newsletter of the dallas producers association celebrating over 30 years of industry leadership
president’s note Defining Who We Are The most common question I am asked when I tell the uninitiated what I do is “What is a Producer?” I often say, “That’s a good question” and then pause while I carefully consider my response. It is not an easy question to answer sometimes. Most people know what a Director does or what tasks an Editor, Makeup Artist, or an Assistant Cameraperson will perform. Each of these positions are for the most part self-defining in nature. But Producers, well, there are so many different types: Executive Producers, Line Producers, Segment Producers, Associate Producers, Co-Producers, Assistant Producers, Supervising Producers, Coordinating Producers. When you start listing these titles, let alone try to define them, crafting an answer can THE REEL become daunting. What do they mean? What duties do they perform? What exactly does a Keith Randal Duncan Deanna Sanchez Producer do? Confusion doesn’t just occur, Editor-In-Chief Business Administration however, with those who are outside our Deanna Sanchez Volunteers needed industry. Unfortunately, many on the inside are Senior Editor Sales & Marketing just as bewildered. One of the main causes is Bob Dauber David Fiegenschue, that a Producer title or credit can be handed Contributing Writer FigDesign out or adopted at will with no discretion, Design Josh Hurst discrimination, or validation. Senior Art Director Brent McNutt, Recently I attended an industry meeting Adventure Graphics Eric Jewell where a discussion occurred about what Production Cartoonist exactly qualifies someone to call themselves Jose Suaste, Gordon K. Smith a Producer — another great question that Malone Pictures Photography & Research elicits a pause in consideration of a reasoned Cover art response. Examples abound of individuals with Published by the self-appointed Producer titles who have no experience whatsoever fulfilling the roles and DALLAS PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION responsibilities of our profession. Some of them PO Box 142858, Irving TX 75014 dallasproducers.org have been fly-by-night charlatans in town to find “qualified investors” for their latest venture. OFFICERS BOARD MEMBERS Some, though, are trying to portray a certain Clayton Coblentz Bob Dauber image of themselves without any substantive President Keith Randal Duncan experience with which to justify their position. Bill Flynn Martha Duncan Frankly, it is my interactions with the latter that Josh Hurst Vice President have prompted what I hope to be an ongoing Russ Jolly dialogue regarding this topic. It is crucial that Linda McAlister Brandon Jones Secretary/Treasurer we establish clarity regarding our profession. Allen Mondell The Dallas Producers Association should take the Rebecca Preston Todd Sims lead in defining who we are and what we do as Administrative Director Don Stokes Laurel Wilson Producers. We should raise the bar. We should set the standard. And we will. For article submission requirements, visit the DPA web Members’ comments are welcome and vital to site at dallasproducers.org/newsletter. this discussion. Please send your comments to All content must approved by the editor. Announcements email@example.com. Future issues are not necessarily an endorsement of, or by, the DPA. Unless otherwise indicated, opinions expressed are those of “The Reel” will continue the dialogue on this of the article author or of the person interviewed, and do vital topic. not necessarily represent the views of the DPA. I encourage you to continue to be diligent in While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the content, the DPA cannot be held responsible for any errors doing what we do best. Produce. or omissions. The Reel is for informational purposes only and is produced without negligent, malicious or fraudulent intent. Omissions or errors are accidental. Corrections are requested; please send to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 2 dallasproducers.org
Clayton Coblentz President, Dallas Producers Association
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it came From dallas! By Bob Dauber
and/or corporate films. Productions we’ll be showing will be up through and as recent as the mid-90’s. Over the years, we’ve gotten a lot of laughs poking fun at some of the “spectaculars” that have been made here, so it’s now time to also grant recognition of some of the first-rate productions that have come from this area, as well.
