Friday, May 29, 2009

Nu Image/Millennium's 'Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans'

Made in New Orleans. Directed by Werner Herzog. Probably not going to get PG-13. "Shoot him again. His soul is still dancing." I'm speechless. Luckily, the L.A. Times has spoken for me.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Extras needed in Monroe

R-Squared Productions is shooting a faith-based flick in Monroe and needs 20 extras on Thursday. You must be available for a half-day (morning). It's a funeral home scene, so dress sharply. This is not a paying gig, but "meals, credit and DVD" will be provided. Film needs a variety of ages, but no kids. If interested, email a headshot, availability and contact info to "The film is a modern day version of the Jacob and Esau story with a theme of forgiveness."

A wrap-up of the Senate panel from 5/26

Check out Mike Hasten's story about yesterday's hearing. Some good coverage. Note what state economist Greg Albrecht (Legislative Fiscal Office) has to say about in-state spends.

Also, it looks like "The Story of Bonnie and Clyde" is setting up shop in Alexandria, according to the city's mayor. I previously reported the movie will begin its shoot in late July by filming an ambush scene at the original site near Gibsland.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Senate committee to consider film bills today at 3 p.m.

Today, the Senate's Revenue and Fiscal Affairs committee will consider entertainment industry bills, including Sen. Adley's SB245, which would boost the production credit from 25% to 30%.

The hearing begins at 3 p.m. and should last until 5:30 p.m. You can learn more here.

I don't know if I'll be able to follow the meeting on Twitter (a la Friday), so I urge you to follow The state film office's Patrick Mulhearn did a great job of following last week's session, and he'll be there again today ... as long as his battery holds out!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Seeking feedback on today’s hearing on the ent. industry credits

The state House's Ways and Means Committee met today to discuss 20 or so bills about the entertainment industry. A little less than half of the 5.5-hr. meeting was spend on HB862, which would increase the motion picture production credits from 25 to 30 percent and eliminate the sunset provision. The committee heard a bunch of testimony, and you can read a piece by bureau reporter Mike Hasten here (good stuff).

All of the bills have essentially been tabled for tweaking, and it will be a few weeks before we know what's what. If you watched the hearing online, you probably noticed that the discussion about them was pretty robust and pointed.

I just got off the horn with producer Lampton Enochs, who's driving back home from Baton Rouge with business partner Alissa Kantrow. (They cofounded Louisiana Production Consultants, which has lured umpteen projects to The Shreve.)

"Most of the time was spent HB 862. That's the bill everybody is concentrating on," Enochs said.

He's cautiously optimistic about the reception he and others received from state reps. The committee appears to be pretty proactive about recapturing the business that's been lost in recent months to states like Georgia. At this point, though, it's all about finding the money to pay for the incentives. The state's in the middle of a big budget crisis, Gov. Bobby Jindal favors keeping the production incentive at 25 percent, but there is a lot of pressure on lawmakers to push it higher.

"Mostly the legislators … are supportive," Enochs added. "They understand that we need this or the industry is in danger of going away."

I also caught up with Arlena Acree, the City of Shreveport's film industry liaison. She noted a room full of Teamsters, IATSE members, vendors, extras and actors, and was very please by the turnout. She also said Studio Operations president Diego Martinez (Nu Image/Millennium), producer Carsten Lorenz, and line producer Todd Lewis showed and piped up (all have connections to The Shreve), and IATSE's Mike McHugh made a solid pitch.

Rick Seaton, assistant to Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover, chimed in to say the city supports HB862.

"I think it went really well," Acree said. "We had a lot of good discussion" and the reps who attended asked some good questions.

The Shreveport contingent will likely return to Baton Rouge on Tuesday, when a Senate committee will have its hearing at 3 p.m.

If you have something to add to this discussion, please leave a comment or call me at 318.459.3256.

If you caught today's Twitter coverage of the Ways and Means hearing on the ent. bills, let me know if it was useful or confusing

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Trailer for locally made 'Silent Treatment'

Locally made short by writer/director Jonathan Rothell. Starring Michelle Loridans and Don Hooper. Shot on 35 mm. Watched it on DVD today. Craft speaks for itself. Hope to write more about it soon.

