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VOLUME 11 ISSUE FIVE 2014
EXECUTIVE EDITOR Andrew Vogel andrew@louisianaﬁlmandvideo.com ASSOCIATE FEATURES EDITOR W. H. Bourne ASSOCIATE EDITOR Katie Sauro contact@louisianaﬁlmandvideo.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Wéland Bourne, Steven Esteb, Annie Gaia, Harriett McGuire, Haley Summers, Corey Vaughn SALES MANAGER Katie Higgins SALES Steve Joseph PRODUCTION MANAGER John Rusnak PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Kelly Baker DESIGNERS Dawn Carlson Beth Harrison Sonjia Kells
WEBMASTER Jon Hines
“Musician Heal Thyself” — Behind the scenes on the set of the CBS series NCIS: New Orleans, scheduled to air on the CBS Television Network. Pictured: Executive producer Jeffrey Lieber (left). PHOTO: MICHELE K. SHORT/CBS ©2014 CBS BROADCASTING, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Letter From The Editor
4th Annual Southern Screen Film Festival
NCIS Finds A New Home In New Orleans
Stage West Draws Productions To Shreveport
Louisiana-shot The Best of Me Hits Theaters in October
Pointe Coupee: A Hidden Gem
Why Do We Make Films?
Feature Films Flock To NOLA’s Audubon Nature Institute
Secret Moonbase Launches Into Aerial Production
Company Proﬁle: Wrapture
Post Production, Finishing and Mastering For Cinema
The Virtual Reality of 2014’s CTIA Super Mobility Show
Ask An Agent
Central Casting Opens Office In Louisiana
Timecode:NOLA’s One Reel Super 8 Contest “On The Spot”
SPOTLIGHT ON NOFF
New Orleans Film Festival Highlights
Little Dream Comes Alive For Big Charity Filmmaker
61 Bullets Flying Into New Orleans Film Festival
ON THE COVER: “Musician Heal Thyself” — Behind the scenes on the set of the CBS series NCIS: New Orleans, scheduled to air on the CBS Television Network. Pictured L-R: CCH Pounder as Dr. Loretta Wade, Zoe McLellan as special agent Meredith “Merri” Brody, Scott Bakula as special agent Dwayne Pride, and Lucas Black as special agent Christopher LaSalle. PHOTO: MICHELE K. SHORT/CBS ©2014 CBS BROADCASTING, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
DIGITAL EDITION AVAILABLE AT: WWW.LOUISIANAFILMANDVIDEO.COM 6 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE
ISSUE FIVE 2014
OFFICE MANAGER Audra Higgins INFORMATION SERVICES MANAGER Lois Sanborn
LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO PUBLICATIONS A DIVISION OF MEDIA INC PUBLISHING GROUP P.O. Box 50036 New Orleans, LA 70150 (800) 332-1736 contact@louisianaﬁlmandvideo.com www.louisianaﬁlmandvideo.com www.louisianaproductionindex.com Display Advertising: Call Media Index Publishing Group for a current rate card. Discounts for frequency advertising. All submitted materials become the property of Media Index Publishing Group and will not be returned. Subscriptions, call (800) 332-1736 for information and rates. Copyright ©2014 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
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LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE 9
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR We recap Timecode:NOLA’s Super 8 One Reel contest. And writslightly less humid weather we’ve longed for. The same touch we’ll complain er/director Steven Esteb offers a potent and important answer to about a couple months from now. But not before parading through one of the the elusive question: Why do we busiest months in Louisiana Film. make ﬁlms? If you ﬁnd yourself wandering about the New Orleans Film Festival searching for the “place to A suitable complement to the 20 features and 4 major television be” on Saturday night, know that you’re cordially invited to join us series that are being ﬁlmed in Louisiana, we are in the midst of on October 18 at 7pm for a soiree in the NOFF Filmmaker Lounge. the 25th Annual New Orleans Film Festival, which has now twice Come enjoy live music, complibeen dubbed one of the “25 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee” by mentary food and drink from MovieMaker Magazine. American Roadshow and LakeAmong the many great local ﬁlms in this year’s lineup are two house Film Catering, and, most standout documentaries, Big Charity, the story of Charity Hospital importantly, some good compafrom its humble beginnings to its controversial post-Katrina closny from the people at LFV. ing, and 61 Bullets, offering a daring insight into the life and death Last but not least, have a of the most powerful man in Louisiana, United States Senator Huey happy Halloween. P. Long, and his presumed assailant, Dr. Carl Weiss. (On a personal note, my grandmother’s maiden name is Weiss, and it is a known All the best, fact in my family that Dr. Weiss is innocent. Though I’m far enough Andrew Vogel, removed from the situation to allow for scrutiny.) Executive Editor In this issue we prep you, as you may have guessed, for the New Orleans Film Festival (see pages 29-48) and also the Southern Screen Film Festival held in Lafayette from November 13-16 (see page 51).
all is in the air. After a long hot summer, it’s easy to embrace that touch of cold,
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NCIS FINDS A NEW HOME IN NEW ORLEANS
(L-R) Behind the scenes of the CBS series NCIS: New Orleans, Scott Bakula as special agent Dwayne Pride, director Arvin Brown, and director of photography Gordon Lonsdale in episode “It Happened Last Night.”
STORY BY W. H. BOURNE • PHOTOS BY SKIP BOLEN/CBS © 2014 CBS BROADCASTING, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
had heard that there was this really small NCIS ﬁeld office in New Orleans,” said producer Gary Glasberg, “and through some of the connections we have in Washington, I connected with D’Wayne Swear who ran the office for quite some time but is now retired. Then I came down and visited (New Orleans). The more I learned, the more I saw, and the more I experienced, it just made sense. With the Navy and Marine Corps presence in the area and the jurisdiction that’s covered, it works for us. I got very excited about the city and the culture and the people. It’s different enough that it stands out for us but still feels like the world of NCIS.”
NCIS: New Orleans has been shooting around the Crescent City and on soundstages at Nims Center Studios in Jefferson Parish; the ﬁrst few episodes recently debuted on CBS. “I’ve been with Mark Harmon and the original show for six seasons now,” said Glasberg, “and then this opportunity in New Orleans came up. I’m thrilled we gave it a shot. So far, it’s going great.” Trying to create a spinoff is always difﬁcult. When you already have ISSUE FIVE 2014
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Filming an action shot on location for “Carrier,” an episode for the new CBS series NCIS: New Orleans.
a successful show format, the challenging aspect is discovering a location and characters that viewers will care about. “For me, it began with visiting your city,” continued Glasberg. “The people are so lovely and warm and just honestly so comfortable that the more time I spent there, the more I just wanted to try and capture that hospitality in the people I presented on the show. As NCIS agents, there are certain responsibilities and training and not everyone is born and bred in that part of the country. In the instance of Zoe McLellan’s character (Meredith Brody) and CCH Pounder’s character (Dr. Loretta Wade), they come from other areas of the country originally, but this was an opportunity to, in classic NCIS fashion, create characters that you genuinely want to spend time with, that in one moment can be light and fun and a pleasure to be around and then, in another moment, be focused on a case and eager to get the job done. New Orleans just provided a speciﬁc backdrop for that.” “I didn’t have to have a dialogue coach because my character comes from Santa Fe via Massachusetts,” explained actress CCH Pounder. “The wonderful thing about the medical examiner is that it’s a post. It’s not like you can grow up in a town and become the medical examiner for that town. You actually get assigned to a place, and you either take the post or you don’t. There are only so many openings in the country so luckily for me I didn’t have to do the (dialect) coaching or anything like that. The show’s name is NCIS: New Orleans, but it covers the entire gulf port run from New Orleans all the way up to Alabama so you will hear many different accents. The person who has the most work to do is Scott Bakula (Dwayne Pride) because his character’s 14 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE
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from New Orleans and has been there all his life because he’s in love with his work.” “The most challenging thing for me is trying to satisfy and please the people of New Orleans and of Louisiana,” said Glasberg. “It’s super important to me that this show just isn’t another Hollywood interpretation of your city and region. I know there will always be criticism of one thing or another, but if people are watching and are pleased by what they are seeing and how the city’s being presented and seeing parts that they haven’t seen on TV or in the movies before, then I’d like to believe that we are doing our jobs and doing it to the best of our abilities. This city is a character in our show; it’s not just where this ofﬁce takes place. It’s a big part of this team and this program, so I just want to do it justice. If I do it for the people who live there, then that’s a huge accomplishment.” “I think the contradiction between reality and TV is what’s most challenging,” said Pounder. “Let’s face it: in a morgue I can’t be having lots of conversations with other people un-gloved, unmasked, un-boundup; yet, when you’re behind all that stuff, you sound like ‘whwhlhfopihwnlvfn’ so we’ve had to come up with suggestions that you’re protected. I think all the doctors and nurses watching the show will be rolling their eyes going, ‘oh, please!’ I think that’s the most contradictory in terms that we’re not doing Dr. Kildare anymore. We’re trying to get to a real place, and sometimes, for television, it’s really not possible for it to be intelligible. The drama is to be able to see someone’s eyes, to hear what they are saying, to see the expression on their face. If you’re covered in plastic and goggles and a head wrap, it’s not
(L-R) Director Michael Zinberg and actress CCH Pounder (Dr. Loretta Wade) discuss a scene for the ﬁrst episode, “Musician Heal Thyself,” of the new CBS series NCIS: New Orleans.
