Short Cuts

Harry Knowles hits it big, in a manner of speaking. Plus: the Wilsons on SoCo and Bob Ray in the West.

They're Just Wild About Harry Dept.: Regular readers of Austin-based Internet cool maven Harry Knowles' Web site Ain't It Cool News are jubilant and/or green with envy in the wake of Knowles' announcement last week that he'd secured an honest to goodness production deal with Revolution Studios (Punch-Drunk Love, the upcoming Hellboy). The only question on many minds was: What took so long? Love him or hate him, Knowles knows more about genre filmmaking -- and filmmaking in general, when you get right down to it -- than 99% of the population. A dedicated geek with a voluminous mental library of all things cool in film, the possibility of Knowles securing some sort of deal has been a quiet topic of discussion for ages. And now it's a reality. According to Knowles, the deal came about when Revolution partner Todd Garner approached him during an Austin visit two months back. A short time later, Knowles presented Garner with a list of possible projects, and the deal was struck. Knowles won't be penning the scripts, but will instead serve as producer and "muse" to the as-yet-unnamed screenwriter on first project Ghost Town, which could appear "anywhere from six months to never." "I can't believe I managed to get this going [with the screenwriter], because I felt that he was one of those particular writers that's been abused for a really, really long time. In a lot of ways, I'm breaking him out of slavery by allowing him to have this chance." One of the things that he sees as his main goal, says Knowles, is: "Do what Quentin does, by finding actors who maybe haven't been getting the right kind of material. That's what I'm trying to do for the entire process: finding people who have been abused by Hollywood, who are talented as living hell, and then being something of a muse to them. Maybe they haven't had a really good idea since whatever that classic was of theirs, or they've never been given an opportunity at this sort of exposure level. That's what I'm trying to do." In addition to becoming the least typical muse working today, Knowles will keep his home base of operations in Austin and, hopefully, bring his productions to town to shoot. "If Robert Rodriguez can shoot Spy Kids 3-D at Austin Studios, there's no reason why we can't do the same." More on the Wonderful World of Harry as wonders warrant... If you're out on the Left Coast this Nov. 6-13, keep an eye peeled and a bong loaded for Austin filmmaker Bob Ray, who along with film partner Werner Campbell is going West, young man, to drum up funding for the Texas all-girl roller derby documentary he has been working on for more than a year now. Check out photos, trailers, and more at www.hellonwheelsthemovie.com... Finally, where do all the cool filmmakers and their tipsy crew members hang out when they're not on set in Austin these days? It's gotta be Güero's on SoCo, where a recent margarita pit stop of ours revealed a downright infestation of Hollywood big shots clustering both at the bar and at those precious back tables, including various Wilson brothers and members of The Wendell Baker Story cast and crew, as well as various and sundry folks from the Cheer Up shoot currently lensing around the Capitol. And that's not even counting the local film crowd that hangs out there regardless. Güero's: It's Spanish for "Cinema" (and "white boy," according to employees)!

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

The Wendell Baker Story, Wilson Brothers, Bob Ray, Werner Campbell, Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino, Todd Garner, Revolution Studios, Harry Knowles, Ain't It Cool News, Ghost Town

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