The New Mexico Department of Transportation ENDWI Campaign: Say no to Drunk Driving

Ever since the dawn of television, government bodies and public agencies have strived to create innovative advertorial campaigns with the aim of deterring potential drunk drivers. There are often common themes that bind these videos, although it is fair to say that the majority become preoccupied with incorporating shock value and gore rather than a genuinely emotive narrative. Such a philosophy often draws criticism from sceptics, who claim that it fails to capture the attention of viewers or force potential drunk drivers to associate with the actual consequences of drunk driving.

The New Mexico Department of Transportation has looked to buck this trend recently, by launching a new awareness video as part of its ENDWI Campaign. It tells the haunting tale of an anonymous driver, who decides to take the long journey home while under the influence of alcohol. As he becomes drowsy on a deserted highway, the silence is interrupted by a ringing phone and the voice of a distressed child who is concerned for the welfare of this father. This is quickly revealed to be the driver, and as the narrative progresses it becomes clear that the terrified boy is calling from the back seat of the car.

And with that, a lorry veers across the freeway and crashes headlong into the car, before the screen fades to black. While it has yet to be seen whether the advert has the desired effect, it certainly strikes an emotional cord and looks to challenge the viewer on an intellectual rather than a visual level.

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A Christmas Story Star Zack Ward Fights Bullying with “Go Fark urself & get Bullyproof” Campaign


“A Christmas Story” is celebrating it’s 30th anniversary this Christmas and Zack Ward, who played Scut Farkus in the film is looking to show my appreciation by giving back. “Fark-O-Vision!” is an app that raises money for Bully Prevention programs around the country! Click here to support the campaign and spread the word before November 30th, 2013.

Here is Zack’s pitch from indiegogo.com:
“We’re creating a free app that will allow people to “Fark-i-Fy” their photos. Ya know, you can take your face and mess it up…in a good way. You can then send your photos via text, email, Facebook, Twitter, or hard copy postcard to your friends, family, enemies, or random strangers. The postcard will cost about $1-$2 and that’s where we’ll raise money for Bully Prevention programs. So when it comes to sending out your personalized holiday greetings, you’re all set…and you help some kids at the same time.

The idea of Bullying has changed. Society has gotten smarter and more aware of the short term and long term damage it causes. It effects all races, sexes, religions and ages. It’s time for us to end it. And we can.

You can help us create programs for kids in underserved schools and communities. We can show them, in person, that there is a choice for both the victim AND the bully, to change and enrich their lives, and then pay it forward. We envision a world of young, kind hearted mentors, that find inner strength and gain confidence by helping their peers succeed. A true synergy for our children and our country.”

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Ralph Bakshi talks about his Kickstarter campaign for "Last Days of Coney Island"

Ralph Bakshi is one of the last great animators in the business and also a good friend of mine.  He has created some really classics films like “Fritz the Cat”, “Wizards”, “The Lord of the Rings”, “American Pop” and many many more.  Ralph is trying to get his last his latest film, “Last Days of Coney Island”, started with the help of Kickstarter and his fans support. The film is planned to be “an animated cop, mafia, horror movie set in the 1960s in Coney Island, with political overtones both realistic and outrageous”. Sounds awesome right?

This is Ralph’s first and hopefully not last attempt at cr0wd-funding.  At the time of posting, there has been over 900 backers since it was launched and about $140,000 dollars pledged of the $165,000 dollars goal.  We are almost there but we need your help. Be sure to rush over to Kickstarter and help Ralph on this project and be sure to mention Media Mikes sent ya!. He is a man who fights for hand-drawn animation in an industry that is fighting against him. Click here to join the fight and see “Last Days of Coney Island” get made. The campaign ends on Sunday March 3rd around 12pm EST, so don’t miss out! Spread the word!

Check out our interview with Matthew Modine who recently joined on the film, click here.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about you decision to use Kickstarter for “Last Days of Coney Island”?
Ralph Bakshi: I am 74 years old and I didn’t want any trouble. I figured I would try and raise the money if I could and that way I would be able to do what I wanted. I am not looking for anything major. If it turns into something more like five shorts then I would be more than happy. But I have my freedom, as you can see and I am not bothering with anyone. I do not have to show around storyboards and scripts. It is really a great sense of freedom. We got a lot of push from fans, which is great. We even got a new large donation from a Formula One racer, since he said he grew up with my movies. I am amazed by that. I am really looking to the internet here. I would like to spark an audience reaction to find out what they think. I am not going to get big money online but I will still get to make the film I want.

