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ISSUE SIX 2016
LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE
VOLUME 12 ISSUE SIX EDITORS-IN-CHIEF W. H. Bourne, Odin Lindblom ASSOCIATE EDITOR Katie Sauro CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Julie Bordelon, Jay Crest, A.K. Farmer, T. Hopper, Susie Labry, Meg Kaul CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Amy Ransow, James Welch GENERAL MANAGER John Rusnak SALES MANAGER Katie Higgins SALES Steve Joseph PRODUCTION MANAGER Sonjia Kells PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Kelly Baker DESIGNERS Ciara Pickering, Sam Rockwell, Liz Weickum WEBMASTER Jon Hines
(L-R) Academy award nominees actor Christian Bale and writer/director Adam McKay discuss a scene for The Big Short 6
Letter From The Editor
Shot in Louisiana: The Big Short Delivers Dark, Satirical, Educational Comedy
15 The Big Short: Spotlight On Actor Christian Bale 17 The Ins-and-Outs of the Revised Louisiana Tax Credits 19 Tax Credit Overview 23 Fresh Market: The Louisiana Motion Picture Tax Credit Broker Registry 27 Central Casting Celebrates 90 Years of Service to the Film Community 29 Super Schneider: A Renaissance Man 33 East Meets West at American Film Market
51 BAG Awards: Louisiana’s Background Actors Guild Celebrates Stellar Talent
54 Earning a Seal of Approval 55 I Am This Audience: Gray Media Reaches the Faith and Family Community 56 LA Film Industry: Annual Christmas Party Spreads Holiday Magic to the Community
LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO PUBLICATIONS
59 Dad vs. Step Dad: Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell Shoot New Orleans in Daddy’s Home
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66 CES 2016 Looks Back at the Past and Blasts Into the Future
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67 Kodak Launches Super 8 Filmmaking Revival Initiative at CES 2016
39 Southern Screen Delights Festival Attendees in Lafayette
69 Steelie, a Car Mount That Could Change the Way You Shoot
45 Into the Badlands Premiere in the River Parishes
70 Louisiana Sees Gold with Oscar Nominations
49 A Step Into the Badlands with Actor Lance Nichols ON THE COVER: (L-R) On location, director Sean Anders discusses a scene with actor Mark Wahlberg on the set in front of the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans for Daddy’s Home from Paramount Pictures.
DIGITAL EDITION AVAILABLE AT: WWW.LOUISIANAFILMANDVIDEO.COM ISSUE SIX
INFORMATION SERVICES MANAGER Lois Sanborn
53 BIC Media Teams up with Mission Media for Latest Project
37 Worklight Pictures is Hard at Work with Easy Does It
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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
ince our current issue focuses heavily on production, included in this issue is Louisiana Film & Video Magazine’s annual Production Index. While it is by no means an all inclusive listing, we believe this pullout section will help ﬁlmmakers in their ﬁlm endeavors within the state. We have also included a copy of the current tax incentive laws and an interview with Louisiana Economic Director Chris Stelly. This holiday season, ﬁlmmakers received an extra special present when the US Government signed into law on December 18, 2015, The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (H.R. 2029) which amended the Internal Revenue Code § 181 for the ﬁfth time by re-instating the tax deduction until December 31, 2016 and making it retroactive through January 1, 2015. For those not familiar with this section of the IRS tax code, Section 181 states that investment in a motion picture shot in the US is 100% tax deductible for the investor in the same year invested. Under Section 181 an investor may deduct the money which is invested in a ﬁlm or television production from his or her passive income earned in the same year. If the investor is actively involved in the operation of the production, he or she may deduct the amount of investment from all active income earned in the same year. Productions with budgets below $15 million or $20 million
(depending on variables) which have at least 75% of its production completed within the United States qualify under Section 181. There is no minimum ﬁlm production budget cost. Investors can be either individuals or businesses. TV pilots, TV episodes (up to 44), short ﬁlms, music videos and feature ﬁlms all qualify for Section 181. There is no expectation for ﬁlm distribution or ﬁlm completion. The motion picture’s corporation should issue Schedule K-1s to the investors so they can take advantage of Section 181. If you think this tax deduction can beneﬁt you or your company, contact your tax consultant for more information. Star Wars mania has impacted the box ofﬁce but two ﬁlms shot in Louisiana, Daddy’s Home and The Big Short, still managed to open strong. Into the Badlands, the six episode TV mini-series, premiered locally at St. John’s Stages where it was shot as well as nationally on AMC. We’ll take a look at all of these productions in this issue. As awards season amps up, we have coverage of the local Background Actor’s Guild awards in addition to breaking news on Oscar nominations. BIC Media has provided us with content on faith and family entertainment. Finally, in addition to all of the other great content we’ve packed into this issue, we’ll take a look at how the Louisiana Film Industry spread holiday cheer this season. Happy New Year! W. H. BOURNE, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
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SHOT IN LOUISIANA: THE BIG SHORT DELIVERS
DARK, SATIRICAL, EDUCATIONAL COMEDY Actors discuss the possibilities of failed mortgages in The Big Short.
Christian Bale as Dr. Michael Burry
Steve Carrell as Mark Baum
Ryan Gosling as Jarred Vennett
Steve Carrell (hand raised) is on a crusade to learn the truth in The Big Short.
(Center L-R) Steve Carrell and Ryan Gosling STORY BY W. H. BOURNE PHOTOS BY JAAP BUIRTENDIJK COURTESY OF PARAMOUNT PICTURES
story that’s ultimately about the fall of the banking system … how it’s funny and it’s heartbreaking at the same time. And she’s like, ‘You should do it.’ And I said, ‘I’m the guy who did Step Brothers.’ I didn’t even look into it, because I just assumed a Scott Rudin or a
ive years ago when writer/director Adam McKay read The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Barry Ackroyd and Machine by former resident and Louisiana Cinematographer director Adam McKay on the set of The Big Short. native, best selling author Michael Lewis, he became fascinated with the mixture of comedy, drama, and tragedy in Lewis’ behind-the-scenes look at the lead-up to the global economic meltdown. “I started reading the book at around 10:30 at night and thought, ‘I’ll just read 40 pages,’” McKay recalls. “I couldn’t put it down. I ended up reading the whole thing that night and ﬁnished at six in the morning. The next day I told my wife about the characters and how the book weaves together all these different story lines and how it’s like a ‘get rich’
LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE
(L-R) Director Adam McKay and actors Steve Carrell, Hamish Linklater, Billy Magnussen, and Rafe Spall on the set of The Big Short.
Actors Finn Wittrock as Jamie Shipley and John Magaro as Charlie Geller.
Plan B had already bought the rights to the book.” McKay’s assumptions were not just a shot in the dark; Scott Rudin and Brad Pitt were both producers on the 2011 hit Moneyball which was based on another best selling Lewis book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game. So it was no surprise that Pitt’s production company, Plan B Entertainment, had in fact partnered with Paramount Pictures to develop The Big Short as a motion picture. McKay recalls that after he ﬁnished directing the hit sequel Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, his agent challenged him to name the movie he most wanted to make. “Before I even knew what I was saying, I told him, ‘If I could do anything, I would do The Big Short.’” His agent followed through and Plan B sent McKay an early version of a screenplay written by Charles Randolph. “I saw some good stuff in the script, and I also knew exactly how to make it better,” McKay remembers. “I met with Jeremy Kleiner and Plan B President Dede Gardner and gave them my pitch.” Few people know it but McKay mastered political satire as head writer for Saturday Night Live before launching his movie career so he really did have some writing chops to bring to the table, and 10 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE
Academy award nominee Christian Bale learned to play the drums for his role.
that he did! While The Big Short utilizes a complex, weave story structure, it’s also peppered with cameos that McKay created such as Focus actress Margot Robbie demystifying mortgage-backed
(L-R) Director Adam McKay and Steve Carrell discuss a scene after playback.
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(L-R) Academy award nominees actor Christian Bale and director Adam McKay discuss a scene on the set of The Big Short.
Christian Bale had few scenes with other actors.
