Premiering on April 24th on MyTV New England, mAZe Productions in collaboration with Willow Studios debuts “The Perils of Independent Filmmaking”.
The show will chronicle the lifecycle of New England-based independent films and broadcast TV shows by illustrating challenges that face producers and how they are eventually overcome. The show will include interviews and film footage from local up-and-coming and established filmmakers and TV producers.
Andreas D. Ziebart, who founded mAZe Productions, said in regard to the special: “I recently worked on a feature film where I was unhappy with the direction it went after spending time and resources on it. I’m excited to be in control of this TV special and knowing that our efforts will be presented in Prime Time. This will be the first of many projects from mAZe Productions with other production company collaborators like Willow Studios.”
As a recently formed independent film and television production company, mAZe Productions is based in New England. Willow Studios produces branded entertainment-based feature films, shows/specials for broadcast TV and theatrical premieres, and is helmed by Christopher Murphy, who is also Film and TV Development Executive for MyTV New England. The one hour prime time special will start at 10PM this Sunday.
On March 20, Debra Crosby’s “Talent Quest” TV show will air its first season finale in their “Quest for the Best.” The finale was taped in 3 parts at the House of Blues in Boston on February 27 and brought back all the top stars from their first season of the show on network TV to compete for the top prize.
Each contestant presented a new special rendition of their particular talent. The performances ranged from singers and dancers to playing the marimba and presenting an original monologue in the style of a Barbie doll. The show also featured celebrity judges singer/songwriter Shanna Jean, music producer Mark Bryant, and radio personality Mike Lomazzo.
The show also features MAMADOU, a live world band which plays all the house music for each episode. The talented musician, who originally hails from Africa, told the contestants; “Music and art are magic. Whatever you are, when you perform, always be your best.”
While many of the performances were memorable, including a lively rendition of Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” sung and played (on both piano and harmonica) by 12 year old charmer Dalton Letorney, and a powerful presentation by Morgan Lee, who sang Journey’s “Separate Ways”, in the end, one performer stood above the rest.
Eighteen year old LaQuandra Seymore won first place with her vocal performance of Jennifer Hudson’s “Giving Myself Over to You”. In addition to be being featured in the next season of the show on commercials, and taking part in future projects at Crosby’s Aquest Actor’s Studio, she also won a brand new Viper model guitar worth around $200, courtesy of Dominic’s Music shop in Salem. The talented youngster with the powerful pipes hopes to try out for the next season of NBC’s “The X Factor”. Coming in second place, winner Briana Chaponis wowed the crowd with her rendition of “Empire State of Mind Part 2″ by Alicia Keys.
Tune in on March 20th to catch LaQuandra’s award-winning performance, and all the other magical moments of this talented bunch. Debra Crosby’s “Talent Quest” TV show airs Sundays at 11AM on MyTV New England.
If you think YOU have a talent waiting to be discovered, email [email protected], or call 978-741-2287.
After the success of indie film Joy and the Apocalypse, MyTV New England is teaming up with Double Midnight Productions, an offshoot of Double Midnight Comics of Manchester, NH, to announce a new feature film – The Unseen.
To be produced as part of MyTV New England’s new Independent Film Series, The Unseen will be the first comic book movie to ever be produced by owners of a comic book store. The film will also be the newest project to use the exclusive branded entertainment model developed by Christopher Murphy at MyTV New England Studios.
According to Murphy, The Unseen is slated for a limited theatrical release in Fall 2011 and an exclusive broadcast premiere on Christmas Eve with a 2-hour prime time special from 8-10 p.m. on the MyTV New England channel. The broadcast is scheduled to include the full movie, Filmmaker Q & A, cast & crew interviews and behind the scenes footage.
Co-founder of the New Hampshire Film Festival, Brett Parker, said in a press release for the new project, “We’re excited to be collaborating with Christopher on The Unseen. We’re looking to make this a fun experience, it brings together our love of film and comic books and we’re planning on making this an interactive experience for our customers!”
Residents of downtown Dover, N.H. are encountering an alarming sight this month: armed soldiers walking the street!
The men dressed in camouflage and carrying replica guns made of plastic are actually actors playing national guardsmen for a Magic Ocean Entertainment movie, Seventeentrees. The film, which depicts a small crime-ridden town controlled by the National Guard and involves a hostage situation at a high school, is directed by 20 year-old Zachary Shaheen. During the entire month of February, crews will be set up along Washington and Locust streets and in the Central Avenue area near Week’s Restaurant in Dover.
