Thursday, December 8, 2016

Jacksonville's - Norman Studios designated as a 'National Historic Landmark'

Eagle Film Studios, which later became Norman Studios, was built in 1916 on Arlington Road (photo taken approximately 1915)
Home to more than 30 film studios in 1916, Jacksonville was known as the “Winter Film Capital” of the world in the early film era. Eagle Film City, a Chicago company housed in Jacksonville, was later purchased by filmmaker Richard E. Norman in 1920, marking the beginning of what is now known as Norman Studios. The Norman Studios Silent Film Company produced films for an African-American audience, featuring black actors playing positive roles that challenged stereotypes of that time period. Norman Studios is now being recognized as a new national historic landmark.

Norman Studios Silent Film Company produced “race films” made for black audiences, spotlighting black actors in professional roles including business leaders, war heroes, and agents for change. Contrasting mainstream portrayals of black actors, Norman Studios represented a turning point for African-Americans in the film industry. Norman Studios is the only preserved film studio in the United States that produced silent films starring black actors. As Norman Studios achieves national historic landmark status, it will become a center for tourism, film education, and research. 
Norman (Laboratories) Studios (photo taken 2015)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

WIFT Jacksonville Christmas Party

Women in Film & Television's Jacksonville Christmas Party is taking place December 14th, from 6:30-midnight at Blackfinn Ameripub at St. Johns Town Center. This event is open to both Members & Non-Members!

To learn more about WIFT & how to become a member, visit

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Jacksonville's Own Patrick Heusinger On The Big Screen!

Patrick Heusinger, a Jacksonville native, is on the rise to fame with his new part in Tom Cruise’s Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. This is his first major role where he plays a villain opposite of Tom Cruise.

Heusinger was born and raised in Jacksonville, a 1999 graduate of Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and continued on to graduate from Juilliard. 

Heusinger made his debut in the 2005 independent period drama film Sweet Land. He went on to be in well-known films and television series such as Black Swan, The Nanny Diaries, The Good Wife, Frances Ha and 30 Rock. However, Heusinger made his big break when he starred in TV drama, Gossip Girl.

 Photo: Getty Images
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back was released on October 21st  and is rated 
PG-13. Watch the trailer here .

Monday, November 7, 2016

2016 JCA Jewish Film Festival

2016 JCA Jewish Film Festival  is coming back to town through November 13 -17 at the JCA, located at 8505 San Jose Blvd. Jacksonville, FL 32217. 

  For more information, please call 730-2100 ext. 227.

Friday, November 4, 2016

The REEL Hollywood- MOSH

“The Reel Hollywood” exhibit at the Museum of Science and History showcases Jacksonville’s film history through the decades. In the early 1900’s, Jacksonville was home to over thirty film studios, including those that would later become MGM and Fox. Jacksonville was known as the “Winter Film Capital of the World”. The exhibit demonstrates Jacksonville’s potential to once again become a strong player in the film and television industry around the world.

Films including The Devil’s Advocate, G.I. Jane, The Green Eyed Monster, and more are highlighted in “The Reel Hollywood” exhibit. The display takes viewers through the evolving film history of Jacksonville, as well as the rest of the world.  The exhibit features screenplays, novelty film items, and more from Jacksonville’s most iconic film history. “The Reel Hollywood” is guaranteed to be entertaining as well as informational as spectators discover the rich film culture embedded in Jacksonville.

Admission into the Museum of Science and History is $12.50 for adults and $10.00 for children (3-12 years), students, seniors (55+), and military. Museum hours are 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday and Saturday, and 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. On Fridays, there is an admission special of $5.00 for everyone, with extended hours of 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. 

Women In Film & Television


SCREENWRITING AS A CAREER with guest speaker Sharon Y. Cobb

Accomplished Hollywood screenwriter and author, Sharon Y. Cobb, joins us to discuss Screenwriting as a career, the art of the pitch, what's hot in Hollywood and much, much more.  Ms. Cobb is a Florida native who has been writing for over 30 years.  Her films and shorts have garnered many awards in Hollywood and locally. Some of her titles include "LIGHTHOUSE HILL", "ON HOSTILE GROUND", "JUNE" and many award winning shorts.  She is currently in pre-production with her new film "WHO'S IN THE DARK."

Join WIFT - JACKSONVILLE by going to our website at and check out our facebook page at WIFT - Jacksonville, FL.   Sign up and be a part of an international and professional film and television organization.  For men and women.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Hollywood Acting Stuido Jax!

Boot Camp will be at Multi Media Group located at 11655 Central Parkway, Suite 302, Jacksonville, FL. 32224

This months WIFT meeting!


