before the scene
VOL. 2, Issue 3 | June/July 2011
At this time two years ago in New Orleans, I had the first conversations about what would become Scene Magazine with my good friend, Andre Champagne. There was a change underway, a pivotal shift that would affect the film industry, and both of our lives, for the good. We stopped casually referring
EDITOR’S LETTER to some unforetold time in the future when we would have to go work in Los Angeles to continue our careers. The entertainment industry was coming to us. Scene Magazine was started with a simple goal: to tell Louisiana about the entertainment world, and to tell the entertainment world about Louisiana. As we print our thirteenth issue, I can say, honestly, we are doing that. In a year and a half, we have created a premier family of products unrivaled in quality: Scene Magazine, Scene Weekly, SceneLouisiana.com and a soon-tobe-announced fourth platform. Along the way, throughout the process of building this company, each advertiser and each interview have felt like blessings undeserved. Our own efforts at outreach have, at every turn,
been eclipsed by others’ outreach to us. For every interview we have chased, we’ve had Matthew McConaughey come into our offices and tell us he would like to be featured on the cover. For every advertiser we have courted, we have had two come to us and say they believe in what we’re doing. It has been a tremendously humbling experience. I honestly could not be more excited about where we are going as a company and as an industry because it directly reflects how we are growing as a state. Louisiana has weathered storms, both meteorological and economic. And now, the sun comes out.
micah haley EDITOR-IN-CHIEF firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor-in-Chief Micah Haley Creative Director Erin Theriot staff Writer Brittney Franklin Executive Assistant Elizabeth Glauser Design Assistant Amanda St. Pierre Sales David Draper, Brinkley Maginnis Care Bach, Ginny Ponder Contributing Photographers Ashley Merlin, Tim Leyes, Kevin Beasley, Rosemary Phillips, Iboro Udoh, Mark St. James, John P. Johnson, Amanda Beard, Scott Garfield, Doug Hyun, Kimberly French, Andrew Cooper, David James, Beth Gold, Teddy Smith, Chad M. West Graphic Artist Burton Chatelain, Jr. Contributing Writers AJ Buckley, Arthur Vandelay, Scottie Wells, Susan Ross, Jacob Peterman, Greg Milneck Scene Magazine At Raleigh Studios Baton Rouge 10000 Celtic Drive Suite 201 Baton Rouge, LA 70809 225-361-0701 At Second Line Stages 800 Richard St. • Suite 222 New Orleans, LA 70130 504-224-2221 email@example.com www.scenelouisiana.com Published By Louisiana Entertainment Publishers LLC Display Advertising: Call Louisiana Entertainment Publishers for a current rate card or visit www.scenelouisiana.com All submitted materials become the property of Louisiana Entertainment Publishers LLC. For subscriptions or more information visit our website www.scenelouisiana.com Copyright @ 2011 Louisiana Entertainment Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be used for solicitation or copied by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or recording by any information storage or retrieval system, without the express written permission of the publisher.
8 | June/July 2011
contents ON THE COVER
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ALIEN TORNADO Jeff Fahey and Kari Wuhrer star in Alien Tornado, a Syfy Channel original developed and produced by Lafayette-based production company Active Entertainment.
Lost star Jeff Fahey
12 | June/July 2011
more behind the scenes
green lantern While Warner Bros has produced several visions of its Batman and Superman franchises, its highly anticipated comic book flick Green Lantern will be the green-ringed superhero’s first on-screen at bat. After prepping to shoot in Australia, the film decided to scout New Orleans to see if it could take advantage of Louisiana’s lucrative tax incentives. Luckily, Second Line Stages was close to finishing construction, and Green Lantern became its first tenant.
“ Quite frankly, if Second Line Stages didn’t exist
here, I don’t know if we would have been able to do the movie here. It was a bit challenging in terms of the number of stages, and that affected our set build and how we scheduled shooting and striking, but without Second Line’s existence in New Orleans, it would have been a far more challenging experience to do this movie in New Orleans.
EXecutive producer Above: Ryan Reynolds on the set of Green Lantern in New Orleans. Right: Blake Lively with Ryan Reynolds photos by Francois Duhamel
more behind the scenes 14 | June/July 2011
mer e of a
TOP E S E N TS JAPA N A R U A T S RE ERE
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S blood out jason hewitt
director, writer & producer on his new film
on blood out:
“ Myself and a guy named John O’Connell wrote the script. We took that idea of a dirty cop movie and created Blood Out from scratch, so it’s a homegrown story.”
on annalynne mccord:
“ She’d already read the script and we had a conference call
with her and her agent. We talked to her about what we wanted to do with the film and after a long pause and she’s like, “Well, I’m in. I don’t care what you’re gonna pay me, I wanna kick ass and shoot guns.” She was fantastic. She plays this tough, kick your ass kind of chick. At the end of the film, we gave her a custom white AK-47.
16 | June/July 2011
behind the scenes
on luke goss:
“I’d always remembered his performance in Hellboy 2 as Prince
Nuada, even with his face painted white. He was physically fit, he could fight, and he did all of these coordinated fight sequences. He was just an incredible actor, an amazing actor.
on vinny jones:
“He’s a tough guy, he’s a bruiser, but just a pleasure on the set. We
had a lot of practical jokes that we were playing and he would give them just as much as he would get them. But when the camera’s on him and he needs to be a bad guy, I mean he’s a bad guy.
on val kilmer:
“He is still Val Kilmer, you know? He’s one of the best actors. When the camera’s on him, he’s still money.”
on curtis “50 cent” jackson:
“50’s real strength is his nonverbal communication. He can look like
he’s going to kill you and then flash this beautiful smile and then all of a sudden you’re like, ‘Oh thank God he’s not going to kill me.’ And he was super prepared. He didn’t show up like most rappers with a big entourage. He was just an actor.
www.scenelouisiana.com | 17
by AJ Buckley
Before the Scene is where we all start. In a small town with our families. In front of a mirror with our friends. The days spent sleeping on a couch. The nights working at a bar. Living with the unknown and surrounded by uncertainty. It’s about the times that define us. It’s about the darkness just before the limelight.
KIM COATES What made you become an actor? I don’t know if you believe in fate, but I do. I was nineteen. At a university, first year, I was able to take an elective. I didn’t even understand what that word meant at the time, but it meant anything I wanted. I took a book, I opened a book, I went [brrrr]with this book and I landed on the letter “D.” I went to “Drama.” And I went, “You know what? Let’s take an acting class.” So I took an acting class for fun and that’s how the whole thing started with me. Four years later, I had done twenty-seven plays at the University of Saskatchewan up in Canada, including summer stock, and I was well on my way to getting my equity cred and becoming an actor.
What was your biggest fear? My biggest fear at that time when I was twenty-one, was, “Am I going to be smart enough to understand all that acting entails? With Shakespeare and Bernard Shaw and Eugene Ionesco and these incredible playwrights that I was just starting to get into? There’s no acting in my family. There was no “arts,” really, in my family. My mom and dad met in a bowling alley, and I love that about my mom and dad. I was wondering if I had the chops…[if I was] smart enough to really pull off what is required to be a great actor.
What was your lowest point? When you’re an actor in this business, you’re going to have low points. You’re going to have ups, downs, mediums. I think my lowest point was when I came to Los Angeles and I was forced with this decision: do you do something you really don’t want to do? What if I was forced to do a television show that I didn’t want to do or do commercials to support my family? I had two girls in the early ‘90s. They were growing up and my biggest fear was just not being able to provide for them while staying on my course of action, which was theater, film, really good TV shows, that sort of thing.
What was it that kept you from walking away? I’m not sure I was ever going to walk away. I was naïve early on. I worked really hard...I did the theater route… a lot of plays, a lot of theaters, Stratford, Broadway, I played Dracula in Atlanta, and I ‘ve certainly turned down money jobs in the past ‘cause I didn’t want to be in that film, or was concerned about certain parts. I’ve never really thought about walking away because it’s what I do. I’ve loved meeting the people I’ve met and I’ve always believed that it was going to work out and, so far, it has worked out.
What did you walk away from? I made a pact with myself early on that no matter what happened I would go with my gut. I think there’s been a couple of times where I would question myself. Why did I say no to that? Or why didn’t I get that when I was so promised? And I made a pact with 20 | June/July 2011
myself that I wouldn’t kill myself over it. Sometimes you have to think about that but I never have really doubted the way things are supposed to be. I remember people saying, “Wow, you did The Last Boy Scout, and then you did The Client, you’re not a star, like what…” And then I said, “Well first of all, I don’t know what a star is, really. And second of all, I think I’m probably on the path that I’m supposed to be on.” Kim Coates is on the path he’s supposed to be on as long as Kim Coates has left it all on the table. Things don’t always work out, but as long as you leave it on the table…you do your best work, you’re not an alcoholic when you come to work, you’re not smacking around your girlfriend, and you’re an honest, honest mother with yourself, your work, and with your friends and family, then I think things are going to be exactly the way they’re supposed to be.
Who was your closest ally? My allies are my buddies. My wife. We’ve been married twenty-six years with two children. My mom and dad. Everybody is still, and always has been, very supportive with me and my choices. I had one guy at school, my mentor, Tom Kerr, and he’s still alive up in Vancouver. He’s the one who saw me in a play. And I was this jock football player and he goes, “You have talent.” And I was taken aback by that. He’s the one who got me through university, telling me, “Follow your bliss, kid.”
