Linda Lee, current president of the Carolina Film Alliance, began working in the film and television industry in the 70’s in New Orleans, where she learned the business by working in every department that would take her. Eventually, she formed her own production company and produced and directed local commercials, while still coordinating and location managing the big national commercials.
In 1976, Linda was hired to work with the Art Director of a Saturday Night Live Mardi Gras Special. The following year she moved to New York to work on the show’s parody commercials. After nine years in New York, spent working on numerous television shows, plays, and television specials, plus a year as a repo woman – often referred to as the revenge year – when she repossessed her ex-husband’s lawyer’s BMW and the Mustang belonging to the writer who stole an idea for a parody.
After Hugo, Linda moved back to Charleston, where she was raised, to help her family recover. She was just in time for South Carolina’s best years of film production, and she began a long working relationship as a scout for the South Carolina Film Commission. It was her scouting for the Film Commission that led to Location Managing 6 feature films, 2 M.O.W, a documentary series, and numerous commercials throughout the 90’s, culminating in “The Patriot.” During this period Linda became friends with Casting Director Richard Futch, a founding member and President of the Carolina Film Alliance. In 2013, Linda was elected to the Board and served as Vice President until Richard retired in March of 2016 and she became President.
In early 2016, the Film Commission had un-committed rebate funds available for a Series that wanted to move to SC and Linda was the Scout. Locations were matched to the show’s first season in Mississippi, the producers were thrilled, and they applied for the rebates. When the application went to PRT, the money was gone – disappeared. For months, every day that she was not scouting was spent researching, questioning and demanding answers. Linda’s research resulted in the creation of two documents: The History of Film Rebates, and “The Plan,” – how to fix the system (expertly edited by Cara White). These documents are the foundation for the changes CFA and its lobbyists are working towards.
Linda’s more recent work has been scouting for Reckless, Identity, South of Hell, Vice Principals, The Sinner, and Halloween.
Missy Ricker is an East Coast Set Decorator for the Film and Television Industry, based in Charleston, SC. Originally from Virginia, Missy began her career in Theater and gradually moved into the Film Industry as a Set Dresser and ultimately as a Set Decorator. She earned her MFA in Photography and Filmmaking from VCU in Richmond, VA in 1994, and is currently an appointee to the Film Production Academic Advisory Committee at Trident Technical College, a Member of the Board of Directors for the ‘Carolina Film Alliance’, and a proud Member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 491 Studio Mechanics Union.
Immediately following graduate school in 1994, Missy stayed very busy teaching Photography as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at both Old Dominion University and Thomas Nelson Community College, working as a Stagehand for the Virginia Opera and various Concert Venues in the Tidewater area, and dabbling in a variety of Crafts in the Film and Television industry including working as an Art Director for several Commercials and for the Television Series, The New Detectives on the Discovery Channel in 1996. Missy’s first Major Studio Feature Film experience as a Set Dresser was on The Shadow Conspiracy starring Donald Sutherland, Charlie Sheen, and Linda Hamilton, released in 1997. This experience of “dressing” the sets under the established, award-winning Set Decorator Anne McCulley inspired Missy to set out on a path to learn and perfect her own skills in the Craft of Set Decoration.
In 2008 Missy was offered the Set Decorator position on Lifetime’s Hit Series, Army Wives which was filming in Charleston. This is where she met her husband Joey, a Charleston native and fellow Crew Member working in the Transportation Department on the show. Their shared love of Film and Music is what brought them together, and they both enjoyed six wonderful Seasons, and over 100 Episodes, as part of the Army Wives Family. They both continue to work in Film and Television today and are proud to call Charleston home.
Some of Missy’s Set Decorator credits include Remember The Daze, The Strangers, Eastbound And Down Season 4, the Pilot for the Television Series, The Sinner, The Inspectors Television Series, Seasons 2 and 3, and the latest Feature Film in the Halloween Franchisee starring Jamie Lee Curtis.
Missy has served on CFA’s Board for two years and is on the Membership Committee. On almost every show she has worked on, Missy has set up membership drives that the Board calls “Missy Specials.” Missy is always full of energy and ideas and wants to make it possible for all of us to work a lot at home in South Carolina.
Matthew Sefick, Secretary
Matthew Sefick, CSA is a casting director based out of Charleston, SC.
In 2005 he graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Master’s Degree in Media Arts. Since college he has gained over 12 years of experience in the Film and Television Industry and is a member of the Casting Society of America as well as the Television Academy. Previously he served on the board of the Carolina Film Alliance for one term from 2012-2013 as their secretary.
