Thursday, May 31, 2007
If you've ever had the chance to hear Costner speak about his role choices and character development -- through TV interviews or whatever -- you've realized he's an actor who deeply respects his craft and thinks all the way through his choices.
And his insights into Dane Cook's character are particularly revealing.
Click here to listen. It takes a while to load, but it's worth it.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
WHERE: Regal Cinemas Louisiana Boardwalk Stadium 14.
Learn more about Chris and his cohorts' work at the Perennial Media Web site.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
WHAT: “Mr. Brooks” special advanced screening.
WHEN: 7 p.m. May 30 (“Mr. Brooks” premieres nationally June 1).
WHERE: Regal Cinema Bossier Corners 9, Bossier City.
INFO: call the Robinson Film Center at (318) 424-9090.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: click here.
But Mr. Brooks leads a secret double life. He's a notorious serial murderer known as the Thumbprint Killer, and nobody can catch him. Yet. William Hurt plays his Mephistophelean alter ego, who urges him to kill a couple and risk everything. (The couple, methinks, is played by a pair of local doctors.)
If smartly played and if it lives up to its promising trailer, “Mr. Brooks” could be a cheeky examination of the pressures exerted on identity. What must a man sacrifice to become the person our ego urges us to be? Family? Career? Sanity? Social stability?
Books have been getting into the online trailer business for the past couple of years. I'm seeing more and more books being promoted through these 90-second ads.
Using moving images, or at the very least, flash, to promote print is an odd but not unexpected development in online promotion. Marketers and authors are trying to hook readers who are more inclined to watch promotion than read it. (I wonder if it really works?)
An example: Will Clarke's promotion for "The Worthy," a Simon and Schuster book released in hardcover last year. Clarke was born in Shreveport and now lives in Dallas. "The Worthy" is a (kind of) ghost story about LSU, fraternity injustice and nastily funny forms of revenge.
Have you ever read a book because you saw its trailer?
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
I'm on vacation, so you get a vacation from me. It's a win-win!
I'll return to the office May 29. You can continue to send me email at firstname.lastname@example.org, but I won't be able to answer it until I return.
If you have pressing movie news, please contact my boss Kathie Rowell: email@example.com or (318) 459-3258.
There's been a little chatter about "Friday Night Lights" possibly moving to Louisiana from Austin, Texas, but nothing has been confirmed. From Elaine Liner's blog post on the Dallas Observer, it appears Texas is fighting hard to keep it.
Here is an excerpt from the interview with Mikel:
"She also wants NBC to leave the series on location in Texas. When she heard rumors of the show moving to Louisiana, Mikel personally lobbied the Texas Legislature to fight to keep the show in Austin by offering a bill (still pending) that would grant financial incentives for the production to stay.
"'There need to be tax breaks to be more competitive with Louisiana, where they're making a ton of movies right now,' she says. "It's good for the economy of the state and for the community where the film or series is shot. As a Texas actor I'm grateful for the opportunity not to have to move to New York or Los Angeles to work on a weekly series. I choose to live in Texas. It's so important to keep the life of this show there. The production staff is from Texas. They know what it's like to live and breathe that air.'"
Click here to read the entire post. Good read.
"A small production will be doing a one-day shoot for a PSA (Cinton Initiative) on May 24. Tara Martin is the contact. Please email resumes to her direct. She is looking for crew: grips, electrics, sound mixer, vtr operator, prop/set dresser and a couple of production assistants. They will shoot on Thursday, May 24. It's a small, simple stage shoot and they are preferring local crew. Please email resumes to Tara Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org."
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
There will be an invitation-only preview screening of “Mr. Brooks” on May 30. The location is still up in air, but they plan to start it at 7 p.m.
“Mr. Brooks” was made in Shreveport during the summer of 2006. It stars Kevin Costner, William Hurt, Demi Moore and Dane Cook. The movie premieres nationally June 1.
