Friday, April 11, 2014

The homeless man who became a movie star

From Gary Poulter's Facebook page.
Gary Poulter looked like the stereotypical homeless guy you might see in Austin: big smile, skin wrinkled from the sun and alcohol abuse, hair like white cotton candy. He's been my obsession for recent months as I tried to track down his real, human story. I didn't want to just know the guy on the streets. I wanted to know the guy who played Little League, the guy who fell in love, the guy who went off the tracks.

Courtesy Debbie Altis.
Read my piece in today's Austin Chronicle for the results. Poulter's sisters Maria and Debbie opened up to me. The casting agents who chose Gary for David Gordon Green's film Joe (which by no coincidence opens today) sat down with me and production coordinator Shanti Delsante. Without these folks there would have been no story. I give them big thanks.

In the modern meta-world, there's also at least one article about the article, this one at Gawker. Now that level of writing about writing makes me smile.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Kat Candler's long journey to overnight film success

Photo by Joe O'Connell
I sat down to talk to Kat Candler for The Austin Chronicle about her adventures along the way to Hellion, which premiered at Sundance earlier this year and screens at South by Southwest in the next few days.

I was the first person to ever interview Kat back in 2000. It's an honor to interview her again now. Hellion is a fine film. Check it out.

Timothy Hutton joins Austin-shot 'American Crime' pilot

Add Timothy Hutton to the cast of American Crime, the ABC pilot about to shoot in Austin and red-hot with its creator John Ridley fresh from Oscar love for his 12 Years a Slave.

Read more about the show, including the extras call,  here.

'From Dusk Till Dawn' comes to SXSW, TV and Netflix

Robert Rodriguez's El Rey network will premiere the TV version of From Dusk Till Dawn in the U.S. on March 11, Austin audiences can see the pilot at South by Southwest and you foreigners can look to Netflix for the show shot in the Central Texas area (A former downtown Taylor bank turned art gallery stands in as that robbed Abilene bank).

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Extras sought for 'American Crime'

I wrote about ABC's American Crime series pilot earlier this week. Here comes the extras casting call. Note they seem to want "real" doctor, cops, etc. to play those roles. But you don't have to be unemployed to play a jobless person! Note that black and Latino extra are particularly being sought, and we have a start date of March 10.

*NEW PROJECT* – AUSTIN, TX Casting Notice: ABC Television Pilot “American Crime”


**Please share this notice with friends, family and anyone who might be interested!!
Extras Casting: On Location Casting
Project: “American Crime” – ABC Television Pilot
Shoot dates: We will be filming on a Monday – Friday schedule from 3/10/13 – 3/26/14. Various time requirements depending on role cast in.
Shoot times: Times vary depending on role cast in. Extras should be prepared to work a 12 hour+ day on the day chosen.
Shoot location: Austin, TX and surrounding areas
Compensation: NON-UNION Extra Rate is TBD but will be minimum wage or higher. Overtime will be paid after 8 hours. Lunch and snacks provided.
Talent Specs: *NOTE: ALL TALENT MUST HAVE PROOF OF TEXAS RESIDENCY in order to work this project!!!
EXTRAS: male and female, all ethnicities, all ages!!
–Some specific types include:
-Law Enforcement/Police Officers/Detectives (real – with experience preferred)
-Hospital Staff – Nurses/Doctors/Orderlies/ER Staff/ etc. (real – with experience preferred)
-Airline Ground Crew (real – with experience preferred)
-Flight Attendants (real – with experience preferred)
-Bartenders and Waitresses (real – with experience preferred)
-Reporters and Journalists (real – with experience preferred)
-News Crews (real – with experience preferred)
-Social Workers (real – with experience preferred)
-Coroner’s Office Staff – Coroner, Medical Examiner (real – with experience preferred)
-Cab Driver (real – with experience preferred)
-Security Guards (real – with experience preferred)
-Unemployed Job Seekers (for unemployment office scenes – do NOT have to be real!)
-Hospital Patients
-Restaurant Customers
-Garage Workers and Mechanics (real – with experience preferred)
-African American Party Goers
-Hispanic Party Goers
-Burly Bouncers (real – with experience preferred)
-Dive Bar Customers
-People with ‘beater’ old cars
-Hip Hop types
–and many other general extra roles!
STAND-INS – for Lead actors. More detailed information will be posted later.

**We will be needing A LOT of African American and Hispanic talent. Please share this notice with friends, family, co-workers, strangers!

Overall Talent Considerations: NO professional acting experience required! NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY! Your OLC talent profile and photos MUST be UP TO DATE within the last 6 month! Children under 18 MUST have updated photos taken within the past 3 months! ALL TALENT MUST HAVE PROOF OF TEXAS RESIDENCY in order to work this project!!!

HOW TO SIGN UP: (*If you are already in the OLC database (from “Friday Night Lights”, “My Generation”, “Revolution” or other projects, DO NOT CREATE A NEW PROFILE for this project – just log-in to your original account and you will automatically be considered. If you do not remember your log-in info, send us an email to request it). Once signed up, make sure to follow our page on facebook at  to get updated casting notices.

Submissions to our website ASAP at: .
Enter on Talent, Click Register and Talent Application. Complete application and upload 1-2 photos. It is FREE to register so you should NOT pay for the suggested ‘active’ account upgrades that will be offered twice a month. There is NO charge and you can be booked for work with the basic ‘not-active’ profile. DO NOT PAY FOR AN ‘active’ ACCOUNT!!!

-Recent photos of yourself should be taken within the past (6) months. Please submit one head/face shot and one full body shot if possible.

-**PHOTOS should be of clear good quality, facing forward to camera, NO sunglasses, NO hats, NO silly gestures or faces, and should include ONLY those being submitted for the project. Photos should not be date stamped with any year other than 2014! Try to take a photo against a solid color background – take one from just mid-chest up and one from mid-calf up if possible.

IF YOU ARE NOT ABLE to create an online talent profile – feel free to CALL us at 512-696-4233 and we will make arrangements to have you come in for an in-person photograph.
If you have additional questions about this project or On Location Casting – please feel free to email us at:  with subject line “American Crime”. Please do NOT email just to ask to be booked – we will not begin booking until approx. 3/7/14.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Yes, Mike Judge's 'Office Space' (sorta) would make a great HBO series

It's actually called Silicon Valley, but it's clearly a reimagining/updating of Mike Judge's Austin-shot cult classic Office Space, which, by the way, according to my totally and completely unscientific polling has finally fallen off the radar of current college students.

Watch the HBO series trailer and argue amongst yourselves. The show premieres April 6.

'American Crime' TV pilot comes to Austin

John Ridley
ABC's series pilot American Crime is gearing up for a mid-March shoot in Austin (can you say SXSW time?).

Set in Modesto, CA (here's guessing if picked up to series this series will shoot in California), it's about a murder with racist undertones. John Ridley, who is up for an an Oscar for his penning of12 Years a Slave, wrote the pilot, which follows the accused, the victims and their families through the trial.

Elvis Nolasco and Caitlin Girard lead the cast as veteran and his beauty queen wife. Richard Cabral portrays a hustler who is linked to the murder and attack on the couple, and Johnny Ortiz is Cabral's character's restless son.