Austin: Industry News 11/10/17


♦ The Austin production company Rooster Teeth has announced the release date and dropped the trailer for Lazer Team 2, the follow-up to its culty sci-fi spoof. Like its predecessor, Lazer Team 2 will premiere on YouTube Red with a release date of November 22nd. The feature length film sees the team reunite to save their friend from another dimension. The film shot in Austin earlier this year, stars returning cast members Rooster Teeth co-founder Burnie Burns, Colton Dunn (NBC’s Superstore), Michael Jones (“RWBY”) and Gavin Free (“The Slow Mo Guys”), who are joined by Nichole Bloom (also from Superstore) and Victoria Pratt (Heartland). Rooster Teeth had previously raised $2.4 million on Indiegogo for the first Lazer Team movie.

♦ Add the title of “matchmaker” to Tom Hanks’ credentials. While speaking at the Texas Book Festival in Austin promoting his new book Uncommon Type: Some Stories, Hanks took a break from fielding questions during the Q&A portion of the program to ask one of his own. More specifically, he said that a man in the crowd named Ryan McFarling had a question for a woman named Nikki Young, that question being: “Nikki, will you marry me?” McFarling presented Young with a ring and Hanks gave them both a hug and his best wishes.

♦ Texas was in the headlines for the worst possible reason this week after a gunman opened fire on a small Baptist church in Sutherland Springs this weekend, killing 26 people and injuring 20. The event led late night talk show hosts to vent their frustrations over what is and isn’t being done in the face of these all too frequent attacks.   Stephen Colbert spoke out on The Late Show saying “Everyone’s heartbroken after this happens, and you wanna do something but nothing gets done. No one does anything. And that seems insane.” Colbert went on to say, “We want to fix things…. This hopelessness, this tirelessness you feel when nothing gets done is something we can’t get into, because I actually think for some…truly evil people out there who want you to feel powerless for a buck. Because if you feel powerless, you know what might make you feel more powerful? Going to buy a gun. It’s a vicious cycle. It happens, nothing gets done to get rid of the guns and people buy more guns to protect themselves.” Colbert’s network partner James Corden also expressed his feelings the Monday after the shooting saying, “It pains us each time we see it here, and we talk about innocent people needlessly slaughtered. We can’t imagine the pain and hurt those families and community feels today.” After hearing a statistic about the amount of mass shooting victims in the United States, Corden said, “I heard a statistic they were saying on the radio that this was the biggest U.S. mass shooting in a place of worship. And it amazed me that these shootings are so common in America, that we now have a ranking system depending on the location of these tragedies.” Over on Comedy Central’s The Opposition with Jordan Klepper opened with Klepper rifling through stacks of newspapers featuring headlines of other shootings from this year, such as the events that took place in Las Vegas only a little over a month ago. “These are all mass shootings from this year?! This is too much,” Klepper yelled. “We need to do something about — this desk! How am I supposed to tell any of these apart? We need rules in place to keep this from happening. I am sick of this. All of this, right here, is unacceptable.”

Armie Hammer

♦ Austin Film Festival saw many buzzy films on its roster this featuring films such as Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, the Churchill-centered Darkest Hour, the Armie Hammer starrer Call Me By Your Name, and Lady Bird with writer-director Greta Gerwig in attendance. The fest’s focus on screenwriters and filmmakers was still the focus as they were awarded the Hiscox Audience and Courage Awards, Jury Film Competition Awards, and the Script Competition Awards. Winners for those are listed below:

Hiscox Audience Award winners:

Narrative Feature: Beauty Mark, written by Harris Doran

Documentary Feature (tie): Transformer, directed by Michael Del Monte

Documentary Feature (tie): Mr. Fish: Cartooning from the Deep End, directed by Pablo Bryant

Dark Matters Feature: The Landing, written by David Dodson and Mark Dodson

Comedy Vanguard Feature: Don’t Talk to Irene, written by Pat Mills

Narrative Short: So Much Yellow, written by Erica Milsom

Documentary Short: So Damn Glad, directed by Justin Lubke

Animated Short: Negative Space, written by Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata

Narrative Student Short: Towards the Sun, written by Elie Choufany and Monica Santis

Scripted Digital Series: Cleaner Daze, created by Tess Sweet and Daniel Gambelin

Marquee Feature: Mudbound, written by Dee Rees and Virgil Williams

Marquee Television: The Deuce (S1E08: “My Name is Ruby”), written by George Pelecanos and David Simon

The 2017 Hiscox Courage Award went to Coming to My Senses, directed by Dominic Gill. The documentary feature Coming to My Senses focuses on Aaron Baker, a man who learns to walk again after a motorcross accident left him paralyzed from the neck down.

The Jury Award winners:

Narrative Feature: In Blue, written by Jan Willem den Bok and Jaap van Heusden

Narrative Feature Honorable Mention: Boost, written by Darren Curtis

Documentary Feature in partnership with POV: Transformer, directed by Michael Del Monte

Comedy Vanguard Feature: Don’t Talk to Irene, written by Pat Mills

Dark Matters Feature: Freddy/Eddy, written by Tini Tüllman

Narrative Short presented by ShortsTV: Demon, written by Caleb Slain

Narrative Student Short: Towards the Sun, written by Elie Choufany and Monica Santis

Documentary Short: Los Comandos, directed by Joshua Bennett and Juliana Schatz-Preston

Animated Short: Second to None, written by Vincent Gallagher

Scripted Digital Series presented by Stage 13: Cleaner Daze, created by Tess Sweet and Daniel Gambelin

The Script Competition winners:

 Drama Screenplay Award presented by the Writers Guild of America, East:  Brokenhearted by Caroline Hopkins

Comedy Screenplay Award presented by Sony Pictures Animation: The Olympian by Troy Anthony Miller

Sci-Fi Screenplay Award presented by Skybound Entertainment:  Every Horizon Beyond by Henry Tranton

Enderby Entertainment Award: Apacheria by Andrew Reuland & Joey Grossfield

Horror Screenplay Award: Family Photos by Chad Harris

AMC One-Hour Pilot Award: Breakfield by Caitlin Schneiderhan

Sitcom Pilot Award: The Big D by Jill Taylor

Short Screenplay Award: Ringneck by Michael Allcock

Scripted Digital Series Award presented by Stage 13: The Range by Adam Groff

One-Hour Spec Award: Black Mirror: Punchbag by Steven Snell

Sitcom Spec Award: You’re the Worst: Antiversary by Cara Brown

Playwriting Award underwritten by Sweetwood Creative: Signature Photo by Michael Bucklin

Fiction Podcast Award presented by Public Radio International: How to Build a Fire by Kat Sandle

By Ellen Lloyd

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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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