Category Archives: International Entertainment News

Hollywood Chamber to Honor Hugh Laurie with Walk of Fame Star

Hollywood Chamber of Commerce News

Hollywood, Calif. - The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce that actor Hugh Laurie will be honored with the 2,593rd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 at 11:30 a.m. PDT. The star in the category of Television will be dedicated in front of the Pig ‘N Whistle, 6712 Hollywood Boulevard.

Helping Emcee and Hollywood Chamber President/CEO Leron Gubler to unveil the star will be Stephen Fry. “The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to add Hugh Laurie to our illustrious Walk of Fame. His star is going to be set in a very appropriate location, a British Pub called the Pig N’ Whistle where he joins other British luminaries such as Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Ridley Scott and Dame Helen Mirren” stated Walk of Fame Producer Ana Martinez.

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce which administers the popular star ceremonies encourages people who are unable to attend and fans around the world to watch the event live exclusively on www.walkoffame.com.

Hollywood Chamber to Honor Hugh Laurie with Walk of Fame StarHugh Laurie was born in Oxford, England and attended Eton College and Cambridge University, where he received a degree in Anthropology. This award-winning actor, writer, producer and musician is best known for his scene-stealing roles in television and film.

Laurie next stars as forensic neuro-psychiatrist Eldon Chance in Hulu’s upcoming drama “Chance” premiering on October 19th. He most recently earned his eighth Emmy nomination for his riveting performance on the critically acclaimed AMC miniseries “The Night Manager” which he starred in alongside Tom Hiddleston, Olivia Colman, Tom Hollander and Elizabeth Debicki. Laurie reprised his role as Senator Tom James on the last season of HBO’s Emmy-winning comedy “Veep” opposite Julia Louis Dreyfus.

Laurie previously earned two Golden Globe Awards for his role as Dr. Gregory House on the long-running Fox series “House.”  He starred as the acerbic doctor for eight seasons, earning six Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Drama Series as a producer, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series. He has twice been honored by the Television Critics Association with TCA Awards for Individual Achievement in Drama. While it was on the air, “House” received a review score of 9.4 out of 10, making it a Guinness World Record holder for Most Popular TV Show and making Laurie a record holder for Most-Watched Leading Man.

Alongside Stephen Fry, Laurie first broke into television by writing, producing and starring in “The Cellar Tapes,” a revue consisting of a number of sketches and musical numbers which was broadcast on television in 1982. “The Cellar Tapes” propelled the British duo into a number of groundbreaking television shows in the UK such as “A Bit of Fry and Laurie,” which Laurie co-wrote for the BBC with Fry; BBC comedy “Blackadder;” “Jeeves and Wooster,” based on the novels of P.G. Wodehouse which aired on PBS’s “Masterpiece Theatre;” and “Saturday Live,” a comedy music sketch series in which Laurie appeared as himself and a number of various characters. His work on American television includes the television film “Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows” in which Laurie portrayed Vincente Minnelli opposite Judy Davis, and HBO’s “Tracey Takes On…” opposite Tracey Ullman.

Laurie’s film credits include Disney’s “Tomorrowland” with George Clooney which was directed by Brad Bird and written by Damon Lindelof; “Mr. Pip;” “The Oranges” with Oliver Platt and Catherine Kenner; “Street Kings” with Forest Whitaker and Keanu Reeves; “Flight of the Phoenix” with Dennis Quaid; “Peter’s Friends” with Kenneth Branagh; “Sense and Sensibility” with Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet; “Cousin Bette” with Jessica Lange; “The Man in the Iron Mask” with Jeremy Irons and Leonardo DiCaprio; “101 Dalmatians” with Glenn Close and Jeff Daniels; “Stuart Little;” “Stuart Little 2;” and the animated films “Arthur Christmas,” “Hop,” and “Monsters vs. Aliens.”

A talented singer and musician, Laurie has released two albums and performed around the world. After signing a record deal with Warner Bros. Records, Laurie’s celebrated New Orleans blues album “Let Them Talk” was released in the U.S. in 2011. Recorded at sessions in Los Angeles and New Orleans, the musical and vocal collaboration was produced by two-time Grammy Award winner Joe Henry, and became the biggest-selling blues album of the year in the UK. A performance documentary about Laurie’s musical passion, “Hugh Laurie: Let Them Talk – A Celebration of New Orleans Blues” also aired on PBS’s “Great Performances” in 2011. Laurie released his second album, “Didn’t It Rain,” with his band The Copper Bottom Band in April 2013. He also recorded his second PBS special, “Live on the Queen Mary,” which featured an intimate live performance by Laurie and his band filmed aboard the historic Queen Mary in Long Beach. In October 2013, Laurie embarked on a U.S. tour with the Copper Bottom Band.

Laurie is involved with the following charities: Retrak, Warchild, Comic Relief and Red Nose Day (U.S.)

 

Watch as the Hollywood Chamber honors Hugh Laurie exclusively on www.walkoffame.com.

DAVID DUCHOVNY HONORED WITH STAR ON THE HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME

Hollywood, Calif. – The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce honored actor David Duchovny  with the 2,572nd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday, January 25.  The star in the category of Television was dedicated at 6508 Hollywood Boulevard in front of the FOX Theatre.
Hollywood Chamber to Honor David Duchovny with Walk of Fame Star

Helping Emcee and Hollywood Chamber President/CEO Leron Gubler to unveil the star was “X-Files” creator/director/executive producer Chris Carter and comedian Garry Shandling. “Fans were thrilled that their favorite actor David Duchovny was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

“He is beloved by audiences worldwide for his television and film work,” stated Ana Martinez, Producer of the Walk of Fame ceremonies.

