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A Gold Member of Green Ride Global With a Commitment to Reducing our Carbon Footprint

2011


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CONTENTS

VOLUME SEVEN

ISSUE FOUR

EXECUTIVE EDITOR/ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Shanna Forrestall shanna@louisianafilmandvideo.com ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Paul Yarnold ASSOCIATE EDITOR Katie Sauro contact@louisianafilmandvideo.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS W.H. Bourne, Dawn Landrum, Frank Lee Wills SALES Katie Higgins, Eric Iles PRODUCTION MANAGER John Rusnak DESIGNER Dawn Carlson, Jenny Carlson WEBMASTER Eric Pederson OFFICE MANAGER Audra Higgins INFORMATION SERVICES MANAGER Lois Sanborn

Camera operator Michael Sheely prepares for a scene with Patrick John Flueger and Rose McGowan on the set of The Tell-Tale Heart.

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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

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NOFF IN REVIEW

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THE TELL-TALE HEART BEATS IN NEW ORLEANS

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DESPITE THE RECESSION, LOUISIANA FILMS AND LOUISIANA LOCATIONS ARE STRONG AT AFM

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JOHN GOODMAN: “THE ARTIST” AND GENTLEMAN ON FILMING IN LOUISIANA

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Louisiana Film & Video Publications A DIVISION OF MEDIA INDEX PUBLISHING GROUP

NOLA NATIVES GET EXPOSURE AT AFI P.O. Box 50036

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CAST ENCOUNTERS OF THE BEST AND WORST KIND

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

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SOUTHERN COSTUME COMPANY: A “ONE-STOP SHOP” FOR THE LOCAL FILM INDUSTRY

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

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WOMEN IN FILM AND TELEVISION LAUNCHES LOUISIANA CHAPTER

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FEAR FÊTE MAKES A KILLING

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“DEAD ACTORS” HALLOWEEN PARTY SCARES UP PLENTY OF FUN

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BRIEFS

Group for a current rate card. Discounts for frequency advertising. All submitted materials become the property of Media Index Publishing Group and will not be returned. Subscriptions, call (800) 332-1736 for information and rates. Copyright © 2011 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

ON THE COVER: Rose McGowan strikes a beautiful pose for her enchanted role on the set of The Tell-Tale Heart. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE TELL-TALE HEART.

DIGITAL EDITION AVAILABLE AT: WWW.LOUISIANAFILMANDVIDEO.COM 6

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written permission of the publisher. PRINTED IN THE USA


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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

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The same folks at Hollywood’s Quixote Studio Store deliver the same service and quality you have come to expect. Now, locally in New Orleans.

t’s the holiday season again. A time to be thankful. I am delayed an extra three-plus hours in the Atlanta airport due to holiday travel and a weather snafu. But finding a small restaurant called Sojourners with free Wi-Fi and hot food in the next terminal has allowed me to sit and work. That’s a start. I’m thankful. I’m also grateful that I am taking this journey as a result of a producing gig I’ll be working on for the next few weeks in the North Carolina mountains. A TV show that filmed a few episodes in the New Orleans area has decided to take me along for the next few shows, and again... I’m grateful. The film and production industry can be “difficult,” as I explained to two full classes of students at a local college, River Parishes Community College, a few weeks ago. It can be a “fly by the seat of your pants” life. Most of us working steadily in the industry, if we’re lucky, work too many hours and are hardly ever provided the job security of a typical 9 to 5 job. To quote my acting coach, “If you can do something else, you should do it.” But right now I can’t, and most of us in the industry would say the same. It’s more than just a job for me—it’s a passion. And again, I’m really grateful. I am not a 9 to 5 person. Working in the industry has allowed me to find a way to merge the two sides of myself—the organized business professional (producer) and the colorful creative (actor)—and I love what I do! I wake up every day passionate about my work and exhilarated by the opportunities that abound for the production industry in Louisiana. So as Thanksgiving is turning into Christmas, I will slug out 12- to 16-hour days and hope for a few random breaks for some needed rest. And I will continue to be thankful, because the best gift I can receive this Christmas is the promise of more production work in my home state, Louisiana. And at this rate, it’s gearing up to be another great year. So while I wait here in the busy Atlanta airport, I’ll count my blessings and will get on the first available flight that is taking me closer to the fulfillment of my highest dreams. Happy Holidays, everybody! Live your dream in 2012. Sincerely, Shanna Forrestall Executive Editor & Associate Publisher

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THE TELL-TALE HEART BEATS IN NEW ORLEANS

Director John La Tier lines up the next shot for his Poe-inspired film The Tell-Tale Heart.

STORY BY W. H. BOURNE • PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE TELL-TALE HEART

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dgar Allan Poe is a huge favorite of mine,” says actress Rose McGowan. “I first read The Tell-Tale Heart when I was four. “I was a precocious child and allowed to read anything I wanted,” laughs McGowan, who stars in first-time director John La Tier’s film adaptation of the same name, which just wrapped shooting in New Orleans. “I was so nervous when I heard there was a female character in this,” she says, “because there’s no female character in the original short story. So I wasn’t sure how they were going to put that in there. I didn’t want to do it if it was just because ‘we need a chick in the movie.’” Explains screenwriter and director La Tier, “We put a female (in the movie) who is like the classic femme fatale and is the driving point for 10

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making the lead mad. Rose McGowan plays this lead character, ‘Ariel,’ and she really brings something magical to the character that sets it

apart from the original story.” “With the adaptation being the way John wrote the script, it’s seamless,” says McGowan. “You totally get why she’s there.” “I had been developing the project for some time with a local company (Baton Rouge-based) Leverage Entertainment,” says La Tier. “The true writer, Edgar Allan Poe, was the writer behind the story and actually I was just adapting him. The inspiration for everyone, the actors and the set designers, all come from Edgar Allan Poe.” McGowan was in Venice, Italy, when she got the script. “I figured I would probably read three pages and it would suck, and I would go back to my amazing time in Venice, Italy,” she


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La Tier relies on the Red Epic camera to capture footage of Jacob Vargas on the sidewalks of New Orleans.

recalls. “An hour later, I was totally sucked in. It was amazing.” Patrick John Flueger, who plays the film’s lead, agrees. “(La Tier) was able to stick to the Poe story wholeheartedly,” says Flueger. “He was able to give the character a lot of substance... to give real world context to the story of a madman. “I’ve never really read a script like it before where you make an emotional attachment to strangeness. All the surrealist stuff that happens in the script, all of the things that happens in this kid’s mind... everything that happens to this kid that’s going to be both emotionally and visually trippy, there’s a reason in the real world for it all.” According to La Tier, the production chose Flueger because “we were looking for an upand-coming actor to really bring this role to life.” “Patrick was on our short list, so when he became available, we jumped at the chance to get him on board,” says La Tier. “He had seen me in Footloose and a couple of other things,” explains Flueger. “One of the producers he brought on had actually put me 12