Check out the Save Louisiana Films petition

The Save Louisiana Films petition has been up and running for a bit and has garnered about 1,700 signatures. It's being passed around as the legislature prepares to make its decisions about this year's crop of bills. (On Friday, the House's Ways and Means Committee will be holding a hearing about them.)

The petition reads: "By signing this petition you are showing your support for the continued success of the film industry in Louisiana. We are asking our State Legislators to support House Bill no 862 and Senate Bill no 245 which increase the Production Tax Credit from the current 25% to 30% and eliminates all reductions and sunsets. You signature indicates your support for these bills."

There are just two of the many bills.

If you want to bend lawmakers' ears about the industry -- for good or bad -- you can find there contact info here.

Local producer Lampton Enochs also pulled together this chart for members of the House Ways and Means Committee. Click on their names to contact them.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Trailer: Locally filmed 'Beyond a Reasonable Doubt'

What do you think? As a source noted, it has The Shreve "all up in it." (Including our newspaper.) Coming Sept. 2009.

Movie Trailer: 'The Road'

The only reason I post this trailer for "The Road" is that the world's biggest fan of Cormac McCarthy lives in The Shreve. To be released Oct. 16. Merry pre-Christmas.

Looks to me like they're going for the "Children of Men" aesthetic.

Incidentally, what's your favorite apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic story? Mine aren't films (yet): Mary Shelley's "The Last Man" and Paul Auster's "In the Country of Last Things."

Talk show taping through Thursday

Local filmmaker Jabari Thomas is shooting episodes of a local talk show this week. Taping begins at 3:15 p.m. at the Louisiana Boardwalk’s Funny Bone.

Today’s guest is feature film director Jeffrey Goodman (“The Last Lullaby”). Thursday’s guest is comedian David Raibon. Yesterday’s guests were Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs Chris Brassard and Quade Lightbody.

People are welcome to watch the taping for free but must be age 18 or older.

Episodes will be posted on the Web next week, said Jabari in an email. He hopes to sell them for broadcast. For more information, visit

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Local movie returns home for second run

“The Last Lullaby” will play at the Robinson Film Center Friday through May 28. The locally filmed and financed movie stars Tom Sizemore and Sasha Alexander and focuses a hit man lured out of retirement.

The movie debuted May 1 at the Louisiana Boardwalk’s Regal Cinemas, where it played for a week before moving to theaters in Iowa.

After local screenings on Friday and Saturday, director Jeffrey Goodman will participate in Q&A sessions and sign free movie posters.

The Robinson Film Center is located at 617 Texas St. in downtown Shreveport.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Local rebate is official; 'Straw Dogs' coming to The Shreve

This afternoon, Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover signed into a law a local tax rebate for the movie and TV industry, worth between $150,000 and $175,000 per project. (To quality, the project budget must be $300,000 or more.)

The Shreveport film industry also announced another project for its summer production calendar. “Straw Dogs,” a Sony/Screen Gems remake of the 1971 movie starring Dustin Hoffman, should begin filming in early July. No stars have been announced. It will join the previously announced “The Mechanic,” a movie starring Jason Statham and produced by Nu Image/Millennium Films.

Arlena Acree, the City of Shreveport’s film industry liaison, hopes today's announcements will be welcomed by local film professionals who’ve endured a slow 2009.

“It definitely gives everybody a great gleam of hope that we have something to offer locally,” Acree said.

The Caddo Commission economic development committee plans to take up a proposal similar to Shreveport’s new rebate at its meeting Monday.

Locally connected films coming to RFC: 'The Last Lullaby' opens May 22; 'Weather Girl' opens July 17

  • "Weather Girl" opens July 17 at the Robinson Film Center. It's written and directed by Blayne Weaver, and executive produced by Brandon Barrera. Both are Bossier City natives living and working in Los Angeles, where "Weather Girl" was made. It stars Mark Harmon and debuted at Slamdance. Above is ET interview with Harmon and another "Weather Girl" starrer, Ryan Devlin. (Apparently, the reporter got stuck in traffic.) Hopefully this movie will get some strong audience support when it makes its local debut. Join the Facebook group here.
  • Also, if you haven't heard, Jeffrey Goodman's "The Last Lullaby" opens May 22 at RFC for a second local run. (It played at the Boardwalk May 1-7; and the crime drama in the midst of a two-week run at Iowa theaters.) Goodman, a Shreveport director, shot the film here. Join the Facebook group here.