Born and raised in New York City, Duchovny attended Princeton University where he played one season as shooting guard on the school’s basketball team. He received his Master’s Degree in English Literature from Yale and was on the road to earning his Ph.D. when he caught the acting bug.

Subsequently, Duchovny emerged to become one of the most highly acclaimed actors in Hollywood. The star of 20th Century Fox Television’s international monster hit  “The X-Files,” he was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series, he was nominated for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his highly acclaimed and some say risqué appearances on “The Larry Sanders Show.” In January 1997, he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series. He has been nominated for a total of three Golden Globes, three Screen Actors Guild and a TV Critic’s Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series. The press and the public both agree that Duchovny brings a fierce intellect, a quiet intensity and an acerbic wit to his roles on both the small screen and the silver screen.

Fans were happy to know that thirteen years after the original series run, the next mind-bending chapter of “The X-Files” returned  with a thrilling, six-episode event series from creator/executive producer Chris Carter, with stars Duchovny and Gillian Anderson re-inhabiting their roles as iconic FBI Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully.  This marks the momentous return of the Emmy- and Golden Globe Award-winning pop culture phenomenon, which remains one of the longest-running sci-fi series in network television history.

The two-Night Season Premiere aired Sunday, January 24 and Monday, January 25 and the series will air in its Monday 8 PM timeslot.

Since “The X-Files” debuted, millions and millions of self-proclaimed “X-Philes” spent their Sunday nights wide-eyed in anticipation as their hero, the brilliant and sullen FBI agent Fox Mulder, explored cases deemed unbelievable or unsolvable by the Bureau. Duchovny’s remarkable performance on   “The X-Files” earned him the title of “Zeitgeist Icon” by Laura Jacobs in The New Republic, and “the first Internet sex symbol with hair” by Maureen Dowd in The New York Times.

Duchovny added the role of director to his already extensive list of accomplishments when he wrote, directed and starred in three critically acclaimed episodes of “The X-Files,” titled “The Unnatural,” which starred Jessie Martin; and “Hollywood A.D.”, starring Garry Shandling and actress Tea Leoni, and “William”. Other directing credits include the Fox hit series “Bones,” as well as, six episodes of “Californication.”

Duchovny’s passion for renegade films has brought him critical acclaim for his performances in the feature films “Kalifornia,” in which he co-starred opposite Brad Pitt; “The Rapture,” the controversial film directed by Michael Tolkin in which Duchovny starred opposite Mimi Rogers; and “Julia Has Two Lovers,” in which he turned in a much heralded performance as a telephone hustler. Duchovny played Roland “Rollie” Totheroh, Charlie Chaplin’s longtime confidante and cameraman in the Sir Richard Attenborough directed  “Chaplin,” which starred Robert Downey, Jr. in the title role; and starred in the smash hit “Beethoven,” opposite Charles Grodin and Bonnie Hunt. Feature credits include the Dreamworks action-comedy “Evolution,” opposite Julianne Moore and directed by Ivan Reitman, the MGM romantic-comedy “Return To Me,” opposite Minnie Driver, directed by Bonnie Hunt. “The X-Files” movie, and “Playing God,” with Timothy Hutton and Angelina Jolie. David went on to appear in a hilariously funny cameo in Ben Stiller’s film “Zoolander.”

David is still recognized for his role as Dennis/Denise Bryson, the transvestite detective in David Lynch’s breakthrough television series “Twin Peaks.”  Duchovny also spent four seasons as the impassioned narrator of Zalman King’s erotic anthology series Red Shoe Diaries,” which began as a feature length telefilm for Showtime.

In 2002, he starred in the Miramax ensemble comedy “Full Frontal,” for director Steven Soderbergh, co-starring Julia Roberts and George Clooney. David made brief returns to television, first appearing in good friend Bonnie Hunt’s show “Life With Bonnie,” in which he guest starred as over-the-top weatherman Johnny Volcano, for which he was nominated for an Emmy in 2003. Following that, he made a memorable appearance on “Sex And The City,” as an ex-flame of Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw character.

He made his feature directorial debut in 2005 with “House Of D” which he also wrote and appeared in. The film, which starred Robin Williams and Anton Yelchin, vividly captured the spirit of youth in all its joy and heartbreak.

Other feature credits include “Trust The Man,” “The TV Set,” “Things We Lost In The Fire,” “The Secret,” “The X-Files: I Want To Believe,” and “The Joneses.”

Duchovny ventured onto the stage starring off Broadway in Neil LaBute’s play “The Break Of Noon” in which he reunited with his “X-Files: I Want To Believe” co-star Amanda Peet.

Next, he worked on the independent features “Goats” opposite Vera Farmiga, Ty Burrell, Graham Phillips and Dakota Johnson; “Phantom” opposite Ed Harris and the independent feature “Louder Than Words” opposite Hope Davis and Timothy Hutton.

His other long-running series “Californication” ended its 7-year run in Summer of 2015 for Showtime. Hank Moody marked another seminal character portrayed by Duchovny that has made it’s its way into our pop culture lexicon, and for whose portrayal he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Comedy series.

Duchovny recently released his first studio album for ThinkSay Records which is being distributed by Caroline, and is available for download on iTunes.

