May 31, 2009

Producer, Texas at odds on ‘Waco’ film

A producer says he'll still make a film about the 1993 Branch Davidian firefight even though Texas officials denied his request for help with production costs.

The Texas Film Commission rejected producer Emilio Ferrari's application for a state rebate for in-state production costs because, as commission Director Bob Hudgins said, the project doesn't "accurately portray Texans, the Houston Chronicle reported Sunday.

Ferrari's movie, Waco, is positioned as the first feature film based on the 51-day siege at David Koresh's religious cult compound, which resulted in the death of four U.S. agents and more than 80 of Koresh's followers.

Ferrari -- whose credits include Baby on Board and I Know What You Did Last Winter -- said the incident at Waco was the biggest tragedy in the United States after 9-11, the newspaper reported.

It's been completely swept under the rug, he said. I think people have a right to know what happened.

Hudgins said the script for Waco compresses and simplifies the facts.

Ferrari insisted the script is historically accurate and does not reflect poorly on Texas.

Thousands of hours of research went into this project, he said. Every expert on Waco worked for me.

Ferrari told the Chronicle he would seek a new location but the movie should be filmed in Texas, where it actually happened.