New Leader at the Film Commission
Entertainment attorney becomes temp boss
By Richard Whittaker, 6:09PM, Sat. Dec. 18, 2010
Big change over at the Texas Film Commission: The governor's office has appointed a member of its general council, attorney Evan E. Fitzmaurice, as its interim executive director. He steps in to replace former director Bob Hudgins.
A UT law graduate specializing in entertainment law, Fitzmaurice moved to California in 2005 before moving back to Texas to work as general counsel in the governor's office. Currently resident in Austin, he's still licensed by both the Texas and California bars. He also has a film credit, having co-produced legal industry documentary A Lawyer Walks Into a Bar which screened at SXSW 2007.
Fitzmaurice takes over the commission at a challenging time, and possibly his biggest challenge will come from the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program. Better (if incorrectly) known as the film incentives, with a deficit budget approaching fast, this is exactly the kind of discretionary line item that legislators may start eying. Add onto that the undoubted bruised feelings over the decisions to not pay out for Waco or Machete over content issues (the infamous "don't make Texas look bad" clause), plus the general national push back against incentive packages, and Fitzmaurice could be spending a lot of time around the lege after New Year.
Full press release below.
Gov. Rick Perry today named Evan E. Fitzmaurice interim director of the Texas Film Commission. The commission supports Texas’ growing and diverse media industries, and helps increase Texas’ competitive position worldwide as a production destination.
Fitzmaurice will head to the Film Commission after a stint in the Governor’s General Counsel Office. Before joining the Governor’s Office, he practiced law in Los Angeles at the entertainment law firm of Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris and Klein P.C. While representing the firm’s writer, director, actor and producer clients, Fitzmaurice focused on film, television and digital production company financings and related transactions.
Fitzmaurice practiced transactional law at the international firm of K&L Gates LLP in Los Angeles and Dallas, and in the Dallas office of Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell LLP. He is a member of the State bars of Texas and California, and a past member of the Beverly Hills and Dallas Bar associations.
Additionally, Fitzmaurice co-produced the 2007 independent documentary, “A Lawyer Walks Into a Bar,” which premiered at the 2007 South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival, won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2007 AFI Dallas International Film Festival, and appeared at several other film festivals.
A Dallas native, Fitzmaurice received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1993 and a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law in 1999.