Archive for May, 2008


Benefit for the two williams (stilwell casting) Xtra Medium Live at Smith’s Olde Bar

Hello everyone!  This is Brian with another 2 Williams Project update.  As you all know our first Habitat Concert at Smiths Olde Bar was a smashing success, as we raised over $10,000 in cash and materials for our House #2 to be built at the beginning of next year.  This success was attributed to dedicated actors, agents, and to the Stilwell’s who have brought an overwhelmingly positive community come together. 


I am proud to announce that next week we will have Round 2 of our Habitat fundraising effort.  Smith’s has graciously given us a Saturday night for this event, and I must say it is quite an opportunity to raise more money and support, and have a great time dancing and partying with Xtra Medium.  In case you did not know, Xtra Medium is the band I sing for and we really know how to have a good time (last time I was on crutches after the show).  I am hoping that our acting community will rally together once again for a great cause. 


We really need those of you who have tickets to help get them out to the people.  We need those of you who have talent and friends that might want to support our cause to get the word out.  I really am having a hard time rallying the troops for this benefit, so if you can help… please do!!  I have tickets here at the office or you can get them online at: .   Tickets will also be available at the door the night of the event. 


Tickets are $10.00 and once again our band has decided to donate 100% of the proceeds to the 2 Williams Home #2.  All of you who came last time know that this is a wild concert experience and we are hoping that you will join us again, this time on a Saturday, so it should really get interesting.  If you would like to support our cause, please help promote our show and let me know if I can get you tickets or any other info.


Thanks,     Brian B. & The Stilwell Family


Saturday, June 7th  9:00PM-2:00AM

For tickets :  Call Brian at Stilwell or go to

Tickets also available at the door


AFTRA, majors agree on deal, Pact must be ratified by members

Posted: Wed., May 28, 2008, 6:43am PT

By DAVE MCNARYThe majors and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists have signed a primetime deal that will ease — but not eliminate — the town’s fears of an actors strike.
Following nine consecutive days of negotiations, AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers reached a tentative three-year agreement early Wednesday at AMPTP headquarters in Encino.The new pact must be approved by AFTRA’s national board and ratified by its members. It covers about a dozen shows including “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Rules of Engagement,” “Flight of the Conchords,” “Dante’s Cove,” “Til Death” and “Reaper” plus new sitcoms “Project Gary,” “Harper’s Island” and “Roman’s Empire.”
The deal includes new media provisions similar to those in the DGA and WGA deals covering programs streamed over the web and downloads of TV shows along with setting the same thresholds for coverage of made-for-the-internet programs. As with the director and writer deals, the AFTRA pact did not include any gains in DVD residuals.

And AFTRA also said the pact retains actors’ consent over online use of clips, an issue that had emerged as a dominant concern at the negotiations. Both SAG and AFTRA had opposed the AMPTP’s proposal that actors agree to drop the consent requirement for online clips; the companies had contended that the change was essential in order to establish a viable business model that could compete with the massive levels of pirated clips on the web.

AFTRA said the pact calls for it and the companies to “develop a mechanism” by which performers can provide or withhold consent for non-promotional use of clips from TV libraries. For programs produced after July 1, companies can bargain for consent for the right to use clips at the time of original employment.

“This is another groundbreaking agreement for AFTRA,” said AFTRA national president Roberta Reardon in a statement. “In addition to achieving meaningful gains in compensation and working conditions for performers, it also establishes AFTRA jurisdiction in the dynamic area of new media and it preserves performers’ consent for use of excerpts of traditional TV shows in new media.

“This is a challenging time in the entertainment industry and this was a tough negotiation,” she said. “Our ability to achieve these crucial breakthroughs for performers was a direct result of AFTRA members’ pragmatic approach to collective bargaining. We recognized the hard realities currently affecting the traditional TV business and we focused on creating a framework that would allow union members to participate fully in the emerging new media marketplace.”

The AFTRA deal came with the Screen Actors Guild set to resume negotiations this morning after a three-week recess for the AFTRA talks. SAG’s feature-primetime contract expires June 30 and the lack of resolution of the guild’s deal had unnerved Hollywood with studios refusing to greenlight features until a new contract’s signed.

