An In-Depth Interview with Elizabeth Banks DP/30

She is a classic overnight sensation who worked for years to make her way to the top. Now, as a leading actress, a producer, and now a director, she is at the top of the Hollywood food chain. And her role as the woman who helped Brian Wilson regain his sanity in Love & Mercy has people talking about her being nominated for Best Supporting Actress. She talked with David Poland about the journey.

Elizabeth Banks

The Hollywood Reporter’s Full Uncensored Studio Executive Roundtable

The Hollywood Reporter’s Studio Executives Roundtable features Donna Langley (Chairman, Universal Pictures), Tom Rothman (Chairman, Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group), Rob Moore (Vice Chair, Paramount Pictures), Stacey Snider (Co-Chairman, 20th Century Fox), Alan Horn (Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios), and Rob Friedman (Co-Chair, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group).

Studio Head Roundtable

Will You Get Sued if You Take a Picture of the Hollywood Sign?

YouTube presenter Tom Scott isn’t willing to chance a lawsuit, so he pixelated the famous Hollywood sign in this video of the classic LA landmark.

But does he really have anything to fear? I reached out to Betsy Isroelit Press/News Contact for the Hollywood Sign for some thoughts. Clearly this would have fallen into the news category as it is a story about the Hollywood Sign and therefor Scott would not need a license for his video.

Hollywood Sign

Photo by Lori Brookes

And you won’t need a license to grab a selfie after a leisurely hike around Hollywood Hills.

The only time licensing becomes an issue is when you’re using this trademark for commercial purpose. In regards to trademark, this is mostly in regards to using the image to sell something (like putting the Hollywood sign on your album cover, movie poster, as a splash page for your website or featuring it prominently in your department store).

The Hollywood Sign along with Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame are owned by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce (a non-profit organization) and the licensing is handled by Global Icons. Now there is incidental use – if the sign can be seen in the background of your shot and it’s not featured prominently, you may not have an issue (though it’s best to clear it) – the problem occurs when you utilize or feature the sign in your branding or in your film. Even if you purchase stock footage you may still need to license the use through Global Icons (Getty Images and Istockphoto won’t even accept images of the Hollywood Sign for their library because of this)

Some people may balk at idea that such a prominent landmark could be under trademark protection – but the simple truth is the Hollywood Sign is a very important symbol of a big industry and there’s plenty of people out there who just want to exploit it for a quick financial gain. But the fact is there are a lot of protected buildings and structures under trademark protection such as the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, the Wrigley Building in Chicago and the Citicorp Center and Guggenheim Museum in New York. Donald Trump’s buildings are under trademark protection. Even the Eiffel Tower, which is in the public domain and free to photograph during the day, is under copyright protection at night.

So in conclusion – no one is going to sue you for taking a picture of the Hollywood Sign. But if you want to make money off the imagery that’s not protected under fair use such as news or commentary about the sign itself – then you need a license.

One-on-One with “Brokeback Mountain” Screenwriter Diana Ossana

Screencraft sits down with Diana Ossana about getting started, the experience of writing Brokeback Mountain, and some advice for new writers.

Diana Ossana

ScreenCraft: When did your storytelling roots begin?

Diana Ossana: I supposed my storytelling roots, such as they are, began with reading. I have been a voracious reader since childhood. I started reading the newspaper when I was seven years old (with a dictionary by my side). I was — and still am — a completist. I would start a shelf at the public library and simply check out eleven books (the most allowed) and return in two weeks and check out the next eleven, until I was finished with a subject or genre.

ScreenCraft: What brought you to screenwriting?

Diana Ossana: Larry McMurtry had been recuperating at my home for more than two years after his quadruple bypass surgery in late 1991. He had stopped reading, stopped writing, and batted away every screenwriting job offered to him. It was overwhelmingly sad to watch this talented man wither away. An offer came to him from Warner Brothers to write a screenplay about Pretty Boy Floyd, the Depression-era outlaw, and I saw this as an opportunity to jump-start him back into writing. For several days, I researched Pretty Boy and came up with 20 pages of interesting notions about him. I sat Larry down and told him I was going to read him all the reasons why he should write the screenplay. When I finished, he told me he would write the screenplay only if I wrote it with him. We went to Hollywood, spoke to the executive at Warner Brothers, and we proceeded to write our first script together.

ScreenCraft | Read the Full Article


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