What were you doing before the morning of the audition that changed your life? That was so long ago! I have no idea. I have no idea what I was eating. Probably a peanut butter and banana sandwich. I don’t know what I was actually eating, but I will tell you about the audition that I think propelled me into sitting with you today. I believed in theater… I still do…so I wanted total theater. And my first TV audition was with Sonny Grosso. He was the original French Connection cop, one of the two, and he was producing this TV series up in Toronto called Night Heat. And I knew nothing about TV and film. Nothing, zero. I remember getting this little audition. There were two lines, literally the guy had two lines. I walked in that room and all I remember doing is thinking, “You got to do something, you got to do something.” And I sat on a chair, and I rocked back on that chair, and I put my feet up on that table. At any second, I could have fallen. I could have fallen right on my ass. I kept fluttering my feet on the table and I said the two lines, put the chair down, and walked out. And I could feel people were just like, “Is he going to fall? Is he going to fall?” And Claire Walker, the casting person came up and said, “Kim, Kim wait. We want you to read for the lead guest star.” His name was Chucky, a cocaine-filled crazy man. And I got it and that audition taught me television acting, film acting, hitting a mark, what a clapper is. With film acting, you can’t act.
What words kept you going? Tom Kerr, my mentor, said to me once, “I can’t tell you how to succeed, but I can tell you how to fail, and that’s by trying to please everyone.” Back then, being an actor, organizing, wanting to be liked, wanting to learn, I was really spreading myself thin, really thin. So those words really taught me to be truthful with yourself, love your buddies, be a nice person, be a good, honest person, but don’t spread yourself too thin. If you’re trying to please everybody, you’ll end up not pleasing yourself and then you’re going to suck. You don’t want that in this business, you don’t want to suck. You can not get good reviews, ‘cause reviews don’t mean anything really, the good, the bad, the medium…yes, we need them, but don’t believe the good ones and don’t believe the bad ones. Just stay true to your art and your craft. I was spreading myself too thin and some of the words I’ll never forget were, “Make sure you just take care of yourself and your loved ones and don’t worry about what other people may think of you at times, just be a good person.”
How have you changed? I was a redneck, man. I was a football player, a hockey player. I didn’t know Shakespeare, I didn’t know Hamlet. I didn’t know anything. I had okay marks in high school, but college changed me. That was when I started to change about gay, straight, music, art, painting, poets, all that stuff was overwhelming to me. And so I think, other than my children, my marriage, and some of the buddies I’ve met, and the travel I’ve done, I’m most proud of how I became an open person from this craft that we’re doing. I am shocked at that from where I came from, not to say that I was just a redneck as a kid, I think was a pretty good kid, but I wasn’t involved in any of that art stuff and now I am and I now love it. Can’t get enough of it.
What words do you have to inspire others? I really mean this from the bottom of my heart: you just have to follow your bliss and know that it will all be okay. In today’s climate, there’s no guarantee of jobs, there’s no guarantee of anything anymore.
Education is very important, we all know that. Having a family that you love, that’s important, we all know that. But it’s lonely out there and you need to follow your bliss. And I believe that. Joseph Campbell said it in The Power of Myth, one of my most favorite, favorite, favorite books of all time, everyone should read it. It’s amazing, and he says that, about following your bliss. And if you do that, if follow your loves, if you follow what you’re attracted to, you will always be doing something that you enjoy and you excel. If you follow your bliss, you will be happy and really that’s what being in this world is all about. At the end of the
photo by Tim Leyes
before the scene
You have to be. You have to be that person because the camera picks up everything and they know when you’re acting and you can’t afford that in my world. That was the big audition, way back in the mid-80s, that really propelled me to where I am today.
day, whether it’s a bum day or a medium day, you want to be happy with your day because we’re all going to die someday. So we might as well be happy and searching for happiness. Because that’s a good thing. S
STATE OF THE ARTIST
MONSTER MAKER Q&A with make-up artist martin astles
by Arthur Vandelay Brandon Routh with Sam Huntington in Dylan Dog: Dead of Night
native of England, special effects make-up artist Martin Astles has two decades of experience working on films such as Apocalypto, Watchmen, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Guillermo Del Toro’s Blade 2, and most recently, helped create the living dead, along with his team at Illusion Industries, for New Orleans-shot-and-set creature film noir, Dylan Dog: Dead of Night. He spoke with Scene about working in New Orleans and making monsters.
Q: For those who haven’t seen it, tell us a little about Dylan Dog: Dead of Night. A: Kevin [Munroe], the director, put together a real cunning mix of comedy and horror. When I say comedy I don’t mean ridiculous, Three Stooges comedy but there’s a real, dry sense of humor going on that I guess was in the comic book to some degree. I think that’s the thing with that movie: it’s kind of a gamble. Detective-type movie with creatures in it. But Sam Huntington, who plays Marcus, that guy is just [hilarious]. He pulled out so many one-liners on that set and he just took the project to almost another place. Q: Sam Huntington and Brandon Routh also worked together on Superman Returns, so it seems like they would have had an existing rapport. A: Those guys are fantastic. They’ve got such a rapport going on set. With a lot of sets, you can see that it will take a minute or two to get the rapport going. To walk on a set on Day One and see their sort of camaraderie working. It was refreshing. You could see where the movie was going straight away. It was nice.
24 | June/July 2011
photo by David James
Q: Was Dylan Dog something you were aware of when you were younger?
A: I had never heard of it. You know, like most people, they’re into
creature effects on some level of creature design. We pretty much know, or have heard of most comic books or action figures or movies, you know, the whole gamut, I’ve never heard of it. I’ve even come from Europe - definitely down the road from that perspective - and I’ve never heard of this project. When I researched it over the course of the few days of getting the script, it was an absolute universe that had been sitting there forever. It’s like Hellboy has roots from it. And Constantine. I’m not sure how much those people would actually say they’ve been influenced by it, but it seems to me that as paranormal investigators go, Dylan was like the first one on the scene.
The parallels between Hellboy and Dylan Dog are pretty obvious. I’ve been a fan of Del Toro for a long time, it was so much fun before he really had a reputation as a director to watch him take what could have been a throw-away sequel, like Blade 2, and watch him make The Godfather Part 2 of creature features out of it. A: Totally. I actually worked with him on Blade 2 and I’ve got to tell you: that guy is just on fire. He knows what he’s doing. He knows his material and I’ve been impressed with the guy, and ever since then, he’s showed he’s a complete pro. He just knows what he’s doing and I think he really knows how to put these projects in their best light.
Q: What was your role on Blade 2 ? A: Working on all the Reaper effects and all the makeup with a bunch
of people. But yeah, for my part it was a great way to meet Guillermo. At that point, I think he had just done Mimic.
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STATE OF THE ARTIST Q: He had just done Mimic and I read he and the studio disagreed a lot. Blade 2 was sort of his real coming out party. A: From day one when I met the guy, this was actually the first time I met him, he was in Santa Monica at the production offices and I was just laughing with him and joking with him straight away because he, like the rest of us, he’s into the universe. You kind of do talk about the same movies and the same toys and the same books and he just knew it all backwards. Even back then, there was a bit of, “If he’s like this now, then he’s going to make these projects sing as a director and as a storyteller.” Q: What can you tell me about the incredibly large, tattooed zombie? A: That the creature is a pivotal part of the movie, actually. All the creatures were definitely a huge joint effort, all the initial designs came from Kevin Munroe who had previously worked on Ninja Turtles. His background was animation, so he can draw. He came into the studio and was like, “This is what I want.” There wasn’t really much, especially for the big bad guys, to do at that end, which is great because you don’t have to spend the next six months getting inside of a director’s head. A good friend and colleague, Joe Colwell, actually sculpted the creature. Basically Joe had been doing the Tattooed Zombie. My duties were Belial, which was the big sort of demon thing.
Martin Astles transforms Brian Steele into the Tattooed Zombie
Q: What is Belial’s role in the film? A: That’s the head of the sort of “vampire clan.” Joe basically took
Kevin’s design and he sculpted this thing out but we really seasoned the suit forming it for Brian Steele. Brian’s got huge history with Guillermo del Toro. He’s Mr. Wink in Hellboy 2 and I think he was the Sammael character in Hellboy, the first one. Brian Steele brought so much to the film because, with the Tattooed Zombie for instance, you can make a beautiful sculpture, you can have all these great drawings, but ultimately it’s dead, there’s nothing you can bring to it as an artist. Brian brought a lot into that character and spent a long time in the suit figuring out the whole history to this thing. There were a lot of little nuances in this character that Brian put into it that pretty much put that thing to life.
Q: How tall is Brian? A: I want to say 6’2”. But he also had risers on his feet. I’ve got to tell
you, that thing was absolutely brutal on set. The first day we shot in an alleyway where he stops Dylan and knocks him forty feet into a VW Beetle. I remember him walking on set that day and everyone just got quiet and I freaked out because I thought Kevin [the director] was pissed off. It was the first time Kevin had seen the creature assembled because we were on such a ridiculous schedule for that show. He’d seen a picture of the clay sculptures and stuff. We got Brian together in his suit and it took us about four hours to get it all decked out and we took him on set and everyone just got quiet. Brian is stomping up this alleyway and there were a couple people on set and no one said a word, and I thought, “Oh god, this is awful.” It looked all right and we felt confident about the creature and Brian’s personality with the thing. But no one said a word. And then Kevin said we did a good job. Obviously it was quiet because no one had expected that. Again, I’m British and totally paranoid constantly. But fortunately it was quite the opposite. 26 | June/July 2011
Touching up the Tattooed Zombie on set
Q: What was that suit made out of? Was it heavy? A: Yeah it was, actually. The way all the suits were done was very
traditional. Kevin came in and said, “Look, I don’t want CG, I want good, traditional makeup effects.” So the suit is literally foam latex.