The wheels are in motion. Actually, the reels would be a more appropriate description as we are rapidly approaching the next edition of the Dallas Producers Association tent pole event — “It Came From Dallas!” This year’s show features the return of co-host Gary Cogill, Additionally, the DPA Film who will be holding Pioneer Award will be forth with our very own THURSDAy OCTOBER 15 2009 presented to two highly Gordon K. Smith, as they STUDIO MOvIE GRILL deserving individuals who take us through more CENTRAL ExPRESSWAy @ ROyAL put their personal stamps movie memories and 7:30 PM on the Dallas film industry trivia. Of course, the DOORS OPEN AT 6:30 over the years: “Brownie” evening’s program will FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC Brownrigg (posthumously) be packed full of rarely SUGGESTED DONATION $10 and Howard Fisher, a seen and deservedly founding member of the so, pieces of film and DPA. Previous awardees have included video folly from the worlds of feature films, Joe Camp, Larry Buchanan, Bruce Jamieson, commercials, industrials, cable access Bill Stokes, Johnny Beasley, Rod Keitz and and even some locally produced television Larry Herndon. programming. “Curse,” as we have come to call it, will be taking a departure from previous shows by exhibiting examples of excellence, too — noteworthy productions made in and around Dallas, covering feature films, television programming, music videos, documentaries 4
A few photos from 2008 by Cristal Belcher
sponsorshipS! Another important feature of the show is the It Came From Dallas raffle, where each year, prizes representing thousands of dollars have been given away. Upon entering the Studio Movie Grill, table hosts will be standing by ready to take your money in exchange for raffle tickets. Each year, the prizes and have gotten bigger and better and this year is no exception! For those of you who have attended any or all of the first four shows, you know it’s a fun-filled evening and an opportunity to rub elbows with all sorts of folks from the industry. Of critical importance, however, the proceeds from donations and sponsorships also enable the Dallas Producers Association to continue to be a major contributor to the Texas Motion Picture Alliance (www.txmpa.org). The statewide organization recently capped off a second successful campaign during which the state legislature passed new legislation that enhances the incentives program already in place for the entire moving image industry. Of course, results like this would not have occurred without significant financial support from the industry, itself. And in the end, that’s what “It Came From Dallas!” is all about. Please come out and show your support for your Dallas Producers Association! Tell your friends and family, too. The show is open to the public.
The Show Will Go On... But, It Won’t Be the Same Without you! Over the past four years that the DPA has presented “It Came From Dallas,” profits from the show itself and revenue from sponsors of the event have made it possible for the Association to make significant contributions to the Texas Motion Picture Alliance (TXMPA). This time, however, commitments for sponsorship are way down from that of past years. If we are going to continue our tradition of being the leaders in the state, we need everyone’s help. So, we are making a plea one more time for you to consider being a sponsor for Curse of It Came From Dallas – Taking the Fifth! These are tough times, to be sure, but there is certainly strength in numbers. Even if a sponsorship at the $100 level is all you or your company can manage, it’s still $100 that can go a long way in furthering the cause of the incentives program we have fought so hard to establish and maintain. Also, if you know of businesses outside of the DPA who you think would be supportive of our efforts, encourage them to become sponsors, too. We’ve had a number of organizations participate as sponsors who, while not directly involved in the industry, still benefit from what we do. The curtain is about to rise. We need your help! To become a sponsor, visit the DPA website (www.dallasproducers.org), click on “It Came From Dallas 5.” All you need is right there, including Sponsor Information and the Sponsor Application form. Thanks, in advance, to everyone for continuing to support the Texas Motion Picture Alliance and the Dallas Producers Association. dallasproducers.org
industry news The following excerpt was taken from a Web Exclusive from FilmmakerMagazine.com, published on July 6, 2009. New York film producer Jake Abraham wrote the article. He candidly discusses a new model of distribution for films that make it successfully through the film festival circuit but stumble on the distribution front. The model Mr. Abraham so expertly talks about includes kudos to DPA members Brandon Jones, Marc Stephens, and Kelly J. Kitchens. In that this is written from Mr. Abraham’s perspective, this model was new to him. However, Mr. Jones and Ms. Kitchens have steadily been building on this model since they began working together in 2004.
