Posts tagged with "Amazon Studios"

TV2 illustration by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

Tanisha Scott × Lizzo

World-renowned creative director/choreographer Tanisha Scott (Rihanna, Drake) makes a very special guest appearance on Amazon Prime’s anxiously awaited new series, LIzzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls, set to premiere April 14th. She teams up with legend and host Lizzo in order to uncover the best and brightest new dancers for her upcoming tour. Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls is a new unscripted series following global superstar and icon Lizzo, who is on the hunt for confident, bad-ass women to join the elite ranks of the Big Grrrls and join her world tour. With 10 hopeful women moving into the Big Grrrls House, they must prove they have what it takes to make it to the end and join Lizzo in front of a global audience on the center stage. In this search for dynamic dancers, Lizzo leans on Scott as well as fellow legendary choreographers and O.G. Big Grrrls Chawnta’ Marie Van, Shirlene Quigley, and Grace Holden, as well as several special guests, including choreographer Charm La’Donna, body movement expert Rashida KhanBey Miller, and Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter SZA. In addition to appearing in the series, Lizzo will also serve as executive producer alongside Makiah Green, Kevin Beisler, Julie Pizzi, Farnaz Farjam, Myiea Coy, Kimberly Goodman and Glenda Cox. The series is directed by Nneka Onuorah and produced by Amazon Studios, Bunim-Murray Productions and Lizzo’s production company, Lizzo Bangers. Stay tuned for more and to also see how Scott expands her influence yet again in the upcoming season of the series Legendary on HBO Max.

About Tanisha Scott 

Like culture itself, Scott continues to evolve over time. She has remained not only relevant but at the forefront of the industry, with recent clients including, H.E.R., Bryson Tiller, SZA, Khalid, Daniel Caesar, Da Baby and Juice WRLD. She has been named by Billboard Magazine and Italian Vogue as one of the top 30 under 30 artists in the entertainment industry and has earned multiple MTV and Billboard Music awards and nominations. Scott’s work has been featured in various award-winning videos, including Rihanna’s “Found Love,” Cardi B’s “Money” and Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road”—which won the 2012 MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year, the 2019 VMA for “Best Hip Hop Video” and the 2020 Grammy award for “Best Music Video,” respectively. Tanisha Scott has evolved from a dancer and choreographer to an innovation-leading and industry-crossing creative director, movement coach, and artist developer. As for what’s next, Scott aspires to take her talents to Broadway. Like her idol, Debbie Allen, Scott aims to leave a legacy of innovation and storytelling through the universal language of movement and dance.

tech illustration by sara davidson for use by 360 Magazine

Speech AI Company Sonantic Gives Val Kilmer His Voice Back

Revolutionary advancements in AI voice technology give Kilmer the ability to perform again after suffering side effects from throat cancer.

Sonantic, a UK-based startup leading the charge on emotional text-to-speech technology, has created a voice model for actor Val Kilmer, who was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2015 and has since undergone a tracheotomy procedure. The award-winning actor, whose Hollywood career has spanned nearly four decades, has difficulty communicating in a voice that is easily recognized or understood by fans. The AI-generated voice model, which was developed by utilizing clips of Kilmer’s voice prior to his illness, can be heard in a demo video that was created in close collaboration with the actor.

“I’m grateful to the entire team at Sonantic who masterfully restored my voice in a way I’ve never imagined possible,” said Val Kilmer, adding, “As human beings, the ability to communicate is the core of our existence and the side effects from throat cancer have made it difficult for others to understand me. The chance to narrate my story, in a voice that feels authentic and familiar, is an incredibly special gift.”

Founded in 2018, Sonantic has built a cutting edge platform that creates hyper-realistic, emotionally expressive, and controllable artificial voices. Sonantic has mastered this with its proprietary Voice Engine, which captures the nuances of the human voice such as accents, emotions and delivery styles. This process typically requires actors to record various lines of dialogue in a studio, but only historical footage could be used to create Kilmer’s voice model. After cleaning up the audio samples, Sonantic was left with 10x less data than typically needed. This led to the creation of new algorithms, techniques and models that have since been incorporated back into the Voice Engine, strengthening its ability to handle difficult voice content. These breakthrough advancements in the technology — which allowed for the creation of 40 different options before finalizing Kilmer’s prototype — have further enhanced Sonantic’s capabilities and will benefit all future voice projects.

