Senior directs Walmart’s Academy Awards film

first_imgTracey Aivaz, a senior majoring in production at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, found out she would be directing a short film as part of Walmart’s Academy Awards film series “The Box.” (Photo courtesy of Tracey Aivaz)Filmmaker Tracey Aivaz has already stepped foot onto her path toward being a young, female filmmaker in Hollywood. Aivaz, a senior majoring in production at USC School of Cinematic Arts, was chosen by Walmart to direct their 60-second Oscar short film “The Box” after interning for the Academy Gold Program last year.Walmart is the Academy Awards’ largest sponsor, and this year, they held three 60-second commercials which aired during the telecast of the Oscars. The commercials were directed by Nancy Meyers, Melissa McCarthy and Dee Rees. Aivaz was chosen as the fourth director — she wrote and directed her own commercial piece, which was premiered at the Bentonville Film Festival in Arkansas this past May. “What was really fascinating about the commercial was the experience I got with working with professionals,” Aivaz said. “It was a unique collaboration between professionals who are working on features in TV, and students who are at USC. I got to bring in my Gold people and USC people into the thing as well.” “The Box” follows a young girl who looks to her mother for support in accomplishing her goal to horseback ride.Aivaz attributes her love of film to her childhood, where she grew up watching and discussing movies with her parents. Her film career began when she was 12 years old and elected to create a short film for a science class. “I had a natural sense of story and appreciation of story ever since I was a kid,” Aivaz said. “That’s why I volunteered to make a movie for a science project that everyone did on paper.” Aivaz continued making short films throughout high school until she was eventually accepted to SCA. She applied for as many as 80 internships and was rejected from all of them; Aivaz described those rejections as “the nature of business.” However, those rejections did not deter her — she was soon accepted as an intern for an Academy Gold Program in summer 2017, a dream offer for an aspiring filmmaker. “[Rejection] kind of shatters you, but also matures you,” Aivaz said. “I think limitations really add to creativity. The more limitations you have, you’re going to find out different ways to get to what you want.” For three months, Aivaz interned at Panavision’s Iron Office. She attended weekly events at the Academy, where she sat in the same conference as directors Kathryn Bigelow and Sofia Coppola and asked them questions. In addition, the program offered some member screenings, including Steven Spielberg’s “The Post.”“Spielberg was 10 feet away from me and I got to say hi,” Aivaz said. “I just got to hear him in person talk about the movie, and it was really inspiring. Just lovely environment, and the directors at the Academy do everything they can to open up opportunities for Gold interns.”Aivaz also described her experience walking the Red Carpet at the 2018 Oscars during her Academy Gold internship as “surreal.” One of the moments that resonated with her was a conversation with actress Sandra Bullock, who Aivaz said is an ideal representation of a Hollywood role model. “The most incredible, awesome, crazy experience I’ve ever had, really. You were in the same theater as all these crazy celebrities and filmmakers you’ve seen on the screen your whole life,” Aivaz said. “It was just really inspiring to see that many talented people.” Aivaz believes that her education at USC has been crucial to her success. According to Aivaz, SCA immerses students in every aspect of filmmaking and offers a comprehensive education and filmmaking, from pre-production to post-production. “For me, it gave me experience in every field, and it really proved me that I wanted to direct, I wanted to be involved from the beginning to the end,” Aivaz said. “It really gave me hands-on experience, knowledge about the industry, and it helped me land the Academy internship. If it wasn’t because of SCA, I really don’t think I would’ve had anything related to the Academy or Walmart.”In the process of making film, Aivaz likes to emphasize two key aspects: to entertain and to send out messages. “Any movie I make, I want to have those two aspects,” Aivaz said. “I don’t want it to be pure entertainment, and I don’t want it to be purely a message or a moral story. I want it to have both.”She said the film industry is becoming increasingly more open to inclusion and diversity and she feels proud to be part of a revolutionary era in Hollywood. “It’s just starting so the numbers aren’t up there, but I’m seeing a lot of movement in different platforms. I feel like it’s going to keep on getting better and better,” Aivaz said. “I just feel really lucky to enter Hollywood in this era where women are respected and diverse filmmakers are respected. I feel fortunate.”However, Aivaz is still not satisfied — her dream is to one day direct television features and own her own production company with a studio back-up.last_img read more

