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CONTENTS

VOLUME EIGHT

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EXECUTIVE EDITOR/ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Shanna Forrestall

Quvenzhané Wallis and Dwight Henry film a scene from Beasts of the Southern Wild. PHOTO BY JESS PINKHAM

shanna@louisianafilmandvideo.com ASSOCIATE EDITOR Katie Sauro contact@louisianafilmandvideo.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Arlena Acree, Mindy Bledsoe, W. H. Bourne, Ejay Colvin, Terri Landry, Dawn Landrum, Shanda Quintal, Mark Terry, Andrew Vogel SALES MANAGER Katie Higgins SALES Kathy Riley, Paul Yarnold PRODUCTION MANAGER John Rusnak DESIGNER Dawn Carlson, Jenny Carlson, Christina Poisal WEBMASTER Eric Pederson OFFICE MANAGER Audra Higgins INFORMATION SERVICES MANAGER Lois Sanborn

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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

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BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD RIDES THE FESTIVAL CIRCUIT

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Louisiana Film & Video Publications

THE LOUISIANA ACTORS & FILM INDUSTRY EXPO

A DIVISION OF MEDIA INDEX PUBLISHING GROUP

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AFCI’S LOCATIONS SHOW FINDS A NEW HOME TO SHOWCASE LOUISIANA

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CONTENT DRIVES AT THE PGA’S PRODUCED BY CONFERENCE

P.O. Box 50036

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LOUISIANA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL BASICS

New Orleans, LA 70150 (800) 332-1736 contact@louisianafilmandvideo.com

SPOTLIGHT ON SHREVEPORTBOSSIER & N. LOUISIANA 18

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THE 4 P’S OF FILM FESTIVALS

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LOUISIANA’S NEW BREED, PART 2

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HOMELICIDE PRIVATE SCREENING

www.louisianaproductionindex.com Display Advertising: Call Media Index Publishing

HOLLYWOOD SOUTH ROLLS ON

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OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN

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LOUISIANA FILM PRIZE

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LIVING THE CREATIVE LIFE

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WEBSTER PARISH HAS IT ALL

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LOCATION FOCUS: THE LOUISIANA WAVE STUDIO

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COOPERATIVE FILMING: MUSIC TO INDIE EARS

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NEW ORLEANS’ JIB MASTERS

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RECAP: UNO FILM FEST 2012

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BRIEFS

Captivating the crew and audiences internationally, six-year-old Houma actress Quvenzhané Wallis in her first film appearance as “Hushpuppy,” the lead in Benh Zeitlin's new film Beasts of the Southern Wild. COVER PHOTO BY JESS PINKHAM

DIGITAL EDITION AVAILABLE AT: WWW.LOUISIANAFILMANDVIDEO.COM LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

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Group for a current rate card. Discounts for frequency advertising. All submitted materials

ON THE COVER:

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www.louisianafilmandvideo.com

become the property of Media Index Publishing Group and will not be returned. Subscriptions, call (800) 332-1736 for information and rates. Copyright © 2012 Media Index Publishing Group. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be used for solicitation or copied by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or recording by any information storage or retrieval system, without the express written permission of the publisher. PRINTED IN THE USA


LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

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t’s summer again, which pretty much means intense heat in New Orleans, but there’s been a strange wind the last few days. Along with cooling things off a bit, it’s been a reminder of that dreaded storm season that’s just around the corner, and a reminder that no matter how constant things appear… we are always pretty much guaranteed change. Louisiana’s film industry appears strong. We are still setting records on the number of projects coming to the state, but my thoughts are continually drawn to the future of the industry, and what we can do to sustain the growth and infrastructure. It’s exciting to me that Louisiana’s own filmmakers are fired up and producing quality work. There is a surge of short films, Web series and low-budget features on the go, and I believe this is part of the key to sustained longevity of the production industry in our state. However, local filmmakers on the whole still haven’t found a way to access funding for their work. While projects may be lining up to shoot here, the funding tends to come from or through Los Angeles, which seems to keep Louisiana’s own from tapping into the resources that are available. So it’s nice to know that some of Louisiana’s industry resources are focusing on providing more training, networking opportunities and eventually

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funding opportunities for local “movie makers.” Shanda Quintal, founder and director of the Expo, is adding a new filmmaker’s day to the annual Expo in September, which will feature panels, networking and useful information for local directors, producers and more. Chesley Heymsfield of LIFF (Louisiana International Film Festival) is creating opportunities for local filmmakers to learn from industry legends, and to pitch their work to local, national and international production companies. The New Orleans Film Festival is as strong as ever, offering special events like “Louisiana Day” during their annual festival to showcase homegrown work. It is a new season, and with Louisiana-based work winning Oscars, critical acclaim, and awards at Sundance and Cannes, it’s a great time for a new crop of indigenous filmmakers to rise to meet the challenges of a modern production industry. And yes… I believe we can handle it—especially if we all work together. Sincerely, Shanna Forrestall Executive Editor & Associate Publisher


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BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD RIDES THE FESTIVAL CIRCUIT STORY BY W. H. BOURNE • RED CARPET PHOTOS BY ODIN LINDBLOM

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ouisiana cast and crew of Beasts of the Southern Wild arrived in downtown Los Angeles for the 18th annual Los Angeles Film Festival. The festival, produced by Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that also produces the Spirit Awards, featured Beasts as a centerpiece gala.

Director Benh Zeitlin and lead actress Quvenzhané Wallis in between takes. PHOTO BY JESS PINKHAM

Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts is a folk tale focused on life and survival in bayou country in the southernmost part of Louisiana. Shot in Terrebonne Parish, the film uses locations in Pointe Aux Chenes and Isle de Jean Charles to create the fictional town of “Bathtub,” a concentration of all the cultural elements of Southern Louisiana in one place. “It’s one of the best examples I’ve seen of tenacious people keeping a place alive,” observes Zeitlin about Pointe Aux Chenes, where he and Lucy Alibar would live while cowriting the script, and Isle de Jean Charles, where they would frequently visit. “There’s a tragic side to it, and yet the spirit is not all morose. It’s so much fun to be there, and there’s great food and it’s just glorious. That 8

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whole feeling really inspired the characters and their choices to keep celebrating life and to never abandon the people and places you care about.” While one would assume that a film that portrays this intimate a look at life in Louisiana was written by a local, Zeitlin was born and raised in New York. “After I got out of college, I was traveling around Europe looking for a place to shoot my short, Glory at Sea,” recalls Zeitlin. “While I was in Europe, Katrina hit. I wasn’t happy with anything I saw in Europe and I was wanting to come back to America because I felt like the film really happens there. Several friends kept telling me that I needed to come to New Orleans to shoot it. I asked them if I could

easily find trash to build a boat out of. They said if you want trash, this is the place to come. There’s trash on every corner.” He continues, “This little film took a year and a half to make, with people coming down from up north to help, and it eventually led to what would become Court 13, a group of friends who were excited about being filmmakers and making Beasts of the Southern Wild. I fell in love with the city while filming Glory at Sea.” Zeitlin now calls New Orleans home. Glory at Sea won awards at several festivals, including SXSW and New Orleans Film Festival, and it was a key factor for Zeitlin to get funding for Beasts. “I applied for a grant through Cinereach, a non-profit, using Glory at Sea as a sample of what I wanted to shoot,” says Zeitlin. “It was the first time Cinereach funded a feature, and it allowed us to work in a different way. The budget was somewhere between $1 and $2 million. I know that we went over budget and the tax incentives really helped us increase our budget.”

Benh Zeitlin

“We were picked up by Sundance early on in the project for their labs,” he continues. “We did two writing labs, one directing lab, and one production lab. We knew our best chances for the film were at Sundance, but we missed the first deadline and spent another year in postproduction. We sent a rough cut in to Sundance


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that was missing the VFX and the score.” “It was surreal going to Sundance,” says Zeitlin. “We finished the sound mixing two days before the festival. Even when it first screened at Sundance, I was mixing sound in my head. I couldn’t really enjoy it, and I didn’t really notice that other people did. After Sundance, I spent another three weeks working on the sound.” Beasts may be a folk tale, but for the cast it’s been a fairy tale. Zeitlin was intent on using local talent to portray the characters in his film, even the leads. “It was a tremendous experience and the best feeling when everyone saw the film at Sundance, and when it was over and 1,500 people stood up and applauded,” says Dwight Henry, who plays “Wink,” a dying man who feels the urgency to teach his daughter the survival skills she’ll need to survive in the Bathtub. Henry is a self-made businessman. For the past 15 years, he’s been the owner of Henry’s Bakery and Deli and he is the current owner of the Buttermilk Drop Bakery and Café, located at 1781 N. Dorgenois St. in New Orleans. “You have to understand the region we’re Lucy Alibar

living in,” says Henry. “It’s a very dangerous situation. You have to face the real-life situations of losing your home, losing your life. I was always trying to emphasize what it was like losing your father and needing to learn to take care of yourself.” “I’ve always worked with non-professional actors,” says Zeitlin, “but with this film, I never intended to use all non-professional actors. (But) we weren’t able to cast professional actors. They were beaten by locals from Louisiana. And they added so much to the script and the film. I’m not a native New Orleanian, so I learned from my cast, in particular, by interviewing them and then tailoring the script based on their experiences.” He continues, “Casting people who are 10