MG: On the Kickstarter page, it lists the film as “Part One”. You mentioned there will be more?
RB: That is right. I will just keep going with the shorts. Also remember they are also pilots. If I get part one done, Hollywood will realize that this guy has a nice following and he is not dead, that is number one. Number two is that if I do something really cool, I can show it to somebody and have them finish it for me, like a promo real. That could always happen.

MG: Tell us about the involvement of Matthew Modine and how that came about?
RB: I just got this email from Matthew Modine. He loves animations and grew up with my films. He said he wants to come help me and came on as a producer. He will also be voicing a character called Shorty, who is very fun. Modine is great though and he has helped me out a lot. We got hundreds of news stories when Matthew Modine came on board. It has just been amazing. Kickstarter made people realize that I am not dead and it has helped quite a bit since we all know that Hollywood is all about hype.

MG: How do you feel your style of animation stands up in today’s times?
RB: My animation isn’t perfect and that is what companies like Disney they strive for…that perfection. I would love to do perfect animation but what that takes is money. So the perception in the industry is that my stuff isn’t good enough. Animation isn’t about perfect. Art isn’t about perfect. They take it too seriously. I am not perfect and they hold it against me. Uncle Walt wants perfect. I can’t. You can’t be perfect with $1 million dollars.

MG: What has been your biggest challenge that you faced with trying to get the word out?
RB: There has been a lot of support from fans, yes. But you look at the animation blogs, they are all taking to each other and no one has Bakshi on there. Let’s talk about Cartoon Brew, they have not mentioned a word about the Kickstarter for “Last Days of Coney Island”. They also never put up my last cartoon “Trickle Dickle Down” either. Now, I am a 74 year old animator who has been around for a while and has fought for animation over the years. Look, we are trying to do a lousy five minute cartoon. Yet they will not assist with us on this project. I am more shocked and upset out of amazement on this, but I am not bitter. If I succeed in “Last Days of Coney Island” doing hand-drawn R-rated film, which is possible not probably…but possible. If I get to make this into a feature and its makes big money like “Fritz the Cat”. All of Hollywood is going to say “Oh my God, hand-drawn and R-rated?” and everyone would be put back to work. So we may make it…we may not. It is very close.

MG: I have to ask what are your plans if funding does not meet your goal?
RB: I don’t have a backup plan. If I don’t reach the limit, then I don’t reach the limit. I would have had a good time. I am trying hard. But I am not going to go crazy. If the guys don’t support me then I won’t do it. If places like Cartoon Brew don’t want to mention that I am out here fighting for animation, especially since they are all for animation. Remember they get their ads from Pixar, Disney and Dreamworks and they realize that I am at it again doing stuff that those guys can’t do because of their family audience. So they don’t mention me. I just won’t do it then. I don’t want anyone to think I am angry. I am very proud. We raised a ton of money.

MG: Tell us about your team you’ve you have working with you right now?
RB: I have hired some great young animators. I got this Japanese guy from Brooklyn. He sent me his reel and they are very crude and very honest. I emailed him and gave him some work to do. I later found out that he was living on the streets in Brooklyn. He has all his drawing up on my Kickstarter page. His name is Tsukasa Kanayama. He is such an amazing guy. I also got this woman, Colleen Cox, who taught herself how to animate. What I am saying is that I love working with these young animators. I see the passion through their eyes and its reminds me about my own passion and what it is like to be young and have that drive. One of my animators JoJo Baptista is using Toon Boom Studio to work on the animation, which is 100% 2D. With this program, you can draw on paper and scan into the software. Toon Boom colors and does the in between. It works great. As the director, I want it to look like hand-drawn animation and they are and using this software to fill in the necessary in-betweens. Also My son Eddie Bakshi is producing and breaking his ass. He is taking on a lot of hard work and the Facebook stuff, which is beyond me. So we have a wonderful team and we are just waiting to see if this will work out.

