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Daily News story looks at state incentives

Please follow this link to a story by the Memphis Daily News on the recent development on film incentives in Tennessee. Andy Meek's story says:

The pot of state money available to spur film production in Tennessee got a couple million dollars richer a few months ago.

Thanks to a measure sponsored this past legislative session by state Sen. Mark Norris, R-Collierville, an additional $2 million is now available to incentivize film production in the state. But the good news goes deeper than that seven-figure sum for Tennessee’s film industry.

That money represents a recurring stream of revenue for the Tennessee Film and TV Incentive Fund.

“When producers would look at Tennessee, they saw a $10 million fund that had been drawn down,” Norris said. “Investors want to know this money is a recurring prospect. This is something I’ve always been passionate about. The film industry is a wealth of economic opportunity for Tennessee, and (this incentive) is as important as any that we provide.”

The Daily News story further quotes Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commissioner Linn Sitler on why the state is at a disadvantage compared to states with income taxes that are part of the incentives mix.

“There’s no way we can compete for big studio pictures with states like Georgia and Louisiana, because we don’t have the coffers that they have,” Sitler said. “Tennessee doesn’t have the same way to get the incentive money back penny for penny that those states have.”

The story also quotes Sitler on how the fund increases the prospect of attracting productions with budgets of $5 and under and TV productions.

“That’s opposed to a $20 million or $30 million project, which would break the fund every year,” Sitler said. “By keeping the fund replenished, though, we can become a home for lots of smaller budgeted projects. And the beauty of those is they’ll hire more local crew members.

“Another thing I’ll say: the fact that (Sen. Norris) could do this in this economic climate is impressive.”

Read the full story here.



Extras needed for 'Nashville' in Nashville

The Tennessee Film, Entertainment and Music Commission just sent out this notice:

Nashville the new ABC/Lionsgate series starring Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere is having an open casting call for extras this Saturday, July 14, 2012. We are looking for people of all ages and any ethnicity. No experience necessary. Everyone is welcome to come down and apply!

Where: Franklin Industries, 612 10th Ave North, Nashville, TN 37203

When: Saturday, July 14    10am-2pm

Please bring a recent color photo of yourself with you!



API Photographers' Bill Carrier III chairs Film Commission Committee, 'Hire Local, Shoot Local'

Read this profile in The Commercial Appeal of Bill Carrier III, owner and director of photography for API Photographers, a company, the story says, that "... is part of a new movement (spearheaded by the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission's Linn Sitler and MemphisED) to keep the corporate filming industry local."

Carrier's long-time commitment to the photography and film business — his father founded API in 1947 — is reflected by his many projects and involvement. He is also a long-time board member of the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission, which, the story says, "has begun a campaign called 'Hire Local, Shoot Local.' " A DVD produced for the campaign by Iddo Patt's Memphis-based Modern Production Concepts markets participating production companies to local corporations and advertising agencies.

Linn Sitler, Memphis & Shelby County Film Commissioner, is quoted in the story saying, "I know of at least one nationally based Memphis corporation which uses an out-of-state advertising agency for its national commercials. Their decision-makers are already tied into other non-local production companies. It's an awareness issue which needs to be addressed with some Memphis corporations and even some Memphis advertising agencies."

Along with Sitler and fellow "Hire Local, Shoot Local" Committee members/Film Commission board members Andy Dean (Dean Film and Video), Calvin Miller (Calvin Miller Videos), and Ike Singleton (Spotlight Productions), Carrier sees the "Hire Local, Shoot Local" effort  focused initially on corporate video production. He said, "There's still a lot of business in the state of Tennessee, so if you get in to the right person you might be able to bring some of that home."



MTV/Performa sets record with Flaming Lips kickoff on Beale

On June 27, Beale Street's Handy Park was the kickoff venue for a 24-hour event that involved MTV, Performa Entertainment, the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission, a Guinness World Record, The Flaming Lips and plenty of local businesses.

