Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Director hopes for Hollywood ending for JU film program

The university wants to play a major role in the city’s movie future.
By Charlie Patton

It's an oft-told bit of Jacksonville lore that early in the 20th century the city competed with New York and Los Angeles as a center of motion picture production. But by 1917, political opposition here and a milder climate there led filmmakers to abandon Jacksonville for Hollywood.

A vestige of Jacksonville's decade as a film capital is located on Arlington Road: the old Norman Studios, built in 1916, which a nonprofit foundation is trying to turn into a museum.

Now administrators at Jacksonville University, a few blocks from that piece of the city's movie past, are hoping the school can become a significant part of Jacksonville's movie future.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Peacock Springs State Park renamed in filmmaker and cave diver's honor

Wes Skiles spent his life exploring underwater caves around the world

Friends and family of renowned cave diver and filmmaker Wes Skiles gathered Tuesday to see Peacock Springs State Park renamed in his honor.

Skiles, a 52-year-old freelance nature photographer, owned a production company based in High Springs.
He died July 22 in a diving accident while shooting video of an ocean reef about 3 miles east of Boynton Beach inlet.

After weeks of investigation and toxicology tests, Palm Beach County authorities were unable to determine what might have caused his death.

Jacksonville restaurant to be featured in new Food Network reality show

Submitted by Gary Mills on November 22, 2010 - 3:39pm Dining Notes

Robert Irvine is host of the upcoming Food Network series "Restaurant: Impossible."

Celebrity chef and Food Network host Robert Irvine is coming to Jacksonville to film an episode for his upcoming reality TV show "Restaurant: Impossible" — and you're invited.

On Dec. 4-6, Irvine and his design team will be in Jacksonville at Secret Garden Cafe to fully renovate the restaurant at 10095 Beach Blvd., #600 — and do so in just 48 hours with only $10,000.


On September 1st, the new Production Directory’s search function became active on our website! We’ve had a great response and saw a rapid increase in the number of crew members and support services listed and participating.

Production is thriving in Florida, and more and more projects are popping up on our “Recipients” page that will need Florida crew members and vendors! We hope everyone is regularly checking our website at for information about the various projects that will be coming to your local areas.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

TV-Film Directing and Performance Workshop

This one-day workshop is a place where students, as well as working professionals in the television and film business will come together to share state-of-the-art techniques and knowledge.

Jerry Smith, executive producer/director of six-time Emmy Award-winning PineRidge Film & Television and his principal creative staff will share their best secrets on how to break into the business on a national and international scale. Jerry's experience with Discovery Travel Channel, Food Network, HGTV, Lifetime, PBS and Women's Entertainment will be brought down-to-earth as he directs you during the workshop and teaches the secrets of TV hosting.

Cindy Hogan, nationally recognized actor and principal teacher and founder of The A.C.T.I.N.G. Coach will conduct hands-on workshops as you perform scripted dramatic scenes and improvisational exercises.

Alex Boylan, winner of original Season 2 of The Amazing Race on CBS, has gone on to create and perform in his own national series of CBS Internet-based television episodes called Around the World for Free. Alex is a self-made success and new enough to remember every painful step. He'll share it all with you.

If you are a budding director, actor or host, you won't want to miss this workshop! (Other surprise guests will be announced in the coming months!)

Bonus Afternoon Program:
Join us for the afternoon session where we will be recording edited audition tapes from 2 - 5 p.m. Seating is limited. $30 per person.

Dates: November 20, 2010
Meets: Saturday: 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM, 1 Session
CEUS: 0.40
Location: UNF University Center (Building 43)
Registration Fee: $39.00
Click link to register:

The Performers Academy schedule, New Classes!

The Performers Academy has posted their current schedule with several new classes. You can go to to look at all of their programs. 

7:00 - 9:00

7:00 - 9:00 NOV 1 - DEC 6
7:00 - 9:00 W/ DWIGHT CENAC

7:00 - 9:00
7:00 - 9:00 W/ MARK O'BRIEN

4:00 - 5:15 - LiL RASCALS/ DRAMA TWEENS (8-12)
5:30 - 7:00 - DRAMA TEENS (13 - 16)
7 :00 - 9 :00 - ACTING W/O AGONY

4:30 - 6:00 - MUSICAL THEATER

Sign up for the New Production Directory

If you are looking to maximize your exposure to potential employers or to promote what your business provides to the industry visit and register to become apart of the new Production Directory. It's Free!

Attention Filmmakers! Job oppuntunity for December!

The 'X MEN 2' Production Office, based in Jekyll Island, is looking for Production Assistants for during the month of December.

Principal photography begins first week in December and completes before Christmas.

                                                        Phone (912) 265-9881
                                                        Fax (912) 267-6855

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The 10th Annual Jacksonville Film & Television Industry Reception - Slideshow Below!

Celebrating 102 years of Jacksonville’s film, video, digital production industry, the 10th Annual Jacksonville Film & Television Industry Reception was a huge success! This year’s reception was held at PRI Productions and with over 200 guests in attendance ranging from sponsors, filmmakers, directors, producers, actors, artists, and friends, the venue was set for a fantastic evening of fun and laughter.

Cocktails and hors d’ oeuvres…light mingling, industry talk, and of course lots of “posing for the camera,” were all just a taste of what made the night so enjoyable. Among those recognized—City Council V.P. Stephen Joost with supporting council members, along with Lucia Fishburne, Florida’s Film Commissioner, who traveled from Tallahassee to be at the event. Mayor Peyton, who was out of town on business and unfortunately unable to attend, sent his highest regards and is very supportive of Jacksonville’s Film & Television Industry.

Highlighting the evening was a special tribute to DVA President Tony Haines and a legacy award honoring Wes Skiles was presented to his family, who were all in attendance. Later, a video screening giving tribute to a very special person announced the winner of the night among several nominations. Dan Kossoff was presented a plague by V.P. Stephen Joost as the recipient of the 2010 Jacksonville Film & Television Industry Award and upon receiving the honor, gave his most humble remarks.

