Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Is 'Harold & Kumar' sequel a hit?


We probably won't know the answer until it's released on DVD. So far, the movie's doing much better business than its predecssor. In 2004, "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle" grossed $18 million at the box office (during its entire run). Its sequel took in $14.9 million on opening weekend on 2,500 screens and will likely surpass $18 million by Friday. USA Today provided some great background.

The movie's real test, however, will come on DVD. The first earned $60 million on DVD. Yes, that's right. Don't adjust your screen: "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle" earned $60 million on DVD.

Given just how unrestrained the sequel is with nudity, profanity, gross-out jokes and its shock-inducing bottomless party, you can pretty much guess the DVD is going to deliver lots of extras. While interviewing the directors in Austin, I learned that one of the extras will offer viewers to opportunity to change the bottomless scene into a topless scene.

I'd make a joke about their commitment to high art, but it's too easy.

Jim Carrey movie to splash into wave tank Friday

"I Love You, Phillip Morris" will shoot for a day at the Louisiana Wave Studio on Friday. The dark comedy stars Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor.

The facility's 750,000-gallon wave tank was built in late 2005 for "The Guardian," the U.S. Coast Guard action drama starring Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher. That the facility is being used again is a good sign for its investors. Learn more here.

* A controversy is brewing this morning regarding a now former home in the St. Paul Bottoms Historic District. Makers of the series "True Blood" used and destroyed the city-owned home for one of their episodes. Read John Prime's reporting here.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

'Harold & Kumar' sequel lands at no. 2

According to Box Office Mojo, the Shreveport made flick made a bit more than $14.5 million this weekend. More on the significance tomorrow:

1. Baby Mama $18,271,000
2. Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay $14,570,000
3. The Forbidden Kingdom $11,230,000

Did you see it? What did you think? Are you still eating sandwiches?

Friday, April 25, 2008

'Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay': Let the uncomfortable laughter begin

Both hilarious and remarkably offensive, Ed Helms (left) stars as the Interpreter and Rob Coddry (right) stars as Ron Fox. (Jaimie Trueblood/New Line Cinema)


Both fans of the absurd, Kal Penn (left) stars as Kumar and John Cho (right) stars as Harold. (Jaimie Trueblood/New Line Cinema)

Both nuts, writes and directors Jon Hurwitz (left) and Hayden Scholssberg (right) pose on the set. (Jaimie Trueblood/New Line Cinema)


Both, well, loving, Mark Munoz (left) stars as Cyrus and John Cho (right) stars as Harold. (Jaimie Trueblood/New Line Cinema)

'Harold & Kumar' sequel reviewed, opens today

Well, well, well, The Shreve's day of crowning glory has finally arrived. "Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay," quite possibly the most entertaining and offensive comedy of the year, opens today in theaters. Even if you've seen the first movie, I guarantee you're not prepared for this jaw-dropper.

Here's my review. I'd love to hear your thoughts when you see it today. (And don't you dare take your mother.)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

'Streets of Blood' needs extras

Just got this note from Glorioso Casting. They're trying to fill needs for "Streets of Blood" (aka "Microwave Park") that starts filming in May and stars 50 Cent, Sharon Stone and Val Kilmer:

We are currently in need of the following:

Males:
18-30 LATINO Gangmember Types (Latin Kings) MUST LIVE IN OR NEAR SHREVEPORT!

Females:
18-30 LATINA Gangmember Types (Latin Kings) MUST LIVE IN OR NEAR SHREVEPORT!

Females:
18-30 AFRICAN AMERICAN FEMALES, Skinny Crackhead Types / These parts will work TOPLESS! and Wearing a G-String MUST LIVE IN OR NEAR SHREVEPORT!

Males:
18-30 AFRICAN AMERICAN Gangmember Types MUST LIVE IN OR NEAR SHREVEPORT!

Please EMAIL Pictures and Contact Info ASAP to: staff@gloriosocasting.com

What do you think of the 'Sordid Lives' promo?



"Sordid Lives" was shot in Shreveport at Mansfield Studios and elsewhere. The TV series will debut soon on MTV's Logo channel. What do you think?

Millennium has broken ground on new studio, and these dudes aren't my bodyguards


Ahoy, readers! I've survived a two-week plunge into the belly of our new news website and am back at the blogging keyboard. Sorry for my absense, but I've been doing tech support for users almost 24/7 (OK, 14/7). More on that below.

If you didn't hear (I know you did), Nu Image/Millennium Films broke ground on its $10 million studio for the Ledbetter Heights neighborhood. It's a major development for the local industry on many levels.

One, Millennium's an L.A.-based company who's decided to "bank on Louisiana," according to executive producer Michael Flannigan. They've made six films here since 2006 and are currently prepping number seven ("Streets of Blood" aka "Microwave Park"). Deciding to set up a permanent production facility here is a signal to the rest of the country that Louisiana's production climate is stable and cost effective, even as other states continue to step up their tax incentives.

