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Cutlure

Culture


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*Alejandro A. Leal
*


Dave Waite is in Atlanta headlining Comedy Gold this weekend. He stopped by Another Comedy Podcast this afternoon to tell us what it's like to be a Delta call-center employee, geographer, and aspiring marquee comedian.

Download now or listen after the jump."
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*


__Dave Waite__ is in Atlanta headlining __Comedy Gold__ this weekend. He stopped by ''Another Comedy Podcast'' this afternoon to tell us what it's like to be a Delta call-center employee, geographer, and aspiring marquee comedian.

[http://clatl.com/media/content/2308422/acp-dave-waite.mp3|Download now] or listen after the jump."
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*Alejandro A. Leal
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Dave Waite is in Atlanta headlining Comedy Gold this weekend. He stopped by Another Comedy Podcast this afternoon to tell us what it's like to be a Delta call-center employee, geographer, and aspiring marquee comedian.

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Friday November 5, 2010 03:09 pm EDT

  • Alejandro A. Leal



Dave Waite is in Atlanta headlining Comedy Gold this weekend. He stopped by Another Comedy Podcast this afternoon to tell us what it's like to be a Delta call-center employee, geographer, and aspiring marquee comedian.

Download now or listen after the jump.

| more...
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*http://clatl.com/atlanta/ImageArchives?by=1223504
*Nikita Gale


Aurora Coffee, Kibbee Gallery, and MINT bring out the locals this weekend. More details after the jump."
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*[http://clatl.com/atlanta/ImageArchives?by=1223504|]
*Nikita Gale


Aurora Coffee, Kibbee Gallery, and MINT bring out the locals this weekend. More details after the jump."
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*http://clatl.com/atlanta/ImageArchives?by=1223504
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Aurora Coffee, Kibbee Gallery, and MINT bring out the locals this weekend. More details after the jump.             13056417 2307316                          Weekend Arts Agenda November 05 2010 "
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Friday November 5, 2010 10:20 am EDT

  • http://clatl.com/atlanta/ImageArchives?by=1223504
  • Nikita Gale



Aurora Coffee, Kibbee Gallery, and MINT bring out the locals this weekend. More details after the jump.

| more...
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A highly talented, multigenerational cast features a couple of odd players out. Kevin Alan Daniels plays Gracie's presumed fiancée, Bobby Green, as such a straightlaced, upstanding scion that the character seems unnecessarily dull. Meanwhile, Jasmine Guy plays a New York Times reporter staying under Grace's roof (revealing shades of The Man Who Came to Dinner). The role serves mainly to amplify Grace's fear of public humiliation and requires either a more broadly comedic touch or deeper characterization. (Guy's glasses and hairdo are pleasingly reminiscent of Liz Lemon, however.)

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  string(4329) "    Money, power and scandal breed crazy coincidences in Pearl Cleage's latest play   2010-11-05T08:00:00+00:00 Theater Review - Family secrets crash the party in The Nacirema Society   Curt Holman Curt Holman 2010-11-05T08:00:00+00:00  Novelist/playwright Pearl Cleage didn't exactly restrain herself when she named her sparkling new comedy The Nacirema Society Requests the Honor of Your Presence at a Celebration of Their First One Hundred Years, a title almost too long to tweet. Nevertheless, her play impresses as much for what it leaves out as what it presents in its world premiere at the Alliance Theatre.

For instance, Nacirema Society opens on young Gracie Dunbar (Naima Carter Russell), a broad, ironic smile on her face as she stands resplendent in a white ball gown. Her imperious grandmother and namesake Grace (Trezana Beverley) reminds her that she's wearing "the Nacirema White," one of six gowns worn every year by the debutantes of the Nacirema Society, a hoity-toity 100-year-old women's organization in Montgomery, Ala. Grace venerates the dress as the embodiment of the society's values of "honor, chastity and truth," virtues one suspects will each go violated by the comedy's end.

Cleage and director Susan V. Booth give the audience plenty of credit as the play tweaks the hypocrisy behind Montgomery's African-American snobs in 1964. Upper-class twits like Gracie extol the Nacirema White and describe themselves as "the crème de la crème of negro Montgomery" without anyone overtly questioning why successful black people should be so obsessed with whiteness. Cleage acknowledges the turbulence of the Civil Rights Movement without letting it hijack the play's humor. Gracie writes an oral history of the 10-year-old Montgomery Bus Boycott, illuminating her family's indifference to civil rights. But Nacirema trusts the audience to connect the thematic dots, without compromising its breezy tone.

Class underpins the play's primary conflict when Harlem legal secretary Alpha Campbell Jackson (Tonia Jackson), the daughter of the family's late, lifelong housekeeper, claims to be the illegitimate daughter of Grace's deceased husband. Alpha threatens to go public unless Grace accedes to her demands. The demands have admirable motives, so the blackmailing plot unfolds in a comedic vein. Alpha and Grace both lie and exaggerate in their first confrontation, with Grace boo-hooing crocodile tears and Alpha weakly suggesting that she has evidence to back up her claim.

Beverley evokes the stuffiness of Groucho Marx's longtime foil Margaret Dumont without losing sympathy for Grace, who clings to antiquated traditions even as her family life and the greater world transform beyond recognition. She finds an excellent comedic partner in Andrea Frye as Grace's equally rich friend Catherine Adams Green, who reluctantly agrees to be a go-between for Alpha and Grace. Frye has frequently played powerful, intimidating women on Atlanta's stages, but here she delightfully conveys Catherine's flustered dippiness.

A highly talented, multigenerational cast features a couple of odd players out. Kevin Alan Daniels plays Gracie's presumed fiancée, Bobby Green, as such a straightlaced, upstanding scion that the character seems unnecessarily dull. Meanwhile, Jasmine Guy plays a New York Times reporter staying under Grace's roof (revealing shades of The Man Who Came to Dinner). The role serves mainly to amplify Grace's fear of public humiliation and requires either a more broadly comedic touch or deeper characterization. (Guy's glasses and hairdo are pleasingly reminiscent of Liz Lemon, however.)

Other subplots include a romantic triangle among the younger generation that connects the Dunbars, Jacksons and Greens, yet doesn't feel overly contrived. Cleage and the Alliance production evoke the work of P.G. Wodehouse, Noël Coward or writing duo George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, in which the privileged setting, insulating powers of money, and terror of scandal seem to naturally breed crazy coincidences, like hothouse flowers. In The Nacirema Society, the influence of America's racial history enriches the screwball comedy, without ever turning into ballast.              13056397 2304880                          Theater Review - Family secrets crash the party in The Nacirema Society "
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Friday November 5, 2010 04:00 am EDT
Money, power and scandal breed crazy coincidences in Pearl Cleage's latest play | more...

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When dissecting the Atlanta sports landscape for a singular intriguing topic to discuss every week, there are some weeks that are easier than others—this was not one of them.

Keeping that in mind, I wanted to open up the discussion on which Atlanta sports team is currently the most intriguing. Also bear in mind that this is not a debate on which team is the best, most popular or your favorite.

I simply want to know which team has you changing your shorts in anticipation and intrigue.

The Falcons are 5-2 and are currently tied for first place in the NFC South. The Thrashers are playing surprisingly well and are only two points behind the best record in the league. The Hawks are off to just as surprising—especially to yours truly—of a start as they are one of only three teams in the NBA who have yet to lose this season.

Sure, the Hawks hot start can probably be credited to the fact that the combined record of their five opponents is 5-17, but at least they have strayed from the "Iso-Joe" offense that became so popular—and painful to watch—over the past five years.

And the Thrashers may have 70 games remaining on the 2010-11 regular season schedule, but at least they have shown signs of consistency under new head coach Craig Ramsey. Could they make it to the playoffs for just the second time in franchise history?

Certainly the Falcons are the most compelling team as their season is near the halfway point and they still remain serious playoff contenders. But playing just once a week probably hurts their case as the city's most intriguing team, no?

So let's hear it: If you had to call in sick in order to stay at home and watch one Atlanta sports team play, which one would it be?

Which team has you so giddy with excitement that you've programmed your DVR for every televised game or—GASP!—actually attended the games in person?

Obviously there isn't an incorrect answer, but there are several foolish ones so choose wisely.

DISCLAIMER: The most intriguing sports team doesn't have to be one listed above. The Georgia State Panthers football team and the Atlanta Braves might also be considered "intriguing" depending on your point of view.

http://www.twitter.com/SportsLoaf


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When dissecting the Atlanta sports landscape for a singular intriguing topic to discuss every week, there are some weeks that are easier than others—this was not one of them.

Keeping that in mind, I wanted to open up the discussion on which Atlanta sports team is currently the most intriguing. Also bear in mind that this is not a debate on which team is the best, most popular or your favorite.

I simply want to know which team has you changing your shorts in anticipation and intrigue.

The Falcons are 5-2 and are currently tied for first place in the NFC South. The Thrashers are playing surprisingly well and are only two points behind the best record in the league. The Hawks are off to just as surprising—[http://clatl.com/freshloaf/archives/2010/10/27/bens-sports-take|especially to yours truly]—of a start as they are one of only three teams in the NBA who have yet to lose this season.

Sure, the Hawks hot start can probably be credited to the fact that the combined record of their five opponents is 5-17, but at least they have strayed from the "Iso-Joe" offense that became so popular—and painful to watch—over the past five years.

And the Thrashers may have 70 games remaining on the 2010-11 regular season schedule, but at least they have shown signs of consistency under new head coach Craig Ramsey. Could they make it to the playoffs for just the second time in franchise history?

Certainly the Falcons are the most compelling team as their season is near the halfway point and they still remain serious playoff contenders. But playing just once a week probably hurts their case as the city's most ''intriguing ''team, no?

So let's hear it: If you had to call in sick in order to stay at home and watch one Atlanta sports team play, which one would it be?

Which team has you so giddy with excitement that you've programmed your DVR for every televised game or—GASP!—actually attended the games in person?

Obviously there isn't an incorrect answer, but there are several foolish ones so choose wisely.

''DISCLAIMER: The most intriguing sports team doesn't have to be one listed above. The Georgia State Panthers football team and the Atlanta Braves might also be considered "intriguing" depending on your point of view.''

[http://www.twitter.com/SportsLoaf|{img src="http://twitter-badges.s3.amazonaws.com/follow_me-c.png"}][http://www.facebook.com/pages/Buzz-Sports-Blog/107087795997322?ref=mf|
{img src="http://clatl.com/images/blogimages/2010/06/18/1276849696-5u84f48n.gif"}

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  string(2480) "       2010-11-04T17:06:00+00:00 Ben's Sports Take: Atlanta's most intriguing sports team?   Ben Bussard 1435282 2010-11-04T17:06:00+00:00  

When dissecting the Atlanta sports landscape for a singular intriguing topic to discuss every week, there are some weeks that are easier than others—this was not one of them.

Keeping that in mind, I wanted to open up the discussion on which Atlanta sports team is currently the most intriguing. Also bear in mind that this is not a debate on which team is the best, most popular or your favorite.

I simply want to know which team has you changing your shorts in anticipation and intrigue.

The Falcons are 5-2 and are currently tied for first place in the NFC South. The Thrashers are playing surprisingly well and are only two points behind the best record in the league. The Hawks are off to just as surprising—especially to yours truly—of a start as they are one of only three teams in the NBA who have yet to lose this season.

Sure, the Hawks hot start can probably be credited to the fact that the combined record of their five opponents is 5-17, but at least they have strayed from the "Iso-Joe" offense that became so popular—and painful to watch—over the past five years.

And the Thrashers may have 70 games remaining on the 2010-11 regular season schedule, but at least they have shown signs of consistency under new head coach Craig Ramsey. Could they make it to the playoffs for just the second time in franchise history?

Certainly the Falcons are the most compelling team as their season is near the halfway point and they still remain serious playoff contenders. But playing just once a week probably hurts their case as the city's most intriguing team, no?

So let's hear it: If you had to call in sick in order to stay at home and watch one Atlanta sports team play, which one would it be?

Which team has you so giddy with excitement that you've programmed your DVR for every televised game or—GASP!—actually attended the games in person?

Obviously there isn't an incorrect answer, but there are several foolish ones so choose wisely.

DISCLAIMER: The most intriguing sports team doesn't have to be one listed above. The Georgia State Panthers football team and the Atlanta Braves might also be considered "intriguing" depending on your point of view.

http://www.twitter.com/SportsLoaf


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Thursday November 4, 2010 01:06 pm EDT



When dissecting the Atlanta sports landscape for a singular intriguing topic to discuss every week, there are some weeks that are easier than others—this was not one of them.

Keeping that in mind, I wanted to open up the discussion on which Atlanta sports team is currently the most intriguing. Also bear in mind that this is not a debate on which team is the best, most popular or your...

| more...
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  ["title"]=>
  string(36) "Cover Story - Ready for our close-up"
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  string(88) "Tinseltown taps Atlanta as movie-making mecca! Will showbiz boom bring boffo box office?"
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  string(16344) "If it weren't for Atlanta's booming film industry, Neil Palmer never would have met the wolves.

In 2008, Palmer had no Tinseltown aspirations. The 47-year-old father of three was working as a systems plant manager for Anthony International, a glass door company in Madison, Ga., when it was bought out by a California firm. "Middle management always gets cut," he deadpans, "so I lost my job."

After Palmer joined the unemployed ranks of the Great Recession, he sent out hundreds of resumes over nearly two years. He finally caught a break thanks to his pastime as a high school wrestling coach. One of the students was the son of Mike Akins, the local business agent of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, a labor union for film industry workers.

"One night, Mike called me at 9 p.m. and told me to be ready at 6 a.m. the next morning," Palmer recalls. And so began his showbiz career.

Like Palmer, numerous carpenters, hairstylists, accountants and other workers upended by the economic slump have found steady gigs through Georgia's skyrocketing number of film and television shoots. Palmer began by doing "greens" work, such as chopping down trees or clearing plants from a shot. He also runs odd jobs as a "utility" or interfaces between the workers and the bosses as a job foreman. After years spent huddled in a cubicle and holed up in meetings, Palmer now spends his 60-hour workweek on sets of such productions as the CW's supernatural drama "The Vampire Diaries," a film version of the kid-oriented adventure series "Ben 10," and the upcoming Jason Bateman/Ryan Reynolds body-switch comedy, The Change-Up.

Palmer gets a kick out of seeing his work realized on the big or small screen. And while he's enjoyed the occasional brush with celebrity, like catching a wave from Bateman, Palmer sounds most star-struck when he talks about the afternoon he was on location for "Vampire Diaries." He noticed an animal handler taking two big beasts on a bathroom break and remarked, "Those are big dogs."

"Those aren't dogs," a crew-mate told him. "Those are wolves."

Fascinated, Palmer walked over and asked if he could touch them. "Take your work gloves off, and let them come to you," the handler said. The wolves approached Palmer and nuzzled against him as if they were pets. One even stood on its hind legs and pressed its paws against his chest. "I was shocked at how big they were. I'll never forget the look in their eyes."

Even more than dancing with wolves, Palmer appreciates having a steady income. The film industry has kept him busy every single day for the past four months, and he sees no sign of the work drying up.

"Around six to eight movies are being filmed right now," he points out. "My boss is from California, and he says everyone's moving to the East Coast."

It's hard to think of Atlanta as one of "the coasts," but the city has become the nexus of Georgia's booming film and video production, which spans from A-list feature films to commercials, music videos and video games.

The Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office, the branch of the state's department of economic development devoted to cultivating and promoting film work, estimates that the economic impact of film and TV production in Georgia saw a fivefold increase from 2007 to 2010, topping out at $1.3 billion. For many reasons, the Georgia film industry has exploded like an action-movie fireball, although some creative costs do exist.

So many showbiz luminaries have come to work in Atlanta recently, it's as if Peachtree Street has become a red carpet. Sandra Bullock stormed school gridirons for her Oscar-winning role in The Blind Side. Bill Murray, Sissy Spacek and Robert Duvall visited Crawfordville for Get Low. Katherine Heigl paired up with Ashton Kutcher for Killers and Josh Duhamel for Life As We Know It. One-man media empire Tyler Perry hosted Whoopi Goldberg, Janet Jackson, Thandie Newton and others in For Colored Girls, which opens Nov. 5. Covington has bloodsuckers for "The Vampire Diaries," south Decatur has teenage werewolves for "Teen Wolf," and downtown Atlanta has zombies for "The Walking Dead." Betty White even stopped by to film a Hallmark Channel movie.

