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Why Is Stan Lee’s Legacy in Question?

Posted February 24, 2016 By rariccardi


By
Illustration by Kelsey Dake

It’s the 93-year-old comic-book god’s universe.

People are almost always surprised when I tell them Stan Lee is 93. He doesn’t scan as a young man, exactly, but frozen in time a couple of decades younger than he is, embodying still the larger-than-life image he crafted for himself in the 1970s — silver hair, tinted shades, caterpillar mustache, jubilant grin, bouncing gait, antiquated Noo Yawk brogue. We envision him spreading his arms wide while describing the magic of superhero fiction, or giving a thumbs up while yelling his trademark non sequitur, Excelsior! He’s pop culture’s perpetually energetic 70-something grandpa, popping in for goofy cameos in movies about the Marvel Comics characters he co-created (well, he’s often just said “created,” but we’ll get to that in a minute) in the 1960s. But even then, he was old enough to be his fans’ father — not a teenage boy-genius reimagining the comics world to suit the tastes of his peers but already a middle-aged man, and one who still looked down a bit on the form he was reinventing.
And yet, Lee has no superhuman resistance to the aging process. “My eyesight has gotten terrible and I can’t read comic books anymore,” he recently told Britain’s Radio Times in a rare moment of departure from his usual cheerful, product-promoting talking points. “Not only a comic book, but I can’t read the newspaper or a novel or anything,” he said. “I miss reading 100 percent. It’s my biggest miss in the world. … It’s awful to feel a thousand years old.”

Source: Why Is Stan Lee’s Legacy in Question?

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Illustration by Wesley Bedrosian

From the C-suite to the caterers on their feet: Information gleaned from the Sony hack, and reporting on comparable studios, give a glimpse into the paydays on studio film shoots.

This story first appeared in the Oct. 9 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

“People in this business are always looking at other people and comparing,” says a top Hollywood attorney. “I always have clients calling me and saying, ‘Am I being paid enough? Should I be paid more?’ ”

Luckily for all, there’s lots of comparing to do in THR‘s second annual What Hollywood Earns report. To research the salaries of everyone from key grips to movie stars, the magazine consulted with executives, producers, payroll service companies, the industry guilds and others who have inside information about how and where the money is flowing in 2015 (including a horse farm in upstate New York that “FedExes” its animal actors to Hollywood shooting locations). This year, thanks to North Korean cybercriminals, there were other sources as well — the thousands of emails and employment contracts that spilled Hollywood salary secrets all over the Internet during last November’s Sony hack.

The takeaway? TV producing fees are up (to as much as $75,000 an episode), Meryl Streep gets rich even from flops ($5 million for Ricki and the Flash?), and extras love it when it rains.

WHO MAKES WHAT ON THE LOT

Studio Tour Guide

Yukking it up with tourists around the lot pays $26 an hour, but only after a training period during which compensation is $20 an hour.

Television Actor

Newcomers can expect to earn just $15,000 to $20,000 per episode on a network or cable series. Experienced actors take home as much as $75,000 to $100,000 an episode, and bigger stars can earn $150,000 to topline a series in its first season. Raises (usually about 4 percent) come each subsequent season (James Spader made $160,000 per episode for season two of The Blacklist;Jeff Garlin made $84,000 per episode on season two of The Goldbergs), but the real money comes after contract renegotiations (usually for season 3). In breakout success, the stars of hit shows eventually can earn as much as a cool $1 million an episode (The Big Bang Theory‘sJohnny Galecki and Jim Parsons).

Film Writer

Established movie scribes can make $1 million a script, plus a bonus if they get final credit. Selling a spec screenplay can range from the low-six figures to $3 million (what Sony paid James Vanderbilt for White House Down) or more. The most lucrative work can come via rewrites or touch-ups, where bankable script doctors can make $500,000 for just a few weeks of effort.

Craft Services

Dispensing celery sticks and Twizzlers to the cast and crew earns these workers about $1,200 a week.

Television Writer

Staff writers can start at WGA scale — $37,368 for an hourlong script, $25,408 for a half-hour — or earn $7,000 to $15,000 an episode in weekly fees. Seasoned scribes also get episodic producing fees of $20,000 to $30,000, even for episodes they don’t write. Raises come in subsequent seasons.

Gaffer

They make $45 an hour and work 10 to 15 weeks per film.

Film Producer

On-the-lot overhead deals have been squeezed, but for a studio release, seasoned producers can make $1.5 million to $2 million upfront and often much more in backend (though first-dollar-gross deals are nearly extinct.) Will Smith and James Lassiter’s Overbrook Entertainment made $2 million for producing last year’s Annie.

Publicist

A unit publicist hired by a studio earns about $2,750 a week, or $41,000 per film. Personal publicists employed by stars earn much more, with some making $400,000 or more a year.