His first novel Holy Cow was released by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in February 2015 and hit The New York Times® Best Sellers list. Hisnext book called Bucky Fu##ing Dent will be published on April 5th.

Earlier this year he was seen in the Tomorrow Studios /NBC series “Aquarius,” which he executive produced and in which he stars. The complete series was released on premiere day on NBC.com, the NBC app and VOD.  He is currently shooting the 2nd Season of “Aquarius” for NBC.

Duchovny supports several charities including his recent hosting of “Red Nose Charity Day” to raise money for impoverished children in the U.S.

Story by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce

 

 

HOLLYWOOD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND WALK OF FAMER DAVE KOZ ANNOUNCE HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME HONOREES FOR CLASS OF 2016

Hollywood, Calif.A new group of entertainment professionals in Motion Pictures, Television, Live Theatre, Radio and Recording have been selected to receive stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, These honorees were chosen from among hundreds of nominations to the committee at a meeting held back in June and ratified by the Hollywood Chamber’s Board of Directors.  Musician and Walk of Famer Dave Koz announced the new honorees alongside Leron Gubler, President/CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and Maureen Schultz, Chair of the Walk of Fame Selection Committee. The new selections were revealed to the world via live stream exclusively on the official website www.walkoffame.com.

“The Walk of Fame Selection Committee is excited to announce our newest honorees to the Walk of Fame. After much deliberation, we feel that we have selected a great group of talent for this coveted award. Fans from around the world will be thrilled to hear that their favorite celebrities will be honored on our world-famous Hollywood Walk of Fame,” stated Schultz. “We look forward to welcoming these great talents to our Walk of Fame family.”

The Hollywood Walk of Fame Class of 2016 are:

In the category of MOTION PICTURES:
Steve Carell, Bradley Cooper, Ashley Judd, Michael Keaton, Kurt Russell, Quentin Tarantino, and Toshiro Mifune (posthumous)

In the category of TELEVISION:
Barbara Bain, Kathy Bates, Roma Downey, David Duchovny, Allison Janney, Rob Lowe, Debra Messing, Tracy Morgan, Gary Sinise, and William S. Paley (posthumous)

In the category of RECORDING:
Shirley Caesar, LL Cool J, Cyndi Lauper, Adam Levine, Bruno Mars, Joseph B. ‘Joe’ Smith, Itzhak Perlman, ‘Mama’ Cass Elliot (posthumous)

In the category of RADIO: Ralph Lawler

In the category of LIVE THEATRE/LIVE PERFORMANCE:
Angélica María, Harvey Fierstein, and Kevin Hart

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and its Walk of Fame Selection Committee congratulate all the honorees. Dates have not been scheduled for these star ceremonies. Recipients have two years to schedule star ceremonies from the date of selection before they expire. Upcoming star ceremonies are normally announced ten days prior to dedication on the official website www.walkoffame.com.

LL COOL J
TO BE HONORED WITH
STAR ON THE HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME

WHO:        Honoree: LL COOL J

Emcee:      Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, President/CEO Leron Gubler
Guest speakers: Queen Latifah and Sean “Diddy” Combs

WHAT:      Dedication of the 2,571st star on the Walk of Fame
                   in the category of Recording

WHERE:    6901 Hollywood Boulevard 
                   in front of the Hard Rock Cafe

WHEN:      Thursday, January 21, 2016 at 11:30 a.m. PST

Event will be live-streamed exclusively on www.walkoffame.com

Hollywood Chamber to Honor LL Cool J with Walk of Fame Star

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce that LL COOL J will be honored with the 2,571st star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on January 21, 2016 at 11:30 a.m. PST. The star in the category of Recording will be dedicated at 6901 Hollywood Boulevard in front of Hollywood’s Hard Rock Cafe. “LL COOL J is one of the most popular recording artists. He has a huge following and we are proud to honor him on the Walk of Fame.” stated Ana Martinez, Producer of the Walk of Fame ceremonies.

Helping Emcee and Hollywood Chamber President/CEO Leron Gubler to unveil the star will be Queen Latifah and Sean “Diddy” Combs.

LL COOL J is an entertainment icon who has found great success crossing into multiple mediums. A two-time Grammy® Award winner, recording artist, talented actor, NAACP Image Award winner, entrepreneur and philanthropist, LL continues to display his wide range of talents with every project.

Celebrating 30 years since he first burst onto the scene, LL COOL J continues his vibrant, trailblazing career. LL COOL J began in the nascent, burgeoning rap and hip hop scene of the 80s, which developed into the musical and cultural phenomenon that is today’s hip hop. All the while, LL COOL J has remained a musical and cultural force, a living icon and a significant, relevant artist still churning out the hits.

First introduced to the world in 1984 as a Def Jam Records flagship artist, LL is the first rap artist to amass ten consecutive platinum-plus selling albums, in addition to 2004’s “THE DEFINITION” and 2006’s “TODD SMITH” which both went Gold.  The multi-platinum artist and two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominee is currently tied for third place for mostBillboard chart debuts by a rapper. In 2008, LL released his critically acclaimed album “EXIT 13,” his appropriately titled 13th and last album for the only label he has called home – Def Jam Recordings. USA Today put it best when they said, “He may be hitting the Exit, but he is not easing up on the gas.” Continuing his musical expedition three decades after he first released music, LL most recently released his critically-acclaimed 14th studio album, “AUTHENTIC.”With this album, the multi-platinum artist returned to the studio and kicked the volume up to create a powerful album that came from his true passion for music and would speak to his fans. LL scored his 13th Top-10 Album on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Chart with AUTHENTIC.

