Friday, September 28, 2007

'Untitled Manbreak Project' to film here

Louisiana Production Consultants will shoot a small feature film in Shreveport. Referred to as the “Untitled Manbreak Project," the project will be filmed between Oct. 29 and Nov. 30.

The cast includes Chloe Sevigny, Timothy Hutton, Elias Koteas, Nick Cannon, Clea Duvall and Wes Bentley. The psychological thriller will be directed by Jonathan Liebesman.

LPC is currently hiring crew. Résumés can be faxed to (318) 682-5642. Cast headshots and résumés are not being accepted at this time.

LPC will also begin shooting "Wonderful World," a feature film starring Matthew Broderick, on Oct. 17. Résumés were being accepted by fax at (318) 219-2411.

PHOTO CREDIT: Nick Cannon, left, and Selita Ebanks pose together before a fashion show at Smashbox Studios in Culver City, Calif., on March 21, 2007. (Matt Sayles/AP Photo)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Free master class with actor Pruitt Taylor Vince

Emmy-winning actor Pruitt Taylor Vince, who’s starring in LSUS’s upcoming production of Lanford Wilson's “Burn This,” is teaching a free master’s class for actors on Sunday (Sept. 30) at 2 p.m. To register, send a brief biography and statement of interest to theater director Robert Alford at by noon Friday (Sept. 28).

Students will perform scenes from "Burn This."

Call (318) 787-5283 for more information.

Vince appeared in the films “Heavy,” “Identity,” “Nobody’s Fool” and “Nurse Betty.”

Check out Shreveport area locations online

The city of Shreveport has drastically updated its Web site for film industry info. In addition to film permit applications, the site offers a growing locations database. The photographs should help location scouts in search of the perfect setting.
The site aims to showcase how diverse the region is.

One of the most unlikely locations featured is the sandy Blount Farm (pictured top), where desert scenes could be shot with a little trickery.

The other two pics featured in this post are downtown Shreveport
and a cabin in Benton. Click here
to see many more.

If you would like to include your home or property in the database as a possible location, email Arlena Acree, Shreveport's director of film, media and entertainment.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Join the indie crowd Thursday night

WHAT: “La Vie En Rose,” in French with English subtitles.
WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 27).
WHERE: Regal Cinemas Louisiana Boardwalk 14, Bossier City.
COST: $7.50.
RESERVATIONS: (318) 424-9090. Tickets also available at theater.

The Robinson Film Center continues its popular series of single screenings of indie films with “La Vie En Rose,” a biopic about French singer Edith Piaf. 170 of 300 tickets have sold so far. The film will likely be mentioned often during Oscar campaign season, if only for Marion Cotillard’s much buzzed about performance.

Monday, September 24, 2007

‘K-Ville’ episode 2: Is series headed for conspiracy rut?

I saw a slightly better villain this week. I liked the prison warden who used an inmate workers' program to illegally dump an oil company’s toxic sludge in a pretty little swamp, all for the sake of saving money. Too bad this setup painted him as an easy target and not an intriguing villain.

I wanted at least one reason to like him and didn't get it.

Right now, FOX is betting that viewers will buy into these attention-grabbing conspiracy theories where the little good guys (cops) war tirelessly against the big bad guys (corporations, rich people, prison wardens).

In episode one, a nonprofit charity worked to stamp out the rebirth of one of the city’s toughest neighborhoods. In episode two, corporate corner-cutting threatened the region’s lifeblood: its water and bayous.

I’ll lose interest if I keep seeing “grand schemes against the Big Easy” unravel week after week. I need to see conflicts that make the city's recovery struggles more relatable, more believable.

Still, encouraging signs remain.

Anthony Anderson and Cole Hauser play two good cops who have reasons to distrust one other.

