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Sex Politics Zipper

with h

( he’s one)

99 Reasons To See

99 HOMES

Mississippi Grind’s Character-Driven Road Trip Can Virtual Reality Walk The Walk?

L

PLUS:

FALL FILM FESTS

ouisiana Style


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CONTENTS

VOLUME 12 ISSUE FOUR EDITORS-IN-CHIEF W. H. Bourne, Odin Lindblom ASSOCIATE EDITOR Katie Sauro CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Robert Bourne, Jay Crest, A. K. Farmer, Joan Gossett, T. Hopper, Susie Labry, Mark Terry CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Jack Bushong, Joan Gossett, Steve Hatley, Cherrae L. Stuart SALES MANAGER Katie Higgins SALES Steve Joseph, Eric Iles PRODUCTION MANAGER John Rusnak PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Kelly Baker DESIGNERS Sonjia Kells, Liz Weickum, Sam Rockwell, Sable Talley

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WEBMASTER Jon Hines OFFICE MANAGER Audra Higgins

(L-R) Director Ryan Fleck and Actor Ryan Reynolds prep for a scene in Mississippi Grind, an A24 feature releasing October 2, 2015. INFORMATION SERVICES MANAGER Lois Sanborn

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Letter From The Editor

47 Flying High With Inovojet

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A Unique Political View With Zipper

49 A Step Into Wonderland At The 2015 SIGGRAPH

13 Zipper: A Local Perspective

51 Can You Walk The Walk: Using VR To Market A Film

15 NOLA Horror Film Fest Kicks Off Halloween Early

53 Cheers To The 18th Annual French Film Festival

17 Louisiana Film Prize Announces Finalists For $50,000

55 Sennheiser ClipMic Digital: Now Recording To A Mobile Device Makes Sense

19 Lake Charles Film And Music Festival Promises Fun For All 23 Baton Rouge Horror Film Festival: The Suspense Is Killing Us 27 New Orleans Film Festival 29 On The Road With Mississippi Grind 33 Praying For A Win At New Orleans Film Festival 37 Dreaming Big With Madeline’s Oil

56 2015 Edit Fest: 5 Things All Editors Need To Know 59 A Walk In The Woods: A Drive To Georgia 63 An Actor’s Perspective On Shooting With The Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera 67 Southern Costume Company Sews Their Way Into Civil War And The Badlands 68 99 Reasons To See 99 Homes

41 Opportunities And Experience In 48 Hours

77 From Blue Collar To White Collar: Costume Design For 99 Homes

44 Anatomy Of A 48 Hour Film

78 The NOLA Til Ya Die Filmmaker’s Challenge

ON THE COVER: Actor Andrew Garfield (Center), Cinematographer Bobby Bukowski (Right), and the crew on the set of 99 Homes, a Broad Green Pictures feature releasing September 25, 2015.

DIGITAL EDITION AVAILABLE AT: WWW.LOUISIANAFILMANDVIDEO.COM 4 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

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LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO PUBLICATIONS A DIVISION OF MEDIA INC PUBLISHING GROUP (800) 332-1736 whbourne@media-inc.com olindblom@media-inc.com www.louisianafilmandvideo.com www.louisianaproductionindex.com Display Advertising: Call Media Index Publishing Group for a current rate card. Discounts for frequency advertising. All submitted materials become the property of Media Index Publishing Group and will not be returned. Subscriptions, call (800) 332-1736 for information and rates. Copyright ©2015 Media Index Publishing Group. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be used for solicitation or copied by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or recording by any information storage or retrieval system, without the express written permission of the publisher.

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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

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ctober is one of my favorite times of the year. Distributors begin to roll out all of the great independent films of the year to cinemas nationwide (hopefully, but not always) as they ramp up their annual Oscar campaigns. In this issue of Louisiana Film & Video Magazine, we feature stories on five films that may be possible contenders for the upcoming Academy Awards in 2016 including Mississippi Grind, Zipper, and 99 Homes.

Speaking of Oscars, New Orleans Film Festival will be celebrating their first time as an Academy Award Qualifying Event for documentary short films. In addition to some great independent films at New Orleans Film Festival, #CreateLouisiana will also be announcing the winner of their first annual grant of $50,000 there. The love of independent films will be celebrated and shared all over the state this fall. New Orleans Horror Film Festival will get a jump on everyone by screening their scream, shriek, and cringe-worthy film selection September 24-27. Lake Charles is hosting their 48 Hour Film Sprint competition September 25-27, and contestants don’t even have to travel to Lake Charles to participate. Details are available online and entry is free! Next up is the Louisiana Film Prize in Shreveport, screening the top 20 films to duke it out for the $50,000 cash prize October 1-4. October

9-11, film lovers may have to choose between Lake Charles Film and Music Festival and Baton Rouge Horror Film Festival which are screening over the same dates. New Orleans Film Festival follows shortly thereafter kicking off their festivities October 14 and running through October 22. Inside this issue you’ll find information on all these festivals as well as some of the great films they are programming. Hopefully, the state of Louisiana will show how much it loves independent film and indigenous filmmakers when it announces new program details for recently revised tax credit laws and how the incentives for ultra low budget entertainment projects ranging from $50,000-$299,999 will work. Lawmakers and the state film office have been working non-stop since the recent revisions of the tax credits to work out the kinks of the new law. Does your business love Louisiana independent film? We’re expanding our distribution so if your business services the entertainment industry in state, drop me a line if you’d like to host a magazine rack of Louisiana Film & Video. If you haven’t noticed over the past few issues, Odin and I are making some changes. We hope you like the direction we’re taking the magazine. Don’t forget to checkout the website which has had a recent facelift. Finally, we appreciate and look forward to any feedback, comments or questions you may have. Go support an independent filmmaker by seeing their films at festival this fall! If a festival’s in Louisiana, you’ll probably see either Odin or I there. W. H. BOURNE, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

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Actor Patrick Wilson stars as Sam Ellis, a man who can’t control his sexual appetite for high-end prostitutes, in Zipper.

A UNIQUE POLITICAL VIEW WITH ZIPPER STORY BY W. H. BOURNE PHOTOS COURTESY OF ZIPPER/ALCHEMY

Z “

ipper grew out of my long fascination with political sex scandals,” explains writer/director Mora Stephens, “but wanting to start from a place of empathy and curiosity about where something like that could have began.” Co-written by Stephens and her husband Joel Viertel, the film is a dark drama about a rising attorney/politician (Patrick Wilson) who is grappling with his indiscretions. Game of Thrones star Lena Headey plays his wife who struggles to maintain her relationship with her husband keeping in mind his political career as well as the well being of their young son. “I’m telling this story because I wanted to be inside the mind of this character, Sam Ellis, inside a man’s head. The first thing I did was go to Joel and see if he would collaborate with me on this story,” says Stephens. Stephens and Viertel are no strangers to collaboration having worked on the indie breakout hit Conventioneers a decade earlier. “We met in high school in New York, both doing theater, and I think our very first conversation was about Night on Earth, the movie, which was out at the time,” recalls Stephens. “Then we broke up and years later came back together. I was at NYU Grad Film, and he was working in film in Hollywood. We reconnected and started dating long-distance. So from our very first conversation as teenagers, we’ve always had this love of movies, and it is a shared passion of ours.” Viertel also edited the movie which is highly unusual in Hollywood when the writer also edits the film. “Joel also works with George Nolfi (Allegiance) in a similar way, where he’s both involved early on and then later on as an editor,” continues Stephens. “To have your editor on set… he’s the only other person who’s carrying the whole story in his head, so it’s a great collaborator to have close by. In an ideal setting, I would be editing as we shot, but we didn’t actually get to start editing until

after we wrapped because it was such an intense shoot.” “We shot for 25 days in Louisiana and each day was a lot of shots,” says Stephens. “We loved living and shooting in Louisiana. We were in Baton Rouge, and our crew was a mix from Baton Rouge and New Orleans.” “We were also shooting two winters ago in Louisiana when there was all those ice storms,” recalls Stephens. “There’s one particularly emotional scene between Lena and Patrick in the laundry room. We were shooting that in 23 degree weather and chunks of ice just starting falling from the sky. But they were amazing through the whole thing. Patrick and Lena had never worked together before, but they’re both so funny that even in moments where we’re doing some really, really intense scenes, in the moments when we were off-camera, Lena was making a funny face or Patrick was making some joke. There was real respect and camaraderie with all the cast and they went through quite a bit.” “One of my early collaborators was Deb Aquila, who’s a casting director and co-producer on the movie,” continues Stephens who was delighted with the casting of Richard Dreyfuss and Ray Winstone. “I was a huge fan of Sexy Beast although it was a real dream to work with all of them; however, that was the biggest production challenge getting everyone to Baton Rouge in their spare

Husband and wife team Joel Viertel and Mora Stephens (L-R). ISSUE FOUR 2015

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25 days. It created all sorts of production scheduling pretzels. Basically there was a whole team of producers ďŹ guring out how to get the cast that I wanted there, while I continued to shoot the cast that I had. And it was a great team of people I was working with. Producers Darren Aronofsky and Mark Heyman with Protozoa Films were all very involved (L-R)Ray Winstone and Mora Stephens in casting. And I’m really grateful for all of them to go there with me to those dark places on set.â€? “It was a few years back now that my manager at the time gave the script to Mark Heyman and Mark brought it into Darren,â€? recalls Stephens. “We did about a year of development with Darren and Mark, and then went out to cast with them. He’s (Aronofsky) one of my all-time favorite ďŹ lmmakers, so it was a tremendous honor to work with him. And then also to get his feedback in post, that’s amazing as well.â€? “I think the biggest challenge was ďŹ nding ďŹ nancing, and I’m very grateful to the whole team that brought it to the movie. But, you know, it’s nearly impossible to make any independent movie, and I think particularly hard as a woman director. And that’s why it took

so long; that’s where the longest stretch of years was. Once we had the money, it all came together very quickly,â€? says Stephens. “We premiered and now we’re releasing the movie.â€? Zipper recently did a day/date release in theaters, Video on Demand (VOD), and iTunes. Alchemy bought the movie out of Sundance Film Festival and is taking advantage of the shrinking distribution windows. “We did our premiere at Sundance Film Festival and all the cast came, which was amazing,â€? remembers Stephens. “It was Richard Dreyfuss’ ďŹ rst time in Sundance, and we had the whole beautiful cast there all together.â€? “The budget was lean, and all the cast was there because they believed in the project. It wasn’t a big paycheck for anyone. They were all there because of their passion and belief in it,â€? adds Stephens. “There was so much build-up to actually making this movie that I feel like every day of production, despite whatever stress of that day was going on, I still also felt so grateful,â€? explains Stephens. “It’s such an amazing privilege to direct and every moment working with that cast was really, really rewarding. So I never lost track of feeling blessed and Richard Dreyfuss grateful to be there.â€? LFV

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GREAT STATE TAX INCENTIVES! The Shreveport-Bossier Film office has a reputation for making production easy, with full city government support and streamlined paperwork and permit processing.

Shreveport/Bossier ranked #3 out of the Top 5 small cities to live, work and make movies by MovieMaker Magazine (Jan 2014) List of some productions that have been produced in the Shreveport-Bossier area. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Factory Girl The Guardian Ruffian Premonition Mr. Brooks Initiation of Sarah My Mom’s New Boyfriend Blonde Ambition Last Lullaby Harold & Kumar II Cleaner The Mist Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins Mad Money The Pardon The Great Debaters Major Movie Star Wonderful World Queen Sized

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

The Killing Room Year One The Longshots Soul Men Tekkon Sordid Lives Beyond a Reasonable Doubt Disaster Movie W. Streets of Blood True Blood Leaves of Grass Cool Dog Straw Dogs Battle: Los Angeles Super 6 Month Rule Drive Angry Butter The Gates

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Vampires Suck Trespass Shark Night 3D Playing For Keeps The East The Iceman Leather Face 3D The Last Time I Made Straight A’s Olympus Has Fallen Ain’t Them Bodies Saints Snitch The Town That Dreaded Sundown Dakota’s Summer Dark Places The Last Word Salem Shut In I Saw The Light

For more information: Visit us on the web at www.shreveport-bossierfilm.com

(318) 673-7515 Arlena Acree, CFC arlena.acree@shreveportla.gov

(318) 741-8503 Pam Glorioso, CFC gloriosop@bossiercity.org ISSUE FOUR 2015 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE 11


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ZIPPER: A LOCAL PERSPECTIVE

STORY BY W. H. BOURNE PHOTOS BY ZIPPER/ALCHEMY

A “

fter reading the script, there was a really strong sense of sleekness. It was a modernfeeling script with an age old political scandal,” says Production Designer Hannah Beachler. “Zipper takes place in South Carolina. The characters are wealthy, educated, driven and ambitious, living in a world where appearances are vital for highranking politicians, U.S. Attorneys, etcetera.”

“I did a lot of research on the paths of young, current politicians to see what their worlds were like—what high schools they attended, what their parents do, what they spend their money on, where they live, how they live—it’s certainly a glimpse into a much bigger machine. All the while, remembering the core of the story is about humans and all the ‘human stuff ’ attached to that such as tragedy, hurt, loneliness, love, and betrayal,” continues Beachler. “Collaborating with (Director) Mora Stephens was great! She had a clear sense of what she wanted the film to be. She had this great book of paintings by artist, Lucien Freud. We pulled the color story from the paintings and that set the tone for the atmosphere we created. She was always open to taking risks by using bold colors for subdued scenes, and other times it was very earthy finishes and warm lighting. We got along well and seemed to always be on the same page,” adds Beachler. Typically, most production designers create look books to aid their workflow process. Beachler takes us into her process. “I created a couple different look books,” explains Beachler. “I created one right after I read the script. It was mostly ideas for the look

of all of the main spaces. I pulled reference photos of architectural spaces, photographs from some of my favorite photographers that fit the feel of the script, references of paintings, anything I thought spoke to the script visually. And then once we got further into prep, I created another one incorporating the locations that we locked down. Working with a small budget on a film that really required a high-end look was challenging, but it also made us more creative.” “I’m a big critic so I can pick at the film forever. At the end of the day, I was happy with the outcome of design,” says Beachler. “I’d say the most rewarding moment was getting it all done and achieving, mostly, what we set out to do.” “There were maybe 20 people in the Art Department at any given time. Everybody in the Art Department was local to either New Orleans or Baton Rouge,” says Beachler. “I think there were also a couple people from Lafayette. I really liked the crew; everybody was pretty relaxed and worked hard.” “I will say I love Jason Oertling,” adds Beachler. “He was the Scenic Charge. I worked with him once before, and he killed it on this super low-budget film so I was excited to work with him again; he’s great. Of course, Jessica Lee the Art Department Coordinator was awesome. I’ve worked with her before as well and was excited to work with her again; she’s great to have in the office. The whole crew was great.” Beachler is originally from Dayton, Ohio, but she’s lived in Louisiana for more than 10 years now. “I came down to New Orleans about a year before Katrina. After that I lived in Shreveport ffor about three or four years and then moved Zipper Production b back down to New Orleans,” explains Beachler. Designer Hannah ““I really like working in Louisiana. There’s a Beachler ggreat crew here, and I know a lot of the people though there’s a lot more people working in film there now than when I started in 2005. I know it pretty well, it’s easy to source stuff, and it has a really good infrastructure for production.” LFV

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NOLA HORROR FILM FEST KICKS OFF HALLOWEEN EARLY STORY BY JAY CREST PHOTOS COURTESY OF NOLA HORROR FILM FEST

T

he 5th Annual NOLA Horror Film Fest, September 25-27, 2015, will be promoting horror and sci-fi filmmakers in Louisiana, as well as national and international creators of the film genre by screening their officially submitted films for competition. The NOLA Horror Film Fest is committed to celebrating the craft and advancing the art form of horror genre films. The films and shorts that are screened during the festival are selected by film critics and filmmakers after careful review of all submissions. “Horror is visceral,” says NOLA Horror Film Festival Director Charles Lucia. “It allows you to feel a part of yourself that you normally would not have access to without being in great danger, and yet you are afforded that experience from your couch or a theater seat. That fact combined with our uncompromising

