Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Memphis rises in MovieMaker rankings

Memphis Mayor Willie W. Herenton, Shelby County Mayor AC Wharton, Jr. and James Tashie, Chairman of the Board of The Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission announce that MovieMaker Magazine has ranked Memphis No. 8 of "The 25 best cities in the U.S. to ride it out as an independent moviemaker this year."

Tashie, senior vice-president of Malco Theatres, Inc., says Memphis’ success is "a combination of the hard work of not only Linn Sitler and Sharon Fox O’Guin of The Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission but also the efforts of The Tennessee Film, Entertainment and Music Commission." Tashie also credits the ‘feeling of investment’ of local businesses, government officials, production crew, and citizens.

Memphis’ selection for the 2009 list marks not only its fourth consecutive year on the list, but a jump from its No. 10 rating last year to No. 8. Shreveport and Atlanta are the only other Southern cities to make the Top 10.

During the last year, both state and local cash refunds enhanced local recruitment efforts. Rod Lurie’s feature "Nothing But the Truth" was the first film to shoot in Tennessee under the new state/city/county filming incentives programs. The production received the state filming incentive of 32 percent cash refund of qualified in-state spend and the city/county filming incentive of 50 percent cash refund of wages of local crew trainees.

The innovative Memphis & Shelby County Film Training Program originated through the local film commission and was funded by The Memphis City Council and The Shelby County Commission.

Both Craig Brewer’s soon-to-be-launched MTV webseries, "$5 Cover," and Julius Lewis’ feature film, "N-Secure" will receive not only state filming incentives, but also a 50 percent cash wage refund for providing on-the-job training to individual Memphis and/or Shelby County residents. More than a dozen crew members in these projects were trained in the local program.

In the future, the local public/private economic development agency, Memphis ED, will support several special economic development efforts through grants to the local film commission.

Memphis ED official Reid Dulberger says, “This award shows that we continue to move in the right direction, and that the leadership provided by the City, County, and the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission is paying dividends for our community.”

“It’s good to know that the hard work and efforts of the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission are being recognized nationally,” said Herenton. Added Wharton, “I am thrilled that MovieMaker Magazine is continuing to recognize the benefits of our distinctive culture and diverse character.”

Tennessee Film Commissioner Perry Gibson says, “We enjoy partnering with The Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission to increase film production in the state. We congratulate Memphis on making it to #8.”

Friday, January 16, 2009


Matthew Bowling is holding auditions Thursday, January 22 and Friday, January 23 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM. They are at the University of Memphis Theatre and Communication building room 207.

Shooting is scheduled for Febuary 28th, March 1st, 7th, and 8th.

There is no pay but actors will receive a movie credit, copy of the film when finished, and be fed on set. They can contact me at

The roles are for 2 males (who play between 22-28), 1 male (plays late 30's to early 40's), 1 male (plays late 20's to early 30's), 1 female (plays late 20's to early 30's), and 1 female (plays early 20's to mid 20's). The final femal is also supposed to be a trophy wife.

LiveFromMemphis 3.0 -- tonight

This Friday, we're going to have a huge birthday bash / site relaunch for Live From Memphis!!!! Everyone is invited to check out the new site and get your party on with tons of Memphis artists, musicians, and filmmakers!!!

Friday, Jan. 16th
Meet ~n~ Greet from 7-10 PM, party all night with DJ Witness (from Lord T and Eloise)
Located at the Live From Memphis Studio
1 S. Main St.
(on the corner of Madison and Main)

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Li'l Film Fest: It's Alive!

Live From Memphis™ Presents LI’L FILM FEST 9: Memphis – Fact or Fiction?

MEMPHIS (January 6, 2009) – Live From Memphis announces the re-launch of the LI'L FILM FEST with its 9th edition: Memphis – Fact or Fiction? That’s right, it’s back and it’s gonna be better that ever thanks to our new partnership with the Memphis Tourism Foundation and collaboration with Indie Memphis!

Over the next couple of months, we invite all Memphis-area filmmakers to make some films focused on the theme, “Memphis – Fact or Fiction?” Memphis has a rich history, and it’s not just about the music. Did you know that Memphis is the site of the largest North American earthquake on record (1811); it’s the birthplace of George “Machine Gun” Kelly (1895); and home to the slow-moving, ice cream car – the “MerryMobile” (1954-73)? Sometimes, however, a recounting of history may not be as accurate as you would hope… Did you ever hear the story about the prominent Memphis neighborhood rumored to have been built on a toxic waste dump? Whatever happened to the Memphis manatee? And what’s the deal with VooDoo Village? So do some research, dig up some obscure Memphis history and tell us about it… or if you’re too lazy, you could always just make something up, but it should be believable! We want to test our audience, is it fact or fiction?

