Archive for July, 2009


Kelsey Edwards in Atlanta in September – offering a special

I wanted to get you the new dates Kelsey will be in�Atlanta�for September- the 19th and 20th 🙂 We will be having the summer special again this trip, 3 headshot looks for $300 (including make-up).


Kelsey Edwards Photography
Catchlight Studio
633 N La Brea Ave�
Los Angeles, CA 90036

DARP Audition

DARP audition

For:  “The Best of Atlanta”

Casting: Wednesday, July 29th with call backs Thursday, July 29th

Location: DARP Studios, 576 Trabert Ave NW # A, Atlanta, GA

Shoot:  Saturday, August 1st

Casting four hosts/correspondents of an Entertainment and Society magazine show that represents the best and newest of high-end Atlanta for the purposes of shooting a “test pilot”.   Footage will be used internally to allow the production team to screen test the format of the show.

Producers are looking for classy and refined TALENT, preferably in the age range in their 30s to early 40s, and are interested in creating a cast of male and females of MIXED ETHNICITIES.  Should be in relatively good physical shape and have hosting experience.

This is a project done “on spec”.  As such, the Talent is expected to work on a deferred compensation, receiving payment only if the project were to go into ACTUAL PRODUCTION for a pilot.  The intent is to showcase the best
of Atlanta, including the talent here as well.   Talent would be auditioning for and working with Dallas Austin.


