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Season 4 Game of Thrones premieres at Atlanta Film Festival


On Sunday, scores of "Thronies" attended the advanced screening of HBO series Game of Thrones season 4 premiere. With a line down the street, The event coordinators were well prepared. They offered free popcorn, and the episode was shown on both Plaza screens. After the premiere of episode 31, Two Swords, HBO hosted free shuttles to a Game of Thrones  feast befitting the series at the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center.



In concert with the event, HBO provided free jump drives to all attendees containing Catch The Throne: The Mixtape, a compilation of music inspired by the hit series. The 10-song album features mixes from ATL's own Big Boi, Common, Wale, Daddy Yankee, Bodega Bamz, and others. The mix tape is free to download on SoundCloud.


Season 4 of Game of Thrones premieres Sunday, April 6 at 9:00pm. Seasons 1-3 are available on HBO GO and iTunes?



More By This Writer

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Farmer says diversity in programming is critical to Out on Films’ success. When selecting films to screen, he is keenly aware of the festival’s importance to the LGBT community at large.

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Looking back over 10 years presenting independent queer cinema at Out on Film, Farmer is optimistic toward the future of the festival.

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Article

Monday September 10, 2018 04:26 pm EDT
Director Jim Farmer reflects on Atlanta’s queer film festival | more...
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  string(5134) "It has been 25 years since Hollywood produced a film featuring and starring an all-Asian cast. That feature, The Joy Luck Club, based on Amy Tan’s best-selling novel, was a critical and financial success but did not motivate studios to invest in this rich and lucrative market. Now Warner Bros. is releasing Crazy Rich Asians, a film adaptation of the international best-seller by Kevin Kwan. This romantic comedy follows a young couple Rachel (Constance Wu) and Nick (Henry Golding) as they head to Singapore for the wedding of Nick’s best friend. Rachel has no idea her boyfriend comes from one of the wealthiest families in South Asia and must navigate through the difficult cultural and financial biases that unexpectedly arise.

During a recent interview at the Fox Theatre’s Marquee Club, Creative Loafing spoke with cast members Awkwafina, Ronny Chieng, and Nico Santos about being a part of an all-Asian cast and the cultural importance of Crazy Rich Asians. In the film, Awkwafina plays Rachel’s best friend Peik Lin. Chieng plays Nick’s status-obsessed cousin Eddie, and Santos is Nick’s flamboyant cousin Oliver.

Director Jon Chu went on record saying that Crazy Rich Asians is not just a movie, but part of a movement. How do you feel about the film and the statement it makes?

Nico Santos: You see it with movies like Black Panther and Get Out — movies that center around people of color are starting to do really well because people are yearning for these stories. I hope Crazy Rich Asians will add to that chorus of people wanting to hear authentic stories. Rising tides lift all ships, and I hope our movie opens the floodgates for people of color and queer people to tell their stories and be the center of their own stories.

It must be refreshing to see Asians in title roles rather than being stereotyped.

Ronny Chieng:My favorite thing about the movie is that people understand this intellectually, but we've never seen Asian people playing multifaceted characters with complicated lives and in positions of power. I think this movie showcases that very well, and it shows Asians don't have to be the sidekick, the punchline, or the villain who gets killed by Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible 6 or whatever. Nobody is doing Kung Fu. We get to be more authentic.

I read that Kevin Kwan was on set a lot. Did he offer any input to shape the characters?

Awkwafina: We had his book as a blueprint, but Kevin was there and he was very respectful of the process. He is an amazing guy, and I think that he is very pleased with what happened. These are his characters, so he had every right to come in and say, “This is not what she would do.”

Chieng: I feel that everyone was cast pretty close to the characters. I felt like there wasn't anything that Kevin needed to give input on. I think he could have, but I felt like everything was moving the way it should. 

I've never heard this term “Singlish.” What does it mean? 

Chieng: In Singapore where I grew up, the fact that people speak English surprises some Americans. They don’t know that it was a British Colony, so English is one of our languages — but the Singaporeans made it their own. I guess it's like Ebonics or how they speak in Queens.

What it was like for you to experience Singapore the way it was portrayed in Crazy Rich Asians?

Awkwafina: You have some extremely luxurious places, but there's another side: street markets — local food all over and a cool local scene. We spent time in Kuala Lumpur and it was like we were living the movie. It was very good, and very, very real.

Chieng: My parents live there so I go there all the time. This movie captures the essence of it very well. They don't just show the glitz and glamour of Asia that Hollywood shows in James Bond movies. They show everything from street food all the way up to the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. It’s funny, people at a screening thought the ship on the building and the trees at Gardens by the Bay was CGI, but that's really Singapore.

Ronny, your character Eddie was a “tiger dad.” That’s not something I’m used to seeing. 

Chieng: People are complex characters. You can be angry and be a shitty husband. Maybe someone has trouble seeing Asian men in positions of power and being dicks, you know. So that could be it.

Santos: I know a lot of tiger dads — my dad was like that. I grew up with it, and my friends’ fathers completely acted that way.

I know this is a stretch, but I gotta ask. Were you able to keep any of the clothes from the movie?

Santos: You don't get to keep the clothes, but the glasses I’m wearing in the film are my own. I didn’t care about my clothes. I was looking through the women’s clothing, saying, "Valentino, Saint Laurent, somebody got Dior — oh my God, put me in this!" And they were like, "That's a dress!" and I was like, "I don't care!"

Crazy Rich Asians. Rated PG-13. Directed by Jon Chu. Starring Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, Gemma Chan, Lisa Lu, Awkwafina, Ken Jeong, Ronny Chieng, Nico Santos, Chris Pang, and Sonoya Mizuno."
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~~#000000:During a recent interview at the Fox Theatre’s Marquee Club, ''Creative Loafing'' spoke with cast members Awkwafina, Ronny Chieng, and Nico Santos about being a part of an all-Asian cast and the cultural importance of ''Crazy Rich Asians''. In the film, Awkwafina plays Rachel’s best friend Peik Lin. Chieng plays Nick’s status-obsessed cousin Eddie, and Santos is Nick’s flamboyant cousin Oliver.~~

~~#000000:__Director Jon Chu went on record saying that ''Crazy Rich Asians'' is not just a movie, but part of a movement. How do you feel about the film and the statement it makes?__~~

~~#000000:Nico Santos~~__~~#000000::~~ __~~#000000:You see it with movies like ''Black Panther'' and ''Get Out'' — movies that center around people of color are starting to do really well because people are yearning for these stories. I hope ''Crazy Rich Asians'' will add to that chorus of people wanting to hear authentic stories. Rising tides lift all ships, and I hope ~~[[our movie]~~#000000: opens the floodgates for people of color and queer people to tell their stories and be the center of their own stories.~~

~~#000000:__It must be refreshing to see Asians in title roles rather than being stereotyped.__~~

~~#000000:__Ronny Chieng:__My favorite thing about the movie is that people understand this intellectually, but we've never seen Asian people playing multifaceted characters with complicated lives and in positions of power. I think this movie showcases that very well, and it shows Asians don't have to be the sidekick, the punchline, or the villain who gets killed by Tom Cruise in ''Mission Impossible 6'' or whatever. Nobody is doing Kung Fu. We get to be more authentic.~~

~~#000000:__I read that Kevin Kwan was on set a lot. Did he offer any input to shape the characters?__~~

~~#000000:__Awkwafina:____ __We had his book as a blueprint, but Kevin was there and he was very respectful of the process. He is an amazing guy, and I think that he is very pleased with what happened. These are his characters, so he had every right to come in and say, “This is not what she would do.”~~

~~#000000:__Chieng:__ I feel that everyone was cast pretty close to the characters. I felt like there wasn't anything that Kevin needed to give input on. I think he could have, but I felt like everything was moving the way it should. ~~

~~#000000:__I've never heard this term “Singlish.” What does it mean? __~~

~~#000000:__Chieng: __In Singapore where I grew up, the fact that people speak English surprises some Americans. They don’t know that it was a British Colony, so English is one of our languages — but ~~[[the Singaporeans]~~#000000: made it their own. I guess it's like Ebonics or how they speak in Queens.~~

__~~#000000:What it was like for you to experience Singapore the way it was portrayed in ''Crazy Rich Asians''?~~__

~~#000000:__Awkwafina:__ You have some extremely luxurious places, but there's another side: street markets — local food all over and a cool local scene. We spent time in Kuala Lumpur and it was like we were living the movie. It was very good, and very, very real.~~

