WPXI | Tuesday, April 25, 2017, 6:48 a.m. Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia, stars of NBC’s “This is Us,” will be […]POSTED ON: April 25, 2017
‘This is Us’ stars Moore, Ventimiglia to announce Steelers’ draft pick in Pittsburgh
WPXI | Tuesday, April 25, 2017, 6:48 a.m.
Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia, stars of NBC’s “This is Us,” will be in Pittsburgh Saturday to announce the Steelers’ fourth-round NFL Draft pick.
Moore and Ventimiglia will make the announcement at Heinz Field, an NBC spokesperson said Monday.
“This is Us” is set in Pittsburgh, and Moore and Ventimiglia will shoot promos for the Steelers’ in-stadium screen while they’re in town.
The Steelers will be celebrating the 2017 Steelers Fan Blitz with events on Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. Among the planned events is a Q&A session with Moore and Ventimiglia at the FedEx Great Hall stage.
JIM SPEZIALETTI | Monday, April 24, 2017, 11:00 p.m. When Hollywood comes to town and needs behind-the-scenes help, students in the […]POSTED ON: April 25, 2017
CCAC program stirs film passions into professions
JIM SPEZIALETTI | Monday, April 24, 2017, 11:00 p.m.
When Hollywood comes to town and needs behind-the-scenes help, students in the film technician certificate program at Community College of Allegheny County South Campus can step in without missing a beat.
Without having a formal program in past years, George Jaber, CCAC theater professor and department head, has been able to place students in the film and television industry. With the addition of the film technician certificate program, CCAC students will get jobs with a family-sustaining income, he said.
“If you take one class here, you can get a job. If you take the full program, you can have a career,” said P.J. Gaynard, assistant professor of the film technician program.
CCAC has invested more than $200,000 in cameras, lenses and other equipment needed to make movies and commercials. But learning how to operate the camera is a small part of the course.
The program has five Apple computers with an eight-terabyte hard drives and 27-inch monitors with 5K resolution. The computers are loaded with the full Adobe Suite and Final Draft, the premier script writing program. The computers are used for the production management course.
CCAC has an agreement with Entertainment Partners to use Movie Magic Scheduling. Entertainment Partners donated 15 licenses to the school. Each license costs $500. Movie Magic Scheduling enables students to learn budgeting and scheduling.
“If you know this program, you can get a job in the film industry,” Gaynard said.
Jaber, who is a member of the Motion Picture Studio Mechanics Local 489, recalls returning theater props to Carnegie Mellon University in 1989. CMU prop master Norman Beck told Jaber that there was work as a film carpenter for George Romero’s “The Dark Half.”
The work would be Jaber’s first as a film carpenter for a movie and the first show that he salvaged the scenery to benefit the CCAC theater department. Jaber dubs himself “The Sultan of Salvage Scenery.”
More importantly, Jaber saw the industry’s need for non-union help. In 2007 with the Pennsylvania film tax credit, Jaber said membership in Local 489 exploded. He said 10 percent of the membership growth came from CCAC students, many of whom are still working in the industry.
“We’re trying to make film technicians. The goal here is to have technically minded people who are capable of walking onto a film set and just being amazing,” Gaynard said.
Beyond the camera work, Gaynard said the program will teach students about the construction angle of film and how to build walls and sets. Positions such as grip electric and construction are in great need, Gaynard said.
The film technician certificate program has 23 courses. Jaber and Gaynard said the course allows students to experience all aspects of the film and television industry.
“They know how to do film work even if they are just carpenters,” Jaber said. “The key is we are training workers.”
Student Kate Traugott, 25, of Moon became interested in film after watching “The Fall” directed by Tarsem Singh. Traugott was looking for a different career and learned about the film program at CCAC South.
“I wanted to test the waters. They have a bunch of classes. I took two classes that were completely opposite,” Traugott said.
She studied film production and special effect makeup. Traugott discovered her passion with film production.
“I want to be a director and writer. I enjoy it,” she said.
Traugott also likes how Gaynard challenges the students by having them take ownership of their work.
