A LOOK BACK AT
BAYOU COUNTRY SUPERFEST
ALYSHIA OCHSE BEFORE THE SCENE WITH
McKIDD Heads North of Hell
VOL. 4, ISSUE 4 • July/August 2013 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Micah Haley CREATIVE DIRECTOR Erin Theriot DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR Katianna Bear EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS Catie Ragusa, Leah Stogner GRAPHIC ARTIST Burton Chatelain, Jr. DESIGN ASSISTANTS Alanna Scurlock SALES Brinkley Maginnis, Jeremy Paige FASHION STYLIST Andi Eaton
he summer movie season is in full bloom! And there have already been some surprisingly great films released. Though the reviews have been mysteriously mixed, Man of Steel has turned out to be one of the best films of the year, offering enough excellent action to best even The Avengers in that category. Star Trek Into Darkness was a worthy successor to the 2009 JJ Abrams reboot. The New Orleans-shot Now You See Me, a movie about modern magicians making like Robin Hood, made for a fun summer night. And Seth Rogen’s directorial debut This Is The End, which was also shot in Louisiana, turned out to be more than just funny. In July and August, more promising films are slated for release. The Lone Ranger and Despicable Me 2 kick things off. I’m very excited about The Way, Way Back, which looks like it emerged fully formed
8 | July/August 2013
from my own childhood. Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim and Fruitvale Station are up next, followed by RIPD, The Conjuring and Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive follow-up Only Give Forgives. I’m also looking forward to the release of James Mangold’s The Wolverine, 2 Guns, Sundance favorite The Spectacular Now, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, and director Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium, his followup to the excellent sci-fi actioner District 9. And on one great Friday, August 16, Kick-Ass 2, Paranoia, The Butler, Jobs and Ain’t Them Bodies Saints are all released nationwide. There really is no better way to cool off this summer than to fill the theater near you, so have fun! I know that I will!
MICAH HALEY EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
COVER PHOTO Jason Kruppa CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Jason Kruppa, Danny Feld, Patti Perret, Murray Close, Alan Markfield, Anne Marie Fox, Eliot Brasseaux, John Johnson, JR Mankoff, David Giesbrecht, Caitlin Barry, Elizabeth Shaw, Leah Stogner, Jessi Arnold, Charlotte Cox, Frank Connor, Vivian Zink, Rob McEwan, Nicole Rivelli, Mitchell Hasseth, Dale Robinette, Ron P. Jaffe, Louis Zlotowicz CONTRIBUTING WRITERS AJ Buckley, Catie Ragusa, James Napper, Leah Stogner, Susan Ross, Jarrid Clinkinbeard 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 & BIC Alliance For Louisiana Entertainment Publishers LLC CEO, Andre Champagne President, AJ Buckley Vice President, Micah Haley Display Advertising: Call Scene Magazine for a current rate card or email firstname.lastname@example.org. All submitted materials become the property of Louisiana Entertainment Publishers LLC. For subscriptions or more information visit our website at www.scenelouisiana.com. Copyright @ 2013 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.
Antique rentals for your next production!
ON THE COVER
Kevin McKidd ABOVE THE LINE
Kevin McKidd in North of Hell
Celebs currently filming in Louisiana
BEFORE THE SCENE
A conversation with Chi McBride
Local boy Wes Brown
The making of Jake’s Road
Notable News and Celebrities on the Scene
For fine furniture to fabulous jewelry, We travel the world!
Look back at Bayou Country Superfest
FASHION / THE RED CARPET 56 Alyshia Ochse Plays the Princess Summer Shoes
ON THE SCENE
13726 Perkins Rd. Suite C Baton Rouge, LA 70810 225-761-8444 www.maisonvictoria.com email@example.com
10 | July/August 2013
SCENE ON LYNN COLLINS John Carter
Brunette beauty LYNN COLLINS plays warrior princess Dejah Thoris in Andrew Stanton’s 2012 film John Carter. After filming Bug in Louisiana back in 2005 and a first season appearance on HBO’s True Blood, Collins is now back in New Orleans filling the lead role of Agent Noa Blaire in the pilot for A&E’s supernatural cop drama Occult, the first foray into television from director Michael Bay’s horror-focused shingle Platinum Dunes.
GILLIAN JACOBS Community Lynn Collins as Dejah Thoris photo by Frank Connor
Nominated for Best Supporting Actress by the Broadcast Television Journalists Association, GILLIAN JACOBS is best known for her role in NBC’s hit comedy Community. Jacobs plays pretty protest girl Britta Perry, a former member of the Peace Corps who holds a GED and is working toward some degree (any degree) at a community college. After wrapping the horror-comedy Milo, which bows this fall, Jacobs is filming Hot Tub Time Machine 2 in New Orleans.
Gillian Jacobs as Britta Perry photo by Vivian Zink/NBC
CRAIG ROBINSON Peeples
Rob Corddry as Lou photo by Rob McEwan/MGM
In the recently released Tyler Perry joint Peeples, CRAIG ROBINSON plays a nice guy with an out-of-his-league fiancé and an uninviting future fatherin-law. After playing Darryl Philbin for eight years on NBC’s monumental mockumentary The Office, which recently aired its final episode, Robinson continues his career as a comedian in New Orleans with Hot Tub Time Machine 2.
Hot Tub Time Machine Daily Show alum ROB CORDDRY will make you laugh. In Childrens Hospital, the funnyman plays Dr. Blake Downs, a clown-dressed doctor who uses laughter (read: terror) to help his patients recover. Three years after the release of the original Hot Tub Time Machine, Corddry is returning to play his character Lou in the sequel, Hot Tub Time Machine 2.
Craig Robinson as Wade Walker photo by Nicole Rivelli
MORE SCENE ON 12 | July/August 2013
SCENE ON CLARK DUKE
Hot Tub Time Machine CLARK DUKE portrayed an awkward, religious college student on ABC Family’s dramedy Greek for four years. Later he joined Rob Corddry and Craig Robinson to play Jacob, a lead role in director Steve Pink’s Hot Tub Time Machine. Duke rejoins Pink and his fellow co-stars in New Orleans to film Hot Tub Time Machine 2 this summer.
Parks and Recreation Clarke Duke as Jacob photo by Rob McEwan/MGM
Not afraid to party down, ADAM SCOTT is popular for his role in NBC’s hit comedy Parks and Recreation. Scott joined the cast at the end of the show’s second season as the often serious and hardworking Ben Wyatt. His character, the impeached mayor of Partridge, MN, becomes president of the Sweetums Foundation, a charitable organization in town. Scott is in New Orleans filming Hot Tub Time Machine 2 now.
Adam Scott as Ben Wyatt photo by Mitchell Haaseth/NBC
HAYDEN CHRISTENSEN Takers
Once Bob Dylan, HAYDEN CHRISTENSEN is well known for playing teenage Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars Episodes II and III. In 2010, he was AJ, a mysterious bank robber on his largest robbery yet in the film Takers. Often the brains behind the operation, AJ keeps his personal life secretive. Christensen is in New Orleans this summer for another heist flick, Glacier Films’ American Heist.
Chevy Chase as Pierce Hawthorne photo by Vivian Zink/NBC
CHEVY CHASE Community
Saturday Night Live vet CHEVY CHASE recently retired his role on NBC’s Community, on which he played Pierce Hawthorne, a rich businessman and community college student. Chase has made his return to the Hot Tub Time Machine set to play a hot tub repairman in Hot Tub Time Machine 2, now filming in New Orleans.
Hayden Christensen as AJ
MORE SCENE ON 14 | July/August 2013
SCENE ON OCTAVIA SPENCER The Help
OCTAVIA SPENCER plays Minny Jackson, a no-nonsense housemaid struggling to keep a job during the Civil Rights Movement in the 2011 film The Help. The part earned her an Oscar for best performance by an actress in a supporting role. She is now in New Orleans shooting Black and White with fellow Oscar winner Kevin Costner. The thesps are set opposite each other as grandparents of a biracial child. Both are fighting to keep their granddaughter from falling under the custody of her drug-addicted father after her mother is killed.
Friday Night Lights Octavia Spencer as Minny Jackson photo by Dale Robinette
Most well known for her role on Friday Night Lights, AIMEE TEEGARDEN plays Julie Taylor, a high school football coach’s oldest daughter. The high school student faces obstacles in her family life, in school and in her relationship on the show. Teegarden is now in Louisiana filming the television pilot for the CW series Star-Crossed. Her character, Emery, is a teen girl who falls in love with an alien boy who attends her high school, along with nine other aliens.
Aimee Teegarden as Julie Taylor
Evan Peters as Kit Walker photo by Ron P. Jaffe
American Horror Story After roles in Never Back Down and Kick-Ass, EVAN PETERS reprised his role as Max Cooperman in 2011’s Never Back Down 2, which shot in Baton Rouge. Best known for his roles as Tate Langdon and Kit Walker on American Horror Story, Peters is returning to the series’ third season, American Horror Story: Coven, to play an entirely new character. The new season is filming in New Orleans this summer.
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Jessica Lange as Constance Langdon photo by Ron P. Jaffe
American Horror Story After starring in the classic King Kong and portraying Patsy Cline and Francis Farmer, the long shadow JESSICA LANGE casts continues to grow. After lending gravitas to two seasons of American Horror Story, playing Sister Jude Martin in season two and Constance Langdon in season one, Lange is now in New Orleans filming the third season of the series, American Horror Story: Coven.
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by AJ Buckley
CHI McBRIDE Chi McBride is a veteran actor. In television, he has starred in Boston Public, Pushing Daisies, Human Target and The John Larroquette Show. In film, he has co-starred with Tom Hanks in Steven Spielberg’s The Terminal and with Bruce Willis in Mercury Rising. After shooting Waiting…, Who Do You Love and Still Waiting… in Louisiana, he recently returned to film Pawn Shop Chronicles in Baton Rouge and North of Hell in New Orleans.
What made you want to become an actor? I was working at the phone company, doing as little as possible, and I just got tired of people telling me I was funny and I ought to be in show business. None of them knew what that involved. I was trying to make a record. I had a record deal, and my record went plastic, but the good thing was, we came out to California to shoot a video, and the guy who came in at the last minute to help them produce the video was also a talent manager and he thought maybe I could act. He signed me to represent me, and I’ve been with it for 22 years, and I thought maybe he was right. I felt like I could do it. I really knew I could do it. That’s what it really takes. It doesn’t take believing you can do it. You have to know you can do it. You have to know it like you know whose name is on your driver’s license.
