"Wake Up, Herbert," a feature-length indie movie shooting in the Austin, Texas, area since early November has wrapped filming and begins post-production work. The film, a joint venture between Tom Foolery Productions of Lakeway and David Barrow Productions of Austin, is now in search of a distributor. Plans call for a local premiere on April 9 at the Alamo Drafthouse and entry onto the film festival circuit this fall. Cast and crew are detailed along with the scriptwriter and director Steve Cauley.
“Wake Up, Herbert,” a feature-length movie which began shooting in the Austin area in November and wrapped final scenes in late February, begins post-production work this month. The indie film, now in search of a distributor, is set to premiere at the Alamo Drafthouse on April 9 and be ready for the festival circuit by early summer.
The project is a joint venture between Tom Foolery Productions (TFP) of Lakeway, TX, www.tomfooleryprod.com and David Barrow Productions of Austin. Steve Cauley, who wrote the screenplay and was directing his first feature film, is collaborating with longtime friend David Barrow, director of photography and editor for the film. Barrow has been serving Central Texas with a variety of audio and visual services since 1988. http://davidbarrow.com/index.php
“Wake Up, Herbert” tells the story of a man in his twenties trying to find himself during the Christmas season. Herbert, portrayed by actor Fred Parker of San Antonio, works as a night clerk in an Indian-owned motel. He is trying to deal with his dysfunctional – and often unpredictable – family members while juggling his fractured lifestyle and a tenuous relationship with a young mother who is in an abusive relationship.
It is, perhaps, no irony that Cauley’s family owns and operates the Mountain Star Lodge, located (on RM 620) between Bee Cave and Lakeway, just west of Austin. Likewise, that the Lodge has been a location for many scenes along with the Cool River Café, Austin Community Clinic, Vineyard Christian Fellowship, the historic Scholz Beer Garden and Whole Foods Market's corporate headquarters.
“Just two years ago, I was a frustrated screenwriter/filmmaker and former school teacher,” said the St. Edward’s University English major and former Rio Grande Valley newspaper editor. “This story was inside me just waiting to bust out and be told. So I wrote ‘Herbert’ based on my experiences trying to find my own way while stuck working at my family's hotel in an affluent community of retirees and golfers.
“This is probably Lakeway's first movie!” said Cauley, who has dreamed of getting into the movie business since he was a kid acting and writing stories. “I made a lot of movies with friends when I studied film at UT” (the University of Texas at Austin), he recounted. He’s a big fan of Texas director Mike Judge (“Beavis and Butt-Head,” “Office Space”) and the Coen Brothers (“Fargo,” “O Brother, Where Art Thou”).
“Fortunately, Austin is a gold mine of talented actors looking for work and a magnet for regional talent, as well,” Cauley noted. “Since most of us have day jobs, we had to shoot several days a week and occasionally on weekends. I’ve been blown away by their patience, passion and enthusiasm for the project.”
Cast & Crew Notes
Parker, in the title role, lived in Austin for five years and studied acting at UT-Austin where he was in the world premier of Tennessee Williams' play "Spring Storm." He also has done some commercial and film work, including "The Alamo," "The Ringer," "Man Of The House" and the new Mike Judge film, "Idiocracy."
Emily Miner of Austin plays his girlfriend “Lizzy.” The Houston native studied musical theatre at the University of North Texas. She has worked with Yellowtape Construction Company in "Hobbled", with ArtSpark Theatre and Game Development Festival in "The Stack” and with the Vortex Theater in "Sleeping Beauty."
Other primary cast members include: Kathy Morris of Austin as Herbert’s Mom; Steve Uzzell of San Marcos, a 20-year veteran of screen, television, stage and commercials, as his Dad; David Ford of Longview, TX, as pal Mike; Preston F. Kirk of Spicewood, TX, as the zany psychologist; Matthew Shaw as a New Age minister; T. L. Heathman, John Boles, Tony Bottorff, Lou McKinley, Haja Scott, Gerald Williams, Alexandra Glomb, Jenna Pierce, Gary Dixon, and Mikel McCurdy,
Others on screen are Karen Elvonna, Mikki Singhal, Heath Shelby, Crissi Rocha and Sandra Blair. Child actors include Collin Cauley, T.J. Leggett and Caiti Leggett.
Because he had performed sound work for Del Castillo, a band whose members are friends with Austin filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, DP David Barrow “started getting interested in making movies. I've always been interested in photography, as well as video, music, sound and recording, which has served me well on ‘Herbert,’ since I'm doing about 10 jobs on this movie.”
Barrow has recorded and produced more than 20 CDs for various bands. He also has been involved with various projects for Rodriguez that are included in extra features on the DVDs of "Spy Kids 3-D," "Once Upon a Time in Mexico," "Kill Bill 2" and "Sin City." Currently he mixes sound for The Newsboyz, an Austin area cover band.
“With the actors’ scenes now behind us, we are turning our attention to some special effects requiring a bit of technological experimentation,” he noted.
Katherine Robinson, a native of Palacios, TX, and daughter of a famed Tejano singer with “The Dinos,” has served as production manager. Also an extra in this film, she recently appeared in “AB Negative,” a film directed by Banning Kent Lary.
Elaine Falcon of Corpus Christi is first assistant director and has extensive experience in both television and film production. Mike Willoughby headed music. Catherine Leggett was in charge of hair and make-up.
FOR MORE INFORMATION OR INTERVIEWS:
Steve Cauley, Tom Foolery Productions, Lakeway, TX, 512-626-0795, e-mail protected from spam bots, www.tomfooleryprod.com