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“I got a call (from my agent) saying, ‘Do you want to go to New Orleans next week and play a madman?”

in front of (La Tier), and it just clicked for him seeing me as the character. I got a call (from my agent) saying, ‘Do you want to go to New Orleans next week and play a madman?’ And I said, ‘That sounds pretty cool, but that’s a pretty quick turnaround for a madman.’ But then I read the script and it just wasn’t something you could say no to, so I jumped on board and I was here three or four days later. It’s been a whirlwind.” “Fresh blood,” laughs McGowan as she talks about working with Flueger. “It’s always nice to meet and work with new people and discover their talents.” “Rose is very game for anything,” says Flueger. “She works hard. My respect for her grew and grew every day. She was so easy to work with.” But the actor everyone was eager to work with was the legendary Peter Bogdanovich. “I brought Peter on because I admire all of his work,” says La Tier. “He’s a great actor and an acclaimed director.” Flueger agrees. “For me, as an actor, work-


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ing with a vet like that, I just sat with my notepad and took as many notes as possible.” With a tight budget and an even tighter schedule, the film completed shooting in just under three weeks. “Normally a 20-day schedule would not be enough time for everyone to get into the motivation of the characters,” says La Tier. “But because it was Edgar Allan Poe’s work and the script was so refined, as soon as Rose McGowan showed up on set, she knew exactly where she needed to be and what was going to happen. Patrick was the same way.” The actors, in turn, praise La Tier. “John’s so cool. There’s a method to his madness,” says McGowan. “I love that I’m doing a scene inside a house, and it’s snowing (in order) to make something so incredibly beautiful. His imagination is something to behold. He’s very assured and that makes a big difference (when directing). He really knows what he wants and knows the storyboards. It’s all really planned out and well executed. It didn’t feel like I was with a first-time director at all.” Flueger concurs. “He’s pretty much a bit of a mad scientist and he certainly has created a world that, honestly, I didn’t expect coming into this. He’s got a strong vision.” The shoot certainly posed many challenges, with Flueger coming in at the last minute and conflicts with McGowan’s schedule. McGowan’s scenes were all shot in the first week.

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“They were lovely enough to front load the film for me,” says McGowan, “which was awesome. They knew I had commitments to another movie. Normally that schedule would have run through half the film or more.” Local producers (and their respective production companies) were important in bringing this project to Louisiana. It’s difficult for any first-time writer/director to get funding, but La Tier describes his process as “easy.” “The film was financed locally,” he says, “and the producers have dedicated themselves to doing whatever it takes, so we’re making this great independent film with hopes of retelling an amazing story that everyone wants to see. But the tax credits are the only reason it’s happening. Without the ability to gap finance 20 to 30 percent of the budget, there’s no way the investors would want to come in. Anytime you can aggregate risk in this economy, you’re going to get investors. There’s also federal credits that when combined with the state credits just make this an enticing investment.” In addition to tax credits, the production was also able to utilize the infrastructure in place in Louisiana. “With all the local resources and the local crew, with few exceptions, all of our keys and all of our crew were local,” says La Tier. According to McGowan, the New Orleans backdrop was a great fit for the film.

“New Orleans is always such a magical place,” says McGowan. “I knew that when I heard this was being shot there, I jumped at the chance, not just for the Poe tale, but I knew they couldn’t have found a more perfect match to shoot than New Orleans.” McGowan continues, “New Orleans has always been one of my favorite places. I saved up my own money and took myself there when I was 19 years old, so I could wander around by myself because I always felt this strange kinship and desire to be there. Later on, I shot the Elvis mini-series there where I played Ann-Margret.” “This is my second time in New Orleans,” says Flueger. “My first was post-Katrina, actually right after it. We did a lot of volunteer work down in the Ninth Ward... It’s neat to be here a couple of years later after the city’s found its stride again.” He adds, “There’s a lot of life in this city. Some people might not think that after the hurricane, but I feel a lot of life here. Sadly, I wasn’t able to come here before the hurricane. But I don’t think it’s crushed the city’s spirit in any way. I love this city. It makes every bit of sense that people from Hollywood come here, from actors to directors to artists. They come here, and they never leave. It’s got so much history and such a strong sense of community.” “New Orleans is a beautiful city,” says La Tier. “It was a great place to shoot.” LFV


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JOHN GOODMAN: “THE ARTIST” AND GENTLEMAN ON FILMING IN LOUISIANA STORY BY FRANK LEE WILLS GUEST COLUMNIST • PHOTO BY CATHERINE KING

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hile waiting for the premiere of The Artist to start at the Prytania Theatre, I noticed the film’s star, John Goodman, walk in. I have known John from our neighborhood for a couple of years and went over to say hello. John is a gracious person, and shy as well, but was quick to invite me to have a seat next to him for the show. The movie was well received and has gotten Oscar buzz from the Cannes Festival for its retro look back into the day of the silent movies’ transition into the “talkies.” When I saw John a couple of days later, I asked him if he would sit down with me for an interview about his thoughts on the film business here in Louisiana.

John Goodman

In the fall of 1985, John came to New Orleans to make the movie The Big Easy, along with Dennis Quaid, Ellen Barkin, and Ned Beatty. The Woodward Wright building was appropriated, and a couple of the floors were made into a studio for the film. It served the purpose well, and was the first time John shot down here in New Orleans. “It made perfect sense,” explains John. “The weather was perfect, the people were perfect and accommodating. At that time there were a few things shot down here, but not many.” Fast forward 20 years to 2005, post-Katrina. Louisiana has over 100 films being shot in the state, ranking third behind California and New 16

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York for number of productions filming in-state. I ask John about his recent experiences shooting here in Louisiana, filming projects like the HBO series Treme. He feels it is a good place to do anything. “People are neighborly and the food is good; the only bad time is during the summer with the weather,” he says. “I do understand they have put up a couple of studios with air condition; that makes life easier. It’s a small town and easy to get around and everyone seems to be happy here, which adds a great deal to it.” New Orleans and Louisiana, with its beauty and various neighborhoods, can stand for so many different places. John tells me that in 1989

when the Coen brothers came here and shot Miller’s Crossing, “you had no idea it was New Orleans; it could have been anywhere in the 1920s. It had that kind of feel for an old city.” I ask him, on the flip side, what he doesn’t like about filming here in New Orleans. Being the gentleman that he is, his answer was about his concerns for others—as in disrupting the neighborhoods. “I always feel as though I’m taking advantage of the people who live in the neighborhoods, and you don’t want to wear out your welcome,” he says. “If you wear out your welcome, then that could be a bad thing for the whole film community. When I did The Big Lebowski, I had to smash up this Corvette with a crow bar, screaming these vile obscenities at the top of my lungs in the middle of the night. I was so upset about doing the scene in the middle of the night, and didn’t want to do the scene.” Unbeknownst to him, the Coen brothers had bought the whole neighborhood out, and all the surrounding homes were vacant for the scene. “(The homeowners) had all gone away, and it turns out I was worried about nothing,” he says. As for any upcoming projects John plans on shooting in Louisiana, he says that unfortunately, there are none currently scheduled. “Unless they decide to make me my evil twin in Treme, and I doubt if they’ll do that,” he adds. “They are smarter than that.” My last question was an open question asking him to comment on the benefits of filming here in Louisiana. “From my standpoint, you’re going to get great weather in the fall, winter and spring,” he says. “You’re going to get great cooperation from the people down here, as long as we don’t abuse their hospitality. The more we shoot down here, the more educated of a crew we’re getting so we don’t have to import from L.A., and the more our homegrown talent can work. I’d like to see more studios, but it’s about the people. They are so great and accommodating. They are nice as hell, and that says it all; it’s the people.” There you have it, a gentleman and an artist. Thank you, John Goodman! LFV Frank Lee Wills is a New Orleans-based actor. He can be reached through his agent Louisiana Talent Agency at 504324-4288.