Lights, Camera, Action on a Georgia Movie Road Trip

Visit nearby attractions that can be seen on the silver screen
ATLANTA, July 23, 2009 – Embark on a Georgia movie road trip to see the town squares, restaurants, hotels and park benches that gave your favorite films a backdrop on the big screen. 
Start off with a north Georgia adventure, retracing the route down the Chattooga River that the young Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty and Jon Voight took in the classic thriller,Deliverance (1972).  Rafting outfitter Southeastern Expeditions Whitewater Adventure in Clayton can help you access the same heart-pounding rapids seen in the movie.
For calmer movie memories, head to Atlanta to see a number of sites that made the silver screen.  The Hebrew Benevolent Congregation Temple in Atlanta and Agnes Scott College in Decatur both make appearances in the award-winning film, Driving Miss Daisy (1989), that stars Jessica Tandy, Morgan Freeman and Dan Aykroyd.  TheAtlanta University Center, which includes the campuses of Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morris Brown College and Spelman College, was featured in School Daze (1989), We are Marshall (2006) and Drumline (2002).  The Westminster Schools football stadium was recently filmed for scenes in The Blind Side (2009), a real-life rags-to-riches story that stars Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw.   Outside of Atlanta, the 825-foot-high granite mountain at Stone Mountain Park was featured in Stomp the Yard (2007). The Spanish Colonial-style exhibition buildings at the Lakewood Fairgrounds, which were built in 1916 for the Southeastern Fair, an agricultural and entertainment bazaar, were featured in the opening and closing scenes of another Burt Reynolds classic, Smokey and the Bandit (1977).  And the suburban Atlanta community of Tributary, near Sweetwater Creek State Park, was the backdrop for an Ashton Kutcher-Katherine Heigl action comedy, Five Killers (2010), that is set to hit theaters next summer.
Conyers and Covington, located east of Atlanta, have also played important roles in movies as well as  hit television series.  The Civil War reenactment scene in Sweet Home Alabama was shot at Conyers’ Georgia International Horse Park, which hosts equestrian events throughout the year, and several scenes from the 1970s series, The Dukes of Hazzard, were also shot in the town.   The Dukes of Hazzard also featured the historical Newton County Courthouse in nearby Covington, is one of only five courthouses in Georgia built in a French-style architecture that was popular in the late 1800s.  The Dukes of Hazzard also features Emory University’s Oxford College inOxford, which is seen in the opening credits when the show’s famous orange Dodge Charger, the General Lee, jumps in mid-air.  Also filmed in the area were My Cousin Vinny (1991), Cannonball Run (1980), Flash (1997), Remember the Titans (2000), The Fighting Temptations (2003) and the popular primetime drama series, In the Heat of the Night (1988-1995). 
Stop by the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce to pick up a detailed map that highlights former movie sites for self-guided tours.   In Covington, visitors should see The Town House Café used in Tyler Perry’s The Family that Preys (2008) and the restaurants Amici’s Italian CaféR.L.’s Off the Square and Scoops, which were popular with the cast and crew of the recently filmed horror remake Halloween II (2009).  Also, be on the lookout for crews filming The Vampire Diaries, a new teen television series on the CW Network currently shooting there.  The Hard Labor Creek State Park in nearby Rutledge was used for scenes in suspense movies as Friday the 13th: Jason Lives (1986) and Drew Barrymore’s Poison Ivy (1992).  A soon-to-release 1930s-era thriller with Robert Duvall and Sissy Spacek, Get Low (2009), was filmed nearby in Crawfordville, as were scenes from Sweet Home Alabama.  In fact, the restaurant, Heavy’s BBQ  in Crawfordville was the backdrop for the bar scene in the movie.  The Taliaferro County Historical Society, also located in Crawfordville, is another fun stop for movie-lovers, because a portion of its exhibit chronicles the town’s filmmaking history.   
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the classic 1990s comedy My Cousin Vinny (1991) in Monticello, the county seat of Jasper County, about 60 miles southwest of Crawfordville.   The Jasper County Courthouse was used in the film, and with two to three months advance notice, the Monticello-Jasper County Chamber of Commercecan organize skits from the movie’s courthouse scenes for groups of 15-20 people.  Also, get a taste of the film at Dave’s Bar-B-Que & Soul Food, where Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei filmed a memorable argument scene for the movie.  Not far from Monticello, the famed drama Fried Green Tomatoes (1991), which stars Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy, Mary-Louise Parker and Mary Stuart Masterson, was filmed in Juliette.  Visitors can have lunch at the same Whistle Stop Café used in the movie or visit several of the small shops that opened downtown since the movie was filmed.
A walking tour of Savannah is another great way to learn more about your favorite movies.  Since 1915, more than 85 films have been shot in the city, including Glory (1989),Forces of Nature (1999), Forrest Gump (1994), Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997) and The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000). Popular Southern cook Paula Deen’s Food Network television shows are also shot in Savannah, which is home to her restaurant The Lady and Sons.   Savannah Movie Tours will give you a tour of popular food and film sites in the city, including the spot where Tom Hanks sat on a park bench in Forrest Gump.  The actual bench is now housed in the Savannah History Museum.  Nearby Tybee Island will be a hot spot for fans of teen pop star and actress Miley Cyrus, who is filming the movie The Last Song (2010) there.  Ms. Cyrus recently dined at Sting Ray’s Seafood Restaurant, where she gave an impromptu two-song performance.  Also, not far from the coast, is Valdosta’s Wild Adventures amusement park, where scenes for a Bill Murray-Woody Harrelson horror comedy, Zombieland (2009), were recently filmed.
Finally, head to Warm Springs to see Roosevelt’s Little White House Historic Site, where President Franklin D. Roosevelt came in 1924 hoping to find a cure for his polio affliction by swimming in the area’s naturally warm waters.  In 1932, President Roosevelt built the only home he ever owned there, the Little White House, now open to visitors.  Also on site is a museum that houses the 1938 Ford convertible that President Roosevelt drove using hand controls and the “Unfinished Portrait,” a watercolor portrait of the president never finished, because he died from a stroke before it was completed.  The house and the nearby pools where President Roosevelt swam were both featured in the HBO movie Warm Springs (2005), which recounts his story.   
Another great way to experience Georgia’s film culture is to attend one of the many film festivals held across the state every year.  Some of those include the Atlanta Film Festival 365, the Atlanta Underground Film Festival, the Macon Georgia Film & Video FestivalRobert Osborne’s Classic Film Festival in Athens, the Rome International Film Festival and the Savannah Film Festival
From romantic comedies to gripping thrillers, Georgia has been a backdrop for all.  Relive your favorite silver screen moment in the Georgia town where it really happened, or plan a trip to see one of the many film festivals in the state.  Georgia’s film industry is booming these days, so it’s entirely possible you’ll cross paths with movie sets and stars as you explore the state’s choice film location. For more information about the film in Georgia, visit To learn more about Georgia film destinations,   
The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is the state’s sales and marketing arm, the lead agency for attracting new business investment, encouraging the expansion of existing industry and small businesses, locating new markets for Georgia products, attracting tourists to Georgia, and promoting the state as a location for film, video and music projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development.

