Tag Archives: Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. Entertainment Announces 2017 Reach Program Honorship Recipients

Warner Bros. Entertainment has announced high school seniors Isabella Cassandra-Newman, Xinye (Leaf) Hou, Xochilt Khoury, Xochitl (Xo) Torres, and Jacob Sugars as the 2017 Reach Honorship recipients.

2017 recipients, pictured from left to right- Xochitl Torres, Jacob Sugars, Xinye (Leaf) Hou, Issabella Cassandra-Newsmam, Xochilt Khoury (Photo Courtesy Warner Bros.)

Through its Reach program, Warner Bros. awards internship and scholarship packages, known as Honorships, to five graduating high school seniors passionate about the business of entertainment each year. As part of these Honorships, students are each awarded $5,000 scholarships and the opportunity to complete four paid summer internships at Warner Bros., beginning with the summer immediately following their high school graduation. Additionally, the scholars are paired with a different executive mentor each summer and provided additional networking opportunities with entertainment industry professionals. Successful Reach program graduates are eligible for full-time positions at the company after completing their degrees.        

“The Reach Honorship program is intended to provide a few of the exceptional young people in our community with a truly unique opportunity and unparalleled access to the entertainment industry,” said Mary-Elizabeth Michaels, Director, Community Affairs, Warner Bros. Entertainment. “Our program exposes the students to a corporate setting to both gain first-hand experience learning various business practices at Warner Bros. as well as to build a network of contacts and hone the professional skills that will best prepare them for their post-college careers.”

(left to right) Xochilt Khoury, Jacob Sugars, Xochitl Torres (Photo Courtesy Warner Bros.)

Burbank High School’s own Jacob Sugars has earned the Warner Bros. Animation/Hanna-Barbera Reach Honorship. With plans to study animation at California State-Fullerton, Sugars represents the first-time Burbank winner of the highly competitive Warner Bros. Animation/Hanna-Barbera Reach Honorship, the sole Honorship open to applicants across the United States.

Additionally, this year’s Burbank Reach Honorships were awarded to Xochilt Khoury and Xochitl (Xo) Torres, marking the first time since the 2010 class that three of the recipients hail from Burbank. A recent graduate of John Burroughs High School, Khoury is set to study literature at UC San Diego this fall, while Burbank High School’s Torres is headed to California State University-Long Beach to major in film and electronic arts with a minor in marketing.

Isabella Cassandra-Newman and Xinye (Leaf) Hou are the recipients of this year’s Los Angeles County Reach Honorships. Cassandra-Newman, graduating from LA County High School for the Arts, will be pursuing a double major in English (concentrating on creative writing) and photojournalism at George Washington University in the fall. After graduating from South Pasadena High School, Hou will matriculate to UC Berkeley this fall to study economics

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Lockheed Meets Warner Bros.

Warner Bros Lockheed

Ever wonder what it was like to be one of the thousands of people who worked for Lockheed during World War Two?

Wonder no more!! Through the magic of the cinema you can be there! During the War Warner Brothers made a Patriotic Movie titled “WINGS FOR THE EAGLE”.

Warner Bros had access to the production facilities for their background footage and you can see Hudson Bombers and P-38 Lightning’s being made as the actors move through the plant.

We have put together a highlight reel here, enjoy!

Warner Bros. Water Tower Gets A Makeover

For the first time ever, the iconic Warner Bros. water tower is receiving a Super Hero makeover, with the unveiling of giant renderings of Arrow, The Flash, Gotham’s Detective Gordon and Supergirl on the iconic structure which rises 100 feet high above the Warner Bros. Studios lot.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The Warner Bros. water tower was built in 1927 and has since been declared an historical landmark. It contains a 100,000-gallon tank — although it currently holds no water.

A super team featuring dozens of Studio artisans, engineers and artists collaborated on this first-of-its-kind installation celebrating four Warner Bros. Television series based on characters from DC Comics.

The characters from Arrow, The Flash, Gotham and Supergirl are displayed on giant aluminum panels measuring 22 feet by 20 feet in size, with each one weighing more than 5,000 pounds.

There were dozens of craftspeople were involved in the design and production of the panels, with representatives from a number of Studio departments including scenic design, special effects, lighting, signs and graphics, the metal shop, electrical, rigging and engineering.