9:00 pm FEATURE FILM Chimeres with short film: Blattaria 11:15 pm FEATURE FILM Clinger with short film: Lifeline

Friday, September 25, 2015 6:45 pm SHORTS BLOCK ONE Your Direction 20 Hz Avant The Blood of Love The Group Hag Murdering Katarina

Saturday, September 26, 2015 12:00 pm SHORTS BLOCK TWO No One Here But Us Bones Apparatchick The Trap The Army Within In Extremis Ivory Shadows Claude A Stranger Kind 2:15 pm FEATURE FILM Reveries of a Solitary Walker with short films: Demons and The Black Forest

Bloodsucking Bastards will be playing Saturday night at the NOLA Horror Film Fest.

commitment to bring our audience the absolute highest quality films from the over 500 submissions we have every year guarantees the worth of the price of admission. Besides, where else can you go to hang out with everyone from tech geniuses to film executives and punk musicians to college professors all under the same roof?” This year’s fest will be held at Rare Form (437 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans) with an Opening Party and Pub Crawl at Mag’s 940 JT, Charles Lucia, and Ken Foree (940 Elysian Fields Ave, New Orleans) on September 24. A Closing Party after the Awards Ceremony on Sunday, September 27, with live music by New Orleans’ own The Unnaturals. Start celebrating early this year with NOLA Horror Film Fest. It’s a great way to kick off your Halloween! LFV

4:30 pm SCREENPLAY READINGS Action Orange Amenable Anglerhouse Covetous Daughters of Darkness Glow Hunger Paralysis The Path 6:45 pm FEATURE FILM Containment with short films: Enfilade and Let Me See Your Eyes 9:00 pm FEATURE FILM The House on Pine Street 11:15 pm FEATURE FILM Bloodsucking Bastards with short films: One-Minute Time Machine and Soccer Moms in Peril

Sunday, September 27, 2015 12:00 pm SHORTS BLOCK THREE Come With Me The Huckster Knock, Knock The Smiling Man Mr. Dentonn El Gigante Devil Makes Work Kiss the Devil in the Dark 2:15 pm PANEL DISCUSSION FREE EVENT 4:30 pm FEATURE FILM You’re Killing Me with short films: IBOP (International Brotherhood of Pancakes) and My Life Is A Dream 6:45 pm FEATURE FILM Trace with short film Inherent Noise 9:00 pm - 2015 NOHFF AWARDS CEREMONY


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LOUISIANA FILM PRIZE ANNOUNCES FINALISTS FOR $50,000 STORY BY JAY CREST

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films will compete for the $50,000 at this year’s Fourth Annual Louisiana Film Prize in Shreveport, Louisiana, on their Festival Weekend, October 1-4, 2015. The festival offers one of the world’s largest cash prizes for a short film.

“As we announced the official selections for the Film Prize, the tension and the energy in the room was pretty astounding,” said Louisiana Film Prize Director Gregory Kallenberg. “This year’s group of indie filmmakers was definitely our best, so it was a really tough decision picking the finalists.” In addition to the one $50,000 winner, the top Louisiana Film Prize films will receive distribution through Shorts International on iTunes and will also screen at various festivals across the country. The Film Prize will also distribute $15,000 in filmmaking grants and $1,000 Best Actor and Best Actress awards. On Festival Weekend, the Grand Prize winner will be chosen based on the votes of a panel of film industry judges and the festival audience. Finalists are encouraged to heavily promote their film and enlist support from friends, family, and the public to heighten their chances of winning. The award-winning Louisiana Film Prize is a competition where filmmakers must create a short film (5-15 minutes) and the production must be shot in northwest Louisiana. This year, the Film Prize had over 120 registrations from all over the nation with 2/3 of the entries being from outside of Louisiana. The participating films utilized over 1,000 individuals in cast and crew. Also, the participating films injected over $5 million into the area over the past 3 years (the payment of cast, crew, food, lodging and equipment). The Film Prize has yet to tabulate this year’s economic impact. “The Film Prize has become a beacon for independent filmmakers from all over the country,” said Kallenberg. “Our competition has provided a model for how to encourage, nurture and incentivize filmmaking. We are very, very proud of that.” LFV

2015 LOUISIANA FILM PRIZE FINALISTS: American Virgin directed by Tamzin Merchant Beaumont directed by J.C. Doler Bloodhound directed by F.C. Rabbath Con directed by Travis Bible Dandelion directed by Mary Thoma Five Star Dinner Club directed by Catherine Hatcher Freedom of Knowledge directed by Jevon Miller Grand Staircase directed by Calvin O’Neal, Jr. He Whom Evil Fears directed by Chris Ganucheau Honey and the Hive directed by Austin Alward Hut Hut directed by Courtney Sandifer In Progress directed by Eric Rippetoe Jackdaw directed by Travis Champagne Made Hen directed by Charles Landers Parallel Universes directed by Josh Smith Roadside Assistance directed by Bears Fonte The Bespoke Tailoring of Mister Bellamy directed by Alexander Jeffery The God Particle directed by Kenn Woodard The Pickle directed by Kyle Kleinecke Two Roads directed by Christine Chen and Adam Duncan

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LAKE CHARLES FILM AND MUSIC FESTIVAL

PROMISES FUN FOR ALL STORY BY W. H. BOURNE PHOTOS COURTESY OF LAKE CHARLES FILM AND MUSIC FESTIVAL

T

he Lake Charles Film and Music Festival will definitely have something for everyone at venues across Lake Charles October 9-11, 2015. In addition to some great independent films, the festival features live music, exciting panels, Storm Troopers and a costume contest. “We put out an open call for entries,” says Festival Director Patrick Bennett. “Films were submitted by mail or online through Filmfreeway.com. A group of three judges screened each film to determine the ones that were the best quality in picture, sound, lighting, story and general overall production value. These 75 films were ‘accepted’ into the festival Lake Charles Film Festival Director and will be screened to our audiPatrick Bennett ence. The films are then assigned by categories to other groups of judges who watch them and grade them on the same criteria plus things like direction, acting and editing. They get a little deeper with their judging. Each criteria is judged on a 10 point scale for a total of 100 possible combined points. The films are then ranked by points and narrowed down to five finalists. These five films are re-watched by judges, and the top three are chosen and put in order of 1st place, 2nd, and 3rd. These final three films are the ones that will receive recognition at the awards ceremony.” One special film at the Lake Charles Film and Music Festival will win an awesome prize: Studio use one weekend at John Schneider Studios. “John Schneider has offered up a weekend use of his studios to the winning film in the Home Grown (made in Louisiana) category,” explains Bennett. “The winning filmmaker will have the use of John’s studio property which includes swamp, a river, a bamboo forest, woods, a baseball field, a swimming pool, a boat dock, two houses, a guard shack and more. This prize is perfect to use to film a short film or maybe a scene from a feature. John Schneider Studios will touch base with the winner of the prize to explain it in more detail.” Schneider just recently shot two features, Like Son and Anderson Bench, at the studio with his producing partner Alicia Allain with Maven Entertainment. His upcoming film Smothered, which is scheduled to release on DVD and On Demand in February, was also shot at the studio. “My desire is to encourage and empower independent filmmaking and independent filmmakers in Louisiana,” says Schneider. “People should come to the festival because it is a fantastic

SCREENING AT THIS YEAR’S FESTIVAL: All We Have (music video) All in Time (feature narrative) America’s Blues (documentary feature) Art of Three, The (documentary feature) Atchafalaya (short narrative / home grown) Away (music video) Ball of Hope (short narrative) Big Gold Dream (documentary feature) Bondage (short narrative) Book of Nightmares, The (music video) Brighter Every Day (music video) Brotherhood of the Popcorn (documentary feature) Brothers Threatt, The (music video) By Mouth Only (short narrative / home grown) Captured (short narrative) Case of Evil, The (short narrative) Curry & Erin (student - college) Dead Saturday (short narrative) Death to Cupid (short narrative) Delta Justice: The Islenos Trappers War (documentary short / home grown) Detectives of Noir Town, The (foreign) Detention (web series) Devil in the White City (music video) Dispirited (short narrative) Down and Out (student-college) Emotional Dimensions of the James River, The (student - high school) Fishing for Unicorns (documentary short) Helena’s Blood (foreign) Hurricane (music video) I Know You Well (documentary feature) Imba Means Sing (documentary feature) In Your Father’s Shadow (student- college) Kambrium: Spellbound by a Nightmare (music video) Keep it Clean (student - high school) La Lutte (foreign) Life and Times of Thomas Thumb Jr., The (student-college) Lilla Van Jag Vill Bo I En Husvagn (music video) Low (music video) M.I.A.’s on Tiger Mountain, The (documentary feature) Max Peril (feature narrative) Mortal Dilemma (short narrative) Moving Day (short narrative) My Lonely Me (foreign) My Own (short narrative) No Greater Love (documentary feature) No Mercy (short narrative) No Sunshine (short narrative) Out and Out’s, The (short narrative) Palooka, The (short narrative / home grown) Perfect Machine (student-college) Phantasm (student - high school) Pig Foot (short narrative / home grown) Quad X: The Porn Movie Massacre (feature narrative) Red Balloon, The (short narrative) Red Thunder, The (short narrative) Relativity (or: How to Stop Worrying and Love the Computer) (music video) Rewind (music video) Rhyme Heist, The (music video) Running Scared (short narrative) RyRexx Transparent (music video) Save Myself (music video) Snack Attack (animation / home grown) Sons of Mapes, The (documentary short) Space Station, The (short narrative) Sprint to the Past (foreign) Sum Total of Our Memory: Facing Alzheimer’s Together, The (documentary feature) Tell Me (music video) Territorial Behavior (feature narrative) Theater, The (student - high school) Three Es, The (feature narrative) Till Death (feature narrative) Time to Pretend (student - high school) Times Like Dying (short narrative) We All Go the Same (student - high school) What Men Really Want (documentary feature) ISSUE FOUR 2015

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networking experience for ďŹ lmmakers, actors and anyone in the business,â&#x20AC;? says Bennett. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Over the years, I have seen screenwriters asked by directors to send them a script or actors given a business card from a producer wanting to cast them in a ďŹ lm part; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pretty amazing what type of relationships you can make by attending our mixers, parties and screenings. John Schneider donated an awesome prize. Aspiring ďŹ lmmakers will receive great advice and some mentorship in our seminars and can attend the screenings to see what other indie ďŹ lm-

makers are doing. Also, if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a ďŹ lm buff, this is an opportunity to see unique ďŹ lms that you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see at the local theaters. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have ďŹ lms in categories like: feature, short, foreign, student, music video, and animation. I think anyone who attends will have a great time and will take something away from the experience. And if all that isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t enough, we will have frigginâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Buck Rogers in attendance!â&#x20AC;? Wishing you had taken the time to submit a ďŹ lm? Want to see your work on the big screen? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not too late. Lake Charles Film and Music Festival will also be screening the top 10 ďŹ lms from their 48 Hour Film Sprint. This 48 hour ďŹ lm competition is free to enter and runs online September 25-27, 2015. Details about the competition as well as the festival can be found on the festivalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website at www.lakecharlesďŹ lmfestival.com. LFV

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BATON ROUGE HORROR FILM FESTIVAL:

THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING US STORY BY ODIN LINDBLOM PHOTOS COURTESY OF BATON ROUGE HORROR FILM FESTIVAL

O

ne of the keys to a great horror story is maintaining suspense. Baton Rouge Horror Film Festival Director Ashen Bonaventure is doing just that by only releasing a little information about the upcoming fest and keeping us on the edge of our seats. While she wouldn’t tell when it came to a festival schedule or guests, she did let us know a few of the films set to screen October 9-11, 2015.

Features: • Zombie Shark: The Louisiana produced feature is a blend of comedy and horror and stars Jason London (Dazed and Confused) and Laura Cayouette (Django Unchained). • Immurement: A Louisiana produced horror feature starring Dylan Langlois and directed by Joseph Poliquin. Shorts: • Invaders: Action, dark comedy and Homeland Security all rolled in to this short film. • Night of the Slasher: The award winning short film, shot in a single take, is touring film festivals internationally and will make its Louisiana premiere.

“A festival dedicated to supporting and showcasing what Louisiana has to offer alongside of other great new films from the next big production teams, is exactly what Baton Rouge needs,” says Bonaventure. “We have been planning a festival for years and were so excited when friends and producers came together to help make it happen.” “We were very excited when Louisiana Film & Video approached us for a release,” continues Bonaventure. “Many magazines have approached us, but we weren’t ready for any public disclosure. For our first public release to be with one of our favorite film magazines and especially one that represents our state so well, it’s serendipity. We can’t wait for everyone to see what is in store for the Baton Rouge Horror Fans!” Baton Rouge Horror Film Bonaventure has promised to release more details about the festival via their website and social media as the Festival Director Ashen Bonaventure dates draw closer. “I think the reason people will be most excited to come to the festival is to meet filmmakers and be some of the first to see new films with actors from The Walking Dead, Dazed and Confused, American Horror Story,” adds Bonaventure. “We all will be surprised since this is our first year running, but we can still guarantee one thing: this will be an amazing weekend for anyone who loves horror with great artists, live music and great food and interactions with other fans of film and fun. Let’s make Halloween 2015 last all month by starting the fun in October early at Baton Rouge Horror Film Festival!” LFV

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New Orleans Film Festival STORY BY A. K. FARMER PHOTOS COURTESY OF NEW ORLEANS FILM FESTIVAL

T

he New Orleans Film Society recently announced the 24 feature films that will be in competition at the 26th Annual New Orleans Film Festival (NOFF), taking place October 14-22 at venues across the city. The festival will kick off Wednesday, October 14, at the newly-restored Orpheum Theater (which should be exciting to see in and of itself!). This year’s lineup includes 173 selections from NOFF’s open call for submissions from independent filmmakers all over the globe. NOFF will also be showing more than one dozen additional feature films that have acquired distribution before they even release in theaters nationwide. The 2015 festival lineup was chosen from a total pool of more than 3,400 submissions, a record number for the festival, and a 58 percent increase over last year. Submissions poured in from 100 countries—the largest and farthest submissions pool in the history

Jackie Boy directed by Cody Campanale

of the festival. This year marks NOFF’s first as an Oscar qualifying festival in the documentary shorts category. The winner of the short documentary jury award will qualify to be nominated for an Academy Award. “The sustained growth of the festival demonstrates that Louisiana is an established hub of the entertainment industry,” says New Orleans Film Society Executive Director Jolene Pinder, “and the New Orleans Film Festival serves as a barometer for what’s happening in the state.” The 2015 Festival showcases 24 feature films selected for competition: eight films in the Narrative Films in Competition category, seven films in the Documentary Films in Competition category and nine films in the Louisiana Features category (by Louisiana filmmakers). Of the 24 films, seven will have their World Premieres at this year’s fest. “I’m really proud of our selections and the quality of storytelling we’re bringing to our audiences,” adds New Orleans Film Society Program Director Clint Bowie. “Each year new themes emerge that are clearly resonating in the independent film community. From stories of life in Cuba to fictional worlds far from our own, these films challenge our viewers to look at life from a different perspective.” LFV

Driving While Black directed by Paul Sapiano

The Seventh Fire directed by Jack Pettibone

NARRATIVE FILMS IN COMPETITION

LOUISIANA FEATURES

DOCUMENTARY FILMS IN COMPETITION

Cover Me dir. Garrett Bradley

Consequence dir. Jonathan Nguyen & Ashley George

Deal With It dir. Shamira Raphaëla

Cowards Do It Slow dir. Sean Loftus & Michael Padraic Scahill

Delta Justice: The Islenos Trappers War dir. David DuBos

Hotel Nueva Isla dir. Irene Gutierrez

Driving While Black dir. Paul Sapiano

Dog Man dir. Richie Adams

Missing People dir. David Shapiro

Embers dir. Claire Carré

Forgive and Forget dir. Aaron Abdin

Portrait of a Lone Farmer dir. Jide Tom Akinleminu

fRENCH DIRTy dir. Wade Allain-Marcus & Jesse Allain-Marcus

The King of New Orleans dir. Allen Frederic

Scrum dir. Poppy Stockell

It Had To Be You dir. Sasha Gordon

Love Me True dir. Kirby Voss

The Seventh Fire dir. Jack Pettibone

Jackie Boy dir. Cody Campanale

The Mourning Hills dir. R. Todd Campbell

Touch the Light (Tocando La Luz) dir. Jennifer Redfearn

Jason and Shirley dir. Stephen Winter

The Phantasmagorical Clarence John Laughlin dir. Gene Fredericks Yazoo Revisited: Integration and Segregation in a Deep Southern Town dir. David Rae Morris ISSUE FOUR 2015

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(L-R) Actors Ben Mendelsohn stars as Gerry and Ryan Reynolds as Curtis.

