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

Read on

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.

Read on

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.
Read on

Take 2 October 2017

Our AFM Special Edition is packed with film projects in many different states for production from concept to completion here in New England. Each would like to find their special “needs and wants” at this year’s AFM held at the Loews Beach Resort Hotel in Santa Monica. This will be the largest independent film market on the globe with over 8,000 professionals attending from all over the world.

And get this, over $3 Billion in deals will be sealed in eight days. Imagine that! I look forward to it every year and have never been disappointed.

IMAGINE Magazines are distributed at this major industry event right along-side of Variety and Hollywood Reporter. We really score big for our advertisers, our region, and the projects we select to be seen in this issue representing New England.

Last year SWEENEY KILLING SWEENEY starring Steve Sweeney was included in our slate of New England films in our 2016 AFM edition. The film was still in concept mode. Now I’m happy to report that SWEENEY KILLING SWEENEY, Executive Produced by Dennis Serpone, has just recently wrapped and is now in post-production.

We also featured ANNABELLE HOOPER AND THE GHOSTS OF NANTUCKET. The film is now in international distribution and we are once again spotlighting ANNABELLE HOOPER 2, a sequel in development along with a slate from Paul Serafini and Angelina Pictures based in Concord, MA. Read about them in this issue.

“Along for the Ride” creator Lisa Reilly is now in LA along with the powerful stories she collected while driving for LYFT to offset her production company expenses. She and her story attended AFM in 2016. I really encourage anyone, in this business that can to attend this opportunity each fall.

There is no getting around the fact that this edition is one of our most important examples of outreach that IMAGINE continues since its inception. We get the word out. When we send our stories to the likes of AFM, we greatly enrich our region and our region’s connection to the industry. Read all about the special projects we have chosen for Hollywood limelight in this edition.

I just have to recall one of our first AFM editions that we took there. I ran into Dorothy Aufiero. It was the year 2000; IMAGINE was only two and a half years old. Under her arm was a project for motion picture. It was called THE FIGHTER. It took Dot a long time to develop that story into a motion picture – ten years, in fact. But, she did. She did it in Massachusetts and the show won two Oscars and eighty-eight other awards!

Since then she has produced THE FINEST HOURS and PATRIOTS DAY. I cannot wait to see what my friend Dorothy Aufiero does next.

Our cover story for this issue is exceptionally important for our industry in Massachusetts. The Commonwealth hasn’t had a major TV series since Spenser for Hire! Oh yes, Dorothy A. worked on that too along with our current MA Film Office Executive Director, Lisa Strout and countless others who were here in the ‘80s. In fact Lisa put me onto the subject of Robin Sweet, producing Castle Rock for Hulu Originals in conjunction with Warner Bros at New England Studios and on location in the wonderful town of Orange, Massachusetts. I hope you enjoy this story as much as I did collecting it. And imagine, Robin has lived in Concord, MA for nine years….

Fall is flying by and before we know it, I say this every year, it will 2018. Thinking of that reminds me to remind you to Save the Date! The IMAGINE Industry New Year’s Celebration & “Imaginnaire” Awards Gala will be held on the second Tuesday of the New Year: Tuesday, January 9, 2018. Save the Date!

I had the great pleasure of taking another industry group to the Berkshires for a visit with Doug and Julia Trumbull at Trumbull Studios. Everyone oohed and awed as always at the amazing work that is being done there vis a vis Douglas Trumbull’s Magi Project: shooting at 120fps, editing and post-producing at the same rate and screening at 120fps in his geodesic dome shaped Magi Pod – this will change forever how we see what is on the silver screen. The results will take your breath away.

I’d like to draw attention to Mick Cusimano’s ImagineNation cartoon this month. He joined our fi rst trip to Trumbull Studios and has created this remembrance.