~~#000000:__Chieng:__ My parents live there so I go there all the time. This movie captures the essence of it very well. They don't just show the glitz and glamour of Asia that Hollywood shows in ''James Bond'' movies. They show everything from street food all the way up to the Marina Bay Sands ~~[[Hotel]~~#000000:. It’s funny, people at a screening thought the ship on the building and the trees at Gardens by the Bay was CGI, but that's really Singapore.~~

~~#000000:__Ronny, your character Eddie was a “tiger dad.” That’s not something I’m used to seeing. __~~

~~#000000:__Chieng: __People are complex characters. You can be angry and be a shitty husband. Maybe someone has trouble seeing Asian men in positions of power and being dicks, you know. So that could be it.~~

~~#000000:__Santos:__ I know a lot of tiger dads — my dad was like that. I grew up with it, and my friends’ fathers completely acted that way.~~

~~#000000:__I know this is a stretch, but I gotta ask. Were you able to keep any of the clothes from the movie?__~~

~~#000000:__Santos:__ You don't get to keep the clothes, but the glasses I’m wearing in the film are my own. I didn’t care about my clothes. I was looking through the women’s clothing, saying, "Valentino, Saint Laurent, somebody got Dior — oh my God, put me in this!" And they were like, "That's a dress!" and I was like, "I don't care!"~~

~~#000000:''Crazy Rich Asians. Rated PG-13. Directed by Jon Chu. Starring Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, Gemma Chan, Lisa Lu, Awkwafina, Ken Jeong, Ronny Chieng, Nico Santos, Chris Pang, and Sonoya Mizuno.''~~"
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  string(5707) " CRA  2018-08-22T18:06:38+00:00 CRA.jpg     The cast of “Crazy Rich Asians” open up about what it means to take part in a film depicting Asian people and culture 8337  2018-08-24T09:00:00+00:00 Speakeasy with Awkwafina, Ronny Chieng, and Nico Santos laureneleathers@gmail.com Lauren Leathers Edward Adams   2018-08-24T09:00:00+00:00  It has been 25 years since Hollywood produced a film featuring and starring an all-Asian cast. That feature, The Joy Luck Club, based on Amy Tan’s best-selling novel, was a critical and financial success but did not motivate studios to invest in this rich and lucrative market. Now Warner Bros. is releasing Crazy Rich Asians, a film adaptation of the international best-seller by Kevin Kwan. This romantic comedy follows a young couple Rachel (Constance Wu) and Nick (Henry Golding) as they head to Singapore for the wedding of Nick’s best friend. Rachel has no idea her boyfriend comes from one of the wealthiest families in South Asia and must navigate through the difficult cultural and financial biases that unexpectedly arise.

During a recent interview at the Fox Theatre’s Marquee Club, Creative Loafing spoke with cast members Awkwafina, Ronny Chieng, and Nico Santos about being a part of an all-Asian cast and the cultural importance of Crazy Rich Asians. In the film, Awkwafina plays Rachel’s best friend Peik Lin. Chieng plays Nick’s status-obsessed cousin Eddie, and Santos is Nick’s flamboyant cousin Oliver.

Director Jon Chu went on record saying that Crazy Rich Asians is not just a movie, but part of a movement. How do you feel about the film and the statement it makes?

Nico Santos: You see it with movies like Black Panther and Get Out — movies that center around people of color are starting to do really well because people are yearning for these stories. I hope Crazy Rich Asians will add to that chorus of people wanting to hear authentic stories. Rising tides lift all ships, and I hope our movie opens the floodgates for people of color and queer people to tell their stories and be the center of their own stories.

It must be refreshing to see Asians in title roles rather than being stereotyped.

Ronny Chieng:My favorite thing about the movie is that people understand this intellectually, but we've never seen Asian people playing multifaceted characters with complicated lives and in positions of power. I think this movie showcases that very well, and it shows Asians don't have to be the sidekick, the punchline, or the villain who gets killed by Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible 6 or whatever. Nobody is doing Kung Fu. We get to be more authentic.

I read that Kevin Kwan was on set a lot. Did he offer any input to shape the characters?

Awkwafina: We had his book as a blueprint, but Kevin was there and he was very respectful of the process. He is an amazing guy, and I think that he is very pleased with what happened. These are his characters, so he had every right to come in and say, “This is not what she would do.”

Chieng: I feel that everyone was cast pretty close to the characters. I felt like there wasn't anything that Kevin needed to give input on. I think he could have, but I felt like everything was moving the way it should. 

I've never heard this term “Singlish.” What does it mean? 

Chieng: In Singapore where I grew up, the fact that people speak English surprises some Americans. They don’t know that it was a British Colony, so English is one of our languages — but the Singaporeans made it their own. I guess it's like Ebonics or how they speak in Queens.

What it was like for you to experience Singapore the way it was portrayed in Crazy Rich Asians?

Awkwafina: You have some extremely luxurious places, but there's another side: street markets — local food all over and a cool local scene. We spent time in Kuala Lumpur and it was like we were living the movie. It was very good, and very, very real.

Chieng: My parents live there so I go there all the time. This movie captures the essence of it very well. They don't just show the glitz and glamour of Asia that Hollywood shows in James Bond movies. They show everything from street food all the way up to the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. It’s funny, people at a screening thought the ship on the building and the trees at Gardens by the Bay was CGI, but that's really Singapore.

Ronny, your character Eddie was a “tiger dad.” That’s not something I’m used to seeing. 

Chieng: People are complex characters. You can be angry and be a shitty husband. Maybe someone has trouble seeing Asian men in positions of power and being dicks, you know. So that could be it.

Santos: I know a lot of tiger dads — my dad was like that. I grew up with it, and my friends’ fathers completely acted that way.

I know this is a stretch, but I gotta ask. Were you able to keep any of the clothes from the movie?

Santos: You don't get to keep the clothes, but the glasses I’m wearing in the film are my own. I didn’t care about my clothes. I was looking through the women’s clothing, saying, "Valentino, Saint Laurent, somebody got Dior — oh my God, put me in this!" And they were like, "That's a dress!" and I was like, "I don't care!"

Crazy Rich Asians. Rated PG-13. Directed by Jon Chu. Starring Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, Gemma Chan, Lisa Lu, Awkwafina, Ken Jeong, Ronny Chieng, Nico Santos, Chris Pang, and Sonoya Mizuno.    Edward Adams  PEACE OUT: (From left to right) Ronny Chieng, Awkwafina, and Nico Santos star in the romantic comedy, ‘Crazy Rich Asians.’                                   Speakeasy with Awkwafina, Ronny Chieng, and Nico Santos "
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Article

Friday August 24, 2018 05:00 am EDT
The cast of “Crazy Rich Asians” open up about what it means to take part in a film depicting Asian people and culture | more...
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  string(36) "Urban Whitewater Rafting in Columbus"
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  string(57) "Having a day on the rapids is much closer than you think."
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  string(69) "~~#000000:Having a day on the rapids is much closer than you think.~~"
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  string(8042) "When I got the invitation to go whitewater rafting in Columbus, Georgia, my first reaction was: Huh, Columbus? My knowledge of Columbus is very limited. Aside from traveling to visit family at Fort Benning or traveling through the city to visit family in Alabama, its always been a quaint, quiet town to in my mind. Never in my wildest dream would I imagine the city to be an adventure destination – right in the heart of downtown no less.

I made my appointment for my rafting experience with Whitewater Express. If you’ve ever gone kayaking or whitewater rafting on the Oconee River the name should be familiar, they provide equipment, classes and experiences there, too. According to the reservationist the river goes from mild, with a maximum of class II rapids in the mornings to wild – a combination of class II through V rapids as the day progresses. I chose 3:00 P.M., a sweet spot between the two extremes.

I arrived early and took the time to explore Uptown Columbus. The community runs alongside the river and is the home of Columbus State University that sits just off the bank of the Chattahoochee.  Two blocks away from the river is really where things were really happening. I took a stroll down Broadway Street, a postcard perfect example of old and new. Massive shady oak trees and art installations divide this wide city street providing familiar southern charm – and shade to peruse the local retail and eateries. I found a literal glut of boutique sandwich shops and coffee spots with outdoor seating, that provide free wi-fi, and are pet friendly.

A little hungry and thirsty, I made my way to Smoke Bourbon and BBQ, a craft-inspired barbecue joint and cocktail bar located on the corner of Broadway and 11th. The restaurant appears to be a Sunday brunch staple as large groups waited for seating both indoors and out. Since I was alone, I opted to sit at my favorite spot – the bar and try some of their non-traditional offerings. I decided on the Gnocchi and Brisket – an inspired take on meat and ‘taters. The dish was rich and rustic with tender potato dumplings tossed in brown butter and topped with a heaping portion of Smoke’s signature beef brisket. I paired my meal with a Gin Basil Smash, a lush mix of citrus and botanicals that was sour, savory, and refreshing.

