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2019-09-19
Lionsgate Hires ‘A Quiet Place’ Producer Aaron Janus as Senior VP of Production
By Lorraine Wheat LOS ANGELES (Variety) – Lionsgate has hired Aaron Janus as its new senior vice president of production and promoted Meredith Wieck to the post of vice president of production.  Prior to , Janus served as Platinum Dunes’ head of development, where he oversaw filmmakers Brad Fuller, Andrew Form and Michael Bane. There, he brought in “A Quiet Place,” on which he’s credited as an executive producer. The film went on to gross $341 million worldwide. Before Platinum Dunes, Janus was the director of film production and development at 20th Century Fox and vice president of development for Scott Rudin Productions. Both Janus and Wieck will report to Erin Westerman, Lionsgate’s president of production.  “Aaron is an exciting addition to our strong team,” Westerman said in a statement. “He is deeply respected by talent and his track record speaks to his extraordinary taste and his eye for special material. Over and over, he has championed fresh voices and stories and, as a result, his career has been filled with movies that audiences love. Additionally, Meredith has been at the studio for four years and has consistently showcased strong leadership skills and excellent taste. We’re delighted to recognize her hard work with this promotion.”   Wieck has been with Lionsgate since 2015 and is currently working on Jay Roach’s film about the Roger Ailes sexual harassment scandal, “Bombshell,” starring Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron and Margot Robbie. It will hit theaters on Dec. 20. Previously, Wieck worked as associate producer on the “ Now You See Me” series that grossed $700 million worldwide. She began her career at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer followed by two years of working for Mary Parent at her Paramount-based production shingle Disruption Entertainment. 
2019-09-19
‘American Horror Story’ Recap: Welcome to ‘Camp Redwood’
By Andrea Reiher LOS ANGELES (Variety) – SPOILER ALERT:  Do not read if you have not yet watched the season premiere of “American Horror Story: 1984” entitled “Camp Redwood.” Welcome back to “American Horror Story,” which in its ninth season travels back in time to the 1970s and 1980s to play in the slasher genre. Only one episode into the season, it already looks to be a fun ride because “1984” is the first season since “Freak Show” to be set in the past. (Yes, “Hotel” had some other eras popping up, but it was mostly set in the present day.) This year seems like a real treat for campy horror, though, harkening back to not only the original “Friday the 13th” movies but also the fun knockoffs like “Sleepaway Camp” and “Summer Camp Nightmare.” This is also the first season without Sarah Paulson or Evan Peters. Losing not one but two heavy-hitters leaves “Horror Story” with some big shoes to fill; luckily, Leslie Grossman and Billie Lourd have come on strong in recent years to fill that Paulson void. And this season is positioning Emma Roberts back into small-screen scream queen status for the first time since, well, “Scream Queens.” “” actually began a decade and a half before its titular time period — in 1970 — with some counselors at Camp Redwood having a threesome in a cabin while the campers slept. But before things got too risque for basic cable, one of the girls got freaked out by hearing some “jingling.” Someone had come for the young adults, stabbing her bedmates first and then getting her, too. The trio was left in a bloody pile — but not before Mr. Jingles (John Carroll Lynch) sliced their ears clean off to keep as his trophies. The weird and very “Horror Story” thing about these murders was that it wasn’t just the horny counselors who were killed; Mr. Jingles then slaughtered the entire cabin full of campers. While early speculation may have led viewers to assume he was killing those he deemed sinners (especially because of how much the head of the camp talks about sin and Jesus in the episode), this revelation seemed to prove that untrue. His deeper motive — if he has one — remains to be seen. After some ’80s-tastic opening credits — seriously, those might be the best “AHS” credits of any season — it was now 1984 and we met all our main characters in an aerobics class taught by Xavier (Cody Fern), which was an amazing sequence of ’80s hair, spandex and pelvic thrusts. They quickly blow out of town because summer in 1984 Los Angeles, Calif. is a hot and uncomfortable place. The Olympics rolling into town, which not only ruined traffic but also upset Chet (Gus Kenworthy) because he was kicked off of Team USA at the last minute for testing positive for drugs. But furthermore, the city was being terrorized by the Night Stalker, a real-life