Saturday, November 15, 2008
Here's an excerpt from John Beifuss' story on a local production company:
"We put our funding toward production instead of bricks and mortar," said Bob Compton, 52, the Germantown millionaire who is the guiding force behind True South Studios, a new multimedia company that is poised to be one of Memphis' most active filmmaking houses.
Incorporated earlier this year, True South Studios recently opened an office Downtown in the EmergeMemphis facility at 516 Tennessee.
The partners in this production and distribution company are chief executive officer Compton, who made his fortune as a venture capitalist specializing in startup technology companies; vice president of operations Les Edwards, 52, a financial consultant and accountant (he handled the payroll for Craig Brewer's recent "$5 Cover" production) and longtime organizer of the Indie Memphis Film Festival; and creative director Dan Treharne, a young Memphis moviemaker who this year wraps up his graduate film studies at the University of Southern California.
Read the entire story here.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
In the increasingly competitive market of film-hungry states maneuvering to host Hollywood productions, the fertile region of Tennessee is making a pronounced bid for the showbiz green.
The Volunteer State has long been the filming locale for John Grisham epics, and Memphis native Craig Brewer's "Hustle & Flow" and "Black Snake Moan" were local productions, as was Johnny Cash biopic "Walk the Line."
But, thanks to dual incentive programs courtesy of the Tennessee Film Commission and the Dept. of Revenue that were enacted a year and a half ago, 2008 has seen efforts such as Disney's upcoming "Hannah Montana: The Movie," director Rod Lurie's "Nothing but the Truth" and indie Billy Graham biopic "Billy: The Early Years" hunkered down in Tennessee.
The incentive package was fostered by competition, says film commission project manager Bob Raines. "Tennessee was falling behind other states that were rolling out incentive programs, some of which are not as conservative as ours, but we're trying to build something that is long term and sustainable."
The dual program offers up to 17% refund from the Film Commission with an additional 15% distributed by the Dept. of Revenue. Productions coming to Tennessee get an immediate 13% rebate with 2% added for Tennessee music acquisition, and another 2% can be had if at least 25% of the production's crew is hired locally.
"It's important to know that these are cash rebates," Raines stresses. "Louisiana offers tax credits, where you lose money up front. With us, productions get a check straight from the government."
From the state side, 15% "is for film companies that establish a permanent headquarters in Tennessee and incur a minimum of $1 million in qualified Tennessee expenses," explains Dept. of Revenue spokesperson Sara Jo Houghland. "If a production company doesn't have a headquarters in state but spends $1 million, then a company's investor can receive the refund, as long as they're headquartered here. Also, other states require you to submit all of your receipts, where we'll look at a spreadsheet and take a statistical sample, which gets the rebate check into the producers' hands quicker."
And, while the Film Commission currently has $20 million to spend, the Dept. of Revenue's incentive budget is unlimited due to a law pushed through by Gov. Phil Bredesen. The state's low cost of living and lack of state income tax are also major pluses for visiting productions.
Terra firma attractions are "the three distinct topographies," Raines explains. "We're mountainous in the east with the Appalachians, middle Tennessee has urban Nashville and the rolling-hills look, and then there's Memphis, which is delta."
Knoxville is a savvy, multibillion-dollar cable hub, home to Scripps, River Media and Jupiter Entertainment, an area well versed in low-budget, high-quality HD, reality and musicvideo creation.
Tennessee projects slated for '09 include a music-based Paramount effort, an unnamed Screen Gems feature and a Nashville-based Craig Brewer film.
"Our goal is not to be a Michigan or a Louisiana with 80 productions happening," clarifies Raines of his state, which currently can crew two and a half deep. "We want to have five or six productions, and we want them to be perfect. And having a studio here in the state will make us more competitive. It's a great thing that we look forward to."
The wait may not be long, thanks to the proposed Browns Creek Media Village: a multiuse studio complex, retail space, hotel, 5,000-seat entertainment venue and film school potentially located at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds, a 117-acre site in Nashville.
For the rest of the Variety story, go here.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Actors, thespians, and starlets, leading ladies and lads, even the hams for the cams...
Corduroy Wednesday Films is seeking talent of the acting variety for an uber top-secret web series.
Okay, it's not so secret, it's called "The Conversion" and follows the downfall and post-apocalyptic world after the digital TV conversion on February 17th, 2009 goes horribly awry.
These "webisodes" will hit the internets from December 08 to February 09. We pay in fun, good times and tasty snack foods. Most roles will take a day. We need all makes and models but here's a few lead roles we need:
White Male 30's: Best described as Ryan Seacrest(ish)...
African-American Male 50's, 60's with a deep, soulful, radio DJ voice.
Female, any race, late teens to early 20's. A lonelygirl15 type gal.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with resumes, pics, availability, likes, dislikes, and just to let us know how you're doing today.
For those who we've yet to meet in the fine Memphis community, Corduroy Wednesday Films is a band of adroit and cocksure individuals who enjoy the fine art of independent filmmaking.
Recent works on our resume:
L'Hippopotame Vert FTW! (Winner Li'l Film Fest 8, screened @ Indie Memphis 2008)
Grim Sweeper (Premiered at Indie Memphis 2006)
And a few other cinematic samples are swimming about in cyberspace...
See ya on the www,
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Monday, November 03, 2008
If you have one like this and can spare it for the shoot, please contact him at 859-4622.
It should look "lived in". It's about an older couple, the wife having Alzheimer disease. James Buchanan is the cinematographer and the actors are Don Meyers, Helen Bowman and Larry Bonds plays the son.