With my belly now full, it was time to face the rapids.

I didn’t have a party to share my raft so I was added to a large party of friends and family celebrating a birthday. The tour guides got us geared up and after a quick lesson on safety we boarded a bus and drove two miles up the river to North Highlands Dam. The dam releases water throughout the day that increases as the day progresses. By the time we hit the water the flow was around 975 CFS (cubic feet per second) but you don’t see the impact of this until you approach the rapids.

We boarded our rafts and headed out. My raft had two guides: Green Bean a tour guide trainee, and Ian, a guide manager and as we started our lazy float, I began to question how much of an adventure this would be. We had not hit any rapids at this point and the picturesque vistas had my party more relaxed then we should have been. That changed when we approached our first rapid. As we paddled around an outcrop of rocks we hit “Ambush,” a class II rapid. Green Bean explained all rapids have names. It’s a way for water sportsmen to identify for training and competition. Ambush is a two-foot dip with waves that hit us about 16 inches above the raft. The entire boat was doused, and we laughed at accomplishing the first challenge of the day.

We paddled on, introducing ourselves and making small talk with Green Bean as he talked about the Chattahoochee River, scenic landmarks and upcoming rapids we experienced.

Midway through our tour we made it “Lazy Daze,” a lull spot where we were encouraged to jump in a back float or “nose and toes” for a bit and enjoy the water. After floating on our backs for 15 minutes we boarded our rafts again and pushed off to head to our next set of rapids.

Forty minutes had passed and up to this point the rapids were relatively tame. At this point we had only encountered class II rapids and our assumption was this would be the standard the remainder of the trip. We were wrong. Our next rapid was “Wilson’s Run,” a class III rapid. We entered the rapid, paddling hard and bracing for the wave crash, the splash was nearly 30 inches above the raft and we were jostled about. Our boat was turned about, and we had to learn on the fly how to right the direction of our boat before the next rapid. We were the last boat in our chain so we heard combinations of screams and laughter ahead of us as they hit the rapids, but nothing really prepares you for experiencing the rapids yourself.




Our final rapid was “Heaven’s Gate” a class IV rapid. I must admit I had reservations about this one. Unlike our other rapids, this one put our party on edge. The water churned from a three-foot drop and the as we approached it, our boat sped up and the roar was near deafening. We dug in, paddling hard and fast and as we hit the first wave three members of my party flew off the raft. Time stopped as I watched them fly into the water. Me and the remainder of the crew worked to tackle the rapids while Ian jumped in to assist the rest of the party who were battling the rapid in the water. Our boat was too light, and we capsized. As scary as this was being thrown into the Chattahoochee with four-foot waves jostling you every which way its important to remember your training: take a deep breath and “nose and toes” get on your back and float your way through the rapid. I broke surface midway through and rapid and caught my breath before the next wave hit which pushed me under. I kept saying to myself, “nose and toes – nose and toes,” and made it through to calmer water. When I opened my eyes again, a safety guard (a safety team accompanies all the rafts in case of emergencies) was pulling on top of his kayak and took me back to the where we assisted the remainder of my group back in the boat. We lost all but one of our oars, and two members of the group lost their glasses. I lost my left aqua sock.



As we floated to the docking spot roughly 50 yards from Heaven’s Gate, we all shared our moments; our thoughts, and how scary and thrilling being thrown into a rapid was. We all vowed to do this again soon as we all wanted to conquer this rapid like we tackled all the other before us on the journey.

I left my group who were at this point jumping off into the river as a final nod to their birthday celebration. With one shoe on I partly hopped my way back to the Whitewater Express Center to avoid the hot pavement finding any grass and sand I could find along the way to cool my feet. 

I got dressed, thanked and tipped Green Bean for the experience and began my 90-minute trip back to Atlanta. I was exhausted and exhilarated. Never in my wildest dreams could I have known Downtown Columbus was a destination for outdoor thrill seekers. Along with whitewater rafting, Whitewater express has kayaking; zip lines excursions across the river into Phoenix City, Alabama; paddle board rentals; bike rentals, and fly-fishing classes and equipment rental.

As of late I’ve become an evangelist of sorts touting the amazing adventure through pictures and telling my capsizing moment while shooting rapids in Downtown Columbus. While my friends still can’t imagine the town most Atlantans think of as rural and uninteresting, I can’t wait for them to discover for themselves it is anything but boring. 

Smoke Bourbon and BBQ, 1047 Broadway Columbus, GA 31901. 706-221-9889. Open Mon. – Thurs.:  11:00 AM – 9:30 PM; Fri. – Sat.: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM; Sun.: 11:30 AM – 5:00 PM. www.smokebourbonandbbq.com.

Whitewater Express, 1000 Bay Ave, Columbus, GA 31901. 706-321-4720. Open daily 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM. www.whitewaterexpress.com."
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  string(8841) "~~#000000:When I got the invitation to go whitewater rafting in Columbus, Georgia, my first reaction was: Huh, Columbus? My knowledge of Columbus is very limited. Aside from traveling to visit family at Fort Benning or traveling through the city to visit family in Alabama, its always been a quaint, quiet town to in my mind. Never in my wildest dream would I imagine the city to be an adventure destination – right in the heart of downtown no less.~~

~~#000000:I made my appointment for my rafting experience with Whitewater Express. If you’ve ever gone kayaking or whitewater rafting on the Oconee River the name should be familiar, they provide equipment, classes and experiences there, too. According to the reservationist the river goes from mild, with a maximum of class II rapids in the mornings to wild – a combination of class II through V rapids as the day progresses. I chose 3:00 P.M., a sweet spot between the two extremes.~~

~~#000000:I arrived early and took the time to explore Uptown Columbus. The community runs alongside the river and is the home of Columbus State University that sits just off the bank of the Chattahoochee.  Two blocks away from the river is really where things were really happening. I took a stroll down Broadway Street, a postcard perfect example of old and new. Massive shady oak trees and art installations divide this wide city street providing familiar southern charm – and shade to peruse the local retail and eateries. I found a literal glut of boutique sandwich shops and coffee spots with outdoor seating, that provide free wi-fi, and are pet friendly.~~

~~#000000:A little hungry and thirsty, I made my way to Smoke Bourbon and BBQ, a craft-inspired barbecue joint and cocktail bar located on the corner of Broadway and 11th. The restaurant appears to be a Sunday brunch staple as large groups waited for seating both indoors and out. Since I was alone, I opted to sit at my favorite spot – the bar and try some of their non-traditional offerings. I decided on the Gnocchi and Brisket – an inspired take on meat and ‘taters. The dish was rich and rustic with tender potato dumplings tossed in brown butter and topped with a heaping portion of Smoke’s signature beef brisket. I paired my meal with a Gin Basil Smash, a lush mix of citrus and botanicals that was sour, savory, and refreshing.~~

~~#000000:With my belly now full, it was time to face the rapids.~~

~~#000000:I didn’t have a party to share my raft so I was added to a large party of friends and family celebrating a birthday. The tour guides got us geared up and after a quick lesson on safety we boarded a bus and drove two miles up the river to North Highlands Dam. The dam releases water throughout the day that increases as the day progresses. By the time we hit the water the flow was around 975 CFS (cubic feet per second) but you don’t see the impact of this until you approach the rapids.~~

~~#000000:We boarded our rafts and headed out. My raft had two guides: Green Bean a tour guide trainee, and Ian, a guide manager and as we started our lazy float, I began to question how much of an adventure this would be. We had not hit any rapids at this point and the picturesque vistas had my party more relaxed then we should have been. That changed when we approached our first rapid. As we paddled around an outcrop of rocks we hit “Ambush,” a class II rapid. Green Bean explained all rapids have names. It’s a way for water sportsmen to identify for training and competition. Ambush is a two-foot dip with waves that hit us about 16 inches above the raft. The entire boat was doused, and we laughed at accomplishing the first challenge of the day.~~

~~#000000:We paddled on, introducing ourselves and making small talk with Green Bean as he talked about the Chattahoochee River, scenic landmarks and upcoming rapids we experienced.~~

~~#000000:Midway through our tour we made it “Lazy Daze,” a lull spot where we were encouraged to jump in a back float or “nose and toes” for a bit and enjoy the water. After floating on our backs for 15 minutes we boarded our rafts again and pushed off to head to our next set of rapids.~~

