The News Corp. who owns the Dow Jones and Company which publishes the Wall Street Journal and Barron’s weekly business magazine among many others in the U.S. is considering a company breakup into two entities. It would separate the media giant’s underperforming newspaper business from its lucrative entertainment assets. Approximately 70 percent of the company profits come from television. The new newspaper business could include The Wall Street Journal, The Times of London, The New York Post, and as many as other 175 newspapers worldwide. These publishing enterprises contributed $8.8 billion in revenue in 2011. On the other hand, the much more lucrative entertainment enterprises contributed $23.5 billion in revenue in 2011 to the media empire.

Rupert Murdoch who is the Chairman and CEO of the News Corp. built the company from a single newspaper in Adelaide, Australia into a billion dollar multi-media giant. The Murdoch family owns 40 percent of the empire and will continue to handle both parts once separated.

Rupert Murdoch’s media empire is valued at about $53 billion. A recent phone-hacking scandal at its News of the World British tabloid caused it to close the publication. It is faced with enormous financial strain and decline in print advertising revenue.

Chipmunks

Ross Bagdasarian Sr. spent $190 of his last $200 in 1958 to buy a state-of-the-art tape recorder that can playback at various speeds. He recorded “Christmas Don’t Be Late” with a fictitious group known as Chipmunks who sang with a high pitched obscure voice. The song later became the No. 1 Billboard chart, sold over four million copies and created the now famous three Chipmunks: Alvin, Simon and Theodore. Today, Chipmunks is a family owned business based in Montecito, California. Ross Bagdasarian Jr. with his wife now owns the right to the Chipmunks empire.

Over the years, Chipmunks popularity came in waves. However, Fox bought the three characters in 2007 and this resulted in creating three hit movies: Alvin and the Chipmunks, Squeakquel, and Chipwrecked. Besides the major movies, there are many other productions, a TV series, several movies on DVDs and other merchandize. The company is also exploring an idea to make a live show that can travel around the world.

The current owners are very involved with the business and tightly control the branding of Chipmunks. Once they refused a proposal to manufacture and market a sugary cereal using the brand name. The owners are also involved in several law suits to protect the brand from exploitation.

Robin Gibb and the Bee Gees

The 1970’s dominant music group, Bee Gees, singer Robin Gibb died on Sunday, May 20, 2012 at age 62 due to his long battle with colorectal cancer and intestinal surgery. The group included Robin and his two fraternal brothers Barry and Maurice. Robin Gibb was born on December 22, 1949 in Isle of Man and grew up in Australia and U.K.

Robin was a solo artist prior to Bee Gees and he became the lead singer for the group. Trio owned 1960’s pop songs like “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to you”. Bee Gees carrier spans more than five decades and sold over 200 million records worldwide. Robin was a singer as well as a song writer. The trio wrote most of their number one hits. Bee Gees were the gold standard for pop and R & B.

Bee Gees also produced materials for such artist like Barbara Streisand, Dionne Warwick, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers.

Robin Gibb received a CBE from the Prince of Wales for his contribution to music. Robin’s twin brother Maurice died in 2003 and only surviving Bee Gees is Barry, age 65. Robin was married to Molly Hullis in 1968 and together they had two daughters. They got divorced in 1980.

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Over the past decade, independent DIY musicians have been able to achieve success by recording in their home music studios. By having the right equipment and uploading their tracks to platforms such as SoundCloud and YouTube, you can develop a dedicated following and sell records from the comfort of your home. However, in the process of chasing your dreams, you may run into some unexpected obstacles.

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Advice for Directing Actors

Article by Herb Kimble .

Summary: Want to know how to be an “actor’s” director? Here are some tips.

Actors are a curious group of coworkers because they have to do a lot of unorthodox duties as part of their jobs. Training exercises, vocal and physical stretches and being in the moment are all par for their course. As a director, and in order to be effective, you need to know how to rein those people in and use their talents to your advantage.

Be Specific

If you watch directors as the movies portray them, they say things like “no, get angry! Get real angry!” That’s textbook for now not to direct. Angry is an emotion, you become angry for a reason. It’s better to use the context of the scene to better inform the actor. Actors have to know the script as part of their job, but you can help remind them of the key moments you want to accentuate.

Listen

Ideally, scenes play out and everything is great the first take. As the director, your goal is to watch and most importantly listen to what’s happening on set. The right take isn’t just about a good shot, you need to listen to the emotion and feel on set. Ask actors to run something back if it doesn’t feel right, or even if you want a different perspective.

Don’t Yell

A screaming director eventually becomes an authority figure stripped of authority. Put another way, if you have to yell more than once a day, then you have failed to capture the attention you require. In fact, try to contain your frustrations so that if you do need to yell then it will command better attention.

