Wednesday, March 27, 2013

"FILM INCENTIVES' are "KICKBACKS" says Terminator 2 Special Effects Sup. Gene Warren Jr.

Oscar winning visual effects veteran  Gene Warren Jr. 
is  outraged over “Film Incentives” that he contends

stifles TV/film production and jobs. The Terminator 2
visual effects man is leading a campaign to stop them. 

(Left) On the red carpet Gene Warren Jr (Terminator 2) and Producer John Kiapos at premiere of THE DEVIL’s DOZEN film at the Chinese Theater, Hollywood.
When the 85TH Oscar ceremony was happen inside the Dolby Theater outside on the sidewalk were several hundred actors, producers, cast and crews protesting over the MPAA’s support of tax incentives. “Best Movie” ARGO received a $6 million dollar tax break. Veteran special effects Supervisor fills us in on the rest of the story…..a story the media is covering or has been afraid to due to a fear of lost big advertisers.
Hollywood, CA - New technology appears to be giving movie makers the edge in cutting costs, but it appears to also be cutting jobs. And worse, California special effects companies are folding due to foreign competitors, who are cashing in on the digital imagery.  The Los Angeles Times has published several stories on film incentives including this special story today (Sunday, 03-14-13) in LAT.
Special effects Supervisor Gene Warren Jr. talks about the major changes in the film industry85th OSCARS Awards show and what it’s like to work with Writer, Director, Producer James CameronTerminator 2, which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger. “You can never have enough money to do a movie,” Warren said.

But what bothers him more is, “actual producers of film from the grip, prop makers to actors are now mostly freelance,” explained Warren. “In good old days everyone was on staff from top to bottom. Other than technology, the corporatization of the industry has been the most noticeable change.”
Just coming off of the 85th Oscars Awards Show, Supervisor Gene Warren Jr. discussed the overriding changes in the industry from runaway TV/Film production to outsourcing all aspects of the movie production industry.
Movie and TV production incentives are tax benefits offered on a state-by-state basis throughout the U.S. to avoid runaway state film production. The incentives came about in the 1990s in response to the movie productions flights to other countries such as Canada and Mexico.
Special Effects Supervisor Gene Warren Jr. 
(Terminator 2: Judgment Day
As for “filming incentives” in America, Warren believes they are “not incentives at all” and instead of creating jobs as reported by the movers and shakers in Hollywood, they are actually stifling jobs that will never come back. Warren is an executive director of the Film Television Action Committee (, which has filed two grievances and complaints with the U.S. Dept. of Commerce. And it is not the first time he said. “We filed a grievance in 1997 and in 2007, but it is getting more noticed today due to the Internet,” he explained.
Red Carpet Premiere, Hollywood, CA 
According to Variety and The Hollywood ReporterThe Film and Television Action Committee’s (FTAC ) campaign to launch a federal trade investigation of foreign production subsidies has picked up steam and is getting the support of some Southern California cities like Glendale just this week. The FTAC hoping to muster support of other municipalities, including San Fernando, Long Beach and Los Angeles.
While the 85th Academy Awards was handing out Oscars to “Life of PI”, Warren was holding his Oscar high, along with some 400 other visual effects people on the sidewalk outside the Dolby Theater protesting the way the Academy behaves in the industry.
Gene Warren Jr. (far Left) with Hollywood celebs, including Actress Athena Talin Katalaris Picture SEE RANKAthena Talin Katalaris, (argo, 2012)
Gene Warren Jr. (far Left) with Hollywood celebs, including Actress Athena Talin Katalaris  (front center), (argo, 2012). Also pictured  her Mom, actress Maro Nercessian (far right) Also pictured John and Sophia Kiapos.
Oscars “Best Picture”, “ARGO” reportedly received $6 million in tax breaks. Warren said, “You can call them what you want, Incentives or whatever, but they kickbacks.” “I will not participate in that,” he said.
Even six years ago the FBI started investigating other states such as Louisiana for illegal kickbacks.
Warren contends that once the studio system ended in the early ‘90’s, technology and new management took over everything changed and many jobs were lost. Warren is correct, too if several studies Online indicate what’s happening in runaway TV/film production. Some studies done by the late Chief Economist Jack Kyser showed 25,000 or more jobs were being lost annually in forecasts that were predicted to be otherwise “rosy” for California Motion Picture/TV Production related Employment.
Break Dawn Part II
 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II blockbuster movie premiere at LA Live Nokia Theater, downtown LA.
Warren said it all began in late ‘70’s with 20th Century Fox sold its back lot in Century City. “And little by little it was taken over by bean counters, accountants and lawyers,” he said. So the “Corporization” of the film industry, was probably the “biggest change I’ve ever seen and there were a ton of others,” noted Warren.
As far as film and TV production incentives, Warren said the taxpayers pay for the cost of finding a cheaper place to film a project. Most recently New York came under fire when NBC’s Tonight Show decided to move to the East Coast, garnering a reported $24 million tax break in the move to New York. That’s enough to hire 5,000 teachers.
Grand opening of Gor Studios in Burbank, CA
Grand opening of Gor Studios in Burbank, CA
According to Fox News, an unnamed aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo reportedly denied that the tax credit was designed with the Tonight Show in mind, saying “This is simply part of our ongoing effort to attract more entertainment to the state and more economic activity.”
And to add more competition to getting the network show, LA-based production and distribution company with ties to India, announced plans to construct a $90 million movie studio near Savannah, GA in a proposal approved this week by the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority. ECIDA’s mission is to attract and retain jobs in the area.  Meantime, the Film & Television Action Committee’s campaign urging the FTC to probe the foreign production subsidies in SoCal grows stronger as more jobs leave the Golden state.
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Monday, March 18, 2013

