Notables' strategic advisory board includes Ashley Graver, Spotify's global head of creative artist partnerships; Golnar Khosrowshahi, founder & CEO of Reservoir Media Management; Lesley Silverman, digital agent at UTA; Fara Leff, chief operating officer at Klutch Sports Group; and Tara Dziedzic, NYSE's head of business development for global listings.
Notables aims to position itself to content creators and IP holders as a clearinghouse for the creation and distribution of NFTs. Notables is the latest in a string of bets made by investors and entertainment industry players that NFTs will gain real value and not become to the 2020s what the Pet Rock was to the 1970s.
“While the NFT market has quickly become saturated, we have aligned with Notables’ blue-chip approach and the belief that NFTs are far more than a novelty but a powerful way for artists to own and monetize their work, and a unique way for fans to collect masterpieces," said Matthew Rowean, chief creative officer for Matte Projects.
has enlisted Hollywood's largest talent agencies CAA, UTA and WME to help launch the NFT sales venture Notables. Investment firm Forest Road Co.
Mayer and Staggs are board members of the Forest Road Co. Forest Road is the same firm that recently partnered with Disney alums Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs on two special purpose acquisition vehicles, but Notables is not part of either of those SPACs. The talent agency connection is designed to facilitate the creation of one-of-a-kind items tied to their high-wattage clients. parent company.
Forest Road also touts Notables as on track to be the first-ever "carbon-neutral" NFT platform through Forest Road's investments in renewal energy — an effort to assuage Hollywood concerns about the high cost of electricity and other resources used to create NFTs and the cryptocurrency markets that fuel their sale.
“Notables has the unique ability to allow artists to push the boundaries of fan engagement." “The potential for Notables to power new revenue streams for creators is incredible," Graver said.
However, Notables' first two "drops" for sale will be offered only for cryptocurrency buyers. Forest Road has been building Notables as a startup since late last year. A selling point for Notables is that it plans over time to make NFT sales available via traditional currency and credit cards rather than solely in cryptocurrencies, as most NFTs are offered today.
Forest Road has vowed to deploy "upwards of $100 million" with two unnamed partners to fund the generation of 160 megawatts of solar energy to help offset the natural resources used to drive the Notables platform.” />
The Notables management team will be unveiled soon, a spokeswoman said.
Matte Projects will focus on developing the company's brand identity and working on designs with IP holders. Like Forest Road, Notables will be based in New York and Los Angeles.
Creative marketing agency Matte Project is also on board as an advisor. Notables describes CAA, UTA and WME as "stakeholders" in the company although none of them are believed to be direct investors. Notables is designed to serve as both a creator of NFTs and as an online sales platform for the "non-fungible tokens" offered up for auction as unique digital items often aimed at super-fans of a given sector or personality.

WME has made it clear that it, too, would like to reach an agreement, but that it needs more time to divest its ownership of Endeavor Content, its production affiliate. WME is the sole remaining agency that does not have a franchise agreement with the WGA. The WGA declared a boycott nearly two years ago that has succeeded in getting all other major agencies to give up on packaging fees and affiliated production, which the guild considers an impermissible conflict of interest.
The court system has also suffered from delays and a case backlog due to the pandemic, which also made it unlikely that the case could be heard in August.” /> The six-month delay will also extend deadlines for pre-trial discovery and motions, potentially allowing the two sides more breathing room as they seek a resolution.
WME said on Monday that it is engaged in substantive negotiations with the guild, and that it is working to resolve the dispute as quickly as possible.
Attorneys for both sides filed a request on Tuesday in federal court to push back the trial, which is currently set for Aug. 24.
WME, CAA and UTA sued the guild in 2019, accusing it of engaging in an illegal group boycott in violation of antitrust laws. CAA and UTA have dropped out of the case, leaving only WME still arguing that the boycott is illegal.
At a hearing in December, Judge Andre Birotte urged both sides to reach a deal as quickly as possible, citing real harms to agents and clients who cannot work together so long as the boycott continues. It appears unlikely that the case will proceed to trial. Birotte refused WME's request to order an end to the boycott, however, citing federal law that prohibits judicial intervention in non-violent labor disputes.
The Writers Guild of America and William Morris Endeavor have agreed to postpone a federal trial until February 2022, as the two sides continue to work toward a settlement.

Lucy Dickins is upped to co-head of WME’s Music division, joining Scott Clayton and Kirk Sommer who also retain the titles of co-heads. The three will run the agency's music division.
Of Newkirk Simon, Braun said: “Sara has played a critical role in managing our music division and positively impacting the career trajectories of countless clients. We are deeply grateful for her contributions at the agency.”
Geiger's exit follows that of Joel Zimmerman, the agency's former global head of electronic music, which Variety reported on May 18.
“During his tenure, Marc led countless agency initiatives and ‘firsts’ for the music industry, including the creation of Festivals and EDM divisions and building out WME’s leading London and Sydney music teams. We thank Marc for his countless contributions to WME and wish him all the best going forward.” “Under Marc’s leadership, WME’s Music division has become a global powerhouse,” said Lloyd Braun, president of Endeavor’s representation businesses.
Marc Geiger, WME's global head of music, is exiting the agency he's called home since 2003. In addition, WME’s Co-Head of Music Sara Newkirk Simon will transition to a consultant role with WME parent company Endeavor.
On Thursday, it was revealed that Live Nation had mandated new financial terms for touring and festival artists which reduce payments to the acts andd shift much of the financial risk from the promoter to artists and agencies. The touring sector and the live entertainment space overall has been hammered by the coronavirus pandemic, which has effectively shut down venues and the gathering of large crowds.
Last month, a rumor circulated that Geiger was headed for a high-ranking position at Spotify, which he denied at the time, as "part of the Swedish streaming giant’s expansion into the live space,” per a Hits report.
I know they will achieve great things in the future.” I’m proud of all that we accomplished, most especially the team we built during my time with the agency. Added Geiger: “The past 17 years have been an incredible ride, and I’ve been fortunate to work with some of the world’s best artists and colleagues.
WME heavyweights have been trying to help find new opportunities — including as talent managers or executives at production entities — for some of those likely affected.” /> Rumors about WME downsizing process have been swirling for many weeks, contributing to a feeling of angst and uncertainty among many WME insiders. WME is in the process of implementing a significant number of layoffs of agents and other staff.
A booking veteran going back to his college days at the UC San Diego, Geiger is also a co-founder of the Lollapalooza music festival. At WME, the West Coast-based Geiger has overseen a roster that includes Justin Timberlake, Drake, Bruno Mars, Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, Childish Gambino, Luke Bryan and Eric Church.

