Page 1


2

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE SIX


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 SIX

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

3


CONTENTS

VOLUME NINE

ISSUE SIX

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 David Heuring, Odin Lindblom, Samantha Smith, Jason Raymond, Carol Ann Scruggs SALES MANAGER Katie Higgins SALES Eric Iles PRODUCTION MANAGER John Rusnak DESIGNERS Dawn Carlson, Beth Harrison,

8

First assistant director Nick Mastandrea (R) and the crew prepare to shoot a scene of Tarsem Singh's Selfless on the levee in Algiers. Photo by Hilary Bronwyn Gayle. © Shedding Productions LLC.

Christina Poisal WEBMASTER Jon Hines OFFICE MANAGER Audra Higgins

6

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

8

SELFLESS PRODUCER OFFERS CAUTIONARY INSIGHT FOR THE LOUISIANA FILM INDUSTRY

12

OLDBOY FILMMAKERS PRAISE NOLA PRODUCTION COMMUNITY

Louisiana Film & Video Publications

16

OSCAR BUZZ AND VOODOO LOVE: SUNDANCE 2014

A DIVISION OF

18

BRISK BUYING AT AFM BRINGS HOPE FOR INDIE SELLERS

NOFF IN REVIEW 24 26 28 32

34 36

40

INFORMATION SERVICES MANAGER Lois Sanborn

MEDIA INDEX PUBLISHING GROUP

12 42

12 YEARS A SLAVE RED CARPET PREMIERE SCREENING NEW ORLEANS FILM FESTIVAL: A PLACE FOR YOUNG FILMMAKERS TO NETWORK

SPOTLIGHT ON LOUISIANA PRODUCTION: A LOOK AT SOME OF THE PEOPLE AND COMPANIES THAT KEEP THE LA PRODUCTION INDUSTRY BOOMING

New Orleans, LA 70150 (800) 332-1736 contact@louisianafilmandvideo.com www.louisianafilmandvideo.com

44

ABOARD THE CAROUSEL MAKES ITS WORLD PREMIERE

VER + FLETCHER: A POWERFUL SYNERGY FOR MODERN MOTION PICTURE PRODUCTION

46

Group for a current rate card. Discounts for

WIFT-LOUISIANA PRESENTS “GENDER LENS” PANEL

INOVO STUDIO OFFERS AIRLINER MOCKUP FOR PRODUCTIONS

48

AMAZING ANIMALS IN HOLLYWOOD SOUTH

become the property of Media Index Publishing

NOLA NATIVE RETURNS TO SCREEN AT FESTIVAL

52

FUNDDAT: NEW ORLEANS’ ANSWER TO KICKSTARTER

FACES OF CREATIVE INFUSION (PART II) HOW LOUISIANA’ S HOT FILM CLIMATE GOT THESE PROFESSIONALS TO RELOCATE

54

NOVAC’S FIRST WEB WEEKEND

NEW REDCINE-X PRO RELEASE MAKES SHOOTING ON RED MORE AFFORDABLE

ON THE COVER: Stunt coordinator Steve Ritzi checks in with Pod Car stunt driver Wally Crowder, while the crew prepares a scene for Tarsem Singh's Selfless in Marrero. Photo by Hilary Bronwyn Gayle. © Shedding Productions LLC.

DIGITAL EDITION AVAILABLE AT: WWW.LOUISIANAFILMANDVIDEO.COM 4

P.O. Box 50036

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE SIX

www.louisianaproductionindex.com Display Advertising: Call Media Index Publishing frequency advertising. All submitted materials 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


ISSUE SIX

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

5


LETTER FROM THE EDITOR H appy New Year! The holidays are behind us, but hopefully the holiday spirit hasn’t died off completely. By now, many of your New Year’s resolutions are well underway. And for some, that may mean the resolve to begin your resolution after the “holiday hangover” wears off, whenever that may be. Although 2013 had some minor bumps in the road, it was another successful year for Louisiana film, and we are certainly carrying that success into 2014 with big-budgets and homegrown independents alike gearing up to begin production. This issue we hear from producer Ram Bergman on his latest Louisiana endeavor, Selfless, starring Ryan Reynolds. Bergman has become accustomed to taking advantage of our Louisiana crew and talent base, and the tax incentives, as well, of course. (See page 8.) We’ve also been gifted with an inside look from veteran DP Sean Bobbitt and director Spike Lee on the shooting style of Oldboy. (See page 12.) A special thank you to the New Orleans Film Society, who orchestrated another great success with the 24th annual New Orleans Film Festival. And to NOVAC for introducing Web Weekend to the film community, which offered some much needed

6

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE SIX

guidance to those pursuing Web-based projects.

I’m lucky enough to start my new year with a journey to the Sundance Film Festival as a representative of LF&VM. In partnering with the Louisiana International Film Festival (LIFF) and their efforts at Sundance, I look forward to helping repeat last year’s success, which, if you hadn’t heard, involved a fullfledged, Louisiana-made Mardi Gras parade down Main Street in Park City. This year, the same team brings Park City another New Year highlight with Voodoo Love at Club Epic. Laissez les bon temps rouler! All the best, Andrew Vogel, Executive Editor


ISSUE SIX

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

7


SELFLESS PRODUCER OFFERS CAUTIONARY INSIGHT FOR THE LOUISIANA FILM INDUSTRY

First Assistant Director Nick Mastandrea (R) and the crew prepare to shoot a scene of Tarsem Singh's Selfless. STORY BY W. H. BOURNE PHOTOS BY HILARY BRONWYN GAYLE PHOTOS © SHEDDING PRODUCTIONS LLC

S

elfless just recently wrapped shooting in the New Orleans area giving residents the opportunity for the latest celebrity sightings of Ryan Reynolds, Ben Kingsley and Matthew Goode in the Crescent City. Producer Ram Bergman is responsible for putting together the project, which is his fourth film utilizing Louisiana locations. “I’ve shot many movies here before with the last one being Looper,” says Bergman. “My experiences have always been great here. A lot 8

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE SIX

of the crew I use is from here, including my line producer, David Pomier. I trust him more than anyone.” Selfless is directed by Tarsem Singh, who is noted for his distinctive visual flair, including elaborate costumes and locations. Singh’s works have included The Cell, The Fall, Immortals, and most recently, Mirror Mirror. Interestingly, Singh directed the second unit in India for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. “I presented New Orleans to Tarsem and he loved it,” explains Bergman. “He totally could see the movie here, and financially, from all the places in the country, it’s the place that makes the most sense in terms of the rebates and everything. I’ve made many movies here, so I have the crew that I like and the city I like. It has a cool look. Originally, the movie was written for New York, but I thought it was way too expensive to shoot there, but it could make sense and I could see it in New Orleans. We’re

still going to shoot in New York for two days, but New Orleans and outside of New Orleans we’ll shoot for the other places.” Of course, as simple as Bergman makes it sound, he had to originally sell Singh on using Louisiana locations. “Tarsem is a very visual filmmaker,” says Bergman. “The first thing he was trying to imagine is where the film takes place. In the beginning, he was kind of skeptical about New Orleans, but when he came here with the scout, he literally fell in love with the city and the looks and what he might be able to do with the film here. He became very excited, and I’m sure he’ll probably want to make his next movie here.” Continues Bergman, “Tarsem’s very particular about his locations, but he found places that he really loved. This is a more grounded film as compared to his previous movies, but it is still very visual. It did require more hours with the location scouts to find the places that


ISSUE SIX

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

9


Producer Ram Bergman (r) and Cameron Jewell (l) from Endgame Entertainment on the set of Tarsem Singh's Selfless.

"A" camera operator & Steadicam, Jody Miller (center), "A" camera 2nd AC, Kirk Bloom (left), and "A" dolly grip William Daimant (right).

he really liked because he wasn’t going to settle for anything else. We had a really wonderful locations manager, Stephen LeBlanc, who was great.” As much as Bergman loves New Orleans, he is quite clear about the importance of the Louisiana tax credits and the way it impacts his decisions on where to bring films. “The rebates are crucial. If there were no rebates, I would not come here,” says Bergman. “People like New Orleans and they like to spend time here, but once the rebates go down, people will not be coming here.” He adds, “Since there’s a lot of filming, I’ve noticed that, over the years, things are becom10

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE SIX

ing much more expensive. It’s really starting with location fees. A film comes in with a $100-million budget and offers a location a $50,000 fee, but then when a small film comes in and that location wants another $50,000 fee, he’s not going to get it. Things become more and more expensive. I’ve seen it happen in other states and cities where they just priced themselves out of the market. I know I saw this happen in Europe and Israel.” Bergman claims that more than 95 percent, maybe as much as 98 percent, of his crew are local, with more than 50 percent of the key crew positions on Selfless being the same locals who worked on one of his two earlier

films that shot here, Looper and The Hungry Rabbit Jumps (which released as Seeking Justice). “I like the people. It’s a great town and great crew,” says Bergman. “Of course, depending on what time of year you’re shooting in, it can be slightly hot. And as cold as it gets here, it’s never as cold as it is on the East Coast. Generally, I like the weather here, but when we first started shooting, it was really hot with a lot of humidity and cockroaches. I came here with my wife and two kids and on the first few nights when (my wife) saw the giant cockroaches, she was not too happy. Once the weather cooled down, the cockroaches went away and all was good!” While some films have had problems finding crew in New Orleans during busy shooting periods, Bergman claims he had no problems crewing up for Selfless. “It truly is an advantage to have a line producer who is always based here, who lives here and works here—who doesn’t live in L.A. We’ve made two or three movies together, so I just call Dave (Pomier) four or five months in advance and tell him to start securing crew,” explains Bergman. “Because he knows who I like, and I know who he likes, he books (the crew) months in advance. We never have a problem finding crew, although I suppose some people just wait too late to try and secure them.” In addition to securing great crew, Bergman was also responsible for helping locate a great cast. He claims it was no different than any production. “We knew what we were basically looking for,” says Bergman, “and we just got the script out there to those people. Since the movie was already financed and had distribution, we wanted to get the right key name (but had no restrictions). Once we got Ryan (Reynolds), the other actors just fell into place. You always want to start with someone who is good and right for the movie. If on top of that they are marketable and recognizable, then it’s a bonus. But this movie has a concept that is easy to market and makes it less dependent on who’s in the movie.” Selfless does have a fascinating premise. It is a science fiction thriller about an extremely wealthy man played by Ben Kingsley. In the film, he undergoes a radical medical procedure that transfers his consciousness to the body of a healthy young man played by Ryan Reynolds. When Reynolds’ character starts to uncover the mystery of the body’s origin, he also finds the secret organization that will kill to protect it. Selfless will head off to post after it shoots briefly in Florida and New York. It is scheduled to hit movie theaters in late fall of 2014. Be sure to look for it then. LFV


ISSUE SIX

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

11


OLDBOY FILMMAKERS PRAISE NOLA PRODUCTION COMMUNITY STORY BY DAVID HEURING PHOTOS BY HILARY BRONWYN GAYLE OB PRODUCTIONS, INC. © 2012

he Old Point Bar in Algiers Point is often called “the most filmed bar in the South,” and in the fall of 2012 it was living up to its name yet again. A film crew led by Spike Lee was set up inside the gritty, atmospheric interior, shooting a quiet, intense scene with Josh Brolin. Lee is of course known for his passionate dedication to New Orleans, manifested most clearly in When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, his heartfelt and indignant 2006 documentary about Katrina and the government’s response.