As an actor, LL COOL J has successfully transitioned to one of the consistently highest rated shows on television. He currently stars in the CBS hit primetime drama series, “NCIS: LOS ANGELES,” which is in its seventh season. Lauded as one of the most successful show launches ever, and sold into syndication after only seven episodes, his performance on the show has garnered him a NAACP Image Award four years in a row, from 2011 to 2014, for his role of ‘Special Agent Sam Hanna.’ The show is licensed in more than 200 territories around the world and translated or dubbed into dozens of languages. He previously won an NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding Male Artist” in 2003 and hosted the show in 2007.

Previously, LL had a dramatic and critically acclaimed performance on the second season premiere of FOX’s hit drama “House.” He also guest starred on the NBC comedy “30 Rock” in a memorable performance as hip hop mogul ‘Ridiculous’.

LL can currently be seen hosting and producing the Jimmy Fallon-executive produced new show Lip Sync Battle on Spike TV, which premiered in April 2015 as Spike TV’s most-watched original program ever. The series was renewed for a second season just weeks after its premiere and returned on January 7, 2016.

LL has hosted the GRAMMY® Awards for the past four years in a row, for which he has earned rave reviews. He returns as the host of the 2016 Awards on February 15, 2016 on CBS and has also hosted and produced the GRAMMY® Nominations Concert Live Special for the past seven years and has also been a presenter at the Emmy®, Golden Globe®, and SAG Awards.

Over the years, LL has appeared in more than 30 films and starred opposite acclaimed actors such as Samuel L. Jackson and Colin Farrell in Sony Pictures blockbuster “S.W.A.T.;” Al Pacino, Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz in Oliver Stone’s “Any Given Sunday;” and Gabrielle Union in Focus Features’ “Deliver Us from Eva.” Other film credits include “Rollerball,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “Kingdom Come,” “In Too Deep,” “Toys,” “Slow Burn” with Ray Liotta and “Eddison” with Morgan Freeman and Kevin Spacey. He also received a Blockbuster Award for best comedic performance as the ‘Chef’ in Renny Harlin’s blockbuster action film “Deep Blue Sea.” He also starred in Paramount Pictures’ “Last Holiday,” opposite Queen Latifah, which was lauded by fans and critics alike and proved to be a box office draw. He was most recently seen starring opposite Academy Award®-winner Robert De Niro in “Grudge Match.”

LL has always been an avid philanthropist involved in numerous causes including literacy for kids as well as music and arts programs in schools. Celebrating its 12th Anniversary this year, his charity “Jump & Ball” – which takes place every August in his hometown of Queens, New York – aims to give back to his local community by offering a five-week athletic and team building program dedicated to bringing wholesome fun to young people.

 

Veluzat Melody Ranch Movie Studios Joins SANTA CLARITA ANNEXATION of THREE MOVIE RANCHES INTO CITY’S MOVIE RANCH OVERLAY ZONE

Paul Veluzat, grandson of the late Paul T. Veluzat, makes the rounds at the family-owned Melody Ranch Motion Pictures Studios,  the storied backdrop to such films as The Lone Ranger, Wyatt Earp, Gunsmoke, Hopalong Cassidy, Annie Oakley, Rin Tin Tin, The Cisco Kid, and most recently Deadwood, Tall Tails, Last Man Standing, and Magnificent Seven.    Photo by Margie Anne Clark
Paul Veluzat, grandson of the late cowboy movie-ranch icon Paul T. Veluzat, makes the rounds during filming at the family-owned Melody Ranch Motion Pictures Studios, the storied backdrop to such films as The Lone Ranger, Wyatt Earp, Gunsmoke, Hopalong Cassidy, Annie Oakley, Rin Tin Tin, The Cisco Kid, and most recently Deadwood, Tall Tails, Last Man Standing, and Magnificent Seven. The City of Santa Clarita annexed three additional movie ranches into it Movie Ranch Overlay Zone  (MROZ) which includes the Veluzat Movie Ranch. Photo by Margie Anne Clark

The City of Santa Clarita has annexed three additional movie ranches into its Movie Ranch Overlay Zone (MROZ), including Blue Cloud Movie Ranch, 50’s Town, and Veluzat Movie Ranch

Santa Clarita, Calif. – The City of Santa Clarita has annexed three additional movie ranches into its Movie Ranch Overlay Zone (MROZ), including Blue Cloud Movie Ranch, 50’s Town, and Veluzat Movie Ranch, www.melodyranchstudio.com.  Already one of the busiest film communities in Los Angeles County, Santa Clarita anticipates continued increases in filming as a result of the recent annexation.

In April 2013, the City became the first in Los Angeles County to create a MROZ as a way to support existing production and film businesses, while attracting new productions and film companies.  Filming at properties located within this Zone benefit from reduced-cost permits and expedited permit processing time.  Sable Movie Ranch, Rancho Maria and A Rancho Deluxe were the first three ranches to be included in the MROZ last year.

“The film industry has been a part of Santa Clarita’s business community for more than a century,” said Mayor Laurene Weste.  “We are one of the busiest film communities in Los Angeles County, and are committed to developing innovative programs and incentives that help keep the State’s signature industry right here,” she added.

The MROZ provides the film industry with stability and certainty of being able to film at these ranches now and in the future.  The MROZ also demonstrates the City’s commitment to the film industry, providing an incentive for film productions to relocate to Santa Clarita.