This announcement comes on the heels of Amazon Studios’ release of Kilmer’s autobiographical documentary, Val, which touches upon the actor’s cancer battle and the physical and emotional toll it has taken on him. During the development of the documentary, Sonantic was introduced to Kilmer’s team which ultimately led to the creation of his voice model. By turning the written word into lifelike audio, Kilmer will be able to use the model  in both his professional and personal life. On the work front, Kilmer can take part in TV or film productions that require voice overs or replacement dialogue that will be created by Sonantic’s easy-to-use computer app. In terms of day-to-day living, Kilmer’s voice model can serve as a personalized replacement to robotic speech generating devices.

Sonantic’s co-founders Zeena Qureshi, CEO and John Flynn, CTO said in a joint statement: “It was an honor to create a voice model for Val Kilmer, whose courage and creativity is truly inspiring. This was an emotional project that demonstrates how Sonantic’s AI generated voice models can have a positive impact on the acting community at large. We’re proud to help Val continue his craft in a way that wasn’t feasible before, and we look forward to seeing what he takes on next.”

This groundbreaking advancement in speech and sound production is revolutionizing the film and gaming industries. Sonantic’s immersive voice acting on-demand allows its top tier B2B clients — including Amazon Studios, XBox Game Studios’ Obsidian Entertainment and Remedy Games — to significantly expedite timelines, streamline processes and lower production costs. Actors play a critical role in crafting voice models, which are scalable assets that generate passive income and create new job opportunities without the commitment of time and travel. Considered the CGI of voice for the industry, actors have embraced this hybrid approach that enables them to take on both traditional, real-life acting jobs as well as innovative, AI voice model work.

Cybersecurity illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Amazon × MGM Studios Merger

Amazon announced that it will be acquiring MGM Studios for $8.45 billion, in an effort to bolster the already growing Amazon studios and making it the second largest acquisition on Amazon’s part, following its $13.7 purchase of Whole Foods in 2017.

According to cybersecurity expert Mark Stamford, CEO of OccamSec, a deal of this scale will require a complete review of its cybersecurity infrastructure, as the process of fully merging these entities are rarely completed in the expected timescale.

Mark continues:

  • The standard “merger” due-diligence template goes into great detail looking at financial & legal status issues, but rarely seems to consider the potential liability associated with linking into an organization with a seriously compromised infrastructure. 
  • Trying to coherently map risks or produce an enterprise security plan for this type of environment is incredibly challenging, when multiple systems are coming together
  • With such notable deals, most attackers reside within the organization’s network for over 100 days before discovery, so there is a very real risk of starting work on merging infrastructure, whilst being observed by an interested resident attacker, who will be keenly looking out for an opportunity to vector into the core organization’s networks

Mark says, “Exercising strategic due-diligence during a merger or acquisition, is the most effective what for any organization, like Amazon, to protect itself from cyber threats.”

We had the opportunity to ask Mark Stamford some questions as far as the merger and his expert opinion(s):

Q: What changes can be expected with a merger like the Amazon/MGM Studio merger?

MS: The merging of two different cultures always prompts a lot of changes. In this case, MGM is going to become more like Amazon than the other way round.

Q: Do the benefits outweigh the risks with this type of merger?

MS: Yes, I assume so, from a cyber perspective, the main risk is joining two networks together that have different structures, and probably issues. So, for example I was called in to help with some M&A work once, the new network was plugged in…and brought a heap of malware with it which quickly spread into the acquirers’ network.  It later transpired that some of the IP, which was the very reason for the merger, had been stolen.

Q: What challenges is Amazon, an online retailer, facing when merging with MGM Studio?

MS: Both operate in different ways. The majority of movie making companies seem to follow the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mantra. So, technology tends to be a hodge podge, along with processes etc.… Amazon meanwhile is a tech company, and while primarily known as a retailer, has considerable presence in the cloud (with AWS) so has a lot of cutting-edge technology at its disposal.

Q: What are some ways to help the process move along with ease?

MS: Again, in a cyber perspective there needs to be due diligence done on the MGM environment. At the same time, since both organizations probably have a range of security tools, seeing who has the best tool for the job can save money in the long term.

