Up to date information about children's entertainment – film, TV, DVD and more…. from founder and president of KIDS FIRST! Ranny Levy

Archive for July, 2012

Discovery Science Center and El Capitan Theatre Host “Frankenweenie” Science Fair

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Calling all aspiring scientists! It’s time to put on your lab coat and let your imagination go wild. Discovery Science Center (DSC) is proud to partner with the famous El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood to host a Frankenweenie Science Fair in conjunction with the October 5th release of the movie Frankenweenie by acclaimed director Tim Burton.

In Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie young Victor conducts a science experiment to bring his beloved dog Sparky back to life, only to face unintended, sometimes monstrous, consequences. Participating students will conduct and submit their own inventive science experiment! This unique science fair will gather the best and brightest students to compete for three grand prizes.

The first 50 participating students will receive a ticket to see Frankenweenie at the historic El Capitan Theatre, and a pair of tickets to visit Discovery Science Center. The exciting first round of judging to determine the finalists will happen the week of September 10, 2012, and then finalists will be judged by VIP judges the week of September 27. Of all participating students, six finalists will be selected to have their projects on display at El Capitan Theatre from October 5 to November 1, 2012. In addition, the six finalists will each receive Disneyland tickets for them and three guests for reaching this distinguished level.

The Science Fair competition concludes at the El Capitan Theatre on October 5th when three Grand Prize winners will accept their awards at a special ceremony, on the El Capitan stage prior to the showing of Frankenweenie. Grand Prize winners will receive all prizes listed previously plus a behind-the-scenes tour of Walt Disney Studios.

Interested participants must be entering the 2012-2013 school year as a 5th – 12th grade student. All projects must present an experimentally based research design; illustrating scientific methodology or a demonstration/exhibition of a science or engineering concept based on themes from the movie Frankenweenie.  To become inspired, please visit www.disney.go.com/FRANKENWEENIE

For more information and registration, please visit www.discoverycube.org/frankenweenie.


From creative genius Tim Burton (“Alice in Wonderland,” The Nightmare Before Christmas”) comes “Frankenweenie,” a heartwarming tale about a boy and his dog. After unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, young Victor harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life—with just a few minor adjustments. He tries to hide his home-sewn creation, but when Sparky gets out, Victor’s fellow students, teachers and the entire town all learn that getting a new “leash on life” can be monstrous.

A stop-motion animated film, “Frankenweenie” was filmed in black and white and rendered in 3D. The talented voice cast includes: Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Charlie Tahan, Atticus Shaffer, Robert Capron, Conchata Ferrell and Winona Ryder.

Presented by Disney, “Frankenweenie” is directed by Tim Burton, produced by Tim Burton and Allison Abbate, from a screenplay by John August, based on an original idea by Tim Burton. “Frankenweenie” releases in U.S. theaters on October 5, 2012.

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Celebrate the Summer Games at Your Local Let’s Move! Olympic Fun Day

Friday, July 27th, 2012

First Lady Michelle Obama is leading the U.S. Delegation to the 2012 Olympic Games and she’s calling on families around the country to support Team USA, not just by cheering on our athletes, but by getting active in their own communities.

Saturday, July 28th is the first day of the competition in London. We’re calling on families around the country to join us by participating in “Olympics-inspired” Meetups in your towns or neighborhoods.

Join your local Olympic Fun Day Meetup with family, friends and neighbors to play soccer, hold relay races, go for a bike ride–whatever gets you moving! See more ideas below.

At your Let’s Move! Meetup, share photos and updates using the hashtag #LetsMoveDay. We’ll highlight activities happening across the country on LetsMove.gov, Twitter and Facebook.

RSVP and start planning your local Let’s Move! Olympic Fun Day Meetup here: http://www.meetup.com/lets-move

Want to attend a Meetup in your area? Follow these steps:

Go to the Let’s Move! Meetup page at meetup.com/lets-move, and click on your town below the map
Click “RSVP” and select yes!
Share the Meetup on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #LetsMoveDay
Stay tuned for updates: Once you have RSVP’d, you’ll get updates from Let’s Move!

Want to organize a Meetup in your town? Follow these simple steps:

Go to the Let’s Move! Meetup at meetup.com/lets-move and click on your town below the map.
Suggest a location for your Meetup: Find a local park, community center or another space that will fit for your Meetup
Add the details: Let others know what to expect. Are you planning a hoola-hoop contest, a relay race or soccer game? See a list of more Meetup ideas and activities here, but feel free to get creative!
Talk about the Meetup! Start a conversation on the Meetup page and get the word out in your community. Use your Facebook and Twitter to encourage others to join and plan their own Meetups.

