Take 2: October 2019

Paul Boghosian, Carol Patton and Dennis Serpone at the Nantucket Film Festival’s Screenwriters Tribute at the ‘Sconset Casino. Photo by Dennis Serpone.

Industry-wise it’s been an exciting summer for New England. Everybody I know is working! The studios are full, actors are working three, four, and five days a week, rental companies can’t get a day off and whether you are a prop, make-up, grip or electric, costumer, stand-in person (and all the others that make a film set tick), you’ve had a very profitable and demanding summer here in New England and especially in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Most are feeling really great about it and guess what?

It appears as if the deluge of work is going to continue through fall and winter!

Suffice to say, our production industry has heated up and we need it to stay exactly that way. One of our concerns for the good of the industry right now is the looming deadline to our film tax credit incentive program. Otherwise everyone’s doing cartwheels.

Our 25% Film Tax Credit program is the only and I repeat the only reason studios and major producers bring their productions here even though we have everything a producer could hope for in our region. If we modify our film tax credits or if the sunset date is not eliminated, Disney or no other studio will bring work here.

Well, in Massachusetts, all good things don’t need to come to an end and that’s why our industry as a whole is supporting legislation to eliminate the end date to our existing law, which explicitly ends at the end of 2022. We fought so hard for this incentive program back in 2005 when it finally was enacted
to take effect in 2006. The bill wasn’t perfect, but we were able to “fix it in post” the following year and later extended the end date to 2022, actual January 1, 2023, which sounds far away, but it isn’t. Not if you are the bean counter for a major studio or network who plans series to last five to
seven years and blockbuster movies three to four years out. This is our dilemma at this very time! The solution?

Eliminate the sunset date of our existing law. Change nothing else and that’s imperative. Unless, of course, the tax credit could be lifted to 30% so we can compete with other states that have done so including Rhode Island.

I’ve been working at this for a long time I introduced film tax credits in IMAGINE in 2002 and wrote a definitive piece in IMAGINE October 2014 on how to make film tax credits work here. We have defended
them since to establish a new industry for the Commonwealth, no one else could see, but it was as plain as the nose on my face when I arrived here in 1996. We can be a major production center in the world.

I know there is untold amounts of money sitting on the fence to invest in infrastructure in Massachusetts, only to be waiting for the “elimination” of our film tax credits’ end date.

Yes, it’s true, Massachusetts will be examining all film tax credits next year! What does that have to do with our production industry? Nothing, really, if you examine the reasons all tax credits are being looked at. Keep this in mind when you talk to your legislators. Most tax credits are based on an industry or company’s future performance – building so much, hiring so many, etc. That can be “iffy” and many times promises for tax credits are not kept.

Here is what is important to know and remember. Film Tax Credits in Massachusettsare only given after a production has performed, after it has spent their money here and provided an affidavit duly certified by a Massachusetts CPA that the money has been spent. While creating thousands of jobs, a production pays for everything it uses while it’s here; it cleans up after itself once
it’s done. And if a production has anything left over, it donates it to our Massachusetts charities.

I just attended a most worthwhile hearing at the State House. A notable small business panel discussed how the looming film tax credit end date is hurting investment and threatening our local industry. Andrew Farnitano’s coverage is in this issue. Please read it.

Actor Frankie Imbergamo catches up with Popeye at the Encore Boston Harbor. The $28 million purchase raised some eyebrows, but company officials say the cartoon sailor is an invaluable part of the Encore Boston Harbor experience. Photo courtesy of Frankie Imbergamo.

The festivals this summer were outstanding! Woods Hole had over 6,000 visitors for its films. Who knew Woods Hole could hold 6,000 people?

Our IMAGINE House was a terrific success this year and I can hardly wait until next year when the Nantucket Film Festival will celebrate its 25th Anniversary. It’s going to be so big the festival is extending its celebration to a full week. Get ready for it! Read Paul Boghosian’s Nantucket Film
Festival experience in this issue. He gives you the big picture.

Congratulations to Andrea Lyman on her election to President of New England’s SAGAFTRA. I have admired Andrea and her work and industry participation since I first met her and I enjoyed writing this story. Since it is almost Halloween I must tell you this eerie tale she told to me that I didn’t have room to
print in her story.

IMAGINE this: Andrea recalls the time the location assistant on a pilot found a house that was actually a horrible mess instead of a mess that was “created” by the production art department. It smelled, there was a mouse running around and when we moved to another room away from the mouse someone noticed a hole in the ceiling. The make-up artist mentioned that was probably due to bats. We all were freaked out. Everyone left except the stand-ins because they wanted us there for an upcoming scene. One stand-in said, “Well, at least it couldn’t get worse” that’s when a PA came in and turned out the light because they were shooting a scene outside and couldn’t have light coming from the window. So there we
were contemplating our life choices as we sat in a dingy, dirty, dark filled room hoping mice and bats wouldn’t join us. Ah, showbiz is so glamorous?

RUNNER, Worcester, MA native Bill Gallagher’s life-affirming documentary about GUOR MADING MAKER, who ran away from his refugee camp in war-torn Sudan and ended up in New Hampshire when he was only nine years old, eventually becoming a running sensation and qualifying for the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, won the Best of the Fest Audience Award. Photo courtesy of WHFF.
IMAGINE first became aware of A FOUR SIDED BED in October of 2012 when we featured it in our AFM Special Edition in an article we titled “A FOUR SIDED BED: Some Love Stories Have More Than Two Sides.”
The purpose of our AFM edition each year is to spotlight film projects in New England in any state of development that are seeking funding, a director, casting, a production company – any of the innumerable things you can find at AFM. However, A FOUR SIDED BED’s journey began even much before then. Read our story in this issue, it’s a story worth examination.

