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Bert Hesse.jpg
Bert Hesse of Studio South at a meeting today in Fort Mill about the plans for Catawba Studios at Catwba Indian Nation east of Rock Hill, SC. He said they hope to have groundbreaking for the first phase by the end of the year. When completed there will be three phases: the sound stages, film and music schools, and retail shops.

Map of South Carolina highlighting York County

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Effort is underway to create a first class movie studio on 124 acres of land at the Catawba Indian Nation near Rock Hill, South Carolina. $485,000 has been spent on the study so for the project that is expected to cost $45 million. The study will be completed this spring and if all goes as planned the first phase, sound stages and visitors center, could be completed within a year.

Plans  include production suites, an iMax style theater, a film school, and  a music school. Studio South and Pacific Ventures will develop, build and manage the complex.

Meet THE iNDEE: Jen Becker

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Now it is Jen Becker's turn to be in the "Meet The iNDEE" spotlight! Please enjoy her interview and share with your friends! 

What are your hobbies/pastimes outside of work?

Spending time with my family. I enjoy the outdoors - hiking and camping. I am part of a tight knit church family. I love cooking for a big group of hungry people. I thoroughly enjoy authentic ethnic foods.

Jen Becker by Russ Willey.jpg
Photo Credit: Russ Willey

Meet THE iNDEE: Dale Deacon

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Dale Deacon.jpg
It's time for another Meet The iNDEE spotlight! We would love for you to get to know a little more about Dale Deacon! Please enjoy this interview and share!

What are your hobbies/pastimes outside of work? 

I love to travel, to go to/watch movies and to read. I am particularly intrigued by movies and books dealing with true tales of the paranormal, and have been since I was a child. I also love classic literature and languages. I collect lighthouses as well. I'm an avid swimmer too. I am into music, BIGTIME!! 

How did you know you wanted to be a writer/director/work on set (which ever applies)?

I think I came out of the womb ready to be involved in the arts. I am told that as a baby, I stood in my playpen and entertained my brothers and sisters by making them laugh. From the day that I got my first laugh in Sixth Grade while playing the wicked Stepmother in Cinderella, I was hooked. Also, my whole family is in the arts. When I see a film that moves me, I actually ache to be even the smallest part of a team capable of creating such beauty. 

Meet THE iNDEE: Colby Hopkins

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Today we spotlight Colby Hopkins for "Meet The iNDEE".

Colby Hopkins by David Superville.jpg
Colby Hopkins  Photo Credit: >David Superville

What are your hobbies/pastimes outside of work?

I like soccer, football, swimming, tennis, wakeboarding and snowboarding. I love to read, write, and take photographs. I also love music and have been playing guitar for six years. I'm currently taking up rock climbing. I am addicted to extreme sports because of the community of people who are so passionate about adventuring and doing something thrilling. I think that is similar to film, everyone is passionate about telling stories and they're extremely dedicated to it because of the rush it gives you when you see what you've accomplished.

THE iNDEE Logo.jpg
Test screenings have been planned for two new films from The iNDEE. Attendance is free and will be at the UNCC Student Union Theater in Charlotte, NC.  Participants will be given a questionnaire to complete about each film that will aid in fine tuning the productions before release.  It will not be necessary to make arrangements in advance.  Just be there ready to watch the movies and give your feedback.


Written by Rodney Stringfellow.  Directed by Richard Clark, Jr.

A Thank You from THE iNDEE

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THE iNDEE Logo.jpg
The iNDEE and New Daydream Films want to thank everyone for coming out and joining us for our Charlotte screening of Waiting for Butterflies last night.

Here is a photo of Bonnie Johnson and Tim Ross, two of the cast members, who were in attendance for the screening. Thank you for coming.

Waiting for Butterflies screening.jpg

THE iNDEE Logo.jpg
Update!  The date for this seminar has been changed to Thursday, July 31st, 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
THE iNDEE Studio in Gastonia, North Carolina will be hosting a seminar on "Telling Stories".  If you are wanting to be a screenwriter or are a filmmaker with story ideas this is a great class for you.  You can attend the lecture or if you're not close enough to make it it will also be available through Skype.  This writing series is the first in a series that THE iNDEE Actors Club is making an effort to host this year.