T

At the camera was Sean Bobbitt, BSC, a veteran director of photography who is a rising star in the cinematography world. Bobbitt’s background includes a decade making documentaries in conflict zones, experience that serves him well in creating believability in narrative films. His recent credits include Byzantium, Shame, The Place Beyond the Pines and Hunger. Bobbitt spent most of 2012 training his cameras on the Crescent City and its environs. Prior to Oldboy, he photographed 12 Years a Slave for director Steve McQueen in the area. 12 Years a Slave is generating tremendous Oscar buzz at the moment, and in November the film played in competition at the Camerimage International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography in Poland, where Bobbitt, a proud native of Texas who has based his career in the UK, was on hand to discuss his work on the project. The original Oldboy movie, based on a Japanese graphic novel, won the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival and earned a passionate fan base. Lee completely reconfigured the story for Western audiences, casting Brolin as Joe Doucett, a man who is released after 15 years of solitary confinement with no explanation. Doucett discovers that he has only five days to seek revenge. The cast also includes Elizabeth Olsen, Sharlto Copley and Samuel L. Jackson. 12

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE SIX

Elizabeth Olsen in Oldboy.

Lee and Bobbitt envisioned the story with a number of different textures and time periods, and chose to visually delineate the various threads of the story by shooting in a range of formats. The majority of the film was shot using the thrifty 2-perf 35mm format. The 2-perf format creates a widescreen image area on the film negative that is two perforations high, rather than the normal three or four. Compared to traditional 4-perf, the result is a 50-percent savings in raw stock and processing costs. Two-perf also makes for longer takes between magazine changes, improving efficiency and saving additional time and money. Bobbitt says that Lee wanted to shoot film, and the 2-perf format was a way to do that within the budget. “I’m old school,” says Lee. “I love film. For certain stories, film is absolutely the right choice. I was unaware of the 2-perf 35mm format until Sean hipped me to it. It was perfect for this production, because it meant we could shoot film and get that analog feel.” The movie begins in 1983, and moves forward to present time, in which the character is released. Rather than creating the different looks completely using computer techniques, Bobbitt wanted to use photographic techniques. “We shot Super 16 and graded it to look like reversal film,” he says. “We found that we could get a very good match for the reversal look using DI techniques, and it seemed like

an interesting way to start the film. We also shot some Super 8 material for flashbacks. For that, we used Spike’s own modified Canon Super 8 camera.” Bobbitt worked with virtually the identical camera crew he used on 12 Years a Slave, made up almost entirely of NOLA locals. Because the 2-perf format results in extra magnification, the crew must be especially fastidious with the camera—dirt and hair is literally a bigger problem. He praises their professionalism. “This is day 30, and touch wood, we’ve not had a single hair in the gate,” says Bobbitt. “For two cameras, and the amount of footage we’ve been shooting, that is truly phenomenal. The quality of the crews here is great.” Bobbitt is similarly enthusiastic about the support he has received from the local New Orleans production community. He says the presence of Fletcher Camera & Lenses has been essential to the success of the Oldboy shoot. In July 2012, Chicago-based Fletcher opened a 6,000-square-foot facility in the Elmwood/Jefferson Parish area of New Orleans, and just recently, Fletcher joined forces with Video Equipment Rentals to provide even more services to the region. See more on this partnership on page 44. Fletcher provided the Oldboy shoot with ARRICAM ST and LT and Arri 416 cameras, Cooke S5/I and S4/I prime lenses, and Arri/Fujinon Alura zoom lenses. They have also provided equipment and services to


ISSUE SIX

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

13


a long list of NOLA productions, including Homefront and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, a technically complex native 3D production. “Fletcher has been absolutely fantastic,” says Bobbitt. “Their team here has worked very, very hard to ensure that we have everything we need. Shooting two cameras, day in and day out, on the sort of schedule we have, is very tough on equipment. No matter what time of day or night, they’re out to fix, maintain, repair or replace. I’m very grateful to them.” In one instance, a screw had worked loose on the viewfinder system on one of the production’s ARRICAMs, causing some noise issues on the set. “Tim Caldwell from Fletcher was here at 8pm, took the camera away, worked on it through the night, and had it assembled, back on the set and ready to go before our 7am call,” says Bobbitt. “That is exceptional service, something you truly appreciate as a cameraman working on a tight schedule. With another rental company, we might have had to ship it out, or just tried to live with the problem. But those little annoyances, by day 35, add up. If you’re going to shoot a film in 35 days, then you’ve got to keep shooting. I’m very happy to be working with Fletcher.” Caldwell, Fletcher’s technical operations manager, says, “I learned long ago the importance to our clients and crews of what I call ‘extreme service.’ Production is hard work, and it’s important that our service techs put in the same effort as the camera crews.” Bobbitt also has praise for Chapman/Leonard Crane and Cineworks Digital Studios New Orleans, the full-service postproduction facility and motion picture lab founded by 30-year industry veteran Vinny Hogan. Cinematographers, especially those shooting film, depend on a quality lab to safeguard their precious images and to understand their intentions. Like Fletcher, Cineworks has made a bricks-and-mortar, boots-on-the-ground investment into the local production community. Recent productions handled at Cineworks include Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy, shot by Roberto Schaefer, ASC, AIC, and Ariel Vroman’s The Iceman, shot by Bobby Bukowski, as well as 12 Years a Slave, Bullet to the Head, GI Joe: Retaliation, Looper, and The Butler. “Cineworks here in New Orleans has been fantastic,” says Bobbitt. “They had done 2-perf before, so they were set up for it. The colorist here, Bradley Greer, is astounding, sort of a hidden gem sitting in New Orleans. They have done such a great job for us. I think this is the future—small boutique laboratories giving you a very specific specialized service. I’ve done two films with them and they’re as good as any other that I’ve worked with. I’ve been very 14

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE SIX

Spike Lee (director) and Sean Bobbitt (cinematographer) block the shot in Chinatown; Josh Brolin (Joe Doucett) also pictured.

Josh Brolin in Oldboy.

pleased.” Bobbitt says he loves shooting in New Orleans, and looks forward to his return. “With the amount of money that the tax incentive brings in, and the level of employment it supplies, they’d be foolhardy to undo it,” he says. “I have many friends in Los Angeles who are thinking of leaving because of the lack of work there. I’ve had quite a year, working with Neil Jordan, Steve McQueen and Spike Lee. I’d be happy to come back to New Orleans to shoot anytime.” LFV

Sean Bobbitt (cinematographer) at the viewfinder.


ISSUE SIX

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

15


OSCAR BUZZ AND VOODOO LOVE: SUNDANCE 2014

1

2 Years a Slave or Dallas Buyers Club? Two powerful dramatic films out of Louisiana seem to be in the race for Best Picture at the 2014 Oscars. But the competition is stiff this year with heavyweight contenders like the visual masterpiece Gravity, the star-studded crime-drama American Hustle, and The Wolf of Wall Street, which has been hailed by some critics as Martin Scorsese’s best work.

A growing trend of Oscar-worthy projects is emerging from Hollywood South. Louisiana-made The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore won the 2012 Oscar for Best Animated Short. Last year, the pride of Louisiana independent film, Beasts of the Southern Wild, received four Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and, adorably so, Best Actress for Louisiana native Quvenzhane Wallis, who was just six years old when the film was shot. And as icing on the cake, Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, partly shot in Louisiana, received five Oscar nods in 2013. Although 12 Years a Slave is no homegrown Louisiana indie film, it does have strong Louisiana roots. The film is the authentic, horrifyingly vivid, and powerfully moving story of Solomon Northup, who spent nearly 12 years as a slave among Louisiana’s Bayou Boeuf. Based on the book-length memoirs, also called 12 Years a Slave, by the real Solomon Northup, the film is not only, arguably, the most realistic depiction of American slavery ever put on film, but it’s also a wakeup call for Louisiana to confront its bleak history that has been masked by the enchanting remodeled plantations that once housed slaves. The New Orleans-shot Dallas Buyers Club follows the free-wheeling life of Texas cowboy Ron Woodroof, another real-life hero of sorts brought to the big screen. Played by Matthew McConaughey, Woodroof, a raging homophobe and drug abuser, faces the test of a lifetime when he is diagnosed with AIDS and given 30 days to live. Not finding effective AIDS treatments available in the states, Woodroof side-steps FDA restrictions and

16

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE SIX

Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club.

A scene from 12 Years A Slave.

takes matters into his own hands, searching for alternative treatments all around the world, and perhaps discovering his soul along the way. Louisiana native Jared Leto plays a cross-dressing gay man named Rayon who becomes Woodroof ’s unlikely business partner in his endeavor to establish a “buyers club.” VooDoo Love at Sundance 2014

Louisiana is making a splash at this year’s Sundance Film Festival with the anticipated VooDoo Love, a one-time experience celebrating Louisiana’s film industry with cultural food, drinks, music and fun. The event is presented by the Louisiana International Film Festival & Mentorship Program (LIFF), the same team that brought Park City one of the most talked-about events of last year, the Louisiana Mardi Gras at Sundance. VooDoo Love kicks off at 5pm on Monday, January 20, at EPIC Nightclub, a newly reno-

vated premier dance nightclub on historic Main Street in Park City. The club features over 6,000 square feet on one level with VIP bottle service unmatched in historic Old Town. National music artists make EPIC their must-play venue when on tour for the intimate occupancy and their incredible JBL VerTec Sound System. EPIC is also known as the EPIC Social Lounge, hosting exclusive private events and specialty gifting events during the Sundance Film Festival. For more information about the event, contact LIFF at info@lifilmfest.org or 225-413-2405.


ISSUE SIX

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

17


BRISK BUYING AT AFM BRINGS HOPE FOR INDIE SELLERS

AFM attendees chat with panelists after a conference session.

STORY BY W. H. BOURNE PHOTOS BY ODIN LINDBLOM

his year, the American Film Market (AFM) in Santa Monica opened with over 8,000 participants, a six-year high. Participants included more than 100 new buying companies and a record number of companies from mainland China. Additionally, there were two companies among the 357 exhibitors representing Louisiana.

