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Kickstart Your Weekend: 'The Big Spoon'

A chance to help put more women behind the camera

By Richard Whittaker, 9:00AM, Fri. Apr. 18

Writer/director Carlyn Hudson (left), one of Austin's rising tide of female filmmakers
Writer/director Carlyn Hudson (left), one of Austin's rising tide of female filmmakers

Carlyn Hudson has been a big advocate for new and independent film making in Austin. Now she's hoping that Austin's film scene will be a big advocate for her.

As a co-founder of Cinema East, Hudson has provided a post-festival audience for dozens of independent films, as well as co-producing Andrew Bujalski's Computer Chess and acting as field producer for Richard Linklater's high-energy TV travelogue Up To Speed. Now she's stepping sideways behind the camera as writer/director for her feature debut, The Big Spoon.

She'll be teaming up with Austin-based producer Melissa Dalley (SXSW special jury prize winner Loves Her Gun) for what they're describing as ""an unromantic comedy about the perils of staying together when you should really be apart." The pair have turned to Kickstarter to help get it off the ground.

Having already raised some money from private investors, the filmmakers are trying to raise $35,000 by May 3, and are currently accepting donations via their Kickstarter page. That cash will go straight into basic production, catering, and hotel costs for the shoot when it begins later this year. After that, their stretch goals include crew wages and post-production finishing, including color correction and sound design.

The project already has a cast attached, including another Bujalski veteran, former Austin resident-turned-Girls star Alex Karpovsky (director of Woodpecker and the quasi-autobiographical Red Flag). He'll star as Ben, the New York-based playwright who moves to Austin to be with his long-distance girlfriend Mallory (Mallory Culbert, who starred in SXSW 2014 jigsaw mystery Arlo and Julie), only for the pair to find ripples in their domestic peace when Mallory's room mate Elise unexpectedly returns from her South American trip with her own live-in partner, Lionel (Agustin Silva, Crystal Fairy .)

But it's who's behind the camera that's just as important as the cast: In fact, with gender disparity so commonplace among directors and producers, it may be more important. That's why New York based Tangerine Entertainment has got involved. It's a production company whose mission is to create commercially and critically successful pictures for diverse audiences, with "a clear and specific agenda aimed at increasing the presence of smart, complex women both behind and in front of the camera."

If you want to give The Big Spoon an extra polish, it was Tuesday's Indiewire project of the day, meaning today it's eligible for votes to become project of the week. If it wins that, then the Austin project could go on to be their project of the month, but it will take your votes.

You can also donate to Tangerine's Juice Fund, a resource administered via the non-profit New York Women in Film and Television, intended to raise cash for festival prizes and mentoring for female narrative feature directors.


Kickstart Your Weekend is a series intended to showcase Texas film and tech projects that are crowdfunding their way to a goal, be it distribution, a prototype, or production costs. If you have a project that we should know about, email us at filmflam@austinchronicle.com.

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