Top

Q&A with Kenichi Sonoda (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)

August 18, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Q&A with Kenichi Sonoda (by Michelle Tymon, Dennis A. Amith and Photos by Rhiannan Smith)


When it comes to world renown artists and animators, one man who received international attention before anime would become part of international pop culture was Kenichi Sonoda.

Working for the anime studio Artmic back in the ’80s, Sonoda worked on an anime series called “Bubblegum Crisis” and his character designs for the anime series was a hit among sci-fi animation fans.

Sonoda would go on to work on the anime series “Gall Force”, the OVA’s “Bubblegum Crash”, “Otaku no Video”, “Riding Bean”, “Solty Rei” to name a few.  But he would go on to create his next hit, the manga series “Gunsmith Cats”.

While Sonoda may not have a long string of series listed in his oeuvre, because of “Bubblegum Crisis” and “Gunsmith Cats” and those two being one of the most popular early anime series to come to the United States, Sonoda has earned the respect of anime fans and is continually invited to the United States frequently to appear at anime conventions.

Kenichi Sonoda recently was a special guest at Sakura Con 2017 in Seattle, Washington and J!-ENT recently took part in a Q&A.

The following is a transcript of the Q&A featuring our questions and other questions from press with Kenichi Sonoda’s answers.


Interviewer: Is this your first time here?

Sonoda: Sakura-con is my first. This is my second time in Seattle. Last time, I was here for Emerald City Comic Con a few years back.

J!-ENT: Did you get to do any sightseeing yet, if not, where would you like to go?

Sonoda: Yes, I did. I got to go to Nintendo. I also got to go to Crab Pot for some seafood. The food there was very interesting. They basically dumped a bunch of steamed crabs, clams and other seafood in front of you and give you a hammer and a couple other tools. It was very entertaining.

Interviewer: It’s very messy. They give you handwipes and a bib and it’s kind of embarrassing.

Sonoda: I was prepared because I put the paper bib on and I had a roll of paper towels.

Interviewer: How do you feel about how anime and manga is received in the US? Is there anything noticeable about the American market.

Sonoda: About America accepting manga… I’ve always had this admiration toward the US, and I grew up watching American movies and dramas. So that’s why I had Gunsmith Cats and Riding Bean set in the US. I even set the stories in Chicago because I was influenced by The Blues Brothers. So I am very grateful that the American fans have been so accepting of my work.

As for the answer to the second question, Japanese fans are very quiet overall. American fans are very lively and will approach you to talk and enjoy cosplaying. I think they’re very positive and they’re much more energetic than the Japanese fans, and I think that’s great.

J!-ENT: This is a similar question, but you were one of the very first guests invited to an event in the US. What is the biggest difference between the American fandom then and now?

Sonoda: Fundamentally there aren’t many differences but they’ve gotten smarter with promoting the events, and with how they’re run, and I think that’s great.

Interviewer: Are there any manga and anime series that you’re reading or watching right now?

Sonoda: I like to enjoy reading manga and watching anime quite regularly. But let’s see… Out of the recent anime series that have aired, I really enjoyed “Kemono Friends”. I have a lot of friends who are in doujin circles and at least 75% of them are obsessed with “Kemono Friends”, and we’re talking about men in their 40s and 50s.

Interviewer: It’s a very cute series, and everyone likes cute stuff.

Sonoda: The hype peaked in last two episodes, episodes 11 and 12. I was surprised at what happened myself.

J!-ENT: How did you get into this industry?

Sonoda: Right around the time I was sixteen or so, I started doujin work. And doujin work back then isn’t like the doujin circles who do derivative fan works that we have now.

It was more like a manga school, where everyone was determined to become manga artists. And I was the chairman for this group and got other people to join. After I graduated high school, I continued working on manga in hopes of becoming a manga artist while I went to design school.

One day, I was contacted by someone who worked at Artmic in Tokyo, who had seen one of my doujins. I was told they had a project called Gall Force and asked me if I had any interest in being the character designer.

Gall Force at the time was a 3D photo novel that appeared in a magazine called Model Graphix. They took models of girls that I designed and models of mechas that Kakinuma had designed, took photos of them, and made a story out of it.

At that point, there was no talk about making it into an anime. But not even six months later, I was told that they were going to be making a theatrical anime version, so I realized I was going to have a lot more work to do. Also, at the same time, a company called GAINAX also asked me to help out with some character design work.

So, I thought that since I now have at least two projects in Tokyo, I could move out to Tokyo and make a living over there without having to worry too much. So that was when I moved to Tokyo from Osaka, and I believe I was about 21 at the time.

My first job with GAINAX lasted about a year, and I worked at Artmic as an actual employee and did design work. At Artmic, I was working on the Gall Force series and the Bubblegum Crisis series.

