Steven Caple Jr.’s journey to “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” | Axios Cleveland

Transforming the film industry. Photo: Jamie McCarthy/WireImage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


SOURCE: Axios Cleveland | Troy Smith
June 7, 2023

A Cleveland native is at the helm of what promises to be one of this summer’s blockbusters.

Driving the news: “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” opens this week and is directed by John Marshall High School grad Steven Caple Jr., who left Tremont for USC film school.

  • Here’s a look at the projects that propelled Caple to blockbuster glory:

“A Different Tree”

Caple’s big break came in 2013 when his student film “A Different Tree” won HBO’s Short Film competition.

  • It follows an 8-year-old girl who builds a relationship with her absent father through a school family tree project.

“The Land”

Caple’s first feature film was shot in Cleveland over three weeks in July 2015.

  • “The Land,” which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 2016, centers on four teenage boys who hope to use skateboarding to make it out of Cleveland but get caught in the web of a local drug queenpin.

“Creed II”

Caple stepped up to the big leagues when he took over the “Rocky”/”Creed” franchise from former USC classmate Ryan Coogler (“Black Panther”).

  • Caple directed Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone in “Creed 2,” which grossed more than $214 million worldwide.

“Transformers: Rise of the Beasts”

Caple directs the seventh entry in a “Transformers” film franchise that has grossed nearly $5 billion worldwide.

  • “Rise of the Beasts” is expected to earn around $70 million during its opening week in North America, which would be the largest haul yet for a Caple-helmed film.

What’s next: Caple will direct and produce “Byall,” according to Deadline.

  • The film is set in a dystopian world without police, where justice is crowd sourced.

Steven Caple Jr.’s journey to “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” | Axios Cleveland

Transforming the film industry. Photo: Jamie McCarthy/WireImage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


SOURCE: Axios Cleveland | Troy Smith
June 7, 2023

A Cleveland native is at the helm of what promises to be one of this summer’s blockbusters.

Driving the news: “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” opens this week and is directed by John Marshall High School grad Steven Caple Jr., who left Tremont for USC film school.

  • Here’s a look at the projects that propelled Caple to blockbuster glory:

“A Different Tree”

Caple’s big break came in 2013 when his student film “A Different Tree” won HBO’s Short Film competition.

  • It follows an 8-year-old girl who builds a relationship with her absent father through a school family tree project.

“The Land”

Caple’s first feature film was shot in Cleveland over three weeks in July 2015.

  • “The Land,” which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 2016, centers on four teenage boys who hope to use skateboarding to make it out of Cleveland but get caught in the web of a local drug queenpin.

“Creed II”

Caple stepped up to the big leagues when he took over the “Rocky”/”Creed” franchise from former USC classmate Ryan Coogler (“Black Panther”).

  • Caple directed Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone in “Creed 2,” which grossed more than $214 million worldwide.

“Transformers: Rise of the Beasts”

Caple directs the seventh entry in a “Transformers” film franchise that has grossed nearly $5 billion worldwide.

  • “Rise of the Beasts” is expected to earn around $70 million during its opening week in North America, which would be the largest haul yet for a Caple-helmed film.

What’s next: Caple will direct and produce “Byall,” according to Deadline.

  • The film is set in a dystopian world without police, where justice is crowd sourced.

Former WKYC anchors Romona Robinson and Tim White featured in new movie about LeBron James ‘Shooting Stars’ | WKYC 3 Studios


SOURCE: WKYC 3 Studios | Ben Axelrod
June 5, 2023

CLEVELAND — On Friday, Peacock released “Shooting Stars,” which chronicles LeBron James’ rise to becoming the nation’s top basketball prospect alongside his close friends and teammates at Akron‘s St. Vincent-St. Mary High School.

But while James is played by actor Mookie Cook, those in Northeast Ohio who have watched the feature film likely recognized plenty of familiar faces, including former WKYC anchors Romona Robinson and Tim White.

