Monday, April 30, 2007
Here's a link to the story. Great details. My favorite excerpt follows:
"Pre-production crew members showed up in The Iberian newsroom Friday morning to change out all the fluorescent light bulbs. 'The ones you use, that everyone uses, actually put out a green light that shows up on film,' one of the light-changers explained. The bulbs didn't last long. They were replaced with the old bulbs when production wrapped up around 5 p.m."
Green light? It also strangely appeared on the potato salad I brought to work today. ... Suddenly, I'm not feeling so good.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Click here to read the entire article. New York, Louisiana and New Mexico are mentioned. Below are a two intriguing excerpts:
"On-location feature-film production [in Los Angeles] plummeted 22 percent during the first quarter of 2007 — the second-largest year-to-year decline on record, according to figures released Thursday by FilmLA Inc.
"The region continues to lose significant ground to rival states and countries that are luring productions away with significant financial incentives.
"On the surface, a 29.7 percent gain in television production during the quarter — which boosted overall production by 5.7 percent — would seem to cancel out the decline in feature films. But most of the gain is due to reality shows, which are not nearly as big of an economic boost."...
"'Given the unprecedented growth in feature-film production in other locales, it appears the current drop in Los Angeles is a direct result of financial incentives now offered by more than 30 U.S. states,' MacDonald said. 'With substantial tax credits and rebates, other states have been able to lure big-budget films and the jobs and tax revenues that go with them.'"
Friday, April 27, 2007
"The Pardon" will star Jason Lewis ("Sex and the City") and Jaime King ("Fanboys," TV's "The Class"). It is being produced by the Shreveport-based RiverDream Productions, which also made "At Last" in 2005. "The Pardon" begins filming May 15. (And no, I don't know anything about open casting calls yet.)
The movie is based on the trials of Toni Jo Henry, the last women executed in Louisiana. In 1942, she was electrocuted for killing a tire salesman. She and an accomplice stole the man's car in order to rob a bank. She needed the money to pay for the appeal of her husband Claude "Cowboy" Henry, who was locked up in a Texas prison for killing a cop.
Anyhoo, Lewis plays Cowboy, King plays Toni Jo, and I continue to play catch-up with my readers.
The casting call will take place between noon and 4 p.m. in the tenant space between Rue 21 and the Cajun Coffee House.
The movie, which stars Forest Whitaker and Denzel Washington, will begin shooting in northwest Louisiana during mid-May. Washington will also direct.
“The Great Debaters” is being produced by the Weinstein Company and Oprah Winfrey’s production company, Harpo Productions. The movie tells the story of a 1930s debate team from Wiley College in Marshall, Texas.
Applicants are encouraged to bring a photograph of themselves. Casting directors will take a picture if one cannot be provided.
For more information, call the casting hotline at (318) 682-5679.
Photo credit: Forest Whitaker appears in a scene from the FX network television program "The Shield." (Gannett News Service, Prashant Gupta/FX/File)
I do know it's a supernatural-
mystery-psychological-thriller. (That's a compound of all the descripters I gathered from producers.) It's scary, I take it.
I didn't see any chainsaws, so it's not that type of scary.
"For Sale by Owner" is about John Smith, or Mr. Jamestown, and the home he built way back when. Scott Cooper (pictured, who is also the screenwriter) plays a present day architect who's restoring Smith's home. It was burned down and reconstructed during the 1800s.
My guess is that Coop's restoration doesn't go as planned. (Boo.)
The movie is being shot at the Magnolia Plantation near Cloutierville (20 miles south of Natchitoches). As a setting for a supernatural-mystery-psychological-thriller-expialidocious independent feature film, it seems like a great location. Paint is flaking. Bees are humming. Sweat will soon be pouring. Plants are overgrown. The interior features old chandeliers and drab interior light.
There are three really cool things about this project:
1) It's being financed by a new local production company called Port Pictures. That means three independent feature films, which have been paid for by local financing, will be made in Shreveport during the first half of 2007. The first was Jeffrey Goodman's "The Last Lullaby." The next is "The Pardon," a Louisiana execution story I'm learning more about later today.
2) "For Sale by Owner" is actually going to give the plantation home a fresh coat of paint. Tourism folks in Natchitoches will be happy to hear that.
