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Production in New York State Rises

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New York State is on the fast track to claim a record-breaking year in television and film production. Known as a location that can handle just about any entertainment shoot, New York has already seen 19 pilots and five TV series this season, while two additional pilots gear up to film in the state, making for a record number television shows in the course of one year. “New York is now the place to go for the film and television industry,” says Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. “We have the resources, the talented workforce, and the venues to offer the industry unmatched opportunities. Our newly expanded and enhanced film and television program will only continue to spur tourism, attract more investments to New York, and create more jobs for New Yorkers.”

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J.J. Abrams on Embracing New Technology

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The NBC sci-fi series “Revolution” films in Wilmington, North Carolina. The show takes place in the not-too-distant future when a family struggles to reunite after the world experiences a mysterious technological apocalypse. The popular doomsday drama was created by Eric Kripke (“Supernatural”), who is executive producer along with J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk, and they’re all known for embracing technology and infusing their productions with lots of CGI and special effects. So how does technology help in their creative process? “The technology I use in my process almost starts and ends with the Internet, because of the unbelievable amount of information that is at your fingertips,” reports Kripke. “I’m definitely dating myself, but I still remember having to bury myself in the library to research a project, and then photocopy all the research that I needed. Now, at any given moment, at any given point of writing a script, I say, ‘You know what? I need to know what this process is. I need to know how this person works.’ And I can immediately search, find it, get the information, and put it right into a script. I think that’s pretty invaluable. I don’t know if I would be as good a writer without that.”

J.J. Abrams has done very high‑concept tech TV shows and movies, such as “Fringe,” “Lost” and the Star Trek film franchise. But could he be just as creative without today’s ground-breaking technology? “Everything that Eric said is so true in terms of research,” says Abrams. “And obviously I love what technology allows in terms of visual effects and in terms of just efficiency, whether it’s getting something quickly, reading something, looking at artwork, composition or anything. [When] I’m doing visual effects for Star Trek, it doesn’t matter where I am. I can look at the latest version of a visual-effects shot and give notes. [And] while that’s all true, what it all comes down to and what matters most of all is the idea, and the writing and the execution of that idea. And for that, I usually write it out in longhand first. There’s something about it, the tactile, tangible nature of writing that just feels like I’m feeling the stuff more than I am…. When there’s a deadline and it’s crazy, of course, the Mac Book Pro is the key. But it’s something that I think ultimately just comes down to ‘what is that idea you’re scribbling with that pencil?’”

 

 

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Production Incentives Boost Economies and Production Power

productionincentivesSince the early 1990s, the offering of production incentive has been the most logical way to attract film and television productions to a community — and the lack of financial perks could lessen the chance of boosting these local economies. These incentives mainly consist of tax benefits from local governments to encourage production in their region. They first surfaced in response to the flight of U.S. film productions to other countries, including Canada which adopted its own production incentive program. U.S. states have since offered increasingly competitive incentives to lure productions away from other locals, with the type, size and structure of these incentives varying from place to place. Many incentive packages include tax credits and exemptions, while some offer other perks like cash grants and fee-free locations.

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It Still Pays to Be Smaller, Faster and Cheaper

courtesy-of-christopher-walters_smWith the next big thing always around the corner, camera professionals can rely on having a plethora of gear offerings. The products that stand out can vary from shoot to shoot, but the remaining constant is that equipment needs to be small, fast and cheap enough to compete in today’s competitive market. One “faster” piece of equipment is the Midas Mount SnapFocus. Created by Brandon David Cole, the SnapFocus is a simple, cable-driven follow focus system that combats smaller-budget production restraints. It works on the principle of resistance between two retracting hand grips, which on the prototype are levers from bicycle brakes — and since your hand never needs to leave the handle bars, you’ll maintain a rock-steady center of gravity.

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Nigel Lythgoe Talks Emerging Platforms for “American Idol”

digitalhollywood_nigelIt’s safe to say that Fox TV’s “American Idol” is one of the most successful shows in the history of American television. Created by British Entrepreneur/Manager/Producer Simon Fuller in 2002, “American Idol” was spawned from the British hit show “Pop Idol,” and the success of both shows can be largely attributed to Producer Nigel Lythgoe, who is also the co-creator, producer and judge of Fox TV’s “So You Think You Can Dance.”

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Live Production: Getting Down and Dirty

liveproductionAfter working in the business for 35 years, with 15 of those years on TV truck crews, I’ve learned a few things about production. With enough time and crewmembers, almost anyone can make a normal video production if they’ll keep shooting till they get it right. But the same can’t be said for live production, which usually calls for you to get it right in one take. For live production, your crew must be up to the task and ready to work as a team. Video, audio and the means for broadcasting your show have to be solid and workable from beginning to end or you will have no show. You’ll need to get it right, or go home.

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Behind the Locations of The Hangover Part III

hangover_sm_groupThe Warner Bros. sequel The Hangover Part III marks the last film in a trilogy that broke ground with its unique mix of adventure and comedy. Directed by Todd Phillips, the first two Hangover films are now seen as one of the most successful movie franchises of all time. The third film centers on the four leads, Phil (Bradley Cooper), Alan (Zach Galifianakis), Stu (Ed Helms) and Doug (Justin Bartha), who find themselves on yet another outrageous adventure as they try to untangle their way out of some unthinkable circumstances. P3 recently chatted with the film’s Location Manager Gregory Alpert (pictured below), who both took the ride of his life while creating a distinct look for one of the most anticipated comedies of 2013.

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Illinois Gets Back on Top

 
chicago_skyline_illinois_usa_photo_wikiWhile Illinois has always been a hot spot for commercial production, the state’s feature film and television market has had its ups and downs. Now, thanks to an aggressive production incentive and a new high-end studio facility, Illinois and its most populous city Chicago are enjoying the enormous economic benefits brought by film and television projects.
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Louisiana Stays Active in Production

 
 
 
 
beasts-of-the-southern-wild_sm-As one of the first states to offer tax incentives to attract film and television projects, Louisiana has grown into a major production center. Known as “Hollywood South,” the Bayou State is third most popular filming destination in the U.S. after California and New York after growing quickly over the past decade. Boasting one of the finest infrastructures to support film and video production, Louisiana took center stage when The Curious Case of Benjamin Button won three Oscars out of its thirteen nominations in 2009. This year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominated two Louisiana films for Best Picture: Beasts of the Southern Wild and Django Unchained.
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Capturing Live Events

super_bowl_2013_p3 The live broadcast of a major sports event can provide plenty of technical and creative challenges. And when the event is as high profile as the Super Bowl, which combines a football game, a half-time show worthy of Broadway, and an audience of hundreds of millions, the stakes are even higher. To prepare for the Super Bowl’s expansive broadcast schedule and telecast from New Orleans, several networks turned to broadcast equipment rental company Bexel to handle their on-site production needs and fiber infrastructure.
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