Friday, October 28, 2005

Were you in 'Streaker'?

Everyone who was a part of Streaker as background talent, I need your name and the scene(location) you were in if you want a credit in the film.
Thank-you, Lisa Lax: actlink@aol.com


Divine Manipulation: Must-see trailer


Bevan Bell and the Rusted Sun gang (Anthony Howald and Brad Alsobrook) have just put out a terrific trailer for their work-in-progress "Divine Manipulation of the Threads." As Bevan points out: "This is a project done with NO BUDGET. Don't get the wrong idea that we've got a lot of dough that made this possible. This is done with free time, talent, and a severe love of the game."

And you'll see that in the trailer (in wmv and mov formats) on the Rusted Sun Films website.

Nashville Film Fest: Music videos

Nashville Film Festival (NaFF) has announced its Music Video competition for all types of music as part of the 37th Nashville Film Festival. The Festival will take place April 20-26, 2006, at the Regal Green Hills Stadium 16.

Categories include Best Music Video - music videos from outside the Nashville area, and Best Nashville Music Video (produced by a Nashville-based filmmaker or production company). The top selected music videos screen during the Festival and the winners are announced at the conclusion. The music video awards are part of the NaFF's Music Films in Music City section, which highlights the best in recent films about music and includes two additional prizes: Best Music In A Feature, to go to a feature film's composer, director, music supervisor, and/or producer for innovative use of music, whether through the original score, imaginative musical arrangements, or songs; and Impact of Music Award, given to a feature or documentary that most effectively explores or celebrates the impact of music on the human experience.

Call for Entry forms for submitting a music video, or any other type of film, may be obtained through withoutabox.com or by downloading from the Festival's web site: www.nashvillefilmfestival.org. For more information, call 615-742-2500 or email the Festival at info@nashvillefilmfestival.org.

Final entry deadline is December 2, 2005. For more information, call 615-742-2500.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Nashville Film Fest: Call for entries

Nashville Film Festival
April 20-26, 2006

Nashville Film Festival (NaFF) proudly announces its 37th international competition for features, shorts, documentaries, animation, experimental work, music videos and young filmmaker videos.

The Festival also features children & family-themed films, special sections for Tennessee filmmakers, archival screenings, gay & lesbian-themed films, workshops, panel discussions, music showcases, and guest appearances by nationally recognized figures in the film and music worlds. All styles, genres and lengths of films are accepted.

Top Prize for Features - Selected as one of the "Best Film Festival Prizes" in Film Festival Today's Winter 2005 issue.
The Regal Cinemas/Nashville Film Festival Dreammaker Award, entitles the winning feature film to a week's run in a Los Angeles County Regal Cinema. The L.A. screening qualifies the film for Academy Award consideration. (Films must not have acquired U.S. distribution to qualify for this award. A 35mm print must be available by September 2006.)

Top Prize - Shorts and Animation
First prizes in the Short Narrative, Animation, College Student Short Narrative, and College Student Animation categories qualify the winning films for Academy Award consideration.

Special Music Films in Music City Awards
Nashville Film Festival celebrates Music City's heritage with unique music and film awards: Best Music In a Feature Film, to recognize particularly effective or innovative uses of music, whether through original score, imaginative musical arrangements, or songs in a feature; and the Impact of Music Award, for the film (feature or documentary) that most effectively explores or celebrates the impact of music on the human experience.

NaFF also features Audience Awards for features, documentary features and music videos. See the complete list of awards at nashvillefilmfestival.org.

Entry Deadline: November 4, 2005
Extended Entry Deadline: December 2, 2005

Contact:
http://nashvillefilmfestival.org/
Nashville Film Festival

Phone: (615) 742-2500
Fax: (615) 742-1004
e-mail: info@nashvillefilmfestival.org

Casting: 21-30 year old female

Looking for an 21-30 yr old female to play the lead in The GARDEN. Our lead dropped out. Must be a dancer, ballerina, or really good at movement. Vixen type-preferrably busty, good physique.
Contact Lisa Lax at actlink@aol.com
Need to be available to audition this Saturday for the Director

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Screaming at the screening


Saturday night; the long-awaited and much anticipated horror/suspense movie "Shutter" is coming. It's by local filmmaker Jeremy Benson and stars area talent, including Jeannette Comans, Sarah Ewell, John Stills, Rezia Massey and Michael McLendon with Mark Volzer as DP.
It's $10 midnight at the Malco Studio on the Square, October 29th.

Do not come alone.


Crew call

My friend Rachel Hurley (more on her here and here) is issuing a crew call for a feature film DV shoot that starts next week: "I am looking for Hair/Make-up; script sup.; sound; grip/elec; art people. Please forward resumes to Rachelmhurley@yahoo.com."

So get on it.

In and out

Some of you know this already, but it's tough to watch a film where you've been edited out.

On the other hand, sometimes we make the final cut. So tonight at 6:30 at Indie Memphis, see "Slow Down ... You're Dating Too Fast" by M. David Lee III and see dozens of Memphis actors pitch woo in this ensemble comedy -- yours truly among them.

The digital film uses a modified version of the Dogme95 Principles and a portion of the screenplay is based on improv with the actors who developed their characters.

The story is based on an article David read in 2001 about the Speed Dating phenomenon. It's his second feature shot in the Mid-South and the third one he's had in the IndieMemphis festival.

There are 32 speaking roles, all Memphis and Mississippi actors and crew. It was filmed in six days over a one-month period entirely in Memphis, Midtown, Cordova and Hernando Miss.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Are DVD rentals on the way out?

According to this article in Slate.com, Wal-Mart is almost single-handedly keeping the movie DVD market alive by keeping open one very important window of opportunity.
[The studios] have created an artificial barrier called the video window, which prevents cable operators and TV stations from showing movies at the same time as their release on DVD. In the case of pay-per-view, the window is 45 days; with subscription cable such as HBO, it is at least four months. ...

What has prevented the studios from closing the video window is simple: Wal-Mart. The company, which is the single biggest seller of DVDs, has made it clear that it does not want to compete with home delivery.

Indie Memphis 2005 winners

Here are the winners as reported by John Beifuss in the CA. Still time to see many of them:

Best Narrative Feature, Indie Memphis ($750 prize): "Say Yes Quickly," described as "a contemporary Southern Gothic love story" from director Gregg Hale, a "Blair Witch" producer.

Best Narrative Short, Indie Memphis ($500): "Raccoon," a story of two hunters in the winter of 1968. The film will be screened during a program of shorts at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. Director Trey Nelson is scheduled to attend.

Best Documentary, Indie Memphis ($750): "Occupation: Dreamland," directed by Gary Scott and Ian Olds, an intimate portrait of American soldiers in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004.

Best Animated or Experimental Film, Indie Memphis ($500): John Cernak's computer-generated "Joyride," which screens during an animation program at 8:30 p.m. today.

Best Narrative Feature, Hometowner ($600): "Act One," a romantic comedy-drama directed by Brad Ellis and written by star Allen Gardner, produced by Old School Pictures, a company composed of a group of friends who have been making movies since the 1990s when they were at Houston High School. "Act One" screens at 6:30 p.m. Thursday; the filmmakers will attend.

Best Narrative Short, Hometowner ($400): Andrew Nenninger's "Bright Sunny South."

Best Documentary, Hometowner ($400): Brett Hanover's "Above God."

"Bright Sunny South" and "Above God" will screen during competing programs at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday; the filmmakers will attend.

Best Music Video, Hometowner ($300): "Abra Cadaver," by the Hives, directed by John Michael McCarthy.

The Ron Tibbett Excellence in Filmmaking Award ($500) was awarded to MeDiA Co-op co-founder and filmmaker/activist Morgan Jon Fox, who has two movies in the festival: the documentary "What Does Love In Action Look Like: a prologue," and the feature "away(A)wake," at 8:30 p.m. today. Fox also acts in "Dollars & Signs," which shows at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

The new Kodak Tennessee Filmmaker Award, which provides $1,000 worth of 16mm or 35mm film to the recipient, went to Geoffrey Brent Shrewsbury, a past Indie Memphis winner.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Indie Memphis news stories

From the Flyer ... and the CA.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Peace in the DVD wars?

Maybe. Hewlett-Packard is trying to mediate a settlement to the technology dispute.

A bigger Paradiso

Memphis Mojo reports on the expanded Paradiso.

