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CONTENTS Director Anne Fletcher and actress Reese Witherspoon on the set of Hot Pursuit.

61 8

Letter From The Editor

11 Pitch Perfect 2 Sings About Louisiana Legislature 15 Louisiana On Location At AFCI’s Expo 19 2015 NOFS Gala: An Impromptu Sock Hop 23 Flying Beyond 4K At The NAB Show 27 Get Hard On Local Talent And Locations 31 The Academy Promotes ACES Color Workflow At NAB 35 SXSW Louisiana Style 39 Avoid Mind Reading: A New Orleans Film Festival Programmer Tells All 42 Louisiana International Film Festival And Mentorship Program

45 I’ll See You In My Dreams: At Louisiana International Film Festival 49 Quixote Celebrates Their 20th Anniversary 51 The D Train 57 The Ledger At NAB: A Camera Bag Field Test 61 In Hot Pursuit Of Director Anne Fletcher 67 From Ordinary To Extraordinary: Picture Cars Louisiana 69 Rallying The Troops To Support Louisiana Film Industry Tax Credits 73 Jurassic World Roars Into Theaters In June 77 The COOL Cooperative - Empowering Louisiana’s Kids Through The Magic Of Film

ON THE COVER:

Actor Chris Pratt in New Orleans filming a big CGI action scene for Jurassic World.

DIGITAL EDITION AVAILABLE AT: WWW.LOUISIANAFILMANDVIDEO.COM

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VOLUME 12 ISSUE TWO EDITORS-IN-CHIEF W. H. Bourne, Odin Lindblom ASSOCIATE EDITOR Katie Sauro CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Wéland Bourne, Jay Crest, T. Hopper, Susie Labry, Brad McCreary, Haley Summers CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Wéland Bourne, Steve Hatley, Jason Raymond SALES MANAGER Katie Higgins SALES Steve Joseph, Eric Iles PRODUCTION MANAGER John Rusnak PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Kelly Baker DESIGNERS Beth Harrison, Sonjia Kells, Liz Weickum, Sam Rockwell WEBMASTER Jon Hines OFFICE MANAGER Audra Higgins INFORMATION SERVICES MANAGER Lois Sanborn

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO PUBLICATIONS A DIVISION OF MEDIA INC PUBLISHING GROUP (800) 332-1736 whbourne@media-inc.com olindblom@media-inc.com www.louisianafilmandvideo.com www.louisianaproductionindex.com Display Advertising: Call Media Index Publishing 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 ©2015 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.

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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

I

have been writing for Louisiana Film & Video Magazine for over 10 years. Freelancing for this magazine and several other national outlets has given me access to speak with some of the greatest talent of our time such as Neil Gaiman, David Cronenberg, Wong Kar Wai, and Sir Ben Kingsley. I've learned about all aspects of the film industry from interviewing a wide range of incredibly talented individuals from visionary cinematographers like Caleb Deschanel and Claudio Miranda to tenacious producers like Dede Gardner and Randall Emmett.

While my classmates from Dominican High School in New Orleans may remember me taking creative writing classes after school and contributing to the school’s literary magazine, my career goal was never to be a journalist. My past decade of journalism has grown out of my passion for the film industry. My colleague and co-editor, Odin Lindblom, actually began freelancing for Louisiana Film & Video Magazine before me, taking photos on the Dukes of Hazard set for the magazine. His passion for images has led him behind the camera and the editing bay. Odin never dreamed of being a journalist. In fact, if you would have predicted this to his freshman year English teacher at McMain High School in New Orleans, she would have laughed; however, Odin's desire to learn pushed him beyond taking photos to interviewing industry profes-

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sionals and writing stories. As Odin and I begin our tenure as the new editors of Louisiana Film & Video Magazine, I share this information with you so you can understand our journalistic sensibilities and our passion for film. In our eyes, this magazine exists to serve the filmmakers and film enthusiasts of Louisiana and all who support them. In the upcoming months, we’ll strive to provide stories to better appeal to the needs of our audience as we expand and enhance our coverage. In addition to revising our website, we plan for Louisiana Film & Video Magazine to grow beyond our printed pages by having more social events and bringing more opportunities to the local filmmaking communities in Louisiana. Look for our first event in June as we partner with NOVAC for our first seminar and social. Additionally, Louisiana Film & Video Magazine is proud to announce that we will be the media sponsor for Spy, the opening night gala at Louisiana International Film Festival (LIFF). Odin and I will be there so be sure to say hello. It’s been almost a month since Odin and I have been in our new positions. While our titles may have changed, we have not. For the many of you who already know us, we are just as approachable as always. For those of you we have not met, we look forward to meeting you at an upcoming event or film festival. Overall, we look forward to providing you the same value Louisiana Film & Video Magazine has afforded us by being informative, motivating, and inspiring. Happy reading! W. H. BOURNE

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Director Elizabeth Banks and Actress Hailee Steinfeld on the set of Pitch Perfect 2.

PITCH PERFECT 2 SINGS ABOUT LOUISIANA LEGISLATURE STORY BY W. H. BOURNE PHOTOS COURTESY OF UNIVERSAL PICTURES ADDITIONAL PHOTO BY JASON RAYMOND

L

ouisiana Film & Video Magazine recently had the opportunity to catch up with Pitch Perfect 2 producer Scott Niemeyer to find out more about the film which is set to release nationwide on May 15, 2015. If you missed our original cover story on the production of Pitch Perfect 2 (Issue 6, 2014), you can read it online at LouisianaFilmandVideo.com. It was challenging trying to catch up with Niemeyer because he has been actively involved in the current state fiscal legislation; in particular, he’s keeping a watchful eye on proposed bills that would affect the film industry as well as advocating on the industry’s behalf. But Niemeyer loves movies so it was easy to get him on the subject of Pitch Perfect 2 especially since he’s now seen the film in

The Barden Bellas get some bad news in Pitch Perfect 2.

various stages from early to final finished cut. “The finale gives you goose bumps,” says Niemeyer. “It has the scale and scope of a major outdoor concert … think Voodoo Fest or Jazz Fest-type BIG! The crew was having such a good time ISSUE TWO 2015

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during those shooting nights that they were literally performing their own renditions of the choreography and vocals at their stations in between setups.” “The most challenging part of post production was deciding what jokes to keep and what to cut,” continues Niemeyer. “We had nearly a 2.5 hour film of hilarious stuff that had to fit into a 2 hour box. There were terrible, painful decisions to make over what laughs to leave in and those that may never be seen. It was excruciating!” “We had our editor and editorial suites on site in Baton Rouge during filming so that the director could work in real time to put the film together and see what was being shot. We then completed post production in Los Angeles after filming was complete. I think the state needs to invest in infrastructure so that Louisiana can build more stateof-the-art post production facilities and encourage productions to stay to complete post production in the state. Encouraging infrastructure investment is key,” Producer Scott Niemeyer on the set of Pitch Perfect 2. explains Niemeyer. “Also further motivating DAVE activities/companies (digital, animation and visual effects) to locate in the region is important. They need long term commitment from the state to be inspired to relocate or start up in the region.” “I have been saying for years that the state needs to unilaterally decide to commit to the motion picture business for the long haul in order for the industry to take root. The odd year fiscal sessions in the legislature tend to fuel a level of uncertainty that does not breed a stable financial environment and repeatedly puts the state’s investment at risk,” says Niemeyer. “Despite this, the Deep South Studio project is moving forward by sheer will and determination. The legislative climate is one in which attracting capital is extremely challenging. Deep South is determined to become a reality regardless, but the challenges it faces in attracting investment are shared by many other industry startups,” explains Niemeyer. “These businesses should be nurtured and courted by capital providers, not shunned.” Niemeyer will be traveling to Toronto where his current project, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, is underway. Toronto happens to 12 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

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Pitch Perfect 2 Producers Elizabeth Banks, Max Handleman, and Scott Niemeyer.

The Barden Bellas are back in Pitch Perfect 2.

be where the first film was shot. Niemeyer also has a few other projects slated for the end of the year and plans to be back in the South very soon. As far as a Pitch Perfect 3 filming anytime soon, Niemeyer would not directly affirm this but deferred to the rumors on the Internet, “If you believe Rebel Wilson’s Twitter feed … I wouldn’t bet against it!” LFV


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LOUISIANA ON LOCATION AT AFCI’S EXPO STORY BY W. H. BOURNE PHOTOS BY WÉLAND BOURNE

C

elebrating their 40th anniversary, the Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI) sponsored the annual Locations Show which brought together hundreds of media executives and creatives from around the globe to showcase production locations as well as entertainment business and support services. Clients ranging from studio producers to independent filmmakers attended to learn about the latest in incentives and services each location has to offer. This year, the film offices of Lafayette, Shreveport-Bossier, and New Orleans Plantation Country and The St. John Center (St. John Parish) attended. “The 2015 AFCI Locations Expo was a huge success. I really think this location works well for everyone’s convenience especially our attendees,” said Arlena Acree, Certified Film Commissioner for the City of Shreveport. Pam Glorioso, Certified Film Commissioner for Bossier City, concurred, “This year’s AFCI Locations was well attended, and the venue has proven to be a success. The attendees and the exhibitors both agree that the Hyatt Century City location (in Los Angeles adjacent to the Fox lot) is central to the industry professionals.” “I had a great experience at Locations Expo this year. The attendance was steady and most attendees I spoke to were scouting for green-lit projects,” said Julie Bordelon, Director of Film and Media for the City of Lafayette. “I attend Locations Expo and other conferences to educate attendees on what Lafayette has to offer the film industry. Most people already know about Louisiana’s tax incentives, but they may not know that the City of Lafayette offers an additional Julie Bordelon, Director of Film and 2 percent Media for the City of Lafayette. Sales Tax

(L-R) Arlena Acree, Pam Glorioso and David R. Rockett represent Shreveport-Bossier.

Jo Banner, Film Rebate to those who Coordinator for qualify. Lafayette St. John Parish, at the AFCI has an advantage of Locations having city-wide fiShow. ber connectivity. We can also offer production and special effects student interns from our local university.” “Lafayette is lucky because we are the Hub City to some pretty amazing diverse and low cost locations,” added Bordelon. “No matter what a production is looking for, they can most likely find it within 30 miles of the City of Lafayette. And since I am a former location manager, I know how to assist a production with logistics. The city is working on our own funding source for local filmmakers and select out of town productions. We have a couple of nonprofit organizations consisting of filmmakers working to educate up-and-coming filmmakers and support each other in making their own projects. The Southern Screen Film Festival (www.SouthernScreen.org), now open for submissions, is in its fifth year and has become a great resource for both local and visiting filmmakers to network and collaborate while showcasing their work. We have some exciting things happening in Lafayette that is sure to entice anyone interested in the film industry!” Jo Banner, Film Coordinator for St. John Parish, also had some interesting comments about her experience at the Locations Show saying, “Overall, the interest in New Orleans Plantation Country and The St. John Center Soundstage was even more than last year. I received more inquiries about filming on locations such as our historic plantation homes. I also saw an uptick in questions regarding our tax incentive program and could tell producers are

