All Articles Tagged "george lucas"
Forbes recently released its 2013 list of billionaires, and topping the chart weren’t many surprises: Bill Gates, Warren Buffett… But the whole thing got me thinking, what about the women who are married to billionaires? More specifically the black women who are married to billionaires? There had to be some. So I started doing some research and what do you know? There are in fact quite a few black women who’ve married billionaires (and some who might soon). Not many, but enough to mention, and certainly enough to form their own exclusive group of what I’m calling The Billionaire Black Wives Club. Check them out.
On paper, Mellody Hobson is nothing less than impressive. Her extensive resume boasts her meteoric climb from intern to president of Ariel Investments, LLC. Mellody is clearly a boss as she’s the head beauty in charge of managing the firm and strategic planning and she oversees all operations outside of research and portfolio management.
Mellody also serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the mutual funds. No matter how busy she gets running things, Mellody always makes time to share her money knowledge with the world through various financial advice columns.
Read more at HelloBeautiful.com.
Well, it’s never too late for love. George Lucas and his girlfriend, business woman Mellody Hobson, proved that recently as a Lucasfilm rep confirmed that the couple got engaged after seven years of dating.
Lucas, the famed Star Wars series director, is 68 years old and Hobson is 43.
Though Lucas’ success has been well documented for decades now, Hobson is a baller in her own right. She serves as president to Chicago’s $3 billion investment firm, Ariel Investments, LLC, a company that is rumored to be among the largest African-American-owned money management and mutual fund companies in the nation. She’s also a chairwoman for Dreamworks Animation and is a regular financial contributor on “Good Morning America.”
In the words of Neyo, “she got her own.”
The second marriage for Lucas, and the first for Hobson, there’s no word on where the couple will wed. It’ll be interesting to see what this dynamic duo is able to accomplish together.
Congratulations to these two!
Love is blind. And, even if it wasn’t, it would welcome the differences that set people apart. Love acts independently of orientation, religious affiliation, gender, deformity, handicaps, weight, height, nationality and ethnicity. This sentiment is even shared in Hollywood. Some famous interracial couples are more popular than others, take for instance, Robin Thicke and Paula Patton, Iman and David Bowie, etc. So how about we direct some attention towards couples who are working in the background to keep their relationship working well? If you’re down, keep a-clickin’!
Essence Atkins & Jamie Mendez
Best known for her roles as Yvette Henderson on “Smart Guy,” Dee Dee Thorne on “Half & Half” and Suzanne Kingston-Persons on “Are We There Yet?,” Essence Atkins married Jamie Mendez in 2009 after meeting him online through Match.com. Hey, who said online dating couldn’t yield great results? The two welcomed a son, Varro Blair Mendez, into their lives on December 25, 2011.
Even though there was no red carpet or anxious photagraphers in site, the honoring of the original Tuskegee Airmen at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza theater was nothing less than an memorable event.
The elderly men seen in wheelchairs, using canes or leaning on family for support constituted most of the remaining Los Angeles-area members of the original Tuskegee Airmen group, and they were there on Wednesday for a special showing of “Red Tails,” George Lucas’ multimillion-dollar portrayal of the first African-American air corps in the United States.
The sold-out screening packed in about 400 people, all of whom burst into tremendous applause when the World War II veterans stood at their seats. As some audience members snapped photographs, others took a moment to explain to their children “how big of a deal this is!” And throughout the night, the audience punctuated the film with laughter and applause. When the screening ended, the Los Angeles chapter of Tuskegee Airmen Inc. hosted a private reception with a live band, a buffet, a few short speeches and a movie poster signing by the airmen.
Los Angeles resident Levi Thornhill was one of the Tuskegee Airmen who came. He had been part of the original 332nd Fighter Group, who served with distinction as airplane escorts for bomber planes on strategic missions in Europe. After the film, he praised Lucas for his attention to detail and gave “Red Tails” a ringing endorsement.
“I’m wondering where in the world [Lucas] found all those P-51s, the Red Tails,” said the 89-year-old Thornhill. “I think he did a very good job, a very good job. And I’ve seen a lot of movies with airplanes in it!”
I went to go see Pariah over the weekend and actually, I really enjoyed it.
The film, which was written and directed by Dee Rees (protégé of Spike Lee’s protégé’), is a coming of age story of Alike, a 17-year-old Black girl from Harlem coming to terms with her own sexual identity as a lesbian and must waver the waters between her conservative mother, played by Kim Wayans, and her contradictory father, played by Charles Parnell. The film has been getting lots of praise for highlighting the invisible voice of black female queers in the community; however, the intense and strained relationship between mother and daughter has such a universal theme, which makes it relatable to just about anyone, who once struggled in their youth.
Yet the awesomeness of Pariah has been pretty much been overshadowed by the hype over Red Tails. Despite the film, which centers on the plight and fight of the Tuskegee airmen, being well in the works for well over two decades, the hype around it didn’t start until recently, when folks began to spread the fear of God that if the film is not a box office success than all hope for the future of black films is doomed.
