Frank Erwin Center
"...Instead, look for the University of Texas Film Institute to fill the void by shooting an entirely student-made film this coming summer as part of the Feature Film Lab, which has been expanded from a two-semester program to one that lasts two years with a new film starting the cycle each year. Schatz believes that by totally using UT resources, UTFI can create the equivalent of a half-million-dollar film, but it will do so without much of the real-world component of Burnt Orange..."
"...The Texas plan was to bring in only three people from Los Angeles, Hudgins says, with the rest of the hires entirely local. Most states offering incentives hook them to the hiring of local crew, but Michigan is using its gaudy incentives to start a film industry from nothing, so they'll offer payments, as Hudgins puts it, for anyone who breathes. UTFI does a 'Dance'..."
"...Burnt Orange may be dead (see Joe O'Connell's January piece detailing that demise), but the more modest-minded University of Texas Film Institute is set to begin principal photography on its first feature-length film on July 7. Dance With the One, a product of UTFI's Feature Film Lab, was scripted by recent Michener Center grad Joshua Smith Henderson and will be directed by another Michener alum, Mike Dolan..."
"...Located in downtown Austin, Burnt Orange shares space with the UTFI, making this one of the vertically integrated, simultaneously for-profit (on Burnt Orange's side) and nonprofit (UTFI) film ventures out there...."
"...We fade in on Tom Schatz of UTFI, explaining how they culled the best screenplays written by UT grad students down to the final four, all American Idol-like, before turning them over to students studying film, dance, theatre, and even a lawyer wannabe...."
"...The script was The Jumper of Maine, about "a paramedic with Tourette's Syndrome [who is] forced to come to terms with his life and condition when he falls in love." Lanham, a Master of Fine Arts candidate in his last semester in UT's Department of Radio-Television-Film, developed the script at the University of Texas Film Institute, producing two full drafts of the script. After a public reading sponsored by UTFI, Lanham submitted his script to the competitions on the recommendation of a professor, then devoted a summer to producing a new draft, one that "erased three of the major plot lines," he says..."
"...UTFI exists to give UT film students a chance to work on a film shoot that is longer and more difficult than the typical three- or four-day student-film shoot; Dance With the One is planned as a 22-day shoot. "We're trying to teach them that when you get into 22-day shoots, you need a lot more planning; you need to be aware that we may shoot a scene on day one and then shoot the second half of that film on day 15," says Glen Moorman, the film's first assistant director, who is one of the only crew members who isn't associated with UT..."
"...One would like to put it more delicately, but various elements of the story like period costumes and set-dressing, or parodying a network TV show, no matter how chintzy require an absolute baseline of credibility that only comes so cheap. UT Film Institute Executive Director Tom Schatz acknowledges it should cost over a million, and is being "squeezed into a smaller box." While the scale is far above Vaughan and Poyser's microbudget festival hit Dear Pillow, the control, precision, and artistic daring of that film helped convince Austin's Burnt Orange Productions and UTFI that the two could pull together The Cassidy Kids on a budget they could afford to commit, with a crew largely made up of UT students...."