Thursday, May 14, 2009

Red West in the acclaimed 'Goodbye Solo'

Red West -- actor, teacher and influence for many local film people -- stars in the critically acclaimed indie "Goodbye Solo" premiering in Memphis Friday at the Ridgeway. I saw the film and Red at the Toronto Film Festival last September and he and the film by Ramin Bahrani are terrific.
Here's John Beifuss' story in the CA with a link to my video interview.
After a half-century in movies and television programs, Red West probably is better known as a longtime friend of Elvis and key member of the so-called "Memphis Mafia" than as an actor.

That perception is changing, however, thanks to West's new movie, "Goodbye Solo," which opens Friday at Malco's Ridgeway Four.

West will introduce the film before its first evening screening (7:25 p.m.) and will answer questions afterward.

An independent production that has earned rave reviews (The Washington Post this month dubbed it one of the "Top 5 Most Anticipated" movies of the season), "Goodbye Solo" gives the former Memphian top billing and the first lead role of his career, at an age when other actors are considering -- or being forced into -- retirement.
For the full story, go here.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Kudos for local documentary

Memphis Documentary Wins Film Festival Grand Prize

“I Am a Man: From Memphis, A Lesson in Life” received the Best Documentary award and Grand Prize at the Cape Fear Independent Film Festival held in Wilmington, North Carolina, last weekend. The modern-day look at the legacy of the Memphis sanitation workers who went on strike in 1968 is a Memphis Tourism Foundation project produced in partnership with Running Pony Productions and Old Bridge Media. The documentary has aired locally on WKNO-TV, and can be downloaded or ordered on DVD at The website also contains additional material, and will soon include a companion curriculum guide for educators who wish to use the film as a teaching tool.

The 9th annual Cape Fear Independent Film Festival was the largest to date. The festival received more than 100 entries, and screened 54 films. “’I Am a Man’ is a powerful and moving film,” says Festival Director Jenn Goodman. “Before I saw it, I was completely unaware of the Memphis sanitation workers’ strike. So it’s a film I’m definitely glad I got to see.”

Since its completion in March, "I Am a Man" has begun appearing at film festivals nationwide. Besides its screening in Wilmington, the film was also an official selection at last weekend's Marfa Film Festival, in Marfa, Texas. Its next scheduled screening will be on Saturday, June 13 at the Breckenridge Festival of Film in Breckenridge, Colo.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Seeing the Truth

Here's John Beifuss at the CA on the DVD release of Memphis-filmed "Nothing But the Truth."

Rod Lurie, writer and director of "Nothing But the Truth," rejects the increasingly prevalent notion that watching a movie is an activity that's somehow more enjoyable after one has "turned off" one's brain.

"You definitely have to turn your brain on when you see my film," Lurie said from his Hollywood office. "I don't think that's such a bad thing."

Read the whole story here.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Weekly acting classes

Weekly Adult Acting Classes

Rooted in the Meisner technique and Michael Shurtleff’s Guidepost this class will use both scene study as well as industry sides to strengthen the actor’s skills. Through working on scenes and sides of different genres actors will be able to discover their strengths and weaknesses. The class will also focus on the process of the entertainment industry from picking a headshot to auditioning.

A few key skills you will learn:
‐creating real emotion (laughter, crying, etc.)
‐relating to your scene partner

Classes will be held at House of Talent, 714 N Germantown Pkwy, Cordova, TN 38018
Phone 901-527-9263
Tuesdays 7:00-8:30

Actors must sign up for classes the Friday before
$35 per class or $120 for 4 classes
Minimum class size 4
Ages 16+

Abby Elzemeyer: Attended Interlochen Arts Academy, NYU Tisch, and University of Alabama as a theater and film production major.
Worked in the education department at the Denver Center for Performing Arts.
-Has taught in the Theater Department of the University of Memphis as well as the Extended Education Program.
-Works locally as a talent agent & casting director for ETA.

For more information and to reserve your spot in the class call ETA at 901­527­9263

Extras for music video

Johnny Lee will be shooting his first music video and needs extras.