TV Show Creator

They make most of their money in producing fees, with raises in subsequent seasons. Vince Gilligan got $50,000 per episode of Better Call Saul, Jon Bokenkamp earned $37,500 per episode for season two of The Blacklist, and Adam Goldberg got $50,000 per episode for season two ofThe Goldbergs.

Film Actor

A-list stars still can make between $5 million (Meryl Streep’s pay for Ricki and the Flash) and $20 million (what Denzel Washington got upfront for The Equalizer) to much more with backend (Robert Downey Jr. reportedly made $50 million for The Avengers). Supporting actors don’t fare as well (Kevin Kline made $350,000 for his part in Ricki).

First AD

First assistant directors get paid about $8,000 a week and generally work 15 to 20 weeks on a major shoot, for a total of $120,000 to $160,000 per film.

Script Supervisor

They get paid about $40 an hour and typically work 12 days on an hourlong TV drama, taking home $7,000 an episode.

Supporting Actor

Sidekicks, next-door neighbors and other nonstarring TV roles pay in the mid-five figures per episode. Jonathan Banks got $65,000 per episode on Better Call Saul‘s first season, and the kids on season two of The Goldbergs earned $20,000 to $25,000 each.

Warm-Up Comedian

Those super-pumped comics who keep studio audiences entertained before TV tapings get paid $3,000 to $5,000 a show.

Studio Chief

Running a studio pays a base salary of $3 million to $5 million (what Jeff Robinov reportedly got at Warner Bros.), but bonuses can bring the amount to the mid-eight figures.

DP

The director of photography makes $10,000 to $20,000 a week on a 15-week shoot. A few, likeRoger Deakins, earn much more ($30,000 or more).

Film Director

Studio paychecks range from $500,000 (what newcomer J Blakeson got for The 5th Wave) to $3 million (what Sony offered Danny Boyle for Steve Jobs) to much more (Michael Bay reportedly earns $80 million from backend on Transformers movies).

Makeup Artist

They earn about $60 an hour and work about 14 weeks per film.

TV Cameraman

Lead camera operators make $75 an hour, or about $8,000 for an hourlong drama episode (which takes eight days to shoot; sitcoms are about five days and pay less).

TV Director

Directors of hourlong dramas make about $42,000 an episode; sitcom directors earn $35,000. But direct a pilot and you’ll get paid for every future episode, even if you never set foot on set again. Joe Carnahan, who directed the pilot for The Blacklist, got a $5,000 check for every episode of the latest season.

TV Studio Chief

Sony’s Steve Mosko earned $2.8 million (plus bonuses) as president, with execs that oversee both a studio and a network potentially making more.

Head of Distribution

Typical base pay is nearly $1 million (plus bonus). The person with this title at Sony, for instance, makes $885,000.

CFO

The top bean counters earn a lot of beans: Sony’s financial chief makes $900,000 a year, not including bonuses.

Production Chief

He or she usually earns about $1 million a year, though Michael De Luca was making more than his Sony co-worker with the same title, Hannah Minghella ($1.5 million vs. $900,000).

General Counsel

The top attorney at a studio can expect to earn in the high-six figures. Sony’s top lawyer earns a base salary of $800,000 plus bonuses.

Head of Marketing

The job usually pays about $1 million a year. Sometimes more if the executive is heavily recruited.

… AND ON LOCATION

Stunt Horse

They earn up to $1,000 a day ($500 for a “background horse”) but can cost studios much more in transport fees (the farm in upstate New York that provided horses for The Patriot and Winter’s Tale says they’ve even “FedExed” horses to sets).

Stunt Person

Most get paid $889 a day, or about $50,000 a film, if they work every day of a 12-week shoot (and don’t break a leg). But they pay for their own insurance.

Second Unit Director

The director responsible for shooting stunts and other supplementary footage, usually on location, earns about $20,000 a week.

Extras

These unsung actors earn about $150 a day, or $200 if they’re wearing a hairpiece or working in rain or smoke.

Wig Maker

The craftsman who gives Bruce Willis and Nicolas Cage full heads of hair gets paid about $1,500 a week.

Location Manager

They make about $3,000 a week but work many more weeks than most of the crew and cast — as many as 30 weeks per film.

Driver

Piloting a StarWagon pays between $30 and $36 an hour.

Prop Master

The person in charge of the fake swords and alien artifacts makes $45 an hour, usually working 20 weeks on a film (including preproduction).

Costume Designer

Pay rates range from $3,000 a day up to $12,000 or more, depending on the size of the film and the experience of the designer. Renee Kalfus earned $6,500 a week for Annie, while David Robinson got $4,500 a week for The Equalizer.

Source: Hollywood Salaries Revealed: Who Makes What on the Lot and on Location – Hollywood Reporter

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You Think You Know Cover Songs?