(L-R) Actors Finn Wittrock and John Magaro
securities while drinking champagne in a bubble bath and chef/TV host Anthony Bourdain comparing leftover ﬁsh to toxic ﬁnancial assets. “People need to know this stuff in order to follow the story, but when you ﬁrst hear phrases like ‘collateralized debt obligation’ or ‘credit default swap,’ they make you feel stupid and bored,” notes McKay. “Bankers do everything they can to make these transactions seem really complicated so we came up with the idea of having celebrities pop up on the screen throughout the movie and explain things directly to the audience.” “People know me from movies like Talladega Nights and Anchorman or the Funny or Die videos, but I’ve always been involved in
different causes,” says McKay. “I feel like it’s your job as a citizen to pay attention to what’s going on in politics and society. You can be a clown and get sprayed with seltzer bottles, but you’ve also got to vote and know what you’re talking about.” “The Big Short explores how an entire culture can get caught up in the mania of a corrupt system,” explains McKay. “In my cartoon-ish fantasy dream, my hope for this movie would be that people get really mad and upset and walk out of the theater and ask their congressman how he’s been voting on banking reform. That would be my dream. My dream would be for everyone to tell their congressmen, ‘If you’re not for breaking up the big banks, I don’t care if you’re right wing or left wing, you don’t get my vote.’” LFV
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THE BIG SHORT: SPOTLIGHT ON ACTOR
STORY BY W. H. BOURNE PHOTOS BY JAAP BUITENDIJK COURTESY OF PARAMOUNT
scar winning actor Christian Bale (The Fighter) embodies one of the most interesting characters in The Big Short, Dr. Michael Burry. Based on real life neurologist and now money manager/ investment genius, Burry is a unique soul with a glass eye and a tendency to show up to work barefoot. Bale immediately connected with Burry when they sat down for a marathon, nine hour meet-and-greet session prior to production. “Mike does not interact with other people very much, but he’s one of the most brilliant, heartfelt and sincere men I have ever come across,” says Bale. “Mike studied thousands and thousands of individual mortgages in order to create a pattern. No one else had
the energy to do that. Everyone else was having a good time, making lots of money. Nobody wanted to shout, ‘Stop the bus, I want to get off,’ but Michael did. He discovered it was total crap.” Director Adam McKay was amazed by Bale’s complete immersion in the role saying, “Burry and Bale share this bond where they’re both just about the work. The amount of focus and detail Christian brings to his character is jaw dropping. The ﬁrst day of shooting, I saw him dial in that character and boom! He was Michael Burry for the rest of the movie, capturing his rhythms and physicality. About halfway through working with Christian, I asked if he was tired of me saying, ‘Great take.’” McKay cites one example of Bale’s discipline and his intense focus as his ability to power through the heavy metal drumming sequence despite a severe knee injury sustained while bouncing on a trampoline with his kids. It’s interesting to note that Bale learned to play the drums in just two weeks for the role. “Christian kept telling everyone, ‘I’m ﬁne, I’m ﬁne,’ and then you saw his knee and it was gigantic. He tore everything, his ACL, his MCL, his patella, his meniscus, something else I’d never even heard of, so I told him, ‘That’s it! You’re not playing the drums; we’re getting a double,’” McKay recalls but notes that Bale insisted on doing the scene himself. “He performs the whole scene, nails it perfectly, then limps off the set afterwards. As far as dealing with pain, it’s one of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen.” Bale has a reputation for being an extraordinary method actor. Much like the visionary loner he portrays, Bale did not interact with the other stars of The Big Short. Nearly all of his scenes occurred in front of a computer or in a room where his character takes out his frustration on a drum kit. “I was by myself in an ofﬁce for two weeks doing my part so when I saw the rest of the ﬁlm, it was all a revelation,” says the British actor. “I had no idea what was going on, but now I see what Adam has done and it’s bloody entertaining.” LFV ISSUE SIX
LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE
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THE INS-AND-OUTS OF THE REVISED LOUISIANA TAX CREDITS STORY BY W. H. BOURNE PHOTO BY ODIN LINDBLOM
n July 1, 2015, the Legislative changes to the existing Louisiana entertainment tax credit program became law. Louisiana Economic Development (LED) has been working with the state since then to promulgate the rules for the program changes. On December 30, 2015, a public hearing was held on the proposed new rules which cover issues like: What is a “Louisiana” screenplay? Who is a “Louisiana” resident? What is a “Louisiana” company? Lobbyists such as LFEA and citizens such as activist and actor Susie Labry were on hand at the capitol to give their opinions on the proposed rules. As we go to print on January 14th, the rules for the tax credits still have not been published making some of the new beneﬁts of the program such as the credits for indigenous low budget ﬁlmmaking inaccessible. There has been much misinformation about some of the new provisions including a $180 million annual cap on the tax credits. Louisiana Film & Video Magazine decided to speak with LED director Chris Stelly to try and clear up some of the confusion. “There were a lot of good things that actually happened this legislative session as far as strengthening the program and making it less susceptible to fraud and abuse,” explains Stelly. “The legislature also made some changes that focus the credits on expenditures that create more substantive economic beneﬁt for the state. So you have a lot of really, really good things. The $180 million cap, we’re not even close to being impacted as far as that goes. $180 million is a
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lot. It’s on average with what we’ve been seeing over the past 5 years. Time will ultimately tell what that impact really is but taxpayers (tax credit buyers) should have enough faith in the system that if they don’t get to use their credits in this ﬁscal year, they can use it the following ﬁscal year. And it’s only a 3 year ﬁscal cap soChris Stelly, LED Director to-speak.” “Selling the credits back to the state is pretty clear; the legislature has suspended that for a year,” says Stelly, “so without a doubt you can’t do that between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016. This is a statutory provision, however, and the credits are good for a full year so anyone who certiﬁes now can redeem those credits on July 1st of 2016.” “You’ve got a better incentive now,” continues Stelly. “You’ve got a base rate of 30% with an additional 10% on your Louisiana labor. Those things are really designed to focus the credits more on, again, substantive economic beneﬁts and hiring Louisiana residents; so, we have basically the same program. We’re issuing credits as we get audit reports.” It’s important to note that as of January 1, 2016, all audits must be done with a state assigned CPA. Stelly believes that this will provide a smoother process for ﬁlmmakers and productions and allow them to get their credits quicker. “I think the extra 5% in labor credits makes a difference,” adds Stelly. “If you were getting $1 million in additional labor credits, now you’ll be getting $2 million. I don’t know anyone who would turn away an extra $1 million.” “There should be some clariﬁcation after our upcoming rule promulgations,” says Stelly. “You’re ultimately going to give a 45% tax credit so people will ultimately think of ways to abuse it so we want to keep it (the rules) with the spirit of the law.” “We’re getting calls and applications. We have 10 projects here right now … People are buying credits; there are ﬁrms lending against credits. It’s business as usual,” notes Stelly. “In the 13 years since we’ve had this program, it’s changed in one way, shape or form every other year … You can never tell when a legislative body goes in, particularly when the state is facing such crippling budget shortfalls, what will ultimately happen; but overall, there was no real movement to do away with the tax credit program … As far as that goes, I think they understand the economic beneﬁts that are generated … that fact that it supports over 14,000 jobs. I think those are facts that resonate with a lot of people in this state. Overall the program came out stronger in my opinion,” concludes Stelly. LFV
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few pages. ISSUE SIX
LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE
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Overview of 2015 LA Legislative Session Changes to the Motion Picture Investor Tax Credit Program
he following legislation made signiﬁcant changes to the motion picture investor tax credit program: Acts 129, 134, 141, 142, 143, 144, 361, 412, 417, 425, 451 & 452. This overview summarizes the changes, for informational purposes and general guidance, but is subject to the actual language of these enactments, and to further requirements as may be provided by the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) through Revenue Information Bulletins (RIB) as well as rules promulgated under the Administrative Procedures Act.
I. Caps & Limitations (Act 134) A. Individual salary: For state-certiﬁed productions initially certiﬁed on or after July 1, 2015, payroll payments made directly to an individual shall exclude any portion of an individual salary in excess of $3 million. (Payments made to a loanout company are not subject to this cap.) B. Individual project: For state-certiﬁed productions initially certiﬁed from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2018, the maximum amount of credits that may be certiﬁed by LED for a single state-certiﬁed production shall not exceed $30 million, which may be structured over two or more years. C. Claims cap: 1) Effective July 1, 2015, for ﬁscal years 2016-2018, tax credit claims and transfers to the State (buy-back) shall be limited by LDR to an aggregate of $180 million each ﬁscal year. (LDR-RIB 15-033) 2) The state shall not buy-back any motion picture investor tax credits from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016. (LDR - RIB 15-033) II. Veriﬁcation Reports (Acts 141 & 412) A. Final certiﬁcation requests on or after January 1, 2016: LED shall directly engage and assign a CPA to prepare a production expenditure veriﬁcation report on the applicant’s cost report of production expenditures. The applicant will be assessed LED’s actual cost for the production expenditure veriﬁcation report and shall make all records related to the tax credit application available to LED and the CPA. B. Final certiﬁcation requests before January 1, 2016: The applicant may engage a CPA of its choice and submit an audited cost report with its request, or may elect to use the veriﬁcation report procedure described in Paragraph A above, submitting the advance deposit at the time of its request. III. Fees (Acts 129, 144, 361, 412 & 425) A. Application fee: For applications for initial certiﬁcation received on or after July 1, 2015, the fee for ﬁling an application shall be equal to 0.5% of the amount of the incentives or exempted taxes, with a minimum of $500 and a maximum of $15,000. B. Advance deposit for veriﬁcation report fee: For applications for initial certiﬁcation received on or after July 1, 2015, in addition to the application fee, an applicant shall also submit an advance deposit not to exceed $15,000. C. Veriﬁcation report fee: For applications for initial certiﬁcation or requests for ﬁnal certiﬁcation received on or after January 1, 2016, applicants shall be responsible for and assessed the actual cost of a veriﬁcation report completed by a CPA assigned by LED, at a cost not to exceed $15,000 for productions with expenditures ranging from $300,000 to $25 million and $25,000 for projects in excess of $25 million. D. Supplemental veriﬁcation report fee: For applications for initial certiﬁcation received on or after January 1, 2016, which include notiﬁcation of postproduction activities occurring in LA, a supplemental request for certiﬁcation of expenditures may be submitted, with additional costs to be borne by the applicant as further provided by rule. E. Payroll withholding report fee: For state-certiﬁed productions initially certiﬁed on or after January 1, 2016, a $200 fee shall be payable to LDR at time of request for ﬁnal certiﬁcation. IV. Qualifying (Act 134) For state-certiﬁed productions initially certiﬁed on or after July 1, 2015: A. Expenditures: Marketing and promotion expenses shall be a qualifying expense category for certain expenditures made in Louisiana. B. Applicants: “Louisiana indigenous production” expending $50,000 to $300,000, upon meeting certain Louisiana payroll requirements shall be eligible for a tax credit of 30% of base investment. C. Projects: State-certiﬁed productions meeting certain criteria may aggregate a slate of no more than three productions to reach the $300,000 threshold for participation in the program. V. Non-qualifying (Acts 129, 134, 141, 142, 143, 144 & 412) ISSUE SIX
LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE
A. Expenditures: 1) Louisiana Screenplay related party transactions – RPT expenditures do not qualify for the Louisiana screenplay credit.* 2) Above the Line (ATL) services – For applications for initial certiﬁcation received by the ofﬁce on and after July 1, 2015, ATL expenditures exceeding 40% of the eligible Louisiana spend shall not qualify for credits. 3) ATL services – For state-certiﬁed productions initially certiﬁed on or after December 31, 2015, ATL related party transactions exceeding 12% shall not qualify for credits. 4) Veriﬁcation report fee – shall not qualify for credits. 5) Airfare – For applications for initial certiﬁcation received by the ofﬁce on and after July 1, 2016, airfare expenditures shall not qualify for credits. 6) Bond fees, insurance premiums, ﬁnance fees, loan interest fees paid to investors – For applications for initial certiﬁcation received by the ofﬁce on and after July 1, 2016, these expenditures shall not qualify for credits unless paid to certain Louisiana companies, and shall be allocated based on the relative percentage of production activity occurring in Louisiana. B. Applicants: For state-certiﬁed productions initially certiﬁed on or after July 1, 2015, when considering which productions may qualify for initial certiﬁcation LED may consider conviction for a criminal offense as an incident to obtaining or attempting to obtain a motion picture tax credit. VI. Additional credits (Act 134) A. Screenplay: State-certiﬁed productions based upon a screenplay which meet certain Louisiana ownership criteria shall be eligible for an additional 15% credit of base investment. (*No credits will be certiﬁed for the additional screenplay credit until promulgation of rules providing additional criteria for qualiﬁcation.) B. Music: State-certiﬁed productions utilizing music meeting certain Louisiana ownership criteria shall be eligible for an additional credit of 15% of base investment to the extent of music expenditures. (*No credits will be certiﬁed for the additional music credit until promulgation of rules providing additional criteria for qualiﬁcation.) C. Louisiana resident payroll: Compensation for services paid directly to a Louisiana resident on or after July 1, 2015 shall be eligible for a 10% credit (payments made to a loan-out company are not eligible for this credit). VII. Miscellaneous Provisions (Acts 129, 144, 417 & 425) A. Timely submission of requests for ﬁnal certiﬁcation: For state-certiﬁed productions initially certiﬁed on or after July 1, 2015: 1) Only expenditures made during the initial certiﬁcation period shall earn credits. 2) Initial certiﬁcations shall be effective for qualifying expenditures made within 12 months prior and 24 months after the date of initial certiﬁcation. 3) Only one request for ﬁnal certiﬁcation may be made, no later than six months after expiration of the initial certiﬁcation. However, applicants who have indicated that post-production activities will occur in Louisiana may submit a supplemental request for ﬁnal certiﬁcation of such expenditures. B. Revised logo requirement: State-certiﬁed productions initially certiﬁed on or after August 1, 2015, shall include a Louisiana promotional graphic or an alternative marketing opportunity which has been approved by LED, or be subject to a reduced base investment tax credit rate of 25%. C. Tax withholding: State-certiﬁed productions initially certiﬁed on or after January 1, 2016, shall withhold and remit income taxes to LDR prior to ﬁnal certiﬁcation for credits. D. Irrevocable designee: For state-certiﬁed productions initially certiﬁed on or after July 1, 2015, a bank or other lender may be named as an irrevocable designee in the initial tax credit certiﬁcation or other document submitted to the ofﬁce, may receive direct issuance of the tax credits, and may elect to transfer the credits to LDR. E. Carryforward: Any project receiving ﬁnal certiﬁcation on or after January 1, 2016 shall have a 5 year carryforward. (LDR-RIB No. 15-033) F. Earned when certiﬁed: Tax credits for expenditures made before July 1, 2015 will be deemed earned at the time expenditures are made. Tax credits for expenditures made on or after July 1, 2015 will be deemed earned at the time of ﬁnal certiﬁcation of tax credits. (LDR - RIB No. 15-033) For questions, please contact: Christopher Stelly, Executive Director of Louisiana Entertainment, firstname.lastname@example.org or 225.342.5403 Stephen Hamner, Director of Louisiana Film, email@example.com or 225.342.5403
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Shreveport/Bossier ranked #3 out of the Top 5 small cities to live, work and make movies by MovieMaker Magazine (Jan 2014) List of some productions that have been produced in the Shreveport-Bossier area. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Factory Girl The Guardian Ruffian Premonition Mr. Brooks Initiation of Sarah My Mom’s New Boyfriend Blonde Ambition Last Lullaby Harold & Kumar II Cleaner The Mist Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins Mad Money The Pardon The Great Debaters Major Movie Star Wonderful World Queen Sized
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
The Killing Room Year One The Longshots Soul Men Tekkon Sordid Lives Beyond a Reasonable Doubt Disaster Movie W. Streets of Blood True Blood Leaves of Grass Cool Dog Straw Dogs Battle: Los Angeles Super 6 Month Rule Drive Angry Butter The Gates
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Vampires Suck Trespass Shark Night 3D Playing For Keeps The East The Iceman Leather Face 3D The Last Time I Made Straight A’s Olympus Has Fallen Ain’t Them Bodies Saints Snitch The Town That Dreaded Sundown Dakota’s Summer Dark Places The Last Word Salem Shut In I Saw The Light The Tale
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22 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE
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FRESH MARKET: THE LOUISIANA MOTION PICTURE TAX CREDIT BROKER REGISTRY MEG ALSFELD KAUL, KEAN MILLER LLP BY MEG ALSFELD KAUL, KEAN MILLER LLP PHOTOS COURTESY OF KEAN MILLER LLP AND STOCKMONKEYS.COM
he Louisiana Department of Revenue (“LDR”) recently published a Notice of Intent providing information on the freshly enacted legislation regarding the registration of motion picture tax credit brokers beginning in 2016. During the 2015 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature, Senator J.P. Morrell’s Senate Bill 98 was passed into law as Act 451. The law requires that beginning January 1, 2016, any seller or broker of motion picture investor tax credits (the “Tax Credits”) must register with the State of Louisiana, and pass a criminal background check. The law purports to provide an additional control mechanism over the Tax Credit brokerage industry, which was largely self-regulated; this new law allows Louisiana to monitor and approve certain sellers or brokers with the hope of eliminating instances of fraud and corruption, which had found their way into the ﬁlm and entertainment industry in the past. Seller or Broker: A Deﬁnition A “Seller or Broker” is currently deﬁned as any person or persons employed by or representing an entity engaged in the sale or brokerage of Tax Credits whose duties include the sale or brokerage of Tax Credits on behalf of the entity. This includes any person or persons employed by or representing an entity when that person or entity meets any of the following criteria: (a) holds himself/herself/itself out to be engaged in the business of selling or brokering Tax Credits; or (b) has a history of frequent, regular and repeated sales of Tax Credits; or (c) did not purchase the Tax Credits at issue for his/her/its own personal use. Any person failing to meet any of the above-mentioned criteria shall be presumed to be a non-seller or non-broker, and thus not subject to the requirements of La. R.S. 47:6007(C)(7). Therefore, it seems that if a person purchased Tax Credits for
his or her own personal use, but ends up needing less than he or she purchased, he or she should be able to transfer the excess Tax Credits to another party without having to register. However, since many production companies do not use the Tax Credits they earn for their own corporate tax liability, a representative of the production company may have to register under the new law in order to sell the company’s Tax Credits to a third party, as they appear to meet the present deﬁnition as well as subset (c) [and in certain circumstances, subset (a)], even though they do not meet subset (b) of the deﬁnition. As such, Louisiana production companies seeking to sell their Tax Credits to a third party should be aware of this requirement, and should consult legal counsel as to whether they must register in order to effectively transfer their Tax Credits. The Registration Process Beginning January 1, 2016, all Sellers and Brokers must apply and meet the following requirements: 1 (a) The person has no prior conviction for any matter related to taxes, tax credits, or fraud. (b) No member of the person’s immediate family or spouse’s immediate family (as deﬁned in La. R.S. 42:1102(13)) is employed by LDR or the Department of Economic Development. (c) The person has not been employed by the Ofﬁce of Entertainment Industry Development in the last two years. The Seller or Broker is deemed qualiﬁed if he or she meets such requirements. However, an applicant must also pass a criminal background check performed by the Louisiana Bureau of Criminal Identiﬁcation and Information, who will also query the FBI. The background screening will include ﬁngerprinting, and they may request other “identifying information” of the applicant. The ﬁngerprints are forwarded by the Bureau to the FBI for a national criminal history record check. Any arrest and conviction information contained in the Bureau’s criminal history record and identiﬁcation ﬁles which pertain to the application for qualiﬁcation and registry shall be made available to LDR. 2 The anticipated cost per applicant is $50. Qualifying Sellers and Brokers will be listed on the Public RegisISSUE SIX
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Penalties If a Seller or Broker sells any Tax Credits prior to qualifying for and being included in the public registry, the transfer has no legal effect and is deemed ineligible for registry in the Louisiana Tax Credit Registry. 3 In addition, the Seller or Broker faces the following possible penalties: a ﬁne of up to $10,000, prison for up to 5 years, or both. If convicted, the Seller or Broker will also owe full restitution for any ﬁnancial loss resulting from his or her failure to register. LDR estimates that there are less than 20 brokers currently selling Tax Credits in Louisiana. Therefore, starting in January of 2016, taxpayers seeking to purchase Tax Credits should consult this registry to ensure that their Seller or Broker is compliant and has properly registered. LFV Meg Alsfeld Kaul is a ﬁlm and entertainment attorney with the Louisiana law ﬁrm of Kean Miller LLP. Kean Miller LLP provides this article as a public service for general information only. The material contained herein may not reﬂect the most current legal developments. Such material does not constitute legal advice, and no person should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information contained in this article without seeking appropriate legal or other professional advice on that person’s particular circumstances. Kean Miller and the authors expressly disclaim all liability to any person with respect to the contents of this article, and with respect to any act or failure to act made in reliance on any material contained herein.
1. See La. R.S. 47:6007(C)(7)(a)(i)(aa)-(cc). 2. See La. R.S. 15:587(A)(1)(h). 3. See La. R.S. 47:1524.
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CELEBRATES 90 YEARS OF SERVICE TO THE FILM COMMUNITY
Our Brand is Crisis photos courtesy of WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. AND RATPAC-DUNE ENTERTAINMENT LLC
STORY BY JAY CREST
entral Casting, the national leading provider of background actor casting since 1925, celebrated 90 years of service to the entertainment industry on December 4. The Louisiana office recently held a Talent Appreciation Lunch to celebrate the event.
“Our ﬁrst ofﬁce opened in Hollywood in 1925,” says Central Casting Louisiana director Adam Hochfeld, “and our New Orleans ofﬁce opened in May 2015 when we began casting Jurassic World.” Many people may not realize it, but Central Casting has served as a launching point for many actors over the years including notable stars such as John Wayne, Eva Longoria and Brad Pitt. “We’re thrilled to be sharing our 90th anniversary celebration with our clients, our customers and our entire industry,” explains Jennifer Bender, Executive Vice President of Central Casting. “It’s great to look back on all we’ve accomplished but to also look ahead at how we can continue to grow our brand.” Bender is currently leading a Central Casting technology modernization project, which will signiﬁcantly impact the casting experience for both background actors and productions when completed. “We primarily focus on casting background, stand-ins and photo doubles; that has been our specialty for 90 years,” notes Hochfeld. “We also invest heavily in training our talent at no cost to them.” “The process begins with the talent coming to our ofﬁce for a free registration. We put a big focus on the talent and give them an orientation into what to expect on set,” continues Hochfeld. “It includes topics such as what’s expected on set, harassment and set safety. We complete their I-9s and other employment paperwork and then take their picture to enter into our database. The process takes them about 30 minutes, and they are eligible for work immediately. On the other end, our full-time casting directors work closely with productions to provide them with the most personalized service available.” “We have the most talented and dedicated casting
staff available in the area,” adds Hochfeld. “On the talent end, it is absolutely free to register with us. They just need to come by our ofﬁce anytime during the week at 1450 Poydras Street, Suite 1420.” “At the end of the day, our goal is to make everyone’s job easier, for the background talent, the crew, the producers, and so on,” explains Adam Hochfeld Hochfeld. “We achieve this not only in our casting but with the rest of our company; this includes the industry’s top payroll and software services, Entertainment Partners and Ease. We currently have ofﬁces in Burbank, New Orleans and New York, but we have the ability to cast anywhere throughout the country. We will be opening our fourth ofﬁce in Atlanta in 2016.” The New Orleans ofﬁce handles casting services for the entire state. Since opening with services for Jurassic World, they have remained busy with casting for both television and movies including Scream (MTV series), The Astronaut Wives Club, Our Brand is Crisis, The Magniﬁcent Seven, Deepwater Horizon, and many more. Currently, they’re working on the new Tom Cruise ﬁlm Jack Reacher 2. As part of the celebration, Central Casting has launched a blog featuring client and background actor shout outs, historical memorabilia, and fun clips from projects they’ve worked on. They’ve also been posting photos on their Central Casting 90 Instagram account. Learn more at blog.centralcasting.com and instagram. com/central_casting. LFV
Attendees at Central Casting’s Talent Appreciation Lunch ISSUE SIX
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SUPER SCHNEIDER: A RENAISSANCE MAN STORY AND PHOTOS BY W. H. BOURNE
s you drive into John Schneider Studios, you can’t help but notice the wrought iron gate with “JSS” inside the Superman crest. It’s a ﬁtting symbol for a man who is determined to make his mark on the world of independent ﬁlm. At ﬁrst glance, his compound looks like the idyllic location his character Bo Duke would have retired to if he had won the lottery. Located just north of New Orleans, the 58 acre wooded retreat is a ﬁlmmaker’s dream-cometrue with two soundstages and lots of rustic locations including a bait shack and a ﬁshing pier.
