Latinos In The Industry

INDUSTRY INSIGHTS: Packaging For SAG Ultra Low Budget - Can It Be Done?

By Stacey Parks

In the last few case studies in our Myth Busters series, weve looked at films in the $1-$5 million range. But what about films in the ultra low budget range ($250K or less)? Most people argue with me 'til the cows come home that at these low budget levels, name cast are impossible. OK sure, BIG name cast are not likely to attach themselves to an ultra low budget film (why would they?), but you can still get recognizable talent at these low budget ranges that will infinitely increase your chances of getting some kind of distribution later.

So my question then is why wouldn't you try and package your ultra low budget film with name talent? That's right no excuses!

Enter producer David Stever who did just that with his film Coffin. He first wrote to me and wanted me to instill confidence in my readers that YES, packaging an ultra low budget film really is possible! So I suggested we do a case study so you could hear it from the horse's mouth and here it is below.

What is the name and log line of your film?

Businessman, Jack Samms, comes home late one night only to find a menacing stranger in his home. The stranger, known only as Trick, tells Jack that his wife and her lover trapped inside an air-tight wooden box. Trick gives Jack an ultimatum; get him a large sum of money within 75 minutes, or else the couple suffocates inside the box. A dangerous battle of wits ensues as Jack races against the clock to get the money and save his wife, while avoiding the detectives now on his trail. Will he make it in time?

The movie stars Kevin Sorbo, Bruce Davison, Sunny Doench, and Johnny Alonso. Released through Artist View Entertainment.


Call for Entries: California Story Fund

The California Story Fund (CSF) is a competitive grant program of the California Council for the Humanities (CCH). The purpose of CSF is to capture genuine and compelling stories from and about California's diverse communities, and to ensure that those stories can be shared widely. Telling our stories can help us make sense of our existence, give us a window into other people's lives, and make us feel part of something larger than ourselves. Sharing personal and communal narratives can enhance our understanding of where we live, with whom we live, and why we live the way we do. The Council seeks proposals for story-based projects that are informed by humanities perspectives, methods, and content; that reveal the realities of California and its cultures, peoples, and histories; and that will be of interest to local, statewide, and potentially even national and global audiences.

Deadline: Tuesday, November 15, 2011
For more information and guidelines, please visit:

Call for Entries: College Television Awards and Fred Rogers Memorial Scholarship

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation is now accepting submissions for two of its renowned student programs: the 33rd College Television Awards competition, and the Fred Rogers Memorial Scholarship, which honors the legacy of televisions famed Mister Rogers, (Mister Rogers Neighborhood). These competitions are open to college and graduate students nationwide.

The College Television Awards is a nationwide student competition that recognizes excellence in video, digital and film production across 12 categories: Alternative, Animation, Childrens, Comedy, Commercials, Documentary, Drama, Magazine, Music Competition and Music Best Use, Newscasts and Series. Deadline for submissions is January 11, 2012 at 6:00 PM PST. Submissions are being accepted for all categories of the competition online here.

The Fred Rogers Memorial Scholarship recognizes students making strides in the field of childrens media, furthering the legacy of the late Fred Rogers to use television as a positive and enriching force in child education and entertainment. Recipients are selected by demonstrating commitment to early childhood education, child development and psychology through media. Application deadline is February 29, 2012. Applications for all four scholarships are available online here.

Call for Entries: Tiburon International Film Festival

Submissions are now being accepted for the 11th Annual Tiburon International Film Festival (TIFF), to be held April 2012 in Tiburon, California. TIFF is a showcase for the independent feature and short films from around the world. Submissions are open to all genres: Fiction, documentary, short, animation, experimental, student, children, sports, music video... from any nation in the world.

TIFF has screened over 2000 films from more than 100 countries since its inception.

Early Bird Deadline: December 1, 2011
Late Deadline: January 15, 2012
Entry form and eligibility guidelines are available by clicking here, or on the festival website under Submit Films.

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MTV Nabs Latina Comedy From Jennifer Lopez
(Variety) - MTV is looking to Jennifer Lopez for laughs and Latino viewers. The younger skewing network has ordered a half-hour comedy script from the singer-producer. FULL STORY

Craig, Bardem Star in New Bond Thriller 'Skyfall'
(AP) - Producers announced Thursday that filming has begun on "Skyfall," the delayed 23rd film in the series and Daniel Craig's third outing as the suave British superspy. Craig will be joined by Spanish star Javier Bardem as Bond's nemisis. FULL STORY
Pantelion Acquires Will Ferrell Spanish Pic
(Variety) - Lionsgate's Hispanic label Pantelion Films has acquired U.S. rights to the Will Ferrell-starrer "Casa de mi Padre." The Spanish-language pic also stars Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna. FULL STORY

Jobs & Opportunities

Visit the NALIP Job Opportunities page for all the latest listings.

From the Editor
Alex Mendoza
Alex Mendoza & Associates
AMARTE Design & Digital Printing
9513 Longden Avenue
Temple City, CA 91780

1323 Lincoln Blvd., #220
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Jesús Treviño
NALIPster honored at KCET's Annual Local Heroes Awards

NALIP member, filmmaker and activist Jesús Treviño has been honored as one of 12 recipients of Union Bank and public television station KCET's 14th Annual Local Heroes Awards. The awards recognize and pay tribute to local heroes who are making a difference by improving their workplace, profession, neighborhood, community, region and the world. The year-long celebration of diversity culminated with an October 18 awards ceremony, where recipients were formally recognized.

Jesús Salvador Treviño is a director, writer, producer, and activist whose projects reflect his social commitment and artistic vision. His career began as a student activist documenting the 1960s Chicano Civil Rights Movement with a super 8 camera.

Throughout his career, he's been a participant and a chronicler of current events and issues, reflected in his work in film, television and books, which include "Yo Soy Chicano," "Chicano Moratorium," "Criminal Minds," and "ER"; his collection of short stories, such as "The Fabulous Sinkhole and Other Stories"; and his memoir, "Eyewitness - A Filmmaker's Memoir Of The Chicano Movement."

Mr. Trevino also serves as president of Barrio Dog Productions, and spearheads the Latino arts, history, and culture Web site, He is the recipient of the prestigious Directors Guild Award and two Alma Awards for Outstanding Director of a Prime Time Television Drama and as co-executive producer of "Resurrection Blvd."

Nonny de la Peña
NALIPster to be featured in Sundance's New Frontier program

NALIP LPA mentor and conference speaker Nonny de la Peña's immersive game environment "Hunger in Los Angeles" has been selected to be featured in the 2012 edition of New Frontier at the Sundance Film Festival. New Frontier is a social and creative space designed to enrich the festival environment and expand cinema culture by showcasing media installations, multimedia performances, transmedia experiences and panel discussions that explore the convergence of art, technology and storytelling.

Former Newsweek correspondent Nonny de la Peña is developing a groundbreaking brand of journalism that offers a fully immersive experience into news reporting. Focused on calling attention to the growing issue of hunger in the United States, Hunger in Los Angeles recreates an eyewitness account of a crisis on a food-bank line at the First Unitarian Church. De la Pena uses game-development tools, Unity 3-D, a body-tracking system and a head-mounted goggle display, along with live audio she collected during the incident, to construct a fully immersive, simulated world where audiences can suit up, walk around and interact with other characters in the scene.


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