 

 

‘Caesar the Musical’ showcases students diverse talents | Cleveland Jewish News

All winners squeeze together for a celebratory photo. CJN Photo / Sherry Gavanditti

 

 

 

 

 

 


SOURCE: Cleveland Jewish News | Sherry Gavanditti
May 25, 2023

The St. Clair Ballroom at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Tower in Cleveland was filled May 19 for The Growth Opps Carpe Diem Awards luncheon, where dozens of students from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District gathered for the announcement of winners in an essay, rap, poetry and video competition based on “Caesar the Musical,” a play written and directed by Mike Petrone, a longtime Cleveland singer-songwriter and director.

 

 

‘Caesar the Musical’ showcases students diverse talents | Cleveland Jewish News

All winners squeeze together for a celebratory photo. CJN Photo / Sherry Gavanditti

 

 

 

 

 

 


SOURCE: Cleveland Jewish News | Sherry Gavanditti
May 25, 2023

The St. Clair Ballroom at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Tower in Cleveland was filled May 19 for The Growth Opps Carpe Diem Awards luncheon, where dozens of students from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District gathered for the announcement of winners in an essay, rap, poetry and video competition based on “Caesar the Musical,” a play written and directed by Mike Petrone, a longtime Cleveland singer-songwriter and director.

 

 

Today in history: The Winter Soldier comes to Cleveland | Axios Cleveland

Cleveland’s super duo directors, Joe and Anthony Russo. Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


SOURCE: Axios Cleveland | Troy Smith, Sam Allard
May 17, 2023

Ten years ago, Cleveland transformed into a superhero version of Washington, D.C.

Flashback: “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” began filming downtown on May 17, 2013.

State of play: Cleveland won the project thanks to a $9.5 million tax credit and “The Winter Soldier” being directed by Cleveland natives Anthony and Joe Russo.

The intrigue: Cleveland played the role of Washington, D.C., in the film for numerous scenes, including action sequences on West Shoreway and Superior Avenue.

  • The kiss between Captain America (Chris Evans) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) was filmed on an escalator in Tower City Center.

The bottom line: All the chaos and street closings were worth it as “The Winter Soldier” brought $80 million in economic impact to Cleveland, according to the Cleveland Film Commission.

LeBron James biopic ‘Shooting Stars’ receives gold seal for sustainable production practices | Cleveland.com

Cans collected from the production of ‘Shooting Stars.’Sara Griffin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


SOURCE: Cleveland.com | Peter Krouse
May 11, 2023

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Environmental Media Association has given the upcoming LeBron James biopic “Shooting Stars” a Gold Seal Award for the sustainable practices used in production of the movie.

It’s believed to be the first movie filmed in Northeast Ohio to have been awarded such a distinction, said Bill Garvey, president of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission.

The motion picture, produced by NBCUniversal and The SpringHill Co. and available for streaming on Peacock June 2, generated its share of waste at dozens of filming locations in an around Akron and Cleveland during several months of filming last year. But thanks to Sara Griffin and her Subaru Legacy, much of those discarded items that would otherwise have been trashed, ended up being recycled, reused or donated to various charities.

“I was a one-man band with a budget of almost nothing,” said Griffin, who was paid $12 an hour to be the sustainability coordinator on location.

A self-described yoga therapeutics facilitator, Griffin said she fell into the job with Shooting Stars because her meditation coach is related to the unit production manager on the film.

“I just walked in with a lot of motivation,” she said, and found a helpful ally in Doreen Schreiber, business recycling specialist at the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District.

Griffin said she would often spend 16 hours a day moving stuff around, having others make deliveries and talking up sustainable practices with the various crews. She would arrange for everything from water bottles to plywood to leftover food to be carted away.

Some of the recipients of the surplus goods were the Greater Cleveland Foodbank, Habitat for Humanity, men’s and women’s shelters in downtown Cleveland. She also helped line up a variety of green vendors.