Traugott’s final project is a 68-minute short film. She had two shoot days that lasted 12 hours both times. Two more shoot days were needed to complete the project. Instead of a final exam, each student will present their film in front of peers and professors.
The film technician program is held in the area that was once the day care center. The goal is to have a larger facility to encompass all aspects of the industry, such as construction, gear prep, sound stage, computer classroom and screening room.
“This is just the beginning, and that’s why I am excited about it,” Gaynard said.
Casting directors for a new television series that will soon begin production in Pittsburgh are looking for paid extras. An […]POSTED ON: April 17, 2017
Extras needed for new TV series set to film in Pittsburgh
Casting directors for a new television series that will soon begin production in Pittsburgh are looking for paid extras.
An open casting call for the NBC Universal International Studios series “Gone” will be held on April 22 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
Filming will take place from early May through early September.
Casting directors are looking for children, teens, adults and seniors. No experience is necessary.
“Gone” is based on Chelsea Cain’s novel “One Kick.” It tells the story of Kit “Kick” Lanagan, a survivor of a child abduction case who teams up years later with the FBI agent who rescued her.
The series stars Leven Rambin, Danny Pino and Chris Noth.
Joe Otterson TV [email protected] “Outsiders” has been canceled after two seasons at WGN America, Variety has learned. The drama series follows […]POSTED ON: April 14, 2017
‘Outsiders’ Canceled After Two Seasons on WGN America
TV Reporter @JoeOtterson
“Outsiders” has been canceled after two seasons at WGN America, Variety has learned.
The drama series follows the exploits of the Farrell clan, a Kentucky family that has lived atop Shay Mountain for over 200 years. But their off-the-grid way of life is threatened when a coal company decides to strip mine the mountain, leading to serious confrontations between the Farrells and the world below.
Peter Kern, interim president and CEO of Tribune Media issued the following statement on the series:
“After three years of investing in marquee, brand-defining dramas, WGN America has successfully expanded its audience, its reach, and its presence in the minds of viewers. In our next phase, we intend to expand our original and unique content to continue growing our relevance and appeal to the widest possible audience. To achieve this, we will be reallocating our resources to a more diverse programming strategy and to new structures, enabling us to expand both the quantity and breadth of content aired by WGN America. This move is designed to deliver even more value to our advertising and distribution partners. To free up the resources to reach this goal, we will unfortunately not be renewing ‘Outsiders.’ We are grateful to our production partners at Sony Pictures Television and the terrifically talented people who made the show possible.”
The series stars David Morse, Ryan Hurst, Gillian Alexy, Kyle Gallner, Christina Jackson, and Thomas M. Wright. Peter Mattei created the series and executive produces along with Peter Tolan, Paul Giamatti, Dan Carey and Michael Wimer. Sony Pictures Television, Tribune Studios, Fedora Entertainment, and Touchy Feely Films produce. The Season 2 finale will air on April 25.
The show was WGN America’s third original series after “Salem” and “Manhattan,” which both ended after their third and second seasons respectively. It is currently WGN’s top-rated original, averaging 2 million viewers across four airings on Tuesday night. The Underground Railroad drama “Underground,” also currently in its second season, is now the sole original series on the network. However, the network is currently in production on a pilot for “Scalped,” a drama set on a Native American reservation based on the DC graphic novel series of the same name.
The cancellation comes a month after Kern took over Tribune Media following the exit of CEO Peter Liguori, who announced his resignation in January. Ligouri came onboard in 2013 and invested heavily in developing original programming for the network, though the shows developed under his tenure have failed to achieve ratings on par with their cost.
Earlier this week, Tribune Media also abruptly shut down a national digital news service — which would have included content aggregated from its 42 local TV stations — less than two weeks before it was slated to launch as part of a broad restructuring of its digital operations.
By Rob Owen / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Two TV series debut this week featuring the writing of Western Pennsylvania natives. Mt. […]POSTED ON: April 7, 2017
Tuned In: Two writers with local ties debut new TV series
Two TV series debut this week featuring the writing of Western Pennsylvania natives.
