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New Orleans-Shot ‘Jurassic World’ Sets All-Time Record with $209 Million Opening Weekend

Jurassic World just set a new all-time box office record, making $208.8 million in its opening weekend. That was just enough to beat out the The Avengers, which has held the record with $207.4 million since 2012.

The $208.8 total is big enough to bestow the problematic park pic with the all-time titles of biggest North American, international and global opening weekends. Internationally, Jurassic World‘s cume has already reached $511 million dollars.

The New Orleans-shot dino epic is the fourth film in the Jurassic Park series. Although the series has remained popular since the original set records in 1993, it has been thirteen years since Jurassic Park III‘s release in 2001, which made the release of World this weekend anything but a sure thing.

Helping the franchise reboot was Chris Pratt, who also anchored last summer’s surprise hit Guardians of the Galaxy. That film went on to be the #3 highest grossing film of 2014, behind The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and American Sniper. Pratt is now in Baton Rouge filming The Magnificent Seven for director Antoine Fuqua.

Jurassic World also stars Bryce Dallas Howard, Irffan Khan, Ty Simpkins, Vincent D’Onofrio, BD Wong, Nick Robinson, Jake Johnson, Omar Sy, Judy Greer, Courtney James Clark and James DuMont.

Source: Deadline

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New Podcast: Halt and Cast Fire | An Unofficial Halt and Catch Fire Podcast | The SceneCast

Micah Haley introduces Halt and Cast Fire, a new podcast from Scene Magazine about the AMC Original drama Halt and Catch Fire, which stars Scoot McNairy, Lee Pace, Mackenzie Davis, Kerry Bishé and Toby Huss.

The SceneCast is the official podcast of Scene Magazine, the entertainment magazine. Find out more at Sceneent.com. Email us at scenecast@sceneent.com.

SPONSOR:
This episode of the SceneCast is brought to you by On Screens Custom Wardrobing by Baudier Marketing. Whether you are a company seeking great promotional products, a film that needs crew shirts and wrap gifts , embroidered patches, or screen printing, Baudier Marketing does it better. When you need it, they deliver it FAST. Call us at 504-734-FAST.

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IN THEATERS: New Orleans-Shot ‘Jurassic World’ is Finally Here

Jurassic World

Shot in New Orleans, Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard star in this reboot/sequel. Isla Nublar is a fully functioning dinosaur theme park in which one of the attractions goes dreadfully wrong. This will likely be one of the biggest blockbusters of the summer. 124 min. PG-13.

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Atlanta-Shot ‘The Founder’ Has Begun Production

What better way to get to America’s hearts and clogged arteries than to make a film about the birth of McDonalds. Production on The Founder is already underway in Atlanta. The fast food empire film tells the story of Ray Kroc, the man who joined forces with Mac and Dick McDonald. The McDonald brothers impressed the middle-aged Kroc with their speedy burger operation. The infatuated Kroc was so impressed, he ended up taking over the company and turned it into the billion-dollar operation we see today.

I can’t find a cast member I dislike. The delicious cast includes Michael Keaton, Laura Dern, Nick Offerman, Linda Cardellini, Patrick Wilson and BJ Novak.

Michael Keaton’s resurgence in Hollywood is refreshing to see. The Birdman star will play Ray Kroc, a middle-aged salesman turned fast food tycoon. Keaton’s portrayal of Kroc will be quite darker than initially imagined as greed, money and power overtakes his way of life.

Laura Dern recently starred alongside Reese Witherspoon in Wild. The incredible actress was also in New Orleans during the filming of 99 Homes. Now, you can see her in the Atlanta-shot The Founder. Dern will play Ethel, the first wife to Ray Kroc.

The news of Nick Offerman joining the speedy burger joint immediately brought a smile across my mustache-less face. The Parks and Rec legend will play Dick McDonald, one of the brothers duped by Kroc.

Bloodline star Linda Cardellini will play Joan Kroc, the third wife of Ray Kroc. Cardellini has seen tremendous success over the past year, appearing in Bloodline and Avengers: Age Of Ultron, while filming Daddy’s Home in New Orleans. She has come a long way from playing Lindsay Weir in the cult classic Freaks and Geeks.