Later on, I was told that if I had come up with a proposal, that it would probably go through. So I came up with a proposal without a script or original story and I went right to just storyboarding and animating it. That project was actually the anime, Riding Bean.

Work wise, things were going pretty well at Artmic, but because I was just an office worker there, my earnings didn’t really grow.

Even if something I created was a hit, I didn’t own the copyright. That was when I figured I should probably go back to my original goal of becoming a manga artist. I went to Kodansha to talk to them about a project and managed to land a deal on a serialized series.

That’s when I became a true manga artist and I quit my job at Artmic. I think I was about 26 or 27 when I started my serial with Kodansha, and my first serialized series, Gunsmith Cats became a hit. Because of that, I was able to become a successful manga artist.

Interviewer: When I was younger, I would watch Gall Force and Bubblegum Crisis on television and they were my favorites. I loved both series, because I hadn’t seen anything like them before. It was actually hard to find anime and manga in the early 90s when I first started watching. But now, anime is so popular and I wonder if you had any thoughts on how anime has transitioned to mainstream.

Sonoda: I’m very happy about Japanese manga and anime being so popular in the US and the world, but I do believe that this is mostly because of the stories being good so if we don’t keep up working hard, the interest in the genre could die down. So I think I need to keep working hard.

J!-Ent: How do you feel about your works like Bubblegum Crisis and Gall Force being loved so much after so many years?

Sonoda: I’m very happy about it. But since Artmic sort of went downhill, so that was regrettable. This doesn’t just apply to Artmic, but with the anime industry, if a series does well, you aren’t guaranteed to be provided with a high budget for the next series. Actually, the opposite would happen. They would say that we were able to make a hit, so we should actually be able to make another one with an even lower budget. That wasn’t the case with all the Artmic series, but I feel like if they spent more on the works, I think they would have done much better and been more popular longer.

Interviewer: Lately, there’s been a movement to make revival series, meaning companies are taking something from my generation or even older and bringing it back. Would you be interested in doing a new series for Gall Force or Bubblegum Crisis?

Sonoda: Yes, I would be interested. But there have been talks about doing digital remasters of older series for Blu-ray releases lately. There will soon be a digital remaster version of Riding Bean for the US and I did audio commentary for that. I also designed new cover art for that release.

Interviewer: Do you know the release date for that?

Sonoda: I personally haven’t seen the release schedule, so please check out the AnimEigo website for release information. Also, recently there have been talks about doing another anime of Gunsmith Cats, but I’m not sure what will happen with that yet.

 J!-Ent: Do you have any advice on how to get into the anime industry?

Sonoda: Not really. The only thing that I can say for anyone interested in joining this industry is to draw a lot.

Interviewer: Speaking of drawing, I wanted to know if you have more fun drawing mecha or if you have more fun drawing pretty girls.

Sonoda: Actually, I like drawing the atmosphere of the world of the story more than either of those choices. I’ll draw anything that is needed for that. I’m very good at drawing both pretty girls and mechas so if that enhances the series and makes it popular, that’s great. Recently, there are a lot of series that use pretty girls and mechas… and serious-looking mechas at that, and do it quite normally. I’m getting a bit nervous that my personal weapons that I thought won’t be effective anymore. Thirty years ago, there weren’t very many series that were filled with pretty girls and mechas. So I was able to use my weapons of being able to draw pretty girls and mechas.

J!-ENT: What was the first anime or manga that you latched onto?

Sonoda: The first manga works that I got into are the works of Fujio Akatsuka, Osamu Tezuka and Fujiko Fujio. There weren’t as many anime back then, so I was basically watching everything that was available. I can’t remember if I was in kindergarten or elementary school, but I cried so hard watching the final episode of Tatsunoko Pro’s Hakushon Daimaoh. I’ve also always liked American cartoons. Wacky Races, Tom and Jerry, and there was some cartoon where a Frankenstein-looking character appeared, but I liked that, too. There was also the cartoon for King Kong, too. But what I was most obsessed with wasn’t actually manga or anime, but a couple sci-fi dramas. They were the British dramas Thunderbirds Are Go and UFO created by ITV. I think the reason I started drawing so much mecha was because of Thunderbirds Are Go.

Interviewer: Would you have any interested in drawing a Thunderbirds Are Go manga?

Sonoda: No, because they are treasured memories and I want to keep them as such.

Interviewer: Are there any current American properties that you’re interested in?

Sonoda: There aren’t many American dramas that are on basic cable in Japan right now. They’re all on BS and CS, so I haven’t seen very many, but I think 24 from a little while back was really good. Also, I was quite disappointed with the newer Knight Rider series.

J!-ENT: You had mentioned that you liked America, but are there any places in America that you haven’t visited yet that you would like to?

Sonoda: So far, I’ve been only been to Chicago, Seattle, and San Jose. So there are plenty of places that I haven’t been to that I’d like to visit. I’d actually also like to go to NASA once.