Mall most recently served as co-president of domestic marketing at Paramount Pictures, where she handled digital, media, brand strategy, analytics and public relations for the studio’s releases. During her tenure, she was instrumental in leading marketing efforts for hit films including “Arrival,” “Fences,” “Daddy’s Home 2,” “Book Club,” “A Quiet Place,” “What Men Want,” “Bumblebee,” “Mission Impossible,” and “Rocketman.”
Rebecca Mall is joining WME as a senior marketing executive.
In her newly created role, Mall will oversee marketing and distribution strategy services for WME clients across all platforms including film, television, and digital. Mall’s objective will be to help the agency’s client base maximize their marketing plans, release strategies and awards campaigns for their upcoming projects.
She holds an MBA from UCLA and a BA from University of Michigan. Prior to business school, she was in drama development at ABC and NBC Universal.
Prior to Paramount Pictures, Mall spent more than six years with Google/YouTube, focusing on the company’s digital partnerships with film studios and television networks.
Mall will be based in the agency’s Beverly Hills office.” />

“Endeavor’s dual-class structure will likely disqualify it from inclusion in FTSE Russell and S&P Dow Jones indices, which Endeavor notes could adversely affect the market price of its Class A common stock,” the alert said.
“The potential for conflicts of interest with public investors echoes current practices in Endeavor’s representation business that have enriched the agency at the expense of its clients, and that recently caused 1,400 writer-clients to walk away from the firm,” said WGA West director of research Laura Blum-Smith.
The WGA took Endeavor to task a month ago, sending a June 26 letter to William Hinman, director of the SEC’s corporate finance division, accusing Endeavor of misrepresenting the number of clients it has in its talent representation units in the IPO prospectus. Endeavor strongly denied the guild’s assertion in June.
The Writers Guild of America West is turning up the heat on Endeavor's planned initial public offering, accusing the parent of WME of widespread potential conflicts of interest.
Endeavor declined to comment to Thursday's investor alert with a reprsentative noting that the company is in a "quiet period" prior to the IPO.
The parties have turned to the courts to settle their differences, with the WGA suing the big four agencies, and three agencies so far — WME, CAA and UTA — suing the WGA back. Following a strong vote of support in March from writers, the WGA instructed guild members on April 12 to “fire” their agents after the sides failed to reach an agreement on a new Code of Conduct that ended longstanding industry practices.
No new talks have been scheduled. The alert referenced the current stalemate between the WGA and WME. The WGA called off negotiations with the Association of Talent Agents on June 21 in favor of pursuing individual talks with nine top agencies as it enforces a total ban on packaging fees and affiliated production for agents representing guild members.
“These provisions are particularly concerning as the company concedes that its top executives may have conflicts of interest with public investors, noting ‘Messrs. Emanuel’s and Whitesell’s, Executive Holdco’s and the Silver Lake Equityholders’ interests may not be fully aligned with yours, which could lead to actions that are not in your best interest," it added.
Endeavor’s structure also includes “poison pills” designed to give company insiders indefinite control, the alert warned.
The WGA has scored a trio of victories with a pair of midsize agencies, Verve and Kaplan Stahler, agreeing to sign the code of conduct and a group of Abrams Artists agents forming a new agency that will sign the code.” />
“This is not a theoretical concern as Endeavor’s conflicts of interest with its clients are currently having an impact on the company’s representation segment, where it has lost 1400 writer-clients since April," the guild said in Thursday's investor alert.
The alert said Endeavor’s dual-class stock structure gives CEO Emanuel, executive chairman Whitesell, and affiliates of private equity owner Silver Lake control of most of the company’s non-traded Class Y shares, which carry 20 votes compared to the single-vote public Class A shares.
The WGA West issued a second “Investor Alert” on Thursday in advance of Endeavor’s IPO, warning that the new public company’s corporate governance structure dramatically favors company insiders including top executives Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell and restricts public investors’ ability to exercise meaningful oversight.

Meredith Stiehm, co-chair of the Writers Guild of America's agent negotiating committee, has signed with Verve talent agency.
“Ninety-four cents for every dollar I earned is indefensible,” she added at the time.
Other notable WGA members repped by Verve include include Howard Deutch, Colin Trevorrow, Jac Schaeffer, Gil Bellows, Christopher Yost and Leigh Jankiak. Stiehm also served as an executive producer on Showtime's "Homeland," and co-created FX's adaptation of "The Bridge." She is working on an adaptation of Christina Alger's thriller novel "The Banker's Wife," produced by Federation Entertainment and starring Rosamund Pike.
Stiehm is also one of eight named plaintiffs in the WGA's April 17 suit against CAA, WME, UTA and ICM Partners, alleging the agencies have been acting illegally in collecting packaging fees. The WGA directed its members five days earlier to fire their agents following the major agencies' refusal to sign onto a new Code of Conduct, which bars the agencies from collecting packaging fees and from owning interests in production companies.
“Big Fish” screenwriter and WGA West board member John August announced on June 28 that he had signed with Verve, which had agreed to abide by the WGA's new rules governing talent agents on May 16. She's the second high-profile WGA leader to sign with Verve in recent days.
She said she was required to cut $500,000 from the budget of the show in order to get a final season on the air and discovered at that point that CAA was receiving a $75,000 per-episode packaging fee along with a profit participation that nearly matched her own. Stiehm spoke out during a March 12 news conference about her experiences while showrunner on “Cold Case,” noting that CAA had taken a packaging fee without informing her when “Cold Case” began its seven-season run.
Negotiations with the Association of Talent Agents have been futile, collapsing twice — first on April 12 and again on June 7. None of the agencies have done so, insisting that they will only bargain through the ATA.” /> WGA West president David Goodman announced on June 20 that the guild would only negotiate with WME, CAA, UTA, ICM Partners, Paradigm, Gersh, APA, Rothman Brecher and Kaplan Stahler.
Verve is by far the most prominent agency to sign on. The union argues that the fees create an unlawful conflict of interest and it's persuaded about 70 smaller agencies to sign the code.
The WGA has been hit by a trio of suits by CAA, WME and UTA alleging that the guild is abusing its collective bargaining authority. The WGA has brushed off the suits and sent a cease-and-desist letter on June 28 to the Association of Talent Agents and the top eight agencies, accusing them of having engaged in "collusive actions that constitute unlawful restraints of trade" under the Sherman Act including collusion and price-fixing. It asked for a response by July 15.