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industry for our willingness to go the extra mile to work on gearing productions that feature Louisiana landscapes. I hope projects that make the customer (industry) know they are wantattendees will take away from the exhibit that our locations in the ed and appreciated in our community,” said River Parishes are hard to replicate. And Arlena Acree hands out the David R. Rockett, Executive Director of the on the whole, while Louisiana can double latest copy of Louisiana Film Greater Bossier Economic Development as many other places, there are very few and Video Magazine at the AFCI Locations Show. Foundation. “Northwest Louisiana is ready places that can double for Louisiana. The to work, and we have the people ready to landscape, the culture, the ease of the people work throughout the required fields. In adoffers a quality that definitely can be seen dition to the generous Louisiana incentive on-screen.” offerings, our local communities are willing “We want to be considered for all producto work on sites and locations with regard tions. We’re conveniently located to both to permitting waivers, etc.” New Orleans and Baton Rouge making the “The goal of the Shreveport-Bossier Film drive to our area comfortable,” said Banner. Assistance Office was to make the attendees “The governing bodies are easy to work with aware of the various locations that we offer and try their best to accommodate filming and the facilities that we can provide the in the area. We are known for beautiful hisfilmmaker, such as soundstages, wave tanks toric homes and mysterious swamps, but and locations that can suite most producwe can also double as Anytown, USA. Our tions,” said Glorioso. “We would love to area blends the historic with the modern, show any film production what we have to offer extending them and the rural with the city. And for what can’t be found here, it a welcome to come and see our area before they make that final can always be built on our soundstage. Having soundstages close decision on where to shoot their film.” to the locations means productions won’t have to spend as much “I am not sure we had as many film offices participate in this time on the road.” year’s AFCI Locations Show,” concluded Acree, “but the overall Shreveport-Bossier has been exhibiting at the Locations Show quality of the attendance was good and our team looks forward to for many years now and had steady business at their booth. returning next year.” LFV “Northwest Louisiana has gained a strong reputation in the

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2015 NOFS GALA: AN IMPROMPTU SOCK HOP! STORY BY W. H. BOURNE PHOTOS BY STEVE HATLEY AND GEORGE LONG

“I

t seems so apropos that in the New Orleans Film Society’s 25th year, we honor and celebrate Matthew McConaughey, one of the greatest actors of the last 25 years, with our Celluloid Hero award,” said New Orleans Film Society (NOFS) Matthew McConaughey and his wife, Camila Alves, on the Red Carpet at Board President Alexa NOFS Gala. Georges at their recent Patron Party and Gala. Held at the Garden District mansion of Sara and Paul Costello, the festive affair featured live music and food by Chef Susan Spicer. McConaughey who was in town shooting The Free State of Jones was on hand to accept the award offering his own poetic take on the Bayou State in this brief excerpt, “OK, (it’s) home of the front porch. I don’t know if y’all recognize this: it’s home of the front porch. Not the back porch. Everyone everywhere McConaughey is in his socks bidding on his own else has back Nike’s that he gave to the auction. porches. The back porch is something different. The front porch is an engineering feat that lends itself to the sense of so much community around here and fellowship. Private property and lines of demarcation all land across borders. Here you relax facing the street. You do not retreat into the seclusion and privacy of your backyard. No, you engage with the goings-on of the world that is in front of you. It’s a great engineering feat that you’ve pulled off here. It really is.” “With his speech, Matthew McConaughey gave one of the most eloquent homages to our city. On Saturday night, he honored New Orleans, and managed to capture so much of what makes our city and culture special. We are so grateful to have had this

opportunity to celebrate his amazing performances in our own backyard,” said Jolene Pinder, Executive Director of the New Orleans Film Society. “Every ticket purchased to the Gala went directly towards the New Orleans Film Society’s mission: to engage, educate, and inspire through the art of film,” explained Skye MacDonald, Development & Community Relations Manager for the New Orleans Film Society. “To this end, NOFS hosts regular monthly screenings and events, in addition to Moonlight Movies outdoor screenings, the New Orleans Film Festival (NOFF), the New Orleans International Children’s Film Festival, the French Film Festival, and filmOrama, a spring showcase of film. NOFS supports filmmakers and audiences, serving close to 40,000 attendees in 2014 alone. NOFS focuses on benefiting local filmmakers through special Louisiana programming at the NOFF, specific Louisiana NOFF competitive categories, industry panels, extended deadlines for LA filmmakers, a filmmaker discount on membership, networking opportunities, and a mentorship proThe Celluloid Hero Award was given to gram for promising Matthew McConaughey by NOFS. local filmmakers. The organization also hopes to inspire and educate the filmmakers of tomorrow through the ‘Cinema Classroom’ media literacy program for public school students. Focused film series presented with community partners draw attention to social issues, while Moonlight Movies allows NOFS to have a presence in all corners of the city and serve a diverse audience. Without fundraising efforts like the Gala, the New Orleans community would have more limited access to cinema and NOFS would not be able to continue valuable programming. Supporting NOFS means supporting local audiences and local filmmakers.” The Gala also featured a live auction with local Mad Men actor Bryan Batt acting as auctioneer. This was the real highlight of the party when Batt had to quickly improvise because a spur of the moment decision led to McConaughey offering some very personal items up for bidding. “Midway through our auction, Hunger Games director Gary Ross took the stage with Matthew McConaughey’s shoes in hand, while McConaughey stood on the dance floor in stocking feet,” said MacDonald. “The next item up for bid would be the actor’s well-used 2004 Nikes. With the ultimate goal of fundraising for the New Orleans Film Society, Ross put the shoes up for auction and McConaughey pushed the audience to bid, even making his own offers to up the ante. When they wanted to raise the bids a ISSUE TWO 2015

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McConaughey receives his award.

Matthew McConaughey (center) takes control of the auction from producer Gary Ross (L-R) and actor Bryan Batt.

little higher, Ross and McConaughey decided to also give away the actor’s Dolce & Gabbana jacket. Slowly, more and more items were added until the final package included: McConaughey’s beloved Nikes, his Dolce & Gabbana jacket, a part as an extra on

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The Free State of Jones, lunch on set with the crew, and a ride to the set with director Gary Ross. Once the prize package was set, McConaughey’s wife, Camila Alves, took the stage to promote this special item. In the end, it went to Sean Cummings. After the furious bidding war, Cummings celebrated with the actor and director and ultimately decided to return the shoes and jacket to Matthew. Perhaps he thought McConaughey might not want to walk home in his socks!” LFV


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FLYING BEYOND 4K AT THE NAB SHOW STORY BY WÉLAND BOURNE PHOTOS BY ODIN LINDBLOM AND WÉLAND BOURNE

E

very year in Las Vegas, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show features some of the latest and greatest in tech for the film and television industries. From drones, to cameras, to computer hardware and software, NAB has it all. If someone would have said several years ago that drones would become an every day part of filmmaking, there would have been some very skeptical reactions. With NAB’s addition of the Drone Pavilion this year, it seems drones have become an essential part of the digital production tool set. The flying nets up at the drone booths and at the drone pavilion highlight the growing safety concerns about drones. Lawmakers and the FAA are currently struggling to regulate this booming part of the industry. Despite this producers, cinematographers and television station managers are investing in drones like crazy. Booths like 3DR and DJI were slammed as demonstrations of drones filled the air. The popularity of the drone booths could even explain why 3DR walked away with awards for best drone and best booth. As I managed to walk past the drones and continue viewing the one million-plus square feet of exhibits, it was easy to become more grounded in some of the latest trends in gear. Many of the audio equipment brands including Shure, Sennheiser and Marshall were showing off microphones and microphone interfaces designed to work with mobile devices and make field production easier for journalists. These same devices can be used by filmmakers for audio clips for sound design and Foley work while on the go. Sennheiser also showed off their new AVX wireless microphone system. The AVX system features fully digital transmission and has the ability to change frequencies automatically in case of interference. While most companies had their 4K products out front, some like NewTek were offering new feature rich HD products at remarkable prices. NewTek’s TriCaster Mini, which starts at $5,995, is

Blackmagic Design shows off their new Super 35mm Ursa Mini 4K camera.

Even RED had a camera mounted to a drone at NAB this year.

a live production studio in a tiny box. The Mini can switch between 6 cameras, record HD video, webstream video, live chroma key and even has built in virtual sets. Virtual sets were popular at NAB. From creation tools by software companies to camera and studio gear for the live shoots to companies offering turnkey solutions, you could find tons of options for virtual sets. Virtual sets are increasing in quality and complexity at a fast pace. I wonder how long it will be before more film effects are done live like these virtual sets? Nearly every production light on the show floor was LED powered. The selection was huge from Mole-Richardson’s new 5,000 watt equivalent LED fresnel down to Manfrotto’s new tiny 60mm wide Lumie light. There were options for almost any lighting need. Shaky camera movement may not be as popular as it once was if the number of stabilizers shown at NAB were any indication. From motorized rigs like DJI’s newly updated Ronin to Steadicam’s new M-1, their first fully modular sled, to tons of small handheld units, there were plenty of new options to look at. 4K workflows were being demonstrated with hardware and software products throughout the NAB show floor. As I wandered the show floor looking at the new 4K cameras from just about everyone who made cameras, I couldn’t stop thinking, “Why don’t I have 4K TV?” OTT services like Netflix have already begun streaming UHD 4K on select titles. Certain film titles are already available for download in the 4K format. Improvements in compression have already demonstrated the ease of conversion for broadcasting of 4K. In fact, 4K broadcasting is available in most of Japan. At NAB, the consensus seemed to be that the majority of U.S. broadcasts would be in 4K in the next three to five years. While UHD will replace HD in the near future, 4K not only has its replacement being actively developed but also rolled out. RED ISSUE TWO 2015

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Digital Cinema already has their Epic camera with their Dragon sensor that shoots 6K. At NAB this year, RED announced the upcoming release of their new camera called Weapon. Weapon is due to release later this year with a 6K Dragon sensor and will be upgradable to an 8K sensor in 2016. Hitachi is taking pre-orders for their 8K cameras, and Sharp announced that they will soon begin retailing their 8K monitors. Nvidia says their Quadro M6000 video card will be able to handle 8K and beyond as soon as the monitors are ready. Companies like Christie are even in development of projectors that exceed the 12K threshold. According to Japanese broadcaster NHK, 8K broadcasting will begin in Japan in 2017. Their goal is to have international 8K broadcast from Japan by 2020 in time for the Tokyo Summer Olympics. There is no question that 8K and beyond will eventually become reality, the only question is how soon? Resolution wasn’t the only trend in cameras. Many camera makers were displaying smaller Ikegami’s 8K camera on display at NAB models of their cameras or new tiny units. New from Blackmagic Design was the Ursa Mini and the Micro Cinema Camera, which looked to be built with drones in mind. IO Industries’ new 4KSDI camera shoots 4K at 60fps and weighs just over 1½ pounds! Waccom, an industry leader in pen tablets, was showing their new Cintiq tablet for artists and animators. The Cintiq has over 2000 levels of pressure sensitivity and can be configured with a 3.4 GHz processor, 16GB of DDR3 ram, 512GB of SSD storage, and a 2.5K screen making it a power house mobile device. There were many new products and releases on the software side as well. Adobe unveiled a new animation tool called Adobe Character Animator which can track facial expression from a webcam feed and use it to automatically animate a character in real time. Red Giant talked heavily about the new Magic Bullet plug-ins and

Hitachi maps out 4K workflow from ingest through post and to delivery. 24 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

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Adobe shows off their new Character Animator software which is now part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud.

The smallest 4K cinema camera to date from IO Industries on display at NAB

the free Red Giant Universe plug-ins. Blackmagic Design unveiled Fusion 8, their compositing software, which will now run on PC, Mac and Linux. AutoDesk had a massive update to all of their software. Notable changes for their animation software include a nodes layout for 3D Studio Max and upgraded fluid simulation including foam and bubbles to Maya. While a keynote about Virtual Reality (VR) excited many with the hopes of a new broadcast platform, the uphill battle VR faces was painfully obvious. VR lacks a standard platform and delivery system. Also missing is a consistent workflow from camera to post. There is hope for standards as more companies get involved in VR development. VR may one day become more than just a toy for video gamers and a platform for advertisers. NAB’s exhibit floor is stimulating for the mind but grueling for the feet. Next year, I’d like to demo a drone that will fly me over the entire show floor! LFV


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(L-R) Kevin Hart, director Etan Cohen and Will Ferrell on the set of Warner Bros. Pictures’ comedy Get Hard.