What was your biggest fear? I didn’t have a fear in the world. I didn’t think there was anybody doing anything that I couldn’t do. I have a different perspective on my job: my job is to do my job. Your job is to love it or hate it. There’s some guy that’s taken a tumor out of a kid’s head the size of a grapefruit. Now that…I’d be a little nervous about cutting open some kid’s head. But standing on a piece of tape to say some words that somebody else wrote? That just doesn’t intimidate me. When you were playing games as a kid, you were superheroes, cops and robbers or whatever. That was real to you. That’s what acting is. People make way too much of the profession of acting. Everything in the world has some level of importance. But people try to put this on par with sending a kid to the military, or cutting open some kid’s head and taking a tumor out of it. It just isn’t that.
What was your lowest point? It didn’t have anything to do with show business. I was going through a divorce, and the truth of the matter is, divorce brings out the worst in people. Luckily, I’m happily married now, but at that point man, it’s golf that saved my life. My lowest points don’t have anything to do with show business. This is the lottery, man. You know what I mean? I don’t read reviews because they’ll never be good enough, and they’re never as bad as they seem. If they’re good and you look at them, and you start just buying into it, it’s only a matter of time before the same guy who calls you a genius says that you don’t know what you’re doing. The only thing you have in this business is your confidence. 18 | July/August 2013
That’s it. That’s the only thing. If you ain’t got no confidence and you’re in show business, you’re not even a guy who brings a knife to a gunfight. You’re a guy who brings a grapefruit to a gunfight.
What kept you from walking away? Nothing would have made me walk away from show business. I just had to make sure that I didn’t walk away from my life, period. And golf saved my life. I’ve been swinging clubs for about fifteen years. I’ve only actually been playing golf for two. You know what I mean? Golf ’s not golf until you break ninety. And that takes a while. The thing about golf is, unless you’re just one of these natural golfers that can do it from just watching somebody do it, it takes a lot of practice. If you’ve got a lot of time to practice and get good at golf, get out of show business and go play golf because you won’t be able to do anything else. After my career has gotten to the point where I work often, I actually went and took some lessons and now I can play.
Who has been your closest ally? My manager. His name is Sam Maydew And I wouldn’t be in show business if it weren’t for him. I wouldn’t stay in show business if it weren’t for him. By stay, I mean not me walk away, but he keeps me in by always finding things for me to do, talking to people and getting them to be aware. It takes a long time. One thing show business has taught me is about what’s real and what isn’t. When people have certain disappointments about show business, I’m always incredulous of that. What do you expect? You’re dealing with a business that’s entirely predicated on make believe. What’s the matter with you? Don’t invest your entire life in show business! Show business is cool, movies are great…they’re entertaining and they’re fun, but you know, if some actress’s hair falls out or somebody gets caught with a DUI, I don’t flip out and talk about how I can’t stand them now. They’re human beings, which means they are flawed.
What were you doing the morning before the audition that changed your life? It was the day I was auditioning for the network: the final audition for The John Larroquette Show. That’s what changed my life: I was on TV on a regular basis and people were seeing me. I was sitting across the street from NBC in a little park and I was about to go to this audition. I never got nervous on auditions. But this time, my heart was pounding, I was sweaty. All the sudden for no reason, I started bawling. I thought to myself, “Jesus, what if I can’t do it? What if I go in here and I can’t remember these lines, and I can’t make this character come to life?” And something said to me, “Yeah? What if you can?” And I dried up and walked across the street and booked my job. In addition to my five-year-old, I have two grown children. When I was shooting The Frighteners in New Zealand, the youngest of those two flew by himself from California to New Zealand. There we were in this apartment, and I was smoking a cigar. He would go get my cigar every evening, and I was smoking it. He was sitting
there coughing and wheezing, and I was like, “Why don’t you just go outside? It’s a big place!” He said, “No, I just want to sit with you. You know, Dad…I’m scared of something.” And he said the exact same thing to me that I said to myself: “What if I can’t be a man?” I was like, “What are you talking about?” He said, “What if I can’t do it?” It’s hard for me to tell this story. He went on, saying, “What if I can’t do it? What if I can’t get a job? What if I can’t have a career? What if I can’t make money? What if I can’t take care of my family? What if I can’t?” I just looked at him and said, “Son. What if you can?” And he just started crying. He was thirteen.
What were the words that kept you going? Ironically, I never really struggled in show business. I struggled before show business. I guess the only thing that’s ever kept me going is one thing: I’ve got to see how it ends.
How have you changed? I haven’t changed. I’ve been the same way all of my adult life. Growing up, I was a class clown and made people laugh, but on the inside I was really very withdrawn, and sometimes I’d be taken advantage of and things like that. When I became an adult, I became really direct. I call incompetence what it is. I don’t have a lot of patience for it because most people who are incompetent don’t know they are. And somebody’s got to tell them or else something bad will happen. If you’re on a long road trip in a car, and the person driving doesn’t know how to drive, you’d better say something or both of you are going to end up dead. I don’t suffer incompetence.
What words do you have to inspire others? You have to know that this is what you’re meant to do. And I’m talking about know it like you know whose name is on your driver’s license. If that ain’t you, get out of this business as fast as you can, because you’re in for a world of hurt. But if you know it, those times when they say, “God, we loved you, but we’re looking for a name.” Or, “Oh, God, you were great, but we don’t want a black guy for this.” When those things come - and they will come - if you don’t know it like you know whose name is on your driver’s license, that’s when you start drinking and doing coke. And there’s only one or two guys that were drinking and doing coke that ended up having a career. So, you gotta know that this is for you. S
A partner in Scene Magazine and the president of Louisiana Entertainment Publishers, AJ Buckley has starred for the last eight years on the hit CBS show CSI:NY. Originally from Dublin and raised in Vancouver, he has spent the last twelve years in Los Angeles acting, writing and directing. He recently finished producing and starring in North of Hell. Find out more on Twitter @AJohnBuckley and at www.ajbuckley.net.
BEFORE THE SCENE
www.scenelouisiana.com | 19
by Ainsley Beeman
Friday, Aug. 2 Rated: R Director: Baltasar Kormákur Contraband director Baltasar Kormákur reteams with Mark Wahlberg for this twisted action flick that follows two undercover federal agents. DEA agent Bobby Trench (Denzel Washington) and U.S. naval intelligence officer Marcus Stigman (Mark Walhberg) commit crimes undercover as a team without actually knowing the other is an operative from a competing federal agency. After an attempt to infiltrate a Mexican drug cartel fails, Trench and Stigman are forced to team up when their cover is blown and their superiors disown them. “You fight for the guy who’s fighting next to you,” says Stigman of the new partnership with his rival. Produced by Randall Emmett and George Furla, 2 Guns also stars James Marsden, Bill Paxton, Edward James Olmos and the always
photo by Patti Perret
beautiful Paula Patton. Watch Walhberg and Washington topgun their way out of trouble when 2 Guns opens wide on August 2. photo by Patti Perret
PERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS Wednesday, Aug. 7
Rated: TBA Director: Thor Freudenthal In the sequel to 2010’s Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lighting Thief, Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) and his friends from Olympus set out on a quest that takes them to out to sea. The magical tree that protects the Olympians’ homes is ailing. The friends must retrieve the only key to keeping the tree alive and, in turn, keeping the half-bloods safe: the Golden Fleece. Into the Sea of Monsters the Olympians go to find the sought after fleece. The Sea of Monsters - better known to humans as the Bermuda Triangle - may be their greatest foe. Based upon the novel Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters, this family friendly fantasy was directed by Thor Freudenthal. Partially filmed in New Orleans, the film also stars scene-stealer Stanley Tucci, fan favorite Nathan Fillion, Alexandra Daddario and Brandon T. Jackson. The journey into the deep with the Jackson Three sets sail in theaters everywhere on August 7.
The cast of Percy Jackson & the Olympians: Sea of Monsters photo by Murray Close
Logan Lerman and Alexandra Daddario photo courtesy 20th Century Fox
MORE COMING SOON 20 | July/August 2013
COMING SOON THE BUTLER Friday, Aug. 16
Rated: PG-13 Director: Lee Daniels Lee Daniels, the Oscarnominated director of Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire, directs this historic film, inspired by one man’s life that is seemingly tailormade for the silver screen. Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker) is the butler, a man who served eight American presidents over the course of three decades in the White House. Filmed in South Louisiana, Daniels’ drama follows the historic shifts in America through the silent eyes of a butler in the White House. The civil rights movement, the war
in Vietnam and more flow through the life of Gaines and his family. The film’s impeccable cast includes Robin Williams, John Cusack, Alan Rickman, Oprah Winfrey, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Minka Kelly, Terrence Howard, Vanessa Redgrave, Jane Fonda, Nelsan Ellis, Lenny Kravitz, Mariah Carey, David Oyelowo and Liev Schreiber. James Marsden, who will also be seen in the upcoming actioner 2 Guns, plays John F. Kennedy. See American history as one man saw it when the The Butler opens in theaters August 16.
photo by Anne Marie Fox
GHOST SHARK Aug. 2013
Rated: Awesome Director: Griff Furst Is it a bird? Is it a boat? No. It’s Ghost Shark. Ava (Mackenzie Rosman) becomes engulfed in the mystery of her father’s disappearance in the Gulf of Mexico. As the mystery unravels, she finds at the center of it the unthinkable: an immortal Great White Shark. Convinced of the danger of the phantom fish, Ava attempts to persuade local authorities of its existence. To save her family and friends from the vengeful gilled ghost, she must first prove that the beast exists. The film also stars Richard Moll and Dave Davis. Developed and produced by Active Entertainment in South Louisiana, Ghost Shark takes television screens captive in August on the Syfy Channel. Even a bigger boat won’t help you.
