Thursday, February 15, 2007

Adios Lobo and Hola Kevin Cacy

The Sunday before last, while many Americans indulged in that bizarre, violent spectacle known as the Super Bowl, Kevin Cacy was indulging in a very different bizarre, violent spectacle: The Spaghetti Western. Also separating him from the masses? He wasn’t watching entertaining commercials, he was making one of his own.

Adios Lobo is Cacy’s response to the Robert Rodriguez-sponsored Grindhouse trailer competition, which was announced last month. Filmmakers like Cacy had less than a month to throw together an exploitation-themed trailer for potential screening at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin in early March. Assuming a handful of auteurs may already have had footage of some kind in the can, what about the many who only had ideas in their head?

Cacy invested $2,300 into his two minutes, called in a bunch of favors, rounded up a cast & crew of somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 people and headed for Enchanted Springs Ranch in Boerne, TX. From a 10:15 AM call to a 9:40 PM wrap, Kevin helmed an abbreviated version of a story he someday hopes to expand into a feature-length project. He then spent the following week editing – submissions were due by 5:30 PM on the Austin. At 2:30 that day, he was still putting the finishing touches on it at Matchframe in San Antonio. In true maverick filmmaker style, the drive up to A-Town was nothing short of harrowing. (If you know anything about Austin traffic, the real "miracle" here is Kevin getting it in on time.)

Does his Grindhouse entry serve as an adequate representation of his ultimate vision? Not quite, Kevin told me last night. “The feature version of Adios Lobo would probably be more along the lines of The Proposition rather than the exploitation angle I’m working for the competition.”

Kevin nabbed a small role as a zombie in Rodriguez's "Planet Terror" segment of Grindhouse, an experience he acknowledges as "inspirational". He also spent hours holding a boom mic on the set of Ravenswan, an experience I'll acknowledge for him as "tedious". Yet clearly the two-minute version of Adios Lobo has been the greatest inspiration of the many movie hats he's worn over the past few years and it's given him the confidence necessary to pursue the eventual expanded version. Check out the trailer for yourself:

And after you’re done with that, head over to Ain’t It Cool News and sift through the many other trailers that have been created for the competition.


So I send out this piece to a few people who I think might care, and lo and behold I get a missive back from my buddy Lee Sparks, who resides in Austin. Turns out he's also had a hand in the Grindhouse trailer madness and is involved in Cong of the Dead. In Lee's own words:

"This is a trailer for a movie that will never exist. The zombie stuff was shot concurrently with production on the feature length stop motion film Viva The Nam, which is currently in post production here in Austin. The primary creators are Paul Hanley (Director) and Kieran Healy (DP, Chief Editor). They do the lion's share of the work. I am probably most accurately described as "Hanger-On #1," and have recorded mountains of incidental dialogue for peripheral characters, a few principal characters too, and have been a chief contributor to the project since its inception about 7 years ago. I'm most proud of the heavy vehicles constructed for the film and a lot of the "SFX dummies" that get blown apart."

The work these guys do is very distinctive, and I've seen the "prequel" to Viva the Nam, a 30-minute piece titled Viva La Guerra. Ain't It Cool must have added Cong on one of their updates as I'd have recognized it as Lee's handiwork had I noticed it when first hammering around the page. Looksee below: