Thursday, November 30, 2006
"Without a Santa" was shot in Natchitoches and Shreveport during the dog days of summer, much to John Goodman's overwhelming sense of joy. He recalled during a teleconference: "It was the Santa diet. I lost ten pounds every day."
In an unrelated story, Goodman now weighs a negative forty pounds.
Photo: Harvey Fierstein as Heatmiser, John Goodman as Santa Claus, Michael McKean as Coldmiser-- NBC Photo: Bill Matlock. Not for reuse.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
He said that Shreveport will entertain $300 million in production value during 2006. He also said the city is getting almost a dozen new productions for 2007. I don't dispute the facts (yet).
Quite funnily, however, Teague claimed, "For some reason, the paparazzi just can’t seem to find Shreveport on a map."
Um, then what is this picture of Jessica Simpson (on the set of "Blonde Ambition") doing on PopSugar.com? Perhaps it was snapped by a cartographer.
Monday, November 27, 2006
They are no doubt interested in "Blonde Ambition," a production that begins filming Tuesday, Nov. 28. I'm counting the minutes until I see the first paparazzi pic of of an ever-saucy Willie Nelson eating a Herby K's Shrimpbuster and chuggin' (or is that smokin'?) a Bud.
They also might be interested in candids of the other stars: Rachael Leigh Cook, Andy Dick and Penelope Ann Miller ... and two others named Jessica Simpson and Luke Wilson, or something.
If you want a wee bit more detail, click here for my shreveporttimes.com story.
The event is an opportunity to learn about the area's newest productions and connect with industry folks. Actor and casting director Josh Durham will be there, too.
IF YOU GO
WHEN: 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday (Nov. 30).
WHERE: Bears Café, 1401 Fairfield Ave., Shreveport. Near the I-20 exit.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Local fans of the new fall NBC television series “Heroes” may have noticed something familiar about the list of special people unlocked by genetics professor Mohinder Suresh (actor Sendhil Ramamurthy) in the Nov. 20 episode of the series, “Chapter 9: Homecoming.”
Throughout the first eight episodes, Suresh has struggled over whether he will follow his murdered father’s work on the radical theory that there are people with extraordinary abilities living among us. Last Monday, he decided he would continue tracking down these individuals around the world. Accessing his father’s computer, Suresh finds a file listing names and cities. As the camera moves in for a close screen shot, the name Teresa Hue Pham is visible beside --
A real person? Probably not; however, the last name does exist in the
And what would her special ability be? So far, among the known talents: telepathy, telekinesis, regeneration, time/space manipulation, precognition, flight, power mimicry, superhuman strength, super intelligence, irradiation/burning, matter phase-shifting.
Aside from the possible local connection, the meaning of the list has stirred a number of speculations on forums across the Internet in “Heroes” discussions.
Spacecast Community: http://forums.spacecast.com/forums/285519/ShowPost.aspx
Heroes -- Patient Zero: http://heroespatientzero.blogspot.com/
You can watch the “Homecoming” episode and others online and learn more about the characters at http://www.nbc.com/Heroes/.
Thanks, Jeff and David.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
It was not simply that Altman perfectly captured Keillor’s comic sense of the
It was that Altman was able to take Keillor’s voice and make it speak in a new way.
With his news from
Altman was wise enough to see that Keillor’s wholesome morbidity is the force that renews us all.
Death, in the movie, is not something to fear. It is a motherly angel of death who is kind enough to take a man during his greatest moment of pleasure: while waiting in his dressing room for a little nookie with his sweetheart. We should all be so lucky to die while feeling so happy to be alive, while waiting for something good.
I’m just thankful Altman left us with a final vision of what a great death really can be. He understood Keillor. He understood
Here are a few of the best pieces posted today:
Director Robert Altman dead at 81 by Christy Lemire (AP) on forbes.com
Robert Altman remembered by Roger Moore on blogs.orlandosentinel.com
Robert Altman, Iconoclastic Director, Dies at 81 by Rick Lyman on nytimes.com
Robert Altman, American maverick, dies aged 81 by Xan Brooks on guardian.co.uk
Obituaries: Robert Altman on bbc.co.uk
Director Robert Altman Dies at 81 by Adam Bernstein on washington.com
And here's a solid piece about his process:
Radio for the Eyes by Peter Kaufman on washingtonpost.com.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Actor Edward Herrmann talks with actress
Sienna Miller during a rehearsal for the
filming of "Factory Girl" at the intersection
of Texas and McNeill in downtown
Shreveport, La. At right is director George
Hickenlooper. Not for reuse.
