Sunday, August 31, 2014

MIKE ON KCRW: Film Season Begins; California Votes Tax Incentives; More

On the latest edition of KCRW's The Business, here are some of the topics that host Kim Masters and I banter about:

- No big surprises at the Emmys this year. There's continued grumbling that the awards seem to favor old, predictable favorites rather than more cutting-edge television.

-Film season is finally starting to ramp up with festivals in Telluride and Toronto starting soon.

-In an effort to curb runaway production, California Governor Jerry Brown agrees to legislation that would boost film tax credits in the state.

Listen below:

Also, on last Thursday's edition of KCRW's Hollywood Breakdown, Kim Masters and I discuss whether runaway production might return to California:
While the $330 million deal is slightly less than the $400 million the bill's backers were originally seeking, the legislation will help California compete with other production-friendly states like Georgia and New York, or even countries like Canada. With the new legislation, the way the film subsidies are distributed will also change. Instead of being given out via a lottery, the tax credits will be designated to the projects that create the most jobs.

Listen by clicking below:

Hollywood Breakdown

Saturday, August 30, 2014

From Crispy Fish Tacos to Miso Donuts, Filling Our Bellies at The Taste's Opening Night

Taste LA

There are plenty of food festivals in Los Angeles. But I don't think there's one better organized than Los Angeles Times' The Taste, now taking place this weekend at the Paramount lot. The event attracts top-notch restaurants, which offer up perfect bite-sized eats, and there's never a long wait for any of the vendors. You can eat well at The Taste.

And last night, at the Opening Night of The Taste, we ate very well. Some highlights:

Taste LA
Yep, those tacos were crispy. And effing good. Maria and I agree, this was the best item of the night. And it was the very first thing we ate. From the Church Key.

Taste LA
Waterloo & City

Taste LA
Adding a drizzle to the miso donuts at Hinoki & The Bird

Taste LA
Fried chicken sandwich from Plan Check Kitchen + Bar

Taste LA
Putting together those Plan Check sandwiches

Taste LA
Feel the burn! Spicy curry chicken from Jitlada Thai Cuisine. And I mean SPICY. But even through the tears, no regrets!

Taste LA
Forkin'! At Phorage.

Taste LA
Other restaurants at opening night included: Alma, Bowery Bungalow, Bulgarini Gelato, CAFE del REY Chichen Itza Restaurant, DeSano Pizza Bakery, esCaLA Ktown, Firefly, Fred 62, Goldie’s, Guelaguetza, Hamasaku, Horse Thief BBQ, iPic, Mexicali Taco & Co., Pedalers Fork, Sprinkles Cupcakes, Sun Cafe, Sushi Roku, Tanzy, The BLVD- Beverly Wilshire Hotel, The Counter Burger, The Restaurant at Mr. C Beverly Hills, The Whisper Restaurant and Lounge, Union, Urban Garden, Wood & Vine.

Some tickets are still available for the Saturday and Sunday events; go here for details. (Keep in mind that, per the website, LA Times food critic Jonathan Gold is no longer involved with this weekend's festivities due to "unforeseen circumstances.")

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Paint It Like It's Hot

Snoop paintings

My colleague Rob Moynihan has spotted these Snoop Dogg (er, Snoop Lion) paintings for sale in his neighborhood on several occasions. So far, no takers. Perhaps art fans are keeping their mind on their money?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

PRIMETIME EMMYS 2014: The View from Backstage

OK, so it wasn't the most exciting Emmy Awards telecast ever. "Breaking Bad" and "Modern Family" duplicated last year's drama and comedy wins. Most of the other winners were also repeat winners. But Seth Meyers' monologue was solid, Billy Crystal's tribute to Robin Williams touching, and Billy Eichner a highlight. I talked to "Late Night with Seth Meyers" executive producer Mike Shoemaker, who also produced this year's Emmycast, to get some backstory on the show -- read all about it here.

And some snapshots from backstage, where I once again watched the show from the Emmy press room:

Emmy winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus tells the crowd how she and Bryan Cranston came up with a bit for this year's telecast.

"The Colbert Report" wins for outstanding variety series again. Next year, Stephen's new show could be competing against his old one.

Louis C.K. tells us how he got to meet and later become friends with the late Robin Williams (who appeared in an episode of "Louie").

Jessica Lange, a winner for "American Horror Story: Coven."

Emmy winner Sarah Silverman tells the press she's not stoned. And that she's enjoying her work on "Masters of Sex," helped by the fact that she's "f--ing the star" (Michael Sheen).

A year after not getting a nomination, Juliana Margulies wins the Outstanding drama actress Emmy.

Noah Hawley, Warren Littlefield and the rest of the "Fargo" producers celebrate their Outstanding Miniseries win.

Rivals "Entertainment Tonight" and "Access Hollywood" sit right next to each other in the entertainment TV magazine row backstage.

"Jimmy Kimmel Live's" Guillermo could be seen walking around the press room all night.

Outside the L.A. Live area, bicyclists who made the trek to the Emmys gather.

One more shot of the bikes. Emmys
"Modern Family" star Eric Stonestreet participates in an ALS Ice Bucket Challenge video on the street behind the Nokia. First, the setup.

Then, the ice water pour!

And finally, the chilly aftermath.

Monday, August 25, 2014

MIKE ON KCRW: Guest Hosting "The Business" and Chatting with Mark Duplass

KCRW The Business

On this week's episode of KCRW's The Business, I'm guest hosting, filling in for Kim Masters, and handling the Hollywood headlines banter (this week with The Hollywood Reporter's Matt Belloni) and also interviewed filmmaker Charlie McDowell and indie darling Mark Duplass, both of whom are behind the new indie film The One I Love. A synopsis of this week's episode:

Radius, the boutique label of The Weinstein Company, is known for their multi-platform distribution strategy. We look at two Radius films from this summer, Snowpiercer, and The One I Love. The co-president of Radius Tom Quinn tells us why Snowpiercer went to VOD very quickly after a small theatrical release, and Charlie McDowell and Mark Duplass say putting their movie The One I Love on VOD first helped build a fan base that would thoughtfully market the mysterious indie for them.

Banter topics: - As the Emmys near and excitement builds, there’s also grumbling about the anticipated traffic problems of holding the event in downtown Los Angeles on Monday at rush-hour. Plus, people are still rightfully confused about shows being nominated in categories where they don’t belong.

- AMC struck gold with TV shows like Mad Men and Breaking Bad. But now, the network is facing a bare cupboard.

- The NFL wants bands to pay for the privilege of performing at the Superbowl, the most-watched television event of the year.

Listen below!

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