~~#000000:Forty minutes had passed and up to this point the rapids were relatively tame. At this point we had only encountered class II rapids and our assumption was this would be the standard the remainder of the trip. We were wrong. Our next rapid was “Wilson’s Run,” a class III rapid. We entered the rapid, paddling hard and bracing for the wave crash, the splash was nearly 30 inches above the raft and we were jostled about. Our boat was turned about, and we had to learn on the fly how to right the direction of our boat before the next rapid. We were the last boat in our chain so we heard combinations of screams and laughter ahead of us as they hit the rapids, but nothing really prepares you for experiencing the rapids yourself.~~

{img fileId="6750" align="center" desc="GOING WITH THE FLOW: The rapids that run through downtown Columbus, Georgia range from classes II through V. Shown here, Whitewater Express guides take a group of adventurers through a class IV rapid. Photo by Edward Adams." width="800"}


~~#000000:Our final rapid was “Heaven’s Gate” a class IV rapid. I must admit I had reservations about this one. Unlike our other rapids, this one put our party on edge. The water churned from a three-foot drop and the as we approached it, our boat sped up and the roar was near deafening. We dug in, paddling hard and fast and as we hit the first wave three members of my party flew off the raft. Time stopped as I watched them fly into the water. Me and the remainder of the crew worked to tackle the rapids while Ian jumped in to assist the rest of the party who were battling the rapid in the water. Our boat was too light, and we capsized. As scary as this was being thrown into the Chattahoochee with four-foot waves jostling you every which way its important to remember your training: take a deep breath and “nose and toes” get on your back and float your way through the rapid. I broke surface midway through and rapid and caught my breath before the next wave hit which pushed me under. I kept saying to myself, “nose and toes – nose and toes,” and made it through to calmer water. When I opened my eyes again, a safety guard (a safety team accompanies all the rafts in case of emergencies) was pulling on top of his kayak and took me back to the where we assisted the remainder of my group back in the boat. We lost all but one of our oars, and two members of the group lost their glasses. I lost my left aqua sock.~~

{DIV( width="500" align="left" float="right")}{img fileId="6751" stylebox="margin-left:15px;" desc="CLASS ACTION: Whitewater Express guide takes an experienced group into class V rapids in Columbus, Georgia. Photo by Edward Adams." max="500"}{DIV}

~~#000000:As we floated to the docking spot roughly 50 yards from Heaven’s Gate, we all shared our moments; our thoughts, and how scary and thrilling being thrown into a rapid was. We all vowed to do this again soon as we all wanted to conquer this rapid like we tackled all the other before us on the journey.~~

~~#000000:I left my group who were at this point jumping off into the river as a final nod to their birthday celebration. With one shoe on I partly hopped my way back to the Whitewater Express Center to avoid the hot pavement finding any grass and sand I could find along the way to cool my feet. ~~

~~#000000:I got dressed, thanked and tipped Green Bean for the experience and began my 90-minute trip back to Atlanta. I was exhausted and exhilarated. Never in my wildest dreams could I have known Downtown Columbus was a destination for outdoor thrill seekers. Along with whitewater rafting, Whitewater express has kayaking; zip lines excursions across the river into Phoenix City, Alabama; paddle board rentals; bike rentals, and fly-fishing classes and equipment rental.~~

~~#000000:As of late I’ve become an evangelist of sorts touting the amazing adventure through pictures and telling my capsizing moment while shooting rapids in Downtown Columbus. While my friends still can’t imagine the town most Atlantans think of as rural and uninteresting, I can’t wait for them to discover for themselves it is anything but boring. ~~

~~#000000:Smoke Bourbon and BBQ, 1047 Broadway Columbus, GA 31901. 706-221-9889. Open Mon. – Thurs.:  11:00 AM – 9:30 PM; Fri. – Sat.: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM; Sun.: 11:30 AM – 5:00 PM. [http://www.smokebourbonandbbq.com|www.smokebourbonandbbq.com].~~

~~#000000:Whitewater Express, 1000 Bay Ave, Columbus, GA 31901. 706-321-4720. Open daily 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM. [http://www.whitewaterexpress.com|www.whitewaterexpress.com].~~"
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  string(8851) " Whitewater 1  2018-06-19T22:21:31+00:00 whitewater_1.jpg   I am about to join a kayaking team, so I felt curious to read blog posts at Kayak Judge, because they are highly informative and helps knowing the necessary tips and advises about kayaking. road trip columbus Having a day on the rapids is much closer than you think. 6693  2018-07-03T16:53:50+00:00 Urban Whitewater Rafting in Columbus jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris Edward Adams  2018-07-03T16:53:50+00:00  When I got the invitation to go whitewater rafting in Columbus, Georgia, my first reaction was: Huh, Columbus? My knowledge of Columbus is very limited. Aside from traveling to visit family at Fort Benning or traveling through the city to visit family in Alabama, its always been a quaint, quiet town to in my mind. Never in my wildest dream would I imagine the city to be an adventure destination – right in the heart of downtown no less.

I made my appointment for my rafting experience with Whitewater Express. If you’ve ever gone kayaking or whitewater rafting on the Oconee River the name should be familiar, they provide equipment, classes and experiences there, too. According to the reservationist the river goes from mild, with a maximum of class II rapids in the mornings to wild – a combination of class II through V rapids as the day progresses. I chose 3:00 P.M., a sweet spot between the two extremes.

I arrived early and took the time to explore Uptown Columbus. The community runs alongside the river and is the home of Columbus State University that sits just off the bank of the Chattahoochee.  Two blocks away from the river is really where things were really happening. I took a stroll down Broadway Street, a postcard perfect example of old and new. Massive shady oak trees and art installations divide this wide city street providing familiar southern charm – and shade to peruse the local retail and eateries. I found a literal glut of boutique sandwich shops and coffee spots with outdoor seating, that provide free wi-fi, and are pet friendly.

A little hungry and thirsty, I made my way to Smoke Bourbon and BBQ, a craft-inspired barbecue joint and cocktail bar located on the corner of Broadway and 11th. The restaurant appears to be a Sunday brunch staple as large groups waited for seating both indoors and out. Since I was alone, I opted to sit at my favorite spot – the bar and try some of their non-traditional offerings. I decided on the Gnocchi and Brisket – an inspired take on meat and ‘taters. The dish was rich and rustic with tender potato dumplings tossed in brown butter and topped with a heaping portion of Smoke’s signature beef brisket. I paired my meal with a Gin Basil Smash, a lush mix of citrus and botanicals that was sour, savory, and refreshing.

With my belly now full, it was time to face the rapids.

I didn’t have a party to share my raft so I was added to a large party of friends and family celebrating a birthday. The tour guides got us geared up and after a quick lesson on safety we boarded a bus and drove two miles up the river to North Highlands Dam. The dam releases water throughout the day that increases as the day progresses. By the time we hit the water the flow was around 975 CFS (cubic feet per second) but you don’t see the impact of this until you approach the rapids.

We boarded our rafts and headed out. My raft had two guides: Green Bean a tour guide trainee, and Ian, a guide manager and as we started our lazy float, I began to question how much of an adventure this would be. We had not hit any rapids at this point and the picturesque vistas had my party more relaxed then we should have been. That changed when we approached our first rapid. As we paddled around an outcrop of rocks we hit “Ambush,” a class II rapid. Green Bean explained all rapids have names. It’s a way for water sportsmen to identify for training and competition. Ambush is a two-foot dip with waves that hit us about 16 inches above the raft. The entire boat was doused, and we laughed at accomplishing the first challenge of the day.

We paddled on, introducing ourselves and making small talk with Green Bean as he talked about the Chattahoochee River, scenic landmarks and upcoming rapids we experienced.

Midway through our tour we made it “Lazy Daze,” a lull spot where we were encouraged to jump in a back float or “nose and toes” for a bit and enjoy the water. After floating on our backs for 15 minutes we boarded our rafts again and pushed off to head to our next set of rapids.

Forty minutes had passed and up to this point the rapids were relatively tame. At this point we had only encountered class II rapids and our assumption was this would be the standard the remainder of the trip. We were wrong. Our next rapid was “Wilson’s Run,” a class III rapid. We entered the rapid, paddling hard and bracing for the wave crash, the splash was nearly 30 inches above the raft and we were jostled about. Our boat was turned about, and we had to learn on the fly how to right the direction of our boat before the next rapid. We were the last boat in our chain so we heard combinations of screams and laughter ahead of us as they hit the rapids, but nothing really prepares you for experiencing the rapids yourself.