GET HARD

ON LOCAL TALENT AND LOCATIONS STORY BY W. H. BOURNE GET HARD PHOTOS BY PATTI PERRET COURTESY OF WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. AND RATPAC-DUNE ENTERTAINMENT LLC © 2015 PHOTO OF RYAN GLORIOSO BY ROBERT LARRIVIERE

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hen millionaire hedge fund manager James (Will Ferrell) is nailed for fraud and bound for a stretch in San Quentin, the judge gives him 30 days to get his affairs in order. Desperate, he turns to Darnell (Kevin Hart) to prep him for a life behind bars. But despite James’ one-percenter assumptions, Darnell is a hard-working small business owner who has never received a parking ticket, let alone been to prison. Together, the two men do whatever it takes for James to “get hard” and, in the process, discover how wrong they were about a lot of things—including each other. The comedy which recently released in theaters showcases local talent and locations. Get Hard was shot mainly in Jefferson Parish and other New Orleans locations, doubling for Southern California. To establish the 30th floor office space occupied by James and his boss, production designer Maher Ahmad shot the 9th floor of a building on Poydras Street, into which wraparound views of Cen-

tury City were later inserted. What proved most challenging was the sub-basement garage, where some of the action takes place. “Because New Orleans has a very high water table, they don’t dig many underground parking garages, so the scene had to be put together in separate pieces,” Ahmad says. “We found a garage that worked for us, and covered hundreds of windows with phony concrete walls to make it look like it was underground. We shot Kevin driving the truck into a garage in Century City, going down a ramp in one place in a building on Poydras Street, then circling in another portion of that building and finally it was the Superdome Garage where he comes to the bottom where Darnell’s business is.” To represent James’ luxurious home, the production combined elements of two existing grand structures. Their primary location was perfect for the majority of shots, both inside and out, but didn’t have quite the grand bedroom space director Etan Cohen imagined so Ahmad turned the living room of a second local mansion into a lavish bedroom and balcony where James likes to greet the day (and his flinching staff) naked. On a stage set, the designer also built a sumptuous wine cellar as a symbol of privilege that is subsequently degraded into mock Cell Block 4, with a cot, hot plate, clothesline, and bars that Darnell fashions out of his client’s high-end golf clubs and ski poles. One key feature both estates lacked was a tennis court like those that dot the landscape in so many exclusive L.A. neighborhoods. Says Ahmad, “I scouted tennis courts locally, but they didn’t look right for one reason or another, or were in a separate place from ISSUE TWO 2015

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Casting Director Ryan Glorioso.

(L-R) Paul Ben-Victor as Gayle, John Mayer as himself, Alison Brie as Alissa and Craig T. Nelson as Martin in Warner Bros. Pictures’ comedy Get Hard.

the house. Plus, it rains frequently in New Orleans so we needed a cover. The best solution was to build a tennis court on an empty lot conveniently next door to the mansion we were using. It was a real court, poured-concrete and fencing. There are a few scenes where it looks fancy and nice and the gardeners are blowing leaves away, and then we see how Darnell has done his theatrical magic by hanging signs and punching bags made of old tires, pulling out the leather recliner from the house as a weight bench and turning expensive magnum champagne bottles into barbells.” It’s a visual transformation that playfully echoes another of the movie’s themes: pretending to be something that you aren’t, and how that tends to complicate everything. Pretending to be something that you aren’t is something actors do a lot, and casting director Ryan Glorioso was responsible for helping bring local talent to the film. Using the local talent pool, Glorioso cast 45 actors in supporting roles. “My specific job on Get Hard was to find the local actors who could fill the supporting roles,” says Glorioso. “Some of the roles worked one day while others worked a week or, in a couple of cases, several weeks. My company Glorioso Casting handled the extras casting as well. The extras coordinator on that film was Alicia Connelly. She cast the extras via MyCastingFile.com; she did an amazing job!” “The biggest challenge on Get Hard (and all of the Gary Sanchez produced films that I’ve done) is getting the actors to get the style of comedy right,” explains Glorioso. “These guys are often writing some pretty ridiculous situations. The challenge for the actors is to come from an honest and grounded place with it. Many times actors will try a little too hard to ‘play’ the comedy. Playing the situation from an honest and genuine point of view always comes off better for me. The most rewarding aspect for me is when the director/producer and Los Angeles casting are happy and in turn re-hire me.” “I find actors through the local/regional talent agencies from Texas through Georgia. Once I have a project I will release a breakdown to the agents for them to send me submissions,” continues Glorioso. “I usually will have a few days of pre-read auditions. Once I have assessed who our options are for the roles, I will narrow down the selections for the producers and send them my top choices for each part. Once that process is complete, we will then 28 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

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(L-R) Tip “T.I” Harris as Russell and Will Ferrell as James in Warner Bros. Pictures’ comedy Get Hard.

have a director/producer casting session. Generally, someone will be decided upon for the role in this casting session. Once the producers have a selection, then I will need to get the actor approved by the studio or network. Once they are approved, then comes the fun part, offering the actor the job.” Glorioso Casting has offices in New Orleans and does casting for projects throughout the Southern region. Glorioso has been involved in the industry for over 10 years now and has some great advice to offer actors. “Once all the pieces are in place, it’s really best to get signed with one of the local agencies. The agents here are great at guiding new actors to great careers,” says Glorioso. “I feel like the most important thing after training, is confidence,” adds Glorioso. “I will never be confident in sending someone to set who isn’t confident in what they are doing.” LFV Director Etan Cohen on the set of Warner Bros. Pictures’ comedy Get Hard.

Kevin Hart as Darnell and Will Ferrell as James in Warner Bros. Pictures’ comedy Get Hard.


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THE ACADEMY PROMOTES ACES COLOR WORKFLOW AT NAB

A picture shot on RED Epic with ACES applied. The insert shows the raw image. STORY AND PHOTOS BY ODIN LINDBLOM

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he Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences made a rare appearance at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show promoting their ACES color workflow. ACES (Academy Color Encoding System), the recently released standard for digital color management, image interchange and archiving of motion pictures, was designed to provide a unified approach for working with color and image format throughout a project. It covers production, post, mastering and archiving.

For over a decade in the film industry, we’ve seen digital image formats come and go with little to no hope of a standard. Artists and companies choose image formats that they feel best support their workflows, but these formats typically interpret color differently often causing radical shifts in color and contrast when footage is sent back and forth between labs, editorial, VFX artists and colorists. When changing file formats, color shifts in dailies are also common. These shifts in color are to blame for many costly work delays. The digital image formats used for archiving also vary between companies. Many companies change the format they use every few years. The situation has seemed so dire to many production professionals that they are convinced that in years to come, all of their

Colorist Andrea Chelbak talks ACES and her workflow on Chappie.

work will be lost. This kind of thing has happened. Thousands of hours of television shows have been lost due to archived video tapes that can no longer be played back because the right format of video tape machines needed no longer exist. With ACES, the industry now has a much needed standard for color workflow and image archiving. But it’s not just for feature films. ACES can be used by any image project from television to web video to still pictures. At its core, ACES uses a customized version of the OpenEXR file format (originally developed by Industrial Light and Magic) along with guidelines for the display of color as well as the conversion of footage from one color space to another. Metadata is supported by ACES as well. ISSUE TWO 2015

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A program has been created by the Academy where qualifying ACES products, ranging from cameras to media asset management systems, will carry the ACES logo. Many industry partners are already working with the program including ARRI, RED Digital Cinema, Sony, Autodesk, FotoKem and Deluxe. Many software packages also currently support ACES workflow. Recently at NAB, colorist Andrea Chelbak explained her workflow on the sci-fi feature Chappie and how ACES helped streamline the process. Chappie was shot with RED Epic cameras. The raw r3d (REDcode) files were brought into the DCI-P3 color space to take advantage of the wide color gamut of digital cinema projection. ACES has a lut (color look up table) that takes the flat looking, raw footage from digital cinema cameras and adjusts the color to a pleasing baseline film-look. It was this ACES lut that was applied to all the footage before it was converted to EXR files and sent to editorial and from there on to the various VFX houses that worked on Chappie. Chelbak said that the shots she got back from the VFX artists needed minimal color correction which she felt was, in part, due to using the ACES lut and EXR file format. She was pleased that the workflow, simplified by a standard file type and lut, was faster than earlier projects she had done without the aid of ACES. When converting from one color space to another, ACES can help. If you’re converting your finished film from the DCI-P3 color space to HDTV or Blu-ray files in Rec. 709 color space, ACES will automatically adjust the color for you. ACES will also allow you to fine tune the color as needed after the conversion. This can save a

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The Academy believes ACES will be important for archiving and preservation.

lot of time spent adjusting color for projects that require multiple delivery formats. Regardless of saving time and money, the most important value of ACES is that it brings a standard for archiving. While this standard is beginning to be utilized in the creation of film and television projects, ACES will help insure that these creative works can be preserved for future generations. Unfortunately, ACES currently lacks an archiving standard for audio; hopefully, the Academy will address that soon. While the full version of ACES 1.0 should be available in software packages soon, some ACES features are already in existing software releases. Color correction software like DaVinci Resolve Lite (which is free from Blackmagic Design) makes the advantages of ACES workflow accessible for nearly any project. More information on ACES is available at www.oscars.org/aces. LFV


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Kevin Hart and Will Farrell at the Get Hard premiere at SXSW.

SXSW LOUISIANA STYLE STORY BY JAY CREST LA PHOTOS COURTESY OF JAMES WELCH, CITY OF LAFAYETTE, AND LOUISIANA ENTERTAINMENT GET HARD PHOTOS BY JACK PLUNKETT COURTESY OF WARNER BROS AND RATPAC-DUNE ENTERTAINMENT

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XSW in Austin, Texas, is known for the media attention it receives for its music, film, and interactive festival each March. This year was no exception with film festival attendance alone estimated over 76,000. More than 150 features screened with 102 of them being world premieres. One of those premieres was Get Hard, the Will Ferrell/Kevin Hart comedy that was shot in Louisiana. Both Ferrell and Hart were present at the festival, walking the red carpet and promoting their new film.

Kevin Hart arrives at the 2015 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival premiere of Get Hard, the new Warner Bros. Pictures comedy held at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas on March 16, 2015.

Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart arrive at the 2015 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival.

Of course, Louisiana was represented in a much more personal way by the city of Lafayette. Julie Bordelon, Director of Film and Media for the City of Lafayette, was present to ensure Louisiana hospitality at Lafayette’s SXSW Party. “Lafayette has had a presence at SXSW for over 10 years,” said Bordelon. “Through those years, Lafayette musicians have performed at official SXSW showcases and at the Lafayette party. And for the past two years, that Lafayette party has grown into a multi-media showcase of musicians, filmmakers and businesses from Lafayette. Held on the Wednesday of SXSW, this event attracts industry professionals from all mediums of SXSW. This year was no different. With 3,000 RSVPs, the guests who got in not only got to experience ISSUE TWO 2015

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In the mood to dance with Zydeco Radio at the Lafayette Live Party.

CC Adcock and the Lafayette Marquis packs the house at SXSW.