Years of wooing Hollywood has paid off with a vengeance, according to Lee Thomas, who this summer took over the film division of the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office. "We spent so many years trying to get momentum to get filmmakers to come here. It was like pedaling a bike, trying to get up speed. Now, we've got the momentum, and we're trying to stay on the bike."

Producer Joe Genier first began working in Atlanta when his studio, Lionsgate Films, teamed up with popular stage star Tyler Perry for Diary of a Mad Black Woman. Since then, Genier has worked on most of Perry's films, although he's currently overseeing the first season of MTV's "Teen Wolf" series. "For the past five to six years, Georgia has been hot," he says. "Eventually you'll wind up where the hot incentive is."

pageimage-1
To compete with states with booming film programs such as Louisiana and Michigan, Georgia passed a tax incentive as part of House Bill 539 in 2005 but began wooing Hollywood in earnest by raising the percentages in 2008. Currently, the state offers filmmakers a 20 percent base tax credit, plus an additional 10 percent if they put the Georgia logo on the end roll credits.

Most states offer such soft money incentives, but those romantic comedies or monstrous TV series won't come for the tax breaks alone. "Some states don't really have the infrastructure to support film production," says Genier. "You end up bringing half your crew into the state. Is there a grip? A medic? Craft services? The tax incentive dwindles."

Fortunately, Georgia has enough experienced crew in place thanks to a modest but lively filmmaking tradition that spans a truckload of Burt Reynolds movies, "The Dukes of Hazzard," "In the Heat of the Night," Driving Miss Daisy, Fried Green Tomatoes and Zombieland. The Georgia Film Office's newly formed designation of "Camera Ready Communities," spanning 16 counties from around the state, identifies the places willing and able to host an influx of Heigls and Duhamels.

Out-of-town filmmakers like Georgia's local crew base for several reasons. Get Low director Aaron Schneider praised not just the quantity of workers, but positive attitudes beyond cashing a paycheck. "The real test of a filmmaker, from cameraman to production designer, is the drive to make a great movie, even though we didn't have much money to offer."

And where locals may take for granted Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport or the Georgia scenery outside the perimeter, filmmakers see cost-saving convenience. They save money by booking direct flights for their talent and, once they arrive, whisking them to any number of diverse locations: mountains, farms, beaches, quaint little towns and skyscraping cities. What's more, Atlanta's habit of tearing down its historic architecture may also have an unexpected benefit, allowing the city to more easily play the part of Anytown, U.S.A.

Thomas praises the ability of production designers to make Atlanta pass for elsewhere. "It's staggering what they can do. They can look at a house and say, 'Baltimore would never have that window,' or 'It would never be sitting that close to the street.' They can give 10 reasons why one house will work and one why the house won't work," she says.

With productions like Fast Five, the fifth of the Fast and the Furious car-chase movies, Atlanta can even pass for Rio de Janeiro. Sort of. "It's not like they're dragging palm trees through the city," Thomas points out. "They shot a lot in Puerto Rico. Here they're using interiors and gritty urban exteriors."

image-2
Another reason Hollywood appreciates filming in remote locations is that Los Angelenos are soooo over it. "Los Angeles has so many films that eventually people get tired of the filming and focus on the inconvenience rather than the benefit," Genier says. "Places that haven't had filmmaking day in and day out, their natural hospitality comes out."

Genier savors the times he's been filming on blazing summer days and a neighbor has offered cookies or asked, "Would you like some ice tea?"

He acknowledges that Georgia doesn't have everything, including specialty equipment like cranes and balloon lights, so he has to factor in extra time to book them. Georgia also needs more soundstages. The state made strides in that direction earlier this year when EUE/Screen Gems Studios, which operates studios and production facilities in New York City and Wilmington, N.C., began expanding and refurbishing soundstages at Lakewood Fairgrounds.

The existing sets at Lakewood already have hosted the likes of For Colored Girls and BET's "The Game." The Screen Gems expansion includes construction of a new 37,500-foot soundstage, expected to be completed in spring 2011, which should improve Atlanta's film capacity considerably. The company signed a 50-year lease on the property — a vote of confidence in Atlanta's long-term film industry. Atlanta will be ready for, say, The Fast and the Furious 15 or Driving Miss Daisy in a Hovercar.

Just because lots of films are currently being made in Georgia doesn't mean Georgians are making lots of films. Atlanta's influx in major movie and TV production isn't necessarily a sign that the local, grassroots film community is thriving.

Atlanta's never sustained a thriving indie film scene like Austin, Texas, home to such renowned native filmmakers as critics' darling Richard Linklater and cult director Robert Rodriguez. Charles Judson, communications director of the Atlanta Film Festival, finds the current climate particularly sparse.

pageimage-3
"Four or five years ago, it was different. Directors like Alex Orr and Jacob Gentry and small film collectives like Fake Wood Wallpaper and POP Film were all doing work. Venues like Eyedrum and Apache Café would have screenings of new local stuff at least once a month."

While reporting on local film production for the website CinemATL in the mid-1980s, Judson followed regular indie projects such as "Dailies," which gave filmmakers unifying themes for new programs of original short films every three or four months. "Dailies" provided the inspiration for The Signal, a cerebral, zombie-style horror film by Gentry, Dan Bush and David Bruckner that debuted at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.

Indie film scenes have a kind of symbiotic relationship to commercial productions. If there's no production work in town, scrappy young filmmakers can't pay their bills to support their labors of love. But if there's a surplus of work, filmmakers can have trouble finding collaborators and a crew.

Judson saw signs of the former situation in 2006 and 2007. "There was a lull in production, and a lot of filmmakers couldn't sustain a living here," he says. "Many of the people who left were the ones who built this little indie film community. It was demoralizing that so many well-known filmmakers in the Atlanta community were leaving for New Orleans, New York and Los Angeles."

Filmmaker and "Dailies" alumnus Bret Wood now faces challenges of the opposite extreme. Having shot films in Atlanta for a decade, Wood now sees the local microbudget filmmaking scene as hampered by fewer opportunities and less energy. Wood recently completed A Little Death, a turn-of-the century period piece set in a brothel and based partially on a Frank Wedekind play and an Anton Chekhov short story.

Compared to Wood's previous indie production, 2006's Psychopathia Sexualis, A Little Death required a logistical juggling act to assemble a crew — because crew members are now in such high demand due to the better-paying big-budget productions. "It was a two-week shoot, but I had to rotate in and out three different gaffers, two assistant directors and three script supervisors."

Georgia's tax incentives don't pay off for filmmakers like Wood, whose budgets fall in the tens of thousands rather than millions. Georgia's film tax credit requires productions to spend a minimum of $500,000 per year. "It would be nice if the tax breaks were extended to $50,000 projects," says Wood.

Wood acknowledges that most aspiring filmmakers will eventually move to New York or Los Angeles, pointing to peers like Orr and Gentry. "It's a rite of passage. But it doesn't seem to me like a new crop of people has been replacing them. I think the greater availability of paying work and the difficulty of raising resources has led to fewer microbudgeted films."

Genier believes it's still possible for passionate grassroots filmmakers to make their work, despite the higher-paying competition. "There's always a crew to pull from that's just moved here and looking for experience. It can be done, but it's a harder row to hoe."

Judson believes the presence of bigger-budget films like The Blind Side will eventually offer a boost to film festival darlings like The Signal. "One of the benefits of having a thriving film industry is that it allows you to take a risk and help out indie filmmakers," Judson says. "For us to be a true film city, we have to have a thriving indie community like we have a thriving film production scene. This town is wide open for someone to become the face of our indie scene."

Atlanta's gains have come at Los Angeles' expense. In Georgia, it's relatively easy to get entry-level work as a film extra or a behind-the-scenes production assistant. Hands-on experience comes much more quickly now than it would have a decade ago.

That doesn't mean Atlanta has become a permanent home for movie decision-makers and A-list talents. Wood notes, "The principle creative talent — the writers, directors, creative cast — they're shipped in from out of town. I don't know anyone locally who's been able to penetrate that." Tyler Perry may be the exception who proves the rule.

Comedian, singer and "Drop Dead Diva" actress Margaret Cho does keep a residence here, and she's fallen in love with Atlanta's comedy and music scene. "It's fun for us in Atlanta on a series because we always have actor friends coming into town doing different shows. Everyone shoots something in Atlanta at some point." Cho primarily treats the city as a home base — not that she's home much. "I don't live in Atlanta year-round because I tour a lot, and so I am on the road when 'Drop Dead Diva' is on hiatus."

Genier acknowledges that his residence won't be permanent. "It's lovely to film here and Atlanta is a really great city, with its restaurants and sports teams. But at the end of the day, you like to sleep in your bed, live in your own house. When the projects are done, I'm gone."

pageimage-4
It would be nice if Atlanta could claim more artistic ownership of local productions, rather than simply the financial advantages. Still, screen artists don't necessarily need to live in the places they chronicle on film. English director John Boorman crafted one of Georgia's most edgy, haunting films, Deliverance. On the other hand, actor/filmmaker Ray McKinnon, a native of Adel, Ga., won the Oscar for his equally brilliant, 38-minute short "The Accountant." The quality of a movie relies on the talents of its makers, wherever they come from.

And even after the film productions relocate or wrap up, they still leave residual economic benefits for tourism. At a Camera Ready Community press conference on Oct. 7, Clara Deemer, the director of tourism for the Covington/Newton County Chamber of Commerce, told about honeymooners from Milan, Italy, who made a point of visiting Covington. The newlyweds' American itinerary consisted of trips to Ground Zero, Disneyland, the launch of the space shuttle Endeavor ... and the town where "The Dukes of Hazzard" was filmed.

In the long term, Georgia's filmmaking boom may be like a circus coming to town, bringing bright lights, razzle-dazzle and employment when we need it most. Even if the movie people pack up their tents and move onto the next hot incentive, they'll leave memories preserved on celluloid, along with a foundation of facilities and experience for native filmmakers to bring their own films to life. Plus, at least some of us had a chance to dance with the wolves. "
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  string(16478) "If it weren't for Atlanta's booming film industry, Neil Palmer never would have met the wolves.

In 2008, Palmer had no Tinseltown aspirations. The 47-year-old father of three was working as a systems plant manager for Anthony International, a glass door company in Madison, Ga., when it was bought out by a California firm. "Middle management always gets cut," he deadpans, "so I lost my job."

After Palmer joined the unemployed ranks of the Great Recession, he sent out hundreds of resumes over nearly two years. He finally caught a break thanks to his pastime as a high school wrestling coach. One of the students was the son of Mike Akins, the local business agent of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, a labor union for film industry workers.

"One night, Mike called me at 9 p.m. and told me to be ready at 6 a.m. the next morning," Palmer recalls. And so began his showbiz career.

Like Palmer, numerous carpenters, hairstylists, accountants and other workers upended by the economic slump have found steady gigs through Georgia's skyrocketing number of film and television shoots. Palmer began by doing "greens" work, such as chopping down trees or clearing plants from a shot. He also runs odd jobs as a "utility" or interfaces between the workers and the bosses as a job foreman. After years spent huddled in a cubicle and holed up in meetings, Palmer now spends his 60-hour workweek on sets of such productions as the CW's supernatural drama "The Vampire Diaries," a film version of the kid-oriented adventure series "Ben 10," and the upcoming Jason Bateman/Ryan Reynolds body-switch comedy, ''The Change-Up''.

Palmer gets a kick out of seeing his work realized on the big or small screen. And while he's enjoyed the occasional brush with celebrity, like catching a wave from Bateman, Palmer sounds most star-struck when he talks about the afternoon he was on location for "Vampire Diaries." He noticed an animal handler taking two big beasts on a bathroom break and remarked, "Those are big dogs."

"Those aren't dogs," a crew-mate told him. "Those are wolves."

Fascinated, Palmer walked over and asked if he could touch them. "Take your work gloves off, and let them come to you," the handler said. The wolves approached Palmer and nuzzled against him as if they were pets. One even stood on its hind legs and pressed its paws against his chest. "I was shocked at how big they were. I'll never forget the look in their eyes."

Even more than dancing with wolves, Palmer appreciates having a steady income. The film industry has kept him busy every single day for the past four months, and he sees no sign of the work drying up.

"Around six to eight movies are being filmed right now," he points out. "My boss is from California, and he says everyone's moving to the East Coast."

__It's hard to think of Atlanta__ as one of "the coasts," but the city has become the nexus of Georgia's booming film and video production, which spans from A-list feature films to commercials, music videos and video games.

The Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office, the branch of the state's department of economic development devoted to cultivating and promoting film work, estimates that the economic impact of film and TV production in Georgia saw a fivefold increase from 2007 to 2010, topping out at $1.3 billion. For many reasons, the Georgia film industry has exploded like an action-movie fireball, although some creative costs do exist.

So many showbiz luminaries have come to work in Atlanta recently, it's as if Peachtree Street has become a red carpet. Sandra Bullock stormed school gridirons for her Oscar-winning role in ''The Blind Side''. Bill Murray, Sissy Spacek and Robert Duvall visited Crawfordville for ''Get Low''. Katherine Heigl paired up with Ashton Kutcher for ''Killers'' and Josh Duhamel for ''Life As We Know It''. One-man media empire Tyler Perry hosted Whoopi Goldberg, Janet Jackson, Thandie Newton and others in ''For Colored Girls'', which opens Nov. 5. Covington has bloodsuckers for "The Vampire Diaries," south Decatur has teenage werewolves for "Teen Wolf," and downtown Atlanta has zombies for "The Walking Dead." ''Betty White'' even stopped by to film a Hallmark Channel movie.

Years of wooing Hollywood has paid off with a vengeance, according to Lee Thomas, who this summer took over the film division of the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office. "We spent so many years trying to get momentum to get filmmakers to come here. It was like pedaling a bike, trying to get up speed. Now, we've got the momentum, and we're trying to stay ''on'' the bike."

Producer Joe Genier first began working in Atlanta when his studio, Lionsgate Films, teamed up with popular stage star Tyler Perry for ''Diary of a Mad Black Woman''. Since then, Genier has worked on most of Perry's films, although he's currently overseeing the first season of MTV's "Teen Wolf" series. "For the past five to six years, Georgia has been hot," he says. "Eventually you'll wind up where the hot incentive is."

[page][image-1]
To compete with states with booming film programs such as Louisiana and Michigan, Georgia passed a tax incentive as part of House Bill 539 in 2005 but began wooing Hollywood in earnest by raising the percentages in 2008. Currently, the state offers filmmakers a 20 percent base tax credit, plus an additional 10 percent if they put the Georgia logo on the end roll credits.

Most states offer such soft money incentives, but those romantic comedies or monstrous TV series won't come for the tax breaks alone. "Some states don't really have the infrastructure to support film production," says Genier. "You end up bringing half your crew into the state. Is there a grip? A medic? Craft services? The tax incentive dwindles."

Fortunately, Georgia has enough experienced crew in place thanks to a modest but lively filmmaking tradition that spans a truckload of Burt Reynolds movies, "The Dukes of Hazzard," "In the Heat of the Night," ''Driving Miss Daisy'', ''Fried Green Tomatoes'' and ''Zombieland''. The Georgia Film Office's newly formed designation of "Camera Ready Communities," spanning 16 counties from around the state, identifies the places willing and able to host an influx of Heigls and Duhamels.

Out-of-town filmmakers like Georgia's local crew base for several reasons. ''Get Low'' director Aaron Schneider praised not just the quantity of workers, but positive attitudes beyond cashing a paycheck. "The real test of a filmmaker, from cameraman to production designer, is the drive to make a great movie, even though we didn't have much money to offer."

And where locals may take for granted Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport or the Georgia scenery outside the perimeter, filmmakers see cost-saving convenience. They save money by booking direct flights for their talent and, once they arrive, whisking them to any number of diverse locations: mountains, farms, beaches, quaint little towns and skyscraping cities. What's more, Atlanta's habit of tearing down its historic architecture may also have an unexpected benefit, allowing the city to more easily play the part of Anytown, U.S.A.

Thomas praises the ability of production designers to make Atlanta pass for elsewhere. "It's staggering what they can do. They can look at a house and say, 'Baltimore would never have that window,' or 'It would never be sitting that close to the street.' They can give 10 reasons why one house will work and one why the house won't work," she says.