serial killer portrayed on the show by Zach Villa. In reality, the criminal born Richard Ramirez killed 14 people in 1984 and 1985 before being caught; on the show, he broke into new LA transplant Brooke’s (Roberts) apartment looking for jewelry before being scared off by neighbors threatening to call the cops. The attack was all the motivation Brooke needed to join her new aerobics buddies and get out of Dodge. In reality, just in case you’re curious, Ramirez did the majority of his killings in 1985 and wasn’t called “the Night Stalker” until then. But that’s not super important to the “Horror Story” story. What “Horror Story” seems to be attempting to do is explain what Ramirez was up to during his conspicuous absence from June 1984 to March 1985. And it turns out, that is stalk “the one that got away” Brooke at Camp Redwood. But more on that later. On the way to camp, the kids met a grizzled old gas station owner who advised them to stay away from Camp Redwood — “They never shoulda opened that place up again … you’re all gonna die.” — which is a great cliche. But soon enough they have a brush with death as they hit a man on the road. The man had injuries he sustained before being hit by the van, but no one seemed too concerned about how he obtained them. Xavier completely freaked because he was driving, telling the other kids to get their stories straight that they didn’t hit this obviously lost and confused hiker. But, rather than leave him on the side of the road like other horror movies have done, they brought him to the infirmary at camp.  Finally arrived, the kids get a tour from the new owner, Margaret (Grossman), who revealed herself to be a “godly” woman who bought the camp to provide a good Christian safe haven for kids for the summer. But then Rita the nurse (Angelica Ross) spilled the beans about Benjamin Richter, nicknamed Mr. Jingles because of his jingling keys, a Vietnam vet who went on a murderous rampage one night in 1970 … and Margaret revealed she was the only survivor. She was the star witness in Mr. Jingles’ trial. So, the counselors were suddenly wondering just what the hell they got themselves into. As this big reveal was happening, the poor hiker woke up and discovered one of his ears had been cut off. So, if Mr. Jingles was convicted and sent away, as Margaret said, who cut off this new guy’s ear? There wasn’t time to dwell on that, though, because Matthew Morrison showed up sporting a tank top, a pair of short-shorts, an outstanding porn ‘stache … and apparently a giant penis. No, seriously, there was a whole plot point about how he was originally supposed to be front row next to Jane Fonda in her workout video but “one part of him” kept pulling focus. It certainly sounded like a line, but Montana (Lourd) said she had seen the original video before it was reshot and it was the first thing to which she ever masturbated. Montana and Trevor (Morrison) ended up skinny-dipping in the lake, but before things could get fully intimate, a storm started to roll in and the far-away lights freaked Montana out enough that they went back inside. It wasn’t just the storm that was proving dangerous for the new inhabitants of the camp, though, as a nearby institution experienced a break-out — by one Mr. Jingles, no less. After faking his own suicide in his cell, he killed an orderly and just casually strolled out — but not before pressing the button to open all of the cell doors, allowing his fellow mentally unstable inmates to wander freely, too. Most of them appeared to be staying close to their home, so to speak, but Mr. Jingles slipped away into the night. Back at camp, there was a flimsy excuse to send Brooke off on her own, where she came across hiker’s body hanging on the back of a door (or did she?) and then ran through the woods to escape Mr. Jingles. Again, or did she? This chase sequence was intercut with the Olympic torch ceremony, which was a little weird. And then of course, when Brooke tried to show everyone the hiker’s body, it was gone, so now nobody believed her about what happened. Plus, Margaret showed up minutes later in a raincoat similar to what Brooke said she saw Mr. Jingles wearing and everyone assumed she just got a contact high and could not be trusted. But of course, this is “Horror Story” so murderous characters really do lurk around every corner. In the waning moments, Brooke answered the ringing payphone at the camp and heard nothing but jingling, while Richard Ramirez watched her from the woods. So far, this season of “Horror Story” feels like it is set up to have a great “And Then There Were None” or “Harper’s Island” vibe to it — the elements of “who is going to die and when” is a really fun part of the mysteriousness of the story. “American Horror Story: 1984” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.
