Film News

Minor 'Miracle': mystery of major Hollywood family film shooting here pretty much solved

Austin claims 'Miracle'

North and South Carolina's loss is Austin's gain. The baseball film The Third Miracle (there are signs the name may change to The Perfect Game) was prepped and ready to start filming there on Oct. 13, but a shortage of crew has sent the project to Austin. Cheech Marin, Danna Garcia, and Eduardo Verástegui star in the story of the dirt-poor 1957 Little League World Series team from Monterrey, Mexico, that was the first foreign team to claim the title. Michael Corenblith, production designer for 2004's The Alamo, is onboard for the film, to be directed by South African Rocco DeVilliers. The Carolinas, which offer filming incentives similar to those being pushed by leaders of the Texas film scene, ironically lost the project because they were seeing a surge in filming activity. "We'd have to bring everyone in from Los Angeles, and when we did a cost comparison, that was cost prohibitive," producer Daniel De Liege told the The Charlotte Observer, which in its story listed the film's budget in "the low eight figures." Filming is now under way in Mexico. Look for action to begin here soon. It's a safe bet that this is the mysterious "major Hollywood family film" that has been casting for 10- to 14-year-old boys all around Central Texas in recent weeks. Either way, the next casting calls for the "mystery" film are Nov. 4 in Smithville and Nov. 18 in Waco. Call the information line at 637-9782 for the full scoop.

Gah! 'Napoleon' producers like us

Sean Covel and Chris "Doc" Wyatt, two-thirds of the producing team behind Jared Hess' smash Napoleon Dynamite, are looking for a February start in Austin and possibly Seguin for their latest pic, Dodge, with a screenplay by Mike Saenz, originally of San Antonio. Covel spoke at the recent Austin Film Festival, but I missed his description of the movie. I can tell you it won't be a comedy.

And the rest ...

Word from Bryan Poyser is that the Duplass brothers, Jay and Mark (The Puffy Chair), have just wrapped shooting here and in Bastrop on their highly anticipated next feature, Baghead. Poyser and collaborator Jacob Vaughan (Dear Pillow, The Cassidy Kids) helped out on the set; look for a report from the former in the coming weeks... University of Texas grad student in film Ben Steinbauer has won the Princess Grace Award, which he was scheduled to accept Thursday. He was one of only seven winners nationwide in the film category. Steinbauer's short films have premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival and the Austin Film Festival, as well as on PBS... The DVD release party for Austin filmmaker Paul Bright's feature film Angora Ranch – which premiered this summer at the Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival – is Friday at Lobo Books (3204 Guadalupe). Demand has been high, with back orders the rule at the usual sales outlets, so show up ready to buy... P.J. Raval and Jay Hodges' doc, Best Kept Secret – about Trinidad, Colo.'s role as the nation's sex-change capital – has been accepted in the IFP Rough Cut editing lab in New York City for November. C.C. Stinson's short film, Hot Summer Daze, took home the audience favorite award at the African American Women in Cinema Film Festival in New York City... A benefit to help pay off the expenses of recovering Z: A Zombie Musical footage lost in a computer crash has been rescheduled to Wednesday, Nov. 8, 6-10:30pm, at Threadgill's World Headquarters.

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The Third Miracle, major Hollywood family film, Texas film incentives, Bryan Poyser, Duplass brothers, Best Kept Secret, Ben Steinbauer, Dodge, Gary the Tennis Coach, The Perfect Game

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