Monday, November 22, 2010

Yet another great Louisiana film "All American Orgy"

By Tiffany Snead

No, it's not some sick political slur. It's a movie title, and it was filmed right here in Louisiana.

Andrew Drazek created this movie in November 2008 along with his friends Jordan Kessler and Ted Beck. The three had always wanted to create a movie together. They had been friends for years and were already fans of each other's work.

Kessler had written a script about an orgy and that was the idea the guys decided to roll with.

"The characters and plot were pretty bad, so a few weeks before production started, Ted rewrote it from scratch, keeping only the concept of an orgy." Drazek said.

"All American Orgy" follows three couples as they meet at a lakeside strawberry farm to have an orgy - the main purpose of which is to rehabilitate their stagnant or failing relationships. It's a wild ride, filled with hilarious and ridiculous situations but, as with most ill-conceived ideas, the cracks quickly begin to show." Drazek explained.

Upon moving from Los Angeles to Louisiana, Drazek said he fell in love with Louisiana's natural beauty and culture. The original script used a suburban area as the setting, however, another producer, Brent Caballero, suggested they film at a friend's camp on Lake Verret. Drazek was hooked on the idea.

The filming process was "a great example of independent filmmaking." Drazek explains, "We had two weeks to shoot, very little money, and much of the cast and crew were friends of mine. Shooting on such a small budget and brisk schedule can often make the finished product look cheap and thrown together but everyone involved believed in the script and banded together."

After filming was complete, Drazek took to his bedroom for the editing process.

The film has received enormous recognition, screening at eight film festivals in the United States and Canada.

"Audience members of all ages enthusiastically responded to its dark humor and insightful commentary on relationships and sex. It was at Slamdance (film festival) that the movie was picked up by a distributor who quickly changed the title and put a scantily clad woman on the DVD box who I've never met."

Drazek says that his film isn't to be confused with "National Lampoon" or "American Pie" type movies.

"It's equally raunchy and poignant, hilarious and heartbreaking, with side-splitting dialogue, amazing performances by an ensemble cast, and an unforgettable climax.

"All American Orgy" is available on iTunes, Cox Cable, DVD, OnDemand, Blockbuster, Amazon, Best Buy, and on Netflix.

It's an excellent visual representation of love and life. Oh, and yet another reason Louisiana is steadily becoming the Hollywood of the South.

Originally Published: November 3, 2010

Security at Louisiana Filming Facility Tight, And They Mean Business

Posted by Twilight_News - 16/11/10 at 04:11 pm

Scene, a magazine that covers the burgeoning film industry in Louisiana, interviewed the head of security at the compound where Breaking Dawn will be filming. Coincidentally, the magazine’s own offices are located within the same compound which is comprised of several buildings, over multiple acres, surrounded by a large fence. When talking about dealing with people (fans or paparazzi) crashing the set, they have a zero tolerance policy, and the law to back them up. If ever there was a “don’t try this at home, kids” warning that applied to Twilight filming, THIS IS IT!

“That statute of Louisiana’s criminal law states that, “Unauthorized entry of a place of business is the intentional entry by a person without authority into any structure or onto any premises, belonging to another, that is completely enclosed by any type of physical barrier that is at least six feet in height and used in whole or in part as a place of business.” Those convicted of felony trespass on the studio lot are subject to imprisonment at hard labor for up to six years and a fine of up to $1000.

“We will absolutely prosecute every person who trespasses,” says Achee. “There have been six who trespassed before and they have all been caught.” When asked how he knew only six had trespassed before, Achee’s answer came quick: “Security cameras. The property is covered with high definition security cameras. A camera mounted on the [main building] can capture the license plate of a car all the way on the other side of the property.” The security camera system video is stored to a source that is backed up offsite. Additionally, the system has a back-up power supply that allows it to continue operating in the event of a power failure.

Achee and his crew of security officers are authorized to detain any trespassers by force until local law enforcement arrives to complete the felony arrest. We asked him if he planned on seeing any young teenage girls arrested, Achee said, “Absolutely. I think of this place as a home. You wouldn’t want somebody trespassing in your home, and if you did, you’d defend yourself. That’s what we’re doing here, it doesn’t matter who it is.”

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Schumacher's Shreveport shoot

'Trespass' finds home in Louisiana

Variety Magazine by Iain Blair.

In "Trespass," the Joel Schumacher-helmed thriller set for release in 2011, Nicole Kidman and Nicolas Cage play a couple taken hostage in their own home.

Since the picture is set in the South and required a Southern-type house in which to shoot, filming in Shreveport was an easy decision to make, per the director. "We found exactly what we were looking for," he says. "A beautiful house on a lake."

The perfect location was only part of the attraction. In a few short years, Louisiana has positioned itself as a major film and TV production center that is siphoning off work from the other L.A. -- and other filmmaking hubs.

With the Nu Image/Millennium film's budget set at a tight $40 million, the Pelican state's aggressive 30% transferable tax incentive "was another major factor in deciding to shoot in Louisiana," reports "Trespass" exec producer Avi Lerner. "We've done 15 pictures there and love it."

"The cost of living and housing are more reasonable than in other locations, which all helps the bottom line," adds producer Irwin Winkler, who co-produced with David Winkler and Rene Besson.

Ironically, although Shreveport now boasts several well-equipped studio facilities, including StageWorks and a new $12 million studio built by Nu Image (skedded to open January), the production ultimately opted to build its matching interior sets for the location house in the city's vast convention center. "We needed very high ceilings, and the city offered us the space," says Winkler. "We were able to get it for the five weeks we needed to shoot, as well as all the prep time."

The 50-day shoot also benefited from what the director and producers refer to as "the very high level" of talent now based in the state. "The tax breaks brought the movies and production down there, and those in turn brought the crews and actors," notes Winkler. "So many people have moved there from Los Angeles, because that's where the work is now, so you're getting some of the best technicians in the industry, as well as a great pool of acting talent and great supporting services and infrastructure."

This made the shoot particularly enjoyable for Schumacher, a veteran of some 40 films ("Phone Booth," "Batman Forever"), who's no stranger to shooting in the South. "I shot 'A Time to Kill' in Mississippi and 'The Client' in Memphis, so it's familiar territory to me," he says. "But Shreveport has become a boom town. It's a fantastic place to work. We cast a lot of local talent in smaller roles, and I'd make a movie with those crews anywhere in the world."

"Trespass" reunited Schumacher with d.p. Andrzej Bartkowiak, who shot "Falling Down" for him. "We shot this on 35mm because we wanted to make a real 'movie-movie,' with a big look," he explains. "I'd just done 'Twelve,' and Nicole had just finished a very small film too. I thought, 'Let's do a big scope film,' which is why I chose Andrzej."

The film also reunited Schumacher with his stars -- he directed Kidman in "Batman Forever" and Cage in "8mm." "We're all old friends and have shared ups and downs over the years," he says.

The only disappointment of the shoot so far? "Everyone's hoping for an impromptu show every time (Nicole's husband Keith Urban) visits the set, but he's very shy. Maybe at the wrap party."

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