"Agents and writers need to engage in meaningful conversations to get to the heart of these issues." "These exchanges only made us feel stronger about the idea that dialogue is the solve for this negotiation," Greenburg wrote.
If the agreement expires, the WGA will require members to fire their agents if agents have not agreed to the new code. The WGA will hold five days of member voting starting March 27 on a proposed "code of conduct" eliminating agency packaging fees and ownership in production companies. Guild leaders have said they expect the code will be approved overwhelmingly.
For its part, the WGA issued a report March 12 titled "no conflict, no interest," accusing the top four Hollywood talent agencies — CAA, WME, UTA, and ICM Partners — of illegal conflicts of interest. Department of Justice, which forced MCA to get out of the agency business after a decade of acting as both a producer and an agency. The report contains a cloaked threat of the WGA filing a lawsuit against the agencies by invoking the 1962 antitrust suit by the U.S.
There were indications of progress being made in the negotiating room. In a letter to clients, WME president Ari Greenburg said the sides had a healthy exchange on the issue of packaging in the indie film arena, among other discussions in their last meeting on March 21 when the ATA detailed its couterproposals to the WGA.
It's become a particularly emotional issue over the past year with the WGA alleging that agents are disincentivized to get the best deals for writers when they are collecting packaging fees from studios. Most scripted television is packaged by agencies, which forgo commissioning the client and receives a fee from the television studio.
The ATA released a report earlier this week which calculated that writers would have lost at least $49 million annually had they had to pay commissions on packaged shows. Agencies have defended packaging as a means of creating employment.
The full letter can be seen here via the WGA's website.” />
"Confront practices that constitute a conflict of interest: agency packaging fees and agencies functioning as producers. Require the agencies to work with the Guild to protect writers’ interests by providing writer contracts, invoices and other information."
The signers include most of the prominent showrunners and film scribes in the industry, including Shonda Rhimes, Greg Berlanti, Seth MacFarlane, Jenji Kohan, Eric Roth, Barry Jenkins and David Koepp. Notable showrunners whose signatures were not on the letter include Ryan Murphy, Chuck Lorre and Steve Levitan.
More than 750 showrunners and screenwriters have backed the WGA's battle against talent agencies taking packaging fees and other changes to the rules governing the business relationship between agents and writers.
The ATA made counter-proposals at a March 21 session that contain provisions for more accountability and transparency by agencies for clients including giving writers consent over whether a television show is packaged. The two sides made little progress in the five previous negotiating sessions to revamp the 43-year-old franchise agreement.
But the new missive makes it clear that showrunners want WGA leaders to be able to claim they're representing a united front. The letter of support issued Saturday is significant because of the immense clout showrunners and prominent screenwriters possess in Hollywood. Several showrunners had recently expressed reservations about the WGA's hardball negotiating tactics and the potential disruption to business if a deal isn’t reached — leading to a March 20 meeting with several dozen showrunners at the WGA West headquarters.
The WGA and Association of Talent Agents are set to hold another negotiating session on Tuesday. The WGA is demanding the elimination of agencies receiving packaging fees and having ownership interest in affiliate production companies — demands that the agencies have insisted are not feasible. The letter was issued midday Saturday, two weeks prior to the expiration of the current franchise agreement on April 7.
As described in the letter by the WGA, the goal of the franchise agreement reform push is to: The signers endorse the WGA's efforts to reform decades-old industry practices involving agencies taking packaging fees on film and TV projects as well as other issues such as the expansion of the parent companies of the largest agencies into the production arena.

As for Williams, the new dad of triplets — in addition to a now 10-year-old son — says it's been exciting to work on the show, especially after getting a very important seal of approval.
According to Davis, “the average age of Nat Geo’s other shows was 67 and for our show it would plummet down to 38.” While Kolber and Davis hadn't intended on making a spinoff to "Brain Games," they had been surprised through the years to see the show attracting a number of younger viewers, despite the fact that it was made for adults.
On a more personal note, Davis says, “My own daughter loved the show. I would show her rough cuts and she was going bonkers over it as a 7-year-old; she couldn’t get enough,”
"My son is now old enough to watch 'Brainchild,'" he says, "so we watch it together and he finds the show super entertaining."” />
Williams, along with producing partner Mimi Valdes (who serves as chief creative officer of Williams’ "i am OTHER" company), also insisted on making the learning introduced on the show accessible to teachers and students offline as well. To that end, they worked with educators around the country to develop free-to-download curriculum that complements the topics introduced in the series. The curriculum is available without having to sign up or register for any account, and can be used at home or in the classroom to supplement existing tools.
A final push: introducing Indian-American actress and comedian Sahana Srinivasan as the host of "Brainchild," making her one of the only female leads of color on an internationally distributed science or documentary series.
Co-created by Atomic Entertainment, the show is a spinoff of the New York-based production company's “Brain Games,” which ran for seven seasons on National Geographic Channel and earned its team a Primetime Emmy nod for informational series or special in 2013.
“Pharrell had gone to the TV department at WME and mentioned that he wanted to do a show that could leverage his new platform with kids,” Kolber recalls. “By chance, he also mentioned that he loved watching ‘Brain Games’ at home with his wife and kid, and that’s how it all started.”
The show uses interactive games, experiments, and skits to push the core concepts and principles of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) to its viewers at home. For Williams, who shared his enthusiasm for the show in a post on Instagram last fall, "Brainchild" is a way to both educate and entertain young viewers, to spark an enthusiasm for learning. "I got involved with 'Brainchild' because there is a desperate need to raise awareness about the importance of science with our youth," Williams says. "We must edu-tain."
“We had heard from people who worked with him in the music studio that he makes them better, and he definitely did the same with us.” The team at Atomic says having Williams on board has helped take the show from a concept to a movement. “He’s such a uniquely creative person that when we went to him with the script or idea he would send it back to you and be like, ‘What if you tried this or that?’” Kolber says.
Pharrell Williams may best be known as a Grammy-winning musician, but the 45-year-old is singing a different tune these days as the executive producer of "Brainchild," a new Netflix series that teaches kids about science, technology, and current events.
Armed with that knowledge — and a celebrity assist from Williams — they decided to launch "Brainchild."
https://www.instagram.com/p/BpsTKd5HenA/?utm_source=ig_embed
"It's especially important to me to get STEAM-focused programming in front of minority communities," he explains. For Williams, it was important to use the show to reach an audience close to his heart. "That's because at the core of the plight of children of color in this country is a lack of access to actionable education."
Atomic’s founders, Jerry Kolber and Adam Davis, say a chance meeting at the WME offices in Los Angeles a few years ago got the ball rolling on the new show (WME represents both Williams and Atomic Entertainment). Williams had been riding a wave of success with his song “Happy,” off the soundtrack to “Despicable Me 2,” (and later included on his solo album, "G I R L") and the singer suddenly found himself with a huge following of younger fans. As a father, he had also been actively seeking projects that he could share with his kids.