The evening finished as a prelude for the upcoming Jacksonville Film Festival from October 14-17th while many voiced their excitement for the festivities to come. No better way to end the night than thanking all the sponsors whose generous support made this year’s event possible:

Jacksonville Greyhound Racing & Poker – Howard Korman (Presenting Sponsor), The Liquor Group, Edward Jones Investments, PRI Productions, Picalata Productions, LLC, Willach The Spirit of Hospitality, JEDC Film & Television Office, AT&T, Durham Building Materials, PGA TOUR Entertainment, Jax Film Festival, Digital Video Arts, Enterprise Rent A Car, Goodwin Production Services, Martinez Advertising Group, PRC Digital Media, The Governors Office of Film & Entertainment, The Fiorentino Group, Gray Robinson Attorneys of Law, Lindsey Films, and friends Carolyn Herman, Attorney at Law, Ken McCray Photography, Mario Peralta Photography and Creativeworks WJCT.

And special thanks to all those not mentioned and everyone else who attended the 2010 Film & Television Industry Reception. After celebrating a long rich history of filmmaking in Jacksonville, many would not argue that the best is yet to come!

Photos of this event and more available online at under JEDCFILMTV.
Direct Link:  10th Annual Film Industry Reception

Courtney Rock
JEDC Film & Television Office Intern

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Barry Morrow Headlines Two Events in Jacksonville

On Wednesday, October 20 Barry Morrow, an Academy Award and Emmy-winning Screenwriter, headlined a film luncheon and a Corporate Disabilities Employment Awards Banquet called Dinner with Bill. The luncheon was held at the Florida Coastal School of Law and Dinner with Bill was held at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront.

At the luncheon Morrow spoke on the importance of story in writing. For screenplays you must have a beginning, middle, and end; these are called the first, second, and third acts. Morrow stated, “Anyone can write the first act, it’s the second act that’s hard.” He was explaining why people shouldn’t call themselves screenwriters after writing one script. To finish one script is a feat in itself, but to finish several is where the title of screenwriter comes.

Morrow talked about how he enjoys watching people and how to get a story by just riding a bus. His inspiration for his Emmy winning screenplay “Bill” came from watching and knowing a person who he holds a special place in his heart, Bill Sackter. Bill was a man with developmental disabilities that Morrow saw while picking up his wife from work and eventually met at a Christmas party. The inspiration for “Rain Man” was Kim Peek, a “mega savant” he met in Texas. Morrow found Kim in a library flipping through a book upside down, it turned out that Kim was actually memorizing the book. This amazed Morrow and he decided to write a story about it.

Morrow is a great writer and spoke inspiring words at these events. Anyone who wants to be a screenwriter can use his method and find a great story. For more information about Barry and to see more of his work go to .

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Extreme Makeover is Coming to Jacksonville

Posted: October 19, 2010 - 2:42pm
By Dan Scanlan

ABC-TV's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is looking for deserving families who need a home, and have asked HandsOn Jacksonville to help.

The network television show that renovates and rebuilds the homes of families with major problems is in search of those who need major alterations or repair to homes that present serious problems, but put their own needs aside to help others.

Eligible families, or those who want to nominate another family should e-mail a short description of the story to The nominations must include the names and ages of each household member, major challenges in the home, why this family is deserving, photos of the family and home, and the address and a contact number for the family.

The deadline for nominations is Monday, Nov. 8. For more information on how to apply, visit

HandsOn Jacksonville has helped organize volunteer efforts in Northeast Florida since 1973, more information at

Thursday, October 14, 2010

"Red Dirt Rising" goes to Netflix

Red Dirt Rising, a film by Kathleen "Bo" Bobak and James Suttles, has been released on Netflix.

Red Dirt Rising, a story of love, friendship, and action; is based on a true story about three of stock car racing's heros who use the track to try to escape life's challenges during the "fighting forties."

Women in Filmmaking Brunch

On Sunday, October 17 there will be a brunch at The Garden Club of Jacksonville from 12:30-2:30. There will be a tribute to Joana Vincente with a Q & A session. Tickets are $45.

The committee is excited about this event and this is the brunch's first year at the Jacksonville Film Festival. They want to bring it back every year to tribute to the many talented women in the film industry and for the fun of it as well.

Anyone interested in attending can make a reservation online or call 904-858-9889. For more information go to

Monday, October 4, 2010

And the award goes to... Dan Kossoff!

The Jacksonville Film and Television Office is proud to announce that Dan Kossoff will be the recipient of the 2010 Jacksonville Film and Television Industry Award. He will be honored at the 10th Annual Jacksonville Film Industry Reception.

Dan Kossoff has produced, directed, written, and developed literally thousands of television programs, documentaries, commercials, corporate videos and special events. His first job in the business was as a 16-year-old DJ in Superior, Wisconsin. In the early 60’s he helped pay his college tuition with coffeehouse gigs as a folk singer/guitarist.

Kossoff graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1964 and followed with post-graduate studies in film at the University of Kansas. His training as a film editor, cinematographer and TV director took him to the Maine ETV Network where he produced and directed documentaries, sports and specials. While there, he produced "A New England Town Meeting," one of Public Television's first live national broadcasts,

Kossoff moved to Florida in 1968 to direct WJCT’s “Feedback,” the nation’s first interactive nightly public affairs programs. He spent more than 25 years with Channel 7, working in production, special projects and development. He also worked in front of the camera for more than 20 years as a film critic and talk-show host. His folk music program, “String Along,” aired on Stereo 90-FM for six-years. While at WJCT, he developed and produced the nation's most comprehensive state government coverage with "Today in the Legislature," for Florida Public Broadcasting.

Kossoff directed the PBS production of the Jacksonville Jazz Festival from 1981- 83. From 1984-91 he was the Festival’s Executive Director and led its development into a world-class event.

In 1994 Kossoff accepted the position of Vice President/Executive Producer with White Hawk Pictures. He worked with this nationally recognized production company for 10-years, directing and producing commercials and long-form video.

