Thursday, February 19, 2009

News Round-up

INTERVIEW: ATWT's Jon Lindstrom (Craig)
"I would like to see more of Craig interacting with his family. But one thing I enjoy, as much as doing my scenes with Maura, and Julie Pinson and with Michael Park, is working with Dolan and Terri Colombino (Katie). It's storyline-dictated at the moment and we really haven't had the chance to dive into those yet. I would love to see more of that.... The actors are all really good on this show!"

Industry gets a break in California budget
California finally is offering production incentives. That surprising reality had industry and economic execs pinching themselves Thursday.

"I'm sort of floored that it did happen," said Jack Kyser, chief economist with the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp.

On Tuesday, an LAEDC forecast said runaway film and TV production would undermine industry employment during the next several years, largely because of the proliferation of film and TV tax incentives among most other states. Then came the unexpected good news out of Sacramento.

Set to take effect in 2011, a five-year program to fight runaway production was included in a new state budget passed in the early morning hours after an all-night emergency session of the Legislature. The program will provide up to $100 million per year in tax incentives for qualifying film and TV productions.

Stanford bank scandal ensnares Latin Americans
Venezuelans sunk as much as $3 billion into the Antigua-based Stanford International Bank, about a third of the money U.S. regulators hope to recover as they pursue their fraud case against the bank's Texas billionaire founder.

Many wealthy Latin Americans seek safe havens and tax shelters for their savings outside their own countries, but Venezuelans had particular reason to be lured by R. Allen Stanford's promises of returns as high as 14 percent.

"I can't access my funds, I can't even get into the building. It's very serious," said Laura Zapata, a longtime Mexican soap opera star who said she'd invested her life savings there at her uncle's suggestion.

TunerFree MCE Brings Premium UK Channels and Hulu to Windows Vista Media Center
TunerFree MCE enables Windows Vista Media Center users to tap into BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Five TV programming from the UK. In addition, with help from a VPN service that can mask your IP address for one of another county, UK users are able to tap into US-only content from Hulu. Apparently, US users can do the same for UK-only programming by following the same instructions.

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