A Beacon of Democracy? Distributing ‘Lovely By Surprise’ By Jake Abraham The digital revolution in filmmaking is truly a democratizing factor in production and distribution. Technology is reducing the barriers to entry for the making of films and subsequently for the dissemination of those films to audiences. I’m a producer of Lovely By Surprise, the feature debut of the insanely talented Kirt Gunn. It’s a magnificent film with a serious marketing challenge. It defies genre conventions. After playing the festival circuit, we racked up some great awards but no distribution… We’ve hitched our wagon to Indigenous Film Works, a small outfit in Dallas, Texas, run by Brandon Jones and Marc Stephens. Indigenous has been able to put up some limited P&A support and give us very favorable terms… They are also handling manufacturing of the DVD, shipping and returns. This is no small task.
Carrie Preston as Marian Their biggest asset is Brandon’s relationship with Walker in LOVELY BY SURPRISE wholesalers and his understanding of the DVD market. We also have the lovely Kelly Kitchens on board for some press/PR and outreach support. Without the typical marketing angles and publicity machines, we have both a challenge and an opportunity. Additionally, with no money to advertise the film, we’ve had to rely on word-of-mouth publicity and mentions in the press, blogs and other publications. If you Google the film, there is review after review from bloggers all over the world. We are making sure to keep the social media cylinders firing at all times, too. We worked with Indigenous to make sure that every possible outlet, both retail and online, would carry the film. Also, they are set up as a vendor with all the wholesalers that distribute to retail rental stores and purchasers. Working with an approved vendor is a key step to getting your DVD in rental stores all over the U.S.
Read the entire article: http://filmmakermagazine.com/webexclusives/ 2009/07/beacon-of-democracy-distributing-lovely.php 6
member news u.S. State department Selects “a Fair To remember” for World Tour The U.S. State Department has selected the award–winning documentary, A Fair To Remember, as one of 30 films included in the prestigious 2009 American Documentary Showcase. The film and one of its filmmakers will travel to American Embassies overseas in 2009. “We are tremendously excited about the quality, depth and diversity of the films and varied talents of the filmmakers,” says Dr. Betsy A. McLane, Program Director. “The time is right to demonstrate a changing America to the world. We believe that The American Documentary Showcase films are one of the very best ways to do this.” Filmmakers Allen Mondell and Cynthia Salzman Mondell said, “We are thrilled to share our film about this grand Dallas tradition with audiences around the world. A Fair To Remember will be a proud ambassador for both our city and the entire Lone Star State!”
The only Texas film chosen for the 2009 State Dept. tour, A Fair To Remember is a “roller coaster ride about the biggest, boldest and longest-running state fair in the country!” Begun in 1886, the remarkable State Fair of Texas remains an iconic and timeless tradition every year for Texans across the Lone Star State. Previously honored with the 2008 Lone Star EMMY, Silver Telly, Cine Golden Eagle, Silver Remi Award and as an Official Selection at the 2007 AFIDallas Int’l film Festival, A Fair To Remember was directed and produced by DPA members Allen Mondell and Cynthia Salzman Mondell, and co-produced by DPA member Phillip Allen. “Coordinated by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (BECA), American Documentary Showcase is intended to offer a broad and diversified look at American life, and the values of a democratic society, as seen by American documentary filmmakers,” Dr. McLane clarifies. “Documentary filmmakers are deeply engaged in the world, and their films provide one of the best examples of how critical thinking and debate are fostered in a free democracy.”
MEETINGS by LaureL WiLson may 2009
Our May meeting at MPS Studios gave us a chance to learn about shooting in the City of Dallas. Our guests from the Office of Special Events covered all the ins, outs, ups and downs of working on-location in Big D from shooting on Dallas streets to shooting at a Dallas facility. When do I need a permit? What activities do not require a permit? We learned about shooting on city properties, what is required to close city streets, parking regulations, working with Dallas Police, Fire and Rescue personnel, and much more!
