Houston 2008:06

Houston 2008:06

HOUSTON COUNCIL WELCOMES NEW BRANCH SECRETARY-TREASURER

The Houston SAG Council voted to accept the nomination of Kit Gwin as branch secretary-treasurer to complete the term held by Bonnie Gallup. Although Bonnie’s service was deep and wide, the council feels confident Kit will be able to fill the seat with great competence.

Kit, a Texas actor, has worked in Dallas, Austin and now in Houston for the last 13 years. Her experience covers more than 75 film and television projects. Her more memorable acting roles have been in North Country, Mr. Brooks and No Country For Old Men. As associate casting director with Jo Edna Boldin, Kit worked on The Alamo, The Wendell Baker Story, Man of The House, The Ringer and Friday Night Lights.

“Your most exciting moments as an actor often come in the smaller, independent films where you’re given the time and the latitude to play with a character and with the other actors," Kit says. "I have such incredible memories of working with some amazing Texas actors and directors. On the other hand, it sure is fun to have worked with Joel and Ethan Coen and to be able to say you had a role in an Oscar-winning film.

“There is such an amazing talent pool in Texas. It has been an honor to work here and now to serve the union. We have lost a lot of production to surrounding states in recent years, and it’s up to us to find ways to bring it back to Texas. And, when we do, we have to be ready. I have been so impressed with what SAG and AFTRA are doing to make sure that happens, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”

Kit is currently working with the Script-To-Screen Team and the Books-on-Tape initiative in Houston. She is represented by The Horne Agency of Dallas. She served on the Board of Women in Film/Dallas in 1999 and is a member of the Board of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra and a proud certified Pilates instructor.

(iActor at SXSW)


SAG GRABS THE ARMADILLO BY THE TAIL
IN AUSTIN

On March 8, SAG Texas hosted a unique industry-wide event for Austinites and packed the house at 219 West. The event featured National Director of Organizing Todd Amorde, SAGIndie National Director Darrien Gipson, National Director of New Media Mark Friedlander and Director of On-line Casting Steve Graham.

The 150-plus attendees included actors, agents, directors, writers, producers and film commissioners all eager to catch the latest trends as they relate to SAG and to get answers to their specific questions.

The room was filled with initiative, too. So much so that some 25 members stepped forward to begin an Austin Conservatory program to help raise the professional bar in Austin. Performers in Austin are moving forward with the understanding that they don’t have to wait for things to happen – they can make things happen!

SAGIndie’s booth at the SXSW Trade Show reaped additional interest and continues to be a lifeline for those independent producers and directors looking to use professional talent. Interactive producers were excited to learn how easy it is to work with the SAG new media contracts, and the iActor on-line casting service is proving to be a necessity for producers and casting directors alike.

All of this is further proof that Austin "ain't some dead armadillo by the side of the road."

NEWS FROM THE NATIONAL BOARDROOM

Henry Kana
Houston SAG National Director

Hello my fellow members. Houston member Bob Boudreaux and I have joined others in our community with the planning of the upcoming Texas Motion Picture Association Gala. This important event is a major effort to raise funds for the 2009 Texas Legislative Session. This will help in our efforts to secure additional dollars from the Legislature to bring work to Texas in the film, commercial and video game industries. The TXMPA Fundraiser is scheduled for April 10 at VT2 Studio. More information can be found on the TXMPA.org website. If you would like to be involved with the TXMPA Gala, e-mail me via Trish Avery at tavery@sag.org.

I recently chaired the Theatrical/Television Wages and Working Conditions Committee for the Houston Branch. The Committee, consisting of Dee Dawson, Joyce Murray and Danny Kamin did outstanding work on your behalf and identified important issues and proposed improvements to the contract for consideration. Our report was forwarded to the Regional Branch Division for inclusion in the report to the National Wages and Working Conditions Committee.

Also, I attended the Villa Muse presentation, related to a new film studio development in Austin, and the SXSW Film Festival. Both were worth every dollar spent. If you have never attended the SAGIndie/Writers Guild Filmmakers Social or SXSW, I highly recommend it. These are opportunities to meet employers, directors and producers. As examples, my SXSW trip yielded the interest of two producer-directors who want to see my performance reel and a film development company interested in reviewing two of my screenplays. You never know who you will meet or what opportunities will be presented to you at these events, so it is smart to bring plenty of business cards and headshots.

"Break a leg."

MARCH SCHMOOZER

Houston professional performers will meet and greet for another round of what’s what and who’s who in the biz in Houston.

