Short Cuts

Austin Film Commission no more

"Austin Film Commission-- No More Dept.: It's official -- as of Wednesday, Sept. 4, the upstart Austin Film Commission, which has found itself embroiled in controversy due to the similarity of their name to both the Texas Film Commission (part of the Governor's Office) and the city-based Austin Film Office, has been issued an injunction against any further use of the name by Judge John Dietz of the 250th District Court. Local businessperson Roxanne Wheelis, of River City Tattoo, formed the "commission" in November of last year to enhance what she described as the inadequate performance of the Austin Film Office, which is headed by Gary Bond and is part of the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau. Wheelis declined to comment on the ruling, but a close friend, who also asked not to be named, told The Austin Chronicle that she assumed Wheelis would continue working with local and incoming filmmakers under a less fractious name. For his part, Bond, whose office has operated under contract from the city for a number of years, is delighted to have the legal skirmishing behind him. "Judge Dietz agreed that I had some claim to the name," Bond told the Chronicle, "since I am frequently called the 'Austin Film Commission,' and have been for years and years. It obviously had caused some confusion amongst the filmmaking community, particularly the first-time people who were trying to reach my office, which essentially has been the film commission for the city of Austin for 17 years now."... Alleywood Studios has kicked their acting and stagecraft class schedule into high gear and will be offering three separate forays into the hows and whys of both behind and in front of the cameras. On Thursday, Sept. 12 and 19, 7-10pm, at Alleywood Studios (1902 S. Congress, in the basement of the old Twin Oaks Hardware building), legendary Austin punk godfather, artist, actor, and all-around renaissance scenester Randy "Biscuit-- Turner will present a two-session workshop on "Propping Up Productions." Turner, better known to the old-school Mohican crowd (and the Snobs) as the frontman for everyone from the Big Boys to Swine King and currently the Slurpees, will unload his propmaster/backstage artisan wisdom on the assembled, covering the likes of set decoration techniques, lighting tech, and distressing techniques. $25 for a single class, $45 for both. Call Turner at 326-2341, leave a message at 916-0001, or e-mail Alleywood's Sidney Brammer at to enroll... Austin film group Reel Women is holding its next meeting Wednesday, Sept. 18, 7:30pm, at the Clay Pit (16th and Guadalupe). Speaker Lauren Polizzi, art director for The Alamo, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and The Lost World: Jurassic Park will discuss "The Art of Art Direction." Admission is free and open to the public. Then on Saturday, Sept. 21, 1-4pm, at the Art History Center (Ninth and Guadalupe), Reel Women will hold a workshop with producer/writer/editor/post-production pro Kevin Wild on "How to Make Your Video Look More Like Film." $15 Reel Women members/$25 nonmembers. Call Sherry Mills at 448-9090 for more info on either event or to enroll... Congrats to University of Texas film prof Nancy Schiesari -- she's one of a team of cinematographers for The Human Face With John Cleese, which has been nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Cinematography for Nonfiction Programming (Single or Multi-Cam). The presentation for the Creative Arts Awards categories is Sept. 14, and yes, we've already got our fingers crossed.

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Austin Film Commission, Texas Film Commission, John Dietz, Roxanne Wheelis, Austin Film Office, Gary Bond, Alleywood Studios, Randy Biscuit Turner, Sidney Brammer, Lauren Polizzi, Kevin Wild, Reel Women, Sherry Mills, Nancy Schiesari, The Human Face With John Cleese

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