The preview screening is being organized by the Robinson Film Center, the Shreveport Mayor’s office and MGM studios.
No stars are expected to attend the screening. Local crew, cast and extras will be invited.
“We’re looking to just show a sign of appreciation for the people who worked on it,” said Chris Jay of the Robinson Film Center.
Theater folks at LSUS may construct a set replica and install it in theater lobby (where is TBD), but details have not been confirmed.
IF YOU GET INVITED
WHAT: “Mr. Brooks” special advanced screening.
WHEN: 7 p.m. May 30 (“Mr. Brooks” premieres nationally June 1).
WHERE: the location is TBD as of May 16.
INFO: call the Film Center at (318) 424-9090 for location information.
TRAILER: click here.
Jennifer LaPierre sent me this note about LSUS's participation in the screening: "The movie crew donated the entire bedroom set to LSUS and also some 30 pieces of pottery. We plan to set those items up in the lobby for auction, including recreating the bedroom scene. ALL proceeds would benefit the LSUS Theatre Department."
Here's a link to the story. "Tool Girls" is a revenge thriller? I think I'm missing something about this title.
Monday, May 14, 2007
Resumes are due by tomorrow morning! Your cover letter should note the words "music video."
Here's the info I received. If you can read the shorthand, you might be qualified:
1. Make-up artist x 1 (Can be a combo mu/hair)
2. Hairstylist x 1 (Can be a combo hair/mu)
3. Set Costume Person x 1 (Ideally with wardrobe racks and steamer for rent)
4. Craft Service and Crafty Assistant
5. Set Medic x 1
6. 1st Assistant Cameraman (16mm Arriflex System) x 1
7. 2nd Assistant Cameraman x 1
8. Set PA's
9. Props/Set Dressing Combo x 1 (Ideally with cast chairs and basic prop box for rent)
WHAT: ESPN'S "Ruffian."
WHEN: 8 p.m. June 9 on ABC. (Expect multiple broadcasts on Disney networks, and an immediate DVD release.)
WEBSITE: Click here.
STARRING: Sam Shepard, ponies, doctors.
LOCATION: Bossier City.
WHAT: LIFT Productions' "Bug."
WHEN: in theaters May 25.
WEBSITE: Click here.
STARRING: Ashley Judd, Michael Shannon, Harry Connick Jr., and hello, directed by William Friedkin! He made "Jade," and, oh, something called "The French Connection."
LOCATION: New Orleans.
WHAT: LIFT Productions' "Mr. Brooks."
WHEN: in theaters June 1.
WEBSITE: Click here.
STARRING: Kevin Costner, Demi Moore, William Hurt and Dane Cook. The buzz is good.
LOCATION: The Shreve.
PHOTO: The horse playing Ruffian leaves the track. Robert Ruiz/The Times. April 3, 2006. Not for reuse.
Friday, May 11, 2007
What say you, readers? Is it time to organize a sit-in? If you do, don't sit directly beneath Dino Bob. Those birds might give you a fresh coat of paint.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Bohl was one of four workshoppers granted a shot at pitching his project to four industry pros. "Tales from the Bayou," much to Bohl's glee, was chosen as the "best new idea" at the festival. That's pretty cool. Congrats, Al!
In an email, Bohl wrote, "It was truly an honor but I couldn’t help laughing to myself. The 'Best New Idea' is a concept that I have been working on for over 20 years."
I sent Bohl a few follow-up questions this morning. Here is his response:"'Tales from the Bayou' is a live action/animated series of morality tales as told by an old Cajun man. The main character is a little singing and dancing raccoon that has a crawfish for a conscience and a big alligator for an enemy. The raccoon speaks and sings in a unique stutter-type Cajun dialect called Fiddle-d-da. Some of the stories deal with curing “hiccumups,” greed (when the eyes get bigger – the heart gets smaller), finding true friends and much more.
