Sunday, September 27, 2009

"The Deep End" dives into Dallas

I was orginally supposed to be at this event tonight, but word came down of a press lockout. Here's a secondhand take on the event--from those who were there--via Facebook:

It was a beautiful day/night to hold a reception to welcome ABC, 20th Century Fox Television, David Hemingson and our own Garry Brown and the cast of THE DEEP END to Dallas for principal photography. Thank you Cobie and Gordon Russell for being such ...great hosts. It is always great to see Governor Perry in Dallas especially when he presents an almost $900,000 incentives check to the Prison Break team.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Texas Longhorns' next 2 opponents: UTEP and inertia

Wordle: Texas vs. UTEP
Check out my latest in The Austin Chronicle on the University of Texas Longhorns football team. Did Sergio Kindle's swamping of Texas Tech QB Taylor Potts change everything?

For those too busy to read the blog (or with extreme ADD), here it is a Wordle.

Independent film thriving in Dallas

Everything from a guy with a talking "member" to a family-oriented tale about making it big in the biz. My Shot in Texas column in the Dallas Morning News.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

When the rains end...

No puddle is safe...

'Rock Opera' turns 10

This just in from Bob Ray, the maniac behind the wonderous and wonderful Rock Opera:

In October of 1999, the Alamo Drafthouse screened the soon-to-be cult classic stoner flick, Rock Opera, for three weeks at their original Colorado Street location. Laughter was heard, weed smell was smelt, fun was had. Chad Holt probably got laid. It was a good time by all accounts and measures.

So, come October 10, 2009, the gang is back! Writer-director Bob Ray will present the film and be accompanied by many of the original Rock Opera hooligans. The screening will feature clips from Ray’s documentary work-in-progress, TOTAL BADASS (featuring Rock Opera’s Chad Holt) as well as a selection of Ray’s short animated “CrashToons” (several of which have been featured on and Turner Network’s Super Deluxe). But the main event is a super-rare screening of the cult fave Rock Opera, with Bob Ray and crew hosting a post screening Q&A and an ear-gasmically sweet post-post-screening rock and roll show with bands from the flick (see below).

Rock Opera tells the tale of Austin musician Toe's (Jerry Don Clark) struggle to put together a tour for his foundering band PigPoke. Back-stabbing, dirt weed-selling Toe double-crosses half a dozen of the meanest sonsa’ bitches in Texas to weasel himself into a position to get his band on the road. Half stoner-comedy, half suspense-thriller and 100% dope ass flick, Rock Opera is the original stoner-action-comedy (despite what Pineapple Express claims)!

Oh, and the after-party features a special reunion show for Austin’s VOLTAGE and Pocket FishRmen.

Kat Candler's 'Spider' spins film web

Congrats to Kat Candler whose script for The Spider in the Bathtub (co-written with Chris Mass) has been optioned with Kat attached to direct. See the details on her blog:

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

Speaking of Linklater...

Variety reports that Rebecca Hall (Frost/Nixon) is in talks to star in Richard Linklater's latest collaboration with phone-throwing producer Scott Rudin. This one is Liars (A-E), is which Hall will portray "a woman who is dumped by her rocker fiancé on the eve of Barack Obama's presidential election victory. She takes a road trip with a pal (Kat Dennings) to Obama's inauguration, and visits various ex-boyfriends to retrieve lost items.

No word on whether any of this will be shot in Austin.

"Me and Orson Welles" trailer

Check out this little sneak of Richard Linklater's new movie which comes out Nov. 25.

A coming-of-age drama that involves the legendary director's 1937 staging of Julius Caesar, the Austin-based director's Me and Orson Welles stars Zac Efron and Claire Danes and introduces Christian McKay as the young Orson Welles.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Austin native Allen eyes new 'Les Miserable'

Todd Allen is an Austin High grad whose had an interesting acting career including such films as Grand Canyon and Silverado. Now he and partner Stephen Rollins are forming a production company with some pretty ambitious plans, including a remake of Les Miserable. Read more about it here:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

'Whip It' whips up interest

The Drew Barrymore-directed roller derby flick Whip It starring Ellen Page became the poster child for Texas' need for more film incentives (we're still waiting for tangible results from that increase) when the Austin-set film about an Austin-born sports movement written by Austin native Shauna Cross lensed in ... Michigan, where they stood in the streets and threw cash at the film in hopes of creating a film industry from scratch.

With the film about to bow, Variety gives it a very nice review. One small quibble: The film can't be true to the novel. Shauna, who I first met when she was doing extras casting on MTV's Austin Stories in the '90s, told me she got a deal for both at the same time and thus wrote the script and the novel simultaneously.

'Between Floors' get director honors

Jen White won the best director award at the Atlanta Underground Film Festiva for her debut feature Between Floors. It screens this Saturday at the Boston Film Festival. The movie “examines the human condition through a uniquely claustrophobic lens, intercutting between five stuck elevators and the people trapped inside them.” See more about the film here.

The flick's exec producer Paul Alvarado-Dykstra also passes along this important info from the Texas Motion Picture Alliance: "Mark your calendar for Sunday, Nov. 1, which is when TXMPA's having our 2nd Annual Spaghetti Western Fall Fundraiser party at Star Hill Ranch.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sam Bradford and Fred Akers?

The unlikely duo are on my mind as the University of Texas Longhorns enter the second week of a dream football season. See my Austin Chronicle blog here.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

First day of school

Actually the first day of Parents Day Out, but it's pretty close. Nicholas' teacher used to teach kindergarten and he's in a class of six kids, so we fell pretty good about it.

Nicholas greets his teacher, "Miz Shell."

Monday, September 7, 2009

'Kings of the Evening' to finally hit theaters

Kings of the Evening, which shot near Austin in Bartlett in 2007, has finally found distribution, director Andrew Jones confirms. Expect a small theatrical release by February 2010 through Indican Pictures followed by a wider release for television, DVD and video on demand.

Starring fashion model Tyson Beckford and noted actor Glynn Turman, the film is set in the Deep South in the Depression era. Amid tough economic times, a group of African-American men dress in their finest and compete to be the movie title's King of the Evening. Gary Bond of the Austin Film Office has repeatedly championed the film for its quality. Here's what I wrote about it last year in The Austin Chronicle:

Friday, September 4, 2009

Mike Judge talks 'Extract'

My interview with Austin-based director Mike Judge about his turn from the employees' story in Office Space to the bosses' tale in Extract appears today in both the San Antonio Express-News and Houston Chronicle.