Matthew Mcconaughey found himself sweating with nerves before meeting director Martin Scorsese after the Hollywood star was approached to join the cast of The Wolf Of Wall Street, because he studied the moviemaker at film school. The Sahara actor admits he felt a little starstruck by the revered Goodfellas filmmaker, but he was immediately put at ease by the Hollywood veteran's easy-going nature and sense of humour.
He tells MTV News, "I studied Martin Scorsese in film school in 1992, at the University of Texas. All of the sudden, a year and a half ago or two years ago, I'm going to meet Martin Scorsese at this apartment in New York.
"I was just nervous to meet an icon like that. And the first thing I got from him was, 'This guy loves funny.' It occurred to me that most of the people who are great at what they do, they love funny."
The meeting led to McConaughey landing a small part as a Wall Street hot shot in the new dramatic comedy, an adaptation of disgraced New York financier Jordan Belfort's memoir, which chronicles his lavish life in banking and his subsequent downfall as he was jailed for securities fraud and money laundering.
McConaughey wasn't the only castmember in awe of Scorsese - actor/director Jon Favreau, who plays an attorney in the new movie, revelled in watching the master at work on set.
Favreau says, "I love the guy. I always have. To work on this type of movie with him, was a huge treat.
"He's such a visionary, so I expected him to come in with a book of notes and storyboards, like a (Alfred) Hitchcock type. I was amazed at how loose he is, how collaborative he is, how much fun he has, and how much he laughs."
The holidays. It's a time of joy, giving, kindness, and time off of work. But all of that free time on your hands can sometimes seem intimidating, and going to see all of the big Oscar contenders in theaters can get pretty expensive, so we've decided to help you out by coming up with a better, less costly use of your time. We're sure there are plenty of television shows that you've been wanting to watch all year, but haven't had the time to check out. So, we've rounded up the best of them to give you a foolproof guide to catching up on television over the holidays. Consider it our gift to you.
The Ones You've "Been Meaning to Get To"With all of the shows currently airing on television, it's understandable that you wouldn't have had time to get to them all. But since you're likely to have some free time over the holidays, why not take the opportunity to catch up on those shows that you've had saved on your DVR for months, the ones you keep hearing your friends talk about, and the ones you want to start watching before they start winning all kinds of awards next month.
Rectify. When it comes to shows that you should be watching but just haven't gotten around to, Rectify is probably at the top of the list. Set in a small town in Georgia, the show picks up after Daniel Holden has been released from prison after spending 19 years on death row, and follows Daniel, his family, and the people who live Paulie as they try and deal with the aftermath of Daniel's release. The show has topped almost every television critic's end-of-the-year list, and has been declared to be a must-see. With only six episodes in the first season, it should be easy to catch up over the holidays - all of the episodes are available on DVD - so that you can finally check it off your list, and start feeling superior to your friends how haven't discovered it yet.
Broadchurch. You may have missed this British drama when it first aired at the end of the summer, but there's no excuse for not catching up on the mystery now. The show aims to portray how the death of a child in a small town affects all of the people living in Broadchurch, and shows both the human aspect of the murder as well as the investigation being performed by the two leading detectives, Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and Ellie Miller (Olivia Coleman). If you're looking for a twist on the standard crme procedural, are interested in seeing Tennant take on a completely different role, or were one of the few people truly upset by AMC's decision to cancel The Killing (again), then Broadchurch is the show for you.
House of Cards. Sure, Orange Is the New Black was the runaway hit of the summer, but if there's any show currently streaming online that you haven't gotten around to yet, it's probably House of Cards. Kevin Spacey stars as Francis Underwood, the House Minority Whip, as he schemes, plots, and deals his way through Washington DC. Even if you don't get sucked into the fascinating and addicting world of underhanded politics, it's worth watching House of Cards to see Spacey chew the scenery and mastermind every move the Senate makes. Plus, there's an incredible supporting cast, including Robin Wright as Francis' equally devious wife Claire, Corey Stoll as Peter Russo, the representative who is juggling his position in the House with his numerous addictions, and Kate Mara as the ambitious journalist Zoe Barnes. Trust us, when the second season is released on Netflix on Valentine's Day, you don't want to be the only one out of the loop.
The Ones You Forgot AboutSometimes the best shows on television don't earn dedicated fanbases or win a clean sweep of awards. Sometimes, you pass them by when flipping the channels on the way to something else. Well, allow us to point out a few of those smaller shows that are a much better use of your time than yet another Law and Order marathon.
