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Dwayne ‘Hombre’ Johnson, NM

Posted by on April 29, 2010 | 4 comments

This just in >> Big budget, action/thriller ‘Protection’ is set to shoot in New Mexico this fall.

Simon West (Con Air, Tomb Raider) will direct star Dwayne Johnson as ‘Hombre’ in the “high-octane tale of a mercenary Mexico City security operative forced to smuggle the daughter of an under-threat, high ranking judge and the judge’s chief legal counsel across the border while being pursued by corrupt cops, drug lords and white collar U.S. criminal forces” -IM Global

Casting deets to follow.

New Mexico lost out on ‘The Hunger Games’

Posted by on March 18, 2012 | Comments Off on New Mexico lost out on ‘The Hunger Games’

UPDATE 3/26/12: North Carolina strikes gold with Hunger Games where New Mexico struck-out on film jobs, economy AND tourism…

The impact of the film could be far-reaching. The books, by Suzanne Collins, have sold millions of copies. Syrett said Lionsgate Films has an “incredible” marketing campaign behind the film.

“You can’t buy a billboard this large,” Syrett said Wednesday. “It will have a tremendous tourism impact for years to come.”

Having a film shoot in your area is certainly a profitable venture. The North Carolina film commission has revealed that preliminary figures show that The Hunger Games brought nearly $62 million into the local economy.

The following Charlotte Observer story extracts that scenery among other accolades N.C. has to offer are what landed the state this and more upcoming major productions, including Iron Man 3, which also considered New Mexico during the particularly embattled period of time when our own state film futures were highly contested by the then incoming administration.

“…When “The Hunger Games” was scouting locations, Canada and New Mexico were also considered, Jacobson says. But, in addition to the tax-incentive program, “North Carolina really had it all visually for us.

…The Hunger Games” is the biggest film project to land in North Carolina, which has seen increased interest from filmmakers and TV producers thanks to one of the most robust tax-incentive programs in the country: Filmmakers can get a refund on 25 percent of salaries and money they spend on taxable items in North Carolina, worth up to $20 million per project.

…Currently, the state is hosting 10 productions (feature films including Marvel Studios’ “Iron Man 3” and TV series including Cinemax’s “Banshee”).

From a state whose Governor embraces and works to build film as a job creating priority, Theoden Janes of the Charlotte Observer reports from Los Angeles with the kind of journalistic prose that paints a romantic and beautiful picture of the film making, destined to cast a flattering spotlight on North Carolina for the rest of the world to see.

By Theoden Janes
Charlotte Observer

LOS ANGELES – The five-star Four Seasons Hotel seems to have everything a movie star could desire, but Lenny Kravitz is fantasizing about something that’s 2,400 miles away: Price’s Chicken Coop.

Charlotte’s renowned fried-chicken joint is one of the things the rocker-actor misses most about North Carolina, where “The Hunger Games” was shot over four months last year.

“That’s my joint,” says Kravitz, as he sinks into a sofa in a suite. “Normally, I eat very healthy and organic, so people are probably saying, ‘He eats that?’ But I gotta get country every now and again.”

Kravitz, several other “Hunger Games” cast members, and filmmakers jumped at the chance to talk about the Tar Heel State, toward the end of a recent weekend they spent fielding many of the same questions over and over again from journalists about the $90 million production, which was filmed between May and September 2011.

“It’ll be nice to talk about Charlotte, which I loved,” says director Gary Ross as he greets a visitor to another Four Seasons suite.

The release of the film is a huge deal to Ross and Kravitz and the fellow cast and crew. It’s an equally big deal for North Carolina.

‘N.C. really had it all visually’

“Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” from 2006 is the highest-grossing film shot in the state; the NASCAR sendup topped out at $148 million. “The Hunger Games” – in theaters on Friday – could surpass that in two weekends.

Analysts believe it could become one of the biggest blockbusters ever, with good reason: It is based on a 2008 young-adult novel by Suzanne Collins that has sold 23.5 million copies; it stars a Hollywood It Girl-slash-Oscar-nominated actress (Jennifer Lawrence); and unlike “Twilight,” boys and men freely admit they like it.

