66 HOUSTON > AUGUST 2008

HOUSTON

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DENTIAL BY JILL KRASNY

PHOTOGRAPHY BY POLLY CHANDLER

ROLL CAMERA! She’s an actress, painter and songwriter, and she’s producing Justin Timberlake’s new movie. This artsy philanthropist is crazy like a Foxx...

Laurie Foxx can’t sit still.

Catching a break in New York’s posh Peninsula hotel after shopping

Th e Open Road, a fi lm she produced, to distributors at Cannes, the Houstonbased

Renaissance woman is bouncy and happy—and not completely sure

what to do with herself when she’s not busy enough to drive a bee crazy.

After all, she worked behind the scenes of two fi lms this year, having also

co-written Parasites Rule, a comedy about three girlfriends who discover

the holy grail of weight loss. She’s also honorary chair of the Houston Art

League’s annual gala this fall. Painting, songwriting and singing keep this

mother of two reeling, as well.

Set partially in Texas, Road is just what the name suggests—a roadtrip

fl ick. Based loosely on the relationship between football legend Don

Meredith and his son Michael, who also wrote the screenplay, the fi lm stars

Jeff Bridges, Kate Mara and Justin Timberlake. Yes, that Justin Timberlake.

In the movie, the guy who brought sexy back plays on Corpus Christi’s

baseball team, the Hooks.

A mutual friend introduced Foxx to Michael Meredith during a jaunt

to New Orleans on a private train sponsored by Patrón tequila. Meredith

convinced her she had to do the project. “You have to balance so many balls

in business—it can be diffi cult,” Foxx says of tackling producing for the

fi rst time. “Some people love horror, some people love pulp fi ction. But as

a producer, it’s kind of subjective. You do really pick from the heart, and I

felt drawn to [Road] in that way. I wanted to work on a project with people

I really enjoyed, and Michael and I instantly clicked.”

Th e movie, in which Foxx also has a small acting role, was mostly

made in the boondocks of fi lmmaker-friendly Louisiana, a fact Foxx doesn’t

hesitate to lament. She hopes to put Texas on the moviemaking map. “In

Texas, you’ve really got the terrain for fi lming,” says Foxx. “It has everything,

but because of the way things work, the industry refuses to see it that way …

yet.” (Hopefully it will see things diff erently soon. Gov. Rick Perry recently

signed an incentive bill which allows fi lmmakers to recoup fi ve percent of

what they spend in Texas, just so long as they spend at least $1 million and

shoot 80 percent of their project here.)

Foxx, who’s married to oil-biz exec Kevin Foxx, has performed as an

actress in everything from indie-horror fl icks to mainstream radio spots.

A songwriter name-checked by the Houston Press for playing her soft-rock

piano-heavy ballads at pubs and clubs all over town, she was once even

nominated by the Press’ readers as best female acoustic/folk act. A tune that

she wrote, “One Heart,” appears in the new fi lm, Abby.

Th e producer’s mother, an established painter in her home state

of Oklahoma, encouraged her creativity. “I used to play piano and once

had to do a national competition in front of a whole panel of judges,” she

remembers. “I did Bach, Chopin, all of those big ones, and it was so nervewracking.

But I think it’s what drew [my personality] out.” Th e newly minted

fi lmmaker has also followed directly in her mom’s footsteps, as her beautiful

semi-abstract paintings show. Th e University of Oklahoma grad’s cloudy

and colorful pieces refl ect her own emotions—no boundaries, no setup, just

her brush and the canvas. And though she’s not currently creating work for

a specifi c show, she continues to work on a commission basis.

Foxx shows no signs of slowing down, even with Road in postproduction

and awaiting a release date. Th e Art League’s gala is coming up

fast in November, and it’s likely that her artwork will be up for grabs at the

gala’s auction. With so many enthusiasms, one wonders, has Foxx found her

true artistic calling? Well, of course. All of them. “I have to create,” Foxx

smiles. “I’m a big completer, a ‘see it through’ kind of person. And when I go

to bed at night … I sleep really well.” H

‘ROAD’ SHOW Foxx at the Sabine-to-Bagby Promenade in Houston




 

Aqua Foxx Productions WINS the Golden Ace Award for             “Caveman Theory”

TV Sit-Com Pilot!