"I have been pitching this series for all 20 years and have gotten close to making a deal numerous times. I have the distinction of being rejected by some of the best publishers and animation companies in the U.S. I know from the responses of children and adults that I have told the stories to through the years that my concept will work. The biggest discouraging remark has been that Cajun is too localized for a national or international audience. I do not agree with this. I feel that a show that features the wonderful music, accents, food, folklore and bayous of Louisiana would have great appeal to a broad audience. A quick survey of television animation will show that current concepts are blandly homogenized.
"As a result of the 'pitch contest' at Red Stick a talent recruiter approached me about her handling 'Tales.' Another start-up animation company really loved the concept, too. So, I (am) doing what I have always done; I’m going through a repackaging of the concept just in case.
"My years have taught me that the entertainment business is like our solar system. The actual decision makers are represented by the Sun. All creators live on Pluto. The other planets stand between creators and decision makers. Somehow Earthlings feel that it is their job to determine if Plutonians are worthy of getting through to the Sun. The more Earthlings that Plutonians meet the more they realize that Earthlings know very little."
Thanks, Al! If you want to learn more about him, log on to www.albohl.com.
And Al, can you help me get my novel going? Once I find a plot, characters and a few choice themes, it will write itself.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
When printed, the booklet costs $4 each. (They've printed 7,000 so far.) Click here to get a look at the PDF. It's a good PR piece.
Lampton Enochs (Louisiana Production Consultants, Mansfield Studios) and Sylvia Goodman addressed the group's interest in lobbying legislators during this legislative session.
"Some people still see Hollywood as glamour and freelance jobs," Enochs said. He said legislators need to understand the industry creates permanent jobs. "We need to reinforce that the tax incentives are working and that we really are an economic force."
Tim Larkin, co-chairman of the film alliance, cited recent evidence of economic impact. A production was shooting in Bossier City recently. To furnish a set, the production had to buy $23,000 in office furniture from a local Office Depot. Larkin said that transaction alone netted $1,600 in taxes for the city.
"This is something where they bring the money, they spend it, and you get the economic benefit," Larkin said.
Enochs also spoke about the need for the state to establish workforce training funds, which Connecticut will likely pass soon. Essentially, such funds would help subsidize a production company's labor costs for recently relocated, entry-level or first-time industry workers.
Developing a local workforce for the Louisiana film industry continues to be the biggest hurdle, Enochs said. He and Goodman encouraged people to write and call their legislators. "Please make that a part of your letter, to support workforce training funds for … all of the creative industries," Enochs said.
Arlena Acree, Shreveport's director of film, entertainment and media, spoke about the state's need to show a united front when working to attract Hollywood to Louisiana. She cited a recent locations trade show in Santa Monica, Calif., where organizations from Louisiana were scattered throughout the convention hall. The forces from Texas, Mexico and Canada, on the other hand, were all organized and located in single spots.
"We want to be all together as a state. Our state was fragmented," Acree said. "We’re working with Chris Stelly (from the state film office) and all the Louisiana partners for next year."
Today's agenda includes discussion about lobbying legislators; an overview of promotional efforts; an update from Arlena Acree and the mayor's office; a review of current and upcoming productions; an update on CERT and workforce training; an update about the push to establish a direct flight from L.A.; and other stuff.
I'll be there taking notes. Say hi (or throw something) if you have a free moment.
I'm currently writing a series of stories on the industry. One intriguing line of questions has to do with promotion. We're noticing a lot of regional organizations within Louisiana making their pitches to the industry. They are:
* Northwest Louisiana Film Alliance (website)
* Northeast Louisiana Film and Video Association, (318) 324-1644 (Monroe, La.)
* Film Baton Rouge (website)
* New Orleans Film Office (website)
* Lafayette Conventions and Visitors Commission (website)
* Shreveport-Bossier Film Office (website)
* Southwest Louisiana Film Commission (website)
* Natchitoches Convention and Visitors Bureau (website)
And I'm sure there are more. While regional competitiveness is a natural development for the industry, there are some interesting questions to be asked.