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amazing South Louisiana talent, but they also got a taste of Louisiana with free boiled crawfish, making Lafayette LIVE a huge success!” “This year, Lafayette LIVE showcased multiple short films (made in Lafayette) presented by Southern Screen Film Festival, live music presented by Blue Moon Presents, and interactive media presented by the Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise (LITE). Other event sponsors included Lafayette Convention and Visitor Commission (LCVC), Lafayette Entertainment Initiative, Festival International de Louisiane, Festivals Acadiens et Creoles, and WXPN Zydeco Crossroads,” continued Bordelon. The State of Louisiana was also at SXSW where the Department of Economic Development was trying to lure tech startups, interactive software companies, gaming companies, and filmmakers to the Bayou State. “SXSW always presents unique business development and recruiting opportunities for Louisiana Entertainment. Our office hosted a booth,” explained Christopher Stelly, Executive Director of Louisiana Entertainment. “Along with several of our partners, we were able to promote Louisiana as the most business friendly option for your project. Whether it is a tech company looking to develop software or a filmmaker looking for the best incentives in the world, SXSW is an ideal opportunity for our office to market our programs and further our brand.” LFV


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AVOID MIND READING:

A NEW ORLEANS FILM FESTIVAL PROGRAMMER TELLS ALL

Opening night gala at the New Orleans Film Festival in 2012. STORY BY T. HOPPER PHOTOS COURTESY OF NEW ORLEANS FILM SOCIETY, CRAIG MULCAHY, AND ODIN LINDBLOM

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his year, New Orleans Film Festival (NOFF) celebrates its 26th anniversary. Named by MovieMaker Magazine as one of the ‘25 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee,’ NOFF will screen official selections at venues across the city this year from October 15 – 22, 2015. As the final deadlines draw near for entry into this year’s festival, Program Director Clint Bowie sat down with Louisiana Film & Video Magazine to offer some advice for filmmakers who are considering submitting. “As a programmer, the first question we ask ourselves is, ‘Does this film have something to say?’ We are looking for filmmakers who have a point of view and are willing to take risks,” says Bowie. “In that sense, we value originality over sheer technical merit. We are looking for stories with depth and films that have a voice. This doesn’t mean that we’re only looking for message-based films; instead, we’re looking for films that contribute something new, whether in style, structure, subject or form. Before programming a film, we ask ourselves, ‘Is this a film that we want other people to see?’ That guides our process.” “We receive an awful lot of films about heists, murders, bags

of money, and post-apocalyptic worlds,” continues Bowie. “While there are some really great ways of telling these stories, we do see a lot of this subject matter on screen. What we get excited by are original story ideas as well as new ways of telling stories we might have heard before that make us see them differently. An automatic turnoff for us is too much exposition. Our audiences like to be challenged, and films that connect all the dots for the audience don’t allow for the kind of engaged film-viewing experience that we like to offer our audiences.” “We consider NOFF to be a discovery festival where new filmmaking voices are discovered. We’re not interested in celebrity or known filmmakers; we’re interested in strong, confident films (regardless of) whether they are small student projects featuring the filmmaker’s friends, or they are bigger-budget features with well-known actors,” adds Bowie. “We do require that all official selections be premieres for the Greater New Orleans area. This is because we want the festival to continue to be a source of discovery for local audiences, where they can look forward to seeing new works. For our feature films in competition, we are looking to spotlight films that haven’t Clint Bowie

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received the kind of attention we feel they deserve, so we are looking for premiere films (world, national, or regional premieres) or films that haven’t had much of a festival life so far. However, for the remainder of the lineup, we are unconcerned with premiere status and simply want to connect audiences with the best films that we have access to.” Last year, New Orleans Film Festival received over 2,100 submissions with narrative shorts accounting for more than half of all submissions. This year, NOFF expects to receive more than 3,000 submissions. This year NOFF also has the honor of being an Academy Awards qualifier for documentary shorts so if your documentary short film wins the festival, it will automatically qualify for Oscar consideration. This is very exciting since only 23 other film festivals in the United States have been granted this privilege by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. “We have a small group of six individuals who make up our programming staff; some are full-time, some are part-time, and they make all final decisions regarding film selections,” explains Bowie. “Additionally, we engage around 50 members of the community to offer feedback on the submissions. These community screeners are assigned specific categories and complete score sheets and participate in discussions with programming staff to offer their thoughts on the submissions. All short film submissions are seen by at least three individuals including at least one member of our programming staff, and all feature films are seen by at least two individuals including one member of our programming staff.” “When we have time, we love to read a director’s statement or read why the film was made, but at the end of the day, we make decisions based on films and the stories they tell, not on press kits and not on what a filmmaker writes about their work. The only bit of info that we’d like to get more of from filmmakers is why they want to screen at our festival. Do they want to connect with our audience? Do they have family in New Orleans? Has the film been overlooked at other festivals, and they’re looking for a home? Do they want to legitimize Film Festival attendees anxiously await a screening at the Prytania Theatre.

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Members of the New Orleans filmmaking team responsible for the short film Call Me Cappy, an official selection of the 2014 New Orleans Film Festival, pictured here on Opening Night of the fest: Andrea Kuehnel (producer), Anastasiya Rul (actress), Maja Holzinger (director), and Melissa Remark (writer).

their status as a filmmaker by screening at NOFF? In addition to looking for strong, confident films, we’re looking for filmmakers who will be engaged during the festival and will take advantage of the many opportunities the festival offers,” says Bowie. “When making tough decisions between two films that we love equally, these questions about what NOFF would mean for the film and the filmmaker can help influence our final decision.” Filmmakers can submit their work through online submissions at Film Freeway or Withoutabox. The final deadline for this year’s categories of Narrative Features, Documentary Features, Narrative Shorts, Documentary Shorts, Animated Shorts, Experimental Shorts, and Music Videos is June 26, 2015. Louisiana Shorts and Louisiana Features have a bit more time with July 10 as their final deadline to submit. Bowie has some final words of wisdom: “If we are unable to accept your film, please do not assume that we hated it, did not watch it, or did not ‘get it.’ Every year, there are tons of films that we wish we could screen but simply don’t have the space to include in the festival. It’s an extremely competitive process and also entirely subjective so, please, don’t take it personally, and don’t let it affect how you see your worth as a filmmaker.” LFV Louisiana filmmakers Andrew Bryan (Angel of Joy), Alison J. Forest (The Flight of the Bumblebee), Lizzie Guitreau (Laundry Room), Eric Gibson (Scotch on the Rocks), Adam Intriago (Her Name Was Alice), and Maja Holzinger (Call Me Cappy), following a screening of their respective films at the Prytania Theatre during the 2014 New Orleans Film Festival.


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On set with (L-R) Actress Malin Akerman, Cinematographer Rob Givens, and Director Brett Haley

STORY BY W. H. BOURNE PHOTOS COURTESY OF BLEECKER STREET

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he Louisiana International Film Festival (LIFF) will soon be screening I’ll See You in My Dreams at their annual festival at Cinemark Theaters at Perkins Row in Baton Rouge. The film which stars actress Blythe Danner (Meet the Parents, Meet the Fockers, Little Fockers) is about a widow named Carol who discovers that life can begin anew at any age. Louisiana Film & Video Magazine had the opportunity to speak with cinematographer Rob Givens about his work with director Brett Haley on this funny and heartwarming film.

“Working with Brett Haley is always a great experience. Every film I’ve done with him, he’s had a heavy hand in the writing,” said Givens. “For our collaboration, that’s been a very good thing. I find it easier primarily because having a hand in the writing of the script inherently allows him to be very in touch with the story. He knows the core beat of every scene. Many times on set, in a given location, things have to change and adapt to fit within a space or a schedule. Brett has always impressed me with his ability to adapt to the circumstances without losing sight of the scene’s essence. Basically, because he wrote it (the script) and re-wrote it, having to re-write it again on shooting day comes naturally. This allows him and me to embrace the unexpected when shooting and find something he might not have ever seen on the page.” “One of the most significant challenges was simply the page count within the tight (18 day shooting) schedule,” continued Givens. “The script was at nearly 120 pages with significant amounts of dialogue. This meant, like most indie films, that we had to pack a lot of coverage into every shoot day, and we had to make our days

DP Rob Givens loved shots of Blythe Danner by the marina

no matter what. This necessitates a very economical way of shooting. It also means you have to plan your lighting and coverage meticulously in prep. That lighting plan from prep has to work on the day because there’s very little time to back pedal and try something different. Luckily, I had a solid crew, and the locations worked out very well for us so making the days wasn’t much of a problem. The pressure was always on, but Brett and I knew when to combine ISSUE TWO 2015

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shots or simplify to keep the days right at 12 hours.” “Brett and I spent a lot of time in the house location ahead of time to plan out our coverage very specifically,” explained Givens. “We wanted Carol’s house to be a character in the film, a vehicle to represent her as much as, say, her wardrobe would. Taking that time in the physical space during prep helped us and our Production Designer, Eric Archer, to really focus on capturing the character of this Director Brett Haley woman within the home she created for herself.” “Overall, it was our goal from the beginning to get ‘out of the way’ of the characters on the page,” continued Givens. “Cinematically, we agreed that the script would be best served with a very naturalistic, non-flashy style. It was very important to Brett that nothing about the execution should call attention to itself. The goal was that the audience should be able to gently step into Carol’s world without feeling anything thrust upon them stylistically. So with that set of parameters, communicating a sense of emotional vulnerability, restraint, and subtlety were the goals of the camera work. This led us to using a mostly ‘classical’ or ‘studio’ style, with only very subtle dolly moves and the occasional handheld work when the scene asked for a little more spontaneity or vulnerability.” “We shot the movie with the Sony F55,” offered Givens. “After doing tests with the camera, I was quite impressed with the way it rendered nuanced skin tones within the S-Log2 Gamma. We shot 1920x1080, HD-SR 4444 (ProRes), Uncompressed RGB to the internal SxS cards. I was lucky to have a fantastic DIT, CJ Miller, who was a great confidant in helping make sure we had things within the low contrast range that I was looking to preserve. Shooting at the native 1250 ISO really allowed me to light to my eye and gave me a little more flexibility for the night exterior work.” “The lens package was comprised of Zeiss CP.2 Primes and two

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Blythe Danner and Martin Starr in a scene from I’ll See You in My Dreams

Sam Elliott and Blythe Danner

CP Zooms (15.5-45mm and 70-200mm). The workhorse lenses were the 50, 85, and 135mm primes. The Zeiss lenses tended to be very sharp so we wore Classic Soft filtration for the whole film to take off the harsh, digital edge,” added Givens. “One of my favorite shots is a very simple one,” said Givens. “It’s a shot of Carol during a montage late in the film where she walks along by a marina and stops to look out at the boats parked in their slips. It was one of those shots that you envision during prep and you hope that all the elements of weather, time of day, schedule, and light will come together to make that shot work as you see it in your head; but you know there’s only so much control you have, especially on a tight indie schedule. But that sequence timed out perfectly on our shooting day. The light was doing wonderful things, Blythe gave us a subtle and heartbreaking performance, and the whole bit just came together in the camera. It’s those moments you live for as a cameraman.” On Saturday May 9, 2015, you’ll be able to see Cinematographer Rob Givens’ wonderful work in I’ll See You in My Dreams at LIFF. You’ll also have the opportunity to see the film’s director, Brett Haley, live at the festival for a Q & A after the film. “Brett is a wonderful director to work with. He knows how to get vivid performances and how to lead a crew,” explained Givens. “Most importantly, he is very passionate about every project he does. That excitement really energizes the crew, and it makes for a better final product all around.” In addition to the festival screening, I’ll See You in My Dreams will have a limited theatrical release in select markets beginning May 15, 2015. LFV


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QUIXOTE STUDIOS CELEBRATES THEIR

20 Anniversary th

Quixote founders Jordan Kitaen and Mikel Elliott.

The Quixote team celebrates!