T

As usual, Bill Hess with the Alexandria Film Commission was exhibiting with Central Louisiana in Film to attract directors and producers to the Bayou State. Of course, the tax credits help. Hess and his team found themselves swamped after sessions at the Film Finance Conference touted Louisiana as one of “the most stable” and “the most popular” of the U.S. incentive programs, which top producers, film financiers, and studio execs insisted must be a part of your film finance package. EASE Entertainment Services was also exhibiting at AFM this year, touting their services, including budget and accounting software, payroll services, and incentives assistance. Garrett Hauenstein was on hand to market EASE’s services. “AFM was great for us again this year,” said Hauenstein. “We had an opportunity to talk with producers from all over the world. Louisiana continues to be one of the most 18

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE SIX

asked about states, both because of the great incentive and the deep crew base. We’ve got a fantastic staff in our New Orleans office, and we can play a big role in helping productions get off the ground in the state.” The first few days of market saw brisk business, as most of the exhibit offices were filled with buyers. Many of the larger companies closed up shop this year as early as Monday morning when all their territories were sold. In the past, this spelled doom for indie filmmakers, who walked the empty hallways at the later part of market, but the hallways were quite busy during that period this year. Typically, the last half of market has been reserved for independent filmmakers trying to peddle their films to companies, sales reps or agents. In the past few years, there’s been little interest in product by indie filmmakers, but this year there was a marked change with companies looking at teasers, scripts, pitches, and finished films. Just over 400 films screened this year, including 321 market premieres and 75 world premieres from 51 countries. Films premiering showcased the works of Helena Bonham Carter, Daniel Radcliffe, Gerard Depardieu, James Caan, Mila Kunis, Jessica Chastain, James Franco, Richard Dreyfuss, Cory Monteith, Stanley Tucci, Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis, Bill Hader, Emma Roberts, Val Kilmer, Judi Dench, Pierce Brosnan, Emma Thompson, Zach Braff, Jay Z, Kanye West, Dakota Fanning, Peter Sarsgaard, Nicolas Cage, Haley Joel Osment, Josh Hartnett, Jenna Fischer, Abigail Breslin, Thandie Newton, Amy Smart, Jesse Eisenberg and many more. Quite a few of the films for sale had lensed in Louisiana, with the highest profiled being

12 Years a Slave. Even though the film had a limited opening in the U.S. on October 18, many foreign territory rights were still available for purchase at AFM this year. The film’s award season buzz had to be helpful in generating sales. Companies like Lionsgate and Millenium/Nu Image were busy with presales, using foreign territory dollars to help finance their upcoming films. Of course, it’s AFM’s conference series that has helped increase attendance of producers, directors and even writers at the market. The popular five-day series showcased sessions on financing, production, marketing, distribution and pitching. They featured global industry leaders, including Adam Carolla, Ryan Kavanaugh, Mark Burnett, Nicolas Gonda, Tobin Armbrust, Paul Bales, Eric Brenner, Mark Canton, Cassian Elwes, and many others. This year, AFM also ran an exclusive Producer’s Conference, open to the first 350 attendees who had produced at least one movie. Designed to be more of a mentoring program, veteran producers met with select attendees over several days of the market. The pitching conference and producer’s forum provided great information and inspiration for independent filmmakers looking to find everything from pre-sales to distribution. “Don’t presume you know where Hollywood is trending,” said Tobin Armbrust, president of worldwide production and acquisitions at Exclusive Media Group. “The passion is what comes through when you’re pitching. Most of the time pitches don’t sell. If you’re a writer, always write. You should never be discouraged if you can’t sell something as a pitch.” “Lead with genre,” said Stephanie Palmer,


ISSUE SIX

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

19


Non-stop working at AFM.

author of Good in a Room. “In a verbal pitch, genre gives context to the listener. Focus on as few main characters as possible, and identify patterns of feedback.” Famed producer and former agent Cassian Elwes shared an anecdotal tale about Laura Ziskin trying to make The Butler, which also filmed in Louisiana. “(Ziskin) had been trying to make the movie and studios were passing on it,” said Elwes. “Since she was a studio filmmaker, she didn’t know how to raise money. She was dying from cancer and her last thoughts, her last breaths, were spent on how to make this movie. That’s the level of passion we’re looking for.” “It’s tough,” said independent film consultant Stacey Parks. “When pitching, you have to lead with (the project’s) value.” Parks went on to discuss important distri-

20

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE SIX

bution issues: “The U.S. is the biggest VOD market. You want to go through aggregators, not sales agents. They (aggregators) take commission; they don’t charge fees. Kino Nation just launched in beta—you don’t even have to talk to anyone, you just upload your film and they have direct access to iTunes. If you can, retain your U.S. Rights. You need a sales agent for foreign and you can’t just e-mail them. It’s best to hold off on your foreign release until you secure your domestic deal so you can leverage it.” Adrian Ward, SVP of entertainment industries division at Pacific Mercantile, said, “The foreign sales agent is the heart of the matter. There are so many of them around. Be discerning. You want people who are actively engaged and who can talk you through who the top 10 buyers are in territories and have spent a lot of time building those relationships.” Many of the sessions were focused on producing independent film and included advice from financing to marketing and distribution. “The business hasn’t gotten bad, the business has gotten selective,” said Clay Epstein, SVP of sales and acquisitions at Arclight Films. “The independent world is all about risk management—reducing the risk at all costs. The film must be execution dependent. Presentation is key; it must contain stars, directors,

writers, etc., with built-in value.” Added Aaron Ryder, president of production at FilmNation, “There are four parts of being a producer, in my opinion: the first is finding and developing the material, the second is the packaging, meaning the directors, the actors… The third is financing and the fourth is overseeing these three things until the release of the movie.” “The marketplace is going to dictate where your movie is going to end up,” emphasized Epstein. “Listening to the market is very important. It requires true research development.” “Television has saved the industry. It brings a different speed, a different stamina…,” said Ryder. “The quality of TV shows will make us better filmmakers. Cable television takes more risk, more emphasis on writing… it has pushed the bar higher and has become so incredibly popular.” “The cost of getting the titles out there is significantly less and less,” said Susan Jackson, co-founder and co-president of Freestyle Releasing. “We’ve come up with cost-effective ways to reach the audience.” “People may say ‘my film’s for everyone, everyone will like it,’ but it’s not,” said Matt Brodie, head of U.S. distributions and acquisitions for Exclusive Media. “Be realistic in what audience you’re going for.” “Cast always helps across the board,” said


ISSUE SIX

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

21


Tristen Tuckfield, VP of acquisitions at Millenium Entertainment. “We’re very cast-driven and cast-focused and on the genres that are lower-risk genres, like thrillers or actions or comedies. I think dramas are becoming increasingly more difficult to sell. For a drama to really work in the marketplace, you need to have the box office behind it.” Besides drama being a hard sell, documentaries seem to also have a difficult time. This year, AFM devoted a session completely to the reality format. “Documentaries are different than story narratives. They are like college papers: you start with a hypothesis and don’t really know where it’s going to go. We look at documentaries at every stage,” said Michael Werner, chairman of Fortissimo Films. “However, the one thing we don’t do, we do not invest in documentaries by first-time filmmakers.” “The pitch needs to hook us in a few minutes,” said Daniel Bauer, co-founder, producer of business and legal affairs at K5 Media Group GmbH. “If you cannot find the hook that makes it exciting in a few sentences, then we won’t be able to make it exciting later on. I find crowdfunding interesting because if you can’t find a way of putting a film online to raise money, it’s going to be difficult to find an audience for your film later on if you can’t explain it to people from the beginning.” “For us it’s about emotion,” continues Bauer.

22

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE SIX

Garrett Hauenstein (l) of EASE Entertainment Services was promoting EASE’s services at AFM.

“If something comes in and punches us in the gut, we want to get involved. You have to give a s*** about the film because it’s really difficult to make a documentary. If you ask me what a producer is, I’d tell you we take a director’s dream and make it his nightmare.” Regardless of whether you’re making a narrative or a documentary film, the process is still challenging for the independent filmmaker. Here are some final thoughts from the wealth of information from this year’s AFM conference series. “You need a very firm marketing plan and release plan, just like a studio would have with a feature film,” said Lisa Romanoff, managing director and CEO of worldwide distribution at

Vision Films. “Grassroots support is critical for unbranded films,” added David Bixler, SVP of acquisitions and production at MGM Worldwide Distribution for 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. “Twitter is huge, having some kind of marketable element,” said Tuckfield. “No matter how loud you are, you still need a marketable element to really get behind you and your film. Sometimes it’s someone with a huge following who can reach out to a fan base.” But Aaron Ryder summed up this year’s AFM best: “Out of change comes chaos, out of chaos comes opportunity, and out of opportunity comes luck.” LFV


ISSUE SIX

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

23


NOFF IN REVIEW

12 YEARS A SLAVE RED CARPET PREMIERE SCREENING STORY BY CAROL ANN SCRUGGS

he 24th New Orleans Film Festival opened with the premiere red carpet screening of 12 Years a Slave at the newly renovated Civic Center. The film tells the true story of Solomon Northup’s one-man fight for freedom. It’s a pre-Civil War, 1840s story of a free black man from upstate New York kidnapped and sold into slavery in New Orleans.

T

This well attended screening was in “Hollywood” style, featuring a red carpet lined with press and a large presence of the film’s starstudded cast. Among the attendees were Steve McQueen (director), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Solomon Northup), Lupita Nyong’o (Patsy), Rob Steinburg (Parker), Alfre Woodard (Mistress Shaw), Dwight Henry (Uncle Abram), Bryan Batt (Judge Turner), Cameron Zeigler (Alonzo Northup), Jay Huguley (sheriff), Tony Bentley (Mr. Moon), Kelsey Scott (Anne Northup), Sarah Paulson (Mistress Epps), and Sean Bobbitt (director of photography). New Orleans locals— including Mayor Mitch Landrieu, his wife, and Katie Williams, director of the New Orleans Film Commission—also hit the red carpet in style. All were gracious to share their time and experiences while making the film. When Chiwetel Ejiofor was asked about his experience filming in the city of New Orleans, he replied, “It was in the summer so it was hotter, but it was an extraordinary place to shoot, and shooting all over gives you a real sense of place and experiences. It’s such a unique story, and it’s taken directly from the book. It’s so rare to have a story that’s so deep inside the experience. We were able to uncover so much that we didn’t know about at that time. It’s something that has been missing in cinema, something like this story of Solomon that gives us a unique perspective inside the experience. I think that it’s something that should spark conversation and something that’s required reading so that by the time you’re 15 you should know the story.” 24

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE SIX

Director Steve McQueen answers questions after the film’s screening.

Lupita Nyong’o pictured at the screening of 12 Years A Slave during the 2013 New Orleans Film Festival, held on Thursday, October 10, 2013. Photo by Craig Mulcahy.

Steve McQueen pictured at the screening of 12 Years A Slave.

Chiwetel Ejiofor pictured at the screening of 12 Years A Slave.

Photo by Craig Mulcahy.

Photo by Craig Mulcahy.

Lupita Nyong’o said she only had six weeks from the time she got the role until the time she had to be on set. When asked if it took some time to wind down after shooting such intense scenes, she said, “Most definitely. Every day after I treated myself to massages and meditation.” When asked, “Did you do any New Orleans type of things while you were here?”, she responded, “Well, I ate fried mussels, which I’ve never done, and went go-karting for the first time. I have many fond memories for sure.” When director Steve McQueen was asked how it feels to bring the film back to New Orleans, where it was shot, he said, “I’m happy to be back. The cast is a marvelous community and we all worked as a family and supported each other.” The screening was preceded by a live performance from OperaCreole, a New Orleans group with musical work by composers of color and songs by 19th century free Creoles. Afterward, the cast and crew had a second line band escort down Poydras Street to the after party at Gallier Hall. It was there that I had a conversation with

Dwight Henry and guest pictured at the screening of 12 Years A Slave. Photo by Craig Mulcahy.

