Austin Studios

Media Professionals Converge at Make Watch Love Austin Party


Make Watch Love Austin Party

By Raven Parks

Early in December, the Austin Film Society was joined by nearly a thousand of its members and creative media people for the Make Watch Love Austin event. The event was designed as a creative industries expo, where Austin's film, music and videogame lovers and companies came to network and celebrate the expansion of Austin Studios by way of the old National Guard Armory. The recent acquisition of the old Armory, plus the bond Proposition 18 that voters approved in November, will allow Austin Studios to expand the organization and create a seventh production studio along with plenty of space that will house the offices of local creative companies.

Quick Snaps: John and Ted's Excellent Photo


Ted Nugent and John Pierson

I'm working on a photo essay from Thursday night's Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards, which I'll post soon. Our new photographer, Cole Dabney (also the founder of the Austin Film Critics Association and a kick-ass videographer), worked the red carpet for Slackerwood this year. He got some amazing photos of all kinds of celebrities -- at the awards event, everyone enters via the red carpet -- but so far this is my favorite.

The gentleman on the left is musician Ted Nugent, who regaled the evening's attendees with an energetic version of The Star-Spangled Banner. For whatever reason, he was on the red carpet at the same time as Austin author/UT instructor/former producer's rep John Pierson. Most excellent, dudes.

[Photo credit: Cole Dabney]

Quick Snaps: Quentin Tarantino, Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards

Quentin Tarantino

Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill, Inglourious Basterds) was at Austin Studios last night to receive an "honorary Texan" award at the 10th annual Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards last night at Austin Studios. This event, hosted by Austin Film Society, is held every year the night before SXSW opens. The 2010 honorees included Michael Nesmith, Quentin Tarantino, Catherine O'Hara, Lukas Haas and Bruce McGill. Proceeds from the Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards benefit the educational and artistic programs of the Austin Film Society, a 501(c)3 organization.

Check out more photos from the event on our Flickr site. And Anne Thompson has posted a video to IndieWire of Tarantino's great acceptance speech.

[Photo credit: Quentin Tarantino, by Debbie Cerda, on Flickr]

Machete-Hacked Slackery News Tidbits

Danny Trejo, by Jeff Balke on Flickr

Yes, the title is cheesy this morning. But how else was I going to get a Machete reference in there? And I'll use any excuse to post a photo of Danny Trejo, like the one above. It's from the 2007 Grindhouse premiere, but it's still relevant, as you'll see below. There's other news from Austin and surrounding areas as well.

  • While at Cinevegas last week, Danny Trejo told James Wallace from the blog Gordon and the Whale that shooting on Machete, Robert Rodriguez's movie based on a fake trailer in Grindhouse, will start in about five weeks. I wonder if they'll do any location shooting around Austin? [via Cinematical]
  • The latest on the Austin Studios proposed sub-lease to Soundcheck Austin: An open letter to the Austin film community from Richard Linklater that explains the situation clearly and calmly. Check it out.

Growing Pains: Community Forum Will Address Planned Austin Studios Sub-Lease

Austin StudiosWith the recent funding of film incentives in Texas, and the re-opening of Austin Studios after much-needed infrastructure upgrades in January, a lot of attention has focused on bringing new film business to Austin.

Right now there is brewing concern within the local film community over a potential five-year sub-lease to Soundcheck Nashville, a music recording/rehearsal studio and equipment/instrument renter. That's not a film-specific organization, which has lead to fears that progress that's been made will be eroded by this five-year commitment that will take up 28,000 square feet of Austin Studios stage space.

After hearing feedback about the potential lease, Austin Studios/AFS had scheduled a community forum for this Thursday. The forum has been pushed back a week to Thursday, June 25, to avoid a time conflict with a City Council meeting that will include a vote on Austin Studios' own lease renewal. Austin Studios is run by Austin Film Society, but it is also a city project. The city lease vote is not related to the potential sub-lease, which will also have to be approved by the city.