Santa Clarita is one of the most filmed Southern California film communities in the 30-Mile Zone because of its film-friendly practices and policies, as well as its film infrastructure, which includes nearly 10 movie ranches and more than 20 sound stages.  In Fiscal Year 2013-2014, Santa Clarita set new film records with 1,370 film days representing an estimated $33.5 million in local economic impact from location filming alone.  August 2014 was another record-breaking month for the film office, with a 19 percent increase in film days and 43 percent increase in economic impact when compared to the year prior.

The City of Santa Clarita is currently home to some of television’s most-watched programming, including “NCIS,” “Switched at Birth,” “The Bridge,” “Chasing Life,” “Franklin and Bash,” “Justified,” “Utopia” and “Wipeout.”  For more information, please contact the Santa Clarita Film Office at 661-284-1425 or visit FilmSantaClarita.com.

Universal Studios Hollywood set to open much-anticipated arrival of “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem,” April 12, 2014

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., March 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – Universal Studios HollywoodSM announces the much-anticipated arrival of “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem,” a 3D Ultra-HD movie motion-simulator adventure.  Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s worldwide blockbuster Despicable Me will come to life in Hollywood in an attraction modeled after the one in its sister park, Universal Orlando Resort® – with the addition of a few surprises unique to the Entertainment Capital of L.A.SM

“Based on the consumer feedback at our sister park, we expect the ‘Despicable Me’ ride experience to be a popular, family-friendly attraction for Universal Studios Hollywood.  The ride continues the story line of the main characters from the blockbuster film through all-new 3D Ultra-HD animation, together with an interactive ride vehicle system,” said Larry Kurzweil, President and Chief Operating Officer, Universal Studios Hollywood.  “In ‘Despicable Me Minion Mayhem,’ our guests will experience the hilarious and heartwarming characters of the beloved film in a whole new way.”

The fully immersive experience will debut in 2014 with the loveable cast of leading characters that have captured the laughter of audiences worldwide: super-villain Gru, his adorable girls (Margo, Edith and Agnes) and the unpredictably hilarious Minions.

“The ‘Despicable Me Minion Mayhem’ attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood will continue to push the creative envelope with its exceptional show content, sight gags, special effects and 3D digital animation.  The exterior treatment will feature even more thematic and colorful creative touches that will literally place park guests inside Gru’s world,” said Mark Woodbury, President, Universal Creative.

Guests will experience whimsically themed queues, preshow videos and comedic dialogue that set up the fundamental plot: Gru schemes to create more mischievous Minions from human recruits.

Guests will be transported into Gru’s house as they meander through his living room and encounter visual elements as seen in the film – including the moon-shrinking SR-6 shrink ray – while they zig zag through a zany adventure featuring Gru’s super-villain laboratory.  The exciting journey continues as they swerve, bounce and plunge to get through the frantically humorous Minion training mission while donning specially designed 3D Minion goggles.  Fun and frolic continue in a post-show dance party where Minion walkaround characters invite guests to strut their stuff in an impromptu Minion-inspired dance party.

“Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” was produced in collaboration between Universal Creative and Illumination Entertainment, and was recently honored as Best Animated Special Production at the 2012 Annie Awards, which recognizes Outstanding Achievements in the field of Animation.

Universal Studios Hollywood SM, The Entertainment Capital of L.A.SM, includes a full-day, movie-based theme park and Studio Tour; the CityWalk® entertainment, shopping and dining complex, the Universal CityWalk Cinemas, the “5 Towers” state-of-the-art outdoor concert venue, and the Gibson Amphitheatre concert and special event arena.  World-class rides and attractions include the intense, award-winning ride, “King Kong 360 3-D” on the famed behind-the-scenes Studio Tour, “The Simpsons RideTM,” “Revenge of the MummySM —The Ride” indoor roller coaster and “Jurassic Park® —The Ride,” as well as the award-winning, critically acclaimed mega-attraction, “Transformers™:  The Ride—3D.”

By Universal Studios Hollywood

RELATED LINKS
http://www.universalstudioshollywood.com

Disney Parks Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of ‘it’s a small world,’ Invites the World to Join a Global Sing-along at SmallWorld50.com

It's a Small World--Disney Parks is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its iconic a small world attraction with a global celebration that benefits UNICEF. Capturing the happy, peaceful spirit of children everywhere, the attraction, which debuted at the 1964 World's Fair, now entertains guests at five Disney theme parks worldwide. Fans around the world are invited to join the celebration at SmallWorld50.com where they may record videos of themselves singing a small world and create virtual dolls in the style of those from the attraction. The celebration continues April 10, when hundreds of voices from the Disneyland Resort in California, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan, Disneyland Paris in France and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort will be united in a global sing-along.

Sing the Iconic Song, Make a Digital Doll to Benefit UNICEF

NEW YORK/ANAHEIM, Calif./LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla./TOKYO/PARIS/HONG KONG – March 21, 2014 – In a historic, global event, guests and cast members at Disney Parks around the world will unite in song to

celebrate the 50th anniversary of “It’s a Small World,” the classic Disney Parks attraction that opened as a tribute to peace and hope at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Fans from around the world can join the festivities in a first-of-its-kind, online global sing-along at SmallWorld50.com.

On Thursday, April 10, 2014, hundreds of voices from Disneyland Resort in California, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan, Disneyland Paris in France and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort will sing the unforgettable theme song of the “happiest cruise that ever sailed the seven seas.”