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going to happen. Other than that, it’s been a fairly smooth re-entry. I’m not interested in establishing my character right away. I want to leave a lot of things open so that she can do other things. I know that they wanted me there for authority, but I was kind of like, ‘You know, I’ve done that 59 times already so let’s have a little bit of sass!’ The fact that she’s a doctor and a coroner (Pounder’s character) means that she already has her credentials so let’s move onto her humanity and her ﬂaws. I’m trying to encourage the writers to be varied because a woman who has come from Santa Fe with a little bit of spirituality from there and has ended up in New Orleans with a whole lot of African American spirituality should be a very interesting person.” NCIS: New Orleans has captured the city both visually and musically. It’s obvious that much planning and care was put into
Rob Kerkovich as Sebastian Lund.
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the plans for how the city would be portrayed. “From day one, we wanted music to play a large part in how this show is presented,” explained Glasberg. “When Treme was no longer in production, we were very fortunate to get some of the music supervisor team that worked on that show and now are participating in our show. Those guys in combination with our composer Brian Kirk have been very focused on not only ﬁnding local, regional talent that we can showcase and use on the screen but make sure that the ﬂavor comes through with the music we write for the show as well.” “On the set, I think the unsung person is Victoria Paul, our production designer; every set I walk into I take this kind of inward gasp at the detail. It’s wonderful, but they won’t be talking about her. They’ll be talking about the story
and the acting and stuff like that. There are so many things that make a story real and present and her work is phenomenal,” said Pounder. “She really brought these sets to life,” agreed Glasberg. “She built the squad room and courtyard and gave it this really unique ﬂavor and style. The Jefferson Parish morgue, Sebastian’s lab—just beautiful sets incorporating daylight and color and age in a way that makes this show stand out and be different. In many ways, she tried to incorporate the French and Spanish inﬂuence that exists in New Orleans architecture. We try to get a little of that into our sets as much as possible. It’s been a real pleasure to work with her.” NCIS: New Orleans is airing on Tuesdays at 8pm CST on CBS and is still actively shooting in and around New Orleans. “We’re going to do thirteen (episodes) and we have already completed six,” explained Pounder. “We’re working on number seven now. We’ll be in New Orleans ofﬁcially until December, but sometime in October it’s going to change, and we’ll ﬁnd out if we will do the back nine to make it twenty-two (episodes) or not. So far they (the network) seem incredibly excited and very pleased so hopefully that’s not an overly optimistic, ‘Oh it’s so fabulous! We’re going to get 17 million shares a night!’ I’m hoping that it’s strong enough. Offering the city as a character as something for people to see and really check into is great because let’s face it, it’s a procedural drama; it’s crime and punishment. The framework is not unusual for anybody so the city and the characters that ﬁll it really have to be what the story is about.” “We really just feel like we’re settling in, and New Orleans is becoming home. To know that I’ve got 200 people there working hard who love going to work every day is a terriﬁc thing. In theory, if we do 24
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episodes a season, we’ll run ten almost eleven months of solid work out of the year so that’s a great thing for the local economy and a great thing for us,” continued Glasberg. “We’re happy to provide the work. I know we have a lot of local hires who all have been terriﬁc.” In addition to taking advantage of the solid crew base in New Orleans, the show has also been able to take advantage of the state tax credits. “We’re absolutely participating in the tax incentive program,” said Glasberg. “I feel like we’ve really lucked out.” Meanwhile, Pounder is living locally in the arts district which she’s really enjoying since she is an artist and has owned galleries in the past. “In the city itself, I’ve had an incredible welcome,” said Pounder. “It’s pretty amazing, but I am completely ruined by having Emeril’s across the street and Peche down the road and August up the road. I just gave myself a talking to that I will be eating raw salads for the next four weeks and joining a Pilates class and start remembering my age and what I can really function on because I just was having a little too much of a good time. Laissez bon temps rouler was rolling all over me so I was like, ‘This just has to stop!’ I am now on the disciplinary track.” Glasberg has also admitted to being a foodie. Since he is still writing on the original NCIS, Glasberg is splitting his time between New Orleans and Los Angeles. He deﬁnitely looks forward to eating when he is in the city. “We’re all just enjoying ourselves and making some really strong episodes of TV,” said Glasberg. “Every time I step off the plane, I’m thrilled to be there especially with the way the city has embraced us. It’s been a real pleasure to work there, and hopefully we’ll do it for a long time.” LFV
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LOUISIANA-SHOT THE BEST OF ME HITS THEATERS IN OCTOBER
Director Michael Hoffman considers a shot setup for The Best of Me.
Producer Denise Di Novi (right) confers with a crew member on location.
Luke Bracey and Liana Liberto play the younger versions of James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan’s characters.
PHOTOS BY GEMMA LAMANA © 2014 BEST OF ME PRODUCTIONS, LLC
irected by Michael Hoffman (One Fine Day, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Emperor’s Club), The Best of Me stars James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan. Locally shot in Pear River, Morgan City and New Orleans, Louisiana, The Best of Me is an adaptation of The Notebook author Nicholas Sparks’ novel of the same name. The ﬁlm follows a pair of former high school sweethearts who reunite after many years when they return to visit their small hometown. From Relativity Media, The Best of Me is slated to hit theaters October 17. LFV
James Marsden stars as Dawson Cole and Michelle Monaghan stars as Amanda Collier in Relativity Media’s The Best of Me.
Actor Gerald McRaney on the set in Louisiana. ISSUE FIVE 2014
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WHY DO WE MAKE FILMS? STORY BY STEVEN ESTEB
hy do we make ﬁlms? There are a lot of reasons. Many of us grew up watching them and have spent our lives obsessing over them. That would be me. Some of us want to go to Hollywood and get rich and famous. This one has crossed my mind, I’m not going to lie. And some of us make ﬁlms because we have something to say and ﬁlmmaking has become the social commentary medium of our time. That is how I got started.
When Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1450, the world changed forever. And although the arts had been used to push social change for hundreds of years, the ability to print books on a massive scale brought words and their power to the masses. Until that moment, books were handwritten very slowly, so only the rich and powerful had access to them, including the Bible. With the printing of the Gutenberg Bible, God’s word was suddenly available to almost everyone, bringing access to the world. And that was just the beginning. That was important for many reasons, but I think it began to equal the playing ﬁeld and equality is what it’s all about. I’m not here to tell you about the history of anything. I’m a screenwriter and a ﬁlmmaker. The written word is how I begin the process. So, I repeat the question: Why do we make ﬁlms? Hollywood blockbusters about superheroes and turtles and robots have taken over the big screens around the world. And that’s all about making money and what will sell in China. I’m ﬁne with that, but that
isn’t why I got into this. I have written dozens and dozens of screenplays. Sold a few to Hollywood. I’ve directed several ﬁlms, some here in Louisiana. I started in this business with something to say, a cause. And that cause was AIDS. Back in 1992, I was recently out of ﬁlm school and trying to ﬁgure out how to make my way in this business back in Los Angeles. I stumbled upon a place where people stricken with AIDS could go at the end of their lives to die with dignity. I was so taken by the people there and their caregivers, I made it my mission to make a documentary about them and change the world. For me, making the ﬁlm was all about equality. I witnessed the discrimination and hate toward people who simply had a disease. I wanted people to know about them and the people who cared so much for them. It consumed me for many years. I was obsessed with it. It deﬁned me. The power of ﬁlm to affect social change is incredible. Equality and
The power of ﬁlm to affect social change is incredible. Equality and social justice have been part of ﬁlm forever.