Two, the studio, once built, will employ between 100 and 500 at any given time. Adding another stable employer to the local film economy will continue to build the crew base. More crew, more movies.

Three, it's another symbol that the entire state of Louisiana is open for production. The Shreve's booming. New Orleans is booming. Pace is picking up in Lafayette. Producers are continuing to discover that the entire state can work for what they need.

My job

My duties at The Times have grown to include social media, and I have all of you to thank for that. You've made my blog fun to write and a great place to interact. Based on LaMovBlog's success, I've been recruited to champion user-content on the shreveporttimes.com.

If you've visited our new site lately, you'll see a wholesale redesign to the pages (I can't take credit for that).

Long story short, as the new "Social Media Champion," I'm in charge of user-generated content. If you become a member of our site, you can blog. You can post photos. You can network with friends. You can set up communities. And you can comment on almost anything. If you're in to the social networking thing, I encourage you to sign up and play.

We're looking to feature voices on the new site who have local expertise, a passion for debate and an interest in leading community conversation. If you'd like to chat about it, just give me a ring at 318.459.3256.

We're planning on a wholesale redesign of this blog, too, and it will incorporate some exciting new changes. Stay tuned, and let me know what you think the changes.

TOP PHOTO: Michael Flannigan from Nu Image/Millennium Films and Dink Adams from Cinelease attend the groundbreaking. Nice suits, fellas. Leave the cannoli. (Alexandyr Kent/The Times)

BOTTOM PHOTO: Studio and city officials lift those golden shovels through the soil of Ledbetter Heights. (Alexandyr Kent/The Times)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Harold & Kumar go to South by Southwest

While I was in Austin last month, I had a little interview fun with the boys from "Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay." The stoner sequel was shot in The Shreve in early 2007 and opens nationally on Friday. Oh, and the stoner sequel makes "Superbad" look like a family film.

PHOTO: Kumar (Kal Penn, left) and Harold (John Cho, right) drop in on President Bush (James Adomian) at his Crawford, Texas, ranch in "Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay." (Special to The Times)

Friday, April 18, 2008

50 Cent's rules for the set


50 Cent recently chatted with MTV News about "Streets of Blood," which will be filmed in Shreveport. "I play a police officer right after Hurricane Katrina. It's me, Val Kilmer and Sharon Stone," he told MTV News. (I will check to see if this project will shoot in New Orleans, too, which is implied by the article.)

In the above video, he also talks about not bringing his clique onto a set. "I keep them away from me," he told MTV News. "I don't want too many of them there because they'll start laughing while I'm doing sh--. They see me doing something that's so not me that they're laughing. It's too much of a distraction so I keep them away."

It's OK. You can call me 'Number 2'

The Robinson Film Center, which opens May 3, is getting ready to send out its fancy-pants membership cards. RFC's Chris Jay assured me that they are going out within the next couple of weeks. (Hold your horses, members! It's opening soon enough and you'll get your cards in time.)

Being the egomaniac I like to think I am, I challenged Chris to an imaginary Rubik's Cube faceoff. I won, of course, and demanded he pony up my Dual Membership cards ($100/year) for press preview.

He unearthed these little treasures from his underground safe. The cards come in Denzel Washington, Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe forms. When Chris told me they were numbered, I of course asked him if I was getting "Number 1." Nope. I'm "Number 2." Robert Wagner be damned.

P.S.: Number 1, I know you're out there, and I will be throwing popcorn into your wineglass when the two-screen arthouse opens. Consider this my friendly, completely harmless, "Please don't arrest me for being a smartass, SPD" warning. Punk.

Millennium Films pushing forward with new studio, new movie

Millennium Films continues to be busy in The Shreve. Did you catch this story in the paper this morning? On Tuesday, after about about 9 months of planning, Millennium will break ground on a $10 million studio in the Ledbetter Heights neighborhood. This has been a big, big deal ever since the project was announced, and can be interpreted as a sign as the company's continued commitment to the area. To make a long story short, Millennium is going to continue to hire lots of local folks and make many movies.

I also found out a little bit more about their current film project. Formerly "Microwave Park," it is now called "Streets of Blood" and will star Val Kilmer, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson and Sharon Stone. It's slated for a May start.

PHOTO: 50 Cent appears on stage during MTV's "Total Request Live" on Sept. 11, 2007. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Two casting calls for the price of one (which is, of course, free)

Bam Casting will host extras casting call for the movies “W.” and “Goodie Two Shoes” on Saturday at the Louisiana Boardwalk. The casting call will last between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. is open to persons 18 and older of all ethnicities.

“W.” is a biopic of current President George W. Bush. Slated to begin filming May 12, the movie will be directed by Oliver Stone and will star Josh Brolin. Bam Casting seeks persons to play college seniors, fraternity members, military men, admirals, reporters, oil rig men, people of Mexican descent, cowboys and cowgirls. The production also needs cars from 1950s through present day (and car owners should bring photos).

