There was a moment for Robin Mathews two years ago, while she was spreading grits and cornmeal all over Matthew McConaughey’s face, when she thought, “This is either going to be the end of my career or the beginning of it.”
Fortunately, it turned out to be a major new beginning. Mathews’ work as makeup department head for the film Dallas Buyer’s Club earned the New Orleans native an Oscar nomination.
The film business continues to grow so quickly that the term "Hollywood South" is becoming less of a quaint marketing moniker and more literally true with every movie that shoots here. Part of the reason for the growth is financial — state tax credits — and the other part is the crew and facilities now available here.
Thanks to today’s technology, we can now do many things without leaving the comfort of our homes. That now includes becoming a movie star. Casting director James Bearb, founder and CEO of Hollywood South Casting discusses this evolving facet of the film industry.
The new online animated short commercial for Chipotle Mexican Grill has gone viral -- more than 5 million YouTube views and counting. It has Shreveport creative firm Moonbot Studios to thank. Moonbot partner Brandon Oldenburg is surprised by how many people have checked it out.
“We’re abashed. We’re amazed by watching these numbers go up as far as the amount of views," Oldenburg said, during an interview at Moonbot's Shreveport office.
Twenty filmmakers have advanced in the Louisiana Film Prize contest vying for a $50,000 prize that will be handed out in October. It is the second year of the short film contest that is expected to draw 3,000 movie buffs to downtown Shreveport for the festival weekend.
Organizers of the Louisiana Film Prize in Shreveport say this year’s entries are mostly coming from filmmakers outside the Bayou State. Executive director Gregory Kallenberg expects another big turnout for the festival weekend in October when a panel of judges and the audience decide which film will receive a $50,000 cash payout. He anticipates about 80 entries this year, on par with the first year of the contest.
Over the past few weeks, a number of small film crews have taken to the streets of Shreveport. They’ve been shooting all around northwest Louisiana, like in a vacant former restaurant in the Highland neighborhood. They’re making short films – that must be shot locally – to enter into this year’s Louisiana Film Prize contest.