Q: Is Dead of Night the only film that you’ve done in Louisiana? Are you looking forward to coming back?
A: It’s the first time I’ve ever worked down there. It was neat, actually,
because you know I’ve worked a lot in obviously different countries, and you don’t know what to expect, you really don’t. Being British, I always expect, the absolute worst (laughs), that’s a cultural thing but I couldn’t believe how easy it was. Honestly, the first time I actually didn’t want to leave somewhere. I was actually bummed out when the show was over. When the work stops, everybody knows how to relax and have a drink and not carry it with them, which I wish I could say was the same for some other countries I’ve been to, where the crew tends to take the politics off set but New Orleans wasn’t like that at all. So yeah, it was tough for me to get on a plane when Dylan Dog finished. S
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Alice in skateland by Jacob Peterman
his November, Ashley Greene will appear in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn. In the first installment of a two-part finale, the brunette beauty will appear for the fourth time as Alice Cullen. She spoke with Scene about her personal and professional journey since the first film hit. “With the first film, it was incredibly nerve-wracking because the fans had a pre-conceived idea of Alice from the book series. I knew I had a lot to live up to,” says Ashley. “Getting into character for Breaking Dawn feels like slipping on a pair of my favorite jeans. I know Alice inside and out and I understand her motives and her back-story.” “I’ve definitely grown more secure in my skin, both personally and as my character,” says Ashley of the four years since the first film. “Twilight was my first big film and none of us were prepared for its success and what came along with it. Now, with three of the Twilight films and press tours under my belt, I know what to expect and feel much more comfortable with the process. This time around, I’m much more comfortable. I know I have the unwavering support of our amazing fans, and I’m incredibly humbled by them, the cast and getting to work under Bill Condon’s leadership. We joke that coming back for Breaking Dawn is like
28 | June/July 2011
going back to our senior year of high school after a summer break!” Before the release of the 2008 blockbuster, Ashley Greene arrived in Shreveport for the first time to begin filming Skateland. “She had done Twilight so she’s done a big movie and she was just kind of getting out there,” said Skateland director Anthony Burns. “She’s from a small town in Florida, so on a social level she just gets along with everybody. She was not pretentious, not arrogant, nothing like that. She came off as genuine and she’s very professional, very focused. And she had some very emotional scenes. She was so easy to work with. I mean, she’s just a good person, a small town girl.” Released in May, the nostalgic ode to the 1980s was Greene’s first canvas to showcase her dramatic range. “When she came into the chemistry read it was pretty obvious that she had to be the girl,” says co-star Shiloh Fernandez. “When we were doing the movie, she’s very subtle. And I was like, ‘Wow, I wonder if this is gonna read’ and, yet I was also trying to kind of learn from her. “She’s seriously complex. She’s really gonna open people’s minds to what she can do. I actually took a lot from her in terms of her ease and her calmness. Just letting things come and really feeling things,” continued her Skateland co-star. “She gave
last looks |
Ashley Greene as Alice Cullen in New Moon photo by Kimberley French www.scenelouisiana.com | 29
FILM | on twilight’s fans:
I know I have the unwavering support of our amazing fans, and I’m incredibly humbled by them. a fantastic nuanced performance. Plus she’s an awesome, awesome girl and it was great to have her as a friend there.” The vampire franchise has since afforded all of its younger cast members the opportunity to mold their careers. “I’m incredibly grateful for the doors the franchise has opened for my career, longterm,” says Ashley. “I have the opportunity to explore a range of projects and characters, like Butter, which is a comedy, and The Apparition, which is a thriller.” Butter brought Ashley Greene back to Louisiana’s most filmic Northern city. In the soon-to-be-released comedy, she stars as Kaitlen Pickler. “Kaitlen is a rebellious high school teenager, whose step-mom (Jennifer Garner) is favored to win their town’s local butter-carving competition,” says Ashley. “One of the things that drew me to the role of Kaitlen is that she undergoes a huge transformation over the course of the film, physically and emotionally.” The film’s impressive cast also includes Hugh Jackman, Olivia Wilde, Alicia Silverstone and Rob Corddry. “It was a fantastic experience getting to play this role and work alongside such an incredible, inspiring ensemble cast.” With filming beginning last November, the entire cast of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn lived in Baton Rouge for five months. The capitol city is only a few hours’ drive from Ashley’s native Florida, but the demands of a major film’s shooting schedule is enough to make anyone feel isolated. “I’m lucky enough to have a solid group of family and friends in my life who support and encourage me, no matter what. They’re my rock,” says Ashley. She also brings along a companion to location shoots. “It’s my Toy Fox Terrier, Marlo! She’s my constant travel companion and a reminder of home. And Skype is an amazing invention to keep in touch with my friends and family.” Her whirlwind rise after Twilight has brought her from virtual anonymity to international recognition, but Ashley’s roots in a small town have kept her humble. “My mom and dad, who I’m extremely close to, give the best advice. They keep me grounded and know exactly what to say through my ups and downs,” she says. “And 30 | June/July 2011
Ashley Greene as Alice Cullen in Breaking Dawn
my manager. She is a strong guiding force in my career, but I also view her like a sister. I know she has my best interest at heart.” “I think most people know that I’m a huge fan of Audrey Hepburn,” Ashley said of her inspirations in the film industry.
photo by Andrew Cooper
“I’m inspired by her as an actress, a style icon and a humanitarian. She had a sense of elegance and timelessness about her.” Ashley Greene stars as Alice Cullen in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, opening in theaters this fall on November 18. S
scene LIFE for LOUISIANA
ow an increasingly significant sector of the state economy, Louisiana’s film and entertainment industry has come together to create LIFE (Louisiana Industry for Film & Entertainment). The new organization is comprised of both industry-leading companies and the individuals that work with them. Its mission is to support the industry within Louisiana, and to coordinate the industry’s support for the people of Louisiana. In vanguard fashion, LIFE has partnered with the Red Cross to be a resource of first resort in disaster relief. “The film industry has the resources that can come in handy in an emergency. Everything from trucks and trailers to mobile kitchens, generators, lights, tents, you name it: the film industry uses it on a daily basis,” said LIFE president Patrick Mulhearn in announcing the partnership. “The State has invested in the film industry and it’s paying dividends.” “People in the film industry have always been first responders. It’s just our natural training,” said Treme producer Nina Kostroff Noble, who witnessed the film industry’s assets in use during the response to 9-11 in New York City. “We have people that know how to be flexible, that know how to deal with constantly changing circumstances. I think it’s really such a smart idea to document the equipment and personnel that can help and have the skills to do it quickly.” Also on hand for the announcement was Treme star David Morse, a veteran of films such as The Green Mile, 16 Blocks and The Hurt Locker. “I actually lived in Los Angeles during the earthquake of ’94 with my wife and our three children. We were in the house and lost our house in the earthquake and really
Producer Nina K. Noble and actor David Morse of Treme
photo by Iboro Udoh
experienced the life-changing event that a lot of people of New Orleans and this area experienced so I’m very sympathetic,” said Morse. “I know that feeling of, ‘It’s every man for yourself.’ To have something like this I think it’s just a brilliant, brilliant idea. I congratulate you all on coming up with it. I would be happy to serve but hopefully you’ll never need it.” For more information, visit LIFE’s website at www.life-la.org. S
L: Leaders of LIFE tour sets of Looper at Second Line Stages. R: LIFE and Red Cross representatives signing accord.
photos by Iboro Udoh
more Scene extras 32 | June/July 2011
SCENE | EMILY BLUNT IN NEW ORLEANS FOR LOOPER
ix-year-old Louisiana native Cameron Brown is a rising star, recently working on the top secret sci-fi thriller Looper with Bruce Willis and on the big-budget flick Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter with New Orleans native Anthony Mackie. But his favorite costar by far has been Looper beauty Emily Blunt, who also recently appeared with Mackie in another sci-fi thriller, The Adjustment Bureau. Cameron sat down with Scene to talk about his first set crush. Do you remember what you were doing that day? I was filming with Emily Blunt. I was filming with Bruce Willis and I needed to potty so bad. I was standing behind Emily. And she was trying to protect me from Bruce. What was Bruce trying to do? Kill you? Yeah. He had a gun! What was your favorite thing about working with Emily? My favorite part was when she was right next to me in a scene. Why is that? ‘Cause I love her. Why do you love her? Because she’s in one of my favorite movies. In Gnomeo and Juliet. What was it like in the abandoned building where you worked with Emily? Ohhh! That was horrible! It was all dirty and dusty and it had alligators in the lake. Do you know that she’s married to John Krasinski, who plays “Jim” on The Office? I didn’t know an actor could be married. When you were in hair and makeup, what did she say to you? When I first got my hair done, she was smiling at me! She said that I was so cute and I said, “Thank you!”