With productions like ''Fast Five'', the fifth of the ''Fast and the Furious'' car-chase movies, Atlanta can even pass for Rio de Janeiro. Sort of. "It's not like they're dragging palm trees through the city," Thomas points out. "They shot a lot in Puerto Rico. Here they're using interiors and gritty urban exteriors."

[image-2]
Another reason Hollywood appreciates filming in remote locations is that Los Angelenos are soooo over it. "Los Angeles has so many films that eventually people get tired of the filming and focus on the inconvenience rather than the benefit," Genier says. "Places that haven't had filmmaking day in and day out, their natural hospitality comes out."

Genier savors the times he's been filming on blazing summer days and a neighbor has offered cookies or asked, "Would you like some ice tea?"

He acknowledges that Georgia doesn't have everything, including specialty equipment like cranes and balloon lights, so he has to factor in extra time to book them. Georgia also needs more soundstages. The state made strides in that direction earlier this year when EUE/Screen Gems Studios, which operates studios and production facilities in New York City and Wilmington, N.C., began expanding and refurbishing soundstages at Lakewood Fairgrounds.

The existing sets at Lakewood already have hosted the likes of ''For Colored Girls'' and BET's "The Game." The Screen Gems expansion includes construction of a new 37,500-foot soundstage, expected to be completed in spring 2011, which should improve Atlanta's film capacity considerably. The company signed a 50-year lease on the property — a vote of confidence in Atlanta's long-term film industry. Atlanta will be ready for, say, ''The Fast and the Furious 15'' or ''Driving Miss Daisy in a Hovercar''.

__Just because lots of films__ are currently being made in Georgia doesn't mean Georgians are making lots of films. Atlanta's influx in major movie and TV production isn't necessarily a sign that the local, grassroots film community is thriving.

Atlanta's never sustained a thriving indie film scene like Austin, Texas, home to such renowned native filmmakers as critics' darling Richard Linklater and cult director Robert Rodriguez. Charles Judson, communications director of the Atlanta Film Festival, finds the current climate particularly sparse.

[page][image-3]
"Four or five years ago, it was different. Directors like Alex Orr and Jacob Gentry [and small film collectives like] Fake Wood Wallpaper and POP Film were all doing work. Venues like Eyedrum and Apache Café would have screenings of new local stuff at least once a month."

While reporting on local film production for the website CinemATL in the mid-1980s, Judson followed regular indie projects such as "Dailies," which gave filmmakers unifying themes for new programs of original short films every three or four months. "Dailies" provided the inspiration for ''The Signal'', a cerebral, zombie-style horror film by Gentry, Dan Bush and David Bruckner that debuted at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.

Indie film scenes have a kind of symbiotic relationship to commercial productions. If there's no production work in town, scrappy young filmmakers can't pay their bills to support their labors of love. But if there's a surplus of work, filmmakers can have trouble finding collaborators and a crew.

Judson saw signs of the former situation in 2006 and 2007. "There was a lull in production, and a lot of filmmakers couldn't sustain a living here," he says. "Many of the people who left were the ones who built this little indie film community. It was demoralizing that so many well-known filmmakers in the Atlanta community were leaving for New Orleans, New York and Los Angeles."

Filmmaker and "Dailies" alumnus Bret Wood now faces challenges of the opposite extreme. Having shot films in Atlanta for a decade, Wood now sees the local microbudget filmmaking scene as hampered by fewer opportunities and less energy. Wood recently completed ''A Little Death'', a turn-of-the century period piece set in a brothel and based partially on a Frank Wedekind play and an Anton Chekhov short story.

Compared to Wood's previous indie production, 2006's ''Psychopathia Sexualis'', ''A Little Death'' required a logistical juggling act to assemble a crew — because crew members are now in such high demand due to the better-paying big-budget productions. "It was a two-week shoot, but I had to rotate in and out three different gaffers, two assistant directors and three script supervisors."

Georgia's tax incentives don't pay off for filmmakers like Wood, whose budgets fall in the tens of thousands rather than millions. Georgia's film tax credit requires productions to spend a minimum of $500,000 per year. "It would be nice if the tax breaks were extended to $50,000 [projects]," says Wood.

Wood acknowledges that most aspiring filmmakers will eventually move to New York or Los Angeles, pointing to peers like Orr and Gentry. "It's a rite of passage. But it doesn't seem to me like a new crop of people has been replacing them. I think the greater availability of paying work and the difficulty of raising resources has led to fewer microbudgeted films."

Genier believes it's still possible for passionate grassroots filmmakers to make their work, despite the higher-paying competition. "There's always a crew to pull from that's just moved here and looking for experience. It can be done, but it's a harder row to hoe."

Judson believes the presence of bigger-budget films like ''The Blind Side'' will eventually offer a boost to film festival darlings like ''The Signal''. "One of the benefits of having a thriving film industry is that it allows you to take a risk and help out indie filmmakers," Judson says. "For us to be a true film city, we have to have a thriving indie community like we have a thriving film production scene. This town is wide open for someone to become the face of our indie scene."

__Atlanta's gains have come__ at Los Angeles' expense. In Georgia, it's relatively easy to get entry-level work as a film extra or a behind-the-scenes production assistant. Hands-on experience comes much more quickly now than it would have a decade ago.

That doesn't mean Atlanta has become a permanent home for movie decision-makers and A-list talents. Wood notes, "The principle creative talent — the writers, directors, creative cast — they're shipped in from out of town. I don't know anyone locally who's been able to penetrate that." Tyler Perry may be the exception who proves the rule.

Comedian, singer and "Drop Dead Diva" actress Margaret Cho does keep a residence here, and she's fallen in love with Atlanta's comedy and music scene. "It's fun for us in Atlanta on a series because we always have actor friends coming into town doing different shows. Everyone shoots something in Atlanta at some point." Cho primarily treats the city as a home base — not that she's home much. "I don't live in Atlanta year-round because I tour a lot, and so I am on the road when 'Drop Dead Diva' is on hiatus."

Genier acknowledges that his residence won't be permanent. "It's lovely to film here and Atlanta is a really great city, with its restaurants and sports teams. But at the end of the day, you like to sleep in your bed, live in your own house. When the projects are done, I'm gone."

[page][image-4]
It would be nice if Atlanta could claim more artistic ownership of local productions, rather than simply the financial advantages. Still, screen artists don't necessarily need to live in the places they chronicle on film. English director John Boorman crafted one of Georgia's most edgy, haunting films, ''Deliverance''. On the other hand, actor/filmmaker Ray McKinnon, a native of Adel, Ga., won the Oscar for his equally brilliant, 38-minute short "The Accountant." The quality of a movie relies on the talents of its makers, wherever they come from.

And even after the film productions relocate or wrap up, they still leave residual economic benefits for tourism. At a Camera Ready Community press conference on Oct. 7, Clara Deemer, the director of tourism for the Covington/Newton County Chamber of Commerce, told about honeymooners from Milan, Italy, who made a point of visiting Covington. The newlyweds' American itinerary consisted of trips to Ground Zero, Disneyland, the launch of the space shuttle ''Endeavor'' ... and the town where "The Dukes of Hazzard" was filmed.

In the long term, Georgia's filmmaking boom may be like a circus coming to town, bringing bright lights, razzle-dazzle and employment when we need it most. Even if the movie people pack up their tents and move onto the next hot incentive, they'll leave memories preserved on celluloid, along with a foundation of facilities and experience for native filmmakers to bring their own films to life. Plus, at least some of us had a chance to dance with the wolves. "
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  string(16647) "    Tinseltown taps Atlanta as movie-making mecca! Will showbiz boom bring boffo box office?   2010-11-04T08:01:00+00:00 Cover Story - Ready for our close-up   Curt Holman Curt Holman 2010-11-04T08:01:00+00:00  If it weren't for Atlanta's booming film industry, Neil Palmer never would have met the wolves.

In 2008, Palmer had no Tinseltown aspirations. The 47-year-old father of three was working as a systems plant manager for Anthony International, a glass door company in Madison, Ga., when it was bought out by a California firm. "Middle management always gets cut," he deadpans, "so I lost my job."

After Palmer joined the unemployed ranks of the Great Recession, he sent out hundreds of resumes over nearly two years. He finally caught a break thanks to his pastime as a high school wrestling coach. One of the students was the son of Mike Akins, the local business agent of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, a labor union for film industry workers.

"One night, Mike called me at 9 p.m. and told me to be ready at 6 a.m. the next morning," Palmer recalls. And so began his showbiz career.

Like Palmer, numerous carpenters, hairstylists, accountants and other workers upended by the economic slump have found steady gigs through Georgia's skyrocketing number of film and television shoots. Palmer began by doing "greens" work, such as chopping down trees or clearing plants from a shot. He also runs odd jobs as a "utility" or interfaces between the workers and the bosses as a job foreman. After years spent huddled in a cubicle and holed up in meetings, Palmer now spends his 60-hour workweek on sets of such productions as the CW's supernatural drama "The Vampire Diaries," a film version of the kid-oriented adventure series "Ben 10," and the upcoming Jason Bateman/Ryan Reynolds body-switch comedy, The Change-Up.

Palmer gets a kick out of seeing his work realized on the big or small screen. And while he's enjoyed the occasional brush with celebrity, like catching a wave from Bateman, Palmer sounds most star-struck when he talks about the afternoon he was on location for "Vampire Diaries." He noticed an animal handler taking two big beasts on a bathroom break and remarked, "Those are big dogs."

"Those aren't dogs," a crew-mate told him. "Those are wolves."

Fascinated, Palmer walked over and asked if he could touch them. "Take your work gloves off, and let them come to you," the handler said. The wolves approached Palmer and nuzzled against him as if they were pets. One even stood on its hind legs and pressed its paws against his chest. "I was shocked at how big they were. I'll never forget the look in their eyes."

Even more than dancing with wolves, Palmer appreciates having a steady income. The film industry has kept him busy every single day for the past four months, and he sees no sign of the work drying up.

"Around six to eight movies are being filmed right now," he points out. "My boss is from California, and he says everyone's moving to the East Coast."

It's hard to think of Atlanta as one of "the coasts," but the city has become the nexus of Georgia's booming film and video production, which spans from A-list feature films to commercials, music videos and video games.

The Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office, the branch of the state's department of economic development devoted to cultivating and promoting film work, estimates that the economic impact of film and TV production in Georgia saw a fivefold increase from 2007 to 2010, topping out at $1.3 billion. For many reasons, the Georgia film industry has exploded like an action-movie fireball, although some creative costs do exist.

So many showbiz luminaries have come to work in Atlanta recently, it's as if Peachtree Street has become a red carpet. Sandra Bullock stormed school gridirons for her Oscar-winning role in The Blind Side. Bill Murray, Sissy Spacek and Robert Duvall visited Crawfordville for Get Low. Katherine Heigl paired up with Ashton Kutcher for Killers and Josh Duhamel for Life As We Know It. One-man media empire Tyler Perry hosted Whoopi Goldberg, Janet Jackson, Thandie Newton and others in For Colored Girls, which opens Nov. 5. Covington has bloodsuckers for "The Vampire Diaries," south Decatur has teenage werewolves for "Teen Wolf," and downtown Atlanta has zombies for "The Walking Dead." Betty White even stopped by to film a Hallmark Channel movie.

Years of wooing Hollywood has paid off with a vengeance, according to Lee Thomas, who this summer took over the film division of the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office. "We spent so many years trying to get momentum to get filmmakers to come here. It was like pedaling a bike, trying to get up speed. Now, we've got the momentum, and we're trying to stay on the bike."

Producer Joe Genier first began working in Atlanta when his studio, Lionsgate Films, teamed up with popular stage star Tyler Perry for Diary of a Mad Black Woman. Since then, Genier has worked on most of Perry's films, although he's currently overseeing the first season of MTV's "Teen Wolf" series. "For the past five to six years, Georgia has been hot," he says. "Eventually you'll wind up where the hot incentive is."

pageimage-1
To compete with states with booming film programs such as Louisiana and Michigan, Georgia passed a tax incentive as part of House Bill 539 in 2005 but began wooing Hollywood in earnest by raising the percentages in 2008. Currently, the state offers filmmakers a 20 percent base tax credit, plus an additional 10 percent if they put the Georgia logo on the end roll credits.

Most states offer such soft money incentives, but those romantic comedies or monstrous TV series won't come for the tax breaks alone. "Some states don't really have the infrastructure to support film production," says Genier. "You end up bringing half your crew into the state. Is there a grip? A medic? Craft services? The tax incentive dwindles."

Fortunately, Georgia has enough experienced crew in place thanks to a modest but lively filmmaking tradition that spans a truckload of Burt Reynolds movies, "The Dukes of Hazzard," "In the Heat of the Night," Driving Miss Daisy, Fried Green Tomatoes and Zombieland. The Georgia Film Office's newly formed designation of "Camera Ready Communities," spanning 16 counties from around the state, identifies the places willing and able to host an influx of Heigls and Duhamels.

Out-of-town filmmakers like Georgia's local crew base for several reasons. Get Low director Aaron Schneider praised not just the quantity of workers, but positive attitudes beyond cashing a paycheck. "The real test of a filmmaker, from cameraman to production designer, is the drive to make a great movie, even though we didn't have much money to offer."

And where locals may take for granted Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport or the Georgia scenery outside the perimeter, filmmakers see cost-saving convenience. They save money by booking direct flights for their talent and, once they arrive, whisking them to any number of diverse locations: mountains, farms, beaches, quaint little towns and skyscraping cities. What's more, Atlanta's habit of tearing down its historic architecture may also have an unexpected benefit, allowing the city to more easily play the part of Anytown, U.S.A.

Thomas praises the ability of production designers to make Atlanta pass for elsewhere. "It's staggering what they can do. They can look at a house and say, 'Baltimore would never have that window,' or 'It would never be sitting that close to the street.' They can give 10 reasons why one house will work and one why the house won't work," she says.

With productions like Fast Five, the fifth of the Fast and the Furious car-chase movies, Atlanta can even pass for Rio de Janeiro. Sort of. "It's not like they're dragging palm trees through the city," Thomas points out. "They shot a lot in Puerto Rico. Here they're using interiors and gritty urban exteriors."

image-2
Another reason Hollywood appreciates filming in remote locations is that Los Angelenos are soooo over it. "Los Angeles has so many films that eventually people get tired of the filming and focus on the inconvenience rather than the benefit," Genier says. "Places that haven't had filmmaking day in and day out, their natural hospitality comes out."

Genier savors the times he's been filming on blazing summer days and a neighbor has offered cookies or asked, "Would you like some ice tea?"

He acknowledges that Georgia doesn't have everything, including specialty equipment like cranes and balloon lights, so he has to factor in extra time to book them. Georgia also needs more soundstages. The state made strides in that direction earlier this year when EUE/Screen Gems Studios, which operates studios and production facilities in New York City and Wilmington, N.C., began expanding and refurbishing soundstages at Lakewood Fairgrounds.

The existing sets at Lakewood already have hosted the likes of For Colored Girls and BET's "The Game." The Screen Gems expansion includes construction of a new 37,500-foot soundstage, expected to be completed in spring 2011, which should improve Atlanta's film capacity considerably. The company signed a 50-year lease on the property — a vote of confidence in Atlanta's long-term film industry. Atlanta will be ready for, say, The Fast and the Furious 15 or Driving Miss Daisy in a Hovercar.

Just because lots of films are currently being made in Georgia doesn't mean Georgians are making lots of films. Atlanta's influx in major movie and TV production isn't necessarily a sign that the local, grassroots film community is thriving.

Atlanta's never sustained a thriving indie film scene like Austin, Texas, home to such renowned native filmmakers as critics' darling Richard Linklater and cult director Robert Rodriguez. Charles Judson, communications director of the Atlanta Film Festival, finds the current climate particularly sparse.

pageimage-3
"Four or five years ago, it was different. Directors like Alex Orr and Jacob Gentry and small film collectives like Fake Wood Wallpaper and POP Film were all doing work. Venues like Eyedrum and Apache Café would have screenings of new local stuff at least once a month."

While reporting on local film production for the website CinemATL in the mid-1980s, Judson followed regular indie projects such as "Dailies," which gave filmmakers unifying themes for new programs of original short films every three or four months. "Dailies" provided the inspiration for The Signal, a cerebral, zombie-style horror film by Gentry, Dan Bush and David Bruckner that debuted at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.

