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“You have a knack for keeping everyone pleased by accommodating our needs, which is vitally important, especially when we are working in such remote locations.” —Mark Burnett

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VOLUME 12 ISSUE THREE EDITORS-IN-CHIEF W. H. Bourne, Odin Lindblom ASSOCIATE EDITOR Katie Sauro CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Jay Crest, Alexander Arturo Garcia, T. Hopper, Meg Alsfeld Kaul, Susie Labry, Christie Mattull, Jean McCorkle SALES MANAGER Katie Higgins SALES Steve Joseph, Eric Iles PRODUCTION MANAGER John Rusnak PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Kelly Baker DESIGNERS Sonjia Kells, Liz Weickum, Sam Rockwell WEBMASTER Jon Hines



Actor Billy Burke’s wild return to Louisiana in CBS’ Zoo.


Letter From The Editor

53 A Walk On The Wild Side With Zoo


Stepping Out In Style With Astronaut Wives Club

57 Get Involved: 48 Hour Film Project NOLA

15 Based On A True Story

59 2015 Produced By Conference: The Power Of Certainty

18 Free State Of Jones Liberates Midrange Movies

61 Will Pitch Perfect 3 Bring More Money To Louisiana’s Economy?

23 Gear Review: Ōlloclip 4 In One Lens 25 Made In Louisiana: A Chance at $50,000 29 Southern Screen Film Festival: Reflections Of A Programmer 31 Covert Camera Bikes At Full Throttle 35 Getting Authentic At Real Screen West 37 A Deeper Look at Self/less 41 LIFF’s 3rd Annual Film Festival Caters To A Diverse Crowd 45 CineGear 2015: Rise Of The Anamorphics

65 Pointe Coupee: No Production Too Big Or Too Small 69 Forging The Way For Locals In Fantastic 4 72 Can We Win This In Overtime? 73 Louisiana Entertainment/LED Comments on Passage of HB829 74 Terminator: Genisys On The Big Screen 84 Filming On The Cajun Coast: A Blast From The Past Into A Bright Future 86 Dark Places, Changing Windows

51 Hollywood South Legal


Director Tarsem Singh blocks an action sequence with actor Ryan Reynolds in the thriller Self/less.



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his issue bears witness to the incredible talents of Louisiana locals: actors, crew, producers and studios. Films such as Terminator: Genisys, Self/ less, Fantastic Four, and Dark Places and television such as Astronaut Wives Club and Zoo fill screens both large and small reminding us of the wonderful locations, immense infrastructure, and fantastic labor pool that we have in this state. But will it all be enough to weather the storm of the July 1st changes to our film industry tax credit laws?

In our coverage in this issue of the recent 2015 PGA Produced By Conference, producers talked about the importance of “certainty” of tax credit programs. While many states have battled similar issues over the years, Louisiana up until now has had a solid reputation. How will producers view our state after this current legislative session? As journalist Susie Labry suggests, many games have been won in overtime, and it will be interesting to see how the new law plays out especially if litigation against it occurs. Of course, everyone is waiting to see how locals will be able to take advantage of the new law which has incentives to support indigenous productions with a goal of building and supporting a homegrown filmmakers’ hub. Since the rules and provisions for these incentives won’t be finalized until October 1st, we can only

wait and see. The benefit to locals will be at the expense of big studio tentpoles that won’t be able to afford the $3 million abovethe-line-cap or the $30 million overall cap. Will Louisiana see an exodus of productions and a loss in our local labor pool? While Louisiana Film & Video Magazine does not expressly warrant any political views, the recent change in the film industry tax credit program cannot be glossed over, and I feel it’s important enough that I mention it to you in this letter. But I don’t want it to cast a total cloud of doom and gloom over this issue. There’s plenty of exciting and educational content inside including great interviews with legendary director Tarsem Singh and actor Ryan Reynolds about Self/less, Liz Coulon on her casting work on Fantastic Four, our CineGear coverage of anamorphic lenses, a sneak peek at The Free State of Jones, and the list goes on and on. For local filmmakers, we have information on the upcoming 48 Hour Film Festival in New Orleans. We also talk to a programmer for Southern Screen Film Festival to give you the inside scoop before you send off your film for the upcoming final deadline. Odin and I hope you enjoy this issue, and we welcome your questions and your comments. Drop us a line at or We value your input and strive to make Louisiana Film & Video Magazine America’s resource for the entertainment industry in the Bayou State. Happy reading! W. H. BOURNE, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF






The costumes and set design in this image are based on a publicity photo of the real astronauts’ wives. The original, iconic photo is also used on the cover of Lily Koppel’s book on which the series is based. STORY BY W. H. BOURNE PHOTOS COURTESY OF ABC


stronaut Wives Club is a new summer drama series on ABC which just launched on June 18th. Based on the book by Lily Koppel, it focuses on seven women who were key players behind some of the biggest events in American history. As America’s astronauts were launched on death-defying missions, the lives of their young wives were transformed, seemingly overnight, from military spouses to American royalty as the U.S. competed in the space propaganda war with the Russians. Production designer Mark White and costume designer Eric Daman take us behind-the-scenes to discuss the creative opportunities and the challenges involved in telling a period story that many Americans still remember.

“We had quite a lot of prep time, so there was a lot of time putting files together for all the locations for the show itself and the arc of the show. We had quite an extensive look book. We started prep (to shoot) in Houston first which didn’t work out and then we went to New Orleans,” says production designer Mark White. “When I was in Houston, I had access to some of the astronauts’ actual homes so those were all photographed and details that we liked, we used. So it (the look book) was a huge expensive thing that we kept online, and then each episode, we kept separate look books which we’d keep because of the time jump from the mid ‘50s creeping into the late ‘70s. We really wanted the feel of that progression of time so there was quite a lot of research and quite a lot of documentation to use and follow.” “The fact that it was 10 episodes spanning more than 10 years, every episode we were kind of tweaking and changing to show the new year. It was basically trying to show this length of time into episodes where their whole lives change. They all get new homes. It was a constant rebuilding of sets. Normally, you have a few hero sets that run the show, and they stay constant. In this show, all the homes we built (on the sound stages) for the first couple of episodes for (when they live in) Virginia had to come down, and ISSUE THREE 2015



we had to build all new homes for Houston. And then updating the appliances and slowly tweaking in that way as well. That was the hardest part of it all,” remarks White. “It was definitely a challenge.” “Each woman had their own color palette,” continues White. “Each woman had their own personality, and we tried to create a palette to match that, and I know that we tried to coordinate with wardrobe and try to balance that... Then just trying to tell the story of the time passing, the decade changing, and the events in their lives affecting them. I wanted to bring the colors more to life and have the colors pop to have more of that ‘60s feel. It was definitely a process we ran throughout the whole series.” “In the first episode, we cut in and out of actual footage, and in some of the scenes we actually try to match what the women are wearing in some of those (historic) scenes,” comments costume designer Eric Daman. “There were very specific moments that we were trying to recreate like Louise’s White House outfit when she goes to visit Jackie O in the first episode. In the third episode with Rene when her husband went up, she actually made the cover of Life itself so the outfit that she wore for that we actually found the fabric and rebuilt the top because it’s just a very iconic image. Some of the scenes like that which were iconic images, we tried to match those as best as possible. The book cover (Lily Koppel’s) was the first Life shoot in the shirtwaist dresses. We tried to match that.” “I wouldn’t call it pressure, but I definitely felt obligated for it to be accurate,” notes White. “I love this time period so for me, even though I was a baby, it reminds me so much of the family photos of my parents and when they first got married not to mention how much documentation there was of these events and these women and their families ... having this insane amount of material out there because virtually every storyline was photographed by Life magazine, I wanted it to be accurate; I wanted it to be real which is ultimately what we were trying to go for, something a little less stylized, not so flashy and more real. These were military wives with modest incomes at first so we wanted to start from a very grounded real place and build as they get famous.” “The history of the space race presented opportunities for style changes both gradual and sweeping milestones,” explains Daman. “Style evolution is an important visual cue for tracking time through (the astronauts’ wives’) lives, and it gives us a way to show that the women have a continuous identity throughout. For the men it was about being shot into space; for the wives it was about

Each actress wore approximately 14 outfits per episode. 10 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE


Each home had a different look including furniture and appliances.

being launched into a social stratosphere in a way they really didn’t expect but were able to handle, really by being loyal to each other. So I tried to tell a fashion-as-final-frontier story in as sophisticated a way as possible through my costume design decisions.” “The costume design strategy for Astronaut Wives Club was to capture the emotional reality of the space race, to make it look and feel as real as possible,” continues Daman, “so in that sense we were very sympathetic to what was really going on at the time, especially for the wives, and helped tell the story of their personal journey through the series’ use of fashion. The lives of the wives change in ways that parallel the men’s lift-off into orbit. The wives are launched from Army barracks into society and style, going from a modest 1950s shirt dress to a very style conscious custom Pucci ‘70s cocktail dress, Geoffrey Beene coat ensemble or Courreges twin set. To span the gamut from the late ‘50s to the early ‘70s, the clothes I recruited were a combination of vintage pieces, rentals, new garments, re-purposed pieces and some custom made. On any given episode, there would be as many as 14 changes for each of the seven principal characters, and several hundred costumes for the background, all of whom we decided ahead of time had to be custom fit if we were going to do it right.” “We had an incredibly ambitious shooting schedule which meant we were doing tandem episodes, which means filming two episodes simultaneously so you can take the numbers I just gave you and pretty much double it,” adds Daman. “Throw in a rocket launch, a Texas barbecue and a Moon Ball and we would be into over a thousand costumes in play per episode, around 10,000 costumes at the end of the day, kind of a juggernaut with a g-force of its own.” “We definitely scoured the state and found plenty of stuff, but we had to go far and wide because we needed lots of stuff because there were seven women. Throughout the series, they each have two homes so we needed so many refrigerators and so many ovens so we just collected them. We found them in Detroit, we found them in L.A. (Los Angeles), we found them in Georgia. I think we found a couple of them in Florida and then of course, in Louisiana. That kind of ran the gamut of the show, and we kind of culled from wherever whatever so we could find the right pieces that we wanted. We either trucked them in or had them shipped, and then we would go on and repaint them or reupholster the furniture. There were times we had to go to L.A. for certain things; that was

The NASA set decorations were the hardest to acquire with many of them being trucked in from Los Angeles.

mostly for specific NASA stuff than dressing for the homes.” “This was my first time working in Louisiana and out of respect for New Orleans, I was really shocked,” says Daman. “I was expecting an amazing amount of vintage clothing, vintage stores and boutiques. It was my first personal connection with the hurricane (Katrina) and how much had been lost. I know it sounds kind of strange to say that, but from my perspective, it really hit me that a lot of history in New Orleans had been wiped out. With my direct connection to the clothing, I found that there wasn’t a lot left there. It was a shocking kind of revelation; I mean, I know about the general loss and all the strife ... but to have contact with it like this touched me in a very different way. I have a very different opinion of what everyone went through there now and a very different heart because it just hit me in a different way. Like we were trying to find a bowling alley because we had a scene in a bowling alley, and they had all been wiped out. That’s just not what you tend to think about. There was a certain challenge of resources that were difficult, but I also feel that because of that you just have to approach it differently and think outside the box. The folks I worked with in New Orleans were very dedicated, talented, wonderful people. They were helping me resource online. They were helping me find things outside of New Orleans. Looking in Baton Rouge, and Florida and other southern states and online vendors, they were an amazing young team of shoppers and thinkers and they really helped.” “We were working out of Quixote Studios, and we had all three stages running,” recalls White. “About half of the homes were built and the other half locations. We had exteriors for all of them that were practical locations. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of homes from that time period that were intact and well kept, and that was wonderful. When I heard that we were going to be working in New Orleans, I wasn’t aware of what was there as far as that time period and what had been built but a lot had been built during that time, and it really worked out for us.” “I couldn’t be happier with how it came out,” continues White. “I love the look of the show, I love the sets. I think, in general, the satisfaction is having accomplished what we accomplished. It was exciting but it was extremely challenging. It’s so rewarding that we pulled it off and it looks as strong as it does which I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging but I’m really happy with how it turned out. My favorite set was probably the Holiday Inn which was so

much fun but very difficult as well or Marge’s early Virginia home because in my mind I saw that and thought of that as my mom’s house; it reminded me in a way of my parents’ first home.” “It was very satisfying to draft my vision for each wife, to describe each character throughout her arc of fashion, in the way the space race’s events dictated life for each of the women. The historical element really demands embracing styles and trends we love, but it’s ultimately about defining the trajectory of their lives, while honoring the women for being such a positive force for America. The time that passes between the launches is a sweet spot for the fashion to fast-forward. The challenge is to pick up with each of the wives and having her land on her feet in exactly the right pair of shoes,” explains Daman. “I understood early on from a costume design perspective it was important to be generous with how we handled fashion in the series yet be truthful to the actual history. To honor these women we focused on the narrative power of costume design, so maximizing the fashion element was key,” continues Daman. “We took a few liberties with things trying to give it a bit more pop.” “Mark does really beautiful work, and it was like we were tagteaming the work, like all the color palettes and their (the wives’) universes with their clothing and their environments worked beautifully together which was really important,” says Daman. “The

The husbands of The Astronaut’s Wives Club.

thing I really love about the story is that we’re dealing with these all-American, true American housewives that were army wives dedicated to families and husbands who were in a very different world than what we live in today with the Kardashians or social media. Everything was kind of the polar opposite of that and they suddenly turned into the first ‘Housewives of America.’ The fact that they were all of a sudden put into the limelight of what people were wearing and what they were doing and they were seen by the American public as icons, it was really cool to be a part of.” “Of course, every episode they’re earning more money so they’re getting more furniture which, thankfully, Mark had to deal with that, but on my side the women are realizing they’re being watched by the press and the impression they make on the public. If they’ve got a new look, the more chances their husbands get. It ultimately was a competition between the women of whose husband is going to go (into space) next so the better they looked in the public opinion, the better the chance of their husband to be the next one ISSUE THREE 2015



well together and have great moments of things coming together really so beautifully. For me, that always is such a great experience,” says White. “Stephanie Savage who wrote the (adaptation of) Astronaut Wives Club and was producer of the show and with Fake Empire, we both worked for her before on Fun Size so that’s how we both came into this. Eric’s worked with her a number of times on Gossip Girl and other (TV) shows.” “I think we have a great dialogue,” notes Daman. “We have an understanding so I can walk past him in the hallway and hold up a blue blouse, and he’ll hold up a swatch of wallpaper, and we won’t say anything, just nod and move on. Mark and I really have a connection from our work before. We are just in sync. We both had a lot of the same cultural and visual references that we share. We’re a similar age … and our tastes are very similar; I think that helped. It was already established how each of us work. I think it enhanced the whole experience and the look of the show.” “I loved it, loved it, loved it,” exclaims White. “I want to go back. I have to say, I do a lot of jobs in various places that aren’t home. There’s only been a few places, and New Orleans is one of them, where I felt like I was living my life, and I was in an exciting place, and there was so much to do. The food and the people... that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes you’re somewhere, and you just go to work and go home, and that’s about it. But I really felt there was just so much to offer (in New Orleans) and I really loved it.” “Louisiana is a great state and I was happy to do the six months there,” says Daman. “As difficult and as trying as it was, I had a great experience with the people and the town. I enjoyed it. It was very rewarding when you work with great people who are dedicated and want to work very hard for you. That’s one of your best achievements and the show is amazing because of all of our hard work.” “It was fun to make and to travel through time with them,” adds Daman. LFV

(L-R) Dominique McElligott (as Louise Shepard) and Desmond Harrington (as Alan Shepard) in The Astronaut Wives Club.

on the roster. There’s the competition between them but also the realization of how they’re being perceived by the public that they never had before as army wives,” explains Daman. “The biggest challenge was the constant need of clothing,” adds Daman. “Just working on a TV show with an ensemble of seven leading ladies and then you have their kids and their husbands and then in two episodes you have nine new wives, thirteen new wives … I mean none of them are going to have arcs like the seven main women, but for me to keep inventing new identities with fashion was a challenge because I wanted to keep them all real and beautiful and glamorous.” “We had between 25-35 local costumers staffed depending on how many extras we had on that day,” recalls Daman. “I had my whole team that was running the costume shop, and then I had a whole separate team for the background that was doing background fittings every day, and then I had a whole different team on set. It was a lot to manage. For each team I had a supervisor; between myself and the other two supervisors, we made sure that everything worked. The talent (crew) was really dedicated and reliable and they were very excited to work with me on the project. It really showed that they cared about how I wanted the show to look and the intonation as well as what the show meant to them and about being in New Orleans. It was a very hard show, one of the hardest I ever worked on with very long hours. We all put them in, and they (the crew) were right there with me.” “My crew was almost entirely local,” recalls White. “I don’t think I brought in anybody. I loved everybody. They were fantastic. They’re definitely people I want to work with again and again. It was a fantastic crew base across the board, I think. That was hugely beneficial to us that we had such a strong crew and that they were able to be all local. It made a huge difference to me. That’s another thing that you never know what you’re going to get when you go work in a new state that you’ve never been in before but for me it couldn’t have been better.” “It’s always, always, always easier to collaborate with someone you’ve worked with before and not just costume designers but decorators and directors. Eric and I get along great and work very 12 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE


Be sure to watch Astronaut Wives Club on Thursdays at 7PM EST on ABC.

(L-R) Dominique McElligott (as Louise Shepard), Zoe Boyle (as Jo Schirra), Erin Cummings (as Marge Slayton), and Odette Annable (as Trudy Cooper).

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ilmmaking has its challenges, but producing a film based on a true story can be even more challenging. It requires planning, research and a close working relationship both with your legal counsel and insurance broker. In many cases, true story films highlight a difficult life event, and people are not always positively portrayed. Even if the story has an overall positive message, family and friends of the main character may object to how the story is told, and lawsuits can follow. Christie Mattull

When it comes to making this type of film, it can be easier if the producer receives life story rights for the subject which gives them full control of how a person is portrayed on screen, but such rights are often difficult to obtain. Multiple life story rights (for family and friends of the subject) are next to impossible and generally not done: therefore, it is extremely important to involve legal counsel early on in the development process to understand the legal lati-

tude you have when telling someone’s life story. Legal guidance can mean the difference between success and failure with bringing your film to the silver screen. Equally important to the process is an insurance broker who can provide Errors & Omissions (E&O) coverage to protect you from suits alleging libel, slander, copyright/trademark infringement and breach of implied contract. E&O insurance is a must for any film, but it’s even more crucial with a true story. It is essential that you use a broker with expertise in the film industry to obtain this coverage because only a knowledgeable film industry broker can ensure your E&O application is properly completed and presented to secure the right coverage. You should know that no distributor will take on a film without E&O insurance so being denied coverage is a death sentence for a film. Oftentimes, filmmakers only think about this type of insurance after the film is in the can and when they are seeking distribution. For a true story, E&O insurance should be considered up front at the same time you are seeking production insurance. For a really big story, you might even consider buying the coverage while still in pre-production. The minute a project starts moving forward, it can attract press, and that press, good or bad, can lead to people coming out of the woodwork with objections. Unfortunately, anyone can sue for anything, even if the allegations are not true or relevant. Once a suit is filed, it must be responded to and the legal bills start mounting. While E&O insurance certainly covers judgments against the insured, more importantly it covers the cost of defense, assuming the allegation is covered by the policy. With top-notch attorneys commanding significant hourly rates, even the cost of making a frivolous claim go away can be extremely expensive. If a matter becomes complicated, the attorney fees rise dramatically. Having the E&O coverage in place at the beginning of your project ensures

Talking true story and biopics at the 2015 Produced by Conference, L-R Jeff Sneider (moderator), Matt Baer (producer, Unbroken), Lisa Bruce (producer, Theory of Everything), Grant Heslov (producer, Argo), Christie Mattull (E&O Insurance, Hub International), Christopher Perez (attorney/partner, Donaldson & Callif). ISSUE THREE 2015



you are protected from those who might unexpectedly object to the making of the film. If the film is highly anticipated or has strong buzz, the likelihood of someone finding a reason to sue rises as well. Nothing brings out the worst in people than the possibility of financial gain. For example, a production could be based on the life story of a man whose ex-wife is portrayed in the film. If she doesn’t like the way she is portrayed, she can sue for slander or defamation of character. Most times, the lawsuits start before the film even hits the theaters based on media buzz. People often presume they will be portrayed

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L-R Grant Heslov (producer, Argo) listens attentively as Christie Mattull (E&O Insurance, Hub International Entertainment Solutions) explains the importance of E&O insurance particularly for films based on true stories.

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in a negative light and may attempt to block distribution of the film before it premieres. The concept of fair use within copyright law is also often discussed in relationship to true stories. Copyright law states specific factors that define fair use; if those factors apply to a new work, then it doesn’t constitute an infringement of copyright. The doctrine is often misunderstood and if ill-applied, can create problems for a production. An attorney well-versed in fair use for television and film is the only person you should trust to advise you on matters of fair use. While several E&O insurance companies have designed fair use clauses or endorsements for their policies, they expect the insured to have made reasonably sure the doctrine actually applies before they will offer policy endorsements. The endorsement clarifies that the doctrine has been applied to the work insured by the policy, but obtaining that endorsement requires that the fair use argument has been reviewed and confirmed valid by a qualified fair use attorney (via a letter of opinion). The art of creating your film requires much more than lights, camera, action. The time, resources and team you bring together is just as crucial as the script. The bottom line is that your legal counsel and film insurance brokers are your allies in the process of bringing your story to life. Make them trusted members of your team and use their expertise because the film you save may be your own. LFV Christie Mattull, Managing Director at HUB International, specializes in risk management and insurance consultation for film, television and new media productions. Christie was a speaker at the 2015 PGA Produced By Conference, sharing her knowledge on this same topic. Christie has provided insurance coverage for Oscar-winning and blockbuster films such as Braveheart, Lincoln, Juno, The Help and Terminator 5: Genisys and notable TV shows such as Grace & Frankie and The Apprentice. Christie can be reached at




Matthew McConaughey (center) is joined by lots of locals in The Free State of Jones which recently wrapped shooting in southern Louisiana.




TX Entertainment just recently wrapped shooting The Free State of Jones in southern Louisiana. The Matthew McConaughey period piece is set during the Civil War and tells the story of a poor farmer from Mississippi who leads a group of rebels against the Confederate army. The Free State of Jones is just one of many films on STX’s current slate. Never heard of STX? This powerhouse studio run by Sophie Watts will soon be a force to be reckoned with. ISSUE THREE 2015


“Looking at the marketplace I know that everyone was of the mindset that the midrange movie was dead and that Netflix and streaming was the distribution means from here forward,” explained Sophie Watts, President of STX Entertainment, at the 2015 Produced By Conference, “but I totally disagreed with that because I felt like theatrical releases were here to stay. I think that Netflix has changed the digital landscape, but I believe that people want to connect in a movie theater with stars they recognize and stories that mean something to them. I’ve actually built an entire studio on that premise.” “So what’s missing here? You have the traditional, major studios run by these brilliant guys, and they are rightfully pushing their resources. They’ve got a 1.5 or 2 billion overhead so they’re going to push all their resources toward the next Spiderman, Ironman, Batman, Superman and all the ‘mans’ out there,” continued Watts. “It’s all about the tentpole film; it’s all about the franchise. When they work, they really work, and there’s a connective element to it, but it’s not about the 20 to 80 million dollar movie. On the other hand, you have smaller

movies, art based movies; I am a big fan of those as well, but part of the job as a producer is to make your film relevant, and when you have a 20 to 80 million dollar midrange movie, you have a staggering opportunity because it is missing in the marketplace. People want to see their favorite actors on the screen; they want to go see them in movie theaters.” “It’s incredibly important for a movie of that size to have distribution so I went to all the major theater owners: Regal, AMC, Cinemark and Carmike and said, ‘Look, you’re getting great movies, great content from the studios but you’re getting less of them. If I can fuel you with star driven, midrange movies with emotional stories, I’d like a contractual agreement. You have to take the movie on the same quality of screens and the same quantity of screens as any major studio,’” said Watts. “Because I’m not from the film industry, it was my complete lack of knowledge to know that

The Free State of Jones is just one of Sophie Watt’s mid-range budget pics on STX’s slate. 20 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE


this was completely unprecedented and completely impossible. So I picked up the phone and called and said this is what I’m going to do because these are the types of movies I believe in, and they said, ‘Please give us these movies.’ Now, it took about a year to get those contractual agreements in place, but once we closed those deals, we were able to go get financing and arrange deals that now will allow us to make, distribute and market 15 movies a year. We’ll be starting that immediately. We already have four movies in post production.” The Free State of Jones is just one of many of the pictures on Sophie’s slate for STX. Written and directed by Gary Ross, the powerhouse behind movies like Seabiscuit and The Hunger Games, The Free State of Jones also stars Keri Russell and features many local Louisiana actors. It’s an exciting prospect that the midrange movie may return and bring more of our favorite stars back to the big screen. LFV STX President Sophie Watts believes that people want to go to theaters to see stars like Matthew McConaughey on the big screen.

For more coverage on the 2015 Produced By Conference, see our other article in this issue.





s the image sensors on smart phones continue to improve they become more and more valuable for use in production and production support. One of the great drawbacks has been the fixed lens that phones have. If you needed a wider or closer shot than the lens could produce, you were usually out of luck. While there have been a number of custom rigs built Taken on the Samsung Galaxy S5 with the Ōlloclip 15X macro. to attach a PL mount or a DSLR lens to a phone, these mods tend to be very big and take away the nothing but it and a Galaxy S5 to shoot a feature film, the pair does show great promise for production use. The wide angle and fisheye portability of the phone. The Ōlloclip Lens helps change lenses would be great for shooting locations while scouting or to some of that. Using an Ōlloclip isn’t like being able to keep track of lighting and prop placement on set. The distortion combined with the rolling shutter of the S5 gave a pleasingly attach a Zeiss Master Prime to your phone, but it will fit warped look when the camera moved forward rapidly while shootin your pocket, and it’s a whole lot cheaper. ing video. The effect could work well for action shots or dream sequences. Macro photography often requires lenses that aren’t part of a typical kit, and the setups can be tricky. The ability to get macro shots in 4K with a camera this small gives you the chance to get footage where even a GH4 can’t fit. For the added capability the Ōlloclip 4 in One Lens brings to location photography and taking onset reference shots, it seems worth the investment. The $69.99 kit for the Samsung Galaxy S5 is well worth the money for the added versatility it adds to the shots you can get in HD and 4K. LFV

Ōlloclip’s fisheye lens is great for location scouting.

The model I tested was the Ōlloclip 4 in One Lens for the Samsung Galaxy S5. Ōlloclip makes a number of different models for Samsungs and iPhones, and each model is phone specific. The 4 in One came with a wide angle and a fisheye lens as well as 10X and 15X macros. The wide and fisheye lenses unscrew to reveal the macros underneath. The fisheye had a very wide view and a lot of distortion which was very appealing in video. While you would need to heavily crop the image to remove the vignetting the fisheye created, being able to shoot in 4K on the Samsung S5 or S6 makes the loss of resolution much more tolerable. The other three lenses added a fair amount of distortion to the image. None of the Ōlloclip’s lenses seemed to greatly increase the chromatic aberrations. Like the name suggests, the Ōlloclip has a plastic body that easily and firmly attached to the Galaxy S5. The unit didn’t slip while shooting, and changing between lenses was quick and easy. The optics of the lenses were coated so between that and the tiny size, lens flare was almost nonexistent. The camera’s ability to focus on objects didn’t seem to suffer, and overall, images seemed nearly as sharp using the Ōlloclip as without it; there was also little change in contrast and color. While shooting with the Ōlloclip didn’t leave me wanting to use

The Ōlloclip securely fastens to your smart phone.

