Greggs has released a strong set of sales figures for the half-year to June.The bakery retailer’s group sales for the 24 weeks to 14 June 2008 were up by 7.7% to £276m (2007: £256m).Pre-tax profit rose 32% to £22.2m. However, pre-tax profit excluding property and exceptional gains dipped by 4.3% to £14.1m.The results are the last to be presented by Greggs’ outgoing managing director Sir Michael Darrington, who’s held the role since 1984.Darrington said the past 12 months had “become more challenging” for business. He added: “For the last two months I have been working alongside our new chief executive Ken McMeikan. This period of collaboration has worked extremely well and, as I hand over my executive responsibilities to him, I feel confident that he will add considerable value through the experience he brings from outside the group. This will complement our established expertise to help build an even stronger business for the future.”Greggs chairman Derek Netherton said: “I would like to record the board’s appreciation of [Darrington’s] truly outstanding contribution to the business over these years. Thanks to his strong leadership and clear vision, the group has grown to become the UK’s leading bakery retailer and has delivered real value to shareholders, employees and the wider community.”
Four St Johnsbury non-profits’Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium, St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, St. Johnsbury Academy and Catamount Arts’will jointly promote the combined arts-and-culture resources that exist within their organizations and develop new opportunities for collaboration to enhance St. Johnsbury’s cultural climate and creative economy. The group is recognizing their proximate area in St Johnsbury as the Arts & Culture Campus.‘Along Main Street from the Fairbanks Museum to the corner of Eastern Avenue at the Athenaeum, down to Catamount Arts and back over to St. Johnsbury Academy, we see a geographic link amid our shared traditions of arts programming and community outreach,’ said Jody Fried, executive director of Catamount Arts. ‘We view this area, which we’re calling the Arts & Culture Campus, as a jumping off point for arts programming in our town, inclusive of all of greater St. Johnsbury. People can come to town and easily circulate through this area to enjoy a concentration of fun happenings.’The shared histories (largely descending from the vision and beneficence of the Fairbanks family) and strengths in the arts of the four local organizations will place a sharp focus on the rich cultural programs that St. Johnsbury offers to the public.The alliance has created a logo and theme through which to advance the public’s thinking about what the town as to offer: ‘Get Inspired’St. Johnsbury’s Arts & Culture Campus.’ The logo will be used with advertising and marketing materials to position St. Johnsbury as a dynamic center for the arts, statewide and regionally.‘Our efforts will be on coordinating events to give area residents and visitors a range of arts, culture and educational activities, so once they’re in town they have a range of fun opportunities throughout a day or a weekend,’ said Anna Rubin, director of external relations for the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium. ‘With the local non-profits working in collaboration, we see this an exponential promotion of the arts in St. Johnsbury.’ The organizations in the coalition share:Rich cultural resources for visual and performing artsFull calendars of learning programs for all agesAuthentic connections to the local heritage of the areaSupport for vibrant, dynamic and evolving new voices and expressionsAccess to artistic inspiration from around the worldEasy access on Main Street/Eastern Avenue campus. The group will be co-planning and promoting arts events beginning in 2012, kicking off with First Night St. Johnsbury 2012. They intend to coordinate their efforts with other area arts organizations, businesses, and chambers of commerce. ‘The St. Johnsbury Chamber of Commerce looks forward to fully supporting the efforts of this wonderful coalition of creative and cultural institutions here in St J We’re excited by this new opportunity to help bring more attention to the creative economy in and around town,’ said Jeff Moore, president, St. Johnsbury Chamber of Commerce. CUTLINE:(L-R) Matthew Powers and Mary Ellen Reis of the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, Anna Rubin of the FairbanksMuseum & Planetarium, Joe Healy of St. Johnsbury Academy, and Jody Fried of Catamount Arts, gathered on the steps of the South Congregational Church onMain Street in St. Johnsbury. ST. JOHNSBURY, VT (December 28, 2011)’