The story is set in a bleak, dystopian future in which a postwar North America has been renamed Panem and divided into 12 districts, which surround a wealthy seat of government known as the Capitol. As punishment for a decades-ago rebellion, the Capitol annually selects one boy and one girl from each district to compete in a televised battle to the death.

Nina Jacobson, the film’s primary producer, says North Carolina provided ideal locations for each of the tale’s main settings – District 12 (home of Lawrence’s character, Katniss Everdeen), the Capitol, and the Arena (where the Games take place).

Remote portions of DuPont State Forest near Asheville were perfect for the artificial landscape the Capitol creates for the Arena; the insides of newer, clean-line uptown Charlotte buildings stood in nicely for the Capitol.

Multiple shooting locations were convenient because of economic struggles in North Carolina. An abandoned mill village outside of Hildebran (Henry River) and an old warehouse in Shelby (Royster P&M) were used to bring to life District 12, a poverty-stricken, rural Appalachia. The former Philip Morris cigarette manufacturing plant in Concord also got plenty of use.

“For District 12, when we found the areas around Shelby and in Henry River, we were blown away by how much that felt like we were reading the book and imagining it in our mind’s eye,” Jacobson says. “Having such great specificity to the Appalachian roots of Katniss’s character felt really right to us.

“Asheville and the woods had a sense of a wilderness so beautiful it could feel artificial. And Charlotte is an incredibly modern city. We were able to take advantage of some of your local architecture. Then we also had Philip Morris, which was this ominous concrete compound that worked great for the Capitol interiors.”

When “The Hunger Games” was scouting locations, Canada and New Mexico were also considered, Jacobson says. But, in addition to the tax-incentive program, “North Carolina really had it all visually for us.”

Where they lived, hung out

Because the shoot lasted all summer, the cast and crew became well-acquainted with the area.

Lawrence, the star, rented a house in the NoDa area of Charlotte. Ross, the director, rented one in Myers Park. The adult cast members took up residence at the Ritz-Carlton in uptown. Kravitz, who plays Katniss’s stylist in the film, rented out Bojangles’ Coliseum for a month to rehearse for his “Black and White America” world tour (currently making the rounds in Australia).

And they didn’t hide from view. Male lead Josh Hutcherson – who plays Katniss’s fellow District 12 tribute, Peeta Mellark – enjoyed a zipline tour in Asheville so much, he went back two more times. Ross was a repeat diner at the Customshop restaurant on Elizabeth Avenue. (“I ordered the pork belly a lot and I garnered that nickname.”)

Many cast members went to see Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow perform at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in late August, says actress Elizabeth Banks, who plays Effie Trinket, escort for the District 12 tributes.

“I thought Charlotte was beautiful. It’s so clean. Really walkable,” says Banks, who has another trilogy on her resume – “Spider-Man” 1, 2 and 3 – and has been featured as a frequent guest on the NBC sitcom “30 Rock.” “I had my son there, so it was nice to be able to go out every day and just kind of walk around, and I thought the downtown was really cool.”

Asheville was even more popular, though. The production was based there for almost two months, while the actors and filmmakers shot the Arena scenes in the DuPont forest, the Coleman Boundary in Barnardsville and the North Fork Reservoir in Black Mountain.

“Asheville’s one of the greatest places you can spend a summer, it really is,” says Ross, who has received Oscar nominations for writing “Seabiscuit,” “Dave” and “Big.” “It’s very transforming in a lot of ways. It’s this little jewel of a city off in the mountains.”

Among the favorite hangouts? The Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar. “The stacks go on and on and on and on,” Ross says, “and it just became a wonderful environment where you would wander by the Book Exchange and find a bunch of crew or people from the movie sitting there and reading and having a coffee during the day.”

Says Hutcherson, who is also currently starring in “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: “Shooting in Asheville was incredible. It was cool to go somewhere and get away from it all and shoot this movie. Especially with all the hype surrounding it, it was nice to be where there weren’t cameras and there weren’t people getting in your head.”

‘It was just so hot’ on the set

The production didn’t go off without a hitch, though.

One of the first segments filmed was the Reaping Ceremony, when Banks’ character selects the names of the two teenagers who will represent District 12 in the Games. These scenes were shot outside an old warehouse in Shelby in May – as the area was going through a heat wave.

Throughout the film, Banks appears in a costume that took half an hour to put on and in makeup that took 21/2 hours to apply. With temperatures soaring into the triple digits, the get-up became unbearable.

