Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

LA filmmaker's 'Verbatim' becomes NY Times hit while asking 'What is a photocopier?'

Verbatim: What Is a Photocopier? | Op-Docs | The New York Times

The New York Times (via YouTube)

This dramatization from L.A. filmmaker Brett Weiner of a real court case depicts a lawyer getting into an argument over what, exactly, a photocopier is.

Los Angeles filmmaker Brett Weiner's 7-minute short "Verbatim" already went to Sundance earlier this year, but this week it was exposed to a whole new audience: readers of the New York Times. So many of them that it was the most viewed article on the Times' website earlier this week.

The short offers a comedic look at a real case from the Ohio Supreme Court where the witness chose to argue in a deposition that no, he didn't know what the term "photocopying machine" meant.

"Let me be clear. The term 'photocopying machine' is so ambiguous that you can’t picture in your mind what a photocopying machine is in an office setting?" the lawyer asks in a prolonged series of questions to the witness — which the witness continually refuses to respond to with a straight answer.

The New York Times liked the video enough that now, they're tasking Weiner with making it into a series, featuring other equally ridiculous court transcripts.

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FAQ: Everything you need to know about Lucasfilm's Star Wars 'Expanded Universe' announcement

The Star Wars Expanded Universe: Past, Present, and Future

Star Wars (via YouTube)

A video looking back at the Star Wars Expanded Universe of comics, books and video games.

Hardcore Star Wars fans have felt a disturbance since Disney acquired Lucasfilm and announced new Star Wars movies. Friday, Lucasfilm addressed fans' concerns, both in an announcement and in a video reflecting on the Expanded Universe's legacy (which you can watch above).

Lucasfilm tweet

The bottom line: the Expanded Universe of continuity might not be so expanded anymore.

What exactly is the Star Wars Expanded Universe?

Since director George Lucas created the Star Wars films, there have been books, comics and other assorted tie-ins. Unlike many franchises, Lucas allowed those other adaptations to be in continuity with his films — at least to an extent.

The official Star Wars creations outside the core films were labeled the Expanded Universe. While it's not canon, and Lucas reserved his rights to go outside what was first established in these different properties (and sometimes did), there was a team at Lucasfilm devoted to tracking everything. Some of what first came about in the Expanded Universe later made its way into the films proper.

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'Stone Cold' Steve Austin speaks out in favor of gay marriage

WWE & E! Entertainment's "SuperStars For Hope" Event At The Beverly Hills Hotel

Jason Merritt/Getty Images for WWE

Actor/former pro wrestler Steve Austin attends WWE & E! Entertainment's "SuperStars For Hope" at the Beverly Hills Hotel on August 15, 2013 in Beverly Hills.

WWE Presents Wrestlemania 23

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

WWE chairman Vince McMahon (C) prepares to have his head shaved by Donald Trump (L) and Bobby Lashley (R) while being held down by "Stone Cold" Steve Austin after losing a bet in the Battle of the Billionaires at the 2007 World Wrestling Entertainment's Wrestlemania at Ford Field on April 1, 2007 in Detroit, Michigan.

Former Heavy Weight Boxing Champion Mike Tyson (R)

John Mottern/AFP/Getty Images

Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson (R) plays the role of 'Special Enforcer' and raises the hand of 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin after the finish of the World Wrestling Federation championship match at the Fleet Center in Boston.

The Rock And Stone Cold Steve Austin Star In WWF Smackdown

Getty Images

The Rock And "Stone Cold" Steve Austin Star In "WWF Smackdown."

World Wrestling Federation's Wrestler Steve Austin Poses June 12 2000

Getty Images/Getty Images

World Wrestling Federation's Wrestler Steve Austin Poses June 12, 2000 In Los Angeles.


Actor and former professional wrestler "Stone Cold" Steve Austin made headlines Wednesday after an excerpt from a podcast he released last year endorsing gay marriage started making the rounds.

"I'm absolutely for same-sex marriage," Austin said. "I believe that any human being in America, or any human being in the ... world, that wants to be married, if it's the same sex, more power to 'em."

RELATED: Extremely high demand' for WWE network causes tech issues

Austin also spoke out against churches who oppose same-sex marriage.

His comments were re-posted to YouTube on Friday and became the top trending topic on Facebook Wednesday, with posts from a variety of sources including popular viral site Upworthy.

RELATED: Are you in a same-sex marriage or considering one?

Austin came to prominence with his "Austin 3:16" catchphrase, referencing popular Bible verse John 3:16 while mocking another character who made religious references.

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Top 10 reasons Stephen Colbert won't move 'The Late Show' to Los Angeles

"The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" Debut Episode

Theo Wargo/Getty Images for The Tonight Sho

Stephen Colbert visits "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" at Rockefeller Center on February 17, 2014 in New York City.

CBS's announcement Thursday morning that Stephen Colbert is taking over from David Letterman as the host of "The Late Show" in 2015 seems to dim the likelihood of the show moving to Los Angeles, despite lobbying from L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti. Reasons likely include everything from trying to retain "The Colbert Report" staff on his new show, family and more, but here's our top 10 reasons "The Late Show" is probably staying in New York.

10. He doesn't want "Saturday Night Live" to make fun of him the next time they do "The Californians"
9. He can't remember which Kardashian is which
8. He's already got a great deal living in Jon Stewart's pool house
7. The Los Angeles sun is a problem for his delicately pale skin
6. He's afraid of being attacked by Meatball the Glendale bear
5. Mayor Garcetti is already Los Angeles's number one musical fan
4. He heard that Senator Leland Yee is going to send Shrimp Boy after him
3. He's afraid of the backlash from his #CancelSriracha campaign.
2. He's waiting for the Big One to take out Craig Ferguson's studio so he can move in
1. He didn't want to be mysteriously run over by one of Jay Leno's classic cars

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Creator of '60s TV camp classic 'Batman' Lorenzo Semple Jr. dies

Batman Exhibit

Grant Slater/KPCC

The Batmobile from the original television series.

Creator of the Batmobile, George Barris

Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Creator of the Batmobile, George Barris, poses with characters dressed in costume ahead of a ceremony for Adam West, who played Batman in the original TV series, for the unveiling of his star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame on April 5, 2012 in Hollywood.

20th Century Fox

Batman 1955 Lincoln Futura Batmobile: George Barris' crew reworked and restyled an old Ford concept car into the great Batmobile for the campy 1966-'68 TV series. Turbines to speed.


Lorenzo Semple Jr., who created the popular and influential 1960s "Batman" TV show, has died, according to the Hollywood Reporter. He was 91.

The man behind "Bif! Bam! Pow!" being the three words — well, sounds — most associated with superheroes created the campy '60s TV show. He also wrote the script for the 1966 "Batman" feature film.

The '60s Batman was funny, played deadpan but wry, with a pop art sensibility most embodied by the flashy sound effects graphics that enveloped the screen. Batman had dark roots, but the '50s had seen Batman getting brighter and the '60s made him brightest of all, before the comics got darker and later films took Batman back to being the Dark Knight.

Semple eventually left TV to move to film, writing movies like "Three Days of the Condor," the 1976 version of "King Kong," the 1980 "Flash Gordon" and James Bond film "Never Say Never Again."

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