In a reflection of the poor relations between SAG and AFTRA, guild president Alan Rosenberg issued a muted reaction to the deal Wednesday morning.

“The Screen Actors Guild negotiating committee and staff will thoroughly analyze and evaluate the principles of a tentative AFTRA deal with the AMPTP,” he said. “We look forward to receiving an update from AFTRA staff regarding the negotiations as soon as possible. We look forward to hearing more during a face-to-face briefing with AFTRA’s negotiating committee as soon as AFTRA provides the opportunity.”

He noted that SAG’s talks with the AMPTP would launch at 10 a.m. as planned and added, “We remain committed to negotiating the best possible terms for actors for all motion pictures and the vast majority of television programs, pay TV and new media formats.”

SAG negotiated with the majors for three weeks but the AMPTP recessed the talks on May 6 over the guild’s objections. SAG insisted that it was near a deal at that point but it’s subsequently revealed that major gaps remain on half a dozen issues.

Most notably, the AFTRA deal sets a template for SAG to follow, much as the DGA deal in January set the parameters for the WGA agreement earlier this year. AFTRA’s been operating in previously unknown territory by negotiating the primetime deal on its own for the first time in three decades following a bitter break-up with SAG.

But it’s uncertain whether SAG will follow the terms of the new AFTRA pact, given the deeply troubled relationship between the performers unions. AFTRA split from joint negotiations in late March following a bitter jurisdictional dispute over “The Bold and the Beautiful,” while SAG’s repeatedly accused AFTRA of signing cable deals at lower initial terms.

AFTRA also spurned SAG’s two-pronged request May 6 to either step aside for a third time or go back to joint bargaining.

Much of the AFTRA and SAG negotiations have been devoted to a single issue — the companies’ proposal that actors agree to drop the consent requirement for online clips — and momentum has stalled on small details in recent sessions.

Many labor observers had expected the AFTRA talks, which launched May 7, to wrap before this week. But AFTRA took a tough stance on the clips issue — mirroring SAG’s position.

Rosenberg sent a message to members late Tuesday, reiterating that gaps remain on key issues including clip consent, DVD residuals, product integration, force majeure and jurisdiction over low-budget projects for the web. And in a sign of ongoing bad blood, he complained that SAG observers had only been allowed to attend six of AFTRA’s negotiating sessions with the AMPTP — none over the past week.

SAG leaders have insisted they don’t want to strike and have not asked members for strike authorization. Such a move would require 75% support among those casting ballots.

AFTRA also said its new deal improves minimums by 3.5% in the first year, 3% in the second and 3.5% in the third. Its also boosts employer contributions to the AFTRA Health and Retirement plan by 0.5% to 15%.

The pact also increases the number of covered background actors in Los Angeles; secures rest provisions for background performers in Los Angeles; and improves terms and conditions for performers who work under the CW contract.

“We appreciate the support we received from the Hollywood labor community, and we wish our brothers and sisters in the Screen Actors Guild the very best as they resume their own contract talks,” Reardon said.

AFTRA said details of the new agreement will be submitted to the AFTRA National Board at meetings scheduled for June 6-7 in Los Angeles. If approved by that panel, the pact will be submitted to AFTRA’s membership for ratification.

The AMPTP issued a statement noting that the new deal’s the fourth it’s negotiated this year following the DGA and WGA pacts along with AFTRA’s network code agreement, which covers non-primetime.

Both AMPTP and AFTRA were challenged during these talks to find a way to fairly and sensibly tailor our industry’s new media framework to meet the needs of actors,” the org said. “As a result of compromise and creativity by both parties, we reached an agreement that makes the new media framework work for all actors.”

The AMPTP’s statement also took a hopeful tone about the SAG talks, saying, “We now look forward to the resumption of talks with SAG, to building on the foundation laid during our first round of SAG talks, and to reaching an agreement that will prevent another harmful and unnecessary strike.”