(Jim Hudelson/The Times.)
Originally uploaded by alexandyr1.
Oh, the innocent early days of Shreveport's foray into the movie industry.
Way back in January 2006 - I was just a wee reporter with a sharp pencil and dull ideas in those days - the makers of "Factory Girl" and a gaggle of paparazzi descended on our fair city. I shadowed the cast and crew during one fine afternoon shoot, watching Edie Sedgwick (Sienna Miller) beg for money, shoot heroin and look like a pixie from Halloween hell.
Aye, the warm make-believe memory is enough to make me wistful.
The Weinstein Co. has finally confirmed its Oscar hopes for the feature film. It opens Dec. 29.
Click here to see the trailer! (Thanks, Anon.)
Friday, November 17, 2006
Goodman and Burke from "The Year
Without a Santa Claus." NBC Photo:
Paul Drinkwater. Not for reuse.
Originally uploaded by alexandyr1.
Goodman, who lives in New Orleans with his family, said it was good to film in northwest Louisiana. "The way things are going, kid" – he called me kid! – "it was nice to give a little shot in the arm for the state economy."
He added that a week spent in Natchitoches was the best. "The things that they put up with ... ." No kidding. During evening hours, the crew would block traffic on Front Street for hours on end.
Burke didn't get to shoot in Natchitoches, but she dug Shreveport. "It was great to shoot there. I love Louisiana." She mentioned she formerly lived in New Orleans. "They were so gracious and accommodating to the film in Shreveport."
Executive producer Mark Wolper was on hand to offer his two cents on Natchitoches. "I don't think I've ever filmed somewhere where the community and the people were so accommodating."
Ah, shucks. They like us. They really like us.
The TV movie will air Dec. 11 on NBC.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Click here to see it.
Watch, and rate it if you want to. Voting closes Dec. 5. They are competing against 145 films. If enough people like "Desolate," Lyon and Lee get free Apple stuff.
If you want to chat about the short, or even review it, please use the comments field below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Study Finds Hollywood Can Be Filthy
Tuesday November 14 5:43 AM ET
Special effects explosions, idling vehicles, teams of workers building monumental sets all of it contributes to Hollywood's newly discovered role as an air polluter, a university study has found.
The film and television industry and associated activities make a larger contribution to air pollution in the five-county Los Angeles region than almost all five other sectors researched, according to a two-year study released Tuesday by the University of California at Los Angeles.
Although Hollywood seems environmentally conscious thanks to celebrities who lend their names to various causes, the industry created more pollution than individually produced by aerospace manufacturing, apparel, hotels and semiconductor manufacturing, the study found.
Only petroleum manufacturing belched more emissions.
"People talk of 'the industry,' but we don't think of them as an industry," said Mary Nichols, who heads the school's Institute of the Environment, which released what researchers called a "snapshot" of industry pollution. "We think of the creative side, the movie, the people, the actors we don't think of what it takes to produce the product."
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
A Mississippi TV station got hammered in the mockumentary. If you didn't catch the following AP article, it's worth the read. Below is an excerpt:
'Borat' duped TV producer (click for full article)
By KATHY HANRAHAN
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
JACKSON - The antics of British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen as his alter-ego Borat aren't funny to a former Jackson television producer who says she was duped into giving Cohen air time.
Former WAPT-TV Channel 16 morning-show producer Dharma Arthur claims Cohen's live interview led her life into a downward spiral. Arthur said she won't sue the filmmakers or Cohen, but merely wants an apology. ...
Arthur, 35, said she was contacted by a publicist claiming to sponsor a reporter from Kazakhstan who was working for Bulgarian television and traveling across the United States to get a look at life in American behind the propaganda. ...
On the premise it was a documentary to be aired in Bulgaria, Arthur and others at the station signed a release allowing Borat's crew to use their images.
During the 6 a.m. show, WAPT anchorman Brad McMullan started to interview Borat, and Arthur says the character "went nuts." Borat opened the segment by saying he had to go "urine" and then offered to share his sister with the newsman, Arthur said. The station tried to cut to commercial but had technical problems, Arthur said. Eventually a commercial break was taken and an intern escorted Borat to the door.
