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Film News from joe

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  • Dan Eggleston
    FEBRUARY 4, 2005 Film News BY JOE O CONNELL The news Texas film folk had been awaiting came quietly last week, but a roar may be required to get it to
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 5, 2005
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      FEBRUARY 4, 2005

      Film News
      BY JOE O'CONNELL

      The news Texas film folk had been awaiting came quietly last week, but a
      roar may be required to get it to fruition. Gov. Rick Perry didn't
      mention it during his State of the State address, but his printed budget
      lists as a priority item $20 million in incentives to attract more
      projects. Another $10 million would go toward promoting the state's film
      biz. Approval will require action by a Legislature that has been
      reluctant on the issue in the past. "Texas has had a significant drop in
      the number of films coming here because of the incentives being offered
      in neighboring states," says the guv's spokesperson, Kathy Walt. Some 11
      projects with budgets totaling $117.5 million scouted Texas last year
      but chose to go to places like New Mexico and Louisiana, where
      incentives greased the skids. Worse, an estimated 1,320 jobs were lost.
      "The first thing a producer asks is 'what kind of incentives are
      there?'" says Suzanne Quinn of Austin Studios, who has spent the past
      two years watching our neighboring states start film industries
      practically from scratch. "It took 10 to 20 years for Texas to develop
      this. It's not something you can develop overnight." Gary Bond of the
      Austin Film Office cites the untitled comedy Mike Judge shot in Austin
      last year as the sort of project Texas might continue to lose if it
      doesn't join the incentives trend. "I know for certain it wouldn't have
      shot here if Mike Judge hadn't pushed so hard for it to," Bond says.
      Now, the big question remains whether the film industry can speak loud
      enough to get the attention of legislators whose eyes likely will be
      focused on school finance. In other words, industry pros, the time has
      come to get loud.

      • Punk Reality: Where do you turn when you want to spoof the courtroom
      reality-show trend? Former Austin punk rockers, of course. Jesse
      Sublett, formerly of the Skunks, and Tom Huckabee of the Huns, rivals in
      the days when their bands had fans pogoing at Raul's nightclub, are
      creative consultants for the syndicated Eye for Any Eye, which is going
      from weekly to daily and will shoot about 80 episodes in Dallas
      beginning any day now. Sublett terms the show, in which the loser faces
      punishments like a thorough syruping and feathering, "trashy fun." It'll
      soon air across the nation and in every major Texas city, except Austin,
      with Kato Kaelin as host. Meanwhile, Houston is gearing up for its own
      television courtroom drama launch in March from 20th Century Fox, which
      is keeping details ultra quiet.

      • Hindi-Vision: Low-budget thriller Zero Hour has delayed shooting until
      at least April, freeing up space at Austin Studios that will instead go
      to director Dinesh Potluri and gang, who intend to shoot four to five
      films in the coming year for the India market, all in the national
      language of Hindi.

      • Award This: Marcus van Bavel and the folks at Austin-based DVFilm are
      walking on air at word that Bill Plympton's animated short "Guard Dog"
      is up for an Oscar. DVFilm took Plympton's signature pencil-on-paper
      drawings and recorded them to film and also had a hand in soundtrack
      preparation... "Life Against Memory," a short film by Evan Torchin and
      James Webb of Austin has been nominated by Kevin Spacey's
      TriggerStreet.com for the 2005 Budweiser Discovery Award.

      Send tips to filmnews@....

      (Eye for an Eye started filming the day this column came out - i was in
      a great episode on friday. dan)
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