34 | June/July 2011
Cam and Emily
When you were on set outside and someone asked you if you needed a fan, what did you say? I said, “No, but you put Emily Blunt in here and I’ll need a fan!”
Do you remember anything else about working with Emily? Oh! This is something funny. When Mommy printed the huge picture of her, I just kissed it.
more Scene extras
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hile filming the second season of their critically lauded show, the cast and creators of HBO’s Treme gathered at Generations Hall to benefit The Roots of Music and the New Orleans Musicians Clinic. S
all photos by Ashley Merlin (R): A packed house at Generations Hall
Treme’s Wendell Pierce with director Anthony Hemingway
Treme music supervisor Blake Leyh
36 | June/July 2011
Treme stars Melissa Leo and Clarke Peters
Treme’s Khandi Alexander
Treme co-creator David Simon
by Susan Ross photos by Kevin Beasley Millennium Studios
fter producing thirteen films in the city, Nu Image/ Millennium Films has further solidified its long-time commitment to Shreveport by constructing the first built-for-production soundstages in North Louisiana. Four years in the making, Millennium Studios is now fully operational. “It’s been a long, long journey,” says Diego Martinez, president of Millennium Studios. “It started in 2007. The ideas started flowing and the initial deals were made for the land. We even did a ground breaking at some point.” At the time, Shreveport’s film industry was in full bloom. Only a year before, Louisiana’s vulnerable young bid for film production was kept alive by Shreveport’s willingness to stand in the gap as New Orleans and Baton Rouge recovered from Hurricane Katrina. Many film professionals and vendors relocated to Shreveport to keep working, which kept them in state as other states began enacting film incentive programs to compete with Louisiana. In 2008, Martinez was promoted to president of Studio Operations. “My initial job was to find the financing for it. At that moment, the entire world seemed to be collapsing financially,” he says. “So, I went on a journey of over a year and a half until I was able to put together the different financing to cover the expenses. In December of 2009 we actually started turning some ground.” After weather-related delays kept the project from moving forward quickly, work on the new facility picked up speed in April of 2010. “On a project that should have taken exactly a year, we [finished] in just over nine months. That was because we really needed the facility for the project that we’re on now, so we were really under the gun to get it done as quickly as possible.” That project is director Gabriele Muccino’s comedy Playing the Field, starring Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel, Uma Thurman and Oscarwinner Catherine Zeta Jones. “The play on words in the title just kind of sums it up,” says Martinez. “It’s an ex-professional who’s trying to get close to his son again. He goes to his son’s practice, ends up becoming the coach of the team and starts ‘playing the field.’
38 | June/July 2011
Bossier City Mayor Lo Walker, Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel and Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover
Not just on the soccer field, but the soccer moms.” Many of the film’s stars were on hand for the grand opening of the studio in March. “We’ve got Production, the offices are all here, and Wardrobe. Then we have Set Decoration on location here…all auxiliary is here,” says Martinez. “Before, our offices and everything else had to be rented elsewhere. Now everything is pretty much on site which has been really nice.” While both independent and studio films have shot in Shreveport for years in stage facilities converted for use by films, as a built-
for-purpose facility, Millennium Studios will help solidify Shreveport as an international destination for production. “New Orleans is New Orleans and it always will be. Most of the production will be there. With the facilities in Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge will get its fair share for sure,” says Martinez. “Shreveport’s done well since Katrina and this is another tool that the city definitely has that says, ‘Hey, we are ready for production and we can handle any production.’ And a commitment from a company like New Image/Millennium, which is perhaps one of the largest independents, really makes a difference.” One of the most prolific producing entities in the world, Nu Image/Millennium Film’s commitment to Louisiana is a powerful one. In addition to the thirteen films and counting shot in Shreveport, Millennium also produced The Expendables, The Mechanic and now, the Nicolas Cage starrer Medallion in New Orleans. “We have Kane & Lynch coming up. That was supposed to have been the first [to shoot in Millennium Studios]. We’re still getting all the actors lined up. The Expendables 2 is currently being written, but we don’t really know what’s going to happen with that, but it might do something here,” says Martinez, who says the new facility’s utility extends beyond films produced by Millennium. “I’ve also been talking to a couple of different companies that have been interested in shooting here. I’ve already lined up a photo shoot that’s going to be using the stage.” In addition to being Shreveport’s new center of physical production, Millennium Studios is also home to visual effects studio Worldwide FX. “We’ve been busy in the visual effects department doing Conan the Barbarian, which we shot in Bulgaria,” says Martinez. “They’ve got another few weeks on that, [which] comes out in August.” While Playing the Field may be edited in the director’s native Italy, all of the film’s visual effects will be done in Shreveport. “We’re doing a movie in New Orleans called Medallion, so we’re already starting the prep on that. We’ll be starting to see some of the shots on that to start working. Between this and Medallion, that’ll keep them busy for the next few months.” Like its sister cities to the south, Shreveport has grown beyond merely a location for filming. The city has developed the infrastructure to complete a film. “We’re exploring the option of using Blade Studios for post sound,” he continues. “Blade Studios is also fully operational now and you’ve got [animation studio] Moonbot. There are other auxiliary players that are out there which is really good.” The bigger picture is that Louisiana now has three cities throughout the state with world-class film infrastructure. Film in Louisiana continues to be a truly statewide industry. For more information on Millennium Studios, visit the official website at www.millenniumstudios.net. S 40 | June/July 2011
Mayor Cedric Glover congratulates Nu Image chairman Avi Lerner
Sherri McConnell, executive director of Louisiana Entertainment
LOFT The Loft @ Perkins Rowe Monday-Saturday • 3pm-2am 225-663-2891 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Vampire BILL by Micah Haley
tephen Moyer speaks with a brisk enthusiasm for life. In between takes while shooting the highly anticipated fourth season of True Blood, we discussed balancing work and family, his newfound love of motor sports and why working for HBO’s blood-soaked vampire soap has been a dream gig.
expensive. Now, there’s an authenticity that Louisiana gives our show that you just cannot match anywhere. But, Sookie’s house, my house, Jason’s house, Lafayette’s house, have all been built now up in the Santa Monica Mountains. And they do an amazing job of replicating the feeling of Louisiana, with Spanish moss and that kind of thing.
Q: It’s great that you have your son with you on set! What
Q: Shooting in Louisiana early on, what experiences added to what you were doing in building the character of Bill Compton? A: I always talk about the fact that when I got off of the plane, the very first time we got down to Louisiana, I couldn’t believe the heat. I’d never experienced anything like it! I’ve been to Vietnam and traveled all around the world, really, but there’s nothing like that. And so that kind of infused the feeling that I tried to get into Bill. This idea that there’s just no need to hurry. Nothing is that important that it needs to be done quickly! So, I really like just making everything take a lot longer to do because there’s no need to hurry. And also, as a vampire, my character is 123 years old, so it’s not like he’s in a rush.
it’s like being a dad working in television? A: Well, I’ll tell you what I look like: I’m speaking to you now, we’re in the middle of a scene where I, as usual, I am covered in blood. I’ve got silver chain marks on every single part of me. I’m crying blood tears. I am walking around to chat with you on a mobile phone and my son is being kept 200 yards away and, uh, that’s what he gets to see! He lives in London so he usually gets to see these things on Skype. So it’s very nice for him to actually be here and just be a part of it. The crew here, it’s all our same crew that it has been for four years. And they all know him very well from Skype and every year when he comes out. So, they’re all making a right old fuss with him and he’s doing clapper loading and sitting on the dolly, and being pushed about on the dolly. He’s having a good time. So this is what he gets to see on kind of a regular basis with this crazy, odd job that we do.
Q: Earlier in your career, you did a
lot of Shakespeare, whose character development is unparalleled. But how can a character that’s 123 years old change when he’s already experienced so much? A: One of the really interesting things about Q: Being a very family-oriented guy Alan Ball’s writing is that he, very cleverly, working down in Louisiana, it’s always only lets the actor know so much. What that great for me to see people in this consequently means is that you’ll suddenly go in industry keeping their family close. photo by John P. Johnson/HBO 1922, and you’re in Berlin. What was I doing in A: Well, I think I’ve got to say, what you guys are Berlin? You were doing this. And so suddenly you’ve doing down there with Scene is just fantastic. It’s an amazing enterprise got this aspect of a character that you had never even expected before. and I’m really impressed! As you know, I’m doing this silly race at the You’re going back to shoot something that your character’s already moment, but as soon as they told me what was going on, I said, ‘Look if experienced. One of the great things about flashbacks in the show is that there’s anything I can do to help I’d love to do so.’ You know, our show you’re able to do stuff that you had never considered that your character is set in Louisiana. would have thought of, you know what I mean? So, it’s a really interesting thing. In this season, we go back to London. In the previous season we Q: It’s set here, but as you know, most of it is shot in were in the ‘30s in Chicago. These things kind of start layering more California. Will you guys be coming down again soon for a visit? and more, with what you’re doing all the time. So, it’s a really interesting A: We were coming down a little bit more often in the beginning. way around. I’ve never thought it could be more, that it could get more The problem is that when a show becomes successful, they build the and more interesting as you do the same character more and more but interiors. The lot that we’re on, we used to take up about four stages actually, it’s getting richer and richer as we go. of, and it’s an eight-stage lot. So we’d always be in with two other jobs at a time or three other jobs. Now, with the size of our show, we have Q: Can you talk about your character in Priest? the entire lot. Every single studio here is full of our stuff. And what A: I play Paul Bettany’s brother. And I play a character who is stuck that means for production is that it’s very expensive to shut it down, A. out in the wilderness, trying to make the earth yield resources, if you And B, to bring the whole crew down to Louisiana to do exteriors is like. My character is a father out in the desert, out in the world, an 42 | June/July 2011
apocalyptic world many, many light years different from the world we live in now. He’s sort of an outsider. We realized very quickly that he has been put there, he is out there, living the life he is living to protect his daughter and to protect his wife and the beginning of the film starts with us in a kind of classic homage to The Searchers.