According to an article on Fosters.com, Director Shaheen said he picked Dover for his backdrop because he felt it was a good representation of the town in his script. “I really like the look,” he said. “It’s vintage. It’s a classic New England small town.”
Shaheen, who went to film school in Florida, had many failed attempts at putting any of his scripts on film, but finally his dream has become a reality with Seventeentrees. “I will get it done whether it kills me or not,” he said. Shaheen plans to make the film a 90-minute feature; he will do a limited theater and television release in collaboration with MYTV New England, which reaches 2.5 million homes.
Shooting for the film will probably take at least the rest of the month to complete, Shaheen expects. All work is volunteered, and the production is still looking for sponsors to ease the cost of television distribution and theater releases. Sponsors, Shaheen, said, will get either commercial airtime or have their business featured in the movie. Shaheen said this is the perfect opportunity for businesses to “get their names out there,” and his production crew would even make the commercials.
Anyone interested in getting involved with the the film can contact Shaheen at at 207-432-9229 or e-mail him at [email protected]
Here comes another project by MyTV New England, and it is set to launch February 5th. Rock Your Head Productions and Fat Foot Films in collaboration with MyTV New England are announcing the special theatrical premiere of a new indie film, Joy and the Apocalypse, at the Red River Theatre in Concord, NH at 3 p.m. Following the movie, there will also be a reception and Q&A session with cast and crew.
Part of new “Independent Film Series” that Keith Dorrington, Executive Producer and Writer for the Boston-made hit The Fighter, personally endorses, Joy and the Apocalypse is the first movie that MyTV New England Studios plans to release for a limited theatrical opening and also a subsequent broadcast premiere. Roughly 7.1 million people in Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and parts of Maine could potentially tune in for the broadcast of the film on the MyTV New England channel on February 12th from noon to 2 p.m. The special will include a behind-the-scenes documentary, Filmmaker Q&A shot at the movie premiere, and more exciting features.
The film is unique because “we used state of the art camera equipment and it was produced in a film / tv hybrid type way,” says Christopher Murphy, Film and TV Development Executive for MyTV New England. ”It lowered the cost of production, but still looks cinematic.”
Joy and the Apocalypse is truly a homegrown production, as it was shot in Boston and all members of the cast and crew are from the New England area. “Unlike most indie feature films produced in New England, there is a commercial TV advertising campaign beginning this week,” says Murphy. “We have a deal with Regal Cinemas to advertise their Hollywood movies in New England on our TV channel, but internally we’re also going to also advertise any indie feature film that we collaborate on.”
If you’d like to attend the exciting theatrical premiere on February 5th, purchase tickets for the event here!
2006 graduate of University of New Hampshire and NH resident Michael Grosse has broken out of the Hollywood East scene as the producer of a new TV series called “Bladework.” According to NewEnglandFilm.com, the show will feature both coverage of Olympic-style fencing events and a reality TV segment in which an athlete is challenged to complete one fencing lesson per episode and compete in a tournament at the end of the season. The first episode will premiere on Friday, Nov. 26, at 8 a.m.
The new show, a collaboration with NBC Universal Sports Boston and MyTV New England, is funded by the same “branded-entertainment” model that is bringing you “Boston Ruit” this March; the innovative strategy was developed by Christopher Murphy, Film and TV Development Executive for MyTV New England. It allows several local businesses to take part in this production and be featured in episodes of the show, including the Seacoast Fencing Club in Rochester, N.H., where parts of “Bladework” will be filmed.
In an interview with Warren J. Avery, Grosse — who is an Epee coach at UNH, where he himself fenced in 2005 and ’06 — discussed the sport of fencing, which is frequently overlooked by the public eye. “The U.S. team won 6 fencing medals in Beijing—tied with Italy for the most in the world. Now is the perfect time to bring the sport to the mainstream. Robin Hood, James Bond, and Captain Jack Sparrow have been entertaining audiences with swordplay for years, but ‘Bladework’ will show the real thing in all its grace and drama. Who doesn’t love watching a good sword fight?”
“Bladework” combines two of Grosse’s passions: film and fencing. A Mechanical Engineering turned English/Journalism major at UNH, Grosse decided to pursue a minor in Cinema Studies, “mostly out of spite for having spent so much time studying linearity and mechanics. I saw cinema studies as a way to re-engage the creative side of my brain,” says Grosse. The plan, according to Grosse, was to possibly get into documentary filmmaking someday. “My film studies courses at UNH set the foundation on which I would eventually build my film and TV career.”