"Trading Spaces" looking for Memphis homeowners

The Memphis/Shelby County Film and Television Commission sends us this:

TLC’s "Trading Spaces" is filming episodes in Memphis in January and you can apply for a spot on the show. Here's the 411:

"Trading Spaces," produced by Banyan Productions, provides two pairs of friends with a $1,000 budget, a professional designer, a carpenter, and 48 hours to redo a room of their choice. But there’s a catch -- they have to switch houses, and they have no say in how their own room will look! We’re seeking brave and vibrant homeowners to represent the Memphis area on these upcoming episodes!

The rules are simple:
1. Two people per team
2. Rooms must be at least 12’ x 12’
3. Houses must be within a fifteen minute drive of each other

To apply, e-mail sfinne@banyan.com, be sure to include what city you are applying for. A full application will immediately be sent to you. Please be sure to mention what city you are applying for.

All Applications must be submitted no later than November 11th (the sooner the better!) We will be shooting in mid-January.

BACKGROUND: "Trading Spaces," produced by Banyan Productions, provides two neighbors with the budget, a professional designer, a carpenter, and 48 hours to redo a room of their choice. But there’s a catch -- they have to switch houses, and they have no say in how their own room will look. Before work begins, neighbors write down how they’d like to redo their friends’ rooms; the designers receive these comments along with pictures and room measurements. Then, as soon as they switch house keys, the teams roll up their sleeves and get to work. After two days of grueling work, the rooms are totally transformed. Each team returns to their own home to see what’s become of their room. How will they react to their new room?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Incentives in Tennessee: must read

Following up on last week's public hearing, there's a good look at the issue of incentives for filmmakers in the Nashville Scene. Lots of problems, lots of possibilities.
Once the committee submits its recommendations in February, one little task remains: to get a tightfisted state government to agree, especially when few understand the Byzantine methods of film and TV financing. In years past, Linn Sitler recalls, when the issue was raised from time to time, it seemed like “the farther east you went, the less excitement there was” from legislators about production incentives.

Shreveport projects

The Shreveport Times reports the following projects ongoing or planned:

Project: "Chlorine," a movie through Mercer Films and Miranda Entertainment. Country club member becomes involved in a savings and loan scandal.
Status: Filming Oct. 29-Dec. 9. Expected to be out in fall 2006.
Stars: David Arquette, Ray Liotta and Julianna Margulies.
Project: "Road House II," a movie being filmed using crews from Louisiana Institute of Film Technology (LIFT). Nephew of Patrick Swayze's character in "Road House" has his own bar to defend.
Status: Filming to start Thursday, end before Thanksgiving.
Stars: Jake Busey.
Project: "The Guardian," a movie being distributed through Disney. A Coast Guard enlistee is helped by a renowned rescue swimmer haunted by an accident.
Status: Filming to start about Dec. 5, end in the first week of March. Will be in wide release a year from now. About half of locations are secured, but this will be an ongoing process throughout the filming.
Stars: Ashton Kutcher and Kevin Costner.
Project: "Thief," a television series through FX Network. The head of a robbery crew, though recently reformed, plans one final heist.
Status: Filming started Monday. Five episodes will be shot, and parts of the pilot will be reshot.
Stars: Andre Braugher.
Project: "Factory Girl," a movie through LIFT. About Andy Warhol's muse.
Status: Shooting will start Nov. 28.
Stars: Sienna Miller and Guy Pierce.
Project: "Premonition," a movie through LIFT. A housewife finds her husband is dead, then wakes up the next morning to find he's alive.
Status: Filming likely to start in early 2006.
Stars: Sandra Bullock.
Additional movie projects: The Shreveport-Bossier Film Office recently announced that "White Lies" (starring Darryl Hannah), "Salvation," "The Lodge," and three films by Big Bad Entertainment ("The Dark," "Quality of Mercy" and "Pilot Jack") will be filmed in the area.
Source: Times research.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

"Forty Shades" screenings


See it at Malco Studio on the Square before IndieMemphis sucks all your free time away. Showtimes: 1:15 pm 4:20 pm 7:30 pm 9:50 pm

The Other Side of the Pillow

Arnita Williams (above) in "The Other Side of the Pillow"

"The Other Side of the Pillow" has been accepted into competition at this year's Indie Memphis Film Festival. Screening times: Sunday 10/23 at 9 p.m. and Tuesday 10/25 at 6:30 p.m. This is from Memphis filmmaker Sarah Fleming and her Piranha Empire Productions. It's produced by Sandi Russom and written by Pat Dugan and Spencer Pharr. Do not miss.

Odd couple needed: Craigslist

A brand new unscripted comedy is looking for fun and interesting couples. Do you and your partner come from completely different backgrounds, lifestyles or family dynamics? Are the two of you ready to move to the next level but have different expectations of what that may mean? Do you have the best relationship and want to share it with the world? We are seeking to explore a variety of topics. Submit your picture and stories today. Maybe you could be our next breakout stars. Email us at coupleskassting2@yahoo.com

Music video showcase at IndieMemphis

A bunch of local music videos will be screened at the 2005 Live From Memphis Music Video Showcase Saturday Oct. 22 at 9 p.m. at Muvico. There will be some great visuals and great music, so book it.

"Slow Down ... You're Dating Too Fast!"


"Slow Down ... You're Dating Too Fast!" by writer-producer- director-dp-editor-cook M. David Lee III is premiering at the IndieMemphis festival Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 6:30 p.m.

The digital film uses a modified version of the Dogme95 Principles and a portion of the screenplay is based on improv with actors who developed their own characters.

The story is based on an article David read in 2001 about the Speed Dating phenomenon. It's his second feature shot in the Mid-South and the third one he's had in the IndieMemphis festival.

There are 32 speaking roles, all Memphis and Mississippi actors and crew. It was filmed in six days over a one-month period entirely in Memphis, Midtown, Cordova and Hernando Miss.

More info is at David's web site.

MeDiA Co-op calendar available

The MeDiA Co-op now has a calendar to get a quick look at what's going on there.

Filmed in Memphis -- in 1929

Preston Johnson tips us on this upcoming release:

Warner Home Video has announced that King Vidor's wonderful 1929 film "Hallelujah!" is finally coming out on DVD.

This classic of the early film musical, with an all-black cast and songs by Irving Berlin, W.C. Handy and Stephen Foster, is noteworthy because large parts of it were shot in the Memphis area. Included are scenes on the Memphis riverfront, at the Wolf River (a stunning mass baptism) and in an Arkansas swamp.

Scheduled release date is 10 Jan. 2006.

Preston wrote a story about it 20 years ago worth checking out. He adds this comment:

In the article, I make the assertion that "Hallelujah" was "the first sound film wIth an all-black cast." This is not correct. Recently, I met John Kisch, curator of the Blaxploitation Film Poster exhibition at Stax, at that show's opening reception in February, and he pointed out that Fox Movietone's "Hearts in Dixie" (starring Stepin Fetchit) actually came out first, in March 1929 vs. August of that year for "Hallelujah!"

Job op for video editor

Details here.

More cheers for Forty Shades

The San Francisco Chronicle raves:
Like a true blues song, "Forty Shades of Blue" is a slow seduction. You're drawn in by degrees to a love triangle with hazy Oedipal overtones played out against a backdrop of the Memphis music world.


Nice capsule in
EW on Forty Shades of Blue:
As he did in his distinctive 1997 debut feature, "The Delta," director Ira Sachs moves to the rhythms of his native Memphis, teasing emotional resonance out of geography.

Explaining Hollywood vs. Indies

Another article in an excellent series in Slate.com on how the movie biz works:
Due to the high cost of worldwide marketing, the cost of the studios' average product, which in 2004 exceeded $100 million, greatly exceeds what they get back from their share of the box office. Fortunately for the studios, a few films each year perform much better than average, and it's these Midas-touch movies, such as Spider-Man, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Mission Impossible, on which the studios now earn almost all their profits. Since the publicity campaigns for these mega-blockbusters have proven effective in the popcorn economy, studios recycle their elements into endless sequels, and leave originality, and all the joy that comes from it, to the indies.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Acting class from Amber O'Daniels

Meisner wizard/teacher Amber O'Daniels is offering acting lessons in a small class. She explains here:


What is the private class?