STORY BY HALEY SUMMERS PHOTOS COURTESY OF QUIXOTE STUDIOS

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ikel Elliott began working out of a motorhome in 1992. More than two decades later, Quixote Studios is a formidable company with assets including soundstages, lighting and grip, expendables, and a fleet of trucks and motorhomes to service the film industry. “It all comes down to vision Mikel Elliott and determination. You have to know where you want to go, and you have to be determined enough to get there,” said Elliott. The name, Quixote, is a reflection of his determination. “My partner and I were both literature majors at the time. We decided to flip through some books to help us find a name, and we ran into the story of Don Quixote. He was a dreamer who hoped to conquer new lands, which we could relate to.” Elliott and his partner, Jordan Kitaen, opened their first studio photo-and-event facility on Santa Monica Blvd. in the summer of 1997. As Quixote became progressively more successful, they, very fittingly, conquered new lands by expanding the Santa Monica Blvd. facility. Of course during all of this time, Elliott and Kitaen were expanding their truck and motorhome production line. Their innovation began in 1997 when they created the first production pop-out trailer; now their fleet includes solar powered green vehicles. The winning combination of will and foresight led the com-

pany to expand beyond Los Angeles. In July of 2011, Quixote opened The Studio Store, a shop for expendables for film production, in New Orleans. Shortly thereafter, in August of Concept designs for Stage 3 in New Orleans. 2012, Quixote broke ground on soundstages in New Orleans. “The infrastructure is larger Quixote’s Stage 1 in New Orleans. than it used to be,” explained Elliott. “Once upon a time you had to ship everything in. You don’t have to anymore, which is convenient and cost effective.” In January of 2014, Ravenswood, a spin-off of ABC’s Pretty Little Liars, began filming at Quixote’s new studio in the Crescent City. Since then, Quixote has signed a new ABC show, Astronaut Wives Club, which is also filming at the New Orleans facility as well. “There was a growing need for studios in the South, particularly in New Orleans. The business district is convenient for shooting because it can look like a lot of other cities in the U.S. and the tax incentives aren’t bad either,” said Elliott. “We love it down there. The steady rise in film production in Louisiana makes it attractive to filmmakers as well.” As Quixote celebrates their 20th anniversary, Elliott believes the company will continue to thrive in both Los Angeles and New Orleans. In fact, construction plans are already underway to add a third soundstage to their New Orleans facility. “We’ve always focused on more than one medium at a time. It’s important to be well versed in photography and in film and television production as opposed to just one or the other. For us, it’s always been about providing the best version of whatever it is that the producer needs.” LFV ISSUE TWO 2015

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THE D TRAIN STORY BY W. H. BOURNE

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he D Train, the Jack Black/James Marsden comedy will be rolling into theaters on May 8, 2015. Louisiana Film & Video Magazine had the opportunity to catch up with cinematographer Giles Nuttgens who gave us the inside scoop of the film which premiered at Sundance Film Festival this past January.

The film is about Dan Landsman (Jack Black) who has never been the cool guy. That’s all about to change if he can convince Oliver Lawless (Marsden), the most popular guy from his high school who’s now the star of a national Banana Boat ad campaign, to show up with him to their class reunion. A man on a mission, Dan travels from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles and spins a web of lies to recruit Lawless. But he gets more than he bargains for as the unpredictable Lawless proceeds to take over his home, career, and entire life. “We were neither in Pittsburgh or Los Angeles, and New Orleans doesn’t look like Pittsburgh or Los Angeles,” says Nuttgens. “That’s one of the interesting things in the movie industry in the States at the moment. With the incentive program, it’s often challenging for people to create.” “Obviously on D Train, a lot of the movie happens inside Jack’s house; once inside his house you’re reliant on the designer to create something that’s appropriate on a socio-cultural sense but also in terms of the type of place you would find in a small town or on the edge of Pittsburgh,” says Nuttgens. “And I think I need to mention that Ethan Tobman, the production designer, had a very strong idea on how to separate the two elements (Los Angeles and Pittsburgh). His ideas were not so much about knocking it down to very specific places, but to bring an aesthetic, almost a period feel, of how a guy like this would have decorated his home, a guy without a wife, a guy with a few weaknesses … you know it’s Jack Black, and he plays that character.” “Ethan was very good at showing how a style should be laid down,” explains Nuttgens, “...the slightly muted colors, the colors for each different space in the house, was really fantastic; he had great design. Ethan had a style in his head that he really wanted to stick to, and what it enabled us to do was to create a lighting plan that was efficient which was important because we had to shoot quite fast.” “It was a small house with small windows,” continues Nuttgens, “and a lot happens at night so with the exception of one or two scenes, everything was reasonably muted with the lighting; it was a mixture of a certain amount of daylight coming in and a certain

The D Train Cinematographer Giles Nuttgens

amount of practical lights on during the day because it’s one of those houses that never really tends to get light. I think we had only one scene that actually used some really hard light coming through some Flemish glass which was very beautiful, but it was a very specific moment in the film where Jack was almost on his way out of the door and off to Los Angeles. We wanted to indicate that he was going somewhere else, somewhere different.” “I think our biggest challenge was trying to create Los Angeles in New Orleans which was basically hotels and a restaurant scene,” says Nuttgens. “For the big restaurant scene, Ethan spent a lot of time trying to sell this place to both me and the directors, and I was like, ‘This can’t be Los Angeles’; however, when Ethan actually did the redecoration of the interior, by using really bright colors and a lot of vegetation, he managed to put us in a space which allowed me flexibility to introduce hard light which would indicate the Los Angeles sun. And I would say that was the biggest challenge of the film.” “When we turned up to shoot the scene, it was pouring with rain. It was literally black outside, and it was 10 am in the morning. It was almost impossible to expose that. And then, partly because of the nature of the Alexa, by changing the ASA rating, we were able to take the top end off so we were able to burn out the outside and shoot wide open. I think I even shot the wide shot spherical so I could shoot it even wider to make it look like it was a burning ISSUE TWO 2015

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a screen, it looked really fantastic. It’s sort of like film, but cleaner Los Angeles sun outside, but I think the introduction of hard light and sharper and certainly in many ways better technically, but it’s combined with white, hot surfaces that Ethan had supplied us with, also very appealing. It started the whole process off in a great direcmeant that it was actually capable of fooling people that it was Los tion because the three of us, myself and the two directors, thought Angeles. I do believe that was probably the biggest challenge to try we could do something pictorially interesting with this film… It and create on a very dull day, a place that had enough energy and was a nice start for collaboration.” enough power, and to imagine that there was a very bright world “After working with two different directing teams, I almost don’t outside. We really didn’t have that issue when we were shooting understand how you can just work with one director because when inside Jack Black’s flat,” explains Nuttgens. you get two directors working together, you realize they’re check“I used an Alexa Studio for this film which is basically a film ing each other all the time. You know that all directors say that the camera with a digital back on it. The Alexa for me is the closloneliest place in the world is being a director...,” adds Nuttgens. “The est thing you can get to film, and I grew up in a film world,” great thing about Jarred (Paul) and Andrew (Mogel) is that they really says Nuttgens. “It’s getting harder and harder to push a project do it (direct) equally. The through on film. Every one who is really quiet all time I go to shoot a film, morning will be forceful the directors will say, in the afternoon. And the ‘Well, I like the look of great thing is that you can’t this film or that film,’ pull the wool over anyone’s and I’ll say, ‘Yeah, talk to eyes because you have Kodak about it.’ Arriflex two people checking each came up with this fantasother all the time and also tic camera that doesn’t checking you.” force you to learn some “Jack’s a magnificent new technology. They actor, and you’re in a tried to make it as simple lucky place when you’re and as familiar as possiworking with Jack and ble for those experienced James Marsden. Kathwith shooting on film.” ryn Hahn was fantastic “The Alexa does have as well,” says Nuttgens. a very good top end,” ex“Because the directors plains Nuttgens. “It’s very knew what they wanted ... pleasant with how it deals it was just such a pleasure with the brighter parts of to watch.” the frame. The roll off into D Train actors James Marsden and Jack Black (L-R) “We were actually very the whites is very gentle on specific in the breakthe Alexa; whereas, there’s downs during prep about when to move the camera, when the a lot of other digital cameras that hit the top end and hit it hard.” camera was static, when was it hand-held, when would we cross a “Shooting anamorphic digitally was very nice for me because specific line in a scene, and how long were the gaps between cuts,” I’ve shot a lot of anamorphic on film. The one other project I continues Nuttgens. “We had a very short prep time, but we just had shot on the Alexa was shot spherical. When I came up for the went through every single scene, found a way we thought was interview for D Train, I was expecting everyone to take the standard interesting and appropriate to view it, and then tried to figure out it’s comedy, shoot 1:185 … and the directors weren’t interested in the rhythms that were in that scene. There was a certain amount that. They wanted to produce something that was slightly different of evolution of that on the set, but in most cases what we actually … I did some very simple tests for them (the directors) on what planned was followed through.” you could achieve with a spherical master prime and what you can “I would say that the one set that was most problematic was the achieve with a V-lite, the Hawk anamorphic,” continues Nuttgens. scene with Jack at James Marsden’s flat in Los Angeles … Unfortu“I thought the directors would like the very sharp, hard edged, clean nately when we got to this scene, it was our last day and everyone spherical look, but to my great surprise, when we put it up on the was tired. There was a massive electrical storm and the generator big screen, they just looked at me and said, ‘There’s absolutely no flooded … Because we were delayed, we had to shoot into the night question about it, we’re shooting with anamorphics.’ They wanted even though it was a day scene. It was the one day we went into to get away from this very hard-edged, clear, everything-in- yourserious overtime,” explains Nuttgens. “I think it was two o’clock in face comedy so when those images came up, they just loved it.” the morning and that’s when we were going to ask Jack to do the “I tend to use the edges of the frame a lot, and on anamorphics most difficult scene in the film. And Jack was like, ‘I can’t believe that’s quite difficult in the sense that it’s never as sharp as the you did this to me right at the very end.’ The ability to deal with the center. I found that working the lenses quite hard, not wide open sensitivity of the situation and turn it into a comedy situation was a but at 2.8, and using the edge of the frame, it just took the digital big challenge for the guys (Jarred and Andrew) to actually carry off, edge off the images,” says Nuttgens. “When projected with 2K on 52 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