Anderson’s Marlin Boulet drinks on the job and puts hot sauce on his breakfast. (Watch out! He's crazy!) He’s also a loyal daddy and a glutton for his city’s culture. As cop characters go, he’s easy to cheer for because he’s cheering for his city. So far, his character flaws are forgivable. (Bet his drinking leads to no good, though.)

Hauser’s Trevor Cobb entrusts a dangerous, and potentially career-ending, secret to his partner. Cobb is not a former black ops soldier from Cincinnati like his résumé says. He escaped from his New Orleans prison cell after Katrina floodwaters nearly killed him. To get free, he had to drown his cellmate (and best friend), who couldn’t tread water and would have taken them both down.

Cobb’s a man trying to come to terms with a bad past and is doing something good for a change. That’s interesting, because he could slip and really hurt someone.

Over the next few episodes, I expect to see these two rescuing each other from desperate situations and gradually building trust. I also expect Cobb’s past to return and test their loyalties.

I need to see more sides of these guys, though. Beyond their jobs, I need to see more of them at their homes bonding with their buddies. Re-landscaping their yards. Re-painting their homes. Calling their families between shootouts. Burning toast before work. Whatever it is, I need to see them living in New Orleans, not just fighting it.

Same goes for the flatly drawn criminals, who right now are just sliding onto the screen, jawing, shooting, running, getting caught or getting set free.

In a good cops drama, interesting criminals have well-rounded lives and complicated motives.

In short, "K-Ville" needs to shelve the conspiracy crap and give me characters.

Enough of hopeless hopes. What did you think?

As my wife (sort of) says, 'Coffee is the Devil's nectar!'

Hey, YouTubers, Googlies and MySpaceCadets!

If you want to be in an online video ad/short film for Hell’s Coffee – I’m guessing their java explodes into an inferno when you add sugar – here’s your chance.

Local filmmaker Brenda Lovelady (pictured below) will shoot the ad soon. The two- or three-minute piece will be a take-off on “The Blair Witch Project,” and somehow, it will follow the company’s slogan: “Roasted on the Darkside.” (They actually have a roast called “Perkatory.”)

Hell’s Coffee is a Seattle-based brand. (Note to my Seattle source: “Is this stuff hot or what?”)

It’s purely an online campaign, Brenda said, and I’m sure she hopes to conjure up something of the viral variety.

“Acting experience helpful but not necessary. Pay will be token only with screen credit given to participants,” Brenda wrote in an email.

Open parts include: “Ashley, a headstrong 16- to 20-year-old female lead; Daryl, an arty 16- to 20-year-old male co-lead; Terrance, a sensitive 16- to 20-year-old male supporting role; and the Devil, a 25- to 45-year-old male with shaved head and goatee.”

(If I were casting director, the Devil would be Howie Mandel.)

Brenda also needs crew. Interested:
(318) 655-4392 or

Personally, I think the ad should also include the following café exchange between waitress and diner. It won’t, though:

ASHLEY: “Coffee hot enough for ya, Daryl?”

DARYL: “Burns like hellfire, Ashley.”

ASHLEY: “You deserve it, Daryl.”

DARYL: How much do I owe you, Ashley?”

ASHLEY: “Your soul, Daryl.”

DARYL: “Put it on my tab, Ashley.”

(Cue devilish laugh.)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Scenes from a workshop, and seven tips from Kevin Rahm

Kevin Rahm (left) and Winston Hall.

Today, actor Kevin Rahm ("Judging Amy") taught a scene-study workshop for film and TV acting. Rahm returned home between shoots on "Desperate Housewives." (On the ABC series he's a new gay neighbor, but more about that later.)

I dropped by the workshop for a couple hours to learn more about people spending weekends working on craft. They're all hoping to land speaking roles in local film or TV productions.

As experienced local stage actor Stan McDonald (pictured right) said succinctly, "What's good about working with a working actor is that they're doing what you're trying to do."

McDonald has also worked on local film productions ("The Pardon" and a local amateur film "A Stranger Within"). The actor was looking to gain practical tips from Rahm about auditioning and creating a memorable character from just a page or two of the script: "To me, it's getting the thought process down, going to an audition and putting it to use."