Another update from GPP

Movies set to be filmed in region: Film industry professionals continue to find their way to Southwest Georgia
Albany Herald
By Barbara Rivera Holmes
Barbara Best’s production company has a nation-full of choices for shooting its films, but the Orlando-based firm has picked Southwest Georgia as the setting for at least three of them.
On and off for about two months, Best has auditioned 200 area residents as extras in her movies and now has put out a call for a country band, which she hopes to cast in two of the films.
Best, director of acquisition for Off The Cuff Productions, has gone so far as to set up an office in rural Early County.
It’s no accident that the Off The Cuff, which Best said produces “21st century (family-friendly feature) films reflecting the values of earlier generations,” focused on Blakely. The town is close to Colquitt, home of the Southwest Georgia Film Commission and the Jokara-Micheaux Film Festival, in neighboring Miller County.
“We had heard through the grapevine that there were other films activities going on in that area,” she said Tuesday, “so ‘Why don’t we go over there and see what it’s all about?’ and we made some connections with Early County 2055.”
The area and Off The Cuff seemed like a natural fit.
“We’re trying to build a film community there,” said the Macon native, echoing the sentiment of all involved with the commission and in particular that of its founder, Ralph Wilcox.
“We’re trying to build industry there. … We are trying to give people opportunities,” Best said. “It’s an impoverished area, and we see the potential for a film industry to grow there and flourish.”
Community-building aside, Southwest Georgia in general is appealing.
“You’ve got beautiful weather … and just the locations are pretty. The architecture is pretty. It’s very well laid out,” she said.
“I’ve been in Albany,” said Best, who was in town in 2007 doing research and scouting locations. “I’ve spoken with several people at the chamber (Albany Area Chamber of Commerce), so we’re not just limited to Blakely. We are looking at other locations as well.”
But back to the country band; Best simply needs a good set of musicians.
“I’m wanting to audition the country music bands in that area (Southwest Georgia) instead of bringing someone in from outside the area,” she said.
“They can be a three-member band or a six-member band,” she said. “I want a band that sounds good. I want them to be studio quality. I know there are good bands in Albany, in Dothan, Ala., in Blakely, in Colquitt.”
Best said the band, and the extras, will get paid for their work.
Bands need to call and set up an audition time, a lesson Best learned the hard way when she auditioned extras.
“We had so many people coming in off the street that we were there until 10:30 one night,” she said.
She has planned for the band auditions to be June 12-14 from 2 p.m.-7 p.m.
News such as that of Off the Cuff’s work in Blakely is exactly what Wilcox, a veteran actor and Colquitt native, envisioned when he set out to make the area a film hub.
He noted that films produced by Sherwood Pictures, a division of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, has helped to put Southwest Georgia on the film map.
“Even in this region, people were doubting whether or not there was any viability,” Wilcox said. “Now people are saying, ‘My goodness gracious, it is very, very viable, and the job opportunities, construction, transportation, food services, painting, administration, all those areas literally employ people.’
“And although no one is getting rich, we just have to be steady and stay consistent … and understand that it can happen.”
Wilcox said that Gov. Sonny Perdue’s new tax incentive credit — from 15 percent before to 30 percent now — “makes us very, very competitive with Wilmington, N.C., and certainly Louisiana.”
He added that a project of the commission, The Lena Baker Story, screened recently at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival and was a red-carpet opener at the Atlanta Film Festival. Come Labor Day weekend, the film will open this year’s Jokara-Micheaux festival.
“I really am very pleased with what I see starting to happen,” he said.






Female tennis player/host needed asap!

If you are this person, or know someone who is, please contact Mystie or Deborah asap for more details.  For talent wh oare not currently listed, email is preferred with headshot and resume. 


Prime-time cable TV series about vacation travel to some of the most exotic resorts in the world looking for a new on-camera host with the following attributes:


Female (25-35) with professional or semi-professional tennis background (former NCAA team members preferred).  2-3 years experience on-camera (news, sports, film).  Travel experience a plus.  Must have valid US passport and be in a position to travel domestically and overseas numerous times per year.