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Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum Rome, as they say, wasn’t built in a day.There’s pressure that comes with being an NBA lottery pick, lofty expectations attached to being drafted 13th overall and arriving with the reputation – based on a 40.9 collegiate 3-point shooting percentage – as a sharpshooter.Sure, sometimes Zion Williamson introduces himself by erupting for 17 consecutive points in three minutes. But more often, life in the NBA (and life in general) doesn’t deliver such instant gratification.Second-year Clippers guard Jerome Robinson gets that. “There’s not grown men in our league for no reason,” Robinson said last week. “There’s not guys who are in their 30s or late-20s flourishing in our league for no reason.“It’s all opportunity and just figuring out the game and figuring out your game. So once the pieces are put together, look how (players such as Markelle Fultz or Brandon Ingram) have blossomed. It’s just staying focused and trying to get better every day, that’s all you can really do.”Heading into Friday’s game in Miami, the Clippers’ first meeting with the Heat, Robinson is figuring it out, one subtle step at a time.Take Wednesday’s 102-95 loss in Atlanta, when the Clippers couldn’t overcome a spectacular second-half collapse or the fact that they allowed a season-high 63 rebounds, including a season-worst 23 on the offensive glass, to a Hawks team that was averaging 42.5 boards, third-fewest in the NBA.For 19 minutes sprinkled across the Clippers’ early surge and their subsequent crash, Robinson exhibited those continued incremental improvements, getting a smart wrap-around pass to a red-hot Montrezl Harrell, showing himself to be an engaged rebounder, keeping his feet moving defensively. For his part, Robinson, who is shooting just 34.1 percent overall and 29.7 percent from 3-point range, said he’s learned the key to unlocking more offensive opportunities will come on the defensive end.“I have limited minutes, so I’m coming out regardless,” he said. “It’s playing those minutes as hard as I can, no matter how it’s going for me offensively, just giving that effort on the defensive end.“Everything else will take care of itself.”—– CLIPPERS AT HEAT —–When: Friday, 5 p.m.Where: American Airlines Arena, MiamiTV: ESPN, Fox Sports Prime Ticket Clippers’ Paul George: ‘If I make shots, this series could be a little different’ Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “You almost have to play perfect to get Doc’s trust,” veteran guard Patrick Beverley said of Coach Doc Rivers. “And even if you do play perfect, it’s still kind of hard.“One thing that’s good for him in a sophomore season is that he’s learning. He’s on a team with Doc Rivers as head coach, where he’s learning how to play the game of basketball the right way. That’s bigger than any type of playing time, any type of experience at all – playing the right way.”Said Rivers of Robinson: “He’s transformed himself into a better defensive player. He’s come into a couple of games and turned it around with his defensive energy. His shot has been inconsistent, but he can do other things than just shoot the ball.”On Wednesday, Robinson recorded five rebounds, four assists, a blocked shot, and although he went 1 for 5 from the field and clanged a couple of shots from behind the arc, the shot he sank came when he stepped confidently into a 3-pointer.“When I was like 19½, people were like, ‘He should go back to Europe,’” said Ivica Zubac, now the Clippers’ 22-year-old starting center. “People are impatient. And some guys take longer than others – and I’m not saying that’s the case with Jerome – but we’ve got to understand his role. It’s hard when you’re a young player, second year, to not play for like 10 games and then they throw you in and they want you to do everything perfect. But what Jerome is doing, on defense, he’s been really great.“I wish he’d shoot with some more confidence, but that’ll come,” Zubac continued. “Everyone’s talking to him, telling him, ‘Shoot it. When you’re open, don’t hesitate, don’t think about it, that’s what you do, that’s why you got in the league, you can shoot it!’”Related Articles What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 Game 4 photos: Luka Doncic, Mavs shock Clippers in overtime For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory
Here’s everything you need to know to get a SAG actor on the set of your non-union production!Top image from IMDbFirst, before we get started, let’s make sure everyone knows exactly what SAG is. If this word isn’t new to you, then know that it stands for the Screen Actors Guild. This is the official labor union for working professional actors. Much like the Directors Guild of America (DGA) or the Producers Guild of America (PGA), SAG offers its members collective bargaining services such as compensation, benefits, and working condition stipulations.Whenever I’m directing a film, whether it’s fictional or a documentary with reenactments, I meet with actors to play roles for the parts I need. For the longest time, I never worked with SAG actors. I would