The iNDEE team has produced seven feature films (worked on a combined 15+ features in various capacities), four dramatic one-hour pilots, and ove 100 episodes of nationally televised programming. So they know how to tell a story.

" Through our process you will leave our seminar having a firm grasp on how to take your idea from the planning stages to pre production on your new film. Writers of all levels will learn valuable lessons about the execution of character driven, exciting, story telling. They will be lead by industry professionals giving only examples from the height of cinematic story telling." - THE iNDEE Actors Club Team

Waiting For Butterfiles.jpg There will be a special private screening of Waiting For Butterfiles at the Arsley Grand Cinema Theater in Charlotte, NC this month.

Brought to you by THE iNDEE studios it is a chance to get an early peek at the movie starring Jason BurkeyCarla CloudJames MolinariTim RossBob EngleBonnie Johnson, and Bethany Tiller along with appearances by Jordan Alexander and Addy Miller.

Waiting for Butterflies
is a faith based film written by Richard Clark, Jr.  Richard directed the movie along with Kent Allen as co-director.  Produced by New Daydream Films in association with Allen Films, it is another movie that comes to us from The iNDEE in Gastonia, North Carolina.

"A grandmother's dying wish becomes the catalyst for the healing and forgiveness of a once divided family. They learn that God works miracles through the unexpected people he puts in our lives."

There will be a private screening of the movie on Thursday, July 17th at the Arsley Grand Cinemas 14 in Charlotte, North Carolina at 7:30 pm. Click here to see the event page on Facebook and reserve tickets. 

Nowhere Premiere

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Last night was the night for the cast and crew of Nowhere to shine, along with their guests. And shine they did!

Everyone enjoyed the thought provoking movie which shows just how good an independent film can be. Watch out Hollywood!

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I'm looking forward to seeing my first film by the director Ryen W. Thomas in a few days at a private screening he's invited me to.  It's called Nowhere and from looking at the trailer I can't quite tell what this story is going to be but I like the looks of it.  

I'm sure he planned it that way because what fun is it to watch a mystery if you know what's going to happen?   the first thing I noticed is the cinematography and how well it is  done.  This is accomplished with Anil Dhokai as the director of photography and all the attention to detail that he is known for.  

The screenplay was written by Ryen along with Richard Clark, Jr., David Payne, and Will T. Vernon.  Billed as a psychological thriller it is about a con man named Drake that is in need of money and looking for a way to get it.

The setup: Drake (James Molinari) learns about an old Inn in the middle of nowhere that may be the key to getting the money he needs.  Bonnie Johnson, as the innkeeper, appears to be a controlling mother that has some secrets. What is she hiding?  Her son played by Jordan Alexander, what does he know?  Who is the girl (Alexandra Faith) and how does she fit it?

I Married an Alien - Premiere

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I Married an Alien.jpgApril 25th is the date for the premiere of I Married an Alien, a science fiction comedy produced and directed by Collins White of Other Vision Studios with Micah Thompson as head writer.

The cast includes Cassie Thompson, Micah Thompson, David Bean, Lindsay Morgan, Jamil Jaar, Audrey Dickson, and Nathan Forest

Crystal Tyler.jpgJade Castle Studios is an asset to the upstate area, the Carolinas, and beyond.  It is a place where actors, performing artists, writers, photographers, filmmakers, and artists of all kinds can meet and rub shoulders with one another.  You can attend classes or rent space for your projects such as a songwriter's club, writer's club or as a space where you could audition actors for your upcoming film.

Started earlier this year and operated by Crystal Tyler it is just beginning to take hold and needs your help.  If you are able to give just a small amount to assist with this well intensioned project it will help filmmaking and the performing arts thrive in the community and their will be some perks for you as well.

"Crystal and Jade Castle have been a great resource for me in connecting with other professionals. Whenever Other Vision needs to look for talent, I give Crystal a call. Through Jade Castle, she's already helped connect me with so many other great film professionals in the Greenville area." - Collins Abbott White - Other Vision Studios

If you can't afford to donate then please share this message with your friends so they can learn about Jade Castle Studios and how it might benefit them.

Learn more about Jade Castle Studios in the article below by The Greenville News and in my conversation with Crystal.