The titular ghost shark attacks photo by Eliot Brasseaux
The cast of Ghost Shark photo by Eliot Brasseaux
22 | July/August 2013
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WES BROWN’S DECEPTION by Catie Ragusa
ou start at the bottom and you do your best to earn your way up,” says actor Wes Brown. “You hope that every single project will help you grow. That you will learn from it. If it turns out bad, you learn from it. If it turns out good, you learn from that, too.” Though born in Texas, Wes Brown was raised in Louisiana, attending high school in Baton Rouge at Parkview Baptist School. “When you’re just getting started, you need experience,” he says. “The experience of being on set, of acting for the camera, and you can’t be too picky and choosy.” After high school, Brown had no plans to pursue acting as a career, studying business and finance at LSU, where he befriended fellow Parkview grad Daniel Lewis. “We were friends at LSU and it just so happened that we both eased into the same line of work,” he recalls. “I moved out to L.A. [after college], but he was one of those people that I’ve always kept in touch with.” After their stint at LSU, Lewis became a producer. Brown continued acting. In 2009, Brown recurred in a seven-episode stint in the second season of HBO’s vamp camp drama True Blood. Despite his Louisiana roots, Brown says that growing up in the Bayou State didn’t help him to get his role on the Louisiana-set series. His character, Luke McDonald, was a football player from Texas. “I was actually the only American on the show,” says Brown. “Ryan Kwanten’s from Australia. Stephen Moyer’s from London. Alex Skarsgard’s from Sweden. If you look at the 24 | July/August 2013
acting community as a whole, there’s not many from Louisiana. It’s nice to see people from our home state doing this stuff.” Brown was soon cast as the lead in Storm War, a Syfy Channel Original shooting in Baton Rouge. It was produced by his friend Daniel Lewis of Active Entertainment. The film follows a pair of estranged brothers who uncover a mystery behind a series of natural disasters that are destroying famous monuments in Washington D.C. After appearing on the CW soap 90210 as Taylor Williams, and as Dr. Judson Lyons on the medical dramedy Hart of Dixie, Brown auditioned for a major role on a network show: NBC’s big budget primetime soap Deception. “To be honest with you, I couldn’t take it that serious,” he says. The role was originally written for an actor in his forties. “I don’t look like a doctor. I don’t look like I’m forty. I actually didn’t think too much of it,” recalls Brown. “But then, they called again and again. They ended up calling me and asked me to come to NBC Studios to do a screen test with Meagan Good, so I was a little excited at that point. Then, a couple of days after the screen test, they called me and told me that I got it.” The role of Julian Bowers, the playboy son of a Fortune 500 company owner, was re-written for Brown. “He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth,” Brown says of his character. “His job is to come out of his father’s shadow. Although this is his father’s company, he has the brains to run this company.” The soapy drama sets sail with the untimely, yet unsurprising, death of Vivian Bowers, the heiress to the Bowers Pharmaceutical
Wes Brown in Deception photo by J.R. Mankoff/NBC
www.scenelouisiana.com | 25
The cast of Deception
throne. When the thirty-two-year-old party girl seemingly overdoses, undercover detective Joanna Locasto (Good) steps in to solve the murder-mystery behind the death of her once-close friend. Brown is most excited about the show’s suspense, and a surprise that happens midway through the season: the emergence of a new character previously unknown to the Bowers. “The writing becomes really exciting at that point,” he says. “The development of the story gets really good, really quickly.” Deception’s ensemble cast kept Brown working with great actors, including Good, Tate Donovan, Laz Alonso, Katherine LaNasa, Victor Garber and John Larroquette. “It’s not everyday that you get to work with that caliber of a cast, [especially one that] genuinely gets along as well as we have,” he says. “It makes doing a television show that much more enjoyable when you have genuine chemistry with everybody, especially the leading lady.” Deception’s leading lady is Meagan Good, the show’s stunningly beautiful undercover detective. “She’s a good actress but she’s a better person. She takes her work very seriously,” Brown says of his co-star. “She is where she is for a reason. She’s the type of actress you hope to get to work with one day.” He also had the opportunity to work closely with Louisiana native John Larroquette, who won four Emmys as attorney Dan Fielding on Night Court. “We broke the ice by our love of the Saints,” says Brown. Larroquette, a legendary funnyman who is also a formidable dramatic actor, counseled him on creating multi26 | July/August 2013
photo by J.R. Mankoff/NBC
Wes Brown and Meagan Good in Deception photo by David Giesbrecht/NBC
dimensional characters by including small moments of humor, even in the most dramatic scenes. “If it’s overdone, it’s going to look ridiculous. If it can be spot on, it can be something pretty special.” Though NBC chose not to renew Deception for its second season, Wes Brown’s career continues to expand. In addition to acting, he has written a script for Now and the Hour, a film now in development with Brown and Daniel Lewis producing. S
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THE MIDDLE OF
by Katianna Bear
photos by Louis Zlotowicz Mayhall directs Leticia Jimenez and Garrett Hines
t took blood, sweat and sheer force of will,” Michael Mayhall says of the creation of his first feature film, Jake’s Road. For years, the Louisiana native bounced around from state to state, working as an actor, stunt actor, director and producer. When the film industry started sprouting in his original stomping grounds, he decided it was time to head back to the Big Easy and fulfill a dream: to produce his own film. “I tried to think of a project I could get off the ground financially. I had to think of my pocket book,” Mayhall says. “I started thinking of memories of a place called ‘The Camp’ and the script started to form in my head.” Mayhall fondly recalled campouts, ghost stories and sleepovers from his high school and college downtime spent at the cabin in the woods on his mother’s land. After a rough outline was created, he began plotting and manipulating his memories into a narrative. Jake’s Road slowly evolved into a dark and twisted version of what used to be summer fun in Folsom. “The good times [in Jake’s Road] are personal,” he makes clear. “When things get a little weird and when things go bad, that’s all make believe.” Mayhall admits it was tough for him to cut out all of the childhood memories. “When I first wrote it, I wrote a lot of the dumb little things that I would do at this place,” he says. “I had to cut a lot of that out because people who weren’t involved in those memories just didn’t 28 | July/August 2013
understand it. They didn’t understand why it was such a special thing, or why it was so funny. The hardest part was filtering out my memories.” “A lot of the characters’ names are loosely based on friends of mine from high school and college,” he continues. “It was really fun going back and pulling all of these little random memories together to make a whole story.” After a solid first draft, Mayhall took his work to fellow friends in the industry to see if they were interested in being a part of the project. “I basically just said, ‘I am going to make this movie. You guys can get on board with me and help produce it, or not.’ And they did. They just got on board with me and we started making phone calls.” Soon after, investors were brought on board and actors were attached, including the lead, veteran actor Eric Roberts. “I remember watching him over the years and I thought he would be the perfect fit for this character,” says Mayhall. “He was the right age, the right look. He is very intense. And for the other actors, we held auditions and found a really great cast. We had some amazingly talented people for this film.” Among Mayhall’s first phone calls was to trusted friend, previous coworker and producer Tim Bell. “We just always talked about doing a movie together,” says Mayhall. “And over the years we stayed in touch. He was my first guy.” “We were running around sword fighting in these outrageous
Eric Roberts as Keith in Jake’s Road www.scenelouisiana.com | 29
TODAY’S SCENE pirate costumes,” Tim Bell laughs, fondly remembering the first time he and Mayhall met. Over ten years ago, the two did live sword-fighting shows in the heat of summer for Universal Studios, a dangerous first encounter that blossomed into a creative friendship. “He has always been a writer and likes to generate projects from an artistic point and I think it just worked well with mine,” says Bell. “I like to work on projects from a more physical and hands on perspective, so we both have always worked well together.” Now, over a decade later, the two wear many hats together on Jake’s Road. Bell, who moved to New Orleans for the industry three years prior, took on the roles of executive producer, stunt coordinator, prop master, armourer, transportation coordinator and he even played the part of “Mike.” Along with Mayhall, he also put up a large sum of his own money to get the small budget film rolling. “I jumped in with both feet,” says Bell. “I bought a trailer that became our everything trailer. It was grip, electric, props, stunts, a little bit of craft services and wardrobe. It housed everything.” The juggling man balanced his seven roles during their fourteenday shoot in Folsom, Mandeville and Covington. “I’m in my character wardrobe and I’m running around helping coordinate the next shot, just trying to stay a half a step ahead so everything can work as smoothly and quickly as possible,” says Bell. “Quite honestly, it was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. And, as I told Mike later, it wasn’t because of the fact that I couldn’t do each one of the roles. The task was trying to do all seven of them at the same time. It nearly killed me.” Bell admits that it was difficult to enjoy the production of Jake’s Road. “I didn’t have time to stop and smell the roses. I was always behind the eight ball. There was always something that needed to be done yesterday.” Ironically, his most rewarding moments of the project were during pick-up shots. “I was able to relax and see what Mike had built through the camera lens. Those were some of the best moments for me. I remember thinking, ‘Wow, this really came together quite well.’” Having the chance to take off numerous hats and look around was refreshing for Bell. “I was able to stop the hectic pace and look everyone in the eye and just see the smiles on their faces and realize what a great thing we are creating.” “The mood was great when people started to see some of the footage that Mike had put together,” Bell says. “It was just so positive and fun during those re-shoots and pick up shots. It was the icing on the cake that was really going to help complete the project.” As both Mayhall and Bell reiterated, the cast and crew were near perfect. They were there for the love of filmmaking and exuded positive energy throughout the ups and the downs of creating a low budget masterpiece. “I would work with any one of them again,” Mayhall says with certainty. “Absolutely, without hesitation,” Bell agrees. “We had some great up-and-comers, some that were straight out of college, and we had some veterans as well.” Currently being courted by four different distributers, Jake’s Road is trying hard to earn the title of the little film that could. Produced by Mayhall, Bell, Sam Sullivan III and Jesse Cale Williams, the independent thriller does not yet have a release date locked. Though this homegrown thriller is still in the middle of its road, it is expected to be released later this year. Find out more about Jake’s Road at www.jakesroadthemovie.com. S 30 | July/August 2013
Leticia Jimenez as Kay
www.scenelouisiana.com | 31