instead try to find my talent from a pool of stage actors. And let me say, some of the stage talent I’ve worked with over the years are incredibly skilled at their craft — sometimes more so than the “professionals”.However, that great stage talent joined SAG, which forced me to learn how to handle the details of working with the union. So, I’m going to impart to you the tips I’ve learned. Hopefully it gives you a leg up on securing the talent for your next project.1. Hire a Casting Director.Image from StarWars.comAs the director and creative leader of the project, you already have enough on your plate. So, hire a casting director to gather talent and make the phone calls. This was the single biggest move I’ve made in securing talent. While you can do all of this yourself (and believe me, I’ve done it), having a dedicated person to find talent is tremendously helpful. It frees you up to focus your energy on preparing for principle photography.2. Take advantage of SAG’s agreements.Before I started using SAG actors I thought they would be way too pricy for me to ever use in my micro-budget films. And then some of the actors I wanted to work with didn’t know for sure if they could work on non-union projects. What did I find out after talking with a few Agents? Yes, they can work on non-union projects. And, no. SAG actors aren’t always pricy.SAG has done a great job of diversifying their agreements for student, documentary, experimental, and short narrative films. The rates for each are actually really reasonable. Plus, there’s also the possibility that the actor will wave their rate. But, if they do this, be sure to pick up the tab in other areas.3. Utilize the SAG online system.Image from SAG-AFTRAOne great thing about SAG is that they have a great online system. When you go to the SAG website, you can head over to the Production Center, which has every piece of information you need for signing a SAG actor to your project. When you register, you can then set up applications and agreements for your production. By doing this you make things easier on yourself and your potential actors, because now all agreements can be done quickly through the online system.*Note that you can sign-up for SAG Online as an individual or as a production company.4. Communicate directly through agents.Image from IMDbProfessional actors (especially SAG) are always represented by one of the many talent agencies. When you have a particular actor in mind for your production, find out which talent agency represents them. You can use a site like IMDB Pro to gain this information.Once you have the agency and the agent contact info, you’ll want to give them a shout and speak to them about their client. This is where we move to the next step, also known as The Most Important Step.Here are a few of the top tier talent agencies in the country: CAA, UTA, Gersh, Paradigm, and Mary Collins5. Be able to sell yourself and your idea.So, now that you know about SAG. You know how easy it is to get rates and agreements. You’ve contacted the agent. Now you’re ready to take The Most Important Step. Now you have to effectively sell yourself as a director and sell your creative idea. Remember that this is a key component for your career, regardless of whether you’re working with stage actors or SAG actors.If you can effectively sell yourself and your idea, the chances of you garnering SAG talent increases tenfold. Also, the chance of landing big-name talent increases exponentially as well. So, reach out to actors and gauge their interest. Sell them on your idea. If you can do that, then you need to move onto the next step.6. Don’t be afraid to reach out to next level talentImage from IMDbAs I briefly mentioned above, if you can effectively pitch yourself and your idea to people, then you have a good chance of landing top shelf talent. What you’ll find in this business is that actors love to act and many times they’ll jump on smaller projects in between the big gigs. One great example is Scarlett Johansson joining the cast of the sci-fi art film Under the Skin in between her Avengers commitments. Or, even better, Michael Fassbender taking the title role in Frank. So, as you can see, this is not anything new. In fact, Variety, Filmmaker Magazine, Moviefone, and even our very own Noam Kroll have reported that getting top-end talent to join your film isn’t as hard as you may think.My last bit of advice is to take chances when it comes to securing talent. The worst thing they’ll say is no, and at that point you’re no worse off than you were before.Want to read more about the ins and outs of filmmaking? Check out these articles from PremiumBeat.4 Iconic Editing TechniquesFilmmaking Tip – Shooting Night Exteriors on a BudgetHow to Adapt Your Feature Idea Into a Short FilmDid this information help you as you go into your next project? Do you have any other advice to securing SAG talent? Share in the comments below!