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Dwight Henry

acting for the first time, they’re not playing themselves. They had to learn these parts, even though they had an inborn charisma. We tried to collaborate on every aspect of the film with them. I wanted to let the people who are playing the parts teach us about what it would be like to go through some of the incidents we portray in the film. I would bring the script to the bakery at night, and we would revise it based on Dwight’s experiences and the way he would say things so the script would feel more natural and organic.” Zeitlin auditioned over 4,000 girls before he found the star of his film, Quvenzhané Wallis, from Houma. “We were looking for someone between six and nine years old and not having much luck. Quvenzhané’s mother got a call from a neighbor telling her about the auditions at a local library. Quvenzhané’s mother was reluctant to send her to the audition since she was only five, even though she could read,” says Zeitlin. “I’m so glad she auditioned. She is wise beyond her years and fearless.” “It was fun because I really wasn’t expecting all this commotion,” says Wallis, who is now nine and in the third grade at Honduras Elementary School in Houma. Wallis acts like a pro on the red carpet and at press interviews, answering journalists with insight and honesty. Zeitlin is asked how long it took to make the film. “It was a long shoot—about 52 days,” he says, and then hesitates. Wallis jumps in, “It was three months for the shoot and three years to make the film.” “I had to learn a lot of things to play ‘Hushpuppy,’” says Wallis. “I had to learn to act, to swim, and to touch a pig. I cried the first time I touched the pig. And I had to learn how to be dirty with the mud because I’m not really like that.” Adds Henry of his training regimen, “(Zeitlin) had acting coaches working with me

at night while I baked doughnuts at the bakery. I have a daughter that’s seven years old, so it was easy for me to relate to Hushpuppy and to being a father to her. We did a lot to bond together, like cooking and baking.” Zeitlin talks about the many challenges he faced while shooting. “Day one of our shoot was when Deepwater Horizon blew up,” he says. “The marina I wrote the film in, BP was using to navigate the cleanup. We had to get them to move the booms and let us in and out of the marina while shooting. You get down far enough (in Louisiana), you’re not in an area ruled by people, you’re in an area ruled by nature. We wanted to live the adventure and the experience. It’s a really challenging place to shoot, but it was really rewarding.” Zeitlin reflects about the movie’s meaning and the impact of writing the script down in Terrebonne Parish. “I wrote this after (Hurricanes) Gustav and Ike and while that influenced my writing, it’s not about any one specific storm,” says Zeitlin. “It’s about standing strong and enduring in that place. It resonated with residents of Isle de Jean Charles who just hoped that ‘I can continue to live my life on this island and die on this island, even though I know my children won’t be there.’ I want people to know what it’s like to live in a place that will someday no longer be on any maps.” At Los Angeles Film Fest, Beasts of the Southern Wild was generating Oscar buzz, Quvenzhané Wallis

citing the incredible performances of Wallis and Henry, as well as the captivating script and direction. It combines the harsh realities of a girl losing her father, her home and her community. Yet her creativity and imagination gives her the strength to endure. “I tried to think back to how I thought of the world when I was six and everything was very real,” says Zeitlin. “Hushpuppy has the strength and sweetness to preserve this culture. The film is her film. She’s the person I want to be.” LFV


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THE LOUISIANA ACTORS & FILM INDUSTRY EXPO ANNUAL CONFERENCE IS A COMMUNITY- AND INDUSTRY-BUILDING EVENT FOR FILMMAKERS AND ACTORS ALIKE STORY BY SHANDA QUINTAL GUEST COLUMNIST

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ast year, over 150 projects filmed in state, generating $1.5 billion in local spend, according to the Louisiana Economic Development Office of Entertainment. But in 1992, 11 projects were filmed in Louisiana. And in 2002, there were only 10. By 2004, the year after the tax incentives were enacted, there were 23 film and TV projects shot in state, according to the Louisiana Film Museum, which catalogues projects shot in Louisiana. In 2005, Katrina hit and the levees broke, and the films, which had just started to come, surprisingly continued to come anyway— they just moved a little bit north to Shreveport. New Orleans had been a prime location to shoot for a variety of reasons, and because of the tax incentives, production companies were still drawn to Louisiana, but safe, dry Shreveport was now the location of choice. So in 2005, there was a very respectable 31 film and TV projects filmed in Louisiana. And the numbers have continued to climb at an astonishing rate, especially since production has returned to New Orleans, and continues to flourish in places like Shreveport, Baton Rouge, and Lafayette. A large part of the attraction to Louisiana is our creative filmmaking community. And by community, I mean a strong, supportive group of folks who share a common interest, but who also have created a strong support system for each other. We carpool to auditions, we take collections for those of us who have stumbled upon hard times, we pay our respects when those among us have passed on, and we celebrate our marriages and the births of our babies. Because of the ease of social networking sites, but mainly because we really want to know how we are all doing, we keep up with one another. We work on one another’s projects and we attend each other’s screenings or plays. We are a community in a true sense. I started the Louisiana Actors & Film Industry Expo (formerly the Louisiana Actors Expo) as a way to connect with other actors in New Orleans, my hometown. After my divorce, I moved back home with my two- and five-yearold little boys in 2007. Within a year, I knew that if I didn’t have a conversation that was not about preschool, Nemo or Power Rangers relatively soon, I was going to crack. I desperately needed to find my tribe, but I had no idea 12

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Casting directors Meagan Lewis, Hank Langlois, Lisa Marie Dupree, and talent agent Jorge Elizondo at the 2011 event.

how to connect with them. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was filming when I moved here in 2007, but I didn’t really believe that there was a real Louisiana film industry. I was out of the loop, really, from mommy duties. I figured everyone, including most of the PAs, had come from L.A. I hit the Internet just to satisfy my curiosity, and lo and behold, I discovered a group of actors that met once a month. In passing conversation, I mentioned to an old friend of mine, Sallie Ann Glassman (a voodoo priestess, who is a vegetarian and practices non-cruelty, in case you were wondering), that I wanted to find a space to have actors meet weekly to discuss and learn about the film industry. But I also needed it to be big enough for us to work out our acting muscles, and I needed this space to be completely free. The sweetheart that she is, she offered her temple to me. She said, “Just draw the curtains.” Well, hey, this is New Orleans. I don’t practice voodoo, in fact, I’d never been in her temple, so I didn’t know what I would be drawing the curtains in front of, but I needed a free space and she was offering one. It took me a couple of months to get it together and make it to one of the monthly actors meetings, and when I did, I showed up

4TH ANNUAL EXPO: THE DETAILS The Louisiana Actors & Film Industry Expo returns to the Pan American Life Building Conference Center on September 28 and 29, from 9am to 5pm, for informative panel discussions, demonstrations and career development. The Expo brings together the entire Louisiana film industry, including studio executives, directors, producers, screenwriters, editors, casting directors, talent agents and other industry decisionmakers, to help aspiring and experienced actors and filmmakers move forward in their careers. In addition to the regular programming for actors, such as panel discussions, casting sessions and agent meetings, new programming for filmmakers will address the screenwriting process, budgeting, casting, film editing, and other topics relevant to filmmaking. The new programming for filmmakers includes: • Editing for Filmmakers • Editing for Actors (How not to wind up on the cutting room floor) • The Lens – A Filmmaker’s Paintbrush • The Pitch – Crafting and Pitching Your Project’s Business Plan • How to Cast Your Film, sponsored by Actors Access • Conversations, presented by the Screen Actors Guild Foundation Actors Access will also demonstrate their online casting system, EcoCast, the premier self-submission online software, and AccentHelp also will return to present their accent acquisition system for actors. Registration is now open. For more information, visit www.louisianaactors expo.com.


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with terribly simple flyers that I had made at home with Word. I called our Sunday meetings “The Actors Co-Op” because I wanted us all to have some input in what we were doing. The next Sunday, I had a few actors show up. A couple more showed up the next Sunday. In less than six weeks, Otter, the owner of the Backyard Ballroom Theatre, offered her theater for us to meet. Within two months, agents and acting coaches were calling to ask me if they could come speak with the actors. One of the agents, Liz Atherton of TAG Talent, suggested I host a day of Q&As and invite the entire Louisiana film industry to participate. It sounds so simple when I type it, but I didn’t know any of them well—in fact, some of them I didn’t even know at all—so the challenge before me was gargantuan. But with Liz’s help, we made it happen. Casting directors, agents, studio executives, entertainment attorneys and WGA writers all came together to raise the bar for actors in particular, but actually for the Louisiana film industry as a whole. That was the birth of the Louisiana Actors & Film Industry Expo, which is now going into its fourth year. Every year, it grows. The first year, there were about 150 attendees and participants. Last year, there were about 500, and this year, we have close to 1,000 aspiring and experienced film industry professionals participating. And they

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come from all over, not just from various parts of Louisiana. They come from Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, Tampa, Austin, Dallas, Houston, Minneapolis, Washington DC, and of course from throughout the Gulf South region. In fact, actors have moved to Louisiana and

It’s the one time a year where everyone can get together and not only learn about and develop their craft, but also commune with their tribe. found work as an actor based upon the information they learned at the Expo. This year has brought big changes. Our title sponsors are Actors Access/Breakdown Services, the premier online casting system that facilitates the casting for 98 percent of the films produced in the U.S., and Back Stage, the

premier actors trade publication. New Orleans Video Access Center (NOVAC) is one of our local sponsors. We’ve also expanded to include all of the various aspects of the film industry, from writers to directors, and from editors to producers. And now it’s a two-day event. It’s the one time a year where everyone can get together and not only learn about and develop their craft, but also commune with their tribe, and it’s been incredible having a place where we can all speak our language and be understood. We’re also a “we” now. After the 2011 Expo last September, I invited Lolita Burrell (who was honored as one of New Orleans CityBusiness Magazine’s Women of the Year) to join forces with me in producing the largest film industry conference in the Gulf South, the Louisiana Actors & Film Industry Expo. My boys have moved on from preschool, Nemo and Power Rangers. Now it’s RipStiks, BeyBlades and Man vs. Wild, and I need the Expo now as much as I needed the Sunday meetings with actors more than three years ago. And from talking to the people who attend the event, most have the same feelings I do. They learn how to move forward in their careers so they can become who they want to be, but—and somehow I think this is more important—they feel empowered, uplifted and connected to members of their tribe. LFV


c olorful scenes? scenes? colorful U nique locations? loca ati t ons? Unique P roduction iincentives? ncent tives? Production

Gotcha covered. G vered Jeff Davis Parish Film Commission www.jeffdavis.org (800) 264.5521

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AFCI’S LOCATIONS SHOW FINDS A NEW HOME TO SHOWCASE LOUISIANA STORY BY W. H. BOURNE • PHOTOS BY ODIN LINDBLOM

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he Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI) hosted their annual Locations Expo June 15 and 16 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The goto show for locations scouts and producers features film commissioners from around the world who exhibit at the trade show, providing a wonderful one-on-one opportunity to explain film incentives in their region. This was a change in venue for the show, which partnered this year with Variety’s BRIC Summit, as well as the Los Angeles Film Festival. This year, Louisiana was represented by four different booths. The Krewe of New Orleans booth was a collaboration of the film commissions from New Orleans and Jefferson and St. Bernard Parishes. Jefferson Parish Film Commissioner Jennifer Van Vrancken talked about the three percent rebate that is available in her parish. “When you land at the airport, you have to pass through Jefferson Parish,” said Van Vrancken. “Even if you’re shooting in New Orleans or St. Bernard, if you put your

David Colligan

Shreveport’s booth representatives.

production offices in Jefferson Parish, you can save money.” Kristen Maurel of the Baton Rouge Convention and Visitors Bureau was on hand representing the Baton Rouge Film Commission. “We’re encouraging everyone to be green,” said Maurel, as she handed out water bottles with the Film Commission’s logo. “We just 16

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created an iPhone app that lets you find vendors and services on your phone. Everyone works together in Baton Rouge. The whole city is a giant production team that’s very filmfriendly. From tentpoles to indies, we can handle anything in Baton Rouge.” David Colligan was on hand representing the Lafayette Entertainment Initiative (LEI) booth.