Blu-ray Review “The Campaign: Extended Cut”

Starring: Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis, Dylan McDermott, Brian Cox, John Lithgow
Director: Jay Roach
Rated: R / Unrated
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: October 30, 2012
Run Time: 85 minutes (R-Rated) / 96 minutes (Extended)

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
EXtras: 3 out of 5 stars

Not sure about everyone else, but I am sick and tired of all the political bullshit that has flooded the web and TV in the last few weeks. I am not a fan at all. I think the @ShitMyDadSays twitter feed has described the election process best “Anyone who thinks they know what’s best for 300 million people is a titanic asshole. So we’re just voting for king of the assholes.” Amen. So, this film was the answer to my prayers! It was a big FU to all things dealing it politics. It was completely raunchy over-the-top and in your face. I commend Jay Roach for finally returning to funny films, unlike the shitty “Meet the Parents” franchise. Will Ferrell is also at the top of his game in his funniest role since “Step Brothers”. Combine his performance with Zach Galifianakis’ belly-laughing character and it is a match made in heaven. The extended cut is actually a real nice improvement from the theatrical and contains an additional 11 minutes of hilarity. Don’t miss this film! Best comedy of the year, no question!

This release comes in a Blu-ray + DVD + UV Digital Copy combo pack. I love that Warner’s is known for this format and I love the use of Ultraviolet digital streaming! The video and audio on the Blu-ray does look great and the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 works perfect with the dialogue and the music.
Alright if you are looking for some deep production filled special features and great commentary tracks you are going to be very disappointed. But if you are looking for just some more madness and insanity continued from the film than you are going to like these extras. There is a Line-O-Rama, which is just a laugh after laugh mash-up. There are a few deleted scenes, some are funny enough to be in the film. Lastly there is a hilarious gag reel, that needs to be watched numerous times to catch everything missed due to laughing.

Official Premise: When long-term congressman Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) commits a major public gaffe before an upcoming election, a pair of ultra-wealthy CEOs plot to put up a rival candidate and gain influence over their North Carolina district. Their man: naïve Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis), director of the local Tourism Center. At first, Marty appears to be the unlikeliest possible choice but, with the help of his new benefactors’ support, a cutthroat campaign manager and his family’s political connections, he soon becomes a contender who gives the charismatic Cam plenty to worry about. As Election Day closes in, the two are locked in a dead heat, with insults quickly escalating to injury until all they care about is burying each other, in this mud-slinging, back-stabbing, home-wrecking comedy.

Own it on Blu-ray Combo Pack or Digital Download http://bit.ly/VC3Hts
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Katherine LaNasa chats about working with Will Ferrell in “The Campaign”

Katherine LaNasa is playing the role of Rose Brady across from Will Ferrell in new political comedy “The Campaign”.  She is also co-starring the new Fall NBC drama “Infamous”.  Katherine took out some time to chat about her upcoming work and how it was working with Will Ferrell.

Mike Gencarelli: What was your inspiration for Rose Brady in “The Campaign”?
Katherine LaNasa: Well Rose is very bossy and ambitious. I call her a hick in a dress [laughs]. She is a combination for me of Sarah Palin, Sidney McCain, Ann Romney and a little bit of Rick Perry’s wife Anita all rolled into one [laughs].

MG: You have a hard time keeping it serious on set with Will Ferrell?
KL: Yes, that was kind of the main problem. I was glad to see the final cut and saw that I came off ok. I was pretty worried. The first couple of weeks, I kept thinking I was going to be terrible. All I was doing was trying not to laugh. I would look at Will and I had to focus between his eyes and think about like dead people or something in order not to get through the takes and not laugh. It was pretty bad [laughs].

MG: What would you say was the highlight of working on the film?
KL:
 There was an interview with Piers Morgan, that you saw a little in the trailer but didn’t end up in the movie. Cam (Will Ferrell) puts cigarettes out during an interview and they asked him “are you pushing cigarettes?” He says “Nooooo, I just enjoy the cool refreshing taste”. He is basically pushing Kool’s [laughing]. Or he would be like “Oh I am sorry what are we talking about…Coke Zero?”. It was so ridiculous. I was in the other room and was suppose to come into the interview as a surprise guest and sell him out. When we were shooting it, I was watching Will on a monitor in another room. The first couple of takes every time they got to me I would be crying from laughing so hard. Finally I had to have them cover the monitor and take my earpiece out. I couldn’t handle it. So that was one highlight. There also this big rally with pyrotechnics and flying around on wires. It was just fun and it was one of the things you get to do in a big-budget movie.

