Before a career in filmmaking Alex Orr was a ticket scalper and professional magician. He studied creative writing and theatre at Georgia State University. While attending GSU he met his fellow filmmakers and joined the film collective Fake Wood Wallpaper.
Alex Orr made his feature film debut at the 2007 festival with the dark comedy Blood Car. AFF talked with Alex about the journey of Blood Car and what he’s up to now.
AFF: Tell me about your film that was screened at the festival.
Alex: “Blood Car” is a socially irresponsible B movie about gas prices hitting $30 a gallon and no one driving anymore. A teacher/spare-time inventor makes a car that runs on blood by accident. Bad jokes and grade school satire follow.
AFF: What was your motivation for submitting your film to the festival?
Alex: It’s a known fact that Austin Film Festival is a great place to get your movie shown. It’s a college town (good for my movie) and the concentration on screenwriting was something new to me. Submitting was a no-brainer, getting in was thrilling.
AFF: Do have a favorite memory of your time at the festival?
Alex: Oh yes. Jason Reitman announced during a small writer’s Q&A with him and Diablo Cody that Kimya Dawson (a lot of her music is in “Juno”) would be playing a gig in a little venue in town and that everyone should come out. I’m a Moldy Peaches fan so I went to the show, which was great. But my favorite memory was watching the crowd light up when her husband opened up for her. He was Swedish and played the guitar and drums with his feet and had an awesome John Lennon style rock voice. There were a bunch of filmmakers that came to the show and it was just a really fun night. I remember watching him set up and thinking, “where’s the rest of the band?” it was awesome.
AFF: “Blood Car” was a unique mix of comedy and horror. Do you have a favorite genre?
Alex: Not really. I like whatever works. I can’t say that I’m not into, or not a fan of a certain type of movie, because there is always at least one to prove me wrong. I’m not a “horror guy” by any means. I watch everything I can get my hands on in the hopes that it will get me excited and make me run out of the theatre screaming, “Buy your tickets! This movie is amazing!”
AFF: Was there a particular movie(s) that inspired you to make “Blood Car”?
Alex: I saw a lot of bad movies on the video store shelf and just spent weeks watching them all. And eventually wanted to be in the company of those bad movies on the video store shelf. I never thought I would play film festivals at all. I just wanted to walk into the video store and know that the first movie made it to an audience. I thought that would be pretty awesome for a first feature.
AFF: What’s happened to the film since it played at the Austin Film Festival?
Alex: It made the video store shelf! We did a hybrid distribution to get the film out in the US. TLA Realing put it out in the US and Canada. And we sold the movie to Germany (Blut Auto! makes me laugh), Korea, Russia and are working on some more foreign territories. Chris Hyams and the awesome team at BSide.com put together a super cool store on my website so people can see the movie for just a couple bucks, or they can buy T shirts and posters.
We also played a bunch more festivals around the world (which is still crazy to me) and even did a really tiny theatrical run that I booked from my apartment and grossed about $850 (Yes, i know. We did almost beat out Transformers).
AFF: What are you currently working on?
Alex: I’m trying to put together the next silly movie. So I’m writing, in between working on other’s people’s TV shows and movies in Los Angeles. There was some time travel at one point, giant pelicans, a white supremacist with a black hand, telekinesis, feral orphans, a machine that cloned Keith Davids for a foosball tournament….you know, just business as usual.
It’s not to late to enter your film!
Late post-mark deadline: July 3rd
Very late deadline: July 15th
Just one more you reason you should be at the Austin Film Festival & Conference in October…