Fans around the world also are invited to join the global sing-along virtually. SmallWorld50.com launches today as a “global hub” of music and harmony where guests may record videos of themselves singing the classic song and create virtual “it’s a small world” dolls to benefit UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund). UNICEF provides health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more to children around the world.

” ‘it’s a small world’ has inspired hundreds of millions of people through its timeless theme,” said Tom Staggs, chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “Every moment of every day there are Disney guests enjoying ‘it’s a small world’ somewhere around the globe.  The 50th anniversary of this attraction represents a celebration of the shared optimism, hope, and humanity of people throughout the world.”

New Video Features People Around the World Singing “It’s a Small World”

To help announce the celebration, Disney Parks released a video featuring people around the world singing, dancing to and playing “It’s a Small World.” Filmed across six continents in more than 25 countries, the video features international “performers” – including bagpipers in Scotland, Bollywood movie actors in India, a firefighter in New York City, and members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir – to create one worldwide video.

That video and others will be part of the launch of SmallWorld50.com, the global website for the attraction’s anniversary. Fans around the world are encouraged to participate online by recording on the Small World 50 website videos of themselves singing “It’s a Small World” and by creating virtual “it’s a small world” dolls to share with their friends through social media.

The Walt Disney Company will donate $150,000 to benefit UNICEF in honor of the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world,” plus $1 for every sing-along video recorded on SmallWorld50.com and another $1 for every virtual doll created on the website, up to $100,000. Disney began its relationship with UNICEF in 1964 with the debut of “it’s a small world” at the New York World’s Fair. More recently, Disney and UNICEF have worked together to create a brighter tomorrow for thousands of children through programming that helps foster imagination and creativity.

Throughout the day, Disney Parks also will sponsor Google Hangouts that invite people from around the world to participate in the anniversary events. Fans are encouraged to visit SmallWorld50.com for details.

Disney Store adds to the Golden Anniversary celebration with the “it’s a small world” doll collection, inspired by the original Fantasyland attraction, and stores nationwide will offer fans a chance to celebrate at “it’s a small world” events. From Thursday, April 10, to Sunday, April 13, children are invited to visit a participating Disney Store to take a journey on an imaginary boat ride around the globe, learning how to say “hello” in various languages and singing “It’s a Small World” along the way. Guests are encouraged to call their local Disney Store or visit DisneyStore.com to confirm participation and details.

The Creation of a Classic 

One of the most beloved attractions in the history of Disney Parks, “it’s a small world” is featured at all five Disney Resorts around the world. The original attraction premiered at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City, created by Walt Disney himself and WED Enterprises, which eventually became Walt Disney Imagineering (the creative masters behind Disney theme parks and attractions).

The attraction features a gentle boat ride through a Lilliputian land populated by colorfully dressed Audio-Animatronics dolls representing children from many regions of the world singing a simple song about universal harmony. A team of WED artistic geniuses, including Disney Legends designer Mary Blair and costumer Alice Davis, created its now iconic style.

In 1963, Walt Disney was asked to create an exhibit for the 1964 World’s Fair to salute UNICEF and children around the world. With Walt’s blessing, Marc Davis, one of the original Disney animators, designed the boat ride attraction through the regions and countries of the world. The first version of “it’s a small world” entertained and thrilled more than 10 million visitors in New York from 1964-65. In 1966, after some major enhancements, including an enlargement of approximately 33 percent, the attraction found a permanent home at Disneyland in California.

In the attraction, hundreds of dolls “sing” the familiar song, “It’s a Small World,” in five languages (English, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Swedish). Academy Award® winning composers Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, who won two Oscars® for their work on Disney’s feature film “Mary Poppins,” were asked by Walt Disney to create a simple, yet catchy piece that could be sung in many different languages while guests traveled by boat through the attraction. The resulting song, “It’s a Small World (After All),” became one of the most well known and happiest of all Disney tunes.

- See more at: http://disneylandnews.com/2014/03/21/disney-parks-celebrates-the-50th-anniversary-of-its-a-small-world-invites-the-world-to-join-a-global-sing-along-at-smallworld50-com/#sthash.TV8LUChZ.dpuf

https://disneyland.disney.go.com

Chinese VP Visits L.A.

Chinese VP Visits L.A.

(CNS) Posted Thursday February 16, 2012– 10:10am

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, who is expected to be the next president of the world’s most populous nation, comes to Los Angeles today for a quick visit expected to include a visit to the Port of Los Angeles, the announcement of an entertainment deal involving a major studio, and an economic forum downtown.

Xi, whose visit is the first to Los Angeles by a high-level Chinese official in 13 years, also will watch Friday’s Los Angeles Lakers game with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa before flying home.

Analysts say the trip could offer an important Sino-American relationship-building opportunity in the shipping, tourism and entertainment industries. They also expect Villaraigosa and Gov. Jerry Brown to push hard for Chinese investment in a planned high-speed rail project from Los Angeles to San Francisco and regional L.A. County transit projects.

Xi is scheduled to arrive at Los Angeles International Airport from Iowa around 1:30 p.m. Brown and Villaraigosa will be at LAX to welcome Xi, who experts believe will become China’s president next year and hold the post for 10 years.

The officials will then travel to the Port of Los Angeles to visit the China Shipping terminal, which is undergoing a $121 million expansion that will more than double its space at the port to 142 acres.

Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz said she is honored to host Xi.