Mt. Lebanon native Terri Minsky, best known for creating Disney Channel’s “Lizzie McGuire,” returns to the Mouse House with “Andi Mack” (8:30 Friday night).
Charleroi native Brian McGreevy, who grew up in Swissvale and Edgewood, adapted “The Son,” based on Philipp Meyer’s novel, for AMC and SundanceTV (9 p.m. Saturday).
A coming-of-age story about 13-year-old Andi Mack (Peyton Elizabeth Lee), this new Disney show features a title character who learns that the family member she thought was her older sister is actually her mother. There’s a bit of a “Gilmore Girls” vibe to the relationship between Andi and her newly revealed mother, Bex (Lilian Bowden), but Ms. Minsky said the story was actually based on actor Jack Nicholson’s life story (he also learned his sister was actually his mother).
“It seemed like a simple reveal that turns a family story on its head,” Ms. Minsky said in a phone interview this week. “The most important thing to me is writing about family dynamics and as much as possible I like writing mother-daughter stories.”
Filmed in Salt Lake City, where Disney Channel produced the “High School Musical” movies, Ms. Minsky said she always envisioned the show as set in suburban Pittsburgh.
“The neighborhood they live in is Shadyside and there are references to a Shadyside Park,” Ms. Minsky said. “But there are mountains in the show. We decided to make it Anytown, USA, but in my mind the design for the main drag is after Shadyside’s Walnut Street and the rest of it is just suburban Pittsburgh as I experienced it.”
Andi attends Thomas Jefferson Middle School; Ms. Minsky attended Mt. Lebanon’s Jefferson Middle School.
Andi’s father — actually, it turns out, her grandfather — is named HAM after Ms. Minsky’s late father, lawyer Howard Alan Minsky. Ms. Minsky’s mother, Joan, who still lives in Mt. Lebanon, had a character named after her in Ms. Minsky’s previous series, MTV’s “Finding Carter.”
Mr. McGreevy executive produced “The Son” in its early stages with writing partner Lee Shipman and has a writing credit on the series’ premiere episode. The pair previously ran the first season of Netflix’s “Hemlock Grove,” based on Mr. McGreevy’s gothic horror novel.
Pierce Brosnan (“Remington Steel”) stars in “The Son” as Eli McCullough, a sometimes brutal family patriarch who loses everything on Texas’ wild frontier, setting him on a path to rebuild with a ranching-and-oil dynasty. “The Son” also flashes back to young Eli (Jacob Lofland) and his Comanche war chief father figure (Zahn McClarnon, “Fargo”).
“I don’t think I’ve ever played a man as complex as this and as broad [with] this emotional grandeur,” said Mr. Brosnan, who had been looking to return to his TV roots for the past few years. “It’s a different landscape than when you joined TV back in the early ’80s, completely. So, it’s a different beast. And, you know, consequently for the audience, it’s exhilarating.”
Mr. McGreevy developed the series with Mr. Shipman and Mr. Meyer over several years. Mr. Meyer’s book was published in 2013, but he said Mr. McGreevy had read drafts of it in 2011. The trio met in grad school in 2005 at the University of Texas at Austin’s writing program.
“They helped me research the book,” Mr. Meyer said in January following an AMC press conference for “The Son” at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. “Without these guys, there is no project, end of story, period.”
Mr. Meyer said, “Those guys both had other things to do,” and he departed “The Son” before production began with veteran showrunner Kevin Murphy (“Desperate Housewives,” “Defiance”) coming on board.
AMC declined to make Mr. McGreevy available to discuss “The Son” and Mr. McGreevy did not respond to an emailed interview request.
USA renewed “Falling Water” for a second season and “Colony” for a third.
A month after Netflix renewed “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” for a second season, The Hollywood Reporter says the streaming service also has picked up the show for a third go-around.
IFC renewed “Brockmire,” which debuted Wednesday, for a second season.
FXX canceled “Man Seeking Woman” after three seasons.
Fox News Channel canceled “Red Eye,” with the last episode airing overnight tonight at 3 a.m.