Web Services and SOA rise — But So Do Over-Expectations

first_imgA number of recent announcements indicate that SOA and Web Services have reached a level of high acceptance.  But the worry is that the hype in the sector may be running equally high.A poll taken in May, 2006 of 139 members from the Society of Information Management and presented this week at their SIMposium conference showed that Web Services top the list of items most important to these technologists, with Security dropping back to third place.  Last year Web Services didn’t even rank. This year’s ranking is as follows:1. Web Services2. Business intelligence3. Security4. Business process management5. Customer portals6. Systems integrationJerry Luftman, the author of the report and SIM Vice President of Academic Community Affairs, attributed the reason for Web Services rising to the top was greater interest in both virtualization and SOA.  In the area of virtualization, they see a trend towards thin clients and virtualized servers.SOA Software is also reporting this week, somewhat reminiscent of McDonald’s “number of hamburgers sold here” advertising, that they have now processed more than 10 billion Web Service transactions for their large enterprise customers.SOA and Web Services clearly offer a better brand of technology, but it’s not without negatives.  They provide a great framework, but the execution/implementation of any technology is often more important to success than the technology used itself.  When even the MotleyFool has picked up on SOA and is offering advice for how best to play SOA as an investment, you may begin to wonder if the hype has gone too far. A backlash to the technology may be coming.  An InformationWeek article found a quarter of business tech pros responding that SOA projects fell short of their expectations, and 55% saying that SOA introduced added complexity.Web Services and SOA are excellent technologies to consider for adoption, but like any other technology, successful implementations require careful planning and analysis.last_img read more

PH ‘tired of being at the bottom’ in SEA Games, says PH chef de Mission

first_imgPhoto by Marc Reyes/INQUIRERThe Philippines is tired of being among the last placers in the region.Chef de mission to the 2017 Southeast Asian Games Cynthia Carrion said Thursday this year’s Philippine delegation is eager to climb up the ladder in the medal standings.ADVERTISEMENT “I think we’re tired of” said Carreon during the send off ceremonies at Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions in Pasay Thursday night.Carreon even correlated the gross domestic products of the Philippines’ Southeast Asian neighbors to its sporting success, saying the country should also be performing well in the sporting stage.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsAs per the International Monetary Fund, the Philippine is the no. 4 country in the Southeast Asian region in terms of GDP per capita at $2,951.07 in 2016.The Philippines, however, finished sixth in the 2015 SEA Games behind Thailand, host Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia with a 29-36-66 gold, silver, bronze medal haul. “We’re up there with Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand in terms of GDP,” said Carreon. “So we can do the same in sports, and we should really do that.”Carreon added their target for a gold medal haul is 50, a number that is more than double that of the 29 the Philippines won in Singapore.“I say around 50, but when I talked to all the athletes they promised me 63 but I just want to say 50,” said Carreon. “I feel we’re going to reach the target.”ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. NGCP on security risk: Chinese just technical advisers PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd00:50Trending Articles05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremonycenter_img Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Gilas PH squad underdog no more MOST READ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo View comments DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul LATEST STORIESlast_img read more

Tom Brady Hurts Leg in Team Scrimmage Against Buccaneers

Quarterback Tom Brady has injured his left knee in 11-on-11 drills in a joint practice with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.According to sources, defensive lineman Adrian Clayborn pushed Patriots offensive lineman Nate Solder into Brady’s leg, just after he threw an incomplete pass. Brady immediately fell to the ground and clutched his leg.On the Boston sports radio station 98.5 The Sports Hub, Patriots president Jonathan Kraft said in an interview that Brady’s status “hopefully did not appear to be that bad.”“I understand from people who were standing out here it may have looked serious,” Kraft said. “I don’t have a definitive answer. And in classic Bill Belichick fashion I will tell you a little bit more though and just say I don’t believe it’s serious, but I do not know.”Clayborn told the media outlets after practice that he was bull-rushing Solder on the play and the Patriots player fell back into Brady.“You always have to stay away from the quarterback but if you have a guy on his heels, my instinct is to keep going,” Clayborn said after the practice session.Brady limped to the sideline and missed one play before rejoining and finishing the drill. read more

