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San Antonio Filmmakers Take On Epic Stories

Imagine the largest, most epic movie possible, and then trying to remake it on a shoestring budget. A bad idea? Most definitely. But bad ideas can make for good comedy, and San Antonio filmmaker Scott Langford’s “Remake” finds three South Texas friends deciding to do a local version of “Braveheart,” of all things.

“It causes them to think and be creative, and by the end, they don’t have anything like a ‘Braveheart’ remake, but something totally new,” says Langford. “This was always going to be more about the characters than the actual plot of the remake, because in addition to this movie that they’re remaking, they’re each in these weird transitionary parts of their lives, where they are kind of remaking [themselves] in the process.”

Langford found himself in the unique position of having to ask his actors to perform badly. “There were a few times during production where one of the characters, Johnny, is reading lines with this girl, and he’s doing a Scottish accent, and I had to tell him his accent was too good!”

Langford’s short film is playing on a triple bill with two others on Wednesday night at the Alamo Drafthouse Park North. It is part of a San Antonio filmmakers’ showcase. 

Than Niles also has a movie on the program that he says brings out the creepiness of Texas’ wide, open spaces.  “I was talking to a buddy of mine and he was talking about how creepy the ranch he lived on was, and the potential for a scary movie,” Niles explains.

Niles wrote a solitary character, then decided to “isolate him in the Texas Hill Country, and scare the crap out of people,” he says with a twinkle in his eye. “The story is really about isolation and loss, and the fear of being alone — and how someone who gets to that point, [and then] what they do to try and come out of it. What it takes to really face reality.... Are you really alone? And we do that in as artful a way as possible,” he adds.

Both Langford and Niles applaud the San Antonio film scene as a tight-knit group whose members support each other’s productions. “San Antonio is chugging along in that respect,” Niles says. “It’s always kind of been that Austin has been the hub, where, if you want to make films in this part of the United States, you kind of have to go to Austin, or Louisiana … but San Antonio has so much potential.”

Scott Langford’s “Remake” and Than Niles’ “Stand Still” will screen at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 22, at the Alamo Drafthouse Park North, along with a third film by David Novak and a musical performance from Peach Fish.

REMAKE (2014) trailer from Scott Langford on Vimeo.