Posts tagged with "HBO"

Griffin Matthews Photography By Carson Davis Brown

Q×A With Griffin Matthews

By Justin Lyons

360 Magazine had the opportunity to sit down with actor, Griffin Matthews, to discuss his successful career. Matthews has been able to work on shows such as Dear White People, Ballers and The Flight Attendantas well as co-writing a successful musical. We were able to discuss his future career plans as well as his activism in the community.

Among acting, writing, directing and other creative positions, which one do you like the best, and which one allows you to best express your own creativity?

I love acting. I love writing. But I ultimately think I’m a director through and through. The responsibility of guiding the entire vision is so exciting to me. It’s such an honor when I get to direct because every story is a little baby that needs to be nurtured properly and guided along her way. And guess what? I’m such a dad. 

How has working with streaming services like Netflix and HBO Max changed the way you address your audience?

When you work on Netflix or HBO you get to really find your unedited voice. You get to be risky, controversial, imperfect, fabulous, complicated, political…I’ve been so lucky to get to work on Dear White People, Ballers and The Flight Attendant because I always felt like I could fire from all cylinders on day one. I did not need to ask for permission. I got to bring my entire self to each role. I got to curse. And kiss boys. And wear g-strings. And travel the world.

How do you use your experience acting in productions like The Flight Attendant to inform and influence your ideas on the stage?

I will always go back to the theater. I’m a theater kid. It’s where I honed my talent. So every experience that I have, I think about how I will translate that to the stage. I was lucky enough to travel the world and meet incredible people and see exotic places while we were shooting The Flight Attendant. I spent afternoons alone rummaging through the Bangkok market and got lost in the streets of Rome. I made friends with strangers and made peace with being a grown man and also homesick. As a writer, I’m a sponge. I soak up life and then look for an opportunity to let the water run out all over the stage.

How do you approach the assembly of a theatre show differently from how you approach the direction of a concert?

I approach concerts the exact same way that I approach theater. When I directed Shoshana Bean and Cynthia Erivo’s holiday concert at The Apollo, we had endless conversations about story and themes and vulnerability. All of those things make for an exciting night in the theater! I think a lot of concert directors only think about pyrotechnics, but I like to think about the heart of the performers. The message. The mission. And let all of those things spill out…and of course, we add some pyrotechnics, too!

How does your activism influence the projects you choose to be involved in or choose to create yourself?

Activism is such a sexy word these days. It seems like everyone claims to be. For me, my personal pledge is to be an activist when everyone’s looking, but more importantly when no one’s looking. That pledge always checks my motives and my ego as I navigate projects and stories that I want to be a part of it. Every time I sign on to a project, I bring my whole self, my whole truth, the parts that are great and the parts that are ugly. That’s what I’ve learned running a nonprofit for over 15 years. So much of the work is tough. It’s messy. But it’s real.

What are you most excited about with your career in the near future?

I’m currently developing a musical series with Ester Dean that will center black queer voices. It’s really exciting because I’m a fan of Ester and her work (Pitch Perfect, songwriter of Katy Perry’s “Firework” and Rihanna’s “Rude Boy”). She’s broken many ceilings in this industry as a songwriter, actor, musician, and host. We both want to create a show where young people (who look like Ester and I) will see their truths accurately and joyfully reflected on screen. I’m also directing a film called The Amish Project by a playwright named Jessica Dickey. When I tell people that I’m working on it, it can raise eyebrows because people don’t often hear about black directors working on pieces that don’t center black narratives. But here’s the thing: black directors want to direct EVERYTHING. And we can. And we will. And I’m excited to finally get my shot!

What is a creative role you haven’t taken up that you’d like to at some point in your career?

I really want to direct for TV. For some reason, the thought scares the hell out of me! There’s so much to manage: logistics, people, locations, safety, technology, performances, but I’m fascinated by it. It’s time for me to tackle that fear and get behind the camera ASAP. 

Streaming, tv, film, Nielsen story illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 MAGAZINE

STREAMING PLATFORMS LEADING THE WAY 

IN ON-SCREEN DIVERSE REPRESENTATION

Diversity at all-time high due to growing television landscape but notable disparities persist

The explosion of new television platforms across broadcast, streaming and cable has led to an increase in on-screen representation of diverse identity groups, according to Nielsen’s latest Diverse Intelligence Series report: Being Seen on Screen: Diverse Representation and Inclusion on TV. 

Among the 300 most-viewed programs in 2019, 92% had some level of diversity in the cast (i.e. women, people of color or LGBTQ+). Whites, African Americans and LGBTQ+ had the largest overall share of screen while Women, Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans were underrepresented relative to their population estimates. The report uncovers notable differences in identity group representation across different platforms; with streaming over-indexing on representation for certain identity groups versus traditional broadcast and cable.

