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James Thompson

James Thompson

Saturday, 25 February 2012 06:00

Sundance 2012: More than Just Storytelling

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In the snowy, picturesque city of Park City, Utah, filmmakers and others interested in supporting the storytelling process gathered to listen, learn and participate in seminars, sessions and other industry events offered at Sundance 2012. Here’s a recap of the event’s sessions and support services.


Thursday, 02 February 2012 06:00

Slamdance 2012

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What started as a small gathering of filmmakers upset that their work was rejected by Sundance some 18 years ago, the fledging sister event known as the Slamdance Film Festival has since come into its own. Pioneer Peter Baxter, one of the yearly Festival’s four founding fathers, says that Slamdance was made successful by the inspiring filmmakers that keep coming back year after year. “Without these filmmakers coming back each year to help program the festival, there wouldn’t be Slamdance,” says Baxter.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012 23:35

Changing in the New Year

As we enter a new year, there’s a lot to be thankful for and new beginnings to look forward to. At P3 Update, we’re thankful for all of the wonderful times and the great people we’ve had the good fortune to work with over the last 25 years. We’ve been blessed with the opportunity to provide our readers with resourceful industry content through our print publication that has helped to shape the production community.

For 2012, we plan to join the movement to save the environment and make a solid effort to go green. And, after careful consideration, we’ve made the decision to discontinue P3 Update’s print issue. At the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2011, as more than 100 new tablets were introduced, we realized that change was inevitable when we saw how wonderful P3 Update looked on a tablet and how easy it was to navigate and read. I recently presented our idea for change to readers at several events. While initial reactions were “Oh no, we love getting our print edition each month,” our readers soon realized that they can read P3 on their computers, tablets or cell phones just as easily — and all agreed that we need to take responsibility for our planet. We now see that going all digital opens up a whole new world of opportunities. While P3 was once strictly a Hollywood book, we now have readers from various parts of the world, including places as far away as India, Greece and Turkey.

So as we do our part to save trees, we hope that you’ll stay connected with us by visiting our website at P3update.com and signing up for our digital editions, e-newsletters and social sites to remain a part of the P3 Update community. In 2012, not only will we continue to bring you compelling content, updates and industry profiles in preproduction, production and postproduction along with film commission and technology news and information, we’ll bring you more of these things more often. And all of the tools available online will help us to easily get this information to you to keep you updated about your industry.

Thanks for being a part of the P3 Update community and we look forward to staying connected with you in 2012.


img_4417_webFilm, television and commercial production professionals working in California often boast about the superb quality of the state’s crewmembers. The location professionals that play a vital role in finding, securing and overseeing production locales and the public employees who streamline the production process were recently honored atthe 17th Annual California On Location Awards (COLA) ceremony.

Friday, 14 October 2011 12:56

Canon U.S.A. Opens Hollywood Support Center

canon2As Canon DSLR cameras become more popular in Hollywood’s entertainment industry, Canon U.S.A. has just announced the opening of a new support center to better serve its film and television production clients. The Canon Hollywood Professional Technology and Support Center, located at the historic Sunset Gower Studio lot on 6060 Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, will provide a local site to foster support, research, service and training for camera owners/shooters and others interested in using Canon cameras.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011 17:46

On-Location Filming Rises in L.A.

Production crews working in Southern California — specifically in the Los Angeles region — are staying busy as on-location production increases in 2011. FilmL.A., the not-for-profit community-benefit organization that coordinates permits for shoots in L.A., announced that filming in Los Angeles County has increased by 15.4 percent in the third quarter of 2011 when compared to the same period in 2010. The quarter was marked by a welcome surge in on-location shoots for feature films and an anticipated decrease in the production of TV dramas.

More films are currently being made in Louisiana than Los Angeles. As these productions venture out of California, many are chasing the tax incentives offered by the state of Louisiana. According to a recent Fox 8 news report, Louisiana ranks third behind New York and California in total production activity, and more movies were shot in Louisiana than in Los Angeles in 2010. It was also reported that 80 percent of Louisiana’s below-the-line crews are comprised of local workers.

Click Here to see the full story at Fox8live.com.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011 13:11

25 and Still Going Strong

As you've probably heard, this year marks P3 Updates 25th year in business. Our August issue was dedicated to this milestone. In this blog, I want to share with you my Publishers Letter (below) from that issue just in case you didn't get your copy. Let me know what you think.

Publisher’s Letter

A long time ago in Hollywood, most productions took place on studio lots. As filmmaking grew in the late ’70s and early ’80s, productions took to the streets of Los Angeles, and an Advisory Committee made up of film and television producers, major studio executives and other industry leaders from key Hollywood companies was created to advise Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley. Held at the Sportsman’s Lodge in Studio City, one of the Committee’s monthly meetings sparked a suggestion for an informational communication tool that would address Los Angeles filming issues. I took that idea and ran with it, and in the summer of 1986 I published the first issue of Location Manager Update.
As film commissioners surfaced to promote their regions, they looked to our widely read publication as a vehicle to reach the Hollywood production community. In 1987, the magazine was renamed Location Update until 2001 when it became Production Update. This change was a direct result of our growing readership that included international communities, producers, directors and other filmmakers wanting to know more about technological advances in the industry. Eventually we became P3 Update (P3) to help better identify us as we moved into coverage of preproduction, production and postproduction.  
The last 25 years have been an amazing journey as the pages of P3 continued to address global filmmaking. The core of the magazine’s success has been our dedicated and expanding readership; our partners (including many advertisers and sponsors that grace the pages of P3); and the writers, photographers and staff that have contributed to P3’s long-standing mission to educate and update content creators and visionaries on the next generation of production tools and location information to help them to tell their stories. 
As P3’s founder and publisher, I have experienced a miraculous journey. I’ve been fortunate to travel to disparate parts of the world to visit production communities and meet many leading government officials, including mayors, governors, prime ministers and even a president. I’ve also developed wonderful relationships with the world’s leading filmmakers and manufacturers while communicating information about the evolving technology used to capture content.

Currently, Hollywood and the publishing industry are both experiencing a transformation. The ways of “Old Hollywood” are now a thing of the past as the Internet and new technology change the way consumers experience entertainment. Tablets are taking off and soon any and all information will be made instantly available to consumers, and, at P3, we realize that we need to continually give production updates to our readers. We now provide content in print as well as through our digital edition (a replica of our print edition) via our website, social networking, ENewsletters and emails. If you’re not already part of our P3 Community, we hope that you’ll choose to stay updated like many Hollywood professionals by revisiting our website daily at www.p3update.com.

Thank you for allowing me to be part of your lives during the last 25 years. The P3 staff and I look forward to continuing to bring you informative production updates on the entertainment industry. 

Wednesday, 03 August 2011 10:23

Capturing 3D Storm Footage

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Choosing a profession is a decision we all have to make at some point in our adult life. For Martin Lisius, the choice was easy. He became a cinematographer and producer of programming that covers severe weather, including thunderstorms, stormy seas, blizzards and chasing the mother of all natural disasters: tornados. And after shooting these events, he sells the footage to production companies where it can be used in their film projects.

Friday, 29 April 2011 21:19

Sundance 2011

sundance_sfw_4The incredible winter setting of Park City, Utah was the perfect backdrop for Sundance 2011, a gathering of independent filmmakers representing the global film market. Through filmmaker sessions, hosted events, social gatherings, premieres and screenings, these artists shared stories about their journey to create their best ─ and often first ─ film. A variety of independent films made their mark, as buyers and sellers put deals together throughout the 10-day event.
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