Listen to music, be an extra

Just got this note from Glen Grefe, who’s making the indie feature “The Hurting Kind.” At Saturday’s Battle of the Bands concert and fundraiser (9 p.m., Mojo’s, 203 Texas St., $5 cover), Glen will have the cameras rolling. He invites actors to turn out and take part in the following. It’s not a paying gig but Glen promises you’ll have fun:

ATTENTION ACTORS! Several Cameras will be running for possible special features, future trailers, blog/podcast, etc. Stand out in crowd by wearing/characterizing:

1. College age partier type [jerseys, jock wear, nerd, stoner, yuppie, etc.]
2. Very slick/chic fashinable clothes/ensemble indicating your are a respectable REAL CALL-GIRL PIMP

1. College age partier type [sportswear, retro nerd, hippie, yuppie, ivy league, etc.]
2. GROUPIE [have fun with this]
3. Very Sexy, fashionable, tight outfit a CALL-GIRL [well part-time student, part-time call-girl] would wear
4. Cheerleader outfit or some ensemble.

School colors to wear: red, black, white; or sepia

Backstory: This is a small community college town of "Marion" - the college is putting on a "battle of the bands"; there are a few part-time student girls who make extra money by being escorts/call-girls. Girls are going missing, and our main character Mia wants to find killer and get revenge at all costs. This is just previous to where our movie begins.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Local tax rebate passes

From and Times reporter Adam Causey:

The Shreveport City Council has approved sales tax rebates for local movie productions.

The move, which was approved unanimously, will refund revenue from sales taxes paid by companies that produce films, TV shows and commercials and music videos here.

A little more here.

Scroll down a bit if you want to see the incentive.

Louisiana Produces meets 7 p.m. tonight (May 12)

Location is the Robinson Film Center, 617 Texas St., Shreveport. Folks will discuss the tax credits and more. Contact Will Bryant if you have questions, (318) 459-4119.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Community film project debuts Wednesday

As part of a 14-city Two-Week Turnaround Tour, filmmakers Joshua J. Mills and Jamie Blankenship came to Shreveport in late April to write, shoot and complete a short film with area filmmakers and actors.

They came up with "Never Left the Building," which is, according to a release, "an eerie story about Paul (Josh Davis) who visits his grandfather’s grave for guidance while down on his luck. At the grave, Paul meets a homeless man who takes him into the Municipal Auditorium where he quickly finds he can interact with the deceased. Supporting actors include McIver Williams, Jevon Miller, Chelsea David, Casey Varner and Andrei Constantinescu. The movie was written by Amber Hanel of Sculpted Entertainment and was entirely filmed at the Municipal Auditorium and the graveyard across the street. The title of the film "Never Left the Building" refers to the building’s history of Elvis Presley and how his spirit along with those in the film have never really left."

The finished project will debut at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Robinson Film Center, 617 Texas St., in Shreveport. Admission is free. Cast and crew will be on hand to field questions.

Other cities where the duo made community films include Greensboro, N.C., Austin, Texas, Fargo, N.D., and Albuquerque, N.M.

For more information about the project, log on to

PHOTO CREDIT: A scene from "Never Left the Building." (Mani K. Trump)

Local indie movie aims to raise money through Battle of the Bands

The makers of "The Hurting Kind" are hosting a "Battle of the Bands" concert to raise money for their independent horror movie project. The concert will take place at 9 p.m. Saturday at Mojo's, 203 Texas St., in Shreveport. Cover is $5.

The band that wins the battle will earn a chance to be featured on the movie's soundtrack. Participating bands are currently competing against one another on an online contest at, where listeners can vote on their favorite song.

For more information about the movie and concert, contact producer/director Glen Grefe at

Friday, May 08, 2009

RFC up for its spanking

Jason Statham to star in 'The Mechanic'

Hey, hey, hey! It's Friday and The Shreve's got a film slated for this summer. Nu Image/Millennium is importing Jason Statham for "The Mechanic," which is based on the 1972 flick starring Charles Bronson. Too bad I just retired my bumper car crown or I could have given Statham a deserving screen adversary for once.

The script by Karl Gajdusek will be directed by Simon West ("Con Air," "When a Stranger Calls"). Producers are Irwin Winkler and William Chartoff.