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and it’s also a huge challenge for James and Jack to carry off … so ultimately what I did was to defer to what they actors were feeling and to accommodate what they could do as fast as possible because we were going to burn out. We did one take and it was so funny. It had all of those elements of pain, nervousness, and sensibility but also humor. I was there focused on Jack’s face, hand-held, and I couldn’t stop laughing. And of course it was two or three in the morning … and Jack was like ‘Look even Giles is laughing.’” “21 days of the shoot were in Louisiana,” says Nuttgens. “There was a 2nd unit that was a single day shooting in California which I wasn’t available for because I was already onto another picture. Essentially, it was two guys getting drunk ... going through very specific places on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. At the same time, they also shot the commercial on the beach, the Banana Boat commercial, with James Marsden.” “We did the DI last summer. In terms of the DI, it was very straight forward and fast, like 40 hours or something. It went fast because we actually stuck to what we had initially shot. We had very little variation. Beyond balancing the daylight exteriors, we didn’t do very much windowing; in other words, we didn’t try to pull people out and drop the backgrounds back. We just left it where it was. It was very rare when we pulled out faces and pushed the background back. I know a lot of people tend to do this, but we felt like Ethan had done such a great job. We just wanted to feel Jack’s house around him, the type of person he was, the type of limited life that he had in this small town,” explains Nuttgens. “Two things we did do in the DI was that we made the Banana Boat commercial very warm and golden since it was an exterior beach thing. The L.A. nightclub, which was shot in the center of New Orleans, we made much darker than what we actually shot. Los Angeles has those dark bars where you almost can’t see anybody, and we just wanted to give it that feeling. We shot it with a lot of practical lights,” continues Nuttgens. “Those were the only two things.” “We pretty much shot everything the way it ended up in the film (with little alteration in post) ... I never really understood that process. I’m like, ‘If you want to give it a look, do it in the lighting. Make the decisions before you actually go in there instead of making the decisions later on.’ When people add on layers, whether they are colored layers or contrast layers,” explains Nuttgens, “or they do very specific things like burning whites or making the blacks very hard, I think they change the nature of the film so much that I wonder why didn’t they make it that way in the first place?” “We had to film on a very dull day. On film, that would have been a real challenge. By shooting spherical on the wide shoots until the sun came up, it really helped the directors believe that we were in Los Angeles ... In the defense of digital, that is one of the great things about it,” says Nuttgens. “If you can actually create the mood and emotion on a monitor, the directors can see it and feel what they want to feel. They can feel like they’re going in the right direction, and the actors can also feel like they’re going in the right direction. I’m a big believer of letting the actors feel the actual space that they’re in. I try to keep as many lights off the set and try not to cover things all in black so that it changes everything into a different space. I think it’s very important for the actors to be able to feel the environment and feeling that the environment is very appropriate. I think it was great for them to be able to look at the

monitor and say, ‘Yeah, that looks like it was shot in Los Angeles’, and feel comfortable during the whole scene.” “This was my first time shooting in New Orleans,” adds Nuttgens, “but not in Louisiana. I shot The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond in Baton Rouge in 2007. I can tell you that I wasn’t a very big fan of Baton Rouge. We were there in the summer, and it was really hot. It was 2007 and Baton Rouge was expanding from everyone moving out from Hurricane Katrina. We used to go down to New Orleans the day before and the day after our break to have dinner there because there are some great restaurants there. So I was very happy to be back in New Orleans for D Train, and while I wasn’t using the same camera crew, I was using the same gaffer and the same key grip that I had in Baton Rouge ... It felt like a return to New Orleans for me. New Orleans is fun and you can eat really well.” “Everybody was 100% local. I had this wonderful 1st AC named Michael Charbonnet, obviously a French name from Louisiana. Michael was one of the best ACs I’ve worked with recently. He was fantastic. Besides being incredibly good at his job, he was the quietest, most efficient person I’ve ever come across,” says Nuttgens. “The great thing about the States is that you keep moving around because of the incentives,” continues Nuttgens, “so eventually you’ll always end up back in New Orleans again ... As a place to be, we certainly had a good time. There are a lot worse places in the States where you could be.” LFV

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THE LEDGER AT NAB: A CAMERA BAG FIELD TEST GEAR REVIEW AND PHOTOS BY ODIN LINDBLOM

ust looking at a camera bag, packing it with gear, carrying it around a little and then writing about it seemed like I’d be letting the bag off too easy if I called that a review; however, bringing that fully loaded camera bag to the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show in Las Vegas for a week, now that would be a true field test.

J

First Impressions At first sight the Ledger camera bag from Domke is an impressive yet understated piece of American made craftsmanship. The black Cordura helps keep the product from standing out as a camera bag which is good if you’re going to locations where it’s good to blend in. Upon close inspection of the Ledger, you’ll find high quality zippers, snaps and fittings as well as heavy Cordura nylon that is well stitched. The interior movable padded dividers and expandable front and side pouches seem very versatile, but what catches the eye most is the red interior pocket and the long red zipper for the thin padded laptop pocket with its soft cloth lining. The bag looks highly functional but how easy is it to pack? The Pack For NAB, I knew I’d be shooting video and stills so I’d have a heavy load. A Canon DSLR, three lenses, a flash, large on-camera LED light panel, audio recorder, handheld microphone, mic cable, earbuds, memory cards, filters, a lens cleaning kit, extra lens caps, an extra quick release plate for my monopod, business cards and batteries for everything (even to recharge my phone) all had to fit into this bag. When I laid out all the gear, I was certain it would not all fit. Packing the Ledger was a breeze. The interior dividers were easy to arrange, and the side and front pockets expand to hold a lot of gear. The movable red pocket inside the bag looks like it was made for a phone but fit about thirty business cards. As for the laptop pocket it’s big enough for a 7” tablet and a 5” smart phone. I put my memory card wallet in

there since if I lost the wallet, I could lose a whole day’s footage from the show. All my gear fit in nice and snug with a little bit of room left over. With the bag fully packed, it weighed in at over eighteen pounds. That’s a good size load to carry around the show. For the last few years I’ve carried camera backpacks with the idea being that they would split the weight of the load between my shoulders so carrying all that gear would be a little easier. The Ledger is a single shoulder strap bag so I was a little nervous as to how my shoulders were going to feel. Vegas! I made it to NAB on Sunday for the sessions and events that took place before the show floor opened on Monday. Monday through Thursday I walked about 5 miles a day through the exhibit halls, meeting rooms and hallways of the Las Vegas Convention Center with the Domke bag on my shoulder and hanging by my side. To my amazement, being able to switch shoulders made the bag more comfortable than a backpack. Having the bag at my side as opposed to on my back made getting to my gear a lot faster. Designed to Perform Some of the advantages of the Ledger become more apparent with use. Many camera bags similar in style to the Ledger have a top handle that is directly attached to the top flap of the bag which covers the main section of the bag where you’d store your camera and lenses. The only problem with this design is that if you forget to secure that top flap and you go to pick up the bag, it can tip over and spill out your camera and gear. The Ledger’s top flap has both Velcro and steel hardware to secure it but no attached handle. Instead the bag has two large D-rings on the sides of the bag which a short hand strap and the shoulder strap attach to. The zipper on the top flap was handy; it allows you to open the top of the bag and get to anything in the center section without undoing the hardware that secures the flap. The zipper opens up wide enough that it was easy to get my camera out and place it back in. Through this same opening, I could get to all of the gear in the center section of the Ledger. Even in a dark room, I could look down into the bag and see that red pouch I put my business cards in. The Ledger has Velcro closures for both the top flap and flaps over the side pockets. These Velcro squares have small tabs you can ISSUE TWO 2015

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and I was walking about a half mile back to my car as sand and debris flew around me. The flaps of the Domke bag didn’t open. When I got back to my hotel room, I was pleased to see that there was no sand in the bag. Those small Velcro squares were a lot stronger than I initially gave them credit for.

fold over on to them that effectively disable the Velcro so that you can get into the bag quietly. This also was very handy. There is a small steel tag under the top flap of the bag that has the website and phone number for Domke as well as an ID number for the bag in case it is lost and someone finds it. Having once found a camera bag full of gear with no identifying markings on it or in it, I know first hand how valuable this can be. I Worry Too Much As soon as I had the Ledger packed with all my gear for NAB, I looked at it and started to worry. The top flap has steel hardware to hold it closed as well as Velcro, but the flaps for the side pockets only have Velcro. Those Velcro squares looked a little small. I got nervous about having my camera batteries and microphone in the side pouches. If I ran with the bag, would they fall out? Could the flaps blow open? I was going to Las Vegas so I wasn’t worried too much about rain. A few days into the show the winds picked up. There were gusts up to 50mph,

THE SPECS Fabric: Cordura nylon Exterior Dimensions: 14.5”L x 7”W x 8”H Interior Main Dimensions: 11”L x 6.5”W x 7.25”H Internal Laptop Area: 9.5 x 7.37” Weight: 3.55 lbs Warranty: 2 Years Retail: $289.95

Final Thoughts Overall, the Ledger bag from Domke was a pleasure to use at NAB. It made my work at the show a good bit easier. It can hold a surprising amount and provides a lot of protection for your gear. Domke offers a wide range of accessories to go with the bag as well as similar bags in smaller and larger sizes. They are all viewable on Domke’s website at tiffen.com/domke. With its $289.95 retail price, the Ledger proved to be well worth the money with its ease of use, features and quality construction. It was so easy to use I forgot to get a picture of the bag while I was in Las Vegas. I kind of forgot it was there. Now that’s a good bag! LFV

fly higher, farther & longer

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HOT PURSUIT IN

OF DIRECTOR ANNE FLETCHER

STORY BY W. H. BOURNE PHOTOS BY SAM EMERSON COURTESY OF WARNER BROTHERS

“I

n the beginning before I even came on the movie, Reese (Witherspoon) wanted to work with Sofía (Vergara), and they had a meeting together,” says Anne Fletcher, Director of the upcoming release Hot Pursuit. “Sofia loved the idea of working together as well so they listened to a lot of pitches about movies that they could do together. When this particular movie, Hot Pursuit, was pitched to them, they loved it because it’s a good, old fashioned buddy comedy.” Two years prior to production, Witherspoon and Australian producer Bruna Papandrea launched a production entity called Pacific Standard. It had a simple mandate: to develop and produce movies with female characters including comedies driven by women. Witherspoon was attracted to Vergara’s work on the TV hit series Modern Family and thought the two might work well together. The pitch they loved, Hot Pursuit, was about an uptight and by-thebook cop named Cooper (Witherspoon) who tries to protect the sexy and outgoing Daniella Riva (Vergara) who’s the widow of a drug boss. Together they race through Texas, pursued by crooked cops and murderous gunmen. “With every good, old fashioned comedy you have to be opposites on every level,” explains Fletcher. “For our two leads, we have their cultural differences and their size differences; they also come from two completely different worlds, and they live life completely differently. At the core of the movie’s existence is this oil and vinegar relationship.” “A lot of the set pieces from the movie were in the script, but often I would want to just take things a bit further,” continues Fletcher. “I figured, ‘Why not?’ Based on my dance back-

(L-R) Sofia Vergara as Daniella Riva and Reese Witherspoon as Cooper in the comedy “HOT PURSUIT,” a New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM). ISSUE TWO 2015

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ground, my choreography experience, and my love for physical movie to say yes or no (about locations), and they were really helpcomedy, we would try certain things and see if we could amp them ful in finding these great locations in New Orleans to sell for Texas.” up a little bit more with physical “We did end up getting a lot comedy. I had two women who of great stuff there (in New Orlewere willing and game; they really ans),” continues Fletcher. “One of understood their physicality and the biggest challenges that I was knew what physically looked funny very concerned about was finding and how to motivate their bodies the Rivas’ house because I wanted in ways that looked great. I was it to look like a genuine hacienda. lucky enough to have this type of I was very, very nervous because movie to make with two girls who I know the style of homes in were capable of doing it.” Louisiana, and although they can Fletcher’s behind-the-scenes vary, there’s a real specific look creative team was comprised of to any town you move into and several of her collaborators from New Orleans, specifically, so I (Center) Director Anne Fletcher with (right) Reese Witherspoon on the set of The Proposal, including director was really worried about Daniella the comedy “HOT PURSUIT,” a New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer of photography Oliver StapleRiva’s house.” Pictures (MGM). ton, production designer Nelson “When I read the script there Coates, editor Priscilla Nedd Friendly, and costume designer was a house in my head,” explains Fletcher. “I don’t know where it Catherine Marie Thomas. existed except in my head. The first time we went out for scouting, “The movie starts in San Antonio and heads throughout Texas to Nelson had found this house across the Causeway that was exactly get to Dallas,” says Fletcher. “Topography wise, you know, Louisiana the vision I had in my head of what this hacienda should look is very different from Texas. We were in a 30 mile radius from New like. It was shocking! So the house that we see when we go to meet Orleans, and all of that is mostly water so for us to find places withDaniella Riva in the beginning of the movie is a genuine house. out water, large stretches of land and highway that could look like It’s not a set; it’s real; it’s right there in Louisiana. For me, that was Texas was challenging. We were lucky in that we had my production the scariest thing that we were going to have to find (in locations) designer Nelson Coates who was born and raised in Texas. My 1st and we found it. We found lots of gold in Louisiana!” It was no secret that Hot Pursuit, which supposedly takes place AD was also from Texas so we had a lot of genuine Texans on the (L-r) Sofia Vergara as Daniella Riva and Reese Witherspoon as Cooper in the comedy “HOT PURSUIT,” a New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM).