Shameless. Most of the time, when US networks remake British shows, the result is a disaster that alienates fans on both continents. But occasionally, the result is a show that is somehow better and more compelling than the original. This is the case with Shameless, the Showtime series that showcases the up and downs of the Gallagher family, warts and all. Led by the alcoholic, thieving Frank (William H. Macy), the Gallaghers do whatever they need to to survive life on the Southside of Chicago. High school dropout Fiona (Emmy Rossum) works odd jobs to care for her siblings, Lip (Jeremy Allen White) uses his intellect to scheme his way out f responsibility and into some money, Ian (Cameron Monaghan) is closeted and carrying on an affair with his married boss, Debbie (Emma Kenney) is trying to navigate middle school and reconcile her father and her sister, and Carl (Ethan Kutkosky) keeps setting fire to everything. It won't take much for you to be drawn into the Gallaghers' struggles, and after the first season, you too will begin bemoaning the injustice of Rossum's lack of Emmy nominations. And if you catch up now, you'll be ready to watch the fourth season when it premieres in January.
Trophy Wife. With a title that terrible, it's no wonder you put this ABC sitcom out of your head, but it has turned out to be one of the best new shows on television. Malin Ackerman stars as Kate, a former party girl who fell in love with and married and older man (Bradley Whitford), and now must balance her new role as a stepmother, his two ex-wives and her old, still-partying friends. The show is surprisingly accepting, and is more about a blended family learning to love all of its members than drawing humor from its fish-out-of-water premise. But let's be real, here: the real reason to keep watching is Bert, who, played by Albert Tsai, is arguably one of the mot consistently funny characters on television right now. The show's still in its first season, so there's not too much for you to catch on before it returns from hiatus in January; what better way to bond with your own family than by watching this hilariously dysfunctional one try and balance it all?
The Hour. Part espionage thriller, part behind-the-scenes look at the makings of television and entirely brilliant, The Hour is probably the best show you've never seen. The British drama focuses on Bel Rowley (Romola Garai), the producer tasked with getting The Hour, the BBC's first nightly news program off the ground in the 1950s. She's joined by her good friend, Freddie Lyon (Ben Whishaw), who s more interested in integrity and chasing the story than he is with catering to the network bosses, Lix Storm (Anna Chancellor), the worldly foreign correspondent who acts as Bel's mentor, and Hector Madden (Dominic West), the program's cocky new anchor. The acting is incredible, the writing is exquisite, and the stories are exciting and compelling, and once you've started The Hour, you'll understand just why it's "the hour you can't miss". Although it's no longer airing, having been cancelled after its second season ended on a cliff-hanger, but it's easy enough to find online,a nd is sure to be the perfect way to spend a few hours of your time.
The Ones With The Hardcore FanbasesSometimes, a television show connects so strongly with a particular audience that its fans become more than just causal viewers; instead, they feel the need to talk about their favorite show whenever they get the chance, constantly recommending that you watch it, and refusing to take no for answer. Well, sometimes, those intense fans are right, and the shows they love are actually really good, even if their fanaticism may put you off. Here are the recommendations you should be taking seriously.
Orphan Black. This is probably the millionth time someone has recommended that you give Orphan Black a shot, but that's because it really is worth a watch. Starring Tatiana Maslany as seven different and distinct characters, the show is probably best described as a sci-fi mystery as well as being one of the most addicting shows currently on television. The plot follows Sarah Manning, an English grifter who watches a woman - who looks just like her - commit suicide by jumping in front of a train. After Sarah decides to adopt the dead woman's identity, she is thrown into a major conspiracy that will force her to question everything she thought she knew about herself. his show definitely lives up to all of its hype, and once you watch it, you too will find yourself with a brand new favorite actress.
Sleepy Hollow. When Sleepy Hollow was first announced this fall, nobody thought it would turn out to be a decent show. And sure, it might be a lot more ridiculous and campy than many of the shows on this list, but if you're looking for a fun, entertaining way to spend some time this holiday, then this is the show for you. The off-the-wall plot, which centers around Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison), who has been sent forward in time 200 years to modern-day Sleepy Hollow, New York, where he must team up with Detective Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) to stop the impending apocalypse, is balanced by compelling, engaging performances. It's got the perfect combination of self-awareness, goofy adventures, supernatural spookiness and well-rounded characters to make it perfect holiday comfort viewing.
Bob's Burgers. You may have noticed us recommend this show before, but we strongly believe this little show about the weirdest, funniest, most accepting family on television is one everyone should watch. Every episode is hilarious, well-acted and original, and it's rare to see a family on television who are so loving and accepting of one another, from Linda's inventive songs to Louise's appetite for chaos and destruction to Tina's hormonal awkwardness to Gene... well, being Gene. Just trust us on this one, and give it a try. You won't regret it.