I’m initially greeted by John’s three dogs: Duke, Stormy, and Gravy. When John emerges to greet me, the dogs ﬂock to him. Schneider deﬁnitely appears at home in this calm tranquil environment; however, I am surprised to learn that he’s juggling multiple projects at once. Writer, actor, director, producer—John assumes different roles based on the project’s needs. “I wrote and directed Like Son in February. I also wrote and directed Anderson Bench in May,” recalls Schneider. “We wrapped Inadmissible in September, and I also produced Hate Crimes this year. Shooting four movies in one year is not too bad.” Not bad at all considering John is also acting in other projects including his on-going role as Jim Cryer in Tyler Perry’s TV series The Haves and the Have Nots. John has two full Avid bays in his studio headquarters where he is actively involved in the editing. The four aforementioned movies
John Schneider with his dogs (L-R) Gravy and Stormy.
were shot at John Schneider Studios and are in various states of post production and distribution. “Distribution has been challenging,” Schneider admits. His producing partner Alicia Allain recently went to American Film Market to deal with domestic and foreign sales for Schneider’s latest ﬁlms. Meanwhile, John was mingling with fans and singing his heart out on the John Schneider Fan Appreciation Cruise. It seems to never be a dull moment for this Renaissance man. His 58 acre backlot hosted a Shakespeare festival in October and a concert in December. John’s relocation to Louisiana and the purchase of his “backlot” has an interesting back story. “I was shooting Runaway Hearts in Plaque-
On location at John Schneider Studios’ 58 acre backlot.
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mines,” remembers Schneider. “I really liked the area. I had lived in Louisiana before when I dated a girl from Alexandria back when I did music. It took me three years to ﬁnd this place. I rented initially. I ﬁnally bought it a year after I shot Smothered. It actually had been a camp before I purchased it which just seemed to ﬁt.” Writer/Director/Actor/Producer John Schneider Schneider went on to explain that he went to theater camp as a kid when he lived in New Hampshire. He thinks of his 58 acre property as a movie camp. In addition to the two soundstages, the mess hall doubles as a bunk house with two queen size beds and bunkbeds that can accommodate up to 20 people. The studio even includes some standing sets including a basement/dungeon and a bar. “I’m currently in pre-production for Against the Wall, and we’re building a nice high-end elevator set for that,” adds Schneider. John attributes his proliﬁc ﬁlmmaking to being an efﬁcient writ-
Director John Schneider explains how he quickly and efficiently got exterior shots on some of his recent productions like Anderson Bench and Like Son. 30 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE
er, director and producer. “I try to shoot everything in 16 days,” explains Schneider. “I come from television and it’s written very efﬁciently. Dukes (of Hazzard) was a vacation for me.” John continues, “I believe habit shows character. I like my movies to start and stop in the same location. I also want my characters to revisit places as time passes.” Schneider then takes me for a walk around his production headquarters/house. Each side of the house is painted a different color. John then explains to me that by doing this, he can get all his exterior shots for a ﬁlm without having to move the cameras and lights very far. John also has a prop room where he writes around the speciﬁc props he already owns. “We collect things here,” says Schneider. “People go to garage sales and ﬁnd the oddest things to bring me.” When asked about his inspiration, John confesses, “I think I’m a dark, twisted soul. I grew up with my grandfather who had a funeral home.” Schneider admits that, as a kid, he had a curious fascination about the many ways people would die. “I try not to use excessive gore but to elicit an emotional response,” he explains. John has big plans for his studio. He plans to erect four more soundstages and a French Quarter backlot. “I want this place to be a cultural center for music and theater for the community. I also want it to be a resource for independent ﬁlmmakers so they can create their own stories just like I’m creating mine,” concludes Schneider. LFV
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EAST Meets WEST AT AMERICAN FILM MARKET STORY BY W. H. BOURNE PHOTOS BY ODIN LINDBLOM
very year thousands of buyers, sellers and creators of independent ﬁlm gather in Santa Monica for American Film Market (AFM), the largest international sales market for ﬁlm in North America. AFM is organized by the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA) which is the global trade association for the independent motion picture and television industry representing more than 150 member companies from 23 countries, consisting of independent production and distribution companies, sales agents, television companies and ﬁnancial institutions engaged in ﬁlm ﬁnance. The market is always a barometer for trends in the independent production, ﬁnance and distribution. This year’s AFM saw more than 1,600 buyers representing over 70 countries. This included more than 80 new buying companies with the largest growth coming from South Korea, China, Germany and India.
Her Royal Highness Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi of Thailand
AFM Conference Session on Finance, Production, & Distribution in China: with both English and Chinese being spoken, interpreter services were offered to attendees for this session.
With the international box ofﬁce expanding exponentially, particularly in China, sellers were looking for ways to get their product into theaters and homes overseas. It is predicted that within the next two to three years China will have the largest box ofﬁce in the world. It’s important to note that theatrical is still the only market in China right now with the government still controlling television broadcast; however, this may change in the future as TV sales in China and the demand for content increase. Distribution in China has always been challenging. The government only allows 40 foreign ﬁlms a year to play in theaters nationwide. In the past, the answer has been Chinese co-productions which circumvented this cap; however, government restrictions have become more stringent regarding the deﬁnition of a co-production including percentage of shooting done in China,
cultural themes and elements within the script, and the percentage of above-the-line Chinese cast members. Chinese investment money in U.S. ﬁlm projects, which had ﬂowed freely throughout the Loews Hotel at past AFMs, was difﬁcult to ﬁnd this year. Most Chinese investors and producers were looking for co-productions for projects to be ﬁlmed in China with predominantly Chinese cast and crew in order to meet the new Chinese government distribution requirements. Chinese producers were looking for help with original scripts that reﬂected Chinese culture and values and top level editors and VFX crew to oversee services for productions in China. The hallways of AFM were noticeably different this year. Many veteran IFTA companies including former IFTA President Lloyd Kaufman’s company, Troma, were absent from this year’s market. ISSUE SIX
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Foreign sales have still not fully recovered from the DVD/home entertainment market crash ten years ago, but at least there were sales. While there was still much interest in U.S. soft money such as state tax incentives, credits and rebates, those at market seemed focused on networking and trying to ﬁnd Chinese producing partners. For producers looking at making one independent ﬁlm or ﬁnancing an entire slate, the signiﬁcance of the increased production as well as the ever-expanding box ofﬁce in China cannot be ignored. Research and strategy are recommended to see how it will impact your company’s future projects. LFV AFM attendees network in the lobby of the Loews Hotel in Santa Monica.
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(L-R) Lead actors and comic duo Ben Matheny and Matthew Martinez
WORKLIGHT PICTURES IS HARD AT WORK WITH EASY DOES IT
STORY BY W. H. BOURNE PHOTOS COURTESY OF WORKLIGHT PICTURES AND EFI
s soon as New Orleans Film Festival (NOFF) ended, Worklight Pictures quickly shifted gears from festival to ﬁlm mode. Lizzie Guitreau, Production Manager for Worklight Pictures explains, “Robots was an elaborate project, and producing it gave us insight into spearheading more complex productions. Taking Robots on the festival circuit, such as with NOFF, also gave us access to high proﬁle networking and the opportunity to experience self-marketing ﬁrsthand.”
“Worklight Pictures and EFI have collaborated frequently on ﬁlms in the past so producing a feature ﬁlm together was a natural next step,” says Guitreau. “We are in the midst of producing our ﬁrst feature, Easy Does It, which has by far been the most intensive project yet for such a small company. The members of both of our companies met as ﬁlm students at the University of New Orleans and have been working together ever since. We have been trucking constantly and tirelessly through pre-production, and we’ve assembled a team that seems to understand the importance of continuing independent ﬁlm in Louisiana.” “Easy Does It is a freewheeling action comedy about two buddies, Jack and Scottie, who rob their way to California,” notes Guitreau. “Along the way, they form an unlikely friendship with their hostage, Collin. With their adversaries in hot pursuit and closing in, they learn that chasing dreams isn’t always easy. It’s a fun, edgy world full of mischievous danger, car chases and road trip ﬁascoes.” “Starting as a dark comedy, short ﬁlm in 2011, Easy Does It was written and directed by Will Addison,” adds Guitreau. “Ben Matheny, who plays the central character in the ﬁlm, and Will began co-writing the feature screenplay the following year.” BTS with the cast and crew from the production of the Easy Does It concept trailer “Since its concep-
Hero car from Easy Does It.
tion four years ago, Will and Ben have been steadily growing this passion project and assembling a tenacious Easy Does It team. Will approached us early in the pre-production of Easy Does It about collaborating,” recalls Guitreau. “Our companies have proven to offer complementing strengths and resources; together, we create a well-rounded team of ﬁlmmakers. We’ve worked really hard at Worklight to assemble resources such as our studio and equipment to be able to enable independent ﬁlm projects like Easy Does It.” “The plan all along has been to take advantage of Louisiana tax credit opportunities,” continues Guitreau. “We have built our budget in the $50,000 - $299,999 range. The tax incentive initiative allows us to approach potential funders with a lower risk investment. Between our entire cast and crew being Louisiana natives, and the ﬁlm being a Louisiana intellectual property, we qualify for a terriﬁc percentage, including the indigenous LA ﬁlmmakers incentives.” “We’re still in our funding phase right now, and it has deﬁnitely been a learning experience,” adds Guitreau. “It’s a challenge, but without the Louisiana tax incentives, it would be much more difﬁcult to ﬁnd investors willing to take a ﬁnancial risk on ﬁrst-time ﬁlmmakers. To reduce risk and supplement our investments, we are also launching a Kickstarter campaign in late January. Besides being a necessary ﬁnancial safety net, crowd-funding has proven to be an excellent way for us to grow and connect with our network of followers.” “The marriage of producers and production heads has been very organic. Producer Sarah Smith (also a co-founder) and I have taken charge of the fundraising, event planning, organization, and marketing/social media management of the ﬁlm. Bruno Doria, Worklight’s co-founder and the ﬁlm’s cinematographer, has been working with Will to create a distinctive visual style for the ﬁlm. We love collaborating, whether with clients, or other independent ﬁlmmakers like the EFI guys. Easy Does It represents an opportunity for us to do what we love and challenge ourselves to create something bigger and better than anything we have done before,” explains Guitreau. “Worklight Pictures is ready to be a part of the ‘Louisiana ﬁlm voice.’” LFV ISSUE SIX
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Anne Conway Photography MFA, Photographer
Portraits, Stills, Events, Architecture and Interiors. Commissions Welcomed.
Anne Conway Jennings New Orleans, LA anneconwayphotography.com email@example.com 38 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE
SOUTHERN SCREEN DELIGHTS
FESTIVAL ATTENDEES IN LAFAYETTE
STORY BY JULIE BORDELON PHOTOS BY JAMES WELCH
Festival attendees network at the ACA
very November in Lafayette, Louisiana, Southern Screen Film Festival presents four days of ﬁlm screenings, panels, red carpet events, parties, and workshops. Southern Screen moves beyond the traditional ﬁlm festival and works to open up the community to the widespread possibilities of storytelling. The festival offers a hands-on experience where the creativity in ﬁlmmaking mixes with a landscape of the local Cajun and Creole culture to inspire and ignite the local community and visiting ﬁlmmakers. Southern Screen knows creating a good ﬁlm is worth celebrating, no matter how long or short it turns out to be. It should be seen on a large screen with an audience full of people and not streaming on a small laptop. Southern Screen believes in watching through to the end of the credits because the festival knows that it takes a lot of people to make it happen. The Festival is invested in the process of educating the community on how to appreciate cinema as well as give them the tools to create it on their own. With over 50 screenings and events, Southern Screen Film Festival began Thursday, November 19, at the Louisiana Immersive Technology Enterprise (LITE) with an opening night reception of raw Gulf oysters and champagne for guests. Following the reception was the Louisiana Premiere of Experimenter. Both events were well received with a large audience.
