Eddy, a small-time Chicago crook, learns to take a leap of faith through his interactions with the people he meets in a fictional Texas town in George Anson’s feature film debut, “Spring Eddy.”
The nontraditional romantic comedy made its world premiere last month at the Austin Film Festival, where Anson, former Texas State student, previously served as its first film program director.
Anson filmed on location in Lockhart, Copeland, Manor, Bastrop, Austin and Johnson City for 19 days with the help of Texas State students. As a Southwest Texas State student in the early 1980s, Anson pledged Pi Kappa Alpha before transferring to the University of North Texas, where he majored in radio, television and film.
After graduating from UNT, Anson moved to Austin in 1994 where he worked for a small television station. He then worked as a sales representative for a printing company. Anson, who considers Bill Wittliff a mentor, took his own leap of faith in attending the University of Southern California to pursue filmmaking, and in his pursuit of seeing “Spring Eddy” on the big screen.
JGP: How did the casting process work?
GA: I have a really good friend who was a performer at Esther’s Follies. She was amazing at rounding up really talented people around Austin and they would just kind of audition. I’d seen (Gabriel Luna) in “Dance with the One,” a production done by UT. (Barbara Morgan) said I’d really ought to take a look at Gabe. We met for coffee and talked about it. He’d read the script and really liked the character. I knew he was a talented guy. I felt very fortunate he came on. He’s really an amazing actor and I can’t say enough about him.
JGP: When did you first begin writing the script?
GA: I wrote the story many years ago. I wrote it mainly because I knew that if I was ever going to be able to direct anything I would have to write something that could be done on a very low budget. Two things: One is that I wrote it for a low budget, and the other part was that I really had a theme in mind that I really wanted to say in the story and it worked out well. It wasn’t until digital came in that the quality of digital shooting really made the difference. If I had tried to do this on film I couldn’t have done it. It would have been impossible.
JGP: What was it like being on the other side of the Austin Film Festival?
GA: It was weird. Leading up to that there were so many little things to do. People would come up and say to me, ‘Wow, your film’s going to show tonight, how do you feel?’ Honestly, I haven’t thought about it because I was always thinking of other things to do. “Is my sound complete?” “Is my color correction complete?” There are so many details. And I was also doing some things for the festival. I moderated some panels and things like that. My film showed on Sunday at 7:30 (p.m.), so it really wasn’t until probably 3 o’clock that I realized I had a film to show that night.
Having done film programming for the festival helped me in knowing (that) length of a film matters. My film had to be accepted. They had to view it and they had to judge it. I guess watching all those films in a year-and-a-half subconsciously or consciously helped.
JGP: What’s next for “Spring Eddy”?
GA: The obvious next step is the festival circuit. I’ve got my fingers crossed that I can get into some other festivals and promote it that way.