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social justice have been part of ﬁlm forever. In just the last couple of years, several were made right here in Louisiana. 12 Years A Slave, The Butler and Dallas Buyers Club were all made here and are all ﬁlms about equality and social justice. The ﬁlm at the top of my Top Ten list, To Kill A Mockingbird, still inspires me. I think about it all the time. I’ve seen that ﬁlm at least thirty times and have read the book three times. It takes on racial injustice in rural Alabama. How many ﬁlms have been made about Nelson Mandela? There’s a reason for that. Racial equality is an issue that won’t go away. Recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, and all around America remind us that racial inequality and all the bad behavior that accompanies it can still dominate the nightly news, and worse, make us question who we are as a country and as human beings. I ask again... Why do we make ﬁlms? Also, right out of the news, is the issue of marriage equality. Which really is, all politics and moral judgment aside, about civil rights. Do all Americans have the same rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? It’s really that simple and I don’t care if you agree with me on that or not. If you believe in our Constitution, whatever religion or political afﬁliation you belong to, you must believe in those rights. For me, this issue really resonates. It probably stems from that time long ago when I fought the good ﬁght for my friends with AIDS. Maybe it’s just the right thing to do. I’m going to make a movie that addresses this. What’s really cool about ﬁlmmaking is that a ﬁlm is always a ﬁlm. It has a structure, it has a format, it has a plot, and hopefully interesting characters on amazing emotional journeys. You can take on import-
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ant issues and make an entertaining ﬁlm at the same time. I loved 12 Years A Slave, even though it shed light on one of the worst chapters of American history. Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln thin sliced the Civil War and gave us a glimpse of how the President changed America during the most divisive period in the journey of our democracy. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. Amazing ﬁlm. And Dallas Buyers Club reminded us of the struggle for people with AIDS just to get the drugs they needed to survive and the stigma of that disease that blinded us to their plight. It took over 20 years for Dallas Buyers Club to make it to the big screen. Equal rights are at this moment under assault, whether it’s those trying to stop marriage equality or limiting voter rights at the polls or racial proﬁling or the right of equal pay for women. This is happening right now. As an artist and ﬁlmmaker, I have to do something. This is why I want to make ﬁlms. To make a difference, maybe even change the world. Grandiose? Sure, but if not me, who? So, with that backdrop, I’m making a ﬁlm called Heartland, about a rural family dealing with a hate crime. Their son murdered a gay guy. And on the night of his execution, they struggle to understand how this could happen... to their family, to sugarcane farmers in Southern Louisiana, to any American family anywhere. Why am I making this ﬁlm? I found an amazing script from right here in Louisiana, written by a man from Baton Rouge. A script about equality. A story about real people facing the loss of their sons, because people don’t understand how the same we really are. I’m making this ﬁlm because the number one cause of death in gay teenagers is suicide. Because I don’t think that’s right. Can I change the world? I don’t know, but I’m going to try. One movie at a time. LFV
SPOTLIGHT ON NOFF
NEW ORLEANS FILM FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS MARQUEE FILMS FOCUS ON NOLA TALENT
he New Orleans Film Society is excited to premiere its new Marquee screenings, taking place during the New Orleans Film Festival, October 16 – 23. The nine selected Marquee ﬁlms speak to the wide spectrum of movies being made in and about New Orleans.
From big-budget productions like American Heist that star Oscarwinning actors to more independent documentaries with a local focus like Oil & Water, the ﬁlms in this year’s Marquee screenings lineup represent just some of the impressive ﬁlmmaking talents the city has to offer. All Marquee screenings will take place at The Joy Theater. “We’re thrilled to place a large focus on New Orleans ﬁlms and
PHOTO BY CRAIG MULCAHY
Scenes from NOFF 2013 included celebrations with the 12 Years A Slave cast (above), red carpet events, and packed screenings.
ﬁlmmakers this year with our Marquee screenings,” says Jolene Pinder, executive director of the New Orleans Film Society. “From visionary directors like Garrett Bradley to production designers like Jim Gelarden, from supporting actors like Lance Nichols and Laura
Cayouette to casting directors like Ryan Glorioso... It’s no wonder that MovieMaker Magazine named New Orleans the ‘top small city to live and work as a moviemaker.’” The nine Marquee screenings are:
people—Elliott, newly arrived from New York, single mother Leann, and unemployed father Jamaine—as they negotiate New Orleans’ streets, neighborhoods, and residents in search of an upward path to fulﬁll their dreams. Throughout the ﬁlm, a brief smattering of familiar local artists emerge including the illustrious Meschiya Lake, jazz sensation Mario Abney, and perhaps the most unique artist currently within the sissy bounce scene, Vockah Redu.
(Director: Sarik Andreasyan) Wednesday, October 22, 8:45pm
Shot in New Orleans with a cast including the likes of Adrien Brody, Hayden Christensen, Jordana Brewster, and Akon,
American Heist tells the story of two brothers with checkered pasts, one struggling on the road to normalcy, the other just released from prison. Their lives intertwine when one drags the other into an ill-fated bank robbery spearheaded by a gang of dangerous criminals. Below Dreams (Director: Garrett Bradley) – Saturday, October 18, 8:30pm (Additional screening Thursday, October 23, 3:30pm at Prytania Theatre)
A reverie of images and sound, Below Dreams (which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival this year) loosely follows the narratives of three very different
Big Charity (Director: Alex Glustrom) – Tuesday, October 21, 6:30pm and Wednesday, October 22, 6:30pm
Including never-before-seen footage and exclusive interviews, Big Charity tells the story of Charity Hospital in New Orleans, from its roots to its controversial closing in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. From the ﬁrsthand accounts of healthcare ISSUE FIVE 2014
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providers and hospital employees who withstood the storm inside the hospital, to interviews with key players who helped shut it down, Big Charity shares the untold, true story around its closure and sheds new light on the sacriďŹ ces made for the sake of progress. (See page 35 for more on this ďŹ lm.) Big Star: Live in Memphis (Producers: Danny GraďŹ‚und, Robert Gordon, David Julian Leonard) â€“ Monday, October 20, 9:00pm (Additional screening Wednesday, October 22, 10:00pm at Prytania Theatre)
Two decades after the demise of the 1970s power-pop band Big Star, original members Alex Chilton and Jody Stephens enlisted a couple of the Posies to rejuvenate the group. This concert ďŹ lm, featuring some of the only full-length concert footage of the band, captures both the fun and the intensity of Big
Starâ€™s homecoming. This ďŹ lm is making its festival premiere in New Orleans, the late Alex Chiltonâ€™s adopted hometown. Last Spring Break (Director: Sean Gerowin) â€“ Tuesday, October 21, 8:45pm
Twenty years after college, fraternity brothers in the throes of a collective midlife crisis reunite
during Spring Break to ďŹ lm material for their hastily conceived smartphone game, Bikini Girls Behaving Badly. From the New Orleans-based ďŹ lmmaking team behind Trailer Park Jesus, the Audience Award-winning comedy from NOFF 2012. Oil & Water (Director: Rob Davis) â€“ Sunday, Octo-
ber 19, 8:45pm
This locally made documentary explores the complex relationship between coastal Cajuns in Louisiana and the oil and gas industry, following a family and their seafood business as they continue to support deep water drilling in the wake of the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Featuring music from the Lost Bayou
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Ramblers. Live music will follow the screening at the Joy Theater. Una Vida (Director: Richie Adams) – Sunday, October 19, 6:00pm (Additional screening Tuesday, October 21, 11:00am at Prytania Theatre)
23, 1:30pm at Prytania Theatre)
In interviews with over 40 practicing Mardi Gras Indians, we learn the legends and the history of a culture whose practices date back to the times of slavery. We watch these men ply their craft to painstakingly construct beaded patches, sewing one bead at a time to create elaborate pictorial stories. As Mardi Gras day approaches, Indians around the city sew day and night to complete their suits in time for the big day. Tensions run high as the ﬁnal hours dwindle, the night before a combination of desperate toil and jubilant anticipation. White Rabbit (Director: Tim McCann) – Saturday, October 18, 6:00pm
Dr. Alvaro Cruz, a neuroscientist disillusioned by the death of his mother and his inability to help her, ﬁnds redemption and reward by helping Una Vida, a jazz singer he discovers performing on the streets of New Orleans. Her health declining and her singing partner and her adopted daughter unable to help, Cruz seeks out her long lost son in an effort to bring resolution to the grief, loss and longing that has overshadowed her hard but beautiful life. We Won’t Bow Down (Director: Christopher LeVoy Bower) – Tuesday, October 21, 6:45pm (Additional screening Thursday, October
Shot in New Orleans, White Rabbit is the story of Harlon (Nick Krause, The Descendants), who has been tormented since childhood by visions of the white rabbit that his father (Sam Trammell, True Blood) forced him to kill while hunting as a young boy. Now that Harlon is a bullied teenager, his undiagnosed mental illness has started to manifest itself in increasing troublesome ways—he begins hearing voices and imagines the characters in his dark comic books are speaking to him. LFV For more information about these screenings and all the other ﬁlms and events at this year’s NOFF, visit www. neworleansﬁlmfestival.org.