Great detail can be seen with Ōlloclip’s 10X macro. ISSUE THREE 2015





he Baton Rouge River Center was the place to be on Wednesday, May 20, when the Louisiana entertainment industry came together to host Made in Louisiana. The event was a collaboration between many local film and entertainment organizations including Deep South Studios, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 478, and Quixote Studios. Designed to honor Louisiana’s indigenous entertainment industry and workforce, Made in Louisiana was a private event that showcased the beauty and culture of Louisiana by featuring products, companies and artists that began their journey in Louisiana. Nine senators, 16 state representatives and over 200 guests from An exotic snake charmer was one the Louisiana entertainment industry of the many local performers at the Made in Louisiana event. and community were present including John Schneider (Dukes of Hazzard), Lance opportunity for individuals, filmmakers and businesses to thank Nichols (Treme), Mayor Kip Holden, and Lieutenant the legislators for their tremendous support. The film and media Governor Jay Dardenne. industries are an integral part of the culture in Louisiana, and our event showcased these elements and helped others understand the importance of the industry’s continued success in Louisiana.” “In 2013, we produced a very successful event during the Legis“The event was designed around the concept of ‘Made in Louilative Session,” said Made in Louisiana coproducer Sian McArthur siana,’ and our producing team was able to incorporate this theme who also happens to be Senior Vice President at Deep South Studios. into every aspect of the evening—from the food and drinks to the “When we began discussions for our Made in Louisiana event this entertainment. The evening was sponsored by many Louisiana year, we decided to reach beyond our team and work with the entire iconic and historic brands and businesses; the Lakehouse Film Louisiana film community. Sponsors from all aspects of the creative Catering provided a variety of Southern fare including Cochon de industries came together to help us bring our event to life and launch lait, Boudin balls, jambalaya and a full seafood bar, and select food our #CreateLouisiana initiative.” stations represented our event “The Motion Picture Tax sponsors, Blue Runner Beans Credit has given rise to thouand Tabasco. The bar served up sands of jobs and truly placed Abita beer and cocktails made Louisiana on the map as a major with Oryza Vodka, Rougaroux motion picture production Rum and Sazerac,” added McArcenter—that was what the night thur. “The entertainment for the was celebrating. Everyone in evening included local talent from attendance had a wonderful around the state. DJ Matty, Soul evening and was able to see just Creole and Big Sam’s Funky Nahow diverse, talented and vast tion all provided unique takes on the industry is and all the many Louisiana music. We also featured jobs and businesses it supports,” live alligators, fire dancers and continued McArthur. “The event performers throughout the night!” was a celebration of LouisiJohn Schneider (L) and Scott Niemeyer (R). While the event featured lots of ana’s creative industries and an ISSUE THREE 2015



great food, drink, and entertainment, the high point of the evening was the unveiling of #CreateLouisiana, an ongoing effort to support and develop the creative industries of Louisiana and showcase their cultural, economic and social contributions to the state and the announcing of the campaign’s first project, the 2016 Create Louisiana Filmmakers Grant. In partnership with the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH) and the New Orleans Film Society, the initiative includes a $50,000 grant for a local filmmaking team and provides a unique opportunity to develop their careers through the funding of a short film which will screen at the 2016 New Orleans Film Festival. “Scott (Niemeyer) and I have been a part of the Louisiana film community for many years. As a Louisiana native himself, Scott has worked to bring many films to the state; in the past four years, we’ve brought four films to Louisiana,” exclaimed McArthur. “Scott and I spent a great deal of time crafting the Filmmakers Grant, and we were very excited to use the Made in Louisiana event as a platform to launch the grant. We’ve Acrobatic artists in action! always wanted to create a grant to

partake in an interview with our #CreateLousiana team and the winning team will be announced at the closing of the 2015 New Orleans Film Festival.” “We hope that this will be the grant that fosters growth within the film and entertainment industry and launches

Sponsor Panavision’s James Finn.

additional grants and programs,” continued McArthur. “We want to encourage all individuals and businesses in Louisiana to show their support of the creative industries by becoming involved with the #CreateLouisiana initiative. We hope to announce other wonderful partnerships in the future and welcome anyone to contact us at info@ if they have any questions. The selection process will consist of two parts: 1) The Application Package includes the full application, resume, project description, script, schedule, budget, list of key creatives, director’s vision or look book, marketing summary and other deliverables. 2) The Interview Process consists of interviews with the selected shortlist of filmmaker teams and our #CreateLouisiana team. It is here that the filmmaker teams will pitch their concept and vision for their project.” $50,000 to complete a short film in 12 months that will screen at the 2016 New Orleans Film Festival, now that’s a reason to celebrate! LFV

support local filmmakers and decided to approach the New Orleans Film Society and Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities to help us bring our idea to life. The collaboration was a natural fit; everyone was thrilled about the idea and its benefits to indigenous filmmakers. Given that we were the creators of the initiative, we had always To learn more about Deep South Studios and one of its owners, Scott Niemeyer, planned for our company, check out our article on Pitch Perfect 3 in this issue. Deep South Studios, to be the first sponsor. Our decision to have a yearly grant sponsor will help encourage others to partake in this wonderful initiative and contribute funds to its success.” “The grant is designed to bring filmmakers together in collaborative teams, and we will be looking for film packages with a complete vision,” explained McArthur. “We are very interested in the teams these filmmakers will put together; Louisiana offers a wealth of indigenous filmmakers, and we hope to create and foster an environment where they reach out to each other and come together to create wonderful projects. We are working to finalize all details, but can reveal that our grant applications will go live in August 2015 on our website,, and will run for at least one month. We will be announcing our shortlist Deep South Studios Sian McArthur (L) and Scott Niemeyer (R). of finalists in early October 2015. Shortlist winners will Even the bartenders were festive.





outhern Screen Film Festival presents four days of film screenings, panels, red carpet events, parties, and workshops. This year the festival will run November 19 – 22, 2015 in Lafayette, Louisiana. Southern Screen’s goal is to move beyond the traditional film festival and open up the community to the widespread possibilities of storytelling. While the August 1st final deadline to submit your film quickly approaches, Louisiana Film & Video Magazine had the opportunity to speak with Southern Screen’s Program Director, Allison DeHart, to learn more about the festival and submitting a film.

videos), and five feature documentaries,” said DeHart. “We have a small, out-of-state selection committee of anonymous film professionals that watch all of our films remotely and then score them based on all aspects of the film’s quality. We try to keep an open mind while screening submissions and watch the film to the end, but bad sound can really kill our interest in a film. Capturing good sound on a film set doesn’t get enough credit,” continued DeHart. “We love films that are high in quality and have a story that is captivating,” added DeHart. “If your film has those qualities, then that is what matters most. Unlike other festivals, we do not care if your film has been seen at other festivals or even if it has been screening online.

“Films can sometimes be difficult to make, and when a group of people create great work in spite of that, it Southern Screen Film Festival Board of Directors. is worth celebrating. At Southern Screen, we make sure that your film is Premiere status is great but not our priority. If it has not been seen in seen in all its glory and is celebrated by our community. And instead our city, then it doesn’t matter if it has been seen anywhere else. If it of giving awards to only a few select films, we do our best to bring in is new to us, that’s all that matters. The main underlying question we all of the filmmakers so they can be here for their screening and enhave is, ‘Is it good?’ But when we do get a premiere, we make sure to joy the city of Lafayette where we are proud to call home,” explained roll out the red carpet and promote the fact that this is the first time it DeHart. “Although it is always fun to have well known filmmakers, is being seen by an excited audience.” we are looking to support filmmakers that are starting out as well as “Press kits can be helpful but they do not ultimately affect our filmmakers that are established in the industry. When you can make decision to show your film,” explained DeHart. “We do really a great film without any appreciate a high resolution promotional still to help promote your famous names, we would film once it has been accepted. I wish everyone’s film that we screen love to show it.” would have a powerful, high resolution, promotional still as well “We get hundreds of as a web resolution still. Not having a promotional still makes it submissions each year but difficult to promote your film when it is accepted.” can only show about thirty “Submitting is easy and all online through www.southernscreen. to forty films total over the org. There is little risk in the submission process so it is best just to weekend of events. If I had submit,” said DeHart encouragingly. “Who knows, you might get to break down the submisaccepted and find yourself in front of an excited audience ready to sions, I would say that we celebrate the making of your film.” LFV program around five feature films, twenty to forty Sou Southern outhe ou the heern n Scr Screen eeen een n shorts in various categories T. Hopper spends more time watching movies instead of making them although Programmer Allison DeHart DeHart. Pro rogra g mme gra mmerr A Alli llililson De D eHar Ha arrt (animations, student, music he loves screenwriting as well as learning about the filmmaking process. ISSUE THREE 2015





The Cycle Cam brings innovation to shooting.



ast year, Louisiana Film & Video Magazine had the opportunity to speak with Thomas Carter, director of When the Game Stands Tall which shot in New Orleans in 2013; the film, which is about a high school football team trying to return to its former glory after a tragedy, released theatrically on August 22, 2014. In the movie, Carter tried to capture football in a unique way on screen. His cinematographer called upon Louisiana local Regis Harrington of Covert Camera Bikes for help. Carter explained, “Then DP Michael Lohmann had this idea about using a motorcycle camera, this kind of electric motorcycle that we used to shoot a lot of the action and the movement of the football games as well ... I just wanted to make it a very intimate experience for the audience where they felt like they

were inside that game and inside all the games in a way that they hadn’t been before.” We recently had the opportunity to speak with Regis Harrington, owner of Covert Camera Bikes, so we could learn more about his motorcycles, specifically the Cycle Cam. Harrington has taken electric motorcycles and has customized them specifically for cinema shoots. “The Cycle Cam is special because it is 100% electric,” said Harrington. “It has no emissions, is super steady, really fast and can get unique shots quickly! It is great for 2nd unit and action shots, but it’s also great for 1st unit. Dialogue scenes, foot chases, we have done it all with the Cycle Cam. Heck, it has even been used as sticks (a tripod) in a pinch and in an effort to save time.” “We have mounted all kinds of camera packages on the Cycle Cam ranging from small digital to full size cinema cameras shooting film,” explained Harrington. “Ideally, the smaller camera package the better, for the operator to be able to maneuver quickly. The Cycle Cam is ridden by an operator and when used, the three axis stabilized head is operated remotely. However, with Cycle Cam being electric with no motor vibration, there have been plenty of times where we locked off camera, and the Cycle Cam ISSUE THREE 2015


Regis Harrington operating a Cycle Cam on set.

rider becomes the camera operator, putting the camera where it needs to be.” “We provide the operators of all our tracking vehicles,” continued Harrington. “There is much more to getting the shot than just driving the vehicles so we send experienced operators.” “Covert Camera Bikes was started in Louisiana and has been involved in a lot of feature films. The first job we did was When the Game Stands Tall and it has been full throttle ever since. 22 Jump Street, Jurassic World, Terminator: Genisys and Geostorm have used our bikes. As word of mouth travels, the bikes have been non-stop,” said Harrington. “The Cycle Cams were recently brought to Atlanta for 2nd unit shots for Fast and Furious 7 because they just liked it. The bike has a very versatile design that enables you to get your shots very quickly. We can adjust the lens height by a push of a button and be ready in seconds with no re-rig or time wasted. On Fast 7, it was utilized on a lot of sidewalks at high speeds catching a lot of the car action. At times, it got crazy since I was operating and right in the middle of everything!” Harrington is very grateful for the opportunity he and his Cycle Cam was given during production of When the Game Stands Tall. “It is when I knew we had something much more special than your average ‘camera bike.’ With no emissions and no noise, the director and DP really saw the potential to use the bike as something far more than it was intended to be. It can be a high speed dolly, for

instance, and re-setting or changing a shot can be done in seconds. That show was a game changer. It changed the way we, as a company, approached things and presented it to productions,” explained Harrington. “Like I said, it has been non-stop since then!” “We currently have three bikes now in our growing stable of tracking vehicles. We recently added an all new electric i3 BMW car,” added Harrington. “The electric car can do chases (or any shots) while operating camera and pulling focus from inside it so you won’t have to operate remotely. I believe the car is just another option; it’s better in conditions that don’t suit a motorcycle such as wet roads, but mostly, it is a self contained filming platform: a spot

Harrington’s latest addition is a fully outfitted, electric BMW i3.

for the operator, AC, and director/stunt coordinator to ride.” “Increasing our versatility, we’ve also added a four wheeler which is 100% electric. It is also a very versatile filming platform. You can put a Steadicam operator, 3 axis stabilized head, lock off camera, or even put a jib arm on it above the driver. It has platforms for numerous people to ride, and it is silent and very actor friendly. It has a top speed of 30 mph, so it is used for slower to medium speed shots. It is also turf friendly; it has street tires and also aggressive tires for off road use. We also have air ride suspension to get a smooth, steady ride no matter where the weight is on the vehicle,” explained Harrington. “We are in the process of changing the name of the company to Covert Camera Vehicles because it’s more than just bikes now!” LFV If you missed our coverage of When the Game Stands Tall and our interview with Director Thomas Carter, go to our

Covert Camera Bikes is working on a name change now that their vehicle line is expanding.

website at www.louisianafilmandvideo. com and check out Issue 4, 2014.





his year, the Real Screen West Conference expanded their show dates and facility space. The June event was held at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica. In addition to attendees getting the opportunity to network and pitch shows to networks, channel execs and A&E and History producers shared their knowledge channel president on unscripted programming and Paul Buccieri spoke about the challenges current trends in the industry. facing unscripted Many of the panelists talked programming at the conference. about the current ratings lull in unscripted programming on cable but felt it was a problem affecting all channels on TV and cable. Paul Buccieri, President of A&E and History, phrased it best noting, “It’s a battle for people’s time. There’s never been a time with more content and more content consumption.” It was noted that with American Idol ending, it opened up a large amount of real estate in programming. Both networks and producers were excited about the possibilities to launch new shows during that time slot now that they wouldn’t have to be competing with Idol. Most of the networks said that they were looking for more authentic, docu-style shows; however, it was noted that authenticity means something different for each network and their brand. Producers talked about the expense of shooting this style of show because of the extra amount of time needed to wait for the story to unfold. “Just because it’s authentic doesn’t mean it’s cheap,” said Sharon Scott, President and General Manager of NBC Peacock Productions. Looking for ways to make this style of shooting more affordable while also appealing, Alan Eyres, SVP of Programming and Development at National Geographic Channel, suggested, “Framing can make footage seem more cinematic … spend more money on B-roll.” “One of the hardest jobs to teach producers is to not push the story and try to be the most clever person in the room,” said Scott. “You need to be present, patient, quiet and wait.”

Rich Ross, president of the Discovery Channel, echoed those sentiments as he shared his thoughts on what he looks for in a new show, “Slow it down a bit. Meet the characters, let the audience fall in love with them, and then tell a good story.” Most of the attendees at the show who ranged in expertise from emerging to experienced producers were focused on closing the deal. Buccieri’s advice for these producers was simple, “Speed in making deals is crucial. Filling the slot is the main objective. The slower the deal, the more likely someone else will take the slot.” Many seasoned producers still lamented over the time spent trying to get their shows on the air. “You need

Rich Ross, president of the Discovery Channel, talked about what he expects of producers and their shows.

persistence and passion,” preached David Garfinkle, Executive Producer at Renegade83. “Naked and Afraid was five pitches to Discovery, and I pitched another show to Fox for five years before I finally got a ‘yes.’” The biggest takeaway was that good things can come to those who wait as long as they are persistent. Of course, having a great, fresh, authentic show is a must in order for the waiting and the persistence to pay off. LFV W. H. Bourne is an award winning documentary filmmaker.










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Damian (Reynolds) examines his new body; his old one (Kingsley) is in the background in Tarsem Singh’s new film Self/less. STORY BY W. H. BOURNE PHOTOS BY ALAN MARKFIELD AND HILARY BRONWYN GAYLE COURTESY OF GRAMERCY PICTURES


think every viewer gets drawn in when a wishfulfillment aspect is a key part of a movie,” says Actor Ryan Reynolds who stars in Tarsem Singh’s Self/less. “Extending life, cheating death—if and when the right resources are poured in, this kind of science doesn’t seem that far off.”