OTTAWA – With just weeks before legalization of cannabis for recreational use takes effect across Canada, municipalities are raising concerns over how pot sales will be regulated and who will foot the bill for added policing and other costs.In Ontario, cities likely won’t know until after this fall’s municipal elections how much time they have to decide whether to allow brick-and-mortar cannabis shops in their communities, a provincial official told municipal leaders Wednesday.The province’s Conservative government announced last week that municipalities would be given a one-time opportunity to “opt out” of hosting retail pot outlets.But a final opt-out date has not been set, said Nicole Stewart, who heads the provincial finance ministry’s cannabis retail implementation project.That means newly elected municipal politicians could have a very short window of time to decide whether they want to allow pot shops in their communities.But even before then, candidates stumping for votes will have to decide whether they support the opening of local cannabis stores.“This has now made it an election issue,” said Joy Hulton, solicitor for the Regional Municipality of York.“It doesn’t give (candidates) very much time to figure out what their position is, what their community wants.”Ottawa city councillor and deputy mayor Mark Taylor, who is not running for re-election, predicted it could fast become a top issue for electors.“I think what we’re going to quickly see is a question being asked to candidates all across Ontario as they knock on doors: ‘Are you in or are you out?’” said Taylor, who moderated a panel discussion about legalized cannabis at the close of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario’s annual conference.“Although it really hasn’t been an election issue to date, I think that’s going to change with the question that the province is really thrusting on municipalities.”Municipal elections are to be held Oct. 22 in Ontario — five days after the federal Liberal government’s cannabis legalization measures go into effect.While municipalities can decide not to endorse private marijuana shops, provincial officials say they will be able to opt in at a later date.Ontario residents 19 and over will be able to purchase cannabis online through the Ontario Cannabis Store as of Oct. 17, but sales at physical stores won’t start until April 2019.In the meantime, the Ontario government has promised $40 million over two years to help defray the costs associated with the changing legal status of cannabis, such as policing and courts. Quebec has pledged $60 million over the same period to support municipal and regional governments under its jurisdiction.But so far, they are the only two provinces that have agreed to transfer some of the excise taxes from pot sales that the federal government has agreed to share, said Vicki-May Hamm, president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.“It’s becoming a very urgent situation,” said Hamm, whose organization has posted a check list of sorts for municipalities outlining the many hurdles they face as cannabis legalization comes closer to reality.Municipalities will have to come to grips with issues that they may not have even thought about yet, such as how homegrown cannabis will affect water treatment systems or waste disposal, Town of Greater Napanee, Ont., chief administrative officer Ray Callery told the AMO conference.What happens when a truck load of garbage containing discarded cannabis crosses the Canada-U.S. border under contract with a private disposal company, Callery asked. Then there’s the question of how to compost large amounts of plants in municipalities where industrial cannabis growers are located, he said.“We need to be asking a lot of questions,” said Callery.“So we need to be taking a look at, from a wide variety of departments, how we deal with the implementation and how it affects us.”A police official, meanwhile, told the AMO gathering that police services across the province will be ready for legalization before Oct. 17.But municipalities have to put issues surrounding cannabis into perspective compared with other, arguably more urgent legal and health concerns, said Bryan Larkin, the chief of police for Ontario’s Waterloo region.“The more pressing concern for policing is really the opioid crisis,” said Larkin, who has served on chiefs of police associations federally and provincially.“People are dying across Canada (from opioid overdoses),” he said.“There are fairly significant ties to organized crime, illicit trafficking, preying on the vulnerable, it’s tied to mental health issues, housing issues.”