Update on Lionel Messis injury ahead of El Clasico

first_imgTime to give you the latest on Lionel Messi’s injury ahead of next Wednesday’s El Clasico at Camp Nou, he didn’t practice with his teammates today.After FC Barcelona’s 2-2 draw against Valencia last Saturday, the major concern was with Lionel Messi and his physical state due to a muscular problem.During the second half of the game, the Argentine player wasn’t able to continue playing at his usual level after he suffered a blow on his right thigh from one of Valencia’s players and needed to get medical attention on the sidelines.Even after he received treatment on the affected area, Lionel Messi still wasn’t able to return to full beast-mode and the fans at Camp Nour were really worried because of the upcoming Copa del Rey Clasico that’s coming on Wednesday.The Catalan club has been determined to tell the press that he is not going to miss the match, but everybody was expecting him to come on Monday and see if he practiced alongside all of his teammates.Missing this first crucial match against Real Madrid on Wednesday could be catastrophic, Lionel Messi is arguably the most important player they have and his absence has proved to be detrimental for the Catalan club this season.#FCB 🔵🔴 | 🚨🚨🚨💥 Leo Messi no entrena con el grupo. El argentino sigue con molestias en su muslo derecho💥 Dembelé hace trabajo sobre el campo y mantiene opciones de jugar #ElClasico— Diario SPORT (@sport) February 4, 2019The cameras and reporters were waiting for Messi to arrive, the fears were as expected. Lionel wasn’t seen on the practice with the rest of the squad, he was told to remain at the gym throughout the whole session getting the proper treatment for recovery.Messi was spotted getting the proper recovery methods by two different physical therapists, the player did get an important knock on the right thigh and there is still no confirmation about his participation for next Wednesday.A report from Diario Sport suggests that the Catalan club has told everyone in the press that Messi will be 100% ready for El Clasico, but the images of him coming to practice and how worried he look to tell a different story.Messi will try to complete tomorrow’s training alongside his teammates exactly one day before the crucial match, his participation and the evolution of his pain will be the ones that decide whether he will be available for manager Ernesto Valverde or not.The Argentine is eager to play against Real Madrid, one of the favorite victims he’s had throughout his career.On this day in 2004, Messi signed his first professional contract.David Villa, FC BarcelonaTop 10 players who played for both Barcelona and Valencia Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to talk about the best players who represented both Barcelona and Valencia, prior to their La Liga encounter at Camp Nou this evening.In the 15 years since:663 games581 goals246 assists33 trophies5 Ballons d’Or(via @brfootball)— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 4, 2019Dembele is back in full force for ValverdeAs we wait for whatever happens with Lionel Messi during the next couple of days, we have to give you all the good news that manager Ernest Valverde has completely recovered Frenchman Ousmane Dembele from the injury he suffered.To those who didn’t know, the young player missed the last four matches due to an ankle injury he suffered during the La Liga match against Leganes.Ankle injuries can be very tricky for dribblers like Dembele, which is why the manager decided to give him such an extended resting period in order to have him completely recovered for the Copa del Rey semifinals.Regardless of who the Catalan club was facing, it was evident that Dembele’s absence could affect the squad but not as much as Lionel Messi missing this upcoming game.We will keep you all posted on what happens with the Argentine, but chances are that he will get to play against Real Madrid without a problem.A victory for FC Barcelona at Camp Nou is very important if they want to play at the Bernabeu with a slight advantage, especially now that Real Madrid are playing amazing football compared to the start of the season.Most assists in Europe’s top five leagues so far this season:🇦🇷 Lionel Messi (10)🇧🇪 Eden Hazard (10)🇩🇪 Leroy Sané (9)🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Ryan Fraser (9)🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Jadon Sancho (9)🇩🇪 Joshua Kimmich (9)A fascinating collection.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 4, 2019How important is it for Barcelona to have Messi play against Real Madrid on Wednesday? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.last_img read more

Plane makes hard landing at Ramona Airport nobody injured

first_img KUSI Newsroom, June 1, 2018 Posted: June 1, 2018 RAMONA (KUSI) — The pilot of a light plane with a landing gear problem made a hard landing at Ramona Airport Friday, but nobody was hurt.Part of the landing gear on the single-engine Cessna 210K collapsed when the aircraft was touching down at the East County airport shortly before 11:30 a.m., causing the plane to veer off the runway, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.“Neither of the two people on board was injured,” FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said.The plane is registered to a New Mexico man, according to the federal agency. Updated: 2:39 PMcenter_img Categories: Local San Diego News, Traffic & Accidents FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom Plane makes hard landing at Ramona Airport, nobody injuredlast_img read more