3) Port Pictures is planning to shoot eight pictures in Louisiana during the next three years. This could be the beginnings of an indigenous film industry for Shreveport.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
The reader wrote: “This proposal is al [sic] ‘vapor’ and will never see the light of day. Studio complexes like this are not needed in Shreveport. Producers are fleeing Hollywood cause [sic] they won’t pay top dollar prices, so why would they want to pay rents on something as overbuilt as this. Shreveport merely needs more experienced crew and it will thrive with the studio space it has.”
The comment begs the following questions.
Are newly constructed soundstage complexes needed in a region that’s already doing pretty well for itself, at least at the present moment?
Should there be more places to film? If entrepreneurs build more soundstages, will more productions come?
Should entrepreneurs continue to retrofit the buildings and infrastructure already found in northwest Louisiana?
Expo Hall has been converted into StageWorks of Louisiana, and that’s getting business. The old AT&T plant has turned into a soundstage and production office, and that’s working. Other facilities are being used, too.
The wave tank built for “The Guardian” was bought and repurposed as the Louisiana Wave Studio. To my knowledge, it officially opened for business at the end of March but hasn’t announced a client. (If I’m wrong, please tell me.)
Instead of building new production facilities, should the region concentrate on selling itself as a place with versatile locations? Should Shreveport just promote itself as Anywhere, USA, and be happy with the business it gets?
Is it better to concentrate on growing the crew base and using existing facilities?
What say you? Do we need more, or do we have enough?
If you don't want to post your comments for public consumption, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Presumably speaking to Kit earlier in the year, director Frank Darabont of "The Mist" said, "We're at the tip of the wave of coming here, but I think there are going to be a lot of other folks coming here once they catch wind of what's available."
Director Renny Harlin of "Cleaner" spoke about how his production helped the city catch up on film permits. "(Shreveport) didn't have a permit system, and they would say go ahead (to filming). And we had to educate them that you have to create a permit system because we have to know that if we're on a street corner, nobody else is going to show up right next to us. You need to have a system where you know where everybody is at any given time."
Read the entire article by clicking here.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
BATON ROUGE (AP) - Developer R.W. Day is planning a $1.6 billion mixed-use development -- anchored by a $955 million movie studio -- on a 1,200-acre tract near Interstate 12 in East Baton Rouge.
While RedStick Studio Development is the name of the Day company putting the deal together, the name of the development and the studio won't be announced just yet.
Chuck Bush of F.T.E. Consulting Group, who has been in the movie business for decades, helped put the movie studio end of the deal together. Bush said the studio would actually be on three separate locations, developed over a seven-year period.
The main campus would be on the tract that runs from behind Ochsner Medical Center -- formerly Summit Hospital -- to the Amite River. That part of the studio would take up about a third of the development, with retail and residential on the northern two-thirds. It would have about 18 soundstages, ranging from 18-thousand square feet to 50-thousand square feet.
Also on site would be a $30 million educational facility that would operate as a consortium to work with LSU, Southern University and Baton Rouge Community College to train workers in film and video production.
Friday, April 20, 2007
It also marks the first venture for Port Pictures, a Shreveport-based movie production company. They are teaming with Robert Duvall's Butcher's Run Films.
Looks kinda spooky.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
The longtime Times columnist was a legendary movie and TV buff. The Robinson Film Center, a movie art house currently under construction in downtown Shreveport, has decided to dedicate a future seat in his honor.
Here’s a note from RFC’s Chris Jay: “(We) are going to name a seat in the Grand Theater for him. He would always drop us lines of encouragement. When we booked ‘For Your Consideration,’ he worked for like three days trying to get Harry Shearer to come to our screening and very nearly made it happen. I only met him a few times, but we'd been e-mailing for years, and I counted him among my friends. I just wanted to extend my condolences and let you know that we're naming a seat for him, just to say ‘Thanks’ for all of his support and encouragement of my programming.”
Below are just a few choice excerpts from Tim’s columns and writings.
From the column “The best of 2006: Penguins and prejudice with my popcorn,” Dec. 30, 2006
At the box office, penguins have been hotter than the greenhouse gases that threaten their very existence. "March of the Penguins," "Madagascar" and "Happy Feet," all big hits. So it was inevitable Hollywood would try to expand the genre with "The Pursuit of Happyfeetness." Known for comedic roles, Mumble the penguin turns to drama as a single father struggling to raise his chick in New York while going through the pilot training program at United Airlines. Needless to say, this flightless waterfowl teaches us a lesson in learning to fly. At the screening I attended, there was not a dry eye in the house, and considering all the penguins in the audience, very few dry seats.