 

"The Open Road" Advance Screening

The Southwest Alternate Media Project (SWAMP) in conjunction with Women in Film and Television - Houston presented an advance screening of Michael Meredith's new feature film, "The Open Road" at downtown's Angelika Film Center late Saturday morning and, again, early afternoon, August 29, 2009. Starring Jeff Bridges, Justin Timberlake and Kate Mara, "The Open Road" is a comedy about minor leaguer Carlton Garret (Justin Timberlake) who takes an unexpected road trip to track down his estranged father, legendary baseball player Kyle Garret (Jeff Bridges) when Carlton’s mother (Mary Steenburgen) becomes sick.  Knowing his charming yet painfully immature dad’s likelihood to disappoint, Carlton enlists his on-again-off-again girlfriend Lucy (Kate Mara) for emotional support.  Once reunited, Carlton struggles to deal with the series of misadventures caused by his father’s antics, including missed flights, car trouble and bathroom brawls. Years of miscommunication, frustration and comically awkward attempts at bonding come to a head as the mismatched trio make their way from Ohio back home to Houston to reunite the family. The movie also features Lyle Lovett. There was a Q & A's with Director Michael Meredith and Co-Producer Laurie Foxx following the screening. Michael, by the way, is the son of football star Don Meredith. For more information about the film you can visit: http://www.TheOpenRoadMovie/com. Actress Kay Salem was there to snap off some really nice pictures. You can see some of the pictures that Ms. Salem took by (clicking here) We would like to thank Ms. Salem for allowing us to use her pictures. Thank you Kay!

Fathers, sons and Don Meredith

By Bob Greene, CNN Contributor

December 12, 2010 8:55 a.m. EST


Jeff Bridges and Justin Timberlake play a father and his son in the 2009 film, "The Open Road."

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  1. 1Don Meredith, of "Monday Night Football" fame, died this week

  2. 2Bob Greene recalls seeing a film starring Jeff Bridges, who reminded him of Don Meredith

  3. 3It turned out that the movie about an ex-athlete and his son was made by Meredith's son

  4. 4Greene says the film captures truths about fame and fatherhood


RELATED TOPICS

  1. 1Jeff Bridges

  2. 2Professional Football

  3. 3Movies

  4. 4Sports

  5. 5Parenting

Editor's note: CNN Contributor Bob Greene is a bestselling author whose books include "Late Edition: A Love Story" and "When We Get to Surf City: A Journey Through America in Pursuit of Rock and Roll, Friendship, and Dreams."

(CNN) -- Earlier this year I happened upon a movie I had heard nothing about.

Released in 2009, it did virtually no business at the box office: the Internet Movie Database, which keeps track of such things, says the film earned exactly $19,348. Which was a little surprising; the movie, called "The Open Road," featured a terrific cast -- Jeff Bridges, Justin Timberlake, Mary Steenburgen and Kate Mara, among others -- and I thought that, in its low-key way, it was wonderful.

It was about a Hall of Fame baseball player, now in retirement and picking up money on the autographs-for-pay circuit, and his complicated relationship with the grown son he seldom sees, a young man toiling with little success in the minor leagues. The baseball star had walked out on his wife and the son years before; now the ex-wife was facing a dangerous but necessary operation, and she told the son that she would not agree to go through with it unless he brought his father to see her in the hospital.

So the son, played by Timberlake, shows up unannounced at an Ohio autograph show to ask his dad, played by Bridges, to do this for the family. It's a road picture; everything that happens unfolds as they drive through the United States together, with the hospital as their destination.

What I liked best about the movie was the job that Bridges did playing Kyle "Lone Star" Garrett. Bridges had two films come out within a few months of each other at the end of 2009; "The Open Road" was released first, followed by "Crazy Heart," for which Bridges, playing a hard-living country singer, won his first Academy Award as best actor. Maybe a decision was made to put all of Bridges' promotional time into "Crazy Heart," which has earned more than $39 million. I enjoyed both movies, but I thought that Bridges was even better in "The Open Road."

Why am I telling you this now, all these months later?