Here are a seven tips Rahm shared with the actors:

1) On creating strong characters in a workshop: "The best way to learn is to fail miserably. ... There are no wrong choices here. We can find better ones later."

2) On focusing on friction between characters: "Any time we find conflicts that are in direct opposition to each other, that's the perfect scene."

3) On rehearsing, generally: "As a rule, you're always better standing. You get more energy. You tend to relax when you're in a chair."

4) On sticking to the script: "Be careful about assumptions. When you start creating a character, start with what is absolutely true. ... Make a bold choice with what you have."

5) On getting small speaking roles: "It's the hardest thing in the world to book a day-player role. You can't think about what they are looking for. ... Figure out as much information as you can from the scene, and go with it."

6) On conveying emotion: "If you forget the words, start making it up. If you're in that emotional of a place, they won't care." (He laughed and then said, "But they will care on the day" you shoot.)

7) On acting for the camera: "The camera knows everything. If you think it, the camera sees it."

Jessica McDaniel (left) and Sarah Taylor.

Sarah Taylor (left) and Tyler Krieg.

David Miller (left) and Jamie Baremore.

PHOTO CREDITS: Alexandyr Kent/The Times.

Scenes from a workshop 2

Sarah Taylor (left) and Tyler Krieg.

Mary Thoma takes notes.

Mary Thoma (left) and Walt Hollis.

Jessica McDaniel.

PHOTO CREDITS: Alexandyr Kent/The Times.

Scenes from a workshop 3

Tyler Krieg.

Stan McDonald.

Sarah Taylor (left) and Winston Hall.

Tim Smith.

PHOTO CREDITS: Alexandyr Kent/The Times.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Allison Bohl, Connie Castille win 'Louisiana Filmmaker Award'

Ironing! Who'd a thunk it?
Allison Bohl, a grad from Bossier City's Airline High School who lives in Lafayette, and Connie Castille will take home the Louisiana Filmmaker Award from the New Orleans Film Festival. They made the 25-minute documentary called "I Always Do My Collars First," which screened at Centenary College a few months ago.

Schedule announcements for NOFF are expected tonight. According to Mike Scott at the Times-Pic, Vince Vaughn, Alan Cumming and 117 films are coming Oct. 11-18.

"I Always Do My Collars First" is about a group of women near Lafayette who refuse to leave the home without fresh-pressed clothes. Husbands gotta look purdy, too.

"You would think it only has a centralized interest and there wouldn’t be a pull for it," said Allison by phone from Lafayette. "Festivals kind of tell you that there is."

The documentary will also be screened at the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, the Port Townsend Film Festival (Port Townsend, Wash.) and the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival (Birmingham, Ala.).

PHOTO CREDIT: Pictured is Allison Bohl. (Jim Hudelson/The Times)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Kevin Rahm of 'Judging Amy,' 'Desperate Housewives' to teach workshop

A newbie on Wisteria Lane is returning to Shreveport. Kevin Rahm, who will appear this fall on "Desperate Houswives" as a gay neighbor, will teach a scene study class this Sunday.

Rahm grew up in Bossier City and teaches these classes every once and a while. I've watched him work, and he insists on making sure his students get strong advice.

You also might recognize Rahm from "Judging Amy."

You must preregister to go to the class, and it's also recommended you have a scene memorized. Contact the folks below for details.

WITH: Kevin Rahm.
WHAT: scene study class and Q&A.
WHERE: 714 Elvis Presley Ave., Shreveport.
WHEN: 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 23.
RATE: $95. Limited class size. Full payment required to secure space.
TO REGISTER: Tara Duncil at (318) 573-0039 or Jamie Baremore at (818) 203-5186 or

PHOTO: Kevin Rahm (Jim Hudelson/The Times). Not for reuse.