They were installed using a specially devised custom-pulley system during the October 17–18 weekend. The cables for the reveal of the panels were held down by 8,000 pounds of cement.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Attendees at the unveiling included Supergirl star Melissa Benoist, Gotham stars Erin Richards and Cory Michael Smith, and executive producers Greg Berlanti & Andrew Kreisberg (Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl), Ali Adler (Supergirl), Marc Guggenheim (Arrow), and Bruno Heller, Danny Cannon & John Stephens (Gotham).

The historic water tower was previously located next to the Warner Bros. Fire Department, it was moved following the Long Beach earthquake in 1933, when the Warners realized that if the tower had fallen and damaged the Fire Department, the Fire Department would not have been able to provide emergency assistance.

The water tower was once home to the animated stars of Animaniacs (Yakko, Wacko and Dot) from the 1930s until they escaped in the 1990s.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

 

Warner Bros. Entertainment Announces 2015 Reach Program Honorship Recipients

Warner Bros. Entertainment has announced high school seniors Ryan Chase, Juliet Chin, Mira Metry, Rocio Padilla, and Brandon Sugars as the 2015 Reach Honorship recipients.

Mira Metry

Mira Metry

Through its Reach program, Warner Bros. awards internship and scholarship packages, known as Honorships, to five graduating high school seniors passionate about the business of entertainment each year. As part of these Honorships, students are awarded scholarships as well as the opportunity to complete four paid summer internships at Warner Bros., beginning with the summer immediately following their high school graduation. Additionally, each summer the scholars are paired with a different executive mentor and provided additional networking opportunities with entertainment industry professionals. Successful Reach program graduates are eligible for full-time positions at the company after completing their degrees.

“The aim of the Reach program is to provide opportunity and access to the entertainment industry to outstanding youth in our community,” said Mary-Elizabeth Michaels, Director, Community Affairs, Warner Bros. Entertainment. “The program allows students first-hand experience in a corporate setting and encourages them to build a network of contacts that will help them after graduation.”

IMG_2707 1

Brandon Sugars

Mira Metry and Brandon Sugars are recipients of this year’s Burbank Reach Honorships, created specifically for residents of the studio’s longtime hometown. A recent graduate of John Burroughs High School, Metry is set to study public relations at Pepperdine University this fall, while Burbank High School graduate Sugars will be focusing on business management and economics at University of California, Santa Cruz. Both students will receive a $5,000 college scholarship coupled with the opportunity to complete four consecutive summer internships at Warner Bros.

Los Angeles County Reach Honorships were awarded to Ryan Chase, Juliet Chin, and Rocio Padilla. All three students will also receive a $5,000 college scholarship and the opportunity to complete four summer internships at the studio. Chase is a recent graduate of South Pasadena High School and will be studying business administration at University of California, Riverside in the fall. Chin, a graduate of L.A. County High School for the Arts, will enroll at Tulane University this fall, where she plans to major in digital media production and film studies. Padilla, who attended Foshay Learning Center, will be studying art and business at University of California, Irvine.

 

For more information on the Reach Program, visit www.wbcitizenship.com

Burbank Schools Develop Digital Media And Manufacturing Programs

Burbank city and school officials, along with executives from Burbank studios, attended the Verdugo Creative Technology Consortium (VCTC) reception Wednesday, October 29, at Glendale Community College.

The event celebrated the recent announcement of a six million dollar grant from the State of California to fund development of digital media and manufacturing programs for area students.

“We are collaborating with local industry leaders to develop pathway programs that prepare students for workforce needs in digital media and digital manufacturing fields,” said Dr. David Viar, president of Glendale Community College.