In this report, Being Seen on Screen: Diverse Representation and Inclusion on TV, Nielsen reports on scripted, reality, variety and news programming on key metrics: 

  • Share of Screen (SOS): composition of the top 10 recurring cast members in a program
  • Inclusion Opportunity Index (IOI): compares the SOS of an identity group (e.g. women) to their representation in population estimates
  • Inclusion Audience Index (IAI): compares the SOS of an identity group to their representation in a program’s audience.

The report is powered by Gracenote Inclusion Analytics, a new solution delivering cutting-edge metrics created from Gracenote content metadata and Nielsen audience measurement data, providing the industry with consistent and reliable measurement of granular viewing. The report also leverages Gracenote Video Descriptors, metadata relating to story, mood, character, theme and scenario in each program. 

Key insights from the report include:

Overall, representation of diverse identity groups in on-screen programming is low across all media platforms. Streaming fares better for inclusion followed by broadcast and cable. Viewing audiences are increasingly seeking content that tells their stories. As a result, people are migrating to platforms that have broad and more diverse content offerings. 

  • Representation by platform (Broadcast, Cable, Streaming): Nearly one-third of the content on cable doesn’t have parity representation of Indigenous, People of Color (Black, Native American, Asian & Pacific islander, Hispanic/Latinx, Middle eastern/ North African, Multiracial), Women or LGBTQ talent. 
  • Subscription video on demand (SVOD) programming represents several identity groups e.g. Blacks, Hispanic and Asians well, helping us understand, in part, why more diverse audiences are subscribing to streaming services than the general population.
  • Representation of identity groups by genre (e.g. comedy, drama, news): 
    • While women are not well represented in any single genre, the highest representation for women is in science fiction, drama, comedy and horror. 
    • Women have the lowest representation in news. 
    • People of color representation is at parity in music and drama, followed by science fiction and action and adventure.  
    • People of color have least relative representation in news. 
    • News does prominently feature LGBTQ talent on-screen. 
    • Reality and horror programming also prominently feature LGBTQ talent. 

All audiences, regardless of how they identify, like to see diversity in the content they view on TV. Programs that represent multiple identity groups evenly yield higher overall audience ratings for all viewers when compared to shows that have a significant over or under representation of any one identity group.  

Quality of representation matters too. The themes and narratives depicted on-screen can contribute to identity formation and social perceptions. As the industry seeks to improve diversity on-screen, content creators and publishers should consider the context in which women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ talent are presented. Equally important is investing in marketing those diverse programs so that they are watched.

  • Women insights
    • Comprise 52% of the U.S. population; show up on screen only 38% of the time
    • Women 50+ years old 
      • 60% less likely to see themselves in programming than in the general population, and 2x the representation of men 50+
      • Women 50+ comprise 20% of the population and 20% of all TV viewers, but have a SOS of less than 8%
      • Men 50+ years old are 17% of the total population and have SOS of 14%
  • LGBTQ+ insights
    • 1 out of 4 top performing programs across cable, broadcast and streaming have relative representation of LGBTQ+ cast members 
    • Total SOS for LGBTQ was 7%. LGBTQ people are 4.5% of the population so across all platforms we see fair representation
    • The highest level of representation is on SVOD (8% SOS), followed by cable (7%) then broadcast (5%). 

Aligning representative casting and content themes is an area of opportunity. In the programming where identity groups see themselves represented at parity, these are the themes that are most present: 

  • Latinas: dysfunction, emotional, suspenseful, melodramatic, police stations
  • Black women: emotional, personal relationships, sons, investigation, rivalry
  • Black men: investigation, thrilling, streets, pursuit, teamwork, discovery
  • East Asians: challenge, courage and bravery, justice, sons, discovery
  • South/Southeast Asian males: thrilling, awakening, offices, courtrooms
  • White women: friendship, family, love, husbands, daughters

Nielsen’s findings aim to show media owners the degree to which their programming is inclusive, coupled with the diversity of the audience they draw. Additionally, brands and agencies will now be able to measure their advertising investment and alignment to inclusive content. The identity groups measured included: Female, Male & Expansive Gender Identities, Black/African American, Hispanic, Asian & Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern/North African, Multiracial, White, Native American/Native Alaskan, and Sexual Orientation. The data, which was both intersectional and granular, enables Nielsen to look at specific identity subsegments like Afro-Latino or Southeast Asian. 

“At Nielsen, we believe that the audience is everything and that inclusion is a prerequisite of a healthy media ecosystem, ensuring all communities and individuals are heard and seen,” stated Tina Wilson, Nielsen EVP, Media Analytics and Marketing Outcomes. “The call for inclusive programming that breaks traditional stereotypes and gives a voice to underrepresented groups has never been louder.”

“This work underscores the essential importance of on-screen representation in an increasingly diverse audience landscape,” said Sandra Sims-Williams, Nielsen SVP, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “Not only is the business case for inclusion made but it also provides practical recommendations on how media companies can address inclusion gaps. This is a must-read for any media professional who wants to be part of the change that today’s television viewers demand.”