In "The Open Road," Bridges' portrayal of the retired athlete reminded me of someone from the first moment he appeared on the screen. His offhanded looseness, his easy-beyond-easy charm, the Texas timbre in the tone of his voice, the effortless way he wore his celebrity like a faded pair of jeans he'd owned forever. . .Bridges' Lone Star Garrett was a man I sensed I'd seen somewhere in real life.

Before the movie was over, I realized who it was: Don Meredith, the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback who had become as famous as a man could be when he, Frank Gifford and Howard Cosell were the three stars of ABC's "Monday Night Football" in the broadcast's first years of immense popularity. I'd gotten to know and travel with Meredith a little bit during those years; in the film, Lone Star Garrett's conflicted attitude toward his enduring fame, the way he reflexively reacted to the strangers who were constantly approaching him and not knowing quite what to say to him ... even some of his lines were variations on lines that Meredith used over the years (Lone Star to a fan who wanted to know if it was really him: "Number 11 in your program, Number One in your heart").

I was touched by the message of the movie about the son trying to reconnect with the father who had always been so celebrated by the rest of the world, and I decided to find out, after I'd seen it, just who had been perceptive enough to come up with the story and get the details exactly right.

Which is when I learned that the writer and director of "The Open Road" was Michael Meredith: Don Meredith's son from an early marriage.

When Don Meredith's death at age 72 was reported last week, I thought about the movie again, and about how fathers and sons can struggle to communicate; about the nature of fame and its tricky lures, and about how we allow ourselves to regard far-off stars as something close to family.

Meredith was a considerably more interesting and multilayered man than the Dandy Don persona. I recall one evening in Cleveland Stadium before a Monday night game between the Browns and the Miami Dolphins. There was a party in a private club inside the stadium a few hours before kickoff; the owners and board members of both teams were there, as were around 100 other invited guests. It was the night that Spiro Agnew, Richard Nixon's vice president who resigned from office, gave his farewell address to the nation. There was a single television set in a corner of the room. With everyone else chattering about football and the game that would soon begin, two people sat on the floor next to the TV set, blocking out all the sports talk around them, listening intently on that historic night to every word the departing vice president of the United States said: Don Meredith and Frank Gifford.

In the movie, during those occasions on the trip when there are silences between the father and son, volumes are spoken. The father, it is clear, has been the recipient of gushing adulation from admirers from the time he was first able to pick up a baseball bat and glove. The son has long observed this, both close-up and from a distance; he can see, in people's eyes, what is about to happen once they cross a room and giddily initiate their moment with Lone Star. In the car, there are no fans, and no fame. Not a cheer can be heard, and that seems to be fine with both men.

I found some quotes that Michael Meredith gave to a writer at the time "The Open Road" was having its brief and neglected run in theaters. He said that, while the plot was fictional and thus not autobiographical, his family and friends had inspired the characters.

"It's fascinating to watch as [the father and son in the movie] express their feelings toward each other," Michael Meredith said, "because to some extent this is something I haven't been able to do in life. I think I'm educating myself as I go along.

"There's forgiveness, there's understanding, and there's the realization that none of us are perfect, and we're just going to have to accept our dads, our sons, our moms, our girlfriends and our boyfriends for who they are. These are old classical themes -- forgiveness and acceptance."

There aren't any eye-popping special effects in "The Open Road," no crowd-pleasing helicopter attacks or roaming bands of zombies. But if you were a fan of Don Meredith, and you should ever get the chance to see the father-son movie his son wrote and directed, I think you'll find it more than worth your time. There is a quiet sweetness to it, and by the last frame you are certain of one thing: the old athlete and his grown boy may find it hard to say out loud, but they're very proud of each other, and glad that they made the trip.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Bob Greene.




 

The Foxx Family and friends of “The Open Road” movie, were saddened to hear of the passing of the great Don Meredith December 5th, 2010., and offer sincere condolences to Michael Meredith and to the rest of his family and friends.  This article by Bob Greene of CNN, is a great tribute to the man, and to his son.  He will be greatly missed.   