Our final rapid was “Heaven’s Gate” a class IV rapid. I must admit I had reservations about this one. Unlike our other rapids, this one put our party on edge. The water churned from a three-foot drop and the as we approached it, our boat sped up and the roar was near deafening. We dug in, paddling hard and fast and as we hit the first wave three members of my party flew off the raft. Time stopped as I watched them fly into the water. Me and the remainder of the crew worked to tackle the rapids while Ian jumped in to assist the rest of the party who were battling the rapid in the water. Our boat was too light, and we capsized. As scary as this was being thrown into the Chattahoochee with four-foot waves jostling you every which way its important to remember your training: take a deep breath and “nose and toes” get on your back and float your way through the rapid. I broke surface midway through and rapid and caught my breath before the next wave hit which pushed me under. I kept saying to myself, “nose and toes – nose and toes,” and made it through to calmer water. When I opened my eyes again, a safety guard (a safety team accompanies all the rafts in case of emergencies) was pulling on top of his kayak and took me back to the where we assisted the remainder of my group back in the boat. We lost all but one of our oars, and two members of the group lost their glasses. I lost my left aqua sock.



As we floated to the docking spot roughly 50 yards from Heaven’s Gate, we all shared our moments; our thoughts, and how scary and thrilling being thrown into a rapid was. We all vowed to do this again soon as we all wanted to conquer this rapid like we tackled all the other before us on the journey.

I left my group who were at this point jumping off into the river as a final nod to their birthday celebration. With one shoe on I partly hopped my way back to the Whitewater Express Center to avoid the hot pavement finding any grass and sand I could find along the way to cool my feet. 

I got dressed, thanked and tipped Green Bean for the experience and began my 90-minute trip back to Atlanta. I was exhausted and exhilarated. Never in my wildest dreams could I have known Downtown Columbus was a destination for outdoor thrill seekers. Along with whitewater rafting, Whitewater express has kayaking; zip lines excursions across the river into Phoenix City, Alabama; paddle board rentals; bike rentals, and fly-fishing classes and equipment rental.

As of late I’ve become an evangelist of sorts touting the amazing adventure through pictures and telling my capsizing moment while shooting rapids in Downtown Columbus. While my friends still can’t imagine the town most Atlantans think of as rural and uninteresting, I can’t wait for them to discover for themselves it is anything but boring. 

Smoke Bourbon and BBQ, 1047 Broadway Columbus, GA 31901. 706-221-9889. Open Mon. – Thurs.:  11:00 AM – 9:30 PM; Fri. – Sat.: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM; Sun.: 11:30 AM – 5:00 PM. www.smokebourbonandbbq.com.

Whitewater Express, 1000 Bay Ave, Columbus, GA 31901. 706-321-4720. Open daily 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM. www.whitewaterexpress.com.    Edward Adams RIVER RUN: As the day progresses, rapids in the Chattahoochee River go from mild to wild. Seen here, a group of whitewater rafters challenge a class VI rapid. (Sponsored Content)  0,0,10    "road trip" columbus                             Urban Whitewater Rafting in Columbus "
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Article

Tuesday July 3, 2018 12:53 pm EDT
Having a day on the rapids is much closer than you think. | more...
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  string(31) "Jazz-Art Martini Mondays in EAV"
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  string(3395) "Mondays nights in East Atlanta Village were relatively quiet. Now two weekly pop-up music events are trying to make Mondays a destination for good times and good music.

The Churchill Grounds jazz trio kicks off the evening’s session at Jazz-Art Martini Mondays at Ten Atlanta. Playing traditional jazz favorites, the trio continues a longstanding tradition of allowing local musicians and singers accompany and jam with the band. The result is a full house of jazz lovers and musicians that hope to excite and continue Atlanta’s jazz legacy.

::::
“The advantage at Ten is there is a built-in clientele for the hookahs and they just dig it,” say trio keyboardist Dave Ellington. “The art form is not being left behind. It may be in pockets but its surviving quite well. I see all these young players and they keep coming.”

Since the brick and mortar location closed in 2015, Sam Yi has continued to keep the imprint of his signature club and its jazz history alive by sponsoring his house band at jazz night jam sessions around the city. For him, its not just about the music, but the legacy of his club.

“You have to stay relevant, I don’t care how great your brand is, if you don’t expose it and keep it dormant it loses its thunder,” says Yi. “It was a great brand for two decades and everyone recognizes and identifies jazz in Atlanta with Churchills Grounds, and I didn’t want to lose that.”

Throughout the night there is an ebb and flow of performers and audience enjoying the lively jam sessions, hookahs, and martinis. This collaborative energy is what Yi hopes Jazz-Art Mondays will continue to bring to East Atlanta Village.

“We’d like to create a scene in this area,” says Yi. “I feel like there are a lot of young kids that hang out here and its an opportunity for a younger generation to get hip to this art form.”

Meanwhile just a few doors away at Union East Atlanta another sort of jam session is happening. The music is not traditional, the scene is not quite as formal but according to Jon Shingler, the creator of the Atlanta Jam Collective, its another outlet for musicians and artists.

Like Yi, Shingler provides a house band, Fooshee's Forecast,  for local musicians to accompany and jam with. Throughout the evening, Union is filled with a mashup of pop, funk, soul, rock, metal, and electronic. While music is a central theme, the goal of the Atlanta Jam Collective is to provide a place where adults can relax, play and enjoy themselves in a creative environment.

“It’s a release from the mundane,” says Shingler. This is a place you can express yourself. Its completely improv open jam. If you play a wrong note no one is going to judge you.”


There are no rules with the Atlanta Jam Collective other than have a good time. There is live painting, games, and paint and canvases for people to create their own art while enjoying music. Shingler believes everyone needs a place to unwind and release the stress of their daily lives and hopes his weekly jam session helps the community and visitors of East Atlanta.

“Atlanta is always the city too busy to hate, but with all that busyness we also need some free time and down time to let loose a bit.”

Sam Yi (Churchill Grounds at Ten Atlanta): 404-664-7936 • Jon Shingler (Atlanta Jam Collective at Union East Atlanta): 404-697-5623"
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  string(3823) "~~#000000:Mondays nights in East Atlanta Village were relatively quiet. Now two weekly pop-up music events are trying to make Mondays a destination for good times and good music.~~

~~#000000:The Churchill Grounds jazz trio kicks off the evening’s session at Jazz-Art Martini Mondays at Ten Atlanta. Playing traditional jazz favorites, the trio continues a longstanding tradition of allowing local musicians and singers accompany and jam with the band. The result is a full house of jazz lovers and musicians that hope to excite and continue Atlanta’s jazz legacy.~~

::{img fileId="6436" stylebox="margin-bottom:25px" styledesc="right" desc="Photo by Edward Adams." width="800"}::
~~#000000:“The advantage at Ten is there is a built-in clientele for the hookahs and they just dig it,” say trio keyboardist Dave Ellington. “The art form is not being left behind. It may be in pockets but its surviving quite well. I see all these young players and they keep coming.”~~

~~#000000:Since the brick and mortar location closed in 2015, Sam Yi has continued to keep the imprint of his signature club and its jazz history alive by sponsoring his house band at jazz night jam sessions around the city. For him, its not just about the music, but the legacy of his club.~~

~~#000000:“You have to stay relevant, I don’t care how great your brand is, if you don’t expose it and keep it dormant it loses its thunder,” says Yi. “It was a great brand for two decades and everyone recognizes and identifies jazz in Atlanta with Churchills Grounds, and I didn’t want to lose that.”~~

~~#000000:Throughout the night there is an ebb and flow of performers and audience enjoying the lively jam sessions, hookahs, and martinis. This collaborative energy is what Yi hopes Jazz-Art Mondays will continue to bring to East Atlanta Village.~~

~~#000000:“We’d like to create a scene in this area,” says Yi. “I feel like there are a lot of young kids that hang out here and its an opportunity for a younger generation to get hip to this art form.”~~

~~#000000:Meanwhile just a few doors away at Union East Atlanta another sort of jam session is happening. The music is not traditional, the scene is not quite as formal but according to Jon Shingler, the creator of the Atlanta Jam Collective, its another outlet for musicians and artists.~~

~~#000000:Like Yi, Shingler provides a house band, Fooshee's Forecast,  for local musicians to accompany and jam with. Throughout the evening, Union is filled with a mashup of pop, funk, soul, rock, metal, and electronic. While music is a central theme, the goal of the Atlanta Jam Collective is to provide a place where adults can relax, play and enjoy themselves in a creative environment.~~

~~#000000:“It’s a release from the mundane,” says Shingler. This is a place you can express yourself. Its completely improv open jam. If you play a wrong note no one is going to judge you.”~~

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~~#000000:There are no rules with the Atlanta Jam Collective other than have a good time. There is live painting, games, and paint and canvases for people to create their own art while enjoying music. Shingler believes everyone needs a place to unwind and release the stress of their daily lives and hopes his weekly jam session helps the community and visitors of East Atlanta.~~

~~#000000:“Atlanta is always the city too busy to hate, but with all that busyness we also need some free time and down time to let loose a bit.”~~

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  string(3707) " Music28 Jazzjam 1 11  2018-06-08T20:39:49+00:00 music28_jazzjam-1_11.jpg       6434  2018-06-08T20:23:41+00:00 Jazz-Art Martini Mondays in EAV jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris Edward Adams  2018-06-08T20:23:41+00:00  Mondays nights in East Atlanta Village were relatively quiet. Now two weekly pop-up music events are trying to make Mondays a destination for good times and good music.

The Churchill Grounds jazz trio kicks off the evening’s session at Jazz-Art Martini Mondays at Ten Atlanta. Playing traditional jazz favorites, the trio continues a longstanding tradition of allowing local musicians and singers accompany and jam with the band. The result is a full house of jazz lovers and musicians that hope to excite and continue Atlanta’s jazz legacy.

::::
“The advantage at Ten is there is a built-in clientele for the hookahs and they just dig it,” say trio keyboardist Dave Ellington. “The art form is not being left behind. It may be in pockets but its surviving quite well. I see all these young players and they keep coming.”

Since the brick and mortar location closed in 2015, Sam Yi has continued to keep the imprint of his signature club and its jazz history alive by sponsoring his house band at jazz night jam sessions around the city. For him, its not just about the music, but the legacy of his club.

“You have to stay relevant, I don’t care how great your brand is, if you don’t expose it and keep it dormant it loses its thunder,” says Yi. “It was a great brand for two decades and everyone recognizes and identifies jazz in Atlanta with Churchills Grounds, and I didn’t want to lose that.”

Throughout the night there is an ebb and flow of performers and audience enjoying the lively jam sessions, hookahs, and martinis. This collaborative energy is what Yi hopes Jazz-Art Mondays will continue to bring to East Atlanta Village.

“We’d like to create a scene in this area,” says Yi. “I feel like there are a lot of young kids that hang out here and its an opportunity for a younger generation to get hip to this art form.”

Meanwhile just a few doors away at Union East Atlanta another sort of jam session is happening. The music is not traditional, the scene is not quite as formal but according to Jon Shingler, the creator of the Atlanta Jam Collective, its another outlet for musicians and artists.

Like Yi, Shingler provides a house band, Fooshee's Forecast,  for local musicians to accompany and jam with. Throughout the evening, Union is filled with a mashup of pop, funk, soul, rock, metal, and electronic. While music is a central theme, the goal of the Atlanta Jam Collective is to provide a place where adults can relax, play and enjoy themselves in a creative environment.

“It’s a release from the mundane,” says Shingler. This is a place you can express yourself. Its completely improv open jam. If you play a wrong note no one is going to judge you.”


There are no rules with the Atlanta Jam Collective other than have a good time. There is live painting, games, and paint and canvases for people to create their own art while enjoying music. Shingler believes everyone needs a place to unwind and release the stress of their daily lives and hopes his weekly jam session helps the community and visitors of East Atlanta.

“Atlanta is always the city too busy to hate, but with all that busyness we also need some free time and down time to let loose a bit.”

Sam Yi (Churchill Grounds at Ten Atlanta): 404-664-7936 • Jon Shingler (Atlanta Jam Collective at Union East Atlanta): 404-697-5623    Edward Adams                                    Jazz-Art Martini Mondays in EAV "
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Article

Friday June 8, 2018 04:23 pm EDT

Mondays nights in East Atlanta Village were relatively quiet. Now two weekly pop-up music events are trying to make Mondays a destination for good times and good music.

The Churchill Grounds jazz trio kicks off the evening’s session at Jazz-Art Martini Mondays at Ten Atlanta. Playing traditional jazz favorites, the trio continues a longstanding tradition of allowing local musicians and...

| more...
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  string(16) "Pitching perfect"
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  string(25) "Get your show idea on TV!"
  ["tracker_field_description_raw"]=>
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  string(8147) " Atlanta’s film industry is changing. ATL Wood, Hollywood South, Y'allywood, whatever you want to call it, the film and television industry is booming in Atlanta and throughout the south. And if you ever inspired to make your own mark in the industry, there's a company in Atlanta that could make your dream a reality. Picture It Productions is a homegrown media company that helps develop TV concepts into a package to pitch  show ideas to major studios. The company is the brainchild of partners Lance Krall, Peter Siaggas, and Peter Stathopoulos. The trio has decades of experience in writing, directing, and producing television and will use their knowledge to polish show ideas and get it ready for a Hollywood pitch. Recently, Creative Loafing spoke with Krall about Picture It in regard to the company, the television industry, and the do’s and don'ts of pitching a series.

So what exactly is Picture It Productions?


Lance Krall: Picture It is a television development company, specializing in bringing unique voices and stories from the Southeast to Hollywood. We are a full service production company as well, so we can produce the shows we develop.

What goes into development?

LK: It really depends on the project. If it’s a writer-driven concept, we help develop the pilot script as both a proof of concept and as a writing sample. We start with the outline and work our way through a final draft of the script. It’s a long process, complete with table reads, re-writes, and more re-writes. You have to remember that most ATL writers don’t have the level of television experience that LA writers have, so we have to make sure they earn their spot on the writing staff with a killer script. Sometimes, we also produce a short video pitch with the writer talking directly to the camera about their concept. This doesn’t replace the eventual face-to-face pitch, but it’s a great conversation starter for LA-based producers and executives. If we are trying to sell a show with  on-camera talent, we may shoot a sizzle (a short pilot video) to show them doing their thing. With all of this, the goal is to make it easy for the buyer to say yes.

What should you bring to your pitch meeting?

LK: Just bring yourself and be ready to talk about your idea. If you have materials or visual aids that will help you convey your concept, great, but it’s not a necessity. We are a very casual, welcoming bunch, so just come as you are and be yourself.

Do you have to be a writer to pitch a show?

LK: You don’t have to be a writer to pitch to us. You don’t have to be involved in the industry at all. If you are a person who thinks that your life, a family member’s, a co-worker’s, or a neighbor down the street’s life could be the basis for a show, we’d love to meet you.

What if I have my own pilot ready to go?

LK: We regularly get finished pilot scripts. These can be helpful in giving us an idea of the writer’s skill level and a better sense of their vision for the show. Sometimes people will even have multiple episodes written, or even a full length pilot that they funded on their own. The truth is, we usually start over from scratch with most of our projects. It can be hard pill to swallow, especially with the investment of time and money involved in these endeavors. You have to understand that television is a very collaborative process. We won't be the only people giving you notes. The EPs, the show runner, the director, the studio execs, the development execs -are all going to weigh in. By the time your show makes it on the air, the final script will be completely different from the original spec script. If you want total creative freedom, make an indie film. TV just doesn’t work that way.

How long does it take from concept to a studio pitch?

LK: One of the biggest lessons our clients have to learn is patience. It can take anywhere from two months to two years to sell a project. Again, it all depends on the project. If it’s a person with an interesting life story with no writer attached, it can be a little quicker. If it’s a writer that needs to craft a script, there are a lot more steps involved. Then it depends on how much we need to develop. Timing is everything, too. We could have a great show ready to go, but the networks aren’t buying that type of show that particular season. It’s better to wait for the right time than to waste a great pitch. But waiting is hard, I get it.

What makes your approach so unique?

LK: What makes Picture It so unique to Hollywood is that we are bringing ideas from somewhere other than LA and New York — We are curating stories with fresh points of view that are unique, authentic, and reflect the America that most people live in. The fact that I’m a writer myself is also somewhat unique. I speak to writers as peers, and completely empathize with how challenging this process can be.

So what type of shows work?