A packed house was on hand Tuesday, July 7, at Studios 121, for an informational meeting with Bob Hudgins, Director of the Texas Film Commission. Bob discussed the new Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program with local producers and answered questions about how to apply. HB 873 was signed into effect on April 23, 2009, and increases the amount of funding that feature films, television programs, video games and stand-alone post-production/finishing projects can receive. It also lowers the minimum budgetary requirements so that the program allows for local productions, such as commercials, industrials and even independent films to apply.
Thanks to sponsor MPS Studios www.mpsfilm.com
Thanks to sponsor Studios 121 www.studios121.com
Our June meeting was hosted by Menza Music at their new facilities. DPA members gathered for our bi-annual showcase of some of the best production work in the nation produced by the talented members of the Dallas Producers Association.
Thanks to Menza Music for sponsoring the event! www.menzamusic.com
I hope you didnâ€™t miss our mixer at Times Ten Cellars in Lakewood. We had a record crowd of DPA members and guests who enjoyed delicious appetizers, wine and drinks. Everyone enjoyed a night of networking and relaxing in a truly unique and beautiful winery, Times Ten Cellars. www.timestencellars.com
3tbc The Third Thursday Breakfast Club (3TBC) is hosted by Garry Potts and is held on none other than the third Thursdays of each month at interesting locations throughout the metroplex. Members and nonmembers gather for good food, networking, and enjoyment to start their day!
short takes AMP Productions is going to the Big Apple! AMP is thrilled to announce that our indie sitcom “Why Can’t I Sell My House” has been selected as a finalist in the 5th Annual New York Television Festival. The pilot episode will screen against 36 other finalists and our cast of fabulous actors will be sharing the spotlight with the likes of Kenan Thompson (Saturday Night Live), Dan Lauria (The Wonder Years) and Tony Hale (Arrested Development). The festival will take place in New York City September 21-26, 2009 and is sponsored by ION Television. To get a sneak peek of AMP’s sitcom and the other finalists go to www. nytvf.com/mediashowcase.htm AMP is also proud to be named a finalist for the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility; winners will be announced soon.
Gumption Blue Logic Productions of Dallas is producing the award-winning novel Balaam Gimble’s Gumption as a short film, shooting in Dallas, Lake Mineral Wells State Park, and the Possum Kingdom area. DPA Members David L. Brehm and Taama Forasiepi of Blue Logic are producing, while David L. Brehm is doubling as director. The screenplay, written by Mike Farris of Dallas, is an adaptation of Fort Worth novelist Mike Nichols’ book of the same name that won the Texas Institute of Letters John Bloom Humor Award for the Funniest Texas Book of 2004. The feature-length screenplay has already been written, and Blue Logic hopes to use the short film to draw interest in the feature. Balaam Gimble’s Gumption is a provocative social commentary, with humor that comes often and in various veins — satire, dark comedy, irony, a dash of slapstick and downhome country guffaws. The small Texas town of Willoughby is about to dry up and blow away unless it can find the secret to economic revival. When things look their darkest, part-time handyman and full-time eccentric Balaam Gimble discovers a health-giving mineral spring on his rural land, and the townspeople think that they have found the right recipe… just add water.