Former Pittsburgher Steve Byrne (“Sullivan & Son”) stars in a stand-up special, “Tell the Damn Joke” (9 tonight), on Showtime. … Comedy Central, previous home to “That’s My Bush” during the first term of George W. Bush, will air “The President Show” (11:30 p.m. April 27) starring Donald Trump impersonator Anthony Atamanuik. … Come fall “Daily Show” correspondent Jordan Klepper will get his own 11:30 p.m. show in the time slot vacated by the canceled “Nightly Show.” … “The Peoples’ Choice Awards” will relocate from CBS to E! in 2018. …Disney Channel ordered “Raven’s Home,” a spinoff of “That’s So Raven.” … Nickelodeon will produce a 90-minute “Invader Zim” movie. … Canceled “Masterpiece” drama “Home Fires,” airing its second and final season Sunday nights at 9 on PBS, will continue in novel form, according to England’s Radio Times. … British imports “The Halcyon,” set at a London hotel in 1940, and “X Company,” about World War II espionage, will air on cable’s Ovation in fall 2017 and early 2018, respectively. … Amazon landed streaming rights for Thursday night NFL games during the upcoming season.
Tuned In online
Today’s TV Q&A column responds to questions about “The Blacklist,” “Nashville” and “The Kennedys: After Camelot.” This week’s Tuned In Journal includes posts on “Talk Show the Game Show.” Read online-only TV content at http://communityvoices.post-gazette.com/arts-entertainment-living/tuned-in.
This week’s podcast includes conversation about “Big Little Lies,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Legion.” Subscribe or listen to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette podcasts at iTunes or at https://soundcloud.com/pittsburghpg.
TV writer Rob Owen: [email protected] or 412-263-2582. Follow RobOwenTV on Twitter or Facebook for breaking TV news.
“New Technologies for Media: Producing for the Digital Era” will include a panel discussion featuring digital production teams from several […]April 5, 2017
SMPTE-Pittsburgh’s New Technologies for Media: Producing for the Digital Era
“New Technologies for Media: Producing for the Digital Era” will include a panel discussion featuring digital production teams from several area shows, including student-produced programs. Panelists will make a presentation about how their productions are created and distributed, followed by a moderated Q&A session. This should be something a little different than our usual technical presentations, so please feel free to spread the word and invite others who may be interested.
The event will be held at the Point park University Center for Media Innovation in downtown Pittsburgh from 6:00 P.M. until 9:00 P.M. The event is free and, as usual, open to both SMPTE members and all interested guests. A light dinner will be served, sponsored by PMI (Production Masters, Inc.).More Info & Tickets
BOB KARLOVITS | Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 3:12 p.m. The best Pittsburgh routes to the wilderness will emerge April 8 and […]POSTED ON: April 5, 2017
Venture Outdoors to screen 18 Banff film fest entries at Byham
BOB KARLOVITS | Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 3:12 p.m.
The best Pittsburgh routes to the wilderness will emerge April 8 and 9 at the Byham Theater.
For the 15th year, Venture Outdoors will screen some of the top entries from the Banff Mountain Film Festival in an event that has become a true rite of spring in this area.
The screenings here have drifted through a number of locations — from the Carnegie Lecture Hall in Oakland to the Carnegie Library Music Hall in Munhall.
But Donna Bour from the outdoors activity group seems to like the Byham the best and is pleased to have this year’s group of 18 films there.
The films look at outdoor life in many ways, from accounts of daring adventures to examinations of environmental issues. They can be only a few minutes long to over an hour, which makes the time in the theater move briskly.
This year’s features include “Being Hear,” a look at the glory of silence; “The Grand Siberian Traverse,” a trip on the Trans-Siberian Railroad; and “Max Your Day,” about the summer solstice in western Canada.
This year’s event will have VIP get-togethers both days instead of only on Saturday. The auctions for trips and equipment also will be accessible online so fans of the festival can participate even if they are not there.
A post-screening get-together will be April 8 at the Elks Lodge in Pittsburgh’s North Side.
