Blackstone, Hudson $1.65 Billion Hollywood Film Production Deal

Blackstone Property Partners, an investment group, has bought a 49% stake in Sunset Bronson, 5800 Sunset Blvd., Sunset Gower, 1438 N. Gower Street and Sunset Las Palmas, 1040 N. Las Palmas Avenue, from Hudson Pacific Properties said Chairman-CEO Victor Coleman.

The combined square footage of the three studios is 1.2 million square feet and includes 35 sound stages, all valued at $1.65 billion.

Blackstone looks to expand development at Sunset Gower, Sunset Las Palmas Studios and make additional studio purchases din and around Los Angeles and beyond.


New Trailer Jennifer Hudson in “RESPECT” Aretha Franklin Bio

Academy Award Best Supporting Actress, Jennifer Hudson brings the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin to the big screen in “RESPECT”.

“RESPECT” has a limited release on Christmas Day, December 25th. Wide release on January 15th, Martin Luther King Jr Holiday.

Directed by Liesl Tommy, “RESPECT” is his first feature film and written by Tracey Scott Wilson. The cast includes Forest Whitaker as C.L. Franklin, Audra McDonald as Barbara Franklin, Marlon Wayans as Ted White, Aretha’s first husband, Mary J. Blige as Dinah Washington, Gilber Glenn Brown as Martin Luther King Jr.

Lights, Camera, Action! Hollywood Productions Resume June 12, 2020

TCL Grauman's Chinese Theatre
TCL Grauman's Chinese Theatre. Photo: Yevette Renee

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Order of the Health Officer has released the REOPENING SAFER AT WORK AND IN THE COMMUNITY FOR CONTROL OF COVID-19.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has announced that the Music, film and television production can reopen during Stage 3 on Friday, June 12, 2020.  All productions prior to resuming must prepare, implement and post the required Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Reopening Protocol for Music, Film and Television Production.

There are five areas that all productions must address prior to reopening: Workplace policies and practices to protect employee health, Measures to ensure physical distancing, measures to ensure infection control, communication with employees and the public, measures to ensure equitable access to critical service.

Physical Distancing

They suggest any employee that can work from home, should do so. The workplace must provide all personal protective equipment (PPE), all visitors and employees must wear face covering.

All productions and recording sessions are required to have a written protocol before they can start work to ensure six (6) feet or more between people.  With only essential cast and crew on or near the set at any time. If cast and musicians are unable to wear face coverings must be a minimum of 8 feet of social distancing.  Whenever possible, workspaces are to have one directional traffic.  When riding the elevator, the capacity limit is based on the ability to maintain six (6) feet distance. They also suggest easing elevator traffic by opening stairwells for up and down traffic.

All shops shall be by appointment only to prevent lines forming.

Television and film productions are required to give periodic testing to cast and crew, especially those in high-rick scenes requiring close contact without masks.

Infection Control

Ventilation must be increased in all spaces. All contracts, music sheet, scripts and other documents must be distributed digitally or printed and given to everyone. Before and after filming and other sessions, all commonly touched areas must be disinfected at least three times a day. The entire facility must be cleaned daily i.e. sets, production spaces. Minor child actors can be accompanied by up to two adults. Payment portals, props, costumes, set materials, trucks and other vehicles must be disinfected after each use.

All Productions must provide a copy of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health protocol to every person that come on-set or enters the production facility.

The movie extra industry will suffer a major impact with productions being told to avoid large crowd scenes.



Craft services: people will only be able to eat and drink in a designated area. The cast and crew must eat and drink in production set area in staggered schedules.

Food buffets are not allowed as well as no communal food or drink services (no coffee pots). Food must be single serve only. People who bring in their own food cannot share their food.

The date, time and name of the crew currently in session must be recorded to assist in contact tracing when necessary.

Production locations must be completely secure from the public with enough space for everyone stay six (6) to social distance.