He began working in casting in the offices of Lifetime’s hit series Army Wives and helped cast over 100 episodes of the show and was named Casting Director for the final season of the series – Season 7. Since then he has cast feature films, television movies and commercials in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama.
In the summer of 2017 Sefick wrapped up casting the first season of a series called Mr. Mercedes based on a Stephen King novel of the same name that aired on DirecTV’s Audience Network. Sefick is excited to be finishing up work on season 7 of Showtime’s Homeland.
BettyLynn Allison, Treasurer
BettyLynn Allison is a working SAG-AFTRA actor who also does Voiceover, Commercial and Print work. BettyLynn has been an active CFA member since 2007 and a member of the Board of Directors since 2016, since moving full time to Charleston from Greenville, SC. BettyLynn is the mother of four adult children, all of whom have been involved in the Arts.
While living in Greenville, BettyLynn gained extensive experience with non-profit organizations and served as Treasurer for several Greenville Charitable organizations and Benefit Fund Raisers. Some of those: Greenville March of Dimes Board member & Auction Fundraiser Chairman; Greenville County Cancer Society Board member; Greenville Symphony Piano Competition Chairman; Greenville Art Museum Antique Show; Christ Church Episcopal School Auction Fundraiser Chairman; Christ Church Episcopal School Booster Club Treasurer; Christ Church Episcopal School Arts Guild; Furman University Parents’ Council; Greenville Heritage Garden Club Treasure;
While on the CFA Board, BettyLynn has worked on the Membership Committee, helped facilitate the CFA General Meetings, and proved herself to be one of the hardest working and enthusiastic members of the Board. Always an avid supporter of the Arts and the film community, she also continues to teach Piano, which she has done for most of her adult life. BettyLynn was selected as a Screen Actors Guild Awards® Nominating Committee Member 2017.
Martin Bluford – SE Regional Manager, High Output Inc. Martin Bluford opened the Charleston SC office for High Output in 1996. A graduate of Bowdoin College in Maine, Bluford grew up in Northern California. In New York he sold film and television rights for The Dial Press, read scripts for Disney and learned production and editing from The Maysles Brothers.
After operating his own independent video production company, he relocated with his family to Charleston. High Output is South Carolina’s first lighting, grip and power supplier for film, television, photography and theatre; and offers design and installation services for for lighting, control and rigging systems in theatres and television studios. High Output opened a Savannah office in Spring of 2016.
Martin, his brilliant wife, Cara White, and High Ouput have been Gold Level Business Sponsors of the Carolina Film Alliance since 2014.
Linda Eisen has been the owner of Coastal Talent since 2006. Coastal Talent represents professional actors and provides Casting Services for Film, Television, Commercial, Industrial, Print, and Voice Over work throughout the Southeast Region.
Linda received a BFA in Theatre from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where she trained at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute. She studied in Brazil with director Augusto Boal and redesigned and directed the Town Crier Summer Theatre of Historic Philadelphia, Inc. She was a co-artistic director of the PA Repertory Theatre, a PA Council on the Arts Roster Artist, the director of the Theatre Program at the Red Rock Job Corps Center, and director of the touring Holocaust Education play Dear Esther.
After relocating to Charleston in 2005, Linda was Artistic Director for “Edgar Allen Poe: Back From the Grave” and has worked extensively in Charleston theatre. She recently directed “The Brain That Wouldn’t Die” at the Charleston Music Hall. Linda’s focus is bringing excellence and integrity to the Southeast film industry.
Jean-Marc Khayat knew at the age of five that he was going to grow up to work in animation. With 30 years of experience, he continues to fulfill his childhood dream, having built, led, and directed four studios in France.
With a passion for storytelling and high-quality animation, he and his family moved to Charleston in 2013 to co-found MOONDOG Animation Studio, where he also serves as studio director, with the vision to create a full-length animated feature film.
JM has served on CFA’s Board of Directors for two years and shared his passion for animation and its future within the South Carolina film industry.
Tommy Melton is the Publisher/editor of the Southeast Film guide since – 1998. The Southeast Film Guide is an annual, glossy magazine designed to promote this region to decision-makers, including producers and legislators, and to enhance the volume and quality of film projects that locate to South Carolina.
Tommy spent 5 years in Los Angeles producing equity waver plays in Hollywood and working crew on feature films and TV projects before returning home to Columbia.
As a CFA Board member, Tommy is constantly thinking of new ways to promote and protect the film industry in South Carolina through his many valuable contacts all over the state. He is presently working on getting more participation from other regions in the state for CFA membership and local legislative help.
