Thursday, June 25, 2009

HB898 passes, now to the Governors desk.

HB898 has just passed the with 30% production incentive, 5% LA labor incentive and a buyback from the State at $.85 for the tax incentives. There is also no sunset provision that will keep our productions from decreasing. It now only has to be signed by the Governor or if he does not sign it, it will still go into effect two weeks afterwords anyway. There is no reason the Governor will not sign this bill. In turn the Louisiana movie industry could dramatically increase productions throughout the state. Four movies are looking to film in Shreveport in the coming months. New Orleans has quite a few productions coming South. This will certainly help out all of the crew base that stayed in Louisiana during hard times. Thanks to all who went to Baton Rouge to show support and to all who emailed and called the Legislators and Senators. Your hard work is why we are where we are now. Let's make Louisiana the number 1 state for productions outside of Hollywood.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

It's true. 'Year One' built Sodom in Sibley. by Alexandr Kent

You thought Sodom was destroyed by fire and brimstone? Perhaps, until Sony Pictures got their hands on new building plans. The studio built a replica of the ancient city of sin near Sibley for "Year One," a biblical comedy opening Friday.

The set, without question, is the maddest to have been built in northwest Louisiana. At peak, the construction crew hit 300. The six-acre set, replete with a giant bull head idol, massive palace doors and 90,000 square feet of foam walls and equal footage of paver stones, sits atop a sand pit surrounded by swamp land.

Sounds crazy? Maybe just a little, even to the movie's production designer.
"I know there have been big sets, but that is certainly the biggest one I have ever worked on," Jefferson Sage said. "I think that is one of those rare few that come along every once in awhile. It was kind of exhilarating, fun and terrifying at the same time."
It took about three winter months to build, and was used (onscreen) to sacrifice virgins, stone cavemen and generally represent a chaotic, free-spirited city of the ancient world. At times, it played host to 700 extras and many, many critters, not to mention the film's stars, Jack Black and Michael Cera.
Sage said director Harold Ramis wanted every detail — from the faux stone walls to the slave collars, to look real.
"We had a very large building crew," Sage said. "Carpenters, plasters, painters ... it was a vast operation. There were guys there to just fill the gas tanks."

Jason White, who owns the construction material company Foam-It, got an opportunity to apply his trade to the big screen. He and a team made and carved the high-stone walls — which are really foam attached to timber frames — surrounding Sodom. His tool of choice? He opted for the gas-powered chain saw, while others went electric.
"For somebody like me who enjoys a really good challenge, that is all you want right there," White said. "It took us just a little over two months."
How will it look?
"I'm extremely confident that it's going to look great," said White, who credited foreman Anthony Henderson and others for coordinating a huge build.

Christopher Moore, an experienced metal artist and prop maker, was tasked with making all sorts of nutty stuff. Need an ax? He'll design nine. Slave chains in steel and leather? OK. Carve a bull's head into a copper water pitcher handle? Coming right up. Fire pits? All right.

"For me, the most amazing part was they didn't skimp on anything," Moore said. "When you look at the palace doors, those are real wooden doors with steel hinges."
He too credits a crew that put in long hours and invested in the movie's meticulous vision.
"If they pay attention to the movie, they will be amazing by the sets, because everything is fake," Moore said.

Phillip Jordan Brooks, who worked as an assistant location manager, sums it up best.
"It was really amazing," Brooks said. "The construction crew was just phenomenal. They were brilliant. They were efficient. There were just tons of people working on there down at the end."
And once it got done and filming commenced? Brooks remembers extras sneaking in fishing poles to fish in the swamps, and watching camels get wrangled every day.
"Period oxen. Horses. Goats. Chickens. Primates," Brooks said. "It was like a Fellini movie."

By Alexandyr Kent • • June 18, 2009 Shreveport Times

SB245 and HB898 are moving around.

I have not heard to much information but Diego Martinez from Millenium Studios said that HB898 by Senator Henry passed the Senate with the 30% incentive and now moves on. Also SB245 passed committee and now goes on to the house floor. So many people have been working so hard to get these bills heard and now we are seeing the fruits of their labor paying off. I would like to thank everyone who sent letters and made phone calls to their Senators. There is still a ways to go but things are looking up. Please keep supporting the bills by contacting your Senators and the Governor and tell them you want to support these two bills.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

SAG approves feature-primetime deal

Posted: Tue., Jun. 9, 2009, 8:20 pm CT
SAG approves feature-primetime deal
Members vote 'Yes' on two-year contract
Screen Actors Guild members have ratified a two-year feature-primetime contract with a 78% yes vote, ending a yearlong drama that has left the guild mired in in-fighting and acrimony.
SAG announced the results Tuesday evening, three weeks after sending out ballots to 110,000 eligible members.
The two-year pact has been the source of bitter disagreement for more than a year between moderate leaders -- who approved the tentative deal on April 19 -- and hardliners led by president Alan Rosenberg and his allies on the SAG national board, who denounced the contract shortly after it was announced.
SAG's deal includes a 3.5% annual hike in minimums -- a 3% salary hike in the first year plus a 0.5% gain in pension and health contributions in the first year and a 3.5% salary increase in the second; it also spells out the pay structure for shows streamed on and made for the Internet. That''s essentially the same deal the companies offered a year ago but which was spurned by hardliners who advocated holding out for richer terms for new-media compensation.
Approval of the deal extinguishes a nagging uncertainty for the business for more than a year. Production on film and TV was thrown off-kilter, first by the WGA strike and then by studios' and nets' fears that SAG might walk out.
SAG's "Yes for Your Future" campaign featured more than a dozen members-only town hall meetings and emphasized the gains in minimums and new-media jurisdiction and argued that the lack of a deal has deprived working actors of an estimated $85 million in pay raises for the past year. Tom Hanks, George Clooney, Sally Field and former president Melissa Gilbert endorsed the deal along with more than 1,200 other members.
The "No for Your Future" campaign contended that the explosive growth of new-media precludes accepting the same template as the WGA, DGA and AFTRA. They've asserted that voting the deal down would force the congloms to offer SAG better terms -- though the congloms had insisted for the past year that they would not sweeten the deal.
Martin Sheen, Ed Harris, Melissa Leo, and former SAG president Ed Asner were among the high-profile thesps who opposed the deal.
Read the full article at:

Monday, June 8, 2009

Caddo passes film tax incentives by Drew Pierson

Just as Shreveport did recently, Caddo passed tax incentives Thursday for film and media companies who do work in the parish.

"I think it's a great idea. ... It's something for young people to be excited about," said District 5 Commissioner Sam Jenkins Jr., of Shreveport.
First-time movie and media companies in the area can receive up to $20,000 in tax incentives for doing work in Caddo and up to $22,000 each time that company comes back. Each company must spend at least $75,000 per production.
"The reason why we want to do tax incentives for the movie industry is that nothing ventured is nothing gained," said District 4 Commissioner Matthew Linn, of Shreveport.
Caddo's tax incentives are the latest salvo in a bid for local governments to lure and maintain movie and media companies enticed by the state's tax incentives to spend their money in northwest Louisiana. Shreveport just approved incentives that offer $150,000 to $175,000 per project for movies, TV shows and commercials with budgets of at least $300,000.

By Drew Pierson • • June 5, 2009