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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Gary Kurtz, Producer of Star Wars, Comments on Dennis Stanfill

Gary Kurtz and George Lucas on the set of Star Wars

"Eventually the Fox board decided they wanted to see a rough cut of the movie — at the worst possible time.

The board [including Princess Grace of Monaco] came to the mix one night. We could only work at night because the mixing theater was busy during the day. We were supposed to mix at Warner Brothers and their big stage, and we got preempted by Clint Eastwood and his film [The Gauntlet]; he was a much bigger name at Warner Brothers than we were. Goldwyn didn’t have any time either, but the head of Goldwyn said, “Well, I could let you work at night, and we’ll pull in another crew.” So, we worked from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. every day.

The board came in when we were just finishing up the [very unusual at the time] Dolby stereo mix. They came at the beginning of our session, at 8 p.m. I don’t think we had any titles then. No end titles or anything.

The board sat there and watched the film, and at the end they got up and left, not a word. No applause, not even a smile. They just got up and left. We were really depressed. Stanfill came up to me right at the very end, he was the last one to leave. He said, “Don’t worry about them. They don’t know anything about movies.”

Terry Stanfill, Princess Grace, Dennis Stanfill

Terry Stanfill comments: "We remember the Sunday night Dennis called us into his office when he signed the go-ahead payment to begin Star Wars.  Francesca has what we still call the :Star Wars desk.  He thought it was important enough to call us in to watch--but who could have possibly imagined that it would have come to this!"

Read More at Mashable 



Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The beautiful Icelandic tradition of giving books on Christmas Eve


 Icelanders have a beautiful tradition of giving books to each other on Christmas Eve and then spending the night reading. This custom is so deeply ingrained in the culture that it is the reason for the Jolabokaflod, or “Christmas Book Flood,” when the majority of books in Iceland are sold between September and December in preparation for Christmas giving.

At this time of year, most households receive an annual free book catalog of new publications called the Bokatidindi. Icelanders pore over the new releases and choose which ones they want to buy, fueling what Kristjan B. Jonasson, president of the Iceland Publishers Association, describes as “the backbone of the publishing industry.”

    "It's like the firing of the guns at the opening of the race," says Baldur Bjarnason, a researcher who has written about the Icelandic book industry. "It's not like this is a catalog that gets put in everybody's mailbox and everybody ignores it. Books get attention here."

The small Nordic island, with a population of only 329,000 people, is extraordinarily literary. They love to read and write. According to a BBC article, “The country has more writers, more books published and more books read, per head, than anywhere else in the world… One in 10 Icelanders will publish [a book].”

It seems there is more value placed on physical, paper books than in North America, where e-books have grown in popularity. One bookstore manager told NPR, “The book in Iceland is such an enormous gift, you give a physical book. You don't give e-books here." The book industry is driven by the majority of people buying several books each year, rather than the North American pattern of a few people buying lots of books.

When I asked an Icelandic friend what she thought of this tradition, she was surprised.
“I hadn't thought of this as a special Icelandic tradition. It is true that a book is always considered a nice gift. Yes, for my family this is true. We are very proud of our authors.”

It sounds like a wonderful tradition, perfect for a winter evening. It is something that I would love to incorporate into my own family’s celebration of Christmas. I doubt my loyalty to physical books will ever fade; they are the one thing I can’t resist collecting, in order to read and re-read, to beautify and personalize my home, to pass on to friends and family as needed. Combining my love for books and quiet, cozy Christmas Eves sounds like a perfect match.

Read more at Treehugger.com

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Art Johnson Thrills Again with Deadly Impressions

 

Before he began writing, Art Johnson was a Grammy nominated musician with over 40 years of experience in music and 10 CDs.




Los Angeles, CA; 05, December 2015: Before he began writing, Art Johnson was a Grammy nominated musician with over 40 years of experience in music and 10 CDs. He has toured all over the globe and his life experience has inspired his second mystery/thriller, Deadly Impressions, following the success of The Devil’s Violin. Johnson lives in Monaco, where the Princess Charlene has a copy of The Devil’s Violin kept in the palace.

In his new book, Deadly Impressions, Johnson’s combines his travels and intelligence with a fascinating thriller that hold its readers captive to the last sentence as it follows FBI special Agent Chris Clarke and his partner Carlos Chubbs Gonzales to Los Angeles to investigate the kidnapping of a twenty-four year old heiress. Her grandfather, multi-billionaire Ezekiel Fick, who has the President of the United States on speed-dial, cracks the whip over the Mayor of Los Angeles, which puts LA Police Chief Fergus McCreary on the hot seat to find Stephanie Fick—and fast.

After organizing the departmental investigation, Chief Mac goes behind closed doors to call in Arnold Blackburn, an ex-LAPD Lieutenant recently booted off the force who is now a Pri-vate Detective in LA County. Arney Blackburn has respect from both sides of the law which gives him access to information the LAPD isn’t privy to. But the abductors won’t follow the rule book. A week goes by and yet no ransom is demanded.

Why was she kidnapped if not for money? Is her grandfather’s Swiss/German back-ground and the fact that his uncle was a key architect under the wing of Adolph Hitler during World War II giving this crime a political slant? To what degree are some of Hollywood’s most famous involved: especially those who had relatives in Europe during the war, whose art collec-tions were confiscated by the Nazi regime? Deadly Impressions asks hard questions about the past and the answers will dictate who lives and who doesn’t.

Deadly Impressions is available on Amazon in paperback ($14.95) or on Kindle ($4.95). Don’t miss this artful and suspenseful new novel.

Find out more about Art Johnson on Facebook.

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