“I got heat exhaustion for the first time in my life while I was there. It was crazy,” she says. “The only thing that was keeping me going was the adrenaline of shooting, because the minute they called wrap, I literally collapsed. I could barely form words.”

After that, producers gave her a personal air-conditioner. “It was blowing directly on me. It (showed) the temperature on it, and it never got below 87. So even with a full air-conditioning unit blowing on me, it still was almost 90 degrees the entire time we were there.”

The Reaping scenes involved scores of extras, many of whom were children; Banks and Lawrence both say they saw girls who had fainted due to the heat. They helped distribute water and tried to keep the extras’ spirits up.

“There was nothing we could really do, because we were outside – there was really nowhere people could go to cool down,” says Lawrence, an Academy Award nominee for 2010’s “Winter’s Bone.” “We tried to make as much shade as possible … making everybody drink a lot of water, but it was just so hot.”

Read more here: » Read the full post

Mayhem, Disney, NM! Oh My!

Posted by on November 9, 2011 | Comments Off on Mayhem, Disney, NM! Oh My!

Mark Ciardi and Gordon Gray, the Mayhem Pictures producing team behind such films as “Secretariat,” “Invincible,” “Miracle” and “The Rookie” have been taken back into the fold of the immense, all powerful Disney company.

The pair have inked the dotted line extending their first-look deal with the mouse house, granting the studio right of first refusal for developing Mayhem Pictures upcoming projects.

With the success of their sports themed, feel-good movies under their Mayhem Pictures co. belt, Variety reports that Ciardi and Gray are also “branching out into other genres with the Reese Witherspoon comedy “Wish List” and fantasy series “Fallen,” based on the young adult book series by Lauren Kate.”

Mucho mas importantly, among the 11 titles Mayem has in development, the upcoming action thriller “Protection“, starring Dwayne Johnson, has been slated to shoot right here in New Mexico…now the watch is on for whether or not that or any of the other flicks they’re expected to churn out will indeed land here in the Land of Enchantment or if they’ll fall through our cracks into the waiting film communities of Louisiana, North Carolina, etc.

Well Hell’s Bells

Posted by on May 12, 2011 | 8 comments

THIS JUST IN 08/12/11: The Los Angeles Times is REPORTING that Disney Is SHUTTING DOWN PRODUCTION ON THE LONE RANGER! Sound familiar?

Annnnnnd now THIS: Reports of the Lone Ranger’s demise are greatly exaggerated, so says Variety – here.

Disney sure does know how to kick-up dust in its desert home of New Mexico! ;)

THAT NOT SO SECRET SET 8/1/11: On Location VacationsRelated

UPDATE 7/10/11: SUPER ~secret set construction begins! Official‘ish announcements are beginning to come out…Hi-Yo Silver! NM silver screen that is! Woot!

For Angelie

Those among you who care to know if the pipeline of sessy leading men will continue to flow into New Mexico – we are here for YOU!

We’ve patiently waited for stalled projects like Unbound Captives to unleash the likes of Robert Pattinson on our fair state and the pending Protection of Dwayne “The Rock Again” Johnson.

The desert heat rises when scary Colin Farrell frights, Tatum charms again and again, or mucho mas gorgeous Cena shows us some lurve.

Not to be outdone, our beloved part-time New Mexicans set-up house and help out the community while their NM based productions shoot, and oodles of feature film & indie goodness roll in & out like our cool evening breezes (sigh)…

We’ve long awaited the arrival of Johnny Depp – and he may never leave if a certain Santa Fean beauty has a moment to work her charms on ’em.

Shantaram has been forever slated to shoot aqui con Depp but alas that film appears to be in the permanent hold queue avec Unbound

HOWEVER hot on the Disneywire today is news that Depp’s escándalo Tonto in Disney’s upcoming Lone Ranger flick has sights set on NM!

If asked, this bloggette could attest to the facts that this is a very real possibility – as we all know Disney ain’t no stranger to the Land of Enchantment, whether under their flagship moniker or with one of their acquired brands; Marvel, ABC or Sony Imageworks – we’ve long had us mouse in the house!