The Sega Genesis Mini tries to outNintendo Nintendo in the retro console

first_img 5 See It Walmart 4:21 Sony PlayStation Classic Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Share your voice See it $44 Mentioned Above Sony PlayStation Classic Laptops with the best battery life: See the top laptops and 2-in-1 PCs with the longest battery life. Fastest gaming laptops, ranked: All the most-powerful gaming laptops tested in the CNET Labs.  Consoles Computers CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Best Buycenter_img News • The Sony PlayStation Classic hits its lowest price: $20 Preview • The PlayStation Classic looks great, but you’ll only want to play half of its games See It $29 The Sega Genesis Mini is so rad Review • Sony PlayStation Classic review: A fine line between ‘classic’ and ‘old’ Comments No, it’s not a giant hand, it’s a mini console.  Dan Ackerman/CNET As one of the best-loved consoles of the ’80s and ’90s, the Sega Genesis holds a special place in the hearts of gamers. The game system, also known as the Sega Mega Drive outside of the US, sold more than 30 million units worldwide. And as a teen of the era, it certainly seemed to me at the time to be a cooler option than the competing Super Nintendo. Now the Genesis is getting its own mini console, and some of the best games of the 16-bit era may finally get the treatment they deserve. The Genesis Mini arrives in stores Sept. 19, for $79 (£69, AU$139), and you can preorder it now. Note that CNET may get a commission when you buy through any of the links on our site. See the Sega Genesis Mini at AmazonUp until the Nintendo NES Classic, an unexpected worldwide hit, many classic console games (including Genesis games) only existed in cheap all-in-one emulator packages sold in gift shops, with poor controls and shoddy ports. Nintendo’s mini console was a critical hit and sold out for many months, and the SNES version was just as good, if not better. But it isn’t as easy as slapping some old games in a retro-styled plastic box. Sony’s PlayStation Classic missed the mark, with spotty game selection and poor controllers. The box, a replica of a console that sold over 100 million units, was soon selling for up to 80% off its original $100 price. An earlier attempt to retro-ize the Genesis happened in 2017, but the Sega Genesis Flashback box was poorly received, and we called it “half-baked.” img-6570 Dan Ackerman/CNET New vs. oldSo, how does the Genesis Mini stack up? The hardware keeps the Genesis look, down to the front-mounted volume control and cartridge slot with a working trap door. It doesn’t lead anywhere, and you can’t actually plug carts in, but you’ll probably spend the first 5 minutes playing with it. It’s based on the original 1989 hardware, although several revisions and international versions of the Genesis had different looks. The batarang-like controllers look like the original three-button version the Genesis launched with, not the more advanced six-button versions that came later. They’re full size, which is great for actual gaming, but also makes them look ridiculously oversized next to the tiny console. They have 6-foot cables, which may still feel restrictive if you’re used to wireless controls, but far better than the short controller cables that came with the NES Classic. Like most of the other all-in-one game boxes, there’s a main menu, where the 42 included games can be sorted by age, alphabetically or by genre. Obviously these games were all designed for old-fashioned 4:3 tube TV screens, so there are menu options for playing in reverse-letterbox (the original aspect ratio) and a stretched 16:9 version. A video filter can optionally add a CRT line effect, if playing these classic games in a sharp, clear modern format doesn’t feel right. img-6584The D-pad feels jumpy in menus, but the big buttons are a joy.  Dan Ackerman/CNET (Some) great gamesThis list of included games is solid, leaning heavily on Genesis nostalgia. Original pack-in title Altered Beast is there, as is Sonic the Hedgehog and Ecco the Dolphin. Also on the list are various sequels and spin-offs, like Road Rash II, Space Harrier 2, Shinobi III, Street Fighter II and Virtua Fighter 2. RPG games are underrepresented (unlike the SNES Classic), but Phantasy Star IV is here, as is the Zelda-like Beyond Oasis. You can find a full list of Genesis Mini games here, including two titles that were never on the US version of the Genesis originally: Darius, which I know nothing about; and Tetris, which I’m fairly familiar with. genm-09beast-03Rise from your grave! Sega Most of the games I tried felt true to their historical versions, at least as best I remember. Some have aged well, like Shinobi III and Space Harrier 2, others less so. (Neither Altered Beast nor ToeJam & Earl were as good as I remembered — although you may call me a heretic for saying so.) My biggest issue so far has been the D-pad on the Genesis controller. In games, it works well, but on the main menu screen, it’s way too touchy, leaping across games two and three at a time. If anything, it will make you appreciate the analog sticks and triggers of modern controllers. A full review of the Sega Genesis Mini will follow at a later date. As a bonus, I’ve dug up some historical background on the Genesis and why it’s so important. Please excuse the sideburns.  Now playing: Watch this: Tags $59 Sony Nintendolast_img read more