Griffin also took it upon herself to encourage those operating vehicles to limit their idling and to have food staff consider sustainable menu options.

And if she couldn’t always get people to do the right thing, Griffin at least would have the appropriate conversations with people.

“There’s a lack of education,” she said, “and nobody really wants to be bothered.”
That’s what made it the hardest job she’s ever done, Griffin said, but she would gladly do it again.

“There is so much waste on a film set,” she said. “So much waste.”

Shooting Stars is one of many movies, television shows commercials and print advertisements presented with either a Green Award or the higher Gold Award for how well they complied with various EMA criteria. The filmmakers make their own self assessments that are then turned into the EMA for consideration. A score of 75 points out of 200 warrants a Green Seal; 125 points earns a Gold Seal.

There has been a growing push toward sustainable practices in film production industrywide, Garvey said, especially when it comes to repurposing sets. And the Greater Cleveland Film Commission, which helps provide studios with the resources they need for a successful time in the region, is now placing greater emphasis on helping studios make greener films.

“It’s a focus.,” he said. “And it’s important to us.”

To aid in the effort, Schreiber at the Solid Waste District is producing a “one sheet” that future productions can reference when they come to town. It should list such things as where to get green cleaning supplies, donate clothing and rent costumes, rent electric vehicles, find a sustainable drycleaner and deliver recyclables and leftover food.

It will be a go-to document that will live on the Solid Waste District website that anybody can reference.

“Anybody can use it although the way its set up its really geared for the film industry,” Schreiber said.

Writers Guild Calls First Strike in 15 Years | The Hollywood Reporter

THR ILLUSTRATION / IMAGE: DAVID MCNEW/GETTY IMAGES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter | Katie Kilkenny
May 1, 2023

Picketing by Hollywood scribes is slated to begin at 1 p.m. PT in Los Angeles at production sites across the city, with simultaneous demonstrations occurring in New York.

For the first time in over 15 years, Hollywood’s writers are going out on strike.

The Writers Guild of America announced that a work stoppage will begin Tuesday afternoon after negotiations with the labor group representing studios and streamers faltered on Monday night. In Los Angeles, members will begin picketing at 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday at locations including Amazon/Culver Studios, CBS Radford and CBS Television City, Disney’s Burbank headquarters, Netflix’s Hollywood plant and the Fox, Sony, Paramount, Warner Bros. and Universal studio lots in Los Angeles. In New York, picketing will occur at Peacock’s Newfront at Center415 at 1 p.m. ET and Netflix’s Manhattan headquarters at 2:30 p.m. ET.

In a statement on Wednesday night, the WGA said that its negotiating committee “began this process intent on making a fair deal, but the studios’ responses have been wholly insufficient given the existential crisis writers are facing.” The union alleged that studios and streamers would not agree to any guaranteed of number of weeks of employment for television writers in the talks, that they proposed creating a “day rate” for comedy-variety writers (essentially creating a day-player category for these writers) and that they “stonewall[ed]” on proposals over minimizing work with no pay and proposals to regulate AI writing, like ChatGPT, in WGA-covered work.

Earlier in the night, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents studios and streamers in collective bargaining, said in a statement that the negotiations “concluded without an agreement.” In its explanation, the AMPTP said it offered a “comprehensive package proposal” with boosts to compensation and streaming residuals, but sticking points that remained included the guild’s proposals around minimum writing staff sizes and minimum amount of time for employment.

Still, the AMPTP stated that it is “willing to engage in discussions with the WGA in an effort to break this logjam.” Its companies, it added, “remain united in their desire to reach a deal that is mutually beneficial to writers and the health and longevity of the industry, and to avoid hardship to the thousands of employees who depend upon the industry for their livelihoods.”

The two parties have not yet scheduled a future date to return to the bargaining table.

The decision will have an immediate impact on late night shows, which rely on up-to-the-minute writing from WGA members on the latest news developments. If a strike goes on for a longer period of time, the WGA has warned that it could set back the network TV season, as scribes for fall premieres tend to start work in May or June.

