While major productions play tax-incentive hopscotch across the South and Southwest, Austin tries to figure out how to reignite its winning streak
If Americans needed a wobbly-legged Castro to replace the Soviet Union as their "other," then the Texas film industry has replaced its Canadian bogeyman (the hosers are hurting, thanks to a healthier Canadian dollar) with Cajun rice and Sante Fe beans, heavy on the tax incentives that have Austin crews living out of suitcases as they work projects that were once Texas locks. The lure of New Mexico incentives proved irresistible for The Longest Yard remake, originally headed for Texas; and despite its Texas setting, Glory Road about the 1966 NCAA national basketball championship and Texas Western's shocking victory under coach Don Haskins will be shot in New Orleans, also due to incentives.
It remains to be seen if the Texas Legislature will follow our neighbors' leads when it comes to incentives, but the city of Austin has taken action under Jim Butler, its manager of creative industries development. "Our number one priority is to make the city quicker and less expensive for filmmakers," said Butler, who also promotes music and technology industries. That means creating a response team for quick permit action for filming on city-owned property. Look for the city to also work with the Austin Film Society on grant applications to upgrade Austin Studios.
George the Shark: Austin Studios is getting a little action from homeboy Robert Rodriguez, who has used facilities there for the largest Austin project of late, The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl, which has added TV funnyman George Lopez to the cast. He's joined by newcomers Taylor Dooley, Taylor Lautner, and Cayden Boyd in the reportedly 3-D story of a 10-year-old outcast whose imaginary friends come to life.
War Men: Warriors, the tale of two ad men hired to create a new slogan for the Army, is looking at a March shoot in Austin with Will Patton (Gone in Sixty Seconds). Recent Austin transplant Nick Keene adapted the French Canadian play for New York City theatre audiences after 9/11 and sees the film as a dark, funny, and very timely take on men who "sell war the same way they would a video game or a Twinkie or a tampon."
Burnt Sequel: Burnt Orange Productions, the University of Texas' film arm, has wrapped its first project, Dot. What's next? Country musical Austin Angel is a contender to start shooting by winter, but it comes down to actor availability.
Semper Broyles: Jarhead, Anthony Swofford's Gulf War novel adapted for the screen by former Austinite Bill Broyles, shoots in December in Mexico and California, with Jake Gyllenhaal starring and Sam Mendes helming.
Cheer of the House: Tommy Lee Jones' Austin-shot Cheer Up is now titled Man of the House and set for a March release.
Legally Dallas: Robert Luketic (Legally Blonde) will direct a big-screen adaptation of the TV hit Dallas.
Film news, Tommy Lee Jones, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, Richard Linklater, The Bad News Bears, Billy Bob Thornton, Greg Kinnear, Wild Brain, Daily Texan, Bloom County, Berkeley Breathed, Austin Studios, The Longest Yard, Glory Road, Jim Butler, Austin Film Society, Robert Rodriguez, George Lopez, Taylor Dooley, Taylor Lautner, Cayden Boyd, War Men, Warriors, Will Patton, Gone in Sixty Seconds, Nick Keene, Burnt Orange Productions, Do, Austin Angel, Jarhead, Anthony Swofford, Bill Broyles, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sam Mendes, Cheer Up, Man of the House, Robert Luketic, Legally Blonde, Dallas
Joe O'Connell, Fri., Jan. 18, 2008
Joe O'Connell, Fri., Dec. 14, 2007
Joe O'Connell, Fri., Nov. 30, 2007
Jessi Cape, Fri., March 15, 2013
Andy Campbell, Fri., March 15, 2013
Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., March 15, 2013
Leah Churner, Fri., March 15, 2013
Wayne Alan Brenner, Fri., March 15, 2013
Marc Savlov, Fri., Oct. 22, 2004
Marc Savlov, Fri., Oct. 15, 2004
Marc Savlov, Fri., Oct. 8, 2004
Marc Savlov, Fri., Sept. 24, 2004
Marc Savlov, Fri., Sept. 17, 2004
True Believers at Antone's
at The Scoot Inn
Lady for a Day at Paramount Theatre
Film Review Misses Mark Please make a note not to print any more movie reviews of big action movies by Kimberley Jones. She gets ...
What's the Big Deal? I'm baffled by this obsession with Mueller. I drove through it out of curiosity and it's a suburban nightmare that ...
No Mystery in School Bond Failures How out of touch has the Chronicle become with the voting populace of this city? From the article “Bonds: Death ...
Program Is Vital Resource I am responding to your article on ACCESS News, the program by and for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. The ...
Finding Rail Route Complicated Michael King, in “The Reading Railroad”, while making valuable points, seems to state that finding an initial route for urban ...
- Follow us@AustinChronicle