Bob Hudgins, successor of Tom Copeland at the Texas Film Commission, isn't wasting any time; plus, Andrew Shapter, Lunafest, and more
He's not the same as the old boss, but Bob Hudgins was recently retired Tom Copeland's top choice to take the reins of the Texas Film Commission. Hudgins, a Wichita Falls native, is the former deputy director of the Illinois Film Commission and an experienced locations scout. He worked locations on Austin-shot Michael in 1996 and got to know Copeland. Of particular interest to Lone Star film folk is Hudgins' key role in creating a program of financial incentives for projects shooting in Illinois. The Texas Lege approved such a program last year but without the funds to back it up. He's already been meeting with the different city film commissions around the state with an eye toward the 2007 legislative session and is urging film workers to establish strong communication with their representatives. "Farmers and ranchers have their issues, and we have our issues," he says. "We need to let those things be known."
Meet the New Boss
Andrew Shapter's documentary Before the Music Dies has taken a turn to the comedic, while still aptly highlighting the excesses of the corporate music world. Shapter credits Erykah Badu and her sense of humor for the change, which includes the creation of a generic pop star (à la Ashlee Simpson) from scratch. Badu also steered Shapter to a major soundtrack deal that will include Badu, Bonnie Raitt, the Roots, Dave Matthews, Calexico, and others. Look for the film to premiere at SXSW Film 06, and check out the progress on Shapter's blog at www.beforethemusicdies.com. Next up for Shapter is The Greener Side, a doc about the pursuit of happiness that will take him to Mongolia and Sardinia.
Corporate Rock Still Sux
The national touring fest of short films by, for, and about women, aka Lunafest, comes to the Alamo Drafthouse Downtown at 1pm on Sunday in an event sponsored by Reel Women and the makers of Luna nutrition bars. The eight winning films showing were culled from more than 200 entries. Special guest is Suju Vijayan, who has written, directed and produced programs for Fox, A&E, Lifetime, MSNBC, Discovery, the History Channel, HGTV, and the Food Network. Her short, "Blessing," is part of the fest. Admission is $10; tickets may be purchased at www.originalalamo.com.
Loony for Lunafest
Marfa is a likely filming spot for There Will Be Blood, a period piece based on Upton Sinclair's novel Oil!, which drew heavily on industry scandals during the Warren G. Harding administration but could be drawn from today's headlines. Paul Thomas Anderson is set to direct, with Daniel Day-Lewis starring. Do I sense Richard Linklater's hand in this one as well? His frequent cohort (and industry powerhouse) Scott Rudin is executive producing along with Eric Schlosser, whose book Fast Food Nation became a recently lensed Linklater feature. Look for a May shoot with some filming also possible in New Mexico.
Black Gold, Texas Tea
Kudos to Whole Foods, Cool River Cafe, Scholz's Biergarten, People's Community Clinic, Vineyard Christian Fellowship, and Pinky's Wireless, who all donated locations for the ultra-low-budget Wake Up, Herbert, a first film from writer/director Steve Cauley that wraps this month... The Austin Film Festival's fourth annual Oscar Party is March 5 at Ranch 616 with great food and a silent auction on the bill. Tickets are $90 and available at 478-4795... The second most famous horror film shot in Central Texas is being remade this spring. What? You don't remember 1978's Piranha, which was written very much with tongue in cheek by John Sayles and filmed mostly at Aquarena Springs in San Marcos? The remake is set at Arizona's Lake Havasu, so no gigs as extras are likely for bikini-clad coeds at the school forever known as Southwest Texas State.
And the Rest ...
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