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SPOTLIGHT ON NOFF
LITTLE DREAM COMES ALIVE FOR BIG CHARITY FILMMAKER STORY BY ANNIE GAIA
t was just a conversation topic that came up when he worked in the projects. Just an idea that sparked his imagination about the reopening of the hospital so many people loved, were saved in, and born in: the famous New Orleans landmark of Charity Hospital, which was closed after Hurricane Katrina. How could one ﬁlmmaker, who had never done a documentary before, have the ability to compile a 60-minute feature not only headlining New Orleans Film Festival, but also taking the independent movie circuit by storm? I interviewed director/producer/editor Alexander Glustrom, a Tulane grad originally from Atlanta, about Big Charity.
Glustrom has a fascination with abandoned buildings and spaces that is borderline obsessive, and he loves exploring. The photographer learned about these buildings, and that is really why Charity drew him in. Glustrom dug deeper into his curiosity. “I worked at a youth center in the Iberville public housing development for Alexander Glustrom almost two years,” he says. “At the time, it was the biggest public housing project in the city and is only a few blocks from Charity. That is when the hospital really began piquing my interest. Especially after hearing the old women talk about it with such affection and their stories of how it saved so many lives from shootings.”
A little trigger of imagination was all it took. Five years later, along with co-producer and composer Ben Johnson and producer Catherine Rierson, he created a beautiful masterpiece of the hidden story that trickles through this ghostly building that once provided miracles several times a day. With just a camera, tripod and a mic, Glustrom was able to compose most interviews by himself or with the help only of Johnson. It amazes me the quality of the cinematography and editing accomplished by Glustrom, but most importantly, the content is what really pulls my heart. The stories come from all backgrounds involving Charity: the locals living in the neighborhood, the dedicated staff, a nun who’d been there for over 60 years, a nurse who was born (and almost died) in the hospital, politicians, and CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. I ask Glustrom about the connection with Dr. Gupta. “Sanjay was great. He [gave us a tour] around CNN and because he spent so much time in Charity during the storm, he has a close
Glustrom shoots scenes for his documentary, Big Charity.
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connection to the hospital,â€? Glustrom recollects. â€œSame with most of the other interviews. Because we had such a small crewâ€”sometimes just me and the camera on a tripod, or just Ben and meâ€”we were able to get people to open up to us in a way that we wouldnâ€™t have been able to, had we had a big crew. Many people were very supportive and happy to participate, including 3 star General HonorĂŠ, Treasurer .HQQHG\.HUPLW5XIÂżQV'RFWRU-RKQDQGPDQ\RWKHUVÂ´ Charity Hospital, after its closure.
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,IHOW,ZDVZLWKWKHPZKHQWKHOHYHHEURNHDQGWKHĂ€RRGUXVKHG in. The power going out, hand-pumping air into patients, the helicopters picking up staff across the way at Tulane Medical Center while Charity waited. There was news footage, handheld cameras from the inside to give the viewer a behind-the-scenes look, but I feel what they shared during interviews carried the impact. â€œWe didnâ€™t have machines, we went back to the basics of medicine. Touch,â€? a nurse says. She continues, â€œOld-fashioned medicine, less tests, less medication, more talking to people. More hugs, words of reassurance. It was medicine the way medicine was intended to be. We were not going to leave the patients; it became a spiritual bond.â€? The staff sang a song one of the nurses taught to everybody. â€œI need you, you need me, we are all a part of Godâ€™s body. It is his will that every need be suppliedâ€Śâ€? After the building had been quarantined, two weeks after people were ďŹ nally rescued, Charity was ready to take in whomever, without asking for insurance. Anyone could be cared for, but
now the doors are shut. “Something is being hidden inside this hospital,” says former city health director Dr. Brobson Lutz. “What do you think it could be?” you hear Glustrom ask off camera. “A building that’s still functional as a hospital.” I ask if Glustrom was ever worried that he was telling a story about a government perhaps having the upper hand and smashing down on the hopes of rebuilding a treasure. “I wouldn’t say I was ever scared of making this, but I deﬁA nurse tends to a patient in a make shift ER in Charity’s auditorium after Katrina. nitely have been very aware of the amount of money and power that we are dealing with when documenting a story like this one,” he the gear, while allocating every idle moment to editing. says. “The ﬁnal FEMA settlement was almost half a billion dollars, “Kickstarter was the big help that gave us the ﬁnal push to ﬁnish the the demolition of the neighborhood was the single biggest eminent movie,” he says. “It was awesome to receive that much support from domain project in Louisiana history, and the combined construction the charity community. More than 600 people donated and almost of the hospitals is currently the largest hospital construction project in all were former Charity employees. To have their support and their the world, so I’ve always been aware that the stakes are high.” blessing has meant everything to us. Most of the fundraising had to go Glustrom kept up with his dream of telling this untold story, picking to licensing costs. We had to license content from over a dozen sources, up gigs to photograph weddings or shoot rap music videos to ﬁnance some footage going all the way back to the ‘20s and ‘40s.”
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There is a feeling of timelessness throughout the ﬁlm. Co-producer/composer Johnson has worked with other local New Orleans musicians to underscore this story of a spiritual place left all alone. A bittersweet ending of a place people sought help in. Whether it was a gunshot victim or an individual seeking mental health care, Charity was always there to open her arms. And now that the doors are closed, the audience can gain a perspective from the people who worked, served and survived through this hospital. Charity’s story will ﬁnally be shared with the city it was standing in for almost 200 years. Glustrom expresses his excitement in anticipation of the festival. “I am thrilled about the NOFF premiere. It is an honor to be one of the headliners and a part of the Marquee series, and to have the screening at the Joy [Theater], only blocks from Charity, is perfect,” he says. “We’ve actually turned down other festivals just so our premiere could be at NOFF. We’ve always felt that people in New Orleans deserve to be the ﬁrst to see the ﬁlm. “The festival has offered to roll out the red carpet for the screenings and we have decided that instead of it being for the ﬁlmmakers, the Charity nurses will walk down it. We have partnered with the Charity Nursing Alumni Association, who have been a big help to us… and many of them will be in attendance and walking down the red carpet. We will also have an after party at Handsome Willie’s Bar, which sits in the shadow of Charity, so people can walk there after the screening.” When you are ﬁnished watching, you see a glimpse of hope. Like maybe, just maybe, miracles could still be performed at Charity Hospital. LFV To see more info about the screenings of Big Charity, visit www.bigcharityﬁlm.com.
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SPOTLIGHT ON NOFF
Ida Boudreaux (in pink shirt) talks about her sister’s husband, Dr. Carl Weiss, accused assassin of Huey P. Long. to ﬁlmmakers for the documentary 61 Bullets, in competition at New Orleans Film Festival.
61 BULLETS FLYING INTO NEW ORLEANS FILM FESTIVAL STORY BY W. H. BOURNE • PHOTOS COURTESY OF LIVE ACTION PROJECTS
remiering at the 2014 New Orleans Film Festival in the documentary feature competition is 61 Bullets, a riveting story about the mystery and intrigue surrounding the assassination of Governor Huey P. Long. While Dr. Carl Weiss, a local respectable physician, was the presumed gunman and was shot by Long’s bodyguards, 61 Bullets explores the events surrounding that fateful night as it presents two stories of two different families.
Even though Governor Huey Long and his accused assassin Dr. Carl Weiss died many years ago, the controversy surrounding the case continues.