The WGA has been seeking to revamp the rules of engagement for agents with WGA members. The changes proposed by the WGA would effectively end all film and TV packaging deals, in which agencies receive both upfront and backend fees, and bar agencies from any financial interest in any entity or individual "engaged in the production or distribution of motion pictures."
7- You are Asking Me to Choose Between My Guild and My Agent
The only way for the Guild to ensure that agents properly represent our members is to eliminate conflicts of interest. Fundamentally, it’s about the nature of the changes we seek. The big agencies have given us every indication they will not accept our proposals in those areas, although of course we will try to reach an agreement before our current agreement expires on April 6. “Why am I suggesting that we will probably need to vote on implementing a Code of Conduct rather than being able to get a negotiated settlement?
Goodman David A.
 During the second day of talks, the Guild modified some of our initial proposals, including dropping a key demand.  But the agencies refused, and I now expect them to break off talks. We’ve made proposals that could have been talked through and agreed to last week, including promoting inclusivity, working together to fix free work and late pay, agency transparency and other issues important to writers. We would have preferred to keep meeting with the agencies in order to narrow our areas of disagreement, leaving the biggest issues for last.
9- History of the MCA Breakup” />
8- Impact on MBA Negotiations If We Do Nothing
The impasse will be broken by the membership vote in a few weeks. The decision remains yours.  But I always come back to the same place: we’re doing the right thing.  I also feel doubt, question myself every day, and worry about negative ramifications to my own career for what we’ve taken on. None of this is easy.  I continue to ask for your support, for your faith in what we are doing, and for your courage.  Writers will decide in a democratic election what the guild should do about agency conflict of interest.  We have the power as writers to fix the agency business and ensure that those that represent us are truly on our side.
"But the agencies refused, and I now expect them to break off talks." "We’ve made proposals that could have been talked through and agreed to last week, including promoting inclusivity, working together to fix free work and late pay, agency transparency and other issues important to writers," he said.
But there are negotiations where there is no middle ground, where there are basic principles that are not subject to compromise. Yet the agencies demand hundreds of millions from the companies annually for representing us, and so far they have gotten away with it. That's why agency conflicts of interest are illegal under both state and federal law.
The WGA has scheduled a March 25 vote for members to implement its own Code of Conduct spelling out new rules — which would require members to fire their agents if they haven't signed on to the code.
2- Packaging Is Good for Me
It comes 330 days after we gave the ATA our proposals, which demand an end to corrupt agency practices that harm writers.  No.  Our Code of Conduct prohibits exactly the kind of self-dealing that these very agencies agree to forego when they represent professional athletes.  Are our proposals radical?
In Solidarity,
 That happens in every negotiation where there are differences so strong that they can only be resolved by action away from the bargaining table. The parties are at impasse.
6- My Agent is Not Like That
Goodman's email went out at mid-day Monday. Separately, a widely circulated message came out Monday from Ari Greenburg, president of WME, asking the agency's writer clients to push the WGA to commit to "good-faith negotiations." Greenburg issued the memo following four town-hall meetings last week at the agency's Beverly Hills, Calif., headquarters that were attended by hundreds of writers.
The WGA and the Association of Talent Agents are facing an April 6 contract expiration deadline to hammer out a new franchise agreement governing the rules for agents representing WGA members. WME, CAA, and UTA in recent years have taken steps into content production and distribution, raising conflict of interest red flags in the view of many industry insiders. The guild's deal with the agencies hadn't been touched since 1976.
See Goodman's entire message below.
Still, the agencies have never replied to our proposals; they have made vague promises to their clients, but no actual counter-proposals in formal negotiation.
5- Affiliate Production is Wonderful for Writers
The guild and the Association of Talent Agents have held two acrimonious sessions on Feb. Goodman predicted in the message that the agents will break off talks soon. Goodman made the assertion in a message to members on Monday. 5 and 19 that have achieved little other than raising the level of rancor.
"That happens in every negotiation where there are differences so strong that they can only be resolved by action away from the bargaining table." "The parties are at impasse," he added.
Goodman's message repeated the accusation that the agencies have never replied to the WGA proposals. "They have made vague promises to their clients, but no actual counter-proposals in formal negotiation," he added.
1- Our Representatives Have Taken Our Leverage and Used It to Enrich Themselves
3- Everyone Will Have to Pay 10% Commission
As writers we are often filled with self-doubt and a desire to be seen as fair, reasonable and willing to compromise. We have of course already been called unreasonable by the agencies, and this will continue. But it is crucial for us to understand: there is no meaningful compromise where conflict of interest is concerned. We hold the cards here – let’s not allow our own sense of fairness to be wielded against us in this agency campaign.” Either agencies put our interests first and make their money from our success or, like now, they will continue in the business of maximizing their own success while writers suffer. Be prepared. It’s a binary choice.
And I don’t think we should concede these proposals without a fight.  But I ask you to recall the appeal I made to you in my recent speech to the membership:  I understand how frustrating it is for writers that negotiations are currently stalled. That’s because we’ve demanded things that they almost certainly will not concede without a fight.  No one is more frustrated than me.
Dear Member,
 This moment had to arrive.  It is in fact the absolute heart of the whole struggle that we have undertaken. This is a power move by the agencies.
4- Writers Won’t Get the Money Back
Goodman has announced that the guild is at an impasse with Hollywood agents in negotiations over tough new rules. Writers Guild of America West president David A.
President, WGAW
Goodman's message to members came a week after the WGA issued an email to members titled “Writers Share Their Experiences With Agency Packaging and Producing” — a series of 19 anonymous members complaining about how they were mistreated by their agents due to agencies allegedly putting their interests first and not being transparent.
 Last week, after the WGA offered to meet with the agencies on both February 27th and 28th, the ATA issued an ultimatum that they will not meet for further negotiations unless we are willing to “compromise on all proposals.”  Specifically, this means compromise on allowing agencies to continue conflicted practices like packaging and producing. We are at an important moment in our campaign to ensure that our agencies work for writers’ best interests.
 Here they are: There are a number of issues that have come up in writer feedback about the agency campaign. P.S. In the days to come, we will address these issues in more detail than was possible in either the speech or an FAQ.

