HBO’s ‘Recount,’ Jacksonville Film Festival and More

So, this past week has been quite active.  A couple days after the 48-Hour Film Project concluded, hundreds of viewers descended upon the Florida Theatre to screen all 26 short films over two nights.
On Tuesday night, Rita Manyette, Linda Bevilacqua and I drove to Georgia and shot various scenarios for a “decision making” training video.  The script was very similar to a shoot we had in February, but the director wanted to add a few night-time scenes to the product.
This client is always fun to work with because actors can call upon their improvisational skills to add to each scene.  The director approaches us with various points that are required for each scene, and we are given the opportunity to explore different ways to communicate those points.
There was one scene that did not include me; this is a good thing, because Linda and I also had a shoot scheduled for Wednesday, and I just received the script.  I had about an hour with the material, before we started our drive home.  I also had a little bit of time to learn my lines during the ride home, since we car-pooled.
Wednesday’s shoot was for instructional videos that will appear on various real estate websites.  The videos will demonstrate how buyers, sellers and agents can use a new online application called N-Play.  N-Play is designed to automate the bidding process, keeping buyers, sellers and agents up-to-date by comparing multiple anonymous offers.
Linda and I worked with Cindy Hogan in a marvelous riverfront home with a picturesque view out of every room.  Digital Video Arts provided a detailed itinerary, which we were able to maintain throughout the day.  In fact, we were released early, thanks to the professionalism of the cast and crew.  This was especially appreciated, since several of us were expected to attend the premiere of HBO’s motion picture “Recount” that night at the Florida Theatre.
“Recount” was shot in Jacksonville during the Fall of 2007, and stars Kevin Spacey, Laura Dern and Denis Leary.  Most of the day players, and nearly all the extras were cast from the North Florida area, so the auditorium was filled with many familiar faces.  Director Jay Roach, writer Danny Strong, producer Michael Hausman and several of the stars also attended.
Also in the audience was Bruce McGill.  Earlier in my acting career, I was “background” (an extra) in “The Legend of Bagger Vance,” a movie filmed in South Georgia, where I share the screen with Mr. McGill for a few precious seconds.  I had intended on getting a photograph taken with him to add to this site, but with all the activity after the screening, I missed the opportunity.
“Recount” premieres on HBO this weekend, and will be shown through the end of June.  My scene is about one hour into the film, during the hand recount of ballots in West Palm Beach County:

Thursday saw the “official” kick-off of the Sixth Annual Jacksonville Film Festival.  With everything that was going on in recent weeks, the festival launched during an exciting time for the film industry in Florida.  Instead of attending the launch party, which screened “The Year of Getting to Know Us” starring Jimmy Fallon, for whom I was a stand-in during the Spring of 2007, we attended a showing of the classic “The Maltese Falcon” with Humphrey Bogart at the Mandarin Library.

This past Sunday, I attended a screening of “Student Shorts” at Fuel Coffeehouse in Five Points.  The festival organizers chose a broad range of films that showcased eight film-makers, all of whom I believer were from Florida (a couple from Jacksonville, two from the FSU film school, and another from the University of CentralFlorida).  It was delightfully inspring to see the creativity, passion and dedication to this art form.Scott J. Smith

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