“I was looking for a grounded thriller, something that didn’t require fantastical things,” says Director Tarsem Singh whose new movie Self/less explores the consequences of taking a life to live forever. “I didn’t mind a thematic approach, but I was looking for something that had the grounded-ness and the physicality that was along the (Director Roman) Polanski lines.” “I love playing characters who are given specific moral choices, and the character of Damian is particularly interesting because he is morally flexible,” says Reynolds. “The audience will themselves wonder, ‘Would I do that?’ Self/less is very thought-provoking; there’s an element of narcissism to why (my new character/self) Damian commits to the ‘shedding’ process, but I also believe that

he has internally struggled with some of what he’s done in life— and a second shot at it is compelling to him for that reason.” Approached by the filmmakers to play Damian Hale in his original form, Oscar winner Ben Kingsley says, “I think that Damian has always had a magnificent ego. He is highly creative and imaginative, but this powerful man does not judge himself harshly. He may not have long to live, yet he will every day have his hands manicured, have a massage, have his beard trimmed by his barber, go to his tailor, and remain in denial (thinking), ‘I’m not dying.’ I had to display his vulnerabilities so the audience will say, ‘He’s just like my uncle,’ or, ‘That’s my Dad.’” Kingsley adds, “We had the perfect director for this story in Tarsem Singh. His roots are in the Indian subcontinent, and one aspect of that immensely rich culture that he and I discussed is the place that reincarnation holds in people’s imaginations—and as a principle, a belief. It’s something that can be alien to us in the West. Damian needs to reincarnate himself, and he finds this genius, Albright, who will help him dodge death—even if it costs a fortune. In Tarsem’s poetry and this story’s mythology, Damian is the king who dies and then becomes a prince.” “Damian is a man who has everything but age on his side,” offers Singh, “but he’s been a selfish person who could never sort out his personal life and will never be able to erase his past. I believe that the brain is everything and the heart is just a pump. In Self/less, ISSUE THREE 2015



Damian gets to take a second bite of the apple and is faced with the decision of being a different person.” “If you’re going to come back, Ryan Reynolds is a pretty f—king great idea,” says Actor Matthew Goode who plays Albright, the scientist who has invented the “shedding” process. “Now, my character is on the wrong side, but there’s still a good guy in there musing on, ‘If only Einstein could have lived a little bit longer and continued his theories.’” “Ryan was the first person we went to (attach for Self/less) because I thought if you were looking for a body to go to, you’d go to the perfect male specimen which is Ryan,” says Singh, “and you’d go yeah, ‘I’d buy that for a dollar!’” “These are great conceits that Self/less is looking at because who doesn’t wonder about living forever? A lot of things stacked up for me to take this job, and another one of them was Tarsem Singh; I remember watching The Cell and thinking, ‘Who is this guy? I’ve never seen shots like this before,’” says Goode. “He’s brilliant to work with!” “I never saw Albright as a villain,” explains Singh. “He plays by the rules until Damian goes rogue, and Albright has no other alternative. Emotion enters into an equation that doesn’t allow for it as calculated by Albright.” Reynolds praises Goode for, “the challenge of delivering all the scientific details that Albright has to disclose and doing that so effortlessly that you buy into what Albright is selling—and you even understand his convictions and how he sees the world a certain way; but there is also tragedy in Albright’s own story, which feeds into how the arguments he advances become ones I tend to agree with.” “The only time any of the exposition threw me was when I had to remember my lines with Sir Ben,” says Goode. “He was generous, but I was having a slightly out-of-body experience of, ‘You’re doing a scene with Ben Kingsley!’” Reynolds says that it was, “a privilege to say that I was in the same film as Sir Ben. We did meet and discussed our personal thoughts on making the most out of the time we’re given, which is one of the film’s main themes.” In the story Self/less, Sir Ben Kingsley’s character Damian takes over Ryan Reynolds’ character’s body through this process of “shedding” that Albright (Goode) has created. The way the shooting schedule was structured, Reynolds and Kingsley would never

(L-R) Director Tarsem Singh and Actor Sir Ben Kingsley review a scene. 38 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE


Actors Ryan Reynolds and Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen in an action sequence from Self/less.

have a scene together. “The caterpillar doesn’t know the butterfly,” offers Kingsley. Shooting order was important to determine what character traits Reynolds would have to mimic from Sir Ben to key the audience into the fact that these two people were indeed the same person, but things didn’t quite work out as planned. “Things were supposed to be reversed, but schedules changed things around (shooting order) so it was Ryan first and then Sir Ben. So like the accent, we just didn’t know (what Sir Ben was going to do). That’s why I came up with a few particular things like the tick with the glasses or when you come home and you throw your keys in back of you onto a chair. Those types of habits I kept and focused on instead of the accents,” explains Singh. “Our movie’s title is interpreted differently by each of the main characters in the story,” explains Reynolds. “Each member of the audience will decide what it means to them, too.” “When I saw the script, it was based in New York and upstate New York. They (the producers) said New Orleans is a better place to shoot, and I said I will not try to make it (New Orleans) look like any other place. It is what it is, and that’s what I love about it. So we just moved the story down to New Orleans and shot it like that,” says Singh. “It just required a couple of key plot things to change. We did New York as bookends with most everything happening in New Orleans.” One of the scenes that’s naturally New Orleans in Self/less is an abandoned warehouse that appears to be close to (or may be) Mardi Gras World’s old location on the Westbank. In the film you see pieces of Mardi Gras sculptures in an old abandoned warehouse. “We needed to give Damian a hint (about his new body). There’s lots of abandoned warehouses in New Orleans, but very few that are abandoned and would house these sorts of things (sculptures). We wanted to use the location (Mardi Gras World), but too many people know the real one and know that it’s not something you could house an operation like this in (Albright’s lab) even though it’s a mobile lab,” explains Singh. “I did not enjoy New Orleans, I love it! I keep thinking I’ll get

a place there, but it’s got such a director’s cut, was 23 seconds great rental culture that if you are longer than what ended up (in going in or out, it just helps to the film) so everything I wanted rent the place. I shot there before, inside was in direct proportion to the Levi’s commercial campaign the film that I thought we wanted a couple of years ago. I love it … to make.” everything … and good food,” “(Producer) Ram (Bergman) continues Singh. was wonderful. He had done a One of the other iconic New film there before, and his style Orleans scenes is a party monand the way he produces and tage that will probably become a what I do is quite different so textbook case study for all aspirit was a steep learning curve ing filmmakers. but brilliant,” explains Singh. “I Actor Ryan Reynolds portrays Damian in his new body in Self/less. “When I saw that we had a think he is really one of those montage scene, and I thought, people that has no ego, and he is ‘Well, you basically had a few months to live but now everything surrounded by a great group of people. He shot Looper there the has changed, and so of course you’re going to party, but you can’t year before, so when we went into shoot, he was wonderful to have. tell anyone who you are. So where do you want to go? If you’re heFor him, I was a completely different style of director to have. He donistic, you’d go to New Orleans, and if you’re completely crazy, told me the director’s cut for Looper was one hour longer (than the you’d go to Vegas. I picked New Orleans,” says Singh. theatrically released cut), and they took about a year to cut it and bring it down. I said, ‘That’s not going to happen with the way I shoot,’ and he said, ‘Oh you don’t know. Directors always say that,’ and I said, ‘Okay, let’s give it a whack,’ and, as I said, my cut was off by 23 seconds. You know I just hate when you shoot incredible stuff, and it just doesn’t end up in the film.” “What’s good is that we build up to the action,” adds Singh. “We don’t desensitize people with shootouts in the first act. The action here has a reason for being after the characters have been established.” “The film turned out great,” continues Singh. “It’s such a good story. It has all the moral issues I wanted to address, and everything got addressed correctly, and that was it. It has to click. It either works, or it doesn’t, and it did. That was the greatest reward, the finished film.” Director Tarsem Singh makes an adjustment to Actor Sir Ben Kingsley’s costume. “The energy Tarsem brings to the set is palpable. He wields a little bit of magic, and you cannot exhaust this man. I would follow him anywhere,” concludes Reynolds. “I didn’t have an actual shot list, I just knew exactly what was goBe sure to catch Ryan Reynolds, Sir Ben Kingsley and Matthew ing to happen,” continues Singh about the montage. “I shot it with Goode in Tarsem Singh’s Self/less which released at theaters nationa particular rhythm in mind because there was this piece of music wide on July 10, 2015. LFV that I really liked. It was definitely going to be in that style with tap dancing mixed with other things. That’s why I went looking for street dancers because I moved there a couple of months earlier Want to learn more about Self/less? Check out Louisiana Film & Video’s produc(before the film started shooting). I used those tap dancers, and tion story on the film from Issue 6, 2013 at then I went with a couple of musicians and put a track on top of that and knew that I was going to literally cut to it.” “I don’t do shot lists and I don’t do storyboards,” explains Singh. “I prefer to get the actors in there and find out where and how they want to move. They’re free to move and the cameras can follow them from point A to point B to point C and then we can commit to it.” In a similar vein, Singh comments, “After a film is done, I throw out all the camera information from my head so on the next shoot I can start out fresh and test everything (for the next project). If you know what you’re doing with digital right now, nothing beats it.” “It was really easy (to shoot) once we had everything down on paper,” says Singh. “I brought the family down (to New Orleans). Director Tarsem Singh considers a shot composition for Self/less. The actors were great. It was a wonderful shoot. The assembly, the ISSUE THREE 2015







his year’s Louisiana International Film Festival (LIFF) clearly demonstrated that the programmers could appeal to all audiences. The film screenings were diverse ranging from the commercial comedy Spy to the experimental art-house The End of Language Festival attendees enjoy the filmmaker’s lounge at LIFF. in 3D, by the father of performance in the Cinemark courtyard. Several live the French New Wave Jean-Luc Godard. The festival, bands performed at the gala parties and in the filmwhich was held at the Cinemark Theatre at Perkins maker’s lounge. The festival screened Big Charity, Rowe, provided curated content creating the opporthe doc about Charity Hospital in New Orleans and tunity for Baton Rouge residents to see many indeits fate during and after Hurricane Katrina. It also pendent films that might never play outside of New featured a block of Louisiana short films as well as York or Los Angeles. In addition to having kid-friendsponsored workshops and special guests performing ly fare like the screening of the animated film, The Q&As after many of the films. Prophet, the festival also had a free symphony An attendee speaks with Director Alexander Glustrom (R) after a screening of his film, Big Charity.

Staffer Jason Allen announces the festival winners of this year’s LIFF.

Oscar winning DP, Mauro Fiore, speaks at a LIFF workshop about his upcoming work on Magnificent 7. ISSUE THREE 2015


THIS YEAR’S LIFF WINNERS: Best Film - Audience Award WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS Directors: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi Best Actor Xavier Samuel - FRANKENSTEIN Director: Bernard Rose Best Actress Blythe Danner - I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS Director: Brett Haley

Festival staffer Matthew Schwartz shows off his many talents.

Best Director Brett Haley - I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS Best Documentary BIG CHARITY Director: Alexander Glustrom Producer: Catherine Rierson Best International Short Film RAG DOLL Director: Zena Dell Lowe --Tied With-ALONE IN THE DUST Director: Brandon Kapelow

Actor Vincent D’Onofrio (Law & Order, Jurassic World) speaks about his experiences acting in Broken Horses.

Best Louisiana Short Film MADELINE’S OIL Director: Caleb Michaelson Producer: Jency Griffin Hogan Best Cinematographer Valentina Caniglia - MADELINE’S OIL Career Achievement Award Sally Kirkland For Her Amazing Contribution of Portraying Powerful Women In Cinema

Magnificent 7 crew (L-R) Megan Hebert (Assistant Producer), Roy Farthing (Set Decorator), and Allesandra Hitchcock (Scenic Painter). 42 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE


Attendee Victoria Rouillier is excited to see the animation feature The Prophet which features the voice of local actress Quvenzhané Wallis.

L-R Camille Griffin and Actor Andrew Vogel (Under the Dome, Astronauts’ Wives Club).

“We were particularly thrilled with this year’s audience reaction. Attendance nearly doubled over previous years and we were lucky enough to have a number of notable individuals join us for LIFF 2015. Vincent D’Onofrio arrived for the screening of his recent film Broken Horses and stayed on to enjoy the festivities, joining director Bernard Rose and actor Xavier Samuel who were on hand for the American premiere of Rose’s Frankenstein in which Samuel stars as the famous monster. We were honored to count Academy Award winning cinematographer Mauro Fiore (Avatar) as a participant in the panel discussion that anchored this year’s Mentorship Program. And, of course, it was a great honor to be able to recognize Sally Kirkland with a career achievement award for the many wonderful performances she has given us. Beyond this, hosting the second ever screening of the new Paul Feig/Melissa McCarthy film Spy upped LIFF’s standing in the festival marketplace. It was 60 films over 4 days, a full on celebration of cinema with the people that are making Louisiana a haven for film lovers and filmmakers alike,” said Dan Ireland, Artistic Director of LIFF. LFV Jay Crest is an avid yoga student and indie filmmaker.





aramount Studios in Hollywood once again played host to CineGear, the annual trade show for the film industry. This year’s show was packed with many booths drawing big crowds; included was Panavision who was showing off an end to end 8K workflow. The demo featured footage shot on an 8K RED Weapon camera with Panavision 70 Primo 8K Lenses, edited and color corrected in 8K on a Quantel Pablo Rio system, and shown on an 8K BOE monitor. Panavision describes the new 70 Series as being able to resolve the detail of a digital image in 8K or higher. The lenses were designed to cover larger acquisition formats and easily accommodated the Weapon’s full frame 35mm still-sized sensor. As television prepares for 4K delivery with Netflix already providing 4K content in select areas, some in the film industry are looking at delivery resolutions beyond 4K. While the aerial footage shown by Panavision was stunning, I couldn’t help but feel there was something missing from the booth. Where were all the anamorphic lenses? Then I remembered talking with Panavision’s James Finn at the Louisiana International Film Fest when he told me they wouldn’t have much in the way of

Lots of filmmakers and lots of sun at this year’s CineGear.

anamorphic lenses at CineGear because they were all rented out to productions. He said that they couldn’t even keep the vintage lenses on the shelves. That’s no surprise given the number of recent film releases shot with anamorphic lenses. San Andreas, the recent Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson headliner, shot with Panavision anamorphic lenses, and Magic Mike XXL, Channing Tatum’s latest film, shot with Vantage Hawk anamorphic lenses. As I continued to walk around CineGear, nearly every lens maker and rental house prominently featured anamorphic lenses in their booths. Anamorphic imagery hit the big screens in the U.S. first, but the making of the lenses is clearly an international venture. At CineGear, there was Angenieux with zooms from France, Service vision’s new Scopiolens primes from Spain, and from Germany the Arri/Zeiss’ anamorphic line. Vantage, another German lens maker, showed off their Hawk line of featured traditional X2 anamorphics as well as 1.3X (designed for 16 X 9 sensors) and 1.5X (for 16mm film) anamorphics. English lens maker Cooke Optics displayed a