“We were very drawn to the idea of premiering the ﬁlm ﬁrst to a Louisiana audience,” said 61 Bullets director David Modigliani. “You can only birth the baby once and it’s exciting that this historical rooted story will be having its world premiere in New Orleans at the Prytania Theatre.” Modigliani explains the documentary’s genesis and how a Texas ﬁlmmaker became enmeshed in such a rich part of Louisiana history, a six year labor of love that Modigliani and fellow ﬁlmmaker Yvonne Boudreaux pursued despite the many challenges and time demands from their day jobs. “Yvonne Boudreaux’s grandmother, Ida Boudreaux, was the alleged assasin’s sister-in-law,” said Modigliani. “Yvonne shared this story with me in 2009. She had seen my ﬁlm Crawford which examined the political aspects and history through the eyes of some of the residents who were impacted in Crawford, Texas, the ISSUE FIVE 2014
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700 person town that George Bush moved into in 2000 just before he announced his candidacy for president... So Yvonne knew that I was drawn to the intersection of the personal and the political. I was fascinated when she told me the story. I have always loved American history and literature, and I began reading and learning about Huey Long and 1930s Louisiana politics. When we went down to do the initial shoot, we were amazed at how strong of storytellers there were in Louisiana and how rich and emotionally charged the subject matter still was 75+ years later.” While the walls of the capital where Long Modigliani and Boudreaux and Weiss were murdered have been replaced, bullet holes were added to the new met at graduate school in Austin, marble to replicate the original corridor. Texas. Many of Modigliani and Boudreaux’s friends in Austin Texas Filmmaker’s Production Fund, but now I believe it’s called The collaborated working tirelessly on 61 Bullets as they volunteered their Austin Film Society Grant. That helped us quite a bit with production. time and skills particularly in post production. We got another grant from the Virginia Wellington Cabot Foundation. “Funding a documentary is like re-inventing the wheel every time,” Then we did a Kickstarter campaign where we raised over $30,000 said Modigliani. “We got a big boost from the Austin Film Society. which was a huge help as we headed into post production. It’s amazing Yvonne and I both live in Austin. We’ve been here quite awhile now… how so many people making small contributions can really add up… The Austin Film Society gave us a grant; at the time it was called the
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61 Bullets’ ﬁlmmakers talk to a group of students visiting the capital.
Most of the Kickstarter contributors that we didn’t know were from Louisiana, people who somehow felt connected to the story… or were intrigued by it. Documentaries are really all about the story, but it’s such a long process that when there’s interest from the outside maybe
someone who sent only $10 but wrote a nice note—that can really make your day, give you energy and boost your continued work on the project. That came frequently from people who we did not know who were Louisiana citizens.” The funding of 61 Bullets should be an eye opener for ﬁlmmakers, a reminder to look for funds even in the most unusual of places. While 61 Bullets is very much about Louisiana history, the Austin ﬁlm community rallied around their ﬁlmmakers. “The Austin Film Society is committed to helping Austin ﬁlmmakers and I suppose they have an open mind about what the subject matter may be,” explained Modigliani. “We are really grateful that they were drawn to some of the more universal aspects of the story, of questioning history, questioning where our news comes from and where do we get the stories that have been handed down to us… and also about inheriting a legacy and what happens (to someone like Carl Weiss, Jr.)
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when you’re born into something like this.” 61 Bullets is rich in historical pictures and footage. Co-director Louisiana Kreutz and co-producer Amy Rodrigue identiﬁed and found the archival footage. They also hired an archivist who had access to the national archives in D.C. who researched and found materials in the national archives at the cost of $360 a day for two days. Modigliani believes that hiring the archivist was well worth the budget since it was still cheaper than a plane ticket to D.C. While a lot of the photographs came from LSU, a surprising amount of footage came from archives at UCLA. While the archival material is impressive, particularly for someone not familiar with the subject matter or time period, the heart of the story is the legacy Carl Weiss, Jr. inherited. An infant at the time of his father’s death, Weiss has spent much of his life living in the shadow of public opinion over the suspected guilt of his father in Long’s murder. Ida Boudreaux’s recollections of alleged assassin Carl Weiss and of the turmoil her sister and nephew endured in the aftermath of Weiss’s death leaves one asking many questions. “We tried very hard to make a ﬁlm that presented the history element as objectively as possible,” said Modigliani. “We tried for the text on the screen to be the objective facts and then we tried to use the interviews to show the emotions involved on both sides. It was important for us to not project any unreal conﬂict between the Long and the Weiss families.” 61 Bullets is a riveting documentary that explores how a speciﬁc event can affect two families very differently over many generations. “I’ve heard that growing up in Louisiana you hear 10 different explanations (regarding Long’s assassination), but we tried to follow the two families,” explained Modigliani. “There was a lot on the cutting
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In 2010, The Long and Weiss families meet and speak at a historical occasion.
room ﬂoor, but we tried to let what mattered to the subjects dictate what should be in the ﬁnal cut.” 61 Bullets was cut as a TV hour. Modigliani hopes that ITVS or POV might pick up the documentary to air on PBS. A win at New Orleans Film Festival would certainly help. LFV Be sure to check out 61 Bullets at New Orleans Film Festival on Friday, October 17, at 7:45pm at the Prytania or Sunday, October 19, at 3:45pm at the Contemporary Arts Center. Those not attending the fest can catch the ﬁlm in Baton Rouge at the Manship Theater on Sunday, November 30, at 2pm. For more information check out www.61bullets.com.
4TH ANNUAL SOUTHERN SCREEN FILM FESTIVAL
25 ﬁlms consisting of student ﬁlms, short ﬁlms, animations, and feature-length documentaries and narratives. The programming team has also curated several ﬁlms for the festival, including: • 20,000 Days On Earth, which depicts a ﬁctitious 24 hours in the life of Australian musician, songwriter, author, screenwriter, composer and actor Nick Cave. • Advanced Style, a documentary about New York women over 50 who turn heads with their uniquely creative fashion sense. • I Am Eleven explores the lives of 11-year-olds in 15 countries over a period of six years. This year’s workshops and panels include: • “How to Be a Great Line Producer,” Christina Varotsis (The Promotion, Paranormal Island) • “The Future of Distribution,” Mark Horowitz (Sales Agent) and Courtney Donoghue (author and professor at Oakland University) • “What NOT to Do When Making a Short,” Erica Frederick (Academy Award-nominated short ﬁlm producer) • “The Ins and Outs of Documentary Filmmaking,” Bryan Sebok (The Making of Cartlandia, Dance With the One) • “Foley Workshop,” Michael Lyle (Universal Studios)
very November in Lafayette, Louisiana, Southern Screen Film Festival presents four days of ﬁlm screenings, panels, red carpet events, parties and workshops. It’s a relatively new annual tradition that offers viewing, learning and the opportunity to “see things differently.” This year, Southern Screen is coming back for its fourth year—taking place November 13 through the 16 at various venues and locations around Downtown Lafayette.
The thing that makes Southern Screen different is that it moves beyond the traditional ﬁlm festival and works to open up the community to the widespread possibilities of storytelling. The festival offers a hands-on experience, where the creativity in ﬁlmmaking mixes with a landscape of the local Louisiana culture to inspire and ignite the local community and visiting ﬁlmmakers. This year, the Southern Screen selection committee accepted around
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• Music Supervisor Panel Last year, Southern Screen attracted a cumulative audience of 2,000, consisting of ﬁlmmakers and ﬁlm lovers throughout the South. Also in attendance were more than 20 ﬁlm industry professionals who came to Lafayette from Canada, Iceland, Italy, and across America. These ﬁlmmakers ranged from Thomas Golubic (music supervisor, The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad), Josh Rabinowitz (music supervisor, Grey Media) and Leslie Hope (director, Christmas on the Bayou). Every distinguished guest expressed interest in returning to Southern Screen, as well as participating in Lafayette’s growing ﬁlm economy. Right now, all-access festival passes are available for pre-order online at www.SouthernScreen.org for $40 and can be purchased online and picked up at will call the day of an event. This pass is ideal for anyone who wants to attend multiple events throughout the weekend. Day passes and single event tickets can also be purchased at the door at the festival. Visit the site for more details. Since its start in 2010, Southern Screen’s size and presence has grown signiﬁcantly every year. Now, the festival showcases and hosts more than 30 events in six venues, and all with the help of more than 50 volunteers. But most successful aspects of Southern Screen might be the support it gets from the community. In a region that practically thrives on cultural expression, this is exactly the type of event that locals go crazy for. The people love it and they want more. LFV To ﬁnd out more about Southern Screen, or for more info on passes, events, and how to volunteer, visit www.SouthernScreen.org.
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STAGE WEST DRAWS PRODUCTIONS TO SHREVEPORT STORY BY HARRIETT MCGUIRE
tage West opened several years ago when the movie industry came to North Louisiana. We have had many productions here, including Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (2007), Longshots (2007), I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell (2009), Catch 44 (2009), Vampires Suck (2010) and many more. Currently the Hank Williams ﬁlm I Saw the Light is in production at the facility. Stage West is an all-inclusive facility. It offers 17,250 square feet of newly remodeled ofﬁce space with desks, chairs, ﬁling cabinets, story boards, and phones and high speed Internet service. Stage 1 is 6,314 square feet with 16’6” clear height. Stage 2 offers 24,638 square feet with a ceiling height of 22’4” with 5 loading docks. There is also a lighting set and stage set within this space usable to each production, as well as men and women’s restrooms and laundry facilities. Stage 3 is 15,900 square feet with a 22’ ceiling height with 6 loading docks. Stage 3 also offers fenced and locked storage for props. There is plenty of parking and easy access to all aspects of this facility. Interstate 20 interchange is 1 mile from Stage West, Bert Kouns Industrial Loop is .4 mile, and Shreveport Regional Airport is 5.4 miles away.
