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Streamlining the Scouting Process

Changes in the economy, environment and technology have had positive and negative impacts on all phases of production, including the preproduction task of scouting for the perfect location. And how one chooses to move forward could be the defining factor between staying in the game or being left behind on the sidelines.

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HISTORY'S "Ax Men" Shoots in Northwestern Montana

Emmy Award-winning Original Productions, known for its non-fiction programming featuring everyday heroes in extraordinary situations, is currently shooting its fifth season of HISTORY's "Ax Men" in northwestern Montana. The reality documentary series follows logging crews as they brave the extreme dangers of the industry.

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Top That Production Incentive

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The United States’ budget woes have led to growing calls for cutting incentive programs to improve states’ balance sheets. However, while state governments are increasingly being pressured to demonstrate the effectiveness of incentive programs, the packages have by and large remained intact throughout the country. Outside of the U.S., incentives are as strong as ever ─ as Canada’s provinces offer a slew of generous packages to attract production. This fierce foreign competition has many U.S. film commissions fighting to hold on to their incentives despite economic concerns.

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Shot Lists, Blocking and Floor Plans

shotlist_blocking_clay-liford-by-allison-vIn the world of independent films, creativity is key. Every indie director and cinematographer knows that when you don’t have the budget, you better have the know-how ─ especially when it comes to shot lists, blocking and floor plans.

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New England: the Northeast Cornerstone

Nestled in the northeastern corner of the United States is the New England Region, including New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. While some states continue to excel, others are struggling in an intense cinematic showdown with the rest of the country to cement their slice of home as an ideal location choice. P3 Update takes a closer look at what this region is enticing filmmakers with.

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New Perks from the Old Southwest

With a vibrant mix of golden deserts, towering peaks and vivid red landscapes, the southwestern states of Nevada, Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas have attracted a solid history of moviemaking. P3 Update takes a closer look at some of the successes and enticing offerings that this region has to offer the film community, while providing some insight into the stunning vistas flaunted by some of America’s most breathtaking production hubs.

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A Toast to Post Music

bob_sfwThere’s no question about it: Music plays a critical role in the success or failure of movies, TV shows, documentaries and commercials. But there’s more to production music than a conventional score, such as "source music" cues where a radio or CD plays a specific song a film’s background. More and more filmmakers are turning to music libraries to help with their storytelling needs. And while music libraries have been around for decades, who uses them and how has changed.

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Stock Footage on Demand

stockfootage_footagefirmsfwWhen productions need extra footage to enhance their films, they usually turn to stock footage companies to streamline the process.

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Lights on Knife Fight

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In the signature scene from the upcoming film Knife Fight (starring Rob Lowe), a political campaign manager advises his candidate that in order to win, he must be willing to “bring a gun to a knife fight.” One of the key moments in this political drama takes place in an attorney’s office atop a tall office/apartment building with a falcon’s-eye view of San Francisco. For Cinematographer Steve Kazmierski, shooting this scene in a penthouse suite — while maintaining a spectacular view from its wall-to-wall picture windows — was a lot like bringing a knife to a gunfight due to all the lighting challenges.

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The Editors’ Alliance

Unions are a fact of life in Hollywood, as they protect work conditions and wages for just about every position both in front of and behind the camera. The Motion Picture Editors Guild (MPEG), which is a part of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), represents people in just about every aspect of postproduction for film and television, including picture editors, sound editors, mixers, effects editors, music editors, Foley artists and even story analysts.

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