Thursday, April 30, 2015

Power Lawyers 2015: Hollywood's Top 100 Attorneys Revealed

Attorneys Richard S. Busch (left) and Mark Levinsohn flank Marvin Gaye's ex-wife, Janis Gaye. They were photographed April 20 at Industria in New York City.  Miller Mobley

Dry legal wonks? Hardly. Cyberattacks, nude iPhone photos, runaway agents, sex scandals — it's all in a day's work for this year's crop of the industry's most powerful lawyers.

This story first appeared in the May 8 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
If you want a friend in Washington, Harry Truman once advised, get a dog. If you want one in Hollywood, though, you should probably get a lawyer. Preferably one of the 100 listed here in THR's eighth annual Power Lawyers issue. When the biggest stars and highest-ranking execs find themselves in trouble (or want to cause some), these are the men and women they turn to in order to dig their way out (or in). And over the past year, there's been enough trouble, along with dealmaking, to keep nearly all of L.A.'s top entertainment attorneys busy.
In the fall, for instance, after hackers uploaded tens of thousands of confidential Sony emails onto the Internet, it was lawyers who were called in to clean up the mess. When riffs from an old Marvin Gaye tune ended up in a song where they didn't belong — that'd be Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" — it was the lawyers who made things better (or at least got a $7.3 million verdict for Gaye's family). When naked pictures were stolen from celebrity iCloud accounts, or when a swarm of agents took flight from CAA to UTA, or when the family of a famous reggae singer wanted to license his name for a brand of pot, it was always the lawyers from this list who rode to the rescue. In this year's issue, THR adds a slew of new names, poses some new questions (latest splurge, secret passion) and, as always, salutes all those on it for once again raising the bar.

Pictured above: "I'm sure [Thicke and Williams] probably wondered who this guy from Nashville, Tenn., is, but they know now," Richard S. Busch (left) said after winning the "Blurred Lines" trial for Gaye’s family. He and Marvin’s ex-wife, Janis Gaye, and attorney Mark Levinsohn, who brought Busch onto the case, were photographed April 20 at Industria in New York City.

View more exclusive portraits from The Hollywood Reporter's Power Lawyers issue below.

Raising the Bar honoree Andrew Gumpert was photographed April 23 on the Sony lot in Culver City.

Melanie Cook and client Chadwick Boseman were photographed April 17 at The Redbury in Hollywood.

From left: Gretchen Rush and 'Game of Thrones' creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were photographed April 22 in Hollywood.

Karl Austen and client Jill Soloway were photographed April 23 at Austen’s law offices in Century City.

The Hollywood Reporter April 29, 2015 8:30am PT by THR Staff


We’ve solved the mystery of the food coloring drops that chase each other

A puzzling observation, pursued through hundreds of experiments, has led Stanford researchers to a simple yet profound discovery: Under certain circumstances, droplets of fluid will move like performers in a dance choreographed by molecular physics.

What makes drops of food coloring able to dance, chase, sort themselves, or align with one another? This unexpected behavior is a consequence of food coloring consisting of two mixed liquids: water and propylene glycol. Both have their own surface tension properties and evaporation rates, which ultimately drives the behavior you see in the animated gifs. Both long-range and short-range interactions are observed. The former are due to vapor from each droplet adsorbing onto the glass around the droplet, thereby changing the local surface tension and causing nearby drops to feel an attractive force. The short-range effects are also surface-tension-driven.

Droplets with lower surface tension will naturally try to flow toward areas of higher surface tension, which causes them to “chase” dissimilar adjacent drops. You can learn more about the research in the videos linked below (especially the last two), or you can read about the work in this article.


video 1:

video 2:

video 3:

video 4:

GIFs via freshphotons

China’s Baidu Sees Revenues up by 34% at $2 Billion

Chinese Internet giant Baidu reported revenues up by 34% in the first quarter of 2015 to $2.05 billion and net income of $395 million, a 3% decrease. The company said that mobile now accounts for 50% of revenue.
The company, which operates China’s most-used search engine, also owns video streaming platform iQIYI. “Content costs as a component of cost of revenues were RMB608 million ($98.1 million), representing 4.8% of total revenues, compared to 4.1% in the corresponding period in 2014, and 4.2% in the fourth quarter of 2014,” Baidu said.
“Baidu is redefining the search box by building an ecosystem to connect people with services and drive closed loop transactions. Baidu’s platform is comprehensive and robust, and we plan to fully exploit the huge growth potential ahead — in mobile marketing, online to offline, and key select verticals such as healthcare, education and financial services — by leveraging our solid mobile foundation, exceptional technology advantage, and proven operational experience,” said Robin Li, chairman and CEO of Baidu.
In the second quarter Baidu said that it currently expects to generate total revenues between RMB16.4 billion ($2.64 billion) and RMB16.8 billion ($2.70 billion), representing a minimum 37% year-over-year increase.
With its ADS stock trading at $219, Baidu currently has a market capitalization of $77 billion.
VARIETY Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief April 29, 2015 | 06:05PM PT