For more details and insights, download Being Seen On Screen: Diverse Representation & Inclusion on TV. Please visit nielsen.com/inclusionanalytics to learn more. Join the discussion on Facebook (Nielsen Community) and follow us on Twitter (@NielsenKnows).

ABOUT NIELSEN 

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Our approach marries proprietary Nielsen data with other data sources to help clients around the world understand what’s happening now, what’s happening next, and how to best act on this knowledge. For more than 90 years Nielsen has provided data and analytics based on scientific rigor and innovation, continually developing new ways to answer the most important questions facing the media, advertising, retail and fast-moving consumer goods industries. An S&P 500 company, Nielsen has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.

Smithsonian Channel – ULTIMATE VIKING

By Cassandra Yany

Smithsonian Channel has authorized an innovative new series that combines adventure with rich history to unveil the never before seen secrets of Viking society. The series, whose working title is ULTIMATE VIKING, will be hosted by Kristofer Hivju, who played Tormund Giantsbane in HBO’s Game of Thrones, and award-winning journalist Gry Molvær Hivju.

“We are very excited to host this living history adventure series set in our beautiful country Norway,” said Gry Molvær Hivju and Kristofer Hivju, the co-founders of Tindefilm. “We are proud to show the fjords, ocean and wild mountains that our ancestors saw. For us, this series is all about a genuine extreme experience based on Viking society, set deep in the heart of the land of the Vikings. It’s going to be exciting, ambitious and based on historical evidence.”

The series is also set to include a one-hour documentary slated to premiere in 2021 on Smithsonian Channel. Filming for the show has begun and production will take place in Norway and the UK, with a custom Viking settlement being constructed on the Norwegian coast. The adventure series will feature a diverse cast of contemporary, highly skilled men and women who will be challenged to see if they have what it takes to live as true Vikings. 

Each episode is rooted in authentic Viking knowledge, exploring every aspect of the lifestyle to discover what it was truly like to live as a Viking over 1000 years ago. The show will follow ordinary people participating in remarkable expeditions under harsh Nordic conditions. The clans will compete against each other in a series of often extreme Viking survival expeditions, challenges and tasks based on historical facts, literature and archaeological evidence. 

“We are always looking for innovative ways to re-invent the entertainment experience for our curious global audience,” said David Royle, EVP and Chief Programming Officer of Smithsonian Channel. “Vikings have long captured the public imagination and this brand-new format pushes boundaries to create a new way for our audience to be enthralled, sometimes appalled and often surprised by the challenges of Viking life.”

The series’ cast lives side by side in a Viking settlement, with every detail true to the era, including the buildings, clothes, tools and food. Participants will need to master tools like axes and swords, learn to forage and fish in Norway’s snow-capped mountains, and master the art of sailing a Viking ship while mentored by the world’s leading Viking historians. 

ULTIMATE VIKING (w/t) is produced by Wildflame Productions Ltd., Zig Zag Productions Ltd. and Tindefilm for Smithsonian Channel. The Series is directed by Showrunner Stephen Shearman, with original music composed by Silvia Strand.

ULTIMATE KING (w/t) aims to re-imagine living history for television audiences across the world,” said Llinos Griffin-Williams, the Executive Producer of Wildflame Productions. “Our new adventure history format pushes living history to another level. It is an extremely ambitious series and one we are thrilled to be making for the Smithsonian Channel.”

View a sneak peak of the series here

About Smithsonian Channel

Smithsonian Channel™, a ViacomCBS Inc. network, is where curiosity lives, inspiration strikes and wonders never cease. This is the place for awe-inspiring stories, powerful documentaries and amazing factual entertainment, available in HD and 4K Ultra HD across multiple platforms. Smithsonian Channel, winner of Emmy® and Peabody awards for its programming, is the home of popular genres such as air and space, travel, history, science, nature and pop culture. Among the network’s offerings are hit series including Aerial America, America in Color, America’s Hidden Stories, Apollo’s Moon Shot, The Pacific War in Color and Air Disasters, as well as critically-acclaimed specials that include The Green Book: Guide to Freedom, Black in Space: Breaking the Color Barrier, Walk Against Fear: James Meredith and Princess Diana’s Wicked Stepmother. Smithsonian Channel is available internationally in Canada, Singapore, Latin America, the UK and Ireland. 

About Wildflame Productions

Wildflame Productions creates extraordinary content for audiences throughout the world from its base in Cardiff.  This UK nations and regions factual powerhouse works closely with the best creative talent and a wide range of production partners to produce content for the UK and the international markets. CEO Paul Islwyn Thomas has built a strong reputation for producing factual and specialist factual programming for a wide range of broadcasters, including the full range of national BBC channels, Channel 5, S4C, Discovery and many more. Wildflame prides itself on its excellence in storytelling, bringing great ideas and ambitious concepts and formats to audiences globally. In June 2020, the company returned to being wholly independent, after exiting the Flame Media Group. 