The One You Gave Up On That Got Better
The Mindy Project. There's no denying that the first season of The Mindy Project was fraught with issues. However, when it returned for a second season this fall, it brought with it sharper jokes, better paced episodes, more character development, and a cast overhaul, all of which resulted in it being a much stronger show than it was before. Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling) is just as much of a mess as she was before, but she has wittier one-liners, and she has settled in to a much more comfortable rapport with her co-workers, who include a newly-added Adam Pally as the frat bro doctor Peter Prentiss. If you liked or were indifferent to the show before, the holidays are a perfect time to give the new episodes a chance, because you just might find that the show you gave up on has gotten better when you weren't watching.
There were entrepreneurs in the Shark Tank halls. Would they find excellent deals under their Christmas trees or would Mr. Wonderful leave them a lump of coal? It was the Christmas episode, in case you hadn't figured it out yet.
The first entrepreneur in the tank was Shawn Genenbacher, who was pitching Lite-netics. He wanted $125,000 for 15%. These were magnetic light strands that were supposed to whittle time spent putting up Christmas lights down to next to nothing. He was selling them for both residential and commercial use and he'd been at it for four years, averaging about $100,000 per year. The Sharks picked up immediately that there were scaling problems. The lights were too expensive to make, too, since the fact they were magnetized drove the production costs up. His lights were also way more expensive than his competitors. He also didn't do the best job presenting, stammering answers on multiple occasions. One thing that he did have in his favor was that it was patened. No one could copy it. Sensing an opportunity, Kevin O'Leary made an offer for $125,000 for 50% of the company. Robert Herjavec, Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner got out fast, ensuring no protracted bidding process. Greiner also pointed out that the bulbs were too big, since most people were buying icicle lights. Daymond John got in the act and offered $125,00 for 40%. Genenbacher declined both their offers, and the Sharks declared that he would never make any headway in the market.
Next in the tank was Morri Chowaiki, pitching the Hannukah Tree Topper, an ornament for interfaith families. He wanted $50,000 for 15%. He'd made $150,000 ... in three seasons, which caused the Sharks to groan. Several of the Sharks deemed it non-proprietary and the sales too dismal. O'Leary and Greiner were out in quick succession. It even seemed like hell froze over, since Greiner agreed with O'Leary's assessment. She's usually too busy insulting him. John didn't like Chowaiki's jugement but offered $50,000 for $35K. Chowaiki was hemming and hawing, which made me flash back to that idiot that was selling the individual wine glasses who screwed up not once but twice on the show. After a dramatic pause, he held mistletoe over his head and accepted the deal with John.
It was about the Ruckpack , which had been on a previous Shark Tank. It was doing really well, it had secured a $4 million deal with Walgreens, all with help from Herjavec and O'Leary.
The third entrants in the tank were Rachel Bernstein, a former model, and Melissa Barone, an expert on hair extensions, of Cashmere Hair Girls of Beverly Hills. They wanted $45,000 for 15%. They were selling hair extensions for $399. It was high quality Indian (the country India, not Native American) hair and it came in seven strips that had clips that were easy to take on or off..They'd made $38,000 in sales in six months. Cuban was out first. O'Leary was next. John followed suit, but not before first having to calm Barone down, who was nearly hyperventilating. Greiner liked the idea of hair parties. Herjavec agreed, but didn't see it worth investing in and he was out. Greiner was then out. No deals. Bernstein had to console Barone outside the Tank.
The last people in the tank were Evan Mendelsohn and Nick Morton for Tipsy Elves. They were selling really, really ugly holiday-themed sweaters (it was mostly Christmas, but they also had Hannukah-themed items), ranging from Santa riding his sleigh upside down to gingerbread men running from a giant Santa hand reaching for them. Cuban had this look of disgust as soon as he saw them and O'Leary said what Cuban was thinking: "These are hideous." Undeterred, the two men wanted $100,000 for 5%. Surprisingly, they had made over $1 million in two years, mostly online. They wanted to move to retail, which most of the Sharks shot down as a bad idea, since it would require tremendous overhead, like warehouses the size of a couple of blocks. Cuban was out. O'Leary made an offer, $100,000 for a royalty of $2 per sweater until the money was paid back and then $1 in perpetuity - but no equity. Herjavec offered $100,000 for 10%. John thought about making an offer, but couldn't pull the trigger. They accepted Herjavec's offer.
Another .500 night for people making deals. Of course, these handshake deals all have to pass through due diligence, so there's no guarantee that further down the road, the deals didn't fall through. Still, it was a better night than some, though there didn't seem to be as much jockeying amongst the Sharks as there has been in previous episodes. My perception may have been colored by my shock at Greiner agreeing with O'Leary, though. There won't be a new episode until Jan. 10.