In 2004 he founded Kossoff Productions which focused on assisting non-profit organizations tell their stories through video. He is currently the Director of Marketing for Jacksonville Greyhound Racing and the Poker Rooms at Orange Park Kennel Club and St. Johns Greyhound Park.

Kossoff is a founding member and former chair of the Jacksonville Motion Picture and Television Commission. He also served on the Clay County Tourism and Film Advisory Board. He is a past president of the Jacksonville Film Festival, a former adjunct instructor in broadcast journalism and production at UNF and is active in community affairs.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Volunteers Wanted!

The 8th Annual Jacksonville Film Festival is looking for volunteers. The festival will take place October 14-17.

Volunteering has its perks!

The 8th Annual Jacksonville Film Festival will here before you know it! Volunteers are needed for all shifts and all days. If you would like to exchange your time for some free movie passes, fill out the form or e-mail

Cinemania October Events's Cinemania released the events list for October. 

Sept. 30 - Oct. 3, St. Augustine 
Admission: $1 - $12
Visit website for prices and show times.

RAM Movies Under the Bridge: UP
Saturday, Oct. 2, Riverside Arts Market 
Admission: FREE
Live music at 7 p.m. Movie at 8 p.m.

Film Society: KING OF PASTRY
Monday, Oct. 4, at 6 p.m., 5 Points Theatre 
Admission: $8.50 ($6.50 for Cinemaniacs)
The film captures the high-stakes drama of the competition - passion, sacrifice, disappointment, and joy - in the quest to become one of the KINGS OF PASTRY. Check out the trailer at:

Monday, Oct. 4, at 8 p.m., 5 Points Theatre 
Admission: $8.50 ($6.50 for Cinemaniacs)
Jack Rebney is a former TV newsman who shot an industrial film for Winnebago Industries in 1988. During production, Rebney had a habit of losing his temper: repeatedly, profanely and hilariously. A funny and poignant documentary about the bizarre nature of modern fame.

Thursday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m., Beaches Regal 
Admission: FREE for Cinemaniacs
Crime drama about a 19-year-old Franco-Arab and his struggle to survive in a French prison dominated by Corsicans. Belgium film released in 2009.

RAM Movies Under the Bridge: WALL-E
Saturday, Oct. 9, Riverside Arts Market 
Admission: FREE
Live music at 7 p.m. Movie at 8 p.m.

Oct. 14 - 17
Movies, workshops, parties & more!
Visit website for prices and show times.

 Hometown Screening: LOVE TRAP
Monday, Oct. 18, 5 Points Theatre
6 p.m. Wine & Beer Networking (cash bar)
6:30 p.m. Film begins
Admission: $8.50 ($6.50 for Cinemaniacs)
LOVE TRAP, a feature by Frank B. Goodin II of Jacksonville, has won Best Feature at four film festivals. Richard, a laid-back, yet forward-thinking law student is hanging out with the guys at a local pool hall when he meets Angel, a seductive vixen. She smothers him with attention, a situation most guys wish for. Faced with temptation, Richard makes a seemingly innocent suggestion that sets in motion a series of events that ultimately unbalances his world.

UNF Film Club:
Thursday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m., Beaches Regal 
Admission: FREE for Cinemaniacs
Oskar is 12, the target of bullies and he prays for revenge. When an odd girl moves in next door, Oskar finds the perfect weapon. The girl is a vampire. Set in Stockholm in 1982.

RAM Movies Under the Bridge:
Saturday, Oct. 23, Riverside Arts Market 
Admission: FREE
Live music at 7 p.m. Movie at 8 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 28, Florida Theatre
6 p.m. Red Carpet Party
8 p.m. Film begins
Admission: $35
GORE-E-OGRAPHY is a mockumentary that follows a motley crew of filmmakers struggling to complete their own local, low-budget, indie masterpiece, "Death Harmony," which itself is a musical about zombies, vampires and ninjas. Tickets include free parking, free drinks, free hors d'eouvres, and live music and are available through the Florida Theatre box office or the website: 

RAM Movies Under the Bridge: GHOSTBUSTERS
Saturday, Oct. 30, Riverside Arts Market 
Admission: FREE
Live music at 7 p.m. Movie at 8 p.m.

For more information go to 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

FREE Actor's Workshop with Producer/Director Dwight Cenac!

The Performers Academy will be hosting a FREE Actors Workshop for actors and actresses 18+ on Thursday, October 7th from 5pm-7pm.

The two-hour class will focus on teaching actors how to jump into character quickly, easily call up powerful emotions without the use of traditional method memories, and it will also cover scene and character analysis and a whole lot more!

There will be a flyer with a coupon for $20 off the 8-week class for anyone who enjoys the class and wants more.

Anyone interested in the class can RSVP the Performers Academy @ 904-322-7672.

The Performers Academy is located at 3674 Beach Blvd. Jacksonville, FL 32207.

WJCT Picture This on Patrick Barry's "VEER!"

Patrick Barry talks about his experience filming VEER! in Jacksonville. Watch it on WJCT's TV page.To learn more about VEER! go to Blue Llama Studios website or the VEER! Facebook page.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

"Like Dandelion Dust" Opens September 24

The film Like Dandelion Dust opens around the country this weekend, September 24, 25, 26, and then it continues to expand week after week thereafter.  

Please look at the "theater" tab on the website to find the location nearest you, along with the opening weekend dates in your area.

"It absolutely sets a new standard for story telling and casting. Mira Sorvino (Academy Award Winner) and Barry Pepper (Golden Globe Nominee) give their most brilliant performances of their careers. The film has already won more than 30 film festival awards, both domestically & internationally, and is now being screened by the Hollywood Foreign Press for awards consideration. It also sets up an interesting opportunity to engage friends and colleagues in discussions about real life issues -- fear, control, doubt, sacrifice, and most importantly, LOVE."
-Executive producer, Christopher Morrow

Director hopes for Hollywood ending for JU film program

The university wants to play a major role in the city’s movie future.