Dwight Henry (Uncle Abram). Both Henry and Quvenzhane Wallis (Margaret Northup) were not only in 12 Years a Slave, but they did their first film together in Beasts of the Southern Wild. Beasts was nominated for four Oscars—Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actress. Henry is well known locally for his bakery, the Buttermilk Drop Bakery and Café. He spoke of his struggles when he was first trying to start a bakery and was unable to get a loan. That didn’t stop Henry. He bought one piece of equipment at a time, and in three years he was set. When Beasts came knocking, he told them he couldn’t because he had to run his bakery. Director Benh Zeitlin and his crew persisted and agreed to work around his bakery schedule to film. Henry has appeared in other films since then and now feels very blessed to be a part of 12 Years a Slave. Coincidentally or not, there’s been a lot of Oscar buzz going on from the Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals for 12 Years a Slave. An Oscar or more would be very well deserved for a film and cast of this caliber. My fingers are definitely crossed! LFV


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 SIX

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

25


NOFF IN REVIEW

NEW ORLEANS FILM FESTIVAL: A PLACE FOR YOUNG FILMMAKERS TO NETWORK STORY BY JASON RAYMOND

irector Kevin McMullin noticed it during his soldout screening of Aboard the Carousel when he looked around the room. “I realized we had all these young filmmakers in audience,” he said. Given the growing reputation of the New Orleans Film Festival, McMullin isn’t surprised more young filmmakers are coming, explaining, “It’s out that New Orleans is receptive to low-budget filmmaking and accepts a range of films.”

D

Pennsylvania filmmakers Jessica Pignataro and Suzanne Doran of Tinker Films echo McMullin’s observation. “This festival seemed to be a nice mixture of all aspects of the industry,” said Pignataro. “And that’s what we were looking for. And that’s what we got. Not to mention the interesting films slated to screen.” Doran points out a fact underlying why so many filmmakers are drawn to New Orleans. “It’s supposed to be one of the best film festivals,” she said. “It’s on, like, every list, and we were definitely hoping to meet people we could work with.” Along with the quality of the films, filmmakers also talked about the social events organized by the New Orleans Film Society. Parties and events during the film festival helped facilitate connections. As Los Angelesbased filmmaker Zach Wechter said, “The first night of NOFF, we met several filmmakers with shorts in the festival and ended up hanging out at screenings and parties together throughout the week.” One such party was the “Filmmaker Welcome Party,” held on the second night of the festival for the more than 200 filmmakers attending. The party was held at the historic 1859 mansion on Esplanade Avenue on the edge of the French Quarter. Owned by Sixteen19 - Esplanade Studios, the large plush rooms and intimate gardens created a perfect ambiance for meeting and networking. In the main rooms, large tables offered an array of food, while chefs offered traditional area cuisine and waitstaff carrying finger foods mingled with guests. 26

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE SIX

Jack Seidman, Jessica Pignataro, Suzanne Doran, Zach Wechter, and Joe Carnegie.

Aboard the Carousel star Arielle Hader found directors looking to cast her in their next project. “I met Suzanne and Jess of Tinker Films and we really hit it off,” she said. “When they started talking to me about the movie they had in post-production, which is about a girl who is dealing with her mom having dementia, I was really impressed that they were tackling that sort of unique and gritty subject matter. That’s the stuff I gravitate toward. They asked for my reel and have cast me as one of the leads in their next movie, which is so exciting.” Added Tinker’s Doran, “I saw her and I immediately pictured her as a character in the script we’re working on.” Hader reported that other directors who saw her strong performance in Aboard the Carousel have approached her about future projects. Polish-born, New Orleans-based filmmaker Maja Holzinger also found an actor to cast. “During the festival I met the actor Ritchie Montgomery,” she recalled. “It resulted in me casting Ritchie, who has recently been in Django Unchained and American Horror Story, as a lead character in my short film Call Me Cappy that I’m shooting this December.” But Holzinger says that it’s possible to meet filmmakers in venues other than late night parties. “One of the most wonderful things that happened this festival was an opportunity to meet Godfrey Reggio after his discussion panel at the Contemporary Arts Center. I’ve been a great fan of his work, and I never thought I’d be able to talk to him in person. I

Maja Holzinger and Walter Vera.

found him to be a very friendly man with lots of deeply interesting things to say to me.” Writer/director Jack Seidman believes this warmth isn’t accidental. “The festival organizers have such a respect for the filmmakers and the work, and such a love for the city, which is contagious,” he said. “It’s clear why so many industry professionals come down to be a part of it.” Seidman thought he would meet other young professionals getting their careers underway, but also found established filmmakers he knew from his work at the Sundance Film Festival, so it was a chance to renew friendships. Seidman’s frequent writing partner, Zach Wechter, related a story showing the general air of camaraderie that filmmakers can expect if they attend the New Orleans Film Festival. “The first night of NOFF, Jack and I were planning to stay at an old friend’s house a great distance outside of the city,” said Wechter. “We ended up staying out way too late but were saved by Nathan Punwar and Kathleen Kyllo, who we had met that night. They had an extra bed in their hotel room. We finally saw their movie the last day of the fest, and it was incredible.” LFV


ISSUE SIX

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

27


NOFF IN REVIEW

ABOARD THE CAROUSEL MAKES ITS WORLD PREMIERE

Actor Benjy Brooke as “Alex”

Actor Vince Mazzeo as “Vin”

Cinematographer Sean Emer and director Kevin McMullin shooting a hot air balloon scene. STORY BY JASON RAYMOND

ot only did Aboard the Carousel make its world premiere at the New Orleans Film Festival, it also had sold-out showings. Cast and crew offer their thoughts on what it’s like to debut in Hollywood South, the importance of the New Orleans Film Festival, and seeing a threeyear project become a hit with audiences:

N

Director Kevin McMullin remembers a

#18B.7

28

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE SIX

buzz about the New Orleans Film Festival when he was studying directing at Columbia University’s graduate film program. “Everyone has a short list of festivals they want to be a part of,” he says. “Andrew Hauser had a short film here; I got good feedback from him. I consider this a strong festival with a diverse selection of films.” Producer Christina Papi recalls “seeing in industry magazines New Orleans always being ranked as one of the top 20 or 50 festivals every year.” Such positive impressions made submitting their film to the New Orleans Film Festival quite easy. The reception given by film festival crowds pleased everyone involved in the production.

Actress Arielle Hader as “Daphne”

Writer, director and producer Kevin McMullin during pre-production.


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 SIX

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

29


Director Kevin McMullin, cinematographer Sean Emer and producer Chris Bacarella prepping for a hot air balloon scene.

Papi loves that “a lot of older people in the audience laughed the hardest.” As laughter erupted from the crowd, McMullin remembers thinking, “You get different responses from different audiences. Here the audience got it. Sitting with them, you could tell just how much they enjoyed it.” Producer Chris Bacarella hadn’t seen a cut of the movie in a while. He says, “Some parts are just sweet and funny. It’s a credit to Kevin that he got such good performances.” Actress Arielle Hader, who plays Daphne, who gives “intimacy lessons” in the movie, attended a screening “as a pure spectator. It

was humbling to see it as a whole (and) realize I was a part of it.” McMullin’s regular writing partner and Exit 117 actor John Blakeslee believes such success comes down to an effort to entertain people. “Rather than make a statement, which we tend to keep in the background, we work for a magical connection that makes audiences smile.” McMullin reports that with the strong audience response, he’s already been contacted by the program directors at other festivals. “Having the movie do well in New Orleans is helpful. There seems to be a network of program directors, so the word spreads.” Papi believes that “premiering your film somewhere else, like New Orleans, really helps with the build-up. You get momentum coming out of showings like we had here.” Cast and crew have also met many other filmmakers during their stay and enjoy the feeling of common support. The creative team behind Aboard the Carousel has deep New Jersey roots. While the movie does mention New Jersey, the film doesn’t seem regional, with a visual style and rural background offering wide appeal. That doesn’t mean the folks back home aren’t eager to see it. Cast and crew remember the large turnout that their first film, Exit 117, got at the Garden State Film Festival. With future screenings and word-of-

mouth building since their successful New Orleans debut, their feeling is that Aboard the Carousel will have an even warmer reception when the film screens in New Jersey. McMullin feels such momentum will really help when he decides how Aboard the Carousel can best reach audiences. With online distribution such a necessity today, he believes successful appearances at film festivals like New Orleans can translate into access through companies like IndieFlix, Hulu, and Netflix. Exit 117 appeared on IndieFlix after being shown at over a dozen film festivals and winning the 2009 Flesch Screenwriting Award and a 2009 Drexel New Fund Grant. After their successful screenings, everyone involved in Aboard the Carousel sees New Orleans as a wonderful spot to set their next movie in. Walking around the city between screenings, producers Christina Papi and Chris Bacarella became taken with the distinctive architecture and European flavor of the city. As McMullin puts it, “The economy is moving, and there’s a flavor of new here. I would love to shoot my next movie in New Orleans.” LFV For more information about Aboard the Carousel, including upcoming showings, see www.boyandstar.com.

/

m o .c ss re p rd o .w lm fi n o d n o http://raym

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. 30

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE SIX


ISSUE SIX

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

31


NOFF IN REVIEW

WIFT-LOUISIANA PRESENTS “GENDER LENS” PANEL STORY BY CAROL ANN SCRUGGS

he 24th annual New Orleans Film Festival, sponsored by the New Orleans Film Society, opened Thursday, October 10, with a red carpet screening of director Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave and closed on Thursday, October 17, with Bayou Maharajah: The Tragic Genius of James Booker, directed by Lily Keber. Not only were there a host of film screenings to attend and parties and receptions to enjoy, but also informative panels on a variety of subjects.