For a couple of years, Shreveport saw a decline in the movie industry, as many productions were choosing to ﬁlm in New Orleans or were being produced by Millennium. But I believe productions have realized the many amenities offered in North Louisiana, such as costs, convenience to locations, and hospitality. I also believe you get more for your money in Shreveport than other locations. We have many natural amenities most companies ﬁnd beneﬁcial, such as Caddo Lake, Cross Lake, the Red River, and Lake Bisteneau. North Louisiana is called “Sportsman’s Paradise.” Shreveport offers an environment that makes it easy to make movies here. There is no trafﬁc. We are very accommodating to the industry, and we are a city with Southern ﬂair, great food, music, and entertainment, and perfect weather! LFV
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FILM POINTE Film Industry Resource Center
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POINTE COUPEE: A HIDDEN GEM STORY BY HALEY SUMMERS
ointe Coupee, a sleepy parish located 30 miles west of Baton Rouge, has become increasingly signiﬁcant to ﬁlm production in Louisiana. Filled with history, the parish can best be described as a hidden gem for ﬁlmmakers.
“We believe we have a lot to offer to the ﬁlm industry. We’re laid back, which helps make it easy to get permits to ﬁlm here, and we’re surrounded by beautiful Louisiana landscape,” said Jeanie Andre, director of Liza Kelso (center) of the Baton Rouge Film Pointe Coupee Parish Commission, with Film Pointe members. Tourist Commission. “If someone needs to ﬁlm a scene with a barn, trestle, or something of that nature, we can provide it in a way that other places can’t.” Andre believes the increased visibility of the unique Louisiana scenery has been ampliﬁed by television shows like Duck Dynasty and Swamp People and has, in turn, aided in the growth of ﬁlm production in the parish. “We saw a huge increase of interest in Pointe Coupee once those shows became popular,” she said. “We started getting a lot more phone calls and we realized that there was a need for organization on our part in order to facilitate the growing demand for production here.” So Andre and her colleagues collaborated and created Film Pointe, a ﬁlming committee designed to facilitate the needs of Pointe Coupee ﬁlm production. “We decided years ago that we should focus on bringing in tourism through the ﬁlm industry,” said Andre. “It’s good for both the parish and state economies. The committee is just an in-house group that’s organized to facilitate that.” Since the committee was created in December of 2013, ﬁlm production in the parish has increased signiﬁcantly. The movie Bad Asses on the Bayou has ﬁlmed there, along with Bonnie & Clyde, Beautiful Creatures, Easy Rider, and Long Hot Summer. Most recently, the committee has been in correspondence with National Geographic, hoping to secure a deal that will bring in a larger production to the parish. According to Wilmer Moore, tourist commissioner, the group facilitates ﬁlming in other ways, as well. “We procure whatever is needed for ﬁlm productions. There are a lot of hidden treasures here and we are glad that people are recognizing that,” he said. Businesses in Point Coupee also have an opportunity to beneﬁt from the parish’s growing ﬁlm industry. Film Pointe has created a service that connects local businesses with production companies, making it easy and affordable for both large and small productions to collaborate with each other. “We are trying to work as a group in order to bring in more ﬁlming to the parish. The more revenue we bring in, the better off we are as both a parish and a state,” said Andre. “I’m looking forward to the future; I think we will eventually land that one big production.” LFV
Bonnie & Clyde ﬁlmed in Pointe Coupee Parish in 2013.
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FEATURE FILMS FLOCK TO NOLA’S AUDUBON NATURE INSTITUTE away by it. She didn’t believe it was real,” reﬂects Donze. One notable landmark of Audubon Park—and a local hotspot for ﬁlm, commercial and especially fashion shoots—is the massive Etienne de Boré Oak, also known as the “Tree of Life.” The oak is about 35 feet in circumference and is estimated to be over 200 years old. According to location scouts, Audubon Zoo offers one of the few uptown venues with the space to position a base camp and park cast and crew vehicles. On weekdays during the fall, there is usually ample space. And after Labor Day until March, the zoo is closed on Mondays, making for a prime parking/ﬁlming day. “Lots of ﬁlming takes place nearby in large uptown homes, along the riverfront, at Tulane and Loyola, the Roundtable Club The he De he D DeBore eBor Bore Oak, Bo Oak, akk al also also o kno kknown nown nown wn as “Th “The Th he T Tree ree eee of Li LLife, ife, fe”” iiss a hi fe h histo historic isto toric i la landmark andm nd d arkk in Au A Audubon udub d bon dubon on Par Park. a kk.. at the front of the park, and of course the park itself,” says Donze. ver the last few years, the Audubon Nature Institute has become a prime loca“American Horror Story this tion for ﬁlm and television productions coming through New Orleans, including season is using Camellia Grill as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, 12 Years a Slave, The Originals, and most a continuing set and they have parked here several times.” recently, Trumbo, NCIS: New Orleans and Jurassic World. Although most of the exterior shooting was done in Hawaii, “The requests to ﬁlm here or position production crews are almost Jurassic World made use of the weekly,” says Frank Donze, communications director at the Audubon Audubon Zoo, shooting a largeNature Institute. “It’s so many that we can’t always fulﬁll them.” scale evacuation scene to be used The Audubon Institute often receives requests for base camp setup in connection with footage from locations, staging and parking, and of course many others looking to the now abandoned Six Flags take advantage of the beautiful scenery that Audubon has to offer. New Orleans theme park, where “They come in from California and are blown away by natural an entire “scientist village” was settings. The Spanish moss, trees along the water, the shaded area, the The park is known for its abundance constructed for the ﬁlm. oak alleys, rows and rows of giant oak trees. One lady from California of Spanish moss covering the oaks. The ﬁlm industry is more prosasked if the park draped Spanish moss on the trees. They were blown perous than ever in Louisiana and Donze is up close and personal with many big-budget productions. “A lot of people are under the impression that all these production folk are just passing through,” notes Donze. “But the truth is, they’re buying houses, their kids are going to school here. They’re not just blowing through. Some directors and actors are, but there’s a large core of workers who live here and are moving from production to production.” Set to ﬁlm this month at Audubon Nature Institute is the new science ﬁction thriller Geostorm, as well as Our Brand is Crisis, produced by George Clooney and starring Sandra Bullock. LFV
Audubon Nature Institute.
For more information on the Audubon Institute, visit www.auduboninstitute.org. ISSUE FIVE 2014
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SECRET MOONBASE LAUNCHES INTO AERIAL PRODUCTION STORY BY COREY VAUGHN
erhaps the most satisfactory element of the burgeoning Louisiana ﬁlm scene is the anarchic spirit of creativity and innovation that has provided an artistic direction for many working down South. There is possibly no other production company working in New Orleans that embodies this spirit like Secret Moonbase Productions, a company that hosts a veritable smorgasbord of ﬁlm, art, and fantastically innovative projects all in the name of joie de vivre. Founded in 2012, Secret Moonbase Productions was the brainchild of Ryan Ballard, a classically trained sculptor who initially started the company as a way to consolidate the wide variety of projects that people were paying him to do. In the true spirit of New Orleans, Secret Moonbase has done a little bit of everything, ranging from lighting local parties to building ﬂoats for Mardi Gras krewes. “We still do a lot of Mardi Gras stuff. We produce all the parties and videos, and even handle the marketing for the Krewe of Chewbacca,” said Ballard. In the midst of this success, Ballard had no intention to venture out into the ﬁlm world. The decision came in the form of a revelation. Poetically enough, Ballard had this sudden insight in the mecca of artistic inspiration: Burning Man.
Ryan Ballard giving a drone demonstration for students at Tulane.
