Find fun things to doin the Austin, TX area

+ Add A Listing

Posted: 12:00 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012

‘Cinema Six’ gets blue at the Drive-In



Related

‘Cinema Six’ gets blue at the Drive-In photo
The staff of the Stanton Family Cinemas, from left, Leonard (Byron Brown), Cassie (Lindsey Newell), Gabe (Mark Potts), Dennis (Brand Rackley) and Mason (John Merriman) in ‘Cinema Six.’
‘Cinema Six’ gets blue at the Drive-In photo
‘Cinema Six’ co-directors Cole Selix and Mark Potts.

By Matthew Odam

American-Statesman Staff

The boys at the Stanton Family Cinemas spend almost all of their waking hours inside the nondescript multiplex. They don’t just work there; they hide there. They hide from their ambitions, from their personal relationships and from any real accountability.

They hate it, but they also love it and can’t imagine escaping from its walls. It’s like an unthreatening version of small-town Stockholm Syndrome.

Such is life in “Cinema Six,” the warm-hearted and foul-mouthed comedy from writing and directing team Mark Potts and Cole Selix.

The movie, produced by and starring a cast of familiar and talented Austinites, makes its local debut Friday night at the Blue Starlite Drive-In at Austin Studios.

The guys at Stanton Family Cinemas aren’t exactly boys. They just act like it. But unlike many recent comedies that track foot-dragging man-children doing their best to escape the gravitational pull of adulthood, “Cinema Six” doesn’t focus on just one type of overgrown adolescent.

Gabe (Potts), unconfident and ill-equipped to talk to women, has graduated from high school but is leery of leaving town and going to college. Dennis (Brand Rackley) made it to college but has since dropped out and is reeling from a break-up with his adulterous fiancee. Mason (John Merriman) has seemingly made the most progress, but with one child at home and another one surprisingly on the way, he spends late nights working at the theater with his buddies instead of tending to his domestic responsibilities.

Selix and Potts initially wrote the screenplay for characters of similar ages, but Potts says they realized the story was more compelling and resonant if the dilemmas spanned several stages of life. No matter where you are in life, there are always new challenges to face, new fears to conquer.

“I think it’s universal for everyone,” Potts said. “But I felt guys could watch it and identify with one character.”

Potts says the story of Gabe mirrored his high school years working in a movie theater. When he decided to leave his small pond in Oklahoma, where filmmakers are a rare breed, and follow his wife to Los Angeles to pursue his career, he identified with Dennis. And now that he is settled in L.A. (working for Break.com), he reckons he will begin to see things through Mason’s eyes once he and his wife decide to make a family.

Potts, a native of Enid, Okla., graduated from the University of Oklahoma and met Kelly Williams and John Merriman when he brought his short, “Through the Love of Family,” to the Austin Film Festival in 2008.

Williams came on board to produce “Cinema Six,” along with Don Swaynos (who also edited the film), and the group began scouting in Oklahoma. But when they came across the Hometown Cinemas in Lockhart, the team knew they had found the perfect home for their movie.

“Everything just fell into place, and I think it worked out for the best in the end,” Potts said.

The cinema served as the primary shooting location, where the crew worked 12-hour days, some nights staying late to screen movies for fun. One cast member said the experience felt like summer camp.

That sense of camaraderie conveys on-screen with the trio of friends. The guys in the film fire off profanity-fueled insults at one another (I lost track at 175 when counting the number of curse words in the 84-minute movie), but it is clear they are busting each other’s chops as a proxy for intimacy.

Potts says that he understands if some people are upset by the language but hopes audiences won’t judge the film solely on the vulgar tone.

“It’s funny, but these characters know that it’s immature to swear,” Potts said.

The language is just another self-imposed weight that the characters burden themselves with in order to remain in stasis. But as they come to face their own insecurities and inadequacies, the guys find comfort and strength in their light-heartedly combative friendship.

“Cinema Six” does not offer any grand or unbelievable transformation for its characters. But it hints at hope.

“Something I like about movies, and something it seems I always write toward, is the small victory being the big victory,” Potts said. “People aren’t necessarily better off, but hopefully they will be.”


What: “Cinema Six” Austin premiere

Where: Blue Starlite Drive-In at Austin Studios (1901 E. 51st St.)

When: Friday, gates at 7 p.m. and screening at 8 p.m.

Tickets: FM car spots start at $18; walk-in pedestrian tickets for 2, with free concession snack, $25

More information: BlueStarliteDriveIn.com

More News

 
 

Latest Movie Videos