Interviewer: You mentioned that a lot of your work is influenced by America and also takes place in America, but is there a reason that America influences you so much?

Sonoda: I like gun action and car action, so I watched a lot of movies and dramas with that and was influenced by them. Also, if when I draw manga, if America isn’t the setting for the story, I don’t think I could draw very many scenes where people are shooting guns. Guns are accessible in America. If the stories were set in Japan, I can’t easily logically justify the use of guns.

Interviewer: Unfortunately, it’s more believable for there to be gun fights and car chases in America.

Sonoda: In any case, I really love Dirty Harry.

Interviewer: Yeah, Clint Eastwood is really great.

J!-ENT: What are your hobbies outside of drawing and work?

Sonoda: Watching movies, making plastic models, and going out to drink with my friends. There are times that my friends invite me out to the movies, even though I don’t usually go to the movie theater. However, when my friends actually invite me out to the movies, I’ll go see any kind of movie. The movies that I went to see last year include Shin Godzilla, Girls und Panzer, and Don’t Breathe. They’re all completely different genres.

Interviewer: What were your thoughts on the new Godzilla movie?

Sonoda: I actually enjoyed the dull, first half of the movie more. During the climax scene in the later half of the movie, I thought the presentation wasn’t that great. It’s the scene where the train runs into Godzilla and explodes… But if Godzilla was standing in the way where a train as headed, you’d think that the tracks and cables would have already been trampled on, and the train shouldn’t have been running. I think it would’ve worked better if they did something like Operation Yashima in Neon Genesis Evangelion, because there’s a locomotive pulling the train, rather than the train running electrically.

Interpreter: I’m sorry, I have a slightly personal question in regards to movies, but have you seen the movie, John Wick, where Keanu Reeves plays a retired assassin?

Sonoda: Sorry, I haven’t seen it yet.

Interpreter: Honestly, considering your interests, I think it’d be a perfect movie for you, so I wanted to know your thoughts on it.

Sonoda: I see. I’ll try to rent it in the near future then. Speaking of Keanu Reeves, I think I heard a rumor a while back that they were to make a live-action Cowboy Bebop movie with Keanu Reeves, but that just never came to be, right?

Interviewer: We’ve actually had a couple live action adaptation movies of anime that haven’t gone very well. The Netflix live action Death Note movie is coming out and it’s already pretty unpopular, Ghost in the Shell didn’t do well, and Akira actually just got greenlit to be remade. American audiences haven’t been responding to them very well, it seems. I don’t know if I’d want a live action Cowboy Bebop because I love the anime so much.

Sonoda: There was also the live-action Dragon Ball. Also, speaking of Akira, that’s set in Tokyo… So are they going to change the setting to New York?

Interviewer: I heard that they were thinking about setting it in New York.

Sonoda: Also speaking of Akira, did the fact that one of the signs from the movie ended up correctly predicting the future become a popular story? In Akira, they mention that the 2020 Olympics are going to take place in Tokyo. The beginning of the story is the fact that the Olympics are going to happen the next year. Akira takes place in the year 2019.

J!-ENT: Since we’re talking about live action adaptations… In Japan, I think there’s a desire to see anime being made into live action adaptations. Whereas in the US, I don’t think there’s as much of a desire to see them. For example, there was already a lot of criticism over them casting a Caucasian actress to play Motoko in the Ghost in the Shell movie before the movie even came out. So I think that the way these adaptations are viewed are quite different in Japan and the US. In the US, as we had mentioned earlier, series like Cowboy Bebop is very sacred in the hearts of a lot of viewers here and they don’t want to see it as a live action adaptation.

Sonoda: For me, I actually have no problem with the casting of Scarlett Johansson as Motoko in the live action Ghost in the Shell. However, I felt that it was rather awkward that Aramaki was being playing by Takeshi Kitano. He looks nothing like him and he doesn’t talk in the same sharp manner… I thought that was a much bigger problem that I was hoping they’d do something about. Chief Aramaki in Masamune Shirow’s original Ghost in the Shell was actually modeled after a character from the British police drama, The Professionals. Are you able to search on the internet right now? If you search for CI5, The Professionals… I forgot the name of the actor, but he’s the chief in that show. His hair is rather thin, but his face has a very sharp look to it. He’s a very cool looking character. If you can find any pictures from the series, you should be able to find a picture of two younger male agents and a slightly older gentleman who played their boss. I’m pretty sure that Masamune Shirow has mentioned this in other interviews before, but he really likes British police and military dramas and movies. He apparently really liked The Professionals and was highly influenced by it. Also, the same actor who plays the chief in The Professionals plays the lead in a movie called The Final Option. If I remember correctly, Masamune Shirow really liked that movie, as well.