When: Sunday, May 10
Time: 10pm - until
Where: TGI Fridays
7733 Winchester Rd and Hacks Crossing
Attire: Nightclub Chic

For more information, please contact Johnny at
901-336-8206 (Cell)
901-752-1369 (Fridays)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Filmmaker workshop

Attention Filmmakers!!

LFM's Filmmaker Workshop #1 - Saturday, May 9th, 2009
Basic File Preparation and Exporting your Film for Festival Submission.

This workshop will be led by Jacob Abart, a video production and multi-media specialist, and will focus on the following subjects/issues:
aspect ratio
converting from HD (or HDV) to DV/NTSC
frame rates
If you've ever had a hard time exporting your film, or even if you just want to learn more about the process this workshop is for you! Subjects will be addressed on both Mac and PC platforms.

The workshop will be held Saturday, May 9th from 2 to 4pm at Powerhouse Memphis. The fee is $20 per person, but ONLY $10 if you've submitted a film to Li'l Film Fest before.

For questions please contact me!

Sarah Fleming
Live From Memphis
PHONE: 901.523.9763
Memphis Music, Film and the Arts.
We support and promote local
Memphis musicians, filmmakers,
artists, and industry professionals
who are the lifeblood of our city.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Lovely By Surprise

A trailer for Lovely By Surprise: filmed in and around Memphis. Coming soon on DVD!

MIM salutes Chile

Indie Memphis and Memphis in May Salute Chile with “Cinema of Chile”

MEMPHIS, Tennessee – Indie Memphis and Memphis in May present “Cinema of Chile” as part of Memphis in May’s Salute to Chile.

At 7:30 pm on Thursday, May 7th at the Brooks Museum of Art, Indie Memphis and Memphis in May present “Short Films from Chile,” an evening of award-winning Chilean short films representing the best in Chilean cinema as selected by the Santiago International Film Festival. In Spanish with English subtitles.

What: Short Films from Chile
When: 7:30 pm, Thursday, May 7th
Where: Brooks Museum of Art
Admission: $5 / Free for Indie Memphis members

At 7:00 pm on Thursday, May 14th and Thursday, May 21st at Malco’s Studio on the Square, Indie Memphis and Memphis in May present the acclaimed Chilean feature “Machuca” on 35mm film. Recognized as one of the best Chilean films in history, “Machuca” tells the story of a young boy thrust from his poverty-stricken home to an elite private school and a privileged life-style. The complicated contrasts between the two worlds unfold as the boy befriends his well-to-do classmates – all in the background of a politically turbulent 1973 Chile. In Spanish with English subtitles.

What: Machuca
When: 7:00 pm, Thursday, May 14th and Thursday, May 21st
Where: Malco’s Studio on the Square
Admission: $5 / Free for Indie Memphis members

For more about Memphis in May’s Salute to Chile, please visit

For more about Indie Memphis and to learn about Indie Memphis’ new membership program, please visit or call (901) 251-5171.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Getting Hollywood to Memphis

Interesting story here on filmmaking in Memphis - ranked high as a good city to film in - from

For those who toil within Memphis' economic development sector, the impressive ranking can be summarized in two words: local incentives. For example, Memphis officials offered an incentive package valued at $500,000 (in real estate and storage space), which helped entice the production company involved with the 2004 Walk the Line filming effort to choose the Bluff City over Shreveport.

"Although our incentives on the state level can be competitive, [the state] cannot offer all of the benefits of some of the other states' incentives," says Sharon Fox O'Guin, deputy commissioner of the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission (MSCFTC). O'Guinn and MSCFTC Commissioner Linn Sitler, who oversees Memphis/Shelby County incentives efforts, have a combined 45 years of film industry experience. "That is where our local government has really stepped up and offered the wage refund program that not only allows a monetary incentive to outside productions, but trains the local crew to help them move up the ladder in the production world."

With the wage refund program, filmmakers can receive a state filming incentive consisting of a 32% cash refund of qualified in-state spending, as well as a city/county filming incentive of a 50% cash refund of wages of qualified local crew trainees.