by AAU Contributor JANET HAMMER
Bob Ray, local film-maker and entrepreneur. Maker of movies about people who love drugs, music, sex, roller derby and Austin Texas. Since he started making movies he has made 3 feature length and several Animated shorts. I set about to ask Bob some questions that would let him open up as an artist and the following replies are what I received. There are no pictures (which I asked for also) but several direct connect web links to Bob’s site which contains pictures galore. So from the mouth of Bob Ray and onto your plate here is Bob Ray on Bob Ray.
JH: So first question, why movies?
Bob: For the blow jobs. Cuz they’re badass. And I’m stupid. I don’t know what else to do with myself. Beating off has its limits, it turns out. I’m as surprised as you are. I think maybe I’m some kind of jerk or something. Probably stubborn as well.
JH: Secondly, why movies about Austin?
Bob: Cuz Austin is badass. And I’m real fucking stupid.
JH: You had a very interesting promotional plan during the SXSW when Rock Opera came out, tell us about your idea process behind these.
Bob: Bongman!!! The obvious thing to do was to make a life-sized bong costume. We also made some rolling papers and stickers (of course). You can find Bongman here: http://www.rockoperathemovie.com/bongman.html
JH: You also did the old school take my movie on the road and traveled around the country showing the film, how did that work out?
Bob: Like shit. I say that with the highest regard for shit.
Fun-wise, it was great. Financially, not so great. Adventure-wise, great. Securing distribution, not so great. Press-wise, great. Making it easier to make more movies in the future, not so great.
I did the same thing with Total Badass (thanks for asking me about my newest film, by the way). And it fucking ruled. The same above answer applies. And yes, we did get assloads of great reviews. That Yankee rag, The New York Times wrote a big-ass article and review and even made some ballsy claims, such as “Total Badass is both a portrait of life on the artistic and social fringe and a thriller... a cross of Frederick Wiseman and Hunter S. Thompson.“ And Vice Magazine made this bullshit claim: “A ballsy feature-length documentary... a totally unapologetic profile of the ubiquitous Austin hero.” And yes, there are tons of drugs, graphic humor, obnoxious sex and trash-can jumping in the flick. We did keep a tour journal. I was on the road for 10 weeks with Chad-fucking-Holt. We wrote shit down. Shit that we did, we put it in word-form for your entertainment.
The West Coast journal starts here: http://badassfilmtour.wordpress.com/2010/07/15/film-tour-day-1-austin-to-roswell/
The East Coast journal starts here: http://badassfilmtour.wordpress.com/2010/11/24/wed-2010-11-10-day-01-houston-tx/
Yes, we did get arrested. And no, the movie has no distributor.
But you can buy a DVD here: http://www.crashcamfilms.com/store.htm And I WILL spend your money on stupid shit. That is a mother-fucking promise.
JH:After Rock Opera you did an animated series, how did that come about and how is the process of animation different, is it harder?
Bob: I always have a bunch of movies that I wanna make. It usually boils down to looking at which movie I can make at the time. I made some ‘toons for a spell: APESH!T, Platypus Rex and others (http://www.CrashToons.com). Cartoons are no easier to make, but they can mostly be thrown together in my underground sex-dungeon, and so are more do-able. But drawing a fuckload of pics over and over makes me want to murder you. Don’t take it personally. It’s just life.
6. Your Second feature was on the Texas Roller Derby, how long did you work on this project?
This fucker took about 7 years to make. When filming a doc in real-time, you just have to hang in there until the story finds its natural conclusion. With Hell on Wheels, that took a long-ass while as there was a lot happening with the group of gals who were resurrecting roller derby.
JH: There are a lot of films out about Roller Derby, how does this effect the manner and mood in which you work, knowing you are not the only one making a film on the subject.
Bob: When we started, we were absolutely the only ones working on a film about roller derby. Did you ask if it sucks balls to have a bunch of Hollywood a-holes team up with some locals who are willing to stab other locals in the back in order to make a buck (ahem, Rollergirls the A&E series)? That’s what I thought you asked. Yes, it totally sucks balls. Is your follow-up “Did it make finishing Hell on Wheels more difficult?” Yes. But I like to keep shit positive, and I hear that the local production company behind Rollergirls made dick-tons of money. So that’s good, right? That said, the derby gals always had our back. So they’re still cool.
JH: Tell us about getting distribution for independent films.
Bob: I really know very little to nothing about this subject matter. To my own detriment, I make movies without considering this aspect of the filmmaking “business.” I have an abortion to business. It chafes me. My ignorance here would only hurt your readers.
JH: If you had an unlimited budget to make a movie about Austin, any subject, what would it be?
IBob:I have never even considered such a fantasy. My think-thingy hurts just pondering crap like that. I’m convinced that I’m doomed to poverty-level filmmaking. But now that I’ve had a moment to ruminate on such a crazy idea, I’m thinking that maybe I’d make some stupid fucking movie about some fucking and fighting robots who can’t find a way to love. So they fuck and they fight. The end. Suck on that, Hollywood.
TOTAL BADASS - an insanely funny and wickedly debaucherous new documentary about crime, sex, art, drugs, music and life in the Austin underground - www.TotalBadassTheMovie.com
“A ballsy feature-length documentary... a totally unapologetic profile of the ubiquitous Austin hero.” - Vice Magazine
"A psychological treat." - Phoenix New Times
“Genuinely funny and touching.” - Monday Magazine
“Total Badass is both a portrait of life on the artistic and social fringe and a thriller... a cross of Frederick Wiseman and Hunter S. Thompson.“ - New York Times
HELL ON WHEELS – the rebirth of roller derby, Texas style. - www.HellOnWheelsTheMovie.com
"Hell on Wheels is full of adrenaline-fueled highs, heartbreaking lows, and lots of chicks in short skirts kicking the shit out of each other." ~ The Onion’s A/V Club
“Hell on Wheels is an epic doc. It's fast, fun, and inspiring.” ~ Chris Gore (Film Threat Magazine)
CRASHTOONS - caustic cartoons - www.CrashToons.com
"Hilariously subversive!” ~ The Austin Chronicle
ROCK OPERA - a kick ass stoner-caper flick - www.RockOperaTheMovie.com
"Truly suspenseful... terribly funny… Rock Opera puts Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas to shame." ~ San Francisco Weekly
"Hilarious!” * * * * (four stars) ~ Toronto Eye