McHale ("Community," "Talk Soup") and Bishe ("The Romanoffs") star as a, well, happily married couple whose life turns upside down after an unexpected visit from a mysterious stranger (Stephen Root).
Chuckie Duff's Phoenix-based shop Common Wall Media financed the project. It marks the company's second feature, having just wrapped on "Teenage Badass" with Madelyn Deutch and James Paxton.
Joel McHale and Kerry Bishe will star in "Happily," a dark comedy thriller from writer-director BenDavid Grabinski.
The rest of the cast includes Natalie Zea, Paul Scheer, Natalie Morales, Jon Daly, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Shannon Woodward, Charlyne Yi, Breckin Meyer, and Al Madrigal.
Grabinski wrote the screenplay for "Are You Afraid of the Dark?," a feature adaptation of the popular Nickelodeon TV horror franchise. Paramount Pictures will release the film in mid-October.
Indy Entertainment's Nancy Leopardi and Ross Kohn produced alongside Jack Black and Spencer Berman for Electric Dynamite. The film was cast by Jenny Jue. The executive producers are Duff, Dave Green, and Kyle Newman.
Grabinski is also with WME, and Kaplan Perrone Entertainment.” /> McHale is repped by UTA and Ziffren Brittenham. Bishe is repped by WME and Brookside Artist Management.

The series was co-written by Cazzie David and Elisa Kalani, with David also set to star in the series. it follows a sardonic college student whose overactive imagination leads to catastrophic thinking and an endless chain of social disasters.
Frizzell most recently directed the pilot for "Euphoria" at HBO. Annapurna TV’s Sue Naegle and Ali Krug will produce "Half-Empty." Annapurna and Endeavor Content will produce. Augustine Frizzell will direct and executive produce the pilot. David and Kalani will also executive produce. Sarah Heyward will executive produce and serve as showrunner. She is also attached to direct the feature "Stoned Alone" at Fox with Ryan Reynolds producing.
Amazon has given out a pilot order to the comedy "Half-Empty."
“It’s been a delightful collaboration," said David. "Although I have nothing to base that on, having never collaborated.”
Kalani is repped by Management 360. Heyward is repped by UTA and Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown.” /> David is repped by WME. Frizzell is repped by WME, and Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz.
This marks the first formal TV project for both David, the daughter of Larry David, and Kalani. The pair previously created the web series "Eighty-Sixed." David also appeared as an actress in the shows "CollegeHumor Originals" and "Hannah Montana."

Hill is also responsible for negotiating the Les Twins’ deal to star alongside Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson for the 2019 “Men In Black” spinoff. His background includes a six-and-a-half year stint at WME working in non-scripted television department, where he worked with producers, brand and talent including Johnson and Garcia, WWE, Reddit, Daveed Diggs, Andrew Jenks, Film 45 and Eli Roth. In this role, Hill will identify, develop and produce new scripted and unscripted projects for Seven Bucks Productions and Seven Bucks Digital Studios.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to officially welcome Kevin into the family," said Johnson and Garcia. He’s been a key driver of our growth, and we've been huge fans of his talents from the moment we first met." "Throughout his hard work with us at WME, Kevin has proven a deep understanding of the Seven Bucks ethos and ability to make groundbreaking and ambitious projects happen.
Seven Bucks Productions, the production company co-founded by Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia, has named Kevin Hill the head of television and digital development.
Before WME, Hill worked with producer Stephanie Allain of Homegrown Pictures, known for “Dear White People,” and with producer Paul Hall on films including “Peeples,” starring Kerry Washington, and “Good Deeds,” written and directed by Tyler Perry.
"I look forward to finding new ways to deliver premium content to their diverse and global audience." ” /> “I was fortunate to watch Dwayne and Dany build an amazing foundation and culture at Seven Bucks and I’m honored to have the opportunity to work with them, the entire Seven Bucks team and WME in my new role," said Hill.
In the past, Hill has worked with Seven Bucks on unscripted content, including upcoming NBC series “The Titan Games” and BET’s “Finding Justice.” Other projects include  HBO’s “Rock and a Hard Place,” Spike’s “Rock the Troops,” CNN’s “Soundtracks: Songs that Defined History” and “What Really Happened?” a podcast with documentarian Andrew Jenks.