2019-09-19
Bob Iger Would Have Combined Disney With Apple if Steve Jobs Were Still Alive
By Lorraine Wheat LOS ANGELES (Variety) – Disney and Apple are both launching their own streaming services come November, but CEO Bob Iger says the two companies weren’t always on competing paths. In an excerpt from his autobiography published Wednesday in “ Vanity Fair, ” Iger revealed that Disney and likely would have merged if Steve Jobs hadn’t died in 2011. “I believe that if Steve were still alive, we would have combined our companies, or at least discussed the possibility very seriously,” Iger wrote The excerpt comes from his new book “The Ride of A Lifetime: Lessons From 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company,” which details Iger’s close relationship with Apple co-founder Jobs in addition to the break down of relations between Disney and Apple prior to Iger’s leadership position. According to Iger, previous CEO Michael Eisner effectively ruined the company’s relationship with Jobs by destroying Pixar’s partnership with Disney. “In January 2004, Steve made a very public, in-your-face announcement that he would never deal with Disney again,” Iger wrote.  Relying on his friendship, Iger took the next year rebuilding Job’s trust in Disney. And in October 2005, the two of them stood “onstage together at the Apple launch and announced that five Disney shows — including two of the most popular on TV, ‘Desperate Housewives’ and ‘Lost’ — would now be available for download on iTunes.” It was a small deal made between friends that would lead to a much bigger deal, Disney’s acquisition of Pixar for $7.4 billion dollars, as well as a seat for Jobs on the Disney board.   “With every success the company has had since Steve’s death, there’s always a moment in the midst of my excitement when I think, ‘I wish Steve could be here for this,’” Iger wrote.
2019-09-19
Toronto Film Review: ‘The Sky is Pink’
By Dennis Harvey LOS ANGELES (Variety) – Shonali Bose’s much-laureled 2014 “Margarita with a Straw” was a film whose presentation of a cerebral palsy-afflicted heroine sidestepped all the usual hand-wringing inspirational clichés of disability portrayal, making her story all the more enlightening and affecting. It is particularly disappointing, then, that the director’s followup should approach another tale of genetic infirmity with all the sentimentality and cuteness that last project avoided. “The Sky Is Pink” starts with a long disclaimer (rushing by almost too fast to read) basically asserting that the film can be held accountable for representing no one’s view save that of the real-life family depicted, in particular the mother upon whose “detailed narrations“ it is based. Perhaps that’s the root of the problem here: In bending to the wishes of the surviving subjects, Bose has created an idealizing, conventional tearjerker that feels more fictive than fictional “Margarita” did. For that reason, “Pink” (which opens in the U.S. and India on Oct. 11) may well have greater popular appeal than its predecessor. But it’s a distinct letdown, coming after one of the more delightful surprises of recent years. A cloying tone sets in immediately, with protagonist Aisha Chaudhary (Zaira Wasim) narrating from beyond the grave — forever a spunky, indulged favorite child, impudently dwelling on her parents’ sex lives or current lack thereof. In their grief, the formerly frisky couple of ex-karate competitor Niren (Farhan Akhtar) and onetime “almost” Miss India Aditi (Priyanka Chopra Jonas) are letting any remaining wild oats go to rot. But in different times this glam duo who married “out of caste” (the script provides no details on that) were all over each other. Though the script structure jumps around a bit, its majority is a chronological flashback that begins in earnest with the birth of their third child Aisha. She follows brother Ishaan (eventually played by Rohit Suresh Saraf), plus a firstborn sister who died of the same rare condition Aisha is born with: SCID, or Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, a genetic disorder that lays the child wide open to infectious diseases. Moving to London for treatment from world-class specialists, forced to fundraise to cover various extensive medical procedures despite their apparent middle-class prosperity, the Chaudharys try long-distance wedlock and childrearing for a while. Then they surrender to Aisha’s needs, relocating whole to England for what turns out to be a full decade. Somewhat miraculously surviving that long, Aisha is deemed fit for a return to India, where the family can now live in relative splendor thanks to dad’s corporate-executive post. Still, her years are numbered, despite mom’s constant furious research of all treatment options. An artist, blogger and motivational speaker (we eventually see a clip of her TED talk), Aisha lives just long enough to see the publication of her book called “My Little Epiphanies” at age 18. All this should be touching, but “The Sky Is Pink” consistently sells itself too hard (not to mention too long at 142 minutes), with music video-style sequences, arguments played in a cute sitcom mode, tearful soapy histrionics and so forth. The emotions we witness and feel should have more force given the obviously stressful circumstances depicted. But they feel like all the edges have been sawed off to flatter both the subjects and principal actors. Jonas and Akhtar make a very glossy couple who do not age at all credibly over what is meant to be a three-decade span. The score by Mikey McCleary (Pirtam and Gulzar contribute separate songs) leans heavily on such instruments of twee as accordions, whistling and pseudo-1920s Western dance music. Even the narrator admits, “Cuteness has its limits,” but this movie — which duly features a puppy — does not heed that wisdom. The real-life figures no doubt wanted to depict their beloved late daughter in the best possible light. But somehow that has translated into a pervasive air of maudlin contrivance that makes everything and everyone here seem too carefully prepackaged. The family’s very privileged eventual lifestyle is presented sans any social awareness, while the possibly less endearing aspects to Aditi’s tiger-mom intensity (which spares neither doctors nor servants) is regarded in simple terms of maternal bravery in former Miss World turned entertainment behemoth Jonas’ glam performance. She endures the torments of hell, yet her makeup remains utter perfection. It’s a slick, multi-nationally shot movie whose somewhat bland polish on all levels doesn’t much assist the raw pain that should be at this story’s center.