From the column “It’s literally too hot for television,” July 15, 2006
Greening writes here about the filming of the NBC TV movie, “The Year Without a Santa Claus,” which was shot in Natchitoches in 100-plus degree heat.
And poor John Goodman — did you see the picture of him in The Times the other day, wearing a Santa suit? I'll bet they have to wring that out every half-hour.
I considered showing up to be an extra, but now I'm not so sure. I probably say this every year, but I swear I don't remember it ever being this hot before. How hot is it?
It's so hot even the Tabasco is sweating.
It's so hot U.S. Rep. William Jefferson took all his cash out of the refrigerator to make room in it for himself.
It's so hot people are sitting all the way through Al Gore's global warming documentary not for the information but for the air conditioning.
It's so hot Ted Williams' son tried to freeze himself.
It's so hot farmers are harvesting already-steamed asparagus.
It's so hot Kevin Federline actually got up off the couch to turn up the ceiling fan.
It's so hot kids are begging bullies to give them a swirlie.
It's so hot Ann Coulter scheduled a meeting with
9/11 widows just for the cold reception.
We're talking hot.
From the column “Check Your Brain at the Box Office,” Jan. 15, 2005
"Two tickets to 'Sideways,' please."
"Sorry, sir, that movie's not playing here."
"What? The offbeat comedy about a neurotic bachelor who takes his soon-to-be-married friend on a road trip through California's wine country? But it's won practically every critics award there is. Even the Shreveport Film Critics Society Circle named it Best Picture of 2004, and none of us have even seen it."
"Shreveport has a Film Critics Society Circle?"
"Well, yeah, but it's just me and this guy named Rufus. And he only likes movies about rapping kangaroos."
"So, why isn't 'Sideways' playing here?"
"Well, intelligent, highly acclaimed independent films don't play well in this town. If a movie isn't based on a comic book or a video game or if the title doesn't end in and the Bandit, it doesn't make money here."
From the satire page News for Dumb Guys, Aug. 6, 2004
A peek at the statistics that shape dumb guys' lives
Only a nitwit would give away a movie's ending. So, what's the big secret about 'The Village?'
47% Those scary creatures in the woods? Visa collection agents
33% The Village falls way short of the population requirement to be incorporated as a village
21% The big secret: the movie sucks
From the column “A vacation dose of all the print that's news to fit,” Sept. 7, 2002
Bear with me, I was on vacation for the last third of August, during which I traveled to Los Angeles to compete in Fox television's newest talent competition, 'American Idle: The Search for the Laziest Man in America.'
I won, of course, but I never picked up my trophy. (It was all the way across the room, up on the stage. I just didn't feel like it; there were stairs.)
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
I could never confirm the project with solid sources (and I don't report the unconfirmed stuff), but I had heard the project was seriously interested in our area. (Yes, we know, Alex. Hence the booth.)
The Dreamsworks project will not be coming here, according to two sources. It's heading to Vancouver. It is reportedly a remake of a 2003 Korean horror film.
Now hold your horses. This isn't a sign of Louisiana losing competitiveness. It's a sign of competition that has always been there.
It's a very low-key deal, but you'll get a chance to check out the rennovation progress. Pop into 615 Texas St. in downtown Shreveport tonight if you're curious.
The nonprofit film education center hopes to open its new digs in late 2007.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
I interviewed them over the weekend. Click here for a link to The Times story. And below are a few comments that didn’t make it into print.
Holmes looks forward to working with Khouri.
“It’s an added bonus when someone has created such a great movie in the past,” Holmes said. “I feel like someone who has created well the first time can create again and again and again like that.”
“Mad Money” is a heist comedy and thriller. It tells the story of three women who plot to steal soon-to-be-destroyed money from the Federal Reserve Bank.
“I do think that Callie has a very dynamic personality,” Keaton said. “Had she not been the writer, surely she would have been the actress playing my part. There’s no question about it. Oh, my God. Oh, yeah. She’s a powerhouse.”
Keaton added that it was the first time she’s played a criminal mind, and she’s looking forward to having fun with the movie. “In a certain sense, that’s what you really want to experience, because at my age life is, like, short,” Keaton said. “Do you want to have a miserable time? No, I do not. I do want to have fun.”
