Friday, January 23, 2009

Private Simpson?

Fluffy fun, and it’s no documentary
By Chuck Vinch - Staff writer Army Times

Apparently, there is a huge swath of America that has been scratching its collective head over why someone hasn’t done a remake of “Private Benjamin.”
That is the only potential explanation for the straight-to-DVD special “Private Valentine: Blonde and Dangerous,” coming Feb. 3 to a store near you.
The basic premise of the story is lifted intact from Goldie Hawn’s 1980 opus and mixed with lower production values and a less talented cast headlined by none other than Jessica Simpson — “America’s Sweetheart,” as she’s billed in the press notes.
Yet for all that, “Private Valentine” isn’t the neutron bomb that might be expected. Fluffy and silly, sure, but there are decent laughs, too — most, believe it or not, courtesy of Simpson.
Yes, her singing career is kaput. And yes, her acting career is what it is, mired in straight-to-DVD purgatory. But she has a sweetly ingratiating style, shows a deft sense of comic timing and does a not-too-shabby Joe Pesci impression. (Plus, there is simply no denying that she flat-out rocks a tight Army Class B uniform.)
Simpson plays a spoiled, pampered Hollywood princess whose life is tightly controlled by her handlers and whose career consists mainly of “talking dog” films that have made her rich but left her unfulfilled. (A clip from her latest, co-starring a gabby Saint Bernard, is a hoot.)
“Where’s my ‘Color Purple’? Where’s my ‘Sling Blade’?” she laments — and just for a second, you wonder if that’s her character or the real Jessica talking.
Then in rapid succession, her accountant absconds with her entire fortune, she discovers her boyfriend is gay and sleeping with her manager, and she gets a little tipsy and crashes her car.
Waking up in front of an Army recruiting station, she decides to turn her life around by enlisting.
“Are you ready to embrace the core values that the Army holds dear — loyalty, duty, respect, honor, integrity and courage?” the smoothie recruiter asks.
“It’s like you’re totally reading my mind!” Simpson bubbles.
And so off she goes to boot camp at Fort Jackson, S.C., under a hard-boiled drill sergeant (Vivica A. Fox), where she and a standard assortment of misfits (including former SNL performer Cheri Oteri) must band together, reach deep down and become …
Army Strong!
All this and a bulldog named Figmo, too. (Don’t know “figmo”? Check your acronym dictionary.)
Military accuracy is not on the agenda here; the film is off the rails in too many ways to count as far as that goes. For example, throughout boot camp, Simpson keeps intact her long tresses, as well as her eyeliner and lip gloss.
She may pine for serious roles, but she’s willing to go only so far with that Method acting thingie.
But if you’re willing to take it for what it is, “Private Valentine: Blonde and Dangerous” actually proves moderately amusing.
How much you’re willing to pay for that level of amusement is another issue. The film might be worth grins and giggles as a fly-by-night offering on pay cable, or even as an inexpensive rental. But you’ve reeeeeally got to love you some Jessica to fork out the $24.96 list price for this baby.
Bonus DVD features: Two words: not much. There’s a 15-minute “making of” featurette, mainly cast members talking about the ickiness of dealing with the nasty, buggy outdoors during production (filming took place mainly in Louisiana, not South Carolina), and two deleted scenes that were deleted for a reason.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"Green" Film Studio Under Construction in New Orleans News