Interviewer: One final question. The genre of anime seems to have changed greatly from the early 90s and 80s. Back then, you had Ghost in the Shell, Mobile Police Patlabor, and Akira, which are all rather serious works. Nowadays, the anime series that seem to be popular are about high schools, and the moe culture. I was wondering if you had any thoughts about these changes and if you noticed and trends and changes yourself.

Sonoda: I think there are still some rather serious and good series out there even now. It’s just that there are indeed a lot more moe genre series now as well. So I personally don’t think there’s anything to worry about. Even with the moe genre series or series that use pretty girls to try to catch the audience, a lot of them have a very solid story at their core and are made quite well. So basically they’re just sugarcoated with the pretty girls or moe, but beneath that surface, there is a great foundation. So if you look for them carefully, you should be able to find those more serious anime series that you were speaking of. For example, Kyoto Animation is known for using a lot of beautiful girls in their series, but they make very serious and excellent series.

Adding onto the last question, with the change of genre, the art style from the 80s and 90s and the art style now has changed. Do you think the art style will ever go back to the way it was in the 80s and 90s?

Sonoda: There are a lot more series that use a lot of CG now as well as computer-aided drawings. This aspect also makes it a lot easier to additional details into scenes. But what’s most important is the direction and the story. So I’m not sure if the key animation is indeed the most important aspect or not. Of course, there are works like the works by Makoto Shinkai where what you’re looking at is also very important. But then there are also series like Kemono Friends which I mentioned earlier. The visuals on that show are extremely cheap looking, but the actual story is extremely well made. It actually became rather popular on the internet. As long as the creators know exactly what they should be presenting, even if their budget is not very high, I don’t think they need to worry too much about what’s visually being presented.


Follow Kenichi Sonoda on Twitter

 

BRAVO MEDIA BRINGS BIG DRAMA IN “THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW YORK CITY” THREE-PART REUNION KICKING OFF WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 16 AT 9PM ET/PT

August 13, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

The Roller-Coaster Season Comes to a Heart-Pounding Climax Tonight at 9pm ET/PT

NEW YORK – August 9, 2017 – Bravo Media’s “The Real Housewives of New York City” winds the summer down with a three-part reunion beginning Wednesday, August 16 at 9pm ET/PT. Host Andy Cohen looks back on a season filled with accusations, love triangles, laughter and major revelations with housewives Bethenny Frankel, Carole Radziwill, Dorinda Medley, Luann D’Agostino, Ramona Singer, Sonja Morgan, and newcomer Tinsley Mortimer. For a sneak peek, click here: http://www.bravotv.com/the-real-housewives-of-new-york-city/season-9/videos/heres-your-first-look-at-the-rhony-reunion

In tonight’s season finale at 9PM ET/PT, the ladies get together for one last hurrah as Tinsley throws a thank-you party for Sonja. However, a miscommunication results in Sonja thinking Tinsley’s intentions for the party aren’t completely innocent. Upon returning to the city, Luann and Tom discuss the status of their relationship, while Bethenny and Ramona have a heart-to-heart following their Mexican reconciliation. Meanwhile, Sonja struggles to get her relationships with Frenchie and Rocco in order.

On “The Real Housewives of New York City” reunion part I premiering Wednesday, August 16 at 9PM ET/PT, the ladies put it all out on the table, and everyone is called out for their bad and good behavior. Kicking things off with a bang, Dorinda confronts Sonja regarding the “Tipsy Girl” allegations and the trip to the Berkshires. Meanwhile, Luann faces more charges about Tom from the women and gives an update on her first few months of marriage. The Bethenny and Ramona battle takes another turn as Bethenny questions Ramona’s attitude toward others and the housewives speculate on Ramona’s behavior this season.

In part II of the reunion, airing Wednesday, August 23 at 8PM ET/PT, new housewife Tinsley opens up about her traumatic past relationship with her ex and reveals some big news. Carole reflects on her political aspirations, while Sonja discusses her personal love triangle, which elicits shocking accusations from Dorinda. Additionally, Bethenny reveals information about her personal life and how she is planning to move forward.

The reunion concludes on Wednesday, August 30 at 8PM ET/PT, when the housewives look back on their fun-filled trip to Mexico, from Lu’s tipsy topple to the tequila-drinking marathon. However, the reunion takes a turn when Bethenny questions the sincerity of Ramona’s tearful apology. In the hot seat, Ramona is forced to address the accusations she made against Bethenny this season.

“The Real Housewives of New York City” is produced by Shed Media with Pam Healey, Lisa Shannon, Andrew Hoegl, and Barrie Bernstein serving as Executive Producers. Andy Cohen is also an Executive Producer.