About Tindefilm

Located on Norway’s wild and beautiful west coast, led by CEO Hilde Nerlund and DOP Tor Siverstøl. Tindefilm creates high quality, filmic content for the global market.  Their first production, Lysleite, a creative documentary about the dwindling light in the polar regions won a Gullruten (Norwegian TV awards) and their second documentary, Bit – Ballerina Bulldog was nominated for best documentary at BIFF as well asGullruten for best original score.

About Zig Zag Productions

Zig Zag Productions is one of the UK’s foremost independent television production companies. With offices in London, New York and Northern Ireland, Zig Zag has produced over 700 hours of non scripted programming and has grown to become an internationally recognised, respected and award-winning television producer both in the UK, USA and internationally. Zig Zag has produced programming for broadcasters including BBC, Channel 4, ITV, Five, TLC, MTV, Fox, National Geographic, Discovery, OWN, Logo and Syfy. The company has also won numerous awards including the Rose D’or for Best Format.

Labrinth Wins Emmy Award

GRAMMY NOMINATED PRODUCER, SINGER, SONGWRITER AND MULTI-INSTRUMENTALIST LABRINTH WINS HIS FIRST EMMY AWARD FOR
OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL MUSIC & LYRICS FOR HIS WORK ON HBO’S EUPHORIA

Labrinth today wakes up an Emmy Award winner. Nominated for two Emmys this year as lead composer, Labrinth has won the first category for ‘Outstanding Original Music & Lyrics’ for his work on the official soundtrack for HBO’s hit series Euphoria.

The results for his second nomination for ‘Outstanding Music Composition For A Series’ will be announced on Saturday, September 19th from 8PM to 10PM EST.

For over 70 years The Emmy Awards recognize excellence in various areas of television and emerging media and are widely recognized as one of the most coveted awards of all time. The win signifies a pivotal moment in Labrinth’s career, as it celebrates his first-ever project as lead composer.

Following a year of multiple Grammy nominations (The Lion King), Labrinth says, “I came across something that read ‘are you brave enough to trust your instincts? Are you brave enough to let go of your worries’, this Emmy is a milestone for my creative expression and freedom, and I’m going to enjoy it for that. Thanks to Sam and the rest of the inspiring Euphoria universe.”

Written and recorded in close collaboration with the show’s writer Sam Levinson, Labrinth’s original compositions to ‘Euphoria’ feature prominently throughout the series as a sonic companion to the show’s angst-driven narrative. The resulting 26-track collection is a genre blending mix of gospel, soul and electronic influences, indicative both of Labrinth’s imitable style as well as the show’s deeply moving storyline.

Labrinth adds, “My experience with Euphoria has made me a better musician. It was a dream come true to give wings and add magic to the different storylines. It was a collaborative effort among Sam Levinson, the crew and the cast – I only added texture to an already phenomenal show. I hope that anyone who listens to the music embraces feeling something.”

Executive produced by Drake, along with manager Future the Prince, the ensemble cast of Euphoria includes actor and singer Zendaya, Maude Apatow, Angus Cloud, Eric Dane, Alexa Demie, Jacob Elordi, Barbie Ferreira, Nika King, Storm Reid, Hunter Schafer, Algee Smith and Sydney Sweeney.

With over 400 million streams to date, Labrinth’s award-winning album is a standalone work of art. In particular the track, ‘Still Don’t Know My Name’ which is listened to more than a million times a day, amassing over 100 million streams to date, trending on Shazam and TikTok, and is rising through the charts rapidly across the world as one of this Autumn’s key tracks to watch.

Labrinth’s recent live-streamed performance of music from ‘Euphoria’ is swiftly approaching 1.5 million views, showcasing his unique, creative and acclaimed artistry. Watch Labrinth’s performance of Euphoria Live HERE and “Still Don’t Know My Name” HERE.

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“Hard Knocks: LA” Debuts Season Finale

The season finale of “Hard Knocks: Los Angeles” debuted on HBO on Tuesday, Sept. 8th. The show, which followed the Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles throughout preseason, came to an end two days before the beginning of the 2020 NFL season.

At 8:20 p.m. ET tonight, the defending champions the Kansas City Chiefs face off against the Houston Texans at Arrowhead Field in Kansas City, Missouri. The stands will be operating at 22% capacity.

In a preview for the finale, Tyrod Taylor, the quarterback for the Los Angeles Chargers, reflects on preseason uncertainty and his readiness for the regular season during an early morning workout. 

“Hard Knocks: Los Angeles” will have encore plays Wednesday nights and will be available on HBO and to stream on HBO Max.

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #HardKnocks and follow @HardKnocksHBO, @NFLFilms and @RamsNFL & @Chargers for updates.

“Hard Knocks: Los Angeles” is narrated by Liev Schreiber.

Labrinth Performs Songs From ‘Euphoria’

For the first time since his Emmy nominations, Labrinth performed songs from the score and soundtrack of the hit HBO series “Euphoria.”