2year after NATO withdrawal Afghan forces still struggle

first_imgTwo years after NATO handed responsibility for Afghanistan’s security to local forces, the country remains crippled by corruption and its troops can barely hold the Taliban at bay, a US inspector said Wednesday.Since US-led NATO troops stopped leading patrols and stepped into an advisory and support role at the end of 2014, Afghan army and police forces have suffered thousands of casualties and face continual assaults from a well-funded and well-armed Taliban.“As much as I wish I could say much has improved in Afghanistan over the past two years, I cannot,” John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), told a Washington think tank.Sopko was speaking as his agency published a list of high-risk threats to Afghanistan, less than two weeks before incoming President-elect Donald Trump takes office.Just as President Barack Obama did eight years ago, Trump is inheriting an Afghan conflict that seems impossible to resolve.Trump has offered few indications of his plans for Afghanistan.In a 2013 tweet, he said “Let’s get out” of the country and said the money America spends there would be better used at home.Neither he nor his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton gave Afghanistan more than a passing mention during the presidential campaign.Sopko noted the number of armed groups opposing the Afghan government is growing, and said the amount of Afghan districts under government control or influence dropped from 70.5 percent at the start of 2016 to just 63.4 percent by the end of August.The Afghan army is “basically playing whack-a-mole following the Taliban around Afghanistan,” Sopko said.“At a minimum, they’re playing defense and are not taking the fight to the Taliban.”New bombings in Kabul -Underscoring the fragile security situation, bombings across three Afghan cities including Kabul killed around 50 people and wounded 100 others Tuesday, in a day of carnage as Taliban insurgents escalated their deadly winter campaign of violence.To date, America has spent more than $115 billion in US taxpayer money on reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan.When warfighting costs are included, the United States has spent close to $1 trillion.Complicating matters, a long-standing issue of Afghan commanders lying about troop numbers to swindle the payment system remains a stubborn problem.The Afghan army likely still has tens of thousands of these phantom troops on its payrolls, Sopko said.“Afghan commanders often pocket the paychecks of ‘ghost soldiers’ for whom the US is paying salaries,” he said.He added there is evidence the Taliban has instructed field commanders to buy US-supplied weapons, fuel and ammunition from Afghan soldiers.“To do so is both easier and less expensive for the insurgents,” he told the Center for Strategic and International Studies, noting that the Taliban were now part of the US-provided weapons “supply chain.”The Taliban has plenty of cash, thanks to booming poppy production that is growing at near-record levels as eradication efforts falter.CSIS expert Anthony Cordesman, who hosted Sopko, said in a report this month that it is “more than possible” Afghan forces will be locked in a war of attrition with no clear end, and that 2017 could mark “at least be the beginning of a major defeat” for them.‘Stalemate’ -In 2015, Afghan police sustained more than 5,000 fatalities and saw the regional capital Kunduz briefly captured by the Taliban.Casualties were significantly higher in 2016.Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joe Dunford, has called the Afghan situation a “stalemate,” though commanders later tried to massage the assessment, calling it an “equilibrium.”Obama has cut the US troop presence to about 8,400. Sopko warned the incoming Trump administration about the complexities of making further adjustments.“Withdraw, and the democratic government may well fall. Stay, and continue what we have been doing and we may be faced with what General Dunford has described as a stalemate,” Sopko said.Still, Sopko noted some signs of improvement.He said both President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah had cooperated with US efforts to prevent waste and fraud.He also highlighted an anti-corruption justice center that has begun to prosecute graft cases.Repeated bids to launch peace negotiations with the Taliban have failed and a fierce new fighting season is expected to kick off in the spring.last_img read more