1 August 2017
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In an effort to breathe new life into an exhausted Transformers franchise that has been led by director Michael Bay for more than 10 years, Paramount Pictures announced today that production on their upcoming Bumblebee spinoff from Kubo and the Two Strings helmer Travis Knight has begun in California.

Knight will be making his live-action directorial debut with Bumblebee, the first spinoff in the sci-fi action franchise, using a script penned by Unforgettable screenwriter Christina Hodson. As per a press release issued by the studio this afternoon, the spinoff will take place in the year 1987 and finds Bumblebee seeking refuge in an old junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), a teenager trying to find her place in the world, discovers a worn-down, broken Bumblebee, but quickly learns that this is no ordinary, yellow VW bug.

With Bay sitting in the producer’s chair on this installment, Bumblebee also stars Pamela Adlon, John Cena, Stephen Schneider, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Jason Drucker, Kenneth Choi, Ricardo Hoyos, Abby Quinn, Rachel Crow, and Grace Dzienny.

Bumblebee will open in theaters on December 21, 2018, where it will go head to head with James Wan’s Aquaman and, just a few days later, Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns. May the best film win.

29 July 2017
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Camila Cabello’s “Crying In The Club,” Hailee Steinfeld’s “Most Girls,” and Jessica Mauboy’s “Fallin’” attained gold status in Australia this week.

ARIA formally announced the news Saturday.

The certifications confirm at least 35,000 in Australian units.

“Crying In The Club,” which reached a peak of #40 on last week’s ARIA Australian Top 50 Singles Chart, appears at #45 this week.

“Most Girls” is at a new peak of #23 on this week’s listing, while “Fallin’” is #21 (down from a #11 peak).

26 July 2017
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Pitch Perfect 3, to open here on Dec 21, released its first trailer last month, featuring the returning ensemble cast including Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld and Brittany Snow.

After graduating from Barden University, the Bellas – the all-female a capella singing group – reunite for one last singing competition at an overseas United Service Organizations tour.

According to Deke Sharon, the American vocal producer and arranger of the successful musical comedy series, you can expect the third and final instalment to be “bigger, better, bolder and brighter”.

Speaking to The New Paper over Skype, Sharon – dubbed the “Godfather of contemporary a cappella” – said: “It’s a continuation of the development of the Bellas sound.

“It is very modern, harmony-rich and complex, and will draw from elements of the first two movies with more surprises and additional twists.”

The 49-year-old added: “The first movie (in 2012) was all about the Bellas taking their late 80s and 90s style and weaving it into modern mash-ups. The second movie (in 2015) had them tap into the roots of their sound, which was more vocal harmony.

“Now, the Bellas are going to be doing things that you have never seen before. And in the trailer, you see explosions, world travel and bands with instruments throwing out a tune.

“There is a lot to come and we are firm believers of putting them in increasingly awkward and crazy situations.”

On choosing for the Bellas to belt out US singer Pink’s 2001 smash Get The Party Started for a scene that appears in the trailer, Sharon said: “Pink is a great artist for the Barden Bellas in general because she is American, she is a songwriter and she is also a performer.

“She is very much a self-made woman, and you get that sense from the Bellas.

“It’s a song that works well for a cappella and in the bigger picture, it reminds people of the fun of the Pitch Perfect franchise.” (more…)

25 July 2017
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To say that Hailee Steinfeld is taking a leisurely approach to her first album would be an understatement. Since her first single, Love Myself, came out in August 2015, followed by an EP, Haiz, a couple of months later, fans of the singer have been so desperate for her to release a full-length that they’ve taken to making banners to wave in her direction at live performances. “Hailee, where’s the album??” read a succinct plea at the Capital Summertime Ball at Wembley stadium in June, where Steinfeld was re-creating her spot on the huge 2016 single Starving, featuring Grey and Zedd. “They’re so patient!” says the 20-year-old the following day. “I’m working on the music, and I’m just getting it in the perfect place for them to hear it.” What’s taking so long? “Well, I’m sort of out of the game when I make movies, which is a big reason that it takes me a while.”

