Page 1


2

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE FIVE 2013


LO U I S I A N A TA X C R E D I T Q U A L I F I E D YOUR ONE STOP FOR EVERYTHING AERIAL.

! W NE

with

SERVICES:

RECENT CREDITS:

Single & Twin Engine Helicopters

“Grudge Match,” “American Heist,” “Yellow Hankerchief,” “Texas Killing Fields,” “Motel,“ “The Loft,” “Jonah Hex,” “12 Rounds,”“Spiderman,” “Superman,” "Pain & Gain,“ "Jack & Jill,” “Why Did I Get Married Too?,” “Get Smart,” “Burn Notice,” “Gumball 3000,” “Revolution,” “The Following,” “CSI: Miami/ NY/Las Vegas,” “Project Earth” (Discovery), “Top Gear,” “Detroit 1-8-7,” “Mississippi River Quest” (NatGeo), “The Amazing Race,” “Bullrun” (Spike TV), “Madfin on ESPN,” HBO, Fox,“Bass Masters,” NatGeo, ABC, Chevrolet, GMC, Honda, Mercedes,Volvo, Lincoln/Mercury, Kawasaki & Many More...

Airplanes & Seaplanes Film, Video, & Print Photography Location Scouting & Pre-Production SAG/AFTRA Aerial Coordinators & Pilots FAA Motion Picture & TV Manual All Camera Mounts & Systems Available

Use your aerial budget for great shots... ...not shipping and ferry charges. Our custom “BIG RIGS” deliver helicopter, camera systems, crew, even jet fuel anywhere in Louisiana and the USA! CALL FOR DETAILS!

888-463-7953

or visit us anytime online at

w w w.cameracopters.com ISSUE FIVE 2013

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

3


CONTENTS

VOLUME NINE

ISSUE FIVE

EXECUTIVE EDITOR Andrew Vogel andrew@louisianafilmandvideo.com EDITOR-AT-LARGE Shanna Forrestall CONTRIBUTING EDITOR W.H. Bourne ASSOCIATE EDITOR Katie Sauro contact@louisianafilmandvideo.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Abigail Levner, Odin Lindblom, Michael Mayhall, Jason Raymond, Carol Ann Scruggs SALES MANAGER Katie Higgins SALES Eric Iles PRODUCTION MANAGER John Rusnak DESIGNERS Dawn Carlson, Beth Harrison,

8

Filming a scene for 12 Years a Slave with actors Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o, and Chiwetel Ejiofor. PHOTO BY FRANCOIS DUHAMEL

Christina Poisal WEBMASTER Jon Hines OFFICE MANAGER Audra Higgins

6

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

8

12 YEARS A SLAVE DAZZLES AT FILM FESTIVALS AS IT GENERATES OSCAR BUZZ

14

LOUISIANA KREWE HOSTS TALENT & INCENTIVE SHOWCASE AT TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Louisiana Film & Video Publications

18

THE ART OF THE TEASE

A DIVISION OF

20

HATESHIP LOVESHIP TAKES ON TIFF

24

PRODUCING A GREAT ESCAPE PLAN

30

NOFF 2013: HIGHLIGHTING WIFT

(800) 332-1736

SOUTHERN SCREEN FILM FEST:

contact@louisianafilmandvideo.com

32 34

INFORMATION SERVICES MANAGER Lois Sanborn

MEDIA INDEX PUBLISHING GROUP P.O. Box 50036 New Orleans, LA 70150

THE LF&VM OFFICIAL SELECTION

www.louisianafilmandvideo.com www.louisianaproductionindex.com

TALKING DOG PRODUCTIONS: “INDIE ALL THE WAY”

24

36

JAKE’S ROAD : AN INDIE FILM’S JOURNEY

52

40

SHELL SHOCKED : EFFECTIVELY LIGHTING INTERVIEWS ON A BUDGET

SIGGRAPH 2013 OFFERS NO CLEAR FUTURE FOR VFX INDUSTRY

54

2013 FILM INDUSTRY EXPO

44

SIX QUESTIONS FOR LILY KEBER

58

READY SET FILM!: A RECAP OF NOVAC

46

SPOTLIGHT ON LOUISIANA PRODUCTION SERVICES

60

BRIEFS

48

BEHIND THE SCENES: FREIGHT FORWARDING

50

FEAR FETE

PRACTICAL FX TRAINING

ON THE COVER: Filmed by DP Sean Bobbitt and his crew, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender (center) provide great performances in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave. PHOTO BY FRANCOIS DUHAMEL

DIGITAL EDITION AVAILABLE AT: WWW.LOUISIANAFILMANDVIDEO.COM 4

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE FIVE 2013

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 © 2013 Media Index Publishing Group. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be used for solicitation or copied by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or recording by any information storage or retrieval system, without the express written permission of the publisher. PRINTED IN THE USA


ISSUE FIVE 2013

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

5


LETTER FROM THE EDITOR W hen actors or filmmakers from out of state ask me if Louisiana is the place to be, which happens with increasing frequency, my initial biased response is always a ‘yes.’ And then I start to think about the reasons I feel this way. Sure, we have a great incentive program that draws a high volume of film, television and commercials, but other markets are rising to the occasion in that regard. So what is it that gives Louisiana the edge? To me, one of the more overlooked aspects of the film industry in general is a film community. I believe that the successful members of our LA community have, in large part, become successful because of that very community. Opportunities to work, which of course LA has, are fantastic when they lead to actual work. But many of us know well that opportunities to work do not guarantee work. The Louisiana film community is a cohesive creative unit that proves essential when times are tough. We can’t always work on a major network show or a studio film, but we can usually work on any number of the other independent projects that are in production. And if not, we create our own independent projects with friends we wouldn’t have if it weren’t for the ample networking opportunities here. One such opportunity was the annual Film Industry Expo, held on September 7 in New

6

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE FIVE 2013

Orleans. Shanda Quintal and the Expo team worked long hours for months to put together what became a great success for our film community. Representing LF&VM, I held a booth in the exhibitors circle and was able to see firsthand just how appealing New Orleans has become to outsiders. Most of the people I met were from other parts of the country and many from other parts of the world. They each had their own reason for being there, but mainly it was to network and see what the LA hype was all about! Shanda and her team deserve all the credit in the world, as it was their efforts that brought the major casting directors, production companies, agents, teachers, speakers and coaches to the event. See more on page 54. As we are all aware, festival season is upon us. The 24th annual New Orleans Film Festival is underway. Last year, the festival was named one of the 25 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee by MovieMaker Magazine, and one of the Fifteen Fests You Should Enter by Premium Beat. The steady growth of the NOFF, in combination with the efforts of the New Orleans Film Society, is a tremendous testament to the growth of our film industry as a whole. For all those in attendance, whether foreign or domestic, I hope your experience is one rife with entertainment and, more importantly, opportunity. All the best, Andrew Vogel, Executive Editor


ISSUE FIVE 2013

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

7


12 YEARS A SLAVE DAZZLES AT FILM FESTIVALS AS IT GENERATES OSCAR BUZZ STORY BY W. H. BOURNE • PHOTOS BY FRANCOIS DUHAMEL AND JAAP BUTENDIJK

A

fter receiving rave reviews at Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals, award-winning director Steve McQueen’s latest film, 12 Years a Slave, will make its Louisiana premiere opening night at New Orleans Film Festival. Shot in Louisiana, McQueen’s gripping tale of a free man of color who is kidnapped and enslaved is based on the true story of Solomon Northup and the book he wrote about surviving the ordeal.

“We had been talking to Steve McQueen,” says Dede Gardner, producer of 12 Years a Slave. “We were great admirers of his work, and he asked us fairly early on why there hadn’t been more movies that addressed American slavery, in particular movies that surveyed the entire institution rather than tell a singular story or event.” In addition to producing, Gardner is president of Plan B Entertainment and oversees Cinematographer Sean Bobbitt uses a dolly to capture a scene with Lupita Nyong’o and Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave.

8

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE FIVE 2013

their slate. Plan B Entertainment is Brad Pitt’s company, which is one of several production companies involved in 12 Years a Slave. Plan B has had an interesting and diverse slate with recent offerings ranging from Tree of Life to Kick-Ass to World War Z to 12 Years a Slave. “I would think the commonality (of the slate) is simple,” explains Gardner. “Is it a story that we love and feel is original, a story that hasn’t been told? Is it a filmmaker that we

admire, and we want to help get their movie made and to protect that movie and its original intention from the point of its inception to its release? Can we help the project by letting its intention stay pure throughout and not get corrupted by a process that often times is corrupting? That truly is what’s behind everything we do and what it does, of course, also affords a great deal of diversity… I think our endeavor was clear from the outset and that it was all about protecting Steve and his vision and doing whatever we could to facilitate that.” 12 Years a Slave is a crown jewel to the Plan B slate. The film is sure to get Oscar nominations for the outstanding performances, craft and attention to detail used to tell this riveting true story. “I have been working with Steve McQueen for almost 12 years now,” says cinematogra-


ISSUE FIVE 2013

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

9


pher Sean Bobbitt. “I started shooting some of his installation work, and then when he moved into drama, I did Hunger and Shame. We have quite a close and long working relationship. Soon after Shame, Steve started talking about a book that his wife Bianca had found called 12 Years a Slave, which was out of print in Europe at the time.” “Bianca was doing research on other firsthand accounts of people who had been slaves, and she just came upon the book,” says Gardner. “The book is a treasure... it’s really a remarkable document, but it’s also incredibly cinematic, both structurally as well as narratively. It was like a great fortune had befell us. We were really happy to hear about the story and, frankly, quite embarrassed that we didn’t know about it before.” “It all happened very quickly after Shame,” explains Bobbitt. “Steve kept saying, ‘You must 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen watches a take.

Plan B Entertainment President and 12 Years a Slave producer Dede Gardner discusses production on the set.