“Goodie Two Shoes” is a spoof comedy starring Carmen Electra and Vanessa Minnillo. Bam Casting seeks persons to play college marching band members, hip-hop dancers, little people, cowboys and college students. The company also need bikini-model males and females, plus many look-alikes to play: Miranda and Charlotte from “Sex and the City,” Kanye West, Teddy Roosevelt, Octavius, Sacajawea and the movie’s stars. “Goodie Two Shoes” begins filming April 28.

All applicants should bring a nonreturnable photo of themselves, no larger than 4x6 inches.

The casting call will be held in front of the Louisiana Boardwalk’s fountain near the main foot entrance to the parking garage. For more information, log on to www.bamcastingla.com or www.louisianaboardwalk.com.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

'Microwave Park' is back on The Shreve's radar

The movie "Microwave Park" will film in The Shreve beginning May 6, according to the Louisiana Office of Entertainment Industry Development. More than a year ago, this project was set to start filming here but delays pushed it back. I'll check it out today. It was set to star Robert De Niro and 50 Cent, but I can't be certain if they are still attached. When I confirm who's in it, I'll let you know.

Meanwhile, here's the latest update from the state office:

Welcome to (225) 342-FILM, the official hotline of the Louisiana Office of Entertainment Industry Development. Here’s what’s happening for the third week of April 2008:

The CW network reality television series 13 will shoot in the New Orleans area beginning in late May and is currently seeking experienced PA's, a Talent Coordinator, and a Talent Manager. Please send résumés to Newrealityjob@gmail.com.

The Nu Image/Millennium feature film Microwave Park is in pre-production in Shreveport with shooting scheduled from May 6 through the second week of June. Resumes and inquiries are being accepted by e-mail at microwaveparkfilm@yahoo.com.

The Sci-Fi Channel television movie Lightning Strikes is in pre-production in Baton Rouge with shooting scheduled for May 5 through end of the month. Resumes and inquiries are currently being accepted by fax at (207) 433-2972.

The Disney television series Imagination Movers is in pre-production in Harahan and will shoot fourteen episodes from April 22 through July 18. An intermediate camera crew is currently needed for three weeks. Resumes and inquiries are being accepted by fax at (504) 818-3840.

The Prescott Productions feature film W. starring Josh Brolin and directed Oliver Stone is in pre-production in Shreveport with shooting scheduled from May 12 through July 12. Resumes addressed to the attention of Lucie Bourgeau are being accepted by fax at (318) 603-9556.

The independent feature film Print is in pre-production in Baton Rouge with shooting scheduled for April 14 through May 2. Resumes are being accepted by fax at (225) 610-1664.

The Lionsgate feature film Goodie Two Shoes is in pre-production in Shreveport with shooting scheduled from April 28 through June 6. Resumes and inquiries are currently being accepted by fax at (318) 682-5644.

The independent feature film I Love You Phillip Morris starring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor is in pre-production in New Orleans with shooting scheduled from May 5 through June 30. Resumes and inquiries are currently being accepted by fax at (504) 596-3221.

The A&E Network reality television series Billy the Exterminator is shooting in Shreveport through late June. Resumes and inquiries can be sent to lindam@septemberfilmsusa.com.

The Bullet Films feature film The Darkest Evil is shooting in Lafayette through April 26. Resumes and inquiries are currently being accepted by fax at (337) 706-8971.

The television pilot The Mike Epps Comedy Mixtape Volume 1 is shooting in Baton Rouge through April 26. Resumes and inquiries are currently being accepted by e-mail at jarred@redpictures.org

The Weinstein Company feature film Patriots starring Forest Whitaker is shooting in Metairie through June 1. Resumes and inquiries are currently being accepted by e-mail at patriotsmovie@yahoo.com.

The Universal Pictures feature film Cirque du Freak starring Salma Hayek and John C. Reilly is shooting in New Orleans through June 1. Inquiries are being accepted by fax at (504) 571-2023.

The WWE feature film 12 Rounds starring John Cena is shooting in New Orleans through May 12. Inquiries are being accepted by e-mail at torossi@earthlink.net. For casting information, please visit www.couloncasting.com.

The independent feature film Chess is shooting in New Orleans through May 16. Resumes and inquiries are currently being accepted by fax at (504) 821-7867. For casting information, please visit www.couloncasting.com.

The Crystal Sky feature film Robosapien is shooting in Harahan with shooting through April 25. For casting information, please visit www.ladavidcastingcom.com.

The New Line Cinema feature film Final Destination 4 is shooting in Harahan through May 29. Resumes and inquiries are currently being accepted by fax at (504) 734-3403. For casting information please e-mail fd4casting@yahoo.com.

The Screen Gems feature film Mardi Gras is in pre-production in New Orleans with shooting scheduled to begin May 15. Resumes and inquiries are currently being accepted by fax at (504) 566-8384.

