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Sandi Thom - Sing On The Webcam, Get Discovered By Sony Records! It Really Happened


Webcast singer snapped up by Sony - CNN.com

Tuesday, April 4, 2006; Posted: 9:42 a.m. EDT (13:42 GMT)

LONDON, England -- A British singer has signed up by a major record label after broadcasting live performances from her living room on the Internet.

Sandi Thom, 24, is now on the books of RCA/SonyBMG after signing with the label at her flat on Monday night.

She built up a daily audience of more than 100,000 people around the world.

Speaking on British television, Sandi said she could not believe what had happened and that her life had "changed dramatically."

"I don't think I have quite realized it just yet," she told GMTV.

"It has obviously changed for the better. "I have managed to get massive amounts of exposure through using the Internet and that is something that people have struggled to do for years."

Several record labels had approached the aspiring star following her Webcasts, which were broadcast on 21 consecutive nights.

RCA label director Craig Logan said: "Sandi is a very talented artist with an already unique story.

"We're very excited that we're now going to be a part of that story as she develops into a major artist."

"King Kong" - DVD Sales Push Film To Fourth Highest Grossing In Universal's History


`King Kong' DVD Sets Sales Record - Associated Press
Apr 04 4:18 PM US/Eastern

LOS ANGELES

It took heat during the holidays for failing to reach the supremo- blockbuster status that many predicted, but "King Kong" can do some supersized chest-thumping now.

Released as a single DVD and two-disc set on March 28, the Peter Jackson film logged Universal's best first-week sales in studio history, in six days selling 6.5 million copies for a take of more than $100 million.

The previous record-holder was "Meet the Fockers," a studio spokeswoman said.

The film's brisk DVD sales add to its worldwide box-office haul of $550 million. Its ticket sales make "King Kong" the fourth highest- grossing film in Universal's history, following "Jurassic Park," "E.T." and "The Lost World: Jurassic Park."

Universal Pictures is owned by NBC Universal, a joint venture of General Electric Co. and Vivendi Universal.

Will Katie Holmes Play Wonder Woman?

You never know, but she'd be better than Lohan in my view. Still, Holmes is not the best choice in my view.

Lindsay Lohan Wants To Play Wonder Woman


Personally, I'm not hot about the idea. I think a really buffed actress should play her

From www.imdb.com:

Herbie: Fully Loaded star Lindsay Lohan is desperate to play Wonder Woman in the forthcoming movie version of the comic book superhero. The 19-year-old Freaky Friday actress admits she'd like to showcase her talents outside of kid and teen films, but feels the role would be too fun to turn down. She says, "Wonder Woman would be cool. I'm trying to find roles right now that are different to anything I've done to show my abilities, to show that I have some sort of stretch in me. Because most of the things that I've done so far are aimed at younger girls and are light-hearted."

Wonder Woman Script Should Be Finished By Now According to Sci-Fi Wire

Not too long ago, I got after Josh Whedon, the writer / director for the new "Wonder Woman" movie, for seemingly dragging his feet on the project. Now, he tells Sci-Fi Wire that it should be finshed by this week.

This is what he said:

"I'm probably going to turn it in in a few days," Whedon said of his Wonder Woman script. "It's coming along. ... There will be all of the expected stuff. Of course there will be the bracelets; there will be the invisible jet, the lasso, all of that."

Whedon likened the character to another one of his creations, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, adding: "It's about girls maturing, a rite of passage, that kind of thing."

Whedon said it's too early to speculate on casting for the project. He will be turning the script in to Warner Brothers and hopes to begin production later this year.

"Beth's Oscar Party" - A Video Of Our Trip To "The Academy of Friends" Oscar Party in San Francisco For The Academy Awards


My great friend Beth Schnitzer throws the best parties. One of them is an annual gathering of friends to watch the Academy Awards, and where this author has served as ballot scorer and three-time first prize winner (in six years!)

This year, Beth wanted to try something different, and with that decided to arrange for us to attend the San Francisco Academy of Friends Benefit Party. Held at the Concourse Exhibition Center, this emormous event drew an estimated 2,500 people. It features food and drink from 32 San Francisco Restaurants, an auction, and just plain fun all to raise money to attack AIDS.

A good portion of the attendees are Gay (maybe the majority), and so it presents a great slice of San Francisco life. And candidly I write that it's an event everyone should attend at least once and if only to just get over whatever "stuff" they may be dealing with and learn to just plain enjoy people. Everyone's very nice and funny, and if you're a single straight guy like me there's loads of attractive women. But that written, our group was full of beautiful, smart women so there was no real need to go elsewhere.

The video I took (which you can see with a click here or on the title of this post and with the QuickTime application) presents Beth at her best: always with a smile, introducing us not just to anyone, but heavy-hitters, energetic, lively, fun, and yet very professional all at the same time. I keep telling her she should run for office, as I think she'd make an excellent San Francisco Supervisor--or Mayor!

The video is also a celebration of our friends, including the very talkative and expressive Mr. Abraham (that's me). I don't resist a time to get my face in the video as you're going to see. And even when I'm not in the picture, you can hear my voice and that cacaling laugh of mine.