Cinematographer Sean Bobbitt and Director Steve McQueen discuss a shot on the set of 12 Years a Slave.

read this book! You must read this book!’… and then he said, ‘Okay, this is going to be the next film.’ Then, very, very quickly he came up with a script while working with John Ridley. Before we knew it, the money was there and we were ready to go.” “As with lots of projects, you have to try and figure out how to put them together so they can garner the financing they need,” says Gardner. “We had the script and (actors) Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender attached. Then we had Brad Pitt attached and that was the package that jump-started the financing in a bunch 10

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE FIVE 2013

of different ways. We did more traditional casting for the rest of the parts...” The process of making the film was powerful, even for seasoned veterans like Bobbitt. “I was so engrossed with the actual process and the physical making of the film,” explains Bobbitt. “I operate the camera as well, so I really don’t have the time to take in what’s happening... I am detached like an observer, so it’s just another day of work for me. That is one of the great privileges of being an operator is that you are there next to the actors. What they are doing goes through your eyes first. Some of the performances were truly astounding that the hair would stand up on the back of my neck. Even though I’m trying to focus on framing... some of those scenes, it was undeniable that something exceptional was happening.” “Everyone (cast and crew) was very aware and conscious of the story we were telling and why we were telling it. They understood the care in which we needed to tell it, and they all took it very seriously,” explains Gardner. The filming locations—primarily in and around New Orleans—were another impactful aspect of creating 12 Years a Slave. “We could not have made that film anywhere else but Louisiana,” says Bobbitt. “The fact that the story itself takes place primarily in Louisiana and the locations—we were on real plantations. There is a verisimilitude there that could not have been recreated—just visually being in the right place. It makes your life so much easier in terms of telling a story. (Ed. note: Spoiler alert) There are elements in there, like the scene where the two young lads are being hanged as Solomon Northup is trying to make his first escape. That tree that they’re hanging from is at the back of the plantation, and that tree was actually used to hang people. There’s something about

that truth, whether or not that comes through in the film is irrelevant, that as you’re making it, you feel that this is real and that this has happened here. There’s something very eerie and thought-provoking about being in the actual place where something has happened.” “It felt absolutely right to shoot it there,” explains Gardner. “I mean, obviously, you had the great benefit of the Louisiana tax rebate, and we needed every penny so I’m not going to pretend that it didn’t matter. But in this particular case, it felt entirely correct that we make this film where it took place. I think we really benefited from working in New Orleans and benefited from working with people who were very aware of the history of slavery in that town.” Filming in Louisiana did come with some challenges. “With Louisiana and the summer, particularly that summer, the weather was brutal,” says Bobbitt. “We had some exceptionally hot days that were punctuated by some truly biblical thunderstorms. On the last day of filming, the set got hit by lightning. We spent a lot of time cowering from thunderstorms. It kind of eats up your days... Every element of a film is a challenge. Cinematography is all about problem-solving, so it’s always hard to say what is the greatest challenge, but I guess weather would have been our greatest challenge.” Overall, according to Gardner and Bobbitt, filming in the area was a great success. “I’m an enormous fan of New Orleans,” says Gardner. “There’s something about New Orleans... I think their response to Katrina was in their DNA. I don’t think it was something that just showed up after the storm. I think there’s something about the music and life coming first...” “My crew was almost completely local


ISSUE FIVE 2013

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

11


TALKING TECH FOR 12 YEARS A SLAVE STORY BY W. H. BOURNE AND ODIN LINDBLOM

“There are a lot of advantages to working with the same director over a long period of time,” says Sean Bobbitt, cinematographer of 12 Years a Slave. “The most important thing is that your relationship is mature. You know what each other likes and thinks... You have a language and trust that has developed over time. It really speeds up the process dramatically, and it also lets the process grow deeper because you don’t spend time talking about trivialities and trying to get to know each other. You just go to the heart of the project and work out from there.” Bobbitt was eager to talk about the heart of 12 Years a Slave and his craft. “We shot on film using 4 perf,” explains Bobbitt. “We were using the ARRICAM LT and the ARRICAM ST. We shot with Cooke SF lenses, which I am very fond of. In many ways, it was a traditional film project. We shot on the Kodak Vision 350 Daylight, which is an astounding stock, the Kodak Vision 250 Daylight, which is not quite as astounding but it’s still a very good stock, and then the Kodak 500 Tungsten, which again is an amazing stock. I’d push the (Kodak) 500 one stop so we were shooting at 1000 ASA.” 12 Years a Slave has a rich color palette and its night time scenes, in particular the candlelight scenes, really draw the viewer into the time period. “It was kind of important for me to feel the candlelight,” says Bobbitt. “I can remember years ago seeing Ang Lee’s film, Ride with the Devil, and the exhibition prints of that were astounding. It was so dark, and you really believed that you were in that era. It suddenly brought home, my God, when it got dark all you had was candles... I really wanted you to sense the candles, which is why I rated it at 1000 ASA because there’s just not that much more sensitive. When the candles are actually close to someone, you can see the actual flickering of the candle on the individual’s face. I would’ve loved to have gone much, much darker in the actual grade itself, but it kind of went against the overall feeling of the film, which was one of

Steve McQueen discusses a scene with actors Lupita Nyong’o and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

hire,” explains Bobbitt. “The only person I brought was my camera focus puller. I was really impressed with what a great group (the crew) were. Louisiana has a fantastic pool of really, really talented technicians who are quite unique. When you sit down for lunch with a group of electricians and grips, they usually talked about sports or other unsavory things, but in Louisiana all they wanted to talk about was food, which was really quite amusing and refreshing. It’s impossible not to get 12

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE FIVE 2013

simple beauty as a contrast to the horrors of what was really going on. By pushing the stock, you also were getting an interesting grain structure... it’s a shame it’s disappearing in the digital age. I think that (the grain) gave us a texture.” He continues, “In terms of the color, again, I thought it was quite important and quite interesting because candles are not that bright and that if there was moonlight that you would actually feel the moonlight a bit, so we had the color contrast of that rich, rich, deep orange, almost gold, with a streaming blue-green moonlight that creeps in every once in a while. Since we were working with darker flesh tones, it’s very important to see the expressions along with the features of the actors, so the candles just don’t quite cut it. I was supplementing the candlelight with very simple china balls and some Kinos, but mostly china balls run on a very, very low dimmer so you get the same color temperature of the candlelight. You can adjust it so it gives you just that little bit more so you can clearly see the features of your actors.” Unlike many U. S. cinematographers, Bobbitt is also a camera operator on 12 Years a Slave. “In Europe and the rest of the world, there’s a greater and greater demand of camera operating cinematographers,” explains Bobbitt, “particularly in the lower-budget films. That’s sort of the world where I come from. My background is in news and as a documentary cameraman, so I’ve always operated the camera. It’s just simply part of the process. It’s the way I have grown up, and I can’t do it any other way. I’ve tried and I just get really bored having to sit behind a monitor and stay engaged. If I’m there behind the lens, then I’m absolutely engrossed.” “Shooting is a skill,” offers Bobbitt. “You only develop skills through working on them. You just really need to keep shooting— shoot anything, shoot everything! Then look at what you’ve shot very critically so you can progress and learn. Every job, I try to do something different so I learn something more so that my skill level is increasing. That’s what I would recommend to any cinematographer is to just get out there and do it... and try to make sure that every job is better than the job before.”

some good food in Louisiana. I put on a huge amount of weight, which has taken me almost half a year to get off again. That’s one of the bonuses of work in Louisiana.” He continues, “When the crew wasn’t talking about food, they were talking about film. On top of that, they’re incredibly experienced, probably due to the large number of films coming through Louisiana on a yearly basis now. It’s building up a pool of uniquely qualified individuals. I had a fantastic time with the crew.” “The opportunity to make 12 Years a Slave was such a privilege,” says Gardner. She adds, “Now I just want audiences to see it. That’s sort of why you do this (producing). Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t, but this one in particular means a lot to me that it actually gets seen.” “It’s been amazing how the film has been received,” says Bobbitt. “I think that’s the greatest reward of all—that people have seen what you have done and are somehow moved by it. If you can do that, then you have succeeded, and everything you’ve done has

been worthwhile.” Concurs Gardner, “Producing is all about narrative and story... I believe they have great staying power if they all are really dynamic. If you love story, look for great stories to produce.” Obviously Gardner found a fantastic story with 12 Years a Slave, which will screen on October 10 at the New Orleans Film Festival. Be sure to catch it there so you’ll be in the know come Oscar time! LFV

Steve McQueen and Chiwetel Ejiofor working in the summer heat in Louisiana for 12 Years a Slave.


ISSUE FIVE 2013

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

13


LOUISIANA KREWE HOSTS TALENT & INCENTIVE SHOWCASE AT TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

W

ith Louisiana-made films like Dallas Buyers Club, 12 Years a Slave and Hateship Loveship premiering at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) to critical acclaim, Louisiana has a lot to celebrate.

The Louisiana International Film Festival & Mentorship Program (LIFF), along with Lafayette Entertainment Initiative (LEI), Louisiana Film & Video Magazine, Composite Effects (CFX), Pixel Magic and Cox Channel 4, hosted a film business breakfast as the “Louisiana

Krewe” at this year’s TIFF, complete with new technologies for mask-making demonstrations, film incentives and resources discussion, worldclass visual effects, and hurricane drinks. Ian Birnie, former programmer at TIFF and LIFF’s inaugural year program director, stated, Left to right: Shanna Forrestall, Producer Dallas Sonnier, Julie Bordelon (LEI) and Shannon Sonnier.

“Inasmuch as Louisiana is a big production center now, there is a lot of reasons for Louisiana to have a visibility in Toronto. This festival is devoted to the final product, but a lot of films that were shot in Louisiana are here and there are a lot of producers that may be interested in making a film in Louisiana and would like to see what talent and resources are there.” Visiting filmmakers at TIFF had the opportunity to meet the faces behind the masks with Composite Effects (CFX) artists Diana Branton, Brett Morris and Scott Moore. The Louisiana-born special effects studio and silicone mask company, which created FX for

Ian Birnie (LIFF) and guest at Louisiana Krewe event at TIFF.

14

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE FIVE 2013


Proudly Celebrating 30 Years! People Store/Hot Shot Kids provides the nation’s best talent for Film, Television, Commercial, Corporate Video, Voice Over, Print and Live Entertainment.

15


Ian Birnie & Chesley (LIFF) at the TIFF Bell Lightbox for a screening.

Hollywood films like 2 Guns, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Red, specializes in crafting world-famous silicone masks, unparalleled in detail, durability and functionality. With a fully equipped makeup lab within the facility, a full-service prop shop, a full staff of sculptors, mold-makers, painters, costumers and hair artists, as well as all of the necessary equipment for 3D printing, fiberglass, vacuum forming and rotational casting, their innovations seamlessly blur the lines between fantasy and reality. CFX created “Mask Lab™”, where clients can learn to use free interactive software for masks that can be used as a storyboarding tool to help bring character ideas to life. Their “Mac” mask was in the September issue of Playboy. Shanna Forrestall, from Louisiana Film & Video Magazine and an actress in the film Olympus Has Fallen, recently had the broadcast premiere of Investigation Discovery’s new series Southern Fried Homicide in Canada this September. “It was such a privilege to represent Louisiana with the Louisiana Krewe at TIFF 2013,” she said. “With the film industry in the state staying strong and represented this year by some of TIFF’s most outstanding films, I am

Film industry guests enjoying the Louisiana incentives and resources discussion at TIFF.

proud as ever to be a Louisiana native working in the industry full-time in my home state.” Representing Lafayette as a hotspot for independent filmmaking, Julie Bordelon from Lafayette Entertainment Initiative (LEI) discussed the many additional incentives and resources for filming in Acadiana, with a diversity of vibrant locations and talent like visual effects house Pixel Magic. Pixel Magic’s Ray McIntyre, Jr., who serves as VFX supervisor and stereoscopic supervisor, recently provided VFX for three number one films at the box office in the last three months: Insidious 2, The Butler (number one for a total of

three weeks), and The Conjuring. Currently Pixel Magic is delivering VFX shots for the ABC hit TV series Nashville and getting started on creating VFX for the upcoming feature film When the Game Stands Tall. Film tax incentives are not limited to production and may also be received for post-production work done in the state. If you want to see any of the beautiful filming locations or meet the Louisiana Krewe, the Louisiana International Film Festival & Mentorship Program is a good time to explore the state for filmmaking. With an exciting launch for its inaugural year, LIFF presented four days of screenings this April, including over 50 films from around the world to a cumulative crowd of over 4,000 excited attendees in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Additionally, LIFF hosted an Industry Expo, Mayor’s Lunch on the Lot, Filmmaker Reception, “1963” Photography Exhibit by Bob Adelman, special musical performances by

Filmmakers gather for the anticipated Louisiana Krewe talk at TIFF.

Merry Clayton (20 Feet From Stardom), Henry Gray, and Jonathan Batiste & Stay Human, the popular 2013 Workshop Program, and awards ceremony. LFV

Guests listen to Diana Branton (CFX) discuss new technology for mask making used at their Louisiana studio.

