Archive for May, 2009

AGM Venue Change

28th May 2009 by Maura McHugh

The 7th Annual General Meeting of the Irish Playwrights’ and Screenwriters’ Guild will take place on Saturday, June 6th at 2.30 pm.

There has been a change of venue: the AGM will take place at The Morgan Hotel 10 Fleet Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2.

Nominations to vacant places on the Board of Directors, proposed by a member entitled to attend the AGM, together with a note of consent to be so nominated from the nominee, should reach the Company Secretary at Art House, Curved Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2 no later than 5.00pm on the 5th June, 2009.

All members of the Guild should have received the relevant documents in the post, including proxy vote forms if they are unable to attend the AGM.

Agenda

  1. Minutes of the sixth Annual General Meeting of June 2008
  2. Report of the Chairperson of the Board of Directors (including the 2nd ZeBBies report)
  3. Accounts for 2008
  4. Budget for this year
  5. Writing and the Economic Crisis
  6. Other Activities for this year
  7. Appointment of the auditors and fixing of their remuneration
  8. Election of members of the Board
  9. Any Other Business

We encourage all members to attend the AGM, get involved in your Guild, and meet your fellow colleagues and industry professionals.

Brodway Remains Buoyant

27th May 2009 by Maura McHugh

New York Times reports on figures released recently by the Broadway League about figures for the grosses for the 2008-9 Broadway theatre season.

Broadway musicals and plays made approximately $943.3 million during that period, which is a slight increase on the previous season, and just enough to set a new record for total grosses — the previous high was set during the 2006-7 theatre season, which had total grosses of $938.5 million.

Last summer and fall, a few producers prepared for the recession by postponing or canceling planned Broadway shows, and a few others shuttered long-running shows such as “Hairspray” and “Spring Awakening.” Some cited a lack of capital from investors; others expressed concern that potential audience members might stay away to save money.

But many other producers responded to the recession by offering steep discounts to plays and musicals, and by staging an unusually high number of appealing shows that drew positive reviews from critics.

Agent Layoffs in Hollywood Shuffle

26th May 2009 by Maura McHugh

An article on The Independent discusses the latest shake-up in Hollywood, with the merger between two agencies — William Morris and Endeavour — to create a new “super-agency” called WME Entertainment.

The agents were the first casualty of this change, with over 100 employees at William Morris being made redundant.

“Tenpercenters”, as agents are known, are notoriously sharp-elbowed, and many small firms such as Gersh now hope to convince former Endeavour clients that the new firm, WME Entertainment, will no longer offer the “boutique” service they had enjoyed.

Kevin Spacey was among the first casualties of the new era. He announced this month that, after years with William Morris, he was joining CAA. This week, by way of response, WME announced its first new signing, stealing the Lost star Matthew Fox, inset below, from ICM.

The turmoil comes as agencies weigh the cost of the recession. Box-office revenues remain robust but DVD sales have slumped and fewer films and TV shows are getting the green light. Owing to difficulties securing finance, the once extortionate salaries offered to actors and writers are being slashed. “All you ever need, to do to know what’s happening in Hollywood, is to follow the money,” said an agent at a leading Beverly Hills firm, who was not authorised to speak publicly. “Look at this year’s box office: fewer hit films are star driven. People are buying into concept movies like Terminator and Transformers. The days when $20m-a-film deals happened each week are gone. Bluntly, that means fewer jobs for agents.”

Sky Arts Theatre Live!

26th May 2009 by Maura McHugh

The Stage reports that Sky Arts will be bringing live theatre to television.

Called Sky Arts Theatre Live!, the series will draw on the talents of a specially-formed company of actors and directors, who will stage new work from novelists such as Kate Mosse, who penned the book Labyrinth, and crime writer Nicci French.

Each of the 30-minute plays will be broadcast live on Sky Arts 1 from a purpose-built Theatre Live! studio in West London, which will hold 140 invited audience members.

Production of each author’s original work will be overseen by Sandi Toksvig, who came up with the idea for Sky Arts Theatre Live! and has been appointed artistic director of the newly formed Theatre Live! company, which also includes Fiona Laird, Sue Tully and John Alderton as directors, and actress Pauline Collins. Further casting has yet to be announced.

Toksvig described the series as “genuine reality television” and said: “Live drama has a rawness and immediacy in which anything can happen.”

Other novelists who will write plays for the series include Jeremy Hardy, Morag Joss, Michael Dobbs and Jackie Kay. Rehearsals for each of their plays will begin at the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, before being broadcast live from the purpose-built studio.

Each programme, hosted by Toksvig, will begin with behind-the-scenes footage detailing the making of each play.

Ustinov TV Scriptwriting Award

25th May 2009 by Maura McHugh

Each year The Foundation of The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences administers the Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award.

The competition is aimed at non-American novice screenwriters under the age of thirty. Entrants are asked to create a completed half-hour to one-hour (commercial length) English-language television drama script for a family audience.

The deadline for submissions is July 15, 2009.

The winner will be flown to New York City to be presented with an Award and a $2,500 prize at the International Emmy World Television Festival on November 21, 2009.

The winning script will be read by actors in front of an audience at the Festival, and the winner will be invited to take part in the red carpet festivities at the 37th International Emmy Awards on November 23.

An application form can be downloaded from the web site.