Experimenter Premiere at Southern Screen 2015
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On Friday, out-of-town ﬁlmmakers and guests were taken on a scout through Lafayette and Acadiana, stopping for an authentic Cajun lunch on the Bayou Téche and a swamp tour in Lake Martin/Cypress Island Nature Conservancy! Friday night was an Industry Networking event with guests from Louisiana Entertainment and IATSE local 478 speaking about ﬁlming in the state. Saturday and Sunday’s screenings included the Slamdance Audience Award Winning Documentary Steve Jobs: The Man and the Machine, Across the Sea, and the SXSW Documentary Grand Jury Award winner Peace Ofﬁcer at the Acadiana Center for the Arts (ACA). The Festival’s Saturday night screening was the Louisiana Premiere of The Lady in the Van, a ﬁlm brought to us by our ﬁrst Independent Vision Award winner, Sony Pictures Classics Executive Vice President, Dylan Leiner. Southern Screen also hosted informative and engaging workshops such as: Reality TV Pitch Workshop and Pitch Practice with Rachael Graeff, Development Executive for TLC Network; a Stop Motion Animation workshop for kids; Financing and Selling Your Film Seminar with International Distribution and Sales Agent, Mark Horowitz; and a Women In Film Panel featuring Mary Trahan, writer for the TV series Bones, and Misty Talley, who also happens to be the ﬁrst female director of a SyFy Original Movie, Zombie Shark. Our highlighted educational segment was A Con-
40 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE
Financing and Selling Your Film Seminar
versation with Dylan Leiner, who talked about working at Sony Pictures Classics and in the ﬁlm industry. With a collective audience of 2,500 attendees, Southern Screen continues to grow offering a platform to showcase quality ﬁlms and educational classes. The festival also offers year-round entertainment in the form of screenings and workshops in Acadiana. LFV
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INTO THE BADLANDS
PREMIERE IN THE RIVER PARISHES (L-R) Daniel Wu as Sunny and Emily Beecham as The Widow STORY BY A. K. FARMER INTO THE BADLANDS PHOTOS BY JAMES DIMMOCK AND PATTI PERRET COURTESY OF AMC
015 was the busiest we’ve seen as far as productions,” says Communications Manager and Film Coordinator Jo Banner of River Parishes Tourist Commission. “We had Into the Badlands, Quarry, My Invisible Sister, Free State of Jones, and Roots shooting back to back in the River Parishes.”
The Film Industry Panel held in Conjunction with the Into The Badlands Premiere
Banner was on hand to greet cast, crew, and invited guests to the River Parishes premiere party for Into the Badlands. “One of the reasons Badlands chose our soundstage was because of the location,” explains Banner. “We are close to New Orleans yet we offer more space, a nicer facility, and easy access to chain hotels, stores and restaurants. Since the production built a two story set, the height of the ceiling was also an important selling point.” Into the Badlands was a six part series that debuted November 15th on AMC. It told the ISSUE SIX
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story of a ruthless, well-trained warrior named Sunny (Daniel Wu) and a young boy named M.K. (Aramis Knight) who embark on a spiritual journey across a dangerous land ruled by feudal barons. “Badlands shot on location at Evergreen Plantation and the closed down school, Second Ward, both located on the west bank of St. John Parish,” continues Banner. “The main house, dependencies, slave cabins, and sugar cane ﬁelds on Evergreen Plantation were heavily featured.” Banner recalls, “Badlands shot continuously on the stages and locations for approximately ﬁve months. The show was broken down into three units: main, ﬁght, and insert. When one unit was shooting on location, the other was usually at one of the other locations.” The type of service Into the Badlands received from Banner and her team is customary for a ﬁlm commission focused on meeting production needs. “As always, we meet productions early on to assist with shooting, road closures, and a local resource packet which includes the names of local businesses, restaurants and anything else that can be of use. I also met with the show creators, directors and producers to answer their questions about the area and the sound stage,” says Banner. “I often connected the production with the appropriate resource contact depending on their need. For example, the show needed a location for a particular scene; I suggested a certain area around our facility that could work. I was glad to see the location used by the production and to know that I was able to help.” Banner believes that location scouts and managers can help both the ﬁlm commission and themselves by collaborating and sharing information. “The location manager was helpful in providing more speciﬁc information about the shoot locations. This information is important as far as ﬁlm tourism. Often those who are interested in ﬁlm tourism appreciate the details so it’s always fun to incorporate these facts with our tourism. The location manager also helped with keeping the parking under control,” notes Banner. The red carpet event also featured an industry panel discussion prior to the premiere. Premiere Introduction by St. John the “We had a panel to Baptist Parish President Natalie Robottom discuss the positive impact of the ﬁlm industry; that was very well received,” says Banner. “The premiere was a joint collaboration between St. John Parish, the River Parishes Tourist Commission, and Reserve Telecommunications (RTC). Together they produced this (L-R) Jo Banner, Natalie Robottom, Katie Klibert, Torri Buckles, Danaya Gathers one-of-a-kind event. We 46 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE
Daniel Wu as Sunny in AMC’s Into the Badlands
On the set of Into the Badlands
incorporated themes, colors, and images to promote the show. The audience seemed to appreciate seeing our local attractions and the set on the ‘big screen.’” Audiences locally and nationwide are taken with the show. Into the Badlands ranks as the #3 highest-rated freshman season of any series in cable history among adults 18-49 and adults 25-54 in live+3 viewing. The success of Into the Badlands caps a year in which AMC was the top destination for original programming across all of television (broadcast and cable), with an average of nearly 4 million viewers in both adults 18-49 and adults 25-54 for all new episodes of original series (live+3). LFV
St. John Center Soundstage
The perfect location for
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A STEP INTO THE BADLANDS WITH ACTOR LANCE NICHOLS
STORY BY W. H. BOURNE INTO THE BADLANDS PHOTO BY PATTI PERRET COURTESY OF AMC SHEPHERD PHOTO COURTESY OF 7TH & CONSTANCE
originally auditioned for Into the Badlands for the role of Baron Quinn via a taped audition. Then, about three weeks later, I was called in locally to read for the role of Dr. Brooks. A week later, my agent called and said the Los Angeles Casting Directors were requesting my reel be sent to them for forwarding to AMC for the role of the River King,” explains Louisiana actor Lance Nichols. “A couple of days later, my agent called and said I was booked as the River King.” Nichols continues, “My greatest challenge with this role was NOT knowing the writer’s vision on how he saw it. There was NO pre-shooting rehearsal (except on set on the days I shot) and NO pre-shooting meetings with the producers or director. I had NO back story, NO arc as to where this character was going. I just had to trust my instincts.” “All of my scenes were with Daniel Wu who plays Sunny, but who is also one of the Executive Producers. He’s a very quiet but intense man.” Nichols adds, “My greatest reward is seeing the millions of fans who have embraced the show.” Currently Nichols splits his time between teaching and acting; however, he has had a steady career in ﬁlm and television since the ‘80s. He was series regular Larry Williams on Treme. He’s played
(L-R) - Into the Badlands Season 1, Episode 6: Daniel Wu as Sunny and Lance Nichols as The River King
cops, lawyers, detectives, judges, senators, mayors, and ministers; in fact, he stole the scenes as the preacher in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. “I’ll be back on House of Cards this season as Mayor Gene Clancy. I believe it’s episode 4,” says Nichols. “And I have a new web series called Shepherd in which I have the lead. We’ve shot the pilot, and it’s available to see online (on YouTube). It’s a very challenging role for me. I’ll also be teaching two workshops coming up in February: Auditioning for Film and Television and Video Audition Workshop. Interested parties can contact me at lnichol619@ earthlink.net.” Nichols offers great advice to aspiring actors saying, “Make sure this is what you REALLY want to do and have a support system in place with folks that have your best interest in mind.” LFV
On set of Shepherd with actor Lance Nichols ISSUE SIX
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DEANNA MESKE Actress / Filmmaker
KNOWN FOR: NCIS New Orleans (CBS) Elsa & Fred (Film) St. Peterâ€™s Holding (Film) Atonement (Film) Extinction Event (Film) Entourage (HBO) House of Horrors (ID) Government Lies (Mini Series)
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Reels: www.DeannaMeske.com Instgram: @DeannaMeske Agent: Impact MTA 504-533-8759
LOUISIANA’S BACKGROUND ACTORS GUILD
CELEBRATES STELLAR TALENT
Mark Anthony Hardin
Jeanie & Randy Causin
STORY BY SUSIE LABRY PHOTOS BY AMY RANSOW
his year’s Background Actors Guild (BAG) Awards was held at NOLA Brewing Company. The annual event honors local background talent. A special award is also given to set catering since that’s one of the nice perks of hanging around on set when you’re background talent.
The Louisiana Guild was started by Eric J Price. A bunch of us extras responded to it, and it just grew. There’s no requirements to join the guild other than joining the Facebook group: www.facebook.com/groups/BackgroundActorsGuild. The group has more than 6,000 friends and members that include a diverse group from casting directors to background talent. Award nomination suggestions and submissions are gathered from the online community which also votes for the winners. Congratulations to all the 2015 Background Actors Guild Nominees. We’re Louisiana Proud! Here are this year’s winners: Michael Arnona Tyfanni Cassidy David Marshall Mandy Poche Jeanie and Randy Causin Mark Anthony Hardin Daphne Videau Henry Bauer Eric J Price Pricilla Marie Frenchy’s Catering Michael Collier Bill Rainey Katherine Ishiem
BEST MALE ACTOR BEST FEMALE ACTRESS BEST MALE STAND-IN BEST FEMALE STAND-IN BEST DYNAMIC DUO BEST FEATURED MALE BEST FEATURED FEMALE BEST EXPRESS FROM BAG TO SAG BEST HELPING HAND BEST CASTING OF THE YEAR BEST CATERING BEST NEW TO THE BIZ LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD BEST LACK OF ACHIEVEMENT (L-R) Santa and BAG Awards Host Eric J Price ISSUE SIX
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BIC MEDIA TEAMS UP WITH MISSION MEDIA FOR LATEST PROJECT
IC Media Solutions’ next book, “Rock Bottom & Back,” will chronicle the experiences of 12 men and women who overcame seemingly insurmountable adversities to become successful in their business and personal lives.