LOUISIANA LAW FIRM COURTS ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS by Susan Ross
sher Friend and Allen Frederic are old friends from Tulane University Law School. “We both graduated from Tulane in ’03,” says Friend. “We were summer associates at Jones Walker, and then started together as associates in the fall of 2003.” The two have remained close friends, and are now each partners in the Corporate & Securities Practice Group at Jones Walker LLP, the largest law firm in the Gulf South. With more than 375 attorneys, the firm boasts a comprehensive range of legal services. “Historically, our business practice group has done work representing primarily the finance side of the film space in Louisiana and beyond,” says Friend, who co-chairs Jones Walker’s entertainment practice with Frederic. “However, the development of our entertainment practice really started in earnest about a year ago with Allen and I leading the charge. As the film industry in Louisiana has grown, so has our involvement.” Their involvement hasn’t been limited to negotiating and drafting legal documents. Frederic recently produced a micro-budgeted feature length film called The King of New Orleans. “The director is one of my oldest friends from New Orleans, Chike Ozah, who directed ESPN’s Benji, one of the 30 for 30s,” says Frederic. “We are in post-production right now. By the end of the day, it will be about a $50,000 feature film. We’re just hoping it’s a film fest darling.” Frederic also has a co-executive producer credit on The Butler, which opens wide August 16. “A firm client was looking to get involved in the film industry. I worked with this client for about a year, looking at potential projects. We came across The Butler and my client was very excited,” says Frederic. “I represented him throughout the entire process, from reviewing and commenting on the operating agreement, financing agreements and sales agreements, to negotiating the distribution agreement with The Weinstein Company.” “Certainly it is a very important story and hopefully when it is released, the rest of the world will agree with that,” says Frederic of the true story that inspired The Butler. “I was very impressed by the script from Danny Strong, who just won an Emmy for Game Change. Lee Daniels is just a brilliant director and it certainly doesn’t hurt that the cast is amazing.” The Butler’s incredible cast includes more Oscar winners than any other film in history. In late 2009, Jones Walker began representing Cinereach, the New York based production company that produced Beasts of the Southern Wild, a small independent film developed and shot in Louisiana. It went on to earn
Jones Walker’s Allen Frederic and Asher Friend
photo by Charlotte Cox
an Academy Award nomination for best picture. “We could not be more proud to have been involved with this historic production,” says Friend. In January, Jones Walker enlisted Jose Martinez, Jr. and Nikki L. Barbanell, two entertainment attorneys based in Los Angeles who previously co-founded Martinez Barbanell LLP, who specialize in representing distributors, investors, lenders, producers and talent in all facets of film development, production, finance, acquisition and distribution. “Allen and Jose started talking and putting everything together,” says Friend. “Given Jose and Nikki’s extensive experience and expertise in the industry, particularly on the production legal and distribution sides, it was an extremely synergistic opportunity.” Jones Walker also opened an office in Los Angeles. Active with LFEA and the New Orleans Film Society, Friend and Frederic are looking forward to further developing Jones Walker’s relationship with the entertainment industry. “Allen and I are both very involved with and interested in the arts, generally,” says Friend. “We’re just extremely interested in supporting the industry.” For additional information on Jones Walker’s entertainment practice, visit www.joneswalker.com/practices-156.html S
MORE SCENE EXTRAS 32 | July/August 2013
NEW ORLEANS IS SHELL SHOCKED by Leah Stogner
photos by Jarrid Clinkinbeard
hough rich in history and culture, New Orleans is unique for being a small city with big city problems. Oft called the murder capital of the United States, the Crescent City consistently stands out as a city with a major gun violence problem. The documentary Shell Shocked began in 2008 when director John Richie was working with a group of kids on an anti-violence campaign. Richie lived in New Orleans for eight years but had never realized the effect gun violence had on the youth of New Orleans. “I felt that it was shameful that we as a community were not paying more attention to this,” Richie says. “We really needed to start focusing on this problem to find positive solutions.” Before examining the problem more closely, Richie assumed that almost all gun violence was closely related to illegal activity, including the sale of narcotics. But he found that most shootings in New Orleans were by teenagers dealing with simple conflicts. “I had many of the same assumptions as people that do not live in the neighborhoods most affected by gun violence,” says Richie. “But as I talked to kids living in these neighborhoods – and families that had lost children to gun violence - I began to realize that drugs are rarely the factor that leads to shootings. Most shootings amongst teenagers are caused by conflicts you find in any group of kids in the United States: petty beefs about girls, jealousy and people being picked on. The difference is that in these neighborhoods, where we have had the most amount of disparity, neglect and disenfranchisement, gun violence can be an option for conflict resolution.” He reached out to people in the community to find kids who would be willing to participate. “We told them we wanted to do a documentary mentoring program with the eventual goal of making
a film about youth and gun violence,” says Richie. “We asked them if they knew any teenagers who were interested in filmmaking. Once we found kids that wanted to participate, we talked to their parents, telling them about the project. Every person we approached wanted to be a part of the program.” Five teenagers were given video cameras. They had twenty months to film short documentaries about their life, and then, filming the short films turned into an ongoing process. The five teenagers - Matt Gray, Cee Cee Davis, Josh Studyviant, Daylin Bolding, and Imani Sims – are central to the film. The
documentary features the teens’ perspectives, along with the perspectives of the parents of victims, community leaders and police officers who deal with the reality of gun violence. The documentary aims to raise awareness about this much-neglected crisis in New Orleans. Richie urges people to support the cause by advocating for children, volunteering at youth organizations, supporting beneficial legislation or offering monetary donations to children’s programs. Support Shell Shocked by following on www.facebook.com/shellshockeddocumentary. Information on screenings of Shell Shocked are listed at shellshockeddoc.com. S
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ABOVE THE LINE
McKIDD Heads North of Hell by Micah Haley
photos: Jason Kruppa
style: Andi Eaton h/mu: Sarah Frederick for Rigsby Frederick Salon & Spa
native of Scotland, Kevin McKidd has directed and starred in Greyâ€™s Anatomy as Dr. Owen Hunt. He is also well known for playing the lead role of Lucius Vorenus in HBOâ€™s Rome, a much lauded
landmark television series that chronicled the rise of Caesar Augustus through the eyes of two soldiers. McKidd spent his early summer in New Orleans filming North of Hell, in which he plays a meth-addled biker. We spoke overlooking the Mississippi River at Second Line Stages in New Orleans.
38 | July/August 2013
www.scenelouisiana.com | 39
ABOVE THE LINE MH: Is this the first time you’ve been down to New Orleans? KM: It is. I’ve been working a lot, though. I’ll try and see some
of it this weekend. It’s a great place and it’s really exciting to see the movie industry here. I drove past the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes set the other day and it’s amazing to see a central city street be given over to a production. That wouldn’t happen in L.A. Giving over a huge central intersection in the middle of the city to a set like that is cool. It must be very exciting for you guys.
MH: Have you had a chance to see any music down here? KM: I haven’t. I’m going out tonight. I really want to get
down to Frenchman Street. I hear the level of musicianship is pretty incredible in this town. Which makes it hard if you’re a musician in this town because the competition to get gigs is way higher. So yeah, I’m excited to hear some music.
MH: There are some truly world-class musicians. KM: That will be cool. I play every Tuesday night in a Irish/folk
music session in L.A. and there’s a big traditional community of Celtic music in L.A. I feel like that really traditional music, the older I get, the more I’m interested in that. I just want to be around that: to hear musicians play because that’s what they do. That’s their life. A lifestyle choice as opposed to a career choice.
MH: It has been great to see the film and television industry positively affect the lives of local musicians. Some great musicians who were previously only known to locals now travel all over the world. KM: That’s exciting to hear that shift. That’s cool that the TV and movie industry are game changing in that way. MH: Let’s talk North of Hell. How have you enjoyed working on the project? KM: It’s a cool project. I read about it just over a year ago. There’s something about the script that’s so wrong, it just feels right. It’s very dark, very funny. It’s been a blast, man. I’m playing this crazy meth head called Freeman, who’s been a bold player. We made a pretty last-minute decision to make him a completely Scottish character. I was nervous about it, initially, because I always worry about on-set decisions like that. Broad decisions made on set instead of weeks beforehand. But I think, in this instance, this really worked. It has really added this weird element to an already very weird film. We adjusted some dialogue a little bit to explain why Freeman is here. And it’s been a complete bold play. It’s so antithetical to the characters that I’ve been playing recently. I was telling A.J. that I played characters like this a lot in my twenties when I first came out of drama school. I think it’s because of Trainspotting. A lot of the characters I played were these off-beat, left field, messed up, darker characters. Real characters as opposed to lead roles. Then I hit my late twenties, early thirties and that sort of changed. I started getting casted as this more heroic guy. I think it was because of the period dramas and swinging swords. Something shifted. Maybe it was because I started going to the gym at my thirtieth birthday! This role feels nice, like a call back to my earlier career. So I’m having an absolute ball getting to do it. I’ll be honest: 40 | July/August 2013
being charming or being heroic, those characteristics of a leading guy, you don’t have to worry about that with a character like Freeman. And I really love that.
MH: What kind of research did you do to learn about the world of a meth addict?
KM: There’s this really great National Geographic documentary
called World’s Most Dangerous Drug. It’s a pretty intense documentary. There’s a whole bunch of material out there. And some amazing campaigns who are really trying to raise awareness about meth in the younger generations. Showing them how horrific you look before and after. You’ve probably seen these before and after shots of these hot shot track and field kids, the shining light of high schools. Within six months, they look like they’re fifty years old, have no prospects and live in their car. It’s tragic and it’s a really depressing drug. It’s been an eye-opener. I really didn’t know much about it before. It’s been real sobering. I’ve got young kids – eleven and thirteen - and my kids are coming to the age where that drug is around. It’s kinda scary.
MH: It’s scary that they might be exposed to it in a couple of years.