About Bravo Media:

Bravo Media is the premier lifestyle and entertainment brand that drives cultural conversation around its high-quality, interactive original content focusing on the network’s passion points of food, fashion, beauty, design, digital, and pop culture. The network’s diversified slate includes Bravo’s scripted series “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce,” “Imposters,” and “Odd Mom Out,” in addition to unscripted favorites such as Emmy Award-winning “Top Chef,” “Vanderpump Rules,” “Below Deck,” “Southern Charm,” and the popular “Million Dollar Listing” and “The Real Housewives” franchises, as well as the only live late-night talk show, “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.” Available in 87 million homes, Bravo is a program service of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Watch Bravo anywhere: on demand, online, or across mobile and connected TVs. Bravo has been an NBCUniversal cable network since December 2002 and first launched in December 1980.

 

LOS ANGELES MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI PROCLAIMS “WILL & GRACE DAY” IN CELEBRATION OF THE START OF PRODUCTION

August 2, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – Aug. 2, 2017 – NBC Entertainment and Universal Television celebrated the start of production of “Will & Grace” with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Stage 22 on the Universal Studios backlot today.

NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt, executive producers David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, executive producer/director James Burrows and the “Will & Grace” cast – Debra Messing, Eric McCormack, Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes – gathered as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti read a proclamation announcing “Will & Grace Day.”

“It’s so important to bring back the characters represented on this show – now more than ever,” said Garcetti. “No one makes change by yelling at the news coming through their Facebook feed. They make it by embracing and celebrating the diverse faces of America.”

Regarding “Will & Grace,” Greenblatt added: “It’s always about something. It’s sophisticated and witty and all those things, but at the forefront is that it’s really funny. That’s because of the incredible cast and our two creators.”

“Wherever there are two men married who can’t get a cake with two grooms on top, we’ll be there. Whenever there’s a transgender person who is not able to pee where they want or serve in the military, we’ll be there. And wherever there’s a straight guy who doesn’t know how to cuff his pants, we’ll be there,” said Mutchnick.

The series, which earned 16 Emmy Awards during its initial 1998-2006 run, was both groundbreaking and critically applauded for bringing gay characters to a national TV audience.

“Will & Grace” returns to NBC on Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT beginning Sept. 28.

 

The Walking Dead Season 7 Arrives on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD 8/22

July 29, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Rick and His Group of Survivors Face an All-New Threat When Season 7 Comes to Blu-rayTM and DVD on August 22

 

SANTA MONICA, CA (July 28, 2017) – The dead aren’t the only things to fear when “The Walking Dead” The Complete Seventh Season arrives on Blu-ray (plus Digital HD) and DVD August 22 from Lionsgate and Anchor Bay Entertainment. Rick Grimes and his hardened band of survivors face their greatest challenge yet in Negan, the volatile leader of an opposing group. “The Walking Dead” The Complete Seventh Season stars Andrew Lincoln (Love Actually), Norman Reedus (Boondock Saints franchise), Lauren Cohan (The Boy), Danai Gurira (All Eyez On Me), and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (TV’s “Magic City”).

 

Picking up immediately after the thrilling cliff-hanger, Negan forces Rick and the group to fall under his will, brutally convincing them to live by his rules. To prevent further bloodshed, Rick genuinely believes they can make life under Negan, however terrible, work. But he soon learns that Negan can’t be reasoned with, and they must prepare to go to war now. Victory will require more than Alexandria, and Rick will need to convince their new allies from the Kingdom and Hilltop to band together with the common goal of taking down Negan and his army.

 

The five-disc home entertainment release of “The Walking Dead” The Complete Seventh Season features hours of never-before-seen bonus features including audio commentaries, deleted and alternate scenes, and nine featurettes looking behind the scenes of the show, delving deeper into the characters and checking in with “The Walking Dead” writers. “The Walking Dead” The Complete Seventh Season will be available on Blu-ray and DVD for the suggested retail price of $80.99 and $70.98, respectively. Season eight of “The Walking Dead” premieres Sunday October 22 on AMC.

 

BLU-RAY / DVD SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Audio Commentaries
  • Deleted & Alternate Scenes
  • “Inside The Walking Dead” Featurette
  • “The Making of The Walking Dead” Featurette
  • “In Memorium” Featurette
  • “A Larger World” Featurette
  • “Breaking & Rebuilding” Featurette
  • “A New Chapter of Fear” Featurette
  • “Top Walkers” Featurette
  • “Warrior Women” Featurette
  • “The Writers of The Walking Dead” Featurette

 

For Artwork: www.lionsgatelink.com/home-entertainment/thewalkingdeadthecompleteseason7/

Trailer:  https://youtu.be/-kak_DDOBzE

Facebook: facebook.com/TheWalkingDeadAMC/

Twitter: @WalkingDead_AMC

#thewalkingdead

 

PROGRAM INFORMATION

Year of Production: 2016

Title Copyright: The Walking Dead ©2016 AMC Film Holdings LLC. Artwork and Supplementary Materials are TM, ® and © 2016, 2017 AMC Network Entertainment LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Type: TV on DVD

Rating: TV-MA

Genre: TV, Drama, Horror

Closed-Captioned: Spanish, English SDH

Subtitles: Spanish

Feature Run Time: 797 Mins.

