Friday, June 19, 2009

'Year One' opens; 'Silent Treatment' gets 90; Tax credits coming up for vote

Is it just me, or was this week the busiest week in the history of humankind? Hence, my blog absence. Forgive me? You do. But again, let's tidy up:
  • "Year One" opens in theaters today, and this should be a nifty event for local theatergoers. It was shot in Sibley and at the StageWorks of Louisiana soundstage in downtown Shreveport. (Desert scenes in New Mexico, too.) The project required oodles of extras and crew pros, and I wish I could have spoken with all'ya'all. Big, big Sony thang.
    I got in touch with production designer Jefferson Sage (pictured: "On the fifth day, Jefferson created Sodom") -- and a few others -- and all had cool insights.
    How will "Year One" perform? Probably not as well as expected. As a whole, critics are giving it a below average grade, and it looks like it might come in third in the weekend box office race with just under $20 million. "The Hangover" and "The Proposal" should battle it out for no. 1, but neither will earn much more than "Year One."
    It will be a pretty tight weekend at the top, and "Year One" will contend with "The Guardian" as The Shreve's biggest opener. "The Guardian" earned $18 million during opening weekend in Sept. 2006, and went on to tally $55M domestically (still a record for Shreve-made movies).
    "Year One" actress Olivia Wilde had some funny things to say about The Shreve and it's lack of foot traffic: " ... the producers gave us video cameras. David Cross made a film about whether he could make it through a day without walking—because there was no pedestrian activity in Shreveport. He went to Wal-Mart and took a cab from the car to the entrance." Hope that's on the DVD extras.
    If you have an opinion about the movie, please share it with the crowd on Facebook. (For the next week, I won't be moderating comments on LaMovBlog.)
  • Speaking of opinions about The Shreve, did you read Tucker Max's recent rant? His book-turned-movie "I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell" was shot in Shreveport during the summer of 2008, and should be released this fall. Apparently, Max won't be returning to The Shreve to celebrate. While his tone may irk sensitive Shrevapolitans, my advice is to lighten up. I find his honesty grossly refreshing: kind of like a stale Jr. Mint.
  • Were you one of the 90 who made it to the screening of "Silent Treatment" on Thursday? Great turnout, and I was glad to see folks supporting this short film project. My thanks to director Jonathan Rothell (pictured and framed ... sorry, Jon), composer Kermit Poling, exec producer Red Vanderkuy and all the cast, crew and musicians who showed. (Note to McIver: If I leave you out of an intro again, you have my permission to spit-ball me.)
    Again, congrats to everyone -- including the audience -- for making it a fun night, and a big shout-out to the Robinson Film Center's Chris Jay and Mike Woodfork for ironing out the behind-the-scenes details. Jay, Woodfork and the event staff work their butts off to make these events successful.
  • "Weather Girl," written and directed by Blayne Weaver and exec produced by Brandon Barrera (both Bossier City natives), is garnering distribution interest. Really good sign.
  • Have you been keeping tabs of the Louisiana tax credit news? Caddo Parish officially passed its incentives, and next week will be a big, big week in the state Legislature. Two tax credit bills are awaiting the OK (or no-K). If passed, they'd bump the production credit up to 30 percent. There are lots of little nuances in the story linked above: my advice is to familiarize yourself with them. And if you want to talk to your legislators about their votes, you better act now.
  • Are those bullet points enough to keep you satisfied? I won't be blogging or reporting during the coming week, because I'll be on furlough. Don't worry: our bureau reporter, Mike Hasten, will keep track of the lawmakers. My advice to you is to check shreveporttimes.com daily for film news. The paper does its best to keep you informed.
    I'll return to my desk June 29. If your news can't wait, email astingley@gannett.com.

5 comments:

Evan said...

I think Tucker Max makes a good point (though in a fairly dickish tone). The Hollywood movies are only here for the business. They don't love you.

A lot of people in the Shreve are eager to claim movies made here as "Shreveport films" because they know someone that worked on it or they recognize the locations. Imagine if the same held true for L.A. or N.Y. At some point movies just need to be viewed again as movies. We're still in like the puppy love stage of "Hollywood South".

We need to face the facts. Do we really want to settle down with these movies and watch them over and over? Cut ties to them and admit the bad ones are really bad. Don't pay to see it just because it was shot here. Most movies shot here are crap, and there are many more movies shot in other places that are probably more deserving of your money and time.

Some people have DVD collections of films shot in the Shreve and honestly they're the most pathetic DVD collections you can come up with. I think the RFC could even stand to free up some of it's locally made movie poster space for some movie posters that really deserve your attention.

If you want to lay claim to local films, get behind the actual local films. It's okay to claim The Last Lullaby or any number of smaller projects. It's not okay to claim Year One or The Guardian. Throw those out with the rest of the Hollywood trash. Move on.

Start your own projects if need be. Then you'll really be a part of something.

Anonymous said...

Tucker Max's 'bad boy' shtick is tiresome; it's been done better by too many others with far more talent and far less ego. I'm not his target demographic, so I'll gladly pass on this one...

Chris Lyon said...

I never have agreed with Tucker Max's method of criticism. It's always so shrill which- to me- makes him ineffective after the first five complaints.

That said, Shreveporters do seem to feel they are entitled to more than what is given them more often than not, and so on that point I'm with Max. Look at what is here, what has been, and will be- then take that and do what you can with it.

Anonymous said...

Did Tucker Max say anything that was not true? Stop complaining and change the city's attitude to gratitude. Tucker did the city a favor, as did Josh Brolin and others critical of the Shreveport city administration.
The city administration is still in denial, and unfortunately the press won't print anything negative about this administration because they believe in censorship of the press. We need to get an out of town investigative reporter in Shreveport to educate the public and clean up city hall.

Anonymous said...

This town suffers from the plantation mentality. FYI for those in fantasy land. There is no such thing as a Holywood south. There's Hollywood, West Hollywood, and North Hollwood, but not Holywood south. The Shreve WILL NEVER be considered as a go to destination for film. The only thing that made it "number three in the nation" for a fleeting moment was "force majuer". Now? Back to business as usual. Tuckers rant was spot on, even for being put in his context. I have been saying this one thing for five years around here. These runaway production companies don't care at all about us. What we hear, Arlena included, is what is referred to as "lip service". They will tel you want you want to hear, and stroke your ego, to get done what they've come to do. Period!! Just open your eyes from your sleepy slumber in NEVERland, and then you shall see. Until then, enjoy your pipe dreams.