FILM INDUSTRY GROWING IN MISSISSIPPI
The material in this article was extracted from material provided to Local Board member Ritchie Montgomery by the Mississippi Film Office.
Since its creation in 2004, the Mississippi Motion Picture Incentive Program has successfully supported the development and attraction of on-location film production in Mississippi, with 2014 being the “tipping point” for the film industry. In 2014, 14 features and parts of two more features were filmed entirely in the state. Two short films, eight reality series, six documentaries and several commercials were also filmed. Direct production spending was between $50 million and $60 million. The payroll for Mississippians approached $20 million.
These projects were scattered throughout Mississippi, from Tupelo to Natchez and from Tunica to Ocean Springs. One thing that is always mentioned by cast and crew alike is the support and hospitality of the Mississippi communities, who roll out the red carpet for all productions, large or small, feature film or reality television. The commitment of these communities and of the state’s elected officials to the growth of the industry has impressed every filmmaker who has worked in Mississippi.
Central to the mission of creating a vibrant and nurturing film environment, the Mississippi Film Office again supported the professional production alliances located in Jackson and on the coast, and sponsored statewide film festivals and related events through incentive grants and programming support. Additionally, it directly supported indigenous filmmaking by continuing to fund the Mississippi Emerging Filmmakers Grant program administered by the Mississippi Film and Video Alliance and supporting the efforts of Barefoot Documentary Workshops.
Stay Connected! A Note from Our President
We need your photographs!
Many SAG-AFTRA New Orleans Local members are working all over Louisiana and Mississippi. We want to see you at work, so send us your pictures. Whether the photos are of you on the set, you on the air, you performing a stunt, or you recording a voiceover, we want to see them all!
We need photos to post in our upcoming newsletters, for our SAG-AFTRA New Orleans Local website, and more. Be an “on-the-ground” reporter and let us know what’s happening to our local members. It’s just another way to stay connected.
Send your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. You should include the names of all of the actors in the photo (and be sure you have their permission to submit it), some information about the event or circumstances, permission from the photographer (if it was taken by someone other than you), a credit and contact information for her or him, and your contact information in case we have questions or need more information.
The fine print: We anticipate receiving many photographs and will not be able to confirm receipt or use of every photo. By submitting your photo, you grant SAG-AFTRA permission to use it in connection with news and information about the New Orleans Local and confirm that you have permission from everyone depicted to submit the photo for such use as well as permission from the photographer, if it was someone other than yourself.
In case you didn’t make it to our Nov. 23 meeting, it was a great success. Leslie Libman, director of some NCIS, NCIS: New Orleans episodes, and a lot of other television shows, was our guest speaker. Meagan Lewis, a 2014 Primetime Emmy Award winner for Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series, interviewed Leslie and facilitated a question-and-answer session.
We addressed many topics and reestablished connections as members helped members with answers and ideas. In addition, the members said it would be good if we formed a conservatory committee to explore a local conservatory program and that we should continue our meetups with members. If you are interested in finding potential presenters or helping out with the Conservatory Committee, please send me an email.
Finally, another way to stay informed is to connect to the resources available to you as a SAG-AFTRA member. There are a number of programs available online — even right now — hosted by our union and Screen Actors Guild Foundation.
Here’s a link to the SAG Foundation Video Gallery to get you started.
The Business series has excellent informational programming, including social media, taming the inner critic, turning direction into action, working the film festival circuit and so on.
As Local Board members, we’re not always sure what the issues of our members are. Please let us know what’s going on, even if a union professional is helping resolve an issue. The only way you’ll know that we’ve got your back is if we’re in your loop. Please remember that I am here as your elected president to get answers to any questions you might have. Please do not hesitate to contact me. Please ask in your email that your request be directed to me.
Diana Boylston, New Orleans Local President