Queen Latifah and Holmes expressed excitement about working with Keaton.
“She just seems spontaneous and energetic and funny and passionate about acting,” Queen Latifah said. “And I’ve always enjoyed her movies.”
Holmes said she’s been a fan of Keaton’s forever. “You’re amazing,” Holmes said while sitting next to Keaton. “We already started rehearsing and I’ve already learned so much, seriously. I am so looking forward to this. I am so excited.”
“You’re so adorable,” Keaton responded.
Khouri said a popular theme of hers is part of “Mad Money.”
“I think one of the themes of my work keeps emerging,” Khouri said, “which is an average person finding themselves on the other side of the law through a set of extraordinary circumstances, and then just surprising the hell out of themselves.”
“I’m born to play all of them,” Khouri said earlier. “I get to be them all, without having actually to do the work.”
Filming begins Monday.
Friday, April 13, 2007
Kris Kristofferson, Tom Skerritt, Rachel Nichols (“Alias”), Frankie Faison (“The Wire”), Skeet Ulrich (“Jericho”), Scott Cooper (“Broken Trail”), Forrest Sawyer and James Keane will star. The cast also includes Natchitoches resident Joanna Cassidy and Louisiana musician Mark Adam.
The movie will begin shooting April 17 at the Magnolia Plantation near Natchitoches. It is being produced by the Robert Duvall’s Butcher’s Run Films and Shreveport-based Port Pictures.
The movie will be directed by Bob Wilson. He worked as a line producer on “The Year Without a Santa Claus,” which was also shot in Natchitoches.
It is the first project for Port Pictures. Rudy Hines, an executive producer with the company, is thrilled about his stars. “We feel like we got a $10 million cast,” Hines said. ” The script is just unbelievable. It’s a mystery thriller. Everybody’s so excited about this.”
The movie is searching for local people to work as extras. Applicants can attend an extras casting call April 20 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Natchitoches Events Center, 750 Second St. Those who cannot attend can apply and drop off a non-returnable self photograph at the movie’s production office, 331 Lafayette St., in Natchitoches.
For more information, call the production office at (318) 238-4305.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Casting directors are holding an open extras casting call for the movie from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Casting directors also are looking for a few actors.
The casting call will be held at the old AT&T plant at 9595 Mansfield Road in Shreveport.
Applicants should bring a non-returnable photograph of themselves or a headshot to the casting call. If applicants don’t have a photograph, one will be taken.
For more information, call the extras casting department at (318) 682-5645.
Applicants who cannot attend the casting call should send a self-photograph and contact information to: The Great Debaters Casting, 9595 Mansfield Road, Shreveport, LA, 71118.
Washington, an Oscar-winning actor, will direct and star in the movie about the true story of Melvin B. Tolson. During the 1930s, Tolson formed a famous debate team at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas.
The movie is being produced by the Weinstein Company and Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions.
Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker is in negotiations to star opposite Washington, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
The feature film project “For Sale by Owner” is hosting an extras casting call April 20 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Natchitoches Events Center, 750 Second St.
All persons are encouraged to apply. The feature has a specific need for athletically built Native Americans ages 15 to 45. Applicants must be available to work on select dates between April 25 and May 6 in Natchitoches. Applicants should bring a non-returnable photo to the casting call. If a photo is not available, one will be taken at the casting call.
The movie is also looking for a stand-in who is an attractive Caucasian women of average height and weight. Applicants for this position must be able to work from April 17 to May 6, including Saturdays and Sundays but not Mondays.
The movie will be shot primarily in Natchitoches. It is being made by the Shreveport-based Port Pictures and Robert Duvall’s production company, Butcher’s Run Films.
For more information, call the casting department at (318) 238-4305.
Monday, April 09, 2007
Three cheers for Erin!
On tonight’s episode, Parker will compete with 14 other women during a mini-triathlon in Santa Monica. According to ABC, “Susan and Erin exercise their diva muscle and refuse to get their hair wet.”
Four cheers for Erin!
Parker was born in Logansport and graduated from Logansport High School. She earned a degree from Northwestern State University. She now lives in Dallas and works as a financial analyst.
I take it she didn't study triathleticism. Yet another example of college not preparing young minds for the real world.
Three contestants will be eliminated from “The Bachelor” tonight. The show begins at 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
1) Finally, the car chase is scary again when filmed in broad daylight.