Kristen Maurel

“Come to Lafayette,” was Colligan’s pitch. Shreveport Mayor Cedric B. Glover was on hand to greet visitors at the ShreveportBossier booth. “We just passed a law that allows me to change any city ordinance for the film industry,” said Glover. “Shreveport wants to make sure that productions don’t get tangled in bureaucratic red tape.” “We’ve been really busy,” said Arlena Acree, Shreveport’s Director of Film, Media, and Entertainment. “Currently we have shooting Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, starring Rooney Mara (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). Antoine Fuqua’s latest film Olympus Has Fallen, starring Gerard Butler (300), is prepping to shoot.” Added Acree, “Locations Expo has been very successful so far this year. We’ve had a lot more traffic this year and the quality has been excellent.” Once again the Locations Show featured speakers and seminars, ranging in topic from tax credits to producing the indie film Bellflower. At the finance and film incentive sessions, there was a lot of talk about the upcoming election year and what that might mean for film rebates and tax credits in the various regions across the United States. While no one seemed to mention that Louisiana’s incentives were now state law, North Carolina Film Commissioner Aaron Syrett summed it up best: “Louisiana has been able to sustain their film incentives the longest.” “In the end, it’s all about working together to bring films to Louisiana,” said Van Vrancken. LFV


CONTENT DRIVES AT THE PGA’S PRODUCED BY CONFERENCE STORY BY W. H. BOURNE • PHOTOS BY W. H. BOURNE AND ODIN LINDBLOM

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he Producers Guild of America (PGA), the non-profit trade group that represents, protects and promotes the interests of all members of the producing team in film, television and new media, held their fourth annual Produced By Conference June 9 and 10 at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California. An intimate and sold-out event, over 1,400 attended the educational program, which covered aspects of producing for film, television and new media industries. Entertainment luminaries such as Christopher Nolan, Peter Berg, Lawrence Gordon, Nina Jacobson, Mark Cuban, Mark Gordon, Shonda Rhimes and Brian Grazer joined more than 100 of Hollywood and digital media’s top producers and business leaders to share their insights, expertise and vision to inspire and inform attendees throughout the two-day conference. Topics covered included global finance and production, distribution, independent film, scripted and reality television, digital content, marketing innovation, visual effects, sustainable green production and much more. “The definition of ‘producer’ is friend of writer,” said producer Mark Gordon (Saving Private Ryan, Source Code). “If you can get into a room with a writer that really excites you, then eventually you’ll create something good.” Brian Grazer (Splash, Da Vinci Code, J. Edgar) and Peter Berg (Hancock, Battleship) talked about the producing challenges of packaging a story and getting the studio to greenlight the production. “You have to be a closer to penetrate the skin of a studio,” said Grazer. “You have to be a sociopath with the ability to be crazy, be committed, and be connected to the source.” Distribution was also a hot topic at the conference. Producer Lynette Howell (Blue Valentine, Half Nelson) talked about creative distribution when she couldn’t get a good offer for her festival award-winner On the Ice. “I wasn’t happy with any of the deals we were offered and I really wanted it to play on the big screen,” she said. “I realized that the only way to do this was to distribute it myself, but I didn’t want to be selling DVDs either. Elisabeth Holm was working for me at the time and she suggested we create a Kickstarter campaign. We used Kickstarter to distribute the DVD (as

Brian Grazer and Peter Berg

Patrick Mulhearn

an incentive for a $25 contribution), while raising $88,000 to four-wall the movie in theaters. It was very successful—so successful that Elisabeth is now head of films at Kickstarter.” Sarah Green (Tree of Life, Frida) talked about the new start-up Tugg as a way to launch a film or extend the theatrical life of a film. “Tugg was integral in extending the run of Tree of Life and bringing it to markets where it never had a chance to play. More people are going to see your indie film on a premium channel than on a big screen,” said Green, as she stressed the importance of Tugg and getting more movies seen in theaters. Similar to Paramount’s marketing concept of “demanding” Paranormal Activity, Tugg licenses movies into their library and works with theater owners. An organizer chooses a movie from the library and then works to sell enough tickets to have a screening at their local theater. At most sessions, the audience asked questions about financing films. Joe Chianese (EP Financial Solutions) led a panel discussion

specifically addressing that topic, as he talked about how producers utilize production incentives to subsidize their costs and finance their projects. Louisiana’s incentives were a high point of the discussion. After that session, producers were shopping the vendors on hand, matching up services with tax incentives. Quixote pitched attendees about their expendables store and lighting and grip equipment now available in New Orleans. Raleigh Studios/Celtic Media exec Patrick Mulhearn was on hand to discuss Louisiana’s incentives and studio availability at Raleigh’s Baton Rouge facility. “We’ve been really busy this year,” said Mulhearn. “Oblivion with Tom Cruise just wrapped, but we still have a few holes in the schedule that we can fill.” The new media sessions focused less on finance and more on doing. Allen DeBevoise (Machinima), Michelle Phan (MyGlam.com), and Chris Hardwick (Nerdist) talked about the freedom of YouTube for producers, as far as getting your work out there quickly, as well as monetizing your work on the Web. Robert Kynci, Global Head of Content Partnerships for Google and YouTube, stressed the accessibility of YouTube. “Just put your content up,” he said. “If you get enough hits, we’ll come looking for you.” Chris Hardwick was a wealth of information for individuals looking to venture into producing for the Web. “YouTube thrives at being shared. Create one-offs or a maximum of five episodes before you do more. Then look at the metrics. You need to figure out what’s going to build your brand as a whole,” said Hardwick. “You must think of SEOs when creating titles for your videos and take care in creating thumbnails for your videos; they’re just as important as album covers. Remember that programming is only as long as it needs to be. You need to grab the viewer in the first eight seconds. But in the end, it’s all about story.” Hardwick’s words seemed to echo the sentiment of most producers. “Content drives,” said Gordon. “You have to believe in what you’re selling.” LFV ISSUE THREE

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SPOTLIGHT ON SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER & N. LOUISIANA

HOLLYWOOD SOUTH ROLLS ON MOONBOT INTRODUCES IMAG•N•O•TRON

Winning the category Best Animated Short Film for work on The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, Oscar winners William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg pose backstage during the live ABC Television Network broadcast of the 84th Annual Academy Awards. PHOTO COURTESY OF AMPSA STORY BY ARLENA ACREE, DIRECTOR OF FILM, MEDIA, AND ENTERTAINMENT, CITY OF SHREVEPORT FILM OFFICE

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ilm and TV production activity has picked up tremendously in the Shreveport-Bossier area for 2012.

A parade in downtown Shreveport honoring the awardwinning film and its creators.

Thus far, we have hosted 13 film/TV projects and are gearing up for more possible projects. Reality TV is becoming more common in our area due to several new shows that are doing very well. Billy the Exterminator is currently shooting their fifth season. We also have two feature films shooting now: Olympus Has Fallen, starring Gerard Butler, Dylan McDermott, Aaron Eckhart, Angela Bassett and Keong Sim, and Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, starring Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Rami Malek, Charles Baker and Frank Mosley. It’s very exciting to have some production of this caliber and a lot of wonderful cast. Shreveport’s Moonbot Studios won an Academy Award recently for its first animated release, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. Shreveport artist William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg, his co-founder of Moonbot Studios, were present in Hollywood for the big win. Moonbot reached the apex of the entertainment industry by winning the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film. The acclaimed 14minute film features the protagonist surviving a storm and landing in a world where books come 18

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alive as characters with curative powers, imparting healing through discovery. Joyce, Oldenburg, managing partner Lampton Enochs and the Moonbot staff employed a variety of techniques in a hybrid animation style inspired by The Wizard of Oz, Buster Keaton and the Hurricane Katrina experience. A huge ticker tape in downtown Shreveport was given to honor the Moonbot team. Our infrastructure continues to grow with some great successes. Millennium Studios will soon expand their 7-acre studio to 20 acres to include more soundstages, a prop house and a backlot. Our diverse locations have doubled for Washington, DC; New York; Miami; Kodiak, Alaska; Amsterdam; Guantanamo Bay; Maine; Kansas City; Senegal, Africa; Sodom; the

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Academy Award winner William Joyce, and Moonbot Studios have partnered to share extraordinary digital content for the book version of The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. Moonbot Studios has created a digital app called IMAG•N•O•TRON The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore Edition, available now on iTunes. This app gives readers a thrilling new reading experience through access to augmented reality features. The genius of IMAG•N•O•TRON is that, unlike other “app-centric” apps, it is unabashedly “book-centric.” Users can download the app for 99 cents and use their physical version of The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore to unlock exciting content on every page. The augmented reality experience will combine the real scenes from the book viewed by the reader with virtual scenes generated by the handheld device. Books fly off the page, Humpty Dumpty befriends you, and you get a sneak peek into a different part of Lessmore’s world, not shown in the book or movie. The app currently works on iPads 2 and 3 and iPhones. “What excites me is how William Joyce and Moonbot are constantly pushing the envelope, but always in service of the book,” said Justin Chanda, Vice President and Publisher of Atheneum Books for Young Readers. “This groundbreaking app allows readers (to) get more out of the book they were able to purchase anywhere. How terrific to have something that is looking to enhance the printed experience, not replace it!”

Bering Sea; the North Pole; New Hampshire; Oklahoma; Memphis; Arizona; New Jersey; Pennsylvania; Iowa; Los Angeles; Texas; and Portland, Oregon… just to name a few. Cast and crew from out of town enjoy our quality of life, the ease of film production, and our efficient highway system with minimal traffic. Louisiana is always in the top United States and international rankings, and the industry will continue to grow, as we have some of the best tax incentives in the U.S. The year of 2012 will be a fabulous year and our 2013 is already shaping up. Let’s keep them rolling in… LFV


SPOTLIGHT ON SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER & N. LOUISIANA

OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN MILLENNIUM’S LATEST FEATURE FILM SHOOTS IN SHREVEPORT

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f the numerous production projects shooting in Shreveport-Bossier so far this year, Millennium/Nu Image’s Olympus Has Fallen is undeniably the largest. And not just in regards to budget or buzz—but also in terms of the scope of the production.