MG: Tell us about your two upcoming films this fall “Jayne Mansfield’s Car” and “The Frozen Ground”?
KL: “The Frozen Ground” should be coming out next. I did it right before “The Campaign”. It is a very dark drama, true story about this serial killer in the 80’s. I played his wife in the film. It also has Nicolas Cage and Vanessa Hudgens in it. Before that I shot “Jayne Mansfield’s Car”, it is a 1969 familydrama. I play the daughter of Robert Duvall and sister to Kevin Bacon and Robert Patrick. I really enjoy both of those experiences.

MG: Switching to the TV world, tell us about your character Sophia Bowers and we can expect from your new NBC drama “Infamous”
KL: I start working on this later in the month in New York. It is this brooding dark murder mystery. It is being shot at the house where they shot “The Great Gatsby”. I play a cross between Kathleen Turner in “Body Heat” and Glenn Close in “Damages”. Very dark and sexual. Should be a lot of fun.

Lionsgate Joins Scribd, Donorschoose.org, and Scholastic, for “The Hunger Games” National Literacy Month Campaign

LIONSGATE JOINS SCRIBD, DONORSCHOOSE.ORG, AND SCHOLASTIC, FOR THE HUNGER GAMES NATIONAL LITERACY MONTH CAMPAIGN

Innovative Collaboration Allows For ‘Social Reading’ Of Book Content

Sweepstakes Winner Will Receive Library Of Books To Donate To School Of Choice

 SANTA MONICA, CA (September 1, 2011) – This National Literacy Month, LIONSGATE® (NYSE: LGF), in cooperation with Scholastic and Scribd, is thrilled to announce that new fans of The Hunger Games can read a never-before-released sample – the entirety of Chapter 2 – from Suzanne Collins’ bestselling book.

Fans can read and share the previously released first chapter along with the exclusively released second chapter of The Hunger Games using a new application built in partnership with Scribd, the world’s leading social reading platform. The app enables users to read the chapters from directly within Facebook and share them with their friends on Scribd, Facebook and Twitter.

Both the content and the application are part of Lionsgate, Scholastic and Scribd’s efforts to promote reading and books during National Literacy Month. To that end, the three companies have joined with DonorsChoose.org, a non-profit organization that was named one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies,” to create a sweepstakes.   Throughout the month of September, any fan that reads The Hunger Games in the Scribd social reader application will be entered in “Read a Chapter, Win a Library” for a chance to win a classroom library of books for one of the public schools served by DonorsChoose.org.

All four companies are supporting the program with their full online weight, including website promotion, social media support including Facebook and Twitter, email blasts, blog posts and in-app featured placement on iPhone and iPad apps.

Said Lionsgate’s Chief Marketing Officer Tim Palen of the four way collaboration, “People who read The Hunger Games adopt a must see attitude to the film – the story is so gripping and urgent that fans of the book literally can’t wait to see it translated to the big screen.  We are so lucky to have the partners we do at Scholastic, who have recognized from the beginning how momentous the synergy between the book and movie could be.  This is a great joint marketing initiative for the books and the film, and we’re very excited that it was made possible in such an innovative way by Scribd.  The fact that we are also able to partner with the ingenious charity DonorsChoose.org to donate an entire library of books to a school is a true honor.  The Hunger Games is an incredibly powerful book- the experience of reading it is exciting enough to turn people of all ages onto books with a new fervor, so the National Literacy Month connection couldn’t be more fitting.”

Lionsgate is releasing the feature film adaptation of THE HUNGER GAMES on March 23, 2012.

About the film THE HUNGER GAMES

Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games.  Part twisted entertainment, part government intimidation tactic, the Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which “Tributes” must fight with one another until one survivor remains.

Pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives, Katniss is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy.  If she’s ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

THE HUNGER GAMES is directed by Gary Ross, and produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. Suzanne Collins’ best-selling novel, from a trilogy that has over 12 million copies in print in the United States alone, has developed a massive global following.