16

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE FIVE 2013

Currently, LIFF is developing this year’s Film Series Program and planning the second Louisiana International Film Festival, scheduled for May 8 – 11, 2014. For more information, visit www.lifilmfest.org.


St. John Center Soundstage

The perfect location for

ANY production.

1HZ 2UOHDQV 3ODQWDWLRQ &RXQWU\ LV \RXU KRPH IRU ├АOP SURGXFWLRQ )URP SLFWXUHVTXH DQG XQLTXH ORFDWLRQV WR EHQH├АFLDO WD[ FUHGLWV ZH KDYH EHFRPH D SUHPLHU GHVWLQDWLRQ IRU ├АOPLQJ SURMHFWV ODUJH DQG VPDOO :H KDYH D VXSSRUWLYH ├АOP RI├АFH WR KHOS ZLWK ORFDWLRQ VFRXWLQJ DQG DFFRPPRGDWLRQV D SURIHVVLRQDO VRXQGVWDJH DQG QR SHUPLWV RU IHHV UHTXLUHG IRU ├АOPLQJ RQ ORFDWLRQ 2XU FRQYHQLHQW ORFDWLRQ LQ WKH KHDUW RI 1HZ 2UOHDQV 3ODQWDWLRQ &RXQWU\ EHWZHHQ WKH FLW\ RI 1HZ 2UOHDQV DQG %DWRQ 5RXJH KDV ZRUOGIDPRXV IRRG PXVLF DQG WDOHQWEDVH WR NHHS \RXU VWDUV DV KDSS\ DV \RXU SURGXFWLRQ WHDP

Visit ямБlm-louisiana.com or give us a call at 866.204.7782 for more information to start your production rolling today! ISSUE FIVE 2013

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

17


THE ART OF THE TEASE AN UPDATE FROM TIFF

STORY BY SHANNA FORRESTALL

W

ith the Toronto International Film Festival boasting its largest year in history, I was privileged to attend this year’s festival on behalf of Louisiana Film & Video Magazine as a member of the “Louisiana Krewe.” Our primary goal was to continue to spread the word about how Louisiana is the place to film, and we accomplished this through a Louisiana Incentive breakfast, free workshops, and hours and hours of networking. Louisiana was well represented at this year’s festival with two of TIFF’s biggest buzz films—12 Years a Slave and Dallas Buyers Club—both shot here in the state, and my investigation into these two projects led me to an interesting discovery. These two films, as well as many others shot in Louisiana over the past few years like recent indie festival darlings Beasts of the Southern Wild and Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, had something in common—their trailers were all cut by Mark Woollen and Associates. After meeting Woollen and his associate Sohini Sengupta at a TIFF Industry Panel, I was able to talk them into a phone interview to discuss their work and the future of the industry. Their insights were very interesting, especially since it’s probably their work that will determine whether you see either of these films once they’re released to the public. Mark Woollen & Associates has been instrumental in creating powerful and effective motion picture advertising since the company’s inception. What started as a one-man operation has grown into a staff of over 20 highly skilled producers, writers, editors and graphic designers focused on bringing a unique vision to films ranging from critically acclaimed indies to the year’s biggest blockbusters. So I was pleased to have a few minutes to chat with Woollen himself, and two of his asso-

18

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE FIVE 2013

ciates, Sohini Sengupta and Scott Mitsui, about their company philosophy, and their work on two of this year’s biggest films. The trio was in sync about the company focus. They don’t just make trailers. They seek to really understand the film, and then represent that film in a truthful way. Woollen put it well. “A lot of the movies we get to work on are movies that we are big fans of. Our basic philosophy is that we try to understand the film and then represent it honestly, being true to what the filmmakers set out to do. The filmmakers often work for years on their movies, and our trailer is often the first representation of the work, so we take that very seriously.” When I pushed him to tell me what makes his company and his work special, he was humble, stating simply that it comes down to taste. “We understand and appreciate their movies, but it just comes down to taste,” he said. “You could give the same movie to half a dozen places, and you will get different cuts, in terms of storytelling and the tone. People are simply responding to the choices we make.” The team went on to explain that their work is not easy to fit into a “formula.” They are always trying to reinvent the way things are done. In the past, film trailers have always had a three-act structure, but Woollen & Associates have strayed away from that standard, and are more focused on emphasizing the characters,

the plot, and the tone and feeling of the film by accentuating the film’s positives. And, as Sengupta pointed out, for indie filmmakers the key to creating your own effective trailer may be simply understanding your audience and staying true to that. “You can be true to your film by understanding who it’s for,” she said. 12 Years a Slave and Dallas Buyers Club may be two different films, but the Woollen team has found unique ways to market both of them. Sengupta noted, “Both of these films leave you with a lot of hope, and it’s about connecting to that hope in the promotional work. Both of these films featured great performances, and heroes with great strength of character, so the end result was an overwhelming feeling of triumph.” Regarding the future, the Woollen team sees bright, but challenging days ahead. Mitsui remarked, “Because we work in Avid and everything’s on computers, our clients’ expectations are high, and they tend to want the work faster and faster. It’s tricky to deliver quickly, and we have to allocate a lot of resources to each one to meet the demands.” He also feels that the Internet has definitely affected the trailer industry. Mitsui added, “Movie trailers being online have affected the industry in a few ways. First of all, there is now a need for more trailers since they can be tailored for different formats and audiences. Also, there is now instant feedback, and that can help impact choices in the campaigns moving forward. It’s both exciting and challenging.” And I can say one thing for sure. This young aggressive company has truly mastered “The Art of the Tease” for the digital age. Their trailers have seduced me to see quite a few films over the past few years, and I’ve rarely been disappointed. LFV


ISSUE FIVE 2013

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

19


HATESHIP LOVESHIP TAKES ON TIFF

Production still from Hateship Loveship. STORY BY SHANNA FORRESTALL

W

ith two larger studio films, 12 Years a Slave and Dallas Buyers Club, stealing many of the headlines at TIFF, another Louisiana-shot film showcased at the festival went for viewer’s hearts instead.

Director Liza Johnson

Hateship Loveship was adapted from Alice Munro’s short story about a shy, unsophisticated housekeeper named Johanna who falls victim to a cruel prank with ultimately

surprising consequences. The film, directed by Liza Johnson who most recently directed the critically-acclaimed Return (2011), utilizes the talented Kristen Wiig to create a unique character who, in Johnson’s words, ranges from “empathetic and warm, to dark and painful.” Johnson adds, “The performances are really special. I think people will be surprised and delighted to see Kristen Wiig in a dramatic role. We just premiered in Toronto, and there seems to be a consensus that she’s pretty amazing in it. In fact, the whole cast is wonderful and subtle and soulful. That is 20

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE FIVE 2013

because those actors really are that soulful— Guy Pearce, Nick Nolte, Hailee Steinfeld, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Christine Lahti, Sami Gayle—they truly have that level of depth, as people and as actors, and I think you can see it on the screen.” Johnson describes how she was initially attracted to the script. “When I first read Mark Poirier’s script, I

Still from Hateship Loveship.

was attracted to it because I love how it lets Johanna develop her desire. Wanting something always puts you at risk,” she explains. “Johanna is a caregiver by profession, and the story tests the limits of that skill set—how much can she help, and is there such a thing as too much care?” Although the film was set in the Midwest, producer Jamin O’Brien says Louisiana was a “great place to shoot,” and he found it “easy to accomplish his goals” in the state. The film was primarily shot in and around New Orleans, but the project also utilized locations on the Northshore and in St. Bernard parish. O’Brien adds, “I love it there. Louisiana’s the most film-friendly place in North America. We


ISSUE FIVE 2013

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

21


came primarily because of the tax credit, but I love shooting there. It offers great locations, great crews, and of course great food.” Johnson echoes his praise. “I loved shooting in Louisiana. For one thing, I loved New Orleans. I still have a picture on my phone of my favorite sandwich there and I show it to people all the time, the way other people show pictures of their children or their pets. I really love that sandwich! New Orleans is the most interesting, regionally specific place I have

been in the U.S., and it was just so amazing to get to spend time in a place that is not homogenized like so much of the country. “But the best thing for filming really was the crew base. I was so thrilled by the level of crew talent that we were able to hire. I especially loved working so closely with Hannah Beachler, our amazing production designer. She lives in New Orleans but she’s from Ohio, and we were able to convincingly take a city with a really specific built environment and make it

play for the Midwest.” Johnson continues, “The whole crew was unbelievably talented and professional—the grip and electric team, Hannah’s team, the drivers, everybody. Mad skills. And they also really helped me keep the atmosphere of the set warm and kind and hospitable for the actors.” The film should secure distribution in the next couple of weeks, so keep watch for announcements on how you can view this little independent masterpiece. LFV

Still from Hateship Loveship.

OUT IN FRONT

Contact Attorneys: Tom Clark Baton Rouge 225.378.3246 tom.clark@arlaw.com Meg Alsfeld Kaul New Orleans 504.585.0426 meg.kaul@arlaw.com

From concept to completion... The Adams and Reese Entertainment and New Media team covers the legal arena within the entertainment, film, music, and book industries including intellectual property, technology, and new media. From concept to completion, we are advocates for our clients in contract preparation and negotiations as well as in purchasing, selling, licensing, protecting, and enforcing intellectual properties.

www.adamsandreese.com

800.725.1990 | 504.581.3234 | 225.336.5200 ALABAMA | FLORIDA | LOUISIANA | MISSISSIPPI | SOUTH CAROLINA TENNESSEE | TEXAS | WASHINGTON, DC

Attorney Advertising. No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of the legal services performed by other lawyers. Advertisement contains stock photography. Contacts: Charles P. Adams, Jr. and Ralph H. Wall, 504.581.3234 22

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE FIVE 2013


ISSUE FIVE 2013

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

23


PRODUCING A GREAT ESCAPE PLAN

Filming a fight scene for Escape Plan on set in New Orleans East.

STORY BY W. H. BOURNE • PHOTOS COURTESY OF SUMMIT ENTERTAINMENT

I

t seems like yesterday that The Tomb was wrapping shooting in New Orleans. Now, almost a year later, the action thriller starring Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger is about to release under the title Escape Plan. Producer Randall Emmett explains everything from the postproduction process to the name change of the movie in an interesting insider’s look into the role of a producer. “When you wrap a movie, if the director is part of the Directors Guild, as per the Directors Guild, he has somewhere around 12 weeks for a true director’s cut where no one else (but the editor) can be involved. He has the right to show the studio or the producers some footage, but you don’t really have a right to see it unless the director invites you,” says Emmett. “Mikael Håfström, our director, wasn’t like that; he was very inclusive.” Emmett explains that while the director and editor are off working on that first cut, the producers are working on marketing and distribution strategies. It was sometime during this period that The Tomb became Escape Plan. “Early on in the edit, while we were in post24

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE FIVE 2013

production, we began to talk about names that were a better fit for the film,” says Emmett. “It was always part of the conversation to change the name of the movie to something that was more descriptive of the film without nailing it on the head.” After three months’ time, Emmett and the rest of the producers were shown Håfström’s first cut. “When you see the first cut, it’s like removing a blindfold, and you really understand that it’s his baby. Having the distance helps you process it,” says Emmett. “When we saw the first cut, we were blown away. We were so excited that it was in such great shape. Mikael did a phenomenal job. We were very lucky.”