When reached on Monday night, many WGA members pointed to the guild’s detailed proposals for companies in the 2023 negotiations, which the WGA shared with members that night (the document also includes the AMPTP’s alleged responses). One showrunner’s reply to those proposals: The studios and streamers “will regret not being serious, I’m afraid. They tried to pretend but in the end they signaled to the other guilds that they are not willing to look at anything that actually deals with how the business has changed.” One writer added that they “really did a double take at [the AMPTP’s] complete unwillingness to negotiate on AI. They just want to computer-generate story and have maybe one writer punch it up [and] cut us out of the process.”

Another writer, a 20-year WGA television writing veteran, proved to be something of a strike skeptic, telling THR, “All these rich showrunners have riled up the base, led us into battle and put the fate of working middle-class writers, which this is all supposed to be about, on the line. I just hope to God they have a plan now that it’s real.”

On the company side, one executive responded to the proposals document by calling the guild’s proposal on minimum hiring requirements “crazy.” The executive continued, “That [decision] should be up to the showrunners,” who are also represented by the WGA. Another studio source said they were “not surprised” by the strike: “There has been some good forward motion on both sides but not in the areas that matter most to the writers,” including mini-rooms, guaranteed TV staff size and residuals.

In the week preceding the expiration of its contract, the WGA issued some strict strike rules to members: no writing, revising, pitching or negotiating with companies that are members of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which is at the bargaining table with writers. The WGA instructed its members to report any peers that may be in violation of these rules to face union discipline and to tell any companies with “spec” scripts in their possession to return and delete them. The WGA is also telling members that they must picket at assigned locations unless they have a “valid medical excuse,” personal issue or emergency.

This development marks the culmination of months of industry speculation that the writers would strike once their current contract ended on May 1. Hampered in their 2020 round of negotiations over a three-year contract due to the then-recent onset of COVID-19, and emboldened by the success of their campaign against agency packaging practices, the thinking went, the writers were sure to mount a credible strike threat in 2023 as they sought major pay boosts in the streaming age. Writers did little to dispel these rumors, with leaders noting that the guild has a reputation for taking action “when necessary” and with nearly 98 percent of members authorizing a strike about two weeks before the end of their contract. (The WGA has long relied on its reputation as a union willing to walk to gain leverage in its negotiations with producers.)

Negotiations for the agreement began March 20 and were cut off by 8 p.m. PT on Monday. The writers had been advocating for great compensation in the streaming era, through higher wage floors, regulation of mini-rooms and greater residuals. Meanwhile, studios and streamers — who have been feeling pressure to cut costs after Wall Street turned on unprofitable streaming operations in 2022 and amid an uncertain economic climate — were seeking to rein in their spending on labor.

The writers have been led in their negotiations by WGA West assistant executive director Ellen Stutzman, who stepped up to the plate after the western branch of the union’s executive director, David Young, went on medical leave on Feb. 28. Carol Lombardini, the AMPTP’s chief negotiator since 2009, has been leading the talks for producers.

Now, it remains to be seen when the two parties will go back to the bargaining table and how long the strike could stretch on until they reach an agreement. The WGA’s last work stoppage, in 2007-08, lasted 100 days, while its strike in 1988 lasted 153 days, and its 1985 strike took 14 days.

In a statement on Tuesday, L.A. mayor Karen Bass exhorted “all sides to come together around an agreement that protects our signature industry and the families it supports.” She said, “Los Angeles relies on a strong entertainment industry that is the envy of the world while putting Angelenos to work in good, middle class jobs.”

California governor Gavin Newsom also weighed in on Tuesday, saying he was “very worried” about the strike. “We’re not unfamiliar with labor issues, and when called in by both sides, we’ll intervene to the extent that both sides are willing and interested in that.” He added, “It has profound consequences, direct and indirect: Every single one of us will be impacted by this.”

Lesley Goldberg contributed reporting.