Q: Your shooting schedule with True Blood leaves you only a brief hiatus to work on features like Priest. Because you have to be so selective, what kind of roles do you look for? What kind of characters do you want to play? A: That’s a good question. I did this really great thriller written by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas called The Double with Richard Gere. Really great, intense thriller in the style of those old, post-Cold War Russian, like No Way Out and stuff like that. Michael and Derek also wrote 3:10 to Yuma.
Q: I’m very familiar with them. They’re really brilliant writers. A: Yeah, they wrote Wanted. And Michael directed this. I play a Russian prisoner and it was absolutely a ball. And so Michael and Derek are working on something at the moment, and I’m very much hoping I am able to do that. It’s about filling it all in at the moment. It’s happening in Marseilles down in the summer. I have another really
fantastic thriller with a director I worked with before called Nick Copus, has asked me to do something for him. He’s another really interesting, up-and-coming thriller genre director. And there is a great thriller that I’m hoping to do as well called Winter, that would be toward the end of the summer. By the very nature of the title you can tell we need to be in the snow. So, I’m very much hoping that comes off as well. It’s an interesting time at the moment in terms of fiction, because I’m constantly sort of bemoaning the fact that we live in a world where only one of the movies that was nominated in the 2010 Oscars was a real sort of big studio movie and everything else was indie. You can get financed for these huge, crazy tent pole movies, and every year, all the ones that people are really interested in terms of the Oscars are the interesting indies. There is an amazing script that I absolutely adore which I’m not going to tell you about (laughs) - I’m just keeping my fingers crossed ‘cause it’s quite extraordinary and I’m just hoping that comes off!
Q: Is it all top secret? A: Well I just don’t want to jinx it! I would be over the moon if it
came off and I promise you…I’ll make you a promise: if it comes off I’ll call you and tell you. But it’s one of those things where it’s a really interesting time making decisions to keep doing what I’ve done www.scenelouisiana.com | 43
FILM | before, which is to play these really interesting characters in really interesting films and maybe play the lead in a really low budget movie or whether you take a couple of small parts in big studio movies. And, we work bloody hard on our show so I want to spend time on it as well (laughs). We’re lucky [on True Blood] because we shoot twelvehour days, we’re lucky because it’s HBO, we know what our window is, we shoot from November to June every year. We have June to November off and not many people get that opportunity to have that kind of time off. Most people who do shows, especially network stuff, only get a couple of months off. Two and a half Bill and Sookie months, maybe three. We’re lucky because we get five or six. So it is possible to get stuff in. It’s a great gig, Micah, it’s a great gig.
Q: It’s great to hear that you have enthusiasm for what you’re doing and you just have such high hopes for what you’re doing next. A: I just love doing what I do. I started out from a small town outside London where nobody in my family had ever been an actor before. Nobody I knew was an actor. I didn’t even know how to do it and I went from this world, pre-internet, where you transmit some kind of way into it was hard enough back in the days where you had to write letters to everybody. And to be here, to be working as I have been, pretty much solidly for twenty years, doing what I love is just an unbelievable gift for me.
Q: If nobody in your family was involved in the theater or in film, what brought you into acting?
A: I sang in the church choir. I got noticed by my headmaster at the
school I went to, like my second school. He’d seen me singing in the choir and he asked me to play the lead in Tom Sawyer at school. So I played Tom Sawyer and it was a musical version of it, when I was like ten or eleven, and from then on I did a show every year and started joining little amateur companies outside school and by the time I was sixteen, I was in like three or four different companies, plus doing school stuff. When I was sixteen, I started my own theater company, which was very successful, and it was just kind of snowballing. By the time I went to drama school I had done over sixty shows. And it was just one of those things where I just found what I wanted to do. I’d never thought of being paid to do something that I wanted to do so badly. I didn’t even need to be paid (laughs). I feel very lucky.
Q: We were actually very fortunate to spend some time with your True Blood co-star Alex Skarsgard when he was down here shooting Battleship. He was such a super nice guy, very gracious to us. 44 | June/July 2011
A: He’s a great guy. It’s a very family orientated show and by that I mean, everyone that’s on the show is very much part of what we call a “warm family.” Meaning, we’ve got very similar taste in music, we talk about that a lot. We’re just so lucky. There are so many people I would consider great friends on this job. Y’know, Alex obviously has quite a lot to do with my wife [in the new season]. But I’m glad it’s him because I’m really close to him and we’ve got a lot of love and a lot of trust, and that’s a very important thing. So, it’s a dream gig with a dream bunch of people. Q: That’s amazing to hear. Can you tell me a little about the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race you’re driving in? A: (Laughs) It’s like a dream come true, oh my God. We’ve got Frankie Muniz racing with us and Frankie gave up acting for five years to go and be a racing driver. I’d happily do the same thing. I totally understand why he did it. There’s a kind of visceral momentum, this beautiful kind of…you’re propelling through the air at this crazy speed and it’s unbelievably relaxing. I feel totally chill. So yeah, we’re going to have a ball. I’m going to take [Frankie] out. He’s so dead. There are a lot of people that are doing it. Tito Ortiz is doing it, the MMA fighter. He’s had a couple of run-ins. photo by John P. Johnson/HBO
Q: I can’t imagine who would want to have a run-in with Tito. A: I mean he’s had a couple of run-ins with a couple of walls! Q: Have you had any crashes yet? A: I’ve spun out a few times in the rain. But the truth is – and I’m
totally being serious - I wanted to see what it took to make the car spin out. And, and we were doing it on a track where it was a very flat track and I figured, “If I’m going to do it anywhere I just want to do it here. In the rain.” I want to push the car to the absolute edge and see where it breaks. And that’s what I did and I’ve got to be honest, as I was spinning around at like eighty miles an hour and skidding across the grass, spinning in circles, it sounds mad, but I couldn’t have been happier. I was like, “This is awesome!”
Q: It’s sounds like being a child again. A: Yeah, I guess honestly…I just love it, Micah. I’m a big baby. Q: There’s nothing better than hanging on to your childhood. A: Anna said to me the other day - I just kept saying to her, “I can’t
believe how excited I am, I can’t believe it!” And she said, “Did you crash cars when you were little?” I said, “How can I have crashed them? I still have them all.” And she said, “Well, I used to collect dolls and I used to collect high heel shoes and now look at my closet: it’s full of high heel shoes and I’m an adult now and that’s my collection.” And
Moyer as Aaron Pace in Priest
photo by Scott Garfield/Sony
she said, “You’re just doing exactly what you wanted to do when you were a kid: drive racecars.” And I was like, “God, I love my work.”
Q: Have you tried to convince her to drive with you or to race as well? A: I’m trying to get her to do it next year. We’ll see. She’s only been driving for about a year and a half. ‘Cause she was a New Yorker so, she had absolutely no need to drive. So we’ll see. I hope I can talk her into it.
uring the qualifying race, Stephen rolled his car, completely flipping it after colliding with a wall. That didn’t stop him from posting the fastest time of any celebrity (and besting one pro), earning the pole position in the 35th annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race. “I was really thinking about the charity,” he said afterwards. While the inherent danger of racing clearly doesn’t bother him, after considering that a possible injury would affect not only his family but the still-in-production fourth season of True Blood, Stephen decided to pull out of the final race. “While I’m disappointed I won’t be racing, I know it’s in the best interest of my True Blood family,” said Moyer. “I look forward to cheering on my fellow racers and following all the race day action.” He donated his winnings from the qualifying race to Facing the Atlantic, a charity that funds life-changing facial reconstructive surgery for children around the world. S
photo courtesy of Toyota Motorsports www.scenelouisiana.com | 45
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Essence FEST 2011 by Scottie Wells
ssence Music Festival has called New Orleans home for over a decade, bringing top artists in R&B, hip-hop, jazz and soul together in a show-stopping event. The festival, which started as a one-time event to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Essence magazine, is now in its sixteenth year. Last year, headliner Janet Jackson fueled the fest to record-breaking attendance, pushing past those previously set in 2009 by Beyonce. Last year’s sellout also required the creation of a waiting list for what is now one of the hottest festivals in the country. Headlining Essence 2011 are superstars Mary J. Blige, Kanye West, Chaka Khan, Macy Gray and Jennifer Hudson. One of this year’s highlights is the reunion of R&B sextet New Edition, performing together for the first time in fifteen years to celebrate the group’s 30th anniversary. Others artists slated to perform at Essence include Jennifer Hudson, Fantasia, Boyz II Men, Macy Gray, Dwele, Alexander O’Neal and Cherrelle, Soul Rebels Brass Band, Tank, Miguel, Mavis Staples and Irma Thomas on Friday. On Saturday, Kanye West, Jill Scott, Charlie Wilson, Chaka Khan, El DeBarge, Eric Benet, Timothy Bloom, Mint Condition, Shamarr Allen and The Underdawgs, Stephanie Mills, Charmaine Neville Band, Naughty by Nature and TBC Brass Band take the stage. And Mary J. Blige, New Edition, Trey Songz, KEM, Hal Linton, Kourtney Heart, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Rebirth Brass Band, Kelly Price, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Trin-i-Tee 5:7, Brian Courtney Wilson, MC Lyte, Doug E. Fresh and Hot 8 Brass Band wrap out the fest on Sunday. In addition to musical acts, speakers scheduled to attend include Dr. Cornel West, CNN anchors Anderson Cooper and Soledad O’Brien, comedian Steve Harvey and author Terry McMillian. Essence Music Festival takes place from July 1-3, just before Independence Day. For tickets, visit www.essencemusicfestival.com. S 48 | June/July 2011
(L to R): Top: New Edition. Middle: Macy Gray, Chaka Khan. Bottom: Fantasia Barrino, Jill Scott.