(L-R) Ryan Reynolds and Directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck.

Ryan Reynolds and Ben Mendelsohn play two gamblers in this character driven film. The cast and crew prep for a scene for Mississippi Grind.

ON THE ROAD WITH

MISSISSIPPI GRIND

STORY BY W. H. BOURNE PHOTOS COURTESY OF PATTI PERRET AND A24

“R

yan (Fleck) had just graduated and I was taking a summer film class at NYU when we met,” recalls Mississippi Grind co-director/writer Anna Boden. “Ryan had just graduated and we became friends. I was shooting a short documentary subject for school, and Ryan started helping me out with that. I held the camera, and he held the microphone, and that was our first collaboration. It ended up going pretty smoothly so we kept working together.” “I was an undergrad at NYU and Andrij Parekh (DP) was in the grad program. We did not know each other then, but he was the guy that had basically shot every beautiful-looking student film ever made at NYU during the time I was there. So it was always on my mind, one day, if I get to make a feature, we would want him to shoot it,” explains co-director/writer Ryan Fleck. This is the fourth feature film with the three collaborators. Half Nelson, their first feature film together, was a huge hit on the indie

scene and garnered an Oscar nomination for its lead, Ryan Gosling. Of course, the collaboration begins long before the writing even starts. “We spend a lot of time just kind of talking,” says Fleck. “When we come up with the idea, whatever that idea is, once we have something that sticks—that feels like it has legs and that’s worth pursuing—we’ll continue to talk about it a bunch. We’ll go on long walks, we’ll talk about it, and talk about it some more. Then we’ll start to write down notes, and then we’ll separate and start the writISSUE FOUR 2015

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ing process. Usually, one of us will start writing, and the other one will start rewriting that work, and we’ll continue to talk about it. It’s not that mysterious, actually.” “You know, there’s so much time in the writing process to kind of try different things. If one of us feels like there’s a better way to tackle something, then they’ll take a crack at it. And then we’ll have two versions of something and be able to talk about it from there. I feel like by the end of the process when we actually have a final script, we both feel like it’s the best version of what we can come up with. There’s something about the bouncing of ideas. You know, sometimes I’ll think something’s wrong with a theme, and it turns out that what I

love to watch. Let’s, like, make one of those.’” “We’d spent some time in Iowa shooting our second movie, called Sugar,” continues Fleck. “We had a good time there and we thought, ‘Hey, that’s a good place to start this journey. It’s right on the Mississippi. Let’s get two gamblers on the road heading right down the Mississippi River to New Orleans.’ It really just sort of took off from there. We actually did the research, we went on that trip, and we had a great time.” “When it came time to start casting, Ben Mendelsohn’s name came up first,” explains Fleck. “We met him, thought he was just fantastic, and basically just offered him the part of Gerry right on the spot, which is really unusual for us, but we did that. And then Ryan (Reynolds) came to us soon after that, and then it all really came together once Ryan came on board.” “Since we wanted to make this very character-driven road movie, we knew it was gonna’ be about getting the right two actors together,” says Boden. “These guys, Ben and Ryan, have such a wonderful chemistry; they got along from the moment that they met, and you really feel that on camera.” “We didn’t do a ton of formal rehearsal, but we got together with the actors,” says Boden. “I think that primarily what was most important to us, as is always important on every movie, is getting them comfortable with each other and with ourselves and with the world that they’re

Ryan Reynolds gives a fabulous performance in Mississippi Grind.

thought was wrong was actually just a symptom of something else. So we’ll figure that out and work through it until we come up with something we’re both excited about,” adds Boden. While writing teams are quite common, directing teams are not, so Fleck and Boden are definitely atypical in that respect. “It’s just as if there was one director except there’s two of us,” explains Fleck. “We do everything together, so there’s not really any division of labor. We do rehearsals together, we are on set together. The only thing that really starts to become different is Anna’s the editor; so once we’re done shooting, Anna will put together a cut of the movie without me. Then, (L-R) Director Ryan Fleck and Actor Ryan Reynolds discuss a scene for Mississippi Grind. I’ll come in and start to work on it with her.” “I think we had about 28 shooting days with little splinter supposed to be acting in. And instead of having a lot of formal days here and there for us to go out and shoot B-roll of the various rehearsal, we met sometimes at the Harrah’s New Orleans poker cities that we shot in,” recalls Fleck about the production of Mississippi room and went out to the horse track with them and just kind Grind. of introduced them to the world that they were gonna’ be living “We shot it on 35mm,” says Boden. in as characters. And then, secondarily, we got together and read “It has a ‘70s throwback kind of feel, so we thought it was importthrough the words, read through the script, and talked about it, ant that the format we shot on also reflected that,” explains Fleck. but didn’t do a lot in terms of rehearsing the scenes in any kind of “It was probably about four months in the editing suite,” formal way.” adds Boden. “We got the actors on board first, and then Sycamore Pictures The origins of Mississippi Grind are just as interesting as the duo came on board after that,” explains Boden. “They were really excitwho put it all together. ed about the story, and the script, and the combination of actors, “It came together because Anna and I were throwing ideas and making it the right way by shooting in New Orleans, primararound, and we just really wanted to do something fun,” rememily, and then also making sure that we got on the road to shoot bers Fleck. “We wanted to do kind of a road trip movie, and we the other cities that our characters stopped in along their journey thought, ‘Oh, let’s do one of these kind of ‘70s-style movies that we 30 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

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were able to use most of it in the movie.” down the Mississippi.” Since Boden and Fleck and Andrij Parekh had all met during their “I think that we were able to stretch our dollar out by shooting college years, I was curious about their thoughts on film school. in Louisiana for sure,” says Fleck. “But what’s great about shooting “It was so long ago that we were both in college, or at least it feels there is that a huge chunk of the story takes place right there in New Orleans so it was great that we didn’t have to fake too much for other cities or other locations. We could really just use the city of New Orleans for everything that it has to offer and not try to hide that.” “It was almost all local crew,” adds Boden. “We brought our AD and our DP and our production designer with us, and I think we may have brought makeup and hair, but we found everyone else in New Orleans. We had an amazing experience with the wonderful crew there including our costume designer and our entire grip and electric department.” “The locations team was great as well. I mean, everything about shooting down there was terrific,” says Fleck. “We had the best time and wish we could go back … but maybe not in the summer.” “It was a relatively small crew,” explains Boden. “I think that a lot of big movies shoot down in New Orleans, and we Yvonne Landry plays Louise in Mississippi Grind. were not one of those. We kept things intimate and as tight as possible. It’s a road trip movie. You wanna’ kind of be able that way,” says Fleck. “It was the late ‘90s when we were in school. I to keep things close and intimate and small so that we could be as feel like the world of production has changed so much. When we spontaneous as possible with how we were shooting things and were in school, digital cameras were fairly new, and there were only what we were grabbing and allowing those moments to be as we a few of them. We were still shooting on really old film cameras. I’m captured them on film.” sure that these schools don’t really even use those anymore because If the sights and cinematography in Mississippi Grind don’t get the technology has changed so much. I really don’t know what’s goyou into the mood of the film, the music will. They may not be on ing on in film schools these days. I think what’s more important is a boat in the river, but the music keeps you mindful at all times to just get out into the world and start creating work whether that’s that they are traveling down along the Mississippi River. writing or shooting, I think that’s really what’s important. But, you “Most of it was music that we had in mind before we started know, it’s also nice to be in an environment where there are other shooting so we put together a massive playlist of blues and soul filmmakers around constantly that you can share ideas with so I and some country music,” says Boden. “We shared it with the think there are pros and cons to a film school world.” actors, and we shared it with some of the crew. Basically, that kind “I do love the idea of young filmmakers having a space where of informed the look and the feel of the movie even while we were they can experiment and fail and experiment again and meet peoshooting. Lucky for us, that music wasn’t too expensive, and we ple who inspire them,” adds Boden. “Maybe that can happen at a film festival? I don’t know, but I think it’s A24’s Mississippi Grind rolls into theaters nice to have an environment where people can play.” October 2nd. Some would consider Fleck and Boden film festival gold since their films seem to premiere, play well, and sell at festival. “I think that there are always nerves going into a film festival where you need to sell your film and find an audience,” says Boden, “but it’s also such a buoyant, wonderful experience to be sharing your movie with a huge group of fresh faces for the first time. And, you know, they’re film lovers; everybody who’s there is a real film lover. And to be sitting in an audience of a thousand people at the Eccles, which is one of their big theaters at Sundance, and watch your movie for the first time with a big audience, I think that kind of overrides a lot of the other more anxiety-provoking aspects of the experience. It was really fun! It ended up being a really fun weekend.” Mississippi Grind will release in theaters October 2nd, 2015. Be sure to check it out! LFV ISSUE FOUR 2015

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PRAYING FOR A WIN AT

NEW ORLEANS FILM FESTIVAL STORY BY W. H. BOURNE PHOTOS COURTESY OF WORKLIGHT PICTURES

D

oes God Hear Robots Pray? is a fresh, original, avant-garde short film that will be premiering at the upcoming New Orleans Film Festival. Louisiana Film & Video Magazine had the opportunity to chat with Stephen Pfeil (director/writer/editor), Bruno Doria (DP), and Lizzie Guitreau (producer/AD), the creative team behind this original film.

“How Robots came to be is that Bruno, along with the film’s other producer, Sarah Smith, own a production company, Worklight Pictures, where I work for them as Producer and Project Manager,” explains Lizzie Guitreau. “Stephen came to us with the script for Robots, and the film became a wonderful collaboration using Worklight’s production gear and crew resources and Stephen’s directorial abilities and creative drive. I must say, we made a great team. In fact, we already have other projects in the works for this year.” “The title was the driving force behind story development,” adds Stephen Pfeil. “Sometimes I just write down fake movie titles to see if I come up with anything interesting. One day at work, I wrote down the phrase ‘Does God Hear Robots Pray?’ on a sticky note and thought, ‘I want to make that film.’” “Leading up to that moment, I had been itching to shoot an old fashioned, silent, black and white movie on actual film stock, so I decided to take the limitations and strengths of that medium and see what kind of story I could tell about praying robots,” continues Pfeil. “So, from the get-go, the whole concept was ‘a silent film about robots shot on Super 8.’ We ended up transitioning to 16mm, which was one of the best decisions we made. We used that pitch to recruit most of our cast and crew.” “We didn’t want to stamp the movie with a conventional modern, futuristic sci-fi look by shooting with a fancy high definition color camera,” explains Bruno Doria. “Instead, we wanted to do the exact opposite. We figured if we shot on black and white (b&w) film, it would make the images feel more nostalgic and give the Chad Chamberlain, Steadicam operator, (L) and Cinefilm a sense matographer, Bruno Doria, (R) adjust the framing of a complicated shot. of history. We

Matt Martinez, who plays the main character, Ellis, in his full robot costume.

originally wanted to use a Super 8 camera, mostly because we had one and it was just collecting dust, but after doing some tests, we realized the camera didn’t work and would eat up too much of our budget to fix. So we called an old friend who collects and experiments with 16mm. He ended up giving us his Bolex H16 Reflex and a bunch of cool vintage lenses, because he is awesome and he believed in the project.” “After our first camera test, we knew that the Bolex would be the best way to go,” adds Doria. “Our only big issue on set was forgetting to crank the camera before a take since we are so used to having battery-operated cameras. On the plus side, we didn’t have to worry about charging batteries every night.” “Our budget was $7,000, which we set with incredible optimism,” says Guitreau. “We never expected to raise the full amount, but we worked hard to build an engaging pitch video and had a very successful Indiegogo campaign. It was really motivating to receive support from friends and family, people we work with, and even strangers who all donated to the film. We then received post-production donations from two very generous investors. In all seriousness, we could not have shot Robots without all of these big-hearted people.” “The original church location fell through at the last minute,” says Pfeil. “Luckily, a priest friend of mine, Rev. John Restrepo, happens to be the pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church on Canal Street. When he heard that we were in need, he eagerly and graciously let us use the facility. Of course, that is, after we got the script approved by the Archdiocese (of New Orleans). That’s a must if you’re going to film in a Catholic Church.” ISSUE FOUR 2015

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“We planned to shoot Robots (10 script pages, 27 scenes) in three days, and looking back at that plan now, I realize how ambitious this was,” explains Guitreau. “The script is loaded heavily with story action, including chase scenes and a few stunts, which takes longer to shoot than dialogue. However, we were able to shoot the principal photography in those planned three days, with a few extra half days for pickups and reshoots.” “It was actually a little easier shooting black and white film as opposed to color since we didn’t have to worry about keeping our light’s color temperatures consistent,” says Doria. “Most of our problems stemmed from not being able to have a proper form of playback or a way to watch dailies. To help us with monitoring, we rigged an old surveillance camera with a little screen onto the Bolex viewfinder; however, it was constantly falling off and wasn’t super reliable, but it was better than everyone having to look in the tiny camera viewfinder before a take.” “In a way, it was like shooting blind. We would take our measurements, rehearse the shot, hit record, and pray that we got it right. Most of the time our prayers were answered,” continues Doria. “I cut Robots on Avid,” says Pfeil. “The day after I got the footage back from FotoKem, I had a rough cut later that afternoon. I was pretty excited, to say the least. Since we had been so conservative with our film stock, I usually didn’t have more than 3 or 4 takes of any one angle so that helped expedite the cut. Even with reshoots, I had picture lock in about a month-and-a-half. And that only gave the composer, Kevin Prockup, ten days to create wall-to-wall scoring before the New Orleans Film Festival deadline! Visual effects

Nathan Tucker, 2nd AC, (center) and Matt Martinez, lead actor, (R) prepare to slate for another take.