Louisiana Media Services in Baton Rouge is looking for an editor with Final Cut Pro expertise, knowledge of HD picture, color, and all aspects of the picture online process. For more information, please contact Jason Chauvin at (225) 927-9000.

And for more information about the film and television industry in Louisiana please visit us online at www.lafilm.org.

Monday, April 14, 2008

'Billy the Exterminator' offering cash for good tips

"Billy the Exterminator" is shooting in northwest Louisiana through June and needs your help. The pest control reality show is currently offering 100 bucks for good tips on critter problems.

If your home or business, or one you know, needs to banish snakes, roaches, mice, bats or an uncle who just won't leave, give Vexcom Animal and Pest Control a ring at (318) 965-5357. Speak with Donnie.

If your tip leads to filming and an aired episode, you'll get your cash. If it's your own problem at your own house, they'll also do the job for free.

"Billy the Exterminator" focuses on Vexcom and the daily exploits of its fearless leader, Billy Bretherton. He has been featured on Discovery Channel's series "Dirty Jobs."

PHOTO: Billy Bretherton of Vexcom.

(And of course, I'm fibbing about the uncle thing. ... But you can ask Donnie to make sure.)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Shreveport directors get into Newport Beach Film Festival

It’s a good week for the Shreveport indie scene. Gregory Kallenberg’s competitive eating documentary, “Eating Levi,” got into the Newport Beach Film Festival. So did Jeffrey Goodman’s crime drama “The Last Lullaby.”

For both directors, the screenings are big. As Goodman remarked in a recent email, “This festival will mark our West Coast Premiere and the first opportunity to play in close proximity to Los Angeles.”

Hear that distributors? All you LaMovBlog fans in L.A., get your tickets and support The Shreve!

“Eating Levi” debuted the Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam in November 2007. “The Last Lullaby” debuted at AFI Dallas on March 28.

SCREENINGS
“The Last Lullaby”
3:15 p.m. April 28
Get tickets here.
Official website here.
Get updates by registering here.
Read the reviews and coverage here, here, here (scroll down), here (page 8) and here.

“Eating Levi”
12:30 p.m. April 29
Get tickets here.
Official website here.

PHOTO: "Eating Levi."

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ted Ferguson's auditioning motto: No fear

Somewhere along the drive from Shreveport to Baton Rouge, the script changed on Ted Ferguson. The Shreve actor recently visited the capital city to audition for “Mike Epps Comedy Mix Tape Vol. 1,” a sketch comedy show. Ferguson thought he was going to read for two “moderator” parts.

Though he’d done his prep work, the roles no longer existed when he stepped in front of the producers.

“Oh, those two roles? We don’t need those anymore,” the producers told him. “Can you be a psycho killer?”

Ted, who’s landed a baker’s dozen worth of roles though 60 auditions, said yes. In a matter of seconds, he came up with his take on the emcee of a Louisiana State Penitentiary Christmas Show Extravaganza.

“Let’s give it a go, hah?” said the producers, according to Ferguson. “Oh by the way, here’s the script.”

Since Ted’s game for improv – and he loved the script – he went for it. And he believes his psycho killer killed ’em.

His message to local actors who encounter script changes during auditions?

“Don’t give in to your fears,” he said. “Just go for it.”

What audition surprises have you encountered?

PHOTO: Ted Ferguson.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Oliver Stone's 'W.' holding extras casting call April 19

Bam Casting is handling all the extras casting for "W." On April 19, they'll be dropping by the Louisiana Boardwalk in Bossier City. Oliver Stone is directing and Josh Brolin is starring in this biopic of our current president.

Details are below.

WHERE: Louisiana Boardwalk, Bossier City. Head to the parking garage's main mall entrance, right new to the trolley garage and fountain.
WHEN: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. April 19.
COST: free.
BRING: a clear 4x6 self-photo.
NEEDED: extras 18 and older, all ethnicities. Specifically needed are college seniors, fraternity members, military men, admirals, real reporters (know any?), oil rig men, people of Mexican descent, two-steppin' cowboys and cowgirls. Anyone who has cars from the 50s-present day should bring pictures (of the cars, that is).
QUESTIONS: www.bamcastingla.com.

And P.S.: Should I lobby to play Bob Woodward? I think I have his eyes.

Voicing acting course coming to LSUS

An instructor from Voice Coaches, a national training company, will offer a one-night class on voice acting at LSUS on April 24. The two-and-a-half hour “Getting Paid to Talk” course will offer registrants an introduction to the field.

Mike Massa, a professional voice actor who has worked with CBS and MTV, will lead the course and also discuss strategies for landing work.

David Bourgeois (pictured), president of Voice Coaches, said the field of voice acting is much more diverse than perceived. More than simply voicing commercials, he says talent can find work in cable television, Web site media content, educational training videos, audio books, and even electronic gaming.

Actors need not have the stereotypical radio voice, either. Sincerity and believability are key factors in success.