Eric Simkin (mOcean), Carrie Brown (BAFA), John Paramo (BUSD), Zita Lefebvre (Cartoon Network), Peggy Flynn (BUSD), Lisa Rawlins (Warner Bros.), Superintendent Dr. Jan Britz (BUSD), Charlene Tabet (Board of Education), Sharon Cuseo (BUSD), Burbank City Manager Mark Scott, Kimberley Clark (BUSD), Burbank Mayor Dr. David Gordon and Dave Kemp (Board of Education) celebrate the kick off of the Verdugo Creative Technologies Consortium.(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Eric Simkin (mOcean), Carrie Brown (Burbank Arts For All Foundation), John Paramo (BUSD), Zita Lefebvre (Cartoon Network), Peggy Flynn (BUSD), Lisa Rawlins (Warner Bros.), Superintendent Dr. Jan Britz (BUSD), Charlene Tabet (Board of Education), Sharon Cuseo (BUSD), Burbank City Manager Mark Scott, Kimberley Clark (BUSD), Burbank Mayor Dr. David Gordon and Dave Kemp (Board of Education) celebrate the kick off of the Verdugo Creative Technologies Consortium.(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“We need local entertainment and manufacturing companies to provide mentors, internships and a variety of other opportunities that allow our students to develop new skills, expand their list of achievements and build relationships with professionals,” he added.

Burbank Mayor Dr. David Gordon, City Manager Mark Scott and City Treasurer Debbie Kukta joined BUSD Superintendent Dr. Jan Britz, Board of Education members Charlene Tabet, Dave Kemp and president Dr. Roberta Reynolds and BUSD administrators at the event.

They were joined by Lisa Rawlins from Warner Bros. Studios, Zita Lefebvre from Cartoon Network and Eric Simkin of mOcean. Those movie and digital media studios, along with Nickelodeon Animation Studios have agreed to partner with Burbank Unified School District in developing classes that teach skills necessary for the twenty-first century workplace.

Burbank Unified’s Director of Instruction and Accountability Sharon Cuseo detailed more of Burbank schools and businesses partnership with the VCTC in an previously published interview with myBurbank.

Eric Simkin of mOcean, Lisa Rawlin of Warner Bros. Studios and Zita Lefebvre of Cartoon Network partner with Burbank Unified School District to develop tech and arts savvy classes. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Eric Simkin of mOcean, Lisa Rawlin of Warner Bros. Studios and Zita Lefebvre of Cartoon Network partner with Burbank Unified School District to develop tech and arts savvy classes. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Cuseo organized the Burbank part of the VCTC partnership, while Robert Mejia from the Verdugo Workforce Investment Board (VWIB) put the entire grant application together. BUSD and VWIB joined Glendale Unified School District, California State University at Northridge and Glendale Community College to create the VCTC.

“Last night was a great kick off for the work we want to do as a consortium,” commented Cuseo. “It gives us the opportunity to establish greater partnerships between all the partners and the community.”

“The potential for Burbank students and local business is exciting,” she added.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) has been a popular buzzword in education for years. Recently, many educators and businesses have emphasized the need for an Arts, or creative, component to learning, technology and manufacturing, making the buzzword now STEAM.

“Technical skills applied creatively generate the kinds of innovation that sustain local economic development,” Viar also said. “Our goal is not to ask high school students to declare their life long career at 14. Instead our goal is to provide students with foundational skills that enable them to make choices.”

Muir Fundraiser Makes ‘Em Laugh And Garners Close To $20,000

Burbank turned out in full force Saturday evening, February 22, in support of John Muir Middle School’s auditorium fundraiser The Really Big Show. Nearly $20,000 was raised from ticket sales, auction items, concessions and donations, according to the John Muir Booster Association.

Business and community partners joined parents, students, teachers and administration of the Burbank Unified School District for a pre-concert reception, silent auction and a night of entertainment.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The evening was emceed by four past and present Principals of Muir: Bruce Osgood, Dan Hacking, John Paramo and Dr. Greg Miller, the current head of the school. The four gentleman had the packed house rolling in the aisles with their rendition of Lady Gaga’s “Applause,” complete with dance moves and feather boas.

It was a great night for everyone involved and a great start to our campaign to modernize our 60-year old auditorium,” commented Miller. “The Muir and Burbank High student performers were amazing, and our faculty band, the Muir Mortals, were incredible, particularly ‘Ode to the Aud’ which they wrote especially for the evening.”

“It was great fun to work with former principals Bruce Osgood, Dan Hacking, and John Paramo, who helped out because they love Muir.” 

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Several of Burbank High School’s arts and music programs were well represented, including the VMA Sirens, Third Street Jazz Combo, “Unleashed” Dance, IMA String Quartet, Play Production and Gentleman’s Octet.