Hollywood and Its Response to the Murder of George Floyd and Social Justice

TCL Grauman's Chinese Theatre Boarded Up After George Floyd Protests
TCL Grauman's Chinese Theatre Boarded Up. Photo: Yevette Renee

The Hollywood industry is responding to the murder of George Floyd and social injustice with commitments to civil and social justice organizations.

Some of the entertainment companies putting their money where their mouth is, are:

Universal Music Group commits $25 million Change Fund to advance social justice and racial equality with the new Task Force for Meaningful change (TFMC)

Comcast has a new 3-year $100 million to support social justice. $75 million for cash grants and $25 million in media across Comcast, NBC Universal, and Sky. The organizations to receive the cash grants are Community Justice Action Fund, Equal Justice Initiatives, the National Urban League, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored and the National Action Network.

Sony Music gives $100 million for social justice and anti-racism.

Michael Jordan and Jordan Brands commits $100 million over 10-years to support organizations that focus on racial equality, social justice and access to education. This is in addition to Nike’s four-year, 440 million to address racial inequality around the country and the Jordan Wings Program.

Target and the Target Foundation gives $10 million to support social justice and community rebuilding and recovery. They are also giving essential items like medicine, diapers, etc.

Kanye West gives $2 million to the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. West has also set-up a 529 plan for the college education of Floyd’s daughter Gianna.



Von Rydingsvard in her Williamsburg studio on South 5th Street, surrounded by the cedar cast of katul katul, 2002.
Von Rydingsvard in her Williamsburg studio on South 5th Street, surrounded by the cedar cast of katul katul, 2002.

Premieres May 29, 2020 at Film Forum in New York

Opens June 5, 2020 in the major cities of Los Angeles, Berkeley, San Francisco, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia and more cities to be announced.

Director: Daniel Traub
Feature Documentary

Director Daniel Traub’s gives an in depth look at the life of sculptor Ursula Von Rydingsvard in his new film URSULA VON RYDINGSVARD: INTO HER OWN.

A compelling story of her birth in Germany, the five years she and her family lived in a displaced person camp prior to her parents and four siblings moving to the United States, her marriage to her husband of nine-years, who was institutionalized with schizophrenia and her eventual rise as one of the few women who specialize in monument sculptors.

Ona, Barclays Center, Brooklyn, 2013.
Ona, Barclays Center, Brooklyn, 2013.

It is fascinating to see how Ursula who grew up during the war and lived in poverty and despair as a displaced person was able to rise to such great heights as an artist. Hearing her speak about being in the 3rd grade and being elected to create posters and other art assignments in school appear to be the spark that ignited her passion for the arts. It is as though the world of art was her calling, her destiny.

One usually thinks of an artist and the creation of their work as an individua effort yet with Ursula, you see her chosen genre of working with large sculptures made out of cedar and eventually working with bronze, requires a team effort. A team she clearly admires and respect. It is a great opportunity for young artist to work and learn from a master of the arts like Ursula. She and her team have lunch together everyday, which gives you a sense of a family unit. That cohesiveness is displayed in the seamlessness of the sculptures that they create together.

Von Rydingsvard drawing cut lines on a 4x4" cedar beam, 2016.
Von Rydingsvard drawing cut lines on a 4x4" cedar beam, 2016.

It was intriguing watching as she traveled to Poland for the first time and see the similarities between of the large, neat stacks of wood used for heating their homes and her large stacks of 4x4 cedar blocks used in her sculptures and other Polish items that had been unknowingly created in her art. It provides an innate connection between her and her family’s homeland.

Composer Simon Taufique original scores provides a great backdrop to Ursula’s life journey from Germany to her new life in the United States.

An enjoyable film about the  humbly beginnings of a woman determined to be an artist. An artist who chose a genre without many woman role models and excelled.

Production Company: Itinerant Pictures
Run time: 57 minutes
Director: Daniel Traub
Producers: Daniel Traub, Ken Kobland, Simon Taufique
Executive Producer: Morning Slayter
Editors: Ken Kobland, Melody London
Cinematographer: Daniel Traub
Composer: Simon Taufique

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