I can’t help but notice that Angel Connell’s EVENING OF THE EVIL EYE script has been accepted at over fifty film festivals and competitions, award-nominated forty times, and has won twenty-seven “Best Screenplay” certificates and prizes. It’s no surprise that Angel is on the lookout for serious investors interested in turning his short horror screenplay into a movie. His success has been global in scale. EVENING OF THE EVIL EYE has won awards in Australia, Canada, England, India, Italy, Japan, Spain and Venezuela among others. The script has also won awards at over a dozen state festival
throughout the United States. Believe me, all hell breaks loose in this script.

I’ve included fun photos from the summer here as well. I hope you enjoy them and this issue of IMAGINE.

Read on

Take 2: April 2019

When we are on our way to the NAB Show in Las Vegas, a really big show, I can’t wait to get there and head to the Lobby between Central and North Hall. There I look for my friends Tom Sprague and Paul Beck at the Museum of Broadcast Technology (MBT) exhibit. It’s a never ending surprise of what they will be displaying and demonstrating. These products were introduced and used during the earliest versions of television as a medium.

As MBT’s website tells us, “In the beginning, this new medium of television was as different from its predecessor, motion picture film, as different could be. Motion pictures formed a permanent record crafted over time with great care. Television was live and immediate, leaving a permanent record only in the minds of the viewers” Imagine that! Television was live and if you missed it – it was gone. Sixty-some years ago that all changed.

In 1956; in twin events, one in Chicago at the predecessor of the modern NAB Convention, and one in Redwood City, California; Ampex Corporation introduced to the world a practical means of recording
television signals on magnetic tape. They called their new product Videotape. What a facilitating ramp up that required the ingenuity of American manufacturers that were up to the tasks of rolling out equipment and devices that would record, playback and transmit videotape!

Well, that vintage equipment in working condition is what you will see at the Museum of Broadcast Technology exhibit at NAB April 6th through 11th. And judging by the crowds I’ve seen around this booth
that old stuff is just as exciting to NAB Show attendees as the latest and the greatest cutting edge stuff embargoed right up until April 6th when NAB Show begins.

NAB Show brings together the entire digital ecosystem and is represented by professionals in advertising, app development, artificial intelligence, audio, augmented reality, broadcast, cable, cloud solutions, cybersecurity, digital video, digital signage, eLearning, esports, film, game development, government and military, houses of worship, in-vehicle entertainment, IOT, IT, live events, mixed reality, mobile, online video, podcasting, post-production, radio, retail, social media, sports, streaming, system integration, television, virtual reality, 5G and more – all there to connect with industry trailblazers advancing the art, science and business of content.

IMAGINE is distributing this magazine there – over 100,000 people attend from all over the world. We’ll cover it for you and bring back all the NAB Show news. We’ll have a keen look at all the exhibitors from New England.

Avid is coming off an amazing year. We have an update in this issue. I had a spirited conversation with Avid President and CEO Jeff Rosica and Avid Vice President of Communications Jim Sheridan. It’s back
to basics for the company founded by Bill Warner and they have surprises instore for their users. Avid changed moviemaking/editing for forever. Read their story in this issue.

IMAGINE Tech Edge writer Steve McGrath looked into new and transplanted high tech New England companies in this issue: 3Play Media, Telestream, Autocue and Zixi. I’ll be visiting Barbizon Lighting, Glidecam
Industries, EditShare, BorisFX, SeaChange, Izotope, Facilis, Broadcast Pix, Sennheiser, and a relatively new arrival from the UK to Connecticut, Take 1. I’ll bring home a full report.

Last month IMAGINE presented the Live Reading of FRANCONIA NOTCH in the ballroom of the Mandarin Oriental. The audience was mesmerized by this script from the exciting team of Casey Sherman (PATRIOTS DAY, FINEST HOURS) and John Stimpson (GHOST LIGHT, THE LEGEND OF LUCY KEYES). It was standing room only
and all the discussions I overheard after the reading is that people were spellbound. It was so successful, IMAGINE and Casey Sherman have teamed up again for a Live Read performance of the highly anticipated Fort Point Media film TURK before a live audience at the five-star Mandarin Oriental,Boston (Ballroom) on Sunday, June 2, 2019 at 2pm.

The filmmakers are looking for actors to play Bruins legends Derek Sanderson, Bobby Orr and other members of the Big, Bad Bruins. Slate Casting will be accepting actor submissions for all roles at SlateCastingTurk@gmail.com Actors chosen for the Live Read will also be given consideration for roles in the film. The Filmmakers seek both male and female actors 25 to 50 years of age.

TURK is a film about the wild life of Derek Sanderson, who assisted Bobby Orr’s Stanley Cup winning goal in 1970 and later signed the richest contract in professional sports before addiction to alcohol and drugs left him penniless and sleeping on park benches.

Sanderson credits Bobby Orr with saving his life and leading him on a path toward sobriety and redemption. The script was written by Casey Sherman and along with Dave Wedge will co-produce the film with production under their Fort Point Media banner along with co-producer Michael Bassick (BLACK MASS).

IMAGINE supports every element of our production community in New England equally. But, I have to say I am impressed with the writing that springs from this well and gets made into books, then movies and television series. Be sure you read about a new voice who’s first published novel, The River at Night,
has just been optioned by Miramax – Erica Ferencik. Her second book, Into the Jungle, is already being shopped around for motion picture. This book will be released in May.

There was great news from Hollywood when nine members of the cast and crew of SWEENEY KIILING SWEENEY including Star and Producer Steve Sweeney (2019 “Imaginnaire) and Executive Producer Dennis Serpone accompanied the film to its LA premiere. The film sold out. Peter Farrelly was in the audience. He’s fresh from enjoying three Academy Awards for GREEN BOOK including Best Picture, which he directed.

Peter and his brother Bobby Farrelly, of course, have written, produced and directed many films in New England including DUMB AND DUMBER, THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY, FEVER PITCH and more. Both of them have supported film tax credits for the region and we appreciate that.

Here’s something else I appreciate and that’s Wren Ross’ Annual Success Network Job Fair & Trade Show. Wren is known for her voice over workshops and the Job Fair is for her advanced students. She brings in
producers, casting directors and filmmakers to audition and interview each actor for eight to ten minutes. There are typically twenty to thirty actors and ten to twelve producers in attendance.

Vendors who may offer services helpful to voice over artists are also invited including photographers, graphic artists, web designers, home studio sound equipment providers and social media experts. It’s an all-around win –win opportunity. The Job Fair & Trade Show is Monday, April 29th from 4pm – 8pm at the
First Parish Church in Waltham. IMAGINE will celebrate its 21st Birthday in April 2019. We will have a party. Watch for the details because we want to see you there!

Read on

Take 2: March 2019

Mikhaila Waldman, Director Robert Krzykowski (THE MAN WHO KILLED HITLER AND THEN THE BIGFOOT) and Jan Waldman with Silas Archer Gustav. He had a significant role in the
movie. Photo by Carolyn Ross.

On March 3, 2019, just before we went to print, IMAGINE Magazine hosted a Live Reading of an exciting new script FRANCONIA NOTCH from Casey Sherman (PATRIOTS DAY, FINEST HOURS) and John Stimpson (GHOST LIGHT, THE LEGEND OF LUCY KEYES). Both are prolific writers and both get their stories and scripts made into movies that get seen. It was a wonderful afternoon staged at the beautiful Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Boston.

The reading was so well received and appreciated by everyone in the audience that we can’t wait to hear more about what’s instore for this work. Stay tuned, because we will have all the details in our next issue when we feature FRANCONIA NOTCH as our cover story.

This issue is timely as we have endeavored to demonstrate just how mature the Massachusetts production industry has become; which means we are perfectly poised to need more support to fly over that next hurdle. Our legislators are working hard to assist us. I’ve written a Film Tax Credit and Legislative update for this issue – it is our cover story because right now it relates to the most important tasks we have at hand. And those are to keep our incentives competitive and remove the sunset date. Also, we’ve chosen stories for this issue to reflect just how robust our industry has become. I hope you enjoy them.

Carol Patton, Christy Cashman and Dennis Serpone at Christy’s for a Christmas Eve Celebration. Photo by Dennis Serpone.

There are many photos in this issue and that is because we have had many occasions to take them and we wish to share them with you. Photos for our 2019 IMAGINE Industry New Year’s Celebration & “Imaginnaire” Awards Gala are on pages 20 and 21. This annual special event was held at The Social Register in the South Boston Seaport District and was filled with great magical moments and a good time was enjoyed by all.

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IMAGINE hosts this event every year of the second Tuesday of the New Year. 2020 will be Tuesday, January 14th – Save the date. Our purpose is to create an opportunity for toasting our industry and the people who work in it. It’s designed to get industry participants together, honor our peers, celebrate our work and enjoy each other’s company. We honor those who give back to our industry and shine a light on the success they share with all of us. Often new friends, new ideas, and new collaborations spring from this festive occasion. I wish to thank everyone who attended and showed their support for our work at IMAGINE Magazine. Thank you!

Next we are looking forward to the NAB Show in Las Vegas. The show’s tagline is “Where Content Comes to Life.” The NAB show is the world’s largest show for media, entertainment and technology. It will be held in April 6-11, 2019.

IMAGINE will distribute at the NAB Show and we can take your advertising message with us. Over 90,000 people attend from all over the world and we’re there to make sure they all know about our great Film Tax Credits in our great New England region.

NAB Show is the ultimate marketplace for digital media and entertainment. From creation to consumption, across multiple platforms and countless nationalities, NAB Show is home to the solutions that transcend traditional broadcasting and embrace content delivery to new devices in new ways.

NAB Show is where ground-breaking technology is unveiled, innovative solutions are displayed and game-changing trends are exposed. Prepare to explore aisle after aisle (bring your track shoes) of awesome
tech, cool gear, smart software, capable cloud solutions and limitless ideas and inspiration. Many New England companies will be exhibiting. We’ll bring back their stories for you.

Wishing a great rest of winter. Spring is sounding quite enticing about now.

Read on

Take 2: November 2018

Last month I actually hinted a bit about THE MAN WHO KILLED HITLER AND THEN THE BIGFOOT. I am so pleased to host the New England Premiere screening of this heralded motion picture for our greater Boston area.

Please join us on Thursday, November 15th at the Somerville Theatre in Davis Square for the New England Premiere of THE MAN WHO KILLED HITLER AND THEN THE BIGFOOT. This is an IMAGINE Magazine promotional event. I am determined to fill the theatre and hope you will help me do that. General admission is $15. And includes the Q & A afterwards with the filmmakers in attendance. There will be a VIP reception available prior to the screening that will cost $75 to meet with the filmmakers, cast and crew. It begins at 6:30 pm. The movie screens at 8 pm.

Jan and Mikhaila Waldman of Critter Casting will co-host our VIP reception along with Lisa Lobel of Boston Casting. Lisa did the local casting for the movie. Jan and Mikhaila’s beautiful German Shepard, Silas Archer Gustav, was in THE MAN WHO KILLED HITLER AND THEN THE BIG FOOT playing Aidan Turner’s (young Calvin Barr’s) dog. Silas will attend and be available for photographs.

The Q & A includes the director Robert Krzykowski, Executive Producer Douglas Trumbull, Music Composer Joe Kraemer and special effects guru Richard Yuricich. It will be lively I assure you. And we will have an opportunity to meet afterwards in the neighborhood. I’ll keep you updated as other cast and crew are added to our guest list.

I do hope you can be a part of this made in Massachusetts independent film celebration.

Hartley Pleshaw, one of our best writers, has interviewed the director of THE MAN WHO KILLED HITLER AND THEN THE BIGFOOT and its star, Sam Elliott. This film will most likely change how we think about independent film. I can’t think of anything so compelling that has or hasn’t come along in many years.

And this well springs from Massachusetts and was shot in western Massachusetts in and around Turner Falls, the home of Robert Krzykowski, the film’s director. He explains, “I think it’s worth noting that this isn’t a horror film, nor is it an exploitation film. This is a character study with some genre elements, but it’s much closer to a Hal Ashby movie or a Robert Altman film than it is to a bonkers exploitation flick. Bear that in mind as we spread the word. It helps to be honest about what this thing really is—even though there’s still a ton of mystery surrounding it.”

THE MAN WHO KILLED HITLER AND THEN THE BIGFOOT has sold out at every venue it has played in beginning in Montreal at its premiere at the Fantasia Film Festival and then in London, in Strasbourg and Sitges in Spain. It’s a character study of Calvin Barr that Sam Elliott brings home for all of us. Some say it’s his best role ever!

For us here in New England, this has been a very good year. There is so much to boast about. We didn’t have our usual fight to preserve our film tax credits in Massachusetts; Rhode Island increased their film tax credits to 30% and Connecticut reinstated their film tax credits after a substantial hiatus. What does this really mean?

Massachusetts film tax credit is as good as it ever was. 25% above and below the line, transferable, and better than New York as we do above the line – New York doesn’t include above the line. Rhode Island increased their tax credit to 30%, but it still has a cap of $15 million – still a great deal if you plan ahead.

Connecticut has reinstated their film tax credits after a long hiatus. But the numbers have changed considerably. Staggered the numbers now are this: Minimum spend has increased to $100,000 and makes the credit amount dependent on the production’s total expenses or costs. Production companies incurring production expenses or costs between $100,000 and $500,000 are eligible for a 10% credit, between $500,000 and $1 million are eligible for a 15% credit, and qualified expenditures over $1 million will continue to be eligible for a 30% credit.
So New England is well incentivized and major films and TV series are shooting in all three states. I believe 2018 will have the largest industry spend in our production history in Massachusetts. And as we look to 2019 there’s more in the pipeline, which does bring us to 2019.

This year IMAGINE Industry New Year’s Celebration & “Imaginnaire” Awards Gala will be held on Tuesday, January 8, 2019. As our celebration is always on the second Tuesday of the New Year, it will be earlier than usual this year as New Year’s Day is on a Tuesday. Please save the date and plan to attend. We have exciting new “Imaginnaires” to introduce to you. This is one of our best networking affairs.

I had the good fortune of trekking to western Massachusetts for the Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative’s 5th Annual Western MA Film and Media Exchange. It featured seminars on Screenwriting and pitching your project with LA based author, screenwriting expert and script consultant Pilar Alessandra. I have seen her many times at AFM. The event was extremely well attended and everyone I spoke to thought the day was a success for them. Pilar knows writing for film and TV inside and out and she presented exceptionally good advice. Her formula for creating a project’s logline is invaluable. Even John Stimpson uses it. See page 8 to read about John’s newest project written with best-selling author Casey Sherman.

Yes, 2018 has simply zipped by, but we’ll pause when we get together for IMAGINE’s screening of THE MAN WHO KILLED HITLER AND THEN THE BIGFOOT on November 15th. Please do help us fill the Somerville Theatre Main Auditorium. Then we’ll look forward to the IMAGINE Industry New Year’s Celebration & “Imaginnaire” Awards Gala in the New Year on January 8th.

Read on

Take 2: September 2018

THE MAN WHO KILLED HITLER AND THEN THE BIGFOOT starring Sam Elliot and Aidan Turner premiered in Montreal at the Fantasia Film Festival. Many in our region worked on this film including Executive Producer Douglas Trumbull along with one of my favorite acting canines Silas Archer Gustav (a Critter Casting staple). We’ve read the reviews from the Montreal and London screenings and we all want to see it. Everyone I’ve spoken to or read about who has seen it says “I just hope it gets seen.” I’m told it is a very different movie. The story is about a legendary American war veteran
who was recruited to hunt the mythical creature Bigfoot.

So, stand by for a an IMAGINE Boston premiere of THE MAN WHO KILLED HITLER AND THEN THE BIGFOOT sometime this fall.

The New England production industry has really heated up as we head into fall the location business is back, especially in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. There are crews working everywhere all over the Commonwealth. There’s so much I don’t know where to start except that it is
all good. And the real good news is that crews working now know what they will be working on next. I’ve heard stories of daily auditions for actors.

Carol Patton and SWEENEY KILLING SWEENEY executive producer Dennis Serpone during photo shoot at the Charles Hotel in Harvard Square. Photo by Carolyn Ross Photography
Carol Patton and SWEENEY KILLING SWEENEY executive producer Dennis Serpone during photo shoot at the Charles Hotel in Harvard Square. Photo by Carolyn Ross Photography

Castle Rock has been renewed for a second season, SMILF just wrapped its second season and there’s more TV series in the works. City on the Hill pilot has been picked up for series and we have our fingers crossed it will come back to Massachusetts, after all, it is set in Charlestown.

Zachary Quinto has been cast in the lead in AMC’s new horror drama series NOS4A2 now shooting in Rhode Island. Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images.
Zachary Quinto has been cast in the lead in AMC’s new horror drama series NOS4A2 now shooting in Rhode Island. Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images.

NOS4A2 began shooting in Rhode Island. It’s AMC’s new supernatural horror series. Zachary Quinto has been cast as the lead and Ashleigh Cumming has been cast opposite the STAR TREK star. NOS4A2’s
executive director and show runner, Jami O’Brien is …”over the moon to be working with such a phenomenal cast and creative team” calling Joe Hill’s book, “rich, imaginative and exciting.” An additional TV series in Rhode Island is expected, but it’s too early to announce.

I visited with Gary Crossen and New England Studios while HAMELINS were still in pre-production. There was a sign on the foyer wall, deliver here to Netflix untitled TV series. But, now the title is known and the production is in full swing for ten episodes. It will occupy two of New England Studios’four studios for the remainder of the year and perhaps beyond. All four studios are filled up and scheduled well into the future.

Silas Archer Gustav (CODE 13: UNREADABLE, THE MAN WHO KILLED HITLER AND THEN THE BIGFOOT) vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard. Photo by Jan Waldman.
Silas Archer Gustav (CODE 13: UNREADABLE, THE MAN WHO KILLED HITLER AND THEN THE BIGFOOT) vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard. Photo by Jan Waldman.

Titled HAMELINS in its pilot order, the show follows a group of teens who arrive home after a field trip is cut short, only to find themselves trapped within the limits of a city with its entire population missing. Together, they must establish a hierarchy and a survival plan.

Kathryn Newton, star of HBO hit Big Little Lies and prestige films like THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI and the upcoming Julia Roberts’ film BEN IS BACK, will star in Hamelins billed as “Lord of the Flies” meets “Lost.”

And we are looking at movies galore, JUNGLELAND shooting in the Fall River/ New Bedford area is about to wrap up. THE SOUND OF METAL just wrapped.

Greta Gerwig’s LITTLE WOMEN is in preproduction in and around Boston chosen for its authenticity. The production originally scouted Canada; suffice to say were genuinely pleased it chose Massachusetts. Emma Watson will play Meg, Saoirse Ronan is cast as Jo, Eliza Scanlen as Beth March, Florence Pugh as Amy and Meryl Streep is Aunt March, a role developed and enhanced
for Meryl. Cameras will start rolling the end of September.

Also in Pre-pro is WONDERLAND, a Robert B. Parker novel featuring Spenser of Spenser for Hire TV series, who returns to Boston’s criminal underworld to unravel a twisted murder conspiracy. The film stars Mark Wahlberg as Spenser and my wish is that this the precursor of another TV series or
sequel after sequel. Parker wrote such good true detective stories set in the greater Boston area. Peter Berg (PATRIOTS DAY, MILE 22) will direct WONDERLAND. Berg is partial to working here.

Publisher Carol Patton and IMAGINE’s Design Editor Monique Walton discussing everything in production in New England. An IMAGINE Photo.
Publisher Carol Patton and IMAGINE’s Design Editor Monique Walton discussing everything in production in New England. An IMAGINE Photo.

Wait there’s more, EVE produced by and starring Jessica Chastain will soon be shooting in Boston. Voltage Pictures, alongside Chastain’s company Freckle Films announced principal photography
is expected to begin before the end of the September. Tate Taylor (GIRL ON THE TRAIN, PRETTY UGLY PEOPLE) will direct. Voltage’s Jonathan Deckter is also onboard, serving as an executive producer.

In this issue we find out that Dennis Serpone (see cover story) will be working with the Murphy Brothers on their independent film RUNNING WAVES being prepared for the Falmouth, MA area. Lenny Clarke and Jordan Tofalo (SWEENEY KILLING SWEENEY) are now working with the Murphy brothers on
that film..

Actor Erica McDermott (THE FIGHTER, BLACK MASS, PATRIOTS DAY) and Publisher Carol Patton lunching in Harvard Square to talk about a record number of auditions in a very busy New England. season.
Actor Erica McDermott (THE FIGHTER, BLACK MASS, PATRIOTS DAY) and Publisher Carol Patton lunching in Harvard Square to talk about a record number of auditions in a very busy New England. season.

Entertainment attorney Elaine Rogers told IMAGINE she has been working on a major studio film that will be shooting in Massachusetts this fall but she can’t disclose the project at this time as she is under a confidentiality agreement. She is also working with writers Freddie Catalfo and Morgan Dudley and producer Kris Myer on a film they have in development called OIL AND WATER. It is based on a true David-and-Goliath story with a strong female protagonist. Read more about that in this issue.

John Stimpson’s movie GHOST LIGHT shot in and around Worcester is scheduled for its premiere at the LA Film Festival later this month. Read all about it in this issue along with a special screening for Nathan Suher’s HIGHER METHODS at the historic Foxboro Theater.

Coming next is our American Film Market (AFM) Special Edition. IMAGINE is looking for stories about New England Film and TV series projects in any stage of production from concept to completion that are looking for anything you might find at AFM including attachments of all kinds from cast to directors, a production company, financing and distribution.

Email publisher@imaginenews.com telling me about your project and what you are looking for.

New England Studios Business Manager Gary Crossen and Carol Patton checking out the studios newest tenant – The Hamelins, a Netflix TV Series in house for ten episodes through the end of the year that will air/stream in 2019. Photo by Dennis Serpone
New England Studios Business Manager Gary Crossen and Carol Patton checking out the
studios newest tenant – The Hamelins, a Netflix
TV Series in house for ten episodes through the end of the year that will air/stream in 2019.
Photo by Dennis Serpone

The American Film Market (AFM®) is the world’s largest motion picture business event. Over 7,000 industry leaders from more than eighty countries converge in Santa Monica for eight days of deal-making,screenings, conferences, networking and parties. Participants include acquisition and development executives, agents, attorneys, directors, distributors, festival directors,
financiers, film commissioners, producers, writers, the world’s press and all those who provide services to the motion picture industry.

Unlike a film festival, the AFM is a marketplace – with over 200,000 square feet of exhibition space – where production and distribution deals are closed. In just eight days, more than US$1 billion in deals will be sealed – on both completed films and those in every stage of development
and production. I wouldn’t miss AFM!

Read on

Take 2: June-July 2018

Above photo: Carol Patton, the founder and publisher of IMAGINE Magazine introducing special guest
David Kleiler. She holds the 1999 edition of IMAGINE that has the IMAGINE staff at the time on the cover. Photo by Carolyn Ross.

It’s in the air. Business is good and getting better. A new TV show is on its way and the pipeline is full through Spring of 2019.

IMAGINE Honors Boston film guru David Kleiler

IMAGINE began its celebrations for its 20th Anniversary with a “Sliders for Everyone” party at the Best Burger Bar in Brookline with special guests New England film guru David Kleiler and filmmaker Johnny Hickey (see his story in this issue). We took a look back at our IMAGINE first anniversary edition in 1999, which showed David on the cover with our staff at the time.

For several years David Kleiler wrote “Establishing Shot,” for IMAGINE. His column about independent film and filmmakers in our region and his thoughts on all matters as they relate to film – his obsession. He’s been a film professor, script consultant, producing consultant and film festival director. His company Local Sightings has been committed to supporting independent filmmakers and the independent film community at large by offering a wide variety of services that help projects get made, sold, and seen.

David spearheaded a movement to raise money to save the Coolidge Corner Theatre from closing. David Kleiler cut a celluloid ribbon to reopen the Coolidge Corner Theatre in 1989, which he would then oversee until 1993. He founded the Boston Underground Film Festival and has programmed the Woods Hole Film Festival and contributed curating to many others. Attending film festivals and curating movies for friends in his own living room, a regular event he calls Salon Saloon, continues to fuel his passion for film. David’s son, Hollywood Director David Kleiler, Jr. will be in the Boston area this summer to work on his film about his dad: IN THE LIVING ROOM. And speaking of film festivals, New England has a summer of them, many of them previewed in this edition. I hope you enjoy our previews and hot picks. Each festival has a unique personality and character. Be sure to sample as many as you can.

Personal stylist Lisa Ann Schraffa Santin, Wren
Ross, IMAGINE Director of Government Relations Ed Rae and IMAGINE Publisher Carol Patton at Wren Ross’ Success Network Voice Over Fair in May. Photo by Miranda Ellis.

It’s been a busy spring with many industry events. I attended Wren Ross’ Success Network Voice Over Fair in Waltham, Massachusetts. She invited local producers and past and present voice over students to audition for them. It’s a practice you can read about in this edition.

Inspiring storytelling and conversation with Writer, Director, Producer Maria Agui Carter (REBEL), Director, Producer Heather Strain (SIGHTED EYES/FEELING HEART), Director Mary Mazzio (I AM JANE DOE), Costume Designer Virginia Johnson (PATRIOTS DAY) and Executive Producer, MullenLowe Mary Robinson engaged a standing room only MPC sponsored event at CIC Cambridge. Their stories were about pivotal moments and unique challenges that led them to accomplishments and new places in their work and careers. A panel moderated by Lisa Simmons, Executive Director of the Roxbury International Film Festival, engaged the appreciative audience.

Carol Patton and Avid’s Jordan Warren and Bill
Reinhart at the Post NAB Boston Avid User’s Group held at Avid Headquarters in Burlington, MA. An IMAGINE Photo

I was delighted to be invited by Bill Reinhart to the Boston Avid Users Group meeting that was held at Avid’s headquarters in Burlington, MA. The meeting was attended by Avid’s President and new CEO Jeff Rosica (see IMAGINE April 2018 cover story). Avid’s post NAB presentation is covered in Steve McGrath’s article What’s New At Avid Technology in this issue.

ETCHED IN GLASS: The Steve Ross Story director Roger Lyons, “From Broken Glass” co-author Brian Wallace with the books editor David Lamb and co-author Glenn Frank at the books launch at the Boston Athenaeum. Photo by Tony Bennis.

Remarks by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh kicked off the book launch of “From Broken Glass: My Story of Finding Hope in Hitler’s Death Camps to Inspire a New Generation.” It’s Steve Ross’ story of surviving ten Nazi concentration camps – including Dachau. He became a licensed Psychologist for the City of Boston and conceived of and founded the New England Holocaust Memorial. As a truant officer in South Boston, Steve Ross inspired several young students to stay in school – one of those students is Brian Wallace who along with Glenn Frank authored this book. Wallace served as a Massachusetts state representative from 2003 – 2011 was an original, vital and indispensable supporter of Massachusetts Film Tax Credits (see IMAGINE Cover Story October 2002).

Writer and former Massachusetts Representative Brian Wallace, Writer, Director, Producer Roger Lyons and Carol Patton at the book launch of FROM BROKEN GLASS, written by Wallace and Glenn Frank. An IMAGINE Photo.

Also present was Writer, Producer, Director Roger Lyons. He released his Steve Ross documentary ETCHED IN GLASS to much acclaim earlier this year. The event was held at the Boston Athenaeum and extremely well attended. Combining the documentary, the book and workbook could become a powerful teaching tool about the Holocaust and the inspirational Steve Ross.

Tim Grafft, Deputy Director of the Massachusetts Film Office hosts the MFO booth at the Produced By Conference held at the Paramount lot.
Photo by Lisa Strout

The Mass Film Office Executive Director Lisa Strout and Deputy Director Timothy Grafft (both IMAGINE “Imaginnaires”) have just returned from the Producers Guild of America Produced by Conference where they manned a booth for the Commonwealth. Paramount Pictures Studio lot hosted the event.

Reaching across film, television and new media, the Produced By Conference is an educational forum conducted by acclaimed producers, including numerous Oscar and Emmy award winners, as well as the next generation of creative entrepreneurs. It is the only conference specifically created by producers, for producers. Cambridge, Massachusetts Academy Award winning filmmaker Errol Morris was a featured speaker.

NewTV Producers Andrew Eldridge, Angela
Harrer and Executive Producer Bob Kelly who is also NewTV’s General Manager win Emmys for their work on Assassin Nation: The Baltimore Plot. Photo courtesy of Jan Waldman

And speaking of Emmys, NewTV Producers Andrew Eldridge, Angela Harrer and Executive Producer Bob Kelly (who is also NewTV’s General Manager) won Emmys for their work on the best Historical/Cultural Program/Special “Assassin Nation: The Baltimore Plot”. I noted their table at the New England Emmy Awards included Actor and TV Show Host Jan Waldman was filled with fun and several Emmy Awards. Another great year for NewTV!