After working briefly as a reporter in Gloucester, Mass., Grosse began working in independent TV production, and, in 2010, he approached Chris Murphy at MyTV New England with an idea to produce a show of his own. ”I cannot imagine any training that would have better prepared me for producing a weekly TV series. The same process that I had learned in journalism school — and then refined as a city reporter for the Gloucester Daily Times — applies to every shoot for ‘Bladework,’” says Grosse. “How to be concise but engaging, and how to process new information quickly, prioritize details by their importance and the reliability of their source, and translate this into a narrative…I had already conquered that learning curve with a pen, so I was able to hit the ground running with a camera fairly easily.”
Some advice from an up-and-coming Hollywood East producer who, despite his success, still describes himself as a “student of the craft:”
“Don’t wait for work. If you have the drive, create. If you don’t have the drive, consider another field. If you’re broke, pens are cheap. Library cards are free and there are hundreds of years worth of books on how to write well at your disposal. A resourceful writer is hard to find and indispensable on any project. No matter what medium you use, share stories that you are passionate about. Success has a habit of following those who pursue their passions.”
A new and exciting commercial broadcast television show “Boston Ruit” — an official satellite tournament of the World Series of Beer Pong — is expected to air starting in March 2011. The series, a collaboration between Chris Liquori and Keith Winer from Bostonian Productions and Christopher Murphy from MyTV New England Studios (home of NBC Universal Sports Boston), has nailed down multiple sponsorships for its first season and is now in pre-production.
“I’ve enjoyed getting immersed in the culture that has made this new sport competitive,” says Keith Winer, executive producer of the show. “The game has so much potential, beyond what most people first think about. Although it’s already widely popular, few people realize that there is a growing number who play competitively, even professionally.”
“‘Boston Ruit’” has been very easy to get out of development because the concept was really simple,” explains Christopher Murphy, Film and TV Development Executive for MyTV New England. “When a TV show or movie requires a large budget it’s much more difficult to secure funding in the beginning.”
The branded entertainment model personally developed by Murphy has allowed MyTV New England to acquire local businesses to participate in the content of TV shows or indie feature films (location and product placements), TV advertising campaigns, special events and other custom branding opportunities. It was through this method that The Greatest Bar, one of Boston’s hottest sports bars in the heart of downtown, signed on as the official screening location for “Boston Ruit.” Bostonian Productions and NBC Universal Sports Boston will collaborate on the series throughout 2011.
“Boston Ruit” has taken an extra step in their advertising campaign by turning to social networking. Throughout the pre-production process, MyTV New England has asked everyone interested in participating in becoming a fan to join the official Facebook page for the TV show, and to register for the qualifying events via the official website. Tryouts for the official teams will take place coming up soon on Feb. 17th and 18th at The Greatest Bar. All players featured on “Boston Ruit” have a chance to compete for the championship, while members of the audience can follow players throughout the season. “When you factor in the social networking aspect we’re spreading the ‘buzz’ like wildfire and ultimately sponsors are getting maximum exposure,” says Murphy.
What’s the best part of “Boston Ruit,” you ask? “The audience is really going to enjoy the relationships with characters,” says executive producer, Winer. “They are both seasoned professionals who make a living winning tournaments and college kids who play in their dorms all the time and who come out to compete with the best of the best.”
Bostonian Productions, owned and operated by Chris Liquori and Keith Winer, recently formed with a mission to create commercial broadcast TV shows and independent feature films in New England. Read about Bostonian Productions and check out MyTV New England for more information.
MyTV New England is preparing to launch its new Independent Film Series, which will bring locally shot movies to homes around New England. Starting on February 12, 2011, during the Saturday matinee time slot, instead of seeing an airing of a Hollywood movie, 3 million television sets in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine will be able to tune in to the broadcast television premiere of local filmmaker Daniel R. Black’s latest film, Joy and the Apocalypse.
Film and TV Development Executive Christopher Murphy’s launch of the new TV and film distribution program utilizes such business savvy tools as “branded entertainment” to help films go from fruitless, money-pit projects that never see the light of day, to successful, long-running series that always stay well in the black while reaching a multi-state-wide audience that includes the number 7 market (Boston) out of 207 TV markets in the U.S.
Murphy’s biggest problem, however, is finding filmmakers who are business minded in addition to having an immense amount of creative talent. If you are a budding filmmaker who has a passion for making movie and a penchant for keeping track of spending while being able to talk about and market your product in an enthusiastic manner, this is your opportunity. Get your film distributed throughout New England by getting involved with MyTV New England. Whether you are getting ready to shoot something or have a film already in the can, get in touch with Christopher Murphy at MyTV New England, and watch what happens!
Debra Crosby and MyTV New England are excited to announce the premiere of the new “Debra Crosby’s Talent Quest TV Show” starting this October.