Presented by HBO themselves, fans of the show were treated to “forever,” “still don’t know my name,” “when I r.i.p.” and “all for us.”

Including Labrinth’s for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series and Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics, “Euphoria” racked up six nominations. In her most adult-friendly role to date, Zendaya picked up a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, and we can probably all guess which scene we’ll see when her name is announced as a nominee.

This video is proof that “Euphoria” isn’t leaving gorgeous colors and cinematography behind after the first season. It comes complete with everything but Labrinth wearing “Euphoria” makeup. Rich blues, purples and pinks set us up to be completely lost in the performance the way we were lost in the show.

HBO renewed “Euphoria” for a second season before the first season even ended, but because of production delays, we don’t have a release date yet.

Lovers of the show can still tune in to the 72nd Primetime Emmys on Sept. 20 to cheer for Zendaya, Labrinth and all of the other talented artists and creators responsible for “Euphoria.”

To see the entire performance, you can click right here. You can find “Euphoria” streaming now on HBO Max, and you can listen to the score right here.

Football illustration by Rita Azar

‘Hard Knocks’ – Episodes 1 & 2

HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’ is back, which, if you’re an NFL fan, is really exciting. It means that football is close. Fall is coming, training camp is starting and 32 teams will clash over the course of the next five months until only one is left holding the most coveted trophy in the game.

This year, things are looking a little bit different. The three other major sports in the United States had their seasons interrupted or delayed by the pandemic. The NFL finished its season about a month before everything began to close and we stopped gathering, so the league had some time to prepare if the virus was still around come August and September. Well, here we are in the middle of August, less than two weeks away from the opening month of the football season, and the pandemic is still changing the sports world.

This year’s version of ‘Hard Knocks’ is taking advantage of a huge opportunity. In 2015, the NFL had zero teams in Los Angeles. Now, the Rams and the Chargers both call it home. The Rams beat the Chargers there, but they’ll be sharing the brand new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood beginning this upcoming season. If they can share a stadium, why not share a documentary series? Double the teams, double the drama.

Just two episodes in, it’s obvious that this season is different from every other season of ‘Hard Knocks,’ and I don’t just say that because of the pandemic. If you’re a fan of the NFL, there’s so much star power to lay your eyes on this season, and the first episode doesn’t miss a chance to capitalize on that. We’re getting the inside scoop on guys like Aaron Donald, Jared Goff, Jalen Ramsey, Derwin James, Keenan Allen and Joey Bosa, who inked his five-year, $135 million deal right in front of us.

I think we tend to take the contract stuff for granted when it comes to these athletes. I know signing a nine-figure deal is life-altering, but it happens so often with these huge stars that we don’t think twice about it. If we do think twice, we’re either eyeballing the amount, criticizing it for being too high, or raising our eyebrows at the amount knowing the team is walking away with a star player for less than he or she is worth.

Before watching ‘Hard Knocks,’ I saw that Bosa signed the extension, but I didn’t think about the way it changed his life. That’s what I love about this show. These guys are freak athletes, built to withstand one of the most extreme sports for our entertainment, but they’re also humans. Bosa signing that deal is the climax in a long life of hard work and sacrifice, and he’s going to be able to provide for his family for generations if he’s wise with it.

I also love things like the juxtaposition between Sean McVay’s home life and Anthony Lynn’s home life. Lynn, the head coach of the Chargers, barbecues in his backyard and uses a napkin attached to a fork by a rubber band to brush sauce onto his chicken legs. McVay, the head coach of the Rams, cracks open a bottle of rosé with his fiancé at his outdoor glass fireplace overlooking the world.

We get to see Jalen Ramsey, who’s going into his first full season as a Ram, go house hunting. So far we’ve learned a lot about Ramsey as a competitor and a person, both on and off the field. He has been front and center for a couple of my favorite moments so far. First, in a Zoom meeting with reporters, he fields a question about a contract extension, which he doesn’t have yet. While we see many players around the league holding out of football activities for financial security, Ramsey insists that he’s in LA to play football, and his agent and the front office will handle the financials.

The reporters continue to pry, which sets Ramsey off, and he walks out of the interview. He does end up returning, but I get why he’s upset. I also get why the reporters are asking the question, so it’s a two-way street. While we’ve seen players say they have no plans to hold out then proceed to hold out, I still admire Ramsey for that position. It can’t be easy to negotiate million dollar deals and play football under normal conditions let alone the conditions we’re looking at right now.

Then, of course, we see how these two teams are handling the pandemic. Immediately upon arriving for preseason meetings, all of these players get their temperatures taken. They’re asked questions that probably aren’t too different from everyone visiting an office or an on-site job every day. Do you have a fever? Do you have a sore throat? Are you coughing? Have you been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19?