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“Last year I was at Burning Man, and over there I was able to see the ﬁrst generation of drones,” he said. “I just thought to myself, ‘man, these are really cool.’ I’m a mad scientist in a lot of ways, and just couldn’t resist it. I made time and learned how to ﬂy.” The decision to implement drone cinematography into the mission of Secret Moonbase Productions opened up a whole new world for Ballard. The quirkiness of the company, combined with the technological sexiness of drones, led to an irresistible appeal for people looking for local ﬁlm production. “We’ve done a lot of cool stuff in the last year,” said Ballard. “We’ve done local TV commercials and local productions that need an aerial shot or two.” One of Ballard’s favorite projects occurred just last year when he A Secret Moonbase drone ﬁlms a Flambeaux carrier at the T-Bois Festival in Larose. got to work with a per-
sonal hero of his, Wayne Ewing. Ewing’s documentary, Dancing in the Water, covered the story of Matthew Mosely, a man who swam in the waters of Lake Ponchartrain. It was in this project that Secret Moonbase exempliﬁed the quality of their services by turning this seemingly straightforward documentary into a party. “We equipped these cool lasers on all of the boats around, made some sculptures, and even built a giant merman,” said Ballard. “It was fun to do all that and then get to hang out on a boat and ﬂy drones all day.” The company seems to only be getting bigger, with vital changes currently in the mix right now. The quality and quantity of work handed to Secret Moonbase has forced them into relocation, with a bigger and better ofﬁce in New Orleans offering all kinds of new treats for the company. “We’ve got a pretty full plate. Setting up this new place and getting it running is our main goal right now. We want to make it a community workspace and have concerts and parties,” explained Ballard. “We’re working on a 12-foot-tall MechaGator for a Halloween party at the same time, so that’s been keeping us busy.” The space will be equipped to deal with all new kinds of ﬁlm projects as well, with a state-of-the-art green screen that will allow Ballard to take his special effects to another level. According to Ballard, however, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. “We’ve got a green screen, art cars, projection walls for lasers, you name it,” he said. “It’s an event venue, my personal art studio, pretty much whatever I need it to be. I’m really excited for it.” LFV To learn more about Secret Moonbase Productions, go to www.swamprocket.com.
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COMPANY SPOTLIGHT: WRAPTURE
aton Rouge-based company Wrapture produces vehicle wraps, graphics, banners, decals and other printed products for a wide range of clients. As of 2010, some of those clients include ﬁlm productions such as Dragon Eyes, Never Back Down, Search Party, and Pitch Perfect 2, among others.
When asked what services his company provides to the production industry, Wrapture’s Ben Harrison said, “In a word, Graphics. Everything from small vinyl lettering to bus wraps. Common requests are window lettering/logos, street signs, building signage, etc.” Harrison’s favorite project for a ﬁlm production thus far is the box truck pictured here. “It’s not because there’s anything exciting about it, but we pulled it off in two days and for a ﬁlm crew we hadn’t previously worked with,”
he explained. “It involved rapid ﬁre communication on all ends, and I believe pushing the envelope is what makes us all grow.” LFV For more information, visit www.wrapture.com.
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POST PRODUCTION, FINISHING AND MASTERING FOR CINEMA
igh-end post production comes to Baton Rouge as The Carousel Media Company (Old Boy, Paris Je Taime, Freakonomics, Amphibious 3D, Any Day Now, Abandoned, etc.) sets up shop at Plantation Village Studios, 20 minutes from Baton Rouge airport. Carousel offers: deliverables, online (and all the associated ﬁxes— cleanup, beauty work, screen replacements, sky replacements, slow mo, titling, etc.), digital cinema mastering, offline, trailers, rushes/dailies, archiving and so much more, in a full suite of cutting edge post production services. Important pieces of the puzzle in today’s modern DI are the archive, the conform, the online, the grade and the delivery—all of which Carousel offers to productions of all shapes and sizes. Delivering a ﬁlm can be a nightmare; it’s a major cost, which many productions simply haven’t budgeted for. Digital Cinema Packages (DCPs),
Digital Cinema Distribution Masters (DCDMs), KDMs, DKDMs, Pan and Scans, multiple reversions, closed captions, foreign dubs and subtitles, etc.—it’s a bewildering mass of terms, formats and materials. For ﬁlms destined for a global marketplace, the production will require two full sets of deliverables—one for the foreign territories
America’s Source For Cam-Lok Connectors For Over 25 Years J Custom Has Been Supplying the Electrical Equipment Needs Of The Live Entertainment & Film Industry, Emergency Generator & Portable Power Industry & The Electrical & Industrial Construction Industries
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(world, excluding UK) and one set for the U.S. territory. Producers will often keep some elements as safety masters, too. In today’s world of digital post production it is not good enough to simply rely on a hard-drive, so archiving is important to consider. Harddrives have a shelf life and will expire at some point. More worryingly, hard-drives can lose data just sitting on a shelf. When these are holding your all-important rushes, ﬁnal cut or locked/graded picture, these are unacceptable risks when hundreds of thousands, or millions, of dollars have been spent. The answer—archiving to LTO tapes, with veriﬁed backups (checksum validation). Drag and drop copying will not sufﬁce; each copy needs to be veriﬁed as exact, which requires a specialized piece of computer software. In the recent Kelsey Grammer vehicle Breaking the Bank, Carousel started with the ofﬂine suites providing a tricked-out Mac-based Avid Symphony Nitris for the creative edit, which eventually stretched approximately 26 weeks. The company then provided Avid DS online suites, delivering a range of complicated online shots, lead actress beauty work, boom cleanups, shot replacements, titling, slow mo, stabilizations and more. Two suites and four artists were used to deliver the shots required and the results are stunning. “We were able to beat any other company’s rate by a comfortable margin, thanks to the volume of work we do annually, and also the fact that we don’t carry high city overheads,” said Carousel’s CEO. “We also provided full archiving service, lab services, rushes, dailies and then the conform.” LFV To reach The Carousel Media Company at Plantation Village Studios, call 225-6588808 or visit www.carouselmediacompany.com.
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Tel: (504) 835 -1685 / Fax: (504) 835 - 5773 / E-mail: email@example.com 68 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE
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Elevate Your Production Value, Not your Budget!™ We build & operate superior UAV’s (drones) that travel previously unreachable camera paths & capture action scenes full size helicopters can only dream of AND at 1/20th the cost! Our low altitude, low noise units send live camera feeds that can be seen by your crew in real time!
504.355.2020 www.NolaFlyCam.com Feature Films 70 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE
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THE VIRTUAL REALITY OF 2014’S CTIA SUPER MOBILITY SHOW
An attendee plays a video game with an Oculus Rift headset at the Cricket/Gamestop booth at CTIA’s Supermobility Show.
STORY AND PHOTOS BY WÉLAND BOURNE AND W. H. BOURNE
his year’s recent CTIA Super Mobility Show in Las Vegas focused on all things connected from health to the home to the car to mobile devices. Video was a hot topic discussed at a keynote session accounting for over 53 percent of all mobile data usage today and rapidly growing. The biggest challenge for continued growth in data consumption is carriers’ ability to keep up with the technology required for the video explosion.
Gear VR, Samsung’s consumer model of Oculus Rift. Oculus is a virtual reality technology that is currently being developed for use with video games, movies and interactive content. Concerts and other big events have already begun experimenting with ﬁlming for the VR headsets. With the added ability to play back 3D video as well as any 2D video in resolutions better than HD, Gear VR should be an exciting component to help drive Samsung’s mobile platform. The CTIA showﬂoor had several companies using Oculus systems to advertise or draw attention to their products. Cricket, the prepaid wireless company which was recently purchased by Gamestop, and Sony Ericsson both had VR simulations using Oculus Rift headsets. Only time will tell what impact Oculus and Gear VR will have on both the mobile and the entertainment industries. A big factor in the success of the virtual reality platform will be the availability of content. One thing is for certain, with Louisiana’s attractive tax incentives on both ﬁlm and interactive technologies, the Bayou State will be a great destination for VR ﬁlming and interactive game creation. LFV
The most innovative, emerging technology showcased at this year’s CTIA was by Samsung and Gear VR as they attempt to bring mobile video and gaming to a whole new level with virtual reality (VR). The system will be powered exclusively by Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 and their
Hulu head of distribution and partnerships Tim Connolly discusses the future of online video content.