Finders Keeps, the Root of All Evil is a "KEEPER"

Timothy Woodward Jr. at Root of All Evil mixer.


Finders Keepers:
The Root Of All Evil

Directed by
Timothy Woodward Jr.

 Finders Keepers: The Root Of All Evil Official Trailer A high stakes poker game. A drug lord. A million dollars. A set of ruthless killers who want it all.

Directed by Timothy Woodward Jr
Timothy Woodward Jr. , Jeremy London
and Mike Benavides at Launch mixer.

Actor/Producer Timothy Woodward Jr., Finders Keepers: The Root of all Evil was shot on a shoestring budget. The end result equals high quality action, beautiful camera angles and editing throughout the film. Most of the film was done in the woods giving it the appeal of a big budget movie.

Award winning actor/director Timothy Woodward Jr., in conjunction with Sky Studios, a content partner of NBC/Fox/ABC’s on-demand outlet Hulu, has gone beyond what’s expected in his horror/thriller film, Finders Keepers due out April 1st nationwide.

The artwork and official trailer for Finders Keepers: The Root of all Evil is now up on IMDB and is getting quite a buzz already. Taking a page from actor/director Ben Affleck’s book,  Woodward directs the film, but also finds time to squeeze himself in as an actor.
The 90+ minute full length feature is written by Pia Cook and Todd Gordon. Cook and Woodward have become quite a pair, working together on several films including “Blackout” starring Timothy Woodward Jr. and Emmy award winning actor Bill Oberst Jr.. One of the huge projects in the works is the much anticipated first installment of the new modern day Dracula trilogy.

Filming of Finders Keepers:

Filming of Finders Keepers: The Root of all Evil is in post-production and scheduled to be released on April Fools Day, no foolin’. What also makes this project highly unusual is the fact that Woodward deliberately picked raw talent or actors with very little acting experience. He admits it was a gamble, but a calculated one, which paid off. The movie is scary, chilling, quite realistic and is suspenseful.

This story features a band of losers and shifts their criminal acts into the chaotic lives of a group of 20 something year olds, who are innocently celebrate a birthday. The one to watchi in this movie is “Chuck” (Richard Bachellor), who Woodward said, “showed up on set the first day of filming and refused to leave until he was given a part.”

