posts about or somewhat related to ‘celebrity’

Of the TOP 100 grossing feature documentaries of all time, 39 have a celebrity/political figure’s name in the title.
This is a significant statistic, because there were other movies about celebrities that didn’t have their name in the title. Of course, the title is the fulcrum of the entire marketing campaign and it’s what you remember the most! 
Also, Justin Beiber: Never Say Never is the 4th highest grossing documentary ever. I’m ashamed of all of you. — Gabbi

Of the TOP 100 grossing feature documentaries of all time, 39 have a celebrity/political figure’s name in the title.

This is a significant statistic, because there were other movies about celebrities that didn’t have their name in the title. Of course, the title is the fulcrum of the entire marketing campaign and it’s what you remember the most! 

Also, Justin Beiber: Never Say Never is the 4th highest grossing documentary ever. I’m ashamed of all of you. — Gabbi

How Did Sports Media Whiff on Manti Te'o's Fake Girlfriend? →

Over at Slate, Josh Levin tries to suss out how and why the Sports Illustrated’s and ESPN’s of the world bought into the hoax that Manti Te’o had a girlfriend who died of leukemia at the beginning of the 2012 college football season.

Confirmation bias plays a role, he writes. This is the notion that people are prone to believe that which reinforces what they already believe, whether true or not. In this case, a national, fact-checked (most of the time?) magazine — Sports Illustrated — published a glowing feature on Te’o, complete with his religious, Boy Scout upbringing and personal triumph over tragedy. As his on field reputation grew, future reporters referenced biographical features found in the original SI feature without much thought.

Which leads Levin to explore the basic hagiography we use to report on celebrities. We apply well-worn, paint by numbers, templates — in this case, the heroic athlete overcoming adversity — that do both subjects and readers a disservice.

No matter what we learn about Te’o in the coming days, this black-and-white narrative—good man fixes bad things—enlightens no one and does the athlete no favors…

…Sports Illustrated looked at the linebacker and saw a classic template, not a human being who demanded the scantest thought or scrutiny. In the end, they got back the exact amount of effort they put in. This was journalism as fill-in-the-blank exercise, the creation of a simple story that tells you what you already know. In this case, what we already knew happened not to be the truth. If only Manti Te’o hadn’t been such a boy scout. Then we might have known how interesting he was all along.

Josh Levin, Slate. The Fake Girlfriend Experience.

Scientology Everywhere
kateoplis:

Dear Atlantic,
What?
Yours,
Kate

FJP: With the upcoming publication of Pulitzer Prize winner Lawrence Wright’s, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief the church — long known for aggressive pushback against reporters — is starting a PR offensive.
The advertorial in the Atlantic about church leader David Miscavige overall awesomeness comes just a few days after the Hollywood Reporter published excerpts from Wright’s book.
The first explores how John Travolta became a Scientologist, the church’s strategies to make sure he didn’t stray, and how his original handler Spanky Taylor had her child taken away and ended up in the organization’s disciplinary program, The Rehabilitation Project Force.
The second, How David Miscavige and Scientology Seduced Tom Cruise, profiles both Miscavige and Cruise and digs deeper into the upper hierarchies of Scientology.
The church’s immediate response to the Hollywood Reporter came from Karin Pouw: “Of the 200 people [Wright] spoke with, only 9 were Scientologists. … Most of the remaining 200 were apostates, many who have shopped similar false claims to the gossip media for years.”

Scientology Everywhere

kateoplis:

Dear Atlantic,

What?

Yours,

Kate

FJP: With the upcoming publication of Pulitzer Prize winner Lawrence Wright’s, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief the church — long known for aggressive pushback against reporters — is starting a PR offensive.

The advertorial in the Atlantic about church leader David Miscavige overall awesomeness comes just a few days after the Hollywood Reporter published excerpts from Wright’s book.

The first explores how John Travolta became a Scientologist, the church’s strategies to make sure he didn’t stray, and how his original handler Spanky Taylor had her child taken away and ended up in the organization’s disciplinary program, The Rehabilitation Project Force.

The second, How David Miscavige and Scientology Seduced Tom Cruise, profiles both Miscavige and Cruise and digs deeper into the upper hierarchies of Scientology.

The church’s immediate response to the Hollywood Reporter came from Karin Pouw: “Of the 200 people [Wright] spoke with, only 9 were Scientologists. … Most of the remaining 200 were apostates, many who have shopped similar false claims to the gossip media for years.”

Obit of the Day: Britain’s Photographer of the Stars

obitoftheday:

For forty years Cornel Lucas was the best known photographer of Hollywood’s greatest actors when they were in England. Lucas, who first became interested in photography while working in a film processing lab, honed his skills in the Royal Air Force’s experimental school of photography.

Following the war Lucas worked for British Film Studios and began taking portraits of film stars who were making movies in the U.K. In 1951 he had a life-changing encounter with the legendary Marlene Dietrich. Dietrich, who knew nearly as much about photography as Lucas, was a difficult client but the results of the session were so stunning (top left) that he was given his own studio at Pinewood Studios.

He became a freelancer in 1959 and would continue to take portraits into the 1980s. Lucas’ work was celebrated in international exhibitions and is found in the National Portrait Gallery (UK) and the National Museum of Photography (UK). His achievements were recognized when he received the first ever “BAFTA” (the British Oscar) for a photographer in 1998. The Royal Mail also issued a series of postage stamps featuring Lucas’ portraits and labeled “Photograph by Cornel Lucas” in 1985.

Cornel Lucas passed away at the age of 92.