Jan Haughey’s Media Resource Expo is the best place to catch up with broadcast technology and old friends at a well-run conference. It’s so enjoyable. IMAGINE was an exhibitor. It was held in Westborough, MA this year at the Hilton Doubletree Hotel. There was a great deal to do and no one went hungry. Ice cream in the late afternoon along with $500 door prizes! Well done Jan, Pam, and your team.

IMAGINE has often interfaced with Berklee College of Music of the years, including one time when a Berklee student agreed to come to Nantucket and play for our IMAGINE House Champagne Brunch honoring New England screen writers and fi lmmakers. It was absolutely terrifi c except for one small little detail. In transport from Boston to Nantucket, the airline lost the group’s bass fi ddle. How do you lose a bass fi ddle you ask? I don’t know how it happened, but it was easy to fi nd – on Martha’s Vineyard, of course. The situation was remedied and the show went on. Now that I think of it, producer Dorothy Aufi ero was there, too.

I was reminded of that little story because I just enjoyed a splendid evening as an AVID invited guest to the Berklee College of Music 23rd Annual Encore Gala, a wonderful benefi t for Berklee City Music at the Boston Marriott Copley Place. It consisted of a reception and a star studded dinner program featuring Rickey Minor, the former band leader for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, as master of ceremonies: and R&B, soul, and funk group Tavares, as well as special guest Courtney Harrell, ’01 (last year she advanced into the top 12 on the hit NBC TV show The Voice). She was a part of the Berklee City Music program and then offered a full scholarship.

And then it was Music, Music, Music – the whole fourth fl oor rocked where individual rooms had separate musical programs performed by students and members of Berklee City Music. Each room sponsored. The fund raising was extremely successful for a very worthy program. It was a sensational evening. Thank you AVID for a wonderful seat at your table.

Coming next is IMAGINE’s Women Who Work in the Industry. It’s one of our most popular issues of the year. Watch for it.

Like our magazine? Then subscribe and get it delivered to your home or offi ce. Your subscriptions help us with our publishing costs and the promotional work we do for our region. We’ve been called New England’s best cheerleader and we try really hard.

If you’re an industry or industry related business and have an interest in doing business in New England with its professionals, its vendors, its creative community – writers, directors, producers, editors, special effects creators, skilled crew and talented well trained actors and casting directors, etc. IMAGINE Magazine is your ticket to target and reach this prolifi c production community. We want your business and we will work hard to make it work for you and to bring you here.

Read on

Take 2 September 2017

Carol Patton Imagine News PublisherWhat a busy summer for New England! The number of movies in production and on location is stupendous. Everyone is working including Silas, Jan Waldman’s amazing German Shepherd! Silas Archer Gustav is a “hot dog” on the set of THE MAN WHO KILLED HITLER AND THEN THE BIGFOOT. Silas plays the part of young Calvin Barr’s Dog with a performance that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt the he has right stuff for this part. I love leading with a dog story.

I visited New England Studios and interviewed Castle Rock Producer Robin Sweet. The Hulu ordered ten episode TV series is being produced by Warner Bros and filling three of the NE Studios four stages. I’ll have the whole story for you in our next issue. SLENDER MAN was in the fourth studio. In production now is John Stimpson’s GHOST LIGHT, A dark comedy about a disgruntled summerstock
actor who contemptuously disregards the superstition surrounding Shakespeare’s tragedy, Macbeth. By doing so he unleashes the curse of The Scottish Play and wreaks havoc on the company. Hmmm.

EQUALIZER 2 brings Denzel Washington back to the Commonwealth. The film’s main locations are Brant Rock and Marshfield. SWEENEY KILLING SWEENEY will wrap this month after using film locations all over the greater Boston area including Quincy where there is a “grand experiment” underway for ten years totally geared to attracting studio movie production to the city by streamlining location finding, permitting and other necessities that City Hall, the Chamber of Commerce and participating businesses can provide. To that end I visited auto magnet Daniel J. Quirk to get his take. See our story in this issue.

