March 2 (am) — An American in Texas
An angry, crackling and defiantly disordered underclass of nowheresville punk- rock kids, see their band Surgeon General’s Warning (SGW) as their ticket out of small town Texas, as 1990 comes to a close. The band drops acid, plays gigs and carries out calculated acts of vandalism around town to the television soundtrack of 24-hour newscasts about Operation Desert Storm and devotion to country at any cost. Faced with the reality of a dead end job at the plastic plant, a life in the oil field, or fighting a war that has no meaning to them, the group’s chaos and imminent adulthood leaves them completely vulnerable for what ensues.
Director — Anthony Pedone
Anthony Pedone was born in Dallas, and got his first taste of indie film as an extra on the set of Richard Linklater’s, “Dazed and Confused.”
The shoot, as with all DIY productions (and especially ones shot for under 200k) was tumultuous and passionate. Ten days into the shoot, one of my creative partners, Bianca Butti (DP, Producer) who had been developing the script and visual plan for the film for over 4 years, was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer and had to leave the production. She handed the lens to our second camera who had been on set 3 days, and from treatment followed along and gave feedback by phone, and realtime using FaceTime and consulting with Julian Quiambao our second cam, now DP. Moviemaker Magazine did a story about the production
★★★★★…“An absolute adrenaline rush of a movie that captured something pure… Ferocious and unrelenting…One of the best indie films of the year”…Chris Olsen, UK Fillm Review
Although set in 1990, An American in Texas feels strangely relevant to the nation’s current, never- more-polarized moment. The film’s energy and ambition surges like a heart-on-sleeve anthem, amps cranked to 11 in a hymn of righteous malcontent and surprising grace…Steve Dollar for Indiewire, WSJ)
Director Anthony Pedone, opens with the president announcing the official start of the Gulf War and a flurry of masked teens destroying a house with bats, hammers, and other tools. From this brief opening, it becomes impossible to look away as the movie unfolds realistically and intriguingly…Bobby LePire, Film Threat
The development of the film was funded by a successful $50k crowdfunding campaign, and then raising another $145,000 in private investments.
We didn’t use a casting agent but instead relied on our relationships I had formed with cast members from past productions. These actors were able to suggest other actors they had worked with, and in turn would make those connections, and even sometimes they would secure readings from actors that we may not have the opportunity to read if we had used a casting agent or gone directly to the agency. Bill Paxton originally read the script and suggested his son, James for the production.
Additionally we were able to secure the rights to songs for the boys band, written and performed by LA punk icons, the Circle Jerks and assemble an incredible soundtrack, and cameos from some epic punk rock legends like Jello Biafra, Zander Schloss and David Yow.
I hope you will enjoy the film, and that you will find An American in Texas is a fit with this year’s program. I truly identify with your mission to support indie filmmakers. After I made my first experimental film and was not accepted to SXSW in Austin, TX, I started my first festival in Austin to run simultaneously with SXSW that same year, and ran that festival for 7 years and programmed over 450 films in that time. The festival was called RxSM. (The Self-Medicated Film Expo) RxSM is no more, but I continue to support truly indie films through my efforts with my company Film Exchange, and The Victoria, TX Indie Film Fest.