Monday, September 17, 2007

‘K-Ville’s’ most wanted: Villains

The question of whether or not “K-Ville” can capitalize on the drama of disaster is posed early during the first episode. The new FOX series premiered tonight.

Our two heroes are cops determined to protect and serve in post-Katrina New Orleans, no matter the personal cost.

Anthony Anderson plays Marlin Boulet, a city-loving cop whose partner deserted him two years ago during the hurricane evacuation. His man-against-the-grain storyline is made more sympathetic by his wife’s decision to take their daughter and live in Atlanta, far away from daddy.

Boulet’s partner is the hard-nosed Cincinnati-import Trevor Cobb, played by Cole Hauser. A special operations soldier who’s returned from Afghanistan, he appears drawn to lawlessness, ignited by chaos and destined for trouble. As an outsider, he also possesses a mysterious knowledge of New Orleans’ unmarked streets.

The police captain pairs the two misfits together within minutes of the opening credits, and they head to the French Quarter for their first joint assignment: provide police protection for a charity’s “rebuild New Orleans” concert and fundraiser.

With Boulet drinking at the bar and Cobb eyeing his partner distrustfully – who wants a drunk for a wingman? – the charity’s leader looks out to the faces in the crowd and nobly promises, “We’re going to bring back hope.”

Seconds later, shots are fired into the bar by a drive-by shooter, people scream, and the singer goes down.

The juxtaposition between sympathy-seeking and thrill-making is as emotionally jarring as it is dramatically ludicrous.

Sure, having cops spend the next 45 minutes tracking criminals who shoot innocent bystanders is Heromaking 101. But on TV, who cares about easy setups? We’ve seen “The Shield.” We’ve seen “Law & Order.” We've seen lots of shows that have graduated to better, more compelling hooks.

If “K-Ville” wants to be in it for the long haul, it’s going to have to ditch the cheap contrivances. Audiences know a lowdown set-up when they see it.

However dumb the plot was, the first episode did manage to draw two intriguing characters and their flaws. Perhaps “K-Ville,” as it pushes forward to craft drama from present-day New Orleans, will smarten up and focus on their struggle to build trust (while solving better cases).

The series has acres of potential.

If any present-day city were perfect for a cop drama, The Big Easy is it. Almost all cop dramas, from “Law & Order” to “NYPD Blue” to “The Shield,” have capitalized on public misperceptions of an urban jungle corrupted by criminality on both sides of the law.

Fictionally speaking, it’s not hard for TV viewers to imagine New Orleans in this light (fair or not). Crafting a cop drama from this source material should be relatively simple for writer and executive producer Jonathan Lisco (“NYPD Blue,” “The District”). He knows how to turn headlines into mythology, and he’s never had a better setting.

Anderson and Hauser also have good track records as charismatic supporting men, and it’s good to see them taking control of their own project. Their “K-Ville” characters are bound together by a compelling mix of necessity, hope and mutual distrust. As they start working together case by case, episode by episode, you can just sense the creation of an intriguing cop duo.

What will matter most as this series goes forward is how smartly it plays with the cops-drama convention. A little gunplay will be fine. Car chases, OK. Cars plunging off piers with a buddy inside, go ahead. As long as we’re being entertained for reasonable reasons, shoot ’em up.

What we will need soon, and what was lacking from tonight, are criminals that matter more. All good cop dramas deliver the good stuff on both sides of the law, and this cop drama will only get better if it delivers better bad guys.

Will ‘K-Ville’ make the cut?

The Louisiana film and TV industry will see its latest high-profile project debut tonight on FOX. "K-Ville" is a cops drama starring Anthony Anderson ("Transformers," "Hustle & Flow," "See Spot Run") and Cole Hauser ("The Break-Up," "Paparazzi," "Good Will Hunting"). Set in post-Katrina New Orleans, this series is bound to inspire good water-cooler chatter.