It all started when George Lucas, the Star Wars guy and creator and financier of Red Tails, appeared on The Daily Show to promote the film and started talking about racism in Hollywood. In a follow up interview, Lucas hinted that if Red Tails was a failure, it could have negative repercussions for black filmmakers: “I realize that by accident I’ve now put the black film community at risk [with Red Tails, whose $58 million budget far exceeds typical all-black productions],” he said. “I’m saying, if this doesn’t work, there’s a good chance you’ll stay where you are for quite a while. It’ll be harder for you guys to break out of that [lower-budget] mold. But if I can break through with this movie, then hopefully there will be someone else out there saying let’s make a prequel and sequel, and soon you have more Tyler Perrys out there.”
Oh great, more Tyler Perrys.
Interesting enough, Red Tails was created by the same guy who brought us Jar Jar Binks, the computer-animated character who appeared in the Star Wars prequels and which generated much controversy over its racially charged, Rastafarian mimicry. So why there is such a heavy emphasis on supporting Lucas’ Red Tails while genuine black films like Pariah are left to their own devices?
First off, I take issue with what is essentially has been a fear and race-based marketing campaign by Lucas to persuade moviegoers, particularly Black moviegoers, to see this film. We are told that if it would be the end of Black filmmaking as we know it. Never mind, if the film is interesting or compelling or even entertaining. We have a racial duty to unite to see this film or else we make Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. weep?
And never mind that Hollywood has been operating with the same M.O. for decades and decades. The industry will not likely change even if the film magically breaks box office records, which it will probably not. Why? Well stories told from the black perceptive have always had trouble finding dedicated audiences outside of the community. Point blank, the mainstream is less inclined to see films featuring black actors. And if we are to go on the long rationalized reason that Hollywood is a business, than we can be certain that Red Tails, even if it is moderately successful, will not inspire the business to take a chance on us.
But of course, Black filmmakers have known this little secret, which Lucas appeared to just discover, for years. This might explain why Black filmmakers haven’t been waiting around for Hollywood to give the proverbial green light to make and finance their own films. They may not get the big audiences and big box office numbers as their mainstream counterparts but the lack of financial support from inside tinsel town isn’t stopping brothers and sisters from picking up cameras.
However, all may not be lost in the world of Black filmmaking if Red Tails tanks. As reported, Rees is currently working on a project for HBO that will feature actress Viola Davis and a thriller flick called “Bolo.” And on Sunday night, Pariah received a special shout-out at the Golden Globes by legendary film actress Meryl Streep. Likewise the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement, also known as AFFRM, has been steadily pushing for the theatrical release of quality independent African-American films through simultaneous limited engagements in select cities including I Will Follow and Kinyarwanda. In short, the future of Black film – with or without the success of Red Tails – will survive.
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the effort of Lucas to bring more Black films, or at the very least a black film funded by a white man, to the big screen, but if this flops, I think it is less likely that we can count on him bringing a sequel to the screen. And that is all. So folks can stop with the “must read” emails and Facebook invites for bus trips to the movie theater. There is no more of a moral obligation to see this flick as there would be for any other mainstream film, which lets us carry the lead.
Long gone are the days that we should have to feel a need to prove anything to Hollywood. If anything, it is the reverse. And if Hollywood is as racist as we all know it is why should we feel the need to let the decision of what images gets green-lighted continue to be placed in the hands of those, who don’t see us as human beings? I mean, the last time Hollywood took interest in the black market we got a bunch of one-dimensional Blaxiploitation and gangster flicks in both the 70s and in the 90s.
Instead let’s throw our support – and dollars – behind filmmakers, who continue to make conscious efforts to not only make films despite not having the blessings of mainstream Hollywood but make good films period.
Charing Ball is the author of the blog People, Places & Things.
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During a recent appearance on “The Daily Show,” George Lucas described the problems he faced producing “Red Tails,” an action film about the Tuskegee Airmen opening January 20. The legendary creator of the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” franchises said the film did not receive backing from Hollywood studios because of its all Black cast.
After 23 years of trying to create one of the first all Black action films ever made, Lucas was ultimately forced to finance the production and marketing of the film himself. It goes to show that you can’t always rely on the traditional way of doing things. Sometimes you have to go around the establishment.
Unlike George Lucas, you may not have $50 million to finance your dream project. Luckily, your venture probably doesn’t cost that much. You just have to get a little creative. If you run into finance issues, here are a few funding options you may not have considered:
Crowdsourcing involves collecting donations through an open call. That means asking any and everyone that thinks your idea is a good one to contribute to its success. Thanks to online funding platforms, like Kickstarter, you can do this without leaving your home.