A dilapidated New Orleans warehouse and surrounding property are being converted into what is being called the nation’s first "green" film studio.
Construction has already begun on the new Second Line Stages studio complex in the city's Lower Garden District. The entire studio is being developed from the ground-up to meet LEED's (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) advanced Silver Certification standard.
The first step toward this goal was to clean up contamination at the existing warehouse, which was designated by the EPA and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality as a "brownfield" site.
The 90,000-square-foot studio will combine new construction with restoration of a historic warehouse located near the recently completed River Garden Housing Community. It will include three sound stages, production offices and a screening theater. Construction is expected to be completed in December.
In addition to becoming the nation’s first green-certified studio complex, Second Line Stages will also become Louisiana’s first full-service, state-of-the-art media production facility. The project is intended to aid New Orleans' economic recovery by serving the region's fast-growing entertainment production industry.
"This investment is a strategic opportunity to aid the economic recovery of an area still challenged by the effects of Hurricane Katrina," said Deborah La Franchi, co-founder of the $125 million National New Markets Fund, which is helping to financie the project. "In addition, this project has the opportunity to serve as the model for a nationwide effort to 'green the screen' by making media production more environmentally sustainable.
Second Line Stages is just the latest development project in the GO (Gulf Opportunity) Zone funded with tax credits from National New Markets Fund. Over the past two years, the Fund has helped finance three other projects in Louisiana: The National World War II Museum, Ochsner Baptist Medical Center and the Hammond Square Mall.
Second Line Stages is being built in New Orleans’ Lower Garden District, which has a poverty rate of nearly 25%. Based on the most recent census, its residents earn 25% below the area median income, and the unemployment rate is 11.8%.
The new studio will include a training and resource center to help local residents find jobs in the entertainment production industry. The goal is to create a "green collar" workforce that can establish best practices for entertainment production throughout the region. The operators intend to build strong alliances with local community organizations on a range of initiatives including: 1) educational programs for at-risk youth, 2) apprenticeship programs, 3) neighborhood security and safety programs, and 4) skilled employment opportunities for local residents.
"As the nation’s first green-from-the-ground-up studio complex, this project has the potential to bring social, environmental and economic benefits to New Orleans while helping spur diversification of the regional economy," added Ms. La Franchi. "New Markets Tax Credits are the critical link that helped make this project possible."
Created in 2000, the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program is administered by the US Treasury Department's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund). The NMTC program serves as a catalyst to encourage investment of private capital in urban and rural low-income communities. It allows tax paying investors to receive a credit against federal income taxes for making equity investments in designated Community Development Entities (CDEs). To date, the CDFI Fund has made 364 awards totaling $19.5 billion in allocation authority.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

2009 Filming in Louisiana!

This is the lastest for filming in Louisiana for January 2009 and there are more to come.

My Last Goodbye Pre-Production in Lafayette

Drill Deep Filming in Shreveport

Treme filming New Orleans

Sinners and Saints filming New Orleans

The Imagination Movers Filming in New Orleans

True Blood Filming Baton Rouge this time

The Chameleon Filming Baton Rouge (225) 610-1670 no headshots

The Wrong Side of the Tracks Part I Filming Baton Rouge

Video Girl Filming Baton Rouge

Cool Dog Filming in Shreveport

Youth in Revolt Filming Shreveport is Crewed up

Jaws of the Mississippi

Medusa Filming in Lafayette

Wolf Filming in Lafayette

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Josh Brolin Police Dashboard Video Released!

JOSH AND JEFFERY KISS ON VIDEO!Click here to watch the kiss

JOSH Brolin Dashboard Video click here

This video really is just another angle of the video from the other day and it starts after Josh Brolin and Jeffery Wright have been cuffed.

The Year One Bootleg Photos

I had the pleasure of working on the film Year One or The Year One in two capacities. I design and build props so I worked with the Prop Master, the Set Decortator, and Art Director on the film. I also had the chance to play "The Potter" where I played a pot maker(Pottery not Pot as many crew members were asking for my pot)which is really a background part. It was a great expierence to have the opportunity to hang out on this massive set as you can see from the photos. I had the chance to go out to the set when they first started building it for to look it over to get a feel for what I was going to build. I got to go into the buildings and watch them pour the concrete for the town square. The set had many out buildings as well as a town square, a palace, homes, and a gaurd house to name a few.

Some of the props I built ended up at the interior set at Stage Works in Shreveport as well as the outdoor set of the city of Sodom was built in Sibley Louisiana which is about 30 miles east of Shreveport. More photos will surface as the film gets closer to it's tenative release date of June 19, 2009. The photos which are bootleg of someone most likley an extra who snuck a camera to the set, show some of the set. The bottom one of Jack Black and Michael Cera is an offical released photo. The 3rd photo is Jack Black warming up during a cold day of shooting. The 5th photo is Jack Black and Michael Cera talking to Harold Ramis on set. Harold plays father time in a small role on top of Directing the film.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


This is the one of the videos that everyone has been waiting for. Now if they will release the dashboard videos you will be able to see why they were arrested. There is also a video of the 7 arrested at the Shreveport City Jail where from what I understand, they became even more unruly. Josh Brolins attorney has cut a deal with the DA to have the charges lowered to probation which is only until March and then he is free without even going to court.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Filming in New Orleans Keeps Rolling Through Recession by Mike Scott

Posted by Mike Scott,
Movie writer,
The Times-Picayune January 04, 2009 12:23PM

Merrick Morton / Paramount

Hollywood South is coming off another record-setting year, with 80-plus major TV and film projects shooting in Louisiana, including this year's mega-budget "Curious Case of Benjamin Button" -- starring Brad Pitt and New Orleans. You can eat all the black-eyed peas you want but it's hard to be overly optimistic as 2009 dawns -- unless, that is, you work in the local film industry.