In December's Some Velvet Morning starring Stanley Tucci and Alice Eve, writer and director Neil LaBute (The Wicker Man) takes on the story of a twisted relationship filled with bitterness, lust, anger, and frustration between a man named Fred and a woman called Velvet. We spoke to LaBute about the similarities of directing a film and a play, the benefit of leaving the audience in the dark, and his love of black-and-white films.
Warning: Questions and answers that reveal specific plot points in the film have been marked with a "spoiler."
The biggest thing that I noticed about the film is that I think you could really see it as a play on stage. Was directing the film similar to directing a play?Well, I certainly have done so much theater that that’s an easy thing to imagine, and because of the contained quality of it, it would translate quite easily. I mean, once I had a script I could have done either thing with it. I’ve staged many things; I’ve made films out of plays afterwards. But what I hadn’t done yet was take a text and said, "I’m going to make a movie out of it first." One that was as contained as that. Even more contained than some of the plays I’ve done. It all felt like it was in real time and in one space and all that. I just felt like it was a good time for me to do something like that, and it felt like the right kind of script. It was manageable and something I hadn’t done, so whether people like it or not -- whether they agree if it’s a movie -- they have to accept it for what it is. It hasn’t been on any stage… it just is what it is. It’s a very contained chamber piece, but it’s a film. So there you have it.
Did you feel at home being in a smaller space like that?Yes, and I had made films for relatively small amounts of money and very quick shooting periods.
How long was the filming?Eight days. There was a ninth day that we had to have that was a studio day. It was a part of the New York tax law. To be able to be a part of the rebate, you have to shoot in a studio. But there was nothing that we needed to shoot in the studio. We were like, "Why are we going to recreate all of these rooms when we have them right here?" But we shot the title sequence which was from above, so we brought the rug and the couch into the studio and shot that and it fulfilled the requirement. But essentially the movie was shot in eight days.
For the relationship between Fred and Velvet, did you do anything with Stanley and Alice beforehand to get their chemistry just right? How did you extract all of their anger and bitterness?You do get lucky that people sort of just click and trust each other and they trust you. We had about three days beforehand -- which is not tons, but it’s something. They didn’t just show up on the set and say, "Here we go." Two of those days we set around a table, were seated, working on the set. You know, just mercilessly cutting stuff that we said, "No, no, not good enough." ... So there was a lot of that, and then there was a day that we spent in the house kind of saying the mystery is this: ...He needs to show up at the door and, however many pages later, he needs to go out that door. Everything else is fair game. And there’s certain things that I know we have to do like when he says, “get me a drink of water,” you’re either going to get it from the bathroom or you’re going to go downstairs to the kitchen. So there were only certain ones that made sense. You’ve got to go somewhere to make that phone call. When you go to the bedroom, you’ve got to go up the stairs. But we sort of felt our way there ... but it was great having those levels.
Right. You didn’t want to be too constrained, in an already constrained situation.Yeah, it’s already constricted. So as much as you could say, "Let's open this up," it was worth doing. But they were able to manufacture a lot of that on their own. They clicked as people and they trusted each other, and they really had to count on each other in terms of "let’s learn this material." And the best way to learn was to go back and forth, back and forth and repeating it. And then also we were shooting two cameras a lot of the time, so there wasn’t a lot of, "Oh good, we’re shooting the other couple today." You’re constantly working, and you’re constantly on camera. There’s not even the relief of, "Okay, I know I’m shooting you; I can say the lines and say emotional, but I’m not giving 100 percent. I’m reserving a little energy for my side." But when the cameras are pointing both ways, you’ve got to go all of the time. And then you’ve got to go home and learn ten more pages. They had a very exhaustive eight days.
[Spoilers ahead] What were you trying to illustrate about this specific human relationship between Velvet and Fred?The trick is that you’re showing two things, but you don’t want to show your hand until very late in the game. Now people may come and say, "I’ve seen some of his stuff before and there may be a plot twist, this may not be the same thing of what I think it is;" so you’re going against all of that already. But I wanted people to go on the same emotional ride that they would go on in any movie. Invest in the characters and go, "I want to find out what happens." I don’t care if people love them or if there’s a sequel. I just care that you go, "Yeah, this is interesting enough. I want to know what happens to these two people." And slowly start to invest in them and go, "Oh, what happened to you? Oh this is interesting." And take that journey that you would normally take until you suddenly go, "Oh wait, is any of this true?" And see how long I can keep that ball in the air. Because it’s always fake... I mean, from my point of view, the kind of stuff that I write, it’s not biography, it’s not a story that I read in the newspaper, it’s always made up. And yet I want to make it seem real enough, the psychology appears valid enough that you go, "I believe these people. I believe that they exist. I believe that they’re falling in love. I believe they’re falling out of love." So the dynamic was exactly the same. It’s just that there was something else going on underneath that hopefully you can then go back and look at and go, "Oh yeah, I should have seen that they were acting, that there was a weird little thing going on between them, as they kind of don’t answer each other’s questions or pause for a moment." So hopefully it works on both those levels.