The films are part of a festival at Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity in Alberta, Canada. The 42nd annual film event in the fall drew 326 submissions. Of those, 96 were chosen as finalists and taken on the road for screenings in 550 locations in 40 countries on all seven continents.
Screenings will begin at 7 p.m. April 8 and 5 p.m. April 9. The VIP parties will begin at 4:30 and 2:30 p.m. on those respective days.
Admission is $20 for April 8, $15 for April 9 and $40 with the post-screening event. VIP tickets are $100.
Details: 412-456-6666 or trustarts.org
Bob Karlovits is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.
By Maria Sciullo / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Although her opponent was good, it really wasn’t much of a battle. Lilli Passero, […]POSTED ON: April 1, 2017
Reality check: Carnegie Mellon University grad excels on ‘The Voice’
Although her opponent was good, it really wasn’t much of a battle.
Lilli Passero, a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, took on high school junior Lauryn Judd of Draper City, Colo., this week in a battle round of NBC’s “The Voice.” The ladies sang a duet on Brenda Holloway’s breakup song, “Every Little Bit Hurts.”
Ms. Passero, 26, of Studio City, Calif., said in rehearsal that she has been there, emotionally, and she brought that to her performance. The lyrics, she said “felt true.”
When they were done, it was clear the three other judges were more impressed by her experienced take on the song.
“Mesmerizing — No one was going to mess with you up there,” said Gwen Stefani.
Coach Alicia Keys, citing Ms. Passero’s “strength and aggression” on stage, sent her through to the knockout rounds.
Adam Levine, who was the only coach not to turn a chair during Ms. Passero’s blind audition, seemed to be having some second thoughts about that. He approached Ms. Keys after the round was done to say, “Lilli can win.”
“The Voice” continues with shows on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Also on reality TV
• Pittsburgh’s Michael Rado, owner of Butcher on Butler, was caught up in drama as CBS’s “The Amazing Race” returned (Thursdays). Mr. Rado and his partner, Liz Espey of Maryville, Mo., struggled to complete the detour, a boat race in Panama.
Although they finished ahead of Jennifer Lee and Kevin Ng, they got lost en route to the pit stop. Ms. Lee and Mr. Ng arrived first but incurred a two-hour penalty when they were unable to complete the challenge. In the end, a very frustrated Mr. Rado and Ms. Espey reached the finish in time to move on to the next round.
Pittsburgh native, Allderdice grad and rock climbing instructor Becca Droz and her teammate, Floyd Pierce, emerged as a fun team to watch. Youngstown, Ohio, police officer Jessica Shields and her teammate, Francesca Piccoli, a drill sergeant from Texas, appear to be an intimidating duo.
In an “Amazing Race” first, total strangers picked teams at the starting line.
• With seven designers left on “Face Off: All-Stars” (Syfy, Tuesdays), the two super teams had to create trios of “cursed” witches. The judges’ favorite concept and execution of the night was by Tyler Green, a Tom Savini Monessen program grad.
Mr. Green put his background in biology and trees to good use, creating a witch transforming into a tangled mass of vines. Glenn Hetrick said he “absolutely adored” this work.
His three-person super team scored an upset of sorts, winning as a group. That meant the other team, featuring three members with Pittsburgh ties, had to put someone on the chopping block. While George Troester (Art Institute of Pittsburgh), Cig Neutron and Evan Hedges (Savini) were praised for their work on a rat-like coven (judge Neville Page declared the noses “works of art”), the fourth, Texan Ben Ploughman, was eliminated.
• Season one of “Friday Night Tykes: Steel Country” (Esquire Network) was nominated for a Sports Emmy this week in the category of outstanding serialized sports documentary.
The show follows youth football in Beaver County, and one well-received episode featured a young “gender fluid” player, Abby Scott of Monaca.
The 38th Emmys will be handed out in New York City May 9.
• Is it reality television if it isn’t on television? The United Kingdom’s Channel 4 made news recently when it was revealed “Eden,” a let’s-remake-society experiment that sent 23 people into the Scottish Highlands to tough it out, ran only four episodes last summer.
Then the producers apparently did not inform the remaining residents of “Eden” that the show experiment was over. What began in March 2016 only recently concluded with everyone going home.