Says Nu Image/Millenniums' Avi Lerner in a press release, "We have wanted to do this film for quite some time. Having Jason in the lead, Irwin who will keep it true to the original genre and a killer script, it’s certain to be one powerful film."

PHOTO: Jason Statham in "Death Race."

NOTE TO J.S.: Clyde Fant Memorial Parkway.
Noon July 4. Me Go Kart. You sneakers. Bring it!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Proposed tax rebate for City of Shreveport

Councilman Calvin Lester will ask for a vote on this resolution on Tuesday, May 12. It would establish a local tax rebate. Let me know what you think. Our City Hall reporter Adam Kealoha Causey will be following up, so if you have any direct questions about City Council, email him at The full text of the resolution is below:

RESOLUTION NO. ___ of 2009


By: Councilman Lester

WHEREAS, the film industry represents a tremendous opportunity for economic development in the City of Shreveport, but is in a highly competitive field, and therefore to encourage growth, industry incentives are important.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the City Council of the City of Shreveport, in due, regular and legal session convened:

SECTION 1. That the following film industry incentive policy is hereby adopted, to read as follows:


1. Incentives

a. The City of Shreveport offers economic incentives to the film industry in the form of rebates of sales taxes paid on lodging, lease, rental and other production expenditures made in City of Shreveport, including but not limited to sound stage or location leases and post production costs.

b. For the purposes of this resolution, the term “film industry” shall include film and television productions, television commercials, and music videos.

c. Incentives are subject to the production company entering into a contract with the City of Shreveport relative to the incentive payments.

2. Incentive Funding Caps:

a. Basic Cap- $150,000.00 total to any individual project or production for new productions by a production company which has not previously received any City of Shreveport incentives.

b. Subsequent Productions- $165,000.00 for a production company which brings a subsequent production to the City of Shreveport within twelve months of completion of the prior project.

c. The funding cap shall be increased by $10,000 for productions which both have a production office in Caddo Parish and lease premises to be used as a soundstage in Caddo Parish.

3. Requirements for Rebate:

a. Production must either:

1. Have its production office located within Caddo Parish, or

2. Utilize a soundstage located within Caddo Parish, and;

b. Have acceptable expenditures of the type listed in paragraph 4, paid within Caddo Parish, amounting to at least $300,000.00.

c. In order to qualify for the enhanced subsequent production cap, both the original and the subsequent production must meet the criteria listed in 3.a. and 3.b.

4. a. Productions meeting the above requirements will be eligible for incentive payments equal to the City of Shreveport sales taxes paid on the following expenditures:

1. LODGING for cast and crew incurred in the City of Shreveport.

2. LEASE OR RENTAL EXPENSES, including all lease or rental expenses for equipment, automobiles, sound stage, location or production offices paid for a site in the City of Shreveport.

3. OTHER PRODUCTION AND POST PRODUCTION EXPENSES, including purchases of materials and supplies, related to the production of the project and post production.

b. For the purposes of this section, the term “City of Shreveport sales taxes” means sales taxes levied by the City of Shreveport, excluding the portion of the sales taxes dedicated by law or debt obligations to another purpose.

c. Payment and eligibility for incentives shall be subject to such reasonable rules and regulations as determined by the City of Shreveport Film Office.

5. Application process

a. Upon executing a lease or rental agreement, applicant should contact the City of Shreveport Film Office to begin the prequalification process. Film industry incentives are administered by, and all determinations of eligibility will be made by, the City of Shreveport Film Office.

b. The application shall include all information required by the City of Shreveport Film Office, including but not limited to:

1. Total projected budget,

2. Estimated total of expenditures eligible for the sales tax rebate,

3. Estimated room nights,

4. List of vendors and services likely to be utilized.

c. If the application is approved by the City of Shreveport Film Office, the production company shall enter into an agreement with the City of Shreveport for the incentive payments.

d. When the production efforts in the City of Shreveport are completed, applicant may apply for payment. Payment must be requested no later than 180 days from the completion of production. Payment will be made after the city has reviewed and, if necessary, audited the expenses in the application.