T

One of the panels was presented by the Louisiana chapter of Women in Film and Television (WIFT). This 501(c)(3) nonprofit, formed in 2011, is dedicated to the advancement of women’s careers in all areas of film, video and new media. There is a global network of Women in Film and Television, with over 40 WIFT chapters worldwide and 10,000 members working in all aspects of the film industry. The panel they presented was called “Gender Lens: Taking Charge of the Camera,” held at the Contemporary Arts Center. Both men and women attended this popular panel in a standing-room-only space. Panelists included moderator Debra Zimmerman (New York-based), executive director of Women Make Movies; Carol Bidault de I’Isle (Los Angeles), an awardwinning producer; Charlotte Cook (Canada), director of programming at Hot Docs; Judith Helfand (New York), founder of Chicken and Egg Pictures; Lily Keber, a New Orleans-based filmmaker who directed Bayou Maharajah; and Shannon Plumb (New York), director of Towheads. Zimmerman opened by saying that the term “gender” denotes both men and women, and the focus of the panel would be on women and the impact of women in the film industry. She pointed out several important statistics concerning women in the film industry from a study done by the Women’s Media Center (WMC). “According to WMC, there has been a tremendous change in the inequity of women in film,” said Zimmerman. “Between 1930 and 1960, 32

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE SIX

there were only 2 women filmmakers and now in 2013, 12 percent of films in the USA were directed by Caucasian women and 2 percent by minority women. In 2012, 18 percent of women worked as producers, directors and editors on the top 250 grossing films, with an increase of 2 percent since 2010, but an increase of only 1 percent since 1998. That’s pretty gruesome, but the good news is that in documentaries over the last 11 years at the Sundance Film Festival, women directors have been over 34 percent of documentaries. So there is a real difference in fiction and the documentaries, with respect to women filmmakers. We’ve certainly come a long way, but things haven’t come as far as we’d like. Fortunately, women support women. Films directed by women feature more women in all roles. One of the best strategies used by women is teamwork, with producers and directors working together.” As we work our way down the panelists, Carol Bidault said, “Our number one goal is not to keep men out of WIFT, but to celebrate women and their achievements.” She also said they provide valuable resources, which includes a lot of education and networking opportunities to establish the connections needed. Bidault added that the WIFT-Louisiana stats are worse than the WIFT-Los Angeles chapter for women in filmmaking. She re-emphasized that through WIFT, women support women and have an opportunity to share their experience. Bidault’s role in the filmmaking process is financing. She said the majority of her clients are men, and they have no problem stepping up to the plate. The next panelist, Lily Keber, said, “When I was asked what my challenges were as a director, I said there were many challenges as a director, but I’m not sure how many were because I was a woman. There are a lot of us out there now, but it’s up to us to step up to the plate. I feel women are very collaborative and this is one of our greatest strengths. We’re used to juggling everything as mothers. We’re also more open to others’ perspectives.” Charlotte Cook puts together North America’s largest film festival for documentaries. She said, “A lot of female directors make films about men, but we need to make more films about women. More women are in documentaries because it costs a lot less money, and you don’t need a whole team of people.” Shannon Plumb added a bit of humor with her comments. “I wanted to tell you… When I started out, I wasn’t going to be a director. I studied acting for four years and got in the real world

Lily Keber speaks at the WIFT panel.

Closing night film Bayou Maharajah, directed by WIFT member Lily Keber.

and realized I wasn’t going to be an actor. I knew I was going to be in movies, I just didn’t know how. I got a camera, took shots of myself and made shorts for 12 years. I now have over 200 Super 8s! At one point I realized I was bigger than the story I was in and wanted to tell the story of being a mom, so I started writing a script.” Judith Helfand was very compelling in her journey. Out of her bad luck with having cancer and being uncured by cancer drugs, she sued the drug company. She used these funds to jumpstart her career and they would act “kinda like a trust fund to help make films,” she said. “We are all producers and directors in our own way. What we wanted to do was to set up a fund to support women called ‘I Believe in You.’ We were founded in 2005 and the grant created a chick list,” explained Helfand. Chicken and Egg Pictures is a fund that provides financing, producing and creative development, completion and launch of women filmmakers’ non-fiction and fiction films. “We have about 30 grants a year for about $10 to $15,000 and try to support the film throughout its life cycle,” said Helfand. “It’s a safe place to say ‘I don’t know.’ We fund it because you have a unique voice and vision and not because you know everything.” All of this great expertise and support in one room was very empowering as a woman. To know that such great resources are now available to those with a vision and willingness to step up to the plate is very encouraging. I could feel the wheels turning in the room. I’m sure that many more women from Louisiana will be joining the ranks of directors, producers and filmmakers in the near future. LFV


Make-Up Artistry by

MANDI NIXX

Mandi Burnett is the owner of Studio Nixx. She is trained in hair, makeup and special fx makeup. Mandi loves working outside of her studio whenever the right job arises!

www.MandiNixx.com 248.633.3450 Aburnett22@me.com

Hair & Makeup ARTISTS OF LOUISIANA

Christine Fitzpatrick

Hair and Makeup by

• Specialize in makeup for film, television and print, certified at Make-Up Designory • Strong set etiquette, team player and great at multi-tasking in fast paced environments • Clients include TLC, ABC, SPIKE TV, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Oprah Magazine, etc. (586) 216-4239 • christine.makeupartist@gmail.com • www.christinefitzpatrick.com

Renée Ramos Makeup Artist

www.ReneeRamos.com Renee@ReneeRamos.com

504-919-9142

(504) 201-3437 claire_rav@yahoo.com facebook.com/claireravmakeup @claireravmua, #cravmua

Natalie Shea Rose Makeup & Hair

natalieshearose@gmail.com (979) 575-5635

ISSUE SIX

Recent Projects: The Historian Jake’s Road Pain of Enlightenment Buttercup Bill Amontillado Comedy Central Presents Specials

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

33


NOFF IN REVIEW

NOLA NATIVE RETURNS TO SCREEN AT FESTIVAL STORY BY JASON RAYMOND

ila French grew up in Metairie, leaving to study at M.I.T. and later pursue acting in Los Angeles. She premiered her first directorial effort, Birdbath, at the Laemmle Theater in Los Angeles this past July. Based on the classic Leonard Melfi play, Birdbath hadn’t been filmed since 1971. While screening Birdbath at the New Orleans Film Festival, French sat down with LF&VM for a Q&A:

L

A scene from Birdbath.

Lila French

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE: An article about you in the Huffington Post said that you only decided to direct because you realized you had a clear vision of the movie. Can you tell us more about what led you to direct Birdbath? Lila French: I had acted in the play. When I had the idea to make a film, I originally thought I’d find someone else to direct since I’d never directed a film before (only scenes in acting class). However, while adapting the script, I’d talk to people about it, and they’d say things, and I would feel very strongly “that’s not how it goes,” and I quickly realized I had a clear vision for the story, and I wanted to bring it to life. When I asked friends if they had any advice, they suggested that, since I’d be acting and directing, I find a great DP, and I found the best in Roger Chingirian. LFVM: When is the film set and did you find it difficult to create that proper atmosphere? LF: The play opened in 1965 and was set in “present time.” While there aren’t too many indications of any particular time period in the script, and the story is universal, there was an artistic movement in New York going on at that time that’s relevant to Frankie’s character, and the relationships discussed seem to have the sensibility more of that time than now, so we kept it in that time period. We had a typewriter, furniture, props and costumes from the time period. LFVM: Were you concerned about adapting the play into a film? LF: The run time of the play is about 1 hour 34

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE SIX

15 minutes, but the way the story goes, it seemed like it would lend itself more to a short film than a feature. I also wouldn’t feel comfortable adding to it to make a feature. So I went through and made a series of small cuts and was able to cut quite a bit of dialogue without cutting any major plot elements. In the play, Velma verbalizes her anxiety, however on film, that can be shown visually. Close-ups can communicate volumes. The film ended up at 47 minutes, and I have a shorter cut, which is 38 minutes. LFVM: What made you decide to begin the film with a 90-second montage? LF: One of my favorite movies is The Constant Gardener and my favorite shot is this panning shot of birds flying over Lake Turkana. It’s a nice break in the film and it feels almost indulgent, but it’s so beautiful and establishes the tone of the film and the location perfectly. Being able to use visuals that give the viewer an emotional sense is what I love about film. There aren’t those opportunities on stage. So when adapting the script, I had this idea to shoot bird footage going from morning to night, like a silent observer’s view of life in New York, but with birds. Melfi’s brother liked that part of the adaptation. I liked the idea of shooting it voyeuristically, like an amateur photographer who loves birds filming without intrusion, and I like the messy, new-wave style. So I wandered around New York for a few days with our main camera, a Nikon DSLR, and my iPhone and shot whatever I saw. I mostly stayed outside of St. Mark’s Church,

where there are a lot of birds, and where the play opened in 1965. Once I got back to Los Angeles, I started cutting it together and using the shots I liked the best. While cutting, a story arc with little subplots started to emerge: birds waking up, going to work, one that was out too late. Maybe no one will notice the details, but I know they’re there. When the main DP (Roger, who didn’t shoot in New York) saw the first cut of the film, he described the montage as “honest,” which is what I wanted it to be. LFVM: How important is it to have your film here at the New Orleans Film Festival? LF: I was so excited to bring the film to the New Orleans Film Festival! When I found out Birdbath was going to play here, I sent out an excited e-mail to my mailing list, and posted on Twitter and Facebook. I also sent an Evite to my friends and family here, and my mom printed out a flyer and brought it to the neighbors. I’ve made so many friends here at the festival. It was worth coming for that alone. But also I love watching movies and am genuinely excited to talk to other filmmakers about their process and see where they are coming from, so it was great to be a part of that. LFVM: Since you grew up in Metairie, do you plan to return home and shoot a movie? LF: There’s a feature I’ve been thinking about for a few years now, and I think I want to shoot it in New Orleans, because I know this city better than any other—what kinds of jobs people have, how people talk, how people are. I love movies like Sling Blade, where the filmmaker really knows the people and the area. It makes every detail real. It would also be great to shoot in New Orleans, since there’s such a great film community here. LFV


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

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

ISSUE SIX

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

35


FACES OF CREATIVE INFUSION (PART II) HOW LOUISIANA’S HOT FILM CLIMATE GOT THESE PROFESSIONALS TO RELOCATE STORY BY JASON RAYMOND AND SAMANTHA SMITH

hile the amazing growth of the indigenous entertainment community and the professional training of local residents should be justly celebrated, it’s the influx of transplants that determines whether Louisiana shall succeed in fulfilling its promise as “Hollywood South.” In the last few years, many people in the movie industry have been traveling to Louisiana. However, the long-term prospect of Louisiana becoming an entertainment capital remains uncertain. Other places have realized the fiscal value of becoming “the next Hollywood,” including Atlanta, Toronto, and even a formidable late-comer: Los Angeles.

