On Saturday night, the Texas Film Commission hosted a retirement party for longtime leader Tom Copeland. When people study and examine the phenomenon of the Texas film industry of the last 20 years, Tom is one of the few constants. This retirement marks the end of a 22-year era. And what an era it’s been.
He’s been there, leading the charge from Dallas and Dazed and Confused to Rushmore and Waiting for Guffman. From Selena and Office Space to Sin City and Miss Congeniality, Tom oversaw an epic time of film production in the Lone Star State. And he did it very well. Saturday at Scholz Beergarten near the University campus, folks gathered to send Tom off in proper fashion. It was a celebration of the past, present, and future. Here are some moments:
(A banner hanging by the bar.)
(Fantastic Fest co-founder Paul Alvarado-Dykstra, far right, grabs a quesadilla with Robert Rodriguez’s assistant Nicole Sieber, center, and her friend.)
(Three degrees of separation… Motion Media’s Anne Kelley, far left, hangs with Cassidy Kids director Jake Vaughan, center, and Burnt Orange Productions’ Tom Schatz. Anne’s son Rusty was the lead in Jake’s previous feature, the festival hit Dear Pillow. Meanwhile, Cassidy Kids is about to start production with Burnt Orange. Plus, Burnt Orange’s first feature, The Quiet, will premiere in Toronto in September.)
(Me and casting director Beth Sepko. Beth’s currently working on New Line’s adaptation of How To Eat Fried Worms after gigs on Mike Judge’s newly-titled Idiocracy and Killer Films’ retitled Have You Heard? Photo assist by Heather Collier.)
(Charles Acosta of Arrival Pictures, left, and the Houston Film Commission’s Alfred Cervantes. Charles and Arrival Pictures are enjoying some modest arthouse success nationally with the theatrical release of The Keeper.)
(Like a rock star, Tom Copeland sits here signing T-shirts. The Film Commission had special T’s made, and before long, they became a hot autograph commodity.)