It's an oft-told bit of Jacksonville lore that early in the 20th century the city competed with New York and Los Angeles as a center of motion picture production. But by 1917, political opposition here and a milder climate there led filmmakers to abandon Jacksonville for Hollywood.

A vestige of Jacksonville's decade as a film capital is located on Arlington Road: the old Norman Studios, built in 1916, which a nonprofit foundation is trying to turn into a museum.

Now administrators at Jacksonville University, a few blocks from that piece of the city's movie past, are hoping the school can become a significant part of Jacksonville's movie future.

In July, JU President Kerry Romesberg and Bill Hill, JU dean of fine arts, hired Rich Heller to become executive director of the university's film and television program. Heller said one of his goals is to open a multimillion-dollar working film studio on campus, which could provide students with practical experience and attract projects from outside filmmakers.

Heller, 60, spent about four decades working in Hollywood, mostly as an executive with various television production companies. He was an executive at Columbia Pictures Television in the 1980s when the studio made such shows as "Hill Street Blues," "Trapper John, M.D." and "Designing Women."

Making a move, movie

About a year ago, he and his wife, Max, decided they were tired of living in Los Angeles, Heller said in a recent interview. Max had grown up in Jacksonville, so they decided to relocate to Atlantic Beach.

One of the first people he met after arriving was Fran Kinne, JU's former president, who has a lot of Hollywood connections. She introduced Heller to Romesberg and Hill.

Three years ago, JU began offering a major in film and television production. The program is still small - the first class of four film majors graduated last spring. The university had long-range plans to build the program's reputation and add a graduate degree, a master's of fine arts, Hill said. But those plans sat on the back burner until they met Heller.

"I couldn't let that opportunity pass," Hill said. "He's a very dynamic individual with an extensive background in the industry."

Romesberg said he had the same reaction. "Here's a guy who just has an unbelievable background," he said. "When we met Rich, I thought, 'Boy, how lucky we are.'"

Meanwhile, Todd Roobin, head of the city's film and television office, had heard about Heller's move from Steve Papasian, president of Worldwide Physical Production at Warner Bros. Pictures. Papasian and Roobin met during production of "Pointman," a television series that filmed in Jacksonville in 1995. Roobin said Papasian gave him a heads-up that Heller was someone Roobin should know.

"It's a huge coup for JU to have him on board," Roobin said. "Rich is very visionary and very well-connected in Los Angeles."

"We are lucky to have a Hollywood insider with such an accomplished body of work and his ability to pick up the phone and make things happen," said Mike Ossi, a Jacksonville entertainment attorney whose clients include John Travolta. "He will be a driving force with the entertainment industry in Florida."

During his years in Hollywood, Heller's jobs included: senior vice president for development at Krofft Productions, the company that produced such shows as "H.R. Pufnstuf" and "Land of the Lost"; vice president of Twentieth Century Fox Television, vice president for comedy at NBC; senior vice president, comedy programming, for Columbia Pictures Television, where he helped develop and produce about 40 pilots, including his favorite project, "Designing Women"; and president of Lee Rich Television Productions, for which he produced a number of TV movies.

His feature film credits include co-producing the 1995 Pauly Shore movie, "Jury Duty," and serving as executive producer of the 1997 movie "Masterminds." For the last seven years he was a partner with Jerry Weintraub, former chairman of United Artists, who produced this summer's "Karate Kid" (as well as the original) and the "Ocean's" trilogy.

To be or not to be?

Heller said he has had no regrets about leaving L.A. for Jacksonville.

"Jacksonville is very different than Hollywood," he said. "It's an extraordinary place to be because of the folks who live here. ... Nobody has an agenda."

He said his goals for the JU film program include building it in size and prestige. One of his plans for doing that is getting people he knows from the industry to teach by offering them a master's degree in return.

"My offer will be: Come here and teach for six weeks. I'll give you an MFA," he said.

His most ambitious goal is to build a working studio on the JU campus "that could be a destination for filmmakers." That would involve raising $5 million to $12 million, he said, and is not something he expects to happen in the immediate future.

Hill said that while JU will never have a film program that can compete with top-tier film schools such as USC, New York University, Northwestern or Florida State, he wants to be at "the top of the second tier."

Heller's understanding that film is both a "viable art form" and "a business our students can be employed in" makes him the ideal man to guide the JU film program toward that goal, Hill said.

"Why Jacksonville University?" Heller asked. "My response is: Why not? ... This is my passion right now.", (904) 359-4413

Wes Skiles, photographer who captured vivid worlds underwater, dies at 52

Wes Skiles, photographer who captured vivid worlds underwater, dies at 52

Wes Skiles, 52, a freelance photographer and cinematographer whose mystifying underwater images of uncharted stalagmite caves and ancient crocodile skeletons revealed a dark, alien world in vibrant color, died July 21 off the east coast of Florida.

He was filming a project on the behavior of high-speed fish near the Boynton Beach Inlet when he was found unconscious on the ocean floor. He was pronounced dead at a hospital in West Palm Beach, and police were investigating the cause of death.

In his 27 years as a photojournalist, Mr. Skiles escaped from a collapsed ocean cave off the Australian coast and was among the first people to set foot on the largest iceberg in Antarctica.

One time, off the coast of South Africa, a shark jammed itself into Mr. Skiles's protective cage. The burly photographer beat the creature back with his heavy, waterproof camera, taking pictures throughout the episode, and had close-up photos of the great white's jagged teeth as a token of his survival.

Sitcom and Shakespeare on Forsyth Street

“Lights, camera, action!”

That’s the order of the day this week at The Florida Theatre during the taping of a locally produced situation comedy, “In the Pits.” It’s part of a plan to make use of local actors and locations. The cast and crew have been taping scenes in the historic theater’s auditorium and in the offices upstairs recently vacated by the City’s Planning and Development Department.

Directed by Devlin Mann and co-written by Stephen Dare, the plot revolves around a theater company facing more than the usual number of challenges, including the untimely death of its lead actor and his replacement. It’s also “about the economy and technology overcoming place and distance,” said Dare.

