Saturday, November 28, 2009

Coen brothers looking at Central Texas for 'True Grit'

That's really the big scoop in my latest SHOT IN TEXAS column in the Dallas Morning News. Also, more on the television shows lensing in Dallas nnd the Zapata, Texas, TV pilot that Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick are scouting, also in Central Texas.

More specifics not in the column: True Grit is looking at Granger, and Zapata is looking at Bastrop and the new Spiderwood Studios located near there.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Longhorns vs Aggies: a joke or a contest?

Read my latest Austin Chronicle blog for more on the strangest contest around.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Colt McCoy battles the ghost of VY

As Colt McCoy is on the eve of becoming the winningest college quarterback ever, the ghost of Vince Young looms. Read more in my Austin Chronicle blog.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

'True Grit' casting call

FEBRUARY UPDATE: Click here for the extras casting call info.

I'm getting a lot of hits here for the True Grit casting calls for the character of Mattie in the Coen brothers version of the tale. And, yes, it looks very likely it will shoot outside of Austin with Austin as the base camp. You heard it here, probably, first.

The Austin call info: No experience required. Bring a current, nonreturnable photo and only one family member. Girls only, ages 12 to 16. Time: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 28, the Omni Austin Hotel, 700 San Jacinto at 8th Street, Austin.

Waco casting call info: Waco casting call between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 21-22, in the Dodge Hall at the Heart O’ Texas Fair Complex, 4601 Bosque Blvd.

The description of the character: “We are looking for REAL (scrubbed-down, no make-up), ‘gritty’ girls! Preferably the kind that rides horses, gets dirty & speaks her mind! We are NOT looking for ‘theatrical’ model types! Rodeo girls (who ride & rope) are best! Not ‘actor-like / pageant queens.’ “

Previous casting calls have been in Lubbock and Fort Worth

Friday, November 13, 2009

Jordan Shipley is Texas Longhorn fans' man crush

Will Jordan Shipley "man crush" love keep Colt McCoy from Heisman? My Austin Chronicle sports blog examines this important issue...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dallas gets Fox show "Jack and Dan"

Bradley Whitford

A shorter version of this appeared Friday in the Dallas Morning News:

Fox’s new series Jack and Dan will shoot 13 episodes in Dallas starting in January, adding to a growing television presence in North Texas.

The show features Colin Hanks (Tom's son) as a straight-laced detective who is paired with a drunken partner portrayed by Bradley Whitford (West Wing). Originally plans had the show set in Los Angeles, but the setting will now be Dallas, said Janis Burklund of the Dallas Film Commission.

That is in contrast to the ABC series The Deep End which is currently shooting six episodes—with a potential of more--in Dallas but is actually set in a Los Angeles law firm.

“It’s really going to show diversity of Dallas,” Burklund, said. “It’s not just going to be old stereotype of Dallas.”

Filming all around Dallas will continue for 96 days into June with a conservative estimate of $1 million in local spending for each of the episodes shot. Local production offices are expected to open immediately, and at least one local casting director has already been contacted by show producers.

Increased incentives for filming in Texas played a factor, but those almost didn’t keep Atlanta from luring the series, which Dallas has been courting in some form since June, Burklund said. The difference appears to be a combination of a strong crew and cast base, and heavy cooperation from city officials who offered whatever they could to sweeten the deal, including deals on hotels and longer-term housing.

“The city is using its full capacity to make this a very good thing,” said Bob Hudgins, head of the Texas Film Commission. “It’s pretty amazing to have two series shooting in Dallas and our friends at Friday Night Lights in Austin are chugging along.”

The state’s film incentives program offers rebates to filmmakers based either on total in-state spend or as a percentage of wages paid cast and crew who are Texas residents. Burklund said Fox is leaning toward the latter, which would require at least 70 percent of cast and crew by Texans.

Texas’ incentive is up to 15 percent of in-state spend or up to 25 percent of wages, with both figures increased slightly for filming in areas deemed “underutilized.” Georgia, in contrast, offers a 30 percent tax credit.

“The creatives were wanting to be here,” Burklund said. “Luckily we had them on our side fighting for it.”

The show was created by Matt Nix (Burn Notice), and the 13-episode order was made by Fox without a pilot episode being shot, an unusual show of confidence by the network.
Burklund announced the show Thursday amid a pile of boxes in the Dallas Film Commission offices. The commission is set to relocate today from the auspices of the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau to the city’s Office of Economic Development in City Hall.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

'The Deep End' seeks a few handsome men

I'll let the casting call say it all:

Twentieth Century Fox Television is in Dallas filming a new television series for the ABC Television network titled "The Deep End." The production recently completed the shooting of Episodes One through Three and is currently filming Episode Four. The Extras Casting Department is actively searching Dallas for good looking, young, fit, upscale people to be cast as background for all the two remaining episodes. If you fit this description and are between the ages of 20-35, then they are looking for you! Please submit the following to:

1- A Clear Picture of Yourself
2-Your Contact Info
3-Your Height & Weight
4-Your Schedule Availability (Mon-Fri only) We do not film on weekends.

All roles are paying gigs.

Please make sure all information is on the opening page of the email.

You MUST be a Texas resident to be considered for a spot on our show!

We are also urgently needing good looking males between the ages of 20-40 who are physically fit. If you have previously submitted a picture, please do not resend.

Western filming in Austin

The western film The Legend of Hell’s Gate: An American Conspiracy has been on my radar, but I'm just now getting around to posting about it. San Antonio natives Henry Thomas of E.T. fame and Summer Glau are among the stars. It heads to Austin for shooting and has also shot recently in Granbury and Boerne. Here's more about the film, but it's basically about "three men who cross paths with three gunmen and are forced to go on the lam while being pursued by a sheriff's posse and a tribe of Indians."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Are the Coens bringing 'True Grit' to Texas?

See an update here.

The signs certainly are positive that the Coen brothers will shoot their remake of True Grit in Texas (UPDATE: Make that likely to shoot in CENTRAL Texas). The biggest positive omen? Casting calls in Lubbock and Forth Worth (Just found out that another casting call will be in Austin on Nov. 28) for the lead role of Mattie, portrayed by Kim Darby in the original. The Coens' film is expected to be closer to Charles Portis' book in which Addie was the main character. Also said to be circling the film are Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

On the set of 'The Deep End' in Dallas

In an odd mix, 20th Century Fox is shooting the law office dramedy The Deep End in Dallas, though it's set in Los Angeles. I visited the set last Tuesday. Here's my take for the Dallas Morning News: Billy Zane, that girl from Napoleon Dynamite and Post-It notes.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Texas Longhorns, It's Time for Your closeup

I was on the set of the ABC series The Deep End this week in Dallas (look for the story in Monday's Dallas Morning News). It got me making connections to the Texas Longhorn football team's march toward another national title. Read my Austin Chronicle blog about it here.