“People respond to people who they feel they can trust and are like themselves,” Bourgeois said.

Before the class ends, participants will also record a mock commercial under Massa’s direction.

The course begins at 6:30 p.m. Registration costs $95 through Thursday (April 10) and $99 thereafter. To register or for more information, call LSUS continuing education at (318) 798-4177.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Local actress catches up with 'Last Lullaby' director at AFI Dallas Film Fest

Local actress Mary Thoma caught up with Jeffrey Goodman at the AFI Dallas International Film Festival. Goodman's first feature film, "The Last Lullaby," premiered there. ("The Last Lullaby" was shot in Shreveport in early 2007.)

On Friday, April 4, Thoma attended the third of three festival screenings. She enjoyed it. "The Last Lullaby" didn't take home any prizes (full festival listing below), but it took its first step into a national spotlight. We'll see where it goes from here.

In the meantime, here's what Mary had to say:

"A whirlwind trip to Dallas was well worth it as my friend Darla and I sat in the Magnolia Theater anticipating the third and final screening of 'The Last Lullaby' directed by Jeffrey Goodman. I have been looking forward to seeing it since February 07 when I worked a day on the film as the waitress in a scene with Tom Sizemore, Bill Smitrovich and Sprague Grayden. The scene (and much of the film) is shot in close-up and it is a gift to the audience as we are able to see the slightest nuances from the actors. Too tight for me to be seen however, so you only hear me. No complaints here, as working with Jeffrey Goodman was a singular privilege. I have been on several movie sets and his was by far one of the most hospitable and caring, a reflection of Jeffrey's nature I'm sure.

"'The Last Lullaby' is a powerful and affecting film. I know it has already been said, but it is hard to believe this is Jeffrey's first independent film. Except for the occasional shriek and jump of surprise, the audience on April 4 was almost completely silent as we were swept up and carried along in the struggle facing the main characters. After the film, Jeffrey took time for some Q and A, and it was clear the audience was enthralled. It's obvious that they wanted more Goodman. Once word gets out about this film, I believe it will have a worldwide audience. I am proud to be associated with it. I have a feeling we will be seeing a lot more of Jeffrey Goodman. I certainly hope so!"

AND THE AWARDS FROM AFI DALLAS ...

“MERMAID” RECIEVES THE $25,000 TARGET TEN FILMMAKER AWARD FOR BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE

“IRON LADIES OF LIBERIA” RECIEVES THE $25,000 TARGET TEN FILMMAKER AWARD FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY

“COOK COUNTY” RECIEVES $20,000 IN CASH, GOODS AND SERVICES FOR THE MPS STUDIOS TEXAS FILMMAKER AWARD

“FIELDS OF FUEL” RECIEVES THE $10,000 CURRENT ENERGY EARTH FRIENDLY AWARD

“TRACING COWBOYS” RECIEVES THE $10,000 HDNET AWARD FOR THE BEST FEATURE SHOT IN HD

“THE SECOND LINE”, “THE VULNERABLE ONES” AND “KEY LIME PIE” ARE NAMED WINNERS FOR BEST SHORT FILM, STUDENT SHORT AND ANIMATED SHORT

AND AUDIENCE AWARDS GO TO “AMAL” FOR NARRATIVE FEATURE, “THE BLACK LIST” FOR DOCUMENTARY AND “A DAY’S WORK” FOR SHORT

Winners of the La. Film Festival: Student Division

Will Bryant, who runs the education programs at the Robinson Film Center, sent along this note about the winners of the Louisiana Film Festival: Student Division. The festival was held Friday and Saturday. Congrats, winners! It looks like Sean Broadbent's "A Murder of Crows" (pictured) took home some solid prizes.

Representatives from all five winning films were on hand to attend the festival, although Sean Broadbent (who won both the Best Drama and Best Of Festival awards) had to get back to Texas for his prom Saturday night. We called him live from the awards ceremony and he made his acceptance speech by cell phone!

The top prize of the festival is $500 and each of the other prize categories had a $200 cash prize. The Best Documentary winners split the $200 prize and took home $100 each.

The Remarkables' $400 total prize money will be used for scholarships for this year's summer film camps. Likewise, St. Mary's Hall Digital Video program in San Antonio will be using their prize money for equipment for their animation program.

Best Drama/Narrative Film
"A Murder Of Crows" (Sean Broadbent, Van, TX)

Best Animated/Experimental Film
"The Three Billy Goats Gruff" (St. Mary's Hall Digital Video, San Antonio, TX)

Best Elementary/Middle School Film
"The Remarkables III: Strangeblood" (The Remarkables, The Renzi Education and Art Center, Shreveport, LA)

Best Documentary (tie)
"The Band Goes To State" (Logan Jackson and Joshua Tompkins, DeKalb, TX)
"Attack Of The Killer Weed" (Mackenzie Roberts, Shreveport, LA)

The Charitable Film Network Special Jury Prize
"The Remarkables III: Strangeblood" (The Remarkables, The Renzi Education and Art Center, Shreveport, LA)

The Jefferson Hendricks Achievement In Film Award (Best of Festival)
"A Murder Of Crows" (Sean Broadbent, Van, TX)

Tonight at the Shreveport meetup

WHAT: Louisiana Produces monthly meetup.
WHEN: 7 p.m. tonight.
WHERE: gym's lobby at Bossier Parish Community College, 6220 E. Texas St., Bossier City.
COST: free.

