige, Harvey Mason, Jr. and Damon Thomas
Lyrics By: Mary J. Blige, Harvey Mason, Jr. and Damon Thomas
"Masterpiece" – W.E.
Music & Lyrics By: Madonna, Julie Frost and Jimmy Harry

Best Television Series - Drama

American Horror Story (FX)
Twentieth Century Fox Television
Boardwalk Empire (HBO)
Leverage, Closest to the Hole Productions, Sikelia Productions and Cold Front Productions, HBO Entertainment
Boss (STARZ)
Lionsgate Television in association with Grammnet NH Productions, Roya Productions and Old Friends Productions
Game Of Thrones (HBO)
Bighead, Littlehead, 360 Television, Grok and Generator Productions in association with HBO Entertainment
Homeland (SHOWTIME)
SHOWTIME Presents, Teakwood Lane Productions, Cherry Pie Productions, Keshet, Fox 21

Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series - Drama

Claire Danes – Homeland (SHOWTIME)
Mireille Enos – The Killing
Julianna Margulies – The Good Wife (CBS)
Madeleine Stowe – Revenge
Callie Thorne – Necessary Roughness

Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series - Drama

Steve Buscemi – Boardwalk Empire (HBO)
Bryan Cranston – Breaking Bad
Kelsey Grammer – Boss (STARZ)
Jeremy Irons – The Borgias
Damian Lewis – Homeland (SHOWTIME)

Best Television Series - Comedy Or Musical

Enlightened (HBO)
Ripcord Productions in association with HBO Entertainment
Episodes (SHOWTIME)
SHOWTIME Presents, Hat Trick Productions, Crane Klarik Productions
Glee (FOX)
Ryan Murphy Television, Twentieth Century Fox Television
Modern Family (ABC)
Twentieth Century Fox Television
New Girl (FOX)
Chernin Entertainment in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television

Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series - Comedy Or Musical

Laura Dern – Enlightened (HBO)
Zooey Deschanel – New Girl (FOX)
Tina Fey – 30 Rock (NBC)
Laura Linney – The Big C (Showtime)
Amy Poehler – Parks And Recreation

Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series - Comedy Or Musical

Alec Baldwin – 30 Rock (NBC)
David Duchovny – Californication (SHOWTIME)
Johnny Galecki – The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Thomas Jane – Hung (HBO)
Matt LeBlanc – Episodes (SHOWTIME)

Best Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made for Television

Cinema Verite (HBO)
A Pariah Production in association with HBO Films
Downton Abbey (Masterpiece) (PBS)
A Carnival/Masterpiece Co-production
Kudos Film and Television/BBC America co-production.
Mildred Pierce (HBO)
A Killer Films/John Wells Production in association with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and HBO Miniseries
Too Big To Fail (HBO)
A Spring Creek and A Deuce Three Production in association with HBO Films

Best Performance by an Actress In A Mini-series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Romola Garai – The Hour (BBC AMERICA)
Diane Lane – Cinema Verite (HBO)
Elizabeth McGovern – Downton Abbey (Masterpiece) (PBS)
Emily Watson – Appropriate Adult
Kate Winslet – Mildred Pierce (HBO)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Hugh Bonneville – Downton Abbey (Masterpiece) (PBS)
Idris Elba – Luther
William Hurt – Too Big To Fail (HBO)
Bill Nighy – Page Eight (Masterpiece)
Dominic West – The Hour (BBC AMERICA)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Jessica Lange – American Horror Story (FX)
Kelly MacDonald – Boardwalk Empire (HBO)
Maggie Smith – Downton Abbey (Masterpiece) (PBS)
Sofia Vergara – Modern Family (ABC)
Evan Rachel Wood – Mildred Pierce (HBO)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Peter Dinklage – Game Of Thrones (HBO)
Paul Giamatti – Too Big To Fail (HBO)
Guy Pearce – Mildred Pierce (HBO)
Tim Robbins – Cinema Verite (HBO)
Eric Stonestreet – Modern Family (ABC)

Gene Hackman: Hit by Car Airlifted to Hospital

Gene Hackman was airlifted to a Florida hospital Friday after being hit by a car while he was riding his bike in the Florida Keys.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the 81-year-old actor, suffered injuries to his head and body, reports TMZ.

Hackman was hit around 3 p.m. EST, and was treated for "bumps and bruises after a woman bumped him from behind in her vehicle," says his rep. 

TMZ reports that he has since been released from the hospital and is "fine."

The Disney Creative Strategy

Walt Disney is a name in popular entertainment that needs no introduction. As a creative innovator in the cartoon industry he stands head and shoulders above subsequent figures.
Apart from his boundless energy, there were specific elements in the way he organised his creative work force that tended to guarantee creative outcomes. When working on the early full length cartoons that made his name - Snow White, Pinocchio, Bambi and Fantasia, he used a revolutionary approach to keeping his staff co-ordinated in their thinking on a particular project.
He moved the ideas round three rooms, each room had a different function:

Room 1    The place were dreams were dreamed, ideas were spun out, no restrictions, no limits - just every sort of outrageous creative hunch or idea was freely developed

Room 2    Here the dreams from Room 1 were co-ordinated and the story board created as events and characters fitted into sequence. (The idea of the story board - now ubiquitous - was a Disney invention)

Room 3    The "sweat box" - a small room under the stairs where the whole crew would critically review the project to date with no holds barred. The process was safe because it was the project not a particular individual that was being criticised.