Need a highly experienced tennis player who can be molded into a host (NOT the other way around). 


States Race to Woo TV and Film

Recieved this today from GPP:

Producers Showered With Incentives; Moving ‘Ugly Betty’ By PETER SANDERS
May 22, 2008; Page A4
An arms race has broken out among states hoping to lure big-budget movie and television productions with financial incentives.In the past month and a half, at least four states — Georgia, New York, Mississippi and Michigan — have increased the scope of tax credits, cash rebates and other incentives to encourage spending money in the state and hiring local workers. They are competing with nearly 40 other states and U.S. territories that have incentive programs on the books, some with established film- and TV-production infrastructure, including New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana and Pennsylvania.

California, Hollywood’s home state, offers no incentives to producers despite several efforts in the state legislature. Concerns about “runaway production” cropped up again this spring when the producers of ABC’s TV hit “Ugly Betty” decided to move production to New York from Los Angeles. New York recently sweetened incentives so that producers can receive back up to 30% of their production expenses via a tax credit, or 35% of expenses in New York City.

The ABC move prompted the show’s Los Angeles crew to take out a full-page advertisement in the trade paper Daily Variety calling on the state to enact incentives.

The latest incentives bill, now in the California state legislature, faces long odds. In the wake of “Betty’s” departure, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he would like to offer incentives similar to those offered by other states, but it’s difficult when the state faces a budget deficit that could hit $20 billion next year.

In recent years, Hollywood producers have flocked to Canada, Eastern Europe and other places chasing the business. But these days, the dollar’s fall against foreign currencies has made those places less appealing.

“We’re exploring more in the U.S.,” says Gary Barber, chief executive of Spyglass Entertainment in Los Angeles. “With the weaker dollar and incentives provided domestically, it’s now very attractive to shoot in the States.”

Among the U.S. states trying to attract his business is Michigan, which has been hit hard in recent years by a sagging auto industry and other economic woes. Last month, Gov. Jennifer Granholm signed a law that allows Michigan to offer some of the most generous rebates in the nation. Productions that spend more than $50,000 in-state are eligible for a 40% cash refund of their spending within the state, or 42% if they shoot in one of 103 “core communities.”

Georgia last week restructured its tax-credit program and took out a full-page ad in Variety touting it. The program gives producers up to 20% of their expenses back via a tax credit, with a minimum of $500,000 spent in the state. Companies that add a five-second clip of the state film commission’s animated Georgia peach logo to their program or film receive an extra 10%.

Michigan officials felt the need for a new law after earlier incarnations failed to attract attention. “Previously, we had a sliding scale of 12% to 20% rebates based on your Michigan spend, with a rebate cap of $2 million per production,” says Janet Lockwood, head of the Michigan Film Office. “We were overtaken by other states within half an hour of signing it in January 2007, and it didn’t work out because many states had better things to offer.”

Since the new law took effect, Ms. Lockwood says she has received more than 100 prospective scripts from television- and movie-production companies. State officials say that 15 projects have since been approved with rebates so far totaling about $39 million. Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. recently relocated a coming Clint Eastwood film, tentatively titled “Gran Torino,” to the Detroit area from Minnesota. Portions of a Weinstein Co. film called “Youth in Revolt” will be partly filmed in Ann Arbor, Mich., the company says.

“We’re building a whole new industry here in Michigan,” says Gov. Granholm. “You have to invest in order to grow and we are investing in a new sector in our economy, because we know we have the greatest need to continue to diversify our economy.”

In Holland, a western Michigan city of about 35,000 best known for its annual May tulip festival, native Hopwood DePree recently moved home to start a production company, after years living in Los Angeles.

He is reconfiguring a former Reddi-wip factory in Holland that closed in March as a soundstage. “The wide-open spaces that were used as coolers for the whipped cream make great soundstages,” Mr. DePree says.

His company, TicTock Studios, is also taking advantage of state tax incentives to train unemployed factory workers (including as many as 50 people from the closed whipped-cream operation) in the basic skills of movie production.