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NOFF IN REVIEW

Director Ed Holub (Where Strippers Go to Die) and actress Ashton Leigh (who appeared in five festival films: Where Strippers Go to Die, Moon Pie, Out of True, Fingers, and Swamp Shark), pictured here at Chalmette Movies for the screening of Swamp Shark.

Rebecca Harrell Tickell interviewed before the screening of her film, The Big Fix, on opening night at the Prytania Theatre.

2011 proved to be a great year for the 22nd annual New Orleans Film Festival (NOFF), held October 14-20. There were over 180 films to choose from, creating a diverse cross-section of viewing options. And the popular I Love Louisiana Day lineup more than tripled this year, offering viewers an increased selection of indigenous talent. There was also a series of events held in conjunction with NOFF, hosted by local filmmakers whose work was being showcased in the festival. ➜

Oscar-winning director Vanessa Roth participates in a Q&A with NOFS program director Clint Bowie after the screening of American Teacher at NOCCA’s Lupin Theater.

Above left: John Goodman walking the red carpet before the screening of his film, The Artist, on opening night at the Prytania Theatre. Above right: Yolonda Ross (actress, Treme and Yelling to the Sky) with Nate Wollman (producer, Vigilante, Vigilante) at the Opening Night Party at the Columns Hotel. 18

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everyone an opportunity to network and enjoy complimentary food from local restaurants, Mona’s Cafe and P.F. Chang’s China Bistro. For more information on upcoming events, visit www.ifnnola.com. Several films screening at NOFF had parties and/or fundraisers in conjunction with the festival. The producing team of the short film Where Strippers Go to Die hosted an after party and fashion show after the film’s first screening at the 12 Bar on Fulton Street in New Orleans. Cast, crew and NOFF attendees came to party, enjoy the complimentary ABITA Beer, and to admire the “catwalk” performances by some of New Orleans’ most talented actors and actresses. More information on the film can be found at www.wherestrippersgotodie.com. For more information about NOFF 2011, log on to www.neworleansfilmsociety.org. LFV

Actress Kristy Swanson (Swamp Shark) and Ryan Fink (director of the St. Bernard Office of Film and Television).

“Expanding the Indigenous Film Community,” held at the Blue Nile and hosted by Thomas Kelly of the Independent Filmmaker’s Night and Bryan Bailey of the New Orleans Film Alliance, was focused on bridging the gap between independent filmmakers and the community. From equipment use to applying SFX makeup, and from self distribution to green

screen composition, the night included a hands-on demonstration of each step in the filmmaking process. A special presentation by filmmaker Brian Paul Higgins gave guests an inside look at how an independent filmmaker can support his family and passion by selling his film in the New Orleans French Market. The evening was closed with an amazing set by local musician Chase McCloud, giving

“Big Chief” Brian Nelson, director of the short film Keeper of the Flame, and his group performing at the NOFF Filmmaker’s Brunch.

Filmmakers from the Louisiana Shorts 1 program participate in a post-film Q&A. (l to r) Ji Choi, Chris Brown, Daneeta Jackson, Phillip Jordan Brooks, Ashley Charbonnet, Michael Gottwald, and Zac Manuel.

As part of “Expanding the Indigenous Film Community,” attendees got hands-on experience. Above: Jessica Poche applies a burn wound on Erica Ducarpe, showing how to quickly and efficiently apply SFX makeup. Right: Michelle Kowalski giving instruction on how to use her Panasonic HD camera at the hands-on camera station.

Kristian Hansen giving a tour of the software used to achieve a live green screen composition—part of “Expanding the Indigenous Film Community.” 20

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DESPITE THE RECESSION, LOUISIANA FILMS AND LOUISIANA LOCATIONS ARE STRONG AT AFM STORY BY W. H. BOURNE • PHOTOS BY ODIN LINDBLOM

The Paperboy, Straight A’s, Playing Field, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3-D. While foreign Market (AFM) saw slight increases, with buying companies rising 8 percent to 718 pre-sales are few and far between at AFM these days, Millennium captured buyers’ attention from 664 in 2010; buying executives up 7 percent to 1,523 versus 1,417 a year ago; with pre-sales for The Iceman, which starts and overall attendance climbing 4 percent to 7,988 versus 7,695 in 2010. shooting in Shreveport in December. “We are thrilled with the strong growth in buyers—it’s our most important metric— “Our slate is increasing,” said Monella Kaplan from Nu Image. “We’re producing a lot.” and selling out the new AFM Conference Series in its first year underscores the AFM’s Kaplan was very busy at AFM answering relevance to the production community,” said AFM managing director Jonathan Wolf. questions about the recently opened soundstages in Shreveport. “I’ve had preliminary talks here Wolf also serves as executive vice president of the Independent Film & Television with several producers who are interested in Alliance (IFTA). booking our studio space,” said Kaplan. “We shoot a lot of our own productions on the stages, but we are also trying to accommodate other productions.” Millennium had many pictures for sale this year, including several shot in Louisiana. “We’re very pleased,” said Kaplan. “Sales have been good. When you have a good product, you have good sales.” Actress Faith Ford, best known for her role as “Corky Sherwood” on Murphy Brown, was on hand at AFM promoting sales for her recent film, Escapee. Written and directed by Ford’s husband, Campion Murphy, Escapee was shot in Alexandria and produced by Baton Rouge’s Films in Motion. Ford was also promoting her hometown of Alexandria at the Central Louisiana in Film booth, which was once again exhibiting at AFM this year. Sherry EllingAt AFM this year, Monella Kaplan talks about the interest in ton, Greg Gormanous, Ph.D., renting studio space at the Nu Image/Millennium suite. and Jimmy Williams fielded questions at the booth, which utives, agents, attorneys, directors, distributors, AFM is produced by the IFTA, the trade was quite busy with producers and filmmakers festival directors, financiers, film commissionassociation representing the world’s producers inquiring about locations and Louisiana’s generers, producers, writers, the world’s press, and all and distributors of independent motion pictures ous tax credits. those who provide services to the motion and television programs. Each November, It seemed that for many, Louisiana was the picture industry. industry leaders converge in Santa Monica for soft money solution for producers seeking Nu Image/Millennium Films had the eight days of deal-making, screenings, confercreative ways to bridge their budget gap. strongest Louisiana presence, bringing numerences, premieres, networking and parties. Jared Underwood, SVP of Comerica Bank ous films to market that were shot in the Bayou Participants come from more than 70 countries Entertainment Group, summed up the current State. Foreign sales titles included Medallion, and include acquisition and development execpredicament. “The banks are still nervous. A lot

