MATURE CONTENT & ADULT LANGUAGE.
Just south of the Red River, you'll find a lonely stretch of Texas. Where the wind rattles down empty roads and swirling dirt seems to cling to just about everything.
LITTLE TEXAS centers around a Collector (Adam Dietrich) for a local bookmaker who calls on Zeke (Michael Goggans), a deadbeat meth cook to pay up on an outstanding debt. The Collector quickly realizes a child's silence (Megan Dalby) is her loudest scream and that despite Zeke's dark tendencies; he is worth more alive than dead. This film explores the cyclical nature of violence and how the survivalist instinct can make it difficult to trust anyone.
Comparison: Best described as early 70's Scorsese meets early 90's Besson with a dash of O. Henry.
Genre: Neo Western Noir
LITTLE TEXAS is a Neo Western Noir film, centered around a money Collector; a reluctant antihero who finds himself slowly backed into a corner. With options quickly running out and circumstances escalating, our protagonist must find a way out for himself while protecting an innocent life. This film explores the cyclical nature of violence and how the survivalist instinct can make it difficult to trust anyone.
Growing up in North Texas, I've observed my own home town besmirched and lives destroyed by "synthetic drug labs" popping up in mobile homes, motel rooms and abandoned houses. The local Police organized crime unit busts a lab roughly twice a week. "...through the early '90s North Texas was the methamphetamine capital of the world, back when they made the 'good meth'." says Bill Coombs, a chemical dependency counselor.
Add to that the idea of victimization; especially considering that of children from such homes that are characterized by violence and abuse are 5 to 7 times more likely to experience significant psychological problems relative to children not exposed to the same environments.
Too often in real life, abuse is often undisclosed by the victim and worse yet, unreported by others if they ever become aware of it. Why is this? Society must get comfortable talking about these issues. Unfortunately, abuse will continue to happen unless people are supplied with information, resources and the encouragement to take action and keep children (and women) safe. We all share in that responsibility. Because we also share the risk of inaction, we must jointly protect the well-being of those who can't for themselves. The risk of shame or rejection should never outweigh the risk of doing nothing.
Actor Adam Dietrich and I collaborated closely to create the character of the Collector, we spent hours in pre-production discussing the character, creating a back-story and defining his core goals for each beat of the scene. During principle photography, we were able to spend more time working on dialogue rather than spending time discussing the character's motivations. Adam is a true and inspiring filmmaker.
Mixing tropes from Westerns and Film Noir created a hyperbolic world in which we portray a strong resilient female character in Anna. As cinematic storytellers, we felt it important that we portray a world in which Anna lives as so hopeless and bleak the audience becomes empathetical and champions the Collector to help her; and she him. The Collector sees the saving of Anna as a way to gain absolution for past sins. If successful...they both save each other...literally and spiritually.
Shot in Mesquite, Texas over one summer weekend on a less than a $1,000 budget, this film would not have been possible without the amazing collaborative spirit and gracious contributions of local Texas filmmakers who helped realize this picture. By graciously donating personal equipment and time, LITTLE TEXAS was made possible through the crew and talent's tireless commitment to creating a film together to which I am immensely grateful.
Fort Worth Texas Magazine : Michael Goggans stars in "Little Texas"
Adam Dietrich & Kelly Jackson on KFDX Channel 3 TV with Brenna Donnelly
“Don't Ever Look Back” Original Motion Picture Sound Track
Written & Recorded by Kelly Jackson & Lilah Gilmore
Recorded & Mixed by Jeff Catlin
"Inspiration for the film"
After reading an article in an issue of Texas Monthly about the violent history of Dallas mob boss and HorseShoe Casino founder Benny Binion , I became intrigued by the idea of southern bred Texas gangsters. I developed a desire to create a criminal world that an audience never considered existed. I found it interesting to set a reluctant hero against this backdrop who finds himself in an escalating situation where the stakes are increasingly raised; and he is forced to rely on his cunning ability to read people and willingness to take calculated chances to survive.
This short film is essentially the opening act to a feature film concept where the Collector, the Bunny Girl and Zeke are forced to flee across the picturesque back roads and small towns of Texas while being pursued by a vengeful Biker Gang, deranged Skip Tracer and corrupt Texas Ranger.