Recently wrapped movies include Amy Schumer’s I FEEL PRETTY, SLENDER MAN, BURNING WOMAN, PROUD MARY, DADDY’S HOME 2 and John Stimpson’s THE SPRUCES AND THE PINES. All of which speaks to a very good year for our industry.

I get excited about the American Film Market (AFM) every year. This year it will be November 1 – 8 at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Resort Campus and also include a Location Expo, new this year. IMAGINE is a media partner with AFM. We dedicate our next edition to getting results for our local filmmakers at AFM, which is the largest gathering of Motion Picture professionals in the world.

We will assemble “pitch articles” for as many New England movie projects that make the cut and will fit in our magazine. What are you looking for? If you have a movie project in any stage of development from concept to completion, let me know so we can consider it for this issue, which will have a huge bonus distribution at AFM.

Whether you need a writer for an idea, a producer or a production company for a completed script, talent, a director, finishing funds, foreign sales and distribution, you may find it at AFM. AFM means unlimited possibilities.

When you experience AFM you get incredible access to more industry players in one week than you could see all year. It is one amazing beach front campus where over $3 billion in deals will be made
in eight days. Over 400 distribution companies, 1,000 production companies and 7,000 industry professionals from eighty different countries will attend among them the top studio, broadcast
and cable network and agency executives in the business.

You can, actually, make an elevator pitch at AFM This is one of IMAGINE’s great efforts that gets “the word” out – our outreach that puts what New England has to offer right in the hands of 7,000 decision makers from all over the world. We are displayed right next to The Hollywood Reporter and Variety and decision makers from all over the world pick our issues up like hotcakes.

Along with presenting selected projects from New England, we promote our film tax credits and incentive programs along with the riches of our region such as crew depth, talent pool, incredible locations, amazing architecture and scores of looks from the Revolutionary War, 1776, the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, to our awesome educational institutions and preserved neighborhoods of note and beautiful hills, forests, shoreline and mysterious fishing villages. We’ve got it all including a 25% Film Tax Credit that bests the rest, including above the line expenditures.

If you have a film project that you are taking to AFM or would like to be considered for our AFM edition, please let me know about your project. You can email me at publisher@imaginenews.com. If you have an advertising message for the attendees of this major industry event, place your advertising now and we’ll deliver your message right to your best target audience.

The summer was filled with special events, one was our IMAGINE day-trip to visit the Studios of special effects guru and movie pioneer Douglas Trumbull. I’ve written about it in this issue. It was an amazing experience, so much so that I’ve scheduled another trip. I can take up to sixty people, so if you missed our last one and would like to join our next on Wednesday October 11th, or want to go again, let me know. The leaves in the Berkshire should be spectacular. Email publisher@imaginenews.com.

At the Woods Hole Film Festival I was attracted to a Special Panel of Women Filmmakers held at the fire station. where I had seen Elika Portnoy’s directorial debut earlier– THE SIXTH AMENDMENT for the first time. What a pleasure and the panel was terrific.

I was front and center for the Rhode Island International Film Festival’s Film Forum, co-sponsored by the Rhode Island Film Office. After an exciting conversation with and viewing of the Douglas Trumbull’s award winning work, he was presented with Rhode Island’s first Gilbert Stuart Artistic Vision Award by Steven Feinberg, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Film and Television Office.

Later that day more than one hundred local filmmakers made their way to Cape Cod for IMAGINE Magazine’s big summer bash at Willowbend Country Club in Mashpee. I hosted along with bestselling author and producer Casey Sherman (THE FINEST HOURS, PATRIOTS DAY) and Willowbend Country Club’s owner David Southworth. Casey spoke about two forthcoming projects and the release of his latest book THE ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE and his “12” being picked up for motion picture. It tells the story of the miraculous “come from behind” win of Super Bowl LI. What a treat in an absolutely exquisitely
beautiful setting.