Does it have staying power? We'll learn tonight at 8 p.m. I've always liked these two actors, and I hope their performances will rise above the expected pyrotechnics of the pilot episode.

Reviews are mixed.

Wall Street Journal loved it: "So far, it is also notable because in the pair of cops at the center of the show, the usual sidekick role is reversed: The black cop Marlin Boulet (Anthony Anderson) is just as prominent, if not more so, than his white partner, Trevor Cobb (Cole Hauser). Like the city itself, however, almost everybody here is damaged or desperate in some way. After just a few minutes, you want to know more about every bit of it. …

"The cops of 'K-ville' are working in a semi-'Blade Runner' environment, where the criminals steal street signs so the police can't find their way around. For added authenticity, the opening episode also features a woman who has bought a car with her FEMA relief money. 'I gotta ride in style,' she explains. To which Boulet replies: 'On the taxpayers' backs?'"

The Los Angeles Times loathed it: "Lost in all the plot and character contrivance is any sense of the city -- a few gumbo and bourbon references are most certainly not enough. This seemingly determined lack of evocation not only makes the choice of setting seem manipulative -- it isn't cool to use a devastated city as a 'hook' -- but it also undermines 'K-Ville's' main character. To understand why Marlin is fighting so hard to save his city, we must understand his city."

The paper of record in this instance, though, is The Times-Picayune. TV columnist Dave Walker writes that the beginning is imperfect, but he's willing to give it a chance to develop. Here's one of my favorite excerpts about the difficulty of representing New Orleans: "Despite its latent potential and good look, locals will immediately despise elements of 'K-Ville' because they always do. Nobody gets us entirely right. Actually, some of the local reaction to 'K-Ville' will be rooted in past attempts to capture New Orleans in movies ('The Big Easy') and on TV ('Orleans,' 'The Big Easy'). It just can't be done.

"One of the main cops drinks on the job, tortures a crime suspect and makes gratuitous gumbo references. There's too much gunplay, even for a show set in New Orleans. The premiere's main story line feeds on folklore that should be debunked instead of mythologized."

Some of you have seen it already, but I'm going to wait until after tonight's premiere to share my thoughts. I hope you will post yours, too.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Where in the world is Jeffrey Goodman?

Have no fear, the Shreveport director is hunkered down in Los Angeles putting the final touches on "The Last Lullaby." The indie flick was shot during 22 days early this year. It stars the notorious Tom Sizemore and former "NCIS" actress Sasha Alexander.

Jeffrey hopes to finish post in October. Here's a snippet from a recent email: "Right now, we are finishing the score, clearing music, and fine-tuning the sound design for the film. We are scheduled to mix all of these elements, beginning the first week of October."

I'm desperate to see the finished product.

Jeffrey's story is an important one for the rise of the movie industry in northwest Louisiana. A native Shreveporter, he moved out to L.A. in 1998 to pursue a film career. While doing production work, making short films and selling furniture, Jeffrey was slowly but surely developing a film adaptation with noir fiction writer Max Allan Collins ("Road to Perdition").

Jeffrey moved back to Shreveport in January 2005 to raise money for the $1.5 million project. In January and February of 2007, he shot it with Timbergrove Entertainment.

This project is proof the local movie industry doesn't need to start from within the studio system. For many independent filmmakers looking to crack the market, it's about developing a project worth investing in, raising the money, possessing the skill, assembling a solid production crew, and shooting it smartly.

Once "The Last Lullaby" is in the can, Jeffrey and his team will apply to film festivals.

PHOTO CREDIT: Director Jeffrey Goodman is filming The Last Lullaby in Shreveport. Feb. 13, 2007. Greg Pearson/The Times.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

'Sausage king of Chicago' is so Shreveport

Parts of this will be in tomorrow's paper:

New to Shreveport’s fall movie production lineup is “Wonderful World” starring Matthew Broderick.

(Abe Froman! Give me a call. Got a table for you at Bistro 6301.)