2019-09-19
2019 TV Producers Impact Report
By Danielle Turchiano LOS ANGELES (Variety) – Variety highlights the producers who made the biggest year-over-year impact on the scripted TV biz.
2019-09-19
2019 TV Producers Impact Report
By Danielle Turchiano LOS ANGELES (Variety) – Variety highlights the producers who made the biggest year-over-year impact on the scripted TV biz.
2019-09-19
Norman Lear, Natasha Lyonne, Greg Berlanti Attend Variety’s 2019 Showrunners’ Dinner
By Variety Staff LOS ANGELES (Variety) – Variety celebrated some of the top writers and producers in television at its annual showrunners’ dinner in Los Angeles, Calif. Tuesday. During the event, Norman Lear also received the first-ever Creative Conscience Award in television.
2019-09-19
#NotWorthLess: ‘I Was Great and Deserve to Be Paid the Same’
By Elaine Low LOS ANGELES (Variety) – Women writers, producers and assistants across Twitter turned the hashtag #NotWorthLess into a trend Wednesday, shining a light on issues of pay inequality in the entertainment business. Sparked by screenwriter Adele Lim’s recent decision to walk away from the “Crazy Rich Asians” sequel in protest of being paid less than her male co-writer, dozens of writers shared their own pay-inequity stories. Two of those writers spoke with Variety at length about their experiences. Ashley Gable served as a co-executive producer and then executive producer on CBS’ “The Mentalist,” produced by Warner Bros. Television, for four years between 2008 and 2012. As her three-year contract neared an end, she was earning $25,000 per episode. Then she discovered that she was being paid about two-thirds of the $40,000 per episode that her male counterparts were making, each of whom had joined the show after her. She negotiated up to $30,000 per episode, which she said the studio called “an outsized raise,” but hit a ceiling on talks. Warner Bros.’ final offer was “thirty and be grateful,” Gable told Variety. “I took it and was angry.” She stayed on for another year and then left. Gable, whose lengthy list of credits includes “Magnum P.I.,” “Designated Survivor” and “Bull,” said that she lays no blame on her fellow writers and producers, but on the studio. Warner Bros. was not immediately available for comment. “They’re great,” said Gable of her male counterparts on the show. “They deserve every penny they were paid, but I, too, was great and deserve to be paid the same.” “Bruno Heller is a wonderful person and I owe him a great deal,” said Gable of “” showrunner, describing her decision to creatively part ways with him as an amicable one. She says the salary issue was a factor in her dissatisfaction on the show, and one that prompted her exit. “This is our employers doing this,” she said. “This is not writers s—ting on other writers. It’s the studio’s responsibility to pay people fairly and to pay women the same as men.” Sarah Watson (“The Bold Type,” “Parenthood”), Minhal Baig (“Hala,” “Ramy”) and Lilla Zuckerman (“Agents of Shield,” “Suits”) are just a few of the other writers who came forward on Twitter to talk about their experiences with disparities between hiring and salary practices between men and women writers in Hollywood. Patricia Carr, whose credits include “Reign,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “90210” and other series, met with Studios to discuss a position at “NCIS: New Orleans” in 2018. “My position on that was simply: I worked for CBS Television Studios on a number of different shows, all the way up to being a showrunner for them,” Carr told Variety. “They definitely knew who I was. I knew what they could afford. I knew the show was making money. And what I asked for was not top dollar for the position they were offering me, but for what I thought was fair compensation, based on what they had paid me in the past.” That included a 3% increase — “just really, for them not to let inflation deflate my paycheck,” Carr said. CBS countered with a final offer that was 25% below her desired figure. She declined the offer. CBS Television Studios declined to comment. Sources familiar with the negotiations say that the offer made to Carr factored into the notion that she was now looking to be hired as a solo producer after being part of a writing team for years. Writing teams effectively have to split the salary of one writer. Carr, anticipating this argument, said that it is easy to be “haunted by an early [salary] quote.” Instead, she said the show hired a white, male writer who had less experience but gave him a higher title and paid him more than she asked for. Adam Targum joined the writers’ room in her stead. “I was told by people working on the show that it was a significant amount more money than even what I had asked for,” said Carr. Targum was let go in January after being the subject of an HR complaint. Sources say his salary at “NCIS: New Orleans” was a reflection of immediate prior experience as a showrunner. But some writers believe