The Future of TV

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English: The "peanut" remote for the...

Tivo Remote (Public Domain photo by Evan-Amos via Wikipedia) 

Most people still watch TV via antenna or a cable TV subscription but that is changing rapidly.  Just as cable TV networks have made headway against the traditional TV networks, online networks and programming will rise even faster.

Video on Demand, or VOD is my preferred method of consuming TV now.  I cut the cord with cable TV a few years ago because most of what I wanted was the movie channels (Showtime, Cinemax, HBO) but I had to pay for everything else in between in order to get to those channels. If only cable would go a la carte.  I did like my DVR and the ability to record from a menu of upcoming shows though so  this is what I did.  

I bought a version of the Tivo box that is made for antenna reception and media from the Internet.  This allows me to get the news, weather, late night talk shows, and the occasional series from broadcast TV for free.  Tivo charges a small fee, currently $12.95/month,  for the menu of upcoming programs from local broadcast stations. I can select a single program in advance to record or get a season pass so that I don't miss a any episodes.  The Tivo box records more than I can watch in a day so when I have the time I watch the programs I want, when I want to. It also records media from the shows on the Internet I like when they become available.  No more appointment TV.  

The Tivo box has Netflix and a host of Internet only programs on almost any subject, interest, or hobby you may have.  More than 50% of my viewing is on my TV in the living room but comes from Internet only programming.  That's where things are heading and if you are  a filmmaker or content provider you need to pay attention to this trend.  

There are also the game consoles like XBox 360, PS3, and Wii that can provide Netflix and online programming.  DVD players and TVs are starting to come with these features built in too.  All of this creates more options for the consumer and more avenues for content producers.   Oh, and for some of the films and specials on the movie channels I miss since cutting the cord, I find that I can mostly get them with my Roku box and Netflix or Hulu Plus, albeit a season later than cable.  Suits me.

Eastland Mall (Charlotte, North Carolina)

Eastland Mall (Charlotte, North Carolina) (Photo credit: Cantnot via  Wikipedia)

Is there a future for a movie studio at the old Eastland Mall site?  The Charlotte City Council thinks so.  They have approved spending $13 million dollars for the 80 acre property to be developed as a sound stage with offices for film editing and other crafts that support making movies.

If things go as planned we can start seeing some activity there as early as next year.

To learn more about the project see:


English: Downtown Cleveland as viewed from Edg...

Public Domain Image via Wikipedia

The Greater Cleveland Film Commission (GCFC) is having a holiday mixer and party at the Cadillac Ranch this month.

A great way to network with people in the film industry around Cleveland.  It doesn't matter if you've worked on a Cleveland film or not.  If you have an interest in getting involved you should come.  Everyone is welcome!

Refreshments will be served and there will be a cash bar.

Media Industry Mixer & Holiday Party
Wednesday, December 14th
200 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio

To R.S.V.P contact Jason Drake at!

If you have any film news to announce at this event contact Jason Drake at!

Official photo of Governor Beverly Perdue (D-NC).

North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue (Public Domain Image via Wikipedia)

North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue has officially announced that through incentives offered to the producers, the production of Iron Man 3 is coming to North Carolina.   This will bring more than 80 million dollars, over 500 jobs, and more than 1,000 talent opportunities for actors and extras.  

Perdue said that it was a competitive process and they worked hard to beat out the other states that wanted the film.  The incentives package North Carolina was able to offer made the difference in landing the movie.  The resources and talent pool available in North Carolina was also a big factor in the decision.  It will be shot in Wilmington at the EUE/Screen Gems Studio and will be the largest production that has ever been filmed in North Carolina.  

The Governor said that it's not just about Wilmington and that North Carolina has had it's busiest year ever in the film industry.  During 2011, in films across the state there were  3,400 crew positions, 560 acting jobs, 22,000 extra jobs, 2,342 production days and over 200 million dollars of direct spend in film business.  That is a 185% increase over 2010.  

She also said "We're not done yet." and is working along with her commerce team to attract more productions to North Carolina.

"America knows that North Carolina is serious about film, and Marvel Studios understands this is the best place in the country to do film business."   

Marvel Studios has one of the hottest franchises in the country with the Iron Man series.  The film will be distributed by Walt Disney Pictures and stars Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, and Robert Downey, Jr. 