Funny and Weird Clips (437)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Hulu Sets Mammoth ‘Seinfeld’ Licensing Deal Worth Nearly $180 Million

In another sign that Hulu is stepping up its game, the digital video giant has landed the SVOD rights to “Seinfeld,” cutting a deal with Sony Pictures TV for all 180 episodes of the enduring NBC comedy.
The deal is said to be valued at just under $1 million an episode, which translates to a nearly $180 million windfall to be split by distributor Sony TV, Time Warner’s Castle Rock and “Seinfeld” profit participants, including star/co-creator Jerry Seinfeld and co-creator Larry David. The pact is expected to be announced at Hulu’s upfront presentation on Wednesday.
Sony TV, which has long controlled distribution rights to the series on behalf of original producer Castle Rock TV, has been shopping the property for its first SVOD licensing pact for the past few months. A limited number of “Seinfeld” reruns have been available online via Sony TV’s ad-supported Crackle video platform, but the Hulu pact marks the first time the series will be available in its entirety in the new era of binge-viewing.
“Seinfeld’s” move to Hulu follows Netflix’s purchase last year of the library rights to Warner Bros. TV’s “Friends,” another series from the heyday of “Must-See TV” NBC comedies. The show is believed to have performed well for Netflix.
The big bucks that Netflix paid for “Friends” and Hulu’s outlay for “Seinfeld” indicate that SVOD players are expanding their menus beyond the serialized off-network dramas that built Netflix and Hulu into Internet powerhouses. Hulu also cut a rich deal in February with CBS TV Distribution for more than 300 episodes and counting of the Eye’s “CSI,” the epitome of contemporary procedural dramas.
VARIETY  Cynthia Littleton Managing Editor: Television@Variety_Cynthia April 28, 2015 | 08:29PM PT


Scientists had a pigeon, hawk, and owl fly over super-sensitive microphones to measure how much sound was created by their flapping. Owls are known for their silent flying abilities and this is demonstrated by the barn owl in the GIF bellow.


Far from Men – Traielr With Viggo Mortensen, Reda Kateb, Djemel Barek

Director: David Oelhoffen
Writers: Albert Camus (short story: L'Hôte), David Oelhoffen
A French teacher in a small Algerian village during the Algerian War forms an unexpected bond with a dissident, and is then ordered to turn him in to the authorities.

Survey: Phone Is Device of Choice For News Audiences

Americans increasingly consume their news via mobile devices rather than at their desktops, though they spend more time online when they are on their computers, according to the Pew Research Center’s 12th annual “State of the News Media” report.
Thirty-nine of the top 50 digital news sites get more traffic via mobile, the Pew organization found in analyzing comScore data.
The top digital sites for U.S. consumers were USA Today with 54.5 million unique visitors a month, the New York Times (54 million), the Daily Mail (51.1 million), Washington Post (47.8 million), The Guardian (28.1 million), the New York Daily News (25.9 million), the Los Angeles Times (25.2 million), the New York Post (22.9 million), the San Francisco Chronicle (19 million) and the Telegraph of London (16.7 million.)
The non-profit research study covered a wide range of news outlets and platforms. It found that the audience for cable news programs continues to shrink, while viewership of network news made a slight rebound for the second year in a row.
Pew found that the total median viewership for a 24-hour period dropped 7% in 2014 to 1.8 million for Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC combined. It derived the figure via a Nielsen Media Research data. It was the first audience decline by the day-long measure since 2010. MSNBC lost the most ground, declining 14% decline to a median of 334,000 viewers. Fox dipped 2% to 1.1 million viewers and CNN up 1% to 417,000.
Still, all three of the cablers managed revenue growth in 2014, led by Fox News, up 6% to $2.04 billion, and followed by CNN, with a 3% hike to $1.13 billion, and MSNBC, down 1% to $501 million in receipts.
The three commercial broadcast networks saw audience growth in 2014, with evening newscasts up for the second year running and morning newscasts also on the rise. Both ABC and CBS enjoyed improved financial performance, while NBC declined, the Pew report said.
The study showed that the ubiquity of digital devices continues to alter the public’s viewing and listening habits. The number of Americans listening to radio online some time in the prior month increased to 53%. That was compared with just 27% who said they had listened to radio online in 2010. Podcast downloads also jumped markedly — from 38 million downloads a month in 2013 to 54 million downloads in 2014.
Some traditional media continued to struggle. The L.A. Weekly had the distinction of having the biggest circulation of any alternative weekly in America. But its 114,000 copy figure — 4,000 ahead of its sister publication, the Village Voice — was still an 18% decline from the year prior.
VARIETY  James Rainey Senior Film ReporterRaineyTime April 28, 2015 | 09:00PM PT

Funny and Weird Clips (436)