Unusually for a pop star, Steinfeld came to singing fame with an Oscar nomination already under her belt – for best supporting actress, at the age of 14, for a brilliant turn in the Coen brothers’ True Grit. Six years on, she has pivoted in a different direction: despite a return to critical acclaim in the 2016 coming-of-age movie The Edge of Seventeen, she is mostly starring in teen-leaning blockbusters such as Pitch Perfect 2 and the forthcoming Transformers spin-off Bumblebee.

She is the kind of famous that means her bodyguard paces up and down outside the room while we talk; tabloids write about her as if every outfit were a showcase for “flaunting” her legs or her abs. She has had to deny she’s dating Justin Bieber. She’s mates with Taylor Swift. She is the kind of famous, then, that means she understands how anything she says that deviates from the path of polite platitudes may be blown out of all proportion. And so she is polite, and grateful for every opportunity, and points to the hard work of people behind the scenes of music and movies, and is ever so nice, and a bit reserved.

Her current single, Most Girls, is a tropical house banger with an intriguing premise, which the video makes plain. A handsome model type tells her she’s not like most girls. Instead of swooning at the sight of his chiselled jaw, she looks disappointed in him and does a runner. “I felt that we’ve been accepting the compliment ‘You’re not like most girls’ for a very long time. I have. I feel like there’s been this golden standard or rule that in order to be special you have to be different to other women,” she explains. You could say that it’s empowerment pop. It’s about being happy in your own skin, rather than simpering to a boy’s idea that you’re only worthwhile because other girls aren’t. “I think this generation of women is more than ever banding together and really lifting each other up, and I think girls and guys are really starting to think that way as well,” she says.

Still, when the video came out, that’s not exactly what the focus was on. “Here I am singing this song about how most girls are beautiful, strong, independent, have so much to offer. And the headlines out of that were: ‘Hailee tries on a bunch of wigs, shows off her midriff,’ or whatever. That’s not what I’m trying to say.” (more…)

25 July 2017
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“Bumblebee,” a spinoff from the “Transformers” film series, is the major Paramount film being shot in Marin, a Paramount spokesperson confirmed Friday.

The spokesperson, who was unnamed, declined further elaboration except to say the film is due for a summer 2018 release.

The Paramount confirmation came as other news surfaced in recent days pointing toward the film.

Deborah Albre, Marin liaison to the California Film Commission, noted that a recent Los Angeles Times story referenced “Bumblebee” as being eligible for $22 million in tax credits — the largest amount assigned to a major film since the state film tax credits program started in 2015.

“It’s pretty impressive,” Albre said of the film project’s tax credits, which are tied into the local economy through jobs and use of area resources.

Last month, Albre and other sources indicated that Paramount was planning to shoot a major feature film in Marin and was building a set in Peacock Gap area of San Rafael.

The location for “Bumblebee,” a prequel to the popular “Transformers” franchise, has been a closely held commodity.

The L.A. Times article, which quotes unnamed Paramount sources, said “Bumblebee” is being shot in Northern California and other parts of the state.

The film, which stars Hailee Steinfeld and is directed by Travis Knight, will be set in the 1980s, and “will have a vibe reminiscent of the 1999 animated film The Iron Giant, which tells the story of a boy who forms an unlikely friendship with a giant robot innocent to the violent ways of mankind,” according to ScreenRant.com.

The California Film Commission website lists the film only as a “Untitled Paramount Project,” but notes in a press release that the $22 million in tax credits is the largest amount to qualify under the program to date.

Bumblebee is said to be a fictional animated character in the form of a small yellow Autobot. The prequel is said to go back in time to when Bumblebee was in his early years on Earth.

“Bumblebee” is one of several Paramount projects being shot this summer in Marin.

20 July 2017
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MISSION, the leading performance apparel and accessories brand with a singular focus on temperature control technologies and their brand ambassador, Platinum-recording artist and Oscar nominated actress, Hailee Steinfeld, jumpstarted an inspiring charitable initiative today with the release of the “What’s Your Mission?” graphic t-shirt. Designed to inspire everyone to find their mission, $5 from every purchase of every tee will benefit Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). The limited edition, cropped tee features hand-designed graphics by cutting-edge artist Ashish Patel.