Sylvester Stallone has the upper hand in a fight scene with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

He continues, “Somewhere around this time, the studio said, ‘We’re going to date the movie,’ so they (the marketing department) pick a date. You’re involved in the discussion, but you are relying on their professional


ISSUE FIVE 2013

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

25


expertise as far as determining what is a good time to get the maximum exposure and the most people out to see your movie. Part of that is looking to see what else is coming up on the calendar. October looked good for us, and we thought the weekend was a really good weekend. There are just so many factors, but on any movie you also need to make sure that the actors are available and that they can go out and support your movie (at press junkets and premieres around that opening weekend).” After a release date is selected, there is still much work to do on a film. “Visual effects work often starts early, but once you see the director’s cut, you go into overdrive as far as creating those effects,” explains Emmett. “And you have a really specific production schedule up until delivery. You have a limited amount of money that you’re spending on a weekly basis, so you have to stay on top of it to stay within your budget. During this time, the director and editor will also be making multiple passes on the film. The director will take notes from the producers until he locks the picture, and then there are no more changes. Once locked, they do the dubbing, the music scoring, and all that stuff. That usually takes about three to four months, depending on what schedule you are on. Some movies take more time, some movies take less.” Typically at this point, a film undergoes market testing. If you’ve never been to a market research screening for a film, it’s a fascinating process. The audience is prescreened to match the demographics that your movie should appeal to. For many films, the audience’s response in the top two boxes determines if your film gets theatrical release or goes straight to DVD and VOD. Although Escape Plan already had theatrical distribution, the film was still submitted to the market research process.

Sylvester Stallone, Mikael Håfström, and Arnold Schwarzenegger work out a scene of Escape Plan.

26

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE FIVE 2013

“We test all of our films,” says Emmett. “Generally every film in Hollywood that gets distribution market tests to get feedback from the audience. Basically there’s a research company that does the testing for all the studios. They have test screenings in very random places all over the country. They go out and recruit an audience, and the audience watches the movie, and they rate the movie based on their own personal experiences, and then there’s a little focus group afterward. Every test screening is a little bit different. After testing, we go back and look at the results. Sometimes the movie tests really good and off the charts like Escape Plan did, and you don’t have to do anything to it. I’ve had movies in the past that didn’t test well and then you have to go back and work on the movie some more and make it better.” In addition to testing, most studios handle all the marketing. “They have really good executives in different divisions who do that,” explains Emmett. “They have specialists for online and social media and all sorts of different groups. They’ll cut together a bunch of trailers for everyone to look at and weigh in on. We participate in the process all the way through. As a producer and financier, we are really involved in every aspect all the way until the movie opens. They treat us as a partner… We went down to (San Diego) Comic Con together to screen the movie there with Arnold and Sly and the director. It was exciting. I remember I was sitting in the audience, and there were a bunch of fans all around and they didn’t know I was

Producer Randall Emmett problem solves on the set of Escape Plan.

the producer of the movie. And Arnold and Sly spoke to the audience and the kids next to me said, ‘Man, they are so cool!’ They were so pumped up to be there. As a producer and a financier, you’re sitting there going, ‘this is great! I hope all the fans who watch the movie are going to feel the same way.’” Emmett continues, “Once the movie is finished, it just becomes this whirlwind as you get to show your movie to the world. And that’s why we make movies. There’s really no other reason to make films other than to be able to give people some sort of entertainment based on the kind of movie you make or to give them an emotional experience. We don’t make it for ourselves. And that’s the fun part—to watch how people experience it.” Randall Emmett makes producing appear easy. As an independent company (nonstudio), he never appears to have difficulty finding a home for his films. Currently he’s producing and releasing about six movies a year—a very impressive number. So how does he do it? “The way I finance many of my movies are that I pre-sell (distribution territories) and put the equity up against the gap of what we don’t sell—mostly against the U.S.,” says Emmett. “In this case, Summit gave us a minimum guarantee against the international sales, which I used to finance the movie, and I put a substantial amount of equity against the U.S. (sales).” Emmett explains, “In the last few years, I’ve leaned towards movies that are already at the studios because they already come with theatrical distribution. 2 Guns, Lone Survivor, Everest and Escape Plan; these are all internal studio-developed movies that I independently financed and that the studios will release. Even though you’re doing it independently, you have a built-in distribution partner.” He continues, “Sometimes movies come to me, and they may have a bloated budget. This one did not. Sometimes they have not even gone into development; they’ve just been


ISSUE FIVE 2013

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

27


Director Mikael Håfström (center) explains an action sequence to actor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

sitting around in turnaround because maybe the studio has other things going on and just doesn’t have budgets for those films that year. I believe that when the studios have put a lot of money into a project and it’s in turnaround, and you want to come in and finance it, the studios want to work with you as a partner because they want the movie to get made, and they will make a great deal so maybe they can recoup their cost. I’ve had a really great experience over the last six or seven studio part-

28

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE FIVE 2013

nerships. It’s been a real pleasure for me.” Escape Plan was a project collecting dust at Summit Entertainment for quite some time. “They developed the project for many years, and it was in turnaround,” says Emmett. “I had read the script, and I called them up and said that I’d love to do the movie and I will fully finance the movie. They said, ‘We will sell the international and give you the minimum guarantee.’ I used the minimum guarantee, plus the equity I raised for the movie

and the tax credits from the state, and we were able to make the film. This is a pretty traditional model for our company and how we finance our movies.” While Emmett will be back in New Orleans in a few months to make more films, the prolific producer has great advice for locals interested in producing. “Don’t give up when trying to make a movie,” he says. “That’s the most important thing—perseverance and persistence and determination. It’s very easy for people to tell you no. To this day, people still tell me no. I’ve made 70 movies in my career, and on every single one of them, not everyone said yes. If it were that easy, I would have made 500 movies. I think you just have to be determined and passionate and not give up. Find a movie that you really love and believe in it. Get other people’s advice and input. I ask for people’s advice and input all the time. Know your beliefs and make sure your voice is heard. Today, with digital technology, it’s so doable. You don’t have to raise $100 million to make a movie. You can make one with $5,000 or $10,000. And you don’t have to shoot it all in one week. You can shoot it over three months or six months on the weekends. Just find a way to get it done.” LFV The latest Emmett/Furla produced film, Escape Plan, opens in theaters nationwide on October 18, 2013.


Amazing Animal Productions www.amazinganimalproductions.com

Over 40 years industry experience providing affection trained domestic & exotic animals for XLIXIPIZMWMSR ½PQMRHYWXVMIW We own our own animals and provide trainers, wranglers, and coordinators.

Nola’s only movie Ranch - Call 877.254.8585 Call Us - We Deliver Results Not Excuses ISSUE FIVE 2013

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

29


NOFF 2013: HIGHLIGHTING WIFT

T

he New Orleans Film Festival (NOFF), running October 10 through 17, is celebrating 24 years of showcasing the best films, panels, workshops, and networking opportunities in the region, and the country. Below, Louisiana Film & Video has picked a few highlights from this year’s fest. Check out the rest of the schedule at www.neworleansfilmsociety.org/festival/full/. NOLA’s own WIFT (Women in Film and Television) shows up strong at this year’s New Orleans Film Festival. Learn from esteemed female directors, producers, distributors and funders at the WIFT Panel Discussion on Saturday, October 12, from 2:30-3:30pm, led by Charlotte Cook of Hot Docs. “At WIFT Louisiana we’re really committed to celebrating and supporting the careers of women in film, television and new media, and this panel is a great way to do that,” said Helen Krieger, president of the board, WIFT Louisiana. “It’s also a great way for us to partner with the New Orleans Film Festival and to help bring something really valuable to the community. This panel will feature women from the funding side of filmmaking, the distribution side, and of course the filmmaker side. Our own WIFT board member Lily Keber will be on the panel talking about her awardwinning feature documentary that will be the closing film of the festival, Bayou Maharajah.” Be on the lookout for these promising titles brought to you, in large part, by members of Women in Film New Orleans:

HOMELICIDE Starring/produced by Shanna Forrestall

When several of New Orleans’ homeless are found murdered, a local blogger reveals that the killer may be closer than we think. Homelicide is a short film that deals with the

30

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE FIVE 2013

difficult social concern of homelessness in a way that few filmed narratives have. The goal of Homelicide is to push the issue of homelessness to the forefront of the audience’s mind as a topic of conversation, which the filmmakers hope will lead to an opportunity for real solutions. New Guy Films’ David Kirtland was drawn to direct the story of Homelicide because of its shrewd observation of the otherwise unseen plight of the homeless. “Maybe this film can offer a voice to the homeless people of New Orleans and the rest of these unfortunate people,” he said. Homelicide is scheduled to premiere on

Sunday, October 13, at 12:30pm at the Prytania Theatre.

BAYOU MAHARAJAH Directed by Lily Keber

A feature-length documentary, Bayou Maharajah explores the life and music of New Orleans piano legend James Booker, the man Dr. John described as “the best black, gay, oneeyed junkie piano genius New Orleans has ever produced.” A brilliant pianist, his eccentricities and showmanship belied a life of struggle, prejudice, and isolation. Illustrated with never-before-seen concert footage, rare personal photos and exclusive interviews, the film paints a portrait of this overlooked genius. Bayou Maharajah is scheduled to premiere on October 17 at the Civic Theater. See Q&A with Lily Keber on page 44. LFV


ISSUE FIVE 2013

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

31


SOUTHERN SCREEN FILM FEST THE LF&VM OFFICIAL SELECTION

H

eld in Lafayette, Louisiana, the Southern Screen Film Festival is a four-day event in November that aims to engage filmmakers and film enthusiasts in the art and education of filmmaking.

Not only does the festival include numerous screenings of independent films from around the world, but it also features discussion panels, workshops and demonstrations for filmmakers hosted by artists and professionals in the entertainment industry. One of the films Louisiana Film & Video Magazine is excited about is House of Last Things, a feature from writer/director/producer Michael Bartlett. The mind-bending thriller set

32

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE FIVE 2013

in Portland, Oregon, is about an unspoken tragedy and its effects on a house, its temporary caretakers and the owners. “Alan” (Randy Schulman) is a successful classical music critic. His wife “Sarah” (Diane Dalton) is an obsessively grieving woman, struggling with an unspoken tragedy, even after months of institutionalized therapy. Upon Sarah’s release, Alan forces Sarah into a trip to Italy. He has already arranged for a house sitter in “Kelly” (Lindsey Haun), who is quickly joined by her younger brother “Tim” (RJ Mitte), and her trashy boyfriend “Jesse” (Blake Berris). It’s not long before the trio find themselves drawn into a web of disturbing revelations. LFV Southern Screen will also feature a number of short films,

documentaries, and music videos. To stay up to date on all the latest festival information, including schedules, visit www.southernscreen.org.


GRIP • LIGHTING • GENERATORS • EXPENDABLES

Louisiana New Orleans, Louisiana Second Line Stages • Manhattan Beach Studios • The Culver Studios • Maui Film Studios

Grip and Lighting Supplied on The Following Projects:

• “Green Lantern” • “Imagination Movers” • “Killer Joe” • “Contraband” • “Medallion” • “Looper”

TM Louisiana 1021 N. Al Davis Rd. New Orleans, LA 70123 Tel: (504) 734-3403 Fax: (504) 734-3407

• “Bullet to the Head” • “Pitch Perfect” • “Thunder Struck” • “Django Unchained” • “The Butler” • “Whiskey Bay”

Contact: TOM D. MAY - President/Chief Operating Officer tmay@tmequipmentrentals.com VICTOR BARRIENTOS - Rental Manager/Operations victor@tmequipmentrentals.com

www.tmequipmentrentals.com ISSUE FIVE 2013

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

33


TALKING DOG PRODUCTIONS: “INDIE ALL THE WAY”

Talking Dog’s Diana Jackson and Jamie O’Keeffe at home. STORY BY ABIGAIL LEVNER GUEST COLUMNIST • PHOTO BY JOSH BRASTED

P

roducer Diana Jackson is “indie all the way.” For Jackson, independence is about control—and control is hard to find when you’re working on a studio project.