Though the lower level was evacuated, employees in the upper levels of the building remained in the office as police assessed the situation. Camden Ave., where the office is located, is blocked off.
CAA experienced a similar scare in 2015 when the agency was evacuated when a suspicious delivery was sent to the mailroom. politicians, WME acted cautiously in alerting police about the situation. Following the recent scare of suspicious packages sent to CNN and U.S.
More to come.” />
Cesar Sayoc, was arrested in connection with the string of attempted mail bombings. The charges carry up to 58 years in prison. He faces at least five federal crimes, including threats against former presidents, said attorney general Jeff Sessions.
Police were called to WME on Wednesday after a suspicious package was delivered to the Beverly Hills office.
WME recently made headlines when it broke off a deal with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia following the Saudi government's role in the presumed murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
It's unclear who the WME package was addressed to or sent from. Employees are expected to be allowed back into the building once they return from lunch as police have cleared the situation.

Chadwick Boseman is expected to return in the starring role, as are others in the A-list ensemble.
Sources had also told Variety that Coogler was possibly planning to shoot a smaller film before getting into the sequel — one possibility is his version of "12 Angry Men." It is unknown if "Black Panther 2" will now become his primary focus if he will still tries to squeeze that smaller film in. Sources tell Variety that production is expected to start at the end of 2019 or early 2020, depending on when the script is ready.
Ryan Coogler is returning to Wakanda.
Sources tell Variety that Coogler is on board to write and direct the sequel to the hit superhero tentpole "Black Panther."
The movie is also expected to be in awards contention, as is Coogler for directing. "Black Panther" blew away box office records earlier this year, making $1.3 billion worldwide, including $700 million domestically — the biggest domestic box office gross for any Marvel film. Critics pundits anticipate a best picture nomination for the film.
He is repped by WME. The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news. Coogler is exec producing "Creed 2," which bows next month.
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Marvel had no comment. A release date has not been set yet and plot details have yet to be revealed.

James, an Akron native, will executive produce alongside Maverick Carter through their production company, SpringHill Entertainment. Legend will executive produce via his Get Lifted Film Co. along with Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius. Television, where SpringHill and Calhoun are under overall deals. SpringHill and Get Lifted will produce in association with Warner Bros.
SpringHill is repped by WME and Ziffren Brittenham LLP. Calhoun is repped by UTA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners, and Morris Yorn.” /> Get Lifted is repped by WME.
It starred Morgan Freeman and was loosely based on the true story of high school principal Joe Louis Clark, who became infamous for his disciplinary methods at Eastside High School in Paterson, New Jersey. The "Lean on Me" film was released in 1989.
She must dig deep to transform a failing campus into an urban oasis. In the series, spirited young black teacher Amarie Baldwin scores the principal job at an Akron, Ohio, public high school. In a time when education and school safety have life-or-death stakes, Amarie will take on a broken system that tests her mettle, love life and family.
Her past credits include "Empire," "Nashville," "Justified," and "Revenge." Calhoun most recently served as a consulting producer for ABC’s "Station 19." She has developed new series pilots with Netflix, FBC, 20th Century Fox Television, FX, with ABC Signature. The series hails from Wendy Calhoun, who will serve as the writer and executive producer on the project.
The CW is developing a drama series inspired by the film "Lean on Me" with LeBron James and John Legend attached as executive producers, Variety has learned.
Legend, who just completed his EGOT with an Emmy win last weekend, has joined "The Voice" Season 16 as a coach, taking over for Jennifer Hudson. As Variety previously reported, James is also attached to executive produce a female-led basketball drama at NBC alongside Elizabeth Banks. The news comes on the same day as other big news for both James and Legend.

She is represented by CAA and attorney Alan Wertheimer. investigator who returns to her Texas hometown to find the killer of her sister. Amirpour made her feature directing debut with 2014's “A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was the opening selection for MoMA's New Directors/New Films screening series. Amirpour will direct another USA pilot, "Briarpatch." The project, from exec producer Sam Esmail, stars Rosario Dawson as a Washington, D.C.
The hirings are significant, given continued industry trends toward underrepresentation for female directors. According to data from NBCUniversal research, of the 242 scripted pilots across broadcast, cable, and streaming that currently have directors attached, only 17% are women. For current series, the women make up 21% of all directors across television and streaming.
Green's TV credits include “The Americans,” “The Deuce,” “Billions,” “The Man in the High Castle,” “Preacher,” “Luke Cage,” and “You’re the Worst.” Her 2007 Irish short film "New Boy" was nominated for an Academy Award. Green will direct the USA Network pilot "Dare Me," based on the novel by Megan Abbott, about volatile female friendships, jealousy, loyalty and the dynamics of power in a small Midwestern town. She also directed the independent feature "Run & Jump." She is represented by Management 360, UTA, and Tara Cole and Annie Lee from Gang Tyre.
"Also I think we’ve broadened our reach out to other networks [outside NBCUniversal] and we’ve jumped way more into the premium space." In the premium drama arena, she added, buyers want "to have very authentic, very special voices helming our projects. "We have three times more shows at least since I came here," Olmstead said. So we cast a way wider net than the normal 'How do we find our pilot director?'"
Skogland has signed on to direct the series adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's landmark novel "Slaughterhouse-Five," which is currently being shopped by UCP. The CEO of Red Arrow company Mad Rabbit, Scogland has been widely acclaimed for her work on Hulu's “The Handmaid’s Tale," as well as TV dramas “Condor, “The Borgias,” “Penny Dreadful,” “Boardwalk Empire," "The Killing,” “The Walking Dead,” “Fear the Walking Dead," "Under the Dome," “Vikings,” “Power,” "The Americans,” “House of Cards,” and “The Punisher.” She is represented by WME and Anonymous Content.” />
Universal Cable Productions has set four female directors to helm key pilots and new series for the studio — Steph Green, Ana Lily Amirpour, Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, and Kari Skogland.
The increased volume and creative ambition that has come with the studio's growth at a time of higher-than-ever demand for television programming has also been a factor.
"This wasn’t a place where we needed to start an initiative to open people’s minds to giving more of these pilot swings to female directors," Olmstead said. "It was kind of in the ether already — which for someone like me was awesome, or else I would have come here and started a bunch of initiatives."
She recently completed her feature directorial debut “Mustang,” from a script she developed at Sundance Labs. De Clermont-Tonnerre will direct the debut episode of Nick Antosca and Michelle Dean's "The Act," a true-crime anthology that was ordered to series by Hulu in April. She is represented by WME, MGMT Entertainment, Rosalie Cimino at UBBA and Sloane Offer, Weber and Dern.
According to UCP co-president Dawn Olmstead, the studio has long seen pilots as an area of focus for female inclusion at the director level.