Woodward also noted that, Bachellor was cast almost by accident and put out one of the most powerful performances of the film with his natural raw talent.

About Timothy Woodward Jr. 

Timothy Woodward Jr. and
Lauren De NormandieSTATUS LA Mag. Editor
Timothy Woodward Jr. was born and raised in the small town of Georgetown, South Carolina. As a child he and his two brothers Brandon & Thomas spent most of their time playing team sports and enjoying the great outdoors as you can only do in the country. However, as Timothy got older, he developed a deep love for the entertainment industry.

After graduating from high school, Woodward attended Trident College in Charleston, SC where he studied drama. After two years of higher education, he auditioned for and landed his first lead role in a teen drama series.

Shortly after landing his first job, Timothy met actor Brent Lovell. They soon discovered that in addition to sharing a love for acting, they also both loved working behind the scenes. They but their energy and passion for the industry to good use and founded Peachtree Pictures, a production company designed to help give the eastern coastal region's entertainment scene the same energy as Hollywood. Over the next few years, Woodward and Lovell worked on several national projects, and were even nicknamed the "The Matt Damon and Ben Affleck of the Carolina's". 


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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Los Angeles Fashion Week shines on 2013 Nikki Rich Fall/Winter Fashion Show

2013 Nikki Rich Fall/Winter Fashion Show - LA Fashion Week (March 7-17, 2013)
(This story first appear on
MAYO Communications images© By George S. McQuade III

Several hundred fashion enthusiasts, celebrities, music fans, friends and industry giants from around the globe packed into the Concepts Los Angeles, Siren Studios in Hollywood over the weekend. Lots of gray and black colors dominated this year’s fashion show on opening night (Sat., March 09, 2013) of Nikki Lund & Richie Sambora Fall/Winter Collection. It was definitely the highlight of this year’s LA Fashion Week (March 06-17, 2013).

It’s tough to imagine how Nikki Lund can top each year, but she does it with flair, a natural ease as if she writing music while she designs her newest Collection of a modern lifestyle brand for a new generation.

"As I get older I want more functionality and affordable clothes. It's important that stuff is washable and you do not want to have to take it to the cleaners every time after wearing it," she said with a smile.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Hollywood stunt man and retired Marine featured in incredible true documentary "Kidnap & Rescue"

Ty Ritter in "Kidnap & Rescue" on Discovery Channel

This story was first published in

Child sex traffickers target California foster
Children – enter PROJECT CHILD SAVE

A new study released this week by the National Center for Young Law finds child sex traffickers target California foster children and now state officials plan to act immediately to improve protection. This comes as no surprise to retired U.S. Marine Ty Ritter, who with his volunteer squad of Navy Seals, Green Beret and Marine Recon Special Forces team retrieves child victims from all over the world.

“We rescue children, who have been kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery,” explained Founder Ty Ritter,
PROJECT CHILD SAVE. “A few years ago, I was working for a high profile individual when his friend’s daughter was kidnapped and I got very, very lucky and brought her back. But I couldn’t have done without our team, they make me look good,” he said. “That’s how we got started.”