Erik Barajas, KTRK channel 13 interviewed Michael Meredith, director of the new film "The Open Road," and producer Laurie Foxx.
The film stars Justin Timberlake and Jeff Bridges.
Timberlake plays a minor leaguer who is asked to track down his estranged father, a former Houston Astros player, after his mother gets sick.
Much of the film was shot in and around Houston and Corpus Christi.

 

Accolade Competition

Announces Latest Winners

 

 

(La Jolla, CA, USA 12/19/11)  -  The Accolade Competition is proud to announce the latest winners.

 

The awards go to those filmmakers, television producers and videographers who produce fresh, standout entertainment and compelling documentaries. The Accolade is an international awards competition that honors those who demonstrate exceptional achievement in craft and creativity. Annually, a special award is given to a production that makes a significant contribution to social change or a humanitarian effort. Go to www.theaccolade.net for more information.

Award of Merit


Aqua Foxx Productions, Caveman Theory, pilot program Winner

Aqua Foxx Productions wins the GOLD again!!! Winning a Gold Remi at the World Fest for TV Pilot for it’s production of “Caveman Theory”, a Sit-Com TV Pilot! World Fest is the oldest Independent Film and Vidoe Festival in the World.

Laurie Foxx Signs With Tenner and Associates for Management


HENDERSON, Nev., June 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Multihyphenate Laurie Foxx – an award-winning Hollywood writer, director and producer, songwriter and performer, author and entrepreneur – has signed with Lisa Tenner of Tenner and Associates for management.

Through her Houston-based company Aqua Foxx Productions and otherwise, Foxx has brought her multifaceted talents to numerous film and television projects.  She is writer, director and producer of Caveman Theory, a three-time festival award-winning TV comedy pilot based on her novel.  In the pilot Foxx plays Laura Owlsley, an ambitious anthropologist who enlists a regular guy to live with and to be her test subject, seeking to prove her theory that, "No matter how evolved modern man has become, he is still ruled by his basic needs and primal instincts."

Among other projects, Foxx produced and appeared in The Open Road, a heartwarming 2009 road-trip comedy starring Jeff Bridges, Justin Timberlake, Kate Mara, Mary Steenburgen, Ted Danson and Harry Dean Stanton, which was released theatrically and aired on STARZ; executive produced, acted in and wrote two original songs for the 2009 horror/science fiction movie Portal, which aired on Showtime; and wrote, produced and starred in the TV pilot The Laurie Foxx Show: If You Don't Like It, Get Your Own Show!, produced by Quanah Productions.

Beyond the screen, Foxx is an award-winning singer/songwriter with four original albums and an accomplished writer of books including her signature work, The Caveman Theory, and its comedic spin-offs, two Cavemanisms/Cavewomanisms pocket books and It's a Man Thing.

A University of Oklahoma marketing graduate, Foxx won the school's Entrepreneurship award for her business plan for Containers Unlimited, opening her own retail store six months after graduation, eventually expanding to three, and earning ten years of retail success before her passion to write and produce led her into the entertainment industry.

Foxx is also a coveted keynote speaker and performer who has wowed audiences from the Million Mom March to SXSW to EAT'M (Emerging Artists and Talent in Music) in Las Vegas, one of only a few musical artists asked to perform for three consecutive years.  She divides her time between L.A. and Houston and remains married to her husband of many years, a self-admitted "caveman."  For more information, please visit www.LaurieFoxx.com.

About Tenner and Associates, Inc.

Under the leadership of founder and president Lisa Tenner, Tenner and Associates has earned a reputation as a Las Vegas-based branding and marketing company, with a focus on talent-building and brand marketing skills in the corporate world.  Some of the company's clients include celebrity chef Carla Pellegrino, film director, producer and writer Dustin Voigt, the new viral social media platform Shoutz, and The Grand Lucayan resort in Grand Bahamas Island.    For more information about Tenner and Associates, please visit the company's website: www.tennerandassoc.com.

SOURCE Tenner and Associates

RELATED LINKS
http://www.tennerandassoc.com



This article, Laurie Foxx Signs With Tenner and Associates for Management, is syndicated from PR Newswire and is posted here with permission.

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THREE TOP FESTIVAL AWARD WINS FOR TV PILOT, “CAVEMAN THEORY”