The independent drama is the fourth local project for Louisiana Production Consultants.

“I love this project. It’s a great script. Matthew is perfect for it,” said executive producer Lampton Enochs of Louisiana Production Consultants. “We’re very excited.”

(Broderick's got two Tony awards and a nomination! You know his movie credits.)

“Wonderful World” begins a 23-day shoot on Oct. 17.

It is being directed by Joshua Goldin, who penned the script.

To produce the movie Louisiana Production Consultants is joining forces with Ambush Entertainment (“The Squid and the Whale”) and Back Lot Pictures (“Hollywoodland”).

(That's some sweet creative pedigree.)

Louisiana Production Consultants also has brought “The Initiation of Sarah,” “The Mist,” and “Harold & Kumar 2” to Shreveport.

'Cleaner' scores; 'Wonderful World' in pre-production

"Cleaner" (Sony Pictures/Nu Image*/Anonymous Content) received a good review from Hollywood Reporter. Click here. The film debuted this week at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Shreveport doubles for Trenton in the cop mystery. (We're so Jersey, baby!) Northwest Louisiana has also doubled for New York City, Alaska, Miami, Maine, New Orleans, and Portland, Ore., to name a few.

Samuel L. Jackson and director Renny Harlin get the most praise. Here's an excerpt with a plot prelude: "In a noir-tinted role that fits Jackson like a weather-worn glove, he plays Tom Cutler, a retired New Jersey police detective who now makes a living coming in after the cops are done at crime scenes and mopping up the left behind with his own HazMat cleaning business."

The flick is rated R at present and has no release date.

-- This just in from the state film hotline: "The Ambush Entertainment feature 'Wonderful World' is in pre-production in Shreveport and will shoot October 17 though November 16. Resumes are being accepted by fax at (318) 219-2411. For casting information please visit"

According to Glorioso's site, "Wonderful World" stars Matthew Broderick.

* Nu Image is the parent company of Millennium Films, which is building a $10.3 million studio here. Here's an excerpt from The Times' city council article from Wednesday: "As part of approved changes to this year's capital improvements budget, council members approved $2 million, funded by gaming dollars, to acquire property in the Ledbetter Heights area needed for phase 2 of the Millennium Ledbetter studio project. Council members also approved a request that rezones the area destined for the studio from R-3 (urban, multiple family residence district) to B-4, or central business district."

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

‘Pulse’ and ‘Feast’ sequels are effects driven

The company Neo Art & Logic will employ some pretty cool technology to create special effects for the sequels "Pulse Afterlife" and "Pulse Invasion," which are shooting back-to-back at Mansfield Studios through Oct. 26.

"Pulse" is an apocalyptic thriller about college students who tap into a world of deadly ghosts through wireless frequencies.

I visited with producer Michael Leahy yesterday. The production has a B unit called a plate crew. The three- to five-person team is collecting background images by digitally photographing rundown buildings in Shreveport, Texas and elsewhere. Apparently, the images are high-resolution, 360-degree photographs of buildings and places that will be digitally enhanced and inserted behind the actors, who are doing most of their work in front of a greenscreen.

I was a bit curious as to how the effects team will build their backgrounds from photographs, so I probed. (I've watched all the blockbuster DVD extras, but I have never really understood how moviemakers convincingly blend greenscreen and background footage.)

What's a plate?

"The plate goes down first, and the food goes on top," Leahy said. "All the stuff you shoot on the greenscreen is the foreground. The plate is the background."

I can follow a food analogy. I then asked him to explain how they take these 360-images, which are still essentially flat, and make them look like backgrounds with convincing depth.

I watched how "The Guardian" created its effects in the wave tank in south Shreveport, but the "Pulse" process appeared much smaller and more photographic (and less cinematic) based.