Family and Friends
Your instinct may be to avoid borrowing money from those closest to you. However, this network may be the easiest way to finance your venture. It is best to keep monetary dealings professional, especially if the relationship is personal. Draw up a contract or promissory note. Get it notarized. This gives both parties a sense of security and avoids the drama that can come with verbal agreements.
Universities and companies often have business and entrepreneurial competitions to help fund creative ventures. Business plan competitions can require a lot of effort to enter and the payoff is not guaranteed. However, it doesn’t hurt to take a chance. The New York Times has a great guide on competitions for small businesses.
Microloans are great when you need a little cash to grow your business. Instead of going through a bank, you can obtain a small loan from private, nonprofit intermediaries. Accion USA, one of the largest microlenders in the United States, offers small business loans up to $50,000 as well as business consulting. Lending Club is an online platform that allows individual investors to make small investments of $25 or more until the full loan request is reached. Borrowers can get a personal loan up to $25,000 in three years with fixed interest rates that are often better than those of traditional lenders. Both services allow you to apply online for free.
A good partnership allows you to spread out business management responsibilities and financial burdens. It is important to be very selective when choosing a business partner. You will most likely be spending more time with this person than anyone else. Before you launch a business, be sure you and your partner’s values and vision for the new venture are aligned. Draw up a shareholder agreement before you incorporate to safeguard all parties in the event the partnership falls part.
Cortney Cleveland is a public relations practitioner and freelance writer working in New York City. You can follow her on Twitter @CleveInTheCity.
If you hadn’t already come to the conclusion that Hollywood has had its good share of discriminatory moments, George Lucas might have just laid it out there for everyone in black and white. Actually, make that black and green–as in money.
Lucas is both the movie’s executive producer and writer, and while sitting down with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, he kept it real about the issues he encountered trying to get funding for Red Tails. The budget at one time reached around $58 million, way over the usual or average for”typical all-black productions.” Hollywood execs weren’t having that, claiming the film wouldn’t have a foreign appeal to take overseas. Among other things missing (some white folks).
“This has been held up for release since 1942 since it was shot, I’ve been trying to get released ever since (he’s joking of course)…I showed it to all of them and they said no. We don’t know how to market a movie like this. . . because it’s an all-black movie. There’s no major white roles in it at all. It’s one of the first all-black action movies ever made.”
But still, Lucas claims he foot the bill himself for the budget, because that’s how important getting the film out there was to him. Lucas also pointed out that he wanted to make the film for teenage boys (young, black teenage boys in particular), to show them real heroes and real role models (outside of the Jay-Zs and Michael Jordans as he said). However, while talking to the folks over at USA Today, he said the pressure of having it do well at the box office has him worried about what impact Red Tail‘s success could have on the success of future films with all black casts.
“I realize that by accident I’ve now put the black film community at risk,” Lucas said. “I’m saying, if this doesn’t work, there’s a good chance you’ll stay where you are for quite a while. It’ll be harder for you guys to break out of that (lower-budget) mold. But if I can break through with this movie, then hopefully there will be someone else out there saying let’s make a prequel and sequel, and soon you have more Tyler Perrys out there.”
Hmmm…I don’t know about Tyler, but I get what he’s trying to say. What’s important to take from his comments is that it’s very, VERY important that we step out and support this film. If not, who knows the next time we’ll be able to get our people in a big budget film that can get widely released to everyone? If we don’t help out, then we definitely can’t complain if we get stuck with Madea, and Madea only. So you know what to do on Jan. 20 when Red Tails drops–go see it!
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There’s nothing like handsome black men to celebrate black love and Ebony knows that. Gracing the cover of their February issue are Nate Parker, Terrence Howard, David Oyelowo, and Cuba Gooding, Jr, the cast of George Lucas’ upcoming movie, “The Red Tails,” which tells the story of the heroic Tuskegee airmen.
Inside, they also have the leading men’s cast mates, Elijah Kelley, Ne-Yo, Tristan Wilds, Michael B. Jordan, Method Man, and Leslie Odom, Jr.
The story of the the first African American pilots to fly in a combat squadron during World War II is one that definitely needed to be told on the big screen and it’s great to see such as strong cast of black men working in Hollywood.
Check out a trailer for Red Tails below. Do you plan to see this movie when it’s released Jan. 20?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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(WSJ) — “Star Wars” creator George Lucas is betting millions of his own dollars that moviegoers will be drawn to an action movie about African-American fighter pilots in World War II. Mr. Lucas has self-financed a new film entitled “Red Tails” inspired by the true story of the first organized group of African-American fighter pilots in the U.S. armed forces. Mr. Lucas put $58 million of his own money into the making of the movie and is spending $35 million more to pay the distribution costs. Mr. Lucas said through a representative that he has worked on the project for 23 years. He was attracted to the project because he wanted to make an inspirational movie for young people and he felt the African-American pilots featured in the film were role models. ”They are really the knights of the contemporary age,” Mr. Lucas said in a statement.