2009 Essential Theatre Festival


July 25th Georgia Poetry Society Reading 7pm 
Listen to what our audience says!
ICE GLEN by Joan Ackermann
Beautifully written, masterfully delicate direction by Ellen McQueen, precise, delightful and
surprising performances all round.  Go see it.” 
Joanna Daniel
“ICE GLEN is both one of the best scripts and best overall productions I’ve seen
in the nine years I’ve been in Atlanta, and Ellen’s direction is flawlessly nuanced. A true “must-see.”” Evan Guilford-Blake
“It’s one of the best shows in Atlanta this year!” Leonard Pallats


Watch Video Trailers & Interviews



Essential Festival Lineup


FOOD FOR FISH by Adam Szymkowicz, Regional Premiere,
Directed by Peter Hardy
Featuring: Kelly Criss, Kate Graham, Eve Krueger, Brent Nicholas Rose, Charles Swint and Sarah Falkenburg Wallace.
Bobbie is a lonely young man living in New York, trying to write about three sisters who long to escape the city and return to their childhood home of New Jersey or is he really just an imaginary character in the mind of Sylvia, the youngest sister? Middle sister Alice is hopelessly in love with the husband of her older sister, and so she goes out on dates with a different man every night, working in her lab by day to isolate the human gene that makes us fall in love so she can control it! Oldest sister Barbara (played by a man) and her husband (played by a woman) cant figure out how men and women are supposed to relate to each other. This is the kind of play we love to do at the Essential funny and beautiful and just about impossible to describe. The New York Times did it best, calling it fabulously weird and weirdly fabulous.

ICE GLEN by Joan Ackermann. Regional Premiere.
Directed by Ellen McQueen
Featuring: Jo Howarth, Dina Shadwell, Jayson Smith, Spencer G. Stephens, Jim Starbh and Ann Wilson.
Sarah Harding lives in an isolated country cottage, surrounded by a warm circle of quietly eccentric friends. She may be Americas greatest poet, but no ones ever seen her work which is just the way she wants it. But now an editor has arrived from Boston, wanting to publish her poems and bring her the fame and fortune she has never sought. With unforgettable characters, this wonderfully funny romantic drama — about the frozen places in our hearts coming back to life again — is like the best Emma Thompson movie you never saw.

“Beautifully written”. Talkin Broadway. “A lovely play”. CurtainUp

Congratulations to Vynnie for the upcoming production of her musical PLAGUED, A LOVE STORY which is being produced as part of this years NY Musical Theatre Festival .





July 10 – August 2, 2009A Play in Seven Scenes by Athol Fugard
Directed by Susan V. Booth
A Co-Production with Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company
Acting powerhouses Tom Key and Kenny Leon play half-brothers, one white, the other black, in 1960s Apartheid-era South Africa in this searing masterpiece about the corrosive effects of institutionalized racism and the inextricable familial ties that bind.





Late Night at the Essential 
Essential Theatre and Actor’s Express have teamed up to give you the best full night of entertainment. Come see the Essential Theatre performance and stay for Actor’s Express late night entertainment, featuring Francine Reed, Charlie Brown, Gwen Hughes, Bad Boy Hypnotist and Heston Francis. Your Essential Theatre program will provide you a drink coupon and $5 off the price of the Actor’s Express After Hours ticket. Check out the After Hours website for more information.


JIM CROW AND THE RHYTHM DARLINGS by Vynnie Meli. World Premiere.
Directed by Betty Hart
Featuring: Rachel Bodenstein, Enisha Brewster, Daniel Burnley, DeAndrea Crawford, Nadir Mateen, Delesa Sims
Its World War Two, and with so many men going off to serve, the previously all-male world of jazz is opening up to women for the first time. The International Rhythm Darlings are an all-female African-American band touring the Deep South, which would be a tough situation in the best of times but now theyve got a last-minute replacement in the group, a white Jewish woman, and integrated bands arent allowed to play together on stage. Not in the South, not anywhere.