Economic slump or no economic slump, Hollywood South is coming off another record-setting year, with 80-plus major TV and film projects shooting in Louisiana by the state's count, and 21 of those in New Orleans. In both cases, those numbers best the 2007 numbers..

So even as the rest of the country braces for a painful 2009, local film-industry officials enter the new year with a rare, if tempered, confidence.

"In terms of sheer volume, we are bracing for a slight downturn," said Jennifer Day, the head of the city-run Office of Film and Video, "but all hope should not be lost, because we are on the case. We are launching a new strategic marketing campaign this spring to basically target more national commercial work... (and) more music video work."

No, it's not as sexy as, say, landing another mega-budget "Curious Case of Benjamin Button" -- the Brad Pitt film that hit theaters on Christmas Day -- but it could help the city on two fronts, Day said: First, it could help industry workers endure the economic downturn without abandoning the city for Los Angeles or Toronto or New York. At the same time, it could begin a trend in which such smaller projects routinely come to town during hurricane season, a time that has traditionally seen feature-film projects shy from shooting here for fear of storm-forced production disruptions.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for us to fill that gap, diversify the industry and make it more robust," Day said. "So really not only is it a remedy to the hurricane-season challenge, but it's just better for the industry."

Nicholas D'Agosto, left, Josh Gad and Bret Harrison star in the locally shot comedy 'Max's Mardi Gras,' set for release Aug. 28. That's not to say there are no high-profile projects on the horizon. HBO plans to begin shooting "Treme," the latest project from David Simon, the highly regarded creator of "The Wire." If it's successful, "Treme" could generate local production work for years.

Without naming names, Day said there are five other "viable projects that we've worked very closely with that have a very, very good chance of landing here" in the first half of the new year.

And then there's the wealth of projects that have shot here and should hit theaters next year, thus maintaining the city's profile in the industry. They include the sports drama "Hurricane Season," starring Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker as the head coach of John Ehret High School's post-K basketball team; "12 Rounds," the Renny Harlin-directed action film starring pro wrestler John Cena; and, in consecutive weeks in August, the latest in the "Final Destination" horror franchise and the Sony-financed comedy "Max's Mardi Gras."

Perhaps the highest-profile 2009 project with local links is Disney's animated fairy tale "The Princess and the Frog," set for release next Christmas. Although it isn't being made here -- aside from recording a chunk of the film's music -- the project promises to generate the kind of positive PR that money can't buy.

That's a lesson Day learned recently as "Benjamin Button" mega-producers Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy have hit the publicity circuit raving about their local filmmaking experience.

"On one hand, it's in writing, it's captured on video: industry leaders praising New Orleans. Then, on the other hand, you have to look at the production quality of the film itself. It is so beautiful. We always talk about, if your project requires something special, if you're looking for a special edge, New Orleans adds something you cannot create, something you cannot manufacture, and the mystique in the city translates onto film."

Not everything is sunshine and roses, however. If the Screen Actors Guild decides to strike, major production work could dry up quickly. Also, other states have been adopting tax-incentive plans of their own to draw the film industry to their states.

"I'm not really that concerned," Day said. "I mean, of course it's an issue, but in the scheme of things, Louisiana has positioned itself very, very favorably. We have been doing this for six years, we have track records. When it comes down to it, our crew and resources have matured to a point that not many states can match."

The locally shot horror flick 'Final Destination: Death Trip 3D' is set for release Aug. 21.FINALIZED, new titles and release dates for two films that shot here last year: The Sony/Screen Gems ensemble comedy "Mardi Gras," starring Nicholas D'Agosto, Josh Gad, Bret Harrison and Carmen Electra, has been redubbed "Max's Mardi Gras" and is expected to land in theaters Aug. 28. And the horror sequel "Final Destination 4," starring Mykelti Williamson, is now going by the title "Final Destination: Death Trip 3D." It is set for an Aug. 21 release.

PERRY CHRISTMAS: Local product Tyler Perry, in full "Madea" get-up, was seen recently as the face of Lionsgate Films' Christmas cards, which double as a promo for Perry's forthcoming film "Madea Goes to Jail" (Due out Feb. 20.) On the front of the card: A festively decorated prison, with the words "Wish You Were Here." Inside: Perry as Madea in a jail cell, and the words "The Holidays Aren't the Same Without You."