Inglorious Basterds actor BJ Novak will play a rising executive at McDonalds who becomes a protégé to Ray Kroc. I guess Kroc and The Office‘s Michael Scott both see themselves in BJ Novak. Novak will reconnect with John Lee Hancock. The two worked together on Saving Mr. Banks.

Home Sweet Hell star Patrick Wilson will play Rollie Smith, a young Navy veteran and first husband of Joan Kroc. The two had a daughter named Linda.

The Founder is directed by Magnificent Seven scribe John Lee Hancock. Robert Siegel is credited for writing the script. The fast food joint is expected to be released by The Weinstein Company on November 25, 2016.

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Martin Campbell’s ‘Hunter Killer’ Will Start Prepping Next Month in the Crescent City

Casino Royale director Martin Campbell will make another stop in New Orleans to shoot Hunter Killer this summer. The famed director was in the Big Easy in 2011 while filming Green Lantern. His new project, a submarine thriller called Hunter Killer, follows a barbarous Russian military leader en route to start World War III with America. In order to prevent all hell from breaking loose, the US Navy must stop the enraged Russian at all costs.

When you’re thinking of a crazed Russian submarine Captain, who better to play it than Willem Dafoe? His rugged face alone would make even Putin smile with pride. The American actor is joined by Gerard Butler, Billy Bob Thornton and rapper/actor Common. Billy Bob Thornton has been hotter than a muffler in Death Valley recently. He had a comeback performance in FX’s anthology series Fargo and faces off with Robert Downey Jr. in The Judge. Common is coming off an Oscar win with John Legend for their song “Glory,” featured in the film Selma. Common also acted in that film playing civil rights leader James Bevel.

Prep for Hunter Killer is scheduled to begin in New Orleans this July. Martin Campbell is directing from a script by Peter Craig, based on the novel Firing Point by George Wallace and Don Keith.

We will follow this film throughout the summer!

Source: Deadline

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‘USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage’ Filming in Mobile, Alabama Next Month

Mobile, Alabama will undergo a drastic transformation; the Southern town will go back in time to the 1940s. The story of USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage takes place in 1940s San Francisco. The World War II film retells the nerve-racking true story of the crew of the USS Indianapolis. The ship was struck with a torpedo and the men were stranded in the Philippine Sea. The crew was awaiting rescue for five days after delivering atomic weapons that would eventually end WWII. Of the 1,196 crew members, roughly 300 men went down with the ship, while the others waded in shark-infested waters, battling saltwater poising and dehydration.

War movie vet Tom Sizemore will be joined by Nicolas Cage, Thomas Jane and Astronaut Wives Club actor Matt Lanter. Cage will play Captain Charles Butler McVay, who was court-martialed, then exonerated more than fifty years later. No report on Sizemore or Jane’s roles in the upcoming film.

New Jack City helmer Mario Van Peebles will direct from his own script that was shaped by producers Rionda del Castro and Cam Cannon. Production is under a month away in Mobile as the crew gets set for a 500,000-gallon water tank and potential animatronic sharks. Patriot Pictures and Hannibal Classics will provide funding for the film. This film is expected to be released in May 2016.

Source: Variety

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Baton Rouge-Shot ‘Magnificent Seven’ Adds Billy Slaughter to Cast

Antoine Fuqua’s Magnificent Seven remake will add a new face to the already populated posse. New Orleans native Billy Slaughter will settle in with Denzel WashingtonEthan Hawke, Chris Pratt, Vincent D’Onofrio, Wagner Moura, Luke Grimes, Haley Bennett, Matt BomerByung-hun Lee, Peter Sarsgaard and Jonathan Joss.

The Baton Rouge production is already underway and continues to make waves with their star-studded cast. Fuqua’s Magnificent Seven is the remake of the 1960 film of the same name that starred Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson and Yul Brynner. That film was a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 tour de force Seven Samurai. The reboot of Magnificent Seven takes place in a small war-ravaged town run by ruthless gold mining barons. Denzel Washington and his horde of six other riders must come into town and protect it from the baron and his thugs.

Billy Slaughter has starred in Focus, HomefrontThe CampaignThe Big ShortAmerican UltraGeostorm and Daddy’s Home. His TV credentials are impressive too, as he landed critical roles in CBS’s Zoo, Treme and The Red Road. Watch Billy get slaughtered in the Zoo teaser trailer.