Here's a note from tonight's host, Clare France from the Robinson Film Center:

This month's guest will be costumer Mary Lou Holmes. Holmes moved to Shreveport from Los Angeles ten months ago and has worked on such films as "The Year One," "Major Movie Star" and "Cheerleader Camp."

While in L.A. her films included Will Smith's "Ali," "The Sum of All Fears" starring Ben Affleck, and "Enough" with Jennifer Lopez. Holmes has also been a costumer on several TV series like "Felicity" and "Cold Case."

Monday, April 07, 2008

Warning to beavers: Steer clear of Benton and 'Billy'

I just got this note from Barbara Newtown of Benton. Makers of the reality series "Billy the Exterminator" are going after a mischievous beaver on their property:

"'Billy the Exterminator' is filming this week at our horse farm — Billy is trying to trap a beaver, who is dedicating his (her?) life to plugging the spillway for our pond. The film crew for September Films is great. And they seem to be enjoying their stay in LA.

"The best thing about 'reality TV' is serendipity. Billy spied a snake near the spillway, and the crew (producer, associate producer, soundman, 2 cameramen, and 2 all-around assistants) jumped on that opportunity (as my neighbor says) 'like a duck on a junebug.' They snagged great shots of a hissing water moccasin trying to twist around and nail Billy — and great shots of the snake striking (and hitting!) the camera lens.

"The director said that A&E has already bought 11 episodes, and the series will run in late summer or early fall. Our local star 'Billy,' talented vermin wrangler, is actually Billy of Vexcon, and he has taken the Vexcon logo of skull-and-crossbones as an inspiration: he dresses (I assume, not every day!) in black (shirt, boots, jeans, AND a scary trench coat) with a huge chain around his waist and an evil skull-and-crossbones belt buckle. He obviously loves chasing unwelcome fauna and he’s perfect for this show — he’s verbal, funny, and fearless. I asked Billy how his show will compare to 'Dirty Jobs,' the Mike Rowe grime-fest; he said 'Billy the Exterminator' will be a half-hour, not an hour, and will be faster paced.

"Billy laid four humane traps yesterday; my husband will check them each day, and call the associate producer when the beaver is ready to be wrangled. After the traps were set, Billy and the film crew zoomed away to keep a date with a bat."

Friday, April 04, 2008

The biggest celebrity guests in 'Soul Men?' Move over Isaac


Peabody Duck March
Originally uploaded by
ewebs
We know "Soul Men" will draw moviegoers in October primarily because of its stars, Samuel L. Jackson and Bernie Mac. But the producers have other aces up their sleeves. Also on the card are appearances by Isaac Hayes and John Legend. (I just heard a certain fawning reporter gasp and faint to the ground in a heap.)

What cameos will be the biggest, though? A case could be make for the Peabody ducks of the Peabody Memphis Hotel. (Are they SAG? They had those little waddlers working until 2 a.m. "Somebody quack my agent!") Read all about it in today's story from the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

The movie was shot primarily in The Shreve but recently spent a little time in Memphis getting some authentic production value for its Stax Records sound. The movie is about two retired backup singers from a Memphis soul group who, years later, reunite for a tribute concert to honor their recently deceased lead singer (played by Legend).

It opens Oct. 10.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Shut the doors! Shut the doors! 'The Mist' is real

Two days late for April Fools, dagnabbit!

Isn't this pic a little scary for those moviemakers out in The Shreve? This morning, photographer Greg Pearson snapped this little ditty of the downtown skyline. It is nature's reminder that, just about a year ago, "The Mist" was shot downtown inside StageWorks of Louisiana. Literally just blocks away from where this photo was taken. Ooohhh.

Times reporter Stephanie Netherton sits and shivers next to me in the newsroom on a daily basis. She sarcastically wondered aloud if "The Mist" makers were back to shoot a sequel. Much to my dismay, no, but at least the flicks out on DVD now.

Apparently, Stephanie suffers the aftereffects of "The Mist's" hypnotic powers. She's seen the movie and no longer digs on ground-sweeping clouds. "It's kind of eerie now," she said. "I'm kind of weird about fog."

PHOTO: Buildings in downtown Shreveport are enveloped in a shroud of fog around 8 a.m. Thursday morning. (Greg Pearson/The Times)

P.S. Oh, hell. I just wrote a post about the weather. Please don't leave me, Dear Readers. I meant no harm.