Martin has said that "The Ice Dragon" is not set in the same world as Westeros in "A Song of Ice and Fire," the series of novels first published in 1991, which served as the basis for "Game of Thrones." The HBO drama will return for its eighth and final season in 2019.
Martin's manager Vince Gerardis is the executive producer of "The Ice Dragon." Warner Bros. Animation Group chiefs Allison Abbate and Chris Leahy are overseeing the project for the studio.
Martin's fantasy novel "The Ice Dragon" as an animated movie with the "Game of Thrones" writer on board as a producer. Warner Bros. is developing George R.R.
The ice dragon was an untamed creature of legend and fear, and when it flew overhead, it left in its wake desolate cold and frozen land, but the girl was unafraid because she was a winter child, born during the worst freeze that anyone could remember. Her friendship leads to the ice dragon defending the girl's world from fiery dragons on a summer day. "The Ice Dragon," first published in 1980, is the story of a young girl and the ice dragon she befriends in a mythical land of frigid snow after the death of her mother.
Martin is repped by WME and Gerardis. The news was first reported by Deadline.” />

The germ of the idea for Time's Up started with four female CAA agents: Maha Dakhil, Michelle Kydd Lee, Hylda Queally and Christy Haubegger, and then quickly expanded to include women from other prominent talent agencides including Nancy Josephson of WME, Blair Kohan of UTA and Lorrie Bartlett of ICM. Attorneys Tina Tchen and Roberta Kaplan spearheaded the launch of the defense fund.
The Time's Up effort came together in the wake of explosive reports from the New York Times and New Yorker about sexual assault and harassment allegations against indie film mogul Harvey Weinstein going back decades. The ensuing deluge of victims coming forward with stories of unwanted sexual advances and worse has impacted every corner of the economy, from politics, law, media and academia to culinary and hospitality world.
Time's Up also encompasses the entertainment industry-focused effort spearheaded by LucasFilm chief Kathleen Kennedy and Anita Hill.
The site features an open letter from "over 300 women who work in film, television and theater," although there are no signatures attached to the message that begins "Dear Sisters." The defense fund will be administered by the National Women's Law Center, according to the Time's Up website that went live today.
The website seeks donations from the public for the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund via the Go Fund Me platform. The Go Fund Me site lists the org's fundraising goal as $15 million.” /> As of early on New Year's Day, the effort has raised just over $13.4 million from 356 people, many of whom are boldface names.
Rhimes, Witherspoon, Universal Pictures chief Donna Langley and prominent showbiz lawyer Nina Shaw are among the key players. Contributors to the defense fund include Meryl Streep, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, Stacey Snider, Dana Walden, Regina King, Felicity Huffman, Megan Ellison, Kate Hudson, Viola Davis, Ava DuVernay, Alicia Vikander, Amy Poehler, Olivia Munn, Taylor Swift, Jessica Chastain, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, among many others. The New York Times reported the group was a loose coalition with numerous committees focused on various tasks but no central leaders.


"To every woman employed in agriculture who has had to fend off unwanted sexual advances from her boss, every housekeeper who has tried to escape an assaultive guest, every janitor trapped nightly in a building with a predatory supervisor, every waitress grabbed by a customer and expected to take it with a smile, every garment and factory worker forced to trade sexual acts for more shifts, every domestic worker or home health aide forcibly touched by a client, every immigrant woman silenced by the threat of her undocumented status being reported in retaliation for speaking up and to women in every industry who are subjected to indignities and offensive behavior that they are expected to tolerate to make a living: We stand with you. We support you," the letter read.
"No more silence. Time's Up," the org's website states. No more tolerance for discrimination, harassment or abuse.


Shonda Rhimes, Reese Witherspoon and 300 other prominent women in the entertainment industry have launched an initiative dubbed Time's Up aimed at protecting women who are facing sexual harassment in all sectors of the workforce.
The Time's Up movement is also behind the call for women to wear black to the Golden Globe Awards in a sign of solidarity with victims of sexual harassment who have come forward in recent months with accusations against powerful figures.
The plan includes a legal defense fund seeded largely by donations from affluent women, a push for legislation to strengthen laws regarding workplace harassment and discrimination, and renewed backing for the "50/50 by 2020" push to bring parity to the executive suites at Hollywood studios and talent agencies.
Time's Up was also inspired by the open letter addressed to women in Hollywood sent in November by members of the National Farmworkers Women's Alliance pledging their support for victims who came forward against Weinstein and a host of other prominent men.
Rhimes and Witherspoon were among those spreading the word on Twitter.
Abrams and Katie McGrath have given $1 million. J.J. Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw's Wunderkinder Foundation and CAA have put up $2 million apiece. WME, ICM, and UTA have donated $1 million apiece to the effort. Paradigm donated $500,000.