"She had him right out of the studio and he went back in," Arthur said.
Borat went back onto the set and hugged weatherman Ken Johnson during the morning forecast. Arthur then personally removed Borat from the set, but the damage was already done.
"It happened. Our people handled the situation extremely well and now we're in the film," Barkley said.
Though Arthur stayed with the station through Hurricane Katrina a few weeks later, she left in March.
"This guy is causing harm and that is not funny," she said.
Click here for the full article, which includes a hilarious bit about a dinner-gone-seriously-unglorious in Natchez.
I'm trying to organize a meetup at the Deja Vu during the month of November if anyone is interested.
The subjects on the agenda will include the following:
1) Mastering Non-Verbal Communication: The Art of Body Language
2) Stage Acting: The Art of "Stripping Away" Your Inhibitions
3) Audition Techniques: Effective use of Props, Prepositions and Propositions
4) Live Acting & Performance
5) Scene Analysis & Critique. I have contacted local performers Heather, Amber, Bubbles, Crystal, Bambi, & Velvet, and they are in the process of making arrangements to be available for the evening. Please RSVP.
Please, please, please RSVP. I want to cover it! Or uncover what's going on. ... Whatever, just email email@example.com.
This must be a hoax, but can you pretty please make it real?
UPDATE 12:45 P.M. Alas, lsu216 responded to my query, "its only a dream...its only a dream!" Visions of a Pulitzer have been shattered, but it was sure worth the laugh. Borat would be proud.
Monday, November 13, 2006
Eligible applicants include anyone who has worked on a feature film, TV, video or commercial project. Job titles included gaffers, paramedics, location assistants, set designers, construction workers and more. Check out IATSE Local 478's website for a list of what jobs cut the mustard.
Upcoming feature film shoots for Shreveport include "Blonde Ambition" (end of November), "The Cleaner" (January 2007), "Harold & Kumar Go to Amsterdam" (January 2007) and tentatively "The Last Lullaby" (January 2007).
These movies won't get made by themselves!
For information about joining, contact:
Mike McHugh, Business Agent
IATSE Local 478
Betty Jo LeBrun-Mooring, Executive Director
Shreveport-Bossier Film Office
And like you, I'm not quite sure how to make fun of this picture.
Friday, November 10, 2006
What they do bleeds passion, guts and attitude.
Sure, there are a lot of crappy, undisciplined DIY projects -- have you ever seen anything remotely interesting on YouTube? -- but Chris Lyon (right) and Luke Lee (left) don't make them.
They meet a nice standard for young DIY filmmakers. Their most recent shorts are atmospheric, sharply shot, well lit, tightly edited and just plain fun. And their obsession with murder, mortality and symbolism is, well, definable. That's more than most DIY filmmakers can say.
On websites like theirs, you can watch taste and sensibility develop. They get better each time out, and it's casually fun to chart their progress.
If you want to see a sample, download "Snapshots of a Death." Don't worry about that title.
Starting at 5 p.m. today, Lyon and Lee will lead a team of moviemakers participating in Apple's Insomnia Film Festival. They have to make and submit a short film (one to three minutes long) within 24 hours. Whatever they make will compete against lots of entries from around the country. I'll post a link when it's live.
"We’re given specific instructions, and we don’t know if they are going to give a genre or a specific prop or a specific line. We have a few cooker cutter ideas of how we can do it," Lyon said.
Their film will be judged by you, me and Dupree until Dec. 3. After that official judges will determine the best of the top 25 and dish out some Apple schwag.
Good luck. I at least want an Apple sticker.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Who, oh, who gets the most exposure? I recognize a few folks. One featured prominently is Shreveport's most accomplished mugger, Eric Gipson.
He plays a henchmen of the evil elf (Chris Kattan), who is sucking the spirit out of poor Santa with a craze to commercialize Christmas. Shocker of a storyline, I know.
The star throws a cell phone, and Gipson catches it. The star looks confused, and Gipson raises a single eyebrow. As schtick goes, it's scene-stealing.
"The Year Without a Santa Claus," another cautionary tale about consumerism gone wild, premieres Dec. 11 on NBC.