The private class is similar to what most people would consider an agent workshop. If you have an agent often times they will hold a weekly workshop. It last a few hours and it is a way that they can give their product (the actor) some one on one training.
Each night that the private class is offered there will be discussion about all things related to the actor and some kind of workshop. Each week will be different and often times the weeks training will be catered to the individual needs of the group.


Who can sign up?

Anyone who's art focuses on acting. You do not have to a professional actor, nor do you need to only have acting as an interest. But, the focus of the private classes will be on acting, so if you are a writer and you want to learn how to get in touch with your creative self, the regular group class I teach is better suited for your needs, not the private class. So, basically, actors will benefit greatly from this workshop.


How many people will there be?

The class is limited to four people a week.



Can it be the same for people, or rather how do I sign up?

It can be the same four people or it can be different people each week. It depends on who signs up or who gets the spot first. Each week whoever is the first to sign up for the class will be the one who gets in. Registration for the class will start every Tuesday fallowing the last class. You can sign up via e-mail or by calling me.


How much does it cost?

It will be $25 a night.



In brief:

Every Monday excluding holidays and personal breaks there will be a private class held at my house. It is limited to four people. If you are interested all you need to do is send me an e-mail (amber.coolestactingcoach@gmail.com). I will keep a running roster of all those who wish to be part of the workshop.

Registration is open. If you register for a class and you do not show you will owe me $25. If you register and you call me and tell me something has come up and no one can fill your spot, you will owe me $10. Because you are essentially taking a spot from someone else I must enforce these rules.

I will outline what the following Monday's workshop will be directly after each Monday night class.

Workshop Sunday

Scene Study with Lisa Lax Sunday at Southwest Tennessee Community College-Sycamore View Campus-Parrish Building Room #5.
It's 3-5pm Sunday, every Sunday. Cost $25 or $20 if you bring a friend. Warmups, Improv, Commercials, Scenes, Auditoning, Networking.
To sign up at any time email Lisa at actlink@aol.com or call her at 818-644-3976.


Film Production Advisory Committee hearing

Here's John Beifuss's report on the public meeting held yesterday. I'll have more detailed information on it later, including some of the testimony offered by local folks. Actor David Keith attended and had this to say:

"The problem is, I am tired of going to Bulgaria to make movies ... I'm even tired of going to Vancouver. I want to be able to drive from the set to Neyland Stadium on Saturday morning."

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Indie Memphis announced

Here's the official announcement from Indie Memphis on the 2005 fest:

On Friday, October 21, the Indie Memphis Soul of Southern Film Festival kicks off its annual weeklong festival at Muvico Peabody Place 22 Theaters, 150 Peabody Place.


The Indie Memphis Soul of Southern Film Festival is the only film festival in the country dedicated to films of a Southern persuasion. This year's festival will highlight more than 70 films about the South, shot in the South or made by Southerners. The weeklong lineup includes short, documentary, feature-length and experimental films by filmmakers from across the county as well as those in our own backyard.


"The festival has been steadily growing," said Les Edwards, Indie Memphis director, "but the recent success of Memphis filmmaker Craig Brewer's 'Hustle and Flow' and native Memphian Ira Sach's film '40 Shades of Blue' at Sundance has further increased interest in Memphis as a film town, and subsequently the festival has received more attention.


"We are seeing more quality submissions and have received quite a bit of national press this past year. We are glad that we can continue providing this forum for filmmakers and audiences to showcase the works of regional and national filmmakers whose films wouldn't normally come to Memphis."


Opening this year's festival is "Loggerheads," winner of Best Feature Film (Audience Award) at the 2005 Florida and Nashville film festivals. "Loggerheads" is the story of one son, two mothers and three overlapping stories of estranged families in three regions of North Carolina, starring Tess Harper and Bonnie Hunt. Cast member Michael Kelly and associate producer Matt Parker are expected to attend the screening, Friday, October 21, 8 p.m.

Other highlights include:
  • "Code 33," the new documentary from the directors of internationally acclaimed "Horns & Halos" (IM 2002), follows the 2003 search for the notorious Miami serial rapist and reveals much more about the divides between community and policy and media and truth. Directors Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley are scheduled to attend, Sunday, Oct. 23, 7 p.m.
  • "Defending Against Defense," a documentary from local filmmaker Elizabeth Daggett, who explores the controversial SuperFund site at the former Defense Depot in Memphis and its possible link to cancer among residents in the nearby neighborhood. Saturday, Oct. 22, 5 p.m.
  • "Occupation Dreamland," a portrait of a squad of the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne from Ft. Bragg, S.C., deployed in the Iraqi city of Falluja during winter 2004. The result is a revealing, sometimes surprising look at Army life, operations and the complexity of American war in the 21st century. Screening is Sunday, Oct. 23, 3 p.m.
  • "A League of Ordinary Gentleman," winner of the Audience Award at the 2005 South by Southwest Film Festival, explores the history of the professional bowling tour, from the sport's glory days in the 1950s and '60s, through its near extinction in 1997. Screening is Sunday, Oct. 23, 7 p.m.
  • "William Eggleston in the Real World," the highly acclaimed new documentary from director Michael Almereyda about "one of the most significant figures in contemporary photography." Filmed in Kentucky, Los Angeles and New York, with particular attention to downtime in Memphis, this is an intimate portrait of Eggleston revealing a deep connection between Eggleston's enigmatic personality and his groundbreaking work. The filmmaker is scheduled to attend the screening, Sunday, Oct. 23, 5 p.m.
  • "Bright Sunny South," a humorous narrative short whose protagonist is busy fending off his girlfriend's dogs and intrusive neighbor, while trying to keep the man who saved him from dying in a well out of his life. Local filmmaker Andrew Nenninger is scheduled to attend screening on Sunday, Oct. 23, 9 p.m., and Tuesday, Oct. 25, 6:30 p.m.
  • "Oceanfront Property," winner of the Audience Award at the 2005 Texas Film Festival and Best Feature at the 2005 Magnolia Independent Film Festival, is a dramatic comedy about one week, one beach house and one girl who left the groom at the altar. Screening is Sunday, Oct. 23, 1 p.m.
  • Youth Showcase featuring works of young filmmakers from the South, Saturday, Oct. 22, 1 p.m.
  • New to the festival this year is a video music showcase from local musicians and filmmakers hosted by Live From Memphis, Saturday, Oct. 22, 9 p.m.
The festival is also offering "Making the Extremely Low Budget Feature" workshop by nationally known filmmaker Kelley Baker (a.k.a The Angry Filmmaker) on Sunday, Oct 23., 1 p.m. Following the workshop, at 3 p.m., a panel of filmmakers and film producers will discuss methods of financing independent films. Both the workshop and panel discussion are free, sponsored by the Memphis & Shelby County Film & Television Commission.

This festival will once again be held exclusively downtown at Muvico, 150 Peabody Place, which has donated theaters for the festival. "Muvico's ongoing commitment to the local film community is phenomenal," said Edwards. "We are so pleased to have the support of one of America's premiere cinemas. Muvico has been a generous and responsive partner for the past four years."


Festival screening times:

Friday, October 21, 8 p.m.
Saturday, October 22, 1 p.m. -9 p.m.
Sunday, October 24, 1 p.m.-9 p.m.
Monday-Thursday, October 25-28, 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

For a complete listing of films and show times, see the posting below, visit www.indiememphis.com, pick up a Memphis Flyer or call (901) 246-7086.
Ticket prices are $6 for a single-show ticket and $60 for a festival pass (unlimited entry). The six pack (six-ticket multi-pass) is available for $25. Tickets and passes can be purchased at the Muvico ticket counter, the Indie Memphis Festival booth at Muvico or online at www.muvico.com. Discount parking is available in the Peabody Place garage with validated parking ticket.