The script is written by John Lee Hancock and True Detective scribe Nic Pizzolatto. The reboot is directed by Training Day helmer Antoine Fuqua. As mentioned above, Magnificent Seven has already begun production in Baton Rouge. For more information on the film and a chance to work on set visit jobScene. For a chance to work as an actor we’ve got the details from Central Casting. Expect to see this film in theaters in early 2017.

Source: THR

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Gabrielle Union Joins Key & Peele’s Nola-Shot ‘Keanu’

Gabrielle Union is enjoying a fruitful summer. She currently stars in the BET series Being Mary Jane, recently joined the Jamie Foxx thriller Sleepless Night and will jump on the comedy project by Key & Peele, Keanu. That film is currently in pre-production in New Orleans.

Union will join Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele and Will Forte. The Bring It On star will play the wife of Keegan-Michael Key. Her character pushes her pushover husband to assert himself both with his career and his marriage.

New Orleans-shot Keanu is directed by Key & Peele helmer Peter Atencio. The comedy follows two friends who go all Malibu’s Most Wanted and act like gangsters to reclaim their stolen kitten Keanu. Key & Peele will play best friends and Will Forte will play their dopey drug dealer. Gabrielle Union will be in New Orleans this summer to film Keanu. Then the actress will travel to Atlanta and Las Vegas to film Sleepless Night.

Source: THR

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LSU Will Face Off With TCU in the College World Series

For the seventeenth time in school history, the LSU Tiger baseball team will partake in the College World Series. The Bayou Bengals will go toe to toe with TCU. The game will take place at 2pm Sunday at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska.

Coach Paul Mainieri has coached his Tigers to a 53-10 record and has yet to drop a game in postseason play. The No. 1 ranked Tigers swept a very good Louisiana-Lafayette team over the weekend. In the Baton Rouge Super Regional, LSU beat ULL 4-3 on Saturday then a 6-3 win over the Ragin’ Cajuns on Sunday.

The TCU Horned Frogs won the Big 12 Conference regular season championship with an impressive 49-13 record. They fended off the Texas A&M Aggies Monday night in a 16-inning contest, finally winning 5-4.

The LSU Tigers are currently 6-1 all time against the Horned Frogs from TCU. TCU is making back-to-back trips to Omaha and this marks the second trip in three years for the Tigers.

Noteworthy: This year’s field is made up of 50% SEC teams. The SEC is once again unquestionably the greatest conference in the NCAA.

Also Noteworthy: Shortstop for the LSU Tigers, Alex Bregman, was selected 2nd overall by the Houston Astros in the MLB Draft Monday Night. Get ready to see him continue his tremendous success in America’s game.

Below is a list of the weekend slate at TD Ameritrade Park:

Saturday

Game 1 | Arkansas (40-23) vs. Virginia (37-22), 2 p.m.

Game 2 | Florida (46-19) vs. Miami (49-15), 7 p.m.

Sunday

Game 3 | TCU (49-12) vs. LSU (53-10), 2 p.m.

Game 4 | Cal State Fullerton (39-23) vs. Vanderbilt (47-19), 7 p.m.

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Nic Cage’s New Orleans-Shot ‘The Runner’ Gets Distribution

The New Orleans-shot political drama starring the infamous and universally reddit-adored Nic Cage, has been acquired by Alchemy. Alchemy will have distribution rights in North America for New Orleans-shot The Runner.

The Runner was written and directed by Austin Stark. The cast includes American Horror Story‘s Sarah Paulson, New Orleans-natives Wendell Pierce and Bryan Batt, Connie Nielsen and Peter Fonda. This indie film has small budget but created a very impressive cast.

Cage will play an idealistic but imperfect politician who undergoes a sex scandal that destroys his career. The Runner will serve as the directorial and writing debut of Austin Stark. Noah Millman, Ruth Mutch, Sam Bisbee, Tom Conigliaro, Galt Niederhoffer and Todd Cohen will all serve as executive producers.