e. Payment of incentives is subject to funding as follows. The City of Shreveport will appropriate funds for incentive payments in an amount determined by the City Council and adopted in a budget ordinance. The Mayor will be authorized to execute agreements for incentive payments up to the amount of the incentives authorized herein, until all appropriated funds have been expended or encumbered by the exeution of agreements. Once funds appropriated in a fiscal year have been expended or encumbered, no further incentive agreements will be executed for that fiscal year, unless additional funds are appropriated for that purpose. In the event an agreement is entered into for a production extending into a future fiscal year, the agreement will include a non-appropriation clause, making incentive payments in future years for that production subject to the appropriation of funds for that purpose.

f. This incentive program applies to expenditures in the City of Shreveport for productions begun after the effective date of these provisions. For the purposes of the enhanced, subsequent cap, the original production may have already begun, but must still be on-going, at the time of the adoption of these provisions.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this resolution shall become effective after a budget ordinance has been adopted appropriating the funds for the incentive payments, and a resolution has been adopted authorizing the Mayor to execute agreements for the incentive payments.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that if any provision of this resolution or the application thereof is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions, items or applications of this resolution which can be given effect without the invalid provisions, items or applications and to this end the provisions of this resolution are hereby declared severable.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that all resolutions or parts thereof in conflict herewith are hereby repealed.

Approved as to legal form:


City Attorney’s Office

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

'Lullaby' earns $16,640, second highest per-screen average

The locally produced movie “The Last Lullaby” earned $16,640 in ticket sales from Friday through Sunday while playing at Louisiana Boardwalk’s Regal Cinemas. The movie sold out 14 of 15 available screenings during its opening weekend.

Showing on one screening, the box office total – reported by indieWIRE – was good enough to earn “The Last Lullaby” the second highest per-screen average among independent and specialty films showing in North America.

Jeffrey Goodman, the movie’s Shreveport-based director, termed the opening weekend an “amazing success.” Goodman is self-releasing the film and touring it from city to city during the coming weeks.

“It’s a really good start for the roll out of this film,” said Goodman, who employed an aggressive grassroots marketing campaign to promote his first feature film to hometown moviegoers. “I feel like we did everything we could.”

Goodman had aimed for the highest per-screen average among independent films but was content to come in second to “The Limits of Control,” a film directed by indie stalwart Jim Jarmusch and backed by the distributor Focus Features. It earned $18,607 per screen (and a total $55,820 from three sites).

Coming in third in per-screen averages, according to indieWIRE, was the boxing documentary “Tyson” with $5,757 ($74,835 total). The weekend's highest grossing independent film was “Battle for Terra,” which earned about $1.1 million from 1,160 sites, or an average of $933.

“The Last Lullaby” plays through Thursday at the Louisiana Boardwalk’s Regal Cinemas. It opens Friday in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Local movie extends run through Thursday

Update 9:58 a.m. Monday: "The Last Lullaby" sold out 14 of its 15 weekend screenings.

Louisiana Boardwalk’s Regal Cinemas has extended the run of “The Last Lullaby” through Thursday. The locally made movie, directed by Shreveporter Jeffrey Goodman, had been scheduled to close a three-day premiere weekend today.

As of 2 p.m., the movie had sold out 13 of its 15 available screenings.

“It was really amazing,” Goodman said. “I’ve seen several people come back for a second time.”

The crime drama will screen daily at 11:30 a.m., 2, 4:30, 7 and 9:30 p.m.

For tickets or information, log on to

Check out photographer Douglas Collier's photo gallery of the premiere here.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Two free tickets available to 'The Last Lullaby': 7 p.m. tonight (May 1)

Our previous contest winner unfortunately can't make it tonight to the 7 p.m. screening of "The Last Lullaby," so those tickets are now freely available to the first caller.

If you want them, just ring me at (318) 459-3256. First come, first serve. You must pick them up at The Times lobby by 5:30 p.m. tonight. (I'd make it by 5:20 if I were you.)

Movie Review: 'The Last Lullaby'

The stakes are high for "The Last Lullaby," a locally produced film which opens today at the Louisiana Boardwalk's Regal Cinemas. The film itself is a solid piece of genre work, so it has that going for it. Eight of the 15 screenings have already sold out, so that's plus too.

"'The Last Lullaby' presents a view of vigilante violence that is unsettling but never corrupting, dark but ever illuminating," I wrote in a review republished in today's Preview section.

I'm thinking about popcorn for lunch today if I can steal a couple hours. If you get a chance, let us know what you think of the movie.