[Spoilers ahead] And did you want both of them to know the ending? I mean, it changes your whole perspective. They’re acting on multiple levels.They needed to know from the beginning. Really the audience is the only one who’s left out -- which can annoy the audience, actually. Some audience members, I’m sure, can watch or will watch and will go, "Oh, that’s a fucking cheat. I invested in that and now you’re telling me that they don’t even exist as people?" And they’ll find that annoying. But I think the best version of it is that you do enjoy the manipulation. It’s sort of like watching a magic trick and you like it on two levels. You like it if you don’t figure it out and you like it if you do figure it out. Or a mystery. You read Agatha Christie and you go, "Hah! I figured it out." Or you don’t and you go, "Damn." So it kind of works both ways -- or I hope, anyway. But the actors had to know because that is their dynamic. While it probably is more fulfilling, because it is a sexual game they’re playing, it’s probably more sexually fulfilling the more it feels real. So the more he does get angry at her, the more she does hold back from him; the more he has to pull it out of her and take it from her. I think that’s probably ultimately their dynamic: I want to take you, but I want you to hold me off as long as you can.
[Spoilers ahead] What was your favorite scene in the movie?That’s an interesting question. No one’s asked me that. But now that you say that, the first thing that came to mind for me is probably the scene towards the end of the movie where Stanley and Alice sit on a couch ... they’re just laughing together, and they’re very quiet. Because it’s unbroken, because it’s just the two of them acting -- there’s no cutting back and forth-- it's all just, it’s what I like best. The camera just sitting there [watching] two really good actors acting with each other, setting the pace. I really like that scene. I like the look of it, the way they play it – it’s just a really nice scene. I love the last moment of Alice after he leaves. There’s so much going on on her face. It kind of changes the game again, even this sort of like, "Hey it was great, thank you, are you going to call me again?" And then he leaves and there’s a whole other thing. There’s a whole lot more that you’re not telling me. And it’s all her. It’s just on the page, “Velvet goes and sits down.” And that’s just Alice standing there, and you’re like, "This girl is in the zone." She was amazing to watch, and she’s great to watch on screen.
Did this film trigger Alice Eve being cast in Dirty Weekend?Yeah. I'm really happy with the experience -- with the outcome ... it just kind of made sense to let her do something that was much different than what we had just done. And she's easy to work with. She's smart. She's funny. She's really focused.
What is your favorite film ever?If you twist my arm hard enough – I don’t know if you can, we won’t test you today – I would say La Dolce Vita.
Any particular reason?Because it is uncommonly beautiful and the story moves me. If I had to pick an American movie, I’d pick Manhattan. So two black and whites.
James Mcavoy made his Broadway debut on Monday (18Nov13) when he took on The 24 Hour Plays challenge. The X-Men: First Class star was joined by a number of big names for the charity event, during which writers, actors and directors attempt to put together a series of short plays in just a day to raise money for charity.
However, McAvoy, who played an over-sexualised version of himself in one of the plays at New York City's American Airlines Theatre, took the daunting assignment in his stride, telling The Hollywood Reporter, "It's not really a challenge. You've got an audience who are willing to go with you, you've got writers who are writing stuff that's easy to learn, you've got great people who are good at improvisation. If you mess up, the audience will like it even more."
Proceeds from the 13th annual 24 Hour Plays event will go to education charity the Urban Arts Partnership (UAP), which helps underprivileged New York schools, and the Scottish actor claims he feels a personal connection with the organisation's goals.
He adds, "I grew up in a place where people didn't have a lot of dreams, and I know 24 Hour Plays reaches out to people who are in a similar position... That's what 24 Hour Plays does. It reaches out to people who don't even have a dream, and that's really sad, so giving people the ability to project and hope and have a dream, whether they f**king achieve it or not is up to them, helping people develop hope and imagination is an incredible thing. And that's what art education does more than anything else, I think."
Sony Pictures Television/ABC
It was time for another lesson in entrepreneurship on Shark Tank: five hungry sharks and four different pitches to be either torn to shreds and devoured or invested in.
The first in the tank was a "product to ensure you always know who is at the front door." The pitchman, Jamie Siminoff, stood behind the closed front doors and knocked. Lori Greiner, being the gracious one, asked who it was: some of the other sharks looked like they were wondering what the heck he was doing. He announced himself as "Jamie, ready to pitch" and Greiner told him to come in.
