April Barbe

During the summer months, events and happenings come to crawl as folks are out of school or taking vacations from work.

In the newspaper business, we are often working on special projects or trying to find human interest stories to fill our pages.

But in the film business, it's a different story!

I've been in talks on three different feature films this month! Since many independent filmmakers have to work other jobs to make ends meet, they do a lot of movie making in the summer months. It's also easier to find crew to help during the summer.

On July 4, filming will resume on “Man Vs. Legend.” This is the Bigfoot movie that I'm a producer on, and I appeared in a small role and worked as a production assistant on it in March. We have a few days of filming left to complete before the movie can be finished.

“Man Vs. Legend” is a movie set on the Ouachita National Forest hiking trail where a man encounters the creature. The man loses touch with his family, causing them to go searching for him and lots of wild things happen after the search begins. For more information, visit “Man Vs. Legend” on Facebook.

About a week ago, I was approached by another director/producer in Waco for a small role in another feature film. It's called “The Maddy Wonder Story,” a faith-based movie about a woman who is given her 7-year-old nephew to care for and raise as a Christian.

When biker/bar owner Madeline “Maddy” Wonder is entrusted with the custody of raising the child under these conditions, she quickly discovers raising him is not the hardest challenge she faces.

Screenwriter Mike Reid is well known in my film circles, because he has won awards for other scripts. Therefore, when I saw his name on the script, I agreed to help! If you'd like to know more, visit “The Maddy Wonder Story” on Facebook.

Another feature film called “The Bluesman” is also in pre-production right now in East Texas. Director Michael Hall is trying to raise $35,000 to do the movie. The movie is a horror/thriller that will showcase music history and a blues' legend.

Legendary horror actor John Dugan of the original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” is already attached to the movie, as well as Nashville singer/songwriter Doug Allen and “Americas Got Talent” singer Kadie Lynn.

I talked to Michael earlier this week, and he has been a little frustrated that fundraising efforts are going slowly. We talked about how sometimes people don't understand that they don't have to contribute a lot because every small amount adds up. The money goes directly to the production of a REAL MOVIE, and Michael is offering “Rewards” on his fundraising site such as DVDs, T-shirts and posters!

For more information, search “The Bluesman” at www.kickstarter.com.

I also have two friends making short films this summer in Texas. I wish all of them a safe experience and much success!

Making movies is NOT an easy job. Texas lawmakers recently set aside $50 million in funding for the state's film incentives program. The program gives productions the opportunity to receive a cash grant based on how much they spend in Texas while making a film or TV show.

While this legislation was a positive move for Texas filmmakers, sadly, it has decreased in recent years. In 2013, lawmakers gave $95 million to the program.

Sounds like your contribution isn't needed, right? WRONG.

See, FIRST the filmmaker has to have money to make the movie or TV show.

SECONDLY, these incentives are for movies spending at least $250,000 on the production.

So, YOU are needed. Support independent Texas filmmakers!

Even IF you can't make a monetary donation, look the movies up online and SHARE with your friends!

Thanks in advance!

April Barbe is the editor of the Progress; however, she is also a part-time screenwriter. She has written and directed three short films and served as a casting director. April has also worked in various capacities on three feature-length movies.

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