Category Archives: Briefs

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Deadline Article Talks Louisiana Incentives

A new article on Deadline.com discusses the cuts to the incentive program in Louisiana and how the state’s production industry is looking to bounce back.

An excerpt:

“Louisiana’s filming loss comes at a time when several other states are increasing their incentives to keep or attract filmmakers. California tripled its incentives program in 2014 to $330 million, Ohio will double its program to $40 million in September, and Pennsylvania recently raised its by $5 million to $65 million.louisiana-entertainment-logo

Even so, Louisiana’s program is still nearly twice what California’s was only a year ago, and more than half of what the Golden State’s is now. Louisiana had also suspended its buy-back of the tax credits – at 85% of face value – for one year, but that suspension ended this month.”

Click here for the entire article.

 

Terminator Reboot Begins Shooting in New Orleans

Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions have begun principal terminator-5-script-start-datephotography on Terminator: Genesis, directed by Alan Taylor. The franchise’s fifth film is shooting in New Orleans through August.

The Terminator reboot features the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger, who launched the franchise in 1984 as the title character, and also stars Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, and J.K. Simmons.

Paramount will distribute the film worldwide on July 1, 2015.

For more information, click here.

I.D.D.O Productionz Partners with Louisiana Film Resources for Video Project

Many people from the United States have never even heard the term “eunuch,” but Louisiana producer Shanna Forrestall met a family of eunuchs in India years ago whose story changed her life. Now one of her current video projects is a “teaser” video aimed at raising awareness for this underserved people group in India.

Shanna Forrestall with the Eunuchs in India

Alex Willson shooting footage in Mumbai

“In 2004 a ‘modern day Mother Teresa’ named Myra Fernandes who works with the poor and indigent in India introduced me to a family of eunuchs,” said Forrestall. “I had met a few eunuchs before in India, but had never been introduced to the unique challenges and needs of these people. Meeting these beautiful individuals and spending the day with them changed my life forever, and I determined to find a way to help them.

In 2011 Forrestall brought a team of Louisiana filmmakers to India to work on a non-profit project called Enter Namaste. The team was there to shoot a video documentary and commercial to assist in raising awareness and funding for a series of schools for disabled children in southern India. While there, she entreated her team members to help acquire footage of her friends, a family of eunuchs living in the outskirts of Mumbai (Bombay).

The team discovered that the eunuchs in India are treated almost sub-human, and until as recently as one to two years ago had no basic rights to vote, get married, claim unemployment, etc., in India because these castrated males who dress as females could not be classified as a man or woman to complete government paperwork.

After video footage of this rare group shot by Alex Willson and Han Soto (both of New Orleans) was brought back to Louisiana, Forrestall was on the hunt for someone to help her edit and finalize the video.  Forrestall and her project assistant, Andrew Vogel, put an ad on Craigslist seeking someone with a compassionate heart to help.

Vogel notes, “Craigslist isn’t always the best place to find quality help, but we lucked out finding Kendal. He’s got a lot to offer and ended up being the missing link to the project.”

Kendal Odom of I.D.D.O. Productionz volunteered his time to research the eunuchs of India and edit the footage using original music created and donated by Johnny Burgard, a local composer.

More information on the Eunuchs:
Eunuchs have been in existence since the 9th Century BC. These castrated males traditionally served as guardians of the royal harems, but their role in society has drastically changed.

Many believe that eunuchs or “hijras” as they are called are born with no genitalia, but in truth, natural born eunuchs are a rare occurrence, and countless numbers are forcibly created.

Considering themselves neither men nor women, members of this so-called ‘third sex’ generally adopt feminine names and dress and are traditionally referred to as ‘she.’ As a result of their sexual crisis and physical deformities, many eunuchs are rejected by their family and left isolated by society.

Typically feared by the masses, eunuchs are not given the opportunity to work in traditional jobs.  Instead, they are forced to make their living by other means, and some beg or bully for money, while others turn to prostitution.

It is a widely accepted belief that the eunuchs have spiritual powers, so their blessings and curses are both considered potent. The eunuchs are a creative group of individuals, with talents in music and dance, and some are able to subsidize their income by performing and offering blessings at childbirths, weddings, housewarmings and other auspicious events.

But, unable to be classified as men or women, the eunuchs have been left with limited rights and virtually no support from their own government. Until recently, eunuchs were denied even basic human rights like the right to vote, marry, own a ration card, a driver’s license, or to claim unemployment or health benefits, so many live in severe poverty with no family, community or societal support.

The eunuchs are talented and important individuals who are just beginning to receive the recognition and respect they deserve. You can support their journey by sharing this announcement to raise awareness.

For more information about the project, visit www.lafilmresources.com.

MPD Kid’s Club – Filming to Feed!

MPD stands for Motion Picture Development. Through this program, students have learned writing, directing, cinematography, acting, and editing for television, digital film, documentaries, and more.

Through the efforts of Digital Media Production House and the non-profit Louisiana Arts & Entertainment (LA&E), producer/director Aaron L. Williams has begun his on-camera class that is televised weekly to offer Louisiana’s children national exposure in addition to their training.

This first group of Louisiana actors featured below have been hard at work filming 10 episodes of The Informer on channel 10 weekly at noon. Now it is time for this group to have some fun and join hands with the Baton Rouge Food Bank to feed families. Filming to Feed!

Back row: (l to r) Peyton Whitcomb, Brock Kaufman, Carter Hunt, Benjamin Leggins, Logan Watts, Ben Schexnaydre, Joshua Hodgenson, Casey Alfutis. Front row: (l to r) Chaislyn King, Katie Brown, Carol Wells, Bailey Sacco, Logan Guilbeau, Ashleigh Martin, Abigail Bernard, Allysia Williams, Alexandra Johnson. Not shown: Mark Mills and DJ Mills. Picture by Pam Brown.

The cast of Louisiana actors film their last two episodes and plan on having some fun on the show while they encourage other local students to give back to the community. The cast will be at the Mall of Louisiana under the food court for a special meet and greet on Sunday, November 6, from 1 to 4pm. The young actors are encouraging other students to collect nonperishable food items from friends and family as they collect items too.

Visit the site at www.MPDkids.org.

Jerry Katz Announces the First in a New Series of Teaching Products

Louisiana acting coach Jerry Katz, who teaches weekly acting classes in New Orleans, has just launched the first of a series of products designed to help actors “on the go.”

The first product, entitled AUDITION PREP is an audio pod that can be loaded onto a CD, MP3, and/or computer (etc.) that helps actors prepare for their audition so they can perform with confidence and power.

The audio files feature a five-minute “private session” with Coach Jerry Katz, and also a five-minute meditation that helps listeners to breathe and focus.

Information on this product and all upcoming products can be found at www.katzactingjoint.com.