the deck is stacked against them when negotiations are based on past salaries that are themselves based on initial, low-ball figures. “I’ve heard these things throughout the years,” said Carr, bringing up Lim’s experience with “Crazy Rich Asians” negotiations. “I worked with Adele in the past, so I knew her,” said Carr. “I knew the quality of her work. I was extremely confident in what her contribution had been. So it just seemed like a very factual situation. She was being candid in sharing that publicly, and that’s really important, and it inspired me and made me feel like: If we all have the opportunity to do this, there definitely is a story there, and there is a story that we need to be sharing with each other.” Like Gable, Carr has no animosity toward the other writers who were involved, including the writer who was hired after she declined CBS’ offer. “The only potential villain in this story is CBS Studios,” said Carr, adding that “if nobody pushes back on these things, then it’s really hard for anyone to push back on these things.”
2019-09-19
With Hasbro Acquisition, Is eOne Planning to Offload Family-Unfriendly Properties?
By Shirley Halperin LOS ANGELES (Variety) – Hasbro’s $4 billion acquisition of in August instantly put the Canadian toy giant in the league of major entertainment and content companies thanks to eOne’s arsenal of IP assets in music, television and film. But does the self-described “family brands” business that’s home to The Game of Life and My Little Pony align with a property named Death Row Records? That’s what music industry insiders are wondering as the business takes stock of this new player, particularly if those very properties are up for sale. Death Row, co-founded by Dr. Dre and Suge Knight in 1991 and known for blazing the trail for the “gangsta rap” of the 1990s, is home to music by Dre (including the influential 1992 album “The Chronic”), Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg, among others. Although it’s been dormant for the better part of a decade, with Knight in and out of prison during that time, its recordings and copyrights generate steady income for the nearly half-century old eOne. What is the music arm worth? Consider that Big Machine Label Group, a music company which was home to six albums by Taylor Swift, sold for $300 million recently. By comparison, eOne has under its umbrella nearly a dozen labels, including Dualtone, home to the Lumineers, and premium music library Audio Network Production Music, acquired by eOne just this year. And as Wall Street would tell any interested listener, music is a hot investment right now . But a source tells Variety that despite the speculation and industry chatter, eOne’s new owners are “not interested in selling.” In fact, CEO Brian Goldner has repeatedly voiced his feelings on music being omnipresent — in everything — and excitement over having a music division. A Hasbro spokesperson did not immediately respond to Variety‘s request for comment. Goldner touted the creative opportunities in both the film and TV space that new properties such as “Peppa Pig” and “PJ Masks” will afford the toy giant during a session Wednesday at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference in New York City. “In eOne, we have the family brands business which has a number of notable pieces of entertainment and the most toy-etic of which are ‘Peppa Pig’ and ‘PJ Masks,’”he said. Goldner went on to reveal that Hasbro plans to recapture the license fees from around the world on eOne’s biggest properties, which he said will recuperate a substantial amount of lost revenue for the company. The Hasbro chief admitted that the company has been approached about making live action adaptations of its properties for the film and TV space, but it “did not have the skill set” to pull it off prior to the eOne acquisition. “eOne not only has that skill set, but they’ve been using best practices to build a profitable television and film business,” he said. Goldner added that developing the worlds of two of the company’s most popular properties in “Magic the Gathering” and “Dungeons and Dragons” for the screen remains a top priority. The company reached a deal with Joe and Anthony Russo to bring an animated “Magic” to Netflix in June, and Gardner teased that there will be more to come on the “Dungeons and Dragons” front. “What we’re really seeing is that these are not monolithic brands, ‘D&D’ for example has many different story arcs that have been developed,” he said. “We see the opportunity to develop content there that sits alongside and grows the salience and resonance of that brand with those audiences.” The music side agrees that there is much opportunity to be found in film and television for their artists and projects, including those “seminal recordings” in the Death Row catalog, says an insider who adds, “Peppa Pig and Death Row have been together for a decade. They’re equally important pieces of IP.”
