a) Denzel Washington, on the set of "The Great Debaters.
b) Oliver Stone, on the set of "W."
c) Jim Carrey, on the set of "I Love You Phillip Morris."
d) Alexandyr Kent, on the set of "I Can't Believe He's Not Butter: An Unauthorized Biography of Fabio."
As much as d makes perfect sense, it was b, Oliver Stone, on the set of "W.," speaking to David Carr of The New York Times. (If you failed this quiz, don't call me for at least a week.)
What Mr. Stone didn't know in May 2008 was that local producer-director Gregory Kallenberg was preparing to make "Haynesville," a documentary about the area's growing natural gas industry. Today, The Times published my first piece on the project. Local audiences could get to see the project in the fall. (It all hinges on Kallenberg's distribution/festival plans.)
In the above pic, Kallenberg and three members of his production team sit in their editing suite in downtown Shreveport. To me, what's cool about "Haynesville" is it shows that our region -- or more specifically, our filmmakers and artists -- is fully capable of growing and nurturing a self-sustaining independent film industry. Kallenberg believes as much. I tend to agree with him. Why?
- Almost everything about "Haynesville," from its subjects to its producers to its editor to its cinematographer, is homegrown.
- The project didn't require a studio or Calif.-based production company to greenlight it.
- To the tenacious, there are oodles of interesting subjects in NWLA that beg for a closer look.
- As we've also seen with narrative filmmakers like Jeffrey Goodman ("The Last Lullaby," feature) and Jonathan Rothell ("Silent Treatment," short), local investors will fund filmmakers with local roots.
- As "Haynesville" demonstrates, some movies can not only be shot in NWLA but they also can largely be finished in Louisiana, too. "Haynesville" will do almost all of its post- within the state's boundaries.
- Does the future of the state's industry hinge on more Oliver Stones, or more Gregory Kallenbergs?
- Do lawmakers, industry critics, and industry advocates make clear distinctions between Hollywood-driven imports (like "W.") and local indie projects (like "Haynesville"), or between the business of narrative filmmaking and the business of documentary filmmaking?
- Is the state creating a production environment wherein the making of studio features and the making of indie movies (documentary, narrative features or otherwise) make equal sense?
- Is our our entertainment industry diverse, deep and artistically rich enough to ultimately become self-sustaining?
- And put simply, is there enough Louisiana in the Louisiana film industry?
PHOTO (clockwise from the topic): Chris Lyon, editor; Gregory Kallenberg, producer-director; Mark Bullard, producer; Patrick Long, associate producer.