Leahy further explained, "We have a special rig on our still camera that allows us to shoot 360. We shoot the whole surroundings, and we'll go up and down. We actually are shooting in the Z axis as we shoot stills." I missed that in grad school, I thought to myself. Too much Hitchcock, not enough Bruckheimer. "This being a ghost story, it's not a kinetic movie. It allows you to not worry about a lot of that movement in the background plates. It's very creepy, slow way of shooting that caters to the story."

What this basically means is that the "Pulse" effects team does not have to build its backgrounds totally from scratch. The "Pulse" effects team can repaint the dilapidated or eerie structures found in the real world to create the right atmosphere for an apocalyptic horror flick. And it doesn't look flat. How cool is that? (How dumb am I?)

Neo Art & Logic's special effects have a different aesthetic than most you see in major Hollywood movies. You can see a really cool clip reel of theirs by clicking here.

Lastly, I asked Leahy why they brought their technology all the way from Los Angeles to employ it in Shreveport. Apparently, it's very low-tech high-tech, and cost effective. "Right now you can comp out of a Mac Pro computer. The technology we are bringing is just software. It can be just computers and a still camera, so the technology is here."

Anybody want to make my sequel to "Blade Runner?" I got software.

Neo Art & Logic, which is partnering with Weinstein Co./Dimension Films, will be in Shreveport for a while. After the "Pulse" projects, they're shooting two sequels to "Feast," which will use different effects technology to create its monster/living military weapon. Production begins Oct. 29 and will wrap before Christmas. Click here to read more.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

'Cleaner' trailer online!

Two of cinema's best screamers are facing off in Millennium Films' "Cleaner," and Cinema VIP has an early trailer. Click here to see it.

It's Samuel L. Jackson versus Ed Harris! (I wonder who would win in a Celebrity Death Match? Any credible scenario must involved bloodied vocal cords and pulsing eardrums.)

The trailer looks surprisingly low-key for a cops thriller. Then again, director Renny Harlin has always been one for slowly unfolding his plots. I'm guessing "Cleaner" builds to a pretty big crescendo.

Ain't It Cool News is gumming more distractedly than me about it.

Looks like "Cleaner" played today and will repeat tomorrow at the Toronto International Film Festival. If anyone saw it, I want to know how good or bad it is!

Anyhow, Shreveport is all over this trailer. (The movie was shot here earlier in 2007.) What do you recognize?

Thanks, PK, for the heads up.

Monday, September 10, 2007

'E.T.! Stop hitting on my mom!' shouted Elliott

I'm a sucker for a bizarre meet-and-greet, and the double-screen Malco Theater in Hot Springs, Ark., has an out-of-this-world opportunity. On Nov. 9-10, actress Dee Wallace will be there for the 25th anniversary screening of "E.T. the Extra Terrestrial."

She was Elliott's mom! (BTW, is E.T. wearing an ascot in that pic? Nice.) Wallace also was in the original "The Hills Have Eyes" (1977) and "Cujo" (1983).

I wish I still had my hand-stitched, cotton-stuffed E.T. costume that my mom made for me. It had a red-tipped finger, three-towed slippers and superladysman powers.

Needless to say, I was the hit at my elementary school's Halloween party. I handed out Reese's Pieces, and chicks totally dug me as a portly, 2nd-grade alien. They were so transfixed by my googly-eyed charms that I won two cakes at the cake walk. (I couldn't see a damn thing out of that mask!)

If I still had that costume, I'd stretch myself into it and pedal a Huffy to Hot Springs. (Technically speaking, I'd have to ride in a basket, but I don't have any bike-riding friends named Elliott.)

As Chris Jay just reminded me, the 16th Annual Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival is creeping up, and it's got a pretty solid headliner this year: Chris Gore, who runs Film Threat.

Dates are Oct. 19-28, and it will feature 97 films. Documentarian Allison Bohl's "I Always Do My Collars First" made the cut. Congrats. May I remind you to press your ascot?