“Rock Bottom & Back” will also be adapted into a 30-minute ﬁlm segment that will be shopped to TV networks as a pilot for a poleft are Steven Scaffidi and David Bottner tential series. BIC Media Solutions From of The New Orleans Mission and Earl Heard of BIC Media Solutions. is teaming up with newly formed Mission Media Productions, the production arm of The New Orleans Mission, for the ﬁlm segment. Established in 1989, The New Orleans Mission is a private 501(C)(3) nonproﬁt organization providing services to the homeless population of New Orleans. Strickland, left, founder and former CEO “Rock Bottom & Back” will fea- Jerry of AltairStrickland, sits with his son, Whitney ture several individuals, including Strickland, during a ﬁlming segment for “Rock Bottom & Back.” The New Orleans Mission’s David Bottner, who serves as executive director for the organization. Other ﬁgures featured in “Rock Bottom & Back” include Gabriel Alvarado, a CITGO ﬁre chief who was burned in a reﬁnery ﬁre in 2009 and now speaks to workers about safety issues; Troy Duhon, a successful car dealership owner and philanthropist who endured severe damage to his Louisiana business in Hurricane Katrina and now shares the word of God through “God’s Not Dead” and “God’s Not Dead 2;” Jerry Strickland, founder and former CEO of AltairStrickland and author of the inspirational book “Turnarounds,” and his son, Whitney Strickland. Steven Scafﬁdi, director of development, marketing and media for The New Orleans Mission, has been in the production business for approximately 30 years. When he started working at The New Orleans Mission, his goal was to put together a media department where the organization would produce projects. “The story of ‘Rock Bottom & Back’ is a story of many at The New Orleans Mission,” said Scafﬁdi. “Our mission is to reach out to hurting and homeless people. When somebody ends up homeless, that person has hit rock bottom. Being at the mission and seeing these kinds of stories ﬁrsthand, we became very interested in partnering with BIC Media Solutions on ‘Rock Bottom & Back.’” BIC Media Solutions has retained Susan Mustafa, who co-wrote the New York Times-bestselling true crime thriller “The Most Dangerous Animal of All” with Gary L. Stewart, to write “Rock Bottom & Back.” BIC Media Solutions is also partnering with Mascot Books. To nominate an individual to be featured in “Rock Bottom & Back” or for more information about BIC Media Solutions, contact Earl Heard at firstname.lastname@example.org or Rose Gladner at email@example.com, or call (800) 460-4242.
Faith and Family Entertainment EARNING A SEAL OF APPROVAL THE DOVE FOUNDATION OFFERS PEACE OF MIND TO FAMILIES AND HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS ALIKE
hen searching for a movie to watch with your family, it’s hard to know what’s appropriate for all ages. Even ﬁlms branded “family entertainment” may contain Dick Rolfe content that you deem unacceptable for your young ones, and the traditional MPAA ratings—G, PG, PG-13, etc.—aren’t always reliable. So how do you ﬁnd programming that suits your family’s needs? It’s simple. Look for the Dove Seal of Approval. The Dove Foundation publishes movie reviews on its website (www.dove.org), giving a detailed breakdown of each ﬁlm to help consumers determine whether or not it’s appropriate for them. If the ﬁlm passes muster, it receives a “Family-Approved” Dove Seal—a symbol that equals peace of mind for families. Those ﬁlms that also contain faith elements may also receive a “Faith-Based” or “Faith-Friendly” Dove Seal. Over the course of its nearly 25-year existence, the foundation has become an internationally renowned entity that has not only helped families in their quest for suitable entertainment, but has also had a huge impact on Hollywood, moving studios in a more family-friendly direction. But it all started from humble beginnings in the early 1990s. “Like most parents, my wife and I were very concerned about the kind of entertainment that our kids were exposed to,” said Dick Rolfe, co-founder and CEO of the Dove Foundation. “When we were in a video store back in 1990, we could ﬁnd a copy of the director’s cut of Basic Instinct next to a copy of Bambi. They just organized it alphabetically and left it up to the consumer. We decided that the best way to avoid that dilemma was to prescreen movies and make a list of what was acceptable based on our own standards. We enlisted other parents to help and developed a list of over 600 movies that met our standards.” The group made copies of the list and circulated it to friends, relatives and fellow church members. “I never really planned on anything beyond that,” said Rolfe. But after an Associated Press reporter interviewed him and the subsequent article appeared in 165 newspapers around the country, the phone at Rolfe’s small media relations company rang off the hook with families wanting a copy of the list. “It wasn’t until we began getting these phone calls that I knew God had something more in mind for us,” he said. In 1991, the group incorporated as the Dove Foundation. “I knew we weren’t rich enough to reach the entire public and not powerful enough to inﬂuence Hollywood,” explained Rolfe, “so we made the decision strategically to go to the middle of the food chain and contact video store owners with the idea that their customers might like to have access to these family-approved movies.”
He continued, “Once a week we would fax an update of the Dove List to the video stores and they would then sticker their videos with the Dove-approved seal. We had around 1,700 video store chains, which gave us enough clout to begin meeting with the studios and persuading them that there was a large untapped audience in Middle America called ‘the family.’” According to Rolfe, the studios were quite receptive to the Dove Foundation and what it represents. “They saw us not as an adversary or an activist but as an advocate representing families with traditional values. And that was a paradigm shift for us because now the studios saw a value-added to the Dove Seal.” The studios began promoting the fact that their family-friendly movies were Dove-approved, putting the Dove Seal on their marketing and promotional materials, and imprinting it directly onto home video and DVD packaging. But there was still much work to be done. The Dove Foundation hoped to encourage Hollywood to produce more family-friendly content, and to do so, they needed to convince the studios that such ﬁlms are cost-effective. “We commissioned several studies over the years on the proﬁtability of ﬁlms based on their MPAA ratings,” said Rolfe. “We were able to prove categorically that a G-rated movie was between 8 and 10 times more proﬁtable than its R-rated counterpart. This is due in part to the larger audience available for G-rated ﬁlms.” In 2012, another study certiﬁed that the average Dove movie was 2.5 to 3 times more proﬁtable than ﬁlms that weren’t up to Dove standards. “That was a big aha moment for the studios,” said Rolfe. Hollywood is realizing that there is a huge market out there for family-friendly ﬁlms, and the Dove Seal of Approval has become so valuable that studios will frequently send advance screeners of their ﬁlms to the foundation to review. “They do this for two reasons: 1) They hope to get our approval, and 2) They want to make sure that they didn’t somehow stray too far from family-friendly standards,” explained Rolfe. “In many cases the studios will edit their ﬁlms to meet Dove standards before the release.” As distribution channels continue to evolve, so too does the Dove Foundation, adapting to new trends and technology. In September, they partnered with Cinedigm to launch the Dove Channel, a streaming movie service similar to Netﬂix. Then, in December, Amazon made the Dove Channel available as a subscription add-on to their 44 million Prime members. “It’s the best way that we can execute what we’ve been doing for the last 25 years,” said Rolfe of this new digital venture. “It’s the next logical step.” Now 74 and approaching retirement, Rolfe will likely remain with the foundation in an emeritus capacity, while handing the reins over to his eldest son, Scott, who presently serves as COO. Even when he’s no longer at the helm, Rolfe can look back and be proud of what he has helped the Dove Foundation to accomplish. “I told my kids, I won’t leave you much of an inheritance, but I can leave you a legacy.”
Brought to you by
I AM THIS AUDIENCE:
GRAY MEDIA REACHES THE FAITH AND FAMILY COMMUNITY
f you’ve been to the theater lately to see a ﬁlm, chances are that the trailers, ads and promotional materials that you saw on TV or on social media persuaded you to go. And if that ﬁlm was faith-based or inspirational, Gray Media likely played a starring role as the key inﬂuencer.
Gray Media is a media buying and marketing company specializing in the promotion of ﬁlms, television programming and events that target the faith and family audience. The company represents national and international clients, including some of the largest ministries in the world, such as those of Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes and Joyce Meyer. “We are the head and heart of ministries,” explained company founder and president Tim Gray. “We help represent them on television and fulﬁll their vision through media.” This amalgamation of ministry and media had an impact on Gray long before he started the company in 2004. When he was a young teenager in the 1970s, his family didn’t go to church, but his father would watch evangelist Oral Roberts on television. Eventually, Gray explained, “My dad got saved and he took us to church and I got saved. Television ministry had an enormous impact on my family.” Gray later attended Oral Roberts University, where he studied, ﬁttingly, theology and television. Gray Media was founded on Gray’s belief that “media can impact and reach people, no matter where they’re at.” He noted that around 50 percent of the company’s work is for television—including both religious and secular networks and programs—but where they’re seeing exponential growth over the past few years is in the ﬁlm sector. This includes such immensely popular and ﬁnancially successful ﬁlms as God’s Not Dead and Heaven is For Real. “We are hired by studios to market to the faith and family community,” said Gray. “For studios like Sony and Lionsgate, we’ll go in and
place spots and promotions via television and digital media.” He explained that most traditional marketing companies, or marketing arms of studios, don’t know how to reach the faith and family community, but Gray Media does. “We know this audience. I am this audience,” said Gray. “We’re a niche, but the fact of the matter is that the Christian community is a huge, strong niche.” It’s a niche that is hungry for more content, and Hollywood is
giving it to them. “In 2014, there were 10 or 12 big ﬁlms that came out as independents,” said Gray, name-checking God’s Not Dead, Heaven is For Real and Son of God, among others. “That doesn’t count blockbuster studio ﬁlms like Exodus and Noah, which were huge.” The upcoming year will see another large slate of faith-based ﬁlms, including God’s Not Dead 2 and Miracles from Heaven, the latter of which features actress Jennifer Garner. “This sector is massively going to grow,” said Gray. “Hollywood is starting to see the dollars there. A lot of the faith-based ﬁlms are made for a fraction of the budget that studio ﬁlms are made for. The ratios are incredible.” He noted that the increased effort to make quality Christian programming has attracted bigger stars, which has been another incentive for Hollywood to continue making these types of ﬁlms. “In the past, actors strayed away from faith-based ﬁlms because they didn’t want to hurt their career, even if they were Christian,” explained Gray. “Now they’re more open to it because the ﬁlms aren’t cheesy; they’re good stories. Having major actors like Jennifer Garner in Miracles from Heaven is a great statement.” Another indicator of Hollywood’s growing interest in this sector is the immensely successful, ﬁrst-of-its-kind “Faith In Film” panel that Gray hosted at last year’s Sundance Film Festival. Sanctioned by the Sundance Institute, the panel examined perceptions, prejudices and possibilities of faith in ﬁlms. Gray wasn’t sure how the panel would be received, nor how many people would show up to hear what he and his fellow presenters had to say, but he needn’t have worried. “The room was packed. It was standing room only and we got great feedback.” In fact, it was so successful that Gray will be returning to host a panel again this year, entitled “Faith In Film: Art, Money, Message” (see sidebar). Film is not the only sector on the uprise; so too is the ever-expanding digital side of media. Capitalizing on this growth, Gray Media is currently working on a deal with Netﬂix. “Netﬂix is expanding in the area of faith and inspirational programming and we’re working directly with that,” said Gray. “We’re in discussions to put ministries on their platform, as well as a possible episodic series.” Gray founded his company with the intent to ﬁll a void in the entertainment industry and satiate the appetite for family-friendly, faith-oriented content. He takes great pride in knowing he’s helping to do just that. “I pour my life into really affecting this culture with the reality of Christ,” he said. “I knew this audience was out there. And it’s growing because there are families like mine that are just lost and searching, and they too can be reached.”