Source: Variety

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TRAILER: ‘Scream’

This trailer highlights decapitation, creepy social media type footage, high school parties and inevitable death. John Karna is featured again in the most recent trailer for the Baton Rouge-shot Scream tv series. Karna plays Noah, a nerdy comic relief character who was once the best friend of a cyber-bullied girl. In the recent trailers his clever one liners have had somewhat of a bubbly feeling. Now, Karna says, “By the time the first body is found, it’s only a matter of time before the bloodbath commences.” The slapstick horror theme is not present in this trailer.

The students of Lakewood are troubled once again. The lives of the rich and glamorous are threatened when cyberbullying goes over the line. After a series of murders in the small town, citizens attempt to band together to unlock the secrets from the town’s dark past. We also see a glimpse of Carlson Young, who plays Brooke. Her lights refuse to turn on in the garage and she walks along the line of Porches to her untimely doom? We will have to wait until June 30 to find out.

Scream‘s growing cast includes Bryan Batt, Bella Thorne, Willa Fitzgerald, Bex Taylor-Klaus, Carlson Young, Amadeus Serafini, John Karna, Connor Weil, Tracy Middendorf and Jason Wiles. Bob and Harvey Weinstein will act as executive producers along with Wes Craven and multiple others. Scream will come into your homes on June 30 on MTV. Check out past trailers here. For more information on Baton Rouge-shot Scream visit jobScene here.

Source: Deadline

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NEW PODCAST: Halt and Cast Fire | An Unofficial ‘Halt and Catch Fire’ Podcast

Micah Haley introduces Halt and Cast Fire, a new podcast from Scene Magazine about the AMC Original drama Halt and Catch Fire, which stars Scoot McNairy, Lee Pace, Mackenzie Davis, Kerry Bishé and Toby Huss.

Halt and Cast Fire is a podcast from Scene Magazine, the entertainment magazine. Find out more at Sceneent.com and haltandcastfire.com. Email us at haltandcastfire@sceneent.com.

SPONSOR:

NX New Orleans. What’s NX? Find out at whatsnx.com.

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LSU and Louisiana-Lafayette’s Super Regional Matchup

LSU, the No. 2 team in the land hosts a formidable foe in fellow statesman Louisiana-Lafayette. They’ll go head to head in a Super Regional matchup 7pm Saturday night in Alex Box Stadium. The series will be a best-of-three contest and will be featured on ESPN2 Saturday night.

LSU defeated Lehigh once and UNC Wilmington twice to advance to this coveted Super Regional. Louisiana-Lafayette defeated Houston once and Rice twice to advance to the Super Regional in Baton Rouge. The Ragin’ Cajuns had a colossal feat to accomplish as they faced off against two top twenty teams. Houston came in at No. 13 in the country and Rice was ranked No. 19.

Following their bout on Saturday night, the two will go head-to-head Sunday at either 5pm on ESPNU or 6pm on ESPN2. If necessary, a third game will be played on Monday.

The winner of this all-Louisiana Super Regional will have a chance at the National Crown awaiting them in Omaha, Nebraska. The College World Series will take place June 13-24.

LSU comes into the Super Regional with an astounding record of 51-10 while Louisiana-Lafayette bolsters a record of 42-21.

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Juston Street Comes to the Big Easy for ‘Deepwater Horizon’

Juston Street will come to New Orleans to join Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Kate Hudson and Dylan O’Brian. The Pete Berg-directed film has already begun principle photography in New Orleans. Lionsgate has released a first look photo of an oil-soaked Mark Wahlberg in character.

This will mark (pun intended) the second time Pete Berg and Mark Wahlberg have teamed up as the two worked on Lone Survivor, the inspirational true story of Marcus Luttrell. The BP oil spill drama is based off of “Deepwater Horizon’s Final Hour,” the  New York Timesarticle written by David Barstow. Peter Berg will also be reconnecting with the film’s scribe Matthew Michael Carnahan, the two collaborated on The Kingdom together.

Juston Street will play Gervasio, a rescue boat worker called to duty, travelling the fiery waters to aid the oil rig workers. You can see Street in Richard Linklater’s That’s What I’m Talking About and in Angelo Pizzo’s My All American.

The oil rig explosion film is expected to be released in September 2016. For more information and a possible job opportunity on the New Orleans-shot Deepwater Horizon film visit jobScene here.