KM: I don’t think it’s as big in big cities like Los Angeles, but certainly in more rural areas. It’s a drug that is more popular in the rural states. Doing a comedy film, I didn’t expect to get this sobering information about this drug. It kind of rots you from the inside. There’s nothing natural about it. Like in Trainspotting, even with something as serious as heroin, people can be perfectly functioning individuals and operate being heroin addicts for years, sometimes decades. With meth, it’s like putting poison into your body, literally. At one point [in North of Hell], Patrick Wilson has to snort some to prove that he’s loyal and he says, “It burns.” And I say, “Yeah, I know, because it’s cut with Tide and peyote.” Interestingly, when we did Trainspotting, we learned that heroin overdoses happened when a person who was a heroin addict got used to a certain type of heroin that had been cut with something, and suddenly they would get a change of dealers or a different batch would come in. It would actually be pure heroin and he would take the same amount as he always has, but because there was nothing cut into it, it would kill the guy. Meth started as a mom and pop business in America. It started as something you cooked up at home. Then the government slammed down controls on Sudafed, which is one of the main components of meth. Then, the Mexican meth labs, the sort of super kitchens were built, and that’s when crystal meth came into existence. It became this much stronger, much more potent, much more dangerous drug. MH: How have you enjoyed working with director Anthony Burns?
KM: Anthony is great. He’s that great mix of being very specific
about what he knows he wants, but very loose about how you get there. He gives you a lot of latitude, and you feel like he trusts you. Not all directors have that quality. He wants you to do your thing. Some directors want to just put the quarter in the slot and do what they tell you to do and Tony’s not like that at all. He’s very collaborative and very passionate about what he’s doing.
MH: I love HBO’s Rome, where you played the historical
Lucius Vorenus. How did you become a part of that project?
KM:I was doing a period drama about Mary, Queen of Scots. We were
in Romania. I was in Elizabethan-type, big, long leather boots and a swashbuckling outfit. And as I was walking down the corridor, I heard these American voices coming at me and it was John Milius, Bruno Heller and Michael Apted. They were all racking that studio there to potentially shoot Rome there. This is about a year and a half before they even started casting. They recognized me from a few things I’ve done and I said, “Look, how long are you around?” They were there for two days. So, I got the director to cue up some dailies because there’s a lot of horse riding and sword swinging in this period drama we were doing. So the director, a friend of mine, cued up a fifteen minute montage of my stuff and they came into my dressing room and watched it. They said, “Oh great, that was fantastic. We’ll keep you in mind.” A year and a half later, I eventually get this call. They wanted me to read for Mark Antony, initially, and then Brutus. I read for every role other than Lucius Vorenus. And I kept going to Nina Gold, a fantastic casting director in London, and saying, “Nina, I really think I want to - I need to - read for this Lucius Vorenus role.” And she was like, “No, we really see you as this character. You should read this.” And I would go, “Okay, alright. But I’m telling you, I would really like to have a shot at Lucius Vorenus.” As soon as I read, they were like, “Oh yeah! Why didn’t we think of that?” Sometimes actors just know. Just telling the casting directors out there! Sometimes the actor knows best. I did a final screen test with me and Ray Stevenson and that was it. Ray and I had known each other socially before this. We went in to do a final screen test and there were a couple of other actors screen testing. Ray had been casted at that point. And that was it. The interesting twist: I was doing Ridley Scotts’ King of Heaven at the time in Spain and hanging out with Liam Neeson. At the time, I was this British actor who loved doing independent films and I didn’t know who HBO was. I had never heard of HBO, to be honest. We have The Sopranos over there, but it’s aired on a different network in the UK so it didn’t have the same weight. I was ignorant to the significance of HBO at the time. I called my agent and said, “You know, I’ve got these two other independent films I’m attached to. I don’t think I can bail on them, so I think I’m gonna pass. She was like, “Oh, really? Alright then. I’ll let them know.” I told a few guys on set in Spain what was going on and they were looking at me like I was nuts. Nobody was talking. Somebody got word to Liam Neeson that I had turned HBO down. He’s really good friends with Ciarán Hinds, who, about a week earlier, had also turned HBO down for Rome. Basically, Liam took him to the back of the bait sheds and gave him a stern talking to. He said, “This is the biggest mistake of your life, Ciarán.” Sure enough, I’m sitting in the bar that night and Liam Neeson walks in and says, “You. I need to have a word with you.” And I’m like, “Okay.” He’s a big intimidating guy! A lovely, brilliant guy, but you don’t mess with him and I thought I had done something to piss him off. We’re in this tiny little village north of Spain in a mountain town at this crappy little hotel we’re all staying at. And he took me out back! We’re in this cobbled street, I remember there was snowfall, and he’s going, “I’ve heard you’ve turned down this Rome show.” He said, “You’re making the biggest mistake of your life. I told my pal Ciarán and I’m telling you right now. Have they moved on? Do you know if they’ve moved on from you?” I said, “I don’t know, I told them about eight www.scenelouisiana.com | 41
ABOVE THE LINE hours ago.” And Liam said, “I suggest you run - don’t walk - to a phone and call your agent. Tell them you’ve reconsidered.” And luckily, they hadn’t moved on at that point. I think my agent knew that I might reconsider.
MH: And they hadn’t moved on to another actor?
KM: Luckily, they hadn’t moved on, but I do kinda owe Liam Neesen quite a lot.
MH: It’s understandable that you didn’t quite know the profile of HBO. For a long time, they were primarily known for sports. And in the 90s they broke Kevin McKidd as Dr. Owen Hunt narrative ground with Oz, which was very contained - almost a one set drama, albeit a great one. The Sopranos really defined them as a premier place for narrative television. But really, it wasn’t until Carnivale and Rome that they matched excellent storytelling with cinematic production values. Rome was really right at the beginning of HBO doing these character driven epics. Now, of course, Game of Thrones matches and even exceeds the quality of many theatrically released feature films. KM: There were two independent films that, if I pulled out, they would probably run into trouble. So, I felt loyalty to them. I didn’t think I needed to put a hold on everything else to go and sign over six years of my life, potentially, to this show. But I’m glad I changed my plan. I’m glad Liam Neeson pulled me by the ear out into the street that day.
MH: How much research did you do about the historical period? KM: We did a lot. We read a lot of books. There’s Tom Holland’s
book Rubicon, a fantastic source for that period. We had an amazing historical expert named Jonathan Stamp, who’s the most amazing guy to sit and have a beer with. He has this encyclopedic brain. He specializes in Roman history. An unbelievable guy, lovely and really good fun. The whole point of Rome is that it wasn’t just big stuff: look at the foot soldiers and how his wife lived, what he actually ate, and how they threw out trash. It was kind of a buddy movie, really. These two friends at odds, Titus Pullo and Lucius Vorenus. How they lived and how they rose, accidently rubbing up against these huge events in history. That was always the concept.
MH: You are also a big part of Grey’s Anatomy. Every woman in my life is jealous that I’m talking to you right now.
KM: Basically if a guy comes up to me and says, “Hey, you’re
that guy from…” I’m pretty certain they’re gonna say Rome. And if it’s a woman, they’ll say, “You’re that guy from Grey’s Anatomy.” Kind of got the demographics covered in that sense.
42 | July/August 2013
MH: And from a career
standpoint, that’s exactly what you want to do: build a diverse audience.
KM: I’ve never thought about
it like that. Wish I’d planned it that way. I probably just lucked out. It’s been great. Grey’s is a very specific show. You know, I direct that show now. I’ve done five episodes. It’s actually a very tough show to direct and to write because it’s very much a dramedy. It’s very heavy medical, and it’s got this soap opera element, but you have to be careful with that. It’s kind of dipping into three or four pools of genres, photo by Danny Feld/ABC really. It’s blending those four elements in each episode to make it feel like Grey’s. And that’s tough, actually, instead of it being a straight procedural or a straight comedy.
MH: It is a very specific tone. People file it away under
‘medical drama,’ but it’s very different than House or ER.
KM: It’s a much more blended form, I think, and it’s fun. I directed one episode that was very medical heavy, another episode I directed was very personal drama, which was completely comedic and silly, frothy and fun. AJ knows if you’re on a show for a long time, the tone can become monotonous after a while. Not for the watchers, but for the actors. So we’re kind of lucky our tone shifts on that show.
MH: How did you come to direct on Grey’s? KM: It was a mixture of things. I was on the second season, and I
had been a journeyman actor for a long time, living out of suitcases. And suddenly, being in one city and looking at a five year commitment started to scare the hell out of me. I knew I’d always want to try directing, so I thought, “Well, maybe this is fate telling me this is the time.” I asked them if I could shadow direct, which is every actor’s root into directing. I shadowed a couple of the directors on the show, David Aaron Cohen and Tony Phelan, and just as I was finishing up my shadowing, they were doing a commission to do five episodes of a webisode series spin-off thing sponsored by Carmex. Every webisode, I had to show somebody using or looking at or talking about Carmex in it. They were looking around, saying, “Who are we going to get to direct it? Oh you. You go and do these webisodes. Here’s your budget.” Which was like two pound fifty and a bag of crisps. And I did it, and I prepped the hell out of it cause I knew that this was my audition. And if I blew it, that would be it. You just don’t get asked back. Later when a director dropped out, I was in the right place at the right time, they literally went, “You get in, you’re on.” Because they were in a bind. And again, I just worked my ass off. I didn’t sleep for like two weeks, working and panicking and pulling my hair prepping to direct.
ABOVE THE LINE
www.scenelouisiana.com | 43
ABOVE THE LINE MH: How big was your character’s
presence in that first episode you directed? KM: It was light. They took pity and sent my character to the dentist for the day. Gave me a tooth ache and said, “You have to go to the dentist.” I literally had one scene, and I’m going out to the dentist. They haven’t done that since. They are like, “You can do it now.” So, the last three episodes my character was in there a lot.
MH: In the future, are you interested in directing more television or features?
MH: Is it a dialect of English? KM: Oh yeah, it’s all English.
But some words are completely replaced and it’s a crazy language. Just beautiful to listen to in a weird way. And so it stuck and they had the flag up the flag pole, it got to John Lasseter and he was like, “I love it.” I sent them all these YouTube clips. That’s what’s great about working for a company like Pixar. You don’t just feel like you’re a cog in a machine. They ask for your input, you give it, and if it’s good, they’ll use it. I feel pretty proud that I managed to get my hometown dialect that pretty much nobody has heard, even in Glasgow. Even in Scotland, it is a pretty unknown dialect and I managed to get it in a pretty big Pixar movie.
