Blog: May 2016

Ghetto Film School
Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision for Ghetto Film School/AP Images
Actor Jamie Hector (fourth from left) and students attend the Ghetto Film School Table Read event held at Brett Ratner's Hilhaven Lodge in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Wednesday, May 25, 2016.
Social Impact

A cast of Hollywood actors including Max Greenfield ("New Girl"), Grace Gealey ("Empire"), Dascha Polanco ("Joy") and others gathered at the legendary Hilhaven Lodge in Beverly Hills to perform two short-film scripts written by teenage students from Ghetto Film School. The May 25 table reading event, co-hosted by 21st Century Fox CEO and GFS board member James Murdoch, served as both a celebration of and a fundraiser for the organization, which teaches filmmaking to young people from communities traditionally underrepresented in Hollywood.

Building 41 - 20th Century Fox Film lot
Heritage

The unassuming Building #41, one of the oldest buildings on the 20th Century Fox Film lot, has been in the same location since the 1920s. It was originally a barn used by actor, director and writer Tom Mix for his horses when he was allowed to come out to the country and ride around the newly purchased Fox property when it was just acres of rolling hills.

Social Impact

Five of Afghanistan's leading female coaches, nonprofit directors and sports professionals recently visited the FOX Sports headquarters in Los Angeles to discuss how best to encourage young women in their home country to participate in sports. The International Visitors Council of Los Angeles (IVCLA) arranged the trip as part of the U.S. Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program for professional and cultural exchanges.

Ilene Chaiken
Social Impact

Ilene Chaiken, “Empire” executive producer and showrunner, was honored with a 2016 GLSEN Respect Award last evening at a ceremony in New York City for her work in representing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people on television.

Events

21st Century Fox hosted a special screening of 20th Century Fox Film’s “X-Men: Apocalypse” last night at the Ham Yard Hotel in London. Executive Chairmen Rupert Murdoch and Lachlan Murdoch shared remarks at the event and were joined by special guests James McAvoy and Ben Hardy, who star in the action film. Also in attendance were friends of 21CF, business partners and other VIPs.

TV

In front of an audience of about 2,500 advertisers, Fox executives, producers and others, Fox Networks Group presented its 2016-17 programming slate at the Beacon Theater in New York City. The presentation, which featured musical performances and guest appearances from FOX show talent, laid out the recent multiplatform achievements of FOX, FX, National Geographic Partners and FOX Sports. It also put a spotlight on the shows that are returning and debuting for FOX in the fall and winter.

Social Impact

On April 26, 21st Century Fox welcomed some of the top students from New York's Ghetto Film School onto the Fox Studios lot in Los Angeles for a day of workshops and masterclass conversations with company leaders. Angela Courtin, Chief Marketing Officer at FOX Broadcasting, and Phoebe Tisdale-Andrews, VP of Production, spoke to the young filmmakers about their journeys into the entertainment industry, as well as how they see the business changing over time.

Industry

This morning, FOX announced its new primetime series for the 2016-17 season, which included a historic slate of original programming for the network. Tonight, Toby Byrne, President of Advertising Sales for Fox Networks Group, will address an audience of about 2,500 people at the 2016 FOX upfront programming presentation at the Beacon Theater in New York, which will include advertisers, Fox executives and others. I spoke with Toby before he takes the stage to hear his thoughts on how the upfront season has changed recently, the move toward data and technology in advertising, and what he hopes advertisers will walk away with after tonight.

Events

A lot goes into planning a memorable Fox Networks Group Programming Presentation and Post-Party in New York City each year. To get a behind-the-scenes look at what, exactly, is involved in throwing a spectacular upfront event, I spoke with Tomiko Iwata, SVP of Creative Services for Fox Broadcasting, who counts 18 years as part of the team spearheading FOX’s big event.

The Simpsons live
TV

On Sunday, May 15, “The Simpsons” will treat audiences to a live, three-minute Q&A session with none other than Homer J. Simpson. Thanks to the advances in motion capture technology, Dan Castellaneta will answer questions from live callers in the form of Homer, the character to whom he lends his voice. The event, the first of its kind, will happen at the end of the new episode, which is titled “Simprovised” and aptly focuses on a storyline in which Homer turns to improv comedy to regain his confidence after a botched speech at work.