Cineposium 2016 brought 110 attendees from 22 countries and 25 states to Atlanta, Georgia for the 40th annual conference between September 22-24.
This year’s event was hosted by Oz Publishing, Inc. and Barnes & Thornburg, LLP. The three-day BUILDING YOUR BUSINESS focused conference gave special attention to Production Infrastructure – how to build it, maintain it and manage crew development to meet its needs.
On the first day of the conference, Thursday, September 22, more than 60 AFCI University students completed the Film Liaisons course facilitated by Lisa Strout, CFC, Massachusetts Film Office and The Locations Photography Workshop led by Don Gray, New Mexico State Film Office at the InterContinental Buckhead.
Later that evening, attendees were shuttled to the expansive and luxurious McPherson Mansion in Roswell, Georgia (pictured right) where Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle provided remarks during the event’s opening reception.
On the second day of the conference, Friday, September 24, Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. provided the keynote address with an emphasis on the economic impact of the film and television industry in Georgia and across the globe at the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University (pictured left) followed by the first round of program sessions:
Building Facilities moderated by Kevin Clark, AFCI Executive Director with panelists – Jeremy Hariton, SVP of The MBS Group; Mark Henderson, Owner of Get-A-Grip Atlanta; Steve Mensch, President / General Manager of Studio Operations at Tyler Perry Studios and Nick Smerigan, Owner / Founder of Roadtown Enterprises, LTD. The panel discussed what it takes to build a production facility in a jurisdiction and provided discourse on the advantages and challenges that accompany building production facilities.
Karen Carberry-Warhola, CFC and Director of the Maine Film Office moderated the Building Crew Base session that examined various approaches to building a knowledgeable and strong crew base that featured panelists – Kevin Americk, Director of Education for IATSE Local 479; Dan Simmons, Head of Partnerships at Creative Skillset and Nick Maniatis, Director of the New Mexico State Film Office.
Actor William Fichtner (pictured right with Kevin Clark) made a special appearance following the Building Facilities session taking a break from his work on the film Finding Steve McQueen filming in Atlanta. Fichtner shared his perspective on the importance of film commissions and share his experience working with New York State legislators to increase film incentives in the state.
The always popular, How Would You Handle It? titled, Building Bridges – How to Handle Crisis? closed out the day and was moderated by AFCI Chairman and CFC, Kevin Jennings. Andy Edmunds, Director of the Virginia Film Office; and Steve Weizenecker, Partner at Barnes & Thornburg, LLP were also featured panelist in the lively and engaging AFCI Members only session.
On Saturday, September 24, GRAMMY Award winning artist and actress, Ann Nesby opened up the final day of the conference at the historic Senoia United Methodist Church with an exclusive soul-stirring musical performance for attendees.
Raleigh Studios-Atlanta President, Scott Tigchelaar facilitated the day’s first session, an exclusive case study examining the economic benefit of AMC Networks’ “The Walking Dead” production on the town of Senoia, Georgia. Tigchelaar discussed the development of the town over the past 17 years; how they manage production demands while keeping the town functioning for its citizenry and that the area has now become a global film tourism destination.
Digital Chromatics CEO, Stuart Huggins made an exclusive presentation to attendees highlighting his company’s digital imaging and mapping system technology followed by Shawn Rafferty, Partner at Barnes & Thornburg, LLP (pictured right). Rafferty discussed in detail the new FAA UAS Rule Part 107 and other regulations that effect the film production industry and what film commissioners should be aware of during the Drones Update session.
Lisa Day, Director of Sustainability at 20th Century Fox facilitated the Building Green program session and discussed waste reducing methods that include double-side printing, reducing carbon emissions and water use, incorporating sustainable materials into set design and construction.
AFCI Director of Content and CFC, Jerry Day moderated the final panel session, Building Network that included – Lisa Strout, CFC and Director of the Massachusetts Film Office; Randall Franks, Government Relations Committee Member with the Georgia Production Partnership; and Cassandra Hesseltine, President of Film Liaisons in California Statewide. The four member panel discussed the importance of the collaborative effort between film commissions, liaisons and legislators to up support film productions.
The conference closed with presentations of 2016 Certified Film Commissioner (CFC) designations (Pictured left from L-R): Tim Clark, Buffalo Niagara Film Commission; Susan R. Stack, Oakland County Film and Digital Media; Thomas Fuchs, Cine Tirol; Mimi Davis-Taylor, Utah Film Commission and Kevin Clark, Executive Director of the AFCI. (CFC not pictured, Jessica Christopherson, Film Fort Worth).
Kevin Clark and Kevin Jennings also presented winners of The 2016 Creativity Awards followed by a closing reception at Nic & Norman’s in downtown Senoia, Georgia.