Siminoff, who wanted a $700,000 for 10% was selling the Doorbot - a video doorbell for smartphones. "Think of it as caller ID for your front door." He demonstrated with a cardboard cutout of Kevin O'Leary and mocked the structure of his deals. The other Sharks were laughing, but while O'Leary was smiling, his eyes looked non-plussed. It's never a good idea to make a billionaire non-plussed, Jamie.
They asked questions about distribution: he had it online currently, but in November, Staples would sell it.. He said it costs $199 and he pays $81.83 per unit to make it. This is a question that the Sharks love to ask. He had done a million in aggregate sales so far and that there were no current competitors that fit the mold of being a smartphone-only doorbell. They were concerned about burglars but Siminoff said that if it was ripped off the door, they would replace it free of charge.
Greiner, while being encouraging that there could be things to expand, was out first for not being convinced it would be distinguished enough to separate itself from other markets.
The next domino fell very quickly. Mark Cuban was out. He liked the quality of the product, but didn't see himself adding enough value to company. It was at this point that Siminoff seemed to start getting a hangdog expression, like "None of you are going to invest here, are you?"
As if sensing something, Daymond John was out next. He saw the possibility of ADT using it as part of their product, but he struggled with where it would exactly fit in the marketplace. He did offer a thin-smile of condolence with his refusal.
Robert Herjavec was really adamant that he didn't like the security aspect of it, since others alarms were hardwired. He said that this might be hackable. This of course led to a quick "I'm out."
This all came down to O'Leary, who also calls himself 'Mr. Wonderful." This is the same guy who Siminoff had mocked to start off the pitch. He apparently wasn't moved by the pitchman holding up the O'Leary cardboard cutout again. But he also was about possibly making money and offered him the $700,000 and 5% equity plus his favorite addition of royalties: 10% until the money was recouped and then 7% in perpetuity. Siminoff didn't like the royalty in perpetuity bit and threw back an offer of $700,000 plus a 10% interest rate and 3% equity, which O'Leary summarily dismissed. After Siminoff turned down his offer, O'Leary hit him with his phrase "You're dead to me." The other Sharks seemed supportive of the entrepreneur's decision.
Update: Usually they update about a particular successful pitch from early in the season, but this time Barbara Corcoran took some of her most successful entrepreneurs on weekend retreat and made it basically into an ad for a Shark Tank book. It was funny seeing her in casual gear though; usually she's very businesslike on the show.
Second in the tank was Julie Busha for Slawsa, which was a "new take on condiments" that was a cross between slaw and salsa. Her catch-phrase was "It's slaw-some", which made me mad that I didn't think of it. She asked for $150,000 for 15% . She had $212,000 in sales in 4,200 stores, with Kroger being a big retailer. They liked that she hustled and got these stores herself. The price of her product was 20% more than other condiments since it was a more labor-intensive job. In the middle of her pitch, she got teared-up over being debt-free, because that is what made her able to buy the existing company. Her and her husband had been so diligent in saving that she had more than enough money to not take a salary.
Cuban felt he couldn't contribute, despite her point that she wanted to sell this in his sports arenas. He didn't see that as enough to invest and was out.
The items were too sweet for Herjavec and he felt he couldn't invest in something he didn't like. He was out.
Daymond was not jazzed about the product either and he also bowed out.
Greiner didn't want to be in the slawsa business though she liked the product. As is generally her custom, she let her down easy when she said she was out.
So once again, it was down to O'Leary, who didn't like the valuation. Since it was a one-woman business, he felt there was too much risk. He said he could do a deal and then she'd walk out and possibly get hit by a bus. He was out.
The third pitch in the tank was Magic Moments. This was created by three guys from Detroit, Michigan, Trevor and Blake George and Sanford Nelson.
The product was a new way to for people to share favorite images. They could take a picture on their smartphone and then use an app on the phone to put those photos on any product and supposedly make money off it. The products ranged form mousepads to iPhone cases. They wanted $500,000 for a 15% stake. The problems cropped up immediately. They had no numbers though they couched it with terms like "Pre Revenue Sales." This made every Shark roll their eyes. There was the question of the legality of using people's photos for sale and they countered that they use CafePress as an exclusive vendor, which gave them access to the company's legal team.
Daymond grilled them about fundraising. They said they had raised $500,000, though it was friends and family only. Those are some really deep-pocketed friends and family, huh?
O'Leary was the first out: he couldn't get past the valuation of it and he felt he could emulate it for 1/3 of the price. When Mr. Wonderful, who usually is one of the last to bow out is the first one to say no, that's NOT a good sign.
Cuban thought it better to do web-based photos and not just have it go from the smartphone straight to the product, since a lot of people like to edit the photos in something like Photoshop. He was out.