Indie film scenes have a kind of symbiotic relationship to commercial productions. If there's no production work in town, scrappy young filmmakers can't pay their bills to support their labors of love. But if there's a surplus of work, filmmakers can have trouble finding collaborators and a crew.

Judson saw signs of the former situation in 2006 and 2007. "There was a lull in production, and a lot of filmmakers couldn't sustain a living here," he says. "Many of the people who left were the ones who built this little indie film community. It was demoralizing that so many well-known filmmakers in the Atlanta community were leaving for New Orleans, New York and Los Angeles."

Filmmaker and "Dailies" alumnus Bret Wood now faces challenges of the opposite extreme. Having shot films in Atlanta for a decade, Wood now sees the local microbudget filmmaking scene as hampered by fewer opportunities and less energy. Wood recently completed A Little Death, a turn-of-the century period piece set in a brothel and based partially on a Frank Wedekind play and an Anton Chekhov short story.

Compared to Wood's previous indie production, 2006's Psychopathia Sexualis, A Little Death required a logistical juggling act to assemble a crew — because crew members are now in such high demand due to the better-paying big-budget productions. "It was a two-week shoot, but I had to rotate in and out three different gaffers, two assistant directors and three script supervisors."

Georgia's tax incentives don't pay off for filmmakers like Wood, whose budgets fall in the tens of thousands rather than millions. Georgia's film tax credit requires productions to spend a minimum of $500,000 per year. "It would be nice if the tax breaks were extended to $50,000 projects," says Wood.

Wood acknowledges that most aspiring filmmakers will eventually move to New York or Los Angeles, pointing to peers like Orr and Gentry. "It's a rite of passage. But it doesn't seem to me like a new crop of people has been replacing them. I think the greater availability of paying work and the difficulty of raising resources has led to fewer microbudgeted films."

Genier believes it's still possible for passionate grassroots filmmakers to make their work, despite the higher-paying competition. "There's always a crew to pull from that's just moved here and looking for experience. It can be done, but it's a harder row to hoe."

Judson believes the presence of bigger-budget films like The Blind Side will eventually offer a boost to film festival darlings like The Signal. "One of the benefits of having a thriving film industry is that it allows you to take a risk and help out indie filmmakers," Judson says. "For us to be a true film city, we have to have a thriving indie community like we have a thriving film production scene. This town is wide open for someone to become the face of our indie scene."

Atlanta's gains have come at Los Angeles' expense. In Georgia, it's relatively easy to get entry-level work as a film extra or a behind-the-scenes production assistant. Hands-on experience comes much more quickly now than it would have a decade ago.

That doesn't mean Atlanta has become a permanent home for movie decision-makers and A-list talents. Wood notes, "The principle creative talent — the writers, directors, creative cast — they're shipped in from out of town. I don't know anyone locally who's been able to penetrate that." Tyler Perry may be the exception who proves the rule.

Comedian, singer and "Drop Dead Diva" actress Margaret Cho does keep a residence here, and she's fallen in love with Atlanta's comedy and music scene. "It's fun for us in Atlanta on a series because we always have actor friends coming into town doing different shows. Everyone shoots something in Atlanta at some point." Cho primarily treats the city as a home base — not that she's home much. "I don't live in Atlanta year-round because I tour a lot, and so I am on the road when 'Drop Dead Diva' is on hiatus."

Genier acknowledges that his residence won't be permanent. "It's lovely to film here and Atlanta is a really great city, with its restaurants and sports teams. But at the end of the day, you like to sleep in your bed, live in your own house. When the projects are done, I'm gone."

pageimage-4
It would be nice if Atlanta could claim more artistic ownership of local productions, rather than simply the financial advantages. Still, screen artists don't necessarily need to live in the places they chronicle on film. English director John Boorman crafted one of Georgia's most edgy, haunting films, Deliverance. On the other hand, actor/filmmaker Ray McKinnon, a native of Adel, Ga., won the Oscar for his equally brilliant, 38-minute short "The Accountant." The quality of a movie relies on the talents of its makers, wherever they come from.

And even after the film productions relocate or wrap up, they still leave residual economic benefits for tourism. At a Camera Ready Community press conference on Oct. 7, Clara Deemer, the director of tourism for the Covington/Newton County Chamber of Commerce, told about honeymooners from Milan, Italy, who made a point of visiting Covington. The newlyweds' American itinerary consisted of trips to Ground Zero, Disneyland, the launch of the space shuttle Endeavor ... and the town where "The Dukes of Hazzard" was filmed.

In the long term, Georgia's filmmaking boom may be like a circus coming to town, bringing bright lights, razzle-dazzle and employment when we need it most. Even if the movie people pack up their tents and move onto the next hot incentive, they'll leave memories preserved on celluloid, along with a foundation of facilities and experience for native filmmakers to bring their own films to life. Plus, at least some of us had a chance to dance with the wolves.              13056368 2298123                          Cover Story - Ready for our close-up "
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Article

Thursday November 4, 2010 04:01 am EDT
Tinseltown taps Atlanta as movie-making mecca! Will showbiz boom bring boffo box office? | more...
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  string(5877) "PROJECT: Zombieland
CL RATING: 4 stars
RELEASE DATE: Oct. 2, 2009
STAR POWER: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Bill Murray
ON LOCATION: Atlanta, Valdosta, Decatur and Newnan
CELEB SIGHTING: Woody Harrelson reportedly partied with cast and crew at the Clermont Lounge.
A MUST-SEE? It's like the funny, slapstick cousin to "The Walking Dead's" more serious zombie story.

page
PROJECT: The Blind Side
CL RATING: 2 stars
RELEASE DATE: Nov. 20, 2009
STAR POWER: Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Kathy Bates
ON LOCATION: Agnes Scott College, Atlanta International University, the Westminster School, Buckhead
A MUST-SEE? Sandra Bullock's peppery performance earned her a Best Actress Oscar, and the film even eked out a Best Picture nomination.

page
PROJECT: Get Low
CL RATING: 3 stars
RELEASE DATE: Aug. 20, 2010
STAR POWER: Robert Duvall, Bill Murray, Sissy Spacek
ON LOCATION: Crawfordville
CELEB SIGHTING: Bill Murray at a Atlanta Hawks game with director Spike Lee.
A MUST-SEE? This wry Depression-era fable feels more authentically Southern than any film this year.

page
PROJECT: Life As We Know It
RELEASE DATE: Oct. 8, 2010
STAR POWER: Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel
ON LOCATION: Belly General Store in Virginia-Highland, Philips Area, Underground Atlanta, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Brookhaven
SPEAKING OF TATTLETALES: A dancer at the Tattletales Lounge strip club claimed to have had sex with Duhamel (aka Mr. Fergie) while he was in town.
A MUST-SEE? Not unless you love terrible comedies

page
PROJECT: AMC series "The Walking Dead"
RELEASE DATE: Oct. 31, 2010
STAR POWER: Oscar-nominated filmmaker Frank Darabont is the show's creator.
ON LOCATION: Downtown Atlanta's Walton and Forsyth streets, Fairlie-Poplar district, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
A MUST-SEE? The six-episode TV series features the smarts one expects from American Movie Classics shows, with occasional moments of disgusting violence.

page
PROJECT: Due Date
RELEASE DATE: Nov. 5, 2010
STAR POWER: Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis
ON LOCATION: Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, scenes in and around Atlanta, Bremen, Lawrenceville, Gainesville and Hampton
A MUST-SEE? The trailer make Downey Jr. and Galifianakis look like a classic mismatched duo in a spiritual remake of Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

page
PROJECT: For Colored Girls
RELEASE DATE: Nov. 5, 2010
STAR POWER: Janet Jackson, Thandie Newton, Whoopi Goldberg
ON LOCATION: EUE Screen Gems Studios at Lakewood, Midtown, Buckhead, Cobb Energy Centre
CELEB SIGHTING: Janet Jackson spotted eating ice cream with friends at Kilwin's ice cream and fudge shop in Atlantic Station
A MUST-SEE? Tyler Perry's latest film is positioned as 2010's equivalent to Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire. But could anyone make a film of Ntozake Shange's poetic, plotless play?

pageimage-1
PROJECT: The Lost Valentine, a Hallmark Channel original movie
RELEASE DATE: February 2011
STAR POWER: Betty White, Jennifer Love Hewitt
ON LOCATION: Agnes Scott College, North Avenue, Oakdale Road, Borders bookstore on Ponce de Leon Avenue, Chattahoochee River
CELEB SIGHTING: Betty White ordered a vodka on the rocks at Rathbun's in Inman Park and Jennifer Love Hewitt was spotted at Everybody's Pizza.
A MUST-SEE? The film is based on the New York Times best-selling novel by James Michael Pratt. Oh, and it stars Betty White.

PROJECT: Hall Pass
RELEASE DATE: Feb. 25, 2011
STAR POWER: Owen Wilson, Jenna Fischer, Christina Applegate
ON LOCATION: Gold Room and Cantina Taqueria & Tequila Bar in Atlanta, Lake Lanier and an Applebee's in Suwanee, Avondale High School, Days Inn in Gainesville, Marietta
CELEB SIGHTING: Owen Wilson hung out at Via on Pharr Road, and reportedly called Kyma restaurant in Buckhead to ask for the recipe for a cocktail.
A MUST-SEE? It sounds like a potential return to form for the Farrelly Brothers, the funsters behind There's Something About Mary.

PROJECT: The Conspirator
RELEASE DATE: March 2011
STAR POWER: James McAvoy, Kevin Kline, Robin Wright
ON LOCATION: Fort Pulaski, Bay Street in Savannah
A MUST-SEE? History buffs should dig Robert Redford's serious-sounding period piece about the only female co-conspirator of the Lincoln assassination.

PROJECT: Footloose
RELEASE DATE: April 1, 2011
STAR POWER: Dennis Quaid, Andie MacDowell, Kenny Wormald
ON LOCATION: Stone Mountain Village, New Senoia Raceway, Newton County's historic courthouse in Covington, Cowboys Nightclub in Kennesaw
CELEB SIGHTING: Dennis Quaid chowing down at Fox Brothers BBQ
A MUST-SEE? Will Hustle & Flow director Craig Brewer pimp out this remake of the beloved Kevin Bacon film?

pageimage-2
PROJECT: X-Men: First Class
RELEASE DATE: June 3, 2011
STAR POWER: January Jones, James McAvoy, Kevin Bacon, Michael Fassbender
ON LOCATION: Savannah beach area east of Beachview Drive and the Clam Creek fishing pier
A MUST-SEE? Young Professor X and Magneto team up in this prequel that's bound to be better than the last X-Films. (Please?)

PROJECT: Fast Five (aka Fast and Furious Five)
RELEASE DATE: June 10, 2011
STAR POWER: Ludacris, Vin Diesel
ON LOCATION: Body shop on the corner of Memorial Drive and Holtzclaw Street, down the street from WonderRoot and Homegrown Restaurant
A MUST-SEE? If you like watching guys drive fast, why not?

PROJECT: The Change-Up
RELEASE DATE: Aug. 5, 2011
STAR POWER: Ryan Reynolds, Jason Bateman
ON LOCATION: Inman Park, Peachtree Road, German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern US, Inc.
HYPE FACTOR: Wedding Crashers director David Dobkin is allegedly showcasing Atlanta's local color in this body-transfer comedy.

PROJECT: Wanderlust
RELEASE DATE: Oct. 7, 2011
STAR POWER: Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd
ON LOCATION: Atlanta, Lawrenceville, Clarkesville
A MUST-SEE? This Judd Apatow production re-teams Rudd with director David Wain from the amusing Role Models."
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__STAR POWER__: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Bill Murray
__ON LOCATION__: Atlanta, Valdosta, Decatur and Newnan
__CELEB SIGHTING__: Woody Harrelson reportedly partied with cast and crew at the Clermont Lounge.
__A MUST-SEE?__ It's like the funny, slapstick cousin to "The Walking Dead's" more serious zombie story.

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__PROJECT__: ''Get Low''
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__RELEASE DATE__: Aug. 20, 2010
__STAR POWER__: Robert Duvall, Bill Murray, Sissy Spacek
__ON LOCATION__: Crawfordville
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__PROJECT__: ''Life As We Know It''
__RELEASE DATE__: Oct. 8, 2010
__STAR POWER__: Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel
__ON LOCATION__: Belly General Store in Virginia-Highland, Philips Area, Underground Atlanta, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Brookhaven
__SPEAKING OF TATTLETALES__: A dancer at the Tattletales Lounge strip club claimed to have had sex with Duhamel (aka Mr. Fergie) while he was in town.
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{DIV(type="p", align="right")}__Next: Zombie's favorite Atlanta hotspots__{DIV}[page]
__PROJECT__: AMC series [http://clatl.com/atlanta/amc-in-atlanta-the-walking-deads-gut-wrenching-drama/Content?oid=2259871|"The Walking Dead"]
__RELEASE DATE__: Oct. 31, 2010
__STAR POWER__: Oscar-nominated filmmaker Frank Darabont is the show's creator.
__ON LOCATION__: Downtown Atlanta's Walton and Forsyth streets, Fairlie-Poplar district, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
__A MUST-SEE?__ The six-episode TV series features the smarts one expects from American Movie Classics shows, with occasional moments of disgusting violence.

{DIV(type="p", align="right")}__Next: In which Georgia towns was Zach Galifianakis spotted?__{DIV}[page]
__PROJECT__: ''Due Date''
__RELEASE DATE__: Nov. 5, 2010
__STAR POWER__: Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis
__ON LOCATION__: Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, scenes in and around Atlanta, Bremen, Lawrenceville, Gainesville and Hampton
__A MUST-SEE?__ The trailer make Downey Jr. and Galifianakis look like a classic mismatched duo in a spiritual remake of ''Planes, Trains and Automobiles''.

{DIV(type="p", align="right")}__Next: Which treats did Janet Jackson indulge while filming in Atlanta?__{DIV}[page]
__PROJECT__: ''For Colored Girls''
__RELEASE DATE__: Nov. 5, 2010
__STAR POWER__: Janet Jackson, Thandie Newton, Whoopi Goldberg
__ON LOCATION__: EUE Screen Gems Studios at Lakewood, Midtown, Buckhead, Cobb Energy Centre
__CELEB SIGHTING__: Janet Jackson spotted eating ice cream with friends at Kilwin's ice cream and fudge shop in Atlantic Station
__A MUST-SEE?__ Tyler Perry's latest film is positioned as 2010's equivalent to ''Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire''. But could anyone make a film of Ntozake Shange's poetic, plotless play?

{DIV(type="p", align="right")}__Next: What alcoholic drink did Betty White order at Rathbun's?__{DIV}[page][image-1]
__PROJECT__: ''The Lost Valentine'', a Hallmark Channel original movie
__RELEASE DATE__: February 2011
__STAR POWER__: Betty White, Jennifer Love Hewitt
__ON LOCATION__: Agnes Scott College, North Avenue, Oakdale Road, Borders bookstore on Ponce de Leon Avenue, Chattahoochee River
__CELEB SIGHTING__: Betty White ordered a vodka on the rocks at Rathbun's in Inman Park and Jennifer Love Hewitt was spotted at Everybody's Pizza.
__A MUST-SEE?__ The film is based on the ''New York Times'' best-selling novel by James Michael Pratt. Oh, and it stars Betty White.

__PROJECT__: ''Hall Pass''
__RELEASE DATE__: Feb. 25, 2011
__STAR POWER__: Owen Wilson, Jenna Fischer, Christina Applegate
__ON LOCATION__: Gold Room and Cantina Taqueria & Tequila Bar in Atlanta, Lake Lanier and an Applebee's in Suwanee, Avondale High School, Days Inn in Gainesville, Marietta
__CELEB SIGHTING__: Owen Wilson hung out at Via on Pharr Road, and reportedly called Kyma restaurant in Buckhead to ask for the recipe for a cocktail.
__A MUST-SEE?__ It sounds like a potential return to form for the Farrelly Brothers, the funsters behind ''There's Something About Mary''.

__PROJECT__: ''The Conspirator''
__RELEASE DATE__: March 2011
__STAR POWER__: James McAvoy, Kevin Kline, Robin Wright
__ON LOCATION__: Fort Pulaski, Bay Street in Savannah
__A MUST-SEE?__ History buffs should dig Robert Redford's serious-sounding period piece about the only female co-conspirator of the Lincoln assassination.