KM: I definitely want to. The next thing I want to do is direct a couple of different shows that I’m not on. Again, as part of my director training. I still feel like MH: Even now, hearing you I’m at school. Once I’ve done speak it, none of it registers that, I want to start looking at as English. It almost registers independent movie ideas. I think as hearing English spoken episodic TV directors do amazing backwards. work. I just know it’s not for me and I love acting too much. If you KM: And that’s all real stuff, man. get on that treadmill [of directing I’m glad you liked it. photo courtesy of HBO TV] it’s a circuit. Your whole year McKidd as Lucius Varenus on HBO’s Rome disappears. I think my ceiling will MH: Visually, Brave was hopefully be a couple more shows to get my chops up, just looking at beautiful. Scotland is beautiful in reality and it was great to different styles of shooting, and then look at some independent stuff. see it portrayed in animation. MH: You had two characters in Disney’s animated feature
Brave. Please tell me about totally incomprehensible dialect of the son.
KM: He’s called Young McGuffin. It’s amazing working for Pixar.
It takes about five years to do it because they’ll animate for nine months, then you’ll come in for a session, then they’ll animate for another year. I did that film for four years and initially they said, “For this character, we’ve got this great idea that you can’t understand a word he says. You just make up gobbledygook crazy Scottish words.” I tried that for a session and it just felt weird. The town that I’m from is a place called Elgin, in Burgess in the Highlands. There’s a local dialect that my grandfather and grandmother used to speak called Doric which is like a rural old dialect. It’s not its own language but it’s close. It’s almost Norwegian. Look it up on YouTube. There’s some YouTube clips of some of these guys back in the 50s speaking it. And so, I did that for Pixar and they all just fell out and were saying, “This is real? This is actually real? You didn’t make that up?” And I was like, “No, it’s real.”
KM: I like to say that Pixar actually managed to improve Scotland. MH: Tell me about your work with Save the Children. KM: I do a lot of stuff with Save the Children. I released an album
last year with old Scottish traditional music. About two years ago, a bunch of musician friends and me had a house in the Highlands for a week. I got these phenomenal musicians from my local area together with a sound engineer and we recorded all the old, old, old tunes and songs from our upbringing. It’s this really lovely, very passionionate album. It was all one-take stuff. We set up the house like a recording studio, a bit like what Springsteen did with The Seeger Sessions. It’s that kind of feel, so there’s no overdubbing. We didn’t polish anything. If somebody’s mandolin was slightly out of tune, it just had to stay. So it’s almost like a live album of songs. It’s called the The Speyside Sessions and that really raised a lot of money. All proceeds from that went to Save the Children. I do a lot of work with them because I think they are just a great charity. They’re nonreligious, non-political. It’s just about getting money to needy kids. S
North of Hell is now in post-production with an expected 2014 theatrical release. Kevin McKidd’s album The Speyside Sessions is now available in iTunes, with all proceeds going to benefit Save the Children. Find out more at www.savethechildren.org.
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The Sons of Anarchy cast supports the Boot Campaign
PUT YOUR BOOTS ON by Leah Stogner
ormer Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell’s book Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of Seal Team 10 is the true story of his journey as a US Navy Seal. Tasked with capturing or killing a key Taliban leader linked to Osama Bin Laden, Seal Team 10’s mission resulted in the deaths of three Seals and sixteen rescue responders, leaving Luttrell alone in Afghanistan. After reading Lutrell’s 2007 book, five women in Texas known as the Boot Girls launched the Boot Campaign in 2009. Their non-profit organization helps Americans show appreciation and support for the U.S. Armed Forces by allowing them to purchase military boots to wear. The boots symbolize pride and recognition similar to displaying an American flag. In their three years of campaigning, the Boot Girls have found that men and women who wear military boots with business suits tend to stand out. Since its inception, the Boot Campaign has enlisted the wide support of the entertainment industry, with actors, athletes, musicians, politicians and real life heroes lending
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their profile to bring attention to those who have served. The funds directly go to military programs that meet the physical and emotional needs of U.S. heroes returning home. One of the primary partners of the campaign is the Lone Survivor Foundation, founded in 2010 by the lone survivor himself, Marcus Luttrell. The non-profit foundation strives to replenish hope for wounded warriors by making available ranch retreats and other therapeutic activities. The opportunities provided by the foundation are not only for the wounded warriors but for their families as well. Beyond providing direct services to troops returning home, simply raising the public’s awareness is a primary focus of the Boot Campaign and the Lone Survivor Foundation. Their efforts will receive an enormous boost this January. Lone Survivor, a major motion picture based upon Lutrell’s story, will be released worldwide. Mark Wahlberg, who will soon be seen in theaters this August in the New Orleans-shot actioner 2 Guns, will play Luttrell in the patriotic thriller. Peter Berg wrote and directed the film that brings Seal Team 10’s mission to life. For more information, visit bootcampaign.com and put your boots on. S
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MORE THAN COUNTRY
BAYOU COUNTRY SUPER FEST 2013 by Leah Stogner
photos by Leah Stogner
emorial Day Weekend began with a twang as the fourth annual Bayou Country Superfest stirred Tiger Stadium once more, and the lineup was almost as hot as the weather. But every year, the heat never seems to stop country fans from filling stadium seats. The festival’s growing audience was increasingly diverse and the music fit the new crowd perfectly. Aaron Lewis, former lead singer of Staind, kicked off the show Saturday evening as the sweaty, sun-stricken fans filed into Death Valley. The raspy voice of Lewis led listeners to nod their heads as he sang. But the stands weren’t yet completely filled, as fans still gathered outside to drink one last beer before entering the stadium. The eastern side of the stadium sat in the sun’s rays as the west enjoyed shade as six o’clock approached. Thompson Square, a husband and wife duo, brought American pride to the forefront as they sang Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.” Some stood up with their American flags in hand as others mouthed the words. Those midday beers began to set in and dancing started to break out. Hands raised and hips swayed as the couple moved closer together to sing “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not,” which was the band’s very first number one single. Darius Rucker stepped up on stage, many failing to recognize him at first. The sun was finally setting behind the stadium, relieving the east side. Rucker began to sing 48 | July/August 2013
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DARIUS RUCKER “Hold My Hand” by Hootie & the Blowfish. The listeners then realized exactly who was on stage: Hootie himself. That familiarity made an instant connection between Rucker and the crowd, and the stage lights emerged as the sky darkened. Rucker revealed his country side by singing Hank Williams Jr.’s “Family Tradition” and the stadium came alive. Although the crowd was filled with more alternative fans than usual, “Family Tradition” managed to bond the fans together, a family for a day. “Wagon Wheel” closed out Rucker’s performance, where he was accompanied by Lady Antebellum. Miranda Lambert rocked the stage, keeping the crowd uplifted and happy - until she sang, “Over You.” The camera panned the crowd, revealing tearful faces, a stark contrast to the tears of victorious joy more common in Death Valley. Lady Antebellum appeared on stage to close out the now cool night. A very pregnant Hillary Scott belted out lyrics as the boys joined her in harmony. “Dancing Away with My Heart” united the fans again as the band dedicated the song to veterans of the U.S. Armed 50 | July/August 2013
AARON LEWIS of staind
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KIMBERLY PERRY of THE BAND PERRY
Forces. Mobile phone flashlights glimmered around the curved stands of the stadium, representing the glowing smiles hidden behind them in the darkness. Frankie Ballard kicked off day two of the fest as fans began to swarm the tailgating grounds once again. The heat was not as daunting as day one, drawing even still hung-over fans out earlier. The sky was overcast with dark clouds, but no chance of rain (after all, it never rains in Tiger Stadium). The east side of the stadium did not have to sweat as much, energizing the crowd as Rodney Atkins 52 | July/August 2013
THOMPSON SQUARE burst onto the stage singing “Farmer’s Daughter.” The countryat-heart sang along, swaying to Atkins’ rugged voice. The cowboys raised their hands toward the stage as Atkins performed. A vibrant Kimberly Perry blew the audience away when she and her two brothers, collectively The Band Perry, appeared on stage. Their energy was relentless. The crowd was again mixed with alternative music fans to full-blown country boys to older folks enjoying a little new-age country. The Band Perry appealed to the masses and made for a much rowdier crowd as they killed Queen’s “Fat Bottom Girls.” The country ladies, decked out in lace shirts and cut-offs, stood up in the stands and on the floor to make the rockin’ world go round. Little did they know that they were just warming up for Luke Bryan. The handsome Luke Bryan hopped on stage to steal the hearts of all the women in the crowd. Squeals echoed through the stadium, with Bryan standing in for Bieber. Bryan dubbed Death Valley the “loudest stadium in America,” a point proven as the crowd screamed “boom boom” during the chorus of “Drunk on You.” Zac Brown Band impressed listeners with their natural sound. While Zac Brown may not have Luke Bryan’s sex appeal, he surely has talent. He played “Devil Went Down to Georgia,” making fans dance. Even those who were not country to the core showed their hidden Southern side. At this point, the aisles were open for two-stepping and the Do-Si-Do. Cowboy boots 54 | July/August 2013
tapped in the cement stands as the band’s fiddler nailed the solos. Brown sang Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” to cool down the crowd. Couples drew closer and everyone felt a sense of peace and pride. “Chicken Fried” closed out the Memorial Day fest. What’s a bayou without fried chicken? The mix of fans gave the festival a new face. The artists, who are increasingly embracing newer country, herded the diverse audience into Tiger Stadium. Next year will be the fifth anniversary; it will be interesting to see who else joins the sweat-fun-beerfilled chaos of a weekend called the Bayou Country Superfest. S
To experience the Baton Rouge Marriott contact: Danielle Doss, Corporate Sales Manager • 225-615-3858 • Danielle641@marriottsales.com
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GIRL OUT OF
KENTUCKY by Katianna Bear
photos: Jessi Arnold
feel like a princess,” said actress Alyshia Ochse, beaming into a cloudy mirror. “I’ve never felt so beautiful and girly in my life.” Overwhelmed with relief, a huge smile emerged from my face as I picked up heaps of fabric from the fairy tale dress and lead her out of the changing room. Just an hour prior, Ochse was explaining how much of a tomboy she was: a down-to-earth girl from Kentucky who used to spit and get muddy with the neighborhood boys every day. While in hair and makeup, I silently panicked at the thought of showing her what I picked out for the photo shoot. It was quite possibly the antithesis of who she explained herself to be. A high-waisted tulle skirt, paired with a silk camisole and pearls, awaited the girl who has never worn a tutu in her life. Thankfully, she was thrilled at the thought of playing dress up. And after the dress adorned her, she looked even better than she felt: still breathtaking and still down to earth. That, despite the yards and yards of tulle surrounding her. Leading lady Alyshia Ochse has made her way south for a handful of projects in the recent past. She starred in Richie Adams’ directorial debut Inventing Adam, the Baton Rougeshot thriller Stash House, the Sylvester Stallone actioner Bullet to the Head and director Taylor Hackford’s Parker. Most recently, she wrapped two projects in the Big Easy that were particularly special to her: director Anthony Burns’ North of Hell and the eight-episode HBO mini-series True Detective, where she costars with Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. 56 | July/August 2013
