Don't Mess with Texas' Film Bidness

Upon further review, Bottle Rocket's easily the best movie ever shot in Dallas -- and Bob Musgrave, at left, is the best thing about it.

If you shoot a movie in Texas that makes Texas look bad, well, bubba, don't expect the state to pony up any dough for yer pitcher. That's the long and short of this Time story about the sorry state of the state's film business, which dwindled next to nothing while the legislature figured out a way to fund a bill that incentivized filmmakers thinking about shooting their movies here.

And the way a new funding law reads, the Texas Film Commission has to read the entirety of a script before forking over up to a 5 percent rebate of the movie's in-state costs (which'll top out at $2 million). Alas, notes Time, Texas' new law may have some problems: "The broad language of the Texas law has raised First Amendment concerns for the Motion Picture Association of America." Nonetheless, Dallas moviemaker Todd Sims says better a controversial funding bill than none at all.

In related news, Time leads off its piece by mentioning "a film version of Dallas starring John Travolta in development." Yeah, not so fast, says Travolta in this interview today. Sorry -- five scripts, and still no luck? Sixth time'll be a charm, absolutely. --Robert Wilonsky

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