Sarasota filmmaker and Ringling College graduate Tony Ahedo heads to St. Petersburg today, where the pilot episode of his new web-series, Barry Baker: Aspiring Serial Killer, will premiere as an Official Selection of the Sunscreen Film Festival. Written and directed by Ahedo and starring Peter Konowicz, the planned series follows the bloody and comedic escapades of an earnest but inept Barry Baker as he struggles to find the courage and faculty to brutalize his officemates. Says Ahedo, “Nobody starts as a professional.” Continue reading Tony Ahedo Brings Aspiring Serial Killer To Life
A fight against sex trafficking in Southwest Florida joins forces with a locally produced film effort led by Dylan McDermott. At a special event Saturday entitled “Sugar Meets Selah,” supporters of Selah Freedom came together with the makers of the upcoming Semkhor web series Sugar to raise awareness of both efforts, but all involved said this was just the beginning of an important partnership. Continue reading Dylan McDermott Supports Selah Freedom, Prepares for ‘Sugar’
Horses providing therapy. Helping veterans of war with marriages. Nonprofit organizations throughout Southwest Florida have exciting success stories to share with the world, and a Sarasota video production company is on a mission to tell the tales to as many people as possible. Salt and Light Productions this week released its first videos of 2016 highlighting the work of organizations doing good in the region, one showcasing the work of the High Flight Foundation, the other on the Sarasota Manatee Association for Riding Therapy. Continue reading Salt and Light Releases First Videos for 2016
Disney no longer has an animation house in Florida, but former CEO Michael Eisner still thinks having one here would be a great idea. “I though Florida was a great place for an animation studio,” he told SRQ. While he said having a working animation department at Disney Hollywood Studios when the park opened was mostly so people knew the studios weren’t all phony, he was pleased the Florida team produced such content as Brother Bear and Lilo and Stitch. “Florida became a great hotbed of creativity. It still is, with many animators coming out of Ringling, out of all parts of Florida. And there are all kinds of production still in Florida.”
Eisner discussed the matter during a media roundtable shortly before a speech at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, where he also touched on video streaming, social media and leadership. He was the first guest this year for the Ringling College Library Association Town Hall Lecture Series. Today, Eisner runs his own company, The Tornante Company, which involved in a range endeavors from global sports media branding at Topps to creating entertainment content such as Netflix exclusive show BoJack Horseman.
But while he wades these days in new video, the former Paramount Pictures president said reports of network television’s death were premature. “People though television would kill movies; movies are still alive,” he said. “It doesn’t happen. What happens is one and one adds up to 2.5. The audience just grows bigger, and the is more available access to programming. But when that transition happens, existing media gets very nervous.”
Streaming video has changed plenty of things in terms of the lifespan of content, he says. He noted that Bojack Horseman has started winning critics awards as the show prepares for a third season. “It took a year and a half for people to say the show is fantastic,” Eisner said. “Years ago, they would say that in the third week, but it would be off in the third week. It takes so much longer to attract an audience, but when you do, they are very loyal.”
The biggest change from streaming outlets, though, is the sheer volume of content. He noted 300 new television shows will premiere on some outlet in the next three months, an amount that dwarfs what happened in the days when putting Roots on ABC as a mini-series seemed an unprecedented act for television. “There’s a lot of junk,” he joked. “We always seem to maintain our level of junk.” Of course, he also acknowledged that demands weeding through plenty of broadcast detritus.
As for that, while he acknowledged the power of social media and uses Instagram himself to keep up with grandchildren, the best way for a show to find an audience is no different than it has always been. “People are agonizing over Snapchat or Twitter or whatever, but I don’t think that has replaced verbal reach,” he said. “People still do get together on occasion. They go to school on occasion. They still have families. Word-of-mouth is still the most part of marketing.”
Thanks to the partnership between Ringling College of Art and Design and Semkhor Productions, Hollywood actors and brothers Christian and Justin Long are bringing their latest project to Ringling’s campus, where they will work in tandem with a team of select students to bring the show from page to screen. A now-untitled web-series that Justin describes as either “a comedy masquerading as a travel show, or a travel show masquerading as a comedy,” the initial goal is eight episodes, with a tentative goal of a summer release. David Shapiro, co-founder of Semkhor, will also be joining the endeavor in an executive producing role, as will iconic writer/director Kevin Smith, though in an unspecified capacity. Continue reading Actors Christian and Justin Long Bring Web-Series to Ringling College, Talk Mentorship, Kevin Smith and The Freedom of the Web
As episodic television explodes on the small screen across a growing variety of distribution channels, the Sarasota County Film and Entertainment Office is bringing in writers who have created content to air on network, cable and internet outlets. Luisa Leschin and Max CiVon, the husband-and-wife team behind Tortuga Productions in Los Angeles, will speak Tuesday at a film mixer hosted by the film commission at the Ringling College Auditorium.
Jeanne Corcoran, Film and Entertainment Office director, said Leschin can offer solid advise to local creatives because she has continued to be a successful writer even amid a paradigm shift in the way episodes are consumed by the public. “She has been involved in traditional outlets,” Corcoran said, “but is also now actively earning a living from these new channels of distribution. Leschin, one of the top Latina writers in Hollywood over the past couple decades, has written for network shows including George Lopez and Everybody Hates Chris, as well as for cable shows such as Disney Channel’s Austin and Ally and TBS’ Are We There Yet? Right now, she works as a consulting producer for El Rey Network on the Netflix series From Dusk Til Dawn and through Tortuga Productions is writing the upcoming Amazon Prime series Just Add Magic. Continue reading Luisa Leschin to discuss modern TV distribution at Sarasota event
Five driving teams from the Gulf Coast will help raise awareness of missing children as part of the newest Fireball Run event, and you can follow their adventures between here and Hartford Connecticut from the time they start their engines until each crosses the finish line. “It’s just an opportunity to do some good and experience this beautiful country,” said Richard Ohlsson, a Sarasota driver racing with his wife Bibi on Team Bronco. “I’m blessed to be in this position.” Continue reading Sarasota Represented In This Year’s Fireball Run