Kerrville, Texas

From an email sent to the Texas Archive of the Moving Image:

Hello, Somewhere between 1962, and 1965, I believe this movie was made in Kerrville, Texas. I have very definite memories, though I am not exactly certain of the year. It started with a promotional announcement on film, during our Saturday afternoon movie sessions at the Arcadia Theater in downtown Kerrville. A bare movie set, with a big film camera pointed at the screen, and a guy sitting next to it in a director’s chair. The guy gets up, stands next to the camera lens, and announces that he hss selected Kerrville, Texas as the town where he will start making movies that revive the spirit of ‘The Little Rascals’. He then went on with his spiel about asking our parents to let us be in this movie, and how it is our chance to make it in the movies. Since I was a really clueless kid, I did not understand the particulars of how to be in the movie, and they involved asking our parents, and I was reluctant to ask my parents because they were really not into frivolous expenditures at that time. I recall being jealous because many of my classmates were going to be in the movie. They talked and chatted all the time prior to the day they had to report for the shoot. I was very irritated by all the bragging and expectation from which I was excluded.

Some time later I had to listen to all the bragging and excitement because my classmates and acquaintances had been in the movie, and it would be shown at the Arcadia within a few weeks. I got to see the movie, on a Saturday afternoon, in the Arcadia Theater. The first hint I had that something terribly wrong was about to happen was that the projection size was drastically smaller than the full screen we would usually see. I believe that was due to the film being shot in 16mm. It began to resemble a home movie, lots of awkward shots, bad exposures, and blank film flashes between cuts. I saw all my classmates and acquaintances marched into a very static scene, where they all sat on bleacher set up in the middle of Louise Hays Park across the river from town. They would march in, sit on the bleachers, then each kid would get a close-up saying his or her lines. Then they would be marched off the bleacher and out of the screen. I do not remember anything that vaguely resembled a plot, nor do I recall any “musical finale”. I do recall that all my jealousies and resentments disappeared as I watched this appallingly bad strip of film. I think it was perhaps 20 minutes long, and I hope it was no longer because it would have been that much more time taken out of my life. I was inspired to write this because of an article I heard on ‘On The Media’ on public radio. Thanks.