The Austin Chronicle

One in a Crowd: The Away Team

By Richard Whittaker, June 27, 2015, 10:00am, Picture in Picture

Tragedy plus time equals comedy, as the saying goes. So nearly two decades after America was left scratching its head over the bizarre mass suicide of UFO cult Heaven's Gate, Austin-lensed movie The Away Team hopes to find some humor - and some crowdfunding - in the incident.

The new feature from International Academy of Film and Television grad and recent Austin transplant David Jones is a dark comedy about a group of people trying to prepare for the end times and get on with their regular lives. The original San Diego based Heaven's Gate believed that aliens were going to take them away on the Comet Hale-Bopp (hey, still not the craziest idea espoused by a religion) and Jones hopes to meld that bizarreness with a sense of humor akin to The Office. He writes, "We not only examine these guys in their natural habitat but also observe their daily interactions with the garden-variety schmoes of society."

Jones is hoping to raise $96,000 by Aug. 2 via his Kickstarter page. That sounds like a lot for Kickstarter, but it will cover Red digital camera rental, catering costs for cast and crew, permits, and the rent for the mansion in which the cult resides before heading into the cosmos. That could well be the most expensive part of the production since (as all Austinites know) the rent's too damn high.

If you still need convincing, here's star Paul Theron to explain why you should help them reach for the stars.

One in a Crowd 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

Copyright © 2020 Austin Chronicle Corporation. All rights reserved.