SANTA MONICA, Calif.—Despite the downturn in the economy, the 2011 American Film

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of banks won’t lend against libraries. But we’re comfortable with tax credits,” said Underwood. “Library values have changed due to delivery issues,” said Doug Hansen, president of Endgame Entertainment, echoing Underwood. “And we haven’t seen equity come in on a slate in quite a while. So we tend to go with credits that are tried and proven. We spend a lot of time in Louisiana.” “It’s very rare that a major movie is made with-

Industry execs and film commissioners agree that film incentives fuel economies, bringing production to areas that wouldn’t normally be considered. Despite this, programs have been cut or reduced throughout the U.S. due to current financial conditions. “Last year was the first year we saw incentives slashed,” said Mary Ann Hughes, VP of Film and Television Production Planning at The Walt Disney Company. “I think we’re

in hopes of not only calming but educating buyers. “Total Home Entertainment revenue, including electronic, was $12.3 billion this past year,” said Russo. “This is down only 2.1 percent, which is good given the economic climate. But more encouraging is that sell through is up 13 percent, Blu-ray sales are up 58 percent, and V.O.D. is up 32 percent.” Panelists frequently referred to trends in the music industry as comparison, particularly as

Greg Gormanous, Ph.D., and Sherry Ellington spread the news about Louisiana film incentives at the Central Louisiana in Film booth in the Atrium at the Loews Hotel.

out an incentive of some sort,” added Bill Fay of Legendary Pictures, as he described the hurdles of trying to finance films in today’s economy. With producers and filmmakers searching for soft money, it was no surprise that the North American Film Incentives panel was packed. Jimmy Williams with the Alexandria Economic Development and Film Office represented Louisiana at the panel. Many in the audience were already familiar with Louisiana’s incentives and were curious as to the benefits Central Louisiana offered. “We’re situated between Baton Rouge and Shreveport with each of those production hubs only two hours away,” said Williams. “Most of our locations are virgin and have never before been seen on the big screen. We permit quickly and easily. We offered Twilight (Breaking Dawn) a location of 300 acres of wooded pines for free. You won’t find a more film-friendly area in Louisiana.” 24

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going to see a lot more scrutiny.” Hughes continued, “The bottom line is that we don’t have enough work to sustain 39 states and countries that offer a production incentive. Production incentives matter; they’re a game changer. But not 39 of them. Obviously if you look at Louisiana you can see how they did it right. They created the incentive in 2002. Now the crew is eight deep. They’ve created infrastructure (stages, etc.). It’s been very successful, and I think they’re sustainable.” Since last year, analysts and industry execs have blamed the decline in sales at AFM (in both price and frequency) to the confusion in regards to the ability to quantify and monetize digital/electronic media. DVD sales, which had been the mainstay of revenue for these companies, has dropped substantially in the past six years causing panic with buyers. Patrick Russo, principal at the Salter Group, shared statistics on the North American Market

the volatile arguments continue between distributors and exhibitors on V.O.D. windows. “People want to see content when they want to see it, how they want to see it,” said Andrew Matthews, president of RKO Films. Paul Hertzberg, president of CineTel Films, offered examples to support Matthews. Citing the recent Louisiana-shot film I Spit on Your Grave, he noted that “V.O.D. was larger than the box office.” Sales reps and agents alike hope that the increase in revenue from digital delivery will increase sales prices and once again bring value back to film libraries. “Don’t give up,” said Matthews. “It’s getting better—not quickly, but it’s getting better.” Former Shreveport resident Lawrence Goebel of Imagination Worldwide agreed, summing up this year’s market best: “I am optimistic looking forward, but it will be quite different than it was five or ten years ago.” LFV


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NOLA NATIVES GET EXPOSURE AT AFI

(l to r) Mark and Jay Duplass present their latest film, Jeff, Who Lives at Home, at the 2011 AFI Fest.

STORY BY W. H. BOURNE • PHOTOS BY ODIN LINDBLOM

HOLLYWOOD, Calif.—November 3 through 10 marked the 25th anniversary of AFI Fest. A program of the American Film Institute, AFI Fest presented by Audi kicks off awards season each year, offering exposure for many Oscarworthy films. In the past, Academy Award winners such as The King’s Speech played. This year, hopefuls such as My Week with Marilyn, J. Edgar, and The Lady screened. The festival runs in conjunction with the American Film Market (AFM). Together, AFI Fest and AFM provide the only concurrent festival-market event in North America. This year over 100 films screened at AFI, and over 150 filmmakers from around the world attended to present their work. In 2011, two films had strong Louisiana ties. Former Baton Rouge resident Steven Soder26

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bergh’s highly anticipated new film Haywire was AFI’s secret screening this year. Soderbergh was there—along with actors Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, and mixed martial arts (MMA) star Gina Carano—to answer questions about the film. Haywire is the story of Mallory Kane, a highly trained operative who works for a government security contractor. When Kane is double-crossed and left for dead by someone in her own agency, she must use all her skills to discover the truth and stay alive. Soderbergh talked about seeing MMA’s Carano fight on TV and being inspired to write a film with her as the lead character. “She’s really tough,” said Soderbergh. Carano was in a demanding lead role that had her perform-

ing her own high-adrenaline stunts. McGregor agreed, recalling a fight scene he had with her. Carano was supposed to duck, but McGregor accidentally hit her in the head and knocked her to the ground. “She was up in an instant,” remarked McGregor, “asking if my hand was okay.” Haywire was an interesting pick for the 25th anniversary of AFI Fest since it marked Soderbergh’s 25th film. Relativity Media will release Haywire in theaters on January 20, 2012. Meanwhile, New Orleans natives Jay and Mark Duplass introduced their second studio pic, Jeff, Who Lives at Home, to a packed audience in Hollywood. Previously the brothers did Fox Searchlight’s Cyrus, as well as their indie hit Baghead. The Duplass brothers talked about origi-


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nally writing the film as a short seven years ago. They expanded it to a feature after their success at Sundance in 2005 with their short Puffy Chair, but it was producer Jason Reitman (Juno, Up in the Air) who pushed them to make the film. “In our 20s, we tried to be the Coen brothers, and we sucked at it,” said Jay. “When I hit

The brothers were joined by actors Jason Segel and Ed Helms for a Q&A after the film. “What was eye-opening and an exciting challenge was to be able to improvise the really mundane moments, as well as the dramatic ones,” said Helms. “It was so much fun working with Jason.” “I did exactly what they wrote,” said a smil-

Mark and Jay Duplass, Ed Helms and Jason Segel field questions from the audience about shooting in New Orleans.