Indie Memphis was founded in 1998 to provide a voice and forum for the diverse Memphis film community. In 1999, Indie Memphis became an initiative of Delta Axis, a non-profit 501(c)3 arts organization. Recognizing the contributions of the Delta to music and literature, the Delta Axis mission is to highlight similar contributions in contemporary visual arts. Indie Memphis promotes the contributions of Southerners to what is arguably today's most important art form: filmmaking.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Commentary on incentives

From Geoffrey Shrewsbury:
"incentives" mean that hollywood could come and tax our limited resources to their advantage. sure, locals would get some work. but if you speak to residents of louisiana, they'll tell you that all of a sudden there was more work than they could handle. and the positions were filled with people from out of town. and for our sake, let's look at what we currently have: with craig's movie there are key personnel from LA, and set mechanics from nashville, alabama, new york, and elsewhere. so if we can't even fill our 'hometown film' crew roster with locals, what will it be like when there's dozens of productions here from out of town all at once? indeed, it will be cheaper for the executives, but what will that do for us? we're already being taken advantage of for being cheap. do we honestly need more of that?

the closest thing i've heard to a reasonable plan was from craig: give the incentives to directors and producers from our state, and not to random people with no intention of promoting our region for what it is: special.

i am currently in new york garnering interest for a documentary and planning a narrative production of my own with some of my teachers at nyu.

thanks,

Geoffrey Shrewsbury

Memphis Indie Film Festival lineup

Here it is from the Indie Memphis web site:

2005 Indie Memphis

Soul of Southern Film Festival Schedule

Above God

The first film ever made about Gene Ray – the legendary eccentric behind timecube.com – attempts to portray the beautiful mind of Ray while at the same time following the struggle he endures for his often bizarre theories. 2005. Director: Brett Hanover. HT Documentary, 37:54. Tuesday, Oct. 25, 6:30 p.m. Filmmaker scheduled to attend.

Act One

A comedy-drama that relays the story of a confident, immature twenty-two year old screenwriter, whose work had been produced by a big Hollywood studio. Charged with writing another hit, Kevin looks to his own life for “inspiration,” but discovers so much more. Film explores what it's like to be twenty-something and trying to tackle your two greatest – yet seemingly conflicting – goals: bettering yourself while connecting with the world around you. It's a story that takes an often comedic look at growing up in the world, the people who do the real growing for you, and how we're all just trying to make the movie that is our life the best that it can be. 2005. Director: Brad Ellis. 100:00. Thursday, Oct. 27, 6:30 p.m. Filmmakers scheduled to attend.

Among Brothers

Jennifer, a college senior is found dead in her burned down apartment. The police inform her parents that it appeared to be an accident. Two days later, the autopsy reveals otherwise: there was no presence of smoke in Jennifer’s lungs. She died before the fire. Someone had killed her and tried to cover it up. Based on actual events in Florence, SC. Winner of Silver Remi Award for Theatrical Features, Houston Worldfest. 2005. Director: John Schwert. Narrative Feature, 89:00. Saturday, Oct. 22, 5 p.m.

Ants in Ant Farm

A young man blames God for not being involved in his life. God appears to the young man in many human forms, explaining that he has been absent and is not the deity that the world has made him out to be. The universe is as it appears and there is nothing beyond nature for humans. The young man becomes angry with God for his lack of love and respect for the evolution of mankind. He takes his life before God in an act of defiance, as God looks on in simple curiosity. Director: Timm Sculita. HT Narrative Short, 9:50. Sunday, Oct. 23, 9 p.m. and Tuesday, Oct. 25, 6:30 p.m.

Away (A)wake

Four people wander the streets of Memphis sleepless for several days, searching for something they’ve lost, troubled by what they’ve found. 2005. Director: Morgan Jon Fox. HT Narrative Feature, 90:00. Tuesday, Oct. 25, 8:30 p.m. Filmmaker scheduled to attend.

Before

Can the present change the past? Using old family travel movies, this film takes a nostalgic look at the golden age of the Jet Set before finally considering how world events can color our cherished memories. 2004. Director: Hans Stiritz. Documentary, 5:00. Thursday, Oct. 27, 8:30 p.m.

Below Average

Dwayne Durkin learns at the young age of seven that life has dealt him and ugly card, and his future as the class dork looks pretty dim. But as luck would have it, he meets Julie Masters and everything changes with one little kiss. Suddenly the friendship and love they share gives Dwayne a new outlook on life. That is, until fate plays the ultimate prank. 2005. Directors: Kris Boyatt and Natalie Boyatt. HT Narrative Short, 14:00. Saturday, Oct. 22, 3 p.m. and Monday, Oct. 24, 6:30 p.m. Filmmakers scheduled to attend.

The Bicycle

The story of a boy’s search for his lost bicycle and the mystical discoveries he makes along the way. 2004. Director: Brian Sizensky. Narrative Short, 12:28. Saturday, Oct. 22, 9 p.m. and Wednesday, Oct. 26, 8:30 p.m.

Bright Sunny South

Even though his life is already really busy with telling his girlfriend’s dogs to get away from him, and letting the neighbor borrow a pipe, Brandon suddenly has to deal with one more thing: trying to keep the man who saved him from a well out of his life. 2005. Director: Andrew Nenninger. HT Narrative Short, 28:00. Sunday, Oct. 23, 9 p.m. and Tuesday, Oct. 25, 6:30 p.m. Filmmaker scheduled to attend.

Cleaver

Nikki’s unhappy even though her parents treat her like a princess; the problem is the guy chained up in the bathroom. 2005. Director: John Harvey. HT Narrative Short, 9:47. Monday, Oct. 24, 8:30 p.m. Filmmaker scheduled to attend.

Code 33

The directors of Horns & Halos (IM 2002) return with their latest film. The Summer 2003 search for the notorious Miami serial rapist is revealed in this engrossing documentary. Captures the divides between policy and community, media and truth, and illegal and legal immigrants, and uses the crime to and hunt to solve it as a window onto Miami itself. 2004. Directors: David Bellinson, Michael Galinsky, Suki Hawley, and Zachary M. Werner. Documentary, 82:00. Sunday, Oct. 23, 7 p.m. Filmmaker scheduled to attend.

Crestfallen

A man discovers a key that unlocks the door to a world within his mind, where he finds the girl of his dreams. 2004. Director: Brian Sizensky. Narrative Short, 9:42. Saturday, Oct. 22, 7 p.m.

Defending Against Defense

Many in Memphis are not aware that there is a SuperFund site at the former Defense Depot. But in the adjacent neighborhood, cancer is common. Local residents and activists have been battling the way this military cleanup has been conducted, and questioning whether there is environmental racism at the heart of the value system in the South.

2004. Director: Elizabeth Daggett. HT Documentary, 12:00. Filmmaker scheduled to attend.

Dollars & Signs

In the great American city of Memphis, TN, three "businessmen" are struggling to succeed. Carlton has an image to maintain and a family to feed. Mike and Dave have regular folks paying them to stand up against corporate greed. Along the way the three will meet, heads will bump and lives will change. 2005. Director: Brandon Hutchinson. HT Narrative Feature, 78:00. Monday, Oct. 24, 6:30 p.m. Filmmaker scheduled to attend.

Don’t Give Me the Finger

The story of a down-on-his-luck gambler who is lured into a tawdry high-stakes, winner-take-all wager by an elegant but twisted bar owner. 2005. Director: David Rikki Balcorta (Los Angeles, CA). Narrative Short, 15:00. Saturday, Oct. 22, 3 p.m. and Monday, Oct. 24, 6:30 p.m. Filmmaker scheduled to attend.

Dowsing Spring Hill

A supernatural mystery and story of ongoing racial divide. As the proud owner of his ancestral Civil War-era abandoned church and cemetery in rural Mississippi, documentarian Rex Jones invites a dowser to his property to locate unmarked graves. As the proceedings unfold, it becomes clear that people are segregated in death as well as in life. 2005. Director: Rex Smith. Documentary, 22:00. Tuesday, Oct. 25, 6:30 p.m.

Dreaming in America

Lucero’s story about that amazing thing too often overlooked: a blue-collar rock group’s struggle to survive in an ever-changing music industry. Cameras started rolling just as Lucero was breaking from its indie rock past and considering the treacherous leap to a major label deal unlike anything seen by the industry before. 2005. Director: Aaron Goldman. Documentary, 71:00. Thursday, Oct. 27, 8:30 p.m. Filmmakers scheduled to attend.

Dream On Silly Dreamer

The true story of the high times and tragic fate of Walt Disney feature animation, told by the artists who lived it. 2005. Director: Dan Lund. Animated documentary, 40:00. Tuesday, Oct. 25, 8:30 p.m.

Fighting for Life in the Death Belt

Stephen Bright has spent 25 years defending death row inmates deep in the heart of the nation’s death belt – the Southeastern states where ninety percent of executions occur. This is the death penalty through his eyes. Narrated by Ani Di Franco. “Best of the Fest” winner, Chicago International Documentary Film Festival. 2005. Director: Jeff Marks. Documentary, 53:00.