Your Friday Q Spot

Posted by on November 5, 2010 | Comments Off on Your Friday Q Spot

As heard on Coyote 102.5 on November 5, 2010

CLICK to hear today’s Q Spot in the RAW

Music Around Town
Tonight on the West Side I’m gonna recommend local Rock band Sh*t Happens, they’ll be at Knuckleheads over at 3220 Coors Rd.

Saturday Jazz – A Speak Easy Gala to Benefit New Mexico Jazz Workshop (Youth Education Programs)

7 to Midnight at the Historic El Rey theater – A wild night of dirty, filthy, mangy jazz, some good old bump and grind, Burlesque, A Charleston dance off! Grub! Tons of giggle juice AND MORE’ Proceeds go their youth education programs, “so cough up the dough and go for what you know!”

Git’ your tix here!

Sunday – Dia de los Muertos Marigold Parade. The annual south valley parade presents music, altars, food and art vendors. Come out in your best calavera attire.

Muertos y Marigolds, vendors and displays at the Westside Community Center on 1240 Isleta Blvd. SW, parade begins at Centro Familiar & Isleta Blvd. (Bernalillio County Sheriff’s Substation). That’s Sunday 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Last week Erica brought the funk with The James Douglas Band live in the studio and in the coming weeks we can all get in on some of that.

NM’s own late late night talk show, The After After Party begins taping its first episodes Nov. 16. The weekly talk show will be hosted by NEW Mexican Steven Michael Quezada – boi’s always got so much goin’ on he needs his own segment, the SMQ spot!

National New Mexico:

NM movie Due Date starring RDJ opens wide today!

The inspiration for my new found love of WWE – wrestler John Cena is getting ready to wrap on Blood Brothers but here‘s the link to the casting agency’s photo album featuring lots o’ locals who got to work on that!

The next muscle man coming to NM is Dwayne Johnson who’s NM movie protection is in the news as just being acquired by Lionsgate.

Also in the news is USA TV’s NM shot hit show In Plain Sight as mentioned in a very telling Variety Magazine spread all about the many states nipping at our BOOT HEEL, upping their game in hopes of attracting productions as successfully as New Mexico has – click here for the full article!!!

Johnson Brand Protection, NM

Posted by on October 14, 2010 | One comment

We’ve been awaiting an ETA on this one…Waaay back in the Spring a lil’ birdie tol’ us that Dwayne Johnson would be on his merry way to NM for the upcoming action/thriller Protection.

Well, fresh off Fast 5 (Fast and the Furious 5) and another film simply titled, Fast Dwayne “Hombre” Johnson is next NM bound. The Gary Fleder (Runaway Jury, Don’t Say a Word, Kiss the Girls, Things to do in Denver When You’re Dead) directed pic is scheduled to shoot here in December.

Protection is the story of “a disgraced former American Special Forces operative who attempts to clear his name by rescuing a judge’s kidnapped daughter from a Mexican cartel.”

Principal casting is underway in Los Angeles – Local extras casting deets to follow on the Big Budget production…

Your Friday Q Spot

Posted by on October 8, 2010 | Comments Off on Your Friday Q Spot

As heard on Coyote 102.5 on October 8, 2010

The Red Carpet Celebration of Latinos in Media because after all we do put the MEXICAN in New Mexico Film and Entertainment! Join the historic night showcasing the state’s rich film past and celebrate its future at the Gala event held at the ABQ Convention Center with VIP after party at The Hard Rock. Get your tickets now at redcarpetNM.com

Also at the hard rock all weekend long is the ROCK THE INK expo hosted by the beautiful ladies of THE DUKE CITY DARLINS! It will be a spectacular showcase of body art, artist awards, daily contests & giveaways for spectators enjoying the live entertainment including a battle of the bands, the Miss Rock the Ink Beauty Pageant and much, much MORE!

Get your eat on today and tomorrow at the annual Taste of New Mexico in the Civic Plaza Downtown – This annual Restaurant Industry event will serve up cuisine from over 50 local establishments and premium DRINK from area wineries and breweries. Get your tix and tasting coupons NOW!

COMING UP: Sunday October 24 – Coyote’s own Pink Ribbon Ride and Motorcycle Rally benefiting the YWCA. Last year I myself had to have an early mammogram and can testify to how important knowing is and thanks to programs & services like those provided by the YWCA no one has to fear the unknown.