 The study - Ending Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children: A Call for Multi-System Collaboration in California found that, "Worldwide, human trafficking is a $32 billion industry, involving 100,000 children in the U.S. The FBI has determined that three of the nation's 30 High Intensity Child Prostitution areas are located in California. Studies estimate that between 50 and 80 percent of commercially sexually exploited children (CSEC) are or were formally involved with the child welfare system.
“Unlike the way we parents grew up, it’s a whole new world out there and parents need to take extra precaution with their children,” explained Ritter, who insists the Internet has made it easier for child snatching. “Don’t close the door when your child is Online, and those Nanny Nets don’t work.”
The new report on child stealing was authored by Fellow and Attorney Kate Walker, at the National Center said, "Every day, the unthinkable happens: thousands of America's children are coerced into performing sex for hire.
“Exploitation can start as young as age ten,” she said “Some exploited children are brutally beaten and raped. Others are isolated, drugged, and starved until they become ‘willing’ participants. Yet, these children are regularly arrested and held in juvenile detention facilities even though they are victims of crime.”
Four of the report's key recommendations highlight the urgent need for:
1. Safe, secure and specialized homes for exploited children and children at risk
2. New screening tools to help professionals working with children identify both victims and children at risk
3. Special training for "child serving professionals and systems to identify and support vulnerable individuals
4. Increased data collection and information sharing to promote collaboration across systems and raise public awareness
The report offers several solutions of expediting response time, protection and agency collaboration. The Report will be presented at the Child Welfare Council's quarterly meeting on March 6th at the Administrative Office of the Courts in San Francisco

Project Child Save is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping prevent child abductions and kidnapping through education and public awareness campaigns. Ritter's incredible true story has been featured on the Discovery Channel.

“When these heinous acts are perpetrated against our children, Project Child Save, through it's international network, finds these abducted innocents who have been taken against their will and sold into slavery, and retrieves them, returning them to their loved ones," said Ritter

Every year thousands of children are taken from their homes and sold into sexual slavery. Most of these children are teens or pre-teens, and few ever make it back to their families. Ritter said the reason is simple - money. “Slavery is a lucrative business, and the cost of rescuing abductees is beyond the means of most. Average families can't afford these costs, so they remain helpless as their loss overshadows the rest of their lives. We leave no child behind, and it’s usually more than one, too.” For Tyler and his nonprofit visit:

About Ty Ritter
Ritter, a Burbank, CA native,  is the youngest of three boys. His Dad was a rancher and a camera technician/electrician, who worked for most of the motion picture studios, but primarily for RKO and Republic. His mother was a nurse who became a housewife.

Ty began his military duty as a junior Drill Instructor and soon after he was assigned to the 1st FSR (1st Force Service Regiment Marine Corps Unit) and sent to Vietnam.  In Vietnam, Ty bodyguarded dignitaries, couriers and high ranking officers. Ty returned to civilian life and worked for a Las Vegas casino owner.    He also did flat track motorcycle racing at Ascot and worked on and off with Bud Ekins. With the help of Steve McQueen (a regular at Ekins' motorcycle shop), Ritter began stunt work. He has received the prestigious Lifetime Appreciation Award from the City of Hope for his devotion to the safety and recovery of children. 

Ty started his own bodyguarding business specializing in high risk bodyguarding cases where clients had been subjected to death threats and attempted assassinations. Ty's bodyguarding work has taken him all over the world.
"When I'm on a recovery, it's when I really feel alive." Ritter has received the prestigious Lifetime Appreciation Award from the City of Hope for his devotion to the safety and recovery of children. For more about Ty Ritter and how you get involved visit:

During his career, Ty has bodyguarded royalty, Pat Buchanan, during his presidential bid, Bernie Cornfeld "The king of Europe's cash", Hal Lindsey, CEO's of major corporations and scores of celebrities, from Sylvester Stallone, Frank Sinatra, Lauren Hutton, Kirk Douglas, George Michael, The Beach Boys and The Doobie Brothers, to Joan Crawford, Linda Evans, Robert Mitchum, Bob Hope, Doris Day, Paul Anka, Rick Nelson, Angie Dickinson and many more. 

Ty founded Project Child Save, a 501c3 non-profit organization, which is dedicated to the prevention of child abduction through public awareness campaigns (Ritter lectures, has published "My Body Is My Own", a complete child protection handbook. He has been a guest on Dr. Phil, Rita Cosby, and Geraldo to name a few talking about finding and rescuing kidnapped children, who have been sold into sexual slavery. Ritter and his elite team have conducted countless missions. To date, his organization has rescued more than 300 children, worldwide, each extraction executed with stealth, safely and successfully.

For more about Ty Ritter and how you get involved visit:  

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