Source: Deadline

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Jonathan Joss Goes to Baton Rouge for ‘Magnificent Seven’

Jonathan Joss will come to Baton Rouge to join the incredible cast of Antoine Fuqua’s Magnificent Seven. Joss has been Bent Twig in Almost Heroes, the voice of John Redcorn in Mike Judge’s King of the Hill, had a brilliant recurring role as Ken Hotate on Parks and Recreation and will now saddle up to play Denali in Magnificent Seven.

Denali is second-in-command to chief gold mining baron Bartholomew Bogue, the leader of a ruthless group of henchmen who will attempt to dismantle a small town. Jonathan Joss joins the likes of Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Chris Pratt, Vincent D’Onofrio, Wagner Moura, Luke Grimes, Haley Bennett, Matt Bomer, Jason Momoa and Byung-hun Lee.

Production in Baton Rouge is already underway for Magnificent Seven. For more information and possible job opportunities visit jobScene here. If you’re interested in an acting role in Magnificent Seven we’ve got the details from Central Casting here.

Source: Deadline

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Garth Brooks Breaks His Louisiana Record in Forty-Three Seconds

Garth Brooks has broken his Louisiana ticket sales record in just 43 minutes. The previous record was from April 23 – 25, 1998, at Pete Maravich Center in Baton Rouge when he sold 42,110 tickets. Today he has sold 55,423 tickets for Smoothie King Center in New Orleans and tickets are still selling! The shows will be:

Friday, July 10th, 7:00 PM
Saturday, July 11th, 7:00 PM and 10:30 PM
Sunday, July 12th, 7:30 PM

Tickets are on sale now. There is an eight ticket limit per purchase. Tickets can only be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com, ticketmaster.com/garthbrooks or either Ticketmaster Express 1-866-448-7849 or 1-800-745-3000. Please note that today there will be no ticket sales at the venue box office or Ticketmaster outlets.

Tickets will cost $66.73 plus a $2.00 facility fee and $6.25 service charge for a total of $74.98.

About Garth Brooks
On Tuesday, November 11th, Garth released “Man Against Machine, his first new studio album in 13 years. It has been certified platinum by the RIAA, making Garth once again the #1-selling solo artist in US history.
You can follow him at:
https://twitter.com/garthbrooks
https://www.facebook.com/GarthBrooks
http://instagram.com/garthbrooks
https://vine.co/GarthBrooks

For more information please visit www.garthbrooks.com
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IN THEATERS: ‘Spy,’ ‘Insidious: Chapter 3,’ ‘Entourage’

Spy

Paul Feig and Melissa McCarthy re-team for this comedy. McCarthy plays a book smart CIA analyst who volunteers for an undercover mission. Jason Statham, Jude Law and Rose Byrne also star. 120 min. Rated R.

Insidious: Chapter 3

The third installment of this horror trilogy will be a prequel to the first film. Elise Rainier agrees to contact the dead to help a teenage girl from supernatural beings. 97 min. Rated PG-13.

Entourage

Written and directed by the hit show’s lynchpin, Doug Ellin has the gang returning as Vinny Chase tries to reclaim his movie star status. Ari Gold will play God of the movie industry in this comedic drama as Vince and his confidants climb their way to the top of Hollywood. Prepare your eyes for cameos galore. 104 min. Rated R.

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Southern Screen Film Festival is Now Accepting Submissions

Every November in Lafayette, the Southern Screen Film Festival presents four days of film screenings, panels, red carpet events, parties and workshops for every unique individual to enjoy. Southern Screen moves beyond traditional film festivals and works to expose the community to the widespread possibilities of storytelling. The festival offers a hands-on experience. The creativity in filmmaking mixes with a landscape of the local Louisiana culture, inspiring and igniting the local community and visiting filmmakers.

The Southern Screen Film Festival begins November 19-22. The budding film festival was founded in 2011 and has been showcasing local filmmakers and films each November. It is located in the heart of Cajun Country in Lafayette, Louisiana. Their goal is to encourage community enrichment and sharing local projects with a local audience. The Southern Screen Film Festival also has a mission to provide education of filmmaking in the Acadiana area.