BD Format: 1080p High Definition 16×9 Widescreen 1.78:1 Presentation

DVD Format: 16×9 Widescreen 1.78:1 Presentation

BD Audio:  English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, French 2.0 Dolby Surround

DVD Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 2.0 Dolby Surround

 

ABOUT LIONSGATE

The first major new studio in decades, Lionsgate is a global content platform whose films, television series, digital products and linear and over-the-top platforms reach next generation audiences around the world.  In addition to its filmed entertainment leadership, Lionsgate content drives a growing presence in interactive and location-based entertainment, gaming, virtual reality and other new entertainment technologies.  Lionsgate’s content initiatives are backed by a 16,000-title film and television library and delivered through a global licensing infrastructure.  The Lionsgate brand is synonymous with original, daring and ground-breaking content created with special emphasis on the evolving patterns and diverse composition of the Company’s worldwide consumer base.

 

 

OFFICIAL SERIES TRAILER FOR “STAR TREK: DISCOVERY” UNVEILED TODAY AT COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL

July 23, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

SET PHASERS TO STUN!!!

OFFICIAL SERIES TRAILER FOR “STAR TREK: DISCOVERY”

UNVEILED TODAY AT COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE NEW SERIES TRAILER

SAN DIEGO – JULY 22, 2017 —  Earlier today at Comic-Con International, fans from around the world were given a sneak peek at the new series trailer for STAR TREK: DISCOVERY during  a panel with cast and creatives from the series.  The newest edition of the Star Trek franchise is set to premiere in the U.S. on CBS All Access Sunday, Sept. 24, following a broadcast premiere on the CBS Television Network.

The STAR TREK: DISCOVERY panel, moderated by series guest star Rainn Wilson (“Harry Mudd”), featured a conversation with cast members including Sonequa Martin-Green (“First Officer Michael Burnham”), Jason Isaacs (“Captain Gabriel Lorca”), Doug Jones (“Lt. Saru”), Shazad Latif (“Lt. Ash Tyler”), Mary Wiseman (“Cadet Sylvia Tilly”), Anthony Rapp (“Lt. Paul Stamets”) and James Frain (“Ambassador Sarek”). They were joined by executive producers Alex Kurtzman, Gretchen J. Berg, Aaron Harberts, Heather Kadin and Akiva Goldsman.

ABOUT “STAR TREK: DISCOVERY”

STAR TREK: DISCOVERY will follow the voyages of Starfleet on their missions to discover new worlds and new life forms, and one Starfleet officer who must learn that to truly understand all things alien, you must first understand yourself. The series will feature a new ship and new characters while embracing the same ideology and hope for the future that inspired a generation of dreamers and doers.

The series will premiere on the CBS Television Network Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017 with all subsequent episodes available on CBS All Access, the Network’s digital subscription video on demand and live streaming service, and will be distributed concurrently by CBS Studios International on Netflix in 188 countries and in Canada on Bell Media’s Space channel and OTT service CraveTV. STAR TREK: DISCOVERY is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Alex Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout, Bryan Fuller’s Living Dead Guy Productions and Roddenberry Entertainment. Alex Kurtzman, Bryan Fuller, Heather Kadin, Gretchen J. Berg & Aaron Harberts, Akiva Goldsman, Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth serve as executive producers.

ABOUT CBS ALL ACCESS

CBS All Access is the CBS Television Network’s digital subscription video on-demand and live streaming service. In addition to its original series, which also includes season one of the new edition of “The Good Wife,” THE GOOD FIGHT, CBS All Access gives CBS fans the ability to watch more than 9,000 episodes on demand – spanning current shows from primetime, daytime and late night, as well as past seasons of select series and classic TV hits. CBS All Access is currently available online at CBS.com, on mobile devices via the CBS App for iOS, Android and Windows 10, and on Roku Players, Apple TV, Chromecast, Android TV, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Fire TV.

 

Kylie Jenner Unveils Her Wax Figure at Madame Tussauds Hollywood

July 18, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

LOS ANGELES—July 18, 2017— Today, Kylie Jenner unveiled her wax double at Madame Tussauds Hollywood and struck a pose side-by-side with the new wax figure at the reveal.  Kylie Jenner’s wax figure is dressed in the custom Balmain dress she wore to the 2016 Met Gala, which she personally donated to Madame Tussauds Hollywood.