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work was done in After Effects, and the final grade was done with Da Vinci Resolve.” “I would say not having dialogue to help usher the story along was our biggest challenge; however, without it, it really forced us to simply make it a stronger film,” continues Pfeil. “In the end, some dialogue would probably convey certain ideas more clearly, but there’s something wonderful about how silent storytelling challenges and engages the audience.” “We always intended for the film to be silent,” Lead actor Matt Martinez, in full costume, shows off explains Pfeil, some rolls of film. “but not the kind of silent film with that vaudevillian style of over-acting. We wanted to play it straight and natural. The characters would talk and behave as if it were a talkie, but you just don’t get to hear them speak. It would be the complete film package that told you the story, not just dialogue.” “One of the biggest benefits (of the film being silent) was that it was a lot more forgiving for the actors. They didn’t have to worry about flubbing a line here or there, they just had to concern themselves with conveying a look and a mood,” adds Pfeil. “That allows the audience to project onto them whatever they want to see in the characters.” Premiering at the New Orleans Film Festival was always a goal for this creative team but in particular for local Stephen Pfeil. “We made the submission deadline with only thirty minutes to spare! After having to push production dates back three times and some reshoots, we were really crunched for time at the end,” explains Pfeil. “Waiting for notification wasn’t too bad, though. Like most things, I didn’t let it worry me.” “I’m ecstatic that we were selected,” concludes Pfeil. “We always wanted to premiere in New Orleans since this is the hotbed of film right now, and it’s also where we are from.” LFV


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DREAMING BIG WITH MADELINE’S OIL

Actor and Producer Jency Griffin Hogan rides to victory at the Louisiana International Film Festival (LIFF) with Madeline’s Oil. STORY BY W. H. BOURNE PHOTOS COURTESY OF EYE WANDER PHOTO LIFF PHOTO BY ODIN LINDBLOM

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he cast and crew of Madeline’s Oil is coming off a high after winning awards at the Louisiana International Film Fest for Best Louisiana Short Film and Best Cinematography. Louisiana Film & Video Magazine caught up with key members of the team after the festival to learn more about their hard work on this short film.

“I’m so proud of Madeline’s Oil. It is truly a dream come true,” proclaimed Jency Griffin Hogan, producer and lead actress of Madeline’s Oil. “I have loved historical dramas my whole life, and I was inspired to make this film because of a dream. I kept dreaming about playing a character that saved the day by riding a horse to save my little girl’s life. This story is inspired by three of my favorite films: Dr. Quinn (Medicine Woman), Anne of Green Gables, and The Man from Snowy River. I also love stories that are about reconciliation. When Kay Landon and I sat down to write the short, I gave her these elements to work with; the rest is her genius way of tying it all together.” “Jency and I met at a film industry mixer and decided we wanted to make a film together,” recalled screenwriter Kay Landon. “We discussed several ideas and then she told me that she really wanted to make an epic period piece that would involve horses. She was passionate about it when she talked about it. She pulled up her wedding photos and showed me that there had been horses in her wedding, so I knew writing a film like this would be meaningful to her. The story evolved from there.” “We didn’t solidly have the horses or location yet when I started writing the script, but we were tossing around ideas for those elements. Jency wanted to include Richard (Zeringue) in the film because she knows he also really enjoys these kinds of period pieces. When he came and met with us, he told me he had horses,”

explained Landon. “As far as the locations, I hadn’t seen them until I arrived for the shooting.” “Mike and Kim Wampold allowed us to shoot on their property called Woodlawn in St. Francisville, and Coco and Dave Trepedall allowed us to use their land as well,” added Griffin Hogan. “They both were given producer credits. A friend of the family overheard me talking about going to do Madeline’s Oil on a shoestring budget at my Dad’s 60th birthday party and said he wanted to be an executive producer on the project. He told me that he would help me raise the funds for the film. I have Eric and Carrie Obelander to thank for spearheading the executive producer team which included Joe and Annie Spell, Doug Payne and Robbie Morris. I have them to thank for the excellent way the project came together.” “We made Madeline’s Oil for $23,000,” continued Griffin Hogan. “Some people have told me it looks like we spent a lot more. That was because of all the awesome Louisiana people who supported us by donating things to the project. We did fly in a very special director of photography, Valentina Caniglia, to shoot it. She did an amazing job. My husband, Aaron Hogan, was learning from her because he wants to become a director of photography one day.” “It was imperative for me to be able to film horses and running with the camera to catch the moments of sunset and sunrise while the characters were riding,” explained LIFF Award Winning Cine-

Celebrating with some of the cast and crew at LIFF. ISSUE FOUR 2015

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matographer Valentina Caniglia. decision was cutting his part but with his work ethic and “The approach of the film was attitude, I know that he will be successful in whatever he does, in thinking how I could light and I hope I can work with him in the future.” without the use of any fixtures or In addition to directing the film, Michaelson also edited any artificial lights. I was thinkboth picture and sound. ing how in the 1870s places were “I find it easier to be a di(L-R) Madeline’s Oil lit and how the contrast would rector that knows how to edit,” cast Reginal Varice, Jency Griffin Hogan, affect the darkness and the light explained Michaelson. “Thinkand Maddie Nichols area. I asked myself, ‘How dark ing about coverage as an editor I can push and still having the that can direct actors, I have characters be realistic in a light produced by torches, candles, the ability to be able to reverse lanterns and other sources used in that time?’” engineer and think backwards, if needed, which really helps “Many scenes were filmed with real candles and fire in ad(L-R) Jency Griffin Hogan, Richard Zeringue, with problem solving if and dition to light units with golden gels on my lighting sources,” and Maddie Nichols when they arise. It really saves continued Caniglia. “I like to create my own colors through time and money so that you the use and the mix of gels, or I like to use the natural feeling can get as much (coverage) as you want or need to get and don’t of a lighting source ... I think that everyone has different concepts get into post and realize that you have missed out on something of colors and how a source could be used opposed to other ones. crucial and need to do a re-shoot which can be a major hassle. I decided to use my old tricks like breaking mirrors in millions Also, as the editor, I get to tell the story the way I am seeing it in of pieces and shining a light through it or bouncing light to a my mind and tell it how I want to without having to go through colored surface filled with water where I could see some effects. I a third party to get the actual work done. I can try different takes also like to use any tools that people use in real life and can create and angles and use what I like at the speed and pace that I want. It’s something spectacular. For example, all my gaffers think I am much, much easier to edit what you have directed.” crazy when I use a kitchen knife to reflect lights into eyes. The day “We hired a composer, Greg De Iulio, for the original score,” lighting approach was in using HMIs with diffusion in some scenes added Griffin Hogan. “We had the privilege of having the Magnolia and direct lighting using mirrors boards in others.” Strings perform it with the famous Borislava Iltcheva recording the “I shot with a Red Epic 4K and Zeiss Master Anamorphic Lenses. score for us.” Dolly shots were my favorite because the pace of the film started “The production schedule was a weekend. I forget the exact with a romanticism while by the end, handheld was a priority. dates, but we got up to St. Francisville on Thursday and Friday and Since I was operating the camera, I felt like I wanted to be with the shot Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. While it seems like 3 days, we actors in the mud and in the fields of Louisiana by the end of the really only shot for 2.5 days because we had some issues; it took a film,” added Caniglia. while to get the first shot off. We had one day of pickups and that “When I told Caleb (Michaelson) about the project he said he was all,” said Michaelson. “Post took about 3-4 months.” would love to direct it. Slowly, we started deciding who was going to Hot off their win at LIFF, Griffin Hogan was out shooting a work on the project, but the cast came together quickly,” explained new short, With My Soul with many members of her original team Griffin Hogan. “Everyone I told about it got so excited and wanted including writer Kay Landon, Richard Zeringue, Maddie Nichols, to be involved. It was thrilling. We were hiring people up to the very Reginal Varice, Aaron Hogan, Eric and Carrie Obelander. Griffin shoot date and even during production. When we realized we needHogan collaborated with new cast and crew including five students ed another grip, Theo (Thyssen) came out to set on that rainy shoot from LSU. day and saved the day!” “This little epic short film, With My Soul, really changed my per“The toughest decision spective on filmmaking. We had so much fun for 6 days of shooting. I had to make as a director No one wanted it to end,” said Griffin Hogan. was probably to cut out a “This is what drives me to complete a project,” said Griffin character that was originally Hogan. “When I have passion, the rest comes easy. Sometimes you supposed to be in the projcan’t wait around for your dreams to come to you; you have to ect,” said director Caleb MiJency Griffin Hogan’s With My Soul create them. As an actor, we always fear the idea of getting typecast. chaelson. “Actor Josh Johnson features a large cast. I had been auditioning and being typecast as villain types for years. is a very talented young man, I really wanted to play a hero so Madeline’s Oil allowed for me to and it would have been great play a strong and vulnerable woman combined. I’m gearing up for a to work with him, but I didn’t see where his character necessarily feature one day. Why not dream big? Life is too short to sit back and fit (into the film). I knew we were going to be on a tight shooting wait to get cast in the kind of epic pieces I’ve dreamed of being in schedule, and I met with Jency and told her that, unfortunately, we since I was a little girl.” LFV needed to cut his part. Josh had an amazing attitude about it and still came on as a set photographer and helped out wherever he could which shows a great deal of maturity for someone that age. I To learn more about other films that won at LIFF, please see our coverage of the know many adults that wouldn’t be able to do that. So my hardest festival in our last issue. 38 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

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Emeritus cast and crew at the 2015 NOLA 48 Hour Film Festival

OPPORTUNITIES AND

EXPERIENCE IN STORY BY SUSIE LABRY PHOTOS COURTESY OF JACK BUSHONG

I

participated in the New Orleans 48 Hour Film Fest to give me experience. It is a great learning opportunity and a great networking event. I really enjoy it, and it gives me additional acting experience. Any time there is a film I can get in, I will grab that opportunity and do it. This year I acted in a film called Emeritus.

The 48 Hour Film Festival gives you a real taste of what it takes to make a movie. You get great practice. It is a lab, and you absolutely learn by doing. You find out how much you do know and how much you don’t know; you will be impressed by the things you can and will do. You find out more about yourself and how you work especially in situations you have never been in before. You may do things you never have even dreamed of doing. You learn that you can work under extreme time con-

Best Film of 2015: The Giant’s Fairy by Shooting Blanks Productions

Best Film Runner Up: Bowling Sessions by Six Callers Ahead of Us, Jimmy!

straints, and you learn to be on your toes; it sure prepares you for the real world. At the 48 Hour Film Festival, lots of the cast were crew, and the crew were cast. At the screenings of the completed films, cast, crew, their families and friends attended. It was very festive and exciting. I was impressed by all of the films! Not only did I enjoy the films, but I think the audience as a whole also enjoyed them. ISSUE FOUR 2015

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2015 NEW ORLEANS 48 HOUR FILM FESTIVAL WINNERS 1st Place: Best Film of 2015 The Giant’s Fairy by Shooting Blanks Productions 2nd Place: Best Film of 2015 Bowling Sessions by Six Callers Ahead of Us, Jimmy! Audience Favorite: Group A What the Truck?! by Backyard Shed Films Honorable Mention A Hint of Imagination by Flittermouse Films Audience Favorite: Group B Daughter by Team LaFilm Honorable Mention Barely Conscience by GumboMonster Audience Favorite: Group C Darwin Day by Pothole Productions Honorable Mention Live at Ray’s by Cut Dat Out Productions Audience Favorite: Group D Bowling Sessions by Six Callers Ahead of Us, Jimmy! Honorable Mention Rx.I.P by Empty Seat Productions Best Writing Boxing Day? by Cinematic Souls Best Editing Boxing Day? by Cinematic Souls Best Directing The Giant’s Fairy by Shooting Blanks Productions Best Cinematography The Giant’s Fairy by Shooting Blanks Productions

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Best Sound Design Bowling Sessions by Six Callers Ahead of Us, Jimmy! Best Musical Score The Silent Man by Kinetic Pictures Best Actor Eric Deiderich, Bowling Sessions by Six Callers Ahead of Us, Jimmy! Best Actress Deanna Meske, Sunset Strip by An Outlook Productions Film Best Supporting Actor Nike Redding, What the Truck?! by Backyard Shed Films Best Supporting Actress Boyana Balta, The Giant’s Fairy by Shooting Blanks Productions Best Ensemble Acting A Hint of Imagination by Flittermouse Films Best Graphics What the Truck?! by Backyard Shed Films Best Special Effects Daughter by Team LaFilm Best Choreography Want by The Big Easy Thought Parade Best Costumes Sunset Strip by An Outlook Productions Film Best Use of Character Wanda Who? by Bag-a-Ho’s Best Use of Prop A Hint of Imagination by Flittermouse Films Best Use of Line Once You Got a Kid by Muses


Leonard Reynolds Location Manager

Positive One Productions 504.606.4110

Cell New Orleans, LA 70117

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OF A 48 HOUR FILM STORY BY W. H. BOURNE SUNSET STRIP PHOTOS COURTESY OF DEANNA MESKE 48 HOUR PHOTO BY JACK BUSHONG

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ouisiana Film & Video had the opportunity to speak with members of the 48 Hour Film Fest team that produced Sunset Strip. Producer and team captain Deanna Meske was responsible for shepherding the 48 Hour short film that won for best costumes and best actress (Meske) and was additionally nominated for best supporting actress (Rachel Whittle) and best writing. Shot on a Canon 5D Mark III and edited in Adobe Premiere Pro, Sunset Strip exhibited many elements of a project that had good planning and preparation. “I had been a cast member (in a 48 Hour Film) for three years in a row, and I realized that if I wanted to get the coverage I desired as an actress, I needed to start my own team,” says Meske. “Also I had started making films during that time and wanted to learn more and make more connections in the film industry. This is my third film in the 48 Hour Film Festivals that I produced; the last two I did not direct, and I realized that I needed to direct this one to get the product I wanted.” “I put up several ads on Craigslist for crew, cast and make up. I

Actress Deanna Meske and Actor Carlos Gonzalez (L-R) 44 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

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also did this on Facebook and I reached out to all of my contacts,” explains Meske. “I didn’t decide to do a film until two weeks prior to the deadline so I had to move fast. I also decided on a story I wanted to tell and had a rough idea of how it would go and really hoped to get a genre that I could use to tell this story. I went with my gut feeling on the crew and cast. I wanted friendly people, no divas and no drama and that’s what we got. I also wanted to cast the male detective as a woman and put her in a mustache; at first people said, ‘No you can’t do that,’ but I just knew it would be a unique element to the film. I really am a supporter of women in film and try to push power in that direction as much as possible.” “I did a lot of pre-production,” continues Meske. “I believe the only way to make a great film is to pre-plan like crazy. I actually had a very hard time finding sound people, and I advertised a lot. On the day of filming, three people showed up to do sound so we were covered there, and I had to send two of them home. I find a small tight crew of skilled people is the way to go for these types of films.” “We were given comedy as a genre and our assigned prop was a marker. We had to include the line of dialogue, ‘you get what you pay for,’ and one of the characters had to be named Roy or Rory Baylor who was a waiter or waitress.” “I was one of the two detectives investigating a 1950s Hollywood murder,” says actor Carlos Gonzalez. “I was also the required character (Roy Baylor) for the contest. I wasn’t sure I could commit, due to my work, until the final week. On a whim just days before the contest began, I noticed Deanna’s post on Craigslist. We didn’t know each other, so she asked me to submit a quick video audition, which she evidently liked.” “Deanna contacted me and I was happy to be a part of her team,” explains Sunset Strip actor and co-producer Johnny Rock. “I’ve seen some of her other work and had been wanting to work with her for sometime. I had been wanting to participate in the 48 Hour Film Fest since it came to New Orleans; however, my schedule never allowed it until this year.” “At 4:30 PM on Friday, we did all of the set design, again hoping we would get the appropriate genre to be able to shoot my idea,” recalls Meske. “I took the cameraman and walked him through a rough idea of the shots, and we set up lights for two of the areas that we knew we would shoot in. At 7PM, we got the genre and wrote the script; my writing partner Zach did most of the work,


(L-R) Deanna Meske, Carlos Gonzalez, and Rachel Whittle rehearse a scene.