The deadline for film submissions is August 1. Film submissions from Southern filmmakers will be accepted for all types of films including:

  • Narrative Features
  • Documentaries
  • Short Films
  • Animations
  • Student Films
  • Music Videos

If you’re interested and an aspiring filmmaker, you should visit Southern Screen’s official website here. Fill out their submission form and pay a mere $20 entry fee to get your film seen! Student submissions are free!

For more information visit Southern Screen’s submission page here. Send them an email at submit@southernscreen.org. And finally visit their Facebook page here.

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Pair of ‘Pitch Perfect’ Films Brought $40 Million to Louisiana’s Economy

Both Pitch Perfect films brought $40 Million to Louisiana’s economy. Below is Gold Circle Entertainment’s press release discussing the economic impact of the Pitch Perfect series in Louisiana:

 

New economic data reveals that the productions of Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2 spent a combined $40 million in Louisiana and hired close to 800 resident Louisiana workers while filming. The productions also combined to purchase over 7,000 hotel room nights. The Pitch Perfect franchise is a homegrown original film series from Universal Pictures and Gold Circle Entertainment that was produced by Gold Circle and Brownstone Productions and distributed by Universal Pictures worldwide.

While the productions of Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2 utilized vendors throughout the entire state, both movies were shot entirely in Louisiana, including Baton Rouge locations such as Louisiana State University, the Old Louisiana Governor’s Mansion, the Baton Rouge River Center, Baton Rouge Community College, Southern University and Baton Rouge Magnet School. Pitch Perfect 2 also constructed a complete concert stage in Highland Park and hosted over 3,000 extras nightly for nearly one week.

Overall, Louisiana’s motion picture and television industry is thriving. A recent statewide economic and fiscal impact analysis conducted by HR&A Advisors, Inc. details that the industry – driven by the Louisiana State Motion Picture Investor Tax Credit – supported up to 33,520 jobs and generated up to $1.2 billion in personal income and $4 billion total economic output in 2013.

MPAA Chairman and CEO Senator Chris Dodd stated, “The economic impact from productions like Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2, along with the entire local motion picture and television industry, spans across all of Louisiana, providing jobs for local workers and business for local vendors. These figures are the latest reminder of the sheer number of hardworking men and women in Louisiana behind every scene in these two entertaining and popular movies.”

Partner of Gold Circle Entertainment and Executive Producer of the Pitch Perfect films Scott Niemeyer states, “Louisiana’s diverse shooting locations and developing infrastructure, combined with its competitive incentive program and wealth of indigenous talent, made the state the ideal home for the Pitch Perfect franchise. Our decision to shoot these films entirely in my home state of Louisiana, with support from the local workforce and collaborative business community, is a testament to the stability of the region’s creative economy and a nod to a prosperous future for the state’s entertainment ecosystem.”

Key economic impact figures from the productions of Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2 include:

  • Combined $40 million expenditures in Louisiana while filming
  • Employed almost 800 Resident Louisiana workers
  • Purchased over 7,000 hotel room nights

About the MPAA
The Motion Picture Association of America Inc. (MPAA) serves as the voice and advocate of the American motion picture, home video and television industries from its offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Its members include: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; Paramount Pictures Corporation; Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.; Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; Universal City Studios LLC; and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

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TRAILER: New Orleans-Shot ’99 Homes’

99 Homes is filled with struggle, betrayal, questionable redemption, questionable unlawful behavior and extraordinary performances. The New Orleans-shot thriller stars Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon and Laura Dern. Dern simply seems to give a performance of a lifetime over and over and this film is no different. Directed by Ramin Bahrani, 99 Homes shows the intense world of shady eviction notices and intense and ruthless “winners.” This film hit the festival screens of Venice, Telluride and Toronto and was highly praised for its emotional rollercoaster ride.

Andrew Garfield plays a single father trying to provide for his mother and his only son. Their collective life is put on hold when Michael Shannon approaches with the sheriff’s department to repossess their home. Nothing about the initial exchange seems legitimate. Shannon rules with an iron fist as he repossess countless homes without batting an eye. Garfield, longing for cash to feed his family, sets out to work for the man who took everything.

