Archive for June 16th, 2009

New Studio Launches

16th June 2009

The LA Times reports that despite the current recession a new studio, called DF Indie Studios (DFIS), has just opened its doors in New York.

The two women behind the company are Mary Dickinson and Charlene Fisher, financial consultants with a background in entertainment and sports, who say they have already raised more than $50 million from investors and secured an additional $150 million in “output” deals. Their goal is to raise $100 million by the autumn, and plan to create and distribute 10 -12 low-budget films a year.

The company has a staff of 20 and expects to double it over the next several months. Amy Slotnick, a former Miramax production executive, will serve as executive vice president of production, and Rita Chiappetta-Thibault, a former New Line executive, will be DFIS’ chief financial officer.

Producers Hope and Carey — whose This Is That Productions was behind the critical successes “In the Bedroom,” “The Ice Storm” and “The Savages” — said there is a shortage of places to go to make movies in the $10-million-budget range. “It’s not rocket science, but it is an effort that has been neglected, so it ends up being truly innovative by default,” Hope said.

The Kushner Process

16th June 2009

Playwrights might be interested in the The New York Times article on Tony Kushner’s new play, The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism With a Key to the Scriptures, in which Kushner describes his writing process for his current project, and how he is developing it for the stage.

Google Antitrust Investigation

16th June 2009

Last week The New York Times reported that the Justice Department in the USA has issued formal request for information from Google, the Association of American Publishers, the Authors Guild and individual publishers in relation to an antitrust investigation of the Google Book Settlement.

Critics said that the settlement would unfairly grant Google a monopoly over the commercialization of millions of books.

The Justice Department’s requests do not necessarily mean that the government will oppose the settlement. But the department’s investigation could delay any approval of the settlement, antitrust specialists said.

“The government must be a lot further along with this than people thought,” said Gary Reback, a lawyer who wrote a book on antitrust. “Now, there is a big boulder sitting on the judge’s desk. It is hard to see the judge approving this if a government investigation is pending.”

Judge Denny Chin of Federal District Court in Manhattan, who is overseeing the settlement, is to hold a hearing in September.