Tommy is also preparing forthcoming articles for the next issue of the Southeast Film Guide, including rebate progress and Mr. Mercedes and Halloween interviews. He would also like to do a story on the CFA lobbyists at Thompkins, Thompson, and Brown so that readers know that CFA has lobbyists [with serious credentials] on the case.
“I’m Harry. I like turtles. Kitty cats. And baby monkeys. Vote for me.”
Harry Palmer is known to all for his political and religious rants, his brilliant movie revues, his highly embellished stories of barfly debauchery, and his love of cats and all animals. While Harry likes to make people think he is an idiot, he is actually a very intelligent, educated (B.A. from USC), well-spoken man. It was Harry who saw the need to re-establish the partnership between CFA and I.A.T.S.E, recognizing that we have a common cause and that working together would benefit everyone.
Harry is president of I.A.T.S.E. Local 491 Studio Mechanics, South Carolina and works as a lamp op, set grip and rigger. He is also a member of Local 347 in his hometown, Columbia, as a rigger and stagehand. Harry has worked on at least seventy-eight major films and television shows all over the country since the early 90’s
As a CFA Board member, Harry and current president, Linda Lee work closely with the lobbying firm of Tomkins, Thompson, and Brown Governmental Affairs. He will continue his work on behalf of I.A.T.S.E South Carolina and the Carolina Film Alliance.
Steve Rhea is a native of Charleston SC, with a Master of Media Arts degree from the University of South Carolina. He has put his education and 40 years of experience as a location scout and manager to work on over two dozen feature films and television movies including The Lords of Discipline, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, Major League III, The Hunley, The Notebook and most recently the Netflix feature Naked.
Steve has worked with the South Carolina Film Commission as a scout since its inception in the effort to bring movies to the Palmetto State. Steve is a founding member of the Carolina Film Alliance, serving five years as vice president. He is a member of Location Managers Guild International, IATSE 491 and serves on the Board of Advisors for Trident Technical College’s Division of Film, Media and Visual Arts.
In 2015 Steve was the recipient of the Beaufort International Film Festival “Behind The Scenes Award”. Steve has devoted his career to making South Carolina a popular location destination for films and to establish it as a film production center with an international reputation for excellence.
Ron Tucker is the Co-Founder/President of the Beaufort Film Society and Co-Executive Director of the Beaufort International Film Festival (BIFF). He is originally from the Woodruff, SC, located in the Upstate near Greenville/Spartanburg. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1971 and served nearly 22 years in the Marine Corps, retiring in 1992 at the rank of Captain. Ron is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and holds a Master’s Degree in Management from Webster University. Ron is the Co-Founder/President of the Beaufort Film Society and Co-Executive Director of the Beaufort International Film Festival (BIFF).
In 1993 he formed a video production company called Sandbar Productions, LLC. From 1994 – 2013, the company produced several programs about the Marine Corps and provided content for many of the leading film and television providers to include The History Channel, National Geographic, ABC, CBS, NBC, the BBC and many more. From 1999-2013 GTGV produced over 600 graduation ceremonies at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC and made DVDs available for the new Marines and their families.
In 2004 Ron was named the Chairman of the Beaufort Regional Film Commission under the auspices of the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce. He earned certification as a Film Commissioner at the Association of Film Commissioners International Cineposium in Las Vegas in 2004. In this position he served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Chamber Board of Directors. In 2007 Ron and Rebecca Tucker created the first Beaufort International Film Festival. In 2009, Ron and Rebecca, founded the Beaufort Film Society. It was at that time all responsibilities of the festival were transferred to this non-profit 501(c )3 organization. In February 2018, the festival will celebrate its 12th anniversary. BIFF has grown from about 500 in attendance in 2007 to over 12,000 attending in 2017. This year, BIFF is honoring our own Missy Ricker with the prestigious “Behind the Scenes” award.
The Beaufort Film Society has built a data base of about 2000 contacts and 200 active members who are advocates for the growth of film as an industry in South Carolina. Also, BFS has assumed the role of mentor and is currently working with two other South Carolina cities in the development of their film festivals.
Ron is a 1996 Graduate of Leadership Beaufort and is a member of the International Documentary Association and a Charter Member of the Carolina Film Alliance.
CFA Advisory board
Rob Glasser is a Managing partner of CRG Wealth Advisors. Rob is a founding member of the Carolina Film Alliance and is married to Patricia Glasser, Key Hairstylist. The present Board of Directors of the CFA considers Rob to be the Designated Grownup because of his knowledge of the business world and his ability to work comfortably and confidently with the business people and legislators that CFA meets with in Columbia. As Chairman of the Membership Committee, Rob’s experience in marketing and fundraising has been extremely valuable to the organization.