Friday roundup: Barzyk unveils pet project; Senate drops patent-reform bill

By Current Staff

Barzyk, left, on the set of his earlier film Treasure Hunt. (Photo: Stephen Mann)

• WGBH alum Fred Barzyk’s latest and possibly final project is now online. The Waiting Room is a drama that captures the interactions among seven characters who come to realize their dramatic existence is ending. Barzyk, a pubTV pioneer who directed the PBS sci-fi cult hit The Lathe of Heaven, turned to Kickstarter last year to finance the film. In a thank-you to Kickstarter supporters, Barzyk said, “In many ways, this little movie is a final tribute to the many actors who graced my pictures with their amazing talents.”

• A bill intended to curb overzealous patent litigation has hit a setback in the U.S. Senate. “Because there is not sufficient support behind any comprehensive deal, I am taking the patent bill off the Senate Judiciary Committee agenda,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday. Pubcasters and their supporters began taking up patent reform after Personal Audio, a company claiming to have invented podcasting technology, began suing podcasters last year. One of Personal Audio’s targets, podcaster Adam Carolla, is raising legal funds for a September court date.

• As part of a series on the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, the Washington Post looked up the directions to Sesame Street. Pointing out that the show’s origins can be traced back to Johnson’s signing of the 1967 Public Broadcasting Act, the Post calls the program one of the “lesser-known but important things that came out of the myriad programs that were created and legislation that passed.” Michael Davis, author of a history of Sesame Street, offers his take on one character’s legacy: “I think the Great Society is Grover.”

• Taking over distribution of WFMT’s programming has created technical challenges for Public Radio Exchange, owing to the extensive amount of audio now passing through the network’s servers. PRX Technical Director Andrew Kuklewicz explains the process and the use of PRX’s SubAuto system in a behind-the-scenes interview for the distributor.

• A This American Life segment from 2005 is getting the Hollywood treatment. A forthcoming Jonathan Demme movie, “Come Sunday,” draws its source material from a 2005 TAL segment “Heretics,” “the story of Reverend Carlton Pearson, a renowned evangelical pastor in Tulsa, Oklahoma, who cast aside the idea of Hell, and with it everything he’d worked for over his entire life.” Quantum of Solace’s Jeffrey Wright is in talks to play Pearson while Robert Redford is in talks to play Oral Roberts. TAL’s Ira Glass and Alissa Shipp are listed as producers for the film.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT