Because I've lived in Texas for much of the past decade, I was very interested to hear about a new Texas film incentives bill that finally passed in early June. There's a large, experienced, well-trained community of professionals, especially centered around Austin and Dallas (where I live), so I figured anything that would help lure productions to film in Texas was a good thing.

The devil is in the details, though, which includes the following: "The State of Texas is not required to make grants to projects that include 'inappropriate content' or 'content that portrays Texas or Texans in a negative fashion.'" The Texas Film Commission will review the script twice, first as part of the preliminary application process, and then "will review the final script ... before issuing the grant, to ensure that revisions made during production have not created an extreme difference from the content as initially approved." The MPAA expressed concerns about possible censorship even before the bill passed.

The flames were fanned by an early July article in Timepinning the clause on politician Steve Ogden. Ogden's district includes Texas A&M-Commerce, which demanded an apology from Walt Disney Studios in 2006 for "inaccurately linking A&M-Commerce to racially charged scenes" in the period basketball drama Glory Road. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram published a long article on Sunday recapping the whole story and adding reactions from Texas Film Commission director Bob Hudgins, who says in part: "It may preclude a couple of films here and there. ... You have to look at these pictures as a whole. You have to look at every film and we look at the script in its entirety. ... I can't speculate how we're going to judge projects we haven't read yet." The incentives bill takes effect this fall.

[ Via Mad About Movies ]
categories Movies, Cinematical