In addition to what’s being taped in Jacksonville, other scenes produced in London will be edited into the final product.

Mann is a graduate of Jacksonville University and worked in Los Angeles on several productions, including the Brooke Shields sitcom, “Suddenly Susan.” He’s also a Shakespearean actor and has performed in London, among other international venues.

Mann said he is working with CW 17 to air the pilot episode next month. If it’s a hit, a season of episodes will be produced and possibly distributed network-wide on CW, he said.

“It’s Jacksonville’s first locally produced, fully scripted sitcom. We’re trying to get as much local flavor as possible, while making it accessible to a broader audience,” said Mann.

The television show is just one part of Mann’s plans for the Florida Theatre. His “Backlight Theatre Group” is accepting applicants for a series of acting workshops that will be conducted there. One workshop will focus on developing Shakespearean actors.

Mann said earlier this year he invited Rob Clare from the Royal Shakespeare Company to come to Jacksonville and conduct three nights of workshops.

“The response was so tremendous, we decided we could do this year-round,” said Mann.

He said his goal is to provide a range of theatrical instruction, including acting, dance, filmmaking and other visual arts using the Florida Theatre as the campus.

“We want to find more ways to use this magnificent space. It’s underutilized and we want to fill it with a variety of events to supplement the existing programming,” said Mann.

For information, e-mail

(904) 356-2466

Tune in for the Metro Diner!

September 23, 2010 11:50 PM

DVR alert: Fans of San Marco’s Metro Diner will want to tune in Oct. 1st at 9 p.m. to the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.

The Hendricks Avenue brunch hotspot will be featured in the upcoming “You Found Em” epsiode, where host Guy Fieri visits eateries suggested by viewers.

The show premiered at 10 p.m. Monday, Sept. 20 and re-airs at 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 1.

Fieri and his crew visited Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia earlier this year, stopping in at Riverside’s 13 Gypsies, Mayport’s Singleton’s Seafood Shack, Culhane’s Irish Pub and The Sun Dog at the Beaches, Avondale’s The Fox, St. Simon’s The Blackwater Grill and more. (Singelton's, Culhane's and Blackwater were featured in episodes aired earlier this year.)

Metro Diner owners John and Mark Davoli announced earlier this year their plans to build a replica of the Hendricks Avenue restaurant at Julington Creek.

CW17 Premiere of "In The Pits"

CW17 will begin airing In The Pits on September 25th at 9:00pm. In The Pits is an original and locally–written, –casted, –staged, –shot and –edited sitcom produced by Jacksonville-based BackLight Theatre Group.

In The Pits is a dramatic comedy about a Stage Group named the Parafloramore Theatre Company that in the Great Recession falls into hard times. With a six hundred thousand dollar shortage and a fall in donations the Executive Director, Fincannon, decides to hire the underhanded talents of the corporate sharks to try to bring some financial savvy to their not for profit group.

The show will run at 9:00 p.m. in prime time on Saturday nights beginning September 25th, so tune in to CW17 for great local programming and enjoy In The Pits! Don't forget to check out all of Jacksonville's locally produced programming at

Friday, September 17, 2010

Special Screening of Easy A!

Screenwriter, Bert V. Royal, former resident of Clay County, who current lives in Los Angeles, will have a special screening of EASY A, 7 PM, Friday, Sept 17 at the Carmike Cinemas Fleming Island 12 with his friends, family and the audience, to see his first major motion picture (as the writer). Carmike Cinemas Fleming Island 12 is located at 820 Town Center Blvd. Fleming Island, Florida 32003.

Easy A is a Sony Pictures film starring Emma Stone. The film is a comedy about a clean-cut high school student relies on the school's rumor mill to advance her social and financial standing.  For more information on the film, please visit

There will be a Q&A session and poster signing with Bert V. Royal, screenwriter after the movie. Ticket prices are $9.50 for adults and $5 for children under 11 and senior citizens.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Lawrence V. Smith, prominent photojournalist, dies at 78

Lawrence V. Smith, prominent photojournalist, dies at 78

He traveled with Fidel Castro and worked on "Wild Kingdom."
Florida Times Union
Posted: September 1, 2010 - 5:50pm
By Jessie-Lynne Kerr

Lawrence V. "Larry" Smith, an Emmy Award-winning photographer who spent his career pursuing adventure with a camera, died Monday of congestive heart failure in a local nursing home. He was 78 and had called Jacksonville home since 1959.

The family will receive visitors from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Corey-Kerlin Funeral Home, 940 Cesery Blvd. There will be a graveside service at 11 a.m. Saturday in Greenlawn Cemetery.

A native of Chicago, Mr. Smith received a degree in chemistry from Iowa State University and was working on his Ph.D. in biochemistry when he was drafted into the Army in 1954. He served as a guided missile expert.

In 1958-59, he worked as a cameraman in Cuba for CBS-TV during Fidel Castro's revolution.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Register Now for Florida's New Online Production Directory! Goes Live Sept 1st!

Florida is experiencing a resurgence of production in the state due to the new financial incentive that went into effect July 1st. We hope everyone is regularly checking our website at for information about the various projects that will be coming to your local areas. Visit the “Florida Incentive Recipients” page for more information.

We are thrilled to be able to offer our clients the most talented crews and extensive array of industry vendors and professional support services found throughout the state via our new online Production Directory. The Production Directory, powered by “Reel Crew,” is an expansion of our current Reel Scout locations photo system that will create a searchable, electronic database of Florida’s skilled workforce and available production resources.
On September 1st, the new Production Directory’s search function will go live! Clients all over the world looking to bring their projects to Florida will be able to access the Production Directory and search for crew members and local businesses by category, region, union affiliation, and much more! They will also be able to create a customized directory of crew and support services for the area(s) they are looking to work in. Additionally, clients will have the ability to print their results (with just a click) in a variety of ways – e.g., by name, by category, with all credits listed, with just the most recent credits listed, etc.
REMEMBER: You must be present to win! Clients cannot find you if you’re not listed. We strongly encourage you to go register IMMEDIATELY at Create and update your profile with the most current information on your work history, your professional credits, even upload your resume or brochure (if you’re a business). Then, don’t forget to continue to update it as you work on new projects. The guide’s search feature will be going live this Wednesday, September 1st, so we encourage you to REGISTER NOW!!!
We also encourage you to register with any and all other online reputable directories, including,, and the production guide. You cannot be listed in too many places.