This Month’s WIFT meeting covers:
COMMERCIALS- From Concept to casting and beyond.
The importance of Commercials in television  - Guest Speaker Kevin Rhodes, a veteran commercial writer/producer for hundreds of national commercials, will be giving us the inside look into the high stakes commercial world. Producers, writers and actors will benefit from this informative talk.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
3RD Wednesday of Every Month!
Time: 6:30 - 9:30 PM
Location:   Blackfinn Ameripub, Markets at Town Center, 4840 Big Island Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32246
This event is open to everyone (men and women, crew and talent) in the Industry!
Bring your Business Cards and come Network!!
UPCOMING WIFT Jacksonville Events: Mark the Dates! 
#2.Wednesday, November 16, 2016, 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM
#3. Wednesday, January 18, 2017, 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM
#4. Wednesday, February 15, 2017, 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Special Feature! Screening of "The Flying Ace"

October 13th, 2016 - 5:30 PM
Beaches Museum Chapel
Come see the groundbreaking classic silent film that is said to have helped inspire the Tuskegee Airmen when the Beaches Museum Chapel presents a showing of "The Flying Ace" on Thursday, October 13 at 5:30 p.m. Made in the early 20th century when Jacksonville was promoted as "The Winter Film Capital of the World," this movie is a must see for fans of the movie industry or Jacksonville history.
"The Flying Ace" is inspired by the story of the first licensed black female pilot, Bessie Coleman, who was tragically killed in 1926 while practicing for an air show at Jacksonville's Paxon Field. The movie began filming that same year here in Jacksonville at the Norman Studios property in Arlington and Mayport. Before African-Americans were even allowed to serve as pilots in the Armed Forces, Lawrence Criner, Kathryn Boyd, and an all-black cast told the story of Captain Billy Stokes, a World War I hero who returns to his job as a railroad detective after his time in the U.S. Air Force.
The screening will begin in the Beaches Museum Chapel at 5:30 p.m. on October 13. Admission is free for Museum members with a suggested $5 donation for non-members. The Beaches Chapel Museum is located at 505 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Local Industry Professionals Recognized with Awards

Three awards were given out to celebrate highlights in local film and digital media production at the 16th Annual Jacksonville Film & Television Industry Reception. Mayor Lenny Curry joined members of the Jacksonville City Council, the Mayor’s Advisory Commission on Motion Picture, Television and Commercial Production, the Jacksonville Film & Television Office and other industry leaders to present these awards.

During the event, Jerry Smith, president and CEO of PineRidge Film & Television, was presented the 2016 Jacksonville Film & Television Industry Achievement Award. His expansive accomplishments as a leader in the film and television industry and  his success in being an innovative business executive has helped  him flourish in this industry. He and his company have won 6 national Daytime EMMYS and have had 11 EMMY nominations. Smith utilizes his expansive experience in guiding both established and new professionals in the film and television community, as well as mentoring young men and women in the production community.

Mayor Curry presents award to Jerry Smith, Photo by Ken McCray

Journalist Carla Jones and Director of Photography and Cinematography, Joe Karably, were both honored with a 2016 Rising Star Award. The Rising Star Award is given to remarkable individuals under 35 in the local film and television industry. Honorees excel in their specific craft, show progressive advancement in their careers, serve as role models and stand out as potential stars of the future.
Mayor Curry presents award to Carla Jones, Photo by Ken McCray

Mayor Curry presents award to Joe Karably, Photo by Ken McCray

“Jacksonville has a long history with film and television,” said Mayor Curry. “In addition to supporting local businesses and good-paying jobs, this industry helps showcase Jacksonville to the world.  I congratulate our rising stars, Carla Jones and Joe Karably, for their success, and I thank industry visionary Jerry Smith for his many contributions to our community.”

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Casting Call : DIY's America's Most Desperate Landscape

Now Casting for America's Most Desperate Landscape - Backyard Edition!

For the first time ever, DIY Network's Jason Cameron is looking looking for dreadful, chaotic, overgrown, absolutely hopeless and desperate backyards for America's Most Desperate Landscape.

Jason and his team will bring a massive two-day transformation to your backyard. Think building decks and pergolas, fences and walkways, and much more. Got a pathetic pool? Jason would love to tackle that, too!

Is your backyard desperate enough for a total transformation?  We want to hear from you.

To apply, follow the guidelines below and send info to:

Entry Guidelines:

1.    In your email, include your name, contact info and short explanation about yourself, your yard and why we should select you for AMDL.

2.     Three pictures of your back yard - make sure they are wide shots (25MB email limit on the pictures.)

3.    Brief video* showcasing your yard and your personality. Post it on YouTube and send us a link. 

*You need to show us your desperation... your desperate yard and show us your personality and why we should bring the AMDL team to your home for the biggest backyard landscape invasion of the year. *

Entries accepted until October 14, 2016.

Thursday, August 11, 2016


Some of the amazing classes and sessions at Story Expo this year include...

