On Sunday March 22, the US Art Authority played host for Strapped Entertainment's launch party. Headed up by Austin's own Brandy Rainey and Steve Barcik, this two person team of creative genius has plans to take over the world or at least put Austin on the map. The two have an unfaltering will and have chosen to stay in Austin regardless of better incentive programs provided by our neighboring states of New Mexico and Louisiana. This evening is meant to both celebrate their homemade works and to also stir the nest in an attempt to revitalize the ever dwindling community since the failure of the city to pass Villa Muse's annexations requests. Unwilling to be discouraged both Brandy and Steve continue to use Austin as their backdrop and local talent as their anchors. The evening of glitz and glamor was mixed with a sense of underground drive bar musk. This is the real indie film scene. My friend Corey and I fell upon the scene around eight pm and left around midnight only after viewing the three award winning short films slated for exhibition.
The first was Snake Pit, it falls into the category of horror and in my opinion remarkable achievement for a novice filmmaker upon its completion. Perhaps the hardest thing to do when watching indie shorts is to set aside all the Hollywood polished crisp and clear images that we expect. It was obvious the film didn't have the production value of a multi million dollar production but that isn't important in this situation. Instead i found my self watching the birth of a great a talent. It was not hard to notice the incredible attention to detail and lighting. Frequently when people view a film shot over the weekend they don't treat it as a serious piece but as a skit there friends could have just as easily made. This is not the case, the editing was simply superb and the concept fit together like clockwork. Editing a coherent story together is not as easy as it looks and when it is done well it is frequently invisible. So Good job Brandy.
Next had Little Dove which is the story of unrequited love in the Romeo and Juliette forbidden sense. This is a large step away from her first horror project. From the outset of the film we can already distinguish that Brandy has talent far above that of the average. The subject matter and setting of this film are so vastly different from that of her first that we are starting to see the diverse nature of her interests and talents. Aside from knowing her own voice Brandy also commands a wacky sense of discipline and detecation. The crew of Little Dove actually camped in Big Bend for a week while shooting. This means no running water no bathrooms and no wimps. Cheers Brandy for taking it to the next level.
Finally we were exposed to the slacker comedy Open House which chronicle's the escapades of two brazen but really stupid young people who sneak into an open house only to party for a week before making a very hasty escape. Again this film is a large departure from the previous two films aside from the only similarity of shooting inside. In the course of one evening we witness the birth of a real talent through the exposure of three completely different short films whose moral fiber is both completely lacking in Snake Pit and ever present in Little Dove.
I don't think for a moment that this will be the last we see of both Brandy and Steve, in fact i think this is the beginnings of Austin's next homegrown hero. Like both Richard Linklater and Robert Rodriguez when asked by a young film student how they (Brandy and Steve) found their way into the business the answer was simple: "make films" and do it your way about what you want, nothing else matters.
Cheers Brady and Steve, See you soon.