30, we went back to shooting like when we were 10 years old, shooting documentary-style. We employ improvisation to get the best sense of naturalism. That’s why you also see a lot of movement and zooming (with the camera). Every scene we shoot is improvised. Sometimes this also gets the best jokes.”

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ing Jason Segel. Segel is known for his improv talents and comedic writing, having penned hits such as Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greek, and the recent Muppet Movie. Jeff, Who Lives at Home is the story of an unusual guy, deemed a loser by his family, on the way to the store to buy wood glue. Jeff is

always looking for signs from the universe to determine his path. When he receives a phone call from someone who has dialed the wrong number, a series of comedic and unexpected events lead him to cross paths with his family in the strangest of locations and circumstances. The Q&A was quite interesting, with both actors and directors sharing their keen wit as they answered questions about the film. But the discussion eventually focused on one particular scene, where Jeff jumps off the Causeway Bridge. “Jumping off the bridge was the hardest shot (of the movie) since we really did it,” said Mark. “They found an alligator in the water an hour before we jumped,” added Segel. “But even jumping off the bridge was super calm.” “That bridge scene was harder than all of our films total,” said Jay. “We storyboarded all of it.” Helms appeared unaffected by the jump. “There was a crawfish shack by the bridge that was great,” he said. “We munched on crawfish all day.” When asked about filming in New Orleans, Jay noted, “They have awesome tax breaks and we can stay at our parents’ house for free.” “Jeff is like a hero for us,” said Mark. “It’s looking at the smaller mundane moments and making it beautiful.” Jeff, Who Lives at Home will be released on March 2, 2012 (limited), and on March 9, 2012 (wide), by Paramount Pictures. LFV


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I.A.T.S.E. LOCAL 4 78

Motion Picture Studio Mechanics of Louisiana & Southern Mississippi Louisiana motion picture tax incentives aren’t news. They’re a success story. IATSE Local 478 now has 1,000 members and we’re still growing. These dedicated men and women work in various crafts in the art department, construction, crafts services, electric, first aid, greens, grip, locations, paint, props, set dressing, sound, special effects, video assist and wardrobe. We have one of the strongest and longest lasting incentives systems around which means these professionals have worked on hundreds of movies over more than ten years. They bring experience to your production. They raise the bar and lower your bottom line. If you’re looking for your next crew, look no more.

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CAST ENCOUNTERS OF THE BEST AND WORST KIND BEST AND WORST AUDITIONS AS WITNESSED BY CASTING DIRECTORS STORY BY DAWN LANDRUM GUEST COLUMNIST

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he purpose of my writing each issue is to help actors, casting directors and productions understand each other more clearly, as well as to assist fellow industry enthusiasts in their comprehension of how this industry ticks. What better way to do this than to share experiences? Accounts from the casting room have been gathered and posted here for your information. Although the intent of this article is to inform and to assist, in some cases one cannot help but to also be amused! In an effort to be discreet we are not printing names of any actor or casting director. Enjoy! WHAT STOOD OUT TO ME What stands out to me in an audition is an actor that really is able to portray the character with such passion that it moves me. I “feel” it; it captures my attention and draws me in. From my experience, we typically have several actors that we just “know” from the delivery of their first line that they are the character, or at least if we want to see them in again for a callback.

PREPARED TO BOOK Many years ago I was casting a television series entitled B.L. Stryker, starring Burt Reynolds. I had a rather large role and I was auditioning actor after actor after actor. Due to the large amount of dialog, most of the actors needed to refer to their sides and also had to stutter a bit as they were trying to perform their part. One gentleman came in and flawlessly performed the sides. I was so thrilled at this performance that I asked him to do it again. He asked if I had any direction or wanted to see it another way. I told him I didn’t. He then asked why I wanted to see it again then. I told him that it was such a wonderful audition that I just wanted to watch it again. He certainly smiled, performed it again and, of course, booked that role.

what the heck... why not let him go, right? Well, that’s where things got very weird. Either this guy was totally method or was just genuinely creepy. The line at the end was something like “Want some tasty squirrel?” and he just hit it on the head. I could hardly contain myself. We were all a little creeped out. The guy spoke with the most insane grin, and I swear a wandering eye. He left afterwards without incident, but I could have sworn to you that he walked right in off the street and I would have said he was homeless save for the fact that he had a freshly printed set of sides. I’m not even sure how he got them because you had to either be with an agent or contact us directly to get them and he wasn’t on the roster and didn’t have an agent.

tion I have open spots (after booking talent through the agents) that I can fit in new or unrepresented talent. For this one particular audition I had been approached by a new management company and was sent headshots from several of their talent. By looking at their headshots, some of the actors looked like they would fit the particular audition specs, so I invited them in to fill my empty spots. To my surprise, not a single actor from this company brought their headshot or resume, and all but one person recited the sides as if they were reading them from a chalkboard behind my head. It was disappointing because they all had the look, and I really wanted them to do a good job!

MOMMA MIA! In an audition with a child actor, whose mom came into the room with the youngster, the child did not want to do the lines, but preferred to sit in the chair and just stare at us. The mom then began coercing the child to say the lines, and then threatened to take away the dollar that she gave the child before coming into the room. After realizing that this was putting us way behind schedule, I had to insist that the mom take the child out of the room, with resistance that the child really did know the lines. It was a tough situation.

F***ING FAILURE

WHAT’S GOING ON???

A wonderful actor had done a preread for a role in a feature film. He got a callback, as he did a great initial audition. When he walked into the callback with the producer and the director, they asked him to do his audition again exactly the same way he had done on his initial audition. He looked at them and then told them that if they wanted to see the same exact audition as he had done on the tape that they should just rewind the f***ing tape and watch it again. He threw down his sides and stormed out! Wow!

Another child audition situation, I met the child in the waiting room, and walked the child back to the audition area. On the way there I began chit-chatting to help ease any tension that might be there. As soon as I opened the audition door, the child burst past me and made a grand entrance, throwing his arms up in the air, and very loudly proclaiming, “What’s going on???” It scared me, and the others sitting in the room. The director got up and left the room, and despite the fact that the child had some talent, his entrance ruined his shot at the role.