The modern Panavision anamorphic lenses used on San Andreas don’t have the edge distortion typical of older anamorphic lenses but in this shot we see the actors are kept towards the center of the frame in a classic anamorphic composition. ISSUE THREE 2015



Magic Mike XXL used Hawk anamorphic lenses which help the characters standout from their backgrounds; the CinemaScope format supports that larger than life feel.

new 60mm macro anamorphic prime and announced a fall release for an anamorphic zoom that the company’s Les Zellan said will be their first in decades. In the Lumix booth, Hong Kong based SLR Magic demoed a prototype of an X2 anamorphic adapter designed for use with their MFT cinema primes mounted on a GH4. The adapter is set for a fall release; paired with the GH4’s 4/3 mode, it will bring anamorphic shooting to lower budget productions. While shooting anamorphic has been gaining in popularity in the last few years, it can be hard to put a finger on why the format is so popular with directors and cinematographers who often describe it with words like “organic.” From a technical standpoint, just the concept of using optical compression to squeeze an image to half of its width and then stretch it back out again seems a bit less than natural, and it’s never been a simple or easy process to shoot anamorphic. To gain better insight on the subject, it helps to understand a little about the history of the format. The 2X optical squeeze A prototype Red Weapon camera surrounded by Panavision’s new Primo 70 Series prime lenses.



of anamorphic shooting for film was originally used for CinemaScope. At the time in the early ‘50s, most films were shown in the 1.37 (around 4/3) aspect ratio, and with the dawn of television, the studios were looking for new ways to draw people into theaters. CinemaScope was developed as a rival of the short lived Cinerama widescreen format. So here’s where the math gets a little tricky. Anamorphic footage was and still often is shot in a 1.33:1 format on film with a X2 horizontal squeeze of the image. This created an image that filled the entire 35mm negative’s frame. Before the advent of digital projection, a 2X anamorphic lens was used on film projectors to stretch the image back out yet the aspect ratios we hear used for CinemaScope are 2.35:1 or 2.39:1, not 2.66:1. That’s because when you stretch an image with a 1.33:1 aspect ratio by a factor of 2, you get an image with an aspect ratio 2.66:1, but the image on the film prints had to be cropped to allow for space for the audio track. CinemaScope went through a few aspect ratios in the mid 1950s until settling on 2.35:1 which was used until the ‘70s when it was decided that the image should be cropped vertically to 2.39:1 (often called 2.4:1) so that the splices in the prints would be less noticeable. Even now that most projection is digital and anamorphic lenses aren’t needed to create a wide image, the aspect ratio used is 2.39:1; however, it’s still usually referred to as 2.35 because of the history of the CinemaScope format. Cinematographers have been able to achieve the widescreen aspect ratio of CinemaScope with spherical lens for years. On film, they can shoot Super 35mm which crops the top and bottom of the frame, or if they’re shooting digital, many of the image sensors are large enough to support the format. Even with these options, many still choose to shoot anamorphic which most, freely admit, is harder to work with.

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There are a host of technical challenges common to shooting this causes faces to look fat if they are too close to the lenses, an out anamorphic. The lenses tend to be larger, heavier and with conof focus effect that is commonly called the anamorphic mumps. struction more complex than standard lenses making them more With early anamorphic lenses, there was typically imperfections expensive. Anamorphic lenses let in less light than their spherical near the edges of the lens like loss of sharpness, chromatic aberracounterparts so they usually require more light on set increasing tions, vignetting and distortion. Panning the camera too rapidly the cost of production. could cause the distortion to be easily noticeable. Many filmmakers For years, shooting anamorphic was only possible for big budget chose to alter their shot compositions to avoid putting characters Hollywood productions so it’s too close to the edge of not so hard to see the mystique the frame or too far into of wanting to share a format soft focus and slowed with classic cinema. Most of the rate at which they what makes the anamorphic would pan the camera. look stand out is more subtle. The result is like a visual Anamorphic lenses are typiHaiku where a unique cally not as sharp as spherical cinematic style has risen glass so the images produced from working within the tend to be softer, often with limitations of the anaslightly muted colors, which morphic format. can be very favorable for The complexity of close-ups of actors’ faces. Large the anamorphic cinema horizontal lens flares are comlens has led to an equally mon with anamorphic lenses; complex visual language although, perhaps, the largest for shooting cinematic difference is in the focus of anamorphic images. It’s a the lens. To just say that the language that continues The oval shaped elements of anamorphic lenses render out of focus highlights (bokeh) with the same oval shape which has become a much desired part of the anamorphic look. to grow, but still shows its shallower depth of field that anamorphic lenses possess is ties to the early CinemaSa big part of the anamorphic cope productions. Since it look is a bit of an oversimplification. The anamorphic lenses don’t was difficult to navigate the anamorphic lens displayed at CineGear focus like spherical lenses do. An anamorphic lens with the same this year, I suspect we’ll be seeing a lot more projects shot in 2:39 as size and aperture as a standard lens will have the same depth of directors and cinematographers continue to demand anamorphic field vertically but only half the depth of field horizontally. So, if lenses and viewers love that CinemaScope look. LFV you have a 50mm X2 anamorphic lens at T3, it will have a matching vertical depth of field to a standard 50mm at T3 but a horizonOdin Lindblom is an award winning filmmaker, cinematographer and editor. tal depth of field of a 100mm at T3. In many anamorphic lenses,

Vantage released a new Hawk 80 - 180mm T2.9 X2 anamorphic zoom at CineGear both with modern lens coatings and with a white body and 70s style lens coatings for enhanced lens flares. 48 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE


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f you’ve written a script recently, it may have references to certain copyrighted or trademarked material; the character reaches for his iPhone, takes a sip of a Coca-Cola or leaps into her new Range Rover. If these products are mentioned, used or displayed on the screen, you should consult with an attorney to obtain permission from the owners of the trademarked or copyrighted products before you use them in your production. If you cannot get permission from these owners, you may be able to display the products without the brand packaging, blur the items from the scene, or remove them entirely if you have not begun to shoot the film. Entertainment attorneys or script clearance companies will perform what is commonly referred to as a “script clearance” or a search of your script to identify all materials or references that may represent possible legal conflicts if used in your film. A script clearance will recognize and report items such as character names, locations and signs, products and brand names, defamatory references, and even seemingly harmless items like artwork and photographs. Your attorney should review the results and work with you to contact the owners of the materials to obtain permission and secure any required licenses. There is no “magic path” to make this happen, but you should strive to ensure that the permission has been granted by the owner or a confirmed representative of the owner and have the release made in writing if at all possible. You should also secure the authorization to use the name of any celebrities or their image and/or likeness with their agent. If the celebrity has an active trademark in their name, you may be required to obtain rights to use their trademark. The script clearance results are important to share with your director, producers, set decorators, art department and anyone else who will be creating the set and other elements of your film. This clearance is also important for distribution purposes. The distributor of your film will want a guarantee that your film does not contain any materials that could have negative legal implications. These claims can range from copyright infringement to defamation of character or the need to obtain life rights from a celebrity. If you are shooting scenes that involve brief or background views

of a brand, like the display of a billboard in the background of a passing shot on the freeway, you may be able to use such footage without permission based on the concept of “fair use.” Copyright law provides the owner of a copyrighted work with certain exclusive rights such as the right to reproduce the work, prepare derivative works or perform the work publicly. However, the fair use doctrine also provides third parties with a limited exception to use the protected materials without permission from the owner in certain circumstances. 17 U.S. Code §107 provides that it is not an infringement of copyright to use a copyrighted work for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship or research. In addition, even though there is no real definition of “fair use,” the following four-factor balancing test set forth in 17 U.S. Code §107 may be used to determine whether the use outside of those stated purposes is fair. These factors include: (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for non-profit educational purposes; (2) the nature of the copyrighted work; (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. It is often wise to obtain (and is typically required by distributors) Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance which protects filmmakers from lawsuits pertaining to copyright infringement and other claims based on the content of a film. Exclusions may be inserted into the coverage for copyrighted images that are not cleared or licensed. As a general rule, if you don’t own it and want to use it in your film, you should get permission from the owner. Otherwise, you may open the theater door to lawsuits, injunctions and an uphill battle to obtaining distribution of your feature film. LFV NOTE: Kean Miller LLP provides this article as a public service for general information only. The material contained herein may not reflect the most current legal developments. Such material does not constitute legal advice, and no person should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information contained in this article without seeking appropriate legal or other professional advice on that person’s particular circumstances. Kean Miller and the authors expressly disclaim all liability to any person with respect to the contents of this article, and with respect to any act or failure to act made in reliance on any material contained herein. Meg Alsfeld Kaul is a film and entertainment attorney with the Louisiana law firm of Kean Miller LLP. ISSUE THREE 2015



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The cast of Zoo (L-R) Nora Arnezeder, James Wolk, Billy Burke, Kristen Connolly, and Nonso Anozie.


“ ’m scouting for Zoo today and tomorrow, and then we start shooting episode 13 on Friday,” says Michael Katleman who will also be directing the Friday shoot for the new CBS series that’s based on the #1 bestselling novel by James Patterson that debuted Tuesday, June 30. “I am producer/director on the show so I’m directing three of these (episodes) this year. It’s James Patterson’s first television show, and the material lends itself to a great summer event series for CBS. Who doesn’t want to watch the animal apocalypse?” “We were looking for a place where obviously we could move around to different areas (parts of the world) because this is a globetrotting show, but we wanted to find one central location where we could shoot a lot of these locations at and that was a big draw for Louisiana,” explains Katleman. “I’ve shot here before. I did a series here, Memphis Beat.” Actor Billy Burke is also very familiar with shooting in Louisiana. In addition to shooting parts of Twilight: Breaking Dawn 1 & 2 in

Baton Rouge, he also shot Drive Angry with Nicolas Cage and Amber Heard in Shreveport. Now, he’s in New Orleans working on Zoo with Katleman. Burke plays Mitch Morgan, an eccentric veterinarian. “Mitch starts out as the somewhat jaded, smart-assy, know-it-all on the team,” explains Burke. “He’s a veterinary pathologist and college professor who’d much rather be in the company of animals than other human beings. As the task of identifying and hopefully rectifying the cause of the animal uprising gets more crazy and dire, Mitch grows a much stronger appreciation for the brother and sisterhood he’s surrounded by.” “All our actors are fabulous,” raves Katleman. “It’s funny because in the first couple of episodes, they all worked separately; they didn’t really work as a group. The group didn’t really come together until episode three so when they finally did get to work together, it was like a bunch of long lost friends. They’re a great group of actors who take everything really seriously. They come in prepared, and they’ve put a lot of thought into what they’re doing, and they’re really invested in the material and the writing.” “I’ve been very lucky to have shared the set with some phenomenal people over the years, and this cast and crew are certainly no exception,” says Burke. If you haven’t seen an episode yet, Zoo lives up to its reputation where the animals are almost as much of a focus as the cast ISSUE THREE 2015



mally, when you go which includes James Wolk (Jackson Oz), Kristen Connolly (Jamie to shoot, you’ll light Campbell), Nonso Anozie (Abraham Kenyatta), Nora Arnezeder the set, and then the (Chloe Tousignant), and Billy Burke (Mitch Morgan). actors will come on “The animals are 90% real,” says Katleman. “This year we’ve shot before you finish, and real lions, tigers, leopards, and bears. We had a cute little lion cub everyone’s working so and a Serval cub. We’ve had rats, bats, horses, dogs, cats, and camthat by the time your els. In this last episode that I’m about to start shooting, we have a lighting is finished, the baboon in it.” actors are touched up, “We always start with, ‘How can we block the scene with a real and everyone’s ready animal?’ We’re very, very careful with them; that’s a huge priority to go. But when you’re for us. If we’re dealing with a lion or a tiger or something like that, working with these we’ll take all the precautions and shoot split screen,” continues animals, they can’t Katleman. “We’re very safe with them. We’ll do motion control. come out until the set We always want to have the actors in the frame with them (the is completely locked animals), but we also take every precaution.” down so you have to “We don’t have the time to build CG animals for every episode. be lit, everyone’s there, For something like that, you really need an extraordinary amount Actor Billy Burke on set for CBS’ Zoo. they’re all touched up of time to pull that off. We get a big action sequence with a leopard, and ready to go, and then you walk the lions out, and that can take and we don’t even have a half a year to build the leopard so we time,” explains Katleman. “The first couple of episodes, we weren’t bring the leopard on (location) and we work with the trainer. Our quite prepared for how long everything took, but it does take a VFX (visual effects) team will be painting out the trainer or paintridiculous amount of time so you really have to plan for it.” ing out the leash that they have the leopard on,” explains Katleman. While Katleman did have time to plan and prepare for tackling “Then you may do a combination of things like in the pilot when Zoo, actor Billy Burke wasn’t as fortunate. we had the time so we built a CG lion to do some of the stuff, but, “In most cases, including this one, there isn’t a whole lot of you know, you adapt it.” time for preparing,” explains Burke. “By the time the gig is in your “It’s a funny way you have to go about it,” comments Katleman. hands, you’re usually only days, or sometimes hours, away from “You’ll plan the scene as much as you can, and you’ll storyboard it, getting on a plane and being thrown into wardrobe fittings. To be but when it comes time to shoot it, you shoot the animal first, and honest, I kinda like it that way. I don’t wanna be given too much the animal is going to do what the animal wants to do. I had a scene time to over-think a bunch of stuff that probably won’t matter. I’m in the second episode which I directed. I had one lion that we were a big proponent of first instincts.” using to look like a sick lion, and I had someone up in the tree, and “I sat down at a hotel bar in Culver City (a suburb of Los Angeles) the lion was kind of circling. The lion did one pass, and then it did with the writer/producers, and they gave me an overview of what another, and it lied down. We were shooting outside at night and the show was and what they were going for,” says Burke. “I rememhad issues with light, and I went to the trainer and said, ‘Can we just ber trying to think of another show past or present that did what back up and redo a couple of the passes?’ and he turned to me and this show wanted to do. I couldn’t think of any. That and the people said, ‘The lion will get up when the lion wants to get up.’” involved were enough for me so I just told them, ‘I’m available if you “It definitely has its challenges, but it always looks better,” adds Katwant me.’” leman. “You just have to adapt it. For example, if the animal is going “Another one of the initial factors that went into me doing this to attack a human, you shoot the animal side first, and then whatever gig was ‘And it shoots where? the animal does, you have the New Orleans?’ Yeah, I dig actor match the animal. It’s it here,” adds Burke. “The the only chance you have of weather, especially this time pulling it off without CG.” of year, can be a bit of a “It takes a lot longer for cruel joke, but it’s a minimal these (animal) sequences. price to pay for the food, We have two units working music and overall culture a lot. We may have an aniyou’re getting. Louisiana mal unit going where you’re has been a very inviting and doing the animals and those accommodating place for pieces. It takes an amazing film and TV. I really hope amount of time when you that continues.” bring a real lion out. The “We use mostly local crew. steps you have to take. You Out of our crew, roughly have to clear the set. They 150-175 of them are local,” put up a fence around it. No Director Michael Katleman (center) frames a scene for Zoo. says Katleman. “I brought one can be moving. Nor54 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE


Kristen Connolly (as Jamie Campbell) and Billy Burke (as Mitch Morgan) investigate odd animal behavior in a scene from Zoo.

in my DPs and my production designer, but besides that, pretty much all my people are locals. There’s a great talent pool here. I’ll be honest. I’ve worked here before, and I know a lot of crew people, and there’s no shortage that’s for sure. I’m working with some of the same crew from Memphis Beat that I’m familiar with and liked a lot and some new people as well. We have a lot of people (working for us) from American Horror Story. There’s just a lot of good crews here.” “We bring in all the animals from Los Angeles and Florida,” adds Katleman. “We have our animal trainer, who has his team. They will bring the animals in, and the trainers know what they can do.” “We’re dealing with animals so a ton of the shooting is outdoors,” continues Katleman. “We really want to sell where we’re at with big, huge, beautiful shots so the scenes don’t feel claustrophobic. We’re really making this as cinematic as possible. We turned some warehouses, (the old) Mardi Gras World in Algiers, into stages, but to be honest with you, we rarely are on our stages. I can probably count on one hand the number of times we’ve shot there. We’re really a locations show. We’re bouncing around all over the place.” “We don’t have a permanent set. A lot of television shows will have their ‘go to’ set, their permanent set, where you’ll be able to come back to certain offices or a squad room so you know you always have that ‘go to’ set where you can shoot if you have weather issues or other conflicts,” says Katleman. “We don’t have that at all. We are constantly on location.”

“The goal is it’s a summer series. We’re doing 13 episodes. If it’s successful, we’ll come back next summer and do it again. We’re leaving it open ended with a bit of a cliffhanger,” explains Katleman. “To be honest, 13 (episodes) is the perfect amount. The show is really challenging with the animals and with every episode trying to create a new and different country, another city, another state, or whatever we’re trying to do. It’s very labor intensive so I think 13 is the perfect amount. If it was 22 episodes, I don’t know if any of us could pull it off.” Los Angeles, D.C., Africa, Brazil: Louisiana substitutes for all these locations in Zoo. “It’s a global epic thriller,” comments Katleman. “I’m a huge fan of the writing and the writers. We have a great team. The scripts are complex. The dialogue is great, and there’s just a lot of good stuff in them (the scripts), and the actors feel that. It’s fun when they get to set, and they get the next script, and they’re all really excited to read it.” “Recently, it’s been a challenge trying to keep a straight face much less busting out in giggle fits along with the rest of the cast,” confides Burke. “There comes a point for all of us when doing action/adventure fare that the absurdity of the moment just gets the best of you.” “It’s just a fun show, and I hope everyone finds it thrilling and exciting and compelling,” adds Katleman. “I reckon if you can’t have a good time making a show called Zoo, you’re in the wrong business,” says Burke. LFV Be sure to check out Zoo on Tuesday nights at 8 PM CST on CBS.

L-R: Actor Nonso Anozie discusses a scene with Zoo novelist, screenwriter, and producer James Patterson.



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he 48 Hour Film Festival in New Orleans is crewing for its annual competition this July 24 – 26. Teams can register up to the day of the event itself (July 24), though it’s best to register early. This is not only because you save money, but 48 Hour Film’s Alexander Arturo Garcia. because our limit for teams is determined by how much space we have at the venue. If we hit our limit, then anyone who signs up will be on our waiting list, and we have to negotiate more screening time at our venue. In 2013, we had 12 teams on our waiting list, and we were able to accommodate all of them; I think we’ll be able to do the same this year. Even if you don’t have your own team, teams need you as an actor, writer, DP, grip, gaffer, PA, etc. The best way to get to meet these team leaders is through our mixers. We have one coming up before the event. On July 16, we’ll be at the Mid-City Yacht Club (440 S. St. Patrick Street in NOLA). We encourage anyone who wants to be involved to come out. We also happily accept volunteers on the event side of this thing. We’ve been blessed with a fantastic corps of volunteers who have been known to get together and make their 48 Hour Filmapooloza packs the house own film projects outside of at the downtown Joy. the 48 as well. Our co-producer, Bill Rainey, started as a volunteer and quickly worked his way to that role by coming in and working hard and using the wisdom of his experience. So, yeah, volunteers are a huge part of our success. Also, if you’re new in town, it’s also a great way to meet people.

So many winners at the 48 Hour Filmapooloza...

If you want to see the films, our premiere screenings will be at the Solomon Victory Theater at the WWII Museum on Thursday, July 30, and Friday, July 31. Every film that is submitted will be screened, even if they aren’t finished on time. Audience members have the opportunity to vote for their favorite films with winners in each group receiving a special Audience Award. We have an Awards and Best of presentation in August as well as an opportunity where you can see all of the winning films. From what I’ve seen over the years, the two keys to winning are to keep things simple and work well together as a team. Whether it’s a Hollywood blockbuster or a 48 hour film, your crew can make you or break you. Also, this is a time where egos are best checked at the door. Even if you’re not the lead actor or the director, your job is just as important so be the best that you can be in the role you’re given. LFV Alexander Arturo Garcia is one of the producers of the New Orleans 48 Hour Film Project and the New Orleans 48 Hour Music Project.









ach year, the Producers Guild of America (PGA) hosts the Produced By Conference which offers a weekend of workshops geared toward networking and mentorship for producers and filmmakers. Both speakers and topics are diverse, and this year was no exception. From finding funding to finding inspiration, each attendee was bound to learn something new. The panel, “Production Incentives and Fiscal Responsibility of the Producer,” was one of the more popular panels selling out weeks before the actual conference. Joe Chianese, Executive Vice President of EP Financial Solutions, moderated the incentives panel which focused on the many states currently in legislative sessions. He stressed that, “The most critical element of the incentive is certainty.” David Glasser, COO and President of The Weinstein Company, agreed. “Because of the decline of DVD revenue, we must use the incentives. It’s a part of the profitability model. We have a dedicated person at our company whose job is to examine locations 18-24 months before we shoot and compare the incentives.” “Incentives can make up as much as 25% of the budget of the project so certainty is essential,” echoed Debra Bergman, Senior VP of Scripted Production at Fremantle Media. Bergman is beginning production on the adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods for television and discussed the challenges of certainty and longevity of an incentive over a 2-5 year period. “A lot more of the larger pictures are going outside the U.S. to shoot due to certainty,” said Chianese. “Romania and Bulgaria have solid infrastructure and are viable. Germany allows you to double dip. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in Germany, they will let you go to that other country and will cover the costs to travel your gear and crew allowing you to get incentives from 2 different countries.” All the panelists seemed Reese Witherspoon talked girl power baffled at legislative attempts and issues facing female producers. in many states to cut their film

This year’s PGA Produced By Conference was hosted on Paramount Pictures Studio Lot.

incentive programs. “I can’t understand how people can shoot down the economic impact studies and not understand how the money trickles down,” said Chianese. “You’re going into a location for 60 days and during that time period you’re spending substantial amounts of money during that time period,” added Glasser. “It’s definitely the trickle down effect,” explained Bergman. “You may bring in crew or actors, but they have to eat and do dry cleaning, etc., etc.” “Incentives are all about job building, contributing to the local economy, and building infrastructure,” said Chianese, “but it’s also about advertising and tourism.” The panel went on to discuss the great exodus of productions when states lost their incentives. They also discussed the renewed interest in shooting in California now that they have expanded their program and their cap upwards of $330 million. The panel returned to the theme of certainty. While there is no way to overemphasize the value of the tax credits, the responsiveness of the local film commission is as equally important. “It’s the assuredness of things like shutting down the streets,” explained Glasser, “because once we’re in, we’re stuck!” In addition to the conference sessions, there was an exhibit area that featured various companies also ranging in diversity from the screenwriting/film management software Celtx to the Baton Rouge Film Commission. “We felt it was a great opportunity to introduce the city of Baton Rouge to an audience of decision makers (at the Produced By ConferISSUE THREE 2015


ence),” said Elizabeth Hutchinson of Film Baton Rouge, “and to share all the advantages of shooting here. We found that most attendees didn’t realize what a variety of locations the city boasts. Most people initially just think plantations and bayous, but we were thrilled to have the opportunity to explain that there is so much more! For example, our downtown has doubled as New York City and Washington, D.C. We have even had desert landscapes and military bases in addition to housing the largest purpose-built studio in the state.” “We focus on the service part of the filmmaking process here in Baton Rouge,” continued Hutchinson. “As every industry outsider knows, making a film or a television project is a tough job. In this

L-R Elizabeth Hutchinson and Ali Wisecarver promote Film Baton Rouge at this year’s 2015 Produced By Conference.

office, we understand that and work hard to support, find solutions and anticipate the needs of every production from the initial scout, to principal photography and on through the post process. We make it personal which really resonates with teams in today’s world. They know us by name. They can call our cell phones. We feel that kind of commitment makes a difference when producers are considering a city to shoot Tyler Perry talks about the power of control and owning in, and we take pride in striving your own content and studio. to be the best in that regard.” Ali Wisecarver, Production Coordinator for Film Baton Rouge, was also on hand to answer questions from attendees. Both Ali and Elizabeth stayed busy during the entire show; however, the booth saw a lot of traffic in between sessions and was particularly swamped after the incentives panel. “We had a fantastic experience and enjoyed meeting producers from all over the country,” said Hutchinson. “It was great to hear about their upcoming projects and to talk specifics about how the city of Baton Rouge could be an ideal choice to meet all those needs.” LFV Check out the story on The Free State of Jones and our coverage of STX Entertainment’s Sophie Watts at the 2015 Produced By Conference in this current issue.





itch Perfect 2 opened #1 at the box office on May 15, raking in $69,216,890 during its first weekend. For the next three weeks, it remained at #2 on the box office charts, and after seven weeks in theaters, it still ranks in the top 10. Domestically, it has earned more than $177,500,000 at the box office and still looks to bring in more money both at home and internationally so it’s no surprise that a new sequel has been announced.

Louisiana native and Pitch Perfect producer Scott Niemeyer commented, “We were very excited about Pitch Perfect 2’s box office success. We have always known that we had a very special project. After the success of Pitch Perfect, we knew that we had to up our a cappella game for the fans. We are thrilled with the news of Pitch Perfect 3 and Pitch Perfect 1, 2, and 3 Producer Scott Niemeyer. thank the fans for the continued success of this awesome franchise.” “Rebel (Wilson) and Anna (Kendrick) are rumored to return and are excited at the success of Pitch Perfect 2. This announcement is so new that we are only at the very early stages as the news just went out,” continued Niemeyer. “Kay Cannon is also in talks to come back and write the third installment. The whole Pitch Perfect (producing) team will be back at it again; this includes Elizabeth Banks who is the steward of the franchise and

part of the Pitch Perfect team.” The Pitch Perfect franchise is a homegrown original film series from Universal Pictures and Gold Circle Entertainment that was produced by Gold Circle and Brownstone Productions and dis-

Actress Rebel Wilson (center) prepares for a scene. ISSUE THREE 2015



tributed by Universal Pictures worldwide. While the productions utilized locations and vendors throughout the entire state, both movies were shot entirely in Baton Rouge. The productions of Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2 were photographed exclusively on location in Louisiana including Louisiana State University, the Old Louisiana Governor’s Mansion, the Baton Rouge River Center, Baton Rouge Community College, Southern University and Baton Rouge Magnet School. Pitch Perfect 2 also constructed a complete concert stage in Highland Park and hosted over 3,000 extras nightly for nearly one week. Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2 spent a combined $40 million in Louisiana and hired close to 800 resident Louisiana workers while filming. The productions also combined to purchase over 7,000 hotel room nights. It will be interesting to see how the recent legislation affecting Louisiana’s tax credits plays out in particular when it comes to shooting Pitch Perfect 3. Local a cappella fans can only watch and wait. LFV For more on Pitch Perfect 2, check out our coverage in last month’s issue, Issue 2, 2015, online at www.louisianafil-

Which a cappella actresses will return for Pitch Perfect 3?

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ointe Coupee Parish has four municipalities and many surrounding suburbs in close vicinity. Being a small town, everybody pretty much knows everyone, so we have plenty of connections to get film productions what they want when they request it. Film Pointe issues one One of Pointe Coupee’s many tranquil waterways. permit and that allows the Pointe Coupee has enjoyed being featured in classic films such production to film anywhere in the parish. There are as Easy Rider and The Long, Hot Summer. Recently, filming has no projects too big or too small because we want them included feature films such as Beautiful Creatures and the television here,” explains Jeanie Andre, Director of Pointe Coupee mini-series Bonnie and Clyde. Pointe Coupee is about an hour’s drive from Raleigh’s Celtic Studios in Baton Rouge. Parish Office of Tourism and Film Pointe Coordinator.

Mustang Films crew on location shooting The Alien.

The crew of Filthy Riches preps for shooting.