Crew prepped for 10 weeks prior to shooting, building several indoor and outdoor sets to stand in for the White House and Washington, DC. The White House façade was constructed in Bossier City at Arthur Ray Teague Parkway near the CenturyLink Center, while the Oval Office was replicated at StageWorks. Sets have also been built on both of Millennium Studios’ soundstages. “It’s a challenge to double Washington, DC, because it’s so unique,” said Diego Martinez, president of Millennium Studios in Shreveport. “There is just so much build and so much construction, and it all has to be perfect.” In fact, there was so much construction work that nearly half of the film’s 170-plus crew base was on the construction team, according to Martinez. Olympus, directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart, is a thriller that has been described as “Die Hard in the White House.” Butler stars as a former secret service agent working to prevent a terrorist attack in DC, while Eckhart plays the president whom Butler must save after he is kidnapped by said terrorists. Ashley Judd, Robert Forster, Angela Bassett and Melissa Leo are also featured in this star-studded cast. The project originally came out of Millennium Films’ main office in L.A., where executives thought it would be a good fit for the Shreveport studio. “They thought Shreveport was a good

place to shoot it, so we scouted, and we were able to find what we needed here,” said Martinez. “For everything we couldn’t find or physically build, we’ll create with visual effects. One of our companies is Worldwide FX, housed here on property, so we’ll do all the visual effects inhouse.” The 53,000-square-foot Millennium Studios, owned by parent company Nu Image, has been open just over a year in Shreveport, and Olympus is already their fifth project— and their biggest film to date. “This is our largest project, period,” said Martinez. Diego Martinez “Expendables and Expendables 2 and Conan were our largest, and this may be a little bigger in terms of the scope of the project and the budget. This is definitely on that same level, and probably a little bit more.” Martinez, who is from New Orleans, said Millennium enjoys working in Shreveport, and credits the local government and film office with helping to grow the local industry. “There are great people working here, but it’s the outlying support that’s phenomenal— from the city to the people,” he said. “It’s just a good place to work, I think, and we definitely

feel like we’re a partnership with the city and film office here.” In fact, Millennium has been so happy in Shreveport that they’re planning on investing more money into expanding their studio. “On the facility we have now, we spent $12 million, and we’re in the planning stages to expand,” said Martinez. “We hope to start that soon. We have a prop set dressing warehouse we need to have on site, we need more offices, and we’re exploring a bigger stage. We also want to house outside vendors, so we need more space for that.” With Millennium bringing more and more productions to the Shreveport-Bossier area, including at least one more this summer, the expansion may be needed sooner rather than later. But for now, Millennium is satisfied with the progress the studio—and the local industry— has made. “Shreveport doesn’t have the lure that New Orleans has, but we’ve had great success here and that’s why we chose to be here,” said Martinez. “We all agree that this is a city on the move. It’s been wonderful that we’re a part of that. We are just extremely happy to be here.” Olympus Has Fallen began shooting the second week of July, and plans to wrap in midSeptember. The film is set for release in 2014. LFV

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SPOTLIGHT ON SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER & N. LOUISIANA

LOUISIANA FILM PRIZE SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER GETS READY FOR ITS CLOSE-UP IN NEW FILM CONTEST STORY BY DAWN LANDRUM GUEST COLUMNIST

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ouisiana has been a frontrunner in movie productions for the last seven years. Most of the productions within the last few years have generated from the Southern region. However, 2012 marked the beginning of change for North Louisiana filmmakers with the creation of the Louisiana Film Prize. The Louisiana Film Prize (LAFP) is a short (5- to 15-minute) narrative film contest that requires participants to shoot their film in the Shreveport-Bossier area. The Film Prize’s goal is two-fold: to promote the Shreveport-Bossier creative community and to promote the region itself as a great place to film, all while pumping money into the local economy. We caught up with Film Prize director Chris Lyon, the City of Shreveport’s director of Film, Media, and Entertainment Arlena Acree, and several of the participating filmmakers and actors to find out more. First up is Chris Lyon. What inspired the Louisiana Film Prize? CL: The Louisiana Film Prize was inspired by our desire to see the film community continue to grow and flourish throughout the state and in Northwest Louisiana. When you have an intersection of the infrastructure that’s been afforded the area in recent years and the desire of the community to build an artistic base for film, we were presented with an opportunity we couldn’t pass up. And it has really paid off in so many ways already. We believe bringing filmmakers from across the country to see what there is to offer here, and getting them to believe in production in the area, is the next step in the story for filmmaking in Louisiana. The winning filmmaker wins $50,000—a great prize! Where does the money come from? CL: Isn’t it? We think it’s a perfect draw for outsiders looking to take a chance on Louisiana for film, as well as a catalyst for locals who have been wanting to do a film, but needed that extra push to get going. Additionally, it encourages people to invest monetarily and creatively in the burgeoning film community, which could ultimately lead to real economic impact through artistic achievement, which is what we want to see happen. And the reality is that people have had a lot of great experiences here because of those concepts. The prize money really has ended up being the tentpole needed to boost the LAFP to a national level of awareness, and something else that leads to attention for the Louisiana filmmaking community. The money for the prize comes from many sources. Individuals and committed community organizations mostly, but we’ve received 22

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support in many ways from the state and local governments as well. The list of people supporting this effort is quite long and can be seen on our Web site (www.lafilmprize.com). Are there first, second and third place winners or only one? CL: In the end, there can be only one. In October, one filmmaker will walk away with a check for $50,000. We are looking at recognition in other categories, but the cash prize is for one contestant in a winner-takes-all approach. The competition will be tough, but we want people to really work for it. We want them to not just make a great film, but be able to promote their work and themselves, like you would in the real film market. We see this as a microcosm of the film distribution ecosystem and people seem to be reacting really positively to that. How many are entered in the contest? CL: We have quite a few entries from across the country from places like Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, New Orleans, Miami, and, of course, local filmmakers as well. We think there really is a diverse set of perspectives from all sorts of backgrounds coming to the table and that’s exactly what we love to see. Why did you decide to have LAFP in the Shreveport area, as opposed to other parts of the state? CL: We believe Louisiana has a lot to offer for filmmaking. There has been plenty of activity in the South for sure between Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Lafayette. Film production has slowed in the North, which means a lot of available resources, and, in the end, the organizers of the Film Prize are located in Shreveport.

We have certainly started discussions about the potential for the Prize to relocate next year, but no decisions have been made yet. The feedback for this first year tells us people have found Shreveport-Bossier extremely accessible and flexible with our film commission’s commitment to fostering local film. With free permits, free city locations, free water access, a thorough locations database, and location owners welcoming filmmakers with open arms, we think Shreveport-Bossier is a great place to start this first year. Is the festival open to the public? CL: The LAFP Festival Weekend is open to anyone who wishes to attend. Ticket prices are still under discussion, but they won’t be expensive by any means. There will likely be different levels of tickets with access to special events and things like that, but ultimately, we really want it to be accessible and fun as much as possible. And Festival Weekend will also be more than film screenings. We will be featuring lots of music, vendors, and other activities to do in between. We will be working with the top 20 filmmakers to organize promotional events and to come up with creative ways to sell their film to the audiences. Since the audience vote is 50 percent of the total, with the other half being the judges, attendance to the festival is really important for the Film Prize to work. How are the top 20 being selected? CL: The top 20 films are picked by a group of film enthusiasts and critics from the area. These are people who write about film in local publications, run film clubs, things like that. This team is different from the panel of judges that will vote on Festival Weekend with the audiences. It’s a diverse group that has eyes for story, technical achievement, and artistic value because films are more than just pretty images and we want to make sure the 20 finalists are great stories above all. The interesting part of picking the 20 for the Louisiana Film Prize is seeing potential. Since the films being submitted are only in rough cut form, the evaluation team has to be able to see beyond a potentially incomplete piece, see where it could go, and how a filmmaker can complete that experience for the Festival Weekend. Some might see it as a risky way to do things, but we see it as a way to focus on story, performance, and give people the chance to really finish their film in the months leading to the Festival Weekend.


When will the top 20 be announced? CL: The top 20 finalists will be announced in a press event on August 9. e also spoke with Arlena Acree to find out how the Film Office was involved in the creation of the Film Prize, and what the Prize means to the region.

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What part did you and the Film Commission have in the development of the Louisiana Film Prize? AA: We had several meetings with (Film Prize executive director) Gregory Kallenberg and his team early on. We helped and assisted him to raise some of the sponsorship monies. This is a Film Fest that is totally unique and is the largest cash prize in the U.S. It is luring a lot of indie filmmakers to our area. We love the concept. What are the benefits to having the Film Prize? AA: Louisiana Film Prize has so many benefits, as it is luring filmmakers from all over the U.S. to our area to shoot their projects, as this is a part of the rules. They get exposure to our area and see how easy it is to shoot in the community. They are also spending money. The ones that are coming from out of town are staying in our hotels for several days and eating in our restaurants and hiring local crew and talent. Has North Louisiana film production increased since LAFP began? AA: I really think that Louisiana Film Prize has created a really cool energy in our region and it has definitely created a buzz for us. It actually is helping to grow our crew base, as it is giving some local crew and talent a chance to get some valuable experience. The projects we have assisted have been very professional and doing everything right. It has also been a really good exercise for them to learn how to get film insurance and going through the permitting process. What does the Film Commission offer to those who take part in LAFP? AA: Our office has assisted in finding locations and insurance, permitting them, scheduling police officers and firemen when needed. What can industry buffs expect in the future for Louisiana Film Prize? AA: I think that Louisiana Film Prize is just the beginning, as it already had a huge impact on our community. I really see this as being an annual event and it will continue to grow and help further develop our indie film industry. he officials at the Louisiana Film Prize office could not divulge the list of entrants. They are very careful in remaining neutral and in keeping with festival rules and professionalism.

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However, we were encouraged to locate independent filmmakers on our own to find out who took part in the contest and to interview them. The best way to do so was by posting our desire to interview participants on the Louisiana Film Prize Facebook page. Those who responded to our request did so with enthusiasm for the Film Prize and its effect on the local production industry. Several filmmakers mentioned that if they win the grand prize, they plan to donate some of their winnings to worthy causes, such as St. Jude Children’s Hospital, the Haiti restoration relief, and the African humanitarian global brigade. The quotes below come from those who responded to the Facebook request, and are listed in order of receipt. Toad’s Revenge, written by Scott Ross The film was shot in the Shreveport area, including in Castor, with Scott Yarnell, a local actor from Castor. “We also used a Castor church and water office for our sets,” said Ross. “What we feel sets our project apart from other possible entries is that it is very funny. We have very distinct characters in the movie. There are a lot of laughs in this film. I would highly encourage people to film for Louisiana Film Prize. They were a lot of fun to work with and gave us some great publicity for the film. Even if we don’t win or qualify, it PHOTO BY PAUL HUBER, DP was a great experience. We’re going to submit this film in other film festivals around the country.” A Man of Limited Emotional Means, from Alejandra Valera, director and producer “A Man of Limited Emotional Means is a project that had been in the back of my husband’s (Christopher Barrett, the film’s DP) mind for a while,” said Valera. “It’s a semi-autobiographic story that needed to be told; it was just a matter of how and when. When the Louisiana Film Prize was announced, it was the impetus we needed to have the film finally come to fruition. We’re thankful for that push!” She continued, “I’m from Chicago and Chris was actually born in Bossier City, but grew up in Natchitoches. We currently live just outside of Chicago and our production team came from Chicago, Shreveport and Los Angeles. It was a terrific mix.”