Sources: The Daily Telegraph and The Cornel Lucas Collection

Images, all copyright of Cornel Lucas:

Marlene Dietrich, 1951, courtesy of Time Lightbox (click for a full slideshow of Lucas’ work)

Joan Collins, 1953, courtesy of La Petite Melancolie

Self-Portrait, 1957, with upside down image of Lucas’ first wife Belinda Lee, courtesy of T for Tout (a tumblr)

Katharine Hepburn, 1948, courtesy of Mutual Art

Susan and Linda Travers, 1961,  courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, Susan was his second wife

I’ve always liked this portrait. — Michael

Lady Gaga's $30 Million Twitter Account →

The Wall Street Journal estimates that Lady Gaga’s Twitter account is worth $30 million.

The math is kind of fuzzy but they arrive at the number by saying that her ability to connect with, promote to and otherwise engage with her 20 plus million followers is worth about a third of the estimated $90 million that she earned over the past year.

Twitter’s a cash cow for other celebrities as well:

Reality stars fit right in with Twitter’s instant-fame ethos. The highest celebrity endorsers can earn up to $20,000 for a single tweet, but some companies have offered $100,000 to sponsor a celebrity’s Twitter account, according to Jennifer P. Brown, of social media agent SponsoredTweets. Brown recently received one such offer, but declined as she says the brand in question wasn’t a right fit for the celebrity. She wouldn’t name the brand or celebrity. Reality star Khloe Kardashian’s tweets to her 6.4 million followers are worth $9,100 each, Brown says.

For those curious, the FJP earns approximately zero dollars for our posts but find Twitter invaluable.

The celebrity-industrial complex is a real phenomenon, and a big part of the problem is the droves of publicists and PR people whose sole job is to shield their famous clients from saying or doing anything to tarnish their reputations. This means hawking out 10-minute, highly regulated interviews to newspapers and magazines in the hope that some of them won’t care that they’re being condescended to. And many of them don’t care as long as they get to chat on the phone with a rock star—who won’t tell them anything they wouldn’t be able to find in the press release his publicist sent along in advance. To be sure, there are some great reporters who do beautiful work on the entertainment beat. But most of the time these interviews result in canned answers to pre-approved questions, and they’re worthless.
Force Fed: The Twitter spokesperson and the new media diet.
Annie Lowrey, Slate. Buy Lohan, Sell High: Why is Lindsay Lohan tweeting about the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy?

Lindsay Lohan is not generally known for her views on economic policy. But something came over her on Monday night. “Have you guys seen food and gas prices lately?” she tweeted. “U.S. $ will soon be worthless if the Fed keeps printing money!” For context, a link directed Lohan’s followers to the site of the National Inflation Association, a group dedicated to “preparing Americans for hyperinflation.”
It is, needless to say, an unconventional position on monetary policy for a Hollywood starlet—or anyone else. Yes, food and gas prices are up, but core inflation has been consistently under the Federal Reserve’s target, despite trillions of dollars of quantitative and qualitative easing and record-low interest rates. But it was a view she was paid to tweet. (A little #ad hash tag tipped readers off, and the organization confirms it paid her.) The National Inflation Association was looking for some good-old, low-brow, high-buzz publicity for its campaign against current monetary policy. And maybe a few people who clicked over from Lohan’s tweet would also look into a few of the penny stocks it was hawking, too.

And check out how many people are retweeting it.
Strange daze, indeed.

Force Fed: The Twitter spokesperson and the new media diet.

Annie Lowrey, Slate. Buy Lohan, Sell High: Why is Lindsay Lohan tweeting about the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy?

Lindsay Lohan is not generally known for her views on economic policy. But something came over her on Monday night. “Have you guys seen food and gas prices lately?” she tweeted. “U.S. $ will soon be worthless if the Fed keeps printing money!” For context, a link directed Lohan’s followers to the site of the National Inflation Association, a group dedicated to “preparing Americans for hyperinflation.”

It is, needless to say, an unconventional position on monetary policy for a Hollywood starlet—or anyone else. Yes, food and gas prices are up, but core inflation has been consistently under the Federal Reserve’s target, despite trillions of dollars of quantitative and qualitative easing and record-low interest rates. But it was a view she was paid to tweet. (A little #ad hash tag tipped readers off, and the organization confirms it paid her.) The National Inflation Association was looking for some good-old, low-brow, high-buzz publicity for its campaign against current monetary policy. And maybe a few people who clicked over from Lohan’s tweet would also look into a few of the penny stocks it was hawking, too.

And check out how many people are retweeting it.

Strange daze, indeed.

Is TMZ the Future of News

If TMZ focused on any other category but celebrity gossip, I imagine its leader Harvey Levin would be an even bigger emblem of digital brand building than Arianna Huffington. This is one of the most amazing trajectories I have seen in the perennial (usually elusive) pursuit of digital germination of cross-media success. TMZ has a massively popular Web site, some superb mobile apps, a Sirius radio show, a nightly TV program and daily live video chats hosted by Levin and his cohort Charles. It started only six years ago and arguably is the best instance of a brand built on digital that migrated across platforms and developed a unique style that could only have come out of the last ten years of online culture and social media evolution.  

Slammed for obsessive coverage and paying sources, TMZ may be shameless in its pursuit of all things sleazy, but it is a remarkable example of a fully conversational, real-time, video-powered news operation that works seamlessly across platforms. Watching a few episodes of the TMZ Live chat feed it is clear that the dynamic here is unique and former silos of TV, Web, audio, etc. are dissolved very effectively. 

- Steve Smith via Mediapost

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