Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Palicki's 'Wonder Woman' outfit

Seems former Friday Night Lights star Adrianne Palicki's duds for Wonder Woman are already causing a stir for not being patriotic enough.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

What I saw during the SXSW Film Festival

Or more accurately what I wrote about for The Austin Chronicle:

* Dana Wheeler-Nicholas, who starred in fest films Five-Time Champion and blacktino.

* Pee-Wee Herman aka Paul Reubens.

* Rainn Wilson talking about Super.

* Austrian director Barbara Eder about her film Inside America.

* First-time director Kyle Smith about Turkey Bowl.

+ The films Fly Away, Undefeated, Kumaré, Incendies and Being Elmo.

Friday, March 18, 2011

SHOT IN TEXAS: TV series poised to begin shooting in D-FW

My Dallas Morning News SHOT IN TEXAS column from today.

Special to the Dallas Morning News

ABC is expected to begin production in the Dallas-Fort Worth area Monday on the pilot of Good Christian Bitches, and TNT’s reboot of the Dallas TV series will start production in April.

The pilots are positive signs for the North Texas film and television industry, which went from hosting production on three network series—The Good Guys, Lone Star and Chase—to none.

Dallas seems like a lock to be more than a pilot since original Dallas stars Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray signed on. The new show follows their grown-up children, with two Desperate Housewives stars leading the cast--Josh Henderson as John Ross and Jesse Metcalfe as Christopher.

Good Christian Bitches follows the “high school mean girl” (Leslie Bibb) who returns to Dallas after her divorce and runs into the old gang, which includes Kristen Chenoweth (Glee), Annie Potts (Designing Women), Miriam Shor (Damages), and Marisol Nichols (24).

The show’s title, taken from Kim Gatlin’s book on which it is based, is likely to change, but not before it has generated some national controversy. Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association sent out an email to members seeking petition signatures protesting the show even before it shoots.

“Disney-owned ABC has no reservations about creating hate speech against Christians,” Wildmon wrote, “but you can be sure they would never consider a show called Good Muslim B-tches or Good Jewish B-tches.

ABC spokesperson Erin Felentzer said every show in the pilot stage is considered to have a working title and offered no comment on the protest.

“I never thought that name would stick,” said Janis Burklund, head of the Dallas Film Commission, who remains more concerned about how much the Texas Legislature may cut funding for filming incentives program aimed at attracting networks to shoot in the state from the current two-year $60 million total to as little as $10 million.

“We’re more concerned about the future,” said Burklund, since the current batch of pilots will fall under current funding. “At least one if not more series have backed off while they wait and see what happens.” Details on productions needs for both shows are at the commission’s web site,

The Good Christian Bitches pilot from Darren Starr (Sex and the City) is actually what’s called a “pilot presentation,” essentially half a pilot that showcases its potential as a full series. But the current star power behind the show gives it a strong shot of making ABC’s fall schedule.

Earlier this month during Texas Film Hall of Fame ceremonies in Austin, film and television producer Scott Robbe said a clause barring incentives for projects showing Texas in a bad light may be what’s really keeping many investors away at this point.

“That’s got to go!” said Robbe, who recently moved to Austin where he is working on an upcoming Austin shoot of a nursing home-set horror thriller called The Home. It’s expected to feature Elijah Wood, Michelle Rodriguez, Ed Asner, Hal Holbrook, Louise Fletcher and Cloris Leachman. Robbe is also working with Gus Van Sant on a documentary about the AIDS advocacy group ACT UP.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

TNT's 'Dallas' will indeed shoot in Dallas

This just in from the Dallas Film Commission:

Warner Horizon Television has selected Dallas as the location for the pilot of TNT’s new incarnation of the popular television drama Dallas. Executive producer Cynthia Cidre, who wrote The Mambo Kings and executive produced the television series Cane, wrote the pilot based on characters created by David Jacobs. Michael M. Robin (The Closer, Rizzoli & Isles, Nip/Tuck) who also executive produces will direct.

The original Dallas ran from 1978 to 1991 and followed the Ewing family of Southfork. The new version will focus on the Ewing offspring; J.R. Ewing’s son John Ross (Josh Henderson of Desperate Housewives), and Christopher, the adopted son of Bobby and Pam Ewing (Jesse Metcalfe of Desperate Housewives) — as they clash over the family dynasty’s future. Jordana Brewster (Fast & Furious) stars as Elena, who is involved in a love triangle with Christopher and John Ross. Julie Gonzalo (Veronica Mars) stars as Christopher’s fiancée Rebecca. The updated Dallas will feature original series stars Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray. Hagman gained worldwide fame for his portrayal of oil baron J.R. Ewing. Gray played J.R.’s wife Sue Ellen Ewing, while Duffy portrayed J.R.’s younger brother Bobby.

