This Unseen Mechanism

Yes, finally. I’m finally posting some work-in-progress. This is a glimpse of what Ronald Novak’s interview will look like in the finished From The Gut short film. The interview provides the narrative underpinning and, as it’s divided into five segments throughout the length of the short, illustrates how the surrealism in the background plates slowly intensifies to an absurd free-for-all. Yes, there’s a lot going on in the frame. That’s intentional. And, yes, that’s Bill Wise from the Oscar-nominated Boyhood. That’s pure, Austin-derived destiny.

The password is: Golden Eggs

From The Gut – Ronald Novak excerpts from Jay Hollinsworth on Vimeo.

Two For One

2 for 1 Drink SpecialsIn an effort to catch up for a ton of neglect on this blog, I’m doing a two-for-one… or “2 subjects, 1 post” if you prefer.

One: In cheerful news, Kat Candler’s feature Hellion is premiering tomorrow (June 13) all over the country. This is the film that originated as a six-minute short and was expanded by Kat and Producer Kelly Williams into a shockingly high-profile film starring Aaron Paul, Juliette Lewis, and newcomer Josh Wiggins. Go see it. Sure, to support indie film, but also to support things that are made with passion and brains and heart.

Two: Back in March, when this was all shaking out, I was hoping to be able to share some exciting news (as well as footage), but as events all too often tend to conspire against anything uncomplicated, I can only really talk about what might have been my involvement in a Bob Mould music video. David Wexler and I did the usual “hands to action stations” routine and within a couple of days managed to organize a shoot around a rare rehearsal by Bob and his band in Austin… during SXSW. Anyone who’s ever attempted anything other than watching movies/bands and drinking beer during this 2-week period, realizes how monumental a task that is. But we pulled it off, and captured some dynamic and striking images; images that ultimately didn’t fit into the video for I Don’t Know You Anymore. As I’m growing pretty weary of talking about projects that “almost happened”, I’ll just leave these here and move on…

Bob MouldJon WursterBob and JasonJason NarducyBob Mould band

Texas Forever

…And while I’m in a SXSW groove, it’s worth finally getting around to heaping some more praise on Kat Candler’s Hellion. This is the film that started several years ago as a short, but has morphed into a critically-acclaimed observation of Southeast Texas rural/metal/bored youth melancholia starring Aaron Paul and Juliette Lewis. Within the swirl of the festivities down here, it’s gone somewhat unnoticed that the film has been picked up for theatrical distribution by Sundance Selects and Kat has been signed by ICM Partners. Couldn’t happen to a better film/filmmaker.

Kind Words

Fortunately, there are a few film people on the collection of tubes that we call the internet who are actually thoughtful and conscientious about what they write. They were able to watch Broken and resist the trap of evaluating it on what it wasn’t, rather than what it was. Here are some of their comments:

“One interesting piece of filmmaking. The story unfolds as the fragmented memories of Todd Kellogg, played by Paul Phipps, as he hops through various thoughts and situations, the sum of which add up to his life at the moment. The film was shot on beautiful 16mm and, when it is shown in its pristine state, is something beautiful.”
Pete Bauer, MicroCinema Scene

“To really appreciate this movie you have to abandon the comparisons to “edgy” Hollywood fare like Donnie Darko and The Butterfly Effect. You’d be much better off thinking of it as a visual equivalent of the lo-fi indie rock of bands like Sentridoh and Smog. Much like that music, it can be difficult, technologically fuzzy, and often embarrassingly solipsistic. If that sounds like it’s down your alley, go for it.”
Matthew Hrachovec, Pixelzine

Broken is a great showcase for Phipps and Boland, who should go on to good indie acting careers like Martin Donovan (star of Hartley’s The Unbelievable Truth and Trust), if they choose to. Meanwhile, Hollinsworth proves to be a creative filmmaker when he doesn’t have too much to work with: A creative script, two actors, a few simple locations (mainly one) and the rest created digitally. Nice.”
Mike Everleth, Underground Film Journal

“Think about the dreams you have at night. Generally they’re lacking in coherence as they jump from scene to scene, often containing imagery and events that make little sense to a waking consciousness, but while observed in a dreamstate, everything seems normal, no matter how absurd it is. Among the dream imagery we all experience from time to time, we also have bits mixed in with people we know and even dreams that relate to events we may have experienced with them or that we wish we could have experienced with them. Well that’s this movie in a nutshell. It’s a dream with much of its foundations in events that actually happened, yet peppered with surreal imagery and events that actually didn’t.”
Duane L. Martin, Rogue Cinema


BrokenWhile I’m admittedly behind the curve on this, my first feature Broken is finally available for viewing on demand:

I’ll post some reviews soon. In the meantime, here’s a blurb from our press release…

Broken wasn’t supposed to be Jay Hollinsworth’s first feature. He had just completed the cult favorite Circuit and he and Michael Mongillo had intended to shoot a low budget road movie over the summer of ’96. One lost job, new apartment, and broken-down car later, they found themselves with little money to get anything off the ground, let alone a film requiring travel, multiple locations, and car rigs. So Dairi Quick, a script Hollinsworth originally intended for a thirty minute short, was adapted and the two blindly dove in head first. What neither could foresee is how the crazed disorder on the page could so easily infect the actual making of the film. In several so-ironic-it’s-not-ironic-anymore occurrences, real life began to conspire against the forward progress of filmmaking, causing the actual production of the film to encompass over six years of the filmmakers’ lives. With the completion of the film and the benefit of hindsight, it’s actually rather difficult to view the footage now without a certain amount of art/life edge blurring. As if the intended goal was some twisted reality show from the frayed consciousness of an overmedicated frontal lobe patient. Hmmm. Well, actually…

It’s Called Gratitude

Thank You!

A word of thanks that may be late, but no less sincere… last week, we managed to reach our Kickstarter goal for funding post-production on From the Gut. It’s with a profound sense of appreciation that I post the link to a brief, but penetrating, interview with cast members Bill Wise, Jennymarie Jemison and Chris Doubek.

Also, it’s worth noting that several other campaigns for local Austin productions also managed to reach their Kickstarter goals, most notably Intramural The Movie and John Bryant’s John 3:16. Maybe Moviemaker was right.