Need some ideas to get started? Here are 10 Olympic inspired activities, and stay tuned as we continue to add ideas for your Let’s Move! Olympic Fun Day:

The Summer Games contain more than 40 different Track & Field Athletics! Combine multiple activities into a relay race around the neighborhood or park you’re using to stage your event. In addition to running, consider incorporating different types of movement, including skipping, jumping, and bear crawling. Set individual goals for time or distance, or compete as separate teams.
Did you know that the U.S. Women’s Basketball team has won four gold medals in a row?  Follow their lead and include a tournament in your neighborhood’s Olympic Day event. Create teams of 2 or more players and mix it up with dribbling races or shooting contests.
Tennis can be played on many surfaces, including asphalt, clay, or even grass! This year’s Olympic tennis competition will be held onthe iconic grass courts at Wimbledon. While you won’t find many grass courts in the U.S., tennis is a great way to get your community moving.  A round robin tournament is a fun way to include people of all ages and skill levels in your town’s event.  (If your kids get inspired and want to improve their skills, find a court near you that offers lessons).
Lace up your sneakers for a game of Olympic football – known in the U.S. as SOCCER!  This is an easy, familiar sport that is fun for all ages and ability levels.  Create teams as small or as large as you want.  (The official size is 11 players per team.)
Bump-Set-Spike!  These are the fundamental techniques for playing volleyball, a popular sport that first made it into the Summer Olympics in 1964.  Volleyball is typically played with six players per team, but you can play with as few as two.  Set up a net on grass, sand, or a gym court and get moving!
Swimming is one of the most watched Olympic sports. You can organize races – or, depending on the ages of your participants, games with balls, diving rings, and other water toys — at a beach, lake, or pool in your area.  For important water safety info and to find a pool near you, visit www.swimtoday.org.
Olympic cycling includes road events, track racing, BMX and mountain biking.  Map out a safe cycling course, and take turns riding through it as individuals, or in teams. Consider riding on a paved pathway, or for a more rugged ride, try grass or dirt. Click here to find a safe place to ride near you.
Gymnasts produce some of the most awe-inspiring moments of the Summer Games. Even if your participants can’t do a double back flip (on a balance beam), there are plenty of gymnastics events that are fun and safe. Check out the American Council on Exercise’s ideas for fun stretches and movements that bring out the gymnast in everyone.
Go retro! Organize teams for a tug of war, which was an official Olympic sport until 1920. It was also part of the original Olympic Games, dating back to 500 BC. In the modern Olympics, the tug-of-war contest was between two teams of eight, and one team had to pull the other six feet along in order to win. If after 5 minutes no team had done this, the team which had pulled the most was declared the winner.
Make sure your littlest athletes feel involved. Think about including activities that are fun for all skill levels, like who can hula hoop for the longest, or who can do the most jumping jacks.

Joining a Let’s Move! Olympic Fun Day on Saturday, July 28th?

Share your story and follow the fun:

On Twitter, use the hashtag #LetsMoveDay to share updates and photos
“Like” Let’s Move on Facebook and join the discussion
Follow #LetsMoveDay and @LetsMove for highlights from around the country
After your event, tell us all about it here: http://www.letsmove.gov/share-your-story-lets-move-olympic-fun-day

We’ll highlight activities happening across the country on LetsMove.gov, Twitter and Facebook. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Cynthia Turner Steps Down from Cynopsis Media to become Editor Emeritus

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Cynthia Turner, who founded Cynopsis Media 15 years ago as an inter-office memo and has helped shepherd the brand to be the first read of the day among broadcast and cable executives, is stepping down from the company and will become Editor Emeritus of Cynopsis.

Since Turner launched the first edition of Cynopsis in 1997, the brand has become an industry leader, read in every sector of the television industry, from networks to advertising agencies, production companies, local television stations, consumer brands, and has become a standard utilized tool in 160+ colleges across the country. Access Intelligence, an integrated media company, acquired Cynopsis Media in July 2011.

“It’s been a wonderful 15-year ride and am only stepping down now because I am so very confident in Access Intelligence and the Cynopsis Media staff who will continue the business of Cynopsis for its subscribers and clients for many more years to come,” said Turner. “I don’t know what my next adventure will be, but I’m looking forward to it!

Since Access Intelligence acquired Cynopsis Media a year ago, Turner has been working with the team to transfer editorial management of Cynopsis to editor Lisa Ball, and the overall strategic and business management of all Cynopsis properties to Diane Schwartz and her team, including Mike Farina, Vice President of Marketing and Sales, and Trish Pihonak, Director of Content and Operations.

“Cynthia Turner is an icon in the broadcasting market and has built very strong brands and a terrific team to carry the business forward and take it to the next level,” said Denise O’Connor, who joined Cynopsis this month as the Group Publisher.

Turner grew the company from a simple interoffice memo to today’s database of more than 60,000 subscribers covering every state in the US and 57 additional countries. Cynopsis was the first email-delivered news product in the television industry when it launched in 1997. It now includes four email newsletters in addition to the flagship brand covering Sports, Kids, Digital and Classifieds.

“Cynthia will be missed and we wish her great success in her new endeavors,” said Diane Schwartz, senior vice president of Cynopsis and the Media Entertainment Group at Access Intelligence. “She has been instrumental in the past year in working with Access Intelligence management to achieve a smooth transition of duties and thought leadership.