The Dark Room, written, produced and directed by Christopher Alan Weaver and Marshall Woodworth “The nature of the film is very raw and true to life,” said Weaver. “The story came from the depths of our emotions. Marshall and I played

PHOTO BY JILL ENGLISH

this one close to the chest. Also, through a technical aspect, we didn’t focus on how perfect the lighting was or if the shots stayed smooth (a great deal is shot handheld); we captured the moments as intimately as possible and let the performances from our actors shine through any technical specs. We simply didn’t have time to worry about such things and we feel this approach, in fact, adds to the piece, which was our initial intention.” Super Day, by Christopher Wade “I’d originally planned to create a Web series called Curt’s 100 first, and Super Day was going to follow that,” said Wade. “When I heard about the Louisiana Film Prize, I decided to change the timeline up and shoot Super Day first. So while the Louisiana Film Prize wasn’t the inspiration for the film, it definitely had a hand in getting it produced sooner.” He continued, “Shreveport/Bossier City was extremely helpful to us in getting our film produced. Arlena Acree was great at helping us locate and secure shooting locations (such as Betty Virginia Park, local intersections, etc.). BPCC was helpful in giving us a location to shoot when we lost one location at the last minute and needed a quick replacement. And Logan Farms was amazingly helpful for our catering needs. Not to mention delicious!” Usher, directed by George Landrum “After the Louisiana Film Prize announcement at the Robinson Film Center martini shot industry mixer, we decided to take part,” said Landrum. “My wife is a writer and had a dream which prompted the script. She and I have never written, produced and filmed a production ourselves. The Louisiana Film Prize gave us the opportunity to do our very first collective effort together.” He continued, “The Louisiana Film Prize is a wonderful opportunity for new production ISSUE THREE

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companies and filmmakers to get their feet wet. They not only have the motivation of the prize money but also the camaraderie of their industry peers. We worked in downtown Shreveport and for several weeks we’d see PHOTO BY GEORGE LANDRUM film crews of all sizes and types filming on the streets and corners, etc. We shared equipment, actors and lighting, and even craft services with other Prize filmmakers. This experience has encouraged the film community to come together. We are thrilled to be part of the very first festival here!” everal local actors participated in the Louisiana Film Prize. Dozens donated time, money, equipment, locations and resources. Many took part in multiple productions, giving their heart and soul to each one. Some acted, some directed, some produced. In almost all cases, they wore many hats. The Louisiana Film Prize has stirred up the local talent pool with excitement and opportunity that has been long overdue. We asked participating actors who responded to our ad to describe the experience and to give their thoughts on the Louisiana Film Prize from the perspective of the actor.

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“The best experience was taking a few minutes out of the shoot to sit back and watch this script unfold right before my eyes. Having such a substantial first prize certainly attracted filmmakers beyond the local perimeter. It was a creative way to get talented filmmakers to tap into the local talent pool. Talent is not defined by the region you live in; this is a common misconception that a lot of out-of-state decision-makers have about our local talent. It is refreshing to have another avenue to showcase local talent. From a monetary perspective, I am sure it put some money into the local economy.” – Han Soto “I believe the entire experience was a treasure to be valued in its entirety. One must take the good with the bad in order to grow. The Louisiana Film Prize is absolutely an asset to the area actors. We truly have a thriving community of people who love their art, and many others that are willing to help make visions into reality.” – Jamie Norwood “I performed in two short films for the Louisiana Film Prize contest and it was a pleasure to work on both. I particularly enjoyed working on Usher. The role I played in Usher was very challenging 24

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for me, but the emotional roles have always been favorites of mine. Another reason why I enjoyed filming Usher so much was because it was filmed at my home. It was a pleasure having the cast and crew of Usher around and we all truly enjoyed one another’s company. It was a fast and fabulous three days of filming that I will treasure forever!” – Dodie Brown “I only had one experience on the set of Usher and it was a great experience. The Louisiana Film Prize offers local actors a chance to build their resume and reel, especially those who have limited experience. Working on small indie low-budget shorts are always a learning experience. On larger sets you are not usually around when the DP and director are setting up shots, so you don’t usually see what goes into the visual aspect of filmmaking. You walk in, tap your stand-in on the back, say “thanks,” and get to work. With this type of filmmaking you are your own stand-in, so you really get a chance to see how the visual process works. The experience was so rewarding that next year I may just have an entry of my own!” – Garrett Kruithof “I was an actor in two Louisiana Film Prize productions. Being in a film is something that you are greatly a part of can sometimes be a sacrifice but one well worth it if you believe in the production. I would definitely take part in the Louisiana Film Prize again!” – Renwick Scott “When a quality actor is able to bring their character to life, you (as an actor) are able to feed off their energy and emotions, which allows you, in turn, to feed them. You become in the ‘zone.’ You are the character. It’s a great feeling. An adrenaline rush for me personally. The Louisiana Film Prize gives experienced actors a chance to work on their craft, and to possibly perform in roles they might normally not be cast in. It also allows newer and upcoming actors to work in front of the camera and gain valuable experience.” – Terry Milam “The best experience was being able to work directly with my agent (who is also a script writer/director). It gave her the ability to see me in action on set, to know that I was prepared and can take direction. There is never a bad experience, only learning experiences. The unpredictable is always to be expected. Every time you are on set, it is a learning experience. More than anything, the Louisiana Film Prize gave me an opportunity to work with actors I’ve never had the chance to work with before.” – Molly Jane Sullivan

“The Lousiana Film Prize is wonderful! I acted in seven productions! Loved working with all of them! No bad experiences. The 14-hour day on The Philosophy of Hate was tough but we did it! It was both grueling and releasing. Leaving it all on the field!” – Ron Fagan “The Louisiana Film Prize is not only an asset, but a tremendous opportunity! You get to know the entire acting community better and have them get to know your skills and what you are capable of. One thing I learned to have in this experience is flexibility. Most indie filmmakers are working with pretty meager budget and small crews. As an actor you are part of a team. It is the actor’s responsibility to adapt to schedule changes and any other issues that may arise, and to help them make the best film possible.” – Heather Bloom “I was in seven Louisiana Film Prize productions. The best experience was getting to work with some very talented individuals and to nurture the further development of my own craft. I enjoyed playing characters that were out of my character—it definitely broadened my ability. I loved seeing people being creative in general … I learned that amazing things can be accomplished when people come together to be creative. I am already looking forward to next year. I will be submitting my own film next time!” – Steven Miramontz “I was cast in three Louisiana Film Prize productions. As far as experiences go, the ‘best’ definitely outweighs the ‘worst’ in my experience. I was fortunate to work with amazing people in each production. Because of the Louisiana Film Prize I was blessed to have the chance to play a 17-year-old floozy in 1977, a deaf girl in love with a musician, and a mom of twins all in the span of a little over a month. I know many local actors with similar experiences. It was such a great opportunity for all of us in the area and I am grateful I had the chance to take it. I would love to participate in the Louisiana Film Prize again!” – Amber Dawn “There was no negative or worst experience filming Usher. Being a short film with a small cast/crew, I was able to participate in things I would have never gotten to do on a feature film: lighting, animal wrangling, marker, clap board and observing other actors’ scenes being filmed.” – Bryce McDaniel The Louisiana Film Prize Weekend is October 5–7. Stay tuned to www.lafilmprize.com for more information, and be sure to visit the site on August 9 for the announcement of the 20 finalists.


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SPOTLIGHT ON SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER & N. LOUISIANA

LIVING THE CREATIVE LIFE L STORY BY MINDY BLEDSOE GUEST COLUMNIST

ouisiana is an exciting place for filmmakers right now. Sure, it’s cool that big films are being shot on both ends of the state, but what’s even better is that it’s a great time for people to be creative. Alliances are forming, people are buying more of their own professional-level gear, and we’re all trying to keep from getting jaded with the industry.

One of the most recent developments for the state has been the Louisiana Film Prize. It’s a short narrative film contest with one rule: You have to shoot your film in the Shreveport-Bossier area. This competition has brought creative people out of the woodwork, from in and out of state. I recently submitted a short film for the $50,000 prize, with my husband, cinematographer and producing partner Rob Senska. The title is I’m Sorry

For… and it’s the story of a man on a quest to apologize for his dead wife. We hope to be in the top 20 films at the festival on October 5 – 7. Half of the winning decision comes down to audience participation, and the other half of the decision will be in the hands of a judges’ panel. We (my husband and I are Bledska Works) were able to pay local crew and rent gear locally. We raised most of our budget using

Shreveport keeps finding reasons for us to stay, so we have accepted our place here.

the wonderful resource Indiegogo. So many friends and family donated money to our cause, enabling us to make our short film. We never imagined we would receive so much support. Moving to Shreveport four years ago wasn’t an easy one. We’ve made a lot of friends and seem to keep finding enough work. Shreveport keeps finding reasons for us to stay, so we have accepted our place here, at least for this chapter of our lives. We get to shoot and edit all sorts of things, so life is never boring. We’re grateful for our lives and hope to continue splitting our time between paid gigs and our own passion projects. Make sure you’re staying creative, and find a way to get paid to do what you love. LFV With such a diverse talent, Mindy often finds herself working at many levels of production at the same time. One month she may be directing a music video while writing a feature-length script and shooting for a national reality show. Mindy always fully devotes herself to whatever project she is working on and hopes to continue finding the means to live a creative life. Find more on Bledska Works on Facebook and at www.bledska.com.

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SPOTLIGHT ON SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER & N. LOUISIANA

WEBSTER PARISH HAS IT ALL STORY BY EJAY COLVIN GUEST COLUMNIST

ooray for Hollywood—and Hollywood South!

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Hello, my name is Ejay Colvin and I live in the wonderful city of Minden, the parish of Webster, here in Northwest Louisiana. We are 24 miles straight east of Shreveport/Bossier on Interstate 20. Yeah, we are in the zone! I’m an occasional location scout, working for fun and my community, more than for money. It all began with a hurricane called Katrina and The Guardian being

200-year-old colony or Highland cattle, a scary, dilapidated house deep in the woods, a haunted, turn-of-the-century old mansion, or a desert with a standing city of Sodom or Gomorrah, you can find it here. And of course we have lakes, streams, bayous and swamps. How about a military facility, a completely refurbished old-time movie theater in perfect operating condition, the largest open-air arena and amphitheater in the state? We also have at least seven summer encampments and cabins. Add to that housing, motels, restaurants, two production office locations and

Come stay, play and make your movie magic happen here in Minden and the surrounding area of Webster Parish. forced north to film. I was hooked, and this very day as I’m telling you about my lovely city, a production company is filming part of their story here in my town. Comedy Central called me a Rural Specialist, perhaps because they needed me to find 200 chickens for their project, and I did. Allow me to elaborate on why you should consider exploring our diverse area for your production. Whether large or small, a studio or independent, you can definitely stretch your budget here. Our heritage is Caddoan Indian, German and Scots/Irish. If you need an Indian village, a

church groups that movie cater. With the support of our Lieutenant Governor Jay Darden, our State Senator Robert Adley, Arlena Acree of the Shreveport Film Office, and those great Louisiana film credits, how can you lose? Real success is grabbing every opportunity. Come stay, play and make your movies magic happen here in Minden and the surrounding area of Webster Parish. Discover our Lagniappe (A Little Something Extra)! LFV For more information, call Ejay Colvin at 318518-4176.