jazz fest AMOS LEE
DR. JOHN DIRTY DOZEN BRASS BAND
GOSPEL SOUL CHILDREN
52 | June/July 2011
| MUSIC IRMA THOMAS
sync up 2011 Now a Jazz Fest tradition, the 2011 Sync Up Conference again brought expert opinions on the business of music to New Orleans. Held on Friday and Saturday mornings in the hours before the music starts, this year’s Sync Up featured musicians, music festival producers, new media music marketers and music supervisor PJ Bloom, the man behind the music of FOX’s hit show Glee.
JON BON JOVI
Sync Up mastermind Scott Aiges of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation
Coinciding with Arcade Fire’s appearance at Jazz Fest, Google’s Thomas Gayno (center) discussed the inception and creation of the revolutionary online music video “Wilderness Downtown,” a unique experience created in HTML5.
Interviewed by Wild Wayne, New Orleans native Mystical discussed his early influences, his rise to success and how he is adapting to changes in the music industry as he resumes his career. Bryan Calhoun of SoundExchange breaks down how independent musicians can utilize free technology, social media and other new media resources to earn money by discussing how they have been used by major artists. Find out what SoundExchange, a nonprofit performance rights organization, is doing for musicians at www.soundexchange.com. Carter Lipscomb of Sony Computer Entertainment, Ric Neil of Glu Mobile and Galactic bassist Robert Mercurio discuss the most exciting new tools for creating exposure and licensing original music: video games. www.scenelouisiana.com | 53
jazz fest in pictures
MUMFORD & SONS
JON BON JOVI
54 | June/July 2011
Swashbuckle in Style by Brittney Franklin
ostume designer Penny Rose spoke with Scene over the phone from Budapest, where she is currently working on the Hollywood remake of 47 Ronin, a samurai flick starring a “charming” and “delightful” leading man. “My hero is Keanu Reeves, but he’s playing a kind of peasant boy who catches the attention of the king. So I’ve got some lovely royal figures and lots of great colors, really bright colors,” says Rose. “I’ve got two great leading ladies. One is a princess. She’s a famous Japanese singer-actress. She’s dressed in pastels with a Japanese flavor but quite high fashion orientated. We used a lot of catwalk as inspiration, but kept it as Japanese as possible.” The award-winning designer got her start in London in the 1970s, working on commercials. Since then, she’s worked alongside notable directors, writers and producers, including Alan Parker, Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Hugh Hudson and Adrian Lyne. Her designs for Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean series have garnered Rose the most notoriety. “In terms of Captain Jack, I asked Johnny Depp what kind of a pirate he wanted to be. He said, ‘I want to be a rock & roll pirate.’ And I said, ‘Any particular rock & roller?’ And he winked at me.” Though it has since been revealed that Depp based the iconic pirate on Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, Rose had to keep it a secret while the pair developed the costume. “Obviously when you have a nod of a rock star that’s famous or that iconic looking, you’ve got your route. You know where you’re going.” In Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and the upcoming On Stranger Tides, Richards plays Captain Teague, Jack Sparrow’s father. “All the costumes are made authentically from the period and then Mr. Depp is very, very intuitive about how he should look.” Though Jack Sparrow’s attire did evolve over the course of filming the four Pirates films, both Depp and Rose wanted to maintain the look that had been established from the beginning. “Every movie he changed a bit. Like, he’d add things. A skull on his belt or a more decorative baldric, which is what the sword goes in, and we just kind of played with it a little bit but Johnny felt very firmly that we shouldn’t change the vision of him,” says Rose. “I asked if he’d like something different and he said, ‘Well, go on then, give me a new vest.’ We took the view that Captain Jack would become as iconic as Mickey Mouse. And Mickey Mouse doesn’t change his clothes. Nor does Captain Jack. If you ask any five-year-old boy, they’ve all heard of Captain Jack. I’m not sure they’ve heard of Mickey Mouse these days.” Director Rob Marshall took over the popular swashbuckling franchise from Gore Verbinski and although some new visuals came with the new director, the film doesn’t stray far from its origins. “The pirates are always filthy, dirty and, you know, they’re villains. No, not villains! They’re naughty boys. And some of them have clothes that don’t fit them so great on purpose because the idea is that they steal things when they loot.” New to the franchise are Nine’s Penelope Cruz and Deadwood star Ian McShane, both of whom join Johnny Depp in On Stranger Tides, filling space left behind by Pirates alums Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley. Cruz plays the role of Angelica, the first female pirate in the series and the daughter of Blackbeard, portrayed by McShane. “The truth is, I woke up one morning, thinking, ‘What am I gonna do with Ian McShane?’ And I thought, ‘Ah! He could be a biker pirate!’” “He’s one of those great actors who walks in having researched the other films, having researched historic pirates,” says Rose of McShane. “He’s got a feel for it and I talked with him and I said, ‘I wanna do something really cruel. I want you to wear leather. We’re going to Hawaii where it’s hot. Can you stand it?’ And he said, 56 | June/July 2011
Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
‘Sure!’ As with all actors, you try things on and then suddenly, it works. The hat is always a problem because Hollywood hates hats and I think they make all the difference. So, Ian’s got a great hat and he’s got really wild boots, which when we put a steel toecap on and lots of little straps and buckles, he could take off into the sunset on a motorbike, no trouble.” In her lengthy career, Rose has worked with some of the most high-profile stars in Hollywood but has no problem staying focused on her craft: creating good, memorable pieces for cinema. “The whole point of the job is for me to work with an actor with a character in mind and to make
A collection of costumes at LASM in Baton Rouge
the actor leave my fitting room, looking like the character. So it’s very rare that an actor makes it difficult because they know I’m there to make this happen for them. Sometimes it takes longer than others. I mean, Johnny Depp’s first fitting, I think took forty minutes. Other people are in the fitting room a long time, but really, I wouldn’t be doing my job properly if I didn’t send them away very happy with how they look.” Rose’s original Captain Jack Sparrow costume is just one of many costume designs featured in CUT! Costume and the Cinema, an exclusive exhibit of film costumes currently on display at the Louisiana Arts and Science Museum in Baton Rouge. The exhibition showcases forty-three period costumes from twenty-five films, including Casanova, Phantom of the Opera, Finding Neverland and Sherlock Holmes, worn by actors such as Jude Law, Scarlett Johansson, Colin Farrell, Kate Winslet, and the late Heath Ledger. CUT! Costume and the Cinema runs through July 31. For more information, visit www.lasm.org. S
Worn in Land of the Blind
photo by Beth Gold
Worn by Kiera Knightley in The Duchess
Worn by Kate Winslet in Finding Neverland
Colin Farrell in The New World
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THE CAMERON The Hammond
intage Shoe Company marketing tumbled at the end in a giant box full of lime director John David Robbins left stall. The shoes are actually thrown around for Louisiana for Gotham with three a while and then they’re cleaned off and that’s suitcases and a clean slate. But he’s never how you get the really distressed, aged leather forgotten about the place he called home. “I feel and look, even though it’s all brand new. It started out my career at LSU Media working changed a lot of them from function to fashion.” for The Reveille and all their media entities. I The Fall 2011 collection will include a line got some great experience,” says Robbins, who of men and women’s boots named after towns studied mass communications with a focus in in Louisiana. “When it came to naming the advertising at LSU. “I basically graduated with collection, I was a little homesick that week. two and half years of real-life experience, which I was like, ‘You know what? I want to name helped me land a job these after towns in in New York.” After Louisiana,’ so I just went selling advertising for down I-10 and submitted The Reveille and then a list. I’m actually from La Vie magazine, a Moss Bluff so we have now-defunct upscale the Bluff Boot that’ll Baton Rouge area be coming out for fall.” publication, curiosity Other names include to see what else The Hammond, Sulphur, was out there soon Tallulah, Gretna, got the best of him. Bastrop, Minden, “When I graduated, Covington and Eunice. I just felt like I’d In addition to designs already done a lot in being shown on the Baton Rouge. I was runway, including shows working for a magazine at the NOLA Fashion and all that great stuff Week last spring, Vintage and I knew I wanted Shoe Company is getting more. I didn’t really more exposure in film know what that was, so and television. “We’ve just on a whim, I woke actually been working up one morning and John David Robbins with Nicholas Landry on a lot of television was like, ‘You know at NOLA Fashion Week stuff. We’re working what? New York City.’ with the costume I’d only been there once and knew if I didn’t designers for True Blood for next season. start telling people then they weren’t gonna like And then also The Wettest County, which it if [I just packed and left], so I started telling stars Shia Labeouf and Tom Hardy. They’re everyone I was moving to New York. And then in a movie they’re shooting in Georgia.” I realized, ‘Oh crap, I really have to do this “I love everything that I do. I think now!’ A month later, I headed to New York.” that it’s great that I can travel this far from Robbins is now the Heritage brand director Louisiana, but still have roots and be able of marketing at H.H. Brown, overseeing to implement things from my roots into marketing for three brands: Korkease, what I do here, which has been very cool for Walkover and Vintage Shoe Company. me,” says Robbins. “I just love people and “Our president was overseas and saw the networking, and you can’t do enough of it, so old Americana, distressed, rugged trend who knows? Hopefully I’ll be able to cast my coming our way,” he says of Vintage Shoe net a little wider and work with a lot more Company’s beginning. “Basically we’ve press and fashion weeks around the world.” patented the process it takes to age the leather. For more information on Vintage Shoe It’s run through a process and then actually Company, visit www.vinageshoecompany.com. S