CREEPY We had a very creepy character for people to play and everyone was doing pretty well with it. But, at the end of the night, in strolls a man who we didn’t have on our roster to audition. Ah, 30

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LOOKS AREN’T EVERYTHING

METAMORPHOSIS

I have a soft spot for those actors trying to get their foot in the door, and usually at each audi-

Sometimes actors absolutely amaze us! We had a unique role where an actor had to start out appearing one way and then was to literally transform before our eyes into another


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person entirely. We knew that we’d get hit with some really unusual performances. As anticipated, most who came in and sent in tapes used props or costumes or excessive makeup or over-acted to the extreme in hopes to achieve what we needed. Then we received a taped audition from one actor that was quite shocking. We were told that the actor self-taped this audition after the agent gave very specific instruction how to manipulate the face and body language to give two entirely different looks. At first introduction we saw that this actor was very downplayed in appearance. This was refreshing after all of the over-doers from earlier in the day. The actor began very plain with furrowed brow, slightly slumped shoulders, relaxed mouth, hair up, and unremarkable eyes. The speech was common and body language was pedestrian. Nothing about this person would stand out in a crowd. Then came the moment of change… this character was to transform from a “nothing” into a “something” instantly. Posture corrected, shoulders went back, brow lines literally disappeared from forehead, eyes opened more naturally, mouth went to normal shape and hair came down. This actor demonstrated a complete metamorphosis with no props, makeup or costumes. We were blown away! The actor booked the role.

I’M ABOUT TO HAVE A FIT… WANNA WATCH? In casting for a feature film in L.A., we needed to see several girls for the lead. This girl needed to stand out as a lead actress but had to also be a great singer and performer. You would not believe how many actors out there think they can sing! Over 1,000 submissions were making us nuts. Finally, an agent approached us who really was the type who put great thought into each submission. She sent us a package with proof of the actor’s ability in acting, singing and performing. The actor had the look, the acting ability and singing talent. Finally! Someone really understood what we needed! We set up a skype callback since the actress was not from L.A. We needed to see her reactions to our questions and direction. This actress was a casting director’s dream. A perfect fit! In this case there was only one agent who really took the time to know our project before they submitted. They made the submission as easy for us to use as possible. We simply opened e-mail, saw the photos and resume, clicked the link to watch the reels and performance samples, and the rest is history.

TIME TO CURL UP AND DYE One time we were casting for a project that called for an elderly woman. The role was quite serious. Although we were open to seeing new faces, we hoped to find some quality actors. 32

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Several older ladies came in and auditioned. Then a new face walked in. She obviously had a new hairstyle, which she was very proud of. She was a newer actor of whom I was not familiar, so when she stood as serious as anyone can be and delivered her very intense lines, it was very difficult for me to keep my composure as a curler fell out of her hair during the scene. She didn’t even know it happened. She left and I called her agent.

DELIGHTFULLY DISTURBING Every once in a while we cast psychological thrillers and horror films. In this biz if you’ve seen one bloody eyeball, you’ve seen ‘em all, so nothing shocks or amazes us. We held auditions for a role where a woman was to be killed slowly by an entity that tore slowly through her body. There were some great auditions and we were very satisfied in what we had to send the director. Then we opened a video audition and as soon as we turned it on, everyone ran into the room. The feeling in the room became dark and upsetting. Everyone was disturbed and anguished by the performance. One of the assistants had to leave. (I think he went to throw up.) This audition was so well executed that this actress made us see, hear and feel her pain so thoroughly that to this day I cannot think about her audition without being a little ill inside. She booked!

ACTORS WHO STINK! I know a lot of casting directors who have stories about actors who really are baaaaad in their performances. Frankly, I have no idea how these actors managed to get an agent. But I will touch on what has really plagued me lately. I’ve been losing my mind at the smells that keep coming into my studio. By the end of the day my building smells like a collection of B.O., booze, cigarettes, cheap perfume and hairspray. That odor lingers for days. We’ve had to throw out some headshots, too, because the smell on the actor is the smell on the headshot. Do us a favor, actors, and just come in smelling clean.

WHO AM I? One time an actor came in who obviously had too many auditions in the same day. I could see him in the waiting area pacing the floor, obviously wired on coffee or power drinks. “Oh, great… another one of those.” He had such a cool look and I didn’t know him, so I was curious. Each time we called in the next actor it was never this guy. My anticipation increased each time another name was called and it was never that guy. Finally, we called his name and no one came in. I peeked out and he was not there. We called his name again and almost gave up, when

he stormed in at lightning speed, tossed his headshots down onto the table, and stood at his mark to begin. We called “Action” and his face was wonderful with how real he looked. My anticipation was being met with satisfaction, and then the dialog commenced from his lips: “What character am I doing, again?”

AN ANSWER FOR EVERYTHING I love a conversation with educated individuals and those who have profound enlightenment. With great exception, I’d like to mention a situation of recent. We started auditions early and I am not a morning person. Most people know this. So first thing in the morning, I am not fit for bull****. An actor showed up and was bright and bubbly. You know the type who obviously has been awake since 6am, jogged 10 miles, gets a shower and eats breakfast on the terrace while reading The Wall Street Journal without a care in the world. He showed up looking like a politician with a smile ear to ear, perfectly manicured hair and face, and a crisp three-piece suit. He looked perfect. Could be a lawyer, CPA, professor, you name it… he fit several roles in our breakdown. I could overlook his effervescence at this early hour if he proved to act as well as he appeared. The actor reached to shake my hand (what planet is he from?). He noticed that I didn’t approve, so he handed me his very well made headshots with resume attached. He had a lot on his resume but I could tell that some of this, if not all, was puffed up titles for extra work. He began to audition, but had to read from the sides. I asked, “Aren’t you prepared?” He said, “Yes.” He began again, and again he performed looking down at his sides. I stopped camera again. “Why are you reading from your sides if you are prepared? We are auditioning you, not the top of your head.” He said his agent told him to do it that way. I informed him that this is not an audition for actors who have to read to me. I asked him to gather the lines and deliver them one at a time looking at the reader. (I was really being patient when I really didn’t want to be.) He began. He then turned sideways. He thought if he turned to the side, I couldn’t see him look at the sides. I stopped camera. “Why are you showing us your profile?” He smugly replied, “In (name withheld’s) class they taught us to hide the sides by cheating a bit.” I simply said, “No.” He straightened up and I told him to only do the role of Man 1 (a oneliner). He told me he hadn’t seen those sides so needed a minute to prepare. He took the sides from the table and walked over to the corner, bowing his head in preparation. You’ve got to be frikkin kidding me! This bozo had already taken 10 minutes of my life and I was losing my cool. “We have to do this now or skip you.”


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He said, “In (name withheld’s) book it says that we are supposed to take a moment to get into character.” This joker had an answer for everything! “Yes, but not on my time when you have already taken five minutes more than everyone else.” He got my drift and came to the mark. That one line—that easy, I could book any guy who walked down the sidewalk to do this simple role line—became an epic performance. By the time he was done, he grimaced in pride. I wanted to pull my hair out, his hair out, and everyone else’s due to his overacting. However, the wise bug in my head chirped “let it go” and I simply said, “Thank you,” took a deep breath, and called the next name, hoping he’d leave quickly. Just as the color was returning to my face, he turned in the doorway and asked, “Do you have any feedback for me?” At this point, my assistant put her arm behind him and escorted him out, saying, “We will send your agent feedback. Thank you for coming.”