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SPOTLIGHT ON SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER & N. LOUISIANA

LOCATION FOCUS: THE LOUISIANA WAVE STUDIO

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he Louisiana Wave Studio in Shreveport is the only internally-wave-generating tank in North America constructed specifically for the filming of motion pictures.

The massive turbines make thirteen different kinds of waves up to eight feet high, so the director can choreograph anything from a gentle swell to a raging storm, the latter enhanced by three enormous chutes that allow water to be thrown into the scene horizontally. The tank is open air for easy crane and helicopter access. Eighty by one hundred feet, it’s eight feet deep and holds

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800,000 gallons of water. It is also suitable for underwater filming. Films shot in the tank include The Guardian; I Love You, Phillip Morris; Streets of Blood; Mayday—Bering Sea; and Shark Night. Easy parking and acres available for support crew and construction. For more information, visit www.thelouisianawavestudio.com. LFV


LOUISIANA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL BASICS INTERVIEW WITH CHESLEY HEYMSFIELD, FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF LIFF

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he inaugural Louisiana International Film Festival (LIFF) will be held April 1821, 2013 in Baton Rouge. We spoke with the festival’s founder and executive director, Chesley Heymsfield, to find out more about this exciting new event.

Louisiana Film & Video Magazine: How did the idea for the festival begin? Chesley Heymsfield: The festival started out of pure curiosity. After helping my parents move to Louisiana, I had heard that Louisiana was a high production state, so I went on a bit of a walkabout around the state, talking to all kinds of people directly and indirectly affiliated with filmmaking. The festival was borne out of us wanting to act as a crossroads and encourage local talent to interact with non-local talent.

LFVM: What kinds of events will the festival hold? CH: The festival will have a yearlong presence with events, such as premiere film screenings, filmmaker discussions, and other interactive opportunities. And we will have our annual festival each year in the spring. Our inaugural festival will be held April 18-21, 2013 in Baton Rouge, where we will host a competitive juried film festival with the year’s best in celebrated independent film from around the world.

LFVM: What does the festival hope to achieve? CH: The Louisiana International Film Festival aims to provide a forum of discussion where people may build lifelong relationships and develop skills that enable them to play a central role in the industry. In general, established filmmakers enjoy contributing to the mentorship of new filmmakers— everyone remembers people who helped them when they were just starting out. These are amazing local opportunities where we can serve as a facilitator for natural networking and interaction. Chesley Heymsfield

LFVM: What is your focus right now? CH: Our focus now is to get people on board with the festival. There is already a natural movement here, and we just happen to be a part of it. We are excited and fortunate to be surrounded by visionary leaders and have support from both the public and private sectors in Louisiana. We are very appreciative of support from the Office of Lt. Governor, Louisiana Technology Park, Noesis Data, Manship Theater, and others. We are reach30

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LFVM: What do you see in the future? CH: All major film festivals take time to grow naturally from the ground up with effort from many people, and so you have your short-term and long-term vision. Many of the festivals, such as Cannes, were even founded during difficult times, and the people gathered together to ensure the festival’s survival and prosperity. With any major community-driven endeavor, it’s the people who are going to make this possible. The people of Louisiana are our backbone.

ing across Louisiana to reflect all of the state’s interesting and diverse cultures, traditions and people. LFVM: How would you describe your overall vision? CH: Our vision is to bring all the pieces together under one roof, where prospective and recurring productions may travel to one location to receive the latest updates about filming in and across the state.

LFVM: How can filmmakers get involved? CH: If you are a filmmaker interested in submission, you may check our Facebook page (Louisiana International Film Festival) and our Web site (www.lifilmfest.org) shortly for our submission guidelines. LFVM: Anything else you’d like to share about LIFF? CH: LIFF was created with the purpose of promoting the film industry’s indigenous growth, along with its international reputation as an artistic and financial force in the global film market. By virtue of acting as a hub for congregation and commerce, who knows how many opportunities people can create? That’s the exciting part; it’s unlimited. LFV


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THE 4 P’S OF FILM FESTIVALS STORY BY MARK TERRY GUEST COLUMNIST

o get the most out of the festival experience for your movie, always abide by the 4 P’s.

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In 2003, I produced and acted in a short film called Homeland Security. Not an Oscar-contender but a good effort for my first film short. Just like a proud new parent, I sent out my baby to scores of film festivals. I spent more on film festival submissions than I did on the 10-minute 16mm film. What did the film really get out of all these submissions? It quickly dawned on me that I actually could’ve made another film with all the money I spent on submissions. Instead, I got caught up in the hype and maybe the dream that Sundance would see something in it. Our films are judged by festival programmers starting at the submission process. Isn’t it time that filmmakers start to judge film festivals’ worth? After having some success with film festi-

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vals with later films, I came up with “The 4 P’s of Film Festivals.” Following the 4 P’s gives filmmakers simple guidelines to determine which film festivals are worth the effort and expense. 1. Prestige—Is the film festival critically received like Sundance or SXSW? There are a handful of festivals that can give your short film Academy ranking. Will the prestige of the festival’s notoriety help your career or your film simply by having it played there? 2. People—This may be the most important P. Do any industry people attend this film festival? If it’s some little start-up fest in Kansas, what are the chances that someone who could potentially affect your future is going to see your film? Is there a film market, any international sales agents, or producer’s reps that attend this festival? Basically, who is going to be there? 3. Prizes—What do you get? It’s kind of B.S. that we make the film, spend all the time and money, pay an entry fee, and get almost nothing in return. You don’t even get a portion of the ticket sales. Many film festivals offer wonderful prizes that can help kick-start your next project. 4. Personal—This is your local film fest, and you may want the opportunity to screen your

film for friends and family. The answers are pretty clear, but situations will vary depending on if you have a short or feature. If you have a short film that you want to be seen by the public, you pretty much have to go to a film festival. When it comes to features, I honestly feel you are better off taking your festival money and staging a low-cost premiere. No one cares more about your own movie than you. You’ll have all the attention focused directly on your project, not 40 other films. If the premiere makes money, that’s money in your pocket instead of a programmer who honestly couldn’t care less about your movie. In the end, it’s about building your career, and those of the people who work for you. Be wise with your submissions and don’t spend hundreds or thousands of dollars for nothing. That money can be better invested in reaching your ultimate goal. LFV Mark Terry is a SAG actor, producer, and stuntman currently located in New Orleans, Louisiana. His last feature Live Evil was released by Warner Bros. in 2009. He is currently in pre-production for his new film The Meltdown, which will shoot in Louisiana in 2013. Visit www.markterryonline.com.


LOUISIANA’S NEW BREED INDEPENDENT FILMMAKER FOCUS - PART 2

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s we culled the state for credible independent filmmakers last issue, the numbers continued to grow. Louisiana’s tax incentives have created a hotbed of talented filmmakers who are utilizing the positive energy, growing infrastructure and natural assets of the state to create quality work. Here are a few more filmmakers who deserve to be highlighted and observed for future success. Rob Senska – BLEDSKA WORKS Bledska Works is made up of husband and wife team Mindy Bledsoe and Rob Senska. Senska explains, “Bledska Works was designed to entertain. We love creating content that can have an impact on someone, even if it’s just making them laugh. Bledska’s idea of the world is slightly different than everyone else’s, so we enjoy finding humor in unlikely places.” Bledska Works has a few completed shorts and music videos, and also completed a short season of a Web series. One of their most recent indie projects was a music video for the band Super Water Sympathy, where Bledsoe directed and Senska DP’d.

Louisiana,” says Senska. “So even if the out-ofstate projects ever stop coming, hopefully we will all have a strong enough foundation to keep people working.”

break from filmmaking and began to focus on honing his craft. He began seriously studying the craft of screenwriting and wrote steadily until his mid-20s, completing a series of short and feature film scripts. Finally, his focus again returned to directing. Kirtland enrolled in Delgado Community College, where he studied Television Production. At the same time, he took a job as a stage manager at the Delgado Community Theater.

You can find out more about Bledska Works at www.bledska.com or on Facebook.

“Directing has always been my passion; there is nothing I’d rather do,” says Kirtland. “I think it really comes down to making characters and stories come to life. Because in the end that is my job, to tell a story to the audience.”

David Kirtland – NEW GUY FILMS David Kirtland grew up just outside of New Orleans and discovered his love for storytelling at a very early age. As early as nine years old,

In the past few years, through New Guy Films, he directed several short films, including To Kill, Dark Blue, and most recently, The Animal Instinct and Homelicide, both created in

Still from The Animal Instinct.

“The band is amazing and recording a new album in London,” says Senska. “We posted the video in January to help build them up before they go on Warped Tour this summer.” Bledsoe also wrote a feature-length script for a film that Senska DP’d, titled Scrape, that was just completed with Derek Wayne Johnson directing. Next up is a short film that will be submitted to the Louisiana Film Prize. They also plan on having a new Web series up in a few months as well. “There’s always something in the works; we just have the need to create and entertain,” says Senska. “ This year is all about expanding the Bledska Works brand. We’d love to build a fan base to entertain, and eventually find a way to make a living just doing our own stuff.” The couple “naively stumbled into Shreveport,” hoping to find jobs in the budding film industry, and has made their home in the city. Although the number and type of projects vary, they have been able to stay busy working. “Louisiana welcomes the industry with open arms, so we’ve been able to work on feature films, commercials, national TV shows, and more, but there are studios and people like us creating original content, made 100-percent in 34

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he began to write skits using family and friends as cast. As his zeal for filming became apparent, he was gifted his grandfather’s 8mm video and voice recorder so he could further nurture his creative drive. By the age of 13, Kirtland was a force to be reckoned with as he organized and planned preproduction for his first filmmaking attempt. From holding casting calls, auditions and rehearsals, to gathering local support to film at locations such as the Ormond Plantation in Destrahan, Louisiana, he was able to inspire and lead an adult cast and crew to produce the film, Baptismal Fire, by Josh Hayes. During this time he also produced a short film, The Poet, along with a couple of comedy projects. Realizing his limitations, Kirtland took a

partnership with Louisiana Film Resources, LLC. He has also directed commercials and music videos, and is now in pre-production on several feature film projects. “It’s been a really good fit working with Shanna Forrestall,” says Kirtland. “I think she and I both have a real solid understanding on how to achieve what we want and get films made. And she is just so passionate about what she does.” Kirtland currently lives in New Orleans and serves in the Louisiana Army National Guard, where he has specialized in Broadcast Journalism, educated through the U.S. Army Defense Information School. Through his achievements


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in the military, he has demonstrated his skill in videography, publishing over 20 videos key to informing the public of the Task Force’s accomplishments, and documenting stories at National Ecole Mandrin, National Ecole Lycee Louis Daiquio, and National Ecole K. Georges, amongst other outstanding accomplishments.