"We are so excited that we get to shoot the pilot episode of Dallas in Dallas,” said Cidre and Robin. “The city has changed so much since the original series and we can't wait to show our audience the fun, the culture, the architecture, the restaurants, the landscapes and the people that make Dallas such a vibrant and cinematic city." The pilot alone is expected to have a significant financial impact on the city and create many jobs for crew, actors, extras and vendors. Pre-production will start immediately, with shooting set to begin in late April.

The Dallas Film Commission is the official film commission for the Greater Dallas area. It mission includes marketing and promoting the area to content creators; serving as the primary liaison between the industry, government and the community as well as educating, promoting and advocating for growth of the local industry. In November 2009 the film commission transitioned to the City of Dallas Office of Economic Development to provide a more synergistic approach to growing the City’s targeted media industries, which has resulted in an unprecedented increase in production, particularly in television.

Warner Horizon Television (WHTV) is one of the industry’s fastest-growing television companies, specializing in the creation of scripted series for cable and primetime reality series for both network and cable. Founded in 2006, this second production entity allows the Warner Bros. Television Group to expand its programming offerings and explore creative options made possible under a new business model. WHTV is currently producing more than a dozen projects. Its unscripted shows include The Bachelor; The Bachelorette; Bachelor Pad and the upcoming Take the Money and Run for ABC; The Voice for NBC and Randy Jackson Presents America’s Best Dance Crew for MTV, among others. Scripted programs from WHTV include Rizzoli & Isles and Memphis Beat for TNT, Pretty Little Liars and the upcoming The Lying Game for ABC Family.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Weinstein Co. buys SXSW doc 'Undefeated'

High school football doc Undefeated has been purchased by the Weinstein Co., the film's co-director Dan Lindsay announced to a small group of viewers at the Westgate following Monday's screening. The film premiered Sunday night with some of the players in attendance. It follows an inner city Memphis team as it aims to win district and then win its first playoff game ever in the school's more than 100 year history. The filmmakers said the project began after they spotted an article about a football player who had moved in with a coach a la The Blind Side. Instead they found their main focus in a charismatic and chubby redhead who volunteered to coach the team. Lindsay said they watched other sports docs while spending eight months immersed in the high school team's season, but their greatest inspiration came from the film Glory and its powerful third act.

The film that was shown was just completed Thursday night, Lindsay said.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pee Wee Herman live at SXSW!

Paul Reubens, aka Pee Wee Herman, talks at South By Southwest.

A ragtag group of bicyclists hawks the Pee Wee experience at SXSW.

Pee Wee's bike!

Chase the magic Pee Wee Herman van!

Outside the Austin Convention Center, Rollergirls got in the act, too, promoting something I never figured out.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Saturday at SXSW

Kevin Clash sat quietly checking his email prior to the start of the doc Being Elmo. An almost full house at the Austin Convention Center’s Vimeo theater scooted past him unaware that they had just had an Elmo experience. Clash, the voice and hands behind the puppet, proved accommodating after the screening to odd requests such as to actually tickle Elmo. He also stuck around for a slew of photos with fans.

When Ellen Page missed her flight and thus a standing-room only talk about the film Super, co-star Rainn Wilson picked up his cell phone and put Page on speaker phone to chat with the crowd of more than 650. Director James Gunn called her part in their very human superhero flick is far from her usually wise young soul parts and instead “a twenty-three year old with the mind of a twelve year old.” On the phone, Page confirmed the shoot was “Rad as hell.” Gunn signed Wilson for the lead role at the suggestion of his ex-wife Jenna Fischer, who told Wilson about the script in a break on the set of The Office. Oh and don’t walk out on a panel featuring Wilson. His retort to early leavers: “Gotta go? Is Jake Gyllenhaal taking a dump down the hall?”

Does any photo exemplify SXSW film better than this? The woman is urging all to “tap this,” while the film geek talks blissfully unaware on his cell phone. And the University of Texas personalized Hilton license plate just adds to the intrigue.

The registration line awaits with badges, lots of stinkin' badges.

Poster? We got posters...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Texas Film Hall of Fame awards

Renee Zellweger

Rip Torn

Connie Britton

Kyle Chandler

Britt Daniel of Spoon

Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler of Friday Night Lights

Ted Nugent plays "The Star-Spangled Banner"

Tattoos on Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson's head

Beth Broderick in the crowd

Emcee Wyatt Cenac

Richard Linklater

John Hawkes of Winter's Bone

Robert Rodriguez

Liz Smith

Actor Shiloh Fernandez and director Catherine Hardwicke

Gary Dourdan of CSI

Britt Daniel

Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson

Ted Nugent and John Pierson

Joey Lauren Adams

Ted Nugent, Shemane Nugent and their son