Daymond didn't think they have proof of concept, especially in something like photography and the Internet, where there are so many apps out there. He was out.
Greiner was very uncomfortable about selling everyday pictures that other people took, so she was out.
Herjavec was not convinced that a real marketplace existed, so he was out.
There was no deal from a Shark again. Maybe the fourth one would be the one, though I had a bad feeling that wouldn't be the case since the preview showed Herjavec yelling "I'M OUT!!!!" at someone and that hadn't occurred yet.
Last in the tank was Surprise Ride, which was the brainchild of Donna and Rosy Khalife, who were sisters and refugees from Lebanon. Their product was geared toward family fun and education. They asked for $110,000 for 10%.
After their pitch, they handed out Surprise Ride packages, which were very well made. They had tailored them to each Shark's interest; Herjavec's had something about race car driving, a subject that he is a fanatic about.
The Sharks got down to brass tacks. The product cost $24.99 for a six-month subscription and they had shipped 800 to 220 subscribers over the last 4 months. O'Leary hit them with two questions that he always likes to ask start-ups: Customer Acquisition Costs and the Value in Customer Profit Margin. Rather than the deer-in-the-headlight expression that O'Leary must have anticipated, they answered his questions with no problem, earning a cheer from other Sharks. It helped that one of the sisters had a background on Wall Street.
What helped them was that it was a scalable business and they had raised $100,000 from an angel investor. They were anticipating $500,000 in sales for the year and felt they had a large potential customer base in mothers..
Daymond didn't like the valuation. He used the example of his own company, FUBU. When he first started, he sold 800 shirts. That meant he had sold 800 shirts. No crazy valuation. He was out.
O'Leary again saw a proof of concept issue. He was out.
Herjavec saw them as underestimating what hustle would be required to get this done. Despite his misgiving, he did make an offer: $110,000 for 25%. Here's where the two girls really screwed up. They practically didn't acknowledge the offer or say anything like, "Thank you, Robert." They just turned their gaze to the other Sharks and asked for other offers, Even I was cowering at home from Herjavec's death glare.
Greiner was telling them that she saw herself in them and telling them they could make anything happen. An exasperated Cuban was rolling his eyes. "She's telling you she's out in 9,000 words." He was right. Greiner was out, telling them to do it on their own. She said she was out. They were begging and Herjavec interjected that Greiner was out. The girls made Mistake No. 2, telling him basically to butt out.
Cuban then blasted them for their wanting to rely on other companies to drive their products. Entrepreneurs need to drive their own destiny.
Herjavec then really took it to them, changing his mind. The girls massively screwed up by not immediately taking his offer or even acknowledging it. Ironically, Cuban was munching on the popcorn that the girls had put in his package. They even played the immigrant card on Herjavec, but he was unmoved.
O'Leary summed it up: "You are now legends on Shark Tank. You had a deal and couldn't close it."
So... there were no deals this week. Judging by the previews with one entrepreneur pumping her fist, I think it gets better next time.
British socialite Peaches Geldof became embroiled in a heated Twitter.com feud with a controversial commentator on Tuesday (12Nov13), hours before they were due to debate parenting techniques on a TV show. Katie Hopkins sparked the war of words after posting a photo of Bob Geldof's daughter from last year (12), when she accidentally pushed her 18-month-old son Astala's stroller into a pothole after failing to see a crack in the footpath while holding her cell phone.
In the accompanying caption, Hopkins wrote, "peaches believes in attachment parenting. Attached to a phone that is."
The criticism prompted an angry response from Geldof, who hit back at the embarrassing shot in a number of heated posts hours before the pair was due to go head-to-head to discuss parenting skills on British talk show This Morning on Tuesday (12Nov13).
Responding to Hopkins' tweet, she wrote, "I don't even want to reply to Katie Hopkins (sic) desperate, incessant tweeting because it feeds her insatiable lust for recognition. However her posting low blows like a picture of my son falling from his pram (stroller) when I tripped over a crack in a pavement has warranted at least a few responses from me...
"This is the woman who hates women, ethnic minorities, anyone with less money, anyone who dares point out the glaringly obvious.... I wouldn't be surprised if she had a shrivelled old pair of balls under that 1980s... tweed skirt of hers. All the better to castrate her with. what we need to ask ourselves is why we even allow her to have a platform."
The pair continued to clash on This Morning as Hopkins challenged Geldof over her parenting techniques, with the star accusing her of being a terrible role model for her own children.
After the showdown, Geldof tweeted: "Well... That was easy. Think I know who won that one. Hopkins was literally SHAKING when I shook her hand afterwards.
