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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

'And The Winner Is'

And The Winner Is!
This year's Academy Award winner is, hands-down, Netflix. Amassing 15 Award nominations, Netflix was only bested by Fox/Searchlight with 20 and Disney/Universal with 17 each. Amazon, Netflix's content streaming arch rival, picked up three nominations, as did Paramount. Netflix's showing puts it on an equal footing with the major studios and foretells the future of movie distribution. 

Cinema exhibs take note: it's time to seriously consider using Netflix for distribution of their original content. Even if released day-and-date its content consumers want to view and screening by cinemas  will bring in viewers.  Don't dismiss Netflix's current and future influence and clout in the movie industry. Forming a relationship with Netflix would be very wise and prudent.

The big winner at this year's Oscars clearly has already been given and accepted - it's Netflix.

Just saying,

Jim Lavorato, President
Entertainment Equipment Corp.

Monday, January 14, 2019

James Bond: The Franchise With No End In Sight

Connery with iconic Aston Martin DB5
Next Year, 25 motorheads will be taking delivery of new DB5s - the famous car used in the early Bond films, such as 'Goldfinger'.  CMG had previously scribed about this event and now it is a reality. Aston Martin, EON (Bond movie producers) and special effects team at Pinewood Studios will deliver-up 28 of the retro DB5s.  To be dubbed 'Continuations', in a nod to the working title of the next Bond film (#25).

Bullet shield
One of the cars will remain at Aston, one for EON, and one to be auctioned for charity, the remaining 25 are already pre-sold at an all in price of  $4.26 million. The cars will be finished in the original Silver Birch and boast several of the authentic Goldfinger-spec gadgets. The ejector seat won't be present, nor the machine guns, or wheel slashers. The red ejector seat button (which will serve another purpose) will be present, as will the revolving number plates, and hopefully the bullet-proof shield.  Up-to-date navigation, phone, sound, media screens will be repackaged in retro guise complete with old-school handset mounted in the driver's door.
Wheel-slashers won't be included

These DB5s will be a lot of fun for those rich enough to indulge but they will not pass off as the genuine movie cars (of which there were three). The last which sold for $3.35 million or about $900,000 less than the new retros sold for.

Aston Martins are great cars and the DB5 one of their best models ever made. The newest is the DB11 which is being phased out to make way for a new DB12. Can't wait to see it!

Jim Lavorato
Entertainment Equipment Corp.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

City of Angels Going To Seed

Tents and trash on the streets in trendy Venice area of LA
Liberal laws regarding squatters' rights have resulted in swelling on-street encampments in Los Angeles - many in up-scale neighborhoods and are a real test case for the area's showbiz residents.

Vandalism, tire-slashing, assaults, home robberies, are rampant as LA grapples with the homeless epidemic. Last year, the city budgeted $100m for affordable housing, addiction treatment, job placement, and health-care services - to no avail.

It has become very difficult for residents with liberal social beliefs to balance their political values with the transient issue they have to endure and the impact the street-people have on their property values.

Encampments of non-domiciled people have swelled in LA's trendy residential areas, where homes easily sell in the eight-digit figures and up!  Tents, set up on the streets (many equipped with mini-refrigerators, TVs, heaters, etc.) vie with pedestrian traffic.  These 'camps' even have names. According to police, the encampment squatters use a media app called 'Next Door' to monitor which residents are most vocal about their opposition to encampments and then target those residents for retribution.
To protect streets of squatters residents construct large planting boxes

Hollywood's vagrant problems started when laws and ballot measures were enacted during the early 2000s. For example, a 2006 ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court required that law enforcement in LA could no longer enforce a ban on sleeping on sidewalks anywhere in the city.  While two CA ballot measures, that were overwhelming approved in 2016, decriminalized many felonies to address the State's over-populated prisons.

There seems to be no quick-fix for the issue, and like its sister city San Francisco, it is and will remain one of LA's most difficult problems. 

Jim Lavorato