FAITH IN FILM: ART, MONEY, MESSAGE Date: Thursday, January 28 Time: 4:30-6:00 pm Location: Filmmaker Lodge, Sundance Film Festival *A reception will follow the panel at Sky Lodge
LA FILM INDUSTRY:
ANNUAL CHRISTMAS PARTY SPREADS HOLIDAY MAGIC TO THE COMMUNITY STORY BY T. HOPPER PHOTOS BY AMY RANSOW AND JOHNNY ROCK
Event Co-host Actor Bill Rainey with Chris and Monica Trosclair
Actors Pedro Lucero and Cariella Smith
he LA Film Industry Christmas Party is always a fun event where cast and crew get to dress up in their holiday ﬁnest and party; however, the celebration has also served as an opportunity for the local ﬁlm industry to give back to the community over the last few years.
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Event founder and co-organizer Johnny Rock
Partying with Santa
Actor and activist Susie Labry
“I’m happy to say that we collected over 200 toys and gifts, all of which were taken to Children’s Hospital in New Orleans,” says event founder Johnny Rock. “We were able to spend 3 hours at the Hospital as patients made their way through the auditorium. Those that were too sick to come down had gifts and toys brought up to them. Our annual Santa Claus, played by actor Nick Blady, was there to visit with the children as well as were his helpers Drew Rin Varick, Candace McAdams, Mindy Van Kuren and Rebecca Rutherford Diaz.”
Santa AKA actor Nick Blady arrives in style
Actor Drew Rin Varick (R) gets in on the elf action. Louisiana talent donated more than 200 toys.
Rock, who is an actor, producer and independent ﬁlmmaker, is active in the local industry. He is an excellent networker with a keen sense of humor. It’s no surprise that he is the driving force behind the industry holiday party. “The 1st Annual LA Film Industry Christmas Party was held in 2008. At the time I was DJ-ing at a nightclub called C. Beever’s Bar of Music,” explains Rock. “I had already been working in the ﬁlm industry for almost 3 years when it occurred to me that we did not have a Christmas party every year. Sure, there were wrap parties happening left and right, but those were for particular projects and you typically had to have worked on the project to get an invite. So, I just decided to start having an annual Christmas party where all departments and all involved within the LA Film Industry could get together and both socialize and network. For the ﬁrst 6 years, I’ve held the party by myself through my group The Gulf South Actors. In 2014, I joined forces with Bill Rainey of The Holding Tent; we’ve continued to grow each year.” “I’ve been collecting toys for Children’s Hospital for nearly
MIndy Van Kuren and Rebecca Rutherford Diaz help Bill Rainey spread holiday cheer at Children’s Hospital in New Orleans.
20 years,” continues Rock. “This was something that actor John Schneider inspired me to do many moons ago. As many know, John Schneider is the co-founder of The Children’s Miracle Network. Over the years, I’ve helped with numerous toy drives, all beneﬁting Children’s Hospital. In 2014, I decided to start collecting toys through the ﬁlm industry at our Christmas party. Bill Rainey agreed, and it will now be tradition.” Remembering this year’s party, Rock adds, “This year’s turnout was the biggest and best yet. Because it has gotten larger each year, we had to ﬁnd a larger venue. We found that at Encore Music Club in Metairie who also provided us with live music from Nashville South. Our attendance was well over 300, and we had people from every department including ﬁlm studio owners, casting directors, agents, actors, directors, producers, gaffers, grips, make up, transportation. You name it, they were there!” While local cast and crew had a great time, it was the kids at Children’s Hospital who really had some extra Christmas magic this holiday season. LFV ISSUE SIX
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(L-R) Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell in a scene ﬁlmed at Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans.
DAD VS. STEP DAD:
MARK WAHLBERG AND WILL FERRELL SHOOT NEW ORLEANS IN DADDY’S HOME STORY BY W. H. BOURNE PHOTOS BY PATTI PERET, HILARY BRONWYN GAYLE, AND COURTESY OF PARAMOUNT PICTURES
addy’s Home is a Louisiana homecoming for Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell. Wahlberg was last in town shooting Two Guns while Ferrell did Get Hard in New Orleans. Daddy’s Home is also an ode to New Orleans locations. While the Louis Armstrong International Airport and the Smoothie King Arena are hard not to miss, the non-stop action and laughs make other locations such as NORDC’s Gernon Brown Rec Center ﬂy by. The chemistry between actors Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg is largely responsible for drawing audiences in. And while the roles seem tailored to each actor, there was doubt early on regarding the casting.
“In the beginning, there were a lot of different discussions about whether I would even play Dusty (the dad) or Brad (the step dad),” recalls Ferrell. “But things really came to life when Mark’s name came up, and we knew instantly he was Dusty. Mark is just one of those people who doesn’t ever have to worry about looking or acting cool. He was just born that way while the rest of us have to spend our entire lives trying to do what comes naturally to him. Mark brought all that to Dusty. He’s the man who already has a perfectly faded leather jacket in his closet. It’s not something he bought at Banana Republic to try to look cool. And every morning, Mark is already doing a 2 hour workout while I’m still in REM sleep.” Wahlberg adds, “I jumped at the opportunity because there are not too many guys out there like Will who are that uniquely funny and talented. We had an absolute blast when we worked together before (The Other Guys); yet, I also thought in this story we could ISSUE SIX
LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE
(L-R) Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell in a scene ﬁlmed at NORDC’s Gernon Brown Rec Center.
have a very funny and different dynamic that hasn’t been seen before. Will and I love to throw as many curve balls as we can at each other so that was going to work great for these guys taking their one-upping game to the nth degree.” “Dusty (dad) swoops in at ﬁrst like a true-life superhero,”
Mark Wahlberg plays Dusty, the cool dad. 60 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE
explains Ferrell. “He’s that perfect male ﬁgure men want to be in their mind’s eye; and yet, the simple task of being responsible for two young lives and nurturing them has been too much for him to handle. For Brad (step dad) that part is not that big of a deal. He likes that part. The fun thing is that these two guys learn a lot from
Will Ferrell plays Brad, the dependable step dad.
LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE
(L-R) Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg in a scene at the Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans.
each other along the way.” “I think Dusty is a guy who is married to the world he lives in,” says Wahlberg. “He’s married to adventure, and that’s why he has stayed away from his family. But I think when he starts to think about this other guy, Brad, living in his home with his former wife and his kids, that’s a big, big problem for him. That’s what motivates him to come back and show them his best, but he knows his one real weakness is his inability to commit. He can do it all except stay home and be a dad.” “A lot of the movies we’ve (Ferrell and producing partner Adam McKay) done have obviously, knock on wood, been funny but this one is our most story-driven yet. I love that it touches on such relatable subject matter,” notes Ferrell. “It’s a comedy about how modern families ﬁnd a way to work.” “No matter how hard Brad tries to bring the Kryptonite to Dusty, the kids can always say, ‘you’re not my real dad.’ And that is every step parent’s worst nightmare,” adds Ferrell. “The fun of working with Will is that we are always seeing how 62 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE
far we can push each other and mess with each other; but at the end of the day, we genuinely like each other, and I think that comes across,” explains Wahlberg. “Hopefully, the audience is going to be a bit conﬂicted as to who to root for because I think both these guys are equally great characters. They make terriﬁc foes, but in the end the greatest thing they can do is come together.” Wahlberg continues, “I always try to be as believable in any character as possible even when the circumstances are as outrageous as in Daddy’s Home. I believe that if I make it as realistic as I can, that’s where the humor comes from. In playing Dusty, Sean (Anders, the director) and Will and everyone really encouraged me to let loose and be crazy, and once I got started, I never stopped.” Case in point is a father-daughter school dance that showcases the competitive spirit between Dusty and Brad. Ferrell remembers, “In that scene, Mark summoned up some of that old school magic from the ‘Marky Mark’ days, and it came out in full effect. He was reluctant to do any of it; but then suddenly, he was nailing all these spins and kicks. Brad is earnest dad-like dancing. I had to up my game.”
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Of course, only in New Orleans could you stop an NBA game to shoot a scene for a movie. Ferrell recalls, how it was one of his favorite scenes, “Kobe (Bryant) couldn’t have been nicer and did a whole scene with us where there wasn’t even any written dialogue. The whole thing was amazing! We shot in the middle of a real game, and we had a six-minute window to shoot that key half-time shot scene. It was so exciting to play it out live in front of a crowd who had no idea what was coming. We prompted them with, ‘please stay in your seats as they shoot a scene for the upcoming Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlberg movie and watch Will Ferrell attempt a half-court shot.’ That’s all we told them … it’s rare that you get to do that stuff in real-time. It gives that scene a vitality that’s hard to recreate.” “As crazy as things get, there still has to be that realism,” adds Wahlberg. “Sean really understood that. As much as we all wanted to push the envelope with humor, we also wanted to hit those dramatic moments that so many people identify with. He knew that what makes the humor work is the heart in both these guys.”
64 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE
(L-R) Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg in Daddy’s Home.
“What I love is that, in the end, Daddy’s Home is not so much about one guy winning. It starts out that way, but I think you kind of come to hope that both these guys can ﬁnd a way to be in their kids’ lives. In a way, they learn to bring out the best in each other,” concludes Wahlberg. LFV
SEAN METEYE - STUNT PERFORMER
I am an aspiring stunt performer. I have a background in martial arts (speciﬁcally Sanshou or Chinese kickboxing), and some stunt courses under my belt. My specialty and passion would have to be screen ﬁghting though. I love the balletic movements yet frenetic energy of Hong Kong-style ﬁght choreography, the likes of which you are starting to see in ﬁlm today! It’s caught on like wildﬁre in the ﬁght ﬁlm industry. To make something so engaging and amazing to watch takes a lot of hard work, grit, sweat, and maybe even a few bruises. But it would be totally worth it! I would love to and will bring this type of energy and choreography to the ﬁlm ﬁght world, and would love to work alongside others that share this same passion. I am Sean Meteye, Stunt Guy. And this is my dream.
