|THE CONTENDERDARK WATERSSPOTLIGHT|
The door slams shut today on applications for one of the biggest jobs in global broadcasting: running the BBC. Resumes have been dusted off and the BBC’s headhunters have been courting interest as the corporation seeks to replace Tony Hall as director general after he announced his departure in January.
It’s not been the most electrifying of races to date, with a number of industry insiders observing that the recruitment process has been quiet. There have been no shock candidates, no big pitches for the job. But that could all change in an instant as the BBC chairman Sir David Clementi edges closer to a decision.
Hall’s successor faces a gargantuan task. The to-do list includes, but is not limited to: Grappling with a government that seems determined to undermine the BBC’s funding, slashing costs, securing the success of commercial arm BBC Studios, cleaning up a rumbling equal pay dispute, closing the diversity gap, and bringing a new generation of young audiences to the BBC’s output. All of this, while there are unprecedented threats from U.S. media giants like Netflix, Amazon and Apple.
Below is a run-down of how things are shaping up in the battle to become the BBC’s next director general. It is by no means an exhaustive list of candidates as there may be other names yet to emerge. We will keep this post updated as things develop, so check back for updates.
POTENTIALLY IN PLAY
Tim Davie: Sources have told Deadline that the BBC Studios CEO is sweet on the idea of succeeding Tony Hall having done the job on an interim basis in 2012. He has so far declined to comment on the process. Bizarrely, he would probably have to take a salary cut to step up: His total pay was £642,000 $826,000 last year, while Hall took home £450,000.
Charlotte Moore: The BBC’s director of content remains a much-fancied internal candidate, but according to BBC insiders, she is keeping her cards close to her chest about whether she is gunning for the top job. Many have pointed to her content credentials, but others have questioned whether she has the political and strategic nous to handle a hostile government.
Jay Hunt: Apple’s creative director of worldwide video has a healthy level of support from certain BBC insiders, with her ability to make tough decisions seen as an advantage. Sources have suggested that she will only commit to the recruitment process if asked. Hunt declined to comment when approached by Deadline.
Alex Mahon: Channel 4’s CEO has joined a long line of predecessors in being linked with a move to the BBC. A source said she is “fully committed” to Channel 4, but did not gone as far as ruling her out of the running.
Jane Turton: All3Media’s chief executive has been contacted by headhunters for the BBC....
The world is…interesting right now, to say the least. And there’s a fairly good chance that you’re suddenly stuck inside your house right now, or at least hesitant to go out. Not to worry: You can stay in and watch some Blu-rays. You don’t even have to leave the house to get them – order them online and have them show up on your doorstep. And if you need some help regarding what to pick up, these are the new Blu-ray releases you should check out this week.Uncut Gems
It’s the movie everyone can’t stop talking about – the movie that many thought would ensure Adam “The Sandman” Sandler an Oscar nomination. It’s Uncut Gems, the Safdie Brothers‘ anxiety-inducing saga of gambling addict Howard Ratner Sandler, a jeweler who thinks he has a sure thing in the form of a rare black opal. But nothing goes according to Howard’s plans – he ends up handing the opal off to Kevin Garnett playing himself, and then his life proceeds to spiral completely out of control. His gambling debts put him in potential danger, and to make matters worse, every time he has a chance to climb out of the hole, his poor decisions put him right back in there. It’s perhaps a reflection of our troubled, turbulent times that so many people took to this movie, which is 135 minutes of screaming, tension, and jaw-dropping horror it’s pretty funny, too. While I didn’t love Uncut Gems as much as some I prefer the Safdie’s previous film, Good Time, I can’t deny the skill at work here. And Sandler is just as good as everyone says. Hell, he’s better.
Why It’s Worth Owning on Blu-ray:
I sure wish this release came with more special features – there’s only one, a making-of. A commentary would’ve been ideal – especially if they had managed to talk Sandler into doing it. Alas, it was not to be. But Uncut Gems is worth picking up anyway. But be sure to hold onto it tight – and whatever you do, don’t lend it to Kevin Garnett.
Special Features Include:“Money on the Street: The Making of Uncut Gems” Featurette Charlie’s Angels
Charlie’s Angels, the latest attempt to reboot the TV series of the same name, has a lot going for it. The leads – Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska – are incredibly likable, and they all have a fun, easy-going chemistry with one another. There’s also a handful of funny moments – mostly from Kristen Stewart, who shows a real knack for comedy here. But the film ultimately suffers from a rather blah script, and some uninspired direction. Elizabeth Banks directs, as well as co-stars. And while I think Banks is a genuinely good performer, she’s yet to hit her stride and find her voice when...
EXCLUSIVE: Spotlight production co Topic Studios is teaming with journalism outfit Field of Vision to offer $250,000 in emergency financial help for struggling documentary freelancers during the coronavirus lockdown.
The two companies are divisions of First Look Media, the org set up by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar with doc heavyweights Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill, and Laura Poitras.
Industry freelancers have been particularly hard hit by the economic aspects of the crisis, with film and TV production halted around the world. As such, the fund is aiming to support the most vulnerable by providing life assistance grants, such as for rent, healthcare, bills, groceries, for those who have experienced financial hardship from loss of income or opportunity. The money comes from the operating budgets of the two companies.Field of Vision / Topic Studios
The fund will offer individual grants of up to $2,000 in two chunks, initially in April and then again in May, as the situation evolves. It will open for applications between April 8 and April 10 or until the companies receive 750 applications and then again between May 6 and May 8 or until a further 750 applications are received.
Co-Founder and Executive Producer of Field of Vision, Charlotte Cook said, “This is an incredibly hard time for the documentary field and we're hoping the fund is able to offer some relief. We started with our virtual mentorship and consultation service to try and be as available to filmmakers as possible, but felt it was vitally important to also provide financial assistance. We want to support the artists working in the documentary field every day, but especially now, and will continue to build and add more resources as we can over the next few weeks and months.”
Executive Vice President of Topic Studios, Maria Zuckerman added, “We at Topic Studios are proud to launch this initiative in partnership with our close colleagues at Field of Vision. We hope to respond to the needs of our collaborators in the documentary community and look forward to a time, hopefully soon, when our main focus will again be on making great work together.”