Monday, July 9, 2007

Austin Update...

Texas is moving to keep pace with New Mexico's incentives and assets -- and in some cases it's upping the ante.

A leading driver in that has been Austin, Austin Studios, and the Austin Film Society (which helps run the facility). For more info on recent activities, read on below...

LA film pro lands at Austin Film Studios
Austin Business Journal - July 6, 2007
by Jean Kwon

Austin's push to become a filmmaking power player is gaining momentum thanks to the addition of a Los Angeles film industry veteran and some recent cash infusions.

The Austin Film Society has hired Catherine Parrington as director of operations for Austin Studios, which AFS owns and maintains. Parrington previously was manager of production services and studio operations at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City for 13 years, overseeing 22 buildings totaling more than 1 million square feet. The studios have average weekly billings of $200,000. Parrington will oversee five buildings totalling 100,000 square feet on four acres in North Austin.

A married mother with two sons, Parrington says the move to Austin from L.A. began as a "lifestyle change."

She comes on board just in time to see Austin Studios undergo $5 million in renovations, thanks to a $31.5 million bond package approved by voters in November. The funding will go to theaters, museums, cultural centers and film studios.

Last month, Gov. Rick Perry earmarked $22 million for the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program, which will reimburse 5 percent of in-state spending, including wages paid to Texas residents, who are producers of feature films, television programs and commercials and video games. These grants are in addition to existing sales tax exemptions designed to incentivize film production in the state.

Read the full article here:
http://austin.bizjournals.com/austin/stories/2007/07/09/story5.html?f=et167&b=1183953600^1487094&hbx=e_vert

For the Austin take...
http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Issue/story?oid=oid%3A499247

...Austin Studios is a key element in the future plans of the Austin Film Society, says the group's Executive Director Rebecca Campbell, which she envisions as the "big engine" fueling film industry growth in Central Texas through programs as varied as the Texas Film Hall of Fame and the Texas Filmmakers' Production Fund (which has received a record 218 applications from independent filmmakers this year). She hopes Parrington's hiring, along with other positive signs for the film industry, will pump the society's membership up from the current 2,300 members to 4,000. Since it opened in 2000, Austin Studios has been host to 28 feature films that together are estimated to have dropped $650 million into Austin's economy.

Monday, July 2, 2007

'New Mexican Hollywood' in the works - News

From the Daily Lobo... a little bit of a rundown of our program here at UNM...

'New Mexican Hollywood' in the works - News