 Learn How To Tell Your Story, and Sell Your Story 

 September 9-11, 2016

Westin LAX Hotel
5400 W. Century Blvd., LA, CA 90045

Story Expo is the only conference in the world where you'll learn 
how to tell your story through intense classes on the craft, what
medium your story is best told in for both financial and critical
success, how to sell your story, and even life hacks for being a
working, successful writer.
 Classes added so far for 2016 Include:
* Writing The 1-Hour TV Drama
* 6-Part Genre Series: Action, Love, Thriller, Comedy, Horror & SciFi
* The Secret to Pixar's Storytelling
* Master Techniques for Dialogue
* How To Outline A Novel 
* A Blueprint For Riveting Stories
* Being A Script Supervisor (1/2-Day Intensive)
* Writing The Graphic Novel
* Rewriting: The Script Revision Process
* Law School Crash Course for Writers
* Virtual Reality Storytelling & Technology
* Creating & Producing an Internet Show
* The Science of Story
* Agents & Managers 101
* Storytelling in Poetry
* Making Your Projects Happen (1/2-Day Intensive)
* Turning Your Novel Into A Screenplay
* The Writer's Diet (Writers' Lifestyle Class!)
* Film School Crash Course Pts. 1 & 2
* Creating Powerful Characters
* Writing For Animation
* Movie Screenings with Q&As
And more added every week!

This year's Story Expo will have some 100 sessions to choose from,
and we are adding new classes and sessions weekly.

Only $249
Includes all regular sessions, classes, tracks, keynotes and screenings.
Does not include pitches in the Pitching Room.

Need A Hotel? We've made special arrangements with the Westin LAX to offer
our participants a special price of $123/night (normally $169-$229). Book Hotel

Previous Year's Programs and Schedules: 2013, 2014, 2015

Thank you! We'll see you at Story Expo 2016!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

MasterChef Junior is now casting for Season 6! They are looking for kids ages 8-13 years old who LOVE to cook!  They will be holding an open casting call In Jacksonville on July 9th, 2016. This event will take place at the Omni Hotel Jacksonville located at 245 Water Street, Jacksonville, Florida 32202. They are looking for kids who have a passion for food and cooking. If this sounds like your child or someone you know, please let them know about this opportunity of a lifetime!

For more information and to pre-register, visit

Here is a welcoming video from Chef Gordon Ramsay as well.

Thursday, June 9, 2016


Jake Mills Productions based in NYC came to Jacksonville for two weeks this past May for a major photo shoot for Lincoln Continental. The crew of 15 shot at Huguenot Memorial Park, Ortega River Bridge, Stinson Park, a private residence in Ponte Vedra Beach and The Guana Reserve. The production had an approximate $280,000 economic impact with 140 hotel room nights at One Ocean Resort.

Jake Mills Productions produce print, digital and motion content for the top brands in the world, photographed by some of the best photographers in the world. They’ve produced in over 40 US States and a dozen foreign countries, and have worked with some of the biggest agencies in the world such as: Arnold, Bailey-Lauerman, BBDO New York /Atlanta /Detroit, BBH, Brand Arch, Bromley Aguilar, DDB New York Berlin, Deutsch New York/Los Angeles, Draft FCB, Grey, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, JWT New York London Houston, KEKO, Leo Burnett, Lowe Worldwide, MAB, McCann Erickson New York London Germany, Oasis, Pentagram London, Rubin Postaer, Saatchi & Saatchi, Y&R New York/ San Francisco.

Clients include Brands: Absolut, Accenture, Acura, Advance Auto Parts, American Express, Ameriprise, Armani, Asics, AT&T, Audi, Banana Republic, Bayer, BMW, Buick, Chapstick, Chevy, Chivas, Chrysler, Cisco, Coca-Cola, Coors, Crest, Crocs, Direct TV, Dow Chemical, ESPN, Esquire, GE, Flexjet, GMC, Google, GQ, GTE, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Hewlett Packard, Hyundai, IBM, Infiniti, Jamison, Jeep, Jockey, Kawasaki, KMS, Lexus, Lincoln, MasterCard, Mercedes-Benz, Merrill-Lynch, Microsoft, Molsen, Nations Bank, Nationwide, Nest Labs, Newport, Nike, Nikon, Nissan, Nokia, Opel, Orbit, Palm, Parliament, Philip Morris, Players, Porsche, Redken, Saks Fifth Avenue, Sea Doo, Shell, Smith Barney, Smart Cars, Sony, Subaru, Tanquerey, Toyota, Union Pacific, United Airlines, USPS, Vanity Fair, Verizon, VISA, Volkswagen, Volvo, Vogue, Westin Hotels.

Photos by Rob Parham

The Jacksonville Film & Television Office assisted the executives with logistics, resources and permitting throughout the entire production.