Film and TV Development Executive Christopher Murphy of MyTV New England says, “Talented host Debra Crosby and musical genius MAMADOU are the most down-to-earth, passionate and dedicated producers you could ever meet. I’ve enjoyed getting to know them while in development of their show and everyone at MyTV New England is excited about our collaboration. I grew up watching TV in the Boston area, so I remember all the local shows like Community Auditons which was hosted by Dave Maynard (local TV trivia – Dave is Debra Crosby’s dad). As Debra likes to say, “we’re continuing a New England tradition” by bringing her TV show to a wide TV audience throughout New England. I’d like to invite everyone to tune into the commercial broadcast premiere of Debra Crosby’s Talent Quest TV Show on MyTV New England, Sunday Oct. 3rd at 11am.”
Crosby herself is elated at the news. “’We are very much looking forward to our creative partnership with MyTV New England. Chris Murphy of MyTV has been a real champion of our cause. I loved finding out that he had fond memories of watching my dad’s show for years on Sunday mornings with his grandparents. He is totally behind this idea of carrying on a New England tradition.”
The show is being brought to the MyTV New England network through the new distribution program. The show will feature talent from around New England in a variety of performance arts, including singing, dancing, acting, comedy, and music. Contestants perform in front of a live audience at the Hard Rock Cafe in Boston, where they are judged by a rotating panel of celebrity judges. Crosby hosts the show, and is backed by a live band.
Band leader and long time friend of Crosby, MAMADOU, likewise is pleased; “It’s a wonderful thing because we’ve made progress little by little all along, we’ve been doing that show without any help. We moved from a little cable show, and I’ve seen the hard work, the progress little by little. It’s the kind of show that features everybody, all kinds of talent. We’ve tried to have everyone come out and express themselves. No matter what your talent is, you can come and express yourself.”
As long as there have been film schools, there have been eager young filmmakers, wannabe directors, producers, actors, young talent of all types, producing work for class projects or school film festivals. Most always working on shoestring budgets, they create films or TV concepts that never end up being seen by more than a handful of people before it gets carefully tucked away on a shelf at someone’s parents’ house. The problem, inevitably, has never been a lack of ideas or quality work, but rather a viable way to distribute that work in a method which would enable it to be received by a wide audience, while also sustaining the people responsible for creating it.
Christopher Murphy, Film and TV Development Executive at MyTV New England, is leading a new and inventive program that seems to finally provide a solution. This new program helps guide local TV and film producers by teaching them monetizing the content before it broadcasts, creating a sort of “self distribution.” They then have the full support of MyTV New England, through which the content will air to an audience of around 2.5 million homes in the area.
In a world where the internet has made stars out of bloggers and Youtube personalities, Murphy sees an important distinction between the MyTV program and the endless possibilities of cyberspace.
“What’s the difference between broadcast TV and the internet? Broadcast TV is broadcast and received. On the internet, people have to find you. Anyone can put something on the internet but you can’t do that with broadcast TV. TVs have been around a lot longer than the internet, and most people who have TVs turn it on every day. Furthermore, this is not public access, this is broadcast television, if what you are delivering is not good, the audience is not going to want to see it.”
Some of the projects currently being worked on include a Green Show, a show about filmmakers, a scripted TV series that will take place in Manchester, NH, a music show starring a band or solo artist, an “American Idol” type show, and a short film TV show.
Throughout the process, which involves an intensive informational training program that is also being launched in area colleges and soon high schools, Murphy preaches good business sense, efficiency, and dedication. For the filmmakers, he’s also adamant they make a profit.
“There is no reason to get involved with a producer that doesn’t know how to budget, and keep that spreadsheet in the black, even if it’s a minimal amount, so that later on, he or she can say ‘and before I even shot a frame it was in the black, and when it was finished, its still in the black.’ We want those people with a great business sense and who are aggressive. Advertisers and sponsors want to connect themselves with content that is of great quality.”
The impetus for this program came from a desire to provide filmmakers with the resources and guidance needed in order to be able to turn their passion into a successful enterprise.
“I spoke with a film school student who spent $4,000 of her own money, to create a film, and it’s going to sit in a drawer,” says Murphy “We emphasize a quick turn around in the program because content should be flowing through constantly. That makes it very efficient, because there is a constant flow of ideas, and it enables us to keep things on the fast track for development. The more aggressive and the more excited they are, the better, as there is no reason now why they can’t do it. Our program provides real practical and profitable distribution, where students and other struggling film and TV makers can have a platform to present their work and get it distributed.”
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