Herman Does the Lawn

What happens when a henpecked husband is pushed too far? Find out in this animated short, influenced by the works of Walter Lantz, Max Fleischer, Chuck Jones and other great artisans of the past. A hilarious adventure in yardwork with a sweet taste of revenge! 2004. Director: Roy Darby. Animation, 2:50. Tuesday, Oct. 25, 8:30 p.m.

IF

Why does life happen as it does? Is it just a series of random events or is there a purpose behind all things? Are we drivers on the road of life or are we just passengers. This film examines those questions through the intimate lens of a relationship. 2005. Director: John Paul Clark. HT Narrative Short, 17:00.

Jack Quack (The Path)

Life just isn’t what it is quacked up to be. Jack keeps getting these weird dreams, so he goes on a mission to solve the mystery. 2004. Director: A.M. Peters. Animation, 6:00. Tuesday, Oct. 25, 8:30 p.m.

Joyride

What “the man” wants, “the man” gets…and if you don’t pay attention it will all go by in the blink of a sound bite. 2005. Director: John Cernak. Animation, 5:10. Tuesday, Oct. 25, 8:30 p.m.

Last Words

Two characters talk as death approaches. 2005. Director: Adam Remsen. HT Narrative Short, Adam Remsen. 5:00. Sunday, Oct. 23, 9 p.m. and Tueaday, Oct. 25, 6:30 p.m. Filmmaker scheduled to attend.

A League of Ordinary Gentlemen

Tracing the historical arc of the professional bowling tour, from the sport's glory days in the 1950s and '60s, through its near extinction in 1997. The story takes a twist when newly installed CEO Steve Miller sets about modernizing the PBA, and follows four professional bowlers in their sometimes funny, sometimes sad adventures on tour. Winner of the Audience Award at the South by Southwest Film Festival. 2005. Director: Chris Browne. Documentary, 93:00. Sunday, Oct. 23, 7 p.m.

Live From Memphis Music Video Showcase

Music videos from local musicians. Saturday, Oct. 22, 9 p.m.

Loggerheads

A minister’s wife (Tess Harper) must confront her conservative husband, who has estranged them from their adopted son since they’ve learned that he’s gay. Listless and disappointed in life, Grace (Bonnie Hunt) makes a last ditch decision to search for the son she was pressured into giving up for adoption as a teenager. Mark (Kip Pardue), a drifter who is strangely fascinated with loggerhead sea turtles, crosses paths with George (Michael Kelly), a fixture of his quiet beach. Their stories interweave to create a portrait of familial detachment and longing that is at once universal, and steeped in the keenly observed looks and rhythms of three distinctive settings across North Carolina. Nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. 2005. Director: Tim Kirkland. Narrative Feature. Friday, Oct. 21, 8 p.m.

Messenger’s

What are the blues and are they still alive? This film explores that question through the story of George Messenger, owner of Clarksdale, Mississippi’s oldest running family business, Messenger’s Pool Hall. George tells his story from the bygone era of the sharecroppers and a street bustling with juke joints to the boarded up downtown of today. 2005. Directors: Ria Nurrachman and Jack McDonald. Narrative Short, 12:00. Sunday, Oct. 23, 5 p.m.

Mother’s Day

Two brothers battle fate and stupidity while burying their mother in the middle of the night. 2004. Director: Cliff Richhart. Narrative Short, 14:00.

Millworker

Documentary about a grassroots theatre production that told the true story of Southern cotton mill workers through oral histories and folk music, resulting in a profound effect on its cast members and audience while connecting them to their past. 2005. Director: Linda Booker. Documentary: 40:00. Thursday, Oct. 27, 8:30 p.m.

My Redneck Brain Cell

What is that unit of measurement for the spiciness of food? As Bill tries to figure this out, his brain cells argue over the answer. The outcome of this inner struggle is influenced by one lone cell: The Redneck. 2005. Director: Matthew Cornwell. Narrative Short, 7:10. Saturday, Oct. 22, 3 p.m. and Monday, Oct. 24, 6:30 p.m.

The National Hollerin’ Contest

The title says it all. Director: Philip Brubaker. Narrative Short, 5:43. Saturday, Oct. 22, 3 p.m. and Monday, Oct. 24, 6:30 p.m. Filmmaker scheduled to attend.

Phil Armonik

A janitor in the music building of a university eases the boredom of his daily toil by journeying into his memory and imagination through music.

2000. Director: Benjamin Epps. Experimental, 21:00.

Oceanfront Property

One week. One beach house. One girl who left you at the altar. What would you do? Winner of the Audience Award at the 2005 Texas Film Festival and Best Feature at the 2005 Magnolia Independent Film Festival. 2004. Director: Joe Scott. Narrative Feature, 105:00. Sunday, Oct. 23, 1 p.m.

Occupation Dreamland

A melancholy portrait of a squad of the US Army's 82nd Airborne – based in Ft. Bragg, SC – deployed in the doomed Iraqi city of Falluja during the winter of 2004. A collective study of the squad unfolds as they cope with an environment of low-intensity conflict and confusion creeping steadily towards catastrophe. The result is a revealing, sometimes surprising look at Army life, operations and the complexity of American war in the 21st century. 2005. Directors: Garrett Scott and Ian Olds. Documentary. 78:00. Sunday, Oct. 23, 3 p.m.

Orpheus

A modern retelling of the classic Greek myth. A Memphis rock start must travel to the underworld in an attempt to bring his dead wife back from the grave. Incorporating magical realism, Memphis music, and homage to previous versions of the story, Orpheus is at once classic and modern, in style and substance. IS rock dead? 2005. Director: Joel T. Rose. HT Narrative Short, 30:00. Sunday, Oct. 23, 9 p.m. and Tuesday, Oct. 25, 6:30 p.m. Filmmaker scheduled to attend.

The Other Side of the Pillow

Basically what happens between bumps on the head. Callahan and Millings are two opposites co-existing in the same sphere. When they are forced to connect on a personal level, their realities collide, creating a disjointed authenticity to their otherwise tedious routines. In the mundane existence we call life, is change really possible? Is it accepted? Would anyone even notice? Wow, that’s deep…now, wake up. 2005. Director: Sarah Fleming. HT Narrative Short, 21:18. Sunday, Oct. 23, 9 p.m. and Tuesday, Oct. 25, 6:30 p.m.

Pickle Power

Douglas Goldberg faces the constant horror of disappointing his brilliant family and shaming their “Wall of Fame.” Despite his best efforts, Douglas always comes up short, losing the blue ribbon to the uber-perfect Jordan White. That is, until he comes upon an ad for the State Pickle Eating Contest, and realizes his love for pickles could win back his family’s love for him. 2005. Director: Benjamin Epps. Narrative Short, 19:56. Saturday, Oct. 22, 3 p.m. and Monday, Oct. 24, 6:30 p.m. Filmmaker scheduled to attend.

Postcards

A recently widowed, elderly woman is revisited by her past when she receives postcards forged by a well-meaning postman. 2003. Director: Benjamin Epps. Narrative Short, 19:00. Saturday, Oct. 22, 9 p.m. and Wednesday, Oct. 26, 8:30 p.m.

Prayers from Pelham

A small Southern town pays a dying woman to deliver their prayers to God. 2005. Director: Ruckus Skye. Narrative Short, 27:00. Saturday, Oct. 22, 9 p.m. and Wednesday, Oct. 26, 8:30 p.m.

A Program of Films from Bill Brown

A retrospective of experimental documentary filmmaker Bill Brown, noted by critics as one of America’s leading new cinematic voices. Sunday, Oct. 23, 1 p.m.

Raccoon

Based on a short story by Richard Chiappone. Tells the story of two young men hunting on a cold winter day in 1968. When something from their past reveals itself, the incident threatens to have deadly consequences for both. 2004. Director: Trey Nelson. Narrative Short, 18:35. Saturday, Oct. 22, 9 p.m. and Wednesday, Oct. 26, 8:30 p.m.

The Rest of Your Life

It’s been two years since Alex Young graduated from college, and she is still living in the same city with the same boyfriend and the same job. Seeing that it is time for her to become the adult that college had originally promised to make her, Alex joins the ranks of today’s young adults – the Boomerang Generation – and moves back home. Home, however is no longer what it used to be. 2004. Director: Will Clegg. Narrative feature, 108:00. Saturday, Oct. 22, 7 p.m. Filmmaker scheduled to attend.