hair: Ari Price makeup: Maria Barreda style: Katianna Bear clothes: Mimi in NOLA Embrace Skirt, Silk White, Moni $1,775 Notched Neckline, Vera, $6,990 www.scenelouisiana.com | 57
FASHION | A role departing from the norm, Ochse was eager to share her excitement for her part as Lucy, a “lot lizard” - or truck stop hooker - in True Detective. “I fought pretty hard for the role,” she said. “It’s not something I would normally be cast as. But for some reason I am very drawn to darker characters, something that has more depth you can bring to life.” The mini-series is set over a seventeen-year period, during which two friends become detectives together, and then their complex relationship unravels. Writer Nic Pizzolatto is behind the HBO series that stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as the two detectives. “He likes dark material,” she said of Pizzolatto, who wrote two excellent episodes of AMC’s The Killing. “He’s somebody who likes to dig deep into the rawness of human nature and challenge it. And that’s why, when I read this character, I knew I had to play Lucy. Even when reading the opening scene, which is a murder scene, it was the most visually stimulating piece of writing I have ever read.” “I had a different take on the character in the beginning,” Alyshia admitted. “I really put her in a very intoxicated manner, very drugged-out.” With trust in Ochse’s talent, New Orleans casting director Meagan Lewis came back to her with their idea of who Lucy should be. With a new direction for the character, Alyshia studied and was greatly inspired by Charlize Theron’s Oscarwinning portrayal of Aileen Wuernos in Monster. Ochse auditioned for a second time, incorporating the new darker ideas. She landed the role. After being cast, the collaborative process for creating Lucy continued. Ochse worked with director Cary Fukunaga to delve deeper into who this small town girl - one very different that Ochse - was going to be. “I made her isolated. I made it so she’s never really gone outside the ten-mile radius that she was born within,” she said. “Love and hope is very skewed in her world. Or even non-existent. It’s diluted and misconstrued. To me Lucy has this strong, defensive exterior, but inside she is still a little girl filled with hope. She is naive despite the destructive, limited, poverty-stricken world she lives in. She doesn’t understand her lack of possibilities or opportunities of the world. In Lucy’s mind, her and Rust (Matthew’s character) are of the same world: there is a familiarity in their pain and loss.” Though her existence as a lot lizard is lonely and dark, Lucy has a back-story, a heart and a brain. “I just feel very privileged to have the honor of bringing Lucy to life. I felt very connected to her. Sometimes you read material and you just know that this for you, and you fight and fight for it. Sometimes it works out.” Friends for decades in real life, McConaughey and Harrelson are far from their public personas in 58 | July/August 2013
True Detective. Ochse shamelessly admitted she wished McConaughey would break out his charming rom-com grin. However, his demeanor on set was very different. “This is a very dark, deep character for him,” she said. “He was very intense, very brooding and quiet. I think the world will be very shocked with what he delivers in this. I saw a little sizzle reel and I have to say that I am honored to be a part of this project. It blew my mind.” After finishing True Detective, Alyshia signed on to be a part of a project several years in the making: North of Hell starring Katherine Heigl and Patrick Wilson. Directed and written by Anthony Burns, the dark comedy was developed by a group of her close companions: Andre Champagne, AJ Buckley and Burns. Her character, Kasey, is the neighbor of Mona (Heigl) and Don Champagne (Wilson), a couple whose seemingly idyllic suburban lives are disrupted by bad decisions that make this comedy dark. “Going onto this set was exhilarating because I got to see my friends do something so dynamic,” said Ochse. Seeing them work together marked a point in her career that was especially meaningful for her. Writer/director Anthony Burns even included names of close family and friends in the script. Alyshia’s character, Kasey, shares names with his wife Casyi, and Don Champagne 60 | July/August 2013
was influenced by his friend and producer, Andre Champagne. “To see them work together is an honor and I am proud to be a part of it,” she said. “AJ and Tony have this relationship where each one of them sees something different, but they know how to collaborate and get what they need at the end of the day. They are both so creative in their own way and they both have this magnificent vision.” “The actors are hilarious, it was hard not to giggle and ruin the take. There are some amazing comedic moments but don’t let the laughing fool you. There are some shocking moments! I think this will be the best dramedy /best dark comedy of 2014 and dare I say, the best Heigl film to date.” Shot in New Orleans, North of Hell also stars Jordana Brewster, Kevin McKidd, AJ Buckley, Jim Belushi and Chi McBride. The Kentucky girl clothed in fairy tale tulle sat crossed-legged. “You know, I think I like this. I feel in touch with my girly side,” she smiled. Her infectious grin spread across her face, she said, “I think I can get used to this.” Leading lady Ochse continues to prove her talent as an actress, successfully filling varied roles. Look for Alyshia Ochse in True Detective, premiering on HBO in 2014, and North of Hell, currently in post-production with an expected release in 2014. S
SUMMER SHOES photos: Jillian Brown model: Alexis Harrington shoes courtesy of Febe in Metairie
Elizabeth & Jenny “Holly” in Cognac (Wedge) /$275
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Stuart Weitzman “Roman Mail” in Armor/Gold/ $375
Vince “Abby” in Leather and Black/ $245
5 4 4 5
Vince “Laura” in Nude/ $375
Joie “Aliso” in Cognac/ $215
www.scenelouisiana.com | 63
In Service to
THE BUTLER by Katianna Bear
photos by Anne Marie Fox
he day after President Barack Obama was elected to office for the first time, journalist Wil Haygood published an article in the Washington Post based upon the fascinating career of a man named Eugene Allen. His life unknown to the public, Allen served for more than three decades in the White House. He golfed regularly with President Ford. President Truman called him “Gene.” He saw the Cuban missile crisis and the assassination of his friend, John F. Kennedy. He lived segregation, forbidden to use the public restrooms in his own place of work. Never missing a day of his many six-day workweeks, he walked home each night to his wife Helene, a woman filled with pride for her husband’s career. A man who in many ways represented black America, Allen hoped for change within the White House. Allen was a man in the kitchen. Over thirty-four years and eight different presidencies, he worked his way up from pantryman to the most prestigious rank of butlers serving in the White House: Maître d’hôtel. A fly on the wall, the “separate-but-equal” servant witnessed American history firsthand. “The story is sentimental and significant. It’s emotionally personal for so many people,” says James Bruce, executive producer of The Butler, a motion picture that portrays the spirit of Allen’s life through the fictional character of Cecil Gaines. “It shows the interesting and ironic parallels between the historical role of AfricanAmericans in the White House, all the way up to the present day 2008 election of a president who is African-American himself.” Shortly after Haygood’s article, A Butler Well Served By This Election, was posted in 2008, the battle began for rights to the singular story with universal meaning. Phone calls from every studio-based production company poured in to both Haygood and the Washington Post, each trying to option the rights to the story in an effort to mold it into a feature film. At the end of the day, Haygood’s article was in the good hands of one of the most powerful women in Hollywood: the late Laura Ziskin, founder of Laura Ziskin Productions. While many producers promised Haygood the world, Laura Ziskin offered something special: an excellent track record of taking her projects quickly through development to production, while putting her heart into the story. Screenwriter Danny Strong, fresh off of HBO’s Recount, was selected to 64 | July/August 2013
adapt the article for the screen. Strong crafted a draft that made the Black List, the film industry’s annual list of the best unproduced screenplays. The excellent screenplay attracted the eye of top Hollywood talent, who immediately began expressing their interest in the project. However, there was one director Ziskin thought would really be able to elevate the material. It was Lee Daniels, the Oscar-nominated director of Precious. Just days before the famed producer of the Spiderman trilogy tragically succumbed to cancer, she implored her longtime co-workers and friends, Pam Williams and David Jacobson, to do everything in their power to ensure that The Butler would become a reality. In her last meeting on Earth, Ziskin summoned the strength to meet with potential investors for the film at her home in Santa Monica. Her passion for the story continued to drive her to get the project made. Now a deeply personal and professional task for Williams and Jacobson, the two producers immediately began the work that would ultimately make Ziskin’s dream a reality. They set out on the always-daunting task of recruiting equity investors from across the country. Their search led them to James Bruce and Bryan Wright of Inner Media Capital, a Louisiana-based film finance company. “In our first meetings with Pam and David back in the winter of 2011,” says Bruce, “we definitely sensed a high level of dedication and passion in them. It was a level of tenacity Bryan and I had never encountered before on a film, and it was really quite extraordinary. Their energy became contagious and we quickly found ourselves, in our own financing capacity, pushing just as hard as they were to bring The Butler to fruition.” “All that James and I really remember from our 2011 Christmas holidays are countless hours of conference calls and meetings with Pam and David, with the occasional family member greetings,” recalls Wright. “Yet, we loved every minute of it. When they later shared the very emotional account of Laura Ziskin’s final days and the full history of this film, it dawned on us that we, too, were part of something larger than just this one extremely moving film. The process really began to feel almost spiritual for us.” Director Lee Daniels had just finished The Paperboy, a raw, dark and twisted film shot in Louisiana. He began working with Strong to more roundly represent the African American experience, and the heart of the narrative became more focused on the story of a father and son. The
www.scenelouisiana.com | 65
