NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - A troubled economy was a blessing in disguise for a couple of filmmakers from Nacogdoches. The team's commercial production company was struggling. They had a lot of time on their hands, so director Eric Hueber and producer Andy Cope devoted it to a film project shot two years earlier.
It led to a feature film called 'Rainbows End'. The stars make up a group of eccentrics going after their unique dreams during a journey from Nacogdoches to California.
The real life characters will bring back memories to a lot of east Texans and create new ones for others.
There's the soulful, tender twirler man, Audrey Dean from Hemphill. He was often seen in local parades with baton in hand, while wearing red 'hot pants' and knee high white boots.
Cope says Dean, now deceased, carries the film's spirit. " People would know Audrey when they saw him on the street and in parades, but they didn't really know him," said Cope. "This film brings out his true gentle spirit and energy. He does an exciting thing because he really did leave a lot of himself in this project."
Other real life characters on a bus to California include the 70's man, Peter Guzzino, who believes his less than perfect pitch will charm audiences. Then there's the rocking music style of Country Willie and a cock fighter, Birdman Birdwell and his two roosters.
They leave the audience wondering. Cope shared an overheard conversation at the Austin Film Festival.
" One lady said to another lady, ' You think those guys are for real?' And the other lady said, ' If they aren't for real, that's the best acting I've ever seen."
Rainbows End, both the film and trailer, are receiving fantastic reviews from the Austin Film Festival and critics around the world. It was called one of the top 10 movies to see by the Austin American Statesman, according to Cope.
The trailer is listed among the top 20 most seen trailers on an industry web site. " If you're in the top 150, that's something pretty impressive. We were at 16 and now sitting at 20. It leaves us scratching our heads," said Cope.
Director Eric Hueber and Cope like the praise, but the SFA film graduates most respected critic is their former professor, Dr. William Arscott. " It's a good movie. It's both a movie and documentary, I guess," said Arscott.
Cope has a unique word for the unique film. He calls it a "Nacomentary". " It's 95 percent documentary, 3 percent tall tale and 2 percent false," laughed Cope.
The truth Cope wants viewers to see is, "its unique portrayal of the creative, energy and spirit of East Texas, which we think is Nacogdoches."
East Texans can judge for themselves about Rainbows End at a special screening and party. Rainbows End Exploganza will be Saturday at Hotel Fredonia in Nacogdoches. A blow out party, complete with live music and refreshments is planned. Tickets can be purchased at Hotel Fredonia, Java Jacks and Flashback Cafe.