“For many years, China has been and continues to be the port’s leading trading partner in terms of both imports and exports,” Knatz said. In 2011, total trade between China and the Port of L.A. was valued at more than $133 billion.

Members of the Tibetan Association of Northern California, which supports Tibetan autonomy and accuses China of human rights violations, are expected to arrive by bus in Southern California today to protest Xi’s visit.

“This is a big opportunity for us to show the Chinese officials that all Tibetans stand in solidarity, and we will continue to fight for our country,” the group said on its website.

Xi has no public events tonight but a packed schedule on Friday, when he is expected to announce a deal with DreamWorks Animation to jointly build and operate a studio in Shanghai with two state-owned Chinese media companies, Shanghai Media Group and China Media Capital.

The deal, which would have the three companies produce original films and television programs for the Chinese audience, would give DreamWorks Animation the most significant access to China’s media market of any company, the Financial Times reported.

Xi, Commerce Secretary John Bryson and Villaraigosa will speak at the China-U.S. Economic Trade Forum at the JW Marriott near L.A. Live Friday morning. Afterward, Xi, Bryson and Villaraigosa plan to rendezvous with Vice President Joe Biden at a Los Angeles school before a welcome luncheon hosted by Villaraigosa at the JW Marriott.

Chinese officials will also attend a private agreement-signing between city officials and the Chinese telecommunications company ZTE Corporation. The city will commit to helping the company find possible sites for expansion and network with possible clients in the city. ZTE will commit to expand the company’s scope in Los Angeles.

Also on Friday, Brown will host a U.S. and Chinese Governors’ Roundtable at Walt Disney Concert Hall starting at 3:30 p.m.

Xi’s visit comes on the heels of Villaraigosa’s trade mission to China and other Asian countries in December, when the two met to discuss trade and business opportunities in the city.

“I am honored that Vice President Xi Jinping accepted my invitation to visit Los Angeles as we continue to foster relationships that were renewed during my trade mission to China in December,” Villaraigosa said this week. “I am committed to strengthening our local economy by expanding Chinese trade, tourism and investment in Los Angeles and exploring ways that we can expand local business opportunities in China.”

Chinese-owned businesses in the city employ about 600 people and pay $32 million in wages, according to the mayor’s office.

Xi’s visit is largely intended to send symbolic messages to the Chinese public, said Clayton Dube, associate director of the U.S.-China Institute at the University of Southern California. It will communicate that succession is proceeding in orderly fashion and that the U.S.-China relationship is an important tie that both sides are trying to improve, he said.

An investment delegation from Chongqing, one of China’s fastest growing cities, will be looking at ways to invest in shipping infrastructure, tourism- related businesses, film and video partnerships and possibly transportation projects, Dube said.

Villaraigosa is also looking to Chinese companies for investment in regional transportation projects and a high-speed rail line connecting Los Angeles to San Francisco.

“Yes, that’s one of the things I’d like to talk to (Xi) about and look forward to working with him,” Villaraigosa told City News Service. “What it will be is an opportunity to participate in what should be one of the most significant projects of its kind in our state’s history.” Kenneth Lieberthal, director of the John L. Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C., said that “the biggest issues out there in terms of economic relations, is whether China begins to invest seriously in real assets in the U.S., assuming partial ownership of businesses here, not just treasuries and agency debt.”

The prospect of transportation investments becoming the first high- profile test of how Americans react to Chinese co-ownership of public assets seems “perfectly feasible,” he said.

“Foreign ownership even of toll roads has been politically difficult elsewhere in the U.S.,” Lieberthal said.

Villaraigosa said co-ownership is not the focus of talks at this point.

“They’re not looking at that as much, certainly, as they are at a rate of return,” Villaraigosa said.

Xi’s delegation includes China’s ministers of foreign affairs, education and agriculture, the vice minister of commerce, a trade representative, the Chinese ambassador to the United States, other senior government officials and embassy and consular staff.

Xi will conclude his trip Friday night by joining Villaraigosa in attending the Lakers game against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center. He’s scheduled to leave Friday around 10 p.m. from LAX.

Copyright © 2012 CNS

LATE KING OF SWING LOUIS PRIMA HONORED ON HOLLYWOOD’S WALK OF FAME’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY STREET FESTIVAL

LATE KING OF SWING LOUIS PRIMA HONORED ON HOLLYWOOD’S WALK OF FAME’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY STREET FESTIVAL - JULY 26, 2010

By Margie Anne Clark
Hollywood, Calif. – Louis Prima must have been smiling in heaven as his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was unveiled Sunday, on what would have been the iconic King of Swing’s 100th birthday.

Set amidst the bustling backdrop of the Ricardo Montalban Theater on Hollywood and Vine, the unabashed spirit of Prima shook the pavement as the late jazz singer’s son, Louis Prima Jr. and the Witnesses – and the lovely Sarah Spiegel dazzled the crowd with such familiar ballads as “I Ain’t Got Nobody,” “Buona Sera, Zooma-Zooma,” “Jump,Jive And Wail.” Prima’s children, Louis Prima Jr. and Lena Prima accepted the Star on behalf of their legendary father.

The late Prima’s centennial star unveiling coincided with the day-long “Walk the Walk” Community Festival in Hollywood Honoring the Hollywood Walk Of Fame’s 50th Anniversary.

Louis Prima remains one of the greatest contributors to popular music and a powerful entertainment influence during the past eight decades.