“Cynopsis grew every single year from its inception despite two major economic turndowns,” Turner reflected. “And it has kept its original mission through all these 15 years, no matter what the economy or technology threw at it: providing an early morning daily news edition that is accurate, concise, unbiased, smart and occasionally funny, with the news that our subscribers need to know, and doing this as a text-only edition!”

About Cynopsis and Access Intelligence:

Cynopsis Media publishes the Cynopsis daily covering the latest news in the TV business; Cynopsis Digital, Cynopsis Kids and Cynopsis Sports.  It is one of the leading publishers of classified jobs in the TV industry through the Cynopsis Classified Advantage, and its Web site, cynoposis.com, is the business executive’s destination for news, jobs listings and more covering the TV, entertainment, kids and digital markets. Cynopsis also produces highly acclaimed conferences and awards programs. The Cynopsis Sports Awards gala will be held August 9 in New York, and the Cynopsis Digital Measurement Summit will come to Manhattan on Nov. 14. Visit www.cynopsis.com for more information.

Access Intelligence (www.accessintel.com), an integrated media company serving a global audience, delivers award-winning business intelligence to executives in the media, communications, healthcare, aviation, energy, defense and chemical markets through conferences, trade shows, networking events, publications, books and emedia offerings.

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Christopher Nolan to be Immortalized at Grauman’s Chinese Theater

Friday, July 6th, 2012

In celebration of the upcoming release of “The Dark Knight Rises,” the film’s director/writer/producer, Christopher Nolan, will be accorded a rare industry honor: Nolan will have his hand and footprints cemented into the famed forecourt of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

The hand-and-footprint ceremony will take place on Saturday, July 7, at 10:00 a.m.

Jeff Robinov, President, Warner Bros. Pictures Group, stated, “Everyone at Warner Bros. joins me in congratulating Christopher Nolan, who has been such an integral part of our family for the past 12 years. We are extremely proud of the cinematic legacy he has given us through his films. At only 41, Christopher takes his place alongside other industry giants featured at Grauman’s, and generations of fans will remember the extraordinary impression he left on their imaginations.”

Opening on July 20, 2012, “The Dark Knight Rises” is Nolan’s hugely anticipated conclusion to his Dark Knight trilogy, which began in 2005 with “Batman Begins.” In 2008, he followed with “The Dark Knight,” which broke multiple records on its way to earning more than a billion dollars at the worldwide box office.

Apart from the blockbuster franchise, Nolan earned widespread praise, and two Academy Award® nominations, for his hit thriller “Inception,” which remains one of the most talked about films in recent years. He earned his first Academy Award® nomination for his screenplay for the thought-provoking 2000 release “Memento,” which he also directed. His other directing credits include “Insomnia” and “The Prestige.”

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ShootSantaFe Grabs the Spotlight in Los Angeles

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Public officials, labor union representatives, private business owners, local filmmakers and film festival representatives converged on Los Angeles last week with the single goal of promoting filmmaking in New Mexico. The ShootSantaFe team coordinated meetings with studio executives and made hundreds of personal contacts through the Locations Expo trade show.

“We were there to make it very clear that New Mexico remains open for the film business. Our message was well received by the executives and location scouts we met. I’m confident that we made great progress in removing the uncertainties surrounding the New Mexico film program,” said Santa Fe Mayor Pro Tem Rebecca Wurzburger, who initiated the ShootSantaFe collaboration.

The group hosted a networking event for attendees of the expo and drew executives from Disney, Warner Brothers, NBC, CBS, ABC Studios, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Sony Pictures and dozens more. Cultural door prizes from New Mexico were popular with the guests as was the Northern New Mexico cuisine served at El Cholo Restaurant.

“ShootSantaFe illustrates not only the vibrant collective of the New Mexico filmmaking community, but underscores the broad support from the public sector, our amazing Film Office, and our sheer determination that the film industry continues to thrive, grow, and explode in New Mexico! Though not so long ago there may have been the impression that New Mexico was out of the game, clearly we’re not, and Film New Mexico news is spreading across the country like wildfire. Los Angeles was receptive and enthusiastic. I can safely say, good things are coming for the New Mexico film industry,” said Luca Ceccarelli, CEO of HDNM Entertainment.

The team has now returned to New Mexico and is actively following up with contacts and working to bring productions to New Mexico. Future priorities for ShootSantaFe include publication of the administrative regulations governing New Mexico’s film incentives and enhancing statewide marketing efforts.

Shoot Santa Fe is an unprecedented collaboration and an impressive list of partners including Santa Fe County, Los Alamos County, Taos County, the Regional Development Corporation, the city of Espanola, Santa Fe Studios, Garson Studios, HDNM Entertainment, IATSE Local 480, the Santa Fe Film Festival, Studio X, Los Alamos National Bank, Albuquerque Studios, Stepbridge Studios and of course the city of Santa Fe. The working group meets regularly with the objective of bringing films to the region and developing the film business. This year Shoot Santa Fe has sent delegations to the Sundance Film Festival, South by Southwest and the Locations Expo in Los Angeles.

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