It’s a sunny day in Florida!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Screenwriting Workshops at UNF

Sharon Y. Cobb, director of's Cinemania, will instruct three, one-day screenwriting workshops of various difficulty at University of North Florida's University Center located on 12000 Alumni Drive.

The Beginning Screenwriting Workshop, Saturday, August 21(also November 6) from 9am to 5pm, is an introduction to the three-act structure, basics about creating movie characters, film stories, and plot construction, which will also educate on loglines, synopses, and beat sheets and use film clips as examples.

The Intermediate Screenwriting Workshop, Saturday, August 28 (also November 13) from 9am to 5pm, is about learning to work outside of the common three-act structure and open writing to alternative story structures, which will also feature a powerful class writing exercise to help students create organic characters and have film clips as examples (recommended for students who have either completed the Beginning Screenwriting Workshop or have completed two screenplays).

Monday, August 16, 2010

FMPTA Updates

The Jacksonville Chapter of the Florida Motion Picture & Television Association (FMPTA) is hosting its next monthly meeting on Tuesday, August 31, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at its new spot, The Performers Academy, located on 3674 Beach Boulevard. Guest speaker Rick Alexander will discuss his vast location sound experience that includes programs such as Access Hollywood, CBS Today Show, Speed Channel: Pinks All Out, HGTV: Green House Giveaway, ABC Sports: Kentucky Derby, PBS History Detectives, and the Universal/NBC Harry Potter Open. Also, check out the new vamped state website at FMPTA and for more information on local meetings and news, please visit FMPTA Jax.

State Directory Goes Live September 1!

The new online statewide production directory launched by the Florida Governor's Office of Film & Entertainment becomes active starting September 1. The directory, an expansion of Reel Scout, is a searchable, electronic database of Florida’s skilled workforce and available production resources. Clients from all over the world looking to bring their projects to Florida will be able to access the directory and search for crew and support services by category, region, union affiliation, and more. They will also be able to create a customized directory of crew members and local businesses for the area(s) they are looking to work in and to print their results in a variety of ways e.g., by name, by category, with all credits listed, with just the most recent credits listed, etc. Crew and support services can now create and update a profile with the most current work history and professional credits and even upload a resume or brochure. To register for the directory, please visit Film in Florida.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Improv Course

Premiere acting coach, Bob Parker, is teaching the first class of a four-week improv course on Tuesday, August 17, from 7:30pm to 9:30pm at Cindy Hogan's studio on 2231 Corporate Square Boulevard. The full course costs $195. For more information, please visit The Performers Academy.

2010 Jacksonville Film Festival News Release

The 2010 Jacksonville Film Festival, scheduled October 14 to 17, recently sent out a press release with the latest news on its upcoming events. Confirmed screenings for this year include an African American Spotlight, Viva Cinema, and Indie USA. Workshops include: Writing Screenplays That Sell, The Ackerman Way, with UCLA screenwriting head Hal Ackerman; The Art of the Pitch, with writer/producer Khris Baxter; Producing Film: What They Didn't Tell You in Film School with studio producer Jillian Stein; and Screenwriting for Beginners, with screenwriting instructors Jennie Jarvis and John Boles, August 28 from 9am to 4pm at the Cummer Museum (early registration until August 20 costs $65 and late registration until August 27 costs $75, while day of or at the door registration costs $85, $45 for students).

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Nomination Deadline Extended to August 13th!

GOOD NEWS! The deadline to send in nominations for the Jacksonville Film and Television Industry Award has been extended to this Friday – August 13th!

The Jacksonville Film & Television Industry Recognition Award honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions resulting in significant impacts on the film and television industry. This award symbolizes the epitome of service to the film and television industry. Nominees should be committed to the film & television industry and exhibit exemplary professionalism, creativity, resourcefulness and tangible results, actively participating over a number of years.

Do you know someone who has advanced Jacksonville's film and television industry? Please feel free to fill out a nomination form that you can find at the following link: Industry Award Nomination Form.

Previous recipients include Ted S. Johnson and the late Representative Don Davis. Be sure to nominate somebody today! (Pictured: Donald E. Barton, 2010 Award Recipient)

Don’t forget – Deadline is AUGUST 13th. Nominate someone NOW!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Charity in a Click

The St. Johns Riverkeeper is an organization in Jacksonville that works to improve the water quality of the St. Johns River and its tributaries, to protect its habitants, and to increase awareness of the critical issues affecting the river. Now you can help the Riverkeeper simply by watching a video. The Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation will donate one dollar to support the Riverkeeper every time its psa is viewed. Watch the video at PSA and help the city of Jacksonville maintain its river. Watch the psas of your other favorite organizations to help support them as well.

Cinemania Video Contest

Cinemania,'s premiere film organization, just launched a contest to find the best videos promoting anything Cinemania related. Submitted entries must be no shorter than 30 seconds and no longer than 2 1/2 minutes in length and can be any genre, theme and medium. Contestants must upload their video by noon on Tuesday, August 17, at Video Share and have until noon on Friday, August 20, to turn in a DVD of their video to the following:

Florida Times-Union, Interact Dept.
ATTN: Tracy Collins
One Riverside Ave.
Jacksonville, FL 32202

The top 3 finalists, determined in combination by a Voters' Choice and a Editors' Choice, will be screened at Movies in the Park at RAM Saturday, August 28, prior to the movie. After the screening, the grand prize winner, determined by the Editors' Choice, will be announced and will receive a check for $200. To get all the details, please visit Cinemania Video Contest.