__PROJECT__: ''Footloose''
__RELEASE DATE__: April 1, 2011
__STAR POWER__: Dennis Quaid, Andie MacDowell, Kenny Wormald
__ON LOCATION__: Stone Mountain Village, New Senoia Raceway, Newton County's historic courthouse in Covington, Cowboys Nightclub in Kennesaw
__CELEB SIGHTING__: Dennis Quaid chowing down at Fox Brothers BBQ
__A MUST-SEE?__ Will ''Hustle & Flow'' director Craig Brewer pimp out this remake of the beloved Kevin Bacon film?

{DIV(type="p", align="right")}__Next: Which successful sequel is being filmed in Savannah?__{DIV}[page][image-2]
__PROJECT__: ''X-Men: First Class''
__RELEASE DATE__: June 3, 2011
__STAR POWER__: January Jones, James McAvoy, Kevin Bacon, Michael Fassbender
__ON LOCATION__: Savannah beach area east of Beachview Drive and the Clam Creek fishing pier
__A MUST-SEE?__ Young Professor X and Magneto team up in this prequel that's bound to be better than the last X-Films. (Please?)

__PROJECT__: ''Fast Five'' (aka ''Fast and Furious Five'')
__RELEASE DATE__: June 10, 2011
__STAR POWER__: Ludacris, Vin Diesel
__ON LOCATION__: Body shop on the corner of Memorial Drive and Holtzclaw Street, down the street from WonderRoot and Homegrown Restaurant
__A MUST-SEE?__ If you like watching guys drive fast, why not?

__PROJECT__: ''The Change-Up''
__RELEASE DATE__: Aug. 5, 2011
__STAR POWER__: Ryan Reynolds, Jason Bateman
__ON LOCATION__: Inman Park, Peachtree Road, German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern US, Inc.
__HYPE FACTOR__: ''Wedding Crashers'' director David Dobkin is allegedly showcasing Atlanta's local color in this body-transfer comedy.

__PROJECT__: ''Wanderlust''
__RELEASE DATE__: Oct. 7, 2011
__STAR POWER__: Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd
__ON LOCATION__: Atlanta, Lawrenceville, Clarkesville
__A MUST-SEE?__ This Judd Apatow production re-teams Rudd with director David Wain from the amusing ''Role Models''."
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  string(6203) "    Shooting locations, celeb sightings and other movie-making madness in the A   2010-11-04T08:00:00+00:00 Cover Story - Move over Nene, the real stars are here!   Curt Holman Curt Holman 2010-11-04T08:00:00+00:00  PROJECT: Zombieland
CL RATING: 4 stars
RELEASE DATE: Oct. 2, 2009
STAR POWER: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Bill Murray
ON LOCATION: Atlanta, Valdosta, Decatur and Newnan
CELEB SIGHTING: Woody Harrelson reportedly partied with cast and crew at the Clermont Lounge.
A MUST-SEE? It's like the funny, slapstick cousin to "The Walking Dead's" more serious zombie story.

page
PROJECT: The Blind Side
CL RATING: 2 stars
RELEASE DATE: Nov. 20, 2009
STAR POWER: Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Kathy Bates
ON LOCATION: Agnes Scott College, Atlanta International University, the Westminster School, Buckhead
A MUST-SEE? Sandra Bullock's peppery performance earned her a Best Actress Oscar, and the film even eked out a Best Picture nomination.

page
PROJECT: Get Low
CL RATING: 3 stars
RELEASE DATE: Aug. 20, 2010
STAR POWER: Robert Duvall, Bill Murray, Sissy Spacek
ON LOCATION: Crawfordville
CELEB SIGHTING: Bill Murray at a Atlanta Hawks game with director Spike Lee.
A MUST-SEE? This wry Depression-era fable feels more authentically Southern than any film this year.

page
PROJECT: Life As We Know It
RELEASE DATE: Oct. 8, 2010
STAR POWER: Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel
ON LOCATION: Belly General Store in Virginia-Highland, Philips Area, Underground Atlanta, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Brookhaven
SPEAKING OF TATTLETALES: A dancer at the Tattletales Lounge strip club claimed to have had sex with Duhamel (aka Mr. Fergie) while he was in town.
A MUST-SEE? Not unless you love terrible comedies

page
PROJECT: AMC series "The Walking Dead"
RELEASE DATE: Oct. 31, 2010
STAR POWER: Oscar-nominated filmmaker Frank Darabont is the show's creator.
ON LOCATION: Downtown Atlanta's Walton and Forsyth streets, Fairlie-Poplar district, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
A MUST-SEE? The six-episode TV series features the smarts one expects from American Movie Classics shows, with occasional moments of disgusting violence.

page
PROJECT: Due Date
RELEASE DATE: Nov. 5, 2010
STAR POWER: Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis
ON LOCATION: Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, scenes in and around Atlanta, Bremen, Lawrenceville, Gainesville and Hampton
A MUST-SEE? The trailer make Downey Jr. and Galifianakis look like a classic mismatched duo in a spiritual remake of Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

page
PROJECT: For Colored Girls
RELEASE DATE: Nov. 5, 2010
STAR POWER: Janet Jackson, Thandie Newton, Whoopi Goldberg
ON LOCATION: EUE Screen Gems Studios at Lakewood, Midtown, Buckhead, Cobb Energy Centre
CELEB SIGHTING: Janet Jackson spotted eating ice cream with friends at Kilwin's ice cream and fudge shop in Atlantic Station
A MUST-SEE? Tyler Perry's latest film is positioned as 2010's equivalent to Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire. But could anyone make a film of Ntozake Shange's poetic, plotless play?

pageimage-1
PROJECT: The Lost Valentine, a Hallmark Channel original movie
RELEASE DATE: February 2011
STAR POWER: Betty White, Jennifer Love Hewitt
ON LOCATION: Agnes Scott College, North Avenue, Oakdale Road, Borders bookstore on Ponce de Leon Avenue, Chattahoochee River
CELEB SIGHTING: Betty White ordered a vodka on the rocks at Rathbun's in Inman Park and Jennifer Love Hewitt was spotted at Everybody's Pizza.
A MUST-SEE? The film is based on the New York Times best-selling novel by James Michael Pratt. Oh, and it stars Betty White.

PROJECT: Hall Pass
RELEASE DATE: Feb. 25, 2011
STAR POWER: Owen Wilson, Jenna Fischer, Christina Applegate
ON LOCATION: Gold Room and Cantina Taqueria & Tequila Bar in Atlanta, Lake Lanier and an Applebee's in Suwanee, Avondale High School, Days Inn in Gainesville, Marietta
CELEB SIGHTING: Owen Wilson hung out at Via on Pharr Road, and reportedly called Kyma restaurant in Buckhead to ask for the recipe for a cocktail.
A MUST-SEE? It sounds like a potential return to form for the Farrelly Brothers, the funsters behind There's Something About Mary.

PROJECT: The Conspirator
RELEASE DATE: March 2011
STAR POWER: James McAvoy, Kevin Kline, Robin Wright
ON LOCATION: Fort Pulaski, Bay Street in Savannah
A MUST-SEE? History buffs should dig Robert Redford's serious-sounding period piece about the only female co-conspirator of the Lincoln assassination.

PROJECT: Footloose
RELEASE DATE: April 1, 2011
STAR POWER: Dennis Quaid, Andie MacDowell, Kenny Wormald
ON LOCATION: Stone Mountain Village, New Senoia Raceway, Newton County's historic courthouse in Covington, Cowboys Nightclub in Kennesaw
CELEB SIGHTING: Dennis Quaid chowing down at Fox Brothers BBQ
A MUST-SEE? Will Hustle & Flow director Craig Brewer pimp out this remake of the beloved Kevin Bacon film?

pageimage-2
PROJECT: X-Men: First Class
RELEASE DATE: June 3, 2011
STAR POWER: January Jones, James McAvoy, Kevin Bacon, Michael Fassbender
ON LOCATION: Savannah beach area east of Beachview Drive and the Clam Creek fishing pier
A MUST-SEE? Young Professor X and Magneto team up in this prequel that's bound to be better than the last X-Films. (Please?)

PROJECT: Fast Five (aka Fast and Furious Five)
RELEASE DATE: June 10, 2011
STAR POWER: Ludacris, Vin Diesel
ON LOCATION: Body shop on the corner of Memorial Drive and Holtzclaw Street, down the street from WonderRoot and Homegrown Restaurant
A MUST-SEE? If you like watching guys drive fast, why not?

PROJECT: The Change-Up
RELEASE DATE: Aug. 5, 2011
STAR POWER: Ryan Reynolds, Jason Bateman
ON LOCATION: Inman Park, Peachtree Road, German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern US, Inc.
HYPE FACTOR: Wedding Crashers director David Dobkin is allegedly showcasing Atlanta's local color in this body-transfer comedy.

PROJECT: Wanderlust
RELEASE DATE: Oct. 7, 2011
STAR POWER: Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd
ON LOCATION: Atlanta, Lawrenceville, Clarkesville
A MUST-SEE? This Judd Apatow production re-teams Rudd with director David Wain from the amusing Role Models.             13056373 2298137                          Cover Story - Move over Nene, the real stars are here! "
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Thursday November 4, 2010 04:00 am EDT
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When Chris "Set it off" Jones takes the stage, he's coming to do exactly what his moniker promises. With a high-energy act that merges comedy and street gospel, Jones animated, twang-inflected delivery can make you stand up and shout, or roll on the floor laughing. He plays clubs regularly all over Atlanta, and will be touring with 50 Cent's "This is 50 Comedy Tour."

ATLien since: 2006

Comedian since: 2000

A lil' joke: "I wish that fortune cookies would say the truth like, for instance, if you open one it should say 'your car will be reposessed tommorow!' or 'you will be audited next year!' "

Recent credits:
BET "A Time to Laugh"
BET "The Mo'Nique Show"
50 Cent's "This is 50 Comedy Tour"

Contact info:
www.comedianchrisjones.com
facebook.com/ChrisJones
twitter: @settitoff2times


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When __Chris "Set it off" Jones__ takes the stage, he's coming to do exactly what his moniker promises. With a high-energy act that merges comedy and street gospel, Jones animated, twang-inflected delivery can make you stand up and shout, or roll on the floor laughing. He plays clubs regularly all over Atlanta, and will be touring with 50 Cent's "This is 50 Comedy Tour."

__ATLien since:__ 2006

__Comedian since:__ 2000

__A lil' joke:__ "I wish that fortune cookies would say the truth like, for instance, if you open one it should say 'your car will be reposessed tommorow!' or 'you will be audited next year!' "

__Recent credits:__
BET "A Time to Laugh"
BET "The Mo'Nique Show"
50 Cent's "This is 50 Comedy Tour"

__Contact info:__
[http://www.comedianchrisjones.com|www.comedianchrisjones.com]
facebook.com/ChrisJones
twitter: @settitoff2times


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  string(1028) "       2010-11-01T20:44:00+00:00 ATL Comic Profile: Chris Set it off" Jones"   Noah Gardenswartz 1306445 2010-11-01T20:44:00+00:00  

When Chris "Set it off" Jones takes the stage, he's coming to do exactly what his moniker promises. With a high-energy act that merges comedy and street gospel, Jones animated, twang-inflected delivery can make you stand up and shout, or roll on the floor laughing. He plays clubs regularly all over Atlanta, and will be touring with 50 Cent's "This is 50 Comedy Tour."

ATLien since: 2006

Comedian since: 2000

A lil' joke: "I wish that fortune cookies would say the truth like, for instance, if you open one it should say 'your car will be reposessed tommorow!' or 'you will be audited next year!' "

Recent credits:
BET "A Time to Laugh"
BET "The Mo'Nique Show"
50 Cent's "This is 50 Comedy Tour"

Contact info:
www.comedianchrisjones.com
facebook.com/ChrisJones
twitter: @settitoff2times


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Monday November 1, 2010 04:44 pm EDT



When Chris "Set it off" Jones takes the stage, he's coming to do exactly what his moniker promises. With a high-energy act that merges comedy and street gospel, Jones animated, twang-inflected delivery can make you stand up and shout, or roll on the floor laughing. He plays clubs regularly all over Atlanta, and will be touring with 50 Cent's "This is 50 Comedy Tour."

ATLien since: 2006...

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  string(67) "French company brings movement to John Cage's 1977 sound experiment"
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  string(4908) "If you were to make a list of the least danceable compositions of all time, John Cage's Empty Words would probably top it.

The recording, a conceptual piece from the late 1970s in which Cage reads from the work of Henry David Thoreau without pronouncing the vowels, is certainly a modernist classic. And sure, its creepy, low-tech beauty and implied Zen-like questions — What is the sound of someone not making music? How do we know it's not music? — will unfold to anyone who listens. But still. Even when Cage's unreceptive audience in Milan begins to jeer and their boos take on a sort of musicality in the recording, even when their bouts of sarcastic applause give the piece an angry, irregular rhythm, it remains a work unlikely to inspire many listeners to turn to one another and say, "Hey, let's dance."

It is the piece's seeming total unsuitability for movement that oddly makes it the perfect match for choreographer Angelin Preljocaj. Just like Cage, Preljocaj is anarchic, playful, beguiling, singular. His work, like Cage's, asks simple questions, but resists easy answers.

"What I like is the deconstruction John Cage brought in this project Empty Words," Preljocaj says over the phone from Paris. "I started to work on my own idea of deconstructing my grammar of movement. If you hear Empty Words, you have the sensation it has no sense, but it comes from a structured text, very deep, from Thoreau. I tried to find the same deconstruction in my work in the way I worked with my dancers. I tried to invent a new vocabulary through this deconstruction."

Preljocaj's piece, entitled Empty moves (parts I & II), involves four dancers in T-shirts and underwear performing a series of surreal movements with a smooth, expressionless calm and trancelike acceptance. "There is a kind of musicality to the voice of John Cage because he gives the text something very calm," says Preljocaj. "Even though everybody was screaming in the audience, he continued reading. There's a feeling of serenity. I used the feeling of his voice and the mood of what his voice is bringing."

Although Preljocaj's name (pronounced prel-zho-KAHJ) may be unfamiliar to Atlanta audiences — this will be the company's first visit to the Southeast — his huge body of work has established him as one of the world's most important choreographers. A thorough list of honors, titles, awards, collaborations, significant work, eminent institutions, and high praise would be exhausting. Suffice it to say everyone thinks he's the shit, and, well, for once, everyone is right.

His work has an almost schizophrenic level of variety, productivity and invention. From the blatantly political to the nakedly personal to the purely abstract, his work covers the gamut. And every dance looks different, though his work's eroticism, demanding physicality, sharp intricacy and precise jumps and turns remain something of a constant.

It's not surprising that a choreographer with such an unconventional output should have an unconventional background. Preljocaj was born into a strict, traditional Albanian home in suburban Paris. His parents — he a carpenter, she a shepherdess, their marriage arranged according to Balkan tradition — were refugees from their country's Communist takeover. While en route to the U.S. in the 1950s, they stopped in France to wait for a visa and ended up staying. As a boy, Preljocaj loved judo: He earned his black belt at age 16. Somewhere along the way, he fell in love with movement for its own sake and began secretly siphoning off the money his father gave him for judo lessons to use for dance. He kept his new lessons secret because his parents didn't approve of what they considered an unmanly pursuit.

"After some years," he says, "they started to admit that it is just my way. They started to see some performances. At the beginning, they didn't like it, but slowly they started to accept my passion."

Throughout his career, Preljocaj's output has remained enormous and varied. "Bulimic" is the word he uses to describe his creative energy. But when asked to define the Preljocaj style, he has surprisingly little to say. "In the end, that's not my job. There's a lot of intuition. I think an art piece is half intelligence, half intuition. If it's just intelligence it's not an art piece, and if it's just intuition it's not an art piece. It's a strange combination, and maybe that's why an artist is not able to define his own style."

"There is no such thing as silence," Cage is famous for saying. One of modernism's great artistic discoveries was that the process of subtraction can reveal more detail than it takes away. Preljocaj and Cage remind us that no matter how much is removed from a work — even when narrative, even when sound and sense, even when words and logic themselves are taken out — under the hand of a great artist, the result is anything but empty."
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The recording, a conceptual piece from the late 1970s in which Cage reads from the work of Henry David Thoreau without pronouncing the vowels, is certainly a modernist classic. And sure, its creepy, low-tech beauty and implied Zen-like questions — What is the sound of someone ''not'' making music? How do we ''know'' it's not music? — will unfold to anyone who listens. But still. Even when Cage's unreceptive audience in Milan begins to jeer and their boos take on a sort of musicality in the recording, even when their bouts of sarcastic applause give the piece an angry, irregular rhythm, it remains a work unlikely to inspire many listeners to turn to one another and say, "Hey, let's dance."