In the second act, Muir’s own Drama, Choir and Band programs worked together to present an original musical production about the beloved auditorium and its need for repair.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank Arts For All Foundation has provided over $5000 to the Muir auditorium project during the past year. The Muir auditorium has been basically untouched for over sixty years, with only a few minor adjustments made. While some Measure S Bond money is available to upgrade air conditioning and related bond-measure items, the bulk of the renovation falls on the school to provide.

“It was great to see our community come out and support Muir and we are so grateful for everyone’s contribution to a very successful night,” added Miller.

The Auditorium Task Force has been working to raise $100,000 to cover costs of needed upgrades for lighting, sound, seating and more for the 674-seat space the school calls “Our Living Room.” The Really Big Show came about as a way to kick off the campaign, bring the community together and have some fun while doing so.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“The night also kicked off our matching challenge grant from Warner Brothers,” Miller said.

“Thanks to their generosity, they will match dollar for dollar every donation that comes in during the next 60 days,” he explained. “The challenge is that we only get the $10,000 if the whole amount is raised, so we are still looking for donations large and small to help with this project.”

The John Muir Booster Association is collecting all donations towards the auditorium modernization. Donations to the project can be made directly on the school’s auditorium project page or by contacting Principal Miller at 818-558-5320.

The school is also conducting a tile design campaign to raise funds and more information can be found on the same web page.

JohnMuirBoosterAssociation@hotmail.com.
JohnMuirBoosterAssociation@hotmail.com.calling the school at

“Prisoners” is a Powerful Representation of a Parent’s Worst Nightmare

Photo By Warner Bros.

Viewers will experience a most wild and emotional ride with “Prisoners,” a Warner Bros. Pictures film, directed by Denis Villeneuve, (“Incendies”).

“Prisoners” follows the story of the Dover family, Keller (Hugh Jackman) and Grace (Maria Bello), and the Birch family, Nancy (Viola Davis) and Franklin (Terrence Howard) as they journey through a parents’ worst nightmare: the kidnapping of their children.

Set in a small, blue-collar town in rural Pennsylvania, the film opens with a light and happy scene as the two families celebrate Thanksgiving dinner, with the meat from a deer that Keller Dover and his son hunted together. These families represent the average American family, getting by with what they can. They don’t live in luxury, but they are happy and loving, and they have faith in God and one another.

During the dinner, there is chatting, laughing and joking, but it’s clear something incredibly ominous is about to happen. The families’ two daughters, Joy and Anna, go missing.

Leading the investigation into the children’s disappearance is Detective Loki, (Jake Gyllenhaal) who seems to be a pained, angry and slightly troubled man who is absolutely determined and hell-bent on finding these girls. Loki has never lost a case in his career, but one gets the feeling he is still incredibly dissatisfied with his life nonetheless, drowning in his seemingly troublesome, but unknown, past. Gyllenhaal, while at first seemed like a questionable casting choice, really captures the depth of the character, complete with nervous twitches and angry outbursts. He is an authentic representation of the complex character of Detective Loki.

Villeneuve’s “Prisoners” does a wonderful job portraying the different emotions that parents feel during such a tragedy. Keller Dover is a rugged “survivalist”, a father who always teaches his children to be ready. His protector mentality is heightened when he takes matters into his own hands after he feels Detective Loki isn’t doing enough to find his daughter. Keller is a grief-stricken father who, instead of weeping into a comatose state, like his wife Grace, is pushed to edge and determined to be the hero in his daughter’s nightmare.

Keller’s confrontations with Alex Jones, (Paul Dano) a mentally challenged man who becomes a suspect in the case, are horrifyingly painful to watch. Jones lives with his aunt, Holly (Melissa Leo) and mostly keeps to himself. He has the IQ of a 10-year-old and has conflicting characteristics. He radiates an air of evil one minute and boyish innocence the next. You want to be angry with him, but tend to feel sorry for him.

When Jones is released from jail after detectives find no evidence to hold him, Keller, positive that Jones knows where the children are, decides to investigate Jones himself. It is clear from these scenes that Keller is unraveling. He is losing sight of the facts and will do anything to try and save his child. These scenes may be some of the best in Jackman’s career. It’s hard not to weep with him, but at the same time, you want to beg him to stop and think for a moment.