W

In this race for limited resources, individual men and women making Louisiana their home, as well as their office, carries significance. That phenomenon of individual career choices happens every day and out of purview, but they add up over time. In part two of our “Faces of Creative Infusion” series, meet some of the people in entertainment who have chosen to move to (as well as work in) Louisiana: Jimmy Salserito

Not every on-screen performer coming to the Louisiana film community is an actor. Jimmy Salserito has worked the international salsa circuit for over 10 years after extensive training in ballroom, Latin and swing dance. He also works as a choreographer. Working from Augusta, Georgia, to Los Angeles, Salserito landed in New Orleans by chance. “An actor friend of mine, Armando Leduc, invited me to come and explore what I could do in film and in the arts scene,” recalls Salserito. “I had never been to New Orleans and did 36

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE SIX

not know what to expect. After a grueling nine-hour drive in the middle of the night, I made my way to New Orleans to find myself on two film sets within five minutes of arrival. I thought to myself, ‘This has got to be a good sign.’” Salserito appeared doing a dance sequence in the feature Latin Dreams. The other project was a short called Laundry Day. After those projects, he decided against making the ninehour return trip. After settling in, Salserito sought out the local Latin dancing community. The charismatic group of seasoned dancers he found surprised him. They wanted desperately to grow and expand their scene, but needed someone to unify the scene and lead the community to new heights. “The salsa community welcomed my style and expertise with enthusiastic arms, and I saw an opportunity to serve the dreams of these wonderful people before fulfilling my own,” says Salserito. “Thus I started my own dance company, BigEasy Salsa, and opened up Summer Salsa Monday classes at the New Orleans Healing Center with The Movement Room.” Salserito intends to continue helping cultivate a strong and healthy Latin dance scene. In between his film work, he offers a variety of dance classes. While he continues to appear in film as a dancer, he also works as a lead choreographer. “I found myself taking a stop here in New Orleans and not only finding wonderful opportunity, but also a new home,” he says. “I’ve never made such a radical decision in my life and won.” Jimmy Salserito can be reached through his Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ superiorsalsa) and is currently developing his website (www.jimmysalserito.com). William Ramsey

William Ramsey is a New Orleans production attorney serving the burgeoning local film community, though he practices in all areas of entertainment law. He has been growing his practice since moving back to New Orleans from New York in 2012. Like other professionals in the film industry, Ramsey sees the role that local government plays as crucial to Louisiana’s continuing

success as a film hub. Says Ramsey, “Why do films shoot in Louisiana? There is no question that our tax credit incentives are a driving force behind the industry. However, tax credits are only one piece of the cost benefit analysis. Producers also have to take into consideration the availability of qualified crew, equipment, housing, ease of obtaining permits, and a host of other expenses that add to the bottom line. Fortunately, our lawmakers see the big picture and understand that longevity is the key to film tax credit incentives. Because of the continued tax credit incentives, Louisiana has been able to develop an indigenous film and television industry, thereby driving down ancillary costs to production companies and improving the local economy.” Always passionate about the arts, Ramsey originally studied film and broadcast at the Tisch School of Arts and the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. He made many student films and drew inspiration from independent filmmakers. Following his undergraduate studies, Ramsey headed to Los Angeles hoping to break into the film industry. His first break was working in post-production at Paramount Studios. He went on to work at a talent agency, and eventually worked in development for a film production company, where he was fortunate enough to work with a founder of Initial Entertainment


ISSUE SIX

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

37


and the head of global finance and distribution for William Morris Endeavor. Not only did these experiences provide Ramsey with rich learning opportunities about “the business,” the experiences also provided prime opportunities for introspection about how he could best contribute to the industry and facilitate independent filmmaking. This introspection led Ramsey to attend Tulane Law School, where he graduated with a J.D., and went on to receive an L.L.M. in tax law from the University of Washington. Ramsey then went on to work in New York, where he circled back into film by helping to put together a hedge fund around film tax credit incentives. Although the fund did not get off the ground, the experience led Ramsey back to his inspiration, and he realized his experience and educational background could be a useful asset to the New Orleans film community. “You need a surprising amount of assistance and resources in order to bring a film project from development through delivery,” says Ramsey. “In the rush to get to production, new producers can overlook critical steps. Legal can be costly, but laying the proper groundwork is critical and becomes exponentially more crucial if a film finds distribution.” Ramsey now represents local New Orleans film producers and production companies, where he draws on his experiences and contacts from Los Angeles to provide legal representation and assist in developing film projects. While established firms in Los Angeles and New York have traditionally dominated the market, Ramsey bolsters his production legal expertise with experience in filmmaking, tax credit eligibility, and on-the-ground guidance for the inevitable emergencies every producer faces. Looking back at his journey to New Orleans and entertainment law, Ramsey observes, “Sometimes a meandering path leads people to where they are supposed to be, and a background rich with experience can add depth to new career paths. Both Louisiana and I are in a good spot right now, but tax credits are only one piece of the filmmaking puzzle. Good people at hand fill it in so much more.” Louisiana has a long history of incredible artistic and creative roots, and Ramsey feels fortunate to be a part of showcasing that history on the big screen. William Ramsey can be reached at: Ramsey Law Firm, 504-521-7962, weramsey@weramseylaw.com. Samantha Smith

Samantha Smith is a writer/director and a new face to New Orleans. She has lived in Chicago for the past several years while obtaining her B.A. in film at Columbia College Chicago, but she is originally from 38

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE SIX

South Mississippi. While in Chicago, Smith worked closely with Input/Output Productions, a film production company that produces everything from films to commercials to music videos. Together, the team recently collaborated on Smith’s latest film, an experimental narrative short, Con Vex. The film is currently being completed and will be submitted to film festivals this upcoming season. “When deciding where to go, I considered the ever-popular L.A. and New York, but after feeling like Chicago was too big for me, I couldn’t imagine trying to distinguish myself as a director in those places,” says Smith. “Then I thought of New Orleans, and after that, I couldn’t shake whatever was tugging my boot strings southward.” She continues, “The tax incentives here are obviously an appealing detail to anyone interested in making films. However, the lower cost of filmmaking was only a small portion of what drew me in. It’s this place, it’s this city, and the people here. A storyteller could live here forever and still not have enough time to tell it all.” As she’s settled into New Orleans, Smith has discovered a collection of organizations devoted to building and maintaining the film industry here, one being the New Orleans Video Access Center (NOVAC). “I’ve been finding that the people here are supportive and friendly to a new face,” says Smith. “NOVAC has created a support system for filmmakers and is very welcoming to newcomers like myself. It has been a wonderful experience getting to know the

people involved and participating in their events. “The genuineness and humility I have found in this city is a rare trait in this industry, and that alone is enough to keep me here for a while.” Smith’s goal in coming to New Orleans is to establish herself as a director and meet and work with filmmakers local to Louisiana. Since living here, she has begun writing her first feature-length screenplay, a dark fairytale set in 1810 New Orleans. She hopes to begin preparing the film for production within the next two years. In addition to filmmaking, Smith has an interest in arts education and children’s literature. With experience in visual art and paper/bookmaking, she intends to volunteer at public schools as a teaching artist. Smith recently signed on to illustrate a new book of poetry for children’s poet Emmanuelle Troy. She’s also completing her own children’s book, 9 Smarts, a picture book based on Howard Gardner’s philosophy of the nine different types of intelligences and learning styles. Smith has also begun a photo series featuring portraits of New Orleans dwellers after being inspired by the unique collection of characters that fill this city. She calls the series “The People In This Place.” “I find it vital to be surrounded by a creative atmosphere that challenges me,” says Smith. “Between the beauty of this city and the characters here, I couldn’t ask for more inspiration.” If you’d like to contact Smith or see her body of work, visit her website at www.xsamanthasmith.com. LFV


ISSUE SIX

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

39


NEW REDCINE-X PRO RELEASE MAKES SHOOTING ON RED MORE AFFORDABLE STORY BY ODIN LINDBLOM

hen you look at renting a camera for a shoot, you’re usually not just renting the camera body; you’re renting lenses, accessories and camera support. While the cost difference between renting something like a Blackmagic Cinema Camera and a Red Scarlet is not that great, post production costs for Red have been much higher, hindering Red workflow for many filmmakers. To get the most out of Red’s cameras, you need to shoot in Redcode Raw. Up until recently, the only way to transcode that Red Raw footage into an easily editable format was with Redcine-X software and a Red Rocket or Red Rocket-X hardware accelerator card. With the Beta release of Redcine-X Pro 21.3, you can now transcode Red Raw footage in real time using the GPU rendering of a Nvidia graphics card. This is great news for budget-conscious filmmakers who want to shoot on Red.

W

40

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE SIX

Priced at $4,750, Red Rocket cards are an expensive addition to an editing system. With the new Redcine-X software release, you can now transcode Redcode Raw footage with the same Nvidia graphics card used to output video to your computer monitor. Some users have posted on the Reduser forum that they are even seeing real time transcodes from 4K Redcode to ProRes HD at 24fps using the GPU rendering with video cards that cost around $1,000. This may eventually lead to the ability to transcode Redcode with a laptop without the need for costly additional hardware. It’s important to note that not only can you save money by not having to buy a Red Rocket card, but you can also save money on your editing computer. An editing system with a Red Rocket card must be custom-built or at least custom-configured. Most of these systems sell for well over $12,000. Now that all you need is a high-end Nvidia video card to transcode Red Raw for editing, you can buy a manufactured computer that meets the

specs of your editing software, add some storage and be ready to edit for about half the price. Redcine-X Pro 21.3 is still in beta release. Many issues, such as better support for GPU rendering with AMD video cards and support for multiple GPUs, have yet to be worked out; however, the new release does make shooting on Red a lot more affordable. LFV The beta of Redcine-X Pro 21.3 is a free download available at www.red.com/downloads.


GRIP • LIGHTING • GENERATORS • EXPENDABLES

Louisiana New Orleans, Louisiana • Second Line Stages Grip and Lighting Supplied on The Following Projects:

• “Imagination Movers” • “Bullet to the Head” • “Thunder Struck” • “Django Unchained” • “American Horror Story”

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

• “Green Lantern” • “Pitch Perfect” • “The Butler” • “Whiskey Bay”

• “Killer Joe” • “Contraband” • “Medallion” • “Looper”

Contact: TOM D. MAY - President / Head of Sales tmay@tmequipmentrentals.com VICTOR BARRIENTOS - Rental Manager/Operations victor@tmequipmentrentals.com

www.tmequipmentrentals.com ISSUE SIX

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

41


SPOTLIGHT ON LOUISIANA PRODUCTION

A LOOK AT SOME OF THE PEOPLE AND COMPANIES THAT KEEP THE LA PRODUCTION INDUSTRY BOOMING

ot only does Hollywood South boast state-of-theart infrastructure, diverse filming locations, and a wideranging pool of acting talent, but we are also home to an evergrowing number of crewmembers and production-related companies. Here is a look at just a few of them, and be sure to check out www.louisiana productionindex.com for a complete guide to Louisiana production resources.

ford, Dr. Michael White, Irvin Mayfield, Jeremy Davenport, Los Hombres Calientes, Henry Butler, Jon Cleary, and The Headhunters. Extensive catalog of easily-licensed, one-stop music as well as covers.

VIDEO PRODUCTION COMPANIES Construct Films/Brian Richard www.constructfilms.com

COLORISTS/ COLOR CORRECTION Spectrum Post www.spectrumpost.com

N

Construct Films is a production company based in the heart and soul of New Orleans. We have a burning passion for telling stories through beautifully cinematic images and believe that every project should evoke emotion. We create commercials, narrative films and documentaries distinguished by striking visuals and a unique perspective.

MUSIC LIBRARIES/SOUND EFFECTS Basin Street Records/Mark Samuels www.basinstreetrecords.com

SOUND MIXERS Red Clay Productions, Inc. www.redclayfilms.com Creative professional for any production scenario! Location sound mixer and videographer with great gear (Sound Devices 664/CL6 12 input 16 ISO records. Panasonic HVX200 P2 HD camera and support). Smart and dependable service. Proven experience in reality, corporate, and sports television. The people you want on your production team. Please call to discuss your next project.