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His work has an almost schizophrenic level of variety, productivity and invention. From the blatantly political to the nakedly personal to the purely abstract, his work covers the gamut. And every dance looks different, though his work's eroticism, demanding physicality, sharp intricacy and precise jumps and turns remain something of a constant.

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The recording, a conceptual piece from the late 1970s in which Cage reads from the work of Henry David Thoreau without pronouncing the vowels, is certainly a modernist classic. And sure, its creepy, low-tech beauty and implied Zen-like questions — What is the sound of someone not making music? How do we know it's not music? — will unfold to anyone who listens. But still. Even when Cage's unreceptive audience in Milan begins to jeer and their boos take on a sort of musicality in the recording, even when their bouts of sarcastic applause give the piece an angry, irregular rhythm, it remains a work unlikely to inspire many listeners to turn to one another and say, "Hey, let's dance."

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His work has an almost schizophrenic level of variety, productivity and invention. From the blatantly political to the nakedly personal to the purely abstract, his work covers the gamut. And every dance looks different, though his work's eroticism, demanding physicality, sharp intricacy and precise jumps and turns remain something of a constant.

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Today's Another Comedy Podcast was made with a nice blend of local flavors. Clayton English came by to co-host as Atlanta comics Trey Toler, Karen Hilton and Matt O'Meara stopped in to talk about the Atlanta comedy scene, and why you should come check them all out this weekend at the Laughing Skull Lounge on Trey Toler and Friends.

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Thursday October 28, 2010 05:17 pm EDT



Today's Another Comedy Podcast was made with a nice blend of local flavors. Clayton English came by to co-host as Atlanta comics Trey Toler, Karen Hilton and Matt O'Meara stopped in to talk about the Atlanta comedy scene, and why you should come check them all out this weekend at the Laughing Skull Lounge on Trey Toler and Friends.

Download now or listen after the jump.

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The Atlanta Hawks 2010-11 season tips off tonight in Memphis, Tenn., against the Grizzlies, but it should end the same way the 2007-08 season did: A first round playoff loss to a far superior team.

I apologize for bursting anyone's bubble, but before you get too wrapped up in the six-month NBA season just know that it will likely be a waste of your time to follow this Hawks team too closely.

It's not that the Hawks got worse during the offseason, it's just that everyone around them got a whole lot better.

The division rival Heat added the best player in the game, the Celtics bolstered their frontcourt by adding Shaquille O'neal, the Bulls added key pieces in Carlos Boozer and Ronnie Brewer and the Knicks acquired Amar'e Stoudemire and Raymond Felton.

And oh yeah, did I mention that the Orlando Magic—the team that mercilessly ousted the Hawks from the 2010 Playoffs—are still the team to beat in the Southeast Division this year."
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The division rival Heat added [http://clatl.com/freshloaf/archives/2010/10/21/dont-care-about-preseason-nba-basketball-you-say-bet-you-will-tonight|the best player in the game], the Celtics bolstered their frontcourt by adding Shaquille O'neal, the Bulls added key pieces in Carlos Boozer and Ronnie Brewer and the Knicks acquired Amar'e Stoudemire and Raymond Felton.

And oh yeah, did I mention that the Orlando Magic—[http://clatl.com/freshloaf/archives/2010/05/11/the-hawks-return-to-obscurity-begins|the team that mercilessly ousted the Hawks from the 2010 Playoffs]—are still the team to beat in the Southeast Division this year."
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The Atlanta Hawks 2010-11 season tips off tonight in Memphis, Tenn., against the Grizzlies, but it should end the same way the 2007-08 season did: A first round playoff loss to a far superior team.

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And oh yeah, did I mention that the Orlando Magic—the team that mercilessly ousted the Hawks from the 2010 Playoffs—are still the team to beat in the Southeast Division this year.             13056192 2267606                          Ben's Sports Take: Hawks season begins tonight; try to contain yourself "
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Wednesday October 27, 2010 01:19 pm EDT



The Atlanta Hawks 2010-11 season tips off tonight in Memphis, Tenn., against the Grizzlies, but it should end the same way the 2007-08 season did: A first round playoff loss to a far superior team.

I apologize for bursting anyone's bubble, but before you get too wrapped up in the six-month NBA season just know that it will likely be a waste of your time to follow this Hawks team too...

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*Courtesy Flux projects
*CATCH IT WHILE YOU CAN: Momentary Performances wraps this week


Lee Walton’s ongoing performance art project "Momentary Performances" finishes its run this week. A kind-of sidewalk theater, "Momentary Performances" installs vinyl text in public spaces describing a scene taking place in its vicinity. It's a little like those Orbitz commercials.



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  • Courtesy Flux projects
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Lee Walton’s ongoing performance art project "Momentary Performances" finishes its run this week. A kind-of sidewalk theater, "Momentary Performances" installs vinyl text in public spaces describing a scene taking place in its vicinity. It's a little like those Orbitz commercials.



Info on where to...

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  string(4965) "George Dawes Green wants to reinvigorate the art of storytelling. At least, that's what friend Wanda Bullard had to say about his ambitions to a packed room at the Newnan Carnegie Library earlier this month. That night, Bullard was the opening act of the Unchained Tour of Georgia, a traveling sideshow of storytellers and musicians making its way around the state this month. Green wasn't there to speak for himself or his sideshow because a mysterious "emergency meeting" came up earlier that day concerning the Moth, a storytelling series and organization Green started in New York City in 1997. Green had to jump on a flight to sort out the issue. Reinvigorating the art of storytelling apparently involves a little jet setting, too.

If anybody knows Green, Bullard does. She's a top-notch Southern yarn spinner who speaks in a drawl so thick it might give you trouble if you were born north of the Mason-Dixon. Recently retired after teaching for 40 years, Bullard's got a few years on her fresh-faced Unchained peers, but she also has the distinction of being, at least in part, the reason why Green put the tour together. Years before Green established himself as a massively successful mystery novelist with The Caveman's Valentine and The Juror, which was adapted into a film starring Demi Moore, he was part of a group that gathered to tell stories on the porch of Bullard's St. Simons home.

"My father had died just a few years earlier and I had been having a real hard time talking about it," Bullard says, visibly switching into storytelling mode just to explain how she met Green. "Every Sunday afternoon around that time, I'd have a cookout, put chicken on the grill and feed anywhere from 15 to 35 people. I'd invite friends, they'd bring friends. George just started comin' and he became a regular."

The daytime cookouts gave Bullard an opportunity to process some of her thoughts and memories of her late father. "I'd always mention some little something about my dad, just some adventure I had with him." These recollections became a regular part of her cookouts, and "people would just say, 'We've finished eatin' and it's time to have a George Bullard story.' So, I'd tell a story and then somebody else would tell a story about somebody they knew. It got to be a real neat thing to sit around my porch and listen to other people's stories. So, when George got up to New York, he said, 'Well, I gotta recreate that feeling.'"

Green named his storytelling series the Moth in reference to the insects that were drawn to lights on her porch at night, flapping their wings in the glow as stories were told. He even invited her up to New York City to tell one of her "George Bullard stories" in the event's early days. His inspiration might have been charmingly low-key, but Green has since grown the Moth into a literary powerhouse, drawing in big names such as Salman Rushdie and Jay McInerney and celebs such as Ethan Hawke and Julia Stiles. Satellite programs have popped up around the country in Los Angeles and Chicago, as well as here in Atlanta.

The Moth distinguishes itself from typical reading series with a clever angle: true stories with no notes. It doesn't matter much what a performer at the Moth can write on a page if they can't recount it off the cuff, a format that favors performers whose skills fall somewhere between stand-up comedian and NPR host. Last year, the New York Times described the open-mic events as "a farm league for 'This American Life'" while noting that a number of regulars had been picked up for six-figure book deals.

Green has culled most of the storytellers for the Unchained Tour, which wraps in Atlanta Oct. 28-29, from the New York Moth events. The performers are a cross-section of the best styles you might come across at the Moth. Playwright and Savannah native Edgar Oliver speaks in a dramatic cadence fitting for a stage production of an Edgar Allan Poe story. Raconteur Juliet Hope Wayne delivers like a contemporary memoirist, dropping in casual asides about heroin addiction among sentences punctuated by "like" and "um." Dan Kennedy, an author who's been reading at Moth events for the past 10 years, acts as something of an emcee for the event. Musicians Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent play folksy interludes between stories.

Green had planned to have all of the Unchained Tour performers ride around in a hand-painted 1975 Bluebird school bus, but it broke down on the second day — fitting for a group that, for the most part, sports wrinkled clothes and greasy hair. It's a decidedly less glamorous affair than those celebrity-studded Moth events in New York, but Kennedy says that's exactly the point. "The Moth got a crazy amount of press in a two-year period and a lot of people started looking at it as a place to go 'get yours.' Which is fine, you can 'get yours' and find a little attention, but this has that romantic seed to it. It started on Wanda's porch, you know?""
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The Moth distinguishes itself from typical reading series with a clever angle: true stories with no notes. It doesn't matter much what a performer at the Moth can write on a page if they can't recount it off the cuff, a format that favors performers whose skills fall somewhere between stand-up comedian and NPR host. Last year, the ''New York Times'' described the open-mic events as "a farm league for 'This American Life'" while noting that a number of regulars had been picked up for six-figure book deals.

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If anybody knows Green, Bullard does. She's a top-notch Southern yarn spinner who speaks in a drawl so thick it might give you trouble if you were born north of the Mason-Dixon. Recently retired after teaching for 40 years, Bullard's got a few years on her fresh-faced Unchained peers, but she also has the distinction of being, at least in part, the reason why Green put the tour together. Years before Green established himself as a massively successful mystery novelist with The Caveman's Valentine and The Juror, which was adapted into a film starring Demi Moore, he was part of a group that gathered to tell stories on the porch of Bullard's St. Simons home.

"My father had died just a few years earlier and I had been having a real hard time talking about it," Bullard says, visibly switching into storytelling mode just to explain how she met Green. "Every Sunday afternoon around that time, I'd have a cookout, put chicken on the grill and feed anywhere from 15 to 35 people. I'd invite friends, they'd bring friends. George just started comin' and he became a regular."

The daytime cookouts gave Bullard an opportunity to process some of her thoughts and memories of her late father. "I'd always mention some little something about my dad, just some adventure I had with him." These recollections became a regular part of her cookouts, and "people would just say, 'We've finished eatin' and it's time to have a George Bullard story.' So, I'd tell a story and then somebody else would tell a story about somebody they knew. It got to be a real neat thing to sit around my porch and listen to other people's stories. So, when George got up to New York, he said, 'Well, I gotta recreate that feeling.'"

Green named his storytelling series the Moth in reference to the insects that were drawn to lights on her porch at night, flapping their wings in the glow as stories were told. He even invited her up to New York City to tell one of her "George Bullard stories" in the event's early days. His inspiration might have been charmingly low-key, but Green has since grown the Moth into a literary powerhouse, drawing in big names such as Salman Rushdie and Jay McInerney and celebs such as Ethan Hawke and Julia Stiles. Satellite programs have popped up around the country in Los Angeles and Chicago, as well as here in Atlanta.

The Moth distinguishes itself from typical reading series with a clever angle: true stories with no notes. It doesn't matter much what a performer at the Moth can write on a page if they can't recount it off the cuff, a format that favors performers whose skills fall somewhere between stand-up comedian and NPR host. Last year, the New York Times described the open-mic events as "a farm league for 'This American Life'" while noting that a number of regulars had been picked up for six-figure book deals.

Green has culled most of the storytellers for the Unchained Tour, which wraps in Atlanta Oct. 28-29, from the New York Moth events. The performers are a cross-section of the best styles you might come across at the Moth. Playwright and Savannah native Edgar Oliver speaks in a dramatic cadence fitting for a stage production of an Edgar Allan Poe story. Raconteur Juliet Hope Wayne delivers like a contemporary memoirist, dropping in casual asides about heroin addiction among sentences punctuated by "like" and "um." Dan Kennedy, an author who's been reading at Moth events for the past 10 years, acts as something of an emcee for the event. Musicians Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent play folksy interludes between stories.

Green had planned to have all of the Unchained Tour performers ride around in a hand-painted 1975 Bluebird school bus, but it broke down on the second day — fitting for a group that, for the most part, sports wrinkled clothes and greasy hair. It's a decidedly less glamorous affair than those celebrity-studded Moth events in New York, but Kennedy says that's exactly the point. "The Moth got a crazy amount of press in a two-year period and a lot of people started looking at it as a place to go 'get yours.' Which is fine, you can 'get yours' and find a little attention, but this has that romantic seed to it. It started on Wanda's porch, you know?"             13056144 2260542                          Raconteurs wing it on the Unchained Tour of Georgia "
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Article

Monday October 25, 2010 04:00 pm EDT
The Moth founder George Dawes Green wants to reinvigorate the art of storytelling | more...
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  string(3554) "Comedian Mike Birbiglia has been winning fans over for years with his punchy, stream-of-consciousness joke telling. He recently brought his quick, tangent-driven humor to the page in his authorial debut, Sleepwalk With Me and Other Painfully True Stories. Sleepwalk is a predictably hilarious but surprisingly touching memoir. Birbiglia performs in Atlanta on Thurs., Nov. 4, at the Variety Playhouse.

In the book you say, "To be a comedian you have to be delusional." Do you feel the same way about being an author?

Absolutely! It's about believing you can do something that only other people are supposed to be able to do. When my editor would say things like, "We'd like it to be around 50-70,000 words," I would try to block it out. I'm the guy in college who got the writing assignment and was like, "A four-page paper?" Time to call in my old friend Courier 14.

You have a very stream-of-consciousness style to your writing. Is that the result of doing stand-up for so long, or is that always how you've written?

It's not intentional. It's just how I think and process ideas. The tough part is making sure that it's translating to the reader. I feel like in this case it does, but it's only because I had a bunch of counselors saying, "This doesn't make sense" and "this makes sense" and "don't call me again."

If you could choose between your two childhood dream jobs of becoming a rapper or pizza restaurant owner, which would you go with now and why?

The crazy thing about rap is that guys like Eminem have these amazing lyrics that can be incredibly funny, and then comedy guys like Bo Burnham and the Lonely Island guys make really good rap music themselves that's actually musically pretty tight. So maybe I should open a pizzeria, because that is not going to morph into some other genre of food.

You have a chapter that deals with your mom being sick and you losing your faith in Catholicism — heavy topics. How do you make something like that funny for the reader, and were you uncomfortable writing any of it?

I try to find the humor in it. I mean, do 8-year-olds need to learn about concepts like original sin and the Holy Trinity? Is it healthy to for 12-year-olds to be told they're eating the actual body of Christ? I could be outraged, or make people laugh. At the end of the day, nobody died. Except Jesus. But that was a long time ago.

Now that you're famous, do you ever go back and taunt all those girls that ignored you back in middle school?

Isn't that what Facebook is for? No, I don't begrudge any seventh grade girls for not wanting to make out with me. They were right.

How many people out of every 10 would you say pronounce your last name correctly?

If by correctly you mean the Americanized way my family decided to pronounce it, then none out of 10.

What does your secretive father think about the book ... secretly?

My dad has been instructed not to read the book. But he likes the cover, and I think he's judging it by that, which is healthy.

Have you gotten endorsement deals and spokesperson requests from medical societies doing research on sleepwalking?

I have been invited to speak at a few medical conferences, and I would love an endorsement deal from a pharmaceutical company, but from what I understand they don't have any money for promotion and advertising.

What are you going to do next, professionally?

I have a number of upcoming appearances, and following those dates, I'm going to be preparing my next off-Broadway show in New York, which will be titled My Girlfriend's Boyfriend. "
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  string(3602) "Comedian Mike Birbiglia has been winning fans over for years with his punchy, stream-of-consciousness joke telling. He recently brought his quick, tangent-driven humor to the page in his authorial debut, ''Sleepwalk With Me and Other Painfully True Stories''. ''Sleepwalk'' is a predictably hilarious but surprisingly touching memoir. Birbiglia performs in Atlanta on Thurs., Nov. 4, at the Variety Playhouse.