Right in the back of my mind, I remember last season of ‘Hard Knocks’ when the Raiders had hundreds of guys in their meeting rooms. Jon Gruden, the head coach of the Raiders, would tell his team, “Knock on wood if you’re with me,” and the thunderous knocking of over 100 football players hitting their desks poured through the speakers.

These two teams can’t do that in 2020. We see team’s socially distancing and maintaining that six feet of separation everywhere they go. Team employees even use tape measures to make sure that locker hubs are six feet apart, and the teams don’t allow anyone to sit in the first four rows in meeting rooms. Everyone is masked up, including the coaches, and it seems like they’re truly doing their best to avoid the spread of the virus.

Also, as a huge baseball fan, I love that they use the Marlins as an example of how important the safety precautions are. One guy with the virus could cause an outbreak throughout the entire team and put the season on hold. It doesn’t just affect the person with the virus. It affects everyone they’ve already come in contact with and everyone they might come in contact with. One person can derail the entire season, and it’s fascinating to see such a fragile situation in the hands of men whom we normally think of as the strongest and toughest on the planet.

All of the players are also receiving tests on a regular basis. I don’t know what it was, but something about seeing Keenan Allen and Casey Hayward both act so nervous before their tests made me feel a little bit better about my outlook on the tests. To be completely honest, the fear of having the Q-tip shoved into my brain is making me more strict about my pandemic behavior. It feels good to see professional football players who are just as uneasy about the test as I am.

In the second episode, everyone in camp received a wristband, and while they don’t go too deep into how they work, I imagine they keep track of social distance. If they can figure out whose wristband has been fewer than six feet away from someone who tests positive, they might be able to shut it down quickly by quarantining those players.

They also get the option to wear face shields, which could be a very practical solution to the mask debate. In the first episode, Sean McVay makes a big deal about preferring the plastic face shield over the fabric mask, and it looks like the players will wear something really similar inside their helmets. It sounds like a simple solution to a huge problem. Teams can’t send their players onto the field in hazmat suits, but if they can avoid spitting and breathing on each other, I think that’s a huge step in the right direction.

As per usual, we get to watch all of these positional camp battles that we’d never get to be inside the locker room for without ‘Hard Knocks.’ I love that the second episode touches on Austin Ekeler, who is a star because of the preseason. He’s one of the guys who made the most of his opportunities, and now he’s a starter on a team that’s expected to compete. A lot of guys won’t have those preseason games to make an impression this year. They’ll get fewer reps in practice to show off their skillsets. While it’s not impossible to make an impression, it sure is more difficult.

I enjoyed seeing Justin Herbert work on his game. I remember when Kyler Murray first came into the league and had to learn to take snaps as a professional quarterback. He took a lot of heat for things like clapping to call for the snap, but it looks like he’s going to be just fine. I really hope Herbert can overcome that kind of criticism, which he’ll inevitably get. He has the arm talent, but we’ll get to see if he can overcome the transition.

I also loved seeing Anthony Lynn talk to his players about protests during a Zoom meeting, which launched into an entire conversation between coaches and players. Specifically, Lynn said that his main focus is football, but they can’t focus on football when injustices are taking place off the field, so Chargers players are encouraged to protest however they see fit.

The conversation continued in smaller Zoom groups. In one of those groups, Chargers long snapper Cole Mazza mentioned that he had family in the military who are very much against kneeling during the anthem. Chargers coaches and other players explained that the kneeling had nothing to do with the military and everything to do with racial injustice. I think that’s really important to see in a show like ‘Hard Knocks,’ which draws plenty of football fans on both sides of the issue. Those are the conversations that need to be had, and all players and coaches were extremely respectful of each stance.

To be completely transparent, I caught a Chargers game in Carson last season as a fan of an away team. Fans of the team I went to see probably outnumbered Chargers fans ten-to-one, and I’ve respected the Chargers since then. Their fans had good attitudes about the whole situation, and I felt bad for the players on the Chargers who didn’t play a game in front of a home crowd the entire year.

I’m pulling for them to have a better season and build a bigger fan base in their new market, so I’ll be tuning in every week for more ‘Hard Knocks.’ I’d probably be tuning in no matter which team was on the show, as we’ve been deprived of football for seven months, but I’m extra curious this year.

For anyone just as curious as I am, you can see a new episode of ‘Hard Knocks’ Tuesday on HBO at 10 p.m. EST, or you can stream the show on HBO Max. You can also catch the companion podcast on any podcast streaming platform or on YouTube and HBO Max.

Duckwrth Coming Closer visual

Duckwrth – Coming Closer

Critically acclaimed Los Angeles rapper Duckwrth releases his new track “Coming Closer” feat. G.L.A.M. and Juliana Romana today.

Listen to “Coming Closer” feat. G.L.A.M. and Juliana Romana HERE.

On the track, which is produced by LA based twins Two Fresh and G.L.A.M., Duckwrth once again instigates unpredictable and unprecedented genre alchemy. He threads together bouncy rhymes while G.L.A.M. fires back with a seductive counterpoint as their bars come together before the dancefloor-ready hook sung by Juliana Romana. This anthem glides between hip-hop and electronic only to border on unexpected pop bliss.