Webinar on Business in Brazil

Alan Vinson, member of the Mayor's Film Advisory Board and president of Brazil Business Solutions, is holding a webinar titled "Doing Business in Brazil" this Tuesday, August 10 at 8pm. Werner Trieloff, a consultant and an expert in taxes and accounting in Brazil, will co-host the webinar, which will last 30-45 minutes. Please reply in advance if you plan on attending the webinar and send any specific questions you may have related to the film and television industry in Brazil or any other industry to The team will do their best to research ahead of the webinar in order to better answer questions. To view the webinar, please visit BBSolutions.

Monday, August 2, 2010


The deadline to send in nominations for the Jacksonville Film and Television Industry Award is this Friday – August 6!

The Jacksonville Film & Television Industry Recognition Award honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions resulting in significant impacts on the film and television industry. This award symbolizes the epitome of service to the film and television industry. Nominees should be committed to the film & television industry and exhibit exemplary professionalism, creativity, resourcefulness and tangible results, actively participating over a number of years.
Do you know someone who has advanced Jacksonville's film and television industry? Please feel free to fill out a nomination form that you can find at the following link: Industry Award Nomination Form, or fill out the attached document.

Don’t forget – Deadline is AUGUST 6th!

Need Professional Photos?

Attention Actors, Musicians, and Business Owners:

Mosaic Model & Talent Management Inc. is doing in-studio photoshoots for less than $100 that will include makeup, hair touchups, and a cd of select images. The photoshoots will be held this Thursday, August 5, at the company's downtown location at 220 E. Forsyth Street, Ste. 1. The professional photos from these photoshoots are great for auditions, biographies, portfolios, press releases, and websites. Call Akia McDaniel at (904) 405-4008 for more information and to reserve your spot today! Check out the company's work at MMTM.

Florida's Boost in Production Makes Global Coverage

In a recent article, The Location Guide, a tool for filmmakers to find global locations and benefits, discusses Florida's production boom given the state's new incentives, particularly the five-year, transferrable tax credit for the film and entertainment industry. The article also notes Florida's availability to double for numerous locations and the state's large supply of crew and services as part of its attractiveness for film and television companies. The article specifically mentions Jacksonville, recognizing the town's popularity for the different environments it offers that within a short distance of each other and the cost savings that accumulate from the city's low-price hotels and city property that is free to use. To read the full article, please visit The Location Guide.

Civil Rights Film Festival

In order to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1960 Sit-Ins and Ax Handle Saturday, the Jacksonville Branch NAACP is hosting the Civil Rights Film Festival, August 28 from 10am to 3pm at the Ritz Theatre and Museum. The festival will feature three films:

Scarred Justice explores the Orangeburg Massacre of 1968 where white police officers opened fire at black student protestors on the campus of South Carolina State College, an event that would prelude the tragedy at Kent State.

Home of the Brave captures the rarely-told story of Viola Liuzzo, the only white woman to die in the civil rights movement, and her children's struggle to face the consequences of her heroism particularly her mysterious death.

Freedom Never Dies remembers civil rights activist Harry T. Moore who died tragically when his house was bombed, but whose spirit could not be stopped.

The festival will also hold an in-person commentary by filmmaker and producer Sandra Birnhak. Look out for updates on ticket sales!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Jax Film Festival Summer Events

As organizers plan for The Jacksonville Film Festival in October, they are also busy planning summer events for film lovers. Jacksonville Film Festival will host Gimme Green, a Reel People screening of the documentary plus discussion of green issues with filmmakers, on July 29 at 7 p.m. at MOCA. The Green Program includes the short documentary Gimme Green, a humorous look at the American obsession with the residential lawn and the effect it has on our environment, our wallets and our outlook on life. . From the limitless subdivisions of Florida to sod farms in the arid southwest, Gimme Green peers behind the curtain of the $40-billion industry that fuels our nation's largest irrigated crop—the lawn. Filmmakers, Isaac Brown and Eric Flagg will be in attendance to discuss green issues after the film. Two additional green shorts will follow Gimme Green before the Q&A. The event is free to JFF and MOCA members. $10 general admission

The fest is also busy planning the Filmmaker Series: Screenwriting for Beginners on August 28 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens. Accomplished instructors Jennie Jarvis and John Boles will present a one day intensive workshop to guide aspiring screenwriters through the nuts and bolts of Screenwriting for Beginners.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Nominations for Industry Award Wanted!

The deadline to send in nominations for the Jacksonville Film and Television Industry Award, Friday August 6, is soon approaching. The Industry Award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions resulting in a significant impact on the film and television industry. This award symbolizes the epitome of service to the film and television industry. Nominees should be committed to the film & television industry and exhibit exemplary professionalism, creativity, resourcefulness and tangible results, actively participating over a number of years. Do you know someone who has advanced or made a difference in Jacksonville's film and television industry? Please feel free to fill out a nomination form at Industry Award Nomination Form!

Brazil Business Solutions

Have you ever wanted to visit Brazil? Well, read on. Alan Vinson of Brazil Business Solutions is organizing a three city trade mission to Brazil. The cities will include Sao Paulo, Rio De Janeiro, and Recife Brazil and will take place September 9-19. Other cities may be added based on other people who join the trip. You may have heard that Brazil will be host of the 2014 World Cup, and the 2016 Summer Olympics. With that, there will be a lot of excitement in and around Brazil in the next decade.

If you would like to meet potential partners in the Film and Television Industry (or another industry) in Brazil while also having an opportunity to visit a country that is beautiful and fun, please contact Alan Vinson to get in on this upcoming trade mission. Alan Vinson is the owner of Brazil Business Solutions, a company that specializes in business development related to doing business in Brazil. The company helps individuals and companies that would like to explore opportunities in Brazil. Alan Vinson is a member of the Mayor's Film Advisory Board, and a dual citizen of Brazil and the USA. He can be reached by email at or by phone at 904-332-8300.