Also, not to be discounted is the human element in cyber security – any merger results in layoffs. So, the potential for a “disgruntled insider” increases. The way to help with that is communication – not more monitoring.

Q: How can Amazon prevent cyber-attacks during the process of the merger?

MS: MGM makes a nice target right now, since at some point their technology will be integrated into Amazon, and if I was a bad guy, I would assume they are the softer target of the two. Amazon should work with MGM to ensure their security is at a “good” level, and work on the integration aspects – two distinct cyber security teams need to become one, quickly.

Q: In your opinion, does Amazon face cyber risks from vendors or third parties with the onset of the merger?

MS: I think amazon always faces this risk, as does everyone. Since the organization is increasing in size, the “attack surface increases” so yes, they do face risks.

Q: What are the biggest cybersecurity threats at the moment?

MS: Motivated attackers, be that nation states, criminal groups, hacktavists, or others. Ransomware is getting a lot of press right now. However, I think the biggest threat is the endless cost spiral companies are trapped in trying to deal with this.

Q: What are some ways to ensure that the infrastructure is not compromised?

MS: Defense in depth continues to be the key. Layers of security, which work together, and consider the context of the organization (how it makes money or delivers its service) in order to support that mission.  I assume Amazon will expand their cyber security program across MGM fairly quickly, which checks a number of boxes and provides a good starting point.

One issue may be that a movie studio faces different kinds of attackers than Amazon. Movie studios are primarily about their IP, everything else always seemed to be secondary to that. Stealing a movie is a different attack then ransomware, which we have seen borne out in practice (various insider attacks to steal content for example).

Q: What are your certifications in the cybersecurity field?

MS: I have been involved in cybersecurity since I was 11. Was senior penetration tester for a global consulting company, ran a security program at a global investment bank, and have been running a security company for 10 years.

Q: What does effective cybersecurity look like to you?

MS: Cost effective, business aware, and layered.

Jonas Brothers Release Happiness Begins

After building overwhelming anticipation and delivering a number one hit single, GRAMMY® nominated multiplatinum powerhouse trio–Jonas Brothers—release their highly anticipated fifth full-length album, Happiness Begins, today.

Get it HERE via Republic Records.

Happiness Begins marks the return of Jonas Brothers following a six-year hiatus. Inspired by events captured in their newly released documentary Chasing Happinessavailable now exclusively via Amazon Prime Videothe album features the band’s history-making comeback single, “Sucker.

Upon release, “Sucker” debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, marking the first #1 for the band and the first #1 debut from a group this century. Recently ranked #1 on Billboard’s critic’s picks list of the “50 Best Songs of 2019,” it has become a song of the summer anthem, rapidly ascending to #1 on the Billboard Pop Songs chart for the last 7 weeks – the most for any song this year – with the band’s follow up single “Cool” climbing closely behind.

Produced by GRAMMY® Award-winning songwriter, producer, and lead singer of the multi-platinum band OneRepublic, Ryan Tedder, with additional production from Shellback on “Only Human” and Greg Kurstin on “I Believe” and “Every Single Time, the music captures the band’s new sound and turns the page on a new Jonas Brothers era.

“For us this album is a culmination of the last ten years and our story as brothers. We are so excited this album is officially out! We can’t wait for you to finally hear it and to perform it in front of all our fans around the world! 

PS – We’ve been to the year 3000. Not much has changed but they live underwater.”

To celebrate the arrival of the record, Jonas Brothers launch a full-scale media blitz, which kicked off earlier this week with an appearance at Wango Tango, a profile on CBS Sunday Morning, and gracing Harper’s Bazaar’s first ever Men’s Bazaar cover. This morning, they celebrate the triumphant release with a performance for the Today Show Summer Concert Series. Next up, they take over NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on June 12 and co-host LIVE with Kelly and Ryan June 13, with more appearances to follow. Be sure to tune in!

In partnership with Amazon StudiosPhilymack, and Federal Films—a division of Republic Records— the group’s official documentary Chasing Happiness premiered to rave reviews this week, bringing fans together closer than ever.

Available exclusively via Amazon Prime Video, the documentary follows the band from their earliest days through stratospheric success, disbanding, and ultimately reuniting for the comeback we’ve all been waiting for.

