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Welcome to the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission

Greetings and welcome to the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission’s new web site!  Brimming with new features and up-to-date information, we invite you to come in and look around to get a peek at what Memphis & Shelby County have to offer film productions of all sizes.  Take a minute to browse our location library in Reel-Scout, check out our diverse production guide, or get a taste of productions that have shot here and utilized our crew base over at Film Memphis TV!

Supporting Partners of The Memphis and Shelby County Film and Television Commission:

Memphis Fast Forward Memphis ED

Special thanks to Christopher Reyes, Sarah Fleming, and the crew over at Live From Memphis for their outstanding hard work in making this web site possible. Thanks also to content editor Jon W. Sparks.

The Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission, like other publicly-funded film commissions in the U.S.A., works only with funded productions and does not assist producers in securing funding for projects.

The Film Commission's Website makes available hiring/casting information from third parties. This information is to be used as general information only. Although such information is believed to be generally reliable, the posting of the information on the commission website does not constitute an endorsement, recommendation, or solicitation from the Commission. Nor does the Posting imply any assurance regarding the accuracy of the information, the funding of the project, the completion of the project, or the payment to crew/vendors/cast.

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Commission client music video I AM STRONG a hit

The recent music video by country group The Grascals’ has gone viral. The emotionally charged I AM STRONG is inspired by the young patients at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, several of whom are featured in the video. Guest performing on the song is Dolly Parton.

The production — a client of the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission — was produced by David Bennett, the popular and personable former Tennessee Film Commissioner. Bennett, a seasoned film/TV professional, is back in the music video producing game and has also just wrapped his fourth feature film.

The video, directed by David Corlew, is having a global impact and airing on CMT.com, CMC (Australia), AOL, Yahoo, UsMag.com, and hundreds of other websites. A portion of the proceeds from the song benefit St. Jude.

Congratulations to all involved in this powerful project.

See the video here.


 
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Crew depth: Why it matters

Read Ridley, a filmmaker and head of the Film Crew Technology program at Columbia State Community College's Franklin, Tenn., campus, has a persuasive article in the Nashville Scene.

As he puts it: "To build a state's motion-picture industry, you have to build your crew base. And it's hard to do that when neighboring states with more work are luring away your people."

Ridley says that boosting crew base along with having competitive incentives are essential to making successful film industries. He cites the following:

• In 2003, New Mexico had five productions that totaled eight months of production. In 2010, they had 16 productions totaling 40 months' production time — overlapping shoots made possible by the depth of their crew base. These included True Grit, Thor, Cowboys & Aliens and TV series Breaking Bad and In Plain Sight.

• Since 2002, Louisiana's skilled crew base has grown by more than 400 percent. In 2010, production companies spent more than $190 million in Baton Rouge alone. Louisiana hosted more than 118 productions last year.

• In the fiscal year 2008-2009 alone, bolstered by an influx of crew, production companies spent more than $647 million in the state of Georgia.

To read Ridley's full commentary, go here.

 
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Jason Lee of 'Memphis Beat' at Blues Music Awards

The Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission and The Memphis Music Foundation have teamed to bring actor Jason Lee to be a presenter at the 32nd annual Blues Music Awards (BMA) on May 5.

The Awards will be handed out at the Cook Convention Center the night of May 5 with the Steve Miller Band opening the ceremonies. For ticket information, go here.

Lee is starring in TNT's hit show MEMPHIS BEAT, which centers around Lee's character Dwight Hendricks, a quirky Memphis police detective who, as "the keeper of Memphis," is a Southern gentleman protective of his fellow citizens, reverential of the city's history and deeply rooted in its blues music scene.  For more info on the show, go here.

As it happens, Lee, like his character, is a genuine blues fan and adores Memphis. Although the series is shot in Louisiana (other than a few Memphis location shots), efforts continue to lure the production company to the Bluff City.

The series features familiar Memphis tunes and Lee performs a number of songs, including Elvis covers, live on stage at the ends of the episodes. BMA winner Keb' Mo' arranges and performs much of the music. Because of that, the Film/TV Commission and Music Foundation are sponsoring Lee's appearance.

Lee's career took off in 1995 with the lead role in a two projects by indie director Kevin Smith, one of which he won an Independent Spirit Award.  Jason is perhaps best known for the lead character in the NBC comedy series MY NAME IS EARL, for which he has won two Golden Globes and two SAG Awards.  

The Presenting Sponsor for the 32nd Blues Music Awards is The Gibson Foundation. The Sustaining Sponsor is I 55 Productions. Major funding is provided by ArtsMemphis and the Tennessee Arts Commission.  

The 32nd Blues Music Awards are also sponsored by Blue Mountain Artists, BMI, Catfood Records, Eagle Rock Entertainment, FedEx, First Tennessee Foundation, Global Electronic Technology, Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and Sony/Legacy Records.  

The Blues Music Awards are produced by The Blues Foundation, a non-profit organization established to preserve Blues history, celebrate Blues excellence, support Blues education and ensure the future of this uniquely American art form. For more information or to join The Blues Foundation, log onto www.blues.org.

   
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N-SECURE on DVD in June

"N-SECURE," a client project of the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission, will have a June 15 release on Blu-ray and DVD from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Memphis producer Julius Lewis made the film in 2008 and released it last year. The $1.6 million project made $2.6 million over five weeks.

Read John Beifuss' story about the DVD release here.



   

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