__In the book you say, "To be a comedian you have to be delusional." Do you feel the same way about being an author?__

Absolutely! It's about believing you can do something that only other people are supposed to be able to do. When my editor would say things like, "We'd like it to be around 50-70,000 words," I would try to block it out. I'm the guy in college who got the writing assignment and was like, "A four-page paper?" Time to call in my old friend Courier 14.

__You have a very stream-of-consciousness style to your writing. Is that the result of doing stand-up for so long, or is that always how you've written?__

It's not intentional. It's just how I think and process ideas. The tough part is making sure that it's translating to the reader. I feel like in this case it does, but it's only because I had a bunch of counselors saying, "This doesn't make sense" and "this makes sense" and "don't call me again."

__If you could choose between your two childhood dream jobs of becoming a rapper or pizza restaurant owner, which would you go with now and why?__

The crazy thing about rap is that guys like Eminem have these amazing lyrics that can be incredibly funny, and then comedy guys like Bo Burnham and the Lonely Island guys make really good rap music themselves that's actually musically pretty tight. So maybe I should open a pizzeria, because that is not going to morph into some other genre of food.

__You have a chapter that deals with your mom being sick and you losing your faith in Catholicism — heavy topics. How do you make something like that funny for the reader, and were you uncomfortable writing any of it?__

I try to find the humor in it. I mean, do 8-year-olds need to learn about concepts like original sin and the Holy Trinity? Is it healthy to for 12-year-olds to be told they're eating the actual body of Christ? I could be outraged, or make people laugh. At the end of the day, nobody died. Except Jesus. But that was a long time ago.

__Now that you're famous, do you ever go back and taunt all those girls that ignored you back in middle school?__

Isn't that what Facebook is for? No, I don't begrudge any seventh grade girls for not wanting to make out with me. They were right.

__How many people out of every 10 would you say pronounce your last name correctly?__

If by correctly you mean the Americanized way my family decided to pronounce it, then none out of 10.

__What does your secretive father think about the book ... secretly?__

My dad has been instructed not to read the book. But he likes the cover, and I think he's judging it by that, which is healthy.

__Have you gotten endorsement deals and spokesperson requests from medical societies doing research on sleepwalking?__

I have been invited to speak at a few medical conferences, and I would love an endorsement deal from a pharmaceutical company, but from what I understand they don't have any money for promotion and advertising.

__What are you going to do next, professionally?__

I have a number of upcoming appearances, and following those dates, I'm going to be preparing my next off-Broadway show in New York, which will be titled ''My Girlfriend's Boyfriend''. "
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  string(3816) "    The comedian talks rapping, Jesus and pizza   2010-10-25T19:00:00+00:00 Comedy - Mike Birbiglia is delusional   Noah Gardenswartz 1306445 2010-10-25T19:00:00+00:00  Comedian Mike Birbiglia has been winning fans over for years with his punchy, stream-of-consciousness joke telling. He recently brought his quick, tangent-driven humor to the page in his authorial debut, Sleepwalk With Me and Other Painfully True Stories. Sleepwalk is a predictably hilarious but surprisingly touching memoir. Birbiglia performs in Atlanta on Thurs., Nov. 4, at the Variety Playhouse.

In the book you say, "To be a comedian you have to be delusional." Do you feel the same way about being an author?

Absolutely! It's about believing you can do something that only other people are supposed to be able to do. When my editor would say things like, "We'd like it to be around 50-70,000 words," I would try to block it out. I'm the guy in college who got the writing assignment and was like, "A four-page paper?" Time to call in my old friend Courier 14.

You have a very stream-of-consciousness style to your writing. Is that the result of doing stand-up for so long, or is that always how you've written?

It's not intentional. It's just how I think and process ideas. The tough part is making sure that it's translating to the reader. I feel like in this case it does, but it's only because I had a bunch of counselors saying, "This doesn't make sense" and "this makes sense" and "don't call me again."

If you could choose between your two childhood dream jobs of becoming a rapper or pizza restaurant owner, which would you go with now and why?

The crazy thing about rap is that guys like Eminem have these amazing lyrics that can be incredibly funny, and then comedy guys like Bo Burnham and the Lonely Island guys make really good rap music themselves that's actually musically pretty tight. So maybe I should open a pizzeria, because that is not going to morph into some other genre of food.

You have a chapter that deals with your mom being sick and you losing your faith in Catholicism — heavy topics. How do you make something like that funny for the reader, and were you uncomfortable writing any of it?

I try to find the humor in it. I mean, do 8-year-olds need to learn about concepts like original sin and the Holy Trinity? Is it healthy to for 12-year-olds to be told they're eating the actual body of Christ? I could be outraged, or make people laugh. At the end of the day, nobody died. Except Jesus. But that was a long time ago.

Now that you're famous, do you ever go back and taunt all those girls that ignored you back in middle school?

Isn't that what Facebook is for? No, I don't begrudge any seventh grade girls for not wanting to make out with me. They were right.

How many people out of every 10 would you say pronounce your last name correctly?

If by correctly you mean the Americanized way my family decided to pronounce it, then none out of 10.

What does your secretive father think about the book ... secretly?

My dad has been instructed not to read the book. But he likes the cover, and I think he's judging it by that, which is healthy.

Have you gotten endorsement deals and spokesperson requests from medical societies doing research on sleepwalking?

I have been invited to speak at a few medical conferences, and I would love an endorsement deal from a pharmaceutical company, but from what I understand they don't have any money for promotion and advertising.

What are you going to do next, professionally?

I have a number of upcoming appearances, and following those dates, I'm going to be preparing my next off-Broadway show in New York, which will be titled My Girlfriend's Boyfriend.              13056142 2260525                          Comedy - Mike Birbiglia is delusional "
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Monday October 25, 2010 03:00 pm EDT
The comedian talks rapping, Jesus and pizza | more...
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Featured on TBS.com's "The Daily Riff"

Upcoming performances: Debut of "The Game Show Show" on November 16 at the Basement Theatre

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Joe Pettis represents a new breed of young adults, armed with English degrees and tattooed sleeves. With material that appeals to audiences ranging from the PBR-infused hipsters in Atlanta's dive scene, to the facebook/twitter obsessed techno-crazed youths, Pettis can and will make you giggle. Small and friendly enough not to scare anyone, but still rocking enough ink and facial hair to be edgy, Pettis is successfully, but dichotomously the non-conformist boy next door.

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__Recent credits:__Reader's pick for "Best Local Comedian" in ''Creative Loafing's ''2010 "Best Of Atlanta" issue.
Featured on TBS.com's "The Daily Riff"

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[http://www.facebook.com/joepettis|www.facebook.com/joepettis]
[http://www.twitter.com/joepettis|www.twitter.com/joepettis]

[http://vimeo.com/15414782|Joe Pettis - Living in Dunwoody] from [http://vimeo.com/joepettis|Joe Pettis] on [http://vimeo.com|Vimeo]."
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Joe Pettis represents a new breed of young adults, armed with English degrees and tattooed sleeves. With material that appeals to audiences ranging from the PBR-infused hipsters in Atlanta's dive scene, to the facebook/twitter obsessed techno-crazed youths, Pettis can and will make you giggle. Small and friendly enough not to scare anyone, but still rocking enough ink and facial hair to be edgy, Pettis is successfully, but dichotomously the non-conformist boy next door.

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Upcoming performances: Debut of "The Game Show Show" on November 16 at the Basement Theatre

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Monday October 25, 2010 02:38 pm EDT



Joe Pettis represents a new breed of young adults, armed with English degrees and tattooed sleeves. With material that appeals to audiences ranging from the PBR-infused hipsters in Atlanta's dive scene, to the facebook/twitter obsessed techno-crazed youths, Pettis can and will make you giggle. Small and friendly enough not to scare anyone, but still rocking enough ink and facial hair to be...

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Comedian and author Jim Breuer is in Atlanta all weekend performing at the Punchline. This morning he came by Another Comedy Podcast to talk about his new book, I'm Not High (But I've Got a Lot of Crazy Stories about Life as a Goat Boy, a Dad, and a Spiritual Warrior).  He also impersonated Dave Chappelle and spoke about Half Baked, Heavy Metal, and what America should do for its Vets.

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Friday October 22, 2010 01:16 pm EDT



Comedian and author Jim Breuer is in Atlanta all weekend performing at the Punchline. This morning he came by Another Comedy Podcast to talk about his new book, I'm Not High (But I've Got a Lot of Crazy Stories about Life as a Goat Boy, a Dad, and a Spiritual Warrior). He also impersonated Dave Chappelle and spoke about Half Baked, Heavy Metal, and what America should do for its Vets....

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*Brent Day
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  string(428) "       2010-10-22T14:55:00+00:00 Weekend Arts Agenda October 22 2010   Wyatt Williams 1306426 2010-10-22T14:55:00+00:00  http://swmpdnky.com/2010/09/
*Brent Day
*Remed working during Living Walls

Remed returns to Atlanta for an international group show at ABV Gallery and photo books get fair treatment from ACP. Details after the jump.             13056078 2249946                          Weekend Arts Agenda October 22 2010 "
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Friday October 22, 2010 10:55 am EDT

http://swmpdnky.com/2010/09/

  • Brent Day
  • Remed working during Living Walls


Remed returns to Atlanta for an international group show at ABV Gallery and photo books get fair treatment from ACP. Details after the jump.

| more...
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  string(3323) "Chris Verene's been photographing his extended family in Galesburg, Ill., for 25 years. He's chronicled his cousin Candi's marriage and divorce, his cousin Steve's estrangement from his daughters, and the birth and growth of perhaps a dozen kids as they lurch in and out of adolescence.

Twenty of these photos are collected in Family, currently on view at Marcia Wood Gallery. The series of color documentary photographs tells the idiosyncratic story of hardscrabble lives in a hardscrabble town. "The State Took Custody of Amber's Girls" depicts Amber in ill-fitting clothes as she touches the windshield of a car that appears to be carrying her daughters away. But the photo might equally refer to the car in which she had been living with the girls when times got tough.

The same drama resumes later that same year in "Amber Got Her Girls Back and Now They Live in the Abandoned Restaurant." Someone's shoved a filthy mattress where the table of a booth once was and the girls are playing on it like any 3- or 4-year-old girls, unaware of their reduced circumstances.

Verene shoots as life unfolds around him. He doesn't pose his subjects, although they sometimes choose to pose themselves. The photographer's known his subjects for almost three decades and that accounts for the sweetly awkward family photo aesthetic on display. That feeling is reinforced by the snippets of narrative written below each photo, evoking the vanishing practice of scribbling notes on family pictures.

Verene was born in Galesburg, but attended high school, college and graduate school in Atlanta. His career hit its stride in 2000 when the Whitney Biennial acknowledged in a rare move that art actually exists south of Staten Island and trundled him off along with Atlantans Robin Bernat and Kojo Griffin into the national spotlight.

Family must have taken courage. Verene's love for his family and friends stands exposed like a slightly embarrassing diary entry. His tender dedication to a project of many decades leaves no question about where his allegiances lie: with the elderly residents of a "research" mental hospital in "Rozie's Mother's Birthday," and with the smiling Candi who's lost her husband, home and job in an Olympics of misfortune.

Emory photography historian Jason Francisco has compared Verene to documentary photographer Jacob Riis, whose images of New York's down and out were meant to provoke outrage and spark social reform. But that's where Verene's moral hazard lies. Unlike other photographers who have gained the keys to private worlds — think Larry Clark and Diane Arbus — Verene confirms rather than overturns everything you thought you knew about Midwestern yokels: that they're all slightly weird, hapless and overweight.

Riis' photographs dissected the detail of systemic poverty with a European's sense of social context. But Verene is deeply American. In his world, misfortune is individual and personal, not social and systemic. Calamity is something that seems to drop from the sky, and the best his subjects can do is put on a brave face and muddle through. It's a curious form of fatalism that values resignation over action, sentimentality over anger.

There's no doubt Verene is motivated by love. Family is sweet and moving, but what it moves us toward may ultimately be a dead end."
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Twenty of these photos are collected in ''Family'', currently on view at Marcia Wood Gallery. The series of color documentary photographs tells the idiosyncratic story of hardscrabble lives in a hardscrabble town. "The State Took Custody of Amber's Girls" depicts Amber in ill-fitting clothes as she touches the windshield of a car that appears to be carrying her daughters away. But the photo might equally refer to the car in which she had been living with the girls when times got tough.

The same drama resumes later that same year in "Amber Got Her Girls Back and Now They Live in the Abandoned Restaurant." Someone's shoved a filthy mattress where the table of a booth once was and the girls are playing on it like any 3- or 4-year-old girls, unaware of their reduced circumstances.

Verene shoots as life unfolds around him. He doesn't pose his subjects, although they sometimes choose to pose themselves. The photographer's known his subjects for almost three decades and that accounts for the sweetly awkward family photo aesthetic on display. That feeling is reinforced by the snippets of narrative written below each photo, evoking the vanishing practice of scribbling notes on family pictures.

Verene was born in Galesburg, but attended high school, college and graduate school in Atlanta. His career hit its stride in 2000 when the Whitney Biennial acknowledged in a rare move that art actually exists south of Staten Island and trundled him off along with Atlantans Robin Bernat and Kojo Griffin into the national spotlight.

''Family'' must have taken courage. Verene's love for his family and friends stands exposed like a slightly embarrassing diary entry. His tender dedication to a project of many decades leaves no question about where his allegiances lie: with the elderly residents of a "research" mental hospital in "Rozie's Mother's Birthday," and with the smiling Candi who's lost her husband, home and job in an Olympics of misfortune.

Emory photography historian [http://www.artscriticatl.com/2010/10/review-chris-verenes-piercing-family-tracks-middle-american-struggles-at-marcia-wood-gallery-by-jason-francisco/|Jason Francisco has compared] Verene to documentary photographer Jacob Riis, whose images of New York's down and out were meant to provoke outrage and spark social reform. But that's where Verene's moral hazard lies. Unlike other photographers who have gained the keys to private worlds — think Larry Clark and Diane Arbus — Verene confirms rather than overturns everything you thought you knew about Midwestern yokels: that they're all slightly weird, hapless and overweight.

Riis' photographs dissected the detail of systemic poverty with a European's sense of social context. But Verene is deeply American. In his world, misfortune is individual and personal, not social and systemic. Calamity is something that seems to drop from the sky, and the best his subjects can do is put on a brave face and muddle through. It's a curious form of fatalism that values resignation over action, sentimentality over anger.

There's no doubt Verene is motivated by love. ''Family'' is sweet and moving, but what it moves us toward may ultimately be a dead end."
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Twenty of these photos are collected in Family, currently on view at Marcia Wood Gallery. The series of color documentary photographs tells the idiosyncratic story of hardscrabble lives in a hardscrabble town. "The State Took Custody of Amber's Girls" depicts Amber in ill-fitting clothes as she touches the windshield of a car that appears to be carrying her daughters away. But the photo might equally refer to the car in which she had been living with the girls when times got tough.

The same drama resumes later that same year in "Amber Got Her Girls Back and Now They Live in the Abandoned Restaurant." Someone's shoved a filthy mattress where the table of a booth once was and the girls are playing on it like any 3- or 4-year-old girls, unaware of their reduced circumstances.

Verene shoots as life unfolds around him. He doesn't pose his subjects, although they sometimes choose to pose themselves. The photographer's known his subjects for almost three decades and that accounts for the sweetly awkward family photo aesthetic on display. That feeling is reinforced by the snippets of narrative written below each photo, evoking the vanishing practice of scribbling notes on family pictures.

Verene was born in Galesburg, but attended high school, college and graduate school in Atlanta. His career hit its stride in 2000 when the Whitney Biennial acknowledged in a rare move that art actually exists south of Staten Island and trundled him off along with Atlantans Robin Bernat and Kojo Griffin into the national spotlight.

Family must have taken courage. Verene's love for his family and friends stands exposed like a slightly embarrassing diary entry. His tender dedication to a project of many decades leaves no question about where his allegiances lie: with the elderly residents of a "research" mental hospital in "Rozie's Mother's Birthday," and with the smiling Candi who's lost her husband, home and job in an Olympics of misfortune.

