Ready, Set, Fund: Avant-Garde Stunts

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Gary Kent in 'One Hard Road'

Ready, Set, Fund is a column about crowdfunding and related fundraising endeavors for Austin and Texas independent film projects.

It's not often that biographical documentaries portray lesser-known behind-the-scenes movie professionals, but novelist and film journalist Joe O'Connell is capturing key player Gary Kent in his film project Love & Other Stunts, which is currently funding on Indiegogo through Wednesday, February 27. Kent has contributed to over 100 films in his 50-plus years in the film industry as a stuntman, actor, director, and writer. He's been a stunt double for Jack Nicholson and Robert Vaughan and was stunt coordinator for Richard Rush's Hell’s Angels On Wheels and Don Coscarelli's Bubba Ho-tep, as well as acting in noir Westerns such as The Shooting and Ride in the Whirlwind.

Love & Other Stunts covers not only Kent's film career, but his personal life from the release of his memoir Shadows and Light: Journeys with Outlaws in Revolutionary Hollywood through more personal challenges, including his wife's battle with alcoholism and death in 2005. Kent has struggled with the aftermath of physical damage from stuntwork and a bout with cancer. O'Connell's documentary aims the spotlight on a now local legendary icon deserving of public recognition.

Austin-based avant-garde film and video collective Experimental Response Cinema (ERC) is applying for a $2,000 grant from the City of Austin's Community Initiative program. To receive this grant, ERC must partially match the funds and are currently seeking crowdfunding through Tuesday, March 12, via their Indiegogo campaign. ERC brings experimental films in all types of media -- 16mm and 8mm film, digital video, and others -- in its original format from all over the world to Austin screens. In their first year of screenings, ERC featured guest filmmakers Jeanne Liotta, Kelly Sears and Robbie Land.

Funds raised through this campaign are slated to bring in film and video artist Michael Robinson, who was listed as one of the top ten avant-garde filmmakers of the 2000s by Film Comment magazine and one of the "Best 50 Filmmakers Under 50" by Cinema Scope magazine in 2012. Robinson has curated programs for San Francisco Cinematheque, Whitechapel Gallery, Cornell Cinema and The State Contemporary Art Center in Moscow. ERC also plans to screen Stan Brakhage's four-hours-plus work, The Art of Vision!, a tribute to Bach's The Art of Fugue.

Other local film-related projects funding this month:

  • Lana and Gerald -- A short fantasy film by Nathan Baylass about two diminutive forest-dwelling creatures who happen across a strange, futuristic structure, discovering a fantastic environment that has a hypnotic effect on all who enter, resulting in sinister consequences. (Indiegogo, ends Tuesday, February 26)
  • My Super Valentine -- This short film by UT Austin film student Jing Yang portrays 7-year old Ashley as she defends her uninterested crush Reese against the class bully, thereby letting him know how she feels in an art class on Valentine's Day. My Super Valentine is shot entirely from a child's perspective by Deepak Chetty (33 Teeth), who was recently nominated for the 2012 Kodak Student Scholarship and whose work as a cinematographer has been featured in SXSW, Silverdocs, Slamdance and the Seattle International Film Festival. (Indiegogo, ends Thursday, February 14)
  • To Place in All Races -- Katie Novak is a 13-year-old girl who loves running ... in 1967, five years before the enactment of Title IX. Set in Detroit, this short film by New York writer/directorLouise Bylicki and local producer Stephanie Whallon will be filmed in Smithville, Texas, at the end of March. (Indiegogo, ends Friday, March 1)
  • Sunny Square -- In this short film, lonely strip mall storeowner Jamal lives with his widowed mother in Houston. Trouble ensues when he begins a relationship with Selena, not the typical "girl-next-door" as she works at an illegal massage parlor. (Kickstarter, ends Monday, March 11)
  • Zero Charisma -- Set to premiere at SXSW 2013, this movie features metal-loving gamer geek Scott Weidemeyer (Sam Eidson), who lives under the thumb of his ornery grandmother and works a lousy job at a local donut shop. What little glory he has comes from his role as an all-powerful weekly Game Master, as he guides role-players through a tabletop journey of fantasy and adventure ... until neo-nerd hipster Miles joins the group and begins to steal his thunder. The filmmakers are hoping to cover post-production costs with this campaign. (Indiegogo, ends February 23)

Have a project that you would like to be considered for an upcoming "Ready, Set, Fund," feature about crowdfunding and related fundraising endeavors for Austin and Texas independent film projects? Contact us with subject line "Ready, Set, Fund" if you've got a film fundraising project going on you'd like us to know about.