Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Austin is the best city for indie filmmaking?
The criteria include: “Film Community” (scored on a 10-point scale), “Access to New Films” (10-point scale), “Access to Equipment” (7-point scale), “Cost of Living” (reverse 5-point scale), and “Tax Incentives” (4-point scale). Austin got 32 point out of a possible 36.
New Orleans, last year's No. 1 on the list (Austin was No. 2 in 2012) dropped out of the top five.
The reaction among Austin filmmakers on Facebook today wasn't that rosy. "Wait, WHAT? Is this from 5 years ago? I'm so confused! Or maybe it's the best place to be a moviemaker because there is so much amazing behind-camera talent looking for work here these days?" one industry insider said after Gary Bond of the Austin Film Commission posted a notice of the list.
Another called it nothing but hype. "Actors, in particular, need to get themselves to a bigger market and fast. Great talent pool, absolutely. Opportunities for said talent to make a living in the biz... little to none."
But the comment that got the most notice came from major Hollywood producer Lynda Obst, who brought Hope Floats to Smithville in the late '90s and Heartbreak Hotel to Taylor before that. "It's certainly my favorite place to make a movie but it's rebates are too far below the norm to compete with the bad places to make a movie," she wrote on Facebook. "If you match NM everyone, but everyone will be back in tonnage."
So why is Austin No. 1? Bond points to the currently in action at the Sundance Film Festival which is teeming with Austin (and Dallas) filmmakers this year, both fairly new faces and the old standbys of Richard Linklater and Robert Rodriguez.