2) Thankfully, zombies are still the funniest movie characters this side of the Gremlins.
3) In technical skill, Rodriguez and Tarantino have few equals.
4) In casting choices, Rodriguez and Tarantino have no equals.
5) Rose McGowan can fly.
6) Freddy Rodriguez never misses.
7) Somewhere between the gun stump and the ship maiden, I forgot it was a three-hour exhibition of macho culture.
8) I left the movie theater for a moment and felt like I missed something.
9) Zöe Bell, Uma's stunt double for "Kill Bill," gets well-deserved feature roll.
10) Kurl Russell looks even cooler than he did for "Big Trouble in Little China." How is that possible?
Here's a link to my review for The Times (only online).
"The Reaping" has a good chance of grabbing the weekend box office crown, but its competition is pretty fierce. "Meet the Robinsons," "Firehouse Dog" and "Are We Done Yet?" will bring in the family crowd. "The Reaping" will team with "Grindhouse" grab the horror fans.
Just what will win? Not a clue.
I saw "Grindhouse" last night with a theater full of people, by the way, and I'll post a review later today.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
The Disney movie opened on 3,413 screens nationwide on March 30, taking in a total of $25.1 million. The overall screen average was a so-so $7,361. The weekend's top film, "Blades of Glory," took in $33 million and averaged a stronger $9,790.
But "Meet the Robinsons" outperformed the leader in one aspect. 581 of its screens projected the animated film in Disney Digital 3-D (or Disney's REAL D brand). Those took in an average of $12,220 over the weekend.
Looking at the figures in a different light, 13 percent of the screenings accounted for 28 percent of the movie’s box office.
That's news, according to Variety, which observed: “If only ‘Robinsons’ had been able to hit more 3-D screens, it likely would have been able to open with more moolah, but the technology is still being rolled out. (Manhattan was the only town in which the pic played exclusively in 3-D in all its bows.)”
But is 3-D still a novelty or a true market force? Keep in mind that 3-D movies charge more for admission. To see “Meet the Robinsons,” I paid $8.25 for a matinee screening at the Boardwalk. That’s not chicken change.
Disney's going to test 3-D’s draw again in October with a re-release of the 3-D version of "Tim Burton's A Nightmare Before Christmas." Its trailer was shown before "Meet the Robinsons" this weekend, and it looked quite good.
I personally didn't catch the first 3-D release of “Nightmare” during October 2006. Anyone? It made more than $9 million on just 187 screens, according to Variety.
Rereleases are fine and dandy, but I want to sample the sweets of newer eye candy. A new “Beowulf” gets a 3-D release, on 1,200 screens, in November.
If I could legally post a picture of my drool, I would.
Monday, April 02, 2007
But before you pop into the building, take time to appreciate the building’s newest 3-D façade.
Joyce designed it, SRAC technical director Duane Rousseau figured out how to build it, and Alicia Smith painted it, according Joyce’s office.
Read it here: "Lights, Camera, Inaction?"
The article focuses on producer John Sweeney's struggle to get Armada Studios built in East Feliciana Parish.
Chuck Hustmyre writes: "He has the investors, the location, and the support from East Feliciana Parish to buy a building there to be turned into movie soundstages and a film school. But the state Film Office and Division of Administration have yet to approve tax credits on the deal. The whole project has tangled in red tape for three months, and some of the projects on his slate are beginning to look at other locations."
This article is well worth the read. Thanks for alerting me, D.A.
Sunday, April 01, 2007
1. “Blades of Glory,” $33 million
2. “Meet the Robinsons,” $25.1 million
3. “300,” $11.2 million
4. “TMNT,” $9.2 million
5. “Wild Hogs,” $8.4 million
6. “Shooter,” $8 million
7. “Premonition,” $5.1 ($39.3 million to date)
In March 2005, “Robots” opened with about $36 million. The movie went on to earn $128 million through the domestic box office and $261 million worldwide. Shreveport’s William Joyce served as producer and production designer of “Robots.”
Joyce was executive producer of “Meet the Robinsons.” The movie is based on his picture book “A Day with Wilbur Robinson.”
It will be interesting to see if the movie’s digital 3-D version plays a factor in its lifespan at the box office.
“Premonition” was shot in northwest Louisiana during early 2006.
Source: rounded figures quoted from http://www.boxofficemojo.com/.