On the contrary, Nancy and Franklin Birch are holding themselves together as best they can. They are tired, broken and hurt, but they trust the police department and feel that they can’t control the investigation. They survive by holding candlelight vigils and finding strength through one another.

It seems the Birch family represents the outward display of emotion we see from parents of missing children during press conferences. Their vigils and prayers illustrate their hope and faith; they are determined to stay strong through the pain.

However, the Dovers represent the internal struggle and extreme agony that every parent must feel in this situation. It’s the agony that we don’t see during such public investigations. It’s the pain and struggle that happens in private, away from the vigils and public media events. Keller is on the verge of a complete breakdown, and the sedated Grace never leaves her bedroom.

Villeneuve does a beautiful job peeling back the layers of human pain. His direction is impeccable and his characters are mysteriously complex.

Catholic symbolism is scattered throughout the film, with themes like penance and prayer, forgiveness and sin. Some characters are angry with God and sin against him purposefully, while others fall to their knees, begging for mercy and grace.

“Prisoners” will leave you with your heart racing and palms sweating. Every scene is momentous and every encounter is emotional. The film is supremely intense and hard to watch, but is incredibly powerful and thought provoking.

The Brothers Warner: How The Other 1% Should Live

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Last week I saw a documentary film about four brothers that made the movies talk.  Four brothers that shortly afterward (1928) planted their studio in Burbank and made it a big part of Hollywood. Four brothers that came to this county without a dollar in their frayed pockets or so much as a day’s formal schooling. They received their education in a gritty world that offered few safety nets beyond what a cohesive family could offer.

But America was a much better world for them than the one their parents left behind in the Poland of the 19th century. Their father had brought them to a land where the anti-Semitism was less virulent, and where there was a real hope that his children would have better lives than he did. His hope was not in vain.

Burbank Film Festival -22

(Photo By Ross A. Benson)

The Brothers Warner: Harry, Albert, Sam and Jack. Harry was the steady-handed leader who never strayed from his moral compass. Sam was the artist and dreamer who saw the potential of the “Vitaphone” technology to turn the silents into the talkies. Albert tried to be the peacemaker between Harry and flamboyant kid brother Jack, who would one day break his Harry’s heart.

And Cass Warner-Sperling is the granddaughter (Harry’s) who makes us see just how amazing her grandfather and great uncles were, flaws, personal tragedies and all. She wrote, directed and produced The Brothers Warner. She used never-before-seen photos and footage from the family archives. More importantly, she brings her own insights formed since the days when she wandered and played among the back lots of Warner.

Cass had already authored the book, “The Brothers Warner.” Whether you read the book or watch the documentary, it’s easy enough to conclude that there’s a rollicking good movie or miniseries that could also be made about these film pioneers. The Burbank International Film Festival (BIFF) could not have chosen a more appropriate work for their opening night at Warner Bros.

If our modern day elites—the so-called “1%” of Occupy fame—were more like the brothers Warner, they would be admired rather than reviled.  To be sure, the brothers Warner wanted to make money, but they also wanted to make movies. Their contributions gave far more to this country than they received from those who willingly paid for their tickets. And the brothers’ collective conscience gave the movies a voice that informed as well as entertained.

Burbank Film Festival -21

(Photo By Ross A. Benson)

Warner Bros. exposed the brutality of the Depression Era prisons and sparked  reform. In spite of opposition from powerful interests more interested in profiting from 1930’s Nazi Germany than exposing it, their movies sounded the alarm about the atrocities occurring there. The brothers Warner never forgot that but for their dear father, they too may well have been marched off to a concentration camp.

Few people resent the man or woman who come by their wealth honestly: who give the world something good and wonderful, be it their version of better mousetrap (or mouse) or a winning game or a knockout performance. When people shake their fists at the “1%”, their rage is directed at the Wall Street Madoffs, and at the industry bigwigs that buy off politicians to injure their competitors, and at the execs who have no moral qualms about boosting quarterly profits by taking advantage of desperate, suicidal workers in Asia, and at the CEO’s that bail out with 50 million dollar parachutes as the companies they mismanaged crash and burn.  In short, the rage is against anyone who cheats their way to the top rather than earns their way to the top.

