As 2013 draws to a close it’s good to reflect back on some of the people and organizations that have helped the independent film community continue to thrive in Las Vegas.
First of all, thanks to the efforts of co-chairmen Josh Cohen and JR Reid of the Nevada Film Incentive Task Force and their membership, Nevada is now the 41st state to offer incentives designed to attract major motion picture, television and commercial productions. Governor Brian Sandoval signed Senate Bill 165 into law on June 11th and it is set to begin taking effect in January 2014.
Cohen who founded and operates Cohencidence Productions is the writer/producer of the feature film Red Herring and has also written and produced other features, shorts and serials along with a TV pilot/webseries. JR Reid, the owner of JR Lighting, has long been a supplier of both crews and equipment in Nevada and plans to add both employees and new equipment in order to reinforce his position. Both men were instrumental in bringing this new plan to Las Vegas filmmakers and will most definitely be front and center as the incentives begin being utilized.
Charisma And Kelly Schwarze and the Indie Film Factory – Founded in 2011 following a successful crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo, the Indie Film Factory, located at 3111 S. Valley View Blvd in Las Vegas, is a motion picture studio catering to the needs of the independent filmmaker by providing affordable and professional space for rental fees that are much lower than those found elsewhere in the city. They also offer low-cost workshops and host panel discussions on a variety of topics of interest to their supporters. Recently the couple collaborated on producing the feature film “Territory 8”, which received much acclaim when it was screened locally.
Theatre7 – It seems like only yesterday when Theatre7 opened its doors downtown at 1406 S. 3rd Street and since then founder Derek Stonebarger and programmer Chad Clinton Freeman have used the venue to debut new festivals such as VIFF! (Vegas Indie Film Fest), develop others like the ever popular PollyGrind, offer live entertainment from talents including Will Edwards and find numerous ways in which to enrich the lives of Las Vegas filmmakers and their growing audiences.
Nevada Film Office – Film Resource Coordinator Danette Tull has become a good friend to know if you’re a filmmaker. The NFO handles all types of questions related to the entertainment industry providing information and resources geared towards meeting the needs of hundreds of productions every year while Danette has become a recognizable face and dedicated supporter among the indie community.
Nevada Film Alliance – Originally spearheaded in 2002 by Las Vegas filmmaker Marko Sakren, the NFA sets standards, develops talent and promotes collaboration within Nevada’s diverse film community with the long term goal of establishing a broad and lucrative film export market.
Filmmakers To Watch – Among the group of today’s active filmmakers here in Sin City who have been attracting attention with their various projects are the following: Executive Producer Jeremy Settles (Got Films); Somnium Productions Sean Jackson (Bubblegum & Broken Fingers); Keith Mosher (One Long Day); Michael Tushaus & Michael Su (The Adventures of Loop & Rhett); and Producer/Screenwriter Stephen G. Levy (After Romeo & Juliet)
Considering the growth that lies ahead for the Las Vegas independent film community due in part from contributions from these people, companies and organizations as well as a host of others it looks like the stars will continue to shine on the industry in 2014.