On a mission of her own, Steinfeld inspires many through her music and movies to find their voice and push for what they believe in. It is because of this mission that she is also inspired by the dedicated staff of professionals who create hope and build healthier futures for kids and families at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and one of the reasons she became a MISSION Brand Ambassador this past April. “I’ve been a longtime supporter of the amazing work and services Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles provides for families and children in need. I hope with this MISSION partnership, everyone can be inspired and motivated to extend their own hand in service of others.” says Steinfeld. Get yours now at Amazon!

12 July 2017
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In a major boon to local production, “Bumblebee,” the spinoff movie from Paramount’s “Transformers” franchise, will shoot in California with the help of a $22-million tax credit.

It’s the largest tax break awarded to date under a state program aimed at curbing so-called runaway production.

The new movie will film entirely in California, according to a Paramount spokesman. Production is expected to take place in the Los Angeles area as well as in Northern California, according to two people familiar with the project who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly.

The production, described only in state records as the “Untitled Paramount Project,” has received preliminary approval to receive a state tax credit of $22 million, according to the California Film Commission.

The amount exceeds the roughly $18 million in credits approved in August 2016 for Walt Disney Studio’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” which also shot in California.

Filmmakers can recoup as much as 25% of their spending (up to the first $100 million) on crew salaries and other qualified costs, such as building sets. Studios can then use such credits to offset state tax liabilities they have in California.

“Bumblebee” is scheduled to begin shooting this summer in anticipation of a 2018 release. The movie, starring Hailee Steinfeld, will serve as a prequel to the popular “Transformers” movies and will explore the origins of the Bumblebee character on Earth. Travis Knight, who directed the Oscar-nominated animated movie “Kubo and the Two Strings,” is directing.

Previous installments in the “Transformers” cycle have filmed in the U.S. and around the world, including in China and Great Britain. The fifth and most recent release, “Transformers: The Last Knight,” opened in cinemas last month and has so far grossed $495 million worldwide.

California’s expanded tax incentives went into effect in 2015, with earmarked funds for feature film production. The expansion tripled annual funding available for movie and TV shoots and allowed large-budget features — those with budgets of $75 million or more — to qualify for credits.

Other recent movies to take advantage of the program include Disney’s “Magic Camp” and Warner Bros.’ “A Star is Born.”

The incentive program was designed to entice more major motion pictures to choose California and reverse the tide of runaway productions to states like Georgia and Louisiana, which both offer lucrative tax incentives.

California officials hope that more in-state film shoots will help spur local economies through spending and hiring.

12 July 2017
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Rising star Jorge Lendeborg Jr. is in talks for another big project: He’ll play the young male lead in Paramount’s Transformers spinoff Bumblebee.

Hailee Steinfeld also will star in the film which Travis Knight, who directed the stop-motion movie Kubo and the Two Strings, is helming.

Bumblebee is the yellow and black striped Autobot that appears as one of the main characters in the Transformers film series. Plot details have not been released, but Steinfeld will play a tomboy who also holds a job as a mechanic after school. Sources say the tale is a prequel to the main film series, focused on Bumblebee’s life in an earlier decade. Christina Hodson (Shut In) wrote the script.

The movie project is the first spinoff in what the studio hopes will be a Transformers Cinematic Universe that will include prequels and offshoots from a line of movies that have generated more than $3.7 billion worldwide. The most recent film, Transformers: The Last Knight, hit theaters June 23, and has earned $495.7 million worldwide so far.

Bumblebee is slated for a June 8, 2018, release.

Lendeborg Jr. is a rising star, recently nabbing roles on several notable projects. He can currently be seen in Sony and Marvel’s hit Spider-Man: Homecoming with Tom Holland. The actor, who made his feature debut starring in The Land, he also has booked roles in Robert Rodriguez’s Alita: Battle Angel and upcoming YA project Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda at Fox 2000.

He is repped by Mosaic, Momentum Talent Agency and Dan Fox and Steve Warren at Hansen Jacobson.

9 July 2017
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Young pop star Hailee Steinfeld’s latest song “Most Girls” advocates equality for all types of women. The song trumps the idea of having a unique type of woman better than most. The song took the world by storm by reminding women and men alike that every woman is beautiful in her own way.

The song is all about girl power
As observed in the song’s music video and lyrics, #Hailee portrayed all different types of women and their choices in life. At the first part of the video, it showed how she immediately lost interest in a man who told her she was different than most girls. This alone proves that the song celebrates #Girl power and acceptance of all types of women.