Also, listen for the Oscar picts of our friends. It's interesting to see who picked what and their inflections of confidence that "Brokeback Mountain" was going to take the best picture award.

The flick itself has parts where it seems like the camera's on while being carried in a rush. It is. I started to edit out that part but as I watched it, I felt just like I did at the time when the camcoder was on: in a chaotic, fun rush. I know you'll feel the same way!

San Francisco Station KGO's TalkGuy Ronn Owens Gets Award For "News/Talk Local Personality of the Year"


Yep. He was awarded this at the R&R 2006 News/Talk Industry Achievement Awards on March 4, in Washington D.C.

Ya know, since I've got the entire press release, and I'm not feeling well, here it is:

San Francisco, CA – March 7 2006 – KGO NEWSTALK AM 810 made a clean sweep at the R&R 2006 News/Talk Industry Achievement Awards on March 4, in Washington D.C. KGO Radio was honored with News/Talk Station of the Year, KGO's Ronn Owens was awarded News/Talk Local Personality of the Year, tied with a Los Angles Station and KGO's Jack Swanson was awarded News/Talk Program Director of the Year. Radio and Records Inc. is a radio broadcast industry magazine.

Ronn Owens' exceptional interviewing skills have made him one of the best in the business. Ronn recently celebrated 30 years at KGO Radio. Owens' unique style, contemporary approach and wide-ranging knowledge on local, national and international issues has additionally won him the prestigious Marconi Award for Major Market Personality of the Year by the 2003 National Association of Broadcasters, recognizing the most outstanding radio personality in the country. The Ronn Owens Program can be heard 9am-Noon, weekdays on KGO AM 810.

Jack Swanson joined KGO Radio in 1979 as News Director. He later became Program Director for eight years maintaining KGO's top-rated status. Jack's second stint at KGO Radio as Program Director began in 1994 and his reign continues today preserving KGO's 107+ consecutive #1 Arbitron surveys. Jack has enjoyed a tremendous run of success and recognition having been voted the #1 Program Director several times by industry organizations and has been the recipient of this R&R award in 2001, 2002 and 2006.


As Mickey Luckoff, President and General Manger, accepted the Station of the Year award, he stated, "It is the personnel past and present that makes KGO great. That is why we have won this award 3 times over the past 6 years."

The Balboa Theatre in San Francisco Showing All Oscar-Nom Documentary Shorts

The Balboa Theatre (www.BalboaMovies.com ) is showing all the Oscar-nominated documentary shorts through Thursday. Our own Dan Krauss and Steve Okazaki will be speaking after select screenings.

Through Thursday, March 9:

THIS YEAR'S OSCAR NOMINATED SHORT DOCUMENTARIES

The rarely seen short documentary category hits the big screen. All 4 nominated shorts on one program. Filmakers in person. Details below.

The Mushroom Club -Steve Okazaki examines the terrible personal toll that followed the bombing of Hiroshima 60 years ago; 10 people whose lives were marked by the explosion are profiled. 35min.

A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin -Corinne Marrinan and Eric Simonson explore the lasting impact of radio broadcasting legend Norman Corwin's work focusing on his landmark "On a Note of Triumph," which aired on the evening of VE Day. 40min. OSCAR WINNER (2:55), 5:45, 8:35

The Death of Kevin Carter: Casualty of the Bang Bang Club -Dan Krauss- After shooting an award-winning photograph that captured the full horror of starvation in the Sudan, South African photojournalist Kevin Carter found himself tormented by doubts about the ethical implication of his work. 27 min

God Sleeps in Rwanda - Kimberlee Acquaro and Stacy Sherman - The genocide that devastated Rwanda in 1994 also left in its wake a population that was suddenly 70% female. Five courageous women struggle to rebuild their lives in a society still reeling from its bloody recent history. 30min. (1:40), 4:30, 7:20

Intermission between each pairing. -
One admission price for all 4 films.

DIRECTORS IN PERSON:
Dan Krauss, director of THE DEATH OF KEVIN CARTER
will speak Wednesday after the 7:20 showing.

Steve Okazaki, director of THE MUSHROOM CLUB,
will speak Thursday after 8:35 showing.

More information on the nominees:
Oscar.com

BALBOA THEATRE
3630 Balboa Street at 37th Avenue.
San Francisco, CA 94121
(415) 221-8184
http://www.BalboaMovies.com

Ang Lee At The Governor's Ball Last Night


In this photo from Oscar.org, Ang Lee's spotted with movie producer James Schamus and Schamus' wife.
For the 12th year, Wolfgang Puck provided the food for Oscar's major party. What did they have? Well, I got this from the Menu posted online at Oscar.org:

Tray Passed Hors d'oeuvres

Spicy Tuna Tartare in a Sesame Miso Cone
Mini Prime Burgers with Aged Cheddar and Remoulade
Warm Gougeres with Potato, Cheese and Herbs
Baby Potatoes with Caviar and Chives
Steak Tartare in a Black Pepper Parmesan Cone
Smoked Salmon Pizza with Dill Creme Fraiche and Caviar
Duck Sausage Pizza with Leeks and Spinach
Four Cheese Pizza with Tomato and Fresh Basil