The show’s execs, however, have backpedaled, saying they intend to edit more episodes for future viewing.
This is a reminder that Fox’s “Utopia,” a similar 2014 social project, was supposed to last a year. It was canceled after seven weeks. At least the producers didn’t just leave them out there.
• TLC hopes to capture “awe-inspiring, shocking and emotional real moments LIVE” on April 23. Every episode of “This Is Life Live” will follow two stories of families experiencing “twists, turns and huge surprises” during events leading up to the one-hour episodes.
Becuase this will be, well, live, we presume the stories will all be of the surefire, feel-good variety and avoid the landmines of pregnancy test results or proposals of marriage. After each episode, viewers can ask questions of the participants in the digital aftershow.
By Sharon Eberson / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette The enchantment that changed Neville Longbottom into Lucius Malfoy wasn’t from the “Harry Potter” […]POSTED ON: March 31, 2017
‘Harry Potter’s’ Neville coming to Steel City Con in April
The enchantment that changed Neville Longbottom into Lucius Malfoy wasn’t from the “Harry Potter” list of spells but the demands of a new “Star Trek” series.
Jason Isaacs, best known as Lucius Malfoy by virtue of the popularity of the “Harry Potter” films, was due to be a headliner at the Steel City Con Friday through Sunday, but he has been grounded as Captain Lorca in the CBS All-Access series “Star Trek: Discovery.” The premiere for “Discovery” was set for January but has since been delayed indefinitely.
Enter Matthew Lewis, aka Neville, the bumbling boy wizard who emerged as a hero as the “Harry Potter” films progressed. It was announced Friday that he will attend all three days of the Steel City Con. “Harry Potter” alums Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) and Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley) have been recent guests of the Steel City Con, one of the world’s largest toys and collectibles conventions.
Other celebrity guests April 7-9 will include “Star Wars” actors Billy Dee Williams and Anthony Daniels; TV’s Batman and Robin, Adam West and Burt Ward; “Bionic Woman” Lindsay Wagner; and Caroll Spinney, the voice of “Sesame Street’s” Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch.
Times are 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission: $23 on Friday and Sunday; $35 Saturday; $50 three-day pass. In the event a ticket category is sold out and you have not purchased tickets in advance, you will have to wait outside until the attendance level inside the convention center drops. Check SteelCityCon.com for a full list of guests and times and fees for autograph and photo opps.
Sharon Eberson: [email protected] or 412-263-1960. Twitter: @SEberson_pg.
Ticket sales open for 24th annual JFilm Festival March 30, 2017 12:00 AM By Courtney Linder / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Advance […]POSTED ON: March 30, 2017
Ticket sales open for 24th annual JFilm Festival
Advance ticket sales begin online Thursday for the 24th annual JFilm Festival, an 11-day celebration of International Jewish-themed films.
Twenty full-length films will be presented from April 20-30 at various locations in Pittsburgh, including Manor Theatre in Squirrel Hill, South Hills Village 10 and Hollywood Theater in Dormont. One film, “There Are Jews Here,” will be shown at Seton Hill University’s Performing Arts Center in Greensburg at 7 p.m. April 26.
Opening night kicks off at the Manor at 7 p.m. April 20 with the Pittsburgh premiere of Israeli film “Harmonia,” which details a biblical tale of love, motherhood and sibling rivalry through the lens of a symphony orchestra in present-day Jerusalem. After the film, there will be a party at the JCC-Katz Theater in memory of longtime JFilm committee member Lois Weaver.
“The Exception,” the last film of the festival, will screen at 7 p.m. April 30 at the Manor. Based on the novel “The Kaiser’s Last Kiss,” the film explores occupied Holland during WWII, focusing on the narrative of a retired Kaiser and a love story between a Dutch-Jewish spy and a German soldier.
Tickets are $70 for the opening night film and reception ($25 for full-time students). General admission tickets are $12; plus variety of other pricing.
For a full schedule and ticket sales, visit www.filmpittsburgh.org or call 412-426-3456.