§ The NY Post reports that popular magazines from Time Inc., American Media, and Bauer Publications, such as People, National Enquirer, and In Touch won’t be carried in Wal-Mart stores this week, after magazine publishers refused to pay a seven cent increase requested by distributors.

Late Monday, Curtis Circulation, the national distributor for American Media’s Star and National Enquirer, said it would not ship any copies to Anderson News and Source Interlink, joining Time Inc. and Bauer in telling the two wholesalers to take a hike.

Wal-Mart had said late last week that it was standing firm behind Anderson News and Source Interlink. But there may be some behind-the-scenes negotiations taking place to minimize the impact.

“There will be some Band-Aids and some blood, but it will all probably calm down in about a month,” said one source.

A Time Inc. spokesperson insisted that it is working toward a solution. “We’re feeling quite good about the network of wholesalers we’ve pulled together.”

§ Comics Bronze Age is a new fansite dedicated to the comics of the 1970-74 period. Even we weren’t reading comics then. It’s a nice site with reviews, articles and qutes from the era:

STILL GOOD STORY ADVICE TODAY: “Every series done properly should demand stories that could be done for no other series. If you can take a plot and take out Batman and put in Wonder Woman, then you’ve done a bad story.” — Len Wein, then a DC editor, in Comics Scene #1, Jan. 1981

§ Finally, Harry Knowles has a little bit more on that Christian Bale incident that gives it a context.

The DP on TERMINATOR SALVATION, Shane Hurlbut, is a apparently a light tweaker. He’s a fairly young DP and likes to fiddle with his lights on set during action, which is a big “NO NO” on most productions unless worked out in advance with performers. But apparently Shane was a pretty unrepentant light tweaker.

The scene in question, was a very emotional and tough scene between Christian Bale and Bryce Howard. A scene that required soul bearing and a deep level of immersive concentration. The sort of scene where everyone on set knows not to get in anyone’s eye lines, and definitely not to move lights around while FILMING. You lock that shit down before the scene starts.

Bale had indeed warned the DP on multiple occasions about messing with lights while the cameras were rolling, and Bale was in the midst of a painful scene with Bryce, what was described to me as being the emotional center of the film and his character for the film.

Now, the reason I know all of this is because the person that was there, felt that it should be made perfectly clear that Christian Bale was the utmost gentleman and cool guy on set. And the DP really was doing something that professional DPs with experience just don’t do. Not during a performance.

BTW, does Harry know all the connotations of the phrase “light tweaker”? At first, we thought he meant Hurlbut was doing a little meth in the men’s room.


  1. TMZ portrays itself as some light-hearted, innofensive site, but when you watch their TV show you see that they are just preying on celebrities like the worst of the photo-vultures. They act like they’re better than the people they report on but without those people, TMZ would be nothing.

  2. I still don’t see this as a “why” issue but rather a “what” issue.

    *Why* it built up to this does not matter, *What* Bale did about it does.
    If the DP was a world class screw up with a record, then simply go through the proper channels and have him threatened / removed.

    Also, while Hurlbutt may be a “light tweaker” a DP is not a light weight on the set. This is not the Best Boy, Key Grip, whatever. DPs are within the top ten principals on the set. They give out Academy Awards for this position. That’s like yelling at one of the executives in a board room meeting when it’s the chairman/CEO’s job.

    So while the Internet continues to excuse Bale or spew hate about *why* he did it, little of it hits the *what* he did — overstep the director, blast off and rattle the set / crew. Which he can do if that’s his limit / style, I guess. But that’s also not a professional way of handling things. It’s these factors that give hobby armchair quarterbacks the ammo to use the prima donna moniker.

    It’s hard to fault reaction when the culprit holds a smoking gun.

  3. As far as the “smoking gun” goes, we only got the smoke — we didn’t see what pulled the trigger. Yes, a DP is a key member of the production team, but he works at the service of the director and the actors — he’s not an equal. I’m surprised the director put up with Mr. Hurlbutt’s rude, distracting — and very unprofessional behavior. As a director, I wouldn’t allow “tweaking” during shooting on a set I worked on.

  4. I’ve worked for people who have gone off like Bale did, and you know what? Shit got done. You may not always like it, but (and I say this as someone who has worked in film before) sometimes, some on set people need fires lit under their butts, before they start costing more money than they’re worth. I’m not saying Bale was right or wrong. I wasn’t there. I’m just saying that maybe we shouldn’t judge people we don’t know.

  5. If it’s any consolation – it’s part of my job here at SPT to call up stations and call programming techs freakin’ idiots when they forget to contact us whenever they pre-empt a King of Queens or Seinfeld episode.

    I get into tons of shouting matches here – but they keep me because I’M PASSIONATE about my job.

    ‘Nuff said.