FILM | truth-inspired tale juxtaposed the life of a black father who works in service to the head of state, while the state’s laws directly affect his son. Unable to understand how his father could willingly work subordinate to the very men responsible for his second-class status, an explosive relationship develops. The independently financed film soon featured a history-making cast, many taking financial cuts to tell the story of Allen’s life. In the titular role is Forest Whitaker, joined by Oprah Winfrey, James Marsden, John Cusack, Liev Schreiber, Robin Williams, Alan Rickman, Minka Kelly, Nelsan Ellis, Jane Fonda, Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Vanessa Redgrave, Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, David Oyelowo and Alex Pettyfer. Collectively, the cast sets a record for the most Academy Award winners in the same film. With major names attached to the project, its scope evolved dramatically. The film’s budget, once $20 million, increased to about $30 million. “Anyone who looked at the billing on this film couldn’t ignore its jaw-dropping packaging of talented people,” says Bruce. “When the discussion about domestic and foreign distribution evolved, we all knew that there were so many great options at our door.” At the 2012 Cannes Film Festival and Market, Daniel’s critically acclaimed film The Paperboy premiered, boosting The Butler’s worldwide distribution potential. “We were getting calls from the producers and sales team in France almost three times a day,” recalls Wright. “It was simply incredible. Even the sales agents were amazed, as they were able to presell certain countries for almost four times their original asking price.” The increase in sales came with an increase in the film’s expected production values. “That is really the adrenaline-fueled fun moments we look forward to,” laughs Wright. “The other 364 days of a film financier’s year consists of mundane spreadsheets and contracts. These are the times we get to really shine. We had about five business days to line up millions in additional capital. James and I honestly were really never confident that we could pull it off in time, until we did. It was quite the roller-coaster.” As The Butler evolved from a modestly budgeted independent film to one with a budget the size of a small studio film, executive producers Bruce and Wright fought to keep the film in the state of Louisiana. After location scouting in Louisiana, producers were concerned about not being able to make New Orleans look like Washington D.C. The possibility of relocating the project to Atlanta, Georgia was real. But Bruce and Wright weren’t going to let the project relocate without exhausting every option. “When I got the bad news that the production was likely headed to Atlanta instead of New Orleans, I asked them to send us their portfolio of D.C. pictures they were trying to double in New Orleans,” says Bruce. “I said, ‘Wait a minute guys, give us a shot at finding these locations before you pull the plug! I grew up in D.C. and moved to New Orleans, so I have literally spent my entire life living in just these two cities. I 66 | July/August 2013
know there are locations here that will fit perfectly for DC!’ In retrospect, that must have sounded particularly odd coming from a financier. What business did I have asking for their location scout photos?” On a Friday afternoon, Bruce had an hour to make his case. “I had to rely on the quickest resources available,” he says. “I went on Google Street View and from memory started clicking around, trying to find the best fitting doubles for D.C. Anything that had a colonial style sort of like Columbia Heights and Georgetown. I literally screen-grabbed about twenty or thirty different photos and sent them back to the Butler team. An hour later I got an email back saying, ‘Thank you so much, James. I think you just changed their minds. We’re going to take another hard look at keeping it in New Orleans.’” “I wanted it to happen so bad,” says Bruce. “I wanted them to see they had Louisiana people on the ground who were ready to go out of their way to keep the film here.” As Louisianans, Bruce and Wright could certainly help find necessary locations, but their forte is finance. “I helped structure the financing plans for many feature films since the inception of Inner Media, but The Butler’s financing structure was a monumental puzzle. I think everyone involved felt the same way. I still have several thousand Butler emails archived, many of which have over fifty individuals cc’ed, each of whom had specific feedback to provide,” Bruce laughs. “And I am probably understating the numbers.” When the dust settled days before the start of principle photography, Bruce and Wright made an interesting discovery. “We were frankly startled and absolutely delighted - to discover that Louisiana-based businesses, run by Louisiana residents, contributed approximately 42% of the circa $30 million budget. That is a huge number, nearly unprecedented for a film this size to be capitalized by Louisiana individuals. It really speaks to the passion that these Louisiana investors had for The Butler and their faith in its ultimate success.” “No matter what anyone pitching you might try to claim to the contrary, no film investment on this size is a low-risk investment,” says Bruce. “The full title of Louisiana film incentive law is Louisiana Motion Picture Investor Tax Credit. Since its inception ten years ago, the State’s intent has always been to incentivize and reward Louisiana investors for investing their capital into movies that film in the State. I reckon The Butler may be the poster child for the Louisiana film tax credit law.” With filming and post-production now complete, The Butler is set for a wide release. On August 16, the inspired story of one man, who witnessed the moral progress of a nation as no one else, will be known to many. Though the efforts of many brought The Butler to the big screen, the people of Louisiana have played an important role in bringing this important American story to audiences across the world. S
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I am a photographer and someone has taken images off of my website and is using them in their advertising without my permission. What recourse do I have against them? It would appear that you have a copyright infringement claim for your copyrighted photographs. Copyright is a form of legal protection provided to the authors of original works of authorship, including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and certain other intellectual works. The key component of copyright protection is that the work is an “original work of authorship.” Copyright protection gives the author the exclusive right to reproduce the work, prepare derivative works based upon the original work, distribute copies of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, perform the work publicly, display the work publicly, or perform the work publicly by digital audio transmission. Furthermore,
copyright protection automatically subsists from the moment of creation of an original work: there is no requirement or process for your work to be protected once you have created it. Though, it is often ideal to register it with the U.S. Copyright Office. In this instance, the alleged infringement would be based off of an authorized display of your work publicly via the advertisement containing the work. There are many potential remedies available to either stop the alleged infringing use or come to an agreement with the other party regarding the use of your work. The first step would be to consult with an experienced intellectual property attorney familiar with copyright law and enforcement. Good luck.
About 10 years ago I had a logo designed for my entertainment company and have been using it ever since. Recently, I have noticed another company providing similar services to ours has opened in the area and they are using a name and logo almost identical to ours. What can I do? Well, what we are talking about here is a trademark infringement claim. Trademarks are generally defined as a symbol, word or group of words used to represent a company or its goods or services. Simply put, a trademark most often operates as a source identifier. Meaning, when you see a certain name or logo associated with a particular product or service, you as the consumer have some type of expectation of quality or other attributes you associate with the product or service, and, more importantly, its source. The value of a trademark is based heavily on the goodwill that a company has built up surrounding its goods or services. Trademarks are established by use, meaning you cannot actually obtain trademark protection without first using it in commerce. While it is often desirable to register your trademarks federally, thus getting protection across the entire United States (assuming you have a valid and protectable
68 | July/August 2013
trademark), it is not necessary because if you have been using a mark in commerce and it is a protectable trademark, you are entitled to “common law” protection of that mark in the areas which you have been using it. Does the alleged use of a similar name and logo amount to trademark infringement? Inyour question, there is no use of an identical name or logo as yours, but is the name and logo used so similar to your name and logo that consumers might actually be confused to the point of believing the services are coming from your company? Or, that there exists some type of connection or endorsement by your company of this competitor’s goods and services? There are many considerations that will be vital to making this determination, and they are too detailed to get into here, but should you feel that your trademark is being infringed you should consult with an experienced intellectual property lawyer to protect your rights.
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ON THE SCENE
LFEA's LASSEZ LOUISIANA FILM ROULER photos by Elizabeth Shaw and Leah Stogner
During the 2013 session of the Louisiana Legislature, the film and entertainment industry gathered for a special invitation-only celebration at Raleigh Studios Baton Rouge at the Celtic Media Centre, produced by the Louisiana Film & Entertainment Association (LFEA). Actors, producers and political leaders mingled while enjoying live music and local food.
Producer Jason Hewitt and casting director Lisa Marie Dupree
American Idol contestant Megan Miller
Producer and Scene Magazine publisher Andre Champagne 70 | July/August 2013
Search Party star Thomas Middleditch
Senator Elbert Guillory, Dist. 24
ON THE SCENE
Actor and NASCAR driver Stanton Barrett
Search Party producer Jeff Levine
Senator Robert Adley, Dist. 36
Sen. Norby Chabert, Dist. 20
Saints and Hornets owner Rita Benson Leblanc
Rep. Ted James, Dist. 101 www.scenelouisiana.com | 71
ON THE SCENE
LFEA's LASSEZ LOUISIANA FILM ROULER photos by Elizabeth Shaw and Leah Stogner
Senator Chris Broadwater, Dist. 83
Sons of Guns star Joe Meaux
Kitten and Gerald Dowden of Bayou Billionaires 72 | July/August 2013
Rep. Erich Ponti, District 69
Producer Daniel Lewis
Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden
ON THE SCENE
www.scenelouisiana.com | 73
ON THE SCENE
LFEA's LASSEZ LOUISIANA FILM ROULER photos by Elizabeth Shaw and Leah Stogner
David St. Romain Faith Ford
Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne with producer Scott Niemeyer
Comedian and Search Party star TJ Miller 74 | July/August 2013
The Sessions producer Doug Blake
True Detective actor Jim Tooey
Producer Will French
Rep. Wesley Bishop, Dist. 99
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THE UNSCENE Entertainment Emergent The 2013 legislative session has come to a close, and the entertainment industry has emerged unscathed. Out of the gate, the Governorâ€™s own tax policy proposals threatened to rock the steady growth of the film industry. A fight was on the horizon. But unlike fiscal sessions past, the industry was organized. A lobbying organization was prepared to be the arm of an entire industry. The Governor soon withdrew the proposal. But by removing the direct threat, it felt like everything was on the table. Through organization and determination, the entertainment industry made its position known to legislators, many of whom are poorly informed on the current state of the entertainment economy in Louisiana. Thousands of phone calls and emails were sent to decision makers at the capitol building in Baton Rouge. Hundreds walked their way to the capitol to show their support. While many in the general populace are jaded to talk of lawyers and lobbyists, the acquisition of both is yet another sign that the entertainment industry is maturing. Now a decade old, the seeds planted by a few for a brighter fiscal future in the Bayou State are growing, and everyone is benefitting. Now is the time to focus on what we do best. And although the next two years will take constant lobbying efforts and diligence until our next next battle in 2015, there can be no doubt that the entertainment is emergent. - The UnScene Writer Submit tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. Anonymity guaranteed.
76 | July/August 2013
The first independent green studio in New Orleans with three stages built to industry standards. Green Lantern • The Mechanic • 21 Jump Street • Looper • Django Unchained Bullet to the Head • Killing Them Softly • Killer Joe Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter • The Butler • Old Boy
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Rome and Grey's Anatomy star Kevin McKidd talks filming North of Hell in New Orleans.