CASTING COUCH Some casting directors have been accused of being shady in that they expect “favors” (if you know what I mean) to book roles. Well, most casting directors do not operate that way. As a matter of fact, I’ve never met a casting direc-

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tor who would take such an unprofessional risk. We had an audition that called for several young men and young women to audition for lead roles. Auditions were going smoothly and we were tired but happy with the result thus far. Then came the actress. This actress was in her twenties and gorgeous. She looked at me as if I were a milk chocolate truffle. I am old, but not that old! I know that look. This girl was flirting big time. I am a happily married man and honestly do not appreciate that sort of coercion. She did her audition and was “okay.” But she kept that sex appeal and flirting throughout the audition. She left the audition wanting to give me a hug, but I turned to pick up some headshots as if I didn’t see her. This was a very unprofessional audition. I’m so glad that the cameraman was there to witness this behavior. He and I both felt uncomfortable the rest of the day. She did not get a call back.

A GREAT END We had a huge casting day and must have seen hundreds of actors. At the end of the day, we were all tired and ready to go home. However, we had one more group to see. Reluctantly, but quickly, we started to set up in preparation. We heard nothing in the waiting area so wondered if the agency neglected to tell the actors about the audi-

tion. My assistant went to double-check and came in and motioned to us to come look. The room was filled with actors. We couldn’t believe it, so we all went and peered through the crack in the door. This agency had such fine-tuned actors that not one of them was on a phone or eating or pacing the floor or talking. They were all sitting quietly and reading their sides. It was unreal. We all went back to the room and the assistant went out and called in the first actor. Our “ready to go home” attitudes disappeared as we became intrigued with this group. We could not wait to see what they brought to the audition. The actors were precision in their manner. All of them had professional headshots with resumes already attached. They did not attempt small-talk. They did not waste any time. All of them were off book and rehearsed. They all offered to do the role more than one way if we preferred. As soon as they all came in they were gone. This entire group was in and out in 30 minutes. This was like a uniformed military group on a secret mission. Not since the Borg (a collective character group from Star Trek: The Next Generation) have we seen such a collective in action. LFV

Dawn Landrum is an agent at Landrum Arts LA. Visit www.landrumartsla.net.


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SOUTHERN COSTUME COMPANY: A “ONE-STOP SHOP” FOR THE LOCAL FILM INDUSTRY

Inside Southern Costume Company.

STORY BY FRANK LEE WILLS GUEST COLUMNIST • PHOTOS BY CATHERINE KING

Wingate Jones

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stablished in 2010, New Orleans-based Southern Costume Company is a “Hollywood-style” costume house that has provided costuming and wardrobe assistance on local productions such as Treme, Memphis Beat, 21 Jump Street and many others. Owner Wingate Jones cut his teeth in the costume business working as a young lad for his father’s business, Western Costume (the world’s largest costume house), four decades ago in Hollywood. He worked his way up from dusting boxes and putting away shoes to working on the floor, handling customers and several shows. Jones went away to the Marine Corps, and when he came home, he went to work for 36

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Cameras Love Us! Lighting Loves Us! Stunts and Audio, Too! What We Do

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Center Staging, Inc. Serving New Orleans & The Gulf South Region (504) 247-0020

(866) 508-0975

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business with his new company, Southern Costume. His first step was to set up prep space for wardrobe professionals at ground level, since there was not any in New Orleans. “When you have rack after rack of clothing, it’s a pain to move it up floors and not have to deal with elevators or broken elevators. I can easily facilitate the load in and load out of a 53foot trailer with a straight shot,” explains Jones. Southern Costume Company also has design space available with offices, Internet access for the wardrobe department, along with dressing rooms and an alterations department with secured indi-

tor who had just completed the movie The Paperboy, stopped by the shop. August was on his way to Shreveport to shoot The Iceman, but before he left, he had this to say about Southern Costume Company’s impact on the film industry in New Orleans: “It’s pretty amazing and something we needed. As the infrastructure builds and the Panavisions came, the camera shops came, and the expendable shops have come. It just was wise that it was next in line to put a costume warehouse here. It’s one of those things if you’re getting tax credits, why use someone from the outside?

Alien creatures come to life at SCC.

Universal Studios for three years in the early ‘80s. When he left there, he went to work as an independent costumer, traveling to different states to work on films. Eventually, he did three or four projects in New Orleans. In 1996, Jones came down to do a movie called Heaven’s Prisoners, working as Alec Baldwin’s dresser when Baldwin’s regular dresser couldn’t make it. Opportunity had knocked, and Jones was now establishing himself in the industry. It was the last time that he would personally work with the stars, but it was, however, the time when he met his wife, moved from Los Angeles and, in 1997, settled in New Orleans and started a family. Jones left the business two years later to pursue a career in the IT field and to help raise his three sons. Having been away from the industry for 10plus years, he was ready to get back into the

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vidual double racked cages for storage, allowing wardrobe to work the stock from the cages. “It’s the same set-up we used out in L.A., as far as the costume houses are concerned,” he says. “The idea is to streamline the process to save them time. When you save time, you save them money, and we all know that time is money.” While I was conducting the interview, Scott August, a freelance key assistant second direc-

“Wingate’s been in the business forever and his family has been in the business and he was the right guy to do it. It wasn’t someone from the outside trying to get in; it was someone from the inside making the right move. He already had the connections. It’s a win-win for him and the film industry to have that ability just to open your backdoor and your product is right there.” Shima Ghamari, an actress and former news reporter from Florida, is working to market Southern Costume, getting the word out that the company is open for business. “(Jones) really knows what he’s doing coming from a family that has the largest costume company in L.A. and he offers this level of expertise that no one has,” she says. “He’s a one-stop shop for everything you need and if he doesn’t have it, he’ll get it for you.” Southern Costume Company has made it convenient and cost-effective for the film industry to do business with them—saving productions on shipping charges, extra man hours flying someone to and from L.A., and taking advantage of the tax credits. “You just go down to the warehouse and set up your project and get it to your set,” adds August. “We need people like Wingate down here.” For more information, visit www.sccnola.com. Frank Lee Wills is a New Orleans-based actor. He can be reached through his agent Louisiana Talent Agency at 504324-4288.

Just a small selection of the shoes and accessories available at SCC. 38

Behind the scenes—where SCC’s work is done.