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ASK AN AGENT L
ready to improv if asked to do so, always eager to change it up and willing to take direction with no fuss. We also represent quality people. There are thousands of amazing actors out there. However, we focus on accepting those who are great human beings and pleasant to work with. Directors have contacted us complimenting how wonderful our actors were on set. They often wrap with new life-long friendships. When casting a role that works with production for several weeks it’s very important to ﬁnd actors who are friendly, approachable, professional and kind. Productions can look at agencies as if they are a “ﬁnishing” school for actors. We make sure they are completely ready so when the actor is on set everything runs smoothly. That is what we are known for... making the casting process easier and ensuring a quality performer precisely ﬁts the role the writer envisioned. REBECCA HALE: Casting directors deﬁnitely need to go through agents to book actors. An agent will submit actors that Rebecca Hale he or she feels ﬁt the roles being cast. In
ooking for local talent for your next production, but don’t know where to start? You’re not alone. Filmmakers—especially those working on their ﬁrst ﬁlms—often have questions about hiring talent. Here to answer your who, what, when, where, and why are Louisiana talent agents Dawn Landrum with Landrum Arts LA Talent Agency, Rebecca Hale with Hale Talent, and Terry McNeal with Del Corral and Associates. LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO: What services does an agent provide that I cannot get by hiring actors directly? DAWN LANDRUM: Productions who use reputable talent agents save time... and because “time is money,” productions always come out ahead. Each agency has their own manner of accepting actors. Landrum Arts LA very carefully screens all actors prior to acceptance into the agency. We weed through the vast garden of actors so that production doesn’t have to. When we present an actor to a casting director or production, we guarantee experience, quality and professionalism. We know our name goes behind every actor we represent. This means the actor will be well informed, Dawn Landrum prepared, well memorized, rehearsed,
Model & Talent Agency 1010 Common Street, Ste. 2550 New Orleans, LA 70112
ACTORS | SINGERS | MUSICIANS | ATHLETES | HOST | MODELS
John Ashker • I worked on my ﬁrst picture in New Orleans in 1986. • I moved to Los Angeles on the encouragement of the L.A. based stunt crew I worked for. I continued to work for them for several years until in 1989 they were asked to go to South Africa to do a six picture deal for then Cannon Films. I spent the next 6 years establishing myself amongst the best stunt men in the business. • In 1996 I was called back to New Orleans to work on the USA series The Big Easy. In 1997 I was offered the Stunt Coordinator Position on that show. When the show wrapped at the end of that year I was offered the coordinator position on a picture called Fait A’ Compli. I moved to Los Angeles after that picture wrapped and continued to work. • In 2006 I decided to move back to New Orleans to offer my talent and service to producers shooting locally. The local stunt talent has grown since those early days and nearly 100% of your action can be accomplished with the local stunt people to help maximize your tax rebate dollars. A very small percentage might need an outside hire from Los Angeles or New York.
firstname.lastname@example.org • 818-430-8208 ISSUE FIVE 2014
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addition to being a talent agent, I am also an acting teacher/director, so I make every effort to assure that my actors are well-trained. I would think that this would make the casting director’s job easier. LFV: Why shouldn’t I cast my project through a callboard service? RH: A callboard service doesn’t have a personal connection to the actors, as an agent does. Agents know the talent they represent and which actors are suitable for which roles. LFV: How can I audition actors if I don’t have a space for them to come to and can’t afford a casting director to do it? TERRY McNEAL: Productions can always rent a space to hold their auditions and callbacks. I do have space at Del Corral that can be rented for their projects at a reasonable day rate. DL: Most agencies go through casting directors. Hollywood has quickly evolved into the “going green” movement in accepting video auditions. Fifty percent of our bookings are by video or Skype. Each casting director has his own Terry McNeal video audition instructions according to the production’s requirements. So it’s important that the agents inform the actors of each instruction so they can assist in helping the casting director in keeping uniform video auditions for his/her presentation to production. LFV
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“. . .great stunts aren’t expensive, they’re priceless. .”™ Louisiana’s Most Experienced Truly Local Team Of Stunt Professionals With Over 250 Credits in Film & Television And Still Counting. . . The Butler • The Paperboy The Waling Dead • The Expendables2 The Tomb • Broken City • Horrible Bosses Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer Because Of Winn Dixie • Ray • Super 8 Jeff Galpin
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Leonard Reynolds Location Manager
Positive One Productions 504.606.4110
New Orleans, LA 70117 Pitch Perfect 2 • 21 & 22 Jump Street • Dallas Buyers Club • This is the End
DIGITAL EDITION AVAILABLE AT: WWW.LOUISIANAFILMANDVIDEO.COM
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CENTRAL CASTING OPENS OFFICE IN LOUISIANA
os Angeles-based Central Casting, a provider of background actor casting and payroll services to the entertainment industry since 1925, has opened a local office serving the New Orleans and Baton Rouge ﬁlm communities. Parent company Entertainment Partners has had an office in New Orleans since 2008, providing payroll and production incentive services. “We are pleased to welcome Central Casting to our expanding New Orleans ﬁlm industry market,” said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “The fact that Central Casting chose to open an ofﬁce here is due to the strength of the ﬁlm industry in New Orleans and the state.” The Louisiana ofﬁce will provide unique, personalized services not currently offered in the market. All registered talent is pre-screened in person. I-9 and e-veriﬁcation is completed prior to arriving on set, ensuring all talent is authorized to work in the United States. Background actors have been trained on anti-piracy, conﬁdentiality, and anti-harassment policies, and have completed a comprehensive
orientation covering topics such as professional set behavior and on-set safety. In addition, payroll processing for all extras casting can be handled in-house. The Louisiana ofﬁce will be led by Adam Hochfeld, former background actor turned casting director with eight years of background casting experience including The Big Bang Theory, The Mentalist, Mike & Molly, and CSI. The ofﬁce also brought on two local hires, Mary Huber and Alyssa Jacobson, both graduates of New Orleans universities. “We’re thrilled to be expanding into the vibrant Louisiana market,” shared Jennifer Bender, Senior Vice President of Central Casting, who will have oversight of the new locale. “It’s a terriﬁc opportunity to expand our services for our existing clients while also building new relationships with the wonderful Louisiana production community who have given us such a warm welcome.” LFV For more, visit www.centralcasting.com.
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TIMECODE:NOLA’S ONE REEL SUPER 8 CONTEST “ON THE SPOT” STORY BY ANNIE GAIA
was a fabulous night at d.b.a. on Frenchmen Street on September 18. The line outside the door wasn’t for a touring musical act, but even better, for local ﬁlmmakers competing in the 4th annual Timecode:NOLA’s One Reel Super 8 Contest.
“At Timecode:NOLA, we love analog and ﬁlm formats. Everyone now is used to digital and instant gratiﬁcation—ﬁlm you don’t know what you get until it’s developed. We wanted to have a fun contest that anyone could do and give people the opportunity to experience ﬁlm,” said Jacquelyn Shulman, founder of Timecode:NOLA. A week prior to the contest, ﬁlmmakers created their own 8mm ﬁlm from current 8mm cameras. They shot, cut, edited, all on the spot, for a three-minute short. The ﬁlmmakers didn’t get a peek of their compositions until the screening at d.b.a., which featured a live accompaniJacquelyn Shulman, representing Timecode:NOLA. PHOTO BY ment on piano from Ratty Scurvics and ANNIE GAIA a twist of improv commentary from the host, New Orleans’ own New Movement, Chris Trew. Three winners were announced, via audience choice. First prize of an 8mm camera and ﬁlm was awarded to Katie Adair, courtesy of the partnership with Kodak & Pro8mm, helping to bring awareness to Southeast Louisiana. Third place winner, and last year’s ﬁrst place winner, director Milena Martinovic and I had a delightful time collaborating on the piece La Telefonia (vimeo.com/milena504). “Amazing, we spontaneously found a second location, worked with the weather, and went with the ﬂow,” said Martinovic. “But you only have that one take to get the shot; it’s live or die, sink or swim, especially with no playback button. We are using ﬁlm as the legends used 100 years ago; no monitor, one reel, one shot. Mistakes The gang’s all here! Third place winners Annie Gaia and Milena are all a part of it.” Martinovic celebrate with audience It was a joy working with Martimembers. PHOTO BY ANNIE GAIA novic and entering this contest. The contest not only showed us the abilities of ﬁlm, but also brought ﬁlmmakers together to share a little work of ﬁlm noire art with other locals. Thank you, Timecode:NOLA, for an “on the spot” evening. What a great night, especially when the evening closed out with King James and the Special Men. See you at the next event, the 3rd Annual Indie Film Fest FF3. It’s moving into the Spring of 2015 during French Quarter Fest. Don’t miss out on local ﬁlmmaking. It all starts somewhere. Let’s keep up the support! LFV Check out www.timecodenola.com for more info on FF3 and how you can participate in these awesome events and create a motion picture. 78 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE
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The crowd waits outside of d.b.a. for the screening. PHOTO BY NATHAN TUCKER
Audience enjoys the improv piano and comedian Chris Trew’s commentary. PHOTO BY ANNIE GAIA
King James and the Special Men perform at the after party at d.b.a. PHOTO BY ANNIE GAIA
Kate Adair accepts her ﬁrst place prize package with her own Super 8 camera plus a Super 8 color ﬁlm kit with prepaid processing & transfer by Pro8mm. PHOTO BY NATHAN TUCKER