“Coming Closer” arrives hot on the heels of his buzzing feel-good anthem “Find A Way” feat. Alex Mali, Radio Ahlee, & Bayli. HipHopDX praised its “melodic message of perseverance,” and Brooklyn Vegan described it as “powerful.” HYPEBEAST wrote, “The single serves as an uplifting anthem during these troubling times, featuring lyrics that showcase the artist’s ability to reminisce about the past and see a way forward.” Earmilk put it best, “The single plays as a welcome beam of light during a dark time.”

Over the last five years, LA-based wunderkind Duckwrth has quickly risen up the ranks as a promising star of the future of music. His collection of critically acclaimed projects including Nowhere (2015,) I’m Uugly (2016), Xtra Uugly (2017) and The Falling Man EP (2019), have transcended streaming platforms and landed in films, TV series, and brand ad campaigns and have received critical acclaim from a vast amount of outlets including NPR, The FADER, Complex, XXL and more. This cumulation has led the rapper to become an international touring staple, headlining shows globally and performing at Austin City Limits and opening for superstars Billie Eilish and Anderson .Paak. Duckwrth’s music has appeared on shows like CW’s All American, HBO’s Insecure and Real Time with Bill Maher and his song “Start A Riot” was featured on the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse soundtrack. His music has appeared in campaigns for the likes of Cadillac, Microsoft, Peloton, Amazon and Apple Music, and he’s worked with fashion legacies like Levi’s, Vans and Fila, as well as high fashion men’s suit designer Paul Smith.

Follow Duckwrth: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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, Drake, Florence + the Machine, Greta Van Fleet, Hailee Steinfeld, Jack Johnson, James Blake, James Bay, Jessie J, John Mellencamp, Jonas Brothers, Julia Michaels, Kid Cudi, Liam Payne, Lil Wayne, Lorde, Metro Boomin, NAV, Nicki Minaj, Of Monsters and Men, Pearl Jam, Post Malone, Seth MacFarlane, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd and more. Founded by brothers and chief executives Monte and Avery Lipman, it is also comprised of innovative business ventures, including American Recordings, Boominati Worldwide, Brushfire, Casablanca Records, Cash Money, Lava Records, Monkeywrench, XO, Young Money, among others. Republic also maintains long-standing strategic alliances with Universal Music Latin Entertainment (Karol G) and Hollywood Records (Zendaya).

In addition, Republic has expanded to release high-profile soundtracks for Universal Pictures (Fifty Shades of Grey), Sony Pictures (Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse), Lionsgate (Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist) and NBC TV (The Voice), as well as other notable film and television franchises. Extending further into the worlds of film, television, and content, Republic launched Federal Films during 2017 in order to produce movies and series powered by the label’s catalog and artists. Its first production is the Jonas Brothers documentary Chasing Happiness for Amazon Prime Video.

DIY illustration

DIY

By Vaughn Lowery × Armon Hayes × Emmet McGeown

“Environment is your incubator to flourish; nurture growth and manifest success.” – 360 Magazine

The design story of interior designer Justin Lowery proves that the environment you’re in is as important as the company you keep. His latest renovation of a Bronx live workspace demonstrates both balance and practicality. According to Lowery, these are necessary components to any multi-functional space that exists to entertain and foster productivity. As working from home becomes more commonplace, many are motivated to effectively utilize the space of their residence. Yet doing so, especially when dealing with limited room sizes and budgets, can be challenging. Thus, many are turning to interior designers or technicians, usually found on AngelList, to inject an aura of panache and pragmatism into their homes.

You ought to begin with a purge; creating a clean slate and space enabling you to establish a clear direction and plan for your environment’s layout and purpose. This spatial cleanse is, perhaps, the most difficult part. But, it is necessary to confront your inner hoarder and to permit the creation of a new space. We all hold on to things that we no longer need which results in clutter that can weigh heavily on the energetic composition of a room.

Following this, liven your environment by making subtle yet effective changes such as swapping out dresser hardware for $5 champagne brass handles for a soft and polished finish. Continue this innovative spirit by purchasing some elegant glass bowls, plates, and wine glasses from Amazon as well as new silverware and a glossy copper pot set.

Accent pillows can be the finishing touch that tie the look of a room together. They offer comfort while incorporating different hues or a fun pattern. Throw pillows like Pillow Pops by Shani Moran serve as an easy way to change the style of your space without breaking the bank. The Pillow Pops come in a variety of designs, shades and textures, so there are options to fit anyone’s taste. These pillows are also versatile, with a hidden zip enclosure to change the pillow cover based on the occasion or season. 