Then the idea would return to Room 1 to allow for the work on the project to continue. The cycle always involved the three rooms. The outcome was that either an idea did not survive Room 3 and was abandoned, or it met with silence in Room 3, which indicated it was ready for production.
Robert Dilts studied Disney and distilled from his creativity this version of the Disney Strategy, which is a useful tool for practical creativity, either for individuals or groups.

Strategy This involves three distinct states :

Dreamer Realist Critic
- the person for whom all things are possible - the person who sorts things out - the person who picks up on the bits that don't fit

The Walt Disney Strategy
The participant activates all three roles, in the indicated sequence. The three stages require distinct approaches:

Dreamer    “Want to”
Why are you doing this? What is the purpose? What are the payoffs? How will you know you have them? Where do you want to be in the future? Who do you want to be or be like? What range of topics do you want to consider? What elements of those topics do you want to explore?

Realist    “How to” Establish time frames and milestones for progress with evidence and test procedures What will I be doing? How specifically will the idea be implemented? How will I know if the goal has been achieved? Who besides me is involved (time constraints)? When will each phase be implemented? When will the overall goal be completed? Where will each phase be carried out?

Critic    “Chance to” How do all the elements fit together? What elements appear unbalanced? What parts do not fit with the overall objective of the project? What parts of the project are underdeveloped? How possible is this within the time frame? Why is each step necessary?

Basic Film Techniques and Tips

Basic Tips and Techniques for Filming
Rule of Thirds:
Something to be aware of is having the focal point of your shot about 1/3 of the way down from the screen. This mimics how you actually see scenes in real life. This is especially important when we are seeing a person face to face. The eyes of the person you are focused on should be at 1/3 down from the top of the screen.
When filming a moving object, or something with direction to one side of the space, leave more room in front of the object than behind. Make more room where it is going.
Here is a site with photos explaining the rule of thirds.
Use a tripod (or other device to place your camera on) as much as possible. When you are holding the camera with your hand, find something steady to lean on. If you are sitting down, use your leg to steady the camera. Use a pole, the side of a building, a bench. Hands usually shake, look around you, you can usually find something solid to help you stay steady.
You don’t have to get a big clunky tripod either. I had a small, 3 inch tripod. It was very handy and versatile. You set it up anywhere, and you have a lot of options for camera angles, not just limited to being flush with the surface.
Be aware of external sound. Cars moving in the background, scenes in crowded places like bars or restaurants will drown out the audio you are trying to pick up – unless you have an external microphone. The sound may be half of the filming experience, it’s easy to forget about it, but sound is as necessary as the picture for producing your video.
Don’t count on fixing ‘it’ later. It’s easy to say that you will do a voice over or use some editing technique to fix some mistake later. In reality, its much harder to fix it in editing (post) than to just film it over again. Shoot extra shots, do multiple takes; it’s better to spend a couple more minutes shooting than to get home and realize that you are short on the footage you need. Ayayay.
Keep in mind the capabilities of the final destination for your video. The capabilities of a movie theater are much greater than that of internet video (such as Flix55). The resolution of internet video is much smaller and even the sound capabilities are not as refined. Think about how you are watching videos: on a small screen on your computer and with computer speakers. For what we are doing, we don’t need professional equipment.
And we may not want pro equipment either: Go in public, you will get much less attention (and distractions) filming with your camcorder than with a big professional model with microphones coming out the top. Blend in.
Make sure you have an extra battery, and extra tapes - just in case. When you are stuck, you will pay anything for some more juice or more tape. I suggest you buy accessories in bulk, you can get 10+ tapes off sites like ebay or amazon for the same price as a few at brick and mortar stores like best buy (buy online if there is little chance you will have to return the product).
Use zoom as little as possible. The pictures quality may suffer, but more devastatingly, the camera footage will be much shakier.
Shoot with the light not against it. You want your subjects to have bright faces, rather than the sun or another light source being directly behind them (unless you are going for that effect)
Technical Tips:
Become familiar with auto vs manual focus.
Sometimes you do not want to focus in on what is directly in front of you, then you will need to manual zoom. Most handheld cameras, under manual focus, will focus on the crosshair or dot or square in the center. Put that mark on what you want to focus on, press the manual focus button, and when what you want is in focus, frame your shot.
And focus on the EYES.
White Balance:
Many new cameras are relatively good with automatic white balance. Basically whenever you are filming in places with different lighting sources (sun, fluorescent lights, halogen lights, etc.), the camera will need to re-white balance whenever you switch locations. When the video looks blue and washed out, this is usually as a result of not white balancing. To white balance, focus on something completely white (a piece of paper, a t shirt, a wall) and press the button on your camera to white balance.