FMPTA News Updates

The Jacksonville Charter of the Florida Motion Picture and Television Association is presenting special guest, Amanda Warford, at its July meeting this Wednesday, July 28. She will discuss her experience as video journalist and how the future of the world of media and communications is constantly changing and interfacing. The Metro Orlando Charter of the FMPTA is hosting a Showcase Expo at the Hilton Orlando/Altamonte Springs tonight, July 26 from 7pm to 9pm. It is a great opportunity for potential clients to meet local cast and crew. Also, the deadline, August 15, for film entries to the 21st Annual Crystal Reel Awards hosted by the FMPTA is approaching. For membership information on the Jacksonville Charter, please visit FMPTA Jax. And also look out for the new state website coming soon!

Remembering Adventure Photographer Wes Skiles

Acclaimed photographer and explorer, Wes Skiles, died at age 52 last Wednesday, July 21, in a tragic reef-diving accident in Palm Beach County. His death comes only days before National Geographic published his story on the Blue Holes of the Bahamas as the cover of its August issue.

Skiles was best known for his work in educational and adventure science films and for pioneering the exploration and documentation of Florida’s springs. Over the past 20 years, he created and produced more than a dozen films for major networks, including his acclaimed Water’s Journey series of films and the IMAX film Journey into Amazing Caves, in which he led a major National Geographic expedition to Antarctica to film the largest iceberg in recorded history. He advanced his field of high definition imaging by employing innovative techniques as both an underwater and topside shooter.

State Film Office to Launch New Online Directory

The Florida Governor’s Office of Film and Entertainment is starting a new online film production directory, Reel Crew, to expedite the process of potential clients locating the Florida crew members and support services they need. Reel Crew will be a searchable, electronic database as an extension of the Reel Scout system. On the new directory, local crew members and support services will be able to register, create a profile with background information such as work history and professional credits, and even upload their resume. Clients can then easily access these profiles. Being able to search for crew members and local businesses by category, region, union affiliation, and more, clients can create their own customized directory of crew and support services for the area(s) they are focusing on. Additionally, clients will be able to print their results sorted in a variety of ways such as by name, by category, with all the credits listed, or with the most recent credits listed, etc. Registration for Reel Crew is now open. To register, please visit Film in Florida. More updates will be posted on when the directory becomes live.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Upcoming Jacksonville Film Festival Event

The 2010 Jacksonville Film Festival is hosting Filmmaker Series: Screenwriting for Beginners, a one day intensive workshop featuring screenwriting instructors Jennie Jarvis and John Boles, at the Cummer Museum, August 28 from 9am to 4pm. Early registration (until August 20) costs $65 and late registration (until August 27) costs $75. Day of or at the door registration costs $85, $45 for students. To register and more information on the festival, please visit Jacksonville Film Festival.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Local filmmakers and musicians ally together

Local director and producer, Jon Shepard, has worked with indie film legends such as Hal Hartley and James Toback as well as giants in the industry such as Philip Noyce and Spike Jonz. Credited as Executive Producer on nine short films last year, the films he participated in 2009 went all over the world in various film fests and garnered all sorts of critical praise and awards.

Shepard moved to Jacksonville in late 2008 to work as a film producer for the Doorpost Film Project, which was then headquartered in Ponte Vedra. However, when festival operations relocated to Nashville after the 2009 Doorpost contest, he elected to stay in Jacksonville.

“What I found and still find about music in Jacksonville is that there is this inventive musical collage of acts that either hale back to sounds I already gravitate toward, stuff up until fake punk pop/rap/whatever combo packs, or sounds that are really new and original. It all happens in this place that is unnavigatable otherwise,” says Shepard.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

2010 Jacksonville Film Festival Events

The 2010 Jacksonville Film Festival is featuring Works In Progress, a program designed for filmmakers to share their works, which include films, short films, documentaries, screenplays, and music for film and to receive feedback from the filmmaking community. The program will showcase the film Truly Everlasting, directed by Gerald Jackson, at WJCT Studios, Wednesday, July 21 from 6pm to 8pm. Truly Everlasting, a film about two mismatched lovers who don't know they are perfect for each other, will be produced by Five Alive Films and will be shot in Jacksonville, using north Florida crew members. The event is free with a requested donation. For more information on Five Alive Films, please visit Five Alive Films.


The 8th annual 2010 Jacksonville Film Festival will occur from October 14 to October 17. This year, the festival will feature screenings that include African American Spotlight Program, Viva Cinema, narratives, documentaries, and short films, along with workshops, panels, and additional events. The festival has confirmed the following workshops: Write Screenplays that Sell - The Ackerman Way, with Hal Ackerman, who co-heads the screenwriting program at UCLA and wrote Roof Garden, the winner of the Warren Adler 2008 award, along with many other acclaimed short stoies; and Pitching Your Idea, with Khris Baxter, who has optioned five screenplays to major Hollywood studios over the past 12 years and currently teaches screenwriting at Gettysburg College, The Writer's Center of Bethesda, and NoVA Community College.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Art Institute of Jacksonville's Quarterly Job Fair

The Art Institute of Jacksonville is hosting its Quarterly Job Fair at the first floor of its campus on Wednesday, July 28, from 11am to 1pm. The job fair is a chance for employers to meet and interview students for full- or part-time positions, internships, or freelancing. Students at The Art Institute of Jacksonville are working towards degrees in the following programs: Fashion Retail and Management, Digital Photography, Culinary Arts, Interior Design, Graphic Design, Web Design, Digital Film and Video Production, and Media Arts and Animation. The Art Institute will provide employers with a table to present company collateral and job applications along with a complimentary lunch.

Jacksonville Home to New Feature Film

VEER! is a new full-length film produced right here in Jacksonville, FL that stars an all-Florida cast and crew. The independent feature, based on director Patrick Barry's previous short film (of the same name), follows the story of Jesse Sorensen, an aging professional skateboarder, who is dropped from his skating sponsorship and finds himself coming face to face with something he’s never had to deal with before – responsibility. Shooting on VEER! took place in February and March 2010 in Jacksonville. Blue Llama Studios, a production company based in Jacksonville, is now in post production on VEER!, their first ever feature-length film.