Shooting Deanna Meske for a scene for Sunset Strip

very gratifying, and Deanna won for Best Actress, which was well deserved, but also positive recognition for all our collective work!” “I also had a great time,” adds Rock. “I was able to work with friends that I’ve known for awhile like Steve Hammond, Lisa Alphonso, Carlos Gonzalez who I co-starred with and David Treadway who I brought on as a Director of Photography.” “I loved the way it looked; I loved the performances, the costumes and the music. In my mind, though, it’s a rough cut,” explains Meske. “We are now (after the fest) tightening it up and adding the last scene. We could not add it for the contest because it would have added another 1 minute of screen time which would have put us well over the 7 minute time restriction. We also need a full sound mix … and I have two more drone shots to add in. We simply ran out of time.” “My main goal is always to make a really good film that the cast and crew can be proud of and use in their reels and show to their friends and family,” continues Meske. “While our 48 Hour Film was called Sunset Strip, the new film will be Sunset Strip Crime.” “There’s always good material on the cutting room floor,” adds Gonzalez. “The team is excitedly waiting for our ‘Director’s Cut!’” “I would most definitely do the 48 again,” says Rock. “I have big plans for next year. I was very observant of the entire process, learning the mechanics of the 48 Hour Film Project. I now have a vision of my having a team of my own next year. I’ll be going by the book, but I’ll be pulling out the big guns, I guarantee!” “I learned about fog machines and hover cams (drones). What fun!” exclaims Gonzalez who’s looking forward to the 48 Hour Film Festival next year. “As an actor, there’s greater chance for face time (in a film at the 48) than any one liner in a Hollywood film ... Of course, (I’ll participate with) any team that wants me!” “Deanna’s not just talented and beautiful, she’s also a leader,” adds Gonzalez. “I observed Deanna take charge and lead the team all the way.” “I feel this is such a great opportunity for filmmakers,” says Meske. “You create a film in 48 hours. While I think moving camera shots and a compelling story will set you ahead of the pack, if you prepare, make sure you light properly, get good sound and enough coverage, you will wind up with a nice film you can use to promote with. Everyone on your team will be very happy in the end.” LFV

and by 8PM we were filming. We filmed ‘til just after midnight, and started again the next day at 9:30AM. We shot that day until 8PM; after that, the edit began. J.W. Misenheimer, the editor and cinematographer, did not sleep a wink. I was exhausted because I only had three hours of sleep on Friday night. I was up all night planning for the next day, getting new ideas, and sending out texts to the PA’s for things to pick up on their way to set. I had to perform on Saturday which was the big scene of the film. Around 10AM on Sunday, I got up and started helping on the edit since J.W. had stayed at my house to edit which also happened to be the shooting location. The sound mixer showed up at 1PM, and we started to score about 3PM. Then, we rushed through the credits and exported the film. I drove us to the wrong location so we had only 10 minutes to get to the correct location. I drove like a crazy woman and got the guys to the drop off location with 2 minutes to spare!” “I had a terrific time,” says Gonzalez. “This was my sixth experience since the contest came to New Orleans. It’s a great opportunity to work and network with industry folks, who are more professional each year. I worked with my old friend Johnny Rock and made new friends with the rest of cast and crew. We felt we had a well constructed product, experienced cast and crew, a good script, and our instant team gelled well The cast and crew of Sunset Strip at the 48 Hour Film Festival and quickly. The film received four nominations, which was ISSUE FOUR 2015

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hances are if you’ve been watching Zoo or saw The D Train this summer, you probably saw Inovojet. It was recently used for Deepwater Horizon which stars actor Mark Wahlberg. Inovojet is a modular, transportable airplane mockup. In fact, the set was purchased from the TV series Lost.

my father, Chaman Grover, who is a highly accomplished man that could take the creative needs of the story to the next level.” Of course, if you don’t want to move Nicolas Cage (R) in Left Behind. the Inovojet for a “I’ve always had a passion for films,” says Inovojet whole shoot, Pavan and Chaman Grover have a soundstage availCEO Pavan Grover M.D., who is not only a producer, actor, and able to get one quick airplane interior shot or a whole movie writer, but also a medical doctor specializing in minimally invasive that happens inside a plane. spine surgery. “That creativity balances the stressful side of the “The 110 foot long 767 is housed in The Inovo Studio (25,000 medical practice. I feel I’m fortunate to be able to help other people square feet with 26-foot clear height) located in Harahan in Jefferand pursue my creative passions.” son Parish (a suburb of New Orleans). Because the plane is being Still not sure if you’ve seen the Inovojet? If supported on casters, it can easily be moved into a corner of the you saw Nicolas Cage in Left Behind last sumstudio, in the event the studio space is needed for film shooting, mer, you definitely saw it. The film was mostly TV shows, music videos or commercials,” continues Grover. shot in the Inovojet. Grover is no stranger to the demands of production. In 2002, he “In July 2013, the mockup was transportwrote, produced and co-starred with Dennis Hopper in his first ed to Baton Rouge for Left Behind,” says film Unspeakable with MGM and 20th Century Fox. Since then, Grover. “One of our best features is that the he has been juggling his film projects with his medical practice. 767 is easily portable. It consists of 30 panels Currently, he is developing a TV series that he plans to shoot at 10’ 9” long and 6’ 5” wide supported on Inovo Studio. casters. The plane parts can be easily loaded Pavan Grover, M.D. “We are so honored to be part of the Louisiana entertainment onto trucks for transport to different soundindustry family,” says Grover. “The people are amazing; there is so stages. The mockup can easily be disassembled and assembled.” much talent here and the best production crews.” LFV “We believe our mockup is unique in simulating turbulence,” continues Grover. “Left Behind placed the Inovojet on a 3 foot high steel structure to simulate and create turbulence. In addition, the unique feature of the Inovojet is that it is built to resist the stresses generated while tilting up to 25 degrees in four directions by using a gimbal.” “Nicolas Cage really liked the Inovojet saying, ‘This is a great set; it’s awesome to work on it,’” recalls Grover. “The cockpit windscreens can be removed for clear shots. The plane set is configurable to the needs of the production. It has a digital or analog cockpit, first/business class, coach class (7 seater with wider aisles), galleys, exit doors, and lavatories. The base, sides and the ceiling is built of structural steel.” “We purchased the old parts of the mockup plane for filming our own film titled 97 Minutes,” explains Grover. “The movie is about a plane falling off the grid after a terrorist takeover. When we had an unforeseen delay in that production we went about creating a state-of-the-art airplane mockup with the engineering expertise of Interior of the cockpit.

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A STEP INTO AT THE 2015 SIGGRAPH STORY AND PHOTOS BY W. H. BOURNE

This 3D interactive skull that featured projectors using mapping technology was the centerpiece of the VR Village at the 2015 SIGGRAPH.

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rom the moment you hit the registration area at this year’s annual SIGGRAPH Show at the Los Angeles Convention Center, you could see wonderland waiting for you several hundred feet away. This year SIGGRAPH’s annual interdisciplinary educational experience, which showcased the latest in computer graphics and interactive techniques, was energized by the debut of the VR Village. Adjacent to Emerging Technologies, both areas of the show floor seemed to overlap. Unless you were looking at the signs, the whole area blended together seamlessly. The debut of the VR Village featured dedicated real-time immersion with the hottest Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (VR/AR) content. With Nomadic Virtual Reality, Tabletop Augmented Reality, Full-Dome Cinema, and live demonstrations in a 360-degree immersion dome, the VR Village let attendees explore the fascinating potential of VR, AR and Immersive Environments as a means for telling stories, engaging audiences, and powering real-world applications in health, education, design, and gaming. Emerging Technologies showcased the latest interactive and graphics technologies in the 3D, virtual reality, and projection mapping industries including practical applications such as the Ford Immersive Vehicle Environment utilized in phases of automotive design. This year’s Emerging Technologies Program was a true cross-section of science, technology, and art. Speaking of art, as I mentioned, when you entered the registration area, a large colorful skull was to your left. The skull is a three

This VR interactive technology is actually being used by the design team at Ford.

Epson’s VR prototype makes shooting while controlling drones a seamless process.

dimensional structure designed by Josh Harker, with projection animation developed by BARTKRESA design and projectors provided by Christie Digital Systems. With more than 30 perfectly mapped animations and an extensive set of real time looks, viewers were able to experience constantly changing artwork and interact via touch interface. It was interesting to see how VR/AR was being used in commercial applications. On display (and to test drive) was an Oculus experience used by Dreamworks to promote last year’s sequel to How To Train Your Dragon. Sony showcased their Morpheus prototype for their upcoming IMAX promotion for The Walk. Sylvain Chague and Clementine Lo from the Swiss company artanim was demonstrating a two person VR/AR that allowed you to explore a pharoah’s tomb, pick up objects and exchange them with your partner while keeping you totally immersed in the virtual environment. While it’s easy to see how VR/AR can revolutionize the video game industry, the entertainment industry as a whole should be thinking about how this technology can be utilized to enhance everything from theme parks to theaters. LFV ISSUE FOUR 2015

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CAN YOU WALK THE WALK: USING VR TO MARKET A FILM STORY AND PHOTOS BY W. H. BOURNE THE WALK PHOTOS COURTESY OF SONY PICTURES

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IGGRAPH 2015 was host to numerous Virtual and Augmented Reality Projects (VR) many of which used emerging technology. One of the most fascinating projects there was sponsored by Sony to promote their upcoming film The Walk starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt who already has a reputation of exploring multi-platforms for entertainment. In fact, Levitt was at SIGGRAPH briefly on Monday exploring the VR projects and the emerging technology. The Walk is based on the true story of Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who overcame all odds to walk across a steel cable strung between the two twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York. Can You Walk the Walk? puts you where only one person in history has ever been: walking 110 stories in the air between the twin towers of the World Trade Center via VR using Project Morpheus for PlayStation 4. According to Sony, “Morpheus enables players to experience a sense of presence, where they feel as though they are inside the virtual world of a game, through high resolution visuals, advanced tracking, Audiences can be Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) crossing the gap between the two 3D audio technology, and the power of PS4. This World Trade Center towers with the Can You Walk the Walk? VR Experience at select unique VR system has been met with huge interIMAX screenings. est and industry enthusiasm since the unveiling of Morpheus in March 2014. Featuring a 5.7-inch 1920 of ticket receipts in particular for 3D and VFX heavy films. The Walk x RGB x 1080 resolution OLED display, 120fps output, nine LEDs is directed by Academy Award winner Robert Zemeckis who has for accurate positional tracking with PlayStation Camera, and been a pioneer in VFX and 3D with films like Back the Future, Who a user-friendly design, Morpheus is set to launch as a consumer Framed Roger Rabbit, Polar Express, and Beowulf. In the film, he uses product in the first half of 2016.” photorealistic techniques and IMAX 3D so audiences can viscerally Can You Walk the Walk? has experience the feeling of reaching the clouds. After the film, audiences already been used to promote the can take The Walk in VR, experiencing an amazing trick to the mind film by demo-ing the experience and body in 2 minutes. Of course the question on everyone’s mind is, in Times Square and at special “Will it sell tickets?” events like SIGGRAPH Indeed, this will be an interesting test since males 14 – 25 have and CineEurope in been the elusive demographic for the studios. With the exception Barcelona; howevof film franchises such as Iron Man and The Avengers, young men er, Sony Pictures have been absent from the theater. While Sony hopes to spread the Entertainment and enthusiasm of VR to non-gamers, one has to wonder if Sony is also IMAX Corporahoping that gamers will show up in force at IMAX screenings to try tion are teaming Morpheus and Can You Walk the Walk? It’s been quite a while since up to deliver Can Avatar packed 3D and IMAX screens, breaking box office records. You Walk the Walk? Could a biopic do the same with a clever marketing campaign? as an experience for tickI tried Can You Walk the Walk? Wearing the Morpheus headeted IMAX attendees of The set, I tried to walk across the rubber tubing that was taped to the Walk at select theater across ground. While others balanced, turned and did acrobatic stunts, I the US. clung to my handler for dear life. Needless to say, it was a very reRecent box office statistics alistic experience, one that will do well for Sony gaming; however, have shown that IMAX screens we’ll have to wait and see what it does for Robert Zemeckis’ film at are responsible for at least 20% the box office. LFV ISSUE FOUR 2015

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CHEERS TO THE 18TH ANNUAL

French Film Festival STORY AND ADDITIONAL PHOTO BY JOAN GOSSETT MUSICIAN PHOTO BY STEVE HATLEY

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his year’s 18th Annual French Film Festival opened with champagne, food and a chanteuse who played the bass. Sponsored by the French Consulate General and the New Orleans Film Society, the festival aims to expose audiences to French culture via film. The festival held from July 17-23, 2015 offered a variety of films from classics to contemporary pieces and documentaries all in French with English subtitles. On hand at the opening event was Jolene Pinder and Skye MacDonald from the New Orleans Film Society to kick off the festivities at the 100 year old Prytania Theatre. In addition to complimentary champagne and drinks provided by the Alliance Française and French hors d’oeuvres provided by Mister Gregory’s, Cécille Savage sang French songs while she played the upright bass. While live music did precede several other films, audiences were definitely there to enjoy the French cinema. One of the most interesting Festive at the French Film Fest films was The

Opening night performer Cécille Savage

New Girlfriend, by writer/director François Ozon. Described as a Hitchcockian psychosexual drama, the film addressed some of the complicated issues of relationships in today’s society focusing on a transgender man who recently lost his wife and is left alone to raise his infant daughter. A Year in Champagne directed by David Kennard was a fascinating documentary about the champagne business following multi-generational families who work their own vineyards to companies like Gosset and Bollinger who produce champagne but own no vineyards at all. The film gave me a better appreciation for the beverage considering the time it takes to produce it, the number of processes necessary, and the harsh climate where it is produced. After the film, the festival provided a champagne tasting. As I sipped my champagne, I thought of the old song, one of the biggest French musical hits which was played to end the live musical interlude the night before La Vie en Rose. That song and the champagne seemed to celebrate the language and culture of France as we romanticize it to be. The festival provided attendees the opportunity to celebrate it with the variety of films provided. LFV

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SENNHEISER CLIPMIC DIGITAL: NOW RECORDING TO A MOBILE DEVICE MAKES SENSE REVIEW BY ODIN LINDBLOM PHOTOS COURTESY OF SENNHEISER

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here are a lot of microphone options being released to the market for recording with phones or tablets, but many of them don’t solve the major hardware issue inherent with mobile devices. While it can be challenging just to attach a professional microphone to a mobile device, the bigger problem is the consumer grade audio hardware inside that device. This isn’t the fault of the mobile manufacturer; they are building devices for phone and video calls not for pro level audio recording. Sennheiser, known for their high end pro audio gear, offers a unique solution to this problem with the ClipMic digital for iOS devices (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad). At first glance, it doesn’t look much different from any lavalier that you’d attach to a wireless transmitter. It’s all black and has a small element with a detachable wind sock and clip. At the opposite end of the lavalier cable, you’ll see the addition of a small box (around the size of a wired earpiece controller) and a lightning connector. The unit weighs about the same or less than a midrange lav for use with a wireless transmitter. Since the small box doesn’t add much weight or bulk, you can mic-up talent with the ClipMic using standard lav techniques. Inside the small, flat box that’s attached to the ClipMic’s cable is an analog to digital (A/D) converter, custom designed by Apogee, a company that has produced professional sound processing equipment for years. This high quality A/D converter helps produce a much clearer, truer recording than would be possible by connecting a mic to a mobile device’s analog input. The ClipMic frequency response is fairly flat, giving a surprisingly nice tone. Many lavs often lack low end response leaving voices sounding tinny, but this isn’t the case with ClipMic. Maestro and MetaRecorder are two mobile apps designed by

Apogee to work with the ClipMic. These apps help realize the mic’s fullest potential. Maestro works kind of like a driver and allows you to use the audio coming from the mic with the recording apps. You can also turn the audio processing (EQ and noise filtering) on and off within the Maestro controls. Maestro can be used to feed audio to a host of apps including the device’s native camera app for recording video. Some recording apps allow you to stream audio via WiFi so you can monitor your recordings although the mobile network can, at times, cause signal delay. MetaRecorder is a straightforward mono and stereo audio recording app that supports 24 bit 96kHz recording. The app can be unlocked from its trial version by using it with a ClipMic attached to the device. When testing the ClipMic the noise filtering and EQ in Maestro helped produce dialog recordings that had a pleasing, natural sound that was fairly free from background noise without sounding overly processed. During indoor testing, the hum of a nearby air conditioning unit was all but eliminated in the recordings. There are some definite advantages to using the ClipMic with an iPhone or iPod touch over a traditional wireless kit for narrative productions. The ClipMic retails for $199 so even if you have to buy a 16GB iPod touch at $199, you’re still cheaper than most professional wireless kits. Battery life is likely to be much longer with a mobile device. There are hundreds of holsters for iPhones and iPods on the market, and with the iPod touch being super thin, you can hide it in most wardrobe as opposed to wireless transmitters that typically are bulky and only have a belt clip. Even if you can’t hide the mobile device, it’s pretty common to see people wearing their iPho iPhone whereas wearing a wireless transmitter almost never looks normal. Sennheiser and Apog Apogee have teamed up to produce a lavalier that is worthy of notice. The ClipMic digital’s ability to produce high quality audio paired wi with its light weight and ease of use definitely makes it a viable microphone micro option for many production needs. When size and concealment are issues, the combination of a ClipMic digital and an iPhone may be an even better option than a wireless kit. LFV ISSUE FOUR 2015

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2015 EDITFEST: 5 THINGS ALL EDITORS NEED TO KNOW STORY AND PHOTO BY W. H. BOURNE

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ditFest is an annual educational event sponsored by the American Cinema Editors (ACE). This year EditFest was held at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. It offered a rare opportunity for students and emerging editors to learn about the art and craft of editing from some of Hollywood’s legendary editors.