Posted October 27, 2014 By rariccardi

We know, we know, we know — how in the world could a cover song be better than the original? Well, we love engaging in musical debates, and there seem to be few that are as impassioned as this one. If you want to get in on the discussion, check out the video above and let us know what you think in the comments below!From the Foo Fighters to the Red Hot Chili Peppers to the White Stripes — and more — they’re all known for their powerful brands of rock and roll. But what happens when they take a classic song like Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’ or Stevie Wonder’s ‘Higher Ground’ just to name a couple and put their own spin on it?Sure, some of the original tunes could be considered classics, but in the video, we go through 10 cover songs that we think outperform their inspirations. Press play and let the debate begin!

via You Think You Know Cover Songs?.

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Wounded Warrior Project Under Fire – The Daily Beast

Posted September 26, 2014 By rariccardi

wounded warrior project
Another shining example of government and charity carving out their self-assigned slice of the pie and the expense of the taxpayer.

Is a much-touted charity for American veterans everything it says it is?Over the past decade, the Wounded Warrior Project has emerged to become one of the celebrated charities in the country—but with its prominence comes deeper scrutiny and criticism.It’s a broad but closely held sentiment within the veterans’ advocacy community: grumbling and critiques about the fundraising behemoth WWP has become, and whether it has been as effective as it could be.

via Wounded Warrior Project Under Fire – The Daily Beast.

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Syfy Z nation

In "Z Nation" three years have passed since the zombie virus has gutted the country, and a team of everyday heroes must transport the only known survivor of the plague from New York to California, where the last functioning viral lab waits for his blood. Although the antibodies he carries are the world’s last, best hope for a vaccine, he hides a dark secret that threatens them all. With humankind’s survival at stake, the ragtag band embarks on a journey of survival across three thousand miles of rusted-out post-apocalyptic America."Z Nation" is a dynamic ensemble drama that will plunge viewers into a fully imagined post-zombie America and take them on an adventure with a diverse group of richly drawn characters. As the reluctant heroes learn to work as a team and battle ever-more-menacing zombies, their flaws, idiosyncrasies, and moral dilemmas will ultimately become the heart of the show.

via Syfy Announces Two New Series: 'Z Nation' with Zombies and 'Olympus' with Gods and Monsters – Dread Central.

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pilot season

From NBC to PBS, here’s who decides what you watchThis is the hardest time of year to be a television executive.With the fall season looming, the heads of entertainment at the major networks have to decide what shows you’ll watch next season. Some will be surprise hits. Others embarrassing failures. And it will all come down to the choices executives make in the next few weeks.

via Who Has TV Greenlight Power in Hollywood? A Broadcast Network Guide – TheWrap.

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Further, Keasey. Pranksters, Bus, Cassady

Novelist Tom Wolfe, who heralded Kesey, the Pranksters, and the bus in his book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, described the result as glowing orange, green, magenta, lavender, chlorine blue, every fluorescent pastel imaginable in thousands of designs, large and small, like a cross between Fernand Leger and Dr. Strange, roaring together and vibrating off each other as if somebody had given Hieronymous Bosch fifty buckets of Day-Glo paint and a 1939 International Harvester school bus and told him to go to it.and later a frenzy of primary colors, yellows, oranges, blues, reds, was sloppy as hell, except for the parts Roy Seburn did, which were nice manic mandalas. Well, it was sloppy, but one thing you had to say for it; it was freaking lurid. The manifest, the destination sign in front, read: “Furthur,” with two u’s.The manifest was later corrected to read “Further,” and those close to the bus and its history generally regard both as correct.

via Caution Weird Load: Ken Kesey’s Furthur, the proto-hippie bus, headed for res | Hemmings Daily.

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Frank Darabont is Still Sore Over The Walking Dead Fiasco

Posted November 19, 2013 By rariccardi

He continues, “There’s a deep commitment and emotional investment that happens when you create something that is very near and dear to you, and when that is torn asunder by sociopaths who don’t give a shit about your feelings or the feelings of your cast and crew because they have their own reasons to screw everybody, that doesn’t feel good.”

via Frank Darabont is Still Sore Over The Walking Dead Fiasco.

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I’m Biracial, and That Cheerios Ad Is a Big Fucking Deal. Trust Me.

By now you know some racist dicks have whipped themselves up in a frenzy of racist dickery over the portrayal of an interracial family in a Cheerios ad. You see, Cheerios has committed the heinous crime of “acknowledging that interracial families exist,” and also that “sometimes interracial families need to eat breakfast.” This was too much for the racist dicks—Cheerios was forced to disable comments on YouTube where the video was posted. (What’s up with you racist dicks, anyway? Don’t you have jobs?)

via I’m Biracial, and That Cheerios Ad Is a Big Fucking Deal. Trust Me..

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The issue of wealth inequality across the United States is well known, but this video shows you the extent of that imbalance in dramatic and graphic fashion.The video, which started going viral on Friday and whose traffic continues to climb on YouTube — reflects the facts as seen from many different sources. We present it without comment, letting you, our readers, be the judge.

via Viral Video Shows the Extent of U.S. Wealth Inequality.

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