If you think you are in the movie, email me a mugshot.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
"Judges" is currently available through Hollywood Video, Movie Gallery and his website. Box stores' dot-coms might have it, too.
To make things cooler for Walker, his people (I love that stupid phrase) are currently pushing "Judges" at the American Film Market's trade show in Los Angeles. They are hoping to land "Judges" an international distribution deal, perhaps in countries like Germany, Spain and Japan.
"It's a modern-day western, basically a revenge tale about a drifter who comes into town to avenge his brother's death," Walker told me back in March.
The spaghetti western-inspired feature runs 96 minutes and was made for $150,000 (that's not a typo).
If you haven't seen it, it's worth the cheddar. Despite being made on the cheap, it's big on attitude and atmosphere. The script cuts some seriously good cheese, too.
"I really just love those sarcastic one-liners and decided that was the kind of film I was going to write," he said.
Hollywood Videos in Shreveport and Bossier City have it. I checked.
Walker graduated from Shreveport's Southwood High School in 1996.
Soon I'll chat with him about his plans.
And by the way, "Mr. Brooks" was screened at AFM. It stars Kevin Costner, Demi Moore and William Hurt and was shot in Shreveport between April and July.
Monday, November 06, 2006
Shreveport will collect some hardware for helping film and TV productions relocate to north Louisiana after hurricanes Katrina and Rita damaged south Louisiana. On Wednesday at an awards banquet in Baton Rouge, Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu and the Louisiana Division of the Arts will honor the city with a Governor’s Arts Award for helping develop the state’s cultural economy.
The statement singled out Shreveport and north Louisiana for “(stepping) forward to aid productions in relocating to the Shreveport area. ... As new feature films are announced, the Shreveport-Bossier City region looks forward to playing a leading role in the continuing growth of Louisiana’s film industry.”
Arlena Acree with the city’s Economic Development office said the award was a good sign. “It provides another example of what Shreveport can do to lure the business here,” Acree said. “We make it easier for them to make movies here, and the word is really getting out.”
Budgets budgets for all 13 productions shot in northwest Louisiana from October 2005 to present total an estimated $207.7 million. Most industry experts commonly estimate that as much as one-third of this figure has been spent in Louisiana. Three additional features — “Blonde Ambition,” “The Cleaner” and “Harold & Kumar Go to Amsterdam” — are scheduled to begin production soon.
For a link to the full story and list of award recipients, click here.
The documentary “In Search of Mozart” will be shown at the LSUS University Center in Shreveport. The 7:30 p.m. screening will be preceded by a 7 p.m. concert by the Premier String Quartet.
“In Search of Mozart,” directed by Phil Grabsky, investigates the famous composer's life and mind.
Perhaps more importantly, can it explain the relative disappearance from movies of the incredible Tom Hulce? "Where's Boofy?" (I think he's in "Stranger than Fiction," thank goodness.)
Door admission is $5. LSUS staff and students get in free if they show a current ID. Proceeds will benefit the event’s sponsoring organizations, the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra and the Robinson Film Center. For more information call the SSO at (318) 222-7496 or the film center at (318) 424-9090.
The quartet is made up of Shreveport Symphony Orchestra members: concertmaster Kermit Poling, assistant concertmaster Elizabeth O’Bannon, acting principal violist Adrienne Gabriel and principal cellist Ruth Drummond.
Photo credit: Kerstin Joenssen/AP.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
The movie is a remake of "Working Girl" and stars Jessica Simpson and Luke Wilson.
Millennium Films will wrap production on "Homeland Security" this week.
OPEN EXTRAS CASTING CALL
For: “Blonde Ambition” starring Jessica Simpson and Luke Wilson.
Needed: humorous extras to play construction workers, German-speaking executives, cab drivers, office executives (esp. African Americans), puppeteers, mimes, jugglers, clowns, midgets and a robust German female barmaid. Must be 18 or older. Senior citizens welcome. These are paid positions.
What to bring: it is recommended that applicants bring a snapshot of themselves, no larger than 4 by 6 inches.
When: noon-7 p.m. today (Nov. 5).
Where: Louisiana Boardwalk management offices, Bossier City. Doors are located near the escalator on the second floor of the parking garage.
More info: firstname.lastname@example.org or emergecastingla.com.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
The movie will be screened at 7 p.m. He will start signing autographs at 5 p.m.
