The Austin Chronicle

https://www.austinchronicle.com/screens/2001-08-17/82696/

Short Cuts

By Marc Savlov, August 17, 2001, Screens

Extra! Extra! Dept.: Nothing brings you closer to an appreciation of the wonders of big-time feature filmmaking than being an extra in a real indie film, and while it may not come with an overripe Hollywood paycheck, there's still the opportunity to watch firsthand as the magic of motion pictures unspools into chaos around you. A friend of mine -- I'll call him "Third Man with Scalp Wound from Left" -- has made it his business to appear as an extra in dozens (okay, eight) locally shot productions over the past few years, and has nothing but praise for the experience, citing the joy of standing immobile in crowd scenes for hours at a time, while the hot Texas sun beats down and the soda vendors run out of sticky brown sugar water, as his favorite part of the experience. But why take it from him when you can take it from the filmmakers behind the indie feature Vince Del Rio, who have requested your presence as an extra on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 17-18, from 8:30pm to 2am, at the Mike A. Meyers track stadium on the UT campus at Red River and Manor Rd. Interested extras-to-be should wear "cool, comfortable clothes with no visible logos." Food and a free raffle will be provided and "hundreds are needed to come out and volunteer in order to complete a film born and raised in Austin." Vince Del Rio is written and directed by Jay Duplass. So go, grab your shot at momentary semi-fame (thanks to the miracle of DVD players you can now freeze a crystal-clear frame of yourself way in the background for all your friends) and help out an Austin production in the process. For more information, call Heather Hall at 485-3144… Barna Kantor's Center for Young Cinema is having their annual summer screening Saturday, Aug. 25, 4pm, at the Alamo Drafthouse Downtown (409 Colorado). Admission is $7 adults/$3 kids and all proceeds go to benefit the CYC and the Austin Cinemaker Co-op. This year, expect to see more than 12 films produced and directed by kids ages 13-18 from the CYC program, which focuses on educating children in the art of filmmaking. For more info, e-mail the talented Mr. Kantor at cyc@501studios.com… Speaking of the Cinemaker Co-op, Austin's redoubtable kings (and queens) of Super-8 madness are hosting a double screening of San Francisco-based filmmakers Michael Wallin's "The Place Between Our Bodies" and Bruce Baillie's "All My Life," Sunday, Aug. 26, 7pm, at the ACA Gallery in the ArtPlex (1705 Guadalupe). Both films are shorts (at three minutes, Baillie's is really short) and will be presented as part of Cinemaker's bimonthly open meetings. Filmmakers and filmgoers alike are invited and welcome to bring any new works and works-in-progress on VHS, Super-8, or 16mm to show and discuss. And, as always, refreshments are provided and admission is gratis. Call 236-8877 for more info… The CinemaTexas Short Film + Video Festival 2001 is seeking volunteers for the upcoming fest (Sept. 14-23). Volunteers are needed to help with publicity, party coordination, hospitality, theatre management, box office management, transportation, and ushering. Call 471-6497 or e-mail volunteer@cinematexas.org for more info, and while you're at it check out their Web site at www.cinematexas.org… Finally, Austin scribe Bonnie Orr will be teaching another of her well-received screenwriting classes on Tuesdays, Sept. 18 through Oct. 23, 7-9pm, at Idea City (GSD&M, 828 W. 6th St.). Titled "Writing the Picture," the class is for those who wish to "write a commercial film script or do a professional rewrite with an emphasis on writing great characters and exciting visual scenes." The cost is $300 and attendance is limited, so sign up posthaste, Mr. Towne-to-be. Call 657-7820 for more information.

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