Caple recently wrote HBO’s high-profile Emmett Till project, produced by Will Smith and Jay-Z. His directing credits include the season finale of Freeform's upcoming "Grown-ish." Forbes named Caple one of this year’s 30 Under 30 in Hollywood & Entertainment.
Jordan will hit it out of the park!" "The character of Adonis Creed reflects this generation and its challenges," Stallone said. I am confident that he and Michael B. We are extremely lucky to have the talented young filmmaker Steven Caple Jr. step up and accept the role of director. "I believe it’s important for the director to also be a part of this generation like I was in mine, to make the story as relatable as possible.
Along with Jordan and Stallone, Tessa Thompson will also return for the sequel, reprising her role as Bianca.
to direct Michael B. MGM and Warner Bros. have tapped up-and-coming director Steven Caple Jr. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone in "Creed 2," sources tell Variety, with production expected to start in spring 2018.
Stallone had considered directing "Creed 2" at one point, but after talking it over with Jordan and the execs, they made the decision to find another director. After a lengthy search, Jordan and Stallone personally picked Caple to take the reins.
"We could not be more fortunate and excited for the collaboration of Steven, Sly, Michael and the producers, to build upon the success of 'Creed,'" said Jonathan Glickman, MGM’s president, motion picture group. "The combination of Steven’s talent and unique vision makes him the perfect director to continue the Rocky franchise’s storied lineage."
Jordan also commented about the casting on Twitter:
While plot details about the sequel are still vague, Stallone had hinted that the story would revolve around the Ivan Drago character who infamously killed Creed's father Apollo in "Rocky IV."
Sources also say that Ryan Coogler, who directed "Creed," is expected to join in an executive producer role, though a deal has not yet closed, as Coogler is currently wrapping up post-production on Marvel's "Black Panther."
Insiders say his work on the IFC pic "The Land," Caple's coming-of-age tale that he directed right out of USC, was a big selling point for Jordan, Stallone, and the execs. "The Land" premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and tells the story of four teenage boys who devote their summer to escaping the streets of Cleveland to pursue a dream life of professional skateboarding. The gig is Caple's first feature at a major studio.
The upcoming installment follows Adonis Creed (Jordan)'s life inside and outside of the ring as he deals with new-found fame, issues with his family, and his continuing quest to become a champion.
The movie is dated for Nov. 21, 2018. The most recent "Creed" completely revamped the Rocky series, not only grossing $110 million at the domestic box office, but also earning Stallone an Oscar nomination for his performance.
Caple will direct from an original screenplay written by Stallone and Cheo Hodari Coker (showrunner of "Luke Cage") based on characters from the Rocky franchise. Jordan and Guy Riedel will executive produce. The film is being produced by Irwin Winkler, Charles Winkler, William Chartoff, David Winkler, and Kevin King-Templeton.
Capel is repped by WME and Untitled Entertainment. Jordan is represented by WME; Stallone is represented by WME; and Thompson is represented by Greene & Associates Talent Agency, Mosaic, and Jackoway Tyerman.” />
Production is set to begin in Philadelphia in March.
"It’s an honor to be a part of such an iconic franchise and to work with such great collaborators," Caple said. "Mike, Sly, and Tessa are extraordinarily talented and bring something special to today’s culture. I look forward to joining the family and continuing the precedent set by this franchise’s alumni of incredible filmmakers."
MGM recently announced that it was back in the theatrical distribution game and will handle domestic distribution rights for "Creed 2," with WB handling international.
"We are confident what he will bring to 'Creed 2' will result in a story that resonates with audiences all over the world." "We recognized Steven’s talent for telling ambitious stories with incredible heart in 'The Land,'" said producer Irwin Winkler.

WME Nashville was busy making changes even before scoring Clayton as a partner, having announced only last month that Lee and Williams had been upped to join Beckham and Oswald as co-heads, with that leadership lineup now suddenly numbering five instead of two.
Between them, the companies have helped spawn a healthy balance of power in Nashville. The WME roster is thick with country superstars like Garth Brooks, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Chris Stapleton, and Jason Aldean. CAA Nashville also has a healthy lineup of the biggest names in the genre, like Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, and Shania Twain, as well as pop luminaries like Twenty One Pilots and the Chainsmokers. It’s not immediately known whether Clayton will bring any of his clients over to WME.
In a defection that took fellow agents in and out of Nashville by surprise, Scott Clayton has exited as the co-head of CAA Nashville and moved over to take that same position at WME’s office in Music City. The late-fall weather just got more humid in Music City’s agency community.
In his now-vacated role, he worked at CAA alongside Marc Dennis, Rod Essig, John Huie, and Darin Murphy. At WME, Clayton will be sharing leadership functions with Rob Beckham, Joey Lee, Greg Oswald and Jay Williams. Clayton’s old and new teams were both recognized in Variety’s 2017 Music City Impact Report last month as among the biggest powerhouses in the industry.
“We are seeing many different genres of music thriving out of Nashville right now,” said WME’s head of music, Marc Geiger, “and with Scott’s addition we are in a great position to take advantage of the market opportunities available to us.”
Clayton is expected to serve a similar genre-broadening function at WME Nashville, where he’ll officially be in charge of the company’s rock division. Clayton had joined CAA Nashville in 1994, three years after the agency opened its branch there, with the aim of diversifying a country- and CCM-focused roster to include more pop and rock acts. At the time, Clayton had a major success story in Train, and in recent years he’s represented rockers Kings of Leon, John Mayer, and Dead & Company as well as country kingpins the Zac Brown Band out of the Nashville branch.
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“Overseeing the rock business from this city speaks to its importance and the city’s continued expansion. “Over the course of my career I’ve been proud to watch the music community in Nashville grow into a global force,” Clayton said in a statement. WME has demonstrated a strong commitment to Nashville and the rock genre, and I look forward to working to create new opportunities for all of our clients.”

Dark family secrets, a complicated social structure they don’t understand, old mistakes, and messy new relationships threaten to tear the Campbell family apart, even as they struggle to find their way back to each other. They move their two teenage kids to the island of tourist fantasies, but the reality of paradise is not all sun, surf, and sex on the beach. The untitled one-hour soap would follow a couple who, after twenty years of marriage, tries to reignite their passion and strengthen their family by starting over in paradise in Hawaii.
Kasdan and Mar are repped by WME, while Kasdan is also repped by repped Sloss Eckhouse LawCo.” /> Lavender and  Ulin are repped by CAA and attorney Todd Rubenstein.
Lavender and Ulin will write and executive produce. Jake Kasdan and Melvin Mar will also executive produce. 20th Century Fox Television will produce.
Lavender and Ulin most recently collaborated as writers and executive producers on "Nashville." Prior  to that, they worked as co-producers and writers on "Missing" and as producers and writers on the reboot of "Charlie's Angels." Among their many other TV credits, both Mar and Kasdan currently serve as executive producers on the ABC comedies "Fresh Off the Boat" and "Speechless."
Fox has given a put pilot commitment to a family drama from "Nashville" alums Meredith Lavender and Marcie Ulin, Variety has learned.