Spectrum Post is New Orleans’ boutique full-service post production facility offering world-class color grading on the industry standard platforms of DaVinci Resolve, Apple Color and Assimilate SCRATCH. On-set DIT services including dailies organization, audio syncing, and preliminary color grading.

MAKEUP ARTISTS Evie Alishia eviealishia.pro_stylist@yahoo.com

Award-winning New Orleans record label of Rebirth Brass Band, Kermit Ruffins, Jason Marsalis, Theresa Andersson, Davell Craw-

Evie Alishia was born to two loving, entrepreneurial parents from Alexandria, Louisiana. Known for her dedication to beauty, her passion derived as a teenager by

doing hair and makeup for family and friends. Evie’s further experience and expertise not only came from her natural talent, but also developed from Eccentric Elegance Salon (Dallas, TX). Evie is also licensed in Louisiana and New York state. Goal: To become a hair and makeup artist in the film industry.

Christine Fitzpatrick www.christinefitzpatrick.com Professional hair and makeup artist who is a driven, hard working team player. Available for film, television, commercial, print, etc. Received certificate in Beauty Artistry at MUD in Burbank, CA. Past clients include Spike TV, TLC, HBO, ABC, Oprah Magazine, etc. Specializing in HD and airbrush.

Claire Rav claire_rav@yahoo.com Professionally trained makeup artist with skills in beauty, high fashion, male corrective, tattoo cover-up, bridal, air brush (beauty/FX), injuries, old age, hair work, bald cap, and prosthetic conceptualization, fabrication, and application. I am a dedicated, punctual, problem solver and will perform professionally in all work environments.

TNB Makeup Artistry/ Tiffany Brown www.tiffanynicolebrown.com Professional makeup artist with 6+ years specializing in beauty, bridal, editorial/print and certified in airbrush makeup. Have worked with Amelie G magazine, Scene magazine and many other publications. Also have minimal FX experience.

-EGAN&EW Megan Few grew up in rural Montgomery, Texas. During her high school career and early into her college career, Megan was actively involved in the theater FRPPXQLW\ 6KRUWO\ DIWHU JUDGXDWLQJ KLJK VFKRRO 0HJDQ EHJDQ WR WDNH ÀOP acting classes with Elesee Lester and Mari Ferguson. Megan also frequently traveled to Los Angeles to study under acting coach Cliff Osmond. Cliff OsPRQG KDG DQ HVSHFLDOO\ VWURQJ LQà XHQFH RQ 0HJDQ DQG DIWHU D SDUWLFXODU conversation with Osmond, Megan decided it was time to move on to bigger waters. After two years in the Texas industry, Megan made the transition to 1HZ2UOHDQVWRFRQWLQXHWRSXUVXHKHUFDUHHULQÀOP'XULQJKHUWLPHVKHKDV EHHQLQ1HZ2UOHDQVVKHKDVEHHQLQYDULRXVLQGHSHQGHQWÀOPVLQFOXGLQJ7KH Alternates, Rejects and the recently premiered Home, written and directed by Lula Fotis. Megan currently is training under Jerry Katz and Lance Nichols.

Del Corral & Associates / 504-324-3782/ delcorralandassoc@msn.com 42

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE SIX


ISSUE SIX

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

43


VER + FLETCHER: A POWERFUL SYNERGY FOR MODERN MOTION PICTURE PRODUCTION i deo Equipment Rentals (VER) and Fletcher Chicago, Inc. have reached an agreement to bring Fletcher’s 16mm, 35mm and digital camera rental division into VER’s cinema division, forming a new entity. This collaboration combines the strengths of VER’s extensive inventory, comprehensive engineering and international reach, along with Fletcher’s film experience, knowledgeable staff and their respect for the craft of cinematography.

V

“We couldn’t be more excited to have Fletcher Camera advance VER’s Cinema Division’s commitment to service the cinematographer,” states VER’s Vince Dundee. “This now adds VER’s broadly experienced staff, vast inventory and worldwide logistics with Fletcher Camera’s passion and commitment to cinematography and stellar reputation for client service; we’re creating a synergy that will provide unmatched technical capabilities, cutting-edge equipment, and outstanding customer service to the television, feature film and commercial production markets.” “The nature of modern motion picture production requires an

ever-changing variety of equipment and the ability to scale up to meet the needs of an often complicated and demanding production environment,” states Tom Fletcher. “VER’s extensive inventory, engineering prowess and presence in every incentive-driven production center means that we can now more fully serve the DP’s and AC’s artistic and technical needs alongside the financial and business needs of producers.”

“The nature of modern motion picture production requires an ever-changing variety of equipment.” Fletcher continues, “My entire staff is excited to be joining forces with VER to bring our thoughtful customer service and extensive film and digital experience to a much wider range of productions.” This new division will have a separate identity from the rental company VER with a different local phone number, website, traditional film prep floor space and dedicated staff. It will use Fletcher’s existing Chicago and New Orleans locations. Fletcher Chicago’s Sports Division remains unchanged and will continue to operate their downtown location until the spring when they relocate to the western suburbs. LFV

44

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE SIX


ISSUE SIX

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

45


INOVO STUDIO OFFERS AIRLINER MOCK-UP FOR PRODUCTIONS STORY BY JASON RAYMOND

e can all think of films and TV episodes with significant scenes on airplanes. Many films are set almost entirely on airplanes. In fact, Wikipedia lists 65 movies under the category “Films Set on an Airplane.” With New Orleans becoming a major movie hub, it seemed inevitable that someone would create a functional airplane set.

W

That someone turned out to be Inovo Studio in Harahan, a New Orleans suburb. Director of operations Chaman Grover drew on his 30 years of engineering and construction experience to create a functional airliner set. “We contacted people around the state,” he says, “and found no one here had an airplane set like ours. My son planned to make his own movie, titled 97 Minutes, mostly to be shot in the plane set. We knew Louisiana had become a moviemaking hub. So we created this set for our use, as well as to offer other filmmakers a unique plane mock-ups or their objectives.” Grover’s son, Dr. Pavan Grover, is a successful Houston pain specialist who has appeared on CNN discussing medical issues. In addition to his medical practice, Dr. Grover is also an actor/writer/producer. 97 Minutes isn’t Dr. Grover’s first film production. In 2002, he wrote,

produced and acted in Unspeakable with Dennis Hopper, Dina Meyer, Lance Henriksen, and Jeff Fahey. Inovo Studio’s plane is a 767 mock-up that is 110 feet long and 15 feet wide. Like actual airplanes, the passenger compartments are divided by class. The first class unit has the distinctive large, plush seats with new seat covers. The coach class goes seven seats across, divided by two wider aisles. Inovo Studio also has older styles of plane seats for historicallyminded productions. Small details that every traveler knows too well haven’t been overlooked. The Inovo airliner mock-up has working seat belts and those tiny compartments that require real effort to fit any size of luggage. Galley kitchen and flight attendant seats and workspaces have been recreated. There are even airline toilets and two working doors. The cockpit features fully functional light panels with remote control. All the lights, buttons and switches are in working order. Each pilot has an actual working control stick, or joystick. The windscreens in front of the pilot and co-pilot can be removed for clear shooting. The Inovo plane mock-up breaks down into sections. An extensive steel superstructure runs the length of the plane’s exterior. The steel superstructure allows sections to be placed on a gimbal that can move the sections to replicate normal plane turns or turbulence. Says Chaman Grover, “I have built the structure to resist movements in four directions.” The plane’s location in Harahan offers a large warehouse in a lownoise environment with office space, air-conditioning, and enough leftover room for equipment and catering. However, the plane can be broken down and transported. Recently the entire mock-up was taken to Baton Rouge and used as a set for Left Behind, a major motion picture production. Sections of the plane were attached to a large steel structure that was bounced to provide the cast a sense of turbulence. “The plane was so big,” Grover reports, “that they stored a whole section in a warehouse. They didn’t realize just how large our plane was until it arrived.” For Grover, building a working plane mock-up has been just another challenge for this structural engineer. With a master’s degree in civil/structural engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Grover has participated in the design and construction monitoring of buildings, bridges and nuclear power plants. LFV For more information about Inovo Studio’s 767 plane mock-up, please contact Chaman Grover at 713-882-8758 (cell) or 504-684-5414 (office), or through e-mail at nd43grove@aol.com or chamangrover3@gmail.com.

46

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE SIX


ISSUE SIX

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

47


AMAZING ANIMALS IN HOLLYWOOD SOUTH t Amazing Animals we practice modern-day affection training. It’s training using love, patience, calmness and consistency, with mutual understanding and respect,” says Sid Yost, owner of Amazing Animal Productions.

A

Amazing Animal Productions has provided professionally trained animals for some of the biggest productions in Hollywood. A few of their more recent clients include 12 Years A Slave, 2 Guns, The Originals, Ravenswood, Killer Women, Homefront, Sleepy Hollow and Selfless. Amazing Animals is currently in production on Manglehorn, starring Al Pacino. Yost, 59, has been working with animals for nearly 40 years. Starting out his career on Wild Kingdom with Marlon Perkins and Jim Fowler, he has since appeared on

48

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE SIX

Amazing Animals talent one set.

hundreds of talk shows, and played Ranger Rick Kelly for 10 years on Critter Gitters, an educational TV show for kids. Now with Amazing Animals, Yost and his partner and top dog trainer, Tracy Oliver, work tirelessly to provide trained dogs, cats, horses, wild boars, chickens, hawks, owls,


ISSUE SIX

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

49


ravens, wolves and much more for movies, television, music videos and commercials all around the country. “We’re having a blast,” says Yost. “What we do is not a job. A job is when you wish you were doing something else.” Last year, Yost moved all his animals from California to Louisiana, where he set up his headquarters in an enormous horse barn on a 58-acre spread of land just outside of Covington. “We’ve been here 18 months, long enough to call it home,” says Yost. He continues, “God bless Louisiana for that tax incentive. Coming out here was very scary, very brave, a big jump for us, but it’s been a great move personally and financially.” Yost and Oliver are constantly on the move, working to meet the demands of clients. Amazing Animals provided horses, buggies, wagons, chickens, pigs and wranglers, and attack dogs for the critically acclaimed 12 Years a Slave, which was filmed locally and opened the 24th annual New Orleans Film Festival. Within a given day, Yost has bought two alpacas to use in The Maze Runner, got a call from someone in California who needed a lion, and received another call from someone wanting a six-foot alligator in a bathtub for a music video. Although their hands are full, Yost

50

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE SIX

Among Amazing Animals’ talent roster, dogs get the most casting calls.

emphasizes, “No animal is ever left untended.” The staff at Amazing Animals is prepared for the unexpected, to say the least. Yost gets calls for cockroaches, scorpions, giant centipedes, and even “65,000 flies” for one particular production. He provided butterflies, among other creatures, used in the Michael Jackson documentary This Is It, and supplied snakes for The Campaign, starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis. Dogs get the most casting calls. Yost has

a wide variety of canines at the ranch, and Oliver owns Top Dog Talent Agency, which has countless more. “They’re 80 percent of what people ask for,” says Yost. Among other productions, his dogs have appeared in a Wrangler ad with Drew Brees and in the film Devil’s Due, where his “phenomenal” golden retriever, Maverick, was listed number two on the call sheet. Amazing Animals is often forced to roll with the punches on set. “In all the movies I’ve done, they’ve never followed the script,” says Yost. “They’ll say, ‘We decided to make a little change. We want to put the dog on a Ferris wheel and when he gets to the top, flip the seat upsidedown.’” And as long as the animals aren’t at risk, the staff at Amazing Animals is happy to adapt to the situation. “We like to under-promise and overdeliver. I don’t like to say no,” says Yost. Now happily settled in Hollywood South, Yost has become quite fond of New Orleans’ culture and hospitality. “The caterers on set even remember what kind of omelet you like,” he says. “People in Louisiana have been incredible.” LFV For more information, animalproductions.com.

visit

www.amazing


ISSUE SIX

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

51


FUNDDAT: NEW ORLEANS’ ANSWER TO KICKSTARTER STORY BY JASON RAYMOND

ilmmakers big and small know Kickstarter. Soon local filmmakers will learn about a new crowdfunding player called FundDat (www.FundDat.com). The New Orleans start-up just threw its launch party in October during NOLA Tech Week. FundDat also recently spent four days representing New Orleans in Las Vegas at the event “Tech Cocktail Celebrates.”

