Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Dallas TV show producers wise to choose Dallas as location
It's a heckuva lot cheaper to film here than in Lala Land.
KXAS played a fun visit to Candyland, the (very unfancy, and messy) offices of Candysdirt.com and Secondshelters.com. We scooted into the great room for a more proper interview. I dusted off notes from my interview with Mark Hodge, a location scout who cut his teeth on casting Walker, Texas Ranger. Thanks to the film incentives Rick Perry or someone brought down in Austin, Dallas in particular is emerging as location shoot central.
That’s why, when Time magazine bee-ached about filming the Dallas remake in Silicon Valley or elsewhere on the west coast, I know that wouldn’t cut it. Why? Because in LA, for example, homeowners are charging anywhere from $15,000 to $20,000 PER DAY for a great house location. As Mark told me, Dallas has a greater variety of home styles than does even Austin, from the North Dallas contemporary to Swiss Avenue. It did not take location scouts long to figure out they can get the same great homes in Dallas for a whale of a lot less.
It’s also very easy to get video production permits in Dallas, says Hodge. A permit in LA in eight hours? No way. Dallas police also benefit from local production, earning as much as $40 an hour for off-duty work. That is yet another cost way lower here than in LA.
As Hodge told me, homes and apartments are written into every script and sometimes they need up to three different home locations per episode. As for million dollar mansions, most scripts — and the scripts dictate the style of home – call for “a ramshackle house” which is not exactly a million dollar manse on Strait Lane. (The Chase script really loved that term, says Hodge.) But the nice thing about Dallas being shot in Dallas for TNT is that the script should be calling for way more swanky penthouses and Preston Hollow or Highland Park Mansions. In fact, I suggest the scouts look at the Schlegels penthouse over at The W — even with Kari and Troy living on “her” side, the place is big enough they’ll never notice a production crew.
I wonder if Kelcy Warren might bunker down at his Bootjack Ranch long enough to let the producers free on his Preston Hollow estate, 5323 Park Lane, which was the most expensive real estate sale to date in Dallas when he bought the spread from Larry Lacerte in June 2009. Talk about a shooting paradise, the 26,620 square foot home is set on almost 9 acres of land in the honeypot of Old Preston Hollow. The estate was constructed circa 1991-1993 by a dream team including architect Cole Smith, Smith/Ekblad & Associates, Sherry Hayslip-Smith, Hayslip Design Associates and Cole Smith, Jr., Crowbar Contractors. It contains a racquetball court, exercise room and locker rooms adjacent to a near Olympic-sized natatorium, bowling alley, wine cellar with tasting room, an Orangerie conservatory overlooking interlocking Koi ponds loaded with about a million dollars worth of Koi, tennis court, baseball diamond, and a private lake. Did I say baseball diamond? Yes, I did — I can see the competition between John Ross and his cousins, heating up right there on the diamond. And with that private lake, well, who needs an ocean?
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