Hold onto your stinky socks: Moviesauce returns

The Shreve is home to one odd and loveable duck: the Moviesauce Film Festival. Two days of indie films, including some brilliant shorts, will invade the Robinson Film Center May 30-31.

Don't take my word regarding the fest's odd-duck loveableness. Here's an excerpt from Cyn, aka Queensauce: "Guys, this year's festival is going to rock your socks off. I mean, you might as well not even show up with socks, cuz there's gonna be mass confusion when everybody's socks get rocked off and then you're all tryin to find em again. It's gonna be that good."

Friday, May 30
7 p.m.: "American Deluxe" and "Monster Camp."
9:30 p.m.: "Equal Opportunity" and "Commit."

Saturday, May 31st
1 p.m.: "The Outhouse" and "The Summer in Winter."
4 p.m. "The Lonely Lights, the Color of Lemons," "Love Pills," "20q" and "Vanished Acres."
7 p.m.: "The Golden Samovar" and "Fix."
10 p.m.: awards announcement.

Where: Robinson Film Center, 617 Texas St.
Tickets: $7, per program; $30, festival pass (that better come with a jar of freshly squashed salsa). Click here to get 'em.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Annual student film fest begins Friday at Centenary College

video

The Louisiana Film Festival: Student Division is back. Watch some highlights of this year's entries in the above clip reel (11 MB).

On Friday and Saturday at Centenary’s Kilpatrick Auditorium, filmmakers in grades K-12 will screen their work, claim their share of $1,500 in cash prizes, and workshop with guest filmmaker Tom Putnam.

Admission is free. Thirty-two original short films are on the program, as well as Putnam’s 11-minute dark comedy “Tom Hits His Head.” The flick has done well on the festival circuit. Putman also directed "The Hottie and the Nottie." (Can't win 'em all, I take it.)

The film festival is a good place for young filmmakers to both connect with like-minds and discover what their peers can do.

Questions? Call RFC’s Will Bryant at (318) 422-7713.

Here’s the schedule:

Friday, April 4
3-3:30 p.m.: check-in and registration
3:30 p.m.: screening session 1, narrative/drama
4:30 p.m.: screening session 2, animation/experimental
5 p.m.: dinner break
6 p.m.: “Tom Hits His Head” screening with guest filmmaker Tom Putnam

Saturday, April 5
9:30 a.m.: check-in and registration
10 a.m.: screening session 3, narrative/drama cont.
11 a.m.: workshop with guest filmmaker Tom Putnam
12:30 p.m.: lunch break
1:30 p.m.: screening session 4, elementary/middle school
3 p.m.: screening session 5, director’s showcase
4 p.m.: screening session 6, documentary
5 p.m.: awards ceremony (more than $1,500 in prizes)

VIDEO AND PHOTO: courtesy Robinson Film Center.

'Goodie Two Shoes' looks to be a spoof; Save Prince!

According to Moviehole (watch your mouth!), "Goodie Two Shoes" will spoof the likes of Justin Timberlake, Angelina Jolie, Prince, Flava Flav, Paris Hilton and Michael Jackson. That means their likenesses -- not the royals themselves -- should be seen in and around the movie sets of The Shreve.

Also being targeted is the forthcoming "Hancock," "Sex and the City" and "The Love Guru," according to Moviehole. Wait a minute. "The Love Guru?" Spoofing Mike Myers? Spoofing King Spoofer?

And spoofing Prince? No you didn't. I grew up 20 miles from Paisley Park! (Uhh hmm, casting directors: If you're looking for a Fat Elvis-style Prince, I do a mean "Raspberry Beret" cover. My boss, Mr. McGee, claims otherwise.)

Here's what I know from the state office:

The Lionsgate feature film "Goodie Two Shoes" is in pre-production in Shreveport with shooting scheduled from April 28 through June 6. Resumes and inquiries are currently being accepted by fax at (318) 682-5644.

PHOTO: Blogger Alexandyr Kent is considering a protest of any actor who dares to spoof the Minnesota Music Man. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

'W.,' 'Goodie Two Shoes,' 'Billy the Exterminator' and 'Beyond a Reasonable Doubt' on the ground in Shreveport

Here's the latest update from the state office:

Welcome to (225) 342-FILM, the official hotline of the Louisiana Office of Entertainment Industry Development. Here’s what’s happening for the first week of April 2008:

The Olive Stone feature film W. starring Josh Brolin is in pre-production in Shreveport with shooting scheduled from April 21 through June 20. Resumes addressed to the attention of Lucie Bourgeau are being accepted by fax at (318) 603-9556.

The independent feature film Print is in pre-production in Baton Rouge with shooting scheduled for April 14 through May 2. Resumes are being accepted by fax at (225) 610-1664.

The Lionsgate feature film Goodie Two Shoes is in pre-production in Shreveport with shooting scheduled from April 28 through June 6. Resumes and inquiries are currently being accepted by fax at (318) 682-5644.