The lack of skilled workers and production facilities is a problem for Michigan. One studio-production executive says it would be expensive to truck film equipment to Michigan and import much of the crew. He says New Mexico is probably less expensive overall even though its tax credits are smaller.

Others are skeptical of the long-term benefits to the state’s economy. “The direct economic impact won’t justify any of these benefits,” says Don Grimes, an economic researcher at the University of Michigan. “I don’t think building a wide infrastructure will ever work out because it’s not an industry that will locally employ that many people.” please check it out.


Cars Crash Through Houghton Parking Lot

I thought that title might get your attention!


You all know that Collier Road is a very busy road.  You all know how fast the traffic travels down the hill.  What you may not know is that for some strange reason, many drivers seem to have trouble coming straight down the hill.  Instead, they have a puzzling tendency to crash through our parking lot.


Just in the last two weeks, two different people have lost control, careened through our lot, crashed vehicles, fences, shrubbery and even the building next door to us.  Luckily, these accidents occurred on the weekend and no one was seriously injured.  But they serve as a good reminder of just how dangerous our front lot can be.


So for your safety, we ask the following:


  • Please park up the hill whenever possible, even if you think you may only be here for a few minutes.
  • Never leave your children and other loved ones in your car when parked in our lot.
  • Never leave your pets in your car when parked in our lot.
  • Never leave valuables, especially your purse or laptop visible in your car, where ever you park.





Filmmakers have Georgia on their minds By Todd Longwell

We recieved this today from GPP’s Craig MIller:

Production incentives

When Georgia-based animal wrangler Renee DeRossett heard that Gov. Sonny Perdue was signing a law upping her state’s entertainment production tax credit to as much as 30%, she could barely contain her joy.

“Oh, my land!” she exclaimed. “That is the best news I’ve heard in a long time.”

It may seem like a silly thing to get so excited about, but for people like DeRossett, incentives such as these can mean the difference between buying a bigger, more expensive home and facing foreclosure on a smaller, cheaper one.

What’s truly good news for both DeRossett and Hollywood studios is that Georgia’s new incentive is generous, but not so generous that a skeptical public and fickle legislators are likely to demand it be repealed two or three years down the line.

“This is something you can count on,” says Georgia State Sen. Mitch Seabaugh, noting that the bill had near-unanimous support in both houses before being signed into law by Gov. Perdue on May 12. “And we’re not going to be taking it back. We want to build a long-term relationship with the industry.”

It’s been a rough few years for the Georgia film and TV community. The state had been on a hot streak in the late ’90s and early ’00s, attracting such studio films as 1999’s “The General’s Daughter” and 2000’s “The Legend of Bagger Vance.” But in 2003, Louisiana and New Mexico made available rich incentive packages, luring away productions that would have otherwise gone to the Peach State, such as 2004’s “Ray” (shot in Louisiana). The Georgia legislature fought back with a 9% tax credit in 2005, creating a record-setting economic impact in 2006, with film, television and video game companies contributing $475 million to the state economy, an increase from $124 million in 2004. But business fell off sharply again the following year as more states one-upped each other with increasingly generous incentives, culminating with Michigan’s passage of a 40-42% tax credit earlier this year.

Through this dark time, one of the bright spots has been mutlihyphenate Tyler Perry, who has shot a string of films in Atlanta, from 2005’s “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” to the 2009-slated Lionsgate release “Madea Goes to Jail,” as well as 100 episodes of the TBS series “House of Payne.”

In 2006, Perry paid a reported $7 million for Atlanta Stage Works, a soundstage and production office complex in the city’s Inman Park district, and rechristened it Tyler Perry Studios. Later this year, he plans to move his operations to a 30-acre space near Greenbriar Mall that will feature five soundstages, a 400-seat screening theater and a backlot.

Although Perry has taken full advantage of the state’s tax incentives, his primary motivation for basing his business in Atlanta is personal, according to the studio’s COO, Oscar Turner.

“One, Tyler loves the city, and two, it’s the town where he got his start and really began to develop his career,” Turner says. “Thirdly, it’s a great place for us to conduct business without a lot of the distractions a young up-and-coming company may have in Los Angeles.”