“All these suits are telling you how to make a movie… but they’re in charge every step of the way, so you have to do what they say,” she explains. “You have this great idea that may become garbage. You sacrifice a lot.” In January 2013, Jackson launched Talking Dog Productions alongside her musician/screenwriter husband Jamie O’Keeffe and actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Jamie’s brother. Jackson, whose credits include The Devil Wears Prada, Hawaii Five-0, and Somewhere, is one of many filmmakers opting to create

#18B.7

34

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE FIVE 2013

their own films independently, rather than work in production on a studio project. Popularly, Spike Lee and Sylvester Stallone, who have both felt Hollywood’s big-budget love, have launched crowdsourcing campaigns for personal projects unaffiliated with any major production studio. Zach Braff (Garden State, Scrubs) sums up the reasoning in his Wish I Was Here Kickstarter video: “There are money guys willing to finance the project, but in order to protect their investment, they’re insisting on having final cut.”

Talking Dog has four projects on slate for 2013 and 2014: Butterfly, a documentary on Serbian swimmer Milorad Cavic; the featurelength dramas Pono and The Tattoo; and an album and music video for the band Suzy’s Field, of which O’Keeffe is a member. For all these projects, the team is bringing their own network and resources to the table. The Tattoo, a script originally pursued by James Franco, will feature director Richard Grey (The Lookalike, Summer Coda). Pono, produced in partnership with Yellow Brick Films and Pueo Entertainment, will star Scott Eastwood (Gran Torino, Trouble with the Curve) as the title character. “Diana has personal relationships that we’ve managed to secure for two excellent projects,” notes O’Keeffe. About his brother, he adds, “Anytime you have a Golden Globe winner attached to your production company, let’s be honest, it makes it easier to get in the door to certain people.” But the freedom of control does not mean Talking Dog has broken away from all obstacles. For O’Keeffe, the struggle is finding the right project. For Jackson, it’s balancing business and pleasure. “One of the trickiest things I find for people in my age range is that you have all this ambition but you also have to pay the rent,” she says. “You’re torn between ‘How can I sustain myself ?’ and ‘How can I follow my dreams?’” “Eventually we’ll get there, where it’ll be a friendlier place for indie filmmakers,” O’Keeffe predicts. “Because that’s really what it’s all about. You have to help the small filmmakers realize their dreams, the same way you help the big ones realize theirs.” LFV


ISSUE FIVE 2013

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

35


JAKE’S ROAD: AN INDIE FILM’S JOURNEY Cast and crew discuss the upcoming death scene. Jake’s Road writer/director Mike Mayhall is pictured at far left in the blue shirt, and DP Nate Tape is second from right in the brown shirt.

STORY BY MICHAEL MAYHALL GUEST COLUMNIST

I

am sitting here, exactly where I want to be, thinking of how I arrived at this point and simultaneously wondering: What is my next move in this crazy thing we call the entertainment business? I am an actor, a director, a stuntman, a sword-fighter, a writer, a producer and a filmmaker. In short... I am a storyteller. Or, at least that’s how I think of myself when asked. I love to tell a good story. No matter the form it takes, it’s all about the story. Which brings me to the story of how I wrote and directed Jake’s Road. I was born and raised in Louisiana. Lived in New Orleans and then at some point moved to Mandeville. I studied theater and film in high school and college at NSU in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Only when I graduated, I looked around and realized there was no work. I moved to Orlando, where I honed my craft, then to Los Angeles because that’s where you went as an actor and filmmaker... right? But all that time, I wanted to make movies in my hometown. Enter Louisiana and the Film Tax Incentive program. So, back to New Orleans I came with one goal in mind. To make movies! I got settled and made a mini-feature, A Good Night. It won a few awards at several festivals, played at the New Orleans Film Festival, and gave me the confidence that I could make a feature film. I knew if I wanted to do a film, it had to be something I could afford. I had worked on so many low- to no-budget films that didn’t go anywhere because they all bit off more than they could chew, and I didn’t want that to 36

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE FIVE 2013

The hunting tower. Cast and crew rest between stunts where Kay (Leticia Jimenez) slips and falls from the tower. Hopefully, Sam (Garrett Hines) can save her.

Actor Eric Roberts takes a moment between scenes.

happen to me. I started to focus on doing a thriller and horror movie, thinking that those were within an obtainable budget. But I wanted it to be intelligent and suspenseful, rather than hack and slash. I also wanted it to have personal meaning beyond the story. I spent many of my younger days at my stepfather’s hunting cabin out in the backwoods of Folsom. A place simply called, ‘The Camp,’ it sits on 250 acres of land next to a small stream—ideal for a horror movie. It’s a place where your imagination can run wild. It was the site of some epic parties. It was an escape from the everyday and was filled with so many wild tales of the unexplainable that they bordered on supernatural. It was also the birthplace of an old campfire story about a hired hand, named Jake, who went crazy one night and took revenge on the former owners of The Camp. So, I guess you could say Jake’s Road is one half my twisted imagination and one half stories and events from my youth. When writing, I usually live with the script and all its characters and scenes in my head for an unhealthy amount of time, until I just have to write it down. When I hit that point, the script flows out. Once down on paper, I do what I always do—bring it to my friends, have a reading, and wait for them to tear it and all my hard work apart. ‘Wash and repeat as needed.’ I finally had hit upon a script I felt was good enough to do something with. I was going to invest what I had into the film. I have heard people say never put up your own


ISSUE FIVE 2013

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

37


money. ‘Find investors,’ they all say. But to be honest, I’ve always had issue with that. I mean, if you don’t think your project is worth investing in financially, why would anyone else? With some funding in place, I set out and started raising the rest. At some point, I took my script to a producer friend who has had some success in doing micro-budget films. He liked it and showed it to a few distributors. That’s where I lucked out... kinda. The distribution company said if we make it, they would sell it. So I said I’d make it. I said this in June of 2012, and we decided to film in September of 2012. Not much time. From here on out, everything became a whirlwind juggling act and nothing could stop me. I started collecting people. I first turned to my girlfriend and partner, Leticia Jimenez. I told her I was gonna do this, and come hell or high water, it would be great. She jumped right on board and off we went. She was the direct connection to the cast once we were rolling. (Oh, did I mention she was also the female lead?) Leticia basically would come on set, do her scenes where she had to either cry or fight on cue, and then walk behind us producers, pick up all the loose ends we were dropping and organize it for the next day. She was amazing. I got in touch with another friend and colleague, Sam Sullivan. Sam has had years of experience in the film world as a script supervisor and just seems to know everyone. I basically said, ‘We’re making a movie. Find me good people.’ He said ‘cool’... and good people he did find. Then, while looking for a sound man, I met Jessy Cale Williamson. He said he wanted to produce. I said great, find me a sound man. He did. Jessy worked behind the scenes moving, running and doing all the things we couldn’t get to because we were filming. I also turned to a long-time good friend of mine, Tim Bell. To say Tim was great would be an understatement. He worked tirelessly. He’d still be working on set pieces well after we

Chris (Patrick Flanagan) confronts Mike (Tim Bell).

38

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE FIVE 2013

Mike Mayhall showing Eric Roberts’ stand-in how to hold the rifle.

finished filming for the day. He not only did the work of 10 different people (props, set dressing, stunt coordinator, and the list goes on and on), he also had a lead role in the movie. But most importantly, he came in at the last minute and finished out the funding. He believed, as I did, this would be a great film. It really wouldn’t have happened without him. This was my core team. Each of us had our own role and we went about it with a crazed tenacity. I interviewed everyone personally. It was important to me that everyone knew who was making the film, and I was honest about money and the hours and workload. Somehow, we ended up with an amazing cast and crew. True professionals through and through. Everyone knew it was going to be a challenge. Most everyone involved would be wearing more than one hat. Sometimes two or three, and up to ten (Tim and I). But thankfully, all those involved were positive and ready for the challenge. Everyone had that indie filmmaking spirit. It sounds corny, I know... but it’s the truth. Everything was on track, and then two weeks before we started shooting Jake’s Road, Hurricane Isaac rolled in and kicked the crap out of South Louisiana. We were without power for 10 days. The Camp flooded. You could only get to it by boat. The other section of woods, at my mother’s house, was under two feet of water. I didn’t know what to do. I had to push the start date back two weeks. Any

more and we would lose more than 50 percent of our cast and crew. Any less and the ground would still be a muddy wet mess. Then we lost our costumer, our caterer and our DP, Nate Tape (who was awesome). The universe was testing me. It was the complete opposite scenario I was expecting. How often do you hear about a fully funded film that can’t go to camera because it has lost all its key players, food and locations in a matter of 24 hours? Normally, you have everyone waiting around because you can’t get the money raised. What could I do? Scrap the project when I was so close? Or do what I always do when confronted with the near impossible: Get stubborn and keep going. I just said, ‘It’s going to happen. Just watch, it’s gonna happen.’ I think I actually willed this film into existence because suddenly, in the same amount of time we lost everyone, we found more people. We got a great local caterer. A costumer just suddenly appeared. And our DP found out his show got pushed. The filming areas more or less dried out and our last location that had yet to be filled came through. I couldn’t believe it. Just like that, Jake’s Road was back! Once we started filming, it was as if we hit our lucky number. It was almost ridiculous. For example, our stand-in for Eric Roberts was, by trade, a professional gaffer. He loaned us his lights and stuck around to help us light the night shots. One of our PAs was a special effects artist out of college. He did most of the special effects and was great at them. By the second day of filming, everyone was family. By the last day, the cast and crew were all saying how much bigger this film felt than when we first started. Not only in the scope of things, but in the production value. I think it’s because everyone worked their backsides off to make it the best they could. I thought that was pretty cool. I had no real idea what it was going to be like to make a full-length feature film. It was a great experience and has made me hungry to do more here in Louisiana. Tim and I sat down before we started rolling and talked about how we wanted everything to go during the filming. We had always said that when we make a movie, we’d do it right. Treat everyone the way you should be treated. With respect. Even if we could not pay them what they were worth, we wanted everyone involved to know that we knew their worth and appreciated them for helping us. I like to think we succeeded. When we set out to tell the tale of Jake’s Road, we wanted to just simply tell a good story and I feel we did just that. It was like lightning in a bottle, and now that I think about it, I believe we ended up with something much, much more. So here I sit, film done and being looked at by a great sales and distribution company called Vision Films. We’ve come a long way in a short amount of time and I can’t wait to do the next one! LFV


ISSUE FIVE 2013

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

39


SHELL SHOCKED: EFFECTIVELY LIGHTING INTERVIEWS ON A BUDGET Leon Lewis, one of the subjects of the documentary.