Inspired by the real-life experiences of musicians from that era, Vynnie Melis play takes a fascinating look at some extraordinary women who make their way past fear and hatred to find the common threads that bind them together. Winner of the 2009 Essential Theatre Playwriting Award competition, the only prize exclusively dedicated to the work of Georgia playwrights. The Essential Theatre is proud to have developed this play (along with Working Title Playwrights and Jewish Theatre of the South) and to be bringing it to the stage for the first time.

“Directed by Betty Hart, Jim Crow & The Rhythm Darlings truly captures the love of jazz … the dialogue is quick paced and smart, the issues are diverse, and the acting is powerful.  Not every day do you come across an intelligent play that explores gender roles, racism, and religion.  Jim Crow & The Rhythm Darlings is a harmonious blend of talent, music, and discussion. Definitely a must see.”
Kelechi Ubozoh, Atlanta Theatre Examiner
“Playwright Vynnie Meli’s Jim Crow and the Rhythm Darlings draws from a seemingly bottomless wellspring of drama.  Director Betty Hart builds to some undeniably gripping confrontations … Essential Theatre offers an affecting homage to some of the unsung women of jazz.”
Curt Holman, Creative Loafing
“A literary counterpart to a hot jam session, with the key changing with a flick of a make-up sponge or a policeman’s baton. It’s a play about “passing” that you would be foolish to pass on by.”
Brad Rudy


FOOD FOR FISH by Adam Szymkowicz
MEET PLAYWRIGHT ADAM SZYMKOWICZ, August 1, 2009 for a post-performance talkback.
“One smart play …dark, droll dialogue … it’s a wild, strange trip, full of black humor, and something to really challenge the mind.”
James Paulk, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“This play by the brilliant young playwright, Adam Szymkowicz, is one strange work of art … it is compelling, humorous, and I would give it a 9 on the proverbial scale.”
Bob Heller, Publishers’ Feature Service



Master Class Workshop filling fast…

We’re half-full for the class and spaces are going
quickly!  If you want to join George Watkins and I
in another effective and inspiring weekend, jump
in now.
Go to for more info!
See you there

Mike Pniewski
Actor, Speaker, Author, Coach


Louisiana ups credits to lure filmmakers

New incentives hope to up production

Louisiana is keeping the good times rolling with a 5% hike in its transferable production credit to 30% — upping the ante in the competitive production incentive market.New to the program is a state buyback of the credits at 85% of their face value — in effect, “the state has created a floor of 85% on the dollar,” said Micha Haley, deputy director of the New Orleans Office of Film Video City, a strategic measure that will substantially increase the amount of the money that filmmakers get when selling the credits. Haley said that not only does the buyback program give Louisiana a huge boost over competing states, but that the entertainment industry has specifically asked for that component.

Before July 1, Louisiana offered a 25% incentive with a local spend of $300,000 plus 10% for local labor; the new law keeps that same ratio: 30% for production with 5% for local labor.

The production tax incentives were backed by Gov. Bobby Jindal, who signed the bill July 9 along with several others intended to boost everything from the entertainment industry to sound recording to digital media to hybrid cars.

But it was not all smooth sailing, given that states have been pounded by the recession and are desperate to make budgets work. Haley said that Jindal’s team went over the program’s numbers and was convinced. Indeed, in 2008, the film biz was responsible for an estimated $230 million in direct economic impact on the New Orleans area. To date in 2009, New Orleans has seen more than $100 million in direct economic impact. “These numbers speak powerfully for themselves,” said Haley. “Our program works, it’s reliable … (and the) turnaround time is as soon as two to three months,” he said.

To attract more long-term investment, the new law also stabilizes the program by making the incentives permanent.

