Last weekend, Southfork Ranch was host to the third annual Texas Motion Picture Alliance (TXMPA) Impact Awards in recognition of the benefits that the film and TV industry brings to our state. On hand to receive awards were artists, actors and filmmakers from all over Texas. Recognized categories included independent film, television, documentary, digital media and video game.
Southfork Ranch was chosen this year to mark the 40th anniversary of the TV show “Dallas” which was just about the most popular show on the air at the time. As the setting for much of the show’s action, Southfork became such a recognized landmark that to this day the ranch welcomes thousands of visitors from around the world. The impact the show had on our area’s economy and on our place in TV history is beyond huge, and earned it a well deserved legacy award from the alliance.
Accepting the award for the iconic TV show was Charlene Tilton, who played Lucy Ewing on the series which ran for thirteen seasons. Many of the crew who worked on the show were in the audience as she expressed appreciation for their work. Ms. Tilton, who makes her home in Nashville, said, “When they asked me if I would come down for this, I of course said yes. It’s important to remind people that, even 40 years later, the the show has had a huge impact on the local economy. People still come from all over the world to see where it was made. Every movie or TV show made in Texas brings revenue to all kinds of businesses – florists, caterers, dry cleaners, you name it.”
Chet Garner, host of the PBS Texas travel show “The Daytripper” said he was honored to be asked to emcee this year’s event. “It’s my first time doing something like this, and it feels so good to have a part in promoting the business in our own back yard.”
Houston-based Alex and Whitney Douglas of Sculpting With Time Productions found themselves faced with an opportunity to show the courage and sense of community coming out of the disaster created by last year’s Hurricane Harvey. “We felt called to action in using our skill set to document the process of people coming together to help each other, forsaking political, religious and racial differences.” The resulting film, “Harvey’s Heroes” was presented the Community Impact award.
The Impact Award for small business went to Andy Streitfeld, founder of Dallas-based AMS Pictures started 37 years ago in a spare bedroom in his house. “We basically had a camera, a typewriter and a phone that actually plugged into the wall.” AMS currently employs over 100 people in Dallas and Austin, and own more than 40,000 square feet of production facilities. They are currently running production of three TV episodes a week in the Dallas area.
“The Son,” a miniseries filmed in Central Texas and starring Pierce Brosnan took the scripted TV award. It is currently running on the AMC Network. Accepting the award was 22-year old Arkansas native Jacob Lofland, who portrays the younger version of Brosnan’s character. Loftland’s career is off to a flying start with major roles in “Mud” with Matthew McConaughey, and the “Maze Runner” series already under his belt by the time filming started. Home schooled from the age of 15, he was assigned by his mother/teacher with the task of trying out for “Mud” when it came to town. He got the part, and has been working nonstop ever since.
2018 TXMPA Awardees:
Independent Film: Never Goin’ Back, accepting Liz Cardenas
Scripted TV: The Son, accepting Jacob Lofland
Unscripted TV: Flip or Flop Ft Worth, accepting Andy and Ashley Williams
Small Business: AMS Pictures, accepting Andy Streitfeld
Commercial: The Richards Group, accepting Greg Gibson
Video Game/Animation: Playful Corp, accepting Jeff Simpson
Impact Person: Dennis Bishop
Digital Media: Rooster Teeth, accepting Ryan P. Hall
Community Impact: Harvey’s Heroes, accepting Alex and Whitney Douglas
Legacy Award: Dallas TV Show, Accepting Charlene Tilton
TXMPA founder and talent agent Linda McAllister said, “We founded the organization to be an advocate for all the entertainment industry talent we have in our state. It hurts us all to see our professionals have to travel outside Texas to get work, when we have so much to offer right here.” Linda’s office is in Waxahachie, but she represents talent from all over the country. “Believe it or not, studios love to shoot in our town, especially for stories set in the past. We have great exteriors.”
Mindy Raymond of New Republic Studios introduced new TXMPA Executive Director Paul Jensen, who stated, “There is such great room for growth in Texas. If we can provide the spark and keep it going, everybody benefits.”
To learn more about TXMPA and their mission, go online at www.txmpa.org.
By Bob Lewis
Photos: Planet Rockwall