Lionsgate will release THE HUNGER GAMES on March 23, 2012.

About Lionsgate 

Lionsgate is a leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution and new channel platforms.  The Company has built a strong television presence in production of prime time cable and broadcast network series, distribution and syndication of programming through Debmar-Mercury and an array of channel assets. Lionsgate currently has 15 shows on more than 10 networks spanning its prime time production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as “Mad Men”, “Weeds” and “Nurse Jackie” along with  the comedy “Blue Mountain State, ” the upcoming drama “Boss” and the syndication successes “Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne”, its spinoff “Meet The Browns”,  the upcoming “For Better or Worse,” “The Wendy Williams Show” and “Are We There Yet?”.

Its feature film business has generated more than half a billion dollars at the North American box office in the past year, fueled by such successes as THE LINCOLN LAWYER, TYLER PERRY’S MADEA’S BIG HAPPY FAMILY, THE EXPENDABLES, which was #1 at the North American box office for two weeks, THE LAST EXORCISM, TYLER PERRY’S WHY DID I GET MARRIED TOO?, KICK ASS and the critically-acclaimed PRECIOUS, which won two Academy Awards®. The Company’s home entertainment business has grown to more than 8% market share and is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rate. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 13,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company’s core businesses. The Lionsgate brand remains synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.

About Scribd

Scribd is the largest social reading and publishing site in the world with more than 75 million readers each month. We’ve made it incredibly simple for anyone to share and discover informative, entertaining and original written content on the web and mobile devices. Our mission is to liberate the written word, to connect people and organizations with the information and ideas that matter most to them. Our innovative HTML5 document reader technology has lowered the barriers to publishing by enabling anyone to easily upload and share their work in any file format. Scribd is a venture-backed company based in San Francisco. For more information, please visit http://www.scribd.com/about.

About DonorsChoose.org

Founded in 2000, DonorsChoose.org (www.donorschoose.org) is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need.  Public school teachers from every corner of America post classroom requests, from pencils for a poetry writing unit, to violins for a school recital, to microscope slides for a biology class.  Then individuals can browse and fund projects that speak to them. After completing a project, the donor hears back from the classroom they supported in the form of photographs and teacher thank-you letters. To date, 212,000 public and charter school teachers have used the site to secure funding for $86 million in books, art supplies, technology, and other resources that their students need to learn. Through DonorsChoose.org, individuals from all walks of life have helped 5.1 million students.

About Scholastic
Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and a leader in educational technology and related services and children’s media. Scholastic creates quality books, print and technology-based learning materials and programs, magazines, multi-media and other products that help children learn both at school and at home. The Company distributes its products and services worldwide through a variety of channels, including school-based book clubs and book fairs, retail stores, schools, libraries, on-air, and online at www.scholastic.com.

Sue Sylvester’s “Stop Believing” Campaign

Check out the press release below from Glee’s Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch, in character) discussing the upcoming “Glee The 3D Concert Movie”.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

From the desk of Sue Sylvester
William McKinleyHigh School
July 15, 2011

For two years, we’ve been mercilessly bombarded with the pubescent nonsense of carnival sideshow freaks calling themselves “The Glee Club.” These tone deaf, howler monkeys conned the plebian masses into downloading millions of songs; won Emmy Awards and Golden Globes; and have charted more singles than the Beatles. Roll over Beethoven, something stinks, and it ain’t the cheese, it’s The Glee Club.

And now, they’re trying to shove a 3-D concert movie down our throats.

It is with this declaration that I put forth this nation’s most important initiative since the McCarthy hearings: The Sue Sylvester “STOP BELIEVING” campaign.

It’s time to make a stand against these pimply-faced, hormone-ridden twits by joining the “STOP BELIEVING” campaign on Her inaugural journey. Say “NO” to their insignificant cinematic experiment. I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand looking at their little satanic faces in 2-D, much less 3D.

Watching this movie is not only an atrocity to this great nation, but it’s also bad for your health. If I may be so bold as to quote Dr. Charlie Sheen out of context, “Your face will melt off, and your children will weep over your exploded body.”

General public, join me and together, we can put an end to this vomit-inducing, ear-ringing virus called The Glee Club.

Internationally Recognized Cheerleading Coach
Sue Sylvester
dictated, but not read

 

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