2019-09-19
Songs for Screens: How Freya Ridings’ ‘Lost Without You’ Became 2019’s Big Synch Power Ballad
By Andrew Hampp LOS ANGELES (Variety) – Freya Ridings was still nursing the emotional wounds of a breakup when she sat down at her parents’ piano in her North London home to compose what eventually became her breakout hit “Lost Without You.” “I was in an isolated place. When you lose a connection to someone where you put your heart, mind and soul into it, you feel very sort of lost literally,” says Ridings, 25. “It was the first song I’d ever written from beginning to finish almost from a deeply subconsciously place. There’s something about that unfilteredness where I wasn’t trying to do anything that I actually thought would connect with people. I was just expressing an isolation that I was in after heartbreak.” By the time Ridings shared the song with her U.S. label team at Good Solider/Capitol Records, however, it became clear “Lost Without You” would soon find an audience well beyond Ridings’ living room. To date, the song has been synched 16 times for TV and film, including high-profile placements in ABC’s “American Idol” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” Freeform’s “Shadowhunters” and The CW’s “Legacies,” each prompting spikes in Shazams ranging from 10,000 to nearly 40,000. Back in her native U.K., the song soared to the top 10 on the Official Charts Company’s Singles chart on the strength of a use on popular reality series “Love Island.” A cover of the song from Tuesday night’s “America’s Got Talent” is currently among the top 20 trending videos on YouTube, even prompting judge Simon Cowell to declare contestant Kodi Lee’s performance “one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever, ever heard.” Like her labelmate Lewis Capaldi , Ridings’ music seems to be striking a chord with music supervisors and fans alike looking for the powerful combination of evocative lyrics and stripped-down production that made Adele, Sam Smith and Ridings’ fall U.S. tour partner Hozier such global success stories. “She writes emotionally moving lyrics and she has an innate talent and specificity to her sound that you don’t often find,” says Jenny Swiatowy, VP-head of creative sync licensing at Capitol Music Group. “The rich tone of her voice just demands your attention. It can be akin to a Florence and the Machine-type voice; it has that power to it. And combined with her lyrics it just packs that one-two punch you need to elevate a scene that might already be moving and create that TV magic that we always hope for when we have a great song or placement.” The song has been experiencing its biggest U.S. Shazam activity in nearly six months after its prominent use in the current and final season of Starz’s “Power,” which featured a nearly four-minute placement of the song during a key funeral scene mourning one of the series’ main characters, Angela Valdes (Lela Loren). Jen Ross, the show’s music supervisor at Grand Plan Entertainment, first heard the song after Swiatowy shared it with her months prior to Ridings’ self-titled debut being released in July, and never considered another song once she paired “Lost Without You” with the scene. “It was a tall task to find a song that fit both the complexity and tonal weight of the scene,” Ross says. “You have characters and audience members who loved [Angela] her for her good side, and another side of the spectrum who questioned her for her intentions. And between that love and hate, you have to give this character a proper send-off, and this song really did that. We start the scene with a wide shot of the casket being pulled out and carried over to the gravesite, and you hear the opening lyrics ‘Standing on the platform, watching you go, it’s like no other pain I’ll ever know’ and it creates this emotional moment that gives some closure to the scene.” For Ridings, the groundswell of attention from “Lost Without You”’s licensing activity has taken her from playing to intimate crowds of 200 to over 30,000 at European festivals this past summer, with large U.S. sheds and theaters with Hozier soon to follow next month. “It’s almost a decade’s worth of work paying off in one song,” she says. The fact that the single’s piano-and-vocals arrangement runs counter to the current trend of pop songs with multiple features, seven co-writes and low-rattling beats is not, well, “Lost” on Ridings either. “Because I wrote it completely on my own and there was no thinking about what might work, it was letting go of what people might want from me,” she says. “For a long time, I was told ‘Your songs are too sad or without drums or about heartbreak and they aren’t going to connect to people.’ It’s become a force I couldn’t really control, and I’m so grateful that it’s happened.” Songs for Screens  is a Variety column sponsored by music experiential agency MAC Presents, based in NYC. It is written by Andrew Hampp, founder of music marketing consultancy 1803 LLC and former correspondent for Billboard. Each week, the column highlights noteworthy use of music in advertising and marketing campaigns, as well as film and TV. Follow Andrew on Twitter at @ahampp.