Chris Lyon on the set of his short film Stay With Me after filming an apocalyptic scene in Downtown Shreveport. PHOTO COURTESY DANIEL LACHMAN

“I believe that producing smart, meaningful films and doing it in a professional manner, both on and off screen, will determine if we get to continue enjoying this opportunity.”

“I’ve said over and over that New Orleans’ film industry is at its infant stage, much like Hollywood in the 1920s,” he says. “People left New York then and (went) west to shoot films for less money in California, and the same is happening here now. I think we have a real shot at making a long-standing industry here, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Find out more about Perennial Media at www.perennialmedia.com.

Find out more about Kirtland and New Guy Films on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NewGuyFilms. Chris Lyon – PERENNIAL MEDIA Chris Lyon was born in Kentucky, but moved to Shreveport with his family when he was young. As a young man he had intentions of leaving Louisiana to pursue his dream of filmmaking in California, because at the time Louisiana lacked the infrastructure, gear and experienced crew. “I was going to have my backup degree, and leave this place in the dust,” he says. “Then the thing that transformed the state changed my life’s trajectory, too. Katrina pushed the industry north, and the upgraded tax credits kicked in. It was a dream come true, but it took two years for me to even get my first PA job because the competition was so fierce and I had zero experience. But I stuck it out, and here I am, still working in the industry and now making films.” Lyon’s goal as an independent filmmaker is to tell stories that matter. As a director he finds himself continually working on highly focused projects that take a lot of time to create. “My short films take a year or more to complete from the scripting phase,” he says. “Part of that is because I still hold a job, but I like to think that having time to step back and reflect on the piece can be really revealing.” As a producer in the local film community, Lyon focuses on creating high production value projects. He handles gear, from camera to lighting to sound, to give the production he is supporting the best technical edge possible, while leaving the story to the filmmakers. Lyon has completed two short films, Plummet (2007) and Stay With Me (2011). Superficially, they are vastly different stories, but he feels that both films are about loneliness and longing for companionship, forgetting yourself, and trying to put the pieces together. 36

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the challenge of filling the economic hole the studio film industry might leave open.

“I’m very proud of completing these films,” says Lyon. “Both films were highly professional for the age I completed them—19 and 23, respectively—and I know the cast and crew appreciated that. Anything worth doing is worth doing well. Having a budget, having the organization, the plan, and not disrespecting anyone’s time are huge to me. And, selfishly, taking the time to make that happen means I get to have more fun on set and in post.” Lyon is now focused on his third short that will likely shoot within the next year. He is also consulting on a few short film projects in the Shreveport area, DPing a local Web series, and editing a new documentary series due to hit this summer. And in between, he is also working on studio film projects in Shreveport. Lyon is also the festival director for the Louisiana Film Prize, which is a national short film competition that draws filmmakers from across the country to Louisiana—specifically Shreveport-Bossier this year—to see what our state and local film communities have to offer those looking for a place to settle in and make their film careers. “I think what makes my company unique is that I have a desire for quality on the technical side that I’m trying to match with quality of story and character,” says Lyon. “As a director, I really strive to make a connection not only to the film, but to the cast and crew. I’m passionate about my craft and have a lot to learn, but it’s like the old adage: It’s the journey, not the destination, and that journey that you take as a group really does come across on screen.” Lyon believes that the film industry is here to stay, but it may also ebb and flow, and that the local filmmaking community should rise to

Shanna Forrestall – LOUISIANA FILM RESOURCES, LLC The very first time Louisiana native Shanna Forrestall walked on a set she knew she was born to be a producer. With a background in major event planning (for crowds up to 10,000 people), advertising, marketing, and humanitarian aid, she knew her skills for organization, budget maximization, team building and efficiency would always be applicable. Years later, after working as resource liaison for film and assisting a variety of projects in various departments like casting, locations, production coordination, etc., she is now producing on a regular basis.

Shanna Forrestall producing in India.

“I’ve found ‘my place’ being a producer,” says Forrestall. “Producing films meets my need for project management and creativity in one outlet. I love saving my team time and money, building teams of volunteers, cast and crew that work well together, and creating beautiful works of art with a creative and dedicated team.” In 2009 she produced her first short film, Where Strippers Go To Die, on a budget of only $5,000. The film went on to get accepted into several film festivals across the country, and inspired her to move forward. In 2010-2011 she found an angel investor to fund a documentary project focused on assisting a series of schools for disabled children in India. Forrestall raised a team and coordinated the three-week shoot in southern India. In 2011 she also formed a partnership with local director David Kirtland of New Guy Films and produced another short film entitled The Animal Instinct, which she wrote and starred in. Not one to slow down for long, at the end of 2011 and in early 2012, Forrestall was the Continued on page 46


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HOMELICIDE PRIVATE SCREENING O

n July 21, the producers of Homelicide hosted a private screening of the film for cast and crew. The screening was held at the Chalmette Theater and about 50 people were in attendance. The short film, shot entirely in the Marigny/Bywater area of New Orleans, is completed and is now being submitted for festivals worldwide. More information on the project can be found at www.homelicide.com or on Facebook. “We were so pleased to show our talented team the results of their hard work on this film,” said David Kirtland, the film’s director. “It was such a gift to be able to showcase the work on the big screen, and we are grateful to Chalmette Theater for their support of local independent film.” LFV

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Brian Perkins and Neil Wells Susie Labry, Kim Baptiste and Julie Wakefield

Andrew Vogel, Natalie Hultman, Ruben Juarbe and Shanna Forrestall

David Kirtland and Blake Palmintier

Michelle West and Dean West


New Orleans - September 28 & 29 Noon - 8:00 PM, Friday, September 28 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Saturday, September 29 at the Pan American Life Building Conference Center located at 601 Poydras, 11th Floor The Expo brings together the entire Louisiana ďŹ lm industry, including studio executives, directors, producers, screenwriters, editors, casting directors, talent agents and other industry decision-makers to help aspiring and experienced actors and ďŹ lmmakers move forward in their careers.

Tickets are on sale. To register and purchase tickets, go to LouisanaActorsExpo.com Sponsored by Actors Access/Breakdowns Services and Back Stage

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COOPERATIVE FILMING: MUSIC TO INDIE EARS STORY BY ANDREW VOGEL GUEST COLUMNIST

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e are evolving into providing services at the Co-Op for almost no cost. For us to make these services available and cost-effective for filmmakers in New Orleans is a really big deal,” said David Cole, IT support for the Tipitina’s Foundation and program enthusiast.

David Cole (left) and Mark Fowler.

The Tipitina’s Music Office Co-Op reveals itself as not only a wonderful resource for local musicians, but also a gold mine for independent filmmakers. Through the efforts of the Tipitina’s Foundation, there is now a place where filmmakers and musicians alike can work collaboratively with each other to accomplish their artistic goals in an efficient and inexpensive way. “If you need some cost-effective music for your script, there will be someone within the Co-Op who can write a score,” said Cole. “Now you have some terrific local music for your film, and you’ve helped a local musician feed his family. It’s a win-win situation.” Although the Co-Op is not an established filmmaking group or collaborative, it is certainly fertile ground for one. A film collaborative could provide an amazing way to kick-start any individual career by allowing an artist to be involved, in some way, on virtually every film being made. With such a large pool of skill and talent, a group would produce a higher volume 40

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of high-quality films than any individual. “We all drift from set to set and from group to group. There is no one collective place where filmmakers can all get together, except maybe Facebook. There has to be a cooperative thought process for indie filmmakers,” said Cole, expressing the need for a more collaborative film community. The Co-Op is a way for local independent filmmakers to put their talents and resources together to build the ever-growing film empire in Louisiana. Cole describes the near future of this organization as a place where collaborative auditions could be held for multiple independent films and a place where film crews are community cultivated and readily available. “We offer free legal assistance for contracts, release forms, property trademark, LLC formation, and things of that nature. That alone is invaluable,” stated Mark Fowler, manager of the New Orleans Co-Op. “Ashlye Keaton [her practice] focuses specifically on entertainment and intellectual property law.

She donates her time and expertise to help members on a weekly basis.” This is an organization designed to help local artists succeed. The small fees that members do pay are largely to maintain the community and allow artists to feel invested in their work. “The people who run the Co-Ops are very gifted and talented individuals. Part of their idea for this unique program is to give back. So they host classes on everything from recording to playing an instrument to editing,” said Cole. “You can request assistance from members as well as staff, and they will do what they can to help you. That’s what you are joining when you become a member of the Co-Op.”

You might have the greatest idea in the world, but if you don’t have access to resources and people to work with, then the idea doesn’t become a reality. The Co-Op provides digital and audio recording tools, computers equipped with high-speed Internet and editing software, Web design tools, business plan resources, legal consultation, tutorials, workshops, and of course, community. “You might have the greatest idea in the world, but if you don’t have access to resources and people to work with, then the idea doesn’t become a reality. This is a place that helps turn your idea into a reality,” said Fowler. With such an incredible resource at the fingertips of local filmmakers, the sky is the limit here in Louisiana. The Co-Op now has branches in New Orleans, Lafayette, Shreveport and Baton Rouge. Please visit www.musicofficecoop.com for more information. The Tipitina’s Music Office Co-Op is just one of the wonderful ways that the Tipitina’s Foundation is contributing to the vibrant artistic culture in Louisiana. LFV


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NEW ORLEANS’ JIB MASTERS STORY BY TERRI LANDRY, M3 SYSTEMS

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ot long after M3 Systems acquired its first camera crane in 1994, it was put into service to help capture the culinary magic of Chef Paul Prudhomme for a national cooking series videotaped in the studios of WYES-TV in Lakeview. Now 18 years later, the New Orleans jib company has racked up an impressive list of clients in the world of entertainment, sports and reality programming. “We got into using cranes for cooking series and they soon developed into a great tool for producers to use for concerts and sporting events, from the WNBA Finals to the Super Bowl,” noted M3 co-owner Jim Moriarty. The advantage of M3’s Jimmy Jibs cranes, Moriarty said, is their flexibility. The jibs can easily be set up to extend from 9 to 40 feet, and they are adaptable for film, video, HD video, 3D, and Red cameras. Customized dollies also allow them to traverse all types of terrain, from sand to mud, so the jibs can go with equal success pretty much anywhere a producer wants to take them.

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M3’s jibs have been used in hundreds of locations—from the swamps of Louisiana to the beaches of Belize. Their ability to soar over the city’s enthusiastic music lovers have made them a mainstay of local festivals including the New Orleans Voodoo Experience, Essence Festival, Jazz Fest, and Gulf Shore’s Hang Out Fest. M3’s other owner, Dave Landry, has established M3 Systems in reality television, traversing the country and the world with the company’s jibs on productions that have included Fox’s 2003 phenom Joe Millionaire, which was filmed in France, multiple seasons on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and dozens of other network series.