SWEENEY KILLING SWEENEY producers
Dennis Serpone and Michael King at IMAGINE 20th celebration. Photo courtesy of Dennis Serpone
Carol Patton chats with IMAGINE party goers Michelle Romano, Sandra Shaw, Dale Appel and Michelle’s friend Corey. Photo Dennis Serpone.
Margie Sullivan, MPC former President, and
Noreen Moross, Head of NewTV’s Production Center posing for camera at IMAGINE’s first 20th Year Anniversary Party. Photo Carolyn Ross.

Enjoy your summer. Email your favorite high resolution photos with a good caption and photo credit to publisher@imaginenews.com for our end of summer pictorial review!
Carol Patton

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Take 2: April 2018

My very first Letter from the Publisher, Take Two, was written twenty years ago and published in
our very first edition, April 1998. I remember exactly what I wrote, but I pulled a hard copy and
reread for sentiment and old times sake.

“Things are as we imagine them into, or out of existence,” I wrote. “Imagination is the most
powerful tool of creativity. However, facts and information have become the icons of our age. We tend to forget that the life we make for ourselves and for the world is shaped and limited only by the perimeters of our imagination. “And so we need to be educated in imagination.

This is an idea largely lost in this century for I fear we take our imaginations all too lightly. The
way we make our world depends on the vitality of our imagination. We in the media can help with the ongoing education in imagination by creating complex images and engaging stories for the theaters of the mind and the edification of the soul and by resisting temptation to be merely clever or technically effective.”

Hence, the name IMAGINE.

Then, “Imagine New England celebrated the world over for its abundance of creative talent, its desirable locations, its user-friendly labor pool, its cost-effective and award winning production capabilities. Imagine all that and a financial community to support and invest in it! Use your imagination to create a clear image sense and feeling of this. Can you imagine that when we endeavor to do this together, it will manifest? Together we can make it happen.” I dedicated IMAGINE to this important work.

“The aim is to examine and illuminate issues with the intention of advancing the causes that contribute to the overall wellbeing of the industry. Matters such as revising tax laws and incentives, developing financing for local film, TV, radio and other creative projects, sponsoring
writers, promoting independent filmmakers, acknowledging good work through an awards event, creating student sponsorships and challenging everyone to do their best work are some of the stepping stones to building giant legacies that this publication can help provide.”

In retrospect of the last twenty years, I believe IMAGINE has kept its promise and continues to guard its goals. Our industry has manifested, we have passed and now promote and protect our film tax credits, we do have our annual “Imaginnaire” Awards Gala and we are a resource for New England promoted all over the world as we flood national and international industry events with IMAGINE Magazines spreading the word about what we have to offer in our region. Along with our advertisers, subscribers and supporters IMAGINE has played a significant role in our industry’s success here…. We are your champions.

Over 100,000 people from all over the world will attend the next NAB Show, April 7 – 12, 2018 in Las Vegas. From creation to consumption, this NAB Show is designed to optimize and monetize your content. This is where the latest digital tech is unveiled, professional communities gather, and “world renowned thought leaders fuel the digital ecosystem.”

We are there to promote our region, its film tax incentives, talent, crew, and production support services found in our New England Production, Resource & Locations Guide. For all of you who supported this effort our greatest thank you. Your participation is most appreciated.

Be sure you read our cover story “Jeff Rosica Promoted to Top Post at Avid Technology” by IMAGINE’s Government Relations and Business Development Director Ed Rae. It’s an exciting look into a Boston high tech company known and loved worldwide. We’re hearing many industry leaders cheer for Jeff as Avid’s new President and CEO.

I’m looking forward to visiting the Museum of Broadcast Technology booth at NAB, as I do every year. Tom Sprague and Paul Beck keep me entertained with their throw-back broadcast technology from the 40s through the 80s, equipment all made in America – RCA for example.

With the impending April 6 release of CHAPPAQUIDDICK, I have to tell this short story from
Paul Beck, who, if you look real closely at the trailer for CHAPPAQUIDDICK, you can find in a
brief shot operating a TK42, the TV camera technology of the time.

Paul and Tom provided a collection of period-correct metal tripods, field dollies and the appropriate large-format tilt heads with special pan bars and lens controls, and the expertise to make them as visually correct for the cameras used in production in 1969.

When Paul delivered the two field tripods, the Set Dresser requested that he accompany the tripods to the seashore mansion in Beverly. “It became apparent that the physical unpacking and erection of the rented TK-42s needed an experienced person. Each camera is so large it has four mounting holes in its base, and weighed well over 100 pounds, even “hollowed out” and fitted with a small CCD camera.

Paul was asked to demonstrate moving the cameras and the correct way an operator would have handled a camera of this large size. Director John Curran asked him to return the following day for the actual shooting.

The following morning at sun up found Paul visiting the “Base Camp” of a dozen trailers and support vehicles. After an extremely hearty breakfast with other Crew and actors, he was ushered through Wardrobe for new pants and a shirt and shoes. Then to Hair styling and Makeup for a wee bit of color on his cheeks. Then, back to the main house for a day of intense shooting.

“I had planned to serve only as a humble tripod and camera “Wrangler” for only one morning,” said Paul.

“That morphed into an all-day coaching and demonstration session for the production officials and other actors and ultimately to myself being part of the acting crew and making a brief appearance in front of the cameras. It was a grand day!”

So, the Museum of Broadcast Technology is now also a “Prop House” complete with technical expertise and on set talent. I believe that in addition to preserving the past the Museum of Broadcast Technology has become a resource for the industry.

When I return from Las Vegas we will be celebrating IMAGINE’s 20th Anniversary! Imagine that!

Standby for a big party once we complete this effort supporting and promoting our industry to the rest of the world. Then, I will be sending out invitations – if you are not on our email newsletter list, go to www.imaginenews.com and opt in for additional news, events and more industry information.

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Take 2 Dec-Jan 2018

Carol Patton celebrating the season with Bestor Cram at Northern Light Productions Party at Middlesex Lounge. An IMAGINE Photo.

To date, 2017 has been a stellar year for our production industry; it’s the best year ever!

