Summer shoots, Senate bills, and a few film festivals you should know about; plus, Bob Ivy plays with dolls
Chainsaws 'n' Fried Worms: Multiple sources say Austin's film summer looks to include How to Eat Fried Worms, a Nickelodeon/Imagine adaptation of the Thomas Rockwell kids' book. The film has been floating around in development limbo since 1996. Meanwhile, will the delayed Texas Chainsaw Massacre prequel (as in prequel to the remake) shoot in Austin this summer, as well? Horror Web site Bloody-Disgusting.com quotes producers Brad Fuller and Andrew Form as saying just that. The producers also say R. Lee Ermey (from Full Metal Jacket, you maggots) will play a major role as Sheriff Hoyt alongside our old pal Leatherface.
Incentives Update: Senate Bill 1142, which sets up $20 million in incentives to lure Hollywood to Texas, has passed unanimously through subcommittee on to the committee on Business and Commerce from whence it is expected to move on to the full Senate. Need more proof the incentives are needed? New Mexico just upped its hand by increasing the cap on film loans from $7.5 million to $15 million and allowing projects to receive 80% of their expected tax rebates up front. A $4 million, three-year, interest-free loan allowed New Mexico to nab the Lions Gate television series Wildfire. Call or write your Texas representative and senator pronto, bubba.
Festivus for the Rest of Us: Bob Burns' obituary rightly emphasized his role as production designer on the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but folks may not know the artsy Austin High and UT grad (he was wearing an ascot the first time I met him) was also a fine actor and writer. I've got his excellent script about the film star Rondo Hatton on my desk, and it deserves a home. Burns, who took his own life last summer, will be honored by Re-Animator director Stuart Gordon at the sixth annual Spindletop Film Festival, which runs Friday to Sunday at Lamar University in Beaumont. Irma P. Hall (Collateral, The Ladykillers) also will be inducted into the Southeast Texas Filmmaker Hall of Fame on Saturday. More info is at dept.lamar.edu/advancement/spinfest Meanwhile, in Austin, mark your calendar for the second TriPartIte Film Festival at 8:30pm on May 6 at Jo's to benefit SafePlace. A friendly donation gets you nine short films from local filmmakers: "Pilot & Olo" by Kat Candler, "Santa Ana" by Ryan Cox, "When the Cat's Away" by Aaron Marshall, "The Keening" by Alex and Andrew Smith, "Lost Not Found" by Sean Ripple, "Daniel" by Jason Cooper, "Barney" by Stacy Schoolfield, "Lead Role: Father" by P.J. Raval, and "The Color White" by Angela K. Pires... and Blowin' Up a Spot! Film Festival is coming April 21-24 at the Carver Museum and the Hideout featuring 27 works by 27 independent women filmmakers with Austin poets and musicians performing between films. More info is at www.blowinupaspot.com. And speaking of film festivals, if you've never seen fest veteran Dear Pillow, it's available at the Vulcan Video south location for rent.
Toying With Film Fans: Legendary Texas stuntman Bob Ivy will soon be openly playing with dolls, er, action figures. Ivy, better known to Bubba Ho-Tep fans as the mummy, reports that the gauze-covered one will soon be immortalized by NECA/Reel Toys. He'll join other upcoming film action figures, including Leatherface and the whole black-and-white gang from Robert Rodriguez's Sin City. By the way, Rodriguez should be basking in the glow of amazing box office for Sin City, but we know he's up all night perfecting The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3-D. See the title characters from the latter in full garb at www.blackfilm.com/20050401/features/
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