STORY BY JASON RAYMOND GUEST COLUMNIST

T

he amazing documentary Shell Shocked strikes viewers not just because of its content about people coping with New Orleans’ persistent violence. Director John Richie and cinematographer Declan Ryan created beautiful, compelling images of people talking about, in Richie’s words, “the most horrific events in their lives.” To do this on a limited budget, Richie and Ryan relied on a small amount of equipment and their expertise. The results can be seen in the photo of Leon Lewis above. Looking back at this particular interview, both Richie and Ryan recall “chasing the sun.” Filming took place late in the day, so they had to redo their setup every 10 minutes or so. A daylight balance light (a 575 watt HMI) blasted the shadows off the graffiti wall. For the key light, Ryan diffused direct sunlight and used a large eight-foot bleached muslin bounce held 10 feet away for fill. A 4x4 mirror bounce added additional light as daylight waned. To keep the image sharp and allow the subject to move while remaining in focus, the aperture ranged between ƒ8 and ƒ5.6 with the ISO set at 100 (the aperture opening as the interview progressed). Those settings kept image quality while still leaving the background in soft focus to help separate interview subject Leon Lewis. From the initial planning for Shell Shocked,

40

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE FIVE 2013

both Richie and Ryan wanted a cinematic look for their interviews. As Ryan explained, “We wanted everything to look like a 35mm still. Our reference was always narrative motion pictures with minimalist, natural feel. To make that work, we had to spend time thinking about the lighting.” The circumstances surrounding the production, however, didn’t allow for a large equipment list. (See sidebar for the complete equipment list used on Shell Shocked.) Richie and Ryan did most of their interviews between February and March 2010. They interviewed people three days a week. Ryan had only 15 to 20 minutes to set up the lighting. “You had to light on the fly, and we used natural light less than 10 percent of the time,” said Ryan. One of the challenges came from interviewing people not wearing professional make-

THE EQUIPMENT USED TO MAKE SHELL SHOCKED:

Lacking the funds and equipment of a major production, John Richie and Declan Ryan well utilized their time when renting or borrowing the equipment to make Shell Shocked. Most of the interviews were done in basically a 30-day span. Shooting in people’s houses restricted the number and power of the lights used. At times, when direct a/c wasn’t available, Ryan could use his car inverter to power one light. In addition to the key lights discussed in the article, Ryan says he tried to use an eyelight at all times during interviews. He also used bounces extensively, as discussed. Richie had some of the interview subjects, themselves, use Canon Vixias (which cost roughly about $1,200 back in 2010) to show their lives without a camera crew following them. Equipped with little shotgun mics and inexpensive tripods, the subjects were able to capture footage used in the final cut. That includes student Matt Gray, who took a lovely night sequence of himself playing basketball alone. Here’s the equipment list provided by cinematographer Declan Ryan: • Camera Body - RED ONE • Lenses - Nikon 24mm ƒ2.8 35 ƒ1.4 50mm 85mm 80-200mm zoom for run and gun work • Tripods - Libec and Satchler with fluid heads • Interview LightsTwo 575 watt HMIs One 1200 HMI that was rarely available • Cutters, toppers, and diffusers • A white muslin bounce 250, opal diffusion • Quarter and Half Straw when appropriate

up. “We had to keep it soft,” Ryan explained, “so we used a lot of bounce.” They used Nikon prime lenses, mainly a 50mm, and shot in RAW. With all the pre-planning, only minimal


ISSUE FIVE 2013

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

41


post-production and color-correction was done. While many children were filmed outside to show viewers their environment, Richie chose to interview the mothers of murder victims in their homes. According to Richie, “Those interviews would not have been as intimate if they were out of the house. Mothers of victims tend to put forth an external façade when they go through that kind of trauma and I didn’t want the façade to come through.” Nestled by the camera, Richie used all his abilities to draw the mothers out about the death of their children. The equipment often caught mothers off-guard, as did having as many as five crewmembers present. Warm and entertaining by nature, Richie generally talked to them for an hour, with the first 15 minutes spent getting them to relax. In the setup with Willow (pictured right), mother of David Ayo, she sat next to a large window. Natural light combined with a HMI 575 placed outside the window to form the key light. Ryan diffused the HMI with a Lee Opal or 250. A cutter and sider shaped the light to resemble sunlight. For inside work, Ryan opened the F-stop on the lens and raised the ISO to 800. With Willow sitting for the interview, Richie also sat, but did so next to the camera. Behind Richie and the camera was a 4x4 foot bounce to reflect additional light. Ryan framed each mother in a way that

A still from John Richie’s interview with Willow, the mother of David Ayo.

showed how empty their houses were now with the loss of their children. Though not as stark as in other interviews, we can see an empty hallway over Willow’s right shoulder. To highlight the blue and cool space, Ryan used his second 575 watt HMI, bouncing its light off his 4x4 reflector. With the film done, Ryan feels proud of what he and Richie accomplished. Having worked on When the Levees Broke, Richie wanted to use cinema-style lighting to showcase people society too often ignores. Ryan added, “I knew that Spike Lee was doing the second leg of his documentary

about Katrina and I wanted Shell Shocked to look better. I find many people are surprised when I say we used a Red. We really succeeded to make it look like film.” You can learn more about the documentary Shell Shocked at www.shellshockeddoc.com. John Richie has been conducting screenings throughout New Orleans. Declan Ryan’s latest project is called Anam Cara (www.anamcara.com). LFV Jason Raymond provides research and creative services through Raymond Creativity [www.raymondcreativity.com], including access to his blog Raymond on Film & Photography.

/ m o .c ss re p rd o .w lm fi n o d http://raymon Raymond on Film & Photography is a Raymond Creativity publication. Raymond Creativity offers research services, web design, lens-created imagery, and other creative solutions for the new media world. Watch for our new audioseries “Merely Famous.” To find other publications, products, and services offered by Raymond Creativity, see www.raymondcreativity.com. 42

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE FIVE 2013


ISSUE FIVE 2013

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

43


SIX QUESTIONS FOR LILY KEBER

S

ince the successful March debut of Bayou Maharajah at the South by Southwest Film Festival, Lily Keber has been busy screening her first feature for audiences all over North America, in Australia at the Melbourne Film Festival, and soon in Barcelona. A documentary about the life of legendary New Orleans piano player James Booker, Bayou Maharajah shall close the New Orleans Film Festival with a screening on October 17 at the Civic Theater. As interest about her grows, Jason Raymond posed on behalf of Louisiana Film & Video these six questions for the witty and charismatic filmmaker: seated says much about how the viewer will feel about them. I’m not saying that you have to have a guitar in the background if you’re interviewing a guitarist (you don’t have to be that literal about it), but it should be a conscious decision on the behalf of the filmmaker.

3

Do you feel that you are developing a particular style as a visual storyteller? Are there particular techniques or approaches to material that separate you from your colleagues? Lily Keber

That’s a question for the critics to decide.

4

1

When filmmaking, are you seeking particular truths? Werner Herzog once said he sought “emotional truth” when making films and then described cinema verite as “filmmaking for accountants.” Are the truths you seek in your work that consistent?

I have no problem with cinema verite in theory. Obviously nothing is true “verite.” The presence of the camera inevitably changes the dynamics of a room and any editing decision or choice in composition adds a subjective element to the truth of the original scenario. But so long as the filmmaker and the audience know that no film is truly objective, I have no beef with verite. That said, I’ve never made a verite film, so it’s not a filmmaking philosophy that I think about much.

With this film, I very much was seeking an emotional truth about James Booker. In fact, that’s the only kind of truth that a figure like Booker can reveal. So much of his story is steeped in mystery and mythology that at the end of the day, the only thing we know for sure is the emotional truth revealed through his music. And that truth will be slightly different for every listener. But that’s the

How do you view your work or filmmaking philosophy in relation to direct cinema or cinema verite (accepting the incomplete congruity and the political charge of those frequently bandied terms)?

beauty of art: it’s the only element that can mean something completely different to each person, yet each truth is just as valid.

5

What are the present trends, styles, techniques or approaches to documentary filmmaking that you despise or bore you? Why despise? Why not ask which trends and techniques I really love?

6

As a female professional making films, to what extent is it important to make work that touches upon or is about the role and pressures of women in our contemporary society? Do you have a particular obligation to make films about the struggles of American women? Well, considering that I just made a film where only 3 out of 60 of my interviewees were women, I’d say that no, I evidently don’t have an obligation to make films about the struggles of American women. It certainly is a very important issue to me and one that I think about and have to deal with every day. There is no mainstream discussion of the ongoing struggle to expand and ameliorate the role of women in our society. This needs to change. That said, I am not an activist filmmaker. I would prefer to fight for what I believe in in my personal life and make films that exist on their own as art. But I don’t think it’s fair to say that just because I’m a woman, I should feel an obligation to make films about women. As someone with a conscience, I have a moral obligation to help my fellow human beings. And that obligation transcends gender or race or religion or citizenship. LFV Information about Bayou Maharajah and future screenings are available at www.bayoumaharajah.com.

2

When conducting interviews, do you have specific criteria for where you place your camera and yourself and the effect it will have on your audience? For instance, do you encourage interview subjects to look at you or directly into the camera? Do you care what a subject does during an interview? I am a stickler for composition and framing. Filmmakers should consider their framing just as carefully as a photographer or a painter does. As to specific criteria for where I place my camera, it depends on the setting. I try to include as much information in the background as I can. The environment where the subject is 44

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE FIVE 2013

James Booker, the subject of the documentary.


ISSUE FIVE 2013

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

45


SPOTLIGHT ON LOUISIANA PRODUCTION SERVICES

LOFTON STAFFING & SECURITY SERVICES

MAGNOLIA MUSIC HOUSE

When timing is essential and experience matters, let Lofton be the solution for all your security needs. Lofton has over 30 years of on-site security experience and understands that the film industry is unique and demanding for everyone involved. It is this understanding that has given Lofton the competitive advantage, by being able to accommodate grueling schedules and knowing how to roll with the punches. Let Lofton Security protect your next shoot, you’ll see the difference...because We Get It!

High Quality / Professional / New School / Quick Began in 2010 by two aspiring young film composers, Joe Shirley and BJ Blue, MMH has already become an award-winning, go-to option for music production and placements in film, TV, radio, and commercial spots. Providing music for clients in New Orleans, New York, L.A. and elsewhere, past clients include Louisiana Tourism, Maison Post, MSG New York TV, Spike, DDB, SyFy, XM Sirius, Falck Alford, and Honor Roll Music.

www.loftonsecurity.com

www.magnoliamusichouse.com

46

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE FIVE 2013


RB Livesto Livestock ock Company Providing Wrangling Providing Wrangling and and Livestock Livestock for for the the Movie M ovie Industry Industry ffor or oover ver 3 32 2 Years. Years. Whether Whether iitt ffor or Feature Feature Films, Films, Commercials, Commercials, or or Photo Photo SShoots hoots we we have have the the knowledge knowledge and and experiexperieence nce to to help help with with all all your your project project needs. needs. Wee supply W supply both both large large and and small small animals animals plus p lus ssome ome eexotics. xotics. W Wee ooffer ffer w wrangling, rangling, ttraining, raining, aand nd rentals. rentals.

Call Roy Burge Burger er at 512-294-0231 or Melissa Burg ger at 512-718-4128. Burger Royburger.rblivvestock@gmail.com Royburger.rblivestock@gmail.com Melissaburgeer.rb@gmail.com Melissaburger.rb@gmail.com

Leonard Reynolds Location Manager

Positive One Productions 504.606.4110

Cell

New Orleans, La 70117 2 Guns • The end of the world • 21 Jump Street • Dallas Buyers Club

MagnoliaMusicHouse.com 504.521.6640

• Film/TV scoring • Radio advertisements • Jingles • Commercial spots • Production music • Mockups/Specs • Budgets large or small • Music Direction

VISIT US ONLINE! louisianafilmandvideo.com

ISSUE FIVE 2013

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

47


BEHIND THE SCENES: FREIGHT FORWARDING For those unfamiliar, a freight forwarding company organizes shipments for other companies. Forwarders contract with certain carriers to have goods shipped to a particular destination. Boutique forwarding agencies, such as Behind The Scenes (BTS), specialize in a specific market, in this case the film industry.