The independent feature film I Love You Phillip Morris starring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor is in pre-production in New Orleans with shooting scheduled from May 5 through June 30. Resumes and inquiries are currently being accepted by fax at (504) 596-3221.

The A&E Network reality television series Billy the Exterminator is shooting in Shreveport through late June. Resumes and inquiries can be sent to lindam@septemberfilmsusa.com.

The Bullet Films feature film The Darkest Evil is in pre-production in Lafayette with shooting scheduled from April 7 through April 26. Resumes and inquiries are currently being accepted by fax at (337) 706-8971.

The television pilot The Mike Epps Comedy Mixtape Volume 1 is shooting in Baton Rouge through April 26. Resumes and inquiries are currently being accepted by e-mail at jarred@redpictures.org

The Weinstein Company feature film Patriots starring Forest Whitaker is shooting in Metairie through June 1. Resumes and inquiries are currently being accepted by e-mail at patriotsmovie@yahoo.com.

The Universal Pictures feature film Cirque du Freak starring Salma Hayek and John C. Reilly is shooting in New Orleans through June 1. Inquiries are being accepted by fax at (504) 571-2023.

The WWE feature film 12 Rounds starring John Cena is shooting in New Orleans through May 12. Inquiries are being accepted by e-mail at torossi@earthlink.net. For casting information, please visit www.couloncasting.com.

The independent feature film Chess is in pre-production in New Orleans with shooting scheduled from April 7 through May 16. Resumes and inquiries are currently being accepted by fax at (504) 821-7867. For casting information, please visit www.redflixcasting.net.

The Crystal Sky feature film Robosapien is shooting in Harahan with shooting through April 25. For casting information, please visit www.ladavidcastingcom.com.

The Millennium feature Beyond a Reasonable Doubt starring Michael Douglas and Amber Tamblyn is shooting in Shreveport with shooting through April 14. For casting information, please visit www.gloriosocasting.com

The New Line Cinema feature film Final Destination 4 is shooting in Harahan through May 29. Resumes and inquiries are currently being accepted by fax at (504) 734-3403. For casting information please e-mail fd4casting@yahoo.com

The Screen Gems feature film Mardi Gras is in pre-production in New Orleans with shooting scheduled from April 28 to June 18. Resumes and inquiries are currently being accepted by e-mail at mardigrasprod@yahoo.com.

Louisiana Media Services in Baton Rouge is looking for an editor with Final cut pro expertise, knowledge of HD picture, color, and all aspects of the picture online process. For more information, please contact Jason Chauvin at (225) 927-9000.

And for more information about the film and television industry in Louisiana please visit us online at www.lafilm.org.

'Louisiana Story' gets another look

Lately, there's been a surge of interest in Robert Flaherty's classic docudrama "Louisiana Story." It turns 60 this year, and Louisiana Public Broadcasting celebrated the milestone by making and broadcasting "Louisiana Story: The Reverse Angle." The program brings together the surviving players of the movie.

If you haven't seen "Louisiana Story," it's well worth queuing up in Netflix. Flaherty, who also gave us "Nanook of the North" (1922!), is a pioneer of documentary filmmaking. "Louisiana Story" examined the impact of an oil drilling barge on an optimistic young Cajun boy, his trapper family and their Acadian community. The plot conflict involves the capping of a well.

"Louisiana Story" has an interesting, semi-controversial legacy. An article in Imagine Louisiana offers some great background info: "Like 'Nanook,' which had been financed by a French fur-trading company, 'Louisiana Story' served commerce as well as art. It was conceived as a public relations tool for the Standard Oil Company (New Jersey) - predecessor to today's ExxonMobil - which had begun to explore the wetlands and inshore waters of Louisiana."

Historically speaking, "Louisiana Story" is as essential to American movie history as it is ethically problematic. And that enduring critical conflict, in my eyes, is what makes it indispensible to today's documentary filmmakers.

Dave Walker, TV columnist for The Times-Picayune, has an insightful short piece about its history as industrial propaganda. Walker spoke to Tika Laudun, the director of "Louisiana Story: The Reverse Angle," who suggested that the 1948 docudrama's general view of the oil industry and environmentalism was a reflection of midcentury ideas about "moving forward."

What's more interesting, as reported by writer Ben Sandmel for Imagine Louisiana, is that the film's young star, J.C. Boudreaux, is now 72 and facing a new beginning. The article begins: "J.C. Boudreaux's FEMA trailer sits the end of a gravel road in the hamlet of Sweet Lake, southeast of Lake Charles, the insides seeming all the more cramped by the wide open skies and endless expanse of prairie outside. Like thousands of others in south Louisiana, Boudreaux, 72 and his wife Regina, are starting over. Their home in Cameron was swept away in Hurricane Rita, just as their first home was lost to Hurricane Audrey decades ago."

Both articles are well worth reading.