When Thomas Jefferson spoke about America fostering “a natural aristocracy of virtue and talent,” he wasn’t talking about people like those guys. He was talking about people like the brothers Warner. (OK, maybe he would’ve had reservations about Jack.) He was taking about “a band of brothers”—and sisters—that are as necessary in the world of business as in the arena of war.

It took guts to be a movie pioneer. Cass’s documentary makes us appreciate that it was far from clear that “talking movies” was a good idea. A lot of industry pundits were poised to do the autopsy on what they were sure would be a failed Warner Bros. studio. But the brothers trusted Sam, and each other, and won the battle for the public’s dollar. The brothers trusted Harry when he insisted on movies that awakened the public’s social conscience as well as entertained. Those were the “one-percenters” that you could love, or at least admire.

Burbank Film Festival -23

(Photo By Ross A. Benson)

John Steinbeck once said that in America, “the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” The poor aren’t naive. They know only too well that only a small fraction of them will soar far above their poverty. But until lately, there was reason to believe that their children, and their children’s children would have it better than they did, and many of them would become society’s future movers and shakers.

No one at the turn of the 20th century would have supposed that four unlettered kids would transform the world of entertainment. But the America of that time, for all its injustices, allowed those with talent and grit and virtue to rise. At least, often enough to make their society a far richer one. That’s the America we desperately need today.

The brothers Warner: an example of how the other 1% should live.

Burbank International Film Festival Has Big Opening Night

The 5th Annual Burbank International Film Festival (BIFF) got off to a strong start last Wednesday with its screening of the full-length documentary, The Brothers Warner at Warner Bros., a landmark Burbank business since 1928.  “I can’t tell you what it means for me to open this film on the family lot,” said writer/director Cass Warner Sperling, granddaughter of studio mogul Harry Warner.  And it’s hard to imagine a more appropriate place for BIFF festivities to begin. “It all started in Burbank with Warner Bros.,” stated BIFF President and Festival Director Jeff Rector.

Cass Warner Sperling Director, of Open Night Screening The Brothers Warner. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Cass Warner Sperling Director, of Open Night Screening The Brothers Warner. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The fun continued Thursday at Universal Studios, with comedy and new media/drama offerings.  Friday and today, Saturday, Burbank’s AMC 6 features animation, drama, faith-based films and sci fi/horror fantasy.  Tomorrow, Sunday, Woodbury University will host foreign film and documentary shorts.  BIFF concludes at the Castaways tomorrow night with the Closing Night Dinner and Gala Awards Show, with ever-popular Fritz Coleman hosting.

“I want this festival to be the next Cannes,” stated Rector. And why not? As Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy reminds us, “Burbank is the media capital of the world. It’s important to have a film festival here.”

BIFF President / Festival Director Jeff Rector. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

BIFF President / Festival Director Jeff Rector. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

And it’s important for the filmmakers whose work BIFF is showcasing. “It’s a calling card,” Jeff states. Many of the films, especially the shorts, won’t be shown in today’s multiplexes. (Although the infomercial parody Guru to the Stars would be a great warm up act to any comedy feature. Burbank’s own AMC Theaters should give it a try.) Even films of feature length may not find a match among the brick-and-mortar venues.  But at the very least the films can provide a convincing way for their creators and performers to shout, “Hey! I’m not just another wannabe.  Watch what I’ve done! I’ve got snap! I can bring hot food to your party! Or if you like, some cold beers!”

Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy and Jeff Rector President / Festival Director. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy and Jeff Rector President / Festival Director. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Jeff wants to increase corporate sponsorship for BIFF.  Mayor Emily points out in the BIFF program that there are “countless media businesses that provide animation, dubbing, mixing, editing, music, virtually any type of media services needed to support our Number 1 industry!” It would seem that BIFF could be a great publicity vehicle for these often-unsung heroes of the industry.

Jeff’s own comedy short, The Boardroom, is about an executive meeting where modern day corporate terrors are exaggerated only slightly.  So it’s understandable that industry execs may want to escape their LA offices for film festivals on the French Riviera or the slopes of Sundance. But budding filmmakers should have at least one opportunity to make the hajj to Hollywood and see at closer hand the corporate world many of them hope to navigate their while somehow keeping their vision and inspiration (mostly) intact.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

And wouldn’t it be a nice source of local pride if some future Spielberg or Tom Hanks were to say, “I want to thank BIFF for being one of the first to believe in me and encourage me to go on at a time when I was still just another unknown, and in hock up to my eyeballs.”