W

e are your shipping coordinator and project manager. We understand your gear, what you need, the time sensitivity, the sensitivity of the freight itself. And we know how to handle and route it securely and cost-effectively,” says co-owner RJay Rendon.

Opening their first office in 1996 in Los Angeles, BTS has since expanded into other national and international markets, including the UK, Budapest, Georgia and Hawaii. Two years ago, BTS found a home in Louisiana and officially became one of the only true in-state vendors for their clients. “There was a high demand in Louisiana and there still is,” says Rendon. “A lot of our clients were going there for the tax incentives. As we were doing more shipping to and from L.A., our clients were looking for local vendors so they could take advantage of the tax credit.

48

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE FIVE 2013

A lot of our competitors began billing through local companies so we wanted to take it one step further and open an in-state office and become a true in-state vendor. That way our clients receive an invoice from someone local.” BTS has already made an impact here in the state, working with major productions such as American Horror Story, Selfless, Olympus Has Fallen, Contraband, and Looper. The ever-expanding company sets itself apart from the competition by working directly with the carriers, as opposed to farming out services. “Our competitors aren’t making the investment

into different states like we are. I can’t think of one competitor that has an office in Louisiana,” says Rendon. “They are doing the old practice where they bill through a local vendor, and that just drives up the cost. We have the direct contact with the carriers, which cuts out the middleman and drastically cuts down the cost.” He continues, “Other companies advertise services that they have to farm out and it ends up being more expensive for the client. For example, a truck company who is strictly a truck broker may advertise air freight, but they have to farm that out. They aren’t their own air freight forwarder.” Managing directors RJay Rendon and Bryan Sweet each have over 15 years of experience in both domestic and international freight forwarding and are certified for all methods of transportation, including ground, air, rail, ocean, domestic and international. LFV For more information, call 888-BTS-FILM, e-mail info@btsfreight.com, and check out the BTS transportation and impact page at www.creativehandbook.com.


ISSUE FIVE 2013

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

49


FEAR FEAR R FETE FET TE 201 TE 2013 13 13

SUNDAY SUND AY OCT 20

SATURDAY SA ATURD T AY OCT 19

FRIDAY FRID AY OCT T 18

T THE GRAND 18 8 D’IBER D’IBERVILLE, RVILLE, V MS | OCT OCTOBER OBER R 17-20

FANTASY F ANT A TASY A FRIGHTS S 1 0 | 1 8 ||11 3 | 6 : 0 0 p m

THE AR ARTIFACT TIF FACT

BL BLOODTRAFFICK OODTRAFFICK

NIGHT OUT OUT

HUNTER

LLORON O A LA LLORONA

KLAGGER KLAGGER

GRASSHOP GRASSHOPPER PPER

T TORTUROUS ORTUROUS

THING IN THE SHED

GAME

PR OJECT TZ PROJECT

HOME

PSYCHOVILLE PS SY YCHO C VILLE 1 0 | 1 8 ||11 3 | 8 : 4 5 p m

SPOOK SP POOK SHO SHOW W 1 0 | 1 9 ||11 3 | 6 : 0 0 p m

DIE E LA LAUGHING UGHING 1 0 | 1 9 ||11 3 | 8 : 4 5p 5pm

TERROR TE ERROR TIME 10|20|13 | 2:00pm

ZOMBIE ZOM MBIE INVASION INV VASION A N 1 0 | 2 0 ||11 3 | 5 : 0 0 p m


TICKETS S NO NOW WA AVAILABLE VAI AILABLE AT A T WWW.FEARFETE.COM WWW.FEARFETE.COM OR AT AT THEATRE BOX THE GRAND THEA ATRE T 18 BO OX OFFICE

SPECIAL GUESTS

J.. LA R J ROSE OSE

I N S I D I O U S , SA SAW, W , NO N W YO U SEE ME

OTHER O THE ER

DEAD WEIGHT

RJ HA HADDY ADDY

S Y FY’S FY’ S FFA A CE O F F

ABIN THE CA CABIN

TALENT A PIECES OF TALENT

LAR PARK PARK A LINCOLN FR I DA DAYY TH H E 113TH 3TH

AT CRIED BL OOD THE HOUSE THA THAT BLOOD

THE TUNNEL

ADDY ADD Y MILLER M TH E W WA A L KI NG N D EA D

NIGHT OF THE E PUMPKIN

QUITE Q A CONUNDRUM CONUNDRUM

TURKEY COLD TURKEY

AGONY SILENT AGONY

ASEMENT THE B BASEMENT

J FIST OF JESUS

2 HOURS

EA AT TS THE T FEAR EATS SEOUL


SIGGRAPH 2013 OFFERS NO CLEAR FUTURE FOR VFX INDUSTRY STORY BY W. H. BOURNE AND ODIN LINDBLOM • PHOTO BY WELAND BOURNE

S

IGGRAPH 2013, the world’s premier conference on computer graphics and interactive technologies, showed a marked absence of Louisiana companies exhibiting at the event in Anaheim, California. Last year VFX giant Pixomondo and Game Loft exhibited, but many companies were absent this year, most notably Autodesk, one of the largest suppliers of VFX software. The tradeshow reinforced the mixed messages that are reverberating through the post-production community about the health of the VFX industry in America. The 2013 SIGGRAPH keynote address was a collaboration with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences called “Giants’ First Steps,” a motivational panel discussion and presentation by legendary animation directors Ron Clements, Pete Docter, Eric Goldberg, Kevin Lima, Mike Mitchell, Chris Sanders, Henry Selick, David Silverman and Kirk Wise, as they screened their first films, some of which hadn’t been viewed in more than 30 years. “Giants’ First Steps” was encouraging and upbeat and appeared to appeal to the audience, which seemed to mostly consist of non-VFX workers and students. SIGGRAPH 2012 tried to portray the VFX industry as a global marketplace with plenty of jobs to go around for everyone, even in America. After Rhythm and Hues’ Oscar win this year for Life of Pi, the VFX giant laid off more than 500 artists and filed for bankruptcy. In fact, many major U.S.-based VFX companies have closed in the last few years as work continues to shift to foreign companies, leaving many skilled artists unemployed. This wake-up call to Hollywood has the entertainment industry questioning the future of the

52

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE FIVE 2013

VFX industry in America. In addition to the traditional abundance of students applying for employment at SIGGRAPH’s job fair this year, many seniorlevel artists were also applying for the same positions. With a smaller number of exhibitors looking to hire, competition was fierce. Additionally, many companies hiring were not animation or VFX companies, but those looking for computer-savvy employees such as Apple and Amazon. While many hoped that the various states’ film incentive programs, such as Louisiana’s tax credits which include post-production work, would lure VFX work back to the U.S., it remains to be seen if they can help revitalize the industry in America. In the past, SIGGRAPH’s exhibit floor and programming offered a clear view of things to come in the VFX business. With few VFX companies exhibiting and the lack of a state of the industry focus in programing, this year’s SIGGRAPH offered little insight into the troubled VFX business and left many industry insiders with more questions than answers. LFV

Much to the disappointment of VFX artists, companies like Esri were at the SIGGRAPH job fair searching for software developers.


ISSUE FIVE 2013

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

53


2013 FILM INDUSTRY EXPO Ruben Juarbe and Louisiana Film & Video executive editor Andrew Vogel man the LF&VM booth.

The Expo's founder and CEO Shanda Quintal with Tai Quintal Freeman and Nico Quintal Freeman.

STORY BY CAROL ANN SCRUGGS GUEST COLUMNIST

O

n Saturday, September 7, the 2013 Film Industry Expo, the largest film industry conference in the Gulf South, was held at the Sheraton in downtown New Orleans, marking its fifth anniversary. years. New this year were auditions by top casting directors, and The Acting Studio, which featured workshops and presentations on acting technique, career development and human psychology.” The Expo covered a wide variety of media for the novice and experienced actor, filmmaker and screenwriter, and was an all-day event with a free open-to-the-public exhibit area.

Dr. Tina Thomas, TEDTalk speaker.

The Expo’s founder and CEO, Shanda Quintal, has been working in the Louisiana film industry since 1991, before there was really an industry. According to Quintal, “There were close to 1,000 people in attendance this year, and they came from all over the country. Almost 50 percent of the actor and filmmaker attendees traveled from New York, Northern and Southern California, Illinois, Colorado, Ohio, Missouri, Michigan, Tennessee, the Carolinas, Maryland, Kansas, Georgia and New Jersey. Most were first-timers, but there were people who have attended in previous years because they have come to trust the valuable insights and reliable information that Expo panelists and participants provide. And the other 50plus percent came from throughout the Gulf South, from Texas through Florida. Many had been to The Expo three, four, and even all five 54

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE FIVE 2013

Among the many workshops were: • Headshot/Publicity/Marketing by Fern Orenstein and Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i of the CBS Diversity Institute • Casting from A-Z with casting directors Liz Coulon, Pam Dixon and Ryan Glorioso • Actors Access presentations with Gary Marsh and Jason Teresi • Casting Director Critique with casting directors Lisa Marie Dupree and Anne Massey • Agents 101 with talent agents Tabitha Huff-

Securing Distribution panel with Melissa Wiseman, Jason Hewitt, Eric Thompson, and Laura Medina.

Film Finance Forum was hosted by Melissa Wiseman (center) and featured panelists (l to r) Diego Martinez, Rob Wollfarth, Will French, and Todd Lewis.

man, Lawrence Turner and Savannah Strachan • Branding Yourself with talent agents Jorge Elizondo and Brenda Pauley • Chat, An Intimate Conversation with top LA casting directors Pam Dixon, Laray Mayfield and Sharon Bialy • Being Authentically You with casting directors Tracey “Twinkie” Byrd and Rhavynn Drummer • Casting a Wide Net: Regional Casting with casting directors Michael Cassara, Allison Estrin and Beth Sepko • The Acting Studio Presents, actor workshops with actor/acting coaches Lance Nichols, Jerry Katz, Laura Cayouette, and TEDTalk

The Casting Director Critique with Lisa Marie Dupree, Jason Teresi, and Anne Massey.


ISSUE FIVE 2013

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

55


speaker Dr. Tina Thomas, just to name a few. Sponsored by Entertainment Partners, the filmmaker track programming included: • Marketing and Social Media for Filmmakers, with Megan Hargroder • Budgeting for Your Project, presented by Melissa Wiseman and Ryan Broussard of Enter-

The Expo crowd.

tainment Partners and EP Financial Solutions • Film Finance Forum, hosted by Ms. Wiseman, and featuring Will French, Esq., producers Todd Lewis and Diego Martinez, and Rob Wollfarth, Esq. • Securing Distribution, featuring executive producer Jason Hewitt, producer Laura Medina and Eric Thompson, Esq. • Making the Pitch with executive producer Michael Arata, WGA writer/directors Henry Griffin and Steven Esteb This was truly a one-stop shop for filmmakers for sure. The quality and level of expertise offered here was invaluable and well worth the nominal fees for the workshops, which ranged from $15-$35 each. Thanks to the Film Industry Expo produc-

BEING AUTHENTICALLY YOU BY CAROL ANN SCRUGGS

Panelists Tracy “Twinkie” Byrd, Lance Nichols and Rhavynn Drummer.