Hey, wait! Before you run out to make that award winning short film, there are a couple of things different this time around that we’d like you to know about:

First, we are pleased to announce that this year’s Li’l Film Fests are being made possible because of our recent partnership with Memphis Tourism Foundation.
"Live From Memphis is an important part of our region and a hub for the kind of creativity that Memphis is famous for. The Foundation is excited for this opportunity to support the work of Live From Memphis and to work together to improve the internal image of our city."
– Calvin Taylor, Executive Director, Memphis Tourism Foundation

Second, Indie Memphis has always been a great supporter of the Li’l Film Fest, and we are happy to announce that our relationship is growing. This year, all films submitted to the Li’l Film Fest will automatically be placed into consideration for the Annual Indie Memphis Film Festival, and any and all submission fees will be waived (Li’l Film Fest winners will still have an automatic slot in the festival as part of their prize package. Additionally, Indie Memphis has put together an out-of-town jury of industry professionals for the “Grand Jury Award.

Third, in addition to the “theme” there will be a “surprise ingredient” you will need to work into your film. This “surprise ingredient” will be revealed at our Li’l Film Fest Kick-off Party! Wednesday, January 28, 6-8pm at the LFM Studio – 1 S. Main St. 38103.

Lastly, we’re stepping up the awards. Our “Grand Jury Award” will be accompanied by a customized, thematic trophy and $500 in cash prizes presented by The Memphis & Shelby Co. Film & Television Commission and Indie Memphis. The “Audience Choice Award” will come with a trophy and the prize money is cash from the door, so the more people that come to the festival the bigger the pot!

The Short & Sweet:

Theme: Memphis – Fact or Fiction?

Duration: 5 minutes or less

Entry Deadline: Postmarked Feb 27, 2009 (in hand by Monday, March 2nd)

Kick off Party: Wednesday, January 28, 6-8pm (at the LFM Studio - 1 S. Main St. 38103)

Festival Date: Saturday, March 21st 2009 at 2pm

Festival Location: Brooks Museum of Art

Prizes: Grand Jury Award ($500); Audience Choice Award (door)
Li’l Film Fest is a quarterly, theme-based film festival, focusing on highlighting our local talent while showcasing interesting happenings around town. Our goal is to encourage and inspire Memphis filmmakers while engaging a local audience in order to strengthen our artistic community.

“How does Li’l Film Fest work?” It’s pretty easy. Basically, we here at LFM will pick a theme, then we’ll announce that theme to you, and then you get to go out and make a short video (or film if you want to be fancy) using that theme – the rest of the content is up to you.

“Why is it a ‘li’l’ fest?” Two reasons: One, we have one every quarter – that’s FOUR festivals a year. How fun is that? And two, when we say “li'l” we mean it - your film must be 5 minutes or less.

“Is there anything else I should know?” Geez, you ask a lot of questions, but the answer is “Yes.” There are 2 awards given at each festival, the “Audience Choice Award” and the “Jury Award” both of which receive a trophy and a CASH prize!! And if that’s not enough incentive for you each winner has a guaranteed spot in the next Indie Memphis Film Festival! So keep that in mind when you’re rolling those cameras.

Live From Memphis presents Li’l Film Fest in partnership with the Memphis Tourism Foundation and collaboration with Indie Memphis. This program would not be possible with out the generous support of these businesses and organizations:

The Memphis & Shelby Co. Film & Television Commission
AudioGraphics Masterworks

Friday, January 02, 2009

Calling Gen. Grant, or someone who looks like him...

The Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau is looking for an actor to portray General U.S. Grant on April 24th, 2009 for a group having a dinner party at the Hunt Phelan home. Actor would need to speak for 15-20 minutes (could be about Civil War, Hunt Phelan Home, Grant...they're pretty open on this) and greet guests and pose for photos. This job pays $100-$150 for about an hour of work.
Cassandra Taylor at MCVB needs to find an actor to agree to do this ASAP. Please contact her if interested. 543-5320