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(L-r) Sofia Vergara as Daniella Riva and Reese Witherspoon as Cooper in the comedy “HOT PURSUIT.” Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

built the “blind drive” bus. The bus was controlled from underneath by building the steering, the accelerator, braking system and emergency brake in the baggage compartment. It was driven like a video game on a screen with stunt drivers Donna Evans Merlo and Tracy Keehn Dashnaw. The sequence, which filmed in a construction site, required three different buses including a stunt bus for the exterior work that involved crashing into other police cruisers. Camera tricks allowed the bus to look like it was traveling at 60 miles per hour when in fact it was going no more than half that speed. And to help ensure the safety of the actors and extras inside, the filmmakers mixed in several stunt professionals with them. “We had a great time making this movie with all the women. We all got along incredibly well, and we all had the same goal in mind. With any job, you just show up to do your job and work really hard to get the work done,” says Fletcher. “There’s not a lot of women behind the camera and even less in front of the camera; female roles are dwindling. It’s one of the things Reese has done that I really love: creating her company to make movies for women and with women ... Whether it’s comedy or drama or books, I just love that that’s her focus, and she’s doing a great job so far.” “All the studios that worked with us saw something great between us,” continues Fletcher. “Reese and Sofía are so connected and are a great team to get behind. Then you add the other chicks into the mix, and I think they (the studios) understood how great it was. We all got along, and we put our hearts on the screen.” “You’re selling the movie on your two leads; they’re great. They’re so adorable together, and they have such great chemistry. Again, a movie like this, lives or dies on the chemistry, and we were lucky that we had it,” explains Fletcher. “Moviemaking is not easy,” adds Fletcher. “You always come up with many challenges, but you figure out how to get through it with the great team that you’ve hired. Finishing it was the greatest reward. Just getting to the end and going, ‘Okay we got everything that was scripted and everyone’s alive, healthy and well.’ We love it (moviemaking); that’s why we do it.” Be sure to check out Reese Witherspoon and Sofía Vergara in Anne Fletcher’s Hot Pursuit which opens in theaters nationwide on Friday, May 8, 2015. LFV

in locations in Texas ranging from San Antonio and Dallas, came to Louisiana because of the tax credits; however, it was Witherspoon’s affinity for New Orleans which brought the project to the Big Easy. Being from the South, apparently Witherspoon loves the people, the crews, and the food. “Plain and simple, we came to New Orleans for the tax breaks,” says Fletcher. “You guys have a lovely system. I don’t really know how it works because I don’t really deal with the money aspect of it, but somebody does the budget, and they run it for states that have tax rebates and breaks. The movie was originally called Dumb Ass Texas and was set there. When they budgeted out money and told you how much you would save, then it was time to figure out if there were locations in the state that looked like Texas. So that’s how we ended up with Louisiana.” The shoot was approximately 45 days. Rather than shooting digitally, Fletcher and her director of photography, Oliver Stapleton, shot on film for an “elegant” look. “Things were very tight because we were on Sofía’s hiatus (from her TV series). It was a fairly tight schedule for an action comedy especially with the weather issues you have in Louisiana,” explains Fletcher. “In the summer, you just don’t know what you’re going to get, and it seems like there’s a thunderstorm every five seconds.” “Making this movie in the summer in New Orleans was really difficult,” continues Fletcher. “I’m just not used to that kind of heat, and I don’t function well. The girls were fine. Everyday they’d be like, ‘Well I’m from the South; I’m from Columbia,’ and I’d be like, ‘Just shut up. Shut up. I can’t take this!’ But everyone rolls up their sleeves, and at the end of the day you make it through.” The most elaborate stunt sequence involved a tour bus full of senior citizens careening down a road. Hijacked by Cooper and Daniella who are handcuffed together, they attempt to escape the villains who are chasing after them. “The biggest scene we had was the bus sequence ... I always wanted to see the girls in that bus live as opposed to green screen, and I really wanted to see the bus moving in real time with them in it so my team figured it out; they created some sort of drive shaft where we actually had female stunt drivers under the bus driving it while the girls could be in the moving bus acting out the scene, being funny and being shot at,” explains Fletcher. Reese Witherspoon as Cooper in the comedy “HOT PURSUIT,” a New Line Cinema and To take the stars and seniors on the ride of their life, fa- Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM). ther-and-son special effects team Peter and Pete Chesney 64 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

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DEANNA MESKE Actress / Host / Stunts KNOWN FOR: Elsa & Fred (Film) Atonement (Film) Mystery Diners (Food Network) Entourage (HBO) Southern Fried Homicide (ID) Kidnapped (ID) Theraphobia (Film) Government Lies (Mini Series)

Based in New Orleans

Reels: www.DeannaMeske.com Twitter: @DeannaMeske Agent: Impact MTA 504-533-8759

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Picture Cars of Louisiana, LLC For over 14 years, Picture Cars of Louisiana has been the leader in providing camera YHKLFOHVWRWKHĂ&#x20AC;OP & video industry.

(504) 833-1655 mschlumbrecht@att.net

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3811 Robertson St. Metairie, LA 70001


FROM ORDINARY TO EXTRAORDINARY:

PICTURE CARS LOUISIANA STORY BY HALEY SUMMERS

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ike Schlumbrecht, owner and operator of Picture Cars Louisiana, has worked on cars for nearly 30 years. The last decade, however, has allowed him a significant amount of professional growth, thanks to the state’s ever-expanding film industry. “I used to build street riders when, a few years ago, I was asked to build a car for a Ray Charles movie. He ended up renting several cars from me, and from that point on, everything grew,” says Schlumbrecht. “Every time a production needed a car, they called me. The last few years have allowed my business to increase in a way that I didn’t think about until so many people began filming here.” Schlumbrecht has built cars for productions like Paper Boy, Bonnie and Clyde, and Selfless. He’s currently working on a TV production called Zoo and hopes to continue to work on television and large film projects in the future. “Most people don’t think about the smaller aspects of film production,” says Schlumbrecht. “What I do is work on what seems like a minor part of most films, but in reality it takes a lot of time, money and work. I love taking a very basic car and turning it into something really special. To see a very plain automobile become something extraordinary is a good feeling. The before and after is definitely my favorite part of the process.” Picture Cars says they are the leading “on camera” vehicle service in Louisiana. Their specialty is the fabrication of chassis bodies, parts and interiors. They also build cars for commercials and focus on custom art and design work and vinyl creation and application. They claim that they can take any project from creation to installation with any size vehicle graphics. LFV

For more information about Mike and his cars visit www.picturecarsoflouisiana.com.

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RALLYING THE TROOPS TO SUPPORT THE LOUISIANA FILM INDUSTRY TAX CREDITS STORY BY SUSIE LABRY PHOTOS COURTESY OF AMY RANSOW, GLEN WARNER AND SUSIE LABRY

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very two years, the state legislature evaluates the budget for Louisiana. During the budget review process, Congress people aiming to please constituents, special interest groups, or their own re-election campaigns get a lot of media buzz as they put a unique spin on how the Film Industry Tax Credits are draining the state budget. Our main focus in advocating to keep our credits is to inform. With Louisiana facing a budget crisis, some of our legislators who are facing a tough session are not aware of the benefit of our tax credits which has had a positive return on investment with positive multiplier ripple effects impacting jobs, tourism, and education, while facilitating growth of other industries such as food and beverage, real estate, charities, clothing, transportation, etc. The film industry has even affected repairs, restoration, and preservation of communities as well as historic locations. All of this commerce actually returns money into the state treasury and continues expanding our industry and its allies. In the past, some of the opposition against our state film tax incentives was fueled by misinformation coming from propaganda by organizations linked to film production in other states. At the core, though, is a basic lack of knowledge and understanding of how our tax credits work. Some are being led to believe that the credits are corporate welfare or a subsidy; actually, the incentive program is not. The Film Industry Tax Credit program is just one of many programs run by the State Department of Economic Development designed to bring jobs and taxable revenue to the state of Louisiana. This past year, Louisiana was hailed as the largest film production location in the United States. The tax credits are responsible for bringing in all that revenue. If we decrease or remove our tax credits, it could kill our industry which has happened in other states and has also been responsible for the great exodus from Hollywood. For every person who has benefited either directly or indirectly from the film industry in Louisiana, it is our duty to inform the governor and the legislators and let them know that our industry actually benefits the people and state and that it is not a cost to our state. We can inform them

by our personal testimonies. We can also let them know what goes on in their districts as well as share information from the recently released LFEA MPAA Economic Impact Study of the Film Credit Program. The legislators do listen, keep tabs, count, and tick the contacts. They can be convinced of the benefits the industry brings to our state. What Can We Do About It? First I ask each and everyone in the industry and Activist and actress Susie Labry has those people they know to appeared in more than 300 movies. contact and to get to know their legislators; get them to support our film industry and tax credits. Tell them to leave our film tax credits alone with no decrease or caps. Let them know what the film industry does for them, their family, community, and state. To find out who your State Senator and State Representative is and their contact information, go to www.legis.la.gov and go to the left column to find “Who Are My Legislators?” or simply go to www.legis.la.gov/legis/FindMyLegislators.aspx and fill out the form with the domicile address where you vote from. This will tell you who your elected officials and legislators are. Once you find your legislators, go to the top bar and find “Legislators.” There, you will find their aides, emails, telephones, and addresses. During session, you can also call the chambers directly and leave messages for your legislators. The House can be reached at 225-342-6945; the Senate’s number is 225-342-2040. The Best Ways To Contact Your Legislators An in person approach is often the most effective approach. You can visit your legislator at their state office, at their home office in their district while not in session, or by appointment. You can also speak with them on the full floor during session. Go to the Sgt. At Arms and fill out a card for them to page your legislator for you. You can go to committee meetings where legislators meet such as the House Ways and Means Committee ISSUE TWO 2015

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(house.louisiana. gov/ H_Cmtes/H_CMTE_ WM.asp) or the Senate Revenue & Fiscal Affairs Committee (senate.la.gov/revenue&fiscal/default.asp). These two committees review all budget bills first. They usually post an agenda announcement when the committees meet the night before; Activist and actress Susie Labry with LFEA lobbyist David Tatman. that’s when we see what bills will be coming up. It’s important that we are visible and that we go to the committee meetings whenever the bills regarding Film Industry Tax Credits come up. Warning: When the legislature is in session, it operates 24/7. You need to keep a close watch even during holidays and weekends because bills can sneak up on us. This year, the session began at noon on Monday, April 13, and ends at 6pm on Thursday, June 11. The best case scenario is that when these bills that challenge the Film Industry Tax Credits are introduced, they never even make it out of committee and to the full floor for vote. In the past, before our tax credits became state law, producers who were fearful of cuts to the program brought their projects elsewhere during state budget review. Fortunately, the recent stability of our tax credit program being part of our state laws has helped the film industry in Louisiana grow exponentially. If you can’t meet with your legislator in person, you can contact them by email, telephone or by letter or a postcard. You can also use the LFEA Legislative Action Center Tool (www.votervoice.net/LFEA/home) which makes it very easy to find and contact your legislators; it also helps count how many people are contacting the legislature and governor. The LFEA site is operated by the Louisiana Film and Entertainment Association (www. lfea.org) which is the professional trade association for the Louisiana film industry. They helped with the lobbying efforts two years ago when the film tax credits were under scrutiny and are responsible for commissioning the most recent economic impact study. What To Tell Your Legislators Keep it short, sweet and with a grateful attitude. Emails are logged and read; they are just as effective as letters through the post office. In your SUBJECT or RE: “Please Support Louisiana Film 70 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