U.S. Coast Guard photograph of Wilmington, Nor...

Wilmington, North Carolina (Public Domain Image via Wikipedia)

Iron Man 3 will be coming to the Wilmington, North Carolina Screen Gems Studio  for filming next summer.  Michigan was trying to get the production there but lost out after North Carolina gave them the incentives they were looking for.

Iron Man, created by Marvel Comics writer Stan Lee, is a billionaire industrialist who creates a powered suit of armor that he uses to fight crime.  He is also a member of the super hero team the Avengers.

The movie is being produced by DW Films and will be released by Walt Disney Pictures.  Robert Downey, Jr. who has played the role in previous Iron Man movies is set to play Tony Stark aka Iron Man.  Scarlett Johansson is rumored to be in the movie as well.

See also:  

Made in North Carolina - Iron Man 3 soon will be.


Carolina Legends: Earl Owensby

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Earl Owensby - Challenge.jpgEarl Owensby's first film as a producer was the movie Challenge (1974)  which became a hit in the U.S. and abroad.   In it Owensby  played the lead role of Frank Challenge, a Senate candidate that would not sell out to the mob.  This was the spark that eventually led to the creation of Earl Owensby Studios in Shelby, North Carolina.

A number of films were shot at his studios and he starred in many of them.  Some of the people that were cast in his movies include David Allan Coe (singer/songwriter) , Lorne Greene (from the Bonanza TV series), and Paula PoundStone (comedian). 

There are many writers, actors, and crew members that got their start in Owensby's studios and have gone on to make a name for themselves in the film industry.  One of them is Leon Rippy, a native of Rock Hill, South Carolina best known for his roles in The Patriot, Stargate, and Saving Grace who did several movies with Earl in his early days as an actor.  

In the 80s Duke Power Company's Cherokee Power Station , a nuclear power plant being built in Gaffney, South Carolina was never completed.  Earl bought the abandoned plant and created what was at the time the world's largest underwater sound stage.   This is where James Careron's movie The Abyss was filmed.

"Earl Owensby has received numerous honors for his success and achievements. Honors granted Mr. Owensby include NC Hall Of Fame, #15 of the top 100 people in NC in 100 years, Award UNCC North Carolina, and numerous others. Many schools and Universities refer to Earl Owensby when teaching the movie industry, specifically, classes at Duke University, Gardner Webb University, as well as a section in the North Carolina History Books."

Earl Owensby Studios is still in operation and has sound stages totaling 90 thousand square feet.   They have an underwater filming pool with 7 camera ports and underwater lighting, makeup and dressing rooms, wardrobe and property departments, carpentry shop, special effects, kitchen, dining, and lounge areas.  Also an onsite hotel,  1570' runway, recording/mixing studio, editing  and screening rooms, and production offices.

Earl Owensby Studios website:


Weekend Box Office - August 1

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Harrison Ford at the Pacific Design Center in ...

Harrison Ford (Photo by Gavatron via Wikipedia)

The two films opening in the lead at the box office this weekend were probably as different as two movies could be.  Cowboys and Aliens is a sci-fi western flick with action stars Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig, and The Smurfs is a part animated/part live action movie about The Smurfs leaving their magical world and ending up in New York City.  They made $36.4M and $35.6M, with Cowboys narrowly taking the top spot. Crazy, Stupid, Love, a romantic comedy starring Steve Carrell and Ryan Gosling also opening this weekend, took the 5th spot with $19.1M.

Captain America: The First Avenger and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 remained in the top 5 this weekend with Captain America pulling in $25.6M (bringing its total to $117.4M) and Harry Potter with $22M (bringing its total to $318.5M).  With that total, Harry Potter has broken even more records.  It has now reached the $1 billion mark for worldwide totals, become the highest grossing Potter film, and become the fastest film ever to reach $900M.

Rounding out the top 10:
Friends With Benefits - $9.3M, bringing it to $38.2M total
Horrible Bosses - $7.2M, bringing it to $96.3M total
Transformers: Dark of the Moon - $6.1M, bringing it to $338M total
Zookeeper - $4.3M, bringing it to $68.8M total
Cars 2 - $2.3M, bringing it to $182M total