“Our neighbors in West Feliciana have a facility that was built strictly for filming, and it is located only several miles away in St. Francisville, Louisiana,” says Andre. “We do have several large rental facilities that have a stage, sound, lighting, and large open areas for filming including the Julien Poydras Museum and Arts Center and Scott’s Civic Center. We would love for a dedicated soundstage to be built here in our parish if anyone is interested; it could serve as connections for filming in West and East Feliciana, Pointe Coupee, Avoyelles and many surrounding parishes. Since the filming has greatly increased in our state, there are many films shooting in these places also.” “We have easy access to lakes, rivers, swamps, ponds, farms and ranches. We have old buildings such as churches, stores, abandoned schools and a vacant jailhouse. We have crops and fields, beautiful wildlife and livestock. There are various styles of architecture spanning a large time frame including antebellum homes, Cajun cabins, shotguns as well as ranch style houses. The list can go on and on,” explains Andre. “The best part about it is that there is no waiting line here and that Film Pointe has already obtained permission to access many of the areas mentioned. This makes the production company’s job easier because we can refer them to sites that Water lilies in full bloom during the have already given permission spring in Pointe Coupee. ISSUE THREE 2015


to us; similarly, we also have companies that are willing to provide their services.” “Last September, a production company came to Morganza, a small town in our parish, and shot a pilot. They loaded it up on YouTube, and it was purchased by Half Yard Productions. It is now the popular television series, Filthy Riches, on the National Geographic Network. We have people from our parish that are actually stars on the show,” continues Andre. “We helped Half Yard Productions find hotel rooms, caterers, extras, 4-wheel drive SUVs, storage buildings for equipment and the list goes on and on. We wanted them to have a pleasant experience filming here and come back for more. If the ratings stay up for the show, the production will be back this fall to film here again. This helps Pointe Coupee Parish generate tourism and revenue for the parish as well as the state.” “Currently, a local, undiscovered producer, Charles Bush, and his company, Mustang Films, is producing The Alien, a sci-fi web series Producer Charles Bush talks with a cast member of The Alien.

for YouTube. He is hoping to find the same success as Filthy Riches,” says Andre. “I believe it’s a chance for Mr. Bush and Mustang Films to be discovered because sometimes the networks are looking for completely fresh materials. I also believe that production companies are looking for fresh, undiscovered locations, and we want them to know that we have a lot to offer in our parish. No matter how big or small a production is, we are here to help.” LFV A cell interior in an abadoned jail house in Pointe Coupee.



T. Hopper is an emerging screenwriter and an obsessive cinephile.




Louisiana: 9618 Jefferson Highway, Ste. D #303, Baton Rouge, LA 70809 • 818-579-7249 Los Angeles: 11823 Sherman Way, North Hollywood, CA 91605 • 818-452-1000 Atlanta: 2544 West Point Drive, College Park, GA 30337 • 818-452-1000







ecently, Louisiana Film & Video Magazine had the opportunity to speak with Liz Coulon of Coulon Casting about her work on Fantastic Four which shot last summer in Baton Rouge. Even though Coulonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s company is located in New Orleans, Coulon cast approximately 40 local and regional actors for speaking roles in the upcoming comic book movie adaptation.

Actor Michael B. Jordan (center) is surrounded by local actors in a scene from Fantastic 4. ISSUE THREE 2015



“Typically a project comes to Louisiana with the major ‘names’ attached,” explains Coulon. “Then, I work closely with the Los Angeles casting director, producers, and director to fill out the remainder of the cast. On Fantastic Four, the top 15 or so roles were cast out of Los Angeles and New York, and the remaining 40 or so speaking roles were cast locally and regionally. Some of the local actors booked nice, meaty supporting roles, and several others booked day player speaking roles.” Giving us the run down of the casting process, Coulon says, “I create and release a breakdown to local and regional talent agents. A breakdown is a list of character descriptions. Agents submit talent they think are right for a role. I sort through those submissions and decide who to bring in for an audition.”

Actor Miles Teller (center) also works with some local cast.

New Orleans casting director Liz Coulon was responsible for finding approximately 40 local actors for speaking roles in Fantastic 4.

Actress Kate Mara as Sue Storm/The Invisible Woman. 70 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE


“If I cannot find what I am looking for through talent agents, I may release the breakdown to and let talent submit themselves for a role,” continues Coulon. “If I am searching for something very specific, maybe a unique special skill or look, I might release an open call or do a search in, the database of stand-ins and background extras.” “On a large studio production such as Fantastic Four, there are several levels of approval that an actor must pass before booking even the smallest speaking role,” adds Coulon. The secrecy surrounding large tentpole films is incredible. Fantastic Four was no exception. “With Fantastic Four, we had to be very careful to not give away any important plot

points. Sometimes we changed names on the script pages that we released to actors. Other times, we used fake scenes,” notes Coulon. “I love providing opportunities for good actors to do great work and book roles. Any actor who’s auditioned for me knows how much I love the audition process and that I enjoy working with actors in the room, playing with the scenes and finding something great,” says Coulon, “so, for me, the most rewarding experience on Fantastic Four was being able to place so many actors into the film. Several local actors worked upwards of 10 weeks on Fantastic Four. Some worked a week or two, and many others worked a couple of days.”

Louisiana casting director, Elizabeth Coulon.

Actor Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm.

Kate Mara and Michael B. Jordan.

Coulon started her career as an agent in the casting business shortly after Louisiana first introduced the tax credits. After casting background for more than 25 films, Coulon began casting local speaking roles for indies and eventually graduated to larger films such as 21 and 22 Jump Street, Terminator: Genisys, and the TV series Scream. Recently, Coulon has done casting work for Geostorm and The Magnificent Seven. With all of her experience in the industry, she has some great advice for actors interested in being a part of Hollywood South. “If you are new to acting, you must learn audition technique, get professional head shots and take classes. Get your hands on a scene, find an actor to read the scene with you, and film yourself auditioning. Do not read the scene alone in a mirror! That will not help you. Take acting classes, lots of classes (quantity) and lots of different classes (variety). Learn how to dissect a script, and how to analyze every single word on the page. Once you have absorbed that information, then you can play, make choices, and try new things with the scene,” suggests Coulon. “As for seasoned actors, practice, practice, practice your craft and never stop learning!” LFV You can catch Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, Michael B. Jordan and some great local actors when Fantastic Four debuts in theaters nationwide on August 7th.

Kate Mara and Miles Teller.



n June 19, 2015 Governor Bobby Jindal signed into law HB829 with the intention of curbing the film tax credits to fill a $77 million void in the state budget. Despite all of our hard work, he obviously did not Susie Labry absorb what we were all saying nor did he listen to the economic study LFEA (Louisiana Film Entertainment Association) conducted in conjunction with the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America). The governor showed he had heard us only a few years prior when he publicly supported the film industry credits including a speech he delivered at Pixomondo; however, recently, all that was on his mind was that $77 million hole in the budget. This was apparently his reason for signing in the caps (on the tax credits), not realizing the bill would put more stress and drain the budget with potential lawsuits. Mass exodus of an industry could also blow the budget apart. Knowing the history of the effects of other states’ caps on their film industry tax credits does have reason for us to be concerned. When their Legislators imposed such, many productions immediately shutdown! Poof! Michigan, North Carolina, and New Mexico are all great examples. New Mexico realized the impact of the credit once the industry left and has now reinstated it. Most producers say the tax credits are the reason they are filming in Louisiana whether they really want to film here or not. How the cap will affect their desire to continue to film here remains to be seen. HB829 started off as a good bill. As a matter of fact, Sherri McConnell, a consultant who formerly was executive director of the state’s entertainment development office, helped Representative Robideaux pen HB829 as a beautiful masterpiece standing for local filmmakers, local talent, local musicians, and local crews which was way long overdue and a relief of long years of frustraRepresentative tion in our community. This bill was Joel Robideaux meant to finally get Louisiana natives and locals work with homegrown productions and businesses. It was legislation that was way, way, way long overdue. It was about time a piece came out attempting to relieve a decade of frustration from below-the-line locals who were tired of not getting roles and lead crew jobs as well as above-the-line positions. This 72 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE


aspect of HB829 might have destroyed our unity. I believe that currently not having legislation that provided a strong incentive for local creative talent has significantly hurt our cause. If we would have had this Legislation already, I believe HB829 as a mere cap to fix the budget would have never passed. This was a masterpiece that was destroyed by fatal amendments that will probably be challenged as unconstitutional. So what does it all mean? HB829 provides that only $180 million in film industry tax credits can be paid out each fiscal year. If you have earned the credits and the state has reached its cap, you will be paid the next fiscal year. This cap is set to sunset in three years. The bill also places a $3 million cap on above-the-line talent. $3 million stamps out the stars, the big A-List names, who are economic generators in our state via sales, real estate, taxes, etc. Currently, the state has not announced any grandfather provisions, and those productions who have already been certified and/ or earned the credits may not be able to collect what is owed to them. The one year suspension of the state buy back of tax credits does not help either. These are some of the areas that are generating interest in litigation against the state. In general, the state appears unprepared for this legislation that quickly became law on July 1st. I am frustrated because we are having to wait until October 1st for the Louisiana Department of Economic Development to compose and execute policies and steps for the film tax credits designed for local, indigenous productions rendering them virtually useless until then. Even if we do revert back to removing caps, studios and production companies are uncomfortable with constant threats of imposing caps and are uncomfortable with our instability and uncertainty. Can we assure them that we will not scare them off with ridiculous caps or harmful future legislation? I feel very good about our effort, and there is nothing else that we could have changed if we had to start all over. In the meantime, I pray that we all have faith and think inside the box. HB829 is already affecting productions. The law is plagued with fatal caps and unconstitutionality. Either a special legislative session or the court will hopefully strike the caps and rid the bill of the illegal mess. Even though I think HB829 is a wreck, there is still hope, and I see the light at the end of the tunnel, finally, for our locals, independents, and homegrown talent. I foresee a special session after we have a new governor and believe we can restore our damaged masterpiece. If and when that happens, this will be the best thing that ever happened in our film industry history. I just hope we can wait that long. I want to express a thank you to our supporters in the legislature, organizations, associations, unions, lobbyists and allies, as well as all our co-workers, families, and friends who have helped us in this effort over the years from 2002 to date. We have a unique, beautiful force—one to be reckoned with and possibly ranked #1 or #2 in Louisiana history when it comes to advocacy with the Legislature and Governor. We did well but we are not done. We are in overtime. Many of the greatest games are won in overtime! LFV Susie Labry is an actress and activist.



ouisiana Film & Video Magazine reached out to Chris Stelly, executive director of Louisiana Entertainment, for comment on Governor Jindal signing HB829 into law which as of July 1st changed the ďŹ lm industry tax credits. The new law creates caps and other restrictions on ďŹ lm productions that many believe could cripple our state ďŹ lm industry. Stellyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s initial comment suggests otherwise.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are assessing potential changes to Louisianaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s motion picture incentive program following the 2015 legislative session,â&#x20AC;? says Stelly. â&#x20AC;&#x153;LED (Louisiana Economic Development) will be providing guidance Chris Stelly as these matters are clariďŹ ed and enactment of all legislation affecting the program is completed. In the meantime, we continue to receive applications for future ďŹ lm and TV productions, and interest and activity in our state remains strong.â&#x20AC;? Stelly has promised an interview with more details soon. He believes that by August the state should have a good game plan in place, and I look forward to providing further information from him in the next issue. LFV

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DR. REBECCA HALE (504) 858-9038 â&#x20AC;˘ 3701 Division St. PMB 232, Metairie, LA 70002 Booking: Actors / Actresses / Musicians IRUFRPPHUFLDOVÂżOPVWHOHYLVLRQYLGHRVYRLFHRYHUVSULQWZRUNFRQYHWLRQV ISSUE THREE 2015




Left to right: Emilia Clarke plays Sarah Connor and Arnold Schwarzenegger plays the Terminator in Terminator: Genisys from Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions.



hen Arnold Schwarzenegger iconically says, “I’ll be back,” he means it. He returned to New Orleans last year to shoot Terminator: Genisys. Schwarzenegger is no stranger to Louisiana; since his departure as governor of California and his return to acting, he’s shot multiple projects here including The Expendables 2, Escape Plan, and Maggie. While everyone in New Orleans easily recognized Schwarzenegger around town last summer while shooting Terminator, Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke was able to enjoy anonymity without her dragons and her blonde Targaryen tresses; however, her lead as Sarah Connor in Genisys could change all that. “Probably what I love the most about this script is the relationship between the Guardian (Schwarzenegger) and Sarah. It’s the heart. It’s beautiful. We get to see his character in this whole other gorgeous light. Watching her all this time has kind of softened him, except, of course, when people have tried to kill her. That hasn’t softened him at all,” says Sarah Connor actress Emilia Clarke. “Arnold is the first thing that comes to mind when you say Terminator, and you can’t do it without him!” “I protect Sarah Connor, and anything that is coming close to her, or is threatening her I terminate. So I’m the Terminator in some ways, and I’m the Protector in another way so you have to be very careful in how you play that in each moment,” explains Schwarzenegger. “I don’t think you can make a Terminator movie without Arnold,” suggests director Alan Taylor. “Certainly, I couldn’t imagine it without him. There’s something about the way he and Cameron built that character and then within the two movies explored such different sides of that character that he basically set the parameters for that world; that mythology means it would be really hard for me to think of a Terminator movie that let go of him.” “I was very happy to be involved,” admits Schwarzenegger. “I got a phone call telling me that David and Megan Ellison had acquired the rights and the first thing I thought was, ‘Finally they are doing another one! And finally I am again in the movie!’ Also, I was very happy when I heard who was writing the script. I just liked the direction it was taking from the beginning.” Terminator: Genisys writer/producer Laeta Kalogridis remembers early meetings with Skydance Productions, “David (Ellison) and Dana (Goldberg) approached us (Kalogridis and writing partner Patrick Lussier) around Christmas 2012, and our first response was ‘No,’ as was our second and third response. We said no because of ISSUE THREE 2015



Left to right: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Director Alan Taylor discuss a scene on the set of Terminator: Genisys.

respect for James Cameron’s universe. I had worked with him for years; he’s an inspiration to me personally and cinematically, and I did not want in any way, shape or form to do anything that would not be respectful of what he had created. It’s some of the most amazing science fiction ever, and he is certainly an inspiration to me, and not just me; he’s one of the greatest living filmmakers, and possibly, ever.” Writer/producer Patrick Lussier remembers that Skydance was persistent, so his partner Kalogridis checked with Cameron himself, who not only granted his permission and gave his blessing, but started the ‘idea bouncing’ chain reaction inevitable in any great pre-production phase, advising Kalogridis, “Make sure you write a good part for Arnold! Laeta became infected with the idea, and once we started thinking of the story possibilities and re-watching the first two Terminator films, we could see how to revisit that world and those characters in a present day setting…

Action on set with Arnold Schwarzenegger for Terminator: Genisys. 76 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE


and not in a present day setting.” “Time travel is embedded in the DNA of the material, which gives rise to the possibility of alternate universes and different timelines without affecting the original material at all,” adds Kalogridis. “Those stories exist and continue to exist; they still have happened, but you can tell a different story that branches off in a different direction using the characters that all of us love.” “The Terminator franchise, and really James Cameron, is a seminal part of why I got into filmmaking in the first place,” says Skydance CEO and producer David Ellison. “To me, he’s simply one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. I think Terminator 2 reinvented the modern day tentpole. So, for me to get to work on a franchise that is literally something I fell in love with as a kid, and which led to my wanting to become a filmmaker, is just a dream come true.” “The Cameron films to me were really Cold War era films,” says Ellison, “where the analogy that was being laid on top of the story was very much the threats felt during that time period. The advancements in AI give us the ability to really update the franchise to today, to where Skynet no longer has to break free; we’re actually lining ourselves up and giving away our privacy, our freedoms, our information. We’re standing in line for the latest in technology and software. The canon lends itself to comment on what is actually going on today in a way that’s new and fun and exciting; it comes across in a big entertaining way. To me, science fiction is at its most effective when it’s actually taking real world events and placing them in a fictional setting.” “We knew we had to have a director who cared about character, and the love story of this family,” continues Ellison. “Yes, there’s a lot of action in Terminator movies, and




