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By Christina Thomas and Erik Bright
Mar 27, 2006, 15:44

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Hollywood, CA -- Filmmaker Christopher Coppola’s new media studio EARSXXI has created a new training and film production program dubbed “Project Alternative Hollywood,” or PAH-Flicks. PAH-Flicks will be a state-wide film production program providing training for New Mexicans to hone their skills on productions bound for distribution.

Christopher Coppola said “PAH-Flicks is ‘special-forces’ training, a kind of hands-on graduate program for film crew members in the state of New Mexico.”

The first project out of the PAH-Flicks program will be the Coppola directed BIG BAD VOODOO MOMMA, which is currently in pre-production and is scheduled to start shooting in Grants, New Mexico this May. The film is a modern-day wrestling remake of the classic opera “Turandot.”

PAH-Flicks was created to enhance and expand New Mexico’s existing Film Technicians Training Program (FTTP), currently in four counties including Santa Fe Community College (Santa Fe County).Albuquerque (Bernalillo County), NMSU Las Cruces (Dona Ana County) and ENMU Roswell (Chaves County).

Coppola continued, “No one is doing what Roger Corman used to do in the 70’s. Film crews and actors who worked for Corman made between 5-9 low budget films a year, and were able to get tremendous experience. Our goal is to bring a similar process back to the people.”

PAH-Flicks enables less experienced crew members to gain intensive production training by working with seasoned professionals. The program aims to augment the current film programs by hiring FTTP graduates who will work on feature films, gaining valuable experience and potential days toward Union membership.

"The development of digital media in the state is essential to our growth and survival in this industry,” stated Lisa Strout, Director of the New Mexico Film Office. “The PAH-Flicks model hires new film and media technicians on feature projects, giving them more hands-on experience particularly in the digital realm. Having continuous digital production in locations around the state creates a valuable training ground for the next generation of New Mexico's filmmakers".

Coppola is currently working closely with private investors as well as state and local governments to build five digital sounds stages, production, and post-production facilities in New Mexico under the PAH-Flicks initiative. These sound stages will be available to independent filmmakers, major studios, and production companies. Facilities are planned for each of the major counties: Bernalillo, Chaves, Dona Ana, Sandoval and Santa Fe. Construction on the sound stages is planned for the second half of 2006.


EarsXXI Studios is a state of the art digital studio, headed by Christopher Coppola and partner Elyse Meredith that focuses on digital production for film, television, and new media. Recent projects include co-productions with The Tom Lynch Company to produce the television series Semester and The Team for Nickelodeon, and with PRN to produce HD American Portraits, a series of three minute video art portraits airing on the Wal-Mart TV Network (in-store).

The company also develops original content. Currently the company is producing the pilot for a ½ hour television show Biker Chef. Christopher Coppola serves as co-star and creator. The show combines high energy cross-country adventure with humor, local culture, motorcycles and some darn good eats.

The company makes its mark in the non-profit sector through partnerships with The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation, and Saint Patrick High School. EARSXXI has produced fund raising videos and websites, along with interactive materials to aid these non-profit organizations in their quest to provide support, education, and services to their constituents.

The company’s focus extends to educational ventures targeting students and emerging filmmakers through the only digital filmmaking festival of its kind ~ The Duke City Shootout ( held annually in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In addition, EARSXXI has teamed with the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) to establish the first high definition video research lab in the San Francisco Bay Area, housed at SFAI’s historic Russian Hill campus. The lab’s goals are to give both undergraduate and graduate students the ability to experiment with and discover new possibilities for using high definition technology.

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