Speak Up DPA Member Bettye Zoller Seitz appeared at the Dallas Art Institute Career Day in August as a speaker and taught in the Dallas Museum of Art summer program for area youths sponsored by the American Film Institute as a volunteer community service. She will teach at Tulsa University October 15-20 as the Feagin Guest Artist Professor in the Theatre Division once again this year, her third teaching stint at the college. She will teach voice acting techniques to theatre majors and the workshop also will be open to non-students. She will teach two workshops in Dallas in October: “The Business of Voice Overs” on October 10 and “Techniques of Long Form Narration for Film, Video, Cable TV, and Audio Books” on October 24-25. dallasproducers.org
legislative news Texas Motion Picture alliance elects new board Celebrates Passage of Hb 873 On Saturday, June 27, members of Texas Motion Picture Alliance (TXMPA) convened at Texas State University in San Marcos for their Annual Meeting. Presiding over the meeting was Don Stokes, the third president to lead the young organization. Stokes recognized and celebrated TXMPA’s role, and industry-wide cooperation, in attaining the passage of House Bill 873, a measure improving upon Texas’ Moving Image Industry Incentive Program. “This bill was the result of a collaborative effort between our cohesive, statewide alliance, our lobbyists HillCo Partners, and key allies like Representative Dawna Dukes, Senator Bob Deuell, Governor Rick Perry, Comptroller Susan Combs, and the staff at the Texas Film Commission,” said Stokes. “This meeting allows us a moment to reflect on our achievement and to prepare for growth our industry will experience as a result of our successes at the Capitol.” The meeting included the announcement of election results to replace board members with expiring terms, creating the 2009-2010 Board of Directors. Additionally, the membership voted to create a new seat recognizing the Video Games, Animation, and Visual Effects disciplines in the industry. Assuming three Permanent Industry Seats include: Gary Bond for the Texas Association of Film Commissions, Garry Potts as the Producer’s representative and Oge young representing the Video Games, Animation, and Visual Effects industries. Elected as At-Large Members include: Craig Berlin, Linda Alcazar Jurado, Rick Olmos, Larry Cashion, Jeanette Scott, and Robert Curlin. New Regional Representatives and their respected Alternates include: Paul AlvaradoDykstra, Central Regional Rep (Shelly Schriber, Alternate); David Friedman, North Texas Regional Rep, re-elected (Barack Epstein, Alternate, newly elected); and Liz Moise Gonzalez, South Central Regional Rep (Maxine Greco, Alternate). Returning Board Members include: Sharon Montana Adams, At-Large Member; Steve Belsky, Labor/Crew Representative; Linda Dowell, Labor/Talent Representative; Jeff Evans, At-Large Member; Susan Fowler, Southeast Regional Representative; Larry Jokl, Rio Grande Valley Regional Representative; Camille Scioli McNamara, Panhandle Regional Representative; Lynne Moon, Texas Association of Film/Tape Professionals Representative; Don Stokes, At-Large Member; and Sandra Welch, West Texas Regional Representative. Following the Annual Meeting, the new Board of Directors held its first meeting where it elected officers. Don Stokes was elected to return as president, Susan Fowler was elected vice president, Camille McNamara was elected secretary, and Shelly Schriber was elected treasurer. Stokes commented, “Today we had the opportunity to thank and salute our outgoing board members for the huge sacrifice of time and dedication they gave for which this entire industry is indebted. Through their efforts, we achieved legislation that is paramount to our livelihood. The new Board begins its work today and we look forward to finding more ways to growing our moving image industry and bringing more business to Texas.” 12
Ed ito r i a l a n d H D F i n i s h Vis ua l F X /3 D /M o t i o n D e s i g n Or ig ina l Mu s i c a n d S o u n d D e s i g n w w w. P O S T A S Y L U M . c o m 5642 dyer st. • dallas tx, 75206 • p. 214.363.0162 dallasproducers.org
member news a m S pic T u r e S
green light for girls AMS Pictures is proud to announce that the WE network has green lighted production on Girl Meets Gown, an original series set in Stardust Celebrations, one of Texas’ largest bridal salons. The show will center on the pressure-cooker situations that occur during the search for the perfect wedding gown. Girl Meets Gown premiered in March, as part of WE tv’s “WE Go Bridal Week,” a week of bridal shows and premiere specials. The show will be a six-episode season premiering in 2010. “AMS Pictures is thrilled to be producing the first season of Girl Meets Gown for WE tv,” said Kim Clemons, the show’s executive producer. In addition to Clemons, Girl Meets Gown will be produced by an all-female team including the show’s producers, project manager, development producer, editors, and director of photography. “We have a very strong female production team who are very passionate about compelling and entertaining storytelling, especially this one that is so relatable to women everywhere. Getting the opportunity to do it in our own backyard with memorable Texas characters is a truly a treat,” said Tammy Nguyen Lee, AMS Pictures’ director of development. www.amspictures.com F r o z e n Fir e Fil m S