Panelists include (L-R) ACE Editors Alan Heim, Elisa Bonora, Tom Cross, Catherine Haight, Wyatt Smith

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EditFest does not focus on the technical side of editing. Panelists tend to focus more on editing as an art form and editing as a career path. Anecdotes and advice were centered on those themes. There was so much valuable advice, but these are my top 5 favorite nuggets of wisdom that I heard at EditFest that I thought you might like to know:

1. Don’t be afraid to give your opinion. As an editor, you’re getting paid for your opinions. – John Venzon ACE (Southpark: Bigger, Longer & Uncut) 2. Don’t underestimate the power of starting and stopping sound, score, visuals, etcetera. – Dody Dorn ACE (Memento, End of Watch) 3. Don’t verbalize. Trust that the audience is smart! – Doug Blush ACE (20 Feet From Stardom) 4. Rule of 3: Only show something like a bomb in a buggy three times in one scene. – Arthur Schmidt ACE 5. The job of an editor consists of 10% editing and 90% politicizing. Don’t think of working for a producer or (versus) working for a director but working for an audience. – Wyatt Smith ACE (Thor: The Dark World, Into the Woods) After an intensive day of sessions, EditFest concluded with a wonderful after party that provided ample time to talk with peers and panelists. There was plenty of opportunity to ask those burning, unanswered questions over great food and ample drinks. LFV


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M3 SYSTEMS | www.m3systems-jibs.com What products or services do you provide? Jimmy Jibs for any location. Crane shots up to 40 feet. What geographical area do you service? Louisiana and beyond—our jibs have worked on productions across the nation, Europe and the Caribbean islands. How long have you been providing film industry support in Louisiana? M3 has provided camera support to the Southeast for over 20 years. What are some recent feature film and/or festival projects you have worked on? Joe Dirt 2, Student Bodies, Cat 5, Tokarev, Hang Out Fest, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Voodoo Fest, Essence Fest, Beach Fest. What are some recent television projects you have worked on? Chef John Besh’s New Orleans, Chef John Besh’s Family Table, New Orleans Cooking with Kevin Belton, Pitbulls & Parolees, Opposite Worlds, BET 365 Awards, Carville’s Court, Ax Men. What are some recent commercial projects you have worked on? Lake Charles Memorial, Doerr Furniture, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Nationwide Insurance, Robinson Ford, Mary Kay Convention. Is there anything else our readers should know about your business? M3 offers custom jib bases for all terrain types. Our dynamic operators know how to get the shots you want, when you want them, with quick set-ups and maximum flexibility.

STORY TELLER FX | www.storytellerfx.com What products or services do you provide? Story Teller rents motion picture special effects equipment, Trakmat and sells special effects expendables. What geographical area do you service? We service the Gulf States and have shops in both New Orleans and Atlanta. How long have you been providing film industry support in Louisiana? We’ve been in New Orleans since 2010 and in the U.S. since 1985. What are some recent feature film projects you have worked on? Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Grudge Match, Tokarev, Wild, Fantastic Four, Pitch Perfect 2, Terminator Genesis, Get Hard, Trumbo, The Long Night, Magnificent 7, etc.

What are some recent television projects you have worked on? Treme, Bonnie & Clyde, True Detective, Into the Badlands, etc.

RZI LIGHTING | www.rzilighting.com What products or services do you provide? Stage Lighting sales and rentals. What geographical area do you service? Gulf Coast/New Orleans, southern U.S. How long have you been providing film industry support in Louisiana? 10 years in the U.S. What are some recent feature film projects you have worked on? Fantastic Four, Magnificent 7, USS Indianapolis. What are some recent television projects you have worked on? NCIS New Orleans. What particular product or service do productions buy/rent most often? Lighting consoles and conventional lighting. Is there anything else our readers should know about your business? RZI has been in business since 1999. RZI rents lighting consoles, automated lighting, and conventional lighting. The company is located downtown in New Orleans and can quickly service production clients.

EXCHANGE COMMUNICATIONS | www.exchangecom.net What products or services do you provide? We rent and service IT solutions including office phone systems, networks, wireless and junxion boxes. What geographical area do you service? We are a national company with offices in New Orleans, Los Angeles, Albuquerque, Atlanta and New York City. How long have you been providing film industry support in Louisiana? We have been working on production in Louisiana since 2002 and nationally since 1998. What are some recent feature film projects you have worked on? Jurassic World, Fantastic Four, Planet of the Apes, Geostorm, Focus, to name a few. What are some recent television projects you have worked on? True Detective, Zoo, Treme. ISSUE FOUR 2015

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A WALK IN THE WOODS: A DRIVE TO GEORGIA STORY BY T. HOPPER PHOTOS BY FRANK MASI, SMPSP COURTESY OF BROAD GREEN PICTURES HEADSHOT PHOTO COURTESY OF ANDREW VOGEL

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hile some local emerging actors have been lucky enough to work with cinema luminaries, it’s rare for local actors to have the opportunity to work with Hollywood legends like Robert Redford and Nick Nolte out of the state of Louisiana. Metairie native, actor Andrew Vogel takes a break from performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Shakespeare Festival at John Schneider Studios to tell Louisiana Film & Video Magazine how he achieved what most actors can only dream. “Open Range Management got me the initial audition. I taped and sent it off to Atlanta and got the callback a couple days later. I actually ended up going back to Atlanta a second time for a chemistry read with the other hiker. Robert Redford was in the room and that was the first time I had seen him in person so it was a great Andrew Vogel experience. He looked like a regular grandpa with short khaki shorts and a Hawaiian shirt. It was cool to see,” says Vogel. A Walk in the Woods stars Robert Redford and Nick Nolte; the two have very different ideas of adventure as they trek through the wilderness across the Appalachian Trail. The film premiered at Sundance this year and was sold to Broad Green Films, a relatively new and ambitious distribution company which has been actively acquiring films. A Walk in the Woods opened September 9 and is currently at theaters nationwide.

“Essentially, it’s two scenes,” explains Vogel. “In the first scene, myself and another hiker approach Redford’s and Nolte’s characters along the Appalachian Trail and offer them assistance with their bags across a rapid river. A bit put off by our youthful vitality, the old men carry on without our help and, well, calamity ensues. Later on, myself and the other hiker come back at a crucial moment in the plot, but you will have to watch the movie to see what happens.” “I was there for a week shooting,” continues Vogel. “Base camp was an hour north of Atlanta. My first scene was actually on the Appalachian Trail which was really cool. I even had a stunt rehearsal for the rapid river crossing. It was nothing too intense but a great experience.” “My biggest challenge was getting the correct shoes to do the river crossing. I had these new shoes they gave me, and they were super slippery. Many times I felt like I would slip, but once I worked them in and scuffed up the bottoms a bit, they worked like a charm,” says Vogel. “My second scene was shot in a studio. They had built a pretty elaborate mountain ledge in front of a massive green screen. They put us on a lift to get to the top of the man made cliff where we shot our scene,” adds Vogel. From working with legends to partying at Sundance, Vogel shares the details. “Nick Nolte is less gruff than I thought he would be and more just humbled by life, I thought. He loved to talk and tell his old stories. He’s quite an interesting character. At one point in between takes he was panning for gold in the river we shot on. He had a paper plate and a plastic cup and he kept saying, ‘there’s got to be gold in this river.’ And then he told some story where his friend struck gold one time. It was very entertaining... His persona reads beautifully on film,” says Vogel. “Robert Redford was more introverted and kept to himself with a newspaper in front of his face when we weren’t shooting. But when I had my scenes with him, he was extremely pleasant and polite and introduced himself with a smile and a handshake

(L to R) Robert Redford stars as Bill Bryson, Nick Nolte as Stephen Katz, Andrew Vogel and Derek Krantz as the Young Hikers trying to lend a hand in Broad Green Pictures release, A Walk In The Woods. ISSUE FOUR 2015

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(L to R) Robert Redford stars as Bill Bryson and Nick Nolte as Stephen Katz hiking along the Appalachian Trail in Broad Green Pictures release, A Walk In The Woods.

saying ‘Hi, I’m Bob,’” recalls Vogel. “There was no partying with Redford at Sundance this year. He actually wasn’t even at the screening I went to,” explains Vogel. “Nolte and (director) Ken Kwapis and the other producers were there so it was cool to see and say hi to everybody. This was my second time at Sundance, but it was the first time I’ve had a film playing there. And the star/producer of the film I was in just so happened to be the guy who started Sundance. It was an awesome experience!” “Being in the same scene as two legends was extremely surreal. It will definitely be something I’ll never forget,” concludes Vogel. LFV

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AN ACTOR’S PERSPECTIVE ON SHOOTING WITH THE

BLACK MAGIC POCKET CINEMA CAMERA

A screen grab of footage of SAG-AFTRA Actor Mark Terry shot with the Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera. STORY BY MARK TERRY PHOTOGRAPHS BY CHERRAE L. STUART AND BLACKMAGIC DESIGN

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he nightmare always begins the same way. I am on set; every dollar and moment counts. In the blink of an eye, something awful happens. Whose fault was it? Doesn’t matter. Now their feelings are hurt. They are about to take their ball and go home.

This happens to almost everyone with a limited budget. While some (crew) positions are more easily replaced than others, when the DP leaves with their gear, typically that one stings the most. How do you salvage the day with no camera? The answer: Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera (BMPCC). The BMPCC is the world’s smallest camera with interchangeable lenses that can shoot raw (uncompressed, non-subsampled color footage). This tiny camera is a powerful weapon that can help combat the nightmare at anytime. I was first turned onto the BMPCC when I moved to New Orleans. On the whole, New Orleans isn’t a difficult place to shoot, unlike anywhere in Los Angeles County. The one caveat is the French Quarter. My goal was to find a reasonably sized camera, that could shoot raw and go totally stealth. BMPCC is for sure that camera. The body is about the size of my hand. However, it can be accessorized to be as big as you want. No matter what your background is at this point, the BMPCC can help The Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera on a ROXANT Stabilizer you get into a position where

no one can tell you no. Are you worried about not having any lenses? The first lens I ever purchased was a Fortsay 50mm F1.7. The Fortsay cost a whopping $30 on Amazon with the c-mount adapter! It’s a great lens to learn the camera, and to shoot inserts. When you are ready to shoot bigger and better, there are a handful of sites like BorrowLenses.com that will ship the best glass to anywhere. What a great idea! These services are exactly like Netflix, except instead of watching the movie you are making it! If you are recording auditions, AWESOME! More than 50% of auditions in the Southeast are being recorded. Your footage will now blow away most actors’ auditions that were recorded on their iPhones. The on-board mic for the BMPCC isn’t great, so my suggestion is to add a lav. This camera is so easy to use that even a novice can pick it up and be shooting almost right away. With one push of a button, you can set the camera into focus mode. This highlights the area of the shot that is in focus, taking all the guesswork out of the process. Second unit directors and stunt coordinators will also find so many uses for this camera that their GoPros will start to collect dust. There is even a time lapse option. What does it cost? The BMPCC body and one battery retails for $995. Because of the size of included battery it doesn’t have the longest life, so I suggest getting extra batteries or a power adapter. The ultimate test (for me), was to take the BMPCC to the French ISSUE FOUR 2015

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BLACKMAGIC POCKET CINEMA CAMERA SPECS Sensor Size and Lens Mount 12.5 x 7mm (diagonal: 14.33mm), Micro Four Thirds Mount Resolution and Frame Rates HD 1920 x 1080 @ 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30 Progressive Footage Formats Lossless CinemaDNG Raw, ProRes 422, ProRes 422 LT, ProRes 422 Proxy Recording Media SDHC, SDX Screen 3.5” LCD @ 800 x 480 Resolution

The Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera

(M4/3 or M43). Panasonic, Olympus and many other companies produce still lenses for the M4/3 mount. Ports There are even a few cinema lenses being made for Out: HDMI Type D, 3.5mm audio In: 3.5mm audio, 2.5mm LANC I/O: USB 2.0 mini-B the mount. You can find adapters for almost any lens Size and Weight mount to M4/3 but it’s wise to keep the camera’s im5.04” x 1.50” x 2.60”, 12.52 oz. (without lens) age sensor size in mind. The BMPCC has an image sensor that is a bit larger than Super 16 film and about half the size of Super 35mm. A lens made for Quarter. I wanted to walk in front of police officers and into bars. a larger format like 35mm still film, like a Nikon F mount lens, will No one of authority even batted an eye. The only attention I got work fine but a c-mount lens made for CCTV or 16mm film may not was from a few aficionados asking about my camera rig. cover the whole sensor and the image may be cropped or vignetted. Not convinced? Check out some of the footage that’s online of Even if you can see the full image, the edges may suffer in quality as the BMPCC. You will be pleasantly surprised! LFV the lens was not intended for an image area of this size. As for audio, if you need to record multiple mics, going with the Mark Terry is not a DP but a SAG-AFTRA member. In addition to acting, Mark classic film workflow of recording sound separately might work best. Terry likes to produce. Cherrae L. Stuart is also a SAG-AFTRA. for you. The Sennheiser ClipMic reviewed in this issue could be a workable solution for you. Editor’s Note: The lens mount on the BMPCC is Micro Four Thirds

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SOUTHERN COSTUME COMPANY

SEWS THEIR WAY INTO THE CIVIL WAR AND THE BADLANDS STORY BY ROBERT BOURNE PHOTOS COURTESY OF SOUTHERN COSTUME COMPANY

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ingate Jones has been very busy providing costumes for the highly anticipated upcoming feature Free State of Jones and the TV series Into the Badlands, but he’s no stranger to costuming. Before starting Southern Costume Company, Jones worked in film and television as a Costume Designer, Costume Supervisor and a Costumer. His credits include work on Magnum P.I., Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Big Easy (TV series). “We house a 9000 sq. ft. warehouse in the (New Orleans) CBD and have approximately 1500 linear feet of rack space to accommodate hanging stock (costumes). While 95% of the films that come

into Louisiana have accounts with us, we provide both goods and services to the Motion Picture and TV industries that includes retail of expendable type supplies for costumes, make-up and hair along with costume rentals, manufacture and alterations,” says Jones. “Although our costume collection is fairly young, going on five years old now, we are still able to offer quite a range of costumes.” “In New Orleans, primarily due to Mardi Gras, the sky is the limit as it relates to costume design affording huge opportunities to facilitate either our vision or our customers whether it be for Mardi Gras, Decadence Festival, Halloween, or what have you. New Orleans is probably the premier costuming city in the nation … If we are unable to fulfill the request in house, we can go to any outside source... and acquire what is needed, bring it into Louisiana and bill accordingly. This helps the production’s spend to qualify for state tax incentives,” explains Jones. “We have a ton of stock and a best guess estimate is that we could probably outfit 10,000 people in costumes,” add Jones. “That being said, ‘The early bird gets the worm!’” LFV