Riverside

Life is beautiful. Love is the answer. Maybe so. But it’s only when something bad happens that we remember…on a warm summer day, beside a lazy river, one 0young woman gets a final reminder. 2005. Director: Todd Tinkham. Narrative Short, 11:45. Saturday, Oct. 22, 9 p.m. and Wednesday, Oct. 26, 8:30 p.m. Filmmaker scheduled to attend.

San Quentin

Need new synopsis.2005. Director: Geoffrey Brent Shrewsbury. HT Narrative Short, 3:00.

Santa Claus vs. the Goblins of Halloweenville

One Christmas Eve, Santa had to take a confrontational

and scary route delivering toys. 2005. Director: Albert Brown, Jr. Animation. 7:00. Filmmaker scheduled to attend.

Say Yes Quickly

The story of a love triangle centered around a mixed-up young writer. Consumed by the loss of her father, Hannah Everland logs onto the internet and logs out of her life. While in cyberspace, she is seduced by a mysterious mentor who calls himself @LIEN. A contemporary Southern Gothic love story, directed by a producer of the Blair Witch Project. 2004. Director: Gregg Hale. Narrative Feature, 88:00. Sunday, Oct. 23, 7 p.m.

Schiavo

The nervous system of Terri Schiavo as compared to the severed head of a Russian canine. 2005. Director: Brett Hanover. Experimental, 10:00. Filmmaker scheduled to attend.

Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus

A road trip through the rural South – with its prisons, churches, truck stops, juke joints, and swamps – conducted by folksinger Jim White, who is “trying to find the gold tooth in God’s crooked smile.” Winner of the Jury Award for Best Documentary, Seattle Film Festival. 2004. Director: Andrew Douglas. Documentary, 82:00. Sunday, Oct. 23, 5 p.m.

Silence of Mind

Dark drama tells the story of a young man haunted by childhood memories of any abusive father who lurks in his nightmares. Not certain of what is dream and what is reality, and guided by his childhood self, he must confront his past in order to find hope for his future. 2005. Director: Anthony Flessas. HT Narrative Feature, 72:00. Monday, Oct. 24, 9 p.m. Filmmaker scheduled to attend.

Slow Down, You’re Dating Too Fast

Synopsis to come. Synopsis to come. Synopsis to come. Synopsis to come. Synopsis to come. Synopsis to come. Synopsis to come. Synopsis to come. Synopsis to come. Synopsis to come. Synopsis to come. Synopsis to come. 2005. Director: David Lee. Wednesday, Oct. 26, 6:30 p.m. Filmmaker scheduled to attend.

Snap

After his parents are brutally murdered, a ten year-old boy named Cambridge must fight for his life. But when his parent’s murderer, an assassin, and two detectives, are hot on his trail, which is easier said than done. 2005. Director: Andrew Muto. Narrative Feature, 89:00. Wednesday, Oct. 26, 8:30 p.m.

Son Up

Shadd Johnson returns to his dead end, rural hometown after months spent locked up in juvenile hall, and faces the emotional challenges of putting his life back together. 2005. Director: Andrew Shearer. Narrative Short, 23:00.

The Southern Jewish Store

Portrait of the last Jewish retail store in downtown Winston-Salem, the family that has owned it for generation, and the loyal customers, both black and white. 2002. Director: Donna Schatz. Documentary, 28:32. Tuesday, Oct. 25, 6:30 p.m.

The Telling Takes Me Home

Music and memory tell the story of Guy and Candie Carawan, activists and folk singers who have carried their work from the deep South of the Civil Rights movement into today’s daunting struggle for peace. Interweaving past and present, the filmmaker integrates her own reflections on growing up in a rich musical and political landscape with her parents’ views on race relations, community organizing, and the sustaining power of song. 2005. Director: Heather Carawan (San Francisco, CA). Documentary, 28:26. Thursday, Oct. 27, 8:30 p.m.

This Is What Love in Action Looks Like

A 16 year-old Bartlett, TN teen tells his parents he’s gay. They tell him they are going to send him to a place that will make him straight. He writes in pain, in detail, about his fears about what this will do to him in his online blog. Just days later, a protest starts and suddenly the national media is quoting his fragile words on prime time TV. The true story of a modern-day message in a bottle. 2005. Director: Morgan Jon Fox. HT Documentary, 60:00. Monday, Oct. 24, 6:30 p.m. Filmmaker scheduled to attend.

Travis Love

Introducing Travis Love, a southern construction worker whose calloused hands and rugged disposition only reinforce his role as the family breadwinner. Travis is a man of few words but many talents. Wheen hs wife leaves town one day, Mr. Love further reveals why he is the undisputed head of household. 2005. Director: Aaron Boyette. Narrative Short, 5:51. Saturday, Oct. 22, 3 p.m. and Monday, Oct. 24, 6:30 p.m.

William Eggleston in the Real World

In 1976, William Eggleston’s hallucinatory, Faulknerian images were featured in the Museum of Modern Art’s first one-man exhibition of color photographs. He has been called “the beginning of modern color photography” and “one of the most significant figures in contemporary photography”. It is rare for an artist of such stature to allow himself to be shown as unguardedly as Eggleston does in this intimate portrait, filmed in Kentucky, Los Angeles and New York, with particular attention to downtime in Memphis. The film shows a deep connection between Eggleston’s enigmatic personality and his groundbreaking work, and also reveals his parallel commitments as a musician, draftsman and videographer. A sphinx-like renegade, Eggleston at age 65 has become an icon and inspiration. 2005. Director: Michael Almereyda. Documentary, 86:00. Sunday, Oct. 23, 5 p.m. Filmmaker scheduled to attend.

Youth Showcase

Program features works of Southern youth ages 18 and under. Saturday, Oct. 22, 1 p.m.

On the set of "Black Snake Moan"

John Beifuss of the CA takes us on a tour:


The Paramount representatives who were on set early in the production are gone, and now "they're not paying any attention to us," said [producer John] Singleton.

"We're really being left alone and we're really being respected," said [director Craig] Brewer.

He learned a lot on "Hustle," he said, but "I've found I'm learning even more now," like "when to get out of the way," a necessity on a large shoot as compared with the hands-on approach of his earlier features.

Monday, October 10, 2005

"Forty Shades": an invitation

Here's an invitation from Adam Hohenberg, associate producer of "Forty Shades of Blue," especially to readers of memphis . cool . movies:

Dear All --


I would like to invite you to go see “Forty Shades of Blue” while it is still playing in Midtown at Studio on the Square.

Sounds of a train, the Mississippi River, Sam Phillips, Jim Dickinson, Willie Mitchell, the '70s, that Dark-End-of-the-Street feeling you get in Memphis, the one that inspires you or can make you feel all alone. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? These are some of things that inform the film, the reason that the very city itself is a character in “Forty Shades of Blue. As Rip Torn has said, “I always wanted to make a film in Memphis. The history of the city and the name itself-- it’s a mythical place.”

We hope that you enjoy the film and that you will tell others to go see it.