Bowling for Slackery News Tidbits

Austin StudiosIt's Monday morning and we've got your hot exciting local film-related news for you! It's also too damn early for exclamation points and excitement. But, you know, some of this news is almost as energizing as coffee.

  • Austin Chronicle writer Marc Savlov asked Tim League exactly what in the world is going on with Alamo Drafthouse these days, and got some happy news. The Leagues are turning the old Salvation Army space near Alamo South into a bowling alley/private karaoke/fun space where you can wait to see a movie at Alamo or chat about one afterwards. I admit I got a little misty when I read that the bowling lanes are from the old Rock'n'Bowl in New Orleans. I assume this space will be ready in time for Fantastic Fest. Yay!

HB873 Passed: Texas Continues Support of Moving Image Industry


Larry Hagman

The Texas Motion Picture Alliance (TXMPA) has reported that House Bill 873 has passed not only the House but the Senate, and will be on Governor Rick Perry's desk for signing on April 23. It's celebration time.

Why? A little perspective is in order. In the 1990s, Texas -- in particular, Austin -- was becoming a film production alternative to Los Angeles, New York and Vancouver.

In 1991, under Governor Ann Richards, Texas began drawing more and more productions, and El Mariachi put Austin and Texas on the map. By 1995, the mission of Austin Film Society (AFS) evolved into an educational and support organization, providing education and funding for film-related projects.

Red Carpet: 2009 Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards


Brendan Fraser, Catherine Hardwicke, and Thomas Haden Church

Catching up after SXSW. Tax prep. Allergies. Excuses, excuses. At last, I am going to post some of my favorite photos from the Texas Film Hall of Fame awards. I've already published a photo gallery from the event over at Cinematical, but I didn't include photos of people who are well known locally. Plus, I have to say I prefer an essay format over a gallery, because then I can share stories as well as photos.

The event started with a red carpet. At the Texas Film Hall of Fame awards, everyone walks through the red carpet to enter the event. This is a lot of fun for me because I can take photos of various friends and colleagues (if they'll stand still long enough), as well as any interesting people who are not necessarily honorees that evening. The red carpet was very long this year and structured beautifully so we weren't all fighting one another for space. Plus, I was right next to Stephanie Beasley from Austinist and a friendly photographer from Austin Monthly and between the three of us, we figured out who exactly we were taking pictures of. (They helped me with the Friday Night Lights cast; I helped identify "that guy who looks kind of like Steven Spielberg" as Tobe Hooper.)

Quick Snaps: Austin Studios Re-Opening Party

Rodriguez and Linklater

Last night, Austin Studios threw a big bash to celebrate the grand re-opening of their newly renovated facilities. The party started with a ribbon-cutting and christening ceremony for one of the redone studios.

Rebecca Campbell, executive director of Austin Film Society, started things off with some details about the renovations, but all eyes were on the two guys who would be performing the ribbon-cutting: Robert Rodriguez and Richard Linklater. Well, some eyes were off to the right to notice local actress Dana Wheeler-Nicholson (Friday Night Lights), who sat next to Austin City Council member Brewster McCracken. (She's not in the photo below, but look for her in her leopard-print coat in subsequent photos.)

SXSW 2008: Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards

Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards On the opening night of SXSW this year, I traded an evening of filmgoing for something I hadn't done before: attending the Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards over at Austin Studios. The event is a big fundraiser for Austin Film Society, with tickets and tables going for way more money than I could afford, so I figured that covering the event as press would probably be the only way I'd ever attend.

The evening began with a red carpet setup at the entrance to the event. I was advised to get there early because a lot of celebrities are honored at the awards ceremony, so tons of media would be there, especially video cameras. Video cameras take up a lot of room on a red carpet and still photographers can have trouble squeezing into a good spot where they won't be bonked on the head with a camera or potentially stumble over a tripod. I staked out a spot near the end of the actual carpet, where the long line of video cameras ended. I was right next to the IFC video crew, which was good because any time they started pointing their camera at someone, I figured I should too.

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