Austin Weekly Wrap Up – 12/1

Lennie James as Morgan Jones - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
  • With its move to the Lone Star State, Fear the Walking Dead is bringing zombies – and a zombie hunter – from the Atlanta set of The Walking Dead. The crossover between the two AMC series will see Lennie James’ character Morgan Jones make the move from TWD to the spinoff series. James’ first day on the Austin based set was partially live streamed after it was announced that he was joining the show. Brian Gannon, Director of the Austin Film Commission, previously confirmed the move of the zombie spinoff. “We’re grateful AMC moved the production in the Austin area,” he said. “What’s great about TV series is it keeps our crew employed for long periods of time. We want productions in town generating money for the local economy and not moving to Atlanta or Kentucky.” As for James himself, he seems to have his priorities in line when it comes to experiencing the best of Austin. “One good thing about the secret being out and all of you knowing about the crossover or some sense of what the crossover is going to be is that I’m allowed to leave my hotel room,” he said. “I can finally get out and see Austin and eat some of its fantastic food.


Actor James Buckley’s “Completed It Mate”
  • Actor James Buckley is bringing his passion for gaming to the Rooster Teeth family. The actor best known for his roles on the UK show The Inbetweeners and Netflix’sWhite Gold is brining his Let’s Play channel “Completed It Mate” to Rooster Teeth’s network, making him the latest of many actors to branch out into the digital media market. The collaboration will see a monetization of Buckley’s fan base through events, merchandise, and advertising. Luis Medina, Rooster Teeth’s senior vice president of partnerships said of Buckley, “He’s passionate about making this type of content as a complement to his own traditional career as an actor.” The Austin based studio currently has 38 million subscribers on its YouTube channel and is looking to amass more with its addition of Buckley and his established fan base.


Devils Unto Dust, by Emma Berquist
  • Austin, TX native and author Emma Berquist has sold the rights to her debut young adult novel Devils Unto Dust to New Regency. The novel, set in 1870s West Texas, is being described as True Grit meets 28 Days Later, telling the story of 17-year-old Daisy Wilcox as she travels through a land ravaged by a deadly virus that turns people into the rabies-like “Shakes”. After her father goes missing, Daisy sets off with two hired Shake-hunters to find him. The acquisition comes before the novel’s April release date by HarperCollins’ Greenwillow Imprint. New Regency’s Arnon Milchan will executive produce alongside Big Talk’s Rachael Prior, with Big Talk Pictures’ Nira Park on as producer.


Sandra Bullock and Senator Wendy Davis
  • Sandra Bullock has signed on to portray former Texas Senator Wendy Davis in the upcoming film Let Her Speak. The film will depict Davis’ 13-hour filibuster in the final hours of a special session of the Texas Legislature to block the vote on an anti-abortion bill in 2013. Bullock’s involvement in the film is contingent upon the choice of director meeting with her approval. In addition to Bullock herself, the film will be produced by Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, and Steve Tisch for Escape Artists, as well as Jonathan Shukat for ShowKat Productions.


Austin City Limits Festival
  • The longest-running music program in the history of television is taking a step into the world of VR. Google, in collaboration with the Austin startup SubVRsive Media, announced a new virtual reality series called Austin City Limits: Backstage, which will allow viewers to take an immersive peek behind the curtain of the long-running Austin-based program. The ten-episode series is already offering the first three episodes for free on YouTube, either with or without a VR headset. The documentary series provides a look at the musicians, crew, and even the fans in attendance at the Moody Theater. The first three episodes explore the live music capital of the world while going behind the scenes with Ed Sheeran, the Zac Brown Band, and Unsung Heroes.


Jameson Brooks’ Bomb City
  • Bomb City, the feature film debut for director Jameson Brooks filmed in Amarillo, Dallas & Fort Worth, has landed at Gravitas Ventures for North American distribution rights. The punk rock crime drama is based on a true story in 1997 Amarillo, Texas. The film follows Brian Deneke, a punk music aficionado who puts on punk music shows with his friends at the venue, Bomb City. The refusal of Brian and his fellow punks to conform to conservative culture sparks social intolerance within the Amarillo community, especially from a group of high school jocks that are known as the “white-hatters”. The conflicts between the two groups eventually escalate into a violent street fight that becomes one of the most controversial hate crimes in modern American history. “Watching Bomb City, you’ll find yourself on a roller coaster of emotions, ultimately questioning the very morality of America’s justice system,” said Zach Hamby, Gravitas Ventures’ Manager of Acquisitions.
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Ellen Lloyd
Once Ellen graduated from college, she decided to follow her true passion and move to LA in hopes of breaking into the entertainment industry. After jobs in a production office and an agency, she found her way to Breakdown Services where she learned all about the casting process from the ground up. Having served her time in LA, she moved to Austin, TX where she now works as a representative for Breakdown Services assisting the actors, agents, and casting directors of the South Central and South East regions.


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