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Industry and Our Tax Credits and Please Support or Defeat a Specific Bill.” (Example: Please Vote NO on HB213 by Rep. Morris - Cap on La. Film Tax Credits or Vote FOR a specific Bill, etc.) In the body of your email, make sure you include your email, your name, domicile address, and the jobs or positions you hold in the film industry. Let them know that you want them to support the tax credits and that you are FOR or AGAINST a specific bill. You can find out which bills are up for vote by checking out lfea.org, Keep Our Louisiana Film Industry Facebook Page or by following me on Facebook. When contacting your State Senator and State Representative, please provide the links to and/or attach the pdf of the LFEAMPAA Economic Impact of the Louisiana Motion Picture Investor Tax Credit Study of April 2015 (www.mpaa.org/wp-content/ uploads/2015/04/Economic-Impacts-of-the-Louisiana-MotionPicture-Investor-Tax-Credit1.pdf). Be sure to include your specific, personal testimony of the positive impact that the movie industry has had on you, your family, and community, not only financially but in other ways, such as moving back home to Louisiana, career choices, poverty to riches, increased consortium and respect, etc. If you find that your state senator or representative supports and is for the tax credits, please thank them for their continued support. Keep tabs with them throughout the session. If they oppose the credits, thank them for their time and consideration; tell them you hope they’ll consider the impact it has had on you personally and that you hope they’ll change their mind. In Closing If you benefit from the film industry, it is important for you to be involved and advocate for our industry. It is a tough fight every two years, but with diligence and perseverance we can protect our industry. I urge each and everyone to keep in touch with their legislators. Let them know you are watching in person and by computer (www. legis.la.gov). Inform them by providing the pdf or link to the economic study and by sharing your personal testimonies. Be sweet, considerate, and thankful. Rally in the field or on the steps of the capital, if and when that needs to happen. If you have any further questions, I can be contacted at lasunshinebr@yahoo.com. Activist and actress Susie Labry gathers speaker cards. Thanks! LFV


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KVSBTTJD!XPSME ROARS INTO THEATERS IN JUNE STORY BY T. HOPPER JURASSIC WORLD PHOTOS BY CHUCK ZLOTNICK/UNIVERSAL PICTURES AND AMBLIN ENTERTAINMENT, INC., OTHER PHOTOS COURTESY OF CODIE SCOTT AND JEFF GALPIN

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hen Jurassic World releases nationwide on June 12, 2015, thousands of locals will be looking for themselves either acting on screen or in the credits. Jurassic World, the long awaited sequel to the Jurassic Park series that was executive produced by Steven Spielberg, shot in Louisiana, Hawaii, and California. Local talent found work on the film both in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Louisiana Film & Video Magazine spoke with several locals who worked on the film, Jeff Galpin and Codie Scott. Galpin is a veteran stuntman and animal wrangler who’s been working in the industry for the past 25 years. Scott has been working in the industry for over ten years taking turns in front of and behind the camera. This was his first time working as a greensman on a feature film. “I worked on Jurassic World for 8

months,” says Galpin. “Some days I was an animal wrangler, catching and removing dangerous wildlife that entered the set such as wild boars, rattlesnakes, water moccasins and alligators. On the stunt days, it was running from the flying dinosaurs and diving out the way. The hardest days were just running and running in the hot sun. For me it wasn’t difficult running; the heat was the worst part.” Scott agrees with Galpin, “Typically, I worked 12 hours a day from 6am to 6pm. It was usually very hot and humid.” Scott worked for 3 ½ months on Jurassic World as a greensman under legendary greens lead Dan Ondrejko, who created the lush green jungles on the original Jurassic Park in 1993. “What started for me as a temporary

job for around 6 weeks turned into a full gig for the remainder of the film,” explains Scott. “Danny Ondrejko was so impressed with me that he kept me on for the remainder of the film; he told me that I reminded him of a younger version of himself. What made this so special for me is that Danny is responsible for the look, feel and design of many scenes of Jurassic World that entails foliage, trees, and certain geological areas. He has created the visuals for so many well known films that people recognize. It was the first time I felt like I was actually seen and acknowledged for all the assets I

Filming at “the compound”, a set that was built across from the NASA studio facility out by Michoud in New Orleans.

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Actor Chris Pratt reviews a scene with director Colin Trevorrow.

bring to a crew.” “My most challenging moment on the film was when Danny asked me to create the look of the stairwell from the original Jurassic Park that looked like Mother Nature and Father Time had taken it over; it had to look as if moss naturally had consumed it. At first I was overwhelmed with anxiety of being given this responsibility since the stairwell would be a key character in the scene, but Danny truly believed in me and even complimented me on my journey. Once I knew he approved of my vision and was very pleased with my creative, artistic rendition of how I thought it should look, the task was a breeze,” says Scott. The filming of Jurassic World in southern Louisiana was a major feat for the entertainment industry here. The epic, action-adventure sequel was directed by Colin Trevorrow and based on characters created by author Michael Crichton. Of course the real hype surrounds actor Chris Pratt, who is starring in this film after his recent lead as Star Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy. The industry is anxiously awaiting to see if he can successfully headline a movie 74 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

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without the Marvel brand attached. Local audiences may be anxiously awaiting to see if they made the cut and are in the movie. Jurassic World will be released in 3D by Universal Pictures, and one has to wonder if the 3D will make it easier to spot oneself in the large crowd scenes. “The most rewarding part is always seeing your work on film,” says Galpin. “Once all the CGI and effects are added and saying, ‘Wow that looks awesome!’” Scott agrees, “I must say the end results really do speak for itself although the most rewarding experience is getting to know, bond and create some really amazing friendships with this group of very talented people … especially the one formed with Danny.” LFV Animal wrangler and stuntman Jeff Galpin

Greensman Codie Scott.


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THE COOL COOPERATIVE – EMPOWERING LOUISIANA’S KIDS THROUGH THE MAGIC OF FILM STORY BY BRAD MCCREARY PHOTOS BY MARC FRIED, TRACY SMITH, HANNAH GIST, AND KIRBY VOSS

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he COOL Cooperative is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing “at-promise” young people academic support, mentorship and handson training in the film industry. The program, led by a team of passionate business leaders, educators, film professionals, parents, students, visionaries and volunteers, provides them with the knowledge and resources to lead successful lives. Over a decade ago, when a major film or television production came to Louisiana, nearly every member of the production team was imported from out of state. Now with more studios and infrastructure in place, the majority of skilled crew positions are being filled by local Louisianans. The COOL Cooperative is focused on developing the next generation of future film professionals and arming them with practical skills to either go directly into the film industry or onto higher education. The program is spearheaded by Executive Director Mark Shays. Shays was a former professional athlete and television commentator who built the first professional world tour featuring BMX, skateboarding, inline skating, and freestyle motocross. Before moving to New Orleans six years ago, he also ran a film and television development company in Los Angeles. Shays explains how the COOL Cooperative was developed… “COOL was the brainchild of Felicia Stallard, our founder and president,” he says. “She’s an extraordinary woman who’s always been focused on making the world better for others. An active supporter of numerous charitable causes Advisory Board member and local award winning film director, John and a veteran of Swider, coaches Miles on directing. many disaster relief missions, she started the COOL Cooperative to honor the legacy of her eldest son Whitney, who passed away only five weeks after returning from a trip to Haiti where he had helped revitalize an orphanage. This trip had so profoundly affected him that he had

John Swider helps Terrence get on his mark.

decided it would be his life’s work to help kids who needed it most. During this difficult period of mourning for her son, Felicia discovered and got actively involved in the New Orleans film industry. She continued to focus on others’ needs and It’s a wrap! Some of the COOL kids, staff, and board members celebrating a successful PSA engaging with work shoot at the Nims Center. that would bring about positive change. In 2013, while working on an independent film, the framework for the COOL Cooperative was born. Built on the commitment to helping Louisiana’s kids, she recognized that film provided a uniquely diverse and inspiring platform to discover talents and interests and gain rich learning experiences.” Stallard empowered a young and talented Loyola Film graduate, Kirby Voss, by becoming his executive producer enabling him to make his first professional feature film. During production, she began working with a lot of young talented filmmakers who had never had experience working on real movie sets. She quickly realized that for promising young people just one important opportunity could lead to future work. That idea, of giving hands-on opportunity, is one of the pillars of the COOL Creators after-school program. The program, which focuses on 7th to 12th graders with “high potential, but often from low opportunity environments,” started in March of 2014 and hosted its inaugural 7th grade class in September. The after-school program currently operates through multiple schools in partnership with the Algiers Charter School Association and has already begun to see positive results. In only a few short months, there has been more consistent attendance and marked improvements in self-esteem and increased socialization by all of the kids. Another huge benefit is simply providing a safe and inspiring place for the kids to be during the after school hours. Nearly 175,000 children are left on their own each ISSUE TWO 2015

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have world-class guest instructors and businesses who are giving our kids these amazing experiences. By the time our kids graduate from high school, they should have a good idea of what they might like to go into and the skills, experience and IMDB credits to help them on their way. When future productions are staffing up, we want them to know that our young COOL Creators are the best of the best. We expect our little part in workforce development to provide stellar candidates.” The program’s “whole person development” approach, called the FACES Philosophy, was created with a focus on strengthening the family, an aptitude for film, community service learning, educaKirby Voss, film curriculum director, leads the kids in an acting exercise.

Hannah Gist, Education Coordinator, works with the kids on test preparation.

day between 3pm and 8pm, the peak hours for violent juvenile crime and unwanted pregnancies, according to the FBI. The COOL Creators program offers a place for the kids to be doing positive things while developing strong friendships. The program, which has grown consistently since its inception, operates Monday through Thursday weekly and also offers field trips to supplement the training and experience program. In the summer COOL will be offering two weeks of camps and is planning a summer intensive filmmaking program to allow other high school kids an opportunity to learn filmmaking. Shays expounds on the program’s profound effect. “If you can show our kids that there are these potential opportunities and offer them training, it can be very life changing,” he says. “Our goal is to engage our COOL Creators and introduce them to the myriad of opportunities one finds on a movie set, allowing them to discover their interests, nurture their passions, and then provide an immersive hands-on learning environment. We are focused on giving each student the tools and confidence they will need to be successful. Our program exposes each participant to the entire array of jobs, trades, and professions that make a feature film. Some of our kids will gravitate toward acting or directing, others to technical jobs such as lighting, electricians, camera operations, and others to catering, costume design, set design, security and music; the opportunities are plentiful, and we are fortunate to Rashon, clearly happy to be a COOL Creator.

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tion, and a development of self. One of the aspects that makes the COOL Cooperative unique from other after-school programs is its educational approach. The program provides a full-time educational coordinator, Hannah Gist, who is in the classroom every day during regular school hours. Gist communicates with the teachers and stays current on each student’s needs and educational progress. Shays says the program’s ultimate goal is to be in a large number of schools across Louisiana, and eventually the rest of the United States, working to improve the lives of students and providing a strong workforce for the film and production industry. LFV Information on the COOL Cooperative can be found on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thecoolcooperative.

COOL Creator, Zed, holding the boom mic during the Public Service Announcement shoot.


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