Hollywood Stars Named In Bitter Legal Battle For Overseas Film Payments

Iceland’s wild scenery, tax breaks lure Hollywood

27 2013 at 2:24 PM Categories: Crazytown xubangwen / Flickr Only days after the city of West Hollywood enacted one of the nation’s first bans on fur clothing, a local boutique called Mayfair House has filed suit in U.S. District Court. See also: West Hollywood Fur Ban Hits on Last Day of Summer. The store essentially claims that the town has no right to ban new fur retailing because the product is derived from wild animals such as foxes, minks, beavers and coyotes, which are under the purview of state law. In other words, the lawsuit, obtained by the Weekly, argues, … … that the WeHo City Council has no business interfering with state rules. It says California has the “exclusive authority” … … to enact legislation relating to the protection of wildlife, and that authority includes the power to pass laws regulating the market for products of wildlife. Sounds persuasive to us. As we noted previously, the law is just another typical attempt to generate headlines by city officials.

The actor made a name for himself in hit TV shows including 24, Heroes and American Horror Story, as well as Spock in J.J. Abrams Star Trek reboot, but he has always longed to be a Broadway performer. Quinto is now making his debut on the Great White Way in a revival of Tennessee Williams classic play The Glass Menagerie, and he admits he would give up film if he could work solely onstage. He tells the Associated Press, It (Hollywood) was always a means to an end to me. I always felt like I wanted to be in L.A. so that I could come back here (to New York) and do theater and now Im making good on that promise to myself I didnt want to come in, swoop in with my name above the title of the play like I was some Hollywood entity. Ive been doing theater since I was 10. Theatres my jam. Its my life, ultimately. If I could make a living just doing theatre, I feel like I really might. The 36-year-old is determined to soak up every moment of living and working in the Big Apple: I was walking to work today. Ive been walking the past few days because its so beautiful out, so I walk from downtown. And I was like, This is my life living in Manhattan, a dream Ive always had, and Im walking to my theater on Broadway to do Tennessee Williams. Its not lost on me. I really am humbled by it often. I feel really grateful.

“The Collaboration: Hollywood’s Pact with Hitler,” by Ben Urwand

Photographer take pictures as the Soyuz TMA-10M spacecraft carrying the International Space Station (ISS) crew of U.S. astronaut U.S. astronaut Michael Hopkins, Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy blasts off from the launch pad at the Baikonur cosmodrome September 26, 2013. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov  (KAZAKHSTAN - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY)

More than two dozen people, including Julie Andrews, Colin Firth, Justin Timberlake and Natalie Portman, are included on a list of possible witnesses in the case brought against The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA.) The case is being pursued by Ed Asner, 83, a former union president in the 1980s. Asner has won more Emmys than any other male actor and became a household name in the 1970s playing Lou Grant in The Mary Tyler Moore Show. More recently, he voiced the lead character in Disneyas animated film Up. More than a dozen fellow plaintiffs, who together call themselves The United Screen Actors Committee, have joined the suit. They include Clancy Brown, who played the bullying prison guard Byron Hadley in The Shawshank Redemption, and others who have worked on TV series including The West Wing, The X-Files, Beverly Hills 90210, and Murder, She Wrote. The list of stars named as potential witnesses also includes Jamie Lee Curtis, Carol Burnett, Ozzy Osbourne and Harry Connick Jr, along with representatives of the estates of Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando and Heath Ledger. The union, which is adamant it has done nothing wrong, collects residual payments when films and television episodes starring its members are shown outside the United States. Payments are distributed on a quarterly basis to any performer who has accrued at least $10 in foreign payments. In lengthy legal submissions Asner and his fellow plaintiffs refer to an aextreme web these parties have woven to steal money that rightfully belongs to US performersa. They accuse SAG-AFTRA of asecretinga money in a trust, generating millions in interest, for more than a decade and claim that the amount has askyrocketeda to more than $130 million. The actors also say the unionas claim that it was hindered by an aantiquated computer systema were asuspect,a and that it has spent millions updating computers. Lawyers for the union say the case has ano merita and are seeking to have it dismissed at a hearing on Oct 7 in Los Angeles before Judge Manuel Real.