 

Prior to the unveiling, Jenner gave her Snapchat followers a teaser first look at the behind-the-scenes process when she met with Madame Tussauds’ expert team of sculptors and artists who worked to capture her measurements and likeness, as well as select the perfect matching hair and eye color for her wax figure. The session lasted more than two hours and over 250 measurements were taken.  The behind-the-scenes session with the Madame Tussauds artists and the reveal were both filmed for her E! new reality show Life of Kylie. The Madame Tussauds wax figure is valued at approximately $350,000.

 

Entrepreneur and style icon, Kylie Jenner is best known for appearing on the E! reality television series Keeping Up with the Kardashians. In 2015, Jenner launched her own cosmetics line called Kylie Cosmetics and a best-selling app, which reached No. 1 on the iTunes App Store.  Jenner is the most followed person on Snapchat and one of the top 10 most followed celebrities on Instagram.

 

Madame Tussauds Hollywood allows visitors from around the world to see, touch and take selfies with Hollywood’s biggest stars, all under one roof.

 

About Madame Tussauds Hollywood

Famed Madame Tussauds Hollywood is Los Angeles’ premiere Hollywood destination offering guests the world’s only opportunity to interact with incredibly lifelike iconic figures from the celebrity worlds of film, TV, and music. Only at Madame Tussauds can guests “meet” some of their favorite stars and enjoy countless interactive experiences. Lifelike figures of Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Selena Quintanilla, Johnny Depp and Will Smith are among the more than 125 featured figures.

 

For more information, visit the website atwww.madametussauds.com/Hollywood  on Facebook (Madame Tussauds Hollywood)  and Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat @TussaudsLA

 

 

WE DAY,” AN ENTERTAINMENT SPECIAL CELEBRATING THE TRANSFORMATIVE POWER OF INDIVIDUALS ACTING TOGETHER TO CREATE CHANGE IN THEIR COMMUNITIES AND AROUND THE WORLD, WILL BE BROADCAST FRIDAY, AUGUST 4 ON CBS

July 13, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Multi-Platinum Recording Artist Selena Gomez Hosts the Special

Special Appearances by Alessia Cara, James Franco, Josh Gad, Tyrese Gibson,

Evan Goldberg, Alicia Keys, DJ Khaled, Demi Lovato, Miss Piggy and Other Muppets,

Seth Rogen, Hannah Simone, Lilly Singh, Stomp and Oprah Winfrey

WE DAY, an entertainment special celebrating the transformative power of individuals acting together to create change in their communities and around the world, will be broadcast Friday, August 4 (8:00-9:00PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Hosted by multi-platinum recording artist Selena Gomez, alongside international activists and WE Day co-founders Craig and Marc Kielburger, the broadcast will feature a star-studded lineup of speakers and performers, including Alessia Cara, James Franco, Josh Gad, Tyrese Gibson, Evan Goldberg, Alicia Keys, DJ Khaled, Demi Lovato, Miss Piggy and other Muppets, Seth Rogen, Hannah Simone, Lilly Singh, Stomp and Oprah Winfrey.

The all-star cast unites to celebrate the WE movement – a generation of people empowered to act and lead with compassion and the conviction that, when working together, simple actions can transform communities, the country and the world. The special features energetic, moving performances, combined with motivating speeches, comedic interludes and documentary-style features highlighting remarkable young Americans who are making a difference.

Parts of WE DAY were filmed at WE Day California, which took place April 27, 2017 at The “Fabulous” Forum in Inglewood, Calif. WE Day California is just one of more than 20 WE Day youth empowerment events that take place across North America and the U.K. every year. WE Day is an inspirational event like no other, bringing together like-minded individuals and providing a platform for youth to learn about some of today’s most significant issues. WE Day celebrates and inspires this generation’s shift from “me” thinking to “we” acting, building a better world where everyone has the power to speak out and make choices that have a positive impact.

WE DAY is produced by Door Knocker Media and sponsored by Title Partner Allstate Foundation, alongside Presenting Partners Unilever, Walgreens and Microsoft and Supporting Partner KPMG.

To learn more about how to get involved, visit www.WE.org and WE on Facebook.

About the WE Day Movement

WE Day is part of WE – an organization that brings people together and gives them the tools to change the world. WE Day is a celebration of change, inspiring stadium-sized, life-changing events that take place around the world. You can’t buy a ticket to WE Day – young people earn their entry by taking action on one local and one global cause. WE Day unites world-renowned speakers, presenters and award-winning performers with thousands of young people and families to celebrate and inspire another year of incredible change. This year alone, over 200,000 young people will come together in more than 20 gatherings across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. to take part in this unprecedented educational initiative. A movement of 3.4 million young people supporting 2,500+ local and global causes, WE has provided more than one million people with clean water and built 1,000 schools and schoolrooms overseas, giving more than 200,000 children access to education. WE was founded more than 20 years ago by humanitarians, activists and social entrepreneurs, brothers Craig and Marc Kielburger.