F

Though its first projects didn’t involve filmmakers, FundDat has Hollywood South on its mind. “We will be focusing on finding the best film projects in the first part of 2014, and will be hosting crowdfunding events specifically geared toward films. We want to create a place for local filmmakers to crowdfund and showcase their ideas,” says FundDat co-founder Alex McConduit. “We’ll connect them to resources and give them a spark, and then watch them go.” McConduit and his partner Marc Juneau intend to select 10 ideas for films and use them for the next FundDat campaign. Unlike Kickstarter or Indiegogo, which merely provide an online platform to raise funds, FundDat assists the people pitching the project. They help formulate a crowdfunding plan, and reach out to organizations that might be supportive. Says McConduit, “We do organizational support and media support for each project. The people pitching the project must find individual donors.” To get FundDat’s attention, aspiring filmmakers only need to submit their project through the website. After review, McConduit promises a call back to set up a meeting. No one can accuse Louisiana native McConduit, 27, of slacking. He had to make up a semester’s worth of classes because of Katrina, worked gutting houses, and still completed on time his undergraduate degree in marketing at Loyola University in 2008. He put his music industry minor to work hosting a radio show on crescentradio.com. Next he formed Bigboot Radio, where he promoted five other shows in addition to hosting his own 52

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE SIX

FundDat co-founders Marc Juneau (left) and Alex McConduit.

program. From radio, McConduit moved to print. He’s written three books for children so far, and just signed a book deal with Pelican Books. He also created W.R.I.T.E. (Write, Read, Illustrate to Educate), a program to help second graders at Sci Tech Academy to become published authors. Just last November, he did an Indiegogo campaign for W.R.I.T.E. That campaign made McConduit realize New Orleans needed its own crowdfunding platform. “Last April, I entered ‘Startup Weekend,’ which was a 54-hour business competition,” he recalls, “and I came in third place. I then did some research and found Marc and neworleanscrowdfunding.com.” Marc Juneau came to crowdfunding through his expertise in Web design and software development. A former director of training and development at GoDaddy, he created NOLAGraphics in 2004. The tech company offers its international client base an array of Web solutions including SEO, website design, hosting, and social media marketing. Though long a supporter of the NOLA tech scene, Juneau says his interest in crowdfunding came last January. “I heard a talk about this group called One Spark in Jacksonville,” says Juneau. “One Spark does a crowdfunding festival where you go and fund these different projects. I thought, ‘Hey, we should do this.’ So I registered neworleanscrowdfunding.com.” Juneau gave a well-received presentation to

the New Orleans chapter of NetSquared about NOLA crowdfunding. He built the website and put some tools around it, but admits, “I knew all about the whole technical side of the Web platform, but didn’t know anything about the business end.” Juneau first heard about McConduit during the latter’s successful appearance at Startup Weekend. The day after Startup Weekend ended, McConduit called Juneau. Says Juneau, “It was either split the field or become partners. Two months later we had the LLC formed and were launching FundDat.” By September, Juneau and McConduit had conducted workshops to find the first 10 projects. They then worked with each of their selections, even doing a “film your pitch” video night at Big Momma’s Lounge in the French Quarter. They filmed 14 videos explaining ideas and asking for support. All this work and FundDat’s heavily attended launch party have not gone unnoticed. Says McConduit, “I met so many people when organizing NOLA Tech Week, I gave out over 1,000 business cards, and spoke to so many tech press people. They’re tired of New York and Silicon Valley, so they have been looking for an event to cover.” FundDat is designed for projects that have


some connection or provide some benefit to the Greater New Orleans area. “I don’t care if it’s a New Orleans-style restaurant in another city,” says McConduit, “so long as it provides some help to this city.” Meanwhile, McConduit and Juneau are drawing national attention to FundDat. Back in September, TechCocktail.com declared FundDat the hottest start-up in NOLA, which earned McConduit and Juneau a trip to Las Vegas for “Tech Cocktail Celebrates,” their annual conference. After spending four days meeting with other tech companies, McConduit reports, “They were all interested in what was going on in New Orleans.

While interesting to compare the two scenes, I feel like we’re ahead of places like Vegas.” Juneau agrees with his partner’s assessment. “I think the Fremont area of Vegas today is where we were in 2009,” he says. “They’ve shown an amazing amount of entrepreneurial spirit in starting their tech scene. But here in New Orleans, we’re more poised than ever to merge the tech and film communities that have been successful separately, and figure out how they can work together.” LFV Filmmakers interested in learning more about FundDat can contact alex@funddat.com or marc@funddat.com. Projects can also be submitted directly at www.funddat.com.

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 Burger ger at 512-718-4128. Royburger.rblivestock@gmail.com Royburger.rblivvestock@gmail.com Melissaburger.rb@gmail.com Melissaburgeer.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 & 22 Jump Street • Dallas Buyers Club

ISSUE SIX

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

53


NOVAC’S FIRST WEB WEEKEND STORY BY JASON RAYMOND

he New Orleans Video Access Center (NOVAC) hosted its first “Web Weekend” just after the New Orleans Film Festival and NOLA Tech Week. NOVAC brought in experts in Web series and online media content, like funnyordie.com producer Ally Hord, SnagFilms’ Andrew Mer, and CreatorUP! co-founder Mike Tringe. Web Weekend is the latest program in NOVAC’s mission to educate and offer training to the New Orleans film community.

T

Said Ashley Charbonnet, NOVAC’s director of programs, “Video for the Web is evolving all of the time, with new ways to both produce exciting content and get it out there. That is why we reached out to industry leaders who are creating and distributing cutting-edge content in the online space.” Several members of the New Orleans film scene have turned to making Web series. Joseph Meissner and Helen Krieger just completed their second season of Least Favorite Love Songs. They find it a less restrictive creative platform. About his Web series, Meissner said, “We try to explore some edgy subjects—the pitfalls of both monogamy and polyamory, sex and fetishes, drug use, making a living while pursuing artistic projects—all in a nuanced way.” Abigail Levner, in charge of membership & development at NOVAC, said that work on Web Weekend began last fall. “We’re constantly on top of the industry, so we knew this was a perfect time,” she said. Part of NOVAC’s outreach included a successful Kickstarter campaign, which raised over $5,000 to help defray the cost of the program. Web Weekend began with a “think tank” where local Web series creators had a chance to privately meet with the panelists, screen their shows, and receive suggestions for improvement. Participating series included Sunken City, she is alex, Least Favorite Love Songs, Bourbon Whiz, Bloody Sunday Sessions and The Adventures of Keith Flippen. Said Meissner, “Claire Graves, managing director of the Webby Awards, pointed out that a Web video really has to grab the audience in 54

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE SIX

Filmmaker Glen Pitre talks with Joseph Meissner and Helen Krieger of Least Favorite Love Songs.

the first five seconds. That’s something we’ve never considered where we’re dealing with a longer form of storytelling than a viral video or advertisement.” Eritria Pitts, creator of she is alex, received similar feedback. “Unlike the audience for an improv show, the Web audience isn’t as willing to let you build... at least not in the same pace,” she said. “You’re competing with so much funny, interesting Web content that you have to show them instantly why they should be watching.” The think tank was divided so each Web series could meet with two groups of panelists. Friday ended with a screening of Black Folk Don’t, a documentary series by panelist Angela Tucker, followed by a social networking opportunity. On Saturday, Web Weekend pass holders saw a full slate of panels discussing Web series and video online content. While the panels offered a comprehensive format for understanding the online world, issues of marketing and monetization loomed large in panel discussions and in the mind of audiences. Meissner described the panels as extremely informative, giving him ideas for the third season of Least Favorite Love Songs. “I know that we have a few super-fans of the show, so I have to try to mobilize them to spread the word,” he said. “Mike Tringe of creatorup.com likes to talk about the Internet as an ecosystem. I like that idea.” Tringe also spoke of Kickstarter as a “presales platform” in his panel discussion with Angela Tucker and Andrew Mer. While there is money to be made in online content, he did warn the audience not to expect revenue from their first Web series, but to work building their audience. He stressed “the verticals: music, gaming and comedy” as the main online moneymakers.

Tucker talked about receiving production support from sources like Amazon and non-profit or advocacy organizations. For the artists in the audience, the emphasis on commercial aspects didn’t strike sparks of unbridled enthusiasm. Eritria Pitts put it this way: “I’m also a hippie when it comes to my show. I want things to happen organically with she is alex, and any other video content I put up.” Added Meissner, “It seems like you can’t just be an artist anymore if you want to survive in this new medium. You have to have a business and marketing brain, too.” Pitts did receive one marketing suggestion that appealed to her. “I did get a fun note from Mike Tringe saying never call a fundraising event a ‘fundraising event.’ Call it anything—‘cupcake bonanza!’, ‘what’s up with nuns? gathering’, anything!—and people would likely come. I really liked that note.” Web Weekend does highlight the creative bond growing among Web series creators. Meissner pointed out, “There’s a lot of crossover with our series and another wonderful local Web series, Sunken City. So there’s a lot of great collaboration and sharing of ideas that goes into the production of our show.” After its successful launch, NOVAC intends to have another Web Weekend in October 2014. Until that time, NOVAC continues to offer programs to, in Ashley Charbonnet’s words, “educate and inspire area filmmakers.” The new season of Least Favorite Love Songs debuted in November. Information about she is alex can be found at www.sheisalex.com. To see upcoming programs and events hosted by the New Orleans Video Access Center, check out www.novacvideo.org. LFV


ISSUE SIX

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

55


56

LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

ISSUE SIX

Lm 6 13  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you