Director Alan Taylor considers a shot for Terminator: Genisys.

we definitely plan to live up to that promise. There are a lot of people who are great at shooting action, but only a handful or so that we thought could get true character-driven performances in the midst of it all. We all pray at the altar of HBO’s Game of Thrones, and we thought Thor: The Dark World was phenomenal. And, sure enough, when Alan (Taylor) came in, he said that we could talk about what the Terminators are going to look like, and how many of them there are, and the different types, and how the third act fight is going to look, but the love story and relationships have to work. He said that in our first meeting, and we thought, ‘Okay, this is the right guy.’” “I was looking at various potential projects but this was the first one that felt like I couldn’t at the beginning tell exactly how to do it,” says Terminator: Genisys director Alan Taylor. “It was a puzzle to solve it, and that made it exciting and interesting. There’s so much to love in the Cameron mythology, and so much that the audience we’re hoping to reach is already in love with. At the same time the story’s moving forward; it’s got to get bigger and go into new direc-

tions, and unlike other sequels, this felt like a whole new ballgame, and I wanted to see how we could pull that off.” “Alan manages to get a beautiful marriage of old meets new, but also puts a very sensitive, intelligent spin on it,” says Emilia Clarke who has worked with Taylor on Game of Thrones. “I think one of his goals with this movie is to ask, ‘What it is to be truly free as a human being?’ and the choices these characters have to make in deciding that. I think we are paying a lot of respect to the Terminator that has been before, and bringing it to this new audience today.” “What we’ve tried to do is to begin in timelines that we know from the mythology and then take them in new directions,” explains Taylor, “and do it in a way that makes sense so we see a future that we saw glimpses of in the previous movies, and then we dive to a past that we’ve seen glimpses of in the past movies, but this film tries to take us into new territory beyond that while not contradicting any of the things we already know about this mythology.” “One of the things that really made me want to be in this project was to work with (director) Alan Taylor,” says John Connor actor Jason Clarke. “He’s a very smart man; he knows story, and he knows actors, and he’s done some of the greatest TV ever done: The Sopranos, Game of Thrones, Mad Men. He’s got a wonderful doggedness but also a gentleness. Going in, you know a film like this will be a long, big tough shoot, and it requires a director that’s going to support you and keep you going, and also just keep an eye on everything and know that it’s done properly. He never moved until we got it, and it’s been a pleasure to work with him.”

Left to right: Producer Dana Goldberg, Executive Producer/Co-Writer Laeta Kalogridis, Director Alan Taylor, and Producer David Ellison on the set of Terminator: Genisys from Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions.






“We knew John Connor was going to be one of the hardest roles to cast, because he has to be charismatic,” explains Goldberg. “Here’s the guy people who have no hope choose to be their hope. These are people who’ve had everything taken away from them, and yet, when this man stands up and says that it’s time to fight, they’ll go to the ends of the earth for him.” “The thing about John Connor is he’s tortured,” adds Ellison. “For some, he’s a prophet, but he says in our movie that he cheats, that his mother raised him and told him everything that was going to happen. That’s a huge burden, and something we’ve found fascinating about John Connor’s character; he will lead all of these people and, in reality, he knows that a great deal of them are going to die.” Arnold Schwarzenegger has mastered the Terminator and can discharge a shotgun “There’s a moment in the film where John wishes a four times in a row without blinking. soldier good luck, and the soldier says that he doesn’t need luck; he has John Connor,” says Goldberg. “When we shot it, David and I traded smiles, because we knew that Jason would just fill that moment with everything going on inside: appreciating what the soldier said, but also wishing that there was another world in which this was not his position to fulfill.” “We’d done the movie Jack Reacher with Jai Courtney and loved him as a person, and thought he was a wonderful actor,” remarks Goldberg, “but we weren’t sure he was Kyle Reese. He came in and he tested with Emilia, and I remember standing on the stage watching his audition, and I emailed someone and said, ‘We just found our Kyle Reese.’ It was clear their first read together.” “To me, great science fiction is always more than just the bells and whistles of things blowing up,” continues GoldJason Clarke plays John Connor in a scene for Terminator: Genisys from Paramount berg. “I still remember watching The Terminator and thinkPictures and Skydance Productions. ing, way back then, ‘Oh wow, this is a love story.’ It’s this since the original movie,” explains Ellison. “Events have transpired amazing science fiction movie, and Arnold Schwarzenegger that have driven it in a completely different direction. Also those is this killer robot; it’s all incredibly cool, but to me, it all boiled films were always set in present day, not in the future, not in the down to the line, ‘I came across time for you, Sarah.’ Somehow, past. Ours bends that set-up. And so, through a series of events, our (James) Cameron figured out a way to present this love story characters find themselves traveling forward to 2017 in an attempt to mass audiences as this unbelievable science fiction movie. In to stop Judgment Day from ever happening.” Terminator 2 one of my favorite parts of the movie was in a Sarah “I considered Arnold’s character the ultimate Tin Man,” says Connor voiceover, where she talks about how the Terminator that screenwriter Kalogridis. “How does he become the cornerstone and she hated so much (in the first movie) would be the perfect father the heart of the story, for a character that essentially has no heart? for her son. He’d never abandoned him; he’d never hurt him; he There was something really tantalizing about the idea of Arnold would always be there for him. In Cameron’s movies, you have playing a Terminator who has aged, of not trying to do any crazy both the incredible visuals and the grounded-ness in reality, the CG stuff, but to respect the change in the actor. The Terminator was emotional story at the center of it all.” always very much of its time so to be able to tell the story in the “We wanted to be incredibly respectful to the characters Gale moment and the age that Arnold is, it interested us all. The human (Anne Hurd) and James Cameron created,” continues Goldberg, tissue surrounding the cyborg ages, but he’s also aged on the inside “so we finally arrived at the place of whatever timeline you’re through his very long experience with humans all this time.” talking about. When you’re talking about the Terminator world, “It’s like riding a bicycle,” adds Schwarzenegger. “You fall right there’s always going to be a Sarah Connor, a Kyle Reese, a John back into it. I remember when I read the script, and I started pracConnor, a Terminator; they just might not be the identical people ticing the lines. I started talking like a machine again. It was kind of they were in the prior films. That’s the attitude we started and like you slip into that character.” stayed with going into the development of the script. They are all “If you’re going to have Arnold, you’ve got to use him in a brand here; just not exactly the people that have been represented in films new way,” explains Taylor. “You can’t just do the same thing again, previously.” so in our approach, it was very important to me that we see a “The 1984 that our characters travel back to has been altered 80 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE





whole different take on this character. That we take him in places that he never was able to go before. You know, he’s evolving, growing, maturing and that led to a brand new version of his character.” According to Skydance’s David Ellison, “Terminator: Genisys is not a remake, it’s not a reboot, it’s not a sequel; it’s really a reimagining based on the Cameron source material. Viewers don’t have to be familiar with any of the previous films at all; this is definitely a stand-alone. But that being said, for the fans who have seen the first couple of films, there are some great Easter eggs in there. Exploiting the inherent nature of time travel, we go off on a divergent timeline to take these characters that audiences and I grew up with in a completely new direction.” “It’s a big, big movie. We shot from April through to mid-August, with a lot of six-day weeks,” says Goldberg. “We had a phenomenal crew who just killed themselves to bring this thing to the screen. No one ever quite understands how much work goes into everything you see on the screen: from hair and makeup, to stunts, to visual effects, to special effects, to rigging, to grips, to lighting, and on and on. It’s a giant undertaking, a movie of this size, and you need all of those pieces working in unison to get it right, and we were beyond fortunate to have a crew that did it right.” “It’s just epic,” adds Emilia Clarke who is no stranger to elaborate sets, CG filmmaking, and fantastic crews on Game of Thrones. “For every three minutes of footage onscreen, it has taken something like two weeks of shooting. Every minute detail has been thought through and beautifully executed. Every member of the crew is incredible; the sets are insane; the costumes are amazing. There



Emilia Clarke trades in her Game of Thrones dragons and blonde tresses for lots and lots of guns in Terminator: Genisys.

is just so much, and I also have to keep reminding myself, while I’m in the middle of this epic scene and I think it couldn’t get any better, that these are totally without special effects, that we’re only filming about 60%; it’s going to look that much cooler, with lots of crazy stuff happening…and no tennis balls on sticks, either!”

“We all worked very hard to be true to the story’s heritage, but O’Brien). And then you’ve got Arnold who sort of keeps everybody also keep it imaginative,” says Jason Clarke. “It’s some of the most else in line because he just nails it every time. It’s funny, we’d be enjoyable action I’ve ever done: great fighting moves, spinning doing a scene, and he’s got this character so down that he kind of around, pile driver maneuvers; it has just been so cool.” forced everybody else to get their characters down too.” “There was training every day with guns, lots of guns, and then “Cameron’s first movie uses Arnold’s character in one way, and some more guns, and then a few more guns thrown in,” adds then he completely inverted for the second (movie), and nobody Emilia Clarke. “I didn’t know anything about guns before this film, saw it coming. You can go into new territory with characters that and now, well, I know a lot about guns! Since I had done some you already have a feeling for, but they take you somewhere that stunt work before, they also had me preparing to get a physical you never saw coming,” muses Taylor. “That’s something that goes understanding of what was going to be needed. This Sarah was deep into the DNA of the Terminator movies.” LFV brought up by a Terminator to be a warrior, so she has a huge body of knowledge when it comes to fighting and survival. So a lot of Check out Arnold, Emilia, Jason, and Jai in Terminator: Genisys in theaters now. what was done was to help me feel comfortable embodying that part of Sarah, always being prepared. I worked with an amazing military advisor, and a weapons specialist, and then stunts and just physical training.” “We all love Game of Thrones, and there is a strength, and a sense of honor and nobility to Emilia; those are things that can’t be taught,” says Ellison. “You either have them or you don’t. I think those attributes work perfectly for Sarah Connor, whom I consider a seminal female heroine in cinema.” “The dynamics of this film are real and urgent and intimate,” explains Taylor. “Fortunately, we have the actors who can pull it off. Kyle and Sarah are played by young actors who are just starting to become massively recognized and then the ‘middle generation’, our John Connor is Jason Clarke who is a masterLeft to right: Jai Courtney, Emilia Clarke, and Producer Dana Goldberg on the set ful actor, as is of course J.K. Simmons (who plays Inspector of Terminator: Genisys from Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions.

Leonard Reynolds Location Manager

Positive One Productions 504.606.4110 Cell New Orleans, LA 70117 Pitch Perfect 2 • 21 & 22 Jump Street • Dallas Buyers Club • This is the End





The swampy forests of the Atchafalaya Basin was the location for the first Tarzan movie shot in the silent era in 1917.



id you know that the Cajun Coast has been in the film production business since 1917? History was made when a group of adventurous filmmakers journeyed to South Louisiana to film the first Tarzan of the Apes movie starring Elmo Lincoln. It was the first movie filmed on location. One of the top silent movie films ever made, it was the first movie to gross over one million dollars (which was a lot of money back then). Since then, the Cajun Coast has hosted a number of film productions with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars including Thunder Bay starring Jimmy Stewart, The Drowning Pool with Paul Newman and Joann Woodward, iconic Easy Rider starring Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda, All the King’s Men starring Jude Law, Sean Penn and Kate Winslet, Déjà Vu starring Denzel Washington and Jim Caviezel, The Fire Next Time with Craig T. Nelson and Bonnie Bedelia, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, and The Yellow Handkerchief starring William Hurt, Maria Bello and Kristen Stewart. What do all these films have in common? In addition to being great movies, it’s location, location, location! The Cajun Coast is a sampler of everything Louisiana offers. From the wild and exotic beauty of the primal swamp in the



Atchafalaya Basin to the historic Antebellum and Victorian homes to the picturesque small towns to a 19th century boulevard of cast iron street lamps and moss-covered oaks, there’s a community with over 400 historic buildings, a treasure trove of undiscovered locations waiting to be filmed. You’ll find plenty of inland waterways and bayous as well as access to the Gulf of Mexico. Even an authentic decommissioned offshore drilling rig and other locations in the heart of the petroleum industry are available. Filming is always easy on the relaxed and friendly Cajun Coast. The hospitality of the people speaks for itself, and we’re only 90 minutes from New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette. The Cajun Coast Visitors and Convention Bureau can help pinpoint all the locations and resources you’ll need to film in the heart of what

An historic Antebellum plantation home.

Step into modern industrial with access to an abandoned oil platform.

National Geographic called this “hauntingly beautiful land.” LFV Jean McCorkle is the Destination Content & Communications Manager for Cajun Coast Visitors & Convention Bureau. If you’re scouting locations for your next production, you can call the Cajun Coast Visitors & Convention Bureau at 800-256-2931 or visit their

The Cajun Coast can re-create that small town look of a bygone era.

website at




Corey Stoll (R) has most recently played hero (The Strain) and villain (Antman). In Dark Places, he plays a convicted murderer; but is he really? STORY BY W. H. BOURNE PHOTOS COURTESY OF A24


roducers and distributors have been discussing the need to change exhibition strategies and windows in part to appeal to audiences who consume content differently. Arbitrage was a strong indication of the financial success of a V.O.D. (Video on Demand) release and helped validate the platform. Dark Places is following a similar strategy. The film is being released theatrically in early August but is on DIRECTV exclusively now. Starring Academy Award winner Charlize Theron, the film follows Theron as the sole survivor of a home invasion where she famously witnessed the death of her mother and sisters. She lives with the knowledge that her testimony as a 7-year-old sentenced her brother, Ben (Corey Stoll, The Strain, House of Cards), to life in prison for the horrific crime. When a group of true crime enthusiasts find Libby (Theron) 25 years later and convince her to reexam-



ine the events of that night, new memories and old suspects suddenly flood back into her life. As shocking information comes to light, Libby begins to question her own key testimony and sets out to discover the truth. Dark Places was adapted from the novel by Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) and shot on location in and around the city of Shreveport. With the Oscar winner Charlize Theron stars in Dark Places. creative ways companies are trying to distribute films, it will be interesting to see if the time on DIRECTV will satiate viewers’ appetites or if they’ll be wanting more Dark Places at the box office in August. LFV



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