99 Homes is built for award nominations with supporting performances from Dern and Shannon. Shannon strikes fear into the surrounding characters, audience members and doesn’t hide his callous actions for anyone. Immediately following the Sundance screening, Bahrani went to their distributor, Broad Green, and increased Laura Dern’s role and let her scenes play a more pivotal piece in the final product.

99 Homes will hit the big screen September 25. In an interview with Pete Hammond from Deadline, Ramin Bahrani has this to say about his project: “This trailer is going to be the first time most audiences have ever heard of this film. For them it is brand new, and I am pretty stoked about it.” Well, Mr. Bahrani, we’re pretty stoked too.

Source: Deadline

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Scene in Georgia: Queen Latifah in ‘Bessie’

If there’s one woman who personifies Bessie Smith it’s Dana Elaine Owens, or as we like to call her, Queen Latifah. The middle aged Latifah has fiery energy, booming vocals, spunk and screen presence. She is the epitome of a renaissance woman. She started her career as a female rapper turned model, then actress, then producer and finally hosted her own television show. She ushered in a new wave of female rappers and sort of blazed the trail for the Missy Elliots, Lil’ Kims and now the Nikki Minajs of the world. She has won a Golden Globe, a Grammy and has been nominated for an Emmy and an Academy Award. She is also born on March 18, a date that we both will share for eternity. So, as Parks and Recreation’s Tom Haverford would say, “Hip-Hop’s First Lady is my boo.”

Latifah will play Bessie Smith in the upcoming TV movie Bessie from HBO. The Bessie biopic will also star Oscar winner Mo’Nique, the rugged Michael Kenneth Williams, Charles S. Dutton, Khandi Alexander and the long-time comedic vet Mike Epps make up the supporting cast. We know Latifah has the moxie, appearance, soul and the booming vocals to play the iconic jazz singer. The Queen picked up an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Big Mama Morton in Chicago.

In the 1920s and 1930s Bessie Smith was one of the most popular and authoritative voices of the blues and jazz genre. She was nicknamed The Empress of the Blues and led the way with the likes of Louis Armstrong as catalysts for jazz vocalists. The story of Bessie Smith is one of triumph, controversy, influence and tragedy. Spoiler alert, Smith was critically injured in a car accident in late September, 1937. Smith would be taken to the Thomas Afro-American Hospital after apparently being refused admission to a “whites only” hospital in Clarksdale, Mississippi. It will be interesting to see Bessie Smith’s last moments on Earth played out on the screen.

Latifah and Smith’s similarities go much further than their physical appearances. Both icons performed with conviction and struggled with similar obstacles at the start of their music careers. The film is bound to be filled with drama, oppression and will hopefully shed light on a story that is unknown to most.

As mentioned before, Dee Rees will direct from her own script. After the successful HBO TV movie The Normal Heart, HBO is back again with a cast that would very well break the box office. Latifah was seemingly born for the role of Bessie Smith, Mo’Nique will play Ma Rainey, Charles S. Dutton will play Pa Rainey, Michael Kenneth Williams will play Jack Gee and Mike Epps will play a bootlegger named Richard. Starring opposite Queen Latifah is Fargo’s Oliver Platt. Platt will play Carl Van Vechten, the infamous portrait photographer that was a big part of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s. Bessie was shot in Olde Town Conyers, Georgia. The blues film is produced by Ron Schmidt. The film has a U.S. release date of May 16, 2015.

For more information visit our jobScene page here.

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Scene in Texas: Summer Fest 2015

Houston’s heat and humidity are no match for the faithful fans of Free Press Summer Fest. In its seventh year, FPSF will bring together the best of the genres with headliners like Weezer, Skrillex, Major Lazer and St. Vincent.

The Welcome to Houston set returns this year to pay homage to the city’s rap scene, featuring natives Bun-B, Slim Thug, Devin the Dude, Z-Ro, Paul Wall, Mike Jones, Scarface, Lil Flip and Lil Keke. Joining the slew of rappers onstage will be The Suffers, an eclectic ten-piece band who recently made their debut on The Late Show with David Letterman. They will also have their own set to showcase their brand of Gulf Coast soul.