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Urban MediaMakers Newsletter

A consortium of independents pursuing their dreams courageously in animation, art, film, print, radio, television and video.
July 2009 Newsletter     8th Annual Signature Event – October 16-18, 2009      Last month zoomed by, and here we are in the middle of July! I hope everyone is enjoying Summer ’09 and staying positive.    Thought for July: The Most High never plants a tree He’s not going to water.   In this Issue: I.    Free Indie Cinema Night – Monday, July 20, 2009 II.   Grant/Funding Opportunities for Filmmakers, Writers and Honor Students III.  Hosting Talent Wanted IV. Vote on the Best Logo Design – CMYK: America’s Next Top Graphic Designer V.  Urban Mediamakers Film Festival (UMFF) Call For Entries – Films and Scripts     FREE Indie Cinema Night – Atlanta – Monday, July 20, 2009 The Urban Mediamakers Association has partnered with the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System – Mechanicsville Brach for free, independent film screenings for adults. Indie Cinema Night showcases the best of the Urban Mediamakers Film Festival (UMFF) monthly. The screening series kicks off Monday, July 20, 2009, “Kujo, My Love” and “The Souls of Black Girls.” The library is located at 400 Formwalt Street, SW, Atlanta, GA 30312. Time: 7:00-9:00 p.m. For more information, call 404.460.2793. [read more]      Grants/Funding for Filmmakers, Writers and Honor StudentsEmerging and Established Filmmakers — $5,000-$50,000 Grants Available Cinereach has a large granting program for emerging and established filmmakers. There are two letter of inquiry deadlines annually for this program, June 1 and December 1. Grants range from $5,000-$50,000 for features and documentary films in all stages of production. [read moreLens On Talent: Johnson & Johnson presents a Filmmaker’s Challenge — Up to $100,000 One short film grand prize winner will receive up to $100,000 to produce a short film to premiere on BET. Deadline November 30, 2009. [read more]   Harvard University Middle Income Initiative – Low Income Honor Students CAN ATTEND COLLEGE FOR FREE Harvard University announced that from now on undergraduate students from low-income families will pay no tuition. No student loans! I didn’t believe this one at first, so I called Harvard to confirm it! It’s legit! [read more]     2009 Creative World Awards (CWA) International Screenwriting Competition – Deadline July 21st – Over $16,000 In Cash and Prizes Creative World Awards 2009 is an international screenwriting contest devoted to discovering and advancing the hottest new screenwriters in the industry. With direct access to top level producers and industry executives, this contest has become a very prominent source for promoting talented writers. Open to all writers 18 years or older whose total earnings from all film screenwriting may not exceed $30,000. See website’s Basic FAQ page for more information. Awards: 1 Grand Winner; 4 Category Winners – Over $16,000 in cash and prizes. [read more

  Hosting Talent Wanted for a Slate of Reality Shows *****VERY IMPORTANT**** Only submit if you have previous hosting experience AND you can provide a link to your work on a website OR you can provide a reel of your work. Also submit if you are a working professional in the field and believe you have the spark and personality for hosting a TV show. [read more]      Pick the Best Logo! Ten finalists have been chosen to compete during the new reality competition CMYK: America’s Next Top Graphic Designer. The series wants the public’s help in selecting the best logo from 50+ semi-finalists. Votes will be taken until July 31, 2009. Congratulations to the finalists: Raymond Adrian, Milagros Bellido, Parmilla Gnanasekaran, Richard Gnas, Joseph Herring, Derrick M. Kardos, Daniel McElhattan, III, Darren Newby, Philip Cardon Webb, and Chevonne Woodard.  [vote now]      Call for Entries: 8th Urban Mediamakers Film Festival – OPEN NOW With over $20,000 in prizes, UMFF is seeking independent films and scripts for competition — all genres — features, shorts, documentaries, music videos, web series, animation, etc. The 3-day festival takes place October 16-18, 2009 at the Marriott Hotel-Norcross, in metro-Atlanta, GA, and is presented by Comcast. Early submission deadline approach – July 20, 2009. Regular deadline August 21, 2009. Late deadline September 10, 2009. Download the submission form. For more information on the festival, visit     Urban Mediamakers Association P.O. Box 922654 Norcross, Georgia 30010 404.460.2793