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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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On the state Film Commission

No, Chicken Little, the sky is not falling. Unconfirmed reports are saying the Tennessee Film, Entertainment and Music Commission will become an official part of state government's most powerful economic development engine — the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. If it turns out to be the case, this, in fact, would be a good thing. It's finally an acknowledgement of our industry's importance as an economic force and properly deserving of the oversight of economic development professionals.

The Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission has long enjoyed the guidance of such professionals from both the private sector and local government.

Below is an email sent out by Jan Austin, Executive Director/Founder of the Association for the Future of Film and Television, Tennessee's only statewide association for film and television. (Go here to find out more about AFFT.)

— Linn Sitler, Commissioner, Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission


From AFFT:

Rumors (and that's all they are!) abound that the state film commission has been demolished, that the position of Executive Director of The Tennessee Film, Entertainment & Music Commission has been forever eliminated, and that life is over for the state's film and television industry.

It is true that Perry Gibson has resigned, but those of you who have been around for years have certainly seen the revolving political door at this level many times and so it should come as very little surprise that a Bredesen appointee is not being retained by the new administration.

The move to put the film commission under the purview of the Department of Economic & Community Development (ECD), however, may be the brightest note for the film commission in years. The stability that the industry has wanted for the Commission will be found within ECD. The law that created the film commission housed it within the Governor's office but directed ECD to provide administrative services for it. That arrangement left the film commission in a "no man's land" situation. The Governor's office has rarely had the time (or interest) to commit to the Commission and the Commissioner of ECD was not obligated to advocate for it.

After an exhaustive study of ECD and the film commission by Governor Haslam's administration, the decision was made to pull the commission into ECD as one of its various departments instead of leaving it in the "no man's land" with little assistance from anyone. The highly competent TFEMC staff of Nathan Lux, Gisela Moore and Bob Raines will make the transition into ECD immediately and the position of Director, in general, is still being evaluated.

Governor Haslam has assured us that he is not going to abandon our industry. This may very well be the first step in keeping that promise. ECD, a very powerful force in state government, will offer a safe haven for the film commission and will become an active ally on its behalf. That, in itself, is good news for the future of our industry.

— Jan Austin


 
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'Savage County' on DVD May 31

SAVAGE COUNTY, a client of the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission, is coming out on DVD May 31. The MTV project, produced by MTV New Media, and Craig Brewer and Erin Hagee for Brewer's BR2 Productions, was filmed in 2009 using the local crew base and several local actors.

Read more about the DVD release in John Beifuss' story in The Commercial Appeal here.


 
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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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