LK: Well, networks are always interested in family shows —comedies and dramas. Procedurals seem to never go out of favor — you know, cop shows, medical, law. Genre pitches are always in demand. But at the end of the day, people are just looking for riveting stories that are unique and relatable. If the show is based on something real, it always helps. I sold a pilot to Fox about a family of retired spies moving to the suburbs of Georgia. Sounds a bit broad until I tell you that it’s based on my life. It sold in the pitch room at Fox. Aspiring writers can really help themselves by looking inward for inspiration. You are more interesting than you think! Find a story that is based on some aspect of your life — a really interesting childhood, a crazy job you had, a really funny roommate situation that you endured.

How hands-on is Picture It Productions on a project?

LK: We are ridiculously hands-on! Once we find something that we love, we don't let it out of our doors until we think it's bulletproof. It doesn't have to be a perfect script,  there is no such thing, but the talent has to be undeniable and the idea has to be crystal clear. You only have one shot, so make it count.

What can a person gain from working with Picture It Productions?

LK: Weight. We have a ton of snacks in the office. Seriously though, if all you do is pitch an idea to us, you are already learning something because we will tell you what we liked and what wasn’t working for us, and that gives you a little bit more knowledge for the next time you come in with an idea. That is something a lot of people don't realize. If you pitch us an idea and we pass on it, that doesn't mean we are passing on you, just that idea. You can come back to us anytime. And if we do start to develop something with you, you're going to learn a lot about writing, table reads, how to pitch, how the industry actually works.

Now that we know what Picture It does, what shouldn’t a person do when pitching to you?

LK: Don’t tell us you are an amazing writer. Let your work speak for itself. Don’t be too much of a salesperson. Just chill and tell us your idea. Talk to us like you are talking to your friend. Also, please don’t tell us, “I’m only interested in selling this to Netflix or HBO,” because we will just pass. Everyone wants to pitch to Netflix and HBO — I get it, but that is a very unrealistic expectation.

What was your favorite TV show growing up?

LK: Oh my God, my favorite show growing up ,and no one's gonna know this one, is called “Kikaida,” which was a Hawaiian-based superhero in the ‘70s. Basically, it did a flip and turned into a half man, half robot, and fought monsters in rubber suits. I also loved “Tales of the Gold Monkey,” which was a total Raiders of the Lost Ark ripoff. It was the first time I cried that a show got canceled.

Final thoughts?

LK: To just summarize the steps, have a solid idea, partner with a legit producer (someone who will help you develop that idea and who has real access to the industry, agents, lawyers, writers, directors, etc…), pitch the idea, pray to your God.   "
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  string(9213) " ~~ ,#ffffff:~~#222222:Atlanta’s film industry is changing. ATL Wood, Hollywood South, Y'allywood, whatever you want to call it, the film and television industry is booming in Atlanta and throughout the south. And if you ever inspired to make your own mark in the industry, there's a company in Atlanta that could make your dream a reality. Picture It Productions is a homegrown media company that helps develop TV concepts into a package to pitch  show ideas to major studios. The company is the brainchild of partners Lance Krall, Peter Siaggas, and Peter Stathopoulos. The trio has decades of experience in writing, directing, and producing television and will use their knowledge to polish show ideas and get it ready for a Hollywood pitch. Recently, ''Creative Loafing'' spoke with Krall about Picture It in regard to the company, the television industry, and the do’s and don'ts of pitching a series.~~~~

__~~ ,#ffffff:~~#222222:So what exactly is Picture It Productions?~~~~__

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~~ ,#ffffff:~~#222222:__Lance Krall:__~~#222222: ~~Picture It is a television development company, specializing in bringing unique voices and stories from the Southeast to Hollywood. We are a full service production company as well, so we can produce the shows we develop.~~~~

__~~ ,#ffffff:~~#222222:What goes into development?~~~~__

~~ ,#ffffff:~~#222222:__LK:__ It really depends on the project. If it’s a writer-driven concept, we help develop the pilot script as both a proof of concept and as a writing sample. We start with the outline and work our way through a final draft of the script. It’s a long process, complete with table reads, re-writes, and more re-writes. You have to remember that most ATL writers don’t have the level of television experience that LA writers have, so we have to make sure they earn their spot on the writing staff with a killer script. Sometimes, we also produce a short video pitch with the writer talking directly to the camera about their concept. This doesn’t replace the eventual face-to-face pitch, but it’s a great conversation starter for LA-based producers and executives. If we are trying to sell a show with  on-camera talent, we may shoot a sizzle (a short pilot video) to show them doing their thing. With all of this, the goal is to make it easy for the buyer to say yes.~~~~

__~~ ,#ffffff:~~#222222:What should you bring to your pitch meeting?~~~~__

~~ ,#ffffff:~~#222222:__LK:__ Just bring yourself and be ready to talk about your idea. If you have materials or visual aids that will help you convey your concept, great, but it’s not a necessity. We are a very casual, welcoming bunch, so just come as you are and be yourself.~~~~

__~~ ,#ffffff:~~#222222:Do you have to be a writer to pitch a show?~~~~__

~~ ,#ffffff:~~#222222:__LK:__ You don’t have to be a writer to pitch to us. You don’t have to be involved in the industry at all. If you are a person who thinks that your life, a family member’s, a co-worker’s, or a neighbor down the street’s life could be the basis for a show, we’d love to meet you.~~~~

__~~ ,#ffffff:~~#222222:What if I have my own pilot ready to go?~~~~__

~~ ,#ffffff:~~#222222:__LK:__ We regularly get finished pilot scripts. These can be helpful in giving us an idea of the writer’s skill level and a better sense of their vision for the show. Sometimes people will even have multiple episodes written, or even a full length pilot that they funded on their own. The truth is, we usually start over from scratch with most of our projects. It can be hard pill to swallow, especially with the investment of time and money involved in these endeavors. You have to understand that television is a very collaborative process. We won't be the only people giving you notes. The EPs, the show runner, the director, the studio execs, the development execs -are all going to weigh in. By the time your show makes it on the air, the final script will be completely different from the original spec script. If you want total creative freedom, make an indie film. TV just doesn’t work that way.~~~~

__~~ ,#ffffff:~~#222222:How long does it take from concept to a studio pitch?~~~~__

~~ ,#ffffff:~~#222222:__LK:__ One of the biggest lessons our clients have to learn is patience. It can take anywhere from two months to two years to sell a project. Again, it all depends on the project. If it’s a person with an interesting life story with no writer attached, it can be a little quicker. If it’s a writer that needs to craft a script, there are a lot more steps involved. Then it depends on how much we need to develop. Timing is everything, too. We could have a great show ready to go, but the networks aren’t buying that type of show that particular season. It’s better to wait for the right time than to waste a great pitch. But waiting is hard, I get it.~~~~

__~~ ,#ffffff:~~#222222:What makes your approach so unique?~~~~__

~~ ,#ffffff:~~#222222:__LK:__ What makes Picture It so unique to Hollywood is that we are bringing ideas from somewhere other than LA and New York — We are curating stories with fresh points of view that are unique, authentic, and reflect the America that most people live in. The fact that I’m a writer myself is also somewhat unique. I speak to writers as peers, and completely empathize with how challenging this process can be.~~~~

__~~ ,#ffffff:~~#222222:So what type of shows work?~~~~__

~~ ,#ffffff:~~#222222:__LK:__ Well, networks are always interested in family shows —comedies and dramas. Procedurals seem to never go out of favor — you know, cop shows, medical, law. Genre pitches are always in demand. But at the end of the day, people are just looking for riveting stories that are unique and relatable. ~~~~~~ ,#ffffff:~~#222222:If the show is based on something real, it always helps. I sold a pilot to Fox about a family of retired spies moving to the suburbs of Georgia. Sounds a bit broad until I tell you that it’s based on my life. It sold in the pitch room at Fox. Aspiring writers can really help themselves by looking inward for inspiration. You are more interesting than you think! Find a story that is based on some aspect of your life — a really interesting childhood, a crazy job you had, a really funny roommate situation that you endured.~~~~

__~~ ,#ffffff:~~#222222:How hands-on is Picture It Productions on a project?~~~~__

~~ ,#ffffff:~~#222222:__LK:__ We are ridiculously hands-on! Once we find something that we love, we don't let it out of our doors until we think it's bulletproof. It doesn't have to be a perfect script,  there is no such thing, but the talent has to be undeniable and the idea has to be crystal clear. You only have one shot, so make it count.~~~~