Well it’s been a hot one here at the Hacienda de Frozen Fire Films and as usual we’ve been working hard and loving life all at the same time. This month has found us working on music videos, EPKs, concerts and TV shows… throw in a little Miss Dallas, a famous French chef, a little Baby Story on TLC and some ZZ Top and that’s pretty much what we’ve been up to! Frozen Fire Films also found ourselves deep in the heart of Texas Hill Country shooting hours and hours of luscious videos and several thousand sweet stills for a new broadband TV station. It was a blast! We shot from a helicopter, did some boat-toboat shooting on bazillion-dollar yachts 14
and lots of forward-facing driving shots through the rustic Texas hill country terrain; all with our P2 camera mounted on the Tyler mini-Gyro. We also did luxury home tours and 70 more pieces, many of which were shot on our steadicam (operated by our one and only Travis Petty). We had a blast breaking in our Canon 5D Mark II setup and the results were extremely well received by the agency and the client. www.frozenfirefilms.com
it’s a Wrap for Kamp Hollywood! ’09 By KEITH DUNCAN AND LyNNE REyNOLDS Forty-one young, aspiring filmmakers and actors converged at MediaTech Institute and the Studios of Los Colinas for the tenth session of Kamp Hollywood! in July. One of the first moviemaking summer camps in the nation for young people, the camp integrates both production and acting and is presented by the Movie Institute, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to mentoring young people in the business and art of the Moving Image. The program has grown significantly since its beginning in 2000 and the camp could not continue without the help and support of dedicated sponsors that provide equipment, instructors and services to the youth in the community. This is especially true with the Dallas Producers Association’s tuition scholarship for Kamp Hollywood! The scholarship program is based on the needs of an
underprivileged participant who is unable to attend without financial assistance. Because of the DPA’s leadership and generosity, other local organizations have followed the example and other scholarships are now being offered to the camp. The founders and staff of Kamp Hollywood! offer a hearty and grateful “thank you” to the DPA for its kind support. The Movie Institute would also like to thank those who spoke on the industry panel that provided campers and their parents the opportunity to meet film industry professionals. After an extensive Q & A with the panel, families took away a great deal of knowledge necessary to encourage a child interested in a possible future film career. The camp kids showed amazing creativity this year, along with discipline and what seemed like unlimited energy in their efforts to learn about our industry and make their pictures. We are very proud of our 2009 graduates! www.kamphollywood.com
Sponsor of the DPA Office
Dallas Prompter and Captions Frozen Fire Films Kim Dawson Agency Linda McAlister Talent Media Distribution Solutions MediaForce Productions Off the Wall Entertainment The Filmworkers Club DoubleSharpe Productions Fusion Productions Dallas International Film Festival (Dallas Film Society)
• c o n n ec T • Fo l l o W • W a T c h •
For info and rates email Deanna Sanchez at email@example.com
S u ppo rT a n in d u ST ry c a u S e & g e T T h e W o r d o u T: a dverTiS e in T h e r e e l!
Worldwide Satellite Communications HATSUA Productions, LLC Jaya Music Marshall Sound New Trick Flicks New World Pictures Three Eleven Associates Ken Eakin “the voice” Pixel Pops Design WaterBoy Productions Bruck Deck Productions
Moving Image Producers & vendors: Join the DPA! Promote film and media production for state incentives with a powerful voice, network with potential clients, enhance your credibility, get money-saving member discounts, and much more. For membership info contact DPA VP Martha Duncan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Panavision Creative 1 Productions Altair Iv Productions Donatelle Mascari, The Makeup Maven Cactex Media Inc. Palatia Motion Picture Group Boy Scouts of America Don Wall Productions Kennedy’s ENG/EFP Products Mondell/Media Projects, Inc. Toucan Productions
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iProduce Media R. Hill Productions visual Inspiration, LLC Swell Foop Productions DRM: sir reel sound Cinetex Productions Eric Castillo Kepeli Music Pete Alegre The Creative Spin Provision Enterprises, LLC