Antipasto Assortment

Marinated Baby Artichokes with Lemon Aioli
Tuna Tataki with Sweet Soy
Smoked Salmon "Oscar" Matzo with Osetra Caviar
Chopped Vegetable Salad
Sweet Crab Stuffed Tiny Spanish Peppers
Citrus Marinated Shrimp
Green and White Asparagus with Prosciutto

Celery Root Soup with Fuji Apples and 24k Gold

Pan Roasted Organic Chicken with Black Truffle Risotto

Dessert:

Oscar's "Sweet Fantasy"

Menu Courtesy of Wolfgang Puck

78th Annual Oscar: Ratings Down 10 Percent from 2005

This happened because the most decorated movies were not box office blockbusters. Even King Kong failed to break records, but I attribute that to it's December start.

Oscars Ratings Drop 10 Percent From 2005
Associated Press - Mar 06, 08:22

ABC is in for a "Crash" landing in the Oscar ratings.

The Academy Awards were down 10 percent from last year's ceremony, based on preliminary Nielsen Media Research ratings from the nation's 55 biggest markets. If the full national ratings follow suit later Monday, this year's ceremony will likely be the second least-watched Oscars telecast behind 2003, when "Chicago" won best picture.

The ceremony, where "Crash" won a surprise best picture trophy, drew a 27.1 rating and a 40 share. Each rating point is equivalent to 1.1 million homes, while the share indicates that 40 percent of the TVs in use last night were tuned to the awards.

Last year's metered markets had a 30.1 rating and 43 share, Nielsen said.

The ceremony's central lesson: Play a real person enmeshed in wrenching drama, win an Academy Award.

It worked last year for Jamie Foxx in "Ray" and this time around for Reese Witherspoon's portrayal of June Carter Cash in "Walk the Line" and Philip Seymour Hoffman as the glory-hungry writer in "Capote."

Sunday's Oscars were anything but predictable, however, as the explosive race drama "Crash" denied "Brokeback Mountain" the best-picture Oscar despite the gay Western love story's front-runner status and its best-director award for Ang Lee.

"Crash" Upsets All Predictions for A "Brokeback Mountain" Sweep - Including Mine

"Crash" -- Paul Haggis' wonderful film about race relations in LA -- took home the "Best Picture" award at the 78th Annual Academy Awards, upsetting front-runner "Brokeaback Mountain" and shattering all predictions boards, including mine.

In part because of this outcome, I scored 20 of 24 correct, missing on "Best Picture", "Cinematography", "Documentary Short", and "Animated Short." But in two of those categories, I picked the front-runner, which missed on both.

I think Tom O'Neill of the LA Times called it right when he predicted this awards outcome due to homeophobia in the Academy.

More on this, and my good time at the San Francisco Academy of Friends Party, later today.

Wonder Woman: If This Variety Article's Any Indication, I May be Right: Whedon's Too Busy for Her

See. This article shows that Wonder Woman writer / director Josh Whedon has too much on his plate to give Wonder Woman the time she needs. Yes, he has time given by the exec producers, but he lacks the passion to really get it done.

Whedon's a goner for U
Universal pacts with 'Buffy' man for spec script

By MICHAEL FLEMING - Variety.com - Thursday, Sept 22, 2006

Universal Pictures has paid seven figures for "Goners," a fantasy thriller spec script Joss Whedon wrote and will direct.

Film will be produced by Mary Parent and Scott Stuber. The studio premiered Whedon's directorial debut, "Serenity," on Thursday night at Universal City Walk. Pic opens Sept. 30.

Whedon was cryptic in describing the project, but the title conveys that it will tread on supernatural turf comparable to his series creations "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and the bloodsucker spinoff "Angel."

"It's the story of a young woman's journey that involves a great deal of horror and some heroics," he said. "It's certainly darker than 'Serenity,' and there are a lot of left turns along the way. It is something I had in mind for a while, and it just poured out of me when I finished my film."

Timing isn't clear, since Whedon is writing to direct "Wonder Woman," the Warner Bros. film based on the DC Comics heroine. That may take some time, as Whedon started his script from scratch.

"I was given license to purely make it my own and yet she is already an iconic Amazon princess," Whedon said. " 'Goners' has some similarities, but the heroines could not be more different, and the story is a bit more intimate and less complicated than 'Wonder Woman.' "

Whedon, who began his career writing features "Speed" and "Toy Story," shuttered his TV operation this year to focus on features. He will continue to spend the majority of his time with bigscreen fare but acknowledged he has been toying with a TV project that would continue the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" universe, focusing on Spike, the punk-haired vampire played by James Marsters.

Whedon's challenge is to figure a way to do it and be able to keep directing movies.

"Directing a film was as exciting and daunting as it was supposed to be," said the CAA-repped Whedon. "I learned a lot on 'Serenity' and hope I hid that from the audience."