Guests included BLACK MASS actress Erica McDermott, SAME KIND OF DIFFERENT AS ME actor Mike Southworth, Woods Hole Film Fest Executive Director Judy Laster and prolific filmmaker John Stimpson. And a very good time was had by all.

In late August I was invited to the Hope Music Festival in Hyannis, back on the Cape, where I connected with Producer Dennis Serpone (SWEENEY KILLING SWEENEY) IMAGINE Cover Girl, actor, writer, director Christy Cashman and Judy Laster. James Montgomery orchestrated an extraordinary evening of
such talented musicians everyone was toe tapping. The Hope Music Festival raised money for the healthcare industry on the Cape with a focus on fighting Opioid Addiction.

My Best Wishes for a Successful Fall,
Carol Patton

Read on

Take 2: July 2017

Massachusetts Film Tax Credits Remain Strong….

The industry has much to be grateful for. Our Massachusetts Film Tax Credits are intact. Except for the support of key elected legislators, we could have been devastated. Save for industry members who believe in what we are doing, we could be in Hollywood’s rear view mirror.

The Commonwealth is having its best year ever of visiting studio and major productions working in this state. We have a ten-episode series shooting in New England Studios. Hollywood has once again taken notice. Future films will consider coming to Massachusetts. Another series is on its way.

Quincy Chamber of Commerce President Tim
Cahill (center), with Quincy elected officials Representative Bruce Ayers, Representative
Tacky Chan (a SAG-AFTRA member), House Majority Leader Ron Mariano and Senator John Keenan. The whole delegation supports
film tax credits. An IMAGINE photo.

Carol Patton met with Senator Sal DiDomenico
during the Committee of Conference in behalf of our industry. An IMAGINE photo.
This legislative season has been an entirely new experience for the Commonwealth’s Film and Television industry. For the past two years, Governor Baker first included the elimination of our Film Tax Credits and last year he attempted to modify them. This year the industry was completely left out of his budget and we all breathed a huge sigh of relief.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Carol Patton
after the Conference Committee reconciliation
of the House and Senate Budgets that worked out well for our industry. An IMAGINE photo.

Governor Baker is known to have said that he tried it twice and it’s apparent to him that Film Tax Credits are the will of the legislature (well, certainly the House of Representatives as that is where tax policy is constitutionally vested first) and the citizens of the Commonwealth.

But, then, the somewhat unexpected happened. We suspected that there would be amendments from the Senate. We didn’t know they would pass.

Don Packer, Engine Room co-owner and senior editor and past President of MPC,
talking to industry supporters Massachusetts’
Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo and Representative Ann Margaret Ferrante
(Gloucester, Rockport and Essex) after the Committee of Conference reconciled in our industry’s favor. An IMAGINE Photo.
Members’ complaints included that the state paid GHOSTBUSTERS 2 over $25 million dollars. Few recalled, however, that that meant Columbia Pictures spent over $100 million in the Commonwealth, built a giant set in Weymouth (which they left behind), and enriched thirteen other locations around the state. Think of it, a $100 million infusion into the state’s economy! Blockbusters of this ilk are attracted to Massachusetts because of our 25% above the line Film Tax Credit.

Senator Michael Rodrigues from Westport, who represents Fall River, MA, filed an amendment that would damage our industry’s ability to attract big budgeted films. Taking the “attractive” out of our “attractive film incentives” program. Essentially, large budgeted movies would be deterred from coming to Massachusetts and very few productions could meet the 75% of budget requirement or the cap on salaries in this global climate.

The Senate voted for the amendment to be included in the Senate budget. Twenty-three Senators of the thirty-eight possible (2 open seats) stood against us! Nine Senators stood for us. And we’re grateful for them.

It’s important at this time that we extend our appreciation and gratitude for those who stood with us in the Senate. The vote was a sneaky one. They counted in a rare standing vote without naming Senators who stood against us.

Read on