February 18, 2014 Slideshows » News

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This is What Film in Memphis Looks Like 

Justin Fox Burks
"There's always someone with a new camera they want to try out, someone who will run audio for you because you were an extra in their project before, someone who has seen your work and just wants to work with you for the hell of it, etc. Basically, the film community here is incestuous, in the best way possible." — SAVANNAH BEARDEN (standing front and center)
Justin Fox Burks
L-R: Ben Siler, G.B. Shannon, Edward Valibus, and Joann Self Selvidge "I enjoy making films here. If you have your act together, it's pretty easy to get a core group of skilled people to get behind you and assist. There are talented people in every field here: acting, directing, cinematography, gaffers, grips, whatever. However, there's only so many, and if they are busy your choices get limited very quickly." — EDWARD VALIBUS
Justin Fox Burks
L-R: Brian Pera, Emmanuel Amido, Morgan Jon Fox, and DeAara Lewis "We're living in a really loud moment. I'm not interested in bringing more noise into my process. I'm interested in getting to a quiet place so we can all hear each other better. Memphis has been quiet in ways I truly appreciate." — BRIAN PERA
Justin Fox Burks
"The festival started because people needed a place to show their films. But we can host more feedback points." — BRIGHID WHEELER, Indie Memphis
Justin Fox Burks
Laura Jean Hocking and C. Scott McCoy "Laura and I spent a year and a half editing every day to cut our movie 'Antenna' down from 3 hours 45 minutes to 98 minutes with credits. We had a hard drive failure and lost the first final cut of the movie and had to reconstruct it from backups. But I could not be prouder of the results. It is the best artistic project of my entire life." — C. SCOTT MCCOY
Justin Fox Burks
"Some people make movies, and then get discovered, and go on to do bigger things, which creates people who make movies to be discovered. Others make movies and then continue to make them, because they are happy making their personal movies." — ERIK MORRISON
Justin Fox Burks
"Indie film in Memphis needs money. We've got scripts. We've got talent. We've got crew. And we've got people charging productions on their credit cards and begging people to work for cut rates." — DREW SMITH
Justin Fox Burks
"I just never wanted to hustle to make films. Hustling does not come naturally to me. I like that you don't have to hustle in Memphis- you can literally just make a movie yourself." — SAVANNAH BEARDEN
Justin Fox Burks
"I do have a fear that some people in the Memphis film community think that the more money they have for a film budget, the better the film. That's not always the case." — MARK JONES
Justin Fox Burks
"I have a heart. I’m about film, music, and community. You can build up a city. This city needs it." — MARIE PIZANO
Justin Fox Burks
"If this were L.A., it would be much easier to invite producers and agents out to see my work or even just set up meetings, so I have the double duty of building up buzz and getting my films to places where the players reside." — DEAARA LEWIS
Justin Fox Burks
"'Live Animals' was released nationwide in September 2009 and is still being released today in horror box-sets. NBC bought it for the cable channel Chiller. It played there for almost a year, and last Nielsen rating I saw on it, over two million people had watched it there." — JEREMY BENSON
Justin Fox Burks
"We have an incredibly creative, resourceful community of indie filmmakers in Memphis, and we're lucky to live in a place that nurtures and supports our crazy urge to do what we love." — JOANN SELF SELVIDGE
Justin Fox Burks
L-R: Nick Case, Ryan Watt, Linn Sitler, and Erik Jambor "One of the greatest attributes to shooting in Memphis is the ease at going about securing locations. Linn Sitler and Sharon Fox O'Guin (with the film commission) and their staff are always willing to do whatever is necessary to help the filmmakers with locations whether it's sending location photos or making introductions to local owners." — NICK CASE
Justin Fox Burks
"Local filmmakers need more money to finance their films — through local public incentives such as [a return to the] wage refund program and through help in finding private financing through the education process regarding equity crowd funding. Local corporations and production companies also need to step up even more and 'Hire Local, Shoot Local' in the corporate videos and commercials they make happen — helping to keep our local filmmakers employed in the industry between films." — LINN SITLER (Film Commissioner)
Justin Fox Burks
"[A filmmaker] submits their film to the festival, and then get in or not, and then anticipates the screening, and then the rapid weekend is over fast. We want to find more ways to include opportunities for local filmmakers to meet and network." — ERIK JAMBOR (Indie Memphis)
Justin Fox Burks
"Kickstarter and their ilk are fantastic resources for raising money and connecting with supporters, but there needs to be a shift in the way people look at filmmakers, that yes, they are creating art and entertainment, but that they are job creators. And once that film is made, it’s an advertisement for this city." — MELISSA ANDERSON SWEAZY
Justin Fox Burks
“I’m tired of the question from people in an interview, ‘Is this a hobby?’ I spend all my time and life and money devoted to this trying to make it work, but yeah, it’s a hobby.” — G.B. SHANNON
Justin Fox Burks
"When Rob Parker proposed his 'Meanwhile in Memphis' project to me almost 8 years ago, I had never made a documentary before and told him so. My self-taught expertise was in doing multi-camera shoots of live performance (ballet, theater, and rock bands) as a hobbyist and sometimes freelance worker, and editing them. Editing skills were self-taught and informed a little by watching documentaries and by online tutorials." — NAN HACKMAN
Justin Fox Burks
"As much as it’s difficult to get stuff made here and be supported by outside groups, if you’re doing your own thing and have a desire and will and continue to fight, this city will push you forward. If you have a desire and the skills to bring people around, you can do anything. You’ve got to maintain a positive attitude. You’ve got to have hope in the darkest places in Memphis. If you can maintain that hope, the most incredible beautiful magic can come out of this place." — MORGAN JON FOX
Justin Fox Burks
"It isn't enough anymore to recite the merits of the past or merely 'hope' for the future, we have to take a long look where we've been and where and what we want for our city in the future." — DAVID MERRILL
Justin Fox Burks
"It would be nice to have [filmmaking] as a career. Having 40 hours a week to do this? I’d kill it." — BENJAMIN REDNOUR
Justin Fox Burks
Ryan Watt (left) and Nick Case "There are not enough films shooting here with budgets that can sustain the crew that need those jobs. Those films are utilizing the tax incentives in other states. The positive is that there are a lot of artists utilizing the digital equipment now available to make their films. So when you see a film being made in Memphis, you know it is being done for the love of the art and not financial reasons, which creates some really interesting work with a Memphis edge." — RYAN WATT
Justin Fox Burks
Savannah Bearden and Brian Pera "I'm less interested in why we can't get the next Oliver Stone movie made here than in how to increase a sense and spirit of active support and philanthropy which recognizes the value of cultivating growth and talent on a variety of levels across a spectrum of practices which doesn't just have to do with what New York City or Boston are doing." — BRIAN PERA
Justin Fox Burks
"Filmmakers are prone to a disease where they talk about the future. They talk about the type of camera they're going to get, they talk about the type of movie they're going to make. At some point talking about what you're going to do in the future transitions to a type of balm to get you through the day, one that's designed to be disappointing because there's no way to fulfill it without strenuous, unrepeatable effort. Hollywood is a business venture on the West Coast. Most people think in terms of that business venture. They are often alienated from local art. They often express themselves through buying things. As a filmmaker it doesn't matter if you are conscious of this, you still think first and foremost like someone you can't afford to be. When you run out of money, it hurts." — BEN SILER
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Justin Fox Burks
"There's always someone with a new camera they want to try out, someone who will run audio for you because you were an extra in their project before, someone who has seen your work and just wants to work with you for the hell of it, etc. Basically, the film community here is incestuous, in the best way possible." — SAVANNAH BEARDEN (standing front and center)
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