After selling out shows for the North American leg of the Happiness Begins Tour with special guests Bebe Rexha and Jordan McGraw, the group recently announced European dates. The full itinerary can be found below.

As if that wasn’t enough, the band continues to satiate their fans with news of their upcoming memoir Blood, which is available for pre-order HERE now and will be released in November 2019.

With Jonas Brothers back, Happiness has begun.

 

Jonas Brothers “Happiness Begins Tour” 2019 Dates here.

Happiness Begins June 7

JONAS BROTHERS ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM HAPPINESS BEGINS JUNE 7

“SUCKER” CLAIMS NUMBER ONE SPOT AT RADIO

PERFORMING ON 2019 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS MAY 1 AND SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE MAY 11

The biggest comeback of the year just got bigger…

As their new singles heat up worldwide, GRAMMY® Award-nominated multi platinum powerhouse trio–Jonas Brothers—reveal the news that fans everywhere have waited nearly a decade for. The group will release its first album since 2009 and one of 2019’s most anticipated records, Happiness Begins, on June 7 via Republic Records.

This week, “Sucker” makes history as the band’s first number one at Top 40 radio, according to Mediabase. Simultaneously, their newest single “Cool” has quickly ascended into the Top 20 at the format, where it continues to climb.  The songs have taken pop culture by storm, becoming the #1 and #2 greatest gainers at the format last week.

“Sucker” now exceeds 380 million global streams to date. During release week, it clinched #1 on Apple Music, #1 on Spotify, and #1 on iTunes in North America.  Globally, it became #1 on Apple Music, #1 on YouTube, #1 on Twitter, and #2 on Spotify as well as the #1 Streaming Song and #1 Digital Song. Speaking of making history, the rollout of “Sucker” marked “the first time a band debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart this century.  Continuing the runaway success, “Cool” notched 45 million global streams and soared to #1 on iTunes Overall Top Songs Chart and Top Music Videos Chart.

Next up, the Jonas Brothers take the stage for what promises to be two unforgettable performances at the Billboard Music Awards May 1 and Saturday Night Live May 11.

Also in the works is the Jonas Brothers new documentary. Last month they announced a partnership with Amazon Studios, Philymack, and Federal Films—a division of Republic Records—to release the upcoming documentary about the band. It’s set to premiere exclusively on Amazon Prime Video in more than 200 territories.

Happiness Begins June 7…

The preeminent male group of this century, Jonas Brothers opened the floodgates for a new era of titans in pop music. They earned two number one albums and sold out shows throughout three continents. Selling over 17 million-plus albums with over 1 billion streams worldwide, they’ve achieved dozens of platinum and gold certifications. Jonas Brothers notably received a GRAMMY® Award nomination in the category of “Best New Artist,” garnered “Breakthrough Artist” at the American Music Awards, won Billboard’s “Eventful Fans’” Choice Award for “Best Concert Tour of the Year,” and took home a Mexican Grammy, showcasing their international influence. The tremendous success of the band provided a launch pad for the successful and storied solo careers of Nick Jonas, Joe Jonas, and Kevin Jonas, who have kept loyal fans yearning for a reunion, until now.

JONAS BROTHERS “SUCKER”

Audio I Video

JONAS BROTHERS “COOL”

Audio I Video

JONAS BROTHERS SOCIALS

Instagram I Twitter I Facebook I Youtube

Jonas Brothers “Sucker” Success

JONAS BROTHERS EARN #1 DEBUT ON BILLBOARD HOT 100 WITH HISTORIC NEW SINGLE “SUCKER”

BECOMES FIRST #1 DEBUT ON THE CHART BY A GROUP IN OVER 20 YEARS

FIRST FAMILY BAND TO EVER DEBUT AT #1 ON BILLBOARD HOT 100

 CONCLUDE TAKEOVER OF THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH JAMES CORDEN WITH DEBUT LIVE PERFORMANCE OF “SUCKER”

LISTEN TO “SUCKER” HERE

WATCH “SUCKER” MUSIC VIDEO HERE

Mounting up to the biggest comeback of the year, GRAMMY® Award-nominated multiplatinum powerhouse trio–Jonas Brothers—capture their first #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Not only does this mark the group’s very first #1 on the chart, but it’s the first #1 debut on the Hot 100 by a group in over 20 years, and the first #1 debut for a family group.