Some of this year’s break out artists like Charlie XCX, Tove Lo and ILoveMakonnen will be joined by performing veterans. 80s icons Tears for Fears will be on hand to perform their synth-pop anthems “Shout,” “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” and the oft-covered “Mad World.” Weezer brings the alt-rock of the 90s and beyond to the stage for their second appearance of FPSF.

Indie darlings like The Decemberists, Belle and Sebastian, Band of Horses, Flogging Molly and Portugal. The Man all bringing their loyal fan bases out for festival fun. EDM fans can get charged with acts like Flume, RL Grime, Odesza and co-headliners Skrillex and Major Lazer. Other acts include country crooner Robert Ellis, Mastodon, Chance the Rapper, Gary Clark Jr, Sturgill Simpson, Brandi Carlisle and more.

Free Press Summer Fest takes place June 5-6 at Eleanor Tinsley Park near downtown Houston. For more information visit FPSF.com or get a sneak peek with the FPSF 2015 official playlist on Spotify.

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IN THEATERS: ‘Aloha,’ ‘San Andreas’

Aloha

Written and directed by Cameron Crowe, this dark comedy/romantic drama has more stars than the bright Hawaiian skyline. Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, Bill Murray, John Krasinski, Danny McBride and Alec Baldwin star. PG-13. 105 min.

San Andreas

Dwayne Johnson stars in one of the most global threatening films of the year. A decorated rescue-chopper pilot tries to save his estranged daughter after a massive earthquake erupts in California. PG-13. 114 min.

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Create Louisiana Announces $50,000 ‘2016 Filmmakers Grant’

Create Louisiana —an ongoing effort to support and develop the creative industries of Louisiana and showcase their cultural, economic and social contributions to the state—and announced the campaign’s first project, the 2016 Create Louisiana Filmmakers Grant, in partnership with the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH) and the New Orleans Film Society. The initiative includes a $50,000 grant for a local filmmaking team and provides a unique opportunity to develop their careers through the funding of a short film, which will screen at the 2016 New Orleans Film Festival.

The 2016 Create Louisiana Filmmakers Grant is an industry-building program designed to recognize and celebrate the creative industries in Louisiana, including all the burgeoning, indigenous filmmakers that contribute to Louisiana’s vibrant creative economy. The grant recipient team will receive a $50,000 grant for a short film project. The film is to be completed within twelve months of receiving the award, with the finished project set to screen at the 2016 New Orleans Film Festival. The 2016 Create Louisiana Filmmakers Grant is a partnership between Create Louisiana, the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and the New Orleans Film Society, with the first year being sponsored by Deep South Studios. Applications will open in August 2015 and can be found at www.createlouisiana.com.

Create Louisiana was designed to champion the indigenous entertainment talent of Louisiana and support the development of the region’s integral creative industries. Through social media, grants, and development programs, #CreateLouisiana will stimulate conversation and mobilize a communication network that shares the stories, information and resources contributing to our state’s vibrant creative economy. #CreateLouisiana aims to collectively inspire an understanding of the value of our Louisiana creative community and the talented workforce that drives its development.

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Garth Brooks World Tour Starts in New Orleans

Garth Brooks is set to make his first headline appearance in New Orleans. For the first time in 18 years, The Garth Brooks World Tour with Trisha Yearwood is coming to Louisiana!  The shows will be Friday, July 10, 7:00 PM and Saturday, July 11, 7:00 PM at Smoothie King Center. Tickets will be on sale Friday, June 5 at 10:00 AM CST. There will be an eight ticket limit per purchase. Tickets can only be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com,ticketmaster.com/garthbrooks or either Ticketmaster Express 1-866-448-7849 or 1-800-745-3000. Please note there will be no ticket sales at the venue box office or Ticketmaster outlets on June 5.

Tickets will cost $66.73 plus a $2.00 facility fee and $6.25 service charge for a total of $74.98.

About Garth Brooks
On Tuesday, November 11, Garth released Man Against Machine, his first new studio album in 13 years. It has been certified platinum by the RIAA, making Garth once again the #1-selling solo artist in US history. His current single “Mom” has taken social media by storm, you can follow him at:
https://twitter.com/garthbrooks
https://www.facebook.com/GarthBrooks
http://instagram.com/garthbrooks
https://vine.co/GarthBrooks

For more information please visit www.garthbrooks.com

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