"I haven't had this much fun since I was 16 and shooting a super 8 movie of me driving fast around a corner in a yellow Capri," Schneider said.
The star wrote the first draft of “Collier” while working on the “Dukes” set more than 20 years ago. It’s about a car thief trying to put his family back together. And yes, for "Collier" he does drive an orange 1969 Dodge Charger for getaway scenes. It’s called the Traveller (or "I don't own the copyright" for short), the name of General Robert E. Lee’s horse.
And it seems the Traveller is attracting just as much trouble as its predecessor. Schneider is towing two orange Chargers on the back of a Dodge truck from city to city for single screenings. Two nights ago while driving near Enterprise, Ala., a bullet supposedly went through a Charger window.
"There was glass coming out of the jump car. Somebody had shot out the window," Schneider claimed, but failed to blame the real culprit. "I can't think anybody was doing it on purpose."
A three-word hint: "Gyet, gyet, gyet!"
Schneider hopes people laugh at what he calls a family movie. His production company paid for it.
"It’s a very ambitious home movie. I recognize this when I watch this," Schneider said.
He has been touring cities throughout the South, and in some cases, delivering the movie reels to the projectionist himself.
"Walking up the dark stairs and seeing where the movies go and how to load reels onto the projector, this has been really fantastic," he said. "This is the most important end of the motion picture industry."
IF YOU GO
What: Screening of “Collier & Co.” starring John Schneider.
When: 7 p.m. Nov. 7. Autographs begin at 5 p.m.
Where: Louisiana Boardwalk’s Regal Cinemas, Bossier City.
Friday, November 03, 2006
The Robinson Film Center's Chris Jay reports on last night's screening below. I couldn't go because I was doing this. I want to know what readers thought of the movie and event. Lastly, note what Chris writes about the next movie in the series:
"A small but enthusiastic group of around 120 moviegoers attended The Robinson Film Center’s one night-only engagement of ‘Half Nelson’ starring Ryan Gosling on Thursday night. The crowd was a true cross-section of Shreveport-Bossier City, comprised equally of scruffy college students, professionals still dressed for the office, and retirees. Most of the audience members with whom I spoke had read the glowing reviews of ‘Half Nelson’ and were exuberant about having the opportunity to see the film without driving to Dallas.
"The film’s honest portrayal of a young, drug-addicted history teacher’s struggles to keep the lives of his students on-track while flirting with complete self-destruction obviously left many audience members shaken. Perhaps the most difficult (and rewarding) aspect of the film is that it does not end with the standard Hollywood-style redemption of the protagonist. We’re left with a glimpse of what this man’s life could be like were he able to stay sober, but no reassurances that he can. A group of around 50 audience members remained after the credits rolled and gave a standing ovation for 'Half Nelson,' which was a wonderful moment to witness. In these times of dropping box office grosses and endless, mindless sequels and re-makes, bringing this film to Shreveport-Bossier City was rewarding.
"Thursday’s ‘Half Nelson’ screening was an experiment of sorts, to see whether Northwest Louisiana would turn out for a film like this. The organizers were encouraged enough by the attendance and enthusiasm on Thursday night that we have decided to bring one film per month (roughly, depending on holidays and the usual scheduling considerations) until the grand opening of The Robinson Film Center in downtown Shreveport. Possible films for December are ‘The Science of Sleep,’ ‘The U.S. Vs. John Lennon,’ and ‘The Queen.’ I am always seeking community members who are willing to help promote these events. If you would like to help pass out flyers and spread the word, e-mail me at email@example.com. To receive monthly updates about this series, sign up for our e-newsletter at http://www.robinsonfilmcenter.org/."
-- Chris Jay
Thursday, November 02, 2006
No, the star won't be there for the launch of the Robinson Film Center Presents series, but plenty of cinephiles will get to see him act all Oscar for the indie flick.
Today marks RFC's biggest effort to date to bring independent film back to the theaters of Shreveport-Bossier City.
Tonight's screening only happens once. Tickets are $7.50 each. Buy them at the door of the theater. Do not stop at the ticket window. Call RFC at (318) 424-9090 to make reservations, if you like.
RFC's Chris Jay will blog about the screening tomorrow on Louisiana Movies, and I'm expecting him to send in a picture. I don't want to post a shot of him, a tub of popcorn and a mass of empty seats. ... No pressure, Chris.