Early registration is still available join the fight to save lives and enjoy a beautiful ride from Tijeras to the Q on October 24 – it’s good to give.

Today we are posting (below) the latest winner in our What Gives New Mexico campaign – This week a civic minded local, will win Sandia Peak Tram Passes from Albuquerque Realtor Michael Dunn!

As always we bring you the latest in casting, crew, and production, news. Like the Sean Penn movie news we broke back in AUGUST that was just officially announced this week. The Film, This Must Be The Place is currently casting for pre-teen twin girls to film up in Red River mid-month.

The current WWE/John Cena movie Albuquerque casting is ongoing, and we’ll have all the latest on the upcoming Dwayne Johnson film and TV productions like Breaking Bad which picks back-up in January – WOOT!

ALERT: Always beware of acting scams like a recent “craigslist” pay for consideration for undisclosed roles posting….Don’t go for that! Remember never pay to be considered for parts.

And finally Your Sindicator’s own personal Documentary/Commentary:

In war torn Europe when Germany was bombing the UK on October 9th, 1940, Peace, Love and Rock & Roll had yet to be imagined – one of the greatest artists and activists of our time, JOHN LENNON was born.

Happy Birthday John Lennon who would’ve been 70 years old tomorrow if not for an act of violence…just goes to show we still have a long way to go to champion his #1 cause – PEACE!

As Heard On…8/26/10

Posted by on August 29, 2010 | One comment

Here’s some of what we talked about Friday Night in-house with Big Benny on 97.7 omg! Radio:

Stage, Small Screen, Big Screen ETA’s…and more!

Hit the stage, get the lil’ ones on the road to their performing arts career by getting your Glee on in Albuquerque musical theater (not unlike, NM’s Own NPH)!

Auditions for Guys and Dolls Jr. are Thursday Sept. 2 and Saturday Sept. 4 for actors and actresses 8-17 years old! Full deets on cold reading and acapella audition specs here.

Small screen: YOU may have a shot to run your very own morning t.v. show. Our local Fox affiliate, KASA Fox 2 will be airing a daily a.m. style and talk show click here for more info.

Who’s who coming soon…R. Pattz, Hugh Jack, Sean Penn, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Liz Hurley…to name a few.

Tune in next week…for celebrity gossip, Hollywood old and New news with OneHeadlightInk and Big Benny on 97.7 omg! Radio 9-10 p.m.

Ummmm, HELLO!

Posted by on August 25, 2010 | 4 comments

Ummmmm okay, so WWE makes movies – I did not know this. And it looks like before this hawt former wrestler hits the city otro vendrá…

WWE’s latest production, currently titled Blood Brothers is slated for a 2012 release. The movie is set to shoot in the Q starting in early October. Woot!

John Cena (uh, humina humina, above) will star in the story of three brothers, a Police Officer (Cena), a Bail Bondsman and a thief seeking a reward the FBI has offered for the return of a kidnapped American billionaire being held in a Mexican dungeon (because we play that and the apocalypse so well).

The PW Insider exclusively reports that this is the first WWE film…that has not been shot in New Orleans (one of our top competitors in film production).

As always more deets to follow, ollow, ollow…

Here’s the cute, muscley goodness on hosting duty at TMZ just a few weeks ago: (¡Bienvenida a Albuquerque!)

NM’s Own Marvel

Posted by on June 4, 2010 | Comments Off on NM’s Own Marvel

He doesn’t even have a head shot and since it’s so easy to find your talent online Cal may go undiscovered {gasp}.

Like the old-timey stories of a beautiful starlet getting discovered at a Malt Shop on Hollywood & Vine…so we found “Ready Set Cal”!

Just adjacent to the gates of Cyberdyne, in an irony of ironies there was Cal working behind the camera?!?! AND supporting that sweet smile you see above, KA-BOOM! Cal could step right into buff superhero or villian boots – no muscle suit required!

That brilliant smile, gently ‘giant’ personality and of course the KA-BOOM are why I’ve personally dubbed Cal not only camera ready but set ready, a.k.a. “Ready Set CAL”!

At the very least NM’s Own Marvel silhouette can easily step-in to stand-in for Dwayne “Hombre” Johnson on his upcoming NM shoot.

Find Cal on Facebook if your set is ready!

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