How Movies Receive Their Ratings

Many Americans use the MPAA’s formalized rating system as a guide for which films to see. The Onion provides a step-by-step view into how these ratings are chosen:

‘Winnie-The-Pooh’ Turns 90

Winnie-The-Pooh, the A.A. Milne series featuring a stuffed bear and his toy animal friends, debuted 90 years ago this week. Here are some milestones from the franchise’s nearly century-long run:

50 Years Of ‘Star Trek’

Star Trek, the science-fiction show about the crew of the starship Enterprise, premiered 50 years ago today on NBC, spawning a cult following and decades of spin-offs. Here are some milestones from the franchise’s 50-year history

How Big-Budget Movies Flop

Despite the recent box-office failures of Exodus, Ben-Hur, and Gods Of Egypt, studios continue to fund big-budget movies they hope will achieve blockbuster success. The Onion provides a step-by-step breakdown of how one of these movies becomes a flop:

Your Horoscopes — Week Of August 30, 2016

ARIES: Sometimes in life, you just need to stop whatever it is you’re doing and take a step back. Actually, maybe it’s two steps back. Yeah, that’s good. Keep going. The stars will let you know when you’re far enough.

‘Rugrats’ Turns 25

This August marks the 25th anniversary of the premiere of Rugrats, the beloved Nickelodeon cartoon about intrepid baby Tommy Pickles and his group of toddler friends. Here are some milestones from the show’s nine-season run

Your Horoscopes — Week Of August 9, 2016

ARIES: Your life’s story will soon play out in front of movie theater audiences across the country, though it’ll only last about 30 seconds and advertise free soft drink refills in the main lobby.

Director Has Clear Vision Of How Studio Will Destroy Movie

LOS ANGELES—Saying he can already picture exactly what the finished cut will look like on the big screen, Hollywood film director Paul Stanton told reporters Wednesday he has a clear vision of how studio executives will totally destroy his upcoming movie.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of June 14, 2016

ARIES: Once the laughter dies down, the party favors are put away, and the monkeys led back inside their cages, you’ll finally be given a chance to explain your side of the story.

Lost Jack London Manuscript, ‘The Doggy,’ Found

RYE, NY—Workers inventorying the estate of a recently deceased Westchester County art dealer earlier this month reportedly stumbled upon a draft of a previously unknown Jack London novel titled The Doggy, and the work is already being hailed by many within the literary world as a masterpiece.

Guide To The Characters Of ‘The Force Awakens’

The highly anticipated seventh episode in the ‘Star Wars’ series, ‘The Force Awakens,’ which will be released December 18, will feature several returning characters as well as a host of new ones. Here is a guide to the characters of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens.’

Robert De Niro Stunned To Learn Of Man Who Can Quote ‘Goodfellas’

‘Bring Him To Me,’ Actor Demands

NEW YORK—Immediately halting production on his latest project after hearing of the incredible talent, legendary actor Robert De Niro was reportedly stunned to learn Wednesday that Bayonne, NJ resident Eric Sullivan, 33, can quote the critically acclaimed 1990 Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas at length.

Timeline Of The James Bond Series

This week marks the release of the 24th film in the James Bond franchise, Spectre, featuring Daniel Craig in his fourth appearance as the British secret agent. Here are some notable moments from the film series’s 53-year history
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Screen Actors Guild Develops Retraining Program For 30-Year-Old Actresses Aging Out Of Workforce

Out-of-work actresses over 30 take notes on Steadicam operation in a SAG-AFTRA job training class.
Out-of-work actresses over 30 take notes on Steadicam operation in a SAG-AFTRA job training class.

LOS ANGELES—In an effort to help open new doors for the many women struggling to readjust to life after performing, officials from the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists spoke to reporters Thursday about the union’s new job-training program for 30-year-old actresses who have aged out of the workforce.

SAG-AFTRA officials, who said the vast majority of female performers are not prepared for the hardships of losing acting work at the end of their 20s, described the wide variety of tools the new program utilizes—ranging from instructional seminars, to networking events, to hands-on workshops—to help transition women into positions in film production, distribution, and financing.

“As actresses enter their 30s, they suddenly find themselves without a job and nowhere to turn; we want to ensure that they have the skills to find meaningful employment elsewhere in the industry,” said SAG-AFTRA president Ken Howard, who added that through the retraining program, nearly 85 percent of unemployed actresses are able to secure jobs in behind-the-scenes fields within 18 months. “Too often, these performers are cast aside after their on-screen usefulness has run its course, and they fall through the cracks. We’re here to help them get back on their feet.”

“Many of these women have dedicated themselves to their craft for up to a decade, and it’s our turn to pay them back,” Howard continued.

According to the program’s website, women who enroll are entitled to free instructional classes—which meet in the basement of the union’s headquarters—geared toward teaching the basics of production jobs such as sound mixing, organizing receipts for on-set expenses, wardrobe supervision, and properly handling pyrotechnics. Former actresses can also attend résumé workshops where career coaches will assist them in showcasing any relevant job experience they may have had prior to their careers in acting, such as highlighting previous restaurant work to help them land a position in craft services.

The placement program reportedly also provides the women with experiential training, including apprenticeships that pair former A-list stars with professionals in a field of interest such as prop masters or the actresses’ own former personal assistants. Highlighting the success of the program, administrators noted that Oscar winner Michelle Williams, who spent four months shadowing a line producer at Universal Studios, is now working there full-time as a location scout.

SAG-AFTRA officials told reporters they are currently developing a web portal that will include job listings from production companies looking to hire female performers who are now beyond on-camera working age.

“It can certainly come as a shock to many of these women when they realize they are losing jobs to a younger generation of workers,” said Howard, noting that many struggling older actresses often overestimate their ability to secure the extremely limited number of Hollywood’s divorcee, witch, and unstable or overbearing mother roles. “We try to explain to them that if they want to stay in the industry, they’ll need to show employers that they have something to offer beyond compelling performances.”

“The sooner they accept that and take action, the sooner they’ll be back in show business,” he continued.

Howard added that the union also offers services intended to preempt women from becoming unemployed in the first place, citing counseling sessions for performers in their mid-20s designed to help them map out a path to careers in marketing or accounting in order to make the jump as seamless as possible.

“After I stopped getting roles, I felt very lost and afraid; this was the job I’d spent my whole life training for, and it was all I’d ever really known,” said former actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, 37, who explained that, with the help of the program, she has found steady work as a best boy electric on Hollywood films and was recently hired as the gaffer on the upcoming movie Jack Reacher 2. “The workshops and coaching sessions gave me the confidence and skills to begin a new chapter in my career, and I’m extremely thankful for that.”

“I’m glad my daughter can see that even though her mother is no longer able to get work on the screen, she can still contribute in her own small way,” she added.

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