Many thanks,

Adam

----
Forty Shades web site
Malco schedule at Studio on the Square
(and see the posting below for a link to complete production notes for the movie)
----------

Here is a statement from director Ira Sachs on what Forty Shades of Blue is made of:

  • Other movies I’ve seen.
  • A barbecue by a swamp I went to with my family when I was a kid.
  • A painting the set dresser found at an Estate Sale.
  • A fight I got into with one of the actors just before “action.”
  • The face of a man I saw at a bar when I was scouting locations.
  • The night I saw Rip Torn introduce Coming Apart at the Cinema Village in New York.
  • The hours I spent as a kid driving around Memphis with my father in his 1971 Cadillac convertible.
  • The time I started crying watching Fran├žois Truffaut’s The Soft Skin alone in a movie theater.
  • The video of Green Day’s “The Time of Your Life” that made me decide to hire the guy who shot it as my cinematographer.
  • The blind date I went on to see Satyajit Ray’s Charulata (which I later loosely re-made as Forty Shades of Blue).
  • The conversation I had with Dina Korzun, the lead actress in the movie, about how much we both love Isabelle Huppert.
  • A dress the costume designer borrowed from Diane von Furstenberg’s archive.
  • The Ken Loach retrospective I saw at Lincoln Center that taught me that you can still achieve realism, maybe even more so, without having to shoot a movie hand held.
  • Another retrospective I saw at Lincoln Center of all the films of Maurice Pialat.
  • An afternoon I spent in Mississippi with the legendary Memphis music producer, Jim Dickinson, watching him teach Rip how to play the piano better.
  • The screaming match I got into with some of my financiers about how many close-ups I was, or was not, going to shoot.
  • The week I spent in Bristol, England, with the film’s composer, Dickon Hinchliffe.
  • The tulip magnolia blossoms that happened to be in bloom in front of the house we were shooting in.
  • A lost trove of soul classics written and produced by Bert Berns.
  • The willingness of his family to let us use them in the movie.
  • A still I have on my wall of Brigitte Bardot in Contempt. Another one of Monica Vitti.
  • The many nights I spent as a teenager at George’s, the gay disco in Memphis.
  • The years I spent in psychoanalysis.
  • The ruthless and accurate advice my co-writer and I got at the Sundance
  • Writer’s Lab from Stewart Stern, the screenwriter of Rebel Without a Cause.
  • The day I spent with actor Darren Burrows at the house he lives in with his wife and four sons on an avocado farm outside of L.A.
  • The books of Patricia Highsmith that taught me that all storytelling is about creating mystery, even when you are making a love story.
  • The time I heard Johnny Cash sing “Forty Shades of Green” on the car radio.
  • The fear that I might never make another film.
  • The sound of trains in Memphis, which you can’t ever stop from blaring right in the middle of a take.
  • Every movie ever shot by Raoul Coutard.
  • A woman I once met that I wasn’t nice to.

More homework for Wednesday

This is from a story in the Nashville Business Journal showing the latest thinking by state officials regarding film incentives.

The law created the committee and future incentives for visual content production in the state, including film, television, cell-phone downloads, computers and commercials.

In addition, incentives may attract more video gaming companies to the state and increase soundtrack production work. The group's findings, recommendations and proposed legislative changes will be presented to the governor and Legislature by Feb. 1.

David Bennett, executive director of Tennessee Film, Entertainment & Music Commission and chairman of the committee, says one incentive might be a tax rebate for the purchase of high-definition equipment.

Among matters discussed at the meeting in Nashville in late September were making the executive director position permanent, crafting educational programs in the state, providing incentives for music and film businesses that already exist in the state, and offering health care insurance and worker's compensation to visual-content employees.


And this is from the Knoxville News-Sentinel via MSNBC regarding the Knoxville hearing a couple of weeks earlier than the Nashville meeting:

While Tennessee has played host to more than 200 film and television projects in the past two decades, it struggles to compete with neighboring states because they have stronger incentive packages.

Bennett said the committee is looking at adopting a multitiered plan that could completely replace the state's current economic incentive package that offers a sales and use tax rebate for out-of-state companies that spend at least $500,000 on a production in Tennessee.

The new plan could offer a credit based on how much a company spends in the state and not based on its gross production budget. If a company uses local workers, it could receive another level of incentives, he said.

The committee also is considering some relief in the form of a sales tax rebate to companies making the switch to high-definition.


There was also this interesting aspect reported in the Knoxville newspaper:

Michael Barnes, film commissioner of the East Tennessee Television and Film Commission, acknowledged that some people from the "corporate level" (Knoxville television executives) have approached the local commission and encouraged it "not to spend a lot of time to bring in movies to the area."

That's because television producers rely heavily on freelancers who are often recruited away when a feature film comes to town leaving them struggling to complete contracts and projects.


Would this be a problem here?

Do your homework before Wednesday

The following information is from the Louisiana Film & Television site. This is why Hollywood's accountants are sending productions down there.


EMPLOYMENT / LABOR TAX CREDIT

The new law provides that until July 1, 2006, a motion picture production company is entitled to a tax credit for the employment of La. residents in connection with production of a nationally distributed motion picture, video, television series, or commercial made in Louisiana.

The credit is equal to 10% of the total aggregate payroll for residents employed in connection with such production when total production costs in Louisiana equal or exceed $300,000 but less than $1 million during the taxable year. The credit shall be equal to 20% of the total aggregate payroll for residents employed in connection with such production when total production costs in Louisiana equal or exceed $1 million during the taxable year.

SALES AND USE TAX EXCLUSION

The new law grants an exclusion from state sales and use tax (4%) until January 1, 2007.

The production company will be granted the "exclusion" if it reports anticipated expenditures of $250,000 or more from a checking account in a financial institution in Louisiana in connection with filming or production of one or more nationally distributed motion pictures, videos, television series, or commercials in the state of Louisiana within any consecutive 12-month period.

INVESTOR TAX CREDIT

The new law grants a tax credit against state income tax for taxpayers domiciled and headquartered in Louisiana.

The objective of this tax credit is to attract private investment for the production of nationally distributed feature length films, videos, television programs, or commercials made in Louisiana, in whole or in part for theatrical or television viewing or as a television pilot.

The investor shall earn the tax credit at the time of such investment.

If the total base investment is greater than $300,000 and less or equal to $8 million dollars, each taxpayer shall be allowed a tax credit of 10% of the actual investment made by that taxpayer.

If the total base investment is greater than $8 million dollars, each taxpayer shall be allowed a tax credit of 15% of the investment made by that taxpayer.

"Act One" at Indie Memphis

Here's another Memphis flick picked for the fest: The feature length narrative "Act One," described as
a comedy-drama that relays the story of Kevin Hansen, a confident, immature twenty-two year old screenwriter. More info is here. The Indie Memphis screening is going to be Thursday, October 27

Wednesday: Clear your calendar

If you want to work in movies in Tennessee, you need to attend this public hearing Wednesday afternoon. This is your chance to tell the state how you feel about Tennessee granting incentives to Hollywood moviemakers that are competitive with what Louisiana is doing. Memphis is hosting "Black Snake Moan" right now and that'll be it for the rest of the year. Shreveport is hosting five productions with more lined up for 2006.

It matters.

It's time for Indie Memphis

Indie Memphis is supposed to post the lineup today for the Oct. 21-27 festival. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, we know of a few already: "Slow Down ... You're Dating Too Fast" as we previously announced will screen on Oct. 26. And the MeDiA Co-op blog says Morgan Jon Fox's "AwayAwake" screens on Oct. 25, Andrew Nenninger's "Bright Sunny South" on the 23rd and 25th, and Morgan's documentary "What Does Love In Action Look Like: a preface" on the 24th.


The Compleat Forty Shades Manual

The "Forty Shades of Blue" production notes are here.

Friday, October 7, 2005

Improv workshop

One day only with NYC Improv coach, Karen Herr, from 2:00 - 4:30 p.m. at Germantown Community Theatre this Saturday. The fee is $20. Call to hold a spot 754-2680.

Scene study and looking for young country singer

Acting workshop, Scene Study and more with Lisa Lax for adults and mature teens will be this Sunday from 3-5 p.m. at Southwest Tennessee Community College. It's ongoing-join in anytime. To get there: Exit Sycamore View off I40; take Macon Cove Rd. to Parrish Building Room 5

This Sunday the cost will be $20.00 for everyone. Confirm if you're attending, so I can pull a scene for you.

Lisa Lax: actlink@aol.com

Also I'm looking for a 14-16 year-old country music singer if you can pass the word.

Thursday, October 6, 2005

The one meeting you need to attend

If you care anything about making or being in movies made in Tennessee, then you should make every effort to attend this public hearing. There is a talent drain going from here to Louisiana because of the incentives offered by that state (see post below regarding Shreveport).

Here's the info on next week's public hearing:

The newly formed State Film Production Advisory Committee will hold its third public hearing in the state in Memphis on Wednesday, October 12, to discuss the law that created the Committee and to investigate possibilities for future film and television incentives in the State.

It's at the Botanical Gardens, 750 Cherry Road from 2–4 p.m. Producer/director/actor David Keith will be at the hearing. A reception from 5-6 p.m. with committee members will be held at the Botanic Gardens immediately after.

Along with East Tennessee Television & Film Commissioner Mike Barnes, Linn Sitler, Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commissioner since 1987, will sit as an ex-officio member on the panel.
According to Sitler, “I am thrilled that state government has taken such a strong and visible step as the formation of this committee. Although Memphis & Shelby County have pushed for the passage of incentives the last two legislative sessions, this will be the first session where we have the strength of The Governor’s Office behind us. I predict that the Administration’s support will make a huge difference.”

