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Tennessee Film Incentives for All of Tennessee

From Jimmie Tashie, Chairman of the Board of the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission:

As the current issue of The Memphis Flyer reports, there has been a grossly inequitable distribution of state funds meant to incentivize filming across the state. The majority of the funding has gone to projects in Middle Tennessee …Nashville. Both East Tennessee and West Tennessee have been almost totally left out of the picture. As chairman of the board of the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission, I would like to update you on "the story behind the story."

Encouraged by both our mayors and our film commission's executive board, Memphis/Shelby County Film Commissioner Linn Sitler and Memphis-based filmmaker Craig Brewer have been diligent, vocal, and aggressive in the past months in their behind-the-scenes efforts to convince Governor Haslam's Department of Economic and Community Development that HBO/Cinemax's TV pilot for "Quarry" and its first season—wanting to base in Memphis -- should be offered at least the same "deal" as the "Nashville" pilot and first season were offered to base in Nashville.

Ms. Sayle's unbiased and in-depth coverage revealed to the readers of The Memphis Flyer the inequity in not only the treatment of "Quarry," but also the historically inequitable distribution of incentive funds across the state. As Ms. Sayle's story shows, since 2006, when legislators from across the state, Sitler, Tennessee industry activist Andy van Roon, and then-Memphis City lobbyist Reina Reddish led the charge to create the Visual Content Act of 2006, the majority of the incentive funds have gone to Nashville and Middle Tennessee.

In light of this, the current Administration's refusal to make a "deal" with "Quarry" for Memphis seems even more inequitable. Ms. Sayle's documentation of the inequity in The Memphis Flyer will make the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission's leaders' work much easier in convincing both Governor Haslam's administration and the entire General Assembly of the need for film incentive reform.

The entire state needs to benefit from these funds and if the fund is too small for equity, then we must work together to increase it. We need and look forward to your support.

Jimmy Tashie

Chairman of the Board

The Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission

Here is the link to the Memphis Flyer story. 



'Head Shop' goes online Aug. 15

Shock Collar Studio is launching its web series HEAD SHOP on Aug. 15.

Written and directed by Giri Swamy and produced by Melissa Azzi, the show was shot in 2012 in locations around Memphis, featuring an entirely Memphis-based cast. It is a client of the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission.

The show follows the life of Will (Shaun Green), the owner of a head shop in Memphis who gets mixed up in the illegal drug trade when his business begins cutting in on street profits.

Shock Collar will celebrate the online premiere with a VIP event on Aug. 15 at VINI on Broad Avenue.

Viewers can see the first two hour-long episodes of the show for free on YouTube and Vimeo beginning Aug. 15. The three remaining episodes in the series will cost $2 per episode, or $5 for all three.

For more info, go here.



Board meeting Wednesday, July 17

There will be a meeting of the Members of the Board of the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission on Wed., July 17 at noon at Malco's Studio on the Square Theater (2105 Court Ave.).



Big Star documentary opens

"After a seven-year journey marked by shock and sadness as well as discovery and elation, a passion project conceived during a late-night conversation at Midtown’s Lamplighter Lounge comes full circle with the opening of BIG STAR: NOTHING CAN HURT ME on two screens at the Malco Studio on the Square."

This begins John Beifuss' excellent article on the film that documents an important part of Memphis history. Go here to see the full story in The Commercial Appeal about the making of the documentary.

For Beifuss' three and a half star review, go here.

BIG STAR: NOTHING CAN HURT ME is on two screens at the Malco Studio on the Square beginning a regular run of at least a week. Drummer Jody Stephens, the only surviving member of the band’s original lineup, will attend and answer questions from the audience after the 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. screenings on Friday, July 12, opening night.



Cast/Crew needed for 'QUARRY'

The HBO/Cinemax TV show QUARRY begins filming July 22, 2013, in the Horn Lake area of Mississippi and in Memphis for a total of 13 days.

QUARRY is a client of The Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission, The Tennessee Film, Entertainment and Music Commission and The Mississippi Film Office.

The project is hiring hundreds of paid extras (all ages, types, ethnicities) to work on the pilot episode. No previous experience necessary. Applicants must live in the Memphis or Southaven area.

Additional specific needs:

— Older men and women, especially Caucasian & African American, ages 40 to 80.

— Cars or pickup trucks, 1964 to 1973: any color (must be drivable); not necessary that vehicles are completely restored.

To sign up, please email three (3) recent photos. Casting needs to see your face, as well as the length of your hair, front & back. Include height, weight, age, all clothing sizes (including shoe size), telephone number (so Casting Department can reach you). Email to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The production department is seeking Memphis area experienced “locals” crew. Send production resumes to:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

QUARRY is based on a series of novels by Max Allan Collins and set in the 1970s.  The story focuses on a Marine sniper, Quarry, played by Logan Marshall-Green (PROMETHEUS, 24, THE OC, DARK BLUE) who returns home from Vietnam and finds himself shunned by family as well as the American public.  He’s recruited into a network of corrupted killers. Quarry also co-stars Stellan Skarsgard (THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO).

John Hillcoat is directing (LAWLESS, THE ROAD).   Other cast members include:  Mary Elizabeth Winstead (DIE HARD, SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD); Noah Taylor (GAME OF THRONES); Skipp Sudduth (THE GOOD WIFE).


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