It also elevates them to rarified air as “Sucker” is just the 34th single to achieve a #1 Hot 100 debut in the chart’s 60-year history and the first for a family. “Sucker” also launches as Jonas Brothers’ first #1 on Billboard’s Streaming Songs and Digital Song Sales charts. The excitement keeps growing though as the musicians retain their place atop the charts worldwide. As an international phenomenon, it achieves their highest career single chart debut in the UK, landing in the Top 10.

Get it HERE via Republic Records.

With nearly 90,000 downloads and 50 million global Spotify streams, total consumption exceeds 333k in one-week. The success also encompasses North American number ones on Apple Music, Spotify, and iTunes as well as global number ones on Apple Music, YouTube, and Twitter. It’s just taking over radio now as “#1 Greatest Gainer for Top 40.”

The official video reached nearly 20 million views on its first day and is approaching 65 million views and counting in a week since its release, check out Anthony Mandler’s Director’s Cut of the “Sucker” music video HERE.

Fittingly, Jonas Brothers ended their takeover of The Late Late Show with James Corden on CBS by delivering the debut television performance of “Sucker.” Watch it HERE.

Throughout the week, they engaged in multiple popular segments on the show. Their Late Late Show segments, including Carpool Karaoke and Spill Your Guts have racked up over 114 million digital views combined. Their takeover also kicked off on a hilarious note as they parodied their song “Year 3000” with the clever “Year 2019.” Not to mention, The Mentalist and Dr. Phil joined the party.

This news comes on the heels of the Jonas Brothers announcing a partnership with Amazon Studios, Philymack, and Federal Films—a division of Republic Records—to release an upcoming documentary about the band. It’s set to premiere exclusively on Amazon Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories.

Jonas Brothers have returned and popular music and culture may never be the same again!

The preeminent male group of this century, Jonas Brothers opened the floodgates for a new era of titans in pop music. They earned three consecutive number one albums and sold out shows throughout three continents. Selling over 17 million-plus albums with over 1 billion streams worldwide, they’ve achieved dozens of platinum and gold certifications. Jonas Brothers notable received a GRAMMY® Award nomination in the category of “Best New Artist,” garnered “Breakthrough Artist” at the American Music Awards, won Billboard’s “Eventful Fans'” Choice Award for “Best Concert Tour of the Year,” and took home a Mexican Grammy, showcasing their international influence. The tremendous success of the band provided a launch pad for the successful and storied solo careers of Nick Jonas, Joe Jonas, and Kevin Jonas, who have kept loyal fans yearning for a reunion, until now.

JONAS BROTHERS SOCIALS

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook

Youtube

ABOUT REPUBLIC RECORDS

A division of Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company, Republic Records is home to an all-star roster of multi-platinum, award-winning legends and superstar artists such as Ariana Grande, Black Sabbath, Florence + the Machine, Hailee Steinfeld, James Blake, James Bay, John Mellencamp, Julia Michaels, Kid Cudi, Liam Payne, Of Monsters and Men, Post Malone, Seth MacFarlane, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift and more. Founded by brothers and chief executives Monte and Avery Lipman, it is also comprised of innovative business ventures, including American Recordings (The Avett Brothers), Boominati Worldwide (Metro Boomin), Brushfire (Jack Johnson), Casablanca Records (Tïesto), Cash Money (Drake, Jacquees, Nicki Minaj), Hollywood Records (Sofia Carson, Zendaya), Lava Records (Greta Van Fleet, Jessie J, Lorde), Monkeywrench (Pearl Jam), XO (The Weeknd, Belly, NAV), Young Money (Drake, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj), Roc Nation (Jaden Smith, Justine Skye, The Dream), among others. Republic also maintains a long-standing strategic alliance with country powerhouse Big Machine Records, and Universal Music Latin Entertainment.  In addition, Republic has expanded to release high-profile soundtracks for Universal Pictures (Fifty Shades of Grey, SING), Fox TV (Lee Daniels’ STAR, The Four), and NBC TV (The Voice), as well as other notable film and television franchises.