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99 REASONS TO SEE 99 HOMES

STORY BY W. H. BOURNE PHOTOS BY HOOMAN BAHRANI AND BROAD GREEN PICTURES

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hen Dennis Nash (Andrew Garfield) starts working for Rick Carver (Michael Shannon), initially it’s only for money—and Dennis believes he’s truly doing honest work,” notes 99 Homes Director Ramin Bahrani as he describes his latest film. “But then the deceptions begin when he lies to his family about working for Carver, and when he’s suddenly asked to evict other families, he has a lot to weigh. As Rick says to Dennis, ‘you did honest, hard work building homes your whole life, and what did it get you but me knocking on your door to evict you?’ That’s a question a lot of people have been asking.” “It’s a deal with the devil story,” continues the director and co-writer. “It’s a Faustian bargain where Andrew Garfield’s character has to work for the very man who evicted him in order to get his home back. He learns how to run scams on the banks and the government, which is satisfying. Then he learns how to evict people just like himself, which is unsettling. But once he starts crossing the legal lines, he has to wonder if it’s still about protecting his family and regaining his home, or if it’s now cultivating a darker part of himself, seeing what he can get away with. He has a lot of reasons to be angry but he has to ask himself: how far is too far in this situation?” Bahrani developed the film with his long-time collaborator Bahareh Azimi and wrote the script with Amir Naderi. “Amir is someone that I’ve admired since I was a college student,” Bahrani (L to R) Director Ramin Bahrani and Actor Andrew Garfield discuss a scene on the comments. “I was lucky set of 99 Homes. to come to know him 68 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

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and to get mentorship from him on some of my previous films. We started talking about the idea for this film early on and he became a vital part of the writing process.” “We’ve all heard statistics on the housing crisis, but unless you have gone through it, you probably haven’t really seen what it’s like for a family in the middle of it,” explains Bahrani. “I witnessed that (in my research) and it’s emotional and terrifying on both sides. It’s terrifying for families and it’s equally terrifying for agents doing the eviction because angry home owners will try to retaliate.” “I started researching by reading books and articles about the financial crisis, but I really like to be on the ground, so I started spending time in Florida,” Bahrani continues. “I visited the foreclosure courts, what they call the ‘rocket dockets,’ where they decide your fate in 60 seconds flat. I spent time with real estate brokers; I spent time in the motels where families live after they’ve been evicted and have nowhere to go; I met hoodlums and con artists. And I learned all the methods of cheating the banks, the government and homeowners.” Like Bahrani, Shannon began with an immersion into research which was far more high adrenaline than he suspected. “I started by spending time with a broker down in Florida and getting a sense of what this world was like firsthand. In terms of drama it’s kind of tough to beat,” Shannon muses. “It’s a mindbogglingly intense situation on both sides of it, both for the people los-


Andrew Garfield stars as Dennis Nash and Michael Shannon stars as Rick Carver in Broad Green Pictures 99 Homes.

ing their homes and for the people who show up at the door telling them they have to leave. It did confirm some of my worst suspicions that real estate can be an incredibly corrupt and sinister business.” “We needed someone who could be a modern Faust, and Michael Shannon has that kind of strength,” observes Bahrani. “But what I love most of all about his performance is that, by peeling back all the layers, he shows you how Rick Carver became this way. Rick is someone who is not going to let his three daughters and his wife go through what Andrew’s going through right now. He knows what that is like because his own father was a construction worker who lost everything. As he says in the film, ‘only one in a hundred is gonna get on that ark, and I’m not gonna drown.’ He sees that the system is a game, so he’s got to play the game with the best of them or he’ll be left behind, and that’s not going to happen. Really, the system is the villain that created Shannon.” “I think Rick sees himself as part of a larger system that would exist whether he was involved in it or not,” Shannon observes. “He’s just taking advantage of an already ugly situation. Underneath it all, I believe Rick is bothered by what he does, but he chooses to see it as survival of the fittest. He’s learned to tamp down his emotions.” “I think Rick feels he’s giving back by taking Dennis under his wing and helping him out of the hole he’s in,” Shannon continues. “I was interested in their distinctive mentor-protégé dynamic. Rick legitimately wants to teach Dennis how to do what he does, but he

doesn’t figure on the extent to which Dennis has to grapple with surrendering a part of himself to get ahead.” “Michael walks this fine line where you can see Rick as evil in some moments but in others you get very emotionally involved with him, especially when he explains why he believes he has to do what he is doing” says Producer Ashok Amritraj. “It is that side of his character that sucks Dennis Nash into this life.” “Rick is a guy who has what most people want: he’s got charm, a beautiful house, he dresses great, he has the good life. As bad as what Rick does may be, Michael Shannon makes it hard to not see a part of Rick as relatable and cool. It’s one of the things that makes the film so interesting: just how intoxicating Rick Carver is,” adds Producer Kevin Turen. “The depth of the research that he (Bahrani) did before the production even started was stunning. But prepared as he is, he also takes a lot of risks. It was all summed up for me in the way we shot the opening of the movie. He did that whole scene in one shot, no coverage and that was very challenging for me as an actor. With just that one shot, I felt like I had to make every moment as much as it could be, and that became the tone of the whole production,” explains Shannon. “He’s one of my favorite directors I’ve worked with.” “That first act is so intense as the Nash family’s eviction sets the rest of the story in motion. It’s a climax unto itself and I felt wounded by it just reading it on the page,” Garfield recollects. “This family is experiencing complete confusion and loss before our very eyes, moment to moment. It felt true and honest and representative of a universal reality, and I felt the need to be a part of it. I could just feel how much this story meant to Ramin, how much he cared, and I thought, ‘Well, I’m ready to go with you into whatever this becomes.’” “I had written the script for someone about a decade older and then I met with Andrew (Garfield),” says Bahrani. “He and I had met a couple times before through Kevin Turen, one of the other great producers, and I told him about the story. I could tell he seemed very moved and somehow personally invested in it. I knew it had been about four years since he had done anything with Spider-Man. I knew he picked his roles very carefully, but I had a feeling he really wanted to do it so I spent a month rewriting it for his age and for what I knew of him. I handed it to him and he immediately said ‘yes.’ I think even his agent was startled how quickly he said ‘yes.’ And it was just a really great collaboration.” “Dennis feels he’s being defeated by the machinery of a huge, uncaring system,” explains Garfield. “He’s in a place of desperation and he’s in great need of a miracle, and that miracle seemingly comes in the body of Rick Carver. All Dennis wants is to keep his

Andrew Garfield is pictured with a mix of actors and non-actors/real people in an eviction scene from 99 Homes. ISSUE FOUR 2015

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Andrew Garfield stars as Dennis Nash and Michael Shannon stars as Rick Carver in Broad Green Pictures 99 Homes.

family together, to keep his integrity, to keep his sense of worth as a man in a culture that is telling him that men like him are worthless unless they have a certain income, a certain status, a certain car, a certain willingness to be inhumane. He believes in an honest living but he realizes it’s easier to make a dishonest living.” “He’s in a foggy situation,” observes Garfield, “but I think he feels, ‘What choice do I have?’ Once he’s working for Carver, he starts justifying everything. He’s thinking, ‘Okay, I’ve got my kid living in a motel room, and I will do literally anything to get him where he can go back to his old school and friends.’ He’s thinking, ‘My mother deserves a much better life than this.’ He might be making a deal with the devil, but it’s not for fame or really even for riches. It’s for survival and love. But somewhere along the way, he starts thinking maybe I can go further and further with this and actually become one of the ones in the Ivory Tower and do things differently.” “Rick Carver is a seductive force,” continues Garfield. “He’s the embodiment in many ways of the American dream, of the whole idea of success at any cost. But I think what Michael shows is that maybe Rick’s subtly hoping to be liberated from that. Michael is such a great actor and so present in every moment, it was easy to be seduced by him.” “Andrew is loose, improvisational, and raw while Michael is more structured, stoic, and yet still very alive and incredible at improvisation. Part of my job was to create a space where both styles could thrive. It wasn’t always easy, but when you put them together, sparks flew each time. They came in with a deep respect for one another as actors but they have opposite acting styles, so they needed different things from me,” Bahrani explains. “It’s a tense conflict between Carver and Nash, and Michael and Andrew’s acting relationship felt just that tense, despite their deep respect for one another.” “Andrew brings such depth to the role that you really find yourself inside his head,” says Producer Kevin Turen. “You find yourself wondering, ‘What would I do in this situation?’ For me, I realized I might have done what he did. We know what he’s doing is wrong, but he so clearly needs to protect his family.” “There was a real guy who I met that was evicted who then started doing evictions,” recalls Garfield. “This guy even ended up having to evict one of his best friends in order to keep the new apartment he rented for his family. I didn’t judge him at all. The bottom line for everyone I think is survival.” “I managed to sit with probably a dozen families and it was really about just listening,” continues Garfield. “What struck me is 70 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

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how much they really needed to tell their stories, after being treated like their lives just didn’t matter. It was incredibly humbling and inspiring to see such strength in the ashes of that experience, to see the human resiliency and mix of anger, resentment and hope that still lives within people who have been through it. Really, I don’t think 99 Homes is so much about judging so much as asking, ‘How do we do things better?’” “The (Nash) eviction was the scene that originally made me feel I had to take this role so getting it right was vital to me and all of us. It was an incredibly emotional and numbing experience,” says Garfield. “It felt like being on a train that was leaving the station and heading for hell.” “I think we all can relate to that experience in some way,” continues Garfield. “We’ve all been uprooted in some point in our lives. We’ve all been mistreated. We’ve all had our humanity and our pleas ignored whether it’s been on a playground or in our work place. We’ve all had our souls insulted by the system. I think everyone is being insulted in that scene, not only the Nash family, but

There were almost 99 locations in this film including this mansion.

Rick Carver is being insulted. His soul is being insulted for being put in that situation.” “Normally a character like Dennis would have a wife, but I like to explore relationships we don’t normally see, and we don’t normally see a single man living with his young mom and young son, although this is a rather common occurrence,” explains Bahrani. “Her character is very unique and specific and Laura Dern invested herself completely in it. She’s a phenomenal actress.” “This is a story that many millions of Americans have walked through in the last several years so that really interested me,” says Dern. “I wanted to better understand it. What is it like to have to pack up all of your stuff in two minutes, to see your life thrown out on the lawn for other people to steal, and to have nowhere to go? It steals your breath from you, the horror of an eviction, and then you have the fascinating question of how far a man is willing to lose his soul to save himself or his loved ones. I think there is no more relevant a topic or terrifying a story than this one.” Dern describes her character and the family backstory, “She was a teenager who ended up pregnant and then her son also had a child when he was a teenager, but now she and Dennis have become real partners in raising Connor. They haven’t had it easy but


shouldn’t these people have the right to keep their home as much as any others?” “I think Lynn is someone who knows that no matter what, she doesn’t want a home built on someone else’s destruction,” observes Dern. “But she also knows that the only way that Dennis can get out of the hell he has found with Rick Carver is to dig himself out. She will make her decision, but he has to find it in himself.” “Her scenes with Noah (Lomax, who plays Connor) and Andrew are so touching and warm and she ties this family together in a way that’s subtle and beautiful,” says Producer Ashok Amritraj. “But her character also has to make her own important moral decisions.” “Meeting Laura was like meeting an old friend,” recalls Garfield. “I already felt like we were family, just from her generosity of spirit. She’s one of the most giving people I’ve ever spent time with and of course she has an incredible gift as an actor. We had to find a

Andrew Garfield in an eviction scene that mixes actors with non-actors.

(L-R) Actor Noah Lomax as Connor Nash with Andrew Garfield as his dad, Dennis Nash.

(L-R) Laura Dern stars as Lynn Nash mother of Dennis Nash portrayed by Andrew Garfield.

really interesting dynamic, because we are a mother and a son raising a kid together. It’s a very modern family situation and it felt very honest and true.” “This was the first time in my career that I’ve worked with an actor who works as similarly as Andrew does to me,” says Dern. “So that was an amazing gift as we tried to understand these two people and what they go through. We both really loved creating a family bond, and we both had fun with the spirit of exploration and improvisation that Ramin encourages.” “Beyond the intensity and suspense, I wanted this movie to have a real feeling of human life to it,” says Bahrani, “and to do that the actors have to really feel what is happening. The cleanout crew who

move things out, that’s actually what those guys do for a living, and a lot of the homeowners that Andrew evicts are real people. I would never tell Andrew who was real or who was an actor so he never knew what was coming up.” “An amazing casting director helps, like Tracy Kilpatrick down in New Orleans,” explains Bahrani. “She helped me find the sheriff. She had worked with him on a different film, kind of a real sheriff in a ‘cops and robbers’ movie, where he didn’t have much to do; he was just kind of being the sheriff. She felt he had real potential so he came in now for a little bit more complex role, and the guy was just so good. He was so good at improvisation. He was great at taking direction, so that was how to find that real sheriff.” “The other ones, I found on my own,” continues Bahrani. “I really love location scouting. I love finding locations, I love rewriting the script for locations or coming up with new scenes based on locations, and every location I went to for a couple of months, really, before pre-production even had started, I was just making records of all the people I met. Photographing them, talking to them. And then I went back and started to meet them again. You’re in so many different neighborhoods. We met so many people, and that’s kind of how I found them was through months of location work. And you just find the ones you feel have good spark, good faces that could give you a wide demographic, you know. There’s white, there’s African-American, there’s a Vietnamese woman, there’s a Hispanic gentleman. So you get an array to give it a scope and each one had a personality and their own story. You tap into those stories, and you kind of sketch themes out based on who they are.” “Most (of the non-actors) were in their own houses. Not always, but usually it was their own house. And that of course added an emotional resonance to them. A lot of them had been hard hit by Katrina. Either they had lost their home, or their friend, their neighbor, their loved one had lost a home. So they had something to tap into in terms of what did it mean to lose a home. And that just helped in terms of the emotional impact.” Garfield talked about the great lengths Bahrani went to insure that the cast never knew who were actors and who were real people. Garfield had an eviction scene with an elderly gentleman with dementia. Garfield recalls that right before the scene Bahrani leaned over and said to him, “Now you know he has dementia so I’m not sure how this really is going to go.” Garfield claims to have been on edge for the entire scene. “It speaks to the authenticity of the movie that we have so many real-life people in it throughout,” says Amritraj. “It makes what is happening feel that much more real, and when that happens, everything starts to take on a different kind of feeling for the cast and crew.” Production Designer Alex DiGerlando apparently also was into imbuing the locations with realistic and relatable elements for the cast. The Nash family home was the pinnacle of his designs. He invited Garfield and Dern to come in as their characters and help him choose colors, furniture and knick-knacks. “I remember when I walked into that house for the first time, I was just amazed by what Alex had done,” recalls Bahrani. “It was truly as if the Nash family lived in there. Working with Andrew and Laura on the props gave it a mood that felt instantly personal and full of emotion.” ISSUE FOUR 2015