Viacom's "O Music Awards" honors leaders of digital culture and 24 of them were handed out over the 24 hour period that saw The Flaming Lips perform eight times in eight places from Memphis to New Orleans.

Read more about the Memphis kickoff in The Commercial Appeal's story here by Bob Mehr.

Jon Shivers of Performa said some of the local companies that participated in the event were Black Lion Security, TNT Sound, MFG Promotions, Night Train Productions and Budweiser of Memphis.

"Having MTV select Memphis and Beale Street to kick off their 'O' Music Awards was huge for Beale Street and huge for the City of Memphis," Shivers says. "All of downtown and many parts of Memphis were abuzz the day of the show. Beale Street's normal crowd on a Wednesday is pretty good usually but adding in having MTV on the street made that Wednesday a huge success. Everyone from restaurants, bars, gift shops, parking garages, and hotels all saw a jump in sales revenue strictly due to MTV kicking off their 'O' Music Awards on Beale Street."

Shivers said the effect continued well after the concert was over. "Due to MTV starting off in Memphis, the City of Memphis and Beale Street were mentioned in more than 50 national media outlets ranging from Yahoo, MSN, Rolling Stone and USA Today. There were also more than a million people that streamed the MTV 'O' Music Awards concerts online that saw all or clips of the Beale Street concert. Having the opportunity to showcase all the great things that Beale Street has to offer was priceless."

Martin Lane, who was the local co-ordinator for the MTV film crew, said he'd been contacted back in February to help find locations. Lane directed them to Beale Street and other venues that fit their needs, but didn't hear back for quite a while. Eventually, he was contacted again and hired as local co-ordinator for the MTV film crew.

Lane said MTV and VH-1 along with The Flaming Lips brought in much of their own crews that did lights, sound and co-ordinated transportation. But he and eight local production assistants handled last-minute runs and amenities for all the crews, mainly for those preparing the buses that, after the concert, were escorted by the police to the state line.

"There were people there from Guinness World Records," Lane said, "and it all had to be done by the book — the shows had to be the right lengths and the speed limits obeyed." The event ended up achieving a Guinness record for “The Most Live Concerts in 24 Hours (Multiple Cities).”

The “O Music Awards” kick-off was presented in coordination with Performa Entertainment Real Estate, The Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission, The Memphis & Shelby County Music Commission, and The Memphis Music Foundation.

Memphis has been the choice for many other MTV productions, all clients of the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission. They include Memphis filmmaker Craig Brewer’s on-line music dramatic series, $5 Cover, and the on-line horror dramatic series, Savage County. However, Memphis’ history with MTV stretches back as far as 1998, when the MTV Sports & Music Festival 2 rocked on the banks of the Mississippi River in Tom Lee Park.



CA story on Flaming Lips coming to Beale Street

From Bob Mehr's interview with The Flaming Lips in The Commercial Appeal:

On Wednesday, the Oklahoma-based psych-pop band The Flaming Lips ... will test themselves in a unique way, as the group kicks off an eight-city barnstorming tour at Downtown's Handy Park in an attempt break the Guinness World Record for most live concerts in different cities in a 24-hour span.

After wrapping up the concert in Memphis, the Lips will board a vintage tour bus and proceed to Mississippi, performing in Clarksdale, Oxford, Jackson, Hattiesburg and Biloxi, before heading to Louisiana for a show in Baton Rouge and then capping things off in New Orleans, 24 hours later.

The concert run is being staged in conjunction with MTV's "O Music Awards." Now in its third year, the ceremony "celebrates and honors the artists, fans and innovators impacting digital music culture."

The “O Music Awards” kick-off is presented in coordination with Performa Entertainment Real Estate, The Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission, The Memphis & Shelby County Music Commission, and The Memphis Music Foundation.

The event is Wednesday at Handy Park, 200 Beale. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. Tickets: $20. On sale at or by calling (866) 468-7630.

Read Bob's story in The Commercial Appeal here


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