__~~ ,#ffffff:~~#222222:What can a person gain from working with Picture It Productions?~~~~__

~~ ,#ffffff:~~#222222:LK: Weight. We have a ton of snacks in the office. Seriously though, if all you do is pitch an idea to us, you are already learning something because we will tell you what we liked and what wasn’t working for us, and that gives you a little bit more knowledge for the next time you come in with an idea. That is something a lot of people don't realize. If you pitch us an idea and we pass on it, that doesn't mean we are passing on you, just that idea. You can come back to us anytime. And if we do start to develop something with you, you're going to learn a lot about writing, table reads, how to pitch, how the industry ~~~~#222222:''actually'' works.~~~~

__~~ ,#ffffff:~~#222222:Now that we know what Picture It does, what shouldn’t a person do when pitching to you?~~~~__

~~ ,#ffffff:~~#222222:__LK:__ Don’t tell us you are an amazing writer. Let your work speak for itself. Don’t be too much of a salesperson. Just chill and tell us your idea. Talk to us like you are talking to your friend. Also, please don’t tell us, “I’m only interested in selling this to Netflix or HBO,” because we will just pass. Everyone wants to pitch to Netflix and HBO — I get it, but that is a very unrealistic expectation.~~~~

__~~ ,#ffffff:~~#222222:What was your favorite TV show growing up?~~~~__

~~ ,#ffffff:~~#222222:__LK:__ Oh my God, my favorite show growing up ,and no one's gonna know this one, is called “Kikaida,~~~~#222222:''” ''~~~~#222222:which was a Hawaiian-based superhero in the ‘70s. Basically, it did a flip and turned into a half man, half robot, and fought monsters in rubber suits. I also loved “Tales of the Gold Monkey,” which was a total ~~~~#222222:''Raiders of the Lost Ark'' ripoff. It was the first time I cried that a show got canceled.~~~~

__~~ ,#ffffff:~~#222222:Final thoughts?~~~~__

~~#222222:__LK:__ To just summarize the steps, have a solid idea, partner with a legit producer (someone who will help you develop that idea and who has real access to the industry, agents, lawyers, writers, directors, etc…), pitch the idea, pray to your God.  ~~ "
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  string(8450) " PIP Logo  2018-05-11T17:17:34+00:00 PIP logo.jpg     Get your show idea on TV! 5392  2018-05-10T13:58:43+00:00 Pitching perfect jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris Edward Adams  2018-05-10T13:58:43+00:00   Atlanta’s film industry is changing. ATL Wood, Hollywood South, Y'allywood, whatever you want to call it, the film and television industry is booming in Atlanta and throughout the south. And if you ever inspired to make your own mark in the industry, there's a company in Atlanta that could make your dream a reality. Picture It Productions is a homegrown media company that helps develop TV concepts into a package to pitch  show ideas to major studios. The company is the brainchild of partners Lance Krall, Peter Siaggas, and Peter Stathopoulos. The trio has decades of experience in writing, directing, and producing television and will use their knowledge to polish show ideas and get it ready for a Hollywood pitch. Recently, Creative Loafing spoke with Krall about Picture It in regard to the company, the television industry, and the do’s and don'ts of pitching a series.

So what exactly is Picture It Productions?


Lance Krall: Picture It is a television development company, specializing in bringing unique voices and stories from the Southeast to Hollywood. We are a full service production company as well, so we can produce the shows we develop.

What goes into development?

LK: It really depends on the project. If it’s a writer-driven concept, we help develop the pilot script as both a proof of concept and as a writing sample. We start with the outline and work our way through a final draft of the script. It’s a long process, complete with table reads, re-writes, and more re-writes. You have to remember that most ATL writers don’t have the level of television experience that LA writers have, so we have to make sure they earn their spot on the writing staff with a killer script. Sometimes, we also produce a short video pitch with the writer talking directly to the camera about their concept. This doesn’t replace the eventual face-to-face pitch, but it’s a great conversation starter for LA-based producers and executives. If we are trying to sell a show with  on-camera talent, we may shoot a sizzle (a short pilot video) to show them doing their thing. With all of this, the goal is to make it easy for the buyer to say yes.

What should you bring to your pitch meeting?

LK: Just bring yourself and be ready to talk about your idea. If you have materials or visual aids that will help you convey your concept, great, but it’s not a necessity. We are a very casual, welcoming bunch, so just come as you are and be yourself.

Do you have to be a writer to pitch a show?

LK: You don’t have to be a writer to pitch to us. You don’t have to be involved in the industry at all. If you are a person who thinks that your life, a family member’s, a co-worker’s, or a neighbor down the street’s life could be the basis for a show, we’d love to meet you.

What if I have my own pilot ready to go?

LK: We regularly get finished pilot scripts. These can be helpful in giving us an idea of the writer’s skill level and a better sense of their vision for the show. Sometimes people will even have multiple episodes written, or even a full length pilot that they funded on their own. The truth is, we usually start over from scratch with most of our projects. It can be hard pill to swallow, especially with the investment of time and money involved in these endeavors. You have to understand that television is a very collaborative process. We won't be the only people giving you notes. The EPs, the show runner, the director, the studio execs, the development execs -are all going to weigh in. By the time your show makes it on the air, the final script will be completely different from the original spec script. If you want total creative freedom, make an indie film. TV just doesn’t work that way.

How long does it take from concept to a studio pitch?

LK: One of the biggest lessons our clients have to learn is patience. It can take anywhere from two months to two years to sell a project. Again, it all depends on the project. If it’s a person with an interesting life story with no writer attached, it can be a little quicker. If it’s a writer that needs to craft a script, there are a lot more steps involved. Then it depends on how much we need to develop. Timing is everything, too. We could have a great show ready to go, but the networks aren’t buying that type of show that particular season. It’s better to wait for the right time than to waste a great pitch. But waiting is hard, I get it.

What makes your approach so unique?

LK: What makes Picture It so unique to Hollywood is that we are bringing ideas from somewhere other than LA and New York — We are curating stories with fresh points of view that are unique, authentic, and reflect the America that most people live in. The fact that I’m a writer myself is also somewhat unique. I speak to writers as peers, and completely empathize with how challenging this process can be.

So what type of shows work?

LK: Well, networks are always interested in family shows —comedies and dramas. Procedurals seem to never go out of favor — you know, cop shows, medical, law. Genre pitches are always in demand. But at the end of the day, people are just looking for riveting stories that are unique and relatable. If the show is based on something real, it always helps. I sold a pilot to Fox about a family of retired spies moving to the suburbs of Georgia. Sounds a bit broad until I tell you that it’s based on my life. It sold in the pitch room at Fox. Aspiring writers can really help themselves by looking inward for inspiration. You are more interesting than you think! Find a story that is based on some aspect of your life — a really interesting childhood, a crazy job you had, a really funny roommate situation that you endured.

How hands-on is Picture It Productions on a project?

LK: We are ridiculously hands-on! Once we find something that we love, we don't let it out of our doors until we think it's bulletproof. It doesn't have to be a perfect script,  there is no such thing, but the talent has to be undeniable and the idea has to be crystal clear. You only have one shot, so make it count.

What can a person gain from working with Picture It Productions?

LK: Weight. We have a ton of snacks in the office. Seriously though, if all you do is pitch an idea to us, you are already learning something because we will tell you what we liked and what wasn’t working for us, and that gives you a little bit more knowledge for the next time you come in with an idea. That is something a lot of people don't realize. If you pitch us an idea and we pass on it, that doesn't mean we are passing on you, just that idea. You can come back to us anytime. And if we do start to develop something with you, you're going to learn a lot about writing, table reads, how to pitch, how the industry actually works.

Now that we know what Picture It does, what shouldn’t a person do when pitching to you?

LK: Don’t tell us you are an amazing writer. Let your work speak for itself. Don’t be too much of a salesperson. Just chill and tell us your idea. Talk to us like you are talking to your friend. Also, please don’t tell us, “I’m only interested in selling this to Netflix or HBO,” because we will just pass. Everyone wants to pitch to Netflix and HBO — I get it, but that is a very unrealistic expectation.

What was your favorite TV show growing up?

LK: Oh my God, my favorite show growing up ,and no one's gonna know this one, is called “Kikaida,” which was a Hawaiian-based superhero in the ‘70s. Basically, it did a flip and turned into a half man, half robot, and fought monsters in rubber suits. I also loved “Tales of the Gold Monkey,” which was a total Raiders of the Lost Ark ripoff. It was the first time I cried that a show got canceled.

Final thoughts?

LK: To just summarize the steps, have a solid idea, partner with a legit producer (someone who will help you develop that idea and who has real access to the industry, agents, lawyers, writers, directors, etc…), pitch the idea, pray to your God.       Courtesy of Picture It Productions                                    Pitching perfect "
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Thursday May 10, 2018 09:58 am EDT
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