Emory photography historian Jason Francisco has compared Verene to documentary photographer Jacob Riis, whose images of New York's down and out were meant to provoke outrage and spark social reform. But that's where Verene's moral hazard lies. Unlike other photographers who have gained the keys to private worlds — think Larry Clark and Diane Arbus — Verene confirms rather than overturns everything you thought you knew about Midwestern yokels: that they're all slightly weird, hapless and overweight.

Riis' photographs dissected the detail of systemic poverty with a European's sense of social context. But Verene is deeply American. In his world, misfortune is individual and personal, not social and systemic. Calamity is something that seems to drop from the sky, and the best his subjects can do is put on a brave face and muddle through. It's a curious form of fatalism that values resignation over action, sentimentality over anger.

There's no doubt Verene is motivated by love. Family is sweet and moving, but what it moves us toward may ultimately be a dead end.             13056085 2250180                          The curious fatalism of Chris Verene's Family "
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Friday October 22, 2010 08:00 am EDT
Verene confirms everything you thought you knew about Midwestern yokels | more...
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*http://clatl.com/atlanta/ImageArchives?by=1223504
*Douglas during his rookie season in 2008


Despite their forgettable performance this past Sunday against the Eagles in Philadelphia, a 31-17 loss, the Atlanta Falcons should be contenders in the NFC South this season.

That is, of course, if Harry Douglas wants it that way.

The third-year wide receiver from Jonesboro sat out all of last year after suffering a torn ACL during preseason workouts, but returns this year as the most important player on the Falcons roster.

"I wanted to come back and play the way I left off or even better," Douglas said. "I focused on the little things more (during rehab) because when you're coming back from the injury, you gotta start with the little things and work up to the big things. Everything was a process and I was taking my time and making sure I was doing things the right way."

In Douglas' rookie season, the Falcons went 11-5 and made it to the postseason for the first time since 2004, but the following year, Atlanta was unable to make it back to the playoffs without the services of the former Louisville Cardinal.

Coincidence? Probably. 

But Douglas' speed and deep play ability is something that the Falcons have lacked during Matt Ryan's reign under center and you can expect to see more and more of it as the 2010 season progresses.

Already in place for Atlanta is a solid rushing attack from Pro Bowler Michael Turner and Jason Snelling, a serviceable quarterback in Ryan, a Hall of Fame tight end in Tony Gonzalez and the best possession receiver in the NFL in Roddy White.

Douglas' ability to stretch the field should make the Falcons offense unstoppable and no one is more excited about that opportunity than Douglas himself."
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*Douglas during his rookie season in 2008


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The third-year wide receiver from Jonesboro sat out all of last year after suffering a torn ACL during preseason workouts, but returns this year as the most important player on the Falcons roster.

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In Douglas' rookie season, the Falcons went 11-5 and made it to the postseason for the first time since 2004, but the following year, Atlanta was unable to make it back to the playoffs without the services of the former Louisville Cardinal.

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*http://clatl.com/atlanta/ImageArchives?by=1223504
*Douglas during his rookie season in 2008


Despite their forgettable performance this past Sunday against the Eagles in Philadelphia, a 31-17 loss, the Atlanta Falcons should be contenders in the NFC South this season.

That is, of course, if Harry Douglas wants it that way.

The third-year wide receiver from Jonesboro sat out all of last year after suffering a torn ACL during preseason workouts, but returns this year as the most important player on the Falcons roster.

"I wanted to come back and play the way I left off or even better," Douglas said. "I focused on the little things more (during rehab) because when you're coming back from the injury, you gotta start with the little things and work up to the big things. Everything was a process and I was taking my time and making sure I was doing things the right way."

In Douglas' rookie season, the Falcons went 11-5 and made it to the postseason for the first time since 2004, but the following year, Atlanta was unable to make it back to the playoffs without the services of the former Louisville Cardinal.

Coincidence? Probably. 

But Douglas' speed and deep play ability is something that the Falcons have lacked during Matt Ryan's reign under center and you can expect to see more and more of it as the 2010 season progresses.

Already in place for Atlanta is a solid rushing attack from Pro Bowler Michael Turner and Jason Snelling, a serviceable quarterback in Ryan, a Hall of Fame tight end in Tony Gonzalez and the best possession receiver in the NFL in Roddy White.

Douglas' ability to stretch the field should make the Falcons offense unstoppable and no one is more excited about that opportunity than Douglas himself.             13055994 2238422                          Ben's Sports Take: Do you wanna see my Harry Douglas? "
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Wednesday October 20, 2010 01:16 pm EDT

  • http://clatl.com/atlanta/ImageArchives?by=1223504
  • Douglas during his rookie season in 2008



Despite their forgettable performance this past Sunday against the Eagles in Philadelphia, a 31-17 loss, the Atlanta Falcons should be contenders in the NFC South this season.

That is, of course, if Harry Douglas wants it that way.

The third-year wide receiver from Jonesboro sat out all of last...

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Despite having a last name that mathematically represents only part of a whole, there is nothing missing from Vanessa Fraction's comedy. A talented writer and charasmatic performer, the elegant but unaffraid Fraction has found great success within Atlanta's comedy scene after moving here from Chicago a little more than a year ago. When she's not too busy writing for BET's "The Mo'Nique Show," or traveling to perform on television herself, Fraction gets on stage regularly around the city, and hosts a weekly show that mixes Monday Night Football and live comedy, every Monday at Cloud IX.


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[http://www.vanessafraction.com |www.vanessafraction.com ]

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Despite having a last name that mathematically represents only part of a whole, there is nothing missing from Vanessa Fraction's comedy. A talented writer and charasmatic performer, the elegant but unaffraid Fraction has found great success within Atlanta's comedy scene after moving here from Chicago a little more than a year ago. When she's not too busy writing for BET's "The Mo'Nique Show," or traveling to perform on television herself, Fraction gets on stage regularly around the city, and hosts a weekly show that mixes Monday Night Football and live comedy, every Monday at Cloud IX.


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Tuesday October 19, 2010 12:12 pm EDT



Despite having a last name that mathematically represents only part of a whole, there is nothing missing from Vanessa Fraction's comedy. A talented writer and charasmatic performer, the elegant but unaffraid Fraction has found great success within Atlanta's comedy scene after moving here from Chicago a little more than a year ago. When she's not too busy writing for BET's "The Mo'Nique Show,"...

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It's hard to say precisely why the Moulin Rouge—a nightclub that saw its heyday almost 120 years ago on another continent—still maintains its hold on the popular imagination. But maintain its hold it does. There have been at least six films and a book titled “Moulin Rouge” and countless other works that have taken inspiration from the famous cabaret, including the now iconic paintings by Toulouse Lautrec. Even Bugs Bunny evoked wolf whistles from Elmer Fudd when he danced the can-can, and more recently, Nicole Kidman sang her heart out and high-kicked before she coughed her blood out and kicked it in Baz Luhrman's eye-popping, fanciful take on the Moulin Rouge in the 2001 film.

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Tuesday October 19, 2010 11:49 am EDT

  • http://clatl.com/atlanta/ImageArchives?by=1223504
  • The Atlanta Ballet's production not only draws its look from Lautrec's famous paintings of the Moulin Rouge, Lautrec is a character in the show itself.

It's hard to say precisely why the Moulin Rouge—a nightclub that saw its heyday almost 120 years ago on another continent—still maintains its hold on the popular imagination. But maintain its...

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Friday October 15, 2010 12:02 pm EDT



This morning, the normally ebullient T.J. Miller begrudgingly awoke from his slumber to come be a guest on Another Comedy Podcast. After a few back-and-forth vollies of comedy gold, he came to, and began opening up about how his level of fame is misperceived, how his hair led to a heckler's verbal spout about cunnilingus, and what he had to tell a Los Angeles "doctor" to get his medical...

| more...
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*COURTESY {POEM88}
*EK Huckaby


New work at Whitespace, Barbara Archer, and all over the Westside this weekend. Check out the details after the jump."
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New work at Whitespace, Barbara Archer, and all over the Westside this weekend. Check out the details after the jump."
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New work at Whitespace, Barbara Archer, and all over the Westside this weekend. Check out the details after the jump.             13055914 2222040                          Weekend Arts Agenda October 15 2010 "
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Friday October 15, 2010 10:53 am EDT

  • COURTESY {POEM88}
  • EK Huckaby



New work at Whitespace, Barbara Archer, and all over the Westside this weekend. Check out the details after the jump.

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*http://clatl.com/atlanta/ImageArchives?by=1223504
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The two latest exhibitions at MOCA GA ask us to think a little about what we mean by "local artist." Such a small and innocuous phrase, right? Yet, I can't help but think that our own personal, limited definitions of "local artist"  (whether it might mean inside or outside the perimeter, living in this neighborhood or that neighborhood, part of one social scene or another) play right into the problems addressed by Cinque Hicks's recent column, "Lack of diversity in CL's 'Artists to Watch' warrants concern." Hicks was addressing some of the deeper-rooted issues of race in Atlanta's arts community raised by an all-white "Artists To Watch" feature: 

Like most cultural events, the fall arts preview represented a collection of people who knew someone who knew someone who knew someone. Otherwise known as a clique. Given Atlanta's history of segregation, its history of separation enforced by law, custom and geography, it's no wonder that most of the city's cliques are profoundly race-based. 

With that statement in mind, it seems more obvious that the ways we determine what a simple phrase like "local artist" means are going to be tied up in the complex intersections between race, class, culture, and geography. (If you're curious about the intersection of race and geography in Atlanta, this map might be a good starting point.)

So, what do the two new exhibitions at MOCA GA have to do with any of this? Within State Lines II redraws the lines of "local artist" at the state border line, bringing together artists from Alpharetta, Athens, Augusta, Savannah, and Atlanta's suburbs. Annette Cone-Skelton, MOCA GA's director, relied on conversations with other curators and art-world folks from around the state rather than just her knowledge when putting the exhibition together, an important detail. The resulting show is a stylistically diverse combination of top-notch talents. Marcus Kenney's collages have the rich texture of paintings without losing the startling clarity of line that collage work can achieve. Stefanie Jackson's surreal paintings are startling and engrossing. Jennifer Onofrio Fornes's photographs are layered with oil to create shadowy, mysterious images."
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*[http://clatl.com/atlanta/ImageArchives?by=1223504|]
*Marcus Kenney
The two latest exhibitions at MOCA GA ask us to think a little about what we mean by "local artist." Such a small and innocuous phrase, right? Yet, I can't help but think that our own personal, limited definitions of "local artist"  (whether it might mean inside or outside the perimeter, living in this neighborhood or that neighborhood, part of one social scene or another) play right into the problems addressed by Cinque Hicks's recent [http://clatl.com/culturesurfing/archives/2010/09/14/lack-of-diversity-in-cls-artists-to-watch-warrants-concern|column], "Lack of diversity in CL's 'Artists to Watch' warrants concern." Hicks was addressing some of the deeper-rooted issues of race in Atlanta's arts community raised by an all-white "Artists To Watch" [http://clatl.com/atlanta/kevin-gillese-brings-his-rapid-fire-wit-to-dads-garage/Content?oid=2056583|feature]: 

Like most cultural events, the fall arts preview represented a collection of people who knew someone who knew someone who knew someone. Otherwise known as a clique. Given Atlanta's history of segregation, its history of separation enforced by law, custom and geography, it's no wonder that most of the city's cliques are profoundly race-based. 

With that statement in mind, it seems more obvious that the ways we determine what a simple phrase like "local artist" means are going to be tied up in the complex intersections between race, class, culture, and geography. (If you're curious about the intersection of race and geography in Atlanta, this [http://clatl.com/freshloaf/archives/2010/09/21/race-and-ethnicity-in-atlanta-in-dots|map] might be a good starting point.)

So, what do the two new exhibitions at MOCA GA have to do with any of this? ''Within State Lines II'' redraws the lines of "local artist" at the state border line, bringing together artists from Alpharetta, Athens, Augusta, Savannah, and Atlanta's suburbs. Annette Cone-Skelton, MOCA GA's director, relied on conversations with other curators and art-world folks from around the state rather than just her knowledge when putting the exhibition together, an important detail. The resulting show is a stylistically diverse combination of top-notch talents. Marcus Kenney's collages have the rich texture of paintings without losing the startling clarity of line that collage work can achieve. Stefanie Jackson's surreal paintings are startling and engrossing. Jennifer Onofrio Fornes's photographs are layered with oil to create shadowy, mysterious images."
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  string(2629) "       2010-10-14T19:36:00+00:00 Art Seen: Within State Lines II and Discursive Documents at MOCA GA   Wyatt Williams 1306426 2010-10-14T19:36:00+00:00  https://media1.fdncms.com/atlanta/imager/marcus-kenney/u/original/2220262/1287093406-437.jpg
*http://clatl.com/atlanta/ImageArchives?by=1223504
*Marcus Kenney
The two latest exhibitions at MOCA GA ask us to think a little about what we mean by "local artist." Such a small and innocuous phrase, right? Yet, I can't help but think that our own personal, limited definitions of "local artist"  (whether it might mean inside or outside the perimeter, living in this neighborhood or that neighborhood, part of one social scene or another) play right into the problems addressed by Cinque Hicks's recent column, "Lack of diversity in CL's 'Artists to Watch' warrants concern." Hicks was addressing some of the deeper-rooted issues of race in Atlanta's arts community raised by an all-white "Artists To Watch" feature: 

Like most cultural events, the fall arts preview represented a collection of people who knew someone who knew someone who knew someone. Otherwise known as a clique. Given Atlanta's history of segregation, its history of separation enforced by law, custom and geography, it's no wonder that most of the city's cliques are profoundly race-based. 

With that statement in mind, it seems more obvious that the ways we determine what a simple phrase like "local artist" means are going to be tied up in the complex intersections between race, class, culture, and geography. (If you're curious about the intersection of race and geography in Atlanta, this map might be a good starting point.)

So, what do the two new exhibitions at MOCA GA have to do with any of this? Within State Lines II redraws the lines of "local artist" at the state border line, bringing together artists from Alpharetta, Athens, Augusta, Savannah, and Atlanta's suburbs. Annette Cone-Skelton, MOCA GA's director, relied on conversations with other curators and art-world folks from around the state rather than just her knowledge when putting the exhibition together, an important detail. The resulting show is a stylistically diverse combination of top-notch talents. Marcus Kenney's collages have the rich texture of paintings without losing the startling clarity of line that collage work can achieve. Stefanie Jackson's surreal paintings are startling and engrossing. Jennifer Onofrio Fornes's photographs are layered with oil to create shadowy, mysterious images.             13055903 2219886                          Art Seen: Within State Lines II and Discursive Documents at MOCA GA "
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Thursday October 14, 2010 03:36 pm EDT

https://media1.fdncms.com/atlanta/imager/marcus-kenney/u/original/2220262/1287093406-437.jpg

  • http://clatl.com/atlanta/ImageArchives?by=1223504
  • Marcus Kenney

The two latest exhibitions at MOCA GA ask us to think a little about what we mean by "local artist." Such a small and innocuous phrase, right? Yet, I can't help but think that our own personal, limited definitions of "local artist"...

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*Courtesy the Beards of Comedy


Today, the Beards of Comedy (well, two of the four) stopped by Another Comedy Podcast. In town performing at the Laughing Skull Lounge all weekend, Andy Sandford and Dave Stone came in and discussed how money, girls and fame get divided in a comedy quartet, the advantages of performing together vs. solo, and which fast food spot has the best deal going.

Download now or listen after the jump."
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*Courtesy the Beards of Comedy


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[http://clatl.com/media/content/2219556/acp_bears_of_comedy.mp3|Download now] or listen after the jump."
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*Courtesy the Beards of Comedy


Today, the Beards of Comedy (well, two of the four) stopped by Another Comedy Podcast. In town performing at the Laughing Skull Lounge all weekend, Andy Sandford and Dave Stone came in and discussed how money, girls and fame get divided in a comedy quartet, the advantages of performing together vs. solo, and which fast food spot has the best deal going.

Download now or listen after the jump.             13055900 2219556                          Another Comedy Podcast: Beards of Comedy "
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Thursday October 14, 2010 03:11 pm EDT

  • Courtesy the Beards of Comedy



Today, the Beards of Comedy (well, two of the four) stopped by Another Comedy Podcast. In town performing at the Laughing Skull Lounge all weekend, Andy Sandford and Dave Stone came in and discussed how money, girls and fame get divided in a comedy quartet, the advantages of performing together vs. solo, and which fast food spot has the best deal going....

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