In New Orleans, M3’s jibs have worked steadily with visiting news programs, including the CBS Morning Show, World News Tonight and Good Morning America, and in recent years the company has seen the growth of another local market for its services. “When the film industry expanded in New Orleans we found a niche working on features and network series, including Common Law, Treme and Memphis Beat,” said Moriarty. Through the years M3 has stayed close to its roots, with an additional nine national cooking series to its credit, including four more with Chef Paul and one two years ago with rising star Chef John Besh. This year the company was presented with a unique challenge on a new cooking series that was recorded entirely in Chef Besh’s home kitchen for a WYES-TV television series that will air nationally in 2013. “The work the jib did on Chef John Besh’s Family Table shows how our jibs can go from huge stadiums like the Superdome to more intimate locations with equal success,” said Moriarty. “They are a terrific resource for any production team.” LFV


WHO DAT IN LOUISIANA PRODUCTION

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RECAP: UNO FILM FEST 2012 AND THE WINNERS ARE...

Rebeccah Metlen, director of Fragments; Kd Amond, producer and co-writer of Fragments; and Ashton Leigh, winner, Best Actress, Fragments.

Lee Garcia, winner of Friday night Audience Award for his comedy horror Machine Wash Cold.

Cast of In The Morning, Hunter Burke, Parker Enwright, Dawn Spatz (director), and Lucy Faust.

eld May 11 through 13, seen to date. The committee this year’s UNO Film included: Dawn Spatz, Kd Festival was a tremenAmond, David LeBlanc, dous success. Gwendolyn Granger, RebecSponsored by the Film, cah Rodrigues-Metlen, John Theatre, and Communication Alden Patton, Beth Burris Arts department of the Univerand Alex Aaron. sity of New Orleans, the UNO Other changes this year Film Festival is hosted in the included the festival acceptRobert E. Nims theater in the ing films outside of UNO, Performing Arts Center on which organizers hope to see UNO’s Lakefront Campus. The an increase of in the future. festival showcases the best films Organizers say that their from both students and up-and- Hosts Mason Joiner and Ben Matheny. biggest accomplishment this coming independent filmmakers. year was having Reginald But much was different about this year’s Hudlin, producer of Django Unchained, speak UNO Film Festival. for the students about the current film industry. This was the first year that the festival sepaFor the awards ceremony, typical certificates rated into its own student-run organization in were replaced with customized mini slate attempts to bring awards, as well as actual pickup reels for the the festival to a Audience Awards. The festival received donanew level. A small tions from EP Movie Magic and Budgeting, who group of students, provided software both graduate packages as prizes and undergraduto the best films. ate level, met UNO was also weekly, sold ad able to award spaces, organized iTunes gift cards, food, merchandisLG cell phones, ing and judging, and other gift made digital certificates to legitcinema packages imize the awards for each film portion of the (Left, top) David shown, mastered the festival. Leblanc, writer/director new technology of the View the list of Best Actress nominee of his thesis film Chelsea Hebert and 4K digital projecting winners in the Film Fest Man. Dantalion, with crewmembers Bruno system, and basically sidebar at right. LFV Doria and Christopher sacrificed sleep for a Martin. David’s brother Michael Leblanc takes a semester to put on the For more information about the festival, visit knee in support! www.unofilmfest.com. best festival UNO has

H

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DIRECTING: Kd Amond — The Woodshed CINEMATOGRAPHY: James Roe — In The Morning ACTOR: Eric Gremillion — Hate Tonic ACTRESS: Ashton Leigh — Fragments PRODUCTION DESIGN: Savanna Curtis — The Woodshed EDITING: Dawn Spatz — In The Morning SCREENPLAY: Cory Hart — Hate Tonic SCORE: Marc Uddo — Aftermath VISUAL EFFECTS: Trent Gillham — Aftermath SILENT FILM: Maja Holzinger — Man with a Toilet BEST OF FEST SUPER SHORT: Jessica Voelker — The Anniversary BEST OF FEST SHORT: Dawn Spatz — In the Morning BEST OF FEST FEATURETTE: Kd Amond — The Woodshed OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCE: Mark Twain Williams — Dissection Sequence BEST USE OF BEN MATHENY: David LeBlanc — Dantalion BEST USE OF “MY MAN”: Henry Griffin — Price of Flowers In addition, special awards on behalf of the festival organizers were presented to the following people for their outstanding work and dedication: David LeBlanc, Michael Gilbert, Mark Raymond, and Rob Racine. Film entries were judged by a panel that included: Laura Medina, director and independent producer; Kevin M. White, filmmaker, Irish Pictureworks; Jerry Katz, acting coach/actor, Katz Acting Joint; Robert Bigelow, professional sound mixer and post production supervisor; Jeff Stewart, union grip; John Anderson, producer; Veleka Gray, actress/acting coach; Jared Hopkins, producer/professional/assistant director; Helen Kreiger, director/producer; Shanna Forrestall, producer, Louisiana Film Resources; Bill McCord, asst. business management, IATSE; David Kirtland, director/filmmaker; David Hoover, chair of FTCA (Film Theatre and Communication Arts); and Sara Fanelli, dept. FTCA.


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BRIEFS NEW ORLEANS 48 HOUR PROJECT The 48 Hour Film Project comes to New Orleans on the weekend of August 10 - 12, 2012. Filmmakers from all over New Orleans will compete to see who can make the best short film in only 48 hours. The winning film will go up against films from around the world. Registration is now closed, but interested filmmakers may sign up for the waiting list. If teams drop out or space otherwise becomes available, organizers will invite teams from the waiting list on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, visit www.48hourfilm.com/en/neworleans/.

NEW FILM POST FACILITY HITS THE MARK Apex Post Production recently opened the doors to its new film post production facility in the Lower Garden District of New Orleans. Located at 929 Euterpe Street and offering a full palette of post production services, Apex has already completed soundtracks for two feature films distributed by Warner Bros., recorded ADR for the edgy TV series Breakout Kings, created sound design for a local ad spot

LOUISIANA’S NEW BREED Continued from page 36

associate producer on nine episodes of a hit TruTV reality show, and then turned down an offer as their location producer on the following season to return to Louisiana to make films. Forrestall recently produced another short film entitled Homelicide with Kirtland, which was completed and has begun festival submissions, and now has several feature film projects in development. “I’m so proud of the development of a mature film industry in my home state of Louisiana,” says Forrestall. “I believe that we are the hub for creative energy right now for film and production, and the support we have right now among and for our local filmmakers is unparalleled. I’m proud to be making films here… at home.” Forrestall is a strong believer in continual personal development and mentoring for others in the industry. She has been the editor and associate publisher of Louisiana Film & Video Magazine since 2009, and is a proud member of Women in Film & Television in her home city of New Orleans. Find out more about Louisiana Film Resources’ upcoming projects at www.lafilmresources.com. 46

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featuring Sean Payton, and recently recorded Jeremy Irons as narrator for a new documentary shot in England. The Apex facility, designed by owner and sound supervisor Jon Vogl, includes a Dolby certified mixing stage, a 12,000-cubic-foot ADR stage, editorial suites outfitted with Final Cut Pro, Avid or Pro Tools systems with 5.1 monitoring, and office “flex” space available for short- or long-term rental. Apex shares a building with The Music Shed in a double warehouse environment with room to grow and plenty of parking. The state-of-the-art mixing stage can also be used for screenings or color grading, as it was designed with flexibility in mind. However, it is first and foremost a sound recording stage, as Vogl, who has 20 years’ experience in film sound and a PhD in music composition, spent over a year looking for the best combination of location and infrastructure before breaking ground last September. Their services also include picture editorial, graphics and titling, foreign language versions and production services. Visit www.ApexPost.com.

NEW ORLEANS ACTRESS IS THE FIRST TO PORTRAY HARRIET TUBMAN

Dustin Dugas Schuetter – ARIA RELIC CINEMA Schuetter is a director and writer whose frustration with the lack of control over the integrity or quality of projects he was working on led him to start his own production company. The mission of Aria Relic Cinema is to produce original stories through film from a unique vantage point. And Schuetter finds that most of his projects focus on themes of humanity and on finding beauty in darkness, and darkness in beauty. Schuetter wrote/directed/produced two feature films entitled Samuel Bleak and Dedd Brothers. Samuel Bleak won Best Suspense Feature at New York International Film Festival and has been nominated for the 2012 Voice Award for its sensitive and accurate portrayal of mental health issues. Both films are expected to be distributed in late 2012.

timely, centering on the troubling economy, positive and negative sides of advancement in science, the effects of prescription medication, and the human spirit’s reign above all.

“I’m just thankful to make a living doing what I love,” says Schuetter. “It’s not too often that your passion, job and dream are all the same thing, so I’m grateful for that.” Schuetter is currently filming a short film entitled Rejects, which will be screened at film festivals across the world in hopes of attracting studios to produce the big-budget feature-length version. The film’s concept centers on matters of science, prescription medication and the human spirit. Although set in 2045, the film’s concept is very

Jaqueline Fleming is blazing new trails as the first actress to portray Harriet Tubman. Fleming appears as Tubman in the locally-filmed feature Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Adapted from the book of the same name by Seth Graeme-Smith, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter tells the tale of the 16th president’s campaign to eliminate the vampires who killed his mother and who bought and fed on slaves. Fleming, in the role of Tubman, saves Abraham Lincoln’s life and later in life helps him win the war against vampires. “I asked director Timur Bekmambetov why he chose me and he said he could see in my eyes that I was like Harriet Tubman,” she said. “I am very humble because I am nowhere near the likes of Harriet Tubman, but we share some similarities in that we are both leaders, headstrong, courageous and fearless.” In other news, Fleming recently created the New Orleans-shot family sitcom Under One Roof, which she is also starring in and producing. LFV

“Every actor, crew member, location and all equipment used on Rejects was local, which I’m very proud of,” says Schuetter. “The finished product will be a telling showcase of the wonderful talent and resources that Louisiana will continue to offer to the world of filmmaking.” Schuetter is a native of Thibodaux and feels fortunate to be able to shoot films at “home” in a supportive community. He feels sure that film will continue to thrive in Louisiana and commends the state and local film offices for their continued success in utilizing the state’s tax incentives and production infrastructure. “As we move into the new age of filmmaking, I believe we all have a responsibility to make films with honest messages in hopes of inspiring others,” he says. “Each and every filmmaker has a unique voice and perspective on life; we should just trust ourselves enough to put it on display in every project. That’s my goal.” Find out more about Aria Relic Cinema at www.ariarelic.com. LFV


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Louisiana Film and Video  

Film and video industry news and info

Louisiana Film and Video  

Film and video industry news and info