UPDATES:Thanks to Jim Swift for interviewing Gary Kent and Joe O'Connell for KXAN-TV in Austin, Texas. You can see the story here. There's also a longer written version at the link.
We are in the last day of the campaign! We appreciate any and all donations. They'll go toward making the best darn documentary possible. Please spread the word.
The most interesting man in the world
I was at a writing conference in the late '90s when I met a white-haired hustler with a Burt Reynolds mustache and a knowing grin. He introduced himself as Gary Kent and told me about a cult biker film he'd starred in called Satan's Sadists. That night I tracked down a copy of the film and watched it, then I tracked down Gary and wrote a couple of articles about his unique film career doubling Jack Nicholson and Robert Vaughan, and staging stunts and special effects sequences for notable directors Peter Bogdanovich, Monte Hellman, Richard Rush, Al Adamson and Don Coscarelli for movies including Hell’s Angels On Wheels, Psych-out, Targets, Bubba Ho-tep, and the noir Westerns The Shooting and Ride in the Whirlwind.
One day I told Gary someone should make a documentary about his life and career. Then I realized that someone is me. Gary agreed and opened his archives of personal photos and home movies to me and provided contacts for his long-time film industry friends and his family.
I've written about the film industry for 15 years, including as a columnist for The Dallas Morning News, Austin American-Statesman and The Austin Chronicle and as a contributor to Variety and Video Business. I'm also an award-winning fiction writer, novelist and photographer. I'm a storyteller.
The documentary begins following Gary's journey with the release of his memoir Shadows and Light: Journeys with Outlaws in Revolutionary Hollywood. But I soon realized this film is about more than a guy who makes movies. Gary has faced bigger challenges in his personal life: his wife and soulmate's battle with alcohol and an abusive mother; his own struggle to sucker-punch cancer. The documentary gets to the heart of a survivor who learned how to take a fist to the gut, stand up and try life again.
It's time for the martini shot
We've got a lot of footage in the can, but this campaign will fund final shoots, editing and permissions to use film clips in the documentary. An editor is lined up and waiting. Gary is on board 100 percent, and isn't shying away from the grittier parts of his personal story being revealed. Your donation will assure this project is completed.
Why you should help
Gary Kent's story is one worth telling. You'll see from the brief video above that he is a compelling, charismatic, good guy with an amazing film career and personal story worth telling. My aim is to see this film screen at both mainstream and genre (horror, biker, sci-fi) film conventions like Cinema Wasteland. Both domestic and foreign televisions, DVD and streaming sales will follow.
Did you check out these perks for participating in our campaign? First edition copies of Gary's memoir are at this point ultra-rare. Come have lunch with us, pretty please?
Spread the word!
Please post a notice of this campaign to your Facebook page. Blog about it. Send a note to Filmnewsbyjoe at yahoo dot com and ask me questions. Let's cement Gary Kent's place in film history.
"All contributions are gifts to the film, not investments. Please consult your tax advisor about making this gift. We are not a non-profit organization, and therefore, gifts cannot be considered charitable donations."