We have much to celebrate and I’ve been doing my fair share attending holiday parties hosted by the Massachusetts Production Coalition, Bestor Cram of Northern Light Productions, Tom Sprague of National Boston and at the very Christmassy home of Terri and Jeff Rosica; he is the President of Avid Technology.

I had the delight of lunching with the Mass Film Office Executive Director Lisa Strout and Deputy Director Tim Grafft, and also on another occasion, with Susan Nelson, Executive Director of SAG-AFTRA to discuss the new SAG-AFTRA Regional Commercial Code (see article in this issue). And I was able to spend the better part of a day at New England Studios where Studios 1 – 4 and all the mill space are in use by Hulu’s TV series Castle Rock and the third floor production facilities are occupied by Chris Lang’s I’M NOT YOUR DAUGHTER in Pre- Production along with producer Mark Donadio and co-producer Erin Cole.

IMAGINE’s Shooting Star is Ava Fratus, the young star of the film SNOWLAKE. She was born to perform. Photo courtesy of Goldilocks Productions.

So, the celebrations are on! But, there is one more; and you will not want to miss it. It’s IMAGINE’s Industry New Year’s Celebration & “Imaginnaire” Awards Gala! Your invitation is in this issue, which has become our Women Who Work in the Industry edition. The “Year of the Woman” has unfolded in a most unique way and as you can see, we’ve celebrated that here. We do so with our “Imaginnaire” all women slate as well.

Accomplished and varied, you’ll want to meet all of them. Here are our honorees to be the award recipients of “Imaginnaire” and “Shooting Star” awards on January 9, 2018, 7 – 10pm at Venezia.

SAG-AFTRA Director of Contracts and Member Services Jessica Maher, Carol Patton and SAG-AFTRA Member President Michele Proude at the December MPC meeting at The District. An IMAGINE Photo.

Massachusetts Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante, a mega supporter of Film Tax Credits.

Rhode Island Film & TV Office’s Carol Conley, Assistant to Executive Director Steve Feinberg.

Boston Casting Director Lisa Lobel and Founder of its Performance Center.

WIFVNE’s Juliet Schneider, who went the extra mile to save Women in Film/Video for New England.

IMAGINE’s “Shooting Star” is Ava Fratus, a very young woman born to perform.

I will be telling you more about this talented and dedicated group of “Imaginnaire” honorees and their exciting presenters in the days ahead. Watch for my notes in your inbox and be sure you RSVP and attend this popular event to meet them and cheer them for their accomplishments and to share in the networking for a great 2018.

This star-studded event has an exciting venue this year – the exquisite Venezia on the water in the Port Norfolk section of Boston, it overlooks the Boston Harbor with sweeping views of the Boston Skyline, an unmatched waterfront view and a welcoming atmosphere. And there is plenty of free parking.

I visited Mass Film Office Executive Director Lisa Strout and Deputy Director Tim Grafft in their new home on Blackstone Street in Boston. We grabbed lunch at the Boston Public Kitchen and this selfie as well. Photo by Tim Grafft.

This festive evening brings together our industry professionals for celebrating and networking. Many of our Corp of “Imaginnaires” will attend and it is my favorite evening of the year when I get to see all of you. Something magical always happens when you put this much talent in one room.

Make your reservation now. Your attendance is vital to our continued work here at IMAGINE, and includes your IMAGINE subscription for 2018. Proceeds from the party help us underwrite the incredible outreach we provide for our industry to the rest of the world. We champion our industry and promote our locations, film tax credits and the crew depth and our skilled talent acting pool. We do this by frequently shipping thousands of copies to major national industry events filled with stories and advertising from New England. We do this so that studio executives, major producers, networks, talent and commercial agencies can see what New England has to offer the industry. In these special editions we include an ad that extols the virtues of our attractive film tax credits and our desire to bring the work back here.

AFM was a total success for IMAGINE. Met up with Lisa Reilly (Reel Entrepreneur Studios) and Kristen Lucas (Goldilocks Productions). An IMAGINE Photo.

It’s a heavy lift and we are always in need of underwriting for this effort. IMAGINE has always been more than a magazine – it’s a movement accelerating the success of our industry.

Go to www.imaginenews.com and click on our party button to reserve your ticket. Remember, starting, renewing or extending your subscription includes our magical 2018 New Year’s Industry Celebration & “Imaginnaire” Awards Gala. It’s our gift to our readers and members of our production community who engage. Your participation will greatly support the work we do at IMAGINE, which I remind is to promote our industry and protect our Film Tax Credits, which IMAGINE introduced in 2002.

This December I am looking back at all the extraordinary happenings in New England that are too numerous to mention here, but the amount of work has exceeded thirty-four major productions including the ten episode Castle Rock TV series, Frankie Shaw’s SMILF, EQUALIZER 2, PROUD MARY, I FEEL PRETTY, DADDY’S HOME 2, SLENDER MAN and THE CATCHER WAS A SPY to name only a few.

Carol visiting New England Studios catches up with I’M NOT YOUR DAUGHTER Producer Mark Donadio, Carol Patton, Co-Producer Erin Cole and Director Chris Lang in pre-production. An IMAGINE Photo.

2018 looks extremely promising. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s TV pilot, A City on the Hill (I feel strongly about it) looks to begin shooting in April, SMILF has renewed and will be back, and there is no reason to believe Castle Rock won’t be back for a second season.

It is, for the twentieth time for me to thank everyone who reads and supports IMAGINE and our Industry in New England. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I look forward to seeing you on January 9, 2018 for another magical evening.

I wish everyone a Healthy, Happy, Creative and Satisfyingly Prosperous New Year!

 

 

Carol Patton and National Boston’s Chief Engineer Tom Sprague chat for a moment and toast 2018. An IMAGINE Photo.
Publisher Carol Patton and ELEMENT Founder/CEO Eran Lobel at a photo shoot for IMAGINE. Photo by Carolyn Ross.
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