"Think I just said to Katie Hopkins live on This Morning what the whole of Britain wants to say to her. YOU LOSE, sucka!!!!"
Adult actress Jenna Jameson is returning to the porn industry, five years after declaring she would never strip off on camera again. The busty blonde famously announced she was quitting porn at the Adult Video News Awards in 2008, but financial woes have since prompted her to take up work as a webcam model, undressing and performing sex acts online in exchange for tips, reports TMZ.com.
The 39 year old, who recently lost her Hollywood mansion to foreclosure, tells the website, "My motivation (for signing up for the webcam work) is taking care of my family and having fun and pleasing all of my fans."
Ironically, news of Jameson's return to porn emerges just a day after she appeared in a pre-taped interview on U.S. TV show Oprah: Where Are They Now?, on which she insisted she was not interested in big money offers to reprise her X-rated career, claiming her life has become "100 per cent about being a mother" to her four-year-old twins, Jesse and Journey.
Speaking to Oprah Winfrey on the programme, which aired on Sunday (10Nov13), she added, "I've had a lot of people question me saying, 'Why haven't you made a comeback? It'd be easy for you to make multi-millions off of one or two scenes.' And to be honest, I made a promise to my children when they were in my tummy that there is no way I would ever, ever, ever go back."
Jennifer Lawrence was touched by a burn victim on the set of The Hunger Games after she revealed the book series, which inspired the film, gave her the courage to return to school with her head held high. The actress still chokes up when she recalls the extra's story, admitting it made her realise she is part of a very powerful film franchise.
She tells WENN, "I remember being on the first movie and there was a girl who was an extra and she was covered in scars and burned. I remember her coming up to me and saying she was too self-conscious to go to school when she was younger. And then when she read Hunger Games and Catching Fire she felt proud of herself and her friends called her the girl on fire.
"I remember just crying and calling my mom and I still can't tell the story without tearing up."
And Lawrence is determined to use the fame she has gained thanks to her role in The Hunger Games films to help as many people as possible.
She adds, "There are so many wonderful things that can come from when you have a voice, saying the right things. A simple one is it's so easy to raise money for charity. It takes me 10 minutes to sign 100 posters and I can raise thousands of dollars for charity that way.
"Sometimes it can all seem so pointless because you're in hair and make-up, and then sometimes there are these lives you can touch without even meaning to."
After only a week of newly-engaged bliss, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have found themselves in the middle of konflict and kontroversy once again. The couple are suing YouTube co-founder Chad Harley for violating a confidentiality agreement by posting a video of the biggest proposal of the year on his new website, MixBit.com, in a what they claim was a bid to gain attention and publicity for the business.
According to the lawsuit, Harley wasn't even invited to attend the event, but instead tagged along with a friend who was. However, he was allowed to stay on the condition that he sign a confidentiality agreement stating that he wouldn't post pictures or videos of the proposal online. And because Kardashian and West take their privacy incredibly seriously, Harley was even photographed with the signed contract, and the photo is included in the lawsuit documents. However, a few days after the couple announced their engagement, Harley's grainy, 3-minute video surfaced online showing West's proposal and the ensuing celebration at AT&T Park in San Francisco.
The suit also claims that Harley further violated the agreement by tweeting about the event to his more than 500,000 followers and that he even issued a press release alerting the media to his video. Kardashian and West are accusing Harley of "breach of written contract, fraud by way of false promise and unjust enrichment," and are asking for an unspecified amount in damages, and for any of the money that Harley has made off the video to be forfeited. The documents also mention that all of the rights to footage of the proposal and party belong to MC Cable Television — an arm of Bunim/Murray and E!, the companies that produce and air Keeping Up With the Kardashians. West apparently approved of the event being filmed for the show, and possibly aired in an upcoming episode.
Call us krazy, but we might actually be on Team Kimye in this showdown. Sure, it's a bit ridiculous to sue someone for filming something that you're only going to put on television anyway, and since neither Kardashian nor West have ever been particularly private about their lives before now, it's easy to make fun of them for suing over a broken confidentiality agreement. But if someone makes you take a photo with a contract you've signed, to prove that you've signed it, doesn't it seem like violating that contract immediately afterwards is a stupid decision? Surely Harley didn't think he was going to be able to sneak something past the one family in the world who have more cameras trained on them than the Obamas.
Maybe it is all just an elaborate plan to get people talking about MixBit. After all, was anybody even aware of the website before Kardashian and West filed their lawsuit? Perhaps Harley is just a firm believer in the idea that "there's no such thing as bad press." He might even be hoping that he'll be talked about on the next season of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. If he's really lucky, maybe he'll get to appear on the show.
Whatever happens, we're sure that there will be plenty of cameras present to keep the world informed.