Although Perry’s productions typically employ crews of 100-plus people, it’s not enough to support an industry. What have others done during the production downturn?

“Starve,” says Gene Witham, a veteran makeup artist based in Savannah.

In truth, many followed the work to Louisiana, South Carolina and other states with more generous incentives. Some diversified, like DeRossett, who, in addition to wrangling animals for stage productions has also worked as a set dresser and served as a script supervisor for a visiting episode of “America’s Most Wanted.” Others, like Witham, found short-term work on the numerous commercials and photo shoots that come to the state to utilize its deep green forests and diverse architecture that ranges from antebellum mansions in Savannah to the modern high-rises of Atlanta.

The production infrastructure has also been sustained by the Turner Broadcasting System and its various divisions (including CNN), which are headquartered in Atlanta. Music video production also flourishes here thanks to the presence of several high-profile hip-hop artists and producers, including Dallas Austin, Big Boi and Jermaine Dupri.

When — and, the pessimist would add, if — productions return to Georgia en masse, RiverWood Studios is ready to pick up the slack. Its studio complex, a turnkey facility on 120 acres, 25 miles south of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, currently boasts four soundstages, a backlot, production offices and a 10,000-square-foot construction mill and machine shops. A mile from the studio, the company is redeveloping Senoia — a 142-year-old town that has hosted 22 film and TV projects over the last two decades, from 1991’s “Fried Green Tomatoes” to Tyler Perry’s March release “Meet the Browns” — as a live-work community that can double as a movie set. It has new structures for residential, restaurant and retail space that match the authentic period architecture, featuring back alley access that enables productions to shut down streets without disrupting residents’ access to their homes.

“We want to roll out the red carpet here in Georgia,” says RiverWood Studios president Scott Tigchelaar. “It’s been a long time and we’re ready.”

Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office Contact:
Bill Thompson, deputy commissioner
75 Fifth St. N.W., Ste. 1200, Atlanta, GA 30308

Recent and continuing shoots: Red Five Entertainment’s “Conjurer,” Shadowlight Pictures’ “Good Intentions,” Wonder Entertainment’s “The Hill,” Lionsgate’s “Meet the Browns” and “Why Did I Get Married?” and TBS’ “House of Payne”

Production Incentives: Georgia now provides a 20% base tax credit for all in-state spend on qualified productions, including films, TV series, commercials, music videos and video game productions. (Prior to May 12, the state offered a 9% base credit.)

–An additional 10% tax credit is given to productions that include a qualified Georgia promotion. Examples include a five-second-long animated state logo appearing within a finished film and all promotional trailers, or TV programs embedding a five-second-long Georgia promotion during each broadcast half-hour.

–Productions must spend at least $500,000 in Georgia.

–Only $500,000 of any individual salary for a single project can be applied when calculating the tax credit.

— Projects must be certified by the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office.

–The incentive has no cap.

–The tax credit is transferable, meaning it can be sold to third parties. But the credit is not generated or available for use until all expenditures have been made and the production’s tax return has been filed with the Georgia Department
of Revenue.

–The incentive has no sunset date. It will remain on the books until repealed or amended by the legislature.

–Additionally, the state offers a point-of-purchase sales tax exemption that can save qualified productions up to 8% on most below-the-line materials and service purchases, leases
or rentals.

Georgia on film

1. Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
Morgan Freeman chauffeurs Jessica Tandy all over Atlanta and its surrounding areas in the dramedy based on Alfred Uhry’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play.

2. My Cousin Vinny (1992)
The Peach State stands in for Alabama as Joe Pesci tries to defend his cousin and sidekick from a murder rap in the South.

3. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997)
John Cusack discovers that Southern hospitality in
Savannah is not so cordial as he gets tangled in a local
millionaire’s murder trial in Clint Eastwood’s thriller.

4. Meet the Browns (2008)
Tyler Perry introduces audiences to the Browns of Georgia in traditional “Madea” fashion in this family dramedy.

 Links referenced within this article

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