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MASAKOWSKI Singer/songwriter by Micah Haley Sasha Masakowski & Musical Playground at Jazz Fest 2011
rash brass is oft exalted as the New Orleans sound, but wide is the young sea of sound emerging from Louisiana’s great port of call. And the sensual, halcyon hues of Sasha Masakowski’s twenty-four-year-old voice are among its best. Born in the Crescent City, Sasha attended the famed New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, studying first classical voice and then musical theater. “It gave me a feel for being on a stage and really trying to connect with an audience and be a performer,” she says. “It’s just amazing that kids in New Orleans have that opportunity to get that much of a foundation in the performing arts at such a young age. It’s really a beautiful school.” She began her collegiate studies at the University of New Orleans. “I was the only vocalist at UNO in the program. It was all these guys…sax players, guitar players, piano players,” says Sasha. “I was terrified of improvising. It took a lot of self-growth and a lot of understanding. A lot of people were like, ‘Listen to Ella Fitzgerald, listen to Sarah Vaughan.’ And I was like, ‘Well I don’t really have a voice like Ella Fitzgerald or Sarah Vaughan.’ It took a minute for me to really find my voice and get comfortable.” Though she excelled, she was soon expelled by Hurricane Katrina, ending up at a sister jazz program in the Netherlands. There in the cold at nineteen years old, she found her voice. “All of a sudden I was in a 64 | June/July 2011
photo by Mark St. James
program with plenty of other jazz vocalists, girls my age, that were doing this stuff. They had all different voice types, different ways of approaching the music and I was like, ‘Oh wow, okay I get it, so jazz is this really broad thing. And I’m not going to try and fit to somebody else’s mold.’” Three Jazz Fests later and with Wishes - her new CD - in release, Sasha Masakowski and Musical Playground, her equally talented band, are making New Orleans their own. “They’re so much fun to work with,” she says. “My pianist, James Westfall, was in the Thelonious Monk Institute so he studied with Terence Blanchard for a long time. He’s incredible.” With a lack of local venues specializing in Sasha’s brand of straight-ahead jazz, the soothing songstress is nevertheless fearless about creating her career in her hometown. “People still ask me why I don’t move to New York or L.A. and it’s because you don’t really need to be in those places to ‘get discovered.’ Everything is being done over the Internet now. If I try to get to New York once a month or once every other month, it’s kind of the same thing. You’re establishing yourself and making connections and friends.” “Music has just consumed my life. I’ve always been fascinated by the way the voice can work as an instrument and I just love it,” says Sasha. “I’m selling something that’s so real and that’s so me. This is actually me.” Wishes from Sasha Masakowski & Musical Playground is now available in iTunes and at www.sashamasakowski.com. S
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SCOTT CROMPTON EXECUTIVE PRODUCER and c.e.o. of blade studios
by Brittney Franklin
labama-native and Blade Studios CEO Scott Crompton had one foot in Louisiana for years before calling it home. The executive producer was once the proud renter of a New Orleans apartment in Bayou St. John. Marrying a Louisiana girl, Kathleen May Crompton, and visiting her family in Shreveport set the wheels in motion for his ultimate return. “No matter which town you go to in Louisiana, you meet great people that enjoy having a good time, eating great food and listening to and playing great music,” he says. “Shreveport is no different. There is so much music here, and so many musicians…it’s incredible.” Crompton met Alissa and Ted Kantrow of Louisiana Production Consultants on his trips to Shreveport. “I was (and am still) so impressed with Louisiana Production Consultants, and after talking about it for a couple of years, I moved to Shreveport and went to work for Alissa and Lampton Enochs in 2008.” His meeting with drummer extraordinaire and producer Brady Blade helped solidify how he wanted to make his mark in the world of entertainment. “I’ve been writing and performing music my whole life. I had founded a successful media development company in 1997, and in 2008, I decided to pursue my passion for a career in show business. When I met Brady Blade my first week in Shreveport, I knew then exactly what I wanted to do. Alissa created Moonbot Studios with Bill Joyce and Brandon Oldenberg, and I split off with Brady as my partner to form Blade Studios.” Blade Studios is now a fullservice production studio complex in Shreveport that celebrated its grand opening on April 2. “I am proud of the fact that Brady and I, with the help of our investors, have built something that is truly world class and state of the art. Brady is able to give back to the community by giving all the gifted musicians in our region a complex to be proud of,” says Crompton. “It would have been easier to build Blade Studios in another part of the state, but I am proud to be here in Brady’s home town playing a part in the renaissance of Shreveport music.” At Blade Studios, Crompton has had the opportunity to work on projects with a number of well-known and respected artists, including Rolling Stones bass player Darryl Jones in February. “Since we started Blade Studios and while the studio was being built, we had the pleasure of working with New Orleans recording artist Drew Young, Stephen Speaks, Annah Mac, Bex Murray, Exene and Bernard Fowler, also of the Rolling Stones. In my musical career I’ve been fortunate to play with some of the legends of blues music including Johnny Shines, Hubert Sumlin, Willie King, Bob Margolin and others. I believe those experiences and my business career prepared me for this opportunity.” The studio complex, which includes a film/TV studio, produced a
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Scott Crompton at the newly constructed Blade Studios in Shreveport
series of commercials for retailer H&M with singer Erykah Badu on the score. “We are about to work on a feature film as music supervisors, a video game and another round of commercials for H&M. These projects will be scored at Blade Studios, and all sound will be assembled here.” The complex is establishing itself as a melting pot for musical talent. “Our staff provides an inspiring and comfortable environment in a studio facility that is second to none in the world,” says Crompton. “It’s heaven for musicians and producers because there is no predisposed direction for music in this area of the state, so you can see everything from punk to hiphop and country collaborating,” he says. “Brady and I produced a hip hop record for Stromatic records. We had Scripture (the artist), working with rock players, country players and pop singers, and everyone worked in harmony. The beauty of working in Shreveport is the willingness of the players to take chances and go in different directions. It’s a true convergence of talent.” Now that Blade Studios is fully operational, the facility is filling up. “Blade Studios has numerous artists coming in the next few months including a couple of very well-known artists and producers,” says Crompton. “On each record, we are also using local talent. We always have local singers and groups in the studio. Blade Studios is a solid part of the music community here and we offer local artists an incredible opportunity to make a record in a real room, side by side with the world’s leading artists. We are creating a ‘sound’ at Blade Studios, and the vast local talent pool is creating that sound with us.” For a closer look at Blade Studios, Shreveport’s new premier recording studio, visit their website: www.bladestudios.com. S
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IN THE MIX
The RED Epic shoots a Blue Cross/Blue Shield commercial
photos courtesy of Digital FX
The Red Epic:
A Hobbit-sized Game Changer by Greg Milneck
ast week, my daughter took an interest in an old 1950s box camera of mine. She carried it around the house, playing with it all day. Eventually, she asked me if I would get some film for it. The camera uses 620 film, which ceased being manufactured in 1995. Within an hour, my daughter found 620 film online. She’s been taking pictures ever since. Film is not dead, but it’s slowly becoming a bit of a novelty. And, Red’s newer than new Epic-M digital motion and still camera isn’t helping film’s cause. The Red Epic-M isn’t even in production yet. There are only a few hundred in the world and, for now, they are all handmade: the “M” in the name stands for machined. James Cameron just ordered fifty of them. Peter Jackson has another thirty or so, a few of which he’s currently using to shoot The Hobbit in 3-D. I was lucky enough to get two of them. Now, I can’t come up with a good reason why I would use any other camera. We call it “Epic,” and that’s putting it mildly. The specifications alone are just downright awe-inspiring. It shoots 5K footage. To put that in context, 5K is around 6.7 times the size of 1080p. It can shoot at up to 120 frames per second at 5K, and even 300 fps at 2K, with each frame measuring in at fourteen megapixels. The Epic is also unique in that it is designed as a digital still and 68 | June/July 2011
motion camera (DSMC) with a resolution that exceeds 35mm and provides a dynamic range of over thirteen stops. With Red’s HDRx, the dynamic range is increased to eighteen stops. And, it’s all in a very small package: a little larger and slightly heavier than a Canon 5D. Calling the Epic a camera is like saying a Bugatti Veyron is just a car. The Epic is the camera. It’s the one that could convert even the most hardened film devotees. In person, the Epic looks like a piece of military hardware. It’s matte black, with hints of red and stainless steel. It’s so well built, so solid, that it looks like it could take a beating in a war zone. If it weren’t for the lens attachment, you’d be hard pressed to guess it’s even a camera at all. Pick it up, and you’re immediately struck by the weight. It only weighs in at five pounds, but it feels somehow heavier than that. Things this small usually don’t weigh that much. But it’s a good weight. A reassuring weight. It’s solid and it means business. Once you attach the handgrip, a lens and monitor, it suddenly transforms into something that looks at least a little bit like a camera. Only way cooler. I’ll admit to spending an uncomfortable amount of time just looking at it. Like the Red One, the precursor to the Epic, there are hundreds
