Thursday, March 02, 2006

Hollywood Reality, Hollywood Gloss

Yeah, yeah, the whole world is anxiously awaiting Sunday's Oscar bash, or the day-before antipodal Independent Spirit Awards, but if you really want to learn about what's going on in Hollywood, skip the glossy, front-page of the daily paper, and take a look back in the Business Section of today's LA Times:

For 18 years, Mark Karen has worked behind the camera, carefully framing shots on movies and television shows from "Titanic" to "Star Trek: Voyager."

But the 45-year-old Los Angeles resident sees a bleak picture of his own future.

The reason: a proposed contract change that for the first time would remove a requirement that camera operators like Karen be used on feature films. Instead, the new contract would allow directors of photography, commonly known as "DPs," to operate cameras on features and episodic television shows.

The seemingly innocuous concession — contained in a draft contract for Hollywood's so-called below-the-line workers — has roiled the ranks of camera operators, who have worked hand in glove with DPs since the days of talkies."

It means I'm going to be out of a career," Karen predicted.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

What the?....

Some mornings - most mornings in fact - are horribly quotidian: Same breakfast foods, same coffee, same egotisitical nut asking you for your morning paper, then complaining when you refuse (see previous post).

And then, occassionally, out of the blue, you open the paper and are given the wake-up call. That happened today when I read this:

A False Note to the New Year in Pasadena

A lawsuit contends that school officials tried to cover up importing musicians to march in the city district's band in the 2006 Rose Parade.

By Bob Pool, Times Staff WriterMarch 1, 2006

Did a group of ringers secretly ring in the new year at Pasadena's 2006 Rose Parade?

The answer is yes. But that hasn't resolved a lawsuit over whether officials at the Pasadena Unified School District tried to cover up what they did.

And then this:

Amid growing criticism, the executive producer of KTLA-TV's "Morning News" defended the show's decision last week to accept free accommodations in exchange for broadcasting its morning program from the newly renovated Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel & Spa in Pasadena.

And finally, this item:

A Chinese dissident facing felony charges that could have led to his deportation pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor and was released Tuesday, a Los Angeles County official said.

Zhang Hongbao, the leader of a Chinese spiritual group with an estimated following of 30 million, had been accused of five felony counts related to the alleged beating of his housekeeper in his Pasadena home in 2003.

So much for the boring news from a little city in the foothills of the San Gabriel Valley.