Behind the Screens

Meet the essential unknowns of the texas film business: the 25 most important people you’ve never heard of.

THE TEXAS FILM COMMISSION estimates that some eight thousand of the state’s residents work in the film industry. Counted among these, of course, are familiar names such as Richard Linklater, Lynda Obst, and Tommy Lee Jones. But most are people you’ve never heard of: the folks who edit Linklater’s films, cast Obst’s productions, and make sure Jones gets to the set on time. These are the “little people” who are thanked in effusive award-acceptance speeches for toiling behind the scenes and making it all possible. Although their jobs are not the kind that would ever garner them top billing, these little people play big roles. In recognition of their contributions, we polled industry insiders and compiled this list of the essential unknowns—the 25 people without whom there would be no lights, no camera, and no action.

SANDRA ADAIR

45, Austin
Editor (“cuts and pastes” scenes to shape the film)
Credits Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the Next Generation; Dazed and Confused; Before Sunrise; subUrbia; The Newton Boys

JO EDNA BOLDIN

49, Austin
Casting director
Credits The Good Old Boys, Waiting for Guffman, Michael, Hope Floats, Two for Texas

MICHAEL J. CIANCIO

42, Dallas
President of the nonprofit Texas Association of Film/Tape Professionals
Coups The association successfully lobbied the Legislature to keep the industry’s tax-exempt status

TOM COPELAND

48, Austin
Director of the Texas Film Commission, the state agency that promotes Texas as a place to make films
Coups Lonesome Dove, Flesh and Bone, A Perfect World, Courage Under Fire, Michael

BRADY DIAL

27, Austin
Production consultant with the Texas Film Commission (scouts locations, locates resources, and solves problems during a shoot)
Credits The Good Old Boys, Lone Star, The Whole Wide World, Selena, The War at Home

JOE DISHNER

44, Dallas
Unit production manager
Credits Houseguest, The Big Green, The Evening Star, Two for Texas, A Simple Plan

RICK FERGUSON

47, Houston
Director of the Houston Film Commission, which promotes the Bayou City as a film location
Coups Reality Bites, The Evening Star, Hope, Space Cadet, Arlington Road

JOHN FRICK

50, Austin
Production designer (conceives the overall look of the film) and art director (executes that look)
Credits Lonesome Dove, Dazed and Confused, Waiting for Guffman, The Whole Wide World, The Newton Boys

FRED GABRIELLI

40, Dallas
CEO of Gala Catering
Credits Born on the 4th of July, JFK, Sleepless in Seattle, The Evening Star, Home Fries

DEREK R. HILL

44, Irving
Production designer and art director
Credits Born on the 4th of July, JFK, The Postman, Keys to Tulsa, Hurlyburly

LIZ KEIGLEY

55, Houston Casting director
Credits Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Courage Under Fire, The Evening Star, Hope, Arlington Road

RON KERN

60, Houston
Co-owner of Cinema Trucks of Texas, which provides equipment trucks, honeywagons (portable restrooms), makeup and wardrobe trailers, and starwagons (trailers for actors)
Credits Urban Cowboy, The Evening Star, Hope, Rushmore, Arlington Road

ALMA KUTTRUFF

45, Austin
Production manager
Credits Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Dazed and Confused, Something to Talk About, U.S. Marshals

DREW MAYER-OAKES

36, Irving
Sales representative for Allied’s New Independents Lab, the only full-service film lab in the state
Clients Mike Judge, Richard Linklater, Robert Rodriguez, Steven Soderbergh

RANDY MOORE

42, Sunnyvale
Owner of Great F/X special effects company
Credits Robocop, JFK, Flesh and Bone, The Evening Star, Hope Floats

CARLA PALMER

41, Austin
Makeup artist
Credits Tender Mercies, Lonesome Dove, A Perfect World, Austin Powers, Home Fries

RICK PAPPAS

43, Austin
Entertainment lawyer
Clients Best known for his “Anonymous” client ( Primary Colors author Joe Klein), Pappas also represents less secretive folks like Texas screenwriters Sarah Bird, Stephen Harrigan, Bud Shrake, Claude Stanush, and Lawrence Wright

KAREN PRINCE

63, Wimberley
Animal trainer and supplier
Credits The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Flesh and Bone, The Big Green, Selena, Home Fries

PHIL SCHRIBER

44, Austin
Transportation coordinator
Credits Lone Star, Courage Under Fire, Michael, Hope Floats, Home Fries

JOHN SCHRIMPF

46, Irving
General manager of Panavision Dallas (rents out cameras, electrical equipment, and lights)
Credits Dances With Wolves, Sling Blade, Michael, Hope, Home Fries

BILL SCOTT

54, Austin
Unit production manager and line producer (the producer on the set)
Credits Badlands, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, The Toy, The Newton Boys

DALLAS SMALLEY

46, Bellville
Wrangler (provides, trains, and takes care of livestock)
Credits Streets of Laredo, Dead Man’s Walk, The Stars Fell on Henrietta, The Newton Boys, Two for Texas

CYNDY STREIT

45, Austin
Production coordinator (does whatever needs to be done to ensure that the production runs smoothly)
Credits Rush, A Perfect World, subUrbia, The Stars Fell on Henrietta, The Newton Boys

CARY WHITE

49, Austin
Production designer
Credits Lonesome Dove, The Good Old Boys, The Hot Spot, Selena, Two for Texas

ERIC A. WILLIAMS

36, Austin Location manager (selects locations and negotiates with their owners)
Credits The Good Old Boys, The Big Green, True Women, The Newton Boys, Two for Texas

More Texas Monthly

Loading, please wait...

Most Read

  • Viewed
  • Past:
  • 1 week