MET SALIH Originally from London, Met Salih moved to LA ten years ago to pursue a career in ﬁlm. She is a trained actress and has been a martial artist since her teens. Whilst in LA she attended ﬁght choreography classes, which then led her to follow a career in stunts. Met has worked on many blockbuster movies, has had the opportunity to double numerous actresses and has worked with some of the most talented stunt coordinators in the business. On the contrary, she is also a Reiki practitioner and enjoys the opportunity to make a difference. Met states, “I love the action and adrenaline I get to experience whilst acting and doing stunts; it is a form of escaping your own world and stepping into someone else’s. With energy work you experience the exact opposite; you go inside yourself and remind yourself of who you really are and how you can contribute to the world.” She is currently doubling the lead actress on NCIS: New Orleans and continues to train and be the best she can. Met is 5 ft./106 lbs. firstname.lastname@example.org www.imdb.me/metsalih • www.iridescencehealing.com
CES 2016 LOOKS BACK AT THE PAST AND BLASTS INTO THE FUTURE
An attendee experiences VR unit with gesture control with Usens’ new prototype STORY BY W. H. BOURNE PHOTOS BY ODIN LINDBLOM AND W. H. BOURNE
LG showcases 4K professional editing monitor solutions
Amazing holographs with Kino-Mo
drones at the rodeo; their DLP mirrored unit was impressive and was a big assist when ﬁlming and ﬂying. The VR/AR landscape had also increased at CES. At CES Unhis year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was veiled, Usens showcased prototype smart phone powered VR units the biggest yet occupying 2.5 million square with improvements in sensors that allowed interactivity with ﬁnger movements (gesture control). One of the most interesting trends feet of exhibit space across many venues in at CES this year was the use of VR headsets including Google Las Vegas. The show is always interesting because it Cardboard with 360° images for marketing promotions. Lowe’s was provides affordable consumer and pro-sumer gear for showcasing an AR program that allowed your mobile phone and Cardboard to provide a 360° preview of what your ﬁnished home independent ﬁlmmakers; however, recently, it also has improvement project might look like based on different building highlighted upcoming trends for the entertainment materials and products that you select. industry as well as commercial, corporate, and digital Obviously, 360° cameras were hot as well as VR systems and software to power multiple platforms. Many of the new cameras on the multi-media projects. market were able to seamlessly stitch multiple images together to create a 360° panorama. With the increase in resolution on newer Parent company Tiffen was at CES this year celebrating the 40th model phones, affordable 4K cameras including action cams were anniversary of the Steadicam. The industry leader of portable, plentiful and appear to be proliferating the consumer market. hand held image stabilization, Steadicam was invented by Garrett With 4K and 360° cameras, storage Brown for the ﬁlm Rocky, an Oscar award-winning demands for the consumer as well as the contribution that has revolutionized ﬁlmmaking. video professional are also increasing. In addition to the Curve and Smoothee which Bigger holding capacity and smaller form are designed for phones and action cameras, factor was the theme in storage; however, Steadicam was showcasing a new affordable rig the ultimate storage and archiving solution called the Solo which retails for less than $1,600; it was presented by Technicolor. Celebrating includes the traditional vest and arm, can hold up their 100th anniversary of creating the to 10 pounds, and also has a detachable monopod color ﬁlm process, Technicolor is workfeature. They also announced an affordable Steaing with scientists to store data on DNA. dicam system releasing in the 2nd quarter that can Imagine your copy of Star Wars: The Force hold up to 25 pounds. Awakens or your latest ﬁlm project stored Drones of all sizes populated a much larger in a tiny test tube of liquid and DNA. Obsection of the CES show ﬂoor. There you could ﬁnd viously, these scientists weren’t scared by palm-sized drones with 720p cameras for as cheap Jurassic World but I’m still not quite sold. as $50. A Drone Rodeo on Tuesday allowed press But that’s what I said last year too about and select attendees the opportunity to test out the driver-less cars, and after seeing the gal some new models. 3DR’s Solo was, by far, the easiest next to me driving and texting at the same drone to ﬂy retailing for just over $1,000. You can time, I’m beginning to think that those attach a GoPro 3 or 4 to the gimbal. Stable in strong driver-less cars might be a good idea. Only windy gusts, the pre-programmed patterns allowed Odin Lindblom demos a new affordable time will tell, but I’m looking forward to for a single shooter/ﬂyer. Glyph showcased their VR Steadicam rig that will release in the 2nd quarter. CES next year to learn more! LFV headset paired with several different manufacturers’
66 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE
SUPER 8 FILMMAKING
REVIVAL INITIATIVE AT CES 2016 STORY BY W. H. BOURNE CES PHOTOS BY ODIN LINDBLOM JJ ABRAMS/STAR WARS PREMIERE PHOTO BY JESSE GRANT/GETTY IMAGES FOR DISNEY
t the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Kodak kicked off its Super 8 Revival Initiative with a display of an early prototype of a new Kodak Super 8 camera that combines the classic features of a Super 8 with digital functionality. Kodak was also sure to highlight all the ﬁlmmakers who were rallying behind the Super 8 revival.
Kodak emphasizes that the Super 8 Revival Initiative reaches far beyond the introduction of a new camera. The company has built a road map that includes a range of cameras, ﬁlm development services, post production tools and more. “It is an ecosystem for ﬁlm,” said Jeff Clarke, Eastman Kodak Chief Executive Ofﬁcer. “Following the 50th anniversary of Super 8, Kodak is providing new opportunities to enjoy and appreciate ﬁlm as a medium.” Film has had a resurgence in Hollywood recently as auteur directors like Quentin Tarantino, JJ Abrams, and Christopher Nolan chose this medium. The Kodak Super 8 Revival Initiative is being applauded by some of these top directors, many of whom got their start on Super 8 ﬁlm. Producer and director Christopher Nolan who began making short movies with his father’s Super 8 camera when he was 7 years old says, “The news that Kodak is enabling the next generation of ﬁlmmakers with access to an upgraded and enhanced version of the same analog technology that ﬁrst made me fall in love with cinematic storytelling is unbelievably exciting.” “While any technology that allows for visual storytelling must be embraced, nothing beats ﬁlm,” says JJ Abrams, writer and director of the blockbuster Star Wars: The Force Awakens which, incidentally, shot on ﬁlm. “The fact that Kodak is building a brand new Super 8 camera is a dream come true. With a gorgeous new design, interchangeable lenses and a brilliant scheme for development and delivery of footage, this camera appears to be the perfect bridge between the efﬁciency of the digital world and the warmth and quality of analog.” The new Super 8 camera is projected to launch in the 4th quarter with a price yet to be determined although the price range of $800$1,000 was mentioned. Film cartridges will still hold 50 feet of ﬁlm which will get you 2½ minutes of Director JJ Abrams at the Star Wars Premiere shooting at 24 FPS. Kodak has not
One Super 8 ﬁlm cartridge can shoot 2 1/2 minutes @ 24 FPS.
Kodak’s new Super 8 camera is a digital/ﬁlm hybrid.
determined the pricing for the ﬁlm stock either although they’re aiming for a $50 price point which will include the stock, shipping in the postage-paid yellow envelope provided by Kodak, developing, and several deliverable options. In addition to a traditional ﬁlm print that would be mailed to you, Kodak is looking at digital options that include everything from uploading to YouTube to a 4K scan. These possibilities are exciting and open up a lot of possibilities for those wanting to experiment with ﬁlm. Kodak believes that by launching its ﬁrst Super 8 camera product in more than 30 years, they are demonstrating their resolve to ensure that ﬁlm plays an important role in the future of ﬁlmmakers—both professionals and amateurs—and that this product will also be a tool for artists and all those who aim to capture special moments. Now, if Kodak could only re-launch an affordable Super 16 ﬁlm stock and developing initiative... LFV ISSUE SIX
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FOR ALL YOUR TRACKING SHOT NEEDS
888-761-6664 68 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE
STEELIE, A CAR MOUNT THAT COULD CHANGE THE WAY YOU SHOOT STORY AND PHOTOS BY ODIN LINDBLOM
roductions are becoming more and more dependent on mobile devices. Scripts, schedules, budgets, production apps and more are being handled by phones and tablets. Sometimes, the show is even shot with a phone. Unfortunately, most of the mounts we use in production to attach mobile devices to tripods, stands and carts aren’t very good; the few that are good tend to only work with select devices and can be quite expensive. I can’t ever remember being horribly interested in a mobile phone car mount. They are typically generic looking masses of plastic that are overly delicate and far from being as universally compatible as many claim to be. Then I saw the Steelie from Nite Ize. It has a design so simple and yet so versatile that you feel bad for not thinking of it yourself—kind of like the neighbors of whoever invented the wheel must’ve felt. The Steelie has a simple magnetic mount that is also a ball and socket joint allowing your mobile device to move around more freely than any mount I’ve seen. You can easily change the tilt of your device or spin the device from vertical to horizontal (portrait to landscape) while mounted on the Steelie and have it hold that position. By far, the best feature is how you remove your mobile device from the mount; you just grab it and pull. That’s because the Steelie holds your device on magnetically. As a car mount, the Steelie is easy to install. You just peel off the cover of the 3M adhesive on the socket and attach it directly to the
back of your phone or tablet (or to its case). Then just peel and stick the ball mount of the Steelie attaching it to your car’s dashboard, a tripod, shoulder rig, cart or almost any ﬂat surface you need to mount your device to. The Steelie comes as a kit with a dashboard ball mount and socket for your mobile for $34.99, which is reasonable for a product like this with a lifetime guarantee. Additional socket mounts can be purchased as well as replacement 3M adhesive pads. There is also a removable vent grill car mount for those whose car dashboards are so cluttered that they couldn’t possibly ﬁt a phone mount on it; it’s also convenient when you’re driving a rental. Phones and tablets aren’t the only things you can mount with a Steelie. It works just as well for mounting action cameras. I’m not sure if the 3M adhesive is waterproof so you’d deﬁnitely want to do some tests before trusting it in the water; however, the Steelie’s versatility will have you thinking of all the new ways you can mount your small portable devices. LFV ISSUE SIX
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SEES GOLD WITH OSCAR NOMINATIONS
Chris Rock hosts this year’s 88th annual Academy Awards on February 28th on ABC STORY BY W. H. BOURNE CHRIS ROCK PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS AND SCIENCES BRYAN CRANSTON/TRUMBO PHOTO COURTESY OF BLEECKER STREET THE BIG SHORT PHOTOS BY MILLER MOBLEY AND JAAP BUITENDIJK COURTESY OF PARAMOUNT
e all love recognition. SAG, PGA, DGA, ASC, ADG, ACE and other guilds’ awards go to great lengths to recognize talent; but all too often, forgotten is that incredible production assistant (PA) that remembered how the director liked his latte or the caterer who kept everyone happy and fed. At Oscar time, when our friends and family actually take an interest in our industry, it’s important to reﬂect how we, as cast and crew in Louisiana, have made a positive impact on our local industry.
Writer/Director Adam McKay is nominated for 2 Oscars for The Big Short
Bryan Cranston is nominated for Best Leading Actor for Trumbo
A ﬁlm production is like a pyramid. You have your above-theline talent (ATL) on top, and at the base supporting it all is your below-the-line talent (BTL). From hair and makeup artists to grips and gaffers, every individual is a stone that supports the entire structure. Take pride in saying, “I worked with that actor or on that production.” This year, The Big Short swept The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with 5 Oscar nominations including: Best Supporting Actor (Christian Bale), Best Director (Adam McKay), 70 LOUISIANA FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE
Christian Bale is nominated as Best Supporting Actor for The Big Short
Best Editing (Hank Corwin), Best Adapted Screenplay (Charles Randolph and Adam McKay) and Best Motion Picture of the Year (Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, Producers). Trumbo managed to garner a single nomination for Bryan Cranston as Best Actor in a Leading Role. The theme of this year’s 88th annual Academy Awards is, “We all dream in gold.” I encourage all of you to celebrate that Oscar gold on February 28th as you cheer on Louisiana and the movies that had production in our state. When they win, we all win! LFV
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