At first, the German foreign office complained that warlike images in Hollywood movies offended national honor and hindered its people from rejoining the community of nations. Then it asked for protection of Germanys healthy racial feelings. Finally, it sought a prohibition on the rendering of sympathetic Jewish characters. Or any Jewish characters. The irony of the hypocrisy rises to additional heights or sinks to greater depths because the majority of the executives who acceded to the Germans ever-increasing demands for control were themselves Jewish, in many cases refugees from Europe. Abetted in their cowardice by various Hollywood rabbis as well as the Anti-Defamation League, these Jewish producers convinced themselves that too great a focus on Jewish suffering in a still-isolationist America might lead to anti-Semitic backlash. Urwand tracks German intervention in several movies, including Hells Angels, All Quiet on the Western Front and Sinclair Lewiss fable of fascism in America, It Cant Happen Here. Although Germany never paid directly for these favors, as companies now do in having their latest superhero glance at a Rolex, its aim was propagandistic product placement. Moviemakers concerned with the bottom line? The main problem with Urwands thesis is the unspoken assumption that Louis B. Mayer, William Fox, the Warner brothers and others ought to have acted in accord with a higher standard when they were neither elected representatives nor moral philosophers. They were moviemakers, and all they wanted was to amass fortunes and sit at the best table in the Brown Derby and play their mogul games and sing their mogul songs. If they prostituted themselves, they may have been shameful, but they were true to their nature. But if Urwand labors to turn a scholarly molehill into a mountain, he does the opposite in narrative moments throughout The Collaboration. One such instance occurs on the first page of the prologue, a description of a private viewing of King Kong. They saw an enormous gorilla .

Zachary Quinto: ‘I would quit Hollywood for theater career’

This remote North Atlantic islands vast and unforgiving landscape has served as a stand-in for other planets, the Himalayas and even HBOs Game of Thrones snow-filled fantasy world in recent productions. The countrys unique environment, along with generous tax incentives, continues to attract some of the biggest Hollywood filmmakers and television producers. (AP Photo/Truenorth Productions) JENNA GOTTLIEB 23 hours ago REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) It has doubled as an alien planet, a Himalayan peak and even the snow-filled fantasy world of the “Game of Thrones.” Still recovering from financial collapse, Iceland can perhaps be forgiven for seeking alternate identities. And Hollywood is providing the remote North Atlantic island much needed revenue and jobs as well as a touch of glamour as it struggles to emerge from its nationwide banking and currency debacle. The country’s unique environment, along with generous tax incentives, continues to attract some of the biggest Hollywood filmmakers and television producers. “The main factor is the incredible landscape that we have,” said Einar Sveinn Thordarson, the director of marketing for Pegasus, which provides production services for HBO’s “Game of Thrones”; the hit series has filmed in Iceland three times. “It’s very unique, and that’s what inspires people the most.” This summer, about 300 crewmembers spent two weeks at Iceland’s Thingvellir National Park, shooting for the upcoming fourth season. Game of Thrones producer Chris Newman told Icelandic news website Visir this summer that they were creating the Westeros world in the drama and that Iceland fits the vision for the imaginary continent. “I’ve been filming here and working here for 25 years working on and off and I know, having driven around so much, that there’s so much landscape here to make the show just seem enormous,” said Newman. Producers have come to treasure Iceland for its strange and magnificent appearance: otherworldly black lava fields, active volcanos and gushing geysers. The variety of locations and landscapes is a huge selling point not only for television shows, but also big Hollywood films, said Leifur Dagfinnsson, chairman and founding partner of Truenorth, which has worked on films including “The Fifth Estate” a film about WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange and “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” Director Ridley Scott chose Iceland as his alien planet for the 2012 sci-fi film “Prometheus,” choosing to shoot in Iceland’s northern highlands. Iceland also hosted a crew of 1,000 people for Clint Eastwood’s 2006 war film “Flags of Our Fathers.” In addition to the wild landscapes, there are financial reasons to shoot in Iceland. Tax incentives lure filmmakers, as the government operates a generous reimbursement program. Visiting film productions could get reimbursed up to 20 percent of their production costs while filming on Icelandic soil, a substantial benefit on films costing tens or hundreds of millions of dollars. To qualify for the rebate, filmmakers must establish a company in Iceland, or create an Icelandic branch of an existing company.