City group rallies to film 'Dallas' in Dallas

DALLAS - Dallas the city wants Dallas the movie. The city's film commissioner, Janis Burklund, has been wooing 20th Century Fox's New Regency, which will start shooting the big-screen version of the TV show in late spring, with John Travolta set to play J.R. Ewing.

So far, she has not gotten an answer.

The Texas legislature has passed a bill allowing incentives for film productions, but Burklund explained that the money has not been allocated yet.

Instead, she is employing a local grassroots effort to lure the studio.

Burklund said that Dallas - the city - is "hoping to waive location fees, get [the production crew and cast] free hotel rooms, free cars, discounts on dining, lumberyards, [and] clothing stores."

But movie producer Michael Costigna, who was executive producer of Brokeback Mountain, told the London Telegraph that Dallas wasn't ever high on the list.

The studio refused to comment.

Florida is making its own pitch for the movie, offering an incentive of 15% reimbursement on location costs, noted a spokesperson in the Governor's Office of Film and Entertainment.

Burklund, whose film commission is under the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau, and does PR in-house, said the commission has also reached out to Thomas Imperato, VP and head of physical production for New Regency.

"We've asked for a letter stating what it will take to get it shot in Dallas," she said. "We haven't gotten it from them yet. To an extent, it's a cat-and-mouse."

She said that aside from the potential for the production to bring in millions of dollars in revenue, it's also a matter of civic pride.

"I'm not willing to sit back and not let this happen," Burklund added. "It's over my dead body, because if Dallas won't shoot here, why would anybody else?"

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