Hollywood on the Potomac

Oscar Countdown: 'Vice'

February 17, 2019

VICE has been nominated for eight Oscars including Best Picture, Adam McKay for Best Director, Sam Rockwell for Actor in a Supporting Role, Amy Adams for Best Actress in a Supporting Role and Christian Bale for Best Actor in a Leading Role.

VICE is the story of Dick Cheney, an unassuming bureaucratic Washington insider, who quietly wielded immense power as Vice President to George W. Bush, reshaping the country and the globe in ways that we still feel today. Glover Park Group hosted a special screening at the Newseum in Washington, DC to mixed reviews.  Why mixed reviews with so many nominations?  Perhaps because so many in the audience actually new the real players and weren’t convinced of their respective portrayals.  You have to hand it to Christian Bale though who physically turned into Dick Cheney which puts him on the top of the pile to win Best Actor.  According to director Adam McKay, Bale loved the challenge of getting into Cheney’s head and we must say that particularly in the latter years of VP Cheney, the optics were mind-blowing. Amy Adams did a commendable performance as Lynne Cheney.

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'Big Shots'

February 14, 2019

Guy Webster, the photographer behind classic album covers from The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, The Doors, The Byrds, Simon & Garfunkel and more, died at 79 on February 5th, as reported by Rolling Stone and Variety. We had the opportunity to attend a book party in his honor at the home of Kay Kendall and Jack Davies in November of 2014.


A look back:

“When you look through this book, it is pretty amazing,” said Jack Davies, co-host of a book party at his home in honor of renowned photographer Guy Webster and his new book: BIG SHOTS: Rock Legends and Hollywood Icons.  “He did the first Doors album. He did all The Mamas and the Papas albums. He did three or four Rollings Stones albums. He was in the studio when The Beach Boys recorded Good Vibrations. He grew up in Beverly Hills. His neighbors were Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. His father was a very successful songwriter.”


“I read the book when it first came out and I said ‘oh my God, that guy has led a wonderful life’ – I can’t believe it. I swear, I was shocked.”

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February 11, 2019

The long and the short of it: Short films are by far the most diverse films in the academy, but they often get short changed (yes, pun intended). Until recently, shorts were often referred to as the black sheep of the Academy Awards ceremony — “a prestigious category, but one that barely anyone has seen.” The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and Chairman & CEO Ambassador Charles Rivkin hosted a private screening at the Abramson Family Lecture Hall NYU in Washington, DC where they screened a few Oscar nominated Shorts with Andrew Chesworth, the co-director of One Small Step, its producer Shaofu Zhang and the moderator Carter Pilcher, the founder and CEO of  ShortsTV and Founder of Shorts International.

About Carter Pilcher:  “Pilcher founded Shorts International in 2000. Coming from a background in both investment banking and law, Carter has made Shorts International the world’s leading short movie Entertainment Company, functioning as distributor, broadcaster and producer. Carter has extensive experience in short movie production and short movie entertainment. He is a voting member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and a member of the Short Film and Feature Animation Branch of The US Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) – the guys who pick the Oscars. Carter, originally from Terre Haute, Indiana, received a B.S. from the U.S. Air Force Academy, a J.D. from Georgetown University, is a member of the New York Bar and attended the London Business School Corporate Finance Evening Program. Carter Pilcher has been and continues to be the highlight of Oscar season here on Film School. His insight, commitment and love of films and filmmaking always makes for a lively and informative conversation on some of the best films you will see all year.” ShortsTV

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