When attempting to promote the entertainment aspects of a space, consider the Roku soundbar. It’s dynamic bass and crisp audio allows sound to permeate through a room. This exceptional reverberation is accentuated by the cinematic presence of a Roku 50” Westinghouse TV whose built-in voice assistant allows for an obedient and malleable audio environment. When eager to intensify the sound quality, you ought to contemplate the Altice Amplify speaker by Optimum whose curved and sleek characteristics offer a 360° immersive experience. The addition of a Roku Express streaming player attached to a versatile BENQ 32” monitor will create a smooth and versatile mood available for both entertainment and work. 

Another great addition is the Ninja Air Fryer. Getting another appliance may seem unnecessary; however, the Ninja Air Fryer is a must to make meals easier. Whether you’re air frying, air roasting, reheating or dehydrating the Ninja has got you covered.

Additionally, consider practical changes like a new coat of paint or a fresh pop of color on focal areas within your space. Benjamin Moore offers a plethora of ways to refresh things and create the illusion of larger space, making your home office inviting and open. In order to add an exciting new dimension to the room, use contrasting colors. “Black excellence” is a contrasting option to consider if protecting the natural molding details are a concern such as the outline of doors and base boards. If you have pets and young children, then this option is a no brainer.

Adding a tasteful artistic piece or a floral arrangement freshens the décor and will positively impact any space. Consider updating light fixtures and window treatments to bring your full vision to life. If your budget permits, then adding texture with a tile backsplash to your kitchen might facilitate a lighter atmosphere. Repositioning is one of the cheapest manner to renovate your space; finding new areas to move existing furniture will allow new perspectives to manifest. Make this renovation process fun – it’s a great time for bonding with friends, family, or maybe an expert. 

DIY, 360 Magazine, Pillow PopsDIY, 360 Magazine
360 Magazine, Duckwrth

Duckwrth – Find A Way

Critically acclaimed Los Angeles rapper Duckwrth releases his politically charged lyric video for “Find A Way” feat. Alex Mali, Radio Ahlee, and Bayli today.

Watch “Find A Way” feat. Alex Mali and Radio Ahlee Lyric Video: HERE

“If there was one word I would use to describe what you are about to see, it’s “resilience.” This video is a display of the resilience our people have during these times. No matter how hard they try to oppress our power, we always Find A Way. Hope you enjoy it,” says Duckwrth on the visual.

Duckwrth delivers a poignant, poetic, and politically charged statement with the lyric video. The visual threads together actual footage and photos curated and taken by Greg Noire along with Miranda McDonald, Fred Agho, Charles Reagan, Roddie Cooper, Jessica Christian, Brady Law, and Phil Silver, of recent Black Lives Matter protests for equality and justice. The song serves as the perfect soundtrack to these vignettes of a world finally on the cusp of a necessary change and revolution.

Over the last five years, LA-based wunderkind Duckwrth has quickly risen up the ranks as a promising star of the future of music. His collection of critically acclaimed projects including Nowhere (2015,) I’m Uugly (2016), Xtra Uugly (2017) and The Falling Man EP (2019), have transcended streaming platforms and landed in films, TV series, and brand ad campaigns and have received critical acclaim from a vast amount of outlets including NPR, The FADER, Complex, XXL and more. This cumulation has led the rapper to become an international touring staple, headlining shows globally, and performing at Austin City Limits and opening for superstars Billie Eilish and Anderson.Paak. Duckwrth’s music has appeared on shows like CW’s All American, HBO’s Insecure, and Real Time with Bill Maher, and his song “Start A Riot” was featured on the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse soundtrack. His music has appeared in campaigns for the likes of Cadillac, Microsoft, Peloton, Amazon, and Apple Music, and he’s worked with fashion legacies like Levi’s, Vans, and Fila, as well as high fashion men’s suit designer Paul Smith.

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, Drake, Florence + the Machine, Greta Van Fleet, Hailee Steinfeld, Jack Johnson, James Blake, James Bay, Jessie J, John Mellencamp, Jonas Brothers, Julia Michaels, Kid Cudi, Liam Payne, Lil Wayne, Lorde, Metro Boomin, NAV, Nicki Minaj, Of Monsters and Men, Pearl Jam, Post Malone, Seth MacFarlane, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd and more. Founded by brothers and chief executives Monte and Avery Lipman, it is also comprised of innovative business ventures, including American Recordings, Boominati Worldwide, Brushfire, Casablanca Records, Cash Money, Lava Records, Monkeywrench, XO, Young Money, among others. Republic also maintains long-standing strategic alliances with Universal Music Latin Entertainment (Karol G) and Hollywood Records (Zendaya).  In addition, Republic has expanded to release high-profile soundtracks for Universal Pictures (Fifty Shades of Grey), Sony Pictures (Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse), Lionsgate (Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist) and NBC TV (The Voice), as well as other notable film and television franchises. Extending further into the worlds of film, television, and content, Republic launched Federal Films during 2017 in order to produce movies and series powered by the label’s catalog and artists. Its first production is the Jonas Brothers documentary Chasing Happiness for Amazon Prime Video.