PopPolitics: Morgan Spurlock Tackles The Economy (Listen)

Morgan Spurlock
Brian Finke for Variety

On the latest edition of “PopPolitics,” Variety’s new show on SiriusXM’s POTUS Channel, director Morgan Spurlock talks about his latest project, “We the Economy,” in which he convinced directors and other entertainment figures like Adrian Grenier, Catherine Hardwicke, James Schamus, Adam McKay and Joe Berlinger to make shorts that tried to make sense of money.

Spurlock tells host Ted Johnson that another challenge was that even though the project was about the economy, no one was going to make much money on this project.

The director, however, insists that the shorts are far from pedantic. Rather, they “really do suck you in. They are like potato chips. You can’t watch just one.”

Spurlock himself directed a short, called “Cave-o-nomics,” in which he plays a caveman.

“We Are Economy” debuts on Monday in Landmark theaters and online on Tuesday.

Is the race to offer ever better tax credits over? Los Angeles film czar Ken Ziffren says that while other states may try to match California’s recently expanded film and TV incentives, Hollywood will still have the advantage of permanence.

Ziffren also offered his take on Democratic chances in the midterms, with a flurry of fundraising in recent weeks as politicians trek to a prime source of funds for their campaign warchests. Even though the state has 12% of the country’s population, its donors provide more than 20% of the funding for election campaigns, he notes.

Variety’s David Cohen and U.S. News’ Nikki Schwab say that some of the frenzy over the ebola scare can be pinned on the media, but also on midterm candidates seeking to frighten voters.

“PopPolitics” airs on SiriusXM’s POTUS Channel 124 on Thursdays at 11 a.m. PT (2 p.m. ET).

Coming up this week:

Prelude to 2016?: Hillary Clinton raises money for Democratic Senate candidates at what is expected to be a high-profile fund raiser at Tavern in Brentwood on Monday night. With tickets priced at $32,400-per-person, these won’t be any old donors attending, but among the most politically active moguls and entertainment figures, led by host Jeffrey Katzenberg and his wife Marilyn. Co-chairs are Casey and Laura Wasserman, Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw, Alan and Cindy Horn, Michael and Jolene Rapino, Andy Spahn and Jennifer Perry, and Shervin Pishevar.

While Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) will talk of the urgency of making sure that Democrats retain control of the Senate (something that looks pretty precarious), the draw is undoubtedly Clinton as a 2016 presidential prospect. Of course, that was the case when Clinton visited Los Angeles in May 2013, November 2013 and this past June, this is her first time trekking to L.A. in campaign mode.

Also Raising: Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) probably has nothing to worry about in her reelection bid, but she will be raising money at the Palihouse in West Hollywood on Wednesday with Jason Collins, the first openly gay NBA player. Tickets start at $500 per person ($250 for young professionals).


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