Most girls are smart, strong and beautiful
Through the lyrics, Hailee explains that although women are different in so many ways, each one is smart, strong and beautiful. The choices a woman makes or the life she prefers does not dictate her relevance because being a woman itself means you have value. The song shows that when a woman feels like she does not fit in her own skin and tries to change it, it doesn’t make her any less of a woman. A woman is also allowed to have days when she is not confident about her own skin.

It’s okay to try to change yourself
The song also broke the notion that it’s wrong to change who you are. In fact, the lyrics mentioned that “It’s okay if you wanna change the body that you came in” and you don’t have to feel sorry for wanting to feel confident. According to a study conducted by the Daily News, one in five women actively considers surgery.

Most people would see this as a negative and interpret this as being unacceptable. However, Hailee went the opposite direction and said if you feel confident about it, then do it.

Every woman is in some ways different yet the same
In addition, the song celebrates diversity among women and the beauty of knowing that every woman is free to be who she wants to be. The song tells us that no matter the differences, each woman fights for herself every day and every type of woman has something to offer. Each woman has her own strengths and beauty and there is no single type of woman that is better or worse.

Every woman deserves to be free
All in all, the song “Most Girls” fights the right of women to be free to choose whoever she wants to be without the fear of being stereotyped. Women are not to be criticized based on their choices or in their physique but are made to be loved, accepted, and cherished. Lastly, women are made to be unique – not stuffed in a certain mold just to fit society’s acceptable version of beautiful.

7 July 2017
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Hailee Steinfeld is a pop culture anomaly. After scoring an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in the Coen brothers’ True Grit at age 13, Hailee embarked on a dual career as a serious actress and musician who sings empowerment anthems for teenagers. In the last year, she’s danced in a faux-fur coat on the Disney Channel and earned rave reviews for playing the lead in the indie flick Edge of Seventeen.

Thirty years have passed since we’ve seen a celebrity masterfully balance prestige cinema and bubble pop, when Cher won an Oscar for her performance in Moonstruck. (Broadway veterans and cabaret crooners, like Bette Midler and Frank Sinatra, don’t count.) Now, Hailee is attempting to do the same, but at only 20 years old, it’s unclear if she can pull it off. She’s soared in art house films, but her mainstream box office appeal won’t be tested till she headlines next year’s Transformers spin-off Bumblebee.

This summer she’s focusing on timely, socially conscious music. Her new single “Most Girls” sounds designed for maximum reblogs. Lyrics include “you look greatest when you feel like a damn queen” and the video features girls in shirts emblazoned with strong, feisty, and other nasty-adjacent words. Over 37 million people have viewed the video on YouTube. Like Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” and Katy Perry’s “Chained to the Rhythm” before it, “Most Girls” has received some social media criticism for commodifying feminism. Considering she’s yet to twerk at the MTV VMAs and spark debates about cultural appropriation, “Most Girls” is far from a lethal career offense.

Hailee spoke to Broadly about the reaction to “Most Girls,” her strategy for balancing music and acting, and why she treats blockbusters as seriously as Oscar bait. This interview has been edited and condensed.

Who would you say are your musical influences?
I literally just went to a record store and saw all these [albums by] groups and artists that I grew up listening to. It’s such a wide variety from Boyz II Men to Mariah Carey to The Eagles to Michael Jackson. All of them, I [think about] when I’m making music.

How did you come up with “Most Girls”?
I worked on the song with Asia Whiteacre, [one of the writers] who wrote “Starving.” It’s so funny. This song came from the experience of having a guy compliment a girl by saying, “You’re not like most girls,” and realizing that that’s not really much of a compliment. Most girls are smart and amazing and have authority. That’s what we were acknowledging with this song.

What was the genesis for the music video concept?
It started as a bunch of different things. I knew I wanted to play the roles of the females that I talk about in the songs—a version of them that is me, of course. So I went through and started with 12 different looks and then was reminded, over and over again, that we had one day to shoot this thing, and we’d be lucky if we got three looks. I narrowed it down. There was so much that went into what looks went into the video, and even the words that went across the girl’s shirts in the video. I had such a clear vision for it. (more…)

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