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“When you’re inside a space where you’ve planted things you care deeply about, and then you go through the experience of having armed cops come in and give you two minutes to pack all of your possessions… the horror of what that must be like is palpable,” says Dern. “Alex has got a great eye and a great sense of space,” adds Bahrani. “I love location work and 99 Homes has about 99 locations. Alex was invested in bringing everything he could to each one. He’s one of the best production designers working today.” “I just loved the way that Bobby (Bukowski) used the camera, and Alex used the design to contrast the warmth of Dennis’ family world with the brutality of the soulless success he and Rick are going after,” observes Garfield. “Bobby Bukowski’s a great cinematographer. I had a list of a handful of DPs I wanted to work with, and Bobby was on the top of it. He was, thankfully, available so it was exciting to finally have the chance,” says Bahrani. “He has brilliant instincts with lighting and camerawork. He tended to light things as often as possible from the outside of the home with as many practical lamps, which he worked very closely with Alex DiGerlando, the amazing designer, on a lot of practical lamps in the spaces so that the actors could have free reign. And his entire focus as a cinematographer is to be in service to the story. Bobby and I talked about making the scenes feel very real and loose and allowing the actors maximum room for improvisation. I don’t like to cut the scenes; I like to let the actors do what they want to do within the framework of the script. And when you have a cinematographer who can do that, it just elevates everything.” Bahrani explains his approach to shooting a scene saying, “I have a sense of how I’m going to shoot it. I don’t storyboard; I don’t shot list, but I spend a lot of time on location and prep thinking about what the blocking would be and thinking about how I would shoot it. So I have a sense before I get there, ‘I’m probably going to do this,’ but I don’t talk to the actors about that. I get on set, and I let them kind of explore the location, and I just let them do what they want to do. It’s often exactly how I imagined it because there’s only so many ways that you can do something. Like if a scene calls

Director Ramin Bahrani and Actor Michael Shannon discuss a scene on the set of 99 Homes.

for Andrew to, ‘Open the door, enter and pick something up from the table,’ well, he’s probably gonna do it the same way I did it the day before because how many ways can you do that? But often they come up with their own ideas that surprise you and feels more natural to them and is more suited to their performance so unless it disturbs the structure of the film or there’s some technical reason I can’t do it, like I don’t know, they’re next to a giant window, and 72 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

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there’s no exposure there, I don’t mind. I just change how I imagine I was going to shoot the scene. It’s not very hard, I just change my set-ups, so that the actors can give their best performance.” “Some scenes just tell you this will have more improv, like the 10-minute mass eviction scene,” says Bahrani. “There’s a very detailed script, which the cast knew backwards and forwards and there’s certain things that they’re gonna say every single time that are in the script. But in and around that, Andrew’s listening to his mom being berated in the other room by a sheriff, and suddenly he starts screaming at the sheriff. That happens in one take, and it’s just An emotional courtroom scene with Andrew Garfield (Center). how he felt on that take, and it was great. When Andrew’s confronted by the bearded man in the parking lot of the motel, and they get into a physical fight, I mean, people are pushing and shoving and yelling; of course, there’s gonna be improvisation. Other scenes, Michael’s delivering a speech; I mean, maybe he’s gonna improvise a line but it’s pretty much what’s scripted. So it’s kind of scene by scene; it tells you what it wants to do. And then you let it go and if you feel like an important line was missed, you just remind the actor, ‘Can you please find a way to get to that line?’ And if you feel there’s some improvisations that don’t work, you get a couple of takes and you say, ‘You know, I have those, maybe let’s try without that and see how it goes.’” “This film has a very fast, very aggressive pace, whereas my previous films have been more contemplative,” continues Bahrani. “You’ve got a mix of slick Steadicam shots and hand-held, rough shots, but everything is always in motion. Even the score is cold and relentless. So the idea in my mind was to hang on to that momentum and do not ever let the audience go. I wanted to drop the audience into this tense situation and just hold them there until the final moments.” “The film is a combination of an intense thriller with the acting moments of an inspiring drama,” says Amritraj. “Ramin saw all of that going in and he brought a real vision for it.” “We targeted five financiers, and they all said yes. I narrowed it down to two, and I really responded to Ashok Amritraj, one of the very well known producers in L.A. who has done over 100 movies by now over the last few decades, and was just a great, great partner,” explains Bahrani. “It’s my fifth film and was by far the easiest to get financed. I had the script, which people really responded to. It’s not what people think. People thought it was gonna be a depressing movie about foreclosures, but it wasn’t, it was a page-turning thriller. It was not at all what anyone expected, and I think that’s very important for audiences to know, that this is not kind of a depressing, boring foreclosure movie, this is a thriller. It’s kind of a real ride. So in terms of script, it was very impactful on financiers, and then with a package of Michael, Andrew and Laura, that just added the weight to it.”


“With a great tax credit, you know, that helps to make the film financially,” continues Bahrani. “Otherwise, I could not have made it; the budget was too tight. Most of the phenomenal crew, amazing crew was from Louisiana and extremely, extremely gifted. It was also amazing talent, in terms of cast. Most of the cast came from Louisiana. Then it’s just a great city. It’s a place the actors, Michael, Andrew, and Laura, the actors that have come from, let’s say, New York or L.A., they love being there because of the great environment, great food, and great people. And in terms of locations, there was a wide array of locations and extremely friendly people so you enjoy going to work every day.” “The budget was under $10 (million),” explains Bahrani. “People like Manu Gargi, my producing partner, knows how to make one dollar turn into a thousand. He’s just very resourceful. But, again,

Cinematographer Bobby Bukowski (Left) with Andrew Garfield (Right) and crew on the set of 99 Homes.

While 99 Homes does a fantastic job of portraying the recent housing crisis, Director Ramin Bahrani insist the film is a thriller. Pictured is Andrew Garfield cleaning out a foreclosed home.

great crew helped him to do that too.” “I’ve been shooting a lot down in Louisiana lately,” adds actor Michael Shannon. “I feel like I’ve spent half the year down there. I mean, I love New Orleans. It’s such an incredible city. But you know, it was interesting because we were staying in New Orleans, and then we would get up and drive out to these remote locations, these subdivisions in the middle of nowhere with these huge houses, and I was wondering, ‘Who’s living out here? Who lives out here? Who are these for?’ because they were so remote. Places like… were we in Slidell? But it was tricky because it was supposed to be in Florida, obviously, but I can’t imagine better locations. The houses themselves were fantastic. I mean, just the perfect realization, visualization of those … what do you call them? McMansions! It was a great location.”

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“Being an actor is a very nomadic lifestyle so you are always trying to find a home wherever you are,” explains Shannon. “That’s why home for me is much more about the people that you are with than the actual structure. Director Ramin Bahrani and Actor And I think one of the Michael Shannon discuss a scene on the set of 99 Homes. beautiful things in 99 Homes is that Andrew realizes that even though he has these opportunities for a more luxurious home and more money, it’s not going to be worth it if he loses his family in the process. He sees that when the people who you love are with you, it doesn’t really matter where you are.” “A home isn’t a room. A home isn’t stuff. A home is a community. A home is a family. A home is people together,” comments

Garfield. “And when you take away that thing that defines you … what do you have left?” “So many of us believe in the idea that a home evokes safety, but what is so scary in 99 Homes is that the homes of these families become the place where you are not safe at all,” adds Dern. “The idea of home is something very emotional for most people and at the center of those emotions is family. So that’s why a home becomes something so powerful to an ordinary man when it is suddenly ripped away,” observes Bahrani. “I think audiences can come to this film expecting an emotional thriller that will leave them talking about social, moral, personal and political issues,” continues Bahrani. “It’s a conversation I think people from all walks of life and all beliefs want to have. Perhaps, we need to reassess...” 99 Homes opens in theaters September 25, 2015. If you haven’t found 99 reasons to go see this movie, here’s one more: it’s sure to be the talk of awards season! LFV

NEW ORLEANS NATIVE NOAH LOMAX ON 99 HOMES

“I

was born in New Orleans, and I lived here for four years,” says the 14-year-old-actor, “and then I got evacuated for Hurricane Katrina and moved to Georgia and I’ve been living there for awhile. My grandparents still live there so it’s pretty cool to go back home where I used to live. And today’s actually the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina so…” Lomax plays Andrew Garfield’s son, Connor Nash in 99 Homes. “What’s so great about Noah is that he always had his own ideas. He’s smart, he’s mature, he has a great presence. If I asked him to try a scene in a completely opposite way, he could just do it without missing a beat. That’s unusual,” says Director Ramin Bahrani. “Connor is really different from any other character I’ve played,” Lomax says. “But I think he’s an important character, because you really don’t see many kids of evicted families in movies. At first Connor is pretty much like any other kid his age, playing with his friends, being into the Orlando Actor Noah Lomax stars as Magic and video games. But he has this whole extra set of worries for his dad and wondering if their Connor Nash. family is going to be okay.” “Andrew was kind of like the big brother that I’ve always wanted but never had,” Lomax says. “He put in a lot of time just hanging out with me. We went to the zoo, we went out to dinner and we still stay in touch to this day. That really helped me to feel comfortable in the harder scenes, because we already felt like family.” Like all the other actors who did research, Lomax did his own by watching documentaries and news stories, as well as visiting the questionable Florida motels where a family like the Nashes might all have lived in a single room while trying to get back on their feet. “Every night when I would be at home, I felt so fortunate,” he says of the experience. “It really helped me to see just how hard it is for the families, and especially the kids, who have to live like that without knowing when things might get better.” “He has such raw talent, but also a raw kind of goodness,” Garfield concludes. “I think, in many ways, Noah had the best instincts of any of us.”

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FROM BLUE COLLAR TO WHITE COLLAR: COSTUME DESIGN FOR 99 HOMES STORY BY W. H. BOURNE PHOTOS BY HOOMAN BAHRANI AND BROAD GREEN PICTURES

99

Homes takes place in a suburban area of Florida,” explains the film’s costume designer Meghan Kasperlik. “I wanted to help build the characters and make their costumes as real as possible to what people were wearing in Florida in 2010.”

“Dennis Nash (Andrew Garfield) and (his mother) Lynn Nash (Laura Dern) are strapped for cash and cannot afford their mortgage. Their costumes were based on clothes they had lying around the house, clothes that Dennis could work construction in, and Lynn could work in while maintaining the home and running her hairstyling business,” continues Kasperlik. “Any money they had was spent on Connor, Dennis’ son, and making sure he had a happy childhood.” “I wanted to show the exact opposite of that for Rick Carver (Michael Shannon), a flashy ex-real estate guy who works for the government after the crash happened. Rick is new money, new homes, and new cars every month,” adds Kasperlik. “Ramin Bahrani (director) and I were pleased with the contrast of Rick and Dennis and that helped translate into their performance.” 99 Homes was able to achieve a lot on screen for little money. Product placement in the film really helped especially with wardrobing. “I worked with Carhartt to achieve Dennis’ construction look,” says Kasperlik. “I made sure once we found great pieces of Carhartt, the clothes were distressed to look like a real construction worker’s clothing.” “Rick wore ALL designer clothing from many different designers,” continues Kasperlik. “For some of Rick’s looks, I worked with Shiva at Italian Fashion Group because they have beautiful cut suit-

99 Homes Costume Designer Meghan Kasperlik

ing in luxury fabrics. The others came from department stores.” “The film takes place in Florida and New Orleans was a great choice to film the project because of the warm climate,” explains Kasperlik. “But the weather turned out to be very challenging. We filmed in the winter, and it was a cold winter, about 30 degrees. We wanted the actors to be in shorts and short sleeves and because it was so cold, I had to put them in warming layers to make sure they could get through the scenes.” Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Meghan Kasperlik now lives in New York. 99 Homes was her first time in Louisiana. “The people and culture of New Orleans bring so much life to Louisiana,” says Kasperlik. “I had a lot of fun meeting everyone and taking in the events, lifestyle and food of the city.” While 99 Homes is opening nationwide on September 25, Kasperlik has had the opportunity to view the film at the high profile film festivals it has premiered. “It was very rewarding to hear all the great press and applause for the film. Ramin had such an amazing vision and story to tell and we were really happy with the way the characters came across on screen,” recalls Kasperlik. “I am also proud to show Michael Shannon in a more styled way than he has been portrayed in other films. He commands a presence not only with his acting but also through his costumes.” LFV ISSUE FOUR 2015

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

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THE NOLA TIL YA DIE FILMMAKER’S CHALLENGE STORY BY T. HOPPER PHOTOS COURTESY OF NOLA TIL YA DIE

A flag flies high outside Kathleen McCall’s Mid-City storefront

O

n the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, NOLA Til Ya Die announced plans for their upcoming short film contest. The lifestyle brand of apparel and accessories company is known for their iconic image of a smiling skull with hurricane symbol eyes. CEO Kathleen McCall says that since people started seeing her logo, they’d tell her their Katrina survival stories or a story about why they returned or rebuilt. When people started sending in videos, it got McCall thinking about a contest.

You can win great merchandise in the NOLA Til Ya Die Filmmaker’s Challenge

“It started as a whim after Katrina as an answer to ‘Why are you staying? Get out of that city.’ I was so sick of having to explain and thought it would be nice to just have a sign to hold up which wasn’t your middle finger,” says McCall. “I saw how everyone was overwhelmed with the mass devastation not Kathleen McCall of NOLA Til Ya Die to just property but to lives. It felt like people needed something positive and fun with a little bit of that New Orleans rawness ... our version of ‘Life is Good.’ And, kids needed something with which they could relate to the storm.” Want to win one of “It just kept bugging me, and I got tired these? of the questions from people who didn’t have a clue of what it was like or why you’d stay. One afternoon while talking on the phone with one of my good friends who happened to be a designer, I asked him to throw some hurricane symbols in a skull head, give it a smile... make it friendly. Then, we were talking names, and NOLA Til Ya Die came about. Really, no grand scheme to this, I just went with my gut,” explains McCall. “NOLA Til Ya Die was my answer to ‘Why are you staying?’ But, that’s not what it means to everyone,” continues McCall. “Honestly, I don’t want to tell people what it means. It isn’t about me. It’s about the people who love New Orleans. Whether they live here, visit here, whatever... it means something different to all of them. If I could tell you all of the stories we hear... And, I can’t even begin to express how humbled I am when somebody pours their heart out and thanks me for coming up with this. I’m no genius, but I can live with a little risk... and building a brand is an insane amount of risk in my honest opinion. I just tune out the success (or failure) rates. All you have to do is ask somebody if they want a temporary tattoo and watch the

world light up. Have someone unsolicited tell you what NOLA Til Ya Die means to them, and you can’t help but smile. Bring a smile to a hot and tired kid, crying to their parents... or have someone who doesn’t even have tattoos on their body say, ‘Absolutely. Put it right here!’ Or, the people that will mix it in with their real tattoos.” With this in mind, McCall is asking filmmakers to create a short film with the theme of NOLA Til Ya Die. The contest features two categories: short film and selfie. Short films will have a run time of 3 minutes or less, and selfies will have a run time of 30 seconds or less. “Go with your gut! It can be about you, a friend, your family, a place, a sound, a word, a sentence, a paragraph, a book,” says McCall. “It can be whatever says ‘NOLA Til Ya Die’ to you.” McCall is offering $250 gift certificates to the winner in each category. An overall winner will also be selected and awarded a $250 gift certificate; additionally, that filmmaker will be interviewed for the January issue of Louisiana Film & Video Magazine, and that video will also be featured on the magazine’s website. “Louisiana Film & Video Magazine is proud to support the NOLA Til Ya Die Filmmaker’s Challenge,” says Editor White Hawk Bourne. “The magazine is committed to supporting independent film. Any opportunity to create and hone one’s craft should be embraced. I think Kathleen’s selfie category is particularly interesting because it allows virtually anyone with a smart phone or action camera to be creative and participate.” The NOLA Til Ya Die Filmmaker’s Challenge submission period opens at 12:01 AM CST on November 1 and ends at 11:59 PM CST on November 30, 2015. Official rules will be posted on NOLATilYaDie.com on October 1. “$250 can get you some cool NOLA Til Ya Die gear including t-shirts, hoodies, flags, and accessories,” says Bourne, “but the contest provides all filmmakers who submit an opportunity to showcase their work on NOLA Til Ya Die’s website and in their shop. While it is a filmmaking challenge, I think it will be lots of fun!” LFV

78 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE FOUR 2015


ISSUE FOUR 2015

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

79


80 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE FOUR 2015

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