Thursday, March 27, 2008
4:30-7 p.m.
Saltgrass Steakhouse
8943 Katy Fwy, Houston, TX 77024
(713) 461-6111


From I-10 headed west, exit Campbell Road, make a U-turn under the freeway, and travel back to the east on the service road almost two blocks to find Saltgrass on the right side. The restaurant faces the freeway, and parking is in the rear. If you miss the driveway, turn right on the next street (Brogden), go to the stop sign, turn right (Gaylord Street), and find the parking lot on your right after the bank.

For more information, contact the Guild office at (800) 724-0767, extension 7.

TAKE A CASTING WORKSHOP – FOR FREE

The Screen Actors Guild Foundation's Casting Access Project (CAP) offers SAG members the opportunity to meet and learn from respected casting directors via free workshops. In fact, this renowned program was recently chosen by Back Stage West as "Best Way to Meet Casting Directors in Los Angeles."

Now the SAG Foundation has made registration for branch members one step easier. If you plan to be in Hollywood or New York and would like to attend, just follow the steps below.

(NOTE: This is only for SAG members 18 and older with "active," paid-up membership status who live in areas other than New York and Los Angeles. Membership records must reflect this information)

Contact nycap@sagfoundation.org for workshops in New York or cap@sag.org for workshops in Los Angeles. Request a Casting Access Project orientation packet, which is then e-mailed. (SAG members planning to visit both areas may simply contact the CAP region they plan to visit first.)

At least one week's notice is desired, whenever possible, to ensure space in an upcoming workshop.

Just follow the instructions, and you will be given priority entrance into the next available workshop. For more information on CAP, visit the SAG Foundation website at sagfoundation.org.

WELCOME TO OUR NEW AND RETURNING BRANCH MEMBERS


NEW MEMBERS: Rebekah Graf, Patrick Wedge, Amanda N. Peterson, Erika Henderson and Rick Barnes.

TRANSFER MEMBERS: Elie Massarra, Marissa D’Onofrio, Melinda Hall, Krista Betts, Avery White and Jerry Wallace.

CURRENT TEXAS PRODUCTION ACTIVITY

(This update is provided as a members-only service. Information is subject to change. Although these producers may have initiated signatory paperwork, always check with the office to make sure the project is fully signed before working.)

Prayer Hour - Internet Series
Prayer Hour Ministries, Inc.
Location: Houston, TX
Start: January 1, 2008
Casting: Don Worley

Out of Hand - Theatrical
Amber Road Entertainment, LLC
Location: Dallas, TX
Start: March 24, 2008

Harmony and Me - Ultra Low Budget
Project Harmony and Me, LLC
Location: Austin, TX
Start: March 25, 2008

Radio 101 - Low Budget Modified
101 Radio, LLC
Location: Austin, TX
Start: March 25, 2008

Borderline - Low Budget
Angelblue Productions, LLC
Location: Austin and Dallas, TX
Start: April 1, 2008
Casting: Lauren C. King

Mindsight - Ultra Low Budget
Gut Check Productions, LLC
Location: Waco, TX
Start: April 7, 2008

Serenity Falls - Low Budget
DreamFLY Productions
Location: throughout Texas
Start: April 14, 2008

Chupa- Theatrical
Chupa One, LLC
Location: Austin, TX
Start: April 15, 2008

Friday the 13th - Theatrical
Crystal Lake Productions, LLC
Location: Austin, TX
Start: April 21, 2008

The Two Bobs- Low Budget
Two Bobs, LLC
Location: Austin, TX
Start: April 26, 2008

Easier With Practice - Low Budget
EWP, LLC
Location: Austin, TX and Albuquerque, NM
Start: April 28, 2008
Casting: Cookie Carosella

Never Enough - Low Budget Modified
Six Horseshoes Production
Location: Dallas, TX
Start: June 1, 2008

Bearding Christian – Low Budget Modified
Angelblue Productions, LLC
Location: Austin and Dallas, TX
Start: June 1, 2008
Casting: Lauren C. King

A Flag Between Two Families – Low Budget
Little Bear Productions, Co.
Location: San Antonio and Eagle Pass, TX and Washington, D.C.
Start: June 1, 2008

Guys – Low Budget Modified
Guys the Movie, LLC
Location: Austin, TX
Start: June 2008
Casting: Shannon Makhanian

Behind the Palisades – Low Budget Modified
Angelblue Productions, LLC
Location: Houston, TX
Start: June 2008
Casting: Lauren C. King

Zombie Love – Ultra Low Budget
Ken Morris
Location: Dallas, TX
Start: June 2008

STAYING IN TOUCH WITH YOU



We hope you’ve enjoyed this e-newsletter. It’s designed to be a pipeline connecting Screen Actors Guild members from Houston to the Rio Grande. Send your comments, questions and suggestions for topics to Branch President Jim Huston at HoustonPresident@sag.org