Short Cuts

Austin Studios enter Phase 2 development, UT's Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center shows off its movie wares, and the Alamo Drafthouse seeks campers willing to squeal like pigs.

Austin Studios Version 2.0 Dept.: With a clutch of completed film projects already under its belt and director Jeff Stolhand's Hi-Def film project Master of the Game currently shooting on the lot, Austin Studios is slowly but surely transforming itself from the former Robert Mueller Airport into a genuine working film studio. Not all that surprising given the groundswell of local and industry support the venture has netted along the way, of course. Now comes notice from Studio Director Suzanne Quinn that phase two of the Studio's planned growth is at hand. Already 20 acres of space -- with six hangars, two office buildings, and the odd trailer housing both the Austin Film Society (AFS) and Studio headquarters (not to mention the new golf cart used to traverse those 20 acres) -- the Studios are, "for a limited time," actively seeking partners "to get involved with [the] transformation into a full-service studio by offering all of the equipment and services" needed for film production. Companies already on board include national crane-and-gear rental house Chapman/ Leonard (who have phased out their North Texas office in favor of moving things to Austin), Film Fleet, Longhorn Rentals, Panavision, and prop outfitter The Relic Source. Synergy is the byword, apparently, as the Studios seek to combine local and state businesses, and both local and incoming film productions. The AFS has hired architectural firm The Lawrence Group to design a new building comprising "approximately 45,000 square feet total space that we're going to build out," according to Quinn. "That includes the screening room, classroom space, public space, and things like that that aren't leasable -- about 30,000 square feet total of office space. I think one of the neatest things about this is that it's a cooperative, communal effort." And apparently that's already happening -- responses from an invitation-cum-press release sent out to Texas film-related companies last week has been "overwhelming," with responses coming in from catering companies, talent agencies, rental car companies, post-production services, and equipment outfitters. Once a full complement of letters of intent are received from the various interested parties and the "feasibility stage" is passed, it's up to the city to approve further forward motion on the project and begin the actual construction. Something tells me that shouldn't be too hard… If Austin Studios is the future of Texas filmmaking, then the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at UT is a helluva great way to check out the storied past. Too often overlooked, the HRC has a wealth (literally) of cinema-related marvels, both Texan and otherwise, and their new exhibition, "From Gutenberg to Gone With the Wind," which begins today and runs through May 3, 2002, ably proves. The exhibition is at the LBJ Library and Museum, 2213 Red River, and features -- among many other items -- the screenplays, set designs, screen tests, costumes, and loads more from such films as the aforementioned Victor Fleming classic as well as items from North by Northwest, Sunset Blvd., and more. Not to be missed -- call 471-8944 for more info… You thought they'd already sold out but you were wrong: Tim League over at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema says tix for both the May 19-20 screenings of Deliverance on the banks of the Colorado River and the June 28-29 Bruce Campbell live-in-person doubleshot (featuring Evil Dead 2 and Campbell's new documentary Fanalysis) are still available. Amazing, considering how fast the last Campbell fest sold out, actually. Complete times, ticket prices, and directions to the truly watershed Deliverance event are available by calling 476-1320 or drop in on the Alamo Web site at www.drafthouse.com.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Austin Studios, Austin Film Society, Suzanne Quinn, Jeff Stolhand, Master of the Game, The Lawrence Group, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, From Gutenberg to Gone With the Wind, Alamo Drafthouse, Time League, Deliverance, Bruce Campbell, Evil Dead 2, Fanalysis

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