University of Chicago: Piece of earliest known Black-produced film found hiding in plain sight

University of Chicago: Piece of earliest known Black-produced film found hiding in plain sight. “African American filmmaking started in the early 20th century with silent films made for segregated audiences. Most footage from that period has been lost. One of the earliest Black-owned studios was the Lincoln Motion Picture Company, which made ‘race films’ featuring mainly Black casts from 1916-1922. At the company’s helm were two brothers: George P. Johnson and Noble Johnson.”

Gizmodo: Disney Made a Movie Quality AI Tool That Automatically Makes Actors Look Younger (or Older)

Gizmodo: Disney Made a Movie Quality AI Tool That Automatically Makes Actors Look Younger (or Older). “Further demonstrating the power of artificial intelligence when it comes to photorealistically altering footage, researchers from Disney have revealed a new aging/de-aging tool that can make an actor look convincingly older or younger, without the need for weeks of complex and expensive visual effects work.”

ITV: Bruce Willis becomes first Hollywood actor to sell image rights to artificial intelligence company

ITV: Bruce Willis becomes first Hollywood actor to sell image rights to artificial intelligence company. “The deal means the firm, Deepcake, can now use both his moving and talking image within films and TV productions. It comes after the 67-year-old announced his retirement from acting in March, after being diagnosed with aphasia, which affects a person’s speech and language.”

Flinders University: New tech brings our ‘lost’ theatres back to life

Flinders University: New tech brings our ‘lost’ theatres back to life. “The authors and their research teams have pioneered a new research technique for Visualising Lost Theatres, using archival and archaeological records to reconstruct lost theatres in accurate virtual reality. These VR models provide the visual and immersive feel of a venue, as well as revealing performance logistics for actors and audience alike, enabling the researchers to explore both social histories and theatre practices in which the venues themselves were significant players.”

Illinois State University: School of Theatre and Dance programs now online

Illinois State University: School of Theatre and Dance programs now online. “Did you know that the actor who plays Officer Kevin Atwater in the hit NBC series Chicago P.D. also played Private Driscol in the 2008 Wonsook Kim School of Theatre and Dance production of Bury the Dead? And that actors from The Office and Will & Grace once played harpsichord together on the Westhoff Theatre stage in a 1991 production of Love for Love: A Comedy? You can find all this and more in Illinois State’s institutional repository, ISUReD! Through a partnership between Milner Library and the School of Theatre and Dance, around 190 programs have been added to the School’s collection on ISUReD. Patrons can now browse production programs that date back to 1957 and feature hundreds of the school’s theatre and dance students, faculty, and staff.”

Evening Standard: Roy Scheider to return to big screen in posthumous release completed using AI

Evening Standard: Roy Scheider to return to big screen in posthumous release completed using AI. “The American actor died in February 2008 during the filming of Beautiful Blue Eyes, which follows a New York police officer seeking revenge on a Nazi who he believes murdered his family during the Second World War. Despite the filming of Beautiful Blue Eyes commencing more than 14 years ago, filmmakers had to wait for artificial intelligence (AI) technology advances in order to release the movie as it was originally envisioned after Scheider’s death.”

ABC News: Scorsese’s Film Foundation launches free virtual theater

ABC News: Scorsese’s Film Foundation launches free virtual theater. “Film Foundation, the nonprofit founded by Martin Scorsese dedicated to film preservation, is launching a virtual theater to stream classic films free of charge. The film organization announced Friday that the Film Foundation Restoration Screening Room will launch May 9 with the presentation of ‘I Know Where I’m Going!,’ Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s Scotland-set romance, recently restored by the Film Foundation and the British Film Institute’s National Archive.”

CNN: Soumitra Chatterjee, Indian acting legend, dies from Covid complications

CNN: Soumitra Chatterjee, Indian acting legend, dies from Covid complications. “The legendary Indian actor Soumitra Chatterjee, a famous protégé of Oscar-winning director Satyajit Ray, has died at the age of 85 of health complications related to Covid-19. He died at Belle Vue Clinic in Kolkata on Sunday after being there since October 6, the hospital’s chief, Pradip Tondon, told CNN. He initially tested positive for coronavirus, and complications from the disease contributed to his death.”

Backstage: These Orgs Are Helping Out-of-Work Actors Affected by Coronavirus

Backstage: These Orgs Are Helping Out-of-Work Actors Affected by Coronavirus. “The show must go on—and now you can watch it from your living room. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encouraging self-isolation to halt the coronavirus’ spread, those who are financially dependent on the television, film, and theater industries have seen their livelihoods flash before their eyes. But in true showbiz fashion, nobody is going down without a fight.”

Backstage: How This VO Actor Is Helping Connect African American Talent With More Opportunities

Backstage: How This VO Actor Is Helping Connect African American Talent With More Opportunities. “Over the years building his voiceover business, Bryan [J. Howard] recognized the need for a go-to source where casting directors could find professional African American voice actors and founded the African-American Voice Actor Database. I spoke with Bryan about creating the database, how his music career influences his voiceover work, and more.”

Go London: Ian McKellen interview footage will be used to create huge, free educational resource

Go London: Ian McKellen interview footage will be used to create huge, free educational resource. “Sir Ian McKellen is a busy man – he’s starring in a one-man show to celebrate his 80th birthday, and now will be the focus of a new website designed to help students. The creators of documentary McKellen: Playing The Part will develop the interactive website to include hours of unseen interview footage that didn’t fit into the film.”

Playbill: The Actors Fund Launches Performing Arts Legacy Project Documenting Veteran Performers’ Careers

Playbill: The Actors Fund Launches Performing Arts Legacy Project Documenting Veteran Performers’ Careers. “The Actors Fund has announced the launch of the Performing Arts Legacy Project, a new online platform that invites veteran performers to create and share their own pages, documenting their careers in the performing arts. The website… launched May 7 with contributions from 10 veteran performers including Tony Award winner Len Cariou (Sweeney Todd, A Little Night Music), three-time Tony nominee André De Shields (Hadestown, The Wiz), Michael David Arian, George Bartenieff (I Will Bear Witness: The Holocaust Diaries), Vinie Burrows (Green Pastures, The Skin of Our Teeth), Susan Lehman (I Can Get It For You Wholesale, Fiddler on the Roof), Agosto Machado, Richard Masur (Lucky Guy), Gilda Mirós, and Virginia Wing.”

University of Pennsylvania: Prospecting Playbills

University of Pennsylvania: Prospecting Playbills. “A 1790 playbill advertising two comedies performed in the English town of Hull, The Belle’s Strategem and Harlequin Foundling, has 40 lines of text to describe the performance, including: “To conclude with a DANCE of FAIRIES in THE TEMPLE OF LIBERTY.” Playbills for 18th- and 19th-century dramatic performances such as this one are not only engaging, but filled with valuable information for researchers. How to capture and catalogue all of those varied, and often quirky, details for meaningful analysis? Neither a method nor a database exists. Until now.” That’s a heck of an opening for this article, but I’d love to learn the differences between this project and the British Library’s Playbill project, which was announced last September. Not that I think there should be only one or anything like that, I just want to know how this one is so different.