 

Joy Behar and Judd Apatow on “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen”

July 13, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN — Episode 14117 — Pictured: (l-r) Andy Cohen, Joy Behar, Judd Apatow — (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo)

 

“The Brave” World Premiere at SeriesFest: Season 3 at The Cable Center

July 4, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

“The Brave” World Premiere at SeriesFest: Season 3 at The Cable Center on July 1, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. — Pictured: (l-r) Sofia Pernas, Tate Ellington, Mike Vogel, Noah Mills, Anne Heche, Natacha Karam, Demetrius Grosse, Hadi Tabbal — (Photo by: Jason Bahr/NBC)

 

Utada Hikaru – New Single Releases

June 29, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

NEW RELEASES

AVAILABLE FOR DIGITAL DOWNLOAD

MONDAY JULY 10TH 2017

&

FRIDAY JULY 20TH 2017

 

Japanese singer-songwriter, Utada Hikaru will release her first single, “Oozora de Dakishimete” from Epic Records Japan, a division of Sony Music Entertainment Japan, on Monday, July 10th 2017.

Her second single, “forevermore” will follow its release on Friday, july 20th 2017.

Her last record with Universal, Fantome, sold approx. 1.05 million copies worldwide.

(#23 on IFPI’s top selling albums chart from Global Music Report.)

 

Utada Hikaru’s first single at EPIC Records Japan, “Oozora de Dakishimete” aired in Japan in a TV commercial for Suntory’s natural mineral water (Suntory Tennensui).  Since it’s airing, Utada Hikaru has been in such a spotlight that her commercial had over 1 million views on YouTube within 10 days of its release.

 

In a behind the scenes interview, she explains about filming the commercial and the featured track as follows:

“Last time, I was already working on the track [‘michi’] for my album release when I received the offer to feature in a commercial.  But this time, we had gotten an offer before working on the song, so I kept imagining how the commercial might look as I wrote the song.  In “Oozora de Dakishimete”, the lyrics talk about being “reunited by someone you thought you’d never see”, in a “place in the clouds”, “in the big sky”, “in the blue skies”.  When I went to go film the actual commercial, the setting was actually on a mountaintop and was surrounded by fog.  So I felt really immersed in the lyrics.”

 

Utada Hikaru’s first single is still trending, but her second single release has already been announced!  “Forevermore” is going to be used as the theme song for TBS Networks’ Nichijyou Gekijyou (Sunday Theater) drama series, “Gomen, Aishiteru” (I’m sorry, I love you).  Its digital release will be on July 28th.

 

Her song, “Hanataba wo Kimini” was used as the main theme for NHK (Japanese national public broadcasting)’s renzoku TV shosetsu (a morning drama series), “Toto-Neechan” in 2016.  But it has been 9 years since her song was last used in a private broadcasting show.  (Last used was “eternally –drama mix-“in Fuji TV Network’s drama series, “Innocent Love”.)

 

Worldly acclaimed drummer, Chris Dave has worked on both singles, making both songs a must hear!

 

 

 

<CHRIS DAVE PROFILE>

Born in Houston, Texas

Chris Dave started his drumming career when he met Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis in college.  His extraordinary drum techniques has achieved praises from top artists like Robert Glasper, D’Angelo, Adele, Justin Bieber, etc.

In 2016, he was chosen in “100 Greatest Drummers of All Time” in Rolling Stone magazine.

 

 

 

 

 

<Utada Hikaru PROFILE>

Born in New York, NY

Utada Hikaru released her debut single, “Automatic/Time Will Tell” on December 9th, 1998 at the young age of 16.  It sold more than two million copies; instantly making her one of Japan’s top artists.

Just a few months later, she released her first album “First Love”, which made record CD sales in Japan, which still remains unbroken.  Every album she has released since then has topped charts, and in 2007, her single “Flavor of Life” set the world record in its number of downloads.

In 2010, Utada Hikaru decided to take a break from her music career to focus on her personal life.  In April 2016, she restarted her music career by releasing singles “Hanataba wo Kimini” and “Manatsu no Tooriame”.

Her sixth studio album, “Fantome”, released in Sepember 2016.  It achieved critical success worldwide, and her album stayed #1 on Oricon charts for four consecutive weeks; a first for Utada Hikaru.   The album also ranked 3rd on the US iTunes chart.  “Fantome” sold over a million copies, combining CD sales and digital sale.

In March 2017, Utada Hikaru signed with EPIC Records Japan, a Sony Music label.

 

 

 

 

 

<RELEASES>

 

First Single:”Oozora de Dakishimete”

(Used in “Suntory Tennensui” commercial)

Monday, July 10th 2017 (DIGITAL RELEASE)

 

Second Single: “Forevermore”

Main theme for TBS Network Nichijyou Gekijyou “Gomen, Aishiteru

Friday, July 28th (DIGITAL RELEASE)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next Page »

Bottom