IN THE MIX of attachments and accessories you can mount to the Epic. Red has also come out with their Bomb EVF, or viewfinder. In true Red fashion, it takes viewfinders to another level. It contains a 720p image, and it has an internal heater. The new external monitor is now a touch screen, making navigating through the humongous menu settings more palatable. There are dozens and dozens of customization options, both in the software settings as well as in hard buttons on the camera grip. In short, you can outfit the Epic in a way that would make Paris Hilton’s chihuahua jealous. But, no matter how cool it may look or even what its tech specs may be - the only thing that matters is the image. Some of the first images I captured were of my children in our backyard. I had no experience with the camera, no lighting, no testing, nothing. All I had was the Epic. I shot in 5K, 2.4:1 at 48-120 frames per second. There’s a certain quality to the Epic image that simply has to be seen. It’s incredibly detailed and sharp, as you might expect with a 5K image. But it’s also able to avoid the sometimes unreal, overly-sharp, images often associated with HD cameras. The images came out beautiful, artful, organic…words I normally associate with film. Best of all, I can view the images immediately. Pop out the SSD card, slide it into an SSD drive on the computer, and you can view, edit and correct your RAW images within minutes of filming. Better yet, I don’t need a super high-end computer to do it. My MacBook Pro provides all the processing power I need. The downsides to the Epic? For one thing, it’s expensive. The Epic-M body alone costs $58,000. Once you fully outfit it with all the necessary lenses and accessories, you’re looking at a camera setup that costs more than a starter home. The Epic is not a prosumer camera. It’s for professionals with professional budgets. The data it produces requires enormous storage demands. If you’ve ever tried to store even 1080p footage to your hard drive, you can imagine how quickly 5K footage will fill up even the largest consumer hard drives out there. It’s also a new camera, still in its infancy. There are glitches and errors yet to be worked out with new firmware. I even had to send back my first Epic to get a replacement. Which brings me to one of my favorite aspects of dealing with Red - their customer service. Without question, Red is the most responsive, customer-focused, company I have ever worked with. Their customer service matches, if not exceeds, the quality of their cameras. And it isn’t just about fixing problems. Red takes it a step further. With the Epic, they’ve created a camera platform that will be upgradable for years to come. It’s designed with future upgrades in mind. Red just recently announced at NAB that there will be an upgraded sensor for the Epic called the Red Dragon, just as they offered the MX sensor upgrade for the Red One. Additionally, when Red develops a new brain for the camera, you can upgrade that too. In twenty-five years in this business, I have never had a camera manufacturer offer to upgrade a sensor, much less the entire brain. If I wanted new technology, I had to buy an entirely new camera. Red’s model increases the lifespan of its cameras in a way no other manufacturer has ever dared. Yes, there’s cost and glitches here and there that must be considered. But that is balanced by the hardware, the upgradability and the technical achievement that is the Epic. And, there’s the image. Those beautiful hypnotizing images. There’s a reason the two most powerful film producers on the planet are buying up more Epics than Red can keep up with, and it’s not just because it’s cool looking. It’s because the Epic is the culmination of everything we’ve been waiting for in digital cinema cameras. It’s small, more powerful than anything on the market, customizable, fast and it produces gorgeous images that can rival or beat even the best 35mm can offer. Is film dead? No, it’s not. But Red Epic may put it on life support. S 70 | June/July 2011
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Producer/director Jason Hewitt on set with Val Kilmer
photo by Teddy Smith
by Jacob Peterman
ouisiana native Jason Hewitt has been producing films in his home state for years through his production company, Films in Motion. As he was finishing post-production on The Courier, starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Mickey Rourke, Hewitt’s feature directorial debut Blood Out premiered on DVD. While potentially lucrative, a direct-to-video release was a popular indicator of poor quality a decade ago. But as the industry’s modes of distribution have continued to evolve, that perception has vanished. Prior to its premiere screening in Los Angeles, Blood Out peaked at #13 on IMDB’s Moviemeter, rising above highly anticipated, big budget studio films like Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Starring Val Kilmer, Luke Goss, 50 Cent, Annalynne McCord and Vinnie Jones, Blood Out was written by Hewitt and John O’Connell. “The idea for Blood Out came when we were talking with Lionsgate executives about a movie that they wanted to do and they said, ‘We always love dirty cop movies,’” says Hewitt. “This is not exactly a dirty cop movie: it’s a cop that goes vigilante. That was the twist that we added.” After agreeing on a pitch, the writing team went through many revisions before being locked. “We had eighty-three or eighty-four drafts of the script before we got it solid. We were tailoring it to locations
74 | June/July 2011
that we knew we were gonna have, locations here in Baton Rouge and things like that. So, [knowing it would shoot here] really helped.” Although he has over twenty feature credits as a producer, Hewitt had directed only shorter projects. But necessity required him to direct his first feature. “I was sitting with my producing partner, Carsten Lorenz, and we both looked at each other, having been in situations where you have first-time directors or directors that don’t really have a lot of experience under their belt. We just didn’t feel like we needed to bring that kind of unknown in. It’s hard enough making films as it is!” says Hewitt. “And so Carsten and I looked at each other and we both came to the decision that I would direct. And it was a great experience.” Though behind the viewfinder on Blood Out, Hewitt was still a producer. “It’s not a bad thing to be a director and know what the budget is because you can operate within the realm of reality. A lot of times directors don’t prescribe to that but they should,” he says. “The other frustrating thing was, from a producing standpoint, when you know mistakes were made, I was like, ‘Aww, I wish I was there. I could’ve caught this mistake.’ But I was on set talking with an actor or at the monitor. There’s a big difference between producing and directing. I had to blur the lines the whole time.” Produced for under five million dollars, the film afforded Hewitt an
| FILM opportunity to work with veteran Val Kilmer. “He’s still a fantastic actor,” says Hewitt. “We were shooting a scene and I had one shot left, and I needed Val to turnaround on the shot [to shoot over his shoulder]. But I could have used someone else…a stand in or something like that. Val touched me and said, ‘Look, I know you need me for the turnaround and I’m okay with that.’ So he actually helped me out even though he knew the camera wouldn’t be on his face, it was good to have him still in that scene.” After taking a turn in the director’s chair, Hewitt returned to his role as pure producer for The Courier, based on the famous first script by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas, the writers of 3:10 to Yuma and Wanted. One of the key early companies developing homegrown original feature-length films in Louisiana, Jason Hewitt’s Films in Motion is based in Baton Rouge at Raleigh Studios at the Celtic Media Centre. S
ON THE SCENE
ROCK THE SIDEWALK
Photos by Chad M. West Following shows in New York, Miami and Las Vegas, Express brought Rock the Sidewalk to New Orleans in May, erecting a runway on Royal Street at Dumaine Street in the French Quarter. The fashion show featured the brandâ€™s Fall 2011 collection, available in stores this August. Express also made a donation to the New Orleans chapter of Dress for Success.
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ON THE SCENE
SCENE SECOND LINE 2011
Photos by Chad M. West and Bobby De Vay Over 1500 guests attended Scene Magazineâ€™s first annual celebration of Mardi Gras and film. Held at Second Line Stages in New Orleans, the exclusive invite-only event featured live performances by Brass-A-Holics and Glen David Andrews.
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the unscene Playing with Fire In the wake of recession, states across the country have found their fledgling film incentive programs on the chopping block. By comparison, Louisiana’s incentives program is stronger than it has ever been, now backed by the very in-state industry that it has created. Currently, entertainment professionals enjoy an environment conducive to entrepreneurship in an industry adopted with enthusiasm by the people and politicians of Louisiana. But whether it comes in five years or ten, there will be a time when Louisiana’s incentives come under fire. Whether from a Trojan horse or a hail of flaming arrows lofted from the longbows of archers, attacks will come. And all attacks ought to be treated as imminent. Wise kings are always prepared for war, even while working to prevent it. Entertainment is the bright-shining star of possibility for Louisiana’s economy of the future, yet opponents with and without merit will emerge. There will be political pressure from the oil & gas lobby, from healthcare and education advocates, each with their own aims, be they in the best interest of Louisiana or only in their best self-interest. But these industries are not our enemies. To the contrary, we work in concert with them every day. And our goal ought to be the same goal: to grow the economy we share. Louisiana’s film incentive program is well honed. It is competitive without being destructive. As we have continued to grow at a healthy pace, more lucrative programs have fallen. And they have fallen because of their overreach. On behalf of everyone in the industry, more thankful we could not be for the opportunities the State of Louisiana has afforded entertainment. And like those truly thankful, greed is anathema. The goal is and has always been stable growth. - The UnScene Writer Submit tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. Anonymity guaranteed.
84 | June/July 2011