For more information, please visit www.burbankfilmfest.org. Quick notes: BIFF’s “faith-based” category recognizes an important film genre that reminds us that religious belief continues to be a wellspring of artistic inspiration. And especially praiseworthy is BFF’s showcasing of film from local middle and high school students, including those from Jordan Middle School (You Are Special), Burbank High School (Being) and Providence High School (The Catcher.)

Firefighters Quest for Burn Survivors Rolls Through Burbank

Firefighters Quest for Burn Survivors rolled through Burbank on Friday rallying for donations from several local businesses and stopped for a catered lunch on the back lot of The Warner Bros. Ranch facilities.

Warner Bros. Vice Presidents and Directors join Quest Executive Director Tom Propst with BIG check presentation. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Handing off a BIG check in the amount of $5000.00 are Warner Bros. Executives , Vice Presidents and Directors L/R Jeannette Johnson,Jeff Nagler,,Tom Probst (Quest Exec Director) , Frank O’Donnell ,Perry Husman ,Rick Warmack and Richard Gallagher (Warner Bros. Fire Chief) (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“Firefighters Quest for Burn Survivors” is a non-profit organization managed by firefighters and civilians who volunteer their services and are dedicated to assist those that have been affected by burn injuries. Burn injuries are devastating, and the majority takes a lifetime to heal. The physical and emotional pain the victims suffer is something firefighters see on a regular basis. As a result, the organization was founded in 1996 following the Southern California Malibu Brush Fire in which six firefighters were injured due to burns received while being entrapped in a “Firestorm”.

Fire Captain Gary McDiffett along with Sue & Bill Jensen. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Fire Captain Gary McDiffett along with Sue & Bill Jensen. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank resident Bill Jensen, a Glendale firefighter, received the most serious life threatening burns sustaining third degree burns to 70% of his body. After three months of surgeries, care and treatment and the miraculous efforts of those who cared for him, Bill beat the 5% chance of survival and was released from the burn center on his birthday that next year.

Through Bill’s experience and that of other burn survivors, it has been noted that while the patients care and treatment is being managed and monitored by doctors and nurses, it is usually the families whose lives are thrown into dis array. Through the efforts of this organization, support ranges from family and patient visits to providing material and/or monetary donations to the patients and/or immediate family to assist during the critical time of recovery.

Several Burbank Firefighters serve on the Board of Quest along with Glendale Battalion Chief Tom Propst who is the Executive Director.

Glendale Fire Chief Harold Scoggins enjoys a catered lunch provided by Engine 18 and Warner Bros. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Glendale Fire Chief Harold Scoggins enjoys a catered lunch provided by Engine 18 and Warner Bros. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

During Fridays stop at Warner Bros, their Fire Department Engine 18 and crew hosted a lunch for the caravan of participants, Engine Companies from Pasadena, Glendale, Burbank, Beverly Hills, and several more enjoyed a delightful meal and followed with introductions of Warner Bros. Vice Presidents and Directors of Security & Fire Departments. A check was given on behalf of Warner Bros. in the amount of $5000.00, to help the organization.

Burbank Firefighters Local 778 Director Peter Henderson sign a BIG check in the amount of $3500.00, as Jeff Howe from Quest assists.(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank Firefighters Local 778 Director Peter Henderson sign a BIG check in the amount of $3500.00, as Jeff Howe from Quest assists.(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Once on the road again, the Quest traveled to Disney Studios, Vons Pavilion on Alameda, and then headed to Burbank Fire Headquarters, where Burbank Firefighters Local 778 presented the Quest with a donation in the amount of $3500.00. After leaving headquarters, the quest continued on to Million Air, and The Bob Hope Airport Fire Department.  Early reports received reported the Quest in their 5 days of traveling the State they raised in excess of $110.000.00 for burn survivors.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Fire Captain Gary McDiffett along with Sue & Bill Jensen. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Fire Captain Gary McDiffett along with Sue & Bill Jensen. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Quest @ WB Ranch -5