* Are the organizations working in concert? Should they?
* Is this a sign of healthy competition?
* Can competition within the state be counterproductive to an industry where national and international competitiveness are the bigger issues?
WHEN: 6:30-9:30 p.m. June 1; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. June 2; 11 a.m.-7 p.m. June 3.
WHERE: Caliente Restaurant, 601 Texas St., downtown Shreveport.
COST: $150. Must register and pre-pay by May 26.
Monday, May 07, 2007
Read the official stuff at www.gadaboutfilmfest.com.
Friday, May 04, 2007
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Here is the official press release:
LOUISIANA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ANNOUNCES NEW ROLES IN ITS ENTERTAINMENT DIVISION
BATON ROUGE, La. -- To integrate development efforts and increase its focus on administering tax credits in film & television, music/sound recording and digital media, Louisiana Economic Development (LED) recently made new staff assignments in its Entertainment Industry Division.
Sherri McConnell, who was recruited by LED in February 2007 to head the division, announced the following changes and promotions:
Alex Schott has accepted the newly created position of interactive digital media director and will oversee development efforts in this emerging sector. The video game market alone is worth $30 billion globally -- larger than both film and music combined. Previously the director of film & television, Schott brings a high level of expertise to administering the sector's tax incentive program and developing relationships with top digital media companies. He will also work closely with industry leaders to recruit skilled workers and guide workforce-training programs.
Promoted to film & television director is Chris Stelly, who has been with LED's entertainment division since 2004. Stelly previously served as an economic development officer, where he assisted with administering Louisiana's innovative tax credit program and providing technical assistance to entertainment prospects for Louisiana. His new assignment includes implementing the film tax incentive program, building the industry's workforce and increasing Louisiana's prominence in the motion picture industry.
Other members of the LED Entertainment Industry Division are: Lynn Ourso, who will continue serving as music industry director, focusing on recruitment and the administration of music tax incentives as well as directing the activities of the Louisiana Music Commission; Patrick Mulhearn, whose role as economic development officer will be expanded to include some of Stelly's former duties, with a focus on film & television development efforts; and Amber Havens, whose role as public information officer will also expand to serve all three entertainment areas.
"Louisiana has an unparalleled opportunity for growth in the entertainment industry. Our focus on administering the tax incentives in all three entertainment areas will continue to draw industry leaders to Louisiana," said LED Secretary Michael J. Olivier. "With these new staff assignments, LED can provide a more integrated approach to matching industry needs with our state's resources."
Since the Louisiana Legislature passed the Motion Picture Incentive Act in 2002, the state's entertainment sector growth has been significant.
A March 2007 report on Louisiana's entertainment industry, Economics Research Associates Report: Trends in Film, Music and Digital Media, shows a sizeable increase in film production, a 23 percent increase in employment and 31 percent higher wages since 2001. The study also revealed Louisiana ranks third in the number of films produced in the United States -- behind only New York and California.
For more information about how LED is working to advance the state's entertainment industry, visit LouisianaForward.com/Entertainment.
John Andrew Prime of The Times wrote a more comprehensive story about it today. Click here to read.
The awards are notable for BPCC, noted Telecommunications Dean Larry Powell, since past projects have been hampered by audio shortcomings.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Like a small but likely growing number of folks, Doiron plans to relocate to Shreveport during the next few months to find work in the movie industry. She currently lives in New Iberia, La., but is intrigued by what's happening in the northern part of the state.
Professionally, she works mostly in fashion but hopes her skills are transferable.
I've been working on a series of movie-industry stories for the past week or so, and one of my topics is "developing Louisiana crew bases."
Are you someone who's considering a move to Shreveport for work in the movie industry? Or have you moved here already? How's it going? Good? Bad? Better than a flesh wound? Email me at email@example.com. And by all means, send me your bloody pictures.
If you want to learn more about Doiron's unyucky work, log on to www.caseydoironbeauty.com.