David J. Bennett, Executive Director of the Tennessee Film, Entertainment and Music Commission will chair the Committee and will be joined by Matthew H. Kisber, Commissioner of Economic and Community Development and Susan H. Whitaker, Commissioner of Tourist Development. Other members appointed by Governor Bredesen to represent the film and television industries are:

--Martin Clayton: Vice President, Operations, Administration, CMT and Vice President, Digital Media, General Manager, CMT.com.

--Mitchell Galin: Producer, is a veteran filmmaker with an extensive filmography in both television movies/specials and theatrical motion pictures.

--Ted Hatfield: Director of Film Marketing, Regal Entertainment Group.

--Isaac Singleton: Principal of an award-winning television production company, Memphis’ Spotlight Productions.

The Committee has been directed by Governor Bredesen to study film and television production in Tennessee, determine the economic impact of film and television on the State, and evaluate incentives now being offered by the State as well as those offered by neighboring states. The Committee will report its findings along with its recommendations and proposed legislative changes to the Governor and members of the Legislature by February 1, 2006. The initial Public Hearing was held in Knoxville September 14, the second Hearing was held in Nashville September 28.

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

From New Orleans to Shreveport

Six major projects will be filmed in Shreveport. La. in coming months. Crew members displaced from New Orleans have relocated there at least for a while. Although it's expected that New Orleans will eventually bounce back as the state's film production capital, a story by Cristina Rodriguez in the Shreveport Times newspaper reports that the northern Louisiana city is likely to benefit from long-term growth.

"Shreveport is a part of the state that we are all interested in developing -- the unions, the state film commission," said Mike McHugh, business agent for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 478, which covers Louisiana and southern Mississippi.

The 350-member union used to have its northernmost worker in Alexandria. Now crews are moving to Shreveport, and McHugh wants to build a strong member base here.

"The volume of work that's going to happen in the next six months is not going to happen forever, but I hope there will be a couple of projects going on in Shreveport forever," he said.

The Louisiana Institute of Film Technology, a production service company that works closely with the state, had been meaning to expand to the northern part of the state, said co-founder Kimberly Anderson. She expects that Shreveport will remain popular for production companies, especially once a group of investors finishes building a soundstage in the area.

"Now we can offer the full state as a production venue," she said. "By (productions) having to go to Shreveport, they can still get the look they want, the locations, and have everything they need. It gives outside producers an option of covering the state. Our goal is to keep it that way."

For now, though, the goal is to help companies complete their projects. Here's a look at what will keep the local film industry busy through the beginning of next year:

Project: "Chlorine," a movie through Mercer Films and Miranda Entertainment. Country club member becomes involved in a savings and loan scandal.

Status: Casting call happened Sunday. Filming Oct. 29 through Dec. 9. Expected to be out in fall 2006.

Stars: David Arquette, Ray Liotta and Julianna Margulies.

Local jobs generated: About 100 jobs expected with production.

Cost: Producer would not say.

Project: "Road House II," a movie being filmed using crews from LIFT. Nephew of Patrick Swayze's character in "Road House" has his own bar to defend.

Status: Filming to start Oct. 17, end before Thanksgiving.

Filming locations: Bars in small towns. Houses being scouted off of Caddo Lake.

Local jobs generated: 100-135, as with each LIFT production. Crew is staying at Stockwell Landing Luxury Apartments.

Cost: $5 million-$5.5 million

Project: "The Guardian," a movie being distributed through Disney. A Coast Guard enlistee is helped by a renowned rescue swimmer haunted by an accident.

Status: Filming to start about Dec. 5, end in the first week of March. Will be in wide release a year from now. About half of locations are secured, but this will be an ongoing process throughout the filming.

Filming locations: Classrooms, a swimming pool, houses and restaurants. The former BPCC campus will be used.

Stars: Ashton Kutcher and Kevin Costner.

Local jobs generated: A crew of more than 200 is expected. Union and non-union jobs will be offered with a preference for Louisiana residents, not necessarily from New Orleans. Resumes can be dropped off at the Clarion Hotel.

Cost: Producer would not say.

Project: "The Thief," a television series through FX Networks. The head of a robbery crew, though recently reformed, plans one final heist.

Status: Filming to start the third week of October. Five episodes will be shot, and parts of the pilot will be reshot.

Stars: Andre Braugher.

Project: "Factory Girl," a movie through LIFT. About Andy Warhol's muse.

Status: Shooting will start Nov. 28.

Filming locations: Warehouses, older parts of town that will be converted to look like New York.

Stars: Sienna Miller and Guy Pierce.

Cost: $8 million.

Project: "Premonition," a movie through LIFT. A housewife finds her husband is dead, then wakes up the next morning to find he's alive.

Status: Preproduction begins in two weeks. Filming likely to start in early 2006.

Stars: Sandra Bullock.

Cost: Just below $20 million.

Ira Sachs and "The Delta"


The MeDiA Co-op 1000 S. Cooper 901.278.9077

presents

THE DELTA (1996 85min)
directed by IRA SACHS, award winning filmmaker of "Forty Shades of Blue"

Ira's first feature film, shot in Memphis will screen at the MeDiA Co-op
Saturday October 15th 8pm
Sunday October 16th 6pm
$5 suggested donation

Plot Summary
Lincoln, who's not yet 18, leads a straight life most of the time: he has a girl friend, goes to dances, jokes with guys. But he also has a secret life, in which he's drawn to dark places where he has sex with men he doesn't know. One night, while visiting a gay video arcade, he connects with John, a Vietnamese-born gay man, in his 20s probably, whose father was an African-American US soldier. John invites Lincoln to spend some carefree time with him, and Lincoln takes him to his father's boat. John then convinces Lincoln to take the boat into the Mississippi delta, where setting off some fireworks out of season precipitates betrayal and revenge.

Sunday, October 2, 2005

"Slow Down ..." in the Indie Memphis Film Festival

Filmmaker David Lee (Triple Sticks Productions) says his movie "Slow Down ... You're Dating Too Fast" has been accepted for the Indie Memphis Film Festival and will be screened October 26th at 6:30 p.m.

It's an all-local production -- cast, crew and locations -- that came together earlier this year with a Herculean effort by David. Congratulations.

Five grand

A widescreen thank you to all of you for visiting and telling your friends. This site has now topped 5,000 hits in a little over two months.

This Wednesday: Thesps, Tramps, Figs and Clones at the Brooks

A reminder: It's an evening of creative delights at the "1st Wednesday" soiree at the Brooks museum on Oct. 5 -- this Wednesday.

Naturally, I want you to see "Someone to Call My Clone," a 25-minute comedy video written by Memphis Cool's alter ego and produced by Amber O'Daniels and a team of Meisner methodologists with grand hearts and commitment.

But if you won't come for that, then come to see and hear the astonishing Archer Records rockabilly royalty Amy LaVere, who will thump bass with her group, the Tramps.

And if you won't make it for Amy, then get over to check out "Inventing Van Gogh" vignettes by Playhouse on the Square -- a preview of a terrific collaboration blending art and theater featuring some of Memphis's best actors: Jonathon Lamer, John Maness, Brian Mott, Jeff Godsey and Joanna Lipman.

If none of this is enough for you -- and you should start feeling ashamed -- there will also be a guided tour of Fred Wilsons' Old Salem: A Family of Strangers in the museum itself.

But wait, there's more:

You can have dinner at the Brushmark with Petite Grilled Lamb Chops with Blueberry Shiraz Reduction, Lobster and Caviar Deviled Eggs, Grilled Figs with lardons, shaved Parmesan, and arugula greens.

All in one evening. Oct. 5, from 6-9 p.m.

It's presented by CB Richard Ellis and sponsored by Paulsen Printing. You get in free if you're a member of Brooks; $5 if you haven't joined yet. Call 544.6219.

Brewer on BSM: Week three

Craig Brewer has been kind enough to give memphis . cool . movies an occasional insight to how "Black Snake Moan" is going. Here's his comment on the process:
I am now in my 3rd week of filming and I can tell you it is a very different movie experience than "Hustle." I brought back the same family to make this one (the same artists, composers, producers, etc.) but we all want to make a "blues" movie, not a rap movie. The music has inspired the look and tone.