One of the many workshops offered at the 2013 Film Industry Expo was one called “Being Authentically You.” This was one I didn’t want to miss because I felt like it represented exactly what an actor is and the reason for “you” being cast versus another actor. “You” being “you” in the character. The panel featured two top casting directors, Tracy “Twinkie” Byrd, who cast Sparkle, The Blind Side, and Fruitvale Station, to name a few, and Rhavynn Drummer with Tyler Perry Studios, who has cast on Meet the Browns, House of Payne, and more. The panel was moderated by Louisiana’s own Lance Nichols, who has over 140 IMDb credits in film and television. They each offered their words of wisdom and then opened the floor up for a question and answer session. “Twinkie” Byrd was all that her name implied—full of personality with a large dose of reality wisdom. When asked how to be “authentically you,” she said, “By being yourself, meaning know who you are and to stand on the shoulders of other people before you. Be well rounded and listen to who your ancestors are so it will help you become yourself.” Basically, know where you come from and be that. When asked about taping auditions, she said to “remember the technical, no background, good audio, ¾ shot in frame (her preference), good lighting with no fluorescent lights, no dark circles, no white concealer, and to watch the raised eyebrows.” Byrd also offered words of advice when auditioning in person: “When you are in person auditioning, remember the reader is strategic. When readers are in the room, they are the type for the role, period. Never

56

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE FIVE 2013

Breakdown Services' Jenna Pass, Jason Teresi and Gary Marsh.

ers Shanda Quintal and Lolita Burrell, and all of the exhibitors, participants, panelists and contributors for a job well done! LFV

dismiss them.” Very sound advice. Nichols’ response was that the audition was always about the performance and not the whistles and bells. He was referring to wearing costumes and props for auditioning. All three were not in favor of costumes and props at an audition, and if props are used, keep them to a minimum. It’s important not to let them distract from your performance. Drummer said the worst auditions were the ones where they say the lines and then have no response or reaction to them. In a taped audition, she looks for preparation and control of the visual atmosphere, such as the background with no mess, no house views, just plain background with good lighting and no dark shadows or darkness. She prefers a ¾ shot as well. She said she looks for a great performance and a connection. When asked about casting outside of Los Angeles, Byrd said to work the local market first and build up your reel, then consider the Los Angeles market. They also had some advice for the young actor. Drummer advised to “be your own age and enjoy yourself where you are. Do only as much acting as you want to because you love it.” Byrd first said jokingly to “get out.” She admits when casting a child she does think about the parent, so don’t be the “mom-ager” or “dad-ager,” just be the parent. She said, “When the parents are the manager, the relationship between the child and parent changes. So, be sure to always keep things in perspective, and be respectful and normal.” What grounding viewpoints from all the panelists. How I would love to have a whole day with them to tap into their expertise! They are truly an inspiration for all of us, both personally and professionally. We were so very fortunate to have them here at our Expo. I, for one, hope we get the opportunity to have them again. A workshop attendee asks the panel a question.


ISSUE FIVE 2013

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

57


READY SET FILM! A RECAP OF NOVAC PRACTICAL FX TRAINING

that’s used someplace else, but in the industry they mean something very specific. And you have to know what’s what.” The students learned a lot in five short days. Here’s what a few of them had to say: Keith Charlet, Practical FX Trainee: “Robert covers a lot in a short amount of time. I’ve been in professional video production for 15 years now, but my experience is in live events. There are a lot of similar concepts, but there is a lot of things that are done differently for film. Film is all set up to capture an effect that you want, rather than capturing what happens, like in a live event. Here you get to retake, but not for a live event.” NOVAC trainees learn how to safely build and detonate a dirt and air mortar. PHOTOS BY ABIGAIL LEVNER

F

rom July 29 through August 2, NOVAC, Film New Orleans, Film Jefferson, the UNO Foundation and Spectrum FX offered a free fiveday hands-on seminar in feature film practical special effects to locals interested in getting a foot in the booming production industry. Twenty locals had the chance to learn from the acclaimed professor Robert Willard and train with veteran effects coordinator Matt Kutcher and his team at Spectrum FX (Beautiful Creatures, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Bonnie & Clyde), and learn the basics of creating the incredible effects in front of the camera that make movies come to life. “Through our Ready Set Film! workforce program, NOVAC connects local residents to the economic opportunities of the film industry,” said Abigail Levner, membership and development coordinator at NOVAC. “Our practical effects trainees are already landing jobs with employers like Spectrum FX on 22 Jump Street and American Horror Story, and that is a direct effect of the training they received with NOVAC. By the end of 2013, we’ll have trained over 130 locals through Practical effects trainee Matthew Gospodinovich practices handling a snow hose.

58

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE FIVE 2013

low- and no-cost workforce training, and that’s in addition to the 2,000-plus that have attended our classes, educational programs, networking events, and received creative support services.” Said Professor Willard, “Most seasoned effects people are not teachers in any sense of the word. But I have some experience teaching and some experience teaching special effects. I taught management training before I even got in the business. I’ve been active in the film business for 34 years. Right now, I teach at a small university in Southern Utah, Dixie State University. I’m compressing into five days what I do in a semester in college. I’m giving them the nuts and bolts without all the frill. This course is the only one I know of that has been taught in this part of the country, and in Hollywood a course like this has only been taught twice in the last 25 years. And I taught one of them 25 years ago. “Most everybody in the class has been on set here and there, but they have not done any effects. This gives them a real foot up. I don’t think any of them will be able to come out of here and run their own show, but at least they will be a good hand on a show with an effects coordinator. I just finished publishing a book called Special Effects: How They Are Done in Hollywood. One whole section is just terminology. There are a lot of terms that are very industry specific and might be the same term

Allison Hilder, Practical FX Trainee: “This has been really fun. I’ve been working in the industry for three years now and wanted to add to my bag of tricks. I do a lot of art department and production designing, so it’s nice to actually know the mechanical and physics aspect of the way things work. These are good things to know as a designer. I think it’s amazing that NOVAC has put this on. I’m glad they are around to give people a chance to get their foot in the door and see what it’s all about.”

Special effects technician Robert Willard leads a smoke demo.

Adrien Thelin, Practical FX Trainee: “I’m an indie filmmaker. A sound mixer. That’s my trade. But there are a lot of practical applications for me since I have to wear many hats as an indie filmmaker. Meeting some of these guys who want to be in this department full-time is great. The chance of these guys coming in and getting involved with one of these big projects is slim. So some of them are eager to help me make indie movies and get their chops up.” LFV


ANIMAL TALENT

VISIT US ONLINE! louisianafilmandvideo.com

ISSUE FIVE 2013

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

59


BRIEFS

REP. LEGER RECEIVES LFEA’S FILM AND ENTERTAINMENT ADVOCACY AWARD Representative Walt Leger, III was honored with the inaugural 2013 Film and Entertainment Advocacy award by the Louisiana Film and Entertainment Association (LFEA) on August 21 in New Orleans. The award recog-

nizes Rep. Leger’s support for the entertainment industry in Louisiana. “I am honored to be recognized for my support of Louisiana’s film and entertainment industry,” says Rep. Leger. “This industry is a jobs engine with a huge ripple effect. Not only does it create direct economic impact,

it spurs a whole host of ancillary businesses. An industry that brings such large economic impact to our state; one that allows us to compete with top players in our country, is one worth acknowledging, and I’m excited to be a part of that.” LFEA also held a Louisiana Legislative Session and Entertainment Incentives Panel discussion, gathering top government and industry leaders that afternoon at the offices of Jones Walker, LLP in New Orleans. The panel focused on the 2013 legislative session, Louisiana’s future with the success of the tax credits, and LFEA’s role as an industry leader. Panelists included Rep. Leger; Chris Stelly, executive director of Louisiana Entertainment; David Tatman, executive director and lobbyist for LFEA; Kimberly Lewis Robinson, partner in tax and estates practices group, Jones Walker, LLP; and Sherri McConnell, principal at McConnell & Associates Consulting and former executive director of Louisiana Entertainment. The panel was moderated by William French, LFEA president and president of Film Production Capital. Visit www.LFEA.org for more information.

JEFFERSON BATTERY COMPANY MOVIE PRODUCTION BATTERY SUPPLIES Batteries for a Portable World 700 Jefferson Highway Jefferson, LA 70121 Wholesale - Retail - Commercial - Private We will meet your needs! Medical - Marine - Military University & Corporate Automotive & Heavy Machinery Computers & Back-Up Systems Digital Cameras & Camcorders Smartphones, Mobile Devices, & PDA’s (Energizer Lithium AA)

BRANDS: AC Delco, Exide, Universal Power Group, YUASA, Motorcross, Gates Hawker, Poloroid, Sanyo, Duracell Procell, Cyclone, Panasonic, Saft, Tadiran, Schumacher Chargers, Cadnica, Hawker, Powersonic, Enersys, Eagle Picher, Ultra Life, Midtronics, Autometer, DEKA, Associated Equipment, and many more!

Tel: (504) 835 -1685 / Fax: (504) 835 - 5773 / E-mail: mail@thebattman.com 60

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE FIVE 2013


ISSUE FIVE 2013

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

61


‘DYNAMIC DUO’ RETURNS HOME WITH TWO INTERNATIONAL MAGIC TITLES Louisiana natives Michael Dardant, also known as “Magic Mike,” and Shanna Lynn Forrestall, a film and television actress performing as “Velvet Marie,” joined forces to compete in the International Festival de Magie in Quebec City over Labor Day weekend. The duo, who’ve been friends since 2004, were focused on acquiring another international competition award for Dardant, whose impressive record includes 13 awards in 2012 alone. This was their first time performing together, and Forrestall had to learn four routines in two days. The pair performed seven times in two days. And Dardant, who’s Cajun French, worked hard to translate more

62

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE FIVE 2013

than half of each routine into local French to help attendees understand the performances. They returned home with two International Magic titles—a 1st Place Award in the Close-up Division, and also a 1st Place Award in the Mentalist Division. “Performing with Mike was such a challenge, and such a gift,” said Forrestall. “He is an amazingly talented performer, not just in magic, but in comedy, improv and live performance. This was a beautiful experience, and Quebec welcomed us with open arms. I’d love to perform and compete with him again in the future.” Both Dardant and Forrestall are represented by Open Range Management. For more information about Dardant, visit www.michaeldardant.com, and for more on Forrestall, visit www.shannafromlouisiana.com.

NEW CROWDFUNDING PLATFORM FOR NOLA INDIE FILMS SEEKS TO FEATURE 10 FILMMAKERS The film industry is booming in New Orleans, but independent filmmakers still struggle to finance and distribute their films. Indywood, Inc., a new crowdfunding for equity platform, is seeking 10 feature film projects for their site’s launch in October. To introduce the company to the New Orleans film community, Indywood™ will screen three hardto-find indie films, including a short by Court 13 (Beasts of the Southern Wild), on October 4 at 7pm at the Saint Claude Ave Art House. The co-founders will host a discussion on how crowdfunding for equity could change the NOLA film industry and answer questions as to how to become a featured filmmaker. Discussion will include alcoholic beverages. Featured filmmakers’ projects will be shopped around to interested investors once the site is completed. Indywood™ encourages any and all filmmakers to become beta testers and apply to be featured. Indywood™ is an online platform for independent films. It combines crowdfunding for film equity with a pay-per-view online movie theater. It’s basically a dating site where New Orleans indie filmmakers can meet investors, and where viewers can rent hardto-find indie films. For more info, visit www.indywood.org.


ISSUE FIVE 2013

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

63


Lm 5 13 web  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you