This article was written by Herb Kimble. Herb Kimble is an entrepreneur who has ran multiples companies, including sales & marketing companies. Most recently he has launched Urban Flix, a streaming network that specializes in multi-cultural content and CineFocus Productions, a film production company

Article written by Herb Kimble.

Whether you are writing or directing a film, it’s important to distinguish between what is a plot or a character driven story. A story uses either plot or character to drive its action. We can think about Star Wars in terms of the action defining the plot. The characters are memorable, but the plot drives everything. Understanding the crux of why that is helps you become a better filmmaker.

A plot driven story defines what the characters go through and how it changes them. Going back to our Star Wars example, most of the characters in the film could be changed in some way without altering the film. Obviously we still need our heroes, but the script could have changed certain details about the characters and the result would be the same. The single exception to this is Luke Skywalker, but even he does not change the ongoing struggle to end the Empire’s stranglehold on the galaxy.

Any Batman film is going to be a character-driven plot, on the other hand, because the titular character must be in the film. It is an examination of Batman and his struggles, rather than an event already taking place. Another example is something like There Will Be Blood, which can seem almost devoid of plot on the first viewing. This is a highly character-driven film that studies how outside circumstances shape people.

Memorable characters can exist in plot-driven films, just as interesting plot twists can exist in character-driven films. Still, the director’s job is to find and maintain the focus of the film.

This article was written by Herb Kimble. Herb Kimble is the founder of CineFocus Productions, a film production company in Los Angeles and Urban Flix, a streaming network that specializes in multi-cultural content. For more info, about Herb Kimble, visit his Twitter.

What Does a TV Producer Do?

Article submitted by Herb Kimble.

Television producers are an integral part of a show. They tend to make important decisions regarding the overall level of production and activity that occurs on set. Different producers have different types of engagement that they are involved with. This article delves into the responsibilities that a TV producer must handle.

Anything and Everything

A television producer may provide financing for a show. Or, they may have to organize and communicate between different parties to ensure that everything is going to plan. Essentially, this type of producer must do anything and everything that he or she can, whether it be overseeing an entire show or managing live programs as they air. A TV producer can also be tasked with writing or approving scripts if needed.

Some of the duties that a producer must handle include fundraising, assessing projects, securing rights to material, seeking scripts, commissioning writers, and networking. This position requires both versatility and creativity. Those who thrive as producers also have excellent organization skills, and a head for numbers.

Coordinating as a Producer

Television producers also coordinate and supervise different aspects of a production, from the administrative to the creative side. Producers must make financial decisions and handle a variety of talents, contracts, agreements, and other administrative details. It’s a role that requires multi-tasking and a headstrong attitude when the situation gets out of hand. While most producers get a chance to plan and execute a film, they also deal with numerous troubles during the production phase.

Bio: Herb Kimble is an accomplished actor who co-founded CineFocus Productions. He was an entrepreneur who’s success has allowed him to launch the inclusive streaming service, Urban Flix from his Los Angeles studio

Written by: Omar Amanat

Summary: Video streaming services are becoming a huge part in everyday life. It’s up to you to decide which service is worth your investment.

Netflix and Amazon Prime are two of the largest players in the movie streaming market today. While both have their pros and cons, this guide is designed to help you cater to your interests and make your investment more worthwhile.

Streaming is the New “TV”

Needless to say, video streaming is now a major part of daily lives, pushing TV services in the depths of solidarity. The convenience of having movies and TV shows at your fingertips at any time of the day allow for users to access it whenever they want. This means no more recording shows, forgetting to watch your favorite series, or even have trouble with reception and service.

The Features

Before diving into the pros and cons, you can experience both services by signing up for a 30-day trial. This is strongly suggested and is also good way to play around with all the features.

Netflix recently changed its stars rating system to a “thumbs up/thumbs down” system. Previously, users were able to rate a show or movie from 1-5 stars. However, Netflix claimed the system was flawed – hence the drastic change. While this isn’t a dealbreaker, it’s worth mentioning as it can take a while to adjust to.

You’re probably already aware of all the basics of both services, but both allow for media streaming on Smart TVs, game consoles, computers and laptops, and mobile devices. Additionally, both streaming services are regularly updated with new shows and movies to watch – you can even check their official website to see what’s releasing.

This is where it gets interesting however. While both services offer unlimited streaming, the variety is significantly different. There are shows that are available exclusively for one network as opposed to the other. It’s recommended that you take a look at both sites and search for a specific genre that you mostly watch. Take a look at the variety of movies and shows that are available and go from there.