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F X E Q U I P M E N T R E N TA L

333 River Road Jefferson, LA 70121

504.832.9800 www.storytellerfx.com

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WOMEN IN FILM AND TELEVISION LAUNCHES LOUISIANA CHAPTER STORY BY SHANNA FORRESTALL

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omen in Film and Television (WIFT) is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to the advancement and celebration of women’s careers and achievements, and it’s a well developed program. The first WIFT chapter formed in Los Angeles in the mid-1970s and chapters have subsequently flourished on every continent of the globe. Tens of thousands of women have already benefited from WIFT’s programs of professional development, training, networking, mentoring and celebration of women’s achievements. There have been rumors circulating for months about a chapter of WIFT set to open in Louisiana, and during the New Orleans Film Festival in October, the chapter finally made its first public appearance with a social event designed to introduce WIFT’s president Ali Duffey and their projected plan

to the public. Jillian Kreiner and Allison Colette Delacroix, WIFT Parker at the WIFT social. membership chair, is confident that the program will benefit Louisiana’s women working in film. Louisiana,” she said. “Our state is currently “We are very excited to welcome a chapter one of the top filmmaking markets in the U.S., of Women in Film and Television back to and therefore deserves to have this organization of professional women active here.” The WIFT board is currently developing a program of seminars and workshops catering to different levels and areas of the industry to expand member knowledge. They will also host regular networking and social events so that women can connect with other professional women, expand their contact base, and set aside time to celebrate their skills and accomplishments. Delacroix expounds on the program’s objectives: “Through workshops, screenings, and mentorships, WIFT gives women the opportunity to celebrate ourselves, our talents and achievements; and to assist each other in moving towards our dreams. We are currently in the process of planning programs and events, which will be up and running by January, 2012.” For more information, membership criteria, etc., e-mail wiftlouisiana@gmail.com. LFV WIFT president Ali Duffey explains the program to women interested in learning more about the Louisiana chapter.

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Tel: (504) 835 -1685 / Fax: (504) 835 - 5773 / E-mail: mail@thebattman.com ISSUE FOUR

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FEAR FÊTE MAKES A KILLING

Photos from the “Dead Carpet” VIP Kick-off Party Top left: Brittanie VanDyke, actor. Top right: Johnny Boogiddy, vocals for Jason & The Kruegers. Bottom left: Johnny Angel, bass and vocals for Jason & The Kruegers. Bottom center: (l to r) Elliot Elkins, director of Final Textination; Derek Killebrew, the event’s host; and Patty Prats, director of Final Textination. Bottom right: (l to r) Devin White, volunteer; Louisiana Film Resources' Lydia Laine, host; and Keith Duncan, event coordinator.

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ear Fête Horror Film Festival, Louisiana’s premier independent horror film festival, was held October 28 through 30 at Rave Motion Pictures 16 in Baton Rouge. The event featured more than 20 of the best independent horror films in the industry today, with each night of the festival showcasing a block of films by genre, such as Fantasy, Zombies, Paranormal, Thriller, etc. Awards were also handed out by genre. Here are a few highlights:

Best Feature Horror Film: Klown Kamp Massacre Best Fantasy Feature Film: Skew Best Zombie Feature Film: Bled White Best Thriller Feature Film: The Sacred Best Paranormal Feature Film: The Feed Best Horror Comedy Feature Film: The Man Who Collected Food For a complete list of winners, more photos, and information about next year’s festival, visit www.fearfete.com. LFV

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“DEAD ACTORS” HALLOWEEN PARTY SCARES UP PLENTY OF FUN On Thursday, October 20, Katz Acting Joint and IFN hosted a Halloween party at the 12 Bar in New Orleans. Attendees were encouraged to dress in costume as “Dead Actors.” The event was well attended and a group of actors competed for the Best Costume Award. Local actress Courtney Evans (below) won as “Michael Jackson” from the 1978 film The Wiz.

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Clockwise from top left: Brian Felder, Melissa Ray and Jerry Katz of Katz Acting Joint; Laurie Lee; Kriss Hoffman and Jennifer Scarberry; Will Blanke and Shanna Forrestall; Kaylin Klein and Nicole Lovince; Courtney Lacombe and Natalie Hultman.


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BRIEFS SCREENING DATE ANNOUNCED FOR NEW HOPE R-Squared Productions has announced the screening date for the worldwide premiere of its newest feature film. New Hope will screen Friday, February 10, at First Baptist Church, 500 Pine Street, in West Monroe at 7pm. The film stars Samuel Davis (Abel’s Field), Perry Frost, and Ben Davies (Courageous), and also includes appearances by Andrew Whitworth of the Cincinnati Bengals and hundreds of local extras and special extras. New Hope was filmed entirely in Ouachita Parish, and highlights basketball and cheerleading talent from many local high schools. According to the production company, “New Hope truly captures the life of the modern teenage experience: peer pressure, alcohol, sex, suicide, relationships and the need for acceptance and God’s love.” For more information, visit www.R2films.com.

ACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT EXPANDS CGI GROUP Active Entertainment has expanded its postproduction and CGI division with the addition of two Louisiana hires. Michael Rung, a ULL graduate, will be based in the company’s Lafayette facility. Leo Harelson, a Minnesota native, will be based in the company’s Baton Rouge headquarters. Both Rung and Harelson come to the firm having been part of the state’s Fast Start training program for Pixel Magic, another Lafayette company. Ken Badish, president of Active Entertainment, noted, “The state’s training programs, including Fast Start and Opportunity Machine, are working as hoped for, and companies such as ours are continuing with hiring, training, and providing more and more jobs for Louisiana’s hard-working talent pool. We now

I.C.E. STUDIOS, LLC NEARS RELEASE DATE FOR THE BRIDGEWATER MURDERS Isabelle Bridgewater was a beautiful, warm, and caring woman in a loving marriage. Until a moment of jealousy turned into a brutal act of rage. When she discovers that her husband, John, is having an affair with her best friend, Isabelle goes on a blood soaked rampage of hate. Gayle Fleming must unlock the secrets behind Isabelle’s madness before she kills again. I.C.E. Studios, LLC has teamed up with Savage Light Studios and Cross the Bayou Productions to bring this spine-tingling story, written by Chantal Koerner and Will Warner, to life. The cast boasts local talents Met Salih, Chantal Koerner, Shayne Mayeaux, Courtland Thomas, Terry Spitale, Melissa Ray, Isaiah LaBorde and Will Warner. The film is directed by Will Warner, with cinematography by Kriss Hoffman and Jearl Vinot and a chilling score composed and performed by A.J. Caruso. Production of the film, which was based on a short story idea by Will Warner, was kept secret and was completed in 2010. Now, after months of post-production, I.C.E. Studios is getting close to setting a release date, which is tentatively scheduled for early Spring 2012. The film will be entered into several film festivals, including the Sundance Film Festival, the Los Angeles Film Festival, the Palm Springs International Film Festival, and the New Orleans Film Festival.

have CGI artists in Lafayette, Baton Rouge and our new offices in New Orleans.” The company has increased its CGI shots per film and the quality of its shots per film, which greatly enhances its feature films for Active’s global customer base. Active Entertainment has been developing, financing, producing and distributing feature films since 1993. It is one of the industry’s oldest and most stable companies operating

in the independent film and television marketplace. Its Louisiana operations have produced and provided services for 12 films over just the past four years. Active Entertainment is capable of providing a wide range of financial and production solutions for projects ranging from small- to large-budget feature films, along with TV series and reality show production. For more information, visit www.activeentertainment.com.

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• Neon For Rent • In House Neon Plant • Studio Friendly • www.neometix.com

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504.940.0888 • 504.940.0891 fax neometix@bellsouth.net 1928 Burgundy Street • New Orleans, LA 70116


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