IndiePix Rolls Out a Two-Disc DVD of 'Hell on Wheels'
The ladies of Roller Derby show some derring-do promoting the new release
Getting DVD distribution for an indie movie, even a critically lauded one like Austin-based women's Roller Derby documentary Hell on Wheels, can be a hard sell. But when director Bob Ray and producer Werner Campbell were touting their film to distributor IndiePix, they had a secret weapon: the 300 derby leagues that have sprung up worldwide, inspired by Austin's derby innovators. With the film getting a two-disc DVD release on Sept. 30, IndiePix has been contacted by 80 leagues around the country offering to be street teams. "For the last year and a half," said Ray, "people have asked us, 'Please release this so people can learn about derby.'" They're planning a series of combined screenings and league fundraisers, kicking off with Campbell and Ray in person at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar at 7pm, Oct. 2. IndiePix acquisitions manager Jason Tyrrell hopes the release can do skaters another service. "Maybe," he said, "the film will help them avoid some of the trials and tribulations that the Texas girls went through." The film concentrates on the bitter schism between the management and the players that split Austin derby in two: Each surviving league, the flat-track Texas Rollergirls and the banked-track Lonestar Rollergirls, gets separate commentary tracks on the DVD, and Ray said it didn't even occur to him to do a combined track until former banked-tracker Nancy Haggerty suggested it on her way out of the recording booth. "I just wanted to allow everyone a chance to talk about the events," Ray explained.