P.S. "I Always Do My Collars First" was recently featured on the nationally syndicated NPR music show, "American Routes." That's huge. Click here and scroll down to the Aug. 29-Sept. 4 program for details.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Go 3-D in the park

Like the outdoors? Movies? Neither do I!

But you can see "Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over" about 8 p.m. today in Bossier City's Tinsley Park. The screening is sponsored by the Robinson Film Center and Sonic Drive-In. Mmm mnn!

Cost is a buck. There's popcorn and candy for sale. You get free 3-D glasses if you arrive early enough. Gates open at 6 p.m.

Bring something to sit on. Preferably not a couch. Or your sister's hat.

The park is on Tinsley Boulevard just east of East Texas Street at Airline Drive.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Will fall heat up for The Shreve?

Fall is near. If last year's shooting schedule taught us anything, October could be a busy season for movie news. That's when Millennium Films arrived and started shooting star-driven indies like they were going out of style.

It's been a bit quiet in The Shreve as of late, but ...

* Baton Rouge has been noisy: click here to read about its push for the digital entertainment industry. And here about California company committed to shooting seven films in Louisiana.

* New Orleans is riding high with K-Ville, a series which premieres on FOX Sept. 17. Good reviews and good ratings will do wonders for the city's industry. A dependable TV series translates into lots and lots of work for local crew. Here's a good overview of its chances, which describes the New Orleans cop drama as a modern-day western.

* Check out the state's to track current productions.

* At present, two films are shooting back-to-back in Shreveport, the horror sequels "Pulse: Afterlife" and "Pulse: Invasion." Glorioso Casting is still looking for extras. To sign up, click here.

* Millennium Films, which is building a studio here, will start shooting its next project in October. No details yet.

* Another "introductory class" for a series of scene study classes is being offered by Theresa Bell. The series starts the next day. Here's some basic info:

WHEN: 4 to 7 p.m. Sept. 14. (The series starts Sept. 15.)
COST: $60 (4 auditing slots available $25).
TO REGISTER: or (318) 573-0039.

Incidentally, if any participants are interested in talking candidly about their local acting-class experiences, good and bad, I'd like to chat.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

'La Vie En Rose' coming for one-time screening

Here's a note from RFC:

"The Robinson Film Center will host a one night-only screening of the critically-acclaimed film 'La Vie En Rose' 7 p.m. Sept. 27 at the Regal Cinemas Louisiana Boardwalk in Bossier City. The screening is part of an ongoing monthly series entitled 'The Robinson Film Center Presents,' which hosts award-winning independent films not otherwise available in Northwest Louisiana theatres. 'La Vie En Rose' tells the true story of legendary French singer Edith Piaf, one of the most popular musical performers in French history."

Tickets: (318) 424-9090.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

For the record, 'Brokeback Mountain' never played in Springhill

Chris Jay and I filed a story on the Spring Theatre in Springhill for today's paper. Online, you'll find an audio slide show featuring photography by Shane Bevel.

The New York Times took a recent look at the last days of a drive-in in Buffalo, N.Y. Click here to read that story.

Not that we were looking for controversy, but Chris and I stumbled upon a funny anecdote. Since its opening in Sept. 2002, the Spring Theatre has only once been the center of a Springhill ideological battle, according to owner Adam Harris.

A preacher supposedly blabbed to the local newspaper that the theater was planning on showing "Brokeback Mountain," the love story about two gay cowboys. (You saw it.) Harris received all kinds of letters from his supporters, questioning whether he should show it.

It turned out that the preacher never asked Harris if the Spring Theatre was actually going to play it. He just assumed. Harris said, "Nope." Never considered it. A couple years removed from the fury, Harris finds the story amusing. Not sure if Harris and the preacher have reconciled, though.

Incidentally, one of the theater's best performers ever was "Open Range," a gunslinger action flick with Kevin Costner.

PHOTO: Dustin Owen serves up snacks at the concession stand at the Spring Theatre in Springhill, La. Shane Bevel/The Times.