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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."

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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.

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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 ticketweb.com or by calling (866) 468-7630.

Read Bob's story in The Commercial Appeal here

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'Nashville' gains state grant

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD) announced this week that it has approved a grant of up to $7.5 million for the Nashville television show that will film in Music City and premiere on ABC this fall. The reimbursable grant will be based on the production’s actual qualified expenditures made in Tennessee. Qualified expenditures are those incurred in the state for goods or services purchased from a Tennessee vendor or paid to a Tennessee resident in connection with the production.

“We are taking a new approach to one of Tennessee’s strongest and most unique businesses, the entertainment industry,” Commissioner Bill Hagerty, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, said. “Gov. Bill Haslam has made a concerted effort to fold the film and music sectors into our department and make them a part of the state’s regular economic goals and initiatives.

“The unique confluence of film and music that Nashville offers is central to our aim of highlighting Tennessee’s great strength as a center of creative excellence in the music industry,” Hagerty added. “Additionally, the consistent employment afforded Tennesseans as a result of this multi-episode series will result in constructive training and talent development and longer term employment for Tennessee’s entertainment industry.”

Pre-production on the series, which will be filmed in and around Nashville, has already begun with principal photography slated to begin mid-July. Nashville is expected to employ more than 350 Tennessee residents in various crew positions. Additionally, much of the musical scoring, recording and publishing will be done in Music City.

Nashville stars Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights, American Horror Story) as Rayna James, a country music legend, and Hayden Panettiere (Heroes) as Juliette Barnes, a young up-and-coming star. Also starring in the series are Powers Boothe (MacGruber24), Eric Close (Chaos, Without a Trace) and Clare Bowen (General Hospital).

The series is produced by Lionsgate, ABC Studios and Gaylord Entertainment. For more information on the show, visit www.facebook.com/NashvilleABC.

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies which help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. The department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. To find out more, go to www.tn.gov/ecd. Follow us on Twitter: @tnecd. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/tnecd.

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