Pictured above, Louis Prima Jr. poses by his father’s star and trumpet on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The star unveiling was held in conjunction with the Hollywood Walk of Fame’s 50th anniversary and in commemoration of what would have been Louis Prima’s 100th birthday.  (Photo by Margie Anne Clark, Los Angeles Life and Style/City Life Communications.)

A new era of music began when Louis left his hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana and launched his recording career in 1933 in Chicago with upbeat renditions of Dinah and Chinatown. He defined the early Swing Era in New York and Hollywood with his New Orleans Gang and had an incredible output of recordings and appearances in films and on stage between 1934-39.

The Prima recordings of It’s The Rhythm In Me, Lazy River, and his own immortal composition Sing, Sing, Sing (also a Benny Goodman hit) had legions of fans swing dancing from The Famous Door on 52nd Street in New York to the hottest spots in Hollywood. The swing trend escalated and grew thanks to Prima’s driving force. His music skyrocketed in popularity, eventually surpassing the sales of the number one band at the time, Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians. Louis and his twenty-two piece orchestra scored a tremendous hit in 1944 with a million-seller entitled Angelina.

He topped the charts throughout the Big Band Era with Majestic, Hit, RCA, and Robin Hood label recordings of Robin Hood, I’ll Walk Alone, Josephina, Please No Squeeza Da Banana, Baciagaloop, Felicia No Capicia, Civilization, Oh Babe, and many others.

The King of Swing made entertainment history during this time, breaking all house attendance records wherever he performed across the nation.

During the golden age of jazz, Prima composed A Sunday Kind of Love in 1946, and the song became a hit during four decades and six different musical genres including Swing, Doo-Wop, Rock & Roll, Rhythm & Blues, Jazz, and Country! The song would appear on the charts for many other prominent artists who also recorded this Prima standard.

With his musical comedic flair, Prima was one of the founding fathers of the Las Vegas entertainment scene. He downsized his big band in 1954, and created a small group that he named The Witnesses. Prima’s shuffle beat, combined with New Orleans Jazz, was a predecessor to what became the Rock & Roll sound of the 1950s.

The string of hits on Capitol Records that followed included ‘Just a Gigolo,/I Ain’t Got Nobody, ‘Buona Sera, Zooma-Zooma, Jump,Jive, And Wail, When You’re Smiling,’ and many others. Louis was also awarded the first Grammy award in the Vocal Group category for his knockout rendition of ‘That Old Black Magic’ with Keely Smith and Sam Butera & The Witnesses in 1958.

In 1963, he fulfilled one of his lifelong dreams: Prima Magnagroove Records, his own recording studio and record company. He would record for his Prima Label from 1963 through 1975.

During his five decade career, Louis Prima recorded almost one thousand individual recordings released on 26 different labels.

Louis provided the voice of King Louie in the award-winning Disney production of The Jungle Book in 1966.The film was nominated for an Oscar, and Louis received a gold album for the soundtrack recording.

Louis Prima continued to break attendance records at The Sahara Hotel, The Sands Hotel, The Hilton and Tropicana Hotels in Las Vegas, Harrah’s Reno and Lake Tahoe, The Copacabana in New York, and prominent venues throughout the country during the 1960s and 1970s.

He also appeared constantly on every mainstream television show including The Ed Sullivan Show, The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, The Joey Bishop Show, The Merv Griffin Show, The Dean Martin Show, The David Frost Show, and many others. His final musical projects were uncompleted score and dialogue sessions for the Disney film The Rescuers.

The diagnosis of a benign brain tumor in late 1975 promptly halted his very active recording and performance schedules. The surgery that followed would send Louis into a semi-comatose state until his death in 1978.

His legend and music live on in full force. Louis’ award winning composition Sing, Sing, Sing was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1982. ASCAP posthumously awarded Louis their prestigious Songwriter’s Award for A Sunday Kind Of Love in 1989. Artists as diverse as David Lee Roth, Reba McEntire and Brian Setzer would bring Prima’s music to the top of the charts in the 80s and 90s.

In 1998 The Gap stores brought Louis to the attention of a new generation with their television commercial featuring a song that Louis wrote and recorded entitled ‘Jump, Jive an’ Wail.’

Popular modern performers such as Jessica Simpson, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, The Royal Crown Revue and many others have constantly covered Louis’ music.

His ground-breaking Capitol album, The Wildest, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. The Louis Prima Capitol Collectors Series compilation CD was certified gold by the RIAA and his Live From Las Vegas CD landed on the Billboard Top Jazz Album chart in 2005.

The Louis Prima Centennial Celebration is underway throughout the year of 2010 for the millions of Prima fans at special events spanning the globe, on radio stations around the world, and online.

This landmark year also brings several special honors recognizing Louis Prima for his many entertainment contributions along with his music featured in the 2010 Olympics, in several major motion pictures, television shows, commercials and video games!

Special commemorative editions of the classic and exclusive Prima Label recordings by Louis Prima now available on remastered compact discs at www.LouisPrima.com. Louis Prima, Jr. and Lena Prima continue to perpetuate their father’s grand tradition of exhilarating live performances, thrilling standing-room-only audiences from coast to coast.

For more information about Louis Prima Jr. and the Witnesses visit:http://louisprimajr.com/review/late-king-of-swing-louis-prima-honored-on-hollywoods-walk-of-fame/
For information on the “Walk the Walk” festival and other 50th Anniversary celebrations visit www.WalkofFame50.com.

http://louisprimajr.com/review/late-king-of-swing-louis-prima-honored-on-hollywoods-walk-of-fame/