Sony Unveils a DSLR Video Camera for Speed Demons

It seems like camera makers are bragging less about how many megapixels are on their sensors – which  is nearly useless as a measure of quality anyway — but are taking up a new selling point: speed.

And to get that speed in autofocus, the camera companies are advancing new technologies.  About a week ago Nikon announced it was producing the new 1 series of cameras, claiming to have the world’s fastest autofocus. It’s a claimSony disputed at its unveiling of the SLT A77 at Unique Photo in Fairfield, N.J., last Thursday, along with the mirrorless NEX-7 camera.

The Sony A77 is its new “enthusiast” camera, which is to say, at $2,000 with a 16-millimeter to 50-millimeter lens, it’s a bit expensive for the casual user.


Santa Fe welcomes world’s newest movie studio

This historic high mountain state capital and artistic enclave, long a favorite vacation and second home destination for celebrities, is expanding its star power this month with the opening of the world's newest movie studio.

But the development on 65 picturesque acres southeast of town is more than a warehouse with a few sound stages. It's also a sophisticated and uniquely Santa Fe-style operation that both its backers and competitors hope will help the state regain its stature as a leading alternative to Hollywood and New York for film makers.

Developed to resemble the pueblos of New Mexico's Chaco Canyon, Santa Fe Studios looks from the outside more like a luxury hotel than a traditional warehouse-style movie studio. Its amenities -- beyond its 360-degree mountain views and two 60-foot sound stages -- include plush offices and dressing rooms complete with terraces, access to electric cars and a special ultra-high-speed Internet network used by researchers at the nearby Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories.


Sony acquires rights to Steve Jobs movie biography

Coming just two days after the death of Apple co-founder and chairman Steve Jobs, Sony Pictures is reportedly ironing out a deal for the feature rights for the upcoming biography of the innovator, the simply-titled Steve Jobs. The authorized look at Jobs’ life has been penned by Time managing editor (and former CNN chairman) Walter Isaacson. Mark Gordon (Source Code, Saving Private Ryan, Speed) will produce the project. The film will hopefully only further Sony’s recent track record of spinning real-life business-based bios into massive popular and critical hits (a la The Social Network and Moneyball).'


‘Anonymous’ movie makes Hollywood take on the Shakespeare debate

Roland Emmerich is best known for ending the world with brio in movies such as “2012” and “The Day After Tomorrow.” With his newest film, “Anonymous,” the German director has taken on a more highbrow, if equally explosive, subject: the true authorship of Shakespeare’s works.

On Tuesday night in a ceremony at Sony Pictures, the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles presented Emmerich with its Crystal Quill award for his 10-year effort to make “Anonymous,” a movie due in theaters Oct. 28 that posits the theory that Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford  (played by Rhys Ifans),  actually wrote the plays and poems attributed to William Shakespeare.

“It’s a very gutsy thing to do,” Emmerich said in a speech of the group’s decision to award him the prize. “You will learn in the next few weeks. It will not go over that well.”


‘Tower Heist’ to be offered on VOD three weeks after theatrical release

Universal Pictures is taking on huge gamble with Brett Ratner’s Tower Heist by releasing it on Video-on-Demand three weeks after its release for $60 dollars. The battle between studios & theaters and the release of movies on VOD has taken a new turn. Recently Warner Brothers, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, and 20th Century Fox launched Home Premium, a VOD service that offers studio movies two months after their release at a price of $30 per movie. The drop in DVD sales played a major factor into VODs and now with the rising cost of theater ticket prices and concessions, studios believe that consumers will turn to VOD.

Obviously, theater owners are furious over this plan since it not only reduces the window between theatrical release and home viewing, but because Tower Heist, which has proven to be a success at some test screenings, could be a huge hit. The experiment “will be offered in Atlanta and Portland, Ore., to approximately 500,000 digital cable subscribers of Universal’s corporate parent, Comcast Corp., marks the first time a major studio movie will be available to watch in-home while still playing in thousands of theaters,” reports the LA Times.



Hollywood studios are embracing star-powered, faith-based films

In many quarters, Hollywood has long been regarded as an essentially godless place. But judging by the offerings at the movies this season, and more in the works, Tinseltown is rediscovering religion.

In the span of just a few weeks starting in late August, audiences looking for God at their local multiplex have had their choice of titles, including "Higher Ground," a chronicle of one woman's struggle with her faith; "Seven Days in Utopia," an inspirational golf drama; and "Machine Gun Preacher," about an evangelist who takes up arms in Africa.
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Oscar organizers aim for world-class film museum

Academy Awards overseers have the expertise and memorabilia. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has the know-how to run a world-class exhibition space. So the two outfits have hooked up to create what they hope will be the finest museum in the world devoted to moviemaking.

While there is no definite timeline, organizers said they hope the film museum — housed in a landmark department store building that is now part of the LACMA campus along Wilshire Boulevard — could open in three to five years.


George Clooney says he is now a character actor

George Clooney opens up about turning 50, dealing with failure, and more in this Sunday'sPARADE with contributing writer and political analyst David Gergen.  Be sure to check out this weekend's issue of PARADEmagazine in your local newspaper for the full interview with George Clooney.


Beavis and Butthead return to MTV 14 years later

If you watched last night’s episode of Jersey Shore, you may have caught the preview for Beavis and Butt-Head, which included the premiere date for the series’ return. Beavis and Butt-Head will be back to their ridiculous shenanigans and pop-culture commentary later next month!

I’ll admit to not entirely seeing the need for the two ’90’s icons to return to MTV until I attended the panel for B&B at Comic Con in San Diego last July. After viewing the video shown at the panel, which marked return of Cornholio, and watching as the idiotic duo watched reality TV and made hilarious comments in the direction of Jersey Shore and some other shows, it became very clear that pop-culture has been lacking these vital perspectives for a long time. Suddenly, Jersey Shore felt less complete without Beavis and Butt-Head making fun of it in the background. And so, come late October, the world will have Beavis and Butt-Head back.


‘What’s Your Number?’ writers on sex, comedy and slacker heroines

In “What’s Your Number?,” which opens today, Ally Darling (Anna Faris) embarks on a quest for her best ex after reading a magazine article warning that women who have had 20 or more lovers have lost their chance at finding a husband.

Screenwriters Gabrielle Allan and Jennifer Crittenden, who adapted their screenplay from the book “20 Times a Lady” by Karyn Bosnak, come from the world of TV, where Allan has been a writer on “Scrubs” and Crittenden on “Seinfeld,” “The Simpsons” and “Arrested Development.” Allan and Crittenden talked with 24 Frames writer Rebecca Keegan about their slacker heroine, the gender politics of humor and the best country in which to be a slut.


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